July 23, 2014

American Buffoons on Parade

STELLA AWARDS

For those unfamiliar with these awards, they are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued the McDonald's in New Mexico , where she purchased coffee. You remember, she took the lid off the coffee and put it between her knees while she was driving. Who would ever think one could get burned doing that, right? That's right; these are awards for the most outlandish lawsuits and verdicts in the U.S. You know, the kinds of cases that make you scratch your head. So keep your head scratcher handy.

Here are the Stellas for year 2013:

SEVENTH PLACE

Kathleen Robertson of Austin, Texas was awarded $80,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store. The store owners were understandably surprised by the verdict, considering the running toddler was her own son. SIXTH PLACE

Carl Truman, 19, of Los Angeles , California won $74,000 plus medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Truman apparently didn't notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbor's hubcaps. FIFTH PLACE

Terrence Dickson, of Bristol, Pennsylvania, who was leaving a house he had just burglarized by way of the garage. Unfortunately for Dickson, the automatic garage door opener malfunctioned and he could not get the garage door to open. Worse, he couldn't re-enter the house because the door connecting the garage to the house locked when Dickson pulled it shut. Forced to sit for eight, count 'em, EIGHT days and survive on a case of Pepsi and a large bag of dry dog food, he sued the homeowner's insurance company claiming undue mental Anguish. Amazingly, the jury said the insurance company must pay Dickson $500,000 for his anguish. FOURTH PLACE

Jerry Williams, of Little Rock, Arkansas, garnered 4th Place in the Stellas when he was awarded $14,500 plus medical expenses after being bitten on the butt by his next door neighbor's beagle, even though the beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced yard. Williams did not get as much as he asked for because the jury believed the beagle might have been provoked at the time of the butt bite because Williams had climbed over the and repeatedly shot the dog with a pellet gun.

THIRD PLACE

Amber Carson of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, because a jury ordered a Philadelphia restaurant to pay her $113,500 after she slipped on a spilled soft drink and broke her tailbone. The reason the soft drink was on the floor: Ms. Carson had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument.

SECOND PLACE Kara Walton, of Claymont, Delaware, sued the owner of a night club in a nearby city because she fell from the bathroom window to the floor, knocking out her two front teeth. Even though Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the ladies room window to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge, the jury said the night club had to pay her $12,000, plus dental expenses.

FIRST PLACE

Ms. Merv Grazinski, of Oklahoma City , Oklahoma, who purchased new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On her first trip home, from an OU football game, having driven on to the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly went to sleep in the driver's seat while the cruisecontrol was set. The Oklahoma jury awarded her$1,750,000 PLUS a new motor home. Winnebago actually changed their manuals as a result of this suit, just in case Ms. Grazinski has any relatives who might also buy a motor home.

These people are your neighbors!

79 Comments:

Blogger Katy Anders said...

Nice.

I guess the secret is that if you have a silly case, be sure that you request a jury.

Of course, like Stella, most of these cases get overturned on appeal.

But it does make you wonder where they're finding these juries!

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Biddly Spop said...

http://www.weather.com/news/science/environment/among-global-warming-deniers-us-number-one-poll-20140722

Talk about CRE - America is #1 in the world in climate change denial. It's also #1 in mental illness, fraud, gun ownership and school shootings. FUCK YEAH, MURKA NUMBUR ONE!!!!!1111. OTHER CUNTREES R JUS JELUS OF US FOR ARE FREEDUM TO DENY REALITY, BE CRAYZEE, OWN GUNZ N SHOOT UP SKOOLZ!!!!!1111. GOD BLESS MURKA!!!!!!1111.

Anyway, it was a courageous thing that weather.com did; they posted a negative article about America, despite being an American establishment. I hope their headquarters isn't nuked by the military; I can only cross my fingers. If that doesn't happen, I fully expect a mob armed with semiautomatic weapons to converge on weather.com's headquarters and shoot everyone at least 1000 times while screaming about how Jezus hates libruls. Maybe the nuke thing isn't so bad after all...it'd be a quicker, more painless death...

9:26 AM  
Blogger Jeff T said...

Greetings Dr. Berman and Wafers!

Terrence Dickson should have took first place in the Stellas IMO. What a complete and utter douche bag. Anyway, I'm in Muir Beach, CA for some R&R and have been convening with nature; not too bad for a city boy, tho I could use a pastrami on rye. I hope all are doing well and staying out of twubble...

Jeff

10:17 AM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

MB -

I don't like the frivolous lawsuit stories because they undermine legit corporate abuse.

I'm thinking of the lawsuits against corporations for the financial crisis, BP oil spill, negligence by doctors, and tobacco lawsuits. People are routinely taken advantage of. You're also not giving the background to these stories. For example, in the McDonald's case, the woman first asked just to have her hospital bills taken care of. She had 3rd degree burns over 6% of her body, and she was 79 years old. I believe she originally asked for like $20,000 or so.

You take these cheap shots at people while avoiding the destruction and pollution by these major corporations.

11:44 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Lack-

Woman was driving w/the coffee between her legs. Smart! And since when has this blog avoided the topic of corporate destruction and pollution? Pt is, these "Stellas" are real, and they reflect both the stupidity of Americans *and* the court system. The stories undermine nothing. *Yours* is the cheap shot, amigo.

mb

11:50 AM  
Anonymous JWO said...

MB: you don't need to publish this, but that list is a fake one.

http://www.stellaawards.com/bogus.html

11:56 AM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

Someone bleached a couple of American flags and put them on the flag poles atop the Brooklyn bridge. An "art" project? Whatever the source, it's a very telling message.

BBC: Brooklyn Bridge 'white flags' stump police

Authorities in New York are investigating who raised two large white flags on the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge early on Tuesday.

The flags briefly flew atop two towers at either end of the landmark in the place of two American flags apparently removed by the perpetrators.

As many as five people were caught on CCTV on the bridge in the minutes prior to the switch.

Police officials said they would not treat the prank as a joke or statement.

...

12:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jwo-

Now that's interesting! It was sent to me by an Australian friend who is a very trustworthy guy, but perhaps he was duped. Interesting, in any case, how completely believable any of this is, given the fact that we are dealing w/Americans. By now satire has become reality in the US (Kim takes over the EPA on Twitter or whatever).

mb

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Dawgzy said...

Being raised in Phoenix, I follow a very good blog about it (Rogue Columnist.) It's by a newspaperman who was fired by the big Phx daily for telling the truth and enraging the pro-growth-'n-sprawl business community (i.e., advertisers.) Being a prophet without honor is an honor in my book.
Anyhoo… I checked in this AM and found this in his latest post:
" I watch the Bourne movies as they show a Europe that is beautiful, prosperous and linked by high-speed trains. This is no Hollywood fantasy. It shows what happens when nations retain a sense of the commons and don't waste so much of their money on empire and arms. If I were 30, I would move to northern Europe. I am so tired of a fight where the best we can hope is to delay national suicide."
For every WAFer who emigrates there are many who remain, and new ones are hatching more and more often. Whether they coalesce, and how they might do that, could be an interesting subplot of our national disaster movie.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dawg-

1st step is our new line of T-shirts:

(Front) WAFER OR DOUCHE BAG?
(Back) THE CHOICE IS YOURS!

mb

12:59 PM  
Anonymous DiogenesTheElder said...

@James Allan (from last thread)

"'tipping point' into what" was a question you posed. I was responding to the general sense from that thread that some spasm of collapse might occur that would represent the bell tolling for US society. For example, I would say a more contemporary tipping point in the Cold War and the demise of the USSR was the simple presence of Solidarity in Poland: it was a start. The last tipping point was, arguably, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the final symbol that the "old order" was finished.

In that sense, I see the possibility of the same such points in the US. One could argue that the wide availability of guns is one tipping point (the toothpaste is very much out of the tube on that one); another might be the lack of a viable middle class. Mind you: people of color in the US have experienced points tipping on an ongoing basis for some time.

Is there, however, something in the offing that will symbolize social breakdown and communicate to people in the US and abroad that the jig is up? That is more what I meant by tipping point in this context.

On the one hand, I hope not. Social disorder and chaos are no good most of the time (OK - the sixties. But the 60s didn't touch the levers of power in any meaningful way; bullets made sure of that). Just take a look at Ukraine for the love of Jove.

On the other hand, hitting rock bottom will likely mean the extinguishing of the American experiment as it is currently constituted. Only therein might something emerge that will be more humanly scaled (localism/regionalism as MB has, I believe, imagined) and hence more responsive to human suffering and need. But oh dear will that demise be fought with everything the current system has...death throes indeed.

DTE

3:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

DTE-

We call it the "Suez Moment," such as happened to England in 1956. So far, we're having a lot of little SM's (crash of 2008, e.g., or Obama repeatedly demonstrating that he's an impotent buffoon); but what is yet to come is a major sucker punch, such that the entire world acknowledges that the US is finished. The election of Lorenzo Riggins as prez in 2016 might do it, for example. (Keep yr fingers crossed.)

mb

4:30 PM  
Anonymous David Clausen said...

Please stop posting this kind of stuff--the Stellas--it really fucks things up for me. After pissing myself laughing, the hottie I was ogling stopped giving me pussy-eyes.

Instead of getting lucky, I got stink-eye from he parents who might think me a douschbag now. So please, enough.

Thanks,
David Clausen

5:29 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

The Stella Awards: Even if they’re not true, it says a lot that you can read something like that and except it as genuine.

“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.”

I always thought that H. L. Mencken wrote this, not Sinclair Lewis, but found no definitive answer on the web. Below is a link to some Mencken quotes that I thought Wafers would enjoy. Examples:

“On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed…by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/h/h_l_mencken.html

The guy was brilliant, but you need to ignore his misogyny.

Here’s another Mencken quote: “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.”

Our TV is unplugged for months at a time, but I turned it on a few weeks ago to watch the one program I enjoy, “So You Think You Can Dance.” I’m always fascinated by the physical abilities of the young people on the show. This time the music they were dancing to was so absolutely horrendous and the costumes so beyond bizarre then I turned it off and haven’t put it on again.

Which comes first the chicken or the egg? Is this really what people intrinsically like and want, or were their tastes shaped by the entertainment industry? IOW, like with education, are we all being brought down to the least common denominator for whatever nefarious reasons? Let's face it, there are lots of talented people out there who I‘m sure create wonderful music and art, so why are they being so totally ignored and junk being produced and promoted instead?

Your thoughts, Wafers!?!

6:28 PM  
Blogger NearFar said...

My condolences to the family and friends of Capo. And, of course, to all who loved or were touched by him in some way. I was trying to recall the first moment when Capo wrote something here on the DAA blog that *really* made me sit up and take notice. But let me start out by saying that it seemed to me that Capo possessed (and was 'possessed by') a ferocious (even explosive) intelligence that could (and would) often spill out onto the page. Quite literally, in fact. I found this delightful, endearing, and sometimes exasperating. Anyhow, my first memory of him was that he suddenly (almost in mid-sentence) announced to all of us Wafers that he was hopping in his Porsche (pronto!) & taking to the open road at a high rate of speed. It made a lasting impression on me. Maybe that's because both his impatience and his contrarian nature were on full display here: the need to just *be* somewhere else soon, but not until *after* he'd given you 'a piece of his mind.'

And that reminds me of that fragment from Heraclitus that goes: "Eyes and ears are poor informers to the barbarian mind." Capo understood this in the most elemental way, he felt it in his gut (and deep in his craw). And it affected his dealings with people on this blog. Let's just say he didn't suffer fools gladly. He could smell a fight but, in the process, he could reveal (or expose) the cant and hypocrisy, or the 'beautiful lie' that we probably were telling ourselves in any given situation! I often found this to be astonishing, if even at times misplaced or wrongheaded (but not too often). I for one, am very grateful for one of his final 'salvos': an absolutely captivating defense of Chris Hedges, one of my heroes (although, let's not forget there's always a counter-melody or, as MB reminds us, a shadow side to these kinds of memories: b/c I also recall Capo's attack on Noam Chomsky, at one time, as being far off the mark, even kind of petty, and I was infuriated). But as Wafers know, and this could be a kind of secret handshake for some of us, that Capo never hesitated to put himself in the center of a contoversy (ie., I recall a falling out with 'Shep,' not to mention his confrontations w/ Autonomous (poking the hedge hog!), "Muted," and, in his final days, w/ Steve McGinty).

FYI: Since writing the above, I found the passage where Capo talked about his porsche. And here's what he really said (in #273, March 2013) :

"Read and enjoyed the Hula Hoop Theory of Histroy--really good. If only a few more people read Montaigne, Gray, Becker and understood them!(on on literary side Conrad, Ballard and Musil)! Great synthesis and a good bit of originality. In any case the operational lesson is we cant really change things and there is no true progress in human affairs. Always some new wave and it always crashes. Everybody wants to know what is next (infirmity and death actually) and how to make the best of it! I suppose that is why the psychics and the inventors of new religions always do so well. On that note will go drive my porsche as its a lovely afternoon and for this may be my last day! Seriously WAFERS take care of today--thats it actually."

Yes Capo. We've heard that many times before. It's even a kind of platitude or cliche: tomorrow is never guaranteed. But damn, would you look at that. As things have turned out, you really did believe that all along.

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Rachel said...

Well, if it turns out this list isn't worth its salt, maybe we should all compile a positive list of our Best Books of 2013, and Best of 2014, proof we ain't buffoons!

I always look out for your recommendations, MB!

- Rachel

7:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Near-

Enjoyed yr post, but in future pls shorten it a bit. 1/2 page is recommended length, thanx.

Your mention of Shep left me weeping, once again.

Sar-

I believe the 'underestimating' quote goes like this: "You can never underestimate the intelligence of the American people." No fool, he.

David-

Hope you were wearing yr rubber pants suit. Anyway, 1000 apologies, but here's the real problem w/this blog: once yr a Wafer, it's not really possible to have a romantic rel. w/a non-Wafer. I mean, what wd u talk abt? Chances are, yr hottie was a non-Wafer(ette). Heartbreaking, but there it is. (Maybe we shd rent a gym somewhere and have a Wafer-Waferette sock hop.)

mb

7:26 PM  
Anonymous PleasedToBeefYou said...

> Woman was driving w/the coffee between her legs.

Actually, she was parked.

7:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Rachel-

Try "The Last Enchantments," by Chas Finch.

Meanwhile, this seems spot-on:

www.chris-floyd.com/component/content/article/1-latest-news/2412-this-wheels-on-fire-the-terror-wars-disastrous-course.html

mb

7:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pleased-

Thanks, altho I'm beginning to wonder if it's possible to get the exact truth abt any of this. Perhaps she took the coffee home and had a bath in it...

mb

8:05 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

Dr. B

At first I couldn't understand the rationality of the McDonalds lady and the coffee. What was her reasoning that led her to do what she did. An epiphany hit me. There was no rationality at all. She used no rationality whatsoever and did not think it through.

More than likely what happened was while she was at the hospital a greedy attorney saw dollar signs and more than likely promised her a big cash payout.

Conclusion: The McDonalds Woman was a dolt, we live in the land of dolts and the attorney was greedy.

8:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

cube-

Well, not clear exactly what happened, I guess. But let me refer u2 the Seinfeld episode in wh/Kramer sticks a caffe latte in his pants and then goes into a movie theater, w/obvious results. He hires "Jackie Chiles" (dead ringer for Johnnie Cochran) to take up the suit, then settles for free caffe latte for life.

mb

9:09 PM  
Anonymous Thor said...

There is a documentary about the coffee incident and tort reform, it's called "Hot Coffee". It explains the incident in detail and it isn't quite what everyone thinks. It's entirely plausible that these fake lawsuit stories are generated to sway the public to support limitations on lawsuit payouts. Which sounds good at first until you realize that this is one of the last ways for the little guy to prevail against corporate power. Has it been abused in the USA? Maybe. But then what hasn't?

9:43 PM  
Anonymous Keith S Elder said...

Speaking of buffoons, check out Steve Bridges impersonation of Bush and Obama:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4N93jLVPIA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rot1yguplr8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3-T7zAKYWM

10:46 PM  
Anonymous WH said...

MB,

Where in Europe would you recommend to move? Germany? Turkey? What about places outside of Europe of Europe? Like Canada or Australia?

11:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Thor-

Personally, I think everyone shd sue everyone else, in tandem w/my policy that every American over age 18 mos. shd get a gun and walk down the st. and randomly shoot whomever they meet.

Keith-

Great impersonation of Obama. There you have it, for all 2c: a nothing leading a nation of nothings to nowhere. These shows are really perfect.

mb

11:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

wh-

I'd stay away from Anglo cultures, but other than that, it depends on you. Lots of factors to consider. 1st do a ton of research online; order used guidebks off Amazon; go visit yr 1st choice for a month; etc. Good luck!

mb

12:55 AM  
Anonymous almighty trollfool/trollfoon said...

any thoughts on the Dune saga, mr B?

12:56 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Troll-

No. But consider this:

http://www.prosebeforehos.com/political-ironing/10/13/15-gop-quotes-science/?utm_source=outbrainpaid&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=outpaidglobe

1:09 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

I wish to ask wafers for suggestions about ways to raise funds for my escape from The Dungeon. Here's my sitch: very good artist with no money. Current location: SF Bay Area. I prefer to go for jobs that are not art-related. Here's what I've come up with so far:

Minor gigs as an extra in films that are being shot locally

Photos and articles for RT documenting how awful life is in America (this is my fave)

VoiceOver work for radio

Working as an airline courier

And...? Any constructive suggestions would be welcome.

Preferred destinations: I'd like southern France (where I have traveled) or Vienna, but gather that the Eurozone is hard for yanks to get into, especially if you're a struggling artist. Latin America is probably a good deal more accessible. I think I'd get along pretty well in Mexico (where I have been, tho not recently), & my absolute fave is Uruguay. I have good Italian & French, so Spanish should come fairly easy to me. I have no German, which might be a problem in Vienna.

The mere thought of finding myself in a position to observe America's vertiginous descent into ignominy and ruin *from a safe distance* causes me feel a sense of ineffable tranquility and a deep inner peace and delight, with butterflies and daffodils efflorescing around me as in a Japanese cartoon. So c'mon wafers, don't let me down!

1:51 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kev-

Dunno what to tell you...life in the US is basically abt marketable skills. We're all pulling 4u2 get out, however. In the meantime: *always* capitalize "Wafers." It's a very exalted status--the highest in the world, really. We deserve nothing less.

mb

8:28 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Here's an interesting interpretation of Putin, missiles downing planes, the Ukraine, etc. It may or may not be accurate, but empires have a way of going into chaos as they collapse, and then lashing out as a way to hang onto former glory; to no avail.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article39208.htm

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Transatlantic said...

Kevin,

Europe can be hard, but it is doable. I left the U.S. 5 years ago with my wife (a German citizen) and do not regret it at all, nor would I move back to the by choice. We've got a family here now and I've been here long enough now to know that I simply could not bring myself to raise my kid in the States.

If you have no loved ones in any other country, your best bet is to pick one where you can speak the language at a basic level at the least, and stay on a tourist visa while you look for a place that would hire you (and help you get a work permit). You may be able to teach English, for example. Egal was Du machst, ich wuensche Dir viel Glueck!

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Dovidel said...

Dr. Berman, and Wafers,

Thanks for the link to Pepe Escobar’s latest Asia Times article. In it he has a link to one of Immanuel Wallerstein’s commentaries – in a Spanish translation in a Mexican newspaper. I’ve already alerted Wafers to the original a day or two ago, and you can read it in English at:

http://www2.binghamton.edu/fbc/commentaries/archive-2014/381en.htm

I would also recommend a July 18th article by Ray McGovern (formerly of the CIA) in consortiumnews at:

http://consortiumnews.com/2014/07/18/facts-needed-on-malaysian-plane-shoot-down/

Dmitry Orlov concludes his latest Cluborlov post by saying, “All of western media is now about as good as Pravda was back in the Soviet days—good for wiping your ass with, that is. It's a sad day for anyone who cares about the truth but can only understand English.”

See it at: http://cluborlov.blogspot.mx/2014/07/fact-free-zone.html#more

And, it looks like the British papers are even worse than our own prestitutes. The Guardian published an op-ed piece by “Pussy Riot” – just where you should turn to for unbiased in-depth analysis.

Well, there’s still “The Asia Times.” In fact there’s quite a bit of stuff out there to help you get an idea of what’s going on in the world. But in the US it would take a desire to know, more brains than the majority of (non-Wafer) Americans seem to have, and CRE extraction on a mass scale.

Any lifeguard knows that a drowning person in a state of panic is very dangerous to anyone near them, and that special precautions are required to avoid being dragged under with them. I think that Wallerstein was correct when he says that the US is a declining empire “trying to restore the unrestorable,” which makes the US “a very dangerous actor.”

David Rosen

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Tim LUkeman said...

Who needs to examine one's own life & enjoy the countless beauties & mysteries of existence when you've got this:

https://www.yahoo.com/tech/samsungs-new-curved-tv-costs-more-than-a-porsche-92633296669.html

And this is precisely the sort of thing most Americans will point to with pride & envy & insatiable hunger as evidence of our "superiority" among nations. (I originally typed "American swill" rather than "Americans will" -- accident or serendipity?)

Well, maybe the revolution will not be televised, but the decline will -- though most watching won't recognize it for what it is.

4:04 PM  
Blogger Jeff T said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB-

I flipped on the TV set this morning and tuned it to CNN. A program called "The Hour w/ Berman & Michaela" was on. Excited, I thought you had landed a CNN news gig. Turns out that this Berman is a guy named John. I got to thinking tho, that CNN needs a program with you and Tina: Berman & Fey. You two could dish the dirt, provide Waferian perspectives, talk politics, take listeners' calls, etc. You could end each show with an American Douche Bag segment. Jesus, ratings would go thru the roof!

Jeff

4:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

Also a recent article abt Berman being hired as hockey coach; my secret career, I guess. BTW, the 1st time I heard the word 'douchebaggery' was on "30 Rock," uttered by Tina. "I will not tolerate douchebaggery," she declared. Is there no way I can get her to marry me?

DR-

Yeah, Orlov has it rt. I was rdg Pravda during the 60s when I was in college, and studying Russian, and I can tell u it was pure dogshit. Now the NYT is. We need to have a pee-in: pile up tons of copies of the Times, collect dozens of Wafers and 100s of cans of Bud Lite, and then proceed to hose the paper down; preferably in Times Square.

mb

5:18 PM  
Blogger Sam Holloway said...

This page, and the video interview therein, explain the basics of the 'hot coffee' case very well.
http://www.hotcoffeethemovie.com/Default.asp

America is certainly chock full of stupidity, but Stella Liebeck's name has been unjustly smeared by our national penchant for prioritizing corporate impunity. Don't trust corporate media.

6:29 PM  
Anonymous hankkingsley said...

Oh get real, do you think Tina Fey is any less of a douchebag than the average American?

8:48 PM  
Anonymous The Dude said...

@MB - That Stella Awards bit is VERY old. I remember receiving it as a FWD:FWD:FWD e-mail from a colleague at work at work about 15 years ago before we got Internet access at our desk tops. As far as I can recall, this version is virtually word for word.

As for Stella herself, I recall reading an article awhile back that her case was a favorite to use by the far right against "trial lawyers," at a time when that phrase was a stupid smear bing used against Bill Clinton (remember that?). The coffee in question had been heated to something like 180 degrees, she was parked when it spilled, and it caused her very serious burns.

I dunno, sounds like someone is being lazy and recycling old material for use against Hillary in 2016--and we all know there are far worse things you can accuse her of than being a trial lawyer.

9:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

hank-

I do; by light years.

1. She's funny--extremely so. Most Americans are grim, and have little in the way of a sense of humor.

2. She's bright; most Americans are dumb as a stick.

3. She's actually quite modest; most Americans, who are losers, think they are fabulous (this has actually been confirmed by polls).

4. She once referred to Paris Hilton as 'shit'. Most Americans think Paris (and Kim) are the cat's meow.

Uh...who is it that needs to get real?

mb

9:57 PM  
Blogger S. P. Hunter said...

@ Kevin,

The Dominican Republic is a great place to live, I've been here since 2008.
It's quite easy to get residency and you can do it without living here full time, as long as you visit at least 4 times a year.
It's best to use a lawyer for the residency process. Mine charged $900USD for the initial application which took ten months to process. You spend the day at immigration in Santo Domingo where they give you a physical exam and you fill out paperwork. You must submit an apostilled copy of your birth certificate and a letter from the police of the U.S. city where you live saying you have no criminal record. Ten months later you go back and pick up your cedula and residency ID card. You renew it every year for $500USD. After three years you can apply for citizenship which costs $1100USD and takes 6 months to process. Those fees cover the lawyer fees and everything else, it's the total cost.
Don't wait to get out, you'll never regret that you did. You'll only regret not doing it sooner.

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Biddly Spop said...

Yeah, Orlov is absolutely correct. Basically all American "newspapers" are nothing more than receptacles for the most vicious sort of propaganda. About the only subject reported accurately is celebrity news, and we all know how important that subject is in determining the fate of humankind.

I do think Orlov is completely uncritical of both Putin and Russia as a whole; I find this objectionable. Because of Putin, people in Russia can now go to jail for 40 years for publishing articles that promote the idea that homosexuality is acceptable. In addition, Putin and the Russian government are addicted to the same world-destroying fossil fuels and other modern technologies of death that their Western counterparts are addicted to. Putin hasn't done anything to make Russia "green". Considering Orlov claims to be an environmentalist, this is particularly objectionable.

Nevertheless, his views on the West, their policies, their "cultures", and their press - all of this is completely accurate, in my view. In addition to this, he *does* elaborate accurately Putin's virtues: his successful attempt at rehabilitating Russia's economy, his maturity and self-restraint regarding foreign affairs, and his boldness in speaking out against Western imperialism.

10:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

American Daily Fare:

http://us.cnn.com/2014/07/25/us/pennsylvania-hospital-shooting/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Interesting that the doctor just happened to be carrying a gun. I think it's impt that every American, regardless of age or profession, be routinely armed.

mb

5:47 AM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

Bringing freedom & democracy to the world:

http://www.salon.com/2014/07/24/the_kill_team_when
_u_s_soldiers_in_afghanistan_became_trophy_hunters/

9:18 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Good evening Wafers,

Talking about Buffons on Parade, here's a good one. I got this one from the "Dudeism" fan page on facebook.
http://gawker.com/woman-stabs-roommate-for-refusing-to-stop-listening-to-1335462841/+neetzanz

To laugh or cry?

5:05 PM  
Anonymous Bingo said...

Now, here's a guy with a valid lawsuit:

"Amputation instead of circumcision? Man sues hospital after surgery"

http://rt.com/usa/175672-banks-lawsuit-penis-amputation/

6:01 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Oh no :( I love Morris Berman's works. They've given me life. Unfortunately, most of these were proven to be false :(

http://www.snopes.com/legal/lawsuits.asp

6:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kanye-

Wonderful American story. BTW, is it "Witchy Woman," or "WitchAY Woman"? This was briefly debated on Seinfeld, when Elaine was dating some douche bag who was entranced w/"Desperado".

Note to Jack L.-

Thank u amigo, I'm in receipt of yr artwork and the Kimdollars, wh/I shall treasure. Loved it all.

NOTICE TO ALL WAFERS:

1. For a gd vignette on the corruption of the public schl system, check out Rachel Aviv, "Wrong Answer," in New Yorker July 21 issue. Degradation and debasement of American institutions deepens every day.

2. Quick political analysis of American situation: almost the entire population consists of morons. Keep that at the front of yr consciousness at all times, and u can't go wrong.

3. I'm disappearing into the wilds for 5 days, and will be completely off-line, probably until evening of July 30. If you guys cd hold off sending in messages until then, I'd be very grateful. Thanks.

4. In the meantime, never ferget u.r. Wafers.

mb

7:09 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Dr. Berman,
To be honest, although I intended to give periodic updates on this summer's SE Asia trip, the events in Gaza have nearly traumatized me. As you probably know the news coverage you get overseas is so far superior to the drek in the US as to make American media coverage laughable ( though I can't laugh witnessing such callous behavior.
I just finished reading the Pappe book and it's one nightmare after another. Or as he writes:" Israel has never stopped killing Palestinians." And to think you arrive at Ben Gurion airport who was the mastermind behind the ethnic cleansing of Palestine.
Still, one vignette. I was searching for internet at 3 AM in a small town in nothern Thailand. Someone told me the previous day that there is a computer in the local hospital anyone can use. So here I am at 3 AM walking into a hospital lobby and sit down at the computer. I turned it on but needed the password. An employee came over and typed the password for me. Could this happen anywhere in the USA? Impossible. First, I'd have to answer if I was there to see a patient, or be told you can only use the computer during certain hours, or,most likely, being told I had to leave by some moronic night shift security guard. And again, very few earphones. As I said earlier, Thais seem to intrinsically understand that it's rude to separate yourself from others in a public space.

10:37 PM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

MB -

I want to leave the US too, but I feel stuck here. My job pays $55k, but I have $25k in debt mostly from being largely unemployed for the last two years.

Any advice you'd give to landless debt peons who have little change of saving enough money to leave?

12:34 AM  
Anonymous Biddly Spop said...

MB and others,

I recently read that Kunstler article defending the genocide in Palestine. But it gets much, much worse than that; he declares Islam to be a bellicose religion bent on destroying the West. He seems to support the Western imperial wars against mostly helpless countries in the Middle East, and ignores all the historical data that prove that the West has been the aggressor for at least 150 years.

It seems to me that Kunstler has suddenly become a warmongering neocon. He used to decry Israeli crimes in Palestine; now he supports them. He used to decry the wars in the Middle East; now he supports them. He still acknowledges global warming and the ongoing collapse of the biosphere, but other than that, he seems to have shifted his ideology to that of Rush Limbaugh.

Morris, you've simply got to comment on this. Do you think what I'm saying is accurate? If it is, it's very sad to see a man who was once intellectually honest sink into bigotry, warmongering and self-deception. If what I suspect is true, it makes me wonder if Kunstler was bought out by some right-winger, like one of the Koch brothers.

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Dr. Tallahassee said...

Come on, you can use Snopes as well as anyone; this list is 100% fake (or don't you trust them, either?) The screwed up nature of this country can easily be told with many true examples of venal stupidity; we don't need to use phony stuff.

4:15 PM  
Blogger S. P. Hunter said...

@ Lack Of Coherence,

Stop paying the debt and save money for the purpose of leaving.
America and it's A-hole populace created the joblessness, not you, so don't let it be your problem. The debt is to enslave you, but it only will if you let it. Stop paying the debt and save for the move.
That's my advice.

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Michael in Oceania said...

Hi, Lack;

@"Any advice you'd give to landless debt peons who have little change of saving enough money to leave?"

I know your question was directed to MB, but I hope you won't mind my taking a shot at it.

First, get that debt paid off. That is job #1.

Second, once that is done, assess what skills you have. I migrated overseas 15 years ago, and I am not a wealthy man at all. If you are young and healthy, with no serious criminal record, and if you have useful skills, then you can move abroad. The important point is, that your country of destination will expect you to make a positive contribution to society on some level, and not be a "ward of the state." Despite what some "Sovereign Individual" types, such as Doug Casey, might say, it really does not take millions of dollars to do that. So, don't let the money issue hold you back.

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Edward said...

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright stopped by CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday to discuss the ongoing clashes around the world.

Albright admitted that "a lot of Americans are trying to figure out where the countries are" that have been making headlines for escalating violence in recent weeks, noting "there are an awful lot of things that are going on that need understanding an explanation."

Then, as the Kansas City Star put it, Albright managed to sum up the state of the world today in one simple sentence:

"To put it mildly, the world is a mess."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/28/madeleine-albright-mess_n_5626741.html

Who created the mess? It must be America - since she alone exists in every part of the world with guns and drones - causing conflicts.

11:23 AM  
Blogger Mimi said...

Mr. Berman, the woman was not driving at the time the coffee burned her. She was seated in her son-in-law's stationary car. There's a video about the incident that I've seen several times. Here's the link:
http://www.hotcoffeethemovie.com/Default.asp

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Neunder said...

These Stella Award Stories are FABRICATIONS, dating back at least to 2001. They were exposed on Snopes:

http://www.snopes.com/legal/lawsuits.asp

12:06 PM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

Wow check this story out: "Gaza's only power plant destroyed in Israel's most intense air strike yet"

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/29/gaza-power-plant-destroyed-israeli-airstrike-100-palestinians-dead

4:16 PM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

Biddly Spop -

> It seems to me that Kunstler has suddenly become a warmongering neocon.

He's been saying shit about Muslims since "The Long Emergency." Kunstler gets a few things way wrong, and this is one of them.

Another one is that he promotes Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) as a solution to the problems of suburbia. Problem is, CNU is nothing but consumerism and suburbia, just repackaged into a walkable spot. So, you'll get something like a CVS and Best Buy near a bus stop with condos on top. Yeah...

4:54 PM  
Anonymous Bingo said...

I have been absent from this blog, and just found out about Capo’s death. RIP Capo – you will be missed.

Kevin,

Be careful with Europe. These nasty little nations are only a few years behind the US in terms of ignorance and hustling, but decades ahead in terms of nationalism, discrimination, hypocrisy, and bullshit. I fear they will descend into nasty regional wars once the US loses control of them. Just look at what Germany did to Greece, both being fellow EU members. Next, they’ll do that to their own population.

Otherwise, I’d try Gibraltar. It’s small, but quite sane and prosperous for Europe. There are tons of jobs (mostly IT) in Gibraltar, and they are friendly toward Americans. I’d possibly try Malta as well. They are both English-speaking.

But again, how much longer will the EU hold together? And what will follow once it’s gone?

Dan,

If you dare use a computer in an American hospital without proper security authorization, you will and should be shot on the spot for terrorism. Your fresh body will then be harvested of its organs, and the hospital will earn 10+ million dollars from various transplant surgeries. All this is clearly mandated under Obamacare, and is fully aligned with the progressive vision of our Dear Leader.

Julian

5:30 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Biddly,
Yes, et tu Kunstler? Another fraud exposed. I also had much respect for him and thus was appalled to read his Islamophobic nonsense. But the saddest person on the planet must be Amy Goodman. The senate and the House voted unanimously to support Israeli aggression including her favorites from the Progressive Democratic caucus. Breathtaking, wasn't it to see Grayson, Warren, and that other windbag Bernie Socialist Sanders voting in support. It's game over as the great man constantly reminds us. This vote surely says Get out of Dodge ASAP.

8:18 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

lack of coherence:

Truly shocking, isn't it, that Israel would target the only power plant in the Gaza Strip that provides electricity and water sanitation. Although this is collective punishment of Gazans and a clear war crime, because it is committed by an ally of the US, the Israelis are given a pass and allowed by the US and Europe to continue murdering the entire Palestinian population in Gaza.

Today Israel targeted an elementary girls' school operated by the UN, after the UN told Israel 17 times where the school was. Another clear targeting of civilians and war crime. But Israel gets to murder Palestinians with impunity, thanks to I Am Drone. He pretends to criticize Israel while replenishing the ammunition it uses to kill civilians in Gaza.

Fortunately people in MB's back yard realize what is going on, such as in Bolivia, which has declared Israel a terrorist state. Chile has suspended trade negotiations with Israel.

Meanwhile in the 'civilized' - read former imperial colonies in Western Europe - world, the governments fully support what Israel is doing. In Europe they fear being called anti-Semites if they criticize Israel, and in the US it's impossible to become a politician unless you fully support Israel, thanks to the Israel lobby.

It's just a shame that the voice of the South American countries will not translate into an end of Israel mass murder, since they have so little power.

1:10 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Never mind the "Stella" awards, there ought to be a "Nayira Award" for war propaganda.

Remember Nayira, the weeping girl who told us about the Kuwaiti incubator babies being thrown on the cold, concrete hospital floor by Saddam Hussein's satanic minions?

Well, incubators are in the news again:
"Miracle baby" Shayma, delivered from the womb of her dead mother, has died in an incubator in a hospital in Gaza.

Some Twitter commentators said the five-day-old baby died as Israeli forces attacked power plants in Gaza causing a power outage.

Shayma was rescued by doctors on Saturday, as her 23-year-old mother, Shayma al-Sheikh Qanan, was killed after an airstrike had hit her house in the central Gaza town of Deir al-Balah.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/gaza-5-day-old-miracle-baby-shayma-born-dead-mother-dies-incubator-1459054

Why isn't NATO bombing Tel Aviv? Oh right, that baby was firing rockets at Israeli pizza parlours.

12:03 PM  
Blogger Jeff T said...

Greetings Dr. Berman and distinguished associates of the Wafer Brigade,

MB-

Hope your escape into the wild is a good one. Are you on a weekthun? A Benedictine retreat? Drinking some Victoria cerveza with the Seris of Punta Chueca? At any rate, I hope this message finds you well, and we miss you out here.

MB, Wafers-

Has anybody viewed the film, "Nebraska"? Jesus, a grim picture (figuratively and literally) of the deadness and failure of the American Dream. Most highly recommended.

Edward-

Indeed, Albright and the American people are responsible for the mess the world is in. I remember Albright's cold-blooded defense of sanctions against Iraq that were killing Iraqi kids. How many Americans gave a damn about those kids? The goal of the US is to control the world and the destiny of other nations and cultures, in short. Most Americans see no problem with this whatsoever; it's considered good foreign policy.

Jeff

2:02 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

I'm still on a secret mission in the wilds of Mexico, might be back home by Sunday, I dunno. Pls try to hold off on messages for 3 more days, if u can. Love you all.

mb

4:31 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

For those of you Wafers who haven't seen this, this is a pretty awesome 3 minute stand-up by Wafer George Carlin.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsL6mKxtOlQ

R.I.P.

4:40 PM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

Not to rehash the GMO thing, check out this video/article on Salon.

Neil deGrasse Tyson basically says the anti-GMO hysteria is stupid.

http://www.salon.com/2014/07/31/neil_degrasse_tyson_goes_to_town_on_gmo_critics/

5:24 PM  
Anonymous Louisa May Apricot said...

Here Kitty Kitty...
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2711417/Michigan-woman-blames-zoo-losing-finger-tried-pet-caged-lion.html

11:36 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I know there's a moratorium on posts for now, but this is too good to miss.

School fires blogger over post about homophones, citing 'gay agenda'

According to The Salt Lake Tribune, Nomen Global Language Center owner Clarke Woodger called Torkildson into his office shortly after to tell him that he was fired.

"I’m letting you go because I can’t trust you” said Woodger according to Torkildson, who posted an account of the exchange on his personal blog. "This blog about homophones was the last straw. Now our school is going to be associated with homosexuality."

"I had to look up the word because I didn’t know what the hell you were talking about," Woodger allegedly continued. "We don’t teach this kind of advanced stuff to our students, and it’s extremely inappropriate. Can you have your desk cleaned out by eleven this morning? I’ll have your cheque ready.”


http://www.cbc.ca/newsblogs/yourcommunity/2014/08/school-fires-blogger-over-post-about-homophones-citing-gay-agenda.html

11:50 AM  
Blogger Dan Henry said...

A very good piece here;

http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/08/the-seven-pillars-of-the-matrix/

3:43 PM  
Blogger Chrism929 said...

I heard a podcast and came looking for more such insight, but was dismayed to find this thing about Stella Awards first! I second what Thor said: see the movie "Hot Coffee" for the real story about Stella and you'll get a whole new understanding of what this vilification of lawsuits is about-it's so-called "tort reform" which is a corporate crime! Here's a challenge for truly open minds: http://www.hotcoffeethemovie.com and if you look on YouTube you can probably find a free version (but I say, support the filmmaker if you can afford it - this is an outstanding piece of documentary work, and documentaries are one of the few types of genuine journalism operating nowadays).

11:09 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Chrism-

There's very little insight on this blog; we just hang around and tell jokes. Just so u know.

Anyway, Wafers: Yes, I'm finally back home. A harrowing week. As many of you know, I have been in the employ of the CIA for many yrs now. In fact, they funded this blog. Anyway, they had a new assignment for me, up at the border, code named "Drugs and Thugs." They wanted me to run guns south, and drugs north. I was only too happy to oblige, as the pay is rather lucrative, as you might imagine. Basically, if you take care of them, they take care of you. I now have houses in Tokyo, Paris, and NY, plus beachfront propty in the Bahamas. Hope all of you are doing well.

mb

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Bruce Bennett said...

These cases are an excellent example of a nation full of shameless people who simply will not be held responsible for their actions. The case of the Winnebago is particularly stunning. Did this idiot think that the cruise control would just take her home and park itself in the driveway? Plus a jury awarded her this huge amount of money for being stupid and recklessly endangering other people's lives!
Amazing and depressing at the same time.

9:22 PM  
Blogger Dan Henry said...

Finished United States of Amnesia today. My favorite quote, "We sell soap and presidents in the same fashion" - Gore Vidal.

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Mark K. said...

Morris,

Stella was not driving when she received her burns. Her nephew was the driver and she was the passenger. They had gone through the drive-up and then pulled into a parking space before opening the coffee. It was here that the coffee spilled into her lap.

McDonalds had been warned on several occasions that their coffee was too hot, but the corporate bosses did not see it to their advantage to correct the problem.

It is disappointing for you to not get the facts correct before criticizing someone. Often what everyone "knows" to be correct is not correct. Stella's case was one the media got ahold of and completely distorted. Watch the documentary "Hot Coffee" (http://www.hotcoffeethemovie.com/Default.asp) and then let's see what you have to say.

8:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mark-

You come to the party rather late, my friend. Corrections of these incidents, including the one of Stella, have flooded this blog. Maybe read a little bit b4 u get excited? In any case, someone sent me this list, and I just passed it on. I had no idea it was bogus, and was hardly in a position to track down every story.

Wake up!

mb

8:32 PM  
Anonymous abe wald said...

hi morris - you are most admired. ever since i picked up coming to our senses. I considered it one of the most important books written at the time. I remember giving a copy to my friend spaulding. I ranked it right up there with ernst becker. Been meaning to make contact with u for a while. I just hate spending time in front of a computer screen. You are one of the few minds that sees things on the social, political, historic, cultural levels so deeply andprofoundly.When I came upon Dark Ages I was completely blown away. It is and remiains the most painfully true and most sober probibg of the state of America. Sadly it remains most true and has only gotten worse. A little about me. I am an experimental theater artist and a somatic bodymind therapist. I currently have a solo theater piece callled Count on It - polical economy and the mindbody problem. It is everything you say about our cultural, political, economic situation with all my personal craziness mixed in. It is a great piece. How much good it will do is another question. I look forward to writing and sharing my thoughts with you more frequently in the near future. you are a brother - abe - please feel free to email me - waldabe@yahoo

12:00 AM  
Blogger S4Sykes said...

Why not just delete this post and all the replies?

All the cases listed are bogus.

http://www.snopes.com/legal/lawsuits.asp

3:39 PM  

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