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.
August 1-15, 2005
August 15, 2005
Killing Women and Children First by John Zmirak
"The 60th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki should remind us that so long as the world’s most powerful nations continue to target cities--innocent civilians--with nuclear weapons, our condemnations of ‘terror’ will ring hollow."
America Is an Empire by Bill Bonner
"Just to introduce a gloomy remark, we note that we are personally and individually regressing to the mean. The mean for a human being is death...or non-existence. A person walks the earth for only 3-score and ten, as it says in the Bible. The rest of the time, he is only a potential person...or a former person. For millions of years, he is either in the future...or in the grave. All of us in this room, happily, are enjoying that ever-so-brief period of exaggeration...of hyperbole...of extraordinary, mean-busting usualness we call 'life.' It is not for us to know the time or place when it comes to an end. But like all mean-reverting phenomena, only a fool would bet that it would never end.
For our own part, we do not particularly care when or how we meet our end. We just wish to know where, so we can avoid the place.
But betting against the end is just what most Americans are doing. They are borrowing and spending as if there were no tomorrow. And they are investing as though there were no yesterday. All they would have to do would be to look at the patterns of the past; they would see that it doesn't make sense to buy at high prices - you can't make money that way. The way people have always made money is by buying low and selling high. Doing it the other way around doesn't work. Nor does borrowing and spending make you rich. Tomorrow always comes - at least it always has up until now - and you have to pay your debts."
Tyranny's Disease by Chris Sanders
There's a Law by Jeff Wells
"Say 'Martial Law' to people, and often their first thought is detainment: multitudes of dissenters being hauled off to FEMA camps, disappearing into an American Gulag. For others, it's soldiers in the streets. For some, military courts.
I'm not denying the essence of those fears - the Gulag is already real enough for Jose Padilla - but that's my point: the fears have already been realized. Padilla and many others have vanished. The soldiers are in the streets. A formal declaration of martial law seems almost a quaint nod to constitutional formalities, when we consider the violence these people have already done to the constitution.
There will be no 'Please Stand By' for America. No on/off toggle for totalitarianism will be thrown with Martial Law, and those expecting one may find themselves saying 'Hey, this isn't so bad.' America is passing through gradations of grey, the next nearly indistinguishable from the last. It's only in stepping back, in comparing now to then - five years ago; 10, 25 or 50 - that you realize how your eyes have adjusted to the dark."
An Inconvenient Patriot by David Rose
Purports to be the recent Vanity Fair article regarding Sibel Edmonds
Constitution likely Not Achieved - 30 More Bodies of Police Found in Baghdad by Prof. Juan Cole
The Iranian nightmare by Michael Schwartz
Is It Islamic Fundamentalist Terrorism or Something Else? by Adam Young
"The entire premise of the GWOT was and is still based on a false and stupid basis: that a band of fanatics are trying to conquer the United States to install an Islamic regime. Al’Qaeda will never conquer the U.S. or abolish the liberties of Americans. But the fear that Americans have allowed the Bush administration to stoke have allowed a feeble band of neo-fascists to conquer America and erase American liberties in the guise of protection and freedom."
Congress on Juice by Matt Taibbi
"Great to see all of these guys rushing to protect the dignity of the national legislature from a dumb Cuban jock who lied to protect his home-run records. Except for one thing: Where were all of these assholes when the president of the United States lied to Congress? The parallels between the Palmeiro case and the case of George Bush's communications to Congress before the war are extremely interesting, and say a lot about what most members of Congress imagine their jobs to be."
Four Amendments and a Funeral by Matt Taibbi
"A month inside the house of horrors that is Congress"
"Like an evil, adult version of Schoolhouse Rock"
Marc Emery: My message to you
Something's rotten in DEA'n'Marc by Thomas Knapp
"Emery, who also operates the popular web site POT-TV (hold that thought -- we'll be coming back to it) was arrested in Canada after the drug thugs at DEA accused him of selling marijuana seeds to US customers, and demanded his extradition. While other culprits had the brains to put a whitewash on it ('[t]he focus of this case is on the drug trafficking of Marc Emery. It is not about his political activities, nor his campaigns for office. Nor is it focused on his magazine,' according to US Attorney Todd Greenberg), Tandy's attack of self-promotional diarrhea of the mouth exposed the scam. It's not about the pot. It's about the politics. ... and this time, it's fairly obvious that the DEA has gone beyond using taxpayer money to protect its own existence and the job security of its employees with its illicit political interventions, and across the line into partisan dirty tricks on behalf of an unpopular Republican incumbent, by way of removing an inconvenient opponent.
Remember POT-TV? It just so happens that the name of medical marijuana activist, US Marijuana Party president -- and, not coincidentally, POT-TV correspondent and host -- Loretta Nall has been coming up as the likely Libertarian Party nominee for the governorship of Alabama."
The Cult of the Boob by Butler Shaffer
"But in the age of the boobeoisie, pedestals are to be eschewed, not out of a sense of individuals transcending their subservient state and insisting upon sovereignty over themselves; but to realize that ultimate state of egalitarianism in which the idea of distinction becomes politically-incorrect."
Shunning the Real ID Enablers by Garry Reed
"Freedom's latest foe is the two-headed snake-in-the-grass Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft. These cyberserpents are collaborating to create the hardware/software mission of turning us all into walking talking Real ID card chattel. (Quickie definition of Real ID: a thin slice of plastic containing our digitized biological and biographical persona so BigGov can steal our identities whenever it wishes.)"
Open Range by Manuel Lora (a review)
"To make a long story short (this is a slow-moving western), Baxter’s thugs end up killing two of the grazers, leaving only Spearman and Waite. At one point in the movie they walk into the saloon and start talking to the sheriff. Spearman does the talking:
'We got a warrant sworn for attempted murder for them that tried to kill the boy who's laying over there at the Doc's, trying to stay alive. Swore out another one for them that murdered the big fella you had in your cell. Only ours ain't writ by no tin star, bought and paid for, Marshal. It's writ by us, and we aim to enforce it... Man's got a right to protect his property and his life, and we ain't lettin' no rancher or his lawman take either.'
As an anarchocapitalist, those words rang in my head like a choir of angels announcing the arrival of Sam Colt."
All Hat and no Cattle
August 8, 2005
What Have We Done? by Dahr Jamail
"As the blood of US soldiers continues to drain into the hot sands of Iraq over the last several days with at least 27 US soldiers killed and the approval rating for his handling of the debacle in Iraq dropping to an all-time low of 38%, Mr. Bush commented from the comforts of his ranch in Crawford, Texas today, 'We will stay the course, we will complete the job in Iraq.'
Just a two hour drive away in Dallas, at the Veterans for Peace National Convention in Dallas, I'm sitting with a roomful of veterans from the current quagmire."
AIPAC Spy Nest Exposed by Justin Raimondo
Petrodollar Warfare: Dollars, Euros and the Upcoming Iranian Oil Bourse by William R. Clark
"In essence, Iran is about to commit a far greater 'offense' than Saddam Hussein's conversion to the euro for Iraq's oil exports in the fall of 2000. Beginning in March 2006, the Tehran government has plans to begin competing with New York's NYMEX and London's IPE with respect to international oil trades - using a euro-based international oil-trading mechanism. The proposed Iranian oil bourse signifies that without some sort of US intervention, the euro is going to establish a firm foothold in the international oil trade. Given U.S. debt levels and the stated neoconservative project of U.S. global domination, Tehran's objective constitutes an obvious encroachment on dollar supremacy in the crucial international oil market."
The Necessity of Enemies by Bob Wallace
"But what I do know is this: as long as we are tribal, and narcissistic, and divide people into good and evil, human and non-human, sacrifices and scapegoats, we must always create enemies into order to maintain our tribes, our narcissism, and our belief we are good and others are evil."
Does Bob have an evil, hubristic twin...?
Why Bad Things Happen To White People by Jonathan David Morris
August 2, 2005
Cognitive Dimwits (The Unbearable Rightness of Being) by Leilla
"Cognitive dissonance occurs when a long held assumption or existing belief is thrown into question by new or contradictory information, causing a person to re-interpret this evidence after it has been presented to justify a falsely held notion. The theory refers to the phenomenon of the mind's failure to assume its equilibrium after having to accept an unwelcome intrusion of this kind into its 'comfortably held assumption zone'. It results in a willful refusal to acknowledge that a shift in perception has even occurred. When exposed to information inconsistent with his/her beliefs, such a person remains fiercely loyal to the original falsehood to prevent an increase in the magnitude of dissonance felt in the face of a humiliating confrontation with inconvenient facts."
Is there light at the end of the Iraqi tunnel by Eric Margolis
"While the White House floats trial balloons about troop reductions, the Pentagon continues developing its strategic plan for Iraq that calls for four major air bases from which US airmobile, rapid-reaction units and air power will permanently control Iraq and the entire oil-rich Mideast.
This US Iraq garrison would intervene only in the event of serious unrest in the region, including attempts to overthrow pro-US regimes. Imperial Britain followed the same strategy in Iraq."
The Heliograph in the Apache Wars
"During May, 1886, before there were any other heliograph stations established excepting the one at Huachuca, I made my big flash move continually around the country trying to stir up something, and especially I directed it on every little collection of houses that I could see through the telescope, so that the natives were generally more or less wonderstruck. At last one day I got an answering flash very faint from a party in the field, and after careful adjustment took a message to the commanding office requesting the immediate dispatch of forage and other supplies to a place some fifty miles away. When I delivered this telegram to the Commanding office, the fact became known shortly and a crowd of officers came up to the heliograph station to see it work. The supplies were sent at once. I have seen the heliograph flash as far away as Ft. Bowie, 90 miles distant."