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.

April 1-15, 2005

April 15, 2005

Al-Qaeda: a conspiracy of dunces? by Bill Durodié
"The real story of the 'ricin plot' is that Britain's would-be terrorists are a bunch of losers."

No Fault War/No Fault Government by Eric Margolis

No Place to Hide, by Robert O'Harrow Jr a review by Sunni Maravillosa
"Welcome to the dark and disturbing side of the computer revolution. While everyone reading this is enjoying the benefits of the technology, computers also allow for unprecedented data collecting and storage that goes beyond what many individuals can conceive of. No Place to Hide, by Washington Post reporter Robert O'Harrow Jr, gives readers a peek into that dark side. Identified as their financial and privacy reporter, the book offers a more detailed look into what he's seen and heard over the course of covering that beat."
check the rest of the features this month at Sunni's Salon

Let's Criminalize Everything by Garry Reed
"If we can just criminalize all the world's 'stuff' we'll be saved."

Axis of Logic Interviews Dahr Jamail, Independent Journalist in Iraq

Buzzflash interview with Riverbend
(the woman who maintains a blog from Iraq - Baghdad Burning)

April 13, 2005

What the Muslims think is Really Happening in Jerusalem by Prof. Juan Cole

It's Not Even Worth Chewing Through the Restraints by The Mogambo Guru
"Niklas T. is another of those guys who comprehends the enormity of the problem. He writes, 'Since all money is borrowed into existence, it is just a big Ponzi-scheme all of it. The entire world is victim of compound interest, and we know where that will end - eternal exponential growth of debt. Oh, not eternal really. It get interrupted by crashes.' Hahahaha! And that is why Ponzi schemes are illegal when we citizens do them!
All this cheap money is pumping up the prices of assets, which, in turn makes Ben Bernanke of the Federal Reserve start wetting his pants when he thinks that the prices of these ludicrously-overpriced assets might fall in price ('deflation'). His answer? More money! More inflation! Inflation-targeting! The Mogambo falls to one knee, weeping piteously, his mighty shoulders heaving with each sob, when he thinks of the inevitable pain that is surely ours if we continue to listen to such idiocy."

The Invisible Hand (of the U.S. Government) in Financial Markets by Robert Bell

Oil, Geopolitics and the Coming War with Iran by Michael T. Klare
"Vice President Dick Cheney (in an August 2002 address to the Veterans of Foreign Wars) described the threat from Iraq as follows: 'Should all [of Hussein's WMD] ambitions be realized, the implications would be enormous for the Middle East and the United States.... Armed with an arsenal of these weapons of terror and a seat atop 10 percent of the world's oil reserves, Saddam Hussein could then be expected to seek domination of the entire Middle East, take control of a great portion of the world's energy supplies, [and] directly threaten America's friends throughout the region.' This was, of course, unthinkable to Bush's inner circle."

Let them eat bombs by Terry Jones
"A report to the UN human rights commission in Geneva has concluded that Iraqi children were actually better off under Saddam Hussein than they are now.

This, of course, comes as a bitter blow for all those of us who, like George Bush and Tony Blair, honestly believe that children thrive best when we drop bombs on them from a great height, destroy their cities and blow up their hospitals, schools and power stations."

Yes to Armor-Piercing Bullets for Civilians by Benedict D. LaRosa
"More recently, last month David Hernandez Arroyo killed two people and wounded several police officers in Tyler, Texas, before police shot him dead. One of his victims was 50-year old Mark Wilson, a citizen licensed to carry a concealed weapon. Wilson, who came to the aid of others attacked by Arroyo, shot Arroyo several times in the chest. But Arroyo was wearing body armor so Wilson’s bullets didn’t incapacitate him. Although Wilson saved the lives of others by distracting Arroyo, he himself was killed. If he had been using armor-piercing ammunition, he would be alive today."

Safety in Dullness: Relax - your records are too boring to interest the FBI by Jacob Sullum
"Attorney General Alberto Gonzales recently assured the Senate Judiciary Committee the Justice Department 'has no interest in rummaging through the library records or the medical records of Americans.' This is pretty much the extent of the limits imposed by the USA PATRIOT Act on the FBI's ability to peruse your personal records: It can do so only if it wants to."

Dignity, Honor and 'Da Butt Dance' by Doug Newman
"How often have you heard that Our Great Christian President has brought 'dignity and honor' back to the Oval Office?"

April 9, 2005

The Big Fix by Chris Floyd
"So let's have no illusions about where we are. Gangsters are in charge, and nothing and no one will be allowed to challenge their dominion. They are waging aggressive war to cement their position and that of their allies: the energy barons, the arms merchants, the construction and services cartels, the investment bankers. These power blocs now command monstrous resources and unfathomable profits; they can buy out, buy off or bury any force that opposes them. Meanwhile, they use the loot of the stolen Republic -- its blood and treasure -- as fuel for their ever-expanding war machine: Bush now has a 'secret watch-list' of 25 more countries ripe for military intervention, the Financial Times reported."

The Economic Tsunami : Coming Sooner Than You Think by Mike Whitney
"It seems that there are a growing number of people who believe as I do, that the economic tsunami planned by the Bush administration is probably only months away. In just 5 short years the national debt has increased by nearly 3 trillion dollars while the dollar has continued its predictable decline. The dollar has fallen a whopping 38% since Bush took office, due largely to the massive $450 billion per year tax cuts. At the same time, numerous laws have been passed (Patriot Act, Intelligence Reform Bill, Homeland Security Bill, National ID, Passport requirements etc) anticipating the need for greater repression when the economy takes its inevitable nosedive. Regrettably, that nosedive looks to be coming sooner rather than later."

Just Call Me 'The Happy Huckster' by The Mogambo Guru
"The way I figure it, foreign interests want a lot of our stuff, mostly nuclear and high-tech weapons systems, and so they are continuing the farce that the USA is a solvent, responsible nation that can be trusted. And perhaps that is why foreigners plowed another $3.7 billion into their custody holdings at the Federal Reserve last week."

Amazing New Evidence Emerges in Oklahoma Bombing by Pat Shannan
"A recent raid on the one-time home of Terry Nichols has uncovered more evidence implicating federal agents in the bombing of Oklahoma City’s Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995. A source has told AFP that bomb components discovered at the former home of the OKC bombing accomplice have been linked to a federal informant who investigators believe lied during the trial of Timothy McVeigh, who was executed after his conviction in the bombing."

Babies' Daddy by Rob Blackstock
"I recently had a first-hand lesson in the unintended consequences of government regulation. As the reader probably knows, unintended consequences are the unconsidered effects of regulation. Or, as Lowell Gallaway put it, 'a failure to take into account behavioral responses in structuring public policy [which] leads to results that are often the opposite of what the rhetoric of the public policy debate suggests will happen.'

My adventure began in August of 2004 when I received a letter from the Office of the District Attorney in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana. My first thought was, 'where in the heck is Tangipahoa Parish?' This letter informed me that I was the noncustodial (sic) parent of three children between the ages of three and twelve and that I was expected to appear two weeks hence with all appropriate financial documents so that child support payments could be arranged."
So, in addition to the attorney fees forced on him, there's also his DNA testing results entered as part of a public record and probably now held in a couple private databases.

Who would Jesus torture? by George Phillies

April 7, 2005

Drugs, Bases, and Jails by Tom Engelhardt
"If, to put this in context, we went back to the Soviet period and observed Soviet troops in Afghanistan doing what American troops are now doing (as, in fact, they did, right down to the grim detention centers), we would certainly have employed other terms than 'democracy' or even 'strategic partnership' to describe what was going on."

Chinese begin to worry U.S. militarily By Jim Yardley and Thom Shanker

Democrats prep stinging rebuke on Gannon, Congressional oversight by John Byrne
"Democrats are readying a sharp rebuke of the Republican-led Judiciary Committee’s vote against demanding an investigation into discredited White House ‘reporter’ Jeff Gannon, and placing it in the context of what they see as a broad attempt by Republicans to stonewall investigations into improper activity, Raw Story has learned."

The Pentagon's Secret Stash: Why we'll never see the second round of Abu Ghraib photos by Matt Welch

What went wrong at Abu Ghraib by Janis Karpinski
"The truth is finally emerging, contained in the thousands of pages of documents released under court order to the American Civil Liberties Union. These documents reveal knowledge of the 'softening up' techniques at the senior levels of the Department of Defense -- and much earlier than originally reported. The documents reveal similar techniques used in interrogations at Guantanamo Bay, in Afghanistan and in other locations in Iraq, before the appearance of the Abu Ghraib photographs. A copy of Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez's signed document authorizing the use of a list of more aggressive interrogation techniques is available on the ACLU Web site. At the very least, this confirms that somebody much higher up in the chain of command authorized use of these techniques."

Lurching toward theocracy by Bill Berkowitz

The Real Story by Michael Giuliano
"Liberals no doubt believe that they are witnessing a frightening new trend. Yet on the contrary, the conservatives have simply given in completely and adopted the statist assumptions and practices of the liberals to advance their own 'conservative' beliefs."

Papers, Please; and Privacy from the Government?! by Sunni Maravillosa

April 4, 2005

US scatters bases to control Eurasia by Ramtanu Maitra
"The United States is beefing up its military presence in Afghanistan, at the same time encircling Iran. Washington will set up nine new bases in Afghanistan in the provinces of Helmand, Herat, Nimrouz, Balkh, Khost and Paktia."

Sleepwalking to disaster in Iran by Scott Ritter
"But, based upon history, precedent, and personalities, the intent of the United States regarding Iran is crystal clear: the Bush administration intends to bomb Iran."

One Big Prison: New Report Warns Against Continued Strangulation of Gaza Strip after Disengagement by Sam Bahour
"Israel has cut off the Gaza Strip from the rest of the world to such an extent that it is easier for Palestinians in Israel or the West Bank to visit relatives in prison than visit a relative in Gaza. This is one conclusion of the 100-page report that B’Tselem and HaMoked publish today."

Twelve Tips for Toppling Tyrants by Claire Wolfe

Why people don't think by Cat Farmer

April 1, 2005  All Fool's Day

When in doubt - Twirl!

'Dead Wrong' - or Outright Deception? by Justin Raimondo
"So many investigations, so little time - that's a major problem these days for anyone intent on keeping up with the various scandals that plague this administration's foreign policy.
That is enough to keep anyone busy for the next couple of weeks, at least, but if we take an overview of all these reports, a pattern begins to develop, a narrative with disturbing implications: all these reports, either explicitly or by implication, document efforts to manipulate and utilize American foreign policy as an instrument of something other than the national interest."

Macabre Act by Neill Raymond
"In an act seen as macabre by most of the world, even by staunch stand-up allies like Bulgaria, President Bush ordered American troops to exhume up 100,000 Iraqi civilians that had been killed since the American invasion began and plunge feeding tubes into their stomachs."

Just Say No ... to Empire by Karen Kwiatkowski
"Our American Republic is hanging by a thread. Some argue it's already gone. Not a single American was asked if they preferred empire over republic. And yet the question of the day remains, 'How do we manage an unruly world?'"

Nirvana? from Thomas DiLorenzo
"Those who are tired of the lawyer-ocracy we live under might like this quote from Terry Anderson and P.J. Hill, describing private law enforcement in late nineteenth century American mining towns in the west..."

Chuckling at the Culture Clash by Garry Reed
"The culture war is a conflict of values and viewpoints between lefty liberals and righty reactionaries. The political pummeling part of the proceedings is now popularly presented as Red State vs. Blue State, which, by definition, makes the struggle Statist, thereby leaving libertarians sometimes behind liberal lines and othertimes in the conservative camp but frequently on the sidelines alone. As long as Reds and Blues continually fail to identify big government's ongoing war against freedom as the root of the problem, and therefore fail to realize that they're being played one against the other, and furthermore steadfastly founder at getting BigGov to do the bidding of their side against the other side, the fracas will fume on forever."

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