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 google.com 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.


167 thoughts on “Merry Christmas to our Family

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  • Vronsky

    @Suhayl
    .
    Isn’t the comfort from our realisation that we’re not out there, just turning over in our cosy beds and going to sleep? If you’re bobbing around in the North Sea I suspect ‘Viking, Cromarty, falling rapidly, force 5 freshening force 7’ is not the least bit therapeutic.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Yes, Vronsky, but it might be that hearing that voice and knowing that ‘Auntie’ is keeping an eye on the waves and the swelling darkness. Sailors do tune in, obviously, and I’m sure gain some reassurance that at lest they are prepared for whatever is rising or falling.
    .
    Now, the Bow Shock, hich lies at some distance beyond the solar system’s outer edge on the way to Proxima Centauri,, is another matter entirely. There are no soothing avuncular voices in interstellar space. Just the thrum and pulse of the ship’s vasculature.

  • Mary

    Getting ready for the increase in motorway speed limits?
    .
    29 December 2011
    .
    Motorway crash closures to be cut by 3D laser scanners
    There were more than 18,000 full or partial motorway closures in 2010
    .
    New technology is to be employed to cut down the time that motorways are closed after crashes, the government says.
    .
    A £2.7m deal will allow 27 police forces across England to get 3D laser scanning technology.
    .
    This quickly makes a 3D image of the crash site, instead of investigators surveying multiple sections of a scene.
    .
    Roads Minister Mike Penning said the technology will benefit drivers “by reducing incident clear up times by 39 minutes on average”.

    /..
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16346622

    .
    Reminded me of that old Rawhide theme song. Keep ’em moving’, etc.
    {http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSHr4ubuD64}

  • nuid

    “Its flammability rendered gorse symbolic as quickly flammable and quickly burning out; for example in Sir Nigel Doyle has Sir John Chandos say: “… They flare up like a furzebush in the flames, but if for a short space you may abide the heat of it, then there is a chance that it may be cooler … If the Welsh be like the furze fire, then, pardieu! the Scotch are the peat, for they will smolder and you will never come to the end of them’.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gorse
    🙂

  • Mary

    Iraq’s former pride, its education system, has collapsed.
    .
    The international seminar in Ghent was a significant first step in determining whether the extrajudicial killings, abductions, forced displacement of Iraqi academics and other professionals, the destruction of the educational infrastructure, during the war and subsequent occupation, are indeed a case of pre-meditated elimination of Iraq’s intellectual elite and education system, and could constitute “Educide”.
    .
    This word has yet to enter the international dictionary of crimes; it is a composite of education and genocide which the author has combined to refer to genocide of the educated segments of Iraqi society.
    .
    It can only be hoped that both the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court will pursue the question of possible educide in Iraq.
    .
    /…
    http://www.brussellstribunal.org/Newsletters/Newsletter9EN.htm#EDUCIDE
    Hans Christof von Sponeck

  • anno

    Mary, Simon Mann:

    ‘Of course my plan is not to actually kill any Saudi sailors. Just to make sure the world believes we have.’
    i.e. macho-porn: A war games fantasist fantasising about working with other war games fantasists fantasising about war games fantasies which in turn create war games fantasy media reports about war games fantasies for war games fantasists like me to fantasise about … full-scale invasion.
    We are sitting at our laptops ‘gaming’ the moral agenda, looking for drama that it is more interesting than the utter moral vacuum fakeness of post-1970s creative writing, novels, theatre, film.
    All the people who used to use their intellect creatively to communicate with our human need for moral thought are jobless in the vacuous news media and Arts worlds. The only people who can get paid to think about morality are working for Zionists on how to corrupt the world and get away with it, which requires a knowledge of what as humans we ought to be doing.
    Even the Muslim scholars are only thinking about what they could get away with doing, while sucking up to the moral trashing Zionist world-domination corporation. The concept of leading an Islamic life reduced to a fantasy, while reality is reduced to being just an extension of some Zionist fucker’s dream.

  • Pee

    Clark
    Yes, broom is not the same as gorse. Where I come from the Scots word for gorse is whin.
    Nuid
    And I well remember how quickly it went up in flames on Blackford Hill when kids were playing around with matches.

  • Vronsky

    Certainly wouldn’t recommend attempting sex in gorse bushes. They’re traditionally nasty enough to be a stage on the path through Purgatory.
    .
    When thou from hence away art past
    To Whinny-muir thou com’st at last
    .
    If ever thou gavest hosen and shoon,
    Sit thee down and put them on;
    .
    If hosen and shoon thou ne’er gav’st nane
    The whinnes sall prick thee to the bare bane.
    .
    (Lyke Wake Dirge)

  • ingo

    The last two mornings entertainment, attack loops from great hight, are becoming more regular, interspersed with whistlin winds and flying clouds, they are now part and parcel of ‘Crow country’, our beautifull Yare river valley.
    Started a thread up some weeks ago on the politcs.co.uk forum, under my most noncholant moniker, to see what response one gets for Independent thoughts, its smoldering along. Been told off for mentioning Bradley Manning, was told by some Jimmy that he’s a traitor, boeuf…
    In my last contribution I mentioned g’od, werritty and gould, wittered on about the lack of quality in Parliamentarians,etc, wonder whats going to happen next, it is an experiment in attracting the likeminded, who knows how long it may last.
    http://www.politic.co.uk/political-parties/21047-independent-candidates.html

    This anonymous blog has got us together, how about taking it to another level and meet up one sunny day and discover how much we are like gorse, prickly, colourfull and with a deafening scent that goes up many a nose….:)

  • Archie

    Russia has produced a ninety page report, documenting US abuses of; Human Rights extra judicial and wholesale wire tapping, Islamophobia, free speech, etc.
    ,
    DM says;
    What a cheek! Russia criticises U.S. for its human rights abuses
    ,

    ,
    Chicago Tribune says;
    MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia sought to undermine the authority of the United States as a global judge of human rights on Wednesday with Moscow’s first report to detail allegations of torture, phone tapping and abuse by the U.S. government.
    ,
    ,
    This is coming after China said:
    The United States is beset by violence, racism and torture and has no authority to condemn other governments’ human rights problems, China said on Sunday, countering U.S. criticism of Beijing’s crackdown.
    ,
    It seems, soon there will be others joining in to examine the US and her allies, with respect to their record on abuses of human rights, torture, extra judicial detentions and endemic racism which so far has gone under the radar.
    ,
    Those living in glasshouses, stones, etc. strikes back.

  • anno

    Ok.
    The main participants in the War on Terror are Zionists and Political Islam. They are basically religionists who have gone into political mode. Political mode is basically gambling/gaming.
    No one will choose leaders who are gambling until the leaders who are going by law, secular or divine, commonsense or tradition are still functioning. The gaming guys need to dumb us down and bump off voices of patience and peace before they they get a chance to play their war games. When it is clear that law has ceased to function at every level from local solicitor colluding with local police, to Gus O Donnell lying at the top level; religion has ceased to function from taking legal action to remove protesters at St Pauls to the gonks behind my house who invited my M.P. Liam Byrne main co-ordinator of the New Labour War on Terror to open the mosque; commonsense has ceased to function and parents who want to indulge their ‘adult’ desires are allowed to keep their children while their innocent spouses are thrown out of house and home. This situation is the result of the political manoevring of the gaming political class so that we have to reluctantly hand over power to them.
    There are two sides in this struggle, the political chancers, the gamers, the gamblers, and on the other side the people of law and tradition.
    Of course the chancers portray themselves as respectable citizens. This is one of the signs of the coming of the Day of Judgement, that those who are responsible are thrown out of the offices of leadership, while those who are reckless and self-serving step into the shoes of power.

  • ingo

    Well spoken Archie, but those beset by violence racism and torture are now sporting to cut off Irans foreign earnings with their latest enforcement of sanctions on oil exports and Irans financial sector.
    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2011/12/2011122943158217383.html

    Our overhead entertainment has carried on all day and the 10 day navy manouvres by Iran in the straits of Hormuz are inviting all sorst of derisable comments and threats by the fifth fleet ankered off Bahrain. the US navy is guaranteeing to keep open the navigation in the Gulf and will not take kindly to Irans rpomises to shut it down should these sanctions go ahead.
    we are very near to a flagration and not a single politician is raising it, its happening in silence.
    Meanwhile Maliki next door is faning civil war in Iraq, Exxon’s manouvres and self centred actions in the Kurdish controled sector is splitting loyalties everywhere, issueing an arrest warrant for his second in command does not help the situation either. Maliki clearly wants overall control and is using Baath party methods to get it.

    Where are the US condemnations of his tribalism?

  • Mary

    This fascist is at the vanguard of wishing to shut down some of the services of the NHS. He is the chair of the NHS federation.
    .
    He has seamlessly moved from starting off as a gardener at an NHS site to working in the Department of Health, setting up PCTs, obtaining a seat on the board of Sport England, working for Grand Metropolitan, since taken over by Diageo, and running a drug and alcohol service. Probably saw no conflict in working for an outfit that purveyed alcohol and the service for alcoholics. He is obviously very adept at inserting himself into jobs.
    .
    His idea for taking a quarter of hospital admissions to be outsourced to care in the community (what care in the community?) has been effectively rubbished by Jacky Davis, a consultant radiologist and chair of the NHS Consultants association, as being not thought through, more expensive and less effective than care in a hospital where the qualified staff work and where the facilities exist, and generally impracticable. She said that the primary care services which exist at present, such as GPs, social services and community nurses are already overwhelmed.
    .
    Mr Burns of course thinks it a ace idea. ‘I know. Let’s close some of the hospitals’ he eagerly says to his boss Lansley. What ridiculous people are set in power over us.

    .
    NHS Confederation: Hospital-based care ‘must change’Comments (462) Reducing hospital stays is right for some patients
    .
    Why 2012 is a big year for the NHS
    NHS reform ‘could shut hospitals’
    Q&A: The NHS shake-up
    .
    The NHS in England must end the “hospital-or-bust” attitude to medical care, says the body representing health service trusts.
    .
    At least one in four patients would be better off being treated by NHS staff at home, figures suggest.
    .
    2012 will be a key year for the NHS as it tries to make £20bn in efficiency savings by 2015, according to the head of the NHS Confederation, Mike Farrar.
    .
    Ministers say modernising the NHS will safeguard its future
    /..

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-16347119
    .
    BBC 24 have just got Lansley on live from Cambridge promoting
    ‘telehealth’ at home. ie you are fitted up with monitors which transmit signals if something is wrong. Unbelievable.

  • Abe Rene

    @Vronsky: Many thanks for that educational piece on brooms and Loch Lomond. I was going to say something about witches and broomsticks, but decided not to go there.

    @Suhayl: “I find listening, deep in the night, to the BBC Radio Four Shipping Forecast profoundly therapeutic.” You have my sympathy. Who knows what problems must give a chap such insomnia? But you could put it to good use. Perhaps you could write the mother of all novels set in a hospital, based on real people 🙂

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Abe, thanks for the suggestion! I was speaking specifically about the period immediately following a shift, when one is trying to wind-down, sitting stationary in one’s car – the Shipping Forecast is the perfect meditation for that.
    .
    Yes, as the names suggest, gorse is rough, broom is smooth. Gorse, therefore, would be perfect for S ‘n’ M outdoor pursuits. There is also the nettle-bed. There’s a market niche there, somewhere…

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    Ingo,
    .
    Happening in silence it is; while our serotonin levels stabilise after the Christmas gluttony, another starter thread for war with Iran is instantiated, Israel prepares for Cast Lead II, Occupy stalls, Cameron eyes Somalia, a truth channel is censored, a double-dip is evolving, our NHS fractures, Cameron bribes the mouth of a war criminal, America bribes Egyptian generals and ensures Abrams and F16’s are ‘available’ in Iraq and ‘military rule’ is positioned for the 2012 US presidential elections and Britain’s hosting of the Olympic games.
    .
    All these ‘actions’ are a ‘reaction’ to the extraordinary events that named 2011 as the year of ‘awakening’ – a collective rousing against tyranny by the few. So the ‘few’ have been defrocked, their publicity exposed; military rule and war is now their only loophole. 2012 is their year of atonement.

  • ingo

    Although I’m not an insomniac, I also like to listen to the shipping forcast, then a five minute silence/switch off until the national anthem is over, followed by the news from around the world, the most interesting of all, imho. Sadly its already heavily massaged by then.

    2012 the year of calamity, more likely, Mark.

  • Archie

    Ingo, Mark, Anon,
    Also not so publicised have been;
    ,
    ,
    US supplied Israhell with bunker buster bombs, soon as Obama got into the office, however these bombs have a slight problem; they detonate as they are being dropped, or if someone sneezes hard in their vicinity. The manufacturer has been sued, and restitution is being sought etc. Jpost, Ynet, etc. have been flying with the story.
    ,
    US navy is an ocean going navy, and not all that suitable for the shallow waters around the Persian Gulf. Also taking account of the promises of hell fire and brimstone from Russia, and China, the notions of a war in Persian Gulf would mean the end of the US and Co. hegemony pronto. Although there has been a lot of bluster about it all, but the bluster has transpired after everyone was sure Iranians will not shut down the Straights; on the fifth day of the Iranian naval exercises, and the fact that manoeuvres are taking place in or around Indian ocean suddenly everyone has found their voice.
    ,
    The game is a changing:
    Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev said December 29 that the U.S. air base in the capital’s Manas airport should be closed, because it poses a threat to the country.

    “Kyrgyzstan does not need an air base in a civilian airport, it is very dangerous. We want the Manas airport to be purely civilian,” Atambayev said at his first press conference, as cited by RIA Novosti. According to the president, the U.S. has already been warned that the air base in the Manas airport should be closed.
    ,
    Simply put Somalia option is being looked at because the warmongers are realising that Iran will be a war too many, and Iranians will be handing back the belligerents arse back with a few more extra holes drilled in for good measures. So far as the nuclear option goes, any move, in that direction will unleash the most comprehensive retaliation from Russia and China, in 1983 world came to near nuclear war because of the notions that US is the only country to have used Nuclear weapons on cities, and any further bombings of cities, and countries would mean US is intent on destroying everyone else too.
    ,

  • Mary

    Heard on You and Yours this morning. I assume the ‘ransomware’ as they called it only gets on to Windows.
    .
    Computer fraudsters are freezing personal PC’s and then demanding a fine is paid before the computer can be unlocked. The demand comes via an email purporting to be from the Police but it’s a fake.
    .
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b018grvhb First 7’40” and a postcript at the end of the programme.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    Indeed Ingo, our calamity; the seduction of war, of ‘colonised’ treasure, of the fabrication of killing fields; is it not these actions that embrace growth and feed inflation; much like a drug that cloaks reality?
    .
    We have been blessed by virtual machines that can kill by remote. No longer do we need to smell flesh burning, see brains oozing, feel blood spurting or hear screams of pain or begging cries for relief. We can watch the ‘game’ on controlled feeds into our living rooms, while preparing to review the aftermath; our self-sacrificing self peering through the fog; to comfort our minds by weeping for the innocent dead and injured, by despising the atrocities while composing arguments against the apotheosized soldiers of false freedom and democracy. We have become part of the adventure, an afterthought, an impotence relieved only by hope, faith and endurance.

  • ingo

    Archie and Mark, China will be watching closely how its Yingji 82 perfomrs from Irans Houdong missile boats. With a 98% hit rate, theoretically, two guidance system and strong electonic countermeasures this missile takle seconds to hit any ship passing by this 4 mile gauntlet.

    The situation would require air superiority to undermine Irans navy ability to hit a tanker. But it would only take a few hits setting tankers ablaze to stop all oil shipments. Indeed I would go so far as saying that only a pre planned first strike could ensure that Iran has no capacity left to respond in kind.
    The Saudi airforce will see its first real test but most fighting will be done for them I feel, as their overall standard of flying is poor.
    I have met some Saudi’s in Fort Bliss where they receive some of their basic training, they are scared very easily and were not very good in tests, indeed some had their test results massaged to keep the dollars flowing for their expensive training.
    So expect them to pay and us to do the fighting for them.

  • Mary

    I sincerely hope that RT has got this wrong.
    .
    Israeli Defense Forces have confirmed they are preparing a possible large-scale attack on Gaza. The development has parallels with the Israeli Operation Cast Lead, which claimed about 1,400 Palestinian lives back in 2008, named a massacre by Gazans.
    .
    “We are preparing and in fact are ready for another campaign, which will be varied and different, to renew our deterrence, if we are called on to restore full quiet to the communities [in the south],” one of the IDF’s military commanders Brigade General Tal Hermoni was quoted by Haaretz newspaper as saying.
    .
    The head of the division’s South Brigade added, however, that he would not equate the possible campaign to Operation Cast Lead just yet. “The mild response [to Tuesday’s targeted killings] is evidence that they do not want to feel the IDF’s fists,” Tal Hermoni added.
    .
    According to Haaretz, the next Gaza operation will be shorter than in 2008, but will employ much more firepower. The IDF explained that Hamas and other groups it considers terrorists now have more weapons than they had back in 2008. Since then the groups are said to be extensively using the Kornet anti-tank missiles against the Israeli tanks and rockets fired directly at IDF troops.
    .
    The situation on the Israeli-Gaza border has been gradually worsening since August this year. In the latest development which occurred on Thursday morning, Palestinians fired a rocket into southern Israel in reply to the Israeli aerial attacks on Gaza, Al Arabiya television reports. The rocket reportedly caused neither casualties nor damage.
    The development follows the exchange of violence which has marked the week. At least four Palestinian rockets hit Israel on Wednesday. On Tuesday, Israel’s targeted offensive at Gaza killed three and wounded at least nine people.
    .
    Gideon Levy, a columnist with the Haaretz newspaper, told RT that the current Israeli government has no serious intention of continuing dialogue with the Palestinians.

    .
    “The Palestinian Authority has just launched another proposal to get back to the negotiation table. They even gave up the precondition of freezing the settlements, which is a minimum condition, and they had suggested just a symbolic release of 100 Palestinian prisoners to get back to the negotiation table. And what did Israel say? ‘No!’” Gideon Levy explained.
    Watch RT’s full interview with Gideon Levy
    .
    http://rt.com/news/israel-palestine-operation-military-889/

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