Wednesday, 30 September 2009

GoodReads to LibraryThing

I have been using GoodReads to catalogue all the books I own, have read or want to read. Found the link to it from Steve Hayes' blog. Seems a good thing to do, to be able to see what you've read and to be able to share reviews with friends and others on the site.

However, logged in this morning to add a new book and all my books have disappeared! Nowhere to be found. Defunct. Empty.

Had only managed to catalogue about 30 books so not a great loss but disappointing nonetheless.

Image representing LibraryThing as depicted in...So have now decided to register at LibraryThing and start all over again! If anyone else is a member who visits here then feel free to add me as a friend. Seems they have a limit of 200 books before they ask for cash so we'll see how it goes. Can anyone recommend any other online book catalogue type sites?

** Update - GoodReads have now emailed me thanking me for setting up my new account, using my original username. Not sure what the hell's going on there but it seems that my account has been overwritten? 

** Update2 - Otis and Rivka from GoodReads.com have now sorted my account issue out. Good to see such a proactive attitude from GoodReads! So back to using Goodreads.com, view my profile here and link up!




Tuesday, 29 September 2009

The Socialist Blogging Forum

Jim over at The Socialist Way has just started up a forum for discussion around socialist issues. As Jim puts it:

So let me cut to the chase, I would like to start a new forum for socialist bloggers and individuals who are socialists or just interested in discussing any posts in more detail, or just sharing any ideas or information that would be of general interest. The proposed forum would be open to anyone interested in developing and sharing a better understanding of what socialism is or what socialism means to any individual from a personal perspective, it would not be affiliated or take any particular party line. My initial thoughts are that the forum would be small to start off with and likely would remain a manageable size that is comfortable for all concerned, and with as little labour as possible, but we would need a moderator; I am happy to fulfil this role and set-up the forum to start off with. This is just an idea that I've been thinking about for some time and I am hoping, and this is a big if, if not a bare cheek that Chris H and his excellent blog would consider being a founder member; no strings or obligations involved. Think about it and lets have your thoughts. We can build a new socialist blogging community with real purpose and optimism!
Sometimes blogs can lack the continuity and the immediacy that a forum can offer. Often I would like to think out loud and listen to feedback, often on many concurrent issues. Yet at the same time I don't want part-political restrictions in place that can fetter free-thinking. Socialism to me covers a wide range of thought and practice, going beyond what people perceive as the accepted Marxist interpretations. A free arena to think and discuss yet linked to current issues and relevant blogs seems a good idea to me.

You can join here at Socialist Blogging.



Sunday, 27 September 2009

Oh The Hypocrisy Of It All

Underground Iranian Nuclear Plant
So it now appears that Iran has been building a second nuclear enrichment plant which appears to have upset a broad range of countries. Those who have piped up with complaints include the UK, US, France, Israel. In fact our very own Miliband has not ruled out military action. That's very good of him. The UK may have the second furthest 'military reach' but we have neither the manpower nor the political will to do so.

This whole issue of nuclear power and nuclear weapons seems to bring out the imperialist in the Western nations who themselves have both nuclear power and nuclear weapons. We seem, and I say 'we' as we are a democracy, we seem to consider ourselves to have some innate right to decide upon who else joins the cosy nuclear club and feel we have the right to interfere in other countries sovereign policies.

We rant against the Iranians for their supposed secrecy yet across the UK and US territories I wouldn't be surprised it if there were 'secret' nuclear facilities that the IAEA or the national electorate know nothing about.

We complain of the threat that comes from a newly emerging nuclear power yet retain enough nuclear weaponry ourselves to end civilisation. So which rogue state was it that has exploded not one but two atomic weapons over the heads of civilians killing hundreds of thousands? Which countries have shown the seriousness of the situation when nuclear power goes wrong? Not Iran for sure.

And the hypocrisy reaches new heights in the condemnation of Iran for it's steps along the nuclear path whilst ignoring the issues of Israel's nuclear arsenal and it's reported environmental issues with the ageing Dimona nuclear facility.

I think  if we put our money where our mouth is and did away with all our weapons of mass destruction before we pontificated about nuclear proliferation then we would be in a much better position, both for us and the rest of mankind.

My faith in humanity rests not with the 'civilised' Western neoliberal states but with the countries small and poor, with the countries that have suffered at the imposition of our imperialism, with the countries that have suffered under Western military attack. The fact that any nation in the world still wishes to retain civil relations with us given our track record is a miracle.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

No Power Without Accountability

Harpymarx has a good post knocking James Purnell's waffling about giving unelected representatives more power within government. Gets my goat it does.

Anyways, a good excuse for playing Billy Bragg's No Power Without Accountability.




And while we're at it here's the great Solomon Burke, None of Us are Free.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

What to read next?

Almost finsihed reading "George Lansbury - At The Heart Of Old Labour" by John Shepherd so I'm now looking for some new train-time reading material. My requirements are that it can be read in both 15 minute sections and extended periods, covers something 'political', ideally pitches one man or woman against oppression with or without a happy ending, fiction or non-fiction, left of centre and can keep me awake.

So far I've gathered the following as likely candidates:
  • In This Way I Was Saved by Brian DeLeeuw
  • Norfolk Red: The Life of Wilf Page, Countryside Communist by Mike Pentelow
  • Freedom: Short Stories Celebrating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from Amnesty International
  • The Devil and Mr Casement: A Crime Against Humanity by Jordan Goodman
If anyone can suggest which of those make good reading then please let me know or if you have any other suggestions? Feel free to have a shufty at my recent reading list at Goodreads.com, link below.



Chrishall57's  book recommendations, reviews, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Hull and back

HULL, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19:   Ibrahima Sonko...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

I was all set for an early start to pay a visit to the city of Hull this Sunday. But administrative issues ( almighty cock-up ) have meant I can't go until Monday.

I like Hull.