CHIROT ZERO ZINE--ANNOUNCING NEW BLOG

Dear Followers, Friends, fellow Workers:

I have just begun a new blog/zine called
Chirot Zero Zine A Heap of Rubble--
Anarkeyology of hand eye ear notations
---
http://chirotzerozine.blogspot.com
the blog is more exusively concerned than this one with presenting essays, reviews (inc. "bad reviews") , Visual Poetry, Sound Poetry, Event Scores, Manifestos, Manifotofestos, rantin' & raving, rock'roll, music all sorts--by myself and others--if you are interested in being a contributor, please feel free to contact me at david.chirot@gmail.com
as with this blog, the arts are investigated as a part of rather than apart from the historical, economic, political actualities of yesterday, today, & tomorrow
as with al my blogs--
contributions in any language are welcome

Free Leonard Peltier

Free Leonard Peltier
The government under pretext of security and progress, liberated us from our land, resources, culture, dignity and future. They violated every treaty they ever made with us. I use the word “liberated” loosely and sarcastically, in the same vein that I view the use of the words “collateral damage” when they kill innocent men, women and children. They describe people defending their homelands as terrorists, savages and hostiles . . . My words reach out to the non-Indian: Look now before it is too late—see what is being done to others in your name and see what destruction you sanction when you say nothing. --Leonard Peltier, Annual Message January 2004 (Leonard Peltier is now serving 31st year as an internationally recognized Political Prisoner of the United States Government)

Injustice Continues: Leonard Peltier Again Denied Parole

# Injustice continues: Leonard Peltier denied parole‎ - By Mahtowin A wave of outrage swept the progressive community worldwide at the news that Native political prisoner Leonard Peltier was denied parole on Aug. ... Workers World - 2 related articles » US denies parole to American Indian activist Leonard Peltier‎ - AFP - 312 related articles » # Free Leonard Peltier 2009 PRISON WRITINGS...My Life Is My Sun Dance Leonard Peltier © 1999. # Prison Writings: My Life Is My Sun Dance - by Leonard Peltier, Harvey Arden - 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 272 pages Edited by Harvey Arden, with an Introduction by Chief Arvol Looking Horse, and a Preface by former Attorney General Ramsey Clark. In 1977, Leonard Peltier... books.google.com/books?isbn=0312263805... - # Leonard Peltier, American Indian Activist, Denied Parole And Won't ... Aug 21, 2009 ... BISMARCK, ND — American Indian activist Leonard Peltier, imprisoned since 1977 for the deaths of two FBI agents, has been denied parole ... www.huffingtonpost.com/.../leonard-peltier-american_n_265764.html - Cached - Similar - #

Gaza--War Crime: Collective Punishment of 1.5 Million Persons--Recognized as "The World's Largest Concentration Camp"

Number of Iraquis Killed Since USA 2003 Invasion began

Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator

US & International Personnel losses in Iraq &Afghanistan; Costs of the 2 Wars to US


Number of U.S. Military Personnel Sacrificed (Officially acknowledged) In America's War On Iraq: 4,667
icasualties.org/oif/

Number Of International Occupation Force Troops Slaughtered In Afghanistan : 1,453
http://icasualties.org/oef/


=

Cost of War in Iraq

$691,188,637,164

Cost of War in Afghanistan
$229,137,844,021

The cost in your community

www.nationalpriorities.org/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=182

flickr: DEATH FROM THIS WINDOW/DOORS OF GUANTANAMO--Essays, Links, Video-- US use of Torture

VISUAL POETRY/MAIL ART CALL Cracking World’s Walls & Codes Concrete & Virtual

Cracking World’s Walls & Codes Concrete & Virtual


VISUAL POETRY/MAIL ART CALL
No Sieges, Tortures, Starvation & Surveillance
GAZA-GUANTANAMO-ABU GHRAIB—THE GLOBE
Deadline/Fecha Limite: SinsLimite/ongoing
Size: No limit/Sin Limite
No Limit on Number of Works sent
No Limit on Number of Times New Works Are Sent
Documentation: on my blog
http://davidbaptistechirot.blogspot.com
Addresses: david.chirot@gmail.com
David Baptiste Chirot
740 N 29 #108
Milwaukee, WI 53208
USA

Miss Universe Visits Guantanamo: 'A Loooot Of Fun!'



Miss Universe Visits Guantanamo: 'A Loooot Of Fun!'


The current 'Miss Universe' Dayana Mendoza (formerly Miss Venezuela) and 'Miss America' Crystal Stewart visited US troops stationed in Guantanamo Bay on March 20th, the New York Times reports. Here's Mendoza's account of the visit from her pageant blog last Friday. She says the trip "was a loooot of fun!"

This week, Guantánamo!!! It was an incredible experience...All the guys from the Army were amazing with us. We visited the Detainees camps and we saw the jails, where they shower, how the recreate themselves with movies, classes of art, books. It was very interesting. We took a ride with the Marines around the land to see the division of Gitmo and Cuba while they were informed us with a little bit of history.


The water in Guantánamo Bay is soooo beautiful! It was unbelievable, we were able to enjoy it for at least an hour. We went to the glass beach, and realized the name of it comes from the little pieces of broken glass from hundred of years ago. It is pretty to see all the colors shining with the sun. That day we met a beautiful lady named Rebeca who does wonders with the glasses from the beach. She creates jewelry with it and of course I bought a necklace from her that will remind me of Guantánamo Bay :)

I didn't want to leave, it was such a relaxing place, so calm and beautiful.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Howard Zinn on Class in America Video Interview

Howard Zinn on Class in America
 
Video Interview
 
"In the United States we are really brought up to think there's only really one class. That is, the idea of class conflict, class struggle, that is foreign to American culture." says Zinn. "We're brought up to think that were part of one big happy family," according to Zinn this is simply a perpetuated lie that contradicts the reality that a large percentage of the population doesn't fit in to this happy family model.
http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22395.htm


Windows Live™: Keep your life in sync. Check it out.

Pakistan: "The Most Dangerous Country" Video and Petition

Pakistan:
 
"The Most Dangerous Country"
 
Video and Petition
 
The war in Afghanistan and its potentially catastrophic impact on Pakistan are complex and dangerous issues, which further make the case why our country needs a national debate on this now starting with congressional oversight hearings.
http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22382.htm
 


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NY Times: The Looting of America

 
The Looting of America
 
By Barry Grey
 
The New York Times on Thursday published a front-page article that provides further insight into the economic and class interests that are being served by the Obama administration's economic "recovery" policies.
http://informationclearinghouse.info/article22393.htm
 
===


Windows Live™: Keep your life in sync. Check it out.

Gay Marriage in IA and VT, "Sexting Case," Torture Report and more






ACLU HomeJoin the ACLUTake Action
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In This Issue

The Importance of Iowa and Vermont

Full ICRC Report Further Underscores Extent of Torture and Abuse by U.S. Officials

ACLU to DOJ: Enough is Enough, Release the Memos

Students Mobilize for Change During Sexual Assault Awareness Month

ACLU Sues Pennsylvania County D.A. For Threatening Teenage Girls with Child Pornography Charges

Lawsuit Filed Against Mississippi Police and School Officials Using Excessive Force Against Schoolchildren


Lawsuit Filed Against Mississippi Police and School Officials Using Excessive Force Against Schoolchildren

On Thursday, the ACLU filed a federal civil rights lawsuit charging Southaven, Mississippi, police and DeSoto County school officials with assaulting and racially discriminating against a group of schoolchildren after a violent and discriminatory incident on a school bus was caught on tape.

In an egregious example of excessive and unwarranted use of force by police against students in a school setting, Southaven Police Sergeant Tomas Aguilar and Officer Lee Holiday responded to an argument between three students on the bus by arresting a half-dozen black students, choking and tackling a black female student and threatening to shoot the 30 students on the bus between their eyes. The entire incident was captured on videotape by a surveillance camera on the front of the bus.

"This case is a vivid and disturbing illustration of the dangers of relying on police officers to maintain order in public schools," said Jamie Dycus, an attorney with the ACLU Racial Justice Program. "No sensible person handles an argument on a school bus by having armed police officers threaten, arrest and assault schoolchildren. What happened here was not only unlawful, but unconscionable, and those responsible must be held to account."

>>Read more about the case.

>>Learn more about the ACLU's Racial Justice Program.


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April 10, 2009

The Importance of Iowa and Vermont

by Matt Coles, Director, ACLU LGBT Project

Ideological Exclustion

>>Watch: Three couples. Three minutes. They show us the human cost of denying gay and lesbian couples the fundamental right to marry.
All couples should be allowed to say "Yes We Can" to marriage.

Some week. The Vermont legislature voted to let same-sex couples marry, and the Iowa Supreme Court decided that it is unconstitutional not to let same-sex couples marry. Together, these two events are a much needed shot in the arm for marriage.

Iowa is the first win in a flat state without an ocean view. And the decision was unanimous. Vermont is the first time a state legislature has opened marriage, and it did it by a stunning veto override.

Iowa and Vermont don't entirely erase the damage from losing the Proposition 8 vote in California last November. They don't have either the cultural or economic influence that the Golden State has. Still, there's nothing like winning and winning big.

One of the nice things about Vermont is that it more or less puts an end to the idea that marriage is the creature of "unelected judges." This is two-thirds of the state legislature.

The Iowa Supreme Court decision is the third from a state high court to treat government discrimination against gay people generally as a serious constitutional problem (the other two are the California and Connecticut marriage cases). All three courts say that a long history of discrimination driven by prejudice should make courts suspicious anytime the government singles gay people out. We now have something we've been working toward for years; a body of case law we can use to attack discrimination.

What truly sets the Iowa decision apart is a passage in which the Court addresses head-on what it says is the "unspoken" reason why many support the exclusion: religious opposition.

The Court says that while many oppose marriage for religious reasons, religion cannot justify a law excluding gay people from marriage. "State government can have no religious views," the opinion says, "either directly or indirectly expressed through its legislation." "This proposition," the Court goes on to say, "is the essence of the separation of church and state."

That proposition ought to be obvious, but in the last 25 years, it seems almost to have disappeared from civic discourse in America. It took guts for the Iowa court to say what virtually no other government official has been willing to admit. By bluntly pointing out that religion has driven much of the debate and reminding other courts and legislatures of their obligation not to enshrine religion in law, the Court gave a deeply practical rationale for insisting that marriage exclusions either be based on rigorous logic and evidence or be struck down. And it is that down-to-earth honesty that will, I believe, make this a deeply influential opinion.


>> Read more about the importance of these events.

Full ICRC Report Further Underscores Extent of Torture and Abuse by U.S. Officials

Earlier this week, the International Committee of the Red Cross's (ICRC) full report on the treatment of the 14 so-called "high-value detainees" held at Guantánamo was released to the public. This stunning report was previously classified and further underscores the extent of the systemic and far-reaching use of torture by American personnel and provides further evidence of the need for accountability for government officials who broke the law.

Many of the report's findings aren't surprising: we've known for quite while -- through investigative reporting, Freedom of Information Act litigation, former detainee accounts and even admissions by the CIA -- that detainees were tortured with prolonged stress positions, forced nudity, and sleep deprivation, and at least three of them were waterboarded.

What's come through in more detail, however, is medical professionals' actual participation in the torture of prisoners.

The report also mentions two still-confidential previous ICRC reports on "undisclosed detention" from 2004 and 2006 which were ignored by the Bush administration and contained the names of 42 and 59 people, respectively, "allegedly held in undisclosed detention by the U.S. authorities." Sadly, "in both cases, the list included two children."

The release of this report, which calls on the U.S. government to "investigate and punish perpetrators," should put to rest any doubt that an independent prosecutor is needed to investigate and prosecute torture and other criminal acts.

>> Take action now by signing the ACLU's petition to Attorney General Eric Holder asking to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the roots of the Bush administration's torture policies.

>> Read the ICRC report. (will take you offsite)

ACLU to DOJ: Enough is Enough, Release the Memos

For five long years, the ACLU has been fighting to unearth government documents that would show the origins and scope of the Bush administration's torture program.

And as a result of a critical ACLU Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, the Justice Department agreed last Thursday to consider an April 16th public release of key memos that authorized the CIA to torture detainees, including the infamous Bybee and Bradbury memos.

The first, written in August 2002 by the head of the Bush administration's Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), Jay S. Bybee, was the cornerstone of the CIA torture program.

The second set of memos, written by OLC lawyer Steven Bradbury in May of 2005, authorized the CIA to subject prisoners to torture methods including waterboarding. They were written in anticipation of Congress's decision to reaffirm that laws against cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment applied to the CIA.

Collectively, these memos supplied the framework for an interrogation program that permitted the most barbaric forms of abuse, violated domestic and international law, alienated America's allies and yielded information that was both unreliable and unusable in court.

>>Learn about how the ACLU is using FOIA to unveil the truth about torture.



Students Mobilize for Change During Sexual Assault Awareness Month

The Least of These

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and schools and colleges around the country are waking up to the power of Title IX -- the federal civil rights law prohibiting sex discrimination in federally-funded education programs -- to combat sexual violence on campus.

In the past year, the Supreme Court ruled that victims of sexual harassment can bring both Title IX claims and constitutional claims against schools that deliberately ignored harassment that they knew was going on at the school. And well-known universities continue to be forced to reform ineffective sexual assault prevention and response programs.

In order to encourage students to capitalize on recent Title IX cases involving sexual violence and harassment, the ACLU Women's Rights Project has collaborated with Students Active for Ending Rape (SAFER) to bring students the information and resources they need to use Title IX to prevent sexual violence in schools.

>>Learn more at www.aclu.org/sexualassault



ACLU Sues Pennsylvania County D.A. For Threatening Teenage Girls with Child Pornography Charges

The ACLU filed a lawsuit late last month against the Wyoming County, Pennsylvania, district attorney for threatening three high school girls with child pornography charges over digital photos in which they appear topless or in their underwear -- otherwise called "sexting."

"Sexting," the practice of sending nude or semi-nude photos of oneself via cell phones or posting them on the Internet, has become increasingly widespread among teenagers. A recent survey found that approximately 20% of all teenagers have sent or posted nude or semi-nude pictures of themselves. (Sex and Tech: Results from a Survey of Teens and Young Adults, National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, December 2008.)

The district attorney has asserted that the girls were accomplices to the production of child pornography because they allowed themselves to be photographed. The district attorney has not, however, threatened to charge the individuals who distributed the photos.

In February 2009, the district attorney sent a letter to the parents of approximately 20 Tunkhannock students, including the ACLU's clients, threatening the students with criminal felony charges if they did not agree to be placed on probation and participate in a counseling program he devised. A course outline indicates that the program will help the girls "[g]ain an understanding of how [their] actions were wrong," "gain an understanding of what it means to be a girl in today's society," and "[i]dentify non-traditional societal and job roles."

The letter apparently was sent only to those who were discovered with the photos on their cell phones and the girls shown in the photos — not the students responsible for distributing the photos. The district attorney told a group of parents and students in February that he has the authority to prosecute girls photographed in underwear, like the ACLU's clients, or even in a bikini on the beach, because the photos are "provocative."

The ACLU charges in its lawsuit that the D.A. is misusing his authority by threatening to bring baseless child-pornography charges in order to coerce parents into sending their children to the re-education program and putting them on probation. The lawsuit claims this is a form of unconstitutional retaliation against the parents and children who assert their right not to be bullied into participation. The ACLU is asking the federal court to issue an order prohibiting the district attorney from filing criminal charges against the girls.

"Kids should be taught that sharing digitized images of themselves in embarrassing or compromised positions can have bad consequences, but prosecutors should not be using heavy artillery like child-pornography charges to teach them that lesson," said Witold Walczak, Legal Director for the ACLU of Pennsylvania. "These are just kids being irresponsible and careless; they are not criminals and they certainly haven't committed child pornography."

>>Learn more information about the case.

American Civil Liberties Union
125 Broad Street, 18th Floor
New York, New York 10004-2400
Geraldine Engel, Lisa Sock and
Shannon Scanlan, Editors


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Are indictments near for the Bush Six? New Yorker---2 Superb Journalists--Jane Mayer on Phillipe Sands




 Are indictments near for the Bush Six? New Yorker


The Bench

The Bush Six

by Jane Mayer April 13, 2009

The New Yorker

Philippe Sands

Philippe Sands

About a year ago, a book came out in England that made a fascinating prediction: at some point in the future, the author wrote, six top officials in the Bush Administration would get a tap on the shoulder announcing that they were being arrested on international charges of torture.

If the prediction seemed improbable, the background of the book's author was even more so. Philippe Sands is neither a journalist nor an American but a law professor and a certified Queen's Counsel (the kind of barrister who on occasion wears a powdered horsehair wig) who works at the same law practice as Cherie Blair. Sands's book, "Torture Team," offers a scathing critique of officials in the Bush Administration, accusing them of complicity in acts of torture. When the book appeared, some scoffed. Douglas Feith, a former Pentagon official, dismissed Sands as "a British lawyer" who "wrote an extremely dishonest book."

Last week, Sands's accusations suddenly did not seem so outlandish. A Spanish court took the first steps toward starting a criminal investigation of the same six former Bush Administration officials he had named, weighing charges that they had enabled and abetted torture by justifying the abuse of terrorism suspects. Among those whom the court singled out was Feith, the former Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy, along with former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales; John Yoo, a former Justice Department lawyer; and David Addington, the chief of staff and the principal legal adviser to Vice-President Dick Cheney.

In Washington the other night, over a cup of camomile tea, Sands described the behind-the-scenes role he played in spurring the Spanish court to action. He paced his hotel room, seeming by turns proud and stunned at what he had done. "This is the end of these people's professional reputations!" he said. "This is no joke. We're talking about the serious potential deprivation of liberty."

Sands said that he had "no personal vendetta" against the Bush Administration, but he does see a link between his family history and his chosen profession. His mother and her parents were Viennese Jews who barely survived the Holocaust; his mother spent the first seven years of her life in hiding, away from her family. "It inculcated a burning sense of being aggrieved at wrongdoing, and at the failure of people to take responsibility for their actions," Sands said.

Sands got his first chance to demonstrate his convictions professionally in 1998. He was in Paris, for the unveiling of his grandfather's gravestone, when he received a call asking him to represent Augusto Pinochet, the former Chilean dictator. He told his wife, Natalia Schiffrin, about the offer. "Philippe, if you do," Sands recalls her saying, "I will divorce you!" (She is American, and the daughter of the book publisher André Schiffrin, a founder of Students for a Democratic Society.) Sands declined the case. Instead, he signed on to represent the other side, and helped pursue Pinochet for violations of international law. The case became a turning point in international law, establishing the principle that there is no immunity even for the highest-ranking former government officials when they are accused of torture. Pinochet spent some sixteen months under house arrest. A decade later, the same Spanish judge who initiated the legal proceedings against Pinochet, Baltasar Garzón, has been assigned to the case against the Bush Administration officials.

The current torture case began in the spring of 2004, when photographs of abused prisoners at Abu Ghraib surfaced. Sands said that he read the protestations of innocence from Bush Administration officials, who blamed a few "bad apples" for the incidents, with the eye of a barrister. He recalled, "I could spot right away that they were speaking as advocates of a cause. So I decided to find out what really happened." While keeping up his busy law practice, he travelled to America to interview the key players in what he described as "a writing project I am engaged in on international law and the war on terror." Many Bush officials, including Feith and William J. Haynes II, the former Pentagon general counsel, who was also named in the Spanish lawsuit, agreed to meet with Sands, perhaps expecting a friendly chat. "I spent two years trekking around the country, finding out that they were manifestly untruthful," Sands said. "I've got a particular bugbear about lawyers," he added. "If not for lawyers, none of these abuses would have ever occurred."

As Sands went about his research, he conferred with human-rights experts all over Europe on his findings. Word spread that he had the makings of a high-level war-crimes case. Sands won't reveal exactly which human-rights authorities he consulted. But, in recent months, one of them was Gonzalo Boye, the Chilean-born Spanish lawyer who last week filed the criminal complaint against the Bush officials, on behalf of five former prisoners who were, they allege, tortured in the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo Bay. Boye said last week of Sands, "Let me just say that he played a very big role in my thinking. His book showed me who the targets were." Feith, reached on the phone, called Sands's book "wildly inaccurate." He said, "It's not a happy thing for the Spanish Court to think of prosecuting Americans for advice they gave to the President of the United States!"

It is hard to predict what will happen next, but, if arrest warrants are issued, the Obama Administration may be forced either to extradite the former officials or to start its own investigation. Sands, who admires Obama, said, "I regret that I have added to his in-box when he has so much else to sort out. But I hope he does the right thing. There's not much dispute anymore: torture happened, and the law is clear—torture must be punished."

Meanwhile, Sands reiterated a warning that he made in his book. "If I were they," he said, referring to the former officials in question, "I would think carefully before setting foot outside the United States. They are now, and forever in the future, at risk of arrest. Until this is sorted out, they are in their own legal black hole." 

ILLUSTRATION: Tom Bachtell



Czech Photography of the 20th Century










April 11, 2009






Kunst- und
Ausstellungshalle der
Bundesrepublik
Deutschland



F. Drtikol
Nude
1927
Museum of Decorative Arts Prague
© Ruženaková-Boková





Czech Photography of the 20th Century
Art and Exhibition Hall of
the Federal Republic of Germany

13 March - 26 July 2009


Kunst- und Ausstellungshalle
der Bundesrepublik Deutschland

Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 4
D-53113 Bonn
Tel. 0049 (0)228 9171 203
Fax 0049 (0)2289171 209

http://www.bundeskunsthalle.de

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From Surrealism and other avant-garde experimentation to realism and classic photo reportage, Czech photographers have long played a key role in all areas of photography and continue to do so to this day.

This exhibition is the first in Germany to present the history and development of Czech photography from 1900 to the turn of the millennium. Beginning with Art Nouveau-inspired pictorialism, the comprehensive survey traces the rise of avant-garde photography and the development of photo montage in the 1920s to the 1940s. It examines the influence of ideological pressure on photography during the Second World War, the Stalinist 1950s and the period of Communist 'normalisation' after the occupation in 1968 and introduces the visitor to the multifaceted range of contemporary trends.

With more than 440 photographs alongside a selection of albums, videos and examples of important photography publications in books, magazines and catalogues, the exhibition presents the most significant trends, artists and works of Czech photography.

The exhibition focuses on the key figures of Czech photography, among them František Drtikol, Josef Sudek, Jaroslav Rössler, Jaromír Funke, Jindřich Štyrský, Josef Koudelka, Emila Medkova, Jindřich Streit, Viktor Kolář, Antonín Kratochvíl and Jan Saudek, whose work established the international reputation of Czech photography. But it also presents outstanding works by more than 180 less prominent artists as well as photographs and photo montages by German photographers who lived or found refuge in Czechoslovakia between the First and the Second World War.

Czech Photography of the 20th Century was conceived in cooperation with the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague and is held under the patronage of Livia Klausová, wife of the President of the Czech Republic, and Eva Luise Köhler, wife of the President of the Federal Republic of Germany.










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