May 29, 2017

Taste of India

Wafers, Sahibs, and Memsahibs-

All this talk about Inja, the Mughal Empire, the East Inja Co., and so on, has frankly got me a bit hungry. When I lived in London, I used to eat at restaurants with names like Moti Mahal, Light of Bengal, Namaste, Taste of Nawab, Bombay Spice, and so on. I even studied the sitar for a while, but it was too difficult; all those strings. I found yoga a lot easier. In any case, I have a vision, of returning to one of these places and ordering pappadams, keema nan, stuffed paratha, chicken tikka masala, chicken korma, tandoori chicken, lamb biryani, seekh kebabs, pilau rice, raita, mango chutney, mango lassi, jalebi, galub jamun, mulligatawny soup...ah! My pen drops! as Fanny Hill was wont to say.

And then there was Kipling, of course, who was born in Bombay:

"Din! Din! Din!/You Lazarushian-leather Gunga Din!/Tho’ I’ve belted you an’ flayed you/By the livin’ Gawd that made you/ You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din!"

What a rush: imperialism straight up.

Food for thought, eh wot?



Blogger jjarden said...

Pummeling in the Texas Legislature!

11:25 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Great news WAFers! Now you can donate money to a Super PAC devoted to convincing Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to run for president in 2020! Of course this Super PAC claims to be progressive and supports Democrats. I am sure Zuckerberg and his technocrat buddies will play well in the Rust Belt and rural America. The Republicans must be having a good laugh at all of this.

11:57 PM  
Anonymous Gordon in Vancouver said...

Turning and turning in the widening gyre....

1:12 AM  
Anonymous Derek said...


Amidst all the discussion of blowback, terrorism, etc., I'd like to remind everyone that you can actually read a magazine published by ISIS in which they outline their strategy, goals, and motivation. For whatever reason, people seem to ignore this and speculate on ISIS' motives when they are plainly laying out what they think for everyone to see! Here's the link:

And here's a quote from the magazine that makes me think of what could have been, had ISIS changed their ways and decided to become WAFers instead: "Certainly, O America, you know that you have no savior...You have become bankrupt and the signs of your end are apparent and visible to the eyes. There is no better evidence of this than that an uncouth idiot has assumed authority over you, while he has no idea what Sham is, what Iraq is, and what Islam is – yet he still raves about showing enmity to it and declaring war against it." (Issue 9, pg. 34)

4:11 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Hmm. These guys aren't exactly the dumbest ones on the block.


5:52 AM  
Blogger Mister Roboto said...

I think it's healthy to remember that as bad as this country is, everyone in it isn't necessarily an asshole: Portland MAX hero's last words: "Tell everyone on this train I love them"

6:46 AM  
Blogger remo26 said...

Here's a cute riff on PC-straightjacketed lefty millennial bobos in the tech scene of Silicon Valley. It would be funny if it weren't totally true, and the rest of the US suffers from only a slightly less uppity version of the same dyslexia.

BTW, the link from Mano works for me:
Were Indian Famines ‘Natural’ Or ‘Manmade’?

- remo

8:47 AM  
Blogger Mister Roboto said...

I would like to request a one-time exception to the "once-every-twenty-four-hour" rule to show my fellow WAFers how to make a hyperlink on HTML-enabled comment-sections such as this one, using the link from Mano:

[a href=""]Were Indian famines natural or manmade?[/a]

But when you make your actual hyperlink, use the <> brackets in place of the [] brackets I used in my above example. Doing that should give you a working hyperlink:

Were Indian famines natural or manmade?

I really do believe that your fellow commentators on blogs are a lot more likely to read the web-pages you post if you post them using a hyperlink.

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Susan Eichhorn said...

thucydides trap, are we in it?

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Lee Stokes said...

even comprehensive world environmental efforts are better off w/o the USA

12:48 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

I have to scratch my head whenever someone tries to play a numbers game in what is essentially "Western apologetics." It should be self-evident that Western imperialism has been far more damaging than anything the Mongols or Mughals did. I do not think anyone would try and justify what the Mongols or Mughals did even if they had a lower kill count. Some people really seem to have a hard time admitting that the West fucked up the rest of the world.

It has ocurred to me that the American military is very overrated. It mostly relies on tech (e.g. using way too many dronrs and bombs) and is terrible at putting "boots on the ground." WW2 illustrates this very well. America struggled against Japan despite the latter's serious resource constraints. Mranwhile, the Soviet Union did most of the work in defeating the Wermacht. Of course, the fact that the Soviet Union had a huge population helped, but defeating the world's strongest offensive force at the time is no small feat.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Grille said...

I think it's healthy to remember that as bad as this country is, everyone in it isn't necessarily an asshole: Yep, Roboto, I agree. Many nice and kind people here. That's one of the things I have always loved about the U.S.! Most people are friendly and good-natured, even if their faces betray a hard life. It wasn't until a few years ago that I noticed signs of chronic and widespread rage. Lately though, I am hearing more and more that people have begun prepping for the collapse of society. Not all-out and full-time bunker building, but little by little working on their plan B, upgrading that cabin out in the woods, storing more food and water there and at home, and of course getting serious about firearms to defend it all!

Back in Germany a few weeks ago, I was amazed how positive the U.S. is still being viewed by most citizens there. I guess, decades of America is the greatest and our savior won't fade away quickly. People think Trump is an idiot, scratch their heads at how it was possible he got elected after Saint Obama and against a near perfect Angela-Double. They believe it will blow over and the U.S. will be just fine. Obama could run for chancellor in September and would win. Oh, well.

1:25 PM  
Anonymous Darla said...

Meant to contribute last night___This Memorial Day, let's remember peacekeeping forces, who do keep peace, when properly funded & deployed.

4:25 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

It is intellectual masturbation debating whether 6 million or 60 million died in the famines (Mike Davis' book) in the colonies of British Victoria. My implication was why the fuck is Victoria deciding on the fates of the beleaguered Indians? Is it that difficult to understand that the colonizer's interest in helping the natives to survive a crisis is not much different than a farmer's interest in vaccinating his cows? Is there a doubt that the Indian, Brazilian, Australian and other natives were doing just fine before without the "caring" intervention of the colonizers? Did the middleEast invite amerikas to help them establish democracies?

Manohar -since you cited Mark Tauger,

Whether the British were fully or partly blamed for the famine holocaust is not the central question. The Q is why's the welfare of some being decided by outsiders? Would the Brits want Brexit to be decided by an Indian vote? How do the Brits feel now the Islamic puritanism being shoved down their puckered lips by the caliphate? Why don't we in amerika ask the Zambian parliament to decide upon our social issues? Would it be fair also for the Iraqi military to patrol the streets of Maryland or kick down the doors of Nebraskns searching for terrorists who droned their country?

Tharoor's book 'Inglorious Empire' doesn't dither over the demerits of the BritishRaj over the Mughals -who'd you prefer to get f'k by question,- but just the fact that India got royally screwed by the UnionJack who was there to serve its own interest. The Mughal atrocities, who btw came to stay unlike the Brits -thus pissed sparingly in the pot they knew they gonna drink from, would be another book altogether.

Belman's favorite keema, nan, tikka masala, korma, tandoori chicken, lamb biryani, seekh kebab n pilau rice are all Mughal dishes. So is Tajmahal and much of the architecture, music, etiquette, literature n language of that subcontinent. How does that stack against the English "gifts?"

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...


I was thinking about Kim K, when, totally by chance, I found out that the best selling Japanese children's book was about a pair of buttocks that was also an ace detective:

Do you have any cultural insights into this?

(Also, Manohar's link worked for me, as well - really educational)

5:52 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Tom--Just how big of a sucker do you have to be to donate money to the SuperPac of a douchebag who is one of the world's 10 richest people? Trump didn't even stoop that low, although I'll bet he wishes he had thought of it.

remo--that blog post on Silicon Valley is outstanding, but a similar satiric commentary could be applied to Lexus liberal Americans in general.

El Al (going back to the last post)--A great-great grandfather of mine died from wounds he received fighting Lee's army at Gettysburg. My grandfather was a WW1 veteran who served in an artillery unit on the hellish Western front. I also have two great grand uncles who worked on the personal staff of socialist leader Eugene Debs, who said about WW1: "I'd rather be hanged as a traitor than go to war for Wall Street."

I'm much prouder to be related to the last two than the first two.

6:28 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

You know what really scares me? After Trump' s disastrous overseas tour and his fatuous NATO speech, he's now up 5 percent in the polls. I've seen several that have him at 45 percent approval as of yesterday. Goodness, that is more troubling than his being elected in the first place! It means that people who were on the fence before, must have felt that Trump' s shoving the Montenegran Prime Minister, and his boorish behavior with the NATO allies was a positive development! Haha, they didn't support him before, but after acting like a complete ass on the world stage and and making us an international laughingstock, now he has their full support?!

Just think how ominous that is.

6:51 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Has it occurred to anyone here that perhaps we’re not meant to win wars, but that war itself is the goal? Some people get extremely wealthy from wars, and it ain’t you and me. I once read Gen. Smedley Butler’s “War is a Racket” which spells it out for us.

On another note, Theresa May said in reaction to the Manchester bombing: “Let us remember those who died and let us celebrate those who helped, safe in the knowledge that the terrorists will never win — and our values, our country and our way of life will always prevail.” Of course she lied: troops on the streets, civil liberties eroded, and to keep Britain safe they’re going to regulate the internet, all the same as here. Will the hoi polloi ever wake up to how badly we’re being f**ked? Not a chance!

Morris, my dad used to recite Gunga Din to me and I still remember the opening lines. You’re so right: Imperialism straight up!

6:55 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Kathy Griffins Trump head pic...

Then her apology...

2:09 AM  
Anonymous John Merton said...

Another taste of India--the serene and bliss-filled teachings of the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. I recall wading thru it for 6 months when I was a lost young person in college. Saved me from getting paying for a shrink.

7:48 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Dr. B, your post about Indian food reminded me of two things I read recently about Indian people emigrating to the southern US. In his book Deep South, Paul Theroux tells the story about how many Indians are emigrating to the southern states and, for some reason, buying up the old motels. Mr. Theroux is a fan of dumpy old motels, so in his travels he meets many of the proprietors. He gets into the habit of calling all the motel keepers "Mr. Patel", and it turns out he's right most of the time. Patel must be a popular surname in India. I wonder if the Indian people will bring their excellent foods down south with them. A similar thing happened a decade or two ago when Mexican people started populating the southern US. Every little wide spot in the road will have a pretty decent Mexican restaurant. The other thing I read about Indians in the South is that they're also buying up failed businesses like grocery stores in small southern towns. So, out on the interstates it's all chain motels, fast food and corporate schlock. In the hinterlands, far from the exits, there's another economy developing, one that is responding to decline. Could this be dual process in action?

8:30 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

I noticed that there was very little discussion on the morning news shows about the massive bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan that has killed at least 80 people. But there was a lot of coverage on Trump's apparent misspelling of "coverage" as "covfefe" on Twitter, comedian Kathy Griffin's anti-Trump photo shoot and Tiger Woods' DUI arrest.

The takeaway here is that: 1. Americans apparently don't care about terrorism as long as it happens to people outside the West. See the difference in coverage between the Manchester bombing and the even deadlier bombing in Kabul today. 2. Americans are obsessed with trivialities. Some might say that this just a media problem but the American media is a reflection of the American people and what they find important and interesting.

8:36 AM  
Anonymous Schlomo said...

The two clowns who somehow convinced the mainstream media that they were the "respectable adults" in the West Wing, HR McMaster and Gary Cohn, wrote an op-ed entitled America First Doesn’t Mean America Alone in the WSJ that provides great fodder for WAFers. What these morons explain as their worldview is why I wanted Trump to win, so as to "shock" the rest of the world and expose the true heart of America, and hopefully embarrass the Empire so it cannot keep luring allies into its violent follies abroad. From the horses mouth:

"The president embarked on his first foreign trip with a clear-eyed outlook that the world is not a “global community” but an arena where nations, nongovernmental actors and businesses engage and compete for advantage. We bring to this forum unmatched military, political, economic, cultural and moral strength. Rather than deny this elemental nature of international affairs, we embrace it."

I am reminded of Dr Berman's writings about over-caffeinated, hyper-competitive American assholes versus the calm, communal, decent family-loving people you might find in, say, Mexico. They are a large part of why I feel so alienated in America - these aren't my values. Imagine if we put some of our "interests" aside (such as the right to drive Ford Excursions to the grocery store) to, I don't know, save the earth? No, assholes, the world is not an ARENA, it's a precious gem that gets better the more we all cooperate with each other. This country cannot collapse soon enough. I hope Merkel pushes forward taking leadership.

9:46 AM  
Blogger Mister Roboto said...

Back in the late spring of 1994, I hit something of a wall in my life while working the french-fry station at a fast-food restaurant in Madison, Wisconsin. Part of my hitting the wall was in the answer to my question of what was out there in this country to assist a seeking person in substantive self-actualization and spiritual fulfillment: When I thought about it, my pithy and truthful answer was "There's...french fries. Just...french fries."

Looking back, I think I settled on that metaphor not just because of the drudgery and sadness of working at a McJob while being very uncertain about what the future held. French fries are an apt symbol of what life in America has to offer people who want something more than materialistic fulfillment. After all, they are a superficially satisfying indulgence which is not exactly junk food but not exactly nourishing or healthy, either, which is pretty much the best you can say about existential life in the USA.

And now that I'm older and wiser and am much more thoroughly acquainted with the ways of the society in which I live, when I ask myself that same question, the answer remains, "There's...french fries. Just...french fries."

11:18 AM  
Anonymous Hal Torres said... What an interesting piece

2:29 PM  
Anonymous Jim Galloway said...

Gosh, a collector friend showed me a cpl piece of hers last evening from his private collection. We finished 2 or 3 drinks just gushing over it...Ordered this retrospect...

2:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, I don't post Anons; you need a real handle. Also pls send messages to most recent post. Thank you.


Most Americans are not good-natured. The stats of lack of empathy, endorsement of violence, etc. are endless. 67% approve of torture and drone strikes. The vast majority are callous and indifferent to the suffering of others. I'm not sure what planet yr on. You seriously think we got awful human beings like Trump and Hill as candidates by accident? Meanwhile, Trumpi does a boorish and embarrassing foreign relations tour, and his popularity at home goes up, while foreigners rightly regard him as a joke. You have bought into a distorted German version of the American people, it wd seem. Time to wake up?


3:32 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

Bill - I hear you. I'm more proud of my grandparents for surviving difficult times than for heroically spilling blood and guts. Although one, as a flight surgeon in the Pacific, did rather little of that. The other was in the infantry in Europe, but never spoke a word of it. It seems that while he had no doubts about the cause, he was so horrified but what he saw that he thought it inappropriate to gloat or tell war stories.

As for WWI and Debs, I am well aware of the financial incentive to intervene on the British side, and William Jennings Bryan's resignation as Sec of State when Wilson refused to stop bankers from lending to Britain and France. However, there was absolutely good-old-fashioned American Puritan idealism involved. Woodrow Wilson, a minister's son, believed in the City on the Hill every bit as much as J Pierpont Morgan believed in earning returns on invested capital. Even Upton Sinclair, who personally appealed to Wilson to let Debs out of jail, supported the War lest the Germans destroy the Democratic Principle. America may not be more appealing than an out and out Carthaginian-style plutocracy, but it is more complicated than that to be sure.

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Axios said...

Greeks and IRRATIONALITY The Greeks and the Irrational
A scholarly study of the developing interpretations of religious experience in ancient Greek culture.

4:22 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

More from the “Decline Through Death by Thousand Cuts” department:

Increasing numbers of U.S. school kids are harassed or ostracized for having delinquent school lunch accounts because their parents are in arrears in paying into their lunch accounts. School tactics include throwing a meal away in front of the student or offering a minimalist “substitute meal.” Locally, a group of parents is doing fundraising for donations to the Olympia, WA School District for children whose parents are unable to afford school lunches. Nationally, there was an article in The Atlantic, link below. The situation is hardly a surprise consequence given increasing income disparity and moves like the Trump budget proposing at least a 25 percent cut in the federal food stamp program by stiffening eligibility requirements and shifting costs to the states.

4:46 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Here's an example of a "good-natured" American:

A few weeks ago, I was on a bus heading toward Reagan National Airport when I mistakenly struck up a conversation w/an American; a white man, forty-fiveish with gray temples and big eyes w/little hairs growing out of his nostrils. He looked harmless enuf, but it turned out that he just sold his house in Dearborn, Michigan to "get away from the Muslims." He also told me, in no uncertain terms, that Trump will go down as the "greatest" president in all of American history. It took everything in my power not to roar w/laughter... I said that I disagreed w/him, and his eyes turned to slits of hatred and he got insanely mad; so much so, he jumped up and left his seat. Jesus, another ignoramus, a Boobus Americanus, a jackass, a clod-hopping poltroon, I thought. I quietly continued reading my book, but could see him continue to study me until we arrived at the airport.


5:33 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Schlomo--I was with you until that last sentence. As one of the world's most extreme proponents of neoliberalism, Merkel is very much a part of the problem rather than the solution. Ian Welsh deals with this in his latest blog post, and actually argues that it is Germany, not Russia or America that is the biggest threat to Europe:

Meanwhile, in Arizona, horse fucking has now apparently become a thing:

And, in supposedly sensible blue state Washington, idiot kills self at high waterfall while taking a selfie with his girlfriend:

9:56 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Good natured is mostly what I try to be in my affairs and sad!y that's not the easiest thing to do in american culture today. This blog is a daily reminder that being a decent human being is the right way to live, regardless of the waves of asshattery rocking the boat.

10:10 PM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Speaking of the decrease in empathy, here is an interesting article that squares with what I've seen in the classroom on a daily basis:

Studies such as the one Jean Twenge cites in "The Narcissism Epidemic" claim that empathy has dropped 40 percent since the year 2000. But I bet the drop would be significantly greater if they started from 1980 or earlier. In any case, a 40 percent drop in empathy is a thoroughly horrifying statistic. And one can only imagine how much worse it will get in fifteen more years! (And two terms of Trump!)

4:58 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Americans are as good-natured as a rabid dog. Good example. Did you ever go to a convenience store like WaWa or 7-11? THere's this bizarre routine where you have to hold the door open for people coming in or leaving. God forbid you don't hold the door open enough or long enough for the person to get through. Then you hear that sarcastic "Thank you" as if you just tripped his 95 year old mother on purpose. That's the US-a lot of formalistic conditional politeness really masking deep seated aggression.
And, of course, there's always the hustle. As I wrote earlier, I am taking a course in stand-up comedy. Besides the class there are opportunities for a private consultation for $75. So I decided to get a private consultation. The teacher told me to submit my new material then we were to meet privately or discuss the material over the phone. OK? So I E-mail him my material and he sends me back essentially an edited form, basically correcting some spelling and grammar mistakes which he then calls our consultation! No actual discussion, in other words. When I told him that I did not think this was an actual consultation, he tells me, "Leave me alone"-teaching at its finest.

8:27 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


It's not merely that Americans are dramatically less empathic; it's also the case that many don't even know what empathy is. And yr rt: it will definitely get worse. I have seen many films of this: a woman collapses on the floor of a Bklyn hospital waiting rm, and nobody tries to help her (not even the staff); she dies 30 mins later. A guy is murdered in a gas station in DC; the next customer fills up on gas, while gazing curiously at the body. Etc.


Careful next time (seriously); yr lucky you didn't get killed. Americans are now polishing each other off on a daily basis, and at an alarming rate, and their fuse is rather short.


Gd bk. I drew on it for the Reenchantment bk.


100 yrs later, we do seem to have a genuine plutocracy.


8:41 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: This is what America is really abt:

In some states, it's illegal to feed the homeless. What a country! I think at this pt, having discussions of how 'good-natured' Americans are is a little like entertaining notions of Elvis being sighted recently in downtown Memphis, or assertions that the Holocaust never happened. There has to be an upper limit to the sheer volume of foolishness permitted on this blog, and I think we may have reached it.


8:59 AM  
Anonymous Bruce said...


11:39 AM  
Anonymous Chuck said...

Checked this out of my city library, The Higher Learning in America by Thorstein Veblen. Classic text, first time picking it up.


12:01 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

There was an LA county hospital case believe in the 2008s--a citizen walked in the ED (emergency dept.) complaining of abdominal pain and was left for hours --writhing in pain and screaming.

NO ONE helped. Not the medical professionals, not fellow citizens, NO ONE.

The individual waited in the ED for help--that never arrived. The person died. In fact, the county health "care" system had storied history of incompetence and malfeasance. And now the head of that LA County Hospital that did nothing has a job 'directing" a "non-profit" making over $500K p.a. giving speeches and smiles about patient-centric care and other american health "care" blather.

usa usa!

12:05 PM  
Anonymous Chaz Homz said...

Laws against feeding the homeless are to protect homeless people from Americans who would feed them poisoned food.

1:15 PM  
Blogger Grille said...

MB, I rarely know what planet I am on these days. Haven't consulted any stats lately. But anecdotally I know of a good deal of indifference to someone, say, falling down the escalator in a Frankfurt subway station and my compatriots walking by, or a drunk man slapping his wife on the sidewalk in Düsseldorf and people looking the other way. It was my wife, an American, who attended to the bleeding man in the U-Bahn station and who stood up to the woman beater, getting him to stop and eventually be arrested.

Yes, there are more angry people out there. Certainly very different to my 1980's experience in the Midwest. 67% of Americans approving of torture and drone strikes is bad. But by the same stat there are (still) 33%, who have at least those two elements of a human character somewhat intact. Sometimes I just can't help this glass half full attitude, or rather 1/3 full in this case.

By the way, Declinism appears to be growing a stronger foothold in Germany:


1:39 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

"Many nice and kind people here. That's one of the things I have always loved about the U.S.! Most people are friendly and good-natured even if their faces betray a hard life [lie]." ...comments from a Wafer.

"I went down to the market where all the women shop/I pulled out my machete and I begin to chop/I went down to the park where all the children play/I pulled out my machine gun and I begin to spray."

Indeed we are the most friendly n good-natured people on the planet. Everybody loves us. We are also the most selfless, noble n brave. And nobody better than me...

The British Raj held similar beliefs during their colonial rampage. They still do.

2:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, your perception is via anecdotal evidence and personal experience, which has created a fantasy America 4u; the alternative is stats, which tell the real story. Sometime ago you were wondering where to live. Disney World? I have this feeling yr already there. For example, we know nothing abt the other 33%. If the assholes were 90% (and I'm sure it's much higher), you'd be praising the 10%. Please don't write any more abt how great Americans are; you are insulting our intelligence, and wasting our time. Wafers have better things to do than argue with folks who think the earth is flat. I suspect you'd be a lot happier checking out other blogs; this one doesn't seem to be the rt one 4u.


I'm sure that's true.


3:04 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

People holding these crazy beliefs should be disqualified from holding public office...

3:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Will somebody help me out here? Trump is pulling the US out of the Paris accords. Why is this a big deal? The agreement had no teeth to it; there were no penalties for nations who signed the accords and then violated them--which the US was sure to do. It seems to me like a hullabaloo over nothing. Trump is just making it real, no?


3:23 PM  
Anonymous al Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Actually, jj, that religious kook is correct, although he may be wrong about the details. God (or Gaia, or The Great Spirit, or what ever you want to call it) WILL take care of climate change. It's all just geology.

Something I tell my students when they get down in the dumps is to cheer up and go visit the Badlands around Drumheller, Alberta, where you can see the various layers of sedimentary rock as you descend the valley into the town.

I tell them that in a few million years, everything they know and all they hold dear will amount to a paper-thin layer in a similar rock formation.

3:59 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


Well, the Alaskan ice floes would melt, MB. We'd hafta find u a new place to copulate w/Sarah. Perhaps Nicaragua--who had the sense to stay out of the Paris accords for the right reasons in the first place.


4:42 PM  
Blogger alyosha said...

Even tho it had no teeth, it's a bad sign and makes it harder for the nations who do want to do something about climate change to make progress. Or maybe it won't if they no longer have to contend with the recalcitrant US Congress. We saw during the Shrub era that our allies began to band together to make progress on this or that issue, leaving Uncle Sam behind. I expect a whole lot more of this now that Merkel acknowledged Europe will have to go it alone.

The effect trickles down to the states - states such as California or New York which enact policies to mitigate climate change, versus those who do not - for the latter there will be no federal government standing over them, telling them to get with the program.

5:22 PM  
Anonymous WuduFugel said...

I heard about an interesting book today from a local radio station, it's called Crooked, and its an expose of the back-pain industry, and how so many Americans are being conned into treatments (surgical and pharmaceutical) that often don't work, any may be more harmful than doing nothing.

The whole thing got me thinking about how separated modern people are from our bodies these days. I have family in eastern Tennessee, and when I go to the grocery store there, I hate to say it, but I'm deeply saddened by what I see - almost everyone is overweight, and the stats back up this observation. According to the NIH, 2 out 3 Americans are overweight, 1 out of 3 are obese, and 1 out of 3 children(!) aged 6 to 19 are either overweight or obese. How could this happen?

Yeah fast-food corporations and agribusiness have their share of the blame, maybe the majority of it it. But the reason I'm bringing this up here is because it made me think about the whole mind-body dualism problem. If you view the body as just something to carry the mind (or soul)around, who cares if its in terrible shape. I was reading a book by the Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh and he touched on this when talking about mindfulness of the body:

"Many people hate their bodies. They feel their body is an obstacle and they want to mistreat it".

Maybe I'm stretching here but if even the body can be treated as The Other, how much of a stretch is it to seeing the whole world that way - different cultures, the natural world, etc.

5:33 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

As for my plutocracy comment - I don't doubt that we have one, just that ideology continues to be a real and guiding factor in this country. Maybe not for Trump, but for plenty of people who still hold real power. Whether or not that ideology is at all positive, coherent or productive, is of course questionable, but it's there all the same.

I was debating an acquaintance recently, and he confessed, in these exact words: "I'm too ignorant to know what's the chicken and what's the egg here. Have they always hated us, or did all the jihadi shit only come into being after we started indiscriminately bombing countries with brown people and lots of oil?"

This is a man with an education from a nominally respectable college! Fortunately, he agreed to read Scheuer's Imperial Hubris, as I knew he wouldn't go for DAA or WAF right off the bat.

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Michael in Oceania said...


"Studies such as the one Jean Twenge cites in 'The Narcissism Epidemic' claim that empathy has dropped 40 percent since the year 2000. But I bet the drop would be significantly greater if they started from 1980 or earlier."

As you have repeatedly pointed out, Americans have never been a particularly empathetic people to start with. However (anecdotally), I think the big "nose dive" started in Clinton's second term. As I said in a previous thread, I started noticing that I had to "walk around on eggshells" with absolutely everybody in the late 1990's, which is when (and why) I decided to move overseas.

There is another book, Political Ponerology, written by a Polish psychologist, Andrew Lobaczewski, which looks at this whole thing from another angle. He discusses what he calls the hysteroidal cycle, and states that the "hysterization" of American society started picking up serious steam during the Reagan Administration. That's about the time guys like Rush Limbaugh and the McLaughlan Report became popular, so that makes sense to me.

7:04 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

The fact that climate change is such an issue for the corporatist international says so much. Climate disaster is always around the corner. When it fails to show up, and somebody points this out, the rubes are mocked for confusing weather with climate. This goes on and on and on for decades, producing make work for academics and feel good corporate PR.

It's also without a real solution, so it just sits around and makes headlines. Any sophisticated reading of a system as complex as the climate would suggest the cat is already out of the bag, and the system has already gone down a certain path since the industrial revolution. Adaption and adjustment are key.

7:44 PM  
Blogger Arthur V. said...

Dr. Berman, you are right, of course, that the Paris Accord with pretty weak. Still it was something. And right now something is better than nothing. There is also the point that this tell our 'allies' that we as a nation with sign treaties and then just say the hell with it when it suits our purposes. That can't be good. On the other hand this is just another sign that USA is heading for the garbage heap of history, as many have gone before. I imagine that the Russians and Chinese are just sitting back like good poker players and waiting for the right time.

On another subject: Have you heard about the 'Resistance Summer'? I guess lots of marches are planned, which of course will make all the difference in the world.

9:47 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

MB: Trump pulling out of the Paris accords is just one more example of him dropping the mask and letting the rest of the world see us for who we really are. Douchebag liberals would MUCH rather have sunshine blown up their skirts, which Obama did for 8 grueling years, than to face the truth.

Just this past weekend a friend of my wife and her husband--big Hillary supporters--invited us over to dinner. I said to the husband that I find it interesting that so many people are just now starting to see America the way I have seen it ever since the Iraq War. He nodded and said that he felt the same way back then, but the election of Obama completely changed his mind. When I asked why he liked Obama so much, he just said how awesome it was that we elected a black man, twice.

It's just pathetic how easy is was for Obama to pull the wool over liberals' eyes. They may be "nice" in superficial social interactions like this couple were, but even liberals are selfish little babies who want to maintain their comfortable lifestyles while having hucksters like Obama and Hillary soothingly reassure them that it will all be taken care of and they won't ever have to sacrifice anything.

Meanwhile, leave it to Iran to put a former U.S. embassy to good use:

9:55 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

MB, maybe Trump is doing some sleight of hand... there's gotta be money angle in there somewhere. Public shenanigans to cause market moves that his pals have been given a heads up?
There was a story about the Clintons on election night when Bill won his first term, tht he and Hillary jumped up and down on the bed with glee. I'm picturing Obama doing the same thing hollering "now we're going to be filthy rich", and since Trump is arguably as much a hustler as O is, following the money might be where the best clues are.

10:11 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

RE: Climate change accords- to effectively battle this would mean scaling back developed nations' profligate lifestyle. What are the chances of this happening? Negative infinity? It's like believing that congress will soon pass a bill granting Medicare coverage for all ages.

On the subject of kind Americans- yes, many Americans are superficially charming and will participate in church trips to repair houses in Appalachia, but the very same people will sit on juries and send hapless souls up the river for years for drug use or vote for lethal injection for convicted murderers.

10:33 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Morris, Bill McKibben can help you out regarding the Paris agreement: Bill McKibben
Trump’s Stupid and Reckless Climate Decision

He says, "But it's not just science that he's blowing up. The Paris accord was a high achievement of the diplomatic art, a process much messier than science and inevitably involving compromise and unseemly concession. Still, after decades of work, the world's negotiators managed to bring along virtually every nation: the Saudis and the low-lying Marshall Islanders, the Chinese and the Indians. One hundred and ninety-five nations negatiated the Paris accord, including the United States."

Hope this helps.

10:49 PM  
Anonymous Megan said...

We were speaking of the incredible decrease in empathy the other day. 40 percent is an abstract statistic, but clearly it has something to do with stories like this that we see every day:

At any rate, I've selected this baby-murdering guy, as well as the kid who sledgehammered his mother, and the teen who ate his neighbor alive, for the final round of "The American Douchebag Sweepstakes". So far it's too close to call.....

On another subject, I thought this was an unusually perceptive article on what it now means to be an American:

1:41 AM  
Anonymous JRS said...

Dr Berman, you are so right! It is such a big hullabaloo over nothing. Trump pulled out of the Paris climate accords and all the progs are having fits. They don't even know what is written in those accords or that it isn't much different than the 1992 RIO accords that were an absolute failure. Carbon emissions have increased about 50% world wide since 1992. How can someone not get that as China becomes a major economy. It's like 1 +1 = 2. Not that difficult to figure out. I guess they need something else to faint for or fear over. Fear is becoming an addiction I think. Not that there isn't enough to be worried about but geez!


2:04 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers,

Dr. B: I couldn't agree more with your take on the Paris accords. I think the thing Donald Trump is guilty of is not playing along with the ruse. I heard Sir Richard Branson on the radio this morning going on about that very thing. Meanwhile, he's contributing to greenhouse gases more than the average guy with all his business interests. More doublespeak. Capitalism and a healthy environment cannot coexist, but TPTB sure like to put a good face on it.

7:01 AM  
Anonymous Chaisson said...

Interesting history

7:23 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Mike Burgess said....

Wafers and Dr. Berman,

Saw this article which states that the Paris Accords might come closer to achieving meaningful goals if the US does pull out since it appears that the US has veto power over finalizing details of the accord. I agree with you, Dr. Berman, that one really could count on the US to violate the accords anyway, especially with Trump as president.

7:38 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thank you all for addressing my question on climate chg and the Paris accords. Enlightening!


Dorfman is a great writer, and I wd recommend his bks to anybody. But his insistence on nativism as the crucial factor in this election misses the mark, as I think I show in my essay on why Trumpi won. Of course, I had the advantage of writing after the election, and Dorfman was writing b4 it.

As for 'abstract statistics'--I suppose all stats are abstract, but your examples are telling. After all, if you pile up enuf anecdotal evidence, like thousands of examples (which certainly exist, if not millions by now), then you have statistical evidence. The overall picture is that Americans are callous, if not actually violent; they just don't care abt the other guy. Many yrs ago, a poll revealed that 24% of Americans say that it is OK to use violence in the pursuit of yr goals. One can only wonder abt the attitudes of the remaining 76%. Probably not very compassionate, I'm guessing.


Push comes to shove, Paris had no more enforcement provisions (i.e., none) than Rio, Kyoto, etc. etc. McKibben sounds wonderful, but the whole thing seems to be a charade, still.

comrade, bill-

So many people, here and in Europe, cannot grasp the fact that Obama was pure bullshit, from beginning to end. I guess Wafers won't be able to get into his $8-million house in Kalorama, and pee on his shoes.


We go down the drain, and the Russians and Chinese bide their time.


Thich is great; I love him. Also check out CTOS on alienation from the body.


It wd be great if climate chg became an important factor in secessionist movements. Wow!

9:38 AM  
Anonymous Schlomo said...

Police are asking for help finding a man suspected of stealing the wedding ring and backpack of one of Friday's MAX stabbing attack victims

A man stealing the possessions of a murder victim happens in many countries. It's just that all of those countries are decidedly Third World. This is why so many Americans avoid and look down upon public transportation, because it exposes them to Third World elements of this country! I recently got back from overseas where I rode lots of smooth transit with friendly helpful drivers and well-behaved passengers. The first second I stepped back on the god awful LIRR at JFK, all the Americanism hit me right back in the face: depressed looking people, an angry mother screaming at her kids, an anxious teen with his phone an inch from his face, a bumpy, screeching old train, a rude conductor. Mentally ill people terrorizing passengers.

Americans brag about the "comfort" that can be achieved by walling oneself off from the Third World Elements of American life: gated, segregated suburb that keeps its property taxes for its own schools, going from place to place in an oversized SUV so you don't feel the potholes on the horrible roads, shopping in giant hulking strip malls disconnected from the public transportation you actively voted to block so you can keep the pesky Subhumans you created out of sight. People actually brag about how high their Quality of Life is in these walled gardens of sociopathy when they look down on us in NYC, SF, etc where we actually have to live with the society we've created. We should build housing projects in the middle of the most exclusive neighborhoods in this country so these parasites can deal directly with the society they've created.

9:59 AM  
Blogger alyosha said...

@Schlomo - I live in the kind of bubble you describe: Irvine, California. It's a completely planned city, no: billboards, power lines, pawnshops, liquor stores, laundromats, bars, car repair places, etc. All suburban development, with wide, well planned, safe roads, lots of well manicured completely planned greenery - fed by recycled water - a high tech and university hub. Used to be extremely white bread and conservative, now the dominant ethnicity is Asian/Chinese. It's a highly desired place to live, with rents exceeding much of Los Angeles, and Chinese buyers commonly paying all cash for ordinary suburban homes valued around $1 million, that elsewhere would fetch only a fraction of that price. 97% of Irvine's kids go on to college - the schools are a huge reason for its success.

Irvine is kind of a pure example of what's happening across America: tech hubs that are affluent and able to exclude third world America.

Zardoz is a great cult film from the early 70s that takes this idea to its logical extreme: bubbles of civilization protected by an energy wall set against a backdrop of barbarity. "Zardoz" is a fake god created by the "civilized" to control the barbarians. Very early Sean Connery and Charlotte Rampling. Connery plays the guy who upends it all.

3:31 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Wasn't it the same EU marionettes who brought down Evo Morales' plane on the behest of the master?

Were was the indignation when the ambulance that came to the aid of the victims targeted on purpose?

Where was the outrage and sanctions on the US by the EU over the Abu Ghraib tortures and extraordinary-rendition?

What happened to the 'coalition of the willing'? Who is the terrorizing the planet now? Axis-of-evil anyone?

It is hard for the western mind to connect the dots that are just millimeters apart. What we do to our poor, to the blacks n immigrants n natives, is what we do to our food, water n environment. Where's the surprise?

6:29 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

MB and Wafers,

The more I think about it, Fred Trump's failure to 'pull out' is the world's greatest tragedy.

Also, Jimmy Carter will attend Gregg Allman's funeral:

Keep on Wafering in the Free World,


7:58 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Sadly, even a couple of otherwise sensible bloggers STILL can't seem to get it through their heads that it is NOT Trump who is the problem, but America itself. Check out the NY Daily News cover embedded in this piece. The headline reads: "Trump to World: Drop Dead," when it SHOULD read, "America to World: Drop Dead."

Meanwhile, Fred Reed has written a bracingly honest Memorial Day piece in which he gets right to the truth about "Our Boys." Guess it takes someone who has served in the Imperial Legions in wartime to truly recognize how hideously evil they are:

"The abandonment of all human decency is the soul of military culture, and a needed abandonment. A pilot bombing Baghdad knows that he is splattering people, that they have done nothing to him or his, that he is leaving children screaming at what is left of Mommy with funny things coming out of her middle and gurgling. He knows this because it is impossible not to know what five-hundred-pound bombs do. But he does it anyway. He doesn’t care. If he did, he wouldn’t do it."

10:18 PM  
Anonymous Gordon Vancouver said...


The US leaving the Paris accord is likely the historical reference date for the
decline of the American Empire.

The rejection of science and enlightenment beliefs in favour of fossil fuel mercantilism dooms the USA to be a pariah state.

Check the math, China and Germany have.

<a href="</a>


1:55 AM  
Anonymous Jeremy said...

8:56 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

A nightmarish day for me yesterday. First I substituted in a relatively well off high school where I was surrounded by 1200 techno-douchbags (including the teachers) then found myself at a Phillies game surrounded by 17,000 techno-douchbags ( I expect players to start wearing ear pieces in the dugout or even on the field in not too many years to come). So good! Let them all choke on carbon emmissions. By the way, love Americans ability to pick up on irony. So I'm sitting in the roster room waiting for my assignment. A teacher comes in and says to me, "You look like you lost your best friend." I said jokingly, "It's worse. I'm here to substitute teach." She said, "So you think substitute teaching is equivalent to losing your best friend?"

9:11 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

1st, annals of turkeydom:


If you keep in mind at all times that yr surrounded by douche bags, nothing will surprise you. Much will amuse you.


Personally, I'm happy re: Trumpi's decision. After all, his historical mission is to bury the US. Since his inauguration, he has tried to do this in various ways; which I can only applaud. Regarding climate chg: as I said b4, he's just being honest. There's no way the US was ever going to conform to the Paris accords, so why pretend? So we can see ourselves as progs? That's just b.s. But Trumpi's decision does make us into a pariah, worldwide, including among our allies. This can only hurt US. America has less and less cachet in the world with each passing day. When Trumpo goes abroad and acts like a boor and a jackass, this also contributes to our decline. And so on. Go, Don! (I also agree with Bill, that Trumpi *is* America. For example, all Americans--all--want a lifestyle that serious environmental restrictions wd make impossible. Hence, fuck the environment.)


10:48 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

All right!:

Now let's put Kissinger on trial as well.


11:02 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

No submission for the catalog of the day's outrageous incidents, nor account of the latest Trumpian tweet. Instead, an interesting look at a Belgian town where the spiritually ill are welcomed and embraced by the townspeople, who likely see themselves as fellow sufferers.

"Half an hour on the slow train from Antwerp, surrounded by flat, sparsely populated farmlands, Geel (pronounced, roughly, ‘Hyale’) strikes the visitor as a quiet, tidy but otherwise unremarkable Belgian market town. Yet its story is unique. For more than 700 years its inhabitants have taken the mentally ill and disabled into their homes as guests or ‘boarders’. "

11:18 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

90 year old people are now receiving cane pummelings...

12:36 PM  
Blogger Grandma said...

Dr. B and Wafers,

Whoever posted the Aeon article about the Frankfurt group, many thanks! Did want to note that ecologists have embraced their work for many years (article implies they've been ignored?)

From Ian Walsh (written by someone else): Basically frames Trump pulling out of Paris Accords a refusal to acknowledge climate change as reality. This is really about business then, no surprise. Business cannot be fettered by any type of environmental consideration.

1:42 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

I'm not a fan of the current environmentalist movement in the West. it just seems like the next big organized religious structure to take root after the Church of Science and Technology. Mother Earth is simply the deity being worshiped this time around. George Carlin did a great skit in which he attacked the self-importance of liberals when it comes to the environment.

Of course, I am not denying that there are serious environmental problems that need to be tackled in order for humanity to survive into the future. However, I subscribe to the non-Western perspective that respecting nature and trying to live in harmony with it is ultimately good for our long-term interests.

2:48 PM  
Anonymous silliconvalleyburnout said...

In the coming decades, we have to deal with a lot of jobs being lost to automation. Self-driving vehicles are a potent example. But that is not the reason we need to create a universal basic income, according to Zuckerberg. The reason is because there are many Zuckerberg's who would not create facebooks without knowing that if they fail, they will be okay. Can't make this stuff up. After this display of douchebaggery, people feel Zuck may run at president, and he has his supporters.

Zuck for pres:

As a self-proclaimed wafer, I am convinced of the failure of America. I don't think the next ascendant will be another nation state. It will be stateless corporations lead by technocratic douchebags. States will do their bidding, America foremost amongst them. A sort of globalist techno-fascist system, not so much unlike those predicted by religions traditions in end times.

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Fruit Woman said...

Hello Dr. Berman and Wafers-
My apologies for not participating in all the fun here. I have though, been reading the blog (the only one worth reading) and have enjoyed all of the comments and links. I found this article, but I'm not sure if it's the best representation of events; Wafers can decide that for themselves. In any case, I don't really see how this can be a good thing or that anyone will ultimately benefit from this (aggressive and misguided) attempt to make the world a better place... Fruit Lady

5:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


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

Fruit Woman-

I taught at Evergreen in 1991. This is indeed the political climate I remember, tho clearly it has gotten much worse. Students not allowing the pres to pee is a nice added touch. I tell ya, whenever I see evidence of the country going down the drain, it gives me a frisson of joy. Go students! Go faculty! Hurt as many people as you can with political correctness! You are obviously in the right.


Always, always capitalize Wafer. Thank you. As for yr prediction: I wonder if we're not already there.


My own vision is that the govt issue every single person in the US a cane, and tell them to find someone they don't know and clobber them, and to do it at least once a day. My own experience of America was that people were clobbering each other verbally every day; I see no reason not to transfer this behavior to the physical realm. But to tell you the truth, I wd like to interview the kid who beat this elderly gent up, just to find out why he did it. His answer cd tell us a lot abt America.


Can you remotely imagine such a thing happening in the US?

6:18 PM  
Blogger Arthur V. said...

Good evening, all. This has really bothered me all day. I trust by now that most readers have heard about the Bill Maher situation. I was watching his show Friday when he made his reference to house servants. My first thought was how long before the constantly offended will respond. . .well, it wasn't long. I guess I just want to know how many other folks on Dr. Berman's blog find this a ridiculous non issue. I was particularly disappointed that Maher felt the need to issue the now required apology.

What's next? Mark Twain apologizes. How about Jack London. And don't forget Joseph Conrad. He wrote a great book "N-Word of the Narcissus". I consider myself on the 'left' on most issues. But putting up with these moron progs is really getting more than I can take. I'm almost at the point where the only things I can watch on TV without hand palm to the face are Chicago Cubs baseball, Ancient Aliens, and the World Series of Poker.

I really want to know it other Wafers are as disgusted with the Bill Maher non-situation as I am. And this has nothing to do with if one like or hates Mr. Maher. Thanks.

7:08 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Mark Ames has published another outstanding and very sobering essay about how Mother Jones went from being viciously attacked by Reagan and his fellow travelers back in the 1980s as Kremlin stooges to now being one of the leading witch hunting McCarthyite rags labeling as Kremlin stooges anyone--left or right--who doesn't buy the Putin stole the election nonsense. MJ even went so far as to run pictures of Putin and Trump next to each other with a hammer & sickle next to their names even though Putin's Russia is an extreme neoliberal autocracy about as far from Communism as you can get. Ames writes:

"The communist/leftist imagery is there for a reason. In case you haven’t noticed, Clinton supporters have waged a crude pr campaign to blame their candidate’s loss on leftists, whom they equate with neo-Nazis and Trump. I’ve been smeared as “alt-left” by a Vanity Fair columnist, who equated me with Breitbart and other far-right journalists, for the crime of not sufficiently supporting Hillary Clinton. The larger goal of this crude PR effort is to equate opposition to Hillary Clinton with treason and Nazism. Which was exactly the goal of Reagan’s “Kremlin disinformation” hysteria — the whole point was to smear critics of Reagan and his right-wing politics as pro-Kremlin traitors, whether they knew it or not."

With "Resistance" like Mother Jones, the war is already lost.

11:15 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Following the recent terrorist attacks in London--genl observations:

Push button---Bottom lip-biting/pensive faces, fear porn pictorials, candles, hugging Muslims, militarized police window dressing, light shows, hopeful-sounding music, cliche statements (mayor/PM--'enough is enough, we will not let them win, they're cowards (using drones--is that not cowardly?), "no reason to be alarmed, London is one of the safest cities..."

Not one mainstream article, release, speech, statement, etc... that maybe, perhaps, the foreign policies of the West might have contributed to creating this violence?

usa, usa!

12:43 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

George W. Obama. Hustling is Amerika.

Obama the messiah spied on COP15 climate negotiators.

shall, should, maybe -dicking with semantics. Paris accord was a joke. It didn't fail.

Just like Shobamacare, the Paris "deal" was all about his "legacy."

1:11 PM  
Anonymous Dave said...

Opera Vs Trump: Rossini w/ Trumpi lyrics ... u'll love it guys, hvnt enjoyed Rossini like this since Bug's Bunny

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Good article on Obama administration alumni returning to lucrative private sector jobs.

20 million starving to death: inside the worst famine since World War II.

Somebody should alert Steven Pinker as these latest famines are mostly caused by warfare which seems to contradict his thesis that humans are becoming less violent and that the world is getting better and better.

3:33 PM  
Anonymous Tamler said...


6:56 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Barbarism is making a comeback...if it ever really left at it Neo-Barbarism.

8:37 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike R.-

Well, one important comment: this is what Jeremy Corbyn has been saying. Of course, Theresa has practically labeled him a traitor. Upcoming election will tell us a lot.


8:47 AM  
Blogger Mister Roboto said...

@Bill Hicks: Jim Kunstler sums it up pretty well in his most recent bi-weekly blog-post. I tend to agree with him that we're headed for a financial crack-up in the very near future, based mainly on the fact that financial-market valuations are massively hyperinflated in proportion to the economic fundamentals.

10:32 AM  
Blogger Polk said...

I was reminded of Vonnegut's classic "Deadeye Dick," by the article cited below, part of which I quote: " Vonnegut observes that “the Dark Ages, they haven’t ended yet.” Note that he didn’t say, “We have entered a new dark age.” Instead, Vonnegut was remarking on the continuity of a vicious style of American politics, which only gets darker and darker as the faint glimmer of the Enlightenment recedes farther into the past."

St. Clair also reminded me of Kafka's famous quote on hope:“There is hope. But not for us.”

America is dying. Dying nations don't go easily or without doing great damage to themselves and others.Given the interconnection of the environment and international commerce, the "others" is the world. I fear from my children and grandchildren. They will inherit a cruel, dark world, the likes of which have never been experienced by human beings. While there is no hope for us, I pray that there will be for them.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Edward Miessner said...

@ jjarden:

Well considering that most everybody everywhere in the world is now civilized, I'd call it neo-barbarism.

@ MB et al:

And now the daily massacre: a disgruntled ex-employee in Orlando storms his former workplace, kills five, then shoots himself.

1:27 PM  
Blogger pg said...


For yr amusement:

And the video of the Halbstarke beating the old man showed up:

Reminiscent of Kubrick's _The Clockwork Orange_?

3:43 PM  
Anonymous Fruit Woman said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers,
Developing minds are incomprehensible to those whose didn't. (I just made that up myself; feel free to check for proper syntax.) This linked article shows a house bill that makes perfect sense in a country run by seven year olds. - Fruit

4:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Honestly, I fail to see why we don't make it a capital crime.


This is gd, but I'm still waiting for the DNC to call her a Botox-filled douche bag.


4:52 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Arthur--What Bill Maher SHOULD have said was: "In making my point I used a crude derogatory term that refers to people who kiss the asses of those in power. If you are too stupid to recognize its meaning, all I can say is: fuck you." But, of course, Maher is indeed exactly what he claimed he was and doesn't want to lose his cushy corporate gig, so of course he apologized.

pg -- we WAFers should thank the Botoxed One for refusing to leave the spotlight so that her hideous visage remains a potent reminder to voters as to who really controls the douchebag Democratic Party and why no sane person should ever vote Democratic, let alone contribute to one of their campaigns.

Meanwhile, here is a shining example of both American femininity and technodouchebaggery. A female Verge writer posts a 1500 word, navel gazing essay as to why her boyfriend "liked" a female celebrity's Instagram page after inviting her friends to comment before she even bothered to ask her boyfriend himself why he did it (his answer at the very bottom is priceless). If I could I'd write the poor bastard, I'd advise him to run away from this dingbat like his hair is on fire:

7:20 PM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

Dr. MB and Wafers worldwide,

Here's a nice catalog of gun stupidity, and yes, these are your fellow citizens, they walk among us.

7:48 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Hey Polk Cullpepper,
I kept scrolling and reading your link until I got to this part... Haven't had a cry like that in a while

7:56 PM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

here's some familiar territory...

I wonder what the Donner party would have thought about this?

10:52 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Great article in today's Counterpunch: China's Ascent to World Leadership. Nevertheless, I feel confident saying we still lead the world in techno-douchebaggery. Case in point. Today I was in the waiting room of a hospital waiting to drive a friend home who had just undergone a procedure. I noticed a middle age man coming out trying to get his son's attention since the moron was wearing ear buds listening to something on his I-crap. Imagine, a father emerging from a medical procedure and still having to get his son's attention!It was almost too horrible to witness. My father would literally have maimed me if I had done something so disrespectful.
By the way, my mom spent one night in a hospital recently and got the bill. Fortunately, she has Medicare so it didn't cost her anything. Still, the bill came to over $24,000! Think this country might seriously address this issue? Of course not.

12:25 AM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

A good article here (some of it relating to our Po-Mo discussion earlier):

"Our cultural embrace of epistemic or intellectual arrogance is the result of a toxic mix of technology, psychology, and ideology."

And from earlier in the article, "One way the internet distorts our picture of ourselves is by feeding the human tendency to overestimate our knowledge of how the world works. Most of us know what it’s like to think we remember more from high-school physics or history than we actually do. As the cognitive scientists Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach have detailed recently, such overestimation extends farther than you might think: Ask yourself whether you can really explain how a toilet or a zipper works, and you may find yourself surprisingly stumped. You assume you know how things work when you often don’t know at all."

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Glen said...

It's funny how modern America can learn from the Vikings when it comes to social economic equality

Seeing the author speak at a cappella books in Atlanta this evening

10:03 AM  
Anonymous R. Mcgill said...


....also the only excuse Hillary hasn't used.... yet

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Roland Hannes said...

/Coming to Our Archaeological Senses\

11:01 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

New McDonald's PUMMELING!

11:41 AM  
Anonymous al Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

- Bill Hicks It's odd how Bill Maher, a serial racist whenever Arabs and Muslims are involved - felt compelled to apologise about that comment. Had he any wit, he'd have claimed to have borrowed from Malcolm X.

But yes, he is what he said he is, a corporate house n-----.

As for that Der Spiegel article quoted in that Wall Street On Parade link:

"Donald Trump is not fit to be president of the United States. He does not possess the requisite intellect and does not understand the significance of the office he holds nor the tasks associated with it. He doesn’t read. He doesn’t bother to peruse important files and intelligence reports and knows little about the issues that he has identified as his priorities...."

So what's new? The same could have been said about Ronald Reagan and G.W. Bush. i don't know if this will shock anyone in the USA, but the rest of the world has been either laughing at or living in terror of your choice of presidents since the Nixon years.

- Dan What are hospital bills?

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"“A lot of these people don’t know each other. I thought: what this space needs is some community building.” An app is going to change that for SURE. The level of douchebaggery is just beyond any words.

12:35 PM  
Blogger Chad In Chicago said...

Critical thinking skills continue to deteriorate:

2:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Enjoyed yr contributions. For a declinist, there is no upper limit to pummeling. A declinist never says, "Oh, that's far too much pummeling." Didju guys know that if a massacre is defined as more than 3 people killed or maimed, there are more than 1 massacres per day now occurring in the US? The latest:


This is great news, from a declinist pt of view. I'm looking forward to the day when college seniors and grad students communicate by grunting, waving their arms, and drooling. 5 yrs away? (A large part of the population is already there.)


I love this stuff. I wonder what their critical thinking skills are like. O&D!!


Reagan wd actually go to press conferences and set up 3 x 5 file cards on the table in front of him, on which he had printed slogans in block capitals. Then he wd answer questions by reading off of these cards. Americans thought he was wise. Be sure to see a film called "The Campaign" (a declinist's wet dream).


Personally, I think pomos need 10 yrs of round-the-clock therapy; altho I don't think it wd work. But again, speaking as a declinist, I'm opposed to Americans developing any type of wisdom or humility. What we need is arrogance and more arrogance, and I have a feeling we're going to get it!


4:51 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Everyday, America presents itself as a portrait of a savage nation at war w/itself. As MB once remarked, it'll eventually come down to douche bag versus douche bag, if it isn't there already. That said, however, I believe the only truly honorable thing to do is to admit that we've done all this to ourselves and to others, and we must now face the consequences of our acts.

Karl Jaspers, referring to responsibility for the Holocaust, said that *all* citizens of a country are *liable* for the results of actions taken by their state, and that every human being is fated to be enmeshed in the power relations he/she lives by. In addition, Jaspers argued, there's really no way around this, as no one is truly innocent. In other words, the inevitable guilt of all is playing itself out here; the guilt of human existence and the price of living for far too long in a dysfunctional American society. This is precisely the reason why *all* Americans are guilty and undergoing a certain kind of historical karma of their own making. There's just no other way that I see it.


ps: I do hope you read this, Fran.

7:56 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

PoliticallyIncorrect, the Wetico article you posted is a poignant document of our times.
Wetiko: the greatest meme epidemic that has struck humanity, and there's nothing humane about it.

God is very intelligent to make man in his own image,.. to love the Orangutans.

10:33 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

"What we need is arrogance and more arrogance." (GSWH). So let it be written, so let it be done.

How's this for a start:

This story combines the arrogance of the privileged and technodouchbaggery. Even Facebook's harshest critics must concede that it can serve a useful purpose, namely bringing the names of the more obnoxious among us into stark relief.

11:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yeah, gd reference. I also thought abt Jaspers ("The Question of German Guilt") when Fran was trying to claim, a la Margaret Thatcher, that it's only the personal that counts. Fran may or may not read your post--and I'm hoping by now that he has found a blog appropriate to his talents--but it won't make any difference, since nothing gets thru to him. Not that I need to lambaste him any more, but he does, I think, fall into an interesting category on this blog. Briefly, I think he's brain damaged--i.e., literally. Let me explain.

Over the yrs, there have been abt a number of folks on this blog whose posts were rather scrambled--like Fran's. They were illogical and/or simply wrong-headed, and I wd patiently try to unscramble what they wrote and make sense of it, so that it cd be rationally discussed. Their reaction was more scrambled eggs, or else to change the subject and apply the same sort of illogic to it. Slowly, I began to realize that they weren't being perverse. Rather, they didn't have the neurological capacity to formulate a coherent argument. I believe Fran falls into this category. I'm no brain surgeon, of course, but what I guessed was going on was faulty timing in the firing of neurons, plus synapses that were too far apart.

In one very interesting case, I suggested to the guy that he see a neurologist, and he flew into a rage. This guy's posts were very much like Fran's, and I'm quite sure if I made this suggestion to Fran, he wd react in the same way. He certainly wdn't go to see a neurologist. But amazingly enuf, this guy actually took my advice, and wrote me abt it a year later. Guess what? He was brain damaged! He apologized to me for having wasted my time, said he had been on meds for a year, and was now ready to return, a rational and coherent person. Unfortunately, the story doesn't have a happy ending. Turns out, the meds didn't help all that much; his posts were still pretty loopy, and I had to tell him that this wasn't working out. The other depressing thing abt it--creepy, really--is that he cdn't let go of the blog. He still lurks on it, and occasionally posts under an alias. But as his loopy thinking is such a characteristic signature, that much of the time I can spot it, and just delete it, wishing he wd go elsewhere.

Now I'm not suggesting that Fran is this guy; I don't believe he is. But it's uncanny, how similar Fran's mode of 'reasoning' is to that poor shmuck. For Fran, as for this guy, meds probably won't work; becoming half-normal will require actual surgery--if indeed medicine is advanced enuf that it can correct poor neural firing and loose synapses by cutting into tissue. I've never heard of that type of surgery, myself, but perhaps it will be perfected in the next decade.

I'm also hoping that Fran, unlike Mr. X, will truly disappear from this blog, and not lurk on it or reappear using different aliases. It's creepy behavior, as I said, and the sensible thing to do, obviously, is forget abt Waferdom entirely and take up some other discussion group. (Can folks like this be sensible?) I do, however, share your wish, that Fran read your reference to Jaspers; but if he does, I'm quite sure he'll process the info as tho he had tuna fish in his head.

Anyway, so much for the strange annals of Waferdom. As all of you know, I'm generally not interested in talking abt the blog itself, but cases like Fran and Mr. X have a weird sort of fascination. It's amazing, who is out there, in Americaland. (BTW, the American Psychiatric Assn says that at any given time, 25% of Americans are mentally ill. I suspect this is a rather low estimate.)

Moving rt along...


9:43 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Drug overdose deaths in America rising faster than ever. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death among Americans under 50.

Woman accused of giving meth to 2-year-old at Berkeley playground.

Argument over politics and sports leads to fatal stabbing.

12:19 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

What thinking rational person would read these articles and not see how F***Up USA is? Well, me for one. Until the election of dumpster fire DT I was blind - even dumb enough to fall for Obama and vote for 'lesser of evil' Clinton. like being awakened from chloroform (Doris Lessing quoted by MB in Twilight) I'm disabused of all illusion now.

I think I get the declinist point of view about USA but have troubled thinking same about climate and end of all civilization.

Itching to pose a question maybe someone has a reply - is the universe just? Seems to me if it is then homo sapiens are in need of a good defense attorney or 'blood of the lamb.' Incapable of living in the world without destroying the same wouldn't it be justice if we're wiped out? Evolution is a gruesome process maybe in other parts of the universe life and consciousness develop without it.

sorry if I posted in the wrong place I'm new to the blog

12:42 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

Personally, I think all human beings are guilty of wrongdoing on some level, including myself. It's impossible for any individual to be completely "clean." Having self-awareness of your own wrongdoings is important IMO.

How much wrongdoing someone is guilty of depends on both the individual and the society he lives in. Americans, for example, are the most guilty. They are also completely unaware of their own wrongdoing.

1:01 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

I've mentioned here before that I do volunteer work for one of the big cancer charities--mostly speaking to community groups to get the word out to people about the importance of basic cancer screenings and life choices they can make to minimize their cancer risk. I had been doing this under the supervision of a young woman of about 30 who went to work for the charity right out of college. She's bright, very attractive and was absolutely committed to the cause. She's the type who could have easily made big bucks doing something soulless like working as an account representative or lobbyist and capitalizing on her looks, but she once told me she wanted to make the charity her life work. In short, she's exactly the kind of truly good person you meet all too rarely these days.

A couple of weeks ago, she called to let me know there had been a "reorganization" and that she was being let go. Then, just this past weekend, I was giving a talk to a local black church group when I was joined by another full time staffer I'd never met before. He was also fairly young, and when it was his turn to speak he told the group how he used to work in advertising but decided he wanted to do something more "mission oriented." He didn't say "people oriented," or because he wanted to help those need, instead he spoke in mindless corporate drivel. Worse yet, whereas I always speak off the cuff and without notes, he merely read his part off a sheet and spent most of the time pushing the fundraising angle as if getting the money was all that was important. I wanted to go up to the podium and slap the shit out of him. Needless to say, my opinion of the charity I work for has subsequently taken a big hit.

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Luis said...

Visiting MOMA, just attended wonderful talk by Pablo Helguera, the Director of Adult and Academic Programs, on Mexican muralist José Clemente Orozco's “Dive Bomber and Tank” (1940)

Focused around how technologies of war de facto strip themselves and their victims of any trace of humanity

1:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I adore Orozco. I assume you've seen the murals at Hospice Cabana in Guadalajara.


Here's the upside: the more of this sort of thing, the faster the collapse.


1. Welcome to the blog! Hope 2c more of u.
2. Hillary is a douche bag. She has Botox in her face.
3. Americans are awful. Just look at the data that pour into this blog. They are drugging, shooting, stabbing, whatever, on a full-time basis. Plus, they have little more than dogshit in their heads.
4. Other Wafers will answer your Big Questions.


2:47 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Parents PUMMELING other Parents!!

3:44 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


Is the universe just? Well, It seems completely unlikely. The universe is indifferent. This doesn't stop humans from attempting to impose some form of justice to avoid complete and utter chaos, of course, but humans are not perfect, so justice often fails. Religious folks, tho, believe in an afterlife so that if you don't find justice in this life, there will be justice in the next one. This too, is a bit of a stretch for obvious reasons. Anyway, best to take pleasure in the details of life: Waferdom, nature, pastrami and various other deli meats, Dr. Brown's Cel-Ray Tonic, art, jazz, sex, etc.


7:21 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

I know we all love to hate on political correctness and shallow notions of diversity, myself included, but I can't help but be somewhat dismayed when the founder of a nationally-relevant political movement goes on national TV and dismisses the Declaration of Independence, and along with it the ideals of the Enlightenment as "faggy".

Kind of makes me miss the W Bush-era norm of superimposing some Jesus talk over dismissals of human progress. Emphasis on "kind of".

7:36 PM  
Blogger Edward Miessner said...

Hi MB,

Well I thought Fran was right about some people in the US being kind and considerate to others... problem is, they are in the minority. And most likely a small minority at that. And everybody knows that in Murka, MAJORITY RULES!

Now about me: everyone here is ignoring me! I'm going back to my old alias.

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Christian Jarrett said...

O lord.... *IF* Americans can find NK ....

7:47 AM  
Anonymous Quetzalcoatl said...


giant temple to the Aztec god of the wind and a court where the Aztecs played a deadly ball game have been discovered in the heart of Mexico City.

8:08 AM  
Anonymous John said...

Check it out:a comparison of empire collapse in the USSR and the US

8:13 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Bill - Did you talk to him afterwards to try and set him straight?

8:19 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


How are your feathers these days?


I dpubt they can find France.


Yeah, maybe 4 or 5 people. Meanwhile, we don't wish to ignore you! Clearly, you have suffered greatly.


This dismissal is part of our decline. I welcome it!


In addition to Miles' list, you might check out "Dual Process," archived on this blog.


Very impt role models for our kids, imo. I only wish they had been equipped with AK-47's, drones, and nuclear weapons. Hair-pulling is for pansies.


8:42 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ed: ps: This is who Americans are:

Also check out the portrait of Americans in the film, "The Campaign" ("Idiocracy" also gd).

MLK said the worst possible combination was stupidity + anger. That was 50 yrs ago. What wd he say abt us today?


8:56 AM  
Anonymous Cosmo said...

'The flagship of the GPO Film Unit's output and a cornerstone of British documentary. Harry Watt and Basil Wright's study of the down postal express stands as a beacon for John Grierson's original purpose for documentary - to make the working man the hero of the screen. A truly collaborative effort, a coming together of many great names and those immortal lines from W.H. Auden.'


11:48 AM  
Anonymous K Lebel said...

Speechless. How can any human being be such an empty, soulless shell to do this?

12:18 PM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Great Swami of the Western Hemisphere (GSWH) and Wafers,

For more authentic Tastes of India, I recommend the following:

"Foundations of Indian Culture" by Sri Aurobindo
"I am That - Talks with Nisargadatta Maharaj" - Maurice Frydman (translator)

Thank you,

Himanshu (aka Swami Biryani)

12:56 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Here in Cascadia, delivering newspapers as a retirement pursuit (already given a shaky proposition given trends) can be dangerous to your health as one couple found out in a Seattle suburb as douchebags entertained themselves:

In more news from Cascadia, the PC turmoil at Evergreen College in Olympia continues as some professors move classes off-campus:

And now some students apparently have grown tired of the whole business:

1:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Things were rather strained along PC lines when I taught there in 1991; sounds like they have gotten much worse. I remember I made a Jewish joke in class; one student ran to the dean saying I was anti-Semitic (it was the mildest joke imaginable, not disparaging at all). The dean then called me up; I told him I had no apologies to make, and that the student was a nut job. The kid then started foning me at 4 a.m. But what most bothered me was that Evergreen students had a preformed ideology, and the instructor was supposed to confirm it--this was considered 'education', and many faculty conformed. I didn't. As I explained at the end of my semester there, my job was only to get them to think. At that pt, I'm happy to say, most of the class got it--they agreed. Glad I'm not teaching there these days. It sounds like the place has turned into a PC nuthouse.


If I become a swami, I'll hafta stop restricting my greatness to the Western hemisphere, and I fear my expertise as an Eastern sage is rather limited. But you can call me Sri Berman, if you'd like.


? She's an American!


3:12 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

And so it begins...

3:48 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Jacob--aside from the fact that there would have been no point in trying to correct the behavior of a brainwashed automaton, the dude was with there his sister--who was a member of the congregation--so there was no way to call him out privately. Plus, I'm just an unpaid volunteer, and the organization has made it pretty clear what type of employee they prefer when the canned the woman I used to work with, who was very people oriented and talked like a real human being, while keeping this guy on. Blecch.

Jack--what really disturbs me about that Evergreen story is how it has a whiff of the Salem witch trials about in that there is no way for the accused to prove their innocence and the accusers have set themselves up as unassailable. I'm retired from the federal government and had the unfortunate experience of being involved in several EEO (discrimination cases), though thankfully never as the subject. Just like at ESU, it was very difficult for those accused of discrimination to prove the negative, even though the accusers were almost always poor performing employees using the system to keep from being fired. The government quite often settled the cases because it was cheaper and easier than fighting a long legal battle--with the side effect that it left the subject with the stink of of not being able to clear his/her name. A cottage industry of law firms have even arisen in DC that specialize in getting such settlements--just like ambulance chasers, with the side effect of keeping bad federal employees in the jobs.

Onward and downward!

4:49 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Same Shit, Different Day Department
A man speeding away from a traffic stop in Jersey City, New Jersey on Sunday night struck another man's vehicle; the two cars burst into flames, and the police arrived on the scene to see a man on the sidewalk near the cars. He was on his knees, stripping off his clothes and trying to put out the flames that had ignited them. Guns drawn, the officers approached and at least one officer kicked him; two policemen ended by dragging him on his back by his legs into the street.

As it happens--can you imagine?--the fellow on fire, who's still in the hospital with serious injuries, was the driver whose car had been hit by the fleeing suspect. As is de rigueur in such cases, the Jersey City police chief promises quick action to deal with the officers in question.

A bystander captured the scene on his cellphone,

7:22 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

The Food-related Pummeling has moved beyond McDonalds...

7:26 PM  
Anonymous NJGuy said...

Maybe "Swami Pastrami" would be an appropriate moniker!

10:53 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Another mass shooting, this time at a supermarket in Pennsylvania.

Feud on Facebook leads to shooting. All parties involved were teenagers.

Man shoots woman nine times for refusing to date him.

5:53 AM  
Anonymous Ruan said...

Trumpi's meddlesome priests

8:20 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


All of this confirms our downward spiral, but I'm perplexed that the guy shot the woman only 9 times. Is this wimping out or what?


8:50 AM  
Anonymous Catie said...


Pem nem: a 16th-century Urdu romance

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Tabby's Star said...

Re: Europe's Promise Dept.

11:24 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

El Alamein, It is ironic that a white-supremacist AltRt founder belittles the 'Declaration of Independence' calling it "faggy." And he's inadvertently right. According to Prof.Horne the so called 'independence' was only meant for the few wealthy land/slave holder upperclass white. Forget about the colored or women, the majority who were dirty-collar peasant/labor-class whites were not included in the liberty gig. Like the Civil War (not really to free the southern slaves), Gulf War (not really to bring democracy to the middleEast) all such great enterprises of amerika was nothing but a "rescuing Jessica Lynch" style sham.

Ever since they came to amerika the white folks lived on the antsy edge precariously balanced between privilege and losing thereof. 'War is a force that gives us meaning' wrote Chris Hedges to explain the country's paranoid psyche. For the whites a similar case can be made : Fear of losing privilege is what gives us meaning. The recent spike in deaths of those privileged is likely due to loss of that "meaning."

11:59 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Bill--had a similar experience with american "non profits."

Was involved in a classical music academy "non profit" too. It claimed to help "train" student musicians, "world class." etc.....The primary thing on the organization's mind was endless fundraising, upselling pricey tickets to events, catering to millionaires+, fancy suppers, and creating various ways to extract dollars from them. Endless hustling.

The "gift" and "donor" relations folks all the way up to the leadership were all former marketing, sales, corporate-type folks who's principal focus was money acquisition with some Mozart and Mahler sprinkles. Scripted warm-fuzzy speeches (would make Eddie Bernays blush), robotic gestures, vacant smiles-akin to american corporate automatons.

All of a sudden these former marketers-salesmen have the lust and zeal for classical music---especially when you get to fly premium class, enjoy deluxe hotels, eat on the donor's dime, and rub elbows with the rich all while telling them what they wanna hear.

12:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


What beauty! Thank you.


2:44 PM  
Blogger Edward Miessner said...

MB -- Only 4 or 5 people? It's not *that* bad considering that there are about 170 Wafers. But I grant you, it's bad. There are other people--Murkins--who have empathy for others. These are vastly outnumbered by those who are genuinely nice, but have no empathy, who are then vastly outnumbered by those who are only superficially nice, who in turn are vastly outnumbered by the rest (either outright hostile or indifferent).

"Clearly, you have suffered greatly." Thanks. It's the least of my sufferings. :^) Of course, I don't post much here myself; I do what I can at the Library with its limited computer time--I got timed out yesterday as I was typing a reply here--and usually I only get to lurk by loading DAA into an old, locked iPhone at a wi-fi hotspot.

Well I gotta check that Wapo article out. And though I haven't seen those two films you mentioned I have seen Bob Roberts. Excellent portrayal of Red State Murka. (Blue State Murka is arguably worse--Brickley Paiste is a fine example of the blindsided liberal Democrat.) And what would MLK say about us today? I don't know, but I think something on the order of people reaping what they sowed in their anger and stupidity, reserving his especial venom for the Libs, the Progs and the Democrats.

3:35 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Mike--thing was, what you are describing seems like a realatively recent development at the charity I have been working with. I got involved with them in the first place because they had always strongly emphasized the community service aspect of what they do and kept the fundraising aspect relatively subtle. Just this year, however, they have undergone a top-down "reorganization," no doubt to maximize donations and minimize the cost of staff members who are so daffy as to believe that charitable work should be a higher calling.

Just today, I found out that another woman whom I really respect is being let go, which means I'll probably be voting with my feet myself pretty soon. It's a shame, because I really felt I was actually helping people.

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Edinson said...


6:46 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Idiotainment dept.:

Dildo-ing around dept.:

I tell ya, I feel bad for Christerria Latoya Shantel Taylor and her broken vibrator.


6:49 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

This just in....A Woman not paying attention falls into sidewalk hatch while texting and walking...notice the two young women just stand there doing nothing and saying..."Oh well...that kinda sucks."

11:05 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...


I LOVED seeing the pictures of libraries in Europe! I recognized the beauty in Coimbra. I spent hours in there years ago.

Thanks again.

11:08 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

Dr. B

Have you ever heard of the new series called American Gods or read the novel by Neil Gaiman? I think you might love it.

11:23 PM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

Since you quoted Kipling, a few lines from the Wikipedia article on "Reginald_Edward_Harry_Dyer":

Nevertheless, Kipling did pay his tribute to Gen Dyer at least twice, with brief but definitive words of edification.

The first simply read: ‘He did his duty as he saw it.’

— This tribute was inscribed on the card accompanying Kipling’s wreath at the funeral service for Gen Dyer at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London.

The second relating to a hospital project read:“These (hospital) beds have been endowed as a lasting memorial to Brigadier General R.E.H. Dyer, a brave man who in the face of a great peril did his duty as he saw it -- ‘he that observeth the clouds shall not reap’.”

Colonel Reginald Edward Harry Dyer CB (9 October 1864 – 23 July 1927) was an officer of the British Army who, as a temporary brigadier general, was responsible for the Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar (in the province of Punjab). Dyer was removed from duty, but he became a celebrated hero in Britain, particularly among people with connections to the British Raj. Some historians argue the episode was a decisive step towards the end of British rule in India.

11:55 PM  
Anonymous BH said...

I read in a book called "A Socialist History of the United States Constitution" by Silas Hood that the reason George Washington joined the American Revolution was because he was going to be indicted for fraud in a Canadian court. He was hired to do survey work and was going to be paid in money and in some of the land he surveyed. He didn't do the work in some places and in others took liberties with his equipment to get more land than he should have. If he had been tried and convicted he probably would have had all of his assets taken and would have spent many years in prison.

Someone told me years ago that when Texas was fighting to leave Mexico in 1835-1836 what would have been called true battles in the war between armies and not skirmishes were pretty much all won by the Mexican Army. Except San Jacinto. This person told me that Sam Houston was fixing to be chased across the border back into the US and knew he could not take on Santa Anna's army directly and win. The Mexican army had a second camp following it, that of the women and children of the soldiers who had no one else to depend on so they followed their husbands wherever they went. Every one says that when Sam attacked the Mexicans panicked and fled for their lives, yeah, because he attacked the women and childrens camp hoping the men would panic and break ranks to save their families. Has any one ever read this?

3:08 AM  
Anonymous Juan said...

Fantastic talk by historian Tom Holland. "The grim truth is that it's not enough to de-radicalize would-be terrorists. We need to de-radicalise Muhammad too"

I've had a small debate unrolling w/ a colleague friend. She asserts, w. no meaning of racism, that modern philosophy has eclipsed the Muslim mind, that while there might be antiquated sufi or mystic traditions and great thinkers in history like Al-Ghazali etc., modern (more analytical) philosophy has none.

Who are some of your favorite modern Muslim philosophical thinkers?

10:16 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Not my area of expertise, amigo. But I do suspect the golden age of Islam is long gone. As for the Holland thesis: we've had this argument out on this blog at great length, and I think the Hollandish position lost quite decisively. I'm not eager to revive it. Westerners will always take this stand (mostly); no way of penetrating that brick wall. Boring, by now.


Seinfeld's response in these types of situations was an indifferent, "That's a shame."


Let's hope she can get a new vibrator, and return to being multi-orgasmic.


It's obviously a gd thing, to have such impartial people on the Supreme Court. I wd be worried if they were representative of the hustler ideology.


Of course, I meant 4 or 5 *besides* Wafers (171, BTW). I thought that was obvious. As for yr various precisely scientific categories: I doubt these are official stats, but perhaps you cd check with the Bureau of Labor Statistics and report back to us. :-)


10:56 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Here's a big surprise:

11:10 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Does anyone else see a connection here? Will these kids grow up so scared they think a police state is the only answer to this problem? mb is correct - if there is a revolution in US it will come from the right not the left scary times indeed.

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Schlomo said...

Check out the photos in this Twitter thread:

These people are so sad, pathetic, and dangerous. This is in the major urban park in Houston. And keep in mind what they are doing is COMPLETELY LEGAL in Texas.

Glad I got out of that dump!

12:42 PM  
Anonymous M Vernon said...

"It is a failing common to a good many metaphysical theories that they can be applied to all things except themselves." Owen Barfield

Why T. May did fail: The mass can only be organised by someone as well organised in their individuality as the mass. CG Jung predicts hung parliament

4:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


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


Gd, but wd be a lot better if they were armed with drones and nuclear weapons. Hopefully next yr.


The rt-wing revolution already occured, last Nov. Now the important thing is for these forces to extend it and deepen it. Against which, progs are completely powerless.


5:15 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

RE: Ms. Taylor. What do you think, Miles, "Once AC, never back?"

@BH A "Canadian" court? In the 1770s? Such a body didn't exist, unless the court was British, and centred in Québec (which anglos referred to at the time as "Canada"). There wasn't much in what became Upper Canada until after the arrival of Loyalists from the 13 colonies.

5:19 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

How would our world be if we learned some empathy from our our children?

'As long as there are slaughter houses there will always be battlefields.' -Leo Tolstoy

9:02 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Sounds like things are going swimmingly back in my home state of Illinois. They are drowning in debt, about to be saddled with the Douchebag Empty Suit Presidential Library at the cost of countless millions and the governorship race is likely to be a contest between the red billionaire incumbent and the blue billionaire novice insider in a heads we win, tails you lose, sucker, contest:

American military BS at its finest: Civilian gets shot in the face, has navy ship named after her that will one day shoot thousands of other innocent civilians in the face. My sympathy for Gabby Giffords has now dropped to zero.

9:45 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

School and Internet bullying might be the cause behind rising youth suicide rates.

I have a few friends who are teachers and they tell me that bullying has gotten significantly worse over the last ten years or so and that the Internet is probably the biggest culprit. Before the advent of social media bullying usually stopped at the schoolyard. Now it continues online in front of a large electronic audience. Another example of techno-douchebaggery.

7:23 AM  
Anonymous Juan said...

Juan here; reposting agaon since I didn't make the 24-hour-guideline cut.
I don't undertsand why you think I'm on that opposing side of the argument to you. I don't think you watched the lecture film, Holland isn't one of those overly proselytizing critic types like Harris or Hitchens. He is an objective historian (just like you) placing all of this in a geographical and historical context.
from the talk ... "Back in Islam’s formative centuries, the engagement of Muslims with their ideological opponents helped them to forge the doctrines and traditions of their nascent faith―and perhaps now, we could start another stage in Islam’s evolution. To enjoy a flavor of those great debates between rival scholars that were once staged for the entertainment of the Caliph in Baghdad."

In short, he is meditating on an Enlightenment Check to Islam. He wants to reinterpret the material of Mohammad's life/biography. I see you say that the golden age is gone, but what to do w/ the 2 billion Muslim women and men of the globe? Either thru magical osmosis they all transmogrify in2 atheists (get real), or someone on the right side of history (like Holland, here) helps them find their Way, thru a reform.

This is a great quote from Holland, who is v funny, here pivoting to critique the New Atheists: "The closest modern parallel to Epicurus is not Richard Dawkins but rather Maharishi Mahesh Yogi"

Could you elaborate on your disagreements?

Many thanks

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Jackie said...

Troy is sacked and burned, according to calculations by Eratosthenes, on this day (1184 BCE)

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the death of the canadian Middle Class:

"We believe it’s our God-given right to have our $2.50 Starbucks coffee every morning”. That about sums it all up no?


12:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This is what we call Vision.


1000 apologies; mea culpa. It's just that when you wrote abt Holland writing abt "deradicalizing Mohammed," it sounded like the same old Harris shit, and we had that debate here in extenso mos. ago. Anyway, a Brit re-interpreting Mohammed for Muslims will probably (oddly enuf) go over like a lead balloon. (They don't seem to be into the White Savior syndrome, as it's known in Hollywood.) I don't think Muslims can recapture the Golden Age any more than we can reinvent the War of Independence, so I'm not sure where that leaves them--except to strike back against us for what we and England did to them over the last century; which is what they are doing. I wrote Trump, suggesting we apologize to Islam and make heavy financial reparations, but thus far he hasn't replied. Will keep u posted.


1:06 PM  
Blogger Edward Miessner said...

MB -

Sure, I'll get those stats from the BLS. But I'll need to grease a few palms first and I don't have the big bucks required. But I do have a toll road in Brooklyn I'd like to sell ya... I-778 Cross Brooklyn Thruway. ;^)

Al Qa'bong -

If I'm not mistaken, Atlantic Canada wasn't settled and inhabited much prior to the arrival of the Loyalists, either.

Schlomo -

Yep. I saw much smaller protests in New Orleans. I actually waved hello -- in a friendly manner -- to one protest protecting the statue of Jefferson Davis while travelling from one neighborhood to another on Jeff Davis Parkway!

3:42 PM  
Anonymous silliconvalleyburnout said...

Speaking as a Muslim who is familiar with Enlightenment philosophical ideas as well as ideas form the Islamic Tradition, I would have to say that most of what is disheartening about Islamic discourse today is where it has been eclipsed by the enlightenment. Wahabbism and Salafism are bastard children of the enlightenment. A lot can be said about enlightenment thought, but one thing it is not is "deep." A scientific approach to viewing the world where everything that is real is what is quantifiable and the human intelligence is reduced to its rational faculty creates huge technocracies and soul crushing bureaucracies. Once the intellect (Latin: intellectus) which synthesizes and unifies has been disqualified as in Descartes we are left with the rational faculty (Latin: ratio) which divides and analyzes. Unchecked by any holistic thinking, this degenerates into "nothing butism" where everything is reduced to something less than what it is. We can then objectify everything and treat it as raw material for capitalist exploit creating our lovely ecological crisis. Relativism and POMO are also a short step away, Truth being nothing but our psychological preferences. For a good response to Enlightenment and modernist thought from a Muslim thinker I would recommend the works of Seyyed Hossein Nasr, also Rene Guenon and Frithjof Schuon (Europeans who became Muslim).

5:42 PM  
Anonymous Jarred said...

Juan and MB On / The Amazing Arab Scholar Who Beat Adam Smith by Half a Millennium

6:12 PM  
Anonymous lackofcoherence said...

Kanye -

Possessions are all relative, so all that really matters is what you have in comparison to others around you. If everyone around you lives in a log cabin without electricity, you're probably happy to have the same. However, if everyone around you has a ton of goodies, you'll want the same.

I do blame everyone to some degree. Of course we could all step back and realize how insane the working and shopping cycle is. That of course won't happen.

I think the biggest thing is that the people at the very top are spending way way more than those right under them. The people right below them want to keep up with the billionaires, and the people making a million a year want to keep up with those making ten million a year. Eventually this trickles down to households making $80k a year, and those people take on credit cards to pay for a certain lifestyle, and of course everyone wants to be the billionaire.

The only way to really get out of this cycle is to not be around these people. That likely means not living in a major city in an industrialized country like the US or Canada. You just can't escape the hustle. Small town America will be better to some degree if you can't leave the country, since costs of living are lower, and your neighbors all less likely to be workaholics and addicted to the cycle of making/spending as much money as possible.

Nowhere is going to be that great, but I think you'll have a better time in a small town vs living in LA or Chicago if you want to get away from the hustling life.

6:13 PM  
Anonymous Ande said...


6:33 PM  
Anonymous anthro guy said...

@Tabby's Star and the beautiful libraries>>>
Tales of caution and zoological records

early spiritual sites and the 1st library ?

"...ppl returned to the same rock shelters ovr v long periods of time to make rock paintings v similar to those made centuries or millennia b4 ... This finding has profound implications for our understanding of hunter-gatherer religion in southern Africa." ... "paintings continued 2b made for more than two thousand years"

7:33 PM  
Blogger Shawn McDowell said...

You're missing out on all the fun here Dr. Berman!

I wish I could say these guys are cosplayers.

7:44 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Surfing around the internet for Tao Te Ching stuff I came across a site that also featured a bunch of essays of George Orwell. This one, titled Books vs Cigarettes struck me as Waferish in the sense of comparison between a very litterary British society and the american twitterdome of today.
I'm going for it- going to spend that 13 bucks on a paperback SSIG I've been wanting for awhile. Waferdom rules!

8:48 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


If you keep in mind that Waferdom is the most evolved form of consciousness in the entire universe, you can't go wrong.


When the end arrives in earnest, it ain't gonna be pretty.


Apparently, small towns in America are riddled with drugs, alcohol, and suicide.


True, but within limits. As I discuss in the Twilight bk, following the Frankfurt Schl, there was a good and a bad Enlightenment. Unfortunately, they came as a package deal, but are nevertheless distinguishable.


8:33 AM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Sri Berman,

Interesting column by Fred Reed:

It begins with a quote by Robert E. Lee:

“The consolidation of the states into one vast empire, sure to be aggressive abroad and despotic at home, will be the certain precursor of ruin which has overwhelmed all that preceded it.”


8:33 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Talk abt prescient, eh? Meanwhile, here's what gringos do in Mexico:


8:53 AM  
Blogger Grandma said...

In the same vein, Dr. B.

A little old, but I just found out about this:

Our next president ...

2:39 PM  

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