Merry Christmas – open thread

Merry Christmas – open thread” (2011-12-24). Anthony Watts takes up a new cause, the “War on Christmas”, by not wishing Happy Holidays to his readers. It’s Christmas or nothing! Funny how everything he does has a myopic, xenophobic tinge to it.

He also reminds his followers to remember Winston Churchill’s advice: “Never give up, never give in.” Yeah, Winston was all about encouraging ignorant people to stubbornly resist the facts. Here’s three Churchill quotes Anthony may want to ruminate over during his holidays:

  • A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.
  • A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.
  • Man will occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of the time he will pick himself up and continue on.

Thanks for all the schmaltzy YouTube videos though.

Here at Wotts Up we take a skeptical view of the alleged life of Jesus and of all demands for faith in the unproven. We do hope that you take advantage of this Western cultural ritual to enjoy some time with friends and family.

Update: Of course, even while trying to quote Winston Churchill Anthony Watts manages to both misquote and be selective. Churchill’s full remarks are here, some particularly relevant excluded words are in bold:

never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.

Honour and good sense are provably anathema to Anthony and his supporters.

4 thoughts on “Merry Christmas – open thread

  1. A Churchill quote that deniers like Watts should adhere to is:

    “Now, I want to hear the truth”.

    This was the comment Churchill made at a high level Cabinet meeting held during the war to discuss the possibility of the use of rockets (V 2) against the UK. High powered scientists such as F. A.Lindemann thought that that was nonsense but R. V. Jones, who Churchill trusted because of earlier predictions, was adamant that aerial photographs showed the rockets at Peenemunde. Churchill made that remark after hearing Lindemann’s presentation and before Jones made his. Jones was active in Scientific Intelligence during the war.

    The quote can be found in “Most Secret War” by R.V. Jones (page 344).

  2. If one start with

    “Winston was all about encouraging ignorant people to stubbornly resist the facts.”

    as an analysis of what “Winston was all about” or an assessment of of what it was that he sought to have people resist, it doesn’t augur well for the rest of the content here :-).

    [Sadly, the use of a smiley is poor camouflage for an inability to recognize sarcasm. – Ben]

  3. You have a problem with “Happy Christmas”? Why? Do you have a problem with “Happy Hanuka” too? It is not “xenophobic” (sic) to wish people “Happy Christmas” when it is Christmas. Idiot.

    [You might have had a point if Anthony made similar sentimental remarks during Ramadan or Visakah Puja or Diwali. The best thing I can do is call his post empty posturing. He’s playing to a very specific and yes, xenophobic, audience. – Ben]

    • But he is not, as far as I know, Muslim, Buddhist or Hindu. It is his personal blog, not a tribute to every religion. Are you also critical of Jewish bloggers who wish their readers “Happy Hanuka” but fail to wish them “Happy Christmas”? Please find 10 such blogs and write them up for it!

      Where is the evidence that Anthony’s audience are xenophobic?

      [Just “his personal blog”? That’s cute. Anthony and his team’s posts are underpinned by an obsession with imaginary corrupt international conspiracies, and his audience responds to that as much as any ill-founded scientific claims. – Ben]

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