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Christmas truce

Christmas Tree image with textThis is the second year of the tradition I started last December when I followed the lead of Steven Feinstein in declaring a unilateral truce in the battle with the birthers, for Christmas day 2013.

I was composing a seasonal article in my head driving home from our annual Christmas eve candle light worship service, but my thoughts turned out to be almost identical to the Christmas meditation that I wrote in 2011, which I don’t think I can improve on.

I am reminded of a bit of humor from a long-ago candle light service when the pastor explained the safe technique for one person lighting their candle from another’s and passing it on. The pastor quipped, “I’m sure some of you have been burned by someone trying to share their light.”

Much death and destruction has resulted from conflicts over different versions of the truth, whether it be religion, or economic theory, or just who is entitled to lead. I am thankful that the implacable differences between birthers and anti-birthers have largely been limited to shouting matches on the Internet where one can safely declare a unilateral truce. And in passing, I wish to note the kind Christmas greeting I received from David Farrar at the OC Weekly web site this evening.

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43 Responses to Christmas truce

  1. avatar
    Paper December 24, 2013 at 11:56 pm #

    “It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.”
    – Eleanor Roosevelt

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/12/25/opinion/25opart-interactive.html

  2. avatar
    Paper December 25, 2013 at 12:01 am #

    Interestingly, I didn’t click on the 2011 link until just now, after submitting the NYT link, and hadn’t remembered that you had used that exact quote. The NYT attributes it to Eleanor Roosevelt, for what it’s worth.

  3. avatar
    CarlOrcas December 25, 2013 at 12:55 am #

    Merry Christmas, Doc!

  4. avatar
    Joey December 25, 2013 at 2:23 am #

    Merry Christmas to birthers and to anti-birthers/Obots, one and all.

  5. avatar
    The European December 25, 2013 at 4:36 am #

    Read more here:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_truce

  6. avatar
    Curious George December 25, 2013 at 7:57 am #

    Thanks for all that you’ve done, Doc. Merry Christmas to one and all!

  7. avatar
    American Mzungu December 25, 2013 at 7:58 am #

    I spent a very memorable Christmas Eve at a Lutheran Church in Arusha, Tanzania many years ago. I had come down from a four-day climb of Mt Kilimanjaro earlier that day and looked around for an appropriate church to celebrate Christmas. It was a small church, but it was filled with members for this special day. There was even a bishop there from Germany to give the sermon, in German. I recall the singing of “Silent Night”, alternating verses in German, English, and Swahili. Some Christmas carols are nearly universal.

    Merry Christmas to Doc and all.

  8. avatar
    Notorial Dissent December 25, 2013 at 10:29 am #

    Merry Christmas to all.

  9. avatar
    Jim December 25, 2013 at 10:37 am #

    Merry Christmas Doc and friends.

  10. avatar
    john December 25, 2013 at 10:50 am #

    Doc,
    Did they give Terry Lakin a Truce on Christmas Day? Why should any birther give you truce.

  11. avatar
    JPotter December 25, 2013 at 11:58 am #

    “And in passing, I wish to note the kind Christmas greeting I received from David Farrar at the OC Weekly web site this evening.”

    And in that exchange, Farrar apparently found—and accepted!—his own reproof to his own crazy question re: would the feds be handling a certain autopsy. Truly a Christmas miracle.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all in the Western World.

    Maybe a new QotD, Doc? Not that i have any suggestions, but Hendershot is awfully bilious for this glorious day!

  12. avatar
    Publius December 25, 2013 at 1:21 pm #

    A Merry Christmas to birthers and anti-birthers everywhere!

    And a happy and prosperous 2014!

  13. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy December 25, 2013 at 1:31 pm #

    Look up “unilateral” in the dictionary.

    john: Did they give Terry Lakin a Truce on Christmas Day? Why should any birther give you truce.

  14. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy December 25, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

    Yes, of course. Sorry about that. As soon as the cache expires.

    JPotter: Maybe a new QotD, Doc? Not that i have any suggestions, but Hendershot is awfully bilious for this glorious day!

  15. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy December 25, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

    Kennedy used it. I think it’s a Chinese proverb.

    Paper: Interestingly, I didn’t click on the 2011 link until just now, after submitting the NYT link, and hadn’t remembered that you had used that exact quote. The NYT attributes it to Eleanor Roosevelt, for what it’s worth.

  16. avatar
    Arrogantlyignorant December 25, 2013 at 5:30 pm #

    Mele Kalikimaka to all the anti-birthers! :D

  17. avatar
    Slartibartfast December 25, 2013 at 6:47 pm #

    John,

    In the spirit of Doc’s truce, I would suggest that the reason for a truce is to foster honest dialogue between two sides in the hopes of encouraging understanding. In the case of Lakin, there was no misunderstanding—he violated his officier’s oath by failing to obey the order of a superior officier (a Medal of Honor winner, to boot) and, in doing so, put his fellow soldiers at risk (by depriving them of a properly prepared doctor). He admitted this crime in open court and was appropriately punished for it. Since both sides were in agreement with respect to all of these facts, what would the point of a truce be?

    john:
    Doc,
    Did they give Terry Lakin a Truce on Christmas Day?Why should any birther give you truce.

  18. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy December 25, 2013 at 6:54 pm #

    Christmas is a visiting day at all federal prisons.

    john: Did they give Terry Lakin a Truce on Christmas Day? Why should any birther give you truce.

  19. avatar
    Bonsall Obot December 25, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

    I fail see any connection between Mr. Lakin’s crime, conviction and sentencing, and the Doc. Care to illustrate how they are directly related? To my knowledge, Neither Doc’s expertise nor even his existence were cited at Mr. Lakin’s trial.

    Or is the connection merely in your mind, john?

  20. avatar
    Bonsall Obot December 25, 2013 at 8:16 pm #

    What was I thinking? john does not reply to questions; he is a drive-by racist troll.

  21. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy December 25, 2013 at 8:46 pm #

    Well of course birthers blame Obama for Lakin’s prison term instead of Lakin himself and those who encouraged him, and some birthers incorrectly believe that people like me are agents for Obama. Obama and his administration and anyone who opposes birthers are sometimes blended into an amorphous “them.” So allowing for birther imprecision, I can sort of understand what John is saying, even if I don’t agree that it’s a valid argument.

    Bonsall Obot: I fail see any connection between Mr. Lakin’s crime, conviction and sentencing, and the Doc.

  22. avatar
    Slartibartfast December 25, 2013 at 9:02 pm #

    I think that the birther view of obots as paid agents or collaborators is what prevents people like John from participating in a truce—it would interfere with their belief that we are pure evil.

    Dr. Conspiracy:
    Well of course birthers blame Obama for Lakin’s prison term instead of Lakin himself and those who encouraged him, and some birthers incorrectly believe that people like me are agents for Obama. Obama and his administration and anyone who opposes birthers are sometimes blended into an amorphous “them.” So allowing for birther imprecision, I can sort of understand what John is saying, even if I don’t agree that it’s a valid argument.

  23. avatar
    Bonsall Obot December 25, 2013 at 10:07 pm #

    Of course I get that, Doc… but I wanted to demonstrate the absurdity of the imaginary “connection.”

    Whatever he may have once been, Mr. Lakin is a shirker and a coward. He’s lucky he got off so easy.They used to shoot malingerers.

  24. avatar
    nbc December 25, 2013 at 11:18 pm #

    john: Did they give Terry Lakin a Truce on Christmas Day? Why should any birther give you truce.

    Lakin failed to obey valid orders, admitted to such and was properly rewarded for his foolishness.

    Even a truce on Christmas day would still have resulted in loss of freedom, discharge and loss of pension.

    He chose and chose poorly. We all do agree that personal responsibility is important?

    What is sad that the people who egged him on, got away scott-free.

  25. avatar
    Publius December 26, 2013 at 2:35 am #

    Slartibartfast:
    I think that the birther view of obots as paid agents or collaborators is what prevents people like John from participating in a truce—it would interfere with their belief that we are pure evil.

    I think birthers have to try and maintain that belief. Because if they acknowledged reality, it would threaten their entire belief system.

  26. avatar
    Publius December 26, 2013 at 2:37 am #

    john:
    Doc,
    Did they give Terry Lakin a Truce on Christmas Day?Why should any birther give you truce.

    Merry Christmas, john.

    I also wish you a happy and prosperous New Year.

  27. avatar
    alg December 26, 2013 at 8:54 am #

    Is it over? The Christmas Truce I mean? :-)

    Here’s to the new year that lies ahead – one filled with more birther entertainment.

  28. avatar
    Yoda December 26, 2013 at 9:04 am #

    john:
    Doc,
    Did they give Terry Lakin a Truce on Christmas Day?Why should any birther give you truce.

    That simply shows how much hate you have in your heart for people who only wish to show you how wrong you are. You should thank us and shut up.

  29. avatar
    Bob December 26, 2013 at 9:16 am #

    Christmas is over. Let’s go back to pointing and laughing at Birthers.

  30. avatar
    Andrew Vrba, PmG December 26, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    Never mind john, he’s the Ghost of Christmas dumbassery.

    Speaking of

    john:
    Doc,
    Did they give Terry Lakin a Truce on Christmas Day?Why should any birther give you truce.

    Terry shoulda thought about that, before disobeying his commanding officer. Birthers never think their plans of actions through very well.

  31. avatar
    Curious George December 26, 2013 at 10:11 am #

    nbc:
    “What is sad that the people who egged him on, got away scott-free.”

    They are all from the “john” mold. “Hear no truth, speak no truth, see no truth.”

  32. avatar
    JPotter December 26, 2013 at 10:52 am #

    john: Did they give Terry Lakin a Truce on Christmas Day?

    What the heck does that even mean? Are you confusing ‘truce’ with ‘pardon’, or just randomly, spasmically, flinging random poo from your collection of manufactured ‘outrages’?

    If memory serves, Lakin was in the process of being adjudicated a/o losing his license around a Christmas time in years past. Whichever proceeding it was would not have had an active hearing on Christmas day …. so, yeah, sure, he got a truce.

    Are any courts, civil or martial (other than a field court martial for an urgent offense), or review boards in session on Christmas Day? None that I’m aware of, so, sure, truce all around.

    Are you under the impression that your ‘martyr’,Lakin, is being actively persecuted?

    Nuts.

  33. avatar
    Crustacean December 26, 2013 at 11:59 am #

    alg:
    Is it over?The Christmas Truce I mean?

    Any day now, alg, any day. No need to rush back to battle against a defeated opponent, in my ever-so humble opinion.

    I love the idea of a Christmas truce. What better time for Christian Obots to reflect upon the common ground they share with birthers? If you lit a candle on Christmas Eve, after all, are you not a birther for Jesus?

    Despite a lack of substantial evidence, and against logic, we believe that Jesus (of Nazareth!) was born in Bethlehem. Why? Was this birth story needed to create the narrative of Jesus as Messiah?

    But what a narrative! The meek and the poor are in; the corrupt, wealthy rulers demanding to be worshipped as gods are out. Healing the sick. Loving thy enemies. How many souls have been saved by this belief in the Son of Man?

    May we all have this spirit of brotherly love in our hearts, not just at Christmastime, but throughout the year. And with that in mind, I will take this opportunity to apologize to Falcon for all the mean things I have written to him. Falcon, I hope Santa brought you a shiny new pistol. And I hope you never, ever use it in anger.

    Peace! Love,
    Crusty

  34. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy December 26, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

    In response to your Christmas wish, Doc Claus brings you:

    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2013/12/the-strange-tale-of-michelle-karen-orly-and-the-honey-trap/

    Bob: Christmas is over. Let’s go back to pointing and laughing at Birthers.

  35. avatar
    Benji Franklin December 26, 2013 at 5:11 pm #

    JPotter: john: Did they give Terry Lakin a Truce on Christmas Day?

    What the heck does that even mean? Are you confusing ‘truce’ with ‘pardon’, or just randomly, spasmically, flinging random poo from your collection of manufactured ‘outrages’?

    I think, the latter, is the fact, JPotter! Well, put, I might add. John’s reasoning is inanely confused, to say mostly the least. He thinks anarchistically that the Founders wanted his judgement or that of other political malcontents, substituted for that of the judiciary in determining what constitutes significant controversies appropriate for them to settle, determining what constitutes an appropriate legal analysis and what constitutes a just settlement of any qualifying dispute.

    Such an attitude immediately runs afoul of Constitutional protections which we hold most dear. John does not presume Obama innocent of all charges and conclusory allegations; John insists Obama is not innocent until Obama meets John’s (or other Birthers’) personal standard of proof of innocence – and satisfies their individual interpretation of the Constitution.

    Anyone with that attitude is an outright enemy of the Constitution, they pretend to care about, period.

  36. avatar
    aarrgghh December 26, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

    Benji Franklin: John does not presume Obama innocent of all charges and conclusory allegations; John insists Obama is not innocent until Obama meets John’s (or other Birthers’) personal standard of proof of innocence – and satisfies their individual interpretation of the Constitution.

    birfers insist that obama is guilty — period. the only debate is about which kind of flag-fringe cargo-cult kangaroo circus will make his trial and execution look nice and legal.

  37. avatar
    Lupin December 27, 2013 at 3:09 am #

    Our inane question of the week:

    If the Doctor is ever played by a person of color, will there be birthers to claim he wasn’t born on Gallifrey and isn’t a legitimate Time Lord?

  38. avatar
    The Magic M December 27, 2013 at 5:19 am #

    aarrgghh: the only debate is about which kind of flag-fringe cargo-cult kangaroo circus will make his trial and execution look nice and legal.

    Put 10 birthers in a room and tell them the only survivor will get to execute Obama personally. Call it “Saw 8 – Deathmatch of the birthers”.

    Lupin: If the Doctor is ever played by a person of color, will there be birthers to claim he wasn’t born on Gallifrey and isn’t a legitimate Time Lord?

    If the Thirteenth Doctor is the first black one, it would make them all the more angry (13 being considered an unlucky number).
    Obama *must* be a Time Lord, with all his changing stuff back in 1961 and whatnot.

  39. avatar
    Rickey December 27, 2013 at 3:49 pm #

    JPotter:
    “And in passing, I wish to note the kind Christmas greeting I received from David Farrar at the OC Weekly web site this evening.”

    And in that exchange, Farrar apparently found—and accepted!—his own reproof to his own crazy question re: would the feds be handling a certain autopsy. Truly a Christmas miracle.

    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all in the Western World.

    Maybe a new QotD, Doc? Not that i have any suggestions, but Hendershot is awfully bilious for this glorious day!

    I wouldn’t give Farrar too much credit for being reasonable. He still needs to see Obama’s “natal hospital records.” He’ll never see them, of course, but if he did he would just move the goalposts again.

  40. avatar
    Rickey January 1, 2014 at 4:19 pm #

    It’s worth noting that Farrar stopped posting at the OC Weekly site five days ago after being called out as a liar by several commentators.

  41. avatar
    Keith January 1, 2014 at 8:17 pm #

    Rickey:
    It’s worth noting that Farrar stopped posting at the OC Weekly site five days ago after being called out as a liar by several commentators.

    Link? Inquiring minds want to laugh too…

  42. avatar
    Northland10 January 2, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

    Rickey:
    It’s worth noting that Farrar stopped posting at the OC Weekly site five days ago after being called out as a liar by several commentators.

    That never seemed to stop him before.