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Merry Christmas to all

Wishing you all the best, wherever you are.

The long tradition lives on.

File:Meister der Palastkapelle in Palermo 001.jpg

 

This painting from circa 1150 AD in Deutsch: Mosaiken der Capella Palatina in Palermo, Szene: Christi Geburt, by  Meister der Palastkapelle in Palermo.

Cheers!

From Jo and the moderators

Image: Wikimedia

9.5 out of 10 based on 82 ratings

112 comments to Merry Christmas to all

  • #
    robert rosicka

    Merry Christmas to everyone .

    130

  • #
    Chris

    Thank you Jo for all the work you , your moderators and the commentators put into this marvellous blog.
    I hope everyone has a merry Christmas and peace to men of goodwill.

    190

  • #
    Jonesy

    As my family sits down to rib eye steaks that would choke a bully and bbq prawns and snags and beers and family…it cannot be any more fulfilling than that. Hope everyone is as lucky as me to live in such fantastic country. Merry Christmas to every one 😉

    140

  • #
    Peter Fitzroy

    Merry Christmas everyone, and a happy and prosperous new year

    132

  • #
    Tim

    Merry Christmas to everyone, but especially Jo and the moderators, you are all legends

    170

  • #
    sophocles

    Christmas comes but once a year and is traditionally a time for family.

    Enjoy it.

    My best wishes to Jo, David and the team of moderators.

    Fantastic good work.

    170

  • #
    Peter

    Happy Christmas, and thank you for your amazing blog.

    120

  • #
    Peter C

    Thanks for the Christmas card.

    ‘Stella parit solem rosa florem forma decorem’.

    The inscription caught my attention. I was not able to translate it except for the word Stella, which I imagined meant star.
    Eventually I found this translation.

    (‘The star brings forth the sun; rose the flower; comeliness splendour’).

    The image is from a mural mosiac in the capella palatino church in Palermo, Sicily. I have not been there myself, but if I get to Palermo I will try to visit. The church is richly decorated with byzantine mosiacs.
    https://lonelyplanetimages.imgix.net/a/g/hi/t/22971e7420941bb0d90ab1b3f00c25b0-cappella-palatina.jpg

    The image is seen high on the left beside the barrel vault. The inscription separates a image of the pantokrator (Christ the Almighty) above from the Nativity scene below.
    “The two images are separated by a text whose content, however, may also be seen to link them: ‘Stella Parit Solem Rosa Florem Forma Decorem’. Giving pride of place to the stella/solar metaphor, the verse echoes the theme of the Pantocrator’s open book ‘I am the light of the world” (John 18:1), as well as the theme of the shining star in the nativity scene below”. ( Demus, Byzantine Art, p. 144)

    “The Pantokrator, largely an Eastern Orthodox or Eastern Catholic theological conception, is less common under that name in Western (Roman) Catholicism and largely unknown to most Protestants.” (Wikipaedia)

    140

    • #
      Peter C

      Now I have done a bit more work on the text.

      Parit also means- gives birth to, which can be a direct reference to the nativity. Should Mary also be the Star? Sun = light of the world is ok.
      Rose the flower likely refers to the holiness of Mary as well as affirming her virginity. Forma = shape/form. Decorum=Handsome.

      110

      • #
        Peter C

        Two corrections;
        1. The Christmas card image is high up on the right side.
        2. The reference should be “The cultures of His Kingdom – Roger the 2nd and the Cappella Palatino in Palermo by William Tronzo”.

        81

      • #
        Peter C

        I gave this a bit more thought over night.
        Firstly the inscription does not have any punctuation except for a dot to delineate each word. The beginning and end of the verse are shown by crosses.

        There is no precise order to the words in a latin sentence. The subject is usually put first and the verb last. In this case there is only one verb (Parit). It goes second so that the other words can form a poetic sequence ;….solem..florem…decorem.
        There are three subjects – nominative- (Stella, Rosa and Forma), again rhyming, and three objects – accusative-(Solem, Florem, Decorem).

        So, apply the verb to each part of the verse; Stella parit solem, Rosa parit florem, Forma parit decorem.
        The Star gives forth the Sun, The Rose gives forth the flower and the Form gives forth comeliness beauty.

        30

  • #
    George McFly......I'm your density

    Jo and the team, keep up the excellent work.

    140

  • #
    Contemptible Blackguard

    Jo
    ‘This is off topic but I was wondering what you think about the attached article from some alleged Éxpert’ named Giles Parkinson who has tried to shoot down Robt Gottliebsens article about the Tesla’s blowing out the transformers.

    https://reneweconomy.com.au/murdoch-media-and-the-myth-about-tesla-evs-causing-blackouts-84284/

    50

    • #

      See this post https://joannenova.com.au/2018/03/another-way-to-destroy-a-grid-add-a-million-electric-vehicles/
      Find the NZ report that talks about EV loads.

      ” …each slow charger (7kW) is equivalent to adding nearly three houses to the grid. “
      But these are nothing compared to the 50KW fast chargers.

      ” Each 50KW fast charger will apparently be “like” adding the equivalent of 20, count them, 20 homes.”

      PS: Most household ovens are not 7KW but 2 – 5KW, and unlike a car they don’t draw that for 10 hours continuously.

      190

      • #
        David Wojick

        Absolutely fabulous numbers. 20 houses suddenly appearing in the grid, here, there and everywhere.

        110

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          Yup…by design….destroy our industrial civilization on purpose…

          This is a spiritual war…good vs evil.

          31

      • #
        Contemptible Blackguard

        Hello Jo

        As always, the reliable source, so thanks for the confirmation.

        I had been showing a die hard from the ‘Thunbergian Left’ that he has been propagandized to within an inch of his life by the Climate Laputians.

        And as only a right thinking person would do to a mortally wounded animal, I have put him out of his misery.

        90

  • #
    David Maddison

    Thank you Jo and all contributors for all your hard work.

    100

  • #
    Kalm Keith

    To Jo,

    thank you for this amazing Blog, where even the complexities of the U.S. systems of government can be examined in detail and understood.

    In the last few weeks both the open and visible functions of U.S. election procedures and the subterranean dark side of the “influencers” have been put into perspective for us in a way not possible for the regular, professional news services.

    A great achievement.

    Merry Christmas Jo, David, Mods and fellow Contributors and may 2021 live up to our dreams of a better, saner world.

    KK

    240

  • #
    RexAlan

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to Jo the moderators and everyone on this blog.

    160

  • #
    TGWatkins

    Nadolig Llawen a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda from sunny but cold Wales.
    Thank you to you and your team for all your brilliant work over the last several years.
    Gareth

    130

  • #

    MERRY CHRISTMAS back atcha, Jo, el al.

    Regards,
    Bob

    130

  • #
    Peter C

    The “Christmas Star” is still visible, for those how are interested in such things.

    I need binoculars to make out Saturn in the evening twilight. Jupiter is easily visible.

    Tonight we have a clear western horizon in Melbourne. It should be visible for another few days at least.
    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2020/12/21/viewing-the-star-of-bethlehem-tonight-the-great-jupiter-saturn-conjunction/

    120

    • #
      sophocles

      Tonight we have a clear western horizon in Melbourne. It should be visible for another few days at least.

      Good luck with it Peter. I’m jealous! 😀

      In Auckland, the conjunction was at it’s best on the 21st. I got a good clear look up until the planets’ setting (22.45 local time) on the night of the 20th (Sunday night) and patchy (as viewed through occasional gaps in the overcast) on the night of 21st. Since then, it’s been `solidly’ overcast. In retrospect, I should have taken advantage of the three preceding nights, too. I didn’t.

      Auckland has been terrible for watching any astronomical phenomena over SC24. You can choose between overcast, Overcast and OverCast, and an occasional OVERCAST. Then there was rain. The three nights before the 21st, especially the 20th, were outstanding exceptions. Well, nobody will be looking early, so it could afford to be! I did get some (un)coverage.

      I don’t expect SC25 to be any improvement over SC24, (and SC26 could be really bad: the Svensmark Effect really works) so I put the wonderful conditions of the 20th down to a fluke. They (Jupiter and Saturn) will be mixing it with Venus + Mercury imminently around sunset, and I was hoping to watch all that, too. The overcast is persistent and so Frustrating.

      Enjoy what you can.

      90

      • #

        Check out Sunset times for Jupiter. It was 9.18pm a few days ago and is gradually getting earlier. By sometime in Jan it will be “too early” to see and setting with the sun. But if you have clear skies at sunset any day in the next week you could still see them. But if you drove to a dark hill you might still get a good view.

        40

    • #
      RicDre

      “The ‘Christmas Star’ is still visible, for those how are interested in such things.”

      Alas I have been unable to view it here in Northeastern Ohio, USA as it has ben cloudy for most of the last few days and over the last 24 hours we’ve gotten a foot (30.48cm) of snow and its still falling. Unsurprisingly, no one predicted snow would be a thing of the past here in Northeastern Ohio.

      110

      • #
        Greg in NZ

        Twenty years ago ‘experts’ said NZ’s ski industry was on its last legs. Yet last night Santa delivered the best Christmas present EVAH for skeptics* – a fresh dusting of summer snow atop our Southern Alps!

        Numerous sites have webcam pics: metservice.co.nz and mountainwatch.com and arthurspass.co.nz

        Merry Boxing Day & a Happy New Year to all! Brrrrr it’s chilly…

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    • #
      RicDre

      I did see an interesting picture of the International Space Station passing between Saturn and Jupiter:

      Photographer Captures ISS Passing Between Jupiter and Saturn

      Last night, photographers and stargazers around the world were treated to the Great Conjunction, a event in which Jupiter and Saturn appeared closer to each other in the sky than they have for hundreds of years. Countless photos were undoubtedly snapped of the rare sight, but photographer Jason De Freitas captured a particularly lucky one a few days ago showing the ISS zipping between the two planets.

      https://petapixel.com/2020/12/22/photographer-captures-iss-passing-between-jupiter-and-saturn/

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    • #
      Peter C

      The Story of the First Christmas Star.

      Matthew 2:1-12
      King James Version
      2 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

      2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

      3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

      4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.

      5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,

      6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

      7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.

      8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

      9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

      10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

      11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.

      12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

      The Wise Men are more properly known as the Magi (Zoroastrian priests from Persia). They were known for practicing astrology (ie studying the night sky for portents of Earthly events)
      According to one account I read some years ago ‘the star’ was likely a conjunction of Jupiter with another bright planet in the constellation of Pisces. This could be interpreted by the magi as the birth of a king because it involved Jupiter (king of the gods and associated with kingship) with an unusual event. The constellation of Pisces was an indicator of Judaea.

      The ‘star’ was not noticed by other observers because they were not learned in these matters. So the magi wen’t to Judea and visited king Herod to ask about the birth. The chief priests and scribes were able to give the location because of the prophesy of Micah. Exactly how the ‘star’ came to stand over the place where he lay, I can’t explain.

      120

    • #
      RickWill

      Peter
      Did you see my photo from a few days back:
      https://1drv.ms/u/s!Aq1iAj8Yo7jNhA1E20Lr8Ybx6pDY

      I took that with a hand held camera; I was surprised that I could get the detail of both planets with such a long exposure and relatively high zoom.

      Best wishes to all.

      I learnt more about Taiwan in 2020. I hope their recent Trump rallies are an omen for the right outcome in 2021.

      70

      • #
        Peter C

        Thanks Rick,

        Great photo. I am going to keep a copy.
        I did not see them as close as that. Did you take the photo from Melbourne?

        50

        • #
          Annie

          I had a wonderful view from here, Nth Central Vic, through binoculars on Saturday and Sunday as the sky was so clear. As is my usual luck with these things, on Monday (21st) it was cloudy, so missed the closest conjunction!
          Bino’s without support made it too difficult to see Jupiter’s moons or Saturn’s rings!

          30

        • #
          RickWill

          Peter
          Just taken from SE Melbourne.

          The camera has 18X optical zoom and then some digital zoom. I had it near the end of the optical zoom. I was surprised at the image given that the camera was not on a tripod and I operated it by hand as well.

          I expect Saturn will be south of Jupiter tonight. I missed the overlap due to overcast conditions.

          30

      • #
        PeterPetrum

        Great shot, Rick. Well done. Too cloudy up here in the Blue Mountains to see anything at night, unfortunately. Christmas Day was, cloudy, wet and “dreich” as we Scots would say (even expat ones). It’s kind of onomatopoeic, sound a bit like it feels, miserable!

        40

    • #

      As we came out of the Christmas eve service in southern England the sun was setting extremely redly in just the area the star was supposed to be visible. So we went for a cold walk to look at all the Christmas lights and on our return the sky was dark enough to see the Christmas star hanging just above the sea. A few goose bumps to think it might have been viewed by more illustrious travellers than us in that long ago time before brexit.

      10

  • #
    Jim Barker

    Merry Christmas!

    110

  • #
    William Sluman

    Hi Jo,

    Thanks for providing my first port of call every morning at breakfast. Your card, painted from 1150 AD, would be right in the Medieval Warm Period, a period at least as warm as the present and most likely a bit warmer. A time when the warmer climate permitted human civilisations to flourish.

    120

  • #

    Okay then, a happy and peaceful Christmas to all of you.

    It’s now almost 10.00PM our time here in Queensland and we are home after a wonderful time of almost eight hours spent with our family in our Son’s apartment next door to ours, and there was just the six of us. We handed out presents and along with a 6 Pack of Corona beer, (which has sold out of sight here this year, gee, who would have thought) I received an Amazon Firestick so now I can stream all I want on out TV, almost limitless access to anything at all online. Now all I have to do is to learn how to best use it. As I have now become well aware of, this year of crisis has also been one of learning, and I have found that there is so much that technology can now offer that I just was not aware of.

    Our Son was barbecuing chicken on his Webber Barbecue. I thought it was a recipe he found, and it probably might actually be found somewhere in online recipe sites, but evidently it’s one he did for the first time. I asked him what it was and he said, somewhat tongue in cheek I now realise, that it was called Chicken Paradisio, so I reminded myself to later look that up. Lucky I pressed him about it, because he said he made the name up, and when I did look later, any recipe I could find for something that sounded even partly similar, Chicken Paradiso (different spelling) was completely different. My guess is that it might be a variation on any number of already existing recipes.

    So here it is, mainly so I can remember it while it is still fresh.

    There were six of us, so here, we used three full and thick chicken breasts whole. Each breast is cut in half. Place the whole breast flat on a cutting board. Running the knife parallel to the cutting board surface, slice the chicken breast in half lengthwise, so you now have two full sized breast sized slices, and still relatively thick, almost the thickness of a thick steak.

    Barbecue these until done, and as they cook in around the same time as a steak, that’s around six minutes a side on the grill, not on the flat barbecue plate, at full whack temperature.

    Once done, the rest of the ingredients are placed on top of the now cooked chicken.

    The first thing placed on is shaved ham, and here, he found a quality ham for that purpose. Around three quarters of an an inch or so of this shaved ham along the whole length of the half chicken breast. Then, on top of that one slice of pineapple, and that’s a round circular cored pineapple slice. Then on top of that, place one slice of Mozzarella Slices of cheese. Before today, I did not even know you could get Mozzarella in slices.

    Then close the lid of the barbecue. He had the lid down for around three, maybe four minutes. When he lifted the lid, the Mozzarella Slices had all but melted down, and the ham was warmed over, with the pineapple also warmed over. The melted cheese was almost down to the level of the chicken breast, so in a way it sealed in the ham and pineapple slice.

    Then he dished it up. We had it with a salad, and it was just so yummy, and perfectly cooked. He has what I would term as a small Webber, but these six chicken breasts were quite comfortably catered for on the grid, and not on the flat plate.

    Now I know how to do it, it’s something I will try on my own barbecue.

    Ahh! Life is just so darned good.

    Tony.

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    • #
      sophocles

      Damn. That made my mouth water!

      80

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Tut, tut! Tony.

      The latest outburst from some academic is to worry about the effect of Christmas cooking on the environment.
      “The report recommends a novel way that could halve the environmental impact of roasting a turkey on Christmas Day – it involves placing the roast in a vacuumed plastic pouch or bag and submerging it in a heated water bath for eight hours until the internal temperature of the meat is between 55°C for white meat to 75°C for dark meat.”

      Apparently heating a lot of water for 8 hours doesn’t require anything other than a reliable supply of electricity from reliable renewables.
      The comments on health issues on Tallbloke’s Talk site are interesting. As it is the time of Good Will to All I will refrain from suggesting where to source a suitable turkey.

      110

      • #
        Annie

        Bizarre! How do you check the internal temperature of the meat without puncturing the vacuum-sealed bag?
        Give me a properly roasted turkey!

        40

    • #
      PeterPetrum

      Jings, that sounds braw!

      30

  • #
    Saighdear

    Merry Christmas with much Best wishes form the North of Scotland ( for those who don’t know- that DOES NOT mean from the islands to the North of Scotland! 😉 ), where the weather has warmed somewhat: frost has gone overnight. Lovely mid-day for a walk and some contemplation. God Bless you all.

    140

  • #
    Annie

    Wishing you all, Jo and family, moderators and all contributors a very Merry and Happy Christmas.
    We had a wonderful day; church first and then a late lunch with turkey and the works with our daughter and grandson. We also had some very funny pics on WhatsApp of various sons enjoying their Corona!

    110

  • #
    Boris

    Merry Christmas to one and all.

    60

  • #
    R2Dtoo

    Merry Christmas to all from the beautiful frozen landscape of the Canadian prairies. This is my first stop every morning and has become my favourite site. Thank you – God bless!

    140

  • #
    Deano

    Best Christmas wishes to all especially those doing it hard or lonely.

    Forgive my sin of posting a Christmas joke (hope you haven’t heard it too many times yet):

    A new Australian ambassador to the U.N. turns up to take over from the outgoing one. “Now, you have to be careful of journalists” the retiring one warns “They’re sneaky buggers mate. They’ll pretend to be trustworthy and very confidential, get something out of you, then use it against you the first opportunity.” Heeding this advice, the new guy settles into the job and does well. Christmas holidays are about to start and his car is waiting outside the UN building to take him to the airport to fly home for Christmas. The phone rings and it’s a BBC journalist asking if he’d like anything for Christmas. Thinking was an attempt to test him for corruption and bribery, he says “Oh no no no. I’m couldn’t possibly accept any gifts.” “But Mr Ambassador, all the other ambassadors have already told me their wishes. Surely you must want something for Christmas?” The ambassador puts the phone on hold, explains the situation to his assistant and says, “Look I hate to dump this on you but they’ll make me look like a Grinch if I don’t make a wish. I’m late for my driver to get to my flight, so just think up something really cheap that no one could construe as a bribe to shut him up.”
    A few hours later on the plane, the ambassador is laying back in his first class seat, sipping fine wine and looking forward to a few weeks of carefree leave back in Oz. He decides to watch the news on his screen and up pops the BBC News! At the end of the bulletin they announce that various U.N. ambassadors were asked what their wishes were for Christmas. “The United States ambassador wished for a speedy rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine across the globe. The Indian ambassador said she dreamed of a world without war or poverty. And the new Australian ambassador said he’d like a bag of jelly beans.”

    Cheers,
    Deano.

    120

    • #
      Graeme No.3

      Since you started this:
      A MESSAGE FROM THE QUEEN

      To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. 

”In light of your failure to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA, and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately.
      Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except North Dakota, and Utah, which she does not fancy).
      Our new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections. Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any of you noticed. 

To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:
      
1. The letter ‘U’ will be reinstated in words such as ‘colour,’ ‘favour,’ ‘labour’ and ‘neighbour.’ Likewise, you will learn to spell ‘doughnut’ without skipping half the letters, and the suffix ‘-ize’ will be replaced by the suffix ‘-ise.’ Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels. (look up ‘vocabulary’).
      
2. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as ‘like’ and ‘you know’ is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as U.S. English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf. The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter ‘u’ and the elimination of ‘-ize.’
      
3. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday. 

      
4. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you’re not quite ready to be independent. Guns should only be used for shooting grouse. If you can’t sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you’re not ready to shoot grouse.
      
5. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. Although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.
      
6. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect. At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour. 

      
7. The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon. Get used to it. 

      
8. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.
      
9. The cold, tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager.American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat’s Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion. 

      10. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters. Watching Andie MacDowell attempt English dialect in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one’s ears removed with a cheese grater.
      
11. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full Kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies).
      
12. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the South Africans first to take the sting out of their deliveries.
      
13. You must tell us who killed JFK. It’s been driving us mad.
      
14. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776). 

      15. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 p.m. with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream) when in season.

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        robert rosicka

        Not sure that would improve America given what Boris has been up to of late .

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        Contemptible Blackguard

        And you omitted the use of the American penchant for using the word ‘right’ at the end of almost every sentence as if they are lacking self confidence, or need assurance for each statement. It almost drives me crazy, right!?

        But only Poms Kiwis and us get the real game right by calling everyone Mate instead of Buddy.

        50

        • #
          John F. Hultquist

          I never end a sentence with “right” and I never call anyone Buddy.
          There is a wine I used to call “Chardonn” but Canadian friends always call it Chardonnay. Works for me.

          10

      • #
        sophocles

        An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty’s Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776). 


        What?
        No penalty Interest, compounded for each year of non-payment?
        That’s far too generous. No government could or would do that!

        40

      • #

        Excellent stuff Graeme.

        Not sure if we will have a governor or merely a consul whilst transition to the new order proceeds but can I suggest one Donald Trump might fit the bill?

        He will be appointed for ten years and he might as well live in the White house unless her majesty decides it might be suitable as her residence when she deigns to visit the united states of America. A competition will be held to decide the new name for the country and to design a new flag.

        20

  • #

    (pretty average) Christmas joke.

    What do you call Garry Kasparov, Boris Spassky and Booby Fischer expounding their achievements in the hotel lobby?

    Chess nuts boasting on an open foyer.

    (sorry, couldn’t help myself)

    Tony.

    242

  • #
    Jojodogfacedboy

    Merry Christmas one and all with peace on Earth and good will to men. Ops, to all…political correctness.

    80

  • #
    John F. Hultquist

    Here in the Great State of Washington — central part — on Christmas morning we have a crisp -4°C temperature, fully overcast sky, and no snow.
    I’m about to go throw seeds to the wild quail …, and hay to the horses.

    * * * MERRY CHRISTMAS * * *

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      David Wojick

      Hope you give the horses lots of hay. Mine get double rations. Low tonight 13F with 30 mph gusts. But we have a bit of snow. Folks up North got 30-44 inches Thursday. Paralyzing.

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        Ted O'Brien.

        I see here the burden of the Imperial System of Weights and Measures.

        The only thing wrong with the Metric System is that we ever had another one.

        That said, I have long been amazed by how well younger generations cope with my mixed measures. Almost everybody seems to know what an inch is, or six feet. Even a ton(ne) is not far wrong on the long measure.

        I have however noted that NOBODY remembers Pounds, Shillings and Pence.

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          Annie

          Oh, I do Ted O’Brien, so does my other half. He used to work on Saturdays in a greengrocer’s shop and had to add up pounds and ounces in weights, and pounds, shillings and pence AND halfpennies in cost IN HIS HEAD. One customer was very miffed when he charged a halfpenny too much with a large order!

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    David Wojick

    Joy to the world! It really needs it.

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    Harry Passfield

    My comment disappeared as I wrote it…. I just wanted to wish you, Jo, the best of luck in the New Year – a time when I can honestly hope it does not become a Chinese New Year.
    You have opened our eyes to the vain-glorious in the US: their rewards shall be as nothing when it’s all over.

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    Analitik

    Happy Holidays Merry Christmas to all, especially Jo and the team (but not the moderating filter)

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    RicDre

    Merry Christmas to Jo, the moderators and everyone who post comments here. I think I’ll send Jo some Christmas Chocolates as way of saying thanks for all she does to make this such a great blog.

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      RicDre

      Funny but Doctors appear to have just discovered something that people on this blog have been saying for months:

      Vitamin D, other everyday vitamins could counter coronavirus effects: report

      Using simple, everyday medicines available in your medicine cabinet or in your kitchen could counter the effects of coronavirus, a report said Thursday.

      For instance, dozens of recent studies have shown taking Vitamin D is an easy way to fight COVID-19 and your doctor can request a blood test to check your overall vitamin levels, Dr. Peter Osborne with Origins Nutrition Center in Sugar Land, Texas, told FOX 26 of Houston.

      https://www.foxnews.com/health/vitamin-d-other-everyday-vitamins-could-counter-coronavirus-effects-report

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      John F. Hultquist

      My “doc” (a physician’s assistant) said “Why test. Your health insurance won’t pay. I’ll tell you the same thing, with or without a test. Just supplement.” Smart lady.

      I was surprised by the initial dose suggested in that Fox report.

      With vitamin D, there’s a therapy that can be done that I recommend, and it’s 1,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D per pound. So if you’re 100 pounds, you would take 100,000 international units of vitamin D for three days. After that, you don’t have to . . .

      I’ve been supplementing since April, so won’t go that route.

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    Springdam

    Here’s another doctor with a similar view on Vit D.
    I enjoy listening to professional people holding their emotions in check.
    https://youtu.be/QzF8sJPJDPw

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    Springdam

    Whoops, apologies, looks like the Ministry of Truth have stepped in. Was Dr. Richard Hodkinson addressing by phone a hearing I believe, in Sth Caroline ??

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    OldOzzie

    Merry Christmas to you Jo and All your Followers – Grateful Thanks for the work that you do.

    Missing Melbourne Family due to Border Closure but had great day with 6 out of 9 Grandchildren and their Families.

    Health, Happiness and Good Cheer to All.

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    PeterS

    Merry Christmas to everyone here and to their families.

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    Hypersonics

    George Washington crossed the Delaware on December 25 1776 in the war of independence.

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/12/nashville-pd-releases-photo-rv-exploded-christmas-morning-asks-public-help/

    The next war has begun merry Christmas

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      John R Smith

      I will be holding my breath until the MSM barrage begins blaming it on ‘right wing election deniers’.
      Before the facts are gathered.
      And will continue no matter the facts.
      Just like the Michael Brown case.
      Travon Martin.
      Russian collusion.
      Covington Kid
      Benghazi.
      More hurricanes than ever.
      … I could go on.
      I am old.
      I can’t hold my breath very long.
      I’ll be fine.
      Merry Christmas!

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        PeterPetrum

        Scary. Just might be a certain amount of truth in all that.

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          el gordo

          There is no truth in this, its only hyperbole.

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            Hypersonic

            How would you know what is hyperbole and what is not?

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              el gordo

              If it happens then the US is a failed state. Apart from the lone wolf suicide bomber I expect things to eventually settle down.

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            Neo

            Had a read of that. Written by someone who has little to no idea of the concept of logistics, and obviously considers the “Technothriller” entertainment genre as manuals rather than light entertainment. 🙁 Sad. Odd that the out there Trump supporters, all apparently “freedom lovers”are so keen on a fascist takeover of the US??

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        Peter C

        Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum.

        This phrase has often confused me because the latin word vis also means force or power, which makes no sense here.
        I think it is a case of the passive infinitive form of the verb to want. I would have written Si Volas pacem par bellum, which is incorrect.

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        Annie

        I really disliked the anti-semitic comments on the article (first two comments, I read no further); very offensive, which leaves me uneasy about whether I can take the article and video seriously.

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          Annie

          The comments were under that article in Steve’s link, not in the comments on your blog Jo.
          I hope you had a great Christmas and not too many confusing comments like mine to sort out! Annie

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      RickWill

      It appears it targeted the AT&T building.

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        Peter C

        It seems you were spot on there Rick.

        The suicide bombing story seems to be a cover story.

        Simon Parkes explained. Apparently the AT&T building is/was a repository for recordings of phone calls from across America going back decades.
        It could be that someone wanted to destroy those records. I wonder who that would be? Were they successful?

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    OriginalSteve

    “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
    (John 3:16)

    What a blessing for all humanity 🙂

    Enjoy!

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      PeterPetrum

      More obfuscation and downright lies. Why keep on building coal fired power stations with a 50+ year life if they are going to go «carbon neutral” in 2060 – not that care, I would be 120!

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    Old Goat

    A belated Merry Christmas to Jo, the moderators and all the commenters. Bah humbug to the deep state , the politically correct, the merchants of doom and the agents of dishonesty .

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    Broadie

    Merry Christmas,
    Jo, Moderators and contributors.
    A special thanks to the Conservative forces that put me in contact with “The Prick with a Fork” and the the concept of placing a ham skin over the Turkey to ‘set and forget’ the basting process.
    Another successful and traditional Christmas. I still have my ‘Saying Merry Christmas Again’ Donald Trump popcorn tin. I support his work and this webblog as I believe Jo like Trump stands for Peace and Truth for all.

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    Neo

    https://www.thedailybeast.com/this-steaming-pile-of-filthy-pardons-for-paul-manafort-roger-stone-and-charles-kushner-stinks-just-like-trump

    Interesting take on the whole “pardons” thing. 🙂

    Second, pardons only cover federal law. In a sense, this whole scam may be a great gift to New York attorney general Letitia James, who has been doggedly pursuing the Trump family’s many misdeeds under New York state law.

    And most enticingly of all, one of the “catches” of a presidential pardon is that it removes the protection of the Fifth Amendment, since there is no longer a risk of self-incrimination. So if a federal or state grand jury subpoenas one of Trump’s many pardonees, they have to talk, under oath, or risk prosecution for contempt or obstruction.

    In other words, there’s a slight chance—very slight, but let a pundit dream—that Trump may find himself on the wrong side of a criminal investigation, and the very cronies he shamelessly set free will be forced to either turn against him or go back to jail. That would be some sweet justice indeed.

    Could well turn out to be “Ooopsie” on Trumps part?

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      Broadie

      Must have been a lonely Christmas Neo if all you unwrapped was this bag of bile.

      A couple of observations.
      Why do you think Trump held off on these pardons and allowed the appeals to continue when they for the most part were partisan attacks on people around him?
      The real crooks and their Uranium One, Bleachbit servers, Burisma, CHI etc and those lying under oath were left unscathed?

      In allowing the legal process and the election convulsions to continue Trump has brought the true ‘Swamp’, the RINOs, the activist and corrupt legal system, the Fascist media and big Tech out into the light.

      Certainly all the accolades the Swamp award themselves are the real stink, Nobel & Pulitzer prizes have in my opinion descended into little more than farce.

      Trump and his family may not win against this level of corruption, the ‘We the People’ and their Constitution may.

      Let us hope for your sake.

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    GD

    Late to the party, but a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all on Jo’s wonderful blog.

    Jo, you have done triple duty this year by covering the climate hoax, the Covid scare, and the US election fraud.

    As shown by the number of international commenters, your blog is reaching out and making a difference.

    May it continue to reach out.

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    Graeme#4

    Also very late to the party, having spent the last two days involved in many get-togethers of the gradually expanding network of families. Looking forward to many more interesting insights and discussions, whatever the point of view may be. As I often say, we never stop learning. And many thanks to Jo and her moderators for their unceasing efforts. Don’t know how you do it Jo. All the best to you, David and family for 2021.

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    Kim

    Merry Christmas Jo. Many Thanks for all your hard work. Merry Christmas everyone and have a great New Year.

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