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.
May 27, 2006
The Death of the American State by Butler Shaffer
"If one were to judge the success of the American constitutional state in limiting state power, by the same standards we would apply to a medical procedure, or the success of a business enterprise, we would readily admit to its total failure. The American state has evolved into a thriving contradiction of the announced expectations of a constitutional republic. Washington, D.C., has been a combination slave-market, fencing operation for stolen property, and street-corner gang long before the current gang of racketeers took over."
How the Bush Administration Deconstructed Iraq by Michael Schwartz
"This rather comfortable portrait of the U.S. as a bumbling, even thoroughly incompetent giant overwhelmed by unexpected forces tearing Iraqi society apart is strikingly inaccurate: Most of the death, destruction, and disorganization in the country has, at least in its origins, been a direct consequence of U.S. efforts to forcibly institute an economic and social revolution, while using overwhelming force to suppress resistance to this project. Certainly, the insurgency, the ethno-religious jihadists, and the criminal gangs have all contributed to the descent of Iraqi cities and towns into chaos, but their roles have been secondary and in many cases reactive. The engine of deconstruction was - and remains - the U.S.-led occupation."
The Separation of Education and State by Jacob G. Hornberger
"Why are people so unwilling to look at such potential damage to the mental well-being of their children? Because they operate under the assumption that, despite its many problems, public schooling can be relied on to educate their children. After all, the argument goes, if it was good enough for parents, itís good enough for their children. This ignores the state's position that generation after generation of public-school graduates cannot be trusted with making educational decisions for their family because they lack the competence to do so."
State Secrets Privilege Shuts Courthouse Doors by Steven Aftergood
"Terrorists can kill people and destroy property. But they cannot undermine the rule of law, or deny injured parties access to the courts. Only the U.S. government can do that."
A Bloomberg Conspiracy to Violate Federal Gun Laws? by David Codrea
Did Bloomberg's Boobs Screw Up Investigations While Violating Law? by David Codrea
Language Wars by Butler Shaffer
"What underlies this sanctimonious campaign on behalf of learning English has very little to do with immigrants respecting the language and culture of the lands to which they are moving. It has more to do with maintaining the collective political and social identity that is rapidly collapsing throughout America and Europe. The world is becoming decentralized, and nothing reflects this more than the variety of languages with which people speak to one another in society. The idea that such processes can be resisted by forcing everyone to speak in one tongue is, like the 'war on terror,' an expression of efforts to rebuild sand castles whose foundations are being washed away by incoming tides."
Amid the Respectables in the Heartland by Robert Higgs
The Enron Charges by William L. Anderson
"If the government really is concerned about creative accounting, perhaps the feds might want to look in the mirror. There is no more fraudulent activity on the face of the earth than the accounting methods of the U.S. Government. Thus, we have the irony of the U.S. attorney who represents the biggest accounting fraud in history accusing others of engaging in fraud."
May 15, 2006
Quote of the day:
"Keep clear, boys - my dog don't fight fair."
The Times and USA Today have Missed the Bigger Story -- Again by Greg Palast
"(T)he snooping into your phone bill is just the snout of the pig of a strange, lucrative link-up between the Administration's Homeland Security spy network and private companies operating beyond the reach of the laws meant to protect us from our government."
A World Too Complex To Be Managed by Butler Shaffer
"The eagerness of so many people to accept superficial answers to complex problems, is what keeps the political rackets in business. People are aware that they have insufficient information upon which to make predictions about intricate economic and social relationships and, presuming that the state has access to such knowledge, allow it to take on this role. What these individuals generally fail to understand is that state officials are equally unable to chart or direct the course of complex behavior.
Current society is rapidly being transformed from vertically-structured, institutionally-dominant systems into horizontally-interconnected networks. Our world is becoming increasingly decentralized, with questions arising as to the forms emerging social systems may take. The study of chaos informs us that the multifaceted, interrelated nature of complex systems render our world unpredictable. As our understanding of chaos deepens, our faith in institutional omniscience will likely be abandoned."
Will the TSA Be Always With Us? by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
"There is war, spending, and missed opportunities all around, but generations hence might still be suffering at the hands of the Transportation Security Administration. It was hardly opposed by any mainstream voice of opinion. But anyone with a brain cell of economic understanding knew that airline socialism was not the best way to deal with the hijacking threat."
Victimless Crimes Are Crimes Against the State by Manuel Lora
"The state is nothing but a collective mental construction which legitimizes criminality and, to use Marc Steven's definition, government is just a group of men and women offering services at gunpoint. Can this really be as good as it gets? Of course not. A peaceful society is one that does not destroy life and property. A peaceful society lacks institutionalized coercion and favors voluntary agreements over violence."
Halliburton wins concentration camp contract by Bill Weinberg
Mentally Unfit, Forced To Fight by Lisa Chedekel And Matthew Kauffman
Senate Embryo Imbroglio Inaugurates Euphemism Schism by Garry Reed
"Details of the Senatorial brouhaha in March over the use of tax dollars for embryonic stem-cell research is just now coming to light. While major newspapers such as the Washington Times reported the story, the nation's lowliest freelance tabloid mudslingers are only now digging up dirt on the horse-trading, log-rolling and intern-swapping that went on behind the scenes. Democratic lawmakers have changed the word 'embryo' to 'material' in a bill for embryonic stem-cell research to secure the votes of Catholic senators who did not want to be viewed as supporting abortion-related legislation."
One picture - a thousand words.
May 9, 2006
The PNAC Paper Trail by Jeff Huber
"The longer the fiasco in Iraq drags on, the more we hear the folks who cooked up the idea of invading that sand dune republic denying that they had anything to do with it."
Colbert shakes up Bill Kristol over PNAC ties
"Bill Kristol, who is one of the major players in the group called PNAC, joined the set of the 'Colbert Report,' and I think was taken off guard right at the outset of the show because he had to answer questions that our media never asks."
The War on Terror on the Lodi Front by Alexander Cockburn
"Two juries in US District court in Sacramento issued verdicts last week on government prosecutions of supposed terrorists. One jury dealt a terrible injustice to a young Pakistani. The other jury split, thus - at least for now - balking the FBI of its prey."
Verdicts that were based on testimony and efforts of a paid undercover informant.
An Army of one wrong recruit
"Jared Guinther is 18. Tall and lanky, he will graduate from Marshall High School in June. Girls think he's cute, until they try to talk to him and he stammers or just stands there - silent.
Diagnosed with autism at age 3, Jared is polite but won't talk to people unless they address him first. It's hard for him to make friends. He lives in his own private world.
Jared didn't know there was a war raging in Iraq until his parents told him last fall - shortly after a military recruiter stopped him outside a Southeast Portland strip mall and complimented him on his black Converse All Stars."
Viewing this article may require site registration - or one could use Bugmenot or ferret it out via Google News.
The Gas-Tax Hustle by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
"Congress toyed with the idea of a tax holiday on gasoline as a way to drive the price down to address constituent complaints. But, as you might guess, they rejected it.
Why, oh why, did Congress decline to give us a bit more liberty, aside from the obvious fact that they like the revenue and power? Well, we can't go too much aside after all: they like the revenue and power. From their point of view, why give it up?"
Drug Progrom by Kent Welton
"In effect then, the drug war is little more than ruling-class terrorism - always in the name of the children, of course - and this despite the fact it is the rights of adults that are being violated and eviscerated. Laws protecting children, and regulation of adulterated substances, are fine and necessary but, between consenting adults, the mere possession of natural, unadultered, substances is an entirely different matter."
How about folks just leave individuals and their various 'substances' alone...? (unless it's ICE-NINE!)
What could a boarding pass tell an identity fraudster about you?
"And that is where concern comes in over the UK's proposed ID cards, which may one day be needed to travel to the US. According to the Home Office, the identity cards bill currently going through Parliament allows for up to 40 pieces of personal information to be held on the proposed ID card, with digital biometric details of all of your fingerprints, both your irises and your face, all of which can be transmitted to electronic readers. The cards will contain a microchip the size of a grain of sand linked to a tiny embedded antenna that transmits all the information when contacted by an electronic reader."
The RFID Hacking Underground by Annalee Newitz
Police Raise Concern Over Life-Like Pellet Gun by David Codrea
That Was Your Mother by Paul Simon
Well, that was your mother
And that was your father
Before you was born dude
When life was great
You are the burden of my generation
I sure do love you
But let's get that straight
If you're ever in Oklahoma by J.J. Cale