Saturday, September 20, 2008
THREE TOPICS TODAY: CERN; TROY DAVIS AND THE MISCARRIAGE OF JUSTICE; AND HOW TO CATCH RAPISTS AND CHILD-MOLESTERS---ONLINE!
On September 7th and 8th, I posted about CERN. The Sept. 7th entry features a hilarious video which explains CERN. Update on this, in article, below!______________________________________________________ __________________________________
CERN: Damage to new collider forces 2-month halt
By ALEXANDER G. HIGGINS, Associated Press Writer
The world's largest atom smasher — which was launched with great fanfare earlier this month — has been damaged worse than previously thought and will be out of commission for at least two months, its operators said Saturday.
Experts have gone into 17-mile (27-kilometer) circular tunnel housing the Large Hadron Collider under the Swiss-French border to examine the damage that halted operations about 36 hours after its Sept. 10 startup, said James Gillies, spokesman for CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.
"It's too early to say precisely what happened, but it seems to be a faulty electrical connection between two magnets that stopped superconducting, melted and led to a mechanical failure and let the helium out," Gillies told The Associated Press.
Gillies said the sector that was damaged will have to be warmed up well above the absolute zero temperature used for operations so that repairs can be made — a time-consuming process.
"A number of magnets raised their temperature by around 100 degrees," Gillies said. "We have now to warm up the whole sector in a controlled manner before we can actually go in and repair it."
The $10 billion particle collider, in the design and construction stages for more than two decades, is the world's largest atom smasher. It fires beams of protons from the nuclei of atoms around the tunnels at nearly the speed of light.
It then causes the protons to collide, revealing how the tiniest particles were first created after the "big bang," which many theorize was the massive explosion that formed the stars, planets and everything.
Gillies said such failures occur frequently in particle accelerators, but it was made more complicated in this case because the Large Hadron Collider operates at near absolute zero, colder than outer space, for maximum efficiency.
"When they happen in our other accelerators, it's a matter of a couple of days to fix them," Gillies said. "But because this is a superconducting machine and you've got long warmup and cool-down periods, it means we're going to be off for a couple of months."
He said it would take "several weeks minimum" to warm up the sector.
"Then we can fix it," Gillies said. "Then we cool it down again."
CERN announced Thursday that it had shut down the collider a week ago after a successful startup that had beams of protons circling in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions in the collider.
It was at first thought the failure of an electrical transformer that handles part of the cooling was the problem, CERN said. That transformer was replaced last weekend and the machine was lowered back to operating temperature to prepare for a resumption of operations.
But then more inspections were needed and it was determined that the problem was worse than initially thought, said Gillies.
The CERN experiments with the particle collider hope to reveal more about "dark matter," antimatter and possibly hidden dimensions of space and time. They could also find evidence of a hypothetical particle — the Higgs boson — which is sometimes called the "God particle" because it is believed to give mass to all other particles, and thus to matter that makes up the universe.
Smaller colliders have been used for decades to study the makeup of the atom. Scientists once thought protons and neutrons were the smallest components of an atom's nucleus, but experiments have shown that protons and neutrons are made of quarks and gluons and that there are other forces and particles.
The LHC provides much greater power than earlier colliders.
Its start came over the objections of some who feared the collision of protons could eventually imperil the Earth by creating micro black holes — subatomic versions of collapsed stars whose gravity is so strong they can suck in planets and other stars.
So we'll have to wait awhile before we can unlock the secrets of the Universe, including our understanding of the "God particle" referenced above. What can we do in the meantime? Even when science disappoints us, we can use our core beliefs, to make a difference. I'm begging you to make a difference, right now, in two areas:
First, a man's life is at stake.
Troy Davis has never been proven guilty of the crime for which he was (erroneously) convicted. I have included a brilliant letter written by fellow-Pax Christi-member, Mary Jean Goode, below, which details the many recantings of testimony, and the huge amount of proof of his innocence.....
The following letter was recently published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and I am begging you to take to heart what dear friend Mary Jean has said, and please, please contact your senators, and write the Georgia State Board of Corrections immediately.
Executions kill any chance to correct possible injustice
By MARY JEAN GOODE
On Sept. 23, our great state of Georgia is poised to deliver a miscarriage of justice in the name of its citizenry. A man, on death row for the 1989 murder of an off-duty policeman in Savannah, is scheduled to die on that date.
A heinous crime was committed — one that defies understanding. The familial pain inflicted can only be imagined. The loss will never subside and their burden will never be diminished by any judicial ruling.
As a society, we kill to teach that killing is wrong. Can anyone say that Troy Anthony Davis, the accused, is the murderer in this tragedy beyond doubt? The burden of proof was circumstantial by all admission: no physical evidence of any description, no weapon, no fingerprints, no DNA. The conviction was made from the least reliable source: eyewitness accounts. Nine claimed to have seen Davis commit the crime. Seven recanted their testimony; two have not. One of those two is a suspect, and the other is a person who claimed to have seen no one do the shooting, but changed his testimony through interrogation. Troy Davis may not have proven his innocence at trial, but no one, with absolute certainty, has proven his guilt.
At a conference sponsored by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life in 2002, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia responded to a question on whether he thought the death penalty would inevitably lead to the condemnation of someone who is innocent. In the transcript, he replied: “Well, of course it will. I mean you cannot have any system of human justice that is going to be perfect. And if the death penalty is immoral for that reason, so is life in prison. You think you’re not going to have innocent people put in prison for life? It’s one of the risks of living in an organized human society.” Later he ventured to say that he felt the innocent rarely received the death penalty.
Unfortunately, time has proved him to be dead wrong. Larry Griffin in Missouri, Carlos DeLuna, Reuben Cantu and Cameron Todd Willingham — all from Texas — have one thing in common besides being executed. Each died with lingering questions as to his guilt, and evidence that gave a strong preponderance toward innocence. Who wins in the end, when the end does not justify the means?
Unlike Scalia’s assessment that imperfections in our justice system are to be taken for granted, I would hope that as Americans we can finally muster the courage to say enough is enough to a barbaric system with such obvious flaws. As a nation we have the means to assure the safety of the public trust without the need for retaliation and vengeance under the guise of retributive justice. Our judicial and legislative systems can favor morality in judgment when fair-minded people recognize there is no margin for error regarding the permanence of the death penalty as opposed to a sentence of life in prison without parole.
I have never met Troy Davis and have nothing to gain from requesting clemency in his name. Yet I have everything to gain because I am pro-life, and I fail my conscience and my faith when I continue to maintain silence. I fail my children and grandchildren in their promise for a better world. I fail to respect life in all its sacredness by succumbing to a “culture of death,” as Pope John Paul II succinctly put it. Pope Benedict XVI, his successor, requested that Troy Davis be re-sentenced to life in prison without parole. I hope others will join him. There should be — and I hope there will be — an outcry on the death penalty from all those who profess to be pro-life. This is not a made-for-TV prime-time spectacle. It is real life. Some might say that as a Catholic I am imposing my belief system on others. On the contrary. As an ordinary citizen, I am simply telling my state of Georgia: Do not kill in my name.
Mary Jean Goode, a retired nurse, lives in Dunwoody.
Kids, I am against the Death Penalty in all cases, as I believe the State (and that includes us, kids) does NOT have the right to take a life. On a common-sense level, we are the only Western government that still holds executions. Ironic, isn't it? All the countries' leaders we deplore, all the governments we say are barbaric--including the Middle East's archaic, cruel laws--all include the Death Penalty as part of their "justice" system. And this punishment has never been proven to be a deterrent, either. In fact, in the areas where it is used, violent crime goes UP! It is symptomatic of what the RC Church often calls "a Culture of Death".
So, here's the scoop on Troy Davis---if nothing changes, he has less than a week to live!
Here is more info, on how you may help(this will take only about 2 minutes out of your life. And it may save Troy Davis' life...
The following is from Joe Goode, our moderator at Pax Christi:
Here's a good site regarding the status of the execution.
Click here: More Action For Troy Davis : The Curvature
Click on the "send your email and letter today" near bottom if you want to email or call the Pardons board. Amnesty says the board can reassemble at any time before the execution. Seems to me that is our best hope to stop this travesty.
Also, I gather the U.S. Supreme Court can stop the execution. Here is an interesting article I found at: Click here: DC Indymedia: GEORGIA SIGNS NEW DEATH WARRANT FOR EXECUTION OF TROY ANTHONY DAVIS .
(written on Sep. 4)
"At present, Troy Davis has a petition for review before the U.S. Supreme Court. He filed that petition before the U.S. Supreme Court in July 2008. However, the Supreme Court will be on vacation until the first week in October and, at least for the time being, will not consider that petition. In the meantime, no government official can stop the September 2008 execution of Troy Anthony Davis except Justice Clarence Thomas (who serves for the time being as the U.S. Supreme Court justice who hears emergency petitions while the U.S. Supreme Court remains on vacation) and the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Parole. Troy Davis' appellate lawyers plan to file an emergency petition asking Clarence Thomas to stay the execution until the entire U.S. Supreme Court returns from vacation in October. If Justice Thomas grants a temporary stay as shall be requested, then the U.S. Supreme Court would be able to decide whether to grant or to deny Troy Davis' main petition which he filed in July 2008. In the meantime, the grassroots effort to save Troy Davis plans to hold a national rally in Atlanta, Georgia to save Troy's life. That national grassroots rally will take place on September 18, 2008 and will likely be staged at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center in Atlanta. Also, the movement to save Troy will also work with Troy's lawyers to file a petition asking the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Parole to grant Troy Davis a full pardon in this case. That petition would be based on Troy Davis' claim of actual innocence."
This was written Sep. 4. Since that time the Pardons and Parole Board has met (Sep. 12) and rejected the appeal to stay the execution. Unless the Pardons Board decides to review the case again, it seems that only one person can stop the execution, Clarence Thomas. Clarence, an African-American Catholic, was born in Pin Point, Georgia, a small Gullah-speaking community outside Savannah. Since the pope has requested that Troy Davis not be executed and the Roman Catholic Church absolutely forbids use of the death penalty (except where the public can be protected in no other way - which is clearly not the case in the United States), one would have great hope that Justice Thomas would stop this madness. However, I believe only God can cause Clarence Thomas to save Troy's life.
Thank you, Joe Goode, for the info, above.
And now, kids, my second request for your help. This has to do with stopping the internet child pornography traffickers who molest toddlers and young children and infants(often "on-demand" crimes which are broadcast, and/or shared, and spread this crime across the globe). Oprah Winfrey has teamed up with a police officer in Wyoming who has created software which can "flag" a repeat offender. This only affects those who have a history on their computer, of searching for, and/or deciminating child pornography (over 40% of those same folks are molesting and raping children. The child pornography "fuels" this crime). The US Bill 1738 would help ensure funding for more officers, and more resources(computers, etc.) to accomplish this herculean feat. Please click on the link below. When you arrive at Oprah Dot Com (you can also read about her show that addressed this subject, which aired this past Monday), just click on the Protect Our Children Act, and get the names of the Senators in your area. Then call, e-mail and/or write them and URGE THEM TO VOTE YES! ON BILL 1738, or use the prepared letter at Oprah's site.
I've already done this, and it took me less than three minutes. I have also received a quick response from Senator Saxby Chambliss who has promised to vote for US Bill 1738.
(He's Republican, and generally far more conservative than me, but this goes to show you, this is a NON-PARTISAN issue--this is about protecting our most defenseless victims of crime).
When one man who admitted molesting infants was asked why he chose to offend a three-month-old, he said he knew a child that young could not articulate what had happened to them.
It's time to DO something about this despicable crime, instead of merely getting angry about it. Click on:
and take three minutes out of your lovely Saturday, to help catch the people who--this minute--are molesting and raping, "on-demand"--our children. Our voiceless children.
Thank you for your patience in reading all I posted today. I'm still very ill, so it's back to bed for me.