October 05, 2015


Well, Waferinos-

Time to move on to greener pastures besides massacres, although there is apparently one a day now. Eventually, the media may not report ones involving less than 100 deaths. It's encouraging that the general reaction has been that we need more guns, so we can defend ourselves. The problem with this, as I see it, is that once someone walks in and starts firing, you may be dead before you can draw your weapon. Really, the only solution is that every American between the ages of 2 and 92 be issued a drone, an AK-47, and a nuclear device. Now that's safety! But in any case, the progs assure us that revolution is right around the corner, so perhaps there's nothing to worry about.

Anyway, I don't have a whole lot to say these days; just working on getting a few books back into print. Stay tuned to this station; where else, really, is there to go?

hugs, berm


Blogger Bullshevik said...

Not just mass shootings, but heartbreaking and crazy stuff like this. Just curious, other WAFers, what's the antidote?

2:12 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

I have a facebook friend from Port Harcourt, Nigeria (one Chidi Anuduchukwu) who is a fundamentalist Christian. Presumably after seeing a few of my facebook posts he asked that I be his facebook friend and I accepted. Being a Christian in Africa apparently means something quite different compared to what it typically means in the USA. In addition, Christianity in Nigeria differs greatly from what it is in Uganda (where it is quite hazardous to be a homosexual, among other things) and they both differ from the Christianity of South Africa. In any case, I saw one of Chidi's facebook posts and within the comments section posted the following 2 quotes from Desmond Tutu:

"Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness."

"Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world."

Desmond Tutu will turn 84 in a couple of days. His life has been a tribute to genuine spirituality, something that is not often found within organized religion. He has transcended his own religion without abandoning it.

So what does this have to do with the content of this weblog?

I'm not entirely sure. Dr. Berman did a lengthy and inspired tribute to Lewis Mumford several months ago. This is just a very short tribute to Desmond Tutu.

Does spirituality have a place within a collapsing civilization? I think so. Without it, what will be left after the collapse of capitalism, the long decline of industrial civilization and the massive die-off of most of humanity? If spirituality and genuine human values have not been preserved then what will be left?

2:34 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bad News Dept.:


Man, that really bums me out, tho I've been saying it all along.

Movie rec: "The Book Thief." Quite marvelous.


7:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes it's all just too perfect:

Black "Halloween" Whopper causes Green Poop


Salt-and-fat-filled sandwiches, and feces humor. Onward and upward!

10:08 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Shit fer Brains Dept.:

So many Americans are now hooked on opiates from prescription painkillers to street heroin, that Big Pharma has created a new drug to treat what they describe as opioid-induced constipation (OIC):



ps: It's estimated that the US has over five million addicts, and more than 16,000 of them will die from overdose yearly.

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Dawgzy said...

COS- thank you for the reality check, and for the insight into my character. I do preen, strut and generally wear my opinions in a fashionable way anso that I can not only feel good about myself, but to ,perhaps, gain your esteem. I hope that I might and and in furtherance of same I have some confessions: even though I've worked in emergency rooms, I had been unaware that ther are traffic fatalities! but now that I know about them I just giggle when I hear about one. I abhor antibiotics, and life saving meds and measures generally. Medical errors, hah! I get my hands good and grubby whenever I change a dressing on a surgical wound. this sniveling about murder, it's so against my grain. I'll have to consult a therapist to get this kink hammered out, just the way I went to the body shop to get that bloody dent taken out after I ... Never mind... It WAS fun, though!
You also discerned that I like my news filtered. How could possibly you know that I read and listen to nothing but anti-gun sources. But you did- brilliant! I am as surprised by your knowing this as I was when a grownup much like yourself Mansplained to me that guns were invented and developed for killing. I had thought that they were for New Year's Eve celebrations and target shooting! Yes, yes. Rwanda. Machetes. But machetes are for clearing brush and such. So much less efficient. Why you have to walk right up to your victim. Arm' s length! So I've seen Bambi 20 times. Maybe that's where the distaste for mass murder comes from. BTW, are you a gun owner? I wouldn't presume to presume, so I ask.

5:27 PM  
Anonymous Edward said...

I came here now to talk about the developing story that Obama wants to establish no—fly zones in Syria as a means to checkmate Putin and Russia. Then I read these things from here:

From Dr B: “Really, the only solution is that every American between the ages of 2 and 92 be issued a drone, an AK-47, and a nuclear device.”

From Bullshevik’s link: “No mother should have to bury her baby. No child should be around a gun.”

Then I started to think about American guns and killings in Syria. America and Israel want to go into Iran from the back door through Syria, so Syrians are armed to kill and depose Bashar al-Assad just as they killed Saddam Hussein. Chaos is created in Syria, so Syrian mothers flee to Europe to avoid burying their babies, to avoid seeing their babies around killings and guns. American mothers abhor dead babies or babies around guns, but American government loves dead babies and guns around babies both here in USA and in Syria. Putin and Russia want to stop dead babies and guns around babies in Syria. Someone should worry about the same issue here in America where 11-year-olds love guns and use guns to kill. Why not establish no-gun/no-fly zones here in America and allow the Russians to deal with the same problem in Syria? I mean, you created the problem here in America with your love of guns and violence; and you duplicated the same problem in Syria in your characteristic way of doing to others as you do to yourselves at home. Just concentrate on solving the problem here at home while you leave it to the Russians to solve the one you left behind in Syria.

6:59 PM  
Anonymous COS said...


Just the facts. The Dawgzy doth protest too much. It is a fact that news alters perceptions of importance of events and does in fact alter cognitive processss. Basic math seems to not get through--200k more serious than 10k no? News to brain is what sugar is to body. Give Rolf Dobelli a try, or Daniel Kahneman. Nassim Taleb as well. There are others who do fine work on issues of news and cognitive distortion. Odd, funny after speaking against Oregon shooting Obamas airforce went and blew up a hospital. Most mass muder is committed by the military in name of democracy and peace by leaders elected by people who drive hybrid cars and are for gay marriage and the environment. Odd no? I dont own any firearms and I am a physician and worked in as they say " the developing world" and in Baltimore....where diabetes and booze are far more effective instruments of death than guns

9:41 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@MB - "The problem with this, as I see it, is that once someone walks in and starts firing, you may be dead before you can draw your weapon."

There is actually a much bigger problem--the fact that most people are fundamentally incompetent to properly handle a firearm and would be more likely to shoot themselves or other innocent bystanders than the perpetrator.

I actually have a lot of experience with various types of firearms; from M-16s, shotguns and machine guns back in my army days to .45 calibers, .38 revolvers and 9mm semiautomatic handguns as a civilian. The one thing that many people who are inexperienced with handguns do not realize is that they are notoriously inaccurate beyond a range of about 50 feet and they take a LOT of training both in safe handling and marksmanship to be used properly. Take the fact that most handgun owners do not practice shoot nearly often enough (ammunition is expensive, after all) and throw in the instantaneous extreme stress factor of a mass shooting incident and you have a situation where the "good guy with the gun" is almost certain to do more harm than good.

Funny that every time a mass shooting happens pundits start to babble on about "metal illness." My view has always been that having a gun fetish IS a form of mental illness, and that the more someone wants to have a gun the more reason there is to keep them away from him/her.

10:43 PM  
Anonymous turnover said...

Funny cartoon about American culture. Zach Weinersmith's Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. He describes why "Ghostbusters" is the most American movie and "Moby Dick" is the most American novel.

The cartoon shows Ghostbusters as the story of people who discover that there's life after death so they start a business to cash in.


5:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know that if I'm at a store, I want people with questionable judgement and shooting accuracy to try to kill shoplifters near me.


Not many years left, folks ....

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

Here's a little distraction from the decline and fall news:

Radio Times: The history of the Jewish deli — across America and in Philly

The local deli is an integral part of American Jewish culture, history and cuisine. The very mention of pastrami on rye, a corned beef special, chopped liver or cheesecake can bring tears to the eyes and a growl in the stomach of Jewish deli aficionados. In his new book, Pastrami on Rye: An Overstuffed History of the Jewish Deli, Dickinson professor TED MERWIN traces the rise of the Jewish deli, its place in the community and how it has evolved in contemporary cuisine. He joins us in this hour of Radio Times along with CRAIG LABAN, restaurant and drink columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer who’ll take us on a tour of Philadelphia area delis – old and new.

10:47 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I was weeping as I read yr post. Grazie mille.


2:36 PM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

Commenting on Mr. Hicks,

I, too, have been around guns my whole, having grown up in rural MI and now, after spending 30+ years in Chicago, back in No. MI. I cannot count the number of times I simply walked away from a gun range after watching the idiots try and figure out how their gun actually works, pointing loaded hand guns every which way, trying to eject a live shell with their finger on the tigger, shooting downrange while a few yards away, someone was out on the range adjusting their targets.
I've got my guns stored in a gun safe and I've been slowly selling them off. I stopped hunting many years ago. I'll keep my favorite shotguns to shoot sporting clays and a couple of my Kimber handguns for target shooting.
I do enjoy going to the gun range, it's like a field trip for an anthropologist. They really do cling to their "Americanism" and their guns. I think I've heard almost every right wing conspiracy theory in existence. Their lives are quite sad.

4:30 PM  
Anonymous Cal said...


^^^^This looks like it would be of interest

Fascinating stuff-- Inside the Race to Stop the Next Mass Shooter: http://t.co/elQOiv9gYg

4:37 PM  
Anonymous Edward said...

@Bill Hicks

You wrote:
"There is actually a much bigger problem--the fact that most people are fundamentally incompetent to properly handle a firearm and would be more likely to shoot themselves or other innocent bystanders than the perpetrator"

You are not alone in your belief:
"Stephen Benson first learned during Navy SEAL training that carrying a gun would be more likely to expose him to gun violence.

That lesson directly contradicts the message promoted by the National Rifle Association and increasingly cited by gun owners as their motivation for buying a firearm

“We put on our issue .45s, and our instructor said, ‘Gentlemen, the first and most important thing you’ve done by putting on that weapon is you’ve increased your chances of being in a gunfight by 100 percent,’” he said. “That’s a lesson that a lot of people don’t get. More guns means more gunfights — and the idea that in a chaotic, pressurized, terrifying situation, they’re going to do the right thing is ridiculous.” "


4:45 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Bill said, "most people are fundamentally incompetent to properly handle a firearm and would be more likely to shoot themselves or other innocent bystanders than the perpetrator."

the greater irony is this:


"In the Umpqua case, though, at least one student (and likely others) was carrying a concealed weapon during the massacre. Needless to say, this did not prevent the tragedy."

4:55 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

More on the "good guy (read: idiot) with a gun" issue--a real 'Murican hero pulls out her handgun and starts shooting at a couple of shoplifters at a Home Depot:


Most insane quote from the story: "The Detroit Free Press reported that the woman had a concealed carry permit and was cooperating with law enforcement. Auburn Hills police had not decided if the woman would be charged."

On what planet does it make a lick of sense that this moron would not be charged with a felony for reckless endangerment? She's lucky she didn't wound or kill a passerby, but even more to the point shoplifting is hardly a crime which warrants the use of deadly force. This woman is a menace who should be put in jail, her CCW permit revoked and all of her firearms taken away from her upon being convicted.

11:13 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

book review (and short video) of a new (a couple months old) book by Paul & Ann Ehrlich and Mexican ecologist Gerardo Ceballos:


a very recent interview by Alex Smith of Paul Ehrlich on Radio Ecoshock:


Ehrlich is on for the 1st 25 minutes or so.

According to Ehrlich, Botswana and Mexico (!) are far more conservation-oriented than is the USA (whose people prefer strip malls to the natural world).

Ehrlich is 83 years old but he's still going strong, although he is more vulnerable to disease, particularly pneumonia, than he was a few years ago. He keeps working at Stanford. Along with all of his other accomplishments, Ehrlich stands a chance of setting a record for the oldest active professor on any campus anywhere.


I just finished watching (on tv) a baseball game between the Cubs and the Pirates. I tried unsuccessfully to avoid watching any of the commercials. Watching the fans and their behavior made me depressed. Asking an average fan to get anywhere close to understanding the global crises facing humanity, or even just the local problems facing the USA, is asking far too much. As Dr. Berman might say, they have dog excrement in their heads, and many should be viewed as if they are clowns dressed up to look like people.

12:06 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I don't post Anons. Pls pick a real handle and re-send yr message. Thanks.

Meanwhile, this is neat:



11:16 AM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

In fairness, this is awesome:


11:36 AM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

The local news (Medford OR) reported that the local gun shops have seen a 25% uptick in the number of gun sales since the Roseburg massacre.

RE: Ehrlich. I enjoy listening to him speak, but I tend to be a bit cautious about what he says since The Population Bomb's thesis didn't really pan out. Though maybe his dates are simply wrong and it will pan out after all.

12:14 PM  
Anonymous Drippings said...

There ya go! Lets shoot people for running off with corporate products that are:
- priced up 1000X
- made by foreign slave labor
- fulfill the ever-expanding ritual "needs" of those devoted to the religion of home-ownership
- sold by a company whose executive believes that Liz Warren's "populism" against the 1% is akin to Hitler's treatment of the Jews

Should we prosecute her? Jee, I don't know, lets sit on it for a while, shall we?

Morris, I don't know if you've talked about the religion of home ownership in America before. But it's a profoundly grotesque and nihilistic phenomenon, where the middle-class adherents live in a habitat of perpetual "renovation," making frequent trips back and forth between their "home" and "home depot." The church is the home itself. And yet curiously the object of worship is also the home itself. And the followers don't even have to leave home to listen to the proselytizers, because naturally they appear on the tv set in the form of "handy" men and women with lots of exciting "tips and tricks" and glowing positive attitudes. And in the silent background the corporate Proteus assumes myriad glossy forms -- faucets, cabinets, etc.

The religion of home ownership is, I suspect, an unconscious retreat into the womb.


12:44 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Proposal: Wafer Conference on American Stupidity (WCAS)

Perhaps the most beguiling thesis initiated by Wafers has been how American stupidity has served as an effective instrument in shaping American character and governing behavior. While this hypothesis is fundamentally correct, its basic validity has deflected attention away from the causal aspects of such stupidity. Therefore, I propose a Wafer Conference to examine the historical and causal factors that have given rise to the condition known as American Stupidity.

The WCAS should proceed in four broad directions:

a) New England village & Deep South rural backwater stupidity
b) Frontier and sodbuster stupidity
c) Urban and ethnic enclave stupidity
d) Post WW II suburban stupidity

Ancillary research and lecture topics should include:

a) Calculated stupidity: The Cold War and the rise of aggressive international mischief & misfortune
b) Emotional stupidity: Patriotic sentiment and a willingness to accept official explanations of events
c) Sociological stupidity: American obliviousness to sociological phenomena

It is my sincere hope that by providing Waferian focus on specific arenas of American Stupidity, the world will be a better place. Furthermore, it may serve as an impetus to possibly change accustomed behavior, and bring about much needed social amelioration in the US.

1:43 PM  
Anonymous Laurence said...


As if the mass umbilical attachment to all things electronic wasn't bad enough with current smartphone, IPad, etc. tech, get prepared for the Virtual Reality. From The American Prospect : http://prospect.org/article/politics-virtual-reality <-- hard to imagine this tech will accomplish anything other than further the alienation of the Cyborgs. Virtual bowling alone, anyone ?

12:26 AM  
Anonymous Drock said...

Hi WAFers,

Has "The Circle" by Dave Eggers been discussed here before? It's basically 1984/Brave New World but set in the 21st Century - social media, Facebook, Google, etc. Anyways, I've just finished it and found some quotes that are very NMI-ish that I thought you all might enjoy. Here's a letter from Mercer, the WAFer of the story:

"Did you ever think that perhaps our minds are delicately calibrated between the known and the unknown? That our souls need the mysteries of night and the clarity of day? You people are creating a world of ever-present daylight, and I think it will burn us all alive. There will be no time to reflect, to sleep, to cool. Did it occur to you Circle people, ever, that we can only contain so much?...

Mae, I have to admit that you and yours have won. It's pretty much over, and now I know that. But before that pitch session, I held out some hope that the madness was limited to you own company, to the brainwashed thousands who work for you or the millions who worship around the golden calf that is the Circle. I held out hope that there were those who would rise up against you people. Or that a new generation would see all this as ludicrous, oppressive, utterly out of control...

So I'm gone. By the time you read this, I'll be off the grid, and I expect that others will join me...I expect this is some second great schism, where two humanities will live, apart but parallel. There will be those who live under the surveillance dome you're helping to create, and those who live, or try to live, apart from it. I'm scared to death for us all."

5:59 AM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

And now for some comic relief:

KQED Forum: Niall Ferguson Biography Portrays Henry Kissinger as an Idealist

Niall Ferguson's "Kissinger: The Idealist, 1923-1968" paints a portrait of Henry Kissinger's youth in Bavaria and explores the former diplomat and Secretary of State's formative years in Washington. We'll talk with Ferguson about Kissinger's early life and criticism that the authorized biography overlooks Kissinger's reputation as a war monger and jaded practitioner of realpolitik. We'll also find out about Ferguson's decision to leave Harvard and take a full-time senior fellowship at Stanford's Hoover Institution.

10:06 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A great bk; I mentioned it here a few mos. ago.


11:29 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Here we go again dept.:

Yet another "crazy loner":


11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello dear Wafers and dearest Dr. Berman:
Too bad about NAU shooting; sad. From my experience serving time here in Arizona, I think every AZ white guy is a "crazy loner", raising "crazy loner" children. Even if you find the white guy who is a thoughtful guy, he's forced into "crazy loner" status; his decency wasted here. Too many douchebags aka "crazy loner(s)". I've been plotting my family's escape the entire time we've been here... No need to send in an extraction team though, Wafers, I'll have chiseled my way out w/in a few months. (I've come to believe, those AZ drug trafficking tunnels you hear about are actually escape routes for the desperate.) - Fruit Woman

1:32 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Texas Southern University in Houston on lockdown after shooting:


Time for some pastrami...

M. Deli

3:20 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Morris- the Arizona University shooting seems more like the aftermath of a personal dispute, rather than the random killings often executed by people viewed to be alienated from society.

3:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


True, but we live in a society that is practically on the edge of endorsing violence as a way of dealing with personal disputes. Check out the Houston shooting, just in. These things are coming at us fast and furious now.


While yr at it, tunnel yr way out of the country altogether.


3:43 PM  
Anonymous SW said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

Drock - I recently picked up for 50cents at the local used book store The Traveler by John Twelve Hawks and I think you might like it. It's certainly not the caliber or quality of writing as The Circle but the issue of pervasive surveillance is the main theme.

Why there are no real solutions to the gun nightmare in America are reasons no one wants to discuss - our glorification of the military (the Oregon shooter had tried unsuccessfully to join, the Colorado theater shooter's apt was lined with military posters), and (as you pointed out) the legitimacy of "solving" problems with a bullet, and perhaps most important of all - there are a lot of guns in America. I've seen numbers in the neighborhood of 250,000 to 300, 000 - and exactly how are we going to retrieve them? They circulate thru gun shows, pawn shops, families, ghettos, and more are sold everyday from licensed gun dealers. There is no solution. It's that simple. Horrible, and simple.

Across the street from me is a nice young family with a son who's about 8 months old. Taking a walk the other night I noticed a window sticker that said "Baby Hunter" with a picture of a little tyke with a gun. Indeed.

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Edward said...

University environment in America is becoming a battlefield where guns are readily applied. What do these people have against schools and books and learning?

"Three suspects shot two male victims at Texas Southern University around 11:30 a.m. on Friday, Houston Police spokeswoman Jodi Silva said at a press conference Friday afternoon.

This is the second shooting this week at TSU. On Tuesday night, one person was shot and wounded on campus. Police are still unsure whether the two incidents are linked"


"A shooter opened fire early Friday at Northern Arizona University's Flagstaff campus, killing one person and injuring three others, the school and police said"


7:58 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Drippings - I knew there was a reason I hated Home Depot, I was just never able to put my finger on the exact reason before reading your post.

I despise that place. I only go in there when I need hardware or a toilet repair kit or something (because nearly all neighborhood hardware stores have been driven out of business), and even when only buying a couple of items it takes 20 minutes just to find what you need. The lot of them can't burn to the ground fast enough.

8:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"a study of 14,000 college students found that today’s young people are 40 percent less empathetic than college kids from 30 years ago"


Gee, what could explain that?


9:33 AM  
Anonymous Mr Roger Optimist said...

A little debate going on over at a friend's blog. On the cusp of WAFer type argument , but it keeps going to these nihilist / denialist / doomsday poles ...

"Hey, listen. The whole world is screwed. Like, irreparably. Doesn't matter how you eat, doesn't matter how you get to work, doesn't matter how you vote, doesn't matter how you spend your money. Doesn't matter who's fault it is, doesn't matter who is behind what systems are in place that do whatever to whomever, doesn't matter how long that's been going on. There are simply too many human beings on planet earth, and despite anyone's benevolent intentions, there will not be a heavenly utopia where everyone has plenty to eat and everyone gets along and is healthy enough to make as many more human beings as they want forever and ever. What does matter, I think, is treating other people the way you'd like to be treated in the event that you were diagnosed with a terminal illness, which, in effect, has happened to all of us simply by being born at this point in history. It's nobody's fault, especially not ours, or your children's. At any rate, it doesn't matter who's fault it is. It is happening. Right now. Not in another generation or two. Right now. By existing *at all* we are a detriment to this planet's ecosystem in our present numbers, and clearly, those numbers will continue to rise exponentially as they have for the past 70 years.
If it makes you feel better not to drive a gas-powered car, or eat meat, that sounds fine, but please: don't let yourself believe that this can change the world and turn it around. Please don't believe that anyone can live a fully ethical lifestyle, without destroying the environment, contributing to the oppression of peoples, or harming any other living creatures in any way. Please don't believe, even hypothetically, that any amount of people changing their attitudes and lifestyles will turn it around. We are past that point, now. Do it for yourself, because it makes you feel better.
Please, just be nice to each other. In your daily interactions, treat people how you'd want to be treated. Stop worrying so much about what other people say or eat or buy or support or believe, especially people with whom you have no actual contact, like a celebrity or politician. It doesn't matter, I promise. Just be nice."

I recall MB touching on these points rather nicely, quoting Gandhi, Marx, Geologic vs. Meteoric change. How we can amount personal , microlevel action in our lives thru the "Diamond on the Mind" ... Wondering if anyone has read any recent interesting pieces overpopulation, ecological catastrophe, etc. I'm mainly looking for fodder to try to settle down the doomsday rhetoric.

I think WAFers, following World System Analysis, have a less bleak forecast in general, and are more farsighted.

This was great from MB's diamond essay : "Or to put it another way, the way we live on a daily basis is finally going to (dis)solve the way we live on a daily basis. Individually speaking, you can live better (Gandhi) or you can live worse (Lloyd Blankfein), but the long-term effects of your behavior probably won’t be in for quite a while."

9:39 AM  
Anonymous Frankistan said...

"Daniel Hamermesh said the new law enhances the “risk that a disgruntled student might bring a gun into the classroom.” An esteemed economics professor at the University of Texas at Austin resigned in the wake of a new open carry law that could allow people to have concealed weapons in college buildings"


Ben Carson: "Not only would I probably not cooperate with him, I would not just stand there and let him shoot me. I would say, ‘Hey, guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me, but he can’t get us all.’ ”


Where do you stand on these two issues?
Would you quit and would you suggest we rush at a shooter during Wafer meeting?

10:26 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Lots of gd material here for discussion. I'm up to my eyeballs in work, so I'll let u guys get on with it. Meanwhile, for all you hispanohablantes, here's the text of the lecture I gave at the Profetica Bkstore in Puebla on Aug. 6:




11:41 AM  
Anonymous Bev said...



1:49 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

SW wrote:

'I've seen numbers in the neighborhood of 250,000 to 300,000..."

Believe you might be missing six zeros, three on the end of each number in your range. All the reporting I have heard or read about on the subject speaks of 300,000,000 (three hundred million or more) guns in the United States of Amnesia.

I suppose that the numbers don't matter all that much. After all, how stupid does someone have to be before we can agree he's REALLY stupid, if you take my point.

300,000 or 300,000,000, either seems quite a few too many.

And, as Roger Optimist's friend's blog suggests with respect to other problems, our worrying about this [too many guns business] is likely pointless. Nobody is going to undertake any measures aimed at reducing the number. The Second Amendment and all that. Never mind the "..well-regulated militia..." modifier. Gunowners and their supporters/sympathizers know what the Founding Fathers meant, no need for any explanations from lawyers, pointy-headed liberals, Commies, Socialists, Commie-Socialists, and tree huggers. We can read, they say.

3:00 PM  
Anonymous Roland said...

Wowie zowie, as to Roger the Optimist's comments, is this something that follows your predictions, MB? I always assumed you thought pockets of humanity would thrive, or endure.

3:17 AM  
Anonymous Zeke said...

troutbum - really enjoyed your post. Gun owners will rarely talk about how dumb or insane most other gun owners are. we hear about "responsible gun owners" again and again in this debate, like its a mantra, but all I really see are the people who shouldn't have access to firearms. It's distressing - I'm actually interested in guns, as tools, as fine pieces of craftsmanship (like your Kimbers). But I can't read a gun forum looking for info without some horrifying racism or misogyny popping up. Literally every time! I'll be reading a debate over whether or 9mm or .45ACP is better for self defense and the third post will be "well you obviously need .45 or better if you want to stop black thugs from raping your wife".

I had half a mind a while back to start a twitter feed called "Irresponsible Gun Owners", just listing all the dumbass incidents that happen. Gun owner leaves loaded gun in movie theater, gun owner kills buddy with easily preventable accidental discharge, gun owner fires at grocery shoppers during checkout lane argument. I decided against it (seems kinda hard-hearted to make humor out of gun violence) but recent events have me reconsidering.

Sorry to return the thread to the subject of firearms, but something strange happened the other day. I got a job at the mall, and when I was choosing where to sit in the food court for lunch, I found myself preparing for the eventuality of an active shooter. Christ, what a world! "Can't sit there, someone might come in shooting behind me." Like it was as casual as keeping the sun out of my eyes! And when I told a family member, they said "oh, that's smart." Like I had mentioned packing a raincoat!

10:43 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Can't really do that discussion rt now, but I remain an optimist in the long term. But hey, that's just me.


11:57 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Recommendation for the readership: the HBO documentary by Alexandra Pelosi, "San Francisco 2.0."

Forty-five minute overview of the changes in San Francisco that highlights how the influx of high tech companies and the hustling culture have produced a city only the richest can afford.

12:18 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Movie Recommendation:

"Pawn Sacrifice." A great film about the 1972 Bobby Fischer/Boris Spassky match. The film also gets into Bobby's early life in Brooklyn. Very well done!

Take care, Wafers


2:06 PM  
Anonymous troutbum said...


Check out the gun fail articles at the Daily Kos, it just goes on and on...
Here's the latest :


9:55 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

just a note on a worthwhile article written by David Masciotra:


"The bloody and boneheaded policies of America typically enjoy approval from voters, who only become concerned or critical when American servicemen begin to die in significant numbers, as they did in Vietnam and during the peak of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars."

"Sanders has already stated that, if elected, he would continue President Obama’s drone killing program. He has an incestuous relationship with defense contractors in Vermont, and he is an unblinking and unwavering supporter of Israel’s worst assaults on Palestinian people. Contrary to his rhetorical opposition to wars, he consistently voted to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan throughout the Bush and Obama years."

4:16 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

As for my own film rec: "The Choir," with Dustin Hoffman.

2:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: No dummy, David. Dummy, 'progs', re: Bernie. Why is it that these people never look at who the candidate really is?

4:11 PM  
Anonymous Dawgzy said...

Bill Hicks- here's why I despise Home Depot. It epitomizes the predatory economy of scale way of doing business. In the east bay where I lived when HD was flourishing, it set up a branch in El Cerrito. It was careful to have everything that the repair and maintenance minded needed, it undercut everyone else in the market on cost, and it had very good customer service to boot. The jobs seemed well paid and benefitted, and plentiful. This drove smaller, locally owned stores out of business to a large extent. Contractors I know didn't like HD but bought there because it was too costly and inconvenient to do otherwise. When the business was riding high, corporate slashed customer service and variety of products, sending the profits ( by now publicly traded) stock price way up. Those smiling helpful people were laid off. At which point the vultures sold their shares. Now it's a crummy, indifferent warehouse, but the only game in town, where I go if I have to. There are just enough jobs there to keep it running. This was one of the formulas that made Mitt Romney ( via Bain Capital) very rich. Their signature achievement was Staples in office supplies. Feh.

5:06 PM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

Why do progressives rarely look at who a candidate really is? It’s beyond strange, isn’t it? Maybe their progressivism is primarily a shallow fashion statement. Maybe they don’t really care. Maybe they’re so shallow that they don’t even know why it might matter who they themselves or their candidate du jour really is.

Exactly two of my friends voted for Nader. Surprisingly, after I was badly injured in a car accident in 2004, I hardly heard from either of them. About three years ago, after having recovered some, I started reaching out to them again. Disturbingly, both of them had spent the interim developing drone systems. One was developing targeting and guidance systems for weaponized drones for Lockheed Martin, while the other was developing microdrones for the US Army.

The friend who worked for Lockheed also told me that, “if people can’t afford healthcare under the PPACA, then they don’t deserve medical treatment.” Oh, the good news? He recently left Lockheed to go to medical school. Also, on a personal level, he was very jerky. He was cruel, rude, self-absorbed, and multitasked constantly. Surprise, surprise.

If these are the Nader voters, what can one possibly expect from progressives who are “feeling the Bern”?

Still, I don’t get it.

6:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MB: "I remain an optimist in the long term."

My most beloved and highly respected Dr. Berman. You know, I've read so many of your books, and yet I really don't understand what you mean by this.

What are you optimistic about?

Have you elaborated on this in any of your books?

Are you optimistic about something beyond the human race? Many people believe that the demise of the US is most likely going to be tied very tightly with the death of the biosphere (eg, global warming).

9:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read in the French papers this morning that independent bookshops are doing quite well in France & the US and are (so far) resisting the assault of Amazon & co. In June, revenues in France for independent booksellers have increased by 5 to 9 % compared to June last year.



Meanwhile, police in the UK banned douchebags riding hoverboards in the streets. Maybe selfies will be next on the list!


Wafers 2 - Douchebags 0


6:25 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

From the police blotter, the following report on a 23-year-old Florida woman who used a streaming application to upload to the Internet website "Periscope" 11 minutes of her navigating the streets of Lakeland while drunk, providing commentary all the while. Landmarks visible on the stream enabled police to locate and apprehend her.


Her lawyer would later characterize her as "a young professional with a bright future." We understand she will be pleading Not Guilty at her arraignment.

7:58 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, I don't post Anons. You need to use a real handle. In your case, however, since you say you are a former student of mine, perhaps you wd do me the courtesy of identifying yrself. Thank you.


Apparently you missed our repeated discussions of Dual Process. You can find them in comments sections of previous posts, in my lecture, "The Waning of the Middle Ages," and in ch. 7 of my Japan bk, soon to be back in print. Enjoy!


We have a length limit on this blog of half a page, so I had to delete your post. Pls compress and re-send, thank you.


2:19 PM  
Anonymous Marcus said...

Ok, here's the 2nd try :

I'm writing you in hope you can give a rational explanation of a phenomena it's driving me nuts for a long time, to which I can't find an explanation, that is :

If USA are so bad, if there is a high percentage of population unemployed, in poverty, living in the streets, being hunger, etc. then why they don't emigrate ?

I yet have to find a SINGLE USA citizen who has emigrated from USA escaping from poverty or hunger or in search for a better life (materialistically speaking). You can find everywhere in the world migrants from China, India, Thailand, most southamerican countries, most african countries, and even European countries like Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece. Also from eastern Europe and Rusia. Yet, I never ever saw any usa citizen flying away from USA for poverty reasons. NOT A SINGLE ONE.

I don't know USA reality since I live in Europe but I'm having a hard time believing it's such a hell of a country to live in. Quite the opposite, I would say, at least if what you need is 3 meals a day, basic medicines, basic education, a roof and drinkable water. I know there’s much more than this but this goes FIRST in Mashlow’s pyramid of human needs. Sadly, billions of people around the world can’t even get that.

2:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


It's hardly a mystery; the US brainwashing system is the most effective in the entire world. As someone once (correctly) put it, the American Dream is "The Greatest Story Ever Sold." George Carlin once said "They call it the American Dream because you've got to be asleep to believe it." Roughly 99.9% of the American population is in a deep sleep (or trance), and let me tell you: it really works.


ps: By the way, phenomena is plural; you mean, phenomenon.

4:42 PM  
Anonymous Diva's Butler said...

Judging by this short, yet incisive article on Counterpunch, WAFERDOM may have found itself another member to join its ranks:

Here's the best quote:
'It is cultural in that this nation was built on stolen property; formed by opportunistic adventurers seeking further conquest, who designed a secular state devoted to pursuit of commercial liberty, and that are bound to one another by aggregation of contractual relationships. Consequently, with everything – including public discourse – colonized by privatization, there is no concept of a social commons (society). There is also no social contract. How can there be where there is no choice-power to offer consent; only the demand to give-in, to simply offer assent? This has left us with a nation not of citizens, but one made up of consumers. Human beings whose only understanding of freedom comes at the point of purchase; whose only understanding of morality comes at the point of a gun; and who, in the words of Carl Sagan, have lost the ability to distinguish between what feels good and what is right.'

6:06 PM  
Blogger Frederick Froth said...

Edward Robinson, are you by any chance related to Mrs Robinson as featured in the Simon & Garfunkel song?

11:00 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

Here's a curious little anecdote:

I recently was expelled from the Chris Hedges facebook group because I openly defended Paul Craig Roberts, who was accused by one of the moderators of that facebook group of being a white supremacist and a "free market" advocate.

It is true that Paul Craig Roberts attended Georgia Tech during his youth at a time in which that college was segregated. It is also true that Paul Craig Roberts has taken issue with the Abraham Lincoln "myth of beneficence". However, just this year Paul Craig Roberts has written 2 articles which should serve to dispel notions of his white supremacist leanings:



Paul Craig Roberts also has rejected the so-called libertarianism (the USA kind, as opposed to the European kind, as explained by Noam Chomsky) of his youth, an ideological position he held during the time that he worked as an economist within Ronald Reagan's administration.

In fact, Roberts has become something of a radical, expressing admiration for Steve Lendman, John Pilger, Noam Chomsky, Michel Chossudovsky and Michael Hudson, among others. Paul Craig Roberts also has become aware of the flaws of classical economics and its failure to acknowledge the importance of resource constraints and limits to growth.


Anyway, others have recently been expelled from the Chris Hedges facebook group as well. The group is in an obvious state of turmoil. Chris Hedges would be chagrined if he was aware of the discord.

Personally I think that the moderators of that group have "dog-doo in their heads". They lack a sense of humor, often a sign that they're a marble or 2 short of a full collection.

By the way, Dr. Berman, your facebook page is peaceful, civil and harmonious and loaded with intelligent, thoughtful members like Larry Shultz, Joseph Domino and Craig LaCasse.

5:02 AM  
Blogger Juliet Cash said...


Immigrants from the third word- the USA and Europe created the third world. I assure you that if the third word was like France the starving souls that emigrate here and to Western Europe would rather stay home.

The irony is that now the American baby boomers are retiring in record numbers in the third world - and many are happy there. So long as they can afford it the third world doesn't scare them. America does.

7:06 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I was barely aware I *had* a Facebk page. Yrs ago for a brief moment I had a publicist, and I think she did it. I certainly never wanted to be on Facebk, but I'm glad it's harmonious, in any case.


Wasn't able to post it. We have a rule, only one post every 24 hrs. Thank you.


8:30 AM  
Anonymous Wile E Coyote, CEO, ACME Inc. said...


Orlov is always thought provoking. To wit: his post today.

10:46 AM  
Blogger KJ said...

Dr. Berman, thought you might enjoy this brief entry on one man's experience of trying to wake up Americans to their Empire's crimes:


11:40 AM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

In fact, Roberts has become something of a radical, expressing admiration for Steve Lendman, John Pilger, Noam Chomsky, Michel Chossudovsky and Michael Hudson, among others. Paul Craig Roberts also has become aware of the flaws of classical economics and its failure to acknowledge the importance of resource constraints and limits to growth.

Strangely enough, however, Paul Craig Roberts still has a blind spot with respect to Reagan, I.E. he still thinks he was a great president. I wonder if he has ever read Rick Perlstein's Invisible Bridge.

2:01 PM  
Anonymous Transatlantic said...

Marcus --

I left the USA for Germany. Not sure you could even pay me to go back.

2:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yeah, he's a gd writer. This is the crucial problem with the 'prog' or 'revolutionary' position: it refuses to acknowledge that the crucial problem with the US is that most of its citizens are douche bags. This is bedrock reality.


3:34 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hello MB & Wafers,

Shit U Not Dept.:


America is doing the impossible, Wafers: Toddler Terrorists are becoming a reality in the US. Didn't MB make this prediction? I think so. I tell ya, MB, yr batting a 1000!

Shits and Giggles Dept.:


Hillary won by forfeit. Get a load of THAT face. Beautiful, jus' beautiful!

My Take:

Webb= Gerald Ford w/hair
Bernie= Red-baited by Anderson Cooper
O'Malley= West Wing President
Chafee= WTF am I doing here?
Hillary= "Imagine my face staring at you forever"



5:41 PM  
Anonymous John S said...

The Bernie phenomena is instructive. It ultimately disproves the Chomsky "manufacturing consent" notion. He's pretty direct about income inequality, if anything he understates the issue. But alas, we're not Denmark, America does not like socialism, except a small irrelevant minority. For example, last year the book tycoon Jeff Bezos made something like $16 Billion dollars, which means that his run of the mill book packing slaves making lets say $30K a year if they are lucky, made something like 1/50,000th the income of him. But of course by libertarian logic that predominates, he deserves it, he really is that more efficient and productive. Nobody really gives a damn anyway. As Hillary say's we need to save capitalism from itself.

Nope the sham-progressive utterly shallow Hillary Clinton really is the best and the brightest progressive, who's husband along with Reagan incorporated politics and money for good, it is the triumph of spectacle and stupidity. I'm starting to believe that Donald Trump actually may become president. Ratings are more important than democracy.

6:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Wafers,

I'd like to ask advice from Wafers here who work for a corporation.

I've been working for a corporation for 3 years now, and while it goes against pretty much every single principle I believe in, I do it, like many, to pay the bills. I've tried to "get into it" in the office, but never really could, so was largely depressed for the majority of my time here. Now however, I've had enough of being depressed and not wanting to get up to go to work in the morning, and especially because my job now involves a lot of client-facing work, I need to hustle with passion, or I'll get laid off. So for a couple of days now, I've really played the game, being super enthusiastic on the phone and in the office. I am thinking that rather than being apathetic at work, I can also find meaning by "acting" as an enthusiastic hustler and therefore make my company contribute faster to the destruction of the world around us and precipitating the collapse. Knowing that my behaviour may bring about a faster collapse gives me a bigger "kick" than having an "I can't be bothered to go to work again" frame of mind.

If that makes any sense, it'd be great to know what philosophies Wafers adopt in the office to survive.


4:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


How abt sublimation? Take the whole experience and write a novel. This might make the situation more tolerable.


If there's one thing I admire, it's an aggressive toddler. Wd be much better, however, if they cd get a hold of AK-47's. Whee!


12:51 PM  
Anonymous Capaneus said...


During a short hitch at an investment bank years ago, the philosophy I adopted to get into the job was called "stimulants". Caffeine works ok and comes in a variety of tasty delivery vectors. Methylphenidate is also good, but try to stay away from anything you buy on the street: You never know exactly what you're getting. Manage the dose carefully and be sure to get enough nutrition and you can keep it up for a few years with no ill effects. (If you have to take something else to get to sleep at night, you're using too much.)

Now let us sing the company loyalty song!

1:09 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

If that makes any sense, it'd be great to know what philosophies Wafers adopt in the office to survive.

I literally remind myself every day that I am in "enemy territory" and that my job isn't me. I also take frequent extended weekends and go to coast or some other outdoors location where I can just de-stress in the scenic environment--the important thing being to limit exposure to douchebag countrymen.

Try to laugh and keep a sarcastic sense of the Absurd nature of my job (I work as an IT analyst at a hospital).

1:15 PM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

well, the DUM debates (if that's what you want to call them - debates that is) are over and Ms H of all people comes out smelling like roses? even though massive polls suggest otherwise but Bernie wins no points with CNN and their ilk.... not surprised but then I forgot to get popcorn for this .... sheesh what a circus of a political system we got here... 'the best money can buy' though... well, as I see it at this point Trump is a -chump- and so are his followers and considered 'too radical' and will not tow the line with the ultra right so he's got to go next this won't be easy but it will be entertaining for a while.... anyway, $$$$ says the way this is stacking up: Bush v The 'H'-Bomb = another win for Bush.... long live dimbulb Bush III.... I wonder, maybe I could retire in Tuscany on this if I play my cards right? any thoughts?

5:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


One can only salute yr desire to move to Toscana; how yr gonna arrange that, I have no idea.

As for the US: what's going on politically repeatedly serves to reinforce at least two of the axioms of this blog:

1. The US is a buffoon country
2. It's filled with buffoons.

In terms of political analysis, I'm not sure one needs to know a whole lot more.


8:37 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Don't know if any of my fellow WAFers are into watching the television version of Fargo, but I highly endorse it. Not only is it incredibly entertaining and very much in the spirit of the movie, but there are some fairly subversive messages being tucked in there: namely that hustlers are bad and people who believe in "community" and are content to not pursue the latest and greatest material goods are the heroes.

In Season 1, Billy Bob Thorton's hitman character espoused an extreme libertarian, survival of the fittest viewpoint while Martin Freeman's sleazoid insurance salesman murders his wife because she keeps hen pecking him about how much more successful his brother is. Freeman's hustling, encouraged by Thorton ultimately allows him to move from a modest older house to a McMansion, while good guy Colin Hanks's character and his police officer wife are content to raise their new family in one of the modest older abodes in town.

The premiere episode of Season 2 debuted on Monday. The sophomore season is set in 1979 and is going even further with the concept as Kieron Culkin's mobster character also commits murder-for-hustle amidst a backdrop featuring Jimmy Carter's "malaise" speech. Given the show's social point of view to date, I doubt that the historical timing of the second season is coincidental.

9:31 PM  
Anonymous Edward said...

"A law effective Thursday allows people in the state of Maine to carry concealed handguns without a permit.

The new statute, which applies to both residents and non-residents ages 21 and over, means that anyone not otherwise banned from carrying a firearm can carry a concealed handgun within state borders. Keeping a loaded pistol or revolver inside a motor vehicle is allowed as well. Adults ages 18-20 who are on active military duty, or who have been honorably discharged from the military, are also included"


10:10 PM  
Anonymous Crazy Eddie said...

Kanye Cyrus: I suggest you quit. Seriously, I worked for a corporation for 3 years myself and it completely destroyed me in mind and body. I didn't even realize how sick it was making me until the end, and then it took me a year or two to recover. Granted, that's easier than it sounds; I was able to quit largely because of luck and circumstance. But if it's at all possible, try to minimize your expenses and think about working for a smaller business or a nonprofit. Neither of those options is perfect - in fact, they offer just a different kind of hell, but it's manageable, human sized hell. Working for a giant corporation in the US right now is a Kafkaesque exercise in slow burning soul destruction.

3:27 AM  
Anonymous Rusty Snag said...

Christian -

IT analyst in a hospital? I did that for about 15 years. The douchebag hierarchy in healthcare is pretty clear if I recall correctly. Doctors are at the top of the douchebag heap, followed by hospital administrators, followed by head nurses (remember Nurse Ratchet from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest?). Smothering underneath all that douchebaggery are the regular folks like you who are amazed daily at how the whole healthcare milieu is so f'ed up. After the insurance companies take their cut of your healthcare dollars, and the hospital CEO and underlings take their cut, and the doctors who have yacht payments take their cut, there isn't a lot left for patients. They talk all the time about meaningful use and creating a single patient record, but it's all a bunch of BS as I recall. Patients still have to fill out forms and recite data about themselves at every visit.

I know you know all this already because you're living it daily. I just thought you might like some cyber-commiseration. I don't really have any advice about how to cope with the madness of healthcare except to get out when you can.

10:07 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

America...throw away children. Tears in Heaven...

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Chaz Homz said...

Thanks for the warning that revolution is right around the corner. I’ll be sitting on the city-limits, in my campsite out in the woods, watching and listening to the play-by-play on my radio. But I don’t actually participate in revolutions; my feeling is that it’s better to resolve than to revolve.

3:59 PM  
Anonymous John S said...

If anyone is unaware of the mind boggling stupidity of your garden variety Trump supporter, check out this you tube video. Summary - He's rich, he thinks like me, wow man, maybe if he's president we can be rich too, plus his racist nativism is giant plus.


4:19 PM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

just watched "the book thief." Maybe the book was better, I didn't think it was a good movie.

8:10 PM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

Dr. MB & all fellow Wafers worldwide,

In an article on Zero Hedge questioning has America lost its collective mind? ( Yes! ), it's pointed out that the #1 selling prescription drug in the USA is an antipsychotic named Abilify which generated $7 Billion in sales ( at $30/pill )!

The article then wonders ,"In 2013, nearly two million Americans abused prescription painkillers. Each day, almost 7,000 people are treated in emergency rooms for abusing the medication. Has the unbearable weight of the capitalist, dog-eat-dog system gone to America's head, or is something else at play?"

There's more here : http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-10-16/guest-post-american-psycho-has-united-states-lost-its-collective-mind

12:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your advice MB, Crazy Eddie, Christian & Capaneus. It helps. I've been thinking a lot about Strategy lately and I think Wafers largely have the following options to keep some kind of spiritual sanity out there. They're of course not mutually exclusive.

a. Not giving a shit - no matter what job you do, industry you're in, how crap your boss or colleagues are, freedom ultimately comes from giving up. Kevin Spacey in American Beauty is probably the ultimate desk-jockey Wafer example here:

b. Hustling with passion - hustling to speed the collapse. I think it's possible to get a twisted sense of pleasure from acting like a corporate douchebag knowing in the back of your mind that it's all a scam.

c. Choosing not to do any harm à la Ghandi and quitting the system altogether - joining an alternative community or a land preservation group for example. Even if one hustles for a living, I still think it's possible to follow this rule by working to preserve something *on the side* to survive after the Collapse (NMI).

d. Sublimation as you mentioned MB - using Art as a catalyst to transcend the absurd.

What do you think?

Where else can one talk about those things but on this blog!


8:25 AM  
Anonymous AS said...

Vladimir Putin:

"[Americans] simply have mush for brains."


Rather on-point, I thought. I've long maintained that Americans would be very lucky to have a leader as intelligent and considerate as Putin, but whenever I suggest this to my Americans friends, they laugh (!).

P.S. When have you ever seen a picture of Putin doing this? http://s3-origin-images.politico.com/2014/06/25/140625_hillary_clinton_texting_ap_605.jpg

10:19 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Check out a bk by Chris Lehmann called "Rich People Things." Gd stuff here. This is from his intro:

(On lack of interest in socialism in the US: cf. the quote from Steinbeck I like to cite, abt how the poor regard themselves as "temporarily embarrassed millionaires":)

"Why, after all, should anyone militate on behalf of the interests of an American working class when no one intends to remain within its ranks for very long? And, conversely, why should anyone insist there's anything amiss with a society that lavishly coddles those who are fabulously well-to-do when we all long to be borne along in their company?"

"One might reasonably ask what it would take for the basic truths of class division to sink in on today's American scene"

"The omission of real economic conditions from the accounting of the republic's collective life was something that ran very deep...in our history."

What do progs think, when they read lines like these? What will it take to wake them up? Not much chance o' that, I don't think...mb

11:27 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Putin's remark is gd, as far as it goes, but the fact is that he is referring to members of American govt. True, but what abt the folks who put them into office? We've got 321 million people out there with mush for brains. Surely this is a factor in the conduct of US foreign policy, no?


11:31 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

My only contact with gringo progs is through Commondreams.org and Bill Maher's TV show, so please forgive my limited perspective.

Last night Maher almost made sense. He was saying that the people who commit mass shootings in the USA might be victims of US sex culture. They live in a society that appears to be highly sexualised...and they aren't getting any. They take out this sexual frustration by shooting great numbers of people with phallic firearms. That's not a bad theory.

Maher undermined the idea right away, though, when he shifted the focus to young male Muslims. In front of a backdrop of burka-clad women, Maher encouraged the viewers to imagine all the pent-up sexual energy (and hence potential violence) that these images create. I guess he forgot what he just said, since one of the theories behind burka-wearing is that it discourages sexual thoughts.
(As a personal aside, I've seen women wearing hijabs on the Champs Élysées carrying around little shopping bags from sexy Parisian lingerie stores. Ever since then I've thought hijabs were hotsy totsy.)

Maher also argued that Mexicans aren't a great concern, all beheadings in the drug war aside, because they, unlike Iranians I suppose, aren't trying to smuggle dirty bombs into New York city

1:10 PM  

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