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 2006

June 30, 2006

The Quality of a Free Man by Claire Wolfe

What DID Rumsfeld actually say? by Vaughn Croteau   (onsite link)

June 29, 2006

The Occupation of Iraqi Hearts and Minds by Nir Rosen
"Focusing on Abu Ghraib and Haditha distracts us from the daily, little Abu Ghraibs and small-scale Hadithas that have made up the occupation. The occupation has been one vast extended crime against the Iraqi people, and most of it has occurred unnoticed by the American people and the media."
Highly Recommended

Running With the Barbarians by Tom Engelhardt
"How many more Green Zone stories are Americans capable of taking? For how long will Americans mistake safety for hunkering down in the ruins of occupied Iraq and Afghanistan, with the embassy lights on and the water running and that fabulous little club in full swing, and everything else going to hell? As long as we do, matters will only worsen."

Three Days in Rome by Laura Rozen
"In which a neoconservative jack-of-all-trades, a pair of Pentagon hawks, and an Iranian exile with a knack for tall tales try to outflank the CIA and conjure a coup in Tehran."

Dancing to the Supremes by Michael Gaddy
"On June 15th, the black robed bandits, ruling from the lofty perch of infallibility, issued an edict that prohibits the exclusion of evidence gained from illegal searches by law enforcement entities. In doing so, they also brought the aura of near infallibility to those in law enforcement.

The very idea that the Supremes justify their insanity on the belief that 'increasing professionalism of police forces, including a new emphasis on internal police discipline' justifies no-knock dynamic entries is truly alarming."

June 27, 2006

Bush’s Wiretap Crimes and the FISA Farce by James Bovard
"President Bush proudly announced last December that he is violating federal law. He declared that in 2002 he had ordered the National Security Agency to begin conducting warrantless wiretaps and email intercepts on Americans. He asserted that the wiretaps would continue, regardless of the law."

Reach Out and Tap Someone by James Bovard
"Bush announced on the day the story came out, 'The intelligence activities I authorized are lawful.' However, this may be the result of Cheney logic - that the Supreme Commander has the right to do whatever he feels necessary to protect the public. (The New York Times noted that Cheney and his top aides had been the most aggressive advocates of warrantless wiretaps and rounding up Americans’ phone data.)

In his weekly radio address two days later, Bush sought to quell the controversy: 'This week, new claims have been made about other ways we are tracking down al-Qaeda to prevent attacks on America.' Yet unless one considers every American presumptively an al-Qaeda accomplice, the domestic phone intercepts have nothing to do with tracking down al-Qaeda. Bush also declared, 'We are not trolling through the personal lives of millions of innocent Americans.' Unless the vast majority of Americans are guilty, there is no way to assert that the feds are not trolling through millions of innocent people’s lives."

Iraq's Pentagon Papers by Daniel Ellsberg

Just listening to Bill Kristol on Fox News by Laura Rozen
"So does Mr. Kristol as Keller's editorial counterpart deserve to be prosecuted as well by Mr. Gonzales? Why does he think he has the authority to make that decision to publish top secret intelligence information in his magazine, while, as he is saying now on Fox, the NYT's Bill Keller does not? Does Kristol get a free pass we should know about? Is there a secret presidential finding giving Kristol the authority to publish top secret memos? Does Kristol think it should be left to his editorial discretion? Does he think that what he published served a higher cause: the public's right to know? Or did it serve another cause he thought warranted his taking it upon himself the authority to knowingly publish top secret classified information? And whoever leaked to his magazine, does Kristol think they should be smoked out and prosecuted, with Kristol's being dragged in to identify and testify against them? Or maybe he would be just as happy to give them up right away, in the spirit of law and order?"

The Seven Nuremberg Principles and the Bush Administration by Michael Paladin
"Following World War II, the United States and its allies conducted the Nuremberg Trials of former officials of the Nazi regime. The trials created a set of principles, which were used to determine what constituted a war crime."

The Price of Madness by Butler Shaffer
"As we approach the fifth anniversary of this act of horror, my initial concerns have proven themselves valid. To this day, most Americans - be they for or against the invasion of Iraq; be they Democrat or Republican, 'conservative' or 'liberal' - show no disposition to confront the deeper implications of all this. Depth analysis takes a commitment of moral and intellectual energy, and most of us are more comfortable inquiring into such superficial matters as missing teenagers, spousal murders, or sexual predators.

In the language of 'chaos' theory, America - if not all of Western civilization - is in a state of turbulence of such intensity that efforts to restore order by recourse to traditional systems and policies will be to no avail. On the contrary, it is our insistence upon established practices that has led us to our plight; and only a fundamental, creative change in our thinking and behavior can extricate us from the destructive consequences of our prior assumptions."

The predatory escalation of "immigration policies" by Stefan Molyneux
"The current controversy over immigration obscures - as most current controversies do - the depth and scale of the moral problem that is 'immigration control.'"

Is the NSA spying on U.S. Internet traffic? by Kim Zetter
"Salon exclusive: Two former AT&T employees say the telecom giant has maintained a secret, highly secure room in St. Louis since 2002. Intelligence experts say it bears the earmarks of a National Security Agency operation."

The Worst Ruling of the Week by Matthew Rothschild
"But there's a decision that bothers me even more, and it's received a lot less attention.

And that's a ruling, on July 14, by Federal Judge John Gleeson, that the government can detain noncitizens indefinitely without explanation so long as that end of that detention is 'reasonably foreseeable.'"

Watching the Detectives by Laura Rozen
"As the federal investigation that led to Cunningham’s bribery conviction last November expands to other members of the House Appropriations Committee, many others - journalists, activists, analysts, and government agents - are stumbling across one another in paper chases that range from courthouses in California to federal offices in Washington. Of particular concern to federal investigators is the unusually intertwined relationship involving Lewis, some of his staffers, and the Washington lobbying firm of Copeland Lowery Jacquez Denton & White, where his old colleague in Congress is a name partner."

Rumsfeld -- laws don't apply to me! from Wendy McElroy
6/29/06 - A reader has noted that the title for this piece may be inaccurate based on the actual wording of the Washington Post article (second paragraph). I've sought clarification from the Washington Post writer - Mr. R. Jeffrey Smith. Should Mr. Smith reply to me I'll update on this matter at that time.
6/30/06 - update here

Drug Warriors Push Eye-Eating Fungus by Jeremy Bigwood
"Why are members of Congress advocating the use of a dangerous crop-killer in Colombia?"

Other People's Politics by Cat Farmer
"Ideas may be impervious to attacks from without, but they're truly vulnerable to questions from within. It's the human condition, in a nutshell: people expend stupendous amounts of time and energy on absurd efforts to control, cajole, coerce, and otherwise 'change the world' (i.e., usually the people) around them. Many seem too preoccupied with changing the world to stop and examine their own beliefs, ideas, and assumptions about the world or their relationship with it. Many individuals would gleefully force the consequences of foolish mistakes, misperceptions, and misplaced good intentions on the rest of the world, if they could; all too often political power enables them to do just that. It's your vote . . ."

Mexican Military Might! by Gary Brecher
"2006 will go down in history as the year America discovered Mexicans. 1492: Columbus discovers America. 2006: America discovers Mexicans. 'Whoa, this place is crawling with 'em!' Well yeah, you only just noticed? Where have you people been?
Somewhere out there in the desert skies, Pancho Villa and Black Jack Pershing are sharing a bottle of first-run brandy from Parral, looking down at us fretting over these little IHOP scuffles and laughing their battle-scarred faces off."

Bird Flu and the Great Milk Bomb Conspiracy by Garry Reed
"Hi Mick and Sandy. As you know, Health and Human Services Secretarycrat Mike Leavitt told Americans to prepare for a bird flu pandemic by purchasing canned tuna and powdered milk and stashing them under their beds. The result has been the worst pandemic of hoarding since that run on home improvement centers awhile back after former Homeland Security Secretarycrat Tom Ridge said that duct tape and plastic wrap would protect us from Anthrax. Mark, Wendy."

Sunni Maravillosa releases her January 2006 and May 2006 Salons.

Rigorous Intuition by Jeff Wells has moved to a new URL

Home of the Brave by The Nails

June 12, 2006

Countless My Lai Massacres in Iraq by Dahr Jamail
"The media feeding frenzy around what has been referred to as 'Iraq's My Lai' has become frenetic. Focus on US Marines slaughtering at least 20 civilians in Haditha last November is reminiscent of the media spasm around the 'scandal' of Abu Ghraib during April and May 2004.

Yet just like Abu Ghraib, while the media spotlight shines squarely on the Haditha massacre, countless atrocities continue daily, conveniently out of the awareness of the general public. Torture did not stop simply because the media finally decided, albeit in horribly belated fashion, to cover the story, and the daily slaughter of Iraqi civilians by US forces and US-backed Iraqi 'security' forces has not stopped either."

Do Hadithans Hate Us for Our Freedoms? by Jacob G. Hornberger
"If there’s another major terrorist attack on American soil, here’s my prediction: Congress will again wake up from its slumber and respond positively to the president’s call for PATRIOT Acts 2, 3, and 4, followed by new rounds of indefinite military detentions, illegal wiretapping, kidnappings and renditions, censorship, and more.

And U.S. officials will again tell us that the suspension of our rights and freedom is only temporary and that it will protect us from the terrorists who hate America because of our freedom and values, not because of the homicides at Haditha, the invasion and occupation of Iraq, the torture and sex abuse at Abu Ghraib, the Iraqi deaths from the sanctions, the destruction of Iraq, and the other aspects of U.S. foreign policy."

Chaos in Kabul by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
"The riots in Kabul are an ominous sign for the US empire. Watch the videos on television. These people are ever more bold. They aren't guerillas operating in private. They are not military people. They are regular citizens rising up against an empire and using every means at their disposal to drive the invader out.

They throw rocks, sticks, and are glad to kill anyone who is tainted with the slightest hint of collaboration, even humanitarian workers and merchants. They walk in daylight, almost hoping for the status of martyrdom. They defy police, military, guns, and tanks. They have a focused demand: the US must leave their country immediately."

Doug Casey's Optimism Among the Coming Ruins by Sunni Maravillosa

Faux 'Terrorism' by Justin Raimondo
"The arrest and trial of Hamid Hayat, a 22-year-old naturalized American citizen from Pakistan, and his father, Umer, was touted as a great victory in the Justice Department's campaign to root out the Terrorist Threat on Our Soil. The only problem is, the likelihood that either of them ever had anything to do with al-Qaeda, or terrorist threats against the U.S., is nil. In a long article by Mark Arax in the Los Angeles Times, we learn the whole sordid story of how these two uneducated agricultural workers were singled out, and basically framed, by federal prosecutors out for scalps - any scalps - for political reasons."

A Note on the Death of Abu Museb Al-Zarqaawi by Bill St. Clair

Give Me the Immigrants by L. Neil Smith
"Government can only do two things:

It can beat people up and kill them.

Or it can threaten to do so.

When it seems to be doing something else - for example, handing out money or, say, surplus cheese - what's actually going on is that something has been taken away from one set of individuals by deadly force or the threat of deadly force, a hefty middleman's fee deducted, and whatever is left thrown to peasants delighted to receive stolen goods."

Attention Kim DuToit: The Free Market Is Not Your Enemy by John Lopez
"Every thin dime that this government confiscates is money that will be spent in a manner that doesn't benefit all parties involved. In principle, as DuToit affirms above, it might be spent well (sort of) on things that (maybe) might be worth doing, kind of. In practice, most of it gets simply wasted. It's potential wealth that gets lost, just as surely as if you take out a loan and burn the money rather than investing it."

Life Without a Government: It’s Not As Distant As You Think by Stefan Molyneux

Don't Try This at Home by Steve Silberman
"Garage chemistry used to be a rite of passage for geeky kids. But in their search for terrorist cells and meth labs, authorities are making a federal case out of DIY science."

The Top 10 Things I Know About Drugs by Tony Newman

Citizen Jesus by Retta Fontana
"The administration of George W. Bush is purportedly based on Christian principles. It would seem logical then to assume that were Christ actually alive today, he would likely advance successfully in this administration, would it not?"

Immigrants need to be better Americans than Americans by Garry Reed
"In a speech from the Egg-Shaped Office during primetime TV (in which he finished fifth in the overnight ratings behind Fear Fracture, Let's Make a Deal or No Deal, Backpacking with the Stars and The Munsters' Bit Players and Extras Annual Reunion Special and Hip Replacement Telethon) President Bush told the nation that millions of illegal immigrants who had gotten away with breaking the law the longest could become American citizens if they paid a meaningful penalty for breaking the law, paid their taxes, learned to speak, write and sing the National Anthem in broken English, and worked in a legitimate job for a number of years."

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