June 03, 2019

360

Well, Waferinos, life in America gets more dysfunctional every day. Massacres, warmongering, widespread desperation and drugs of all kinds (hustling especially), and increasing techno-buffoonery: Could a declinist ask for more? I suspect that the fact of our descent into oblivion is recognized on an unconscious level by many Americans--perhaps even most. Making it conscious is, of course, no easy task, and with few exceptions this conscious understanding is acknowledged by only a few in the mainstream media. But there is some progress: as I mentioned in the last thread, the New Yorker has now published an essay asserting that cell phones are making us sick, and are destructive of everything it means to be human. So they took 15 years to catch up to me; that's OK. I predict that the conscious awareness of our national collapse will similarly increase over time, although it will probably take a while (50-100 years) for me to show up on the front cover of Time. In the meantime, the conclusion of the American experiment awaits a new Thomas Cole, to give us the visuals.

-mb

202 Comments:

Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

That was a good essay in the New Yorker, at least the author acknowledged the catch-22 of online lives AND the class issue:

"Many people still earn their livelihoods offline, but an online presence is often a requirement not only for jobs in the gig economy but in order to piece together a financial safety net. (One in three GoFundMe campaigns is for medical care.) More and more of us cannot afford to step away. Practicing digital minimalism may be akin to getting a personal trainer or developing a Transcendental Meditation practice—a rarefied form of self-improvement."

But, alas, much of this is howling at the moon. It will take some sort of sun storm caused electrical grid shutdown to really get the attention of 99.9% of Americans who are not WAFers or read long essays in the New Yorker.

Anyway, another movie recommendation for those that liked Idiocracy, try Wall-E.

9:10 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pastrami-

Yr rt; and that scenario is imagined by Gary Shteyngart in "Super Sad True Love Story."

While we're on the New Yorker, let me recommend essay by Jas Wood in issue of May 20. It's a review of "This Life," by Martin Hagglund--a pitch for secularism. Very absorbing read.

mb

9:44 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Dr. B:

All I can say is WOW! That New Yorker article blew me away. I don't subscribe to the New Yorker, so I had a little trouble searching for it. Here's the link if other non-subscribers choose to read it.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/04/29/what-it-takes-to-put-your-phone-away

My favorite quote from the article: "by constantly disclosing our needs and desires to tech companies that sift through our selfhood in search of profit opportunities, we are neglecting, even losing, our mysterious, murky depths—the parts of us that don’t serve an ulterior purpose but exist merely to exist."

On another note, where is our friend Bill Hicks? We haven't heard from him in a long time. Hope you're doing okay, Bill! Also, Miles, have a happy retirement. I've been semi-retired for about three months now and man does it ever feel great!

Final note: Something I've been wondering about lately: are pets slaves? I would love to hear WAFER comments.

https://aeon.co/essays/why-keeping-a-pet-is-fundamentally-unethical

11:43 AM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

Check it out!
How To Read Donald Duck (Wikipedia)

"How to Read Donald Duck (Spanish: Para leer al Pato Donald) is a 1971 book-length essay by Ariel Dorfman and Armand Mattelart that critiques Disney comics from a Marxist point of view as being vehicles for American cultural imperialism. It was first published in Chile in 1971, became a bestseller throughout Latin America and is still considered a seminal work in cultural studies."

Discovered while visiting the New Yorker because of an article posted to the previous page of this blog.

The Book That Exposed the Cynical Politics of Donald Duck

It was heavily suppressed in the US by Disney, of course, because it "infringes" their copyrights. But you can get it now, even direct online: How to Read Donald Duck (PDF)

2:55 PM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

New piece by Joseph E Stiglitz- After Neoliberalism

https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/after-neoliberalism-progressive-capitalism-by-joseph-e-stiglitz-2019-05

Not sure I agree with him that the system can be saved.

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pgm9s0ze438

Always complaining!! They forget that they get free eats, a bed, and shelter out of
bad weather during winter. Just think how easily they forget what we've done for them!!

3:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Unknown-

Sorry, I don't post Unknowns. You need a real handle. May I suggest Hans Schmaltzkopf von Hockenblosen?

Krak-

Folks like Stiglitz or Reich or Krugman want to save capitalism in some form, and the truth is that it cannot and shd not be saved. Capitalism is a culture, not just an economic system, and the values of that culture are completely wrong, fucked up, and anti-human. On that pt, Marx was rt. We need *no* capitalism, not a 'better' one. (See the New Yorker link cited by Mike Kelly, above.)

Sav-

If you like that, try this:

https://www.amazon.com/Empires-Old-Clothes-Ranger-Innocent/dp/0822346710/ref=sr_1_6?crid=38DTLT5EDEGYD&keywords=ariel+dorfman&qid=1559590069&s=books&sprefix=ariel+dorf%2Cstripbooks%2C214&sr=1-6

Mike-

On pets see CTOS ch. 2. And where IS Bill Hicks? Bill, are you all rt? Send up a flare, at least.

mb

3:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/06/03/us/mall-of-america-boy-sentencing/index.html

Q: Why in the world wd this guy do such a thing?
A: Because he's an American.
Q: But not all Americans throw little boys over railings, rt?
A: No, but all Americans contain huge amts of pain and anger, which they have repressed. Most can keep it in check (barely). But for an increasing % of the population, throwing kids off balconies, entering a school or workplace and blowing a dozen people away, stuffing yr baby in a garbage can--etc. (it's a long list)--becomes, somehow, a 'reasonable' outlet for that pain and anger. Where do you think Shaneka Torres, or Laquisha Jones, came from? Thin air? Or the air of a toxic society? The truth is that Americans are degraded; they live in degradation w/o even knowing it. They are also dumb as stale dog shit. MRIs reveal poop in their heads.

Recent Virginia shooting: again, the articles on how the guy was a strange loner, kept to himself, etc. American Way of Life had 0 to do with it, oh no. And we'll pray, our hearts go out, we'll avoid gun control legislation, ad nauseam, and then we'll forget--until the next massacre, a week or so later. Then we'll do it all over again, because we are pathetic, ignorant buffoons. Once you realize this, and understand that even the smart ones are stupid, then what is happening to the US, and where it is headed and why, become very clear. Just take one example: Nobelists in economics, w/very high IQs, write article after article outlining how capitalism can be improved, when capitalism in its essence is a death sentence, for rich as well as poor.

Or they talk abt saving a nation that is the most evil, destructive force on the planet today. This is the best that the American intellectual elite has to offer. Current score: 170 Wafers, 327 million imbeciles.

mb

4:25 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

To add to the New Yorker essay, Ian Welsh has a good blog post on the development of the modern surveillance society. Very scary stuff.

https://www.ianwelsh.net/why-elites-are-creating-surveillance-states/

4:40 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Dr. Berman, it appears deja vu all over again re: VA massacre.

The us empire is like a bad movie playing over and over and over again. And the USian "news" reporters going into their usual bottom lip biting blather.

Cue: sad piano musak, pollies stating thoughts/prayers/we can do better, we need 'stricter' laws, vows for this/that, "such promise gone," they were 'good' people, light shows, hugs, sad faces, militarised police, hero rhetoric, editorials w/ we musts, we shoulds, action plans, etc...etc..Rinse, lather, repeat.

USians never learn. They never looked in the mirror, and on w/ the next massacre. In fact, when we bring this up with family, we're told to stop being so negative, enough already, pass the salt, and then energetic conversations abt sports, work promotions, & which dating slut got voted off the island.

5:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike-

As I said above, once you recognize that yr surrounded by morons, and that that is not going to change, life in America becomes a lot clearer. Do any reporters in the MSM talk abt the social conditions that create these massacres, as opposed to the 'deranged loner' theory? Do any of them comment that instead of repeating the usual rituals, we take a step back and ask why these events keep occurring? These reporters may have high IQs...So how is it they are so dumb? That too won't change.

mb

7:05 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferes,

Digital decoupling (other than local libray access of DAA blog) is a practiced survival strategy that I prescribe to. Forget fecesbook, trash twitter, "throw away your tee vee, eat a lot of peaches" smash smartphones, they make you dumb; oppose tyranny at every turn in the turnpike. Turn off eN Pee aRe. Kapitalism is a kapital krime.

@Mike Kelly - I only left my pup in DC with Taffy and Eric for the simple reason that "no dogs allowed" at both hotel and restaurant for 6ANYWSM. Enjoyed lots of dogs on the sidewalks of Manhattan. Other than that, Mike, dogs rule. Man's/Woman's best friend. If anything, I am inservitude to her. "It's easy - all you need is love!"

You wanted to know what Wafers think of pets. That's my take. For What It's Worth.

p.s. The radio did inform me that in the first five months of 2019 there has been 150 mass murders. Do the math - that's uno per diem.

O&D!

7:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to B. Louis-

Thank you for posting. A fresh face is always welcome. However, the blog has a few rules or guidelines that might help you in the future. 1st, post only once every 24 hrs, max. 2nd, broad declarations of opinion on the state of the US (or Jupiter, for that matter) aren't really that helpful. As one wag once observed, opinions are like assholes: everyone's got one. More helpful is to state an argument abt a specific pt, and then provide evidence for your views. Keeping all this in mind, pls give it another shot. We look forward to yr contribution.

mb

8:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Here's a Waferbook:

https://www.amazon.com/Living-Others-Expense-Western-Prosperity/dp/1509525629/ref=sr_1_1?crid=7MHV80W6LRAX&keywords=stephan+lessenich&qid=1559611826&s=gateway&sprefix=stephan+lessenich%2Caps%2C229&sr=8-1

Along w/this I recommend the play by Wally Shawn called "The Fever."

mb

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

In case Wafers missed it (though I doubt it), Thomas Cole:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Course_of_Empire_(paintings)

10:09 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

@Mike Kelly,

Pets are definitely non-human slaves, but to a different extent, so are tenants who pay a "landlord", employees who work for a "boss" etc... Unfortunately, Capitalism is BASED on exploitation, and all those who claim that animals can just be "liberated" in the wild and live happily-ever-after are deluded.

In France, animal welfare, organic food and "green transportation" is gaining traction to an almost religious level. It's all very hypocritical, childish and narcissistic IMO. People who ride an electric bicycle and eat organic food love to advertise their moral superiority over "evil" meat eaters who drive "dirty" petrol cars, yet, they take the plane 4 times a year to go on holiday, and have 3 kids per household for who they buy all the made-in-china-by-slaves crap in the world.

Kanye

3:57 AM  
Anonymous Quiet Desperation said...

Dr. Berman,
JohnSteppling's latest post, "How to Sell the Narrative of American Greatness" refers to a new book "American Exceptionalism and American Innocence". I bought the book and checked the index for Berman, Morris. Ziltch, nada...wtf is wrong with these people? Over the years you have continued to display style and grace in dealing with the johhny come lately folks cashing in on your original thoughts, so well done, definitely un-american behavior. Steppling's article is excellent and the Sirvent/Haiphong book (half finished) is a good read so far, though many of the ideas and observations are in your previous work.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/05/31/how-to-sell-the-narrative-of-american-greatness/

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/1510742360/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

10:59 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Quiet-

I realized a long time ago that I cdn't win. I'll be invisible until the Chinese dig thru the libraries of a collapsed civilization and discover my work. Something similar happened to Copernicus.

mb

11:31 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Copernicus kept saying, "All these problems with geocentrism will clear up if you just fucking put the sun in the center of the solar system." What have I said? "If you just accept that Americans are morons, and that the country has no future, what is happening to us becomes immediately clear."

My epitaph:

I KEPT TELLING THEM, BUT DID THEY LISTEN? NO!

mb

11:34 AM  
Anonymous Vince I said...

@Mike Kelly

Thank you for the article about pets. It is spot on. Recently the city I live in finished a new million dollar pet shelter / facility that serves as a quasi pet store and humane society. A dog park was built behind the city's largest library where one use to be able to go outside and read in peace.

Meanwhile, the city closed many of the residential public swimming pools because it would have required money to fix them. Last year a one of two bulldogs that until a couple of days ago use to live near me got loose and mauled a dog owner and its dog. The owner of the bulldog was let off with a warning and the dog was allowed to remain with the owner.

I can't even begin to describe the intolerance I have for dogs that are allowed to bark incessantly. They really have no business in residential areas.

@Kanye Cyrus,

Capitalism itself is unsustainable. There is no such thing as a sustainable industrial society. Industrial capitalism is based on the infinite growth paradigm, (on a finite planet of course). May I suggest listening to some of what Dr. Guy McPherson has been lecturing about for the last several years.

His views coincide with Dr. Berman's in so far as they both agree that there is no turning this ship of state around. We were all born into a set of living arrangements that we are afraid of or unwilling to change. If my memory serves me correctly there have been reports posted online indicating that one super freighter carrying goods across the Pacific is equivalent to putting 9 million cars on the road.

Peace,
Vince I

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Tom said...

By 2050 I will by 92, so looking forward to a 2nd career as tribal elder, telling infants fantastical tales of snow and elephants.

New report suggests "high likelihood of human civilization coming to an end' in 2050.
https://www.vice.com/amp/en_us/article/597kpd/new-report-suggests-high-likelihood-of-human-civilization-coming-to-an-end-in-2050

11:56 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hola MB and Wafers,

Mike K-

Many thanks for the retirement wishes.

MB, Wafers-

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/04/world/europe/trump-london-protests.html

Well, a visit by the Viscount of Vulgarity has sparked massive numbers to go into the streets of London. Meanwhile in the US, Americans sit on their couches and debate the ending of Game of Thrones. As MB is enthusiastic to say, has there ever been a society as ridiculous as ours?

A provocative column charges liberal elites w/callously blocking homeless shelters in their neighborhoods:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/31/nyregion/homelessness-shelters.html?rref=collection%2Fbyline%2Fginia-bellafante&action=click&contentCollection=undefined&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection

Pets:

https://www.kqed.org/news/11669269/are-there-really-more-dogs-than-children-in-s-f

Miles

12:18 PM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Paul Craig Roberts has found an article in The Daily Mail, a newspaper in the United Kingdom, with pictures and video on the truly awful conditions of the Skid Row district of Los Angeles - only in the later part of the article did anyone suggest that something be done to get homeless people off the streets - most actions were about limiting the volume of 'possessions' a homeless person could haul around! Really sad!

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/06/04/third-world-america/

2:10 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

I adopted a rescue feline a cpl months ago (he had 2 days to go b4 execution) total sweetheart (if you like cats). Funny the slavery question came up b/c I named him Jupiter 1) I like the sound and 2) I stole it from Thomas Jefferson, Jupiter was the name of his #1 slave. I do my best to see that he has a good life.

No worries MB you are and will be vindicated, did I notice an uptick in # of Wafers from 168 to 170?

3:00 PM  
Anonymous ICBM in your shorts said...

New Poster who finally found other people like himself - maybe I'm not as crazy as I thought I was.

Cassandra (aka MB) - You are of course correct that nothing in the US will change until unfettered capitalism is replaced by a more humane economic system. But the chances of that happening are, as you know, worse than the chances of Trump and the Trumpets telling the truth.

On news reports of the massacre le jour, I think reporters know better - as you say they are smart enough to understand - but their primary aim is not reporting accurately or analyzing what happened but assuring that the network continues to make profits. Viewers are never to be offended or made to think that their understanding of the event is shallow or wrong. Profits are to be protected at all costs. News networks are no different now than any other mega-corporation in the world whose only motive is increasing growth and net worth. And there are no alternatives on TV because 6 corps own almost all the outlets.

https://www.webfx.com/data/the-6-companies-that-own-almost-all-media/

3:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ICBM-

For one model of capitalism being replaced, check out the last essay in AWTY. The replacement is possible, but only when capitalism is in runaway collapse: 2008 on steroids, as it were. All of a sudden, alternatives become attractive. Pre-emptive action is only possible for intelligent people (activity now going on in Japan and parts of Europe).

Gunnar-

Yes, we now have 170 registered Wafers. Tomorrow, the world!

Michael-

During the Gulf War of 1990, Rush Limbaugh proposed that all the poor people in the US be rounded up and put on a boat to Kuwait. This being America, it was not clear to me why this insightful plan wasn't implemented. At this pt, I suppose just gunning them all down wd be more economical.

Meanwhile, why are we missing the crucial voices that we need?: Ging Newtrich, Sarah Palin, Rom Mittney, Michele Bachmann, et al.? And also Dan Quayle. Why the silence from these cutting-edge thinkers?

mb

6:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Americans sometimes ask me what I miss most abt America. I tell them, the fundamental kindness of the American people:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2019/06/04/fort-worth-teacher-georgia-clark-asked-trump-tweets-round-up-illegal-students/?utm_term=.6a40b9acd3c3

mb

6:52 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Pastrami & Coleslaw - I've been kicked off of Medi-Cal, again. I sent in some paperwork 2 weeks or so late, so now I have to send in copies of my taxes, a well-written cover letter, etc. and hope & pray I get reinstated. I really need to see a doc too for what I think is cellulitis and I'm trying to treat with hot water.

Mike Kelley - Pets outrage me because people will coddle pets while letting fellow humans starve, but they have a lower ecological footprint so I'm in the fence these days.

Savantesimal- Donald Duck is like smoking oregano. The real dope is/was Richie Rich.

Vince I - After watching the movie "Cowspiracy" I've decided to swear off warm-blooded animals as food. However bulldogs might be an exception. They look awfully nice and meaty too. I consider it ethical to eat an animal that is harmful and overpopulated. I guess that'd mean humans too but that's just yukky.

6:53 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Al, not sure why you asked me, but I have (unfortunately) my share of health issues. The interwebs say:

If you’re undergoing treatment when you lose eligibility in a program, you have “continuity of care” rights, Mollow says. Once you’ve been switched, contact your new health plan immediately to explain your situation. In some cases, you may be able to keep your doctor while your treatment proceeds.

http://centerforhealthreporting.org/article/bouncing-between-medi-cal-and-covered-california

I also would find a free clinic or outreach. If you only need 10 days of antibiotics, I bet they can give you some "samples".

7:45 PM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Hello WAFERS,

Thank you so much for your thoughts on pets. Dr. B, I am going to buy a copy of CTOS and read your written thoughts on pets. I used to have a dog but she died almost five years ago. I was thinking of getting another one, but I decided against it. I see way too many "Who Rescued Who" bumper stickers and other such nonsense. I like to remind these people that if they died with only the dog in the house, the dog would eat them. Cynical and macabre I know, but these Rescue Moms and Rescue Dads with their bumper stickers drive me to it.

https://www.amazon.com/Car-Magnet-Paw-Who-Rescued-Who-5-5/dp/B004Q6NQ46

9:54 PM  
Anonymous Aaron Thomas said...

What are your thoughts on what will have the best chance of being successful in America following the collapse of civilization? I've come to this idea that any intentional kind of hippie off grid living will be an absolute flop because it rests on no solid foundation. I'm also skeptical that any religious group will be successful because the vast bulk of them aren't seeing the fundamental problems that we have.

I've had this idea that America could use some some kind of spiritual halfway houses. We have all these drug treatment centers, but nothing to fix people's ways of thinking. People who are both enlightened and compassionate could help to be a place of detox from the wider culture. Not sure this would fix the problem overall, but it seems like it could be an option for living that doesn't really exist. This seems better than just running away or in trying to fix politics, but would rather just try to help a small number of people. Maybe these kind of intentional communal type things have been tried and flopped, I'm not sure.

9:29 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Aaron-

1st, check out the Twilight bk on the Monastic Option. Might help (or not). Also the last essay in AWTY.

2nd, here's the best kind of post: state your argument or pt of view, and then provide us with evidence for it: reference a link or whatever.

mb

10:14 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Pets are a good example of how Americans take something that seems neutral/harmless and pervert it into something excessive. I've come across many people who have difficulty managing their own kids who keep adding more pets to the family.

It's one thing to just have a pet, it's another to identify as a 'pet owner'. But then most American beahvior is a desperate search for identity.

10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

Any one thinking of heading up to Alberta in Canada should think twice.

Besides all the catastrophic mess the Tar Sands will leave behind when they go bust regulators estimate it will take up to 2800 years to reclaim the land of the 343,000 odd conventional oil and gas wells. At costs of up to $260 billion.


The provincial regulators are calling for better regulations and more fees to cover these costs. However since the province just elected the Canadian equivalent of the Republican party this will never happen. Their solution to all our pressing problems is to cut taxes of corporations.

Another great example of unbridled capitalism at its best.

https://www.thestar.com/calgary/2019/06/03/how-long-could-it-take-to-clean-up-albertas-oilpatch-2800-years-alberta-energy-regulator-official-warns.html


10:37 AM  
Anonymous Taylor Greene said...

Unregulated markets pose a greater threat to American society than Vladimir Putin ever could. https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-real-russian-meance-is-just-hypercapitalism/

11:05 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Taylor-

The whole Russian thing: progs cd not accept that The People actually rejected them in favor of Trumpola, so they decided that there must have been an external reason for their loss. It was not only a smoke screen for the American people; the progs themselves were deluded. There is no waking up a prog.

mb

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Ashcroft said...

Knowledge is a stone-age concept, we're better off without it ⁦

David Papineau⁩ ⁦in aeon mag⁩ https://aeon.co/amp/essays/knowledge-is-a-stone-age-concept-were-better-off-without-it

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Jade said...

Tom said - New report suggests "high likelihood of human civilization coming to an end' in 2050.
https://www.vice.com/amp/en_us/article/597kpd/new-report-suggests-high-likelihood-of-human-civilization-coming-to-an-end-in-2050

Reply - Wow! Thanks for the essay Tom. Hey MB, do you see the possibility of a collapse of the total World System concurrent with the fall of this respective empire?

Chilling.

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Vince I said...

alex carter - I watched Cowspiracy twice. It was an eye opener concerning the environmental impact of animal farming vs. transportation emissions. I have been a Vegan for 20 years. It was a choice that I preach to no one. To each his own.

Mike Kelly and DioGenes - It is good to read that I am not the only one. I can't remember the documentary, but it was an environmental piece about invasive species, up to and including humans. Cats and dogs introduced into North America by European "settlers" destroyed habitat for and large number of species indigenous to what is now the US.

Dr. Berman,

Thank you for continuing to post your essays and comments. I have personally been practicing my own version of the New Monastic Option. It is not always easy. I keep in contact with close relatives. Otherwise I find it better to remain at a distance from others in my family and coworkers. The hustling thread runs deep. It is not always monetary either. The ego is a strong hustling force that must be guarded against at all costs.

I do not remember the person Dr. McPherson is quoting when he puts forth the following observation, but you always come to mind since you have talked about it at length. When two people meet at a party or some other gathering the conversation usually opens up with "So what do you do?". Of course in our society that is understood to mean what do you do to make money. He used to suggest quite often to instead ask people "What do you love?". I have done this on a couple of occasions. The answers are almost night and day in comparison. Even some family members have admitted to me that they have become quite good at making money at doing something that they have grown to literally hate. I am not talking about evil occupations either. It is usually that the interaction with people in the 21st century that has become very taxing on the human spirit.

Peace,
Vince I

11:48 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jade-

The race is on: will capitalism kill itself off before it kills off the planet? Outcome not yet clear. Note also that in the crash of 2008, the countries least affected were the Scandanavian ones, and China.

mb

12:03 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Several Wafers have weighed in on climate change, the collapse of capitalism, and the like. (Vince I, Anjin-san, Jade, Aaron Thomas). Vince I recommended taking a look at the lectures by Guy McPherson. I second that suggestion. I offer a link to one of his most recent lectures, this one delivered at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks in April of this year. Alternatively, plug his name into YouTube search bar. McPherson has his own website, entitled “Nature Bats Last” (guymcpherson.com). His videos and blog posts are all there.

McPherson says our days are numbered—he says maybe 2030. He himself tried living off-grid for 10 years in Arizona, a possibility that may lie in the back of some folks’ minds WTSHTF. The challenge will be feeding yourself: plants that we depend on (vegans/vegetarians take note) are sessile he says, and can’t just pick up and move north(er) when the weather gets too hot. They’ve developed where they are and are being cultivated in places suitable for their flourishing. Wheat and some other grains don’t do hot, apparently. And the notion of green revolutions to save us is fatuous: civilization is a heat engine no matter how it’s being powered. And shutting off the whole shebang—stopping civilization, in other words, means we cook faster. Sorry, AOC. What else ya got?

https://youtu.be/uuBAVAZsods

1:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jas-

This isn't really on the subject, but there are 2 films I love abt living off the grid: "Off the Map," w/Sam Elliot, and "Local Hero," w/Burt Lancaster. Very Waferian, really.

mb

1:37 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

How conscious are Americans of the coming collapse? Imagine what the three million age 45 to 55 making BIG money just before the 2007/8 collapse thought
when they got laid-off and at best made 1/3 what they did before. Imagine
the blue-collars seeing automation put them on the slagheap. Imagine truck
drivers, the most common male occupation, worrying about self-driving trucks.
Imagine college graduates wondering how much artificial intelligence will
occupy the jobs they were told they will get with their worthless degrees and
student loan debts. Then everyone is supposed to be worried about how many
jobs the illegal immigrants will steal from loyal Americans. Is the true
internal enemy really the technocratic thrust for profits by making human
labor obsolete? Your average Joe worker must sense that he's standing in
the way of progress if he hopes to catch the illusory American Dream by
having a guaranteed and respected occupation. The dream seems to reside
in illusory leaders like Trump: the rich doing all they can for the
average proletarian.

2:46 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferes,

Thou shalt have no other blogs before thee, 'nuff said.

@ Quiet Desoaration, @Morris Berman, @ Vince I, @ Miles Deli threads above - Right On! I recently read a Waferian tome. "The End of the Myth". It seemed quite informed by your American Trilogy work, Morris. With many references to such luminaries as Lewis Mumford and Frederick Jackson Turner, et al.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/15 books review end-myth-greg-grandin.html

Here's a quote: "the frontier was, ultimately, a mirage" "and the wall is a symbol of a nation that used to believe that it had escaped history, or at least strode atop history, but now finds itself trapped by history".

Hmm...can anyone say, "I KEPT TELLING THEM BUT DID ANYONE LISTEN? NO!" But a few have started to ??? Maybe???

O&D!

3:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

mean-

There have been a # of cases now in which the ideas of my America trilogy are advanced w/o attribution. In a few cases, it seems to be plagiarism; but the majority are not. More a question of the trilogy ideas seeping into the general culture, and being echoed by writers who honestly don't know where they came from. The following actually happened: abt 20 yrs ago, some writer dedicated his book to me, saying: "To MB, who is famous, but nobody knows it." Cute, I thought.

Art-

Just so you know: the best posts are not general opinion statements abt the state of America or whatever. What we really like to see is posters advancing a specific argument, and then providing evidence for it. As I mentioned earlier, opinions are like assholes: everybody's got one. Thanks.

mb

5:05 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

MB/Jaz - recmd also 'Captain Fantastic' with Viggo Mortensen for life on/off grid.

8:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Amigos-

Talk abt gd news:

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/06/05/politics/cnn-poll-trump-prediction-economy-issues/index.html

The progs must be ground into the dirt!

mb

9:07 PM  
Anonymous FerQ said...

Hola Prof. Berman y a todos los Waferes:

I know it has been a while since I last posted here. I am moving to another state here in Mexico so I have been very busy. I see that some posts here have been about pets. I will say this, it doesn´t bother me that many Americans go to extremes when it comes to loving their pets, what gets me angry is the other extreme. Everyday I receive e-mail petitions about horrible cases of cruelty towards animals. Alot of those cases look like they come out of horror movies. We all know what the American life has done to ppl. Yet there are so many ppl who continue to be blind about the reality of life in the US. I wonder, is it that the brainwashing has really damaged them beyond repair or is it that they just want to be stupid? As for those who show an extreme love for animals, well it is understandable if you live in a country where it is impossible to love the ppl.

10:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Fer-

On brainwashing vs. wanting to be dumb, see previous post, "The Brothers."

mb

11:37 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Vince - I'm not convinced I'm built to be vegan, but I have decided to not eat warm-blooded things. Fortunately I love seafood and am open to eating bugs.

Flour beetles are delicious, I found in the Starving Seventies as a teen. I seem to have childhood memories of us having, for a short while, a monkey as a pet. We fed it mealworms but I believe about half of them went into our mouths rather than it's. I used to perhaps instinctively disturb ants' nests when I was little, so they'd come trooped out carrying their larvae; the final step only being to pick and eat. I wish I had, because I was underfed as a kid. "It was not cool to be a kid in the 70s" - Ted Rall.

You can raise mealworms, you can raise carp. If I can convince myself it's OK for my constitution I can go vegan, but you can raise cold-blooded food quite efficiently.

12:44 AM  
Anonymous Derek said...

In 1895, the president of Harvard said:

"Ordinary schooling produces dullness.

A young man whose intellectual powers are worth cultivating cannot be willing to cultivate them by pursuing phantoms as the schools now insist upon."

I'm an autodidact, myself!

1:39 AM  
Anonymous ICBM said...

Just in case someone needs more evidence that the average American is evolving into a creature with the intelligence of a turnip -

https://funstuffpeoplesendme.wordpress.com/2017/07/23/20-obvious-signs-humanity-is-regressing/

7:09 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ICBM-

These are wonderful. And when I tell people that America consists of morons--they laugh!

mb

11:11 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: In addition to being stupid, we also avoid embarrassing topics:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/06/06/valedictorian-wanted-remember-black-victims-police-brutality-she-says-her-school-cut-mic/?utm_term=.2f731a0c4902

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=67&v=9LtF34MrsfI

OK, I'll note offer an opinion about the decadent lunacy of 'mur'ka.
Permit me to suggest that the end will be hastened by the election of
this slick, smooth, and soothing man of God to the presidency. Do note
his body language of using the car door as a barrier between himself
and the interviewer.

2:10 PM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

I enjoyed Caitlin Johnstone's recent piece "Donald Trump Is The Most Honest US President Of All Time"

https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2019/06/04/donald-trump-is-the-most-honest-us-president-of-all-time/

From the article: "The most aggressive anti-Trumpists have no interest in real change, they just want things to go back to the way they were before Trump, which is actually just wanting to go back to the conditions which gave rise to Trump. They’re not interested in waking up, they’re interested in smoothing an uncomfortable wrinkle in their bedsheets so that they can go back to sleep."

TRUMP 2020! O&D!

2:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Art-

Not much chance o' that, tho probably just as gd as that of Tulsi Gabbard. The real issue is not this particular con artist, however; it's that of the millions of Americans, cutting-edge intellects, who pour cash into his coffers.

As for the 2020 election, how do you feel abt a Chrystal Walraven-Lorenzo Riggins ticket? (With Laquisha Jones as the next secretary of state)

mb

2:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: I also envision some high-level position for Emmanuel Aranda. (There are so many great people to choose from.)

2:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Krak-

And in the Duh Dept.:

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/jun/06/imf-tells-us-record-growth-is-costing-average-citizens-dear

2:35 PM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Greetings all,

Loving all these comments and links. @ICBM - those are just hilarious, I found myself laughing out loud!

Meanwhile, Paul Craig Roberts has a good summary today of the actual state of the economy. He just marches though all the happy talk, then shows how it's exactly the opposite of reality (as we all know). Between that and the piece on the homeless in LA, I don't know how anyone can continue to think Murika is "#1". The thing that amazes me is that some of the Europeans/Italians we know believe the propaganda - bemoan how much worse they are doing than our "booming" economy. I've tried to educate them, but they just can't believe that the vaunted "America" is spewing such bile.

https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2019/06/06/the-state-of-the-economy/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=the_state_of_the_economy&utm_term=2019-06-06

2:42 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a todos los Waferes,

Good to see you back FerQ.

@Morris Berman - allow me a post edit: "to MB, who has gracefully avoided the pitfalls of fame and will be very famous in the near future". Enjoyed your link above, Morris, and viewed with agreement the three minute link on CNN 2019/06/05 to George Orwell's warnings to us future-ding-a-lings.

"It's Happened Before, It'll Happen Again"(tune by Taste, ca. 1971) department:

I don't have a link on this, but it is common, "not fake", news. Please allow the observation that the jobs numbers coming out tomorrow indicate an 80% drop in new jobs created in amerika;in tandem with the continuing slump in oil prices. There will be a huge correction in the economy soon. The leading factor will be a collapse in the housing market.Any Wafers got a link to that suspicion of mine. Personally, I see this as "all good"!

4:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

mean-

This is something I've been discussing w/Nomi Prins from time to time. Since Wall St. kept doing the same ol' same ol' after 2008, I expected a major crash by 2013. Here it is, 11 yrs later, and no crash. She explained to me that there were a # of complicating factors that have enabled the economy to sustain itself, but that sooner or later, disaster will be upon us. I'm guessing we are riding some sorta bubble, as we were up to Oct. of 2008, but I'm not sure it will be the housing mkt once again. However, an economist I'm not.

mb

5:03 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Rejoice MB, your books will soon be dropped from the sky in households worldwide!

https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/5/18654044/amazon-prime-air-delivery-drone-new-design-safety-transforming-flight-video

Kanye

4:14 AM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

Another writer who gets it:

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/06/07/112236/

"Americans have been socially conditioned for decades to accept these contradictions of their economic, social and political arrangement. Meanwhile suicide is rampant, punctuated by mass shootings. Opioid abuse is taking many more lives. Indeed, the pharmaceutical industry has thrived off this angst, convincing millions that their psychic and social maladies are all due to a personal or chemical defect, not the system itself."

8:22 AM  
Anonymous Twix said...

Psychedelics and Systems Change - Politics - Utne Reader - Charles Eisenstein https://www.utne.com/politics/psychedelics-and-systems-change-zm0z16uzsel

9:04 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kanye-

As far as dropping my bks on America, there are 2 problems:

1. Americans aren't interested in critiques of America.
2. Americans do not, and cannot, read bks that contain big words (i.e. more than 1 syllable).

mb

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Dulouz Jr said...

adding to meangenekaz's comment about drop in job "growth". Heard this morning on NPR radio, in addition to stating the percentage of drop- they actually pointed out only 63% of qualified americans are actually employed. The rest have given up; possibly some in training to become WAFERS! Sorry I don't have a link, just heard it while laying in bed before getting up

10:24 AM  
Anonymous ICBM said...

I certainly not an economist either. I can balance my own checkbook but that's about it.

But from what I'v been able to learn from the internet, the unemployment rate depends on which of 2 measures one uses. The one reported to the press and that we learn from the media is referred to as U3. The "real" rate is U6. U6 is usually twice the rate of U3, as it is today, 3.6 and 7.3, respectfully. For the difference between the two see the article below.

https://mronline.org/2019/05/27/traditional-measures-of-unemployment-are-missing-the-mark/

Jade - check out Naomi Klein's book This Changes Everything: Capitalism v. The Climate. Klein argues that it's not about carbon - it's about capitalism - and unless we change to a more creation friendly economic system we are all toast. The addiction to profit and growth will be our undoing. Klein is somewhat of an optimist. She believes the world can change its economic stripes. I don't see it. History warns us that humans will keep doing what they've been doing for centuries until something dramatic and extreme moves them to change. As for global warming, waiting for extremes is too late.

11:07 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Shannelle Hanson, 21, arrested for storming a McDonald's kitchen and punching a pregnant worker. Reason: dissatisfied w/McChicken sandwich order:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7107511/Angry-customer-storms-McDonalds-kitchen-punches-pregnant-worker-McChicken-sandwich.html

Miles

ps: Did we miss this one? Can't remember, but It's also gd:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vsH6L4EAe7o

11:36 AM  
Anonymous cormorant said...

@ Italiana,It's an interesting phenomenon: How did the American Empire persuade so many people around the globe for so long that it wasn't a racist violent ugly corrupt and hideously unequal sh1thole? People laugh at The USSR and Communist Chinese propaganda films, music etc, but they are dwarfed by the scale of dishonesty and lies that the US empire vomits out under guise of 'entertainment'. Thus, many Non Usians really believe that All Americans are slim, muscular, drive sports cars, live in condos by the beach etc. Slavoj Zizek has a good piece dissecting the movie "La La Land" where he reads it as a type of communist propaganda where the two protagonists sacrifice their happiness, their love for each other etc, in service to State Ideology. But instead of the glorious motherland, they sacrifice their humanity in order to become 'successful' in their 'careers'.

http://thephilosophicalsalon.com/la-la-land-a-leninist-reading/

Many non Usians I know who have emigrated to the states did so under this brainwashing, and were also young, driven and pretty selfish at the time: prime US fodder. However, as they have aged, they have realised what a terrible mistake they have made, but unfortunately many feel stuck there.


11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

A fascinating episode of the Keiser report. The image of the American Empire "going postal" is priceless.

https://youtu.be/Q1IZOuP6H7I

As to economists remember an old joke that has stayed with me over the years - economists were put on Earth to make astrologers look good.

12:27 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Just a few comments on veganism: Unfortunately, a vegan diet doesn’t include Vitamin B12, which indicates to me that perhaps we’re not actually meant to be vegan. A sad fact of Planet Earth is that life lives on life, and that something must die in order for something else to live. Even plants have consciousness: https://www.consciouslifestylemag.com/plant-consciousness-intelligence-feeling/

This explains the Jains of India: http://www.jainbelief.com/PracticeOfNonviolenceByJainHouseholder.htm
“The ideal situation for a Jain would be to eat the ripe fruit that has just fallen off a tree.”

Of course factory farming, like almost everything else we do, brings cruelty to a whole new level, in addition to being environmentally destructive.

Alex: I remember reading years ago that when anthropologists went to study the ǃKung of Southern Africa, they wrote that these hunter-gatherers were reduced to eating insect larvae. Guess what? They later found out that these people considered it a delicacy.

12:40 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

All this shows how close to the edge Americans are. All it takes is lack of a straw, or lettuce, for them to start attacking people. Meanwhile, Shannelle Hanson enters the Wafer Hall of Fame (WHOF). Pity Shaneka wasn't available to help her, as guns wd have clarified this situation quite quickly. One can of course argue that most Americans don't behave this way, but in fact a very lg # do; and if they amt to only 5%, say, consider the short fuses on the other 95% who just manage to hold themselves back, or who wd like to behave this way. A study of abt 20 yrs ago revealed that 24% of Americans feel it's OK to use violence in the pursuit of yr goals. How much higher must that figure be today.

mb

1:57 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Space: The final frontier. Sounds like a business opportunity to me.

A new interim directive from NASA allows private companies to buy time and space on the ISS for producing, marketing, or testing their products. It also allows those companies to use resources on the ISS for commercial purposes, even making use of NASA astronauts’ time and expertise (but not their likeness)..
https://apple.news/AQlfva6l9RNOTfKSXwCPO7w

SALT LAKE CITY — NASA is looking to bring commerce to space, which could lead to space travel, manufacturing and even sports events.
According to The Verge, 12 commercial aerospace companies have pitched ideas to NASA on how to create a “viable commercial economy” in low Earth orbit. Ideally, the space agency would use one of these ideas to transition funding the International Space Station out of NASA’s pocket.
https://www.deseretnews.com/article/900073078/aerospace-companies-want-to-commercialize-space-heres-their-proposals.html

And, to add to what Dulouz Jr. wrote about how many US Americans are actually employed, as I noted in a previous comment some months ago, the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not count as “unemployed” anyone who has given up the job search altogether. Statistics, eh?

2:14 PM  
Anonymous TH said...

Aeschylus meets the Sopranos?

The Oresteia: ‘an exceptionally clever and imaginative reworking of a classic’

"Katy Holland’s version of The Oresteia reimagines Aeschylus’ trilogy of Greek tragedies, setting them in 90s New Jersey. No longer is Agamemnon returning home from the Trojan War; instead, Bobby is returning home from a ten-year prison sentence. The mafia tropes work well for a play about family, homecoming, and revenge. And as a Classics student with a love of gangster films, I could not have been more delighted."


https://oxfordopeningnight.com/2019/06/07/the-oresteia-an-exceptionally-clever-and-imaginative-reworking-of-a-classic/

4:08 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwRX7p5MIfg

Is this vision of total doom shared by your readers? Is there such a title
as Honorary Wafer?
This is a brief video to use to return to the Walraven/Riggins ticket for 2020.
Having only five children does not make her much of a zealot for pro life.
Riggins has to win millions in his suit against McDonald's before he will
be considered. Jim Bakker and I envision Anne Coulter/Sarah Palin
as the unstoppable duo onm 2020.

4:24 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

The wife and I went out to one of our town's Chinese buffet/hog troughs the other day. At the end I opened my fortune cookie and it had the usual winning lotto numbers on it so I flipped it over and it read "Enjoyed the meal? Buy one to go too." No fortune, just crass advertising hustle.

Regarding Cowspiracy and other Big Ag Big Food horror shows, some of us may enjoy spending some time reading a few articles about Joel Salatin at Polyface Farm. Lots of you tubes, too. My personal NMI work is to be able to produce food and teach how to do so as feeding ourselves becomes an extremely local action once again.
Start with his wiki link and see if anything is of interest.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joel_Salatin

4:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Art-

But then there is also the Laquisha Jones/Shannelle Hanson ticket, as well as the Freddie Wadsworth/Brittany Carulli ticket, to consider.

Meanwhile, this is why I love the guy:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/07/opinion/trump-july-4.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

He's doin' what he's supposed to be doin'! Go Trumpi!

mb

4:34 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

mb - Intelligent Americans are often too fucking poor to afford your books! When I get some money some time, I'll buy some I promise.

Sarasvati - I think in terms of evolution we've always been opportunistic feeders. Fish, bugs, lions' leftover kills, etc. Some of us did the run-the-buffalo-off-a-cliff thing, some of us were just on bugs and fish, etc. Some cultures eschewed bugs; some eschewed fish (Plains Indians) and so on. B12's a big deal and I take a B supplement.

James Allen - I'm old enough to remember the space program and it was always very commercial. Tang, "Space Food Sticks", Velcro, etc.

all - I'm off to pawn more drone parts I Dumpster dived about a year ago, to Sheldon's Hobbies. It's in the Dilbert-world, ugly "tech" buildings full of companies with ugly "tech" names, lawns "as neatly trimmed and perfect as Lego pads" - Douglas Coupland. There are no sidewalks because nobody walks. No handicap ramps at the crossings; no handicapped people or people over 40.

4:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

alex-

Check w/Amazon: a gd # of my bks sell used for anywhere from one to five dollars. Also note that there's always yr local library.

mb

5:10 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Under capitalism, "man is made to be a person who *has* much...but who *is* little."
--Erich Fromm

6:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Good riddance to a pathetic turkette:

https://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-brexit-theresa-may-steps-down-20190607-story.html

What's the female of bozo? Bozette?

mb

6:13 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Case Study 935,203: even the "smart" USians were profoundly brain damaged (AKA: stupid) (paraphrased, Dr. Berman).

Was attending a health CONference. Stated that perhaps it was the us society that is making folks engage in unhealthy behaviors (work/life imbalances, poor quality "food," employment at will doctrines, employer-based "health" "care," spiritually empty, etc...that contributes to the us obesity epidemic.

After I made this suggestion, the audience which consisted of doctoral level folks started looking like someone dropped the supper tray--- 'ants in the pants' body shifting, sour faces/facial contortions.

Some of the 'professors' started saying that obesity was a disease and that pharma drugs offer a great solution in addition to "healthy eating." Of course, pharma was well present at the CONference was hu$tling doc drug use to enable coding for bonuses/payments, and shareholder profits.

The audience could not, nor would not connect the dots that maybe perhaps the us society was a cause for all the USian obesity. When one is ontologically and spiritually empty, then you stuff your face, and/or engage in self harm.

Nope. That notion was way over their 'high IQ,' us 'elite'skool heads.


6:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike-

Sorta like you farted at a cocktail party. I usta produce that reaction at various conferences by stating the obvious; then I just left the country, which made a lot more sense. Once again: in the US, even the smart people are dumb.

Note to Bill Hicks-

Bill, r.u. OK? A # of us have been worried about you.

mb

6:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

I missed this news when it happened. Horrible event; hatred of women is something like a national disease by now.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tallahassee_shooting

mb

9:19 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Hey everybody--I'm okay. Have just been a little more NMI than usual of late. Speaking of pets, personally I have 5 cats without whose company I'd find it much more difficult to spend many of my days in solitude (my wife has several more years left to go in the rat race). I completely disagree that pet "ownership" is unethical. It certainly can be if the "owner" is cruel or neglectful. In any event, "pet owner" is not how I think of myself--it's more like the cats own me (if you have any, you know what I'm talking about).

@MB--I noted in the Tallahassee shooting that the perpetrator was a military veteran. The Trace (a news website that tracks gun violence) recently made the point that most mass shootings in America involve military vets. When I was in the army, I met some pretty scary guys--and in every case being in the military didn't "make a man out of them," it just taught them how to kill. Also, the level of misogyny an homophobia among the troops I served with was off the charts. A lot of it was just "joking around," but some of it had real hatred behind it. When feminists were pushing for women to be allowed to serve in combat units, I remember thinking that any woman who would want to serve in a combat unit is nuts--and sure enough, sexual assaults of women in the military are now at an all time high.

alex--check out Biblio.com as well. It usually has cheap used copies of MB's books available (though since I can afford it I always buy new).

10:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bill-

Whew! You had a few of us very nervous, amigo. Glad to have you back, altho we of course applaud any NMI activity you are pursuing.

mb

10:29 PM  
Anonymous Emerald said...

"Why the Greens should stop playing God

Realistic thinking about the state of the planet is almost extinct"

https://unherd.com/2019/06/climate-change-and-the-extinction-of-thought/

John Gray on environmentalism for Unherd ^^

10:56 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Tulsi gots competition, it takes a strong constitution to listen to this twit but here’s a link.

https://youtu.be/mr-57LiBo-8

Her manifesto:

https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062873934/a-politics-of-love

And a quote:

‘Joy is what happens to us when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are.’

11:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gunnar-

Only in America. What a bozette. Certainly Tulsi, w/her massive campaign machinery, and huge financial backing, will run over her like a bulldozer. And then appoint Laquisha her secretary of state.

mb

11:22 PM  
Anonymous John S said...

When I went to the bookstore I noticed David Brooks has a new book out titled "The Second Mountain - The quest for a moral life." I thought it should have been titled "The First Mountain - The quest to be self aware." I really wondered what kind of pathetic human being would seek out advice from David Brooks on anything?

9:19 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

John-

It'll be a best-seller, considering that his readership consists of Americans. Meanwhile, he's one of the greatest hustlers and douche bags that America has produced; so naturally, he has a column in the NYT.

mb

9:35 AM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

@ John -- David Brooks dumped his wife of 30+ years & married a 27 year old intern. Quite the paragon of morality.

@ Bill -- I was worried you were sick & missed your comments. I'm a cat lover too--I like their independence, calm way of moving thru life and have found them to be loyal & affectionate pets. My home would seem very empty without Daisey.

@ Dr. Berman -- Men get assaulted in the military too & that's being hushed up. A few years ago I had a young soldier on the unit who had been stationed on a remote base in Iraq. He told the counselor he had been repeatedly raped by his commanding officer & felt helpless to do anything but get out as quickly as possible. Needless to say, he was suffering from severe PTSD and the trauma had destroyed his relationship with his wife.

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2w6ephOxnTY

An important vid for those considering visiting 'mur'ka.
MB should think about 2020 candidates coming from WWE. Recall that
our boy Trump is in Wrestling Hall of Fame.

4:10 PM  
Anonymous Shave Sommers said...

The making of Sigmund Freud’s examining room. https://www.laphamsquarterly.org/states-mind/charts-graphs/couch

4:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Art-

Possibly; but I think we already have a fine spectrum of candidates ready to take over the W.H.: Chrystal, Shaneka, Brittany, Latreasa, Lorenzo, Laquisha, Shannelle, Tulsi, Freddie...true Americans, all.

mb

5:16 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

Thought I'd dropped this here: an excerpt from Belén Fernández's forthcoming book, Exile: Rejecting America and Finding the World:

https://blackagendareport.com/bar-book-forum-excerpt-belen-fernandezs-exile-rejecting-america-and-finding-world

'Frida Kahlo once observed: “I find that Americans completely lack sensibility and good taste. They are boring, and they all have faces like unbaked rolls.” And yet this, perhaps, is the least of the problems.'

And here is an interesting critic from Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report on Black Lives Matter:

https://blackagendareport.com/black-lives-matter-founder-launches-huge-project-shrink-black-lives

"The survey is a hustle to make Garza, Color of Change and their (already deeply-connected) financial backers bigger players in the Democratic Party."

6:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

MH-

Check out "In Praise of Shadows" in AWTY. I observe that American faces are blank, reflecting the emptiness w/in.

mb

6:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Only in America Dept.:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/transportation/2019/06/08/an-author-lost-her-book-deal-after-tweeting-about-metro-worker-shes-suing-million/?utm_term=.298b7d832e21

10:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

As for the French Open: It's no Djokovic!

10:44 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

Dr. B

Well, me and my SO made the move out of the USA. We've been in the UAE for a year and have visited other countries including Indonesia (Bali). I will say this. My SO and I went to see a waterfall. And, the hike to it is no picnic. Make sure you're in tip top physical shape. On the way back, parts of the path was very slippery and I fell. I couldn't get up for a moment. Guess what? Two Bali natives came and helped me up. I thanked them and they seemed happy to help. And, they asked me if I was alright in broken English. I told them yes and thanks again. On the way back to the car it got me thinking would the average person have even noticed me let alone helped me up. And, I say the answer is no.

3:30 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

cube-

I had no idea you had left the US. Congratulations! The door is open to being surrounded by intelligent people who give a damn abt others, and don't believe that the purpose of life is hustling.

mb

3:44 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

"Jobs are more plentiful, the overall economy has been on an upswing, and yet one-third of Americans say they need to work a side job to pay their routine expenses, according to a new survey."

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/even-with-a-hot-labor-market-one-third-of-americans-say-they-need-a-side-gig-to-pay-expenses-2019-06-07

Also, is Miley becoming a Wafer?

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jun/08/miley-cyrus-taking-back-control-of-her-distorted-reflections

p.s. Djokovic is a douchebag. Bon débarras.

Kanye

4:00 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Ray of hope? (Evergreen College notwithstanding):

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/08/opinion/sunday/college-anti-college-mainstream-universities.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

mb

4:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kanye-

Please, don't Djok around. I made it to Wimbledon once, but never to Roland Garros.

mb

5:19 AM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Well, no one gives a shit, but I believe I quite possibly saved the life of Gabriel The Violinist, the one excellent busker we have in San Jose, California. He'd been heard practicing by some nosy neighbors who'd reported him to the city, who threatened his landlord with either huge fines or evict Gabriel. He was going nuts with despair. Upon learning of his situation, I decided I needed to sit and talk with him to come up with a plan. A mid-late-50s man in San Jose is either pretty wealthy, or homeless, and he feared he'd become the latter. I found him just as he was getting off duty, playing in front of a wine bar, and said, "I'm taking you to dinner, we need to talk". We went to a place he knew and we had egg rolls and crab cakes, and talking it all out. 2 days later, I consulted with him and he said he was "in a very dark place" that night, and because I'd been with him and had faith in him, the next day he had tons of energy, and found a place in a local Spanish paper, and now has a place to live for cheaper than the 1st place.

This is very abbreviated because I don't want to violate the character limit; but I want to say: It didn't take tons of money I don't have or a house I don't have, it just took giving a damn.

6:14 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

MH: Good one from the Black Agenda Report. This is what I meant a while back when I said if any non-white-male wants power and to be in charge, go for it! They'll become just as corrupt and immoral as those terrible white guys they replaced. Good thing the progs say any women would be better than a man. Elect Hillary, she's a woman! Not to mention a war criminal...

This "selective amnesia" that infects many progs drives me bonkers. Here's a test, read any news piece or opinion piece on the Alabama abortion law. I'll bet you the governor's name is mentioned, maybe. But almost no-one explicitly says the governor is an old, rich, white woman! No, no it's the 25 white men that did this, not the governor. It's about "Male Power", OK fine, but that's not the whole story! Sigh.

8:40 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pastrami-

Fill me in on the details of Hillary as war criminal. Of course, what she did to her face is criminal, but I'm thinking of something more genocidal--if such evidence exists.

alex-

I'm really horrified. What you did was very anti-American. Please, next time you find someone in trouble, kick them.

mb

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Rocky said...

MB thanks for the anti-college piece. Very interesting for a jaded former community college professor.


Would this be a sort of dual process model in your mind? Or misguided Evergreen type stuff

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Below is an article on America’s abysmal human rights record. One of the more interesting points in the article is that there has not been much change between the Obama and Trump administrations. From the article: “The troubling findings, however, are something HRMI co-founder K. Chad Clay called ‘not surprising’ and not new. ‘We’re not seeing much evidence of a sea change between the Obama and Trump administrations,’ said Clay, who is also a professor at the University of Georgia.”

https://www.vox.com/2019/6/7/18656568/usa-human-rights-report-police-shooting-voter-suppression

12:48 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Rocky-

Gd question. These alternatives leave a lot open for abuse, Evergreen-style or otherwise. But some of them are abt learning the classics of the Western tradition. Evergreen, when I was there, had no interest in that.

mb

1:59 PM  
Anonymous B. Louis said...

If you folks haven't seen it, the HBO series 'Chernobyl' is an utterly fascinating look at what happens when a dysfunctional society no longer has the ability to separate fact from fiction.

What's TRULY frightening about it is the parallel to the Flint Water Crisis. Here in the wealthiest nation on Earth, we poisoned between 6,000 and 12,000 children with lead. 12 people are already dead from Legionnaire's Disease.

And yet, it receives almost no coverage in the media.

https://www.nrdc.org/stories/flint-water-crisis-everything-you-need-know

2:21 PM  
Anonymous Martina V. Silber-Hofreiter said...

“50 years ago, a US CEO earned on average about 20 times as much as the typical worker. Today, the CEO earns 354 times as much.”

‘Socialism for the rich’: the evils of bad economics

https://www.theguardian.com/inequality/2019/jun/06/socialism-for-the-rich-the-evils-of-bad-economics?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

4:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Martina-

Thank you for the info. I very much like your name, which smacks of Prussian royalty. When folks write in as Anonymous, I encourage them to get a real handle, and often suggest Hans Schmaltzkopf von Hockenblosen. Unfortunately, no one has taken me up on it yet.

bis bald,

mb

4:37 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Bill, Missed you and your comments, and was worried - welcome back.

Pets: everything I know about unconditional love I learned from my dogs. Did you ever hear the story about dogs and cats? After he created man, the Angels went to God and said, “man is really depressed, ya gotta do something.” So God created the dog. Some time went by and the Angels went back to God and said, “the dog has made man so arrogant it’s unbearable. Ya gotta do something.” So God created the cat. Dogs and cats are fabulous and one of the things that make life worth living.

My 84-year-old aunt, an extremely devout Catholic, loves the David Brooks’ book. Out of compassion I say nothing about either of these two things, but I really have to bite my tongue. On the other hand, Susan, I’m going to be sorely tempted to mention that tidbit about Brooks dumping his wife for a 27 year-old intern. Thanks!

BTW, why do feminists think it’s a step forward that women can now go into combat and kill other human beings?

6:54 PM  
Anonymous Lou Hamilton said...

Walt Whitman and his British readers https://www.the-tls.co.uk/articles/private/no-unsavoury-connotations/amp/

6:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sar-

Or be heads of corporations that exploit poor people, including women? Or be war criminals like Condi Rice? Or crush the working class, like Margaret Thatcher? Etc., etc., and etc. (long list)

Some woman did a column a few mos. ago (I forgot where) linking Brooks' newfound Christian morality to his new wife's vagina. Kinda rings true. Gimme that ol' time religion...

mb

8:12 PM  
Anonymous Torian said...

This is amazing: Forbes, The Hill, the Daily Caller and The Federalist all published articles by an Iranian opposition activist who does not exist and is actually just a fake Twitter account run by a bunch of dudes in Albania
https://theintercept.com/2019/06/09/heshmat-alavi-fake-iran-mek/

9:10 PM  
Anonymous Kate Kelley said...

Top 10 most dangerous countries in the world for women:

1. India

2. Afghanistan

3. Syria

4. Somalia

5. Saudi Arabia

6. Pakistan

7. Democratic Republic of Congo

8. Yemen

9. Nigeria

10. The United States

https://www.newsweek.com/us-top-10-most-dangerous-countries-women-report-995229

9:23 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Dr. B: Perhaps it is not enough for the Hague, but I'd consider 300-800 civilian deaths due to Killary's drone program (1), a coup in Honduras supported by Killary (2), and the assassination of Gaddafi (3) to be war crimes. Though as Gerald McRaney playing Gen. Adamley in the West Wing said, "All wars are crimes."

Anyway ... (yet) more news in the campus culture wars: https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/06/10/oberlin-college-gibsons-bakery-libel-million-racist/


1 - https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/stories/2017-01-01/drone-wars-the-full-data, https://theintercept.com/drone-papers/the-assassination-complex/

2- http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/9/hillary-clinton-honduraslatinamericaforeignpolicy.html, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/31/hillary-clinton-honduras-violence-manuel-zelaya-berta-caceres

3- https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2015/06/19/flashback_2011_hillary_clinton_laughs_about_killing_moammar_gaddafi_we_came_we_saw_he_died.html, https://newrepublic.com/article/121879/hillary-clinton-should-take-blame-disastrous-libyan-intervention

8:55 AM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

Re: people in trouble / people on the street / how to be a real American

My uncle recently proclaimed, “If I ever see someone asleep on the sidewalk, I’ll break his arms and legs!”

The same uncle has also repeatedly declared that, “We need a holy war in order to kill all of the Muslims!”

He also enjoys dressing up like a cowboy and shooting things.

Of course, these things are totally unrelated. Moreover, seeing specious reflections of national character in any of this would be delusional.

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

@Sarasavati -- Here's the sanitized version:

"David Brooks; first marriage was to Jane Hughes, whom he met while they were both undergraduates at the University of Chicago. Jane changed her name to Sarah after she accepted to be a Jewish faithful. The duo got married subsequently in 1986 but the marriage ended officially in 2014 after having 3 children together. Four years after his first marriage ended, he got married to Anne Snyder who initially worked for him as his research assistant."

Knot, tied: New York Times columnist David Brooks wed Anne Snyder, his former research assistant, on Sunday.

"The couple’s relationship sort-of went public in an inauspicious way — Politico noted in a wink-wink 2015 piece that the conservative columnist had devoted an outsized amount of verbiage in the acknowledgements of his book “The Road to Character” to Snyder, who is 23 years his junior. But all’s well that ends with bells, and Atlantic Media owner David Bradley and his wife, Katherine Bradley, threw a rehearsal luncheon for the couple on Saturday, we’re told (that poolside tent saw a lot of activity this weekend), followed by a Sunday ceremony at the Arboretum. It’s the first marriage for Snyder, 32, now a freelance writer and director of a Houston, Tex., non-profit initiative. Brooks, 55, acknowledged his split from first wife, Sarah Brooks, in early 2015. They have three children."

So the math is 28 years & three kids with #1. #2 was 28 & a "research assistant" when they met. While I own no David Brooks books nor intend to, apparently he gushes over Anne and says hey, thanks a lot to his first wife for raising their kids. Period.

While I know nothing of international law, it seems to me Hillary should be held responsible for Libya and the failed state it's turned into. She was certainly willing to crow about her involvement while SoS. I wonder how welcome she'd be in Europe now as the flood gates have opened up with refugees from Africa. Gaddafi warned he was all that was holding back that tsunami .

11:08 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Ya can’t fix stupid.
Secretary of State (2018-present) ; Director, CIA (2017-2018); Congressman (R-KS, 2011-2017); Harvard Law graduate (1994); United States Military Academy graduate, first in his class (yikes) (1986)

Last month:
“Arctic sea lanes could become the 21st century’s Suez and Panama canals,” Mr. Pompeo said at the [early May Arctic Council] meeting [in Finland]...”. [melting Arctic Sea ice as commercial opportunity]

This week:
“During his interview with The [Washington] Times this week, Mr. Pompeo spoke more broadly, asserting that there are “always changes” taking place to the climate and that, as a result, “societies reorganize, we move to different places**, we develop technology and innovation.”

**Just wait ‘til it starts getting REALLY hot in Central America and a citizen is as likely to be felled by heatstroke as by a gat-wielding gangster. Then the immigration really begins.

Mike Pompeo: 'We will do the things necessary as the climate changes' - Washington Times
https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/jun/7/pompeo-we-will-do-things-necessary-climate-changes/

1:08 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a todos los Waferes,

@Bill Hicks - NMI is the only possible way forward for you when, as yours truly, the known garter snake in the grass is better than the unknown mambo snake in the grass. In the united snakes of l'amerika...

On a related note, I'll keep one walkin' dog, a "lion dog", over five cats without leash training...

Wafers rule.

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdaQnGgWoPg&feature=youtu.be

The beauty of this is that no satisfaction is possible from love of stuff AND
the making of it is killing the planet.

Leading to an answer to MB's vast list of top quality potential occupants of the
WH: why not let them ALL serve some time by monthly rotation of occupants in this
WH? Every month the viewers get fresh talent.

3:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Art-

It ain't rocket science: Americans are a depressed, empty people, and recreational consumerism is their way (besides alcohol, opioids, TV, cell fones, prescription drugs, spectator sports, workaholism, etc. etc.) of filling the void. It doesn't work, so they run out and buy more stuff. Ontologically speaking, they are the dumbest people in the world. Hatred of the Other is also how they a-void the terror at the center, and they are certainly filled with that.

As for rotation of presidents: shit, it cdn't be worse than what we've got now. It's also a cut above turkeys like Sanders and Biden.

mb

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Rufus T. Schmeck said...

Here is a diary entry/essay from a nascent WAFER, it seems to me. In the first part, she is describing perfectly the degrading of "rugged individualism" into the flat out narcissism that has been nurtured into Americans. The rejection of actual empathy & compassion, reducing them to slogans in an ideological war. Imagine embodying a cultural mythology which teaches that the acquisition of money & stuff is what responsibility is & is THE way to the good life... And Americans can't imagine why America is rotting from the inside out? Hell, most don't even realize that it IS rotting from the inside out.

Rufus T. Schmeck

4:01 PM  
Anonymous Mckibben said...

"This country is deranged—children who don't want to starve become debtors before they're 10. Up to 30 million USA children rely on these school lunch programs just to eat."

https://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/447728-9-year-old-boy-pays-off-entire-third-grade-classs-school-lunch

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Sharly said...

"Too Many People Want to Travel

Annie Lowrey

Jun 4, 2019
Massive crowds are causing environmental degradation, dangerous conditions, and the immiseration and pricing-out of locals."

https://www.citylab.com/life/2019/06/too-many-people-want-travel/591037/

5:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mckibben-

This is the most un-American thing I have ever heard of. The kid is a cultural traitor. Helping other people! (snort!) I'm not sure he shd be allowed to live. Really, this is so offensive.

mb

5:58 PM  
Blogger dermot said...

McKibben, on the story of the kid paying off school lunch bills, that's some prime 'perseverance porn', (and nothing is more American than stories about 'man with two broken legs walks ten miles a day to job and is happy about it):

https://fair.org/home/medias-grim-addiction-to-perseverance-porn/

Bill Hicks, glad to see you again! Ditto comrade Simba. Latoc reunion!

6:46 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Good day MB and Wafers,

United Sycophants of America dept.:

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/06/tiger-mom-amy-chua-daughter-clerkship-brett-kavanaugh.html

Jacknob dept.:

Leroy McFarland, 44, arrested for battling the purple-headed yogurt slinger (phys) in a Sioux City public Library:

https://www.siouxlandproud.com/news/local-news/sioux-city-man-arrested-with-sex-toys-at-library/2049082531

Yours in Shannelle,

Miles

6:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

Now this is what I wanna see, not some kid helping other kids. Leroy's face is precious: an utter doofus, a true American. Plus I like the idea of Wafers signing off with lines like "Yours in Shannelle." To this we might add Yours in Lorenzo, Laquisha, Freddie, Shaneka, and Walraven. Whatever did happen to Chrystal Walraven, BTW?

https://scallywagandvagabond.com/2019/03/chrystal-walraven-round-rock-mom-abandons-5-kids-4-days/

No notice on jail or sentencing, but I can't help thinking: This is a *true* American. Unlike that snotty kid who paid for the other kids' lunches, she thought of herself. As "Jackie Chiles" pointedly observed (Seinfeld Finale), "You don't hafta help anybody. That's what this country is all about!"

Yours in Kavanaugh-

mb

7:35 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Wafer dermot--spot on, another example of perseverance porn in the USian "news" re: the child who paid for the student lunch bills.

98.7% will thk---See there's still good in the world (america), and through 'hard' work, grit, and determination, you too, can make it even if you're just a kid. Gives us hope for the future (vomited a little in my mouth).

Appears like the predictable Eddie Bernays-inspired emotive propaganda pieces used as advertisements for the USians to keep on trucking, and for immigrants to keep working hard knowing that they made the 'right' decision emigrating to the us empire.

7:43 PM  
Anonymous Gyatso said...

NZ "Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has put out a national budget where spending is dictated by what best encourages the “well-being” of citizens, rather than focussing on traditional bottom-line measures like productivity and economic growth."

https://www.thelondoneconomic.com/opinion/economic-growth-is-an-unnecessary-evil-jacinda-ardern-is-right-to-deprioritise-it/31/05/

Very much like the model in place in Bhutan ... the happiness of the people comes ahead of GNP.

8:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gyatso-

Another example of un-Americanism. I'm horrified. NZ needs to be vigorously nuked.

mb

9:02 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Today, I was in my local Japanese market, Nijiya, and talking with one of the friendly staff, and the word Hawaii, where I grew up, came up. So a large Japanese guy gets talking with me - turns out he's the same age as me, grew up in HI too, family had a small const. company and he's just retired (57 like I am) from a job at a Federal Reserve Bank, a job that in my world, a white person can never get. We talked about the extreme poverty in the old days, and how (WWII, camps) the old resentments may have arisen, and we talked about the good times too, seeing (mayor) Frank Fasi and throwing the shaka sign and getting it back, etc. And we shaka'd and braddah'd and hoped to see each other again.

And I'll confess, I sat and had a little cry out in front of the market there, because "back in the day" as a Haole, I was lower than low. People like him would be treating me like something they wiped off of their shoe. How can I understand this? Louis Armstrong, I thought, he went through this kind of change. Louis, in 1916, me, in 1976, were lowest of the low. In 1966 for Lois, 1996-on for me, we're OK.

9:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

alex-

Great story, thank you. You enrich our world.

mb

9:35 PM  
Anonymous Vizio said...

Trump and Macron’s symbolic friendship tree dies

French media say oak given by Macron and planted at White House is no more

https://theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jun/10/tree-planted-to-mark-trump-macron-friendship-dies

11:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers, Waferettes, and Fellow Travelers-

Altho the # of registered Wafers holds steady at 170, I notice two interesting phenomena. One, the # of hits we get per month has been rising. In May, it was around 57,000 (abt 12,000 higher than previously). Two, the last 2-3 wks have seen a whole bunch of new posters, new names who have stepped out of the shadows of lurkdom and into the light. For those of you newly making an appearance: welcome! We need your ideas and contributions, and hope you will continue to post. Here's the bottom line: this is the only blog in the entire blogosphere worth bothering with. It's a one-stop shop. You get Reality instead of mainstream journalistic dogshit; bk recs and film reviews; lively discussion and interaction at a level not seen on other blogs; ontological insight as well as intellectual insight; occasional articles from the GSWH; and above all, you get to laugh yer ass off. Of course, once you become a bona fide Wafer, you'll have abs. no one to talk to (in the US); but that cd be a *good* thing. (Just try to raise any of the issues discussed here with any American you randomly come across, and see what happens.)

Anyway, thanks to all the lurkers who have realized one of our more important slogans: Don't lurk; live!

mb

11:27 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

"Indeed, to garden — even merely to be in a garden — is nothing less than a triumph of resistance against the merciless race of modern life, so compulsively focused on productivity at the cost of creativity, of lucidity, of sanity;"

https://www.brainpickings.org/2019/05/27/oliver-sacks-gardens/

Wafers Forever.

Kanye

2:46 AM  
Anonymous cormorant said...

The Ed Bernays reference in one of the posts above reminded me of the magnificent documentary series "The Century of the Self". It charts how modern USian consciousness and culture was created and commodified. It should be mandatory watching for any Wafer IMO. I'm sure it's been discussed here previously, but if it hasn't, or if you haven't seen it yet, you are in for a treat:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DnPmg0R1M04

3:07 AM  
Anonymous ICBM said...

Finally got a copy of The Brothers from local library. About a 1/3 of the way through, page 91, Republican Senator Robert Taft sums up nicely the hubris of those who in 1948 wanted to expand American influence by intervening in the affairs of other nations. (Taft ran against Dewey for the Republican Presidential nomination in 1948.) Rejecting the idea that destiny and hubris [the myth of Exceptionalism, America's right to extend itself into every corner of the globe, etc] was calling America to dominate the world, Taft said: "It is based on the theory that we know more about what is good for the world than the world itself. It assumes that we are always right and that anyone who disagrees with us is wrong ..."

He could as easily have been speaking about America in the 2000s. Since the election of Truman in 1948, 13 men have occupied the Oval office, 6 Democrats and 7 Republicans, but our "right" to intervene (often in violation of international law) remains a major doctrine of foreign policy. As Queen once sang, "We are the Champions" and, as such, can do whatever we want to whom we want. The rest of the world be damned.

6:52 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ICBM-

Americans aren't concerned abt any of that. This is where there attention lies (in addition to Meghan Markle):

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/11/style/youtube-mukbang-bloveslife-bethany-gaskin.html?action=click&module=Editors%20Picks&pgtype=Homepage

God, what douche bags!

mb

11:35 AM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

@Dermot... this place definitely fits you like a glove. MB says this is the only blog one needs and it has certainly condensed my surf time.
More good news on the home front:https://eand.co/half-of-americans-are-effectively-poor-now-what-the-c944c518db6a

12:57 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/06/10/americans-extinction-denial-syndrome/

The last paragraphs say it all:

"Well, on the evidence, people these days don’t seem to give a rat’s ass about their progeny.

In fact, as I think of it, that is one of the things that happen in stressed environments in the natural world. Birds and mammals faced with a loss of habitat and stressed with the day-to-day and minute-to-minute challenge of surviving are known to often abandon their young, or to stop reproducing. Maybe that is the stage many of us are in now without realizing it. As the mad globalization of the economy and the funneling of all wealth to the tiniest segment of the ultra-rich carries on apace, perhaps the rest of us, struggling just to make the monthly payments for shelter and food, are losing that primal urge so critical to species survival: a drive to raise and protect our young.

If so, and if the rest of the world acts similarly to us Americans, the story of mankind is probably already over."

3:04 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a todos los Waferes,

Bienvenidos a nosotros nuevos amigos y amigas.

(Hope I got that correct Morris, I remain open to critique - y gracias a ti.)

Anyway, if you have some extra space, open your home to a homeless person, especially if he is your old time friend. I'm happy to say that since May 1, 2019 David and I are getting along just fine with the four-legged furry one, Taytum! Dave makes us laugh. I have made Dave split his sides repeatedly with my mini podcast style of skewering douchebags and bagettes alike. He is an honorary Wafer at this juncture.

Yours in Senator Bare-assing (Mc Conkling's silent partner at the pig trough)

3:24 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Only in America....

New Jersey becomes 1st state to mandate panic buttons for hotel room cleaners...

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/new-jersey-becomes-1st-state-mandate-panic-buttons-hotel-room-n1016221

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALPs_n0WQaY&feature=youtu.be
Verily, the quintessential American, a veritable John Wayne, with
the pioneering slogan, "Don't bother me and I won't kill you."
Further to women, his views are, "Love me or I will kill you;
better still, I won't love you and you will kill yourself."
Trouble is, cops are somewhat the same: If you tell them that
you have a gun and know how to use it to protect your freeDOOM,
they will have no sympathy and always have more guns than you.

4:28 PM  
Anonymous centsorshipped said...

Have you read Revolutionary Spirit - E.M. Jones?
I'm sure the plutocratic plus tribe will appreciate its analysis.

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B:

Common Dreams is REALLY in dreamland today. Take your pick-

Chris H on the "Cult of Trump"

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/06/10/cult-trump

"Medicare for all" is coming!

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/06/11/medicare-all-coming-because-even-insured-are-not-safe-profit-system

And finally, "Better Schools Won't Fix America."

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/06/11/better-schools-wont-fix-america

4:56 PM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

Another one of our institutions involved in a sex abuse scandal: https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ucla-gynecologist-accusations-20190610-story.html

A couple thought on the uptick in views--

Could consciousness on the American collapse be rising?
Are more people starting to become aware that 95% of what mainstream media publishes is dog shit?
Or is it the enigmatic pull of our GSWH and his uncanny ability to predict the future?

Long live Wafers and Wafferettes!

5:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Birn-

Hedges concludes this article with his usual absurd call to arms, a call for the masses to rise up against their corporate masters. Nochmal, Schmaltzkopf? Holy Moses. I'm beginning to suspect that the guy is actually brain damaged. Is there any better explanation for someone who is so cognitively out of sync with reality? I've said it before, but every time I see some picture of him online, the most obvious feature of his face is his deep sadness, esp. visible in the eyes. This ain't no accident. If you are going to set yrself against reality, believe that the American people are completely victims of 'manufactured consent', and capable/desirous of revolution, of throwing off their (self-imposed) shackles, this is how you are finally gonna look. Ontologically speaking, I'm not sure there is anyone in America more self-deluded than Mr. Hedges.

mean-

"Bienvenidos a nuestros nuevos amigos." The amigos covers amigas as well, otherwise the sentence becomes very clumsy: "y a nuestras nuevas amigas."

mb

5:25 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Today I went to the emergency room of a local hospital because apparently cellulitis is not something to be taken casually and my ear was getting worse. It took hours of waiting (I'd brought a good book) but I got checked and got a chest X-ray and they think I not only had the cellulitis but "some" pneumonia, so I got two count 'em two, antibiotic prescriptions and was given three little green antibio pills on the spot. One of them, I'll be taking 9 a day! The pillz cost me $58 because of my being off of Medi-Cal, and the hospital and I and Medi-Cal will be sending a lot of papers around but the hosp. visit won't cost me in the end.

I also wanted Librium because it's great for quitting alcohol cold turkey, and the doc would absolutely not prescribe me any. I need to go to a local detox place for it. Thinking now, I think it's because a course of Librium, taken all at once, is probably a great way to commit suicide. Local detox might dispense me Librium but not enough at any one time to off myself with. Telling times.

2:48 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

alex-

BE CAREFUL! Do NOT take serious risks.

mb

3:20 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Birn: I doubt anything cd wake Hedges up from the fog in which he lives, but this wd be an interesting expt for him to try: Let him stand on the street corner of any American city, and randomly stop passersby and ask them something he is concerned abt (we cd call this the Leno test). E.g., "Do you think Julian Assange shd be extradited to the US?" What will he discover, in most cases?

1. "Who is Julian Assange?"
2. "What does 'extradited' mean?"

Such is the raw material out of which the Hedgian 'revolution' is to be made. I've seen YouTube interviews in which American citizens had no idea what 1776 represented; answers to "From whom did the Colonies declare their independence in the 18th century?" included 'China'. Most people interviewed didn't know.

Oy vey.

mb

3:50 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

alex-

Post only once every 24 hrs. If you have a personal message for me, you can always send it to mauricio@morrisberman.com. Thanks.

mb

9:18 AM  
Anonymous ICBM said...

"I'm stupid, and I'm proud of it" seems to be a fitting mantra for most Americans. Some Americans have more difficulty because of family or income or location getting a good education, but many more just don't give a shit and wear their ignorance proudly like a badge of honor.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/americas-cult-of-ignorance

The media is somewhat responsible. In one of my few agreements with Limbaugh, I think he's right when he refers to American media as "lamestream". And it will continue to be so as long as 90% of it is owned by the likes of Disney, Comcast, News Corp (Murdoch), Sony and Time Warner whose primary concern is advertising dollars. Notice, too, that they are all first entertainment companies. Evidence that most news programs have morphed into entertainment shows is available with one day's viewing of the main networks or reading this article:

https://www.medialit.org/reading-room/whatever-happened-news

Reporting that the nation is collapsing and headed for a unpleasant end turns viewers away, resulting in less revenues. THAT will never happen.

9:27 AM  
Anonymous Hans Castorp said...

https://aeon.co/essays/cheerfulness-cannot-be-compulsory-whatever-the-t-shirts-say

Being cheerful the American way borders on psychosis...

10:27 AM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

I have been a bit busy but I thought this was a great article.


https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/crisis-driving-americans-move-mexico-190609233856534.html

Apparently the land of the free is having a little trouble keeping ots people in homes. This homelessness issue, some of the worst and under the watch of those nifty democrats, is leading to people moving to Mexico. Personally, I think this is an intolerable situations. Obvious, America needs to make laws as it did with the settlers that if any American is caught in Mexico, that they shall be arrested and subjected to harsh penalties! These lazy people are making us look vad! Trump must do something and by something I do not mean hep these people!

10:59 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

@MB - a real mindfuck for Americans wld b to ask 'when/why was the Constitution (blank stare) ratified and by whom? What were the Virginia/New Jersey Plan and who sponsored each?' I mean really, if the issues facing us are so dire shldnt this be shared knowledge for at least 1/3 of population?

Came home from 3rd surgery on my right eye after detached retina surgery this time last yr. My new rescue kitty saw my huge eye patch and stayed by my side all day - who ever said cats aren't affectionate? He's been with me for a little over two months and I can't imagine not being companions.

Modestly interesting interview of Steve Bannon, if he's successful may climate change be the great equalizer, please god No More, and Never Again!

https://www.axios.com/exclusive-preview-axios-on-hbo-interview-with-steve-bannon-65cac749-9cc4-4da5-9c2c-f6a9f4da2871.html

11:28 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I always make sure that whenever I refer to the ghastly Mrs. Clinton I call her a "blood-soaked" war criminal.

Now, on to other douche-baguettes (which means "shower stick" in French):

The exploits of the US women's football team in the FIFA tournament in France have elicited a strong reaction.

This was disgraceful from USA, celebrating like that is unnecessary
The Americans blew out Thailand on Tuesday, but it was the way in which they did it that is sparking headlines. The FIFA World Cup panel shares its thoughts on the USA's lack of humility in its big win.

https://www.tsn.ca/fifa-women-s-world-cup/video/rustad-this-was-disgraceful-from-usa-celebrating-like-that-is-unnecessary%7E1704594

12:22 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I'm breaking the 24-hour rule, but here's an addendum to my earlier post. I just saw this:

Former Canadian international Kaylyn Kyle says she has received death threats for her TV criticism of the U.S. team for excessive goal celebrations in a 13-0 rout of 34th-ranked Thailand at the Women’s World Cup in France.

https://www.sportsnet.ca/soccer/ex-canada-international-gets-death-threats-u-s-goal-celebration-criticism/

Yes. Death threats.

I'd like to take this opportunity to say the the US women's football team is made up of the kindest, bravest, most wonderful human beings I've ever known in my life.

USA! USA!

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Roxy said...

Peak Woke Philosophy

Funny/alarming piece on the hyperpoliticization of philosophy and the attempt to make the explanatory framework of gender identity non-disputable

https://theelectricagora.com/2019/06/09/peak-woke-philosophy/

2:24 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Katie Lee Pitchford, 21, arrested for fierce scrotal attack:

https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2019/06/11/police-woman-squeezed-boyfriends-genitals-until-they-were-bleeding/

Street brawl in North Carolina:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDj7Cs5iHUc

More like rolling doughnuts crash into each other.

Yours in Freddie,

Miles

2:37 PM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

Dr. MB and all Wafers worldwide :

Our fellow traveler continues to write about the American Collapse. From yesterday's missive:

"America’s effectively a poor country now. Two, it’s a caste society, composed of a tiny class of super rich who became ultra rich, an old poor, and a new poor, the people formerly known as the middle class."
Americans, he says, "are broke, poor, and desperate, living shorter, poorer lives every single year. That’s not hyperbole — those are cold, hard facts.......The truth is that America’s invisible depression has gone on so long that the world’s richest country became the world’s first poor rich country — its people were unable to ever really build wealth of their own (the majority of Americans now have a negative net worth, remember.) This depression has thundered on like a great dust storm for decades, until the foundations of American prosperity and democracy turned to sand."
"America is three things now. It’s effectively a poor country. And it’s a poor country because it’s been in a depression — an invisible one — for almost all our adult lifetimes. Yes, really. That’s how long the super rich have been taking all the growth or more, and a lack of growth is what a depression is. Hence, a depression for the rest, which is 99% of America. And it’s becoming what depressions produce, too — a failed democracy. A democracy which has collapsed into authoritarianism, fascism, extremism, theocracy."

Read it here :https://eand.co/americas-invisible-depression-edad5a77106f

5:16 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Susan W--sadly, given the recent spate of stories about sexual assaults by high school football players against their own teammates, I'm not surprised to hear that about that soldier. I guess things have truly got meaner in the ranks since 9/11, as I have a hard time imagining something like that occurring back when I served in the late 80s and early 90s.

Re: Hedges and the coming "revolution." Recently several hundred high school valedictorians agreed to read a "climate crisis message" during their graduation speeches, but many were censored by school officials. So, given that they profess to believe that extinction of the human race is at risk, do you supposed they defied the authorities? Ha-Ha, of course not: “The administration were very mad, they were pissed,” said Shal, who attends Whittier Tech high school in Haverhill, Massachusetts. “Everyone was telling me I was in trouble. They now consider me rogue and rebellious. I was really worried about repercussions.” Worried that she would be dragged off stage if she made the climate speech, Shal decided to apologize and comply with the demand not to mention climate change at the ceremony last week.

Of such chickenhearted fools, a rebellion does not make. It's all good and fun to march in front of the White House waving your clever placards and taking selfies with several thousand of the like-minded (with whom you probably flew or drove to the event), but take a chance at getting "downvoted" on your Wastebook page? That's WAY too much to ask. Better to die in a climate catastrophe someday than risk not getting into the college of your choice.

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

Bernie's last hurrah at GWU today-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=190&v=QThknQs-gIc

Meanwhile, Biden's ahead by 16 points...

8:58 PM  
Anonymous David G. said...

RE: Chris Hedges
I read many of his articles and find that his analyses and portrayals, while depressing, are usually insightful and accurate. His calls for uprising, revolt, revolution, etc. at the end of his articles are, I think, an obligatory call to action so as to leave the reader with something tangible to hang on to and not just fatalistic despair. I suspect he is fully aware that these things will never happen -- hence the sadness in his eyes that Dr. B notes. Hedges is no dummy, so I would suggest he is not so self-deluded to think that the masses will rise up. The masses rising up is a necessary condition for things to change -- what he doesn't want to say out loud is that this will never happen, even though he probably knows this. I see the same kind of dynamic in the climate change movement -- the Green New Deal, mainstream environmental groups, AOC, Bill McKibben, etc. That is, they call for massive changes, and these calls are given in great sincerity, but they have got to know that people will not rise up and make any changes for the sake of the climate. They just can't say this out loud, otherwise defeat is a fait accompli.

10:41 PM  
Anonymous Rufus T. Schmeck said...

WAFERS,

Here is an article which states that suicides & drug overdoses are at an all-time high in the US. As usual, the article makes no attempt to point out what the real issues are. They do state that higher health care access means better outcomes, but the operative word there is "care". I'm sure seeing a doctor or receiving health "care" in general gives people a sense of being cared for..... it's not just a function of getting some treatment (which does matter). What really matters is having a sense that life matters, that community matters, that honesty & friendship matters. In a nation whose real slogan in not "E Plurbius Unum", but "Me, My Money, My Stuff, To Hell With You!", there can not be the deeply satisfying relationships which gives life MEANING.

Rufus T. Schmeck

10:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

David-

There is just too much that is dishonest and wrong-headed here. There is something politically savvy, so to speak, in endlessly talking optimism when you know it's b.s.: it keeps you in the public eye (as a 'hero'), and it sells bks. As for self-delusion: I wonder. A few wks ago Hedges flew to Paris to participate in a gilets jaunes demonstration, saying that we have to fight evil wherever it appears. The irony: did he fly 1st class? And how many of the French demonstrators could afford a plane ticket just to be in a demo? In the article describing all this, Hedges concludes with a paragraph that struck me as verging on sickness: revolution is the only thing that gives meaning to life, that provides us with integrity. The context doesn't matter, nor the outcome. He was starting to sound a bit like Georges Sorel: action for its own sake. Sure, in some contexts rebellion gives us meaning and integrity, but there are contexts in which the opposite is true; in which it is self-destructive, nothing more than a gesture, and needs to be avoided. But for Hedges, the world is black and white.

Which brings me to a last pt: check out my post on "The Brothers," and abt the Manichaean world view of John Foster Dulles. Communism is The Great Evil, it is everywhere, and we must fight it on all fronts. Hedges' psychology is identical; it's just that the target is different. But Dulles is really his alter ego, his mirror. In the case of both men, it sure looks like a form of mental illness. With the power Dulles wielded, he made the world a much sadder place. Hopefully, Hedges will never wield any power; but if he did, I can't see that the outcome wd be any different. Both men were/are fanatics, and we need fanaticism like a hole in the head. As I suggested at the end of my essay, Wafers don't live in a Manichaean world, and don't define themselves in oppositional terms. They understand that reality is not black and white, and that contexts and outcomes matter. They also have a sense of humor--something sorely lacking in Mr. Hedges. A 1960s slogan: "If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution." I can't imagine Hedges even doing the box step.

Gunnar-

Gd luck on yr recovery. All Wafers are pulling 4u.

mb

9:44 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

The publication in the 25 April international edition of the New York Times of a political cartoon by cartoonist Antonio Moreira Antunes first published in the Lisbon newspaper Expresso has lead to a new NYT policy on cartoons and to the “disciplining” of the editor who approved its April running. The cartoon in question depicts a blind kippah-wearing Donald Trump being led by service animal Benyamin Netanyahu, who wears a Star of David collar.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jun/12/new-york-times-cartoonists-ban-antisemitism?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

And, from the anti-vaxxer front, movie star and card-carrying babe Jessica Biel joins the fray in California, meeting California pols in Sacramento with new bestie Robert Kennedy Jr. to lobby against a new bill being considered in the state house that would narrow the range of vaccination exemptions permissible for school-age children.

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/jun/13/jessica-biel-joins-campaign-against-vaccination-law?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Finally, complementing the article cited by ICBM, a book recommendation:
Fantasyland by Kurt Anderson.

Anderson demonstrates that the country’s been batshit crazy since the first Pilgrim plodded ashore at Plymouth. Still crazy after all these years.

11:23 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

David, that is why Dr. Berman appears marginalised, minimised, and trivialised in the us empire. He does not sell false hope nor offer the perfunctory last chapter of shoulds, woulds, need tos, and multi-step 'action' plans.

Reality is that which, even after you stop believing it, still exists (Philip K. Dick). Reality is not 'depressing.' Reality just is.

Mr. Hedges' delusional end of chat optimism provides a nice gravy train in terms of speaking engagements, honoraria, columns, and book sales; of course, keeps the audience on the edge of their seats, jam packed with delusions of the populace rising up someday, someday . In essence, he's a hu$tler like most USians; by selling rising up stories and deluded action plans, he gets to appear like a savior, while cashing in on last chapter optimism.

However, his cognitive dissonance is catching up to him, and deep down, on a visceral level, he likely knows he's full of shit.

11:59 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Hillary is frequently mentioned here for her absurd face, but look at this guy's!

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/jun/13/jordan-peterson-launches-anti-censorship-site-thinkspot

Kanye

12:04 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

It could be that Waferism has a fundamental flaw in forgetting about Mars. See,
colonizing it would be pure MAGAism recreating total freedom, prosperity, happiness,
and certain immortality, all pure American fantasies as delivered for decades by
showbizz, schooling, and socialization. The seriousness that NASA gives the idea
rather than going back to the boring moon shows you what is really the end of
Waferism and the rebirth of a truly great America. Oh, yes, one other thing:
bring your own oxygen, food, water, and wi-fi connection. Be warned that prolonged
time in weightlessness leads to very poor eyesight, untoward effects on the brain,
and a return of active herpes virus.

1:18 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

"The USWNT displayed poor sportsmanship excessively celebrating many of the 13 goals against a 34th ranked team," wrote Clare Rustad, a Canadian analyst who also played for that country's national team.

USA soccer took a page from our military antics. Thrash the littlest guy you can start a fight with. It's what we do best. I found a whole new level of disgust for shit the typical asshat cheers about.

I hope Mexico kicks our ass. Then pees on our shoes,

3:02 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Yesterday I rode my bike for hours, criss-crossing San Jose California, trying to get a prescription for Librium. To no avail. I am not deeply alcohol-dependent, but could use a little help (am tapering anyway). I learned some things:

O'Conner hospital could get in real trouble if they didn't treat my cellulitis or pneumonia, but alcohol dependency is considered a moral failing not a medical fact, which means it can be exploited. So why give a $5 prescription for a very long half-life and thus little danger of addiction benzo like Librium, when the pt. can be steered into really expensive rehab programs with a 95% failure rate?

And, just over the last year, benzos have been declared the new opiates. There are numbers to back this, mostly it's Xanax which I'd not touch with a 10-ft pole, but Librium is now demonized also. So I can't get it (maybe could if I were in the 1%).

4:25 PM  
Anonymous ICBM said...

Hedges shares another eerie similarity with the Dulles - both are sons of fathers who were Presbyterian pastors. They probably learned their Manichean worldview at their fathers' knees. I don't know how much influence Calvin had on Hedges, but Foster may have been Calvin reincarnated. (Although I don't think reincarnation was part of Calvin's theology.) Double Predestination is - the belief that only the elect will be saved and all others are doomed for eternity.

Manicheans also need evil enemies for their good God to fight. For Foster it was the USSR which Reagan would later name the "Evil Empire"; for Hedges it's America. Neatly turned on its head. Not to matter. Either fit Mari's system.

5:35 PM  
Anonymous Savannah said...

On the relationship between purpose and life itself:

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2734064

Association Between Life Purpose and Mortality Among US Adults Older Than 50 Years

6:19 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

T-shirt idea:

Front: WAFERISM
Back: THE DOOR THAT NEVER CLOSES

Miles

8:00 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

No Doubt Kim K has her sights set on the Oval Office!!!! With Kanye aa Secretary of State!!!
The ABSURDITY continues!!!


https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/06/i-knew-her-father-and-shes-got-good-genes-president-trump-introduced-kim-kardashian-to-speak-on-justice-reform-at-white-house-video/

9:20 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

Dr. B

Soon we will be moving to China. And, I will be teaching Chinese children English. My SO helped me to get this job. What do you think about that?

2:37 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

al-I visit Thailand once or twice every year and I can just imagine the rage Thais feel today towards the USA Women's team. But, of course, we should not be surprised as winning through grace and humility is simply not in our DNA. Their behavior perfectly mirrors both our foreign and domestic policy- we are not satisfied until our rivals have been completely vanquished. I'll be back in Thailand in January and am able to speak some Thai so I can't wait to hear their reaction to yesterday's events.
Doctor, may I recommend a great book about Israel? It's called Israel-A Beachhead in the Middle East by Stephen Gowans. One line: Accepting Zionism as a legitimate solution to anti-Semitism is tantamount to trying to solve the problem of anti-black racism in the United States by depopulating a section of the African continent by force to make way for the mass migration of US citizens of African origin." When I placed this on Facebook I got my usual intelligent reaction: Arab lover, mentally deranged, self-hating Jew.

9:07 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan-

Thanks, looks gd. This also looks gd:

https://www.amazon.com/Reclaiming-Judaism-Zionism-Personal-Transformation/dp/1623719143/ref=pd_sbs_14_3/143-0907350-3313264?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=1623719143&pd_rd_r=d29aacc5-8ea9-11e9-957e-f3613e17fd6a&pd_rd_w=Ysy7Q&pd_rd_wg=N0aQv&pf_rd_p=588939de-d3f8-42f1-a3d8-d556eae5797d&pf_rd_r=0FQ12SAFQ6G7PYR98G00&psc=1&refRID=0FQ12SAFQ6G7PYR98G00

I don't think Israel controls US foreign policy, but I do think it influences it. Meanwhile, as regards yr pals on Facebk: pt out to them that people resort to ad hominem attacks when they have no real arguments to make, or evidence to offer.

cube-

You'll learn a lot! Think of yrself as Our Man in China.

Sav-

What higher purpose, than to be a Wafer?

ICBM, Mike-

Hedges did a bk yrs ago called "War Is a Force that Gives Us Meaning." I never read it, but the title wd suggest that this 'meaning' is a false one, generated from fighting, being in opposition. Doris Lessing also pegged this in "The Golden Notebook," referring to Marxists she knew in the 30s who ran around effectively saying, "I make the revolution and therefore I AM!" In any case, I agree with Hedges here, but how is it that he doesn't see that he has fallen into the same psychology? If he weren't fighting evil, what wd he be? And what kind of life is that, really? As you said, Mike: ultimately b.s.

Art-

I've written NASA suggesting Jupiter instead. So far, no reply.

mb

9:57 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

"A sane person to an insane society must appear insane."
Kurt Vonnegut, Welcome to the Monkey House

This quote came to mind while watching this segment on PBS Newshour, maybe places like Fountain House are the last bastions of sanity in the United Sociopaths of America:

https://youtu.be/vJkqFMwMmqc

ps - if PBS is so "public" why don't they broadcast reruns of Hee-Haw, Dukes of Hazard, or NASCAR documentaries?

pss - some Friday irony - Helen Keller (avowed, committed socialist) was selected to represent Alabama on its commemorative state quarter, wtf?

11:03 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

@Dan; Belman

I really don't see how calling someone an "Arab lover" is an ad hominem attack. My grandmother was an Arab lover, and hence...me.

I'm reading The Open Veins of Latin America by Eduardo Galeano these days. Whenever I'm into works like this I find it difficult to imagine how anyone in Latin America, Africa or Asia can see Europeans and white North Americans as anything but devils.

11:31 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Check this out MB, Wafers:

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/jun/14/the-mindfulness-conspiracy-capitalist-spirituality

I ordered the book upon finishing the article. Hearing the term "mindfulness" nowadays makes me want to throw up.

Kanye

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XK3nA_4bHSI

Same MAGA certainly needed in this town. At least it is not as bad as
planet Jupiter, having too many moons and a gaseous, unstable surface.
MB best put his money on Mars as latest resort and refuge for 'mur'ka.

2:47 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferes,

@James Allen, re: "Fantasyland" - a good recommendation. The woman friend who gave me a copy of that book shaved "down under". Talk about the proof being in the pudding...

@Art Baker, re: The Mars Fantasy - Correct. See Ray Bradbury's classic "The Martian Chronicles".

@comrade simba. re: USAWNT soccer and USA douchebaguery, etc - I'd like to join you and the Mexican team for that pee shower.

O&D!

4:00 PM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

I'd like to recommend a book I'm just finishing that reflects what other posters are discussing. Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe is a well researched book on The Troubles in Northern Ireland. Mix true believers with a "noble cause" throw in a couple of smart, shrewd, ruthless sociopaths and before you know it, innocent people are destroyed. It takes years before the foot soldiers know they were duped.

War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning is a good book and insightful on how blinded people are to their own participation in destruction. I haven't read anything new by Hedges in at least 10 years. It seems to me his persona has taken over & now he's trapped as the man who expresses impotent outrage. This seems to be a common trap for intellectuals -- they lose their sense of humor, especially about themselves. A favorite story I read was about a Buddhist monastery in Thailand. Several females left & returned to the US, converted to an evangelical faith, returned to the monastery & tried to convert the monks. When the monks complained to head of the monastery, he laughed -- "Who knows?! Maybe they're right!"

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

Here's the op-ed article of the week for me. A Canadian professor from the University of Toronto is interviewed, and he presents an excellent summary of events from Bretton Woods to the present-

https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/06/13/from-dollar-hegemony-to-global-warming-globalization-glyphosate-and-doctrines-of-consent/

There's a great summary starting on page 63 of the referenced article from the above link-

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/332182416_GEO-ECONOMICS_AND_GEO-POLITICS_DRIVE_SUCCESSIVE_ERAS_OF_PREDATORY_GLOBALIZATION_AND_SOCIAL_ENGINEERING_Historical_emergence_of_climate_change_gender_equity_and_anti-racism_as_State_doctrines

My favorite quote- "From the USA perspective, the world is its plantation."

7:51 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Public utility ethics:

"On August 23, 2018, the utility mailed a warning letter to the 72-year-old’s home in Sun City West, where she lived with her cat, Cocoa. Pullman owed APS $176.84, it said. She had five days to pay in full. Otherwise, APS would disconnect the electricity. Outside, temperatures were in the triple digits.

APS didn’t cut off Pullman’s electricity on August 28. Pullman’s final electric bills show that on September 5, 2018, the day after her Social Security check normally arrived, she paid APS $125.

It wasn’t enough. Two days later, on September 7, APS disconnected her electricity. That day, temperatures hit at least 105 degrees Fahrenheit, instruments recorded in nearby Youngtown showed. Smith recalled it was 107 degrees.

https://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/aps-cut-power-heat-customer-dead-phoenix-summer-shutoff-11310515

8:25 PM  
Anonymous Chad Leblanc said...

There are some parts of “1984” whose relevance seems never to fade. One is the portrayal of the surveillance state. Another is Newspeak, the abuse of language for political purposes.

“1984,” which was published 70 years ago, was intended as a warning about tendencies within liberal democracies.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/1984-at-seventy-why-we-still-read-orwells-book-of-prophecy

MB - have you observed more prescience in Orwell or Huxley? I have thought USA has more Huxley in our time, where China gives us a glimmer of a truly Orwellian future. Thoughts?

9:52 PM  
Anonymous Edi said...

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/cross-check/why-were-still-fighting-over-freud/

We're Still Fighting over Freud vm

11:14 PM  
Anonymous Richter said...

https://aeon.co/amp/essays/what-is-history-nobody-gave-a-deeper-answer-than-hegel

"The spirit of history: Hegel's search for the universal patterns of history revealed a paradox: freedom is coming into being, but is never guaranteed."

6:10 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Chad-

It's a question of iron fist vs. velvet glove. For more on this, read the ch. on Machiavelli in my Italy bk, soon to appear.

Susan-

A number of yrs ago I was asked to participate in a radio interview with an environmental group based at UBC in Vancouver, with Hedges and Dmitry Orlov. Turned out, Orlov cdn't make it, so was interviewed separately later on. So it was just me and Hedges (on the fone from Princeton), and it was impossible to engage him in dialogue. He just plowed ahead with his "neofeudalism" speech, as tho he was on the campaign trail. I did try to engage him, with little success. He simply wasn't interested in discussing issues. He was like a bulldozer. (Sam Harris engaged him in a debate at one pt, apparently had the same bulldozer experience, declared afterwards that Hedges was 'sanctimonious' and that he wd never debate him again. Not that I'm a big fan of Sam Harris'.) I was staying with friends in Kitsilano, and when I got back to their house, they asked me how things went. "I'm afraid Chris has morphed into Chris Hedges, Inc.," I told them. That was yrs ago. To date, he remains interested only in broadcasting, not in receiving. No 'monastic' flexibility for him! (or self-transparency)

mean-

Re: the soccer game: this shows the American mindset quite clearly. Basically, everyone already knows this, except for Americans. Again, no self-transparency. It's like a national disease.

Kanye-

It's just meditation, when you come down to it. Which means it can be bent to any purpose whatsoever (see my discussion of this issue in my Japan bk, and also Brian Victoria, "Zen at War"). A friend of mine in Maryland is big on Mindfulness; she also works for the Army. What can ya say, really?

al-

It can be, depending on the context. In this context, it seems obvious it's ad hominem.

mb

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPk1toUHJRw

A valuable way to prepare yourself for the coming election
is found in this short vid. We've had much practice already
from the time Trump has been in office. For that we must be
grateful.

4:15 PM  
Anonymous Eclipse Timothy said...

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-7119569/JOHN-GRAY-Jeremy-Corbyn-contempt-working-people.html

JOHN GRAY: Jeremy Corbyn ranting about Trump as Scunthorpe faces disaster shows he has nothing but contempt for working people

7:21 PM  
Anonymous Glad I Left USA said...

An Expert on Concentration Camps Says That's Exactly What the U.S. Is Running at the Border

"Things can be concentration camps without being Dachau or Auschwitz."

“We have what I would call a concentration camp system... a mass detention of civilians without trial.”
24 people *that we know of* have died under ICE under Trump so far, plus 6 children in other agencies since September.

https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/amp27813648/concentration-camps-southern-border-migrant-detention-facilities-trump/

7:27 PM  
Anonymous Pat Chouli said...

So we really do need an enemy to define ourselves here in America:

The U.S. Is Purging Chinese Americans From Top Cancer Research Institutions:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2019-06-13/the-u-s-is-purging-chinese-americans-from-top-cancer-research

Wow! Americans really must be the largest collection of clucks ever assembled under one banner. Because we’re talking about cancer prevention here, and as the article wisely points out: “Prevention isn’t a product. It isn’t sellable. Or stealable.”

I guess this is more good news for dyed-in-the-wool declinists. But for Americans, since “the wool is the eyes,” maybe we should change that to “died-in-the-wool.”

6:42 AM  

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