June 02, 2016


Hola Wafers-

Nothing much to report these days; summer in Mexico, very hot. My volume of poetry, Counting Blessings, is scheduled to be republished in July, and I'm still struggling with the republication of Spinning Straw Into Gold. All in good time, I guess. As for our ongoing discussion: O&D, amigos; O&D.



Anonymous turnover said...

From the New Yorker

"Following the release, earlier this week, of testimony filed in a federal lawsuit against Trump University, the United States is facing a high-stakes social-science experiment. Will one of the world’s leading democracies elect as its President a businessman who founded and operated a for-profit learning annex that some of its own employees regarded as a giant rip-off, and that the highest legal officer in New York State has described as a classic bait-and-switch scheme?"

While some will be turned off, a lot of Trump supporters think that exploiting each other is fine, and that Trump is a master of the genre. He'll put those other nations in their place!

5:57 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings all,

MB, Wafers-

Well, it looks like the UCLA shooter may have gone postal...

Based on MB's recommendation, I just finished "Going Postal" by Mark Ames. It is truly a chilling work w/an original and powerful thesis: most rage-murders in the US are essentially failed revolts by "sane" people who finally can't take the shit anymore. Whether it's a workplace shooting or a school shooting, we need to understand these rampages in terms of them being rebellions against the American Dream, and its subsequent pressure to succeed at any cost. In other words, we're looking at the likely scenario of if and when the AD implodes for people on a personal level, we can expect them to explode! Ames goes further in his analysis; finding patterns in the *modern* act of violent firearm massacre and the slave revolts of the antebellum South. You guys might wonder what the heck does slavery have to do w/the cultural insanity of modern America and its all too familiar workplace and schoolyard violence now, but rest assured you'll be in for a wild ride... Ames, in fact, specifically argues that millions of current Americans are living lives no different from slaves, in many respects. When are they gonna go postal? I was most impressed by how Ames meticulously traced and documented the histories of every rage murder beginning with the onset of the Reagan admin (he blames what he calls "Ragenomics" for unleashing the massive screw-job on the American worker that ultimately led to the violence) on down to Columbine and beyond. Anyway, I think Ames is on to something here. It's a pretty solid and interesting piece of work.


8:27 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

turnover - Anyone dumb and/or greedy enough to actually pay money to Trump University deserves to get ripped off. Years ago was responsible for hiring white collar professionals, and had I seen that on a resume I'd have laughed the applicant right out of the office.

As for those other nations, I love the fact that there is so much consternation overseas about the possibility of Trump's ascension. My hope is that he so alienates the so-called "leaders" of our allies that they stop mindlessly playing along as America militarily and economically rapes the rest of the globe virtually at will. Call it isolationism in reverse.

8:47 PM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

Dr. MB & all Wafers worldwide....
All Wafers should borrow this book from their local library. It’s titled, “Dark Money” by Jane Mayer. It’s about how a handful of Billionaires has carefully engineered a systematic takeover of american political life. The names are somewhat familiar, Kochs, Scaife, De Vos, Bradley, Olin, Coors, Langone, Grace, and more from Wall Street. Spending many hundreds of millions of dollars over the last 30 years or so, they have come to dominate the political system with neoliberal/libertarian ideas and concepts.
All of which has been carefully hidden behind a network of non-profit organizations allowing the donors secrecy and tax deductions.
As one reviewer wrote, “
Kochs and their network of billionaires have ALREADY bought the American political system: the House, the Senate, many state legislatures, the systems of legislative and Congressional redistricting and significant beachheads in American higher education. “
This is the “Inverted Totalitarianism” of Dr. Wolin in which private economic power fuses with state power and renders citizens impotent against the onslaught. And when there is no public constructive release only an explosion can result.

8:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Those of you who read TMWQ know that I painted Jerry Brown in a very positive light. You can imagine my dismay, therefore, to read that he came out and endorsed Hillary as the Democratic nominee. I've been corresponding with him abt it, and he wrote me that he gave the decision a lot of thought, and believes he's rt. But what he was not able to give me a clear answer to was my question regarding the current stats for the November election. To wit, Hillary and Trump are in a statistical dead heat, whereas Bernie is ahead of Trumpo by roughly 10 percentage pts. Hence, if Trump represents a major disaster--which is how Gov. Brown sees it--surely the thing to do is to back Bernie, no? I just can't understand this willful blindness on the part of establishment Democrats. This is so fucking depressing.


9:11 PM  
Anonymous Vusnamefo said...

Trump University was a scheme to rip off some people. I grant you that. But most universities in USA do worse rip off than Trump - they spend more public funds on sports than on education; some support abuse of children by coaches; some pay athletes more money than they pay professors; some college presidents make six figures for their scheme in selling education to Wall Street, etc, etc.

10:47 PM  
Anonymous The Craw said...

Re: Jerry Brown and the willful blindness of "establishment" Democrats.

I think you answered your own question. They are establishment for a reason. It's the same reason that Bernie Sanders didn't savage Hillary over her ties to Wall Street and her e-mail improprieties. Jerry and Bernie know which side their bread is buttered on and won't do anything to screw that up. The "owners", as George Carlin called them, have decided it's Hillary's turn, and Bernie, Jerry, et. al. are expected to fall in line when ordered to do so or suffer the consequences. If they buck the system, they will be "primaried", ostracized and Nader-ized.

O&D everybody!

11:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yeah, you cd be rt. Except that Bernie did hound Hillary for a while abt making her talks to Goldman Sachs public--the transcripts, that is. But then he did drop it, I guess. The thing abt Jerry: well, I just thought he was a different kinda guy, really, but perhaps I was being a bit naïve. Thing is, I believe his term as gov. is up in 2018, and I'm not sure he wants to continue after that. In which case, he has nothing to lose; he cd endorse Joe the Plumber, for all it matters. But who knows what his plans are.

It's probably true that the Dem establishment has decided it's Hillary's turn, as you put it; but at the risk of losing to Trump? Are they that pro-Hillary? Stats now make it clear that she might not defeat Trump, and that Bernie wd, by a hefty margin. So it's better to back her and lose, than back Bernie and win?


Well, I doubt any universities are supporting the abuse of children by coaches. But most students surveyed have said that their idea of college is that it is a social experience, not an intellectual one. In that case, the univs are not ripping the students off, but actually delivering the goods.


11:50 PM  
Anonymous Vico tom said...

@Dr B

Jerry Sandusky scandal was exposed by accident, suggesting thousands of such similar abuses are hidden in many states where sports is considered more lucrative than learning.



8:28 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

I think Vus may be referring to the Penn State scandal-


It seems that protection of the football program trumped whatever was happening to the children; this was apparently going on for years and no one put a stop to it.

8:57 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

One explanation of why somebody like Jerry Brown would capitulate is shown in the well know quote from Elizabeth Warren’s memoir “A Fighting Chance”. She wrote that the powerful Larry Summers told her:

“I had a choice. I could be an insider or I could be an outsider. Outsiders can say whatever they want. But people on the inside don’t listen to them. Insiders, however, get lots of access and a chance to push their ideas. People — powerful people — listen to what they have to say. But insiders also understand one unbreakable rule: They don’t criticize other insiders."

Most of the time, people in power want things to stay the way they are. The Dem establishment would prefer to run Hillary, even if she might be less effective against Trump. The Dem insiders are in denial about how dissatisfied the public is and believe they can push Hillary because the public doesn't have a choice. Backing Sanders would force them to acknowledge decades of ignoring their constituency. Not going to happen. But after Hillary's reign--the deluge. Perhaps one or two Hillary terms would give the Dems time to adapt. I doubt they will though.

9:04 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

a well put together video :


Has anyone else come to the same conclusion that I have, that Hillary Clinton is a lot like Sharon Stone, but without the looks?

One Percenters & multi-millionaire ex-Wall Street executives for Bernie! :


an interview :


You know how wealthy Asher Edelman must be if he's on a first name basis with the Koch brothers. Listening to Edelman I realized that horribly wealthy people are still sentient beings. Not all of them are ruthless psychopaths. It's a sobering thought.

Mr. Edelman has not gotten the message that economic growth is ending soon both globally and in the USA, and was never such a good idea in the first place. In other respects he shows insight.

Did you know that Donald Trump refuses to shake hands with people? Edelman says so, and it's because Trump is germ-o-phobic. Edelman thinks Trump is nuts, looney, a couple marbles short of a full collection. You get the picture.

10:29 AM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

Miles and MB, The classic example of an individual who went "postal" is Joe Stack who flew his airplane into a IRS building. His plight was discussed Chomsky and some fringe online forums. The rest of the mainstream media labeled Joe with the usual epitaph of "insane" and "deranged" and moved on to covering important stories of accurate geometry of Kim's butt and the aftermath of Paris's drunken orgy. They were too afraid to analyze the cause of the discontent lest they find any real reason for lashing out.


White men feel more entitled to the loot of the empire thus are much indignant when deprived of their share compared to others. No wonder (ref DHS/FBI) why the empire fears the white male more than anybody else to cause anarchy that might spin out of control. Also it is normally the white man who is at high level position with capacity to do serious damage. It is no coincidence then that Stacks, Holmes, Bundy, Kaczynski and McVeigh are white and males who went postal. To some extent even Snowden, Manning and Ellsberg belong to that same category, albeit postal lite. Chris Hedges calls the condition sublime-madness. Imagine one day when one of them with top level clearance with nukes, drones etc goes postal.

11:25 AM  
Blogger Dawgzy said...

In other news- Kenneth Starr deposed as President of Baylor. he's sill Chancellor of that Baptist school. It's not clear what he knew and when, but there were several rapes of students by football players, and the athletic dept was in charge of dealing with them- imagine how they did that. It's been known for a long time that Baylors married couples are discouraged from having sex standing up......someone might think that they're dancing! Thank you. (BU for many years had a prohibition against dancing on campus.)

12:23 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

I think another reason for the willful blindness of the Democratic establishment is fear. As things continue to unravel, people desperately want to cling to the illusion that everything is alright. Electing an establishment candidate like Hillary reinforces this illusion; electing someone like Sanders who wants to fundamentally change the system is tantamount to acknowledging that our nation has fallen apart. Aside from this, there is fear of reprisal from the establishment if they don't support it, and fear of losing their constituencies.

RE Jerry Brown: In 2012, he dramatically slashed social services in California. I don't trust any politician that does that.

2:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Except that Bernie doesn't want to fundamentally change the system; not at all. He's sort of FDR-lite, and FDR's historic function was to save capitalism; which he did. Bernie's 'socialism' is a far cry from socialism.


2:58 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

A public service announcement for the community:

If your summer travel plans include a visit to our nation's capital or its environs, may I suggest that you reconsider.

The Metro system, Washington's subway, is about to enter an extended period of repair and renewal, occasioned by repeated incidents involving smoke-filled cars, sparking and combusting third rails, and the like. Entire stretches will be affected and frequency of trains will be appreciably reduced at various times and places.

The disruptions will lead to increased auto traffic in a region that already ranks among the country's most congested, with sufficient road rage incidents, crashes, and fender-benders to ensure this "standing" is maintained.

If you intend to come despite this prospect, please be sure to keep your vehicle's tank filled whenever you go out on the area's roadways. You never know when a miscalculation by another motorist ahead of you on the highway will leave you idlng in your motorcar for an extended period, while rescue and fire personnel seek to assist victims and clear the mess.

Happy motoring.

4:01 PM  
Blogger C. J. Timmins said...

For my fellow Wafers... "Some reasons why Americans shot each other in May 2016." Florida and Texas, as usual, are the big winners:


4:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for writing in, and for your support. Problem: I don't post Anons. In order to enter the Great Wafer Discussion (GWD), you'll need a real handle. So pick one, and then come back. And BTW: always, always capitalize Wafer.


4:35 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

I'm reading "Philosophical Greek" at a Whole Foods. The man next to me is wearing a shirt inscribed with the phrase, "Barbells For Boobies".

Scenes from Rome, 300 AD?

6:38 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...


T-shirt should should read "Boobs For Barbarella." You know, MB once remarked that if you were to split open American heads w/an axe, you'd find dog poop packed inside. Truer words were never spoken.

MB, Wafers-

Incidentally, Tom Hayden, Barbarella's once better half, also endorsed Hillary over Bernie:


Perhaps this has something to do w/Jerry falling from the purer faith, so to speak. This is disappointing because Brown was once a proud member of the Authentic Party; a party that is largely indifferent toward promoting people like Hillary solely on enlarging their egos...


Yes, Brown did slash social services in California. Brown also began to dismantle his own environmentalist reputation by supporting fracking. At this point, I am no more likely to follow a Brown endorsement than I am to play Russian roulette.


7:33 PM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

"So it's better to back her and lose, than back Bernie and win?"

So what could Trump possibly deliver? is there more to El Trumpo that we think? (kinda like Jerry Seinfeld being asked whether there's more to Newman than what people think?) Maybe make the oval office the next reality show? Or maybe he'd just stay hidden from public view while the country slips into a financial and cultural coma only coming out for military parades like his long lost rotund cousin in NK...

What would Newman do?.....

7:35 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

"Mr. Edelman has not gotten the message that economic growth is ending soon both globally and in the USA, and was never such a good idea in the first place. In other respects he shows insight."

Will it end because the US economy is broken or because new York and Shanghai are underwater? It will be severely disrupted, sure, but I think it's possible that we might have a more decentralized capitalist economy where small, hypercompetent technical economies like Israel and Singapore will sort of function like Italian city-states in the middle ages. I'm not presenting some libertarian fantasy where capitalism can survive without a strong central government, or a "Bernie Sanders will fix everything" scenario. But I think the next great disruption, so to speak, will happen without an all-out war between great powers due to the presence of nuclear weapons. There will be more war, to be sure, and perhaps a breakup of some of these states, but who knows what will happen after that.

8:40 PM  
Anonymous John said...

It's nice to have an online community I feel like I belong to. Your books are very profound and they helped me realize that I wasn't alone. I am a Wafer !!! Also, you are in Mexico, I used to live in Mexico, unfortunately I had to come back to the US because of an emergency but I am in the process of moving back. As you must know, Mexicans value friendship and good times a lot and my life is so much more boring and devoid of friends stateside than it was in Mexico. What can I say that hasn't been said before...I'm in agreement with the belief that America is in a deep state of cultural decline. I was in the YMCA today and there was a talk show on about how butts are changing in America and how many people want a Kardashian butt. I'm not joking, I couldn't believe it. And I have noticed that the only conversations between strangers in America tend to center around the weather and sports. Not many people want to discuss the real issues. What does everyone think about Henry Miller's book, "The Air Conditioned Nightmare", written a long time ago but still relevant.....

8:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for writing in. Waferdom is indeed the highest state of consciousness. American culture is trivial and stupid. All of us encourage your return to a connected, community-oriented society.


More impt is What wd George Haskel do? But let's assume Trumpo takes the oath of office next Jan. There are 2 possible scenarios (well, maybe more):

1. He runs the country into the ditch. Fast, as opposed to slow, collapse.
2. He *wants* to do all sorts of destructive things, but he is hamstrung by govt and bureaucracy. So things go downhill, but not at lightning speed.


Jesus, Hayden shd hang his head in shame. All these rebels, gone to rot.


9:32 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

MB - The statistical dead heat between Trump and Hillary is I think even worse news for her when you consider who the enthusiastic supporters of each candidate are and not just those who oppose the other and are less likely to show up on election day. Fact is, working class whites outnumber Baby Boomer feminists by a substantial margin, I'm guessing. And you are so right about how depressing Brown's capitulation to the Clinton machine is, though given what Miles says above it isn't surprising.

Interesting that in my upper middle class enclave you'd be hard pressed to know by looking around that there even is an election going on. I've yet to see a single Trump hat, t-shirt, yard sign or bumper sticker anywhere. As for Hillary, a couple of bumper stickers is all, to compare with at least ten times as many Bernie stickers. There are more Obama stickers and even Romney stickers left over from the last campaign than there are for either of the two presumptive nominees.

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

For the past 3 days I had to go into center city Philadelphia to be on a jury. In a word, nightmarish. Walking around the city I swear only about 10% are not engaged in some form of techno-crap. I'm not even an It in terms of Buber's I and Thou philosophy. You simply don't exist except as someone not to bump into as you are engaged in techno-crap. And, unfortunately, nothing worked. "I live among dolts" or "I live in Shitland" still couldn't relieve the feeling that there is truly nothing about this way of life worth defending.
The trial was just a reflection of the above. Gee, you think if you are in a courtroom you might want to wear more than shorts, a sleeveless T-shirt, and a baseball cap worn backwards? Of course not. This is America and you can wear whatever you want. The trial was America. It was clear that the defendant was innocent but he was poor and black and had no money to even call a witness. The lawyer hardly cross-examined the victim who had admitted taking 2 bags if crack cocaine and drinking the day of the attack but she was still able to identify the attacker. All the defendant had to do was get a toxicologist on the stand to say that there was no way she could have made a clear identification. But, as I said, he was poor and black and had a worthless public defender as a lawyer. The jury was made up of typical American morons. Though most were black they fully believed the police testimony! When I said that they had a hidden or not so hidden agenda to put away black men, they looked at me like I was crazy which was their same reaction when I said that there was no way the woman could have made a clear-cut identification under the influence or crack and drinking. Was I living in a bizarro world?! It came down to 10 guilty and 2 (me and a black woman) for not guilty. But I could see that there was no way I could change their minds so around 5 PM we all agreed on guilty. I was the foreman so it was my duty to read the results in the court. Each time I said guilty I looked at the defendant. Later the jury thought I was crazy to look at him. But I didn't want to weasel out of it. Looking at him was probably the only true experience that man had throughout the trial.

8:24 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Hello Wafers,

Just finished reading "The Circle" by Dave Eggers. I know it was recommended here before already, but it's a terrific book for those of you who haven't read it yet. It gave me the chills and I couldn't put it down.


8:46 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Jesus, what a depressing story. And kind of odd, I suppose, given the nature of race rels. between black folks and the police. As for techno-crap, once in a while I'll say to someone yakking on a fone (all of this in Spanish), "You know that's an addiction, right? It could destroy your brain"--something along those lines--and they laugh, say "You're probably right." In Philly, they wd say, "Go fuck yourself." All I can suggest is keeping a water pistol filled w/urine on u at all times, plus taking along a friend w/a video camera.


10:16 AM  
Anonymous Matthew A said...

Wafers will find this a hoot: Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Dan Lyons. I chortled all the way through.

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...


I've noticed a recent trend in American cinema. In most movies, nearly every character has no ability to emotionally relate to the other characters. Many of them are addicted to cell phones, and can't even communicate effectively with others. The other problem with contemporary American movies is that they lack compelling structure; the overall structures of these movies are determined by marketing executives, not by scriptwriters. This lifelessness and inauthenticity is definitely a case of art imitating life.

It seems that Oswald Spengler was correct about the decline of the West, whose culture has spread to all corners of the globe except a few areas in the Middle East. It is dying, and the culture that will rise from its ashes has yet to come into being. I'm only 34, and would like to think I'll be around to see this new culture flourish, but I know that won't be the case. The death of Western culture will likely take several centuries, due to the power and intractability of Western technology.

If I had to guess, the new culture will be the antithesis of Western culture. It will see reality not as boundless space, but as a yoke to which humanity is firmly bound. It will see humanity as servants of nature rather than its masters. It will prioritize community over individuality, responsibility over self-indulgence, and small villages over towering metropolises. It seems to me that the Northern Native Americans had such a culture; in this sense, the new culture will be a return to an older, more sustainable culture rather than something that is actually new.

12:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I suspect that things will actually be speeded up, due to technology. You won't hafta wait that long. As for shifts in civ, check out the work of Ptirim Sorokin (an article on whom is archived on this block, several yrs ago).


12:55 PM  
Anonymous Frankistan said...

"Then I hit him with the question I came to ask. Was he planning to join the swelling ranks of war objectors in Canada?

I knew his answer before I asked the question, but I was stunned by the vehemence with which he expressed it.

He jumped off the table.

"I thought you knew me better than that. America is my home. Do you think I would let somebody chase me out of my home? Nobody is going to chase me out of my birthplace. If they say I have to go to jail, then I will. But I'm not gonna run away, and you should know it."

He stayed and fought and was vindicated by the courts."

More from Mohamed Ali:

"They heard a story about a Jewish old age home in the Bronx. The elderly residents were about to be evicted into the snow and cold of December .. "and don't tell nobody," he told Kilroy. He handed the director two checks. The first was for $300,000. The second was for $150,000. Kilroy said, "Hold the second one for a week so we can transfer the money."

This wasn't the photo op of a superstar at a boy's hospital bedside. There was no fable here. He would never have spoken to me again if I had written it.

"Life begins at 40," he later told me in his Los Angeles home one month after the Holmes fight. "And I'm only 39. Boxing was my pass to center stage. Now I want to help folks who have no money and no hope.""


3:03 PM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

Mohamed ali dead. I'm not a boxing fan but he is one of my heroes I did an essay on him for my 6 th grade esl class. http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/04/world/muhammad-ali-obituary/index.html

3:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Pls watch length; 1/2 page max. Thanks.

My favorite Ali quote: "I ain't got no beef with them Viet Cong." (or something to that effect)


4:29 PM  
Anonymous door said...

How I would like to be remembered by Muhammad Ali.I would like to be remembered as a man who won the heavyweight title three times,who was humorous,and who treated everyone right.As a man who never looked down on people who looked up to him and who helped as many people as he could.As a man who stood up for his beliefs no matter what.As a man who tried to unite all human kind thought faith and love.And if all that is too much,then I guess I'd settle for being remembered as a great boxer who became a leader of his people.And I wouldn't even mind if folks forgot pretty I was.Talk about a sucker punch he hit me right in the heart.And all we got is Donald and Hill.Thanks Ali

8:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The spiritually great, like Muhammad Ali, are marginalized by the system. The trash, like Donald and Hillary, get to represent it. This is America.


9:51 PM  
Anonymous AS said...

America Marked Memorial Day Weekend with a Deluge of Mass Shootings

"three of them directly linked to holiday cookouts."


As to question of why all the carnage, the expert from Northeastern University had this to offer: "Warm weather draws out a fair number of people already; add a holiday known for communal gatherings on a weekend... and it stands to reason you dramatically increase the probability of tragedy."

Don't know whether or not this was intended as a sly comment, but I noticed this piece being promoted on the panel opposite the article:


12:03 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Food for thought dept.:


I'd like to apologize to the Wafer who said Trump said he'd like to shoot Muslims w/bullets dipped in pig's blood. I said he never said that. Oops! Apparently, I was wrong.

I am, however, glad that I have repeatedly said that the problem is not Trump ipso facto; that he was just the head of the Hydra. This essay/research wd tend to confirm that.

Kurt Vonnegut: "There's a shitstorm coming."


3:14 AM  
Anonymous turnover said...

Good Vox article on authoritarianism. When I was canvassing door to door for local politics, it was pretty clear that the people who lived in the more formal and well kept houses were politically conservative. People who use True Green type chemical lawn services, manicured shrubs, American flags, you pretty well knew they would be supporting the more authoritarian candidates. A yard full of dandelions told you those people were less interested in force and control. Not a very scientific study, but it worked pretty well.

5:20 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

One of the truly great journalists of our time is John Pilger.

A very recent interview of Pilger by RT (Russia Today) :


Several notable individuals are genuinely concerned that the bellicose posturing by NATO (backed up mostly by the USA) in the Baltics, Syria, Ukraine, Poland, Romania, etc. will eventually provoke Russia into some sort of military action that will lead to World War 3, a nuclear exchange or perhaps both.

Off the top of my head they include

John Pilger, Paul Craig Roberts, Noam Chomsky and journalist Robert Parry.

Rest in Peace, Hedy Epstein :

"On May 26, German-born holocaust survivor, human rights champion Hedy Epstein died at age 91 at her St. Louis home."


8:07 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

NYT propaganda had gotten so bad that I dropped my print subscription, but their obituaries are usually good reading-


Ali paid a huge price for refusing to be drafted to fight in Vietnam. I wonder if anyone who criticized him in the late 60s sees any irony in buying stuff today from Communist China?

8:12 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This American Life: Just received this e-mail from a young man in his 20s:

"Hello Dr. Berman I just stumbled on your interview a few days ago and I feel the things you are saying. I listen to your interviews while on my way to work. I will be reading your books as soon as I get the money to buy them. I am wanting to know more about your opinion on romance in America. I am 25 years old and I have never had a girlfriend. Its depressing. The way woman act and react to me seems very strange to say the least. They seem scared and aggressive. Social skills seem to be a problem, they have no understanding that checking there cellphone every two seconds is rude and they act entitled to put others down for no reason over the smallest of things. My thoughts on this are very hard to explain. Basically, I feel like there is no hope for me to find friendship or love here. Thank you for your work and insight you are a man that has given meaning to my life. I thought for so many year that it was me that was crazy, it was the culture."

How many millions of guys does this fellow represent? I told him to emigrate.


10:11 AM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

Wafers might enjoy this essay by Thich Nhat Hanh on the Mangala Sutta.
“Not to be associated with the foolish ones,
To live in the company of wise people,
Honoring those who are worth honoring—
This is the greatest happiness.”

The greatest blessing is to have good, wise, kindhearted friends close by. We can’t be happy unless we have a sane, healthy space within us and around us. We need a habitat that is beautiful and nourishing, and that gives us the safety and the freedom that we need.

Although not part of the essay, someone once asked Thich Nhat Hanh what life is like in the realm of the hungry ghosts. He replied, “America.”

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...


It seems like you changed another life. I sympathize with that guy about his feelings about American women. On the whole, his statements are not only true, but actually understate how awful American women are. They play cruel mind games, have no genuine interest in anything outside themselves, and are horrifically grandiose. Due to their projection of their own narcissistic and aggressive impulses onto others, they are paranoid, and believe all men are out to hurt them. Due to their arrogance, they feel victimized whenever they are expected to take other peoples' interests into consideration.

Add to this the shrill demands of American feminists that men be made slaves of women, and their astonishing insistence that they are morally superior to the men they want to enslave (are slavemasters morally superior to anyone??), and one can accurately say that American women have declared a kind of socioeconomic war on the male sex. That kind of black-and-white, us-vs.-them mentality is very American; they claim to be the solution to the problems embedded within American culture, when in fact, they epitomize everything that is wrong with it.

I suspect that Trump's brazen misogyny appeals to many American men who have been exploited, shamed, brutalized, and betrayed by American women, who justify their vicious behavior as "empowerment", "assertiveness", and other such euphemistic feminist nonsense. To be sure, misogyny isn't the proper response to this problem, but it's a very predictable outcome.

12:59 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Jim/MB - I'm not disagreeing with you about American women, but bearing in mind that to avoid being labelled misogynist it should be pointed out that American men are no better. I once herd a thrice-divorce colleague whose third strike came after his own philandering say that all women were fucking gold digging bitches, or something to that effect. He was, not surprisingly, one of the worst human beings I ever had to share an office with. The one big difference I have noticed between men and women is that the latter do indeed seem to be more wrapped up with their smart phones. On a related note, does it make me a bad person because every time I see someone walking while staring at a screen I desperately hope to see them trip and do a face plant?

Dan - since I've retired I have been hoping to get a jury summons to serve in a case involving something like a non-violent drug crime with a minority defendant. As a middle-aged white male, I'm sure any prosecutor would salivate at the thought of me being in the jury box. Imagine their surprise when I instead hold out for days at 11-1 to convict (with all my fellow jurors desperately wanting to have it over with so they can resume their douchebag lives) and there is a hung jury! As it happened, I got a jury notice a couple of months ago, but they didn't call me. Pity.

1:42 PM  
Blogger ab645471 said...

Sport is usually a form of illiteracy. The peculiarity of Muhammad Ali's case was that tremendous a douchebag as he was, at least he got what he deserved and was often punched in the face.

Fellow young man in his 20s-

i) Women prefer the douchebags. Emulate douchebaggery and you'll have the desired results, which I suppose is sex. Be a moron. Behave like an idiot. Let stupidity flow. The thing will naturally come. I'd stress a note of caution though, and that is most likely the person will bring nothing into your life but chaos, shallowness, dumbness and ignorance, so do your accounting to see if you're willing to cope with these in exchange for some regular switch of fluids. If you're looking for something beyond it, I'd take the blog author's advice and emigrate.

ii) Here's a good book on how to thrive and become stupid:


Further don't miss Albert Nerenberg's documentary "Stupidity" (in which by the way the author of the book above mentioned also participates):


iii) MB's books are not in so low demand. Search Google a bit and you'll be able to find TAC, DAA and WAF for free in electronic format - epub/PDF/mobi. One may argue that masturbation is to sex what digital is to paper but you can get the content in both cases. Drop me an e-mail in case you don't find them.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Ali was no douche bag, imo. He led a courageous life, and in many ways a very un-American one.


2:00 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Re: young man frustrated with women

I currently have 4 close friends in relationships with foreign, mostly Asian women. I am seeing it more and more now, and it's almost become a cliché that's escaped all media attention.

The women here were raised in toxicity. At worst you will get somebody completely poisonous and destructive, at best you will get a tragic figure who struggles to coexist with predators.

I've had a few of the latter, and it basically becomes therapy, until they resent you for showing them something better and humane, and go back to trying to fit in with the masses.

I haven't gone the foreign route, but if you can't leave, it's the only workable option. However, in the end all things here must assimilate or be destroyed.

Relationships here also break because there is way too much strain on them unbalanced by a wider social network. Man and woman are supposed to be a single solace for each other in a world of beasts, particularly for the men. Hence all the drama lacking in other cultures, where your significant other isn't supposed to be your "everything".

2:16 PM  
Anonymous DeadThoreau said...

Jim and MB,

I sympathize with that young man, a lot of us millennial men were brought up with a distorted Disney type view of relationships and when that doesn't turnout to be the case there's a lot of hurt, anger, and rage that's inevitably directed towards women. There is a subset of men, not unlike the Herbivore men in Japan, that are taking the exit ramp out of society, they're called MGTOW's (Men Going Their Own Way). These men simply don't view romantic relationships as a worth while goal in life and have opted out, they've dropped out of society. I've spent sometime poking around the MGTOW community online and can concur with Jim about the misogyny as defense mechanism against the horrible treatment they've received by the opposite sex and society in general. Many of these men have suffered from false rape and domestic abuse allegations that have landed them in jail, boat loads of physical, spiritual and emotional abuse, as well financial and familial destruction at the hands of the Divorce Industrial Complex. But just like everyone else in Western society these men have trouble putting their lives into a broader context and simply default to the lowest common denominator, they hate and that hatred consumes them. It's quite sad actually.

I'm 33 years old and I've had nothing but good relationships with women throughout my life but I've noticed that with the rise of social media there has been a rise of what I call the NMN personality in both sexes. NMN stands for Neurotic Materialistic Narcissist and social media, especially Facebook, has turned into one big validation echo chamber. That chamber ends up reinforcing people's psycho-spiritual psychosis, so much so, that a lot of these people end up taking pride in their sickness.

I recently got into a debate with a woman when she stated that she was a proud unrepentant "bitch" and that most men couldn't "handle" her being "real". I simply pointed out that generally mature and well adjusted individuals avoid unpleasant people and that being a "bitch" is not intimating to most adults, it's just annoying. Then she proceeded to chew me out and it was then I remembered why I don't debate people I don't really know, they're generally really nasty when you blow up their world view.

2:40 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

You hear the term, "A great American," thrown about quite a bit (some US gov't official called the Pope "A great American" back in the 80s or 90s - I can't remember exactly when), but Muhammad Ali is one individual about whom it is appropriate.

The Angry Arab has some good things to say about Ali, a lot of which I found resonate with my experience as an observer of Ali's deeds :


Back in '71, the kids in my school divided into two camps over the Ali-Frazier fight, and it had nothing to do with a Christian/Muslim conflict. I don't remember anything else like that ever happening.

Not that long ago, when there was yet another call for us to go bomb some Arab country, I said on my radio program, "No Iraqi ever called me 'sand-nigger.'"

I didn't even get in trouble over that.

5:05 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

All the talk of men, women, and the search for sex (and companionship?) reminded me of a movie I just saw that WAFers may wish to see: The Lobster (released 2015).

It depicts a dystopian society in which people who are single and haven't found a partner are sent to The Hotel from The City. They are given 45 days at The Hotel in which to find a partner; if they fail to do so, at the end of that time they are transformed into an animal, one they have chosen beforehand, then released into The Woods to fend for themselves.

Seeking to avoid the transformation--and make a human connection--these residents adopt or repress behaviors and express or stifle preferences in an effort to win the affections of other singles there.

Stars are Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz (Mrs. Daniel "James Bond" Craig).

I think you'd enjoy it.

I can't leave the subject without offering a link to a favorite song:

From 1975, on the ABC Label, Third Rate Romance (Low Rent Rendezvous), by the Amazing Rhythm Aces, their debut single. It reached 11 on the US country singles charts and number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Won't you sing along?


7:41 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

How many people you know in your life who has the courage to speak truth to power like Norman? For his steadfast convictions for justice he has been belittled, berated and set outcast by his "own" people. More than once he lost his under $20k a year teaching jobs. There was even a concerted effort to evict him from his humble apartment in NY. How many of us would have given up and licked the boots of our overlords just to save dignity?

Talk is cheap; being Norman Finkelstein or Andrew Goodman and James Reeb takes balls of steel!!

American Radical - The Trials Of Norman Finkelstein

9:21 PM  
Anonymous Rendar said...

To the young American in his 20s:

If you ever get the chance to work/study/live abroad, even if just for a while, you should take it. Simply by virtue of stepping outside our American bubble you will encounter people with worldviews different from your own and from those of your fellow Americans. This experience would provide you with fertile ground for invigorating conversation, debate, understanding, friendship and perhaps love. You would also come to see within yourself how much of your identity is fixed and how much is mutable, as you'd no longer be experiencing daily life within the American bubble. For example, how much of America lies within you? What about America would you miss while you were away? What are the things you wouldn’t want to live without while abroad? Conversely, what are the things about America you'd be happy to leave behind - permanently, even?

We Americans often live in very lonely silos, shaped both by our culture and ourselves. Outside of America, though, the people of this world march to a variety of different of drums. You have a lot to gain from them and they, too, have a lot to gain from you.

I'm 33 years old. I met my wife while studying abroad for a year in the UK. My closest friends (and a few family members as well) are in relationships with women who were born outside the American bubble. These women do not carry the same cultural baggage that we Americans do; they don't suffer from the same ills. As a result, they are wonderfully positive, kind, interesting and fun to be around.

Dr. Berman's books will help you gain a greater understanding of American culture and its decline. Observe and learn as much as you can about the world and engage with it. Always remember that there is more to the world than America and that if you're able to step outside of the bubble, if even for a short time, you will know this to be true, not just intellectually but deep in your bones.

Best of luck to you

10:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well said. The stats are that 88% of Americans don't travel outside the country, except for short holidays in Canada and Mexico. Which means that they really don't understand any other reality but our own, and in particular, don't understand how warped this way of life is; how fundamentally anti-human. This is not hyperbole; I myself know it first-hand, and in fact began to experience this in my mid-20s. I do hope our young friend manages to hit the road. Of all the ways to live on this planet, doing it in a way that is angry, competitive, and clueless has to be one of the worst. Just look at the type of leaders this country has produced: Reagan, the Bushes, the Clintons, Obama, and now possibly Trump. A list like this shd make any intelligent person shudder. The fact that they are adulated by millions shd tell us something significant abt those millions.


12:02 AM  
Anonymous Transatlantic said...

I can only agree with what Rendar said above. I moved to Germany 7 years ago with my wife, who is a native. We met 17 years ago and our relationship was a gateway to a new outlook on life. She (and her friends, all aupairs) were unlike any American women I had known or dated up to that point. Witty, well-traveled, but incredibly open and non-judmental.

Did a lot of travel within Europe and Asia, and I slowly realized I was suffocating in the US (though in retrospect, I think I always knew that), particularly where we lived in the Washington, D.C. area. After a short 5 years living in the US together, my wife and I packed up and left. It was (and still is) challenging, but remains the best decision I have ever made.

There are certainly some parallels to life in the US here in Germany, but there is an underlying culture that has real substance. Most Germans reject the "Haifisch" capitalism the US has readily embraced, and personal relationships here are genuine and largely free of the "hustling" aspect MB writes about. In short, people do actually care.

In short, do as Rendar advises. Get out, see the world. I'm 39, btw.

4:38 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

on the frontier of the regenerative part of Dual Process:

The real challenge facing 'Back to the Earth' communities? :


"... I would suggest that any such re-invention should include a new perception of ourselves - a perception that moves away from notions of selfish pleasure seeking; that moves away from short-term notions of 'fairness' in relation to the sharing of economic outputs, and more towards seeing ourselves as existing not to satisfy our own selfish desires, but as existing for the purpose of serving others."

a film from The Simplicity Institute :


the youtube version :


5:33 AM  
Anonymous Edward said...

Dr Berman wrote this "Ali was no douche bag, imo. He led a courageous life, and in many ways a very un-American one"

Thanks Dr B. This is why I come here daily (I may not post sometimes, but I read everyday) - it is because this place forces me to think certain thoughts. To say that Ali's life was un-American makes me think - it summarizes the principle of Waferism.

Consider this quote from my favorite article on Ali:
"Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go 10,000 miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on Brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights? No I’m not going 10,000 miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end. I have been warned that to take such a stand would cost me millions of dollars. But I have said it once and I will say it again. The real enemy of my people is here. I will not disgrace my religion, my people or myself by becoming a tool to enslave those who are fighting for their own justice, freedom and equality…. If I thought the war was going to bring freedom and equality to 22 million of my people they wouldn’t have to draft me, I’d join tomorrow. I have nothing to lose by standing up for my beliefs. So I’ll go to jail, so what? We’ve been in jail for 400 years."


10:20 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Touche. What could be more eloquent? What it comes down to is something like this: Do you want to be a patriot of the US, or of humanity? Because it became clear during the war on Vietnam, that one cdn't be both anymore. Ali made his choice, at great personal cost. He was the very opposite of the typical American douche bag.


10:43 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

One of my favorite Muhammad Ali quotes:

"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee."

Well, this one's for the beautiful butterfly:



12:22 PM  
Blogger ab645471 said...

Greetings Wafers,

The reason why the nation so much mourns the passing of Ali and even the president and Michelle Obama issued a statement on his death is because they think that Ali himself was in the White House.

12:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I suspect Obama and his wife did not think Ali was living w/them. As for the rest of the nation: stupid, to be sure, but probably not *that* stupid. The mourning is for the loss of a very great and courageous man, altho probably most Americans are not aware of his activity during the war on Vietnam. Hell, most Americans probably don't even know what Vietnam is.


1:03 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

As a young man in his twenties myself, I think even though it's tricky, it's still possible to find a non-douchebag woman to date in the West without emigrating. Sure, just as in the US, most girls in London have no grace, no culture, and are aggressive careerists, but if you look right, it's still possible to find the diamond in the rough. Salsa classes or any dance classes in my opinion are a good way to meet a Wafer partner. Just like it made TGBOAT (The Greatest Blog of All Time) possible, internet dating is also a good way to meet Waferettes. I also think it's about compromise. Meeting a 100% Wafer is impossible. The question really is how much douchebaggery are you willing to accept in your partner.

For single Wafers who can't set sail, don't despair!


2:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yeah, but that's London. So most girls have no grace etc., but a small % do. In the US, that % is probably .00001. Rough odds, guv.


5:07 PM  
Anonymous Ali said...


Swiss reject basic income plan , what are the chances of this passing in U.S.? Hahahahahah

5:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

On the other hand, the dating scene apparently ain't so great for young women either:


6:28 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...


What about the extreme and widespread rejection of dating and sex among Japanese males? What specific cultutal needs and expectations are not being fulfilled for so many to go that route?

This is really a quite monastic age, in a sense. The hegemony of digital data and digital avatar have overwhelmed most people's very concept of intimacy.

And, because social norms are in total disarray, you have to not only find somebody, but mutually set some code of acceptable behavior almost from scratch. People, even ones you think you know, have no problem with this:


I had that happen to me at the end of my last relationship, and it's kept me on the sidelines for a solid two years. She never even had the decency to say goodbye like a human being, and demanding some kind of reckoning becomes classified as "stalking", so your lover has full social sanction to basically disappear you at any time.

Somebody brought up Black Mirror a while back. A very relevant theme to that series.

7:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


On the whole subject of lack of sex in Japan, you might wanna check out my Japan bk, "Neurotic Beauty." As for ghosting, I've seen it happen between supposed friends, and then you realize 2 things abt Americans:

1. Spiritually, they are cowards. They don't have the cojones to have a real conversation w/u and say what's going on. And Americans are pretty spineless, on a whole # of levels.

2. They don't form real friendships any more, or even know what these are. It's all "touch lightly and go." Friendships in America are illusions, chimeras, shallow as a dime.

The hustling culture has the anti-Midas touch: it turns everything within it into shit.


8:29 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

A 17-year old boy stabs and strangles his mom to death, watches TV for a while, takes a shower, then calls 911. Note the haunting mug shot in the article-


8:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The ultimate hustling culture: rt in the middle of this horror story is an ad for the Building Industry Ass'n. Why not ads for condoms, or spa retreats?


9:06 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

I just wanted to voice agreement on the issues of dating for the Millenial generation. Not impossible to find unterrible people in the dating world, but very difficult. The level of paranoia and isolation in the dating scene is just unbelievable. It's like we have a whole country of Dick Cheneys.

9:12 PM  
Anonymous ennobled little day said...

I am a male in my mid-30's and I was quite paranoid, too. I probably still am a bit, but I am married now.

I don't think the % of women (and men) that are not douche bags is that low, but it's hard to get over that distrust. And even after that distrust melts away, it's as if we are inexperienced in being in positive relationships. The potential for things to go wrong are just too high.

10:46 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

More evidence that Americans are cutting-edge intellects:



11:58 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

The every-man-for-himself attitude of corporate capitalism has atomized people to such an extent that they no longer regard others as real. This mindset is the tragic result of self-absorption becoming infinite, and likely incurable.

The belief that other people aren't real makes one conscienceless and paranoid. Why lose sleep about hurting people that don't exist? And because pain and suffering often come from nowhere, as opposed to specific individuals, paranoia is justified in every situation. In this way, many people (especially Millennials) have become incapable of ethical behavior, friendship, community, and passion. They are little solipsistic bubbles afloat in a void.

I think the inability to see others as real is the main culprit behind the rise of ghosting. If you hate someone, you'll likely have a nasty breakup; if you can't see that person as real, you'll probably ghost him the same way you'd shut a window to block out the noise of nearby construction.

Does this seem true to the rest of you?

12:30 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

George Carlin in 1971, doing his thing, which in this case involved making a brief comment on Muhammad Ali :


I laughed. Many of the ugly things about the USA have not changed all that much in 45 years.

I like Thom Hartmann, but he's dreaming if he thinks that the election of Donald Trump could mean the end of the Republican Party. I wish it would die too, but it's too ugly, ornery and mean-spirited to die just yet. No, Thom, Donald Trump is not the Zachary Taylor (the 1848 choice for president of the Whig Party) of the modern age.


6:19 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Jim J said, "The belief that other people aren't real makes one conscienceless and paranoid. Why lose sleep about hurting people that don't exist? And because pain and suffering often come from nowhere, as opposed to specific individuals, paranoia is justified in every situation. In this way, many people (especially Millennials) have become incapable of ethical behavior, friendship, community, and passion. They are little solipsistic bubbles afloat in a void."

I'm with you Jim. Today it seems that your every experience has to be immediately selfied, posted online, spread to friends and followers, commented on and liked, re-tweeted, etc. to an extent that the original experience and its feeling is forgotten. The experience never happened if you don't record it, but after you do record it the original experience is forgotten.

Just this past weekend I was at a nature reserve way outside the city and a van pulls up full of tweens, not one of which looked up from their phone. One of them even fell off the curb because they were so "engrossed". All the while a pair of Osprey were soaring not 50 feet above the parking lot. What did you come to a park in the first place if all you're going to do is sit on the phone and not, you know ... look up! It's not just young people either, this mentality has infected just about every age. It is rare to find anyone who can just sit there and look and listen, except birders, some hunters and the occasional Mexican/South American/Whatever fisherman.

4:46 PM  
Anonymous AS said...

"Yale English majors are demanding a safe space from Chaucer.

In a petition to the English Department, Yale undergraduates declare that a required two-semester seminar on Major English Poets is a danger to their well-being...

The petition whines that 'a year spent around a seminar table where the literary contributions of women, people of color, and queer folk are absent actively harms all students, regardless of their identity.'"


5:23 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Another day in the greatest country that ever existed- the AP sticks a fork in Bernie declaring that Hillary has already won the nomination and a 60-year old man is shot and run over by a vehicle for the $24 in his wallet-


6:05 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


Re: US support for nuclear strikes

Jesus, this is sad. Americans hafta be the most despicable people who have ever walked the face of the earth, no? Two nukes which vaporized hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians...and the dumbshits wanna do it again in spades. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think el Trumpo recently and casually suggested using nukes in Europe and elsewhere.

MB, Wafers-

I've nothing to contribute to the American female question. I was struck, however, by what DioGenes wrote about how women in the US are raised in toxicity, and how this leads to either self-destructive behavior or a tragic figure who struggles w/predators. I think that's generally true; quite brilliant, in fact. Jesus, it reminds me of some of the key themes in the novel, "Looking for Mr. Goodbar," by Judith Rossner. I'll hafta take another look at it since I read it sometime in the late 1980s, but I remember that book really got me thinking about relationships, the nature of love, sex, how damaging and crippling bad relationships can be. Anyway, Rossner could write, and Goodbar has some interesting insights into the feminine mind and character, no doubt about it.


7:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Wasn't able to post it (24-hr rule). Pls let a day go by, re-send.


7:50 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

I'm starting this summer off with some road tripping, and it's amazing to see the physical state of the Midwestern United States. "Neglect" is the only word that comes to mind.

After America created a highway society, there was at least the facade of everything being bright, clean, and exciting. It's always seemed to me like the tourist culture has created a nation that thinks of itself like a giant theme park, which is childish, but also had its charms.

Now, it's like the makeup wore off, and we're left with something hideous. The cultural obsession with cleanliness can't keep up with the rapid rate of filth being generated. Abandoned buildings, untended shrubbery, and roads with incredible potholes, in spite of the endless construction.

I've never been a cleanliness freak myself, but it's hard to miss how shabby everything's become, including the physical appearance of the people. A byproduct of reality-neutralising phones, and an insane working life that leaves nobody time for any kind of personal physical maintenence. The debt machine must be serviced even as the host is eviscerated. The humans involved really just want to escape into a total Netflix coma.

Through Detroit, then Canada tomorrow. We'll see what's different.

10:35 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

Re: Nukes. I think it's more ignorance than savagery. The myth of the "bomb saved millions of lives" is incredibly pervasive, even among well-educated people. Of course, Curtis LeMay himself (who was not only the officer responsible, but was the only ranking general in the entire armed forces who favored using the bomb), said in a press conference at the time:

"LeMay: The war would have been over in two weeks without the Russians entering and without the atomic bomb.
The Press: You mean that, sir? Without the Russians and the atomic bomb?
LeMay: The atomic bomb had nothing to do with the end of the war at all."

If people are taught that A-bombs are more humane than conventional war from the first grade textbooks on, what is there to take away from that? Who even remembers 1945 let alone 3 Mile Island?

Of course it came out, I think within the last year or so, that GWB and Cheney SERIOUSLY considered using nukes in Afghanistan, which not only had literally zero legitimate nuclear targets, but is a uniformly craggy, mountainous country, rendering nukes practically useless even if there were any targets. Almost makes me want to join the liberal masses and tear up at God Bless the USA over Obama's stern visage.

10:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, I don't post Anons. Pls pick a real handle and try again.


See long discussion of the bomb in my Japan bk, for further details.


10:11 AM  
Anonymous Vaughn said...


incisive look @ digital device / ontogenesis research , 'Smartphones won’t make your kids dumb. We think.'

10:27 AM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

I hear people all the time shouting that America ought to "vaporize" the entire Middle East and every other Muslim country (like Indonesia). It's considered to be a rational, thoughtful, humane and upright solution by most Americans. In general, Americans have one set of rules for themselves and an opposite set of rules for foreigners. Americans must be given absolute power. venerated, and allowed to do whatever they want; foreigners only exist to be slaves to Americans, as well as victims to be killed and tortured for sport. That these two sets of rules are unconscious only makes them unassailable.

The real question is this: What is the nature of someone who lusts for absolute power, thinks he ought to be venerated, and believes it is his natural right to kill and torture others for sport? Clinically, that person is a psychopath. American culture is actually psychopathic, and not merely narcissistic.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

"It's over Johnny. It's over!
"Nothing is over, nothing!"
(-Rambo, 1982)

Bernie is done. He's dismissed half his staff, they say. Hillary stands alone atop the Democratic heap, with Debbie Wasserman-Schultz in the wings scribbling "Secretary of State Debbie Wasserman-Schultz" in her Moleskine journal to see how the words look in print.

Trump is reviewing his notes: one list containing religious and ethnic groups yet to be put in their place; another identifying potentates and principalities who've gotten too big for their britches (made in China) and are due an ass-whuppin.

Doesn't matter which fool wins in November. The writing is on the wall:

"Civilization is a heat engine."

Guy McPherson, in a May 2016 talk in California on how f'ed the species is:


And a link to the 4-minute excerpt in McPherson's presentation showing "The Newsroom" (TV drama) interview, with actor Jeff Daniels as anchor Will McAvoy, questioning a senior EPA official on climate change. You can hear this clip better than the one in the McPherson talk


Finally, for those who are remain hopeful, who perhaps have children or grandchildren, an encouraging moment from the senior senator from the great state--aren't they all, really?--of Oklahoma, James Inhofe:


3:50 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

I'm taken aback that anyone on this site would denigrate Ali. The man forfeited three years' worth of world championship boxing earnings at the peak of his career, and risked going to prison for a long time and never being allowed to box professionally again in order to tell LBJ to shove his fucking immoral war up his ass.

How many prominent Americans today would forego tens of millions of dollars (in today's value) to take a morally courageous stand like that? Almost none, I'm guessing. Samuel L. Jackson, for example, was once a Black Panther who committed crimes for the cause--nowadays he hawks credit cards and is worth around $140 million.

Mark L - I'd never seen that Carlin bit before--laughed out loud! I find it hard to imagine that, were Carlin and up-and-coming comedian today, the douchebags who host the current late night TV shows would let him to do that bit, especially while the war was still going on. What has changed in the last 45 years is the number of Americans who are at all receptive to a genuine alternative point of view.

On a related note, does anyone else think it dumbfounding that so many Americans scream "USA! USA!" every chance they get yet claim to despise the government?

7:38 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Well, I made it. All you see are a few "Keep Ontario Beautiful" signs en route to Toronto. So pleasant.

Contrast: Indiana. Your eyes are assaulted every mile with commandments to patronize adult video stores, evangelical churches, and above all, personal injury attorneys.

Also, American highways now have significant stretches with impressive weed growth, and many construction signs seem to be abandoned roadside after jobs are finished. People here will only freak out as we start failing on the only terms that matter to Americans- clean, plastic efficiency.

I'll be at a personal hobby convention through the weekend. Will report on Toronto!

10:32 PM  
Blogger Sanguillen39 said...

Here is a short, interesting article on America's current military presence in Japan: https://www.yahoo.com/news/factors-shaping-relationship-between-u-093457755.html?nhp=1

6:00 AM  
Anonymous Vusnamefo said...

I wanted Trump to win because he was challenging and exposing the rotten system and useless politicians. In fact, I was enjoying how he was tearing down Republicans one after another. But what Trump did with the judge handling his university case got me wondering about Trump's maturity and wisdom and understanding.

7:08 AM  
Anonymous Bills said...

hard to swallow data, interesting, surprising:


Immigration associated with increased risk for psychosis in Europe, better mental health in US

how would you interpret this, guys?

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Al Bore said...

Hi WAFers and Dr. B,

Have been searching the blog's annals, trying to find a book that i've seen circulating in the blog's recommendations, it's on the convolution/$$$/green capital lying behind a lot of climate action/science...Thanks so much guys

12:43 PM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

Dr. MB & Waferland,

In response to Diogenes above,

Yes, I live in the greater Midwest and travel frequently, lately in FL, N. Carolina and Louisiana. General shabbiness is everywhere. And there are islands of concentrated wealth. You could be right about "insane working life" stealing time away. I'm thinking America is in the process of becoming a much poorer place. We know that real median household incomes have been flat to declining for decades. We know that virtually all household income gains have almost entirely gone to the top 10% + or so. So with rising costs and stagnant income, something had to give and it was their property. No appreciation, no buyers, usually mortgaged up, more like a ball and chain than an asset. Except of course, you live in one of the islands of wealth. Yep, America is becoming a much poorer country and it's just getting started.

4:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


He *has* no maturity, wisdom, or understanding; this is hardly a state secret. But this is precisely why he needs to get elected in Nov. The damage he can wreak on the country is 2nd to none. Current polls have it pretty much a toss up between him and Botox Face. Let us pray.


4:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: What did I tell you folks, mos. ago?:


Gee, what a shock. Meanwhile, will the progs learn anything from this? Whaddyu think? (In 2020, they'll be all agog over Schmernie; then in 2024, over Fernie; etc.)


4:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Meanwhile, back at the ranch:


4:56 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

Art is doomed.

Swan Lake ballet in Kim Kardashian nation...

5:43 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


Well, you were right once again, MB, the center held...at least on the Democratic side, that is. Some Revolution Bernie led, eh?: the thing folded like a wet dishtowel loaded w/Botox. In terms of the Bern's supporters, they were blinded by their own ridiculousness. In other words, did these folks actually believe that they, Bernie, or whatever could possibly turn around the country. Jesus, don' make me laugh... Since when does increasing the minimum wage; demanding a free and useless American education; and restoring pastrami to its rightful place w/in the American diet constitute a revolution? I do have a soft spot for pastrami, of course, but this is a nonsense. Worse still, is the fact that the progs don't see the "real" revolution happening right under their noses: the one that el Trumpo is building, of course. Anyway, time to close the book on a future we can believe in.


6:39 PM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

I live in South Dakota its filled with liquor stores pay day loans and casinos

6:42 PM  
Blogger Alogon said...

Morris Berman wrote:

>Christopher Lasch said it very well in 1979, that in the 60s, we discovered that we cdn't change the things that mattered, so in the 70s we poured our energy into changing the things that didn't matter. That illusory path is one we are still pursuing, the more so since self-righteousness feels so gd.

Oh wow, these words were the first to come to mind when I read this:


60-year-old windows, someone finally notices that confederate flags are among the details, so naturally they've gotta go. Meanwhile, earthquake damage to the building that may have nearly gotten it condemned has yet to be fully repaired.

And needless to say, the second words coming to mind are those about the South that you wrote in WAF. Americans are not noted for a sense of nuance.

8:47 PM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

Dr. MB & Wafers:

The comment section on the Common Dreams article you cited above has this juicy re-write of the opening line : "
Seems that D'Souza's statement might better be edited as, "America is a new kind of society that produces a new kind of human being. That human being - brash, empty-headed, narcissistic, intolerant, money-sucking, power mongering, hedonistic -is a vast deterioration of human possibility making Americans amongst the most wretched, servile, fatalistic and intolerant human beings societies have ever produced.' "

Another honorary Wafer!

9:21 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

It's horribly sad and nauseating to see not only Bernie Sanders, but also Liz Warren, Michael Moore and probably several other seemingly well meaning "progressives" fall in line behind "Botox face".

Chris Hedges is a radical, not a progressive, and he will get himself arrested along with Jill Stein for demonstrating outside the DNC.

I couldn't even watch Amy Goodman giving the news headlines on Democracy Now! a few minutes ago without becoming nauseated. It featured Barack Obama (an online friend of mine calls him "Fa-rack Obama" for his support of fracking) thanking Sanders for bringing formerly inactive citizens into involvement within the Democratic Party.

I'm with you all the way, Dr. Berman. The house must come down and the sooner the better. However, citizens of the USA need to mount state secession campaigns, not just from the right wing like in Texas, but from so-called progressive states like Vermont, Washington and Oregon. There will come a time when the citizenry of the USA, stupid though they typically might be, will finally ask the questions "What am I paying federal taxes for? What exactly am I getting in return?"

10:11 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Under the heading "But they were wearing Apple shirts..."


And, for today's Election Year 2016 highlight, under the heading "Praise the Lord and pass the caulking gun..."


The ride down is gonna be bumpy, but we can take comfort from the fact that there'll be plenty to amuse us along the way.


10:14 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Bernie was worse than a sheepdog-keeping progressives within the Democratic tent. He was a lap dog. Hell, he couldn't wait to meet Oshitforbrains and essentially endorse Hillary and promise to work with her to defeat Trump. Still, I read so many responses thanking Bernie for bringing progressive ideas to the fore. There's no end to left wing delusion. None of his ideas will even make it to the Democratic platform including a word about the Palestinians.
Of course Americans would support a nuclear strike. After all, we are the Exceptional Nation and, as a result, are immune to nuclear retaliation.

10:51 AM  
Blogger librarian@play said...

@Dio: Advertising, roadside or otherwise, tells us a lot about ourselves. It's why McLuhan made it a centerpiece of his work. I was eating lunch a few weeks ago, and CNN was on in my office cafe area. (An aside: Can we not even eat without a screen on somewhere? It's getting hard to find a restaurant or pub or cafeteria without a TV propped on the wall.) The ads went on so long that it seemed like the news bits were the station breaks. All of them ads were for pharmaceuticals, military benefits, debt consolidation, and exercise. That tells me that mostly fat, broke, ill, out of work veterans watch CNN midday during the work week.

10:54 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Some of you may remember Shep, who was a regular on this blog for a long time. I just got word that he committed suicide on Tuesday. Apparently, he was suffering from dementia for a year or so. I felt bad, of course, that he suddenly turned against me and the blog, but he was basically a good egg, and I felt very sorry to learn abt this terribly unfortunate ending.


11:59 AM  
Anonymous AS said...

"A new business, a baby store for adults, is sparking outrage in suburban Mt. Prospect...

... officials say they had no legal basis to bar the business, Tykables, which has a seven-foot crib, an oversized high chair and adult-sized playpen.

'Things for people to come and play, take pictures with. Not everybody has access to a nursery,' the owner says in a YouTube video."


Highly recommend this sobering interview with Stephen Cohen, who lays out Obama's unceasing aggression on Russia's borders & USA's determination to eliminate Russia's nuclear deterrent: https://audioboom.com/boos/4580137-nato-escalates-russia-fulminates-stephen-f-cohen-nyu-princeton-eastwestaccord-com

On a similar note, much hysteria surrounds the potential for a Trump presidency, but it's becoming increasingly clear that a Clinton regime could be far more terrifying. Most progressives I know seem to be distracted by Trump's racist comments about immigrants & Muslims while ignoring a far more consequential question: https://consortiumnews.com/2016/06/02/the-bigger-nuclear-risk-trump-or-clinton/

1:05 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Well, now that our presidential nominees have been chosen for us (unless a mass epidemic of sanity breaks out), I’m pleased to share with you that I have just received my “Cthulhu for President…Why Settle for a Lesser Evil” T-shirt. For those who do not know, Cthulhu was first introduced in 1928 by H.P. Lovecraft and is “a monstrous entity who lies ‘dead but dreaming’ in the city of R'lyeh, a place of non-Euclidean madness presently (and mercifully) sunken below the depths of the Pacific Ocean...” Cthulhu is described as part octopus, part man, and part dragon.

Indeed, why settle for less. Of course, the scary notion is that we’re not.

1:42 PM  
Anonymous Insightful said...

Obama Expands U.S. Military's Authority To Target Taliban In Afghanistan

President Obama has given U.S. military commanders in Afghanistan new authorities to target the Taliban.

Pentagon officials say the president is authorizing commanders to order airstrikes to support major Afghan offensives, NPR's National Security Editor Phil Ewing reports, adding that the airstrikes must be "the deciding factor" in helping an offensive succeed, Phil reports.

Previously, commanders had been authorized to issue airstrikes to defend U.S. troops or "prevent major overruns of Afghan troops by the Taliban," Phil says.

Defense officials tell Phil the president is also authorizing U.S. commanders to deploy troops along with regular Afghan infantry forces — not just Afghan special operations forces, which the military is currently assisting.

"American ground troops will remain technically prescribed from engaging in direct combat, although they will be serving along with operational Afghan units that sometimes get into contact with the Taliban," Phil says.

The approval for expanded authority comes after months of debate, The Associated Press reports.

The move is "politically sensitive," the wire service notes, because "Obama had made clear his commitment to get U.S. forces out of Afghanistan. That effort, however, has been stalled by the slow pace of the development of the Afghan military and the resilience of the Taliban."

Phil reports:
The request for the new authorities comes from the top US commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Nicholson, who concurred with a process begun under his predecessor, Gen. John Campbell.

"There was no single 'precipitating event' that led the commanders to ask for the expanded authority, one defense official said, but the Taliban have been making gains around Afghanistan and putting pressure on the U.S.-supported Afghan military. The next major milestone could be Nicholson's recommendation to Obama about how many U.S. troops to keep in Afghanistan through this year.

3:02 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

I've now taking to saying to anyone who asks where I stand on the election that if Hillary is the best the liberal half of America can produce, then America deserves Trump. Not a popular response as you can well imagine.

This made me laugh. Some idiot who runs a Christian book store (a redundancy, I know), posted the following Mark Twain quote outside the store:

"The best cure for Christianity is reading the Bible."


5:05 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...


Jesus, that's terrible news about Shep, MB. I remember Shep well, enjoyed his many contributions, and was sad to see him leave the blog in what seemed like a fit of rage that didn't really quite make sense at the time. Now, however, I'm even more sad to learn of his passing... Indeed, you're right that he was basically a good guy; his turning against you and the blog seemed like a classic case of displacement, I think. I had hoped he would someday come back to blog, so we could all have a discussion about it. My deepest condolences to Shep's family and friends.



5:53 PM  
Blogger Juliet Cash said...

Dr. Berman,
I am sorry for the tragic death of Shep. If he had dementia he was probably depressed and living with that type of progressive illness in the USA - an already isolating society- could easily push even the strongest individual into a desperate solution like suicide as an escape.

Wafers and MB,
Ghosting does happen between friends in the USA for keeping a relationship is mostly based on constant mutual complimentation - or in having a common enemy- especially on Facebook, which has become the place where folks present their happy lives by posting where and what they are doing in their enormously successful professional and social lives. And some use their kids as extensions of themselves posting their kids every picture and proping them up constantly. Everything they do has to become public for PublicRelations sake. Friends seek constant validation and if you don't provide it they start pushing you off their circle. So long as you don't speak your mind on anything important, don't disagree with their views and stay silent on anything of any substance you can have a friend in America; I have a close friend from Spain- a confidant that I can have disagreements with and still remains open and kind hearted to me - and a few superficial friends close to home that I know suffer from the existential strain that you talked about as I am the only friend of theirs who posts the real news, philosophy and other intellectual articles- including your own you tube lectures- on Facebook. You can't make community with people who can't be real to themselves- which is why they are spineless when they see someone who is genuine- they coward out of anything that will make them see themselves as less grandiose or less Exceptional. When they run away from a real person they are just running away from themselves. It is depressing to say the least.


8:23 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...


Toronto has been like a very good time machine. It's like the US circa 1995. I've overheard more actual conversations in a weekend here than I have all year in the US.

Minimal to no phone zombie behavior. Also, all kinds of young people have families here. By contrast, that is really seen as idiocy in the US, where those with the money for kids must lack the time.

There's far less intergenerational strife. My hobby involves interacting with an older generation, and it's not nearly as strange as in the US.

I also saw a commercial for a BOOK on television. Unthinkable.

It's nice to hear complete sentences in spoken language, as well.

There's nothing radical about Canada's middle class society, except for that it IS what the US is supposed to be. It's a worthy contrast to the extreme measures people have taken in the US to set up an especially miserable system for themselves.

So many simple pleasures here I forgot existed. There's still a thriving dinner theater scene!

10:09 PM  
Anonymous Rorschach said...

Hey Morris, I have a question. Obviously you've read "Collapse of Complex Societies" by Joseph Tainter. My question is, what constitutes a complex society? What differentiates an empire from a non-empire/nation state? When you say that "all civilizations come to an end", does that mean nations like Germany, Norway and Sweden will experience precipitous collapses as well? I'm just curious to know if there are any notable countries that are currently on a trajectory of civilizational decline the same way the US is.

1:10 AM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...


That is sad indeed. I think I remember reading his comments a few months ago on some website. He seemed agitated. Suicidal thinking seems to be very common these days. I can't say I don't struggle with it myself.

On behalf of everyone here, we offer condolences to Shep's family.

1:32 AM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

Dr. B

OMG, shep committed suicide. I don't really know him that well but seeing the guy's writings I understand him. I wish I could've met him. Maybe get a turkey sandwich or a soggy tuna.

Another thing, my mother died this past Oct. 15 due to a vital blood vessel bursting. It was all the SSRIs and other meds plus her weight that did her in.

2:41 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

Who knows how many so-called trolls are actually suffering from some sort of physiological, emotional, neurological or psychological disorder? We tend to assume that they are merely "assholes" --- crude, morally derelict, repugnant and annoying. Perhaps there is quite often an underlying cause. That was apparently the case with Shep.

So the story of Shep contains a lesson to be learned. For me, it's part of the general lesson to avoid abusiveness in general, lest you become a target of abuse. Give people the benefit of the doubt until you understand them better. My reaction to trolls has always been to ignore them and wait for them to get bored and go away. Most of them lack staying power because it is so self-destructive to persist in a condition of hatred and bigotry. Engaging them is always a tricky business. They can so easily be provoked into abusiveness, and a person can waste a lot of time in pointless, antagonistic exchanges.

Does this make any sense, Dr. B?

5:41 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Just read a piece by Paul Street in Counterpunch who said that because of Bernie, the Democratic party will make it even more difficult to challenge the anointed one. I can foresee a time when there will be so many super-delegates that it won't even be necessary to run in a primary. Anyway, Bernie was from the start a shill for the party establishment. Hell, he may even have been funded by the party to give the illusion of progressive change. But he was always Israel right or wrong, supported the drone campaign,and voted for most of those odious Bill Clinton bills some of which led to mass incarceration and ending support for women with children. Saw him with Harry Reid in the Senate probably angling for a high profile chairmanship-reward for being this election cycle's sheepdog.
I've been ghosted so many times here that I almost take it for granted. I pretty much expect "friends" to disappear as soon as the conversation gets passed the banalities. I hardly have a Jewish friend, for instance, if I don't subscribe to unconditional support for Israel and the "Kill all the Arabs" mentality (amazing how Jews who suffered a genocide can then, in turn, wish a genocide on others). Yes, Dr. Berman, in terms of friendship, Americans are indeed cowards. Now with techno-crap they can easily block out anyone-perfect deniability. As I said previously, walking around center city Philadelphia I truly felt I didn't exist. Now I can see how someone could go postal in Shitland. Enduring day after day of people constantly denying your existence could lead to bloodshed. That, at least would get everyone's attention.

6:47 AM  
Anonymous Den said...


11:06 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yes, tho I never attacked Shep. His sudden bipolar hatred of me and the blog was too peculiar to address; I just felt sorry for him. As for the trollfoons: well, they are also sad in their own way, esp. needing a target to fill their otherwise empty lives. But perhaps yr rt; perhaps they are mentally ill. Who knows, really?


Very sorry to hear abt yr mom. Hope u.r. doing ok.


Tainter is talking abt civs, not nations. In case of US, it really is the epicenter of American capitalist civ, and qualifies as an empire as well, I think (economically speaking, but militarily as well).


11:17 AM  
Anonymous Derek said...

For anyone interested in the subject of American women and dating/relationships in America, I'd like to recommend the books of the French author Michel Houellebecq. In my opinion he's the best critic of Western society today, and his books are absolutely hilarious too, which is always nice. The one to check out is "Platform", which actually describes the phenomenon of relationships between Western men and Asian women that DioGenes mentioned.

3:18 PM  
Anonymous Dean said...

Dr. B.,

Don't think that you or anyone else would remember me. I posted regularly for a short bit a while back and disappeared just as quickly. It was in a bit of a huff over whether it was right to emigrate. I dont recall being hostile; but if I was, I apologize. I certainly would plead guilty to being judgemental, at least.

Anyway, I remember Shep, and can empathize. I've battled severe depression my entire adult life and for several months have been in the midst of my third deep, debilitating funk over the course of that time. I think it's safe to say that since he was here and contributing for a time, he was one of the good ones. This insane, bizarro world just finally ate him up.

After I stopped posting, I didn't visit the blog for a while. Ive been back though reading avidly for some time and am grateful for the solace it brings me. Thank you Dr. Berman and my fellow WAFers.

3:30 PM  
Anonymous SW said...

I agree with Bill Hicks that the election of Trump would give European leaders a much needed excuse to not back US foreign policy. Europe has had to bear the brunt of the immigration crisis caused by our cynical "intervention" in the Middle East. At some point I have to believe they'll secretly breathe a sigh of relief if they can justify blocking American aggression with the Trump presidency as a reason not to participate.

I don't think Bernie Sanders was a sheepdog - I think he was a rare (and vanishing) breed called a gentleman. I watched the debates and that was what came through. The Clintons and establishment Democrats appeared to be genuinely astounded he gathered such a large following, especially of young people. Yet it made perfect sense to me - Clinton's campaign has been all about her (including her hilarious H with the arrow that looks like a direction sign to an ER). Her vision of the future appears to be an ongoing celebration of her dubious resume and historic position as the first android to be nominated for President. I can't imagine the pressure Sanders has been under to abandon his campaign and not call attention to her speaking fees. I voted in the primary for him knowing it was a futile gesture as The Machine with Debbie Wassermnan-Shultz at the controls would make any real change impossible. Debbie, like her hero Hillary, is an opportunist of the first order. And don't be surprised when Obama is nominated for the Supreme Court. He'll take a year or two off to write a book, pad the ole bank account, consult for a high profile law firm, rake in the speaking fees, and then get back on the tax payer dole for life.

4:59 PM  
Blogger Keith Elder said...

Check out this fascinating interview of Scott Adams (creator of Dilbert), about Donald Trump and other topics. Scott predicts DT will win in a landslide.


8:16 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

DioGenes - I travelled in Canada quite a bit back in the mid-2000s. Visited many of the major cities (Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec City, Vancouver, Calgary and Victoria), and it was indeed my opinion that Canada was a a reflection of the U.S. but about a generation behind our times. They just turned out their Reagan (Harper) and elected their Bill Clinton (Trudeau), indicating that as you said they are about in the mid-1990s in progression. Hopefully, Canadians will be horrified at what is becoming of America and stop before they get to their Junior Bush phase.

Regarding trollfoons--I used to comment regularly on a local sports blog that was unfortunately indifferently moderated, and a particularly nasty troll glommed on and began sarcastically berating other commenters, countering anything they wrote and being deliberately provocative. This person must have spent several hours every day doing nothing but harassing commenters on this one site. That's likely someone with serious mental health issues. There's a difference between that behavior and an obviously angry person who just lashes out at anyone who counters their own world view.

10:20 PM  
Blogger Gerald said...

Greetings from Alaska. Like you writing on the civil war. Have not voted for a presidential candidate for thirty years, voting for Trump. He is our hand grenade, we going to toss him in to the DC cesspool and see the shit fly! Release the big shark in with at smaller sharks, and clap at the blood in the water.
Why don't you come back to the USA? It is a cross between a Fellini movie and Friday the 13th.

11:11 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

So, you've gotten a visa out of the US. You begin your life in a new society... and they find you distrustful, paranoid, and vaguely aggressive.

People subjected to sustained abuse often reject or fight what is good for them precisely because they are uncomfortable in positivity. I've seen this a lot in women I've dated.

Any expats care to speak to this? Do people see you as damaged goods, or do you see yourself as such at times?

Also, how do you have the "I'm from shitland." conversation with foreigners without seeming like a very negative malcontent? It's a necessary and important conversation to build any real attachment to your new society, yet only Wafers could have experience with it, and only a percentage of us.

From what I can tell, foreigners seem to take the attitude that American expats should become American reformers. It's very hard to communicate to them the pervasive "people" problem we have here.

It's pretty inconceivable to most other nations that a society could be an endless war of all against all. People who acted with that premise would be shunned rather quickly.

12:12 AM  
Blogger Shawn McDowell said...

The unraveling continues.


10:39 AM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

Another mass shooting at a gay club. 50 dead and 53 injured. Possibly ISIS related.


11:19 AM  
Blogger Rosegarden said...

From Neal Stephenson's Anathem, c 2008. (On an Earth-like planet in another cosmos.)

“Thousands of years ago, the work that people did had been broken down into jobs that were the same every day, in organizations where people were interchangeable parts. All of the story had been bled out of their lives. That was how it had to be: it was how you got a productive economy. But it would be easy to see a will at work behind this; not exactly an evil will, but a selfish will. The people who'd made the system were jealous, not of money and not of power, but of story. If their employees came home at day's end with interesting stories to tell, it meant that something had gone wrong: a blackout, a strike, a spree killing. The Powers That Be would not suffer others to be in stories of their own unless they were fake stories that had been made up to motivate them. People who couldn't live without story had been driven into the concents (a kind of non-religious monastery) or into jobs like Yul's (wilderness guide). All others had to look somewhere outside of work for a feeling that they were part of a story, which I guessed was why Saeculars were so concerned with sports, and with religion.”

2:02 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Orlando shooting is worst in US history. We are reaching a tipping pt, descending into complete barbarism. My question to Americans: Did you seriously think this type of mass slaughter was not going to happen, sooner or later? And do you really believe this is the last of it?


Sorry, you can't insult Wafers or this blog and also be part of the discussion. If you have disagreements with WAF, or the ideas discussed on the blog, by all means present them; but with courtesy, and with concrete evidence for your views.


Welcome back, tho sorry to hear abt yr depression. Someone once said that if yr not depressed, living in this sick culture, there's something wrong with you. So perhaps look upon yr depression as a sign of intelligence. Other than that: stop to smell the roses. There are wonders out there, my friend, and you need to enjoy them.


2:21 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

The United States is truly descending into insanity. The discussion around the Orlando shooting will likely be about Islamism, immigration, homophobia, gun control, and Donald Trump. All of those things are relevant but the deeper issue is that America and American-style modernity are increasingly producing madness and insane individuals.

It is not a coincidence that these types of lone-wolf mass shootings have increased dramatically as community has all but collapsed in the United States (see Robert Putnam and his book Bowling Alone for that)producing more and more deranged people in an atomized and meaningless culture.

2:45 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Apparently the Twitter account of Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick is set up to issue a Bible verse every Sunday morning at 7 AM.

This arrangement appears to have hoist the fellow on his own petard today. Until it was deleted, this morning's scripture was taken from Galatians 6:7:

"Do not be deceived. God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows."

Coming on the heels of the early morning slaughter at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, this verse drew an immediate backlash from the Twitterverse. The verse was taken down, to be replaced by another, with the Lieutenant Governor's advisor explaining that the whole thing was an unfortunate coincidence.

See the Houston Chronicle's account here:


And finally, we learn from the accused killer Omar Mateen's father that his son may have been set off when, during a family outing in Miami some months earlier, Mateen had seen two males kissing on the street and in a men's room. The father said that these actions in front of Mateen's wife and son made him "very angry."

You never know where you might come under fire in these United States of Amnesia. Stay home, read a book, pop some corn, watch a movie. Madness is abroad in the land.

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Kathleen said...

MB , Orlando shootings have been IS declared , in your analysis, given that update, does the incident still relate more to a malaise beneath other strictly US psychosis inspired mass shootings , and not what's beneath the international Islamic fundamentalist problem

6:28 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

Wow, I didn't even hear about the Orlando shooting. I never watch the news anymore. I'm afraid that that shooting is only a faint hint of what is to come. Massacres involving hundreds of people will probably happen on a daily basis 20 years from now. Americans are filled with a limitless lust for violence and bloodshed; at some point, that has to translate into physical reality, and that time is now.


Sorry to hear about your depression. What I would do if I were you is seek out like-minded people over blogs like this one and avoid "normal" Americans. Why try to connect with people (in this case, ordinary Americans) that don't want human connection? I spend most of my days in my apartment, being creative and chilling with my gf, or talking to people on the phone. There are a couple people from my town I'm friendly with, but I have a tremendous urge to avoid everyone else, due to their hostility and arrogance. Creative hobbies, reading novels of great artistic or philosophical genius, and getting lots of sleep can also be very helpful in dealing with the bottomless ocean of shit that America has become. Basically, not being a part of America in any way whatsoever is the best way of "living" in America.

12:02 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Wafers might find this interesting:

Do we need any more evidence than this that the US is going down the toilet?!


3:58 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Once again events have proven you a prophet, O GSWH. I refer to the now-forgone conclusion of the Demagogic Primaries.

Today I had another close encounter of the Douchebag kind. Out of the last eight such ugly experiences I can recall over the past few years, seven were over parking spaces, or over idiotic and easily avoidable traffic incidents, in all cases willfully provoked by the other party, often with extraordinary aggression and pointless venom. Today it was a parking thing, stemming from the amazingly stingy selfishness of a shopkeeper, who sent her security guard to chase me down, creating an utterly unecessary - and quite frightening - confrontation. It was compounded by the fact that in Oakland, if you are white, you are presumed racist until proven otherwise. Fuck America and its stupid racial identity politics.

After this awful experience I made it to the house of my friends. There I was treated to assertions such as the following. Given sufficient political will, we could readily solve the problem of nuclear waste by rocketing all the spent fuel into space, using magnetic rail technology. How high-speed rail is supposed to facilitate rocket launches was not made clear to me. I didn't mention that the U.S. no longer even has a manned space program, let alone the ability to shoot who knows how many thousand tons of dangerous toxic waste toward some hapless celestial destination. I was then informed that those who do not vote have no right to complain if they don't like their government. Again, I held my peace - or, as I prefer to see it, saved my breath. Oh well, at least they admitted that climate change is for real.

These are the best and brightest people I've found in these parts over decades. Yet I suddenly feel what may be an unwarrantable surge of self-esteem. Could it be that they are DUMB in ways that I am not?

I've progressed well in my Spanish studies. I ask all Wafers to join me in this heartfelt prayer: that I manage to escape this horrid country before President Trump, the Executive whom this country truly deserves, takes office next January.

5:10 AM  
Anonymous Vico tom said...

3 hours, 3 long hours before police went into the building. The police are quick to shoot unarmed innocent citizens, but when it comes to the real thing, they chicken out.

"Investigators would not explain exactly why the SWAT team did not rush in earlier. The nightclub had posted a Facebook message shortly after 2 a.m. ordering people to leave. The SWAT team entered the building for the hostage rescue around 5 a.m."


8:02 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

The really disconcerting aspect of the shootings is that they have no real shock value any more- each new one just strengthens their status as an everyday risk of American life.

Most Americans are living in some dimension of suspended reality, and the reports of people texting while hiding in the club are also quite unnerving. Nothing can break people out of the matrix, not even the most traumatic, immediate experience imaginable.

Roman stoicism held that we cannot control events, only our reactions to them, and a healthy dose of that mentality would greatly improve the American character. The way one dies was considered highly indicative to the ancient Romans. Upraised chins and a massive "f u" from the victims would speak more to the national character than texting as you go.

In the 24/7 twittersphere, events are now held to be intractable, and everybody is just a kind of reporter standing outside them. Even unto death.

8:07 AM  
Anonymous Rusty Snag said...

Dear Wafers,

I am one of those lurkers who reads daily but rarely comments. I guess I should do a better job of being an active participant. This has been an interesting year for me. My father died in February. He grew up so poor that he did not always know where the next meal was coming from, and that is no joke. He served in World War Two. He went to college on the GI Bill and worked as a chemist for Eastman Kodak his whole life. Neither he nor Eastman Kodak survived. He bought a house on the GI Bill, and he took out reasonably-priced loans for his kids to go to college. He died with a little money in the bank. This is how America used to work at least for a few. In some ways it's good my father passed on. He won't have to further witness our nation's collective slide into the shithole of history. One thing my father never did: he never forgot where he came from. He was as humble and amiable as any one American can be, and we know that's not easy.

I know this is getting a little long, so I hope it still meets the standard, Dr. B. One of the best parts of my year was driving five hours from Plattsburgh to New York City to meet you, Dr. B, and a small contingency of fellow Wafers. May we meet again some day.

9:28 AM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

I would say the following is a clear indication that the USA is essentially an anarchic 'failed state': http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jun/13/gun-company-stocks-rise-orlando-pulse-attack

Also, in the 'When Pigs Fly Department' - my vote for the latest bit of delusion 'progressive' thinking in the USA: http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2987806/bernies_green_light_to_us_presidency.html

Key quote:

"Bernie Sanders may never be the Democratic Party candidate, writes Dave Lindorff. But he can still win the US Presidential election as a Green - thanks to his huge support base and the unpopularity of both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. This is Bernie's chance to make his proclaimed 'political revolution' real, and take back democracy for the people."

-Northern Johnny

1:23 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

I was at a sporting event on Sunday afternoon, and right before the National Anthem, they had a moment of silence for the victims of the Orlando massacre. The announcer said, "our thoughts go out to the families of the victims," to which my immediate reaction was if we were actually thinking we would en masse rise up and immediately demand that the government outlaw the possession of automatic weapons, and enact tight controls on who is allowed to own a regular firearm. It is incredible that with all the paranoia about terrorism that even someone who is on a terrorist watch list can apparently buy all the weaponry they want.

More astonishingly, from what I read this asshole was also a security guard at a federal government facility. Just last week, it was revealed that Dulles Airport here in NoVa had to fire a security guard after it was revealed that he was a Somali war criminal who had previously been deported from Canada because of his crimes against humanity. Makes you wonder just what you have to do to NOT be hired as a security guard these days. It sure renders the NRA's argument that all we have to do to protect, say, our schools is to hire more security total laughable as if it wasn't already.

Of course, a moment of silence is all we in this profoundly stupid country will ever do to honor the victims. As I said to my wife, if the massacre of a a classroom of first graders or the shooting of a U.S. congresswoman wasn't enough to get us serious about stopping the mindless violence, the slaughter of a nightclub full of gays sure as heck won't do it.

4:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The major source for massacres is that Americans just can't take it any more, and with gd reason. (See Mark Ames, "Going Postal.") But we now have several jihadi massacres; Orlando is the latest (shooter was a Muslim). See the chapter in DAA on "Axis of Resistance." You can't fuck other countries, other peoples, over for a century and think they are not going to eventually strike back. But Americans are stupid; they can't connect the dots. The attackers are always insane or evil, end of story. Profound analysis, eh? The result is that these attacks can only increase, and believe me, they will. It's known as karma.

I personally feel horrible abt 50 innocent people being wiped out, suddenly; it's a tragic thing--as was 9/11 and the Boston Marathon massacre. But I believe that these events are inevitable, and part of our collapse. History isn't clean; collapses tend to be violent. We are reaping what we sowed, and there's no way to stop it now. Trump is not a cause of anything; he is a symptom.


5:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: What a shithead dept.:


5:59 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Living in the USA, I guess it's inevitable that you will eventually know someone that gets shot. Here's a horrific story about a father killing his 9-year old daughter and himself, after wounding his wife. The wife was a casual acquaintance at my weekend hobby-job; she'd give me the details about my assigned tour parties, until she resigned last year. Hard to believe- she was a nice lady.


6:13 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Well, we're in deep shit, Wafers. Recall this distressing quote from Will Durant: "From barbarism to civilization requires a century; from civilization to barbarism needs but a day." Most Americans have *no* idea what's going on, and are simply too stupid and sanguine to realize the fact that we are in the process of decline and fall. The US is operating on a dual dynamic of destruction: a) an outer dynamic -- payback for a sinful foreign policy, b) an inner dynamic -- a rotted civilization plagued w/too many intractable problems to reform. The brass tacks: we're terminally ill now, fated to get hit from all sides...

In any event, my heart aches for the victims of the Orlando massacre. It's more evidence, sadly, that there are people who hate gay and lesbian people w/such passionate intensity to go out and murder them en mass. It's so unbelievably tragic.


7:50 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

I'm tired of the flag being lowered every time somebody goes postal in a crowd. Might as well just leave it half down, or not fly the damn thing at all if it's just a propaganda tool.

8:18 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...


The reports of people texting during the massacre are terrifying, and likely true. What kind of civilization regards an electronic screen as more important than an ongoing massacre happening right in front of one's eyes? American civilization. What kind of civilization regards Starbuck's coffee cups as more important than global warming? (Think of Trump's previous outbursts.) American civilization.

11:11 PM  
Anonymous Rusty Snag said...

Here's what my gay son had to say about Orlando. I share it because I don't think anyone anywhere has said it better (I admit a whole lot of bias)...

"Of course he was closeted. There never was a war that was not inward. As i look at it, the easy thing that EVERYONE can do is to make the 'mos in their life feel loved, acknowledged, and welcome. (And also extremely beautiful and fabulous, as able.) This is a heroic act that will make the world a less violent place each time you practice it.

I can't begin to stomach what has just happened, and I can't imagine the pain that friends and family are going through right now. All I can say is that living a life that's been so full of love from so many friends and family members has left me speechless with gratitude. Talk about sexuality with the people in your life! Making someone feel comfortable with who they are can save lives."

I figured that Wafers would appreciate this and implicitly understand that love trumps all, even after the bullets stop flying.

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Earl said...

WAFers should go see Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos's The Lobster .... wiki calls it absurdist dystopian, can def. see that

And boy, it certainly matched the pessimism i have towards modern love, companionship, commitment, in modern United States

9:40 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to 21C poet-

Cdn't run yr post; we have a half-pg limit here. Pls compress, re-send. TY.

Quote from a German journalist, Sebastian Haffner, writing in 1934:

"Everything takes place under a kind of anaesthesia. Objectively dreadful events produce a thin, puny emotional response. Murders are committed like schoolboy pranks. Humiliation and moral decay are accepted like minor incidents."

Sound familiar?


10:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Here's a shock:


Note also that Americans consume 2/3 of the world's antidepressant sales, by dollar volume.

Then go check the comparative homicide rates, military budget rates, etc. etc.

There will be no wake-up moment for Americans, however. They have no awareness that America is actually grotesque. Also, if they did know it, they wdn't give a damn.


11:08 AM  
Blogger David Chang said...

Societies fall due to internal rot, the Romans are an example. While many of us may be aware that our society is on the skids there is a helpless feeling that there is not much that can be done to decelerate the decline of a society founded on the principle of hustling, where healthcare is run for profit and free thought is quashed by the silent majority.

11:16 AM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

It looks likely to me that "the tipping point" has arrived and Hillary will be our next president. Trump is in the same pickle that Romney was in last time around; he needs to figure out how to capture a greater share of the white vote. Yes, you read that correctly. Barring that, he will lose. So we will have 8 years of crisis management from Madam Puffy Face. Joy. Those supreme court justice picks better be good...

In other news, I found this quote from a news blogger to be rather poignant.

"... the most consequential immediate result of Trump’s ascendance is that he puts the lie to story that the Republican party is fundamentally conservative. It is, in fact, fundamentally reactionary. Those [anti-Trump Republicans] who’d like the rest of us to believe otherwise will literally not allow themselves to see that. So they focus instead on their loathing for the man himself. That’s not a political strategy, though. It’s a coping mechanism."

I have to agree. The modern GOP is fundamentally reactionary and not very conservative. conservatism is a child of the enlightenment, however, the Right isn't. It is anti-enlightenment and reactionary. As the blogger notes, this is the chief appeal of GOP to American voters. Take away the authoritarian, reactionary, and racist prejudices from the GOP and there is very little left. That doesn't leave them much to go on for the future. Furthermore, demographic changes make winning with the angry white guy vote less and less likely. It is ironic, in a way. Pursing the "Southern strategy" and stoking the fires of prejudice allowed the GOP to win in 1960's and 1980's, but it came at the cost of hollowing the party out of any true conservative voice. It is a shame, imo, because for left wing politics to be channeled in a healthy direction requires a coherent, intelligent, conservative movement to keep it honest. Alas, as Trump proves, that doesn't exist anymore.

12:54 PM  
Blogger Bullshevik said...

Another shooting and hostage situation today at an Amarillo, TX Walmart. Do Trump and Hillary want to take down ISIS for this one, too?

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

Commentary by Mr. Wallerstein:


3:08 PM  
Blogger Dawgzy said...

A REAL cynic ( not just the kind whose mind works like mine) could get rich with a mobile Candlelight Vigil and March business. We provide the candles in waxed cups, logistics and permits; we do Not provide the mass shooting. We just wait. Oh, and check out our minute (or moment) of silence app. Guaranteed to make you feel better. I calls it Closure Inc. Investors welcome.

4:45 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Dr. Berman and fellow Wafers,

John Milton: “They who have put out the peoples’ eyes reproach them of their blindness.”

When you look at our conditioning - the constant brainwashing from family, friends, religion, government, media and, especially, education, all of which means that the world has been defined and described to us - how is it possible to have an original thought or understand what’s really going on? I know many otherwise intelligent people who are totally unaware of their cognitive dissonance and self-brainwashing. Actually, whenever I notice someone else’s “stuff,” I immediately wonder what I’m missing about myself.

Considering all of the above, how responsible (by which I DON’T mean that there shouldn’t be any accountability) are people for their douche-baggery? While it’s obvious to me that they should know better, and much of what we document here is egregious to say the least, when you look at our horrendous “culture,” the dumbing down to the lowest common denominator in every way imaginable, I really wonder.

I realize I’m different in that my upbringing and education didn’t destroy my intellectual curiosity. I have to thank my brilliant dad for this, although it didn’t help my brother who’s a self-brainwasher par excellence (Fox News and Rush Limbaugh are his gods), and gets angry if I even hint that America isn’t the greatest ...not a pleasant guy to be around.

I’ll be interested to hear what everyone has to say.

4:57 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

For the next few days (weeks?), it'll be All Orlando, All the Time. Punctuated with stories on gun control, ISIS/ISIL/Daesh/Islamic State, and LGBT rights.

It begins to appear that Mateen may have been a homosexual himself; he was apparently a "regular"at the Pulse club and had a gay-dating app on his phone. Resolving this question won't be of much benefit to his victims at this point.

WAFers may find the following item of imterest. He was employed as a security guard by one of the larger firms in the field, and one of his coworkers reports that Mateen was always angry, speaking against a laundry list of groups and individuals. From the website "The Intercept":

"THE MAN WHO shot over 100 people and killed 49 in an Orlando nightclub Saturday worked at a retirement home as a security guard for G4S – a giant, often controversial global contracting corporation that provides mercenary forces, prison guards and security services. G4S is one of the world’s largest private security companies, with more than 620,000 employees and a presence in over 100 countries."


7:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Cdn't post it; we have a half page maximum. Pls compress, re-send. TY.


7:10 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...


So, someone/thing other than the douche bag is responsible for the douche bag's douchebaggery, yes? Well, it could be, but I tend to think that one is either a douche bag or a Wafer. The difference is a no-brainer, really. Nevertheless, didn't Vance Packard say something like this in the "Hidden Persuaders"? Wafers should compile essays for a new bk, "The Hidden Douche Bags";-).


Many thanks for Mr. Wallerstein's analysis. This man is most definitely *not* a douche bag!


Perhaps Hillary or Trump will strafe the entire nation w/machine-gun fire.


A Trump victory in November boils down to this factor:

1. More angry blue-collar whites in the country = Trump victory
2. More angry feminists in the country = Hillary victory


9:30 PM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

file this under ...Let's put another log on the fire...

I'm so thankful I came to my senses about religion in this here USA at an early age....


such loving and comforting statements in the wake of tragedy from a man of God?

"The tragedy is that more of them didn't die," he said during a 45-minute sermon the morning after 49 people were killed inside Pulse nightclub."

I always loved this quote:
When Stanley Jones, a missionary met Mahatma Ghandi he asked him:

"Mr. Gandhi, though you quote the words of Christ often, why is it that you appear to so adamantly reject becoming his follower?"

Gandhi replied:

"Oh, I don’t reject Christ. I love Christ. It’s just that so many of you Christians are so unlike Christ."

11:05 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

"... Hillary Clinton attended a $100,000-a-head fundraiser hosted by none other than Lynn Forester de Rothschild ..."


Trump is going to get beaten in November. It might be a landslide. The ruling oligarchy likes Hillary. WAFers need to learn how to look at her face without becoming nauseated. Personally I prefer to look away.

No surprise here :

"The U.S. no longer ranks in the top 100 most peaceful nations on Earth.
It stands at No. 103, according to the Global Peace Index, a comprehensive statistical analysis that quantifies the relative peacefulness of 162 countries. Such nations as Cuba, Gabon, Sri Lanka, Haiti and Bangladesh are ranked as “more peaceful” than America, the massive study found."


Some birds are quite smart. There's a reason :


5:43 AM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

R u living and working to pay debts? https://youtu.be/IZGSB_xs1Fs
Economist Michael Hudson

6:38 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

I attended an upper-middle class high school graduation last night and all I could think of was "Great. Another generation of spoiled, narcissistic sexually repressed (actually calculating) techno-douchebags." Instead of just watching their kid receive his or her diploma, parents were using their I-phone to capture the moment. Yes, nothing like a gadget to work as an intermediary during a once in a life time moment. The speakers talked about following your heart, helping others, be open to future changes but this strata of society would never allow their children to take other than the proscribed hustling life-style. Why not? They already have the money and connections to assure their kids a suburban life-style consuming as much energy in a month what some countries consume in a year entropy notwithstanding. By the way, the principal gave a ten minute address talking about his own educational journey which was not even tangentially connected to the graduating class. I suppose he was still hoping to make an impression on one of the nubiles and get laid.

7:18 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Under the heading "That's some fucked up shit, yo"

A motorist in the Saskatchewan capital Regina unbuckles his seat belt to give an apparently homeless dude some money and gets a $175 fine for his trouble:


And, in the ongoing story of Orlando, this piece from the Kansas City Star:

The county commissioners of Cole County Missouri voted 2-1 Tuesday morning, 14 June, against lowering the American flag flying above the local courthouse, something the president had ordered be done through Thursday (16 June).

The commissioner-spokeman explained the decision by saying that "we can't lower it for every event like this that occurs." Entirely predictably, the commissioners reversed their decision by afternoon after coming under pressure from individuals outraged by the decision. Article here:


As one WAFer suggested in an earlier comment, wouldn't it just be easier if we flew all flags at half-staff, thereby simultaneously anticipating future horrors and avoiding controversy over the "lower-don't lower" question? In fact, wouldn't we be more honest and show some self-awareness if we simply flew the flag ("Hoist 'em if ya got 'em") upside down in recognition of a nation in distress?

I know. Never gonna happen. The self-awareness or the flag thing.

9:41 AM  
Anonymous Dean said...

Thanks, Dr. Berman (and Jim) for the encouragement and advice.

Christian -- I have been referring to the Republican base as reactionaries for some time. I agree that there really is no coherent conservative ideology anymore. What you, in essence, have is a band of demagogues, charlatans and elitist opportunists in constant competition to pull the strings of control over these "bombed-out" and aimless reactionaries.

Urbanization and then globalization destroyed rural communities, which were the bedrock of authentically realized and expressed conservative values and principles. It's a real shame, because liberalism has had no counterweight. The result is liberalism going down some destructive rabbit holes as Dr. Berman, Murray Bookchin, Chris Hedges and others have described.

10:26 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Prepare yrselves for 8 yrs of Botox Face, everywhere you look.


11:30 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...


The situation in the schools is among the worst and most depressing this country has to offer. I'm certainly including all the "elite", monied institutions.

You can't motivate anybody to care about school when the administration and staff largely think of it as a pointless exercise in professional credentialing.

I spent the last two years teaching and it was unmitigated hell. My brightest and most perceptive students urged me to do something else, precisely because I cared.

America will soon be teacherless, which is only natural in a society where wisdom is just so much talk.

12:09 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

MB, I just felt a cold wind of horror through my soul. Sad that even your support of trump to quicken the end has no sway on world events.
I'm investing in pharmaceuticals. Hillary ought to equal at least a doubling of anti-depressant use.

1:44 PM  
Blogger Eric Green said...

Orlando was a debacle, but I have to admit that watching the media reaction has been entertaining. Their attempt to blame guns went nowhere, so then they moved on to blaming homophobia, but then it was suggested that Omar Mateen himself might have been gay, so that explanation was no good either. Now they freely admit that they don't know what his motive was. What am I supposed to do? I need my teevee to tell me what to think.

I think Mr. Carlin summarized it best: as the empire falls apart, which it's presently doing, all sorts of diverse and esoteric wackos are going to come out of the woodwork to express their warped, pent-up frustrations. Hang on, folks, it's going to be a rough ride. The captain has turned on the Fasten Seat Belts sign. Beverage service is canceled, and no more free WiFi. Also, the starboard engine is out, and the stewardesses are performing taekwondo moves on each other in the galley. Thank you for flying American.

3:42 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

I've noticed a trend in American consciousness recently: Americans believe that guns, warfare and genocide can be an effective replacement for community and friendship (the two things they often realize they'll never have). Of course, this unconscious attitude has always been a part of the American psyche, but now Americans consciously embrace this belief. I think this is a milestone in the downward spiral of America; you know the country is in bad shape when people openly declare that collective violence can provide lasting satisfaction and social stability. It means massive collective violence is just around the corner.

Collective violence is what inevitably happens when civilizations force people to either embrace competitive, materialistic individualism or be relegated to the margins of society. It also inevitably happens when people are oppressed through feudalism or apartheid for long stretches of time. It seems that the elites will never learn any lessons from history, and will blindly go about their business of exploitation, viewing violent revolutions as freak accidents that appear out of nowhere.

I think elites all across the world exhibit the stereotypical American mentality. They display a total incapacity for empathy, generosity, transparency, and compassion. American culture is wholly elitist, despite its crudely proletarian pretensions. While Americans may dismiss everything that (in their minds) reeks of European elitism, like serious literature and classical music, this dismissal is rooted in the belief that they are above and beyond the need for culture; it certainly isn't rooted in a rejection of elitism itself.

4:35 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Regarding the Republican Party, we are right now seeing their horrified reaction to the impending nomination of someone who represents what their honchos hate even more than pansy-ass Democrats and liberals: a right wing populist. Trump found a crack in the omnipotence of the media's relentless hyping of the status quo that he was uniquely positioned to exploit and used it to destroy his laughably inept primary opponents. Now he more or less has the entire political establishment lined up against him.

What he needs to do at present is fire whomever it is working for him who is telling him he needs to tone down his rhetoric and look more presidential. Obviously, such a strategy will play right into Queen Hillary's hands. Instead, he needs to double down on the crazy so ratings whores in the media keep giving him the publicity (good or bad) he needs to keep his name in the headlines everyday.

Of course, he could be reconsidering the whole enterprise if he's worried that should he lose the election it will also destroy his business empire. Portions of that empire, such as the Trump Winery near Charlottesville, VA, that cater primarily to the upper middle class are particularly vulnerable to losing most of their regular customers because of his campaign rhetoric. Personally, I would enjoy seeing him destroyed almost as much as I would enjoy seeing him elected.

6:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I suggest investment in Botox instead.


Didju know that Miles Davis had an affair with Juliette Greco? I love it! For more on that era, check out "At the Existentialist Cafe," by Sarah Bakewell. Stunning bk.

Wafers: In case anyone missed it, I'd just like to pt out that America has no future. And when I say none, I don't mean a little. I mean nada, zip, rien.


7:27 PM  
Blogger JOHNNY JAZZ said...


Audio Creation of Dr. Berman's Lecture. I have severe eye condx. & convert Text to Audio, and here is Cr. Berman with a British Accent.

I have shared Dr. Bermans Books and made CD's with his lectures, many Sniors in the Senile Safe Place (New Name for Senior Housing, lol]

8:45 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...


Yes, I did know about Miles's great love affair w/Juliette Greco. Miles kinda unraveled for a bit upon his return to the US from France. Apparently, he missed Greco to the point of starting a pretty serious smack habit. Greco had a tremendous impact on her lovers; a couple of guys even offed themselves as a result of going thru break-ups up w/her. Does the bk get into Greco and Serge Gainsbourg at all? Gainsbourg and Bardot? Jesus, did Gainsbourg get around or what? Anyway, thanks for the bk recommendation. I'll check it out.


ps: Check out the soundtrack for Louis Malle's Ascenseur Pour L ´Echafaud that Miles did. Perfect late night music.

1:54 AM  
Anonymous John said...

Heyyy fellow Wafers

I read this story this morning....just tell me why anyone would do this !!!


8:03 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

You are right. The last I read 42% of the American workforce is getting by doing gigs and a nation of 310 million only produced 38,000 jobs last month. Yes, the unemployment rate is around 5% only because so many have either exhausted their unemployment insurance or have simply given up. I surmise the true unemployment must hover around 20%. Think any of the major (corporate) media outlets allows these facts to surface? Anyway, public education might as well be relabeled Kaplan because the entire year is devoted to doing well on state exams. I'm actually convinced that it's an entire misdirect. So much time and energy is devoted to test taking strategies that there is little or no time for meaningful discussion about current events. Hey, as if the students care. I got lost around a college campus a few days ago and it took me around 10 minutes to find a student who was not engaged in techno-crap to give me directions.;

8:32 AM  
Anonymous Curious said...

"Meanwhile, I've been rdg the ms. of a friend of mine, very interestg bk abt to be published, and he's talking abt the ecological crunch that is about to hit us full blast. He drops the line that the DoD is getting nervous that things such as global warming, falling crop yields, flooding etc. could escalate into national security problems, since they might lead to food riots, mass migration, and violent conflict."

Mr Berman, was reading an old post from 2012 called New Inquiry Review, May 26th, you mentioned that you were reading a friend's manuscript for a book about ecological collapse, was curious if that book was published, which one it was.

9:24 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, I seem to have forgotten it. (old age)


Last time I checked US Dept of Labor stats, it was 18%.


11:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Because he's an American. Check out his face: completely empty; no one home. This is an American.


11:24 AM  
Anonymous William Henis said...

MB you seem to be able to parse thru the stats better than I, but ive been looking at the #'s, U.S. is not even in top 100 nations as far as murder rates. and the ones that are have pretty strict, heavily enforced gun laws. CDC back in 2013 found 500k to 3 mill cases of firearm defense a year, that's 16 to 100 times more often used to save lives than take them. Could the mass shooting epidemic simply a mirage created by the media's exaggerations and inflation?

Thanks sir

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Jessie said...


11:42 AM  
Anonymous Dean said...

I wouldn't resign yourself to the Botoxified-In-Chief quite yet, Dr. B. Apparently, both the Russians and Assange have the goods on her. Maybe we get Uncle Joe and his creepy folksiness instead -- to ride us down easy, ride us down slow.

You can't discount either the possibility that the outbreak of WW3 ends up enabling the cancellation of the election. It would seem a shame after all to waste the credibility of Obama's pre-emptive Nobel Peace prize on limited depravities, like mass murder by drone.

12:10 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

Stuff like this about Donald Trump is going to surface over the next few months, and this is probably just the beginning. Typical US citizens may be rather ignorant, apathetic and have very limited reasoning skills but can they really overlook this sort of thing? :

How Donald Trump Bankrupted His Casinos, Left Contractors Unpaid, Ruined Investors & Made Millions :


Juliette Greco :


Nafeez Ahmed gives some journalistic background on Omar Mateen :


12:11 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

America has a future. A Tobacco Road kinda future, heh heh.

1:25 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This is a discussion we had a long time ago. In terms of murder rates, I believe US comes out highest if political murder (e.g., Colombia) is excluded. But I confess, it's been a while since I did parse the #s, so you cd be rt. As for current US massacres--defined by killing or maiming of 4 or more people--it's now more than 1 a day.


5:40 PM  
Blogger k_pgh said...


Canada’s and the United State’s Amateur Radio Field Day is coming up in less than ten days. Perhaps this is a good excuse to spin Slim Gaillard’s Communications. In addition to the Morse code “CQ”s and “DE”s, the “V”s played by the guitar in the tag are also radioesque. At any rate, seems like reason enough to play it for yourself, and maybe even something to consider for your non-amateur radio program.


To tie this note to al- in tighter with themes of the blog here are three tangential pieces linked without further comment, except for apologies for the link-heavy post.

Radio Shack and America
Digitized Auden
Edward Abbey on Direct Communication from In Defense of the Redneck

“For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?”

8:20 PM  
Anonymous infernall said...

Are you thinking of Joel Magnusson's "The Great Transformation?"

8:14 PM  

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