“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Peace on Earth and goodwill to all.

I have no particular theory about Christmas and its meaning. As a student of history, I recognize the not so un-coincidental congruence of holidays that coincide with the winter solstice. Some of the first US Christians, the Puritans, did not celebrate Christmas at all. They thought the German settlers with their yule logs and fir trees were more concerned with pagan rites than Christian practices.

The customs and practices of Christmas are rooted in many cultures and practices including Roman, Jewish, Germanic-paganism and Zoroastrianism. I prefer the Christmas times of my youth that were much less commercial, simpler and less filled with anxious expectation. I recognize January 2nd as one of the happier days of the year for me because the burdens and obligation, the hysteria and frantic worries of Christmas are over. The days get a little longer. Everything is less crowded and people do not have to pretend to be nice or happy or grateful. They can be themselves again.

Expectations are back to normal and the insanity of excess is put back into hibernation. I never did care about the daily countdown as to how the retailers are doing.

Do not confuse my lack of enthusiasm as Scrooge-like. It is all just not as important to me as it seems to be for most everyone else. There are important parts to Christmas that I treasure, the great Church music of Handel’s Messiah and the honest stated desire of peace on earth are two of my favorites. They both can bring a tear to my eye. I decorate my own ancient house in traditional Christmas pagan boughs of holly and red and gold garlands. I will take comfort in the joys and blessings of my own life and express them as a wish for all of you, whether you deserve them or not. Merry Christmas.



  1. Through a very interesting year you and Whit have provided us with a virtual "Bar" to come to to cry our sorrows, vent our frustrations, and pronounce our reckonings.
    Your hospitality has been as gracious as any person could expect. Tested and tempered by the thoughts of disparate people your steady hand has kept the course that made this nation great through it's free discourse. You and Whit, I truly believe have the right stuff.
    All the best to you both.

    And to the rest of us barflys, keep on keep'n on.

  2. DON'T Miss all three hours of Hewitt w/Prof White of the US Naval Academy.
    Available Here
    3 fascinating hours about Handle.
    That little Messiah tune he churned out in 27 days!

    Wrote more than Beethoven and Bach combined.
    Once got in a duel over a musical dispute!
    ...all this as War raged across Europe.

  3. A DEDICATED Microwave, I trust?
    Sunday, December 24, 2006
    From Lt. Col. Marc in Baghdad
    Posted by Hugh Hewitt | 2:42 PM

    An e-mail from my pal Lt. Col. Marc, recently deployed to Baghdad after reactivating from his retired status:

    I have been listening to your show over the internet when I have time. I tried to listen some everyday at Ft Benning and I heard your comments about us Golden Oldies going off to war. I greatly appreciate your comments and want you to know that having your support for our going helps to define why we are doing this. Thank you. By the way I am 55 years old. But we have some over here that are 59 and one Dr who is in uniform and is 76 years old. I will try to continue to listen as soon as I get my communications systems up.
    Merry Christmas

    This Christmas Eve and Christmas Day I will add some particular prayers of Thanksgiving and for protection for Marc and his family and for all the men and women serving this country in far off places.

  4. Please G_d, let DC get Nuked.
    A bunch of stupid, corrupt, insane OLD Bastards.

  5. Bobalharb said, "Ah, wow--microwavable slippers! Slip em' in the microwave for 30 seconds, it's toasty toes time! What a gift. Now if I could just find my pipe, somewhere around here..."

    That's why I let my Chef do the cooking around here, my food could often be mistaken for microwaved slippers.