November 26, 2016

3rd Interview with the Geopolitics Institute, Guadalajara

Here you go, Wafers: a recent, short interview with these folks once again. Hope you enjoy it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emZS4lwgTZ8

188 Comments:

Anonymous Mike R. said...

Thank you Dr. Berman for another excellent interview.

Have been reading the former MB blogs and an curious re: the 'angry drunk uncle;' the robust rage and/or intense hostility that is presented when americans are confronted with reality and/or a basic critique to themselves, their "country," etc...Eyes darting, red faced, pupils dilating, pressured speech, emotional-profanity laced outbursts, condescending/smug-snarky remarks, loud articulations, psycho-motor agitations--it truly is an american mental derangement of someone who has lost contract with reality---akin to psychosis.

The question is: has there been any empirical research, or pathopsychology/social science research that has delved into this american phenomena? I am sure many WAFERS have been dismissed and/or marginalised by family, friends when relaying truth--branding of the negative nellie, stop being pessimistic, getta life, enough already, go flya kite----that is one way of americans reacting to truth--trivialisation/branding/mute button. The other is the angry drunk uncle.

It appears that this american psychological derangement requires further intensive study; perhaps, comparing how other countries react to reality, truth, and contrarian-critical viewpoints. E.g., In france, folks frequently raise their voices (not aggression) it's passion and strength/intelligence-- criticism is seen as strength, not polly anna happy talk----their entire educational system is built on criticism on the a score 20--no one achieving 19,20 as there's always room for improvement, reflection, and growth.

9:38 AM  
Blogger jml said...

I just discovered that Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education is married to the former CEO of Amway, in fact he is the son of the founder. You just can't make this stuff up.

Onward and Downward.

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Tabby said...

https://ww2.kqed.org/news/2016/11/05/how-a-farmworker-company-town-is-taking-shape-in-the-salinas-valley/

Fantastic piece, dual process?

Thanks for the new lecture I'll start listening now!

11:12 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Wafers,

You have to check this out. The techno douchebags came up with an app called "Happy". You really can't make that stuff up:

"Wouldn't it be nice if you could tap a button and hear a voice," he recalls, over the phone, "and for that person to give me as much time as I needed? For it to be a regular person with extraordinary abilities, who understood what I was going through? And for all of that to be anonymous, affordable?"

http://www.vice.com/en_uk/read/this-app-is-like-uber-but-for-unlicensed-therapists

Kanye

1:15 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...


As the GSWH Belman pointed out, hopey-changey was only about getting the "mercedez benz."
A new generation of hustlers -colored hustlers mind you, the likes of Oprah n Codoleezze.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yC3uxBIHDZY
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tGuJ34062s

Obanga is the reason why we got Trump. It is the shit and the fly, law of cause-n-effect.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aBmbUkkIGc

7:09 PM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

Not so long ago I saw an episode of "Jeopardy" with one category devoted to endangered species. Each clue offered footage of these beautiful, fascinating, complex lives, emphasizing all the more that something precious was about to be snuffed out by human greed & stupidity.

Then the show went to commercials. First commercial was for some local warehouse-style department store offering tons of cheap plastic crap as Christmas gifts, utter garbage churned out to be bought & thrown out within days. Second commercial was for special deals at McDonald's offering cheap plastic crap as alleged food fit for human consumption.

Any correlation between those first & second paragraphs, ya think?

Something interesting on YouTube lately: quite a few people, many of them younger, have taken to posting a short scene from "My Dinner With Andre" & offering it as a prediction from 1981 come true today. It's the scene where Andre says, "Ok. We're bored. We're all bored now."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8v_XqFO8Bc

9:04 PM  
Anonymous Matt Scott said...

Hey look who was born on this day , a smart cookie pre wafer http://savageminds.org/2009/11/03/remembering-claude-levi-strauss/

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

What goes around comes around:

http://www.mprnews.org/story/2016/11/23/books-sinclair-lewis-bestseller-after-election

Christian (from previous post). Yeah, TF Mars has hit my top 10 games for sure. If you like historical stuff and wargames check out https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/12333/twilight-struggle. Only 2 player though.

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Fruit Woman said...

Hi Dr. Berman, Wafers,
Thanks for the audio, Professor; I enjoyed hearing your thoughts.
Kanye, the app! hahaha! Sounds like just what my brother is looking for when he calls me! No need to ask the person you called how they're doing. No need to figure out how to stop talking over the other person. Find common ground? HA! All that's too tedious. Just purchase an app that will applaud the fact that you got out of bed this morning. Good job! It will tell you you're great for even troubling yourself to talk about yourself! Thanks for the gift idea. - Fruit Lady
PS Mike R - So much truth packed into your comment. It made my American-self very uncomfortable...

12:31 PM  
Anonymous Xeno said...

http://billmoyers.com/story/dostoyevskys-empathy/

Reading Dostoyevsky for Thanksgiving

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Daddy Issues said...

Ha..."Dubious Circumstances."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mB3u877ZaSA

Supposedly, 'fake' news is going to be censored on social media. I guess the masses no longer understand parody, satire and irony. (Maybe it's fake news that this might happen)

I rather enjoyed reading that 30 minutes of porn was shown on CNN by mistake last Sat. (yeah, right.) And then there was the article today claiming Trump has nominated El Chapo for head of the DEA. "He's a very talented and experienced businessman."

2:33 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Under the heading of "A day late and a dollar short," a couple of suggestions for the WAFership. I may well have come upon these as referrals from one of you; if so, then first I say thanks and second I apologise for the appropriation/repetition.

Tony Schwartz, ghostwriter of Trump's The Art of the Deal (1987), speaking on 28 October 2016 at the Oxford Union (Oxford University):

https://youtu.be/qxF_CDDJ0YI

At the time of his talk, Schwartz didn't think Trump would win.

And from author Jane Mayer, "Trump's Boswell Speaks," a piece from the 25 July 2016 issue of the New Yorker on Schwartz and his subject (DJT).

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/07/25/donald-trumps-ghostwriter-tells-all

4:40 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

Excellent interview. Pace Huntingdon's ridiculous Clash of Civilisations thesis, history must restart. We need diverse constructs to represent human aspiration - let alone planetary sustenance. Mexico has a unique indigenous tradition to offer. Something the Zapatistas understood?

10:46 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

I am both shocked and disappointed that somehow DAA and the WAFer community did not end up on ProporNot's list of websites that promote "Russian propaganda." This was an extreme oversight on ProporNot's part, given the millions who had intended to vote for the Democratic nominee, but became utterly brainwashed upon reading MB's subversive FSB-supplied codeword, "Botoxface," and instead chose to pee on the voting machines.

In all seriousness, you know it's getting bad when both sides are promoting the idea that anyone who supports the other (or thinks both sides are completely full of shit) is a fifth columnist who is either a Putin stooge or wants to pass a Constitutional amendment imposing Sharia law. I seriously doubt that the idiot Green Party's recount requests or the attempt to reverse the electoral college verdict will be successful, but it's pretty clear that those supporting those efforts haven't clearly thought through the implications of what they are trying to do. With the possibility of several million heavily armed fanatics taking to the streets if the election results were to be reversed, Hillary would likely find herself presiding over an open insurrection. Given how many far right conservatives there are in the nation's military and police agencies, the outcome isn't difficult to imagine.

I'm starting to think the endgame here might not be a Trumpian dictatorship but a military coup d'etat; the difference being merely shades of of very dark grey for those who dissent from the idea of American Exceptionalism.

12:14 AM  
Anonymous Mike R said...

Cannot think of anything more meaningful for an memorable, american Noel than cheap, plastic tchotchkes from big box stores. Forget quality time, creating music, sharing stories, or making a meal together from scratch.

Why spend at a mom and pop, on an artist, at a craftsman shop when you can get a beautiful, mass produced poor quality piece of americana on credit while the kiddies and "adults" stare at irradiating screens, wolf down burgers/fried chicken, talk over each other about their conquests (penis/vagina competition) and wait for more. 2017, more of nothing.

6:39 AM  
Anonymous Birds said...

https://www.amazon.com/How-Will-Capitalism-End-Failing/dp/178478401X

Interesting new book , bye bye Capital

8:06 AM  
Blogger ab645471 said...

A fresh piece from Zero Hedge, now openly a far-right website, showing where we're heading:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-11-29/trump-threatens-flag-burning-americans-loss-citizenship-or-jail

Why comment?

9:54 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dave Clark-

Pls send messages to most recent blogpost. Thank you.

ab-

It's gonna get much worse than that.

Birds-

If you want a synopsis of his argument, track down his New Left Review essay of 2014.

Neil-

Recall that the pope recently said we must recapture the wisdom of traditional societies. At least they have content; American capitalism has poop. In any case, one model might be the Renaissance, which was heavily fueled by a return to the ideas of classical civilization. Recouler pour mieux sauter, is the idea.

mb

10:56 AM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...


I would like to makeout with this quintessential amerikn chic just to feel her power!
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/racist-pro-trump-tirade-over-bag_us_583c55cce4b000af95eef322

Such tenderness! You are lookin at the true face of amerika, the ones the natives encountered a long time ago.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/arrest-made-in-murder-of-girl_us_583c30ede4b09b6056011290


11:24 AM  
Anonymous There's Shrinkage!? said...

I really like psychoanalyst Jessica Benjamin's reviews and books, her "Bonds of Love" in particular, so stimulating! She wrote a good review of a book about psychodynanic interpretations of politic, here's the new book:

https://www.amazon.com/New-Therapy-Politics-Andrew-Samuels/dp/1782203176

1:44 PM  
Anonymous 'Wana said...

https://politicalfilm.wordpress.com/2010/05/02/che-2008/

Did anyone ever see this?

I'm trying to go down the rabbit hole of quality Cuban cinema (either about Cuban history or Cuban made films) wasn't sure of any about Fidel...Maybe I'll have better luck with documentary, PBS perhaps.

1:48 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Shrinkage-

Like a frightened turtle.

Esca-

I wanna tell you that Glen Ramey IS our future.

mb

2:43 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hello MB and Wafers!

MB-

Many thanks for the SF recommendations. Bev and I stopped in out of the rain for coffee at Caffe Trieste in North Beach. A great and still quite lively place! I can't imagine it in its heyday. The opera juke box is still there w/some blues and jazz selections mixed in. I selected a couple of Nina Simone tunes and struck up a convo w/a woman who's been frequenting CT for 35 years. She remembered Yolanda and said she died sometime in 2014, sad to say. There's even great reading material in the CT restroom (box w/toilet): above the can is a colloquial "Fuck Trump" scratched into the wall. Jesus, I could't agree more...

Miles

ps: We also walked the Union to Fillmore route you suggested: a lovely part of SF. Again, thanks for the tips.

4:56 PM  
Anonymous Ram Gana said...

Esca,

Re item 2: seems possible there might be mental illness issues, there, vis a vis Ramey. (On the other hand, who was it, exactly, that shredded the treatment system for indigents?)

Re item 1: Jee. Zus. Sore winner? Now that speaks of an ugliness worse than I've been imagining. Can you imagine what would happen in the streets in the immensely improbable event of an electoral college revolt? (shudder)

6:01 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

Dr. B

Check this out. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfU8TUZRtZg

I think you would love to have a pastrami on rye with this man.

How are you though? Me, not to well.

7:15 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

You'll love this. You know how everything in North America is measured in football fields? Well, I just saw a story on the French TV2 station about the dome that the Russians are putting over the reactor site at Chernobyl, and learned that it will be two Arc de Triomphes high and hold the same capacity as that of 24 Cathédrales Notre-Dame.

8:12 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

''I knew likewise that in our speech some words are so intoned that harmony can be based upon them'' ....

PRAISING ERASMUS' ''FOLLY'' Thank you for your wisdom, Morris, more apparent than Obama's pretension thereto! I have started composing music, and incidentally, I wish to return to the harmonic balance of the Renaissance, Baroque periods. It seems to me culture has taken a wrong turn, and though, as you note, we can't retreat to the past we can adapt the more fortuitous devices from the past to the present and, as Il Pap suggests, to the pressing needs of our collective human, species future. The Liberation Theology of Latin America (I hate to say Latin but it's part of the mestizo mix) can draw out drowned-out voices to enhance regional economic and cultural dialogue, something you clearly stated in your Guadalajara interview. A Dialogue, a Conversation - in the Grandes Annales sense - what could be better than that!

8:33 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

"America's BEST Days are Ahead of us." -- Rom Mittney

http://usat.ly/2gi1TYO

5:49 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B & Bill:

If the election was overturned somehow, it makes me shudder to think how the guy that Delta Airlines banned for life will react-

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/28/business/delta-air-lines-bans-trump-supporter-for-life-after-rude-remarks.html

6:15 AM  
Anonymous Troutbum said...

Dr. MB and all Wafers,

Today, the NY Times published an article about a new website called "The Professor Watch List" http://www.professorwatchlist.org .
Quoting the article : "A new website that accuses nearly 200 college professors of advancing “leftist propaganda in the classroom” and discriminating against conservative students has been criticized as a threat to academic freedom."

On the website, there are professors from Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Northwestern, Notre Dame, Columbia, etc.
I guess ignorance must be maintained at all costs. It's going to be a scary 4 years and he's not even the President yet.
And, Dr. MB, sad to say you are not on the list, probably because you are retired?

7:03 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Trout-

I'm not really on the American radar screen, but you can never be sure: we live in perilous times. Besides, I am pro-Trump. The country is dying; Hillary, like Obama, only offered slow death. With Trump, things are likely to get accelerated, and my feeling is we might as well get it over with. Go Don!

jj-

Mittney, Mittney! How we have missed ye!

cube-

Great to have you back, at long last, tho I'm sorry yr not well. Perhaps the return of Mittney will turn things around 4u. :-)

Jeff-

Delighted to hear you made it over to the Trieste; a venerable SF institution. Tho I was sorry to learn that Yolanda had passed on to the Great Opera in the sky. I adore SF, really, almost as much as NY. It's like a 2nd home; I lived there for nearly 5 yrs, back in the day.

mb

9:54 AM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Just another weekend and 526 more cuts in the life of a declining empire:
https://www.thetrace.org/2016/11/everyday-gun-violence-thanksgiving-break/

But wait! Feel the Bern off the mirage of "Our Revolution: A Future to Believe In" as Sanders serenades Seattlites on his book tour:
http://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/nation-politics/bernie-sanders-visits-seattle-wednesday-on-book-tour/

As others have noted on the blog, Rom Mittney is back, and even having dinner with the Trumpo:
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/30/mitt-romney-praises-donald-trump-dinner-twitter

Meanwhile, I've stocked up on books by Belman for my holiday gift list at home and abroad to spread Wafer cheer among the needy.

11:37 AM  
Blogger thucydides Neo said...

Hi D.R. B,

I actually want to see the wall get built. A failing empire needs a good puzzle to be left behind for future archeologists.

11:37 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jack-

Neurotic Beauty is available from the Seattle Bk Co.; for the time being, Amazon is a bust. Hope yr friends find much Wafer cheer, there and elsewhere. :-)

mb

5:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Someone recently posted an essay by Carolyn Baker that contained the following sentence:

"We also understand that due to the protracted dumbing down of the culture, that is, the deconstruction of education in the United States, a clear analysis of issues was not within the grasp of the average American unless they exerted an effort to educate themselves accordingly."

Unfortunately, she didn't elaborate on this. I keep wondering how long it will take for political analysts to catch up to H.L. Mencken, Gore Vidal, George Carlin, and myself: It's the stupidity, stupid. America is going down the toilet because Americans have shit for brains. Get it?

mb

6:10 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Something wonderfully symbolic here:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/30/mexico-temple-wind-god-archaeology-supermarket

6:20 PM  
Anonymous Portia said...

Hello, this is my first time posting, but I have been following the blog for several years and have read a few of your books. Like many others have said here, reading your books and following the blog have helped keep me sane and to not feel so alone in the U.S. I have two questions. One, is it too late to join the WSG email list? Second, I’m genuinely curious to hear what everyone thinks about whether or not it is still worth it to get a 4 year college degree in the U.S. I’m asking because my oldest son is a junior in high school and would like to become an engineer, but I’m not sure if college is worth the expense anymore or if it would be better for him to learn a trade. Thanks in advance for any insight provided!

6:37 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...



Symbols for symbol minded people. -George Carlin
Botox princess wanted us to vote for her P. Unfortunately slick Trump grabbed it from her.

After body politics, here comes symbol worship. 
But you don't have to burn the flag when you can use it for this...

http://www.churchofeuthanasia.org/catalog/video.html
Read the description first. Download to watch.

What Dimitri Orlov calls a "permanently infantilized" people who need symbols (like flag pinned on lapels, Kim's ass size debates, hand across chest anthem, Jesus at schools, etc), football hero patronage and similar voyeuristic dildos to give them meaning to their otherwise empty lives.   

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkjRDP0BllM

7:20 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

This is an outrage:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-guncontrol-levi-strauss-idUSKBN13P2V9

I don't know about u guys, but I've already purchased an AK-47, bazooka, and an Uzi machine pistol. Anybody know where I can get my hands on a box of grenades? I've said it once, I'll say it again: Wafers need to be heavily armed at all times.

Douche Bag Nation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x09KqtnjWMg

For Mittney:

Believe me, I've got a case
On Mittney with the laughin' face
He takes the winter and makes it summer
And summer could take a few lessons from this hummer
Picture a goy in a marketplace
That's Mittney with the laughin' face

Miles

7:30 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

@Pastrami, one of my buddies and I have played Twilight Stuggle several times and liked it. He has an interest in COIN games so we have played Labyrinth a couple of times.

8:18 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Troutbaum--interesting that the number of professors on the "professors watch list" is closely approximate to the number of independent media sources that ProporNot listed as "Putin stooges." Looks like there's a game of McCarthyite chicken going on in which those of us who still have a few functioning brain cells are being caught in the middle. Of course, American academia hasn't exactly covered itself in glory in recent years with the way it has pushed political correctness beyond all sensible limits--even to the point of wielding it as a weapon to shut down legitimate dissenting opinions.

Meanwhile, having learned exactly nothing from not only this election debacle but also the one in the 2014 midterms, the Democrats went ahead and re-elected Nancy Pelosi as House minority leader, which begs the question of just how big a fuck up you need to be to lose your leadership position in that laughable party. With the likes of her and the truly deplorable Wall Street crony Chuck Schumer in the Senate leading the charge against Trump, I figure he'll be able to ram through his own version of the Enabling Act by Memorial Day.

10:39 PM  
Anonymous Sturgeon said...

symbolism, pls elaborate :)

1:44 AM  
Blogger Rosegarden said...

Xeno (reading Dostoyevsky for Thanksgiving)

My local library had the One Book One Community discussion of “Crime and Punishment” this week. We were the first library to read the book. The box of books is now wending its way to other libraries in the county. After all of the libraries finish, readers can purchase tickets to hear the county symphony do a concert of Russian music in March.

I wish I had read the article beforehand. We struggled for an hour to figure out the motivations of the author and his characters. We did touch on empathy. There was a recent study that seemed to indicate that people who read fiction were more empathetic. But do they read because they have empathy or vice versa? And empathy and reading are both decreasing! I will make copies of the Laurie Sheck article for next month's meeting.

8:59 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

cube-

Sorry, cdn't post it. We have a half-page maximum on this blog.

Sturgeon-

Under a modern commercial shopping center we find--what?

Jeff-

I wonder how much longer Levi-Strauss will be in business. As for Mittney, as soon as he is confirmed as Secy of State, my 5-vol. "Cornerstones of the Mittnaic Philosophy" will be released by the Kiss Tuchus Press.

Portia-

Thanks for writing in, and for your interest in the blog and my work. As far as the WSG list goes: sorry, it's basically for folks who are active participants on the blog. As for your son: probably best to send him to college in Europe, I wd think. Broader perspective, etc.; he'll thank u4 it in the long run.

mb

10:03 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Between the stock market climbing, the saving of the Carrier jobs, and the talk of slashing business taxes and regulations, there appears to be a growing excitement and euphoria around Trumps presidency...and I can't help but think that things ARE going to APPEAR as if they are getting BETTER, but in reality will a be Euphoria Liftoff before the BIG CRASH and BURN in the side of a mountain.

10:14 AM  
Anonymous Dean said...

jjarden,

I've been thinking along the same lines. I expect the white working class to see some tangible (albeit short term and superficial) benefit over the next few years, actually. I think there will be a massive infrastructure bill (decent paying jobs), paid for with repatriated corporate funds in exchange for substantial (if not massive) cuts in corporate, capital gains and estate taxes.

In the end, however, this windfall for the white working class will serve as a lure to bring the disaffected back close enough into the establishment's embrace for a final, killing shive in the notion of a country by, for, and of the people. Higher pay will enable people to buy more gadgetry, but they'll still be priced out of owning homes/land. Corporations/employers will be more demanding in terms of expected output, availability for work, even expecting a modicum of control of their employees' personal lives. Work conditions, in terms of safety, will also deteriorate. Landless corporate serfdom, in essence.

At the same time, privacy and general individual rights and freedom will continue to erode, or be even more overtly usurped. People will become more and more narcissistic, sociopathic and judgemental, turning on each other to curry the diminishing favors of the corporate state. The military industrial-security complex will continue their romp around the world and grow exponentially. A (white) nativist vigilantism will foment. Etc.

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

emigrate, or NMI. The rest is documentation for forensic historians wondering why america failed--hopefully, those historians will NOT be former americans--as the bias/brainwashing of exceptionalism is far too great to objectively examine data.

2:16 PM  
Blogger Neil 0421875644 said...

Hustling into China? Where it all began http://americanempireproject.com/blog/the-beautiful-country-and-the-middle-kingdom-excerpt/

6:37 PM  
Anonymous Boar's Head said...

Dr. Berman/WAFers,

I've been quite down over the past two weeks or so after reading the WAF trilogy, Carroll Quigley's (a proto-WAFer) "Tragedy and Hope," and this blog. I was very excited as I was reading these books, discovering truth after truth, laughing my ass off at MB’s jokes, and having all of these dots connected for me. Then after the truth high faded, I just got really down as I took stock of things.

1. I live in a nation full of douchebags that are big into the American Dream of “MORE!!!”
2. I’m one of them, albeit I’m recovering
3. If not “MORE!!!” then what? Some permutation of our “MORE!!!” culture is all I’ve ever known
4. America isn’t fixable; the collision with the mountain is inevitable

Things hit a crescendo at Thanksgiving when I turned into the “angry drunk WAFer uncle” and started angrily ranting about Edward Bernays, manufactured consent, the kleptocracy, deep politics (Carlin's 'Big Club'), our empty culture, perpetual warfare etc.

I finally decided to take the good Dr. B’s advice and have begun to embrace human culture. I grabbed some cheap tickets to a NY Philharmonic rehearsal and after being awed for three hours I now feel full of life and energy. Watching all those talented humans up there working together to make beautiful music was exhilerating.

Before reading the WAF trilogy I would have never even thought to go watch a symphony play or even listen to classical music. Now I’m seriously considering taking up an instrument.

Anyway, I just needed to get that off my chest and sincerely thank the whole community here for their posts as they help me get through the day and help me make sense of this nuthouse of a country we live in.

6:50 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Meet your new Secretary of Defense, James"Mad Dog"Mattis who is quoted as saying, "It's fun to shoot some people." And I voted for Trump because I thought he'd be less aggressive internationally.By the way, it's starting to look like the Dems will position themselves as the right wing party as opposed to the Republican far right party.
I have some advice for those Wafers who may be of some minority group in the USA-wear that city's sports teams clothes. I think you will be less likely to be attacked if you show some solidarity with a popular sports team. Yeah, I know it's a pathetic move, but racists tend also to be sports enthusiasts. Just a suggestion as I'm about to take my evening walk wearing my Philadelphia Eagles jersey.

9:29 PM  
Anonymous Detours said...

Lord help me I agree with Ann Coulter:

http://humanevents.com/2016/12/01/how-trump-could-ruin-his-presidency/

The world is upside down when this insufferable woman talks sense. Some sort of amnesia is settling into my brain when I can't come up with a way to argue against the core of her remarks. Her core is empty and she's a disgusting human being, but her reasoning is sound! We are in deep shit, and nothing makes sense anymore except it's a terrible reversal, and we're trapped inside some mirror-world.

9:40 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Chicago tops 700 homicides so far in 2016, the most in nearly two decades.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-chicago-violence-700-homicides-met-20161201-story.html

9:39 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Boar-

Yrs ago, I played classical guitar for 3 yrs. Then writing bks overwhelmed me, and I had to give it up. Recently, I took it up again, got myself a teacher. It's great.

As for America: absolutely a lost cause. 99.9% douche bags.

What will replace the American ideology of More? Here's a hint: check out my bk, SSIG. Currently out of print, but scheduled to be back online in a couple of months.

mb

9:51 AM  
Anonymous John said...

"Anyone who is indifferently open to truth or falsehood is ripe for any kind of tyranny. The passion for truth goes along with the passion for liberty."

-George Bernanos

Well, that describes the US of Generica

For anyone interested in the early French perspective on the dangers of machine civilization, I recommend the works of Georges Bernanos, Charles Peguy and George Duhamel.

10:19 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

A few days ago, new reader Portia asked for advice for her high school son, who was considering studying engineering. I did some brief research; the following is from the site typesofengineeringdegrees.com.

Between 2012 and 2022, this site projects the following rates of growth for these types of engineering: (1). Mining and geological engineers--avg salary 100K, growth 12%; (2) Materials engineers--avg salary 91K, growth under 1%; (3). Mechanical engineers--avg salary 55-87K, growth 4.5-4.7%. As the site points out, there are over 40 different types of engineering careers in 5 different subdisciplines, so the three I've just given are representative. You'll want your son to start thinking about the thing now. And if he is going to need loans, he should certainly lose no time checking on financing sources. He may be surprised at what sources of funding exist and are underutilized.

General comments: (1). Don't be delusional: NO degree is a guarantee of future or continued employment; the capitalist system discards people as circumstance demands. (2). He should learn a second--or third, or fourth--language. And the greater the degree of command the better. Certainly Spanish if he's staying here. Chinese wouldn't be a bad idea either. This is a decided edge when a company starts contemplating cutbacks, as virtually all do at some point.

Good luck.

12:14 PM  
Blogger Dave Clark said...

This is absolutely so perfect, I can't believe it's real:

"Trump considering Exxon CEO for secretary of State"

http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/308363-scarborough-trump-considering-exxon-ceo-for-secretary-of-state

Unless you move off of planet Earth, you're doomed:

"ExxonMobil Corp. has finally made its move to block a New York state investigation into whether the oil giant covered up its knowledge about climate change"

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-10-18/exxon-decides-to-fight-new-york-s-climate-change-probe

Folks, strange days have finally tracked us down.

2:28 PM  
Anonymous Mike R said...

Portia--please have your son leave america to attend uni--please ensure he has an intermediate level fluency in German, French, etc...there is a high likelihood of no future for him in the states with employment at will (only country in the world with this--yet the sheeple seem to enjoy this--it's "freedom!?"), hustling, and a rotting corpse of a "country" (business). What does he really have to look forward to? taxes, hustling, wars, hot air blather, and the next kim tuchasian? Run towards a true, deep, multi-dimensional culture, not towards "opportunities"--which is code for $$/hustling/huckstering.

For some music buffs--Alban Berg's Three Pieces for Orchestra Op. 6 is very good and can represent life after the us. Masterful orchestration, Austrian bands, falcetto trombones, stopped horns, muted trumpets, respresenting LIFE.

The history of the piece is quite interesting--Berg wrote this work as homage to his beloved teacher, renown composer Arnold Schoenberg---it is life after Mahler-life after post-romanticism, with a new way of looking at music--12 tone technique with romantic lyricism.

As a side note, Uni Southern CA f-kd Arnold Schoenberg--as even american unis are hustlers/swindlers looking for their next big whale donor. They marginalised him, and was a bitter battle---hence, the lesson repeated: DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH AMERICANS--they (99.1%) are shysters and swindlers.

4:17 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Dan--so far, Mattis is the only Trump appointment I find intriguing. In an interview with a fellow general who served with Mattis in Vietnam, Mattis was described as quite popular with the troops because he was one of the few senior officers who consistently joined them in the field and placed himself under fire rather than cowering in comfort back in Saigon. Mattis also referred to the expansion of Israeli settlements into the West as having the potential to create an apartheid state.

A tough, no-nonsense soldier like Mattis rather that Obama's pencil pushers would be just the guy to usher into retirement all the ticket puncher generals and admirals of the kind Trump criticized as having forgotten how to win wars. He'd also be a good guy to give Trump cover for getting the U.S. out of at least some of the Middle Eastern wars, reducing tensions with Russia and reducing America's insanely overextended military footprint around the world. On the flip side, I saw a report today that Guiliani is likely going to be the choice for SecState, which doesn't bode well for diplomacy.

The inside the Beltway press is getting all aflutter about the fact that few of Trump's appointees have relevant experience for the agencies they are about to head. Personally, I'm pining for Palin to get the VA secretary's job since it was pointed out that the VA bureaucracy is something like ten times larger than the state government of Alaska, thus the potential for epic cluster fucks seems endless.

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

While "Fahrenheit 451" is probably the Ray Bradbury book that first comes to mind in terms of WAF, "The Martian Chronicles" is also worth re-reading right now, as I'm doing. In his description of a culture in harmony with its world, devoted to the arts & beauty & philosophy -- followed by his description of what Earthmen do to that world once they get their crass, stupid, greedy hands on it -- you'll see that this book is equally prescient:

"We Earth Men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things. The only reason we didn't set up hot-dog stands in the midst of the Egyptian temple of Karnak is because it was out of the way and served no larger commercial purpose."

"When I was a kid my folks took me to visit Mexico City. I'll always remember the way my father acted--loud and big. And my mother didn't like the people because they were dark and didn't wash enough. And my sister wouldn't talk to most of them. I was the only one who really liked it."

"Anything that's strange is no good to the average American."

NMI for me.

6:27 PM  
Anonymous WAFer Guitarist Myself said...

Hola Profesor

I too have played classical guitar for many years. Let me recommend some beaaauuutttiiifffuuulll pieces that I have been working through. They are by the great late composer of world musics, Lou Harrison. Written for just intoned guitars, Harrison's lover built special guitars to accommodate for non western tuning systems, Harrison was the inventor of the American gamelan ensemble. His pieces en toto are all just divine

an album is on Youtube, you can follow along and find all of the works:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ssx1q0aDql4

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_XaHm6WAacg

6:51 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

Love is an antidote to fear. As Dr Berman reminds us, the Baroque also stood over a Tempest in convention a chasm of doubt. The difference is that Wafers are seeking older ways to reach new verities. It's an Annales Age! http://theconversation.com/pinchguts-theodora-brings-the-irrational-power-of-love-to-uncertain-times-69769

8:41 PM  
Blogger Игорь ижщенко said...

"Dan said...
Meet your new Secretary of Defense, James"Mad Dog"Mattis who is quoted as saying, "It's fun to shoot some people." And I voted for Trump because I thought he'd be less aggressive internationally....."

Gotta love a "Wafer" who votes for Trump. We of the Far Right don't care who votes for our guy just as long as they vote for him. A vote's a vote. Whether it was for the right reason or for a silly one, your vote helped get Trump into the White House, and that's all that matters.

With the Patriot Act and the NDAA still on the books, we can finally get America cleaned up now that we have a president with the balls to use those two laws. Obama should have gotten rid of those two laws, but no, he had more "important" things to do, like give "rights" to sodomites.
Oh, well. Trump and "Mad Dog" Mattis are gonna have fun now. It's going to be VERY interesting....

10:41 PM  
Anonymous Portia said...

MB, thank you for your suggestion. I agree with you that he would get a broader perspective on life by going to college outside of the U.S. He has talked about going to Canada and possibly Europe. I think that Europe may be better than Canada right now since it's further away from the U.S.

James Allen, Thank you so much for sharing the information on engineering degrees! I'm going to share this with my son. I also agree with you that learning a second (and possibly third language) is valuable. I appreciate your insight and suggestions. :)

1:16 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

More quotes from our soon to be Sec.of Defense: 1.Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.[Note-This is how I plan to conduct my daily affairs.] 2.There are some assholes in the world that just need to be shot.[Note-It should read "who need...". I can't stand a Sec. of Defense who has faulty grammar]. Also, since Trump refused to read his daily intelligence briefing books, he apparently was unaware that it was a diplomatic mistake to call Taiwan. I mean who needs to go out and watch a comedy show.Just turn on the evening news. By the way, I did some part-time work in a high school recently. All I can say is that given the quality of the students, the military wing of Lichtenstein could overrun this country even with Mad dog Mattis in charge.

8:26 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dave Clark-

Pls note, only 1 post per 24 hrs allowed. Thank you.

Igor-

Yes, the new admin is going to liquidate all the queers and commies, and a gd thing too! To which list I wd frankly add all non-whites and non-Christians. I'm in the process of writing a letter to Trump suggesting that he nuke them, vigorously. Go, Don!

Thos Wolfe on America, in "Of Time and the River":

"We are so lost, so naked and so lonely in America. Immense and cruel skies bend over us, and all of us are driven on for ever and we have no home....we walk the streets, we walk the streets for ever, we walk the streets of life alone."

And: "the lonely wilderness of life that is America."--

And this was in 1935!

mb

4:03 PM  
Anonymous Dovidel said...

Wafers,

Paul Craig Roberts posted an interesting article on his website yesterday. You can check it out at:

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/12/02/trumps-appointments-paul-craig-roberts/

I don’t think any Wafer would disagree with what he says at the beginning:

“Before I give an explanation, let’s be sure we all know what an explanation is. An explanation is not a justification. The collapse of education in the US is so severe that many Americans, especially younger ones, cannot tell the difference between an explanation and a defense, justification, or apology for what they regard as a guilty person or party. If an explanation is not damning or sufficiently damning of what they want damned, the explanation is interpreted as an excuse for the object of their scorn. In America, reason and objective analysis have taken a backseat to emotion.”

@Tim Lukeman—
Re: Ray Bradbury

Don’t forget “Dandelion Wine.”

David Rosen

7:34 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

Not often I would recommend Twitter, but this twitter thread is very interesting on Obama vs. Trump:

https://twitter.com/matthewstoller/status/805052552551268353

Also interesting that it fingers Jimmy Carter as the very start/epicentre of the rot, due to his destructive campaign against small farmers.

7:52 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Blackbox warning-americans should be required to reveal their hustling and huckstering obscessions to the international community when abroad (an extreme rarity), or perhaps within america itself.

For full disclosure: "As an american, i am obscessed with hustling, expansionism, and financially enriching myself at the detriment of community and society. People and technology are just objects for me to get ahead and place all the focus on me to satisfy my narcopathic mental derangements. Use extreme caution when dealing with me in professional and personal circumstances. I am a swindler, an imposter, and a huckster. I will not apologise, as I am exceptional."

That should be on every american passporte, document, etc...

11:27 AM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

The joke is on us.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7j-TWKFuIq0

"Uncle Tom Jesse Jackson Wants Obama To Blanket Pardon Hillary Rotten Clinton". No pardon for Manning or Snowden.
https://youtu.be/gyWcu1DfbuQ

Good luck with the Nobel boy growing a spine!
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/five_things_obama_should_do_before_leaving_office_but_probably_20161202
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=zvuwjakhuNo

11:35 AM  
Blogger Neil 0421875644 said...

An interesting diplomatic portrait of Taiwan (ps Trump is a moron) http://chasfreeman.net/taiwans-identity/

2:47 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

There's a disturbing new report out from some Harvard researchers showing that faith in democracy is plummeting, not just in America but worldwide. Even worse, the phenomenon appears to be the worst among Millennials. For instance, the data shows that only slightly over 25% of American Millennials have faith in the government, but surprisingly that number is less than 15% in New Zealand of all places. Incredibly, only 19% of American Millennials believe that "a military takeover is NOT legitimate in a democracy"--but before Europeans get too cocky, that percentage is only 36% there. Nearly a quarter of American Millennials believe that "having a democratic system is a BAD or VERY BAD way to run a country"--compared to about 13% in Europe.

http://qz.com/848031/harvard-research-suggests-that-an-entire-global-generation-has-lost-faith-in-democracy/

These results give Brexit, Trump's election; the rise of Le Pen in France, Wilders in The Netherlands, and out-and-out fascists Duterte in The Philippines and Erdogan in Turkey an even more ominous meaning. To the multiple accelerating crises of overpopulation, resource depletion and climate change we can now definitively add political destabilization.

5:13 PM  
Anonymous Tandler said...

I've been viewing the official white house photographer's portfolio this morning. Obama really seems to lose it around kids and dogs, rolling on the ground, he seems genuine. I wouldn't have pegged him to have any response to those kinds of sentiments. a kind of contrast to the man we portray on this blog, much of the time.

9:42 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tandler-

Oddly enuf, all of that didn't manage to impact a stupid and meaningless presidency.

mb

2:24 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Kia Ora WAFER Bill Hicks-thank you kindly for sharing the study.

Not surprising at all with NZ--they have one of the lowest PDIs-(14) (Hofstedt's power distance index) out of all the countries--they don't put up with shit from anyone, anything, any boss, any govt, folks are true equals. AU has mid range PDI more in line with america-not surprising. Kiwi's have a very low yes man-ism culture.

PDIs have been used in forensic investigations of Asian aeroplane crashes with Phillipines, Malyasia, Korea--as the "Captain is always correct culture" has contributed numerous catastrophic events. The copilots use mitigated speech due to their culture, rather than fuck you, we're gonna crash Captain because you're doin this, that, the other, I' m takin' over----that's very Irish, Israeli, and Kiwi---very low PDI scores.



3:21 PM  
Anonymous Dean said...

Bill Hicks,

Interesting. Benevolent dictator is probably what they are looking for and, to be honest, something along those lines may be humanity's only hope at this point.


Tandler,

Obama gives nuanced meaning and really puts teeth in to the term "useful idiot.". Resourceful idiot? Acquiescent idiot? Opportunistic idiot? He's certainly a progression of some sort from W.

Can't wait to see what Trump brings to the table. Willful idiot? Proud idiot? Royal idiot? The first of a coming line of figure headed idiots?

3:32 PM  
Anonymous David P. said...

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/the-frankfurt-school-knew-trump-was-coming

Frankfurts on Trump Dog

4:30 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Bill Hicks's contribution provides an excellent intro to my offering for today. Recently, the house where Thomas Mann resided in Los Angeles after fleeing Nazi Germany was rescued from demolition by the German Government, who propose to make it into a cultural center. A New Yorker article links Mann, his flight, and the work of the Frankfurt School with the phenomenon of Donald Trump. Excerpt and link:

"The [Thomas Mann] house [in Los Angeles] deserves to stand not only because a great writer lived there but because it brings to mind a tragic moment in American cultural history. The author of “Death in Venice” and “The Magic Mountain” settled in this country in 1938, a grateful refugee from Nazism. He became a citizen and extolled American ideals. By 1952, though, he had become convinced that McCarthyism was a prelude to fascism, and felt compelled to emigrate again. At the time of the House Un-American Activities Committee’s hearings on Communism in Hollywood, Mann said, “Spiritual intolerance, political inquisitions, and declining legal security, and all this in the name of an alleged ‘state of emergency.’ . . . That is how it started in Germany.” The tearing down of Mann’s “magic villa" would have been a cold epilogue to a melancholy tale."

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/the-frankfurt-school-knew-trump-was-coming?mbid=nl_161205_daily&CNDID=24465181&spMailingID=9993049&spUserID=MTMzMTgyNDk2NzI1S0&spJobID=1060439511&spReportId=MTA2MDQzOTUxMQS2

It would be appropriate here to reintroduce a relevant book: Amusing Ourselves to Death, by Neil Postman. Finally, the news arrives that Dr. Ben Carson will be nominated for the post of Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. He is well-equipped for this role, having spent a fair proportion of his life living in a house.

4:30 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

Read this article as though it was about "yes we scam," Obanga. Except for the polish and the color the outgoing product is not much different than the incoming. Hard to accept I know.
http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/narcissist-chief-psychopathology-explains-donald-trumps-depravity

Trump is a relief to the equally but more lethal narcissist liberal who can now snob around pointing fingers with their better-than-thou manicured fingers.

What the grand progressive-liberal Obanga managed to get away with, a Republican president could only dream of.
http://www.truthdig.com/report/print/nine_things_obama_could_do_before_leaving_office_to_20161205
https://youtu.be/VBYP5fHLjM4

5:03 PM  
Anonymous John said...

Crazy USians on the loose, guns and fake news meet the American public

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2016/12/04/d-c-police-respond-to-report-of-a-man-with-a-gun-at-comet-ping-pong-restaurant/

5:16 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Out of the many things to be concerned about, the number one thing that has my attention these days is the whole "Fake News" issue. I'm seeing this as an exceptionally insidious and virulent development for society as more and more unqualified averages joe's set up their "professional" looking news sites on YouTube and broadcast conspiracy theories by the dozens and fake news stories by the thousands to millions of ignorant Americans who have turned away from the "Mainstream Media" who they all now believe to be Liberal news outlets in bed with the Politicand and other elites.

The Truth is getting lost, and misinformation abounds. I'm quite concerned about this.

What do you all think?

http://dailycaller.com/2016/12/05/website-labeled-fake-news-threatens-to-sue-wapo-for-defamation/

6:11 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@Bill Hicks,

That was a disturbing study but not surprising. Faith in almost all major institutions is declining.

See: http://www.gallup.com/poll/192581/americans-confidence-institutions-stays-low.aspx

What scares me the most is that so many Americans put so much faith in the military. I have nothing against people in the service but the “support the troops” concept is used to push a kind of blind worship of the military to the point where it shuts down criticism of American policy as “unpatriotic.” As that Harvard study showed, a shocking number of Millennials would not object outright to a military coup.

I also suspect that having a powerful military gives Americans some kind of psychological boost. You might get bullied and abused at your job or by the government or just by your typical American douchebag but damn it, we are going to bomb the crap out of those ragheads!

6:18 PM  
Anonymous Detours said...

Oh good lord, my dear Tandler, it sounds like you, too, are "livin' la vida barroca":

“In the late seventies, Jimmy Carter had grasped that our long national adolescence was coming to a close. He asked us, in effect, to decide what kind of nation we wanted to be when we grew up. Alarmed by the question and its implications, the country elected Ronald Reagan who told us to go back to doing what we had been doing and that, insofar as we had problems as a people, it was with overly introspective officials like his predecessor in the White House.”
[...]
“Barack Obama is the perfect representation of his party. He is a man who fully accepts all of the illiberal precepts of Empire (and the inevitable process through which they are “blown back” into the very center of our body politic) who simultaneously seeks, through the calculated deployment of his supposed reasonableness and condition as a man from an historically maltreated minority, to imbue this same-old, same-old system of predation with an air of moral redemption. And guess what? Most people on the so-called liberal wing of the party still lap this stuff up. They have lived so long within the metaphor or simulacrum of liberalism that they no longer have much, if any, understanding of the bracing imperatives of the real thing.”

+Excerpts from: Thomas S. Harrington. “Livin' la Vida Barroca: American Culture in an Age of Imperial Orthodoxies.” U. Valencia, 2014

6:43 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

Great interview, as always. I would dispute your contention that "if" Trump doesn't fulfill his promises, there will be an armed right-wing revolt. Maybe a distinction without a difference, but I think what will happen instead is militias or other local power brokers gaining more prominence, and some degree of decentralized warlordism. They may well defy state authority, a la our friends the Bundy's, but I think the Right especially is far too invested in the idea of a Constitutional US that they will be loathe to overthrow it in name, no matter how meaningless the structure or institutions. In fact, many would see this new warlordism as a more pure expression of America via their idealized conception of the Old West.

6:43 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

There's a disturbing new report out from some Harvard researchers showing that faith in democracy is plummeting, not just in America but worldwide.

I'm not surprised, after all, why should people continue to have faith in a system that is failing? Even the corporate world that once needed democracy to create the enviornment by which it could operate has realized that it doesnt need democracy anymore. It's not a coincidence that some of the most successful economies are opperating in quite authoritarian circumstances.

Once the failure is complete, I don't think it will just fail, but rather democracy will be discredited. I have mixed feelings about it, but more and more I don't see it as a particularly workable system. I value liberty a great deal, but democracy, bah, you can keep it. And no the two are not synonomous.

9:02 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Tandler--I hate to use yet another AH comparison, but the Fuhrer genuinely loved his own dogs. The difference between being a genuinely good person and an inhuman monster is often the ability to have empathy for more than just the people closest to you. Obama probably loves his family--that's great, but his orders and polices have resulted in the massacre of many thousands of innocent people, millions being turned into refugees and the permanent impoverishment of tens of millions of his own fellow citizens. We just had an election between two horribly contemptible human being in which the difference between them was that the winner was able to empathetically pick up on and exploit the very real economic pain so many people are feeling, while the loser was not only not even able to manage faking caring but demonstrated open hostility towards them. Yet people who claim to know Hillary personally say that she is a warm and gracious human being.

Meanwhile, those of us hoping for complete chaos in the imperial capital can take heart--not only does the idiotic recount madness continue but we now have open electoral college shenanigans, Paul Ryan going full speed ahead on his very anti-Trumpian economic plans in defiance of the president-elect and both Sarah Palin and Ann Coulter have jumped ship after Trump's interference to prevent the Carrier plant closing (those two dingbats were clearly NOT paying attention to what Trump was saying over and over during the campaign). Official Washington is starting to look more and more like a dinosaur hopelessly thrashing around in a tar pit--which is the best possible result for those of us hoping to survive the next four years.

9:21 PM  
Anonymous Tito said...

"Also interesting that it fingers Jimmy Carter as the very start/epicentre of the rot, due to his destructive campaign against small farmers"

@golf @mb -- is that true? Never pinned old Farmer Carter to go against the small ag grain

10:30 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tito-

I suppose it cd be true, altho in researching the Carter section for DAA and WAF, I read several biographies, and there was no mention of this.

mb

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Bryan O'Shea said...

Shit, Chris Hitchens not only seeming sincerely human to me [what a sighting, like spotting the rare yelloweyed penguin] but he does so by highly praising Chomsky for 12 minutes!

https://youtu.be/EnFGJjEyd04

What universe is this again? Next I'll find an old youtube video w/ Pinker praising MB'S critique of progress!

12:24 PM  
Blogger Jacob James said...

jjarden - We know that the rich control the news and the state with the goal of covering up whatever immoral acts are making them money, so it makes sense that people would take news into their own hands. The point seems to be that the establishment is working to discredit their competitors. The process of grouping all these sources together seems to be intended, to show that they don't care if you're doing good/bad work; you're going against the consensus, and that's all that matters. These alternative news sites will fail/prove themselves on their own merits. But the rich want to be able to use their government to crack down on dissidents. That's all fake news is about. If we're to set the record strait, then there are several major publications who've promoted war with fake news articles, which have yet to be punished in any meaningful way. These alternatives are the response to that lost trust. People even use their twitter feeds as a place to find/aggregate news.

This is a good news site for Aleppo in Syria:
https://ingaza.wordpress.com/

Here's a site that is reader funded:
http://www.newsbud.com/
(I just realized they also have an article on fake news.)
http://www.newsbud.com/2016/12/05/fake-news-the-latest-effort-to-destroy-alternative-media/

And here's a dreaded youtube video responding to allegations of being Russian Propaganda:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3D9W3EHKrTE&feature=youtu.be

2:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bryan-

Hitchens was basically a left-winger until 9/11. This video antedates that.

mb

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Smiling Ding, dong! Smiling Ding, dong!
It’s the most narcopathic time of the year!
With braindead americans yelling
And borderline personality derangement swelling, inducing fear
It’s the most narcopathic time of the year!

It’s the crap-crappiest season of all!
With fake facebook greetings, positive psychology beatings,
And your dysfunctional family forbidden to call
It’s the crap, crappiest season of all!

There’ll be look at me parties for pouting
Traditions for flouting/posting,
And tantrum, ing out in the snow
There’ll be confabulated smiling stories
And tales of american corporate glories of much better
conquests long, long ago
It’s the most narcopathic time of the year!
Onward and downward!

5:48 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

Interesting times - financially, we see European solvency questions, and internationally questions re buybacks, tech mergers, offshoring, futures flat, interest rates low all over the world etc http://seekingalpha.com/news/3228724-worlds-oldest-bank-jeopardy?ifp=0

7:28 PM  
Blogger Rosegarden said...

My brother in another state related this story to me. A young woman who is a friend of his son had this experience at work. The young woman in question is in her thirties. She was entering her workplace and her boss was in front of her. Her boss turns and says, “Come January, that is mine!” He points right at her crotch. Appalled, the woman looks at the security guard who is standing right there. She asks, “Did you hear what he just said to me?” The security guard replies, “I didn't hear nothin'.”

9:18 PM  
Anonymous BH said...

Isn't it true the US has had coup attempts in the past but they were discovered and nipped in the bud before they were carried out? I read there were fears of one during the civil war and there was an attempt by some well off people and some in the military to throw Roosevelt out during the thirties but he found out about it and it fizzled. One of the generals approached turned on the conspirators.

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


This looks like something that would be of interest to WAFers :

http://motherboard.vice.com/en_uk/read/us-power-will-decline-under-trump-says-futurist-who-predicted-soviet-collapse

an excerpt from the article ---

"But the main book setting out Galtung’s fascinating forecast for the US is his 2009 book, The Fall of the American Empire—and then What?

The book sets out a whopping 15 'synchronizing and mutually reinforcing contradictions' afflicting the US, which he says will lead to US global power ending by 2020—within just four years. Galtung warned that during this phase of decline, the US was likely to go through a phase of reactionary 'fascism'."

Predictions of imminent doom are popular these days. So are round numbers. I'll go with Martin Rees that humanity has around a 50-50 chance of surviving this century.

3:01 AM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

A bit about Carter and the 1977 farm bill here:

http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/search/object/nmah_1378163

6:55 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Marc-

A great essay. Too many of us have been predicting a US collapse for a long time now; I simply can't see it not happening, and this line from the essay is very telling:

"Such fascism...is a symptom of the decline—lashing out in disbelief at the loss of power." Which is where we are now with Trump and the Trumpites.

I was a speaker at a conference many yrs ago, somewhere in Europe, along with Galtung. I don't remember the topic of his lecture (or mine, for that matter), but I remember thinking: "This guy is very sharp."

mb

9:49 AM  
Anonymous Tamler said...

Golf interesting indeed on Carter!!

Bryan/professor Morris Berman - Hitchens is an odd guy. Very elegant but crass and mean at the same time. Bryan - an interesting part in that video is his lil aside critique of mother Theresa... i remember reading his gutting of her, I suppose she really was corrupt Mr B? I think it is kinds similar to the ways he tiraded against Ghandi. I suppose our saints of history were human w/ foibles, but were they really criminal?

Next they'll put Mr Berman in the bell tower

10:12 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tamler-

Somehow, I don't think I quite qualify for sainthood, but thanks for the compliment.

mb

10:22 AM  
Anonymous SeekingSanity said...

Thank you for posting the interview. i will listen to it today while working.

Here's an interview with Prof. John McMurtry that Wafers will enjoy: http://thehighersidechats.com/john-mcmurtry-the-cancer-stage-of-capitalism/

10:31 AM  
Blogger C. J. Timmins said...

Pivoting from our recent classical music discussion, I present two folk songs I've been playing on repeat lately. None of Dylan's deliberately enigmatic crap. These songs actually speak the truth. On the occasion of the Walter Scott mistrial, here's a WAFer tune if I've ever heard one, Drive-By Truckers' "What It Means" - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u52Oz-54VYw

"...And when they turned him over / They were surprised there was no gun / I mean he must have done something / Or else why would he have run? / And they'll spin it for the anchors / On the television screen / So we can shrug and let it happen / Without asking what it means..."

"We trust science just as long / As it tells us what we want to hear / We want our truths all fair and balanced / As long as our notions lie within it / There's no sunlight in our asses / And our heads are stuck up in it"

IMHO, it's up there with Phil Ochs' "Love Me, I'm a Liberal" - https://youtu.be/u52Oz-54VYw

10:33 AM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Hitchens was basically a left-winger until 9/11. This video antedates that.


9/11 sealed the deal but Hitch had been drifting toward neoconservatism for a while. The outrageous treatment of his friend and fellow writer, Salmon Rushdie, by the left was the beginning of the end I suspect.

For my own part, I followed Hitchens for a long time and found he was more interesting before he became famous. Taking on religion is both easy and boring.

11:49 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hola MB and Wafers,

Marc-

Many thanks for the insightful article on Galtung. Jesus, this is spot-on.

MB, Wafers-

I've been buried in work, so I haven't been able to comment much these days. In addition, I'm having trouble finding the right words to express my considerable concerns about Trump, and what's likely to be, according to Andrew Sullivan, an "extinction-level" event for the US. In any event, I've been busy telling all my students as well as everyone I know:

1. Time to remove yr head from yr anus
2. The US is finished
2. Emigrate to a saner society
3. Read Morris Berman 2c what kind of society yr living in

MB-

I hope you've seen a slight uptick in sales for WAF. Nothing that will provide a down payment for a villa in Tuscany, of course, but perhaps a few good cigars and a nice Scotch. A number of my students have been busy reading WAF and wrestling w/the reality that their life is effectively *over* in the US.

Arriba!

Miles

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

@rosegarden. I had many jobs in the u.s. what happened to the lady is normal. There are allot deviants in America .thats why Kim khardishian is famous and trump is president

2:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Lotsa folks are now coming around to what we've been saying on this blog for many yrs now: It's all over but the shouting.

mb

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Suggested american Christmas/Chanukah gifts:
Angry drunk uncle ringtone. Allow your high-conflict, personality disordered american to “reach out and abuse someone;” namely you. Screaming and laced with profanities--guaranteed to cause a Pavlovian fear response!

Mr/Ms. Awesome Talking Doll. Tired of never getting it right? Tired of always saying the wrong thing? Meet your new best friend, the Mr Wonderful Talking Doll. He always knows just what to say to soothe the savage breast. Don’t you want buy more stuff? You look beautiful in the morning. The boss is an asshole. america is awesome. I’d rather spend time with you. And if Mr Wonderful doesn’t get it right? Well, everything’s always your fault anyway.

Princess Magic Talking Mirror Set. Enchanted mirror allows your self-appointed, overcatted princess narcopath, queen, empress, czarina, dictator, etc., to gaze at her reflection and be told, “You look too lovely today!” "You go girl" Your thoughts are powerful" "You're awesome," You're superwoman," “You’re perfect just the way you are." She’ll be thrilled with her new never-ending narcissistic supply to get validation from her new cheerleader in addition to fecesbook.

A Box of Applause. Craving a little recognition? shyster american boss gut ya down? no bonus again this year? Need to quench the narcissistic supply? Open the Box of Applause and be greeted with the sounds of thunderous cheering, whistling, and clapping from a very enthusiastic crowd. Text, fecesbook, and emails available for an addl fee. Close your eyes, sip some corn syrup, and imagine yourself accepting that employee of the week, lackey of the year, best sales chump award, etc...

5:24 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

I'M COMPLETELY SHOCKED!!! Who would have seen this coming?

Kim Kardashian reportedly 'wants a divorce'.


Kim Kardashian is planning to file for divorce from husband Kanye West "when the time is right," according to sources.

5:55 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

jjarden--I would note that the website that is threatening a libel lawsuit against the Washington ComPost's BS McArthyite attack, Naked Capitalism, is one of the very best news and analysis sites on the web these days. The site is run by a group of left leaning financial analysts (yes, there is such a thing) who supported Bernie against Hillary, thrashed the latter for her slavish neoliberalism and neoconservative foreign policy views and correctly predicted that Trump would win back in June. They ended up being smeared as "Putin stooges" because they are skeptical of America's wars and have been extremely critical of both Hillary and Obama from the left. (Full disclosure: I have made reader contributions to Naked Capitalism and read their site regularly).

Of course, the MSM war on the independent media is now backfiring and making them look even less credible. I love the tweet made the other day by an Iraqi journalist that said something to the effect of, "In 2003, a horde of rifle toting Americans stormed into Baghdad on the basis of a fake news story printed by the New York Times." The elite media outlets just don't seem to get that they have been regurgitating government and corporate propaganda for so long that smearing independent media outlets just looks like a case of the pot calling the kettle black.

10:11 PM  
Anonymous David G. said...

Yes, the collapse of the US is inevitable. I just wonder what may come out the other side. The Soviet Union collapsed, but it didn't cease to exist -- it just changed its form. Same with Germany post-WW2. The US will not cease to exist either. Johan Galtung at the end of the essay cited by Marc Bernstein only gives a tantalizing hint of what he thinks might happen. I am wondering if any Wafers have thoughts of what might become of the US post-collapse?

11:14 PM  
Blogger Neil 0421875644 said...

Galtung probably has the best 'remedy' for civilisational dialogue. His grandaughter survived Utoya and Breivik.

3:03 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...


@Miles Deli :

What would good ol' Tim Carpenter (I knew him for quite awhile, since his early 20s.) think of the USA now? At what point would he throw his hands up and say "at least I tried"?

I couldn't have said it better myself :

Ted Rall :

"The United States has always been corrupt, savage and brutal. It has always been wildly dysfunctional and hypocritical. But now, thanks to a president-elect who is loudly ignorant and utterly devoid of impulse control, the mask is off. The horrible truth about the United States can no longer be denied. Trump epitomizes truth in advertising. We’re a nasty, crappy country. President Trump suits us fine."

http://rall.com/2016/12/07/ameri-splaining

In the spirit of Johan Galtung, I'll make a prediction of my own -- the USA will manage to limp along, slowly declining for the next few years until a major shortage in fossil fuels, particularly oil, hits the nation. When Jim Kunstler's "happy motoring" comes to an end all hell will break loose here, secession movements will explode, violent outbreaks will go to a new level, etc.

5:51 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Life Expectancy In U.S. Drops For First Time In Decades, Report Finds.

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/12/08/504667607/life-expectancy-in-u-s-drops-for-first-time-in-decades-report-finds

University of Akron student stabbed to death by roommate in argument over fast food.

http://www.wkyc.com/news/local/akron/university-of-akron-student-stabbed-to-death-by-friend/363158055

6:50 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

As they are both douche bags, it doesn't really matter. But Kim uses her buttocks as a barometer, and right now, the two globes are twitching.

mb

9:19 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Marc-

Gd quote from Rall: a nasty, crappy country. Hard to argue with that. I also like this line from Karlfried von Duerckheim: "We drown the quiet voices of being in the noise of worthless illusion." Of course, it cd be argued that Americans *have* no quiet voices of being inside themselves; that instead of being, all they have is worthless illusion.

mb

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Greetings Wafers Everywhere (GWE):

I thought I'd better write in so I don't get thrown off the Wafer Support Group (WSG) email list. I enjoy reading this blog daily, but I don't have anything much to add except for the fact that the New York Times has finally gotten to the bottom of what really matters in this great land of ours:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/06/fashion/kava-gorna-photographer-up-next.html?WT.mc_id=2016-KWP-AUD_DEV&WT.mc_ev=click&ad-keywords=AUDDEVREMARK&kwp_0=248576&kwp_4=951870&kwp_1=457970&_r=0

@Miles: kudos on using WAF in your classroom. I hope TPTB don't reprimand you for spreading the truth.

@DavidG: What happens after the collapse is an ongoing discussion here. I agree with Dr. B's prediction that there will be hellfire and brimstone poured over the land in the form of a right-wing coup. The only hope for sane people is dual process or emigration, with emigration being the choice with the better odds. I'm sticking around, but I'm saving seeds for the big famine. I hope I don't have to shoot anyone for trying to steal my tomatoes.

12:06 PM  
Blogger Frantisek Panuskova said...

MB,

I am re-reading Peter Zudeick's biography of Ernst Bloch, "Der Hintern des Teufels", Elster Verlag, Moos und Baden Baden, 1985.

Especially the chapters describing the period starting in 1933. Bloch highlighted how the Nazis successfully tapped into deep and widespread emotions like anger about technology, the economy and a certain German Romanticism etc. The Left failed to viewed these as anything else than petty-bourgeois, reactionary sentiments. He even argued that the left (in his case the KPD) should re-claim this terminology: "Das bloße Wort [Reich] schon hüllt den Kleinbürger ahnend ein...Der Terminus >Drittes Reich< hat fast alle Aufstände des Mittelalters begleitet, es war ein leidenschaftliches Fernbild..." (p.137)

"Make America Great Again!" - finally I get the emotional appeal of this...

1:03 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/12/steve-bannon-films-movies-documentaries-trump-hollywood-214495

Try to sit through an entire Bannon film...

I actually am going to defend him a bit. While his aesthetic sense is terrible, he actually has a brain on his shoulders. Not meriting all the sneers of the MSM.

So look for him and Trump to clash when he realizes Trump has been bullshitting him as well. He doesn't seem like the type to back down.

Very dark emotions to take center stage soon.

4:00 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Well, If Wafers could somehow bottle the energy that exists between Kim's globes, we could solve the energy crisis. In any case, Wafers will need one of these for the Holidays:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3mHAZs4RWc

Miles

4:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

Capital idea. Actually, I don't get the excitement over her rump. I find it grotesque. But then, as the French say, A chaque son derriere.

Fran-

Yeah, gd quote. Wilhelm Reich said something similar, around the same time--that the approach of the left was purely cerebral, and that this didn't reach people where they lived.

Mike-

Not to worry. Many don't get hired, but no one gets fired. As for post-collapse, Lionel Shriver's novel, "The Mandibles," is required rdg; altho she leaves out massive violence and secessionist movements, which I see on the horizon as well. The diff between our decay and England's: England had someone to act as replacement/safetynet, namely us; we have no one, and in addition, millions will be cheering our demise. (Gee, I wonder why?) Meanwhile, I'm enjoying reading prog lit, on how they are going to stop Trump. Poor dumb bastards. There isn't enuf therapy in the world to shock these folks into reality.

mb

5:12 PM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

A few weeks ago Emily posted here about meeting a man in his forties who thought the sun and the moon were the same thing. Emily, if you’re reading, I think you might get a kick out of these bits by Bill Bailey from Qualmpeddler.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7kFg1HzlF8
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hd_OuKosxg&t=10m26s

So, last week, I made several backups of this blog. Is this an overreaction? Like Republicans buying ammo under Obama, do Wafers buy m-discs and toner with an impending Trump?

http://www.businessinsider.com/internet-archive-of-canada-fundraising-because-of-trump-administration-2016-11

Feeling partly silly. Still, better safe than sorry. Well, not that safe. I wish I could have gotten out of here sooner. I need to get my body fixed so that I can escape.

6:19 PM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

Below is a link to a nice column by Fred Reed (who also resides in Mexico) that compares US healthcare system to those of European, Mexican and a few other countries. While comparing the US health care to that of EU he says:

"I tell you, boys and girls, America is a collection of self-interested interests concerned with maximizing profits and nothing else."

http://fredoneverything.org/health-care-hither-and-yonan-invitation-to-scream-about-socialism/

Best Wishes,
Himanshu

8:25 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

I can't wait until January 20, when our Businessman-in-Chief takes the Oaf of Office. Then he can begin the work he has promised us to do. Like fostering growth and reducing burdensome rules and regulations that hamstring our job creators and entrammel our entrepreneurs.

In the meantime, this from the columns of the business press:

"Current and former AT&T customers will get refunds or bill credits totaling $88 million within the next 75 days, satisfying the terms of a settlement between AT&T and the Federal Trade Commission, the FTC announced [8 December]. The AT&T customers were victimized by "mobile cramming," charges for third-party services that were placed on their phone bills without the customers' authorization."

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2016/12/att-customers-get-88-million-in-credits-and-refunds-for-illegal-charges/

Praise the Lord and pass the rules exemptions.

7:47 AM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

Good Stuff:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/dec/09/wolfgang-streeck-the-german-economist-calling-time-on-capitalism

7:52 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Golf-

Streeck did a synopsis of this in New Left Review, 2014 (I forget which month).

Jas-

As Alexander McCall Smith once wrote, a rotten culture gets rotten representatives.

mb

9:56 AM  
Blogger Dave Clark said...

Excellent article in Rolling Stone regarding our impending doom:

"Trump's Presidency Is Shaping Up to Be an American Tragedy"

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/trumps-presidency-is-shaping-up-to-be-an-american-tragedy-w454640

10:21 AM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

Dr.B,

Do you have any thoughts on Roger Scruton? I would have thought "Why Beauty Matters" would be up your street. e.g. this quote:

"If you consider only utility, the things you build will soon be useless"

11:13 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Golf-

Know the name, never read his work.

Dave-

Very gd article. Motto of this blog for some time now has been "Bad Is Good." It's time to get the US over with, and move on to a post-American world; and it looks like Trump is the man for the job. What will be a tragedy for the US cd well be a giant relief for the rest of the planet. When you have the NYT attacking his appointees, you know we're on the right track (downward). The last few Roman emperors were incompetents, or children, or mentally ill. This hastened the collapse.

mb

1:28 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

So now millions of Federal Government Employees are going to be unemployed?

http://www.rollcall.com/news/policy/gop-readies-cuts-federal-workforce-trump

4:28 PM  
Blogger Frantisek Panuskova said...

MB,
"What will be a tragedy for the US cd well be a giant relief for the rest of the planet."
No. Regrettably, it won't. Here is why:
1) A Trump administration will most likely administer the kiss of death to our world's climate. With all its consequences - mostly more extreme weather, rising sea levels etc. and some irreversible run-away processes such as acidifying the oceans thus eliminating 1/3 (if memory serves) of our oxygen source.
2) Sooner or later, many Trump voters will figure out that he won't be able to deliver on making their lives better. Once he realizes that his popularity is slipping, he will do what all authoritarians have done: move things towards a police state and start another war. While you can ride out the former outside the US borders, the latter will have global implications of potentially apocalyptic proportions. Why? Because, given the relative numbness from years of perpetual US warfare, it will have to be a major, major (or "huge") conflict. And don't forget he considers nukes 'assets' that are 'underutilized.'

So, anyone here daydreaming of escaping this catastrophe by 'moving house' - forget it!

5:47 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

This is entertaining:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/06/mcdonalds-democracy-corporate-globalisation-trump-le-pen-farage

Monbiot even takes a hit at anti-Wafer ghoul, Thomas Friedman. In any event, this doesn't go far enuf, IMO. Yes, McDonald's restaurants need to be systematically decimated, of course, but we also hafta terminate what's left of the entire American civilization. We need to perform nothing short of a house-to-house fumigation; an expulsion of all things American. Our mission couldn't be any clearer now...

Miles

6:17 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Oh, this is brilliant...

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/dec/09/brexit-talks-plan-for-uk-nationals-to-keep-eu-citizenship-verhofstadt

So the EU will let Brits be European even after their temper tantrum. Britain has massive problems, but really, they were not based in Brussels. Another example of diversion populism, just like we have in the US.

The EU is not going away. Even the far right wants to preserve it. What is going away is the undue influence of American and British finance in the EU. So now, thanks to Brexit, the EU can prevent brain drain to London while stealing the Brit professionals who appreciate the EU. The EU has called the bluff. Britain can humble itself or become a hermetic, American-dominated monument to its own vanity.

Dr. B, I think your thesis can easily be expanded to "Why The Anglo World Failed". Every Anglo phenomenon in culture and politics seems to be essentially autistic. It's a hopelessly linear fetish culture. You can see this in the insane partisanship in the US, in the hype over fleeting news items (BREXIT BRITIAN IS BACK!!!), and the over-reliance on hashtags, memes, and other repetitive forms of communication. Anglos are unable to treat the other as multi-dimensional, as real. Europe is something else, Brits are not European, they need to be something special and better even though a single town in Italy has more culture than the whole of England.

7:16 PM  
Blogger Frederick Froth said...

Scruton series Why Beauty Matters is very good, but he betrays himself by the awfulness of the company that he keeps and the politics that they promote.

He is the "intellectual" darling of the the Anglosphere right wing, sometimes mooted as THE most important "conservative" philosopher.
He was/is a "scholar" at the right-wing American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation. And the Institute For Psychological Sciences, and the Ethics and Public Policy outfit which as far as I can make out are both run by that deeply misogynist outfit opus dei.
His scribblings appear in magazines such as the City Journal, The National Review, the worse than horrible right-wing "catholic" American Spectator, and the UK Standpoint Magazine.

None of the about outfits are in any sense notable for their Waferist world views.

8:35 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

So it was reported the other day that American life expectancy declined in 2015 for the first time since 1993, and how fitting for that to happen in the penultimate year of douchebag Obama's presidency. Optimists will note that the decline was only from 78.9 to 78.8 years, but I think it's pretty clear that what America has just experienced is peak life expectancy. Had Hillary been elected and able to continue the failed neoliberal project for four more years, this number probably would have continued to drop at a rate equal to or near the 2014-15 decline. The Trumpster, meanwhile, has a chance to really get the ball rolling. By comparison, Russian life expectancy dropped by a full five years from 1991-1994, the first three years after the Soviet Union collapsed. That means Trump is going to have to really work hard to top his buddy Putin's homeland, but I have every confidence that he is up to the task.

It was of personal interest to me that of the 10 leading causes of death in America, only 1 declined from 2014-15, while 7 increased and 2 remained steady. The 1 was deaths from cancer, which are being reduced due to enormous expenditures in medical research as well as public health awareness campaigns (the later of which I am proud to say I play a small part in as a volunteer for America's most reputable cancer charity). What it shows is that America still has the capacity to combat huge problems if there exists the political will to do so (after all, cancer scares the shit out of most most people, radical libertarians included). For most of the major problems that ail us, we collectively choose not to do so. And why? Because it isn't profitable. What a pathetic nation we are.

12:35 AM  
Anonymous BH said...

There is a proverb that goes like this:

"As goeth the prince, so goeth the people"

2:49 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Hello Wafers,

Some interesting articles came out in The Guardian recently:

a. NMIs in England
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/08/modern-day-hermits-share-experiences

b. What our culture is doing to children's mental health:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/dec/09/generation-snowflake-not-failing-us-self-harm-competition

Kanye

7:57 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

I went to a play last night and a woman lost her I-phone. She was near hysterical as if she couldn't find her son or daughter. The theater made repeated announcements as well. Needless to say, I took great delight in this. I work now as a substitute teacher and take primarily jobs in high school. Why? Because students who have a sub spend their time playing with their phones. Thus, from a subs perspective, the I-phone is a great ally in terms of classroom management. Not once in 3 months subbing have I seen a student read a book or do an assignment. Given the quality of these students I almost certain the military wing of Lichtenstein could overrun this country. I did hear one interesting conversation though. Two girls were talking about how long they like to be on top during sex. Why not? After all, knowledge is a social construct, right?

9:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Fran-

You cd be rt, but I doubt it. 1st, Trump says he is reconsidering the evidence re: climate change. Unclear where that might lead, at present. As for #2, we are *already* at war, all the time, on several fronts. The chances of an additional one of "apocalyptic proportions" is very slight, I suspect. What *will* happen is domestic implosion, and from the viewpt of Bad Is Gd, and the collapse of empire, that will be a positive development--and as I said, a relief to billions around the world. Finally, I strongly recommend that intelligent Americans move house, and soon; you'll be quite glad you did.

mb

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Despot said...

https://foreignpolicy.com/2016/11/23/ten-ways-to-tell-if-your-president-is-a-dictator/

Foreign Policy has an interesting '10 Ways You Can Tell...' quiz , as if it's some kind of Buzzfeed puff piece ... was watching Trumpo's thank u rally in Ohio live on CNN last night, boy he's a hoot.

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Wally said...

A sort of achronistic nod and ref. to both ur academic science historian days and also earlier paradigm-shifting style writing days, sir: seems like every year i somehow fall down a lil rabbit hole of 'above unity' and 'over-unity' devices, perpetual motion etc, this year it seems like the EMdrive really is getting closer and closer to being the real deal!

heck. instead of the EMdrive, might as well call it the PRANAdrive or the CHIdrive or the KIdrive. tosses Newtonian physics out with the bathwater, Jjust thought i'd share w/ ya guys


http://www.sciencealert.com/there-s-a-good-chance-nasa-s-em-drive-results-are-flawed-says-propulsion-expert

Best to the message board,

Wally

12:05 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

God help us, every one.

The CIA has briefed several senators on their findings regarding Russian efforts to influence the outcome of the presidential election. The New York Times reports that though both parties' emails were hacked only those of the Democrats were leaked through Wikileaks. The president has ordered a review of these findings to determine how solid the evidence for CIA's conclusions are; this is to be completed before he leaves office.

A few observations: some of the leaked Democratic emails showed that DNC chairman Donna Brazile, a consultant for CNN, passed to the Clinton camp some of the questions that would be used in the CNN-sponsored debate. Asked about her actions after this news had come out, Brazile expressed no contrition and said she would do the same again. Cheat much?

As for trusting--or not trusting--CIA, Trump has already made his generally skeptical views known. And continues to skip the daily intelligence briefings. Not to worry. He has three generals--God bless our troops--to guide him, when the right path hasn't already occurred to him: (1) Gen Michael Flynn as National Security Advisor and deputy tweeter; (2) General James "Mad Dog" Mattis as Defense Secretary; and (3) General John Kelly as Secretary of Homeland Security.

As for cutting government, why not start with CIA? He doesn't need them. We got the world's most powerful military--16 years in the field and still going strong--and a Treasury that runs the Bureau of Engraving amd Printing 24/7. We can do another 16 standin' on their heads. O & D, WAFers, O & D.

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Madison Hosford said...

Friends and Founder:

Avocational history nut here=marching thru Elizabeth Fox-Genovese's writings. Finding her an interesting historian of women's studies w/o any bullshit political correctness. Along W/ her focus on womenhood in an Antebellum Southern society, I imagine a great amount of her material WAFers would find of interest.

1:09 PM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

Bernie gets a “chapter 4” style response over identity politics.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9ZAzOiOTyU

Katie Halper extends an olive branch to these writers by saying that many are just sloppy and lazy. Nonetheless, at some point couldn’t this laziness and sloppiness be considered just as bad, if not worse, than pure maliciousness?

1:51 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Check it out:

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-bannon-influences-20161209-story.html

Way to go, guys:

http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/miami-dade-police-officers-filmed-handcuffing-legless-woman-dropping-her-to-ground-8976632

Miles

1:54 PM  
Blogger Juliet Cash said...

Wafers, MB,

As we sit back and enjoy the horror show of Trump's multi billion dollar corporate takeover of main cabinet positions- who needs lobbyists anymore when the oligarchs can be in charge- I wanted to share with you a recent news that hasn't received much MSM coverage: Putin directly influenced the election wasn't just a good propaganda tool /obfuscation that Hillary and the DNC used to deflect from their own shortcomings. A recent Washington post exclusive report notes that the CIA has conclusive evidence from different sources that individuals with connection to the Russian government provided WIKILeaks with the hacked information.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/obama-orders-review-of-russian-hacking-during-presidential-campaign/2016/12/09/31d6b300-be2a-11e6-94ac-3d324840106c_story.html?utm_term=.c2db13a42632
Trump's reaction is to dismiss everything that the CIA says unless of course, it favors him.
As we ponder how bad is it going to be when the Orange Anus takes over next month here is a wonderful article by a journalist who has survived many autocracies including Trump's friend Putin's autocratic government as she notes on her Rule #3: "Institutions will not save you. It took Putin a year to take over the Russian media and four years to dismantle its electoral system; the judiciary collapsed unnoticed.."
http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2016/11/10/trump-election-autocracy-rules-for-survival/

All we are left to ponder is how strong is the system's safeguards to ward us off from a Putin redux autocracy. We just hope that Trump's will be more like a Idiocracy rather than an autocracy.
I guess you all should know that I still think the lesser of two evils- Hillary- was a much more rational vote than the Orange Anus and third party voters. I would like to be proven wrong, of course. But it won't.

JC
PS: thanks for the interview, MB. I am always delighted to listen to your insights.

2:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mad-

Yes, she's gd. Gene was even better. Check out WAF, ch. 4.

k-

Progs are so stupid. They just don't get it, and they never will. This reminds me of certain revs of my bks, wherein we discover that the reviewer literally can't understand what is written on the page. What're ya gonna do? This is America!

Wally-

Forgive me, I cdn't understand a word of yr post.

mb

2:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Juliet-

I guess it depends on how you define 'rational'. If you want more prolonged b.s. and drip-by-drip decay, Hillary was yr man. If you want a quick, decisive end to the US, Trumpo offered the only hope. His lineup of cabinet members and advisers suggests that he is definitely on this track. My only regret is that I haven't (yet) been picked for a top post in his admin.

mb

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Dean said...

Sounds like ole Vlad is trying to help US sorry, wayward ones find our way back to democracy. Then again, maybe he's just wanting to rub our noses in our own hypocrisy and score some points towards getting a more even hearing on the world stage. Either way, good for him.

As Juliet points out, Trump seems hell-bent on meeting him half way, in terms of how the two countries are perceived relatively.

This is the end of democracy (as someone else here stated recently). Not just in the US, but as a viable governing option, period. Was the opening death blow, the corporate takeover of Greece -- the birthplace of democracy -- just a sardonic coincidence? Maybe it's just humankind tip-toeing through the tuliped mind fields on its way to its own extinction?

2:59 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Juliette Cash

You said: “….Putin directly influenced the election wasn't just a good propaganda tool /obfuscation that Hillary and the DNC used to deflect from their own shortcomings. A recent Washington post exclusive report notes that the CIA has conclusive evidence from different sources that individuals with connection to the Russian government provided WIKILeaks with the hacked information.”

In line with my motto Believe Nothing…Question Everything, I’m wondering how one can quote anything like this the Washington Post publishes unless it’s for a good laugh? While I assume that there’s an occasional truth buried within all their usual propaganda (there might even be some truth in this – who knows?), I really can't take this at face value. After all, this is the paper that provided a list of “fake news” (obviously no one at the WaPo has bothered to look in the mirror) websites from an anonymous source. Anyway, my apologies to you if I missed irony at work here.

BTW, why wasn’t DAA on the list…are we doing something wrong?

5:15 PM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

Dr MB,

Here's the citation for Streeck's article titled "How Will Capitalism End?"

https://newleftreview.org/II/87/wolfgang-streeck-how-will-capitalism-end

5:31 PM  
Blogger Frantisek Panuskova said...

MB,

Looks like your prediction of a faster decline under Trump could gain substantial extra momentum with a serious show-down over the CIA-proclaimed Russian hack! Now, there are reports about plans to somehow remove Trump and handing the election to Clinton! That would be a show worth watching! CNN 'Breaking News' would be renamed 'Supernova'!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/russian-interference-could-give-courts-legal-authority_us_584be136e4b0151082221b9c

Regarding your longing for a Trump cabinet position, I humbly suggest to be pro-active: call VP-Elect Pence and pitch for the creation of a new Department. Working titles: "Strength through Joy", "Fun", "Trump Dada", "Total and Unrestricted Business", "Bait and Switch" , "Humanities are Bull", or simply apply as "Special Envoy for Visigoth Affairs."

- Fran

12:28 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Juliet--Given the Washington Post's recent smear campaign against legitimate independent websites and the CIA's obvious anger at Trump for not wanting daily intelligence briefings, I would take their report about Putin's influence on the election with a huge grain of salt. Also consider the CIA's long track record of not just influencing other democratic governments, but toppling them through coups and assassinations. The very idea that the Democrats are engaging in McCarthyite tactics against even liberal critics of Clinton, and are now hoping that the CIA will issue a report that might result in the election verdict being overturned shows why they deserved to lose and why America was going to be fucked no matter which way the it went.

What we've been witnessing in the past month is a rapid breakdown in trust in the American electoral process. It's just ironic that it is the Clinton forces doing all of the undermining rather that Trump and his backers. The results, however, are just as damaging at a time when the public's faith in nearly every institution is at an all time low. I'm beginning to think that Trump is appointing so many politically loyal generals to top positions because he legitimately fears that there will be a coup launched against him by elements in the intelligence community backed by billionaires like Buffett, Bezos and Soros, possibly by undermining the electoral college vote. With the recount effort hitting a dead end that seems to be the aim of all the current sound and fury, but the only thing that would be worse now than Trump taking office would be the explosion that will likely happen if the result is indeed overturned.

1:44 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Fran-

Those are gd. I was actually thinking of "Office of Accelerated Collapse."

mb

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

For Many, Narcissism Tied to Social Media Behaviors

http://psychcentral.com/news/2016/12/05/social-media-provides-forum-for-narcissistic-individuals-to-self-promote/113460.html

Good article on the decline of the American Dream.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/08/opinion/the-american-dream-quantified-at-last.html

I honestly don't feel bad though. The Golden Age of Capitalism was never going to last forever and the American Dream was ultimately about endless hustling and never recognizing limits. That being said, the fallout from millions of disappointed and angry Americans will be horrific. Americans don't react with grace when things don't go our way.

11:07 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Dan,

Yes, like the cell phone, dangerous and unnessary psych meds are a substitute teacher's best friend. Zombified students mean that you can pretty much just read a book throughout the day, or do your own work in peace. None of that tedious teaching stuff! 15 million adolescent chemical labotomies (see Robert Whitaker's excellent "Mad in America") make for wonderful classroom management.

11:20 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Personally, I'm sleeping better knowing that the Russians are planning to take over the US. Many thanks to the CIA -- an agency who knows a thing or two about tampering w/foreign elections. Nice to see that CIA services have been useful to us since the 1948 Italian elections on down to the wads of American cash packed in suitcases and delivered to Hamid Karzai. In any event, I was up b4 dawn this morning to strip down and clean my Kalashnikov; nothing worse than a dirty Kalashnikov, I hafta say. Reassembly is tricky, tho. What kind of oil do u guys use on yr Kalashnikovs, Wafers? I also discovered cases of old Russian AK ammo.

Miles

11:55 AM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

I thought all Wafers might find the following new book by Kent Nerburn interesting:

Voices in The Stones - Life lessons from the Native Way.

Below is a review of this book:

http://www.readthespirit.com/explore/kent-nerburn-timely-voices-from-indian-country/

I have read most of Kent's books and I think he is the best non-Native writer about Native America I know of (I have met him in person).

Best Wishes,
Himanshu

2:17 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

This Ex-CIA operative is calling for a new US election because of Russian interference in the election....

http://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2016/12/10/robert-baer-new-election-russia-hacking-nr.cnn

4:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Fran-

Sorry, cdn't post it (24-hr rule).

Jeff-

I hate to admit it: Johnson's Baby Oil. Hey, whatever works, rt?

Wafers-

This sent to my email from James Allen:

http://www.salon.com/2016/12/11/donald-trumps-winner-takes-all-wasteland-america-will-never-be-great-if-we-continue-to-worship-the-hustle/

mb

6:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Waferinos-

I recall reading, recently, of some study regarding how people react when their beliefs are confronted w/facts that refute those beliefs. I can't recall if the study was done specifically on Americans or progs, but the conclusion was that the people in question do not revise their beliefs. Rather, they dig their heels in even more irrationally, to defend themselves.

We are now witnessing this in spades, among the progs. Rdg prog web sites borders on the hilarious. The election of Trump suggests that a gd half of the country thinks political correctness is a pile of horse dung. These folks regard things such as loss of jobs and homes just a tad more important for American life than legal battles over who gets to use transgender bathrooms. This is also known as common sense. However, the election of Trump made no dent in progworld. Indeed, the progs are getting all worked up regarding how to stop Trump, how to defend/promote political correctness, and in general how to do precisely the things that cost Hillary the election. I come back to Gore Vidal's famous statement that Americans simply never learn anything, w/the additional comment that progs are the dumbest of the lot. Of course, I have no doubt that Trump will inflict significant damage on the nation and accelerate the process of our decline, and (once again) I'm a bit hurt that he hasn't chosen me for a top post in his admin, to further these aims; but I'm also certain that the progs are contributing to our collapse in no small measure. As a result, it's hard for me to be angry at them; but god, those folks are funny.

mb

8:02 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46017.htm

9:35 PM  
Blogger Juliet Cash said...

afers, MB, Hicks, Saravasti, Miles

I've been skeptic of these reports as well considering the CIA's history, however, it is worthy of mentioning The Boy Who Cried Wolf fable. Perhaps this time they might be right given that if this final report had been a Clinton/Obama/CIA conspiracy it would've been made available before Trump got elected - especially, during the FBI's James Comey last allegations of new emails that turned to be nothing in the end. If Obama and the DNC were behind this they should have kept a grip on Comey who clearly influenced the election towards Trump. However, it is fun seeing how much Trump uses his own private phone to call and make private meetings with state dignitaries. Or how little he cares about intelligence briefings- he skips them because he's already abreast of the entire situation. He is in direct contact with whoever matters to him- including the enemies of the state. Also when it comes to propaganda or erroneous media reports is anyone safe in the media? Will we have to assume then that the truth is never available in journalism and as such we can all come up with our very own theories of what's real? Trump thinks just like that. I prefer to look at each report objectively. When I see a president elect who has enormous conflicts of interests, who won't release his taxes and that nominates EXXON's CEO who has a long documented business relationships with Putin -http://www.ibtimes.com/political-capital/donald-trump-exxon-ceo-who-could-be-secretary-state-runs-company-often-lobbied to be in charge of our foreign policy I start wondering if the CIA might be up to something here.
Anyway, MB, is hustling going to end due to a Trump bomb? Will Americans become more vigilant of their rights or meaner towards each other under Trump? Has justice and progress both happened incrementally or at once? I still think that with Hillary we could have had more incremental progress. Her platform was after all not too far from Bernie's after he exerted pressure. She could at least be persuaded by facts- can't say the same for Trump. He has to gain something to be persuaded- regardless of facts. The divide and conquer tactics Trump is preparing for us might be an extinction level event we won't recover from. (Unless his own incompetence gets him impeached)

JC
Ps: MB, you need to check this link out- you are in it!
http://www.salon.com/2016/12/11/donald-trumps-winner-takes-all-wasteland-america-will-never-be-great-if-we-continue-to-worship-the-hustle/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

10:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Juliet-

Again, it's a question of what you want. Do you want this debacle to play out in slo-mo, or to just have it finally over and done with? Incremental progress (yawn), or major collapse/nonrecovery? Because there weren't any other choices. There isn't any rt or wrong here; it's just a matter of taste. BTW, pls keep yr posts down to half page max, thank you.

mb

10:37 PM  
Anonymous BH said...

I think what you are describing Dr. Berman is called framing. A cognitive scientist name George Lakoff has written many interesting books for the layman describing exactly what you are talking about. One short work is named "Don't Think of an Elephant" and another book I have of his is "Moral Politics". Very interesting reading.

Basically, he and other cognitive scientists have proven people are dominated and motivated by two or three basic emotions. One type of person is primarily fear based and a heavy emphasis and awareness is placed on the pecking order. Other people are dominated by empathy and a sense of caring for other people and fairness. What has been discovered is that you have millions and billions of motor nerons in your brain that basically "light up" when it sees, hears, and participates in something that arouses fear or acknoweldgement of the pecking order. A seperate set of neurons "light up" when you do or see something empathetic or nurturing. If you grow up in an enviroment that is nurturant primarily then the neurons that respond to fear and knowing your place/dominance tend to die off from lack of use. The same thing happens with your empathetic and caring neurons if you grow up in a fearful enviroment with little nurturance or care and heavy emphasis on knowing your place. What you have left are the neurons that respond to fear and authority.

These cognitive scientists have discovered how to use this in advertising for certain products you buy and politicians use it to get select groups of the population motivated to vote a certain way or for a certain candidate. Republicans usually try to get the votes of people who are heavy on fear and a need for everyone to know their place. Democrats get the ones who are primarily empathetic. It's isn't just limited to politics. You can see this with different churches and religions. There is a rigid God is going to smite you so be afraid version of Christianity that appeals to some people, some it is God is all loving and sweet and kind. Same thing can be found in Judaism and ISlam. You see it in your place of work too. Some bosses are fearful and rely on fear and blatant use of power to get things done. Others are more caring and reflect a caringness to get stuff done.

This post is already long. I'll more tomorrow if you want.



10:45 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

THE SOUTHERN ''PROBLEM'' - ''Why, you meet more beggars in one day, in any single street of the city of New York, than you would meet in a lifetime in the whole South'' -https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_%27Mudsill%27_Theory

Has anyone read ''Hillbilly Elegy''? Apparently the author contends that culture has something to do with the Southern Divide, if I can put that way. Jacobin editors whinge about this being an apologetic for capitalism: perhaps, but is this why the Left have so alienated the mass of people? Cf Brexit

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/10/hillbilly-elegy-review-jd-vance-national-review-white-working-class-appalachia/

10:53 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Think of the U.S. like a urinal or a toilet--you do your business there and move on. Period. Emigrate or NMI.

10:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

BH-

Yes, pls watch length, thank you. This one needed to be slightly shorter.

mb

11:22 PM  
Anonymous David G. said...

I'm feeling a bit confused about the assessment of the "progressives" here. Yes, maybe many are overly optimistic or are overly enthusiastic cheerleaders about the possibility of stopping or at least blunting Trump, but what is the alternative to trying? Despair? Nihilistic acceptance? I can't emigrate. NMI is already something I try to do to some extent. But can't resistance also be seen as part of NMI? I can associate with like-minded people who are as horrified as I am about what Trump will do to the country, and we can encourage each other to stay true to our principles -- kindness, acceptance, respect, etc. We may indeed be like the doomed fighters at the Battle of the Alamo here, but I don't want to just roll over and give up. Or am I missing the point about the progressives?

11:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

David-

I think it comes down to a realistic assessment of what is possible. The NMI's I discuss in the Twilight book were each activists in their own way, ways that I think made sense (esp. locally). The problem now is that "the fix is in"--there is simply no way of saving the country or of reversing the dominant trend, and if you go to prog web sites you'll see that they are living in the fantasy that this is not so. (There is also the question of what there actually is in American culture to be saved, and whom you would be saving it for--since 99% of the country doesn't give a shit about Herman Melville, e.g., or even know who he was. Do you really wanna knock yrself out for a nation of clowns?) The #1 action of someone who does understand where we're at is to leave the country, and #2 is to be an NMI. Most NMI activity is abt cultural preservation; but if (local) resistance or trying to achieve something positive (all of which is the plus side of Dual Process as well) is viable, I'd certainly say Go for it--if that is really what you wanna do. However, my comments above on the subject of progs was largely directed to their penchant for political correctness, and this is the activity of idiots (in the guise of 'liberation'). Writing in 1979, Christopher Lasch commented that having discovered in the 60s that we cdn't change the things that really mattered, we then decided to invest our energy in changing the things that didn't. Much prog activity falls into this category (=rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic).

And finally, since you *aren't* going to turn this (doomed) country around, it becomes necessary to put yr energy into what you really believe is valuable, and that is a matter of individual choice.

mb

12:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Let me just add one other thing. American politics and thought in general is Manichaean: We are gd, the other is evil. This never ends. We cd have thought more deeply abt socialism during the Cold War, and have tried to incorporate the positive elements in it, into our own way of life. Not a chance. We cd do the same thing now with Islam: yeah, that's gonna happen. Meanwhile, the progs are following the all-American pattern: Trump is evil incarnate and his followers are dummies (and/or brainwashed)--"a basket of deplorables." Yet these people are (by and large) *not* evil, and had something very important to say to liberals: While you guys were worried about transgender bathrooms and bowdlerizing the work of Mark Twain and others so that (god forbid) no one is offended by 19C language, we were getting destroyed by the economic system you had fashioned and supported. Namely, getting laid off, losing our homes, going to bed hungry, and living one paycheck away from economic disaster.

The Dems barely understood that they had betrayed the poor and the working class, and rdg these prog web sites, I have the impression that they still don't get it. Hillary certainly didn't, as her concession speech wd indicate. The 'liberals' continue to ignore what many millions of people were saying about the economic system that the liberals had constructed (and which benefited only them). Their focus remains "stronger together," "diversity," little girls shd emulate Hillary (Jesus H. Christ!), and also the attempt to discredit/repeal the election results. So what America did w/Russia, and does w/Islam, the liberals are now doing with Trump and the Trumpites, whereas if they had a lick o' sense they might try learning something from them. Again, not a chance.

All civilizations come to an end, but a civ can prolong its life on earth by incorporating oppositional elements into itself, and thereby maintaining a certain flexibility. (Rome did do this to a great extent, in fact, and had a very long run as a result.) America, progs included, has no idea how to do this, and even if it did, it wd still cling to the Manichaean (=suicidal) path. This is all it knows.

mb

12:38 AM  
Blogger NeilW said...

SOUTHERN CHARM I hope people enjoy this essay: a course on the South, which echoes much of what Dr Berman says:

'' The New England shopkeepers and theologians never really developed a civilization; all they ever developed was a government. They were, at their best, tawdry and tacky fellows, oafish in manner and devoid of imagination; one searches the books in vain for mention of a salient Yankee gentleman; as well look for a Welsh gentleman. But in the South there were men of delicate fancy, urbane instinct and aristocratic manner-in brief, superior men-in brief, gentry''.

''A certain notable spaciousness was in the ancient Southern scheme of things. The Ur-Confederate had leisure. He liked to toy with ideas. He was hospitable and tolerant. He had the vague thing that we call culture''. http://www2.fiu.edu/~sabar/enc3311/The%20Sahara%20of%20the%20Bozart%20-%20Mencken.pdf

7:14 AM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

Liebe Amerikaner, Sei schlau, bleib doof! Lauf um die Fahnenstange schneller und schneller und Sie können Ihren eigenen Arsch ficken.

https://youtu.be/KLODGhEyLvk

8:24 AM  
Anonymous Ram Gana said...

Re MB and others' recent continuing remarks about options (NMI or leave)...

Here's my thing, for whatever it's worth. I can't leave. It's a long story, but I can't. I've tried to NMI, in my own way (really, various ways over the past twenty years), but that's gone nowhere. Again, a long story. Now at the risk of sounding pompous, this needs to be said. People who have never had a good, solid course in symbolic logic (and thus have not experienced the shock of seeing the real limits of the reasoning process, in stark fashion) I have found generally incapable of believing in miracles. False pride in reason is a tremendous stumbling block, but miracles are genuine phenomena. By the same token, however, because of the limits of reason and the nature of the phenomena, one literally cannot "count" on miracles. Here's the point, though. If it's all one has left, faith in the possibility of a miracle can be a valid basis for maintenance of hope. So, with family and friends growing more distant by the day (refusing to acknowledge the "end of empire" reality and believing that everything can be cured with a pill), and the loneliness eating away at my insides (spiritual and physical), I am hanging on hoping for a fucking miracle.

9:14 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Hi Wafers,

@NeilW re: Hillbilly Elegy,

I read about half of that book, and then I put it down. I felt like it did little to explain how Appalachian people and those who migrated to the midwest got to be the way they are. I thought it did an exceptional job of explaining how one person, the author, took up the hustling life and succeeded at it. I had high hopes for the book. The good review given it by the New York Times should have been my clue to stay away.

My people came from the hills and many of them migrated to Ohio to work. Their circumstances were driven by economics. Hillbilly Elegy is a feel-good narrative about one person's ability to hustle and make money. It does little to explain the heroin epidemic, violence and despair faced by many Americans, not just Appalachians. If you want to read a superb perspective on life in the south, I would recommend the late Joe Bageant's work. Paul Theroux's book Deep South is also an excellent account of what is happening in the south and why.

9:51 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Esca-

Yes, a great clip; I've seen it b4. Only 4 social critics have put their finger on the issue: Americans are dumb as shit. These are H.L. Mencken (see NeilW, above), George Carlin, Gore Vidal, and myself. Mencken was dismissed as a crank, and Carlin as a comedian. Gore was an embarrassment, because he defected from the ruling class. And I don't count because I'm not even on the radar screen. But the accuracy of this analysis won't go away, even tho everybody, progs in particular, ignore it (it's not politically correct!). This is why I'm not sure what to say to someone like David G., above: you don't want to just "roll over and give up," fine; but if you decide to fight, exactly whom or what r.u. fighting for? Whom will you save? 322 million assholes? A culture that amts to little more than hustling? You seriously think you (or anybody, anything) can change a 400-yr history of kleptocracy and moronism? This bulldozer crushed or ignored anyone who deviated from its path, who spoke of a different way of life: the Puritan divines, Capt. John Smith, Emerson, Thoreau, Mumford, Jane Jacobs, John Kenneth Galbraith, Vance Packard, Jimmy Carter...

mb

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

Of interest....

http://fredrikdeboer.com/2016/12/11/the-birthering-of-the-democrats/

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Fruit Woman said...

Hi Dr. Berman, Wafers.
Dr. Berman-
I can't figure out how to interpret many of the larger current events, so I tend to settle on anecdotal representations for my understanding. On your prophetic statement, "Americans are dumb as shit", I sometimes think you may be describing me. I don't mean you're insulting me personally, I'm a bit more stable than that. (I do daily affirmations to remind myself that it's OK to be "not the brightest bulb in the marquee". Ha!)
But, I do have a couple of questions you might be able to tease out here: Does the soon-to-be inaugurated president know he's a joke who gets to enjoy incredible power or is he actually seriously deranged and can't see his complete lack of qualifications to even remotely be considered a statesman? Is he actually crazy or crazy like a fox, elevated for all intents and purposes to destroy every standing social policy to ensure the unwashed public has all moorings cut and is left to its own devices, barbarism. I guess his awareness doesn't truly matter in effect, but maybe my real question is, how does he so perfectly demonstrate in every moment, the lack of precedence for everything he does without personal consequence? What is going on here? I feel like I'm experiencing a collective acid trip, not that US politics has really made sense to me for 35 years. - Fruit

PS Mike- Thanks for the reminder. Reading Joe Bageant's blog led me to our dear Great All-Knowing Seer's blog, DAA, where I read what MB wrote upon Joe's death. I loved Joe's writing. I made the mistake of sending one of his books as a gift to someone who I considered somewhat enlightened. They described the book as an example of me "always sending kinda twisted gifts". It was, I think, "Deer Hunting With Jesus".

12:51 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB-

Thanks for the Baby Oil tip. My Kalashnikov is my baby...

MB, Wafers-

I absolutely love watching the progs turn into bullhorns for the CIA. Here are a couple of good essays:

https://theintercept.com/2016/12/10/anonymous-leaks-to-the-washpost-about-the-cias-russia-beliefs-are-no-substitute-for-evidence/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2016/10/13/the-long-history-of-the-u-s-interfering-with-elections-elsewhere/?utm_term=.8e27963e0ded

Millich V. Delov

ps: Does Putin even need to manipulate the damaged and deranged Americans?:

http://www.omaha.com/news/metro/westside-home-ec-teacher-is-fed-semen-frosting-three-freshmen/article_627e5a25-e232-5651-8fd1-38d15fdb67a3.html

12:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

Semen story most enlightening. I think Putin may change his patronymic to Semenovich. Meanwhile, Americans are so beaten down he can probably do anything he wants to us, even our cupcakes.

Fruit! Yr back!-

Who can know what goes on in the mind of Trump? I personally believed that he and Bernie were the only authentic voices in the race, but it was also the case that he saw something no one else did: his authentic voice struck a very deep chord. His campaign advisers tried to get him to cool it, they even resigned, but he was onto something: being outrageous was exactly what his constituency wanted. It was the ultimate in political incorrectness, and it worked like a charm. I doubt that he has any interest in being a 'statesman', either. Fuck that. He believes (correctly) that the US govt has, since Bill Clinton, been completely full of dog turds, and also believes (probably incorrectly) that it can and shd be run like a business. Since I think America needs to apologize to the entire world and fold its cards, I'm hoping he does irreparable damage to the place. But he's a loose cannon, and it's hard to predict anything at this pt. He may, for example, do stupid things that prove to work; it's really hard to say. But Trump or no Trump, the vector of history is over, and the Zeitgeist is moving on: we are in serious decline, and will very likely be a minor actor on the world stage by the time I croak in 2045--maybe even earlier.

Check out the link provided by Golf. What a bunch of jokers the Dems are. It really is time to update the Gettysburg Address: "a nation of turkeys, by turkeys, and for turkeys, and it will surely perish from the face of the earth." Keep that in mind, and you'll surely be the brightest bulb in the marquee.

mb

2:24 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

Worth noting that Trump is currently attacking the CIA, Lockheed Martin and Boeing, rather than women and minorities.

4:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

It took nearly forever, but "Neurotic Beauty" is finally back online and available once again thru Amazon. This is a major relief to me, since it was offline for nearly 2 mos. while my publisher went thru a change of distributor. Hopefully, there won't be any more glitches.

News regarding my other books: Echo Point Press is republishing "Spinning Straw Into Gold," and that shd be available w/in a month or two. These are the same folks who republished "Coming to Our Senses"--a fine outfit.

Finally, my agent is currently trying to market my 2nd collection of essays, entitled "Are We There Yet?" This is a tough slog, since Americans tend not to buy essay collections, but he and I are doing our best. Stay tuned, more info as things develop. (Most of these essays, from 2010-16, were originally posted on the blog and are lodged in the Archives, but were never officially published. A few were, however.)

Miles raised the question of whether WAF had experienced a surge in sales, due to the Trump victory. We are only 12 days into Dec., but it looks like the answer might be yes. Not that I am able as yet to put a downpayment on a villa in Tuscany, sad to say, but there is definitely some sort of trend in progress. I'm hoping that as more and more people realize that the nation has basically turned into a banana republic, and are looking for answers as to why we are resolutely marching into a totally dysfunctional future, this trend will continue.

In that vein, I have no data as of yet from the publisher regarding something similar going on for TMWQ. Surely this little novel is relevant to our current state of affairs, w/regular politics a farce, and Hillary having a total meltdown on stage (her face turns purple, swells to twice its size, and she rolls around the podium, frothing at the mouth--lovely little episode).

Buffoons rule, kiddies!

mb

6:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: This cd be a possible metaphor for what is happening to the US:

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/dec/12/star-meets-spectacular-fate-death-by-supermassive-black-hole

6:20 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

The award of Liberal Douchebag of the Month (lots of competition there) goes to Jill Stein, who has done Trump such a huge solid that he ought to consider appointing her to his cabinet (HHS Deputy Secretary, maybe?). In Wisconsin, idiot Stein spent $3.5 million (more than she spent on the entire general election) just to determine that Trump's actually won the state by 162 MORE votes than was initially reported. In Pennsylvania, her recount request was thrown out by a federal judge who said in his ruling that her cybersecurity "experts'" suggestion that the PA vote may have been hacked "borders on the irrational." So in essence, Stein managed to greatly enhance the credibility of Trump's victory and blew a shitload of money in the process.

Another book WAFers might want to check out is foreign policy analyst John Feffer's novella, Splinterlands, which was just published last month. Feffer imagines the world of 2050, extrapolating today's political and environmental trends, in which the large nation-states like the U.S., Russia, China and also the EU have shattered (hence the title) and scavenger capitalism is feeding on the remains. It's not an epic story like The Mandibles, but is quite plausible and frightening nevertheless. A quick read at a mere 150 pages, it would be a good WAFer stocking stuffer.

https://www.amazon.com/Splinterlands-John-Feffer/dp/1608467244/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1481585407&sr=1-1&keywords=splinterlands+by+john+feffer

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

Golf pro. Trump shouldn't be messing with CIA and the MIC . Look what happened to JFK.

6:48 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bill-

I agree. Jill is a colossal turkey; also a douche bag. An outstanding prog, to be sure. She cd have spent all that $ on therapy for herself, wh/she badly needs.

mb

7:08 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Reality is that which when you stop believing it, doesn't go away. Philip K. Dyck.

america is/was/always has been a big joke and a imperialistic barbaric bullies. A few are starting to perhaps maybe potentially wake up to reality.

However, the delusional calls for action, dont take it lyin' down, "fight" the man, or whatever is/was futile. It's game over. Grab the popcorn, corn syrup drink, and enjoy the shit show. The business is a failure. And all the kings horses, and all the kings "men," couldn't put the hustling "country" back together again.

7:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike-

Dick

mb

7:30 PM  
Anonymous Dean said...

More pseudo-intellectal musings on the Trump-Putin dynamic...

I think we may see (be already seeing) Trump following the Putin playbook. Remember when Putin assumed the presidency, Russia was an outright, overt oligarchy with a disaffected general populace. There was also widespread Islamophobia and homeland security fears (Chechyan separatists, apparently, were blowing up apartment buildings in Moscow.)

So, Putin clamped down on the Islamists and put a cloak of legitimizing restraint on the oligarchs. He also played to a strong base of conservatives uncomfortable with and offended by modern liberal culture (I.e. the Pussy Riot affair.) Throw in the nationalism stoked by US bellicosity, backed by the European stooges and you have probably the most popular leader in the world right now.

Trump enters a not all that dissimilar situation. His task now is to put a kindler, gentler face on an increasingly naked oligarchy. I stated before that some bones would be thrown the way of the rabble (infrastructure bill equaling some decent paying jobs.)

I'll go further. I predict, early in his term, Trump will propose a guaranteed basic income and universal healthcare. They will be intertwined and have a heavy private sector element that will open the door to the full privatization of social security and Medicare. This way (along with hefty tax cuts) the elites get their money back on the other end. It is the liberal professional and administrative class that sold their soul to Hillary that will be left holding the bag.

I can hardly contain my excitement at the prospect.

7:47 PM  
Blogger centralscrewtinizer said...

Chinese nickname for Chump....Hoa X.
The wrecking crew he has assembled is breathtaking in its lack of imagination. Its fun to see parts of the world licking its chops.
The Syrian dictator is named Bashar, but I am seeing, with a slight spelling adjustment, a universal name appearing....Basher. In Chief, as it were.

11:36 PM  

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