Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Blogpower Roundup - Chopping Down the Christmas Tree Version

Ta Ta Santa?

Ho Bloody Ho and all that from warm and sunny Adelaide. I am sure you are ready for something different by now. Let me prolong the agony one more day. It is Proclamation Day, a Public Holiday here in South Australia, where we celebrate becoming a British Province in 1836.

Matt Wardman has some very clever canines do his Christmas prep work.

Speaking of wild beasts lots of great animal shots on Deejays blog.

Wild Beasts?

Speaking of odd animal news angles, David Hadley has obviously been watching too much CNN as he speculates on the newsworthyness of an attack of chocolate mint covered Psycho Penguins.

As usual, Fake Consultant has dived into weighty issues like the constitutionality of roadside sobriety checks. Heavy stuff, a bit like my Granny's Christmas Dumpling (tasty too), but if you are interested... He has a lovely festive picture of an ice crystal for those looking for a quick fix however. Not too much ice here at the moment.

Andrew Allison weighs in on important issues, that of Christmas Tree price inflation. I know that our Christmas tree was about 15 dollars more expensive than last year for a similar tree. It is grown about 5 kilometres away and we picked it up ourselves, so what is driving those costs?

Cafe Grendel weighs in with the observation that christmas tree purchasers in Western Australia are downsizing by implementing a programme of size deflation.

On other economic matters, Louis ponders the bizarre ownership turnaround that sees Governments owning banks and private companies running the utilities.

Capitalists@Work has a pretty depressing economic quiz. Bad to disastrous outlook for the next few years for the UK by the looks of these learned chaps. Some pretty downbeat predictions from their commentators.

Perhaps they just have to be more hopeful as Thunderdragon picks up on the Spanish National Lottery, El Gordo.

Hopefully you wont have to emulate the Cuban way of surviving hard times for over 40 years from Corporate Presenter.

And even Mutley has been fired just before Christmas. Mean Google. Naughty Google.

And in other political matters, Cornish Democrat points me in the direction of a new mainstream Celtic Australian Political Party for me to consider if I ever get around to becoming a citizen. Bring on the Revolution my Celtic Brothers (Not!). I don't remember the link between Aborigines and the fight for Scottish Independence (Mel Gibson?)

And what about those mean Green Scary Santa Clauses? You can blame Coke for the change to red and what happens in bed. Chervil doesn't like Green Scary Advent Calenders , Jams likes Scary Green Creatures to send Christmas Cheer and you can blame George for this Christmas Day Disaster.

You may be surprised that Ellee prefers dirty laundry to diamonds at Christmas, Wolfie just wants to chill out and Ruthie just wants a simple family life.

And the most miserable Christmas message? Thunderdragon covers the very caring and sharing broadminded views of the leader of the Catholic Church.

And finally let us hope Santa doesn't come to your house this year. Evil hath no parallel.

It has been an interesting year for Blogpower. I wish you all well as we move forward into 2009, the year I hit the big 50.

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

To everyone who is celebrating this feast, may we wish you and your families a very Happy Christmas.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Lunch at my House --- Nobody Important

You would think that people who have lunch together every Thursday after walking would not do a special Christmas luncheon but it's a long time tradition and it has been at my house for the past three years. This year some people were away and some had more pressing commitments but last Thursday whoever could come gathered together to celebrate our friendship and the Christmas season.

Welcome to my house for the annual Thursday Walking Group Christmas Luncheon

Continued with photos of good food at Nobody Important

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Is this an Idealogy Yet? ---- Never Trust a Hippy

I've always thought that the sociology of politics - the associations and backgrounds of the people who are politically active and influential - is more relevant than a lot of political theorists are prepared to admit. And I wonder if an important development in the sociology of politics is being overlooked at the moment?

Writing on 'The Liberty of Thought and Discussion', John Stuart Mill made what is, I hope, a fairly uncontroversial claim by today's standards. Mill argued that the a vibrant free market of ideas, uninhibited by excessive censorship, was a public good by anyone's standards. That the more people wrote, thought, argued, debated, and so on, the better.

The collaborative authorship of the Internet has given a new impetus to this idea. Whatever people said about e-commerce removing a lot of the inflexibility that impeded the development of the free market in goods and services, it would be a great deal easier to argue that this is true in the market for ideas. So we have Open Source development and the Open Rights Movement. We have Wikinomics. We have The Wisdom of Crowds, The Long Tail and all sorts of other fashionable nonsense interesting new ideas.

Continued at Never Trust a Hippy

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Blogroll Issues

For some time now there have been problems at, the service we use for keeping the blogroll of members of this group. According to their website they are dealing with the issue and expect to be fully operational sooner rather than later. In the meantime there have been changes to our membership and sooner is becoming much later. Consequently I have laboriously entered the names into the blogger list of blogs which is effective only for this site. Please let me know of any errors or omissions.

For those of you using the blogrolling blogroll please be aware of that your blogroll is incorrect. The html blogroll is also not up to date and I hope to get that corrected as soon as possible and I apologize to those who are included incorrectly for the moment.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Fear and Loathing in Lyme Regis -- Mutleythedogsdayout

A savage journey to the heart of the Dorset Dream!

We were somewhere around Redruth on the edge of the moors when the drugs began to take was mainly lucozade and white lightning - a brew known locally as Wizz... and a voice was screaming "Oh Crikey - what are those animals?" Giles was driving the Morris Minor - "What the hell are you murmuring about?" He replied snidely...

"We can't stop here." I found myself commenting, "This is bat country!"

And so it is. The pipistrelle, the long eared, and my fave!! The Mouth Organ playing Bat - a porcelain bat which lives on window cleaners step ladders and in top hats!

I was on my way to do some exciting xmas shopping and to do my bit to beat the 'recession' as we must now call it. Luckily I will be paid early this Xmas - allowing we 'wage slaves' to spend Januarys' money in December - this sure to halt the credit timebomb!

Continued at Mutley's site.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Another slice of Childhood Gone -- Looking for a Voice

The death was announced this morning of Oliver Postgate, creator of Noggin the Nog, Bagpuss and the Clangers. Those of a certain age will remember these characters. This was an age when the Government was not teaching sex education at five, children walked to school largely without fear, climbed trees without the intervention of the Health and Safety Police, and were encouraged to dress like tarts and gangstas at eight.

The rate we are going on we are eventually going to need a State funeral for John Noakes.

More images at Guthrum's site.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Merkel shows the international leadership that Brown can only dream of

Dear Angela Merkel,

Even though I am deeply suspicious of anyone who supports a Federalist European state, I take my hat off to you for the manner in which you have gone about resurrecting the struggling German economy. Recession has already tightened its grip on your nation and it may get worse still, yet you have remained strong throughout. As I'm sure you have noticed, Gordon Brown has been prancing around the globe pretending to be our saviour or Moses or whatever. Instead of chasing the limelight, you have simply stuck to your task and put together a fascinating set of proposals to get Germany back on its feet.

First and foremost, I applaud your decision not to get drawn into this farcical contest of government intervention. To the US and UK governments, it might seem ridiculous to inject just a few billion euros over the next two years into your economy while refusing to cut VAT. Although a further 500 billion euros has been put aside to guarantee bank savings, these funds will only be provided with tough restrictions. Compared to the $800 billion US bailout and the £500 billion UK bailout with accompanying VAT cut, your support package is relatively tiny. However, my respect for you rocketted when you said in your annual party conference speech yesterday that you are not prepared to take part in a "senseless" competition of spending billions of euros to boost your economy. Now that is what I call leadership. Only a few days ago, you let the Bush, Brown and Sarkozy bandwagon pass you by when you said that "excessively cheap money in the US was a driver of today's crisis [and] I am deeply concerned about whether we are now reinforcing this trend through measures being adopted in the US and elsewhere and whether we could find ourselves in five years facing the exact same crisis." Talk about brave! All of a sudden, I had a horrible thought. What if you're right? What if all these hundreds of billions spent around the globe sink the financial markets so low that we could be creating the next bubble as we speak?

Continued at Letters from A Tory


Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Cultural Genocide:- why the Arabic language is problematic in the Sudan

Is colonialism really over? A question asked many times by the Southern Sudanese and other marginzalied ethnic groups. Officially, Sudan is no longer Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, but it is still a colony. A colony of the Arabized Northerners.

The colour of the colonial masters is different, but their actions are not.

Our new masters speak Arabic, practice Islam and read Naguib Mahfouz. They wear the toub and look down on "tribal" languages and custom.

My father learned the Arabic language at the age of 7. Before that, he lived with his grandmother in a village in Nubian-sudan and spoke Nubian.
Then came the move to Port Sudan. His father was working there at the time, so he left his village to join them. School was difficult, it was in another language. You couldn't speak a language other than the Arabic language there. If you break the rule, teachers beat you.
You are abused into learning a language.
He never taught me Nubian though. We always spoke Arabic at home.

Continued by Kizzie at I have no Tribe, I'm Sudanese