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.
July 16-31, 2005
July 31, 2005
Bail, Fines, and Cruel and Unusual Punishments by Jacob G. Hornberger
"By jailing Padilla, an American citizen, Pentagon officials crossed the Rubicon. Yes, heís only one person but make no mistake about it: he is simply the test case. If the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately upholds this assumption of military power on the part of the Pentagon, the number of American detainees, the number of Americans tortured, and the number of Americans 'rendered' to foreign countries for the purpose of being tortured will quickly escalate, just as the numbers escalated in Chile, Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and Bolivia during their infamous 'wars on terrorism.'"
S.397 Passes Senate With Bike Lock Amendment by David Codrea
"I'm sure there are a hundred-and-one uses for the damned thing as long as it never touches a gun."
Lost Principles Hotel by Garry Reed
"Libertarians should never succumb to the egalitarian idea of justice that says everyone should get screwed equally. That's a concept of collectivism. Libertarians demand that everyoneís rights be protected equally. Thievery through eminent domain is still thievery whether itís your house or David Souterís thatís being stolen."
July 27, 2005
"Must I paint you a picture?" by Jeff Wells
"Such criminal contempt for law and common justice, such lunatic reasoning, suggests the question: Do they mean to drive every last, sane one of us mad? Maybe so. More than 20 years ago, during the - incredibly - relatively benign Reagan years, Bruce Cockburn sang 'No adult of sound mind / Can be an innocent bystander.' And that really drops us in it, doesn't it? Because we cannot consider ourselves truly informed unless we also shoulder the suspicious-looking rucksacks of empathetic knowledge. It bears down on us, knowing what we know, and not knowing what to do with it. And it's a burden which most of us must bear in virtual silence, surrounded by good people who remain blithely unaware of the abominations, the crystallization of unprecedented crises, and the ever-more bizarre vortex swirling about the All-Seeing Eye.
These days, it's almost enough to get you stopped on the subway."
The Second Amendment is Alive and Well
"Many people mistake the Bill of Rights for a contract. Contracts can be altered at will by the parties involved. The Bill of Rights is NOT a contract. It is an acknowledgment of pre-existing conditions.
When the government violates any of the Bill's provisions, then that government may cease to be worthy of our respect or obedience, but the rights remain. The damage can be undone. If someone tries to kill you, you still have the right to defend yourself with the best weaponry for the job. If a government tries to tyrannize you, you still have the right to arm yourself against it."
The Decline and Fall of Conservatism by Butler Shaffer
"As I read and listen to the conservative rampage against the very values that once defined their position, I am reminded of my young adult years, when those of us who held individualist views had to work, ever so hard, to confront collectivist doctrines. The Marxist/socialist camp was wrong on just about every issue, but they offered a challenge to the mind that had to be met. I find no inner substance to modern conservatism that requires careful examination. Their oratory remains at the level of adolescent taunting, or what one might hear at a labor union beer-party. Like sharks lurking offshore, most conservatives are a deadly force to be avoided, not intellects with which to reason.
If there is any encouragement to be found in Americaís current madness, it is this: a healthy system can tolerate reactive, mindless rage for only a short period of time before plunging into an entropic freefall. We may be a society presently dominated by fools, but our civilization is too commercially and technologically sophisticated to long endure relationships based upon slapping people around, or putting 'five in the noggin.' The unfocused rage and preoccupation with collective violence that unites modern conservatives provides the route back to the 'stone age' to which they like to speak of sending others, but to which they lead only themselves and their neighbors."
Cynicism and the Use of Depleted Uranium by Kim Hawkins and Robert Shetterly
Collateral Damage by Michael Tennant
"No American or Englishman would even dream of referring to, say, a fireman killed while attempting to rescue people from the World Trade Center as 'collateral damage,' even though that fireman, too, was an inadvertent victim and not the real target of the attack. We all recognize that the fireman was a real human being with a name, face, and family. In fact, all the pertinent facts about him, including his picture, are likely to have appeared in newspapers across the country, and his name was probably read aloud at Ground Zero on September 11, 2002. Meanwhile, the innocent victims of our governmentís actions in the War on Terror not only are dismissed as collateral damage but are not even worthy of becoming statistics as far as the United States government is concerned.
Similarly, if you grant the government the power to kill innocent people in foreign countries and write them off as collateral damage, barely worthy of acknowledgement, then donít act too surprised when the government starts classifying you in the same way if you end up its victim in the War on Terror. That is, in fact, precisely what the Metropolitan Police of London have established as official policy in the wake of last Fridayís shooting death, by plainclothes officers, of Jean Charles de Menezes, a completely innocent man."
Sunni's Salon for July is online at Endervidualism
Slouching toward the Millenium by Kris Kristofferson
(released in 1995)
July 21, 2005
Patrick J. 'Bulldog' Fitzgerald, American Insurgent by Justin Raimondo
"It's not about Rove, Bob Novak, Judith Miller, or any of the other bit players caught up in this maelstrom. It's about a small group of strategically placed players in the national security bureaucracy who functioned as a two-way transmission belt of treason: feeding the White House, Congress, and the American public a steady diet of lies in the guise of 'intelligence,' and, in the other direction, feeding vital U.S. secrets to its foreign sponsors and allies, including not only Israel but also Iran (the latter via Ahmed Chalabi)."
Death to the Hog - To hell with the whole Karl Rove story by Matt Taibbi
"The crime that ought to be considered this week is not that Rove may have whispered something or other to a few reporters. The crime is that hundreds, if not thousands, of journalists and politicians in this country have over the years cheerily honored this vile, scum-sucking pig of a human being by calling him names like 'genius' and 'boy wonder' and 'wizard' - as though the business of Rove's life was somehow cute, quirky and lovably mischievous.
The result of all this was to obscure the basic fact about Rove, which is that he's not a genius at all. He is a pig, and the only thing that distinguishes him is the degree of his brazenness and cruelty. It doesn't take a genius to send out fliers calling your opponent the 'fag candidate.' It doesn't take a genius to insinuate that your opponent's wife is a drug addict. There's nothing cunning or clever about saying your opponent came home from a war too fucked in the head to govern (particularly when your own candidate was too much of a coward to fight in the same war), or about whispering that that same candidate may have an illegitimate black child. And there's nothing clever about calling the followers of the opposition party traitorous and un-American, and claiming that they all want to coddle and appease the murderers of our brothers, sisters, sons and daughters."
The Cui Bono War by Chris Sanders
"All is not lost, of course. Arrayed against Russia and China is a coalition that includes the UK, Holland, Japan, and Israel. Australia, Canada and Mexico are there on most days, as are Germany, France, South Korea and Taiwan. Not to be ignored are Saudi Arabia and Egypt who provide both cash and local colour. It is a heterogeneous lot, bound together by a shared dependence on managed industry and graft, whose unifying principle is suitably symbolized by the Pentagon. The core grouping is the US, Japanese, British, Dutch and Israeli quintet that quarters the globe with an awesome array of air and sea power delivering bombs, rockets, nuclear weapons, gas and expendable troops. This is financed by the most efficient system for concentrating capital flows hitherto known to man, which has not yet met a country that it could not loot, and that includes both Russia and China, more than once. It has lost battles, and even campaigns, but it has never lost a major war, a record attested by the absorption of Japan and Germany into the fold after their respective defeats in the world wars.. When it has been humiliated, as it was in Indochina, at Pearl Harbor and presently in Iraq, it has shown the price to be paid for such insolence, razing cities to the ground and sowing the very soil and air with gene-melting poisons, Agent Orange and depleted uranium. Now this is something that even the legendary Romans could only dream of when they sowed the fields of Carthage with salt. Let the babies with two heads be a warning to those who would challenge the Coalition of the Willing."
Get out the vote by Seymour M. Hersh
"Did Washington try to manipulate Iraq's election?"
Gaza and the Orange Shirt Protests - Or the Middle East Made Simple by Prof. Juan Cole
A Prescription for Fascism by Justin Raimondo
Genesis of an American Gestapo by Mike Whitney
"Tyranny has very few indispensable parts; a compliant media, that will regulate information to meet the goals of the state; a 'rubber-stamp' Parliament that will endorse the policies of the supreme leader; a judiciary that will adjust the law to serve the requirements of the ruling body, a strong military to seize the wealth of weaker nations; and a security apparatus, that will eliminate any domestic threats to the system. On June 29 President Bush took the great-leap forward in transforming the nation's intelligence services by ordering a restructuring of the FBI and putting 'a broad swath of the agency' under the direct control of the executive."
Thank You, Mr. President by Emily Bazelon
"Roberts may indeed turn out to be a wise, thoughtful, and appealing justice. Tonight when Bush announced his nomination, Roberts talked about feeling humbled, which won him points on TV. But an opinion that the 50-year-old judge joined just last week in the case Hamdan v. Rumsfeld should be seriously troubling to anyone who values civil liberties. As a member of a three-judge panel on the D.C. federal court of appeals, Roberts signed on to a blank-check grant of power to the Bush administration to try suspected terrorists without basic due-process protections."
The Destructive Greenspan by Bill Bonner
"We know the price... what we donít know is the value."
The US Supine Court by Garry Reed
Demonizing VS Deifying Dreamers and Dissidents by Cat Farmer
Missing Politically Incorrect by Humberto Fontova
"The illogic and absurdity of their rantings - even by Hollywood star and starlet standards - was something to behold. Ah yes, California: a place where you're denounced for spearfishing - by the patrons of a sushi bar! Here were (the late) James Coburn, Tom Green, Florence Henderson, among others, gnawing on buffalo wings and salmon croquets in the greenroom, then going on stage to bash me for hunting ducks and spearing fish.
'The difference between you and me, James,' I chuckled at an enraged Coburn. 'Is the difference between Don Barzini and Mikey Corleone.' Coburn sat back and glowered at me. 'Others pulled the triggers, but Barzini put the hit on Don Corleone, remember? Just like you put a hit on a cuddly creature every time you buy meat. Now recall McCluskey's and Sollazo's fate in that restaurant. Mikey insisted on carrying out his own hits. That's me. I do my own dirty work. Those mallards and grouper I hunt down, assassinate then eat, are no deader than the chicken and salmon I watched you eat fifteen minutes ago. And until I whacked them, they lived a much more enjoyable life than the chicken you're still digesting. Me, I revel in the role nature handed me, predator - no guilty conscience about it whatsoever. You hand off the responsibility to a slaughterhouse worker. Fine, that's your business. But don't get all smug about it. You're as culpable for that chicken's death as I am for the duck's. But unlike you - I look nature's cruel mandates right in the face!'"
Careful what you wish for...
July 18, 2005
Apologies for the extended absence - postings will resume tomorrow or the following day.