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There, but for luck, or the grace….go I.

By Mike Cunningham On July 10th, 2014 at 9:29 am

I often ‘click’ on links just to see what they hold in the way of explorers the world over, and it is rare when I am not rewarded by an item whjich displays the true foolishness of the human condition. Some amuse me, some annoy me intensely, but some times, perhaps too rarely, I come across an article or opinion piece which does make you stop, and think, and even occasionally say, as does my heading, “There but…….”.

So I would ask ATW readers to perhaps ‘click’ to find an article by a once-affluent lady, who found that sometimes you do have to swallow your pride, just to get by; before grasping the ladder back up once more.


I know just how she felt.


I simply ask, who could forget tiny Cooper?

By Mike Cunningham On June 27th, 2014 at 11:01 am

gonebut neverforgotten


Is this man entitled to call himself a human being, never mind an allegedly-absent-minded father?

He left this child, strapped into a car seat, for seven hours in a hot Southern summer’s day.

He didn’t just leave the tiny boy alone for a chance visit to a store for something forgotten from a previous shopping trip: no ways, he left the 22-month toddler in the car to go to work. He also returned to the car once during the day; but also drove away with that tiny lifeless form strapped in beside him: only stopping  at another shopping centre to seek aid when he states that he just found that small boy dead.


Policeman; Phone Home?

By Mike Cunningham On June 26th, 2014 at 10:09 am


I am encouraged to read that the Supreme Court in D.C. has, by a unanimous ruling, reafirmed the right to privacy in respect of a cell- or smart-phone by stating that, once arrested, a suspect’s cellphone must remain inviolate without a search warrant issued by a member of the judiciary. In many recent cases, the police have moved to examine the contacts and calls made by the suspect immediately upon arrest, claiming that speed is of the essence; and evidence may well be remotely erased if the search is not promptly carried out.

I am no friend to the criminal class, but, in asserting the right to privacy, the Court has once more demonstrated that America is still a country ruled by Law, and if  ‘probable cause’ is shown the judge will be happy to furnish such a warrant.

My only hope is that we, one day, will follow in the footsteps of ‘The Land of the Free’!


how do you mean; ‘off message’?

By Mike Cunningham On June 3rd, 2014 at 9:03 am



“Please, Mr. President, let me go. I hadn’t finished my remarks in Pashtu and Arabic which welcomed my son home, even though he deserted from his unit. I also wished to condemn all the attacks on the Afghan nation carried out by both your Administrations as well as as by the previous President. I hadn’t even got around to attacking the puny things which you have got around Congress by issuing Executive Orders, mainly because there haven’t been enough of them, as I totally agree that Congress is irrelevant, and should be ignored! I also wanted to congratulate you on your complete backing for Hilary Clinton, despite the fact that she lied through her back teeth about the deserved deaths of Americans in Benghazi! Please Mr. President, stop pushing me towards the gate!”



and then they move them…..again!

By Mike Cunningham On May 31st, 2014 at 8:00 pm

With the majestic truth revealed regarding the vast amounts of taxpayers cash steadily being poured down the drains of Great Britain to the tune of £120 Billion, I honestly thought that we were, at last, the world’s leader in one field at least.


But then I read this, and realised that, when it comes to wasting Other People’s Money, we are just rank amateurs! Read the whole document, if you would, and then the scale of true incompetence can be fully understood. But hey; it sure makes for full employment statistics in Boyers, Pennsylvania.


….I didn’t know, and no-one would tell me……..

By Mike Cunningham On May 23rd, 2014 at 3:46 pm

Many state that the allegations of widespread misuse of Americans’ data, as exposed within the files and statements of Edward Snowden, damaged the security services of both the USA and the UK. As to the extent of that damage, as Chou-en-Lai famously stated about the French revolution of either 1789 or 1968; ‘it is too early to tell’.

But here is yet another branch which is now exposed which has alarmed America more than any individual allegation from Snowden; it is the exposure of secret courts, and secret laws operated by those courts, which America never knew about, and if Snowden hadn’t jumped the fence, they still would not know.

A classic case is the action by Microsoft in Federal Court to be allowed to publish the fact that they had been served with a National Security Letter demanding that they allow access to a customer’s files and work, stored in the Cloud servers which are operated by Microsoft, and at the same time were forbidden to publish the fact that they had been forced to hand over access to those files, and also the very existence of the Letter.

It is entirely possible that the FBI had good reason for wishing access to the ‘Cloud’ files; it is possible that they knew of the existence of documentation which would prove the guilt of this nameless customer, but fortunately, the very fact that the judge told the FBI that news of this action was to be published, as well as the fact of the National Security Letter’s existence, was sufficient to make the FBI withdraw the demand; because at the end of the day, America has the ‘Jewel in the Crown’ as far as legislation goes, and that ‘jewel’ is of course its Constitution.

Fishing, even in a ‘cloud’, is apparently not so good when the lure has been exposed to the bright sunshine of publicity.


a new definition for………Pondscum

By Mike Cunningham On May 18th, 2014 at 11:43 am

A Pearl man who runs a political blog is accused of sneaking into a nursing home where U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran’s wife is bedridden and photographing her, then posting the image in a video political “hit piece” on the internet.
Madison Police arrested Clayton Thomas Kelly, 28, of Pearl on Friday night on a charge of exploitation of a vulnerable adult. He’s being held on a $100,000 bond.
Kelly is accused of sneaking into St. Catherine’s Village in Madison, where Rose Cochran has resided since 2000, suffering from progressive dementia and now bedridden.
Cochran on Saturday issued a statement: “I have been fortunate to have a wonderful family, and like so many families, we are deeply affected by my wife’s serious, long-term illness, that we consider to be a very private family matter. We will continue doing everything we can to protect my wife’s safety and security.”
Donald Clark, attorney for Sen. and Rose Cochran, said the Cochrans’ “privacy and dignity have been violated.”
“We became aware of an unauthorized picture, posted on the internet, of Mrs. Cochran, taken literally in her room by her bedside at St. Catherine’s,” Clark said. “Sen. Cochran retained my law firm on this matter, and we looked at various legal options. We notified the proper authorities, which in this case is the city of Madison Police Department.”
Clark said St. Catherine’s is also conducting an internal investigation.

Speaking purely from a personal viewpoint, and if such a thing happened to mine own, I would be quite happy to apply somewhere around four pounds of pressure.



On a clear day; you can still see the smoke

By Mike Cunningham On May 15th, 2014 at 10:38 am

anewyorkviewArt, and the perception of beauty, talent, perspective held within the creation, is a very personal thing. Speaking and writing only on behalf of 0ne’s self, as we all have to do, when it comes to Art and Culture, is indeed a difficulty, as we have to attempt to place a very personal viewpoint in public, and also get a measured response from the audience.

I have often commented upon some, if not most, ‘modern art’, conceptual art, and all the other variations on a theme as just a huge ‘con’ job; a modern day version of ‘the emperor’s new clothes: whereby if enough sycophantic murmurs gather together, the ‘artist’ is then anointed with admiration, which of course translates into cold, hard cash.

But once in a very blue moon, there comes along a work which does cause you to think and remember, as just about everyone who watched the slow-motion death of the Twin Towers may remember; just how clear the sky really was on that tragic September morning.





and you don’t even have to feel lucky!

By Mike Cunningham On May 11th, 2014 at 1:19 pm

So, you live in a rural area, mainly farming, about an hour’s drive from Washington, DC. You have a falling-out, a row, with your neighbour. You claim that she tried to run you off the road with her SUV; she claims that you were the one responsible for the adversarial driving. She goes to court, and gets a restraining order against you and your family. In the end, you accept a plea-bargain deal, and it all  goes away.

asecretshamblesBut not if the woman who makes the complaint to the court and gains that restraining order also works as an assistant to the Director of the Secret Service based at the White House.

In that case, part of the ‘Prowler’ group of Secret service agents tasked with the mobile protection of the President gets pulled off their normal close perimeter protection routines, and ordered to drive that hour’s distance to rural Maryland, park up and monitor the home of the neighbour who had been accused of harassing  the Director’s assistant, and not only once, but usually twice a day, for over three months.

If the neighbour approached the parked vehicles to query their presence, they would speed away, but they would always return.

So, if you are an ordinary person, you have to let the Law take its course; but if you have a very powerful friend, out comes the muscle, the big, fast cars, the mirror sunglasses, the guns, and the unspoken threats against your very safety!


Equality? Respect? You must be joking!

By Mike Cunningham On April 24th, 2014 at 5:40 pm

I occasionally glance through an American-based and -centred blog which primarily deals with the impact of a Black criminal underclass on America, and came upon this strange and savage story of the short life and tragic death of a two year-old boy named John Swoveland Jr.

His parents committed the grave  and unpardonable sin of allowing this toddler to play in the back garden of his home. Two gangs of upright Black citizens were engaged in some strange tribal ritual over either ‘turf’, which is coded talk for who is allowed to sell hard drugs on that particular street corner; or over a perceived lack of ‘Respect’, which is also coded talk for a slight on the recipient’s standing in his ‘community’, or ‘armed gang’. Both gangs were armed, and strangely enough, none had a ‘carry’ permit.

Numerous shots were fired, and one bullet travelled three blocks before striking the body of this small bystander, who hadn’t even reached the age when he would have learnt to take care.

The Reverend Brown said, “They came together in unity and they left in unity. But one thing I know in this community is that it’s going to take the whole community to cease this fire.”

Community? Cease fire? What planet is the man living in!