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.
June 1-15, 2005
June 13, 2005
State Sponsored Civil War by Dahr Jamail
"So we have the US-backed Iraqi 'government' overtly (they have been doing this covertly for quite some time) pitting Shia and Kurdish militias against the primarily Sunni resistance. State sponsored/propagated civil war-although most Iraqis continue to fear and loath the idea, and so many Iraqi political and religious organizations continue to work tirelessly to avert the worsening of this now low-grade civil war."
No Clause for Celebration - Flush that commerce, it's the feds! by Jacob Sullum
Churches Promote the Worst Forms of Tyranny by Doug Newman
"The Supreme Courtís recent ruling in the case of Gonzales v. Raich, asserting the supremacy of federal laws prohibiting the use of medicinal marijuana over state laws allowing such use, was reprehensible for a whole variety of reasons. While I will not go into all of them here - indeed, I could write a book on the subject - I want to focus on the Christian response."
The Democratic Delusion by Justin Raimondo
"The lesson of all this is clear, or it ought to be by now. To export democracy - either at gunpoint, or by means of propaganda - in the guise of a crusade for 'freedom' is to export endless trouble overseas. In societies where the concept of the person as a thinking, acting individual is a blasphemous heresy, or simply unknown, democracy is truly, as Lysander Spooner would have it, 'the last lurking place of tyranny at the present day.'"
Top Ten Things You Wouldn't expect to Happen if You Listened to Bush and Cheney by Prof. Juan Cole
June 9, 2005
An Illegal Government by Mike Rivero
"There is no law that compels Americans to believe the government when it lies. No legislation exists that obliges Americans to pay for a war started with lies. There is no moral principle under which Americans are required to obey a government that lies. Indeed, morality and prudence demands that a government that lies be openly defied."
The War Party on Trial by Justin Raimondo
"By keeping AIPAC open for business, as if it were an ordinary lobbying group to be considered in the same way as the tobacco lobby, the textiles lobby, the drug companies, etc., the Justice Department is not only compromising the national security, it is also underscoring an otherwise brazen double standard when it comes to cracking down on organizations that supposedly had a hand in subverting it. How many Islamic 'charities' and other groups have been shut down, had their doors locked and their officers arrested and deported on the mere suspicion of collaboration with groups even vaguely associated with alleged terrorists? Yet here we have AIPAC's top Washington operatives at the center of an investigation into espionage on behalf of Israel, and the organization is being treated with kid gloves."
Democrazies by Butler Shaffer
"In a post-Renaissance world of enlightenment thinking, the 'divine right of kings' explanation could no longer be counted upon by the political class to justify its rule. A new sales gimmick was required. On the surface, the democratic principle had an air of plausibility to it: if government was inevitable, better to have its policies and practices determined by the general public than by an elite of rulers. In such a way, it was imagined, bloody warfare could be reduced and individual liberty preserved, as people would be disinclined to foster their own destruction and enslavement.
Only the foolish would accept this newfound rationale for state power as a virtue in itself. But, as Mencken also advised: 'No one in this world, so far as I know . . . has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people.' To the statists - ancient or modern - 'democracy' became but another useful concept with which to condition weak minds to accept political rule. Like the earlier proposition that obedience to medieval tyrannies was divinely inspired, the replacement god, Demos, was pressed into service for politically pragmatic purposes. It was never intended to be taken as a universal principle."
Cleric: Iraq Vote Legitimized Occupation
An interview with Muqtada al-Sadr
Papiere Bitte by Doris Colmes
President Bush, With the Candlestick... by Robert Parry
"The clues are falling into place, pointing to the incontrovertible judgment that George W. Bush willfully misled the United States into invading Iraq, in part, by eliminating the possibility of the peaceful solution that he pretended to want."
Russert failed to correct Mehlman's claim that 9-11 Commission, Senate report "totally discredited" Downing Street Memo
"When Russert raised the issue of the Downing Street Memo's contention that, in the Bush administration's push for war in Iraq, 'the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy,' Mehlman replied: 'Tim, that report has been discredited by everyone else who's looked at it since then. Whether it's the 9-11 Commission, whether it's the Senate, whoever's looked at this has said there was no effort to change the intelligence at all.' When Russert noted 'I don't believe that the authenticity of this report has been discredited,' Mehlman reiterated: 'I believe that the findings of the report, the fact that the intelligence was somehow fixed, have been totally discredited by everyone who's looked at it.'"
"This is Not a Right" by David Codrea
"Meanwhile, don't feel too sorry for new civil libertarian Cecelia Beaman, who is shocked, shocked that this could happen to her. As principal of Pacific Middle School, she presides over warrantless searches of charges she suspects of wrongdoing as a matter of policy."
Quran Splashed with Urine at Guantanamo by Prof. Juan Cole
"The main reason is that the Bush Administration established the prison at Guantanamo in hopes of gutting the Bill of Rights. They wanted the prisoners there to be beyond the law, outside the framework of judiciality. They would have no lawyers. They would be tried only if the administration wanted to try them. They would be held indefinitely. They would be outside the framework of US law and also of the Geneval Conventions-- though Rumsfeld keeps slipping and calling them prisoners of war."
Analysis of Leaked UK Cabinet Office Papers by Michael Lewis
Why Nixon Allowed Mark Felt to Expose Watergate
Texas Man Gets Life for Failure To Have License! by Michael Paul Tuuri
June 5, 2005
The failed siege of Fallujah by Dahr Jamail
History Matters by Butler Shaffer
"My intuitive sense that vertically-structured leviathan systems are fated to collapse does not depend upon any major change in thinking among people. I regard philosophy not so much as a transforming force in the world but as an afterthought; an explanation for processes of change working, in hidden ways, deep within the fabric of society and life itself. This is not to dismiss the significance of ideas, but to recognize them as our mindís efforts to express qualities that are already within us. Philosophy accompanies us more than it leads us. It was not a major paradigm shift in thinking among the erstwhile Soviet citizenry that brought about the collapse of that repressive regime. It was the inconsistency of a rigidified state system with the demands of life processes that eventually led to the Soviet demise."
Post-Mortem on the 4th Amendment by Mike Whitney
Real ID theft - This law could be a boon to thieves
To feel comfortable with the federal Real ID Act, one would have to believe that tens of thousands of DMV employees and federal workers nationwide are beyond corruption and above the lure of easy money. We just aren't that optimistic.
DMV and federal leaks are just one of several security concerns raised in recent weeks about the federal identification system approved by Congress and President Bush last month. The ID system seems impossible to police effectively, and appears to leave Americans more vulnerable to identity theft, rather than less."
A Heartfelt Thanks to the National Park Service by Daniel D. New
"But... upon reflection... I came to appreciate what that petty tyrant had done for us. In a matter of twenty minutes or so, she conveyed to my grandchildren that Reconstruction has not ended; that tyranny is alive and well in the USA; that we lost, and we had better not forget it; and while we're at it, that radical feminism rides tall over old white guys in Suburbans."
AcuŮa and the Numbers by Don Henry Ford Jr.
"Two things support this town and others like it along the border: Drugs and the money family members send back from the United States. This money has created a false economy where it is nearly impossible to work at a legitimate job and earn enough to live a decent life. Things cost as much or more in Mexican border towns as they do in the US.
So people either sell drugs or provide services for those that do. Or they smuggle and or rip off wetbacks as they go by looking for work.
Thatís the only way the numbers add up."
June 1, 2005
Bush Opts for Civil War in Iraq by Paul Craig Roberts
"What are we to make of the news reports that Baghdad is to be encircled and divided into smaller and smaller sections by 40,000 Iraqi and 10,000 US troops backed by US air power and armor in order to conduct house to house searches throughout the city to destroy combatants?"
Things are getting worse by the day by Dahr Jamail
State of the State Secrets by Justin Raimondo
"The circumstances surrounding the arrest of Pentagon analyst Lawrence A. Franklin for passing classified information to two employees of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) would make a good thriller. Acted out against a backdrop of war and terrorism, itís a cloak-and-dagger tale swathed in mystery, pregnant with political implications, and hinting at a subtext of hostility beneath the 'special relationship' binding the U.S. to Israel. It has all the elements of good fiction--a strong plot, a fascinating set of characters, and a theme that will have the audience buzzing long after they leave the theater. Better yet, it looks like the dramatic climax will come in the form of a courtroom drama in a legal battle pitting the watchdogs of Americaís vital secrets against a shadowy fifth column."
Abu Ghraib, Abu Gulag, and Abu Lies by Ghazwan Al-Mukhtar
Why Corporations Are Not People, And The Unsavory Consequences of Pretending That They Are by Mike Hoy
There's privatization, and then there's privatization by Brad Spangler
"Now, much has been written on the topic of privatization. Libertarians commonly take it as an article of faith that privatization decreases the power of the State. But does it, though?
Well, that depends. General Semantics and any common dictionary clearly show us that words can and do have multiple definitions. Rather than having a knee-jerk reaction of approval, advocacy and defense of anything that the label 'privatization' gets slapped on, we need to be more discerning."
Regurgitate Real ID! by Garry Reed
"If Americans really wanted Real ID, why did the powercrats have to sneak it past us, buried in a 'patriotic' war-fighting and 'charitable' tsunami relief spending bill? No, our control freak federalcrats have thrust this down our throats.
It's time to barf it back into the bald-faced lying faces of the Beltway Bolsheviks. If freedom is to be the philosophy of the future, the future starts now."
Not a Good Week by Ron Beatty
"As I'm sure all of you have noticed, the last week or so has not been a good one for the rights of free people. Not only has the REAL ID act passed, but now those persons who claim to represent us are attempting to compel other countries to adopt similar measures, making their ID procedures compatible with the contemptable schemes of our elected ninnies. The effect of this is to create not just a national ID system, but in effect, a de facto world ID system."
A Matter of Allegiance - And Why One Might Wisely Withhold It by Fred Reed
"I wish to propose a salubrious anarchy, a deliberate renunciation of fealty to country, society, and government, an assertion of independence from folly and moral decay. Permit me to offer a taxing political idea: When a society ceases to be worthy of support, it is reasonable to withdraw support. The time, I submit, has come.
Here I do not mean to urge crime or counsel treason, but to suggest quiet renunciation of the national disaster. Ask yourself how much of American life pleases you. The schools are run by fools to manufacture fools, government grows more intrusive by the day, and culture is determined by the triple cloacae of New York, Hollywood, and Washington. Freedom withers, not only in the ominous encroachment of police powers, but in the loss of control over schools, church, hiring, daily life. We are no longer our own. The United States is not the country we are told it is, and not the country it was."
Stripping Mothers of Their Rights by Becky Akers
Closing the Borders of Hardyville by Claire Wolfe
"We weren't worried about what Hardyvillians would do about Real ID. We'd do nothing. And I really mean nothing. Wouldn't get one. Wouldn't accept one. Wouldn't use one. Wouldn't ask for one. Wouldn't let anybody ask us for one. Hardyville's sharply pointed viewpoint on government ID is well known.
But we were definitely worried about what other people would do. That is, what they'd do to us. And our culture -- when they came flooding in seeking shelter from their own government gone power-mad."
A Week of Shock and Awe by Dave Lindorff
"The Italian magazine Diario has posted to its web site a film of Fallujah made by Iraqis (apparently by Iraqi government workers sent in to help with clean-up) in early January of 2005, at a time when the international press was excluded from the city."
Haven't seen the material myself - slow dial-up connection...