By ATWadmin On October 9th, 2007 at 4:42 pm
It was interesting to read about Swedens education reforms over at the Debatable Land . They now offer total choice in state funded education – and as a result have improved standards. A new paper from the Adam Smith Institute suggests the UK could usefully copy Sweden’s voucher system. It points out that in Sweden:
After the government allowed parents to send their children to any school that they thought was best — whether state, private or religious — and the government made sure that funding followed the pupil, as long as the school did not charge any top-up fees, Sweden experienced an unprecedented expansion in the independent school system. New, affordable educational possibilities opened up to children from disadvantaged families. Swedish state schools were faced with having to compete in a more vibrant environment, and their quality improved as a result. Thanks to its spectacular success, the open access scheme introduced there is now valued by most parents, and embraced by all major political parties.
By ATWadmin On October 9th, 2007 at 4:35 pm
Having again watched the excellent German thriller/drama The Lives of Others recently, I was sad to learn the news that Ulrich Mühe,, the actor who played Gerd Wiesler, the conscience-stricken Stasi officer in von Donnersmarck’s Oscar winning film, died back in July. He succombed to a long battle with stomach cancer. His own life was similar to the film, only he was a victim of the Stasi and not an agent. In a strange coincidence, his first wife, the actress Jenny Groellmann, also died of cancer just a few months after The Lives of Others was released. Mühe claimed his ex wife had herself been an agent of the Stasi from 1979 to 1989, spying on him and their fellow actors, a charge Groellmann strenuously denied (apparently 254 pages’ worth of government records detailed her activities). A month before her death, she won an injunction to prevent him from publishing a book on the matter. The Stasi lasted 40 years in only half of the country, employed 100,000 full-time workers and had, so this movie tells us, 400,000 informants. If you havent already seen the film, its well worth your time.
By ATWadmin On October 9th, 2007 at 8:57 am
We all know that Northern Ireland is no longer the polarised violent society it once was, thanks to the good old peace process. Or at least that is what some claim.
Comes the news via the Belfast Telegraph…
"There here have been calls for calm after a Protestant man had his skull fractured during sectarian clashes in Magherafelt at the weekend. It is understood the 24-year-old suffered the serious head wound during clashes between nationalist and loyalist youths in the town’s interface at Leckagh and Sperrin Drive in the early hours of Saturday morning. Police were called to the flashpoint again on Saturday night after further disturbances were reported.."
Peace, perfect peace. And a kick in the head.
By ATWadmin On October 9th, 2007 at 8:44 am
I picked up on the latest diatribe from the Iraqi Government against the Blackwater security company, lovingly parroted by the MSM this morning. It seems that Blackwater should cough up a million dollars to each family affected by the incident that took place last Sunday when Blackwater’s PSD Team 4 was protecting a US diplomat at the Izdihar financial compound.
A bomb planted in a nearby vehicle exploded. None of the Americans was injured and the diplomat was hustled away with help from Blackwater Tactical Support Team 22 (TST). A second force of Blackwater operatives (TST 23) raced from the nearby Green Zone to assist and, according to a “sensitive” report filed by the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security that day, when they arrived nearby they came under fire from an “estimated 8-10 persons (who) fired from multiple nearby locations, with some aggressors dressed in civilian apparel and others in Iraqi Police uniforms .”
Just a few points here.
First, read this.
Second, will the Iraqi government be volunteering to pay up to $1million to every family of all US and UK military personnel killed in defence of Iraq?
Third, Blackwater IS the new Halliburton for the hard left and one can predictably expect the media to continue blackening Blackwater’s reputation whilst giving corrupt Iraqi officials an easy pass. It’s so instinctive, so very easy, to attack those who prevent the death of US diplomats. The better question is to wonder what to do when a convoy comes under sustained lethal attack by Iraqi "insurgents"? Call for the UN????
By ATWadmin On October 9th, 2007 at 8:18 am
How do you feel about the news that "stirring up hatred" against homosexuals is to become a serious crime punishable with a seven-year jail sentence under a law announced last night?
The legislation – similar to laws already in force outlawing persecution on religious or racial grounds – will make criminals of those who express their views in ways that could lead to the bullying or harassment of gays. The maximum sentence is longer than the average of around five years handed to rapists.
I am fed up with the series of legislations aimed at appeasing militant gays. Now the law is being further perverted to accommodate their wishes. Here’s the deal as far as I am concerned. I have as much right to criticise gay activity as that of any other group. They are not special. They are not unique. I would never seek to cause any physical pain to any person, gays included, terrorists exempted. (What about a gay terrorist? Mmmm) but I think that Government has bent over backwards to appease this group and such behaviour on the part of legislators is in itself discriminatory against non-gay people i.e. the vast majority of us.
The formula I follow is to condemn the sin of homosexuality but to offer Christian love to the person who is sinning. There is little to be gained in this life from hating people, that’s for sure. I am sure the vast majority of Christian people would go with this view. But can we now also expect that Government will bring forward a law that allows for gay who pass hateful comments about straight people/ religious people to also be prosecuted and sent to jail for up to seven years? In this age where gay rights appear to trump all others – care of a Government which worships at the shrine of sodomy – I think that the Bible should have the last word on the subject and it is clear on the fact that…
"Rom. 1:26-28, "For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper"
By ATWadmin On October 9th, 2007 at 8:04 am
Having gone through several days without post, both privately and commercially, I see that the Trade Union concerned, the CWU, has announced further rolling strikes. I’ve listened to both sides of this debate and am fully on the side of management at it tries to bring work-force practises into the 21st century. The killer fact is that the postal workers on strike get paid 25% to work more than their competitors and are 40% less productive. No business can survive against that background. The Post Office is right to drag these neanderthals in the Trade Union kicking and screaming into the current century and I detect little if any public support for these Postal workers who already enjoy a cushy 37 hour week. Management should not give in and if these strikes continue, then the workforce should be pruned to reflect the damage it has created and the inconvenience it has caused the ordinary person awaiting the post that never comes!
By ATWadmin On October 9th, 2007 at 7:51 am
No, I’m not talking about Belfast, I refer to Jerusalem!
In his response to the speech of Israeli PM Osloid Olmert at the opening of the Knesset’s winter session, opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu has warned that giving away parts of Judea and Samaria to the Palestinians would enable Hamas to fire rockets at Tel Aviv, and giving the Palestinians control over the eastern part of Jerusalem will make the western portion unbearable.
"Olmert will place Hamas men on the walls of Jerusalem," he warned. "Jerusalem will fast become a pilgrimage site for terrorists from all over the world. Handing over half of Jerusalem to the Palestinians would render the other half uninhabitable? the town’s square will once again stand empty. This is not the way to make peace. How many times can the same diplomatic loss of sight be repeated? The government’s policy is afflicted with total blindness. A vision must be rooted in the ground — not suspended in the clouds."
Bibi is right. Olmert is a craven leftist with no concept of leadership. He has consistently failed his people and will be voted out when he is eventually forced to go to the polls. The fact of the matter is that for an Israeli PM to cede control of part of Jerusalem to the genocidal Hamas movement is folly beyond belief and yet that is what Olmert contemplates and which Hamas anticipates. More dead Jews on the ground, more liberal hopes up in the air. Israel needs new leadership.
By ATWadmin On October 9th, 2007 at 7:38 am
So, do YOU think that organ-donation is a "Christian duty"?
The Church of England has declared this to be the case, in keeping with giving oneself and one’s possessions freely. Body parts should not be mistaken for the person themselves, and the best way to treat them reverently is to use them to heal others, the Church said. It was taking part in a House of Lords consultation on whether there should be an EU-wide position on organ donation. The Church said it would welcome the creation of a European donor pool.
Sorry, I couldn’t disagree more and I regret that once again the Church of England is plunging into the world of politics. Whether one chooses to donate an organ or not is surely a matter of personal choice which carries no religious compulsion? I can’t find any Biblical command which suggests what the Church of England claims. I have no desire to donate any organs and even if I did, the fact that the morally decayed Church of England now endorses it – (and just stops short of making it a compulsory act for its followers) – would turn me off the idea. If people want to donate organs – that’s fine, good for them. But I don’t – and I know that there are many out there who think like me. The health fascists want to make organ donation an opt-out matter – which is profoundly wrong in my view. Why should the STATE be given the right to harvest a persons organs as it sees fit unless there is completed administration to the contrary? The State should keep away from this, and so should the Church. We must have the freedom to make our own individual determination on this without being bullied by politicians or clerics.
By ATWadmin On October 9th, 2007 at 6:36 am
The issue could not be more clear. The Labour Government seeks to mute the voice of the British people on the so-called European Treaty. This is evidenced in the news that a Parliamentary committee has said that the EU treaty is "substantially equivalent" to the EU Constitution thrown out by Dutch and French voters in 2005. The European scrutiny committee said it should be "made clear" the UK can keep opt-outs of parts of the document. The Conservatives have said the government was now "morally bound" to hold a referendum on the treaty, as had been promised on the Constitution. But ministers say the two documents are "substantially" different.
The Government will continue to INSIST that the documents are "substantially different" even in denial of the evidence of the Scrutiny Committee. Why? Because if it were to accept the conclusion reached by this all-party committee it would then have to let the British people speak via a referendum and it knows we would reject what is on offer. The Euro-project would take a hit. This is a Government which seeks to shut us up. This is a Government intent on betraying its own people. This is a Treaty too far.
By ATWadmin On October 8th, 2007 at 8:28 pm
Henry Waxman (D, United States House of Representative, 30th District) is now using US government money to investigate Conservative Talk Radio Host, Rush Limbaugh.
Dan Riehl reports:
"Whether you enjoy, and, or appreciate talk radio shouldn’t matter …That our government is looking to launch investigations into private citizens not suspected or accused of any crime should. In one sense, this is precisely the type of thing the framers were most concerned with when it came to government over-reaching."
And from The American Spectator:
“…Rep. Henry Waxman has asked his investigative staff to begin compiling reports on Limbaugh, and fellow radio hosts Sean Hannity and Mark Levin based on transcripts from their shows, and to call in Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin to discuss the so-called "Fairness Doctrine."
"Limbaugh isn’t the only one who needs to be made uncomfortable about what he says on the radio," says a House leadership source. "We don’t have as big a megaphone as these guys, but this all political, and we’ll do what we can to gain the advantage. If we can take them off their game for a while, it will help our folks out there on the campaign trail."
Fasten your seat belts; the 2008 US Presidential election is shaping up to be one of the nastiest elections in a long, long time.