Latvia – Government, Law and Business Travel Websites – in Latvian, English, Russian, German and/or French languages – 2006 update from 2004

This is an August 30, 2006 update and revision of our February 14, 2004 posting Latvia – Government and Law Websites – in Latvian, English, Russian, German and/or French languages. We have added some important sites related to lawyers and business travel in Latvia and have updated all previously listed links. We would in the future appreciate suggestions, corrections or necessary additions, especially from the applicable organizations in Latvia.
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Latvia – Government and Law Websites
in Latvian, English, Russian, German and French languages (as available)

Latvian Flag
Latvian Flag

Since the LawPundit speaks fluent Latvian, this post with a list of Latvian government, law and law-related websites is a natural for the LawPundit blog.

The Original List from Attorney Aldis Alliks (amended)

Attorney (Advokāts) Aldis Alliks (advocate@alliks.lv) in Latvia sent me a long list of Latvian government, legal and law-related websites similar to the list below. LawPundit has reorganized the list for English-language purposes and has added the official English translations (as available at the respective online pages) – as well as the appropriate links to those pages – and has expanded the language key to include: lv = Latvian language, en = English language, fr = French language, de = German language, ru = Russian language, thus also adding some French and German language pages which Alliks does not mention, since these are few. Thank you Aldis for your excellent list which we used as the basis for this list.

Money and Banking

Bank of Latvia – Latvijas Bankalv en

Financial and Capital Market CommissionFinanšu un kapitāla tirgus komisijalv

Institutions of Learning – Mācību iestādes

University of LatviaLatvijas Universitātelv en

University of Latvia Faculty of LawLatvijas Universitātes Juridiskā fakultātelv en

Human Rights Institute, University of Latvia, Faculty of Law
– Cilvēktiesību institūts
lv en ru

Student Self-Government – Faculty of Law – University of Latvia – Studentu pašpārvaldelv

Riga Graduate School of LawRīgas Juridiskā augstskolalv en

Latvian Police Academy – Latvijas Policijas akadēmijalv en

The Juridical College – Juridiskā koledža (for legal paraprofessionals)lv en ru

Legal Information and databases – Juridiska informācija, datu bāzes

Latvian Laws – LR likumi un MK noteikumilv en (for English see links directly below)

Latvian Official Gazette – Latvijas Vēstnesis (Periodical – Laikraksts) – lv

Law and Justice – Likums un Tiesības (Journal – Žurnāls) – lv en

NAIS – Latvian Legislation DatabaseNormatīvo Aktu Informatīvā Sistēma (NAIS)lv en

Translation and Terminology CentreTulkošanas un terminoloģijas centrslv en

LURSOFT (Database of Companies, Credit, Newspapers, Addresses, Court Claims, Licenses) – LURSOFT datu bāze – lv en

JURIDICA (Law Information resources) – juridiskās informācijas resursi – lv en

Latvian Legal Documents DatabaseJuridisko dokumentu datu bāzelv en ru

State Archives of LatviaLatvijas valsts arhīvu sistēmalv en ru

The Latvian Judiciary (Courts) – Tiesas

Latvijas tiesu portāls (Latvian Courts Portal) – lv

Constitutional Court of the Republic of LatviaLR Satversmes tiesalv en

Riga Regional CourtRīgas apgabaltiesalv en

General Information about Latvia

The Latvian InstituteLatvijas institūtslv en fr de (fact sheets, Lettland, Fakten) ru (fact sheets, Fakti o Latvii)

Latvian Investment and Development AgencyLatvijas Investīciju un Attīstības Aģentūralv en de fr ru

Public Policy IssuesSabiedriskās politikas portālslv en

CIA – The World Factbook – Latvia – ASV CIP – fakti par Latvijuen (select by country)

Government Institutions – Valsts institūcijas

The Latvian ParliamentSaiemaLatvijas Republikas Saeimalv en

The Latvian PresidentLatvijas Valsts prezidenta kancelejalv en de fr ru

Bank of Latvia – Latvijas Bankalv en

Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of LatviaLR Ministru Kabinetslv en fr ru

Ministry of AgricultureZemkopības ministrijalv en

Ministry of CultureKultūras ministrijalv en

Ministry of DefenceAizsardzības ministrijalv en

Ministry of EconomicsEkonomikas ministrijalv en fr

Ministry of Education and ScienceIzglītības un Zinātnes ministrijalv en

Ministry of EnvironmentVides ministrijalv en

Ministry of FinanceFinanšu ministrijalv en

Ministry of Foreign AffairsĀrlietu ministrijalv en ru

Ministry of Health – Veselības ministrijalv

Ministry of the Interior – Iekšlietu ministrijalv en ru

Ministry of Justice – Tieslietu ministrijalv en

Ministry of Regional Development and Local Governments – Reģionālās attīstības un pašvaldību lietu ministrijalv en

Ministry of Transport and Communications – Satiksmes ministrijalv en ru

Ministry of WelfareLabklājības ministrijalv en ru

LGS [Air Navigation Services, Air Space Utilization, Air Traffic Organization]Latvijas Gaisa Satiksme (LGS)lv en ru
As written at that website:
The main revenue source for LGS are air navigation charges collected for the rendered service and there is no financing from the State budget. Moreover, LGS is one of the largest tax payers in Latvia…. LGS was founded on October 21, 1991 as an Air Navigation Services Enterprise with 100% state ownership on the basis of the disintegrated Aeroflot structure. On June 12, 1997 the enterprise changed its legal status and became a State Joint Stock Company keeping the same title. On October 11, 2004 in line with the Latvian legislation LGS was entered in the Commercial Register as State Joint Stock Company of Air Space Utilisation and Air Traffic Organisation Latvijas gaisa satiksme but since February 17, 2006 the name has been changed to State Joint Stock Company Latvijas gaisa satiksme.”

Insolvency Administration [Bankruptcy]Maksātnespējas administrācijalv en

Central Statistical BureauCentrālā statistikas pārvaldelv en

Civil Aviation AdministrationCivilās aviācijas administrācijalv en

Competition CouncilKonkurences padomelv en

Consumer Rights Protection CentrePatērētāja tiesību aizsardzības centrslv en

Corruption Prevention and Combating BureauKorupcijas novēršanas un apkarošanas birojslv en ru

State Culture Capital FoundationValsts Kultūrkapitāla fondslv en

Data State Inspection [Personal Data Protection]Datu valsts inspekcijalv en ru

State Environmental ServiceValsts vides dienestslv en
The former Environmental State Inspectorate was reorganized in January of 2005 and is now known as the State Environmental Service.

Food and Veterinary ServicePārtikas un veterinārais dienestslv en

Health Quality Control CommissionMedicīniskās aprūpes un darbspējas ekspertīzes kvalitātes kontroles komisijalv

Housing AgencyMājokļu aģentūralv

Land RegisterZemesgrāmatalv en ru

Latvian Certification CentreLatvijas Sertifikācijas centrs (LATSERT)lv en ru

Latvian Environment, Geology and Meteorology AgencyLatvijas vides, ģeoloģijas un meteoroloģijas aģentūra (LVĢMA)lv en
This agency was formed in 2005 as the result of a reorganization which joined the previously separate agencies for environment, geology and meteorology.

Latvian National Accreditation BureauLatvijas Nacionālais akreditācijas birojs (LATAK)lv en

Latvian National Human Rights OfficeValsts cilvēktiesību birojslv en

Latvian RailwayLatvijas Dzelzceļšlv en ru

Latvian Guarantee Agency Ltd.Latvijas Garantiju aģentūra (LGA)lv en ru

State Construction Inspection (SCI)Valsts būvinspekcijalv en

Latvian State Forests (LVM)Latvijas valsts mežilv en de ru

Latvian Standard Ltd.Latvijas standarts (LVS)lv en

Latvian Tourism Development AgencyTūrisma attīstības valsts aģentūralv
and see in this connection the
Official Latvia Tourism Portal lv en ru de li ee fr
The Law Pundit recommends the following additional sites for tourism:

Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory InspectionIzložu un azartspēļu uzraudzības komisijalv en

Marine Environment BoardJūras vides pārvaldelv en

State Medicines Pricing and Reimbursement Agency (SMPRA)Zāļu cenu aģentūralv en

Road Transport AdministrationAutotransporta direkcijalv en ru
The former Motor Transport Directorate has been renamed in official translation as the Road Transport Administration.

National Board of FisheriesValsts zivsaimniecības pārvaldelv en

National Energy InspectionValsts energoinspekcijalv en

Naturaliziation BoardNaturalizācijas pārvaldelv en ru

Office of Citizenship and Migration AffairsPilsonības un migrācijas lietu pārvaldelv en ru (Управление по делам гражданства и миграции)

Patent Office of the Republic of LatviaLatvijas Republikas Patentu valdelv en

Public Utilities CommissionSabiedrisko pakalpojumu regulēšanas komisijalv en

Purchase Control BureauIepirkumu uzraudzības birojslv

Radiation Safety Centre Radiācijas drošības centrslv en

Register of EnterprisesUzņēmumu reģistrslv en ru

Riga International AirportRīgas starptautiskā lidostalv en

Latvian School of Public AdministrationValsts administrācijas skolalv en

Health Compulsory Insurance State Agency (HCISA)Veselības obligātās apdrošināšanas valsts aģentūra (VOAVA)lv en

State Agency of MedicinesValsts zāļu aģentūralv en

State Audit Office of LatviaValsts kontrolelv en

State Border GuardValsts robežsardzelv en

State Civil Service AdministrationValsts civildienesta pārvaldelv

State Education InspectorateIzglītības valsts inspekcijalv

State Employment AgencyNodarbinātības valsts aģentūralv en ru

State Firefighting and Rescue ServiceValsts ugunsdzēsības un glābšanas dienestslv en

State Forest ServiceValsts meža dienestslv en ru

State Information Network AgencyValsts informācijas tīkla aģentūralv en

State Labour InspectorateValsts Darba Inspekcijalv en

State Land ServiceValsts zemes dienestslv en

State Pharmaceutical InspectorateValsts farmācijas inspekcijalv

State Plant Protection ServiceValsts augu aizsardzības dienestslv en

State Police of LatviaValsts policijalv en

State Real Estate AgencyValsts nekustamā īpašuma aģentūra (VNI)lv en

State Revenue ServiceValsts ieņēmumu dienestslv en

Electronic Communications OfficeElektronisko sakaru direkcijalv en

Motor Insurers’ Bureau of LatviaLatvijas Transportlīdzekļu apdrošinātāju birojslv en

The Treasury of the Republic of LatviaValsts kaselv en

Professionals and Professional Organizations – Profesionālās organizācijas

Latvian Maritime Law AssociationLatvijas Jūras tiesību asociācijalv en

Latvian Sworn Notary CouncilLatvijas Notārslv en ru

English-Speaking Lawyers in Latvia (list of the US Embassy in Riga, Latvia)

Sworn Attorneys in Latvia (as of 1.1.2002) – Latvijas zvērināti advokāti
(a similar list is found at legal.lv)

Legal.lvLatvijas juridisko dokumentu datu bāzeLatvian legal and business document portal lv en ru

Other Organizations – Citas organizācijas

Business Software Alliancelv

Latvian Chamber of Commerce and IndustryTirdzniecības un rūpniecības kameralv en ru

Latvian Consumer GuidePatērētāja interešu aizstāvības klubslv en

Latvian Junior Chamber Internationallv en

Latvian Patients’ Rights OfficeLatvijas Pacientu tiesību birojslv en ru

News and Information – Ziņas un Uzziņas

1188 News and Information Service – Uzziņu dienests “118”lv en ru
The 1188 portal is a kind of Yellow Pages for Latvia and includes current information in Latvian, English and Russian about, for example, the following topics:

Map of Latvia (Interactive, Zoomable) – UzKartes (interaktīvās kartes un izziņas)lv en de ru

Business Information at ZL Hotline – Biznesa uzziņu portāls “ZL Hotline”lv en de ru
This website contains links to the following products and services in Latvia: Advertising – Architecture, design – Automotive spare parts and accessories – Banks – Beauty treatment – Building materials , manufacture – Building materials, sale – Campsites with lodging, guesthouses – Car rentals – Cleaning services – Clothing – Computers – Construction and repairs – Construction machinery; sale and rent – Doors and windows – Education: general – Education: higher, institutions – Freight transport: by road – Furniture. sale – Furniture, manufacture – Hairdressers – Heat engineering – Hotels – Household appliances and devices – Internet Service – Internetshop – Legal services – Management and business consultancy and services – Massages, intimate clubs etc. – Medical aid: dentists – Medical aid: out-patient – Metal, sale – Motor vehicles, repairs and maintenance – Motor vehicles, sale – Notaries – Nursery schools – Packaging, wrapping – Photographic works – Printing services – Real estate – Recreational and leisure activities – Restaurants, bars, cafes – Security: services – Self-governments – Sports clubs – Telecommunications – Tourism and travelling, hotel reservation – Training, various Translation and interpreting services – Woodworking

The Titius-Bode Law and the Demise of Pluto as a Planet: The Imperium of the IAU Strikes Again

There are all kinds of laws, including those of the Universe and of our Solar System. We see that the mainstream astronomers are at it again – violating one of those laws.

In a decision which in our opinion is difficult to support, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and its 26th General Assembly have just zapped the status of Pluto as a planet.

THE IAU

The International Astronomical Union (see IAU.org ) was founded in 1919 and regards itself to be the naming authority for astronomical bodies. This is disputed inter alia by commercial enterprises who sell names of stars. After all, who is entitled to name a star?

STARRY CONSTELLATIONS

In addition, in 1930 the IAU fixed the present boundaries of the stellar (starry) constellations by adopting a system devised by Joseph Delporte, which fixed those boundaries along lines of right ascension and declination for the epoch B1875.0 , a so-called Besselian epoch (365.242198781 days), which has since been superseded in mainstream astronomy by Julian epochs (based on Julian years of 365.25 days and calculated by the formula
J = 2000.0 + (Julian date − 2451545.0)/365.25

The fixing of starry constellations at its present number of 88 had the drawback that not all ancient constellations are included in this system, nor did the ancients necessarily use the exact same stars for a given constellation as used by more ancient astronomers.

See generally in this regard, Richard Hinckley Allen, Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning, Dover, N.Y. 1963 (corrected republication of G.E. Stechert, Star-Names and Their Meanings, 1899), at StarPath (the book online) or Amazon

Moreover, different cultures (e.g. China) saw the stars somewhat differently in terms of their representations, even if there are substantial overlaps among cultures in the way they saw star groupings of the brightest stars in the sky.

Finally, the present “fixed” constellations give the appearance that the stellar constellations were always viewed the same way we view them today, which is simply false. There are of course similarities, but not everything is identical.

PLANETS

The IAU has now simply redefined what a “planet” is
and in the process has eliminated Pluto’s planetary status.
See the CNN article, Pluto gets the boot

As reported there by Associated Press:

For now, membership will be restricted to the eight “classical” planets in the solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

Much-maligned Pluto doesn’t make the grade under the new rules for a planet: “a celestial body that is in orbit around the sun, has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a … nearly round shape, and has cleared the neighborhood around its orbit.“

Pluto is automatically disqualified because its oblong orbit overlaps with Neptune’s.

Instead, it will be reclassified in a new category of “dwarf planets,” similar to what long have been termed “minor planets.” The definition also lays out a third class of lesser objects that orbit the sun — “small solar system bodies,” a term that will apply to numerous asteroids, comets and other natural satellites.“

The idea that sheer “size” (i.e. mass) and gravitational effect rather than “orbit” should be the determining factor for defining a planet shows in our opinion a serious lack of insight into the nature of the universe, which seems to us to be defined more by principles of “distribution” of matter, rather than by the “mass” of the matter per se. Indeed, the ancient Greeks (as in our opinion also ancient man) saw the stellar constellations as consisting not only of stars of the heavens but also of the spaces inbetween. Modern astronomers have often lost sight of the “spaces” inbetween, also as far as the planets are concerned.

Not only the Titius-Bode Law (more correctly called a “rule of the distribution of planetary mass by orbits”), but also an analysis of other known orbital systems such as the moons of Jupiter, shows that there is always an orderly “spacing” of “planetary” bodies around an orbited object. We also see this at the other end of the “size” spectrum, where electrons circulate the nucleus of the atom at regular intervals – not unlike the planets.

In fact, according to the orderly spacing of objects around the Sun in our own Solar System, it is not only the Asteroid Belt (including Ceres) – which appears to us to be a disintegrated planet at that location – but also the “brothers” Neptune and Pluto (whose orbits overlap) should be regarded as planetary orbits, because their astronomical spacing around the Sun follows an orderly orbital system. In fact, in the case of Pluto, it is Pluto and not Neptune which actually occupies the orbital position predicted by the Titius-Bode Law. Keeping Neptune but throwing Pluto out of the planetary system is just ludicrous.

As written at the Wikipedia :

One plausible explanation other than chance is that orbital resonance from major orbiting bodies creates regions around the Sun that are free of long-term stable orbits. Results from simulation of planetary formation seem to support the idea that laws like the Titius-Bode law are a natural consequence of planetary formation, according to the current theories in this area.

Dubrulle and Graner have shown that power-law distance rules are a natural consequence of collapsing-cloud models of planetary systems possessing two symmetries: rotational invariance (the cloud and its contents are axially symmetric) and scale invariance (the cloud and its contents look the same on all length scales), the latter being a feature of many phenomena considered to play a role in planetary formation, such as inverse-square force fields and turbulence.”

The elimination of Pluto as a “planet” by the IAU does not take orbitals of heavenly bodies into account, which in our view is a grievous error, since it is not size (mass) which should be exclusively determinative of planetary status, but rather the orbital location of the orbiting body, regardless of its size.

We think the IAU has made a serious mistake in failing to take the Titius-Bode Law into account.

How Long Will America Lead the World?

Here is an interesting take on world affairs.

How Long Will America Lead the World?
by Fareed Zakaria

The United States is still the dominant force in technology, innovation, productivity and profits. But Americans don’t quite realize how fast the rest of the world is catching up.

This article was written a few months ago, but its message still rings loud and true.

I wonder how much of this accelerating speed of “catching up” is due to modern digital technology.

Godwin’s Law – When Proper Logic Fails

The following explanation for Godwin’s Law appears in the Wikipedia:

Godwin’s Law … is a mainstay of Internet culture, an adage formulated by Mike Godwin in 1990. It is particulary concerned with logical fallacies such as reductio ad Hitlerum, wherein an idea is unduly dismissed or rejected on ground of it being associated with persons generally considered “evil”.

The law states:

As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.”

Godwin observed that people had increasingly begun to compare anyone and anything they mildly disliked with Hitler and/or Fascism….

Although in one of its early forms Godwin’s Law referred specifically to Usenet newsgroup discussions, the law is now applied to any threaded online discussion: electronic mailing lists, message boards, chat rooms, and more recently blog comment threads and Wikipedia discussion pages….[emphasis added]

There is a tradition in many newsgroups and other Internet discussion forums that once such a comparison is made, the thread is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically “lost” whatever debate was in progress. This principle is itself frequently (though perhaps incorrectly) referred to as Godwin’s Law.

Essentially, Godwin’s Law is a variant of the ill logic of guilt by association or argumentation by ad hominem (personal insult), whereby an argument itself is not attacked through logic – rather, it is countered by attacking the person who expresses the argument, either directly by name-calling (ad hominem) or indirectly by claimed affiliation or comparison with some allegedly undesirable group (guilt by association).

Ancient China Astronomy and Evidence

In past centuries and decades, persons trained in the law have left too much of the study of ancient history to academics not trained in the analysis of evidence, and this has led to many historical errors in the mainstream humanities, which rely more on the alleged academic authority of their gurus rather than on what the evidence actually provides. Among these failings are a near total failure by mainstream historians of astronomy and archaeologists (including Egyptologists, Assyriologists and Biblical Scholars) to recognize that ancient man was versed in astronomy – as the evidence clearly indicates. This has led to a complete and total misunderstanding of the role played by rock drawings and megalithic sites as astronomically sighted (and sited) landmarks and borders.

The Xinhua News Agency has now reported on August 16, 2006 that a Neolithic stone carving of the stellar constellation of the “Big Dipper” (Ursa Major) has been discovered in China on Baimiaozi Mountain near Chifeng City in China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

They write as follows, reported in the English pages of China.com:

Neolithic Stone Carving of Big Dipper Discovered 2006-08-17 11:16:01 Xinhua News Agency

13548226_2006081711161687805300.jpg
A neolithic stone carving of the Big Dipper star formation has been found on Baimiaozi Mountain near Chifeng City in northwest China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, according to experts.
The stone carving was discovered by Wu Jiacai, a 50-year-old researcher in literature and history with Wongniute Banner of Inner Mongolia. Wu found a large yam-shaped stone, 310 centimeters long, onto which 19 stars had been carved. The representation of the Big Dipper is on the north face of the stone. The stars are represented by indentations in the stone. The biggest indentation is 6 centimeters in diameter and 5 centimeters deep, said Wu. “The stone was carved by neolithic dwellers,” said Gai Shanlin, researcher with the Inner Mongolia Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology (IMICRA) and an expert in stone carving. The carving style proves this, said Gai. Astronomers’ conjectures about the shape of the Big Dipper some ten thousand years ago also match the carving.
13548226_2006081711161727372600.jpg
“Finding a stone carving in China‘s desert hinterland is a rare occurrence,” said Tala, director of IMICRA, who said it might help prove how ancient celestial bodies evolved.
Apart from the Big Dipper, Wu also found some “unexplained images” on the stone. He thinks they may depict ancient gods, such as the god of the sun and the god of horses. Further study would be needed to determine when the pictures were painted. Many neolithic jade articles from the Hongshan Culture — such as a dragon with a pig’s mouth and a cloud-shaped pendant — have already been unearthed around Baimiaozi Mountain. The Hongshan Culture was an aboriginal culture that existed in northern China about 6000 years ago. Tala believes the discovery will contribute to knowledge about the origin and spread of Hongshan Culture. (Xinhua News Agency August 16, 2006)”

This discovery fits in with the ancient hermetic system of land survey by astronomy discovered by Andis Kaulins, also in China – at the Great Wall of China.

Stars Stones and Scholars, deciphering the world’s megaliths, is available in hardcover at: Amazon.comUSA, Amazon.caCanada, Amazon.co.ukUK, Amazon.deGermany, Amazon.frFrance, Amazon.jpJapan, BARNESANDNOBLE, BOOKSAMILLION, SUPERBOOKDEALS, and PICKABOOK and in softcover at Stars Stones and Scholars. There it is shown that the Great Wall of China marks the Milky Way as the Dragon of Heaven (e.g. Yumen marks Gemini at the West end of the Great Wall whereas Shanhaikuan and this region of China mark the Head of the Azure Dragon (Tang Shay) in the East).

Baimiaozi Mountain near Chifeng City in China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is located near the area where the eastern part of the Great Wall of China ends and many other ancient artefacts have been found in this region.

As we write in our book, this is ALL ancient astronomy, and we are glad to see that at least Chinese astronomers and archaeologists have recognized that cupmarks on rock drawings mark stars of the sky, as we have alleged all along for years. Perhaps the Chinese academics can get their Western colleagues to wake up.

The World of Oil: "A tank of gas, a world of trouble"

Via today’s refdesk Bonus Site, we are led to
The World of Oil: “A tank of gas, a world of trouble

Read this behind the scenes report by Chicago Tribune correspondent Paul Salopek for an extremely informative view of the world of oil, which is described at the Trib site as follows:

Pulitzer Prize winner Paul Salopek traces gasoline sold at a Chicago-area station back to its origins. His safari reveals how America’s oil addiction binds it to some of the most violent corners of the planet – and to a petroleum economy nearing crisis.

The report includes a video oil safari around the globe.

Holy Kryptonite! – In America the Law is Dwarfed by Fiction

Reuters through Yahoo News reports of a poll by Zogby International, “commissioned by the makers of a new game show on pop culture called ‘Gold Rush,” where the law was veritably “dwarfed” by the competition.

75% of Americans could identify two of the dwarfs in the tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Grumpy, Doc, Bashful, Sleepy, Sneezy, Happy, and Dopey), 74% could identify the Three Stooges (Moe, Larry, Curly), 60% could identify Bart Simpson, 60% knew about Superman and the planet Krypton, and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter surpassed British Prime Minister Tony Blair 57% to 50% in terms of public recognition.

By comparison only 42% of Americans could identify the three branches of government (legislative, executive and judicial) and only 11% could name the Supreme Court Justice last confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court (Samuel Alito).

Saving grace, the intellectual elite that drives the country did put in an appearance as fully 20% of those polled could name at least one of Homer’s epic works (Iliad, Odyssey).

Hmmm. Perhaps it is time in the USA to speak openly about the necessity to achieve an EFFECTIVE GENERAL EDUCATION of American citizens.

We can not fault the public for not knowing the names of Supreme Court Justices, who are no competition for Hollywood, but when less than 50% of the citizenry know how their own government works, then you have a long term problem. This lack of knowledge is one of the reasons that the qualifications of people elected to Congress have dropped in recent decades and will continue to drop as an uninformed, uneducated public elects people who know not much more about their own government than they do.

Environment and the Laws of Genetics – The Rh Blood Protein and Respiration – A New Discovery Worthy of the Nobel Prize

We are subject to all kinds of laws and chief among these are the laws of genetics, which are definitely supreme over the laws made by men. Religious zealots of all persuasions should consider the fact that what some might view to be “God in action” is found in all of us in the unique genetic blueprint of each of our organisms, regardless of our religious affiliation.

A special category in genetics is comprised by our blood types, especially the ABO and Rh blood groups. In our modern age, many citizens of civilized nations know their own ABO blood group (A, B, O, or AB) and most also know whether they are Rh-positive or Rh-negative, since this knowledge can be essential for healthy childbearing.

A recent question from a reader of LexiLine about the origin and mutation of the Rh protein led the Law Pundit to do a bit of research, which is our specialty, leading to a remarkable potential discovery about the cause for the Rh-negative mutation.

For a bit of background information, we refer to a mathematically produced dendrite of the world distribution of blood groups, adapted from A. Kelus and J. Lukaszewicz (authors of Taksonomia wroclawska w zastosowaniu do zagadnien seroantropologii Archiwum Immunol. terap. Doswiadizalnej 1 245-254 , 1953), as presented in Ludwig Hirszfeld (also Hirschfeld or Hirsfeld), Probleme der Blutgruppenforschung (book review here, or see Footnote 1 below).

Also for background, we refer to a very short discussion of the prevalence of Rh-negative in certain ethnic groups by Steve Mack, Post-doc/Fellow, Molecular and Cell Biology, Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute.

A chart of the ethnic distribution of Rh+ (Rh-positive) and Rh- (Rh-negative) blood alleles (based on data from the American Association of Blood Banks, AABS) is found at the bottom of the article at http://www.pjms.com.pk/issues/aprjun05/article/article14.html.
The distribution table is located just before the conclusion section of the article at the end.

All modern genetic DNA evidence points to an “out-of-Africa” origin for humanity. Hence, it is our view that Rh+ (Rh-positive) is the original Rh blood allele in humans, since black Africans in Africa who have not mixed either with white populations or with mixed-race persons have ONLY this Rh allele and no evidence of Rh- (Rh-negative).

Since Rh- (Rh-negative) is an allele which is found predominantly among white populations (ca. 40-45% in Europe), it must clearly be a mutation which followed after man’s migrations from Africa to Europe.

Moreover, Rh-negative is found much more frequently among A and O blood groups, which are the major blood types in Western Europe, whereas Rh-negative is much rarer among persons with B and AB blood types. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_type

New research has been published about the Rh protein by Sydney G. Kustu and William Inwood, and we think that it is so important that it will ultimately be awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine because of its fundamental potential impact on biological and genetic research.

See http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2005/05/25_rhesus.shtml and
S. Kustu and W. Inwood, Biological gas channels for NH3 and CO2: evidence that Rh (Rhesus) proteins are CO2 channels, Transfus. Clin. Biol. (Transfusion Clinique et Biologique (Paris), 13:103-10, 2006. [TCB (abstract)] and
Kwang-Seo Kim, Eithne Feild, Natalie King, Takuro Yaoi, Sydney Kustu, and William Inwood, Spontaneous Mutations in the Ammonium Transport Gene AMT4 of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, Genetics, Vol. 170, 631-644, June 2005, [Abstract] [Full Text] [Supplemental Data] )

As noted in the Berkeley article (under the graphic caption) the Rh protein plays a significant role as a channel for CO2 gas (carbon dioxide) across cell membranes in the body:

Rh proteins act as gas channels that help speed the transfer of carbon dioxide (CO2) in and out of red blood cells. CO2 can also pass through the cell membrane unaided (above right), but not quickly enough.”

The PubMed Abstract writes:

Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, 111 Koshland Hall, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720-3102, USA. kustu@nature.berkeley.edu

Physiological evidence from our laboratory indicates that Amt/Mep proteins are gas channels for NH3, the first biological gas channels to be described. This view has now been confirmed by structural evidence and is displacing the previous belief that Amt/Mep proteins were active transporters for the NH4+ ion. Still disputed is the physiological substrate for Rh proteins, the only known homologues of Amt/Mep proteins. Many think they are mammalian ammonium (NH4+ or NH3) transporters. Following Monod’s famous dictum, “Anything found to be true of E. coli must also be true of elephants” [Perspect. Biol. Med. 47(1) (2004) 47], we explored the substrate for Rh proteins in the unicellular green alga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. C. reinhardtii is one of the simplest organisms to have Rh proteins and it also has Amt proteins. Physiological studies in this microbe indicate that the substrate for Rh proteins is CO2 and confirm that the substrate for Amt proteins is NH3. Both are readily hydrated gases. Knowing that transport of CO2 is the ancestral function of Rh proteins supports the inference from hematological research that a newly evolving role of the human Rh30 proteins, RhCcEe and RhD, is to help maintain the flexible, flattened shape of the red cell.
PMID: 16563833 [PubMed – in process]

Hence, it would seem to be a likely hypothesis to this observer, presented here for the first time, that Rh- (Rh-negative) developed due to a (presumably beneficial) change mandated in our human breathing of the Earth’s air in the more northerly European latitudes.

This would make sense since there is in fact a global air-sea flux of CO2 (carbon dioxide) which could correspond to the mutation we see in Rh from Africa (Rh+) to Western Europe (Rh-). As noted in a Colloquium of the US National Academy of Sciences:

Temperate and polar oceans of the both hemispheres are the major sinks for atmospheric CO2, whereas the equatorial oceans are the major sources for CO2. The Atlantic Ocean is the most important CO2 sink, providing about 60% of the global ocean uptake, while the Pacific Ocean is neutral because of its equatorial source flux being balanced by the sink flux of the temperate oceans. The Indian and Southern Oceans take up about 20% each.”

(The above is quoted from the Abstract of Taro Takahashi, Richard A. Feely, Ray F. Weiss, Rik H. Wanninkhof, David W. Chipman, Stewart C. Sutherland, and Timothy T. Takahashi, Global air-sea flux of CO2: An estimate based on measurements of sea–air pCO2 difference, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, Vol. 94, pp. 8292–8299, August 1997, colloquium paper presented at a colloquium entitled “Carbon Dioxide and Climate Change,” organized by Charles D. Keeling, held November 13–15, 1995, at the National Academy of Sciences, Irvine, CA.)

In other words, the Rh mutation from Rh-positive to Rh-negative is arguably environmental in cause, with the human body adjusting to different CO2 and oxygen conditions as present in Western Europe and as opposed to those prevalent in the original homeland of Africa, as evidenced by the differing atmospheric CO2 sinks prevailing in oceans bordering on the two different geographic locations. Presumably, the reason for the mutation was in part “the air” (and climate) and the human body’s changed oxygen (O2)/carbon dioxide (CO2) balance.

We presume that the reason for the mutation can also be analogized to the body’s reaction to decreased levels of oxygen at higher altitudes, which leads to substantial biological reactions:

Adaptation to a lower oxygen environment causes the body to produce a chain of biological reactions. The heart and lungs are stimulated to increase their functions and even over the long term, to increase in size. Blood vessels dilate and new capillaries are formed in the heart, brain and skeletal muscles. In the blood, levels of erythropoietin (EPO), haemoglobin, myoglobin and 2,3 diglycerophosphate increase. All these factors make the blood capable of carrying more oxygen and on a cellular level there is a growth of the cellular structures needed for the metabolism of oxygen. After IHT (Intermittent Hypoxic Treatment) the lactate threshold increases indicating that the body is utilising available oxygen more efficiently.”

The same holds true for thermoregulation, i.e. the body’s response to temperature. The Medical Department of the U.S. Army has published a book titled Medical Aspects of Harsh Environments (Volume I), which contains a great amount of relevant information about human adaptation and human physiological responses to heat and cold. A map of the average wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT) index in the northern hemisphere during July is shown at page 103 of that volume and a similar map at page 105 of that volume shows the relationship between selected regional skin temperatures and core body temperature at rest over a range of temperate and hot climatic conditions.

It is clear from the discussion in subsequent pages of that volume that thermoregulation is related to oxygen uptake and thus of course, conversely, to carbon dioxide expulsion. Moreover, not only does the respiratory system react significantly to heat and cold (see page 366 of that volume), but this is accompanied by changes in the solubility of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood (p. 368): “as the temperature decreases, the solubility of carbon dioxide in blood increases.”

Since the Rh protein affects the rate at which carbon dioxide “channels through” cell membranes, its role may well be comparable in respiration to that found for ion pathways in the plasma membrane. As noted at page 179 of that volume:

Ions do not readily cross lipid bilayers despite their large concentration gradients across plasma membranes. In general, they require specialized channels or carriers to do so….. Membrane channels are proteins that contain hydrophilic pores that penetrate the lipid bilayer, permitting the diffusion of specific ions down their electrochemical gradients to enter or leave cells.”

Given the fact thatthe Rh polypeptide is a major fatty acid-acylated erythrocyte membrane protein”, i.e. an element of our red blood cells – which transport oxygen to the blood, the discovery that Rh proteins act as gas channels for carbon dioxide in living organisms is one of the most important discoveries made in medicine (and genetics) – ever.

__________
Footnote 1

The book review in German at SpringerLink.com by L. Ballowitz of Hirszfeld, L, Probleme der Blugruppenforschung, is reproduced here:

BUCHBESPRECHUNGEN

Hirszfeld L.: Probleme der Blutgruppenforschung. Mit einem Geleitwort von Prof. Dr. O. Prokop, Berlin. 160 Seiten, 29 Abbildungen, 64 Tabellen. VEB Gustav Fischer Verlag, Jena 1960. Preis: Gln. DM 22,-

Für jeden, der an blutgruppenserologischen Fragen interessiert ist, wird diese ausgezeichnete Zusammenschau über die Entwicklung der Lehre von den Blutgruppen äußerst anregend sein. Hirszfeld ist seit etwa 40 Jahren durch zahlreiche, zum Teil bahnbrechende Arbeiten mit an dem raschen Anwachsen der Kenntnisse auf diesem Gebiet beteiligt. Auch in dem vorliegenden Buch ist vor allem die äußerst vielseitige, weitschauende und doch kritische Interpretation der erhobenen Befunde bemerkenswert. Besonders ausführlich sind Fragen der Vererbung von Blutgruppen, solche der Anthropologie, ferner Möglichkeiten der Vaterschafts- und Mutterschaftsausschließung sowie die Immunpathologie der Schwangerschaft abgehandelt. Eine gute Orientierung ist über die von dem Verf. entwickelte Pleiaden- und Abortus-Theorie möglich. Durch das Einfügen persönlicher Erfahrungen wird die Darstellung angenehm aufgelockert. Prokop gebührt Dank, daß er die Veröffentlichung dieses 1953 abgeschlossenen und vom Verf. hinterlassenen Buches möglich machte.

L. Ballowitz, Berlin“

For the Birds? Natural Law, Astronomy and Ancient Man

In our previous posting at LawPundit, we quoted Bertrand Russell for the idea that astronomy gave mankind its first conceptions of natural law – and these conceptions ultimately led to man-made law.

This ancient unwritten “history” of law has always been a major interest of this writer. It is my view that ancient man’s view of astronomy and its regularities invariably led to our modern concepts of religion and world order, which are at the root of our modern legal systems.

In this regard, one of the things that has puzzled me greatly over the years is the remarkable (and in my view utterly unfounded) resistance that mainstream academics manifests:

1) against the idea that ancient (Neolithic) man navigated on Earth by astronomy, both by land and by sea, and;
2) against the corresponding idea that ancient man used the stars and other simple astronomical parameters in setting ancient landmarks and borders as “hermetic” marks of orientation.

How absolutely contrary to common sense (for the birds) the mainstream academic position waxes on this issue can be demonstrated by casting a glance at ornithology (bird watching), which is currently in the science news for some new insights on how birds migrate. See Physorg.com and their recent article “30-year puzzle solved: Light guides flight of migratory birds “.

It is not only light from the Sun during the day that guides migratory birds but also star patterns for nocturnal migrations.

As written at the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC, U.S. Department of Interior, U.S. Geological Survey) on the Migration of Birds, Orientation and Navigation :

Using the artificial night sky provided by planetariums demonstrated that nocturnal migrants respond to star patterns. (quite analogous to Kramer’s work on solar orientation, Franz Sauer demonstrated that if the planetarium sky is shifted, the birds make a corresponding shift in their orientation azimuth. Steve Emlen was able to show that the orientation was not dependent upon a single star, like Polaris, but to the general sky pattern. As he would turn off more and more stars so that they were no longer being projected in the planetarium, the bird’s orientation became poorer and poorer. While the proper direction for orientation at a given time is probably innate, Emlen was able to show that knowing the location of “north” must be learned. When young birds were raised under a planetarium sky in which Betelgeuse, a star in Orion of the southern sky, was projected to the celestial north pole, the birds oriented as if Betelgeuse was “north” when they were later placed under the normally orientated night sky, even though in reality it was south!

My comment to all of this is – did they expect that birds oriented and navigated by magic? Obvious to this observer is the conclusion that other living things are going to use the same basic systems for orientation and navigation that are/were available to modern and ancient Man, i.e. primarily the Sun during the day and the Stars at night.

But how do we get this message through to the people who occupy chairs of astronomy or archaeology (and related disciplines such as Egyptology, Assyriology and Biblical Studies) at the world’s universities? Any suggestions anyone has out there will be appreciated.

Our question for mainstream academia is the title of this posting: “Star Navigation – If it is OK for Birds, why not for Neolithic Man?”

Stars Stones and Scholars Deciphering the World’s Megaliths in Hardcover


My book,
Stars Stones and Scholars,
deciphering the world’s megaliths,
is now available in hardcover
under the new ISBN number
141220135-7
at the following booksellers online:

AMAZON

Amazon.comUSA
Amazon.caCanada
Amazon.co.ukUK
Amazon.deGermany
Amazon.frFrance
Amazon.jpJapan

BARNESANDNOBLE

BOOKSAMILLION

SUPERBOOKDEALS

PICKABOOK

The hardcover edition is printed on demand from a digital source in the United Kingdom by Lightning Source UK Ltd. They have done the book beautifully.

The wonderful thing about this kind of printing is that a book published in this manner virtually never goes out of print and can be ordered at any time in the future, even in 10, 20, 50 or 100 years down the road.This book will become more and more important as the years go by as mainstream archaeologists and historians of astronomy – slowly – begin to grasp the fact that prehistoric man was an astronomer and that many aspects of man’s life in ancient days, especially knowledge, landmarking and belief systems (religion), were closely related to astronomy.

As the great Sir Bertrand Russell, “British philosopher, logician, essayist, and social critic” wrote 2 years after my birth in Human Knowledge: Its Scope and Limits, Simon and Schuster, Clarion Books, New York, 1948:

Astronomy is the oldest of the sciences, and the contemplation of the heavens, with their periodic regularities, gave men their first conceptions of natural law.”

Russell further opined that the legacy of astronomy in our “way of life” carries down to the present day, writing:

Although we are taught the Copernican astronomy in our textbooks, it has not yet penetrated to our religion or our morals….How far has the American outlook on life and the world influenced Europe, and how far is it likely to do so?And first of all: What is the distinctively American outlook? And what, in comparison, is the distinctively European outlook? Traditionally, the European outlook may be said to be derived from astronomy. When Abraham watched his flocks by night, he observed the stars in their courses: they moved with a majestic regularity utterly remote from human control. When the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, He said: ‘Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?’ The reply was in the negative. Even more relevant is the question: ‘Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? Canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth?” [emphasis added]

Tiger Woods is a Caublinasian – Racial and Territorial Names and Labels of Origin

In response to a posting by Eugene Volokh at the Volokh Conspiracy, I posted this comment at that website:

Nomen est Omen

1. Strictly seen, neither of the terms “Native American” or “Indigenous American” are factually correct since – according to modern genetic and archaeological evidence – the “Indians” (so called by the founding fathers of the USA) were also immigrants to the Americas, even if this migration occurred some many thousands of years before the Pilgrims. Seen historically, using the term “Siberian-American” would probably be more accurate in terms of actual tribal origins, although not even that is 100% accurate, given the apparently ancient but rare mtDNA European lineage “X” also found in American Indian populations. As the Encyclopedia Smithsonian writes at http://www.si.edu/resource/faq/nmnh/origin.htm:

“Evidence for diverse migrations into the New World also comes from Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) research on living American Indian populations. These studies have consistently shown similarities between American Indians and recent populations in Asia and Siberia, but also unique American characteristics, which the very early crania have also shown. Evidence for only four mtDNA lineages, characterizing over 95 percent of all modern American Indian populations, may suggest a limited number of founding groups migrating from Asia into the New World. Recently, however, a fifth mtDNA lineage named “X” has turned up in living American Indians and in prehistoric remains for which there does not appear to be an Asian origin. The first variant of X was found in Europeans and may have originated in Eurasia. Naturally, generations of conflict, intermarriage, disease, and famine would influence the genetic makeup of modern Native Americans. Further work with mtDNA, nuclear DNA (which is more representative of the entire genome), and Y-chromosome data, the male-transmitted complement of mtDNA, will permit better estimates of the genetic similarities between Old and New World groups and help to determine when they would have shared a common ancestor.”

The problem with the terms “Native American” or “Indigenous American” is thus that they – quite intentionally – presume and encompass some allegedly fundamental truths and conclusions which may not even be true. If the mtDNA lineage X from “Euroasia” preceded the Siberian-Americans, then it would be the American Indians who took the land away from that group, which would make lineage X the first – previously immigrated – inhabitants of America.

2. It is arguable that naming certain segments of the American population in terms of their territorial “origins”, whether it be “Native American” or “African American”, is discriminatory per se, unless we also follow the same naming practice for all other Americans, thus abandoning the “melting pot” idea which is at the root of the American nation. How about Euro-Americans?

3. The entire concept of grouping modern peoples within America by their “origins” is problematical since many individual citizens have mixed-race lineages. See America’s label game misses diversity of race. Tiger Woods, for example, calls himself a “Caublinasian“.

4. New DNA genetic studies such as the National Geographic Genographic Project (in concert with IBM and the Waite Family Foundation) make simplistic labels of origin appear rather foolish. Maybe we will one day in the not so distant future be known by our Y and mtDNA haplotypes?

Andis Kaulins, LawPundit

Zach Braff Blog Website & the Future of Entertainment

FeedBurner notes on its opening page today that Zach Braff (who is to be the new Fletch, stepping into the shoes of Chevy Chase) may have what is the first “RSS Blimp” on his blog page. For Braff fans, he also has started a MySpace presence.

At the moment, these developments do not have a lot to do with the law, but they may down the road. Braff’s sites show how entertainment, the internet and the mass audiences will mesh in the future, bringing a kind of personal participation which previously never existed in the entertainment industry and fostering all kinds of new business for the legally inclined.