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.
September 26, 2006
The Bushes & the Truth About Iran by Robert Parry
"Having gone through the diplomatic motions with Iran, George W. Bush is shifting toward a military option that carries severe risks for American soldiers in Iraq as well as for long-term U.S. interests around the world. Yet, despite this looming crisis, the Bush Family continues to withhold key historical facts about U.S.-Iranian relations.
Those historical facts - relating to Republican contacts with Iranís Islamic regime more than a quarter century ago - are relevant today because an underlying theme in Bushís rationale for war is that direct negotiations with Iran are pointless. But Bushís own father may know otherwise."
He Wrote the Book on Torture by James Bovard
"George W. Bush has made absolutism respectable among American conservatives. And no one has done more pimping for president-as-Supreme-Leader than John Yoo, the former Justice Department official who helped create the 'commander-in-chief override' doctrine, unleashing presidents from the confines of the law. At a time when Bush is pushing Congress to approve the use in military tribunals of confessions that resulted from torture, it is vital to understand the thinking of the Bush administrationís most visible advocate of 'coercive interrogation.'
Jim Bovard reviews 'War by Other Means: An Insiderís Account of the War on Terror' by John Yoo
What Government Is Doing to Our Money by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
"Really, it is perverse that we should ever be sanguine about inflation. It would be as if we screamed bloody murder if someone broke into our house one night and stole all our flatware, our electronics, and our precious metals. But if the same burglar had the key and came in every day to grab just a fork, an iPod, or a Krugerrand, should we happily announce that we are experiencing a low-burglar rate?
The dollar today is worth a bit less than a nickel from what it was at the founding of the Federal Reserve. Now, this is a remarkable fact, given that prices had been on a general downward decline during the whole of the 19th century, excepting periods of war. It is even more remarkable when you consider that one of the stated jobs of the Fed was to stabilize the value of our money."
Spooner and Beyond by Michael S. Rozeff
"If Spooner is correct, and I think he is, then Scalia and many others (including me) are sparring about a castle in the air. By living in that castle, we make the illusion have a real impact as many illusions do. If we should ever rid ourselves of it, weíd have to construct quite a different social reality. In the same way, there is no war on terror except the one that the magician-in-chief has conjured up. But if enough people believe there is such a thing as a War on Terror, they create a real version of what they imagine it to be and their actions have real consequences. Get rid of this delusion and we face a very different reality.
In short, we slip into a constitutional Never Never Land and we make it real. This makes debate and analysis somewhat difficult, inasmuch as some of us are planted in one reality and some of us in another. Each of us is thinking that the others are delusional. The first time I read Spooner, I realized his arguments are unassailable. The Constitution by no stretch of the imagination lives up to the legal requirements for a contract, nor can one shore it up (legitimize it) by calling it a social contract that is 'signed' by paying taxes or voting."
The Low Post: Eat Me, Joe Biden - Democrat makes even Rumsfeld look good by Matt Taibbi
"The attack will work, because so many voters out there will see in it a reflection of their own animosity towards the hoary defense secretary, not thinking about the real underlying meaning of the Democrats' campaign. Because what Rumsfeld actually represents to the Democrats is a means of attacking the Republicans on the Iraq issue without having to explain their own vote in support of the invasion.
Essentially the Democrats will call Rumsfeld a bunch of names for the sound bite, and then, in the fine print, state their real 'objections' to Rumsfeld's record, which will amount to something like the fact that he invaded Iraq on a Thursday instead of a Tuesday, used too few troops to needlessly destroy Iraq's national infrastructure, failed to distribute free milk and cookies to the Mahdi army, etc. A typical comment will be one like Chuck Schumer's of last week: 'There are growing doubts about how competently he's conducted the war.' (How do you competently invade the wrong country?) And so the Democrats once again will make an effort to sound antiwar out of one side of their mouths, and pro-war out the other side; they will then close their eyes and hope that they pick up sixteen seats before anyone notices. If that ain't leadership, what is?"
11 Billion Reasons To Oppose REAL ID by M.R. Jarrell
"As if we needed even the single reason that a National ID scheme was a honkin' bad idea, here comes the National Governors Association, the National Conference of Legislatures and even the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators to put a price tag on REAL ID. More than $11 billion over a five year period and that's just the cost in tax dollars. The average citizen being forced to obtain a REAL ID compliant drivers license will likely spend a couple of hundred dollars or better and lose who knows how much time."
Reporter Palast Slips Clutches of Homeland Security by Greg Palast
"Forget the orange suit. Exxon Mobil Corporation, which admits it was behind the criminal complaint brought by Homeland Security against me and television producer Matt Pascarella, has informed me that the oil company will no longer push charges that Pascarella and I threatened 'critical infrastructure.'
As the front lines in the War on Terror expand from Baghdad to Baton Rouge, we find that America has been made secure only against hard news and uncomfortable facts."
'But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only' by Roger Young
"Public Safety"--Brady Style by David Codrea
License to kill freedom popular in USSA by Garry Reed
"From a news report in the once communist but now enlightened Westernized European Union member Slovak Republic: a teacher who took his class on a school trip to a historic cathedral was arrested because he did not have a license to give guided tours. The pupils were also arrested for listening to the unlicensed tour. Some people, such as American libertarians, are outraged by this example of bureaucratic pettiness."
September 13, 2006
What Defending Freedom Really Means by Michael S. Rozeff
"Politicians constantly make the appeal to freedom while simultaneously supporting the stateís multiple infringements upon life, liberty, and property. What are we to think of this blatant contradiction? We can conclude that our rulers are hypocrites. This is true. They pretend to favor freedom while their every act undermines it. Whenever they invoke freedom, watch out. They are talking about other things, things that are not freedom, things that go against exercising oneís free will over oneís property. Their aim is to sabotage freedom.
Our rulers are even worse than hypocrites. They falsify the meaning of freedom in three distinct ways. Without shame, they claim that the democratic process sanctions the laws they pass. They claim, in other words, that since the democratic processes (including majority rule) are lawful, freedom is not infringed by the laws that are passed via these processes. Then they claim that democracy guarantees freedom, meaning that democracy is what gives human beings their rights through its processes. Finally, they claim more generally that democracy is freedom and freedom is democracy.
But all of these claims are totally false. If majority rule or any democratic process takes one manís just property to give to another, this destroys freedom. Taking a manís just property is unjust. There is not a democracy on earth that does not destroy freedom in this way. Nor does democracy guarantee freedoms or rights. The rights of man are anterior to government of any kind, including democracy. And if democratic processes violate rights and are not necessary for their existence, it is false to say that democracy is freedom and vice versa.
Neo-con favorite declares World War III by Jim Lobe
"While praising Bush for his 'courage and determination' in pursuing his 'war on terror', Gingrich implicitly criticized the president for failing to communicate the potentially cataclysmic threats posed by 'an emerging anti-American coalition' consisting of al-Qaeda, Iran, Syria, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taliban, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia and doing more to counter them.
Bush's 'strategies are not wrong, but they are failing', he said, in part because 'they do not define the scale of the emerging World War III, between the West and the forces of Islam, and so they do not outline how difficult the challenge is and how big the effort will have to be'.
'We have vastly more to do than we have even begun to imagine,' he stressed, larding his text with quotes by Iranian officials, 'Islamic fascists', and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez threatening the United States and Israel, and warning against 'appeasement' and 'utopian elites [at home who] suffer from ... denial of near-psychotic proportions'."
Five Years After by Roderick T. Long
"By the logic of the situation, government restrictions will always increase. When restriction A makes one tactic more difficult, the terrorists switch to a different tactic, so the government imposes restriction B - but, of course, doesnít remove restriction A. Given the massive variety of tactics for terrorists to switch among, this process has no natural endpoint short of total government control over every aspect of life."
Selective Prosecution of War Crimes by Ivan Eland
An Open Letter from KT Ordnance by Richard Celata
"They can come in, steal your property, show no I.D., use a warrant that is so secret that the Sheriff could not see it, charge you with no crime, and then tell you, 'we are keeping your property, and we will give/sell it to whomever we want.' If they do charge me (up to 5 years from now), and I win, will I get back my property that they sold/gave away to someone 5 years earlier? What do you think?
With the vague description of the items seized, it seems that they added items that are not mine, but who can tell with a description of 'rifle' no serial number(s), no caliber, or any other descriptive markings (they did list the s/nís for the two 1911ís). How do I know that they even are mine? Yet I must pay them 10% of the value just to find out. And they decide the value.
Can you say, 'racketeering' boys and girls?"
Profiling the Police State from JPFO
"There are only 107 days until Bill of Rights Day on December 15. So how is America stacking up?
It's not a pretty picture.
We've added a new page to our website called Profiling the Police State. You can find it at www.jpfo.org/policestate.htm. On it, we link to news stories featuring government encroachments on our rights and liberties."
Can government regulators regulate themselves? by Garry Reed
"The NSA conducted a three-year, six million dollar operation that used undercover agents to spy on suspected al qaeda terrorists who were actually CIA undercover agents conducting a three-year, six million dollar operation to spy on suspected al qaeda terrorists who were actually NSA undercover agents spying on them.
Commendations will be passed out to all concerned."
Garry labeled this 'satire' when he passed along the link - but I'm not entirely convinced...