March 08, 2019

Interview with Jeff Brown from Shenzhen, China


Blogger NeilW said...

I'm starting to learn Mandarin my Dad having worked in Hong Kong, and living a long time in the Middle East. Jeff has an excellent grasp, it seems to me, of Chinese concepts and how they differ from the West. An interesting observer.

4:41 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Ryan-

Before you post on a blog, it's customary to get a sense of how the blog works. In our case, it's impt to send messages to the most recent post, because no one reads the old stuff. So writing in to a post that is several wks old, as you did, is not very efficient or effective.

It's also not a bad idea, if yr going to attack someone (me), to get yr facts straight. Your (pathetic) attack: I'm a hypocrite for criticizing the US because I receive Social Security, so I'm biting the hand that feeds me. Dumbo, r.u. aware that Social Security is just the return of the worker's own money? It's deducted from his regular paycheck as FICA during his or her working years, then at age 66 or whatever is doled back out on a monthly basis. It's hardly a 'gift' from the US Gov't, shit-for-brains.

In addition, I receive very little of it, since much of my life was spent as a free-lancer, when 0 was deducted. But why bother checking with me on this, when you can just make unwarranted assumptions, right? Being (allegedly) morally superior makes you feel self-righteous, doesn't it?

In any case, what you are also arguing is that anyone receiving $ from the gov't shd keep their mouths shut abt napalm and drones and abt the genocide conducted on a weekly basis, the murder of unarmed civilians. Your idea is that the gov't is somehow buying their silence, has the right to expect acquiescence in activities of this sort, and that speaking out against these things is 'hypocrisy'. Which means that you are an immoral person. It hardly takes rocket science to come to that conclusion.

So yr stupid and immoral--a great combination. What u.r., in fact, is a buffoon. It's possible that some day, you'll wake up, and learn to engage people in genuine dialogue, instead of smugly shooting from the hip. But I tend to doubt it. Let's face it: you'll be a jackass to the end of yr days.

Godspeed, douche bag.


5:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Smart Germans dept.:

5:13 AM  
Anonymous Cormorant said...

Have people heard of the translator Bill Porter a.ka Red Pine? He mostly translates Classical Chinese Zen Poetry, but he also published a very interesting book about Chinese hermits who reject modern society to live in the mountains. Something similar to the Japanese Stori generation M.B mentioned in his work perhaps?

7:24 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B:

Omar states the obvious about the previous occupant of the White House-

She'll probably have to back off, but it's fun to watch Pelosi and the other top Dems cringe in the meantime.

9:09 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Can this:

Lead to that?

In the spirit of MB's last post since I too get a gov't 'handout' I'll not criticize (oh fuck it, I'm with the cop on this one)

11:54 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yes, touché. I'm just sorry she didn't make it more explicit, and call him a douche bag. I wonder what this means for 2020. The Dems are in disarray; I just can't imagine turkeys like Biden or Sanders having a reasonable shot at winning. But then the GOP is in disarray as well. In terms of continuing collapse, it's really impt that Trumpi get re-elected.


11:56 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

George Orwell invented the term "duckspeak" to describe "voicing political orthodoxies without thinking." Maybe it's time to refer to "progspeak" to describe the doublethink employed by liberals on such matters as Ilhan Omar and Zionism. Did anyone catch Bill Maher last night? I was worried that the cognitive dissonance on display was going to crack my TV screen.

He and his panel spent quite some time vilifying Trump for his alleged double allegiance to both Russia and the USA, and seemed quite smug about it. When the question of Omar arose, however, they quickly reversed positions and said she was using a classic antisemitic trope by saying that the Zionist lobby (or "the Jews" according to the panel) had divided loyalties.

Maher doubled down on the doublethink by saying that being opposed to Israel isn't the same as antisemitism (which surprised me, coming from him), but then he said he had sympathy for how Palestinians are being oppressed, not by Israel, but by the Palestinians themselves.

Ignorance is strength, y'all.

12:14 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Fast food workers: one mistake away from falling victim to an enraged American.

A St. Paul [Minnesota] mother and her daughter were upset about their wings. They hadn’t been delivered with the rest of their order.

So [on Thursday night] they headed to Domino’s Pizza with a handgun, police said.

And, when a minimum-wage worker just can’t do his job right, who wouldn’t take the dough and the toppings into his own hands?

MARCH 8--A drive-thru customer enraged by the paucity of meat on his Mexican pizza stormed a Taco Bell in South Carolina and “walked into the kitchen area and began making his own food,” police report.

1:46 PM  
Anonymous Vic Bold said...
This is very soothing to watch how unloved objects can be made to disappear to make
more room for further objects to be unloved. No doubt the Chinese are developing
such items in preparation for their throw-away consumer society.

Waaaay back in the late 1940s Hannah Arendt's warning to Israel was to not ignore
all their Arab neighbors and to not seek protection with a larger power, which
they did with the US for Cold War strategy and oil. The result is that Israel
became a military with a government and not just a government with a military.
Is it any wonder than US Jews praise Trump solely for his position on Israel?

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Aaron Thomas said...

I went on a relic pilgrimage today to see the heart of a saint housed in a reliquary. The priest had to make an announcement:

"Please do not take selfies with the heart. Please do not take group photos with the heart. Please live in the moment and experience this and take a picture with your mind."

I was shocked that he even had to make such a statement. Just when I think we've hit maximum stupidity, we seem to be able to keep going lower. Apparently taking selfies for Facebook is the most important part of anything.

I'm in utter disbelief at how people take pictures at the absolute most inappropriate times. People think they need to document everything, otherwise it didn't happen. I do not understand the mentality, it really shocks the conscience to see this kind of behavior.

7:20 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Dear GSWH and Wafers,

I'm trying to register as a follower of this blog, but my page displays no "following" link or gadget. Is there something I'm missing?


7:26 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


What would possess a person such as Ryan to come onto the blog and attack you w/such a lame suggestion? On the surface, yes, Ryan is probably just like millions of ordinary American assholes and douche bags, yet I wonder if there's something deeper going on here. I think it was Christopher Lasch who called out such bizarre behavior as being a form of "deadly intimacy." The idea being that in one way Ryan worships you, wants to be like you, he is a *fan*, so to speak. Somewhere along the line something snaps, however, splitting this/his fantasy apart, and he feels a deep compulsion to attack you outta nowhere. It's kinda scary! I wouldn't be surprised at all if Ryan fits the psychological profile of many presidential assassins: men of low self-esteem, bitterly disapointed w/their lives. They attach themselves to their heroes, first as a fan, then as an imitator, than inevitably as a killer. Please be careful traveling into this horribly violent society.


7:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I have no idea how to do it, but I'm hoping some of our registered Wafers will come to yr assistance.


7:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


He is clearly a high-level buffoon, who doesn't have a whole lot going on in his life. At least he doesn't have my home address (look what happened to Trotsky, only a few blocks away from me). Nor does he have the location of the 6ANYWSM, thank god. Ryan, in case yr listening: you have shit inside yr head. Yr a total moron. I abominate you, and I pee on yr shoes.


8:38 PM  
Anonymous Iwan said...

What an amazing find - not just the manuscript itself, but the proof that Avicenna was translated into Irish

Surprise as unknown Irish translation of Ibn Sīna discovered in spine of book

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Puss Killian said...

Hi Dr. B,

You can add a link to allow followers to this blog by following the instructions here:

Scroll down to the section "Let readers follow your blog".

Instructions here as well:

Let readers follow your blog
To let other people follow your blog, add the Followers gadget:

Sign in to Blogger.
In the top left, click the Down arrow Down Arrow.
Choose the blog to update.
In the left menu, click Layout.
Choose where you want to add the Followers gadget.
Click Add a Gadget.
In the window that opens, click More Gadgets.
Look for “Followers” and click Add Add.
Choose your settings.
Click Save.
In the top right, click Save arrangement.

10:34 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Some Wafer nuisance - for those who have HBO but not the stomach to watch the Neverland documentary (it is graphic) Oprah does a very fine decompression interview with the film's principals also on HBO. Give the gal credit for being in the fight against abuse for a very long time & for willingness to stand up to celebrity. Sad commentary this sickness is everywhere, as Wafers know it's symptom not a cause, but thumbs up Oprah for presenting the victims' reality.

11:47 AM  
Anonymous P B said...

I've always agreed w a lot of what Adam Smith says. And even when I'd disagree with Smith, I find him very wise. I particularly like his thoughtful analyses of friendship, envy, revenge, etc.

Come to think of it, I can't think of any philosopher who has written so well on friendship. Big thanks to this excellent book for introducing me to this side of Smith's work.)

1:53 PM  
Anonymous Dane Bista said...

In this week's episode of Hidden Forces, Demetri speaks with Shoshana Zuboff, whose career has been devoted to the study of the rise of the digital, its individual, organizational, and social consequences, and its relationship to the history and future of capitalism.
In 1609, while in search of a rumored, northeast passage to Asia on behalf of the Dutch East India Company, the English explorer and navigator Henry Hudson, landed on what is modern day New York City.
Though written accounts exist of Hudson’s encounters with local tribes, native accounts have been handed down to us through oral tradition, often transcribed much later by missionaries and settlers. In 1765, a Moravian missionary who lived for many years among the Delaware and Mohican tribes recorded a native account of the first meeting:
“A long time ago, some Indians who had been out fishing, where the sea widens, spied at a great distance something remarkably large swimming or floating on the water. It was agreed among those who were spectators, that as this phenomenon moved towards the land, it would be well to inform all the Indians on the inhabited islands. Chiefs, from scattered tribes who arrived in numbers, concluded the strange appearance to be a large canoe or house, in which the great Supreme Being himself was coming to visit them.“
Such descriptions by native peoples of their first encounters with white settlers were common throughout the Americas. The first man to bring news to the great Aztec King Montezuma of Spanish ships described what he saw from the Gulf coast as “towers or small mountains floating on the waves of the sea.” In other accounts, natives looked from the shore and thought the awesome, approaching ships were giant, white seabirds or floating islands. There are even theories that the Arawak - the first tribe to encounter Columbus’ ships off the coast of Hispaniola - could at first, see only their ripples across the horizon. They were unable to picture what was for them, unprecedented. Unimagined. Alien.
What all these people had in common was that they were unable to name, let alone recognize a force of creative destruction so vast and boundless that it would make their worlds unrecognizable, their homes uninhabitable, and their lives unlivable. They were unable to see the ships and their crew for what they were – the vessels of conquerors, pillagers, and looters of unsullied lands. Unable to name them, they welcomed them, agents of their own annihilation.
This week, on Hidden Forces, we explore the unprecedented force of surveillance capitalism – how it threatens to dispossess us of our experiences, our sanctuaries, and our very lives.

3:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thank you. In future, be sure to limit yr posts to half a page in length.


3:24 PM  
Anonymous Carl said...

From across the pond, Oxford climate scientist Myles Allen weighs in on the Green New Deal

3:28 PM  
Blogger Tim2 said...

Hi Dane

With tongue in cheek I went to the link you kindly shared
on surveillance capitalism. The "Join the conversation"
invitation at the bottom of the link suggests participating
via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Just wondering??

7:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd pt. People just won't give that crap up, even tho author writes: “The rendition of your body begins quite simply with your phone.” Jonathan Franzen called cell fones "capitalism on steroids."


7:55 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Aaron--in a related story about idiots always taking selfies: A jaguar attacked a woman taking a picture at a zoo in Arizona. "The guest crossed over the barrier to get a photo and was attacked by a female jaguar," the zoo tweeted, citing witness accounts..."We can promise you nothing will happen to our jaguar," the zoo said. "She's a wild animal and there were proper barriers in place to keep our guests safe -- not a wild animal's fault when barriers are crossed." My commentary: when asked about their responsibility for PLACING a "wild animal" in a glorified jail cell, zoo officials merely stood around with dumb looks on their faces.

Other technodouchebags at large: The alternative to your dying local paper is written by one person, a robot, and you. Incredibly, they aren't kidding.

Police blog: Texas mom facing up to 20 years in jail for leaving her five kids home alone during Myrtle Beach trip. "When a police officer reported to the home later the same day, he was greeted by a 10-year-old boy and the “overwhelming odor” of feces and garbage coming from inside." Ah yes, a true member of the great citizens' revolution who will rise up a "save" us from our evil overlords. I hereby nominate Chrystal Nichole Walraven to be the next Secretary of Edumacation.

8:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I believe the wall raven is a species of bird. Nevermore!

But perhaps she cd be VP on the Tulsi Gabbard ticket. Whatever did happen to TG, BTW?


9:56 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...


While not as egregious as your example with the relic, about a year ago I went to a concert and almost everyone was just standing there recording the concert on their phones. I have been to dinners where people spent most of the time playing with their phones instead of talking or even eating. I would sit there wondering why I bothered to go out. I would have been better off staying home.

Living in the moment seems to be dying as a concept which is very sad since that is part of what makes life interesting. Being present in the moment is not enough, all experiences must now be crafted for maximum benefit usually measured by how many “likes” you can get on social media.

10:04 PM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...

Go Trump!

Donald Trump is laying the groundwork to de-legitimize the 2020 election:

Trump to ask Congress for $8.6 billion in new wall funding:

The lack of cohesion in the Democratic Party will certainly help our Declinist in Chief win again in 2020. Have no fear - our collapse is right on schedule.

11:02 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


What I'm hoping he'll do is de-legitimize the entire country. But then, I suppose we're well on our way.

The chaos among the Dems is of course a gd thing. I'm pulling for Tulsi Gabbard! (flanked by P. Snoots) As for Biden and Sanders: stale tuna.


11:53 PM  
Anonymous Puss Killian said...

This is disturbing:

"Bad as they were, the factories were a better option for those who worked in them than the farms from whence many of them came, or they would have stayed there.". Really? That is what they told the child near peasants as well.

Or is it just me? The article seems to me to hold embedded "messages" ... or something is just off. To me, it's a disturbing read, it contradicts itself? Would love your comments,

Question for all: what about Puerto Rico? Traditional culture, or bastard stepchild of the US hustling?

10:56 AM  
Anonymous Rancher Neil said...

Bill Gates tweeted out a chart and sparked a huge debate about global poverty


Nickel wins in this, no comment Vox is Pro Gates publishing. Interesting subject either way

11:15 AM  
Anonymous AS said...

One of the first things Ilhan Omar did upon joining the US Congress was vote yea on an appropriations bill handing $3.3 billion to Israel, including over $815 million for "advanced weapon systems." The bill also condemns the Arab League's boycott of Israel, and blocks funds from being dispersed to "support a Palestinian state" until the Palestinian Authority submits to a long list of US demands. The fake 'row' over her supposed anti-Israel comments is empty spectacle.

And then there's this, from Jan. 2018:

MPHA Enlists Rep. Ilhan Omar for Its Privatization Campaign

"The strategy of Omar and [MPHA director Gregory] Russ was to sell their new privatization plans to all white wealthy homeowners and to ignore all Black, Muslim, Somalis, Oromos, poor, and low- income residents of Glendale, and Cedar Riverside who are fighting 24/7 to save their community."

11:18 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yr gonna hafta do a bit better than these links. 1st link had 0 info on Ilhan; 2nd link generated an error message.


11:28 AM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

Could the hustling lifestyle be a cause? Pollutants in our air, food, and water? Or just the stress of our disintegration and collapse?

"More Americans under the age of 40 are having heart attacks"

12:10 PM  
Anonymous FerQ said...

@Puss Killian: I, as a Puerto Rican-Mexican, can tell you that despite being a US colony, Puerto Rico still has maintained certain elements of its culture. The last time I was there was in 2017 and I arrived only a couple months before Hurricane Maria devastated the island and I was there when the devastation happened. I was planning to stay there then to decide whether I wanted to spend the rest of my life in Puerto Rico or if I wanted to return to Mexico. After the hurricane it seemed clear to me that I would be better off in Mexico. I took it as a sign.
To answer your question, Puerto Rico does not have a culture of rush and hurry up and most of the ppl there are not obessessed with becoming millionares. There are certain sectors of ppl that are American wannabees and you do see a number of Mercedes in the streets especially in the San Juan area but most of the ppl tend to live a relaxed and healthy life. Unfortunately, you can see that American influence has done a good amount of damage to the culture such as the language. Many ppl use a vocabulary what is called "anglicismos" or spanglish which are words and phrases that are not part of the traditional Spanish and you can also see alot of fast-food resturants esp. in the cities. On a social-psychological level, unfortunately many ppl think their status as a colony of the US is something good and have been brainwashed to think of the US as a type of saviour that didn´t allow Puerto Rico to suffer the same fate as many of its naeighbours in Latin America. In general, ppl there are friendly and you do not get that negativity like you do in the US.

What really worries me is what will happen to Puerto Rico when the US finally collapses?

12:36 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

MB, I'd be sorely disappointed if a follower gadget were to be installed on this site. Something about mindless convenience allowing one to feel like a participant without having to actually read and digest our discussions. Doesn't feel Waferick to me.

It will make your numbers go up and increase the monetary value of the blog (for the Italian villa). I'd understand.

12:55 PM  
Anonymous Elizabeth Goethe said...

The Chronical Review has an opinion piece about MB!

Why Do People Love to Hate Steven Pinker?

By proclaiming the gospel of human progress, the Harvard psychologist has made a lot of enemies.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I cdn't find any ref to me in the Chron essay.


The monetary value of this blog is 0.


1:32 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferes

@ Liz I couldn't find any mention of MB in the Pinker piece either. In a speed read scan.

@P Killian thanks for the post on the Robert Gore essay.Yes, disturbing, but likely to be "the shape of things to come". It is a conversational thread I expound upon often on with a prog realist truck driver buddy of mine.

From "White Noise" - Babette's dad speaks: "You're the only person I know that's educated
enough to give me the answer."
"The answer to what?"
"Were people this dumb before television?" (chuckling)

@MB- a thought following from the previous thread - terrorizing civilian populations is well documented, as the amerikan way, in "An Indigenous People's History of the United States." Very sad, as I resume a slow read of this book. Walter McDougall expounded on the hustle and con in "Freedom Just Around the Corner." Both are Wafer "must reads" I learned about from DAA blog. Which explains how we have la casa blanca con el gringo. Inevitability and the politics of eternity.

The imminent approach of the 6th Annual Wafer Summit has caused me to drool in anticipation of the pilgrimage to NYC! O&D!

2:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I was referring to *aerial* terrorism of civilian populations. Clearly, the 'scorched earth' policy was central to the American massacre of native populations, way b4 that.

Excitement re: 6ANYWSM is building! The mayor contacted me regarding potential riots upon my arrival at LGA: "I don't know if I can control the surging mobs," he told me. "It's your fault for giving hope to so many Americans. We may hafta change the venue to Yankee Stadium."


2:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Recommended TV series for Wafers: Manhunt Unabomber

5:28 PM  
Anonymous Steven Rosenberg said...

Great review of ⁦Barry Strauss⁩’s new history of the Empire. Can’t wait to read this one.

“Much of Ten Caesars reads like a script for Game of Thrones….This superb summation of 4 centuries of Roman history, a masterpiece of compression, confirms Barry Strauss as the foremost academic classicist writing for the general reader today.”

7:14 PM  
Anonymous Leah McElrath ‏ said...

This sounds bad. I was spending my afternoon attempting to find more reporting on this to confirm. but coming up with slim pickens. I must admit, I had higher hopes for El Presidente. MB - any insider scoops from the border's southern side??
"His concentration of power in an already strong presidency bodes ill for civil society and fragile institutions.

"In his first 100 days, Lopez Obrador's biggest accomplishment: centralizing political power and undermining Mexico’s democracy."

7:31 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


Great interview w/Jeff Brown. I can't wait to read yr new book about Italian creativity and genius. It sure sounds like it's gonna be great, as usual. I particularly liked the way you responded to Jeff's question regarding future work regarding America: frankly, it's boring. Jesus, truer were never spoken. Outside of the recalcitrant activities of a P. Snoots or a Tracey McCloud, it's kinda like been there done that. In any case, I'm saddened that we will not get to read what is sure to be a best seller from your hand: "Blowjob Queen: The Noteworthy Rise of Penny Snoots."



8:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


You can't imagine the nostalgia I felt upon reading the link abt "Larry". I can't recall: I may have met him during my 70s yrs in SF, because the gang I hung out with during those yrs were close friends of his. I loved the "Coney Island" bk yrs b4 that; and then seeing all those familiar spots in North Beach...Jesus, I wish I cd be there for the various events. No such luck, I fear, but at least I can read "Little Boy" when it comes out. LF outlived everyone of his generation--Peter Berg, Gregory Corso, Yolanda at Café Trieste--except for Gary Snyder, I guess. What heroic yrs those were, which I glimpsed only from the margins. But that was taste enuf. May Larry live a few decades more.

As for Penny...I keep thinking abt it. I like yr title, tho I've also been toying with "She Blew Away a Nation."


Don't believe the American press about AMLO, and certainly not rt-wing crap from Bloomberg. His confrontation w/the huichicoleros--gas thieves--was very courageous, and successful, and left him w/an approval rating of 87%. Then he blasted the last 5 presidents for looting the Mexican treasury, wh/is true enuf, and also took guts. Most Mexicans love him, and w/gd reason.


9:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


9:11 PM  
Anonymous Dinucci said...

I stay offline on the wkends, almost missed this!

Finland: Government Collapses Over Universal Health Care Costs,

Bernie2020 Hardest Hit!

9:40 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The Scandanavian countries are not really socialist; they are mixed-economy, which means modified capitalist. For these things to work requires a balancing act. Apparently Finland failed to do the proper balancing. As for the fallout here, anything that defeats Bernie is a gd thing, because in terms of our own necessary collapse, we cannot allow anything to stop Trumpi. In 2020, he must crush the opposition. Hopefully the Dems will nominate Tulsi Gabbard.


10:14 AM  
Anonymous AS said...


The first link contains the information regarding the appropriations bill I referenced. Click the hyperlink "Roll no. 11" for the list of Congressional reps who voted "yea" or "nay" (Omar's name is on the "yea" list). For the full text of the bill itself, click the hyperlink "text: CR H32-155," and then the fourth item on the list: "CONSOLIDATED APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2019; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 1." If you wish to quickly jump to the sections concerning Israel, simply hold down Ctrl+F on your keyboard and type "Israel" into the pop-up box - this will highlight all mentions of Israel in yellow and you can scroll down & read the information for yourself (again, here's the link:

As for the DGHC link, I double-checked it and had no issue accessing the site. It may be a problem on your end. I can email you the full text if you'd like.

P.S. No surprise to see Hedges rallying to Omar's defense:

11:27 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


1st link: way too much trouble. 2nd link: I still can't access it. As for Hedges on Israel: spot-on, imo. Ilhan's waffling on Obama was v. bad, of course, but regarding Israel, her take is nothing new. Many have said the same, esp. Mearsheimer and Walt in 2007, which generated the same defensive hurricane.


11:42 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

The Ballad of Buster Scruggs on Netflix opens with Buster singing the song Cool Water. My mom picked up on it right away noting a Burl Ives' version from many yrs ago. I found it on YouTube and it occurred to me - who in their right mind would write a ballad (nuff said) about something as simple as water today? Here's the link:

And in related water news the city of Security (southeast of Colorado Springs) is suing the Air Force for turning their aquifer into a toxic slime. It appears a fire retardant foam used since the 70's is to blame. Big coincidence, Security, closeby Ft. Carson is home to many soldiers and their families.

"Robert Kraft/P. Snoots in 2020 for a future that will 'blow' you away"

1:32 PM  
Blogger Janet D said...

@Dinucci...I have a close friend who is currently living in Finland & we talk regularly. The Finnish government did not "collapse". The Parliament & President & Constitution are all intact/fine, the effect of SOME resignations (the Cabinet responsible for health care reform) is not affecting ever day life, elections are a few weeks away. My friend would confirm what the below article states, "With the election so close, analysts said the effect of Sipila’s resignation would be minor."

Finland, like many other countries, is having a difficult time achieving health care reform. Apparently there are some conflicts with desired health care reform and certain parts of the Constitution, so it makes it more difficult. In the article, you will see that Finland spends 9.5% of it's GDP on health care.

Guess what the U.S. (you know, the bastion of capitalist freedom) spends on health care...18% of GDP. Oh - and the world's top medical journal (The Lancet) rates health care access & quality in Finland as #6 in the world; the U.S. is #29. Finland has problems, ours are much worse.

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Galloway said...

"We have become a disgrace to our neighbours, scorn and contempt to all round us."
(Psalms 79.4)

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Nordic Notions said...

I am a long-time lurker and an overseas Wafer - almost from the very beginning. I developed a weird interest in cultural differences long time ago; I was an exchange student in USA 30 years ago. I am glad that I did not understand, at the time, that my host family had me because of money. I was a 500 dollar a month foreigner living in the basement. Literally. So much for mutual cultural understanding…;)

This is probably my combined both debut and farewell posting, but I´d like to expand on the piece covering government collapsing in Finland, as I have a bit of a home court advantage. Some of it was accurate, but some of it was not. Moreover, the conclusions in the piece are highly questionable. MB is right about the mixed-economy nature and balance concerns.

On the whole, demographic skewness is a force to be reckoned with, but our government did not collapse. Rather, it resigned, because there is an election just around the corner and the prime minister / the Central party (rural area, agriculture, moderate capitalist), which has been in power, did not want to be held accountable for the mess that they had created. The ex-entrepreneur-turned-into-a-prime-minister went all in on this (unconstitutional) reform that was aiming at privatizing a huge part of healthcare – into hands of his buddies, venture capitalist lead big business, run for profit and taxes on those profits not even to be paid in Finland.

Grim reality was exposed a month ago, when these publicly listed companies got caught cheating on quality. For example, there is reason to believe that elderly people have died because of this systematic, intentional and prolonged neglect. People got furious. Running out of money is not really the gist of it. It is this attempt to apply predatory capitalism into fundamentally sound system.

3:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thank you for your Finnish input. Frankly, I don't really believe much of what the US press says about semi-socialist experiments or whatever; they all have a vested interest in neoliberalism, and in keeping the American people in the dark. Furthermore, as you learned many yrs ago, if you want to understand American behavior, cherchez l'argent. We don't really give a shit about democracy.

Anyway, you shd continue to post. Don't lurk; live!


3:57 PM  
Anonymous Vic Bold said...

Going to New York City? Feel frisky and SPEND.

I don't know about what your guys figure, but I think it's time for the war against
China to begin. Just look at this outrage against us!!!

4:01 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

When your spawn needs a helping hand, ya give it.

“US federal prosecutors have charged Hollywood actors Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin along with almost 50 other people over a $25m scheme to help wealthy Americans buy their children’s way into elite universities including Yale, Georgetown, Stanford and the University of Southern California.

Thirty-three parents, including Huffman and Loughlin, were charged, as well as 13 college sports coaches and associates of Singer’s business. Dozens, including Huffman, were arrested by midday in what authorities called a “conspiracy nationwide in scope”.
“These parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege,” Andrew Lelling, US attorney for the district of Massachusetts, said in a press conference on Tuesday morning. “Based on the charges unsealed today, all of them knowingly conspired with Singer and others to … buy their children’s admission to elite schools through fraud.”

Felicity Huffman among dozens charged over admissions fraud at top US schools

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Felonious Monk said...

Here in the States, EVERYONE is a grifter/criminal

5:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


These people are the *real* trash of American society--the ultimate hustlers. Once again, check out "Big Little Lies" for a portrait of such folk in Northern Cal: their way of life, their value system. They think they're the best; in fact, they're the worst.


5:10 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hola MB and Wafers,

And this is what the hustler's kid does at USC:

What a nauseating scheme. I tell ya, for the rich in this nation there are no laws, no standards, and no limits.


6:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Jesus, what a douche baguette. So Lori contributed 500K to get this airhead, who cdn't care less abt education, into USC? Somebody get me a barf bag...


6:38 PM  
Blogger Vaquero Supreme said...

Regarding the recent college admissions scandal: that's Meritocracy, American style, baby!

7:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


In America, the beautiful people are actually the dregs of humanity.


8:11 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferes,

The college scam that hit the feed today happens from the highest income levels down to the lowest levels. I have a niece and a nephew. Their parents, my sis and her hub, are both "edumacaters." The niece took six years to take a bachelor's degree in "exercise science". I said, "say WHAT?" When I was informed that it is a virtually useless and worthless degree it made complete sense to me that she has ended up as a depressed, teacher/coach at a charter school deep in the heart of Tejas... sheeeesh... with brains like this it is no wonder the ship of state is sinking fast. Exercise? A science?

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

I can’t get that upset about the college admissions scandal because I know that Americans will probably take the wrong lesson from it. Americans will double down on calls for true meritocracy rather than dumping the concept entirely which is what we should do. There is evidence that belief in meritocracy actually makes people more selfish, less generous, less self-critical and more prone to discriminatory behavior. Belief in the power of luck on the other hand makes you more generous.

I agree that the rich in America are obscene in their behavior but it doesn’t really bother me that some people are born into privilege. In fact, I think the college scandal is what happens when you don’t have a real aristocratic tradition. Everything becomes a hustle and so people will do anything to get ahead.

A more traditional hereditary aristocracy at least has the benefit of explicitly owing its position to luck instead of merit. If I lived in a monarchy like Great Britain I would support the monarchy on the same principles that Chris Dillow argued for on his blog.

8:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Well I'll be hornswoggled dept.:

10:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

From the LA Times:

"Interim USC President Wanda Austin issued a statement to the university on Tuesday acknowledging the investigation and calling USC a 'victim' in the scheme. She noted that among those accused of involvement were a longtime athletics department employee, a coach and three former members of the coaching staff.

'It is immensely disappointing that individuals would abuse their position at the university in this way,' Austin said. 'As our work on culture and values continues, we must take the appropriate action when we become aware of behavior that is contrary to our values.'"

Contrary to our values??! WTF are you talking about, lady?


11:36 PM  
Anonymous Aaron Thomas said...

MB, I have to say I don't mind at all that rich kids get into college; this has been the norm throughout history and civilization came from inequality. This idea that every single person needs to go to college and be competitive just doesn't make sense.

The problem is that the rich people aren't doing what they're supposed to. They're not actually using their riches to get an education. Instead, they're using their wealth to just live lives of luxury without actually doing anything.

1:17 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, you've got a pt, but think abt this:

The reason every single person in the US 'needs' to get an education is that statistically, higher education tends to correlate with job income. I think it's that link that needs to be broken.

There are a few quotes online from the turkette Olivia Jade, in wh/she says she sees college as party time, and has no interest in getting an education. She has a following of millions, which means millions of teenage girls look up to her, and share her values. A pretty gd profile of America, it seems to me. (cf. Richard Hofstadter)

Some yrs ago Ronald Dworkin (now deceased) wrote an essay in the NYRB in which he asserted that there wasn't a single institution in the US that wasn't corrupt. Quite an amazing statement from a prof. of jurisprudence. Paul Fussell wrote that everything in the US is coated with a fine layer of fraud. Of course, that was a while back; now we wd hafta say 'thick' instead of 'fine'.


6:40 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Well, Larry Kummer, editor of the Fabius Maximus website, started his website to reinvigorate American society in 2006. He has concluded that the US government cannot be reformed and US society is disintegrating. I do not agree with the statement, "Pollution, climate change, overpopulation, debt, the inevitable next recession, Trump becoming dictator, Obama’s communist jihadist revolution, etc. – are bogus." Pollution, climate change, overpopulation are important in a very transnational way - his next statement I do agree with, "Decay of society is real and far more difficult to deal with. We might lack the will and wit to even try." I think he's right about a lot in this article.

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not sure if many Wafers are following the Brexit mess unfolding right now across the pond, but in the bad-is-good department, it doesn't get any better than this. Theresa May seems to have a god-given talent to accumulate screw up after screw up. At this point it's impossible to predict what's going to happen, but it certainly puts a big nail in Europe's coffin and the neo-liberal progressive model that underpins it. O&D!


1:42 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

After reading this I'm left with the burning question why isn't this man on the Supreme Court already?

He and his buddy Bros Thomas and Kavanaugh would do wonders for the decline.

1:53 PM  
Anonymous Nordic Notions said...

Hello Dr. Berman, thank you for your kind and encouraging words. The site and Wafers have been very important to me over the years, even as a passive lurker. Although I am rather snowed under with everything in my life, perhaps I could occasionally provide some random thoughts.

In fact, I have been recently thinking of differences in healthcare systems in USA and in Nordic countries. Namely, how important it is to have government stand up for an individual, when health issues emerge. We have our own problems, but to have two sides or a pre-defined marching order in priorities: State / government & person against corporate interest. I believe that Americans, or Bernie supporters, call this a single payer model.

Obama really had me going 2008. I genuinely thought that he was going to deliver some sort of a New Deal 2.0 with a healthcare leaning - or at least fight for it. I was excited when he won, with all the political capital and momentum imaginable. Then I waited and hoped. Hoped and waited. Nothing. Not even after securing the second term. Then I heard him say on TV something like this: “There is no healthcare solution without insurance companies…”. That´s when I realized he is no FDR. Obama had just talked a good game. The whole ordeal was like a eunuch´s wedding night.

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Local Yokel said...

Bernie Sanders on honeymoon in the USSR

Sanders and wife praising the Potemkin Villages there.

Why was an American dem socialist and his bride praising palatial metro stations built for show in a country full of rampant poverty and squalor? (Other than the totally pointless gilt and marble in the metro, Soviet public transit was abysmal, with decrepit & incredibly overcrowded vehicles.

I am still waiting to see Bernie's tax record, and would like to hear more on his unnerving take on Venezuela

4:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


When he was running for office in 2008, a group of black elders (all women) met with him for a couple of hours to learn more about him and what he planned to do if he won. They emerged from the meeting with a unanimous verdict: "This man has no moral center."


4:50 PM  
Anonymous Pawn said...

Re: Brexshit

Lest we forget it was Theresa May herself that created this March 29, 2019 deadline (2 years ago) for reasons of "party management". So...she could've taken a *little* time to prepare the UK *before* turning the doomsday key.

What a joke of a Brexshitshow

5:13 PM  
Anonymous AS said...


Ok, here's the direct link to the vote tally - 241 yeas, 190 nays (as you'll see, Omar was a "yea").

Here's the direct link to the text of the bill itself. You'll have to do some scrolling if you want to read the Israel sections, but that's as easy as I can make it for ya.

So the point stands: Omar claims to oppose to Israeli influence & the mistreatment of Palestinians, but her opposition is so far only rhetorical; as a Congressional representative, she has supported the Israeli government and the development of its weapon systems. Is she on AIPAC's payroll as well?

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Edwards said...

A thought on: On the Genealogy of Morality - Wikipedia / Donald Trump is our avatar of Nietzsche’s “blonde beast”: Id-driven, aggressive, unreflective, racist.

This is not your Granddaddy's Nietzche!

5:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Genealogy of Morals.


I tend to doubt it. Someone wd have discovered it already.


5:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I've been thinking abt appropriate sentences for the upper-class trash involved in the college admissions scam--50 people or so.

1. Lock them up for 20 yrs.
2. All they will have to eat during that time is a douche bag, 1 per day.
3. Plus, every morning, they have their shoes peed on.

Wafers are encouraged to design their own favorite punishments for these turkeys.


8:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Blog rule: only 1 post every 24 hrs. Thank you.


9:37 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Haveta mute my tv whenever I watch pbs newshour their “corporate sponsors” ads are a depressing reminder the “public” checked out long ago - they always wrap up with “and from viewers like you” it’s like a “fuck you, because of you we have to prostitute ourselves.”

But tonight’s story on asbestos is truly frightening- we are just screwed blue and tattooed on so many levels. Enjoy.

10:19 PM  
Anonymous Bingo said...

You were so right, MB.

The Collapse of Western Civilization:


10:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, he said it all. And thank god, no 'solution' at the end. Required viewing, for sure.


11:29 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@MB--Hmmm...where have I seen the term "Suez moment" used to describe America before? I think the author overstates the case a bit--I for one will believe that the Germans are serious about ordering the U.S. military (all 39 bases worth) off their soil when they actually do it--but I think he's cribbing your notes.

@Local--at least we know Sanders visited at least one foreign country other than Canada, unlike most douchebag Americans. And as for his stance on Venezuela, I don't get your meaning. Personally, I was appalled that he didn't more forcefully condemn Trump's attempted military coup. Is that what you meant?

@Aaron--it's credentialism, and it's largely pushed by professional class progs. Used to be that if you wanted to be a lawyer, all you had to do was pass the bar exam. But as you can imagine that led to a lot of the wrong kind of people becoming lawyers--people who might actually fight for labor, for example. All college admissions should be strictly merit based, and no one with shit-for-brains allowed no matter how much money they have. Of course, that would lead to the nearly every university--including all the Ivys--shutting down.

11:46 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The # of writers cribbing my notes wd make for a fairly long list, altho (to be fair) I suspect most of them are unaware of it.

As for Brexit: to those of you who don't know what to say when someone asks you abt it, the best answer is: "Brexit, Schmexit!" That is literally the most insightful comment one can make abt this endless discussion/pile of shit.


11:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

US health care is civil war.

Brexit is Jarndyce v Jarndyce.

Thought is copy and paste.

Life is a series of marketing opportunities followed by death.

1:11 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd bumper stickers! Altho I wd insert the word 'American' b4 your last two statements.


5:05 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: In the pilot of the show, "The Americans," Elizabeth Jennings (Keri Russell) says of Americans, "There’s a weakness in the people, I can feel it." A deep sadness as well, I wd add. Americans created a system that destroyed any chance of being truly human.

6:01 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@Bill Hicks,

I think progs and conservatives are to blame for the rise of credentialism because for years they supported policies that destroyed the economy for working-class people which has resulted in our current obsession with higher education as the only road to a decent life.

Union busting, outsourcing, automation and bad trade deals like NAFTA have all contributed to the creation of a society where there are only a handful of good jobs left and most of those jobs require a college education. That is why there is such intense competition in college admissions now.

Unfortunately even if we cleaned up college admissions and made it entirely merit based there would still be the problem of what to do with the millions of Americans who do not have a college degree and who still make up the majority of the population. There are only so many professional-managerial class job openings available and now even some of those jobs are being outsourced or automated away.

7:05 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

HAIL BETO!!! The NEXT Messiah who has come to SAVE AMERICA from its ongoing collapse!! Just like Obama!!

9:27 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

This invasion of the North Korean embassy in Spain by 10 individuals associated with the CIA happened February 22, before the failed February 27-28 Hanoi meeting between Trump and Kim Il Jong.

10:42 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

And does it get any better for an American than Vanity Fair, family snapshots by Annie Leibowitz?

I was on the fence until Jonathan Chait chimed in....

F**k them all with a fork sideways. I thought Trump was the pinnacle of the President we deserve, but I see there are more heights to be reached. At least Trump knows he’s a con man. What’s the fun of this decadent circus without a clown in the center ring?

On a smaller and less entertaining scale, a friend recently discovered that our city is part of something called District 2030 ( registered). we have been trying to find some content to what this means, how it is implemented,concrete plans or systematic procedures. Nothing. Just piles of basic business- gov buzzwords with the vaguest of goals. Reminds me of Beto, come to think of it.

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Glen said...

Trump to Breitbart on how the left plays tough: "I have the support of the police, the support of the military, the support of the Bikers for Trump — I have the tough people, but they don’t play it tough — until they go to a certain point and then it would be very bad, very bad."

For those who had called Trump a fascist. The requirement to that definition is inciting paramilitary action against political opponents. So the label was incorrect. Until this.

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

A bit of humor; Marie Antoinette visits Capitol Hill-

4:55 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

The depth and scale of the deceit involved in this college admission scandal/racket conjures up an incredible chapter in America's continuous hustling tradition. Those who made "contributions" to Singer's shell-game foundation to get *their* kids into elite schools wrote it off, tax wise, as charitable gift giving, since Singer's foundation was publicly known as a foundation which helped low-income kids get a better education. Everyone involved in this should be prosecuted and jailed. The kids should be immediately expelled.

I also hafta say, it's astounding how absolutely corrupt and tone-deaf administrators are at these institutions, as sport coaches sitting right underneath their noses, took hundreds of thousands of dollars in brides to let in unqualified rich kids. Whatever happened to the buck stops here? Or should I say million bucks! Pardon me as I fucking pass out.


6:27 PM  
Anonymous Tim Millee said...

JJ - i think this is basically right, i.e., B's main reason for running is that he's charismatic, an empty vessel for power.

More broadly - it is a perplexity of our time as to why essentially every person in Congress is willing to completely debase themselves to keep a job that is not fun, doesn't pay well, and where very little is accomplished. This explains our ending up w/ candidates like both B & his more nasty seeming Republican counterparts

7:37 PM  
Anonymous AS said...

Some findings from a recent Gallup poll:

- 68% of Americans (including 55% of Democrats) say the US military budget is either "about right" or "too little." The "about right" percentage has reached its highest point in 15 years.

- Only 12% of Americans say US national defense is "stronger than needs to be"

- Percentage of Democrats who say US spends "too much" has dropped 10% since last year. So much for the "Resistance."

Regarding the College admissions hustle, I think this is my favorite bit:

The parents made payments to Mr. Singer’s company that were disguised as donations and would be funneled through the organization to the universities, allowing the parents to claim tax deductions.

A scam on top of a scam; you can't get more American than that.

8:42 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

I'm so used to streaming that I'm very impatient between episodes, what is it these slow news days? I want the next episode in this reality USA! shit show and I'm running out of popcorn. (I may regret saying that soon) It's like children, when they're quiet then they're up to something.

11:37 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Holy shit!!! Laura Loughlin's daughter found out about the charges against her mom in the Bahamas while on the yacht belonging to the chair of the board of trustees of USC. As if all the bribes weren't enough--the daughter apparently also had to whore herself out. She must be a REAL piece of Samsonite.

Meanwhile, the University of New Mexico has hired a major union busting law firm to keep its faculty from unionizing. "In the ten years since UNM gave its faculty even a cost-of-living raise, revenues at Jackson Lewis have more than doubled, from $196 million in 2008 to $420 million in 2018...During the 2016 election cycle, Jackson Lewis’s political action committee handed out more than $70,000 to federal candidates. More than 60 percent of those donations went to Democrats, including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris"

You will get chipped — eventually. No, I fucking won't.

And another corrupt, hustling douchebag has met his downfall...Morris Dees, co-founder of the SPLC. "The Montgomery Advertiser reported that Dees faced accusations throughout the years of discrimination against black employees, as well as scrutiny over his focus on fundraising rather than legal battles related to causes the SPLC supports."

12:27 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Never attack Wafers, not even slightly. Wrong language, bad form.


9:55 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

@ dg: I almost burst into flames while reading your post.

@ Bingo: So yesterday I watched (I admit I started gagging and didn't make it to the end) that "The Collapse of Western Civilization" video you posted, then today read about the New Zealand mosque massacre. I wonder if the killer Kiwi watched the same video.

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Pete Christen said...

MB and Wafers: Anyone with an interest in things medieval should read this clever blog entry about Titivillus and Twittervillus. Some things never change.

1:48 PM  
Anonymous blackadder said...

Prof Berman - In one of your interviews, you mentioned the "negative character" (?) of Americans and referenced Hegel as one who conceptualized the term (tho did not necessarily link it to Americans). Where does Hegel write about this? Are there other writers who reference negative character and make the link to Americans? I assume negative character is one that shuts out contractions to rigidly held beliefs, sometimes violently so. Multiculturalist "scholars" would call this "white fragility"...

I have been intending to ask you "apropos of nothing", but today's mass shooting in NZ, inspired by Trumpi, makes the topic germane.

2:06 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferes,

As usual, I log back in to DAA blog after three days and my mind is blown all over again...(the joys of a drug-free existence).

@Michael Burgess, @Bingo, @Bill hicks, @MB, y todos - outstanding Wafer research. No, I won't get fucking chipped either! I am informed. The Collapse of Western Civilization.

The best and only blog in the world as we know it. Thanks Wafers.

5:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Once in a while I hear of someone going to another blog, and I just can't understand it. Sometimes it even makes me cry.


The phrase is "negative identity," and it's not about shutting out contradictions. I think Hegel discussed it in Phenomenology of the Spirit, section on lord and slave. Jessica Benjamin picked up on it in The Bonds of Love. Check out my discussion of it in QOV.


5:32 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

Interesting if true-

5:41 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Where are the students in this college admissions scandal? Are they still in school, did they graduate? Seems if they weren't qualified in the beginning how or why are they presumably succeeding? One wld think they'd flunk out or quit.

6:21 PM  
Anonymous Jack B said...

wow. just wow.

i guess i'm also amazed this didn't happen already under Mariano Rajoy

Spain to exhume Franco's remains in June

7:35 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

New Zealand massacre--look out for:

sad piano music, bottom lip biting, light shows, we're better than this, love always wins, we stand w/ the Kiwis, action plans, blue-ribbon task forces, solidarity propaganda, pensive looking bureaucrap faces, candles, hugging, after that fact pics of cops w/ guns, Anglo-saxon/anglo-influenced "news" papers calling the shooter/s "extreme" right wingers, mentally deranged, isolated incident, one of the saddest days in history, don't see the shooter video it's scary (translation: Too authentic), etc..etc..

Rinse, lather, repeat-copy cat of the "usual" america style massacre.

Again, Dr. Berman's spot on. One will NOT see any connecting of the dots, or nuance as to the real why in all the "news" except, there will many many more incidents unfortunately.

9:46 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Portrait of a Hustling American Douchebag: What happened to Bubba the Love Sponge? "Tampa’s most famous and infamous radio host says he’s fallen so far, nothing you say can take him lower. But he wants his rivals to go down with him." Bubba's comeuppance began when he secretly videotaped his wife having sex with his supposed friend, Hulk Hogan. What a pimple on humanity's ass.

American Cruelty Dept.: Texas spent $7 million to fight against A/C in a prison. It may only cost $4 million to install. "In 2014, several Pack inmates sued the department...They pointed to at least 23 prisoner deaths in Texas from heat stroke since 1998, 10 of which occurred in the heat wave of 2011."

Ol' Vlad must be quaking in his boots: Amy Klobuchar defends her staff treatment, says toughness needed when dealing with Putin. Just what America needs, a worse "boss" than Donald fucking Trump.

A Sucker Born Every Minute Dept.: The Real Elitists Who Look Down on Trump Voters. "They (West Virginia Manufacturers' Association) argue that...because West Virginians are heavier, their bodies can handle more pollutants, and that because they drink less water, they are less exposed to the pollutants." Even a shit-for-brains needs water to flush.

12:42 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Jean Twenge on the mental health crisis among young Americans.

4:32 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Good morning all,

Still in the throes of getting ready for sale of condo and moving out. Ugh - had no idea there were so many moving parts!!

I agree with @mean - even if I'm not posting much during this crazy time, reading the comments and following the links is a sanity saver - I can tap into some clear thinking!

And no, I will NEVER get chipped either!!

@AS - Americans have absolutely no idea how much money is being spent and what it's being spent on (and, as always, don't want to know). I've tried to educate folks in the past on the Defense budget (having been part of it for some time), and have received either stunned looks of total disbelief, or protestations that it couldn't possibly be that ugly.

Thanks to all Wafers & MB

8:51 AM  
Anonymous FerQ said...

It seems like the principle protagonist of the massacre in NZ was not Kiwi but Aussie.

A question for all: What are the characteristics of ppl in California in general? And what are the characteristics of ppl in the San Francisco Bay Area and in LA in particular?
We all know that Americans are douchebags and are just a bunch of jokes but I ask these questions because I notice something that makes California look "different" from the rest of the country. I am NOT interested in living there or in any part of the US but it is just out of curiosity.

1:18 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

The NZ shooters interesting read....fairly bright guy.

The NZ Shooters manifesto....interesting read...

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Kieran said...

Why Mortality Makes Us Free

The heart of spiritual life can not be found in nirvana or heaven, but in the mutual recognition that this life is our ultimate purpose.

By Martin Hägglund

1:46 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Any investors among the WAFer community who might hold shares of Boeing (NYSE ticker BA) can breathe a bit more easily: BA is recovering some of the ground it lost (intial estimates, $27 billion) after the latest crash on 10 March of its new model 737 Max 8. An Ethiopian Airlines flight departing Addis Ababa for Nairobi crashed 6 minutes after takeoff, killing all 157 aboard. Five months ago (October 2018), another 737 Max 8 flown by Indonesia’s Lion Air crashed into the Java Sea 13 minutes after takeoff, killing 189. Evidence is pointing to a software program whose function is to “sense” when the plane’s nose is in an attitude—nose up—suggesting an imminent stall; the software takes control and pushes the nose down without a pilot’s “intervention.”

Technology, commerce, and cupidity. As of 31 January, Boeing had orders for 5,000 of the planes; it’s delivered 350, of which number two have now crashed. Boeing is working on a fix to the software, but only pressure from foreign carriers either cancelling orders or grounding planes now in service seemed to have a salutary effect.

An opinion piece from the Washington Post highlights once again the degree to which decisions affecting public health and safety always take a back seat to considerations of commerce.

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Puss Killian said...

Second and third to Mean and Italiana!

Also, kudos to Nordic, Mike R., and Bill Hicks as just a few of the outstanding posts on an outstanding blog that leaves me in awe at the breadth of knowledge transfer occurring.

Not much time available to spend here at my favorite blog on earth, but my work week did make one thing positively clear: the government is broken, irreparably. People don't even bother to do their jobs, leading those few who care about such things to pick up the slack. This will never change.

Gotta say that I'm glad to see the reversal on the 737 grounding, keep those suckers on the ground!


3:07 PM  
Blogger ccg said...


I can tell you exactly how it is that unqualified students can get degrees from elite institutions: because of massive grade inflation. Several years ago I spent two years as a visiting professor of physics at Amherst College. These were easily two of the worst years of my life. I vividly recall attending my first faculty meeting, and someone brought up the issue of grade inflation. The president had the registrar stand up and recite some data on the grade distribution. And here's what he said: The average grade at Amherst was A-, and the mode was A-! Jaw dropping to say the least. Following a titter from the faculty, the president said---absolutely nothing.

I later learned that the English department was a reliable source of A+'s. The grades in the science were lower, but only a tad lower, I guess, as otherwise how does one come up with an overall average of A-? Any grade lower than A- was taken by the students to be a failing grade. No surprise there.

It hadn't always been this way at Amherst. I learned that in the 1960's the average grade was C+. That's just what it should have been, but now that's become a joke.

All the elite schools inflate grades. It's rather well known that the hardest thing about a getting a degree from Harvard is getting into the place. The rest is easy if you study the "right" subject. In reality it's the scandal of grade inflation that enabled the current admissions scandal, and nobody seems to be talking it. Of course it goes beyond elite schools, but I suspect nobody's being being bribed to get admitted those schools.

Sorry if this is too long, but this issue really hit a nerve with me.

4:07 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@AS--indeed, I also meant to thank you for posting that poll on the war budget. I would have guessed that the numbers for such a poll would be bad, but they were even worse than I figured. Funny how many of us who have worked in DC (hi Italiana!) are perfectly aware of how out of control it has gotten, but most people outside the Beltway are clueless.

Another good essay from Peter Van Buren: State to Be First to Build Government-Funded Shanty Towns! "With its homeless problem veering out of control, Hawaii has come up with the wave of the future crashing onto its beaches: build shanty towns on the outskirts of its better neighborhoods, warehousing the homeless in vast communities no one will ever have to see the inside of. Except homeless people! This urban feature is a third world mainstay, with rings of such “communities” around Nairobi, Manila, and Delhi. Now it will be All-American for the first time."

And from Zero Anthropology: Americans Can Do Two Things at the Same Time: Chewing Gum, Destroying the World. "As Americans continue on their walk into a bewildering wilderness of confusion and contradiction, as they continue to chew gum and burn the world, no election and no one politician is going to matter."

12:43 AM  
Anonymous Cormorant said...

@ Bingo,

Your link is an anti islamic hatefest. In fact the guy in the video clip sounds exactly like a pre WW 2 fascist would sound, with Muslims replacing Jews. In the wake of Christchurch, this white supremacist shit needs to be called out.

5:01 AM  
Anonymous Taylor Lane said...

Watch "New Rule: Modern-Day King Cyrus | Real Time with Bill Maher (HBO)" on YouTube

Can't stand Bill Maher but still

10:57 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Are any Wafers placing bets on whether or not Bader-Ginsberg will live past Nov 2020? Personally I don't think she'll make it giving 'The Don' one more seat on the court. Here's a handy SCOTUS clock.

12:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Penny Snoots-

I was delighted to hear from you (seriously), but there's no use posting to an older blog post, as no one reads the older material. You might wanna re-send to this current post, perhaps providing us with more detail.


Yes, we were contacted by Penny Snoots. No shit.


I don't think I can help you at this pt. Perhaps seek out a different blog? There are probably many blogs out there that might be more congenial to your style and particular approach.


Yr rt, there's a lot fucked in that link, but also a ton of useful info abt Western decline. I was also thinking that Wafers might wanna take on his various arguments of an anti-gay, anti-Muslim nature, in specific terms. There's material here for a serious debate, it seems to me. The French, for example, are very concerned that their culture might be demographically transformed. Is this legit? Etc.


I don't know what 'mode' means.


3:43 PM  
Anonymous Ruf said...

Facebook: A “digital gangster” whose business model was based on gathering personal data for profit. Personal data was, for Facebook, equivalent to a currency.

5:09 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

Went to a fantastic performance of the ballet "Giselle" yesterday in Philly, to escape a bit. A ballet exec stood up before the show and beseeched the audience to consider donating, as ticket revenue only covers 40% of the production costs. He even elicited a few laughs when he thanked the day's sponsor- a local cemetery and crematorium. (Wafer ballet fans will recall that the entire 2nd act takes place in a cemetery.) Can you imagine tax money fully supporting the arts in the USA, instead of relying on wealthy donors whose names are often applied to performance halls?

6:06 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

“Trump is Dangerous and may fabricate a national emergency to stay in power” - Laurence Tribe, Constitutional Lawyer, Harvard

6:22 PM  
Blogger ccg said...


The mode is the most frequently occurring data value, the most frequently assigned grade in this case.

There is a simple way to address grade inflation, but most administrators, and even most faculty, would likely not support it. They've already been "housebroken" into supporting the status quo. Anyway, transcripts could include not only the student's grade for a course but also the mean grade for the class right beside it. This is, in fact, required for transcripts sent to medical schools. (The med schools picked up on grade inflation a long time ago.) The best students will likely demand their hard work not be wasted, i.e. made indistinguishable from all the rest because of grade inflation. Years ago I heard of a few places that did this successfully, but these weren't elite schools, as I recall. The elites would never do it anyway. I guess the reasons for that are now all too obvious. But they really always were.

6:24 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


I'm delighted that Penny Snoots reached out to all of us. She's a personal hero of mine, to say the least. Forget Saint Patrick's Day, I hereby declare March 17th to be Penny Snoots's Day (PSD).


7:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

White male privilege...

7:36 PM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

Enjoying the discussion on here like usual. I have learned I can ignore the dribble coming from the mainstream media, and I actually feel more informed just reading the perspectives coming from this blog.

I recently re-watched what should be a Wafer classic. God Bless America (2011) written and directed by Bobcat Goldthwait. The whole film is darkly funny and follows a disillusioned man, Frank, who thinks he has just a short amount of time to live because of an inoperable brain tumor. He goes on a violent spree, but only kills those who committed blatant acts of cruelty and stupidity against their fellow man. Frank’s monologue towards the end of the movie skewers the culture in America.

"My name is Frank but that's not important. The important question is who are you? America has become a cruel and viscous place. We reward the shallowest, the dumbest, the meanest, and the loudest. We no longer have any common sense of decency. No sense of shame. There is no right and wrong. The worst qualities in people are looked up to and celebrated. Lying and spreading fear are fine as long as you are making money doing it. We have become a nation of slogan saying bile spewing hate mongers. We've lost our kindness. We've lost our soul. What have we become when we take the weakest in our society and hold them up to be ridiculed for our sport and entertainment.”

9:18 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Wafers--okay, I'll bite as far as that video Julian posted goes. Basically, my take is that it outlines what paleoconservatism has become in the 21st century. Think Pat Buchanan, who for a long time was the movement's leading voice in the U.S., and however ugly his veiled racism, was correct when he ran against globalization as Ross Perot's successor on the Reform Party ticket in 2000. Now the (ahem) torch has been passed to Tucker Carlson, who is currently their strongest voice and has ratings on Fox News even higher than those of staunch neoconservative Bill O'Reilly, who he replaced.

The problem with "calling them out" as "white nationalists" is that it only serves to further fuel their sense of victimhood and does nothing to address the real problem--which is the assault on the western middle class caused by decades of rampant neoliberalism and globalization. That America's wars in the Muslim world touched off the massive wave of refugees whose presence in Europe is fueling xenophobia and authoritarianism should not be surprising. Nor should it be a surprise that offshoring much of America's good paying manufacturing jobs while encouraging a huge wave of cheap immigrant labor to cross the southern border is doing the same thing here at home. As for the refugees and immigrants, the real tragedy is not just how they are now being treated in America and Europe, it's that they have to endure such treatment at the hands of the very societies which made their homelands a living hell. Some antiwar lefties like Caitlin Johnstone have suggested a political alliance with the paleos to end America's wars, but I disagree. At the end of the day, paleos are typical douchebag Americans--all they really care about is whatever best helps them get their hustle on, and if they come to think some new war is in their interest, they'll be all over it like a cheetah on a water buffalo.

1:30 AM  
Anonymous Richard said...

The Pentagon’s Bottomless Money Pit – Rolling Stone

8:16 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hello Wafers,

As a teacher of English as a foreign language in Spain, I often have to explain not only vocabulary but usage, too. I've been compiling a list of words that give some insight into current American usage. If it's true that language shapes perspective and how we think, as some recent research suggests, these words are particularly troubling. Most of my students are incredulous when I explain the context of the words. Here is my current list:

gaslight, killing it, lockdown, crushing it, bulletproof, game changer, weaponised, playbook, stand-down.

Starting to get the picture? What a brutal and terrifying society. And I haven´t even begun to list all the political insults that are found in online comments.

Feel free to add to the list. This is just a start.

12:40 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferinos,

@MB - Thou shalt have no other blogs before thee.

A contact from P. Snoots? Awesome, dude!

@ Puss and @ Ital - Thanks for the nod of approval. I've been known to be mean (not very) but I strive to be reasonable. Foolish? Likely true, perhaps...

@Puss - re: the Boeing 737 SNAFU - Since 1988 I've boarded one round-trip and one one-way 737 flight. I stay away from air terminals. It has somewhat lessened my exposure to douchebaggage. That's why I'm driving to DC, parking the car with a friendly couple, and taking the NE Regional to NYC for The 6ANYWS (did I get that right?)

Any Wafers taking the EARLY morning NE Regional leaving DC at 3:15am for NYC? It would be fun to share a few observations on the way to the summit meeting. We could discuss nuclear disarmament of North Korea, or the nuclear option of Penny Snoots, or even get some sleep.

Until then, O&D!

2:28 PM  
Anonymous Rosenberg said...

Anyone wanting to understand Al-Noor Mosque in Christchurch would be well advised to read Ian Clarke's 2006 article "Essentialising Islam: Multiculturalism and Islamic Politics in New Zealand", available here

3:13 PM  
Anonymous Dale Bronner said...

O'Rourke 'not ... proud' of teenage murder fantasy writing

The guy creeps me out!

7:51 PM  
Anonymous Baskets said...

FerQ-- Re: People in California, specifically the Bay Area:

The Bay Area has been, and continues to be, a pretty ethnically diverse region and is a haven for LGBTQ communities. I would say this diversity of peoples and backgrounds can give you a varied experience when encountering Bay-area denizens, but it really comes down to the neighborhood you go to...

However, it's becoming more like NYC, a playground for the rich. The flood of capital into silicon valley, San Francisco and the East Bay in the past thirty years, has truly crushed the soul out of most of these Bay Area cities. It's now very crowded (every municipality is in the grip of NIMBYism, will never build up for residential, which it needs to do), which makes the cost of living obscene. All of this equates to too much traffic, gentrification, long commutes for the working class who have been pushed's been sad to experience this change.

The money has brought in a tech-douche element that has permeated the region. There's a sameness to all the 'hip' breweries and artisan craft food restaurants that have opened. It drips pretentiousness and it boggles the mind what people pay for a burger. Walk down a street in SF during the commute and you won't find a single person not looking at their phone. I think a city like SF can be fun if you're young and have money to burn...but it's just too expensive and full of strivers who work long hours and are addicted to social media and their narcissistic lifestyles. Check out Rebecca Solnit's book Hollow City for more on the effects of the 90s tech boom, which holds true and is even worse today.

A lot of people have left the Bay Area for LA, which tells you a lot. Hating on LA used to be a hobby for everyone up here!


10:17 PM  
Anonymous Toto said...

Re: your productive conversation MB.

New Zealand shooter's manifesto apparently inspired by this French author's book who argues that Europe is being taken over by immigrants.

8:21 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...


Only 1 post every 24 hrs, thanks.


Wrong tone. Search for a different blog?




Monetized, moronized.


One of my favorite films.


9:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


For some reason, I'm suddenly showing up as Unknown. Sorry.

Meanwhile: Regarding the message from P. Snoots (above): Talk abt distinguished visitors. How she found this blog is quite beyond me.

But it also left me sad, because I thought: What abt all the others whom we have honored on this blog? Why haven't we heard from Shaneka Torres, Lorenzo Riggins, Brittany Carulli, Laquisha Jones, and our future president, Tulsi Gabbard? You mean to tell me that Laquisha can't take 2 mins off from bashing elderly Mexicans with a brick to drop me a note? Or that Freddy Wadsworth can't take a short break from fucking goats? And where, I ask you, is Ms. Walraven? What is wrong with these people? All we are asking for is elementary courtesy from these exemplary American citizens, these cutting-edge intellects who represent the finest that America has to offer. Sheesh.


10:10 AM  
Anonymous Louise said...


Virginia Woolf? Snob! Richard Wright? Sexist! Dostoyevsky? Anti-Semite!

“[W]e’d all be better readers if we realized that it isn’t the writer who’s the time traveler. It’s the reader. When we pick up an old novel, we’re not bringing the novelist into our world [...], we’re journeying into the novelist’s world [...].”

(I've seen this discussion on this blog b4)

12:06 PM  
Anonymous Vic Bold said...

Suggestive? (90 secs)

1:16 PM  
Anonymous FerQ said...

To Baskets:

Thank you very much for your answer. I would never plan to live in California as I don´t want to return to the US. I did have curiosity to see LA but it would only be a visit. If I ever get the chance I would visit LA but SF does not get my attention and I know that place is FULL of money hungry and tech obsessed douchebags.
Again thank you for your response.


5:06 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferes,

6ANYWSM! Prepare for a mob at the airport terminal and venue. Penny Snoots is rumored to be making an appearance dressed in a fire retardant orange jumpsuit. Riot gear is suggested as proper attire for the brave and the few...


5:25 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Cpl more words ‘leverage’ and ‘stakeholder ‘

Wrath of a woman scorned. Monica Lewinsky cld make things interesting. Get your Clinton effigies here - 2 for $10.

In techno/medical douchebaggery the new HBO documentary on Elizabeth Holmes fits Wafer sensibilities quite well. The C word wld be a compliment.

9:06 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@jjarden--Keep in mind that Tribe has an extremely virulent case of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Lotsa of liberals said the same thing about Bush, as did conservatives about Obama.

Today in Stupid Higher Edumacation tricks: University of Akron offers buy-out to 47 percent of faculty. "The offer is to full-time permanent (non-visiting) faculty who are not in what the university calls a 'Strategic Investment Area.' No law school, polymer science, or engineering faculty can take the offer." Just what we need, more lawyers and engineers and no history or social science classes.

"Every time I think the University of Illinois can't sink any lower they prove me wrong. They're now seeking job applications for a **completely unpaid** adjunct lecturer position. Master's degree required."

And here's an astonishing People Magazine quote from "social influencer" Olivia Jade (Laura Laughlin's daughter), who already had a 7-figure deal to hawk makeup products and hardly needed the bogus USC degree her mom paid $500K for: “I don’t know how much of school I’m gonna attend but I’m gonna go in and talk to my deans and everyone, and hope that I can try and balance it all. But I do want the experience of like game days, partying. … I don’t really care about school, as you guys all know.” So who is dumber, her, or her mother for paying a half million dollar bribe for a degree her daughter didn't even want?

10:04 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

More African-Americans are dying as the opioid epidemic spreads to the East Coast. Rates of heroin use and prescription opioid misuse in blacks and whites have begun to converge in recent years.

8:32 AM  
Anonymous Rupert\ said...

The New Zealand Mosque Massacre Blame Game Is Out of Control

Who should we blame for the New Zealand atrocity?
Apart from the Christchurch gunman himself, it isn’t clear that anyone else is responsible for the massacre

8:52 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Thanks for two more!

9:45 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


De Blasio is talking abt calling out the National Guard, for when I touch down at LGA.


Amazing how much time some people have on their hands.


10:00 AM  

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