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 16-30, 2005
June 29, 2005
Violence in Iraq and US presence by Laith Saud
"The question remains: If there is no seeming end to the American-led occupation, then why should there be an end to the resistance? The failure of the Iraqi government, neighbouring regimes and the international community at large to identify the invasion accurately - as an aggressive, imperial and illegal invasion - has permitted the United States an open-ended presence in the country."
World Tribunal for Iraq, Culminating Session Testimony by Dahr Jamail
Wake up Calls by Dahr Jamail
Iraq: What Price 'Victory'? by Justin Raimondo
Child Abuse by Chris Floyd
"When the public liars sat down together -- in Crawford, in the Pentagon, in the Oval Office, at 10 Downing Street -- and very deliberately, very guilefully and very knowingly devised their act of mass murder in Iraq, it is unlikely they gave any thought to the most vulnerable targets of their war crime: the children. So in considering this aspect of the bloodbath, we should give the liars the benefit of the doubt. Let's not make them more monstrous than they are. Let's stick to the facts."
It Depends on What "Throes" Is by Prof. Juan Cole
"The OED on etymology or the origins of words is sometimes hard to follow. But I waded through what it had to say about 'throe.' And I conclude that the whole thing is probably a series of mistakes, something like Bush's malapropisms. Throe as a word was given to us by a series of people very like Bush. It should probably be the 'thrawes of death.'"
Trade Wars: The Empire Strikes Back by Sheldon Richman
"Has it occurred to our (mis)leaders that Chinese entrepreneurs have done more to raise the living standards of low-income Americans than all the welfare-state bureaucrats, anti-poverty workers, and their trillions of dollars combined? Speeches about the minimum wage, Medicaid, and food stamps amount to nothing compared to the mass production of low-priced goods. Worse than nothing - because the welfare state stunts economic growth, hurting low-income people far more than the middle and upper classes."
Sledgehammer Politics (AU)
"This is what the Government officials claimed they were looking for. Carmel had been emailed a draft version of Andrew Wilkie's book 'Axis of Deceit', for research on a documentary. By the time her computers were cleansed, the book had already been on sale for several months, but the draft sent to Carmel contained a few pages that had been deleted from the published version."
Federal Funding for Mental Health Screening of Kids by Rep. Ron Paul, MD
Occasional pot dangerous - UN
"The United Nations drug agency has warned on world anti-drugs day that even occasional use of marijuana is a link in a long and dangerous cycle of crime, degradation and terrorism.
'The links between organised crime, drug trafficking, drug consumption, drug money, arms trafficking and terrorism become clearer every day,' said Antonio Maria Costa, executive director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
'We know that even the occasional marijuana smoker is a link in a much longer and more dangerous chain.'"
June 25, 2005
Final Draft by Matt Taibbi
"We all know where this is headed. Sooner or later there is going to be a serious discussion in this country about a draft. I imagine that process will go something like this: The Republicans will fiercely resist any talk about it, while the 'pragmatic' Democrats, ever on the lookout for an opportunity to look tough, will drag them kicking and screaming into dat dere brier patch. Before you know it, the thing will actually be on the fucking floor. A year ago this only looked like the most extreme paranoid fantasy of the antiwar crowd, but how does it look now?"
Bush and Hawks Try Pre-Emptive Strike Vs. Iran Vote by Jim Lobe
Muddle at the Supreme Court over Medical Marijuana by Sheldon Richman
"But the case raises questions that cry out for answers. What about equality under the law? Why should only sick people be exempted from the prohibition? If sick people have a right to obtain marijuana, it must be because they have a right to their own lives and therefore a right to take all peaceful actions to maintain their lives. But donít the rest of us have the same rights?
These questions show that medical-marijuana laws are inappropriate in a free society, which should respect the right of all adults to use whatever substances they wish. Laws such as the Compassionate Use Act are examples of misplaced compassion. Sick people need freedom, not permission, however compassionate the motive. So do we all."
Can the UN Really be Reformed? by Rep. Ron Paul, MD
"Congress voted last week to give the United Nations unprecedented new authority to intervene in sovereign states, under the guise of UN 'reform.' The reform bill theoretically provides for Congress to withhold 50% of US dues to the UN, but this will never happen. The bill allows the Secretary of State to make the ultimate decision about payment, and the State department strongly opposes withholding our dues in the first place. In fact, the State department is the UNís closest ally in the entire federal government. This talk about withholding our dues is nothing but hot air designed to dupe real conservatives outside Washington into believing Congress is getting tough with the UN. Nothing could be further from the truth. Both the congressional leadership and the Bush administration are firmly committed to globalism, as evidenced not only by their commitment to the UN, by also by their position on trade agreements like CAFTA. Mark my words, in five years nobody will be talking about UN reform and our dues payments will be higher than ever."
How Liberty Dies: The Patriot Reauthorization Act by John W. Whitehead
TeenScreen Sets Up Shop In Illinois by Evelyn Pringle
"A controversial plan to screen all Illinois school children for mental health disorders is set to become a reality on June 30th, if the Governor accepts the final proposal from the Illinois Children's Mental Health Partnership (ICMHP).
Illinois became the first state to hop on the bandwagon for President Bush's New Freedom Commission's (NFC) plan to subject all American school children to mental health screening. In 2003, Illinois Lawmakers passed the $10 million Illinois Children's Mental Health Act (ICMHP), creating a Children's Mental Health Partnership, which many expect to become a model for other states."
Fin de Bubble, 2005 by Bill Bonner
Governmentium from Thomas DiLorenzo
"A major research institution has recently announced the discovery of the heaviest chemical element yet known to science. The new element has been tentatively named 'Governmentium.'"
June 20, 2005
The US war with Iran has already begun by Scott Ritter
"Most Americans, together with the mainstream American media, are blind to the tell-tale signs of war, waiting, instead, for some formal declaration of hostility, a made-for-TV moment such as was witnessed on 19 March 2003.
We now know that the war had started much earlier. Likewise, history will show that the US-led war with Iran will not have begun once a similar formal statement is offered by the Bush administration, but, rather, had already been under way since June 2005, when the CIA began its programme of MEK-executed terror bombings in Iran."
Who Is Running This Choo-Choo Train? by Fred Reed
"Wars are marketed as involving moral principles or geo-strategic necessity, but they can become grudge matches, contests of vanity grown stubborn. A president who has led his country into a war has his ego on the line. He cannot easily say, 'In the light of events, the adventure appears to have failed, and so we will return home.' The world would regard him as a fool and a knave. Further, humble men do not become presidents. Such a man will struggle on desperately, unwisely, with no real purpose any longer than to avoid the personal ignominy of defeat. When his pride has been engaged he canít stop. For this men die."
The Hitler Icon by Butler Shaffer
"Whatever may have been the motivations of those who helped to create Hitler as an historic singularity, they have unwittingly marginalized the human costs of tyrannical systems. We are asked to condemn - as we should - the concentration camp deaths of millions of Jews, gypsies, and homosexuals; but only scant reference is ever made of the millions of Ukrainians intentionally starved to death by Stalin. Hitlerís wrong was that he systematically murdered people, not just Jewish people! Would his crimes have been more acceptable had he slaughtered without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual preference? Are we so detached from the suffering generated by political systems that we insist upon such distinctions?
Such 'politically correct' definitions of wrongs to other people have been responsible for the creation of that legalistic monstrosity: the 'hate crime.' We are now expected to more strongly condemn violence against members of certain selected groups than others, provided one was motivated to inflict such injury. It is but another manifestation of the Orwellian proposition that while all persons are equal, some are more equal than others."
A review by Sunni Maravillosa of Calculated Chaos: Institutional Threats to Peace and Human Survival by Butler D. Shaffer
Sunni's June Salon is also online now.
Heads Up by Jeff Wells
"And we know many others; enough that we can speak confidently of pattern recognition. ('Keep away from small planes' has become our way of saying 'Look after yourself.') And since we can describe a pattern - a pattern that repeats - we've left the Fortean realm of anomalies for that of assassination science, as James Fetzer has coined it. It's the coincidentalists who are the true heirs of Charles Fort, because they see no pattern, only anomalies. If they look up at all, they can't make sense of aircraft falling with expedience from the sky. They may as well be seeing toads or straw or meat."
From the Folderol Folder by Garry Reed
"Every once in awhile I have to clean out my Folderol Folder and make room for more up-to-date outrages. Here's an amalgam of articles and other errant oddments that don't deserve a dissertation but do merit at least a mention."
June 17, 2005
Thoughts On The Coming Cannibal Wars by John Lopez
"There's a difference, though, between the current crop of people wanting to sieze power and George Washington, as referenced above. That difference isn't in character, but in circumstances: you see, there aren't any frontiers left to run away into, any more. Instead we have massive, modern communications and transportation infrastructures that extend virtually everywhere. Instead of a handful of tax inspectors, we have a government registration and control apparatus that's wound its way into every facet of our lives. Instead of a ragged army located weeks away, we have a massive array of military and police forces, located near transportation hubs. That's what modern revolutionaries would be looking to control, what the new champions of mass collective violence would be wielding.
All in the name of freedom, of course.
The takeaway lesson from the American revolutions (both past and future) is this: no matter which group of collectivists win, the individual is going to lose."
Why We Will Lose the War in Iraq by Douglas Herman
"Yet these Iraqis wage war as the Vietcong waged it, as WE would wage it if we were the occupied country and turncoat Americans collaborated with the occupying army. We wouldn't fight fair; many Americans--conservative, liberal or anarchist--would fight just as fiercely.
According to William Lind, 'We have pointed out over and over that the 4th Generation is not novel but a return, specifically a return to the way war worked before the rise of the state.' In this type of warfare, time is on the side of the guerilla fighter, while the occupying force expends his wealth, squanders his soldiers, and spreads increasing resentment and thus resistance."
Behind the Downing Street Memos by Justin Raimondo
Permanent War for Permanent War from Mike Tennant
Another Way Real ID Act Will Make Identity Theft Easier by Sunni Maravillosa
Conundrums. Conundrums. Conundrums. by Bill Bonner
"It must be getting harder and harder to remain poor in America today. 'If you can fog a mirror, you can get a mortgage,' said a lender recently. And if you can get a mortgage, you can get your little boat onto the great current of wealth that is making everyone in the United States rich - at least, in their own minds. Before you know it, you'll have been swept along into a McMansion."
'We couldn't survive in a completely free market'
"Like most French farmers, M Gellynck, 47, depends on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) for a living. He says that his annual revenue - after deducting his outgoings - comes to about £20,000. Without subsidies, it would be nothing.
'We couldnít survive in a completely free market,' he said, sitting with his wife, Elisabeth, also 47, in their small dining room. 'Weíd just go out of business - and so would every other farmer in France.'"
The Doctor is 'in' - and the diagnosis is Stockholm Syndrome!
Chinese Factory Worker Can't Believe The Shit He Makes For Americans
from The Onion