April 23, 2019

Charge of the Wafer Brigade

With apologies to Lord Tennyson:

"Morons to the right of them/Morons to the left of them/Morons in front of them/Volleyed and thundered/Stormed at with shot and shell/Boldly they rode and well/Into the jaws of douchebaggery/Into the mouth of utter buffoonery/Rode the brave 168."

I think that says it all.

-mb

186 Comments:

Blogger Krakhed said...

CHARGE!

I think the police are getting soft these days. Kid should have been gunned down for picking up the cell phone that his friend dropped.

https://www.vox.com/identities/2019/4/22/18511178/broward-arrest-teenager-violence-video-justice-for-lucca

11:50 AM  
Anonymous Pete Christen said...

Welcome back, MB. While you were out, I re-read TAC. The book is prophetic. You nailed it two decades ago. I was reminded of those Old Testament prophets -- the truth-tellers who 99.9% of the people ignored. If humans survive the current moment, you may be in the future be anthologized in a book on the prophetic tradition. Or your books might be achieve scriptural status. That's probably more likely. Nice to have you back.

12:40 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

I recall when moronic "W" was finally given the job after weeks of waiting to see who won the election, someone gave advice for the coming years: "The three g's."
Vital were (1)Gold, meaning money, (2)get away plan, choose your next country
after due research, and (3)have a gun in case things do not go as planned. When
"W" won his second term, everyone I knew was aghast. Should "D" do the same, what
advice can you give?

1:13 PM  
Anonymous El Regio said...

NeilW--thanks for that!

A big difference I see in U.S. from say Mexico, is that in Mexico we recognize the existence of pendejos. There are obviously people who are impaired in some serious fashion and one has to have compassion for their plight. In U.S. everybody who would ordinarily be a garden variety lazy stupid person has some diagnosis and is thus no longer responsible for attempting to improve themselves. Its an oversimplification I guess but it seems that there is an intellectual/cultural statis where on one had everyone is so proud to be american, on another it seems the majority are impaired either mentally or physically. Getting ordinary things done via the myriad bureaucracies I find maddening at the sheer level of institutional idiocy. Its quite tragic and doubly so as so few want to take a long hard look at the reality of the situation.

1:30 PM  
Anonymous Debbie said...

Prof B -

Have you read and/or viewed Game of Thrones?

I have the feeling it isn't your style, but at the same time it is pretty rich for this fan of history, myth, and fantasy.

Sincerely,

A reader

2:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pete-

Thanks. Plug 'Cassandra' into Google.

mb

2:09 PM  
Anonymous Reno said...

In Search of Ludwig Wittgenstein's Secluded Hut in Norway: A Short Travel Film | Open Culture
http://www.openculture.com/2016/04/in-search-of-ludwig-wittgensteins-secluded-hut-in-norway-a-short-travel-film.html

4:33 PM  
Anonymous Ari said...

Dialectics of Enlightenment by Kwame Anthony Appiah https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2019/05/09/irrationality-dialectics-enlightenment/

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Burton said...

Deaths from 'selfies'—recent statistics https://cnn.com/cnn/2018/10/03/health/selfie-deaths-trnd/index.html

6:20 PM  
Blogger dg said...

You can't blame money for what it does to people. The evil is in people, and money is the peg they hang it on. They go wild for money when they've lost their other values.

Ross MacDonald, The Drowning Pool(1949)

7:46 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

TRUMP--The Israeli Settlement. NETANYAHU: 'I WILL NAME A GOLAN TOWN AFTER TRUMP'

Back in the USSA, it is apparently open season on babies:

Father shot 2-year-old in the face with shotgun during fight with boy's mother. "The boy, who prosecutors say lost half of his face, is in critical condition."

Juvenile charged after infant fatally shot in Cumberland County.

Family mourning baby girl after murder-suicide in Calhoun County.

Woman and baby dead in murder, attempted suicide in Durham.

Officials: Father in Payne County kills daughters then himself.

God Bless Motherfucking America.

9:30 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

If you know anyone who's looking for more avenues to express fake outrage, suggest they do a Google Books search for Life magazine's April 19, 1937 edition. Make sure they look for the "Leadbelly" article, and watch the boycott begin.

They still make Life magazine, don't they?

9:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bill-

Do such things happen in any other country? We are wallowing in child murder.

dg-

Not sure Americans ever had any other values to lose.

Deb-

I never got into it. After Friends and Seinfeld, I continued on with The Americans.

mb

9:30 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Bill - if every child abuse/murder story was written on toilet paper how many rolls wld it take? Americans worship Moloch.

This wldnt b 'elitist' if ppl had an ounce of self respect - copy and paste the 'no pajamas' rule outside every Walmart in the nation.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/education/2019/04/23/houston-texas-school-dress-code-parents/3556044002/

Jesus' died for White Supremecy, who knew?

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/04/24/steve-king-easter-jesus-christ-persecution-martyr-crucifixion-white-nationalism-supremacy-house-iowa/3559506002/

10:07 AM  
Anonymous Donald Zeko said...

RE: Neurotic Beauty Department:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/22/books/review/pico-iyer-autumn-light-memoir-japan.html



1:05 PM  
Blogger Politically Incorrect Russian Spy said...

America today is surely a total madhouse, but it should be noted that it has always been so. This empty, soulless, culture of hustling has been driving people insane for centuries now. One of the finest explorations of the enduring nature of Asylum America is the amazing book Wisconsin Death Trip. First published in 1973, it's a look at a single small town (Black River Falls) in Wisconsin in the late 19th century, as documented by the local newspaper and news photographer.

The hilariously macabre, bizarre, murderous, suicidal, downright batch*t crazy goings-on documented in this thing make most of the links posted here to articles on pummelings at fast food joints and such seem comparatively sedate. Ghosts, monsters, weird horses, fire-starters, the compulsive town window-breaking madwoman, this thing is truly a trip into the twisted heart and history of the long-running nightmare called the United States. A must-read for every self-respecting Wafer:

https://www.amazon.com/Wisconsin-Death-Trip-Michael-Lesy/dp/0826321933/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Wisconsin+death+trip&qid=1556136810&s=gateway&sr=8-1

4:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Cell fones = death dept.:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/24/well/mind/putting-down-your-phone-may-help-you-live-longer.html?action=click&module=Discovery&pgtype=Homepage

4:34 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Non-stopshopping, mega-malls, endless consumption, and boys being snatched from their mother's and throw off balconies!

https://www.dailywire.com/news/46304/five-year-old-boy-was-thrown-balcony-mall-america-ashe-schow


usa, usa!

4:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Douche bags moving to Africa!:

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/04/23/opinions/prince-harry-meghan-markle-africa-move-andrews/index.html

4:42 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...


Pennsylvania woman killed by meat grinder at work, coroner says...

Of Course....Why Not? Just living in America is being in a “Meat Grinder.”

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/04/24/woman-killed-meat-grinder-pennsylvania-plant-coroner-says/3561777002/

7:06 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Third World Amerikka: You’re 19 times more likely to be murdered in East St. Louis than any other U.S. city. "East St. Louis has a population of 26,000. Ninety-five percent are black. More than two-thirds of the city’s children live in poverty. The median household annual income is less than $20,000. The unemployment rate is almost twice the national rate. The school system is ranked as one of the worst in the state, and the public housing projects are the most dangerous areas in the city."

@MB--regarding whether this happens in any other country, I would have to guess the answer is no. In fact, though there is nowhere to easily get statistics on this, I'll bet there have already been more child murders and homicides in America this year than occur in most European countries in a decade. That guy who threw the kid off the balcony at Mall of America was apparently mentally ill, but what's the excuse of that asshole who pointed a shotgun at his 2-year-old son and pulled the trigger? Clearly, he was trying to get back at the mother, but the story indicated he showed zero remorse as he was led into court. As for the kid, imagine trying to live with half a face. He'd be better off if he could just die. But of course the sick care system ghouls will try to keep him alive as long as possible so they can ring up hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills.

What a sick fucking society.

9:30 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Politically Incorrect Russian Spy: I've done the small town in flyover country thing and the crime and craziness is stupendous. Cop stops car with two nice white kids because their registration is out of date. One of the kids shoots the cop dead, and they drive off. Nice white people at the local flea market have Denny's mugs for sale, and they gleefully tell me how they stole them from Denny's themselves. Murderer who can't be jailed because his family is old money starts stalking the lady who's got the blurprint shop two doors over from my little shop, so she goes around and tells everyone to get and carry a gun, a big one, 'cos he's a big guy. I chose a Sig .40, cos it's a big one, good gun too; shoots right where you point it. More Rapturists, nutso-racist-survivalists and assorted other whackos than you can shake a stick at.

I'll take my chances in the city, frankly, and I find I really prefer being around Indian, Chinese, black, Viet, etc people over being around "my fellow" white people, who tend to be either methed-out lower class, Christian nutzos, or stick-up-their-ass "I've got mine" yups.

I'm fairly white, part Tatar so I'd not pass the flyover Aryan test, but pretty white, but I'm gradually becoming part of the Japanese-American community in my area, in preparation for moving back to Hawaii where I grew up, when I retire. I'm learning there are reasons why I was treated like dirt where and when I grew up, the people in power being the WWII generation, many of whom got sent to camps, and during much of my childhood people who looked like me were bombing tons of civilians over in Viet Nam, fellow Pure Land Buddhists.

So this is how I'm escaping the Anglo/Americosphere. I'm acknowledging the non-white culture I grew up in, and learning more about it. I'm a member of the local temple, go to Buddhism classes, and have discovered Teh Most Awesomest Muzical Insturment Evar(tm) the shakuhachi. Western Civilization: "We need a really expressive musical instrument ... I know, let's invent the Stratocaster!" Japan: "We need a really expressive musical instrument ... I know, let's take a piece of bamboo, put 5 holes in it, and cut one end off at an angle."

3:31 AM  
Anonymous Nicholas said...

https://unherd.com/2019/04/the-sixties-seer-who-warned-of-wokeness/

The Sixties seer who warned of wokeness Marshall McLuhan predicted the hypnotic power of the internet

"A 1960s academic knew the internet would become an extension of our consciousness."

4:47 AM  
Anonymous singing sam said...

As MB mentions in the Trilogy, Americans were offered alternatives to a culture of Hustling at times in their history but either refused or went to war to preserve the "right",as Dickens put it, to endlessly chase the almighty dollar. When the dominant, driving goal of a people is to make themselves ever richer at the expense of others, there is no room for generosity or compassion or time for community. Now we're stuck - in a system none of us can change and which will continue until it implodes or transforms itself into tyranny.

6:29 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

More young Americans are dying from drug overdoses. Death rates from drug overdoses for people between the ages of 15 and 24 rose by 19.75% from 2006 to 2015, according to a new study.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/24/more-millennials-gen-z-are-dying-of-opioid-overdoses-researchers-say.html

6:42 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

sam-

It might actually do both.

mb

9:23 AM  
Anonymous cormorant said...

@ Alex carter:

Great that you're learning shakuhachi, but please don't learn from one of those ridiculous performance orientated Americans. learn an authentic Japanese tradition in an authentic Japanese manner preferably in japan. The Empire has a tendency of turning everything it touches into utter banal crap.

Here's a guide to help you

https://sites.google.com/site/aumannshakuhachi/

And Rick Roderick: American Prophet

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNAKr1TQ0xc&list=PLA34681B9BE88F5AA&index=4

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

Would your readers be interested in a franchise like this?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cq8KfV2eDOQ

2:09 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Good one from Umair: "Americans are institutionally traumatized. They’re traumatized just by existing, just by being there, just by struggling to live another day. But literally nobody seems to have noticed, or to care. And I mean nobody."

https://eand.co/how-life-under-predatory-capitalism-traumatized-a-nation-c90969df042d

I might correct that last bit " ... nobody seems to have noticed" except WAFers!

2:09 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

Hi Fellow Wafers,

It's BrotherMaynard checking in. Sad to say things do appear to be getting worse in the USA everyday in everyday. Life truly is better elsewhere. I encourage all of you to make the jump if you can. Life is more human outside of a ruthlessly hurting culture- even religion is a hustle in the USA (the gospel of prosperity)...

@AlexCarter- Hawaii is the only place I would consider living in if I had to live back in the USA particularly that outer islands. It is a non-white (Anglo-Saxon) culture...and retains much of the easy charm of an island culture.

@MB- when can we get the book on Italy? I can't wait...

BrotherMaynard

P.S. Sorry I missed the New York Wafer-Shindig. It was widely hailed as the even of year in NYC. I hear Meghan and Harry are planning on attending next year and that they plan to name their first child after our esteemed professor MB!

2:41 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Trumpo's edict that no one in his admin will honor a House subpoena is prima facia obstruction, witness tampering, and abuse of power. The president cannot impede Congress from exercising its Constitutional rights w/o severe consequences, by my lights. That the Democrats continue to tap dance around impeachment in the face of such action by Trumpo is literally stupefying. The Democratic "Resistance" in this nation is laughable.

Meanwhile, in the Daily Dumbass Dept.:

https://www.wtsp.com/article/news/weird/wtflorida/florida-man-jason-bourne-arrested-in-pinellas-park-library/67-28591216-573d-4f06-bba8-ec0550c4721c

https://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/ny-florida-teenager-potato-sister-domestic-battery-20190423-jen34qdqhvai7h7fc3yvhewev4-story.html

Miles

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Dan Daniel said...

A singularity of a different sort: ape using smartphone to scroll around Instagram-

http://digg.com/2019/ape-smartphone

https://www.news.com.au/technology/online/monkey-magic-ape-uses-smartphone-to-scroll-instagram/news-story/fc37f4855773f177aefb9453abd619c8

8:21 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Third World Amerikka: Where Is Catherine Pugh? Baltimore Mayor Not Physically, Mentally Able To Make Decisions, Attorney Says. This on the day the FBI raided her two homes and offices as part of a corruption investigation. Meanwhile the city of Baltimore continues to crumble and most of its citizens live in squalor.

Even more child murder: Body of (5 year old) Andrew Freund found, parents who reported him missing charged with murder. "Crystal Lake police officers expressed concern over the squalid living conditions at the home. One officer wrote that the house did not have an 'acceptable standard of living' and said there was dog feces and urine inside. Several windows were broken and the fireplace did not appear to work...Another officer wrote that the house was 'cluttered, dirty and in disrepair' and the smell of feces was 'overwhelming'."

Mugshot of the Year Award goes to Alyssa Zebrasky: Ohio woman with memorable face tattoo arrested for third time in six months. Seriously, you guys (and gals) have to check this one out, if only to ponder the thought process that went into this extremely bad life choice. Too bad they don't have freak shows anymore, or maybe Alyssa would be able to find gainful employment.

10:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan D.-

What we're turning into, really.

Bro-

Bk on Italy: coming along, but production process is slow. 3 mos., maybe.

Art-

My kinda people, and my kinda restaurant. I salute them.

mb

9:54 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Why hasn't Laquisha Jones been released from prison, given a brick, and turned loose on the elderly population? This is a scandal.

10:12 AM  
Anonymous Julie said...

In the 420s, John Cassian "complained that the mind ‘seems driven by random incursions’. It ‘wanders around like it were drunk’...It can’t even stay focused on its own entertainment – let alone the difficult ideas that call for serious concentration" https://aeon.co/amp/ideas/how-to-reduce-digital-distractions-advice-from-medieval-monks

Advice from old monastic individuals for new monastic individuals

11:19 AM  
Anonymous Mike Poulos said...

Millennials Are Out-Reading Older Generations

But younger Americans value library services less than more senior cohorts, study finds https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/09/millennials-are-out-reading-older-generations/379934/

Hmm, curious finding. Not my experience.

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Janelle said...

After Edward Snowden revealed to the world that the NSA was snooping on Americans, the feds defended the practice. Now the NSA wants to end it.

https://reason.com/2019/04/25/the-nsa-defended-the-domestic-surveillance-that-snowden-exposed-now-the-agency-want-to-end-it/

WHAT A JOKE

12:51 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

“A Killeen [Texas] couple who sexually assaulted at least 25 children and produced child pornography depicting the abuse were sentenced to maximum prison terms Wednesday in a case described by the area’s top federal prosecutor as “one of the most horrific cases of child abuse in Texas history.”

Of the 25 victims in the case, ranging in age from 8 months to 14 years old, 13 have been identified. Bash said authorities are still trying to find the identifies of the other children...”. [Pictures of the miscreants at the end of the piece]
https://www.wacotrib.com/news/courts_and_trials/killeen-trio-sentenced-to-maximum-terms-in-child-sex-abuse/article_acfbb228-a7fc-54f0-92d7-89fc027bd7cb.html

And to show that criminality runs from top to bottom in the Untied States of Amnesia, the following essay from The Atlantic, written by Caitlin Flanagan, a former guidance counselor at a California prep school who’s been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for 2019. Excellent piece on the admissions scandal and the upstanding citizens who got caught:

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/04/what-college-admissions-scandal-reveals/586468/

1:05 PM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

James Howard Kunstler has a good column out on how Donald Trump ('the golden golem of greatness'- JHK has used this moniker often) has been on the right side of the Russiagate scandal and that the political/intellectual class has for the most part been wrong and are only making bigger fools of themselves since the Mueller report came out. Unlike JHK, I don't think the people who created this scandal (democrats, the FBI and elements of the CIA) will face justice - maybe a few minor players will get jailtime. The US is coming apart and this coming apart is just as well.

https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/blowback-is-a-harsh-mistress/#more-10349'

4:57 PM  
Anonymous Vince said...

Julie, MB, Wafers:

More New monasticism !!

Army vet lost 44 pounds only drinking beer for Lent, inspired by monks

https://www.foxnews.com/faith-values/army-vet-drinking-beer-pounds-ohio-man

6:14 PM  
Blogger Frederick Froth said...

Speaking of predatory capitalism check out the essay by John Whitehead titled The Essence of Evil Sex With Children Has Become Big Business In America.
John whitehead is regularly featured on Counterpunch.

10:06 PM  
Anonymous Darby said...

The world is sadder and angrier than ever before, major study finds - CNN: https://cnn.com/cnn/2019/04/25/health/gallup-world-emotions-index-scli-intl/index.html / Latin American nations top the list of happiest countries.

11:43 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

America abounds in cruelty to its children: The Boy Scouts of America's own records show that more than 12,000 children have been sexually assaulted while participating in the organization's programs.

Gov. Matt Bevin said child shot another child because of teacher sickouts. The teacher sickouts are being caused, of course, because their jobs are being turned into a living hell: "Low wages make it impossible for teachers to save for unpredictable situations or emergency expenses. Almost half the teaching workforce lacks access to retirement benefits." As Mark Ames commented: "We're ruled by deranged sociopaths and we put up with it."

Meanwhile, here is a story about some more colossal Hollywood douchebags: The Style Section Meets State Craft. Amal Clooney and the Foreign Policy Influencers. "Clooney’s less-than-stellar track record on actually accomplishing anything for the clients she has represented may very well be a ‘plus’, looking at it from the vantage point of the political class she represents. Who better than a state banquet table centerpiece – eye-catching but ultimately irrelevant – to be its ornamental emissary to speak on behalf of the people they bomb."

1:47 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Greeting MB & Wafers,

On our way to Lugano, Switzerland tomorrow for the next chapter - dueling with Swiss bureaucracy! Oh well. We're looking forward to living there.

@alexcarter - on the shakuhachi - note that there are Shakuhachi Festivals in the US and worldwide every year. If you attend one of them, there are generally a number of different instructors, from different traditions, giving you options. I have attended a few here in Europe in the past, and will be attending the European Shakuhachi Society's summer festival in Lisbon in late August. I don't play shakuhachi, but play the koto (30+ years). Like shakuhachi, with the koto you can concentrate on traditional, modern, or both. But it does really matter who you choose as your sensei.

Meanwhile - in the "What are they thinking??" category - I'm listening to the Dem presidential candidates, and most of them seem to have the same message that Hillary did - "I'm not Trump"! Hmmm, that was such a winning formula in 2016, what could go wrong in 202?

3:38 AM  
Anonymous singing sam said...

After reading MB's books and the article cited above by Unair Haque and thinking about the inevitable effects of global warming and the the stress-filled and depressive culture into which American children are born, I fear for their safety and sanity. I understand and support couples who refuse to bring innocents into a nation and world bend on suicide. I fear especially for my granddaughter as she struggles to survive in a society that requires unquestioning participation in unfettered capitalism and the resultant damage to her soul. Can she withstand the pressure to conform? Will she become but another automaton to Progress and Perpetual Growth through war and violence? The pressure to conform is so great that few have the strength and courage to resist it. I do what I can to open her eyes to alternatives but the myth-makers are powerful, rich and have unlimited access to the media she relies on for entertainment and "learning".

8:37 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jas-

V. gd essay. I hope they put Lori away for 25 yrs, and pee on her shoes every day. But I'm worried that she might be able to celeb her way outta serving any time.

mb

11:13 AM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

"Look at all the money I gave to the rich
and the corporations and look how they could not find all
that dirt on me. I know how to hide my shit!"
This is the best Trump will have to say about his first four years.
I e-mailed that patriotic greasy spoon restaurant to find that with a 24-hour
advance notice, they will provide a Kosher menu. They can handle a banquet
for your Summit but you and your questionable Americans will still have to stand
to sing the goddam anthem. All Hispanics at the door will be required to provide
proof of legal status in USA.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous DiogenesTheElder said...

Dear Wafers,

Long time, no post. Have been following the blog with great interest, however.

It is truly remarkable to witness the decline first-hand; the metaphor of the frog in slowly boiling water could not be more apt. All of our systems are so very broken and getting moreso by the day. And few, if any, regard them as broken! We're never going to get beyond consumer-driven capitalism in the US; most are too entranced by its myths or too CRE to envision anything different. It is so ironic that so many on the left now consider themselves "woke" as we collectively run off a cliff. Any "change" is subject to the demands of the consumer-capitalist system. It's like MB has stated - the 60s taught us that we couldn't change anything that mattered i.e. the structure of the economic and political system; the fix was in after WWII.

I continue to be amazed at how cruel the US is in its blithe acceptance of so much human suffering so that rich people can stay very rich and get richer. It is truly repugnant.

Glad to be back and will try to post more.

DTE

2:00 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Elder abuse is on the rise in America. “Between 2002 and 2016, the rate of assaults among men 60 and older jumped 75%, while it rose 35% among women between 2007 and 2016. Among older men, the homicide rate increased 7% between 2010 and 2016, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”

https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2019-04-04/elder-abuse-on-the-rise-in-america

3:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

DTE-

Welcome back. It's inspiring, in an odd sorta way, that more than 99% of the country is unable to see what is rt in front of their noses, namely the process of progressive disintegration in which they are living. This is true even for the high-IQ crowd: in terms of common sense, they are dumb as shit. You can say anything by way of criticism, of course, except the following: (1) That Americans aren't terribly smart; (2) That as a whole, they are a pretty nasty bunch; and (3) That we are finished as a nation and there is no 11th-hr solution to this crisis. If you say any of these perfectly obvious things, you get marginalized, pushed off the radar screen; which only serves to accelerate our descent. As for Wafers: we smile and enjoy the show.

mb

3:05 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

My 2 cents on Baltimore mayoral corruption. Why persecute her when The (fucking) Don owns a freaking luxury hotel in an historic building down the road from the WH? She's no more than a product of the shitty mess of that notoriously corrupt (The Wire hbo) city. & as MB has said wtf difference does race make?

Here's a fun fact Americans are unaware of, Helen Keller was a (gasp) socialist. I guess she was so 'inspirational' everyone ignored what she actually said or stood for, that's as American as it can get.

https://isreview.org/issue/96/politics-helen-keller

3:53 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

cormorant - Yes, I want to learn the traditional shakuhachi music.

Brother Maynard - actually, I think in a lot of ways Oahu is less "white" than the outer islands. The "Big Island" has a lot of white people and it's kind of the Texas of Hawaii. Maui's awfully white too.

Consider Oahu: It has a viable public transit system, public health programs, etc all kinds of things that if it were majority white would not have been put into place. If you look around you can find plenty of discussions by whites, about moving to Hawaii, saying Oahu's "icky" and so on because of all the brown people they see there. When I hear a Hawaiian accent over here on the mainland, I ask if I get a chance where they're from, and 99% of the time it's Oahu. In any case it's a non-argument because Oahu's where my memories are and it's where I'm going.

Italiana - I'm fortunate in living where I am, because there are shakuhachi teachers, makers, etc in fair abundance around my area. Masayuki Koga is right up in the Oakland/Berkeley area and teaches up there. I'm working out of his first book and am picking up his second one from the Amazon locker today.

6:58 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

VERY A PROPOS WAFERISM ''x
The themes which monastic discipline assigned to friars for
meditation were designed to turn them away from the world and
its affairs. The thoughts which we are developing here originate
from similar considerations. At a moment when the politicians in
whom the opponents of Fascism had placed their hopes are
prostrate and confirm their defeat by betraying their own cause,
these observations are intended to disentangle the political worldlings from the snares in which the traitors have entrapped them.
Our consideration proceeds from the insight that the politicians'
stubborn faith in progress, their confidence in their "mass basis,"
and, finally, their servile integration in an uncontrollable apparatus have been three aspects of the same thing. It seeks to
convey an idea of the high price our accustomed thinking will
have to pay for a conception of history that avoids any complicity with the thinking to which these politicians continue to
adhere'' http://blog.wbkolleg.unibe.ch/wp-content/uploads/Benjamin_Illuminations_Philosophy-of-History.pdf (thanks for Wisconsin book link)

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Onward to Dystopia said...

In reply to singing sam, I too entirely understand falling birth rates. I doubt it's always a conscious financial decision, but an acknowledgement of the misery of life in America. Living in America could easily make you into an antinatalist (as well as a misanthrope). I'm homosexual, but if I wasn't I'd absolutely second guess snatching someone out of non-existence to be slapped around by daily life in America -- and it's only going to get worse.

Steven Pinker and the sparkle fart crowd like to say daily life around the world has never been better, but I sincerely doubt he has any idea what daily life is like for most Americans. I hear a lot of stats, but I wonder if he's ever known a guy who lived in his car for a whole year, which had a busted drivers' side window? All through winter of course. I sincerely doubt it, but I knew one. I wonder if Pinker ever knew someone who thought their boss was a great guy because he let them sleep at the business overnight, because they had nowhere else to go? I've done that myself, but there's not many places left where you can because everything is a big chain, with lots of rules. Linh Dinh's "Postcards from the End of America" is a good antidote to all this ra-ra boosterism.

10:19 PM  
Blogger Balázs said...

Dear Morris, not everyone is blind nor (1) stupid nor (2) nasty. That the US is (3) finished is a fact though. Check out LateStageCapitalism on reddit, this is (among others) what ordinary people say about the State of the Nation (mostly but not exclusively US-related sh.t).

https://www.reddit.com/r/LateStageCapitalism/

1:37 AM  
Anonymous cormorant said...

Syphillis is back on the rise in Rural America, encouraged by a collapsing health system.

https://www.salon.com/2019/04/24/as-syphilis-invades-rural-america-a-fraying-health-safety-net-is-failing-to-stop-it_partner/

I'd say that the US is barrelling back to the ninetenth century, but I'd be wrong. The country at least had a thriving ecosystem back then.

4:44 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

no shit sherlock:

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/apr/27/technology-threatens-child-development-psychology-expert-warns

5:23 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anon-

I don't post Anons.

Balazs-

Maybe not everyone, but most. I haven't kept the data I usta collect, over the yrs, on American stupidity and nastiness (the file became gargantuan), but rest assured, the stats are not on yr side, reddit or no reddit.

Onward-

We've discussed Pinker at length on this blog, and provided numerous reviews and citations. The lit on how the guy has his head embedded in his rectum is quite huge. He needs to be beaten severely and then thrown on a dung heap.

mb

2:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gee, do ya think?:

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/04/27/opinions/brexit-and-trump-making-room-for-china-robertson-intl/index.html

2:32 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

These “parents” should be pummeled within an inch of their lives....nursed back to health....and then pummeled again and again....


https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/juliareinstein/aj-andrew-freund-joann-cunningham-murder-abuse-cold-shower

3:45 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

Remember the days of evil commie brainwashing? No doubt your readers know of the same
practice here:
https://www.wimp.com/how-advertising-rewires-kids-brains/

Have you noticed that when the phone rings, someone wants money? When someone comes to
your front door, the same? When you go to your mailbox, the same? When you look at
your e-mail, the same? As soon as you turn on the TV, the same? If you want higher
education (so-called), the same? It seems as soon as you are reckless enough to leave
your bed, the same? What will happen when buying on credit stops because of the debt
load?

4:32 PM  
Blogger dg said...

Google: "president trump cable news profits" About 5,190,000 results (0.53 seconds)

With Trump, CNN Enjoys Record Ratings, Profits...
The Ratings Bump Of Donald Trump...
Trump's historic gift to media...
Media: In Trump we profit...
CNN boss: If we break away from Trump coverage 'the audience goes away'...
Trump’s ‘fake news’ fight has helped media ratings and readership...
“It’s Our Job to Call Them Out”: Inside the Trump Gold Rush at CNN...
Why Did MSNBC's Audience Grow Way More Than Fox News's in 2018?...

There's no business like show business
If you tell me it's so
Traveling through the country is so thrilling
Standing out in front on opening nights
Smiling as you watch the benches filling
And see your billing up there in lights

There's no people like show people
They smile when they are low
Even with a turkey that you know will fold
You may be stranded out in the cold
Still you wouldn't trade it for a sack o' gold
Let's go on with the show
Let's go on with the show!
The show!
The show!

6:17 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Gunnar--re: Baltimore Mayor--who said anything about race? I posted that story because she's yet another corrupt shitbag who was stealing tax money from some of the poorest people in America. As for persecuting her--absolutely they should. She should be tied down so that all the citizens of Baltimore can pee on her for the next 20 years--just so long as they save some pee for themselves if they voted for her.

Now HERE is a race issue: Poor Alabama towns struggle under the stench of toxic landfills – “It smells like death.” Here is a stat from the story: "Alabama has 35 landfill sites per million residents, compared with New York State which has just three for every million (for California, the number is 5)." What this shows is that blue America is not just figuratively but literally shitting on the poorest (read: blackest) communities in the country. If you want to be the "first black, gay, transexual, left-handed, legally blind mayor in the history of (wherever)," the liberals will practically perform oral sex on you, provided you're also a neoliberal whore to power. If you're a poor woman or minority person working three shit jobs to keep your kids from being homeless, they couldn't care less if you die from living next to a contaminated landfill just so long as their trash gets carried away every week and the neighborhood is kept pristine.

6:50 PM  
Anonymous Puss Killian said...

We had a short discussion about math and math teachers here, not too long ago.

And you thought you had a bad math teacher?

Fifteen minute YouTube video on basic math that has been made so complex ... words fail me.

Surely a sign of decline, now and well into the future.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr1qee-bTZI#

7:02 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Onward to Dystopia -- I, in fact, do think my boss is a nice guy for letting me live in the building (we have a population of homeless that live in the parking lot) where I get to breathe the dust from the countertop place next door and the cement plant up the street.

If I lose this situation, I figure I might as well go back to Hawaii and be street homeless there. I'm hoping when it's time to jump, I'll have at least some money saved, some decent skill on the shakuhachi, and more of a social network built up in the Jodo Shinshu Buddhist community, which is big in Hawaii.

I have two sisters back there but they're pretty American in that they'd not help me if I were starving.

12:35 AM  
Anonymous Eric M said...

Dear Wafers, I hope you can make time to watch David Sutherland's film, Marcos Doesn't Live Here Anymore.

This woman kept hitting her head against the wall again and again for...six years! She thought "America" should care about her because "she fought" (USMC). She finally (reluctantly?) moved to Mexico, but I'm afraid, sadly, she might remain American all her life.

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/marcos-doesnt-live-here-anymore/

1:36 AM  
Blogger flanagle said...

I noticed this recently: https://www.bioedge.org/bioethics/scientists-revive-brain-cells-in-dead-pigs/13040

Looks like 'Porklips Now' is on the way and I really can't think of a more deserving country for a zombie swine invasion. And while it sounds disturbing to say the least I don't think there is too much to worry about. After all, while dogs look up to us, and cats look down at us, I think zombie pigs will treat us as equals.

8:00 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Just when you thought Americans and capitalism couldn't get any lower, sex with enslaved (either abducted or runaways) American adolescent girls (and boys) is BIG BUSINESS!

https://www.blacklistednews.com/article/72354/the-essence-of-evil-sex-with-children-has-become-big-business-in.html

9:52 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Although it is littered with equivocations, she gets it:

https://newrepublic.com/article/153511/thatcher-clinton-limits-female-politics-elite-representation

11:46 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

@Bill, no offense intended, I meant to amplify not degrade your post. The 2 mayors b4 Pugh also African American were as, if not more, corrupt.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stephanie_Rawlings-Blake (embezzlement)

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheila_Dixon
(12 felony/misdemeanor counts)

In this sense race/nationality/one eyed albino who cares? But why single out the one when everyone from Trump on down is doing the same or worse? From a declinist pov we shld prob celebrate her.

I know how hard core the system is I watch homeless people have brunch outta dumpsters everyday, my city has a 'warming' shelter only open from Oct to May. Patrons include the elderly and recently someone showed up on a feeding tube(!).

https://www.fox21news.com/news/local/warming-shelter-in-pueblo-to-close/1928535487

1:41 PM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

https://www.courier-journal.com/story/news/crime/2019/04/28/louisville-police-two-shot-after-dog-poop-argument-shawnee/3608869002/

As the saying in the USA goes-- When your neighbors dog poops in your yard, unload on those mofos.

3:11 PM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

Look what I found when visiting salon.com to view an article someone cited earlier:
The Punisher skull: Unofficial logo of the white American death cult
Quote:
White Americans appear to have enlisted into a death cult. If one drives around the suburbs or rural outposts removed from a major metropolitan area, it quickly becomes apparent that, in their zest and zeal for violence, countless whites have begun to brandish the Punisher skull, typically with red, white, and blue stripes, on their automobiles and clothing. T-shirts at the gym, the bumpers of minivans, with children riding as passengers, and baseball caps all display the menacing skull, proving that it has become ubiquitous in the United States. Several companies, including Thin Blue Line, have made millions selling apparel with ghoulish image.
The Punisher symbol originates with the Marvel comic book story of Frank Castle. After Castle’s wife and children are murdered by career criminals, he adopts the Punisher moniker in his quest to eradicate crime without interference from the liberal cucks who wrote the Bill of Rights and the prissy naïfs who enforce protections for American citizens, such as the irritating regulation prohibiting police officers from summarily executing criminal suspects without a trial.
...

5:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gunnar-

I discuss Sheila Dixon somewhere in my America trilogy, can't remember where. A true American: took money earmarked for poor children so she cd buy video games and other tech toys. When arraigned in court, she was puzzled as to why she had even been arrested. Then I think she retired on 85K a year.

Pastrami-

Good article. I've read at random pts that Botox Face was a war criminal, maybe over Libya--can't recall. Does anyone have the data on this?

mb

6:39 PM  
Anonymous Onward to Dystopia said...

I thought I'd second the reddit link Balázs gave out.
https://www.reddit.com/r/LateStageCapitalism/
I often perused that site while working overnight years ago, it can be enraging, and hilarious. And, yep these are real...

--Headline: Millennial Got Hit By a Bus, Can Finally Pay Off Student Loans!
--A sign seen in a bar: Report any Server or Bartender on their cell phone to a manager GET 25% OFF YOUR BILL!
--Ad for coffee on a bus: WORK HARD. DIE FAST.
--NYT headline: What Land Will Be Underwater in 20 Years? Figuring It Out Could Be Lucrative
--Headline: INDIA: 19 teenage students commit suicide after a software error distorted their exam results.
--Headline: 300 people in Chile line up outside a supermarket to get a tattoo of the chain's logo for a free Smart TV.
--Headline: French startup lets you hire someone to go to a protest in your place.

That's just some in the last 24 hours. I really love the, "WORK HARD. DIE FAST." I denigrate capitalism's propagandists, but it's so succinct and to the point. I'm sure the effect it had on me wasn't what was intended. The site doesn't give me hope for Americans, but it's worth a laugh.
https://www.reddit.com/r/LateStageCapitalism/comments/bisvyr/hard_pass/

8:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Onward-

I wonder how many people it actually represents.

mb

9:27 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Michael B--I read that story about sex trafficking supposedly being "big business" this past weekend on Zero Hedge. It was written by a guy named John Whitehead of the Rutheford Institute, which is a hard right, fundie Christian "think" tank. Among Whitehead's more objectionable writings is this little steaming pile of homophobic hatred: THE HOMOSEXUAL POWER AGENDA.

Back when I was still working for the feds, I noted that "human trafficking" had replaced "Satanic cults" as the go-to way for moralist groups and sometimes law enforcement to whip up unwarranted public hysteria. So when I read this dubious claim in the article: "In Georgia alone, it is estimated that 7,200 men (half of them in their 30s) seek to purchase sex with adolescent girls each month, averaging roughly 300 a day," I started checking the links, which it turned out were nearly all between 18 months and over a decade old. Sure enough, Whitehead had carefully cherry picked the data to make the problem in America look far worse than it really is. Many of the linked articles actually refer to sex trafficking SE Asia, where it IS big business, but Whitehead never mentions that fact knowing full well most people don't click on the links for stories like this.

That's not to say child sex abuse isn't a big problem in the USSA, but it's mostly being carried out within families or at churches, the boy scouts and even universities--all documented examples Whitehead somehow failed to mention, possibly because they don't fit his scary narrative of your pervy next door neighbor getting it on with 9-year-old prostitutes. Whitehead appears to be nothing more than just another two bit American hustler, who uses fear mongering to promote his agenda.

10:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Dan-

With regard to yr Jewish 'friends' attacking you personally over issues abt Zionism etc., Schopenhauer has an interesting essay called "The Art of Controversy," in which he says that people resort to ad hominem attacks when they see they can't win the argument on its merits. The subject of the debate is a lost game for them, so they shift to attacks on the character of the person they are arguing with. He calls this 'mere animalism'. Crude attempt to save face, I guess.

mb

10:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

alex-

Cdn't run it. We have a half-page max rule on this blog. Suggest you do some serious compression and re-send. Thanks.

mb

11:10 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

MB - OK well, just a day in the life here. My boss hasn't paid me for a couple of weeks, I had to pay taxes and to fix my bike, am trying to sell off possessions and ... Craig's List seems to have died.

So I can pay several hundred I don't have for a smart phone or I can go back to Xeroxed flyers I tack onto telephone poles.

And that's what's happening here in Silicon Valley. A low-bandwidth, very democratic, utility, Craig's List, has been supplanted somehow by slick apps that you need a lot of money to have the equipment to use.

So if you're in the top 10% you're selling your old lawn furniture etc via the latest tech toy and app, and for the other 90% of us, it's back to the 1970s. Just sold a lot of really good books for just under $20, will sell 2 pairs of new-old-stock Doc Marten boots/shoes to a used clothing store tomorrow, and after that will take my 3 ukuleles to the local pawn shop.

Theoretically I get paid this week. In reality I'm beginning to get a bit worried; want to minimize and prepare for a possibly necessary quick move - I'd survive better being street homeless in Hawaii than here.

11:40 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Personal observations:

Regarding the farcical (redundant) american "governor" Sheila Dixon who got busted for misappropriating gift cards etc...intended for the poor and still keeping her $83,000 per year pension.

Curious as to what is the point of being 'good,' ethical, moral, etc...when not only can one commit crimes, but also keep lavish pensions while the rest of us are barely scraping by on our OWN money being dolled out (SS, 401k, 403b, etc..)?

How can one with a straight make an argument abt being good, doing the 'right' thing, hard work matters...? No one gives a shit in the us empire. It's did you win ($)? That's it. Moreover, doesn't matter if black, white, green, female plumbing, most USians wanna get rich--fuck ethics. Get the $.

Being 'good' is overrated esp when you're swimming in a septic tank.



12:22 AM  
Anonymous Michael in Oceania said...

@Bill Hicks re:"Stranger Danger" paedophilia;

Several years ago, Rod Dreher ran a post by a veteran police detective pretty much confirming your points.

Keeping Kids Safe From Sexual Predators

This detective gives a host of good tips for parents with young children, which in my opinion are well taken. He says: "Obviously stranger kidnappings, sexual assaults, and the like do happen, but they’re the statistically the equivalent of being struck by lightning. We should all take reasonable precautions to avoid being struck by lightning, by coming inside during a thunderstorm and not standing under trees or other tall objects, but that doesn’t mean that we neglect more common dangers at the same time."

1:45 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

White nationalists interrupt author at book talk...

https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2019/04/30/protesters-interrupt-author-book-store-video-intv-ctn-vpx.cnn

4:36 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Wafers,

Just spent a couple of days in London for the first time since I moved back to Paris 2 years ago after having lived in London for 10 years. I guess it was the same before, but the city really left and aggressive impression on me. People running around staring into phones, *never* smiling, shops and advertising at every single corner etc... Overall, London really felt like a pressure cooker about to explode at any time. Paris is not perfect, but I am so glad I moved back there!

Kanye

5:32 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kanye-

I had the same impression when I visited London, after long absence, last Oct. I love the English countryside--Dorset, Lake District--but don't plan to return to London for a very long time.

Mike-

I think that was the source of Sheila Dixon's perplexity at being arrested: she was doing what everyone around her was doing, so what was the big deal? Fraud and corrupton are the norm in the US now; both Ronald Dworkin and Paul Fussell pointed this out many yrs ago.

mb

8:39 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: I'd like Wafers to weigh in on the following proposition: "Joe Biden Is a Total Turkey."

8:51 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Biden is our Hindenburg:

"Hindenburg...in 1932...was persuaded to run for re-election even though he was 84 years old and in poor health, because *he was considered the only candidate who could defeat Hitler.* (Wikipedia)

"America is coming back like we used to be. Ethical, straight, telling the truth … supporting our allies. All those good things." (gobble, gobble)

https://freebeacon.com/politics/biden-tells-the-world-america-is-coming-back-like-we-used-to-be/

I'm late to the sooner the empire collapses the better argument but after watching Oliver Stone's latest Untold History of U. S. I don't know how anyone cld come away with any other argument. I'm sure it isn't an exhaustive history but he cites Chalmers Johnson a cpl times and offers no real solutions in the end other than 'it doesn't have to b this way.'

www.netflix.com/title/80127995?source=android



12:51 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Gunnar-

But was Hindenburg a douche bag, and a buffoon? This is what I see in Biden. Of course, the MSM will 'entertain' us for the next 1.5 yrs with 'news' regarding the upcoming election. This is because they too are douche bags and buffoons, along with their readers.

mb

1:23 PM  
Anonymous cormorant said...

I don't like commenting more than a couple of times per blog entry, but the data is just coming thick and fast. This is from Bloomberg and the data is just brutal:America’s Elderly Are Twice as Likely to Work Now Than in 1985


https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-22/america-s-elderly-are-twice-as-likely-to-work-now-than-in-1985?fbclid=IwAR3dYkYko7WAmxUSUZmBWFUsLOl6Q9y7w_qRa34TDiv0UsJjMj8zeC52nEA


1:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

alex-

Cdn't run it. We have a max of one post per 24 hrs. Thanks.

mb

3:54 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Re: Biden

Well, I've been Biden my time. Didn't John Lennon say something like this once? Anyway, I tell ya, I just recovered from Joe's electrifying campaign launch. For a moment there, I thought the world might stop spinning. Man, I'm juiced!

Meanwhile, just trying to figure out how I can get Kaitlin Adderly to come into my life:

https://fox13now.com/2019/04/29/woman-strips-nude-while-fighting-with-boyfriend-at-utah-strip-mall-police-say/

Miles

4:21 PM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...

Trump's picks are a declinist's wet dream:
-Stephen Moore supports getting rid of Child Labor Laws: https://thehill.com/policy/finance/441390-trump-fed-pick-said-in-2016-that-he-supports-removing-a-lot-of-child-labor?amp
-Moore thinks capitalism is much more important than democracy: https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/04/19/stephen-moore-gets-something-right-its-capitalism-vs-democracy/
^^The mask is fully off with the GOP.

So what's the Dem response to all of this? Hillary 2.0.
https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/441313-poll-biden-surges-in-primary-polls
^^It's literally a bottomless pit of stupidity for the Dems. Hopefully this will be their epitaph once Trump declares himself President for Life.

4:52 PM  
Blogger Politically Incorrect Russian Spy said...

Paul Street breaks down Trump's progress in finishing off America. It's going rather well:

In the Time of the Orange Pig
https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/04/30/in-the-time-of-the-orange-pig/

5:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Below, my most recent letter to Trumpi.

Dear President Trumpi,

Here in Waferland, we love you. We understood that when you said, "Make America Great," you really meant, "Take America Down the Toilet." And all of us 168 Wafers believe that you are accomplishing what you set out to do. It's impt, in our opinion, that you have 6 more yrs to do it. We don't really have a viable country anymore; in those 6 yrs, you cd finish the job.

But what abt Biden? Agreed, he's a turkey and a buffoon, but he simply cannot be allowed to gain any traction between now and Nov. 2020. What I propose is that you finance the trips of the 168 of us to wherever he lives, and also supply us with 168 6-packs of Bud Lite. Also with a couple of thugs to assist. Then we storm his house, the thugs hold him down, the 168 drink the beer and line up in front of him, and 1 by 1 pee on his shoes, while Melania videotapes the whole thing. Then, in a never-ending loop, the video is shown on mainstream TV, 24/7. I think you'll agree that anyone who gets peed on publicly doesn't have much chance of being elected to the presidency. Whaddya say? You cd probably take the cost of airfare and hotels outta yr spare change.

Yellow Biden in 2019!

Fondly,
168 Wafers

5:31 PM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Dr. Berman and Wafers,

Speaking of Trumpi and Progs: Below is a good take down of the progs and Trumpi:

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/04/30/can-we-all-keep-ourselves-from-being-crazy/?fbclid=IwAR0sMGeg5e3fynPotlo-HBZB7PwjHwjOtHi739zuZIOX4tzbF4AU3Ke4rt8

It has a great beginning: "So–to use a millennial beginning–capitalism enslaved minds before Trump arrived, and by that time, there was not enough of the American mind left to recognize that Trump, in the words of Rex Tillerson, was “a fucking moron.”
On Trump is us: "so much in our society shares with Trump an appetite for hyperreality rather than reality and is so deeply entrenched in spectacle, spin and celebrity and armored within the illusions of personal autonomy, we are now incapable of pulling back the curtain and exposing the Wizard as a sham." The author refers to Lasch: "In what Christopher Lasch called a culture of narcissism why wouldn’t a narcissist who works the image making machinery like an expert win success? Why wouldn’t a candidate who finds the surest magnetic attraction is to the worst devils of our human nature draw admirers to himself as if admirer and admired were one?" On Progs: "While the Republican Party is unified by having given ownership to Trump, the Democratic Party is once again trying to represent four different political persuasions, namely, Liberal Third Way triage, Leftist anti-plutarchy, Diversity/Identity missionaries, and Climate Change Paul Reveres. We can expect that these four different dramatis personae on the Primary debate stage will tear into each other until they settle down and just tear into an emerging favorite of the polls. It would be crazy to stoke Trump’s fire but I doubt if the Democrats can stop themselves."
Be sure to read the ending of this column.Is the author a Wafer?
Best Wishes,
Himanshu

6:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Himan-

Good article. Gives me hope, that the Dems will continue to shoot themselves in the foot, and that Trumpi will get reelected in 2020, and ascend to Permanent Presidency in 2024. But my most fervent hope is that he is reelected by a landslide, crushing the progs into the dirt (where they belong). Jesus, Americans are so stupid. What a collection of dimwits.

mb

6:44 PM  
Anonymous Kumars said...

MB re: Biden,

< Biden: " Folks, dignity. Immanuel Kant the philosopher said, dignity...the definition of dignity is that people should never be treated as a means to an end, but an end in themselves " >


This was the second day in a row he evoked Kant.

I'm sure Bernie follows w a Hegelian Marxist quote. Beto the young Marx. Buttigieg from Camus.

Imposters charading intellectualism I suppose.

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anita said...

Georg Trakl: A Visionary Poet in Europe -- Wittgenstein also appreciated the poet highly.

https://magmapoetry.com/archive/magma-70/articles/georg-trakl-a-visionary-poet-in-europe/

9:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anita-

There once was a poet named Anita
No other poet could beata.
She grooved on George Trakl
And wore a monocle
And

(You have to write the last line)

mb

10:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Author is a fellow at a rt-wing think tank:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/04/30/museum-fuels-hatred-america-foreign-land/?hpid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-c%3Ahomepage%2Fstory-ans&utm_term=.ccfe60d74306

Jenny Holzer sounds like a Wafer.

mb

11:30 PM  
Blogger Balázs said...

There was an attempted armed uprising in Venezuela (better known as Vuvuzela in the US). The whole thing is so ... actually all the words I can come up with now sound banal and commonplace. Amateurish, incompetent, idiotic, plainly stupid, etc. It was really a parody of past US-led coups in Latin America. Or more like a failed attempt at a parody by an incompetent group of actors. The two heroes of the coup, Trump and Pompeo (and an idiot called Marco Rubio) were (and still are) pouring their idiocy via Twitter. The "opposition" did a photo op, that was the "start", and from that point on it got lower and lower. It was supposed to be a military uprising but they couldn't even take the one single military base where they wanted to start it, and that "base" wasn't even a proper base, more like a logistic depot with a handful of soldiers.

11:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

And of course, another shooting (quelle surprise!): UNC Charlotte, April 30. Trump's reluctance to arm every American with heavy weaponry is becoming something of a scandal.

11:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bal-

Yr probably rt, but this blog tends to be big on evidence.

mb

4:12 AM  
Anonymous Perry Lang said...

No jail time for NY school bus driver who admitted to raping 14-year-old girl. The judge says the 26-year-old has no prior arrests and there was one victim, so the sentence was appropriate.

https://www.khou.com/article/news/national/no-jail-time-for-school-bus-driver-who-admitted-to-raping-14-year-old-girl/285-d3c7f9c7-422d-4727-93c9-edfede9ed664

I cannot fucking believe we still have zero tolerance for pot possession but you get a freebie for assaulting a child.

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Bluestein said...

https://aeon.co/amp/essays/what-chinese-corner-cutting-reveals-about-modernity

What Chinese corner cutting reveals about modernity.

Horrifying actually

10:29 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Biden's douchebaggery:

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/joe-biden-is-a-phony-plain-and-simple/

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Melissa said...

'Assange's sentence is as shocking as it is vindictive' - Wikileaks https://www.rt.com/news/458050-wikileaks-assange-sentencing-vindictive/

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Speaking of Venezuela, apparently Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, pitched a plan to use a private army to overthrow Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro.

“In private meetings in the United States and Europe, Prince sketched out a plan to field up to 5,000 soldiers-for-hire on behalf of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, according to two sources with direct knowledge of Prince’s pitch.”

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-erikprince-exclusi/exclusive-blackwater-founders-latest-sales-pitch-mercenaries-for-venezuela-idUSKCN1S608F

3:34 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

"The average price of a one-bedroom apartment in a Chinese second-tier city – a provincial town of a few million people, straining at its own geographical and environmental limits – is around $100,000; the average yearly salary for a migrant construction worker is around $3,500. Their future is shabby pre-fabricated workers’ dorms and old country shacks, not air conditioning and modern bathrooms. If what you’re making represents a world utterly out of reach to you, why bother to do it well?" - from the article on chabuduo.

Inequality ...

As I type, one of those ladies who push a Mexican ice cream cart has walked by, jingling her bell. How many miles must they push those things a day? I hardly ever see them make an actual sale. They might be making what I do, about $40 a day. Or maybe $20; enough to feed 4 people for the day. I've lived on the $3500 a year a Chinese "immigrant laborer" makes, and I've lived on less, too. The US has a large internal 3rd world and it's growing.

4:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Pat Chouli-

Pls send messages to latest post. No one reads the old stuff. Thanks.

Gunnar-

As far as Biden goes, my bladder is straining at the bit (to mix metaphors).

mb

5:23 PM  
Anonymous Miles Pok said...

A 16-year-old migrant boy dies in US custody.
https://abcnews.go.com/amp/Politics/16-year-migrant-boy-dies-us-custody/

5:36 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

Interesting take on events in South America-

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/05/venezuela-guaid%C3%B3-got-snookered-white-house-starts-beating-war-drums.html#more

Another semi-Suez moment? Although, it ain't over til it's over...

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Vince I said...

The latest essay from Guy McPherson.

https://weeklyhubris.com/had-enough-yet-best-of-hubris/

5:55 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0003z8y

BBC program critical of the cult of the CEO

8:53 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Remember that Dallas cop who entered the wrong apartment thinking it was hers and shot that black guy who was just sitting on his own couch? Well, big surprise here: Ex-Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger's Frantic 911 Call Released: 'I'm Going to Lose My Job.' Guyger laments potentially losing her job 19 times during the call--meanwhile the victim can be heard moaning in agony in the background.

I heard the butler did it--who gives a shit? Domino's employee assaults co-worker for spoiling 'Avengers: Endgame.'

I dunno--they both are capable of fucking up the climate about equally: Virginia man shoots two people after argument over which is better brand: Chevy or Ford?

Hey, remember that Minneapolis cop who shot that Australian woman who tapped on the window of his police cruiser? Yeah, HE got convicted and is going to prison. And of course the fact that he's black and the victim was white has NOTHING to do with the prosecutor's decision to make him one of the few cops ever held accountable for gunning down an unarmed civilian. Perish the thought.

10:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gunnar-

Only 1 post per 24 hrs, thanks.

Bill-

Indeed. Suppose that cop had been white.

mb

10:50 PM  
Blogger Ajay Singh said...

"He had let himself be seduced by the least seductive people in the world; they had made him sell his soul at a price which was in itself a penalty."
— Isak Dinesen, "The Young Man with the Carnation"

12:48 AM  
Anonymous singing sam said...

Singh - the Dinesen quote brought to mind a question that continues to perplex me: why do so many American pubic officials (from Atty Gen to Senate member to White House lackey) sell their souls (not to mention their reputations) to protect the most corrupt Administration in American history? Does the Great Orange One have video of them at a Washington orgy? Has he promised something that they couldn't refuse? Or, more likely, is it that there are just no honorable men and women left in American government. AS MB has pointed out, the END began at the BEGINNING. The center is not holding. Barbarians broke through the gates centuries ago, took over the kingdom, and are now irremovable. Yet millions (most) cannot accept the reality that democracy (if ever really alive) is now as dead and foul as a rode-kill possum on a long, hot Texas highway.

8:09 AM  
Blogger Balázs said...

Dear Morris, I'm providing evidence you found lacking. But I thought it was evident anyway. So:
https://thesaker.is/behold-the-breathtaking-weakness-of-the-empire/
https://zeroanthropology.net/2019/05/01/a-desperate-empire-crashes-in-venezuela/
https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/04/venezuela-random-guyaid%C3%B3-launches-new-coup-attempt.html
https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/05/venezuela-guaid%C3%B3-got-snookered-white-house-starts-beating-war-drums.html

The last one points out the self exposed stupidity of the actual coup plotters (US leaders) and uses almost the same metaphor as I did:
"Bolton, Pompeo, Abrams and of course Donald Trump have been exposed as buffoons who, despite their powerful positions, can not even organize a simple coup. They publicly supported through dozens of tweets and interviews what turned out be a bad amateur theater play."

Actually, this last one argues convincingly that the Venezuelan Government (the real one) set up a trap to the putschist clowns with promises of defection.

8:44 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bal-

You may notice that other posters who talked abt Venezuela provided evidence, no matter how 'evident' the story was. Anyone can just declare something; that's no great shakes. Proof and opinion are very different things.

Sam-

Ca. 1800 Benjamin Rush predicted that the country wd end in "an orgy of selfishness."

mb

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Wafer Bill Hicks, no need to worry abt that american cop who killed the black man sitting on his couch b/c she thought it was her apartment. WTF? Doesn't know her zip code nor gate code?

However, no fear--- Ms. Guyger has a new look!

"Softer and less intimidating" for the jury. Preaching to the choir, there are jury CONsultants that do this sorta thing b/c who cares about her shooting an innocent guy in his own home; what matters is the look of the killer to get a lesser sentence.

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/courts/2019/01/29/amber-guygers-new-look-no-accident-say-attorneys-skilled-remaking-client

What again is the point of being "good," honorable, or ethical in this septic tank corporation ("country")? No one gives a shit except their "job" and/or $.


11:05 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Douchebags on the ground, douchbags in outer space

A report out of Alvin, Texas indicates that some “party or parties unknown”—love that Dragnet-style appellation—destroyed 20 out of 24 hives during a break-in, burning some and throwing others into a nearby lake. The queen(s)—sine qua non for colonies’ existence—are believed among the half-a-million bees destroyed.
https://abc13.com/thousands-of-bees-destroyed-after-being-drowned-and-set-on-fire/5274318/

And, depending on whether you view this as progress toward collapse, or simply evidence of general criminality... (Why can’t it be both?)

An investigation by NASA reveals that Sapa Profiles, a metals manufacturer in Oregon, faked test results over a 19-year period, causing some $700 million in losses and the failure of 2 satellite launch missions. Sapa falsified certifications for aluminium parts for hundreds of customers.

Should you be seeking parts suppliers, Sapa is now operating as Hydro Extrusion Portland Inc.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-01/nasa-says-aluminum-fraud-caused-700-million-satellite-failures

11:20 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike-

I'm wondering if there is any documentation abt a secret plan to end the race problem in the US by simply having white cops randomly kill any black people they see--on the street, in apts, etc. Some time ago a black guy was sitting in his car, reading a bk on yoga, and a white cop shot him (I think I have that story straight, but it's a while since I read it). I guess it was the cop who needed inner peace, *unless* there is in fact a plan afoot to simply rid the country of non-white people. (And apparently, of Jews as well). Anyway, wd things look very different today if there *weren't* such a plan in place?

There is a sense that the president has declared war on non-whites, which shows up in his rhetoric, his immigration policies, his semi-endorsement of a Nazi street march, and so on. As I explained to a Mexican friend a while ago, Trumpi is our first Confederate president, and he has a strong base of support along those lines. And as I argued in WAF, the Civil War never really ended. We need a 'Truth and Reconciliation' process, but as that's not gonna happen, this is a problem w/o a solution. But its contribution to the collapse/suicide of the nation is quite significant.

mb

11:23 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bal-

Yr splitting hairs, imo. Here's how the blog works: you do yr best to provide evidence. A 'declaration' of your version of events counts for nothing. Pls don't keep arguing with me; I don't have time for this nonsense. If you can't play by these rules, I suggest you find a blog that is more congenial to yr own approach.

mb

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Martin said...

Check out this fantastic piece on the future of grocery stores in the age of Amazon: The man who's going to save your neighborhood grocery store | New Food Economy https://newfoodeconomy.org/how-grocers-survive-the-amazon-era/

12:55 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

So, its rather apparent that the US's decline is advancing at breakneck speed. The inability to out Madura despite using the hegemonic monetary and payment systems the US created is breathtaking. At the same time, one must wonder how far will the US go in its decline?

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/05/02/anti-satellite-weapons-versusnational-security-part-two/

It's pretty clear via the article and the evidence they bring that the US is serious in figuring out how to nuke its opposition off the map and basically saying to the world, Kneel or die!. Never has an empire been so power hungry to the point that they would rather see the world lit ablaze than have to cooperate with others. The question is in the US decline will it initiate a nuclear war once it realizes that it can no longer have hegemony over the world? All evidence seems to point to the US being the spoiled brat of nations who would take their ball and go home even if it meant that their own lives would be forfeit.

Honestly, at this point looking at the US administration its never been more clear that the US is in need of a Carthage moment, not a Suez moment.

1:01 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/04/29/717467217/summer-bummer-a-young-campers-142-938-snakebite

See, with FREEDOM medical care, you pay $55,000 for an 80-mile helicopter flight
and $17,000 for a vial instead of $1,220 for a Mexican equivalent. Bargain price
to save you 10-year-old from dying of a snake bite was a mere $147,000. Does
this suggest that America can only escape total decline if NO one any longer
has children?

1:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Art-

A hustling, competitive environment is what Americans made clear they wanted from a very early date. Now, they are getting the full force of their choice. Kinda too late to complain, I'm thinkin'.

mb

3:16 PM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Paul Craig Roberts writes on the decline of the American economy and his last line says it all.

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/05/02/does-america-have-an-economy-or-any-sense-of-reality/

On the 'great' Americans front, a 27 year old man falls asleep at a friend's house and two 'friends' pour lighter fluid on him while he's asleep and set him on fire and keep pouring lighter fluid on him as he is trying to put himself out.

https://www.nj.com/atlantic/2019/05/nj-man-set-ablaze-by-friends-while-sleeping-on-couch-details-horrific-night-im-in-so-much-pain.html

And here is the original story with a picture of the two 'great' Americans responsible for this crime.
https://www.nj.com/atlantic/2019/04/duo-charged-with-setting-sleeping-man-on-fire-at-nj-house-leaving-him-with-severe-burns.html

3:38 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Another face for the mug shot Hall of Fame - 'want sprinkles on that sir?'

https://www.kktv.com/content/news/Man-allegedly-robs-the-same-Colorado-Dairy-Queen-twice-509286471.html

Schools aren't the only place your child might (or might not) come home battered and bruised.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/05/02/toddler-bitten-sunrise-preschools-daycare-facility-parents-want-answers/3650186002/

https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/allthemoms/2018/11/01/video-shows-boys-punch-each-other-apparent-fight-club-day-care/1847370002/

3:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Michael-

This is the America we all know and love. Check out those faces.

mb

4:10 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Pamela Anderson...”Public Intellectual.”

That says it all.....although a better title would have been....

Pamela Anderson....Still Bangable.


https://nationalpost.com/news/pamela-anderson-public-intellectual-european-politics

5:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Frankenburger-

Sorry, I don't feel comfortable w/yr language.

mb

6:43 PM  
Blogger Ajay Singh said...

@Singing Sam: I think Morris had a good answer to your question/s. In his recent Q&A with an American expat who lives in and writes about China, a podcast and video link to which is on this site, Morris quoted the American historian Louis Hartz, who wrote something of a classic in 1955, titled, "The Liberal Tradition in America."

In case you missed listening to the Q&A (or even if you did!), here's what Hartz wrote—Morris's words: "When a colony separates from the mother country, it doesn't take the whole way of life from the parent society but a fragment, which then becomes a whole. The Puritans brought with them a fragment: entrepreneurism—hustling. What the settlers were interested in was getting their cut. ..."

Cut to another historian, Walter McDougal, whom Morris quoted thus: "To this day, when two Americans meet, the immediate thing going through their mind is how can this person further my career or put some money in my pocket." (A generalization, I know, but so true in so many millions of cases, especially in the entire D.C. area, as to be a kind of gospel truth.)

6:58 PM  
Anonymous Teddy said...

Joe Biden: "I actually like Dick Cheney... I get on with him. I think he's a decent man."

He adds that Cheney was "extremely helpful" about the "legal parameters" of the VP office. Without irony.

Mondale then says his view of Cheney is "a little bit different." The crowd laughs

PHEW ... My view is Cheney was the architect of war crimes!

7:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ajay-

I guess it's a question of the Reality and the Cover. To switch countries for a moment, Jeff and I didn't talk abt China, but the Reality there is economic expansion around the globe, and they are doing it very effectively, while the US sits around with its thumb up its ass. In a decade or so, as the US economy implodes, and America's political power does as well, China will be well poised to fill the vacuum created. This shift, from West to East, is a major drama of our time.

But China doesn't talk in terms of the Reality. Government documents are studded with the word 'wa'--harmony--and Pres. Xi has talked abt returning to Confucian roots. Confucianism is, of course, politically conservative; the distance between 'wa' and obedience or conformism is pretty short. So we'll all talk in terms of a harmonious society, while the 'princelings' are billionaires and 1% of the population owns 47% of the wealth (as in the US). Xi is president for life; his regime is repressing dissidents, Muslims especially, and in former years, China persecuted and tortured a yoga culture(!), the Falun Gung. Whether this is due to communism or to the course of Chinese history is an open question (same can be asked of the Soviet Union); but the Reality is power, privilege, wealth, and authoritarian control.

Now for the US. This I obviously know a bit more abt. The Reality has always been hustling, money, economic expansion; and then eventually, imperialism--geographic expansion, political oppression of nations who won't play the laissez-faire (neoliberal) market economy game--and technological expansion. The Cover has been 'democracy', but it's a strange type of democracy when there are only 2 political parties and they both stand for much the same thing. Hartz and McDougal are great historians (McDougal won a Pulitzer, if that matters), immensely talented, and yet--centrist! These are no left-wing ravers by any means, and yet their indictment of what America is abt, and why, is clear as a bell.

Censorship in China and Russia follows the Orwellian pattern, of outright repression. In America, it's a kind of 'soft fascism', i.e. the pattern laid out by Aldous Huxley: the populace is effectively drugged (in millions of cases, literally). Dissenters are tolerated because they are completely marginalized. Sheldon Wolin gets 'dropped' by the NYRB; McDougal gets wiped out by hatchet-job reviews (which happened to me as well). Or else no reviews; the serious critics are not really on the radar screen of intellectual discussion, and even if they were, 99.5% of the American public doesn't give a shit.

This is, of course, history in broad strokes. The model of Reality/Cover ignores a lot of gray areas, intermediate states, and so on, for Russia, China, and also the US. But as a rough approximation of how these empires operate, I think it is basically correct.

Meanwhile, there is a dialectical factor at work, most clearly seen in the US today. "A man's strengths and weaknesses flow from the same source"--Sun Tzu. Hustling made the US the most powerful country on earth, but in the fullness of time it turned against itself. Every American institution, as Ronald Dworkin and Paul Fussell asserted yrs ago, is wallowing in corruption; our lives are spiritually empty; there is a disgusting quality to daily life in America, documented a thousand times over by Wafers on this blog; and we elected the greatest emblem of hustling imaginable, Donald Trump, who is busy fulfilling his historical role of dismantling the nation--in the guise of saving it!

mb

7:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ajay-

Sorry, cdn't run it. 2 impt rules to observe:
1. Post only once every 24 hrs, max.
2. Post only a half page, max.
Thanks!
mb

8:58 PM  
Anonymous Jason A said...

This article from Tom Luongo at Strategic culture is interesting, about the dark side of American populism re. Venezuela:

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2019/05/01/venezuela-is-a-dark-mirror-into-populisms-soul/

The telling paragraph, from a Wafer perspective:

"The truth is that the American populist right has given fully into their anger and powerlessness to stop the degradation of their own society and have now transferred those feelings onto Venezuela."

9:35 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Mike R--there are a couple of legal blogs I peruse now and again, and it always amuses me how these guys (one is a defense attorney, the other an academic) treat the American judicial system as if has merit and isn't a complete joke. One day, I'm going to comment with my view--that there should be no such thing as private attorneys, and that if the wealthy were required to hire the same public defenders as the poor and were subject to the same exact penalties for the same crimes, you better believe the system would actually WORK. Bet that would go over well.

@Michael B--I read the article you posted about the guy who was set on fire. Seems having third degree burns over 30% of his body is just the start of his troubles: "Mullen...launched a GoFundMe this week to help cover the cost of his extensive medical treatment...Mullen said his mother has taken a leave of absence from her job to help with his care...Mullen won’t be able to return to his job as an HVAC apprentice for at least a year." Poor bastard is going to end up permanently crippled and completely bankrupt.

Meanwhile, it's just amazing that with all of official Washington running around beating their chests about Venezuela and clutching their pearls over the "fallout" from the Mueller Report, that the Mississppi River just crested at an all time high in the Quad Cities, while the city of Davenport's downtown area was completely flooded when another faulty levee gave away. Rapidly accelerating climate change plus aging and dilapidated infrastructure is another way America is collapsing. Yeah, I give us another decade, tops.

10:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Regarding what I said abt China, above: check it out:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/03/china-will-build-string-of-military-bases-around-world-says-pentagon

As for the US: Duh dept:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/may/02/six-people-who-prove-capitalism-is-broken-in-america

Meanwhile, here's all you hafta know abt the Barr testimony etc.: Barr, Schmarr.

mb

12:13 AM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

MB,
Falun Gong is a meditation movement that combines elements of Buddhism and native Chinese culture such as qigong. They were favored by the government at first, but as they grew more popular they started staging public protests where they complained that the current government does not accord with Chinese traditional principles. This was before the heavy emphasis on Confucianism, so it's possible they had some effect at the grass-roots level and the government felt the need to prove it was "truly Chinese". Anyway, this is not a regime that suffers any sort of criticism meekly. So there was a huge crackdown and Falun Gong has been banned for just about a decade now.

12:42 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

" One moment in Fire and Fury – the much-disputed, probably fictionalised account of the Trump White House by Michael Wolff – provides an instructive anecdote. Trump is asked by an Eastern European model what ‘white trash’ is. ‘They’re people just like me, only they’re poor’, was his (alleged) response.

That’s what the anger and the double standards and the blimp are really about. And deep down, the protesters know it."

https://www.spiked-online.com/2019/05/02/why-the-british-loathe-the-donald/

2:48 AM  
Blogger alex carter said...

"The Coming War With China"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ot-acn1whrc&t=629s

I hope not because either (a) we foolish Americans will be pelletized and used to raise Chinese pigs and that's not healthy for the Chinese pigs, or (b) we insane Americans will irradiate the Earth so thoroughly that nothing but prions will survive.

Lovely movie though, because I'd grown up (in Hawaii) hearing about Kwajelain but never seen so much as a still photo of it, and likewise the coverage of Okinawa is amazing. Frankly, I'd love the idea of retiring to Oki except for the language issues.

The gist of the whole film is that the US is behaving like a big, rude, bully all over the Pacific, and is in the process of encircling China with military bases and acting very bellicose.

3:24 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sav-

I saw the attack on Falun Gong as a reaction against a kind of religious movement that appealed to one's "Inner Authority," or Higher Self. The Chinese government was threatened by that kind of independence of spirit, in other words; it wanted to be the only authority around. But--my knowledge of these events is admittedly skimpy.

mb

5:07 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Overdose deaths from cocaine and psychostimulants such as meth are on the rise in America. From the article: “The CDC team noted that between 2015 and 2016, rates of drug overdose deaths involving cocaine, psychostimulants or both had already risen by 42.4%.”

https://www.usnews.com/news/health-news/articles/2019-05-02/not-just-opioids-deaths-tied-to-cocaine-meth-are-soaring-too

7:01 AM  
Anonymous Kolesar said...

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/corbyn-s-praise-for-deeply-antisemitic-book-6jfcmh5fp

Corbyn has read a book after all !

9:03 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

@MB thanks for the commentary re: Reality and Cover

Montesquieu, whom the Founding Fathers took very seriously, was convinced you could not have a large state and a genuine republic. That situation in itself is absurd, and it seems to be the Western model of rationalization. The same thing happened with Augustus in Rome. The republic never officially ended, elections were still held for centuries, just at the pleasure and whim of the imperial elite.

In our massive, incompetently technocratic state, voting matters in direct proportion to the time it takes to go to the polls as compared with the four years surrounding that electoral experience. If you look at what Montesquieu says, the Swiss are probably the only modern nation with a real republic, and that requires a specific outlook and socio-cultural context. Participation in civic life here is shouting into the void, peeing in the ocean, etc.

BBC on Montesquieu-

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b5qnfx

9:16 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kole-

Jeremy ain't no Trump; he does read books. I also think there is a Tory campaign going on to smear him w/anti-Semitism, so as to destroy his career. That being said, endorsing Hobson was not smart, even if he was talking abt the 'larger issues'. Heck, maybe he *didn't* read the bk. But I'm guessing he did, and failed to see the mess he was setting himself up for. I personally doubt he's anti-Semitic, but in this instance, he doesn't seem to have been very astute.

As far as the Jewish Plan to Control the World, we will never, ever be free of the mindset that comes out of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Hatred of Jews is probably the oldest hatred around, and certainly shows no signs of abating.

mb

10:12 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

'Key West Moment' dept.:

https://www.local10.com/news/florida/monroe-county/sex-in-front-of-police-station-man-says-it-was-a-key-west-moment

Gary Hill and Crystal Frances were caught having sex in front of police headquarters in Key West. Hill referred to the event as having a "Key West moment." I dunno, that's kinda poetic.

Miles

12:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

More interesting than a Suez Moment, perhaps. Check out the guy's face.

mb

12:48 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Food for thought:

https://www.amazon.com/World-Revolution-Westernization-Twentieth-Perspective/dp/0195049063/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=world+revolution+of+westernization&qid=1556909185&s=books&sr=1-1-fkmrnull

2:50 PM  
Anonymous Orlando said...

John Kelly has joined the board of the company operating the largest shelter for unaccompanied migrant children, CBS News reports.
https://www.cbsnews.com/amp/news/john-kelly-joins-board-of-caliburn-international-company-operating-largest-unaccompanied-migrant-children-shelter/

The country of privileged hate.... poor kids :-(

6:40 PM  
Anonymous Judy said...

Morris Berman -

On your food for thought book rec, is this a new work you are reading? Or a classic that came to mind? I shall order it either way!

8:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jude-

Orig. publ. 1987.

mb

8:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Some time ago, Bill Hicks brought Chrystal Walraven to our attention:

https://www.wsaz.com/content/news/Police-Texas-mom-abandoned-five-children-in-feces-filled-home-for-Myrtle-Beach-getaway-507034211.html

The woman is clearly a douche baguette, but for me the crucial issue is whether these aforementioned feces were hot or cold. Myself, I find cold feces disgusting.

2nd, consider this:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/05/03/unemployment-is-year-low-it-might-drop-lot-further/?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_economy-650pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory-ans&utm_term=.fe151a287f07

This is gd news, in that it will make Trumpi that much harder to defeat in 2020. He seems to be doing more for the poor and the working class than the Dems have ever done, New Deal excepted. And this was part of his pledge--and it looks like he's making gd on it. But the bad news is that he's supposed to be destroying the country, and this is having the opposite effect! What do you guys think? If he is actually going to improve our situation, then what's the pt of reelecting him?

mb

9:25 PM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...

Re: Low Unemployment, Job Growth
Give Trump some time. This is actually a good thing because it gives Americans a false sense of security, especially those on the fence about stomaching another Trump term or voting in Bob Barker (aka Joe Biden). They'll end up re-electing him. Just wait until it all busts....

What I love the most about these economic cheerleading articles is that they're totally superficial. They rarely dig deep into the quality of jobs being added or their conditions. If they are so great, why are so many Americans unhappy and dying from deaths of despair?

10:20 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mil-

Yr rt, but when you've been unemployed for a long time, and are desperate, and suddenly an oppty--any oppty--for cash in yr pocket presents itself, you tend to be not too worried abt how shitty the job is; at least not at 1st.

Of course, for a # of reasons discussed on this blog, official employment stats are different from real employment stats. But that's a whole other issue.

I think the bottom line here is that the Dems have made it clear that they cdn't care less abt their New Deal heritage or abt the poor and the working class. I discuss this in Essay #15 in AWTY. They destroyed their own base, giving Trumpi an opening to accumulate *his* base. The combo of nativism and the rejection of neoliberalism/globalization was indeed a winning combo. And if these stats are even remotely true, then hey: he delivered!

In terms of genuine, lived life, what have the Dems given the country, beyond their circle of rich friends? Clinton sold the poor and the working class out, in a # of ways; Obama's regime was an exercise in elegant masturbation. Botox Face wd have been a continuation of the latter, and the underclasses knew this. Trumpi at least *acts*, makes things happen in the real world. Of course, most of it is destructive (of which I heartily approve, and look forward to more); but dropping unemployment to the lowest figure in the past 50 yrs hasta make a lot of people happy.

mb

10:38 PM  
Anonymous Artemus Gordon said...

It seems that our constant hustling has even further implications. Sleep deprivation may have strong links to Alzheimer’s, cancer and several other nasty diseases running roughshod through our hustling society. Matthew Walker, Ph. D. shares his study results on Dr. Peter Attia’s podcast over three episodes. Dr. Walker notes that Ron Reagan and Margaret Thatcher both boasted about how little sleep they required and both ended up with Alzheimer’s. Trumpi also boasts of not needing sleep. So fear not Dr. Berman, perhaps the best is yet to come from Trumpi.

Of course, the down side to this discovery is the people getting 3-5 hours of sleep so they can work their three jobs to barely avoid homelessness. On this side of things we have the social implications of weary people driving on the roads, operating heavy machinery, proving healthcare (if that’s what we still call it in the U.S.), etc…

https://peterattiamd.com/matthewwalker1/
https://peterattiamd.com/matthewwalker2/
https://peterattiamd.com/matthewwalker3/

10:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Art-

I think it's been conclusively demonstrated that Ronnie had Alzheimer's while in office, at least during the last 2 or 3 yrs. This was even raised as a theme in "The Americans." Meanwhile, millions of Americans adored the senile turkey, and continue to do so to this day. (He often comes out #1 in polls on Who is yr favorite pres?) It may not be inaccurate to characterize a large fraction of the American population as senile in behavior, if not actually in terms of brain chemistry. (Buffoonery is not yet listed as a recognized disease in the DSM V.) As for Trumpi, if senility takes him over and he becomes more destructive as a result, his base will still cheer him on--as will I.

mb

11:30 PM  
Anonymous Henri said...

< Someone familiar w/ White House scene post North Korea missile briefing to me:
- “Trump is pissed off, like Kim fucked him over.”
- WH staff “urging him not to tweet anything, to talk to [ROK President] Moon first before he does anything.”
- ROK staff calling WH urging restraint >

Weeeeee

7:29 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Henri-

Yr source for this? Evidence? (Hearsay is not evidence.)

mb

7:43 AM  
Anonymous Atypical Texan said...

https://youtu.be/3ActAKgwVMU
Max Blumenthal talking about his new book, The Management of Savagery. This sounds like a must read for anyone interested in so called US foreign policy

8:34 AM  
Anonymous Henri said...

MB - my source was from National security reporter Alex Ward of Vox. It was a radio segment this morning. Apologies no further sources.

8:36 AM  
Anonymous Pat Chouli said...

Ok thanks for the heads up, MB. I need to send my comments to the latest post. First off, I wanted to welcome you all back from your summit travels! Then I was pondering over Max Blumenthal’s response to historian Ron Chernow’s remark at last week’s WH Correspondents Dinner where Chernow referred to the Trump era as a “surreal interlude in American life”

https://dailysoundandfury.com/historian-ron-chernow-refers-to-trump-era-as-a-surreal-interlude-in-american-life/

Blumenthal’s response was, via Twitter:

“This is ahistorical American exceptionalism. Trump is not an “interlude” and Trumpism is deeply rooted in American life. His signature policies reflect continuity with other administrations, from tax cuts for the rich to mass deportations to imperial belligerence abroad.”

The key insight there for Wafers, IMO, is that this era of Trump is no “interlude,” but is continuous with what was established here from the get go (aka. the late 1500’s) which Prof. Berman established in “Why America Failed.” It’s been one big “hustle” all along. Of course, Wafers realize (unlike, let’s say, most “progs,”) that Americans could care two shits about any of this, if they even understand any of it. The best we can hope for is that they might go bat shit crazy before they, again, double down on their bad behavior. Meanwhile, I’m sure the “progs” (who will always believe it’s possible to pick up a piece of shit from it’s “clean” side) will be able to use Blumenthal’s remarks for rhetorical effect and political gain. But again, no soul searching, no wake up call, and certainly no “aha!” moment.

9:15 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pat-

Also check out p. 124 of AWTY. Trump actually represents the apotheosis, or logical culmination, of Americanism.

Henri-

That helps. In future, only 1 post per 24 hrs, s'il vous plait.

Texan-

Digging our own grave, now w/Trumpi's help.

mb

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Dulouz Jr. said...

Two articles related to your question about Trump and the economy.
The Untold Story of Trump's Booming Economy: truthdig.com
Down and Out in the Gig Economy: newrepublic.com

sorry I'm not tech savvy enough to create links.

10:40 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

I agree with MB, Trump is our first confederate president, the south always said it would rise again and we are witness to the fulfillment of that oft repeated refrain (southern strategy on steroids). In this way he is the liberator, I can't think of a better lens through which to view our times.

1929 was also a pretty good economic year right up til October when shit hit the fan. I don't know how real our official statistics are today but I'm thinking it's prob a gd thing the election is in 2020 rather than 2022 (FDR 1932 - allowed depression to harden). The 'strong' economy this close to election bodes well for us - the administration shld be able to, if nothing else, baffle us with bullshit until Nov. '20. I found this graph of unemployment stats that seem to correspond.

https://www.thebalance.com/unemployment-rate-by-year-3305506

https://alfred.stlouisfed.org/series?seid=M0892AUSM156SNBR&utm_source=series_page&utm_medium=related_content&utm_term=related_resources&utm_campaign=alfred

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

Now that Florida has legalized school teachers to be armed, it is only a matter of time before yet another WAFER dream-prophecy comes true; the gunning down of students in what ought to be the safest place for them with *authorized* firearms.

We should start a pool to see what the first authorized teacher gun death proves to be:teacher-student, teacher-teacher, teacher suicide, student-teacher (after stealing gun from teacher), student-student, student suicide, teacher- custodian?

My money is on P.E. teacher shoots Science department chair for leaving creationism out of curriculum, place your bets Wafers!!!

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/florida-lawmakers-pass-bill-allows-teachers-arm-themselves-n1000906

12:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pat-

Next step wd be, shd be, to arm students. I had a # of teachers I didn't like; wd that I cd have blown them outta the water. Alas, those were different times. But in a couple of yrs, schls might turn into assassination camps. O, Mamacita!

mb

1:00 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@MB--Here's a good graph that demonstrates the REAL state of unemployment: Civilian labor force participation rate in the United States. The percentage of employed working age adults was 66% at the start of Obarfa's first term and the beginning of the Great Recession. The rate dropped steadily during the his presidency, bottoming out at just below 63% in 2015. During Trump's presidency, the only thing that's changed is that the rate has stabilized and stopped dropping. The one thing we don't know, of course, is the quality of the new jobs that are currently being created. But we do know millions of working age adults who never found another job after being laid off the past decade were simply "erased" from the "official" unemployment numbers when their benefits ran out. Presumably, these are the people filling all those rapidly expanding tent cities going up all around the country.

Basically, the "official" unemployment stats show we've been lying ourselves, which is convenient if you want to make the argument that those without jobs are "lazy" and that the plutocrats are not to blame. The good part of all this from a Wafer standpoint is that even the dumbass Democrats accept the lie, which means Trump is going to be able to get away with campaigning on a "strong" economy--and when the economy is perceived to be strong, the incumbent president practically always gets re-elected. The only monkey wrench is that a lot of other economic stats that cannot be manipulated, like housing prices, are indicating that the whole bubble economy is on the edge of bursting, and when it does that will likely be America's "domestic Suez" moment.

1:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bill-

Domestic Suez Moment occurred on 8 Nov. 2016. Of course, there will be others in our future. I'm still waiting for the foreign one, a la Suez in 1952. As for major economic collapse, bursting bubbles, etc., I'm hoping it will occur *after* Nov. 2020, because if it occurs b4, it cd threaten Trumpi's reelection possibilities. This must not be allowed to happen.

mb

2:17 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tg9oYYsdJlw&app=desktop

How about 2-4-1 surgery? With air miles? With grocery coupons? Free parking?

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

Everyone on the site documents the decline so completely I find it hard to add much.

However the recent article in The Intercept about charging a fellow who helps people stay alive instead of dying in the desert is just another example of the new brand of American exceptionalism.

https://theintercept.com/2019/05/04/no-more-deaths-scott-warren-migrants-border-arizona/

As well all Americans thinking of relocating to Canada should be aware that we eventually do whatever America does.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/conservative-blue-wave-canada/5676484

I think it's going to get a lot worse here.

8:45 PM  
Anonymous WuduFugel said...

Constant smart phone access is changing the foundation of our emotions:

"Bored and lonely? Blame your phone"

Dio, re: the possibilities of a "true" republic. I think its difficult to have a real republic with a large state but not impossible, I think the culture here is the key. Americans watch 5 hours of TV a day, on average. Imagine, as a thought experiment, if that time was split and Americans spent 2.5 hours watching TV and 2.5 hours reading what was going on in congress/council at the local/state/federal level. Is this going to happen - no. But it would be a pretty different society. But our society does not encourage people to do this, it encourages people to be mindless consumers. This is what Neil Postman and Huxley feared.

Our culture has become just plain dumb. The strange thing to me is that entertainment creators themselves seem to understand this much better than political analysts, from either the right or left.

8:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wudu-

The one thing you cannot say, as a politician or a journalist/political analyst/author or whatever, is that Americans are stupid, and that this might have something to do with where the country finally wound up. It's not only politically incorrect; it also implies that positive political or social change is not going to happen. That we are fucked, in fact; are on a downward trajectory that cannot be altered. I know of only 4 Americans who declared that their fellow-countrymen had/have shit-for-brains: H.L. Mencken, George Carlin, Gore Vidal, and myself. Mencken was dismissed as a crank; Carlin dismissed as a comedian; Vidal a pointed embarrassment (a member of the establishment and wildly successful novelist); and I am invisible, off the radar screen. The film "Idiocracy," unknown to probably 99% of the American public, describes this culture almost perfectly, if not now then certainly in the near future. Of course, the citizens of an Idiocratic state can hardly be expected to realize that they are morons, and that their lives are a bad joke.

Anjin-

Wafer documentation is indeed pretty comprehensive. It's one reason (among many) that this is the only blog worth paying attn. to. It provides info that 327 million Americans do not want to have, or ever think abt. Imagine if instead of 168 Wafers and 327 million buffoons, those figures were reversed. A fully aware, self-reflecting nation? Well that'll be the day...(Buddy Holly).

mb

9:34 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

And it’s trends like these that accelerate the downward trajectory to an “Idiocracy”...a nation of “skilled” but POORLY EDUCATED morons.


https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/need-college-degree-get-job-these-companies-say-skills-matter-n1001526

9:57 PM  
Anonymous Edward said...

Solving Friction with Fiction: Cooperation, Co-ordination, and the Evolution of Hunter-Gatherer Storytelling

After nourishment, shelter and companionship,
stories are the thing we need most in the world. 
– Philip Pullman (author) 1

The storytelling animal

https://evolution-institute.org/solving-friction-with-fiction-cooperation-co-ordination-and-the-evolution-of-hunter-gatherer-storytelling/

7:30 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ed-

Check out "Wandering God." I argue that hunter-gatherer cultures did not live in a world of narrative, which showed up only in the Late Paleolithic with the rise of sedentism and soon after, agriculture. But I haven't read Pullman's bk.

mb

9:00 AM  
Anonymous Eagleman said...

Money influences our behavior in negative ways — even if we’re just thinking about it.

How Money Manages Us

https://hbr.org/2019/01/why-money-manages-us

9:19 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

interview with a douchebaguette:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/05/melinda-gates-interview-the-moment-of-lift-gates-foundation

9:43 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

I might add a point to the earlier discussion of the newly published employment figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics: they do reflect the numbers of people who have abandoned the job search altogether. This number is not trivial. Nor, so far as I have been able to determine, do they include asterisks explaining how many of the employed are working multiple jobs and might be being counted as representing multiple individuals. I would welcome clarification of that point should anyone know the answer.

For newer blog readers, may I recommend the lectures by and interviews of Richard Wolff, economics professor emeritus from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. He does a bimonthly talk at the Judson Memorial Church in Manhattan (second Wednesday of the month): search YouTube for “Global Capitalism: Live Economic Update.” Wolff also does a weekly Economic Update, also available on YouTube.

His talks dissect the latest economic reports, Administration assinanities, and the like in a very entertaining but highly informative fashion. A sample: https://youtu.be/euH3pAuLuko

11:45 AM  
Blogger disposium said...

Long time lurker here. Re: Carlin telling us we have shit for brains... I've lately been amused by the phenomenon of St. George (as I think of him) railing against the Total Stupidity of the Audience, and they laugh and laugh and laugh, not seeming to realize that they themselves are at the point of the joke... Or should I say, We Ourselves are at the point of the joke. I suppose that's the real joke: We Are the Joke, and we are so stupid, so selfish, so ignorant, that we Just Don't Get It.

Mind you, I can only speak for myself. The rest of you seem to be pretty much with-it.

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Toby said...

Film recommendation for 'Mary Magdalene' (2018)

It was very beautiful meditative and subtle.

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Nordic said...

See: Trump Vies With Reagan As Worst Enemy of Wildlife https://www.dcreport.org/2019/04/29/trump-vies-with-reagan-as-worst-enemy-of-wildlife/

Eh, I *don't* like this part of declinism

1:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Nordic-

Agreed. I'm all for fighting to preserve the environment, because this is an issue that goes way beyond the problems of America. As I've said b4, let's hope America, and capitalism, collapse b4 the planet does.

dis-

Welcome to the blog. Don't lurk; live! Meanwhile, yr rt: this blog is the most spiritually evolved center of awareness in the entire universe. When I hear of people going to other blogs, all I can do is shake my head and weep.

mb

2:26 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

James, You said: “I might add a point to the earlier discussion of the newly published employment figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics: they do reflect the numbers of people who have abandoned the job search altogether….”

I always thought that the statics did not include those who abandoned looking for a job. So I looked it up and found the following at https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/063015/how-does-us-bureau-labor-statistics-calculate-unemployment-rate-published-monthly.asp:

"Someone who does not have a job but claims he is not looking for one is considered out of the labor force and is not counted in the unemployment rate.”

Am I missing something?

Here’s Paul Craig Roberts on the economy:
https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/05/02/does-america-have-an-economy-or-any-sense-of-reality/






9:14 PM  

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