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A REFLECTIVE THOUGHT…

By ATWadmin On February 20th, 2007 at 5:11 pm

The following post was sent in by regular ATW commentator Ernest Young. I think it’s good to take a moment out from the hurly-burly and reflect on what he has to say….

A thought sparked by an on-line conversation with another ATW regular, Colm, on how we oft times write comments to ‘get at’ the writer of a post, not so much in disagreement to the post’s content, but rather in the manner in which it is
presented.

Hold your hand up if you are not guilty of doing just that!…..as I see no hands, I take it that we are all at least a little guilty.

Of course, in the written word, especially at the level at which we practise the art, it is easy to convey the wrong impression, (You are not kidding there Ernest! DV) and thereby give offence, which in face-to-face conversation would probably not happen, given that most people do have some sort of respect for others, or the environment in which they meet, or maybe they just cannot run very fast. This natural restraint does appear to be easily lost in the colloquial, conversational environment of the blog, probably due to the style set by some of the more notorious early runners in the field, where there was little or no editorial oversight, and offensive language was more the norm than the exception.

I was struck with the similarity between the ‘blogging with comments’ environment, and the playing of games such as ‘Second Life’. In both we adopt an alter ego, and are basically role playing, whether we use our real names or some
nickname, in doing so we shed some of the inhibitions or shyness which would normally control our daily, real life interactions. By taking part, we become characters in an ongoing daily drama, sometimes comedic, sometimes tragic, invariably interesting,  in other words an alternate life, where  realities are discussed, and to which we can add our own options and opinions. We all have a chance to play Walter Mitty to some degree or other.  If we don’t like one game, we can so easliy change to another.

Like characters in a novel, we are all just figments of the readers imagination, and if the writer is good, then our imagination may be akin to the writers original intention. Bad writers give bad impressions, which amounts to bad
communication, and not nescessarily bad people. If it all goes pearshaped, why then we can just click on that little cross in
the red box, and all our troubles disappear, never to be seen again, – unless – of course, we wish them to reappear.   — If only real life was that simple! 

ISRAEL – THE GREATEST THREAT TO GLOBAL PEACE!

By ATWadmin On February 20th, 2007 at 4:54 pm

You have to hand it to the Democrats – they have developed moonbattery to an entirely new level.

Consider this question; What do YOU think is the single greatest short-term threat to world peace?

Iran?  Russia? Al Queda? Islam? A coup in Pakistan? Conflict between India and Pakstan? A complete breakdown in Iraq drawing in the Saudis, Turks, and Iranians?

No.

According to US Presidential candidate John Edwards, "Perhaps the greatest short-term threat to world peace, is the the possibility that Israel would bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities."

Yes, those pesky JOOOOS are the greatest threat we face.  Thank goodness for the reason that men like Edwards bring to the table….

ENTER PRIME MINISTER CAMERON…. ?

By ATWadmin On February 20th, 2007 at 4:42 pm

Betcha that Gordon Brown was not a happy camper when he read the latest poll in the Bible (Koran?)of the left, The Guardian, showing UK voters giving the Tories a clear 13-point lead when asked which party they would back in a likely contest between Mr Brown, Mr Cameron and Sir Menzies Campbell.

On this basis Super Dave Cameron will win the next election and become the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Labour will be vanquished and no-one will care much about the risible Lib-Dems and the frail elderly man who defiantly leads them into..erm….oblivion!

Just one problem – it would be a disaster for authentic British Conservatism were a man like Cameron to win power. He espouses the redistribution of wealth, he plans to maintain the massive State sector Labour has created, he will keep the UK anchored in the deplorable EU, he will oppose US military intervention in the war on terror, he will impose more green taxes, he will demonstrate that he is a man of the left, leading a party that was from the right.

So, whilst I’m pleased to consider the unhappiness of dour Gordy Brown choking on his cereal this morning I do reflect that we know he is an unreconstructed leftist.

Cameron, by comparison, is a reconstructed Conservative who is rebranding leftist values as "caring Conservatism." To my mind this makes him a greater danger.

IRAN SAYS NO!

By ATWadmin On February 20th, 2007 at 4:30 pm

We’ll be discussing this in-depth on Thursday nights Tangled Talk Radio show but did you notice that Iran’s President and putative dining pal of the 13th Imam when he returns to Earth, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has rejected international calls for Tehran to suspend uranium enrichment, a day before a UN deadline runs out?

WHAT A SURPRISE!!!  Maddy said Iran would only do so if states seeking the suspension stopped producing nuclear fuel themselves. He added that he wanted talks on his nation’s nuclear programme, but only if no pre-conditions were imposed. In particular he insisted on his country’s inherent right to wipe Israel off the map develop nuclear fuel since everyone knows how energy deficient Iran is.

So, we’ve left with an impotent UN and a Nuke crazy Iran. What to do? Close your eyes, count to ten and hope you’re in Kansas or…….

Caption competition

By ATWadmin On February 20th, 2007 at 3:38 pm

PSNI applications.bmpJim Allister’s latest Brussels Briefing (we political junkies sign up for those sort of emails!) contained this photograph will the caption “Mad Rush For PSNI Application Forms”.

It made me smile.

Can anyone think of a better caption?

equality

By ATWadmin On February 20th, 2007 at 1:43 pm

Ive been following the interesting coverage on the ongoing veil debate. Weve discussed it enough here already so no need to reopen it. Lord Ahmed of Rotherham, Britains first muslim peer, called for a sensible and sensitive debate among Muslims on whether veils were needed in today’s society. Opposing him is Ayshah Ismail, a science teacher at Preston Muslim Girls School, who spoke in favour of Muslim woman wearing the full veil in a debate held in the Gulf state of Qatar.

It was the debate in Qatar that interested me so I had a quick look at the website. The Doha Debates are a ‘public forum for dialogue and freedom of speech in Qatar’ and are broadcast around the globe on BBC World . They have run motions such as This House believes only a new dictator can end the violence in Iraq.‘ (attended by Galloway of course), ‘This House believes that the family is a major obstacle to reform in the Arab world’, ‘This House believes that oil has been more of a curse than a blessing for the Middle East.’ and ‘This House believes that Arab women should have full equality with men‘.  Ismail already sort of underlines my belief that women are sometimes their own worst enemies and this is further reinforced by one of the speakers for the equality debate. What’s worse though is that the two main opponents of equality for arab women are from the West.

SHEIKH JIHAD BROWN (unfortunate name?) is an American Islamic scholar, a research associate for a prominent Abu Dhabi based research centre and a consultant for various Islamic projects in the region. He has lectured and taught at various Islamic intensive courses in the U.K., USA, Canada, Yemen and Sri Lanka (quelle surprise). He was born in California and is a graduate of Rutgers University.

His partner in crime is KHOLA HASSAN, chairwoman of the executive committee women’s wing of the Masjid Tawhid in London (heh), and is an author of many books and an outspoken figure on the position of women in Islam.

Khola argues against equality on the basis that feminism is at the root of all our problems:  ‘The social, moral and sexual anarchy that we are witnessing in the West at the moment I think comes straight from there’ and of course that to follow this would be to kowtow to colonial masters – and Jihad argues that there is no such thing as true equality ‘At the heart of equality is the precursor to the death of God in philosophical discourse. Our vision is a God-centred universe, whereas the vision of equality, as we said, is that man or woman does not gain her worth except as she stands up to other men’ and throws in a similar attack on ‘Coca Cola Democracy’.

So ATW. Is there ANY validity in their arguments? And how can we have a proper debate about the veil with these influences arguing against the basic givens on equality?

And Now For The Good News – Supermosque ‘will be blocked’

By ATWadmin On February 20th, 2007 at 12:54 pm

Excellent news by way of the Telegraph, the Megamosque that was to be built in East London is to be ‘blocked’ by the government over concerns about the backers, the effect it’d have on community relations, and so on.

A few questions remain, though:

 – Why was a church pulled down to make way for the Olympics but a huge mosque was considered?
 – What happens when, after the Games, the moslems who moved to be near the megamosque start clamouring for it to be built now it would no longer obstruct the games?
 – I wonder if mosques can be blocked retroactively…

In the Year of the Pig

By ATWadmin On February 20th, 2007 at 12:50 pm

mao-zedong-3.jpgToday marks a shameful day for London. Once a great capital, we are now reduced to charity hand-outs from Venezuela’s kleptocratic President Chavez, who likes to spread around his ill-gotten gains, and apparently cannot find any poor people in his own country.

Laughably, Maoist Livingstone will be exchanging this tainted oil for advice on “traffic management and urban planning” subjects that he is manifestly ignorant of.

Is it just me that has noticed Mayor Livingstone’s inability to speak without slurring? I wonder if he’s constantly drunk, or is it a medical condition? Even his most ardent sycophants must soon realise he is unfit for office.

 

Vote for us or else

By ATWadmin On February 20th, 2007 at 11:55 am

The “Democratic” Unionist Party has already thrown the vote splitter slur at its opponents in this election.

DUP deputy leader, Peter Robinson, has described those opposed to St Andrews as “mavericks” who are “playing into the hands of Sinn Fein” (note the absence of “IRA” there).

What Mr Robinson conveniently forgets is that he and his party were only too happy to do deals with “mavericks” in order to climb the political ladder.

Remember how they included the words “ inclusive, mandatory coalition government which includes Sinn Fein[/IRA] under d’Hondt or any other system is out of the question” in their manifesto in order to persuade Mr McCartney to give Mr Weir a free run in North Down?

If Unionists should always unite behind a single party, regardless of the merits or morality of the policy it advocates, why was the DUP formed in the first place?

The “Democratic” Unionists now seem to believe that they have a divine right to represent Unionists – anyone who questions their position, regardless of the strength or sincerity of their arguments, is to be dismissed as someone out to aid Sinn Fein/IRA.

The fact of the matter is that power mad Unionist politicians are the people who are helping Republicans.

Sinn Fein/IRA cannot sit in the government of Northern Ireland unless the main Unionist party agrees to form a coalition with them.

A point which is frequently made by some who post on this site is that if you don’t vote for the DUP Martin McGuinness will become First Minister.

What those who make this argument seem to forget is that

(a) if you vote DUP you vote to make McGuinness Deputy First Minister,

(b) the post of Deputy First Minister is a joint office with that of First Minister and

(c) before St Andrews the First Minister would always come from the largest designation in the Assembly (i.e. as long as most MLAs were Unionists the First Minister would be a Unionist).

McGinness can only become First Minister if his party tops the poll because of changes made to the legislation at Westminster.

Mr Allister was the only politician to point this out at the time.

Why didn’t the DUP object to this at Westminster?

Because they wanted to try to blackmail the Unionist electorate into voting for them – vote for us or get an IRA man as First Minister.

I, for one, will not be blackmailed.

‘The Daddy’ at 50!

By ATWadmin On February 19th, 2007 at 10:27 pm

ray.jpg

As he is one of my favourite British actors, I thought it might be a good time to wish Ray Winstone a happy 50th birthday.  I met Ray Winstone by accident in August 1998.  I was out shopping in Hebden Bridge when I saw several cameras and a large van stacked with movie equipment parked in the town centre.  Crew members were busily spraying the streets with fake snow to give the impression of wintertime.  As I crossed over the bridge above the stream that flows through the town I saw a large man in a thick overcoat with his back to me.  I approached him and asked what was being filmed.  When he turned around I was shocked to realise it was Ray Winstone himself, about to shoot the final scenes from the film Fanny and Elvis.  We chatted briefly and I was very impressed with the fact that he came across as a very down-to-earth, pleasant person with no pretensions usually associated with fame.

Ray Winstone was born on this day in 1957 in Hackney, London.  He started boxing at the age of 12 at the famous Repton Amateur Boxing Club and went on to become a junior champion.  It was his tough-guy image that impressed the late director Alan Clarke to cast him in the lead role of Carlin in Scum back in the 1970s: a movie I rank as one of the best UK flicks ever made.  Although shot on location at (the long since demolished) Shenley Mental Hospital near Radlett, Hertforshire, it was a film which brought to light the British borstal regimes of the time.  Consequently the film was mired in controversy and banned from our television screens until 1991.

Since his breakthrough in Scum, Winstone has gone on to star in some excellent roles – including Quadrophenia, Nil By Mouth, Fanny and Elvis, Sexy Beast and Last Orders.  More recently he has been noticed by our cousins in America who cast him in The Departed alongside Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon, Leonardo di Caprio, Martin Sheen and Alec Baldwin.  When you get to star in a film with Nicholson you know your career is going places.

Happy Birthday, Ray.  He’s the daddy, and don’t you ever forget it!