July 05, 2018

338

Wafers-

Well, we made it through another July 4th. By now, there is an enormous tinge of sadness to this holiday. What is left of America, really? It all seems pretty hollow.

-mb

192 Comments:

Anonymous James Allen said...

Still basking in the gloriousness of our glory, this item from the BBC:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-44722728

Facebook’s algorithms flag a snippet of language on the Facebook page of Texas newspaper just trying to do its patriotic duty in the runup to the 4th of July. Facebook takes the offending bit down, but has to reinstate it—which it had flagged as “racist”—when it’s pointed out as being an excerpt from the Declaration of Independence.

On the spectrum from objectionable speech to racist/hate speech, who sets down the mile markers?

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Morris,

My exact sentiments around yesterdays flag waving parades. What's it All About Alfie...very sad indeed given what the USA has become.

Marianne

11:46 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Dear Dr. B and Wafers,

Thank you for continuing to chronicle the end of an empire. I usually don't have much to say, but I do read this blog faithfully every day. When things get weird on the homefront, I am able to say to myself: "oh yeah, that's because the nation is imploding!" There is comfort in that, even though it's a little scary to watch at times. Keep up the good work, Wafers, and I'll keep reading. If anything happens on the local front that documents decline, I'll share. I'm long past caring what happens in my state or in my nation. It's best to contemplate escape at this point. That will be the safest option.

I did find this one tidbit. It happened about a mile from where my son lives in LA. It makes me worry for him. The LA Times makes it appear to be a regular occurrence.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-westlake-shooting-20180705-story.html

1:13 PM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

@Zar - responding to your question about Italy on the last string.

Basically, the neoliberal economists and bankers have imposed austerity on Italy almost as much as they have the other southern European countries. However, the issue is primarily due to the structure of the Euro, which tends to suck money from the southern economies to the northern economies. (See Joseph Stiglitz's book on the Euro.) This makes people angry, looking for who's to blame.

After almost 20 years of this, those who have been required to tighten their belts while watching their money be sucked into the bankers' coffers, and jobs being outsourced to third world countries, have had quite enough. So, while the League is xenophobic, the 5 Star Movement actually won the most votes. Its base is the poorer southern part of Italy, and their program is more pragmatic/leftish. What they have in common is chafing at the imposition of policies and regulations from Brussels, with no representation, and no understanding or even caring about local desires and votes.

Check out this interview with Yanis Varoufakis from early June:

https://www.yanisvaroufakis.eu/2018/06/05/on-the-eus-battle-with-italy-in-conversation-with-phillip-adams-on-late-night-live-abc-radio-national/

1:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Italiana-

A common reaction to globalization, including in the US, where millions understood that Hillary stood for the rich, and for neoliberal economics. It's really a pity that Macron's opponent was a crypto-fascist anti-Semite, because all he can offer is the same ol' shit.

Mike-

Let me suggest a new post-it 4u and other Wafers, to contemplate every morning when u look in the bathrm mirror:

DEBASED AND DEGRADED

Simple, but to the pt.

mb

2:48 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

One reason (among the many) the USA will never ever get better is the quality of our pundit class. Here for example is Bret Stephens calling for Merkel to resign:
https://nyti.ms/2lXRXoU
In 13 years, Merkel has charted Germany's path to an economic powerhouse, defended liberal values, record low crime and unemployment, and (some) openness to immigration. Stephens' complaint? low growth, regulatory overreach by (the horror!) government officials. Stephens, of course, is a moderate which tells you the state of absolute shit we are in.
Everything in the country revolves around the worship of the market - the more unregulated the better. If other countries regulate their economy and provide a better qualify of life for their citizens, they are damned by US 'thought leaders.'

BrotherMaynard

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Kiki said...

My kids and I went out to see fireworks last night. It was a nice evening, the whole community was out having a great time. Until, it was time to leave and guy started flipping me off in the parking lot. I was too close to his car.

2:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kiki-

Americans are very charming, don't you think?

Bro-

Americans are cutting-edge intellects, don't you think?

mb

3:15 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Mean Gene Kaz says:

Yes, hollow and meaningless indeed, yesterday's Fourth of Julie flatulence. Continuing a thought from the last post, "Fellini Satyricon"for me summed it up when I viewed it back in 1970. In "Twilight of American Culture" we have the succinct analysis of Senor Belman concerning the collapse of all empires, i.e. Rome. Thank you GSWH.

My other thought was to echo that of Kurt Vonneget (surely in the WAFER hall of fame!) "get a dog". Check out the slip cover photo of "Deadeye Dick"(a WAFER must read) with a sleeping Kurt and his Shih Tzu (the best dogs ever!)

Jokes are very helpful. The jocular slant of DAA blog always satisfies the discerning WAFER disciple!

O&D!

3:27 PM  
Blogger Bullshevik said...

How much longer do I have until the US resembles a Mad Max film? (I'm too poor to flee) Or will we look more like The Road?

3:35 PM  
Blogger alyosha said...

I was at a supermarket in Orange County California on the 4th, and a guy in line ahead of me was wearing a gray T shirt that depicted the stars and stripes of the flag super-imposed over a skull. There was nothing special about this shirt or the wearer and nobody noticed.

Occasionally I see bumper stickers - sometimes on the backs of jeeps - showing the American flag, with stars and stripes, but the red stripes are shown as gray bullets, the stars are shown as the base of bullets. It's all monochromatic, dark shades of gray.

It's a death cult here, and there are signs like these everywhere, but nobody notices.

4:18 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

@MB

Well, for me the modifier 'American brand' changes it up enough so it's not longer 'fascism'. They say Mussolini made the trains run on time... probably because his credibility demanded he 'prove' his vicious ideology with concrete results.

But there is no requirement for credibility here, just rhetoric and showmanship. In the American brand, the head of state sells the railroads off to incompetent boobs, uses the proceeds to pay off hookers, and runs around whining about how he's mistreated.

He doesn't need to 'prove' anything to history- he's won, he's the winner, he got one foot up on the millions of other scumbag hustlers.

4:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dio-

No, I'm talking abt 'real' fascism. There's a gd chance it's in the cards.

alyosha-

There's no question that the death instinct has taken over the US.

mb

4:34 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

An update on the flag situation in my neighborhood--turns out they were put up by a local real estate company as an advertising gimmick, which is highly ironic given the background of the current psychopath in the White House. There were a few weak comments on Facebook objecting to the lack of permission to place them on private property and the need to respect the feelings of the recent immigrants in the neighborhood, but as of toady I am still the only one who has had the guts to take ours down.

@alyosha--recently I saw one of those stick figure stickers on the back of an SUV that showed a machine gunner on top of a Humvee mowing down other stick figures. The SUV also had an "Army--I served" sticker on it, which went a long way towards elevating my opinion of our valiant war criminals in uniform.

@Brother--though there are plenty of LEGITIMATE reasons to despise Merkel, starting with her being a prime actor in bailing out the corrupt German banks that created the wealth sucking machine Italiana wrote about and keeping open the 38 American military bases on German soil that have been used to wreak so much death and destruction upon the Middle East.

5:50 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

A few factors that are driving the US toward fascism:

1. The people cease to believe in free and fair elections, resulting in the death of democracy.
2. Generation and legitimation of vast income inequality at home w/no real or meaningful social advancement.
3. Oligarchical clans of corrupt men and women (Kochs, Clintons, Trumps, Mercers, etc.) propped up by illusions in control a lawless state.
4. Systemic breakdown of the rule of law and institutions leading to extensive repression.
5. Widespread use of addictive chemicals and electronic devices that, in effect, poison the mind.

O&D,

Miles

6:27 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Trump continues to travel the country holding campaign-style rallies only for his nutty supports, whipping them up into a frenzy, which is right out of Hitler’s playbook.


https://cnn.it/2lYpuPS

7:08 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Do not care about the lack of real health care or affordable education etc.., should we be very concerned abt the hot dog eating contest judging scandal?

Many american acquaintances w/ doctorates and master's degrees are talking about this at length so it must be very impt and impactful in their 'lives.'

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/poor-judgement-joey-chestnut-nathans-july-fourth-hot-dog-eating-contest

7:48 PM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

It was 101° and windy, mustard colored smoky air smells terrible, the sun looks like a rotten orange at sunset, practically half the state on fire but the show must go on dontch know? I hear the fireworks were exceptional last night. USA!
I've observed something on the city bus. The first three rows are reserved for elderly/disabled. Almost without fail young able bodied people take these seats. When a senior gets on I wanna tell to move but what I've noticed is most who qualify for these seats don't want them. I've seen frail people head right to the back of the bus. It's like they don't want to admit they need help, 'no, thanks, I'm good.'

7:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Senility strikes again: This post is actually 337. I guess I'll call the next one 338a.

mb

8:47 PM  
Anonymous COS said...

Jjarden,

Bill Clinton and then also Bernie Sanders had some pretty damn big rallies also. As did MLK. Where these rallies also out of Hitler's playbook? It seems the Nazi and Hitler terms are thrown about fairly carelessly. Certainly, one can summon other specific issues with which one may disagree with President Trump. For a Hitlerian figure Trump is doing it all wrong. His first prison commutation was of a Hasidic Rabbi in Iowa, he moved U.S. embassy to Jerusalem and pardoned a black woman serving time for drug dealing. His daughter and grandchildren are Jewish. Seems he is doing this Hitler thing all wrong. Am I a fan of his--no but like Dershowitz, I do believe in fundamental fairness and decency in critiques. Also as a son of a Holocaust survivor, such loosely used epithets to voice partisan disagreement demean true horror and evil

10:23 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Meh. Call the next pist 337. Nobody reads the old stuff anyway ;-)

Had a nice family time for the fourth. I grilled burgers with charcoal I made in my charcoal retort, then we watched Idiocracy together. Seemed appropriate.

10:36 PM  
Anonymous Marc said...

The Courage to Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi & Fumitake Koga -- Smash hit in Japan, and easy to see why. Adlerian psychology meets Stoic philosophy in Socratic dialogue. Compelling from front to back. Highly recommend.

https://www.amazon.com/Courage-Be-Disliked-Phenomenon-Happiness/dp/1501197274/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1530828519&sr=1-1&keywords=courage+to+be+disliked

11:26 PM  
Blogger Penny Lane said...

Greetings from the San Francisco Bay Area, where I anticipate with faith the sweet reprieve from current/immanent/future events that will occur when "The Big One" sweeps our rarified peninsula into the sea! I only recently found this group and thought it fitting to introduce myself on Independence (from the matrix) Day. My tribe, at last - I am truly thankful to have found you!

Now if you will just please forward details about the annual convention, link to our dating app, secret handshake info, and official lapel pin, I can look forward to welcoming Chtulu's return with you all.

1:47 AM  
Anonymous George Carlin said...

COS -

"fundamental fairness and decency in critiques" --- well that was long gone when the imbecile started with his rants of "Mexicans are rapists" Muslims are terrorists and his idiotic supporters at rallies chanting nonsense like "Build the wall" and "lock her up". You do remember this buffoon has said "Grab them by the pussy" and God knows what behind the scenes. He has dragged the political discourse to the gutters. Even calling the press as the enemy of the people. So whatever shit is thrown at him and his psycho cabinet is not a surprise.

Obama and Hillary are evil and disgusting human beings, in fact most politicians are like that. But this idiot has taken it to a whole new level. While political rallies are full of shit and so is the press, none of the rallies on either side of the political spectrum has ever had such vile display of hatred and xenophobia. He is no Hitler at this point, but his actions so far have demonstrated a liking for authoritarianism and propaganda like never seen before.

1:49 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Penny-

We are excited to have you with us. Except it's spelled Cthulhu. In terms of secret signal, pls see episode of Seinfeld called "The Van Buren Boys." Annual (almost) convention is held in NY, so that won't help you very much. No apps or pins, but if you stay with us for 5 yrs, you get a roll of toilet paper w/David Brooks' face on it.

mb

5:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Douche bags out-douched:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/06/04/a-kentucky-crowd-cheered-a-valedictorian-for-quoting-trump-then-he-told-them-it-was-obama/?utm_term=.076632382906

6:25 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Had a 4th of July barbecue with my Vietnamese girlfriend and her family. They have twin 5 year old girls who are absolutely brilliant. They test each other with math questions, are highly inquisitive and even called me a "loser"-I mean talk about insight! September they start kindergarten but we all agree they should skip it and move directly into 1st grade (Hell, as a former elementary school teacher, they could easily move into 2nd compared to the students I taught). The school district won't allow it so they have to waste an entire year singing nonsense songs and drawing with crayons.

9:38 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan-

Maybe they should write poetry. During the VN war, it was reported that 94% of the Vietnamese wrote poetry. American soldiers, on the other hand, not only didn't write poetry, they also didn't read it. In fact, I'm guessing a large % of them didn't know what poetry was.

mb

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Dulouz Jr said...

While it's true we're not headed for the cliff, but in freefall, there is one bit of good news. A group of suspected rhino poachers may have been killed and eaten by a pride of lions after sneaking into a S. African game reserve. Staff found what appeared to be human remains alongside tools typically used by poachers. When asked if they'd done it one lion replied: "Burp. Get me some anacids!"

10:07 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

@jj - re your comment about fascism and Hitler. I truly understand your sensitivity about all the references to Hitler, and I agree that antisemitism doesn't seem to be in Trump's playbook.

I would suggest that Mussolini is a much more apt comparison - just look at Trump's words, body language, and posture (that chin jutting out!) - Mussolini was the first person I thought of. Looking at Mussolini's original version of fascism, it took the form of ultranationalism and economic corporatism, and of course, denigration of the "other" (whoever that "other" might be). Perhaps we can call Trump a "fascist originalist"!

BTW - For anyone interested in how the original fascism in Italy morphed into the alliance with Hitler and war, and the effects on those in the countryside, there is a new book out of Iris Origo's Diaries from 1939-1940, "A Chill In The Air". She's most widely known for her diaries "War in Val d'Orcia, 1943-1944", which is gripping. Also of great interest to us since her estate, La Foce (still owned by her daughter) is just down the mountain from us.

10:36 AM  
Blogger LARS Upgrade News said...

What?! I have to wait 5 years for my David Brooks TP?

10:52 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Lars-

OK, in your case, 3.5 yrs. Meanwhile, suggest you print fotos of Brooks off the Net, and insert in your rump after relieving yourself. Enjoy!

Italiana-

Fellini, "Amarcord" (how fascism came to a small town).

Dulouz-

Gd news. Be sure 2c "Beatriz at Dinner." Meanwhile, let's send Alka-Seltzer to the lions. Gotta love those lions!

mb

1:11 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Check this out Wafers:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/19/a-year-without-tech-debt-gadgets-reconnect-nature

5:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kanye-

Terrific article, thank you.

mb

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Food Baron said...

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20180531-how-womens-body-parts-have-been-named-after-men

LOL WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE

'The case for renaming women's body parts'

'From fallopian tubes to the Pouch of Douglas, woman body parts have been named by – and after – men. But the masculine language of medicine doesn’t end there. Does it matter?'

5:47 PM  
Anonymous Carlos said...



Drew Faust steps down from Harvard's presidency and joins Goldman's board


https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-05/goldman-taps-ex-harvard-president-faust-as-third-woman-for-board


Shattering those glass ceilings, aren't we? What has come of our High Academia?

6:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Carlos-

Everything, every institution, is Goldman Sachs, when you get rt down to it. But hey, she's a woman, which is all that matters.

mb

6:31 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Italiana,

You’re right....Mussolini makes more sense....

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.thedailybeast.com/it-is-happening-here-trump-is-already-early-stage-mussolini


https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/10/21/how-fascist-is-donald-trump-theres-actually-a-formula-for-that/?utm_term=.6b2cd7898d7c


https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/165404


George Carlin,

Thanks for the backup support.

JJ

6:51 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

On William Morris:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b9w0vq

It's a real shame materialist Marxism overran the more spiritual 'utopian' socialist critique of captialism. Their core concepts are almost indisputable today. Alienation of labor? Are you kidding me? It's a rare privilege now to not spend your entire day working with a screen.

On the Muses:

https://thenewantique.blog/2018/07/02/why-we-must-honor-the-muses/

"The Muses are more generous than those who inspired the Holy Books, and, if they were to return, they would again abandon authors who take their bounty and claim it as a sole, final, unique possession. As the Muses fly about, out in the world, such a statement would be as hollow as claiming ownership of the air. So, on a superficial level, the Muses will demand a certain humility from authors. By recognizing the general and universally accessible power of the Muse, the narcissism of even obviously inspired authors is severely curtailed."

7:04 PM  
Anonymous Kiki said...

Cos-
I think there are many similarities betwewn Trump and Hitler. Trump hates people of color. Trump disrespected a military family because they are Muslim, the Khan family. He wants to take away a womans right to abortion. Nevermind the many reasons why a woman could need one. He doesn't believe in scientific data to support climate change. He believes in god for which there is no evidence. The Nazis also relied on pseudoscience to prove they were superior. At this moment he has people in concentration camps. Also, many people see a similarity between ICE and the Gestapo. Mr. Berman also wrote about it.

7:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kiki-

I don't remember writing abt ICE...Also, belief in god does not equate to fascism, last time I checked. Trumpi is a cruel and violent guy, no doubt abt it; but fascism is a specific kind of political entity, and rt now, Trumpism doesn't really qualify. That being said, I do think we are moving in that direction.

Dio-

John Ruskin was also pretty good...

mb

8:12 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@jjarden -- that History Network article is laughable for this sentence alone: "And, of course, all of this is in addition to the subversion of American democracy and of the Trump administration by Putin’s Russia." As for the Daily Beast article, I almost spit out my drink at this: "At least we still have the free press at the top of its form. But, at the same time, we also have Fox News..." A "free" press he says, owned lock stock and barrel by six media companies controlled by the richest assholes in America. The same "free" press that repeatedly savaged the Bernie Sanders campaign on behalf of Botoxface, and at also her behest hyped up Trump back when his candidacy was laughable because she wanted to run against him.

"Democracy Dies in Darkness" claims the hideous Washington ComPost (I didn't read that article because I refuse to patronize that Jeff Bozos-owed rag). No, "democracy" dies when a small group of billionaires control 99% of a country's information flow and thus dictate to people--both liberal and conservative--what to think so that they never see that it is the SYSTEM that is the problem, and not just one authoritarian-minded politician.

10:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bill-

If there's one thing I've learned over the yrs, it's that Americans never connect the dots, or grasp the larger picture. Which is to say, really, that they don't know how to think. The MSM focuses on Trumpi, so they focus on Trumpi. That's all they know how to do. We are probably the most simple-minded people on the planet. To ask them to think abt who owns the Post, the WSJ, etc., and how that might shape public perceptions of what's happening in the world--good luck. I doubt too many college courses are assigning C. Wright Mills these days.

I recall the Iran hostage crisis of 1980, and how Americans in general took it personally. They were hurt, that Iran cd do this to us. What % of them, do you think, ever heard of Mohammad Mosaddegh, or John Foster Dulles? There was abs. no understanding that the hostage thing was a form of payback for our overthrowing a democratically elected govt in 1953 and installing a Shah and a torture regime. And then of course 9/11: just came outta nowhere, had nothing to do w/our meddling in the Middle East for decades.

Everything, in the American's mind, as far as foreign policy goes, is what 'they'--evil people!--are doing to us, never what we are doing to them. Everything boils down to individual psychology for them, never the sociology of events. And how in the world are such people going to figure out that it's their own stupidity that is causing our collapse? First, they wd hafta realize that they are stupid. I can't imagine that happening any time soon. (Catch-22, Matrix, informational hologram, etc.)

mb

10:56 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

Dr. B

You said "If there's one thing I've learned over the yrs, it's that Americans never connect the dots...."

I think to change things.

a. A catastrophe has to happen to Americans on an extreme scale.

b. Older gen has to slowly die out.

c. Newer gen slowly adapts to the effects of the catastrophe over time and slowly culture changes.

Think of Moses and the Hebrews wondering the desert for 40 years b4 seeing the promised land. Why didn't he stop to ask for directions?

3:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

cube-

Turns out, according to a little-known Apocryphal text called Cel-Ray, that he *did*, about 1 yr into the journey. But he was not aware that the desert hermit he consulted was completely insane, and gave him directions not to the Promised Land, but to a delicatessen several hundred miles away from where Mo actually wanted to go. Anyway, it wasn't manna that saved the Hebrews; it was cole slaw w/Russian dressing that rained down from heaven. You can see why the big honcho rabbis got Cel-Ray excluded from the Pentateuch. So pls keep all of this under yr hat. This is "entre nous," mon cher. ;-)

mb

3:34 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

OECD report confirms how awful it is to be a worker in America.

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/07/oecd-study-labor-conditions-confirms-that-u-s-workers-are-getting-ripped-off.html

America is in the middle of an affordable housing crisis.

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/housing-crisis-inequality-harvard-report_us_5b27c1f1e4b056b2263c621e

American elections are dominated by billionaires.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/jul/05/american-elections-battle-billionaires-civic-inequality

4:49 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tom-

This is what I mean by the importance of connecting the dots. A minimal amount of reflection reveals that these crises are all part of the same Crisis, also known as The Great Collapse. In a nation of 327 million people, a total of 169 understand this. Prospects for avoiding the collapse, as a result: not gd.

mb

5:22 AM  
Anonymous Puss Killian said...

Americans cannot connect the dots, because they cannot sort opinion from fact:

http://www.newsweek.com/fake-news-poll-americans-fact-opinion-reading-news-stories-984095

http://thehill.com/homenews/media/392870-pew-study-finds-americans-cant-tell-fact-from-opinion

The two links are two reports on the same poll, for your reading/comparison pleasure.

6:18 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B:

Check out this story on how to "harden" a church or any other public building against someone with bad intent: https://ldne.ws/2NxcbSL

"Representatives from 13 churches got tips two weeks ago in New Stanton, Pennsylvania, on proper handling of guns in the event any of their congregations faces a deadly intruder."

Of course, there's NO discussion of possible reasons why these events occur so often in our culture...

6:30 AM  
Anonymous George Carlin said...

Someone here refered to The Baffler. They have a collection of articles under "Fresh Hell" section. Worth checking out...

https://thebaffler.com/latest/fresh-hell-great-hotels

7:56 AM  
Anonymous Pete Christen said...

Wafers: Two men, products of the same culture, one with an inheritance, one without.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybitHLhb0yw

9:33 AM  
Anonymous cos said...

Kiki,

Its always interesting to me how so many people seem to think they can read minds and infer emotional states from what they read/see in the news. We now live in a fact free emtion driven world--likely part of decline in overall literacy or fear causing emotion driven reactions. For a guy who hates brown people its puzzling how trump provided free office space to Jesse Jackson for his campaign, and how trump was lauded by al sharpton and other black leaders for service to black community in new york. He no more is a racist than an anti semite. What w the hitler analogies! Got some facts or just some vague notions? Trump is 71 years old and been a very public figure for 40 years--what hitler similarities other than having a pancreas or lungs? Then there is Carlin who says Trump not yet hitler and is autoritarian. Hitler killed millions and trump says mean things...confusing the two says more about emotional states than fidelity to actual realituly! Oh an authoritarian who has on ongoing investigation on him, has associates in jail, very limited success in congress and less than half of key government appointments cleared, staff turnover. Trump is as bad as an authoritarian as he is an ant semite and racist. An imbecile you say? He did go to Penn, is a billionaire, married to a supermodel, seems to be having fun and defeated the best and brightest to becone president. He is many things (and I am not a fan) but he is not stupid and he is not hitler or hitler like--if trump does start a genocide of millions then talk about hitler. That you dont like somone does not make him evil. Kiki and Geo Carlin--what horrible things ( actual real physical things not imaginings) have happened to you directly attributable to Trump since assumed presidency Jan 2017? Im a Mexican Jew and things are pretty much same as 20 years ago.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Wafers,

America The Farewell Tour by Chris Hedges is coming out next month. Looks like he might be applying for Wafer status soon and maybe even before pigs fly Quien sabe.


Marianne

12:14 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Wafers,

Check out Chris Hedges's interview with Richard Wolff in On Contact for more happy news.

Marianne

8:24 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Only in a America would a former coal lobbyist be the new leader of the EPA...


https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/05/politics/andrew-wheeler-epa/index.html


Only in America would the disgraced and outgoing EPA Chief give a big “Fck You” to Americans and the environment on his way out the door.


https://splinternews.com/on-his-way-out-the-door-scott-pruitt-says-a-final-fuc-1827417240/amp

9:01 PM  
Anonymous Donny T said...

Does anyone else hate when Trump takes every opportunity to mention how "America is such a great country", or how "the troops are the best in the world", or how they are such an inspiration of democracy and freedom, and a leader in that regard. Or how US is such a benevolent country.

Clearly, Trump has failed to comprehend the damage the US has wrought around the world for money and hegemony, or is he just pandering to his base of republican know-nothings who all own assault rifles and have a confederate flag hanging in their living room? Is his insufferable rhetoric simply just fodder for those ever-decreasing group of people who chant "USA USA USA" unironically? May god have mercy on their souls.

10:28 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

More stupid liberal tricks: Planned Parenthood’s Union Busting Could Have a Chilling Effect for Workers Everywhere. Note that the Trump Administration is siding with PP--funny how when it comes to screwing over workers there is no difference between liberals and conservatives.

Memo to potential tourists--Visit America at your own very considerable financial risk: San Francisco hospital treated Korean tourists’ baby with a nap and a bottle of milk formula. The bill was US$18,000.

For the very, very low price of just $306, you too can go see ol' Botoxface in Central Park appearing at OZY Fest with a long list of America's biggest celebrity douchebags, from cigarette company shill Malcom Gladwell to vainglorious steroid abuser Alex Rodriguez to felonious purveyor of useless household crap Martha Stewart. Me thinks the entire NYC sewage disposal system does not contain enough urine to properly drench this hideous abomination.

1:38 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Since Trump likes to call people by nicknames, I just wish that whoever his Democratic challenger is, would start calling him "Babysnatcher Trump." That would be so funny! Especially if he or she stuck to it and called him Babysnatcher Trump every single time they needed to use Trump's name. It would make for a very amusing debate: "Ok, hold on right there, Babysnatcher, because there you go lying again!"


On a related subject, I see that Trump just took another vicious swipe at the Affordable Care Act. (I'm still not watching TV news, just happened to see this online) Isn't it funny how "success" for Trump is defined by how much harm he can do? Like how a "successful" Trump presidency is one in which he takes away health insurance from 50 million people. Or successfully passing an egregious tax cut that redistributed a vast amount of wealth from the poorest class to the wealthiest. Or that further deregulates business, so that America can pollute the environment even further, and put world financial markets at even greater risk. Or placing a right wing ideologue on the Supreme Court to endanger basic freedoms that most other people take for granted.

3:36 AM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

Hi Wafers,

Exceptionalism? Or inability to come to terms with decline?

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/07/07/politics/steve-fitzgerald-kansas-candidate-barbarism-comments/index.html

Comments?

Prasen

6:23 AM  
Blogger Origami Cactus said...

I think the mental health conversation in America will never go anywhere, though I'd like to put some advice out there for those of us documenting the decline. Recently I've been eating flax seeds for their omega-3 benefits, as well as lion's mane mushrooms (which have been shown to promote nerve growth and repair brain function in impaired rats). The mushrooms have had a great effect on my mood and cognition, so I'd like to pass some of this knowledge forward to Wafers who might actually make use of it. While Americans play football and give each other concussions, we can nourish our brains to take Waferdom to new heights!

6:24 AM  
Anonymous Julia Zasyatkina said...

Professor and Dark Age readers,

This is a small cry for help. I lost my partner to a mugging homicide in Peru two months ago. I've returned to the States. I'm so lost, and in the past I have received great comfort and guidance from the spiritual, philosophical or otherwise enlightening book recommendations you sometimes grant us readers, Professor Berman. Ferrucci's What We May Be, Silence by Thich Nhat Hanh, Michel de Montaigne, Staring at the Sun by Irvin Yalom, the poetry of George Manley Hopkins.

What have you been reading lately that made the soul shiver?

Peace to all of you

8:28 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Julia-

What a terrible thing to have happened. I'm so sorry. Frankly, I don't think any book can help that much; I'd suggest seeing a grievance counselor. But try this, in any case:

https://www.amazon.com/Loss-Change-Revised-Peter-Marris/dp/1138800570/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1531068626&sr=8-1&keywords=loss+and+change

jj-

Just look at that face, willya?

Dan-

Check out article by David Shulman in NYRB, June 28.

This looks interesting:

https://www.amazon.com/Live-Work-Die-Journey-Silicon/dp/1627794859/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1531069273&sr=1-1&keywords=corey+pein+-+live+work+work+work+die

mb

1:03 PM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

Can there b any doubt the NFL is the perfect metaphor for America? They are so similar: life is brutish, nasty, and short (avg career is 3-4yrs). Just as the way we are living is making us sick, so too 'playing the game' turns your brain to mush. I've been a life long fan, growing up it was the Broncos vs the world. In good conscience I doubt I'll watch much more. Instead I treated myself to the World Cup. I played 'pussy football' some as a kid, never very good. I have been entirely impressed with what I've seen most of all b/c there are zero, ZERO, commercial breaks during the match - in and of itself says it all compared to any American sporting event. I'm nearly there MB, I see it is a turkey nation and I'm feeling better knowing it, I'm checking out, let come what may come - soon I think instead of getting upset with Trumpi I'll b cheering him on. What a shift in thinking, big TY to the blog!

1:12 PM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

Apologies MB breaking 24hr rule but I forgot to mention even the players call NFL 'Not For Long' America's very epitaph.

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Doctor,
Thank you for directing me to the review. There's only one line I disagree with. The writer states:"...the Israel government if freed from even...mild constraints would be only too happy to carry out ...violent expulsion of Palestinians and annexation of their land." Actually, if not for the courageous lawyers and human rights activists mentioned plus international media (by international media I am NOT including American major media outlets) Israel would conduct a genocide though Pappe calls what is happening now an "incremental genocide." Thanks again.

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Kiki said...

Cos-

https://binged.it/2ueEgWs

4:20 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Marianne - Hedges'farewell tour needs to be in a raft pushed off a beach bound for Borneo or Davy Jones locker. You certainly don't steal from our GSWH and then claim Wafer status.

7:12 PM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

The general public is too stupid to see that it's over, but the wealthy assholes know that time's up: Medium.com -- Survival of the Richest (Douglas Rushkoff)

Quote:
Last year, I got invited to a super-deluxe private resort to deliver a keynote speech to what I assumed would be a hundred or so investment bankers. It was by far the largest fee I had ever been offered for a talk — about half my annual professor’s salary — all to deliver some insight on the subject of “the future of technology.”

...

After I arrived, I was ushered into what I thought was the green room. But instead of being wired with a microphone or taken to a stage, I just sat there at a plain round table as my audience was brought to me: five super-wealthy guys — yes, all men — from the upper echelon of the hedge fund world. After a bit of small talk, I realized they had no interest in the information I had prepared about the future of technology. They had come with questions of their own.

...

10:13 PM  
Anonymous George Carlin said...


World : Lets try to do what's best for infants and encourage people to do the right thing.
America : Fuck off, our corporate executives will starve. So we are justified in bullying you.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/08/health/world-health-breastfeeding-ecuador-trump.html

Gunnar - I am a soccer fan and like to watch other sports as well. I used to watch NFL and wonder why they cant make it less violent by changing the rules. But when I would discuss this with Americans, most would be pissed with me for finding faults with the greatest game on Earth. Then I realised that it's the brutality of the sport that they actually liked and its not going to change. Why subject your men and children to such harm, only they know, but i guess its to do with projecting masculinity again. And whenever I would talk about soccer, they would say that NFL players would literally kick them out of the park. It's an American obsession to compare everything and conclude that theirs is the best in the world. Why cant they just make it less violent and enjoy other sports as well. Soccer is loved the world over as it is a simple and non violent sport. And it has been continuously reformed to encourage skill over violence. A lot of the NFL obsession also derives from Fantasy Football i think. Gambling, adverstisement, violence --- there you go all mixed in one, hence NFL rules.

10:32 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

As I was watching and listening to this video of these great Chicago hits from 1970...

https://youtu.be/pKvNoC0SRoY

...I started feeling a bit depressed thinking about just how much this current era sucks in almost every way, just how much we have lost as a nation, and how thankful I am that I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s.

Those musicians in that video were around 25 years old....and they were mature enough to create such incredibly beautiful music. There were others of that era, at that young age, who were writing great novels, screenplays, poetry, etc.

How many 25 year olds in America today are creating such quality and beauty? They aren’t...it’s ALL SHIT....the shit music...the shit Novels (if any)...shit movies...shit tech companies....and Poetry is completely DEAD to young Americans today....they literally don’t even know what it is.

Add to this the obesity problem, opioid crises, tattoos everywhere, people dressing like complete BUMS, kitsch and spectacle everywhere, and just an overwhelming DRAMATIC DECLINE of quality, beauty, and greatness and you have a highly depressing image of what this nation has become.

I’ve read in my past readings that some great philosophers throughout history were very disappointed and even disgusted in the era they were living through....I’m wondering what others out there today do to overcome this feeling of such great LOSS? (Morris....I’ll also check out that book by Peter Marris you posted)

10:50 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I'm not much of a footie fan (I watch the French team during the World Cup, and that's about it), but there are some things I saw while attending a Ligue 2 game in Nantes many years ago that really contrasted with North American pro sports. Never mind a "Jumbotron," there was barely a scoreboard at "LaBeaujoire." They didn't even have a clock. Thus, there was no electronic device admonishing the fans to "make some noise."

Not to worry, though, as the fans had that figured out. There was a drum section that somehow led the fans in what I call "scarf drill." Whole sections of the stands would move their football team scarves in unison to create patterns in the stands. The North Koreans would have been envious. The fans also had a bunch of team songs that they sang.

I agree with COS that calling Trump "Hitler" is pretty lazy, and just as bad as calling Saddam Hussein Hitler. COS lost me when he cited the loathsome Alan Dershowitz as the voice of reason, though. That guy is basically Julius Streicher in Zionist clothing.

12:10 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

More from the techno-douchbaggery front.

Screens, social isolation and suicide.

https://riverheadlocal.com/2018/07/08/screens-social-isolation-and-suicide/

Social media apps are deliberately addictive to users.

https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-44640959



7:50 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

comrade-

Well, I don't plan to read Hedges' latest bk, but I do wonder how much of it will be a riff on what I've been saying for the last 18 yrs. As for 'farewell': according to the Amazon synopsis, Hedges concludes with yet one more call for us (who, exactly?) to take back the country from its corporate masters, and claims that "there is still time." So it's hardly a statement of "It's Over," apparently. As I have mentioned b4, the guy simply refuses to wake up. Garrison Keillor: "Here in Lake Wobegon we can look reality right in the eye and deny it."

mb

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

jjarden,

You've said so much of how I feel, being roughly the same age as you & having enjoyed the beauties & dreams of possibilities in the 1960s/70s that are now closed to subsequent generations. And if some of them were wonderful;y impossible dreams, still they served to remind us of what could be, if only enough people could get beyond the cramped, narrow, crushing prison of "success" & money & power. It's just that there were never enough such people, were there? And even less today.

Speaking of that period, I just watched Robert Mullan's film Mad To Be Normal, about R. D. Laing & Kingsley Hall. My overall takeaway was about Laing's emphasis on treating the damaged, the marginalized, the discarded, as fellow human beings, and the importance not of controlling them "for their own good" but rather as Being With Them through their suffering, of recognizing & respecting their humanity. Whatever his own human flaws - and we all have them - that was a powerful & humane message.

Of course now it's all about medicating any & every problem. In many cases, about creating problems after the fact for Big Pharma's latest expensive drug. Ask your doctor about it! No need to waste time delving into your soul, honoring your humanity … just medicate the symptoms so we don't have to think about you at all. And ignore the fact that the meds will almost certainly create new problems. But that just means more business & bigger profits, so it's all to the good. Well, to the good of offshore bank accounts, anyway. For wounded, despairing human beings, not so much. But who really cares about them, once their last pennies have been extracted? As the old Monty Python sketch goes, "We can perform a complete cashectomy in a single visit now."

I wonder what Laing would have to say about the current "normal" in America?

10:57 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

@Tom Servo

So are we going to get cigarette-style warnings on social media now?

If we want to talk about loose parallels to fascism, Hitler's regime instituted very strong anti-smoking laws. I'm only in my twenties, but I can still remember people smoking in public buildings. Somehow I think that environment was more healthy than the sterileness of public spaces now.

Americans are such idiots. They eredicated even the possibility of exposure to second-hand smoke for their kids, but gave them a psychological grenade phone full of porn, toxic popularity contests, and predatory marketers. It's almost like we don't understand there are non physical dimensions to a safe environment for a child...

BTW, the years of anti-smoking campaigns never acknowledged that American lung cancer rates were so high because US tobacco was basically selling cancerous sludge and not tobacco. Somehow Japan manages a lot better. Of course there's nothing wrong with how we view it... It's just a 'paradox'.

https://www.verywellhealth.com/the-japanese-lung-cancer-smoking-paradox-2248990

11:42 AM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Wafers,

I recently had a conversation with my daughter who used to teach at SCU. She had lunch with a former colleague who has been director and in various positions of Campus Ministry for over 10 years. She's leaving in part because as she says the students have changed so much over the years. They've become very rigid and loaded with ideologies. More interest now in Bible study than in retreats. This ministry was originally started with social justice values in mind.

Contributing to this rigidity is the addictive use of cell phones not only by students but by faculty and staff, along with the Jesuits who founded the university. No one talks to anyone anymore and the disconnect is very palatable.

Sad but not a surprise being in the heart of Silicon Valley. The disease as spread worldwide.

Marianne

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

A single (I think extraordinary) example of a failed country:

https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/world/family-gets-dollar18000-hospital-bill-after-their-son-was-treated-with-a-bottle-of-formula-and-a-nap/ar-AAzH0dg

And from Umair's latest (a bit long):

"America never joined the modern world — that is why its people live such uniquely wretched lives, paying thousands for ambulance rides, which even people in Lahore or Lagos don’t. But the consequences weren’t just poverty. They were what poverty produces — nationalism, authoritarianism, fascism, social collapse and implosion, as people, enraged, lost trust in society to be able to protect and shelter them. But no one has learned that lesson. Not America’s intellectuals, certainly. Not its politicians, leaders, thinkers. Not its people, either, unfortunately.

So here America is. Modernity’s first failed state. The rich nation which never cared to join the modern world, too busy believing that poverty would lead to virtue, not ruin. Now life is a perpetual, crushing, bruising battle, in which the stakes are life or death — and so people take out their bitter despair and rage by putting infants on trial. History is teaching us the same lesson, all over again. Americans might not even learn it the second time around. But the world, laughing in horror, in astonishment, in bewilderment, should."

12:49 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

Here ya go Professor. Remember when you said even the smart people in America are stupid. Look no further:
https://nyti.ms/2L2i7BN
Of course, immigrants from Mexico love everything in the USA! Who doesn't? We are the greatest nation on earth. Our standard of living is the envy of the world! . I call bullshit on the whole thing. The give away(a bridge too far) is when the authors stated that Mexican immigrants prefer Taco Bell to authentic Mexican food. The article was all engineered to arouse sympathy for immigrants and reinforce notions of the USA 'system' as the best in the world. In other words, bullshit irresistible to the NYTimes!

I seldom come out to friends as a Wafer but did so recently to a long time friend, a union labor lawyer. He pointed out to me that the head of the union always said that the USA was the white trash of Europe: folks that couldn't make it in a civilized society: the anti-social, thieves, swindlers, or religious fanatics, etc.. Goes a long way in explaining the social pathologies that infect this country.

BrotherMaynard

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Corina said...

"Rodriguez is a legal U.S. citizen. Erik Mendoza, his grandson, told the local station his grandfather doesn't speak English and doesn't understand why he was attacked." are we great again now? 😢

92-year-old man attacked with brick, told to 'go back to your country:' report:

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/396078-92-year-old-man-attacked-with-brick-told-to-go-back-to-your

1:50 PM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Here is a brief article that demonstrates Obama's spinelessness. In 2016 Obama could have voted with the majority in a UN Security Council Resolution condemning Israeli West Bank settlements but decided to abstain instead, a resolution that I assume would only express displeasure - not actual action to change the situation.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-map-of-israeli-settlements-that-shocked-barack-obama

1:53 PM  
Blogger Bullshevik said...

Are we great yet?
https://www.theroot.com/go-back-to-your-own-country-elderly-mexican-man-beaten-1827442698

2:51 PM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Wafers & MB,

Paul Craig Roberts just sent out a link to a Charles Hugh Smith article entitled, "The USA Is Now A 3rd World Nation". Here's a link to it on Info Clearinghouse: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/49817.htm

Pretty much says it all.

3:28 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Julia - Very Sorry to hear of your great loss. I have no book to suggest beyond a good dosage of classic Japanese haiku poetry. Religious texts in general will be of little help. Talk with someone you know is a good listener if you can find that person. Music helps. Get a small dog. Shih Tzus are very empathetic. TV is not helpful.

jjardin - your post was spot on. Salads are good and avocados are extra good.

GSWH - I have read DAA book at least a half dozen times. I gave my old dog eared copy away to a friend after I found a new hardcover copy (with a slipcover no less!) at Powell's Books last winter. It always rewards with new realizations that everything you said there is quickly being confirmed as the slide to the drain continues. This is such a stupid country. I loved it a little, a long time ago.

Morris, thanks for keeping us all focused on reality. This is a great spot, the only one to follow. We need it for mind/body healing and support. Whwn is the next WAFER summit meeting?

mean gen kaz

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

WAFER Julia--Mahler's Symphonies 2 and 9 may help moving forward.

WAFERS--unless one renounces us citizenship (the cost is now a 220% increase to $2350, other countries charge 0-100$)--you are subject to the IRS over-reaching rules/regs. They are "entitled" to your overseas earnings unlike ANY OTHER country which has residency-based taxation. Likely part of the us freedom/democracy blather!

Thanks to imperialistic FATCA and citizenship-based taxation (in company with North Korea and a small African dictatorship- Eritrea)--the us empire follows its' overseas slaves around like stink on shit with onerous reporting requirements, IRS forms, scare tactics, etc...Many global banks say NO to americans b/c of FATCA. Can you imagine an institution saying-NO to Italians, Germans, Brits,etc.. in 2018?

The us populace was nothing more than tax cows; deluded idiots who were fungible b/c hundreds of thousands of immigrants keep coming to the us due to Horatio Alger delusions.

8:03 PM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

Man, tonight's episode of The Apprentice is going to be intense!

Wonder Woman is probably the best super hero movie I've seen. Gaawd, Gal Gadot is gorgeous. I found myself thinking women will be lethal warriors, ever seen a gymnast or ballerina?

Getting dumber all the time:
https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/nation-now/2018/07/08/wrap-car-key-fob-foil/762338002/

'Positivity' channel loses three stars, 'find more reasons why you can than why you can't.' 'Yes. I will overcome my negativity and fall off a cliff.'
https://www.theverge.com/2018/7/6/17540102/high-on-life-youtube-waterfall-death-ryker-gamble-alexey-lyakh-megan-scraper

And finally, WTF why not hire a food service professor to be your Chancellor? They're gonna end up in food service anyway.
https://www.denverpost.com/2018/07/09/university-northern-colorado-president/

8:30 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

91-year-old man beaten with brick, told 'go back to your own country'


https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/09/us/mexican-man-beaten-brick-los-angeles/index.html

2:09 AM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

USA! USA!

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2018/07/09/woman-beats-a-91-year-old-mexican-man-with-a-brick-tells-him-to-go-back-to-your-country/

9:25 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Cel, jj, Bull, Corina-

There is a deep kindness in the American soul that I have always admired.

mean-

Glad u have enjoyed DAA, and the blog, which is the only one worth paying any attn to in the entire universe. Next Wafer Summit: 6th NY Mtg in April 2019. Only for active blog participants. Details to follow in a few mos. It will be our greatest mtg yet.

Michael-

The shmuck abstained from his entire life, really. What a turkey.

mb

10:34 AM  
Anonymous cos said...

Julia, so sorry about your terrible loss. Horible tragedy. Agree w MB and other poster. Books can offer solace, and TV social media to be avoided. Grief counselor and or if you have a religous affiliation clergy and support groups. And yes dogs help.

Mike R, you are spot on. Exiting u.s. is very, very difficult and expensive. David Graeber pointed out that the u.s. is the most bureacratic and dehumanizing country ever. To a large extent people are crazy due to strong cognitive dissonance. They are relentlessly propagandized via school media but their lying eyes tell them something else. Rather than deal with rwal pressing things they focus on the permitted outrage trope pea under the mattress of the day--white supremists, socialists, outlawing roe v wade ( that one since the 70s!), Obama a muslim, trump a nazi, this election is life and death, im a cross dresser prefer to use ladies room, population bomb! Kanye is a race traitor and so on...as mencken pointed out long ago the population of u.s. is kept lurching from one craze and onsession to another, none of which they can do anything about...distractions from legitimate rage.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

“If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell.” (Carl Sandburg)

A former school groundskeeper in California is suing Monsanto in a San Francisco courtroom, charging that the chemical sold under the tradename Roundup is linked to cancer, a claim that has been asserted by thousands across the US. The plaintiff’s attorney says that internal company emails show how Monsanto rejected critical research and expert warnings for years. The plaintiff is thought to have only months to live.

I’m guessing settlement, with sealed records.

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/jul/09/monsanto-trial-roundup-weedkiller-cancer-dewayne-johnson?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

11:51 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

A little bit of karma? Likely lost on Redstone anyway?

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/bookmark/inside-fall-sumner-redstones-girlfriends-book-excerpt-1125811

"The first is that Sumner did not handle the breakup with Sydney well. He cried all the time and was more fragile and vulnerable than at any time in his long life. The second is that Manuela was not beloved by the household staff. After Sydney’s departure she unleashed what staff called a “reign of terror” against them. The third is that this terror extended into her wanting to keep rivals out of the house, whether they were Sydney or any of the women Sumner casually paid for sex."

A bit of "I Claudius" in Beverly Hills...

And the last gal standing will get to enjoy an empire of dirt, complete with poolboys and new marriage swindlers looking to crawl into her bed...

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Non Panglossianist said...

The Earth’s carrying capacity for human life is not fixed: Prosperity depends on idea, not stuff.

https://aeon.co/ideas/the-earths-carrying-capacity-for-human-life-is-not-fixed

IMHO consumption isn’t the primary concern. It’s the byproducts of consumption: waste. Greenhouse gas emissions, plastics in the ocean, persistent organic substances that are deleterious to biological systems. We are polluting the well. Capitalism would have to evolve to a circular economy or doughnut or whatnot. Some great Dual Process not addressed in this.

The harder problem relates to whether this will coincide with sustainable enough consumption. https://www.cnbc.com/id/101018722

1:01 PM  
Anonymous George Carlin said...


MB - Finished reading WAF; excellent work !!. Thanks for writing even though knowing that only a few are going to read it. Sadly I think that dumb racist bitch Ann Coulter might have sold more copies. If only you had written additional chapters titled "The Resistance" and "How to Make America Great Again" you might have been a millionaire :). So do I get a David Brooks roll ?

MB - Some Wafer suggested the book , "The Courage to be Disliked". Found it to be good and logical for the most part. If you find some time, can you please read it and provide your feedback. Would love to know what you make of it. It is based on Adlerian psychology. Not sure if the authors or Alfred Adler had borrowed from the "Bhagavad Gita". The Gita is one of the most important texts of Hinduism. Some consider it mythology, to some it is philosophy and to a lot it is religious. But the structure of the book and some of the philosophy is similar to The Gita wherein the Lord Krishna has a dialogue with his student Arjuna about life in general.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhagavad_Gita

1:30 PM  
Anonymous Rorschach said...

Morris,

I recently purchased Nomi Prins' "Collusion". Did you read it, and if so, what did you think? Do you think this book covered ground that other finance writers (Rickards etc.) haven't? Did you come away with anything after reading this book that you didn't know before?

3:32 PM  
Anonymous John S said...

Halelujah! With this new right wing SC judge who will be confirmed easily with the typical actionless whining of progressive, not only will Roe vs Wade be jettisoned, but far more importantly Corporate Personhood and dismantling of unions, environmental regs will be complete at last. Drill baby drill till the planet warms another 9C by 2100.

4:26 PM  
Anonymous Yoogoogulator said...

I haven't been following the Thai cave rescue closely. I am glad the boys and coach are out. The world definitely exerted some effort for that outcome. After reading:

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2018/07/the-worlds-worst-industrial-disaster-is-still-unfolding/560726/

The cascading failures of humanity these people have endured for decades is unexplainable. Especially true when contrasted with the rescue efforts in current events. Does anyone remember this story from the 90's as it was unfolding? Does the lack of a simplistic solution assure that no effort should be made. A small payout to victims bars any medical liability from being established. That's one recklesside but unintentional posioning followed by a deliberate and dooming second-stage posioning.

5:22 PM  
Blogger Chairface Chippendale said...

@Julia Z: Deeply sorry for your loss. It is a tragedy, and bearing such a burden is always difficult, but esp. so in the US (if you are in it) b/c, as the communications critic George Gerbner used to say, “The tragic sense of life essential for compassion and empathy is marketing poison.” Americans cannot relate to mortality, death, or the tragic. They invariably make things worse, so, protect yourself.

I’ve found that activities of a substantive and/or timeless sort helped me greatly thru the past several difficult years. Walking often (and sometimes for long distances) is hightly recommended. Getting out into wilderness or parks in a purposive (or meditative) way. Art, writing, and other creativity. I’ve benefited from bicycling alone, often, even in winter.

These are noteworthy to the above, altho I’m not sure of their ability to make the soul shiver:
Thoreau’s “Walking” & Rousseau’s “Reveries of the Solitary Walker”
Richard Mabey’s “Nature Cure” & “A Brush with Nature: Reflections on the Natural World”
Cathy Johnson’s “On Becoming Lost: A Naturalist’s Search for Meaning”
Rebecca Solnit’s “A Field Guide to Getting Lost”
Mason Curry’s “Daily Rituals: How Artists Work” was surprisingly useful. Also,
Alain de Botton’s “The Consolations of Philosophy” (if you like Montaigne, you may also like this)

All of our best to you. -CC

6:26 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

WAFER Cos--the 'irony' w./FATCA is that it's not bilateral. The us does not share banking info with foreign holders of us banks, yet the foreign banks MUST release ALL data to the IRS. !

The us is a well-known huge tax heaven for hu$tlers, fraudsters, smoothies, etc.. So to mtn this distinction it will not share or has any real intention of sharing banking info with all the "sovereign" countries that bend over and spread their cheeks under a 30% witholding FATCA extortion racket. A sht hole country that taxes its subjects/base on citizen-based taxation (CBT) to keep manifest destiny thriving along with North Korea and Eritrea.

A true shit hole. Forget electric fences, scary dogs, etc...Obshtforbrains created the best 'wall' ever--FATCA----a financial prison for the moronic tax base, and the foreign countries are stuck with the bill! Ingenious--makes Trumpo look like Chanukah Harry.

Paul Fussell--everything in the us was coated with a fine (THICK) layer of fraud.

6:31 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@George C--the difference between WAF and the average Ann Coulter diatribe is that most of those who bought WAF have actually READ it. Coulter, like many similar dreary conservative bomb throwers, benefits from from having rich assholes buy enough copies of her hideous tomes in bulk so as to push her onto the bestseller lists and increase her "credibility" on cable "news" shows. A similar phenomenon is happening with Obama's hideous memoirs as a way of funneling corporate thank you bribes to him and his wife. Countless copies Obama's book will be printed (just like Coulter's) only to end up in the remainder bins and eventually pulped. Cost of doing business for the country's "owners."

Meanwhile, more institutional corruption: Eric Holder to receive Thurgood Marshall Award from the ABA. "He is one of the principal authors of the 'Kill List' policy under which President Barack Obama claimed the right to kill any American without a charge or trial if he unilaterally determined that they are a national security risk." Holder was also responsible for not prosecuting the Wall Street criminals who crashed the economy in 2008 and the torturers at the CIA, among other high crimes and misdemeanors. About the only thing Holder and Marshall have in common is their race--but that's all that matters to the ABA, apparently.

6:48 PM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

I have made a ritual of watching Nightly Business Report on PBS. Craven, open, worshiping of all things money without allegiance to any country. I love how 'The Market' is some kind of divine being. 'The Market prefers gridlock in Washington so that it can get them out of the way and do business' paraphrasing here but damn close. Dig also the sailing metaphors as in X experiencing 'headwinds', when a company does well it's 'downwind.' One analyst recommends 'aggressive' investment for retirement including maxing out your 401k. Sounds to me like 'The Market' wants all your $ NOW. Just enough jargon to baffle you with bullshit.
- Best line I heard in last season's House of Cards, - "The people are trying to wake up to a country that doesn't exist anymore." Spoken by the investigative reporter hounding the Underwoods. If this doesn't sound like Schumer, Pelosi, and Feinstein (love the way she rocks depends undergarments btw) I don't know what does - all with bobblehead Susan Collins trying to break it to them gentl

9:32 PM  
Blogger Patrick D. Fitzgerald said...

I know it's been said here before, but I feel like today's existential strain, alienation and anomie is nothing like western society has seen before with regards to the predatory nature of technology and the death throes of capitalism's trajectory (especially in the U.S.). It is as though a psycho-spiritual extinguisher has foamed out any trace of humane fire left in people. I can't help but thinking about the analog of WWI and the destructive military technology that far surpassed the ability of those using it to comprehend or appropriately (if there exists such a way in war) apply it. 4G smartphones have claimed as many casualties as mustard gas ever did at this point.

I am aware of an artistic and philosophical reaction in response to a similar effect of the industrial revolution, but is there any other instance in history of material reality overwhelming the collective soul of humanity like it is tod

11:57 PM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

@ Tim Lukeman,

I hear you on the medical system in the US. My mother, who was a bit demented, but physically in pretty good shape, became pretty much an invalid after the doctors got to her, drugging her. I was living far away and they ignored my demands that they stop, until she was moved after breaking a hip. But it was too late by then - she died shortly after from pneumonia. If I had it to do again, I would have taken her with me and changed jobs (was working 12 hour days). In less than 2 years they did a "cashectomy" of about $250k, and killed her in the process. I will never trust a regular doctor again. The US medical system is just a money sucking machine, as you say, and you don't realize how corrupt it really is until something like this happens.

I'm also a 60's/70's kid - what a difference in atmosphere! You can see how the desire to keep people in line has driven the astronomical increase in college tuition (keep them in debt, they won't be able to protest!), crush unions, make everyone financially insecure, destined to work until they drop. What a great society! But we're No. 1!

3:45 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Regarding the conversation about comparisons between Trump and Hitler, I think Henry Giroux makes several good points in the following essays and talks which I enjoyed:

https://truthout.org/articles/fascism-in-donald-trump-s-united-states/

https://truthout.org/articles/henry-a-giroux-the-nightmare-of-neoliberal-fascism/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jz6FBHV8zMw


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SZT0A_gX04


Of course, what one has to remember is that even Hitler wasn't Hitler--until he was. In spite of being bridled by numerous constitutional/institutional restraints, we've already seen such horror and viciousness with Trump (where separating babies from their parents is just the most recent). Imagine what nastiness would come out if he really had a free hand.

6:50 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Interesting article on the decline of Minnesota’s mainline Christian denominations.

http://www.startribune.com/as-minnesota-churches-close-a-way-of-life-fades/486037461/

Whatever one thinks about religion and Christianity in particular I think it is sad to see so many of these churches decline since at one time they were important centers of community life in America. I think this decline of church attendance is part of the general collapse of social and community life in America. Their decline seems to track with the decline of social organizations of all types.

7:46 AM  
Anonymous Aaron Thomas said...

"Body of murdered teenager displayed at funeral sitting upright playing video games"

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/murdered-teenager-video-games-funeral-sitting-up-new-orleans-renard-matthews-a8441861.html

8:27 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tom-

Check out Robt Putnam, "Bowling Alone."

Ror-

Nomi is a gd friend, so I'm ashamed to say I haven't gotten to it yet. The problem is that I have a pile of bks on my desk I hafta get thru, 1st.

Film rec--I just screened "Our Brand Is Crisis" for the 2nd time. Terrific film.

mb

10:07 AM  
Anonymous Ticia said...

Prime minister Sánchez announced that his government wants to exhume Franco and move him to a more modest burial place, as part of an effort to atone for the crimes of the civil war and the repression that followed the conflict.
https://nytimes.com/2018/07/07/world/europe/spain-franco.html

An anonymous pit in a landfill would be most fitting.

10:18 AM  
Anonymous Cos said...

Mike R,

Agree. As noted in u.s. everything is a racket and media distorts everything. People o.k. paying extortionate amounts for insurance, people put in jail for debts. Meanwhile hundreds of thousands of chuldren go to bed hungry but media diverts to distorting policy of obama admin of separating kids at border in most cases from human trafikers and now its trump taking infants from mothers.

On the finance and economics side, you are correct facta is an electronic fence and not bilateral. If you are from china or venezuela and paying cash for a million dollar condo in miami its o.k. if you are in u.s
and you dont report your tips to irs big trouble.

Megan--since the border policies you note were even more aggressively pursued by obama was he a hitler in the making squelched by congress somehow? Obama was known to order drone strikes on kids. How exactly is trump more vicious than obama or say madeline albright who was o.k. with 500,000 iraqi kids dying? Im guessing its a progressive thing in us, a democrat or media darling does sonething like kill thousands is collateral damage, trump continues obamas border policies and he is hitler..

10:36 AM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

Tom Servo -

Yes, there is definitely a gaping spiritual void in American culture. Sadly, what passes for Christianity in this country today is the thinnest gloss painted over the most terrified & violently aggressive of the populace. And much of the "I'm spiritual, but not religious" part of the populace is swaddled in the worst of New Age cotton candy. I'd mentioned reading a lot of Dan Berrigan in an earlier post; the days of the Berrigans, Malcom Boyd, Dorothy Day, Paul Tillich, etc., are long gone. I know a fair number of agnostics & outright atheists who are more genuinely religious in the practice of their everyday humanity. As MB has stated, money is this culture's only value, and money of itself can never be a value. Where an American soul ought to be, there's an insatiable black hole that consumes everything & gives nothing.

Italiana -

You think we'd be used to it by now, but the number of politicians & pundits (i.e., corporate shills) who are so publicly gleeful about cutting healthcare for millions & making it financially out of reach for millions more, still stuns & sickens me. They're a proudly participating part of that black hole. The only thing haven't done (yet) is turn the dead into Soylent Green - another source of profit. Or maybe they'll just render the dead down into raw material.

11:08 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

@ Julia,

I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Like you, I often retreat to the pages of a good book when times get hard. The Overstory by Richard Powers is a book that I have read recently that I could enthusiastically recommend to you. It's one of those books that you keep thinking about long after you read it. Here is a review from the Guardian:

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/apr/08/the-overstory-richard-powers-review

PS: I also agree with Dr. Berman that it couldn't hurt to find someone - a real-live human being who cares about you - to talk with about this tragedy. I'm not a big believer in asking for help, but whenever I do, I am always rewarded. I know you will be rewarded, too.

12:12 PM  
Anonymous Puss Killian said...

JJ, Megan and others: i for one have enjoyed the discussion on fascism and The Orange One. Not sure why that can't be discussed as with any topic. Another thread to add is Stalinistically (?) calling the press the enemy of the people. Evidence continues to mount and thats what we do here, isn't it? Sort through evidence.

Which in turns leads to the feelings of anxiety I also share with so many of you, deeply. I deal as best as possible, trying to keep abreast of events for planning purposes, which leads to depression, which leads to anger, lather, rinse, repeat. I try to take small steps (buying books, and canned goods) and plan for a retirement that may never happen, which leads to depression, etc. Oy vey! I think the thing to do is to have short term, medium term, and long term plans, adjusting as time passes and understanding increases. In fact, I may start that right now. (Talk about an existential crisis!)

Anyway, as always thanks for the posts. I'm sharing one as well on a supposed rise of the tech "woke" oligarchs. This really does seem to come down to who is going to be right: George Orwell. Aldous Huxley, or Margaret Atwood (or the myriad other possible futures).

https://www.thedailybeast.com/watch-out-here-come-the-woke-tech-oligarchs?ref=home

Puss

12:37 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Ital and Tim: I just ran across this, lest anyone (though WAFers know better) still think the Dems actually give 2 shits:

http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2018/07/trumps-attack-on-breastfeeding-was-outrageous-and-normal.html

speaking of excrement, I'm just biding my time up here in farm country waiting for the shit to hit the fan when El Douche's tarrifs and trade wars hit home with the soybeans and pork and mfg jobs. Just wait until fall, we may have the start of Civil War II.

12:41 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Julia Z: I’m so sorry for your loss. Those we have loved and lost live on in our hearts never to be forgotten, but the immediate pain eases with time if we give attention to our grief.

Tom: In today’s meditation Richard Rohr, a Jesuit priest, had this to say: “Most religion is highly 'legitimating religion.' It is used for social control and public order by the powers that be and individuals….” Religion may provide a sense of community, but it’s also a huge part of a problem that cannot be fixed.

The United States is a kakistocracy: “a system of government run by the worst, least qualified, most unscrupulous citizens.” According to Max Igan, we have a multinational, multi-generational criminal gang in charge. Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton, et al., are all front men and equally disgusting excuses for human beings. Anyone who takes sides for or against any one of them is delusional.


1:52 PM  
Anonymous Kieran said...

New game show "Paid Off" offers chance to eliminate student loan debt. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna890316#click=https://t.co/UWyIuY638q

we're steps away from a game show gaming sick people to fist fight for a new kidney.

1:55 PM  
Anonymous DiogenesTheElder said...

Daniel Berrigan. Yes indeed! It is amazing how easily such people are dismissed and marginalized in the US. Spiritual depth is anathema to Americans. Look at what has happened with MLK - all of the radicalism squeezed out. Corporations using him for marketing purposes. Disgusting.

It has been beautiful to watch the Thai cave rescue unfold, to see human beings come together for something good and helpful without the need for aggrandizement or money-making. I've seen people suggesting that if it happened in 'Merica, the parents would have lawyers lined up to sue the coach. Yep. True to form, it appears that Hollywood is already talking about a feature film. 'Mericans gotta "monetize" (god I hate that word) it somehow!

Asshats.

DTE

2:07 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

This is just obscene and absurd.....being famous just for being famous, and then parlaying that into this fortune....this is everything that is WRONG with America in one little package.



Kylie Jenner, worth $900 million, on track to be youngest self-made billionaire by age 21

https://usat.ly/2KYcDeD

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Rpger said...

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/sarah-palin-falls-prank-interview-calls-sacha-baron/story?id=56509442

Sarah Palin says she was “duped” into traveling “across the country” for a spoof interview with British actor Sacha Baron Cohen, calling the act “evil" and "sick.”

When she arrived, she says, he had “heavily disguised himself as a disabled U.S. Veteran”

...i would like to see that...

4:37 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

WAFERS take heart. As the thick sludge of amerikan dysfunction continues to cascade down on us we can rest assured that we can keep our heads above the muck by checking in here often and by being our best by indulging in empathy for those in need and encouraging each other. By all means talk with kindred souls. I have found my local public library is a good place to gain perspective. It is usually found in the continental divide trail walkers, cross country cyclists and casual tourists which pass through here, including lots of folks from other countries.The library staff as well. Try it. Might be some relief there.

Working with wood is good. And walkin' the dog, as the song goes. Playing guitar is great.

MB - I'm calling my pal in Manhatten soon to see if he will give me a place to set up my cot in his overpriced apartment next April!

O&D!

5:51 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Megan--it was Obama who claimed the right to assassinate American citizens anywhere in the world, waged unilateral war without even consulting CONgress (Libya, Syria), suspended habeas corpus and greatly ramped up electronic eavesdropping on all citizens (while NOT closing our offshore Gulag in Cuba or prosecuting the CIA torturers). Obama handed Trump the power to "disappear" or kill anyone he wants in the name of "national security," and as a result there are no real remaining legal restraints on his power.

@Italiana--I just today saw these two stories that are relevant to your post about your mother: ‘The End’: 3 female employees mock elderly stroke victim in Snapchat video. & Nurse Faces Trial On Manslaughter Charges In Death Of HR McMaster's Father. McMaster was apparently too busy wreaking havoc in the Trump White House to notice the wretched conditions his father was living in. The story indicates that the nursing home in question was horribly understaffed and patient neglect was endemic, but only the one nurse (an overworked and no doubt underpaid contract employee) was charged.

8:14 PM  
Blogger Patrick D. Fitzgerald said...

@TomS,

Even being non-religious, I really appreciate what church groups can do for social cohesion and community. They have what social media networks never will; the ability to *physically* bring folks together in meaningful, albeit simple, ways. Getting together in person is *so* undervalued in favor of the mediated "connections" of gadget based communication. When I have been invited to church based events, I've been treated extremely well and rarely preached to. There is a whole lot of gemütlichkeit to be found in these social spaces.

On that note...ANNOUNCEMENT Chicago/Midwest Regional WAFER summit second call: August 9th, 6PM downtown Chicago. 3 total confirmed attendees at this point, please join us. Email pfitzger at g-mail for location.

8:34 PM  
Blogger Zarathustra said...

Julia, let me add my condolences to the ones already expressed. Personally, I find contact with nature most helpful.

Tim, about the state of Christianity in the US, without joking, I call it functional satanism, that is, invocation of a deity in order to try to fulfil selfish wishes, a.k.a. the prosperity gospel.

Ticia, Franco was indeed a dictator, but quite different from Hitler or Mussolini. To start with, he lasted for 40 years and, basically except in the aftermath of the civil war, there was little political violence, whatever they say. I'd compare Franco to Castro in Cuba, despite the ideological differences. In fact, they got along famously.

3:56 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Cos,

In fairness, I didn't exactly say that Trump is Hitler. That would be silly. But I think the points that Giroux lays out in his article are valid enough and worth keeping in mind. As for Obama and Albright, I'm certainly no fan of them either. Regarding Obama, however, I see him more as an empty vessel and a moral vacuum, than as a calculatingly aggressive sociopath, which is how I view Trump. It's probably a waste of time to debate, but, yes, I do think Trump is a far nastier and infinitely more brutal piece of humanity than Obama ever was. (I'm not sure what border policies you are referring to with Obama, but I'm unaware that he separated thousands of infants from their parents.) At the very least, you seem to be drawing a moral equivalence between Obama and Trump, and I'm just not willing to go that far--even factoring in the drone strikes and the Iraqi famine under Albright. I just think Trump is a far worse human being, and everything about the man appears to me monstrous and grotesque.



7:33 AM  
Anonymous birney zouave said...

Dr. B-

Inspirational news: Kylie Jenner to be 'youngest self-made US billionaire'

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-44802123

7:39 AM  
Anonymous George Carlin said...

Bill Hicks -- Absolutely agree, it was obvious when the Obama's got a 65m contract for their stupid books. The books, wall street fees and then a seat in one of the "prestigious" firms is all a part of the kickbacks for being a good corporate lackey. Its all a part of the good cop, bad cop routine from the bloody two party tyrants.

Meet some idiots from my part of the world. So easy to dupe uneducated poor folks.

https://www.nytimes.com/video/opinion/100000005960564/searching-for-saraswati.html

John cleese seems to have had enough of UK. The reporter is pretty awful though ...

https://youtu.be/ULfqhCNHQPA

MB-- Thanks for suggesting "our brand is crisis" ... good one...





9:38 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Then there's these:

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/07/11/rigged-new-report-details-how-combined-51-trillion-tax-cuts-bush-obama-and-trump?cd-origin=rss&utm_term=Rigged%3A%20New%20Report%20Details%20How%20Combined%20%245.1%20Trillion%20in%20Tax%20Cuts%20by%20Bush%2C%20Obama%2C%20and%20Trump%20Went%20Mostly%20to%20Nation%27s%20Richest&utm_campaign=News%20%2526%20Views%20%7C%20ICE%20Agents%20Warned%20That%20%27Just%20Following%20Orders%27%20Won%27t%20Save%20Them&utm_content=email&utm_source=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&cm_mmc=Act-On%20Software-_-email-_-News%20%2526%20Views%20%7C%20ICE%20Agents%20Warned%20That%20%27Just%20Following%20Orders%27%20Won%27t%20Save%20Them-_-Rigged%3A%20New%20Report%20Details%20How%20Combined%20%245.1%20Trillion%20in%20Tax%20Cuts%20by%20Bush%2C%20Obama%2C%20and%20Trump%20Went%20Mostly%20to%20Nation%27s%20Richest

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/07/11/while-trump-sets-world-fire-former-obama-officials-blasted-profiteering-inferno?cd-origin=rss&utm_term=While%20Trump%20Sets%20World%20on%20Fire%2C%20Former%20Obama%20Officials%20Blasted%20for%20Profiteering%20From%20%22The%20Inferno%22&utm_campaign=News%20%2526%20Views%20%7C%20ICE%20Agents%20Warned%20That%20%27Just%20Following%20Orders%27%20Won%27t%20Save%20Them&utm_content=email&utm_source=Daily%20Newsletter&utm_medium=Email&cm_mmc=Act-On%20Software-_-email-_-News%20%2526%20Views%20%7C%20ICE%20Agents%20Warned%20That%20%27Just%20Following%20Orders%27%20Won%27t%20Save%20Them-_-While%20Trump%20Sets%20World%20on%20Fire%2C%20Former%20Obama%20Officials%20Blasted%20for%20Profiteering%20From%20%22The%20Inferno%22

Megan-

I read somewhere that in the yr after Obama gave a "we hafta do better on the deportation issue," the US deported 1 million people, mostly Mexican. You may be focusing too much on style rather than substance (see 2 ítems above). Obama is an awful human being.

Zar-

Franco tortured thousands, as it turns out.

Mean-

That's gd. Meanwhile, I'm being bombarded by people from the Tri-State area, with no connection to the blog, begging to attend, and offering me huge amts of $. Old story. They will be cruelly rebuffed.

mb

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Tim Lukeman said...

meangenekaz,

My wife & I lucky enough that our county has both a wonderful park system & a wonderful library system. We make good use of both. It's a delicate balance, trying to keep reasonably well-informed without being overwhelmed by it all. Walks, woods, deer, birds, books, poetry, art, music, reflective quiet … all not just soul-nourishing, but necessary. The natural world in particular is healing. We've learned not to simply observe, but to try & "be with" our fellow creatures on this Earth, to try & feel the unique beauty & being of each single living thing, feel our complete kinship. The consumerist world of mass-produced junk fades away very quickly at such times!

Julia, my deepest condolences. Perhaps some of what I've just mentioned may prove helpful to you, as it has for me in times of anguished loss.

WAFERs, add this to the "anything for money" approach to "success" -

https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/m/b4c875e3-0f45-3cd4-a246-54ab34dc3eea/ss_michael-jackson-was.html

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Ticia said...

MB replying to Zar -

Castro tortured thousands, AND murdered thousands.

https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/11/26/cuba-fidel-castros-record-repression

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/cuba/article118282148.html

;-( what a sick world.

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Wesley said...

He really is a super hero for our generation. Funny that the "business man" that is running this country can't fix a town's water crisis but a private company owner is going to.

Elon Musk pledges to fund fixing water in Flint homes contaminated above FDA levels

http://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/elon-musk-pledges-to-fund-fixing-water-in-flint-homes-contaminated-above-fda-levels

12:58 PM  
Blogger Jude I said...

Dr. B and Wafers,

This is the brave new world of Technopoly:
https://aeon.co/essays/can-emotion-regulating-tech-translate-across-cultures

It's an article about AI as replacement for 'a shoulder to cry on.'

Hollow hollow society. Scary.

1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

Recently I've come across a few comments and posts and other blogs about Paul Ehrlich and how wrong he was. I thought this article in The Conversation gives a good balanced analysis of his work and importance.

https://theconversation.com/a-long-fuse-the-population-bomb-is-still-ticking-50-years-after-its-publication-96090

I think it's clear the Bible got it wrong. There are only three Horsemen of the Apocalypse, not four. As the article indicates the combination of population, affluence, and Technology are going to do us in.

1:44 PM  
Blogger Chairface Chippendale said...

I think Obama & Trump are more similar than is usu. assumed. 1st, I’m unsure how anyone who has not spent many months or yrs living or working beside Obama or Trump could compare them on personal grounds. It can still be done via the media, but why? Judging them on thr actions (& thier parties’ politcies) is doable. But doing this shows how similar they really are.

2nd, the argument cd be made: Obama was swept in on a (deluded) mandate from the masses to help them. He then ignored them while empowering the big bankers, the murderous mil-ind-complex, NSA, & big business. He OK’d the fascistic National Defense Authorization Act, crushed whistleblowers, betrayed the Wisc public workers unions, etc. etc. This makes him more of a traitor — a ‘savior’ who was in fact a quisling of the most heartless sort — than Trump is.

So, the personalities, the faces matter VERY little. The system is paramount. Why we hv it is laid out best by Prof B in his US trilogy. The US is over, but whether this is a true catastrophe or not depends on how u view it: Was it worthy, or was it always a depraved hustlers paradise? I think the latter.

On Franco, watch the 2006 film “Salvador (Puig Antich)”. He was a true fascist, backed by UK, US, & France, not just Hitler/Mussolini. He was like Pinochet, not Castro.

3:34 PM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

Julia,

Very sorry for your loss.

Seconding Chair’s recommendation for walking.

https://www.lionsroar.com/how-to-meditate-thich-nhat-hanh-on-walking-meditation/

Hesitating to mention this, but since you said that you’re back in the United States you may find that some people treat you especially badly during this time (this happened to me after my father died). Hopefully this won’t happen, but if it does, try not to despair and remember that globally speaking this is atypical behavior.

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Lev said...

Henry David Thoreau turns 201 tree rings on this day. What an American saint

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Smyth said...

I wrote a thing for darkmtn about the blundering nihilistic brutality of nature. GOOD MORNING.

https://dark-mountain.net/telling-the-devils-tales/

“As humans continues to skew the survival averages, rig the game, throw every balance out of whack, we should perhaps make an effort to rediscover the at the scale of the thing, now that we’re complicit in it...Nature’s way has always been mean but we’ve made it meaner”

Alternative narration tracks desperately needed for many documentaries. The lions would be grateful, no doubt. Leocentrism?

6:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

COS, Jeff-

Sorry, too long.

mb

6:39 PM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

Gotta give props to Chris Hedges, his critique of evangical (christians?) - American Fascists - is spot on. I live 35 miles south of the Salt Lake City of the hard right. Hedges's calls them the anti-chfist opposing as they do even the most insignificant teaching of Jesus. I've lived among them all of my life these people are ruthless, vicious, dedicated, they will never quit. I believe they won the culture war in an exquisite display of stealth. They didn't object to pride marches celebrating men wearing underwear - instead they went county by county, city by city, state by state. The Supreme Court is cherry on top. Like us Wafers though they do belive Trump is God's (MB says history's) annointed to take it all down.
I'm living a Sinclair Lewis prophesy - my hometown is called the most patriotic - flag and cross indeed.

7:57 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Thank you Professor for "Our Brand is Crisis." MB recommendations are always top notch. I'll have to check my facebook feed to see if it's trending.

8:15 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers!

MB-

If only the unknown Tri-Staters besieged you w/platters of pastrami and chopped liver, perhaps they could earn a seat at the forthcoming Wafer Summit table. In any event, a 6th NY Summit sounds like a gas.

Is there a logic to Trumpo's NATO antics:

https://www.thenation.com/article/time-disrupt-nato/

Incidentally, Wafers, I've been reading the writings of Thomas Merton, the Trappist monk who wrote eloquently about a world skidding toward oblivion and the growing apocalyptic evils of the Cold War. Here's a quote from 1963:

"This country has become frankly a warfare state built on affluence, a power structure which the interests of big business, the obsessions of the military, and the phobias of political extremists both dominate and dictate our national policy. It also seems that the people of this country are by and large reduced to passivity, confusion, resentment, frustration, thoughtlessness and ignorance, so they blindly follow any line that is unraveled for them by the mass media."

Not too bad, eh? More to follow...

Miles

9:00 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

What an absurd and insane country we have become...Americans now clamoring for BULLET-PROOF CLOTHING!!!


Bulletproof clothing designers say US demand is on the rise

https://abcn.ws/2zvPPyo

10:26 PM  
Anonymous Geo Brother said...

https://nationalpost.com/news/religion/the-humbling-of-the-atheists-how-religion-survived-the-progress-of-science-and-attacks-from-atheists

The humbling of the atheists: How religion survived the progress of science

10:35 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Armchair psychology, but I view Obama as the sociopath and Trump as an extreme narcissist. A subtle distinction, perhaps, but Obama was the one who attended the weekly Tuesday morning murder sessions where he personally chose around two-thirds of the thousands who would die via drone strike. He would review their files, presumably look at their pictures and then decide that he alone had the right to assassinate them. He was so proud of himself that he bragged to his aides that he had "gotten really good at killing people." If that isn't a sociopath, I never want to meet one. It should also be noted that NONE of those aides ever resigned in protest--yet according to liberals it is only Trump's people who deserve to be denied service at a restaurant.

Also--it bears repeating that those original pictures of illegal immigrant children being held in cages were taken in 2014, long before Trump even announced his candidacy. Another thing liberals apparently believe: caging children is a-okay, but separating them from their parents is a step too far.

@Wesley--Elon Musk should concentrate on building cars that don't explode on the freeway. He is the ultimate technodouchebag.

10:54 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Tim,

Your last post explains a piece of why I was happy to see you return to the blog. The way you and your wife connect with nature speaks volumes to me of your gentle approach in your writings and your compassion for people.

Thanks!
Marianne

11:11 PM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

Yet again, a good one from Umair:

https://eand.co/do-americans-get-the-pandoras-box-they-re-opening-5ae4322cc4dc

"Americans have led each other down a long and winding road of cruelty. Each step itself seemed small. But the problem was that no one noticed for precisely that reason that they were adding up, that Americans were going all the way down the highway of the damned. Wherever this mythical land of the free and the home of the brave might have been, Americans weren’t getting any closer to it — only further away, as cruelty became savagery became viciousness became, finally, barbarism. Where did they end up? In a land of nightmares and a home empty of goodness."

10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anjin-San said...

Smyth - great article. As I read it I found myself regretting that no one is able to write that novel... to capture the devil's tale of humanity... and then I started to think that through this blog and sites like Dark Mountain we are all writing our own pieces of that tale... if you take the compendium of what is written the tale is plain to see. Alas few people read and understand.

Solutions not so easy... I have a few ideas... one is to kill off the dominant members of homo sapiens... they seem to be progenitors of most of our problems... it has been proven to work for other primates... maybe for us??

https://www.nytimes.com/2004/04/13/science/no-time-for-bullies-baboons-retool-their-culture.html?nytmobile=0

Or I we could expose anybody that wants to be Premier or prime minister or president or corporate CEO to the frailties of human existence... say a one-year schizophrenic episode... take away theirs supports and have them spend some time on the streets... I think they would approach the whole process of governing and leadership differently.

Two modest proposals that have been in my brain for a while!

12:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jude-

Cdn't post it. Blog rule: only 1 post every 24 hrs. Thank you.

Julia-

Try this:

https://www.amazon.com/Disrupted-Lives-People-Meaning-Chaotic/dp/0520209141/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1531497844&sr=1-1&keywords=gay+becker&dpID=41OSqoGo9KL&preST=_SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch

Bill-

Minor corrections, tho I cd be wrong: I read that Obama picked out 1/3 of the targets, and that the quote abt killing people came from Botox Face. But they are both sociopaths, what the heck.

Jeff-

It will be the Wafer Summit to end all Wafer Summits. De Blasio might show up to give me the key to the city (long overdue). Platters of pastrami will be imported by the truckload. I'm also thinking that after these festivities, we shd all congregate near the Whitney and walk the High Line. I've always wanted to do that. Perhaps the USMC band will accompany us, trumpeting songs from John Philip Sousa. T-shirts will be distributed: WAFER OR DOUCHE BAG? THE CHOICE IS YOURS!, and OUR LIVER IS CHOPPED/WE CAN'T BE STOPPED!

Note to non-participants of the blog, offering thousands of $ to be allowed to attend: save yr money, and start posting now. You have several mos., after all, to demonstrate your dedication to Waferdom. Wafers will soon take over the world, so be there or be square.

mb

12:13 PM  
Anonymous COS said...

Bill Hicks,

Very insightful comments. I am always surprised at liberals perspectives and attitudes these days. One poster (Megan) had it that there was an Iraqi famine that led to 500 thousand children under 5 dying in Iraq. Actually per UN and her own admission, the 500 thousand kids died due to Sec of State (under president Clinton) Madeline Albrights policy of sanctions (medicine, food etc), she even said in an interview on 60 minutes that it was worth it. To date, am not aware of Trump or his cabinet doing such a heinous and truly hitlerain deeds, but if they do they should be called out as monsters obviously. The outrage of these liberals seems to be purely tribal or ideological, there is no apparent true objective principle underlying their statements, thoughts and actions other than o.k. for me but not for thee.(a good start could be a Hegelian catergorial imperative or actual heinous acts and not mean tweets on part of leaders) Could be result of some twisted will to power or fallout of cognitive dissonance. Its also fascinating to see the power of media (social and news)to hijack peoples brains. Hatred of Trump, whites and evangelicals is approved and encouragaged but people like Albright, Clinton and Obama are lionized as the essence of probity and goodness--reflecting biases of media and their worship of the credentialed elite of the NYC DC corridor. Style over substance, words over deeds... The extent to which otherwise bright people internalize and repeat what is devised in editorial meetings in New York (or in D.C. gulf state funded think tanks) is terrifying.

12:24 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Our colonial masters want us to spend 4% of our GDP on the military (What the hell for, other than to enrich arms dealers?), so naturally this is now a topic of discussion.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/armstrong-military-spending-trump-1.4743967

54-40 or fight!

12:27 PM  
Anonymous George Carlin said...

Americans praising their own Generosity ......

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar celebrated the Trump administration for its treatment of immigrant children it has separated from their parents. “We have nothing to hide about how we operate these facilities,” said Azar on CNN. “It is one of the great acts of American generosity and charity, what we are doing for these unaccompanied kids.”

https://theintercept.com/2018/07/12/separated-children-alex-azar-generosity/

The article has link to another article by Joseph Goebbels written in 1941 titled "The Jews are Guilty" ... very chilling....

Movie suggestion from me :: "Nightcrawler" ... Great performance by Jake Gyllenhaal who plays a sociopath... excellent movie about how sociopaths and narcissists have climbed the corporate ladders...

12:52 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Tim a great post above, thank you. In my neighborhood I greet the mama white tail deer and her two fawns just about 6 am every morning as they stroll the alley way beside my redwood working inside. It is quiet and the solitude is almost morgue like - nice as it frames, embraces and enfolds the dying empire around me.

WAFERS: I am not a great film buff but I would like to catch up on the recent suggestions for viewing. No internet at home, no net flix, no feces book, no smart phone, flip phone is all I need. Call me; if you are on my contact list, I receive. Otherwise, what is the percentage in talking with the 99.9% Senor Mauricio Belman has correctly identified as turkeys? .10%, that's all.

The WAFER question is this: what do we make of a friend whom has informed us that her favorite film is "Monsters Inc" Dizzney Pixar? Any relevance to the debate of the quandry we face? I get it that the "absurdist" viewpoint can be useful, but, really?

Music listening recommendations: Miles Davis/John Coltrane "Round Midnight"(T. Monk) sublime. And Ray Manzarek "Downbound Train"(C.Berry) anarchic/manic, superb!

Any thoughts on "Monsters Inc." and the music suggestions would be welcomed. WTF!

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

More usa-er greatness and exceptionalism! Besides, FATCA and CBT, we have more chain restaurant pummeling!

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5952267/Four-women-hunted-police-pummeling-Applebees-waitress.html

In Georgia, a 21yo waitress accidentally bumped a customer’s knee while placing food on the table, and when it happened again, all hell broke out resulting in multiple punches, stabbings, and kicking. 4 women pinned the waitress to the floor and started going hog wild--mode ala usa.

Forget no universal health care, education, pensions, job security, usa-ers were very concerned abt chain "food" placement.

5:38 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

With the president visiting Europe to solidify old ties and establish new ones, talk show host Jimmy Kimmel sent a producer out into the streets of Hollywood to take the pulse of the citizenry. But mainly to see how many passersby could identify a country—any country—on a blank map of the world.

Someone say the leader we deserve?

https://youtu.be/kRh1zXFKC_o

6:24 PM  
Anonymous Frengers said...

cell phones and deadbeat police

Video shows Atlanta cops using coin flip to decide whether to arrest driver | CTV News
https://www.ctvnews.ca/mobile/world/video-shows-cops-using-coin-flip-to-decide-whether-to-arrest-driver-1.4012502
correction : it was a coin flip app

6:48 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@MB--actually, the Obama quote was reported by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann in their 2012 book about Obama: Obama Told Aides He’s ‘Really Good At Killing People,’ New Book ‘Double Down’ Claims. Hillary, on the other hand, cackled like a deranged maniac when she heard that Qadaffi had been lynched and dragged through the streets of Libya. No wonder those two worked so well together--they were made for each other.

An update on uber-technodouchebag Elon Musk's plan to "save" Flint, Michigan: Flint’s Water Has Now Been Meeting EPA Lead Guidelines for Two Years, Rates Safer Than Many Other US Cities. No doubt Musk plans to create an app whereby Flint residents can turn on their taps remotely that'll add 20% to their water bills and result in hackers being able to flood their houses while they are away.

I also enjoyed this: All Hell Breaks Loose After Gohmert Asks Strzok About "Looking Into His Wife's Eyes" While Lying About Lisa Page. No doubt Gohmert is an inflamed rectum, but that's still pretty funny.

11:48 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Don’t babies double as BASEBALL BATS?


Father seen on surveillance camera using baby as a weapon, swinging and dropping him...


https://www.cbsnews.com/news/father-caught-on-surveillance-camera-using-baby-as-a-weapon-swinging-and-dropping-him/

2:26 AM  
Blogger Zarathustra said...

Chairface, I don't really want to prolong this discussion but, seriously, Salvador Puig Antich? He belonged to the Movimiento Ibérico de Liberación.

The group organized armed robberies against banks, which they called "expropriations", allegedly to fund their actions against the Franco regime in 1972 and 1973. After a series of these robberies, he was arrested for the death of a policeman during a shoot out.

I am against the death penalty but, assuming you have it, like some democratic countries at the time (France for example), this would be a case to apply it. Why, in the US he would have been executed without a second thought. Has therefore the US been a "true fascist" country for a long time? Not that I would spend my energy arguing about that...

7:58 AM  
Anonymous Hayden said...

“Every world-power emperor in every century has looked like this. Trump’s presidential predecessors were simply more polite.”

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/trump-tells-us-truths-we-don-t-want-to-hear-bz5hqmfnv?shareToken=34a82761da1263482dbe7ab1a539b688

Donald Trump tells us truths we don’t want to hear

8:56 AM  
Anonymous Tommy said...

An analysis of humor and Trumpi. I think a valuable facet of this blog is the continual use of humor and comedy to reveal deeper truths in real life events that prog liberals would otherwise find offensive and wrong.

https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2018/07/the-trump-may-conference-was-a-comic-masterpiece/

*The Trump-May press conference was a comic masterpiece*

I agree w/ this - not getting that Trump can be funny is to miss part of why many voters clearly like him. The moment I realized that was when he accused Ted Cruz’s dad of assassinating JFK. It was so shameless, so outrageous - but it was hard not to laugh.

11:20 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

cos-

I agree, but the categorical imperative was Kant.

mb

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Mags said...

https://www.stoicfellowship.com

Stoic communities around the world. Quite a few in India ��

A New Monastic option for sure!

11:51 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

COS-

You raise many great points. Stupidity, desperation, lack of morality, and hated for all things Trump, are all driving Democrats and liberals to embrace neocon ideologues, Cold War II hawks, and the national security monolith (basically the war lobby). In Hillary's case, she *was* all of this, as MB says in AWTY. This point was driven home for me again when Rachel Maddow recently conducted a fawning interview with Victoria Nuland, queen of the neocon monarchy w/lotsa blood on her hands. I mean, shouldn't Nuland be high on true progressives' enemies list? The fact of the matter is that since Trump has driven these people from the Washington power fold, they have declared war on his presidency.

12:34 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

As an undergrad I once wrote an English paper arguing that Jane Eyre was the manifestation of the categorical imperative. It was the easiest essay I ever did. The dang thing purt'near wrote itself.

Was Hegel thinking of the USA when he wrote "...der Gang Gottes in der Welt, daß der Staat ist?"

Does anyone else see a common denominator among Ronald Reagan, Mad Albright, The Ghastly Mrs. Clinton, Gee Dubya Bush, Obama and Trump?


1:54 PM  
Anonymous George Carlin said...

Trial runs for fascism are in full flow.... and Trumpi, the imbecile is going around telling Europe that immigrants are changing the culture... dog whistle to his white supremacist supporters... what a fucking moron... without immigration this idiot wouldn't be in US and neither of his wives... this guy has done more damage to the culture than any immigrant has...

https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/fintan-o-toole-trial-runs-for-fascism-are-in-full-flow-1.3543375

" After all, when Donald Trump says Mexico “isn’t sending their best” and his minions roar with approval, the underlying presumption is that Europe, whence he and his cultists come, did. "

https://medium.com/@timjwise/europe-didnt-send-their-best-either-reflections-on-illegal-people-and-forgetful-ones-f3ddc997b063

1:58 PM  
Anonymous Kiki said...

I love how far this country has come.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/trump-photo-migrant-family-separations-white-men-executive-order-oval-office-a8409921.html

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Zapotosky said...

http://www.businessinsider.com/kylie-jenner-gofundme-fans-crowdfunding-billionaire-2018-7?IR=T

People are donating money to Kylie Jenner to help her become the world's youngest billionaire


What is wrong with the world? episode 3,451,769

2:27 PM  
Blogger Chairface Chippendale said...

@Zarathustra You asked, “seriously, Salvador Puig Antich?” My answer is, yes, I still recommend the 2006 Spanish film “Salvador (Puig Antich)”. Which is what I did initially.

Your strange comments, introduced by “I don’t really want to prolong this discussion” and closed with “Not that I would spend energy arguing about that…” leaves me with a quandary.

Should I mention the obvious, that recommending a film is not the same as advocating everything the person portrayed in the film did? Or should I instead point out that your disavowal of the death penalty is immediately negated in the same sentence by your defense of the death penalty (“this would be the case to apply it” “assuming you have it”)?

I agree with you that “in the US he would have been executed without a second thought”. But it’s clear that you seem to be OK with this. That’s disturbing, esp b/c all this took place within a dialog abt the Fascist dictator Franco. For me it’s clear that both Spanish fascism and US oligarchic corporatism (which supported each other) were and are anti-democratic & authoritarian. And the death penalty is illegitimate & barbaric (by any type of govt, for any reason).

2:41 PM  
Blogger Patrick D. Fitzgerald said...

@Bill Hicks,

I agree with your diagnosis. I often think about who is the least terrible president of my lifetime (born in mid eighties) and I keep coming up with the only one-term president, HWBush. I arrive at this probably because he had the least amt of time to do damage. Can you believe that capital gains were taxed at 28% in his time? Seems borderline commie at this point in history. I of course am purposely saying least bad, instead of best, for obvious reasons; they are likely all on the sociopathic spectrum, even though W and Ronnie Raygun seem too dim to have been truly evil, and they were probably less in the driver's seat than other presidents. Just curious, what was the worst administration as far as working for the Federal Govt went in your opinion?

3:07 PM  
Anonymous Casper said...

https://medium.com/s/futurehuman/survival-of-the-richest-9ef6cddd0cc1

"The billionaires considered using special combination locks on the food supply that only they knew. Or making guards wear disciplinary collars in return for their survival. Or building robots to serve as guards & workers — if that technology could be developed in time."

"Finally, the CEO of a brokerage house explained that he had nearly completed building his own underground bunker system and asked, 'How do I maintain authority over my security force after the event?'"

"Luckily, those of us without the funding to consider disowning our own humanity have much better options available to us. We don’t have to use technology in such antisocial, atomizing ways [and we can] remember that the truly evolved human doesn’t go it alone."

4:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tim-

Cdn't run it (half page max).

mb

5:28 PM  
Anonymous Cos said...

Dogwhistles....this is an interesting term. It is used under presumption that people are speaking in some secret code..very James Bond. It also can imply mind reading power on those bandying the term around. Most destructively, it eliminates any reasoned discussion for if you accuse somebody of using dogwhistles you no longer hear what they say and you determine they are evil and not worth reasoninf with. I am not a histlinguist but no doubt some version of dogwhistle was probably used in maoist china or under stalin--its an insidous way to squelch civic life with disagreements and argumentation and jump straight to vitriol and hatred.

Worth repeating Obama like Trump very against illegal immigration not immigration done legally, odd how many dont bother with this plain fact

7:07 PM  
Anonymous Puss Killian said...

Most of the challenges in life are ones we create for ourselves. I have not yet read the book, but here are reviews of Malm's The Progress of This Storm: Nature and Society in a Warming World.

"Referencing Jameson on postmodernity, Malm observes that 'we are stranded in the mega-city where glass surfaces mirror each other, where images and simulacra rule over night and day, where the free play of masks and roles goes on and on without any real, material substance. But towards this city a storm is on the move'".

http://doras.dcu.ie/22346/1/Rev_of_Malm_Progress_of_this_storm_MR_HS_2018.pdf

Malm’s alternative is historical materialism, which neither merges nature and society into an unbreakable unity nor views society as independent of the natural world. Human society arose within and is part of the natural world, but it has distinctive characteristics — emergent properties — that are found nowhere else in nature and that enable its uniquely constructive and destructive role.

That does not mean that humans totally dominate nature. The hybridist claim that nature is entirely bundled into society displays remarkable blindness to the natural world’s immense scale and complexity. For example, although human interference with the climate system is having catastrophic results, “it is only a minor reshuffling of grains of sand in a system whose vastness boggles the mind; all the rest is an avalanche of chain reactions, which humans do nothing to bring about. …

http://climateandcapitalism.com/2018/02/19/the-progress-of-this-storm

9:07 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

Well that didn't take long: David Cay Johnson of DC Reports (one of the most accurate and courageous journalists out there) documents Trumpi & Co is building concentration camps in the USA. One facility in California is designed to hold 200,000 people:
https://www.dcreport.org/2018/07/13/trump-is-taking-america-to-an-evil-place/
Let's hope we as Wafers never ever have to meet each other in there. Katz in NYC would be a much nicer choice.

Brad Delong of UC Berkley has some good thoughts on the Trumpi era. One is that Trumpi is not a populist; European populists promise and deliver public goods to the masses, Trumpi takes them away. Two, he is more properly seen as a neo-facist, fusion of corporate and state power. Three, plutocrats who see Trumpi as they natural ally are sadly mistaken; plutocrats are the natural prey of Trumpi's kleptocracy.
http://www.bradford-delong.com/2018/06/talk-thinking-about-president-donald-trump.html#more

BrotherMaynard

10:08 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Patrick F--coincidentally, I would say that HW Bush was the best president to serve under during my federal career (1989-2014). I got hired by HUD right out of college at a time when the agency was picking itself up after the disastrous reign of Secretary "Silent Sam" Pierce, who was Reagan's token black cabinet appointee and who got that moniker by spending 8 years (the only Reagan cabinet secretary to serve all of both terms) letting contractors steal it blind (kind of like Ben Carson without the obnoxious Christianity). Amazing by today's standards, daddy Bush appointed Congressman Jack Kemp (a defeated campaign rival) to replace him. Though Kemp was a conservative Republican, he actually CARED about affordable housing issues and worked diligently to rebuild HUD. I then joined the State Department in 1992, and afterward served political appointees who were weak and incompetent under Clinton and Obama, and two who were downright malevolent under Junior Bush--the second of these I helped blow the whistle on.

Personally, I consider Carter and Ford to be the two "best" presidents of my lifetime. The former actually wanted America to live up to its ideals, while the latter was happy to maintain the immediate post-Vietnam political status quo, which was far to the left of today's. No question though, in my 25 years of federal service things got progressively worse--especially after 9/11.

11:59 PM  
Anonymous Psychotubby said...

Casper.
Damn. Living as I do in New Zealand I am always, frankly, thrilled when yet another "world map" leaves us out. I keep hoping we will be forgotten, but no, the assholes with the money to buy their way in have us in their sights.

1:41 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

COS,

Lack of health provisions led to many Iraqi deaths, but malnutrition (i.e., the impetus for the failed "Oil For Food" program) was a major cause of death related to the sanctions.

At any rate, it's not true to say that this is all "Personality" vs. "Policy". Here are a few things that Trump has actually done, beyond his mere odious personality: 1) Destroying environmental laws and leaving the Paris Climate Accord (Why Chomsky calls Trump and his Republicans "The most dangerous organization in human history") 2) Deregulating Business and Wall Street to dangerous levels, far beyond Obama (i.e., doing precisely what was responsible for the 2008 crash) 3) an egregious tax cut for the rich. 4) Putting two right-wing ideologues into the Supreme Court--effectively nullifying and weaponizing an entire branch of government 5) Refusing to even admit--let alone do something about--the fact that the Russians hacked our election, effectively undermining what remained of our democracy 6) Aggressively trying to destroy The Affordable Care act, which will lead to the preventable deaths of thousands of people. 7) Scuttling the Iranian nuclear deal, which pushed the Doomsday Clock closer to midnight.8) Not lifting a finger while thousands died in Puerto Rico (they were the wrong color?) Obama was a very bad president, but he did (or would have done) pretty much the opposite on all of these.

1:59 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Doctor,
Just back from 2 nights in NYC. Techno-douchebaggery has gotten exponentially worse since the time you were here last. I even see 3 or 4 year olds holding phones. Doesn't anyone know the line from Proverbs-the more possessions the more worries. If not using the crap I see people constantly checking if they still have it. The most obnoxious thing is watching large groups of women holding their phones. Excuse me, but aren't they already with the people they would naturally call? I suppose it's the need to conform. I can see how someone could be shunned if they didn't carry their phone. And if she said, "Why do I need to carry a phone since I'm with the people I generally call?" she'd be exiled for life.
Then in one of the most tender moments in the musical, Carousel, someone's phone goes off and the person starts talking! Amazing the actors could go on unaffected. Prices are insane, everyone's hustling, pickpockets everywhere, and people rude to the police (good move). Finally, I go back and, of course, people talking on their phones the entire ride. I even heard a guy breaking up with his girlfriend. Here I am listening to a guy in the next seat going, "Baby, I need you, baby. Please give me another chance." Lovely 2 days. Sure Trump's damaging the country but what is there about this country that needs to be saved?

8:55 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-44838028

Say it with me everybody- Stupidity excites me!

President Trump of
The Manhattan Condo League
Evicted countries

10:37 AM  
Anonymous S Butterfield said...

Geoge Carlin, Marc;

'The Courage to be Disliked' — which, right off the bat: great title, and definitely something I need — is a very traditional Socratic dialog, originally written in Japanese, principally about the work of the Austrian psychotherapist Alfred Adler. Will cause keen self-reflection!

Get a copy, Wafer and WAFerette

10:40 AM  
Anonymous Arya M said...

http://www.chicagomag.com/city-life/July-2018/Q-A-Martha-Nussbaum-on-Fear-Protest-and-Donald-Trump/

What Americans should truly fear is that such a psychologically broken moron can get democratically elected to the Presidency. This is indicative of severe systemic and educational problems, in the least. Severe psychic and intellectual deficiencies to the whole country, in the most likely.

Philosopher Martha Nussbaum on Fear, Protest, and Donald Trump

12:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan-

It's sorta like Americans are eating shit and thinking it's lemon meringue pie.

Bro-

In declinist terms, these camps are a gd thing. There are already two 'CMOs', one in Illinois and one in Indiana. But I confess to being impatient. Trump allows Muslims and Jews to walk freely down the street, when they need to be wearing yellow stars and to be put in these camps. When, Trumpi, when, will you become a true hardass that we can all admire?

mb

12:30 PM  
Blogger Zarathustra said...

Chairface, I am indeed opposed to the death penalty. What gives you the right of accusing me of lying? That I don't meet your standards of ideological purity? I suggest you check your attitude and engage in some self-reflection before coming out with all your guns blazing.

12:43 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

This Witch probably thought she was driving a motorboat and the puppy was skiing on the water.....

A North Carolina woman has been charged with animal cruelty after she allegedly tied a puppy to a pickup truck and dragged it until it died, police said.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/07/14/north-carolina-woman-charged-after-tying-puppy-to-truck-driving-until-it-died-police.html

1:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anon-

Sorry, I don't post Anons. You need a real handle to participate.

COS-

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

mb

4:18 PM  
Blogger Chairface Chippendale said...

Zarathustra, I did not accuse you of lying, I pointed out that your comments were contradictory. As for your accusation that I have applied “standards of ideological purity” onto you, I can only say you have taken my clarifications very eccentrically. They were just clarifications.

Your “suggestions” to me are obviously all meant to be offensive or at least antagonizing. I think that’s out of bounds.

-CC

7:42 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

As Wafers, we're inclined to treat everyone with respect, but Megan...you're making excuses for killing Iraqi kids? I don't know what to say.

When I first saw the TV images of those airliners hitting the World Trade Centre, I was thinking about two things: Madeleine Albright saying the death of those kids was worth it, and "what took so long?"

11:18 PM  
Blogger Gunnar Burton said...

Ouch MB I'm not quite ready for a camp but I know it's coming.
2nd episode Dave Chappelle on Netflix is pretty good @ least he realizes what we're going thru is end of 400yr orgy - he talks about walking away from his contract with Fox worth millions.

11:29 PM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Miles,

I wanted to respond to your post the other day about Trump "cleaning out the swamp." Yes, he may have driven out a few unsavory Neoliberals, all to the good. But that doesn't change the fact that he has actually brought IN perhaps the greatest rogues' gallery of venal cranks and incompetents ever assembled in one place. To wit: 1) John Bolton (The off-the-rails Neo-Con who wrote 2 op eds on why bombing Iran and North Korea is a good idea, and who still thinks that the Iraq War was a splendid idea!); 2) Mike Pompeo (who has also argued for military strikes on Iran, and who wants to increase the Security State) 3) Betsy Devos, certainly the most ignorant, anti-intellectual, and downright incompetent Education Secretary in American history. (A true "de-swamper" might have chosen John Taylor Gatto) 4) Ben Carson, AKA, the Brain Surgeon who thinks that the Egyptian pyramids were for storing grain. 5) Scott Pruitt (The "Envionmental Destruction Agency"), who hands-down is a front-runner for being one of the most corrupt public officials in American History. Etc. Etc.

At any rate, I'm not a humorless person, and while Trump probably didn't mean for it to be humorous, assembling this grotesque cast of people together and telling his supporters that he is "cleaning out the swamp", well, that is funny! What's even funnier is that 43 percent of America actually believes this!

2:03 AM  
Blogger Allyn F said...

Dr. B, maybe your dream of arming preschoolers is close at hand!
From Sacha Baron Cohen’s new show:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QkXeMoBPSDk

2:09 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Megan--"Obama...did (or would have done) pretty much the opposite on all of these."

Sorry, but I have to respectfully disagree, and here is why, point-by-point: 1). The Paris Agreement was nothing more than toothless window dressing passed so rich liberals could continue to live their cushy lifestyles and make ZERO sacrifices, 2). Before 2008, the loose Wall Street rules that were in place were put there by Bill Clinton, 3). Obama gave trillions in taxpayer money to the rich as handouts after the crash—that’s worse, 4). Trump’s SC picks are enough within the American mainstream that the first received several Dem confirmation votes, and the 2nd likely will as well, 5). The Russians did NOT change the outcome of the election—accusing them is simply a Hillary campaign excuse for why she lost, 6). The ACA was a massive corporate welfare giveaway and SHOULD be destroyed, and replaced with true national healthcare, 7). Trump hasn’t bombed Iran back to the stone age yet—the Libyans during Obama’s presidency should have BEEN so lucky, 8). And Obama didn’t lift a finger as tens of thousands on the mainland began dying of despair because he did NOTHING to help them after the financial crash.

No offense--but you seem to be like a few progs I know who sometimes talk as if they realize the system is the real problem, but just haven't internalized it.

2:32 AM  
Blogger Amazed! said...

@ Alyosha 4:18

I enjoy the shiny cast-metal testicles that I sometimes see hanging and swinging from below the rear fender of pick-up trucks in the US.

To me it says - "There's a dick driving this truck!"

3:33 AM  
Anonymous Anjin-San said...

Jeffery St. Clair's humorous acerbic roundup at Counterpunch is something I look forward to each week.

He was in fine form this week... I particularly liked:

+ When Trump claims to have tripled US GDP in a mere 1.5 years in office is he referring to the Gross Dotard Product? If so, he’s probably on target for once.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/07/13/roaming-charges-3/

9:03 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

cos-

Cdn't run it (too long).

mb

10:03 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers pls note-

I'm at an Internet cafe, not my home computer, and the screen is not letting me do a New Post. After 200 posts, the program starts to hide them. I'll try to find a computer that works, but in the meantime, we may hafta struggle with this situation for a while. Sorry.

mb

10:15 AM  

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