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Panhandler Party on NYC Subway

By Phantom On November 30th, 2013 at 6:47 pm

The NYC subway is really good. It runs 24 hours, it covers the city well, it’s cheap as chips. And forget what you’ve seen in the movies It’s generally very safe, even safer than the streets above it.

The one hassle that you will encounter down there is organized begging. You often enough will see someone asking for money, reciting a very well rehearsed script as they move down the car. This, we’ve always had.

In recent years, we’ve seen the rise of Mexican Mariachi and folk bands on the trains. These guys aren’t beggars, they’re buskers, and I actually like seeing them.

The other week, I saw a gypsy with the newborn baby as a prop, and for a minute I thought I was in David Cameron’s England.

But the other day, I brought my patented Phantom Video device down into the train, and observed a perfect storm of begging on the train. A battle of the bands so to speak. It’s all genuine, I swear, mister!


By David Vance On November 30th, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Interesting to read that “Marine A” – the soldier pilloried by the UK establishment and liberal media for ..gasp…killing the enemy (Taliban) turns out to have had an exemplary career in the Army and was being considered for promotion.

A Royal Marine who murdered a Taliban prisoner and now faces life in prison fought at the forefront of the Iraq invasion, had an exemplary record and was tipped for further promotion.

The experienced sergeant, who can only be identified as Marine A, took part in some of the fiercest fighting of the 2003 campaign as commandos spearheaded the assault against Saddam Hussein’s forces. During the invasion he fought in heavy clashes including battles against positions defended by hundreds of dug-in Iraqi troops.

He was also with marines as they faced heavy ambushes and street fighting while pushing through towns towards the southern city of Basra. A military board which includes Royal Marine officers will next week decide his minimum term in prison after being convicted at court martial of the “field execution” of a badly wounded Taliban prisoner.

The Taliban strung the body parts of his colleagues from trees. The Taliban haven’t signed up to the Geneva Convention. The Taliban do not fight in uniform. They kill men women and children in pursuance of their religious fanaticism. Yet it is Marine A who is on trial and there are plenty of liberal commentators who show no mercy towards him.

I echo the view of  Major-General Julian Thompson, who led British forces to victory in the Falklands, who has said that life imprisonment for the soldier would be too harsh. He suggested that a five-year term was more appropriate for a crime committed in the unique pressure of war.


By David Vance On November 30th, 2013 at 6:10 pm

Come January, Romanians and Bulgarians will come here in great numbers. The same people who told you “around 17,000” Poles would come here (the actual number was 900,000) assure us that this won’t happen again ….quite. Here’s what awaits…

‘British police are to hunt for the ‘Mr Bigs’ running Romanian gangs that are now behind more than 90 per cent of cashpoint thefts in this country.

 Officers will work with their Romanian counterparts to target the gangsters orchestrating the crimes which are netting an estimated £40 million a year. New figures reveal a sharp rise in the crimes by Romanian gangs and there are fears this will rise further with a new wave of immigrants expected to arrive in the UK from January.”

90% of the crime, get that?

A Petition with a difference

By Mike Cunningham On November 30th, 2013 at 12:55 pm

I have just logged on to the Government’s e-Petition site, and generated my petition which is shown below, and which should appear in around seven days.

I do hope that this gets some circulation; legs, whatever the term might be, because I feel rather strongly about this particular issue. After all, if even Albania doesn’t want the filthy stuff, why on earth should we give it more that a second’s thought before giving a flat and resounding rejection to this proposal?

We don’t want it, we don’t need it, and we surely have enough problems on this small and crowded country without importing someone else’s problems!

We wish to petition the Government of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland in protest against the importation of any part whatsoever of the residue, material or structure associated with the disposal of the Chemical Weaponry which is to be made safe from the Syrian State.

If anyone, anywhere else in the world wants to make itself the repository for this deadly material, good luck to them; but it should not be Great Britain, as we already have enough waste products of our own production to be going along with.

A definition of ‘Tragedy’

By Mike Cunningham On November 30th, 2013 at 12:27 pm

I am always quietly amused at the self-righteous protests afforded the Gaza population by the vociferous bunch of fruit-loops on the Left. Israel must immediately do this, or that, or indeed t’other; because they (the Israelis) are terrible people, capable of genocidal tendencies, or worse. The Left protests against the Wall, the check-points, the border fences; everything which the Israelis have done to stop suicidal Arab murderers killing Israelis. They protest almost in reflex action at whatever Israel does, because, so they earnestly believe, Israel cannot be trusted; because Israel should be smashed into the dust.

So when the Gazans fall on harder times than usual, with hospitals offered only intermittent power, because the generating stations don’t have fuel to generate electricity on a continuous basis, the ever-ready reflex call is for the Israelis to repent, to lower the drawbridges, to ease the blockade, to let the fuel in, along with the building materials which are said to help rebuild homes; but strangely enough end up going to reinforcing Hamas strongpoints.

The story in the Telegraph lays out the tale of this Palestinian woman badly hurt and disfigured allegedly by a faulty home generator, whose medical treatment is imperilled because her skin grafts cannot be done on a routine basis, mainly because of the regular power cuts, caused by the Generating Stations’ lack of fuel. The blockade certainly does not help, but the new clamp on the fuel is caused because Hamas, the terror group which runs Gaza, states that Fatah, the group which runs the West Bank Palestinian Authority, has made the purchase of fuel too expensive by withdrawing tax exemptions for the badly-needed fuel.

But the real source of my smile is sited right at the end of the Telegraph piece, where the allegedly heart-broken and anguished father of the burnt and disfigured young woman states that :-

“We’re ready to take help from anywhere because the treatment and technology isn’t available here to repair the effects of the burns,” said her father, Abed Rahman Mraleel. “Her beauty has been damaged and it could make her less attractive to marry. In our culture, not being able to marry is a big problem for her.”

Smile, have hope

By Patrick Van Roy On November 30th, 2013 at 12:07 pm

The Christmas Season has officially begun. You can not stop others from misbehaving, but you can provide an example of the opposite. Hold a door for someone, wish them well, drop some coins in the pot because no matter what shape you are in there are always those that are in worst shape.

Yesterday the store I work in was swamped. I’m sure it will be today as well. Where I live there was no violence in the lines. Those things are the exception not the rule, don’t forget that, and don’t feed into it. Smile and remember even though we are flawed it is this time of year that we remember a man that preached that we could be more than what we are.


By David Vance On November 29th, 2013 at 5:39 pm

This is such a classic, smooth soul! I can remember it getting to number one, back when I was at school, back in the day, as they say. It’s a JOYFUL sound which I find it uplifting! And the words are simple and yet delightful. Hope you enjoy this – nostalgia isn’t what it used to be!!!


By David Vance On November 29th, 2013 at 5:33 pm

My thanks to ATW stalwart Ernest Young for sending me this link. It’s well worth a read and it’s a view that I increasingly hear from many other people of my age, or indeed a little older. The UK is changing but resembling a foreign land….are we now strangers in the place we live?

“We have lost our privacy, our legal equality, our gruff and firm but fair police force, our freedom of speech, our nationality, our manufacturing base, our social order, our marriages, 37% of our countryside, our family meals, most of our buses and all of our docks. (See earlier re ‘loft apartments’).

We have lost our faith in clerics, doctors, bank managers, schoolteachers, Universities, standards, objectivity, morals, ethics, legislators, fathers, Councillors, coppers, lawyers, judges, sportsmen, senior business figures and the care home system. And we have lost an army of soldiers, sailors, airmen, and social workers. (We never had any faith in social workers in the first place).

As the Buddhists say, “All things are in transition”. They are indeed: so we are losing our public health services, our welfare services, our charities, our family businesses, our scientists, our entrepreneurs, our right to scrutinise the powerful, the control of our national destiny, and our innate sense of discernment.

Perhaps above all, we are losing any natural sense of dignity and restraint…towards ourselves, the rights and needs of others, or those who got a luckier Genes Bag than we did.”

How do YOU feel about the State we are in? I rather agree with the sentiment in this post by my old pal John Ward.


By David Vance On November 29th, 2013 at 10:43 am

It’s been many years since The Smiths ceased to me but their former singer, Morrissey, continues to court controversy. Here’s the story..


Morrissey, so well known for his aptitude in sparking rows, has – unsurprisingly – raised a few eyebrows after appearing on the bill at the Nobel Peace Prize concert next month. The controversial, potty-mouthed singer will now take a starring role in the ceremony dedicated to furthering world peace.

Now, leaving aside the “world peace” aspect of it (too amusing for words) here is the meat of the subject, so to speak.

Norwegians have not forgotten his shocking words after the extremist Anders Behring Breivik killed 77 people in Oslo and on Utoya Island in July 2011. Just a few days after the appalling atrocity, the singer entertained fans in Warsaw with a rendition of his anthem to vegetarianism, “Meat is Murder”. He then declared that the “murderous” events in Norway were “nothing compared to what happens in McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried sh*t every day”.

Despite a huge outcry at the time, he refused to apologise, instead posting a message on a fan website defending his comments and saying that if a person was horrified by the massacre in Norway, they should also “feel horror at the murder of any innocent being.” Now, Norway’s Aftenposten newspaper has run a comment piece arguing that relatives of Utoya victims and many other Norwegians would find the decision to invite Morrissey to the Oslo ceremony “incomprehensible”

To equate the mass murder of human beings to the death of poultry for food is wrong. It’s the sort of moral muddleheadedness which prevails in certain quarters but there is huge chasm of difference. McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried chicken use poultry as FOOD – it provides a benefit to those who enjoy chicken. Breivik took all those innocent human lives in such a brutal manner just to make his own bizarre point. To equate these two events if wrong.


By David Vance On November 29th, 2013 at 10:31 am


I was interested to read this item;


“More than half of those with dementia are not receiving medicine or support from the NHS, the Health Secretary reveals today.”

Get that? More than HALF!

Jeremy Hunt says hundreds of thousands of sufferers are condemned to a life of fear and anxiety because they are receiving no help. Stigma is a ‘huge part of the problem’, with patients terrified to seek a diagnosis and too many GPs thinking there is no point in doing so.

I agree with this and having gone through the diagnosis stage with my mother can testify to the validity of both points.

The fight against diseases such as Alzheimer’s is as ‘significant as that against cancer, heart disease and HIV’, Mr Hunt will say, as it is revealed the national diagnosis rate for dementia is only 48 per cent. 

In addition, an unforgivable postcode lottery means people living in neighbouring cities have hugely varying chances of being diagnosed, with 75 per cent of cases in the best area being diagnosed – compared with 33 per cent in the worst.

It means hundreds of thousands of people are living without medication to stave off their condition and their families are not receiving help from the State.

The UK spends about one TENTH on research into Dementia as it does on research into cancer yet the former is surely more of a long term threat as the numbers swell due to our ageing population. I personally would like to see the budget for research into finding a cure for Dementia vastly inflated and put our best scientific minds to work in order to achieve this result.