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 31, 2007
Critical Thinking And The War On Terrorism by Joe Quinn
"The judicious studying(sic) of the discernible reality of 'Islamic terrorism' proves it to be not real at all. This is why the unnamed Neocon stated that 'that's not the way the world really works anymore', because the Neocons cannot have ordinary people judiciously studying reality and arriving at this all-too-logical conclusion. The solution to this problem, from the Neocon point of view, is to create a 'reality' that, while bearing no resemblance to actual reality, nevertheless becomes the reality because it is effectively manufactured in and propped up by the 'belief center' of the general population."
Gay Bombs and Bubble Wrapped Battlefields by Garry Reed
"In today's world, a story once considered too idiotic to be true is now too idiotic not to be true.
Therefore, operating on the principal that where there's smoke there's a whole lot more smoke, a clandestine team of tireless libertarian anarcho-investihackers, using a variety of conventional and 'alternative' analytical tools, have uncovered similar surreptitious government projects.
The following data was gleaned from heavily redacted documents obtained through the little-known Freedom of Information About Really Stupid Wasteful Military Boondoggles Act."
The Group W Bench
(apologies to Arlo Gutherie)
July 26, 2007
"The day will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you are throttling today."
Deliberative Democracy Dementia by Jim Bovard
"Deliberative Democracy is different things to different people - but the common thread is that we will gather and be coached on how to discuss politics. Supposedly, if citizens meet and use 'public reason' to deliberate on the major issues of the day, government policies will achieve new legitimacy and citizens will again trust Washington.
It is absurd to expect that discussions will resolve differences between people who wish to live as they please and others who demand the power to bring them to their knees. The more power government possesses, the more fruitless deliberations become between aggressors and victims."
The Other War: Iraq Vets Bear Witness by Chris Hedges and Laila Al-Arian
Surge Redux by John Robb
"Dysfunctional" House Intelligence Committee by Laura Rozen
"More evidence if you needed it that the intelligence oversight process is broken, that some of the companies hired to protect the country won their contracts through graft and are unqualified, and that post 9/11 homeland security and intelligence are just a big new trough for some contractors with the added benefit (for them) of no public accountability because the contracts are classified. Evidence as well that the entrenched conflicts of interest continue, to the degree that the committee still will not agree to publicly release even the unclassified version of the report. And that's just the greed factor. Who's looking out that the intelligence and security are any more functional? The same conflicted people."
Oh, Jeez, Now What...? by David Codrea
What Ron Paul Is Doing For The Cause of Liberty... by Robert Kaercher
Photos of cephalopodic playscapes
"For the love of Cthulhu, here are photos of giant cement octopi posing as playground equipment in Japan."
July 8, 2007
New War and the Threat to Globalization
an interview with John Robb of the Global Guerillas blog
National ID plan may have killed immigration bill by Declan McCullagh
A Culture of Atrocity by Chris Hedges
"The American killing project is not described in these terms to the distant public. The politicians still speak in the abstract of glory, honor and heroism, of the necessity of improving the world, in lofty phrases of political and spiritual renewal. The press, as in most wars, is slavishly compliant. The reality of the war - the fact that the occupation forces have become, along with the rampaging militias, a source of terror to most Iraqis - is not transmitted to the American public. The press chronicles the physical and emotional wounds visited on those who kill in our name. The Iraqis, those we kill, are largely nameless, faceless dead. Those who kill large numbers of people always claim it as a regrettable but necessary virtue.
The reality and the mythic narrative of war collide when embittered combat veterans return home. They find themselves estranged from the world around them, a world that still believes in the myth of war and the virtues of the nation."
Evolutionary Cognitive Neuroscience: Dual Use Discipline for Understanding & Managing Complexity and Altering Warfare by John Stanton
"Social science literature and United States' Department of Defense (DOD) documentation also suggests that the time is ripe for an even larger merger between the data-heavy sciences and the social sciences. ECN may serve as both a conduit and foundation for this convergence particularly as the DOD recognizes its importance to national security. However, the entire effort will fail if program directors and researchers exclude general Evolution and Evolutionary Psychology from their methodologies.
Complexity (the number of ways-hows-and-whys a system can act) may become an anachronism as novel research demystifies consciousness reducing human complexity to a deterministic system. Biomachines that bypass time consuming conscious activity ultimately may be fielded by the DOD. The Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) is already working towards this end."
The Shockwave Rider from Big Gav
A lengthy and sinuous perspective framed by the novel "The Shockwave Rider" by John Brunner.