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THE WAR ON OBESITY?

By ATWadmin On August 15th, 2008 at 7:58 am

I’ve told you a million times, don’t exaggerate.

Obesity poses as grave a threat to Britain and the NHS as terrorism, a Government adviser has warned.Public
health expert Professor David Hunter criticised ministers for failing
to take ‘bold action’ to tackle the growing crisis. Experts
have already warned that if trends continue, half the population will
be obese within 25 years, causing life expectancy to fall for the first
time in two centuries.Professor Hunter, of Durham University,
said that since the 1970s governments have done little more than
‘tinkered round the edges’ of the emerging health crisis.

And what might these “bold actions” look like, you may wonder? Well, offficials and health chiefs in the socialst republic of Liverpool want to become the first
authority in Britain to ban packed lunches provided by parents and to provide compulsory
healthy meals
to 26,000 youngsters, aged between four and 11.

In essence, this is a call for the State to take control of what you consume and we all know what a terrific job the State does when it gets involved with our lives. Give me liberty, give me a Burger!

SPOT THE MISSING WORD…

By ATWadmin On August 15th, 2008 at 7:14 am

Three men have been arrested on suspicion of committing terror offences, police say. Two of the men were held at Manchester Airport, while the third was detained in nearby Accrington. Do we know anything else at all about these men? Well, they are “Asian” apparently, living in an “Asian” area of Blackburn? Can you spot the missing word – the word the BBC does not want to say? That’s right – they are MUSLIM. There now, that’s better, isn’t it? I mean why does the media insist on using pointless euphemisms when the truth is plain to see? Could it be related to the ongoing denial that Britain, like so many other countries, has a major terrorist threat from a section of Muslims but that it is too dhimmified to say it? If these three men had have been fundamentalist Christians it would have  been emblazoned across the media but because they actually are Muslims, it is hushed up and weasel words like Asian introduced to avoid the truth. It is an insult to the Asian community to use that term to describe three alleged Islamic terrorists and the BBC should be ashamed of itself for this fork-tongued approach to reporting news

OVER HERE – FRANKLY I WOULD RATHER WATCH FAIRPORT CONVENTION

By ATWadmin On August 15th, 2008 at 1:27 am

Buyer’s remose will engulf many Americans in the next few weeks as the Democrats and Republicans hold their conventions.  The conventions signal the end of the primary season and the start of the general election.  Each party will nominate its candidate in a a political orgy of hyperbole, promises and ballons.  The networks will cover them as if the results are not predetermined (there hasn’t really been a convention in doubt since Ronnie Reagan challenged Ford in 1976). 


Each party will offer speaker for a few nights who tend to drive the other party crazy.   Think Kennedys, Think Clintons, Think Bushies, Think Pelosi, Think Cheney etc.  The Dems have the drama of the long goodbye from the Clintons and the Republicans have the drama of whether McCain falls asleep during his speech.  We’ll find out the Vice Presidential nominees and whether the keynote speakers have a future in politics. 


The Dems choose Denver for their spot where Obama wll accept the nomination at Mile High stadium before 75,000 adoring fans and two seething Clintons.  Ordinarily an also ran like John Edwards would show up but apparently he will be too busy explaining his two Americas theory, or is it his two families theory?  McCain will be in Minnesota and we all hope will not use the public restroom made famous by Republican Senator Larry Craig.   Rudy Guiliani will speak and something tells me will mention a particular day in a September gone by more than once.


After the conventions there will be campaigning across the nation and a few debates.   Then we Yanks vote in November and watch the new President get sworn in in January.     There is a light at the end of the tunnel. 

England, My England

By ATWadmin On August 14th, 2008 at 5:04 pm

MOVING WEST has long been in my mind, although getting on and doing it has been pushed back while life takes over. All of a sudden, however, it becomes a plan that may have to be accelerated:


The traditional cliche for pretty little villages such as this is ‘sleepy’. But there’s nothing bleary-eyed about the Dorset backwater of Chettle. This is a village which defies every statistic and market trend. It has zero unemployment. Its businesses are booming. It has no problem with outsiders buying up second homes  –  because they are simply not allowed. Rents are way below the market rate.



This is the village the credit crunch forgot. Young couples are not driven out by property prices and there are as many children (22) as there are pensioners. Everyone knows everyone and crime is virtually non-existent. The last intruder was driven off by a lady pensioner with a pick-axe handle. So what is Chettle’s secret? The answer is enough to make a sociologist or a Labour MP weep. For the past 1,000 years, this entire village and all the land around it  –  every last square inch of it  – have been owned and controlled by the lord of the manor. And that is just how everybody likes it.


Heaven.

EDINBURGH ROCKS

By ATWadmin On August 14th, 2008 at 10:56 am

Just back from my first trip to Edinburgh, Scotland.  For the necrotourist it has a fantastic War Memorial, a famous grave of a loyal dog, fantastic old cemeteries and even great nightlife on Grassmarket Street where they used to hang unfortunate souls – public houses replacing public executions.  Indeed one pub near the hanging site is aptly named The Last Drop.  As you can imagine, much of the Mahons fortune was sunk into pints there.


The City is dominated by the wonderful Edinburgh Castle which sits atop an ancient volcanic rock and is guarded at its front by the stone pillars of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce.  It is also guarded by a flamboyant gentleman in a kilt that I’ll call Marty Queen of Scots who offered a lisping tour of the ancient fortress. 


The bus ride in from tha airport is like a casting call for Pirates of the Caribean.  A high number of Scots seem to have more tattoos than a Maori warrior.  And the youth are often pierced in many places – some with more metal shrapnel in them than an Iraqi street vendor.   I imagine it must make sneezing and certain more intimate functions somewhat painful.  One 80 year old lassie got on the bus with a small horse that turned out to be a dog.   I moved our 8 month old twins to the other side of the bus so they would not become a snack for this canine beast who could have stood in for Edinburgh native Sir Arhtur Conan Doyle’s Hound of the Baskervilles. 


London Cabbies must pass a test called The Knowledge.  Edinburgh Bus Drivers must pass a test called The Ignorance as they have no idea of their own routes.  However, I did manage to find our  hotel by asking a native where it was while standing directly in front of it.   I understood every fourth word he said which isn’t bad until you realize we speak the same language.


The twins enjoyed the climb up the winding cobblestone street and stairs of Edinburgh Castle, probably because they were pushed in a stoller.  For me, pushing the stoller up the steep rock was more akin to the torture scene in Braveheart.  However the views and sense of history are terrific, and Edinburgh is clearly one of the world’s beautiful cities.  The Royal Mile is magnicent, as are the public gardens and parks, the ancient alleyways and stunning medieval and Georgian architecture.   If they ever bring back hanging, I hope they start with modern architects. 


We enjoyed the full Scottish breakfast at the Elephant House  (hold the haggis, please) where Harry Potter’s author wrote her tale.  Strolling around the town is a pure treat.  Grayfriars Bobby’s little grave is quite touching.  A loyal dog who legend has it sat on his master’s grave for fourteen years after he died is buried in the same churchyard, and people leave little sticks and balls at the dog’s small headstone.   Edinburgh has great  festivals,  fun nightlife, underground passages and  a great ancient and modern mix.   If you ever get the chance, go there.  

NORTH OF THE BORDER, UP MEXICO WAY…

By ATWadmin On August 14th, 2008 at 8:11 am

It is reported that white people are projected to no longer be in the majority in the United States by the year 2042 – eight years sooner than previous projections. The US Census Bureau’s latest figures – based on birth, death and immigration rates – suggest that minorities will soon make up 55% of the population. Hispanics who now make up about 15% will, it says, account for 30% by 2050. It is projected that black people will make up 15%, a small increase, while Asians will grow from 4% to 9%.

So, looks like Whitey will be a minority in the not too distant future. Can we then expect to see liberals insist on positive discrimination in his favour?

Also, about this stunning rise in Hispanics. Is it in any way connected to the massive numbers of illegal immigrants coming from south of the US border perchance? If so, WHY do politicians like Bush and McCain choose to accept this situation? It seems like cultural and political suicide to me.

NOT A GAY DAY FOR ROBINSON’S PSYCHIATRIST

By ATWadmin On August 14th, 2008 at 7:22 am

I see that the  psychiatrist caught up in the storm of controversy over alleged anti-gay remarks by the DUP’s Iris Robinson has temporarily stood down from his job at a Belfast hospital.


Dr Paul Miller has also resigned his role as a part-time adviser to Mrs Robinson. In June, Stranford MP caused a storm when she said homosexuality was an abomination and she had a psychiatrist working in her office who had “cured” gay people. Other psychiatrists distanced themselves from these views, saying homosexuality was not an illness and did not require medical treatment. Neither Dr Miller nor the DUP are commenting on reports that he has taken a career break from a north Belfast hospital and has stepped down as Mrs Robinson’s adviser.


Now then, I remember meeting Paul when he and were on the same BBC radio programme a few months back and he seemed a nice guy, if perhaps a tad naive. I take it that the pressure that followed these comments has proven tough to take. Let me say this; I do not agree that homosexuality is an illness but I do believe Dr Miller has the right to hold that opinion. Being hounded by the pink lobby is an intolerable price that he has paid for expressing a view that is as valid as anyone elses. I also think that those who orbit the DUP need to be very careful – less they take the heat for opinions that the DUP hold but cloak. 

GETTING SMARTER ALL THE TIME?

By ATWadmin On August 14th, 2008 at 7:05 am

Today is a big day for hundreds of thousands of  households across the UK. It is the day  that “A” level results come out and there will be many families nervously awaiting the outcomes.


Such is the situation in the Vance household today. Our son has just had confirmation that he has acheived what is necessary to get into his chosen University and we are naturally delighted. Exam results are always a time of pressure for parents and students so I wish everyone who is going through this today all the best.


Thing is, the exams are a con. The pass rate is predicted to rise above 97 per cent for the first time – fuelling claims that the exam is “impossible to fail”. More papers were also expected to be graded an A, exceeding the 25.3 per cent of entries awarded the top mark in 2007.  One-in-10 sixth-formers was due to be awarded straight As.  Latest figures also show record numbers are applying to university, with applications up 9.1 per cent this year. But universities complain that an almost continual rise in results over the last 30 years makes it impossible to pick out the best candidates. Many now set their own entry tests because of a steep rise in top grades. A study this week claimed exams were two grades easier than in the late 80s.  Excellence has been degraded in a sustained and deliberate manner.


I blame the politicians and the educationalists who have engineered this serial dumbing down of the “A” level. The students can ONLY answer what is put in front of them and so I fully understand their outrage when people question the validity of their results. But just as the GCSE’s have been bastardised – so have A levels. The structure has been altered beyond recognition since I took them, and the fact that the pass rate approaches 100% speaks volumes. Kids work as hard now  as I did when I was at this tender age, but the system is manipulated to ensure that third rate politicians can stride to the media studios today and bask in the reflected adulation that comes from these “record” grades. Those who carp will be painted as begrudgers and all criticism dismissed. Yet in truth Universities desire to now set their own exams for entry tells you that this is a con job.


I heartily congratuate all A level students today – and I castigate the politicians ans educationalists who cheat them.

CONSISTENT ATHEISM AND ISLAM..

By ATWadmin On August 14th, 2008 at 6:38 am

I normally have little time for journalist Johann Hari and he has has crossed swords with me on a previoius occasion when he demonstrated a stunning ignorance on Northern Ireland affairs. However, I did find his column in the Independent today interesting insofar as he dares to question why we treat Islam with such  respect when we mock other religions. What had drove him to this conclusion is the pulping of a book which…


“…recounts the life of Aisha, a girl who was married off at the age of six to a 50-year-old man called Mohamed ibn Abdallah. On her wedding day, Aisha was playing on a see-saw outside her home. Inside, she was being betrothed. The first she knew of it was when she was banned from playing out in the street with the other children. When she was nine, she was taken to live with her husband, now 53. He had sex with her. When she was 14, she was accused of adultery with a man closer to her own age. Not long after, Mohamed decreed that his wives must cover their faces and bodies, even though no other women in Arabia did.”


Hari reckons that it is condescending to treat Muslims like excitable children who cannot cope with the probing, mocking treatment we hand out to Christianity, Judaism and Buddhism. It is perfectly consistent to protect Muslims from bigotry while challenging the bigotries and absurdities within their holy texts. He concludes by saying that when we pulp books out of fear of fundamentalism, we are decapitating the most precious freedom we have.


He is half right. He then waffles that there is very real and rising prejudice against Muslims across the West. No mention of WHY that might  be – but I’m guessing that Isamic terrorism might have a role to play in this change of opinion. Hari is a typical dripping wet liberal who thinks that to be a good atheist you should have a right to criticise ALL religions. I agree, if that is your bag. Problem is that if you try to mock Islam, you could end up with a knife in your stomach or your head in your hands. And THAT is the point Hari cowardly avoids. Islam is a violent pathology for some and this knowledge intimidates people into doing things like pulping books which flag up Mo the Paedo. Islam is unlike any other religion in that it does not separate between State and Faith and demands total submission. Worse still it  has millions of  Jihad supporting followers who quite enjoy a little violence – for the Prophet’s sake, natch. Hari’s fantasy that these Muslim chaps can be reasoned with, debated, mocked and ridiculed is risible, the truth is that Islam is the enemy within and liberals will be their first victims if they get the upper hand.

CRUDITY AT HIGH SCHOOL

By ATWadmin On August 14th, 2008 at 6:00 am


I see that Disney has sparked outrage by producing High School Musical pants for young girls with the suggestive words ‘Dive In’ emblazoned across them.


The underwear, part of the hugely successful movie’s range of merchandise, has also been criticised by the NSPCC. Disney’s High School Musical has been one of the most popular films of the decade for children and young teenagers, and has spawned a multi-million pound merchandising range.The NSPCC said: ‘This is part of a worrying trend of inappropriate clothing marketed at young children.’


I agree with them. Surely somebody should have figured that “Dive-in” on childrens underwear is inappropriate? Disney should not be letting this sort of merchandise through and if this was officially approved then someone needs a change of job!