March 01, 2016

The Man Without Qualities

OK,gang;here 'tis:

http://www.amazon.com/Man-without-Qualities-Morris-Berman/dp/0988334356/ref=sr_1_12?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1456881009&sr=1-12&keywords=morris+berman

Amazon has yet to post the endorsements, but I figured you all would want to know that my new novel is finally available. A few things I should add:

As in the case of my Japan book, the "launching" of this one will again be at the Bluestockings Bookstore, 172 Allen St., NYC (Lower East Side), on April 4 at 7 p.m. Would love to see you all there again, perhaps go out for pizza at Rosario's after we're done, as we did last September. My publisher is also trying to get me a gig in Brooklyn during the time I'm in NY (April 3-6), but so far no fish on the line. (Stay tuned.) In addition, having a 3rd NY Wafer Summit Meeting (i.e., lunch) is still a possibility for one of those days, if we can rustle up enough interested Waferinos. I know some of you have written me about this, but do me a favor: if you are an active participant on this blog, and you would like this to happen, send me a message at mauricio@morrisberman.com indicating this, and also giving me your blog handle. If it's a go, I shall get back to you with time and place. And in any case, I hope to see you at Bluestockings and/or Brooklyn, if that gets worked out.

Thanks again for your support-

-mb

165 Comments:

Anonymous lack of coherence said...

Congrats!! Just bought a copy.

What are your thoughts on the super tues results? Listen to the speeches from Trump or Cruz? Scary stuff.

10:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

lack-

Thanks, and hope you enjoy it. I haven't listened to any speeches, but it's interesting looking into the eyes of these folks. In Bernie's, I see kindness; in Trump's, cruelty, violence. And in Hillary's: confusion, emptiness, and a vague kind of dementia. She's a creepy gal, no doubt abt it.

Kindness, of course, has no chance in the US, and Bernie's campaign wd seem to be pretty much over. As I said, it won't be too long b4 he embraces/endorses Hillary, and the farce of any kind of alternatives emerging in the US will be over. Bernie's role is basically to provide a false validation to our 'democracy', when the truth is that corporate-backed Hillary had the nomination, and the presidency, in her back pocket all along. As for Trump, he'll return later--either as himself, or reincarnated in a different Hitler-type figure, when our Weimarish political situation will make a person like that a lot more appealing to the mass of voters. In the meantime, we can settle into 8 more yrs of Obamism, which is to say meaningless drifting and crisis management; but eventually, to quote Kurt Vonnegut, "There's a shitstorm coming."

mb

10:58 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...


"George Haskel, a retired professor of German literature, decides to found an institute to promote dullness".

I laughed out loud. You can take that as implicit approval.

I guess it would have been going a bit too far to have named the retired professor Gehachte Schmutz III.

12:35 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Marc-

Or worse, Gehackte Leber auf Krackers von Ritz.

mb

12:39 AM  
Blogger Mohamed Ali said...

Trump supporters http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/03/02/us/politics/donald-trump.html there is even a Muslim supporter. They sound desperate and in need of a great leader.

12:59 AM  
Anonymous Jerome J said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

Congratulations on the publication of your novel! I just ordered a copy and am eagerly awaiting its arrival. You will perhaps be amused to know that it is currently listed as the "number one bestseller in utopian ideology" (I kid you not).

Jerome

8:16 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

J-

Hope you enjoy it. I didn't know there *was* a utopian ideology, but what the heck.

mb

9:27 AM  
Anonymous Wilhelm said...

Why Asia doesn't have a Trump or Sanders ~ http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kishore-mahbubani/asia-trump-sanders-populism_b_9299086.html

Sanders isn't socialist America isn't Capitalist ~
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2016/03/bernie-sanders-democratic-socialism/471630/

11:04 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

I was not a huge believer in Sanders, but yesterday I cast my first vote since 2008 for him in the Democratic primary. As far as I am concerned, I did what very little I could do to stop the madness, and from here on out I'll be a passive observer with no plans to vote in the general election.

I can't help myself in hoping that the "Trumpdozer," as Matt Taibbi described what Trump did to Jeb Bush, absolutely crushes Hillary and her husband during the campaign by dragging out every abuse of power they have ever engaged in and every way they are completely compromised by Wall Street and big business. I want to see the two of them on election night barely holding back whimpering the way Jeb Bush did when his campaign ended. I won't vote for Trump, but I'll be rooting him on as he continues to wreak havoc upon and hopefully completely destroys America's corrupt political system.

Who knows? Maybe after Trump crashes and burns as President what come after him might actually be an improvement.

12:54 PM  
Anonymous brainDecay said...

Sucks I won't be able to attend the Bluestockings event this time around due to scheduling conflicts. :(

Hoping for a gig in Brooklyn so I can come see ya.

Meanwhile, I was in the Feb. 2016 issue of Esquire. They asked 73 men around the country their opinion on Hillary Clinton. Not surprisingly, I got the shortest blurb out of all the men interviewed, even though I backed my dislike of Clinton with actual critique of her policy and not merely vague impressions of her intentions. "I think she is a warmonger and a war criminal" was perhaps the controversial 'soundbite' they were looking for. I guess for those in the know (i.e., probably not Esquire readers), that is a fairly concise description of her, though.

2:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

dermot-

Sorry, wasn't able to run yr post. Informal rule here: messages shd be 1/2 page, maximum. I suggest compressing it down to that and re-sending. Thanks.

brain-

Keep checking; if anything develops in Bklyn, I'll let u guys know.

Bill-

I think it's impt to *increase* the madness at this pt, not stop it. Strongly suggest you vote for Don: our ticket to total self-destruction. Also wanna add that Jeb is an utter turkey, and hopefully we'll never hear another gobble from him again.

mb

4:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

That's a gd reason dept.:

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/03/02/us/tennessee-teen-shoots-family/index.html

4:48 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

MB-

Great news about yr novel! I ordered up a copy and look forward to reading it.

MB, Wafers-

I'm sad about Bernie... Well, this one's for u Bernie:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aax-38C9LnY

Miles

5:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

Thanks, and hope you enjoy it. As for the Bern: well, I keep saying Americans are not terribly bright, but I am still amazed than any of them really believed that someone cd go up against the Democratic Establishment Machine (= corporate backing of Hillary) and win. Of course, Bernie is himself inside of that Establishment, but his assigned 'role' here was to make it look as tho American 'democracy' was a living thing, and that Americans really had a choice. Ha. So I guess he did what he was supposed to do. It is with some sad irony that I look forward to his concession speech, his embrace/endorsement of Hillary, and the end of this little farce.

As for the general election, if it were held today, polls indicate Hillary wd defeat Trumpo by a few % pts (depending on which poll you read). It's like I said b4, the Weimar 'Republic' of the US is not quite ready for fascist leadership. This wd take another economic crash, for example; which I regard as inevitable. It's a bit eerie: in CTOS, published in 1989, I wrote that "Americans are the driest tinder imaginable for fascism." All we need is a sufficient spark.

mb

6:21 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Like Bill Hicks, I have also lost my desire to waste time in the voting booth but when it appears that WAFers should do what they can to hasten the decay I'm rethinking my voting posture.

I certainly don't want to look at hillary, and maybe the donald can make a deal with Kim Jong-un, thereby getting the world's two worst haircuts in one photo.

9:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Simba-

That wd be gd, altho I'd stir Ted Koppel into the mix. As for Hillary, every time I see that face, I shudder. And keep in mind that if Trump becomes president, very few countries will respect us. That may be our Suez moment. What kind of country elects such a person as its president? A country that is over. To paraphrase that great sage, Ben Carson, there is no way forward.

mb

10:00 PM  
Anonymous John S said...

One of the interesting thing about Trump, is that none of his political opponents or the media actually bother to read his personal Bible, his book "The Art of the Deal," just as Hitler spelled out his methods in Mein Kampf (note I'm not making a Hitler comparison, however tempting that might be.

Take for instance this quote from Trump's book:

"The final key to the way I promote is bravado. I play to people's fantasies. People might not always think big themselves, but they can still get very exited by those who do. That's why a little hyperbole never hurts. People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular.

I call it truthful hyperbole. It's an innocent form of exaggeration - and a very effective form of promotion."

The point is Trump knows what he is doing, even if he is ultimately a buffoon, he really does understand the hustling fantasy prone culture of America to a T. And there are lots of other great nuggets that explain Trumps way of doing things pretty openly in the book.

10:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

John-

Thanks for the insight. The guy surely is the logical culmination of 400 yrs of hustling; the perfect president, really. What every American aspires to.

mb

11:02 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

In anticipation of tonight's GOP "debate"--members of high school debate and forensics clubs across the country laugh when they hear the term applied in this context--and Megyn Kelly's renewal of her jousting with Trump, here's an item from today's salon.com of possible interest:

http://www.salon.com/2016/03/03/watch_ted_koppel_shred_bill_oreilly_for_making_journalism_irrelevant_when_it_comes_to_donald_trump/

As John S notes, the media aren't really doing much of anything except providing stenographic support. Investigative journalism and basic research--reading his book, say--takes too much time. Copy editors and segment producers don't have time for that sort of nonsense.

Finally, a comment from Salon reader "Missskitttin," providing this assessment in response to the Salon article of today entitled "F***k it, I'm rooting for Donald Trump":

"In a country where the Kardashians are the most wanted media stars, Adam Sandler is considered an actor, and Mad Max is nominated for multiple Oscars, of course we deserve a Trump."

9:03 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jas-

Exactly the pt. A culture that has degenerated into a joke needs a joke for a president; a culture consisting of vulgar boors, ditto. Other nations already, privately, regard the US as a dangerous nation that is fucked in the head, so why not have a pres that epitomizes that? I say, Trump all the way!

mb

10:07 AM  
Anonymous SW said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

Which seller do you get a commission from?

10:50 AM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

MB and Wafers,

Trump's potential to occupy the White House might depend on how much support he attracts from voters like these:

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/mar/03/secret-donald-trump-voters-speak-out

There are some Wafer-like thoughts imbedded in some of the comments to the effect of "let's accelerate the Merican trajectory," but my overall reaction to these individuals' emails brings to mind an old Firesign Theatre aphorism, "There's a seeker born every minute..." As has been repeatedly observed on this blog, our leaders don't come from Mars. This is the current American id speaking.

11:03 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

SW-

Depends on the bk in question, but generally Amazon is the most convenient route.

mb

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Frankistan said...

Dr, thanks for the new book.
Romney is now speaking ill of Trump.
This is the same man who made his money shipping jobs to China after destroying jobs in America. I tell ya, karma is real for this wicked, violent country.

11:45 AM  
Blogger Dan Henry said...

heres an interesting reddit thread discussing Bernie in relation to black american voters

https://www.reddit.com/r/NeutralPolitics/comments/472fj6/why_isnt_bernie_sanders_doing_well_with_black/

12:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan-

I still cdn't figure out why Bernie doesn't do well among black voters. Any clues?

Frank-

It was a sad day for me, in 2012, when Mittney lost. I was preparing a 5-vol. work, "Cornerstones of the Mittnaic Philosophy." After the election, the project got cancelled. I want Mittney in the W.H., and my book(s) in the bkstores. MITTNISM FOR THE MASSES!, I say.

mb

12:30 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Why isn't Bernie doing well among black voters? Part of the problem is that their "leaders"--those who marched with King in the 1960s before becoming long serving Congresscritters like John Lewis--have pledged themselves to Hillary because they have become just as corrupt as she is. And among leftist voting blocs, blacks tend to be the most likely to actually cast their vote depending on who endorses whom.

It seems like Ferguson all over again where voters for years complacently went along with a corrupt system when a mere 7% of the town's electorate could have thrown out the corrupt mayor, city council and police chief and thus saved Michael Brown's life. Complacency is killing this country just as much as bigotry and hatred.

Personally, if the black vote tips the nomination to Hillary, that's the day I stop caring about Black Lives Matter. After all, why should I care if their own people really don't themselves.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

I think the reason why Bernie isn't doing well with black voters is because they don't know who he is... they identify with the Clintons because they've been around forever...not that Bill did anything for anybody besides taking away much of whatever support they might have had as far as a social safety net (welfare)...not to mention the additional screwing ala NAFTA... I think the Clinton's cozying up to Obama helps them regardless of whatever stupid policies he's supported to further gut the middle and underclasses... Bernie is an odd duck too -embracing the "democratic socialist" label...most people don't even know what it even means other than his spewing a lot of generalities without a lot of specifics. On top of the fact as you've mentioned Dr B about "waiting for one's ship to come in"... If there is a demographic that probably plays the lottery more than anyone else are those who see no light at the end of the tunnel or way out of their situation other than hitting the jackpot. It's a shortsighted vision but when people have got nothing to lose? the available choices are rather limited... Revolt? (not likely though the Black Panthers were something that shook up the establishment but J. Edgar took care of that) take drugs? (and we all know how well that's been working out).... or hit the jackpot = buy a big house, and a fancy car, and partay!!!...... see what I mean?

I don't think these people are stupid but have been systematically stuck in a historical and generational rut of institutionalized racism and appartheid.... this country isn't very kind to 'others' - outside of WASPS. Blacks in particular... it keeps all of us fighting over the scraps with race being the dividing line... there's a saying that goes something like "I might be poor but I ain't ______". Blacks being convenient targets basically because they are so visible.

3:58 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

This has to be the natural selection for this week's Darwin Award:

A Washington state man was killed when he accidentally shot himself in the face while taking selfies, U.S. authorities say.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/washington-state-man-fatally-shoots-himself-while-taking-selfies-1.3474672

I wonder if Donzo Trump will nuke Toronto and Paris once he is presidentated...

4:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

al-

Jesus, what a moron. Meanwhile, on Toronto and Paris, I'll start writing letters to Trumpo instead of the Pentagon asap. These places are totally un-American, and I for one am not going to just stand by.

mb

5:35 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

One more step into douchebaggery:
http://www.alternet.org/education/netflix-billionaire-reed-hastings-crusade-replace-public-school-teachers-computers

Heck, why not just shut all schools altogether and homeschool all kids in front of netflix?

Meanwhile, if Wafers are interested on what's happening on this side of the pond, things are also increasingly feeling like the last days of Rome. While most people can barely afford to pay their rents, this is what rich kids are up to these days in London. Make sure you check the "peasants" pictures.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/12175951/meet-the-rich-kids-of-london-instagram-facebook.html

Kanye

5:56 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

Self love. A nation of imbeciles holding the camera for a final selfie before shooting itself.
http://www.theguardian.com/media-network/media-network-blog/2014/mar/13/selfie-social-media-love-digital-narcassism
http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/mar/02/narcissism-epidemic-self-obsession-attention-seeking-oversharing

6:22 PM  
Blogger Christopher said...

Esca Dreg:

What you said is quite literally true.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/03/03/man-dies-after-accidentally-shooting-himself-while-taking-selfie.html

6:52 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Dylan VanCamp, 22, waterboarded his girlfriend in an attempt to determine if she was cheating on him:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/03/02/man-accused-of-waterboarding-girlfriend-to-determine-whether-she-was-being-unfaithful/

Gun sales way up, intelligence way down:

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/mar/03/smith-wesson-profits-double-quarter-san-bernardino

O&D,

Miles

8:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

The militarization of relationships can only be a gd thing. Hopefully, all Americans will start waterboarding each other asap. Meanwhile, check out this guy's face: America's future, no doubt abt it. Also happy to hear abt gun sales. Hey, nobody pushes *us* around!

mb

ps: So *was* she cheating on him?

9:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

We actually have a man running for president who feels it's perfectly OK to discuss the size of his dick in a candidates' debate. This is what the US has come down to.

Meanwhile, I just saw a picture of Kim Jong Un, and I think the time has come for us to nuke his haircut. This guy needs to get a thermonuclear trim.

mb

12:00 AM  
Anonymous Bingo said...

Wafers,

No need to concern ourselves with Hillary or Trump anymore, because Mittney’s about to jump in and sort it all out once and for all:

http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/03/politics/mitt-romney-stop-trump-at-convention/index.html

Bingo

1:09 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...


Dr. Berman :

I thought that I would pass this information along. I looked to see if anyone else mentioned it here on this weblog and did not find anything about it :

Facebook's "Morris Berman Appreciation Society" member Des Carne said ---

"Is this a take on The Man Without Qualities (1930–43; German: Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften) is an unfinished novel in three books by the Austrian writer Robert Musil, considered one of the most significant European novels of the twentieth century?"

Presumably this remark was taken from Wikipedia ---

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_Without_Qualities

1:53 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Marc-

I'm not on Facebk, so I wdn't know anything abt it. But certainly in terms of talent, I'm easily 100 rungs below Robt Musil. It's just that in my novel, the protagonist, George Haskel, is a retired German lit prof, and TMWQ is his favorite novel; wh/is partly the reason why I picked that as a title.

Julian-

Honestly, I never really recovered from Mittney's defeat; it broke my heart. America needed to absorb the richness of the Mittnaic Philosophy, and that oppty is forever lost. COME BACK, LITTLE MITTNEY! ALL IS FORGIVEN!

mb

9:17 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Will someone pls explain to me how we turned into a nation of douche bags?:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/party-culture/2016/03/03/fdb46cc4-e185-11e5-9c36-e1902f6b6571_story.html?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-c%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

mb

9:58 AM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

Things on college campuses are nuts. It wasn't like this when I was in school 10-15 yrs back. I think Facebook and cell phones have a lot to do w this stuff.

In other news:

Donald Trump defends size of his penis

http://www.cnn.com/2016/03/03/politics/donald-trump-small-hands-marco-rubio/index.html

10:56 AM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

The Trumpocalypse of the Republican party would be funny if not for the possible consequences in the general election. Democratic turn out is way down, so the competition is not looking very strong whoever it turns out to be. Apathy, isn't that the complementary trend to a fascist upsurge?

Chris Hedges on Truthdig:
The Revenge of the Lower Classes and the Rise of American Fascism

College-educated elites, on behalf of corporations, carried out the savage neoliberal assault on the working poor. Now they are being made to pay. Their duplicity—embodied in politicians such as Bill and Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama—succeeded for decades. These elites, many from East Coast Ivy League schools, spoke the language of values—civility, inclusivity, a condemnation of overt racism and bigotry, a concern for the middle class—while thrusting a knife into the back of the underclass for their corporate masters. This game has ended.

There are tens of millions of Americans, especially lower-class whites, rightfully enraged at what has been done to them, their families and their communities. They have risen up to reject the neoliberal policies and political correctness imposed on them by college-educated elites from both political parties: Lower-class whites are embracing an American fascism.

11:19 AM  
Blogger Juliet Cash said...

Wafers,

I am more convinced each day that Trump will be our new presidente come November, because Hillary is more detestable than him. Trump can send a thank you note to Obama and neoliberalism for the takeover of fascism.

From Hedges,

"The Republicans, energized by America’s reality-star version of Il Duce, Donald Trump, have been pulling in voters, especially new voters, while the Democrats are well below the voter turnouts for 2008. In the voting Tuesday, 5.6 million votes were cast for the Democrats while 8.3 million went to the Republicans. Those numbers were virtually reversed in 2008—8.2 million for the Democrats and about 5 million for the Republicans."

http://m.truthdig.com/report/item/the_revenge_of_the_lower_classes_and_the_rise_of_american_fascism_20160302

JC

12:16 PM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

Dr. Berman,

Congratulations on the new book. I’m hoping a copy will be arriving today.


Regarding higher education, unfortunately, I think we're deep into second and third order effects. For example, I know of an Ivy League English professor who says point blank that performers and musicians are dicks (his word) for asking their audiences to put down their phones.

The funny thing is I strongly suspect that he would balk at people rolling coal from diesel trucks, but what he supports and what he's doing with his phone are worse.

And no, it’s not some well considered anti-humiliation response on his part, he just wants to play with his phone and tablet. He idolizes Steve Jobs and has the department buy him all the latest Apple toys. Asking for politeness is an affront to freedom and progress.

Having spent a lot of time around increasingly corporatized science and engineering departments, I want to hold onto fantasies that at least the American humanities departments are holding it together. Oh well.

Be safe out there and remember that anybody who says, "please put your phone down during the concert", is an elitist freedom hating dick.

1:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sav, Juliet-

Well, I said as much in 1989 (CTOS). And I cd be wrong, but I think that this election is a bit too early for the election of a Hitlerian-type demagogue, which means that Hillary will win. 8 years of more corporate bullshit, however, plus phony wars and the increasing disintegration of the nation, will probably tip the scales--altho that cd also be significantly aided by another jihadi attack or economic crash. That we are drifting toward disaster, and that a revolution of the right is in the cards, strikes me as being extremely likely.

Meanwhile, where is the left? Worried abt stuff like a Mexican theme party on a college campus! This is their idea of political action. Man oh man...

k-

Hope you enjoy the bk. Your professor friend is just more evidence of a culture in collapse. Talk abt dicks...

mb

1:56 PM  
Blogger Christopher said...

k_pgh:

The day I'm told that I'm an elitist freedom hating dick for telling my students to put their phones away during class is the day I walk out of the classroom never to return. And I'm sure that day is coming.

2:11 PM  
Blogger Dan Henry said...

MB,

I found the Reddit thread interesting in that, while I had heard Freeway Rock Ross's story previously, I had not previously seen that crack epidemic machinery linked with the context of the earlier Panther movement. It was put forth in that thread that the sort of "peoples" standard theory explaining the crack influx was that the CIA wanted to crush the community outreach programs and effects of the, heavily socialist influenced, Black Panthers. So the whole context from that side of the fence was civil rights, Black Panthers, brutal direct govt demolition of Panthers, and then covert demolition of the socialist inspired Panther legacy by outright destroying the entire black community with cheap crack cocaine.

Seen from this perspective, how could a community with memories like the murder of Fred Hampton ever see Bernie as anything OTHER than a joke? There's still a mega-ton of living memory of direct oppression from the US govt in the black community. They're not going to buy a politician selling revolution.

5:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan-

You cd be rt, but I doubt they see Bernie as oppressive in any way. I think it's more an identification w/the Clintons as "black," whereas Bernie probably stands for things they don't really identify with (in addition to being "truly" white). Just a guess. As for the CIA-crack theory: I heard it yrs ago, and wonder if it ever got proven.

mb

5:36 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB, Wafers-

Re: Trump's dick

Well, this is terrific news. Perhaps Trump will flash his audience at some future event. In any event, the last president who spoke so honestly about his dick was LBJ; and the damage left by that prick was considerable. So, in the spirit of LBJ, "it's time to get down to the nut cuttin'": America needs a well-hung president! Who's w/me on this one, Wafers?

Miles

5:37 PM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Below is a link to what I thought was a brilliant column titled 'So much for politics...' by Dmitry Orlov:

http://cluborlov.com/

Orlov discusses the concept of 'the technosphere' and the works of Jacques Ellul and Ted Kaczynski. Below is an excerpt:

"Ted didn't say it, but I will: both ends of the political spectrum, and all points in between, are merely projections of the technosphere. The political parties are social machines, and different mechanized political tasks call for different kinds of machinery. The conservative machine excels at direct, undisguised brutality, which works just fine but is rather expensive. The liberal machine achieves its goals, such as political domination, bureaucratic control, fostering dependency, suppression of social separatism, rendering populations defenseless by advocating nonviolence, imposition of inflated standards, destruction of local cultures through enforced cultural heterogeneity (to name a few)—and it achieves these goals through hypocrisy, which, consisting of mere disingenuous words, is quite cheap. But the moment hypocrisy stops working, there is always the conservative Plan B: march in the goon squad and bust some heads. If you want a brilliant contemporary example of this mechanism at work, look no further than the current presidential contest in the US: on the liberal side we have the congenital liar, hypocrite and crook Clinton vs. the reincarnation of Benito Mussolini, thuggish goon extraordinaire Trump."

Thanks,
Himanshu

6:16 PM  
Anonymous xypeter said...

"Be safe out there and remember that anybody who says, please put your phone down during the concert, is an elitist freedom hating dick."

... I was at the book launch this week for Doug Rushkoff's excellent "How Growth Became the Enemy of Prosperity." During Rushkoff's whole talk -- which was very exciting, and in which he discussed how overcapitalized addictive social networks had destroyed thought -- the gentleman to my right spent the whole time browsing facebook and twitter.

When I told Rushkoff about it the next day, he just looked sad and said, "aww, poor guy." So, I wonder, should I be loath to blame the victims for their oppression? Is it more waferly to challenge such a rude spectator, or simply to feel sad for them?

xox
P

7:10 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

xy-

Personally, I recommend urine on shoes.

Himan-

Hard to disagree with him. This has sometimes been described as the difference between soft and hard fascism, or between Huxley and Orwell. We've had Huxley for a very long time now in the US; what we will eventually get is Orwell. It won't be pretty.

mb

7:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

An Obama appointee a corporate lackey? Hard to believe!:

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/03/04/obamas-education-secretary-pick-lackey-corporate-machine

8:49 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

I got this feelin somebody is watchin me.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YvAYIJSSZY
...all snitches called to action!! The Rambo snitch saves the day.
http://www.alternet.org/grayzone-project/fbi-has-new-plan-spy-high-school-students-across-country
https://cve.fbi.gov/where/?state=trust

...what everybody knows...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lin-a2lTelg

9:16 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Miles/Jeff,

Since you are the nut expert on this blog, I bow to your perceptive historical observation and conclusion that it may be time to put a true prick in the W. House to accelerate the O&D. Il Douche continues to scrape new ground as he hustles toward the nomination. Perhaps codpieces will come back in fashion beginning with the Trump inaugural ball.

9:23 PM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

Bernie prob doesn't do good w/ black voters because Hillary will continue what Obama is doing, and black people trust Obama. That's my guess anyway.

Hillary looks like the safe bet, if you vote Bernie, some people think this gives republicans a better chance since Bernie says things that are not in touch w/ what most Americans believe.

Clinton has a big lead vs Sanders and Trump, and she's looked like the clear winner all along.

MB, looks like your prediction is prob correct -- expect 8 more yrs of the same.

12:18 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

lack-

Well, it's an interesting scenario. To me, it amounts to no more than Will the US collapse slowly, Obama-style, or rapidly (Trump)? Of course, most Americans don't see it that way; they actually think the election is real. Watching the shadows in Plato's cave, is where they're at. Which is, of course, itself part of our collapse.

Meanwhile, the GOP has literally imploded. Outside of Trump, none of those candidates had a single thing new to say; and in the case of Trump, what he hasta say beyond the size of his organ is anybody's guess. In any case, his followers don't really care abt the content of what he's saying, or whether it's even remotely accurate.

So Jeb proved to be a turkey, and the other guys aren't much better. What were Fiorina and Carson about, really? Nothing at all. Mittney condemning Trump has backfired, because he's stale and predictable, as he always was (Come back, little Mittney!). But again, none of this really matters; it's just froth. The electorate is clueless, Mittney is clueless, and the editorial writers at the NYT are clueless. A clueless country has no future, because reality doesn't work that way.

And so, on to Hillary. She's dishonest, completely phony, and little more than a douche bag. She also has no real vision; like Obama, her goal is simply to get elected, nada mas. Once elected, his 'program' was nothing more than crisis management, and that will be her 'goal' as well. But she will win in Nov., because given the choice between more of the same vs. a loose cannon, Americans will choose the former. Eventually, I'm quite sure, they'll choose the latter, but not in 2016. Those of you who have been thinking abt emigrating, now's a gd time to concretize those plans. There may come a time when you *can't* get out, and it may be a mere decade away. Trump is, in effect, a semi-Suez moment. The full moment awaits us, ticking away like a time bomb.

The end of the US--a foregone conclusion now--cd well involve mass migrations, rioting, rt-wing vigilante groups, food and water shortages, breakdown of the electrical grid and the ether grid, martial law and military control of all our cities, massive economic failure, and total chaos. And for the dissidents, political detention centers, such as already exist in Illinois and Indiana. When I wrote "Dark Ages America," I wasn't really aware of how prescient that title was.

At this pt, it's unclear how any of this can be stopped. The 'left' has no power or organization at all, and any populist uprising that might occur will be an expression of the right. That's in fact what Trumpism is abt. Every empire, every civilization, sooner or later comes to an end. The bell is tolling; this is our time.

mb

6:30 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Esca,

Tnx for sharing the Guardian selfie articles. On the same topic, this just came out:
http://time.com/americangirls/

7:16 AM  
Blogger Dan Henry said...

MB,

I agree, Bernie himself is not seen as oppressive in that narrative. I think the African American view tends waferish because of living memory. To them the US govt is a giant death ray. They will not chance a Repub grabbing the trigger, and a "revolutionary" looks naive.

I think you're dead right on Trump. I just told my Indian buddy last night that if Trump wins its time to leave. scary times.

10:49 AM  
Anonymous John S said...

So the GOP race has degenerated into Rubio and Trump debating about who has a larger penis, an we wonder why the rest of the world doesn't see our culture as utterly infantile. I actually wonder if Trump were to flash his penis, ala Jim Morrison if his poll numbers wouldn't go up after that, who knows. Meanwhile the last super rich phony fraud nominee Romney is trying to suggest that Trump is the real phony fraud without any irony, very rich.

Here's what we're dealing with, a garden variety Trump supporter:

"When Kooiman pressed this Trump supporter on why he thinks Trump isn’t specific on any policy, he replied:

“I am not concerned about that. I think he is not being specific so he does not give his competition everything that he’s doing so they copy him.”

And Fox News being Fox News, Kooiman said, “There’s a great theory there and he’s a dealmaker.”

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2016/03/03/sw-this-trump-supporter-may-literally-be-the-dumbest-person-on-earth-video/

Not to say that progressives aren't totally deluded too, just in different ways. Instead of xenophobia and conspiracy theories and just good old fashioned thinly veiled racism, they are more into manifestly false narratives of future political revolutions, awakenings of voter apathy and Obama "hope and change" sloganeering when nothing else fits. Not gonna happen.

12:20 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB, Wafers-

Psychologists report "Trump-induced" anxiety in patients:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/how-do-we-know-america-is-anxious-about-a-president-trump-shrinks-and-massage-therapists/2016/03/03/e5b55a22-e0bb-11e5-846c-10191d1fc4ec_story.html

Here's a good gig:

http://bluestockings.com/event/the-man-without-qualities-reading-by-morris-berman/

Cheers,

Miles

1:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

Thanks for the heads up. I didn't realize my publishers were going to be joining me, but what the heck. That quote from Ursula is spot-on.

Meanwhile, I think we've just abt got our quota for a 3rd NY Wafer Summit Mtg, so if any of you active participants living in the NY Metro area wanna attend, pls write me at mauricio@morrisberman.com during the next couple of wks. At the end of wh/time, I'll notify all of you guys re: time and place.

John-

Yeah, what we have across the political spectrum is a huge collection of meatheads. Our 'future' is pretty clear. Meanwhile, I confess I find Mittney adorable, in his own demented way. To my mind, a day w/o Mittney is like a day w/o sunshine.

mb

2:13 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Juliet-

That factoid from the Hedges article is probably the most important bit of information concerning the election that very few people are talking about. Turnout tends to be much higher in presidential election years versus midterms, and that usually favors Democrats. Indeed, no Democrat save John Kerry's razor thin loss in 2004 has lost the popular vote since 1988. That Super Tuesday voting stat says to me that the "energy" in this election is with Trump and that if it holds, he could destroy Hillary in November.

Interesting side note: Jim Webb publicly stated the other day that he will never vote for Hillary, but may vote for Trump. Webb has always been a bit of a maverick (which likely why he only served a single term as senator), but he probably reflects the thinking of a lot of non-10%er Democratic voters.

2:28 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

From the outside of the US, it looks very obvious that Donald Trump will be the next President.

Just thought I'd cheer you all up.

4:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Golf-

Fingers crossed, amigo.

mb

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Xiale said...

The latest example of American stupidity that I've witnessed was yesterday when buying a sandwich at a deli. The owner and I are speaking about how dumb Americans are when all of a sudden he announces that he will give anyone that can name every president from IKE to Obama a free sandwich. Of course out of 12 or so adults not one could. Is it any mystery as to why people are voting for clowns like Trump and Hilary?

9:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Why I love America:

http://www.boston.com/entertainment/music/2016/03/05/emerson-student-ode-trump-surprise-hit/Nx2sp8dikgwtsMzkAJGNOP/story.html?p1=story_hp

10:15 PM  
Blogger centralscrewtinizer said...

For Bill Hicks, Miles, and Comrade Simba. This guy ran for president too. I wish I could post all the relevant shit, but the drill gets old.
As a swan song, few would confuse Mitt more. "It's still reggae but it's all backwards."
So let's light the kerosene record player and have a nice lump of grass.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h1TS6ce9Ve8&ebc=ANyPxKqGgdlN7RG-DHnCukRUF3ofF9PvdGO-PezNjtVlT3p1s_B0WI2hX3afysXVY3iQjaue4TTMQBVxTRtSuEs-l_Kz31Ojl

1:53 AM  
Blogger jml said...

It seems that part of the Trump phenomenon is a backlash against the onslaught and hypocrisy of the identity politics that has characterized the Obama administration.
This is interesting:

https://solari.com/blog/trump-the-african-american-elite-gravy-train-the-partys-over/

As is this:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/03/02/this-argument-between-cnn-analysts-is-the-best-tv-moment-of-the-campaign/

A quote from the the solari article:

"Our first African American President, supported by an African American First Lady (herself a lawyer), an African-American chief-of-staff and an African American attorney general, ensured:

The delivery of $27 trillion to the banks
A cover up of the $8.5 trillion missing from the federal government
Continued genocide in the Middle East and Africa – continents filled with brown and black people

US prisons continued to fill up with lots of black people. And the folks who engineered Obama into the White House were richly rewarded for playing the African-American card."

On another note, I am rereading "Why America Failed." I loved the book the first time, but this time around I'm finding its words and ideas to be more moving, and even beautiful, as simply stating the truth in the midst of such ugly insanity usually is.

9:26 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jml-

Thanks for yr kind comments on WAF. I often come back to that remark by Gandhi, that nothing you do will make any difference, but you should do it anyway.

mb

9:33 AM  
Anonymous Cerebus Jones said...

Just ordered the new book, says it will likely ship in 2-4 weeks. Also, still find myself shocked now and then that it is now controversial to be against torture in the U.S. That being said, I foresee myself voting Trump just to hasten the decline.

9:34 AM  
Anonymous Edward said...

Thanks Dr B for your new book - I will buy it today. Thanks you jml for the article from solari.com. I like this part:

"The delivery of $27 trillion to the banks
A cover up of the $8.5 trillion missing from the federal government
Continued genocide in the Middle East and Africa – continents filled with brown and black people. US prisons continued to fill up with lots of black people. And the folks who engineered Obama into the White House were richly rewarded for playing the African-American card."

I read somewhere how FDR fought the banks to a standstill during 1929 crisis in America, how he did not allow banks to foreclose one house in America due to the crash, and how he introduced many regulations and laws to stop the madness that caused the financial crisis. If anybody here knows good books on the subject of FDR and banks, please I will like to own a couple of them.

Obama is no FDR. He is as confused as Dr Carson, Jesse Jackson, Alan Keyes, Condoleezza Rice, and the rest of them. If you doubt me, just consider how many young blacks were murdered in Chicago while Obama is in office.

To be honest with you after Obama's presidency the words democrat and progressive mean nothing to me. I would rather join Republicans than regard myself as a democrat or progressive.

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Samuel said...

http://www.newcropcapital.com/

Dual Process Venture

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

Psychology Today article confirming a measurable decline in empathy in U.S. society: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/our-humanity-naturally/201603/beware-americas-shocking-loss-empathy

So to have been so quiet, as of late - preoccupied with work ...

- Northern Johnny

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dear Dr. B:

I sense that you may be weary of further discussion of the American Civil War and its long shadow, but I thought that you might be interested in the linked article about the latest Confederate flag flap- at Gettysburg, no less. Kinda ironic that the "Confederate Flag Day" demonstration and counter-demonstration took place at the Eternal Peace Light Memorial. Not much new in the article, slide show, or comments section...

http://www.pennlive.com/news/2016/03/hundreds_gather_in_gettysburg.html#incart_river_home

5:48 PM  
Blogger Dawgzy said...

Interesting take on Nancy Reagan and what she represents in America:
"A friend of mine in graduate school, a member of the Communist Party even after the collapse of the Soviet Union, liked to brag that when he taught American politics he would assign only Kitty Kelley’s unauthorized biography of Nancy Reagan. I thought he was crazy. Until I read the book."
http://coreyrobin.com/2016/03/06/two-entries-on-nancy-reagans-birth-certificate-are-still-accurate-her-sex-and-her-color-almost-every-other-item-was-invented-then-or-later-reinvented/

9:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sam-

The problem is that it remains within the framework of capitalist economic expansion. Real Dual Process embraces a different framework, that of de-growth, or a homeostatic economy. I've discussed the problem of "greenwashing" and alternatives that aren't really alternatives in a # of places; you might also check out Joel Magnuson, "The Approaching Great Transformaton." He visited a lot of enterprises that use Dual Process language, but which are in reality profit-oriented businesses.

Cerebus-

Sorry abt delay on shipping. I've written my publisher abt this, also abt fact that endorsements and author bio are still not posted on Amazon. Whether these things will get fixed is anybody's guess.

mb

9:40 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sam-

The problem is that it remains within the framework of capitalist economic expansion. Real Dual Process embraces a different framework, that of de-growth, or a homeostatic economy. I've discussed the problem of "greenwashing" and alternatives that aren't really alternatives in a # of places; you might also check out Joel Magnuson, "The Approaching Great Transformaton." He visited a lot of enterprises that use Dual Process language, but which are in reality profit-oriented businesses.

Cerebus-

Sorry abt delay on shipping. I've written my publisher abt this, also abt fact that endorsements and author bio are still not posted on Amazon. Whether these things will get fixed is anybody's guess.

mb

9:40 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: This is kinda nice:

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_fbi_has_a_new_plan_to_spy_on_high_school_students_20160304

I keep wondering how long b4 I wind up in Guantanamo...

mb

9:50 AM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

I ordered the book right after you posted this message, and I just got this from Amazon:

New estimated delivery date:
Wednesday, March 23, 2016 - Monday, April 4, 2016

Why the delay? What happened?

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Frankinstan said...

On CNN yesterday, a Trump supporter said that attack on Trump by Romney is attack on millions of Republicans who support Trump.

And now this: Attack in London by ISIS is attack on western lifestyle. So then ISIS and Romney has one thing in common: they attack westerner people for their beliefs:

"LONDON (Reuters) - Islamic State fighters want to carry out "enormous and spectacular" attacks against Britain and the Western lifestyle in general, Britain's most senior anti-terrorism officer said on Monday.

London Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said the threat from the group which has taken over large parts of Syria and Iraq was evolving, and that it was keen to repeat elsewhere incidents such as last year's Paris shootings and suicide attacks that killed 130 people.

"What we are now seeing in recent months ... is the broadening of that threat, more plans to attack Western lifestyle""

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/isis-spectacular-attacks_us_56dd9fdce4b0ffe6f8e9f2ce

12:40 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

this is not Onion news...it is Onion Democracy in Kangaroo republic.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kcuT_Xm16U

3:08 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Saw this post on The Atlantic web site where people were explaining why they were voting for Trump.

"I would like to offer my reasoning for supporting Trump. I know he would do a pretty terrible job at this point, but I really am at the point of letting the whole thing burn down and explode. Trump would help us get there faster and more efficiently.

Like the joker from The Dark Knight, I just want to see the world burn. I guess I am an anarchist in that respect. Once it's all burnt down maybe we can have that constitutional convention we really need to fix things and get this country back on track if it still exists."

3:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

lack-

I can't explain it, but Amazon is acting as tho they are trying to discourage sales of the bk. They are now delaying delivery for 2-4 weeks, and they have neglected to put the endorsements and author bio on line, even tho the book has been listed for a month now. I apologize for this, but your guess is as gd as mine as to why they are hurting the bk.

Here's a gd article abt Trump, which echoes some of the things I've been saying abt him, and abt America since 1989. He's just the head of a Hydra:

http://www.vox.com/2016/3/1/11127424/trump-authoritarianism

mb

3:27 PM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

Two trends I am noticing at the moment with respect to the U.S. election lead-up, one attributable to the mainstream media, the other to American Left media. In the first case, mainstream media - in keeping with elements in the Republican Party - appear to be attempting to foment an anti-Trump backlash. Their power to define reality in the U.S. is such that this effort may be convincing many that Trump is going down, even if he is actually continuing to rise. Mittney's speech seems to have marked the advent of this impulse. In the second case, Left media seem to be split between its more establishment wing (The Nation, In These Times, among others), which is determined to claim Sanders has either a fighting chance or else that he is in fact the Democratic front runner, and its dissident wing (Truthdig, for instance, with Chris Hedges being the leader here), which is determined to dismiss not just individual candidates but the corporate-two-party system as a whole.

- Northern Johnny

3:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Christian-

I fear we are going to hafta endure 8 more yrs of Weimar Republic (i.e., Hillary). THEN we'll be all set for Hitler. (Also check out vox article I cited above.) But the main pt, as I've been arguing since 2000, is that we are going down the toilet. It may be fast, it may be slow, but the crucial pt is that it is. Absolutely nothing can alter that trajectory at this pt. America is history.

mb

3:42 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

A new low?

Lab tech paid over $100,000 to examine drug samples confiscated by the police caught making up lab results. And the worst part, though suspended (and possibly already allowed to retire) he has not been indicted or arrested for perjury, and the nearly 8,000 cases he handled are now under review.

http://www.nj.com/passaic-county/index.ssf/2016/03/state_police_lab_tech_allegedly_faked_results_in_p.html

Also, it seems foreign diplomats are "voicing alarm" over Trump--to which all I can say is good, hope the rest of the world's corrupt "leaders" stop acting like America's trained poodles if he gets elected.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-trump-foreign-idUSMTZSAPEC37O1O8W3?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link

4:34 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Jeez MB, that Vox article is really something! And though amusing it is to compare Killary with Hindenburg I really wonder if Drumpf (or Il Douche as Jack hilariously called him) or anyone else would really get very far as an authoritarian without the military on his side.

5:33 PM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

Much of the rest of the world is worried about Trump. Worried enough to complain to US diplomats. This is a very, unusual thing for foreign diplomats to do. Apparently the rest of the world doesn't think it's a good idea for the US to hurry up and collapse.

Reuters: Foreign diplomats voicing alarm to U.S. officials about Trump

Foreign diplomats are expressing alarm to U.S. government officials about what they say are inflammatory and insulting public statements by Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump, according to senior U.S. officials.

Officials from Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia have complained in recent private conversations, mostly about the xenophobic nature of Trump's statements, said three U.S. officials, who all declined to be identified.

...

5:47 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB-

Many thanks for the vox article. Earlier today, I saw this bumper sticker in LA: a picture of Hillary w/the words "Trump That Bitch" written underneath. I've no sympathy whatsoever for Hillary, however, the Hydra, as u say, is a long mutha...

MB, Wafers-

Incidentally, I ran across an interesting slogan; an ad for a local exterminator. The slogan is: We Eliminate All Urban Pests!

I though it would go well on a Wafer business card. Something like:

1-800-gowafer.com

We Eliminate All Urban Pests

Contact us today, you won't regret it.

7:52 PM  
Anonymous John S said...

I’ve been thinking for some time, what is wrong with Bernie Sanders. I mean not just why isn’t he gaining traction, but what is wrong with his message. Part of it is, like Hillary says, we don’t live in Denmark or any quasi-rational social democratic country like even any example in Europe. But the bigger problem is that his message is essentially a half-truth. He is entirely correct that there is a corporate elite that pulls the puppet strings on the political process, obviously and as a corollary we have a grotesquely stratified class society, even if it is rarely or ever discussed openly or even fully comprehended.

But it is still a half-truth because the obvious follow up question is - why is this? The premise is that virtuous Americans are just helpless victims of these elites who manipulate things behind the scenes to bring this about, and if people just wake up, things will change. The only problem is they never do, and never have. The half truth is that the economics drives the culture, but actually economics and culture co-evolve together and reflect each other.

For Bernie Sanders to tell the full truth, he’d have to tell Americans to look in the mirror, they are the problem. It would be a malaise speech, that would be honest. But of course, that is the one thing you cannot do – tell the full truth. If he said, you guys have an economic system which produces hyperstratification, because deep down you guys are douchbags and only value entertainment, shopping for the latest gadgets, enemies, hustling, get rich quick schemes, etc. etc., so it is only natural that a deeply stratified economic system will be the end result, what are you guys thinking.

If Bernie were to say, - America is screwed up because you guys are just complete schmucks, total douchebags which naturally leads to an economy where the 1% control everything, wake the F up or just live with what you got the chickens are coming home to roost, that would be an honest message, but of course it ain’t gonna happen ever.

9:16 PM  
Anonymous Cerebus Jones said...

Canada is going to pay for its citizens' basic needs with a "basic income." Mentioned this to one of my acquaintances and they said, "but people will get lazy." Yes, because if my light bill is paid I will just sleep and party all day!!! God forbid that government ACTUALLY benefit its citizens. I fell like everyone has been so brainwashed to believe that life without the 9-5 "grind" (aka the hustle) is meaningless. But IMO the role of a society should not be to unnecessarily perpetuate "the grind." To the contrary, the ultimate goal of a society should be to eliminate the need for "a grind" altogether and allow for a life of leisure. Anyway, whatever, Trump 2016! Because, F it.

Here is the link to the article on the Canada "basic income" program: http://www.techinsider.io/ontario-announces-basic-income-plan-2016-3

11:30 PM  
Blogger Mohamed Ali said...

Is there going to be another civil war? http://youtu.be/boDKdgYQ_CM

2:37 AM  
Anonymous Samuel said...

MB said :

"Sam- The problem is that it remains within the framework of capitalist economic expansion. Real Dual Process embraces a different framework, that of de-growth, or a homeostatic economy. I've discussed the problem of "greenwashing" and alternatives that aren't really alternatives in a # of places; you might also check out Joel Magnuson, "The Approaching Great Transformaton." He visited a lot of enterprises that use Dual Process language, but which are in reality profit-oriented businesses."

Thanks so much for the response. I read Magnuson's work a couple years ago, per your recommendation. Agree completely w/ ur thoughts on the economics of this. But is your theory of dual process alternative always concentrated solely on alternative nonprofit, homeostatic, and/or degrowing economic modalities? I would think that there could also be a dual process alternative for other systems types: in this case something like morality, bioethics, food ethics.

The *real* problem w/ something like the current industrial animal food system, is the disturbing deficit in any quality of life, humane welfare, and minimization of suffering. I'm sure you're abs. right that there are ways to find more economically sophisticated, regionally operating food garden parks etc., and i like reading about those organizations very much. But in this case, there are *millions* and *millions* of non-humans imprisoned and tortured, and if they could talk, they wouldn't give two shits about how the business is wearing homeostatic pants w/ capitalistic underwear.

For me, if the company is a paradigm that aims at replacing the for-profit anti-life structure w/ one that is for-profit but also more *pro-life*, then that is just a dual process alternative of a different type. In fact, it could even make sense that if such a venture 'defected' from the current authoritative system whole cloth, as you might say, into some smaller nonprofit socialistic satellite entity, this most likely would minimize any potential effect it could have on impacting the lives of all those millions and millions of non-humans. Sure, the company might make a buck and feed a bunch of ugly human Americans, but in doing so save many many more genuine non-human American lives.

Just a thought.

9:50 AM  
Anonymous xypeter said...

Could Amazon delay be because demand is higher than expected? ;) P

11:04 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sam-

It's just my own opinion, but I believe that once profit and economic expansion are part of the operation, they eventually overwhelm any good that the institution or organization is trying to do. We have so many examples of this, like Starbucks or Ben & Jerry's. It wd be great if this were not the case, but I fear it is.

John-

Well, Jimmy Carter tried it, and he was quickly out of office. I've said it repeatedly, that there are limits to the "false consciousness" argument. As Janis told us, Americans *do* want a Mercedes Benz; this is what their lives are about. And have been about for centuries. Which is why we've now got Trump, the ultimate hustler. Don' tell me this guy doesn't represent the man in the st.

mb

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Deadthoreau said...

The Anatomy of Trump supporter right here, this is a great read. There's a whole bunch a ideology going on here, Just World Theory, Neoliberal Economic Trickle Down Theory, Horizontal Agression and of course, Hustling. This woman, like most Americans, can't put her life into any type of context.

"Jolie is tired. She woke up at 6:30 this morning, put three kids on the bus, and took her youngest with her to the preschool where she clocks in at 8:30. At 3:30, she clocked out, and returned home to her husband (he is a technician for a telecommunications company) and her children. At 6:00 p.m. she will clock into the big-box store where she recently picked up a seasonal job, and she won’t finish her shift until 1:30 in the morning. But instead of sleeping while she has the chance, she’s explaining to me why she, like 46 percent of non-college-educated Republican voters, favors Donald Trump."

"Once, when Jolie lived with her parents in their one-story house, she applied for food stamps. She received them for a time, but then the county accused her of fraud: they said she was lying about living at her parents’ house, and stripped her of her food stamps."

"Those food stamps, she said, were “the only way I had of feeding my children.” She got an associate’s degree to teach preschool, but in the six years that she has taught—almost all of that time with the same privately owned company—she has never made more than $10 an hour. And she was coming up short. Her checks weren’t enough to cover her family’s needs: basic stuff like rent, a car payment, and diapers."

“But yet there are people who live on government assistance, who collect it, and they turn around and sell it for drug money,” she noted. “And it bothers me. But Trump is talking about cutting down some of those benefits.”

"I told her about Trump’s comments that he thinks America shouldn’t raise the minimum wage to $15 because wages are already “too high,” and that Americans just had to work harder. Here she was, a woman lucky to get four hours of sleep because she had to work two jobs. Did his comment bother her?"

"She shook her head. “I mean, he’s rich for a reason. I’m poor for a reason! We all have our reasons for our financial standing in life. He has a business, he knows how to run it. So clearly he did something right. I may not know the secrets yet—someday I might. Hopefully!”

http://family-studies.org/why-do-white-working-class-people-support-trump/

1:27 PM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

It's getting downright spooky.....

https://www.yahoo.com/politics/trump-loyalty-pledge-hitler-video-153312237.html

Fascism is alive and well!

3:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

xy-

Amazon says all will be straightened out by Friday. Vamos a ver...

mb

3:35 PM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

To Dr. MB and all fellow Wafers worldwide:

Yet another example of typical stupidity found among college graduates no less.....

Nearly 10% of college graduates surveyed in a poll believe Judith Sheindlin, aka "Judge Judy," serves on the Supreme Court. Sheindlin is an American lawyer made popular as the judge on a court show by the name of "Judge Judy." The show features Sheindlin handling small disputes in a courtroom. It also found that almost 60% of college graduates couldn't correctly identify a requirement for ratifying a constitutional amendment and 40% of college graduates didn't know that Congress has the power to declare war.
Additionally, the poll revealed that less than 50% of college graduates surveyed know that presidential impeachments are tried before the U.S. Senate.

It's all here : http://edition.cnn.com/2016/01/19/politics/judge-judy-supreme-court-poll/?utm_source=nextdraft&utm_medium=email

My new manta: America is increasingly stupid and you cannot fix stupid.

3:57 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Cerebus-

I like the cut of yr jib! The vision of a world w/out the grind is a major factor in the emancipatory consciousness of Waferdom. In terms of the US: I'm inclined to agree w/you that Trump is the only solution.

Dawgzy, Wafers-

I encourage you, and all Wafers to secure a copy of "The Way I See It" by Patti Davis. It's truly an astonishing document! Patti describes the cruelty and emotional distance of her own mother, Nancy Reagan. Not only is it a revealing look inside the extremely private and guarded Reagan family, it's well written w/major emotional insight into dysfunctional family dynamics.

Miles

5:14 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...


America is the wealthiest nation on Earth, but its people are mainly poor, and poor Americans are urged to hate themselves. To quote the American humorist Kin Hubbard, 'It ain't no disgrace to be poor, but might as well be.' It is in fact a crime for an American to be poor, even though America is a nation of poor. Every other nation has folk traditions of men who were poor but extremely wise and virtuous, and therefore more estimable than anyone with power and gold. No such tales are told by the American poor. They mock themselves and glorify their betters. The meanest eating or drinking establishment, owned by a man who is himself poor, is very likely to have a sign on its wall asking this cruel question: 'If you're so smart, why ain't You rich? ' There will also be an American flag no larger than a child's hand glued to a lollipop stick and, flying from the cash register.

Americans, like human beings everywhere, believe many things that are obviously untrue. Their most destructive untruth is that it is very easy for any American to make money. They will not acknowledge how in fact hard money is to come by, and, therefore, those who have no money blame and blame and blame themselves. This inward blame has been a treasure for the rich and powerful, who have had to do less for their poor, publicly and privately, than any other ruling class since, say, Napoleonic times.

Many novelties have come from America. The most startling of these, a thing without precedent, is a mass of undignified poor. They do not love one another because they do not love themselves. Once this is understood the disagreeable behavior of American enlisted men in German prisons ceases to be a mystery.

Every army in history, prosperous or not, has attempted to clothe even its lowliest soldiers so as to make them impressive to themselves and others as stylish experts in drinking and copulation and looting and sudden death. When a dashingly-clad officer addresses such a frumpishly dressed bum, he scolds him, as an officer in an army must. But the officer's contempt is not, as in other armies, avuncular theatricality. It is a genuine expression of hatred for the poor, who have no one to blame for their misery but themselves. A prison administrator dealing with captured American enlisted men for the first time should be warned: Expect no brotherly love, even between brothers. There will be no cohesion between the individuals. Each will be a sulky child who often wishes he were dead. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

6:05 PM  
Blogger Dan Henry said...

WAFers will enjoy this episode of Chris Ryan's podcast, with guest Stanley Krippner. Much discussion of US psychosis.

http://chrisryanphd.com/tangentially-speaking/2016/2/22/169-stanley-krippner

6:08 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Maury,

Vamos a ver....hope this doesn't translate into, don't hold your breathe...as we wait to see... I'm hoping that amazon gets it together by Friday and soon we'll be receiving your new book.

Marianne

7:15 PM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

Deadthoreau -

The personal responsibility thing is such a deep belief w/ people, everybody seems to default to that. Even liberal people, they are maybe even more onboard w/ the personal responsibility idea. It's like, if at age 18 you're left on your own in front of a screen, you have 0 reason for not being financially successful because no matter what happened previously in your life, you can somehow with enough hard work, own a nice car and house full of toys.

God forbid someone doesn't want to participate in industrial society at all, I'm sure 99.9% of people would say screw em and let them starve to death. Hustling isn't optional (see:Trail of Tears).

10:28 PM  
Anonymous Timothy Egan said...

The Beast Is Us

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/04/opinion/campaign-stops/the-beast-is-us.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Ftimothy-egan&action=click&contentCollection=opinion&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection&_r=0

11:22 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

I'm afraid I've little of substance to add to the conversation at the mo. I love the Gandhi quote about doing what you should even if it makes no difference. I also much appreciate what the GS of the WH says about dual process and the necessity of avoiding the profit motive. I'm rather forgetful and need to be reminded of these things fairly regularly, because they're important. And that woman DeadThoreau quoted, saying she deserves her poverty and Trump his wealth - that's a truly scary example of a certain type of slave mentality. Such people by their servility help to condemn their kids and grandkids to starvation.

But what I really want to say is this. I've gotten serious about learning Spanish. I'm taking classes. And I am not just learning it for academic purposes. I'm getting out. The prospect of a Trump presidency strikes me as terrifying. It reminds me of that Goya painting "The Colossus," and his etching of the same theme.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Colossus_(painting)

Anyway, I've had it with the anglophone world. El mundo hispanohablante is where I'm heading. There's no perfect place on earth, but better than this..? Yeah, I think it can be found there.

2:10 AM  
Blogger David Parent said...

Hello Fellow Waffers and Prof. Berman hope your all doing well,

Now that it looks like Trumps will be the Republican Nominee for next presidential election in the USA... we up here in Canada are going from first making jokes about Americans refugees fleeing to live here in our great white north ...to more talk of worry and seriousness that its not a joke anymore. Even European TV programs are sending reporters to talk to Canadian officials and or course regular Canadians about this... Anyways I thought I would share some of these media reports. I've chosen two of the humor kind of which the later is no longer a joke... The province of Nova Soctia has now taken over the inquires from the joke website because of the amount of serious inquires from Americans thinking of fleeing to Canada...
Funny parody of kickstarter campaign to help send bricks so Canada can build a Wall on the USA/Canada border to stop all the American Refugees news item:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/trending/bricking-it-for-canada-1.3479184

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/02/15/cape-breton-donald-trump_n_9239020.html

The above shows that quite a few Americans are already making escape plans if Donald Trump win the 2016 Election for President! Our own Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is in Washington this coming weekend for state Diner with Obama and is already getting this kind of questions from the media in Washington...
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2016/02/29/trudeau-trump-washington-post-republican_n_9350476.html
and one more of the over 875 stories just this week alone on the matter
http://www.macleans.ca/politics/washington/pm-intends-to-avoid-commenting-on-trump-during-u-s-visit/
Well wafers Canadians are starting to get little jittery over the Trump becoming the nominee... I think things are going to get even more crazy up here in Canada when he clinches the Republican Presidential Nomination! I've never seen so many Canadians talking about USA politic like they are now and they are either laughing or freaking out!! I think its wild and scary that both countries that border the USA are internally having anger or disgust or other reaction from their citizenry about A US Presidential Candidate. I think its going to get even more interesting as time continues on ...
Bye from a Canadian taking in all the jittery canucks up here in the great white north!
David

7:07 AM  
Anonymous Go time said...

Looks like a major development - a Go computer just beat the top player in the world.

http://www.theverge.com/2016/3/9/11184362/google-alphago-go-deepmind-result

8:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Go-

This is so depressing. I love the game.

Kev-

Smart move! The best decision of my life, ever. As for Goya, equally appropriate is Saturno devorando su hijo--what the US is currently in the process of doing.

mb

10:48 AM  
Blogger Joseph A. Domino said...

Dr. Berman, you may remember me. I've reviewed a number of your books and I have your novel on order, which I look forward to.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Frankistan said...

@ David Parent:

Every dick and harry is now coming to tell America what is good and what is bad for her.
This trend started with Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel. Vicente Fox of Mexico entered the theater to advice America what is good and what is bad for America. Now Justin Trudeau of Canada has jumped in.

Can we have more Trumps everywhere in USA? We need Trumps in House, Senate, and Whitehouse. We need Trumps in the universities - where kids are being ripped off via loans and little education. We need Trumps in hospitals and healthcare. Canadians enjoy universal healthcare and I am yet to hear their prime minister shouting and raving about the injustice done to the American people by the American politicians and their corporate masters.

1:03 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Timothy Egan - that NYT article is a steaming pile of you know what. Yes, it is true that Trump's success is the responsibility of the American people, but typically for a writer whose position of privilege within the American elite is most threatened by the possibility of President Trump, that author conveniently skips over the biggest reason for Trump's success--namely his economic populism.

In fact, he shows how clueless he is by quoting an angry for Romney adviser (another douchebag whose position of privilege within the American elite is most threatened by the possibility of President Trump) and Romney himself (whose Bain Capital is the very personification of the predatory capitalism that has destroyed the American middle class) in the 2nd paragraph of the article.

But this quote REALLY made me laugh: "But it’s not mainstream to toss aside longstanding American policy against war crimes, advocating torture"

Was this douchebag asleep the past 15 years? Or did he miss the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Abu Ghraiib, Guantanamo, rendition, waterboarding, drone assassination, etc?

This douchebag is the type who the louder he screams, the more he makes me hope Trump wins and that when he does, the his FIRST priority is to take down worthless and corrupt institutions like the NYT.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Now for something completely different and of interest to those attending the WAFer summint in NYC. From my second favorite blog on the net:

http://www.seriouseats.com/jewish-food-new-york-queens-middle-eastern-bukharian-israeli-georgian

2:38 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Was the Go match a repeat of the farce of Deep Blue or was this a legitimate we have a computer program and we will let it play a human without any tinkering during the match?

3:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Christian-

Going beyond Deep Blue, I believe the program was improved to the pt that Garry Kasparov lost, but my memory is a bit vague on this pt. Am definitely interested in the application to Go, which has many more levels than chess. Meanwhile, have been working thru Bobby Fischer's classic, "My 60 Memorable Games." This doesn't include Fischer-Spassky 1972, but those are all available online; Game 6 is like a poem. Well, all of Bobby's games are like a poem, really. He's breathtaking...same crystalline/rational style as Capablanca, so they say. Check out a film called "Pawn Sacrifice."

Pastrami-

Holy shit, what a web site. I may hafta move to Queens, next door to Fred Costanza.

Bill-

I for one look forward to the permanent closing of the NYT, which is a total farce. But there's another reason for Trump's popularity, and it's the same as Bernie's: these are the only 2 guys currently speaking authentically, saying what they believe. We may not like what they say, but at least they are speaking their truth, while Hillary and all of the GOP clowns talk from scripts. Oddly enuf, this is the theme of my latest novel, written last Oct b4 all of this became obvious. I think I must have been chanelling the zeitgeist.

Frank-

Agree completely. We need Trumps everywhere. We esp. need them crawling out the anuses of the American people. But never fear: Trumpism isn't going to go away, even if Hillary wins this time around. Trump is our history (hustling), and thus our destiny. This attempt on the part of the Establishment to make him Other, when he is truly Us, is pathetic.

Joe-

Of course I remember u, and welcome back. Hope u enjoy my new novel. Amazon is threatening to clean their act up by Friday, so maybe u and other Wafers can get yr hands on it b4 too long.

Newsflash to all Wafers:

1. It looks like the 3rd NY Wafer Summit Mtg is a go. If you are an active participant on this blog, want to attend this monumental event, and have not yet contacted me, pls do so now: mauricio@morrisberman.com. As for those of you who have contacted me, I'll be sending you time and place b4 2 long.

2. Rdg from my new novel will take place at Bluestockings on Lower East Side, April 4 at 7pm. Followed by a pizza orgy at Rosario's, on Orchard St.

3. My publisher has informed me that there will be a 2nd rdg in Bklyn, in Williamsburg, probably April 5 or 6. I'll post exact location and time as soon as things are confirmed. In this case, we might wanna do pastrami or borscht instead of pizza, following the event.

mb

6:40 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

This is an interesting perspective:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/07/donald-trump-why-americans-support

MB-

Great news about yr upcoming NYC gigs and festivities! Jesus, I wish I could attend. In any event, I hope all u guys find the deli of yr dreams and have a happy time.

Miles, Kind of Blue, Deli

7:26 PM  
Anonymous Google DeepMind said...

Google's DeepMind beats Lee Se-dol again to go 2-0 up in historic Go series

http://www.theverge.com/2016/3/10/11191184/lee-sedol-alphago-go-deepmind-google-match-2-result

This is very surprising, apparently this computer is making moves that have never been made by humans and AlphaGo has stunned everyone. Computers have now passed humans in Go as the computer has now beaten twice the best player in the world. There are 3 games left and it will be interesting to see if the human can even win a single game.

I think this is very monumental and will likely cause some people to change the fundamental way they view humans and machines. I would be very curious on your thoughts here, this is very shocking as this is insight and intelligence more than brute force. There are trillions of possible moves in Go, there is no way that a computer can simply evaluate all the possible combinations like they did with chess. This seems like pretty strong proof that computers are moving into another level many thought impossible.

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Jerome J said...

Dear Dr. Berman and Wafers,

I wish very much that I could be in New York for one of the readings, and of course the Wafer Summit. Good news about the novel. Amazon informed me yesterday that my copy had shipped and is expected to arrive by Friday.

Jerome

10:45 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Under the heading "Second Amendment Follies, res ipsa loquitur section," the following item:

http://newser.com/s221842

A Florida gun-rights advocate is capped by her own toddler.

[Too many advocates, not enough toddlers.]

10:51 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

Not to worry, I'll c.u. in Vancouver. We're going to have a Cdn/Pacific NW Wafer Summit, plus I'm hoping to arrange a rdg of my novel at a local bkstore. Details to follow.

Jerome-

Glad to hear Amazon is doing something. The listing for the bk is still fucked up, but they said it wd be unfucked by Friday.

mb

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Wafers,

For all you Trump lovers, I suggest the article on truthdig by Robert Reich entitled: The American Fascist.

Marianne

11:58 AM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Jeff/Miles and other West Coast Wafers -

I'm looking forward to MB's visit to Vancouver this spring, and plan to drive up from Olympia, WA. Let's have a Cascadian Wafer Summit! Please shoot an email to me (jackklattemann@comcast.net) to coordinate and let's plan some stuff.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Miles - now THAT was a great, on target article about Trump. Trump spends much of his speeches bashing the awful "free" trade agreements and Bush's horrendous prescription drug plan giveaway to the pharmaceutical companies. Where do I sign up for that with someone who isn't a lunatic?

@James Allen--my favorite story of the week. Mom ought to be proud that her toddler is such a good shot!

4:40 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Dear WAFers
See this article about de Tocqueville from “The American Conservative” magazine. This journal often has thoughtful articles which are not at all part of the so-called “conservatism” of the Neocon\Republican mainstream.

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/what-would-tocqueville-say-about-trump/?mc_cid=2c6b4ef429&mc_eid=d6de7810fb

An excerpt:
After all, Trump is not an anomaly. He is a reflection of American culture. He is the image of the coarseness and incivility in American culture that has grown more and more pronounced until today, when it is acceptable for a major presidential candidate to refer to one of his opponents as a p***y. He ought to have his mouth washed out with soap. (That was my grandmother’s form of waterboarding.)
When we see Trump, we see ourselves. Trump is a credible candidate today, and he would not have been credible in the past. Trump has always been a boor, but American manners have not always been boorish enough for Trump to find a place in public discourse. Now they are. We have no one to blame but ourselves, we who have become narcissistic, uncivil, civically lazy, obdurate, gullible, uncouth, easily offended, and in the prophet Jeremiah’s words, we are so implacable, we do “not know how to blush.”

Quercus

6:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Daniel-

We are also a collection of 322 million douche bags, which Trump is to the max. Excellent excerpt, except author is stealing my material. Trump is Us! I look forward to coming north, working on his presidential campaign. Yea, Trumpito! Te amo!

Jack-

Gd idea! Also note that I just got an invite to speak in Portland in Oct., and may do the Powell's-Elliott Bay (Seattle) circuit at that time. Invitation is from a major psychiatric assn; Wafers are encouraged to provide me with a title for my lecture. E.g., "Why Do Americans Have Fruit Compote in Their Heads?"

Marianne-

Fascism is the perfect way for Americans to polish themselves off! Sieg Heil, Trumpo!

mb

6:20 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kill, kill, and kill, America!:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2016/03/10/police-search-for-two-attackers-who-they-say-opened-fire-near-pittsburgh-killing-five/?tid=pm_pop_b

Meanwhile, I try to find an online pic of Hillary's face every day, just to remember what the next 8 yrs will be abt.

mb

6:44 PM  
Blogger Bullshevik said...

Has anyone seen this?

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-new-mind-control-subliminal-stimulation-controlling-people-without-their-knowledge/5511628

8:43 PM  
Blogger Dawgzy said...

Hi, WAFers! When Trump faces Hillary in the debates he will use the stuff in the Guardian story that Miles D. cites. Economic issues have traditionally been Dem presidential candidates' strength. No longer. All DT has to do is demagogue it, but good: " Release the Wall Street speech transcripts, Hillary" "A Dem president and AG didn't lift a finger against Wall Street criminality." "Clinton, NAFTA. Clinton, NAFTA." The ground that should be firm under HRC's feet has eroded, but she doesn't know it yet.
I'm semi-retired- have managed to set enough aside to probably be okay. My kids see America optimistically, they're doing well by doing good. For myself, I don't foresee emigrating. I've encouraged my kids to do so. I can look from a safe remove at what's coming down as grand guignol theatre, fascinating in its pathology. But I'm concerned for my kids- this mess has consequences for them that I won't be around for. So in the interest of full disclosure, and at the risk of losing my WAF decoder ring, I admit that I will probably end up holding my nose and voting for HRC to forestall a DT win (though I'd much rather vote for one of the WAF approved candidates. Shaneeka, you're not forgotten, babe.) Also, I must admit to having a smart phone. …. There it's out.
I feel relieved.
That you might be in Portland is great news. You are welcome to stay with me and Mrs. Dawgzy.

11:11 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Fighting douchebaggery, one defiant act at a time:

A Chicago transit rider arrested for employing a cellphone jamming device out of frustration with the incessant phone use around him:

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/03/man-accused-of-jamming-passengers-cell-phones-on-chicago-subway/

As it happens, the same crusader was assessed a misdemeanor fine and given probation for doing the same thing in 2009.

Aux armes, citoyens
Formez vos bataillons!

7:48 AM  
Blogger Greenthink said...

Dr. Berman and Wafers:

This video seems like a good enough reason to emigrate to old Mexico. Happy Friday mis amigos!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BokdSWC2R68

9:32 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

From that Tocqueville article, quoted above:

After all, Trump is not an anomaly. He is a reflection of American culture. He is the image of the coarseness and incivility in American culture that has grown more and more pronounced until today, when it is acceptable for a major presidential candidate to refer to one of his opponents as a p***y.

The USA seems to be not very far from having a candidate who will call his opponent a "fag," kick him in the groin, then plug his line of bottled water with the line, "It's got electrolytes!"

For any of you considering moving to Canada, don't be fooled by such displays as Trevor Noah last night gushing over the entitled fraud, Prince Justin Trudeau. For all his panda-hugging, he's still in the corporate pocket while continuing to endorse the ongoing torture of Palestine.

Yes, we brought in 25,000 Syrian refugees, which is great, but then we have yahoos like the guy in Alberta who refused to take off his Edmonton Oilers ball cap for his drivers licence photo because hockey is his religion, an obvious shot at Muslims, Sikhs, and other members of the dark, turbanned horde who are invading our great white country.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/red-deer-drivers-license-photo-fight-1.3485399

10:38 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jas-

This guy deserves the president's Humanities Award.

Dawgzy-

Why not write in Lorenzo Riggins? Much better choice than Hill-Pill.

mb

10:42 AM  
Anonymous John S said...

My theme song for this election - from the crazy right wing delusions that Trump's trade wars are going to bring back manufacturing to delusions about political revolutions is the great rock and roll song Won't Get Fooled Again by The Who:

Take these lyrics:
"There's nothing in the streets
Looks any different to me
And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
And the parting on the left
Are now parting on the right
And the beards have all grown longer overnight"

or this one, to any sane Americans when this is all done:
"I'll move myself and my family aside
If we happen to be left half alive
I'll get all my papers and smile at the sky
Though I know that the hypnotized never lie"

Any other theme songs?

12:23 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and fellow Wafers,

MB-

Re: major psychiatric assn gig

This is great news! Evidence that yr work is *more* than just an historical perspective on America, yes? Keep yr passport current, MB; I think it's a distinct possibility that as America continues its spiral into chaos and madness, yr work will be much more appreciated and in demand. To think that Michiko laughed at yr analysis in DAA, w/out really taking a serious look at yr research and evidence, is almost comical now... Jesus, I hope she chokes on it! Was the Roman historian, Vegetius, laughed at too?

Anyway, jus' got an email that "The Man Without Qualities" will be delivered by 8:00PM!

Dawgzy-

I love it: "DT" for Donald Trump. DT, of course, is Delirium Tremens. I don't know about u, but I break out in sweats and see wild bats when I look at Trumpo.

Bullshevik-

Many thanks for returning MB's "Counting Blessings." The Wafer Book Loan Program (WBLP) is a *great* success, I'm happy to report.

Keep on Wafering,

Miles

1:52 PM  
Anonymous COS said...

On a lighter note: http://www.theonion.com/article/noam-chomsky-announces-las-vegas-residency-52508

One can imagine Berman doing a one man act along the line of that of Chomsky in Vegas, peeing on loafers, calling out audience members and calling them douches and throwing Pastrami at people.

2:08 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

Bobby Fischer would be turning 73 soon if he were still alive. Chessbase decided to post some articles about him. Here is the first.

http://en.chessbase.com/post/remembering-bobby-part-1

a brief bio on the author of the article ---

http://en.chessbase.com/author/nagesh-havanur

For those on facebook, here are some articles listed by Prof. Havanur about former World Chess Champion Mikhail Tal, who in many ways was a more interesting person than was Bobby Fischer ---

https://www.facebook.com/MichailNechemevicTal/posts/756644057774563

Tal struggled with his health throughout his career. Once while he was recuperating in a hospital he was visited by Bobby Fischer.They set up a chess board while Tal was still in a bathrobe and analyzed some opening lines on the hospital bed.

2:16 PM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

I received the book today so it looks like Amazon fixed the issue.

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Michael in Oceania said...

In re @MB:

"... And for the dissidents, political detention centers, such as already exist in Illinois and Indiana."

A man named Richard Sauder, who lives in Ecuador, has this take on it:
eventhorizonchronicle.blogspot.com/2016/03/the-ussa-police-state-tightens-its-boa.html

"Given the high number of police killings in the USSA in recent years, many of them in the context of SWAT team invasions of the supposedly "wrong house", where the police gun people down without warning, mercy or explanation, I believe we have to consider the real possibility that we are seeing government death squads in action, physically eliminating people whom the NSA's metadata surveillance may have flagged for "special attention" by law enforcement."

In other words, an Argentine-style "dirty war." Although Sauder's assertion is probably unprovable, I don't discount that possibility, and neither should anyone else.

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Moishe Pupik said...

A new Morris Berman book is always a cause for celebration.

I'm buying two copies; one for myself and one to send to Sarah Palin.

Maybe if she reads the novel, she will become enlightend and drop The Donald to Feel the Berm instead.

7:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

lack-

Gd to hear, tho they have yet to post the endorsements and author bio. Plus, it still says 1-3 wks for shipping. All this was supposed to have been sorted out by today. My publisher is now riding their ass, but who knows when they'll fix the listing.

cos-

Works for me, tho I'm hoping members of audience will be wearing Hush Puppies (more absorbent).

Jeff-

Am currently working on getting SSIG back into print, and then will turn my attn to "Counting Blessings." But am glad the WBLP is working, in the meantime.

Hope you all have a great weekend. Our star is rising! Waferdom soon to take over the world!

mb

7:15 PM  
Anonymous SeekingSanity said...

Hello Wafers and Dr. Berman,

I've just been lurking lately, but have enjoyed the many links. Thanks to all for posting them.

Dr. Berman, I understand your comment about looking at a picture of Hillary daily to prep you for the next eight years. However, I do wonder if the same would hold true for a Trump presidency. The eight years that is. My guess is two to three years with that dipshit at the helm and this bus flies off the cliff at full speed. The only potential setback for him could possibly be the deep state of behind the scenes bureaucrats who have kept this albatross from a self inflicted gunshot to the head through every president since that buffoon Reagan. Still, the momentum of proud stupidity is reaching tsunami proportions and may overwhelm them, thus giving Americans their just rewards. My fingers are crossed.

Eight years of Hillary at the helm will mean a dragged out the trip over the cliff as long as possible so she and her carpetbagging friends can pick the bones clean of anything of worth before we hit the bottom of the cliff. That could be exciting if Americans were smart enough to see what was happening to them and react to it, but we all know they're not. That would require insight.

Regardless of which huckster wins the election, I can hardly wait for them to start showing their true nature and doling out serious pain on those who excitedly voted for them. Let's get this show started!

8:52 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Hillary REALLY stepped in it this time with her monumentally stupid lies about Nancy Reagan's record on HIV/AIDS--and gets, ahem, Savaged for it:

"That is a fucking lie. You could only say the Reagans started "a national conversation" about AIDS if terrified, desperate, and dying people screaming "WHY AREN'T YOU SAYING OR DOING ANYTHING ABOUT AIDS!" at the Reagans counts. It does not count."

http://www.thestranger.com/slog/2016/03/11/23698621/hillary-clinton-the-reagans-particularly-nancy-helped-start-a-national-conversation-about-hiv-and-aids

Of course, this is the same Hillary who opposed marriage until 2013 until it was politically expedient to "evolve" on the issue. I think that fact plus these remarks show pretty clearly what she REALLY thinks of gay people--they are a nuisance who should go away and not interfere with her coronation.

It is also just incredible to me how blatant Hillary is in openly showing her preference for the privileged few, which most politicians who play at her level instinctively KNOW is a trait they have to hide. Bad enough that she has to shower praise on an awful human being like Nancy Reagan, but then she goes and blatantly lies about Reagan's record on AIDS when she didn't have to say ANYTHING about that issue. And her "apology" was total BS too.

10:25 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

So it's true. In my K-8 charter school not a single student knows how to write cursive. How pathetic that I get writing from the upper grades in print form. We need not worry about foreign invasion as we are daily committing cultural suicide. What does concern the administration? In a book on B.B. King "gospel music" came up. I tried to explain that it is spiritual music sung mostly in African American churches. When my students still didn't understand my explanation, I added it's a kind of music where singers raise their arms and sway back and forth. The next day, an administrator asked me into her office who told me that black people do "not" raise their arms and sway back and forth when singing gospel music and that I need to be more sensitive to African American culture. Meanwhile, 15 year olds are writing papers like 6 year olds and will no longer be able to read original(cursive) documents like the Gettysburg Address,the Declaration, or any of M.L. King's speeches. Imagine, doctor, if the Japanese government suddenly decided not to use Kanji but write everything in hiragana or katagana. Imagine the outcry. Not here where everything and everyone is disposable.

6:59 AM  
Anonymous Go Time said...

"AlphaGo beats Lee Se-dol again to take Google DeepMind Challenge series"

Wow, the computer is up 3-0 in a 5 game match. Without a doubt computers are now superior to humans in Go. Sad day for anyone who saw beauty in the game, it has been reduced to cold computation.

http://www.theverge.com/2016/3/12/11210650/alphago-deepmind-go-match-3-result

8:15 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Go-

Prefigured, somewhat, in Kawabata's great novel, "The Master of Go."

Dan-

I'm not clear as to why raising arms and swaying to music is a bad thing. I'm beginning to think Lamarck was rt, and that after many generations of stupidity, it finally becomes genetic, such that even schl administrators are affected.

Seeking-

There are probably 2 Trump scenarios. The one I prefer is that within 1-2 yrs he takes the country into the ditch, and all of its major institutions collapse. The other one is that once in office, the parameters of the job keep him from doing as much damage as he wd like. This wd probably just be a bad version of a Hillary presidency, but nothing dramatic. I think at this pt the US cd use a little drama. Wafers are encouraged to submit summaries of Scenario #1: the 1st 2 yrs of the Trump presidency.

Moishe!

Always gd to hear from u. I hope u.r. keeping your pupik nice and warm. Sarah does indeed need to Feel the Berm.

mb

11:12 AM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...


a fun little game for the kids

http://torturegames.net/play-11-The-Torture-Game-2.html

just think of some bright little tyke brought up on this stuff one day growing up to be president.

you have to wonder who comes up with this stuff and why?

12:31 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Wafers,

After reading so many wishes for the US to collapse and crash in the worse ways possible, I wonder if there is a kind of revenge behind these statements? I know many Americans know very little about history, lack insight and curiosity, an understatement to say the least, but I wonder how you can hope for and justify all the personal suffering that would ensue from another collapsed economy and country?

Righting a sinking ship won't happen but constant wishing for the other alternative seems cruel. Although I realize chronicling examples of stupidity and US decline is one purpose of this blog something feels off in the repetitive glee expressed almost daily.

Marianne

2:32 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Trump calls Bernie a communist, and blames his campaign for Trump rally violence:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-idUSMTZSAPEC3CWY43GM

Post WW I Germany, of course, was highlighted by open street fighting between fascist and communist parties. Is this the kind of scenario the US is seeing at this moment, albeit on a smaller scale? These incidents are piling up; occurring on a daily basis, in fact. Political violence has happened before in American politics, obviously, but this is a different form, as far as I can see. I expect to see the violence intensify and people will start to die. Jesus, can't these people see that we are doing this to ourselves? A terrible fate awaits us all, I fear.

Miles

4:02 PM  
Anonymous Frankistan said...

Dr B, I want to be on record here. Scenerio 1 and scenerio 2 have been going on since 1980. Ronald Reagan increased the tempo significantly and Romney made his money due to the environment created by Reagan. Outsourcing resulted from deregulation initiated by Reagan. The idea that business firms exist only to maximise profits led to three destruction of labor unions and to more outsourcing.

5:01 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Dr. B - in my wildest imagination I cannot fathom what a Trump presidency would actually look like. The man is just so bombastic and all over the place. If he were to be true to his word and focus on raising tariffs, rejecting the TPP and start renegotiating our other bad "free" trade deals, he could actually do some good. Of course, he'll be thwarted at every turn in such efforts by nearly the entire corrupt Washington establishment.

Though I hate the comparison, when Hitler came to power he had a long standing cadre of like minded, able but evil subordinates (Goering, Goebbles, Himmler, etc.) who carefully put his agenda into action, always mindful not to show their hand by being too radical too quickly. Where are Trump's equivalents? He's just one guy, and it's going to be next to impossible for him to get anything done on his own. I see a man who'll flail about impotently, and who will discover that being president isn't as much fun as he thought it was going to be.

Of course, it is always possible he will instead decide to play ball with what almost certainly will again be a Republican congress. If that happens, his voters might as well have supported Jeb.

On a related note--Hillary caught yet again with her hand in the cookie jar. Seems her and Bill have been taking millions of dollars in for-profit college cash. When it comes to institutional corruption, Trump is a rank amateur compared to the Clintons:

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/03/hillarys-emails-reveal-lucrative-ties-to-for-profit-colleges/

5:51 PM  
Anonymous John S said...

The best opportunity for Trump to become pres is actually Hillary Clinton. Hillary really is a very stupid person in so many ways. Her salvo to counter Trump's "Make America great again" was "Make America whole again, it is already great," which was correctly mocked by Trump. Trying to out-Trump Trump with sloganeering is an exercise not only in futility but stupidity. Or take Hillary's latest praise of the great work Nancy Reagan did for AIDS. I endured the Reagan 80's and anyone with half a brain knows the Reagan's were both staunch AIDS denyiers, the epitome of the problem not the solution. So Hillary's praise now saying she "misspoke" indicates to me both political blindness and stupidity - how could she ever say that. She's probably gonna run a tit for tat, personality race against Trump's non-stop ad hominem attacks against virtually everyone, which as we know just plays into Trump beautifully - just ask all the other GOP fools from Rubio, Bush down the line how effective that is. No the only real effective campaign against Trump is like the one Johnson ran against Goldwater. An effective campaign message would be that Trump is a dangerous, incompetent, flip-flopping inexperienced buffoon whose ideas will destroy the economy as well as our relationships with the rest of the world, and that simply isn't worth the risk. Of course so will she, but in a slower way. Pounding that message home over and over again would be a winning strategy, ignoring all of the personal attacks completely, I'm convinced would work but Hillary is so stupid she'll probably run it as a personality contest, especially with the advice and track record of her husband, which will make the race much tighter that it has to be.

6:52 PM  
Anonymous xypeter said...

Cher Mauricio,

Will you be selling copies of TMWQ at the Bluestockings event?

6:58 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...


I have another prospective name for anonymous posters to this weblog - "Lamarck was right".

Actually, the discovery of the importance of epigenetic information has resulted in a resurgence of Lamarckian theory.

https://unvarnishedveritas.wordpress.com/2011/11/18/epigenetics-and-the-resurgence-of-lamarckism/

For those interested, the Haru basho (the spring pro sumo tournament in Japan) starts Sunday March 13 in Osaka. The bouts occur much earlier here in the USA, usually late Saturday night and early Sunday morning. I'll be making my usual commentary (username pukulu) on Kintamayama's youtube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/user/Kintamayama/videos

The results of the bouts quickly get posted here ---

http://sumodb.sumogames.de/Banzuke.aspx

2 other channels with uploaded sumo bouts ---

https://www.youtube.com/user/MartinaLunau/videos

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfgDe6vrbiesKAbfHhSasig/videos

Big guys don't always win in sumo. An example ---

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TVbCQS3giE

11:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

xy-

Yes. Possibly also T-shirts, with the legend: WHAT WOULD GEORGE HASKEL DO?

Frank-

True, but Trump wd constitute a quantum leap in these tendencies. The US cd wind up with a Trump Tower right up the wazoo.

Jeff-

Working title of DAA was "Colossus Adrift." I think it still holds. We are in a Weimar phase of suspended animation, and as in Germany, it won't last forever--far too unstable. Hillary will continue this program, but by 2024 things will have gone over the precipice, I'm guessing.

Marianne-

A crash may actually be less painful, in the long run, than the limbo state of dissolution we are currently in. Yrs of angina may not be preferable to an outright coronary, in other words. In addn, there's the question of a crash bringing an end to the violence we visit on other countries--the butchery and genocide that is their daily fare, because of us. (Think of how many we torture on a daily basis.) That this wd come to a halt because we cd no longer afford a murderous foreign policy wd be a major relief to millions worldwide. As I said once b4, I don't think one can be both a patriot of the US and a patriot of humanity, simultaneously. Myself, I'm on the side of humanity.

From a dispassionate pt of view, one hasta think in terms of the inevitable cycle of civilizations rising and falling. This is the historical record, altho it's true that some collapse faster than others. There is a strong dose of karma in these events, altho the "revenge" doesn't come from God; it comes from History. The US has sown the wind, and is now reaping the whirlwind. This is occurring on both the foreign and the domestic levels. Domestically, a Trump presidency wd, in my view, constitute a Suez moment, the more so since other nations wd regard the US as a joke (which many do already). On the level of foreign policy, it takes the form suggested by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright (whom Obama disowned): "If you are going to terrorize other people, eventually they are going to terrorize you back." No shit. There's a quality of punishment, here, in other words--History punishing America for years and years of cruel behavior. Whether one has "glee" abt this or not doesn't really matter, I don't think, because the process strikes me as being inevitable.

We cd, I suppose, discuss how the trajectory might be reversed, which is what I tried to do in the Twilight bk; but at this pt, that wd be an exercise in futility. The fix is in; we are too far gone for any such reversals.

mb

12:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Rice Crispies will never be the same:

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/03/13/us/kellogg-worker-urinate-video/index.html

1:00 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

The trial of Washington state's Auditor, Troy Kelley, begins Monday in a federal courtroom in Tacoma, WA. Before running for Auditor, Kelley ran a real estate services company called "Post Closing Department" to which title companies handed over thousands of $100 to $150 payments from borrowers with the expectation Kelley would refund unused portions of the fees after taking a $15 to $20 cut, but Kelley kept most of the funds and stashed them in an off-shore bank account in Belize to shield them from home purchasers who went to court to try to get their refunds. Post Closing's records and computers were "lost" in a conveniently timed 2008 fire.

http://www.theolympian.com/news/politics-government/article65611187.html

Kelley, who incidentally ran as a Democrat, is my nominee for "Douchebag of the Day," as best expressing the spirit and hustle of the age of Trumpismo.

3:07 PM  
Blogger Jacob James said...

This poem about drones always made me feel like someone was paying attention.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvS0DiQXpUo

8:17 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Marianne - Dr B's summary strongly echoes my own feelings. Until March of 2003, I knew America's record around the world remained far from perfect, but I figured at least we would never again commit an all out, long standing massive war crime like Vietnam. Even so it took another six years after the Iraq War began, until after Obama promptly sold ordinary Americans down the river after his election, before I came to the conclusion that an economic collapse was in fact the only way America would ever stop the madness.

One thing Dr B did not hit on which also very relevant to me is the massive amount of damage and destruction Americans' consumerist, throwaway lifestyles does to the natural world. Global warming? An immediate economic collapse seems like the only hope of slowing it down before it eventually builds to a potential extinction-level event.

Having said all of that, I am not one who takes any joy in the thought of the human suffering such a collapse would entail. Other than bringing out the guillotine for the Wall Street douchebags, the bankers and the political class, I wish there were some way collapse could be accomplished merely by greatly lowering the standards of living for most people who possess an excess of wealth beyond what they need to survive (which would include me, BTW), but keep a functioning society in place. Impossible I know, but that would be my preference.

At any rate, I seriously doubt that an economic collapse is going to occur anytime soon. Ironically, if Trump were to get elected and actually throw a huge monkey-wrench into the neoliberal, globalist economy as he has been promising his supporters he will do, that WOULD probably cause a collapse given how fragile the world economy currently is. But the Washington establishment is never going to let him do that.

10:12 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

GSWH on Resistance Radio – Derrick Jensen
http://prn.fm/resistance-radio-morris-berman-03-13-16/

American socialist revolutionaries getting ready for the final jihad. Glory days ahead. I can't sustain my euphoria.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRh_vgS2dFE

Glee Glee everywhere...
http://guymcpherson.com/2016/03/why-im-voting-for-donald-trump-mcphersons-6th-stage-of-grief-gallows-humor/
"In context, my goals for today include being kind to someone, smiling at a stranger, and calling a few friends to convince them to vote for The Donald."

There is tremendous suffering already, just not us yet. Sorry Marianne, this rotten enterprise needs to go to ashes before the Phoenix even has a chance.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/29/american-exceptionalism_n_4170683.html

10:51 PM  
Blogger Dan Henry said...

game 4 went to the human

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5gJ-pVo1gs

10:58 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

A piece by Neal Gabler in today's Salon.com points to the role the media has played in the development and flourishing of the Trump phenomenon:

http://www.salon.com/2016/03/14/we_all_enabled_donald_trump_our_deeply_unserious_media_and_reality_tv_culture_made_this_horror_inevitable/

The article likely won't offer any insights that haven't already occurred to the followers of this blog, but is praiseworthy for taking note of a book that identifies the problem with media, a book that appeared in 1961: The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America, by Daniel J. Boorstin, later to become the twelfth Librarian of the United States Congress (1975-1987).

WAFers may wish to read the article, but won't go astray if they choose to skip directly to Boorstin's book, still in print and generally widely available.

Finally, in this same connection, may I recommend Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business (1985) by Neil Postman, also still in print.

8:01 AM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Maury,

I can't tell you how much I appreciate your extremely thought provoking response. I think I can finally say, "I get it." You model very well your respect for humanity here and in many of your other posts. The way you put it it's either being a patriot of the US or humanity makes it clear which side I'm on as well. Your words help to broaden my perspective. Thanks a million.

Marianne

12:01 PM  
Anonymous The Craw said...

Miles:

Bernie Sanders supporters breaking up the Trump rally in Chicago on 3/11 with street brawling?
I'm not buying it for a minute.
Nothing that Bernie has said so far would incite that kind of confrontation.
Meanwhile, Cruz is quoted as saying that this is the kind of reaction Trump's rhetoric inspires. Hillary comments that the country needs to elect someone who can represent the entire nation.
Who benefits from the ruckus at last friday's Trump rally?
Answer: Cruz, Clinton and the deep state.

9:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Craw-

Best to send messages to latest post. No one reads the old stuff. Thanks.

mb

11:20 AM  

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