January 05, 2013

165

Dear Wafers,

and anyone else in attendance:

As we are approaching the 200 comment mark, it becomes necessary to start a new post. Fortunately for all of you, I have nothing to say at this point. So let me just register that this is Post #165, and we can proceed on our merry way.

Hasta la revolucion permanente-

mb

176 Comments:

Blogger Horatio Nelson said...

on OWS, or at least some impressions of them which probably are totally misguided and uninformed--

as a 'target audience member' for them (late Gen X, disenchanted) i initially thought what i always tend to think about such things, which is "what the heck will standing on a corner shouting at drivers-by with a sign really do?" aside from annoy working people trying to get somewhere (and i have family who said the protesters in Oakland needed to "get busy trying to find a job and stop clogging up traffic", so this is probably exactly how they were perceived by the working class). it seems that although many fights have been fought like that in the past, i don't see that approach accomplishing much when it does nothing at all to the motivations/mentalities of those lifting the levers on society.

but, i have attempted to decode why they had no 'platform, organization, methods, etc.' and that is because all of that can be co-opted, used against you and pegged into a corner defending your ideals as not merely some branch of whacked out communism/hippie pothead (read "lazy")/potential terrorist. in that, i can agree with them, if avoiding such dances to the death was their aim.

i also agree with the actual "going out and DOING the things that need to be done" approach. they should do all of this that they can, and even more of it. not because charity is necessary but with an eye towards building that person-to-person interdependent and somewhat underground network which will hopefully still be around when the lights go out in the homes of the workers, if not in the server farms that spy on them.

if any OWSers are still hitting here, my recommendation would be to step beyond the mere charity approach (as you say, everyone likes free STUFF!) and get busy with the small craft traditions, the apprenticeship building, the appropriate technology infrastructure, and whatever other legal means (because it does no good at all to rot in jail anymore. that approach may have worked for Ghandi and MLK but we're dealing with a different beast now) are within their abilities.

to my generation (or perhaps just myself--mostly deluded by my own generalizations) politics is a bankrupt arena, and winning there means you are part of the beast consuming all of that pointless anger/ennui cycle and everyone's energy trying to change that which everyone here accepts already as totally unchangeable.

**poster not a member of OWS. has never knowingly met a member of OWS, and has no correspondence or affiliation with OWS or its subsidiaries

3:47 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

More on Advanced Cranial Rectitis (ACR): In The Nation, issue of Jan. 7/14, it's reported that in the wake of the bin Laden assassination, many Americans tweeted their thanks to Jack Bauer--the star of the TV show, '24'. I'm wondering why they didn't thank Kiefer Sutherland.

12:41 PM  
Blogger Horatio Nelson said...

and this is just for you, Mr. Berman. a new year's gift of further evidence of the abuse of all that is holy and what might have been left of the single remaining American brain cell:

http://www.drugstore.com/chia-freedom-of-choice-willard-mitt-romney/qxp416414?catid=184264

3:40 PM  
Blogger Dan Henry said...

MB:

You were referenced at the end of this piece, a pretty good one in my opinion...

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/01/04/real-housewives-and-the-american-dream/

4:38 PM  
Anonymous neunder said...

NY police: Man kills grandmother in TV show fight
KINGS PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Police say a New York man has killed his grandmother after they argued over what TV show to watch.
They say Clarence Newcomb was arrested Friday at the home he shared with 82-year-old Kathleen Newcomb in Kings Park, on New York's Long Island.
Suffolk County police say a man called them at 4:35 a.m. to report the woman was lying on the floor. Officers say they found her dead.
Medical officials haven't determined how she died. No weapons have been recovered.
Police say 25-year-old Clarence Newcomb told them he and his grandmother had argued over what to watch on TV. Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick says he doesn't know what shows were involved.
Newcomb is in custody and can't be reached for comment. Police say he's unemployed. He faces arraignment Saturday.
http://news.yahoo.com/ny-police-man-kills-grandmother-tv-show-fight-224103696.html

4:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Neunder-

This is gd American logic. You want to watch 'American Idol', or some similar piece of crap; your grandmother wants to watch 'Charlie Rose' (just abt as meaningless, actually); solution: kill her! I mean, why the fuck not? She was in the way.

Dan-

Actually, he referenced the wrong bk, but it's nice to get mentioned anyway.

Horatio-

Mittney come back! All is forgiven!

mb

4:58 PM  
Blogger nosferat_saolin said...

I have to confess that when I first read Dark Ages America many years ago, I felt it was counterproductive to rag on Americans for their ignorance and foolishness, and that their ignorance was inevitable (a sort of vulgar economic determinism) having its roots the material basis of imperialism and casino finance capitalism.

In the two years, I have came around to the conclusion that Morris was right and I was wrong. Criticism of Americans should not be opportunistically muffled. As Trotsky once said "The reformists have a good smell for what the audience wants [...] But that is not serious revolutionary activity. We must have the courage to be unpopular, to say “you are fools,” “you are stupid,” “they betray you,” and every once in a while with a scandal launch our ideas with passion."

Of course, Trotsky lived in an era in which the labor movement had real power. Today, the left is weak throughout the world, and practically nonexistent in the United States. Some people still reserve hope that a spontaneous awakening will occur; however, the US and German (E.U) Elites have been very successful in channeling public discontent into ideas and actions that advance their interests. It appears that you really can fool most people most of the time. Also, Morris used the analogy that it isn´t so much as case of "rape," as it is seduction. And the scorned American lover seems to always come back for more abuse.

However, when the Dollar ceases to be a reserve currency (currency used internationally for trade and as a store of value for Central Banks), Americans will awaken to their true poverty. Will they awaken to the causes? It is highly unlikely.

Hope sells; blaming others sells. Most Americans only listen what they want to hear and attack anything that interferes with their preferred version of reality. Their version of reality is, of course, either 1) an ideological framework that paints their personal role as both important/good and aligns with their "pecuniary interests" or 2) a mindless parroting of what they heard on some tv show.

Contact with average Americans is best way to disabuse yourself of any lingering hope of an "American Awakening" within the next 20 years. Just be glad that all generations eventually die off.

7:09 PM  
Anonymous Seth said...

Horatio,

Accepting something like the death of the planet as inevitable and doing nothing to fight against it is immoral. We should always try to help our fellow men, and this understanding is what OWS was/is ultimately about. OWS understands that it's better to die a hero than live as a silent accomplice to what our politicians are currently doing.

Although the coming collapse will force people to live differently, existing totalitarian regimes - which will dominate the whole Earth for most of the 21st century - will need to be fought against. The only way such regimes will collapse without this resistance is if they're the last to die from climate change - in other words, if everyone else dies first. People in power always have special access to food, water, medicine, etc. If they are destroyed by the coming collapse, so will everyone else. At least, this is how I see it.

8:35 PM  
Anonymous ennobled little day said...

I was reading that article from Counter Punch that Dan just shared with us. I apologize if this is a bit off topic but it reminded me of a statistic I heard on some PBS show years ago. Something about how two thirds of settlers in Montana did NOT survive their FIRST winter.

I guess there's a case for saying that the American Dreams was always just a dream.

8:38 PM  
Anonymous Rodeo said...

When kids use guns to settle conflicts, adults in USA act as if they do not know the cultural origin of violence in USA. Violence is simply part of the mindset of the Europeans. The book and the documentary titled the “Untold History of the United States" explores and explains this violent mindset:

By way of example, consider the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan in August 1945. Most mainstream sources in the U.S. insist, without question, that the use of the atomic bombs was essential to ending the war without massive U.S. and Japanese casualties.

Yet few mainstream sources point to the real fear that the Japanese High Command had: the entry of the Soviet Union into the war and its devastating impact on Japanese troops in Manchuria and Korea (and the possible invasion of Japan by Soviet troops).

Stone presents what can be called a “counter-narrative” through an in depth investigation and use of archival footage leading the viewer to ask a very simple, yet profound question: Was the usage of the atomic bombs aimed at ending World War II or, in the alternative, putting the world on notice – and the Soviet Union in particular – of the power possessed by the U.S.?

http://daytonatimes.com/2013/01/03/oliver-stones-breakthrough-documentary-on-u-s-history/

Untold History: Early US Imperialism, Hitler, Roosevelt, the Spanish Civil War
http://truth-out.org/news/item/13427-untold-history-early-us-imperialism-hitler-roosevelt-the-spanish-civil-war

9:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Rodeo-

Regarding Hiroshima, I have the ref. somewhere, but apparently Truman knew Japan was on its last legs, and dropped the bomb anyway. So evidence is probably gd that it was to send a message to the USSR (see work of Gar Alperovitz).

This is the official explanation in Japan, BTW, whereas the official explan here is 'To hasten an end to the war.' I visited the Peace Memorial in November, went thru it 2x, once by myself and once w/a guide. The exhibits say, quite clearly, that the bomb was dropped as a message to the Soviets. My guide told me that several hibakusha (A-bomb survivors) visited a high schl in Missouri in 2011, only to discover that not a single student there had ever heard of this explanation. All they knew was the American hasten-war's-end version. (I frankly wonder if they had even heard of the Cold War. One poll of a few yrs back revealed that something like 50% of Americans thought Russia was our enemy in WW2, and Germany our ally! Another study turned up the fact that roughly the same proportion were surprised when the Wall came down in 1989, because they had no idea that Germany was divided into Eastern and Western zones. I tell ya...)

mb

10:10 PM  
Anonymous Xiale said...

Howard Zinn on The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki:

www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Zinn/Bombs_August.html

3:15 AM  
Anonymous Hali Bali said...

Thanks MB for pointing out Gar Alperovitz. I found the following books by him:

The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb (Aug 6, 1996)

Atomic Diplomacy: Hiroshima and Potsdam: The Use of the Atomic Bomb and the American Confrontation with Soviet Power (Nov 25, 1994)

That the American president had to kill millions of innocent Japanese people in Hiroshima just to “send a message to the USSR” shows the violent cultural mindset that Rodeo referred to. In fact, it shows to me why Iran and other nations must make it their priority to acquire nuclear bombs (and also why America and Zionists who invented the atomic bombs do not want others to have the bomb). It is like the debate on violence and guns inside USA: it is ok for the US government to spend more public dollars on bombs and guns than the amount it spends on education and healthcare combined and yet shooting at schools and theaters are evil.

3:58 AM  
Anonymous Zero said...

Today I started looking for something uplifting to brighten up my day. Something cheery to fill my heart with joy, hope, and brotherly love. But all I found was this... sorry:


“Four people killed inside Colorado house, including gunman"

http://rt.com/usa/news/gunman-kills-four-colorado-411/

Julian

5:43 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Hali-

Total killed 'on contact' in Hiroshima and Nagasaki = 130,000; additional numbers who died from radiation poisoning afterwards = 240,000. For best eyewitness testimony, "Black Rain," by Ibuse. Numbers killed in Tokyo firebombings = 140,000 (100,000 on the night of 8-9 March 1945).

mb

7:05 AM  
Anonymous twig said...

Rodeo:

"The book and the documentary titled the “Untold History of the United States"

I cannot fathom why Stone and Kuznick do not mention Howard Zinn (mentions Gar Alperovitz in Xiale's post) in their interviews (viewed two, so far). His book , "A People's History of the United States", is the standard and apparently gets no credit that I am aware of. I hope this is not true.

8:28 AM  
Blogger Barry Bliss said...

"....whatever other legal means (because it does no good at all to rot in jail anymore. that approach may have worked for Ghandi and MLK but we're dealing with a different beast now) are within their abilities."
-------Horatio Nelson

The "beast" may appear different, but at it's core it is the same, and civil disobedience is as useful an approach as it ever was.

8:41 AM  
Anonymous Rowdy said...

Playing Devil's advocate here, but if the US simply wanted to send a message to the Soviets, why use more than one bomb? Two bombs doesn't make the message any stronger.

The second bomb does encourage the Japanese Gov. to come to a decision though.

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Justine Furman said...

I think some people have killed so many human souls in so many locations in the world that they are truly afraid of future retaliation and consequences. Everything they say and do today is predicated on this fear of retaliation from others around the world.

For example, they must spend more money on military, wars, and guns so as to assure themselves of safety. They must fortify themselves inside their homes in case millions of victims they created around the world come over to their house for retribution.

In short, some people have committed so much injustice and genocides against other peoples that they are worried about what would become of them once they are no longer in control to lord it over others. This is why so many whites in USA are arming themselves to the teeth as their population and political power decrease.

10:37 AM  
Blogger jml said...

seth,
sleeping in a tent on wall street is not heroic nor is it an example of "fighting", rather it is silly - which is why most of the wall street bankers laughed and were entertained by ows rather than feeling threatened by them

10:52 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Justine-

I suspect that in terms of First World/Third World, there's a whole lotta karma coming down the pike.

Rowdy-

Actually, it does. Truman had selected the two targets in advance, the better to make the pt. As for the Japanese, they didn't need any encouragement re: surrendering after Hiroshima, believe me. BTW, you might enjoy the Richard Gere film, "Rhapsody in August."

Barry-

As many have commented, what worked against the British wd have been pretty useless against the Nazis.

mb

11:08 AM  
Blogger Jeff T said...

Greetings MB and fellow Wafers,

Another excellent source about the atomic bombings is Ronald Takaki's book, "Hiroshima: Why America Dropped the Atomic Bomb." He deals specifically with Harry Truman's psychological makeup, the deep roots of anti-Japanese racism, and the overall cultural context of race and the decision to use the weapons.

3:24 PM  
Blogger Barry Bliss said...

MB,
The point of being non-violent (in my eyes) is not to get the other person to change, it is rather to set an example of how to live right as opposed to being one more violent person.
Being killed is not losing, except materially.
Easy to say, hard to do, but Nazis do not create an excuse for violence in the end.
PS As you know, this has all been debated many times.
Mine is the minority view, for sure.

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reformed Hippie
I fully agree with the prognosis of the Wafers here. It's bad news.

Have any of you a suggested cure, even a romantic vision of how to heal?

We know that OWS was doomed - see history and the Chartist Movemenent in Britain in I think the 19th century.Great idea, terrible outcome.

The State is now much more powerful in weapons and surveillance than then. An ugly fact.

So- what next? If the answer is flight, OK. If not, what? I don't want to be that fool Job, whining on the dungheap. Do you?

3:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Reformed-

I guess you need to read the Twilight book (chapter on NMI's) and also the Comments section of previous posts, which deal with future options quite extensively. Yr of course welcome on this blog, but I can't reinvent the wheel for every newcomer. Maybe do a bit of homework?

Barry-

Sometimes the minority view is rt; not in this case. Your 'solution' is no solution. It makes no sense at all.

Jeff-

Well, it's probably not an accident that we didn't drop the bomb on the Germans, eh?

mb

3:59 PM  
Anonymous Samuel said...

Ghandi and MLK (even David Thoreau) were self-less in their thinking and motivation. Where can you find such human beings in America of today? From 1980 to the present time, it has been about self or group interests at the expense of others and at the expense of the larger society. This selfishness took deep root in the mind and consciousness of the majority in the US.

When the majority had jobs and healthcare coverage, they thought that everyone else was lazy and dumb. The greed got out of hand so those in power (the majority) got bolder and bolder in greed; they started sending out jobs to India, China, Philippines for more greed. Jobs and healthcare dried up for whites too, and now they are feeling the pinch of too.

When drive-by shootings happened only in black and latino areas in America, the majority whites thought that there was no need to do anything. The attitude was let them kill each other. This was not the attitude alone, it was the public policy from white presidents from Reagan to Bush Senior. The NRA and gun makers started getting to the greed, and more powerful guns were made and sold to defend lives and properties from the others. Today, the law of karma has caught up with these people – what they wished for others has come home to roost as their children learn the art of selfishness and callousness and disregard for human lives.

There is no where you will locate a single person today in America who thinks like Ghandi, MLK , or David Thoreau. Everyone is busy protecting their loots or hating the others. Think about what the haters have said about or what they have done to Obama.

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

I've been reading the comments about OWS, Hedges and Chomsky. While at this point in time, we would all do as well to learn basket weaving as to think holding a sign is going to impact Wall Street, our corrupt medical system, collapsed educational system, or anything else, I give them all credit. No matter how futile OWS may be in historical terms, it may have set the foundations for something (I don't know what) to be done in the future. Just like the NMI concept in TAC, it's impossible to judge its impact--or lack of impact. And Hedges and Chomsky as defendants in the suit to stop indefinite detention may be successful if it reaches the Supreme Court and is overturned. If it's upheld as legal, then America's claim to adore the Constitution will be exposed for just so much lip service to the world. Will this change the trajectory our empire is going in? Of course not--but I do think acts of courage, whether it's telling the grim truth in DAA, occupying a tent in a hostile city to make a statement, suing the government to stand by the Constitution and protect our rights, are valuable simply on their own. Ghandi stated "nothing you do makes any difference but it's very important that you do it."

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reformed Hippie

Barry - I'm sorry but you are a turkey voting for Xmas.

As to doing some homewok (me) I accept.

Solutions to insanity? I really hoped for some here given my inability to offer one.

There used to be communism, but that didnt work out well.

7:06 PM  
Anonymous twig said...

One thing is for sure! One Bomb, two bombs, makes no difference. History teaches us (as facts are revealed, of course, in time, after all the propaganda) that it was a barbaric, criminal and filthy thing for anyone to do, as the speech that Xiale recommended by Howard Zinn proved!

Barry: Ur solution (if I understand) IS a good one! Don't care what the Prof says. Nobody is right all the time.

8:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Reformed-

Please pick a handle so that you don't keep showing up as Anonymous. I suggest Rufus T. Firefly. Otherwise, yr toast. ps: gd luck w/the homework; it's at this pt that most pre-Wafers poop out. ps2: you meant Thanksgiving, not Xmas, rt?

Susan-

Well, I just can't agree. Robt Bellah speaks of something he calls 'path dependence,' the pt at which the system is set and cannot really be altered--a common historical/sociological pattern. I call it, The fix is in. At which pt, all these wonderful symbolic gestures strike me as quite dumb. A Jew taking a noble stand in Germany in 1938 was a fool. From an historical or political pt of view, the overriding question is What is effective?, not What is praiseworthy? (In these matters, head counts a whole lot more than heart, in other words.) Besides, Gandhi was wrong: some things *do* make a difference. And altho I don't have a crystal ball, it seems very unlikely that OWS will have been one of those things. It had the cutting edge of a wet paper bag.

mb

8:28 PM  
Blogger Zosima said...

I’m sure you don’t want to get into a debate over who was the the villain of WW2. If you’re going to claim it was the US, then I dissent. Japan was run by a ruthless military dictatorship. Even after the 2nd bomb was dropped those thugs still tried to talk the Emperor out of surrendering, and they obviously didn’t care about their own civilian casualties.

“In fact, more than 60 of Japan’s cities had been substantially destroyed by the time of the Hiroshima attack”

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2011/08/07/why_did_japan_surrender/?page=full

“The five different examples allow us to understand the level of brutalities committed by the Japanese Army and help to explain why the death rate for POWs under the Japanese was seven times that of POWs under the Germans and Italians; for starvation and diseases in tropical countries cannot be the only explanation.”

http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=1210

We killed a lot of Japanese with our bombings, but try to remember, our portion of the slaughter was a drop in the bucket. (check out Russian civilians)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties

Well, it's probably not an accident that we didn't drop the bomb on the Germans, eh? mb

Come on, you can do better than this, we didn’t even test the bomb until July, and the Germans surrendered in May.

The place to look for American villainy is during the Cold War, where we invaded a number of small countries that never attacked us. Or earlier, in useless conquests like this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippine%E2%80%93American_War#American_atrocities

8:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Z-

Yr rt on a few things, but off base on a # of others. Abt which I cd cite chapter and verse (e.g. plan to drop the bomb was 2 yrs in the making; it didn't depend on the July test run), but why bother? This blog isn't about WW2, and if it makes u happy, that's a war I'm certainly glad we won.

mb

9:05 PM  
Anonymous satyaSarika said...

@ zosima.... I think one of the points we like to make is that it's the shades of gray that very often count, not the reduction of history into the action of good guys and villains. So altho Hitler was certainly a villain (as was Stalin), I don't think the US as a whole could ever really be considered the good guys...

@ Dr Mb.... Am reading CTO @ the moment ...thinking about the consciousness of self and other ... Just wondering if you happen to be aware of any object relations oriented studies of transsexuals? I did a few searches but found nothing. Just curious as I've known some really unhappy TS folks and your book made me wonder how 'the basic fault' might express itself in the TS condition. Course I realize that it's been over 20 years since you wrote CTO, so ... :-)

10:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sat-

Yeah, CTOS is rather vague in my mind at this pt, but in any case, TS is rather outside my area of expertise.

mb

3:41 AM  
Anonymous Rodeo said...

Let us be honest: these are the real Americans, vindictive, violent, unforgiving, and gun-worshiping. I really feel sorry for parents with school-age children. Imagine what goes through their mind daily the moment their children leave for school. This is a vicious cycle and a sign of retardation!

Calls and e-mails grew so threatening that the paper’s president and publisher, Janet Hasson, hired armed guards to monitor the newspaper’s headquarters in White Plains and its bureau in West Nyack, N.Y.

Personal information about editors and writers at the paper has been posted online, including their home addresses and information about where their children attended school; some reporters have received notes saying they would be shot on the way to their cars; bloggers have encouraged people to steal credit card information of Journal News employees; and two packages containing white powder have been sent to the newsroom and a third to a reporter’s home (all were tested by the police and proved to be harmless).

By Dec. 26, employees had begun receiving threatening calls and e-mails, and by the next day, reporters not involved in the article were being threatened.


http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/07/nyregion/after-pinpointing-gun-owners-journal-news-is-a-target.html?hp&_r=2&pagewanted=all&

9:51 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Rodeo-

What a wonderful country, eh? I also liked the part in the essay abt a councilman having two boys arrested for running a cupcake stand. Life in the US is turning into a maximum surveillance prison.

mb

10:31 AM  
Blogger Jeff T said...

Greetings MB and fellow Wafers,

The journey from Bush basher to drone wuver...

What a difference a few years, a revealed "huge ego," and getting close to power can make! Meet the dean of Yale Law School and Obama confidant, Harold Hongju Koh. Apparently, Koh's "turn" has left many liberals scratching their heads. Not only am I certain that this guy is a real turd, he gives Mittney a run for his money in the haircut department. Enjoy.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-koh-drones-20130106,0,1224580.story

12:52 PM  
Anonymous infanttyrone said...

Re Koh & Yoo:
Time to get David Frost in the studio with these two, so we can hear a stereo version of "When the President does it, it's not illegal".

2:19 PM  
Anonymous Seth said...

jmi,

The protesters were often beaten up and jailed by the police. It is indeed heroic to be willing to endure that for a good cause. Besides, since Obama can legally have citizens killed now, protesting is literally putting your life on the line.

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Sam77 said...

Jeff T, thanks for the Koh article.

I like this part:

"His father was a legal scholar and a diplomat and his mother was a sociologist, and both taught at Yale.

A stellar student, Koh studied at Harvard, Oxford and Harvard Law School and was a clerk at the Supreme Court for Justice Harry Blackmun. He first dealt with the Guantanamo prison in 1992 when he led a legal fight up to the Supreme Court on behalf of Haitian refugees who were being held there. His efforts so impressed the State Department that the Clinton administration appointed him an assistant secretary for human rights"

Most of the people are highly educated, but they still "turn" backward when they get into power. What then do we expect from unthinking and irrational people like Bush? Somehow when some people get into power they sing songs different from the songs they used to sing in the past. I am beginning to think that there is a government within a government in the US. There is an unelected power block that tells the politicians and their advisors what to think, say, and do. This has to be one explanation to this kind of behavior. Another explanation is that there must be something (top secret information) these people know that we do not know.

5:16 PM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

Sam77,

Yes, a great many of these people are "highly educated" in that most of them indeed possess considerable expertise in their particular field of study. The real question is: What do we mean by "educated" in the first place? Is it simply about skills? Or is it about becoming reasonably whole, critically thinking, empathetic human beings?

When you look at it that way, how are any of these "highly educated" people any different from the technically skilled IT worker or drone operator or hedge fund manager, etc.? Aren't they actually just properly programmed specialists who keep the system running as smoothly as possible? Highly paid cogs who can easily be replaced when broken, used up, too old to work?

Like their supposedly less educated brothers & sisters, they're mass-produced units who haven't been "spoiled" by anything so unproductive as imagination, ethics, empathy. They can "think" when it comes to doing their jobs, which means servicing & maintaining the consumerist culture. But how often (if ever) do they think about the consequences of their actions, the effect on people they never see & who basically don't exist from their viewpoint?

6:49 PM  
Anonymous Zero said...

Tim,

You’re right on about these so-called “highly educated” cogs in the machine. They are just operators, lacking any kind of creativity, intelligence, or ability to think in anything other than 2-word clichés.

I also follow the discussions in a blog dedicated to university professors. Most people there supposedly have PhDs, DBAs, or PsyDs, yet it is mind boggling to see the level of stupidity and ignorance exhibited by these “professors.” Ninety-nine percent of them are total morons. We’re talking major imbeciles here. All that they do is regurgitate the same exceptionalist, individualist, and simplistic BS in which the rest of the American people have been brainwashed. For example, history or sociology professors calling Obama a “socialist”, or economics professors blaming the recession on “lazy welfare queens”, and I could go on. I get annoyed every time I read the threads there, and the only reason I do that for is to keep updated about the ongoing collapse of the US education system (i.e., tallying up how many more imbeciles bitch about having lost their jobs this week, etc.).

This country is such a goner, it’s not even funny anymore… at this point, it’s downright hilarious.

It’s time to boogie, folks! Time to emigrate. Get out of this moron place while you still can.

Julian

8:48 PM  
Anonymous Vince said...

Tim Lukeman,

I could not have stated your points better myself. On a personal level I have been struggling for years with my line of work. So I made a choice to start going back to school about 10 years ago to get into the IT field. In community college is pretty hands on and I made a couple of friends. I could talk with some of my instructors, one in particular, about the world that we live in.

But once I transferred to the university it was a different world. Only my philosophy teachers engaged in any real dialogue. The economics professor, while very nice and well educated in his field and somewhat liberal, still believed in our economic structure. It was quite astonishing to hear the things coming out of the mouths of future business managers. One in particular had no problem with convicted felons paying their debt to society through the private prison system for profitable publicly traded companies.

Now I find that after a few years part time at the local university has not really served me all that much. I actually enjoyed the challenging math and philosophy classes. But I couldn't bring myself to sit down in front of another instructor lecturing from a power point presentation. As Dr. Berman has spoken of many times, I was on the path of not really learning anything at all outside what I was teaching myself.

Universities have, from my perspective, turned into the vocational schools that Chris Hedges has so accurately described. They are churning out systems managers whose goal is always striving for the next promotion so that they can pay their debts off and begin to live the "American Dream".

I see the same ambitious drive by managers at the company I work for currently. They work 12 hour days at work and another 4 hours at home. They make the impossible happen, or at least make it appear that they have. The magic numbers are consistent and then they are promoted. Then their work load increases with their pay. All the while anyone in the way of such career paths are crushed or marginalized.

The sad thing is that most of those whom I work with now share a large facility. When overtime is abundant and money is flowing, one could care less about anything but the next big paycheck. While there are good people just trying to earn an honest living, others are just their to "get theirs jack".

Most people I encounter in school and work have a world view the size of a television screen.

So I have had to ask myself this. If I finished that "degree", wouldn't I still be serving the same system? Unfortunately the answer is yes. After all, how does one earn an honest living in a dishonest society? Finally, I am left with one of the most important things that my father said to me after over 20 years of not speaking to one another.

"The only lie that you can tell is to yourself."

Peace,
Vince

9:38 PM  
Anonymous infanttyrone said...

Sam77,
The late Bill Hicks runs it down for us in a couple very short clips...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iosMWTq7ds

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gBlDyDVewl8

And George X tells us even more in only a little longer bit...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-14SllPPLxY

2:20 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ty-

"Required viewing," I wd say!

mb

5:13 AM  
Anonymous Zero said...

Not again...

"4 women fatally shot at Tulsa apartment"

http://news.yahoo.com/police-4-women-fatally-shot-tulsa-apartment-203502250.html

6:20 AM  
Anonymous Sam77 said...


Zero, you wrote this: "I also follow the discussions in a blog dedicated to university professors. Most people there supposedly have PhDs, DBAs, or PsyDs, yet it is mind boggling to see the level of stupidity and ignorance exhibited by these “professors.” Ninety-nine percent of them are total morons. We’re talking major imbeciles here. All that they do is regurgitate the same exceptionalist, individualist, and simplistic BS in which the rest of the American people have been brainwashed. For example, history or sociology professors calling Obama a “socialist”, or economics professors blaming the recession on “lazy welfare queens”, and I could go on. I get annoyed every time I read the threads there, and the only reason I do that for is to keep updated about the ongoing collapse of the US education system"

Please can you give a link to the blog? I am like you - I learn from the mistakes and thinking of other people.

Thanks in advance.

6:34 AM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

I think I misquoted Gandhi but it would be splitting hairs so, no matter. What I was trying to say (incoherently)was what we "do" won't change what Bellah calls path dependence but it makes a very big difference in our own lives.

Tim--the one course you won't find on his transcript is ethics. Power is seductive and the desire to be included in this circle of power corrupts men and women who might otherwise be more honest and humane. Years ago I read the sci-fi trilogy by CS Lewis and in one of the books the protagonist is in a meeting with the people in charge of society. He realizes then that the source of real evil begins (I'm loosely quoting from memory)"in well lit rooms, with men casually deciding other mens' fate, well removed from all unpleasantness."

This amorality is epidemic. My son in law's brother was telling me about his uncle swindling his own brother and sister out of their share of an inheritance; the way he did it was "perfectly legal" and he said--and I quote--"if they weren't smart enough to protect themselves they deserved to loose it."

7:17 AM  
Anonymous JWO said...

infanttyrone:

Thx for the clips:

"It's called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it." --Carlin

I love it!

8:23 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Susan-

That's all well and good, but if it just serves to get you killed, then it's called sheer idiocy. The real issue is not personal/existential; it's whether what one does is sensible, i.e. effective in any way. Otherwise, it's just a grand gesture. Not for me, in any case, but that's just me.

jwo-

That is a great line, and terribly true. More than 99% of the American public is under water, living their lives according to an unconscious program that is completely at odds with reality. Can you imagine what a different country it would be, if only 10% of the nation were George Carlins?

mb

10:40 AM  
Anonymous twig said...

But wait!

The American Dream IS alive if only thru the lotto...but then someone kills ur butt...DAMN!!

http://www.ajc.com/videos/news/lotto-winner-poisoned-a-day-after-collecting-check/vmjwG/

Dr. Morris:

What can possibly be judged to be sensible in a world that really doesn't exist, ultimately.

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

Susan,

Yes! I recall that Lewis passage very well. In more than one essay, he spoke about that desire to be part of The Inner Circle, that select group of men (almost always men) who are really in the know. I think it's a desire born of massive insecurity, a gnawing emptiness that can never be filled. It's common to children & teenagers, of course -- I remember how cool I felt knowing all the really good bands, the ones that were never heard on Top 40 radio -- a trivial but telling example. What mattered was that I knew something They didn't know. We all go through that while growing up. I guess. But so many never get over it, and make it their entire worldview.

You know, that Inner Circle strikes me as being a warped return to a very masculine womb, naked vulnerability projecting an outward image of supreme power & invincibility. Armor outside to conceal the nothingness inside. Even though Wilhelm Reich's later years descended into a literalization of psychological metaphor (orgone accumulators & the like), I think he was spot-on in his singling out that weird, masculine Gordian knot of sex, power, fear, vulnerability. To say nothing of its terrible consequences in the world.

Certainly you can see it in every authoritarian culture: a pathological emphasis on manliness, power (and the power to kill & destroy in particular), the appearance of invulnerability, control, etc. And all such cultures are notorious for disdaining, despising, dismissing psychology & any attempt to look inward. They desperately need some outward enemy, as Professor Berman has noted many times about our own American empire. Anything rather than gaze unblinkingly into the mirror.

11:07 AM  
Anonymous Rodeo said...

I watch the youtube video by Carlin. It is interesting. But I need some clarification.

JWO gives a quote from Carlin's youtube video: "It's called the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it." --Carlin

MB concurs: "That is a great line, and terribly true. More than 99% of the American public is under water, living their lives according to an unconscious program that is completely at odds with reality. Can you imagine what a different country it would be, if only 10% of the nation were George Carlins?"


I ask: who are are the people Carlin talked about who are manipulating the American people? Do we really know who the evil people are or are we assuming what does not exist?

Alex Jones was quoted and referred to in this blog in the past. I watched him last night in CNN with Piers Morgan. Is he saying the same thing as Carlin?

Alex Jones and Piers Morgan

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AtyKofFih8Y&feature=player_embedded

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tf-i3Y5iRYo&feature=player_embedded

11:28 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Rodeo-

What Carlin needed to add was, that if Americans are victims, they are very active and willing victims. This is why I don't accept the 'rape' model of the American situation. 'Consensual sex' is mach closer to the mark. In other words, there *is* a 1%, to use OWS terminology, but the remaining 99% has virtually no objection to this, as a poll taken by the Pew Charitable Trust of last March revealed. The goal of the 99% is to *get into* the upper 1%, not to overthrow them. This is the American Dream. Yet it rarely happens, despite the propaganda on this: almost everyone in this country dies in the social class they were born. For the most part, upward social mobility is a myth. *Downward* social mobility, however, is a hard fact. I always loved that line from John Steinbeck, that in the US, the poor regard themselves as 'temporarily embarrassed millionaires'. I doubt it gets more stupid than that.

twig-

My last name is actually Berman, strangely enuf.

mb

12:12 PM  
Blogger Reader said...

Rodeo said, "I ask: who are are the people Carlin talked about who are manipulating the American people? Do we really know who the evil people are or are we assuming what does not exist?"

Here is one answer, with research and citations behind it, so a pretty good indications that the plutocrats exist.

http://majority.fm/2012/12/20/chrystia-freeland-rise-of-the-new-plutocrats/

12:55 PM  
Blogger jml said...

Regarding the victim vs. consensual sex idea about how america got screwed, I keep thinking of an interview with Bill Clinton when he was asked, "Why did you do it?" (meaning why have sexual relations with an intern in the oval office) His response was, "Because I could."
I can't help but think that this rationale applies to the current socio-economic inequalities. In hundreds of years from now, if any humans are left, will they not look back at this time and say that Americans were too busy watching American Idol, trying act like the Kardashians, pretending that they could have celebrity lifestyles, and shopping to notice that they were being "victimized" or robbed. OWS may not have been engaged in the above-mentioned activities but whatever it was they were doing was completely impotent. If that is the best resistance we can muster, we are doomed.

1:47 PM  
Anonymous sanctuary! said...

Met a girl who had a masters degree in psychology. I asked her a few questions about schizophrenia and she was enthusiastic; she talked abt how schiz. meant "hearing voices." From which our discussion branched out into general psych. Turns out she knew no writer in the field, of whatever prominence or value - from Freud to Reich to Skinner to Horney, etc. .... I asked her what books or authors she valued in her field. It became plain she had read merely her profs' texts and classroom handouts.

Met another gal, who had a masters in Ed. Her goal in life was to teach kindergarten. "So why do you want a masters degree?" I asked her. She replied, "Because you get more money w/ a masters."

Occasionally an educated American does exceptionally well - he or she is "super bright" - and becomes a Larry Summers or a Harold Hongju Koh.

Meanwhile, we "losers" can go read a book.

3:52 PM  
Anonymous Zero said...

Tim,

You’re describing narcissists and their typical “narcissistic rage”. Narcissists are weak and empty people with a thin façade of BS and entitlement, known for acting violently when their façade is questioned. Of all personality disorders, narcissism describes the American psyche best.

Julian

4:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sanc-

I think we can all agree that American education (now there's an oxymoron 4u) is a joke. For the stats, check out Arum and Roksa, "Academically Adrift." The interesting question is how we did manage, in a country based on hustling, to have some decent pockets of university ed in this country down to around 1965. I'll never forget studying Brit Lit w/Meyer Abrams (just turned 100, BTW), or Gov't w/Mario Einaudi, and how hard the students worked just to keep up; how we thought learning was really worthwhile. Now, the student body, like the rest of the country, is a collection of zombified douche bags (ZDB's; I'm really going to hafta publish a glossary one of these days).

jml-

We *are* doomed, and for the reasons just given above. OWS wasn't thinking; it was feeling, and thought that that was thinking. How was that any different from the rest of the country? And when I tell people that America consists of zombified douche bags and has no future whatsoever--they laugh!

mb

5:51 PM  
Anonymous Mike Alan said...

To Rodeo:

Here's a link to over 16 hours of The Ultimate History Lesson in which John Taylor Gatto tells who has been manipulating us for a century or two.

https://www.tragedyandhope.com/th-films/the-ultimate-history-lesson/commentary-and-analysis/

Yeah, I know it's all tin foil hat stuff to the oh-so-sophisticated crowd, but Gatto gives his sources too. Anyone who does not believe wealthy and powerful people in this world have conspired to become more wealthy and powerful is quite naive to say the least. Heck, that's what this country is all about!

......................

On violence…absolute pacifism is good for the emotions and philosophical discussions but it’s not how the real world works. Unless you can nourish yourself from sunlight, air or radioactive energy, violence is committed toward something living to keep you alive. I know that we are all supposed to abhor violence, but honestly, it is extremely effective and it's what keeps this whole dog-eat-dog system running. If you don't believe me stop paying your mortgage and all other bills and see if violence isn't visited upon you. Credit goes to Derrick Jensen for that observation and many others on this topic. Check out his Endgame talk sometime and he will open your eyes about violence. Did you know that those Jews who resisted the Nazis in WWII Germany had a higher survival rate than those who didn’t and went to camps? Which choice involved less violence there?

Personally, I study Aikido to help me deal with violence. Traditional Aikido has no attacks and deals with effectively redirecting violent energy away from me while doing as little harm as possible to an attacker. I know it won’t stop bullets but it is an effective tool for dealing with the average American bully, which this country breeds at a high rate since this system requires them to properly function. It also means I can make a choice to take a pacifist approach toward oncoming violence or deal with it in a more martial manner. I have been in real life situations where being able to make this choice means the difference between being a crumpled, bleeding heap (who supposedly took the moral high ground) lying in a parking lot or being someone who walked away from a violent situation under his own power and who perhaps protected others. It’s nice to have a choice in such matters. I apologize for being so windy.

6:56 PM  
Anonymous Frankster said...

Nobody has really answered the question by Rodeo. That someone wants to be a millionaire does not mean he or she wants do it by cheating other people in the society. Hustling is not always bad if someone hustles to feed his family. This means waking up early and working late everyday so that one can feed his children. This is considered being successful in most third world nations. A poor and honest man who works hard to feed his family is not a bad person. That someone went through a bad educational system does not make him or her an evil person. It does not turn a good person into a monster. There are many third world nations with uneducated people who are not easily brainwashed. I don’t know if I am getting through to you, but being uneducated does not automatically make the people thieves and hustlers. Wanting to make some money does not make a person a monster when the person simply wants to feed his kids.

I think the problem is the idea that some people sit around in big offices, banks, and make billions while hard workers who work 40 hours a week at hard labor cannot make enough money to feed their family or to send their kids to school. This is problem economic and political beliefs, institutions and structures in a country.

I think the economic system in USA is not working. The wall street people do not actually make anything and they earn millions while hardworking teachers are derided and paid little.

8:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Frank-

Bit of a straw man, I think. Why is it nec to be a millionaire to feed your family? I can't see the connection. And no one here is saying that a poor and honest man who works hard to feed his family is a bad person; that's never been argued on this blog. Nor has anyone here stated that someone who goes thru a bad educational system is thereby, ipso facto, evil. And no one here has claimed that being uneducated = being a thief and a hustler. As I said, all of this is attacking a straw man; I can't imagine where all this is coming from. You might want to scroll thru some of the comments on this and previous posts, get some idea of what we actually *are* saying.

I also take it u never read WAF, rt? I certainly never argued anything along those lines.

mb

8:23 PM  
Anonymous twig said...

Dr. Berman (Not sure why I typed "Morris" b 4 - I knew better - an unintended error):

All we need in this country are hypocritical Presidents like JImmy Carter and Obama to enable the bad guys to win as this article points out.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/01/08/a-voice-in-the-wilderness/

8:43 PM  
Anonymous Seth said...

MB,

Do you think that the Puritan mentality might be traced all the way back to the Protestant Reformation? For Protestants, faith alone determines whether an individual or nation will be saved, at least according to Martin Luther and their religious upbringing; therefore, looking reality in the face and realizing that something is wrong and needs to be fixed is discouraged, if not actively forbidden, it seems to me. The whole "civil religion" of America seems to be nothing more complicated than the natural results of Protestant thought, the obsession with faith to the exclusion of everything else. Maybe this explains why Americans have the need to believe their country is invincible and immune to the laws that govern economics, nature, and history. Maybe they have alot of subconscious Protestant solipsism, by which they fear awareness of problems with American society, since this constitutes a lack of faith and therefore (they think) makes the problem real. Maybe they believe denying the existence of problems in American society will make them vanish.

Perhaps this is true?

Maybe the cure for this type of thinking is realizing that true faith means being able to accept that problems exist, including within oneself, and that they can be worked on and overcome in many cases. This redefinition of faith - as something that is courageous enough to admit when things aren't working - could probably change America, if only Americans were smart enough to understand this and compassionate enough to care (and of course they aren't, not most of them anyway).

8:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

twig-

Yes I know abt Romero, and it wasn't Jimmy's finest hr. But comparing his admin to Obama's is a gross error. Overall, Jimmy was swimming against the tide, trying to do something very different. Obama is not; he's nothing more than a military and corporate shill. If u read the Carter section of DAA (for foreign policy), and the Carter section of WAF (for domestic), you'll see what I mean. You can't create a whole portrait out of one event.

Seth-

Check out work of Sacvan Bercovitch.

mb

9:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: then there's this:

http://cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/bestoftv/2013/01/08/pmt-jones-deport-piers-debate-part-1.cnn.html

9:15 PM  
Blogger pinkpearl said...

Still slagging off OWS?

Let's go through a couple of the criticisms.

1) OWS didn't achieve anything of importance.

People were saying this a couple weeks into the occupations, which was ridiculous. Are there any social movements that achieved anything of importance in a couple weeks, start to finish? Not likely. Don't most social movements or revolutions take years, if not decades? Why is this arbitrary time limit of, what, 60 days, being imposed on OWS? Oh right - to provide an excuse to slag it off.

It's now only about 14 months later and Occupy is still working away (Sandy, jubilee, and other stuff). It didn't disappear. It's not over.

2) OWS uses social media. Social media is dumb and the French revolutionaries didn't use it.

Well, no, it hadn't been invented yet. But they did use the media of their day. ALL revolutionaries use the media of their day. If Twitter had been around during MLK's actions, do you really think he wouldn't have made some use of it? (Perhaps not personally, but the movement certainly would have.) Does it somehow count for more if the revolutionaries mimeograph pamphlets in a Moscow warehouse or something?

I'll say more in another post.

(And no, I'm not involved in Occupy.)

9:16 PM  
Blogger pinkpearl said...

3) OWS did not have a clear list of demands.

Actually they did. I looked it up at the time of the occupations. It's probably still on some Occupy websites. Maybe they've refined it since then, but it was there, and it was a good list. If I thought it was stupid I wouldn't be here defending OWS, anyway.

4) Occupy was not organized.

It was. It was a horizontal, leaderless model of organization that maybe doesn't have a name yet. It was very much discussed at the time of the occupations. I think Chris Hedges wrote about it. The model had its weaknesses (like all the other, by the way) which the Occupiers frankly acknowledged. The diversity of human societies shows us that many forms of organization are possible, so what is the big problem with Occupy's experiments?

--

When Occupy started, I thought: It'll be very interesting to see how this plays out. It's still playing out. Where's the problem? What's wrong with just letting it unfold? Why the need to attack it?

There are a lot of things wrong in this world but I don't think Occupy is one of the big ones. If it comes to nothing, so what? A bunch of young people wasted some time. Big whoop. There are much, much worse ways for them to do that.

9:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pink-

In terms of refutation, I wdn't even know where to begin. So I won't; maybe some of the Wafers will wanna deal w/all that, but this is one debate I just haven't got any interest in continuing. If u really wanna believe that black is white, and up is down, more power to ya. But I can't help observing there is something sad about trying to make something heroic out of something that was in fact pathetic. I imagine the OWS crowd will be talking about their 'days on the front lines' for many yrs to come, however. God, is this country screwed.

Getting back to reality for just a moment, let me restate one of our blog rules: only 1 post a day, thanks.

mb

11:07 PM  
Anonymous Rufusteena Firefly said...

Okay I give up. Since I'm going to hang out here, I might as well talk. It's what I do in real life so why be different online!

Yes, pinkpearl, and all the others here who have come out to say OWS should at least be followed closely for a while before consigning them to the dustbin, I agree.

I suggested the book "Starfish and Spider" a post or two ago. It puts forth a very interesting concept: organizing for civil action (or any action likely to be under pressure from power on high) is more effective in a mode without a central leadership (spider) but instead with individual cells working rather independently (starfish). Why? A spider builds a web. Squash the body of the spider and that's the end of the story. A starfish? Cut off a bit of it. It grows another bit to replace it and continues on its way. Read the book with OWS in mind. Not a bad m.o. for current conditions.

11:38 PM  
Anonymous Captain Spaulding said...

In my state, our public education system is undergoing a radical transformation into a privatized charter system. I have a friend who's a public school teacher and he tells me how shockingly unaware many of his colleagues are of the laws that are essentially transforming their jobs into pedagogic burger-flippers. So, the ignorance in public education certainly extends to the teaching staffs.

Since, Dr. Berman, you didn't proffer a subject for this thread and are wearying of the OWS debate, let me ask a question about NMI. If I read "Twilight" correctly, you recommend (for those of us who can't escape the US) that we individually - like 6th century monks - preserve as best we can the best of American culture and civilization. But, then, does this mean that retreating into culture is the only worthwhile activity at this point? That is, is it truly a waste of time to go to the Chomsky lecture or the Michael Moore film since there's nothing we can do about our common corporatized fate anyway? Doesn't the NMI option ultimately imply a further de-politicization of our already anemic public sphere? (Since it encourages those who are most likely to be politically engaged to essentially retreat to one's study and keep your head down).

If I've misconstrued your argument, I'll look forward to your admonishment!

12:01 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

O Captain! My Captain!

These are good questions. The NMI option is not a solution in any political sense, since it is an individual one. Structural problems (wh/is what the US now has in spades) require structural solutions, and this ain't it. It's just that the model is interesting, if one compares it to the 4th century and after: the monks preserved the gems of Greco-Roman culture, and several centuries later that material was rediscovered and eventually contributed to the Renaissance. But the examples of NMI's I discuss in the Twilight bk include folks who are fairly active--in fact, one of them is Michael Moore (before he became famous). So the NMI path, in my own mind, was hardly an ostrich type of option. I'm certainly not saying, Don't go to a Chomsky lecture, don't keep yrself politically aware, don't participate in this or similar blogs, etc. But you see, if the model is the collapse of the Roman Empire, we're really talking long-term stuff; and since genuine revolution is not a real possibility in this context, I was just trying to suggest fashioning a life that made personal, and social, sense. What the long-term effects of NMI activity will be, is hard to say; revival of monastic literature was hardly anything anyone cd have anticipated. It just means being engaged and yet realistic, and having as clear a sense of purpose as you can.

It also might include the alternate-type of expts we've discussed on this blog: expts in eco-sustainability, alternative currencies, alternative energy systems, and so on. I've already mentioned the forthcoming bk by my friend Joel Magnuson on the subject. I pitch this because what I really see happening rt now is a 'dual process' phenomenon, during which capitalism slowly disintegrates and a steady-state economy emerges in parallel to take up the slack. You see, the collapse of the US is part of a 'nested' phenomenon, like Russian dolls: it sits inside of capitalism, wh/in turn sits inside of modernity. Check out my archived essay, "The Waning of the Modern Ages" (maybe I called it The New England Lecture, I can't remember). The modern age is now being eclipsed; like capitalism, it has run its course, and we are (I believe) witnessing the slow emergence of a very different type of culture and socioeconomic organization. There's lots for NMI's to do w/in this emerging context--if only just to keep themselves informed. One of the functions of this blog is to exchange various ideas of that sort. I see us as a Reality Seminar, in other words. It's one reason I get so tired of these one-shot bozos that come onto the blog, knowing fuckall about it, and start saying: "But yr always carping, never suggesting anything positive. It's all nihilistic, etc." Really, I'd like to bang their heads together for a few hours, they are such shmucks. We have spent so much time talking about the 'dual process' phenomenon, emergent possibilities, secessionist movements, the 325 alternative currency and time-exchange expts going on in Spain rt now, etc. etc. So an NMI, in my opinion, keeps himself/herself informed, and explores the personal possibilities for cultural preservation, economic/ecological alternatives, and as I said, bldg a life that makes sense in the context of a highly dysfunctional society (to put it mildly). And crucial to this process, of course, is rejecting the American Dream, and the values of this society, wh/can only ruin lives and poison the soul.

Anyway, that's the best I can do on short notice.

mb

1:00 AM  
OpenID alphistia said...

Dear Prof Berman and Captain,

As always, I respect your analysis, and understand the unwillingness to be a guru to all of us seeking answers and yearning for an alternative to the society we find ourselves living in.

I agree also with the concept of NMI and try myself to be a new monastic individual. I relocated to a college town to avoid some of the more annoying aspects of contemporary life, and I spend a lot of time in the local university library when I am not at home in my “scriptorium”, working on my own life project Alphistia.

I hope that as American society continues its disintegration, new monastic individuals take a page from history and create New Monastic Organizations (NMOs) i.e. communities where like-minded people can live together in some form of a sane mini-society.

There are intentional communities around the USofA and around the world, largely ignored ( to their benefit.) One of them is Dancing Rabbit in Missouri at http://www.dancingrabbit.org/ … but there are others. I don’t endorse Dancing Rabbit or even know its underlying ideology, except to know that it isn’t cultish and that they seem to have been somewhat successful in creating an alternative community. It’s a model I think for NMOs.

It would be wonderful if more such communities developed to save the sanity of that 1% of Americans who aren’t meatheads etc etc. Even in a college town, it can get a bit lonesome, and I sure do hope an NMO according to the Rule of Morris Berman develops (it’s a joke, get it? :))

Tony Skaggs
http://www.alphistia.com

3:27 AM  
Anonymous twig said...

What did MLK, Jr. accomplish? Absolutely zero. Does this make him a failure? Virtually ALL black leaders have been co-opted by the farcical American Dream. They are fat and happy now, to some extent, except, I can guarantee you they are ALL envious of the whites above them.

Dr. B: I'm still sticking with my condemnation of ALL American presidents. Carter was a mean stooge too, in the final analysis, just like Obama and all the rest. No president compares to MLK, Jr.

7:06 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

twig-

Well, if you want to believe MLK accomplished 'absolutely zero', and that one bad move by Carter defines his entire historical meaning--what can I say? Godspeed, I guess. (Why bother doing the research when you can just have opinions, eh? Very American!)

Tony-

I guess you'll just hafta explore what's out there. In a time of significant cultural change, there are going to be a lot of various expts out there, and most of them will probably fall into the category of snake oil salesmen. But--hopefully not all. When Joel Magnuson was doing research for his book (out soon: "The Approaching Great Transformation") into alternative economic systems expts, he discovered that a lot of them were shams. I.e., they adopted a green and holistic vocabulary, but the economic reality was business as usual (capitalist expansion). He also ran across a very few who were quite serious about moving in a new direction. Sometimes, it takes a while to separate wheat from chaff (aka shit from shinola). But then, what else were you going to do w/yr time?

mb

7:35 AM  
Anonymous Zero said...

Sanctuary,

That psych girl who never heard of Freud is typical of psychology graduates. Most psychology schools in America don't bother anymore with Freud, Adler, Jung, Klein, Winnicott, Bowlby, etc, because they don't fit the bizarre gay/lesbian and cognitive-behavioral model that American psychology stands for today. For me, it's been painful to teach psychology in this environment. In addition to being ignorant, psychology graduates are also crazy, and the key reason they ended up in psychology is because they were looking for solutions to their own major mental issues. Sometimes psychology school helps alleviate their mental problems, but not always. You might want to ask that woman to describe HER own voices to you.

The problem is that these ignoramuses, who never read a book, and their clinical experience often boils down to flirting with supervisors at some university health clinic or casting spells at some witchcraft “therapy” center, eventually get a job as psychologists at YOUR children’s high school. They meet with kids behind their parents’ backs, turn them against their parents, and fill their heads with the same pro-gay/lesbian nonsense they were indoctrinated with in school. They also refer most children to psychiatrists for medication. They are the new “priests” of this late-stage capitalist "psychotropic utopia" we live in today. Then we wonder why people are so nuts and we have mass shootings by people medicated to the max.

I am sorry if I came across a bit old fashioned – it must be from reading those Freud books.

Julian

9:46 AM  
Blogger Cj said...

Hi Professor, not sure if you or WAFers are familiar with the blog 'Our Finite World' by Gail Tverberg.

Her most recent posting is titled '2013: Beginning of Long-Term Recession?' that some here may find of interest.

http://ourfiniteworld.com/

Chuck

9:51 AM  
Anonymous JWO said...

Re: NMI

One suggestion for all those who cannot leave the US but still wish to keep to some sort of NMI living is to join the various Slow movements. Most everyone has heard about Slow Food, but there are many offshoots including Slow Work, Slow Cities (Cittaslow), and a newer one, Slow Money. The latter is currently focused on investing in Slow Food, but I can see it expanding to property and other businesses.

As with most things NMI, these movements are barely a drop in the bucket, but at least there are some people out there fighting against the hustlers. They won't change anything at large, but (like this blog) they can help people achieve a NMI life.

As Dr. B said, NMI is personal. Trying to change something which is rotten to the core doesn't do anything (OWS, etc.) the whole thing needs to be replaced. MLK accomplished alot, but (choosing a number) 75% of what he wanted to change is still there!

10:02 AM  
Blogger Sir Tagio said...

Another bad sign of how our financial overlords are about to make things worse for us "folks," as The Great and Powerful Obama likes to call us.

Naked Capitalism reports that the SEC has just given JP Morgan the green light for a new "investment" fund that will essentially just warehouse or stockpile copper. The significance of this is that others will soon copy this "investment" idea for other commodities, including agricultural commodities of the type "folks" use to sustain life.

This gives the banks and possibly hedge funds blatant opportunities to manipulate prices by creating artificial shortages. However, being of a suspicious frame of mind, to me it also portends that TPTB see a high risk of a coming hyperinflation and want to have a portion of their financial wealth postioned in stockpiiled physical assets. Either way, even if it's just higher prices caused by artifically induced (and now SEC-approved) shortages, it shows that no matter how bad things are the Masters of the Universe are always able to find creative new ways to extract a little more from us.

Link: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/01/sec-gives-jp-morgan-and-other-big-banks-license-to-manipulate-commodities.html

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Samuel said...

twig: “What did MLK, Jr. accomplish? Absolutely zero. Carter was a mean stooge too

I bet if MLK was alive in today’s America, he would be considered an anti-Semite just as Louis Farrakhan and Jimmy Carter are considered the biggest anti-Semites in America today.

What else is new? Nothing is relative; everything is absolute: you are either good or evil; you are either with these people or you are against them. If you are with Americans, you are against them. If you seek for ways to save some Americans from the clutches of the Wall Street, you are against the state of Israel.

You have to choose side or you are Hitler to them. You are either with the state of Israel or you are with the state of America. Being with the state of America or with justice is like being a Hitler. But the most Hitler-like people work at Wall Street and they live in New York and they are the MAIN source of the economic woes in today’s America. You can now label me a hater, but you must still face your truth:

Remember when AIG took a $182 billion bailout only to turn around and hand out seven-figure bonuses to the same guys who tanked their company? “AIG should thank American taxpayers for their help, not bite the hand that fed them for helping them out in a crisis. Taxpayers across this country saved AIG from ruin, and it would be outrageous for this company to turn around and sue the federal government because they think the deal wasn’t generous enough”

http://www.politico.com/story/2013/01/washingtons-jaw-drops-at-possibility-of-aig-lawsuit-85924.html

1:33 PM  
Anonymous TimR said...

Zero- I second Sam77's request for the blog link.. c'mon, don't hold out on us. We want to go laugh at PhD's too! (no offense to respectable PhD's)

Mike Alan- As you say, Gatto gives sources. I haven't followed them all up---which would take years after all---but how can anyone doubt that "reality" is much, much stranger than the sanitized versions doled out by officially sanctioned sources. The problem IMO is once you start going down the rabbit hole, even the alternative and unofficial sources, obviously, can't be taken at face value. So we seem to be in a hall of mirrors. Take Mr. Alex Jones for one. Just what exactly is his game... After watching him with Piers Morgan, I'm just left with more speculation. Maybe he was a genuine and sincere conspiracy researcher who figured out a way to "monetize" it by using a talent for histrionics to popularize it for an audience that wouldn't seek it out in books. But then you go on from there-- do TPTB find him useful because he presents the ideas in a "zany" way? It's sort of a Catch-22 of sorts too-- if he wasn't "zany", he wouldn't have an audience; being "zany", his claims can be dismissed. Not that his claims are necessarily accurate, but at least they go towards piercing the bubble/hologram.

MB- you cited one of those "closing the kids' lemonade stand" type stories.. funny thing to me is that I hear conservatives ridicule these stories too. Everybody seems to agree it's absurd, so who are these people that make this sort of thing their mission? Maybe it's the bureaucratic nature of modern times that Weber, and Kafka, and even a 19th cent. novelist before them (forget his name) believed was the real insoluble problem facing us.

3:39 PM  
Blogger Reader said...

Pinkpearl said, regarding OWS,“If it comes to nothing, so what? A bunch of young people wasted some time.”

Not completely true, I thought OWS’s finest moment was the presence of Pete Seeger, a hero of mine.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/22/pete-seeger-arlo-guthrie-occupy-wall-street_n_1026299.html

I helped out a friend the other day and cared for her two boys, ages 6 and 13. They arrived with a laptop, a kindle fire, which was full of games and movies, a cell phone full of games, and one other electronic gadget full of games. Their first question through the door was, "Do you have Wifi? Mind you, I did try to engage them in some activities, indoors and out. All they wanted to do was sit with the electronics, all day, in the house, face to screen, for hours. I remember when 6 and 13 yrs. meant bursting with energy, wanting to go outdoors and be active, and getting bored playing one game for too long. When I fed them, they each brought one of their electronics to the table. I asked them to sit and eat without the electronics, which allowed for the only real conversation that they willingly engaged in. That evening we met their mother at a restaurant for dinner and, no surprise here, she spent more face time with her phone than in conversation with her boys and me. Very, very sad.

5:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Reader-

http://www.truthdig.com/cartoon/item/modern_kids_at_play_20130107/

Tim-

Just part of the general climate of fear and repression. My guess is that the FBI has infiltrated bird-watching clubs, bowling leagues, etc. (Not kidding, actually)

Meanwhile, I love this one:

http://money.msn.com/now/post.aspx?post=8c2e441c-d512-4c88-8d16-d17d5d27c012

These guys are all full of shit; every last one of them.

mb

5:55 PM  
Blogger jml said...

i promise this will be my last comment on ows. it is just an observation - the defenders of ows always seem to focus solely on the form of the movement. ie: the starfish metaphor, horizontal leadership etc. there seems to be an obsession with form which mirrors the obsession with form in education in the recent past, rather than content, ideas, effectiveness and might i add - reality.
regarding academia/psychology - a few years ago i was on a friendly basis with a woman who has a phd. she had a little get together over at her house and i drug my husband with me. this was in the fall of 2010 when the wikileaks thing had just broke and it was everywhere. i mean, it would've been hard not to have known about it. but, sure enough my husband and i started talking about wikileaks and no one at her get together, including and at least one other phd psychologist, had any idea what we were talking about. it was like we had introduced a foreign word. they were like: "www-wi-key? you mean like wikipedia?" they spent most of the evening talking about the real housewives of beverly hills - the two phd's claiming that they could relate so well with these women and their issues.
it was actually a relief, after that evening my husband has never asked me again why i have no female friends.

6:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jml-

Well, it just ain't women that are out of it, in the US; that's for sure. But I'm sorry you had to drug your husband, in order to get him to go w/u. Was it Rohypnol? Ha ha. Anyway...social gatherings in America are terrifying, on a whole # of levels. If you ever want to stare hopelessness in the face, to see how and why the country has no future, go to a dinner party and try to talk to someone. Anyone. I very much doubt that in the history of the world, so many dummies have been collected in one geographical location.

mb

7:11 PM  
Blogger Jeff T said...

Greetings MB and fellow Wafers,

Reader-

Speaking of Pete Seeger, have you seen "The Weavers-Wasn't That A Time!" on PBS? If not, check out the link below.

http://www.pbs.org/about/news/archive/2011/weavers-pbs-special/

MB and Wafers-

"We have learned that 'more' is not necessarily 'better,' that even our great Nation has its recognized limits, and that we can neither answer all questions nor solve all problems. We cannot afford to do everything, nor can we afford to lack boldness as we meet the future. So, together, in a spirit of individual sacrifice for the common good, we must simply do our best."

-Jimmy Carter
Inaugural Address
January 20, 1977

8:16 PM  
Anonymous sanctuary! said...

Zero -
I cringe at my poor education. Everything of value I read in college was extra-curricular: wandering down the university library stacks, randomly pulling down books on different topics that seemed interesting. Well that, & reading a lot of sci-fi.

Point being, I read some Freud & Jung & cld give a capsule description of views of 1 or 2 of the other "big names" (enuf to be a wikipedia contributor - ha ha!) while not being in the psychiatric field. Same for other fields. Any putz who went to high school has this knowledge level, one wld think. But these days one wld be dead wrong.

My ex when I met her didn't know:

- when WWI, WW2, or the Civil War were fought. She cldn't even place them in the right centuries;

- what the Great Depression was;

- dates of G. Washington, Lincoln, FDR, or JFK, again not even by century (she'd heard of JFK only because she'd heard of Oliver Stone's flick); etc.

MB and others have long pointed out that such ignorance is widespread. My ex was a college graduate.

The educated class is bifurcating into The Credentialed (majority) & The Knowledgeable (marginal types w/o guidance). There is much discussion of this, for ex. Jane Jacobs's old "Credentialing vs. Educating" and this recent article on credentialing inflation:
http://www.upenn.edu/gazette/0306/feature4.html

This society is in freefall, on a trajectory to a Dark Age.

8:48 PM  
Anonymous Rufusteena Firefly said...

To jml:
You may have missed some of the OWS discussion as well as some of the information that is out there about what OWS is up to. You might want to check out what they were doing besides "sleeping in a tent" out there in Zucatti Park. I was impressed with how they were able to set up water filtration systems, electric power generation, food preparation, communications centers, etc. I think their purpose in camping in Zucatti was just to say, "Hey, we're here and we're objecting to the way you are doing business." Also, their immediate and very well organized food service to victims of Sandy, including the way they worked with area churches, was and is also impressive, especially considering the recalcitrance of House Republicans to do anything substantial for the victims. The OWS Rolling Jubilee program for both medical and mortgage debt cancellation for people in debt over their heads has been just "rolling" along! There is really a lot more than just sleeping in parks going on. You just have to look for it under the radar--the "news" guys aren't going to be talking about it a lot!

Also, since there was a lot of dissing of OWS for lack of organization along traditional lines, it seemed important to point out the difference between their form of operation and more traditional forms. Sorry it appeared to be "obsessing"!

8:49 PM  
Blogger Reader said...

MB, Please, forgive my 2-posts in a day . . . but I can’t restrain myself on this one . . .

Jml said, “. . . my husband has never asked me again why I have no female friends. “

Zero said, “. . . because they don't fit the bizarre gay/lesbian and cognitive-behavioral model that American psychology stands for today.” . . . “. . . and fill their heads with the same pro-gay/lesbian nonsense they were indoctrinated with in school.”

Honestly, this is enough, too much actually. One of the many reasons I participate on this blog is to avoid the hate, propaganda, media induced generalizations and blatant ignorance just about everywhere else. I’m appalled.

I am a woman who teaches psychology, as well as counsel, and I have many, both female and gay and lesbian friends and colleague; intelligent and alternative thinking, progressive, life-changing, learned people. You both need to get out of the denial/blame game and get out more, open your minds and join reality. Are you trolls in disguise?

8:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

OK folks, Reader is right: we don't wanna be putting down women/lesbians/gays on this blog (or Hispanics/blacks/Jews etc etc); that would be grotesque. I do think that identity politics is used in this country to distract the nation from things like social inequality (Richard Sennett once wrote that Clinton cynically manipulated this theme for 8 yrs so that he cd avoid raising the minimum wage); but that's a whole other discussion, obviously. I'm not a very politically correct person, as I'm sure all of u have figured out by now; but minority group put-downs, so to speak, are things we surely wanna avoid. It does none of us credit, and Reader was rt to speak up. As far as I can see (and correct me if I'm wrong), the American characteristics of stupidity, ignorance, hustling, violence, narcissism and all those things that have made this country the great nation that it is are not matters of race, gender, color, or religion. No 'group' seems to have a monopoly on these wonderful traits.

As for OWS, we really need to call a moratorium on the subject, since we seem to be talking at each other and not getting thru. Frankly, the topic for me is abt as exciting as rancid cottage cheese (small curd), and I don't think we need to waste any more time on it.

On that note, good night.

mb

11:31 PM  
Anonymous Joseph Rank said...

Good night, and good luck MB

The witting example of OWS, and how easily it was shut down as a movement is telling.
Movement politics does not work, because ANY numbers of sincere advocates will be quickly over-run and subjugated to minor roles or less by funded agent provocateurs, neocons, and other diluters of the supposed 'core' movement.

I saw the spies and troublemakers at work in my local OWS org...and was promptly cast out of any role when I voiced alarm.
The old hippies were the worst. They just want to smoke pot and party. Don't really give a damn about anything.

Groups are invites for infiltration.
You want action? Individuals.

Why America Failed?

They don't know how to co-operate anymore ( except as sports teams ).

1:40 AM  
Anonymous satyaSarika said...

Thank you MB and Reader for objecting to the insulting language used by zero Re gays and lesbians in the field of psychology.

I'm not a big fan of the field as a whole although I'm sure some have benefited from the few genuine healers in the profession.

From the beginning here in the US, psychologists have pushed lobotomy, electric shock, and brain damaging drugs. Judging from the results of all this 'therapy', I consider many of not most of the practitioners as socially sanctioned quacks.

Again, I'm sure that some are genuine healers who have helped people ... but I think they are on the minority.

It's truly unfortunate since a good head shrinking would certainly be invaluable for so many of the narcissistic fux roaming about unimpeded.

2:27 AM  
Anonymous Zero said...

Like that Saturday Night Live line goes, “I didn’t mean to offend anybody.”

I have nothing against gays/lesbians or any other group. I was commenting on the sorry state of American psychology, which today lost all credibility and connection with relevant psychological work, and has become dominated by mediocre gay and New Age thinking of questionable value. Fortunately, this is only an American phenomenon. Over the years, a few European psychologists asked me why this gay obsession of American psychology.

Also, anybody who recently worked in psychology departments knows about the open discrimination against non-gay faculty members. If you are not gay your chances of being hired are low, and if you are hired, you won’t get promoted and will have to work twice as hard as gay faculty do. The same is true about students. If any psychology student dares to voice concerns about the overloading of the curriculum with gay and New Age topics, he or she will be called in front of a Nazi-style “ethics committee” where he or she will be humiliated and then thrown out of the school.

This is not education – it is an attempt at systematic mass indoctrination and brainwashing of an entire profession which has widespread influence across society.

Again, I am sorry if anybody was offended by my comments. I did not mean it as a personal/group attack. However, I don’t know how to sugarcoat a sad reality which I know all too well, and I cannot applaud seeing how psychology, my profession, has been discredited and overran by hoards of mediocre, hedonistic, ignorant, brainwashed quacks (what a mouthful!)

No wonder Freud disliked America.

MB: As Forrest Gump might say, “And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.” I promise my next post will relate to WAF.

Julian

PS – TimR, Sam: some of the blogs I referred to are here: http://www.insidehighered.com/ There are also many yahoo and google groups you can search for. Some require approval to access, but most are pretty hilarious and highly trivial.

3:31 AM  
Anonymous Zebri said...

It is interesting how selective we can be in our outrage on injustice and hate against other human beings. There are people here who always refer to Alex Jones as their source of credible information. Lo and behold, I went to infowars.com (Alex Jone's website) and what greated me there is the picture of President in Hitler's mustache and haircut. This is an extreme form of hatred that can be proven to be so in any court of law because it is a lie designed to kill the president of America.

7:47 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Joseph-

OK, but that's it for discussions abt OWS. We have beaten this dead horse enuf, I think. But you do raise an interesting question regarding the nature of groups (see below).

Julian-

Thanks for qualifying/clarifying your original remarks. The 'takeover' of professions or institutions or whatever by particular groups or ideologies does remain an interesting topic, in general, however, and I'm glad you brought it up. It reminds me of Eric Hoffer's "The True Believer," and also Freud's classic work, "Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego" (which takes the Church and the Army as examples). I also can't help thinking of Japan, where group conformity rules, and skeptics or questioners are quickly ostracized. And I've seen this sort of thing in the US as well, with those who dare to dissent from a politically correct line. It's quite a phenomenon, in fact, how quickly minority voice positions can become intolerant and domineering. I think back, for example, to the late 60s, when WBAI in NY started some feminist call-up program, and if a guy wd happen to call in and start by saying, "I just want to say that I agree with you...", the immediate response was "What the hell do YOU know about it, you male chauvinist pig?" Not good. I recall similar kinds of coercive pressures going on in universities re: postmodern deconstruction, where if you didn't conform to the New Reality, you got shunned, lost yr job, or never got hired in the 1st place. (This probably still goes on, for all I know.) "Microfascisms of the elite," Gilles Deleuze called such groups. I guess it bespeaks a deep human insecurity, to require everyone to toe the party line, and both dominant cultures and subcultures tend to be guilty of this; at great cost to reality and authenticity, I might add.

mb

8:01 AM  
Blogger jml said...

Reader: get a sense of humor - i was being sarcastic/making a joke when i said 'my husband never asked me again why i have no female friends'

sarcasm doesn't translate well over e-mail/texting/blogging

zero: your experience in the psychology dept was similar in many ways to my experience as an MFA student. not the New Age stuff but the rest

regarding the current identity politics, aldous huxley made a statement that went something like this: "when many of our freedoms have been taken from us, they will promote sexual freedom and liberation and we will think we are free."

can't help but think obama administration is doing the same thing that clinton did.

and to reader: the above-mentioned comment is not meant to be a put-down to any group - i too have many, many gay and lesbian friends. that comment is an objective observation of cultural or social changes. it's not supposed to be taken personally.

8:12 AM  
Anonymous Paul7 said...

Oh Lord, have mercy on Americans!

A Minnesota man was charged Wednesday with shooting his wife after an argument, sawing her body into pieces and hiding her remains in plastic bins in a friend's garage.

According to the criminal complaint, Johnson admitted that he killed his wife on Sunday after she told him she was leaving and taking the couple's 18-month-old son with her.

Johnson allegedly told police he had been drinking when he shot his wife in the head and "used a saw to dismember her body in the shower and he placed her in several plastic bins," the complaint said. Johnson said he then cleaned up his home to hide any evidence and took the bins to his friend's garage in the St. Paul suburb of White Bear Lake.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/09/steven-roger-johnson-murder-charges_n_2444153.html

8:29 AM  
Anonymous Mary Jones said...

Here is a true believer, that guns make people live longer, that guns should be taken to schools, theaters, churches, and wherever one goes. Ironically, he died a true believer (live by the sword, die by the sword). One thing about these people is that they make a lot of assumptions about live and their place in the scheme of things:

"A producer behind a popular gun enthusiast YouTube channel was found dead with a single gunshot wound to the head at his business last week.

Police in Georgia are investigating the apparent homicide of Keith Ratliff, a 32-year-old Franklin County resident."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/09/keith-ratliff-fpsrussia-dead_n_2439284.html#comments

9:11 AM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

sanctuary!,

I dropped out of college after one semester in 1971, but continued reading voraciously, as I do to this day. When I did get a steady job, those with the proper credentials were indeed promoted over me, even though many boasted of never opening a book since graduation. Many couldn't write a coherent sentence, much less a paragraph. But they had that precious credential!

Actually, I didn't mind being overlooked, as it kept me out of office politics & polite backstabbings & the like. Since I wasn't perceived as a threat, and I was generally helpful & amiable, I did eventually get a couple of promotions that enabled me to retire when the job moved out of state. Seeing how it ate the ambitious alive, I was happy to be out of it.

During those years I did hear co-workers with multiple degrees insisting that anything having to do with the liberal arts ought to be dropped from high schools & even grade schools. Why? "You can't make any money with that shit."

MB, your examples of Inner Circle thinking are sadly accurate. And in a society like our own, that insecurity is multiplied God knows how many times over. The need to be superior & exclusively in the know, even in the most pathetic & trivial circumstances, is epidemic. Compulsive Sneering Down The Nose Symdrome, perhaps?

10:31 AM  
Anonymous JWO said...

Paul7:

That whole thing took place across the street from one of my co-worker's house!

When he moved into the neighborhood (after getting out of jail) the cops never told the neighborhood that there was a violent sex-offender moving in, they had to find out the hard way ... now this.

Onwards and downwards.

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Pascali said...

The land of the tormented, the out of control, and over-sexed:

In the "WTF" news of the week, the Iowa State Supreme Court upheld a ruling that dental assistant Melissa Nelson could be legally terminated because her boss found her irresistible. James Knight, the dentist Nelson had worked alongside for a decade, concedes he made comments to Melissa indicating she would notice a bulge in his pants if her clothing became too revealing. He also sent her a text message asking how often she experiences orgasm. Yet, Nelson is the one who got fired. What?

http://blog.zap2it.com/pop2it/2012/12/melissa-nelson-supreme-court-rules-ok-for-boss-to-fire-woman-hes-attracted-to.html

4:30 PM  
Anonymous Zero said...

MB,

What you describe applies fully to psychology, both in academia as well as in practice. Today, I consider psychology a corrupt and dangerous field, and I fear that it will play a very oppressive role in the coming American tyranny. For example, of all professions, psychology is the only one which, believe it or not, still supports the Bush torture practices, and, last I checked, the APA (American Psychological Association) still allows (actually encourages) its members to be present and involved where torture is carried out. And this is not the only ethical issue with the APA – similar issues exist in the APA Ethics Code when it comes to privacy and financial matters.

Additionally, the APA fully supports the abusive treatment (i.e., torture) of inmates in all US prisons, in particular inmates with severe mental illness. What I found amusing is seeing how the left-wing fascists acted shocked when they found out how Bradley Manning was being treated in prison. They apparently were unaware that this is precisely the kind of treatment all inmates in US prisons receive: solitary incarceration for several years, forced feeding of hunger strikers, forced psychiatric medication, keeping inmates naked in solitary confinement (with lots of female psychologists always around to stare at them), etc. These prisons are full of psychologists, all exhibiting group-think, and all ready and willing to collectively squash any dissent or questioning of their practices.

I suspect the reason the APA is so unwilling to take a stance against torture is because that would mean that they also have to withdraw their members from all US prisons, but that would mean tens of thousands of unemployed psychologists and millions of dollars in lost due revenue for the APA. Now that’s what I call a major hustling professional organization.

BTW, to draw parallels with Romanian psychology, in the 1970s, when Ceausescu (Romania’s Stalinist dictator) could not coopt Romanian psychologists into supporting his ruthless practices, he immediately dissolved the profession, closed all psychology departments in universities, and jailed many dissenting psychology professors. Contrast that with the way American psychology is acting today. How pathetic!

Julian

5:35 PM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

Another one:

Reuters: One student critically wounded in California school shooting

A student armed with a shotgun opened fire at a California high school on Thursday, critically wounding a fellow student before two adult staff members talked the boy into giving up his weapon, and he was arrested, authorities said.

...

5:40 PM  
Blogger Dan Henry said...

MB said, "If you ever want to stare hopelessness in the face, to see how and why the country has no future, go to a dinner party and try to talk to someone"

That brought a smile to my face...it's sad that such a sad state of affairs resonates with my experience, and that my spirit has been trampled down to the point that my loneliness feels so stifling that Im laughing at the situation...sad that the only way to effectively play the numbers in this country is to find solace with others over the web...its sad that Im this cynical at 24 and I feel myself growing more so with each day...fuck Im sad.

6:20 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan-

Hell's bell's, man! Emigrate! Yr young enuf to get a visa for grad schl in some European country, marry a French or Italian chick, and get a job there. Or Latin America. Do you have any idea what this country will be like when u hit old age? Do I have to spell it out 4u? Do NOT stick around, amigo--I'm serious. You will remember these words and say bitterly, "I shoulda listened." Don't let that happen 2u!

Julian-

Pretty spineless people, obviously. I remember rdg abt psychologists' participation in torture during the Bush Jr. yrs, wondering how these folks cd get up in the morning and go to work. Not that far away from Nazi doctors...

mb

7:13 PM  
Anonymous twig said...

This is a perfect picture of America Failed.

http://imgur.com/gallery/bJnJN

8:46 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

twig-

The Parade of Dolts wd also be a gd caption. How tragic this all is. 315 million Techno-Buffoons on the march (mostly sitting down).

mb

9:53 PM  
Anonymous Captain Spaulding said...

Dan - Let me second Dr. Berman's advice with some qualifications. About 15 years ago, I tried "hitting the road." I moved to a civilized Western European country, was in a relationship with a local girl, and imagined having an expat life (and this was long before I'd even heard of Dr. Berman).

Well, the girl didn't want to get married. And my job had a limited stay visa and unless I wanted to spend my life working, as a colleague told me, for a "grotty language school" like Berlitz, and living there without papers, there wasn't much option but to go home. (Having no money also had something to do with it).

So, I would suggest researching carefully where you could actually go and have a reasonable chance at having a fulfilling life. It's not quite as easy as just showing up and dropping your bags. Many countries won't let you in on more than a tourist visa unless you have specific skills that are not available in their labor market. Plus, many cool places like Italy or France are suffering their own sovereign debt crises and are even less welcoming of expats than before.

If you keep in mind that it's got it's fair share of bumps and potholes too, yes, hit the road. Since that's no longer a viable option for me (too old, too much debt now), that's why I'm intrigued with the ideas behind NMI.

12:01 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan-

This is why you want a student visa, rather than a work permit or whatever. Start by applying to grad schls. Once yr accepted, you can get a visa for 2 yrs or more. But the Capt. is rt: explore it all online 1st. There are also expat websites for various countries, and of course used bks on Amazon.

mb

12:29 AM  
Blogger Dan Henry said...

I have an Irish passport...more scared of lack of skill on my part...and the state Europe is in...I dont think theyre begging for more young jobless men!!! I've been studying Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for two years, absolutety love it and I could happily live the rest of my life on basic income from teaching, but its a matter of sticking out the time to learn while still stuck here. I love my academy, its about the only thing getting me up in the morning but the daily grind here just blows. I've got $25,000 in college debt and I know I cant force myself back in to this ridiculous academic system.

12:44 AM  
Blogger LJansen said...

More bad news on the Carter front: "At a news conference in 1977, in response to a reporter’s question asking if the United States had a moral obligation to help rebuild Vietnam, President Jimmy Carter infamously replied:

'The destruction was mutual. We went to Vietnam without any desire to capture territory or impose American will on other people. I don’t feel that we ought to apologize or castigate ourselves or to assume the status of culpability.'

"Mutual? Carter’s statement reflects both the arrogance of power and a vulgar sense of imperial righteousness. There were 58,000 U.S. soldiers killed during the war, and 300,000-plus wounded, and plenty of mental and physical illness, suicides, broken families, and other kinds of distress. Stone nicely captures all of this with a statement made to a journalist by a mother whose son was at My Lai, “I gave them a good boy, and they sent me back a murderer.” But whatever happened here, it pales in comparison to what took place there. There was no mutuality whatsoever, and it is obscene to say there was. What the United States did in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos ranks with the worst atrocities of the twentieth century. If the peoples of Southeast Asia had done to us what we did to them, and the same share of our population was killed as in Vietnam, the Vietnam Memorial wall would have about 20,000,000 names on it."

From this article on Oliver Stone's Showtime series on the untold history of America: http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/01/10/oliver-stone-obama-and-the-war-in-vietnam/

Carter may have tried to change domestic policies for the better, but his foreign policy stunk (e.g., supporting the murderous Shah & Suharto, which caused the deaths of thousands).

1:05 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

Re: Identity politics and gay psychology:
I confess that I do not know what "gay thinking... of questionable value" might be, nor "gay thinking" in general. If the problem is with identity politics in general, then let's keep it at that, and not pick a particular identity to scapegoat for a much larger problem.

"Pro-gay" is a strange term to use, especially as a criticism, as it's opposite is "anti-gay". Not sure that that's the best framing for the issue, either.

As far as identity politics goes, I've just begun reading 'Logics of Worlds' by Alain Badiou, and he seems to launch an attack against identity politics from the get go. Early on, he describes the method of making a mathematical proof by disproving its exception, and notes that anyone concerned with truth realizes that if a formula or whatever leads to an impossible result, you must abandon the formula. He writes:

"This is indeed what constitutes a subject of truth: it holds that its concept is only valid to the extent that it supports a truth of the situation.... A subject in conformity with democratic materialism [his term for the current dominant pomo/identity-politics thinking] may instead be nihilist: it prefers itself to every situation."

Does anyone have more insight into this writer and whether his critique of "nihilist" culture and identity politics holds up over the rest of his work?

2:48 AM  
Anonymous The Dude said...

Here is a story that combines our out of control gun culture with the rapid dumbing down of our society:


"Witness told officers that Shaw, his uncle, grandparents and some friends were on the back patio talking when he showed them a .38-caliber revolver, police said.

"Shaw told them that he kept one round out of the firing chamber to prevent an accidental shooting, according to police.

"Witnesses then said Shaw tried to prove the gun was safe by placing it to his head and pulling the trigger, which is when the gun fired, fatally wounding him, police said."

http://www2.tbo.com/news/pinellas-news/2013/jan/10/st-pete-man-18-dies-after-accidentally-shooting-se-ar-603022/


I've had a lot of experience with firearms and have shot everything from rifles and shotguns to revolvers and semiautomatics (though I don't currently own one). The very idea that we let any idiot in this country buy a gun up to and including military grade assault rifles without requiring them to undergo even the most basic firearms training is sheer madness.

So how do I know this idiot didn't have any firearms training? Because THE very first rule they teach you, and they repeat it over and over again until you are sick of hearing it, is NEVER point the barrel of a gun at anything you are not prepared to destroy.

3:49 AM  
Anonymous Lula said...

many cool places like Italy or France are suffering their own sovereign debt crises and are even less welcoming of expats than before

Running away from one's problems is easier said than done. After everyone runs out of the US and gets to where they are running to, do you think the new destinations will not inherit the attitude, mindset, and culture of the native culture?? In other words, can you really run away from yourselves?

Second, what is NMI?

I ordered WAF, and I am waiting for it to arrive.

6:09 AM  
Anonymous Sam77 said...

What do you make of this?

Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), the second-longest serving African-American congressman in the House, slammed the lack of diversity in President Barack Obama's second-term cabinet Thursday.

"It's as embarrassing as hell,"
"And we were very hard on Mitt Romney with the women binder and a variety of things."

"I kinda think there's no excuse when it's the second term. If it's the first term, you could see people got to know who is around and qualified in order to get this job, number one," he continued.

"I had thought that it could be the Harvard problem where people just know each other, trust each other. And women and minorities don't get a chance to rub elbows and their reputations and experience is not known ... so in the second term, these people should be just as experienced as anybody, any other American."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/10/charlie-rangel-obama_n_2447818.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/09/us/politics/under-obama-a-skew-toward-male-appointees.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0&ref=politics


You know, this issue would not be an issue for me if not for the sorry condition of the country. The politicians do not solve problems because they are scared of the lobbyists who give them lots of money - hence the country continues to disintegrate. Both the politicians and the lobbyists are mostly white men, not martians. Only white men from Harvard are qualified to rule and to ruin this country.

6:38 AM  
Anonymous Xiale said...

MB,

I was recently reading an old essay by Max Horkheimer and came across his idea that what was needed, "is the Greek polis without slaves." I dont think this is a possibility in America today, as Americans are not mentally capable of political participation in any meaningful way. However, would this be a real possibility after the collapse of America? Also, To what extent would the Greek polis without slaves represent the antebellum south without the slaves?

9:42 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Whew! Lots of activity here!

Xiale: I dunno; gd question!

Sam: It doesn't really matter who's in charge anymore, white or black, male or female; the country's going down, that's the crucial pt. Keep in mind that Condi Rice is a war criminal. Identity politics is a distraction from the major issues, imo.

Lula: Yes, there is such a thing as a "geographical cure"; I'm living proof of it. And for the most part, very few Americans are going to take it, so no need to worry abt gringos corrupting other locales. Altho I confess, that has happened here in Mexico. The gringos here are the dregs, the bottom of the barrel, and when they arrive in great #s they do ruin the local culture, yr rt. NMI: check out the Twilight bk. Hope u enjoy WAF.

Dude: My hope is that every man, woman, and child in America will soon have an AK-47. In fact, each of us shd possess an arsenal, to be really safe. Meanwhile, I continue to write the Pentagon abt nuking Toronto and Paris, but they apparently think this wd be a tad over the top. Can u imagine? Canada and France refuse to toe a 100% American line, and my suggestion is 'over the top'. What can I say, really?

LJ: You might get a more balanced pic of Jimmy's foreign policy from rdg the Carter section of DAA. He really did try to move in a different direction, but it just isn't possible in the US. Which doesn't excuse the Romero incident, or Indonesia, or getting sucked into the nutso world of Brzezinski, but I think your overall condemnation misses the larger picture.

Dan: Irish passport! This means you can settle in an EU country. Shit, yr way ahead of the game. Plan carefully, but don't stretch it out to the pt that you remain here: big mistake!

mb

10:06 AM  
Anonymous twig said...

Not trying to be rude. Just some thoughts!

So, Jimmy Carter is a Saint! Little research is needed to read Z-Magazine, & Counter Punch like articles to come up with ugly deeds he is responsible for (esp. Foreign Policy).

Name ONE U.S. politician that has stood up to power and done the right thing, while they had the chance. Any could! They are the best insulated people because they are so well known and would create a real revolution if the elites tried to touch’em. I will name one that hasn’t. This person has failed miserably, because all that he accomplished in the past, when he was on the bottom, was for naught. JOHN LEWIS. There is more racism, a greatly expanded Military Industrial Complex, and arguably far more injustice (especially for blacks) than in slavery times (before the Civil War) because he will not speak out.

Let me name one that has. Chavez of Venezuela!

MLK stood up but he is dead. If alive, we would stand a chance. OWS (the unspeakalbe term) would stand a chance. Everyone would! But guess what. He wasn’t a bloody politician. Mr. Carter was, and he has done a lot (good deeds will not get you into heaven), AFTER, he occupied the office, but even today, he does not speak out, except weakly, and on very few topics! So, I guess he is a Saint for saying anything at all.

Ivory Tower folk can be just as wrong as us less educated in research but we can also read and think for ourselves.

Right and Wrong is easy to ascertain. Twisted, tricky ethical dilemas do not count. Those are for puzzle solvers with time of their hands.

Seems to me, an ex-pat can be considered a coward. He is running to save HIMSELF. By the way, these are only people who have resources. It is sort of like inheritance (the world’s largest affirmative action program). Harriet Tubman was on the way to join John Brown and did not make it in time. She would have been hung too but she tried with all her might. A woman. I do not have this kind of courage but I presume you can muster a lot if you are dealt a shitty hand and know what evil really is.

10:09 AM  
Blogger Donald Mallard said...

People write about bailing out to say, Europe.

If you do this wisely as has been suggested then go for it. Remember tho' that the EU has also been struck by hysteria about immigration. If you have a white skin, then it will help, sad to say. You won't stand out in the crowd.

Marry into the EU, always a good idea. Check if you have Irish parentage, and claim your Irish passport.

I saw on RT (Russian b/cast in English) and a very good channel which suports Assange and shows many unshown US docus on a host of topics, that there is a town in Mexico where many US retirees go because they get a free health service there. A civilised country, IMO.

By all means emigrate, but do it with your eyes open.

If you do come, I say welcome.

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Paul7 said...

Talking about insanity and guns, here are three videos that should make you run out of USA as fast as you can. Too much freedom can be bad for human development!
The guy is basically pissed at the idea that President Obama may introduce some gun-control laws, so he snaps:

"I'm gonna start killing people" if President Obama takes executive action on gun violence


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUW3wPKFblE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_C9QJ41Jx0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNvtucSZxZs

More on James Yeager, the guy on the youtube video:
http://livewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/entry/tactical-response-ceo-lists-false-firearms-training-credentials?ref=fpblg

10:56 AM  
Anonymous opel said...

you need to pump more guns into schools, theaters, and now into retail stores. if all the 14 employees had AR-15 each and lots of ammo's and lots of training ...

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/armed-robbery-nordstrom-rack-article-1.1238097

11:40 AM  
Blogger Deborah baker said...

Dan,

Check out a website such as escape artist to get ideas of good places to relocate. I wouldn't hesitate at your age - no big ties yet. I left this country in the 70's as an immigrant to Australia - wanted to escape the soul destroying corporate culture here. I did find much relief for many years and the education you receive as an expatriate and traveller beats anything you get at a University these days. I returned for reasons I won't go into - probably a mistake but family ties beckoned. I am pushing each of my children to go to Australia as they come of age - fortunately I saw the signs long ago and made it a point to get them each citizenship as soon as they were born. I worry though that Oz and New Zealand are following our destructive ways. I've heard Uraguay is nice.....

12:01 PM  
Anonymous Smith said...

You know, in a way, I almost can't blame Americans for resorting to violence.

Key word ALMOST, so I promise I'm not justifying shooting people. Just hear me out for a second.

In almost every domain of human life, Americans are taught, basically, to accept being dominated by other people (albeit in subtle ways). Teenage girls are punished by other girls if they don't conform to arbitrary standards of beauty, and if they attempt to do the "authentic human" thing and try to improve their characters instead, they are told that they are being "selfish" because they won't conform to other people's selfish desire for lust (how ironic!). We aren't allowed to protest being educated in public schools that are, to put it bluntly, no longer designed with the students' best interests in mind. We still have to go, despite knowing full well that the system will hurt us.

At work, the bosses can now lay people off on a whim...and then other bosses will refuse to hire them, blaming them for being fired.

In our family lives, we are frequently taught to accept arbitrary, irrational domination (for example, being beaten if we show too much human affection to other children for example), and if we complain, WE are accused of not being FORGIVING enough.

In other words, reacting to bad behavior is a bigger sin, in American and Japanese society, than behaving badly in the first place. No, worse, the "original" bad behavior is never SEEN as bad in the FIRST place! I think it's called "selective enforcement", I could be wrong.

So ironically, Americans are frequently dominated, but if they attempt to "stand up to others", they are then "recast" as though THEY are being domineering and unreasonable. So they don't even have the luxury of having confidence in their own minds' capacity to see reality for what it is.

People have limits as to how much they can take. I don't think shooting rampages are justifiable, don't get me wrong...but I can understand where they're coming from.

12:13 PM  
Anonymous JWO said...

Dan:

You have a great head start! I'll bet dollars to donuts that there is a martial arts studio in Ireland that would have you.

Look on the bright side man, I have $130,000 in student loans (2 undergrad, 2 masters) and I would be screwed if not for Public Service Loan Forgiveness...

I currently have an awesome job (though low paying) and I'm not planning on leaving the US anytime soon, so I have to cultivate my inner and outer NMI anyway possible. Finding this blog is a big step in the right direction.

12:53 PM  
Blogger Jeff T said...

Greetings Dr. Berman and fellow Wafers,

LJansen-

While I certainly don't want to completely defend the Carter presidency, a strong case can be made, however, that Carter did attempt, early on in his presidency, to "de-ideologize" the Cold War, move toward major arms control with the Soviet Union, and essentially consign the Cold War to the past. This case is explained most persuasively by historian H.W. Brands in his book, "The Devil We Knew: Americans and the Cold War." Brands devotes an entire section called "Carterizing the Wound" to this point. Predictably, conservatives and American dummies of all stripes and varieties would not have that! After all, what were we... if not anti-communists, right?

Dan Henry-

I hear that Ireland has some great beer and lovely ladies. Maybe you can make it there in time for St. Patrick's Day!

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Mauric Mark said...

Here is the problem of America: GREED. Boeing decided to outsource many parts of the manufacturing process to cheaper locations like China, India, and the rest is history. Notice that Boeing gets more orders than the company can handle and notice that there are no other real competitors. Yet, greed will not allow these people to enjoy doing what they know how to do best.

The Federal Aviation Administration will review the design and manufacture of Boeing's 787 Dreamliner after a series of problems this week with the new plane.

The oil leak found in the second 787 Dreamliner was discovered after that aircraft landed at Miyazaki airport, in the south, Reuters reports.

Boeing has delivered 50 of the new planes and another 800 are on order. Huerta said the review would focus on electronics. He said the review would be "expeditious," but couldn't say how long it would take, Jansen reports.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/todayinthesky/2013/01/11/boeing-dreamliner-fire/1826291/

3:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

twig-

Yr not only rude (personal attacks on me), but extremely foolish as well. Who is claiming that Jimmy was a saint? Certainly not me. Have you read *anything* substantive? The Brands bk mentioned by Jeff? The various biographies of Jimmy? His speeches, and analyses of them? Histories of the 70s?

I did all of that; you've read a couple of left-wing articles. But then as an ex-pat, I'm a coward, and I live in an ivory tower, so why listen to me.

But then MLK accomplished 'absolutely zero', Right and Wrong are easy to ascertain, and ethical dilemmas don't count, they are just luxuries.

What planet are you on? If you were a student of mine, I literally wd have no idea where to begin. In yr own way, you are kind of terrifying. And Oh so American; you have no idea.

mb

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Frank Charles said...

Dr Berman,

I concur with you with regard to the poster named twig.

After you advised that we stop putting other people down, the trend continues with twig. In fact, he increased the tempo, but he is always factually incorrect about everything he says about everything.

One example: It is as if he has some deep hatred for African-Americans. So much so that he twists historical events to smear some African Americans. He writes “Harriet Tubman was on the way to join John Brown and did not make it in time. She would have been hung too but she tried with all her might.”

On the contrary, John Brown wanted Harriet Tubman to join him in the invasion of Harpers Ferry. Tubman said NO. This is documented in history books, but here is a history video lecture from Yale:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4wCvPwigYw

twig does not belong here because he is extremely dishonest with his claims!

6:14 PM  
Anonymous sanctuary! said...

On Japan, the technocratic order, and booty calls:

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/japans-philanderers-stay-faithful-infidelity-035400852.html

6:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Frank-

Problem is not really twig, except inasmuch as this blog is concerned; and then not so much anyway. Problem is that America consists of 315 million twigs, and believe me, these folks are *not* self-correcting!

mb

7:44 PM  
Anonymous The Dude said...

Regarding this idea that people should flee America as fast they they can, maybe you should if you're deaf:

"A deaf man in Burlington, North Carolina, was stabbed multiple times after his sign-language conversation with another deaf man was mistaken for gang signs.

"The incident took place Wednesday afternoon on East Morehead Street, where 45-year-old Terrance Ervin Daniels was exchanging words in sign language with another man.

"Police say Daniels was suddenly approached by 22-year-old Robert Jarell Neal, and stabbed multiple times with a kitchen knife.

"He managed to make his way to a nearby intersection, where he collapsed on a patch of grass."

http://gawker.com/5975355/deaf-man-stabbed-after-sign-language-mistaken-for-gang-signs


@Sam77 - Personally, I am grateful to the likes of Obama, Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Michelle Bachman, Nancy Pelosi, Clarence Thomas, Colin Powell, Alberto Gonzales, John Yoo and so many other prominent women and minorities who have proven over the past 20 years or so that they are equally adept at steering this country towards disaster as their white male counterparts.

9:19 PM  
Blogger Reader said...

MB stated, “Yes, there is such a thing as a "geographical cure"; I'm living proof of it.” I concur. My best one month out of each year is the month I leave the US. Informed conversation is in abundance, well spoken English, by second language speakers, put US language skills to shame. In spite of the fast pace, life is enjoyed and truly lived and contagious, how good it feels! I now have 7-visits to my soon to be expat community; just one more academic year before retirement.

I support a recommendation made by one blogger to visit expat websites, which can be rich with information. I strongly recommend making multiple visits to your desired country before jumping the border. You might also want to do it in stages. My first two years will be staying months at a time, as an expat, before the permanent escape, just to tie up loose ends here. Can’t wait!

9:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Reader-

I had a similar experience over the years, starting from age 24, when I first landed in Europe. Thereafter, every time I got out of the US, even if it was only for 3 wks, I would suddenly realize that I had been breathing nitrogen. Re-entry always involved severe culture shock, but then I had to adapt to the 'nitrogen' in order to survive; I had to pretend to myself that it was really oxygen. Once yr out permanently, you no longer have to pretend.

Good luck, my dear-

mb

11:23 PM  
Anonymous Pascal said...

12-Year-Old Accidentally Kills Cousin with Shotgun He Got for Christmas

A 12-year-old Pleasant Valley, Alabama boy was with his 12-year-old cousin when he went inside to get the 20-gauge shotgun he had received as a Christmas present. He wanted to show his cousin his new gun.

He brought the gun outside and was showing it to his cousin, who was on a trampoline, when he unintentionally discharged the gun and shot his cousin in the chest.

"The injuries were too severe and the young man was pronounced dead at the Jacksonville hospital," said the local sheriff.

http://thecontributor.com/12-year-old-unintentionally-shoots-and-kills-cousin-gun-he-got-christmas-present

11:31 PM  
Blogger LJansen said...

Jeff, thank you for the book recommendation on Carter and the Cold War. I'll try to find it.

MB, I do agree that Carter or any president has the deck stacked against them. And since he left office, he did write the book, "Peace Not Apartheid," about Palestine. I will give him props for that.

12:19 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

LJ-

It's much more than that, as I explain in DAA. His 1st 2 yrs were an heroic attempt to turn US foreign policy around. The American people, in their great wisdom, were not having it--it bucked the unconscious programs that they had taken in w/their mother's milk, in particular the need for an enemy. Jimmy was Christian in a way GW Bush cd never begin to understand.

mb

4:46 AM  
Anonymous Zero said...

I too have experienced “geographical cure”. It really works. Too bad last summer I decided to return to the US for one more year (only 5 months left of that, thank God!). It's obvious that America is going to the dogs at light speed, so I’m pretty sure this will be my last time here. Besides, “living among dolts” loses its charm really quickly, you know.

Dan,

In addition to Ireland being part of the EU (which allows you to live, work, or study anywhere in the EU), you might also want to check on Ireland’s status regarding the Commonwealth of Nations. Many attractive countries are in the Commonwealth, including Singapore, and many others. Sounds like you have great options on the table. Here’s a good clip that explores some of the options available. The key phrase here is, “it’s time to go.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KQmU3W_2dY

Deborah:

I too worry about Australia and NZ. It looks like the Anglo-Saxon world is coalescing around the US for one last ditch effort to revive their evil empire. I guess some parasites never learn...

Cheers!
Julian

6:26 AM  
Anonymous Paul7 said...

Here we go: place more guns on the street to make people safer, happier, and more fulfilled:

Two men walked the streets of Portland armed with assault weapons earlier this week because they said they wanted to “educate” residents, who reacted by fleeing and calling police.

Warren Drouin and Steven Boyce told KPTV that they were forced to take drastic measure to make sure people were aware of their Second Amendment rights after 20 children in Connecticut were massacred with same type of AR-15 rifles they were carrying.

“Employees inside of E Hair Studio hid in the back of the salon and locked there doors, while other ran for help for fear the two were really there to cause harm,” Bolduc said.

Police spoke to Drouin and Boyce and said the conceal-carry permit holders had not broken any laws.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/01/11/portland-residents-panic-as-men-armed-with-assault-weapons-educate-the-city/

(See the video after the article)

Here are more developments on Yeager:

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/01/11/state-suspends-gun-permit-for-ceo-who-said-he-would-start-killing-people-over-gun-control/

http://www.wsmv.com/story/20559778/tn-firearms-instructor-gains-attention-from-youtube-rant

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/01/12/ceo-who-said-he-would-start-killing-people-over-gun-control-appears-with-lawyer-in-new-video/

Read here to understand how Yeager was trained by the US government to be a killer and to train others on how to kill, not on how to make peace (did you know that Osama Bin Laden was also trained by the US government?):

http://www.tacticalresponse.com/d/node/160

9:06 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

If any of u guys wanna get a real sense of who's out there, I can't recommend starting a blog enough. It's a real eye-opener, although this is obviously not just an American phenomenon. But it does tip you off to the ignorance, the pain, and the sheer venom being carried around by a large part of the citizenry. Robt Fisk recently wrote an article abt this: about the twigs, the trolls, the buffoons, the peacocks, and the sheer dolts that populate the ethernet, who (this always amazes me) apparently have nothing better to do w/their time. There's no stopping them, really: if they are ignorant, they defend their viewpt; if they are bitter, they stay bitter; and so on. What to call it? The Cyberplague, perhaps. But for me, it really is a kind of national X-ray, showing how badly we are hurting, and how there is really very little ability on the part of so many people to learn anything at all. I've run this blog for nearly 7 yrs now, and I'm genuinely impressed by the fact that no matter how many times I say, "This blog is abt the American empire, not abt me," I get a steady stream of personal attacks. (Fisk gets more, obviously.) It does reassure me, however, that we are on a downward and irreversible spiral. Anyway, check it out:

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/01/11-7

mb

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

I'm convinced that the Internet has created a limitless venue of expression for the Id, at an ever-increasing spiral that pushes the lowest common denominator lower & lower. It's all but eliminated thinking before typing & sending; it gives a rush of endorphins with every immediate, unthinking response, which of course just ups the ante for the next one.

Meanwhile, did you know that children 3 & up can now play with toy drones, just like the real ones they use in the Middle East?

http://www.alternet.org/speakeasy/alyssa-figueroa/10-most-biting-amazon-reviews-childrens-drone-toy

I wish this shocked & surprised me, but of course it doesn't. When's the Enhanced Interrogation Action Set coming out (water for waterboarding not included)?

11:37 AM  
Blogger LJansen said...

Well, some heartwarming news. It appears Americans are shuffling off this mortal coil at younger ages than other countries.

"Deaths From All Causes: The Short (But Not Necessarily Happy) Life Of Americans" http://www.testosteronepit.com/home/2013/1/11/deaths-from-all-causes-the-short-but-not-necessarily-happy-l.html

via Stacy Herbert from the Max Keiser show

12:59 PM  
Blogger LJansen said...

MB sea: "Jimmy [Carter] was Christian in a way GW Bush cd never begin to understand."

Okay okay. Now I get why I just can't get behind the guy.

1:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

LJ-

No, that's just one way of interpreting him; as president, he certainly operated in a fully secular way. I guess there's no way to get thru 2u. (Sigh) Do the research? (Brands is a gd place to start.)

mb

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Mary K said...

LJ, to understand why the life expectancy of Americans are lower than that of other people from other industrialized nations, you need to read TR Reid. He will show you why America spends more on healthcare than any other nation while producing less in results. It is not a rocket science. In fact, if you understand why America failed in gun control, or in education results, or in campaign reform, you already know what TR Reid is talking about in the following book and videos:

Book: The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care

Videos on The Healing of America:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxNhOBemsic
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_E66XxNUrxM

1:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anon-

I don't post messages from Anons, so you might wanna pick a handle and try again. I suggest Rufus T. Firefly.

2nd, you'd be better off sending yr message to the most recent post. Very few folks read the comments in the old ones, anymore.

Thanks,
mb

1:49 PM  
Anonymous The Dude said...

@MB - regarding starting a blog to get an idea of the sheer volume venom being carried around by a large part of the citizenry: you really don't even have to go to that much trouble. Perusing the comments section of any mainstream news website will do it. Yahoo news is particularly lenient about what it allows to be posted in its comments section and has a very high volume of comment traffic.

Yahoo does have an automatic profanity filter, but even with the swear words being turned into groups of meaningless symbols, the sheer hatred, stupidity, ignorance and venom still pours out in so many of the comments. Frankly, reading that stuff is downright frightening, especially knowing that many of those lunatics are likely to be armed to the teeth.

1:50 PM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

Wow... the url given by LJansen is to a pretty strongly "Eurosceptic" site. Read just a few of the stories there and you'll understand that Europe isn't all that different from the US. Growing poverty is being glossed over while the rich get richer, just like here. Looks like "modern" civilization is pretty sick all over the globe. It's just that the US is more extreme in some ways...

The Testosterone Pit -- where truth comes home to roost

3:52 PM  
Blogger Jeff T said...

Greetings Dr. Berman and fellow Wafers,

LJansen-

You're very welcome LJ. I hope you enjoy Brands.

Dr. Berman and Wafers-

Another slap in the face to those who believed Obama would take the economy in a different direction during his second term. The nomination of Jack Lew as Treasury secretary guarantees that the "zombie doctrine" continues unabated.

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_inconvenient_truth_about_jack_lew_20130111/

4:54 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

As an Australian and a long time reader of this blog just a couple of comments on this thread about immigrating
Australians have an extremely ambivalent history regarding immigration, just google the white australia oolicy or currently boat people, we may be more sanguine about white americans, we are to a great degree cut from the same neo colonial cloth, but we expect you to have some type of higher education, and we expect you to pay taxes and support our inclusive health care system, which is funded by a levy on taxpayers earning over a certain income. We also think your libertarian notions about gun control are rubbish and we have some of the strictest gun controls in the world.
The other great difference is that we recognise our colonial origins and how this has created feelings of inferiority, which we cover up with a lot of bluster and Aussie aussie aussie oi oi oi, whilst remaining determinedly anti intellectual. This is not to say that we do not have an educated middle class, and a small but vocal intelligensia. These groups tend to congregate in 4 major cities, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra and Sydney, the rest of the country is not that different from small town america.
Finally there are small pockets of alternative living. I moved out of Sydney 15 years ago to live in the blue mountains which is, or I should say was, an alternative community, we still don't have a MacDonalds, but over the last few years, the city has been creeping up the mountain which is putting a lot of pressure on existing community groups and values. If I was younger I would consider moving further out, but I am settled where I am and I love the mountains
I hope this helps those of you who are thinking about escaping america
Diane

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Zero said...

Diane,

A few years ago, a German guy told me he was unable to deal with the Australian culture for more than a few years because of a pervasive “aussie cult” of flag waving and constant “we’re the best”, “we’re numero uno” sloganeering, etc. He said he went back to Germany because the aussie atmosphere of national grand delusion was way over the top. Is that true about Australia?

I was curious what kind of progress are the Anglo-Saxon aussies making in learning Mandarin. Last I heard, China was planning to annex Australia and NZ, and reduce the population to fewer than one million of fluent Mandarin-speaking aussies. Apparently that’s all the people they need to operate the mines.

Julian

9:20 PM  
Anonymous ennobled little day said...

Diane-

I've been thinking about Australia. How about Brisbane or Perth? Any thoughts on New Zealand?

9:32 PM  
Blogger Reader said...

Diane, thank you! I very much enjoyed your post. You did what I was just thinking about . . . sharing potential expat info.

Let me continue, should anyone be interested . . . consider the outer Islands, off of Hong Kong Isl. HK Isl. is densely populated and expensive, but the outer Islands are ethnic, cultural, rural, beautiful, and inexpensive, with all amenities and resources desired. Unless you fly in our out, you need never to step foot on HK Isl.

10:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Just a note to all future Wafer emigrants: I'm happy to host discussions here on the subject of where to go and so on, but I just want to point out that there are a lot of ex-pat websites you can go to for info on different countries, what life is like there, and how to prepare your moving plans step-by-step. When I say 'hit the road, jack', I don't mean do it w/o any preparation. In my own case, I began planning my escape 2 yrs in advance. I was considering Spain as well as Mexico, so I visited Barcelona twice, and in 2005 I traveled around Mexico for a few wks, visiting old haunts. (I 1st started coming down here in 1979.) I bought used bks on the subject off of Amazon, downloaded online articles and advice, and visited ex-pat websites. Getting my affairs in order north of the border was a major job; getting the paperwork done for south of the border was also a lot of work. But I kept one thing in mind at all times: it was worth it, because I was going to a better life. And I was right!

mb

11:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

More on the US health situation:

http://www.cnn.com/2013/01/11/opinion/carroll-health-study/index.html?hpt=hp_t4

11:19 PM  
Anonymous Zero said...

I have been maintaining for years that American education (at all levels and across the board) is little more than yet another scam that is about to run out of steam. I should know – I just finished grading 25 of my students’ papers, of which about half were blatantly plagiarized. About 5 of them still contained the HTML links to Wikipedia. I mean, really, what would you call grad students so clueless as not to even be familiar with the very simple process of how to remove embedded HTML links from copied text?
Dolts, perhaps?

I highly recommend watching this clip with Max Keiser and Reggie Middleton discussing the current “education debt bubble” and its impending crash. It sounds like things are about to get a lot more exciting in America. I can hardly wait!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0dA0rzsY_68

Julian

3:20 AM  
Anonymous ennobled little day said...

You guys might get a kick out of this one. An example of what may happen if you achieve the American dream...

http://theincidentaleconomist.com/wordpress/movie-review-queen-of-versailles/

8:44 AM  
Blogger Deborah baker said...

Regarding the "we're the best" syndrome in Australia, it has a name - "cultural cringe". I lived there into the 90's and that was the main thing I didn't miss after leaving. In fact I wrote a letter to the editor about this which was printed in the Sydney Morning Herald. It was basically caused by a massive national inferiority complex, which considering the snobby attitude of the Brits towards the Aussies, I'm not surprised they suffered from. It was annoying to live with, though, and an American accent had the unfortunate effect of bringing it on. My main concern about Australia now is the cost of living. Sydney and all Australian cities now rank at the top for cost of living - even way higher than London and New York. Even if money was no object, I don't like living amongst the wealthy.

9:27 AM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

One of our more lasting contributions to mankind might be GMOs and our complete lack to regulation, research or labeling of foods containing them. Many countries outside of the US are banning imports of GMO corn, soybeans and GMO seeds b/c of their unknown danger. But our Congress and FDA have worked hand in hand with Big Ag to refuse to independently assess their impact and safety. In light of the recent article about the lowered life span:

"In reference to another GM study, Mark Tester, a research professor at the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics at the University of Adelaide asks, “If the effects are as big as purported, and if the work really is relevant to humans, why aren’t the North Americans dropping like flies? GM has been in the food chain for over a decade over there—and longevity continues to increase inexorably.”

Sadly, North Americans are dropping like flies. Well, sort of. Genetically modified foods and related technology, like Monsanto’s Roundup, are quite often linked to significant organ disruption, sterility, impotence, and even obesity, one of the American public’s weightiest topics. While the contributors to those conditions, even in animal studies, can hardly be attributed to GMOs alone, they should not so eagerly be cast out of consideration."

http://www.nationofchange.org/gmo-soy-repeatedly-linked-sterility-infant-mortality-birth-defects-1358006915#

The book Seeds of Deception is interesting reading for more information. I read a few days ago that when GMO plants deteriorate into the soil the microbes don't recognize their DNA and it's disrupting their ability to decompose them. This means a loss of topsoil renewal.

On the Geographic Cure---sometines it's the only cure that works since it directly addresses the core problem.

9:33 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Susan-

The problem is that the seeds are now in the wind, which means they are scattered around the globe. I don't think one can legislate against that, unfortunately. Meanwhile, various health studies continue to show that Americans are far down on the list of industrialized nations.

Julian-

Lots of students don't know what plagiarism *is*, and actually think that writing a paper = copy sections from another text. I ran into this many yrs ago when I was teaching grad students at Johns Hopkins.

mb

9:52 AM  
Anonymous Martin Ramirez said...

@ Zero and Julian: I don't know where to begin. I will have to make a list if I want this comment to be coherent, considering everything I've thought over.
1. Another good example of oppressive group psychology and identity politics can be found in the furry fandom (I like fiction, illustrations and animation with funny animals- what can I say). Many complain about being unfairly stereotyped, yet they don't take politely to even the mildest critiques, and they're not willing to help anyone who feels confused, alienated or excluded. I have since called it quits and refused to go along with the bull, now only socializing with the saner, more understanding and more compassionate hobbyists. Hedonistic, narcissistic cranial-rectal embedment, indeed.
2. Perhaps the biologists and agriculture professionals shilling for GMOs, trying to shove their acceptance down our throats, could be pointed out as yet another instance of occupations corrupted by vested interests. We've unfortunately forgotten it today, and so-called "skeptics" (Penn and Teller, James Randi, etc.) only dedicate themselves to refuting the most blatantly obvious snake oil salesmen (neither Penn Jillette nor Randi would want to upset the corporate money and political establishment whose good graces they are obviously in, would they?) but quacks with credentials or university appointments and media appearances are still quacks. We need to learn more subtle distinctions.
@Reader: I have bisexual and transgendered tendencies myself, yet I can't stand the consumerism and pleasure-seeking that often characterize LGBT culture- how can you expect to be accepted if you act like a materialistic pervert insensitive to the opinions and feelings of others? This is the elephant in the room that LGBT rights advocates refuse to confront head-on. If you want to be seen as good and upstanding, you certainly don't want bozos such as Daniel Savage, the secular Ann Coulter, or Logo's minstrel show performers (that is what they are- they ironically perpetuate the stereotypes of the demographic they cater to) speaking for you.
@Morris Berman: According to Rational Wiki, you would qualify as a "crank" and a "woo peddler" for daring to think about secession, alternative currencies, criticisms of technology, alternatives to capitalism along with growth/expansion-driven economies and technologies, sympathizing with indigenous populations and advocating for a spiritual, non-materialist worldview. Hell, the community even categorized basic spirituality as a "New Age" topic, plus they played up a false equivalency between Ernest Callenbach's "Ecotopia" and, on the count of one-two-three, "The Turner Diaries," in an article about the latter. Because advocating environmental sustainability is obviously as despicable as white supremacy, and everyone other than mainstream, centrist, technocratic capitalists is crazy. Last but not least, they get a collective erection from them GMOs, and they love writing hit pieces on any American political dissident or social critic. They are either trolls deliberately spreading disinformation, or they prove that the "skeptics" and atheistic materialists are as ontologically stupid as the New-Agers, Esties, Scientologists or traditional religious fundamentalists. It is sad to say, but your compatriots definitely won't save themselves with their cranial rectitis at such a terminal stage.
I hope to buy four of your books soon (WAF, Wandering God, reenchantment and Twilight) or receive them as presents from a relative, and mil gracias for your insightful writings. Will be here again in a while.

1:50 PM  
Blogger Donald Mallard said...

Today on Al Jazeera they discussed the venom towards them from Bush, Cheney etc and mentioned the military attacks on their studios in Iraq. Al Jazeera has now bought a TV station in the US ((Al Gore picks up $70mil)in order to broadcast there. The big networks are trying to pull the plug on their coverage/distribution - just another example of the descent of the US.

ON RT today there was a good interview with Noam Chomsky where he pointed out that after Obama was first elected a group of influential blacks met him. They were asked what they thought about him and replied that he was totally devoid of morality or values. History confirms that.

I need small victories to pick up my flagging spirits these days - and it's the locksmiths of Spain who are now refusing to change the locks on the doors of those evicted for nonpayment of mortgage.In Spain, if they take your house from you, the banks still insist that you pay for a house you dont have. Some have committed suicide.

Europe has a lot of problems too; and there is much poverty just under the surface. And some well above the surface. Meanwhile corruption continues at the level of the powerful and the wealthy, who have increased their wealth. Banksters are not jailed, nor ar corrupt politicians. The EU gets a Nobel Peace prize for presiding over dark days on this continent.

I'd better stop - I'm losing the pick me up of the locksmiths.

2:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Martin-

Don' ferget my latest, "Cranial Rectitis: How Deep Can It Go?"

mb

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Captain Spaulding said...

This thread is reaching the 165 comment mark. Keeping in the spirit of the initial post, I think you should start a new one before someone submits a 166th.

4:11 PM  
Blogger Reader said...

To Martin Ramirez: I'm not connecting your comment to what I said, perhaps you meant it for Zero? I stated that I have upstanding and progressive colleagues who are gay and lesbian, not aware of transgender, but perhaps. Either way, I don't agree with your stated opinion, but, hey, it's yours to hold. My philosophy is if you're not hurting anyone at all, in any way, it matters not what you do; and in this way I try not to be unjustly or prejudicially judgmental of others.

4:27 PM  
Anonymous Edward Mar said...

"Open democracy advocate and internet pioneer Aaron Swartz was found dead Friday in an apparent suicide, flooding the digital spectrum with an outpouring of grief. He was 26 years old.

Swartz spent the last two years fighting federal hacking charges. In July 2011, prosecutor Scott Garland working under U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, a politician with her eye on the governor's mansion, charged Swartz with four counts of felony misconduct -- charges that were deemed outrageous by internet experts who understood the case, and wholly unnecessary by the parties Swartz was accused of wronging.

In 2013, JSTOR made several million academic journal articles available to anyone, free of charge. Academic research is designed to be publicly accessible and is distinct from the research of private corporations, which assert aggressive intellectual property rights over activities they fund."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/12/aaron-swartz_n_2463726.html


Professors are paid when they write these articles. Why charge money for the articles in the first place?

4:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Captain-

Not to worry; things don't turn over until Comment #200. At wh/pt I'll do a new post called 167, and we can continue on with all this heated debate. Unless I shd happen to actually write something; which, given my current work schedule, is not likely.

mb

5:59 PM  
Blogger Dan Henry said...

I'm 20 minutes into The Queen of Versailles...this is terrifying.

8:52 PM  
Blogger Zosima said...

Dan, thanks for the Queen of Versailles heads up. They look like the kind of people all of our institutions are geared to produce. If you want something less stomach turning, but just as relentless in it’s depiction of American hustling, check out Billy Wilder’s, Ace In The Hole. Wilder had a lot of courage to make Americans look so bad in the conformist 1950’s McCarthy Era, when self-examination was not exactly encouraged. It was renamed, The Big Circus, by the cowardly studio. Kirk Douglas plays a hustling New York reporter exiled to New Mexico where he schemes to get back to the big time. And Jan Sterling is now a goddess to me for her perfect portrayal of every American hustler’s dream wife. There’s even a scene where Douglas complains about not being able to get a chopped liver sandwich, and instead has to settle for tacos. Sound like anyone we know? I’m sure some of you will love this movie as much as I do.

11:06 PM  
Anonymous Zero said...

Edward Mar:
The practice of having ghost-written peer-reviewed articles that are later signed by famous professors/doctors is very common in the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries. Such articles are typically published in top journals such as the New England Journal of Medicine or the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), although, the journal is never told about the true origin of the article. There are ghost-writer agencies (mostly located in the US or the UK) which typically pay doctors (usually psychiatrists) outright “honorariums” of several thousand dollars just for affixing their names to an existing article. So, the drug or medical device corporation hires the agency to write the articles, which in turn hires a professor (aka “hired gun”) to sign it. All major drug companies have been shown to widely use this practice (Merck, GSK, Pfizer, etc.). The professors do nothing else except sign the articles. If there is any “research” behind the article, the corporation provides the data for that. Most of these “hired gun” professors are associated with top medical schools such as Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and are usually highly regarded in their fields. They also typically earn 7-digit yearly incomes, mostly in such honorariums and speaking fees. This practice has been well documented in recent expose books such as Unhinged by Daniel Carlat, Anatomy of an Epidemic by Robert Whitaker, and Crazy Like Us by Ethan Watters.

Given the extreme corruption that now dominates the universities and the medical schools in this country, I would guess most drug-related "studies" being published today are bullshit.

And, if that’s not enough for you to want to fly to Mexico or Malaysia for your next operation or root canal, here’s a new article that just appeared on AlterNet:

"How Our Universities Have Been Turned into Corporate Marketing Centers"

http://www.alternet.org/education/how-our-universities-have-been-turned-corporat\
e-marketing-centers

Fortunately, the centers of this academic corruption (US and UK) have been surpassed in number and quality of published studies/articles. Asia (mostly China) and continental Europe are now ahead, and are rapidly leaving the US/UK in the dust. The next thing I expect to happen is for US and UK top and ivy league universities to begin fading into irrelevance. That's what I call "full spectrum decline". And I sez, "Bring it on, baby!"

Julian

12:34 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Z-

Not too many movies mention chopped liver anymore, sad to say. Further evidence of our decline...

mb

2:28 AM  
Anonymous sanctuary! said...

Dark Ages America --

Destroy the place where an evil thing occurred! In order to exorcise the evil spirits! That's the solution!

http://tinyurl.com/adfmxcb

Next, we will read of some American court's putting a cow on trial.

To be fair, maybe the Newtown thing is simply the local construction bosses merely *appealing to* magical thinking in order to drum up business. Which is worse? U decide.

(PS - I'm not making fun of the grief some of these people feel.)

3:01 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

Martin: Virtually ALL of contemporary U.S. life is pleasure-seeking, hedonistic, materialistic, self-serving, etc.etc. Different subgroups, whether racial, cultural, sexual, or something else, may manifest this in superficially unique ways. Singling out any one group for criticism in and of itself as opposed to as a part of the consumerist mass isn't really helpful, but it can be read as hurtful. I would have hoped this blog, of all places, could have put this malarkey to bed by now.

3:33 AM  
Anonymous JWO said...

Dr. B:

Just noticed your article in counterpunch:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/01/11/the-hula-hoop-theory-of-history/

worthy of it's own post I think...

8:44 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jwo-

I did actually post it a while back; it's somewhere in the archives. Also, it's published as an essay in QOV. The folks at C.P. indicated that they'd like to run some of the essays in that bk, give them a bit more exposure; so I may do a few more for them in the coming wks.

mb

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Paul7 said...

You got to feel sorry for these wasted young people:

WASHINGTON — Suicides in the U.S. military surged to a record 349 last year, far exceeding American combat deaths in Afghanistan, and some private experts are predicting the dark trend will worsen this year.

http://tinyurl.com/a8mrzl9

2:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Paul-

Check out the painting by Goya, "Saturn Devouring His Son." That's what we are doing now.

mb

5:06 PM  

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