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Daily Tech News 24 July 2023 | Main | Mid-Morning Art Thread
July 24, 2023

The Morning Report — 7/24/23


Good morning, kids. Unless you have been living in a cave for the past several years or have the brain function of a cup of spoiled yogurt, i.e. John Fetterman, you are fully aware that our nation and really the entire world is in complete turmoil. Not merely the usual vicissitudes of localized wars, political and economic swings, and other events that regardless of their seriousness had no impact on the seeming trajectory of history since the end of World War 2. Or what we had imagined that trajectory was.

The possible exception to that was 9/11. As the "war on terror" (how I loathe that phrase) progressed and the years wore on, far too many of us tried to put things behind us and get back to some semblance of "normalcy." Turns out we were whistling past the graveyard. In the cold light of day, a return to that normalcy was not to be. The coming of Trump, that is, the fluke that was the coming of Trump, and even more, the reaction to his coming by truly malign forces, have brought us to this point. It is a fin du siècle, and one of the most significant turning points in history.

What comes next is unknown. The way things are shaping up, the existential threat to our personal freedom and that of future generations, along with international actors and movements, leaves the situation very much in doubt. Still in the darkest moments, we must not lose sight of the fact that leaders and even random individuals are always present, who can change the dynamic, and the course of history.

Michael Anton, the outstanding essayist who gave us "The Flight 93 Election" as well as elaborated on the color revolution that brought America down four years later has some interesting thoughts on optimism and pessimism and puts my rambling intro into much, much deeper perspective:

Think of the fortunes of the United States—if you will, of the whole West—like a stock-price chart. There will be a lot of ups and downs, positive and negative spikes. But zoom out and the trendline is clear. In conventional terms, the United States peaked around 1965. One may quibble over that date. Why not the moon landing? Victory in World War II or the Cold War? Fine. When do you think our political, moral, and spiritual health were at their peak? When was our power, prestige, wealth, cohesion, competence, and confidence—on balance and in the aggregate—highest? (For instance, gross domestic product was lower and infant mortality higher in 1965, but by those other metrics, we were healthier.)

Whatever date you pick, part of the answer must be: not today, and not recently. The great exception might appear to be the “Reagan Era,” which I might amend to the “Reagan-Clinton Era,” to capture both our emergence from malaise and our post-Cold War decade or so of unchallenged preeminence. This period was sold to us at the time, and interpreted by its partisans ever since, as the restoration of the American spirit, a burial of the twin albatrosses of Vietnam Syndrome and stagflation. In hindsight, though, it was one of those spikes on the chart. Most, if not all, causes of our pre-Reagan anomie have returned with a vengeance, and are accompanied by many more causes for concern. . .

. . . It shouldn’t be surprising, then, that America has close to zero remaining social cohesion. What do we have in common anymore? Not a culture, not patriotism, barely a language. We’re divided by race, class, region, religion (among those few who still believe), habits, tastes, and, of course, politics. We seem to agree on nothing. We can’t even talk to one another anymore. At best, the United States is just an economic zone filled with atomized consumers. The idea of us coming together on some grand national project is ludicrous. The prospects even of “live and let live” federalism seem vanishing.

At our worst, we hate each other. I could pretend to be evenhanded here, but let’s face it, that hatred is driven by one side: coastal-credentialed-moneyed-liberal-elites, or whatever you want to call them. We all know who they are.

Red America resents Blue America for outsourcing its jobs and otherwise treating it with contempt. But Blue America hates Red with feverish intensity. We can speculate about the cause another time. The point here is that we have a ruling class that believes half the country, at least, is irredeemable: born evil and deserving of every fresh insult they can throw at it. A ruling class that, to boot, works tirelessly to further degrade social and economic conditions for tens of millions and then enjoys kicking them when they object. It’s a kind of sadism practiced by the worst Roman emperors but today spread across millions of credentialed mandarins. . .

. . . Today, as noted, our “civilization” lets criminals walk and punishes self-defense. It celebrates destruction, arson, and rioting. It mutilates and sterilizes children. It propagandizes people to despise themselves, their countries, and their histories. It guilt-trips them into having fewer children (“for the planet!") and then says that, to make up for the birth dearth, they must welcome endless waves of immigration. It brags “we can replace them”—and gaslights and demonizes those who notice and object to being replaced. Above all, it is in the process of transforming itself so fundamentally through demography that, in a few decades at most, it will no longer make sense to call this the same society. Another Celebration Parallax: if you’re for that, you can say it; if not, it’s a “racist conspiracy theory.” Whatever. There seems to be, on one side, intense eagerness to see the project through and, on the other, insufficient will to stop it.

This, then, is the pessimistic case for our present and future. Assuming present trends continue is said to be a logical fallacy. But assuming they won’t, especially when they’ve been worsening for two generations, is wishful thinking.

But perhaps there is optimism in pessimism. Is it really pessimistic to predict (or hope) that a rotten system will give way to something better? I don’t know what the future holds. But to call “optimistic” the assertion that the present regime has a long time to run presupposes that one favors it.

Read the whole thing, and get the book from which it is excerpted as he really goes into a lot of the particulars of the past decade or so that have brought us to the brink of the abyss. Assuming we have not gone over the edge already.

At the very end, he seems to be cheering on the sweet meteor of death in the hopes that in its wake something better will arise. For sure, what cannot go on, will not go on. Yet, as Anton elucidates, it does not automatically follow that something better will necessarily follow. For sure, with everything so totally corrupted and a nation absolutely divided with no chance at reconciliation and compromise, there will be a new era. As Tina Turner sang, ". . . shine like a light, or end in the dark?"


  • Michael Anton: "But perhaps there is optimism in pessimism. Is it really pessimistic to predict (or hope) that a rotten system will give way to something better? I don’t know what the future holds. But to call 'optimistic' the assertion that the present regime has a long time to run presupposes that one favors it."
    The Pessimistic Case for the Future
  • Robert Spencer: "It has now been well over a week since a Syrian migrant named Mohamad Barakat opened fire on police at the scene of a traffic accident in Fargo, N.D., killing one and wounding two others, and investigators profess to be baffled as to why he would have done such a thing. Meanwhile, the information they have disclosed, which isn’t all that much, is oblique and contradictory, and the local Muslim community has added to the confusion with a decidedly mixed signal. At this rate, we may never find out what really happened in Fargo, and the questions and oddities keep multiplying."
    North Dakota Cop Shooting Case Just Gets Weirder and Weirder
  • "Like a cancer, progressives’ obsession and weaponization of race is consuming America. It is weakening us just as the world is becoming more dangerous. For America to remain the greatest bulwark and champion of freedom this world has ever known, this self-flagellation must end."
    Barack Obama’s Success: How His Election Created the Modern Democrat Party and Transformed America

NOTE: The opinions expressed in the 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 if you want to continue the conversation all day.

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