The Last Headline of 2016

The last big news story of an already event-packed 2016 could turn out to be about Christmas, a word that has almost been banished to politically correct limbo.   The year’s political upheaval has created a new slogan  “don’t be afraid to say MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!”.   Donald Trump told supporters in September:


“They don’t want to use the word ‘Christmas’ anymore at department stores. There’s always lawsuits and unfortunately a lot of those lawsuits are won by the other side … I want to see Merry Christmas. Remember the expression Merry Christmas? You don’t see it anymore! You’re going to see it if I get elected, I can tell you right now.”

Epiphanies often take the form of a sudden realization that things you once took for granted are on the brink of extinction. Christmas is now an endangered event.  Venezuela  has joined the no-reindeer zone socialism. “Santa Claus isn’t coming,” parents warned their kids.  Nor is it coming to the socialist paradises of Cuba or North Korea.  ISIS actually regards it as degeneracy and ordered its soldiers to attack wherever traces of it may be found.  A Tunisian asylum-seeker under it rammed a truck into a crowd of Berlin shoppers killing 12 and maiming many more.  There was a failed nail bomb attempt by a 12 year old against a Christmas market in Ludwigshafen; another to blast shopping centers in the British midlands.  Even the Antipodes were not safe.  Authorities aborted a plan in Melbourne to punish the worshippers of the “evil demon of the north” — meaning Santa Claus — with a series of attacks.

The bombing of the Coptic cathedral in Cairo underscores that the religious tradition itself is also under attack.  “The Coptic pope, Tawadros II … [told] … that members of the Brotherhood and other Muslim extremists are targeting Copts during the Christmas season, when they attend church in larger numbers and are more vulnerable.”  One of the under-reported news stories is what Samuel Tadros writes about in the Atlantic: the Actual War on Christians.


During Mass this past Sunday, an Islamic State suicide bomber made his way inside St. Peter and St. Paul’s Coptic Church in Cairo and detonated his bomb, leaving 25 people, mostly women, dead. The bombing, the deadliest since the 2010 New Year’s Eve bombing of the Two Saints Church in Alexandria, drew swift condemnations from governments around the world. But as much as such attacks remind the world of the plight of Copts, it is their daily encounter with discrimination and persecution that poses the greatest threat to their future.

The ISIS publication “Rome” gave explicit instructions. “At the beginning of the month, ISIS released a new magazine named Rumiyah (Rome, in a nod to their apocalyptic goals) in several languages. In an article extensively outlining Quranic verses and scholars’ interpretations, ISIS stated that disbelievers—non-Muslims or Muslims not adhering to their ‘standards’—should “be slain wherever they may be—on or off the battlefield” as their blood “is cheap, filthy, and permissible to shed.”

As Prince Charles told Radio 4, the scale of anti-Christian persecution “is not widely appreciated, nor is it limited to Christians in the troubled regions of the Middle East”.  It is perhaps most intellectually vicious in the nominally Christian West where the subject is verboten in the politically correct media.  Even the anodyne phrase “happy holidays” is not inclusive enough.


For those concerned about being politically correct this Christmas, it’s time to amend the list of appropriately dull seasonal greetings. One professor from Texas Woman’s University is saying the word “holiday” just doesn’t qualify as inclusive enough anymore. …

“When planning December office parties that coincide with the Christmas season, it is a challenge for event organizers to make celebrations ‘all-inclusive,’” the university’s statement reads. “Not all faith traditions have holidays in December, and not everyone identifies with a particular faith tradition.” … Kessler suggests party planners avoid using the word “holiday” because it “connotes religious tradition and may not apply to all employees.” Instead, he wrote, the party should be referred to as a “December gathering” or “end of semester” or “end of fiscal year” party.

It’s not the only unmentionable. When Donald Trump was asked by a reporter if his characterization of the Berlin truck ramming as an attack on Christians “might affect his relationship with Muslims” he modified it to say “it was an attack upon humanity, that’s what it is”.

The last headline of 2016 isn’t that the war against Christmas has started — Tadros and Prince Charles note the war has been going on for decades — the news is that it has been discovered by a population conditioned not to see it.  The phrase “don’t be afraid to say Merry Christmas” suddenly wakened people to the fact they were in fact afraid to.  They had been trained to suppress a centuries old tradition, even ignore open attacks on places of worship lest it give offense.  What a shock it was. Imagine awakening to the most singular of all crime scenes, one in which you find yourself chained to a sacrificial altar aware you had been brainwashed not to cry out while being bled out to some monstrous idol.


Why did the victim suddenly awaken in the Temple of Doom? The explanation can be found in the second most recent headline of 2016: the discovery of fake news.   In was a year when the public discovered that what they knew wasn’t.   That for years they had been fed lies, perhaps by Putin and perhaps by the media.  After learning America is a country that can now be ignored, the European Union is not forever,  Obamacare has failed, Hillary Clinton isn’t the smartest woman who ever lived,  the administration restarted the Cold War, is facing off with China, lost the Middle East and is now the plaything of Vladimir Putin’s hackers, tidings that there’s been a war against Christmas all along — waking up in the Temple of Doom — is the least of your problems.

In that context the slogan “don’t be afraid to say MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!” becomes more than an invitation to greet your friends.  It’s an expression of defiance against all the lies and gaslighting that have brought us to this point.  Is this the last penny to drop in 2016?  Probably.  But remember, there’s a week left in the year to go.

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The Face Of Battle: A Study of Agincourt, Waterloo and the Somme, by John Keegan. In this vivid reassessment of three battles, Keegan examines the physical conditions of fighting, the particular emotions and behavior generated by battle, as well as the motives that impel soldiers to stand and fight rather than run away.


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The War of the Words, Understanding the crisis of the early 21st century in terms of information corruption in the financial, security and political spheres
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