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 30, 2006
Metropolis by Pete Jamieson
"The Nazis are gone. We know this because no one wears jackboots or goose-steps any more - unless, of course, they're a bunch of sad losers meeting in some secluded semi in Beckenham, to drink schnapps, watch a rerun of Triumph of the Will on the video, and dream of a Fourth Reich. That a military coup was in the process of happening against Harold Wilson in the 70's, with lorry-loads of paratroopers on the road from Aldershot to take over the Houses of Parliament - again, such things don't happen. This is a stable democracy. It always has been - and therefore, by extension, it always will be.
Our world depends on us being complicit in the lies told to us by the State. We must be complicit in their official narratives, to maintain the lies we tell ourselves about ourselves. The State implies that each of us has little worth, other than as members of the societal form that the State has provided for us.
This societal form is the Metropolis."
Hideous Kinky: Moral Nullity as Normality in Pentagon Plans by Chris Floyd
"And so it was again this week when the Washington Post outlined the Pentagon's plan to put dirty war - by death squad, by snatch squad, by secret armies, subversion, torture and terrorism - at the very heart of America's military philosophy. Not defense against declared enemies, not deterrence of potential foes, but conducting 'continuous' covert military operations in countries 'where the United States is not at war' is now the Pentagon's 'highest priority,' according to the new 'campaign plan for the global war on terror' issued by Donald Rumsfeld.
What's more, the plan makes it clear that Rumsfeld, far from being politically vulnerable - as portrayed in the ludicrous kabuki of the Establishment media - has in fact been exalted above every other institution and official of the U.S. government, with the exception of the twin tyrants in the White House, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. The Pentagon warlord has been given carte blanche to send the 53,000 secret soldiers of the Special Operations Command into any nation he pleases, to undertake any mission he pleases, without Congressional approval, legal restraint, or the authority of the target nation's U.S. ambassador. Thus America's diplomats, the ostensible representatives of the nation abroad, have been reduced to mere frontmen, pathetic beards for black ops savaging the laws, sovereignty and citizens of their hosts."
Bush challenges hundreds of laws by Charlie Savage
"Legal scholars say the scope and aggression of Bush's assertions that he can bypass laws represent a concerted effort to expand his power at the expense of Congress, upsetting the balance between the branches of government. The Constitution is clear in assigning to Congress the power to write the laws and to the president a duty 'to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.' Bush, however, has repeatedly declared that he does not need to 'execute' a law he believes is unconstitutional.
Bush is the first president in modern history who has never vetoed a bill, giving Congress no chance to override his judgments. Instead, he has signed every bill that reached his desk, often inviting the legislation's sponsors to signing ceremonies at which he lavishes praise upon their work.
Then, after the media and the lawmakers have left the White House, Bush quietly files 'signing statements' - official documents in which a president lays out his legal interpretation of a bill for the federal bureaucracy to follow when implementing the new law. The statements are recorded in the federal register.
In his signing statements, Bush has repeatedly asserted that the Constitution gives him the right to ignore numerous sections of the bills - sometimes including provisions that were the subject of negotiations with Congress in order to get lawmakers to pass the bill. He has appended such statements to more than one of every 10 bills he has signed."
The Immigration Debate We’re Not Having by Scott McPherson
"As the nation finds itself embroiled in a debate over immigration, we hear the standard arguments for and against. Those favoring a more liberal approach to immigration warn of the economic consequences of turning away low-cost workers. On the other side, we’re warned that immigration itself 'costs' too much - illegal immigrants are 'taking' jobs from American workers, abusing public services, and committing crimes.
What no one is debating, however, is the morality of immigration itself.
Few Americans anymore believe that government action should be guided by reference to moral principles. Instead, they react to each new 'crisis' by simply demanding that government 'do something,' which usually means restricting someone else’s freedom. Such is the case with immigration."
Power Is What They Want by Butler Shaffer
"We do not pay sufficient attention to the fact that statists are less interested in either the substance of their specific 'problems,' or the merits of their proposed solutions, than in retaining and aggrandizing control over the lives of others. We spend far too much of our time giving credence to statists’ issues by making reasoned or empirical responses to their proposals, and too little time addressing the underlying power ambitions. Though some of their fellow travelers doubtless care about the merits of the policies, the statists’ principal concern is to advance a tenable case for extended state control. I am not suggesting that their proposals go unchallenged, but that we understand them as fungible expressions of a deeper need for power."
Don't Let the Planners Take Charge of Energy by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
"If it is widespread energy that you want, government is the last place you should turn for a solution. Iraq is a good test case. A report from the US Comptroller General shows that energy production in Iraq is still lower than the bad old days when Saddam was in charge.
You know, energy: as in the stuff that keeps the lights on, the cars running, the internet roiling, the medical equipment humming, the televisions squawking, and the ovens baking. Without it, we are reduced to where all of society was between the beginning of recorded history and the early twentieth century.
The US has been managing Iraq for years. Before the war, Iraq produced 2.6 million barrels of oil per day. Iraq now produces about 2 million barrels per day. Before the war, Iraq's generation capacity was about 4,300 megawatts. Current capacity is 4,092 megawatts, which is actually a decline from this time last year."
Leave Immigrants and Their Employers Alone by Scott McPherson
"Two decades ago Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which was specifically designed to stop the flow of illegal immigrants by making it a crime to knowingly hire one. Twenty years and 10 million illegal immigrants later, we can say with confidence that that 'reform' has proven to be a joke.
Anti-immigrant spokespeople, between ad nauseum assertions that they are not anti-immigrant, seem to have a mixture of objectives. On the one hand, they want to 'enforce existing laws,' while at the same time they admit (tacitly or otherwise) that these laws are not working, ushering in the predictable chime that 'new laws are needed' to stem the flow."
Playing At Adventure by Fred Reed
"Manliness certainly isn’t in demand. The women of today seem to want a metrosexual who loves to shop, helps with the housework, and never does anything that she wouldn’t want to do. He may wear an earring. Modern marriage sounds like a sort of heterosexual lesbianism. The man should be as little like a man as possible while having complementary genitals."
Bureaucrats never Burdened by Burden of Proof by Garry Reed
"Shifting the burden of proof onto the accused makes life easier for governmentcrats everywhere."
April 23, 2006
The Ongoing War on Truth in Iraq by Dahr Jamail
They're Staying by Kevin B. Zeese
"The growing skyline of the US embassy in Baghdad is only the most recent indication that the US has no intention of leaving. President Bush has already told us we're there until the end of his tenure. More important than words, building 'permanent' military bases in Iraq re-enforces the message of the huge embassy.
The DoD does not like to use the word 'permanent' even for our bases in Germany and Korea. Euphemisms like 'enduring bases' or 'contingency operating bases' are used. They're less likely than 'permanent' to cause further anti-American unrest in Iraq."
New Plans Foresee Fighting Terrorism Beyond War Zones by Ann Scott Tyson
"The long-awaited campaign plan for the global war on terrorism, as well as two subordinate plans also approved within the past month by Rumsfeld, are considered the Pentagon's highest priority, according to officials familiar with the three documents who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about them publicly.
Details of the plans are secret, but in general they envision a significantly expanded role for the military -- and, in particular, a growing force of elite Special Operations troops -- in continuous operations to combat terrorism outside of war zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Developed over about three years by the Special Operations Command (SOCOM) in Tampa, the plans reflect a beefing up of the Pentagon's involvement in domains traditionally handled by the Central Intelligence Agency and the State Department.
The plans each run more than 100 pages and cover a wide range of overt and clandestine military activities -- such as man-hunting and intelligence gathering on terrorist networks; attacks on terrorist training camps and recruiting efforts; and partnering with foreign militaries to eliminate terrorist sanctuaries. Together, they amount to an assignment of responsibilities to different military commands to conduct what the Pentagon envisions as a 'long war' against terrorism."
You know that peace can only be won when we've blown 'em all to kingdom come!
Sunni interviews Jim Bovard in her Salon this month.
Libertarian ScamBlogger Covertly Quizzes Bee Bureaucrat by Garry Reed
"The USDA's National Animal Identification System (NAIS), announced in 2004, is plodding relentlessly ahead, first by registering every farm, ranch, dairy, pigsty, chicken coop, sheep shed and commercial fish hatchery in the country, then by tagging and RFIDing every kind of creature destined for grocery store shelves or restaurant menus. And it's all being done to protect the health and well being of the American eater.
Or is it?
Abe E. Stynger is the newly appointed Adminiscrat of the USDA's Office of Apiary Activity. Mr. Stynger recently occupied a back barstool in the HoneyBunz Gentlemen's Cabaret where, shortly after midnight, he was secretly interviewed by an undisclosed member of a little-known band of libertarian ScamBloggers."
April 12, 2006
"Illegal" Immigrants: Strangers Within Our Gates by Steve Scott
"Why is there the cry for outlawing the hiring of undocumented immigrants? Why is there the cry for taxing them, deporting them, building walls at the borders, increasing police and military in fighting this 'battle' (all at our own cost)? Why not rather the cry of, 'Hey, we want the same situation of absolutely no taxes and no accountability to the state'?
At the very heart of the matter is the sin of covetousness. We Americans despise the freedom that some others have, and are so envious, jealous and covetous that we are willing to hire the state to oppress those people who live freely (both the immigrants and the Americans who hire them). We are the schizophrenic masochists who employ politicians to torture ourselves. We have nobody but ourselves to blame. And are we so blind that we can't see the poetic (or even divine) justice in all this?"
The Iran Plans - Would President Bush go to war to stop Tehran from getting the bomb? by Seymour M. Hersh
"'Force protection is the new buzzword,' the former senior intelligence official told me. He was referring to the Pentagon's position that clandestine activities that can be broadly classified as preparing the battlefield or protecting troops are military, not intelligence, operations, and are therefore not subject to congressional oversight. 'The guys in the Joint Chiefs of Staff say there are a lot of uncertainties in Iran,' he said. 'We need to have more than what we had in Iraq. Now we have the green light to do everything we want.'"
Cutting and running in Baghdad by Robert Dreyfuss
"What still holds them all together, and remains the only glue preventing Iraq from splitting into three separate states, is the self-interested greed of the warlords who have been installed by the US forces. None of them want to kill the golden goose that allows them to cash in on billions of dollars in Iraqi oil revenues and US aid."
Bush's Bogus Theory of Absolute Power by James Bovard
"The Bush administration has a theory to explain why the Founding Fathers secretly intended for the president to have boundless power. Even though the new 'unitary executive theory' is nowhere in the Constitution, White House officials continually invoke it to justify scorning federal law. The fact that the administration is getting away with this charade symbolizes how docile much of the American media and political opposition have become."
Are All Leaks Created Equal? by Mike Tennant
Wiretap Whistleblower's Statement
Former AT&T technician Mark Klein has come forward to support the EFF's lawsuit against AT&T for its alleged complicity in the NSA's electronic surveillance. Here, Wired News publishes Klein's public statement in its entirety.
Ninja versus the ATFE by Gunner
April 5, 2006
Below the radar: Secret flights to torture and 'disappearance'
A summary of a report by Amnesty International on US renditions and extrajudicial detention - full report available at linked location in PDF format.
So Long, Tom by Lew Rockwell
Busting Barflies in Bars only the Beginning? by Garry Reed
"A crack team of undercover Center for Disease Control operatives apprehended 57 allegedly overweight men, women and children consuming suspected high-calorie junk food in the food court of a Washington DC area shopping mall. 'It's necessary to stop suspected obese people from gaining additional weight before they become a risk to themselves or the public,' explained a department spokescrat while justifying the preemptive operation. 'Just because people don't intend to get Heart disease, high blood pressure or strokes is no excuse for public obesity.'"
Alan Ladd and the Coyote Solitario Cantina by Rodger Jacobs