These begin with what I posted on 12/01/01, with the newest entries being at the
bottom of the page.
Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, the warlord's warlord; a man who has changed sides
nine times, including stints fighting for the Soviets, the Soviet puppets,
the Mujahadeen, the Taliban and now the Northern Alliance...is brutal and
corrupt, as well as untrustworthy...his soldiers' record of rape is ghastly.
To have fought a war, costing who knows how many Afghan lives and at least
several American lives, and a monetary cost of billions only to end up with
Dostum in power is beyond bearing.
Dostum has been appointed deputy defense minister in the new Afghan
government...Dostum is illiterate and incompetent to be deputy defense
minister...he has a tendency to take over everything around him. He has
already kicked up dust, threatening to boycott the new government because
only two of his followers were given cabinet posts...
The administration and the media may be doing a significant disservice by
oversimplifying this war. Black hats and white hats may make a good cowboy
movie, but they have a downside in reality.
...a commencement speaker was booed off the stage for calling for the
protection of civil liberties in the government's response to terrorism.
"I have been a university president for 26 years, and I've never seen
anything like what happened last Saturday," said Donald R. Gerth, president
of the university...
"It was scary," said Bob Buckley, a computer sciences professor and
president of the faculty senate. "For the first time in my life, I can see
how something like the Japanese internment camps could happen in our
...nothing in the speech diverged from a basic American civics lesson. "It
is not only thoughtful, but extremely responsible," [Mr. Gerth] said of the
"I think she could have given the speech at any university in America and
the reaction would have been the same," [Mr. Buckley] said. "People in this
country are hurt, angry and vengeful. There's a lot of emotion out there."
...at least 3,767 civilians were killed by US bombs between October 7 and December 10...The figure does not include those who died later of bomb
injuries; nor those killed [since December 10th]; nor those who have died from
cold and hunger because of the interruption of aid supplies or because they
were forced to become refugees by the bombardment. It does not include
military deaths...or those prisoners who were slaughtered in Mazar-i-Sharif,
Qala-i-Janghi, Kandahar airport and elsewhere...
Champions of the war insist that such casualties are an unfortunate, but
necessary, byproduct of a just campaign to root out global terror networks.
They are a world apart, they argue, from the civilian victims of the attacks
on the World Trade Centre because, in the case of the Afghan civilians, the
US did not intend to kill them...
Thousands of innocents have died over the past two months, not mainly as an
accidental byproduct of the decision to overthrow the Taliban regime, but
because of the low value put on Afghan civilian lives by US military
planners...what has been cruelly demonstrated is that the US and its camp
followers are prepared to sacrifice thousands of innocents in a coward's
I got into documentaries as I became aware of grassroots causes, of how
insulated we can be from really comprehensive information, how the world
works, what its problems really are and what the solutions really are. What
we get from the mainstream media doesn't give us everything we need as human
beings - as a society - to manage ourselves...My interest in making films is
to be a voice for some aspect of our culture. I'm bringing to the surface
something that does not have a voice...It's the articulation of the
unobvious that really is my interest. The hidden. The story behind the
story...I take on very difficult subjects. I take on subjects that are
essentially taboo...The subjects are not necessarily controversial to me.
They're only controversial in the context that they challenge people's world
The crop circles do represent a kind of extra-terrestrial interaction that
could be from another dimension. That's the beauty of it, that's the
wonderful part about it, nobody knows. They are there. They appear. They
don't go away. It's not a five-second blip in the sky, or some fleeting
moment or the shadow of a dream. They're real...
The crop circle phenomenon represents the meeting of our world with some
other world that offers us a level of intelligence that we do not embody,
that we do not have. That is my belief. Crop circles represent an
opportunity for us as a species or as a world, as a planet, to somehow be
aware of, or interact with, or even receive from an order of intelligence
that is at some level outside of, or beyond, our general trip...
I hope that my films transcend political and cultural ideologies. WACO
certainly did. That film spoke to many. I worked for months to not have that
film fall into either the conservative or liberal camp, and it didn't. It
was received in a way that the entire spectrum of political ideology found
something that it could relate to. That's really what I'm looking for - to
transcend those limitations so that those kinds of labels are not as easy to
A Dog Pile Profile: William Gazecki
[An interview with Oscar nominated filmmaker, William Gazecki (WACO: The Rules of Engagement). William currently is editing a film I'm co-producing on crop circles that we shot in England last summer.]
The FBI is asking for access to a massive database that contains the
private communications and passwords of the victims of the Badtrans
The implications of complying with the FBI's request, absent any legal
authority, are staggering. This is information that no one, not even the
FBI, could legally gather themselves. The fact that they seek to take
advantage of this worm and benefit from its illicit spoils, demonstrates
the FBI's complete and utter contempt for constitutionally mandated due
process and protection from unreasonable search and seizure. It defies
reason that the FBI expects the American people to trust them to only look
at certain permissible nuggets of data and ignore the rest of what they
collect. One need only imagine what J. Edgar Hoover would do with today's
expansive surveillance system, coupled with the new powers granted by the
Patriot Act, to appreciate the Orwellian nightmare that the United States
November 26. Attorney General Ashcroft explained why he won't reveal the identities of 1,000 or so men being held indefinitely without charges: "It would be a violation of the privacy rights of individuals for me to create some kind of list of all of them that are being held." Let's get this straight. ... He's holding 1,000 people unconstitutionally, without charge and without prospect of release, but he won't tell us their names so that he can protect their rights?...
Only a groundswell of citizen protest on every level of our republic will stop him. A coup-by-decree against the Constitution is occurring at this moment. If you yes, you do nothing, it will be on your head. Your silence, your complacency, will be taken correctly as consent-by-default. Which is why now you must not leave the speaking to the likes of me. You must speak. Make yourself heard. It's time to stand up and risk. To fight for your country.
I got on a bus that had been held up by the passing [WTO]march and got into an animated discussion with a group of passengers by describing what had happened during the day. The consensus of several of the passengers was that the police couldn't be blamed for anything they did; in the wake of September 11, you could just never be sure, so you have to treat "those people" aggressively (as though people publicly questioning government policy are automatically more likely to be inclined, on a moment's notice, to topple a skyscraper). Seems to me, actually, that real terrorists would be careful to avoid public demonstrations...
Last week, John Ashcroft all but accused critics of his civil liberty-trashing measures of abetting terrorism.
Witness, for example, the unprecedented input Lay and Enron were given on
the makeup of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), the agency
charged with regulating Enron's core business. Lay went so far as to brag to
one potential nominee about his "friends at the White House." He also
personally put the screws to FERC chair Curtis Hebert in an effort to change
his views on electricity deregulation. Hebert didn't, and was soon the
former chairman of FERC, replaced by an Enron ally.
The Enron debacle has exposed the dark side of capitalism and the
unseemly link between money and political influence. Let's hope it also
sheds a light on the desperate need for fundamental campaign finance reform.
Because trust in the fundamental decency of our political system is not a
trivial, inside-the-Beltway issue. Just ask the scores of people who were
being sold on the virtues of investing their golden years in Enron right
up until the stock crashed.
We also need to understand why millions celebrate as others die. In the
absence of such an understanding there remains only the medieval therapy of
exorcism; for the strong to literally beat the devil out of the weak...
Terrorism does not have a military solution. Soon - I fear perhaps very
soon - there will be still stronger, more dramatic proof.
In the modern age, technological possibilities to wreak enormous destruction
are limitless. Anger, when intense enough, makes small stateless groups,
and even individuals, extremely dangerous...
Americans will also have to accept that the United States is past the peak
of its imperial power; the 50's and 60's are gone for good. Its
triumphalism and disdain for international law is creating enemies
everywhere, not just among Muslims. Therefore they must become less
arrogant, and more like other peoples of this world...
Our collective survival lies in recognizing that religion is not the
solution; neither is nationalism. Both are divisive, embedding within us
false notions of superiority and arrogant pride that are difficult to erase.
We have but one choice: the path of secular humanism, based upon the
principles of logic and reason. This alone offers the hope of providing
everybody on this globe with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of
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