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 31, 2006
Quote of the Day
"I mentioned earlier that the historical and anthropological view helped me to find overlying 'order' to everyday events. This may be true, but fortunately there are also less understood forces at play, sometimes a bit of kismet, a glimpse of that golden thread. That detail is this: Geronimo's skull was rumored to be removed from its grave by an earlier member of the Bush family to be displayed with Skull and Bones relics. I'd almost bet that someone was already dusting off a bit of shelf space in the crypt in case any new acquisitions happened to appear..."
Geronimo's Cadillac - a Plug Nickel Times editorial - July 2004
Bush Silences a Dangerous Witness by Robert Parry
"He has silenced a unique witness to crucial chapters of the secret history that stretched from Iranís Islamic revolution in 1979 to the alleged American-Saudi 'green light' for Hussein to attack Iran in 1980, through the eight years of the Iran-Iraq War during which high-ranking U.S. intermediaries, such as Donald Rumsfeld and Robert Gates, allegedly helped broker supplies of war materiel for Hussein.
Hussein now wonít be around to give troublesome testimony about how he obtained the chemical and biological agents that his scientists used to produce the unconventional weapons that were deployed against Iranian forces and Iraqi civilians. He canít give his perspective on who got the money and who facilitated the deals."
Surging To Defeat In Iraq by W. Patrick Lang and Ray McGovern
End of Another Year... by Riverbend
"Here we come to the end of 2006 and I am sad. Not simply sad for the state of the country, but for the state of our humanity, as Iraqis. We've all lost some of the compassion and civility that I felt made us special four years ago. I take myself as an example. Nearly four years ago, I cringed every time I heard about the death of an American soldier. They were occupiers, but they were humans also and the knowledge that they were being killed in my country gave me sleepless nights. Never mind they crossed oceans to attack the country, I actually felt for them.
Had I not chronicled those feelings of agitation in this very blog, I wouldn't believe them now. Today, they simply represent numbers. 3000 Americans dead over nearly four years? Really? That's the number of dead Iraqis in less than a month. The Americans had families? Too bad. So do we. So do the corpses in the streets and the ones waiting for identification in the morgue."
It Has Cost Almost $12 Million Per Insurgent Killed by Vache Folle
That Iraq Report? More of the Same by Matt Taibbi
"For the Iraq disaster to end, someone among these actors is going to have to make a difficult decision - admit defeat, invite a bloody civil war, lose face before a pair of rogue terror-supporting states - and it's obvious that none of them is ever going to do that, not until there's absolutely no choice.
The Baker-Hamilton report is being praised for its cautious, sensible, bipartisan approach to the Iraq problem (Time magazine even called it 'genius') but actually all it is a tacit recognition of this pass-the-buck dynamic in Washington. Because there is currently no way to even think about ending the actual problem without someone in Washington having to eat a very big bucket of shit, both sides have agreed, in the spirit of so-called bipartisan cooperation, to avoid thinking about ending the problem in the immediate future. Instead, the official policy in the meantime, bet on it, will end up being some version of a three-pronged strategy that involves 1) staying the course or even increasing the amount of troops temporarily 2) seeing what happens in '08, and 3) revisiting the issue after we see who wins the White House two years from now."
Urban Operations by Peter Byrne
"Did you know that the U.S. Northern Command just tightened its control over Northern California? 'NORTHCOM' is the combatant command created by the Bush administration to control armies on the move inside the so-called North American battle space, which includes Mexico and Canada. The self-described job of NORTHCOM is to repel invaders, eliminate drug dealers and 'terrorists,' and control civil disturbances. To spot these nuisances, NORTHCOM runs an intelligence 'fusion center' at its headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colo. It correlates electronic data collected from military and commercial sources with duly recorded suspicions forwarded by local law enforcement agencies and neighborhood watch groups."
North American Union leader says merger just crisis away by Jerome R. Corsi
"Robert Pastor, a leading intellectual force in the move to create an EU-style North American Community, told WND he believes a new 9/11 crisis could be the catalyst to merge the U.S., Mexico and Canada.
Pastor, a professor at American University, says that in such a case the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, or SPP - launched in 2005 by the heads of the three countries at a summit in Waco, Texas - could be developed into a continental union, complete with a new currency, the amero, that would replace the U.S. dollar just as the euro has replaced the national currencies of Europe.
'There are alternatives to a crisis for getting a major decision adopted by the president and by the congress,' Pastor responded. 'But what I am saying is that we lack the kind of North American leadership we need. Our founding fathers created a system of governance that was not designed to be efficient but was designed to protect freedom. Therefore, you created checks and balances that did protect freedom but also made it difficult to move forward on important issues.'"
Pastor also called for a North American Investment Fund to invest in Mexico's infrastructure.
'If we had a North American Investment Fund,' Pastor explained, 'over the long term, you would narrow the income gap between Mexico and the U.S.'"
And if shit had value, the poor wouldn't have asses!
Superstate North America vs. Individual Sovereignty by Dennis Lee Wilson
"Dissolving national borders in North America might just finally put an end to the fraudulent belief of 'nationhood' that is prevalent amongst most North Americans - and even among the children of the failed Southern Secession effort. Ending that fraudulent belief of 'nationhood' creates value, credibility and strength for the idea of creating independent, self-governed 'Free States' and libertarian, Covenant of Unanimous Consent type communities of self-governing, sovereign individuals.
Even though the North American Union appears to give central government a bigger tax base, the reality is that the bigger the territory that statists attempt to govern, the harder it becomes to deliver on all the welfare promises, the more dissatisfied the governed slaves become, the more corruption grows among government jackboots, the harder it becomes to collect taxes and the easier it becomes for rebellion, dissolution, 'Balkanization' and collapse into smaller sovereign states and smaller governments. Historical examples abound: the USSR, the Nazi Germanic empire, Imperial Japan, the British empire, Napoleonic France, and the ancient empires of the Ottomans, the Romans, and Alexander the Great."
2006: Freedom in the rearview mire by Garry Reed
William S. Burroughs: 20th Century Gnostic Visionary by Robert Guffey
"In 1984, in Boulder, Colorado, an interviewer asked William S. Burroughs (1914-1997), 'What religious persuasion would you consider yourself?' Without hesitating, Burroughs replied, 'Gnostic, or a Manichean.'
Upon reading those words, suddenly everything made sense.
Perhaps itís appropriate that the above conversation occurred in 1984. In many ways, Burroughs was a far more lucid and accurate analyst of twentieth century politics than even George Orwell, whose speculative concept of 'newspeak' in his 1948 novel 1984 was quickly overshadowed by the real-world machinations of post-WWII Madison Avenue advertising techniques and Washington D.C. public relations firms."
Religion For the Hell of It by Robert Anton Wilson
RAW Data: Musings from Robert Anton Wilson
December 15, 2006
The House of Death by David Rose
"Luis Padilla, 29, father of three, had been kidnapped, driven across the Mexican border from El Paso, Texas, to a house in Ciudad Juarez, the lawless city ruled by drug lords that lies across the Rio Grande. As his wife tried frantically to locate him, he was being stripped, tortured and buried in a mass grave in the garden - what the people of Juarez call a narco-fossa, a narco-smugglers' tomb.
Just another casualty of Mexico's drug wars? Perhaps. But Padilla had no connection with the drugs trade; he seems to have been the victim of a case of mistaken identity. Now, as a result of documents disclosed in three separate court cases, it is becoming clear that his murder, along with at least 11 further brutal killings, at the Juarez 'House of Death', is part of a gruesome scandal, a web of connivance and cover-up stretching from the wild Texas borderland to top Washington officials close to President Bush."
Short version - an ICE informant also worked for a Mexican drug cartel - and helped to 'disappear' people for the Mexican cartel- and his ICE handlers knew all about it and kept him on the payroll. Cover-up ensues...
Add'l note: Narco News Bulletin has been all over this story long before the linked Observer story broke.
The Oil Factor in the Iraq Study Group
Dahr Jamail interview with Dori Smith (audio files and transcript at link)
"Well I think if they are going to talk about ethnic cleansing they need to be talking about what is the root of these death squads in Iraq because that is now the leading cause of death in that country. When we look at, itís very well documented that retired Col. James Steele was working under then US Ambassador to Iraq, John Negroponte, James Steele was in charge of the Iraq Security Forces. In fact, his title was 'Counselor of Iraqi Security Forces,' and he reported directly to John Negroponte.
These are the same two men who helped set up and facilitate the right wing death squads in Central America in the 1980s under the watchful eye of Ronald Reagan. And they did the same thing in Baghdad. So if we talk about ethnic cleansing and sectarian violence and the millions of refugees; letís talk about the core reason that these things happen and itís the U.S. backed, formed, armed and supported death squads that are supported by the United States to this day. So I think that is probably one of the most unreported stories to date where once again we have the U.S. mainstream media conveniently decontextualizing the situation. Weíll talk about whatís happening after, weíll talk about the death and 'blame it on the Iraqis'. The classic blame the victim game, but we wonít talk about who instituted the entire process and whoís behind it and that is the U.S. occupation."
Oil for Sale: Iraq Study Group Recommends Privatization by Antonia Juhasz
"The report calls for the United States to assist in privatizing Iraq's national oil industry, opening Iraq to private foreign oil and energy companies, providing direct technical assistance for the 'drafting' of a new national oil law for Iraq, and assuring that all of Iraq's oil revenues accrue to the central government."
The Salvador Option, revisited by Laura Rozen
"When Newsweek first reported this line of thinking, back in early 2005, obviously the death squads part of the thesis is what caught everybody's attention. (And thinking back, if I'm remembering correctly, that was still when the existence of Shiite death squads wasn't entirely established - clearly, there's no doubt any longer). But given the current debate, we shouldn't overlook as well the 'few US advisors having large impact' part, and the current consensus gathering around the idea of ramping up the number of US advisors and trainers sent to Iraq as a possible direct US combat role decrease is contemplated."
Business Becomes a Big Casualty by Dahr Jamail and Ali al-Fadhily
"A businessman who once owned a small textile factory that has gone bankrupt said he had not expected the coming in of a U.S. administration to be bad for business.
'The picture of Japan after World War II dominated the minds of businessmen in Iraq after occupation,' he said. 'Most of us thought the American invasion of Iraq was bad for many things, but it must be good for business in general and industry in particular. We were terribly wrong. The Iraqi economy was meant to be destroyed for political reasons.'"
Media Cranks Up Hard Sell of Biometric and RFID Microchipped Future by Kurt Nimmo
"Surrendering to Big Brother is now cool, as even James Bond, in the remake of Ian Flemingís Casino Royale, has himself a microchip - for the sake of safety, of course. In the film, this little device saves Bondís life. It will save your life, too, as you can now be scanned like a cocker spaniel.
The domestic pet simile is arbitrary and optional - 'scanned like any fodder unit at the abattoir' would do as well.
Data Spills: 100 Million Served
"Boeing's stolen laptop nudges the total number of lost or exposed personal records since February, 2005, past the 100 million mark, according to the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse's excellent data breach chronology website."
This Dead America by charley hardman
"If you are not a rebel, whose slave are you?"
charley hardman advances a relationship between repressed male homosexuality and statism, and more...
Black Site Specific by Ben Davis
"Radical geographer, muckraking author and outlaw artist, San Francisco-based Trevor Paglen has, in the past, presented installations such as 2005ís 'Code Names' at Diverse Works in Houston, a display performing the formidable task of gathering in one place the codenames of all known classified government programs. Heís also participated in agitational stunts such as releasing robotic 'drones' outside of Bechtelís Bay Area headquarters, programmed to deploy leaflets exposing the corporationís criminal activities to passersby. Paglenís works touch on the far-out regions where reality becomes indistinguishable from paranoid delusion, and they have taken him from the fabled Area 51 in the Nevada desert to the wastelands of occupied Afghanistan.
His latest project, 'Black World,' on view at Bellwether gallery, grows in part out of a years-long collaboration with journalist A.C. Thompson, recently culminated with the publication of their book Torture Taxi: On the Trail of the CIAís Rendition Flights (Melville House, Sept. 2006), which documents much of the factual background behind the works on display. Paglenís obsession with government conspiracy has put him ahead of the mainstream media: His project of tracking the CIAís secret network of airlines and 'black site' secret prisons was begun well in advance of the Washington Post exposť last year detailing the practice."
The Faces of Global Terrorism
"They can be stopped.
We'll pay you for your help.
The life you save may be your own."