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January 11, 2021

The Morning Report - 1/11/21 [J.J. Sefton]


Good morning, kids. Another new week in Year Zero. By the calendar on the wall, we're nine days away from the abyss, although between now and noon on Wednesday the 20th, things might happen that make even the most implausible plot points in overwrought Hollywood political potboilers look tame by comparison. Right now, I feel a bit like fellow Brooklyn native Irving Strobing. Strobing served in the US Army as a radio operator, and nearly 80 years ago, he tapped out the last messages from within the fortress cave on the island of Corregidor in the Philippines.

''I feel sick at my stomach. I am really low down. They are around now smashing rifles. They bring in the wounded every minute. We will be waiting for you guys to help.''

It was help he knew could not come in time to stave off surrender.

''General Wainwright is a right guy and we are willing to go on for him, but shells were dropping all night, faster than hell. Damage terrific. Too much for guys to take. Enemy heavy cross-shelling and bombing. They have got us all around and from the skies.''

As the end grew near, Corporal Strobing, a Thomas Jefferson High School graduate who had spent a year at Brooklyn College before enlisting in 1939 and being assigned to the Philippines, grew nostalgic:

''Corregidor used to be a nice place, but it's haunted now. Withstood a teriffic pounding.''

''The jig is up,'' he said later. ''Every one is bawling like a baby. They are piling dead and wounded in our tunnel. Arm's weak from pounding key, long hours, no rest, short rations, tired.

''I know how a mouse feels. Caught in a trap waiting for guys to come along and finish it up...''

When you read Strobing's words, the metaphors for today just reach out and grab you by the throat. While Strobing and thousands more Americans and Filipinos would endure the savagery of the Bataan Death March and then over three years of unimaginable suffering at the hands of the Japanese, liberation would ultimately come, and at a terrible cost. But in May of 1942, at that time and in that place, the situation and the future were very much in doubt. Just as it is here and now in 2021, in a nation formerly known as the United States of America.

I've been ranting for years about the perfidy of the left. At times I've been accused of exaggerating. On rare occasions I feared -- or hoped? -- that perhaps I was exaggerating. In fact I can now see that these people are worse than I ever imagined. Worse than most of us ever imagined.

Worse, even, than Donald Trump, with all his insight, imagined.

He went into office determined to clean up the swamp. He was tireless. But not tireless enough. No mere mortal could have been tireless enough. Trump had denounced the swamp in apocalyptic terms, but it proved to be even deeper and more extensive than he knew...

...There's no intrinsic magic about America that protects it from becoming Mao's China or Stalin's Russia. Only utopians believe in the perfectibility of man. People are people. And some of the people who are now, or are about to be, in power in the United States would, if accorded enough power, do far more to those of us who falter in loyalty than merely take away our social-media accounts.

Indeed, as scary as the situation may be right now, one thing's for certain: worse is on its way. The Democrats now control both houses of Congress and are about to be handed the executive branch. The totalitarian-minded elements in that party are on the ascent, backed up by Silicon Valley, the legacy media, and much of corporate America. And they're about to party like it's 1793. In Paris.

The sky's the limit. And therein lies our hope, long-term though it may well be. Without doubt, these people will overreach. Their lists will grow so long, their cancelations so widespread, that, as happened with the Reign of Terror, everyone who isn't clinically insane will finally realize that things have gone too far and will, in one way or another, put an end to the madness.

But how far will things have to go before that happens? How long will it take? And how many lives will be destroyed before it's over? These, alas, are the all too sobering questions that have yet to be answered...

When I was a semi-brain dead teenager in the mid 1970s, I shrugged off the warnings of my sacred mother, of blessed memory, a survivor of the literally literal Hitler, in the aftermath of some act of anti-Semitic violence perpetrated somewhere in the world. "Ma, this is 1975! This is America!" to which she replied, "evil never rests." How right she was and to our horror, we are experiencing the worst kind of evil imaginable because it sprang up right here, in the one place we were sure was the figurative Corregidor, the Rock; a supposedly impenetrable, unconquerable bastion of freedom.

Frank Hewlett was the Manila bureau chief for UPI and was the last reporter to leave Corregidor before it fell to the Japs. He penned this epitaph in the form of a limerick, which came to symbolize the defeat.

We're the battling bastards of Bataan;
No mama, no papa, no Uncle Sam.
No aunts, no uncles, no cousins, no nieces,
No pills, no planes, no artillery pieces.
And nobody gives a damn.
Nobody gives a damn.

For now, I'll still be here, tapping out messages to the outside world. We'll see how long I can stay on the air, willingly or otherwise.

NOTE: The opinions expressed in some links may or may not reflect my own. I include them because of their relevance to the discussion of a particular issue.

ALSO: The Morning Report is cross-posted at CutJibNewsletter.com if you want to continue the conversation all day.

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