This (and two links below) shamelessly pinched from American Digest

Vanderleun has Seattle Tea Party coverage. In spite of the MSM's determination not to cover them and the Right's Usual Suspects' determination to co-opt them, the more than 700 tea parties throughout the country yesterday strike me as hopeful signs of civic health. A good counteraction to the dark thoughts people are thinking.

Dark Thoughts such as:

Daniel Henninger says the world is full of pirates. (Since we can't say "terrorist," can we call bin Laden a pirate?)

Small signs of decline:
Oh, conscription and slavery and arbitrary compulsion of all sorts and imprisonment without bail and without speedy trial - but those things are obvious; all the histories list them. I think you have missed the most alarming symptom of all. This one I shall tell you. But go back and search for it. Examine it. Sick cultures show a complex of symptoms as you have named... But a dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than a riot. This symptom is especially serious in that an individual displaying it never thinks of it as a sign of ill health but as proof of his/her strength. Look for it. Study it. It is too late to save this culture - this worldwide culture, not just the freak show here in California. Therefore we must now prepare the monasteries for the coming Dark Age.
And this fellow says:

We are at that point reached by the Roman Republic during the last years of its existence ( 133-30 BC) before becoming an empire. Our present ills can be found there as well: a weakening of the ancient faith, massive political corruption, a lawless senate, rampant divorce, birth control and abortion among the ruling classes, an economic system that expropriated wealth from the provinces to concentrate it at the capital, teeming masses of foreigners and a host of potential dictators eating their way through the Roman state. To put the matter simply, Rome became ungovernable. It took military intervention, civil wars and the foundation of a permanent dictatorship to bring back economic and political stability.

More than likely such will be our own fate.
Which reminds me that some time ago I thought Thomas Sowell was just having a bad day when he observed the same:
I can’t help wondering if the day may yet come when the only thing that can save this country is a military coup.
Hmm. I don't think any of those dark thoughts are crazy. The trends are there and more than troubling.

But it's also the octave of Easter, the sun is shining, spring's in the air and I'm not in the mood. Evil is real; setbacks are real; dangers are real. Despair, however, is sinful and whining is plain annoying, which might be worse in my book.

There are always countermovements which, precisely because they oppose the zeitgeist, the zeitgeist doesn't notice --or doesn't see the significance of at the time. In spite of Newsweek's assurances that Christianity has nothing to do with us, 150,000 people came into the Church during the Easter vigil in this country. Rick Warren baptized 800 people in one day a few weeks back. Even politically, there's always hope. As Tocqueville says, freedom is always there for any generation to claim: "it requires but to will it."

We're a bit thin in the will department here in the West these days, but there's still a great reserve of civic health and common sense, as this map of the tea parties (which drew crowds of 500-1000 in places like Seattle and rain-soaked Washington, DC --and 15,000 in Atlanta, 10,000 in St. Louis, etc. ) shows.

See coverage here and here and here (great photos, excellent slogans. In Greenville, SC, they sold "Obama burgers" --you buy it, they cut it in half and give half to the guy standing behind you). That's a lot of folks who aren't merely anti-Obama --they're anti-feckless GOP, pro-Constitution, disgusted that the administration considers them terrorists and willing to stand up for their rights.

In short, after all this rambling, I don't think we need head for the catacombs quite yet. A new Congress in 2010 would do wonders. Work for that.