Merry Christmas to our Family 167

Having a wonderful family Christmas, and thinking of our community of blog commenters, hoping that nobody is lonely today.

As regular readers know, my favourite carol is “It Came Upon The Midnight Clear”. Search for the lyrics and you will find that this verse is routinely censored out (missing from 8 of the first 10 versions on a search for “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear Lyrics”):

Yet with the woes of sin and strife
The world has suffered long;
Beneath the angel strain have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not
The love-song which they bring;
O hush the noise, ye men of strife
And hear the angels sing.

Cemeron wants us to adopt Christian values. Not bombing people would be a good start in the New Year.

Love to all.

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167 thoughts on “Merry Christmas to our Family

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  • Mary

    Israel commemorate the third anniversary of their Cast Lead attack on Gaza (‘a greater shoah’ – Vilnai) with multiple airstrikes that have killed three and injured ten.
    Israel strikes Gaza Strip for second time in hours, IDF says
    Three killed, 10 wounded in two strikes on coastal enclave; Israeli army says strike thwart plans for major attack on Israel-Egypt border.
    Nothing on ZBC.

  • Mary

    This is a gut-wrenching full length promotional documentary (83mins) of the 2008-2009 bombing of Gaza by the Israeli military, three years ago to the day. It uses actual footage from local Palestinian crews of the bombs falling, the terror of the Palestinians targeted and the ensuing chaos of getting the wounded to overcrowded hospitals and overworked medical staff while Israel continued its relentless attack without mercy.
    Stories are told through shell-shocked children who have lost parents and other family members and who have been horribly maimed, physically and psychologically. This is not something that anyone should turn away from in squeamishness because it is very real and continues to happen to Palestinians who resist Israel’s inhuman oppression of their daily lives.

    We just don’t hear about it in the mainstream media. If you can absorb the grotesque acts of inhumanity in Holocaust museums and talk about them afterwards and say “never again”, then you have an obligation to see what is actually happening today to people struggling to survive under Israel’s ruthless military domination and occupation.
    Sonia Karkar
    Editor – Australians for Palestine

  • Ruth

    So Courtenay if Al Qaeda doesn’t exist, do you think then that a covert agent of the CIA stuck the Al Qaeda flag on top of the Court House?

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    “The only US military presence left in Iraq now is 157 soldiers responsible for training at the US embassy, as well as a small contingent of marines protecting the diplomatic mission.”
    BBC 18th December 2011
    About 5000 American officers, British/American private security personnel and special forces are stationed out of Erbil in Northern Iraq along the No 3 road headed towards Rawanduz towards the Iran border.

  • anno
    Aangirfan has an antipathy to Salafi Islam,combined with the friendly determination of the Windows Search Hound.
    Looking through the kaleidoscope telescope colours of an Irish newspaper, Aangirfan, AlQaida bullshit, and facts on the ground in Turkey where the Libyan jihadis are assembled against Assad, what can we conclude about the future of Syria?
    I try not to believe everything I’m told by my friends of the Blarney Stone, or Sufism, or Salafism, or CIA, or even Craig.
    The world is run by people with balls and no brains.
    Is it possible that the Libyan ‘rebels’ who have been persecuting Black Libyans indiscriminately are crypto-Zionists who want to create a colour sectarian war in Africa. Arabic speaking Jews or Zionist hirelings giving Islam a bad name in a repeat of the Slave Trade?
    Is it possible that Turkey and its freemasonry want to make another bid for caliphate under CIA approval and the Al Qaida flag in Syria?
    I am not a vicar of Bray to hold my ‘living’ under whatsoever colour of religion holds sway. I am a Muslim, and I swear by Allah, any that Muslim who helps to put the Muslims under the power of the disbelievers for their own personal gain, is a disbelievers.
    For that reason, I think that the story in the link is completely bogus. The Zionists are absolute masters of disinformation. Is it racist against the Irish to say the same about them? If so, sorry, just a playful grovel/growl.
    Nobody has unravelled the truth about the relationship between CIA and AlQaida in Afghanistan, but what we do know is that the main victims of the War on Terror have been Muslims who quietly preach Truth and Peace. When we go to jihad we have to know and tell people what we are fighting for. The Zits (pro-Zionist-Brits) have schemed and fought against Islam for a 1000 years.
    We have seen it all before.
    Are we Zits fighting to extinguish truth and peace in the world

  • Franz

    On the subject of who is and who isn’t a real Christian, I found the 4thought slot yesterday deeply disturbing:
    A “Christian” white rapper talks about church being “sick”, and bangs on about “this gift God gave us” without saying what it was. Nothing about Christ’s message, nothing about peace, tolerance and compassion; nothing about what Christianity IS at all.
    Maybe I am being paranoid, but I have a feeling this is part of a hidden campaign to redefine Christianity in terms of behaviours that are useful to our lords and masters.
    “And many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many.”

  • Vronsky

    “Maybe I am being paranoid, but I have a feeling this is part of a hidden campaign to redefine Christianity in terms of behaviours that are useful to our lords and masters.”
    Shouldn’t be difficult – you can find support for any particular behaviour somewhere in the bible, and condemnation of it a few pages later. To all things there is a season. I always squirm a little when people suggest that bad behaviour is ‘unchristian’. It’s perfectly christian, with clear scriptural authority for rape, murder, slavery, torture and genocide. Cameron’s barbarisms are perfectly orthodox.

  • Archie

    The gravy train never stops; they got paid to produce mountains of butter, whilst I still ate margarine because it was made expensive thus. Now the new trick is stop their turbine turning and get money for not making electricity, while I shiver in the cold.
    So much for saving the planet; it starts with saving the fat cats.

    £10m cost of green blackmail to consumer

    The rules meant that some renewable energy companies were paid more to switch off their turbines than they would have received from ordinary operations.

  • ingo

    Anybody who read Robert Fisk last article in the Indypendent, on the last few month of his busy schedule being interviewd by the Turkish media on his latest tome, including a chapter on the Armenian Holocaust/genocide, will realise that the sabre trattling in France is jkust another Sarkozy electioneering ploy to suck up to half a million Armenians.
    Turkey’s public is wel informed on the issues of the Kurdish progroms and Amrmenia massaker, these facts are now widely reported and as soon as Turkey admits its guilt publically, the doors to Europe will open.
    So they think, it will be most likely in the form of many bilateral agreements rather than an entry visa to all and sundry, roughly the same position Britain will find itsef in.

    On the issue of Libya. I would not be surprised if there is a sum on Cdr. Belhadj’s head. Not only can he confirm what Craig knew years back, he can also terstify that the environmental Indian Ocean protectorate of Diego Garcia is being used as a secret torture and holding pen for the war on terror protagonists. Elections are called for in six month time, he best look after himself, cause the UK/US liars brigade of our most undermined foreing policy, those who decide on the defense of the realm with ball breaking means, will want to save their ugly faces and him disappeared. Watch out commander Belhadj, Moussa Kousa is now be in the pay of the west, he still knows many in Libya and might have some tricks up his dirty sleeve!

  • Archie

    Matthew 12:44 Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order.
    1 Kings 19:4 while he himself went a day’s journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, LORD,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.”
    The only references to sweeping and the brooms that I could find, did not include the novel use of brooms for thou shallt beat the seven bells out of the next pilgrim along, and get on with spreading a good dose of brotherly love through a bar brawl as in the old western movies, in the Church of Nativity.
    I should imagine grace can be darn painful when a projectile as big as a broomstick lands on the noggin.

    Bar fight with brooms at Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem Over indulgence in communion wine can be tricky, here endeth the lesson.

  • Mary
    Tracey Emin believes the visual arts have a key role to play in our country’s economic growth. Sir Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate galleries and Gregor Muir, executive director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) examine how much potential there is for the visual arts to contribute to the growth of the economy.

    Today’s guest editor Tracey Emin returns to Margate on the Kent coast where she spent most of her childhood. Most recently she’s been a staunch supporter of the town’s new Turner Contemporary gallery and believes it has and will play a significant role in Margate’s economic regeneration. She went to find out how do people in Margate today feel about their town.
    Serota seems to think that ‘footfall’ is all when assessing the value of an art gallery as does Emin when assessing the new Turner gallery at Margate.
    She has recently been made a Professor of Drawing. No laughing in the back! One of her neon installations now resides at No 10. The gullibility of Cameron is thus confirmed. {}
    PS Craig reviewed the Turner in Margate and was not best impressed.
    {} April 2011

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Abe, it’s like something out of ‘Life of Brian’! I mean, it’s sad, obviously, but one cannot help smiling.
    Hey, whatever happened to Yugostiglitz? Has he joined the ‘Occupy Movement’?

  • Abe Rene

    Mary: I did consider saying that the fact the men used brooms was proof that they were peace-loving. But somehow I felt that this would be inappropriate.

    The “Jewish Taleban” in Beth Shemesh who verbally abuse youngsters, leaving girls nervous and in tears, seem to me worse than men who were at least fighting on equal terms.

    Bullets and missiles targeting the unarmed, where they are innocent of wrong-doing, are certainly the worst of such examples. Not only Palestinians but Libyans, Syrians and others have been on the receiving end of such treatment in recent months.

    The heart of democracy is respect for individuals, and that is needed in Israel’s Occupied Territories as well as Syria, many other countries in the East and Far East and maybe most of all North Korea.

  • Mary

    A very interesting post by Margo on Medialens.
    A mercenary, left to stew in jail, speaks out more than he should?
    Posted by margo on December 28, 2011, 5:36 pm
    A certain amount of insight can be gained by dipping into Simon Mann’s autobiography “Cry Havoc”. Left to rot by his ‘brothers-in-arms’ in a stew of ‘plausible deniability’ in Chikurubi Prison for years, the venal Mann decided to write a book. One of the more startling sections centres on how Mann was approached in the months preceding the Iraq war, asked to suggest ways in which a justified invasion of Iraq could be engineered.

    [p.104- 110] “[I meet Hart in Feb 2002] David Hart is close to Number 10…and close to those who matter in Israel…I find he has extraordinary behind-the-scenes power. In the US, he has links with.. Richard Perle, Donald Rumsfeld.
    “One day, David tells me, he was sitting with Rumsfeld in his Pentagon office. They talk about the need to invade Iraq, as soon as Afghanistan is subdued… Hart is an ambassador for invasion. He’s unaccountable, deniable. His kickback comes when big companies win contracts, for war or peace. David is on a percentage with God knows who.
    “Hart, freelance invasion ambassador, flies me to the south of France for lunch with Perle, Prince of Darkness. The lunch feels weird. I know well enough that Perle is checking me out. Taking a read-out
    “A week later David invites me to a party where I meet Perle, members of Mossad, my old Russian tutor from Sandhurst Chris Donnelly, now working for NATO, and Sir Graham ‘Jock’ Stirrup then UK Deputy Chief of Defence Staff, responsible for buying equipment for the Armed Forces. The jungle drums beat hard. The talk is of ‘how’ and ‘when’ we invade Iraq, not if.
    “David tells me he needs my help. He is writing papers on Iraq and the desired downfall of Saddam Hussein. These papers are going to Jonathan Powell, Chief of Staff at 10 Downing Street. Powell, in turn, is passing them on to his boss, PM Tony Blair.
    “What David wants are the ideas of someone like me.
    “Why me?” I ask.
    “You’re ex-SAS”.
    “Like many others – a hundred of them – here in London – and most of those better qualified than me.”
    “True, Simon. But they haven’t fought private-venture campaigns as you have – and won them – in Angola and Sierra Leone. We need outside-the-box thinking”.
    “Of course, I’m flattered. Who wouldn’t be?” […]
    “While I work up outside-the-box invasion ruses, I regularly meet David. Of course, we argue the pros and cons of the invasion.
    “Oil. Yummy contracts. Jolly good fun for the Barrel Boyz… If Iran grows punchy, then what better new place to have as a forward operating base than Iraq?”
    … My job – by way of casus belli – is to come up with schemes of derring-do that will kick things off in a fitting manner.
    ‘Raising the Flag’ is on of my schemes, ‘Q Ships Another’. The idea behind both is to trigger a chain of events.
    “Raising the Flag involves the thousands-strong body of Iraqis in exile, of which I meet Jalal al-Hashim. The intro comes from Richard Perle via Hart. We get on. He is the CIA/neo-con/White House first choice for leader of a liberated Iraq. We meet in his large apartment in the St Germain district of Paris.
    ..The idea is that [mercenary firm] Executive Outcomes would be reborn under a new name. We would train up his men, then accompany them into action. We’d take over an Iraqi city that was well clear of Baghdad but well within the zone of air supremacy of allied air forces.. Saddam would then have a horrible choice: come after us and risk being annihilated from the air or leave flying the flag of rebellion. Saddam would have to tolerate the presence of a foreign force in his own land.
    Q Ships means buying an old cargo ship in the Far East [stocked ith nasty nuclear weapons-grade fuel]. En route the boat would be stopped and searched by the Saudi Navy [and blow up].. Of course my plan is not to actually kill any Saudi sailors. Just to make sure the world believes we have.
    “By May 2002, David tells me he’s discussed both plans in face-to-face meetings with Blair and Powell. They like certain elements, dislike others. David asks me to continue working on these options and work on others. It’s clear they are going in…
    “That August in 2002, David and I fly to Israel. […] We’re driven to Mossad HQ. There we meet two government ministers and three directors of Mossad and Meir Dagan, appointed a week earlier. David introduces me as ex Special Forces. As if they don’t know. I am the man who can kick things off in Iraq. The new Mossad chief is rude. Dismissive. “No, no. That is not how you must do this. You must go in big. A full-scale invasion is the only option.”
    “We argue the toss. Then the head of Mossad puts us straight on another matter. “Unfortunately you have chosen the wrong country. You should be invading Iran”
    “Then the Pentagon’s news filters all the way down the chain to the likes of me. “Casus belli is no longer an issue. We’re going to invade Iraq anyway and for whatever reason.”…
    “No job for Mann.
    “Later, David Hart wants me to do a highly paid job in post-invasion Iraq, but I have other fish to fry.”

  • Voila

    he came out of 6 month coma with the name of Larry From St. Louis and started posting his rubbish comments again.

  • Vronsky

    My, the different significance of ‘the broom’ in different cultures. In Scottish folk song it’s a common euphemism for sex. The broom (a wild shrub with pale yellow flowers in early spring) is dense and impenetrable to the view, but has a convenient space of about 2 feet below the growth. If a couple were to crawl under it, no-one could see them.
    How sad that elsewhere it can mean something quite different. At least you all now understand that line of ‘Loch Lomond’: “I trusted my ain love last night in the broom”.
    . (Corries: Loch Lomond – still the definitive version) (Silly Wizard: Broom o Cowdenknowes)
    …and others too many to list.

  • Vronsky

    For Larry, from ‘Drop the Pink Elephant’ by Eamonn Holmes:

    Susan sensed something was amiss. Finally, she had to find out.
    ‘David,’ she called out. Silence.
    ‘David, are you being a good boy?’ Silence, then a reply. ‘I’m not eating my crayons, Mummy.’
    Susan leapt out of bed and ran next door to find David, the carpet and the walls covered in half-chewed crayon.
    Very young children make poor liars. They fail to recognize that an unprompted denial only prompts us to question the very thing they’re denying. Once we grow up we realize these things.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Ha! Vronsky, that’s a wonderful image: Broom. It renders a whole new potential meaning to the Carry-On-film-style mundane phrase, “Meet me in the broom-closet!”. That would be Kenneth Williams, no doubt.

  • nuid

    “I always squirm a little when people suggest that bad behaviour is ‘unchristian’.”
    Or un-American.
    Greetings from the far North, where gales nearly blew us into the sea here.

  • Franz

    “Shouldn’t be difficult – you can find support for any particular behaviour somewhere in the bible, and condemnation of it a few pages later. To all things there is a season. I always squirm a little when people suggest that bad behaviour is ‘unchristian’. It’s perfectly christian, with clear scriptural authority for rape, murder, slavery, torture and genocide. Cameron’s barbarisms are perfectly orthodox.”
    I’ll take your word for it, I don’t know all the abominations that were divinely sanctioned according to the Old Testament. I have my own private definition of what “Christian” behaviour is, and it reflects the core values I was brought up with. I’m not a churchgoer and I tend to agree with Ghandi: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

  • Suhayl Saadi

    The wind here in the Dear Green Hollow was high but now it’s dropped considerably. “Malinhead, gales, light-to-moderate, falling…” I find listening, deep in the night, to the BBC Radio Four Shipping Forecast profoundly therapeutic. It’s hypnotic, like a child’s fascination for the act of storytelling. It is our campfire rendition of the song of elemental forces, it is our aural shamanic interlude. It suggests to us that even the most chaotic forces can be ordered into rhythm… “German Bight, rising slowly, one third…” If Vogager I, now skirting the heliopause, has acquired consciousness, one imagines that it would sound something like The Shipping Forecast.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    @ Ruth,
    “So Courtenay if Al Qaeda doesn’t exist, do you think then that a covert agent of the CIA stuck the Al Qaeda flag on top of the Court House?”
    Not so much that it doesn’t exists, but exists for what and for whom?
    I believe it well established that the CIA funded, trained and used the Mujahadin as a proxy force to defeat the Soviets when they were in Afghanistan. It is that beginning that links the then morphed Mujahadin to the present Al Quaeda.

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