The Plug Nickel Times is proud to bring you website links to news information that you may not find through your local media. All links are offsite unless otherwise noted - followed links should open in another browser window. Links can become dated or otherwise fail to function, for this reason we quote the actual headline of an article. This may allow you to find an alternate copy of the article through a news index or search engine. Some sites we link to may require a registration process to view an article - this website may be useful to you in those instances. Comments, corrections and submissions are welcome - an email link is at the bottom of the page.

August 16-31, 2005

August 29, 2005

FBI used PATRIOT Actís administrative subpoena to get library records in Connecticut
"Today the ACLU revealed that the FBI has used Section 505 of the USA PATRIOT Act to obtain electronic library records at an institution in Connecticut whose identity cannot be disclosed because of constraints imposed by the PATRIOT Act.
ALA has argued that Section 505 of the USA PATRIOT Act gives the FBI overly broad authority to use a National Security Letter (NSL), an administrative subpoena which requires no judicial oversight, to secretly obtain the electronic library records of any person - whether or not that person is suspected of a crime - without any standard for protecting individual privacy. Records searched could include all the websites visited and all the e-mail sent and received by anyone who used the library's computers. Such open-ended fishing expeditions expose all library users to the search and seizure of their records and to the invasion of their privacy. A gag order accompanies the NSL that prevents its recipient from disclosing that a demand for records has been received."

One flew over the Mexican border... in the name of art
"Smith climbed into the barrel of the cannon on a beach in Tijuana on Saturday and flashed his US passport. About 600 people applauded as he soared about 150ft before landing uninjured in a net in Border Field State Park in San Diego. US border patrol agents and an ambulance were waiting near by.
Tellez organised the cannonball launch with psychiatric patients at the Baja California Mental Health Centre in Mexicali, Mexico, as a therapeutic project. He called the project 'living sculpture' and said it was about 'dissolving borders' between the US and Mexico, and between mental health patients and the rest of the world. 'David Smith is a metaphor for flying over human borders, flying over the law, flying over everything that is established,' he said."
'If I had a cannon, some sonofabitch would fly!' - with apologies to Bruce Cockburn

August 27, 2005

One hundred thousand Shi'ites protest Iraq charter

Israel orders Palestinian land seized
"Israel has issued orders to seize Palestinian-owned land to link a main Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank to Jerusalem, officials say, a step that could isolate Palestinians from Jerusalem."

Sharon pledges to expand in West Bank
"As Israeli forces removed residents from the last Jewish settlement still to be cleared in the Gaza Strip yesterday, Ariel Sharon sought to win back support from the Israeli right by promising continued expansion of Israel's West Bank colonies and no more unilateral pullouts."

Acts of hate: full list of 'deportation' acts
"The Home Office today published a list of 'unacceptable behaviours' which will lead to the deportation or exclusion of any foreign national who commits them from the UK.

According to the Home Secretary the list is indicative rather than exhaustive and covers any non-UK citizen whether in the UK or abroad."

Police and Tube firm at odds over CCTV footage of innocent Brazilian's shooting

Hunger strike restarts amid abuse claims
"New tensions between Guantanamo Bay detainees and the US military have prompted 89 prisoners to resume a hunger strike that so far has left seven in hospital. The prisoners, protesting against their living conditions and their continued detention without trial, had gone on a widespread hunger strike that ended in July. Word that the hunger strike had resumed was disclosed on Thursday by Clive Stafford Smith, a British human rights lawyer who returned from visiting clients at the base a week ago."

Homeland Security agency narrows intelligence focus
"The Department of Homeland Security has quietly scaled back its intelligence operation in a move that some intelligence insiders say could significantly hamper the government's ability to protect the country from terrorist attacks.

Originally assigned by Congress to collect and analyze terrorism intelligence from throughout the federal government, the department instead plans to concentrate solely on information gathered from within its own units, focusing mostly on border security and, eventually, data from state and local governments, officials said."

ATF, Virginia Police Accused of 'Persecuting' Gun Shows
"The federal agency that regulates U.S. gun dealers stands accused, along with at least three Virginia law enforcement agencies, of trying to shut down legal gun shows through alleged intimidation of gun buyers and sellers. The law enforcement organizations also allegedly broke the law by sharing gun buyers' information with members of the public."

Toledo police seize gun; Leave temporary CHL-holder defenseless
"The Toledo Free Press is reporting that although a man with a temporary emergency concealed handgun license was not charged with a crime, police have seen fit to confiscate and hold his handgun (despite an Ohio law which suggests such action by the Toledo police officers was illegal)."

Firms Hit by ID Theft Find Way to Cash In on Victims

Rave raided in Utah - assault rifles, teargas, dog attacks....

Reverend Pat Robertson Says US Should Kill Venezuelan President

Migrants awarded vigilante's Ariz. ranch
"The land transfer satisfies judgments in a lawsuit in which the immigrants had claimed that Casey Nethercott, the owner of the ranch and a former leader of the vigilante group Ranch Rescue, had harmed them.

'Certainly it's poetic justice that these undocumented workers own this land,' said Morris S. Dees Jr., chief trial counsel of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala., which represented the immigrants."

August 22, 2005

Vassar Clements (1928 - 2005)
"On August 16th 2005 at 7:20 am Nashville time, the angels in heaven stopped singing for a moment, as they heard the most beautiful music approaching from a distance - the high lonesome sound of Vassar Clements' fiddle.

We are deeply saddened by the passing of this truly wonderful and beautiful man whose purpose in life on Earth was in spreading love and happiness to people, both through his music and through his generosity and light of spirit."
(more here)

London Police Keep Shoot-To-Kill Policy
Easy to say once all the law-abiding folk are disarmed...

Security law would unlock Net   (CA)
"The federal cabinet will review new legislation this fall that would give police and security agencies vast powers to begin surveillance of the Internet without court authority.

The new measures would allow law enforcement agents to intercept personal e-mails, text messages and possibly even password-secure Web sites used for purchasing and financial transactions."

Ecuador strains to hike oil output, open talks
"Ecuador strained to increase petroleum production on Saturday as the government offered to negotiate with protesters whose violent attacks shut down the country's oil operations over the last week.

The attacks, led by activists seeking more local investment by multinational oil companies drilling in the Amazon region, helped raise U.S. crude oil futures by $2 to more than $65 a barrel on Friday."

BATFE harrassment in Virginia
"The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE), who seem to go out of their way to alienate gun owners with their heavy-handedness, behaved in a shameful manner this last weekend at the Showmasters' gun show in Richmond.

I had reports from members of police going to their houses while the member was waiting for their approval to purchase a gun at the show! The police asked the spouse and other family members questions about the purchases and filled in a survey! 'Did you know your husband was going to a gun show today?' 'Did you know your husband was going to buy a gun today?' and many other such questions.

If no one was home at the gun purchaser's house, the police went to the neighbors! 'Did you know that your neighbor was buying a gun today? How do you feel about him doing so?'"
(additional information here)

Treasury Department Claims Power to Seize Gold, Silver--and Everything Else, GATA Says
"The U.S. Government has the authority to prohibit the private possession of gold and silver coin and bullion by U.S. citizens during wartime, and, during wartime and declared emergencies, to freeze their ownership of shares of mining companies, the Treasury Department has told the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee.

But gold and silver owners aren't alone in such jeopardy. For the U.S. Government claims the authority in declared emergencies to seize or freeze just about everything else that might be considered a financial instrument."
It's all about that spoonful!

Drug dealer must forfeit lottery winnings
"A jury convicted Betancourt, who was living in the border city of Brownsville, Texas, of conspiracy and two counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine in May 2003 and also found he must forfeit his one-half interest in the lottery ticket.

A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the trial court judge's ruling that Betancourt bought his share of the ticket with drug proceeds because that was his only apparent source of income."

Spamming suspect made millions by diversifying, prosecutors say
"Smith got all that through his successes in massive unsolicited e-mail marketing, authorities say. The Spamhaus Project, an anti-spam group, considered him one of the world's worst offenders.

He was just 25 when the feds in May shut down his flagship company, Xpress Pharmacy Direct, and seized $1.8 million in luxury cars, two homes and $1.3 million in cash held by Smith and associates.

But even then, prosecutors say, he refused to give up."

August 18, 2005

Mistakes led to tube shooting

Homeless Woman Found Asleep At Store With $60K In Purse
"Police in Janesville, Wis., report an elderly woman found snoozing in a discount store had $60,000 in in her purse. The woman was fast asleep in a recliner at the store.

Officers looked in her purse for ID. Lt. Keith Lawver said he's never seen that much money before. The money was in six stacks of $100 bills.

Lawver said the woman had no permanent address and had been staying in hotels and apartments. Lawver adds that he hopes a social services case worker will help the woman find a place to live and set up a bank account."
So what happens when she tells 'em all to get rooted and to give her the money back? Maybe she'll get another fat chunk o' change in her illegal search lawsuit against this burg...? And how - btw - is someone 'homeless' if they're 'staying in hotels and apartments'?!

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