October 02, 2016

Counting Blessings Is Back!


At long last, my volume of poetry, Counting Blessings, is back in print, thanks to the folks at the Oliver Arts & Open Press, which also published The Man Without Qualities. Amazon listing as follows: https://www.amazon.com/Counting-Blessings-Morris-Berman/dp/0988334364/ref=sr_1_15?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1475426845&sr=1-15&keywords=morris+berman

Unfortunately, Amazon has not yet posted the cover image, which is completely new for this (3rd) edition. Hopefully, they'll get to it before too long.

I know some of you are wondering about Spinning Straw Into Gold, which has also been out of print. That is also in the works, and I'll let you know about it as soon as it goes online, hopefully in 1-2 months.

Thank you all for your patience, and enjoy the read!



Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Great news Dr. Berman! Counting Blessings will definitely be on my wish list for the upcoming holidays and I look forward to Spinning Straw Into Gold being back in print as well.

In other news, a Texas funeral director has been accused of taking selfies with hearses and caskets and posting them on Facebook.


12:24 AM  
Blogger NeilW said...

AMEN! Bach - Cantata 105: Herr, gehe nicht ins Gericht mit deinem Knecht, BWV 105 (1723) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-8g-9zXv1O8 (seems apt)

5:08 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Dear fellow Wafers and Dr. Berman,
Safely ensconced back in the USSR, er, USA. So wonderful spending 3 months traveling in SE Asia surrounded constantly be friendly, generous, and genuine people then be barked at by airport personnel in Chicago which has to be the epicenter of techno-douchbaggery ("I saw a man who looked at his wife in Chicago, my kind of town!"). Well, as Jean Baudrillard wrote, "The worst crime is to be a bore" and compared to cities like Saigon, Bangkok, and Phnom Phen the US should immediately be arrested. I mean there is literally nothing to do here except perhaps shop. As you once said, doctor, Americans are basically allergic to each other whereas SE Asians relish being with each other and are equally welcoming to foreigners. Not once in my travels did I experience even a minor slight so long, of course, I treated them with courtesy and respect. Needless to say, I encountered very few Americans as they remained home under the covers afraid of terrorists. Anyway, happy new year as I prepare for synagogue where the rabbi uses the quote sign with his fingers each time he says "Israeli occupation". Great to be back.

8:04 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Welcome home! Glad you had a great time, and now you can rejoin the bags for your daily dose of douchebaggery. I suggest starting w/the 2nd pres debate on Oct. 9.


9:15 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Hi Dr. B and Wafers,

I read Jim Kunstler's blog this morning and as usual found many similarities between Kunstler and Berman in their thinking about the decline of America. However, one big obvious difference this week is that Kunstler thinks the nation will go down faster with Hillary than with Trump. Dr. Berman, of course argues the opposite. Regardless, it's going to be interesting for those who can survive.

Kunstler and Berman do agree that Jimmy Carter was the last president with any sense. They also agree that Carter was preaching his gospel to idiots.


10:52 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Additional clown sightings are sweeping the "nation." A clown is in critical condition after being shot in Missouri.

Can anyone say they're from america, or just america, with a straight face?

10:59 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This is nice:


But she's a douche bag dept.:



12:43 PM  
Anonymous Janet said...

Thanks sir! Great news on the new pressing, I've been dying to crack it open for some time.

Certainly am counting my blessings!

Oh, and here you are, Mr. Secretary of the Dept. of Humor and Deep Insight,


12:54 PM  
Anonymous ANTOINE said...


From your just previous posting,,,

"Bill: Regarding Kevin Johnson: this wd seem to support the argument, advanced by a # of sociologists, that race is actually a red herring, and that the bottom line is really class."

In times like these I've been meaning to pierce in2 just this topic. Any particular sociologist's texts or editions of such sociological inquiries off the top of your head? Or any that you might've sourced in particular? Not as sociological I suppose but I finished Matt Taibbi's "The Divide" at the ending of last year.

Highest Regards,,,,


1:03 PM  
Anonymous Harney said...

The WashPost piece recalls a terrifyingly beautiful Koyaanisqatsi-esque film on Chinese coal-mining and the tremendous dehumanization behind the industry. Caught it on its premiere in London last mo., a recommendation to WAFers


1:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Unfortunately, I didn't mark these sources down. But there were several online essays on the theme over the past few mos. You might try Google.


The problem w/all these enlightenment studies is that they never refer to delicatessen. So what are we really talking abt?


2:09 PM  
Blogger Jeffrey Scott Harpell said...

I've recently stumbled on two new books that WAFers might find complementary to Prof. Berman's books. The first is "The Collapse of Complex Societies" by Joseph A. Tainter, the second, "Ages of Discord" by Peter Turchin. In the case of Turchin's book, he uses mathematical models to analyse long-term social processes from which he then extracts predictions. Tainter seems to put forth the theory that it's complexity that causes collapse. Anyway, I haven't read them yet, but thought I'd pass on the titles for the others here to check out. Who wouldn't love a panel discussion with these two authors and Prof. Berman?

2:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Tainter is discussed in my Twilight book. I think his argument is about running out of $, i.e. getting to a pt of diminishing returns. I'm not familiar w/Turchin.


2:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, I don't post Anons. You need a real handle. Kashe varnishke, perhaps.


4:17 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Interesting: https://www.salon.com/2016/10/01/breaking-point-america-approaching-a-period-of-disintegration-argues-anthropologist-peter-turchin/

Take heart Carnegie Deli fans, a second Katz's location to open soon: http://ny.eater.com/2015/10/13/9524907/katzs-deli-brooklyn

5:01 PM  
Anonymous COS said...

שָׁנָה טוֹבָה וּמְתוּקָה

5:14 PM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

Dr. MB & Wafers worldwide:

Today, I came across an interesting book :
What Washington Gets Wrong: The Unelected Officials Who Actually Run the Government and Their Misconceptions about the American People
by Jennifer Bachner et al.
Link: https://amzn.com/1633882497

In a review @ https://news.vice.com/article/washingtons-governing-elites-think-were-all-morons-a-new-study-says ,
“the authors report that the overwhelming majority of D.C.'s Beltway Insiders think the American public is pitifully uninformed on government policy. 72 percent of those governing officials think the public has little or no knowledge about policies to aid the poor. 71 percent believe that they have little or no knowledge about science and technology. And across eight different policy areas, never more than 6 percent of those surveyed thought the public possessed a "great deal" of knowledge on the topic.”

That observation is correct. Wafers know this as we document American stupidity on this blog daily. The problem is that the DC elite are not operating in the interests of the citizens at large, instead they are diligently working on behalf of the 1 % and shoring up the American Empire.

5:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Todah, v gam atah!


My own carefully researched, empirical studies turned up the fact that 99% of the population consists of buffoons.


5:43 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Speaking of techno-douchebaggery, last night I was stuck driving in relatively heavy traffic. Ahead of me there was a car stopped before a concrete divider that was honked at by to other vehicles because it started to pull out in front of them. I let the guy in, and sure enough not 200 yards down the road he was blocking my way in a right turn lane because he realized too late that he needed to go straight. As I finally got around him, I saw that the driver had one of those holders that attach to the windshield so their phone can be used as a GPS unit, except that it was fixed right in front of him where it would greatly obstruct his field of vision. Clearly the idiot had no idea where he was going, and I said to my wife that all the Russians would have to do to paralyze the U.S. is shoot down the GPS satellites. Presto--instantly 90% of the country would have no idea how to get anywhere since hardly anyone can read a map anymore.

Meanwhile, a new hazard for precious snowflakes off at college--tweeting about their roommate disputes and having them go viral:


Also, the GOOD news about clowns: now douchebags who need make up a fake attack story because they were late for work can blame phantom clowns instead of phantom black men:


5:43 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

MB, Wafers-

Dan's comment about being back in the USSR raises a provocative point: a dictatorship of the Trumpoletariat. In other words, Trump's hold over millions of people is evidence that they can easily be shoved toward fanaticism and some form of messiah worship. By my lights, this is no different than the type of fanaticism that drove Stalin and the Soviet state. Stalin offered utopia and a powerful faith; Trump is offering the same. It will turn out to be an illusion; one that will descend into totalitarianism and barbarism. Of this, I have no doubt.


6:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I do think barbarism is in our future, as the US finally manages to come apart at the seams, including rioting, mass migrations, and martial law. Two scenarios:

1. Hillary is elected, maintaining the dominance of neoliberalism and the elites. But the Trumpites won't go away, and thus we enter our Weimar period. She will try to maintain the status quo, and the Bush-Obama presidency; things will get increasingly unstable. Finally, a smoother version of Trump will arise, who knows how to talk in public, but who is a committed fascist, and he'll take over by election or by a coup. Then we'll be in deep shit.

2. Trump is elected, and we can skip the whole Weimar phase and go directly to deep shit.

If Jews, Muslims, blacks, and Hispanics have any brains, they will start making preparations to emigrate asap. Chinese might also give it some consideration.


7:26 PM  
Anonymous Wile E Coyote said...

As I see it, the US of A is few WAFERS short of a communion.

7:48 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Not to mention transubstantiation.


7:59 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

Back in the days when Obama was running for office, the American Left was completely full of shit, but it was nevertheless capable of talking about most political issues. Four years later, it is now incapable of doing anything but shouting about the alleged superiority of women and the alleged need for all politicians to have vaginas. The American Left has become so brainless that it fails to realize that these are not political issues, because they have nothing whatsoever to do with policy.

Even Trumpites have far more substance to their political ramblings than liberals; they are fully capable of talking about a wide array of issues like the Trans-Pacific Partnership, crippling debt, and the failure of identity politics. Sure, they also talk about the "need" to exterminate huge segments of humanity, but Hillary's supporters make them look like Oswald Spengler by comparison. The narcissistic retreat into self-referential nonsense is the primary reason why the American Left is so reviled. It has paved the way for the final phase of America's collapse that may very well result in another world war.

8:42 PM  
Blogger Christopher said...

After leaked transcripts of state department meetings show Hillary enthusiastically advocating for the assassination of Julian Assange by drone strike, her minions applaud her for it.


I'm sick unto death of this country.

9:20 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This is pretty damning, and I wonder if it will get any play in the press. However, I see only 4 people agreeing w/her. Comments are largely negative.

I suppose it's the type of thing we wd imagine Trumpo wd say. She's an awful human being, and u.r. rt to be sick of this country. My guess is that most Americans won't care, and also that they have no idea who Assange is.


9:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bye Bye Miss American Pie:


9:56 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

For those who don't wish to read the comments following the Washington Post article MB has linked, this one struck me:

From commenter "bettercallsaul"

"This is the tip of the iceberg.

Out west, at least near the small city where I live in Oregon, there are at least 4 tent camps of homeless people.

Entire camps.

Outside San Diego. Entire camps. In Portland, entire camps. Oakland. Entire camps of homeless people.

It's much more hidden back east in my experience. I am from the Philadelphia suburbs and went to school in DC while I lived in Fairfax. I never saw any homeless camps.

Out west I see them everywhere."

For people like the ones in the article--and for millions more besides--the matter of who wins the November election won't have the slightest bearing on their circumstances. And yet I imagine many in terrible economic straits will see Trump as a possible way out. After all, unlike Hillary and her sort, he hasn't screwed them (yet). Hope is about all they have.

10:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Honestly, I just love American cops:


9:07 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Although I'm getting a little annoyed at their leniency. In the following, we have a black guy sitting on his mother's porch. Cops attack him, but why not just take out a gun and blow his brains out? Myself, I don't get it. Are we now going to coddle vicious criminals?


9:30 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

The Botox Woman Cometh: She's now leading Trumpo by nearly 4%, some polls say 5%.

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Can't imagine anyone worth their salt being only 4 or 5 percentage points ahead of Trump! This whole thing is a bunch of mierda.


1:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yr forgetting who the electorate consists of.


2:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: The very next American you run into, regardless of age, gender, race, or religion, ask them the following questions:

1. Who was Franklin Delano Roosevelt?
2. What is a sonnet?
3. In what continent is France located?
4. What is the name of the galaxy that contains our solar system?
5. What is a douche bag (i.e., literally)?

That shd clear up any puzzlement you have regarding how Hillary, Trump, or Ronald Reagan for that matter, cd wind up being considered presidential material.


2:23 PM  
Anonymous Wile E Coyote said...

To answer your questions in order:
1. Who was Franklin Delano Roosevelt?
A godless commie bent on the destruction of America.
2. What is a sonnet?
A ringtone for your iPhone
3. In what continent is France located?
Trick question. France is a continent.
4. What is the name of the galaxy that contains our solar system?
The solar plexus.
5. What is a douche bag (i.e., literally)?
Another reason to take a selfie.

5:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Congratulations. You score 100%, but then yr not yr typical American.


5:25 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Stephanie-

Got your 4 messages. There are a few rules on this blog that you shd know abt, that might help you if you want to participate in the discussion.

1. Yr messages hafta be coherent. I had a hard time understanding them.
2. Only one post every 24 hrs, maximum.
3. Anti-Semitism is a no-no. We also don't entertain hatred toward any other groups, altho u.r. free to attack trollfoons with impunity, and in the vilest language you can muster.
4. You can't attack me, the Wafers, or the blog in general, if you want to get posted.
5. The subject of this blog is the collapse of the American empire. If you want to talk about other subjects, it wd be best to find yrself another blog.

Hope that helps, and all the best 2u.


6:08 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

We will never see the Morris Berman Show, nor the Bill Hicks or George Carlin show-they're too real, authentic, and honest. Current comedian TV shills are establishment propagandists that serve an important in the failed state--to reduce everything to a joke with 20-40yo somethings giggling, clapping, smiling and clamoring for yet another joke to prop up the empire. When things are jokes, then nothing is really serious and if that commie dies in a "plane crash" or gets a 'heart attack'--then, who cares, she/he is a joke. USA USA. Yankee doodle dipshits.

Johnny Carson had as guests: Marilyn Horne (Opera star), Roger Bobo (LA Phil Principal Tubist), Peter Barbutti (4th trumpet fame); now we have shill comedian fuckwits who think american comedy is taking a bassoon on the late show and destroying/smashing it. The american audience laughing and going crazy as it is destroyed.

Nice. I would be amazed if the average dipshit american would even know what a bassoon is, so destroy it. CUrious if this would happen on a French TV show, or Germany whereby classical music, culture, art, literature is appreciated/respected!? Billions spent on art/music, yet americans have hokey bake sales and selling dreck to fund the music venue.

6:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike R.-

Well, I did enjoy Alec Baldwin's impersonation of Trumpo on SNL, I hafta admit. As for musical knowledge on the part of Americans: Less than 2% know what a bassoon is, and only .001% were able to say what timpani were. Biopsies of thousands of American brains turned up warm goat turds.


7:24 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Tight CRE dept.:

Corey Davis, 32, arrested and found to have 110 packets of heroin jammed in his anus:


Mother of the yr dept.:

Benita Barbour, 37, arrested for tossing her children out a window:


Jesus, what should we file this under?:

Taccara Nauden, 28, arrested after she placed her ID inside her vagina. Also, Taccara faces additional charges after she publicly urinated:



7:25 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Why do I have the impression that internationally speaking, Americans are not the sharpest nails in the box? Everybody: check out picture of Taccara. What u.r. seeing is America's future--and I'm not kidding!


8:11 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

MB - that WaPo article on suburban homeless literally "hit home" for me as the Home Depot where those people were camping out is less than two miles from my house. I knew there were homeless people around here because I've seen them panhandling at the nearby Vienna Metro station, but I was at that store as recently as two weeks ago and had no idea. It's a very large parking lot, but still, talk about being "invisible." I just worry that the publicity is going to cause officialdom to harass them, as Fairfax County cops have been among those known to have a case of shoot first and ask questions later-itis.

Particularly interesting was the story of the 81-year-old woman who apparently prefers to live on the streets rather than in the spare bedroom her son told the reporter he has available for her in nearby Falls Church. This illustrates what I previously noted about the Mandible family in Lionel Shriver's book--at first they seem like a typical dysfunctional American family, full of the petty slights and grievances that cause Americans to not talk to their own siblings or parents for decades. Yet when the chips were truly down, they pulled together and helped each other out--and survived the crisis much better than most of the Americans around them.

I also caught the first episode of HBO's reboot of the cheesy 70s sci-fi movie Westworld on Sunday night. It was pretty terrific--a fine portrayal of the dangers of extreme techno-douchebaggery. Hope they can keep it up for 9 more episodes.

8:13 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

More news from the techno-douchebag files:

More than 75% of people admit to making their lives seem more exciting on social media. Three quarters of people judge their peers based on their Facebook profile.
6% borrow objects to include in the images and pass them off as their own.
Half of people post images to cause jealousy among friends and family.

The information is from a British survey but I assume that the results would be similar if Americans were surveyed.

See: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3274749/Welcome-Fakebook-75-people-admit-making-lives-exciting-social-media.html

On the clown front:

Utah police warn against shooting “random clowns” as hysteria builds.
Police in Utah have warned residents that it is not legal to shoot “random clowns” following an increased number of clown sightings across the country.

See: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/utah-orem-police-creepy-clown-sightings-shoot-random-illegal-criminal-charges-facebook-a7345311.html

I would hate to be a professional clown in America these days. Imagine going to work a gig at a child’s birthday party and then having some trigger-happy American shoot you because he thinks you are a “killer clown.”

10:01 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

Unamerican Exceptionalism - an Australian view on William Appleman Williams, the Wisconsin Idea and insecurity. Well worth a read, wafers https://www.quarterlyessay.com.au/essay/2016/09/enemy-within

10:04 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

Who needs Bassoon E. Timpani when there's Chunk E. Cheese.

More Cheese... Towards the end you hear some doorknob singing 'happy birthday' song.

Some Burger too...

10:39 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

This is an interesting psychological profile of Trump delivered by Sam Harris...


11:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

As far as the VP debate goes:

Pence, Shmence.

That's all I got.


11:22 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...


Check out this 15 minutes summary of the latest conference from Google:

The enthusiastic and almost mythical tone of the speakers presenting the Virtual Reality part is just surreal. Get ready to see douchebags in headsets with AK47s in the street thinking they're playing Doom in real life!


6:36 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Trump and Clinton are two terrible human beings between whom there is no good choice. What I haven’t seen addressed are the terrifying dangers inherent in Trump’s NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder). Most people think that a narcissist is just someone with an inflated ego, but NPD’s a lot more serious than that.

As I’ve said before, my mom had NPD: lack of empathy, magical thinking, a liar, the rules didn’t apply to her, an inflated sense of self, and inability to take responsibility for her actions. Trump displays all of these traits.

Anyway, her overriding emotion was one of shame, the hallmark of NPD. There was no way of knowing what, when, why or how this feeling in her would be evoked (growing up was like living in the middle of a minefield because you never knew when your foot would go down in the wrong place and there’d be an explosion). When she felt shamed there was no limit to what she would do to extract revenge. And this, I think, is the truly frightening thing about Trump. If he’s elected, certainly our end will arrive much more quickly unless someone is able to control his desire for revenge when, not if, he feels shamed. That said, I could no more vote for Hillary than I could for Trump.

We may know what Hillary will do based on past performance, but we can also know what Trump will do based on his narcissism.

Troutburn: “Washington's governing elites think we're all morons….” Well, they’re right, but as John Milton said, “They who put out the people’s eyes reproach them of their blindness.”

BTW, I recently read that James Madison referred to the USA as a “commercial republic.” Proof positive from a founding father.


7:01 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

As the fact-checkers check facts, the entrails-readers read entrails, and the inarticulate try to articulate for call-in shows who "won" the VP "debate" ("Are too, Am Not, Are too!"), WAFers may find some interest in the following piece from today's Guardian, an amuse-bouche and the link below:

"In reality, the research* summarised by [social science professors Christopher] Achen and [Larry] Bartels suggests, most people possess almost no useful information about policies and their implications, have little desire to improve their state of knowledge, and have a deep aversion to political disagreement. We base our political decisions on who we are rather than what we think. In other words, we act politically – not as individual, rational beings but as members of social groups, expressing a social identity. We seek out the political parties that seem to correspond best to our culture, with little regard to whether their policies support our interests. We remain loyal to political parties long after they have ceased to serve us."

Lies, fearmongering and fables: that’s our democracy


*In Democracy for Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government
(Princeton University Press; ISBN: 9780691169446)

O&D, brethren and sistern, O&D.

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...


I'm afraid that this is exactly how most of the world's democracies operate. There is nothing inherent in democracy that prevents people from supporting barbaric policies; when the citizens themselves are barbaric, the leaders will be doubly so. This is why I regard channels like "Democracy Now!" to be farcical, because they refuse to confront the objective fact that Americans are a barbaric people incapable of understanding policy, let alone electing compassionate leaders.


These are the people that will overthrow our corporate tyranny and usher in the reign of compassionate socialism...so say the progressives. lol...


1.) The hippie libtard commie scum shitbag traitor baby-killer fucker fuck fuck fuck!
2.) When the sun comes out, like, sunny weather, kinda.
3.) France is part of Libya, which part of ISIS, and should be nuked immediately.
4.) Battlestar Galactica
5.) Hippie libard commie scum shitbag traitor baby-killer fucker fuck fuck fucks

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Yawn VP what now? Clowns? Where? Cats and dogs living together!

Anyway, some real news:


3:43 PM  
Anonymous Laura said...


I feel like whatever our respective confines, we WAFers are citizens of the world system

4:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


True, but we transcend it. I'm working on a version of "There is nothing like a Wafer," taken from "South Pacific" (with apologies to Rogers & Hammerstein).

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Amazon finally posted the front cover of "Counting Blessings." Yes, that's me (the smaller one). Little did the world know what was abt to hit it. :-)


5:26 PM  
Anonymous Rotomi said...

Why did the Obamas fail to take on corporate agriculture?

Michael Pollan investigates https://t.co/KfGcOsACPS https://t.co/RS7na3uvqU

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B: There's more and more of this lately- people overdosing and dying from heroin or heroin-like drugs. This story is especially sad- a 7-year old went to school and waited until the end of the day to tell someone she couldn't wake her parents up. Officials found both parents dead with three other younger children living in the house; ages 5, 3, and 9 months. Autopsy results are pending, but there was evidence of drug use in the house.


5:46 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

The us "president" is nothing more than a puppet, maybe a clown. A Tommy Tune tap those troubles away kinda guy. Maintain status quo, fist pump patriotic slogans, and smile alot.

Curious, are america's youth still throwing boulders off of highway overpasses and killing people/maiming folks driving to-from work? Or are they too busy shooting grandmothers and then eating their faces? usa usa.

6:26 PM  
Anonymous Ram Gana said...

Driving to work this morning I saw someone on the footbridge over the Kennedy expressway at Austin Ave., who'd stretched out—facing the westbound traffic—a big banner bearing the legend of a twitter hashtag in support of rebooting Bernie Sanders' candidacy. I can't recall if it was "bringbernieback" or "bringbackbernie" (subsequent research has revealed that both variations exist), but I have to say I was mildly shocked, and more than a little annoyed. I had no idea such a movement existed, and I can't begin to imagine what these people are thinking, or what they think is possible at this point. (Don't misread me here. I was never in anyone's camp. I'm just sayin'…what the hell?)

7:58 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

I don't know which is sadder in the story below, the fact that a 7-year-old kid was gunned down by a 14-year-old on an elementary school playground, or that they are dressing him up as Batman for his funeral and his pallbearers will be dressed as superheroes--proving that the town in question is bereft of emotionally mature adults:


And more in the adults acting like kids department: a 19-year-old Florida man assaulted his father because the latter threw out his Lego collection:


And lastly, a New Jersey woman was arrested after stealing the wallet of the EMT who arrived on scene after boyfriend was killed by a passing car:


8:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Brittany Carulli is my new hero. Shdn't she be on the ticket w/Hillary? Tim Kaine is an absolute 0 compared to Brit. Brit is 100% American, bringing hustling to new heights. Go Brit!


Not to worry; just help to get Brittany Carulli on the ticket.


8:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Brit reminds me of a remark Elaine made abt Jerry once: "Ya think you've gotten to the bottom of the pool, and then you discover you can scrape down a few more inches." In the case of the US, I suspect the pool is bottomless.

8:48 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

MB, Wafers-

Well, Brit certainly has a shot at VP. 46 percent of Americans could *not* name Tim Kaine as a VP candidate. The verdict is in: we're a basket of dumbshits!




9:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I wonder what % can't name the presidential candidates. Meanwhile, if I can't vote for Brittany Carulli, my life will have no meaning. Oh sure, a lot of people will badmouth her, but the truth is that she is cutting edge.


10:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gee what a shock dept.:


10:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: meanwhile, the US has pledged to send Israel $38 billion over the next 10 yrs. So much for "condemnation."

11:59 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

I'm sure that Dr. Berman and most WAFers will remember the remark made by Dr. Berman a few weeks ago that if you're pro-humanity (I might add pro-human dignity, pro-culture, pro-life [has nothing to do with abortion], pro-biosphere) then you can't at the same time be pro-USA, at least with the USA (its government, its economy, etc.) configured as it presently is.

Well, here's a video that confirms this:

"Syria War Propaganda Drumming Up Hard, Corporate Media is LYING Again" :


We (those of us who unfortunately still reside in the USA) live in an evil empire. There's just no way around it. Other intellectuals have come to basically the same conclusion, including Chomsky, Hedges, Paul Craig Roberts, John Perkins, John Pilger, Steve Lendman, William Blum, etc.

As a nation we're addicted to war, addicted to weapons, addicted to growth and expansion, addicted to lies, addicted to reassuring false narratives, mollified by sports and wreaking destruction on many other nations. It's sickening and repugnant.

6:25 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


It's just the pattern that one sees historically with all empires, at the fag-end of their existence (we aren't even 'exceptional' in our collapse!). The empire ossifies; its basic ideas turn into slogans that no longer have any relationship to reality; and it produces mediocrities, or worse, as its leaders. Think Rome, the Catholic Church, feudal Europe, England in 20C, etc.


8:13 AM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

Absurd Reality, is real Reality.
Religion & Porn, VR customers.

Sarasvati, VR is the good representation of NPD. And it is a one way door; once made/born a narcissist, there's no cure. Empires eventually become Narcissist-Producing-Demon, the Ouroboros that consumes itself at an ever increasing speed.

1:00 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Just curious what you all think...considering we have never seen such incivility and vitriol in the political process (Thanks to Trump) and the diametrically opposed Culture War...How likely or how much REAL possibility is there for the far right wing nut "Patriots" who will not accept a Clinton presidency, to start up an actual hot civil shooting war with the government troops of President Clinton? Serious Question...Thanks

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

I think America's highly advanced technology will produce incredible pyrotechnics as the country collapses; in that sense, America's collapse is actually quite different from that of other empires. We have the possibility of the biological weapons America has been developing for decades being unleashed upon the public and the rest of the world; the possibility of nuclear war followed by a nuclear winter; and, on top of all of this, the certainly of disastrous climate change. This time around, the collapse will be infinitely worse, because it will be global, and because people have forgotten how to produce and survive on a small scale. There will be precious little left of humanity and human culture 200 years from now.

What I hope is that humanity will learn something from it. There's hardly any guarantee of this, but it's the only way another such collapse will be avoided in the future. My own feeling is that humanity will learn nothing, and continue to do this again and again until the earth becomes exactly like Venus. I guess life on Earth had a nice run; four and a half billion years is nothing to sneeze at. Many wonderful species graced the planet with their presence, from empyreal butterflies to majestic stallions to whimsical dolphins. Despite what people say about the natural world, I believe most plants and animals truly enjoyed their time here overall. The same is true, in fact, of the human species until vertical consciousness permanently twisted it into something grotesque.

5:23 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

A potential movie rec: 'La Loi Du Marche'--The Measure of a Man. The movie sets out to show the crushing mundanity of the the lives of working class people. The main protagonist manages to demonstrate dignity and honor throughout even when dealing with hustlers, corporate bullshit, robotic beaurocrats, overzealous goody goodies, etc... Nevertheless, do not expect the usual predictable hubris- -come-nemesis tale.

It looks at workaday politics that the majority of life's cannon fodder are forced to negotiate. In particular, a scene in which his performance at a job interview is analysed by peers is upsetting; demonstrating the schadenfreude characteristic of the socially-challenged and emotionally ill enjoying the notion that somebody is worse off than themselves all the while led by an eager beaver.

6:20 PM  
Blogger Eric Green said...


8:24 PM  
Anonymous Gerald said...


Cool phylogenetic myth study, similar to one I saw on fairytales, fascinating stuff

8:52 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...


Well, Trump is certainly outlandish, but Trump is also the latest version in a long line of American demagogues. Take a look at some of the things the populist William Jennings Bryan said and believed back in 1896:


In addition, see the political careers of Huey Long, George Wallace, Strom Thurmond, and Ross Perot. Trump has a lot in common w/these earlier demagogues. That said, however, Trump is the only one who has a realistic shot at winning the presidency; tho Bryan came very close in 1896. In terms of an armed putsch by pro-Trump supporters if Hillary wins, I don't think that is out of the realm of possibility; particularly If Hillary pursues increased neoliberal policies which will continue to add to the economic pain of approx. 40 percent of the nation. The real danger is in continuing to ignore the economic pain and destitution that is now everywhere in the US. The increased pressure of deep fragmentation and deep inequality w/time is what will eventually do the US in.


1:09 PM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Wafers,

George Will recently wrote a column citing a work by Nicholas Eberstadt that reported (perhaps bemoaned) that millions of American men between the ages of 25 and 54 had simply stopped looking for work. Will tends to be rather insulting towards these men near the end of the column - I am including the link to the National Review but I actually found it in the Ithaca Journal.


Here is the Amazon link for the study by Nicholas Eberstadt (who works for the American Enterprise Institute) that Will cites.

I wonder if this lack of job-searching effort has any relation to the phenomenon that you, Dr. Berman, report on in "Neurotic Beauty" (I haven't read your book yet but intend to.


2:27 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

As Matthew makes his (its?) way along the Eastern seaboard, I thought perhaps WAFers would appreciate the video linked below. Guy McPherson speaking in December 2015 in Miami (glub glub) on abrupt climate change. Many will likely already be familiar with him, perhaps even find him too much Johnny-one-note. Perhaps not. The audio is less than optimal, as the talk is being taped in a room not especially well suited for such things. Think church parish hall. Below the talk I include a link to a cartoon McPherson has included in his presentation; it will--god I hate the word--RESONATE with the WAFer community.

If you find the audio too annoying there are plenty of other McPherson talks/interviews you may wish to sample. This one was the most recent I could identify without specialized training in YouTube search.

Finally, McPherson's sober view of our species' future may prove incorrect: if Donald Trump is elected president, there is talk he intends to repeal the laws of thermodynamics.

The talk:


The cartoon:


3:11 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

I highly recommend to all Wafers the piece on Counterpunch today entitled: The Way we Were And Will Be by Michael Brenner. If you can't laugh you cry....so give it a whirl. Great humor.


4:51 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Do apologise as war criminal Kissinger and his side kick Albright have already been scrutinized on Dr Berman's blog-for the a bullshit "peace prize." Farce.

Thought Kissinger's comment about himself is very revealing and sums up quite well the deranged us populous---"Americans like the cowboy … who rides all alone into the town, the village, with his horse and nothing else … This amazing, romantic character suits me precisely because to be alone has always been part of my style or, if you like, my technique.”

Interesting that two relatively recent secretaries of state (Kissinger and Albright) were naturalized us citizens, and perhaps, chosen as such given their unwavering zeal, loyality, and zest for america which makes them well groomed establishment puppets.

Both also had lucrative capital companies and did the hustle-- Union Carbide, Serbia rebuild, etc..in which these war criminals hustled in lock-step with the massing of money and opportunistic war fervor.

5:24 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

“Grab them by the pussy,” said the goon. “You can do anything.”

The IRS grabbed my pussy so hard it still hurts. I had a chastity belt, but I didn't know they had the keys; they have everybody's keys.
The police officer was furious when I wouldn't let him grab my pussy; eventually I relented on fear of my life.
In the court the judge wanted real bad to reach my pussy. My lawyer for a hefty fees wouldn't let him. My pussy was saved, however the state managed to get a clump of my pubic hair.
In the job interview I let them play with my pussy. I got the job where my boss grabbed my pussy whenever he pleased. Somehow, on the day of my lay-off I was glad to have my pussy back.
The blacks get their pussies grabbed by the dominant race everyday of their lives. It has been going on for so long n the black pussies are so mangled that the oppressors don't want to grab them anymore. They wanna obliterate the bearers of the filthy black pussies.
God only knows how rough the settlers grabbed the pussies of the natives that it became gangrenous and killed then en'masse.
To prove that muslim pussies are also worth-a-grab, Noor Tagouri gave a sneak preview of her pussy. The goons were satisfied n are debating whether instead of droning they should rather enjoy the grabbing.
Meanwhile the Israelis had enough of grabbing the Palestinian pussies. They just built a wall.
The NSA doesn't need to grab my pussy any longer; it practically lives in my pussy.

Appalled to hear the truth from Trumpo? Wanna get your pussies grabbed by the botox liar instead? This is the power game!! He speaks shit the way it is; no sugar coating. I for sure will vote for this blatant bastard.

8:11 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Well, that leaked Trump bit gives me some hope. Not for the US, but for the future of humanity in striving to bring down vertical consciousness. In a world where almost everything is bugged all the time, the vertical distance of a Führer is almost impossible to maintain. Nobody can run for office without being close to an open book any longer.

This is good for humble people who can acknowledge their mistakes and take the hit to their vanity, terrible for the vain, corrupt, and domineering.

Three cheers for Donald, Billy Bush, and casual groping banter!

10:30 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

I just made a most unusual discovery yesterday: one of my closest neighbors, whom like the others I have done my best to ignore for years, has turned out to have a brain. In an utterly unprecedented conversation, he agreed with me that California (and by extension the USA) has no future, that infrastructure is visibly disintegrating before our eyes, that higher education in this country is a scam, that Occupy Wall Street chiefly consisted of weenies who could easily have been bought off by the offer of middle class jobs, that a *real* movement for change would have located and occupied all the housing foreclosed in the last real estate crash, that real national health coverage would not involve handouts to Insurance, that skilled artisans like himself can no longer make a decent living because all the wealth in this country is being sucked up by smoke-and-mirrors pseudo-economics like the tech industry, finance, and real estate, and - AND - that the best solution is to leave the country, which he will do next year.

I hope I can leave by then too. This is by no means assured, so I request for all Wafers who are able to pray for me and make offerings of pastrami to the deity of your choice. Many thanks.

12:40 AM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

Here's some things I recently discovered about America:

1.) An American-based site exists by the name of torturegames.net; it's a site exclusively dedicated to games that involve torture, most of them created by Americans.

2.) According to the Wall Street Journal, two thirds of American women and half of American men surveyed said they would be "very willing" or "extremely willing" to marry for money.

1:15 AM  
Blogger Edward said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers,

Haven't contributed for a while so I thought I'd post this article, hope you like it!



9:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


We get yr pt, but in future we cd do with a little less pussy. Unless you are referring to Pussy Riot.


10:53 AM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

I hardly ever read David Brooks but his article this morning stirred my curiosity. And it was well worth the read if only to find a reference to an article by Michael Sullivan entitled: I Used To Be A Human Being.

Sullivan's piece is a beautiful historical/spiritual walk down memory lane recalling what it was like to have silence in our lives. Silence filled with awareness that we've come close to loosing to technology.


3:28 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Trump's "p" remarks were yet another example of him telling a "truth" that no one wants to hear but that Jim J highlights above: that if you are a disgusting slimebag, but a RICH disgusting slimebag, there are countless members of the opposite sex who will literally throw themselves at you and let you take complete advantage of them. The first time I ever even heard of The Donald was around 1990, not long after I began my professional career. There was a 30-something secretary in my office who had a HUGE crush on the man--had pictures of him pasted on her cubicle walls and everything. She made it pretty clear that if she ever got to meet him she would let him have his way with her. Around this same time, I also knew people who considered John Gotti to be a big hero as well. I should have known right then that these were outliers of big trouble ahead, but I was still young and naive.

Meanwhile, for those daffy liberals who still believe Americans are capable of pulling together during times of crisis, here's a video of two dingbats getting into a fistfight over the last case of bottled water in the local Walmart as Hurricane Matthew approached Florida:


4:47 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...


I'm very curious and interested to hear what you think of the moral and social "philosopher" Eric Hoffer, and his work?

I read True Beliver last year and this past week read The Temper of Our Time.

He seems to have been a very insightful, prescient, and prophetic guy who had his finger on the pulse of the social and economic realities of America, but then I watched some interviews of him and he seemed like a buffoon...He came across as an Anti-Intellectual, populist, nationalist, and Neoconservative.

What do you think? I'm very interested in your thoughts about him.


5:25 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

Mike R. -

I don't think Kissinger or Albright were in it for the money. As a rule, those who AREN'T in it for the money are really the scary ones. Those that are part of the system, and not WAF-er-esque monastic option types, I mean.

See also Dick Cheney. If he were really about money, he could have stayed as CEO of Halliburton and already had enough political connections to exploit for millions of $. BTW, I don't know if it's been talked about here, but the Showtime Documentary "The World According to Dick Cheney", which allows him to tell his side of the story (while various talking heads critique his career), is truly frightening. To see him sit there in perfect serenity and carry on as if there were no other legitimate options post 9/11 than unconstitutional torture, mass surveillance or a preemptive invasion of Iraq, is really something, even for those of us who lived in fear through all of this just a decade ago.

And now we have someone like Trump who has EVEN LESS self-awareness. Cheney at least came from small-town, humble origins and has the capacity to admit to a multitude of failings as a young drunkard. Trump of course is born of privilege and has no capacity to admit any faults whatsoever. If Cheney is as American as Apple Pie, Trump is Apple Pie on a McDonalds hamburger. There has be no one better suited to the office of President in our nation's history.

5:56 PM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

I find the Clinton leaks to be more interesting. Looks like Russia is trying to influence the election so trump will win, and I see Clinton is whole heartedly in support of globalized free trade while saying the opposite on the campaign trail.


11:11 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

What's all this stuff about abducting peoples' cats?

7:35 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Fun watching from afar the 3 ring circus. When is the cigar in the vagina, the semen soaked blue dress, or referring to filipino WH staff as ch--ks gonna come into play? Or the multiple rapes, travelgate, furniture gate, whitewater, Vinnie Foster, John Ashe, war profiteering, or the bullshit "non profit" foundation.

Most like Bubba--they voted him in a 2nd time. He's slick, a BS artist, plays a mean sexaphone, ladies man, and knows how to speak outta both sides of his anus-- like the populous. The pollies ARE the people.

Cusp of 2017, out of @330,000,000 folks, this is the BEST americans can come up with. america truly is a laughing stock to the world. Could anyone image paying taxes, fees for this bullshit?

4:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I wrote a fair amt abt Hoffer in the past, but can't remember titles of essays. Maybe "The Hula Hoop Theory of History" was one of them. You'll hafta plow thru the archives on this blog, and also check out essays in QOV.


5:17 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Thanks Morris...Will Do...just googled and found some.

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...


Yeah, American women have achieved international infamy for their willingness to spread their legs for literally any wealthy man, the more psychopathic the better. If perpetual war and "regime change" is the #1 reason why other countries hate us, this loathsome trait of American women is definitely #2. American women shamelessly flaunt their love of all that is psychopathic and their contempt for all that is decent. The last decade has seen an explosion of songs about falling in love with hardened criminals; check out Britney Spears's song "Criminal" for a perfect expression of the romantic preferences of contemporary American women.

A surprising number of women are Trump supporters; given the fact he brags about his desire to fuck his daughter and sexually assault any woman he pleases, most of his female supporters have probably fallen in love with him because he's the ultimate bad boy: a billionaire psychopath that may very well become the most powerful man in the world once November rolls around. No sane, rational woman would ever vote for someone that flaunted his desire to sexually assault her. Because American women are more paranoid than ever about sex crimes, the only explanation is that Trump groping them wouldn't qualify as sexual assault, because these women are more than willing.

6:42 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...


I have to agree. I am usually not a fan of David Brooks but his October 07, 2016 op-ed piece about the impact of technology on our lives was actually pretty good.


I was having a similar conversation with a friend last night. We noticed how unfriendly people were becoming and how they often seemed zombie-like and always buried in their phones. The art of conversation is definitely dying as we noticed that a large number of people in the restaurant were buried in their phones and not talking to the other people at their table.

My friend and I are both semi-luddites in that we have not adopted all of the latest technology and are generally disturbed by the latest trends in techno-mania.

6:55 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Between the clown sightings, the election, and the techno-haze, America is starting to look completely and entirely psychotic.

I think we will see a Hillary victory, then a flood of extremely angry young males occupying public spaces in various aggressive ways. These people are so naive, and so tribal, with their "SJW/cuck" vocabulary, they will not accept a loss. They have no carrots, only a future of endless debt, and are obsessed with a culture of quick internet fame. So, the mindless violence of the past 8 years will start to go political. From there, it's anybody's guess.

People today are more like insects. I think that this is what Kafka was really saying. Trump rationalizes his comments as "locker room banter", and all across the internet that phrase is repeated a thousand fold. People who would never have generated that phrase of their own accord make it sound like their natural explanation of evens. Never mind that any man that actually spoke like that would be seen as a total creep in real life.

They also have some sense of Trump as "alpha" - funny, because in truth, if Trump is alpha, they are conceding they are all beta by having nothing better to do than be a groupie to his asinine demagoguery.

Trump's money is salvation for their own dependence on family/women/abusive employers to eek out a bleak existence.

3:34 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Lack – You said:

“I find the Clinton leaks to be more interesting. Looks like Russia is trying to influence the election so trump will win….”

Where did you get your information that Russia is responsible for the hacks? If you got it from the DNC, Clinton campaign, or the MSM, it might be best to assume it’s a lie (AAMOF, I assume that everything I hear from official sources is a lie unless proven otherwise). The Clinton campaign needs red herrings to deflect the conversation away from her corruption…better to blame Russia (we’ve surrounded the country with missiles, but let’s ratchet up the lie that they’re threatening us) than having to explain away the fact that the DNC rigged the primary, or that the content of her Wall Street talks shows her total allegiance to the power elite. In other words, make the discussion about something other than what it should be about.

So! O&D with our choice between a psychopathic liar and a narcissistic ignoramus.

7:19 AM  
Anonymous Teddy said...


I'm all for a Amerigo Vespucci day...

Realization: Amerigo Vespucci, not so far off from Trumpo

9:19 AM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

As innocent as the fly that hovers 'round the shit. In a hustler culture there's little distinction between the two.

Hustlers galore!

Even hustlers have ethics n rules.

9:47 AM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Eric Hoffer had some interesting things to say, and he says them in a rather straight forward aphoristic style. So, you either accept what he says or you don't. If you are looking for arguments as assertions backed up by cited facts you will be sorely disappointed.

His book The True Believers is the high point of his work.

11:18 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Check out recent bks by Sherry Turkle.


1:48 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


Just viewed the new cover image for "Counting Blessings" on amazon. Wow, what a great photo! I love yr suit, BTW. Is that yr grandfather sitting beside you? Jesus, this hasta be 1949-50 in Rochester, no?


2:43 PM  
Anonymous Chocoflan said...

Transcript of last night's "debate" (wink wink):


2:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yes, my grandfather, Rochester, 1949. I was such a smart dresser in those days (sigh).

Well, that was some debate last night. I thought Trumpo did very well, in fact, and the body language was a giveaway: he came off as alert and on top of things, she looked tired and washed out. Nevertheless, it seems very likely that she'll win the election. Get ready for 8 yrs of douchebaggery.


3:09 PM  
Anonymous Bingo said...

El Alamein: in reference to your comment about people not doing evil for money being worse, George Soros might be an exception to the rule. Good ole Ghiorghi Schwartz, who got his start in business by selling other Jews to the Nazis, and hasn’t eased up on the evil deeds since. Oh, and he’s a huge supporter of Hilary.

I think Hillary is reaching the limits of her medications. I think I spotted at least one partial seizure during the debate. Or, maybe she’s experiencing “partial death,” hence the flies. She’ll likely just die 6 months into her presidency. Then we’ll have Kaine run the place. During the VP debate he came across like a total pedophile, which, as a good Jesuit he likely is. And he probably tortured and murdered lots of people in South America during the 70s and 80s. He’s one scary S.O.B.

I guess when a country becomes as corrupt as this one, it opens itself up to invasion from all sorts of evil, such as the Jesuits. The Jesuits first took over the Vatican (with this current, first ever, Jesuit communist pope), and now they are moving on to a bigger hell hole of corruption: the USA. So if Hillary wins, we’ll have the Jesuits, the biggest pedophile sex trafficking cult in the world running America. Lovely!

As far as these Trump bashers go, the fact that so many people were successfully polarized against Trump, who is not a political figure with any political past by any relevant measure, only shows how stupid and manipulated the sheeple in this country are. The best thing during the debate may have been when he went after CNN and that sickening CIA douchebag, Anderson Cooper.

Have fun everybody! It’s going to be a fast ride… O&D.


1:45 AM  
Anonymous Michael said...

Wow wonderful photo cover MB

You can see all the wisdom in him and all the potential in you

6:57 AM  
Anonymous Dean said...

The Trump tape flap is a perfect example of the dysfunction of the liberal mind, infected with the disease of political correctness. Words mean much more than actual action. Words, in fact, are the only thing that matters. Real action is irrelevant.

Take Obama and his preemptive Nobel Peace prize. Important people said nice things about him which has given him a free hand at outbushing W on foreign policy (not to mention rights here at home -- NDAA, etc -- and the war on whistleblowers) all without a peep from the liberal masses.

As I've maintained before, liberal and progressive people are no less dumb than the rank and file dittoheads and Foxbots, or even the Trumpistas, on the right. The left I guess can make their unreasonable and cowardly, equivocating cases with a fuller vocabulary and more complex sentences though. So, they claim the high road.

Trump is too petulant, vapid, impulsive and inarticulate to turn the tables on Bill and Hill on the sexual deviance/disrespect front effectively. It will be interesting to see though if Trump continues to fall way behind in the polls and the establishment continues to abandon him how rogue he goes with those loose lips of his. The fear of that potentiality could explain why the RNC is continuing to try and stick it out with him.

9:06 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


It's pretty much a done deal. Hillary is pulling away from Trumpo in most polls; gap continues to grow. What faces us in Jan. is the beginning of our Weimar period. Sooner or later, a smooth fascist, who isn't a jackass, will emerge, and his constituency will be quite large.


Thank you. Yr rt, he was my role model.


Wild accusations, not much evidence (i.e., none).


10:43 AM  
Anonymous tam said...

"All six of America's 2016 Nobel Prize winners are immigrants"


No surprise for me. As a first-generation American, I have to battle the dumbing-down each and every day. So it's no wonder that the ones living here for generations are not even in the game. They're used to be being dopes.

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

I've noticed that most people that plan to vote for Jill Stein actually hate Hillary more than they hate Trump. I think this says something very important about contemporary American politics: the Democrats have become more purely corporatist than the Republicans. Conservatives, whatever their glaring faults, still do have certain beliefs that have nothing to do with money; they believe that abortion is immoral, that children should be raised by two parents, that children should respect their elders, etc. By contrast, the Democrats are solely focused on money; their obsession with feminism and identity politics is fundamentally about enriching women and homosexuals at the expense of everyone else. Their support for the TPP, their contempt for the working class, and their contempt for all forms of tradition and family life reveal that they value nothing except the bottom line. Having emptied themselves of all human values, the Democrats have made a fascist revolt inevitable.

2:37 PM  
Blogger Christopher said...

Oh great, the Jesuit conspiracy loons have found their way to Waferland. I hope the high concentrations of common sense here will act as an effective repellant.

2:48 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

As a proud custodian of two cats (Miles & Monk), it's never okay to just *grab* a pussy... I encourage all Wafers to join Pussies Against Trump (PAT).


WTF? Yr analysis is entertaining, of course, but where in the heck did all this come from? U need to get to a delicatessen, pronto. If it's not too much trouble, mon cher, please allow me to suggest:

pastrami on rye w/koleslovas and Russian dressing
side of potato salad
Cel-Ray tonic


ps: If available, a cherry turnover wouldn't hurt either...

4:10 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

I have always admired Andy Jackson, and placed him well outside the "hustler" stream of American politics.

Today, we have elites with hugely inflated opinions of themselves who have, essentially, lowlife tastes and proclivities. Trump is the obvious example. Extreme wealth and power in the service of the lowest possible pleasures: sport, cheap sex, tacky brands.

But Andrew Jackson lived in the opposite of this paradigm. He was a Tennessee hill country redneck that commissioned a mural of Homer's Odyssey in his residence. He was somebody entirely from and of the people whose tastes would be considered snobby today.

I bring him up because he came to mind with the latest Trump incident. I imagine Jackson would have used all kinds of obscene language all the time, and indeed there is a humorous story of his parakeet attesting to this fact. Yet, it would have had a time and place, and certainly stopped short of suggesting assault on women.

Jackson fought multiple duels to defend his wife's honor against charges of bigamy; Trump brags about random sexual assaults on strangers.

But both used foul language. This is the only thing a stunted American brain can note. Anglo-Americans replace morality with etiquette and have no true sense of either.

6:48 PM  
Blogger Jacob James said...

There's this great podcast called Chapo Trap House. Usually their episodes are filled with jokes and commentary. This episode was more serious and covered Human Rights Watch, Samantha Powers, and Colombia:


7:30 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...


Here's another funny one. It's Cenk Uygur of "The Young Turks" youtube channel talking about "lunatic" Alex Jones :


"Obama and Hillary both smell like sulphur" says Alex Jones. Now that's kind of funny in a weird way.

Alex Jones does bring up one legitimate, important question -- will Hillary be responsible for taking the USA into a war with Russia? Well, I really don't know, but Paul Craig Roberts is quite worried. So is Chris Martenson, and he's definitely on the level :


I try and pay attention to what Stephen Cohen has to say about current USA-Russia relations. He is not in panic mode but he's concerned too :


Isn't this an important issue? The US public is clueless and apathetic. Which is more sickening, the lies coming out of Washington or the stupidity, ignorance and apathy of US citizens?

6:59 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Wasn't able to post it (24-hr rule).


Well, Native Americans have a rather different view of AJ, as it turns out. There is a ton of lit on this.


I very much doubt that the Democratic goal is to enrich women and homosexuals at the expense of everyone else. However, they did sell out the working class and much of the middle class, and this is what has sparked the Trumpian revolt. What we are seeing is a class war. If Trump had more class in the sense of style, he probably wd have won this election. Which means that at some pt down the line, a classy fascist will emerge, and probably be more successful. Until that time, what we are looking at is more of the same: continuation of the Bush-Obama presidency in the form of slowly increasing disintegration of the country, the people, and the institutions. It will be pretty boring, really. We shd probably fold this blog and all go home.


10:24 AM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

Evolution at its best. A model of enviable beauty and charm.
A look that exudes aura of uncanny wisdom and intelligence.
Exquisite taste to match the sophistication...

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

"Which means that at some pt down the line, a classy fascist will emerge"

I think his name might be Eric Trump or Donald Trump Jr.

Both Trump's sons seem to exhibit a great deal more self-control than he does.

I also think that Trump might be trying more to establish a brand and a constituency, rather than win an election.

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

ACLU finds social media sites gave data to company tracking black protesters.

"Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have previously provided users’ data to a software company that aids police surveillance programs and targets protesters of color, according to government records obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The ACLU revealed on Tuesday that the technology corporations gave 'special access' to Geofeedia, a controversial social media monitoring company that partners with law enforcement and has marketed its services as a tool to track Black Lives Matter activists."

See: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/oct/11/aclu-geofeedia-facebook-twitter-instagram-black-lives-matter

2:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Clearly, American patriots!

Regarding Andy Jackson and Indians:




Roxanne's bk is also the best argument I've seen that from the 1st, American settlers were a violent, genocidal people. What we are getting today is called karma. Wafers, don' miss this bk!


4:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: and the guy hasn't even been arrested!:


ps2: one of my heroes:


4:59 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


Re: Andrew Jackson placed outside of the hustler stream

Are u kidding? Jackson was a land speculator, gambler, cotton planter, slave owner, and ruthless Indian killer. As president, he also gave us the spoils system: giving away top government posts to unelected cronies. Tocqueville, in "Journey to America," described Jackson as a shallow and unscrupulous demagogue. In addition, most scholars believe that Jackson's Indian Removal policy which led to the Trail of Tears was genocidal by intent and design. Even before that horrific crime was committed, Jackson forced the entire Creek Nation in 1814 to cede 23 million acres--half of the future state of Alabama to the US--after defeating them at the battle of Horseshoe Bend. Anyway, plenty of evidence that AJ belongs in America's Hustler Hall of Fame, no doubt about it.


6:00 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Jim J - ..."most people that plan to vote for Jill Stein actually hate Hillary more than they hate Trump..."

Place me in that category. Trump is a vile human being, the hustler personified, and is stirring up right wing populism to a highly dangerous degree. That said, it is really hard to take him seriously, or to think that he will have the discipline to overcome the enormous bureaucratic and political obstacles he would face. Hillary and her sexual predator husband (who is probably relieved that his "locker room banter" has never been recorded) are inhuman monsters who are already responsible for destroying the lives and livelihoods of countless millions of people around the globe.

As for a any liberal who might seek to blame me for supporting Stein if Trump were to win, I see three advantages of him prevailing in November:

1). The hideous Clinton political dynasty will finally be destroyed as the Bushes have already been.

2). Our idiot allies might finally be so horrified by what America has become to stop cooperating as we wantonly try to destroy any nation that dare oppose magnificent hegemony.

3). Trump's admiration for Putin seems sincere enough that we might not get into WW 3 over Syria or Crimea.

8:54 PM  
Anonymous Aves said...


The War Against Columbus Day

7:21 AM  
Anonymous Goddess said...

Columbia [British Columbia, District of Columbia , Columbia River , Columbia Motion Pictures, Republic of Columbia] Colon, Columbus - invocations of the feminized Chris ... Kind of a fun question, Is Columbia the goddess of America ? Europe has a goddess in Europa ( or at least a heroin ) , who is the feminized persona to America ? Or is it Our Lady of Guadalupe ?


7:24 AM  
Anonymous Michel said...

Oh, wow, the Great Italian Playwright dies.

Who are some of your favorite living playwrights?


7:28 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

A couple good articles:



From the latter: "Consumerism fills the social void. But far from curing the disease of isolation, it intensifies social comparison to the point at which, having consumed all else, we start to prey upon ourselves."

That Monbiot article may hit home with some WAFers, especially since (as has been expressed on the blog many, many times) becoming a WAFer can be rather isolating.

I tend to use nature (where I love being alone, people make too much noise!) and watching non-American sports (Soccer/Rugby) at the bar as palliatives. It's refreshing to be among 100 Kiwi ex-pats! I've also become a huge fan of super complicated board games which I play with family mostly (or the family of geekdom). Most are very non-tech oriented, and it's an interesting experience spending 3 hours playing a game like this: (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/12333/twilight-struggle). No phone, no TV, often even no music, just you and your cards.

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Stitches said...

Nothing against anyone's personal music tastes, but I think it is a serious joke that the committee elected Bob Dylan the 2016 Nobel literature prize....

Like a committee rolling / stoned

10:07 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Truly bizarre. I cd never get into his stuff, personally. It's truly amazing that the Nobel committee wd pick Dylan over, say, Philip Roth.


As Roxanne notes, in the US butchers become heroes--and presidents!


10:34 AM  
Anonymous Dean said...

I can understand the inclination, even the natural proclivity, to cling to some aspects and characters of our national mythology. It's hard to dismiss it all, out of hand, when that indoctrination was laid in so heavily with our intellectual foundation. Andrew Jackson seems to be one of those that are especially hard to let go of.

Thomas Paine is about the only character I can muster any real affinity for anymore, and he wasnt an original US of American -- so to speak. It's telling that Washington and others abandoned him in that French prison and were content to let him die/be killed and that when he did make it out and back to the US, he was ostracized. All he had to sell was ideas. How un- US of American!

As for Tim Kaine, (setting aside the Jesuit conspiracy screed) I wouldn't be surprised if he was doing some dirty work when he was in Central America. He strikes me as a total establishment hack, an opportunistic sellout goofball -- one who is willing to carry water, however and wherever, without any real need or desire to be in the room, or even the building, where and when the water is poured. He's perfect for the Clintons in their second go around.

Actually, I see some potential parallels with Truman emerging with Kaine; in that he could ascend to the presidency at a time of world war, having been kept completely in the dark, and carrying the psychological scars (and chip on the shoulder) of someone shaped and shamed by being perceived as a weakling.

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Celery Tonic said...

Re: Dylan winning the Nobel. The author of Trainspotting said it best:

"I'm a Dylan fan, but this is an ill conceived nostalgia award wrenched from the rancid prostates of senile, gibbering hippies..."

10:45 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Dear Dr. Berman and Wafers,

I grew up in East Tennessee near where Andrew Jackson lived and therefore have found the discussion about him rather interesting. My father, who was always proud of his roots, had absolutely no respect for Andrew Jackson. He told the story many times of how Andrew Jackson engineered the "Trail of Tears", a forced march of Cherokee Indians from their ancestral homelands in the southern Appalachians to exile in Oklahoma. Many thousands of Cherokees died along the way, notably women and children. Oklahoma was nothing like the lush hills of Appalachia, so the Cherokees suffered there, even if they survived the forced march. A few Cherokees hid out in the highest mountains and later formed their own reservation near Cherokee, North Carolina. They still perform a play about the Trail of Tears each year.


Karma being what it is, Andrew Jackson's homeplace in ELizabethon, Tennessee was razed several years back, and a convenience store was erected in its place. The people of East Tennessee, it seems, have no love for Andrew Jackson.

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Two options remain:

1: stay in the failed "experiment" and play mental masturbation with loneliness and solitude.
2. Leave the cesspool and start living. "get busy livin' or get busy dying.

There's no more really, other than watching, replaying, and discussing a very bad movie with shyster americans trying to fuck over each for a buck while gulping burnt cafe and racking up debt to keep up with the Jones.

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Dr. Berman and Wafers,

So sorry to post twice in rapid succession, but I want to apologize to Miles. I didn't see that he already referred to the Trail of Tears. Sorry Miles. Maybe my local slant on the topic added a little to the discussion.

11:24 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

I am judging Jackson in the context of Americanism, which is always and everywhere an imperial project. Genocide of the indigenous is a basic historical fact of the New World. Nowhere from Canada to Chile has the native population been afforded an untouched existence, with varying degrees of forcible integration. That is a more general history not confined to the USA.

His slave-holding is more of a moral black spot in my judgement, but it goes back to what Dr. B said about the south - the only part of the country that cared for something beyond the dollar also owned slaves. We need to note and appreciate the tragic paradox, instead of accept the Yankee victor version of history.

Jackson is hated by the mainstream today because he was the only major American political figure to ever successfully face down northeast finance. He called the Bank of the United States a "den of vipers and thieves." This history must be erased from the consciousness of the modern bank serf.

Instead, we get Broadway hits lauding the odious Alexander Hamilton, founder of the state-corporate financial mafia.

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Belinda Jesup said...

Dr. Berman,

I have been visiting this blog for a long time and I would like to say thank you for your work and your willingness to keep this blog in operation. It has turned out to be, for me, a space where I can relate to voices of reason and rationality – a virtual support group, if you will.

Nowadays I am on the path as a NMI. Mr. Jesup and I do our best to stay away from technology; we try to get outside as much as possible, listen to symphonies on the record player and have recently acquired traveling easels where I am showing a lively enthusiasm (but lacking in any talent) for watercolor. We have Boccherini, Poulenc, a museum membership and our library to bolster our spirits in our paroled hours away from work, however it is a lonely and unkind place for these two lotuses outside our retreat. (The people who we know socially bang on incessantly about some utterly stupid and vapid media distraction or their latest purchase or some techno brain-control device.)

Thank you again, Dr. Berman and WAFERS. Your voices are a welcome and necessary counterpoint to the ad nauseam inane bile of modern America.

Kind Regards,


1:00 PM  
Anonymous Tom Andalou said...


Interesting i never thought id hear Chomsky on Lacan, Derrida, Slavov Zizek... His take on postmodernist thought. Pretty convincing even though I always really liked Lacan

1:31 PM  
Anonymous Serendipity Sent Me said...

Wafers like to rock, right?!


2:00 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...


#3 is a very powerful reason to prefer Trump to Hillary. I'd like to add the following:

4.) Trump opposes the TPP, which would establish a worldwide corporate dictatorship; Hillary calls this vile document the "gold standard".

5.) Trump is far more honest about what he really intends to do if he is elected president; Hillary does nothing but lie, equivocate and mislead.

6.) Hillary is smart enough to make her destructive plans materialize; Trump is stupid enough that he might not actually inflict the kind of damage he wants to inflict.

3:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The guy is toast. He's a turkey, and he shot himself in the foot.


Thank you. Yr on the rt track. Yr neighbors are morons, and America is totally and utterly fucked. Pls read Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, "Indigenous Peoples' History." We need to close up shop, declare that the whole expt was a mistake, and apologize to the rest of the world.


Roxanne's bk might change yr mind, altho yr right abt the banks.

Mike R.-

Option 3: NMI. See Twilight book.


I'm beginning to wonder if the Nobels in Peace and Lit have any real meaning at all.


4:57 PM  
Anonymous Ryan said...

Forget Bob Dylan! A powerful New Yorker article on Ursula K. Le Guin, who has not yet received the Nobel Prize for Literature:


5:14 PM  
Blogger Sanguillen39 said...

The first 10 or so comments following the article are rather telling:


My question to this blog is: Has there ever been such an uproar in regards to voter fraud PRIOR to any US presidential election?

5:23 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...


Yes, yr point about the genocide of indigenous peoples occurring before AJ is an absolute fact, but before AJ declared his belief that America was exclusively a "white man's country," the US did, in fact, recognize the standing and self government of American Indian tribes. John Marshall and the SC essentially recognized and acknowledged the inherent right of each tribe to sovereignty on their tribal lands. But AJ ignored the Supreme Court and the Constitution. The result was the complete betrayal of the Cherokee Nation by AJ, the betrayal of the US itself for greed and hustling, and the destruction of the five civilized tribes.

In terms of Alexander Hamilton, it's a mixed bag, IMO. According to Ron Chernow's biography, Hamilton was a lifelong abolitionist and had a decidedly enlightened opinion of Indians as well. Hamilton consistently supported peaceful relations w/various Indian tribes. Be sure to check out the history of Hamilton College. Of course, this may have something to do w/Federalist paternalism, but Hamilton, as a trustee of this institution, accepted Indian students as well as whites.


7:03 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

I was lucky enough to spend this past week up in Canada--just over the border north of Niagara Falls. Once again, I am amazed at how much warmer and friendlier average Canadians you meet on the streets are than Americans, even in a place where they can literally see the U.S. right across the river.

The wife and I visited Ft. George, which was a key installation during the War of 1812, in which the U.S.'s major war aim was to invade Canada and ultimately drive the British out of North America. It was interesting to visit an historical site where the history is written from point of view of the other side. While there, I purchased a book called "For Honour's Sake," a Canadian historian's account of the war. While the book doesn't completely let the British off the hook for actions such as the forcible impressment of American seamen, the author makes it readily clear that the war was a true American folly. Of particular note was that America's "leadership" at the time was particularly frustrated because they expected the majority of British Canadians to side with the U.S. and rise up against the crown. It didn't happen, in part because the Canadians were not interested in American-style rapacious economic expansion. It reminded me of what Dr. Berman wrote in WAF about the economic causes of the Civil War.

Oh, and the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake was having its annual George Bernard Shaw festival in which four local theaters put on his plays and other classics ("Our Town" was one this past week). Don't see that in many American small towns.

7:27 PM  
Anonymous John said...

When I see the hustlers that have crushed lives to make a buck and then blamed the rest of us for our poverty and indebtedness , smacking us upside the head about faux American meritocracy, I'm reminded of a quote by Stephen Jay Gould:

" I am somehow less interested in the weight and convolutions of Einstein's brain than in the near certainty that people of equal talent have lived and died in cotton fields and sweatshops."

Substitute cotton fields and sweatshops for cubicles and Uber rides and you get present-day America. I wonder what could be achieved if people weren't being destroyed by student loan debt.....oh well...the average American doesn't care...

Wafers, check out Henry Giroux's new book, " America at War with Itself"

12:10 PM  
Anonymous SaintMonday said...

@Bill Hicks

If you want a good cultural study of Canada along the lines of WAF check out A Fair Country by John Ralston Saul, excellent book.

1:15 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Andrew Jackson cuts a heroic figure only by contrast. Almost 250 years of representative government, and we have had precisely one - ONE - presidential representative publicly and vehemently condemn the banking establishment in explicitly moral terms and successfully deny them in principle, not merely as some kind of negotiating standpoint. The fact that it took Andrew Jackson to do this shows just how spineless and craven the northeastern establishment really is.

@Bill Hicks

One of the most infuriating things about the US is the relationship to Britain. I can excitedly get behind the idea of kicking out the Brits and enjoying national self-determination, and the American Rev. can be seen as the starting point several for centuries of international anti-colonial rebellion.

However, in spite of this independence, Americans today, especially academics, are totally fawning of all things British. It seems the country has slid from the day of the revolution, when France was the ally and Britain was the enemy, to the exact opposite. Today, Americans hate all things French and embrace the worst manifestations of British culture - the royal celebrity family, tabloidism, extreme social inequality. It is as if Britain has entirely reclaimed the US.

Our shameful stance in the Falkland Islands war is the best example of this. Instead of embracing our Spanish-speaking American hermanos y hermanas, we kiss up to the Brits. Forget the Monroe doctrine - Britain is welcome to do what they want in our hemisphere.

Add to this the fact that most Americans think anybody with a British accent is immediately intelligent and sophisticated, and you wonder what the problem with the British ever was in the first place.

4:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Cdn't post it (half page maximum).


5:22 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Aww, what a delightful sentiment from Belinda... Jesus, who wouldn't want to hang out w/Belinda and Mr. Jesup, right? Incidentally, since Waferism is now an international phenomenon, I think the time has come for us to create a Wafer app. What I have in mind is something comparable to Tinder -- a way for Wafers to find other Wafers, locally and globally. We could simply call this app, "Wafer". I tell ya, the functionality of "Wafer" could be revolutionary: from the simple Wafer hook-up in a museum, bar, or delicatessen, right down to a full-blown Wafer romance and the possibility of Waferkindern. We could assemble our individual profiles from things that distinguish us as Wafers. Things like:

favorite sonnet
favorite work of literature
favorite classical artist
favorite deli meat
favorite vegetarian dish (for vegan Wafers)
favorite jazz LP
favorite nickname for MB
favorite American douche bag

What do u guys think?


5:34 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

The end of our long national electioneering nightmare is in sight (insert appropriate ironicon here). And the year draws to a close. A time to look back at where we've been.

1. Wells Fargo CEO John Gerard Stumpf retires, leaving with some nice parting gifts:


2. Comcast is fined $2.3 million for charging customers for services not agreed to or contracted for. (Is there an echo in here?)


3. And AT&T, in return for allowing scammers to charge AT&T customers a monthly fee for "sham directory assistance service," received a fee from the crooks:

"AT&T will pay $7.75 million in refunds and fines after federal investigators found it allowed unauthorized third-party charges related to phony directory-assistance service on its customers’ telephone bills, U.S. regulators said on Monday [8 August]."


Is this a country worth saving? WAFers want to know.

[Apologies MB for my earlier prolixity.]

5:35 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

It's easy to project today's circumstances onto the past. America was not an isolated Shining City Upon a Hill until 1898 when financial interests dragged the populace kicking and screaming into the Great Game based on yellow journalism. America was born into the Great Game, and Hamilton was prescient enough to realize that Britain would try to use its commercial power as a weapon to crush the nascent United States, which needed to become a mercantile force of its own to survive. The great disruption came with the Industrial Revolution, which rendered Jefferson's vision obsolete and turned the more admirable Enlightenment-era hustling of Benjamin Franklin into mass exploitation that Southerners could correctly decry as the economic, if not moral, equivalent of slavery. This required the Second American Revolution, and the labor wars which could arguably be considered the Third.

5:55 PM  
Anonymous Serendipity Sent Me said...

To Counting Blessings!


6:23 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

I'm kvelling that Bob Dylan won the Nobel Literature Prize meaning that now other songwriters are now eligible to win. Thus, I wish to place in nomination for next year's prize, my favorite composer, Chip Taylor, who penned the beautiful, near ethereal words to, yes. Wild Thing:
Wild thing. You make my heart sing
You make everything groovy, wild thing.
Wild thing, I think I love you
But I want to know for sure.
Come on and hold me tight.
I love you.

7:51 PM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

Matt Taibbi's latest commentary on the Trump saga is both funny and on target, as usual. He has said something that was lurking at the back of my thoughts on this, but couldn't quite form into words. This is what Trump really means for the US historically:

The Fury and Failure of Donald Trump

That such a small man would have such an awesome impact on our nation's history is terrible, but it makes sense if you believe in the essential ridiculousness of the human experience. Trump picked exactly the wrong time to launch his mirror-gazing rampage to nowhere. He ran at a time when Americans on both sides of the aisle were experiencing a deep sense of betrayal by the political class, anger that was finally ready to express itself at the ballot box.

The only thing that could get in the way of real change – if not now, then surely very soon – was a rebellion so maladroit, ill-conceived and irresponsible that even the severest critics of the system would become zealots for the status quo.

In the absolute best-case scenario, the one in which he loses, this is what Trump's run accomplished. He ran as an outsider antidote to a corrupt two-party system, and instead will leave that system more entrenched than ever. If he goes on to lose, he will be our Bonaparte, the monster who will continue to terrify us even in exile, reinforcing the authority of kings.

9:51 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Right Wing NUT Bombing Crew Thwarted...are we going to start seeing more and more of this? Not all will be thwarted.


11:59 PM  
Blogger Yossi said...

As a Brit I agree with most of that, although many of us think that we are far too in thrall to the US and are basically the 51st state. Many people here fawn over all thing US and our Government does whatever it is told to do by the White House and Pentagon. Not sure that quoting the Monroe doctrine and referring to "our hemisphere" is a particularly Waferish thing to do. I thought that Wafers would be opposed to US exceptionalism

6:24 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

WAFER DioGenes brings up a provocative point--americans obcession with all things British. The "sophisticated" accents, royal family gossip, and who's zooming who rumors/celebs, vast income inequality etc.... basically, father america with health care. We're they're perverted son.

France is a REAL democracy, have real balls, real health care (one of the best in the world, not #37 american "health" "care") yet, the propaganda media/"news" likes to stigmatize the French as weak, snotty, (freedom fries--more like fraud us fries) etc....Remember in the past, in Paris, farm workers were pissed about a certain tax, and unloaded tons of horse/cow manure onto the City. TONS of it all over famous monuments.

The Govt enacted change. If fact, French law, ANY law that is passed by parliament can be revoked in ~30 days upon CITIZEN protest and amount of citizen recall votes. The taxes actually DO something--other than war mongoring, presidential BS "libraries" (nothing more than shrines for fraudsters/ criminals) and yankee doodle dipshits just smile, clap, and nod. Moreover, you MUST help a French person in need--urgent matter, fell down, medical issue, accident, etc.. until authorities arrive. Otherwise, prison. Compliance is very high. COuld you imagine this in america, shyster lawyered up, citizens saying it's not my fucking job to help anyone.

Could you imagine americans dropping animal feces in the city by the tons? Probably "too busy," smiling self pictures, smiling narcopathic faces hugging dogs, sports fanaticism, misspelled signs, drum banging, and some sloganeering as they cut back to the weekly earnings reports and which celeb has a great tuchas.

Thank you Dr. Berman re: NMI--helps tremendously.

11:25 AM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

The rich are funding new police surveillance systems around the country:

I like the name of one spy technology company, "Persistent Surveillance Systems." Appropriately, the Texas philanthropist started as an Enron trader who got rich and transmuted into a billionaire hedge fund manager. The Merican way! Privatization of resources funding public functions like police are one more sign of O&D.

11:29 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

El Al-

Not much kicking and screaming. Populace largely supported our imperial adventures of 1898 and after.


11:31 AM  
Anonymous David G. said...

Apparently my home state of Oregon is a leader in right-wing armed "patriot" groups. I just read this in a new report from a non-profit organization:

Up in Arms: A Guide to Oregon's Patriot Movement

Yay, Oregon! Dr. B suggests that revolution will come from the right, not the left. Is this what we have to look forward to?

David G.

1:00 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@Bill Hicks,

Most of the Canadians I have met have been nicer than your typical American. I think the Canadians benefit from having a connection with the Old World through Great Britain and, in the case of Quebec, France. Because of that they still have a connection to the anti-hustling traditions of old Europe. The Canadian philosopher George Grant has written extensively on the subject of why Canadians should resist the influence of the United States.

A video of an interview with George Grant from 1973:


A Canadian news program discusses George Grant's work. Notice how unlike American news shows the Canadians aren't screaming and insulting each other.

Still Lamenting for a Nation?


1:24 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I'll try a short post, as my three-paragraph post yesterday didn't make it through to the blog.

I like that Matt Taibbi article, Savantesimal, although one quibble I have with it is that the presidential campaign isn't so much like the Ali-Frazier fight as it is like professional wrestling. It's as polarised, loud and fake as any WWF contest.

1:36 PM  
Blogger Christopher said...

MB said:

"Not much kicking and screaming. Populace largely supported our imperial adventures of 1898 and after."


Due in no small part to extensive propaganda efforts. But that only goes to confirm one of your fundamental observations: Americans are just dumb and unable to see when they're being propagandized. Chomsky is simply wrong about this.

1:48 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, never got yr previous post. Thanks for this one (tho I'm not sure I agree).

Wafers in Mexico City-

I was asked to give a commentary on the situation in the US following the 3rd debate on Oct. 19; in English, for some odd reason. Anyway, the party begins at 8pm at the restaurant Pinche Gringo(!) in Colonia Narvarte, Cumbres de Maltrata 360. (It's near Universidad and Dr. Vertiz.) Be sure to say hi, if you attend.

Y'all will be glad to hear that for the 1st time, the Wash Post compared our situation to Weimar. Are they reading this blog?

O&D, chicos-


2:44 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...


Well, it's funny, because Nigel Farage of the Brexit, ostensibly the most famous and influential British nationalist, spends his time hanging out with Donald Trump. The upshot of the Brexit seems to be that Britain will only become less European and more American, with China serving as a kind of toxic industrial park for both nations, increasingly compromised of a massive underclass, small professional class of indentured debt servants, and sociopathic upper crust of non-productive finance and tech tycoons.

I am not so much an advocate of American exceptionalism as I am of pan-Americanism. Note that in South America this kind of solidarity is a natural and obvious fact of life. Any South American leader that bent over backwards to maintain a "relación especial" with Spain would be seen as nuts, and regressing backwards in terms of national development. But the US and Canada both seem to have this British crutch, and suffer under a sort of inferiority complex, even when, in the case of the US, hatred of the British is what starts the national story.

The founding fathers chose no national language; I have heard that they almost considered going French. They had as close to a tabula rasa in culture as you are ever going to get, and if you look at the founding documents, they are not really very British at all - more French in revolutionary fervor, more Roman in exaggeration and grandeur. But over time, it seems like we fell right back into codependent British vices.

If only Napoleon hadn't needed to sell Louisiana...

2:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: forgot to give u guys the title of my little talk: "Finally, the Class War Is out in the Open."

2:50 PM  
Anonymous Dean said...

Speaking of the UK and how they and the US mirror each other...This article struck me for how in sync the progressive perspectives are in the two countries:


Anyway, UK will be interesting to watch. Might be fortunate time for them to be untethered. Perhaps Old England will stumble in to being a quaint backwater where relocalization and zero growth take hold. We might even get an old school, for real city-state (London) in the process.

Does punk rock count as craft, Dr. B?

For the life of me though, I can't understand why they (and Germany and France, for that matter) are being so belligerent towards Russia. Are they stupid, suicidal, masochistic? May and Johnson must be counting on the pond to protect them.

4:04 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

I realize I worded my prior statement poorly. I was intending to ridicule the characterization that the American people were dragged kicking and screaming, not endorse it. I believe WAF quotes Robert Kagen's account of a Congressman visiting Europe in 1819 and finding that everyone he spoke to "appeared to be profoundly impressed with with the idea that we were an ambitious and encroaching people".

In response to Christopher's comment, I think a good portion of Americans realize that what they're hearing is propaganda, but just don't care. The Iraq War was right in line with that. Americans just wanted to kick some Muslim ass and didn't much care about the specifics. I guarantee you that if the war hadn't been such a gigantic disaster, no one would care that the whole thing was based on transparent falsehoods. The First Gulf War was similarly fallacious in its underlying reasoning, but we won so you never hear about the doctored satellite photos or the incubator charade or April Glasbie.

5:40 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

There's hope yet that American technodouchebaggery might be the PEACEFUL undoing of the country--in the form of couples not reproducing because the women would rather post stupid shit on Facebook:

"According to the study, women spend 12-hours more a week checking emails, sending texts, or surfing social media than they do with their loved one. Researchers also found that if people are unable to be on their phones, it leads to stress, anger and panic. A fifth of those surveyed said it would be harder to be without a phone for a week than their partner."


@Savantesimal - I like Tabbi, but I think he's being shortsighted by assuming that American politics will return to "normal," after flirting with populism the way it has in the past. Historically, populism has been on the rise during tough economic times, and subsequent recoveries have dried up its support. That isn't going to happen this time. Ever worsening prospects for the bottom 80% are eventually going to result in the placement of a dangerous authoritarian populist in the White House with the backing of the more opportunist elites. That's when it will be game over for American "democracy."

7:02 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

MB, Wafers-

Speaking of Weimar, please allow me to put in a plug for Eric Weitz, professor of history at the City College of New York. Weitz is an expert on modern Germany, the Weimar Republic, and the rise of the Nazis and the Holocaust. So impressed with Weitz, I wrote to him to express my gratitude and admiration for his work, expertise, and his clear-headed political and historical analysis. Here's a recent interview he conducted about the rise of Hitler and fascist trends in Europe and the US:


In our correspondence, I raised my concerns about severe economic inequality, racial scapegoating, and the fact that Americans don't really understand how dangerous the Trump phenomenon/movement is. Weitz seemed to agree that these are troubled times to be sure, but finally told me to be more "optimistic" about the future, and our ability to solve pressing social issues of our time. I was somewhat disappointed that he wasn't more pessimistic. Nevertheless, Dr. Weitz is a very gracious and congenial person as well as a first-rate historian.


7:13 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...

Some things that have happened to me recently:

1.) Someone told me in all seriousness that the physical attractiveness of their lovers is a wonderful reason to vote for Trump or Hillary, and that because Trump bangs so many gorgeous women, we should vote for him;

2.) Someone told me in all seriousness that failing to vote for Hillary Clinton is misogynistic, even if she is a war criminal that plans on killing millions of people, including hundreds of thousands of women.

3.) Someone told me in all seriousness that black violence does not exist, and that any murder black people commit, including the murder of infants, is in self-defense.

You can't make this stuff up. Even the most brilliant writer of all time could never imagine any of this. We are witnessing a class war, a race war and a sex war all at the same time. The American populace will become ever more fragmented until there are so many hostile factions among the populace that no two individuals could ever belong to all the same groups; the result will be a Hobbesian war of all against all. Political unity will only exist periodically among small numbers of people, and only for the purpose of harming rival factions. We already see a prelude to this state of affairs with groups like Black Lives Matter and White Lives Matter, which do not recognize the humanity of other races. These groups aren't going away; they will proliferate until they have consumed the body politic. At that point, we may actually see a civil war.

8:05 PM  
Anonymous Bingo said...

@Tom Servo,
I also noticed Canadians to be friendlier. Here in Florida I seem to get along much better with Canadians than Americans. The Americans seem to have trouble forming and maintaining relationships. They are also very defensive, possibly stemming out of narcissism (which really defines this nation) and from the constant rejection that they inflict on one another.

In my assessment, Britain has a very distinct culture. I certainly hope it will not become more American. Hopefully the US picks up a few things from Britain.

But Britain should exit the EU. The problem with the EU is that it has become a neoliberal scam (it didn’t use to be this way 20 or 30 years ago), so Britain will be better off to exit, and just focus on the Commonwealth. The EU is great at one thing: taking an otherwise wonderful country, ruining it, and tormenting its population in the process. And it does that with a sadistic smile, and an unbearable air of superiority.

Before I returned to the US I lived and practiced psychology in Gibraltar, a wonderful tiny British territory in the south of Spain. But it was under constant harassment from Spain, with tacit EU support. Things like waiting 6 hours in border queues, constant innuendos of invasion, constant demands that Gibraltar return to “mother” Spain (after 300 years of being part of Britain, with 99.9% of the population having voted repeatedly against it). Constant Guardia Civil boats ramming into British boats (they even rammed into a US nuclear submarine). Half of the population of Gibraltar suffered from anxiety disorders, depression. What drove the EU crazy was that Britain (and Gibraltar for that matter) did not just crumble before the unelected EU dictatorship. So Britain will do well to exit, and take Gibraltar with it. Maybe others will follow. Hopefully Eastern Europe.


5:23 AM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

The column titled "The lid is off" by Charles Eisenstein (linked below) while not addressing the Class War directly, is still trying to discuss related issues. I thought you and other Wafers might appreciate it:


Best Wishes,

10:22 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Actually, at the end of his essay Matt predicted that things were going to get worse.


12:58 PM  
Anonymous John said...

I love this blog and the discussions on it but I unequivocally reject the notion that Black Lives Matter is predicated on the idea that other lives dont matter,it's just saying that black lives should matter too, and I agree, they need to matter first to black people who should be focused on unity and not self-hatred and self-destruction. Of course, we know that black lives don't matter in the US, they never have..... but BLM is an attempt to say they do.....Tubman, Sojourner,King, Malcolm, Ida B. Wells,Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, etc....have said the same things in their own way

2:40 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

American poet Charles Bukowski: “The problem was you had to keep choosing between one evil or another, and no matter what you chose, they sliced a little bit more off you, until there was nothing left. At the age of 25 most people were finished. A whole god-damned nation of assholes driving automobiles, eating, having babies, doing everything in the worst way possible, like voting for the presidential candidates who reminded them most of themselves. I had no interests. I had no interest in anything. I had no idea how I was going to escape. At least the others had some taste for life. They seemed to understand something that I didn’t understand. Maybe I was lacking. It was possible. I often felt inferior. I just wanted to get away from them. But there was no place to go.”

6:22 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Here's Bill Maher talking about what happens after the election and Clinton win...he thinks Trumps Deplorable "Knuckle Draggers" are going to rise up.


7:09 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

For all the US/Canada comparisons- you need go no further than the border at Detroit and Windsor. On one side of the river, you have a quiet, unassuming Great Lakes town where young couples still have kids and normal people have houses, cars, and health care. On the other side, you have a place where at least 70 percent of the city is uninhabitable, and murder cases are so backed up in the system, people get killed without much consequence all the time.

Everything the US says about Latin America looks very true of it from north of the border.

8:36 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yr attacking a straw man, as far as I can see. No one on this blog, to my knowledge, ever said that BLM is predicated on the notion that other lives don't matter. I certainly don't believe that. I also want to add that in the US, *no* lives matter, except those of the ruling class.


11:16 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

The prison will not allow the prisoners to "rise up" nor enact this delusional "revolution." The national "guard," propaganda "media," and the IRS will ensure that the prisoners remain willing and able participants in this corporate fraud called america. Also, FATCA, global tax reporting, high cost/taxes to renounce, and other very uniquely american money control will keep the slaves abroad--slaves-employees.

In the mean time, americans will remain very obsessed with hustling, self pictures, smiling parables/mission statements and other misdirects to avoid reality. It's a form of mental illness. And then the Christmas tymes come along with lovey dovey feelings, buy shit and pretend to care, until another year of nothing.

As Dr. Berman states, the us populace has no identity other than work, techno bullshit, and consuming dreck. Scratch the surface towards reality--and they become enraged--narcissitic rage-Cluster B mentally deranged us individuals.

12:09 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greeetings MB and Wafers,

Here we go again dept.:


Oh, sure, the sky's the limit, Bernie! Where do I sign up? Jesus, progressive delusions knows no bounds. I think I'm gonna vomit.

Miles the gastralgic

12:57 PM  
Anonymous John said...

It's all good, I was just responding to Jim Jardashian when he wrote that BLM doesn't recognize the humanity of other races. But anyway, you're right, the cruel economic system in America will attack you irrespective of color

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Jim_Jardashian said...


What an eloquent description of contemporary America. It's especially true of my home state, New Jersey. Here, most people are enraged every waking moment of their lives; their faces are permanently twisted into hateful scowls. The flagrant narcissism exhibited by nearly everyone is so noxious that even leaving one's home is intolerable.

8:47 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

WHAT KIND of "Police Chief" would actually encourage US citizens to pick up torches and pitchforks and revolt?


10:19 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

“Depths are on the surface,” as Wittgenstein put it; what you see is what you get'' #praisingtheshadows https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSxcXdXqLvA

10:54 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

As I see it, the problem with BLM is that of all organized movements aligned with one of the political parties: How much are they pressuring the system into achieving their goals vs. how much are they being played? I am not a supporter of the Tea Party by any means, but they were absolutely being made fools of by the Republican establishment, which essentially used them to disrupt Obama's presidency without any realistic hope of delivering on the promises they made these people. Of course not counting the ones that also helped the big donor class and that they were perfectly well dedicated to before 2008 (i.e. low taxes, deregulation, etc).

The big questions is what is BLM going to accomplish? This is an election year and the movement announced no legitimate political goals until its moment in the sun had passed. Did they come out for reform of the criminal justice system, opposition to the drug war or privatized prisons? Did they speak meaningfully to the larger systemic issues of poverty an dlack of economic opportunity? Individual voices within the movement did, but it all got lost in the shuffle. Ultimately what BLM managed to communicate to the masses was "some/many white people are racist and that's bad". While this message may be enough to anger some right-wingers and generate cheap controversy, it's not going to pressure the Democratic Party to do anything other than make grand speechs about the evils of bigotry while allowing the middle class becomes the working poor and the working poor essentially become wards of the state with no future. Thus, while the plight of the black underclass is real and the supporters of BLM undoubtedly sincere, they are on the same treadmill to nowhere ever since the Civil Rights movement.

11:10 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'm also guessing that there's a small % of the black population that is very rich, and which may be part of the ruling class. There was a bk written on the subject a few yrs ago, I forget the title.


10:07 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Then there's this:

"A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves and traitors are not victims... but accomplices."—George Orwell

10:08 AM  

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