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
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
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... - # 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 ... - 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

Number Of International Occupation Force Troops Slaughtered In Afghanistan : 1,453


Cost of War in Iraq


Cost of War in Afghanistan

The cost in your community

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

No Sieges, Tortures, Starvation & Surveillance
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
David Baptiste Chirot
740 N 29 #108
Milwaukee, WI 53208

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, December 11, 2010

ACLU: Government Spying, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," Faith and Evolution in the Classroom and More

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: ACLU Online <>
Date: Fri, Dec 10, 2010 at 12:16 PM
Subject: Government Spying, "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," Faith and Evolution in the Classroom and More

ACLU Online

In This Issue

Senate Vote Blocks Repeal of DADT… For Now

Seeking Domestic Partnership Protections in Missouri

There's Still Time! Take the ACLU's Key Challenges Survey

Documents Shine Light on Government's Interpretation of Spying Powers

And Justice for All?

More Than 1,000 Complaints Over "Enhanced" TSA Security Measures

Civil Union Bill Passes in Illinois

Reconciling Faith and Evolution in the Classroom

Civil Liberties Minute: Drug War or Race War?

"The ACLU is the sole organization that I know of that defends our right to individual liberty, a right that is as controversial and necessary as the founding of the United States of America itself. Keep up the great work!"

- Peter M.
  New York, NY

Civil Union Bill Passes in Illinois

Illinois changed the course of history last week.

By a vote of 32-24, the Illinois Senate approved the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act, which will extend important legal protections to gay, lesbian and straight couples across the state. Now, the bill moves on to the desk of Gov. Pat Quinn, who has promised to sign it.

The ACLU helped draft the bill, offered legal analysis to legislative leadership, met with editorial boards, conducted polling in targeted districts, and put significant effort into lobbying the bill over the course of four years. Constituent visits, patch-through calls, and the phone and e-mail messages of ACLU members all contributed to this bill's passage.

With the new Illinois law, 17 states in addition to the District of Columbia now have some form of state-level protection for same-sex relationships. We haven't reached our ultimate goal — the freedom to marry for same-sex couples in every state, and respect for those marriages by the federal government. But we've achieved quite substantial progress; before 1997, we had no state-level relationship registries at all.

The Illinois bill will provide important protections to same-sex couples, including medical decision-making authority; pensions for surviving partners of teachers, police officers, and firefighters; intestacy rights; and the right to share a nursing home room. We will continue to push for marriage in Illinois as elsewhere, but the civil union bill continues a clear trend line toward the increasing of fairness in how we treat all families.

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Reconciling Faith and Evolution in the Classroom

Susan Epperson's case in the U.S. Supreme Court resulted in the overturning of an Arkansas law that prohibited the teaching of evolution in public schools.

This month, it's been five years since the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District decision, which ruled that "intelligent design" is a religious idea that may not be taught in public school science classes. And just this week, Louisiana's State Education Board approved new biology textbooks for Louisiana high school students, over the objections of those who say the new books put too much credence on Darwin's Theory of Evolution.

We sat down with Susan Epperson, plaintiff in Epperson v. Arkansas — a case argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1968 that challenged the constitutionality of a state to outlaw the teaching of evolution in public school — to get her thoughts on her experience. In her case, with a 9-0 vote, the Court overturned an Arkansas law that prohibited the teaching of evolution in public schools on the grounds that it violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The ACLU, as amicus curiae, urged reversal of the judgment of the Supreme Court of Arkansas.

>> Read the full interview.

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Civil Liberties Minute: Drug War or Race War?

In 1963, the year Dr. King gave his "I have a dream" speech, there were 217,000 inmates in America's prisons. Today, there are 2.2 million.

>> Listen to the podcast.

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December 10, 2010

Senate Vote Blocks Repeal of DADT… For Now

Tell your senators that you want DADT repealed this year.

Yesterday afternoon, the US Senate tried — and failed — to begin debate on the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), preventing the repeal of the discriminatory and unconstitutional "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy from advancing in the Senate — despite the support of a majority of senators and the personal pleas of President Obama, Defense Secretary Bob Gates, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen. The Senate missed an historic opportunity to finally end this unjust and unfair policy. However, we may get another chance — and sooner than you think.

Following the vote, Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) announced that he and Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) intend to introduce a stand-alone bill that would repeal DADT. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has said he intends to attempt to bring this legislation to the floor before the end of the year. And Speaker Pelosi announced that the House of Representatives stands ready to pass the new DADT repeal bill as soon as the Senate passes it, leaving the possibility open that DADT could still be repealed this year! The fight continues, and senators need to hear it loud and clear from the American people: We want this senseless discrimination to end this year!

Those service members who are gay and lesbian — and are willingly risking their lives in our armed forces — deserve nothing less than the integrity that comes from being able to serve their nation with honesty. There is absolutely no excuse for failing to act. As Adm. Mullen so eloquently stated in testimony before Congress recently, "I would not recommend repeal of this law if I did not believe in my soul that it was the right thing to do for our military, for our nation and for our collective honor."

The ACLU remains fully committed to ending DADT and will continue to fight, both legislatively and in the courts, to ensure that our nation's service members are able to serve with honesty and integrity.

>> Take Action: Tell your senators that you want DADT repealed this year.

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Seeking Domestic Partnership Protections in Missouri

State highway patrol officer Dennis Engelhard was struck by a vehicle and killed while on duty. His life partner was denied the pension benefit that Missouri provides to the surviving spouses of state troopers. Watch a video about Dennis and Kelly's life together.

Last week, the ACLU filed a lawsuit seeking fair treatment for the surviving partner of a Missouri state trooper. Dennis Engelhard and Kelly Glossip were together for 15 years. They exchanged commitment rings, vowed to take care of each other in good times and bad, and owned a home together. Dennis helped Kelly care for his child from a former marriage. The two would have married if Missouri recognized their union.

Dennis was a state highway patrol officer and had to work on Christmas day 2009. While on duty, he was struck by a vehicle and killed as he was responding to a traffic accident. Despite Kelly and Dennis's long-term, committed relationship, Kelly wasn't eligible for the pension benefit that Missouri provides to the surviving spouses of state troopers. In Missouri's eyes, the two were legal strangers.

This case challenges the unfairness of the state refusing to provide this important protection to Dennis's surviving life partner, whose life is affected in the same devastating way that a surviving spouse would be. After having completed a lengthy state administrative process, the ACLU filed in state court, arguing that the state needs a very good reason to justify penalizing Kelly and Dennis because of the family relationship they formed.

Kelly's case builds on similar discrete domestic partnership benefits successes we've had in Alaska, Montana, New Mexico, and Wisconsin, and our aim is both to help Kelly (and others like him) and to prompt the state to recognize domestic partners more generally.

If we're going to add to that list of states with relationship protections, we're going to have to work in more conservative states like Missouri. Stories like those of Kelly and Dennis — that are heart-wrenching precisely because of the commitment at the center of the tragedy — are a perfect way to start the conversation about relationship protections in these red states.

>> Watch a video about Dennis and Kelly's life together. It's hard to argue that their commitment deserves any less dignity, security or respect than what is granted to other state troopers' families in Missouri.

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There's Still Time! Take the ACLU's Key Challenges Survey

Take the ACLU's Key Challenges Survey and let us know how you feel.

We want to know what's on your mind! If you haven't yet, please take a few minutes to complete the ACLU's Key Challenges Survey. We need your input on the most critical threats we're facing — and on the best strategies for moving forward.

Your individual answers will be kept confidential. But, with your help, we'll get a clear picture of the attitudes and opinions of ACLU supporters.

>> Take the survey.

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Documents Shine Light on Government's Interpretation of Spying Powers

The government recently released over 900 pages of records related to its implementation of the invasive FISA Amendments Act (FAA) surveillance power. Read the documents online.

In response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed by the ACLU, the government recently released over 900 pages of records related to its implementation of the invasive FISA Amendments Act (FAA) surveillance power.

The FAA was passed in June 2008 and gave the government nearly unfettered access to Americans' international communications.

The ACLU's FOIA lawsuit seeks records related to the government's interpretation and implementation of the FAA, including reports and assessments mandated by the law concerning how the FAA is being used, how many Americans are affected by this sweeping spying regime and what safeguards are in place to prevent the abuse of Americans' privacy rights.

Although many of these records are heavily redacted, the documents do shine some light on the government's interpretation, use, and abuse of the FAA spying power.

For instance, every internal assessment conducted by the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence found from the enactment of the law through March 2010 found incidents of violations of the FAA's targeting and minimization procedures. This likely means that citizens' and residents' communications were improperly collected — or improperly retained and disseminated.

The documents also confirm that the government believes the FAA allows broad surveillance powers with few external checks or limitations. In one document, the FBI claims that, under the FAA, there is "no longer a requirement for probable cause to collect data" and that there is "no need to go to court" for government officials to begin surveillance operations.

Regardless of abuse, the problem with the FAA is fundamental; the statute itself is unconstitutional. The ACLU has challenged the FAA in federal court because giving the executive branch the power to conduct dragnet surveillance of Americans' international telephone calls and emails without a warrant, without suspicion of any kind, and with only very limited judicial oversight violates the First and Fourth Amendments. The case Amnesty v. Blair is currently on appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

>> Read the FOIA documents online.

>> Learn more about the FISA Amendments Act.

>> Learn more about the ACLU's case, Amnesty v. Blair.

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And Justice for All?

From the execution of innocent inmates, to en masse arrest and deportation of immigrants, to torture victims denied their day in court, our new report details how U.S. victims of human rights abuses are denied access to justice. Read the ACLU's new report, "Slamming the Courthouse Doors."

Access to the U.S. justice system for victims of civil and human rights violations has been severely curbed over the last decade. Today, the ACLU released a report showing how indigent defendants on death row, prisoners suffering abuses in jail, immigrants in unfair removal proceedings, torture victims, domestic violence survivors and victims of racial discrimination — among others — are consistently denied access to justice and remedy as a result of recent laws and court decisions.

Unfortunately, because of these decisions, victims of human rights violations here in the U.S. are continually denied their day in court while those responsible for the abuses are protected. Equal justice for all is a core American value, and everyone deserves access to the courts to right the wrongs they have suffered. The U.S. should amend restrictive laws and swiftly enact policies to restore access to justice for the most vulnerable among us.

The report, "Slamming the Courthouse Doors," profiles the cases of many victims of human rights violations who have been shut out of the court house when they have sought justice from the courts, including:
  • Jessica Gonzales, a Colorado woman shut out of court after police failed to protect her children from her abusive husband, who killed them.
  • Cameron Todd Willingham and Claude Jones, two almost certainly innocent men put to death in Texas.
  • 300+ immigrant workers in Iowa arrested and convicted en masse in one week without adequate legal representation — and deported away from their families without any court review of their valid claims for immigration relief.
  • Binyam Mohamed, Abou Elkassim Britel, Ahmed Agiza, Mohamed Bashmilah, and Bisher al-Rawi, victims of the U.S. torture program denied any time in U.S. courts because of the government's claims that their torture is a "state secret."
  • Prisoners whose lawsuit alleging an officer had forcibly sodomized them was thrown out of court because of a restrictive federal law requiring them to show physical injury in order to proceed with their case.
The cumulative effect of these cases threatens to undermine the fundamental values of this nation and shift power in ways that cannot be tolerated, inevitably leading to a less just and less free society. In this society, attacks on individual access to justice quickly become attacks on the justice system as a whole. To the extent that they are successful, they weaken not only the courts but the nation as a whole — throwing undue influence to the wealthy and powerful, stripping it away from the disadvantaged, and destroying the balance of power between the government branches that were weighted with care by our founding fathers.

>> Read "Slamming the Courthouse Doors."

>> Take action: Urge President Obama to issue an executive order mandating enhanced collaboration between federal, state and local governments on the implementation and enforcement of human rights obligations.

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More Than 1,000 Complaints Over "Enhanced" TSA Security Measures

The ACLU has received over 1,000 complaints from travelers in the United States about the TSA's new security measures. Read excerpts of travelers' complaints.

The ACLU received over 1,000 complaints in the month of November from travelers who have been subjected to the Transportation Security Authority's (TSA) new "enhanced" screening procedures. The procedures include sending travelers through backscatter X-ray machines that produce naked outlines of an individual's body or subjecting them to thorough pat-downs during which TSA agents touch travelers' breasts and genitals through the outside of their clothing.

Most of the complaints came from travelers who reported feeling humiliated and traumatized by the procedures.

The government must keep us safe, but it must do so in a way that is sensible, effective and constitutional. "The new 'enhanced' security methods are far more intrusive than other methods but have not been shown to be any more effective," said Laura W. Murphy, Director of the ACLU's Washington Legislative Office. "Nobody should be forced to choose between 'naked scans' and intrusive groping by strangers to keep our airplanes safe."

>> Read more, including excerpts of travelers' complaints.

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Lisa Sock and Joe McLaughlin,

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