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.
October 16-31, 2004
October 31, 2004 Samhain
The war on Iraq has made moral cowards of us all by Scott Ritter
"Civilian deaths have always been a tragic reality of modern war. But the conflict in Iraq was supposed to be different - US and British forces were dispatched to liberate the Iraqi people, not impose their own tyranny of violence."
The Truth Hurts: Osama speaks, but are we listening? by Justin Raimondo
Bin Laden Speaks by Charles H. Featherstone
"I've never believed the nonsense that Osama Bin Laden - and the Islamic Revolutionaries who make up Al-Qaeda - cares much who wins this presidential election."
How capitalism grows human capital as well - the example of Hong Kong by Brian Micklethwait
"Moral capital is no triviality. It does far more than merely decorate the cake of society with an icing of decency. No moral capital means no cake to put icing on in the first place. A society where people who say that they will ring you back do ring you, in which people turn up for things when and where they say they will turn up, who declare that (for instance) a structure is safe only if they really think that it is safe, is a society that is going to function a whole lot better than one where people are not to be trusted, to keep an appointment, or to express an honest opinion regardless of how much money is being waved under their noses to say something dishonest."
US strategy to be blamed by Qian Qichen
The author is former vice-premier, state councilor and foreign minister of China.
October 30, 2004
Osama bin Laden: He's Back by Laura Dawn Lewis
"Extremely disturbing to me is the convenience of positioning the only sane resolution to ending this war, the addressing and reexamination of our foreign policy, as "intimidation" or caving to terrorists rather than diplomacy. This serves the agenda of those promoting this war by effectively silencing those of us seeking peaceful and humane resolutions inline with our constitution and international law."
The WMD-lite scandal by Pepe Escobar
Nanotechnology: Hell or Heaven? by Ronald Bailey
October 28, 2004
Oh That; Don't Even Worry About That! by Mike Wasdin
"When asked if he had made any mistakes as President, Bush just stared into space with that brain dead, deer-caught-in-the-headlights look in his eyes, and you just knew what he was thinking. Oh that; donít even worry about that!"
A Forgotten Day & a Forgotten Country by Harry Browne
An Anniversary Reminder - back to 1886...
My humble endorsement for the Presidential election by Rodger Jacobs
"Kerry may not have all the answers but can we really survive four more years of tax breaks that only positively affect the rich? Four more years of pre-emptive adventures on foreign sands? Another four years of attempts to tear down the Constitution until its contents can fit onto the sleeve of a square of Bazooka Joe Bubble Gum? More books by Ann Coulter? More power grabs by Rupert 'Pravda' Murdoch?"
Voting is Felonious by Thomas DiLorenzo
"You become a part of the racket that denounces and punishes theft if it is done by one person (or a small gang), but absolutely worships it if it is done by a very large gang, a.k.a., the state."
October 27, 2004
A Rational Choice For November 2nd by Butler Shaffer
"This year marks my fortieth anniversary of not voting. Most of my colleagues attribute my non-participation to 'apathy' or 'protest,' neither of which explains my refusal to dance the lemming two-step. I donít vote for the same reason I donít rob banks or molest children: it is not the way I choose to live my life. I am not 'apathetic' about not victimizing others: to the contrary, I insist upon such a trait. My entire sense of being is incompatible with coercing others. I can no more hide my ambitions over your life or property within the secret confines of a voting booth than I could confront my neighbor with a gun and demand his money. Voting is nothing more than a periodic public affirmation in the faith of systematic violence as a social system.
A politically-dominated society squeezes the humanity and spirit out of most of its members. Perhaps the saddest manifestation of this is to be found in the continued willingness of men and women to revere the forms and participate in the rituals that have demoralized their lives. The political process produces men and women who sleep, but do not dream; people whose visions of the future are little more than recycled memories."
Kerry's Entangling Alliances by Michael Badnarik
"This war doesn't need more participants. It needs fewer participants."
Why They Hate Us by Bob Jackson
"But for the majority of people who like to have a rational basis for at least some of their beliefs, I expect that libertarian ideas introduce dissonance into their world view, creating emotional and even physical discomfort. While 'leftists' and 'rightists' can hold an air of righteousness with one another to provide them their spiritual updraft when in ideological battle, they canít get the same lift in an argument with someone who consistently argues the virtues of freedom."
October 26, 2004
Fear and Loathing, Campaign 2004 by Dr. Hunter S. Thompson
Bushís Iraq War: An Offer You Would Have Refused by Robert Higgs
"In the case of the Iraq War, for example, the U.S. government, refraining from false advertising, might have presented to each adult living in the United States early in 2003 the following offer. We will bring about a certain state of affairs in Iraq as of September 2004: Saddam Hussein imprisoned and his government overthrown; widespread fighting between U.S troops and resistance forces; extensive public disorder, rampant crime, and personal insecurity; autocratic government and lack of civil liberties; widespread lack of basic public services, such as reliable water supply, sewerage, and electricity supply; and seething political discord among tribal, ethnic, and religious factions struggling to control the country after they have driven out the U.S. occupation forces and their allies. Thatís what youíll get for your contribution.
In exchange, you and everyone else in the country, should you all agree to the contract, will each make a pro rata financial contribution of $2,000 for each household. In addition, you will each agree to bear your pro rata share of the casualties by participating in a lottery in which each ticket holder will place members of his household at risk of death, injuries, or wounds. Your chance that a household member will be killed is approximately one in 108,000, and your chance that a household member will be seriously wounded or injured is approximately one in 15,000."
White House insiders report "October Surprise" imminent by Wayne Madsen
"According to White House and Washington Beltway insiders, the Bush administration, worried that it could lose the presidential election to Senator John F. Kerry, has initiated plans to launch a military strike on Iran's top Islamic leadership, its nuclear reactor at Bushehr on the Persian Gulf, and key nuclear targets throughout the country, including the main underground research site at Natanz in central Iran and another in Isfahan. Targets of the planned U.S. attack reportedly include mosques in Tehran, Qom, and Isfahan known by the U.S. to headquarter Iran's top mullahs.
The Iran attack plan was reportedly drawn up after internal polling indicated that if the Bush administration launched a so-called anti-terrorist attack on Iran some two weeks before the election, Bush would be assured of a landslide win against Kerry. Reports of a pre-emptive strike on Iran come amid concerns by a number of political observers that the Bush administration would concoct an "October Surprise" to influence the outcome of the presidential election."
Undue Process by James Bovard
"The train wrecks of the Justice Departmentís domestic War on Terror continue to pile up. Despite the perennial victory claims by Attorney General John Ashcroft and other high officials, three recent cases vivify how federal prosecutors and FBI agents continue tripping over the evidence - or worse."
Attention Fence Sitters: 101 Points to Ponder Before Taking to the Polls by Maureen Farrell
Bush exploits suffering of 9/11, says Carter
Writers Are Terrorists
"Does anyone else get the sneaking suspicion that the Justice department under John Ashcroft is completely nuts?"
Flow: A New Focus, A New Idealism
"Four Personal Commitments: Reality, Responsibility, Love, and Adventure
Four Global Goals: Peace, Prosperity, Well-Being, and Sustainability"
October 22, 2004
No shooting please, we're British by Brendan O'Neill
"In both the American and British camps, the talk of quagmires, of new Vietnams, of unacceptably risky redeployments, is not a rational response to what's happening on the ground, which is not any more grisly than what has occurred in other wars. Rather it's a product of the coalition's misguided belief that it could fight a war with the war bit taken out."
Invitation to a Degraded World by Jonathan Schell
"Each country that plunges into nightmare -- whether Germany under Hitler, the Soviet Union under the Bolsheviks, Chile under Pinochet, or, for that matter, Iraq under Saddam Hussein -- travels there along its own path. The American political system -- based on free elections, the rights of citizens, and the rule of law -- is, though under the severest pressure, still available for use. If it is lost, and the full American nightmare descends, there will be many causes. They will include the militarization of foreign policy, global imperial ambition, the loss of balance among the branches of government, the erosion of civil liberties, and the overwhelming influence of corporate money and power over political life -- all present before Osama bin Laden made his appearance. But at every step of the way the skids will be greased by the national capacity, conferred by the media and exploited by politicians, to produce and consume illusion, which, though hardly an American monopoly, may be the specific form of corruption most dangerous to American democracy."
Afghanistan, Iraq: Two Wars Collide by Barton Gellman and Dafna Linzer
"Bush's focus on the instruments of force, the officials said, has been slow to adapt to a swiftly changing enemy. Al Qaeda, they said, no longer exerts centralized control over a network of operational cells. It has rather become the inspirational hub of a global movement, fomenting terrorism that it neither funds nor directs. Internal government assessments describe this change with a disquieting metaphor: They say jihadist terrorism is 'metastasizing.'"
Without a Doubt by Ron Suskind
"All of this -- the ''gut'' and ''instincts,'' the certainty and religiosity -connects to a single word, ''faith,'' and faith asserts its hold ever more on debates in this country and abroad. That a deep Christian faith illuminated the personal journey of George W. Bush is common knowledge. But faith has also shaped his presidency in profound, nonreligious ways. The president has demanded unquestioning faith from his followers, his staff, his senior aides and his kindred in the Republican Party. Once he makes a decision -- often swiftly, based on a creed or moral position -- he expects complete faith in its rightness."
Succumbing to Kissinger's charm by Scott Shane
"Reporters assumed the admiration and affection they expressed for Kissinger over the telephone would remain private. What they did not know was that he was having a secretary listen in and take down every word. Now, transcripts of 3,200 telephone calls have been released under the Freedom of Information Act and posted on the State Department's Web site, showing the chumminess of some journalists with the diplomat, whom some critics would subsequently accuse of turning a blind eye to human rights abuses in pressing U.S. interests from Chile to Indonesia."
October 21, 2004
Fear of Military Draft a Growing Factor by Jim Lobe
Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Election by Steven and Charles Goyette
October 20, 2004
Bushís Socialist Disaster by Anthony Gregory
"Whatís more, "Operation Iraqi Freedom" was always meant to involve more than a simple military victory over a foreign regime. It was meant to replace it, and to substitute Saddamís authoritarian regime with US central planning of an entire countryís political economy. Conservatives brag about schools being built, electricity being installed, and water running, while liberals point out, correctly, that such infrastructure is laughably far from completion. Basic features of any modern civilization such as lights and running water become hard enough for governments to manage on their own soil; when one government attempts to plan and carry out the construction and maintenance in a foreign land, with almost uniform local opposition to such paternalistic meddling, it is predictable that such projects will be riddled with failure, incompetence, corruption, and inefficiency. That so many conservatives think it is the proper role of the US government to plan the Iraqi economy, to build Iraqi schools and manage Iraqi utilities, alone demonstrates their failure to grasp the limitations of socialist central planning."
Delusions of Empire by Justin Raimondo
"They aren't lying - they're creating 'new realities.'"
Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You?
October 19, 2004
In Wartime, Deceit Can Be the Better Part of Valor by Michael Schrage
"While public disclosures of midnight captures and 'treasure troves' of encrypted data on hard drives may not be outright lies, both history and counterintelligence doctrine suggest that they may not be entirely true, either. They may be embellished or played down for a very targeted audience, one that goes beyond CNN viewers or readers of the New York Times. Indeed, the CIA is legally prohibited from lying to the American media, but the prohibition doesn't apply to the agency's contacts with foreign media. The editors at al-Jazeera, al-Arabiya, Reuters and the BBC -- all outlets monitored by terrorism's supporters -- also pay attention to the rumors and reports of al Qaeda captures and alleged plots. As such, they present an excellent opportunity to deceive."
Bush would Accept Islamic Iraq by Juan Cole
"Given that Bush has ensconced the Christian right in many of his administration's policies, I suppose we should just check with Iyad Allawi as to whether 'if free and open American elections lead to the seating of a fundamentalist Christian government,' he would be willing to 'accept' that."
The Ralph Nader Liberty Litmus Test by Anthony Gregory
"Has Nader become more libertarian? Or was he always less statist than I gave him credit for? Or, to present a third and more viable possibility, is Nader just as paternalistic and socialist as ever, but America has declined so much in liberty over the last few years that Naderís vision appears libertarian by comparison?"
Russia forced to face real evil of Stalin by Bernard Besserglik
"But Yury Samodurov, executive director of the Moscow-based Andrei Sakharov Foundation, believes that the Russian public is not in the mood for facts, faces, or even statistics. He noted a recent poll finding that only 12 per cent of the population considers the main fact of Stalin's rule to have been the political repression, compared with 40 per cent in a similar poll 15 years ago. The survey found that 40 per cent of Russians now regard Stalin as the country's most outstanding historical figure, as compared to 11 per cent in 1989. For many, Stalin's role as a war leader outweighs every other consideration."
October 18, 2004
The Right to Remain Silent by Kara Hopkins
"Before herding to the polls because itís What We Do - like fireworks on the Fourth or eggnog at Christmas - consider the possibility that voting has little to do with democracy and democracy is not the first cause of liberty."
Valium... by Riverbend
"So where does the valium fit in? Imagine through all of this commotion, an elderly aunt who is terrified of bombing. She was so afraid, she couldn't, and wouldn't, sit still. She stood pacing the hallway, cursing Bush, Blair and anyone involved with the war- and that was during her calmer moments. When she was feeling especially terrified, the curses and rampage would turn into a storm of weeping and desolation (during which she imagines she can't breathe)- we were all going to die. They would have to remove us from the rubble of our home. We'd burn alive. And so on. And so forth. During those fits of hysteria, my cousin would quietly, but firmly, hand her a valium and a glass of water. The aunt would accept both and in a matter of minutes, she'd grow calmer and a little bit more sane. This aunt wasn't addicted to valium, but it certainly came in handy during the more hectic moments of the war."
Operation Desert Fraud - How Keith Idema marketed his imaginary Afghan war by Stacy Sullivan
"The war on terror has been a 'Wild West' insofar as a loose - and growing - cohort of freelance military subcontractors is concerned. To this day, many veterans are in Afghanistan in the employ of private companies, as volunteer U.S. forces have been depleted or reassigned to Iraq. Even for uniformed soldiers, it can be difficult to tell who is and is not working for the government."
Congress Runs the Gauntlet by George F. Smith
"In this spirit I tender a recommendation to Congress: Test your proposals before voting on them. Imagine how easy it would be to win over the public if you could snow them with certified test results. And imagine further how effective those results would be if Congress itself served as the test subjects."
October 17, 2004
Weapon of Mass Creation by Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.
"If you have ever been through a natural disaster, and paid attention to how the preparation and clean-up takes place, you know precisely what I am referring to: the splendid creative power of human energy to cooperate to overcome the most astonishing barriers. Such settings can teach us so much about politics and economics. If society can function in these radically abnormal settings, if markets can work well, we discover so much about the power of the same forces and institutions to manage under normal conditions."
America, Imagine This! by M. Shahid Alam
"There is a deep irony in all this too. The US administration, led by its neoconservative idealogues, has convinced a majority of Americans that the Muslims attacked their country because they hate freedoms. What then is the remedy the US proposes to combat the 'terrorism' that emanates from the Islamicate world? It proposes to invade and occupy their countries so that US marines can inject the serum of freedom into their moribund bodies. It appears that Muslims do not hate freedoms per se; they only hate our freedoms because they don't have it. We must conquer them in order to bring this gift to them."
The American Global Inquisition by Katherine Yurica
"Infiltrating the U.S. Military - Gen. Boykinís 'Kingdom Warriors' - On the Road to Abu Ghraib and Beyond"
Alliance breeds influence for Israel by Susan Taylor Martin
"And while Israel is a small nation (pop. 6.2-million) with one of the world's highest standards of living, it long was the largest recipient of American foreign aid. It dropped to second place this year only because of the huge sums allocated for Iraq."