The Plug Nickel Times is proud to bring you website links to select opinion articles 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.

March 2006

March 31, 2006

Children of Abraham: Death in the Desert by Chris Floyd

Freedom as a Ticket for Power by James Bovard
"The administration is defining freedom down. Freedom is becoming little more than the warm glow people are supposed to feel when government promises to protect them. The more ignorant people become about the reality of freedom, the easier it is for rulers to con them into submission.

Americans cannot afford to confuse presidential supremacy with individual freedom. Bush’s lofty words and presumed good intentions are no substitute for inviolable constitutional rights. Rather than stirring patriotic pride, Bush’s mentions of freedom should set off Americans’ warning bells."

Bush's phyrric victory in Iraq by Eric Margolis
"On the third anniversary of invading Iraq, President George Bush again reassured Americans last they were defeating the resistance forces there and making progress. Which reminds me of the famous, Fourth Century BC lament of King Phyrrus of Epirus, 'one more such victory and we are ruined.'"

The US propaganda machine: Oh, what a lovely war by Andrew Buncombe
"The Lincoln Group was tasked with presenting the US version of events in Iraq to counter adverse media coverage. Here we present examples of its work, and the reality behind its headlines."

Good News by Bill Bonner
"Who really is better off for giving up a third of his income to taxes?

Anyone who reads the paper knows the money is wasted. The taxpayer might just as well waste it himself, but taxes are a special case. The world improvers and bullyboys will send you to the slammer if you don't pony up your share. For every other big-ticket item, though, you can evade the cost without ending up in the company of stick-up men and drug dealers."

Very interesting quote from a Gun grabber by Gunner
"She is the director of a group whose main tactic is to use anecdotes like this to limit our rights. Every time a killing occurs they run in and roll in the victims blood screaming that something must be done.

They live, breath and attempt to 'legislate' by the single 'anecdote' that she so easily dismisses."

Sunni reviews Empire of Debt, by Bill Bonner and Addison Wiggin and Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Move with RFID, by Katherine Albrecht and Liz McIntyre in her most recent salon.

The Winner by Shel Silverstein
Now, as I kick in your family jewels, you'll notice my left leg drags,
And this jacket's kinda padded up where my right shoulder sags,
And there's a special part of me I keep in this paper bag,
And I'll show it to you, if you want to see all of the winner.

March 26, 2006

Quote of the day:
"The unpredictable and random nature of terrorist acts makes it impossible for governments to protect all potential victims."
Official Virginia "Terrorism & Security Awareness Orientation for State Employees" publication

The Decline and Fall of the United States of America by James Leroy Wilson
"The Fed knows that M3 is proof to the world's bankers and investors that the American dollar supply is rapidly increasing, and that therefore its value is decreasing. The Fed is afraid that foreign banks, who hold a giant chunk of our national debt, will want to dump their dollars. The Fed is also afraid that oil-producing countries will likewise want to stop selling their stuff in dollars, and switch to the euro.

What has the Fed done to address this situation?

It has decided to cover it up. Beginning today, it will no longer publish M3. From now on, nobody will now how many more dollars the Fed will create out of thin air."

What is the Effect of a Presidential Signing Statement? from Betsy McKenzie
"When President Bush signed the reauthorization of the USA PATRIOT Act earlier this month, he attempted to modify the carefully crafted piece of legislation through his own signing statement. He added a comment to the effect that he felt no obligation to keep Congress informed of the FBI's use of its expanded powers under the act. That was in direct contravention of provisions in the act that required reports to Congress about how often the FBI uses its new powers, in what situations. The reports are due from the executive branch to Congress by dates certain. There was a big signing ceremony with a political statement from the president about the law as a tool against terror. But after the guests and press left, the White House quietly appended this executive statement to the signed legislation:"

Cheney of Command - Ask the veep which laws bind the White House by James Bovard

Orwell's Internal Revenue Service by Stephen Pizzo
"IRS spokesman William M. Cressman was left to try to explain the contradictions between the actual rule and the headline of his agency's own press release. He explained that the 'safeguard' referred to in the headline referred to a new rule requiring that, before tax preparers can sell a customer's tax return to someone they need to have the customer's signature authorizing them to do so.

But wait, there's already a real safeguard against that. Tax preparers are prohibited from selling (or even telling) anyone else the information on your tax returns -- period, signature or no signature."

Just Get a Strong Family! by Vache Folle
"What do those who complain about familial 'breakdown' mean by it? Are they exhorting us to seek out new and improved families for ourselves? Do they imagine that their observation is explanatory in any meaningful sense?

The 'family' is an abstract concept that encompasses a set of relationships among individuals. It does not exist apart from those individuals, and it consists in interactions among them. If anyone should fall short due to circumstances or character or whatever, needs may go unmet, and dire consequences may ensue. To state that the 'family' is impaired in such instances is to employ a euphemism. Let's call it like it is: somebody done somebody wrong; somebody disappointed somebody; somebody had to go it alone."

March 20, 2006

One Morning in Haditha by Tim McGirk
"In January, after TIME presented military officials in Baghdad with the Iraqis' accounts of the Marines' actions, the U.S. opened its own investigation, interviewing 28 people, including the Marines, the families of the victims and local doctors. According to military officials, the inquiry acknowledged that, contrary to the military's initial report, the 15 civilians killed on Nov. 19 died at the hands of the Marines, not the insurgents. The military announced last week that the matter has been handed over to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), which will conduct a criminal investigation to determine whether the troops broke the laws of war by deliberately targeting civilians. Lieut. Colonel Michelle Martin-Hing, spokeswoman for the Multi-National Force--Iraq, told TIME the involvement of the NCIS does not mean that a crime occurred. And she says the fault for the civilian deaths lies squarely with the insurgents, who 'placed noncombatants in the line of fire as the Marines responded to defend themselves.'"

Now they tell us
"AP exposed Bush's use of straw man arguments after years of uncritically reporting them."

Bush's Rhetoric Targets Unnamed Critics by Jennifer Loven
"When the president starts a sentence with 'some say' or offers up what 'some in Washington' believe, as he is doing more often these days, a rhetorical retort almost assuredly follows.

The device usually is code for Democrats or other White House opponents. In describing what they advocate, Bush often omits an important nuance or substitutes an extreme stance that bears little resemblance to their actual position.

He typically then says he 'strongly disagrees' - conveniently knocking down a straw man of his own making.
A specialist in presidential rhetoric, Wayne Fields of Washington University in St. Louis, views it as 'a bizarre kind of double talk' that abuses the rules of legitimate discussion.

'It's such a phenomenal hole in the national debate that you can have arguments with nonexistent people,' Fields said. 'All politicians try to get away with this to a certain extent. What's striking here is how much this administration rests on a foundation of this kind of stuff.'"

Middle-class peeves cost more money than exists
"It turns out that when we allow for unavoidable costs like crime and taxes, the burden to society of our bad habits and voluntary indulgences pushes the cost of living to a sum that actually exceeds the amount of money in existence. And please note: we have not included the costs of health care for diseases and accidental injuries that are not our fault, or the costs of pensions. No wonder the finger-wagging farts are so worried."

the moussaoui doctrine by SaltyPig
"so why am i posting this? because now the government has manufactured a new crime, for the purpose of nailing moussaoui good and dead. the problem for government, however, is that under their new crime, many federal agents are as culpable as moussaoui. surely this can't have escaped one or two brain-dead fedgoons as harry samit shoved one up 'em good, and not for the team. and, there is evidence that these fedgoons conspired (ooooh!) to block positive action in the pre-9/11 moussaoui investigation."

Yelling "Peace" in a Crowded Classroom by Garry Reed
"An Indiana teacher who told her elementary school class that she honked when she saw a sign that said 'Honk for Peace' was fired from her job. In a meeting, the father of one of the little girls in the class pointed at the teacher while telling the school's principal, 'I want her to promise never to mention the word peace in her class again.' The principal reportedly tripped over her pension in her headlong rush to acquiesce."

March 6, 2006

I apologise for the lack of recent updates - necessary hardware upgrades have required my attention over the last couple of weeks. I anticipate finishing the work within a week and posts will resume shortly afterwards.

Btw - I heard it straight from Lester the mouse - the saltypig may have updated his blog sometime recently...

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