July 15, 2016



I thought of "Morons Out of Control" or "Douche Bags Unleashed" as a possible title for this post, but then just settled for a bland 275. I remain excited about Trump's poll numbers, and hope we can get rid of Botox Face once and for all. He could really put the icing on the cake of our accelerating disintegration, but then it's possible that his hands will be tied and he won't be able to do as much damage as he'd like. But as in the case of late-empire emperors in Rome, he really is a perfect symbol of the end of days. His "presidency" will have about as much validity as Kissinger's Nobel Peace Prize (or Obama's). It's like America will finally, publicly, declare itself to be a joke.



Blogger Christopher said...

Get more excited because -well, it's just a prediction, but others I could refer to are making it too: Trump in a landslide.

7:14 AM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

I am happy to about trumps poll numbers, but i am disappointed that trump chose pence as his vp . I was hoping he would chose Carson or palin

8:34 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

"They speak together in few words, using riddles which leave much of the true meaning to be understood by the listener"https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_LudensBenjamin Britten - Les Illuminations, op.18 - Do…: http://youtu.be/AokZmQ2qTDY #betweentwoworlds #gandalfs #vates

9:03 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


He also overlooked Herman Cain and Shaneka Torres. Nice, in any case, to watch Americans punishing themselves. As Geo Carlin said, our leaders don't come from Mars. Shd we be shocked that the pres is a vulgar, hustling, boor?


10:14 AM  
Blogger C. J. Timmins said...

Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, who has long predicted a Trump landslide, puts it very well: Trump is a master persuader of an idiot citizenry susceptible to empty words & promises and confirmation bias: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMERNoQm5DE

10:35 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

I don't know that the world has ever suffered anything like this spree of random terrorist violence that's going to soon be a couple of decades old.

Regardless of the perps, it's a final manifestation of an Anglo ideology. The Hobbesian war of all against all.

We are all now targets of all aggrieved persons of all stripes with dozens of possible motivations.

Without community, history, or purpose, we are just left with a solitary "man with a gun" out of the mythology of the American West.

You would think radical Muslims, Christians, black activists, white supremacists, cops, and generally alienated young men would have radically different strategies for solving their problems, but they don't, because their real problem is the Hobbesian world view, which they unconsciously fulfill in their atomized, futile, meaningless violence.

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...


But, but, Dr. B ... do they allow the contents of my bladder to spill upon the Gucci's of douchbags? Maybe an AR-15 shaped squirtgun?

11:13 AM  
Anonymous vica said...

"Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich ... said Thursday that Muslim-Americans should be “tested” and deported if they “believe in Sharia” law."

“Western civilization is in a war,” Gingrich told Fox News’ Sean Hannity, hours after a truck mowed down French Bastille Day celebrants in Nice, killing at least 80.

“We should frankly test every person here who is of a Muslim background, and if they believe in Sharia, they should be deported. Sharia is incompatible with Western civilization.”

“If we can’t destroy them through the internet, we should destroy them with kinetic power, using various weapons starting with Predators, and frankly just killing them.”

“I mean, if you’re not prepared to monitor the mosque, this whole thing is a joke,”

“We’re like sheep wondering why the wolves keep killing us. These people are opposed to our way of life. They are opposed to our value system. They are opposed to our various religions. They’re opposed to the whole concept of freedom, and they’re very honest about it.”


11:35 AM  
Blogger Juliet Cash said...

Hello Wafers,
Whenever I encounter Trump voters the reason they give for supporting a total nincompoop is that they hate Hillary more. She is a "traitor" over Benghazi and the email scandals. I am not so sure they have a proportional sense of outrage that matches the deed. I have the feeling Trump's mocking of John McCain's capture in Vietnam didn't connect in their "patriotic" minds. Or the fact that he never served because of his privileged position. Or over his refusal to turn in his tax returns. Or over his Trump university scam. Or his 4 bankruptcies. Forget about outrage over his bigotry against immigrants and blacks- that's something they all can agree with. I find it interesting how selective their outrage is. It is also worthy of mention that Fiorina didn't make it even though by most measures she is far more presidential than Trump. She was a "self made" CEO- and bankrupted less times than he did. Has a vocabulary that surpasses Trump's fourth grade level. Something is telling me that no woman would stand a chance of winning a presidential nomination within the GOP. Their sexism- is also something they share with Trump, and it runs too deep.

Not that I haven't encountered educated folks who also rather vote Trump over Hillary- because they want a change. That is also one of their main arguments. Why didn't they change their registration and voted Bernie in if they wanted change? I got the feeling their "change" has similarities with turning back the clock to the 50's. Not that I am a Clinton fan- given that she is a Wall Street and war hawk- (things that the GOP and increasingly democrats who didn't vote for Bernie- seem to agree with her about given their zero outrage over the illegal Irak war, Obama's drone kill list, him not punishing any Wall Street wolves, etc) - it is just the proportion of their selective sense of outrage that I find quite revealing.

I wouldn't be surprised at all of Trump wins. But let's get frank about it. We can also count in sexism as one of the main reasons why they rather choose Trump.

If I were Clinton I would fire my Botox plastic surgeon. She is as wrinkled up as a 65 year old woman could be. I am not so sure about Trump's who is even older than her. I think his doctor is a keeper. Especially those in charge of his tanning bed.

1:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Why not make all of them wear a yellow star?


2:10 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...


I agree completely. Because of the horrors of the recent attack in France all the attention will be on Muslims but as you say, we live in a world where every grievance is potentially a cause for spree killings. Everything from Islamic fundamentalism to white nationalism (Dylann Roof) to black activists (Micah Johnson) to guys who can't get girlfriends (Elliot Rodger and George Sodini).

There is something seriously wrong with people these days. It probably has something to do with atomization, lack of community, a meaningless existence and a culture of violent narcissism that encourages people to take out their frustrations on others. Thankfully some folks do see the culture of narcissism behind some of these violent events:



3:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


10 children were killed in the attack in Nice. We can never justify the slaughter of innocents, whether in Nice or NY. But I think we can understand it. The murderer, Mohamed Bouhlel, a Tunisian, was not affiliated with any jihadi or radical groups, which makes you wonder. But here's the historical record:

1. France has not been exactly kind to Muslims. The worst was probably the war in Algeria, which involved horrific torture. It took France 20 yrs to even mildly face up to what they had done; they lived in a state of denial and amnesia all that time. Their "mission civilizatrice" was a horror show.

2. Talk abt powder kegs: the banlieu of Paris contain a large population of disaffected, unemployed, Muslim youth. They live in squalor; they can't find any jobs. Meanwhile, the center of the town is white and wealthy.

After each attack, Hollande says "We are France, united; we shall defeat terrorism," etc. All his plan will do, like America's absurd war on terrorism, is create more terrorists. If he had half a brain, he would say: "France has a lot to account for in its relations with Muslims. I am today sending $1 billion euros to Algeria, with a note of apology, and I'm also investing in decent housing and employment for our disaffected Arabic youth. They have much to be angry about, and this government is going to start addressing their complaints. Up to now, with regard to the problem, I've basically been un sac de douche. All that's going to change."

Fat chance, rt?


3:48 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Signs and Wonders Dept.:


Perhaps I'm being overly pessimistic, but have we reached the point where we are just too stupid to continue as a nation? In other words, at what point does a society become so dumbed-down that it can no longer function? I think MB once remarked that inertia can only take a civilization such as ours so far; and many other historians have noted that maintaining a civilization requires constant input of positive energy, morale, and a commitment to values larger than the occupants of a given society. We don't seem to have any of this anywhere. It's all been entirely effaced. Jesus, we're never gonna break outta the Matrix.


4:48 PM  
Anonymous Henri said...

If only Monsieur Hollande had delivered that speech, the world would be a better place already (although he would have said 'un sac de merde, un grosse merde!').

6:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The crucial question is how to say douche bag in 20 different languages.


6:56 PM  
Blogger Honduras, Mi Lindo País said...

"I am today sending $1 billion euros to Algeria, with a note of apology, and I'm also investing in decent housing and employment for our disaffected Arabic youth."

As rampant as corruption is throughout the entire Middle-East (as well as most of the world), both BEFORE and AFTER the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the above solution would be a display of mind-boggling foolishness, as the money would disappear into the pockets of corrupt "leaders" and never be used for anything good.

The West has been pouring money into these dives for decades. If the Arabs are as intelligent as anyone else, why don't they assimilate into the European countries they CHOSE to move to the way you, Mr. Bernman, assimilated into Mexican culture after choosing to live there...or do you live there as an American and forcefully push U.S. "culture" on the Mexicans? They want to be an isolated subculture in their host nations, have their Sharía courts and patrol the streets telling people how to dress (including non-Muslims). They create their own conflict. If the French & France are so terrible....LEAVE.

7:03 PM  
Anonymous Sad and Confused said...

Dr. B said "France has not been exactly kind to Muslims. The worst was probably the war in Algeria, which involved horrific torture. It took France 20 yrs to even mildly face up to what they had done; they lived in a state of denial and amnesia all that time. Their 'mission civilizatrice' was a horror show.

2. Talk abt powder kegs: the banlieu of Paris contain a large population of disaffected, unemployed, Muslim youth. They live in squalor; they can't find any jobs. Meanwhile, the center of the town is white and wealthy."

Presumably, as is in Bangladesh, Turkey, Nigeria, Syria, Egypt, Somalia, Iraq, Saudi Arabia....I want to agree w/ u, but the more and more diffuse the list gets, the less I can :-/

8:36 PM  
Anonymous door said...

Their are two excellent articles by Andrew and Patrick Cockburn in July 15th counterpunch blog about Hillarys appointments if she wins the presidency.It makes Donald look like the peace candidate.Its a up is down and down is up time we live in.What can I say.

9:25 PM  
Anonymous Frankistan said...

'Turkey Can't Be Run from Pennsylvania': Turkish President Alleges Coup Masterminded from Poconos


Here is why - another Mohammad Mosaddegh type coup by America:

A reclusive religious scholar in Pennsylvania may be behind the attempted coup in Turkey


2:43 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Cdn't post it. We have a once-only-in-24-hrs rule here.


Except that in reaction to the Nice massacre, Trump said we need to declare war on ISIS (the Bush pattern), and Hillary said it shd be a matter for intelligence investigation.


9:35 AM  
Anonymous Insightful said...

Dr. Berman, I would like for you to respond to Franchesca and Sad's criticisms regarding your comment on France and the muslim world. Seems to me there can brew an interesting, thoughtful discussion on the matter..

10:41 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

"Trump said we need to declare war on ISIS."

Trump's blatherings, even those that contain subjects, verbs, and objects/complements, are ideally suited for an American audience. They allow the listener to decide what is meant in each case. In that respect they resemble the utterances of every other politician--or snake oil saleman-- who ever lived.

And Hillary's statements, though normally more polished and suggestive of an underlying intelligence, are hardly any better.

I wait for the day when a politician or official, responding to a question from either press or public about what to do about X,Y, or Z, calmly says "I don't know." And then adds that the subject is very complicated or the problem is a very thorny one that requires the application of many minds and much discussion in a quiet setting.

This will never happen. Americans, steeped in a sports culture that virtuallyalways delivers a clear, unambiguous result and reinforced in the belief that things can be resolved easily by a lifetime of exposure to hourlong TV dramas, expect their leaders to achieve similar results. To know what should be done and how to do it. Yesterday.

Stupid Americans.

11:07 AM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

From the American Ik file:


A perfect example of the modern all-American boy & his success story.

I haven't posted here in some time, mainly because I've been taking MB's excellent advice & pursuing the little things that make me truly happy -- Nature, reading, music, making art, etc. -- but I have been following the entries here. The sheer crassness of American "culture" is astounding in its inexhaustible ability to go lower & lower, without ever hitting bottom. (I'm not sure that there IS a bottom at this point.)

My thanks to the previous poster who recommended the work of Mary Midgley a couple of posts back. I'm currently immersed in her "Science and Poetry" & thoroughly enjoying it.

I'm also happy to see so many early 1960s TV dramas finally released on DVD, such as "The Defenders" & "The Eleventh Hour" -- what strikes me about them is not only that they're about genuine adults, dealing with complex moral & cultural issues, but that they take it for granted that the viewers of the time were both capable of & interested in such stories. Also, everyone looks like a real human being, rather than an impossibly sculpted plastic or digital figure. And there's a real respect for working people, often doing the best they can under difficult conditions. Not least, there's an absence of snark, humiliation, contempt. A very different view & ideal of life!

1:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


We've missed you! Welcome back.


Well, see what Jas Allen wrote abt the American mind; Fran is a gd example of it. I didn't respond 1st, because I figured other Wafers might take her on, and 2nd, because given her Manichaean, simplistic outlook, I cdn't imagine there was any way to reach her. She doesn't grasp nuance, or the complexity of human life. As with Trump (or Hollonde), it's all B&W for her. Anything I wd write wd just be met with a blast of further anger and defensiveness. For Fran is like most Americans: really gd at broadcasting, not so gd at receiving. I suppose she might mature in 20 or 30 yrs, but I have a feeling that won't happen. Underlying all that anger is fear, and fear is very powerful.

For example, the notion that giving $ to Algeria would result in it getting swallowed up in corruption. Sure, that's one possibility; another is that the UN would set up a multinational team, including 3rd World representatives, to administer the funds. The team wd purchase food, clothing, and meds, and oversee their distribution; and also oversee slum clearance and replacement by decent housing. Etc. It may not be easy, but it's probably do-able.

Or her foolish ultimatum, that if the impoverished Arab youth of Parisian banlieu don't like France, they shd just leave. What if they have no money, and have no way to leave? What if their French is as fluent as their Arabic, they regard themselves as French citizens, and rightly feel they shd have a share in the gd life? Her response is basically, "Tough shit."

These very human issues escape folks like Fran. As with Trump, there's one rt answer, and she's got it. Wait for her response (attack); you'll see what I mean.


2:49 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Pokemon Go leads man w/arrest warrant to police station. William Wicox, was in his pajamas playing Pokemon Go, when he found himself outside the Milford police station. Several officers recognized Wilcox and arrested him on the spot:


My wife and I were at the Pantages in LA last night. During the intermission for "Beautiful: The Carole King Musical" I was in line to use the restroom and struck up a conversation w/an elderly gentleman, Seymour Scheinberg from Cleveland. I asked Mr. Scheinberg his thoughts about the Trump Train coming to his town on Monday. He said that's why he was in LA visiting his daughter for the wk (also attending the play). He called Trump a "debased reprobate." He also said that the US is on its way out! How's that for some chutzpah? Smart guy, eh? I shook his hand, said that I agreed w/him, and put in a plug for the blog.


2:50 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@Tim Lukeman,

I agree with you completely regarding early 1960s TV dramas. This is why outside of sports the only programs I regularly watch on TV now are older TV shows and movies.

I think your comment on older TV programs having more realistic characters and showing a respect for working people is very important. Even the fantasy shows like the old George Reeves version of "Superman" had a kind of decency you don't see in today's superhero films where the heroes are often brooding psychopaths or insufferable, snarky jerks.

3:29 PM  
Blogger Ed-M said...

Hi MB!

Right now I'm reading Why America Failed. Very interesting and intriguing, a good exposition of the essential character of the American people. I've finished Paulo Freire's Pedagogy of the Oppressed (as well as your ToAC); the whole point of the teaching methods in Freire's is the consciousness-raising of people who are actually oppressed and enabling them to do something about it. Very Marxian. Won't work if the people don't think they're oppressed, though.

DioGenes -

THat's why I've been convinced for more than a decade now, when American civilization collapses, everyone will be fighting each other like starving rats.


What if some "sttesman" like Newt were to say that Christian-Americans should be “tested” and deported if they “believe in Biblical law." The howls and screams would never cease reaching the end of the Universe!

5:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Glad yr enjoying WAF. I'm thinking that Newt shd change his name to Ging Newtrich.

Seymour Scheinberg, we love you!


5:59 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

I think the real point is that these random acts of violence seem to be a form capable of transfer to any content. The fact that the Nice attacker seems to be a very weakly ideological Muslim underlines the point.

The true terror of the age is that it could be anybody, for any reason, attacking anybody at all. This IS the war of all against all.

Btw, very interesting to compare Darwin's views on evolution, which share this underlying worldview, to that of Russian theorists like Kropotkin, who emphasised mutual aid as a factor in evolution.

Ironically, the small pockets capable of that in the US will be the only ones that survive.

6:54 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

"Americans are good at broadcasting, not so good at receiving".

That's putting it as gently as possible. I prefer the phrase "arrogant blowhards that have neither the desire nor the ability to comprehend information, and speak (or write in this case) only to hear the sound of their own voices". I tend not to be gentle with people like that; it's probably my worst character trait. What amazes me about people like Fran is their inability to acknowledge atrocities committed by their own side. Mention the fact the West as killed about 10 million Muslims over the last 100 years, and they will shout back about Nice, or 9/11, or whatever, completely ignoring the information you just presented. I have a theory as to why they do this: 1.) they believe 10 million dead Arabs don't matter in the least, and 2.) in addition, they regard information as a pissing contest, a sort of intellectual battle using propaganda and ignorance to assert one's own ego rather than uncover the truth. Obviously, no communication or discussion is possible with such people, and because 99% of Americans think like this, there is no way America can be saved.

A combination of willful ignorance, intellectual ossification, and malignant narcissism seems to best describe the "Winter" phase of civilization as described by Oswald Spengler. Although I think Spengler is wrong about cultures having the exact same patterns of growth and decay, he's certainly right that all cultures die in a similar manner. The United States entered it's Winter phase with the election of George W. Bush, whose speeches literally consisted of nothing but platitudes and gibberish. Even Bill Clinton's speeches addressed issues like welfare, the environment, etc., even if he betrayed his promises on every issue he mentioned. Ever since George W. Bush, every election has revolved around personal charisma rather than issues ("Caesarism", as described by Spengler). Trump's popularity proves that this tendency is intensifying rapidly; in 10 years, I think presidential elections will consist of nothing but insults and braggadocio.

6:55 PM  
Anonymous John said...

Dr. B- I would like your opinion. I have already said before that I don't like living in the United States but circumstances beyond my control brought me back but thankfully, I can leave again. I look forward to returning to Mexico, the mere thought of it fills me with joy. What I want to ask you is what do you recommend to me and others in my situation who know they'll be able to survive in the destination country but who have some financial burdens. In my case, the biggest issue is student loans but I'm starting to really see that this whole student loan thing is not only about greed but it is designed to keep you here miserable, like a prisoner, Trump's wall would be to keep us in and keep us from getting out. Life is given to you once on this planet and I don't want to waste it anymore in the US but I have these loans,they're substantial but not in the stratosphere. I know you aren't a financial planner but should I stay or should I go ? What would you do ?

7:06 PM  
Blogger Honduras, Mi Lindo País said...

Sad And Confused:
"Meanwhile, the center of the town is white and wealthy."

French is a mostly White nation. Are you seriously surprised that a nation's majority populace would be more affluent than it's foreign newcomers? The center of Dubai, U.A.E. is Arab and wealthy. The center of Accra, Ghana is African and wealthy. The center of Tokyo is Japanese and wealthy.

North America and Europe have "not been exactly kind" to Latin Americans, who were also colonized for many years, and suffered at the hands of propped up dictators like Pinochet, Trujillo, etc. I await your list of terrorist massacres perpetrated by us hispanics that equal the same number & frequency of those by Muslims. Being civilized and having brains, culture, and a life means we have no time for such inexcusable degeneracy. Our nations are thriving compared to almost all Arab ones.

7:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Only you can decide that, really (sorry).


Well, exactly. You see Fran's inability to take anything in, to actually learn something. It's just more broadcasting, as I predicted. If any of us respond to the latest broadcast, the reply will be more broadcasting. Etc. There's no winning this game, because it's not actually abt the facts, and certainly not abt the historical complexities. Hence yr rt abt the reasons, but I think fear is probably the most basic one.


9:43 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

No single human has effected my life as much as our Doc, the Great Seer of Western Hemisphere. Since having read his books and following his blog posts today I don't hesitate to feel and tell things as they are. I tolerate shit but I don't call it filet mignon no more.
In Belman's funeral (in 2050) I'll sing this to myself as I did when I found him. The lyrics I dedicate to him...

Many thanks also to all WAFers for their insightful contributions. Saludos!!

10:05 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

If only this were on the front page.


10:18 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

On lighter note, in what has to be the perfect metaphor for American society as a whole, two idiots in California wandered off a cliff while playing Pokemon GO:


On the other hand, I ran across an interesting article today about a female college student and Bernie supporter who has no intention of voting for the Botox Queen in November. I have to say, she sounds pretty sensible for a 21-year old:

“This is the most entitled generation — the feminist baby boomers. They say — we are doing well, we are going to die before climate change kills everyone else. We don’t care. Vote for Hillary.” Hahn calls the older generation of feminists “special flowers.”

“People think that about my generation — that we were given trophies for nothing,” she says. “But that’s more true about the feminist baby boomers. They believe they are entitled to everything now. But they are not entitled to anything. They are entitled to the same rights as everyone else. That’s it. Thank you for not caring about anyone else. You have the privilege of dying before I do.”


11:51 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello WAFers:

@Tim Lukeman: Small world. I just started watching the first season of "The Twilight Zone" last week. It's like reading Boethius compared to today's TV.

I've been to a few quatorze juillet fireworks displays, and I've been to Nice, and so realise that had the celestial spheres lined up a little differently, that could have been me and my family being splattered by that truck. Nevertheless, I'm still annoyed at comments that claim this sort of horrific violence is occurring in a vacuum.

I may have said this here already, but it isn't for nothing that Edward Said's "Orientalism" begins with the French invasion of Egypt in the early 19th century.

If anyone wants to see some decent cinematic accounts of France's mission civilisatrice, check out "The Battle of Algiers" and the Catherine Deneuve film, "Indochine."


12:51 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A great song. George Steiner once said it was the only song that left him weeping. My own favorite of hers is "Milord":

Allez venez! Milord
Vous asseoir à ma table.
Il fait si froid dehors.
Ici, c'est confortable...

Meanwhile, I humbly admit to the title of GSWH. It's a dirty job, but someone hasta do it. It is imperative that we all know the difference between shit and shinola, and this is the only blog in the entire blogosphere where knowledge of that is guaranteed.


That Pokemon story does indeed epitomize America--perfectly, as u say.


Those are indeed two fabulous films. Another one that comes at Algeria and amnesia from an oblique angle is "Sundays and Cybele"--one of the most brilliant films of all time.

The notion that events like Nice are occurring in a vacuum is what Hollonde wants the French to believe, of course. There is no justifying the slaughter of the innocents; I think all Wafers wd agree with me on that. But that needn't block our understanding of it, nor of our understanding of 9/11. Americans, like Bush, are too stupid to connect the dots, to grasp the notion of historical forces and sociological context. Shit, they don't even know there are dots.


5:42 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

The latest from Lionel Shriver, one of my favorite authors:


A not unlikely description of the American endgame, I'm guessing. Only gd news in this scenario is that Gott sei Dank, the NYT has finally folded.


5:56 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

As for France, here's a helpful analysis:


Meanwhile, back at the ranch (ho hum):



8:39 AM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

I just finished reading Lionel Shriver's near-future novel, The Mandibles. It definitely belongs on Wafer reading lists. Not to give too much away, but the first three-quarters of the book covers approximately three years in the lives of various generations of the Mandible family as Merica and the Mandibles undergoes some, ahem, drastic economic changes. Shriver also has a few futuristic jabs at technology woven into her narrative. The last quarter of the book leaps ahead to the year 2047, a bit less satisfying as she contends with the dilemma of a novelist about how to bring diverse characters and the story trajectory to conclusion. Nonetheless, this novel grips your attention and deserves a read. And yes, the New York Times is but a distant memory. Chomp chomp.

10:13 AM  
Blogger Dan Henry said...

well with the baton rouge cop shooting i think weve officially begun the end. its gonna get wild and slippery from here.

Black Hippy released a remix of That Part a few days ago but its been pulled down off soundcloud, the file is still floating around though, for anyone who wants to actually see...


"Gangbangin' like we stand for somethin'
When Alton Sterling gettin' killed for nothin'
Two cowards in the car, they're just there to film
Sayin' #BlackLivesMatter should've died with him
Wrong nigga in your hood, you gon' ride on him
White nigga with a badge, you gon' let that slide?
Tell me how they sent that footage off and slept that night
I feel bad that my daughter gotta live this life
I'll die for my daughter, gotta fight this fight
Put a Blank Face on, nigga let that drop
That, that part"

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Insightful said...

Dr. Berman, what’s your take on the recent Japanese elections? The incumbent Shinzo Abe’s coalition won a landslide victory despite concerns about his economic policies (aka ‘abe-nomics’). Prime Minister Abe controversially wants to revise the country’s pacifist constitution, a step that could strain ties with China, where memories of Japan’s past militarism run deep. You wrote about Japan, and I believe you see it as a post-American model. Now that Japan has taken this route—the route that the Japanese people have decided to go in, do you still see Japan in the seem light? Here is the news story:


3:46 PM  
Blogger Ed-M said...

My SO is also reading your Twilight of American Culture, MB. He got to the point where you advocated NMIs (New Monastery Individuals) and in it you mentioned that they would be an "unmoneyed aristocracy", so to speak. This got him angry and it should have offended me, too, since I just read the book, because we all full well know that you can't even get by in this miserable excuse of a country without money... which means working at a job, which means never ending hustling and pleasing the boss and your company's clients these days, unless of course, you are independently wealthy. And where do people with independent wealth get their money from? Either they got their nut through hustling, or their ancestors did.

Which brings me to this question:

How does one NOT participate in the never ending hustling, Religion of Progress "culture", and do things contrary to it, even if privately, when he doesn't have any money?

Meanwhile, in current events...

Attempted police massacre in Baton Rouge. Several shot, three killed.


Meanwhile, in Ohio, some people expect some other people to be violent at the GOP national convention.


The madness is ramping up now. This is not going to end well...

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Dean said...

Ah, Pokemon Go! Or, as I like to call it: Pin the Donkey on the Tail.

I awoke this morning to news on the Chicago AM radio dial of an 18 year old donkey hit by a car, while in hot pursuit of the tail. No more fervent has an 18 year old ever been in search of tail. Well, outside of a college freshman orientation.

It must have been a glancing blow, however, as she was able to blubberingly stammer out to the intrepid reporter on the scene (while being wheeled to the waiting ambulance, no doubt, or perhaps even still laying on the street, pinned beneath the vehicle): " I just want to tell everyone to be careful out there."

I have to admit at 4:30 am though, I wasn't quite sure if it was all too surreal as to have been a dream. All the more unsettling were the words of a passerby, seemingly caught just on the very outer reaches of the microphone's capacity and will. Perhaps only carried there on the strength of a haunting breeze.

"Who is Seymour Scheinberg?"

6:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, let me take Baton Rouge 1st. The shooter was black. Were the officers who were shot, white? Is this a repeat of Dallas, last wk? We seem to be in the midst of a decentralized uprising. See message from Dan Henry; this attack on cops cd definitely snowball. But personally, as I've said b4, I don't thinks this needs to be a race issue. I think every American shd get a gun and shoot everybody else. Why not, when you think abt it?

NMI's: I suppose I shd have said "unwealthy aristocracy," because that's what I meant. There are various ways to work this out, but I grant you it ain't easy. One is to work p/t, if possible, and then spend the rest of yr time on the Monastic Option. The other is to scale down yr lifestyle as best you can, so yr less chained to the system. Best option, of course, is finding work you really love; the worst is finding a job that pays well, and getting out early. But you know, with lots of people unemployed these days, the M.O. may be forced on them, one way or the other. I agree it's a difficult issue, but being creative abt it is also NMI activity, I suppose. Keep in mind that I don't have *all* the answers; I'm just trying to find a clearing in the fog.


I'm sick abt this 2nd election of Abe and the LDP. Of course, ch. 7 of NB does not predict Japan taking the post-capitalist route, it only speculates on the possibility. But I agree, the outlook is getting increasingly dim. When I spoke at the U of Tokyo in 2014, I asked my audience what it wd take to get off this track: another Fukushima? I was uncomfortable asking it (as a gaijin), and they were uncomfortable w/the question. But somebody's gotta ask it, obviously.


u.c. how great minds think alike. I just ordered it off of Amazon. The part abt the NYT is gd, but if I had written the novel, a gang of irate Wafers wd have cornered Friedman and Brooks and hosed down their shoes, fueled w/many 6-packs of Bud Lite.


6:40 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

To second Ed-M...


I guess the answer is to get the media to help you beg.

Ophelia, get thee to a nunnery. What hope have you today of family?

6:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This looks like it was another black on white shooting:


7:49 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

I have a question: for those who can remember would you say race relations in the United States are getting better or worse? For me, things seem to be worse now than they have been since the early 1990s, which is about as far back as I can recall.

I ask because some people I know say that things were even worse in the 1960s-1990s, with more riots and police brutality incidents.

8:25 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Check it out:



9:02 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

National Horror Dept.:

I fear, Wafers, that if you look at graphs of polls of Clinton vs. Trump over last few mos., Botox is almost always in the lead; rt now, by abt 3%. This is a very ominous sign. However, this was kinda interesting:


Offhand, I'd say this wd be a tad too severe. But what if Wafers all got together and demanded the removal of Botox from her face? It just seems a lot more reasonable.


9:18 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


Seymour Scheinberg is an absolute mensch, a great man who sports a pair of wingtips and a burgundy cardigan, the complete and total opposite of a yutz.


I do believe this sucker's going down. Also, yr right, it's not a race thing; it's an American thing. And the best possible scenario is all-out fratricide. It is, of course, a horrible solution, an unthinkable solution, but the only one left to us under the present circumstances. There is simply no other alternative. The time has come for 320 million guns to be placed in the hands of 320 million Americans. As Dylan usta say, "Why wait any longer for the world to begin? We can have our cake and eat it too." Just think, u, me, and the Wafers could watch the spectacle unfold...holed up in a gd Delicatessen on Broadway somewhere...noshing on chopped liver, matzo-ball soup, corned beef and pastrami sandwiches, cheese blintzes, and sour pickles.


ps: Tim: It's gd to have u back!

9:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The Greeks called the end of the world by fire "ecpyrosis." We may be almost there. And where else to be, at such a time, but in a NY deli? Meanwhile, check this out: it represents only the last 2 wks, and is in fact incomplete:


Shriver's latest novel is how the endgame will play out, but also have a look at


for another version. Set in greater NY area 30 yrs from now; the Ethernet breaks down, so people can't use their electronic toys; and--here's a surprise--they don't know how to read! Of course the down side, wh/the author didn't mention, is that this blog wd fold and Wafers wd suddenly be outta touch. We need to make a pact: in the event of such an occurrence, go directly to the 2nd Ave Deli in Manhattan, 162 E. 33 St., wearing a simple note that says "Wafer". After lunch, we'll plan to rent a warehouse in Bklyn and launch the NMI life described in the Twilight bk. Checks probably won't work anymore, so bring wads of cash w/u. c.u. all there, in the twilight.


10:03 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Safely ensconced in SE Asia for a few months. No fear of this part of the world resisting American crap. I have been traveling in this part of the world since the late 80's and always felt that the Thais, Cambodians, Laotians, etc. were somehow spiritually superior to the west. Not so. Perhaps greater techno-douchbaggery than in the US. Entire families engaged in their I-phones without saying a word to each other. Yesterday, a 3-4 year old girl was jumping on a worn out cushion with every possibility of falling and getting hurt. Her mom didn't give her a look and continued to play with her phone. I almost felt like saying something but I didn't (as if my words would have had any lasting effect). The beauty of all this if it can be called beauty is that this generation of children growing up will ignore their parents just as they were ignored. What a bargain! Giving up everything of real value for what is still essentially a phone. Really, what's the point of travailing if all I'm going to see are tech addicts ?Might as well as stay home and endure the same without spending thousands of bucks. Am I right?

10:16 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

Personally, I don't think East Asian cultures will have the potential for a non-capitalistic, non-totalitarian society within the next few centuries. Groupthink, unquestioning obedience, racism and power hunger seem to be the foundation of Northeast Asian cultures, and these traits lend themselves to capitalism and totalitarianism, not a decentralized society. Due to resource shortages, I predict that all of East Asia will become brutally totalitarian as capitalism becomes impossible to maintain. (Unlike many here on this blog, I have little respect for Northeast Asian cultures, which have been so warlike, insular and oppressive throughout history.) I think post-capitalist models will emerge in the Celtic countries, Southern Europe, Central Asia, and Latin America first; the United States, Russia, and China will probably never escape the stranglehold of capitalism by their own efforts, and may have to be defeated by other nations to stop them from destroying the biosphere.

I think the elections will be rigged in favor of Hillary, because Trump's plan isn't nearly as good for Wall Street, the real center of power in American politics. I also suspect that Trump is actually more popular than Hillary, and that the mainstream media continually falsifies pubic opinion polls to discourage Trump voters from showing up at the voting booths on election day. But does it really matter? America's decline will continue at an accelerating pace no matter who sits in the White House.

10:19 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

As I sit in my chair reading Gideon's Trumpet, the story of the Supreme Court case that guaranteed an accused the right to be represented by counsel, I learn that there's now a hostage-taking at a fast food place in Baltimore. If it ain't the End Times, it sure looks like a good start in that direction.

For some reason, a snatch of music popped into my head. The lyrics to a simple theme song for a comedy set in simpler times. Car 54, Where Are You? Ran from 1961-1963, and starred Joe E. Ross as Officer Gunther Toody and Fred Gwynne as Officer Francis Muldoon. Two of New York's finest from the Bronx' 53rd Precinct. As the lyrics suggest, problems were much more manageable then.

Hope this finds favor and elicits a laugh.


10:28 PM  
Anonymous Nicholai Izhchenko said...

Prayers sent for France. Where are the French Men? When will they start burning mosques?
Windshield/vehicle penetration: Converted my .40 Glocks to 357 SIG long ago for just this reason.
Overheard two strangers this morning here in Virginia who said: "Start killing them. Keep killing them. Keep killing them until they are all dead or they go back to the pagan hellhole they came from."
Hard to disagree with that!!

10:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Bozhe moi!


Philly in Bangkok; there's a cruel twist of fate. But I like the way Wafers live on a worldwide scale. We're multilingual, and everywhere!


10:58 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

MB - I read Super Sad True Love Story about a year ago and found it to be quite an engaging satirical take on the impending downfall of America. There was another novel along similar lines published back in 1994 called Random Acts of Senseless Violence, which is narrated by an intelligent 12-year old girl who lives in NYC and watches helplessly as the economic endgame for both America and her own family approaches. Though it starts out somewhat satirically like SSTLS, it eventually turns much darker and has quite a haunting ending:


Meanwhile, here are some new candidates for the title of Face of America. The second story is particularly heinous, featuring a former Playmate of the Year who surreptitiously photographed a nude overweight woman in the shower room at her gym and then posted the picture and made fun of the unsuspecting woman on Instagram:



11:26 PM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

Another day, another mass shooting. Interesting how a veteran killed the cops in Dallas, now another veteran killed cops in baton rogue. Bringing some of the violence back home it seems.


11:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


One thing I became aware of during the last 10 yrs of doing this blog, is the huge reserves of untapped cruelty in America and w/in the American soul. Just consider the post by Nicholai, above. And as you say, the playboy model story is emblematic of who we are; why would anyone do that to someone else? Only in America. As for the blog, most of the trollfoons just got tired of it, I guess, and migrated to more worthy targets of their venom; tho the dishonest, bitter reviews that I get of my bks, and the occasional anti-Semitism that shows up here, testifies to a deep pain and rage that these people carry w/themselves on a daily basis.

The fact is that we are in deep trouble, and it pervades every level of society--the micro/macro connection I've occasionally alluded to. The psychological structure is, Good within/Evil without. Jimmy Carter tried to get us to reverse that, and failed miserably. Looking back, we can see how touching his naivete was. Americans, and the nation as a whole, is suffering deeply at the core of the soul; but rather than deal with it, as Jimmy wanted us to do, we choose to project it outward, lay it on someone else. This pattern will not change in our lifetime, and thus the possibility of saving ourselves, via some purported left-wing revolution, or some Buddhistic type of alteration of consciousness, exists only in the realm of fantasy. Recent 'contributions' by Franchesca and Nicholai illustrate quite clearly where we are really at. As for me, watching the personal hatred emerge against me on this blog, or in bitter and dishonest reviews of my work, has been a profound learning experience, because I saw firsthand who my fellow countrymen were. This is really the endgame, and authors like Shriver, Womack, and Shteyngart are homing in on variations of it. Which variation will descend upon us is of course not clear at this pt, but there's no denying that we are headed for a huge fall. Individual sickness is, it seems to me, contributing a lot to this.


5:40 AM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

I don't talk to my fellow Americans anymore. Everything the say is toxic. I try to avoid them as much as possible. at work I take my break in my car . I only go to the break room to use the microwave. My goal is to leave America in 3 years.

6:15 AM  
Anonymous Mikelo said...

Dr B wrote: "One thing I became aware of during the last 10 yrs of doing this blog, is the huge reserves of untapped cruelty in America and w/in the American soul."

Bush's war on terror started in 2000 and has been going on ever since till today, a period of almost 16 years. When the soldiers come back, they either commit suicide or join police force somewhere to help execute the silent war against Black Americans.

Dead Baton Rouge shooter attacked police on his birthday
Jul 18, 2016 1:19 AM EDT

"The suspect has been identified as a black male named Gavin Eugene Long of Kansas City, Missouri, sources tell CBS News. He was born on July 17, 1987. According to a military source, Long left the Marines in 2010 with an honorable discharge. His final Marine rank was E-5 (sergeant). Military records show he received several medals during his military career, including one for good conduct, and received an honorable discharge."


6:20 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

Dr. Berman --

"NMI's: I suppose I shd have said "unwealthy aristocracy," because that's what I meant. There are various ways to work this out, but I grant you it ain't easy. One is to work p/t, if possible, and then spend the rest of yr time on the Monastic Option. The other is to scale down yr lifestyle as best you can, so yr less chained to the system."

This is closely related to what the Simplicity Institute is about --


Major contributors :

Samuel Alexander
Ted Trainer
Richard Heinberg

The institute and its contributors are on the frontier of the renewal portion of dual process.

a recent publication:

"A prosperous descent - Telling new stories as the old book closes"

by Samuel Alexander ---


7:17 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Long, of course, was black. 2 of his victims were white; one was black. I guess idea is just to shoot cops, as symbols of oppression.


7:31 AM  
Anonymous Garfield said...


VERY good read , w/o biases ... Demographics shows everyone is dying, not just blacks. Reason there are cities w/ disprortionate amounts of black arrests/shootings -- there are a disproportionate # of african americans in those respective cities. Just as you would have more asians in a Chinese city etc.

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Bells said...

Professor, have you seen the Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution yet?

Very interested to watch, going to try and Netflix it tonight

8:13 AM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

@ Ed-M,

Sometimes it's a matter of small increments, setting aside a little time for soul-nourishing activities, reminding yourself that even in the midst of soul-devouring work & culture (work IS culture these days) that it's a matter of enduring rather than believing & buying into it -- as they used to say, being in the world but not of it. Easier said than done these days, I know, and often enormously draining -- but it can make a real difference.

My wife & I worked in the same place, and we'd use our break time to go outside & walk, sketch, converse (and NOT about work or anything in the news). Even here in the suburbs, we spend a lot of time in the local parks; and we've let our back yard pretty much grow wild, providing a small wildlife habitat. Reconnection with the natural world on a regular basis is absolutely vital, I think.

Also, remember: garbage in, garbage out; or, you are what you eat. Be aware of what's going on in the world, but don't let it dominate your days. One of the things making most people crazier & more frightened is the inundation of crap, sensation, shallowness & crassness that pours out of every digital orifice around us, endlessly.

Hand in hand with that, immerse yourself (as much as possible) in literature, film, art, music that actually does nourish mind & heart. If you can, make some of your own. And make sure you take time to simply be quiet, alone with yourself in quiet surroundings, shutting out as much of the everyday world as you can, so you can remind yourself of who & what you really are.

Yes, a certain amount of money is needed in this culture ... but money alone isn't enough, and is often as much hindrance as help. (Again, easier said when you've got some than when you don't, I know.) If you can find like-minded friends, so much the better.

At least this is what's worked for me.

9:31 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Cdn't post it. We have a rule here, of 1 post every 24 hrs. So pls wait out the 24 hrs and re-send. Thanks.


I also found this very helpful:



Check out my rec to Tom, above.


9:45 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, cdn't post it. We have a half-page limit on this blog. Please compress by a third and re-send. Thank you.


Sorry, I don't post personal attacks or anything that is insulting to this blog. You or anyone are certainly free to disagree with any specific post or argument, but if you want to participate in this discussion, you will have to (a) be extremely courteous, and (b) provide evidence for your views. Americans such as yourself confuse emotion with reason, and opinion with argument--your post was a perfect example of this, and reflected the fact that (like most Americans) yr not very bright. People who come on like you do shoot themselves in the foot: you want to be part of the discussion, but you kill off your chances in advance. Hence, if you do want to participate, you'll need, 1st of all, to apologize for your ill-considered, emotionally charged post and your intemperate remarks, and 2nd, to do as I suggested: You list the (specific) issue, state your problems with the view stated by myself or another Wafer (it can't be a broadside against the whole blog, as you gave us), and then provide evidence for your side of the argument. This will be hard 4u because, as I said, yr not very bright. (E.g., your "arguments" were a joke, and easily refuted. They show no historical or sociological understanding at all.)

Note that we are not interested in ad hominem attacks or attacks on the blog per se, only in discussion of specific issues. I have no interested in defending the blog as such, or creating a situation in which the blog becomes a discussion of the blog. This is not a fruitful way to fill up space, imo, but if you really do want to do that, you can surely find blogs that welcome that type of feedback.

Good luck.


2:35 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Most amerikns are simpletons who have no use for history, context or nuances. They wear Machiavellian straightjackets and speak in monosyllables like "you're either with us, or against us", "make amerika great again", "if you don't like it here then leave" and "Keep killing them until they are all dead". And bozhe-moi do these amerikns love simple numbered solutions; like ordering a number meal at BurgerKing. Nicholai believes that the arabs will be trembling in their boots reading his ".40 Glocks to 357 SIG" daisycutter threat. It is hard for amerikns to imagine that American-Sniper like cheap bravado can cut both ways; that chickens do return home to roost. Franchesca's holier-than-thou argument is that if the latinos like her took abuse from the oppressors and did nothing about it so should the blacks and muslims. Who can refute such simple stance.

Jim_Jardashian rightfully noted the millions exterminated only recently the repercussions of which are still playing out.
The book​ ​Late Victorian Holocausts​ ​main conclusion is that the deaths of 30–60 million people killed in famines all over the world during the later part of the 19th century​ ​were caused by laissez faire and Malthusian economic ideology of the colonial governments ​was ​tantamount to a "cultural genocide".

French flatulence after overindulgence in Foie Gras : Liberté, égalité, fraternité.

I dread to imagine what nonsense the doc has to filter to maintain some semblance of sanity on this blog. Prof. Guy McPherson got so fedup with the vitriol from the simpletons that he eventually decided to block all comments on his blog and created a separate mud-pit weblink for the trolls to duke it out.

5:26 PM  
Anonymous Dean said...

Dr. Berman -- Even The National Review is very sour on Abe and where Japan is headed. Or perhaps, that is reason enough to look more closely for a silver lining?

MilesDeli -- I was attempting more of a riff on a potential catch phrase that WAFers might use in the face of the types of absurdities chronicled here than drawing any direct character comparisons. Admittedly though, my clumsy and sophomoric effort at literariness was not conducive to conveying such. My apologies to you and your well coiffed and unassailable friend, Seymour Scheinberg.

Dan -- Have you been to Laos recently? Seven or so years ago, I spent and enjoyed a few months there. Cell phones were virtually non existent there then. Despite a complete and total language barrier, I had the most deeply moving and connected human experiences in my life, while exploring the countryside and small villages on the outskirts by foot or bicycle.

I was amazed at the hospitality and good will I wondered in to. Short glasses of Beer Lao, shots of lao lao, and many smiles were shared. People living in abject poverty were quick to offer a piece of beef leather, cook up an omelet or a plate of boiled innards of some sort on the occasion of my random visit. The latter I couldn't get down and had to leave tucked in my cheek through a few more rounds, a prolonged goodbye, and a watched-after departure down the dirt road until I got around a bend and could unoffendingly spit it out. What memories.

The playmate posting the picture of the naked, fat woman reminds me of something I experienced the weekend before last. Perhaps I'll relate it next time, as I fear I'm running long.

5:27 PM  
Blogger Ed-M said...


As others have said, two of the police killed were white, one was black. Back in 2013 I saw stickers in my local neighborhood bearing the message, "Fire to the prisons / F*ck the police." It really looks like a general "Kill tha' po-LEECE" gestalt going on.


Yep. Anti-police in general.

On NMI's thanks for the advice. Right now I'm trying to find a way forward w/o diving into the American hustle.


Actually she didn't go to the regular media, she went to Go Fund Me, which I suppose is part of the social media.

Tim Lukeman,

Thanks for you advice, and sharing how you're accomplishing it (Dual Process if I recall correctly).

5:46 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


We seem to have a surfeit of stupidity as of late. Consider Franchesca's argument, that of course the center of Paris has rich people in it, just as the center of Tokyo does. This 'argument' actually made sense to her. Never mind that each country has a separate history, and that the rich-poor tensions in Paris, Tokyo, and wherever else are all of a different kind, expressing a different dynamic, rooted in different causes, and in that sense not comparable. Or that a poor Muslim youth in the banlieu cdn't care less what's going on in Tokyo; all he knows is that he's in a dead-end life and will never have anything close to the life of the rich white folk in the center of Paris. Not only is she a dummy with respect to the history of colonialism and French-Muslim relations, she can't even for a moment put herself in the mental space of the poor Muslim youth. Henry Kissinger once said that Americans have a tremendous difficulty understanding the viewpt of the Other, and this is a classic case of it. Jesus, even Ging Newtrich recently remarked abt how the avg white person can't imagine what it's like to be black in America--Ging Newtrich! And these 'broadcasts' by Fran and others: stupid to the max, while they actually believe they are cutting edge. MLK once said that anger and stupidity were the worst possible combination, and here we have it--the vocal majority.

As for the clown called Sceptic: It was more of the same flatulence, which he too apparently regarded as brilliant. Like Nicholai, a sick, fucked-up guy. What I wd say to him is this:

"Do you know who Albert Camus was? Jean-Paul Sartre? Their role in the Algerian war? Do you know what colonialism is? Have you read Edward Said on Orientalism? Have you seen the films, Battle of Algiers and Indochine? Of course, you haven’t; you don’t even know what I’m talking abt. Yet you swagger onto the blog as a smug, sarcastic know-it-all, when in truth yr just an angry, prejudiced ignoramus. You actually think that merely declaring an opinion makes you right; logic and evidence are not part of your repertoire, not even slightly. I’ve had some pretty stupid people on this blog over the last decade; you are probably in the top 5. Yr no more intelligent than a talking parking meter.

"One thing I’m sure of: the day will *not* come when you say to yourself, 'Maybe I shd give up just barking out slogans, and get myself an education instead.' You’ll be thinking the same things, and in the same way, on your deathbed. There will be no aha! experience for you, amigo, not in a million years. Jesus, what a waste of a life."

But let's be clear abt one thing: there are many, many more of these buffoons around than there are Wafers. Indeed, the ratio cd be something like a million to one. A big factor in our downward slide. I guess we shd be grateful, but it just makes me sad to see that there are (lots of) people like that out there. As I said above, I've learned a lot abt the American soul ('soul') from running this blog.


6:02 PM  
Blogger dermot said...

Orwell on the "nationalist", aka Fran and her ilk. From 'Notes on Nationalism":

...A nationalist is one who thinks solely, or mainly, in terms of competitive prestige...his thoughts always turn on victories, defeats, triumphs and humiliations. He sees history, especially contemporary history, as the endless rise and decline of great power units... it is important not to confuse nationalism with mere worship of success. The nationalist does not go on the principle of simply ganging up with the strongest side. On the contrary, having picked his side, he persuades himself that it IS the strongest, and is able to stick to his belief even when the facts are overwhelmingly against him...Every nationalist is capable of the most flagrant dishonesty, but he is also--since he is conscious of serving something bigger than himself--unshakeably certain of being in the right.

...Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage--torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians--which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by 'our' side...The nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them...Material facts are suppressed, dates altered, quotations removed from their context and doctored so as to change their meaning. Events which it is felt ought not to have happened are left unmentioned and ultimately denied...Indifference to objective truth is encouraged by the sealing-off of one part of the world from another, which makes it harder and harder to discover what is actually happening...Some nationalists are not far from schizophrenia, living quite happily amid dreams of power and conquest which have no connection with the physical world.

6:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because they're a collection of douchebags:



6:25 PM  
Anonymous CATSPEAK said...



7:04 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

"When you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: the people I deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous and surly. They are like this because they can't tell good from evil. But I have seen the beauty of good, and the ugliness of evil, and have recognized that the wrongdoer has a nature related to my own - not of the same blood and birth, but the same mind, and possessing a share of the divine. And so none of them can hurt me." - Marcus Aurelius

I've been appreciating stoic thought of late. That somebody like Marcus Aurelius was emperor seems astounding in an American context.

Marcus was perhaps the NMI in ancient Rome, setting the tone for the late Christian monastics. But the respect for philosophy in even a decadent Rome meant that an emperor could assume such a perspective.

Of course he wrote his Mediations while on campaign, killing Germans, but he says that there is no glory in these works, only a fate which history has assigned him.

It's the Roman brand of hustling coming to terms with itself at the very top.

7:08 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


Go figure! You tell us in an earlier post that the trollfoons have gratefully receded into the muskeg, and then BAM!, u get a Sceptic! I tell ya, the gods show you no mercy. You deserve better than this, because you are a person of great intelligence, wit, flair, and effervescent charm. Jesus, yr like a Cole Porter song; a Bach chorale; a Coltrane solo. Each day u grace us w/yr candor, yr eloquence, and the brutal precision of yr naked thinking. Do the trollfoons appreciate this? Learn from this? Draw any kind of meaning from this? Use it to weather the storm of trouble coming? No! And for this they deserve nothing but pain; the pain of being crushed into a state of mute incomprehension. I hope they run away, undergo an attack of bursitis, convulse w/breathless sobs, and suffer the ravages of pointlessness.


8:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'll tell you the same thing I told Sceptic: you can't participate in this conversation if you are going to insult me or the blog. By doing that, you shoot yourself in the foot, and that means that in order to get to the 1st rung of the ladder, you will have to apologize for your angry and sarcastic style, and basically for being a doofus of the 1st order; which you are.

Your 'arguments' are a joke; intellectually sloppy and easily refuted. How did you become such a dumb bunny? I'm really curious.

In any case, once you apologize, in great detail may I add, you will then follow this formula:

1. Pick one and only one specific issue. Do not attack me or the entire blog or everything you mistakenly think we stand for. Just one issue, and indicate that you have disagreements with me abt it.
2. State those disagreements exactly, in nonemotional terms.
3. Present your evidence for disagreeing, and for your pt of view.
4. Review what you wrote, and make sure it's free of emotion and Attitude. We are having an intellectual discussion (what a challenge for you, eh?), not an emotional attack session (all you know, really).

Anyway, you won't be back, I'm quite sure, because you are a spiritual coward; but by being exactly who you are, you'll help drag the country down. So for god's sakes, keep being exactly who you are: a shmuck of the 1st order. Durak.


Folks like Nicholai and Skeptic are already suffering from being the people they are. It's called karma. However, they will never, ever figure this out. But it serves me rt, as you say: I comment on absence of trollfoons, and then guess what? Anyway, learning anything is not what they're into; broadcasting, more their thing. And there are millions of these yokels out there; millions.


8:51 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

What frightens me about Nicolai's post was his unbridled sadistic joy at the prospect of exterminating 1.4 billion people (the number of Muslims on the planet). That kind of feeling has penetrated to the very core of the American collective consciousness, so much so that Americans can't even see their own sadism for what it really is. It's become second nature to most Americans, an unquestioned fact of life, and often the most compelling reason for existence. For American conservatives, this sadism has been exalted as the will of the Almighty, the divine impulse that will renew America and cleanse the world of evil for all time.


It is amazing indeed that even when Rome was at her most decadent, the emperor himself was intelligent, literate, and profoundly philosophical - so much so that he saw the divine even in his enemies. Compare this to every American president with the exception of Jimmy Carter - a collection of bigoted psychopaths who, unlike Marcus Aurelius, took pleasure in war and saw all people different from themselves, not as human beings, but as contaminants to be eradicated, much less children of the divine.

I think that there's some evil force at work in the world that has gradually destroyed humanity's capacity for morality over the last few thousand years. I have yet to come across any evidence that the European kings that ruled after the fall of the Rome Empire ever displayed such philosophical genius as Marcus Aurelius, or his inclination to see the divine even in his enemies.

9:52 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Not wanting my entire literary diet to be completely depressing, I am currently working my way through travel writer and humorist Bill Bryson's latest book, The Road to Little Dribbling, in which the author--an American ex-pat who has lived most of his adult life in Britain and just recently gained dual citizenship--travels around the county and notes his various experiences. Though Bryson clearly has much affection for his adopted land, there are also long passages decrying the techno-douchebaggery and increasing stupidity of his fellow citizens. At one point he goes on at length about how it seems that both Americans and Brits seem to be getting dumber at an astonishing rate.

Bryson also inadvertently observes many of conditions that helped lead to the Brexit vote (though published this year, the narrative was written a couple of years ago, thus the referendum has not been mentioned). He visits quite a number of rundown former industrial areas, seaside resort towns and fishing ports, and you can feel the working class despair from some of his descriptions. He decries the destruction of traditional British village life by the erection of superstores and supermarkets, though he also notes that the commonly bad attitudes of many British shopkeepers don't do anything to help their own cause. Though the book is not overtly political, he also explains how the Tories under Cameron have come to treat unemployment as if it is a psychological condition, and how rampant greed is slowly destroying so much of what is good about the country.

Overall, from what Bryson has written it seems like Britain may not be as far down the path of de-evolution as America, but it's certain peddling as fast as it can to keep up.

11:33 PM  
Blogger Honduras, Mi Lindo País said...

MB wrote:
"For example, the notion that giving $ to Algeria would result in it getting swallowed up in corruption. Sure, that's one possibility; another is that the UN would set up a multinational team, including 3rd World representatives, to administer the funds. The team wd purchase food, clothing, and meds, and oversee their distribution; and also oversee slum clearance and replacement by decent housing. Etc. It may not be easy, but it's probably do-able."

The U.N.?
The same U.N. whose troops have patrolled Haiti since the 2010 earthquake six years ago, and that has done nothing to help the people in Port Au Prince, all of whom are still living in "tent cities"? The same U.N whose troops have and still do sexually molest Haitian children with impunity? 13 BILLION DOLLARS was sent to Haiti and it was all swallowed up by corruption. Even ex-dictator Baby Doc Duvalier returned from exile in France to get some. That same U.N in 1994 would not allow Belgian troops under it's control to intervene in the Rwanda massacre after they requested permission to do so. The list of inexcusable U.N. blunders is endless.
Is that seriously the U.N. you would trust one billion euros with? You seriously, in all honesty, consider that a solution or a start to the solution of the refugee problem in Europe??

Francesca Lebrón Marte

1:38 AM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

Filing this one in the "mainstream American culture is a joke" category:

Like most young boys in Canada, I got sucked into American wrestling culture via television during my middle school years. Given Hulk Hogan Hegemony, what was I to do? And there was certainly no one else around capable of convincing me that wrestling television wrestling was repulsive - for God's sake, half the male adults I knew used to watch wrestling for entertainment. This was the 1980s, after all ...

By Grade 8, however, my friends and I had taken to parodying wrestling culture by holding 'Thumb Wrestling' championships in the back of our English classroom.

Before graduating Grade 8, wrestling had become irrelevant to my young life - just like the other childhood junk I'd accumulated, for instance, G.I. and Transformers figurines, or Lambourgini car posters. In fact, I can still myself trashing these 'toys' toward the end of Grade 7, having realized by that point that literature was where it was at.

Only now, apparently, does Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka wake up to the fact that allowing himself to be punches, beaten, slammed, etc., for money, girls, and fame, might be detrimental to his long term health and well being. Was he just a vulnerable young man when the wrestling world took him under its wing? Perhaps. In reality, he turned out to be a kind of live action figure - a flesh and bones punching bag.

In 1996 Robert Bly published The Sibling Society, which I read carefully and thoughtfully at the time. He was more than right that the distinction in American culture between adults and children had collapsed. Indeed, the process probably began as early as the 1950s or 1960s.

Not a fan of the puritanical Paul, but the following does comes to mind:

"When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me." (1 Corinthians 13:11)

-Northern Johnny

8:09 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yr wasting yr time with more attacks (a sure sign of a mental defective). You wanna be on this blog, you start with a sincere apology and then you clean up your act along the lines I indicated (for a potentially reasonable example of the latter, see the post by Fran, above). No apology, no participation. Up 2u.


Well, gd pt--if what u.r. reporting about Haiti and Rwanda is true. You provide no documentation or references, so I have no idea as to whether your information is correct. But if it is, yr rt, the UN wdn't be the place to go; although, historically speaking, it has surely done *some* things rt--like UNESCO, I'm guessing. It's not likely that *all* of its agencies are corrupt, rt? (I have no bias with regard to the UN, pro or con, BTW; I was just suggesting it as an obvious possibility.) UN aside, I can't believe there is *no* place to go, and that a workable international commission of some sort cdn't be selected to do the job. Of course, any transfer of $, whether to Algeria or elsewhere, is potentially fraught with problems; but I personally don't believe that getting $ from France to the poor of Algeria is an impossibility. It would certainly be worth a try, in any case. However, this is all hypothetical; France ain't gonna do it, as we both know. Colonial regimes aren't known for their willingness to make amends, and France went into deep denial (amnesia, more exactly) regarding what it did in Algeria for 2 decades.

In any case, thank you for being courteous and for providing evidence (if indeed it is); you just may be growing up. Next step would be educating yourself about larger historical contexts (the lit on colonialism is quite extensive), being able to grasp the viewpt of the Other, and learning to receive rather than just broadcast. These things are probably not possible, emotionally speaking, for folks like Sceptic and Nicholai, but you might just make it. All of us wish you luck (sincerely). (Those 2 will spend their lives as raging adolescents; becoming a mature adult is a much better option, as I think you will agree.)


8:46 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

As in so many things, Americans lead the way. In this case, in the acceleration of ecological destruction.

From the Guardian's website, an article on the popularity of shark-fishing tournaments along the northeast coast. I've always been interested in sharks, and know something of their importance to the ocean ecosystem. And by extension, to our own health and wellbeing.

Sad. And depressing. A sterling example in the O&D narrative.

"The north-eastern seaboard is the spiritual home of “monster fishing” – a term coined in the 1950s by Montauk legend Frank Mundus (thought to be the inspiration for Quint, the monomaniacal shark hunter in Jaws). Competitions are promoted as days for families and communities to come together.

Many of the competitions support charities and some have been running for decades. This year there are 71 registered tournaments along the Atlantic coast in which large pelagic sharks can be caught – 28 target sharks exclusively. One, called Warriors for Warriors, encourages former US Navy Seals to catch sharks to raise money for military veterans."

Monster shark fishing tournaments face growing pressure to reform

8:46 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Just a tad long. Be sure to stick to half a page, in future. Thanks.


9:05 AM  
Anonymous Shireen said...

How To Train a Wild Elephant

Just ordered it now, MB !!!

Is this an older text you found helpful in the past or one you've just dove into yourself?

Looking forward to reading regardless, I'm interested in introspective and contemplative practices, and am also a zoo keeper. It has a perfect title for me.

9:29 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I've been doing various meditation techniques, on and off, since 1974, but I keep checking out instructional material from time to time, just to stay on track. The elephant bk is recent for me: I'm finding it very helpful. Let me also suggest the DVD series by Great Courses called "The Science of Mindfulness"; very helpful as well. Om mane padme hum!


9:40 AM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

@ James Allen,

I read your post right after reading this story:


As the article mentions, there's been an increasing number of these incidents, where photo-hungry idiots harass & ultimately kill some innocent creature just so the idiots have their trophy picture. A previous poster mentioned Pokémon Go as substituting virtual animals for the very real ones humanity is relentlessly driving to extinction. And a few posts above, there was mention of the fat-shaming Playboy of the Year & her invasive ugliness on another unsuspecting woman. All of this for a fleeting moment of entertainment & smug self-satisfaction on the part of horribly shallow people.

This is the other half of the willful & gleeful disdain for knowledge, intelligence, learning. It's an equal disdain for real emotions of any depth & complexity, in favor of spasms of sensation. Hatred & fear provide the strongest, most immediate spasms, so we see that constantly. As Jerry Mander pointed out decades ago, negative visceral feelings are the most immediate, so that's what most people go for & respond to first. But positive feelings of communion, compassion, empathy require time, patience, sensitivity -- the very things our culture loathes & flees as quickly as (in)humanly possible.

And this is the tone of our times.

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

MB: I've been on this blog for over 8 years now and one of the more interesting things is how commentators come and go, and how the trollfoons come and go. I always wondered how people get here, in my case it was stumbling upon Dark Ages America in a book store, then looking it up online.

Bill: I enjoy Bryson's books very much.

Dio: Marcus Aurelius is a favorite of mine too, as is Epictetus. Also check out Seneca, he had a big influence on early Christianity (if that's your thing).

And, alas. I've recently found out that I have to stay in the US due to a special student loan repayment plan I'm on (for another 6 years or so). So there's no way I can bug out to NZ or even Canada to avoid being drafted in the 35th Trump Brigade to help in their siege of Winnipeg.

10:45 AM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Put me in the "sending a billion to Algeria would be a complete waste" category. Particularly if the goal is to get Muslims to start being nice to us.

I would love to believe that Islamist extremism could be cured by righting the Wests wrongs, but the evidence isn't very compelling. For the theory that Muslim violence is simply a consequence of Western imperialism to hold water I would expect other cultures we have been nasty with to be equally represented in terror against the West and they aren't. For example, American foreign policy has, if anything, been even more brutal in South and Central America than in the Middle East. And yet, we don't have Guatemalans or Chileans, or Cubans flying planes into sky scrapers or shooting up restaurants and night clubs.

In any case the "its all the Wests fault" theory doesn't explain why 2nd and 3rd generation immigrants are being radicalized in Belgium (shouldn't it be Congolese?). They have about as much connection to the colonialist aggrandizement of the past as my eight year old niece.

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Frankistan said...

This is what is wrong with America - people refuse to employ their brains thinking properly when solving simple problems:

Mrs. Obama said (2008):
“And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: like, you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond; that you do what you say you're going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don't know them and even if you don't agree with them. And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values and to pass them onto the next generation, because we want our children — and all children in this nation — to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work hard for them.”

Mrs. Trump said (2016):
“From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life. That your word is your bond; that you do what you say and keep your promise. That you treat people with respect. They taught and showed me values and morals in their daily life. That is a lesson that I continue to pass along to our son and we need to pass those lessons to the many generations that follow. Because want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength to your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

12:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


It's called plagiarism.


We'll never know until we try, but we won't try. As for south and Central America, yr argument doesn't hold water, because these are states; contemporary terrorists are not state bound, and represent an altogether different tactic. For one thing, they can't be pinned down, and so are a lot freer to operate than states. As for the states, they did what they could to protect themselves. E.g. Cuba went to the USSR, even allowing them to place missiles there in 1962. Guatemala has set up human rts commissions and investigations, but as the country is in the grip of the military (enabled by the US from many yrs ago), there's not a lot the people can do. (I'm somewhat familiar with Guatemalan politics, and I can tell you honestly that it's a bit surreal.) Chile got overrun by Chicago School economics ages ago, and this has basically taken the steam out of the place, sad to say. You see, these kinds of blanket statements really don't work. Terrorism is not comparable to state rebellions, and every state is a special case all its own.

As for Belgium, use your imagination: these folks feel a strong spiritual connection to 3rd world struggles, and see themselves as very much a part of anti-colonial struggles. Doesn't hafta be the Congolese; they are probably on the side of the Palestinians as well.


12:35 PM  
Anonymous Ramón Mercader said...

There has been PLENTY of terrorism in Latin America for many decades, but it has all been internal for the most part: the FARC in Colombia (downing planes, car bombs, kidnappings, etc.), Sendero Luminoso in Perú (the same), Sandinistas in Nicaragua prior to winning control, & many other smaller groups. The Narcoterrorists in México who perform beheadings, bombings, & massacres are one group that quite possibly could export their terror to the U.S. & perhaps already have. They are suspects in the Pike County, Ohio massacre, as well as other homicides in the Southwest U.S.
Aside from Mexican cartels, none of those groups have ever exported their terrorism to the U.S. despite being completely able to do so due to their proximity, as well as having a huge Hispanic population already in America to get converts from like Europe has a huge Arab one. But they are, as a whole, an educated & cultured people, and thus not motivated by a stone-age death cult that commands world domination & forced conversions. Islam and Islam alone is the main driving force behind the Muslim's violence worldwide, from the Philippines, Africa, Middle East to Europe & U.S.A. The atrocities of the West just give them something to blame. It's as if the police were to have murdered Ted Bundy's entire family while looking for him, Bundy would have had legitimate reason to be upset and demand justice, but he still continues being an evil serial killer deserving of incarceration or worse.

1:35 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello WAFers:

Miles Deli, I think you're on to something. In the distant future, the capstone question on Harvard University's exam for the Total Doctorate shall read:

Belman was:

a) an old Dutch master
b) cellophane
c) the pants on a Roxy usher
d) the Great Seer of the Western Hemisphere
e) all of the above

Another film about the French mission civilisatrice I'd recommend is Indigènes, directed by Rachid Bouchareb, a Franco-Algerian, which came out in 2006 (although it seems as if i saw it just a couple of years ago - time flies). I found it more heartbreaking than those other two pictures I mentioned earlier.

One explanation why Arabs and Muslims are fighting back today while the indigenous peoples of other areas aren't is that the latter were subjugated centuries ago while Arabs are resisting their colonial takeover right now.

Furthermore, for those who decry "irrational" Muslim violence, consider how we in the West would react if a Muslim army were occupying a major European country, Italy for example, and a Muslim "Green Zone" were established in Rome, while Muslim governments foment rebellion in neighbouring France, leading to a civil war between Protestants and Catholics.

Some Westerners might become a tad annoyed at Muslims if this were happening.

1:46 PM  
Anonymous JWO said...

Long (not Huey) for President!


3:19 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

AAA study finds road rage rampant in the United States:


RNC forced to close online live chat of Republican Convention due to anti-Semitic Trump supporters:


What a lovely country. No wonder so many of the immigrants I know plan on going back to their homeland once they make enough money to live well there. America is only good for hustling, not living. If you are not into the hustling lifestyle living in the US is like living in an insane asylum.

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Pierre said...

Very illuminating, Dr Berman. Although I'll concede that Christian still has part of a point there. The question is why do they have that sort of strong AND violent spiritual connection. It's hard for me to formulate a hypothetical to this, but if they were instead some kind of Mormons or Jainists who happened 2b in their topographical/historical circumstance, they wouldn't be resorting to killing people. I know that seems like a reaching example, but maybe someone else can fill in from there


4:09 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...


Well, I hafta admit that when the 9/11 attacks happened, I thought it was Chilean terrorists at first, because I remembered that September 11, 1973 was the day of the Chilean coup, sponsored by Nixon and Kissinger, of course. In any event, the decisive conditions in producing long-term, large-scale terrorist violence are *not* cultural or religious, they are political. Indeed, this is what the dummies at the GOP Convention don't want people to see. People of various cultures and beliefs who take up terror do so to achieve political aims mostly. Theoretically, anyone can become a terrorist. In terms of the proliferation of globalized Middle Eastern originated terrorism, current American policies only accelerate it. Thus, it is the west's fault, as far as I can tell.


5:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I tell you, this has been a lively discussion, on Muslim terrorists, who's to blame, and etc., but I'm starting to find it somewhat tiring. Francesca is hopefully well on her way to a vigorous program of self-education, and Sceptic and Nicholai are hopefully well on their way to a different blog, altho via a pair of lobotomies wd not be a bad idea. As for myself, I just can't be doing a tutorial on neo-colonialism. I know it does relate to the theme of this blog, namely the collapse of the US, but it's getting just a tad exhausting to explain the basics to folks who live in a rt-wing echo chamber and haven't the ability to think straight. So I tell ya, I'm hoping we can go on to other aspects of the American collapse, such as the amt of Botox in Hillary's face, or how many black people got mowed down by the cops last wk.

One rec b4 I sign off, however: a fabulous play by Wallace Shawn, "The Fever," which I 1st saw in Seattle many yrs ago:


It hammers home the pt that the white 1st world can't keep up the illusion that it has nothing to do with the colored 3rd world. Rather, we are all implicated in this together; our wealth is their poverty, who are we kidding. A very powerful drama that I recommend to you all, not just the Muslim-haters.

O&D, amigos-


5:46 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

MB -
Hooray! My 1 cent copy of CTOS arrived in the mail today! I finished my way through re-enchantment last week, and though at least 1/2 of it sailed right over my head I did enjoy it. Tied in nicely with the Alan Watts lectures I've been listening to during my commute to work. I mp3'd your recent radio interview for drive time entertainment, too. Great work - thanks!

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Mortimer Schnerd said...

Tom Servo
What evidence is there that these commenters are not Israeli disinformation agents?

"Shlomo Goldberg" is the name of a real Trump supporting anti-Semite? Really?
Google the following: "Israel pays internet trolls".
The U.S. would do well to distance itself from Israel, and the anti-semite label is always used on anyone who speaks out against Israel. Its hypocritical to criticize America and it's corrupt media, but then cherry pick articles from it that say what you want to hear.

6:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Cdn't post it; we have a half-page limit rule on this blog. Suggest you compress by 50% and re-send. Thanks.


You're welcome. Glad to be filling up yr time.


7:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yeah, the poor trollfoons. The recent outburst, like a rash that suddenly flares up, reminds me of Brecht's comment abt fascism after the War: "The bitch is still in heat." But my own motto abt them is an old Arab proverb: "The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on." So we move on; but shit, there sure are a lotta dogs out there, no doubt abt it. Still, seen from a larger perspective (sub specie aeternitatis), these folks are kinda fun, really. I feel their pain, as Bill Clinton usta say.


9:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A movie for our time: "Her".


11:18 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Speaking of movies, has anyone seen God Bless America? It is available on Netflix instant streaming and sounds like a WAF'er movie if ever there was one.


@Ramon Mercader, Heh, love the name. Hopefully you wont be putting any ice pick anywhere it doesnt belong.

1:00 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yes, a great film. We talked abt it on the blog a few yrs ago. The scene in the movie theater was esp. touching. Yes, I recognized Ramon's name. Uh oh. I live a few blocks from Trotsky's house in Mexico City. Shd I worry?


1:47 AM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

Dr. B and all:

Just read this morning in the daily World Socialist Website newsletter of a recently published "Open Letter to the American People," organized by Historians Against Trump: http://www.historiansagainsttrump.org/

Here is an excerpt from the letter:

"Donald Trump’s candidacy is the latest chapter in a troubled narrative many decades in the making. In another era, civil society institutions such as the academy, the free press and the judiciary were counted on to safeguard constitutional democracy. That this is no longer the case cannot be blamed solely on Trump. Donald Trump’s candidacy has profited from the fears of people living precariously and a political culture of spectacle and cynicism, both of which long predate his emergence as a candidate. The impulses and ideologies that animate the Trump campaign will not disappear once he is defeated in November."

-Northern Johnny

8:17 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Exactly rt. You know, I suggested the likelihood for fascism in America in 1989 (in CTOS), and since then we've watched the country drift into a strange kind of virtual consumerist space, in which the youth have learned no other values beyond smart fones and the bottom line. Disconnected from reality, in short. Meanwhile, as Chris Hedges has observed (this in his more sane days, several yrs ago), the liberal class sold out: instead of protecting the disadvantaged from the power elite, it just wanted to join the power elite, and so betrayed its earlier left-wing commitment. What is really a class war inevitably, in the US, gets transmuted into race war; Kim Kardashian is taken seriously; the citizenry lives in a narcissistic bubble; and the betrayed see Mexicans and/or Muslims as the problem, and hate these groups instead of the social order that has destroyed the betrayed.

It's true, Trump will be defeated in Nov., but Trumpism will surely live on. Hillary has no vision for the country (nor wd it matter if she did; the fix is in); all she wants to do is become president. So as with the Obama years, we shall just drift in a kind of meaningless void, and this will hardly make things any better for the down and out. Trump may historically come to be seen as Hitler-lite, even innocuous, as a much more virulent Hitler figure emerges in the yrs following Hillary's inauguration. This will be our Weimar period, in short, and this is probably how the US will finally unravel for good. Check out how things are going in Turkey rt now; this cd be us in a few yrs. Erdogan is seen to represent a religious, conservative, disenfranchised underclass; they hardly mind that he is autocratic. Teachers and judges are thrown in jail, academics can't leave the country; many will be executed for their role in the coup, and so on. The US already has 2 political detention camps, in Illinois and Indiana; probably more are currently under construction. This blog will be closed down; I and many others like me cd wind up in Guantanamo; nonwhites, Jews included, will have a rough time of it; etc.


8:40 AM  
Anonymous Dean said...

So, assuming Trump doesn't bring it home in this election, who do WAFers see on the horizon in 2020 to carry the mantle?

I tend to think it would have to be someone with a strong religious component. Will it be "A Face in the Crowd" type of character who sweeps onto the scene out of nowhere? Will Ted Cruz add all-out Trumpian populism to his evangelical snake charmer routine?

The person I really have my eye on is Tom Cotton, Senator from Arkansas. His mild mannered and unaffecting voice and presence reminds me of Andy Griffith at the beginning of the movie aforementioned. I can see the demagogic, psychopathic firebrand lurking just barely beneath the surface though. He's already essentially committed treason in going behind Obama's back and appealing directly to the Iranian regime. He's come out against criminal justice reform and said that the US doesn't have enough people in prison. He's also ex-military to boot. My money would be on him.

For the record though, I strongly suspect we might not see an election in 2020. With Hillary at the helm, we may be well into WW3 abroad and martial law at home by then. But, in the spirit of optimism, let's play the parlor (or carnival) game of Who Follows Trump?

Step right up WAFers! Make your nominations! Place your bets!

9:24 AM  
Anonymous Wile E Coyote said...

Charming this: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3698479/JAN-MOIR-Sorry-Kate-little-sis-FAR-better-match-Clever-Pippa-scores-bullseye-engagement-wildly-wealthy-James-Matthews-live-life-Duchess-dream-about.html

It seems the mother country is following us down the drain....

But it's all worth it. Get a look at that rock.

But is Pippa's tushy as pert as Kim's? Enquiring minds want to know.

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

Remember that Twilight Zone episode "It's a Good Life" in which a petulant, spoiled, narcissistic, all-powerful little brat controlled everything? That's who's in charge of American society & culture now.

@ Tom Servo

Re: road rage. We see it every day, people desperately trying to be "winners" by cutting off someone else, honking their horns & screaming, running a red light, etc. All for what? A split second saved? No, I think it's because people still feel some semblance (i.e., illusion) of power & control in their cars, something they lack in their lives overall. Maybe it's the vehicular version of Orwell's Two Minutes Hate?

10:22 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Just look at the innards of amerika!! Comrades of Sceptic and Nicholai.
The left has chocolate coated version of the same who are slick and even more demented.
They are our friends and neighbors. They are gonna save the empire!! Lord, just hold me back!!!!

10:50 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yeah, those are scary pictures, all rt. And yr rt, folks like Sceptic and Nicholai form the underbelly, the stuff that comes out of the sewers and out from under the rocks when a figure like Trump finally rears its head. Nicholai's 1st post was that he was only too happy to kill 1.6 billion Muslims. Makes you stop and think. When I finally pegged him for a coward, his rage boiled over into insanity, and he attempted to set up a blog dedicated to vilifying a single person--me. When I saw this, I had to smile: I had hit a nerve, after all, when I called him a coward; he knows it's true. I also cdn't see how this blog cd help him. Rather than make me look bad, it was so over the top it made him look like a full-blown nutjob. In any case, I guess one can't establish a blog dedicated to vilifying someone, so it got pulled. But after that ridiculous episode, I realized that my emotions had changed: I genuinely felt sorry for the guy. I wanted to hug him, say, "Don't worry, it'll be all right." I'm not speaking ironically here: I really did feel bad for him. And the source of this sadness on my part was the realization of how much he must be hurting, to want to kill 1.6 billion people, and to need to try to set up some kind of personal monster attack on an extremely minor intellectual figure who isn't even on the radar screen in the US. Finally, my sadness extended to people like him, the folks who can't possibly look inside, look at their pain and grief, and instead have to project it outward: onto Mexicans, Muslims, Jews, so-called liberals, and esp. folks like myself who see thru them, understand the twisted psychological dynamic that's driving them. What must it be like, on a daily basis, to inhabit the body of someone like Nicholai, with all that rage and pain and out-of-control emotions? Now multiply that by millions, and sooner or later you get Hitler in the White House. That day is coming, and they will surely come after folks like me.

I'm reminded of the Nazi book burnings, of bks by Freud, Reich, Adler--the very bks that cd have explained to them, if they had bothered to read them, *why* they were burning these bks. I talked earlier of the poison in the American soul that I had discovered in the years of hosting this blog. My friends, it's a bottomless well. Unleashed, folks like Nicholai would gas us all. There simply is no penetrating the wall of defense mechanisms. Attempting to do that only fuels the rage, until it finally, as in Nicholai's case, boils over into outright madness.

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


11:29 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello WAFers:

The fake-news comedy shows had fun with Mrs. Trump's "plagiarism" story last night. Honestly, I don't think this is a big deal, and I'm pretty ruthless with students who plagiarise.

What Trump and Mrs. Obama said has been repeated thousands of times at endless school graduations and motivational gatherings for decades. These bland statements likely take prominent space in self-help books as well. Mrs. Obama can hardly be accused of having uttered original thoughts during her speech, and thus there isn't really anything there for Mrs. Trump to have stolen.

And yes, Miles Deli, what motivates Arab resistance to Western hegemony is politics, not religion. Does anyone remember the PLO? They were the dangerous terrorists du jour back in the 70s and 80s.

12:56 PM  
Anonymous Rusty Snag said...

Hello MB and Wafers,

For many years I have been listening to NPR as I drive to work. I used to think it was pretty good radio. There was Bob Edwards on Morning Edition. His voice was strong and reassuring. He's gone now and has been replaced by some other guy whose name I don't even know. The other morning, this new guy was describing the day's mass shooting as if he were describing a traffic jam in his city. I felt so sorry for the guy. He has to go on the airwaves every day and talk about horrific things as if they were normal. I guess in fact the horrific has to pass for normal these days.

Questions for MB and Wafers: Do you agree that NPR, once a decent service to the public, is now just another crumbling institution? If so, why did that happen? Does anyone think NPR will be around for the next generation to enjoy? Am I just a sentimental crotchety old fool? All of the above?

1:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd to hear from you; hope yr doing well. I think NPR just went the way of the NYT, and most universities, for that matter. There's no cutting edge there, anymore; just a slow erosion of values.


Except that she lifted Michelle's text verbatim, wh/I think puts it in a different category from run-of-the-mill 'soft' plagiarism.


1:19 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

I've decided I may need an intervention. Not for drinking or drugs or sex (huzzah huzzah!). But for my addiction to CSPAN's Washington Journal, the morning call-in program that invites Democratic, Independent, and Republican listeners/viewers--no Commies or Socialists, please--to respond to the stories of the day.

Despite years of evidence to the contrary, I keep hoping that more than one or two callers a day will beat the odds, then survive the waiting while on hold to offer a sensible, cogent comment. That there remains a glimmer of hope for us that there will be a few individuals left after the "Vonnegut shitstorm" passes to reconstitute civil society.

Depressing, yet in a way also reassuring, in the sense that these calls and these callers offer audible evidence that the stories of murder, mayhem, and moronic behavior published in the press day after day and taken note of in this blog are true, and not the work of former staffers for The Onion.

Let me close this immodest introspection with words from someone whose sandals (or other footwear), had we been contemporaries, I would have been unworthy to untie:

"The kind of man who wants the government to adopt and enforce his ideas is always the kind of man whose ideas are idiotic."

H.L. Mencken

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Rusty. I'll agree with that.

As MB mentioned, NPR, NYT and Universities have fallen into both the over-managerial trap (see Ehrenfeld here: http://www.centerforneweconomics.org/publications/lectures/ehrenfeld/david/the-management-explosion-and-the-next-environmental-crisis) and the commercialization trap. By commercialization I mean selling out to corporate interests to make up for lack of state/gov funding "for the public good". Counterpunch has many articles about it, but this one really, really turned me off: http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/04/17/nprs-gas-pains/

2:22 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Well, I guess it's official: the Republicans have nominated the king of the birther movement as their candidate. It's almost comical, no? This moment: it's so absolutely extraordinary! Take one of last night's featured speakers, actor and underwear model, Antonio Sabato, Jr., for instance:

We had a Muslim president for seven and half years. I don't believe the guy is a Christian. I don't believe he follows the God I love and the Jesus that I love.

People listen to this, believe and respect it, cheer wildly for it... I tell you guys, I've never seen anything like it: the venom, the naked demagoguery, the coded racial and religious appeals, the completely amateurish and shambolic nature of the RNC. And, yet, so it goes...


Many thanks for the historians against Trump link.


Would kleinerTrump work as a Hitler-lite designation?

A possible scenario for a Trump coup:



3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you Dr. Berman for your books, blogs, and videos--refreshingly honest, authentic, and real. Narcopathic mental derangements are front and center in the failed corporation (AKA: "country")--me, myself, and more is the motto. The 'country' is indeed a bread and circus side show of deceptions, denials, delusions, and distractions. The hamster wheeling tax and debt slaves are too busy chasing sugar piles and kissing the boss tuchas to viscerally understand the fraud, corruption, and propaganda that would make Edward Bernays blush. Who got voted off the island, who can dance, and which super hero athlete can swing their arms and hit balls is what is exalted. Great blog--thank you Dr. Berman for saying what needs to be said devoid of emotion (hallmark sign of the narcopath) and high on evidence and objectivity. Much appreciation for reality and truth. Mike R.

3:49 PM  
Blogger Ed-M said...


I found this at Zero Hedge, a piece by John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute.


Unfortunately, the article gives credence to a conspiracy theory that the government's been planning this, to provoke an armed revolt, for decades. So here's his conclusion:

"If there is to be any hope of reclaiming our government and restoring our freedoms, it will require a different kind of coup: nonviolent, strategic and grassroots, starting locally and trickling upwards. Such revolutions are slow and
painstaking. ...

"Most of all, as I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, for any chance of success, such a revolution will require more than a change of politics: it will require a change of heart among the American people, a reawakening of the American spirit, and a citizenry that cares more about their freedoms than their fantasy games."

He doesn't get it, does he?

5:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


At least he's not peddling Chris Hedges-type bullshit. But the possibility of an awakened citizenry that cares abt freedom is roughly negative infinity. That ship sailed a long time ago.


Thank you. I'm jus' doin' my best in the face of the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, hoping that it's of value to at least a few people. You know, we are on this earth for such a brief period of time, and are like a wave on an ocean, one that soon dissolves back into the sea. Or another metaphor, maybe it was Heidegger's, I can't remember (such a pity, that he was a Nazi, but that's a whole other story): our job is to create a clearing in the forest, where some light can shine for a while, and those who want can see it. Then the forest closes in, and the clearing is gone--except for the memory of it. What else is there, really?I'm in my 70s now, and am aware that I don't have a ton of time left, and that at least 90% of what I will accomplish is already behind me. So I'm just trying to sweep the clearing, keep it polished until I'm gone.

Meanwhile, in future pls check in as Mike rather than Anonymous, or I might accidentally delete you.


5:56 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@Mortimer Schnerd,

I don't think it is too hard to believe that Trump is attracting anti-Semitic followers. Trump is very popular on the Internet Far Right. This is a much more reasonable explanation than Israeli disinfo agents. Although I agree that Israeli and American policy in the Middle East deserves to be criticized and that the anti-Semitism charge is sometimes improperly directed at critics of Israeli policy, I don't think this is one of those times. Also, handles like "Shlomo Goldberg" are often used by anti-Semites. Look up "Shlomo Shekelberg" and the Happy Merchant meme if you want to see some examples of vile online anti-Semitism.

As far as using the American media to criticize America, as corrupt as the media is, it does sometimes report on some enlightening matters, like the road rage report I linked. By the way, anybody see the story about actress Leslie Jones receiving racist abuse on Twitter over the new Ghostbusters film?

See: http://gizmodo.com/twitter-isnt-doing-enough-about-leslie-jones-racist-tro-1783886488

What kind of people get so upset over the reboot of a silly comedy about fighting ghosts that they feel the need to post such vile stuff? It really shows you the mentality of people out there. It seems like basic morality and manners have simply gone out the window for many people.

8:13 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

The media now allows the most buffoonish lies to proliferate within the American collective consciousness. The fact that most of America believes Obama is Muslim is just one example of this pernicious trend. Truth is now dismissed as an impediment to the comforting self-delusions to which nearly all Americans are addicted. If Trump's supporters want to believe that the Obama Administration gave 250 billion dollars to Iran to help them exterminate Christians, plan terrorist attacks against white Americans, and build up the Middle East's nuclear arsenal, the mainstream media will let them do just that, no matter what the repercussions might be.

Sabato's comment about "the God I love and the Jesus that I love" invokes and exalts the arrogance and narcissism of Trump's followers. Only their way is right, and only what they love is deserving of consideration; what other people love is irrelevant, and what other people do is by definition execrable and deserving only of death. Worst of all, all actual political issues, like poverty, crime and social breakdown, are seen as far less important than religious and racial identity. Trump therefore is just as guilty as anyone of indulging in identity politics.

I'm beginning to think that Americans, by and large, no longer even understand that other people exist. Their cell-phones allow them to live as though they alone exist, and are thus instrumental in cultivating narcissism within the general population. Obviously, such people can't understand that other people have rights and desires of their own if they can't acknowledge their existence.

9:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Most Americans don't believe Obama is a Muslim, but probably a high % of Republicans do. Also, I don't believe the MSM has endorsed a scenario of Obama giving $250b to Iran etc. Generally, the MSM has been running attack articles on Trump to such a high degree, that it is almost embarrassing; and probably counter-productive. After all, Trumpites wanna give the finger to the NYT and other establishment institutions, and w/gd reason.

As for technobuffoonery and solipsism: yes, obviously, that's where we have wound up; people falling off a cliff while playing Pokémon is a great illustration. Also check out a movie called "Her".


10:38 PM  
Blogger dermot said...

Christian Schulzke said... "For the theory that Muslim violence is simply a consequence of Western imperialism to hold water I would expect other cultures we have been nasty with to be equally represented in terror against the West and they aren't."

Never heard of the IRA? Sandinistas? Zapatistas? Che Guevara? Viet Minh? EOKA? Mao? ELN? FARC? FALN? Japanese Red Army? Mau Mau? MK?

It's understandable that Christian is unaware of this history, as it's concealed in books. If only there existed a computerized index which one could search this data in seconds. In this imaginary 'search engine', a person could go ogle the desired information.

In the absence of such a meritorious device, this must suffice:


1:28 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for the link; lots of info on anti-colonial movements there.


2:12 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...


I'm seeing and hearing a LOT of people today ridiculing and disparaging what they are calling "Social Justice Warriors."

Why is that? Isn't it a good thing that people are seeking social justice?

I'm not getting where the negativity and bashing is coming from.


2:13 AM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Mr Dermot, if you want to tone down the smug superior rhetoric and actually address the points I made I would be happy to engage in a discussion with you. As it stands, your non-sequitur about anti-colonialism serves only to demonstrate you didn't understand anything I wrote. Perhaps you are being deliberately obtuse as a debating tactic, who knows. (Shrug)

3:07 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Cdn't post it, sorry (24-hr rule).


Not sure I understand you...You wrote: "For the theory that Muslim violence is simply a consequence of Western imperialism to hold water I would expect other cultures we have been nasty with to be equally represented in terror against the West and they aren't." In reply, Dermot gave you a list of examples showing that this is not true. So I'm not exactly getting your objection here. I also didn't find the link abt anti-colonialism a non sequitur. It seems to me that Dermot was being factual/empirical, not rhetorical.


Not sure I know what u.r. referring to. Cd you give me some examples of SJW-bashing that you've run across? (Of course, I suppose there is SJ and there is SJ; all depends on intent and context. If these SJW's are calling for revolution, and actually think that is going to happen, then I wd regard them as deranged.)


8:35 AM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

"For the theory that Muslim violence is simply a consequence of Western imperialism to hold water I would expect other cultures we have been nasty with to be equally represented in terror against the West and they aren't." Christian that's because Islam teaches us to be peaceful but at the same time it teaches us to defend ourselves and fight those who fight us. If u bomb our land and over throw our governments we have a moral duty to fight back. America was never attacked until it started meddling in the affairs of Muslims. JihAd is our moral duty

8:52 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, cdn't post it (24-hr rule). Suggest you wait out the time and re-send. Thanks.

In other news...I'm amazed at what the press bothers with these days. The country is going down the drain, and the press is all agog abt what Ted Cruz said, or that Melania plagiarized, or the contours of Kim's buttocks. When you get down to it, there is really only 1 issue facing the US, wh/the press chooses to ignore: the actual amt of Botox in Hillary's face. I'm sure all Wafers will agree.


8:52 AM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...


Did any of the organisations you quoted conduct globalised operations, including against countries that had nothing to do with their colonialisation? Also did they conduct mass-murders against non-combatants they just happened to consider inferior (e.g. Yezidis), infidels (e.g. Egyptian Coptic Christians) or apostates (e.g. Iraqi Shias)?

I mean, if the Viet Cong had attacked Germany, massacred Laotians, and crucified Buddhist monks, then they would have been just like ISIS. If not, then I think they really are different things.

Which is to say, although there probably is a small amount of lingering anti-colonial resentment in ISIS, I think that ISIS is mostly about religious and sectarian chauvinism and a genuine enjoyment of cruelty. In fact, ISIS are very clear about they are about, and photograph and video their actions for worldwide distribution, so I don't really understand the need for overly-sophisticated analyses. They do what they say on the tin.

In fact, I suspect that ISIS probably have greater regard for the French paratroopers who tortured innocent Algerians than the "decadent" denizens of contemporary metropolitan France. The idea that non-Westerners are purely reactive, and are not capable of initiating evil acts without Western prompting, is ultimately a comforting one. It suggests that if we act nicely to everyone else, everyone else will act nicely to us, and we can maintain our privileged status. This is why so many people are reluctant to acknowledge what ISIS and their ilk really represent.

8:59 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...


It's basically how the new right sarcastically labels progressive "crybabies".

Though it sticks because people that use that particular catchphrase tend to have no real clue, and are just mimicking rhetoric from progressive NGOs.

I'm concerned by the eagerness to label everything with an acronym, now including entire ideologies. It just shows the extreme superficiality of America. "SJW" sticks because it just conjures up a stereotype of a whole Millenial personality. Few actually fit the bill, but it saves us from complexity.

9:10 AM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

@ jjarden,

The problem isn't in seeking social justice, which is deserved & needed by many marginalized people, both for basic human decency & sheer physical safety. I have a recently emerged trans sibling, for instance, and I worry about her safety. For some people, her mere existence is an invitation to horrible violence. And how many people have been killed for just breathing while black? And so on.

For me, the problem with the SJW is in the narrow, reductive focus of some -- and I did say SOME, not ALL -- who see ONLY their particular social justice problem to the exclusion of the greater whole. It's as if once that particular problem is addressed & redressed, then everything will be fine, and society will go on even better than before.

Again, I can't argue with the need for a far more humane society, one where whole groups of people don't have to fear being killed every day simply for existing. But I don't think we're going to get there by attempting to fine-tune this society, or by claiming a larger slice of its pie. The pie itself is rotten. As the point has been made many times here, and as we've all seen for ourselves in our own lives, what many (most) people want is more of what this society has to offer, rather than a different & better society altogether.

The entire argument of this blog, it seems to me, is that consumerist culture is unsustainable, doing irreparable damage to whatever it touches ... and it touches everything these days. Too many people (often with the best of intentions) are demanding to be moved from steerage to first-class cabins on a sinking ship. And they get very angry if you point out the gaping hole in the hull where the ocean is pouring in.

9:28 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

The "news" is nothing more than an opioid for the masses. Keep them fat, happy and numb. Like a carnival barker--Everything's ok, nothing to see, nothing see, keep working hard, and someday with Horatio Alger myths. The Powell Manifesto and Operation Mockingbird ensure that corporate control of the tax and debt slaves is kept at full throttle as misdirects and smoke screens permeate the American populous. Anything that is contrarian to hyper consumerism or hyper hamster wheeling is attacked. Fight or flight---much easier and less stressful to leave. It's over, been over for sometime.

10:23 AM  
Anonymous FindTheJillSpot said...



11:11 AM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...


If you don't think 100 years of the West torturing the Middle East qualifies as terrorism, then it's quite clear that you have no interest in discussing historical events or current events objectively. Even if what you say is true, that the Central Americans we oppressed did not resort to violent measures, this doesn't make Muslims barbarians. It only means they are actually starting to retaliate after 100 years of being killed, tortured, and displaced. I am quite sure you'd react the same way if you were in their shoes.

Your argument is tantamount to a serial killer/torturer saying "Well, it's true that I've killed and tortured over five thousand people, but only the _______ ever fought back. What the fuck is wrong with these vicious, primitive barbarians??? Most of them beat their wives and hate gays; some of them have even committed murder. Obviously, they belong to an inferior race and an inferior culture." Even if the _______ are actually vicious, primitive barbarians that beat their wives and hate gays, and even of some of them have committed murder, the serial killer/torturer cannot sit in judgment of them, because he himself is infinitely worse.

This doesn't mean any of us on this blog approve of ISIS or the atrocities they commit on a daily basis, nor does it mean we don't hold ISIS responsible for its actions. However, we are fully aware that ISIS is the result of 100 years of atrocities committed by the West, and that believing the West to be morally superior to those that it has bombed, tortured and displaced for the last 100 years is outrageous, to put it mildly.

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

Hello WAFers:

Dermott; did you write "go ogle" on purpose? If so, that was brilliant. I can't believe I didn't notice that before.

As for Social Justice Warriors, there's nothing wrong with justice, of course, but I find that SJWs (I had to go ogle that one myself) feel outrage over anything, and look for reasons to be offended even where none exist. I used to participate in babble.ca's discussion board, and so became quite familiar with such people.

11:47 AM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

just another day in POLICE STATE USA.....

"When he hit me, I'm like, I still got my hands in the air," he said.

"I'm like, 'Sir, why did you shoot me?'" Kinsey said he asked the officer.

"He said to me, 'I don't know.'"


meanwhile, in other news...



It's little comfort in what wise men of the past say but sometimes it's all one can do to keep things in perspective and one's sanity in the midst of what's going on here.

"Man does not weave this web of life. He is merely a strand of it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself." Chief Seattle

12:34 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Morris, Golf Pro nailed it. Pierre, further up the line, seems to have understood what I was driving at as well. Anti-colonial movements, with local political motivations and goals, trying to overthrow puppet regimes foisted on them by European powers, are in a completely different class. The Mau Mau and Isis are more different than they are similar and it is just pure confusion to conflate the two. It is, however, confusion that seems to be made to serve a purpose. One, Islamic terror can be written off as simply a reaction to the crimes of the West, no further analysis or understanding is required. Two, it serves to deflect conversation away from the 13,000 pound white elephant in the room; the role Islam, as a religion, plays.

I know it hasn’t been 24 hours but I promise I will give it a rest for a few days and leave you all in peace.

12:41 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

The anti-colonial resistance has morphed around a thing that happens to be a faith, muslim faith which transcends national boundaries. A similar coalesce is NATO that instead of a faith is representative of old white colonial powers. And both kill civilians while preaching piety and justice.

It is emotionally emasculating to accept that Mohamed Atta was equally brave or equally brainwashed as Pat Tilman. It is hard to imagine that killing civilians by drone is just as cowardly as killing by suicide bombing. That somebody's terrorist can be the other's freedom fighter; Gandhi and Mandela were listed as terrorists and sent to prolonged jail terms by their "fair-n-just" colonial overlords. That unquestioned faith (72 virgins) and blind patriotism (god bless amerika) are equally stupid, and that the enemy's grievances could be legitimate is hard to digest.

Of all the resistance put up against the colonial powers (which is predominantly white) only brown muslims blowback seems repulsive. It is debilitating to be challenged by such a befitting opponent; nobody likes that. Deep in the unconscious psyche our contention is not exactly whether the muslims are right or wrong -we give a rat's ass to that- our reactions is out of fear having met a worthy foe who is equally ruthless and relentless. So we belittle this enemy and call him names -savage. Replace the muslim with black or yellow and it is the same "savage anxiety". What we hate is their guts; we loath their audacity. If Sandinistas flew the airplanes into the twin towers they would been labeled the same. If Palestinians were docile Tibetans nobody would have given a damn to their plight. They fight back and that's what the oppressors hate. The amerikn government hated to be challenged by David Koresh and Randy Weaver and swiftly and decisively dealt with them. At the end of the road power doesn't discriminate between colors or religions; the all white christian lower rank sailors on HMS Bounty were given an appropriate lesson of that by Capt Bligh. When threatened the same wrath is unleashed on whomsoever decides to mutiny. And mutiny ain't with rose petals and incense sticks.

Golf & Christian, power struggle is a messy analysis.

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Rusty Snag said...

Hello Dr. B and Wafers everywhere,

Pastrami and MB - thank you for clarifying the issues with NPR. Just another piece of crumbling infrastructure, much like our highways, railroads and utilities. Thank you Pastrami for the Counterpunch link.

I don't think I've told Wafers this before, but I am an elected official. My real name is Michael Kelly, and I am a city councilor in the little city of Plattsburgh, NY. For a couple of years now I have been thinking about how we can save our little corner of the world from the ultimate collapse of our federal and state governments. If we could do that, it would be quite an accomplishment. We have a public-owned municipal electric department supplying clean renewable energy. We have a public water supply that does not use fossil fuels for delivery or waste removal. We have ample food grown all around us, mainly by young organic farmers. We are working on ways to distribute that food to everyone. I would encourage anyone to visit us way up here on the edge of America. I would be happy to show you around and would love to hear your ideas to make us a more livable city. You can visit our website at www.cityofplattsburgh-ny.gov. You can email me at wmichaelkelly@yahoo.com.

Dr. B, this will be my last post as Rusty Snag. From now on I will be just plain ol' Mike Kelly. Rusty Snag reminds me of something you pull up while fishing. I think I may be one of the few openly Wafer elected officials in America, trying to foster dual process as we go.

2:42 PM  
Blogger Rosegarden said...

In the midst of the current political conventions, it may be interesting to remember the election of William Henry Harrison in 1840. Although the details differ, the tone seems very similar. (Source William Henry Harrison by Gail Collins.)

Facts don't matter. Harrison was born on a Virginia plantation, and he got the log cabin as his symbol. Incumbent Van Buren was, in fact, born in a log cabin, but he was viewed as a dandy. In a three day speech, Representative Charles Ogle charged “aristocratic” Van Buren with, among other things, landscaping the White House lawn with mounds to resemble a bosom with a miniature knoll at each apex to denote the nipple. At that time it was considered bad form for the candidate to speak for himself. So, Harrison's champion, Representative Thaddeus Stevens lashed out at the Masons when he claimed they drank wine out of human skulls. In response, the opposition charged that Stevens committed blasphemy by giving communion to a dog.

Show your team spirit. The electorate needed “stuff” to show their affiliation. There was “The Log Cabin Songbook,” “The Log Cabin Anecdotes,” the “Tippecanoe Quick-step,” the “Harrison Hoe-Down,” shaving soap, tobacco, and neckties. The spirit of choice was hard cider. Plus political dinners always had the traditional 13 toasts!

War and the fight against the other. The main slogan “Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too” came from the 1811 Indian battle at Tippecanoe where Harrison was in charge. Okay, so Chief Tecumseh and most of his warriors escaped to join the British for the War of 1812, but we got to burn a village!

3:16 PM  
Blogger Ed-M said...

Unfortunately not all Muslim terrorists attack people because they are royally ticked off about the West's violence toward and exploitation of the Muslim world.

Man Stabs French Woman and Her Three Daughters for Being Scantily Dressed.

You go into the article and you find out the attacker stabbed these people because the daughters were wearing shorts!

On another note I've looked at the GOP Platform statement (66 pages long). Same old, same old, to enable everyone to get in the hustle again.

I also watched on YouTube the GOP convention speech by the sherriff from Milwaukee. Sounds reasonable, but kind of late, now that the ship has sailed.

4:18 PM  
Anonymous John said...

It's official...neoliberalism's war on the poor and those born with the wrong color now extends to autism therapists...you can be shot while lying on the ground and complying with police officers.


6:46 PM  
Anonymous The Black Guy who Reads said...

"I was really worn down by an American society that is racist, smugly blind to it, and hugely self-satisfied. I wanted to live in a place where that wasn’t always a distorting weight. Black people in America have to, for their own protection, develop a defense mechanism, and I just grew terribly tired of it. When you sustain that kind of affront, and sustain it and sustain it and sustain it, something happens to you. You try to steer a course in American society that’s not self-destructive. But America is a country that inflicts injury. It does not like to see anything that comes in response, and accuses one of anger as if it were an unnatural response. For anyone who is not white in America, the affronts are virtually across the board.

When we lived here, we accommodated ourselves to the most extraordinary things. I just didn’t think that was the way to live. I wanted to be in another place.

We also have a daughter who was eleven at the time. We wanted her to have a normal, fun adolescence, and it was just undoable. When we lived here and went to a shopping center or someplace, we’d tell our daughter, do not get out of our line of sight. Now she’s in a place where she can walk around at night and we don’t even have to think about that sort of thing.

I got a chance to be in a society where the barriers between classes—social and economic—are not insuperable, where money is not everything all the time. Americans have been manipulated into a space by those who profit from the arrangements of that system. People feel a conscious disease—a dis-ease or an unease—but I don’t think they know what causes it. We’ve been taught in America that big is best. That’s why people have to believe that they must live in the greatest country in the world, which is absolutely idiotic."

Randall Robinson on why he, as a black person, migrated from the good ole US of A.

6:48 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


Who's reluctant to acknowledge what ISIS and their ilk represent? The fact is that Islamic religious authorities across the world have rejected ISIS, and state that it doesn't reflect Islam. I don't know what else to say...except to point out that when we view ISIS as expressing a core of one of the world's great religions we endorse ISIS's view of itself, yes? That, and the fact that the west helped bring this monster into the world.



6:52 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

When you've declared a war on terror, well, ya gotta figure the enemy will be fighting back. Casualties are to be expected - why fetishize the victims? On the domestic front, the police stopped going out on patrol in urban areas over a decade ago- maneuvers is closer to their real actions. Every traffic stop is like a miniature house to house invasion.
..... If I had to live in L.A. again I'd put a big sign on my front door in the shape of an arrow saying "wrong house, officers friendly - the crackhouse is next door. Please don't shoot me or my dog."
...The nuisance ordinance people would probably make me take it down. I'm supposed to be upset by general mayhem?

7:43 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

This is the aggressive and meanspirited direction the culture war between Right Wingnut Conservatives and Progressive Liberals is moving in...Right Wing host Alex Jones just walks on the Young Turks stage at the convention, interrupts it, and causes the escalated conflict, and then lies about the whole thing. This is a disturbing development for media "Professionals," and I think it's a foreboding of what is to come between people across America with opposing ideologies who will start using violence against each other.


Here is the Young Turks host explaining what happened right after the commotion...


10:04 PM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

Dio - the SJW label is pretty spot on. Millions of young urban professionals want to have their cake and eat it too. They love the system, but they feel guilty for their place in society, and they feel it's their job to get justice for poor and black people. Mass media and education has created tens of millions of people who think alike and follow what the media feeds them.

Complexity only comes to those unplugged from Facebook, NPR, corporate work culture, etc. I find everyone else to be brain dead from all the crap around them.

The SJW type is extremely common in cities, and it's spot on. Try taking a critical view towards an SJW stereotype in a city office and see how that goes for you.

10:44 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

More evidence of the quality of the American people these days, this time our youth.

Idaho students angry over suspensions burned down their principal's house while he and his family were inside. The teenagers were caught when they bragged about their deeds on Snapchat.


11:19 PM  
Anonymous Bung O'Nuggs said...

Dermot wrote:
"Christian Schulzke said... "For the theory that Muslim violence is simply a consequence of Western imperialism to hold water I would expect other cultures we have been nasty with to be equally represented in terror against the West and they aren't." Never heard of the IRA? Sandinistas? Zapatistas? Che Guevara? Viet Minh? EOKA? Mao? ELN? FARC? FALN? Japanese Red Army? Mau Mau? MK?" _______________________________
All of those groups fought internally, committing terrorism against factions that were inside their own nation. NONE of them exported their terrorism into other nations in Europe or to the United States like the Muslims have done & continue to do. NONE of them. Which proves the point that to blame the West and Colonialism for everything is infantile and nonsense. ISIS is motivated by the death cult of Islam, which not only gives Muslims permission to defend themselves as "Mohammed" correctly said above, but also commands Muslims to conquer all those who "do not believe in Allah and his Messenger" and to make them either convert to Islam or pay a tax known as the Jizya, which all non-Muslims must pay to live in an Islamic nation. If they refuse to convert to Islam AND refuse to pay Jizya tax..they are put to death, plain & simple.

Narrated Thawban:
"I have seen the East of the East & the West of the West & my Ummah ruled over all that I saw" The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) as saying: Allah, the Exalted, folded for me the earth, & he said: My Lord folded for me the earth, so much so that I saw its easts and wests (i.e. the extremities). The kingdom of my community will reach as far as the earth was folded for me."

12:37 AM  
Blogger dermot said...

GolfPro: "did they conduct mass-murders against non-combatants they just happened to consider inferior "

go ogle



That's enough of 'No True Scotsman' from me for this 24 hour period.

Do your own homework from now on.

1:20 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Ted Cruz has a reputation as a mean-spirited, petty individual. That reputation may be well-deserved. The kind of fellow only a mother could love.

Yet I found a certain admirable quality in his refusal to endorse Donald Trump. This despite his apparently having agreed to do so in discussions with his fellow fellows. If anything puts into stark relief the stupidity of the election process, it's the Republican campaign of 2016. Stupid in the sense that it shows these goings-on to be essentially meaningless, a sort of masturbatory exercise. The Trump campaign more than most previous examples.

Disparaging comments about one's political opponents are de rigueur. Americans, idiots that they are, consider this bullshit "the way the game is played." Ted said "Include me out."

I suppose there are some insults that can't be employed, some innuendo that would be considered to be "going too far." Maybe if a candidate were to say something like the following he would lose the support of even his diehard backers: "Sources I respect tell me that they've seen Bob's mother parading her wares outside the gates of the Parris Island Recruit Depot."

Trump attacked Cruz's wife and insinuated Cruz's father's involvement in the JFK assassination. And when Cruz says "Fuck you, Donald," Republicans decide Cruz is a "traitor.

I think Trump is going to win. That's how screwed up things are.

10:50 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, this has sure been a busy discussion. B4 I 4get, everyone be sure to check out a film called "Eye in the Sky" (Helen Mirren).

Bung, Christian, Golf-

But again, those were states, and as states, the opposition did the best it cd. If Islam were confined to one nation, yr arg. wd be correct; but it is not so confined. See posts by Esca and Jim. Yr not seeing the larger picture, I don't think.


10:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Is it really likely that all or most of these attacks, whether in Nice or NYC, wd be occurring in a political vacuum? I wonder how long the West in general can keep calling them the result of insane people, or people "jealous of our freedoms", or people enslaved to an "evil" bk called the Koran? Probably for a long time, but it still is denial and self-delusion, no? Again, check out the play by Wally Shawn (tho it's not abt Islam per se). We are nursing very self-serving doctrines, it seems to me, and one that keeps the cycle of attack/counterattack going indefinitely.

11:11 AM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

Hi Dr. B. 'n all:

Wanted to share this worthwhile Guardian analysis of Trump's acceptance speech at the RNC this week: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/jul/22/donald-trump-speech-republican-national-convention

I know the consensus on this blog (as it is in other quarters, Historians Against Trump for instance) is that Trump can't possibly win the presidency and that we're definitely looking at four years of Clinton. But I have to say that it seems to me, this time around, that literally anything is possible in America, including a Trump presidency. I don't think the possibility should be ruled out.

It would a worthwhile exercise, meanwhile, for all of us to take stock of what has transpired politically, economically, cultural, in 2016. Outward signs of rapid global change are increasing. I can't think of a time in recently memory that the world looked less stable than it does today.

-Northern Johnny

11:36 AM  
Blogger Bullshevik said...

Breaking news...

2:09 PM  
Blogger Juliet Cash said...

Hello Wafers,

The ISIS discussion is a central point of American and western foreign policy blind spot. I notice though, that rarely does MSM discuss the root causes of terror groups. The misery from which they emerge. From Libya, Iraqi and Syrian coups and destabilizing interventions. What is an unemployed muslim whose community has been blown up going to pen his hopes on? What's left of life and purpose if not the old fashion Religion and War? How many Latin American countries have the USA and the west allies devastated in a military incursion and occupation over the last century? The coups that are supported by the US are not the equivalent to the devastating war invasive policies over middle eastern territories- that makes the enemy harder to spot within the Latin American movements. Another point I want to note Latin Americans have something in common with their colonizing power- they are all Christian. Why would the terror groups use Christianity as a unifying tool? Christianity is more than a religion- it is part of a cultural glue. Latin American states are also quietly westernized by trade. Could it be that the political movements that focused on the people in power within these states didn't have a clear view of who their enemies were beyond internal ones because they share a lot in common with the colonizing powers?
"Religion is sublime to the believer, ridiculous to the philosopher and useful to the politician" - was that from Epicurus or another philosopher. Will check on that later.


2:13 PM  
Anonymous Derek said...

Happy to see the civil discussion going on about ISIS and why it exists, where it's come from, etc. I'd like to throw something out there to see what y'all think: A few years ago we had "mass shootings," things like Sandy Hook, the movie theater in Colorado, and before that there was Virginia Tech. We often described the shooters as loners, depressed, mentally unstable, etc. On this blog I think the general consensus was that these people were part of the malaise of America and did these things because they had no meaning in their lives. Now it's 2016 and people have less meaning in their lives (Europe isn't very far behind America in being full of idiots), mostly due to "techno-buffonery" I'd say, BUT there is ISIS. To me, it seems like ISIS gives people meaning in their lives and that's what people are looking for. How many of the perpetrators of mass shootings of years past would have pledged allegiance to ISIS if their attacks had been carried out in 2016? Isn't this what the Orlando shooter did?

It's important to remember that the people carrying out these attacks aren't necessarily poor or particularly oppressed. If you look at this article from CNN http://edition.cnn.com/2016/07/04/asia/bangladesh-attackers-isis/ it shows that recent research has shown 70% of ISIS recruits to be middle class or wealthier. If this is true (not really sure how they defined "middle class" in the research), then maybe the problem isn't the banlieues in Paris.

2:52 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...


I don't know what else to say...except to point out that when we view ISIS as expressing a core of one of the world's great religions we endorse ISIS's view of itself, yes?

Accepting ISIS's view of itself does not equal "endorsing" it. Just like accepting the Khmer Rouge's view of itself as being Communist (one of the world's great ideologies) does not mean endorsing the Khmer Rouge's worldview.

If there is one very slightly positive way of looking at ISIS, it's that they might relate to Islamism (note: not Islam) the same way that the Khmer Rouge related to Marxism, or the Nazis related to Romantic Nationalism - i.e. the death cult aspect signals the exhaustion of the ideology behind it.

And again, I'm not saying that the West is innocent - far from it. But these kind of discussions tend to boil down to one of two basic worldviews - the West can do no wrong, or the West can do nothing but wrong. And the latter of those two positions is not inherently sophisticated, despite the people who tend to advance it thinking that it is.

I think we all share a heavy portion of the blame for the rise of ISIS, but nevertheless ISIS consists of people who have their own agency, and plainly enjoy inflicting suffering on the vast diversity of people they disapprove of. The overwhelming majority of these are not Westerners, but people of Middle Eastern origin who have suffered under colonialism themselves.

So yes, the West may have done most of the work in creating ISIS, but is ISIS primarily an anti-Western phenomenon? I don't think so, because ISIS's violence is aimed at all the "unbelievers" it can conceivably reach.

2:55 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello WAFers:

You claim, Bung O'Nuggs, that Islam is exporting terrorism. What do you call the overthrow of Mossadegh, the occupation of Palestine, the destruction of Libya and Iraq, and supporting the Saudi wars against the Yemenis and Syrians if not "exporting terrorism?"

Furthermore, while it doesn't seem to register with gringos, the Arab world hasn't forgotten Madeleine Albright justifying the murder of half a million Iraqi kids to further the grasp of the US Empire, nor do they forget that the ordnance used in the bi-annual Israeli culling of Palestinians and the cluster bombs they left behind in Lebanon have "Made in the USA" written upon them.

For brevity's sake, I haven't even mentioned US sponsored atrocities in Central America, South-East Asia, or Africa.

Exporting terrorism? Terror is one of the USA's principal exports.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yet another terrorist attack in Europe, this time in Munich. Seems like the Old Continent is going down the drain as fast as the US is!


3:24 PM  
Blogger C. J. Timmins said...

At the risk of indulgent solipsism, I'd like to share with the blog how I personally came across Dr. Berman's work. Maybe it would be an interesting exercise for all of us here to share their own stories. At the very least, it might help strengthen our little online community against the slings & arrows of the trollfoons.

About 2 years ago, I was headed down a YouTube rabbit hole, when Coming to Our Senses was briefly mentioned in a talk from the 90’s given by none other than Terence McKenna (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PAWbjle0Tg - CTOS mentioned around the 1:55 mark). This led me further down the hyperlinked rabbit hole to discover Dr. Berman through interviews with Thom Hartmann, & eventually I found myself devouring both of Dr. Berman's trilogies in the subsequent months.

In his talk, McKenna gives a brief commentary on how "Western civ has armored itself" against genuine feeling & the physical realities of our mortal coils. He discusses this in a broader context of the dis-empowerment of individuals as consumers instead of complex spiritual beings. He doesn't go much deeper on CTOS, but looking back, it's great to hear the text mentioned on YT in some capacity, & the whole talk is certainly worthwhile, imho.

It’s well documented McKenna operated rather far out on the woo-woo branch of New Age culture (often rightly derided by Dr. Berman & other WAFers). His main goal was to awaken the Western world with psychedelics, especially psilocybin mushrooms. While some could certainly argue this was a futile, even childish endeavor, we’re now seeing he may not have been entirely off. Recent studies done on these drugs (including MDMA, documented in Tom Schroder’s “Acid Test”) show successful therapeutic applications on patients w/ PTSD. Certainly, living in Western civ wages a great degree of trauma, so who knows what would happen if we all dropped out & gave up on the hustling machine for a few days/weeks/months?

Similarly, McKenna also advocated for turning our backs on the garbage produced by Madison Avenue & Hollywood, the primary traffickers of the hustling lifestyle. So I do think (& have thought for a few years now) that Doctors Berman & McKenna would certainly have a lot to discuss.

& no, it is not lost on me that I was “consuming” the video on a platform like YT. But if not for YT & the McKenna recording, who knows how long it would have taken me to discover Dr. Berman’s honest assessment of our situation & to subsequently wake up to the charade going on in Western civilization?

4:22 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...


Can I be the skunk at yr picnic ;-) ? You need to consider these factors in yr Islam is a "death cult" analysis?:

1. Many Muslim societies are among some of the least violent societies on earth. A major study points this out:


2. The vast majority of Muslims are not militant extremists.
3. That there exists differences in belief among Muslims.
4. Many Muslims are at the forefront of fighting Islamic extremism.

I know this must be difficult for u to take in, but Muslim societies are no more war-prone and violent than non-Muslim states. Like all other world religions, Islam is neither inherently violent or inherently peaceful. Islam just is...and shouldn't be reduced to simplistic "death cult" slogans.


5:21 PM  
Anonymous Chocoflan said...

More on road rage:


7:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Many thanks for this inside 'scoop', I enjoyed it. Just watch length in future, por favor. We have a half page limit on this blog.


How terribly sad. They were targeting children. Now comes the counter-attack, da capo al fine, etc.


(US) state terrorism is clearly just as horrible as the 'regular' variety. See DAA, works by Stephen Kinzer, Wm Blum, et al.......


No, not a simple case of poverty--the 9/11 attackers were apparently middle class, and quite smart--but they probably feel they speak for the oppressed, and for a general anti-colonial movement. There is simply no denying that this terrorism is not occurring in a political vacuum, and that it is a response to govt/state terrorism (which can include economic oppression); which states choose not to see as their own brand of terrorism. Check out movie, "Battle of Algiers."


Many of those countries have been badly infected with the American Dream. Consider what the Chicago School did to the Chilean economy and society, for example (check out Naomi Klein's chapter on Chile in "The Shock Doctrine").


8:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: This is pretty charming:


8:28 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...


I think what is happening with the mass shooters and maybe some terrorists is that there has been a major growth in malignant narcissism among people in modern societies. There are probably many reasons for this including the decline of community, people spending more time in front of screens than with other people, and just the general culture of "Me, Myself, and I" as the only important thing in the world. I am skeptical about claims of bullying as a motivation for mass shootings.

See this article on the Columbine massacre: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/keeping-kids-safe/200905/columbine-bullying-and-the-mind-eric-harris

Also, we know that empathy has significantly declined among young people.


The terrorism issue is a bit fuzzier because that issue has a political angle that may be different from people just lashing out because of their malignant narcissism. But certain personality types might be attracted to terrorism and narcissism might be part of that too.

9:05 PM  
Anonymous door said...

John Pilger a journalist in Vietnam during the war did a interesting comparison of the Khmer Rouge and Isis.Both were minor players in their countries until the people in these countries were attacked by by the United States.This made their radical views more acceptable by more of the population.So read Johns essay and I think it might make your thinking a little clearer.I saw the essay on Counter Punch within the last year.Thanks

9:23 PM  
Blogger dermot said...

Regarding western responsiblity for the clusterfuck, a very useful Brecher piece.

QUOTE: Arabs were getting very “modern” at that time... You know why they stopped getting modern, and started getting interested in reactionary, Islamist repression? Because the modernizing Arabs were all killed by the US, Britain, Israel, and the Saudis.
...To the Americans of that time, “secular” sounded a little bit commie...States like that might become dangerous enemies, while an Arab world stuck in religious wars, dynastic feuds, and poverty sounded wonderful.

..the West put its weapons and its money...against every single faction trying to make a modern, secular Arab world, whether on the Nasserite, Ba’athist, Socialist, Communist, or other model

...“For Allah and the Emir” was pretty much the only slogan anywhere in the Arab countries...Arabs are reduced to choosing which Allah and which Emir to support because a half-century alliance between the worst oligarchies in the West and the most reactionary elements in their countries wiped out the alternative. That’s why it’s so grotesque to hear right-wingers blaming the Arabs for the lack of commitment to democracy and even more ridiculous that Leftists demand respect for fascist thugs like Islamic State, as if they were the voice of the Muslim people...These sectarian wars are what’s left when you’ve killed everybody else who was attempting to provide Arabs with an effective, secular, modern existence.

10:15 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Northern Johnny - Count me as one who thinks a Trump presidency is a real possibility. In fact, if Hillary does manage to pull it out, it will in spite of the strong political headwinds blowing against her. We've heard a lot of blather about how both parties are divided. On that front, Trump smartly shored up his support among evangelicals and Cruz voters by selecting Pence as his VP, while Hillary thumbed her nose again at Sanders voters by selecting Kaine, yet another neoliberal sellout, as her running mate.

More interestingly, snap polling showed that a staggering 75% of viewers reacted positively to Trump's nomination speech (which very much confirms what us WAFers think of the intelligence level of most Americans), whereas by comparison only 58% reacted positively to Obama's nomination speech in 2008:


Unlike her husband, or Obama for that matter, Hillary is a terrible politician. Arrogance and entitlement just drips off of her (even if the Botox doesn't). But even worse is her utter incompetence, evidenced by her blowing off Sanders supporters and acting as if the election will be a cakewalk instead of what it's going to be...a street fight. If Trump can stay focused on the themes from his nomination speech, likely aided by a few more terrorist attacks and possibly an autumn stock market correction, he could win this thing handily.

10:52 PM  
Blogger Frederick Froth said...

Applied old-fashioned European terror 101.
Especially as applied by the British who in some circles are touted as being quite restrained in their use of violence to keep the darkies in their place. Nothing like a few Maxim guns to teach them who is the boss
Britain's Empire: Resistance Repression & Revolt by Richard Gott
Also American Holocaust: The Conquest of the "New" World by David Stannard.

10:55 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

I suppose the white police officers body slamming that innocent teacher don't have violent tendencies. Not at all. A wonderful example of Americans projecting their own violence onto others to justify their own violence behavior. It's as American as apple pie.


It has become chic in Western culture to demonize all Muslims for the violence in their scripture, but all world religions, Buddhism excepted, have that kind of violence in their scriptures. The Bhagavad Gita is a tale of glorious violence perpetrated by the hero, Arjuna. The Bible and the Jewish scriptures are filled with ethnic cleansing, infanticide, and rape. We do not condemn all Jews and Christians and Hindus as evil due to their scriptures, so we shouldn't do this to Muslims either. Christianity in particular has a horrifically violent history, all the way to the present day, so demonizing Muslims is just a tad hypocritical. Three continents cleansed of nearly all natives (by Christians) isn't exactly a good track record. Keep that in mind the next time you revel in your own supposed moral superiority to the Muslim world.

1:20 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

I discovered Dr. Berman from his interviews, then books. He articulates what I was thinking regarding the deranged american hamster wheeling narcopathic culture. We clearly see this in the carcass country whereby even the sick and the infirm are dollar signs to americans--analogous to "opportunity," "pursuit of happiness", "freedom torches," etc....we hear things like "metrics,", "value," and "quality," in reference to "health" "care" in America --all code words for money and expansion. To keep the propaganda alive, the tone deaf and willfully ignorant US employees (tax and debt slaves) are filled to the brim with corporate chants, brightside syndromes (Ehrenreich), hokey mission statements, and hard work myths. the least the failed country can do is give a thank card to the hard working suckers for all their taxes and fees to help fund another war plane. That way they can fight those jealous of all that freedom, opportunity, and extreme greatness. Grab a beer, popcorn, and Enjoy the decline!

2:57 AM  
Anonymous Derek said...

Prof. Berman-

I completely agree that the leaders of ISIS and other terrorist organizations feel that they are speaking for the oppressed and are acting in response to colonial history. However, I think there is a difference between the leaders of these organizations and (some) of the people who are actually carrying out the attacks. Did the 17 year old who attacked people with an axe in Germany really feel that he was acting in response to colonial atrocities? Maybe, but I'm wondering if ISIS just provided a convenient outlet for his general anger. Same thing with the killer in Orlando. I suppose we're getting into two different things here: the ideology of an organization and the individual psychology of a terrorist.

9:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Have a look at "Going Postal," by Mark Ames.


I think we may have run the Muslim violence issue into the ground, without anyone, myself included, really changing their minds. We might, then, wanna give the whole thing a rest, and move on to more engaging topics, such as Kim Jong-un's haircut, which I regard as an international disgrace.

But I hafta tell you, once again, how incredibly stupid the trollfoons are. Remember Sceptic, douche bag extraordinaire? I explicitly told him that if he wanted to be part of this discussion, he wd need to start off his next post with an apology. Does he do this? Of course not. Instead, he sends in yet another attack, thinking I'm going to post it. Will you guys tell me how these people became so thick? Honestly, we need to establish a Nobel Prize in Moronism, and start giving out awards on this blog.


11:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Once again, don't miss a film called "Eye in the Sky."--mb

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

Apparently (as of now) the latest shooting in Munich isn't considered as being ISIS-inspired:


But the fact that he'd studied mass killings & the way that they're covered -- endlessly, repeated over & over, all around the world, every moment until superseded by the next one -- does suggest lives devoid of personal meaning, with empty people latching on to suicidal "glory" as an expression of -- what? That they existed? That they're angry? That they don't really have lives at all?

There's definitely an enormous amount of free-floating fear, anger, disgust, and emptiness these days. As previous posters have suggested, with violence ceaselessly promoted as both entertainment & the solution to all human problems, those in most desperate need of validation & recognition invariably opt for it. "This will show them! Show them all!"

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Bung O'Nuggs said...

Jim Jardashian,

When have the Hindis, Buddhists, Jews, Janes, and whatever other religion you want to name commit widespread terror and bloodshed throughout the world and throughout history like the Muslims have done (meaning in a manner as widespread, as brutal and for as long as Muslims have)? Don't mention a few killings here and there...make sure they equal or surpass Islam in brutality and number of events through history. Good luck.
Did any of those religions you mention spread out into North Africa, all the way across to Morrocco, and then from there cross the Mediteranean Sea into Spain, holding Spain for 700 years?
NO. Only Islam did that. In fact it was ISLAM that made it's first contact with the West by invading Spain. In later years there were the Barbary Coast pirates (Muslims) that Thomas Jefferson sent U.S. Marines to fight.
While Islam has had some good points like beautiful architecture and arabic hieroglyphics, the evil and barbarism clearly outweigh the good.
It's funny....I never see Leftists jumping to say things like "Not all Germans were Nazis" and "Nazi Germany made some great contributions to science and engineering" and "It was so horrible how innocent civilians were incinerated in Dresden" despite the fact that indeed NOT ALL Germans were Nazis and many innocents died in Dresden & other cities and Nazi Germany did indeed make some great scientific contributions despite the horrific evil committed:


Nazis were evil like Muslims are with many similarities in their beliefs and neither deserve forgiveness nor should they be defended, but it's so chic among the Left leaners to defend Muslims no matter what, but for some reason the Nazi's evil is so easy for them to see. Hypocrisy, anyone?

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Frankistan said...

Leaked Emails Suggest DNC Was Conspiring Against Bernie Sanders

"One email from May shows CFO Brad Marshall suggesting that they use religion against a certain possible atheist with a Jewish heritage"


Also, read here


12:10 PM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

Did u guys watch the rnc convention? It was a douche bag carnival. Also David duke former grand wizard of kkk is running for US senate for Louisiana as a republican. Imagine If he wins and trump also wins

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

Never mind Kim Jong-un's haircut. I'm more impressed by the way he celebrated his first ballistic missile launch by smoking a cigarette.

Truly a man with a 1950's heart.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...


Thanks for yr response. You make some very good points; particularly how religions and/or political ideologies can be put into the service of violence quite easily. However, just to clarify my point: I was getting at the importance of trying to decouple the religion of Islam from the widespread belief that ISIS represents Islam. I don't now if it's even possible at this point, but I think it's still ill-considered to taint an entire religion by association w/a violent minority; something the west frequently tends to do. I think you agree w/me on this point. Also, even the way we use the term "Islamic State" is problematic because it grants a kind of legitimacy, a propaganda boost, so to speak, to even ISIS's incorrect belief that they represent true Islam. Granted, this is difficult to do, of course, because ISIS terrorists do say they're acting in the name of Islam, and violence is not exactly an alien notion in Islamic history. In any event, I hope this makes better sense.

MB, Wafers-

Michelle Nelson stabs her husband for failing to purchase her favorite doughnuts:




2:52 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Watched "Eye in the Sky" last night. Always cheers me up to see an MB recommendation, I know I'm going to see something worth watching. Tnx!

3:29 PM  
Anonymous John S said...

As much as I am intrigued by the popularity of the proto-fascist buffoonery of Trump which is actually very American, his acceptance speech was essentially hate the other as an identity which is quintesentially American from the Puritan days, I still see Hillary winning in the end, and I don't think it will be all that close in the end. We can all hope, I guess we'll all find out soon. The only question is the slope of the decline, that's all.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Doc, There is serious body of research to suggests that "Septic" like trollfoons have been damaged at early childhood, probably at very inception. They like most murikans were subtly rejected by their parents even before murika rejected them. They never received compassion while growing up thus got stunted in mental capacity at the onset of life. These wounded souls can never learn empathy or mutuality because they received non at home; they will always confuse humility with meekness. There is violence brewing inside them and they'll remain their own worst enemy; a wasted life in a waisted nation. They are in the words of Dr. Gabor Mate "In the Realms of hungry ghosts" -a book worth reading.


'Murikn Self Hatred. ...the enemy ain't isis stupid!

For Wafers, Unadulterated Pessimism... an antidote to despair.

4:23 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

I'm adding to the recent list of people who have shared how they first met Morris Berman's work. For me it was about 25 years ago while on vacation up in the Sierra with good friends. Standing in Ed's library he pulled a book from his shelf saying I might be interested in reading it. The title: Coming to our Senses. Ed was right I devoured the book and have gone on to read everything else Berman has written.

We met several times in the San Francisco area. I continue to enjoy reading comments on his blog.


9:02 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Here is an interesting story about our good friend Tony Robbins. Found it a bit late but it is still pretty telling.

"More than 30 people were burned last week while participating in a firewalk across hot coals at an event hosted by motivational speaker Tony Robbins, but the popular self-help author's supporters say those who were injured just lost focus."


6:25 AM  
Anonymous Stick and Carrot said...



Do Government Incentives Make Us Bad Citizens?

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

A potential reason for the "thickness" of most Americans are 'narcopathic' personality derangements. would surmise that most of the us populous has comorbid Cluster ABC mental derangements (from the recognised DSM psychiatric codes)--hence, the us fixation on memoirs--me, myself, and more, selfies, personal mission statements (I am love, I am superwoman, I exude happiness etc...), delusions of Horatio Alger---it's perhaps a psychosis-loss of contact with reality, etc....most of these folks are socialised and functional in society; however, they are mentally ill. We can see this in Social causes becoming more than a cause with healthy visceral integrity/authenticity. It is superficial narcopathic vehicle for the mentally deranged to get their narcissistic fuel through their social networks with their inner circle for high fives, clicks, thumbs up, etc.. Hyper emotional, angry thoughts racing in their heads, their job/hamster wheeling consumes them and the someday someday the $$$ ship will come in fills their heads. As Dr. Berman has aptly discussed, once confronted with reality they are in utter denial and spin out of control (Angry alcoholic uncle). The plane is going down, the pilots are fighting to maintain the plane, and the Americans are pressing the call button for peanuts. National psychosis-loss of contact with reality.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Well, the comments continue to flood the blog, for some reason. Clearly, Waferdom is a way of life. :-) B4 I 4get, here's another film rec: "Queen of the Desert" (Werner Herzog). You'll enjoy it, I promise.


"Septic" is actually a more accurate name than "Sceptic." Poor shmuck. It doesn't get more toxic than this guy, I suppose; but as you suggest, the real question is whence all this poison comes from. These trollfoons are terribly sad people, in reality; and my guess is that if they ever went inside and came to terms with this, they might actually kill themselves--as happened in yrs past with LSD revelations. So they represent an American tragedy, a failure to grow as human beings. I'm the object of hatred, or the blog, or the govt, or whatever. Just look at all the Trumpites: people in pain, in denial, projecting their rage into a fascist candidate, who cleverly knows how to manipulate it.

A # of times, confronted with an angry trollfoon, I've put the choice as follows: Douche bag or Wafer? What'll it be? They *always* choose Douche bag, always. Not a single one of them has had the ability to make the leap to an honest and caring life. For Wafers are lovers; trollfoons are haters. I don't think that's going to chg any time soon. "Haters gonna hate" is now appearing on T-shirts, but I think a more accurate slogan is one that captures the notion of existential strain: "When you can't create, you hate." The trollfoons are unable to create anything, so they are bitter about what is truly creative.

As for Trump, he probably won't get elected, but Trumpism will remain alive and well, precisely for the reasons I'm suggesting. The terror of going inside guarantees a very dark scenario for America's future. Millions of very sad people, insisting the problem is "out there"--hungry ghosts indeed. We're fucked, my friends, and I don't mean partially fucked.


You ignore that haircut at yr peril. Mark my words. Anyone walking around with a topper like that is a time bomb waiting to go off. The problem is that no one in Korea is allowed to mention the subject to him, on penalty of death. It's very similar to the situation with trollfoons: they know they are on the wrong path, but if you try to get them on the right one, they react with venom. In a sense, Kim's haircut is a metaphor for millions of unhappy American lives. Kim's topper is merely a trollfoon in the form of a haircut.

Anyway, time to shift to a new thread, #276. This has been a very lively discussion, but again, I'm going to suggest we move on to other topics rather than Muslim violence. At this pt, we're merely talking at each other, I think, so maybe we shd leave it be.


12:05 PM  
Blogger Earthwalker said...

Getting back to the election, up-to-the-minute insightful analysis from 11 years ago:



In our hustling culture perception is everything. Therefore a master bullshit artist will trump a perceived liar ;^)

Off the mark or bullseye?

12:24 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

What if Bernie had grafted a voluptuous vagina on his forehead with a matching golden cross tattooed on his chin? Would Debbie then have considered him to be a fairer competition to Hillary?

​Such simple attention to details which he ignored and he expects to lead this great nation of the free?! ​No wonder the DNC mockingly commented on Sanders that he “never got his act together, that his campaign was a mess”.

12:43 PM  

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