February 19, 2016

Interview with the Guadalajara Geopolitics Institute



Blogger Miles Deli said...


Well, I think my attempt at humor musta went over yr head... I was merely pointing out how it is that der Trumpenführer can say all these things, and contemplating when he will go a bridge too far, so to speak. My apologies for insulting der Trumpenführer.


3:02 PM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

America has huge influence and control in the world . What do u think is going to happen to the rest of the world when America falls? well China and Russia take Americas place as a super power or well America be the last superpower?

1:10 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


Many thanks for the GGI interview. Nice to hear that Shaneka received some airtime. The student questions were great; very straightforward and lucid. In addition, yr analysis of Trump and the current political scenario in the US is spot-on, IMO.

MB, Wafers-

Word of the day:



1. attractive articles of little value or use.


1. showy but worthless.
2. delusive or shallow.


12:58 PM  
Anonymous Eward said...

Dr B, I really enjoyed the interview. You mentioned a study by William Vega (?) concerning how America changes Mexican immigrants in a negative way. Can I get the link to the study? What is the correct name of the UC Berkeley professor? Similar study was done in the 50's concerning hypertension in blacks in America compared to blacks in Africa.

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Aziz said...

Not to say that our presence over there hasn't instigated mattters at all, but was curious what you'd predict, that if America falls, what will happen to the various militant insurgence groups in the Middle East are left unchecked? Will they peter out by proxy, or gain stronger regional controls?

4:40 PM  
Blogger Schitty Pete said...

We'll probably just have a party an go on. US is an insignificant piece of real estate. Happy times; may they come to pass.

4:49 PM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

Seven Dead, Two Wounded After Apparently Random Shootings in Michigan


3 random shootings in Kalamazoo in the same day. This is a new level.

7:08 AM  
Anonymous Vico tom said...

Miles Deli
There was no humor in what you wrote about Trump.
This issue should have been posted in the previous thread.
Do you have some contribution for the current valuable interview?

7:33 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I ask Wafers to send messages to the latest post, since no one reads the old ones.


When a civ dies, some people go crazy for no apparent reason; or all it takes is a slight trigger, such as "I didn't get my Chicken McNuggets!" Just take a look at this guy's face: this is the future of the US.


I gave the link in an essay called "Love and Survival." You'll hafta plow thru the Archives to dig it up.


11:22 AM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

Eward Ed, here's the link to William Vega's research:
And GSWH's article on the same,...

Symbol minded people need symbols to live for. Land of the inadequate pricks...
While the termites terminate what's left,...

12:12 PM  
Blogger Mohamed Ali said...

I just read that on Washington post he was an uber driver and was upset about his reviews . We can now stop saying he gone postal and start say he gone uber

5:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: a colossal douche bag leaves the field: Jeb Bush is no longer a candidate. Was he ever? He was a turkey from Day 1, and only he couldn't see it. Bye bye, Jeb; yr a jackass.


5:40 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

News out of Iraq, by way of Manhattan:

"Thousands of Iraqis poured out into the streets to celebrate in the early hours of Sunday morning, as the threat of a third Bush Presidency was declared over at last."


Allahu Akhbar indeed!

6:24 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...


What gives u the right to tell me to do anything? For yr information, I was following blog protocol. Furthermore, don't u think it's best to worry about yr own contribution to MB's interview, instead of worrying about mine?


9:37 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

little known fact re: JEB - through his mother (nee Pierce), he is distantly related to Franklin Pierce, meaning he is related to three of our worst presidents, not just 2! I don't know if you've ever commented on the current pathetic attempt to rehabilitate and even lionize George HW Bush, but it has to outrank even the shamelessness of the Nixon apologists. I do not mean to defend Dick even a little, but his defenders had SOMETHING to hang their hats on, what with his clever exploitation of the sino-soviet split or his creation of the EPA. Almost every disastrously insane post-cold-war triumphalist foreign policy folly can be traced directly back to this man, and he gets to spend his golden years trashing Bill Clinton for dodging the draft, while wearing the mantle of a respected elder statesmen.

Loved your interview. Also, the "suggested" video by youtube of Jeff J Brown on China is very interesting, and talks about China's perspective on the possibility of societal collapse, which it has endured many times, but hasn't really happened in the West since the fall of the roman empire. I've never heard a China expert with so close a perspective to yours on the calamity awaiting the West and the general obliviousness.

9:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Desert Fox-

Yeah, thanks. There was a big error in that interview, however: I said China held $2 billion in US securities, and Japan $1 billion. Ouch! The actual figures are $2 trillion and $1 trillion, respectively. This mythologizing of Bush Sr. is indeed pathetic, but then America has enuf mythologies to make one dizzy (and/or vomit). During the Bush Sr. years, Doonesbury represented him as a feather in his comic strip, wh/was pretty accurate. Looking back, he just seems like a bad joke. Which means Americans will venerate him. Lightweight, they understand. What are *they*, after all?


You may remember an incident several yrs ago, in which an Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at Bush Jr. and called him a dog. He wound up in jail, but was also regarded as a hero by most. I tell ya, in order for me to believe in god, 2 things hafta happen:
1. I get to do the same thing to George, but score a direct hit (the journalist missed, sad to say).
2. I get to urinate on Obama's Guccis on nationwide TV.
Allah Akbar! (also: Jeff & Akbar)


Here's the deal on participating in discussions on this blog. Critique of my work or essays is perfectly OK; just be courteous abt it, and provide evidence for yr views. Critique of other Wafers cannot be broadsides or ad hominems; this doesn't advance the discussion. If you disagree w/someone, be polite; be precise in your disagreement; provide evidence for your views. Keep in mind that this is the greatest blog in the blogosphere, and participation is a great privilege. Therefore, don't shoot yrself in the foot (as so many trollfoons have done); don't be rude or a peacock or make a nuisance of yourself. Except for crushing trollfoons (whom I encourage u2 vilify in the worst language imaginable), we aren't into personal attacks here. We're basically a friendly bunch, trying to learn from each other, and discuss issues relating to the collapse of the American empire. If you can adopt these guidelines, yr certainly welcome to be part of Waferdom: the highest state of consciousness in the history of the human race.


10:46 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: This is gd, but it misses the essential point: Jeb Bush is a turkey.


It's not rocket science; the guy is a turkey.


10:57 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

I enjoyed the interview and appreciated the liveliness of the students and the sense of humor of their professor.

In case anyone's interested, here's a pdf version of

"Mexico Profundo: Reclaiming a Civilization" by Guillermo Bonfil Batalla ---


Here's a short book review ---


Rather a lot has happened since that book was written. If anything I would imagine that Mexico is more corrupted now by US culture than it was 20 years ago.

I have been around a few families who came here to California from Mexico over the last 40 years or so. The parents within those families were typically "wetbacks" and have harrowing tales to tell about escaping across the border. All of the ones (along with their grown children) that I can think of became either gardeners, laborers, construction workers, auto mechanics, janitors or housecleaners. Most have blended in and have incorporated the materialism of this culture, although they retain a vestige of traditional culture as well, often in the form of their dietary habits. All of the ones that I know are hard workers. I can't think of any lazy ones. Most are Catholic and their families tend to be large. The kids marry early. The young men are often boxing fans. I know because I've talked with them about boxing while they were doing gardening around the house.

Anyway, Donald Trump's image of Mexicans is not even close to the truth.

7:00 AM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

Dr. MB & all fellow Wafers Worldwide:

Today, I bring your attention to my nominee as a Wafer Fellow Traveler:
Mr. Charles Hugh Smith who posted up a one page note on his blog @ http://www.oftwominds.com/blog.html

Quoting directly, " American culture contextualizes failure in individualistic terms: the system didn't fail--you failed. Never mind the system is set up to fail many (if not most) participants: the cultural narrative is that failure to succeed, failure to get ahead, and failure to fit in all boils down to personal failure: failure to follow the rules, work harder, please your boss, transition to a new career, extricate yourself from dysfunctional situations, and so on......Pop culture is a schizoid mix of this "dress/socialize/study for success" celebration of individual initiative and an equally zealous embrace of victimhood and self-pity: I made all these ridiculously poor choices because my family was dysfunctional or I was led astray.........No wonder our culture is psychotic."

More truth on one page than the entire Sunday edition of the NY Times....

7:03 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Great interview MB thanks and look forward to "Why Mexico succeeded"!

Meanwhile, I've got THE photo of the month for you Wafers. I think this can seriously be considered a milestone in techno douchebaggery, a founding moment.

Just look at those douchebags!!! And that smile on Zuckerberg's face!!


10:12 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


What a collection of horses' asses, meanwhile thinking they are hip. Utter morons. Meanwhile, check out the title page of truthdig.com today, right-hand side, scroll down: the horror of Hillary's face. We are going to be looking at that face for 8 yrs.


10:21 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

What stood out for me in the article about the Michigan shooting was this:

Local NBC affiliate WOOD reported that Dalton may have taken fares in between attacks.

Did he continue working because, like Seinfeld's Kramer, they kept ringing the bell, or is hustling so ingrained in his consciousness that he was able to multitask like this?

1:10 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd question. Either way, he's certainly a true American. What I'd like Wafers to promote is a 3rd-party ticket, with Jason Dalton as presidential candidate, and Lovely Robinson as VP. Just Google these folks, take a look at their faces, and then compare them to Hillary's face. Dark days a-comin', amigos. As I usta say to audiences in the US, way back when I was still invited to lecture in the US: These are your neighbors!


1:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Things that get Americans all worked up dept.:


Slut shaming! And last Oct. there was a SlutWalk in LA. In terms of serious political action, this is clearly where we shd be focusing our energies. Once the country is cleansed of slut shaming, the whole socioeconomic system will change. I personally can't wait.


1:43 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

We are going to be looking at that face for 8 yrs.

Call me crazy, but I think Trump can beat her.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Doesn't look like it-


-but I'm praying yr rt. I may even come north to work on his campaign.


2:25 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...


I remember the shoe-throwing incident quite well. I had forgotten that the individual doing the throwing was a journalist; if only our journalists had the chutzpah to toss faeces at our politicians when the bullshit quotient gets especially high.

In refreshing my memory of the event, I learned that after the first Gulf War a mosaic of Bush Sr's face was laid on the floor of the Al-Rashid Hotel in Baghdad so that anyone who entered the hotel would have to walk across Poppy's face. The shoe is considered unclean, and even exposing the sole of your shoe to an Arab is regarded as offensive.

While hurling his shoe at Junior during a 2008 Baghdad press conference, Iraqi broadcast journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi reportedly shouted "This is a farewell kiss from the Iraqi people, you dog."

For more on "the insult of the shoe," see this:


4:33 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Love it:


5:21 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Re: Jeb's fall

Poetic justice, at last. Personally, I'm tickled that Trump won SC and drove a stake thru the heart of the evil Bush family. Jeb would be selling used cars in Tampa if his name was not Bush, no? Just think, Wafers, the oil companies wasted 100 million on Jeb's pathetic campaign! I find that absolutely hilarious. In the end, Jeb was a bad candidate and an imbecile. All the money in the world couldn't fix that fact.

Are u ready, Wafers? Here's 10 hrs of Hillary laughing:




9:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I lasted 20 secs w/that YouTube video. This woman is abs. terrifying, pure horror. And so full of shit; so incredibly full of shit.

On a happier note, I'd like to recommend Janet Browne's bio of Darwin to all Wafers. I just finished vol. 1, and it is breathtaking. Plus, reads like a novel.


10:09 PM  
Blogger David Parent said...

Yes it did turn out good for this housebound 90ish widow, because of course a TV show... but it reveals what Morris Berman talks abouts in Why America Failed (pg150) the loss of social bond individualism to be replaced by the northern bourgeois individualist idealogy, Where her own family member dumps his junk and the neighbours instead of feeling compassion and help her instead report her to the authorities which only made the problem worst for her! The comments in the article is telling of Why America failed! And its the TV show which saves the day, bring in volunteers that are called Angels! Really sad...
But the state, the community, and the family unit today in America is so destroyed by the progress of consumerism gone mad that all just nicely piled it on the problems on this poor old widow!

David P

12:12 AM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Doesn't look like it-

Oh I am aware that my analysis of the presidential campaign is completely against the polls, the pundits, and general received wisdom. However, I stand by it all the same. Hillary will go down like the Titanic in November against Trump. She is simply unelectable, and the more of her we see, the more she campaigns, the worse she will do.

12:46 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, let's hope yr rt. Trump in the W.H. wd be a domestic Suez moment. There, for all to see, the US is finally being led by a boor w/nothing to his credit but money. So the analysis of WAF is finally confirmed, in spades: this is our value system. Then, w/a little luck, the new pres will go on to create an international Suez moment. Disintegration of the country wd follow in short order. And you were there.


3:06 PM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

Dr. MB and fellow Wafers:
I need some help with this story, see this poll done by Frank Luntz of the 18 t0 26 yr olds in America here:

Quoting from the results:
We asked them which is the most “compassionate” system, and an overwhelming 58% chose
“socialism” over “capitalism” (33%).

An almost identical 66% think that corporate America “embodies everything that is wrong with America,” compared to just 34% who say that it’s what’s “right” with America.

Among first time voters, the Snapchat Generation define themselves as
Citizens of the World 42% rather than Citizens of America 58%.

Maybe the kids are OK ??

3:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Hard to know how to evaluate this, since this age group is (apparently) very optimistic about their own futures, and abt the future of America in general. They'll sing a different tune in 5 yrs, when they can't find jobs. As far as this part of the survey goes, I'd say they are delusional. As for favoring socialism, Bernie, and so on: sounds great, but what they might actually do in their own lives based on that is perhaps another story.


3:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

"The rise of the full-time political specialist...constitutes a turning point in the lives of most societies; for the functions of co-ordination and arbitration spell power, and power is translatable into special liens on goods and services....Inevitably, where political specialists have assumed the task of concentrating and reallocating the surplus to other members of their society, they have concentrated both wealth and the power that goes with wealth in their own hands and for their own purposes."

Sounds like my bk, WG. In fact, it's from Eric Wolf, "Sons of the Shaking Earth."


4:36 PM  
Anonymous brainDecay said...

As a member of the "Snapchat Generation," I don't believe them for a second. The hustling, self-importance, and worship of technology is too ingrained. Sure, favoring "socialism" (and I wonder how they'd define it, if put on the spot) gives off the impression to other people that they're "woke," but let's be real—they think Beyoncé is a revolutionary, use "apps" to streamline all of their daily tasks (shut-ins), spend their entire paycheck on overpriced restaurant food (because they don't know how to prepare food for themselves), obsess over identity politics, and refuse to read anything that isn't presented in bulletpoints and animated web graphics.

5:11 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


These are interesting findings, but they could be part of a current "hopeful" meme spreading around the culture. See James Fallows' new article in the Atlantic:


In addition, the young are still sentimental; they don't know much of anything -- especially that they're young. This youthful sentimentality will most likely be shaken and break once the full force of Trumpism hits. The full force of global climate change could also do it, for that matter.


Many thanks for the Janet Browne recommendation.


6:48 PM  
Blogger Mohamed Ali said...

I'm freaking out trump just won Nevada. Every time something crazy happens in America I come to this blog for sanity.

2:57 AM  
Anonymous Frankistan said...

Ali: "I'm freaking out trump just won Nevada."

He also won all demographic groups, especially he beat Cruz and Rubio in Hispanic votes.

Dr B: "Trump in the W.H. wd be a domestic Suez moment. There, for all to see, the US is finally being led by a boor w/nothing to his credit but money."

I saw his two boys standing next to him last night as he gave his victory speech. Also, I have seen his two grown daughters. All his kids are college-educated and they work in his business. Trump employs and feeds more Hispanic families than Hillary, Rubio, Cruz, Jeb Bush, Dr Carson, and Bernei Sanders combined. No matter how you slice it, Trump has more achievements under his name than some of us will ever dream in our noisy lives. When people speak ill of Trump, these questions come to mind: Was Trump ever a member of Congress like Cruz and Rubio? Was Trump ever a governor like Bill Clinton and Jeb Bush? Was Trump in the WH in the past? Who created the current economic problems for America? Who allowed money to pollute American politics? How many people do you employ? How many people does your business feed? How many children have you raised or sent to college? These are real questions that every honest critic must confront for himself/herself.

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Ali: Don't worry about Trump, he's an empty shirt. We had Jesse Ventura as Gov up here in MN, Cali had the Arnold as Gov and both survived ... maybe a second Civil War would be good for the US.


Befitting my nom de plume I present the following:


9:45 AM  
Anonymous Edward said...

Interesting read! Old Jesus, New Jesus, American Jesus, Jesus for hustlers, Obama's Jesus, Jesus for thieves and murderers and war mongers! Only in America!

"What happened, however, wasn't an abandonment of my faith, but a shift in my understanding of Scripture. While I had always read the Bible and knew large portions of it by memory, I had relied on the expertise of my religious mentors (some of whom were simply laypeople teaching Sunday School or Christian education classes) to help guide me through its interpretation.

The more I read the text through unfiltered eyes and the more I learned about scholarly investigation, the less sense their point of view made. Their old Jesus looked nothing like my new Jesus."


10:03 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Jesus. Next you'll be telling me that the # of Yiddish speakers is dropping off. Meanwhile, the Carnegie Deli re-opened after being closed for 9 mos. There's hope yet...


12:12 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

With another democratic charade receding in the collective rearview mirror and attention shifting to Super Tuesday, we take stock of where we are and where we're headed.

Like Trump, hate Trump; trust Hillary, distrust Hillary; think Bernie's a Communist, think Bernie's a Social-Communist; think Cruz is a champion of the Constitution, think Cruz is a crackpot Canuck with forged papers. No matter. Haters gonna hate, right?

Well, one of these characters will ultimately win and will enjoy the last laugh.

Me, I get my laughs from one of the giants. A political observer we could stand to see resurrected and let loose on this whole scurvy show:

"No one in this world, so far as I know — and I have searched the records for years, and employed agents to help me — has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.”

("Notes on Journalism," in the 19 September 1926 Chicago Daily Tribune column by H. L. Mencken)

1:14 PM  
Anonymous will of the whisper said...


Trump / Sanders Fantasy in NYT

1:33 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Mark Steyn and I agree on almost nothing, but I think his analysis of the appeal of Trump and the problems with the GOP gets a lot more right than wrong.


1:42 PM  
Anonymous Vico tom said...

Pastrami and Coleslaw, thanks for the link to theguardian.com article. Check out this quote that sums everything:

"But you don’t need some grand overarching political science theory. There are millions of miserable people in America who know exactly who engineered the shattering of their worlds, and Trump isn’t one of those people – and, with the exception of Bernie Sanders, everyone else in the field is running on the basis of their experience being one of those people."

2:12 PM  
Anonymous Capt. Spaulding said...

Not this is news to anyone but it's interesting to see a "progressive" website make this admission:


2:35 PM  
Anonymous turnover said...

Matt Taibbi writes in Rolling Stone--

"How America Made Donald Trump Unstoppable"
He's no ordinary con man. He's way above average — and the American political system is his easiest mark ever

Taibbi's piece is amusing and colorful. Good descriptions of Trump's style.


3:18 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB, Wafers-

By my lights, the amount of American deaths as a result of a 2nd Civil War would tap out at around 7.5 million. The war would start, of course, w/Trump leading a coalition of largely unemployed *whites* against the *undocumented* somewhere near Laredo, Texas. Ultimately, the war will dramatically shift away from a conventional racial and economic "pitchfork" struggle, to an enthusiastic take-no-prisoners epic slaughter. It'll be douche bag vs. douche bag: angry suburbanites blowing up neighborhoods w/dynamite-dropping drones; toddlers armed w/bazookas and grenades storming the gates of Disneyland and various Chuck E. Cheese restaurants; even Seattle heroin addicts will take to the streets and target Big Pharma... Hold onto yr hats, Wafers...it's gonna get ugly.


5:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yeah hard for the progs to swallow, but there it is:

1. "We’re a stupid country, full of loud, illiterate and credulous people."
Trump is a boor in a nation of boors; so of course they vote for him. The progs are finally catching up to the Twilight bk of 2000.

2. "Trump is a rubicon-crossing moment for the nation."
Well, shd be Rubicon; but pt is, this is a domestic Suez moment. That he will be the GOP candidate is 1st-rate evidence that the nation is going down the drain, and that there is no turning back. So now the progs are catching up to DAA of 2006.

What we are witnessing (expanded on by Jeff) is a nation of assholes punishing themselves for being assholes. I love it!


5:30 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

A democracy is nothing more than mob rule where fifty-one percent can take away the rights of the ​remaining forty-nine.​ ​You need no qualification to vote; your vote is the same weight as of joe-the-plumber. And in caucuses with PACs and super-delegates only a fraction ​of plumbers can ​seal the fate of all.

​Democracy being majority rule​ it is destructive of liberty ​as there is no ​way to prevent the majority from trampling on individual ​citizens​. Not even supreme court exercising ​kangaroo constitution can save your arse. ​Whatever the majority says goes! ​ A lynch mob is a​ perfect example of democracy in action. There is only one dissenting vote, and that is cast by the person at the end of the rope.​​

A macabre movie called "Democracy". Don't worry, they are just actors.

Beyond WAF there's ​a bigger question -why the human enterprise failed.​

Take solace revolution is coming to America. Aaahhh, not the hopey-changey one, but The Revolution of the Imbeciles!!

5:41 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

I just had to post this. It's mostly for Dr. Berman (that's "Belman" to those with trouble pronouncing the letter "R") but also for WAFers:

Bette Midler:

"I haven't left my house in days, and I watch the news incessantly. All the news stories are about elections, and all the commercials are for Viagra and Cialis. Election, erection, election, erection -- either way we're getting f*cked."

I got this quote of Bette Midler off the "Feminist News" page of facebook.

article well worth reading by Paul Craig Roberts ---


7:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Maybe what we need rt now is vigorous debasement:


8:07 AM  
Anonymous Edward said...

Dr B:

Oh my Good! You have been saying this for years. Now your dream is a reality in the state of Iowa. What do I call you now: prophet Isiah?

Iowa Lawmakers Approve Bill That Would Let Kids Have Handguns
"Children of all ages in Iowa would be able to lay down their toy guns and pick up the real thing under a bill that passed the state House of Representatives.

The measure approved Tuesday by 62-36 vote would allow children 14 or younger to possess “a pistol, revolver or the ammunition” under parental supervision. It now heads for the state Senate.

“We do not need a militia of toddlers,” state Rep. Kirsten Running-Marquardt (D) said on the House floor. Running-Marquardt, joined by other statehouse Democrats, said she balked at a bill that "allows for 1-year-olds, 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds, 4-year-olds to operate handguns.”"


10:15 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Great Seer of the Western Hemisphere (GSWH) will do nicely at this pt. That Kirsten gal is totally off-base: we DO need a militia of toddlers, and bit by bit, we are going to get it. With Trump in the W.H., and everyone toting an AK-47, we'll be off and running. I mean, the easiest way to solve the collapse of the American empire is that everyone in the country shoots everyone else. We are now past 1.0 massacres per day, so why not just take it to its logical conclusion?


10:30 AM  
Anonymous Zoete Tand said...

Trump not only won Nevada, he won the Hispanic vote in Nevada. My prediction: he will win the national Hispanic vote too. Oh, those Hispanics! At least they aren't lazy, eh?

Then there's this
"Political science professor forecasts Trump as general election winner"
The prof says at least 97%.

And this.
"Just back from a dinner in West Hollywood: shocked the majority of the table was voting for Trump but they would never admit it publicly."

They're noshing and Trumping, Trumping and noshing….

It is clearly time to move through the 7 stages of grief. Wafers, have you done your grief work yet?

12:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I can't speak for other Wafers, but I am now, and have always been, excited abt the possibility of a Trump presidency. This is on record, including my statement that I may go north to work on his campaign. He is *exactly* what the US needs rt now. Anyway, much rejoicing in this sector; no grief at all!


2:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Also, at one pt I offered to donate my left arm if it wd guarantee his election; Jeff offered his left ball. I think you need to take a look at whom u.r. talking to, amigo.

2:37 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Trump, hes a boor, misogynist, crook, braggart, narcissist and gods I love him!!

In spite of it all, he is the least odious Republican candidate, and I would much rather have him as president than Hillary.

3:02 PM  
Anonymous turnover said...

Predictwise.com is an easy site to get a feel for the odds that people are giving when they bet real bucks on US politics. These odds are as reliable any polling or other predictions, usually better.


The site is run by an economist at Microsoft Research. They have some big names on staff.

At the moment Predictwise has Trump favored 74% to Rubio's 23% to win the GOP nomination. Cruz has 2%. So, if you bet $10 on Cruz, and he wins the nomination, you'll win $500.

Their odds are 90% that Hillary gets the nomination. So the betting markets are saying that it's 10 to 1 against Bernie.

While a Trump win would undoubtedly be more exciting, I don't have an opinion on whether the Trump shake up would be the best outcome. I'll be happy if Trump wins, but am cautious in telling my friends that this is unequivocally the way to vote.

Bettors give the Dems a 62% chance of winning the presidential election. Vamos a ver!

My favorite, impossible as it would be, is that Trump and Sanders both run as independents against Hillary. Then, we would get to see a little more of how voters actually feel.

3:03 PM  
Blogger Dan Henry said...

Wafer concensus; Who is the shorter mental midget between Trumpy and Dubya?

4:50 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

American Heroes: George Custer, Joey Buttafuoco​, et al.
Do we really wanna save the enterprise full of these Greaat characters?
​and like them before,...​

Who'll repent for Wounded-Knee, Balangiga and My-Lai massacre? Trail​-​of -​Tears​, Slavery, Tuskegee-deception forgotten​ so conveniently?
​We are people haunted by our misdeeds. ​Isis and the evil immigrants are reincarnations of our past victims.
Nemesis in disguise of Trump has lured Narcissus for self inflicted revenge. Wafers, this is God; as real as the Universe & existence itself.

I will give both my left hand and my left ball for the whole charade to end in a catastrophic collapse.
Whether the Phoenix rises from the ashes or not, time will tell. But ashes is what's first in order.
​A million hoots for our GSWH !!

4:52 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB, Z-

Yes, the *ball* is in Trump's court.

MB, Wafers-

Violent brawl inside a Chuck-E-Cheese:


Even a few toddlers got sundayed...

Kinda cute dept.:


The 8-year-old's mother, Eboni Alls, remarked, "When I grabbed my purse, it was so light. I'm like I knew I was missing something. I said where's my gun? The first thing I thought was I hope Jaden don't have my gun."


4:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I can't get enuf o' Trump, nor enuf o' violent incidents at fast-food joints. America! What wd Jefferson say?


Deciding between Trump and Hillary is a no-brainer! Jesus, that face...


5:33 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Turnover's report on the estimates prepared by Microsoft Research raises a question. One they might either be unable or unwilling to answer:

What are the odds that the United States of Amnesia is fucked, no what which putz wins? Party nomination, presidency, either one.

Any suggestions for which stock we should short, by candidate? Trump wins, short Coca-Cola. Cruz wins, short Procter and Gamble. That sort of thing.

Laissez les bons temps roulez!

6:10 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


That the US is irrevocably fucked, no matter who wins, is surely a no-brainer.

Cruising the Net, I discovered that both Hillary and Bernie wd defeat Trump if the election were held today; Hillary by 3 % pts, Bernie by 6.


7:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Everywhere you turn in the US, it's always abt money. Conscience certainly never gets in the way. Check out article by Tamsin Shaw in NYRB for Feb. 25 on the collaboration of officials of the American Psychological Assn in US Govt torture program. Man, talk abt Nazi doctors. Author writes: "psychologists secured enormous financial gains by collaborating in official torture, while also having clear evidence that it was ineffective." And you can bet, never lost a night's sleep over it. The whole thing is too disgusting for words.

A few yrs bacck, in the NYRB, the late Ronald Dworkin wrote that there was not a single institution in the US that wasn't corrupt.


9:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

So what else is new dept.:


10:26 PM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

Here's one for you: "Majority of U.S. public school students are in poverty"


8:47 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...



8:56 AM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

The American Way:


1:53 PM  
Blogger Juliet Cash said...

I think deep inside all Americans have a death wish because they all know they all sold out to guys like Trump.

2:18 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

I wuv this fuckin' guy:


Hit from all sides, Trump is the Jersey Joe Walcott of politics.

Kansas shooter identified:


Jesus, the whole country is flipping out. I watched Cedric fire his AK-47 on his Facebook pg, and I cried myself to sleep last night, Wafers. I was suddenly hit w/a horrifying thought: "I might die in this nation of douche bags; I could die w/these people I hate so badly."


2:27 PM  
Anonymous Vico tom said...

lack of coherence, thanks for this article:

Here is a quote from it:
“The fact is, we’ve had growing inequality in the country for many years,” he said. “It didn’t happen overnight, but it’s steadily been happening. Government used to be a source of leadership and innovation around issues of economic prosperity and upward mobility. Now we’re a country disinclined to invest in our young people.”

Also, I remind all true WAFERS to read this article in full:


Here are some quotes from it:

"Anger isn’t something that Beltway pundits recognize, let alone understand because everyone employed in media or in politics in and around Washington DC is pretty well off. Even ink-stained wretches pull down five-figures – and, unlike everywhere else in America, since journalism is built on documenting nonsense, there’s some real job security in documenting Washington. Television people fare even better, because TV money is stupid money. Thinktank malefactors reap great sums from the aggrieved heartland or from industries looking to build a canon of falsified data, and Congress and the attendant lobbying is a helluva racket."

"There are millions of miserable people in America who know exactly who engineered the shattering of their worlds, and Trump isn’t one of those people – and, with the exception of Bernie Sanders, everyone else in the field is running on the basis of their experience being one of those people."

"When you are abused and bullied enough, anyone willing to beat up or burn down whomever put you in that position is your friend. Even a bully can be a hero if he targets others bullies – and that is, more or less, what Trump has done since day one."

2:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thank you. Be sure yr posts are 1/2 page max (this is just a tad longish).

Jeff, Kanye, lack, k_pgh-

All of these things are related, have the same root, which is that this way of life is very sick. Regarding fear: This is an interesting pt, and what I'm abt to say is not for dramatic effect: I'm now edgy when I'm in the US, in a way I never feel in Canada, Mexico, Europe, or S. America. I'm afraid a cop might stop me, get angry, and blow my head off. I'm afraid I'll accidentally get into an altercation w/an American--over something trivial, and unexpected--and he'll go berserk. The death instinct hovers over the US now, and as it seeps into the American unconscious, some of our countrymen go insane over Chicken McNuggets, or randomly gun down people they don't even know. The only remedy for this is a new way of life, and that ain't gonna happen.

Public schl students in poverty; Americans on verge of bankruptcy; Americans having no sympathy for a child w/allergies; psychologists engaged in govt torture programs; Trump as a serious presidential candidate; random murder of innocent people--and people are still bewildered when I say the nation is finished!


3:18 PM  
Blogger Eric Green said...

No good deed goes unpunished:


"Authorities found drug paraphernalia and a firearm in at least one of the houses seized during an earlier cleanup."

Hmm, how many drugs and firearms would they find if they "cleaned up" Beverly Hills or Malibu?

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Miles, we've never met but all of a sudden I have a vision of you climbing out of the hole, like some THX 1138 business:


4:27 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

This is related to the article about the 7-year old who had to get off the airplane because he was allergic to dogs-


5:06 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

The utter stupidity and pointlessness of the American election process is highlighted once again by today's endorsement of Donald Trump by New Jersey governor Chris Christie. Take a look at some of the things Christie said about Donald before he folded his tent and returned to Trenton:


I know. Christie didn't really mean all those nasty things he said. It was all in good fun.

It happens in every election, at every level, from dogcatcher to president. And the American voter just accepts that this is the way the game is played. Aspirants for office don't really mean what they say when they criticize their opponents.

"If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal." [Emma Goldman]

"If voting made any difference, they wouldn't let us do it." [Mark Twain, attributed]

5:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A few mos. from now, Bernie will embrace Hillary at the Democratic convention as the Dem nominee for pres. You just wait and see. And you read it here 1st.


6:15 PM  
Anonymous Jack Penny said...


Life in America 100 Years Ago was also awful (even for the rich).

6:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


And yet, Americans were a lot happier, subjectively speaking, and there was love, friendship, community, and meaning in their lives. Go figure.


7:46 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

And it just keeps coming, doesn't it?:


10:05 PM  
Anonymous xypeter said...

Trump quote du jour from the NY Times:

[ Mr. Trump saw Mr. Rubio backstage with “a pile of makeup,” he said. “I said Marco, easy with the makeup, you don’t need that much." ]

MB -- I'm really interested in what you find thrilling about a Trump administration. Is it tht he himself wd be entertaining, or bring out the most interesting manifestations of American character, both, or other?


12:14 AM  
Anonymous Sean Kerrigan said...

Quick question Dr. Berman - What is your view on psychedelics as a method of mass-consciousness transformation, specifically as it relates to erasing the more absurd beliefs of US culture? In short, do you favor spiking the drinking water in the US with LSD or equivalent?

Here's some good quotes from Matt Tabbi's latest:

"Cruz in person is almost physically repellent. Psychology Today even ran an article by a neurology professor named Dr. Richard Cytowic about the peculiarly off-putting qualities of Cruz’s face. He used a German term, backpfeifengesicht, literally “a face in need of a good punch,” to describe Cruz… Cruz certainly has an odd face – it looks like someone sewed pieces of a waterlogged Reagan mask together at gunpoint."

"Trump is no intellectual. He’s not bringing Middlemarch to the toilet. If he had to jail with Stephen Hawking for a year, he wouldn’t learn a thing about physics. Hawking would come out on Day 365 talking about models and football."

Good overall: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/how-america-made-donald-trump-unstoppable-20160224

2:53 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I doubt anything cd save US culture at this pt, quite honestly. The place is way beyond drug treatment of any kind.


For me, it's the possibility that he cd do America a huge amt of damage, both at home and abroad. Obama's admin has been ad hoc, lackluster, and without any real purpose. I mean, sure, he did America a lot of damage, but it was almost w/o thinking, a type of crisis management. Hillary wd just continue this pattern; like Obama, she has no other vision than to be president. But since the trajectory of the American empire is downward, my take on it is, why not fast rather than slow? Why prolong the agony? Of course, as I said earlier, it's possible that once in office he wdn't be able to do as much as he wd like, and thus be no greater threat than Goldwater was in 1964. But if anyone is equipped to take the country right into the ditch, it's Sr. Trumpo.


3:05 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

I suggest you Wafers put this as your desktop wallpaper:

The future staring you right into the face!


7:46 AM  
Anonymous Jack Penny said...

"Jack- And yet, Americans were a lot happier, subjectively speaking, and there was love, friendship, community, and meaning in their lives. Go figure."

Hey sir, sometimes I misread internet expression, so was that sarcasm or do you think there was friendship and community, more than today. I thought your belief was that we've always had rotten worms to the core

8:18 AM  
Anonymous Duncan said...

Interesting words on our nomadic Wittgenstein--


8:23 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Just speaking comparatively. Things were bad; now they are (much) worse.


The horror, the horror!


Thanks! These bks ain't cheap tho...


8:34 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Speaking of horrors, Americans are dazed that, for all intents and purposes, Donald Trump will be the GOP nominee for president. How in the world cd such a thing happen?, they ask themselves. What I don't get it is, given the massive sales of my American Empire trilogy, why they are surprised. I carefully documented the increasing disintegration of the nation in 3 wildly popular books, bks that sold in the millions (hence my houses in Manhattan and Tuscany); bks that Americans gobbled up, and loved. They debated my arguments and data in restaurants, cafes, public forums, by the water coolers, and on TV and the Net. So what's the big surprise, my fellow-incredibly-informed-countrymen? It's all there, in those 3 vols; you *knew* something like this had to happen! Given your thirst for the truth, and your powerful intellects, Trump or someone like him was always a foregone conclusion. Now, you can take to the streets, wave WAF in its new little red cover edn, cry "Belman! Belman!"--but it will be too late.


8:50 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

This just in from Rome:

The "Gazzetta Amministrativa" reports that the Tuscan town of San Gimignano is renaming one of its remaining fourteen medieval towers in honor of resident scholar, Mauricio Belman. Torre dei Becci will now be known as Torre dei Bellissimo Magnifico.


Yes! Many thanks for the clip.


10:47 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


And long overdue, I hafta say. Except that they refer to me as Maurizio (Belmano). This is a lot better than Trump Tower, I hasten to add. La dolce vita...


12:37 PM  
Anonymous John S said...

At this point it is likely that Trump will win the GOP nomination. He will make America great, I suppose the same way Nero and Caligula made Rome great again.

And Hillary is definitely going to win, the "feel the Bern" fantasy will be over before very long. And I don't even blame the media for this one, it's the stupidity of democratic voters, who apparently buy the Hillary the pragmatic progressive sales pitch.

She'd probably win over Trump, but it is not outside the realm of possibilities that Trump could actually become president. Trump openly jokes about how stupid his voters are that if he were to openly shoot someone in the street, they'd still vote for him and elections are proving him right. In a lot of ways Hillary and Trump are a lot alike, both are nihilistic narcissists, with no real ideas about anything, of course Hillary would be better, in the sense of an America of slow steady decline versus rapid spiraling destruction which Trump would bring about.

If I didn't actually live in this country, might think this was a nightmare or a joke. How did it come to this? It might be over the top, but I almost feel like a trapped member of the compound in Jonestown, before the Kool aid gets dispersed, and it ain't funny, and is happening quickly.

1:53 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

A nation of nice "snapping" folks.....

“I do know he’s capable of snapping,” she admitted. “My son could have snapped.” Her family has a history of mental illness, she said.​ Diane Chism worked for the Tennessee child protective services. ​ ​​

The tv news ​article ​was so boring that this fella snapped.

Listen to the natter and feel the heartthrob of 'merika snappin.

6:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Is this true? Is it why when I see Hillary's face, I think of Botox?:


10:39 PM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

Dr. MB and fellow Wafers:
Today, in the NYT, Barbara Ehrenreich reviews a rather sobering book: Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
By Matthew Desmond. http://www.nytimes.com/section/books/review

Quoting from the review: "Desmond tentatively introduces the concept of “exploitation” — “a word that has been scrubbed out of the poverty debate.” The landlord who evicts Lamar, Larraine and so many others is rich enough to vacation in the Caribbean while her tenants shiver in Milwaukee. The owner of the trailer park takes in over $400,000 a year.
These incomes are made possible by the extreme poverty of the tenants, who are afraid to complain and lack any form of legal representation. Desmond mentions payday loans and for-profit colleges as additional exploiters of the poor — a list to which could be added credit card companies, loan sharks, pay-to-own furniture purveyors and many others who have found a way to spin gold out of human sweat and tears. Poverty in America has become a lucrative business, with appalling results: “No moral code or ethical principle,” he writes, “no piece of scripture or holy teaching, can be summoned to defend what we have allowed our country to become.”

Indeed, poverty is just another business.

7:06 AM  
Blogger Sanguillen39 said...

More ugliness to be told. The first article is about America's obsession with guns. The second is about Muslim killings near Gary, Indiana. The third is about a KKK demonstration that got out of control.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/americas-passion-for-guns-intact-as-shooting-toll-rises/ar-BBq6H87?li=BBnb7Kz. The comments are revealing.



11:00 AM  
Blogger Dan Henry said...


I think you said before that you taught Ian Welsh? He has an excellent new piece here:


11:08 AM  
Anonymous Zeke said...

In my marketing class, we were discussing brand management, and discussion turned to the Kalamazoo shooter who ran Uber fares between his attacks. i.e. how will this effect Uber's image. It seemed really odd to me that these shootings have become so banal that we only really consider their detrimental effects insofar as it affects a brand's ability to make money (by destabilizing a licensed, regulated industry that employs low-income people of color but w/e).

One of the thinkers this blog exposed me to is Henry Giroux, who has a new interview in truthout. http://www.truth-out.org/progressivepicks/item/35007-henry-giroux-on-state-terrorism-and-the-ideological-weapons-of-neoliberalism

"The United States is now addicted to violence because the "war on terror" relies on an extreme fear and hatred of those considered enemies. As a result, it feeds the machinery of permanent warfare by constantly inventing a demonized Other. I think basically that terror is now such a central part of the political nervous system in the United States that it's become the major organizing principle of society. The discourse of war, violence and fear now largely mold our conception of ourselves, our relations to others and the larger world."

11:49 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Sean, loved the Taibbi Trump article. Thanks. Here’s a comment close to my Wafer’s heart:

“Let's face it. This country is going down the drain for a number of reasons. It's not question of will it happen. It's a question of when. Let's elect Trump President and get it over with.”

11:49 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Has Matt been following this blog?


11:56 AM  
Anonymous Edward said...

These are the only two articles that clearly capture why Trump is doing well.
Any other article after these two is a copycat nonsense. I want to be on record here - if you have not read them then read and ponder:

Trump's victories aren't mysterious if you understand why people are angry
by Jeb Lund
24 February 2016 02.32 EST



Trump and the Rise of the Unprotected
Feb. 25, 2016



12:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


There may be an historical pattern here as well. As an empire collapses, the garbage rises to the surface. In the case of Rome, last emperors included young children and de facto imbeciles. In the case of the US, we have a vulgar boor whose life is abt money and hustling--the logical conclusion to the history I outline in WAF. That he will probably be defeated by a self-serving douche baguette is cold comfort, I wd think.


2:18 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Another commodity to be sold, another sucker to be bilked.

As some of the WAFers are teachers, they may find this piece from Pro Publica of 26 February of particular interest. An article reporting that the regulators responsible for monitoring "for profit" institutions are drawn from the ranks of administrators and officials of the same institutions. Predatory loans, inflated claims of job placement, the whole verkakte mess.


Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur.

2:25 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Hello Wafers, MB,

Have you all seen American Beauty I hope? Probably one of the most waferesque movies ever made


2:36 PM  
Anonymous AS said...

National survey of millennials finds their "dream jobs" include:

Google, Walt Disney, Apple, FBI, Microsoft, CIA, Amazon, Starbucks, NSA, Facebook, Army, JPMorgan Chase and Build-A-Bear Workshop.

"Survey after survey shows that millennials want to work for companies that place a premium on employee welfare, offer flexible scheduling and, above all, bestow a sense of purpose."


2:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, the CIA and NSA will definitely give them a sense of purpose; also the Army. Nice to see what the hopes and dreams of the younger generation are. Inspiring!


5:26 PM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

Above, Peggy Noonan of Reagan fame writes of the protected. She captures the mood of the nation – complete with the scapegoating of teachers and deranged fantasies of Hollywood being afraid of teachers unions.

Of course, the NEA deserves criticism. They endorsed Obama, and as could be expected he threw public education under the bus, and now they’re endorsing Hillary…

Nonetheless, in my immediate experience, public school teachers are one of the few groups who actually cared that the neoliberal policies of the Republicans and Democrats were hurting the unprotected. School teachers went above and beyond to help children, families, and neighborhoods as free-trade deals and the shredding of safety nets destroyed communities.

Still, no good deed goes unpunished. They’re one of America’s favorite scapegoats. School teachers are doing a bit better than many Americans, they’re more accessible than the elite, and they don’t have the clout of doctors or businessmen. It probably doesn’t hurt that they’re mostly women, either.

“The lords of war despise scholars and schoolmasters.” – Medra, Tales from Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin

Frankly, I suspect Noonan is intentionally deploying the word “protected” to conflate callous NAFTA-loving fat cats with union protection. And, yes, there is some truth in that comparison here in I’ve-got-mine America that should be discussed, but her presentation is a bit too sly. For better or worse, she definitely captures the mood of the land.

7:10 PM  
Blogger Mohamed Ali said...

Another movie u guys well enjoy is idiocary. In the movie everyone is dumb and the president is a realty tv star

7:11 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

The press is noting that democratic voter turnout is 16 percent lower than it was in 2008. That doesn't bode well for democrats in the general election. And people think I'm nuts for predicting a Trump victory.

12:18 AM  
Anonymous Transatlantic said...

Idiocracy was so prescient. I'm actually shocked by how many of the gags in that film have come to life. I'm still waiting, however, for people to begin naming their kids after items on fast food menus.

Beef Supreme!

4:25 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Ow my balls!


4:27 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, we've now got Trump quoting Mussolini, and Hedges (see today's essay on Truthdig) finally suggesting (admitting?) that the coming 'revolution' may come from the right. Gee, do ya think? There's nothing coming from the left, that's fer sure. Of course, a case cd be made that we've been living thru a slo-mo, rt-wing coup d'état beginning w/Reagan, wh/went into high gear after 9/11. And yet, despite the rt-wing changes under Bush Jr. and Obama, it's still rather incremental; and it is this mode that cd define the collapse of the American empire rather than revolution. Of course, a Trump presidency wd undoubtedly speed things up; but I don't think we are ready to elect a Mussolini figure just yet. So, more incremental rt-wing disintegration under Hillary is probably on deck. And the thing abt incremental change is what has been called the quantity-to-quality argument: things move slowly, but one day, you wake up and it's a different world. Gosh.


5:10 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: and on the same subject:


9:48 AM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

Hold on tight to your Starbucks Fair-Trade Latte Macchiato and your Rainforest-Alliance fig leaves you smug elites,
...'coz it is coming,...

What? No more wine tasting parties? And book reading clubs?
Wafers, I hope you don't go to these get togethers?

The doorknob bubbas at the local bar, especially my bubba chic, is much more interesting than my pretentious elite friends wondering what's all the fuss about.

10:11 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Who needs the Fourth Estate?

John Oliver (ex- Daily Show) does the job legions of scribes appear incapable of doing: using Drumpf's* own statements to show him to be nothing more than a gasbag in an Armani suit.

From Last Week Tonight, 28 February, HBO:


*apparently the original family name, per Oliver, and a little less catchy as a brand name than Trump.


10:39 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Good article for WAFerdom:


Miles: One thing nobody knows about the end of THX 1138 is that ventilation shaft actually ends on the roof of this place:


10:43 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A gd article, tho I wd add that Americans are stupid, not just ignorant; and also, that his solution--education--clearly will not work. Part of American stupidity is to reject education, and to be proud of ignorance. So there's no breaking the vicious circle, that I can see.


So book reading is a bad thing?

As for Trumpo...chickens coming home to roost, I wd think. 400 yrs of hustling as the purpose of life in America, and we're now surprised that the king of all hustlers might become president? He *is* us, after all, just like Reagan was. This is known as karma, but it's not god punishing the US; it's history. We worshipped money; we were proud of being anti-intellectual; we marginalized alternative voices from Capt. John Smith to Jimmy Carter; we adored buffoons like the Bushes, and hailed a nonentity--Obama--as a redeemer; we got all excited abt identity politics, and ignored real politics; we blamed all our problems on the Other____ (fill in the blank), and always defined the Other as pure Evil--the list goes on and on. I'm sorry, folks, but you can't fuck up like that, decade after decade, and think that this will result in a positive outcome. Trump--aka national suicide--is yr reward.


11:10 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


Indeed, MB, chickens coming home to roost. This is the *one* thing the pundits don't see. Most critics focus on Trump's buffoonery (myself included); good for some laughs, of course, but Trump is the result of American societal breakdown and the fact that those who didn't have severe cases of CRE never got anywhere in America. Brass tacks: we fucked-up from the beginning. We can't expect to ball our way thru 400 yrs of history and not produce a Trump!


11:43 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Karma does have a fine irony to it. Americans are now being punished: for centuries of hatred of the life of the mind (and body too, actually), of hatred of the poor and less fortunate, of regarding empathy as something for suckers, of endless self-delusion ("We're No. 1!") and glorifying money and power, and of thinking anyone not American was inferior. And the irony is that they are punishing themselves! Trump is merely the stick they are using to beat themselves with, and Hillary just a slightly more disguised stick. A choice of sticks with which to commit suicide is what we're now left with. The one thing we are not left with is a future.


12:00 PM  
Anonymous COS said...

Ah yes,

Karma, reaping what you sow, alienating others, feedback and general unfitting as Barzun called it all come back in force.

Esca, indeed reading books is a good thing and doing so with friends is a good thing. Cultivation need not be pretension. My grandfather, my father, myself and my eldest son all have the habit of being dressed for dinner (not a suit but shirt, slacks, shoes and in cooler months a jacket). Like wine, art openings and opera, we all were (and are) multilingual as well. Are we and others like us better than the crossroads good ol boys you like? As humans no, as knowledgeable citizens enjoying as cultivated a life as circumstances allow--yes. But to your point, yes some do imitate the outward manifestations of intellectual or cultural sophistication as a sort of status signaling like say a realtor in Tampa affecting the manners of a Grande Dame from Milan but that aside--cultivation is a good thing on many levels and disparaging genuine cultivation (or heaven forbid a true elite) is at root of envy based social Marxism. Or as it was noted in the movie Idiocracy--reading is not faggy. Alas, much of what ails us is the loosening in up in the sense that all is equal and a truck driver from Macon Ga has a poltical program to put Bismark to shame. Faith in the great unwashed as gods children and belief that the rich and cultivated are the devils spawn has brought about many a genocide.

12:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, amigo, I don't post Anons. You need a real handle.


1:27 PM  
Blogger Timothy Dowd said...

Here is an interesting article on the US imperial class versus Donald Trump (US imperialists hate Donald Trump):


4:41 PM  
Blogger Sanguillen39 said...

Here's one from the Lone Star State. A conspiracy rumor I've heard from a co-worker of mine, suspects along with others, the idea that Trump is actually HELPING Hilary in his actions and that he could be seen as the real puppet master here. Let's face it, would a politician be so brazen or loutish as to offend even his compatriots ?

Trump's probably asking (getting) big favors when she gets in.

The whole thing smells a bit like "The Producers" by Mel Brooks. And yes, Americans LOVE to offend or watch others do so.

6:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Terrific essay, thank you! The stuff abt GOP and neocons being party of the rich and the war machine is obviously correct; it's just that the Dems are *also* the party of the rich and the war machine. Obama is an empty nonperson who presides over a genocidal war machine run by a sociopathic plutocracy, and enabled by 321 million not terribly bright individuals who are also, for the most part, empty nonpersons (the "Idiocracy" that some of you have already referred to). Hillary, once in office, will do precisely the same thing.


6:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

"Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen": "Where they burn books, they will also ultimately burn people."

--Heinrich Heine, 1821

10:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This sorta thing is barely news anymore:


11:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Well, this is kind of interesting:


I remember when Reagan was running for pres, and my feeling as to how unbelievable it wd be, if he were elected and such a simpleton, such a knuckle-head, wd look out at us from pictures in post offices and other official locations across the land. And then it happened, and it seemed like the whole thing was a joke, making fun of the US, that this face that resembled a horse's ass was our ambassador to the world.

And now I think, that was nothing compared to Trump. Can you imagine it? Large fotos of a clown posted everywhere, and saying to us: "You are a joke, America, and the joke is on you." In the case of Hillary fotos, which I think we *are* going to see for 8 yrs, the feeling I have is a slightly creepy one, accompanied by a vague sense of nausea. But with Trump, it's like Reagan to the 10th power: "Oh no, this can't be real!"


7:50 AM  
Anonymous Roger said...


Young literary talent in Mexico :

"In fact, a few months ago I had an issue with a bike thief in my neighborhood. Someone was stealing separate parts of my bike, so I decided to write him a letter. It’s called “Dear Bicycle Thief,” and its composed of several phrases that different people sent to me. My daughter and I hung the posters around the neighborhood and we never heard from the bicycle thief again! Not only that, but other people started sending and hanging their own letters around the neighborhood. Some of them took my letters and left me a note saying “Sorry, I did not take your letter, I just took it home to photocopy it and put it around my block because my bike was also stolen.”

10:04 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Only in America indeed


11:36 AM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

GSWH, What I meant was the club of so called "friends" who beside the specific "ing" in the reading have nothing else to relate to one another (more on the ing later). I was once there and witnessed the shallow discussion which eventually came down to what's-in-for-me, the "I" brought in the subject matter. They just couldn't see the narrative from the point of view of the author and the characters, or capture the essence of the story. However they all appeared very serious and concerned, and just to be nice agreed on whatever koolaid was being served. So much was the "warmth and camaraderie" in the club that the members wore their names on sticky tags. After the customary small talks over a cup of tea the self-assured elites vanished into the thin air they came from.

I won't drink my wine from a styrofoam cup all-rite, and a pretentious french name on the bottle won't cut it either (COS, I'll dress up for dinner but the food better be good). In a wine tasting meet, bored out of my mind when asked how the presumptive named wine tasted, -I stated dry/berry/earth-like those practiced flowery words, then added "with a hint of dung". I was expunged from the invitation list. I wouldn't have returned there anyway.

ps -just reading books on love with no real life reflection, you'll never know love- was my point. Reading (and wine) clubs I found are mostly frivolous "villages". Like Oprah's reading club which trivializes reading just for the sake of reading, and A-Million-Little-Pieces becomes "A Million Little Lies". The other douche baguette's It-Takes-A-Village, no club can ever bring the village to fruition by reading alone.

11:38 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Actually, my own feeling is that anyone using a cell fone shd be beaten severely and thrown in a dung heap.


12:02 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Unencumbered by Enlightenment dept.:



Jesus, la crespo looks fantastic. Only trouble is they put pepinitos and Dijon on pastrami. Huh? I mean who does this? Our beloved Wafer, cube, would probably do it, but we've tried to change his dietary habits. Hence, a pastrami sandwich should only have the following ingredients: rye bread, pastrami, cole slaw, and Russian dressing. That's the great Jewish way. And speaking of great Jews:



1:04 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

This is the endorsement Trump has been waiting for, the cachet of approval by the head of NASCAR:


While the American circus continues, I just finished reading the slender volume "State of Exception" by Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben, a dense but provocative read, translation published in 2005 by University of Chicago Press. The state of exception refers to the extension of state power as "provisional" measures become institutionalized as the norm. Agamben covers various national contexts in Western Europe and the United States to show how governments hide behind law as they slide toward authoritarianism. I admit to not having heard of Agamben before stumbling across a reference to this book. Wafers might want add it to their reading list, though likely even fewer copies of it have been sold in the U.S. than the works of Belman.

1:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


No doubt the lucky Klansman will now chg his vote from Donald to Bernie...(when pigs fly).


1:52 PM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

What are your thoughts on personal responsibility for the situation people are in? This is the first I've heard you say people are to blame. I see things as being like musical chairs, yeah some people can make it, but somebody has to be left out. I don't buy into this idea that the pie is infinite and that anyone can have a slice if they make the right choices. The trends aren't due to any personal choices, personal choices only determine which people are left out or get stuck in the worst situations.

4:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I guess you come rather late to the party; that's a subject we have discussed on this blog for years. You might wanna scroll thru comments from (many) previous posts.


5:00 PM  
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11:41 PM  

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