Daily Bread for 6.15.21

Good morning.

Tuesday in Whitewater will be sunny with a high of 83. Sunrise is 5:15 AM and sunset 8:35 PM, for 15h 19m 40s of daytime.  The moon is a waxing crescent with 22.9% of its visible disk illuminated.

Whitewater’s Common Council meets at 6:30 PM.

On this day in 1839, Charles Goodyear receives a patent for vulcanization, a process to strengthen rubber.

Recommended for reading in full — 

 Michael Gerson writes America’s contest of nightmares isn’t even close:

America is in a contest of contending nightmares.

The dreams of conservatives are currently troubled by “wokeness” and critical race theory. As with most nightmares, there is a grain of truth within such terrors.

For most people, wokeness involves being mindful of the cruel and oppressive portions of American history, being alert to persistent structural racism, and being determined to right past and present wrongs. This is the theory that attracted many people to street protests last summer. By this standard, count me as woke.

But there is an academic version of critical race theory that goes a great deal further. In this variety of postmodernism, all power structures are rotted to the core by white supremacy. The ideals of democracy — pluralism, freedom, the rule of law, even reasoned debate itself — are myths or narratives serving the privileged. In this view, politics is no longer a contest of ideas. It is a fight for power, a zero-sum struggle between oppressor and oppressed. This type of wokeness involves seeing through the pretensions of a free society and favoring the oppressed in every instance.

The distinctions here are not minor. There is a difference between using critical race theory as a tool to understand unjust power structures and believing that every outworking of Western democratic theory is inherently unjust. There is a difference between examining the disturbing truths of American history and denying the existence of objective truth and the possibility of persuasion.

In contrast, the nightmares of progressives are currently dominated by the growth of right-wing authoritarianism and fascism. In these fears, there is more than a grain of truth.

Large elements of the American populist right mythologize the nation’s past rather than face its failures. They dismiss real news as fake and embrace obvious propaganda. They are anti-intellectual to the point of denying lifesaving scientific truths. They fear diversity and target racial, ethnic and religious minorities for resentment. They cultivate a sense of victimhood by warning of arrogant elites and vast conspiracies. These are not isolated ailments; they are the textbook symptoms of a fascist political infection.


But seriously now. Only one of these nightmares has taken over a major political party, which is in the process of purging all dissent. Only one of these delusions is the governing vision of a former president who just might be president again. Only one of these developments has turned the backbones of the minority leader of the House, the minority leader of the Senate and almost every other Republican leader into gelatinous goo. Only one of these ideologies produced a crowd that sacked the U.S. Capitol and threatened violence against political leaders. Only one of these movements is working in state legislatures across the country to make electoral systems more vulnerable to manipulation and mob rule.

Isabelle Khurshudyan and Loveday Morris report Ransomware’s suspected Russian roots point to a long detente between the Kremlin and hackers:

MOSCOW — The ransomware hackers suspected of targeting Colonial Pipeline and other businesses around the world have a strict set of rules.

First and foremost: Don’t target Russia or friendly states. It’s even hard-wired into the malware, including coding to prevent hacks on Moscow’s ally Syria, according to cybersecurity experts who have analyzed the malware’s digital fingerprints.

Watch the world’s most expensive working dog in action:

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