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By Pete Moore On June 30th, 2012 at 7:28 pm

(h/t ATW commentator Petr Tarazov)

(Reuters) — Yitzhak Shamir, the hawkish Israeli leader who balked at the idea of trading occupied land for peace with the Palestinians, died on Saturday after a long illness. He was 96.

He was twice prime minister in the 1980s and early 1990s. Rather than seek accommodation with the Palestinians, Shamir championed new Jewish settlements.


By Pete Moore On June 30th, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Good old Tories, they never let you down. On the day we ‘celebrate’ Armed Forces Day we discover that the Tories have found again their historic task, that of gutting the Armed Forces. Not content with shredding the Royal Navy of any serious capability, they’ve now moved on to the British Army.

The Government will outline next Thursday which units will be cut or merged under the Future Force 2020 proposals as the Army shrinks to 82,000 men, its lowest level since the Napoleonic Wars […]

The plans put forward by Lt Gen Nick Carter will be the biggest change to the Army since 1904.

Well done Tories, I knew you’d be back on form before long. (Memo to Tory voters: there’s still time to shoot yourselves in the head before the next general Election.)

The good news is that future Tory governments won’t be chopping off enormous bits of the Armed Forces. The bad news is there won’t be anything to chop.

Wednesday is the 4th of July

By Patrick Van Roy On June 30th, 2012 at 5:26 pm

So today is Barbeque day, The Flag is Flying, The grill is fired up the Beer and Soda are on Ice. Tonight the Fireworks will fill the Sky.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

Just a Little note from Persia

By Patrick Van Roy On June 30th, 2012 at 12:59 pm

More than 1,000 ballistic missiles capable of reaching U.S. bases
By Reza Kahlili

Just days after the breakdown of talks with the West over Iran’s nuclear program, the deputy chief commander of the Revolutionary Guards announced that there soon will be war – and that Allah will ensure his forces are victorious.

The Revolutionary Guards have more than 1,000 ballistic missiles capable of reaching all U.S. bases in the region, all of Israel and some capitals in Europe. In collaboration with China and North Korea, they are also working on intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Salami said the Guards are on high alert, adding, “Our forces in relation to our internal security will complete their mission with all of their capability.”

Gen. Hossein Salami, in a televised interview, boasted that, “Iran has complete control of all the enemy’s interests around the world and is on a path to reach equivalency with world powers.” The commander emphasized that Iran’s nuclear program is irreversible, the Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

Salami said Iranian ballistic missiles can travel at several times the speed of sound and cannot easily be tracked and destroyed. “Our defense inventory is so great that at times our brothers in the Guards face limitations with space.”

Hmmph I wonder which Capitals in Europe. Nice people those Persians all guided by the Religion of Peace

A Christmas Gift in the Middle of July?

By Mahons On June 30th, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Well, make it the end of June, but I always wanted to quote Barnaby from Babes in Toyland.

An update on the Church of the Nativity story – it was voted a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on Friday.  Good.  Now instead of various groups, sects and organizations debating over control of the site, maybe, just maybe, they can concentrate on the message of peace and goodwill that should be the real focus.


By David Vance On June 30th, 2012 at 10:30 am

So, I go away for a few weeks holiday, and when I get back I see that there has been a bit of disturbance in the ATW force. I think I am now up to date as to what has been going on. A few thoughts for you all;

1. When a blog site dedicated to political debate ends up talking about itself, that’s not a good sign. I do understand people feel passionately about issues and that is fine but such passion should be expressed as politely and with as little ad hominem as possible. When I read your expressions of anger directed at each other, I just feel a sense of hurt, and to be honest it de-motivates me. I do wish people either get along or if that is too much to ask  just ignore each other.

2. We’re living in an age where social media is impacting in the blogosphere. This has implications for the future. I see blogs closing down or going into semi-retirement across the net. Why? Because it takes time to post an item whereas a tweet or a facebook takes about 30seconds. It’s the battle between consideration and spontaneity. I believe there should be space for both and so ATW will continue.

3. However ATW WILL be changing going forward. I will not post as much as I have – the pressure is simply too great. That said, I post more than most so I dare say the place will not look that differently to what it does now. As you know I have the Biased BBC website to maintain and when you combine that with my own growing media commitments, as Booker T put it, “Time is Tight”.

4. I have been planning to write a new book for years and despite a few starts found it impossible because of the time pressures on me. That’s changing. I have already started the draft of my second book and intend to complete by summer end. This is the same time format I used to write Unionism Decayed.  I also intend it to be an Ebook, for digital download. If “50 Shades of Grey” can do it, so can I!

I want to thank all of you who come here, who honour me with your time, thoughts, contributions and suggestions. ATW has become an institution over the years and it strikes me most of us should be institutionalised! Those of you who know me will gather I am a very driven person and I do not willingly abandon something that has taken years of my life to build up.

So ATW will stay, I hope you will keep coming here, and above ALL I really really wish you would all try and be friendly. I can’t make you but I can ask you. I’m asking…

Not just your cash, but your reputation.

By Mike Cunningham On June 30th, 2012 at 7:59 am

The Words of ‘Chairman’ Andrew Mitchell Sec. State, and his Dept. for International Development.

‘aid from the British people is achieving extraordinary results, ‘

‘The UK is the highest aid giver of all countries in the G8’

“The Coalition Government is the first government in history to set out, in black and white in the Spending Review, clear plans to honour the UK’s long standing promises on aid.”

“Following relentless pressure from the Coalition Government, the EU is already reforming the way it spends aid, making it more transparent, results-focused and targeted at the poorest people.”

Aid from Britain will be badged with a Union Flag overseas, as a clear symbol that it comes from the United Kingdom.

My own feelings, for what they are worth, is that as long as evidence is published such as this incredibly detailed exposé of incompetence, corruption, malfeasance-in-office and downright theft, are that the whole DfID shebang should be disbanded forthwith, any projects summarily would down, senior DfID staffers fired for sheer incompetence, and Mitchell forced to run for cover behind his buddy Cameron’s coat-tails.

My oh my

By Patrick Van Roy On June 30th, 2012 at 4:43 am

I guess I’m not a very nice guy. Sorry. Pop Eye said it best I am what I am. I repeated who I was for the 100th time a couple of weeks ago. You can read it if you choose, or not.

I have told one person I don’t want him commenting on my Threads. This apparently makes me the Devil incarnate. I have to laugh that it took him 3 weeks to get the rest of the peanut gallery riled about it.

I post about American Politics, my views are my own. I don’t really care if you agree or disagree with them. They are put here to give you a perspective of a slice of America that your not going to get from the MSM, or the average person. Some of you may find them amusing, some may find them frightening.

I put them here so you can find them. Like them, Hate them, Disagree with them or even by some odd fluke agree with them. The choice is yours. Believe it or not my views are shared by more people in my country than you may care to believe.

Some of you would call us the “Ugly Americans”, but we’re the ones that come and bail your asses out whenever you need it. We are the ones that enlisted even when there was a draft. We are the ones when you dial 911 come running to stop the bad guy, or put out the fire, and even though we may drop to our knees and pray… we ain’t no alter boys.

We have lost good souls from this site due to pettiness and bile. I miss MAD, and Felix, and especially Andrew. I have thought about it even tried to leave a couple of times myself, you even drove my wife from here and she was never nothing but kind.

I’m not leaving. As long as David tolerates my quirks and occasional lapses into music at the wrong time, I’m here to stay. Comment on my threads or don’t. Your choice (except for one without an apology)

The view of America I give you is a valuable one. How you spend that value is up to you.

Now here is a song, no reason to it. I just like it.


Newest Pharaoh – “Let My People Go”

By Mahons On June 29th, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Egypt’s new President announced he will try to have Omar Abdel Rahman (the blind terrorist plotter) who is serving a sentence in a North Carolina Prison freed and returned home to Egypt.  How nice. 

Kind of makes one miss Mubarak.  As bucket lists go I can’t see any sane and rational person wanting to help Omar Abdel Rahman gain his freedom anytime soon.    But of course there is no accounting for taste.  Those who have unmitigated joy at the results of Arab Spring in Egypt might want to take another look at the results, unless of course they think that by being blind themselves they are further supporting Rahman.

If the new president of Egypt is signaling anything, it is that his priorities and sense of duty to the community of nations needs some work. 


Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright

By Phantom On June 29th, 2012 at 5:28 pm

I’d been thinking of stepping back for a time, and here the guy comes and gives me a fistful of winning lottery tickets by banning me from his threads. That’s one powerful step in the right direction.

My goal is to spend ( somewhat ) less total time blogging, but spend the remaining time in fewer and better conversations.

No more endless loops where calcified positions are shouted past one another. I’ll be here, but not in those conversations, not like before.