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On This Day…22.12

By ATWadmin On December 22nd, 2006 at 9:12 am

AD69 – Assassination of Roman Emperor Vitellius.

1864 – American Civil War: Union commander WT Sherman occupies Savannah, Georgia, after Confederate forces surrender.

1938 – A fish, identified as a coelcanth – thought to have been extinct for 65 million years – is caught by a fisherman off the coast of South Africa.

1961 – James Davis is the first US soldier to be killed in Vietnam.

1974 – In Britain, a bomb is thrown at the home of former Prime Minister Edward Heath.

1989 – The Romanian army defects to the cause of anti-communist demonstrators, and the government of Nicolae Ceausescu is overthrown. The end of 42 years of communist rule came three days after Ceausescu’s security forces opened fire on demonstrators in Timisoara. After the army’s defection, Ceausescu and his wife fled from Bucharest in a helicopter, but were captured and convicted of mass murder in a hasty military trial. On Christmas Day, they were executed by firing squad.


By ATWadmin On December 22nd, 2006 at 8:10 am

merry xmas.bmpWell, today is the last working day before Christmas for many of us and I know that a lot of you out there will be heading off on holidays today and so  may not be around during the next week or so.  So there are a few things I wanted to say before you go.

1. ATW WILL BE OPEN FOR BUSINESS during the holiday. I will be blogging up until the 29th December, and then I fly away for a week’s sunshine! So if you’re around over the next week, you can tune in and I’ll be here.

2. THANK YOU to all my fellow bloggers on ATW. To Andrew, my stalwart and long term fellow-writer – to Alison, to Richard, to Mike, to Tom, to John (formerly of this Parish) – all of whom have livened things up over the past few months.

3. THANK YOU to all our readers. It’s great so many come here every day in a world where there are MILLIONS of alternative blog choices. I deeply appreciate your continued presence – and don’t forget to tell your friends and colleagues about our site.

It’s been a Big Year with lots of highs and some lows. I’ll review these in the week ahead but we’ve all made it through 2006 and so I will finish by wishing each of you a Very Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year.


By ATWadmin On December 22nd, 2006 at 8:09 am

Well, it MAY be the dismal science but it’s worth reflecting…..

Why do economists generally conclude that the economic impact of climate change is likely to be small, not large?


The growing literature on this topic suggests that most parts of the economy are not very vulnerable to climate change. Just as importantly, parts of the economy that might be negatively impacted are pretty flexible and adaptable to change. If climate does change, crops can be modified, different crops can be planted and crops can be planted in different places, for example. If sea levels rise, we have the ability and resources to build protective structures or, in a worse case scenario, simply move to higher ground.

Thus, while potential climate changes might be devastating to parts of the environment, most economists don’t think that it will affect our economic standard of living much, one way or the other. The bottom line is that recent history has shown economists that the primary cause of economic growth is technological improvement. Climate change cannot staunch the global torrent of new discoveries, processes and products. Human ingenuity is the ultimate resource and – as far as most economists are concerned – rising greenhouse gas levels cannot imperil this.


By ATWadmin On December 22nd, 2006 at 7:58 am

Did you see that Treasury minister Dawn Primarolo has poured cold water on calls for her boss Gordon Brown to create a low tax base in the province to attract industry and jobs? In a hugely negative assessment she said reducing corporation tax would place a "significant administrative burden" on both the government and businesses.

The Industrial Task Force, a group of senior Ulster business leaders, has for the past year argued the 30% corporation tax rate in the province should be reduced to 12.5% – the level at which the levy is set in the Republic – to boost the economy. (I favour a 10% rate myself, let’s CHALLENGE the Republic and watch the corporate exodus Northwards!)

Primrolo adds that "Following a ruling by the European Court of Justice in September 2006, it is also clear that introducing lower regional rates for corporation tax in the UK would violate EU law."

Nice to have an admission from this lousy government that UK membership of the EU prevents us from doing that which may be right for our regions. The lower corporation tax idea gets my vote but it has NO CHANCE of being championed by the goons in power. 


By ATWadmin On December 22nd, 2006 at 7:57 am

795151-604016-thumbnail.jpgFunny how the media applies different treatments to two dictators very much in the news…

Fidel Castro jailed more political prisoners as a percentage of population than Hilter and Stalin – and for three times as long. Modern history’s longest-suffering political prisoners languished in the prisons and forced-labor camps established by his regime. According to the Harvard-published Black Book of Communism, he executed 14,000 subjects by firing squad. These ranged in age from 16 to 68 and included several women, at least one of them pregnant. According to the scholar/researchers at the Cuba Archive his regime’s total death toll , from torture, prison beatings, machine gunning of escapees, drownings of same, etc. comes to 112,000 and counting. According to Freedom House half a million Cubans have suffered in his Gulag and torture chambers. Today, 47 years after the establishment of the totalitarian police state, political prisoners still languish in his regime’s prisons for quoting Martin Luther King and Gandhi. This is the head of state about whom articles omit the terms "human rights abuses, torture and murders" and where "gains in health care and literacy predominate."

795151-604018-thumbnail.jpgThen there was the recently deceased General Pinochet…

Pinochet, in contrast, led a coup to oust a Marxist regime that had been declared unconstitutional by his nation’s legislature and Supreme Court. In the "dirty war" immediately following the coup, 3,000 people were killed and 30,000 arrested. Within a few years all had been released or exiled. This is the head of state who is reviled for "human rights abuses, killings and tortures."


As I have stated before, neither dictator is to tolerated but the vilification thrown Pinochet’s way contrasts with the warm praise that oozes from the MSM to the Cuban killer. 


By ATWadmin On December 22nd, 2006 at 7:32 am

It’s reported that British intelligence and law enforcement officials have passed on a grim assessment to their U.S. counterparts, "It will be a miracle if there isn’t a terror attack over the holidays in London". 

Authorities say they are seeking…GET THIS….18 suspected suicide bombers. British law enforcement and intelligence officials say the ongoing plots have been in the planning stages for at least three years.  (Surely not preceding the liberation of Iraq??) The officials say the plots are all connected and track back to Al Qa’eda commanders in Pakistan who have been recruiting and training British citizens of Pakistan descent.

debris372.jpgMost disturbing of all it is suggested that it will be …" an attack that would be much bigger than last year’s attack on the London subway system."

I sincerely hope that this does not happen but I fear that we live on borrowed time. The UK has failed to fully understand that militant Islam is at war with us and that further acts of Jihad carried out by British Muslims are on the way. I fear that another Jihad attack will actually work to pressurise our Government to withdraw forces from Iraq and Afghanistan.

I’m also sick to the back teeth with much of the shadow-boxing that passes for real political debate here in the UK. None of the major political parties have taken a solid line on the war on militant Islam. I’m also sick to the back teeth of so-called "Conservative" blogs that delight in their own pathetic dhimminess and which fail to flag up the Islamic terror confronting us. We’re AT WAR and we need to start behaving as if we believed it.

I know ATW gets a lot of traffic from London and of course several fellow ATW writers and commenters are London based, so for all YOUR sake – along with the millions of others who live in our wonderful Capital city, I hope I am proven wrong and that our security services stay one step ahead of the Jihad boys……

100 Miles Apart But A Universe Away

By ATWadmin On December 21st, 2006 at 1:46 pm

freedom tower.jpg

This is the image of the Freedom Tower, the first blocks of which have already been laid at Ground Zero.  When the structure in complete by the 10th anniversary of that devastating attack, it will be the tallest building in the United States at 1776 ft (the symbolism of which is not lost on those who know the date of American independence).

Whether you like the building or not is irrelevant.  It will be the symbol of an America determined not to bend the knee to those who attack its people and, by extension, its constitutional integrity and place in the world.  It is the United States in general, and New York in particular, telling those who thought they had debilitated US society that bigger and better things can rise from the ashes of evil and turmoil.

I was initially of the opinion that Ground Zero should be turned into a square of remembrance, but quickly changed my mind.  The multitude and sheer scale of New York’s skyscrapers is what sets it apart from almost every other city on the planet.  The architectural ‘reach for the skies’ mentality is, in effect, a metaphor for America in its entirety: a ‘can do’ country that helped its allies defeat one of the greatest evils (Nazism) the world had ever seen.

bs statue.jpg

One hundred or so miles away from that iconic sight is a very difference face of America.  This picture is of the Bobby Sands memorial at a roundabout in Hartford, Connecticut, dedicated to him in 1997.  This is the very antithesis of what the Freedom Tower will symbolise.  For whilst that glass leviathan is a statement of defiance against terrorists, this monstrosity deifies them.  For there is no difference, save for one of scale, between the methods of the illegal organisation of which Sands was a member and the methods adopted by Al Queda.  The only difference is that the former historically had limited support amongst a small section of people in the US, blinded by the false inculcation of history into funding vile men and women whose purpose in life was to kill indiscriminately.

To argue that Al Queda and the Provos are chalk and cheese is downright codswallop.  They have different aims (no two terrorist groups are alike in their aspirations), but the same ruthlessness in fighting for causes regarded as illegitimate by the wider global community (no state, except the ROI, viewed Northern Ireland as anything other than a part of the UK).  The media spent thirty years broadcasting Provo atrocities and the planning that went into those atrocities across the world.  Are we seriously expected to believe that the body now known as Al Queda did not draw inspiration from the methods of the Provos, and the cowardly way sovereign governments eventually negotiated with them?

This obscenity at the end of Maple Avenue (in case anyone needs to know where it is so they can deface it in the dead of night) brings shame on a country where so very few people have been allowed to dominate the Irish American cultural agenda for far too long.  What the Freedom Tower giveth (in terms of the repudiation of terrorist submission) the Hartford dog post taketh away.


Not In the Name of the Father

By ATWadmin On December 21st, 2006 at 12:37 pm

David has already covered one aspect of the news of popular first names in Britain.  I won’t concentrate on the rise of the name Mohammed because to do so will just cause my anger and blood pressure to rocket to uncomfortable levels.  I want to talk about the increasing tendency of parents in this country to give offspring ridiculous names.  I’ve just returned from having my hair cut at the local barber’s.  A shaven-headed troll was about to plant his young son on one of those planks provided for small children, that rest on the arms of the chair.  He said:

‘Brook, tell the nice man what you want.’

Brook!!!!  That’s something you catch fish out of!!  Or go paddling in on hot summer days!!  It’s not a name for a person.  I work with another example of this lunacy at one of the homes I’m based at – Storm!  She’s just gone eighteen and she already has two kids, both with equally appalling names.  So what do we know about her?  She has a stupid name, and a permanently sore groin by the sound of things.  Oh, she also has that classic teenage attitude that makes you want to lean across a table and give her a hard smack across the mouth.

Whilst Muslims in this country continue to fornicate with leporidine rapidity; giving their plentiful loin-fruit names in tandem with those who feature prominently in their so-called faith – such as that of the Prophet with an eye for pubescent hot pants, we are increasingly bestowing titles of the utmost folly on our kids.  This is nothing more than a sad consequence of secularism.  Orthodox names have served previous generations well.  Why should this one be different?

On This Day…21.12

By ATWadmin On December 21st, 2006 at 12:29 pm

1846 – Robert Lister uses an anaesthetic (ether) for the first time in Britain during an operation at University College Hospital, London – to amputate a leg.

1913 – The first crossword puzzle is published in the New York World. The puzzle had been compiled by Liverpool-born Arthur Wynne.

1937 – Walt Disney’s first full-length colour animated cartoon, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, premieres in Los Angeles.

1975 – Carlos the Jackal leads a raid on a meeting of oil ministers from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). German and Arab terrorists stormed in with machine guns, killed three people, and took 63 people hostage, including 11 OPEC ministers. Calling his group the Arm of the Arab Revolution, Carlos demanded that an anti-Israeli political statement be broadcast over radio, and that a bus and jet be provided for the terrorists and their hostages.

1988 – Terrorists blow up a Pan-Am jumbo jet carrying more than 270 passengers and crew as it flies over the Scottish town of Lockerbie. All on board are killed as well as 11 people in the town when the plane crashes.

1993 – American newspapers report allegations that both US President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary have committed adultery.


By ATWadmin On December 21st, 2006 at 11:54 am

You will remember that a Westminster committee has found that a QUARTER of P7 children here in Northern Ireland have sub-standard levels of literacy. The Belfast Telegraph reports this and then waffles on about how awful it is that a scheme called "The Reading Recovery programme" providing intensive one-to-one teaching for pupils with literacy problems, is being abandoned by many schools because money earmarked for it has been drastically reduced in recent years. The Telegraph editorialises that the solution to all this educational chaos is –  the return of a local devolved Assembly!

All nonsense.

The Telegraph should be asking some very hard questions about the standard of teaching that prevails in our Primary Schools since this must be linked to the pathetic outcomes at the end of P7. Government has THROWN money at teachers – so why accept poor results? Maybe if we sacked a few incompetent teachers standards might then improve?