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.
December 16-31, 2006
December 31, 2005
Telling it like it isn't by Robert Fisk
The Man Who Sold the War by James Bamford
"Although his work is highly secret, Rendon insists he deals only in 'timely, truthful and accurate information.' His job, he says, is to counter false perceptions that the news media perpetuate because they consider it 'more important to be first than to be right.' In modern warfare, he believes, the outcome depends largely on the public's perception of the war - whether it is winnable, whether it is worth the cost. 'We are being haunted and stalked by the difference between perception and reality,' he says. 'Because the lines are divergent, this difference between perception and reality is one of the greatest strategic communications challenges of war.'"
A Nation of Ratfinks by Jim Fedako
"Totalitarianism used to be the product of the Hitlers and Stalins of the world, but your neighbors are beginning to grasp the power of a centralized government that exists exclusively to metastasize its evils throughout every human endeavor - a government that never sleeps and is always ready to put its nose into anyone's business. Just give the feds a call, they're ready and willing to assist with any effort that increases their power and influence. 24/7."
Elective Dictatorship & Lese Majeste by Jim Bovard
None dare call it fragging by Brad Spangler
"While some will, or must, deny that darkness is descending, one way to get one's bearings is to pay attention to how merely reading the news has become an exercise in Kremlinology. If you have (and use) critical thinking skills, strong indications that policy decisions may have been made for reasons other than their publicly stated rationale practically leap out at one constantly. The challenge then becomes a matter of how to avoid letting one's speculation about such matters run rampant."
Send in the Army? by David Codrea
National Security Sprawl by Deborah Natsios
"Greater Washington DC's airspace offers strategic overviews of tangled metropolitan landscapes shaped by the exigencies of successive national security paradigms. In the hour before it crashed into the west fašade of the Pentagon at 9:38AM on 11 September 2001, hijacked American Airlines flight 77 mapped a provocative trajectory above this complex domain, tracking national security landmarks embedded in one of the nation's fastest-growing urbanised formations. Within the hour, the capital region's snarled American-dream sprawl would be transformed into the unprecedented threatscape of the 'homeland'."
December 24, 2005
Quote of the Day
"If the real reason we're here is to let the Iraqis run their own country, I have the perfect solution: my ass on a plane to St. Louis."
Pfc. Barbara Terland
Sunni interviews Garry Reed (the Loose Cannon Libertarian) this month at Sunni's Salon
Torture Act Elicits Illicit Denials by Garry Reed
"CIA Director Porter Goss denied any evil-doing in a USA Today story by declaring 'This agency does not do torture' and further claimed that the CIA 'remains officially neutral on the proposal by Sen. John McCain.' Additionally, an unnamed, unknown, un-outed politically connected spokescrat, whose spouse definitely does not work as a field spook in Central Europe, leaked through official unofficial channels that the CIA also simultaneously denies and remains officially neutral on the issues of spying, assassination, political destabilization, violent regime change, propping up dictators, bankrolling insurgencies with laundered drug money and peeking into women's beach cabanas with surveillance satellites.
In a related denial, an unknown, unnamed, unrecognized Pentagon Spokescrat said the US military simultaneously denies and remains officially neutral about maintaining a gulag of clandestine political prisons in Central Europe as claimed in reports by Human Rights Watch and many libertarian websites, and will not comment on torture chambers purportedly located in Cabinda, Goa, Macau, Quemoy, Sikkim, and Saint-Pierre et Miquelon."
The Magical Victory Tour by Matt Taibbi
"God bless George Bush. The Middle East is in flames, and how does he answer the call? He rolls up to the side entrance of a four-star Washington hotel, slips unobserved into a select gathering of the richest fatheads in his dad's Rolodex, spends a few tortured minutes exposing his half-assed policies like a campus flasher and then ducks back into his rabbit hole while he waits for his next speech to be written by paid liars.
If that isn't leadership, what is?"
Presidential Pipeline: Bush's top fund-raisers see spoils of victory by Jim Tankersley, Joshua Boak, and Christopher D. Kirkpatrick
Dead Man Tells No Tales: Media docility and another no-cost federal killing by James Bovard
"Two air marshals gunned down an American citizen last week in Miami, and most of the establishment media seemingly couldn't care less."
Where Are the Arrests? by Laura Rozen
"Given that PETA and vegan groups are being investigated by the FBI, surely those in the US who regularly converse on the phone with real al Qaeda terrorists abroad - who are, as Asst. Attorney General Moschella writes, 'linked to Al Qaeda' - would be a rich target for investigation and arrest, it would seem. So, why haven't we heard of more than a scattering of arrests around the country of al Qaeda cells? Some of those which have fallen apart (the Detroit case, for one)? Surely if there were 4,000 US persons in the past four years 'linked with al Qaeda,' who communicated directly with known al Qaeda terrorists, we should have vast sweeping arrests around the country and our papers would be full of these stories, the trials, the deportations, the threats averted..."
The Pentagon Breaks the Law by William Arkin
"The National Security Agency story has pushed military spying on anti-war groups off the front pages, and the Pentagon appears to have seized upon administrative error to explain away its slide into domestic spying.
The Department of Defense now says that analysts may not have followed the law and its own guidelines that require the purging of information collected on U.S. persons after 90 days. The law states that if no connection is made between named persons and foreign governments or transnational terrorist organizations or illegal activity, U.S. persons have a right to their privacy and information about them must be deleted."
Biotech-Crop Battle Heats Up as Strains Mix With Others by Scott Miller and Scott Kilman
"As genetically modified crops win a growing share of the world's farmland, they are increasingly altering the makeup of traditional crops like Mr. Ballarin's corn. 'Biotech pollution,' as critics call it, results when genetically modified plants are mixed with ordinary crops by mistake, carelessness or just the wind. With billions of dollars in crop sales at stake, the issue is becoming a significant one for governments around the world. And it is beginning to pit growers of nonbiotech crops against the big biotech producers, as each side battles to serve their very different markets."
Libertarians Will Always Be Losers by John Lopez
"Suppose that you're a budding libertarian pundit with aspirations of respectability. You've read the arguments against government, and you, like everyone else, have exactly nothing to say contrary to them. They're airtight. But what are you going to say the first time someone asks 'What are ya, some kind of anarchist?' If you reply with a 'yes', you're done. Virtually everyone in the mainstream thinks that 'anarchist' is a synonym for 'violent nutball'. So you say 'No, I believe in a smaller government with limited power...', even though you know better.
In a word, you lie.
You lie because you have your eyes on the prize. The end justifies the means, because you can't get from here to there without appealing to the voting masses' simple prejudices and superstitions. As time goes on, the lies come easier. Sugar-coat this, gloss over that, ignore the other. You get good at telling people what they want to hear.
And if your job consists of telling pleasant lies, why not make as much as you can from for it? What's the difference in principle between telling lies for a salary and telling lies for a salary plus a payment on the side?"