The Plug Nickel Times is proud to bring you archived website links to select opinion articles. 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 title 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.
August 16-31, 2004
August 31, 2004
Bogged down - Things just aren't going freedom's way lately by Bill Kaufmann
"Who can imagine why Iraqi saboteurs target oil pipelines? Where's their gratitude in being forced at gunpoint to finance foreign domination of their land?"
25 Things We Now Know Three Years After 9/11 by Bernard Weiner
Terrorism as RNC Prop by Roberto Lovato
"Given the heavy security focus inside and outside the convention, it's disconcerting how little convention attendees seem to care about those proven terrorists who live and work among us - and who our government knows about."
What Exactly Is Freedom? by David MacGregor
Glory and BBQ Sauce in Athens by Matt Taibbi
"Surely it's heresy to suggest, in the week the games return to their ancestral home, that inspiration - that feeling that the ancient Greeks believed made a man holier than a priest, when it was given to him by the gods - can be a shitty plate of factory-processed ribs. The Muses must be vomiting into their cloaks and pawning their lyres for firearms: This aggression, you would think, cannot stand."
Just Say No to Drug Dogs
"In this case, the searches are blanket searches, meaning there is no suspicion of any individual; instead all are subject. However, the Fourth Amendment says clearly that, if there is no individualized suspicion, there is no right to search."
Bait and Switch: Ariel Sharon, the Bush Administration, and the West Bank by Charles Smith
A Brief but Thoreau Outline - The Polemical First Portion of Walden by Tom Price
A 'Cliff Notes' of Walden by HD Thoreau
1001 Things to Hate About the Convention
August 30, 2004
Institutional Dangers by Butler Shaffer
August 29, 2004
The Axis of Treason by Justin Raimondo
Pentagon/Israel Spying Case Expands: Fomenting a War on Iran by Juan Cole
"Franklin's movements reveal the contours of a rightwing conspiracy of warmongering and aggression, an orgy of destruction, for the benefit of the Likud Party, of Silvio Berlusconi's business in the Middle East, and of the Neoconservative Right in the United States. It isn't about spying. It is about conspiring to conscript the US government on behalf of a foreign power or powers."
Newsweek: Franklin Confesses - AIPAC Under Separate FBI Investigation by Juan Cole
Note the last two paragraphs which mention the 'nemesis du jour' - Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.
Spies in the Pentagon? by Karen Kwiatkowski
"The story of spies in the Pentagon will percolate, no doubt. I have no answers, but perhaps the questions themselves will help explain what is going on in the current administration, and the administration that is sure to come."
George Bush's Secret War
"On the other side, confirming Bush's version of events, are 143 fellow reservists who have signed affidavits attesting that they saw the future president popping a Bud in the Guard offices at a time when the Stiff Drink group alleges he was on a secret mission to Hanoi, where he personally arm-wrestled Ho Chi Minh."
August 27, 2004
Rage Against the Machine by Justin Raimondo
"Meanwhile, our two presidential candidates continue to debate the war - the war in Vietnam, that is. You know, the one that ended over thirty years ago. And it isn't even about the war, per se, but one man's experience of it. The race for the White House will apparently be decided on the life-or-death issue of: did John Kerry ever spend Christmas in Cambodia - or was it right across the border in Vietnam?
August 26, 2004
The Bush Betrayal - Chapter One: Introduction by James Bovard
"Regardless of who wins in November 2004, Americans must recognize the damage the federal government is inflicting on their rights, liberty, and safety."
Wide Open Spaces by Bob Wallace
Tomgram: Jonathan Schell on our failed imperium Jonathan Schell and Tom Engelhardt
"Boston suddenly had the look of some Third World dictatorship. This visual change has gone hand in hand with other changes -- the final defanging of Congress as an agency of budgetary oversight, the breaking down of barriers between spying abroad and at home as well as between military and civilian policing duties, the further bloating of the military budget, even the "privatization" of many military functions fusing the military and the corporate in yet another way..."
Bush and justice: Foot soldiers always take the fall by Dahlia Lithwick
"If you're waiting around for evidence of the phone call from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to Private First Class Lynndie England - the one where he instructs her to pile up a bunch of naked, hooded men and strike a queen-of-the-mountain pose - you'll wait forever. That's not how armies function. It ignores the realities of the chain of command, and the cha-cha of plausible deniability."
Abu Ghraib and the Pentagon
"The two reports issued this week on the Abu Ghraib prison are an indictment of the way the Bush administration set the stage for Iraqi prisoners to be brutalized by American prison guards, military intelligence officers and private contractors."
August 24, 2004
Driving on the Bones of God by Joe Bageant
"Since 911, thinking has changed regarding saving the asses of the spooks, generals, bureaucrats and politicos deemed worthy of surviving terrorism or some nuclear cookout in downtown D.C. It is no longer considered a good idea to stash the nation's power elite in one location. Thus, beginning with the Homeland Security Department's mid-2003 meetings in Crystal City, Virginia, emphasis was put on a dispersal approach, creating a wide rural network of safe houses funded by the agency."
Thank Government for the Mess We’re in by Sheldon Richman
The Neocon Civil War by Justin Raimondo
"Besieged on every front, the neoconservatives are now fighting among themselves"
Search the 9/11 Comission report
(thanks to the Center for Research on Globalisation for the link)
August 23, 2004
Readers may have noticed that we missed a few days over the last week - sorry about that! Output over the next few days should increase as we start raising steam, or find a jump start!
Your Children are Burning by William Rivers Pitt
The Unraveling of Afghanistan by Mike Whitney
A Very One-Sided War by Uri Avnery
"But this is a very special war, because it confers rights only on the fighters of one side. On the other side, there is no war, no fighters, and no rights of fighters, but only criminals, terrorists, murderers."
The Government Says We Need More Government by Rep. Ron Paul
"The 9-11 Commission report is several hundred pages worth of recommendations to make government larger and more intrusive. Does this surprise anyone? It was written by people who cannot imagine any solution not coming from government. One thing you definitely will not see in the Commission report is a single critique of our interventionist foreign policy, which is the real source of most anti-American feelings around the globe."
August 22, 2004
The Bush Team in Iraq - Moral Cowardice, as Practiced by Experts by Brian Cloughley
A Bush "Ask the President," Stump "show" Annotated and Analyzed by Anthony Wade
"President Bush is stumping these days in a manner that belies his inability to actually connect with anyone. These are scripted events, called 'ask the president' where Bush is surrounded by adoring throngs of supporters who want to cheer more than they really want to ask anything of substance."
The Bi-Partisan Origins of the Total War on Drugs by Alexander Cockburn and Jeffrey St. Clair
add'l points by Mike Ruppert
It's just one big 'cash cow'
Of Swift Boats and Red Herrings by Chris Dominguez
August 19, 2004
Reshaping Washington's global footprint by David Isenberg
"But this is not to say that America plans to reduce its ability to intervene militarily around the world. As one military official said, 'It's not our view that this will result in a force structure reduction in any of the services. That's not what this plan is about. This really is not just about reductions in place, but this is about a realignment globally of our forces and capabilities. And that's been the focus. This is not a troop cut or a force structure reduction in the armed forces.'"
on the empire that fell as it rose
correspondence between Jonathan Schell and Tom Engelhardt
How the Media Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love Rumsfeld by Norman Solomon
What do we call the enemy? by Tom Engelhardt
"I want to consider a few recent examples of Iraq war words and how the press has dealt with them."
August 18, 2004
Gods of War, Gods of Greed and Profiteers of Misery by Manuel Valenzuela
The Wanna-Be State by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
"As for acculturation, it is a fact that people are more or less likely to tolerate despots. Americans, for example, would only recognize a tyrant in the White House if he had a mustache the width of his nose. Even the most cynical among us have been astounded at what the public has put up with since 9-11: a brazen attempt to seize control of the entire economy and culture in the name of protecting us, even though the main lesson of 9-11 is that the government cannot protect us but rather invites act of vengeance through its imperial foreign policies."
Goal should be quick, full disengagement by Doug Bandow
"President George W. Bush has proposed bringing home upwards of 70,000 United States troops stationed in Asia and Europe. It's a good start, but remains only a start."
Saakashvili is heading down the wrong path by Eugene Mazo
"Although Adzharia is now back in the fold, gaining control of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Georgia's two other autonomous republics, will prove to be a much more difficult task for Saakashvili. Leaders in these republics are already putting up a tougher fight than did either Shevardnadze or Abashidze. As a result, last week Saakashvili ordered his navy to sink all foreign vessels headed for Abkhazia's main port at Sukhumi, on the basis that they were violating Georgia's waters. Meanwhile, Georgia's troops exchanged gunfire with rebels not far from Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia."
Re: Architects from D.C.?
A reply to a query on the Art and Architecture List (DESIGN-L@LISTS.PSU.EDU)
that damned lengthy US constitution
"some jerkoff, publicity-seeking punks got the publicity-rich idea to put an abridged version (ha!) - a bullet list - of the US constitution on the back of the one-dollar bill..."
August 17, 2004
Privacy vs. safety in screening travelers by James Bovard
"The feds should not be permitted to rename the current system "CAPPS 3" and pretend all its problems have been solved. The agency has shown that it cannot be trusted to go ferreting among Americans' records. Any "solution" which does not curb the agency's power will pose a growing threat to Americans' rights and privacy."
John Perry Barlow 2.0 - The Thomas Jefferson of cyberspace reinvents his body -- and his politics Interviewed by Brian Doherty
The Washington Post still doesn’t get it by Matt Taibbi
"The story shouldn't have been, 'Are there WMDs?' The story should have been, 'Why are they pulling this stunt? And why now?' That was the real mystery. It still is."
Pondering the Telescreen by Fred Reed
"The flickering screen is everywhere. In millions of living rooms the lobotomy box rattles, often not consciously watched, hardly noticed, but always on. Every bar has at least one television, often several, sometimes with the sound turned off, but always there. Television is the national babysitter, more important than absentee parents in shaping the young. The chattering tube sits in the lobbies of hotels, the rooms of hotels, in barber shops, in restaurants and dorm rooms. In my gym in suburban Washington, rows of screens hung on pipes in front of the exercise bicycles. The box is everywhere, whispering, babbling, urging, suggesting."
Cheney Speaks to the Reptile Brain by Thom Hartmann
"The simple reality is that issues framed in intellect will never trump issues framed in emotions. And to have maximum power, those emotions must include the limbic brain feelings of hope and idealism as well as the reptilian brain instincts for survival and safety."
Revolt of the Press Corps by Dan Froomkin
August 16, 2004
Social Engineering University by Sofreh-ye Pretta Aghd
"Gone are the days when it was presumed that the job of a politician was to keep you free to do your thing, and the job of a neighbor to mind his affairs. The politician's job is now to represent you in your effort to impose your view of the world onto everyone else. Got a problem? It's not too small to warrant the application of force."
Conventional Facades: Why the Republicans Have to Hide their Agenda by Maureen Farrell
"While the word 'wackos' is indeed jarring, there are few suitable descriptions for the Harry-Potter-fearing, Armageddon-embracing, End-of-Days experts the White House reportedly cavorts with."
Get Used to Blood by Charley Reese
"Our home-grown terrorists, commonly called criminals, murder an average of 15,000 Americans every year, and, of course, our favorite machine, the automobile, takes out another 40,000 or so folks every year. Remember, you are highly unlikely to be a victim of a terrorist attack. All you have to do is to not go bonkers when someone else is killed. When the attack comes, watch it once and then turn off your TV and go on with your life."
The Story of Human Sacrifice by Bob Wallace
"One million evil, subhuman foreigners in trade for one American. The first thing I thought: what if that American is Richard Simmons, or worse, Michael Bolton?"
Send in the CIA: Goss and 'Preventive Direct Action' in America by Kurt Nimmo
"A military-nationalist state, as envisioned by the Bushcons, cannot operate effectively if a vibrant, diverse, and high profile opposition is allowed to exist (even if it is continually dismissed as irrelevant by the Bush Ministry of Disinformation). The American people, sincerely reviled by the Straussian Bushcons, must be programmed to support a vicious nationalism, and exposure to countervailing viewpoints or opposition to this obviously fascist philosophy must be eliminated, or at least severely curtailed."