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Just no ‘Class’ at all!

By Mike Cunningham On April 2nd, 2014 at 2:18 pm

I recall watching a film named ‘Class Action’ years ago with Gene Hackman and Mary Elisabeth Mastrantonio. The plot concerned an American law class action against a car manufacturing company, and the victims were all supposed to have been killed by a manufacturing defect, which placed an unshielded electrical connection hard up against the petrol tank, so that in the event of a rear-end collision, the fuel leaking from the ruptured tank would splash over the sparking electrical connection; and hence the fire, the deaths, and the law suit.

One particular scene has always stuck in my memory, when Hackman, taking the part of a lawyer, asks the ‘Risk Management Accountant’ about the fact that the problem had been discovered, the engineer had stated that the solution was both elegant and easily achieved; but the cars were never recalled for the ‘fix’. The ‘Risk Accountant’ stuttered out the reply that  the decision was taken that the costs of paying for the deadly problem to be fixed was too large, and, if the car crashed and then caught fire, it was cheaper to fight the cases through the courts.

And then I read these headlines about  General Motors , and once more realised that there is nothing new, especially in ‘big business’; nothing new under the sun, indeed!

 

When you stir the sh*t, keep both hands on the pole!

By Mike Cunningham On January 16th, 2014 at 4:25 pm

When chubby Governor Christie’s political team decided to have some fun with the traffic flow on and off a busy bridge in Fort Lee; mainly as political retribution for the Fort Lee Mayor’s apparent decision not to get behind the governor’s re-election campaign, they nearly got away with it

The original plan was to close just one toll lane during rush hour, which would have hit the Fort Lee people, but left the freeway traffic untouched.

But the Christie guys just had to go that extra yard, and remind the Fort Lee mayor who was boss around them turnpikes, so the agreed plan went from ‘one lane closed’ to two.

As the man said, ‘All hell broke loose’; four hour traffic queues, ambulances delayed, panic attacks, the lot.

And it took one reporter four days to figure who said what, and who did what.

Re-elect Christie? He’s got as much chance as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has of getting the keys to New York City.

 

When in doubt, set up a STASI

By Mike Cunningham On January 15th, 2014 at 10:20 am

 

After the initial uproar, outright condemnation and angry charges of ‘treasonous behaviour’ due a whistleblower, the Obama Administration sat down and looked hard at the shadowy NSA, what it has achieved, and what it is capable of doing. The results of this ‘long, hard look at the Masters of Electronic surveillance’ and data capture is startling, not for the changes and removals of spy and overview programmes from the NSA, they all remain as they were; its the NSA employees which are routinely going to feel the STASI-stare, as they will be now routinely heavily checked in their personal lives, their bank accounts and their contacts.

Yep, the NSA will not change one iota, but there will be even more strict surveillance and regulation of the NSA employees, just in case there are one, two or even ten more Edward Snowdens sickened by what their employer is doing to their Country and its Laws.

 

a belated memorial!

By Mike Cunningham On December 13th, 2013 at 12:27 am

What with all the noise, and the associated bull**** whistling through the undergrowth, I completely forgot a tragic anniversary of nearly a week ago; one which places the overheated winds surrounding the death and memorials to Mandela in proper perspective.

ATW  readers, I give you the Arizona, the ship whose fate, and the fate of the men who saluted the flag she bore so proudly, when this photo was taken, could never have been imagined.

anarizona1

Some good news in amongst the gloom

By Mike Cunningham On December 8th, 2013 at 9:55 am

Remeber the furore when an ex-New York Police Commissioner, one Bill Bratton, was rumoured to be up for the post of the top cop of the Metropolitan Police?

Sonme said it would be great; others opined that he would be a disaster. He was ruled out because you have to be British to be London’s top policeman. Cameron’s media unit commenced briefing that the law would be changed, etc., etc..

But we British can all sleep safely, because New York’s new mayor has re-appointed Bill Bratton to the NYPD. Don’t know about New York, though.

 

The Power of 3

By Patrick Van Roy On December 8th, 2013 at 1:33 am

flag_invertedLet’s discus power.

American power is based on the power of 3.  Our Military defense is divided into 3.  Land, Sea, and Air, even our Nuclear system is the power of 3. Long range Missiles, Air based Missiles, and Sub based Missiles. You could take out 2 but never all 3, and we keep enough firepower in each to destroy the world even if 2 are wiped out.

The power of 3 goes much deeper though. The Pyramid of power runs deep throughout our culture. Hell we even have a Pyramid on our money.

I want to discuss the internal attack on our 3 sided power system that has taken place over the past 5 years, and for the most part is seen by very few and understood by even less.

My Government consists of 3 Branches. The Executive, The Legislative, and the Judicial. It is on this structure of three equal parts that our Liberty is guaranteed and supposed to be protected by. It has failed. It has been weekened greatly over the past hundred years by the Executive and the Judicial, but what could be the death blow has been delivered by the corruption and the weakness of the Legislative..

Over the past 5 years the Democrat party has committed Treason on a base Constitutional level, and the Republican Party has not had the spine to even discuss it making their betrayal to the American public even greater than that of the Democrats.

The main power of our government is supposed to lay in the House of Representatives, the Peoples House. The House has the power of the Purse. They are supposed to be able to cut the funding to any piece of, project of, or section of not just Congress, but all of Federal Government and every thing that it is involved in along with every paycheck associated with it.

It is the Law that the Congress pass a budget, for 5 years the Democrats in the Senate have refused to do so. This is an act of treason against the People of the United States. It creates a Politburo Dictatorship of the Senate. With no budget there is no restraints that can be placed on the money. There is just a pool of Money that is distributed as the Senate sees fit to distribute it with no constraints and no monitoring. This pool of money that has been spent over the past 5 years is now over 12 Trillion Dollars. The pool is added to at a rate of 84 Billion Dollars a month of imaginary money printed by and pumped into the pool by the Federal Reserve Bank. On top of what is collected by fees and taxes.

Unemployment is now at 13%, Labor participation rate is at 62% the lowest it has been in 30 years foreclosures are the highest they have been in the history of our nation. We surpassed the great depression in that regard 2 years ago. The Democrats have seized control of the reigns of power and have concentrated all of it into half of one branch of the triad.

The system is collapsing not only are the above numbers catastrophic, the facts of the snowball effect that this is having on our nation is being ignored by not only those we elect, but those that are supposed to be our watchdogs. The Press.

If the consequences of this action is never discussed and those perpetrating it and allowing it to be perpetrated are not held to account we are living in tyranny in a nation on the verge of collapse.

These are the state of American internal National affairs.

All things bright and beautiful…….

By Mike Cunningham On December 1st, 2013 at 9:53 am

Quite a few years back, when I was still working, I took a half-hour off and visited my mother-in-law in the north of London, where her home was. I found her quite well, but a little unhappy, mainly because her pet dog, a rather elderly and extremely-mournful  Basset Hound, was definitely not in the best of health. The dog was almost totally deaf and nearly blind, it also had the equivalent of arthritis in its back legs, a very upset stomach, and other internal problems; and in short was not a happy doggy.

My mother-in-law, whose companion for over fifteen years had been this dog, was worrying and wondering what to do for the best, for her dog as well as for herself, as she was no longer fit enough herself to take the animal for walks.

I sat down, and partly because I tend to speak the truth bluntly, and plainly, without wrapping things up in false sentimentality; told her that she was failing her long-time companion, and that the dog deserved better. I told her to get her eldest son, who lived just ten houses away, to make an appointment,  get the dog ready and take it down to the vets; and there to get the vet not to ‘put it to sleep’, not ‘ease it away from suffering’; in fact not to engage in any of the platitudes which humans these  days surround death, but to get the vet to kill the dog, and end its miserable existence!

I told her that she had endowed her pet with human values, partly because of those big, liquid brown eyes which seemed to look reproachfully at her, but the dog was not human; it was just an animal, but was deserving of a kindness worthy of a human being by ending its suffering.

She did as I asked, her pet was expertly killed, and my mother-in-law survived, because she accepted that I was right; a little blunt perhaps, but still right.

Which is why I reckon this sort of thing is both silly, stupid and worrying, all at the same time!

Do you remember?

By Mike Cunningham On November 22nd, 2013 at 12:22 pm

 

Where were you, or rather were you even alive, on the day Kennedy was shot? I was  home on leave from Merchant Navy service, seated on a bus travelling back to my home, when a mate of mine spotted me, sat down and told me of the news. It seems to me that this one question, tells us more about how the world, and the people, have altered perceptions, and changed viewpoints than any other political event in the last one hundred tears.

Imagine, if the Internet, and citizen bloggers, and 24/7 news cycles, had existed on that sunny day when John Kennedy sat down in that motorcade which slowly wound its way through downtown Dallas.

It is indeed, more likely than not that LBJ would have been seated in that limousine, as the word, and fact, of Kennedy’s many flaws would have already driven him from office; either through resignation, or impeachment. Can you even imagine of the furore which would erupt if the news cycle was able to grab and run with stories of the American President having multiple sexual liaisons whilst his wife was in the White House caring for their youngest child? Can you even contemplate the size of the headlines when the assassination attempts on Castro were uncovered? Or the plots to overthrow the South Vietnamese President? Can you imagine the blog pages when Monroe serenaded Kennedy in public? All those huge problems would have been uncovered within hours of happening, because today, no-one gets away with much, except maybe bogus asylum-seekers and killers in Britain, and of course the SinnFeinIRA murderers in Stormont.

Camelot was always a straw building, and Kennedy was not even a very good politician, never mind President. He was a reluctant convert to the civil rights movement, and just about the only thing he got right was to stand firm against Kruschev over Cuba and the missiles, and even then Kennedy benefited from the spy Oleg Penkovsky’s advice on Soviet intentions. A pity that Penkovsky was later arrested and burnt alive after being betrayed by an American KGB mole.

So where indeed were you on the day that Kennedy was shot? Does it matter if there was a conspiracy? Why did Jack Ruby gun Lee Harvey down? Who indeed was on that Grassy Knoll? Who, if indeed anyone, really cares?

a picture…better than a thousand words?

By Mike Cunningham On October 21st, 2013 at 2:29 pm

asoldier&aliar

 

A memento of the occasion when awarded the Nation’s highest honour, from a Commander-in-Chief to the recipient?

Or was it, as the photo shows, a memory of something very, very different?

 

 

E.B.T. glitch; or theft?

By Mike Cunningham On October 14th, 2013 at 2:08 pm

I am often reminded of the old quotation from Dickens’ David Copperfield, which reads: ‘Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery’.

I would think that most of us, in our own lives and circumstances, have known hard times and maybe a small amount of the ‘misery’ which Charles Dickens wrote of so memorably in his novel. It is part of human nature that we strive to overcome obstacles, to ‘better’ ourselves, and in doing so to give our families a better chance themselves at grasping and achieving their own versions of the ‘Good Life’.

But what of those who, for whatever reason, don’t have that same ‘striving’ within their DNA. Should we, who have been through the tempering fire and emerged stronger, perhaps ‘understand’ their plight, and maybe even forgive their ‘understandable frustrations’ at not having everything which they desire immediately; or even at all? Should we ‘understand’ actions and events such as these? (play the video, to gain a full idea of the ‘activity’)

I think not, but there again I write as an individual.