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By ATWadmin On August 31st, 2009 at 7:16 pm

So, it’s the last day in August and the end of summer! We’ve had localised flooding here in Northern Ireland as we endure day after day of grey skies and endless rain. Still, mustn’t grumble.

It’s been a good month here on ATW, with 380 posts for your entertainment, increasing traffic, and some really good debates. After I introduced moderation, traffic dropped. Four months on, it is higher than it was before moderation and it looks to me that trolls have been stopped from spoiling the site making it a better spot for civilised people to come.

So, a big thank you to you from me! It’s gratifying to see so many readers here, and so great to see the excellent contributions of fellow writers!

As we enter September, it is RENEWAL time at Squarespace, the host for ATW. This is not inexpensive but I like the platform on the whole and I hope you might consider showing how you value this site by making a donation via Paypal.  If you think we’re worth it – go and show it!


By ATWadmin On August 31st, 2009 at 7:06 pm

I see that Colonel Muammar Gaddafi has put his credentials as a statesman on display by hosting a meeting of African leaders to discuss ‘conflict resolution’ on the eve of the 40th anniversary of his rule. Sumptious food, entertainment – all care of the tyrant Gaddafi. I am sure the assembled thugs and tyrants from poor starving Africa will have been most impressed. Tyranny pays. Feed the world? Nah. Feed the bank balances of these assembled thugs. Make sure you give generously…


By ATWadmin On August 31st, 2009 at 6:48 pm

Yes, it was only the band’s second number one, issued as Beatlemania was in its infancy, but newly compiled figures show She Loves You to be the biggest-selling Fab Four track released in the UK.

I like it – there is a refreshing urgency to it, good harmonies and a direct lyric. Great tune.

My favourite Beatles track is a tough call since there are so many good ones but if a gun was put to my head I think I would plump for is Help! And yours…?



By ATWadmin On August 31st, 2009 at 6:31 pm

So what do you think of the government initiative unveiled today to impose Drinking Banning Orders – dubbed “booze Asbos” – on people who behave anti-socially while drunk?

From Monday, police and councils in England and Wales can seek such an order on anyone aged 16 and over. Offenders must stay away from pubs, bars, off-licences and named areas for up to two years or face a £2,500 fine.

I disagree with this stupid initiative. It is government spinning – nothing to do with reality. There is a lot of talk about dealing with the “real” causes of this drunken boorish behaviour. Raise alcohol prices, say some. Ban alcohol from supermarkets say others. I don’t agree with these suggestions either as they reek of Nanny State!

The best censure lies in the home. Individuals should feel SHAME when they get so drunk they cannot walk, throw up and embarrass themselves. This is down to the family unit becoming responsible. This is down to society stopping lauding celebrity drunks. We can’t have it both ways, it is not supermarkets that FORCE people to get drunk, it is the fault of the drunk.

What do you think? It is truly awful to see so much drunken behaviour in public places but we must consider the most appropriate way to tackle this, not the one which grabs the most media headlines.   



By ATWadmin On August 31st, 2009 at 6:23 pm

Odd story!

A bid to impose a single uniform for all doctors in hospitals across Northern Ireland by the cash-strapped Department of Health has been met with fury. As the health service faces increasing financial constraints and, at the same time, Health Minister Michael McGimpsey battles for cash to fund his swine flu strategy, it has emerged his department has been working on implementing a single uniform for all doctors.

Seems that the Doctors will not accept the uniform planned for them and are in revolt.

What’s wrong with a white coat? How on earth has this become an issue? Devolution in action?

Partisan Politics Aside

By ATWadmin On August 31st, 2009 at 3:26 pm

The shameless politicization of Ted Kennedy’s life will continue unabated for some time, I am sure.  In the meantime, however, I offer up this eulogy to the end of an era, The Kennedy Era.

I’ve always  liked the melody of this song. The words are sad, thoughtful. The video has some great scenes from long ago.  With the passing of Ted Kennedy, we see the final chapter of what was “The Kennedy  Era.”

…… is the new beautiful?

By ATWadmin On August 31st, 2009 at 8:48 am

I note with some amusement that Naomi Campbell, the so-called ‘super-model’ is complaining bitterly because, as she asserts, companies are not choosing black models for their promotions and campaigns.

She also states that, because of the recession, advertisers don’t dare to place a black girl, or of any other colour than white, to front their offerings to the public!

Now broadly speaking, although not any economist myself, I would have thought that advertisers tend to go with the bodies, faces, and to a certain extent, minds; which they associate with the successful selling of their particular product. Since they obviously have target markets, they would go with the models who have produced success in the past, and because of the models’ positive attitude towards their behaviour, and their chosen profession, which is to act as a mobile clothes-horse.

Could the lack of work heading Miss Campbell’s way have anything to do with her proclivity for throwing mobile phones, or for inappropriate comments, or the manner in which she treats, say, airline staff? 

Why, I do believe the lady doth protest too much!


By ATWadmin On August 31st, 2009 at 7:56 am

Fascinating to read that military documents declassified by the Irish government show that the Irish army planned to launch guerrilla attacks in Belfast in 1969.

According to the details revealed in the Sunday Times, among strategic locations to be targeted were the BBC’s television studios, the docks, airport and key industries.

I am sure the BBC would have provided tea and buns.

This shows the mindset that prevailed in the Republic all those years ago and helps explain how the IRA managed to operate with relative impunity south of the border, down Dundalk way. Some ATW readers may wonder why Unionism has been less than trusting of the the Irish Government.  Now you know why.


By ATWadmin On August 31st, 2009 at 7:36 am

Here is how Islam gains our submission – without so much as a self detonating Jihadist required…

From this…

Faulks, who turned to the Koran while researching his latest novel, said: ‘It’s a depressing book. It really is. It’s just the rantings of a schizophrenic. It’s very one-dimensional, and people talk about the beauty of the Arabic and so on, but the English translation I read was, from a literary point of view, very disappointing. 

To this:

I know that to Muslims the Koran is different; it is by definition beyond criticism. And if anything I said or was quoted as saying (not always the same thing) offended any Muslim sensibility, I do apologise – and without reservation. It was never my intention to offend my Muslim friends or readers, and if you read my novel I think you will see how I have shown the positive effects of the Koran on a kind and typical Muslim family.


By ATWadmin On August 31st, 2009 at 7:29 am

Interesting to read that Patients in National Health Service hospitals are far more likely to go hungry than criminals in jail, scientists warned yesterday.

They say frail and elderly patients do not get the help they need with meals, and nobody checks whether they get enough to eat.

Despite years of Government promises to tackle poor hospital nutrition, food still arrives cold, and patients often miss out because meal times clash with tests and operations.

It’s all about priorities, right? So better to ensure convicts are well fed than patients. Socialised healthcare, the envy of the world. (The third world)