February 11, 2017

291

Wafers!

Rejoice! Hillary is marginalized at last; we never have to see that Botoxed Face, and that insane laugh, again (brr!). The Don is at the helm, as we sail into the sunset.

O&D, amigos; O&D.

-mb

108 Comments:

Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...


This article is worth reading :

Too Close for Comfort ---

How much do the early days of the Trump administration look like the Third Reich? Historian Richard Evans weighs in :

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/interrogation/2017/02/historian_richard_evans_says_trump_s_america_isn_t_exactly_like_the_third.html

Authoritarian leaders of nations in steep decline have the bad habit of searching for and finding scapegoats. What are those scapegoats likely to be in the USA? My guess includes obvious ones - Muslims, dark-skinned immigrants, dissident activists, assertive and independent journalists, vocal and well known opponents of oppressive policies, etc. I am reminded of what happened to Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Nazi Germany.

If the US empire, and even the nation itself, seems headed for irreversible collapse, we should not begin to celebrate prematurely. If there's nothing prepared in advance to replace the USA and its government, it seems very likely that something horrible and unnecessary will happen, such as an especially disastrous war or even a nasty domestic conflict.

5:50 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Marc-

I don't think we hafta worry all that much, altho I'm sure a lot of nasty things will happen as the US implodes, because America is not a graceful nation and it won't die gracefully. But in any case, the Roman Empire didn't collapse in a day, leaving some enormous power vacuum (as was the case w/the USSR; which I suppose cd happen here). With some impt exceptions, equivalent to 9/11 or the crash of 2008, it just disintegrated on a daily basis until, in A.D. 476, a tribal Germanic leader became the emperor (Odoacer). In addition, the idea of Dual Process is that as capitalism goes under, an alternative set of institutions will arise to replace it--altho I agree, that will be a struggle here (as opposed to Europe and Latin America, say). But the crucial pt is that our celebration or lack thereof is totally irrelevant to the historical process: it will play out as it has to. The cheering of 171 Wafers and other assorted declinists ain't gonna make much difference for that process, one way or the other.

mb

9:09 AM  
Anonymous Elizabeth T. said...

https://thenextwavefutures.wordpress.com/2017/02/08/revisiting-the-ik/

Harsh words focusing on anthropologist Colin Turnbull and his book "the Mountain People". Seemed a lil bit hostile, but it was also a lil bit informative. I always liked the book, and his more uplifting "The Forest People"

Know anything about an overturning of his research MB?

9:09 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Kanye (from the previous post),
Your story reminds me of when Gore Vidal was to appear on the David Letterman show. Dave was not sure the audience would know Gore so he asked him to introduce himself to the audience before taping. Gore refused and left the show without appearing. Hell, the Japanese place writers on their currency!
Mark,
Prematurely or post prematurely, I will celebrate. If Trump is able through his profound ignorance and incompetence destroy or at least weaken the twin evils of capitalism and militarism I will wholeheartedly celebrate. Maybe this country will suffer but the world will express a deep sigh of relief and so will the environment. Still, I am furious at former president, Oshitforbrains. He had the power to provide a blanket amnesty for all undocumented and didn't. He didn't even protect the students in the DACA program which he initiated! My guess is that he preferred the optics of ICE officers grabbing 3rd graders out of their classrooms to doing anything of merit.

9:16 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Liz-

Afraid I don't; ever since WG, I haven't kept up w/the anthro lit. But I believe I did write an essay on Turnbull in QOV, wh/you might wanna check out.

mb

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Sad Admirer said...

Gosh, went down the wrong rabbit hole this morning, finally looking in2 Vidal and the alleged pedophilia claims made after his death...letters, little boys in Thailand, a sister's confirmation, somehow I never heard about this shit a few yrs ago. Ugh, he is a real hero of mine...I guess Mother Theresa and Gandhi had a lot of bones in their closets, too. But...ugh....

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Tybee Lee said...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/01/27/in-venezuela-we-couldnt-stop-chavez-dont-make-the-same-mistakes-we-did/?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-a%253Ahomepage%252Fstory&utm_term=.8dc7f76b4c82

Interesting article on our predicament, in that it was written from Venezuela, and bc it have been written by author's Id:

“Don’t waste your time trying to prove that this grand idea is better than that one. Ditch all the big words. The problem, remember, is not the message but the messenger. It’s not that Trump supporters are too stupid to see right from wrong, it’s that you’re more valuable to them as an enemy than as a compatriot. Your challenge is to prove that you belong in the same tribe as them.”

11:03 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sad-

Any evidence for this? I can't go on alleged claims or letters. This requires real proof. Anyone can say anything, after all.

mb

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Man, Michel Onfray is spot on---all the west can do is play violin/horn/oboe-whatever on the sinking ship.

1 full hr of contemplation, critical thinking, respect, and authentic intelligence from the panel and Mr Onfray--very unamerican! Was waiting for screaming, ad hominem attacks, angry drunk rage, france, france, france shouts, and brawls sans doute.

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Dulouz Jr. said...

Long time follower, first time contributor. Interesting aticle in Friday's Common Dreams by Jerry Lambcke: Fake News is not new and Huxley, not Orwell, is the Messenger.

2:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

More and more Americans are losing it:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/dr-gridlock/wp/2017/02/12/a-united-pilot-ranted-about-trump-clinton-and-divorce-her-passengers-fled/?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories_united-flight-1110am%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.ddee15ee1e14

3:08 PM  
Anonymous troutbum said...


Dear MB and all Wafers,

I've been following the data, not necessarily the theories or models because the reality of climate change is all around us. If a giant meteor or a Trumpian WW3 doesn't end life on this planet, I have no doubt that human beings will pollute the planet to extinction.
Check out : https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/12/humans-causing-climate-to-change-170-times-faster-than-natural-forces?CMP=share_btn_tw
Or this : http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/02/2045-east-coast-cities-flood-3-times-week.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+NakedCapitalism+%28naked+capitalism%29

And don't miss fellow traveler Charles Hugh Smith here : http://www.oftwominds.com/blogfeb17/plantation-servitude2-17.html

5:16 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

trout -- the climate blog Arctic News has been sounding the alarm about the possibility that we may now be entering a phase of accelerated global warming, which could increase planetary temperatures by more than 10 degrees fahrenheit in a little as a decade. They point to the great increase in methane releases, as well as alarming data such at the fact that this past Friday, the North Pole registered a temperature ABOVE FREEZING, or an astonishing 54 degrees above normal. If their warning is correct, it would be an extinction level event--and how ironic that it could happen with an avowed climate change denier in the White House?

http://arctic-news.blogspot.nl/2017/02/warning-of-mass-extinction-of-species-including-humans-within-one-decade.html

On a cautionary note, I'm always wary of imminent predictions of mankind's demise for whatever reason is cited--somehow the date always manages to get pushed back. I also find the site's call for immediate action someone laughable given that 1). only an immediate and near total succession of industrial activity worldwide would have any effect in such a short timespan and, 2). if they are correct in their prediction it is far too late to stop it from happening anyway.

9:59 PM  
Anonymous John S said...

Yes, three cheers for the Donald so far. He has far exceeded my expectations in representing the true naked face of America in so many ways - it's impossible to fully express, volumes are waiting future historians, now even reducing the presidency to baldly hawking his daughters products, quite a grand start. And to think it has only been three weeks. With the cabinet in place, and funding bills coming up, all the fun stuff is going to start to begin soon, the dismantling and stripping down of everything is just about to begin. After the deportation force, the big question is, when is the next war coming? But don't worry, just go shopping, it is the American way, I hear a new IPhone may be coming out soon. Weee!

12:12 AM  
Anonymous John said...

Hello,

Check out this article:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/02/13/something-is-happening/

Dr B, you're cited in it !

7:39 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

John-

Gd article, and thanks for the ref!

mb

9:11 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Whatever shocks climate change brings us, I'm betting the typical American will be among those least able to cope. Consider the general level of ignorance here: 10% of college graduates polled believed Judge Judy is a Supreme Court justice; less than 20% of them knew the effect of the Emancipation Proclamation; American universities offer their "customers" courses such as "What If Harry Potter Is Real?" and "How to Watch TV"; high school-level graduates from Finland, Japan, and the Netherlands scored on a par with millenials with a college degree in tests of general knowledge. These things are what were once considered "general knowledge" and hardly esoteric. If you assume that at least some of the difficulties we'll face will demand general as well a scientific knowledge and good reasoning skills, then the picture appears even gloomier. All the while politicians continue to make hay from the populace's distrust of and disregard for science and "book learning." (See Hofstadter).

Here's a "how stupid are we" article that offers more examples. It's from 2012, but odds are that things haven't improved much. Indeed, they're likely much worse. And there are plenty more articles like this one.

http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/dumb-as-a-rock-you-will-be-absolutely-amazed-at-the-things-that-u-s-high-school-students-do-not-know

11:13 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jas-

As far as embracing austerity and living w/less, the problem goes far beyond the ignorance and stupidity of Americans--as bad as these are. In my Japan bk, I quote from Wm Ophuls, who was an asst to various US ambassadors to Japan, who wrote (1974) that Americans were simply not "capable of facing up to these hard choices"; that they had no self-discipline. Faced with the choice of austerity vs. the American Dream, most wd pick the latter--and go to their deaths as a result. I'm reminded of that old Jack Benny joke, of (supposedly) how he was mugged. The mugger pointed his gun at Jack and said, "Your money or your life!" Jack didn't answer, so the mugger extended the gun toward him and said, "Well?" Jack replied: "I'm thinking, I'm thinking." (He was not, in fact, a miser in real life.)

mb

11:45 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Speaking of environment stuff:

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/13/extraordinary-levels-of-toxic-pollution-found-in-10km-deep-mariana-trench

I can't think of a more appropriate photo for the coming decline than a can of Spam in the Mariana Trench

1:42 PM  
Anonymous Harry Haller said...

The police state is almost here already:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/nasa-scientists-detained-border-phone-unlock-trump-immigration-a7577906.html

Trump's low popularity means that control by the military and the secret police of the society will come quicker, not slower.

6:10 PM  
Anonymous Derek said...

Thanks Kanye for the tip on "On n'est pas couché"...I'd seen it a few times before but forgot how good it was. Refreshing to see something like that on TV! Another good one is when Michel Houellebecq went on the show a year or so ago...here's the link if anyone's interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyGX14yz-8w

6:20 PM  
Anonymous Mohamed said...

Have u guys seen Michael moor's where to invade it next? I'm watching it now. What Michael moor doesn't understand is Americans don't want to be like Europeans. They want to be the next warren buffet

7:56 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Good article on Richard Rorty's prediction that America would eventually have a strongman president. Here is a good Rorty quote from the piece:

"The super-rich will have to keep up the pretense that national politics might someday make a difference. Since economic decisions are their prerogative, they will encourage politicians of both the Left and the Right, to specialize in cultural issues. The aim will be to keep the minds of the proles elsewhere – to keep the bottom 75 percent of Americans and the bottom 95 percent of the world’s population busy with ethnic and religious hostilities, and with debates about sexual mores. If the proles can be distracted from their own despair by media-created pseudo-events…the super-rich will have little to fear."

This pretty much describes my opinion of the war between the identity politics factions in America both on the Left and the Right (contrary to what many people believe, conservatives play the identity politics game too, just with different players) and I am really fed up with both groups. Anyway, I think the article is worth a read.

http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/2/9/14543938/richard-rorty-liberalism-vietnam-donald-trump-obama

8:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tom-

Most of what fills the heads of Americans on a daily basis is exactly this kind of crap, wh/they regard as very important. And yes, this does go rt across the political spectrum.

Mo-

Exactly rt, and this is what makes the progs--even including Noam Chomsky--kind of pathetic. They really don't get it, that the deepest aspiration of the 99% is to enter the ranks of the 1%. Americans are *not* interested in the things that the progs think they are interested in, or think that they 'should' be interested in. The progs are like people who are trying to set fire to water.

mb

10:03 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

So what kind of perks do you get by being a member of the 1%? Why, getting your photo taken with the nuclear "football," and posting it on social media, of course:

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-13/indiscriminate-mar-lago-member-poses-nuclear-football-and-posts-facebook\

Of all the Trump stories so far, I actually find this to be by far the most disturbing. First of all, the guy having the pictures taken is 72-years old, meaning he grew up at the absolute height of the cold war when nuclear annihilation often seemed only moments away, yet seems to think it's all in good fun. But even worse is that the secret service agent carrying the nuclear codes doesn't remotely seem to comprehend what a grave breach of national security he just allowed. This is why all those liberals who comfort themselves about our supposed "checks and balances" and "constitutional norms" are deluding themselves. When push comes to shove, most feds will follow the orders of those in charge, no matter how insane they may be.

11:32 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

Tom - The comedy It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia had a great little bit about that: the employees of the bar that serves as the center of the action introduce a parliamentary democratic procedure to figure out where all the money is going. The guy who's controlling the money keeps introducing BS non-issues to divert attention [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPFsNtxH7FA]. It's not the most sophisticated satire, but depressingly true.

I don't know if the show has ever been discussed here, but while generally a silly and crude comedy, it often emerges as a remarkably clear-eyed depiction of the stupidity and narcissism we encounter on a daily basis. I wouldn't call it FULL Wafer by any means, but it's humor takes what we all know about American douchebaggery pretty much for granted and really doesn't seem to offer hope that "we're really better than this" or things will improve. If nothing else, the horrid characters often end up with the shoe-urinations their real-life counterparts often sadly escape.

12:38 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Dan-

For an interesting discussion of Jews and Israel, check out "The Counterlife," by Philip Roth. On the whole, this novel is a bit too postmodern for my (conventional) taste, but the discussion is quite absorbing.

mb

7:21 AM  
Anonymous Maggie said...

http://www.stufftoblowyourmind.com/blogs/7-anti-valentines-day-hearts.htm

7 WAFERTINES FOR YOU ALL

from.

Maggie


ps Valentine's roman equivalent. All well and good...but pretty hard on the goats. ------- http://blogs.transparent.com/latin/lupercalia-the-ancient-roman-love-holiday-before-valentines-day/

7:55 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Derek,

Yes Michel Houellebecq should be in the Wafer Hall of Fame.

Kanye

9:50 AM  
Blogger remo26 said...

I'm curious when people read something like Roth's book do they think of the views expressed of the settler section as the monolithic mentality of Jews, Israelis, religious Jews, right-wingers, settlers, or some combination thereof. I find that few outsiders appreciate the diversity of views in IL, and the repressed revulsion that most green-line Israelis have for settlers opportunistically taking advantage of their tax dollars. This is not to sidestep the PA aspect, but rather to indicate that this is the baseline to start with.

It reminds me of when I first heard about the JNF motives (mentioned here a few days ago) in the early 90s about tree-planting while in university in Long Island. My friends were surprised that I didn't know that already. And yet, it still is new news to many. Detractors of all IL play into a convenient meme ala BDS as pointed out in a recent Haaretz article (http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.771471):

... the settlers in the occupied territories have lately begun to mock their critics in Israel: “Hey, what’s the big difference between you and us? You’re also living on Arab land. Who are you to sniff at us? You did the same thing we’re doing. The only difference is that you did it before 1967 and we’re doing it now.”

Here is the difference: We live in a country recognized by most of the rest of the world. The settlers live on land that the rest of the world sees as occupied Palestinian territories.

Take Texas: The United States wrested it from Mexico by war. But if Donald Trump invades Mexico today and seizes another chunk of land, annexing it to the U.S., the status of that land would be completely different from Texas’.

- remo

11:12 AM  
Anonymous COS said...

Odd how many drone on the notion of Trumps ignorance and incompetence. Would americans elect a president who regaled them with readings of Ovid in the original latin or who would hold forth on the merits of Noh theatre in Japan. The subline properties of atonal music and the marvels of quantum mechanics? One does not have to be a fan but Trump is indeed a man of his times. His ignorance and incompetence is such that he took $40 Million and made it $2 billion (bankruptcies are part of any enterprise undertaking hundreds of ventures), he had a big hand in revitalizing new York in the 1980s and he is 70 and is married to a supermodel. As far as things go, if those are the results of ignorance and incompentence I want in. And he beet Hilary Clinton and allied media establishment. Trumpo may be many things, but ignorant and incompetent he is not. Hilary et al made the mistake of underestimating him and now she wanders around dazed in the woods by her house. Is he any more authoritarian than say Obama? Obeying the court in San Francisco on the ban of migrants does not strike me as particularly hitlarian by the way. Is he nice, does he like kittens? Who knows. If anything he is a symptom not a cause.

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Joe Hohos said...

All,

Here's some interviews from an anarchist/libertarian socialist that some of you may enjoy - https://sole.bandcamp.com/album/the-solecast-interviews

Joe

11:50 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

cos-

When Kerry was running for pres, he had to hide the fact that he spoke French. In any case, Trumpo is clearly politically savvy, yr rt. Meanwhile, I think it wd be great if a SWAT team of Wafers were to corner Hillary in the woods, knock back a ton of Bud Lite, and drench her shoes with urine.

remo-

O, I can't start arguing all over again abt Israel; I just wanted to recommend the Roth bk to Dan. And Roth, BTW, presents both sides of the argument: both settlers and the Israeli left. Diversity of views, in short, *is* represented. Careful w/length, in future; thank you.

mb

12:07 PM  
Anonymous Mr Owens said...

Mrs Maggie

Happened upon this
https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/01/07/tom-stoppard-the-real-thing-love/

Remarkable words on the subject by the profound playwright Tom Stoppard

"it’s to do with knowing and being known. I remember how it stopped seeming odd that in biblical Greek, knowing was used for making love. Whosit knew so-and-so. Carnal knowledge. It’s what lovers trust each other with. Knowledge of each other, not of the flesh but through the flesh, knowledge of self, the real him, the real her, in extremis, the mask slipped from the face. Every other version of oneself is on offer to the public. We share our vivacity, grief, sulks, anger, joy… we hand it out to anybody who happens to be standing around, to friends and family with a momentary sense of indecency perhaps, to strangers without hesitation. Our lovers share us with the passing trade. But in pairs we insist that we give ourselves to each other. What selves? What’s left? What else is there that hasn’t been dealt out like a deck of cards? Carnal knowledge. Personal, final, uncompromised. Knowing, being known. I revere that. Having that is being rich, you can be generous about what’s shared — she walks, she talks, she laughs, she lends a sympathetic ear, she kicks off her shoes and dances on the tables, she’s everybody’s and it don’t mean a thing, let them eat cake; knowledge is something else, the undealt card, and while it’s held it makes you free-and-easy and nice to know, and when it’s gone everything is pain. Every single thing. Every object that meets the eye, a pencil, a tangerine, a travel poster. As if the physical world has been wired up to pass a current back to the part of your brain where imagination glows like a filament in a lobe no bigger than a torch bulb. Pain."

Beware the Ides of February, Wafers.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Yep-Dr. Berman---rush dumbell mocked kerry for looking "French" and referred to him as, Jean Cherie or Jean F. Cherie. Gotta love all that anti-intellectual americanism! Go porno, celeb tuchases, and sports!

Seriously, can anyone say 'us/america' with a straight face? This failed business/empire deserves everything it gets. Let it eat itself. Bon débarra

12:59 PM  
Anonymous JRS said...

Enjoy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QSVyyykaEOo&feature=share




Julie

1:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mr. O:

Check it out:

http://www.npr.org/2017/02/14/514578429/hookup-culture-the-unspoken-rules-of-sex-on-college-campuses?utm_campaign=storyshare&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social

It's a new world.

BTW, Hebrew was there w/the word (yo-day-ah) b4 the Greeks: "And Abraham knew his wife Sarah."

mb


1:30 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hola MB and Wafers,

So long General Flynn, it's been good to know ye (sigh). I'm kinda blue, Wafers. A month into this new administration and what do we see: nothing but endless scandals and complete fuck-ups. Prog fears and anti-Trump media drilled us for a solid year as to how Trump was gonna go fascist on us all. It's pretty clear now that Trump excels in chaos and incompetence; and his crew lack the discipline, the focus, and the chops of the Nazis, sad to say. I'm also beginning to think that even if we witness a massive terrorist attack in the coming months, Trump will be blamed rather than the terrorists. This will also invalidate the worst fears of the liberals, of course.

Miles

ps: The only way to assure our complete and utter destruction was to have placed MB as head of the Ministry of Total Collapse. A big mistake, to say the least.

5:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

I'm afraid I hafta agree. This is starting to look like fuck-up stew, really. God, what I coulda done by now as Minister of Total Collapse; it makes me weep.

mb

6:17 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

John Adams on why Trump is not even worthy of theatre https://ww2.kqed.org/arts/2017/02/07/why-john-adams-wont-write-an-opera-about-president-trump/

8:20 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

Let's not forget that the German ruling class was solidly behind Hitler, and even those elements that weren't became very quickly afraid to oppose him. Without this support, he almost certainly could not have succeeded. Not saying that Trump is Hitler, of course, but the American ruling class is far too deeply divided at this point to back one demagogue. We have yet to reach the Marius/Sulla stage of the Republic, let alone Caesar-Pompey. Sadly, our military doesn't have anybody with an ounce of charisma, let alone a track record of success. The only possible candidate I can think of would be David Petraeus. Good lord.

That being said, with the intelligence services openly undermining and circumventing the president in record time [they usually wait till term #2 for these kinds of shenanigans], it seems we will have some sort of Myanmar-style faceless Junta, generals by committee pulling the strings. At least with Messrs Cheney and Nixon, we had some idea of who was in charge.

11:16 PM  
Anonymous Dean said...

I think we are in for an era of openly obvious ceremonial/figurehead presidencies. Don't think it is going to be junta-style, however. The military top brass are as sychophantic to the establishment old guard as anyone. Looks like the entrepreneurial insurgency's attempted take over crashed on take off. Lots of reasons; but the intelligence and military apparatuses remaining so firmly behind the royalist/statist/traditional corporatist old guard clearly did not help.

The question now becomes: how long do they abide with Trump as figurehead? An empty suit with much less bluster and unpredictability would be highly preferable, I'm sure. I don't think it will be long before we see President Pence. He looks the part, and his theo-feudalist proclivities might be more conducive to getting the rank-and-file right back in to the same box.

Going back to the day when all the rabble knew who their Lord and lord were is kind of like making America great again, isn't it?

8:49 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Doctor,
Thanks for all your recommendations. I did order the Roth book but where can I find Facing the Trees? I assume it's part of Yehoshua's short stories but I can't locate it. I was able to read a few synopsis however and you certainly cannot miss the symbolism.
Interestingly, I attended a stand-up comedy show last night and if comedians are the canary in the coal mind, we are headed for tough times. There were 5 comics and with the exception of one they told stories of what it's like to be poor-going to Wawa to eat free crackers, Burger King to get 10 chicken nuggets for $1.50, getting cheap $6 haircuts, etc. One female comic even said she rents herself out to couples and I don't think she was kidding, no pun intended. What a sad life really to be a comic these days. Traveling all over the country to make a few hundred dollars here and there hoping to land a gig on SNL or 10 minutes on Jimmy Fallon. Most will more than likely still be struggling into their 40's then with no other skill to fall back on and not even much put into retirement. Still, I admire them, honing their skills while pursuing something they thoroughly enjoy. Craftsmen, in other words.

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Maggie said...

@Mr October and Mr MB,

Terrific stuff! MB the npr piece is very interesting, how do you think 2day relates to the uninhibited sex revolution of the 60s? Obv little emotional investment, I think I'm going to pick up the book the npr link mentions

and there's this:

https://nytimes.com/2017/02/11/opinion/sunday/husbands-are-deadlier-than-terrorists.html

9:28 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan-

https://www.amazon.com/Continuing-Silence-Poet-Collected-B-Yehoshua/dp/187001572X/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_pl_foot_top?ie=UTF8

mb

12:38 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

So long General Flynn, it's been good to know ye (sigh).

My take on the Flynn escapade is that Flynn was targeted for removal by the intel community. Why? This is a man who has, in the past, offered withering criticism of the intel community. He is also not a hawk on Russia.

12:57 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Dan -- back in 2004, long before he broke through and finally became a star, Louis CK did the most brilliant standup routine I've ever heard about being broke. I'm sure plenty of Americans can relate to this:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3jLufZx3IM

Miles -- As blogger Michael Tracey wrote, the depressing thing about the Flynn resignation is that it didn't happen because of his virulent Islamophobia or his insane desire to go to war with Iran but because he was trying to improve relations with Russia. Tracey also points out how incredibly myopic liberals are to see it as a "victory," when deliberate leaks by the intelligence community--the kind that will certainly be used on them if they are ever perceived as threatening the status quo--are what did him in:

https://medium.com/theyoungturks/mike-flynn-was-forced-out-of-office-for-the-stupidest-possible-reason-5cc12ebbb1fd#.j4yt0vpyw

Meanwhile, the stock market is booming thanks to the inexplicable Trump effect, and I'll guarantee you not one of the Lexus and limousine liberals who have shrieking so shrilly about the "fascist" have donated their ill gotten gains to any charities that might actually help those unfortunates who've been lives have been ruined by the effects of rampant neoliberalism.

1:41 PM  
Blogger remo26 said...

NeilW,

Thanks for the interview with John Adams. Interesting about the Lock Her Up irony, fake news analogy with the Gold Rush dreamers, and of course the hustlers. What is really pithy is that Adams either didn't know or didn't mention that the swindlers gouging these wealth seekers ("the influx" as Adams says) included Trump's grandpa with his Canadian brothel/respite. The more things change ...

- remo

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Daun said...

WOOOOOW

This is too interesting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsBT5EQt348
Why overpopulation ≠ the end of the world. The 12th billion person will never be born. Fascinating 6min film

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Chuck said...

*Dark Age A-Maya*

a catastrophism theory for Mayan Dark Age enters mainstream research

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/volcanic-eruption-may-have-plunged-the-maya-into-a-ldquo-dark-age-rdquo/?WT.mc_id=SA_TW_ENGYSUS_NEWS

2:17 PM  
Blogger Frantisek Panuskova said...

MB, Wafers,
Re cheering or not: I'd like to formally register as a Non-Cheering Wafer (NCW - not to be confused with Non-Commissioned Wafer (NCoW)). I hope for a slow end to the empire and that something better will emerge from it. That the remaining good parts of the American culture will live on.

My philosophical anchor for these times once said: "It is important to learn hoping. Its work does not despair, it fell in love with succeeding rather than with failure. Hoping, located above feeling, is neither passive like the latter nor imprisoned into nothingness. The emotion of hoping expands out of itself, makes people wider instead of narrower, insatiable, it wants to know what makes people purposeful on the inside and what might be allied with them on the outside." Takes effort but works for me.

3:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Fran-

Duly noted. BTW, I think it was the Buddha who said, "If you meet hope coming along the road, kill it." Wise words, I'm thinking.

mb

4:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Another wise man once defined hope as "nostalgia for the future."

4:19 PM  
Anonymous Matt Sirichit said...

Dear Dr. B, the sage of the declining west

I just read Dr. Krugman's article about the power of ignorance and he was right about the current America. There has been a very strong anti-intellectual force in this country. Like you said Kerry had to hide the fact that he spoke French. But now a groups of professional hacks and pseudo intellectuals are basically running the country. Everyone is trying to talk like an alpha chimpanzee to please Trump. The young dude Stephen Miller, an american jew who wrote a muslim banning order on the Holocaust Memorial Day, was talking like Kim Jon-un's henchman on Sunday. And Trump gave him an attaboy. Achievements in business are different from statehood and other intellectual disciplines. Businessmen can cheat, lie, bluff and break laws or get sued and still get what they want. A professor's career can be destroyed if he is caught plagiarizing someone's work. But Trump's a master of other tactics. As a President, if his actions are challenged or accused of being illegal, he'd belittle the courts and bully the press by calling them fake news repeatedly on social media. Law courts are playgrounds for rich americans; they go there not just to get a decision, but to bend the rules for their own longer term benefits.

Even as I read the comments here, you are right: the 99% are just waiting to join the 1%. America is an environment that exhibits daily that bad behaviors or malevolence lead to reward. It reminds me of Sombart's book "why is there no socialism in the US". Something is telling me that our civilization is in a very very grave danger.

4:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Matt-

Actually, our civ is sliding down the toilet; we see that now on a daily basis, and we have been documenting the process on both the macro and the micro level on this blog for several yrs now. Think Brittany Carulli, Shaneka Torres. Also Freddy Wadsworth. The only comfort we can take is that altho Trumpi's haircut is absurd, Kim Jong-on's is an international embarrassment.

mb

4:50 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB, Wafers-

Re: civ sliding down the toilet

And yet there are still lots of people in the US who will flat out deny that American society is collapsing, MB. They have bought into the propaganda being pushed by media, and are fully convinced that things in America are actually getting better even though our communities are literally coming apart at the seams all around us. How much worse do things hafta get b4 everyone is finally willing to admit that we have a major problem on our hands? Jesus, Americans hafta be the most clueless and gullible morons on the planet.

In any event, I'm thinking about building an ark, Wafers; a vessel of some kind to save us all as the world moves ever closer to anarchy. There hasta be a way to escape God's judgement and punishment for a belligerent and paranoid America running roughshod throughout the world, causing untold misery and death to millions, yes?

Miles

8:00 PM  
Anonymous L. Kamoski said...

Just caught they are revamping the Twin Peaks series of David Lynch and Mark Frost. What a surrealistic, quirky, charming program that was. Neither my wife or myself have seen a frame since the 90s, starting to refresh in anticipation. The work seems somewhat WAFerish, in that it satirized a lot of American creepiness.

Larry

10:06 PM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

Kim Jong Un reminds me of the Three Stooges - a cross between Moe with that sugarbowl haircut and Curly with that gut of his - though I think Kim has had more practice eating pies than throwing them. I'm guessing they've gotta have a Shemp over there somewhere. Of Course, Larry would be delightful... Maybe Donald could tease his hair into an Afro? and have Kim over for tea and a round of golf....or he could dress like Bob Ross and show Kim how to paint 'Happy Clouds' - that might be fun... I know, maybe asking too much but one can dream.... But, seeing he's playing to the republican crowd he's probably more of an Elvis kind of guy? SNL? I dunno I'm grasping at straws at this point - the current collection of political humor has been pretty lame if you ask me.... too predictable and contrived. Trump on acid is kind of what I wonder about... heck even some pot might kick him into a gear at least above 2nd coasting downhill... So far he's been just another asshole on the freeway...going 40 in the passing lane. Where is Gary Larson when you need him?

11:01 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

Daily liberal Russophobia update:

1 Liberal coworker expresses dismay that Trump isn't willing to do something when Russia inevitably (?) "takes over" some country. What a brilliant reading of the Crimea and Syrian crises. I guess when they offered to help negotiate a settlement to the Kosovo Crisis, and the US sent bombers while then-Prime-Minister Primakov was in a jet over the Atlantic, this showed the Russian's insatiable hunger for world domination.

2 Liberal facebook friend derides Russia as an "ethno-state", and a relic of the past. Of course, the state is only 2/3rds ethnic Russian and while there of course has historically been discrimination against the rest, who is America to get all high and might about this? To top it all off, he lists countries that have allegedly transcended this "ethno-state" designation to whom the future belongs, and laughably lists China. I guess those evil Islamophobic Russians can one day aspire to confiscate passports from all its Muslim citizens (as China did just three months ago), ban traditional religious garb and force vendors to stock alcohol.

11:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Interesting article on how digitalization works against concentration, creativity, and human interaction: Bill McKibben, "Pause! We Can Go Back!", NYRB, Feb. 9.

mb

6:35 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

A good article in The Baffler about the state of education in America.

https://thebaffler.com/blog/philistine-factory-whatley

@ El Alamein,

Thanks for the link. I have seen a few episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and I thought it was funny but never got around to watching regularly. I may have to catch up on earlier seasons. I have heard people call It's Always Sunny "Seinfeld on crack" because it takes the concept of watching the antics of a bunch of selfish, narcissistic Americans to the next level of insanity.

The Sopranos would be another TV show I would recommend to WAFers. I don't know if David Chase meant it to be a critique of the American Dream but it sure felt like it to me.

8:13 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tom-

One thing I discuss in the Twilight bk is that loss of spirit is an impt factor in the decline of empires. For this reason, the Baffler article offers us Wafers great encouragement, because it documents that loss of spirit in education. And it is gd that the author makes it clear that Hillary's philistinism in this area wasn't that much different from Trumpi's. With no spiritual purpose, the nation will continue to collapse; a trend that needs to spread to all other institutions of American society.

There is so much stuff in the news these days as to how Trumpo is unfit, how his admin is one of complete chaos, and so on. But where are the articles pointing out that these things are precisely what we need rt now? You'll find them only on the greatest blog in the universe.

O&D,
mb

8:32 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Mike Burgess said:

Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Paul Craig Roberts, the economist, has declared the Trump presidency to be essentially over - and that the Deep State (corporations, the military, and the intelligence community) has won. He acknowledges that the American public is ignorant and incapable of self-government and that the US is destroying itself. Definitely a Wafer in the making.

http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/02/16/trump-presidency-rip/

Mike

8:59 AM  
Blogger Frantisek Panuskova said...

MB, Wafers,

I'll settle for (hustle, hustle) "nostalgia for the future."

There is a new book out that may interest you: "Age of Anger. A History of the Present" by Pankaj Mishra. Reading it now.

Re the sad state of the US education system and the loss of spirit there. Few things could be more indicative of that than a) having a national grocery bagging contest for college students and b) this making national news: https://a.msn.com/r/2/AAmYd2X?m=en-us

Lastly, you mentioned that the only two people who saw the American experiment for what it is were Gore Vidal and George Carlin. I would like to nominate the early Dead Kennedys (e.g. Kill the Poor, Holiday in Cambodia, Chemical Warfare) and Frank Zappa (Bobby Brown) as additions to that list.

Yours truly,
Fran, NCW

10:08 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Actually, this article makes a good argument that Trump ins't actually "imploding" and that his core constituency remains not only with him but is what is keeping the Republicans from turning on him. It does describe, however, just how broad and deep the opposition is and how the "squishy center," the relentless pursuit of which was the Clinton campaign's biggest mistake, has virtually disappeared:

http://angrybearblog.com/2017/02/the-state-of-the-american-consumer-as-2017-begins.html

Trump's ace in the hole politically remains the hard right, particularly the NRA and that 10% or so of the population that are armed to the teeth. So far, they've been pretty quiet. It seems that both sides are holding their breath waiting for a real explosion of some kind rather than just the many clickbait headlines we've seen so far.

Meanwhile, the February temps here in the DC area are expected to rise well into the 60s on Saturday and stay there all through next week. The complete lack of a winter here should be a like a bright red flashing warning light regarding global warming (side note: it hit an astonishing 99 degrees in Oklahoma over the weekend), but of course everyone around here, liberals included, are too busy screaming about the Trumpenfuhrer to notice.

11:30 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

I suspect that many WAFers would be opposed to the idea of a Trump impeachment, if only because they would not wish to be deprived of all the amusement he provides. Not to mention his contribution to hastening our demise.

Still, I offer the following from a longtime Republican, a jurist for 30 years in Cincinnati. He favors impeachment and offers evidence in support. He opens his opinion piece by quoting Charles P. Pierce, political commentator and author, who in a recent piece on the esquire.com website wrote "I swear, it's like we elected the Clampetts**, if the Clampetts were grifters."

Here's Judge Painter's bill of particulars:
http://www.cincinnati.com/story/opinion/contributors/2017/02/14/republican-painter-s-time-impeach-trump/97893248/

The Beverly Hillbillies
**https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Beverly_Hillbillies

1:53 PM  
Anonymous Matt Sirichitra said...

Dear, Dr B, the sage of the twilight America,

I just watched Trump's press conference today (Thursday Feb. 16). It was a sheer horror of an Epic Rant! Trump is truly a agent Gd sent to finish his job - the judgment of America. Trumpo's level of egoism is both biblical or homeric. He will bring the country down if anyone wants to impeach him.

Regarding education, what I am seeing in University Campuses today is that education as we know it is dead. American children can't write anything now that is readable. Everything reads like an answer on Quora. They spend more time crafting their online resume than on the term paper. Everyone is talking about business, entrepreneurship and start ups in graduate schools. The drive to make money and to be successful is so overwhelming that genuine academic interests couldn't be formed in the young mind anymore.

2:37 PM  
Anonymous Derek said...

MB,

I'm sure you've stated this already, but could you clarify on why "these things are precisely what we need rt now." I'm curious as to what you see following the collapse of American society. I understand you regard the collapse as inevitable and a process of history, and that Trump is accelerating the decline. I agree. However, I'm not as ecstatic as you about what comes next. We'll be plunged into a Dark Ages much worse than what we're currently facing...are you then thinking of what comes after this, if anything? I'm just having a hard time seeing things getting better from here on out, expect by taking the exceptionally long view, and I'm not convinced of that either. Thanks.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

That Baffler article is superb, thanks for sharing. I am really sympathetic to the benefits of a liberal arts education, however the increase in cost since I went to school is mind blowing. I remember USC costing 20k back in 1990. Today its 60k. While I am all in favor of teaching kids how to think and getting them to read Camus, I don’t blame more and more people taking a vocational outlook on higher education. I would never want to spend 60k/year without being able to guarantee what it is going to lead to in terms of a job.

4:24 PM  
Blogger remo26 said...

Look at the way Trumpi is burning through taxpayer dollars due to his family's jet-setting lifestyle.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/trump-family%E2%80%99s-elaborate-lifestyle-is-a-%E2%80%98logistical-nightmare%E2%80%99-%E2%80%94-at-taxpayer-expense/ar-AAn1H4A?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartanntp

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


Does Hassan Nasrallah (the leader of Hezbollah) deserve honorary WAFer status?

http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Hezbollah-leader-optimistic-about-idiot-Trumps-presidency-481384

brief excerpts :

"We are not worried, but very optimistic because when an idiot resides in the White House, this is the beginning of the release for the oppressed in the world," he [Nasrallah] said.

Nasrallah also said that Trump has revealed "The true face of the US Administration," which he said was "ugly, unjust, criminal and racist."

-----------------------------------------------

Nasrallah is called a terrorist? He sounds more like a level-headed wise man.

8:27 AM  
Blogger Neil 0421875644 said...

FROM HERODOTUS TO HILLARY PLUS CA CHANGE? "The following Generations, who were not so fond of the Study of Cartography as their Forebears had been, saw that that vast map was Useless, and not without some Pitilessness was it, that they delivered it up to the Inclemencies of Sun and Winters. In the Deserts of the West, still today, there are Tattered Ruins of that Map, inhabited by Animals and Beggars; in all the Land there is no other Relic of the Disciplines of Geography" https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/genius.com/amp/Jorge-luis-borges-on-exactitude-in-science-annotated

8:42 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Derek-

I never said I was ecstatic. Change means things will be different, but not nec. better. For answer to yr question, check out "Dual Process," archived on this blog (can also find it via Google). Keep in mind that I don't have a crystal ball.

Jas-

Impeachment means nothing; the pres also hasta be convicted by the Senate, and that won't happen. Bill Clinton got impeached, and just kept going.

Fran-

Musicians, don't really qualify as social critics. But you can add H.L. Mencken and Allen Ginzberg.

mb

10:03 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Wafers: check out Evan Osnos, "Survival of the Richest," New Yorker Jan. 30.

10:07 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Here's a good blog post by a retired foreign service office who I think has nailed the mood of much of America better than most commentators. Rather than rage, what he is seeing is sheer hopelessness. Some excerpts:

"I’ve found nobody with a lot of hope left. They seemed to have used it up. I haven’t run across anyone who voted for Trump who said 'Well, that’s that, time to sit back and watch things get fixed.'"

"We’re not headed into authoritarianism per se. We’re headed into giving up. That’s the demon that’ll destroy us. There’s the weight of emptiness out there and something’s gonna fill it up."

http://wemeantwell.com/blog/2017/02/16/a-brief-history-of-hope-and-how-trump-won/

And another blog post with a very fitting closing quote:

"I keep thinking of the November 9 email I received from a peer in Delhi who as a post-mortem to the election wrote: 'Americans finally received their just deserts in their election of Donald Trump' And we are starting to see just what our just deserts are."

http://www.tanosborn.com/columns/2017/mostly-right-message-totally-wrong-messenger

12:36 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hola MB and Wafers,

A few book suggestions:

"Coming Up Short: Working-Class Adulthood in an Age of Uncertainty" by Jennifer Silva

"Fear Itself: The New Deal and Origins of Our Time" by Ira Katznelson

"American Pastoral" by Philip Roth

MB-

Many thanks for "La La Land" recommendation! I viewed it last night and was completely charmed. I had no idea it was about a total jazz freak who hangs out at the Lighthouse Cafe! The world needs more Miles Davis, Monk, and swing bands, in any case. LA also looked gorgeous. Again, many thanks.

Miles

1:27 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Please count me in on the cheering" section. Would beg, borrow, and steal to leave. Otherwise, NMI-it.

2:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Check it out:

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

2:41 PM  
Anonymous OsamaBidLevy said...

The question is,"What happens after?"

5:01 PM  
Blogger Louis Sartor said...

Long time admirer of Dr. Berman.

Just found this youtube video of Dr. Berman, filmed in 2006 via C-SPAN BookTV, discussing his wonderful book, "Dark Ages America: The Final Phase of Empire" at:

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

7:20 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

It's getting worse everyday...

http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/17/opinions/trump-wants-you-to-hate-media-ghitis/index.html

9:32 PM  
Blogger Mister Roboto said...

One thing I observe through the funhouse-mirror lense on the world the Internet provides me: The progs with their stunning lack of self-awareness are setting themselves up for an unimaginable and unprecedented backlash. The previous decade gave us Bush Derangement Syndrome, this decade brought on Obama Derangement Syndrome, but Trump Derangement Syndrome is truly unique in its ability to swallow minds whole. Yet TDS seems to be every bit as hollow, contrived, and disingenuous as it is utterly hysterical. (And I recognize that Trumpism does not bode well for our society and is essentially historical karma at work.) Perhaps this "hysterical/hollow" opposition to Trump is merely the outward manifestation of the loss of hope described by the "We Meant Well" blog-post you linked?

7:55 AM  
Anonymous Dean said...

Dr B,

I'm curious why you don't include the late comedian, Bill Hicks, on your short list of social commentators who got it? Too coarse and lewd for your taste?

Personally, I find him every bit as waferly insightful as Carlin. Check out his bits on people that work in marketing and on those suspicious of people who read, for example. Not to mention his constantly harsh criticism of US of American empire, the stupidity of its people, and organized religion.

I mean, come on, Dr.B., his ghost is even one of the most frequent posters on this very blog.

8:50 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dean-

Well, pardon my ignorance. When Bill checks in on this blog, I just assumed that was his real name. I had never heard of the comedian who died yrs ago. Mea culpa.

Roboto-

Collapse of an empire can take many forms, but in our case the form is incompetence and utter absurdity. Keep remembering our slogan: Bad Is Good.

Osama-

Asked and answered, as they say in court. Scroll back to my reply to Derek.

mb

11:08 AM  
Blogger remo26 said...

Here's an interesting piece on the butterfly effect that Trumpo is having on upcoming German elections. This might be a silver lining.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/rise-of-trump-leads-to-an-unexpected-twist-in-germanys-election-a-resurgent-left/2017/02/16/152841e2-f2dc-11e6-9fb1-2d8f3fc9c0ed_story.html?utm_term=.a69f3de56202

And this ... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NeEGsX5YhxI

- remo

1:29 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Michelle Zipp dept.:

http://www.foxcarolina.com/story/34518955/woman-accused-of-faking-cancer-scams-fiance-out-of-40000

O&D, friends, O&D!

Miles

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Chuck said...

Collapse of Aztec society linked to catastrophic salmonella outbreak
DNA of 500-year-old bacteria is first direct evidence of an epidemic — one of humanity's deadliest — that occurred after Spanish conquest.

http://www.nature.com/news/collapse-of-aztec-society-linked-to-catastrophic-salmonella-outbreak-1.21485

3:52 PM  
Anonymous Detours said...

From the "What idiot song will mark your end?" Dept.:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/feb/12/plan-to-refreeze-arctic-before-ice-goes-for-good-climate-change

4:42 PM  
Anonymous beautiful-world said...

Thomas Frank describes two groups of people who ran America into the ground - the super rich and the intellectually cleansed credentialed caste they employ (particularly Ivy League). Both groups have a winner loser value system of tremendous self-interest. They won at and promoted hyper-competition only.

What came first the prey or the sociopath, the corp state or governments for people. Maybe it was always just East Indian Trading companies for plutocrats. The low empathy and people who made their mistakes are everywhere (losers are not victims). The corp state thugs know psychology. Behind all wealth is a great crime and a global flattening of de-industrialized ghettos has been a solution - what's the next phase?

6:31 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

THE STUPIDITY OF ''FAKE FACTS'' HYSTERIA 1. Facts are meaningless without context 2. Facts, as lawyers well know, are subject to proof and even dispute 3. matter itself is not pure and inert, something the Romantics grasped 4. the MSM routinely withhold or omit crucial ''facts'', eg NATO on Russia's border critical to context 5. Just because one's own population is too critically inept to appreciate context should be contrasted with the proposition, ''I can recognise context so speak for yourselves!''

3:00 AM  
Anonymous Denis said...

As hustling empires crumble, not all is lost....The US and its poodles like the UK bombed and sent jihadi terrorists to drive people out of their homes and countries so that they had to run towards Europe whose govts pay lip service to the shelter they promised..The people of Barcelona are not so hypocritical...


http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/barcelona-march-refugees-protest-spain-more-160000-people-thousands-catalan-a7587996.html?cmpid=facebook-post

4:19 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Doctor,
I just ordered Continuing Silence of a Poet. Thanks for the information. And, of course, a hearty thanks to former president, Oshitforbrains. Because of you, sir, a one Daniel Ramirez Medina, a 23 year old father and a recipient of your DACA program sits in a Tacoma, Washington prison about to be deported because you didn't have the spine to defend your own program! You actually had the power to provide a blanket pardon for all undocumented in the US but we all knew that was far beyond your willingness to do. But at least defend your own policy you worthless corporate hack.
By the way, Congress just passed a bill allowing mentally ill people to buy guns. Needless to say, Herr Trumpf intends to sign it. Finally, one day Israel will wish they had opted for a two state solution. In time, there will be one state and Israel will end the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza. Then unless a Mandela comes to the fore, the Palestinians will exact their revenge...without mercy.
Dean, leave the good doctor alone. So what he doesn't know about Bill Hicks? I could get ad hominum on you but that's against the laws of this blog.

8:58 AM  
Anonymous Harry Haller said...

Hello Wafers, I do have a crystal ball... well, it's really plastic, $9.95 from the novelty shop. And what is telling me is to expect a "Reichstag fire" event within the next year. It doesn't tell me what form it will take, but it will be engineered to force a major change in the way the US is run, in order to avoid anarchy, you'll see. Remember that Mike Pence, who supposedly wants a small government, tried to set up a "Ministry of Truth" in Indiana:
https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/01/Indiana-Governor-Mike-Pence-to-Start-State-Sponsored-News-Service-Just-IN/384867/

And all of this will be aided and abetted by the progs, as it's often discussed in Waferdom:
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/18/opinion/sunday/are-liberals-helping-trump.html

And if this prediction should fail to become true... well, I'll try to get a refund on the ball.

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Daddy Issues said...

The "Bang Bang" float in the Carnevale di Viareggio, 2017, sums it up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iy0dox4l09o

9:56 AM  
Blogger Frantisek Panuskova said...

MB, Wafers,

John Oliver explains why it is a relief to no longer be an empire. Interesting point. Never looked at it that way. It would appear that enjoying it is a more understandable response to the decline than I appreciated so far.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJR9QjezRGg&feature=youtu.be&t=313

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Another WAFer book recommendation. “Fat and Mean” by the late David M. Gordon discusses the growth of the management bureaucracy (“Human Resources”) since the 1970s and the increasingly draconian “stick strategy” applied to American workers. The book was published in 1996 but covers many issues that are still hot topics today like globalization, technological change and the “wage gap” between less-educated workers and those with college degrees.

I think the increasingly hostile nature of American management techniques since the 1970s has had a major negative impact on American culture, creating an angrier, more hostile population. It is a bit like that line in Saturday Night Fever where John Travolta’s character talks about how people “dump” on others because they are being dumped on by people higher up the food chain. Americans experience hostile management techniques at work then take it out on others, creating a hostile culture of bullying and meanness. In the most extreme cases you have things like workplace shootings (“going postal”) and other acts of rage-induced violence.

1:37 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

MB--my avatar is the real Bill Hicks. I shamelessly adopted his persona when I stared blogging about six years ago.

Dean--I think Bill was well on his way to "getting it," but he died so damn young (age 32 from pancreatic cancer, ironically for me since I ended up contracting the same disease). When he passed on, however, he still seemed to have hope that if he could inspire people to think differently we might be able to turn things around. When I started blogging, 17 years after Bill died, I of then tried to imagine what he might say had he lived. Would he have ended up as cynical as I am? Not sure. He was an entertainer while I spent my working career on the edges of the Washington establishment. The biggest thing Bill and I have in common is that we are both small town boys who grew up hating the parochial mindset of those around us and escaped into the wider world as quickly as he could.

Best Bill joke ever--reading a book at a Waffle House ("What-choo reading for?):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AM15mO9G4Ng

1:41 PM  
Blogger Ed-M said...

Just came up with a joke:

An all-too-frequent attitude displayed by USAians (Americans) is the "The World is our oyster!" What is the World's response?

a) "The US is the grain of sand in our mouth that we can't turn to a pearl and can't get out."
b) "We're being attacked and cut open!"
c) "We're being preyed upon and eaten." :^(
d) All of the above.

The correct answer is, of course, d).

You cn comment here or on my blog.

3:33 PM  
Anonymous Derek said...

MB,

Thank you for the clarification.

Wafers,

I'm moving to Italy in a couple of weeks and one thing that's struck me here in the USA is how everyone, regardless of age or political affiliation, feels the need to tell me that the USA is the greatest country on Earth. I was thinking of this the other day when I saw a Trump supporter on TV explaining the logic behind the MAGA hats as the USA being "the best in the world"...then I realized this is the logic of the progressives/left as well, and that a fair amount of these people have seemed to feel the need to subtly reproach me for leaving the country.

And a quick book rec: "The Leopard" by Giuseppe di Lampedusa


4:43 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Trump is merely a "Cult of Personality" with adoring "Fans," but with no substance behind it...Just like that German Chancellor in the 1930's. He craves the adulation and worship of the people toward him, and it's quite clear that his assertions that "he inherited a mess" and "the fake News media is the enemy of the people" is his pathetic attempt to place the blame elsewhere other than on himself because he knows he is in way over his head.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4238426/President-Trump-Lady-step-Air-Force-One.html

12:39 AM  
Blogger centralscrewtinizer said...

Apologies if already posted. Cake is bad for one.

http://www.sfgate.com/news/crime/article/Mother-s-plea-deal-expected-in-birthday-cake-10916685.php

1:36 AM  
Anonymous Hungry-Freaks-Daddy said...

Not everyone is down with this credentialed caste system of cruelty imposed by Ivy League technocrat douchebags as Thomas Frank describes here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yGgiM2NgAjI

The plutocrats employ and impose the hyper-competitive cruel culture of the heavily indoctrinated professional caste - gate-kept through bullying for producing specialization and ideological conformity. We didn't have to have this cruel fake education de-sensitization to others system but that's what owners chose for maximizing wealth accumulation and control.

And since the bankers and industrialists are having trouble de-industrializing (harvesting) Russia again (e.g. M. Chossudovsky's research) since the wealth they extracted in the 80's they've set their sites on making up the loss with the states (and anywhere else). They'll eventually get to Russia again one sanction at a time. N. Prins on Keiser made the remark that Trump is a banker - that's how he got bailed out. Wilbur Ross after all is a R-child operative. Regardless, winner take all as usual for trans-national corporate capitalists and their courtesan minioned useful idiots.

Maybe the corp state existed before government and gov at one point was somewhat for the people.

1:54 AM  
Anonymous Wile E Coyote said...

Another excellent essay on our collapse by James Kunstler:

http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/fumbling-towards-collapse/#more-7078'

The nation crumbles and our leaders are still a few Wafers short of a communion...

9:43 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Saying, as does Dan, that Palestinians will exact merciless revenge on Israelis once they gain the upper hand doesn't help the situation, and comes right out of the Zionist fearmonger playbook. Furthermore, such comments assume that Palestinians, given the chance, will be just as bad as those who stole their land. Give them some credit; when they were the majority, they tolerated the presence of Armenians, Christians and Jews in Palestine for centuries. South Africa and Zimbabwe didn't turn into Deir Yassin once the natives regained control from the European invaders, so why should we assume that Palestine won't be any different?

On another note, someone a few days ago referred to our favourite prog film maker as "Michael Moor." I know that spelling flames are lame, but that should read "Moop."

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Thank you City of Brotherly Love. We now have park benches in center city Philadelphia whose seating areas are converted to spokes at night so the homeless can't sleep on them. Bad enough we have to live under the cruelest economic system ever devised (at least feudalism protected the less well off somewhat) but the poor have to be reminded of it even at night.
Again, I find myself going to comedy clubs a lot recently and it's remarkable how many comics talk about what it's like being poor and all the chintzy strategies they employ to get by. I recall a comic on the old Ed Sullivan show who talked about the trials and tribulations of being rich. He wouldn't survive a minute on a stage today.
Went to see Alan Cumming in concert last night. Between songs he spoke about his penis. Did Al Jolson do that?

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Dean said...

Dr. B.,

I sincerely hope you did not take my post as an ad hominem attack. I was just meaning to be jokingly (and ever-so gently) chiding. That type of thing doesn't always translate well in Internet communication and I've been on the other side of it (misunderstanding) before (even here perhaps); so, I should have known better than to adopt that tone. My deepest and most humble apologies to you and anyone else I offended.

I suppose also I understand why people here would be sensitive to or suspicious of my comments. I'm well aware and often uncomfortable with frequently expressing a contrarian view. I am undoubtedly the most conservative person here (as conservative as a libertarian communist can be.) I am grateful to Dr. Berman for indulging me and perhaps taking a holiday from posting again would be appropriate.

Reading this blog and Bill Hicks comedy are my great escapes. His comedy really opened the door to my coming to terms to the overwhelming sense I had from early childhood that things weren't as they seemed, etc. Speaking of which...

Bill, Congratulations on coming out on the other side of such a pernicious affliction — and with your deep cynicism in tact even. Like you, I often wonder what Hicks would be saying now. At the same time, I don't think I could have taken it if he ended up as some sitcom TV dad.

10:47 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dean-

We welcome yr input, thanks.

al-

Let's hear it for the Bubble Boy!

mb

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Dean: No worries, typing stuff online doesn't always translate well. WAF-ers deserve an undo button.

Derek: Congrats! Italy will be fun if you can get someone to fix your plumbing .. ha!

I'm tellin ya' WAF-ers, with this Sweden thing I really wonder at the sanity of our Prez, El Douche. Taking bets on how long he'll last. 6 months? A year?

6:38 PM  

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