August 25, 2017

US Thrashing Around in Its Death Throes

Hola Waferinos-

I thought it might be time for a lurid title to this new post, the more so since it's true. Trumpi is extending a 16-year-old losing war in Afghanistan, appropriately called "the graveyard of empires." Hillary is publishing a book claiming that Trump is a creep, without checking out the mirror before she goes to press. Bannon is gone, now attacking Trumpo; the Dems continue to fulfill their role as complete turkeys; pussy hats failed to overthrow the government, oddly enough; hate marches abound, while Confederate statues continue to get torn down; and so on. Trumpi has no idea what he's doing, and in general the country has no purpose whatsoever. China and Russia circle above, as the carcass writes in its death agony. Obviously, a great time to be alive.

But these are minor events. The major ones are that the blog will be closed during Sept. 10-Oct. 4, while yours truly splits a pizza with Francisco at the Vatican and discusses with the Holy Father what happens to turkeys when they are cast into the depths of Hell; and that the 4th or 5th NY Wafer Summit Meeting will take place on Oct. 29. For those of you who qualify, and are in the Crème de la Crème, please remember to write me at mauricio@morrisberman.com, so that I can give you the Secret Venue. The number of those begging to be let in has now exceeded the 1000 mark, but they will have to be cruelly (but necessarily) rebuffed. Tough turkey meat, you guys; you should have thought of it earlier, when you could have established a high-profile blog presence. Now you can just go to Horn & Hardart, if it still exists, and cry your eyes out over shitty coffee and pie from a slot machine.

Speaking of the Vatican, some of you have chastised me, that American stupidity is hardly recent. I do recall my high school history teacher reading, to our class, some of the answers from the NY State Regents Exam--this around 1960--demonstrating how brain-dead American students were. One wrote about Michelangelo, "He painted his dome in the 16th chapel." I wonder if ol' Michel was bald...

Anyway, let's keep those posts coming, until Sept. 10, when total darkness descends (for a while).

-mb

196 Comments:

Blogger Gigalax said...

Trump is many things (e.g. a boor and an idiot), but "creepy" is definitely not one of them. Hillary is so "creepy" that sometimes I think she might be one of those reptilian creatures David Icke likes to talk about.

On a related note, it really amazes me how stupid progs are in spite of all the education they get. Many of them have Master's Degrees and PhDs, yet they argue like 3-year-ols (i.e. pure emotion with absolutely no facts and/or logic).

11:00 PM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

http://www.newstatesman.com/science-tech/future-proof/2017/08/first-men-conquer-death-will-create-new-social-order-terrifying

Talk about creeeepy

6:40 AM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

Hi all:

This will be of interest - a group in USA is trying to form a "People's Congress of Resistance." Among them is Jodi Dean, who is among the current leaders of the American Left:

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/41713-people-s-congress-of-resistance-will-draw-together-grassroots-activists-in-september

It has also been republished at Znet:

https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/peoples-congress-of-resistance/

I haven't looked into this in any detail, I must admit, but I think it is significant that the movement is invoking a founding American institution (Congress) at a time when elements of the so-called 'Alt-Right' are invoking - in their different ways - the American Civil War.

-Northern Johnny

9:52 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Turkette out of control dept.:

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/08/22/treasury-secretarys-wife-provokes-outrage-classist-tirade-instagram#

10:04 AM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

Check out what the hippie culture in Boulder County Colorado has devolved into (the movie Captain Fantastic w/ Viggo Mortensen rep what it once was)
http://www.dailycamera.com/boulder-county-news/ci_31249477/gunbarrel-man-who-shot-neighbor-squirrel-feeding-dispute

Watched a YouTube video of Chris Hedges, Amy Goodman, some lawyer for some cause, and Jeremy Scahill - occured to me that in the end no matter how much I may agree with them what they're saying and how they're saying it really has about as much significance as a poetry jam.

Spotted (I don't know a person?) on the bus yesterday. From the dead look in her eyes appeared to b very little brain activity, legs better suited to a hippo, shorts so tight they looked like a thong, no bra etc...you guessed it she clung to a 'smart' phone looking @ god knows what, oh! the market penetration!

If Dwayne 'the rock' Johhson is our next president the prophecy of Mike Judges' movie Idiocracy will b fulfilled (in my lifetime no less)

10:11 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gunnar-

What Hedges et al. are now doing is rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. Two words that progs cannot let into their consciousness: It's over. Because if they were to admit that, their 'program' wd collapse and they wd probably blow their brains out. If yr a declinist, however, 'It's over' don' sound bad at all. Amazing how the US is now filled with smart dummies.

mb

10:57 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

I saw the Louise Linton reports--hard to miss them--and felt that she's the perfect helpmeet for Secretary Mnuchin, who will no doubt keep her in the style to which she has become accustomed. Like many occupying Cabinet-level and senior positions before him, Steverino is a Goldman Sachs alum (the bank Matt Taibbi dubbed the Vampire Squid). And Mnuchin's been a Hollywood producer, with Mad Max: Thunder Road and Suicide Squad on his resume. The perfect couple to preside over the fantasy that is US fiscal and economic policy. Who knows, if Janet Yellen pisses off Unser Tweetenfuhrer Mnuchin might get her job. As you will have noted, stability is not a hallmark of the current administration. Or maybe Jared will have the Fed job added to his portfolio.

A story I read said that Mnuchin's visit to Fort Knox was only the third such visit by a Treasury Secretary. He reportedly wanted to see if the gold--147 million ounces valued at $200 billion--was still there; BFF Mitch McConnell, senior senator from Kentucky and Senate Majority Leader was along for the tour.

#endtimes; #we'resofucked

1:25 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...


If you saw Trompa speak in Phoenix, here's his doppelgänger Zenga-Zenga from across the pond.
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2017/aug/23/trump-lashes-out-at-truly-dishonest-media-reporting-of-charlottesville-video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69wBG6ULNzQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBY-0n4esNY

What does a man behind a teleprompter and a man inside a suit have in common?
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/aug/25/donald-trump-teleprompter-speech
http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-41038072/richard-cohen-exposing-the-haters-in-business-suits

Thanks to Trout for recommending Propaganda. A Documental extraordinaire!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NMr2VrhmFI

2:28 PM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

Like Wafers, Fred Reed understands that "it is over":

https://fredoneverything.org/to-the-barricades-we-will-at-least-be-less-bored/

Excerpts:

...."Things are far worse than in the upheavals of the Sixties. That rebellion, now receding from living memory, had a concrete and attainable goal: preventing young men from being forced to fight in a remote war in which they had no stake. When the draft ended, so did the riots.

Today’s hatreds are not about anything in particular…No peace is possible except by political coercion or conflict in the streets."
....
Clearly the people at the top, in the editorial suites in Manhattan, at Goldman Sachs, at Lockheed-Martin, know what they are doing. They want Trump out so they can continue looting. From their point of view,the placard-carriers and ball-bat wielders are, merely useful idiots. It is an odd and amusing alliance. The useful idiots, Leftists all, apparently do not know that they are carrying water for the arms industry and international finance.

The country, methinks, approaches a decision point. Aux armes, citoyens. Let the games begin."

Himanshu

2:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Himan-

Rebellion of 60s was larger than just Vietnam. It was clear to many in the movement that capitalism was the enemy, and that we needed a different form of society. Check out the SDS Port Huron Statement of 1962. Fred's focus is a bit too narrow. That being said, he clearly understands that progs are utter morons, and that we are going nowhere fast.

Jas-

Regarding the Turkette and her designer clothes, most American women aren't disgusted with her value system, because they have the same value system and want to be wearing the same clothes. As for men, all they want is high-paying, high-powered, professional jobs. What a country!

mb

2:42 PM  
Blogger Janus said...

A passage from a CNN article regarding the rise of intelligent personal assistants (i.e. Alexa, Cortana, Siri, etc.) via smartphones that stood out to my inner Wafer:

"Sherry Turkle, director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self, says there's more at stake here than just the customer experience. Venting at machines could lead to a 'coarsening of how people treat each other.'

'You yell at Alexa... you know Alexa is a machine,' Turkle told CNN Tech by email. 'We treat machines as though they were people. And then, we are drawn into treating people as though they were machines.'"

Other than the fact that the coarsening began long before Artificial Intelligence showed up, pretty apt for the modern workplace. (Mine, at least.)

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Vincent in Auvers said...

Gig- I don't know. Trump is pretty creepy, but most don't see it that way because the whole country is filled with creeps and Trump's behavior, which to any sane person would seem pathological, now seems normal. No argument about the childish nature of Americans, though there are plenty of cretinous conservatives with credentials too. Academia is still a pretty conservative place outside of certain disciplines. I think the emotional reasoning is a side effect of having all spontaneity and joy stripped from life. Day after day of grueling tedium has rendered the population comatose, so any opportunity to feel alive for a brief moment is eagerly taken. It doesn't help that the proponents of logic in this country tend to be narrow-minded, self-obsessed, insufferable pedants who want to live forever.

I had a philosophy professor not too long ago, an old Greek guy who looked a little bit like Schopenhauer. Really an endearing man in his own way. He was talking about Plato and the definition of virtue one evening and made an offhanded remark that, of course, nobody really believes in virtue anymore. I was struck by a twinge of sadness when he said it, which has kind of grown with the realization that he's probably right. Modernity is pretty disappointing. Either an excess of frivolity or affected solemnity. Where is the earnestness, the innocence?

1:27 AM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

The face-palm picture at the top of this story is quite appropriate...

RawStory: People put sunscreen on their eyes to view eclipse

Several people in California received medical care after they put sunscreen in their eyes during Monday’s total solar eclipse, reported ABC-affiliate KRCR Tuesday.

Nurse Practitioner Trish Patterson from Prestige Urgent Care in Redding, California, said none of their patients came in with eye damage from the eclipse, but a few had pain after putting sunscreen on their eyeballs in lieu of protective glasses.

...

11:47 AM  
Anonymous alvin said...

RE: origin of american stupidity

I'm curious on your thoughts on the topics presented in "The Shopping Mall High School" vs "Amusing Ourselves to Death." One group of people seems to blame schools for our stupidity and the other camp seems to blame parents, TV, video games etc.

The more I read, the more I tend to blame the schools pandering to the politically correct beliefs that seem to have originated in the 1960s counterculture movements and student protests. Today with Facebook, I think the politically correct beliefs are increasing.

Lately I've been starting to think the stupidity you talk about is really more the fault of political correctness than the availability of smart phones and video games. If schools pressed harder on kids when they're young with a unified and challenging curriculum, I don't think they'd ever turn to TV and video games like they've done.

3:00 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

I think the origin of American stupidity lies in an ontological hatred of learning and critical thinking. Political correctness is simply the most intense manifestation of this hatred. The popularity of Christian fundamentalism in America is also another manifestation of this hatred.

4:29 PM  
Blogger Keith Elder said...

Gunnar mentioned the movie Captain Fantastic, and I have to say it's one of the best movies I've ever seen. I'm pretty sure Wafers will enjoy this movie.

5:39 PM  
Blogger Sean Fyodorovich said...

Gigalax--- the best book ever written on this subject was Hofstadter's Anti-Intellectualism in American Life.

8:04 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Dr. Berman,

Regarding American men and women and what they want out of life, the obsession with wealth and status is what is likely driving much of the unhappiness and frustration in this country. Americans often have very high expectations about what their lives should be like and when they don’t achieve their dreams they have nothing to fall back on. The American Dream has become excessively materialistic while inequality is increasing and social mobility is declining so there is a huge disconnect between what people expect to achieve and their reality.

Jean Twenge has written about this issue in connection with the declining happiness of Americans over the age of 30.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/our-changing-culture/201511/why-adults-are-less-happy-they-used-be

8:16 PM  
Anonymous WuduFugel said...

Alvin,

Its an important question, though a difficult one to answer. I think that to really get a grasp on it we have to backup and keep in mind that whether we are talking about TV, video games, PC-Talk, facebook, etc., we are discussing things that all fall under the umbrella of "American culture" (AC). And what is AC exactly? Well, the evidence we have available is pretty damning, and it shows that AC has been about making money from the beginning.

For quite a while this meant who could make the most steel or produce the most oil, but with the rise of the middle class, electricity, and the concept of "leisure time", a new challenge arose- how can we keep people constantly entertained, and make money from it? Enter advertising, toys, consumer goods, and eventually...TV, smartphones and everything else. The problem with all this is that its hard to spend much time engaging with concepts like critical thinking if you're too busy watching TV or playing with a smartphone.

But from an entertainment/profit-motive perspective this doesn't matter - Who cares if people don't sit around and reflect on historical events? Wheres the money in that? I look at PC-talk the same way I look at Trump - A symptom of the underlying disease, not its cause. AC has been moving us towards stupidity for decades now, its how we got Trump, PC-talk, science deniers, schools that act like corporations, and all the rest.

9:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Holy Shit!:

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/aug/27/collection-letters-codebreaker-alan-turing-found-filing-cabinet

11:13 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Matt Taibbi has another excellent piece in Rolling Stone magazine called: "The Media Is the Villain – for Creating a World Dumb Enough for Trump." The only real fault I have with it is that Taibbi fails to mention how easy it is dumb down a culture that was already full of emotional six-year-olds:

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/taibbi-blame-media-for-creating-world-dumb-enough-for-trump-w499649

Also, I'm surprised no one has mentioned Houston yet, which is experiencing a disaster that can only be described as biblical. Of course, idiot Ted Cruz, who voted against emergency funds to help New York/New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy, will now be begging for similar money to help Texas.

I was on a non-politics site today looking at some videos from Houston. Below the article, even as people's lives were being destroyed in real time, left wing and right wing douchebags were going on and on in the comments just savaging each other. When I commented that they could all just fuck the hell off, I got called a precious snowflake. The country is indeed fucked, and Houston--which will need billions in recovery funds even as the U.S. runs out of operating cash with no debt ceiling increase in place--feels like it could be a potential pivotal moment.

1:30 AM  
Anonymous Ted said...

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/trump-is-a-19th-century-president-facing-21st-century-problems/

the Rutherford B. Hayes of Trumpi

8:07 AM  
Blogger Grandma said...

Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Inequality, anti-trust, and "super platforms":

http://www.newgeography.com/content/005726-trump-damaged-democracy-silicon-valley-will-finish-it-off

Dr. Berman, perhaps you can give us an assignment or discussion questions before you leave. I'm already in withdrawal!

10:55 AM  
Anonymous Pew Pew Pew said...

https://www.spectator.co.uk/2017/08/the-lost-pleasure-of-reading-aloud/
Fascinating stuff, also reminded how Thomas Aquinas could read silently, to the amazement of his peers

11:26 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Joy Cagle, charged w/lighting clothes on fire inside Wal-Mart. I dunno, there's something decidedly Waferish about this kind of activity:

http://www.localmemphis.com/news/local-news/woman-accused-of-setting-clothes-on-fire-inside-wal-mart/797921598

Miles

11:33 AM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

MB,
Hedge's 'movement' isn't even arranging deck chairs they're just talking about doing it and can't even manage that.
#I'm officially a Wafer
#Loving it

3:44 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

Interesting article:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/why-the-left-cant-let-go-of-racism-1503868512

4:17 PM  
Blogger heather said...

Read the first article. You can't make this stuff up
http://www.slate.com/articles/life/dear_prudence/2017/08/dear_prudence_my_girlfriend_won_t_donate_to_harvey_victims_because_some.html?wpsrc=prudence_newsletter&sid=5388d16add52b8417a01006b

5:00 PM  
Blogger Rosegarden said...

To Alvin - “If schools pressed harder on kids when they're young with a unified and challenging curriculum, I don't think they'd ever turn to TV and video games like they've done.”

It is really hard to press for mastery of basic skills. As a first grade teacher, I did not give credit for 3 + 1 = 2 or 3 – 1 = 4. Mothers of my students stood on the steps of the school and complained to each other that I should not count those answers as errors, but give credit and write a little note in the margin to “please watch the sign.” One mother went to the superintendent and said that teachers like me gave children ulcers.

Sorry, but I still think mastery of the math facts to ten and reading of the 220 Dolch basic sight words should be required to go on to second grade. I do not feel that I was a drill and kill teacher, as I kept my accordion in school so we could sing and dance. I brought in my electric skillet to stir fry rice and let the children eat with chopsticks.

I tried to get the PTA to sponsor a NO TV WEEK. The officers looked at me as if I were nuts. It did not get sponsored for the whole school, so I tried it with my class. The few parents who gave it a whirl expressed how difficult it was.

These events occurred in the 1980s. Things just got harder as we were required to address drug and alcohol abuse, sexual abuse, and poverty by the closing of heavy industry in the area.

5:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Rose-

Welcome to American "education." But then you already know all this: it's a fucking joke.

Heather-

Americans are douche bags. This is the bottom line.

Jeff-

Reminds me of Jose Bove. Did you ever see the Swiss film (Alain Tanner, I think), "Jonah who will be 25 in the year 2000"? I usta show it to my classes to generate a huge philosophical argument, wh/it always did.

Grandma-

OK, here's the assignment for Sept. 10-Oct. 4, when the blog will be closed: Read The Odyssey, and then the sections on Greece in Julian Jaynes' bk on the bicameral mind.

Gunnar-

Several yrs ago, Hedges turned into something of a joke, and things haven't changed much since. Check out his latest essay, on how the alt-rt and the antifas are equivalent. What is the pt of this thing? OK, their tactics are the same; they are both oppressed groups; and violence is bad. What kind of intellectual breakthrough is this? Hedges is always eager to espouse a moral position, so here he can act as superego and wave his finger at the two groups. But this exhortation that they have the same enemy and therefore ought to join forces against the corporate state: this will happen when pigs fly. What world is this man living in? He doesn't seem to have the most basic understanding of how history works, because it certainly doesn't work like that. Sure, maybe logically these opposing groups shd get together and recognize their common enemy; but history ain't logical or rational. There is a failure here to understand the role of culture, esp. in its visceral dimension.

Historically spkg also, not much changes w/o violence. Hedges is apparently caught in some Ghandian model of social chg. Wh/wd be nice, but it's a model not likely to be repeated, as far as I can see.

What an historian does, as opposed to a journalist-cum-preacher, is look at the historical forces involved and try to say what is likely to happen--not what he personally wd *like* to see happen. And when you understand that the US is in serious decline, then the violence between these groups makes a lot of sense. The nation is committing suicide; it is eating itself alive, and these types of violent confrontations are integral to that process. I'm not saying I approve of them; I'm just saying that this is to be expected, and it will, as it has in the past (Germany notoriously), function as a national disintegrator.

I also wonder who Hedges thinks is listening to him. Certainly not the alt-rt or the antifas.

mb

7:00 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...


Rosegarden,

I enjoyed reading about your experiences in the classroom in the 80's. Your mention of bringing your accordion to class so the kids could sing and dance reminded me of the days when I too brought my accordion with me to another place.

I was in a convent for several years and brought my accordion along. One day early on after I entered I started playing it as the young girls danced and sang.For once they looked like they were't in straight jackets.

Along came the Novice Mistress and the look on her face told us all she was appalled. She quickly told me to put my instrument away and not to play it again. Sad sack.

Marianne

7:38 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

"Historically spkg also, not much changes w/o violence. Hedges is apparently caught in some Ghandian model of social chg. Wh/wd be nice, but it's a model not likely to be repeated, as far as I can see"

I think the main reason Gandhi's method worked is because Britain was too weak to hold onto its empire after WWI and WWII.

Violence is usually necessary, but not sufficient, to bring about positive change. One of the most important traits for a good leader to have, IMO, is the ability to use violence in a judicious manner. Of course, it should come as no surprise that almost all of America's presidents have lacked this trait.

9:10 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Another proud american moment:

Rachael Harris of Curwensville, PA was sentenced to jail after pleading guilty to eight counts of cruelty to animals and four counts each of producing an obscene sexual performance and criminal conspiracy/producing an obscene performance.

Her husband, Corey Dean Harris filmed the sexual acts with the dogs.

Verklempt w/ all this exceptionalism and greatness; from van fucking, to donkey fucking, now canines!

9:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike-

Some people have far too much time on their hands.

Meanwhile: the Chinese, my new heroes:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/28/electronic-heroin-china-boot-camps-internet-addicts

mb

10:19 PM  
Blogger Mark S Deagle said...

Mr Berman you are sure right about where the usa id heading and its not up, lol. You are all so right on about Chris Hedges a real dreamer. He thinks people will stand up and make things better. Give me a brake. Like you said this country is done. Thank God i can move to Canada.How soon do you think the end will come? I believe sooner than most people think! I might be a pipe fitter but it dont take a lot of brains to see whats going on in this country. Thanks again for your in sight, i just wish you were on the air more often . I wish you would come to Michigan some time.

10:36 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Been working in Colorado the last few weeks and now back in the saddle with my fellow Wafers...things don't look any better in CO than they do here in California.

I'm assuming that the rise of a movement such as this one below directly correlates to the decline of the country.

http://westchester.news12.com/story/36227191/speak-no-evil-witchcrafts-popularity-on-the-rise-in-hudson-valley

11:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mark-

Nice to hear from you again. As for me on the air, ha ha. I'm completely marginalized, not even on the radar screen in the US. I just got an invitation to speak at the U of Sichuan in China. This is 1000x more likely than getting invited to speak at the U of Michigan.

Gd luck 2u-

mb

11:18 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

I always felt that Hedges and Chomsky buy into the idea that men are reasonable. You know if you want to see how worthless the battle of ideas is, just watch a political debate. Seriously, it is interesting because the crowd just becomes a lesson in confirmation bias where each faction applauds their guy's replies and retorts.

Knowing this, why would one think someone on the Alt right would do an ideological 180 to confront the corporate state? Most of them agree with the libertarian viewpoint that the market is perfect and its outcomes are the right one. They view the government as imposing upon business. Hedges, I am convinced, does not understand that those on the Right are not hoodwinked but full believers in the right-wing politics they espouse.

It's funny though looking at the difference between the political strategies of the Right and the Left. The Right seems to never really break rank and when they are forced to condemn one another they do it in away that brings the left down with them. The Left, on the other hand, is always so haughty being morally superior that it is constantly on the defensive and throwing its own under the bus. Why would you conflate a bunch of Anarchists with a bunch of Alt-Right White Supremacists? Hedges essentially agreed with Trump and the funniest part is the people agreeing with Chomsky and Hedges on this issue is the Alt-Right... Way to go Left! Shooting yourself in the foot at every moment! Even Martin Luther King knew not to denounce Rioters.

1:34 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

MB: Damn it man, how can you leave us for three weeks at the exact time when the jig might well be up for America? I mean, Houston, the debt ceiling/possible default, government shutdown over Trump's budget and his stupid wall, a sinking economy, a stock market just aching to spook into a major crash, retail sales cratering, car sales even worse, Antifas & Atl-Righters returning to college just spoiling for big fights, out of control cops being issued military hardware, North Korea, China trade war, Trump's threats against Venezuela--the list goes on and on. It feels like a volcano getting ready to blow.

Just tonight, my wife and I were having dinner with another couple who had attended an event earlier in the day in which two women nearly got into a fist fight over places in line to have their picture taken with a retired MLB ballplayer. As they were describing the scene, I just kept thinking about how we discuss here regularly that it seems so many Americans are ticking time bombs. At one point, our friends told the two women that they should just be glad they were not in Houston, which befuddled them momentarily before they went back to trading insults.

I really think this could be a September to remember.

1:41 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Well, the end might well come sooner rather than later with this whole North Korea thing. At any rate, I can't figure out what Kim is up to. It seems to me that Trump is the one person who might actually have it in him to launch a pre-emptive North Korean strike. Thus, it doesn't make sense why Kim is so actively provoking him, like with this latest test over Japan? Wouldn't it be wiser to just lie low for three more years, play at conciliation and diplomacy, etc., while still making as much progress as possible behind-the scenes--at least until Trump is out of power?

Something doesn't add up here. Unless the pressure from his own military to play the defiant strong man is so great that Kim doesn't have a choice. The only alternative is that he really thinks that Trump won't call his bluff. But if he believes that, I think he might well be mistaken. Because if anyone is capable of crossing that line, it's Trump.

6:48 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Megan-

I can't help thinking that the absurd haircut that sits on Kim's brain has had a long-term negative impact; altho I suppose much the same might be said of Trumpi. Imagine a nuclear war launched because of bad haircuts. What will future historians make of *that*?

Bill-

Yr rt: the world is abt to explode, and I'll be in a restaurant in Naples, chowing down on the world's greatest pizza. There really is no excuse, and all I can do is say mea culpa. I also feel responsible for the # of psychotic breaks that will inevitably occur in the absence of the blog. Going to another blog won't cut it: there simply is no other blog like this one. Hmm. I bear a heavy burden, I realize.
As to the scenario w/the 2 women: yrs ago, a friend of mine attended a symphony concert in Baltimore in which 2 women began fighting over a seat. One of them finally took off her chic shoe and began beating the other woman with the stiletto heel. Discreet charm of the bourgeoisie, I wd say.

mb

8:17 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Nesim-

As Goethe once remarked (not being dazzled by the Enlightenment, himself), "The world is not logical; it is *psycho*-logical."

Meanwhile, here's a nice specter, of Jews trying to snuff out an entire people:

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/08/29/middleeast/israel-demolishes-palestinian-schools/index.html

How charming!

mb

8:34 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

For manga and anime fans: this one is a stunner: "Garden of Words".

mb

11:15 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

T-shirt idea:

A Wafer w/out the blog, is like a pastrami sandwich w/o Russian dressing.

In any event, MB, may you find a nice quiet cafe in Naples and a lovely Italian chick (chici ?).

Buona Fortuna,

Miles

12:58 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

"It ain't fittin', it jes ain't fittin'." (Actress Hattie McDaniel, first African-American Oscar winner, as Mammy in Gone With the Wind.)

The Civil War may be over, but the internecine strife goes on. The Orpheum Theater in Memphis has decided that its 34-year-long tradition of screening the David O. Selznick film will end as of 2018. Theater management cited complaints from unnamed patrons about the movie, which was based on Margaret Mitchell's 1936 novel. A poll taken in 2014 found it to be the second favorite book among American readers, just behind the Bible. Adjusted for inflation, it's the highest-grossing film ever. And I like it.

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/aug/29/theatre-in-memphis-pulls-racially-insensitive-gone-with-the-wind

And, following up on Bill Hicks comments on the two ladies--I use the term loosely--fighting over a snap with the ballplayer, this suggests one reason I venture out as little as possible. From the general air of hostility everywhere perceptible, to the lack of sensitivity toward others--see the Curb Your Enthusiasm episode with Larry at the table next to the cellphone guy--to failure to acknowledge small
courtesies (door-holding, e.g.), it's hardly a place for anyone with the least notion of civility.

1:07 PM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Hi Wafers,

Bill Hicks - Last week I posted that I pretty much believe the timeline laid out by Lionel Shriver in The Mandibles, but after reading your latest post, I just don't know any more. It does seem like we have a case of 20 pounds of shit in a 10 pound sack. Something's gotta give, doesn't it? And soon. American Disaster: Just Add Water. Oops, 50 inches of water just got added over America's fourth largest city. Just stir and serve. As a blues singer whose name escapes me now once sang: It's gonna be a time, it's gonna be a mighty time, a mighty time. Lord Have Mercy. Lord Have Mercy.A mighty time.

2:50 PM  
Blogger C. J. Timmins said...

Near future gems coming our way "soon" from Black Mirror: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oH85obU350E I know we've discussed this show before, and I'll say it again: Wafers should definitely watch first 3 seasons on Netflix if you haven't already!

And this weekend the rest of the country had some wonderful distractions from the latest natural disaster: Taylor Swift released a detestable song, MTV paid tribute to more untalented hacks at the VMAs (Kendrick Lamar the exception), and 50 million people watched McGregor and Mayweather fight each other and walk away with $100 million & $300 million, respectively. Just think of the poor Texans who were near drowning but couldn't watch a boxing match!

Let's not forget the NFL season begins next Thursday with plenty of aggression to fuel the psyche and suffocate the logos.

MB: enjoy your travels, the pizza, and hopefully more than one delicious bottle of Barolo! Will your lecture at Thomas More be recorded? I know you'll have a keen audience here on the blog ready to watch/listen!

3:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

Ragazza. I'll definitely be scanning for ragazze. Love those gambe!

-Maurizio

3:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

I was meditating the other day and drifted off into a fabulous fantasy. In this fantasy, Hillary is going from city to city to promote her new (presumably sour grapes) book, and the tour is called The Turkey Trot. In each city, she steps up to the podium, says, "Thank you for coming," and then urinates on her own shoes; after which she makes a hasty exit.

Is this too much to ask, O Lord?

mb

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Teen drug overdoses doubled from 1999 to 2015 according to the CDC.

https://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/americas-heroin-epidemic/teen-drug-overdoses-doubled-1999-2015-cdc-reveals-n793006

Rod Dreher has a good piece on the decline of Christianity in America. Dreher’s discussion of St. Benedict of Nursia and early monasticism might be particularly interesting for WAFers even if they aren’t Christians.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/02/opinion/trump-scaramucci-evangelical-christian.html

8:16 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

Hillary might be the biggest turkey of all time. She lost the election despite having numerous advantages (e.g. corporate media bias in her favor, more funds, better political network) yet still blames everyone but herself.

The funniest thing is when progs say that she is more "qualified" to be president. If she is so qualified, then why couldn't she win an election in which she had so many advantages.

The president is also just an empty reflection of Americans with no real power, which makes Hillary's sour grapes attitude an even bigger joke than it already is.

9:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tom-

Dreher actually acknowledged at one pt that I wrote abt the Monastic Option in the Twilight bk. Caught me by surprise.

Gig-

The campaign of 2016 is turning into the Civil War: it can't seem to end, because Hillary can't get over herself. She calls to mind Henry II's remark abt Thomas a Becket: "Will no one rid us of this meddlesome turkey?" (Or maybe he said douche bag; I can't recall exactly.) She likes money (a lot); can't the govt just pay her to shut up already?

mb

9:37 PM  
Blogger Mark S Deagle said...

The people of The USA are like a Frog thats in a big pot of water that is getting hotter and hotter and before they come to the understanding of whats happening to them they are boiled. And Trump is the leader of them all. Mr Berman i love your talks, i wish you did more.

9:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

A film for the Trump era: "Beatriz at Dinner." It doesn't quite come together at the end, but says a lot abt where we are these days, and what's at stake.

mb

10:30 PM  
Anonymous Vincent in Auvers said...

Marianne- Your story brought to mind Tori Amos' Past the Mission.

Re: Beatriz. Good film, and I agree about the ending. I was hoping after she took care of the geezer, the rest of the group would be next. Disappointed to say the least. The level of self-deception required to live that way is difficult to comprehend. No introspection, no dissonance, no feeling. But maybe there's no deception at all. I remember learning about a study in one of my classes showing that children are inherently altruistic (offering to help the examiner reach objects unprompted). Something has clearly gone terribly wrong with Americans. It's hard not to conclude that these types are little more than a genetic aberration, the detritus of the Old World that just won't go away, Great Britain's plutonium that they tried to throw into the ocean, but instead of sinking to the bottom, it washed up onto the shores of the Americas and now just sits there, contaminating everything it comes into contact with. I'd like to think Beatriz was right when she said the masses are coming for them. Trump and the Nazis ("You will not replace us!") in this light could be seen as a front-line reaction to the knowledge that the game is up.

I'm going to check out Garden of Words. I've never seen any anime--always thought they were just cartoons, but apparently there's more to it than that. On a somewhat related note, here's an amusing clip of Alex Jones in Seattle recently being dismissed as the crackpot he is.

2:49 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Vince-

In terms of introspection on that theme, check out Wally Shawn's play, "The Fever." Best to catch a performance, if you can. His message is that we are all interconnected; there is no privileged, isolated existence, in reality.

mb

5:22 AM  
Anonymous lmw said...

RE: Wallace Shawn,

I'm seeing him do a reading of his work, "The Night" tomorrow night here in Atlanta GA.

Immensely looking forward to it, not familiar w/ this piece of his.

5:52 AM  
Anonymous Schlomo said...

Bill Hicks et al -- while Houston markets itself as a laid back southern town, it's actually a city that exists solely and exclusively for Hustling. This is not a secret, the city openly has a culture of being a "business town." What does that mean? No respect for planning, regulation, beautification, etc, because we are all only here to do business, make money and get out. Your house is your city -- that's why houses and cars are huge and shiny while public places are almost nonexistent. I can speak to this because I'm born and raised in that dump. The lifestyles and the built environment are absolutely hostile and in opposition to nature: everyone has a 3500sqft+ house that's cooled to 67F yearround, they drive SUVs everywhere they go on massive 1/4 mile wide freeways onto massive open parking lots to buy their useless wares. I've watched developers pave over open fields and wetlands to build massive "power center" shopping strips with 100,000sq ft grocery stores and huge paved parking lots baking in the sun (no covers or solar panels, thank you). The whole city exists only by being "cheaper" than anywhere else, so any regulations which increase costs are ignored. My family's home flooded in prior storms as a result of this over development. You have to live in harmony with nature, not in opposition to it! Now the poor people on the east side continue to pay the price and poor minority residents of Port Arthur are drowning as I type this (state ignored them and didn't bother evac'ing even though we had 5 days notice it was going there).

And then a punch in the face this morning as the evil mercenary merchant Erik Prince (brother of Edu Secy DeVos!) gets free advertising in the NYT op-ed pages to push for his mercenaries over troops to "win" Afghanistan! Bonus- he compared himself to Elon Musk. What a dystopia!

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Transatlantic said...

The campaign of 2016 is turning into the Civil War: it can't seem to end, because Hillary can't get over herself.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Personally, I think there is more behind Team Clinton's "Purple Revolution" than this.

As cynical as I am on politics and media, I still find it shocking just how deep MSM collaboration with Clinton's political campaign runs (see Wikileaks), and those same outlets are now actively pushing mass social unrest and specifically targeting anyone who might be critical of the ideas being pushed. I have never seen anything like what is going on right now.

Also worthy of note is the positive coverage Trumpo gets on the rare occasion that he does something they approve of, like firing missiles into Syria or ousting libertarian types from the WH ...







10:34 AM  
Anonymous al Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

C'mon Gig, since when have the qualifications of candidates ever mattered in modern Western democracies?

I'll play Carlo Buti's "Bella Ragazza" for you on next Sunday's show, Sr. Belmani.

The missus went out and bought us a Netflix account a few days ago. I searched for a TV show and four movies that I'd like to see and came up with nuttin'. I scrolled through the dreck in their menu and saw about three things that I might want to watch some day. I've heard that Canadian Netflix has less content than US Netflix. I believe it.

I've seen Netflix recommendations here before. Would anyone care to make suggestions, and give reasons for those suggestions?

Ciao

10:42 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Onward Christian soldiers, marching to bar the door: Pastor Joel Osteen, whose Lakewood Church in Houston resembles a sports stadium--because it once was--has been catching hell for not immediately offering his 16,000-person-capacity sanctuary to displaced Houstonians. A church spokesman initially said that the church wasn't accessible because of floodwaters; more recently, explaining the church's thinking with all the slipperiness of a snake oil salesman, Osteen said Houston officials hadn't asked him for help. The church has now agreed to accept refugees when the existing facilities of the city are full. Which should be right about now.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/joel-osteen-lakewood-church-houston-harvey_us_59a6ac7fe4b084581a148cef

A woman with a history of substance abuse and child neglect sits in her car in a drugged state as her 2-year-old daughter, strapped into a rear car seat, somehow manages to injure herself and dies. Deanna Joseph's been arrested three times over nine years for child-abuse/neglect-related charges.
http://www.nj.com/salem/index.ssf/2017/08/mom_charged_in_childs_death_was_convicted_of_child.html#incart_most-read_

1:33 PM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

MB,
Hedges was a necessary medium on my voyage to Waferdom. I can't think of any christians speaking today as he does (Havard Div appealed to me), and I wish him well. I feel like I've been born into becoming a Wafer, my phyisical reaction to D.T.'s election was not unlike Neo's in the Matrix when he discovers the truth, Morpheus tells him they don't usually free a mind after a certain age, am I too old? do I get a certificate of credit?
I would be a true blue proud American if the following happened: We admit that our whole enterprise was an experiment from the beginning and it is time now to examine the data and set a new course. All those high powered computers they use to make money and spy would be fed yottabytes of data comprising everything we know of history, culture, and civilization, algorithms would supply crucial information which humans could translate into wisdom. Everything shuts down, a convention is called (participants picked randomly along cross sections of society), an entirely new system of government and economy is created - a new American experiment better fitted to the times is revealed.
Alas, history doesn't work this way, it's haphazard and reactionary. The Founding Fathers are now de facto tyrants servicing $, patriotism and the christian right will (have) coalesce around a fascim heretofore unknown in human history - 'fuck Hitler we'll get it right, and who'll stop us? We aint scientists for nothin' round here, Ya Know?'

2:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

al-

Check out recent posts; there are a # of movie recs. I remain, ever yours, Signor Maurizio Bermano.

mb

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Al: Black Mirror, House of Cards, Game of Thrones (lots of blood and sex tho), Billions, The Americans, Mr. Robot, Boardwalk Empire, Carnivale, ...

I like Crime shows too so Inspector Lewis, Broadchurch, Longmire, The Bridge, Wallander, Justified ...

3:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Interesting article in the Aug. 21 New Yorker, "Out of Action," on the subject of protest marches. The author wants to say, against the evidence, that they are effective, make a difference; it's a bit like watching someone trying to set fire to water, since they don't. (He even insists that the pussy hat marches were significant.) His one solid exception, of course, is the Civil Rts movement; but in this case, an interesting fact emerges, one I certainly was never aware of: the leaders worked with the Power Elite, such as RFK, to make things happen. It was very strategically managed; it was not some sort of grass-roots, "power to the people" kind of uprising. But I have a further critique, which the author fails to mention, and which we have discussed on this blog a # of times: In addition to working with and thru established circles of power (at the highest level), the Civil Rts movement was in no way a true critique of the system in general. The fight on the part of black people was to get *into* the system (capitalism) as is, not to change that system. And it was very successful, and impt, in that regard. But the basic structures of power remain unaltered, and the author fails to recognize this. MLK recognized it, however: supposedly, he remarked to Harry Belafonte b4 he (MLK) died, that he sometimes felt like he was herding people into a burning church. Or to switch metaphors, the Civil Rts fight was to get black people to have as much a share of the pie as white people--while failing to consider that the entire pie might be rotten. This is what MLK saw, toward the end of his life; his struggle became striking garbage workers in NY, the Vietnam war, and so on--much larger than abolishing colored bathrms (as impt as that was). Above all, he began to connect the dots between US foreign and domestic policy, which was playing with fire. This lends some credence to the belief that it may have been the govt that was behind his assassination: he was starting to get seriously threatening. RFK *wanted* the "I have a dream" speech to go off, and go off well; he didn't want an end to capitalism or to rule by a tiny elite. If the 'dream' had been the latter, the speech wd never have happened.

mb

5:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

So much for the 'liberal' press:

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2017/08/30/new-york-times-slammed-running-advertorial-notorious-war-profiteer#

Gunnar-

Glad to hear you evolved; one wishes Hedges wd as well. Poor guy is caught between a rock and a hard place. To give him credit, he did manage, on 2 occasions during the last 2-3 yrs, to publish a truly declinist essay, with no b.s. abt how we need to revolt against our corporate masters. They were, as far as I cd make out, riffs on what folks like Orlov and Kunstler and myself have been saying for yrs, but still--he did manage to cross the line from foolish moral outrage to sober evaluation of our current situation. Sad to say, each time, it didn't last: he soon reverted to the comfort of 'revolt' and moral outrage; which have the advantage of making one feel gd, self-righteous, and endowed w/purpose, but which have 0 to do w/reality. Oh well, maybe someday he'll manage to say "It's over," and mean it. One can only hope.

mb

6:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This looks gd:

https://www.amazon.com/American-Nuremberg-Officials-Should-Post-9/dp/1510703330/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1504132893&sr=1-1&keywords=american+nuremberg

6:46 PM  
Anonymous WuduFugel said...

Anyone here familiar with the work of media critic Jerry Mander? Years ago I read a few of his books, Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television , and In the Absence of the Sacred: The Failure of Technology and the Survival of the Indian Nations.

I'd recommend him to anyone interested in other thinkers like Postman, McLuhan or Ellul.

Here's a pretty good short youtube clip of him.

8:36 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hola MB and Wafers,

Like a Phoenix rising, Waferism is beginning to percolate in DC:

http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Interview-Woman-Who-Threw-Urine-Tells-Her-Side-of-the-Story-to-News4s-Adam-Tuss-442239973.html

Godspeed, Opal L. Brown, Wafers are w/u 110%

Miles

8:40 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B:

Funny you should post about Nuremberg. I was reading the Nuremberg Principles yesterday and thinking that our elite today would say that "war crimes" are surely only committed by others than the USA or its allies. Really, the "supreme crime" in the USA is to interfere with the "right" of someone to hustle piles of cash- like the Houston developers discussed by Schlomo above; God forbid that they would have been regulated/restrained.

8:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

Right action, wrong target. Where was Hillary when we needed her? But can you imagine anything like this happening 20 yrs ago? This is what America has come to. Note to Opal: You go, girl! Next time pee directly *on* your victim; makes it much more personal.

Altho I have advocated a fully armed America, where people just mow each other down, I also like the idea of a fully urine-equipped America, where people carry around their peepee in Starbucks cups and fling the contents on random passersby. Whee!

mb

9:16 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

The real story of the Civil Rights movement shows, IMO, that violence is almost always necessary to bring about genuine change. Whether the change turns out to be positive or negative depends on the mentality and wisdom of those involved in revolution. Often, the revolution turns into a complete joke (e.g. Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter) or into a Reign of Terror like the French Revolution. Sometimes, the revolution actually manages to bring about long-term positive change.

9:29 PM  
Blogger ccg said...

MB and Wafers:

In regard to MLK, in his speech on the Vietnam war given a year before he was killed, he said [America is] "the greatest purveyor of violence in the work today." I wonder why that remark is rarely quoted. Of course, it was true then and it still is.

In addition to the free advertising space given to Erik Prince, as already mentioned, today's NYT has this sickening over-the-top fawning-over-the-military piece by Thomas Friedman:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/30/opinion/afghanistan-iraq-military-weapons.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=0

He's hard at work at being the Imperial Messenger as per the title of that take-down book by Belen Fernandez.

9:30 PM  
Blogger Alogon said...

As things approach a state of chaos and entropy, it becomes difficult (at least for me) to find anything interesting to say. Chaos and entropy are amorphous and boring.

Thanks, Dr. Berman, for the reading suggestion above. I've just ordered the book.

Speaking of the Nazi period, Jordan Peterson has an interesting take on Hitler in this video "How Hitler was even more evil than you think". Hitler's priorities, especially near the end of the war, were inconsistent with a desire for victory and his other professed values. They were instead purely destructive and suicidal. 1'40" into the video, Dr. Peterson says this: "There's an old psycho-analytic idea. I think it was derived by Jung: If you can't figure out what someone is doing, or
why, look at the outcome and infer the motivation."

Apply this insight to the U.S. Could Americans also have become simply destructive and suicidal? If so, it explains a few mysteries, like the persistence of poor whites in voting against their interests (on the right); and the otherwise inscrutable affection of those on the left for Islam.



9:34 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Schlomo--I've now seen more than one liberal essay all indignant about how so many conservatives are against bailing out homeowners in Houston who don't have flood insurance so they can rebuild. It isn't that I don't think a society shouldn't have an obligation to help out those who have been the victims of a natural disaster--it's that just giving them money so they can go back to parking 3 SUVs and monster pickups in the garages of their gigantic McMansions and contributing to the global warming that makes the next Hit to Houston inevitable is insanity.

How about putting that aid money into building walkable communities and public transportation instead? As we keep saying here, when the even the smart people are dumb and can't see the big contradictions in what they advocate, the country is truly finished.

In related news: in the wake of Harvey, Republicans will likely backtrack on their plan to use a billion in FEMA disaster funds to pay for Trump's stupid wall:

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/08/republicans-considering-making-hurricane-victims-pay-for-trumps-wall?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

9:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Alogon-

They weren't voting against their interests. See my post of a while back on why Trumpi won the election.

ccg-

Nelson Mandela said something very similar. As for Friedman, it's hard not to vomit at the mere mention of his name. He also wrote that every 10 yrs, the US needs to "take some crappy little country and throw it up against the wall." This was said approvingly, not critically. Never mind the women and children who are killed and maimed in these types of military operations. If there ever was a sick fuck in the American media, it's Thos Friedman.

Gig-

According to the article in the New Yorker, that's not the real story at all. The real story is that the movement was not some populist, grass-roots uprising. The thing was strategically planned, and it involved working with and thru the govt at the highest levels.

Same issue of New Yorker has a long article abt Julian Assange. At the end he is quoted as saying that he is coming to the conclusion that the American empire is coming to an end. Now there's an intellectual breakthrough for ya. When I say that nobody reads my stuff, and that if I had to rely on bk royalties to survive I'd starve to death, I'm not kidding.

mb

10:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

In America, a disaster is an oppty for hustling!:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/business/wp/2017/08/30/99-for-a-case-of-bottled-water-texas-stores-accused-of-price-gouging-in-wake-of-harvey/?hpid=hp_hp-banner-low_bottledh2o-215pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.50206d14c352

But let's not worry abt hustling; much more crucial is political correctness:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/yale-saves-fragile-students-from-a-carving-of-a-musket/2017/08/30/4e45b67e-8da7-11e7-91d5-ab4e4bb76a3a_story.html?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-b%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.654d5b4c9c9d

Honestly, it's a land of turkeys.

mb

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

Trump loves the uneducated! No wonder, they are so useful for spreading bullshit!

Trump supporters on Twitter are blaming Obama for Hurricane Katrina response
[quote]
Trump’s supporters quickly came to his aid on social media, trying to draw a comparison between Trump’s response to Harvey and his predecessor’s response to Hurricane Katrina. Twitter user Annie Kleynjans even tweeted at former President Obama: “Will you please get lost. Where were you when Katrina hit, oh right, playing golf. Now you want to play president. Never again.”

And she wasn’t the only one.
[unquote]

Except of course, Obama wasn't president in 2005 when Katrina hit New Orleans, Shrub was just starting his second term... But as the article says, there are hordes or twit(ter)s attacking Obama right now for playing golf while Katrina destroyed New Orleans.

11:49 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Wasn't ex- horse breeder, FEMA chief, Michael Brown (Katrina infamy) completely clueless and overwhelmed (Peter Principle/american principle) including his emails after Katrina struck----

"Is there anything I need to do, or tweak." "Can I quit now?" "Can somebody rescue me." 10days before he "resigned" Bush stated--'You're doin' a heck of a job Brownie!"

Also, the in-depth and ground breaking "news" reporting by a young chippy-- "Boy does it smell here, the human waste smells, it smells really really bad." As opposed to good smelling shit?

That must be part of the exceptionalism and greatness that most americans often purport. usa! usa!

2:33 PM  
Anonymous al Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Heckuva job finding that, Savantesimal.

American Nuremberg does look interesting. I've been saying for years that Bush, Rice, Rummy, Kristol et al would have been hanged had the standards of Nuremberg been applied to them.

3:03 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

It would appear that Wells Fargo has trouble with numbers, a decided disadvantage for an enterprise in the ciphering business. They now admit to 3.5 million fraudulent account-openings, an increase of some 67 percent from their previous estimate. As far as can be determined, however, they had no trouble collecting the fees and assessing penalties associated with these fraudulent accounts. They're giving the money back, but only because they got caught. Make America Great Again.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-31/wells-fargo-increases-fake-account-estimate-67-to-3-5-million

And, on the culture wars front, The LA City Council has voted to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day as an official holiday. Council members voted 14-1 on Wednesday to make the second Monday in October a day to commemorate indigenous, aboriginal, and native people.
http://ktla.com/2017/06/15/l-a-council-panel-backs-plan-to-replace-columbus-day-with-indigenous-peoples-day/

Leif Ericsson, Amerigo Vespucci, Ferdinand Magellan, Vasco da Gama and all the other so-called "explorers" better watch the fuck out. Progs are eyeing your statues and celebrations for appropriate corrective action.

3:26 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Good evening MB & Wafers,

Living in the bowels of a rotting empire has, perhaps, never been as intense. The whole nation seems to have been lobotomized, Wafers.

1. https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4363365/horny-naked-couple-caught-romping-on-golf-course-after-witnesses-call-cops-fearing-there-was-a-medical-emergency/

2. http://www.al.com/news/birmingham/index.ssf/2017/08/former_teacher_charged_with_so.html

3. http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/kim-kardashians-jackie-o-shoot-gets-twitter-backlash-w500043

Miles

ps: "We can regard our life as a uselessly disturbing episode in the blissful repose of nothingness." ~ A. Schopenhauer

8:04 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Only an American Turkey would come up with such an idea...


https://usat.ly/2vuR2Dp


8:23 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

Sit back. Relax. Everything is under control.
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/31/georgia-police-officer-we-only-shoot-black-people

The empire is doing down just as planned.

8:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Esca-

This annoys me. Why shd blacks be some privileged class, that only they get killed? It's time for cops across the US to make a commitment to equality, and start killing everyone, regardless of race, creed, color, gender, or fruit (I'd like to see them kill a few cantaloupes). Gunning people down randomly--long overdue.

jj-

Of course, "American Turkey" is a redundant expression.

Jeff-
1. The gal does have a nice tongue, however...
2. This woman's face is terrifying.
3. Kim's buttocks not shown here, but also terrifying. Imagine confronting them in a dark alley. Brr.

mb

10:43 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

RT managed to score a very WAFerian quote from a formed USG official about the latest diplomatic tit-for-tat with Russia:

US foreign policy sometimes looks as if five-year-olds were in charge of it, retired FBI agent Coleen Rowley told RT. “This childish tit-for-tat game will not end well unless there's a grown-up in the room who can put an end to it.”

https://www.rt.com/usa/401629-reactions-us-closing-russian-offices/

Nope, no grown ups anywhere in evidence around here. Take Botox face, who started all the Russia bullshit and is now scheduled to make exactly one MORE personal appearance in the key battleground state of Wisconsin on her stupid book tour than she did during the entire 2016 general election campaign.

But hey, MB, you have your chance: Hillary is charging around $2400 USD for a VIP meet-and-greet at her Toronto stop. I'm sure we WAFers could get up a Crowdfund to cover your expenses so you can go there and pee on her shoes:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chicagoinc/ct-hillary-clinton-0829-chicago-inc-20170828-story.html

11:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bill-

My bladder is swollen and ready to go. A 6-pack of Molson's also wdn't hurt. Meanwhile, she's got millions from Goldman Sachs, but needs to charge 2400 USD for people to say hi. I have this vision of some Cdn woman paying the $2400, then moving in close and beating Hillary's face w/her bk until it turns purple and swells to twice its size, while the woman screams, "Stupid book, face filled with Botox, dumbass election campaign, total turkey!" What are the chances? (sigh)

mb

11:49 PM  
Blogger ccg said...

MB,

You will likely recall Friedman's infamous "suck on this" remark in his interview with Charlie Rose:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwFaSpca_3Q

Nauseating. As was his arrogant comment that "we attacked Iraq because we could," an act that obviously met with his approval. Prior to this I thought Friedman merely a buffoon, but that interview was prove positive that he's a dangerous fraud.

11:52 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Prof, the homework was The Odyssey and Julian Jaynes' bk on the bicameral mind. There are several books on that subject by Jaynes, is The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind the one to read?

8:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

comrade-

Yes, but only the section on Greece. Read Homer 1st.

mb

9:18 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

One thing I have noticed in American left-wing discourse, or what little authentic left-wing discourse remains, is the desire for "Robin Hood" economic policies. Basically, these policies are designed to "steal from the rich and give to the poor." The problem with such policies, IMO, is that they create an atmosphere of extreme instability due to class conflict. Of course, given the economic situation in America such a clash might be inevitable.

I think Western European countries have much better economic systems that are focused on prevention rather than cure. There is not as much need for "Robin Hood" policies because a super-rich kleptocracy never develops, or the elites have their power restrained.

10:45 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

POLICE STATE!!

Bodycam Shows Arrest of Salt Lake City Nurse for Refusing Blood sample


https://www.nbcnews.com/video/salt-lake-city-nurse-alex-wubbels-was-arrested-for-refusing-to-allow-blood-sample-1037418051665?cid=eml_onsite

1:12 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Stupid edumacation tricks--teacher sends nude photos to students not seeming to realize from the thousand previous similar news stories that there was zero chance she wouldn't get caught:

http://www.wsaz.com/content/news/Teacher-arrested-on-charges-of-sending-nude-pictures-to-students-442471933.html?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

Stupid parenting tricks--shoving a metal braclet into your kid's mouth to treat teething issues might result in lead poisoning:

https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/09/cdc-homeopathic-healing-bracelet-poisons-baby-with-high-levels-of-lead/?comments=1

Stupid pet owner tricks--using an aerosol can to shoot flames at your dog, and then posting the video on social media:

http://myfox8.com/2017/08/31/charges-filed-in-guilford-county-after-dogs-fur-singed-by-flames-in-viral-video/?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

1:17 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bill-

All of this seems strange until you realize that Americans lead the world in % of cutting-edge intellects in the population.

jj-

A real cop wd have blown her brains out. What a wimp. And then the cop was put on leave, when he should have received a medal. What kind of police dept. is this, fer chrissakes?

mb

1:24 AM  
Blogger Alogon said...

Gigalax wrote:

>One thing I have noticed in American left-wing discourse, or what little authentic left-wing discourse remains, is the desire for "Robin Hood" economic policies. Basically, these policies are designed to "steal from the rich and give to the poor." The problem with such policies, IMO, is that they create an atmosphere of extreme instability due to class conflict.

A billionaire was on the radio a few days ago (unfortunately I can't recall his name or that of the program) who pointed out that the economy does not work as rationally as free-market libertarians imagine. It is more like ecology, with feedback loops that must be protected. One that is languishing these days is the ability of customers to buy what is being manufactured or offered by industry. They can't afford it because wages have been depressed for a generation. If they had grown along with the productivity of the economy, the minimum wage would be $22.00. Instead, most wages are not even keeping up with official inflation.

Speaking of which, I've long suspected that the consumer price index understates inflation. The federal government has every incentive to do so, hence it should not be trusted with the administration of such an important index. I have just learned of an unofficial alternative: http://www.shadowstats.com/ According to the data processed by this organization, in 2016 $2.44 was required to purchase what $1.00 would buy just ten years earlier.


5:18 AM  
Anonymous Zarathustra said...

Alogon, in my view, the indispensable book to understand Hitler and the Nazis is "Germany: Jekyll and Hyde" by Sebastian Haffner. Written in 1940, it predicts Hitler's suicide.

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

@Alogon:

You probably heard an interview with Nick Hanauer. He's not an actual billionaire, but he is very wealthy. He's been trying for a number of years now to remind the .01 percent that they need customers who can buy their products in order to run businesses. He seems to be making the rounds again.

And speaking of economic statistics, these have been fraudulent for decades now. According to the old way of measuring inflation (pre-1991) we've had a pretty constant rate of 10 percent for quite a while now. If you have a little bit of economics knowledge (bachelor's degree or so) you can get much useful information from a site called ShadowStats.com which is run by an economist who had to unravel government chicanery in order to preserve the validity of his economic models for clients. He has now made a bsiness out of providing "unrigged" economic data to paying clients, but we amateurs can read some of his information on that site for free.

10:46 AM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

I thought I'd binge watch Black Mirror on Netflix, uh, no, talk about disturbing. The show is fantastic but also a sucker punch reminder of how damn close our dystopia comes to the one presented on the show. Let the games begin:

http://www.techradar.com/news/ios-11-iphone-ipad-ar-features

It's getting really disgusting now:
http://www.denverpost.com/2017/09/02/boy-tortured-killed-fed-to-pigs/

http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/01/health/hot-car-deaths/index.html

I aks ya, please someone explain to me how a parent 'forgets' their child is in the car with them?


11:17 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Big Surprise Dept.:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/09/02/upshot/fentanyl-drug-overdose-deaths.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=first-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not just 'pie' ... but Lemon Meringue pie would be a representative Horn & Hardart slot machine dessert selection!
Gone since 1991 , but hard to forget. -J.Joslin ( Detroit, South of the Canadian border )

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Vincent in Auvers said...

The drug epidemic reminds me of the vignette in Kurosawa’s “Dreams” where a man finds himself in a nuclear wasteland inhabited by nothing but demons with horns on their heads. Down in a pit, these demons stumble around in puddles of greenish-red water, wailing, gnashing their teeth, and pulling their hair out. At the end, one of the demons warns the man that unless he wants to become one too, he’d better leave. Here it is: The Weeping Demon

It's amazing how easy it is to destroy oneself in this country. In the scene, the main demon also mentions how even in hell the hierarchy is maintained, with the demons who have 2 horns on their heads sacrificing and eating the weaker demons who only have one or none. Will be so glad once I finally get out of here. Here’s another piece that reminds me of Americans: The Triumph of Genius over Envy (Delacroix)

2:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anon-

Sorry, I don't post Anons. Pls sign in with a real handle. Thank you.

mb

3:20 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Vince-

Re: Delacroix: check out front cover of TMWQ.

mb

3:22 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

As Savantesimal has ID'ed the individual Alogon was referring to, I can only offer a link to a Politico article on Hanauer. The title of this article reflects Hanauer's belief that Americans are mad as hell and aren't going to take it anymore. Wafers will recognize this idea for the idiocy it represents.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2014/06/the-pitchforks-are-coming-for-us-plutocrats-108014

3:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jas-

He sounds like Chris Hedges.

mb

4:27 PM  
Blogger Grandma said...

I remember that 2014 article from Hanauer. Didn't change anything here in 2017.

Gunnar, I haven't tried Black Mirror either, although it shows up constantly as recommended for me. Not for a moment do I believe that the recommendation has anything to do with me ... my favorites change constantly, weird things show up in my queue, and movies are shown as "watched" that I've never seen! But let us know if it's worth watching?

I don't understand how anyone can forget their kids are in the car, but I've known people who had no problem leaving them in the car while they shop away. Mostly women, go figure.

Also, AR is disturbing, too. As if people can't face reality already, now they augment suitably. Turkeys!

All, I can't leave the US, not yet anyway, so I'm embracing the NMI. My way of dealing with the upcoming blog hiatus, also. Happy (US) holiday weekend to all!

4:53 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Your news update from Cascadia:

A motorcyclist fortunately had a video camera in his helmet turned on when he was stopped by a King County Sheriff’s detective in Shoreline, WA during a traffic stop. The cop came at Alex Randall from behind without police ID and with his gun drawn. Randall, still alive after the incident, has filed a complaint with the County after posting his scary video of the encounter on YouTube and Reddit.

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/shoreline-motorcyclists-terrifying-traffic-stop-threatened-at-gunpoint-but-he-wasnt-ticketed/

Police forces in the state of Washington have already had access to military equipment even with the Obama administration’s restrictions, so maybe Trump’s order will impact only those cops hankering for acquiring some “tracked armor” of their own.

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/crime/police-in-washington-state-got-military-hardware-even-under-obama-era-restrictions/

Stay tuned for more action at Evergreen College - the fall quarter begins on September 25.

Finally, I have a film recommendation for Wafers to check out while MB is on tour. The Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski made ten one-hour films for Polish Television in the 1980’s which he titled “The Decalogue,” moral tales loosely based on the Ten Commandments. You won’t find Manichean outcomes or necessarily happy endings, but the acting is stunning and the scripts thought-provoking. The series was re-released in 2015 and is now available on Netflix DVDs.

6:53 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

I think many of Freud's theories provide insight into American life. America is, after all, a very sexually repressed country, although it pretends to be liberated. Edward Bernays was able to use much of Freud's work when he created the field of corporate public relations.

Freud's theories are, IMO, really a list of symptoms (i.e. not a diagnosis) outlining the problems in a repressed society. The questions of why a certain society is repressed in the first place is something that Freud did not explore much.

11:32 PM  
Anonymous Zarathustra said...

Gigalax, I think Carl Jung had a deeper insight into American life:
“I made many observations on shipboard. I noticed that whenever the American husband spoke to his wife there was always a little melancholy note in his voice, as though he were not quite free; as though he were a boy talking to an older woman. He was always very polite and very kind, and paid her every respect. You could see that in her eyes he was not at all dangerous, and that she was not afraid of being mastered by him. But when any one told him that there was betting going on he would leave her, and his face became eager and full of desire, and his eyes would get very bright and his voice would get strong, and hard, and brutal. That is why I say his Libido, his vital energy, is in the game. He loves to gamble. That is business to-day.”

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Susie said...

Pew data published in this wk's Boston Globe show U.S. Muslim community is most religiously tolerant and socially liberal Islamic population in world
https://t.co/tUsNOIO8Cs

11:09 AM  
Anonymous Rick said...

http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/318464/trespassing-across-america-by-ken-ilgunas/9780735213876/

https://www.amazon.com/Walden-Wheels-Open-Road-Freedom/dp/054402883X

http://www.latimes.com/books/la-ca-jc-trespassing-america-20160417-story.html

This writer is very WAFer. Trespassing across America, how shall we WAFers sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

3:59 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Yet another most American new headline ever: County secretary admits stealing exotic dancer fees because husband spends too much at Home Depot

Meanwhile, I guess if you are a school bus driver in an area where there are not a lot of black people, it's okay to hang a doll of a black child with a noose around its neck in your office:

Parent, bus drivers outraged after black baby doll is mock-lynched at Rim of the World Unified transit office

Note: this was my first time to embed the links--my apologies if it didn't work correctly.

6:14 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

https://youtu.be/eCjUV0SbASE

Belman, Now I really know what you mean by am'rika the land of "turkeys." It is really all about turkeys -for the, by the & from the.

Ronald Reagan simply told his former vice-president Bush: “Don’t let the turkeys get you down.”

The black turkey told the white turkey, "American [violent] leadership in this world really is indispensable. It’s up to us [the 1%], through action and example [war and market manipulation], to sustain the international [control] order that’s expanded steadily since the end of the Cold War, and upon which our own wealth [$bling$] and safety depend. ....those [autocratic] democratic institutions and [lynching] traditions – like rule of law [gooble-gooble], separation of powers [like my black arse cheeks], [un] equal protection and civil liberties [haha!]– that our forebears fought and [killed] bled for.”
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/03/obama-warned-trump-not-to-undermine-international-order-new-letter-reveals

"Wilco," said the white turkey.
http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/03/politics/obama-trump-letter-inauguration-day/index.html

9:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

I read this, and I wept. I suspect you will too.

https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/letters/2017/09/02/pledging-and-practicing-allegiance-flag/tKPR5N1c1c9fDgK0HVFWDL/story.html?s_campaign=bdc:globewell:opinion

mb

11:38 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

In honour of Sr. Bermano's trip to Italy, tonight I played "Bella Ragazza Dalle Trecce Bionde" by Carlo Buti, as well as "Bublitchki" by the Ziggy Elman Orchestra (a cat named Marty Berman played baritone sax on the number...and I couldn't find any songs about pastrami on rye).

I talked about the WAF blog a bit, so don't be surprised if the joint is swamped with Saskatudlians in the future.

Saying that police shoot only black people sounds like something I'd do, although my reasons might not be the same as the copper in question. Is it possible that the cop was being extremely ironic and wanted to make the point that old white women aren't in much danger of being killed by police, unlike black males?

12:46 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Verklempt Dr. Berman from the referenced article. The author IS very american.

Also, the comment section highlights the multi-layered, in-depth analysis and critical thinking emblematic of americans.

The author is a wealthy carpet bagger who also hocks (hustles) her self published books and DVDs with news articles masquerading as real news in local papers. The local press cannot seem to get enough of this hustler and narcopath.

america--love it or leave it. If ya don't like, go move to Siberia and see how ya like it Cheapie!

12:57 AM  
Anonymous Vincent in Auvers said...

The author of that letter is so incredibly out of touch, it would be funny were it not so sad. Not happy when your flag is disrespected? How about having your life disrespected, having to worry about being murdered in cold blood or thrown into a hellish prison every time you leave your house because your flag-waving compatriots don't care for the color of your skin? Funny thing is, I don't imagine life would be much different for these oppressed groups in countries like China or Somalia. Might even be better. Anyone remember those shots of Pruitt-Igoe in Koyaanisqatsi? I'd take the first available flight to Beijing over that nightmare any day. Not having to hear any of the sordid news emanating from this sewer ever again sounds like paradise to me.

MB- Liberty Leading the People is one of my favorites, always used to be an inspiration when I thought revolution was just around the corner. I remember one of my professors thought it odd that Liberty was leading the people with her breasts falling out of her blouse. He quipped that's how you know it must have been painted by a man.

1:43 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Vince, Mike R.-

One thing I've always loved abt America is that it is filled w/cutting-edge intellects. Why in the world did I leave? It's so easy to engage our fellow countrymen in meaningful, in-depth conversations. I mean, you go to Europe, and everything is so superficial by comparison.

As for Delacroix: I read somewhere that his original title for the painting was "Tits of Freedom," but he changed it at the last minute.

mb

4:35 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

I have often wondered what planet Chris Hedges is living on these days. Here he is, on the most recent Truthdig:

"We must organize our communities to create a new socialist order and overthrow the corporate state through sustained acts of mass civil disobedience. We must achieve full employment, guaranteed minimum incomes, health insurance, free education at all levels, robust protection of the natural world and an end to militarism and imperialism. We must create the possibility for a life of dignity, purpose and self-esteem."

And: "What we're encountering here in the United States is more akin to revolution, and revolutions are always fundamentally nonviolent."

1st, who is 'we', exactly? Who is it, in America, who wants to, or is capable of, overthrowing the corporate state in favor of socialism? All those people on opioids he talks about? And since when is history a matter of exhortation? ("We must...") This is pure fantasy.

2nd, "revolutions are always fundamentally nonviolent"--! Are you fucking kidding me? And we are encountering revolution now in the US? Really?

My friends, if this isn't brain damage, I don't know what to call it.

mb

9:34 AM  
Blogger ab645471 said...

Hedges doesn't (or doesn't want to) understand that among many other conditions for a revolution to take place, there must be a class consciousness on the part of those neglected/oppressed. Polls show that despite increasingly barely being able to feed themselves and their kids, most Americans think things will turn around and they're gonna be rich one day.

10:55 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ab-

Touche. The thirst for rebellion in America always resided with the Right (in recent times), and this got its expression in the election of Trump--this while Hedges was predicting a Left uprising. I also told Hedges at one pt that in order for a revolution to succeed, the police and/or military had to defect, or at least hold their fire; and that such a thing cd never happen in the US. He gave me grudging assent. What happened to that assent? The guy is living in dreamland. What kind of journalism is this?

mb

11:11 AM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Wafers,

Reading the blog this morning on Hedges's latest article in Truthdig and agreeing with the comments, I just wonder if for Chris being a minister is a piece of what gives him hope for the future of the US? Religion has a way of pushing some into non reality giving all kinds of false hopes along the way. I really haven't a clue, just asking.

Marianne

12:09 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Gil Scott-Heron was right in a Waferian sense: the revolution will not be televised.

There won't be any. If we were to expect a revolution, we might reasonably expect it to come from the black community. Nope. The CBS Sunday Morning show on 3 September featured a piece on Bobby Seale, now considerably stouter, wearing a jacket and tie for the interview. No AK-47, no black jacket, no beret. Bobby says guns won't solve anything. He could be right, but when former Panthers have taken down the barricades and put on suits, what hope is there for others in the black community, whose youth aspire to be like Mike or LeBron? Or Beyoncé?

When two men wearing blue uniforms--law enforcement, presumably, and not just hospital rent-a-cops--stand by as a police detective/phlebotomist manhandles a nurse who's just explained the law to this troglodyte, where will incipient insurrection gain support? (Jimmy Dore pointed this out in a recent YouTube video.)

What of Mexicans and other Hispanics? Rousted out of bed at all hours by ICE, as unlikely to be MS-13 as are the Anglos who employ them on a cash basis. Not from that quarter either.

Nope, the revolution will not be televised: https://youtu.be/vwSRqaZGsPw

12:29 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@ab645471,

Yes, here is just one article on how much Americans overestimate their chances at social mobility.

https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/06/americans-tolerate-inequality-estimate-odds-coming-top.html

There has been some talk about the growth of Democratic Socialists of America and other lefty groups but I doubt that they will make much difference. Most of these left-wing groups usually collapse from factionalism. They seem to attract people with big egos hence the constant squabbling and inability to ever accomplish anything important.

12:54 PM  
Anonymous El Kabong said...

One of my favorite artists is Randy Newman... and one of my favorite songs of his from the 1970's was Politcal Science (Lets Drop the Big One)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqBrw3rQvKo

Unfortunately now it seems more like foreshadow than satire.

http://theantimedia.org/survey-americans-preemptively-nuke-nations/

2:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

El-

r.u. the same person as al? If not, a different handle might be better. As for Americans wanting to nuke Iran and whomever else: again, this is a nation of cutting-edge intellects. But I despair of having it happen. As you know, I have repeatedly written the Pentagon to nuke Toronto and Paris, and they ignore my letters. Perhaps, if I were to urge them to nuke Iran, N. Korea, Russia, and China instead, they might give me the respect I deserve.

mb

2:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Potential Emigrant-

Sorry, cdn't run it. We have a half-page-max rule on this blog. Pls compress and re-send. Thanks.

Marianne et al.-

All I can do is shake my head. Just a couple of lines from Camus:

"History does not choose between just and unjust causes," he wrote; "it submits to sheer force when not to mere chance." And:

"A sword is needed to conquer a sword."

How can Hedges not understand these obvious truths? It is possible that becoming a preacher has disconnected him from reality, but the stuff he is now coming out with make him nothing less than a buffoon figure. One might ask, of course, how he manages to have a large following, and the answer is that the followers--progs--are also buffoons. So we have buffoons lapping up and applauding buffoonery. In what way is this any better than Trump and the Trumpites? I can't see it, myself. Certainly they (Trumpites) have a better grasp on reality, no?

mb

2:53 PM  
Anonymous A Potential Emigrant said...

re: Hedges and Socialism
Here are some recent remarks by President Morales on socialism in Bolivia.
I wanted to get some of your thoughts on Bolivia, MB> A friend now has stable housing availability for me there on sort of an eco-compound. Seriously considering moving. But @ the same time I was reading that their gov just surrendered a piece of the Amazon the size of Jamaica for development and land extraction. On the other side then, just yesterday, the country celebrated a National Car_free Day, where no one used their motor vehicles aside from emergency transportation. Can you imagine such a day in the USA ?

And it does makes me nervous how sympathetic the Bolivian powers-that-be are to Maduro's handling of Venezuela's crisis. Such contradictions!

https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Socialism-Not-Neoliberalism-Creates-Stability-Bolivias-Evo-20170315-0038.html
https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Bolivia-Commemorates-Tania-the-Guerrilla-Revolutionary-Who-Fought-Alongside-Che-in-Bolivia-20170901-0026.html
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2017/sep/03/bolivia-car-free-day-pollution
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/aug/15/bolivia-approves-highway-in-amazon-biodiversity-hotspot-as-big-as-jamaica
https://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Bolivias-Morales-Slams-US-Venezuela-Sanctions-as-Financial-Blow--20170826-0021.html

7:47 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

"In what way is this any better than Trump and the Trumpites? I can't see it, myself. Certainly they (Trumpites) have a better grasp on reality, no?"

I like to think of progs as living in an alternate-reality bubble that is already inside another alternate-reality bubble (i.e. America). Sort of like a "simulation inside a simulation" thing.

Lately, I have been thinking about why the Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution arose in the West. My guess is that it had something to do with wanting to define reality solely in terms of formulas and equations. People in the West were (some still are) afraid of that part of reality which can only be "felt" and which cannot be directly observed or concretely measured.

8:13 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

Hedges and many on the left believe in this idea where they will all just rush from their houses and march together and the Elite will just wither away. The problem with that farce is that isn't how the world works. Look at Egypt because the Egyptians rebelled against Mubarak who due to Al-Sisi had no support from the military. Once his Police had been driven off by FIGHTING THEM Mubarak was done.

Al-Sisi, on the other hand, has proven force works. He has used violence to suppress the people worse than Mubarak. I mean he sent a message to the Egyptian people when he had the military slaughter a few hundred supporters of Morsi at a protest. I would really like to see where non-violent protest works. Everyone likes to say MLK, conveniently ignoring the Rioting as his refusal to denounce rioters. Or they will say Gandi who launched his protest in a time that the British empire could not truly respond and the people were already for decolonization.

SO what is Hedge's thinking? That speaking "truth to power" will somehow make the Elites and their backers run for the hills?

8:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Nesim-

Discussed earlier: the civil rts movement was successful because it actually worked with and thru the Power Elite (RFK, for example), wh/wanted it to succeed. As for Gandhi, I take him to be the paradigm exception that proves the rule; the one major nonviolent revolution that succeeded. In general, Hedges does not understand how history, or the world, works. This has become abundantly clear.

Gig-

True, some are afraid of it; but I suspect the vast majority don't even know it exists.

Potential-

I suspect you'll be a lot happier in Costa Rica.

mb

8:52 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Why are progs so delusional? Because they continually choose the biggest douchebags as their heroes:

The Daily Show Embarrasses Itself Again

I know a number of people who just adore Trevor Noah simply because he grew up under Apartheid (so fucking what?) and is against Trump. The fact that he's yet another multimillionaire hustler paid to sell the status quo (just as Jon Stewart was) and is about as funny as a broken wheelchair completely escapes them.

Progs also don't seem to comprehend, as Jonathan Turley points out, that their "leaders" have become every bit as intolerant of free speech as the right:

The Public Safety Pretext: Liberal Leaders and Writers Seek To Protect The Public From Free Speech

10:52 PM  
Anonymous John said...

Heyyy Wafers,

More from the kind Americans department:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/04/hurricane-harvey-landlords-demand-rent-for-flooded-homes

12:16 AM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

As a late devotee of Chris Hedges all I can say is 'if only it were true.' Where's Lenin when you need him (Bannon maybe?) I remember the terrific success of the Occupy peeps - a homeless camp in Civic Center Park across from Colorado State Capital, when the cops finally had to move them along they said that was the reason for their failure. I knew of CH @ the time and didn't think too much of him but when Trumpo got in I listened, it aint goin nowhere, now I'm a Wafer. MB the trilogy rocks, the facts are self evident.
There aren't any leftist revolutionaries where I live - formerly know as The Steel City - a consultant must have discovered 4 medal of honor recipients were natives so they re-branded us to Home of Heroes and planted statues of the them right outside the new convention center for all visitors to see. They r having a national convention beg Sept 11 @ of all places the Center for American Values (apparently criticism of 'murica is considered Un-American and not a value anywhere endorsed) - who ever thought to pimp what should be a sacred honor as a way to lift post-industrial depression? I'd get lynched if they heard me say this. I'm on a secure site right?

Finished Road to Ruin and can envision money riots, lets see the lib/progs go up against this fine piece of equipment (is that a machine gun turret I see on top?):

http://www.denverpost.com/2017/09/03/colorado-law-enforcement-surplus-military-gear/

3:11 AM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...


Norman Finkelstein on What Gandhi Says About Nonviolence, Resistance and Courage.
https://www.democracynow.org/2012/6/5/part_2_norman_finkelstein_on_what_gandhi_says_about_nonviolence_resistance_and_courage

"My nonviolence does not admit of running away from danger and leaving dear ones unprotected. Between violence and cowardly flight, I can only prefer violence to cowardice. I can no more preach nonviolence to a coward than I can tempt a blind man to enjoy healthy scenes. ​...​Nonviolence is the summit of bravery. ​...​As a coward, which I was for years, I harboured violence. ​...​Don’t be a coward and go to jail, because you’re afraid to get killed. Don’t use jail as a pretext to get away from getting killed.​ ​You better get your skulls cracked. Otherwise, I don’t want to hear from you."​ -Gandhi​

The Empire's apologist created the​ ​myth​ ​of​ the​ "peaceful​-n-nonviolence" Gandhi.​​ (Derrick Jensen documentary).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=St3qMvqdwWs​

​The British​ ​didn't​ ​relinquished their most profitable enterprise,​ ​India,​ ​because they suddenly had a change of heart, thanks to Gandhi?
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2006/jun/28/comment.britishidentity
"Power concedes nothing without a demand [by the sword]. It never did and it never will." In Mecca they throw stones​ ​not roses​ ​at the devil.
It wasn’t violence that, for Gandhi, was the most​ ​despicable​ ​of human instincts; it was cowardice.

9:47 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Esca-

Gd info, thank you. Hegel said that history was a "slaughter bench," and I see no way around that. I've been rdg a bit abt the Algerian conflict of the 50s, and it is obvious that the pieds noirs were not going to compromise their privileged position until the FLN made it clear, thru violence, that they had no alternative. It is surely a very sad story, but it keeps getting repeated over and over again. The small concessions made to the poor and the lower classes by the ruling class during the New Deal were the result of FDR saying to the latter that if they didn't yield some, they might lose all. Hardly a revolution--giving the former crumbs instead of cake--and it served to save capitalism by means of (very) slight modifications. Today, 5 individuals own almost as much as the bottom half of the entire American population. The only way the upper .01% will give up their control of the country is by being threatened with real revolution, i.e. violence; and that is not forthcoming and wd fail if it were. I still believe that Dual Process (see my essay on that subject) is the only way out, and it will take time. One might call it a 'quiet revolution', but it doesn't really involve confrontation. The idea is rather to go elsewhere, and start doing something different. Not likely here in the US, as I've said b4, but then the US is less than 5% of the global population; and as time marches on, the US is becoming increasingly irrelevant.

mb

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

(Hedges) has to believe what he believes in otherwise he wouldn't be sitting there-Chomsky.

Perhaps, his somewhere over the rainbow-type talk sells hope. This resonates with americans regardless of how delusional that message may be. What else do they really have?

Hence, his "messsage" brings in audiences, plethora of speaking engagements, honararia, articles, etc...re: resistance, revolting, forming a mass (bowel) movement--all things to keep maintain that glimmer of (false) hope.

The alternative of course, is reality. And for americans that was not an alternative b/c it was rendered "negative," "mean," "disgruntled."

11:36 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Putin warns of a 'planetary catastrophe' if NK is attacked:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/05/south-korea-minister-redeploying-us-nuclear-weapons-tensions-with-north

Meanwhile, an out of control turkette:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXKM9VuOwCE

and a jerk off booth installed in NYC:

http://www.konbini.com/us/lifestyle/new-york-opened-masturbation-booth/

Miles

12:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

I love 2c turkettes outta control. It's one reason (among many) that I love Hillary (Botox is another).

Mike-

It's a bowel movement, that's for sure. Life in Disneyland.

mb

12:20 PM  
Anonymous turnover said...

One more out of control moment for Hillary:

"Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is blaming Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) for doing “lasting damage” to her campaign and of “paving the way” for President Trump’s attack against her as “Crooked Hillary.” "

That woman is jaw droppingly dysfunctional.

12:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

turn-

Whatta douche bag(uette). It's everybody's fault but her own. I tell ya, the Wafer Urine Contingent (WUC) is gonna need more than a couple of 6-packs of Bud Lite in this case.

mb

1:05 PM  
Anonymous DiogenesTheElder said...

Glad for the Camus quotes. Here's another: "The saints of our time are those who refuse to be either its executioners or its victims." How WAFer of him!

DTE

2:26 PM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

Dr. MB and all Wafers:
It's our duty to document the stupidity of our fellow citizens, this from an article titled "How America Lost Its Mind".

....."the solidly reality-based are a minority, maybe a third of us but almost certainly fewer than half. Only a third of us, for instance, don’t believe that the tale of creation in Genesis is the word of God. Only a third strongly disbelieve in telepathy and ghosts. Two-thirds of Americans believe that “angels and demons are active in the world.” More than half say they’re absolutely certain heaven exists, and just as many are sure of the existence of a personal God—not a vague force or universal spirit or higher power, but some guy. A third of us believe not only that global warming is no big deal but that it’s a hoax perpetrated by scientists, the government, and journalists. A third believe that our earliest ancestors were humans just like us; that the government has, in league with the pharmaceutical industry, hidden evidence of natural cancer cures; that extraterrestrials have visited or are visiting Earth. Almost a quarter believe that vaccines cause autism, and that Donald Trump won the popular vote in 2016."
From : https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/how-america-lost-its-mind/534231/

4:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

trout-

20% believe the sun revolves around the earth, and 9% say they don't know which revolves around which.

mb

5:00 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

SO, I remember when MB said even our smart people are stupid and I really think Canadians should be thrown into the mix, seeing how they are always ten years behind us.

I was watching Brett Weinstein and Jordan Peterson talk on Joe Rogan and what I found interesting was neither man could think outside of the paradigm of Capitalism. Both basically presents a conversation based on the idea that capitalism is the natural state of humans and that Capitalism is the reason for human innovation. Just watch the video as its funny because many people do not realize that Jordan Peterson is a hardcore capitalist who believes Marxism in his own words is a "murder ideology.".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6G59zsjM2UI

What I find vile is the stagnation of thought when it comes to the conversation of capitalism and how its supporters try to act like it is a natural way of life.

9:35 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Great moments in American religion:

Joel Osteen’s Church Tried To Collect Money From Harvey Victims During Service

Wisconsin woman has apparently never seen one of David Mamet's films about con men:

She thought she discovered a wallet with $150K inside, but she was “completely fooled”

And lastly, under the reign of Obama's douchebag former chief of staff, the Chicago school system has decided to do away with its librarians--but I'm sure there will be plenty of money to build and staff Obarfa's presidential library:

Information literacy lost: Most CPS schools no longer have librarians

10:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bill-

Really gd declinist data, thank you. I tell ya, you just look around the country, see what Americans are abt, and who they are, and you know: It's over.

mb

11:20 PM  
Anonymous Todd said...

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poets/john-ashbery

Ashbery has died...

7:25 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

The march to dystopia continues unabated. Notice the eyes on mom:

http://nypost.com/2017/09/05/mother-in-custody-after-boys-body-found-encased-in-concrete/

10:35 AM  
Anonymous uncle tommy said...

MB -

You've made a point about American manners and behavior, but it seems China is the same.

"“We look at ourselves, and we ask, ‘What is wrong with the Chinese nation, the Chinese people?’” said Xu Qinduo, a political commentator for China Radio International in Beijing. Many people are proud of the country’s economic achievements and growing global clout, he added, but worry that it still lacks a strong sense of morals."

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/02/world/asia/china-beijing-dockless-bike-share.html

This is in addition to well known bad behaviors of Chinese tourists abroad.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2016/10/07/commentary/world-commentary/chinese-tourists-badly-behaved/

11:27 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

tommy-

Gd pt. Regarding China following in our footsteps, check out my Preface to the Chinese Edition of WAF, archived on this blog (I think I wrote it around 2014 or so).

Mike-

What a terrible fate to befall an innocent, beautiful child. Such a horror. And stuff like this seems to show up in the newspapers on a weekly basis, or more.

mb

11:34 AM  
Anonymous Optimist said...

https://t.co/nwET3dCHBG

Outlawing War? It Actually Worked. This is an intriguing and challenging op-ed



12:23 PM  
Anonymous al Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

@ Alogon I don't think you quite hit the mark when you wrote of "the otherwise inscrutable affection of those on the left for Islam." I'm a lefty (don't ask me how people such as Hillary Clinton get thrown in with us) of the "tendance Groucho," but I wouldn't say I have an affection for Islam any more than those who opposed the atrocities of US imperialism in the 60s could be said to have has an "affection for Buddhism" while the USA was raping and pillaging Vietnam. To paraphrase Bubba, It's the imperialism, stupid.

And about that raping and pillaging, good for Trump for banning transgendered people from the US military. Imagine how confusing it must have be for them to know which gender to violate when their units sacked some unfortunate Afghan or Iraqi village.

@ Nesim Watani I don't know if it's accurate to say that Canadians are always ten years behind you. We've had Medicare for 50 years. You aren't even close.

1:41 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Trout -

I’m a very pastrami on rye kinda gal, and yet I disagree that many of the quoted beliefs are proof that Americans are stupid (see my second paragraph). My problem is with the word “belief” itself: conviction without evidence. What these quotes illustrate is that Americans are undeniably stupid because they confuse belief with truth. This is why I cringe when politicians use the word belief as if what they believe is a fact.

However, it’s also a mistake to think that the government wouldn’t outrageously lie to us and/or cover up the truth, or to buy into the myth of materialism. Our senses are extremely limited so that we are able to access only the tiniest fraction of all that is; therefore we don’t know what might lay beyond our limited abilities…maybe a lot, maybe nothing. But I’ve had enough personal experiences to convince me that things are not as they seem and to profoundly distrust the government, media, religion, and education.



1:50 PM  
Anonymous Turkey-Buster said...

Hi all!

Regarding the comments about Chris Hedges, I've just finished reading Joe Bageant's Deer Hunting with Jesus and I'm thinking, there's no way a nonviolent revolution by the left can ever succeed, because the corporatists would basically sic on them any and all lower-class whites willing to volunteer for the job. These volunteers would basically stomp on them.

And speaking of the right and "The Stupid! It burns!"... Rush Limbaugh suggests Hurricane Irma is a liberal hoax. So he's going to be sitting pretty in Palm Beach when Mar-A-Lago, the house next door, gets blown into his own home. And where will he be? Floating in his debris-filled swimming pool, like some real-life version of The Blob.

3:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Turk-

As for Rush: we can only hope. As for left vs. rt: the former don't stock arsenals; the latter do. Do the math.

mb

3:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jesus, willya look at this face?:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2017/09/06/verrit-the-pro-clinton-media-platform-thats-looking-worse-and-worse/?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-f%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.36b64bbb4994

Grotesque! A horror beyond belief.

4:58 PM  
Anonymous turnover said...

"ANN ARBOR, MI - Tickets to see Hillary Clinton speak at the University of Michigan's Hill Auditorium on Oct. 24 are now on sale via Ticketmaster, with front-row seats going for nearly $600."

Ann Arbor ceaselessly promotes itself as the most educated, best read, most progressive-- you name it.

One of the city council members I attempted to work with said before the election that anyone who doesn't vote for Hillary is not an adult. He might as well have just used the "deplorable" word.

That's how it is here in one of the capitols of progressive America. I don't think there will be an overwhelming barrage of Bud Lite fueled protesters with signs which say "Hey! It's not them Hillary. It's you."

5:37 PM  
Anonymous Dulouz Jr. said...

Regarding Hillary- I think Mose Allison said it best: "How can I miss you if you won't go away!"

6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-San said...

I have listened to the sage advice of the great MB and will no longer use El-Kabong.

As a child growing up in Canada in the 50's and 60's when I thought of the future I thought of America... at the time the future seemed limitless and anything seemed possible... and for a while I even wanted to be an American.

What a change has been wrought in one lifetime... it is the end times of the American Empire... and unfortunately the dissolution of this empire may take us all down.

WAF helped me become fully awake... and this blog is one of the few places on the web that is grounded in reality.

An article of interest to WAF'ers outlines that the Game of Oval Office holders has little to do with the Empire... worth a read.

https://theoutline.com/post/2203/the-empire-doesn-t-care-who-is-president

7:02 PM  
Blogger Alogon said...

On Public Radio's program "1A" this morning: an interview with the author,
Kurt Andersen: "Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire, A 500-Year History".

I bought this book immediately today and look forward to reading it. It is about the tendency of Americans to believe weird things, and why they have always been that way. Therefore, I shall try to read it with all due skepticism. :-)

Not that we need convincing of our fellow citizens' great credulity. But does he make a convincing case that we are more prone than others? I mean, Westerners everywhere are threatened by guys from the middle-East who believe that if they blow themselves up taking as many unbelievers with them as possible, they will enjoy the adoring company of dozens of virgins in the afterlife. That's a hard one to top. And according to Bruce Bawer (who fled the U.S. even before Morris did), a typical Norwegian takes pride in how well-informed he is after reading three newspapers a day. However, the political position of all of them is identical.

The host-interviewer seemed a model of circumspection, playing devil's advocate with his questions. In reply to one, the author noted that American immigrants
have always been self-selected for credulity, because emigrating to America was heavily advertised throughout the 19th century. Back to hustling we go!

7:33 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hola, MB & Wafers

Hillary always lives *down* to our expectations. I say this w/trepidation: I support Hillary making millions on her bk, if it helps remove her mug from the world stage forever.

"Rich people w/out wisdom and learning are but sheep w/golden fleeces."
~ Solon

Miles

ps: One more insane turkette for the road:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ec8XZLAckA

8:40 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...



Rachel Corrie : To live and die for one's convictions,.......
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iz0Vef4Fu8U
Gandhi would have admired her kind of "non violence."

Remember Cliven Bundy and the standoff at the Nevada cattle ranch? How many yoga-mat elitist organic-celery-munching yuppies (unlike Kent State students) have the courage to take on the SWAT, FBI and the Fed Marshals all at the same time? Even Trump stands by those who voted for him. Did Obanga? Remember OWS? And the Clintons passed laws that hurt the blacks who voted for them -and still they haven't learned the lesson.

How many lefties do you know like Rachel Corrie?

9:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

A wonderful video, and really, a portrait of the US today.

This brings me to a new concept I've been thinking of lately to describe the US: Spiritual Squalor (SS). Americans have no values in their lives beyond hustling; they have no idea what a spiritual life is. The churches? Don' make me laugh: see above, Bill's citation of the Houston church (Joel Osteen) that was trying to collect $ from Harvey victims during the service. There isn't anything that ain't a hustle in America, religion included. As Paul Fussell once said, in the US everything is covered with a fine coating of fraud. As an expt, just stop any American on the street, randomly selected, male or female, rich or poor, and talk to them abt their lives. What you'll find, if you listen between the lines, is sadness, emptiness.

Of course, since the populace is afflicted with SS, we can predict that our 'leaders' are as well. Just surf the Net for fotos of Hillary: her SS is so apparent, it's scary. Same goes for Trumpi, of course. And then, after the election, Bernie Sanders started taking donations from major corporate donors, and signed something like a $1m bk deal. It's the American Way.

It's easy to go to Detroit or Camden, point to the physical devastation of those places, and forget that this physical devastation is the result of spiritual devastation. SS is everywhere in the US, not least on Wall St., in the Pentagon, the major media, the universities, medical facilities, and so on. A few yrs ago, just b4 he died, Ronald Dworkin did an article in the NYRB in which he said that there wasn't a single American institution that wasn't corrupt. This is SS, plain and simple.

There are a # of famous declinists, as all of you know, each of whom pointed to a key factor in the collapse of civilizations. Joseph Tainter said it was (lack of) $; Arnold Toynbee argued that all of them had committed suicide--did precisely the wrong things, such as Rome's imperial overstretch. But one scholar in particular, Oswald Spengler, argued that the death of a civ. was basically a spiritual death--SS. He said that every civ. was animated by a spiritual concept, or Platonic Idea; and when it no longer believed in that Idea, it got hollowed out. What was left was the frozen shell of the Idea, a kind of kitsch; the Idea no longer had a living reality. In the case of the US, we might say that the Idea was democracy, which became rapidly unreal after the founding of the country. Now, it's a joke; most Americans don't believe that the nation is a genuine democracy, or believe in the American Dream. They, the leaders, and the nation at large is steeped in SS. When we read, on this blog, of mothers killing their children, or clients attacking McDonald's over incorrect cheeseburger orders, or men fucking goats and vans, etc. etc., what we are reading about is SS.

I have personally experienced this Squalor as a result of running this blog for 11 yrs. The rage against me, the bitterness, the anti-Semitism--this against an intellectual figure so minor that he is not even on the radar screen of public discussion in the US--is quite amazing. You'd think Americans wd have better things to do w/their time. But the sheer amount of poison, the depth of it, in the American soul (or 'soul')...man, it boggles the mind. This is SS at its deepest.

(continued below)

9:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

(continued from above)

I was living in Germany when the Wall came down, and I remember walking over to the Brandenburg Gate at one pt in 1991, where various sidewalk sellers had set up tables w/the paraphernalia of the USSR: commissars' hats, for example, or Soviet medals and trinkets. And as I held some of the stuff in my hand, I realized: this stuff once struck terror in the hearts of millions, but no one is afraid of the USSR any more. The spirit had left the artifacts. How long before we shall all feel the same about American artifacts? B4 the American flag doesn't stir us any more than an old washcloth?

The SS metastasizes, and the body politic dies. Can anyone seriously doubt that is what is going on?

mb

9:33 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

I think American culture has two main parts to it. The first part is the hustling culture that Dr. Berman often talks about. Hustling is the main part of all economic activity in America.

The second part of American culture is a Puritan-style repression. Aside from economics, this repression plays a major role in all aspects of American life.

The hustling and repression parts of American culture also reinforce each other. Economic hustling results in Americans repressing and denying their own humanity. Repression, in turn, suppresses any criticisms of hustling or American life in general.

9:49 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

Al'Qabong-

NHS of Canada just means Canadians are level headed. Canadians unlike Americans have an understanding of how a society works. Hence, why Canada doesn't suffer from the American Libertarian infestation that we do. I mean our most liberal president, Jimmy Carter, if I remember correctly aligns more with the Conservative party of Canada. That being said you guys are going through a Neo-liberalization right now and from what I have seen Vancouver is the hot bed.


@Wafers

Well Irma keeps gaining strength. It was expected that Hurricane Irma would lose strength but instead like a snowball rolling down a mountain it appears this its going to hit Florida like a freight train. All the while Libertarians are bemoaning the state banning price gouging of goods because nothing makes good business like a disaster!

9:52 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

MB: Spiritual Squalor is indeed the perfect phrase to describe what is going on in America. There have been a number of people I've had conversations with in recent years who all the while maintained tight smiles that were a parody of cheerfulness, who just seemed like they could break down and cry at at minute. It's as if they secretly know that the American Dream of their youthful fantasies is never going to come true for them even as they lie to themselves that if they just keep working hard they'll attain it one day.

Check out the pathetic father-and-son duo in the video attached to the story below. Tell me these two turkeys aren't just the perfect example of SS:

Father And Son Alabama Fans Arrested After Brawling At FSU Game

Just how empty does your life have to be that you just start randomly choking and punching other fans at a college football game? And just imagine what that Pillsbury doughboy man-child would have done if the first woman he attacked had told him, "You're a fat, disgusting, ignorant loser whose sad, pathetic life is going to amount to absolutely NOTHING." He probably would have gone home after being released from custody and ate his gun.

11:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bill-

These 2 sad sacks are quintessentially American: empty down to their socks. What misery.

mb

11:38 PM  
Blogger Sanguillen39 said...

https://www.yahoo.com/news/gay-people-blame-hurricane-harvey-192154845.html

Here's another lovely article reflecting the mindset of my fellow Americans. I guess the average IQ of the entire US population will soon become a negative number. Another first for our great nation. Sigh and double sigh.

4:27 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anon-

Sorry, I don't post Anons. You need a real handle to participate in this discussion. E.g., Cranston Butterworth III. Thank you.

Sang-

It's probably more likely that God had enuf of Americans--all Americans--for being turkeys, and decided to punish the country state by state, starting w/Texas. If Irma wipes out Florida, that will be further evidence for this argument.

mb

5:21 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: It occurs to me that with my concept of Spiritual Squalor (SS), I may have been unconsciously following the lead of some eminent predecessors. Philip Slater, in the 1970s, referred to the US as a "psychological slum," and Ted Roszak and Mother Teresa (in their own words) dubbed it a spiritual wasteland. All of these folks, of course, were ignored; altho in Americans' defense, how does a turkey become a non-turkey? I can't imagine it wd be easy. Does s/he get up one morning, look in the mirror, and exclaim, "Jesus, I'm a turkey!", and then proceed to behave and think like an intelligent person? I suspect that the sources of our recovery have long since abandoned us. Still, awareness is at least something. Wafers cd do the nation a service by selling T-shirts that say

JESUS, I'M A TURKEY!

If sales run into the millions, we might think of sponsoring a conference on "Getting De-Turkified." Wafers are encouraged to submit titles of possible lectures and seminars to be given at this conference.

mb

5:56 AM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

Dr. MB and all Wafers worldwide:
Today, I nominate Kurt Anderson, author of a new book, " FantasyLand - How America went Haywire, a 500 Year History" as a fellow
Wafer.
Quoting, “Mix epic individualism with extreme religion; mix show business with everything else; let all that steep and simmer for a few centuries; run it through the anything-goes 1960s and Internet age; the result is the America we inhabit today, where reality and fantasy are weirdly and dangerously blurred and commingled.”

Yes, America is filled with "magical thinking" or as I prefer - America is increasingly stupid and you cannot fix stupid !

Book Link here : http://a.co/3Rh7MsQ

6:20 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

trout-

You know, the earliest 20C statement I know of that America had gone haywire was by Sigmund Freud, who declared that the country was "a gigantic mistake." (Benjamin Rush predicted ca. 1800 that the country wd self-destruct in an orgy of selfishness; talk abt prescient.) This around 1929 or so, I can't remember exactly. But the 1st *analysis* of going haywire, and prediction that our way of life wd bring us down, was by the great historian C. Vann Woodward, in 1953: No country based on a single economic ideology, he wrote, can last. Then there was Andrew Hacker in 1970 with "The End of the American Era," and there were several other such bks between that and my Twilight bk. Now, among people with half a brain (not exactly a majority in the US), there is a widespread understanding that the American expt has come to an end, and that we are twilighting out of existence. Anderson is just another voice in the chorus, but given the foolishness of the progs, we can't have too many such voices, imo. The progs, and most of the rest of the country, are asleep; and yet, this also serves to contribute to our decline. Living in unreality, in a Disney fantasy, is by now a major factor in our disintegration.

mb

7:04 AM  
Anonymous Infected Mushroom said...

No doubt all you write here in your 7:04 comment is accurate, Mr. Berman, but the problem is -- if the USA had been about to collapse ca. 1800,a "giant mistake" ca. 1929, "going down" in 1953, "ending" in 1970, and finally in its "Twilight" since 2000, what exactly is new about its "imminent end" in 2017? Having an lousy president and unbridgeable division between the people? That was also the case in 1970, for example, and in the 1850s, when the US (as originally constituted) DID in fact collapse into a civil war, yet did not end.

The problem, statistically speaking, is the so-called "false positives" (in the statistical, not moral, sense of "positive"). I know someone, an Englishman who lives in France, who owns a small collection of books all proving France is on the verge of collapse (all, of course, due to completely opposite and contradictory reasons). Surely that proves little about what will happen in France. Or, to give an example closer to my home, "Ha'aretz", Israel's premiere liberal newspaper, often has excellent investigative reporting (only last week it had a very interesting one about Americans in the Trump era, for example) -- but it is predicting Israel's imminent demise more or less on a daily basis or the last 30 years.

This tradition goes back far earlier than this, of course. Marx and Hegel, as you and your readers well know, both predicted the end of history itself, never mind that of a particular country (as did Hegel's modern student, Fukuyama). I am well aware their arguments are far more detailed than this cliche, but I am writing a blog post, so please forgive the caricature I am making here. Yet history continued, Hegel, Marx, and Fukuyama notwithstanding...

9:56 AM  
Blogger ab645471 said...

Wafers, check this video on RT:

‘Working with people who confuse Austria & Australia is hard’ – Putin on US establishment

https://www.rt.com/news/402026-putin-us-relations-brics/

The Russians know how smart we are!

10:48 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mushrm-

Yes, gd question. Benjamin Rush didn't say when America wd collapse, only that it wd; and he was rt. Same is true for Vann Woodward, and Freud said 0 abt collapse at all. As to why there was no collapse after the Civil War, you need to check out WAF ch. 4.

But the real answer here is that collapse never occurs overnight; in the case of all civilizations, it takes time to spin out. Toynbee showed how there was often a 'rallying' for 20-30 yrs, but that it didn't matter, because the overall trajectory was downward. And all civilizations collapse, amigo; there are no exceptions. But if this takes time, so do predictions of collapse also take time. In the case of America, these--starting w/Hacker in 1970--are hardly mistaken predictions. Things have just been spiraling downward since then.

I get this question occasionally from radio interviewers: "But all your predecessors predicted a collapse, and they were all wrong. Why are you rt?" And my answer is that my predecessors were not wrong at all; they were just part of a process, as was I in 2000 (Twilight bk). That texts on decline are now multiplying like rabbits, and that even the MSM occasionally refers to the American empire being in its twilight phase--these are not accidents, or false predictions. My own guess is that by 2030, the US is going to be in a very different position, geopolitically, than it is today. Hacker was hardly wrong, just the opposite: he was very prescient.

As for Israel, I'm quite sure Ha'aretz is correct. I can't imagine the country making it to its 100th birthday (2048). It has been doing all the wrong things since 1967, and that eventually takes a heavy toll. But then, it's not really a civilization, and neither, for some time now, is France (which they wd of course hotly dispute).

As for Marx and Hegel: well, I wdn't put much stock in 'cosmic' predictions, and Fukuyama, to my mind, is a moron. This--the end of history tout court--is not what I'm arguing, in any case.

mb

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Hello Wafers!

Hi, Infected Mushroom. In 2008, I voted for Barack Obama. I thought something might change. By 2012, it was clear that nothing was going to change. Barack Obama was George Bush in a different suit. George Bush was Ronald Reagan in a different suit. About the time I had that wake-up call, I read Dr. Berman's trilogy on American collapse. Those were three of the best history books I had ever read, and I'm no stranger to history. Still, I did not want to believe that my country was dying. Now, in 2017 I have no doubt that my country is dying. In fact, it's going faster than I ever expected it would. What changed? One thing that changed was the landscape. Mass shootings used to be rare; now they occur daily. Unhinged people doing crazy things like burying their children in concrete used to be anomalies; now they occur daily. The level of rage in the people I see in my community and read about in this blog is increasing. I'll tell you though, the thing that sealed the deal for me were the goat schtuppers. Nothing is worse than a goat schtupper. If you don't think that violating goats for one's own pleasure is a sure sign of collapse, then you fail to see clearly. Keep reading this blog, Mr. Mushroom, and you will soon be convinced: we're circling the drain! And in the meantime, watch out for your goats, unless you want them violated!

12:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike-

Gd advice, tho I wd also urge Mushrm to protect his van as well.

mb

12:24 PM  
Blogger Patrick D. Fitzgerald said...

Dr. B, enjoy your dolce vita during the next few weeks. I have been back in the U.S. since July trying to make some quick money, and I fear it was a huge mistake; I nearly get hit everyday in traffic by a cell zombie, there are homeless opiate addicted beggars even in well-off suburbs, every MSM news story is either another anecdote to our collective depraved downfall or completely misses the fundamental issues that you all kindly bring to our attention here on a daily basis. This is to say nothing of politics, which I of course won't bother to...

For those considering emigration, just do it, you (more than likely) only live once, don't squander it. I don't think I ever want to come back here once I leave again. Indeed, the spiritual squalor is just too extreme and the very American idea that the individual can overcome his environment is, as we know by now, arrogant and simply not true. What the individual *can* do however, is accept this fact and do his best to avoid its impact.


"spiritual squalor smothering souls,
glittering, glitzy, glamorous ghouls."

Thanks again to all for giving me something worth reading each day,
buona fortuna a tutti

12:39 PM  
Anonymous al Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

@ Sanguillen39

I wonder how many of those who blame the gays for the hurricane also thanked God for protecting them during the storm.

Uh, aren't hurricanes considered "acts of God?"

12:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Patrick-

The impt thing, above all, is to get out. When I think of the kind of (meaningless) life I would have had, had I stayed, I shudder. And the thought of being surrounded by people who have meat in their heads...

As for Italy: tutti stanno bene. A great country, one that knows what life is about. I look forward to dolce fa niente. And I feel like Marcello Mastroianni in 1954. Bring on the cappuccini, amicos; sono pronto!

ciao,
maurizio

1:15 PM  
Anonymous Turkey-Buster said...

Well how's this for Burning Stupidity? From the "Left" side of the spectrum:

"Over the last 20 years, the TED crowd [people who attend TED Talks, work in Silicon Valley, and attend Davos conferences, etc.] have replaced that human truth with a McVersion of optimism. A version that says progress is inevitable, that human affairs inevitably improve over time, and that people are essentially good and all we have to do is set them free to be their true selves and everything will be fine."

But at least the author of the article is questioning the unquestioned faith in social progress as an inevitable result of technological progress. We Need to talk about Optimism.

But what good is one article against a tsunami of bullshit?

4:35 PM  
Anonymous Riley said...

http://www.flassbeck-economics.com/climate-change-migration-capitalism-solutions-for-systemic-failure-part-1-systemic-failures/

We. Are. Fucked!

4:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Turk-

I confess, I never got into the TED stuff, because it had the feel of slick corporate b.s. It reminded me of Nicole Aschoff's bk, "The New Prophets of Capitalism." But perhaps I'm wrong, and maybe there are some gd lectures there. I dunno. Most 'solutions' in the US turn out to be pure crap, on closer inspection.

mb

5:30 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

The TED talks are another form of american hustling in my opinion. It gives insecure folks an audience to feed their narcopathic needs and hear themselves talk.

On examination of their 990s (non-profit) tax forms the founders are getting paid 6-7 figs-while the speakers get nada, and attendees must pay to thousands to their "foundation" to listen.

May wish to search--Ted talk parody for a fun skit by a comedian that has these "talks" down.

5:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike-

Here's one example:

http://digg.com/video/ted-talk-parody

I just have the feeling that these TED people need to be beaten to within an inch of their lives, and then thrown on a dung heap. Did Hillary ever give a TED talk?

mb

6:13 PM  
Anonymous Anaxagorus said...

https://www.spectator.co.uk/2017/09/james-lovelock-on-voting-brexit-wicked-renewables-and-why-he-changed-his-mind-on-climate-change/

Brassy old James Lovelock, Pro-Brexit and questions Green Capitalistic Al Gore climate change stuff. WAFer for sure, and certainly knows something of reenchanting the world; re: Gaia

6:42 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Here's a good talk:

https://ww2.kqed.org/forum/2017/09/06/mark-lilla-warns-democrats-identity-politics-is-ruining-the-party/

Lilla takes on dead-end identity politics w/in the Democratic Party among many other issues. Will his analysis and level-headed demeanor wake people up? When pigs FLY, as MB likes to say.

Miles

6:57 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

Rome is a good example for demonstrating the fact that collapse is gradual. Rome went through many crises and hard times before its final collapse.

I do not think that Israel will make it to its 100th birthday. I can understand the desire of Israeli Jews for their own homeland, but the creation of Israel was a mistake from the very beginning (much like the creation of America). The world will realize this soon enough.

"Brassy old James Lovelock, Pro-Brexit and questions Green Capitalistic Al Gore climate change stuff. WAFer for sure, and certainly knows something of reenchanting the world; re: Gaia"

Contemporary environmentalism based on climate-change just seems like old wine in a new bottle to me. It's the same-old capitalistic dogma but powered by renewable energy instead of carbon-based fuels. Elon Musk is a good example of this mentality. Hopefully, environmentalism will become more sober and realistic over time.

8:19 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...


Blasé n perverted amerikns pummeling the crap out of one another -maybe it is not their fault?
Populations with MAO-A gene afflicted by childhood violence become violent. NO free will -Robert Sapolsky
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obmt_PkIfBE

An example of the complex role parasites can play is a hairworm that lives in grasshoppers in Japan and tends to lead its host to commit suicide by jumping into water,... “In some subtle ways, parasites are puppeteers,” Colin Carlson said. "The team found the parasitic hairworms release proteins that influence grasshoppers' central nervous systems, thereby affecting chemical signals to the insects' brains."
“... a brief article about a parasite that gets into the brains of rats,”... “It actually can turn the rat’s innate fear of cats into an attraction — and when I say attraction, I mean it actually makes the rodent sexually attracted to the scent of cat odor.” "Needless to say, a rodent afflicted with this parasite, called toxoplasma, soon finds itself in the belly of a cat,..." “Twenty percent of Americans have the parasite in their brain, and a lot of research suggests that..., it can contribute to mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, ...there is evidence, that the parasite increases recklessness in humans," McAuliffe says.
https://www.pri.org/stories/2016-09-18/your-brain-parasites
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/09/0901_050901_wormparasite_2.html
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGSUU3E9ZoM

Like the rat on toxoplasma, sexually attracted to its own death, amerikns are excited by bellicosity n stupidity.
Did the communists or the gays slip something sinister into the waters that makes Usonian love violence?
Then what makes a Wafer a Wafer? It is eerie to realize, 'The Few, The Un-afflicted, The Wafers.'

9:37 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

My suggestion for a de-turking seminar is How To Pull Your Head Out of Your Ass in Three Minutes or Less.

9:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

comrade-

I like it, but we're gonna need lots of crowbars and buckets of K-Y jelly.

mb

11:21 PM  
Anonymous Lobotomized Imperial Subject said...

Dr Berman and Wafers,

I've become "addicted" to this blog and its comments; they're a rare source of truth and humor in these times of decline. Many thanks to all for the various contributions and links. I will have to do with poor substitutes while it's closed for the remainder of September and early October.

I've read "Reenchantment of the World" and "Coming to Our Senses" (which is still reverberating in my mind several months later). I am close to finishing the Twilight book.

As an "imperial subject" who has experienced the projection of the US into the world (I grew up in South Africa and have been living in the bizarre world of Dubai these last six years), I experience much of the world as being culturally and spiritually "lobotomized" by the US export of its endless, myopic commercialization; cultural black holes (TV and social media); and extraordinarily schizophrenic and barbarous foreign policy. I look at the decline of the US with a mixture of horror and a strange kind of ("just desserts") vengeance, of which I am somewhat ashamed. The Middle East itself seems to have some peculiar, never-ending hallucination of vengeance; perhaps I've been "infected" by the mind virus that lives in people here.

Is culture a kind of spiritual and emotional mind virus? It seems so.

4:39 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Lobo-man-

Just in case you didn't know, Reenchantment and CTOS are the 1st 2 bks in a trilogy. The third is called Wandering God, which in many ways is (I think) my best bk, altho perhaps in a dead heat with Neurotic Beauty. As for Twilight, it's the 1st in another trilogy, followed by DAA and WAF.

I wdn't worry too much abt vengeance; what's happening to the US is commonly known as karma. We are just reaping what we sowed.

Culture as virus: I think that was the theme of a novel called Snowcrash, by Neil Stephenson. "Meme" might be another term for it.

mb

7:55 AM  
Blogger Grandma said...

Hello Dr. B and Wafers:

I'm late to the discussion on Hedges, but wanted to point out that, with the exception of this blog, most blog posts these days are geared to garnering page views. Everything is a hustle. We can't know what Hedges is really thinking, but the post may have been crafted, who knows? Becoming a minister is quite lucrative as well, just another Dr. Feelgoods Medicine Show. Just ask Joel Osteen.

Another thought, a la Disaster Capitalism (Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine) is this reminder post by Ian Welsh on how lucrative (for the few) these hurricane disasters are, and how easy it becomes to steal from the non-elite:

http://www.ianwelsh.net/the-further-tragedy-of-hurricane-harvey

Economic cannabalism is what it is. There's no future in it, and seriously suggests decline. That's putting it mildly, imho.

Safe travels, Dr Berman, and we will catch you on the flip side. We will keep the light on for ya.

11:11 AM  

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