September 28, 2019

Dance of the Turkeys

Or maybe I should have titled this post "a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." What do we have these days? The Gretification of our egos via T-shirts, coffee mugs, and handkerchiefs; a ton of impeachment crap that will ultimately result in nothing (you know it); some scandal stuff around Biden-Schmiden; more presidential debates, featuring Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie-Schmernie, that will amount to fuck all; and the usual round of massacres, McDonald's shootings, opioid data, and god knows what else; and underneath all of the apparent frenzy a huge sense of ennui, that this is nothing more than theater--a dance of turkeys. All this frenetic activity hides a terrible Void, and it is deeper and deeper into that abyss that we are sliding, slowly but surely, on a daily basis.

But who knows this? Current US population = 329.5 million, and it's not likely that more than 0.5 million understand that the whole show is meaningless; that we are like a ship without a rudder, drifting away into oblivion. For appearance is not reality, as Plato told us millennia ago, and yet 329 million Americans or more take the shadows on the walls of the cave to be real. Should Wafers go door to door, informing the citizenry that what they are witnessing is a crock? Will Mr. John Q. Public rub his chin and say, "Gee, I never thought of that. I'm going to have to rethink my whole life"? Would that be a prudent use of our time? Will Mr. Public make a revolution, or leave the country, or even throw his TV out? Clearly, mass enlightenment is right around the corner.

To arms, Wafers! To arms!

-mb

178 Comments:

Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

First of all, a thanks MB for sharing the interview in the previous post. Though I have listened to many of your interviews, and they contained some of the points you talked about here, it still is a pleasure, or at least reassuring, to listen to you. Its reassuring not in the sense that things are gonna work out fine in the end, but reassuring that my apprehension of an impending hellish future in the near term is not misplaced.

Sometimes I just think, am I living in a real world? Are Trump and BoJo really the heads of state of two of the great powers of the world (and NaMo in my own country for that matter)? And is it real that huge number of people, all over the world, enthusiastically support guys like Trump, BoJo, Bolsonaro, Orban blah blah... I have come to the sober acceptance that this is a reflection of the people more than their leaders. And if that is so, what hope do we have? How do we hope the same Mr. Public to harbor more humane values? Or do things change over generations when options narrow down? Any thoughts MB and Wafers? Pretty depressing times these.

9:54 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Indian-

What we are going thru is the disintegration of neoliberalism and globalization, basically the capitalist regime of the last 500 yrs. Macron said as much in a speech he gave a short while ago, talking (amazingly enuf) abt the end of Western hegemony. (Of course, he himself is a representative of that dying order.) Immanuel Wallerstein anticipated this, as did I, along with many other thinkers. What we did not anticipate was that the representatives of the emerging order--whatever that is going to be--wd be rt-wing assholes, even jokes. But history is not neat and linear; it doesn't necessarily conform to "preferred options." As we shift from one large-scale system to another type of formation, we are going to live thru a very dark period; that's how it always is. 50 yrs down the line, however, things will start to stabilize. As what? is the question.

mb

10:26 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Indian/MB:

“...we are going to live through a very dark period...”

Perhaps you’d agree that one wild card is the changing climate and the effects it will bring to both third, second, and first worlds. I agree with Dan who in an earlier post pointed out that doomster Guy McPherson has been putting out an end of humankind timeline for a decade or so BUT WE AIN’T DEAD YET. Agreed, but the trend line is decidedly unfavorable, and the trend is irreversible if we’re to believe many scientists. Nobody is talking about putting the brakes on, only talk of growth.

The kind of adjustment in our current set of living arrangements that might save a few more inhabitants seems unlikely. When the shit hits our particular neighborhood who can say. But it looks like it’s coming

Sorry for no particular link. The epitaph of Sir Christopher Wren in St. Paul’s Cathedral reads “Si monumentum requiris, circumspice.” Similarly, if we need evidence for the hell coming, we need just look around.

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Greetings MB & Wafers,

Been silent due to guests who stayed too long - Americans, clueless and 'insufferable' (my husband's term). Folks we hadn't seen in years. Let that be a lesson to us!

I thoroughly enjoyed the article on technology and climate change. So true, scientists and technologists are so arrogant, but can't see past their noses. I submit the following as additional proof of man's stupidity in thinking we can control nature: genetically modified mosquitoes, released into the Amazon, have now not died as expected, but have bred with the native population, creating a more robust mosquito. Wonderful!

www.dw.com%2Fen%2Fgenetically-modified-mosquitoes-breed-in-brazil%2Fa-50414340&psig=AOvVaw1yUy1ydTKBMtok4uixwJdM&ust=1569768965814173

(Ps, hope the link works, typing this on my phone.)

11:07 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Good day Dr Berman And Wafers

I had occasion to find a link regarding another
matter and I thought about comparing the information
to Three Dollar Don.

I wanted to see if I could eliminate a couple of traits. Hell
I could not eliminate one. He certainly gets his Nobel wish in
this area. With these charming traits on display from his
pulpit and through his twitter account, I think all Wafers can
be rest assured that America continues on the down escalator
as a culture and his base will be out in full force to reelect him.

https://www.mcafee.cc/Bin/sb.html

11:21 AM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Doctor Berman,
Perhaps it should be titled, “Amusing Ourselves to Death”, after Neil Postman's book.
We can sit back, amuse ourselves, and watch how the 329 million others amuse their respective selves to death.
Of course, in today's hyper-masculine American culture, a good percentage of that involves watching the National Football League; hanging out at a sports bar where some of its many screens show some silly ultimate fighting event; gambling at these many so called “spectacles”; and when discussing them with someone else, addressing the other guy as “dude” in our dumbed-down, functionally illiterate, spelling- and grammar-deficient American society.
On the female side, that involves staring at a smartphone as one walks down the block, oblivious to everything else.
And in both sexes it involves watching at least four hours of television each day. Of course that involves every show being bombarded by Madison Avenue with its myriad ubiquitous 30 second commercials that show 30 different mesmerizing camera shots as they advertise some prescription drug that will make your life better.
So I say, sit back and enjoy and get a good laugh at the whole thing.

11:32 AM  
Anonymous Saddle said...

I Wrote About the Bidens and Ukraine Years Ago. Then the Right-Wing Spin Machine Turned the Story Upside Down.

https://theintercept.com/2019/09/25/i-wrote-about-the-bidens-and-ukraine-years-ago-then-the-right-wing-spin-machine-turned-the-story-upside-down/

12:31 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Even if Trump didn't setup congress for impeachment his goal of destroying Biden is a success no matter how this ends, I believe Uncle Joe is toast. Meanwhile Lewindowsky got all the play for contempt of congress but check out this disgusting obese great ape:

Slate: A Former ICE Chief Melts Down.
https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/09/thomas-homan-ice-meltdown-pramila-jayapal.html

Militarily suicides are up, "our numbers(!) are going in the wrong direction." No, asshole a suicidal soldier isn't a fucking number.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2019/09/26/us-militarys-suicide-rate-active-duty-troops-rises-fifth-consecutive-year-pentagon-says/


2:00 PM  
Anonymous Anne Pisor said...

A truly sad week in anthropology: on the heels of Napoleon Chagnon's passing, Frank Marlowe has passed away. Frank was a scholar known for his integrative work, which changed how we do evolutionary anthropology & hunter gatherer research.

2:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This looks gd:

https://www.amazon.com/Economists-Hour-Prophets-Markets-Fracture/dp/031651232X/ref=sr_1_1?crid=26MBGN545YJ1M&keywords=economists+hour&qid=1569694740&s=books&sprefix=economists+h%2Cstripbooks%2C233&sr=1-1

Saddle-

Are you James Risen?

mb

2:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

WAFER REMINDER: THIS BLOG WILL BE CLOSED DURING OCT. 1-6, WHILE I AM AWAY. PLEASE DO NOT POST DURING THAT TIME.

THANK YOU,
GSWH

2:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Xair-

Post only once every 24 hrs. Thank you.

mb

3:21 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Of Course she did....because that’s what Americans DO.....just look at that face!!


http://thesmokinggun.com/documents/crime/bean-dip-meth-508216

3:32 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=typhus+in+la

Very odd is to think of an old-time cure for too many people.
Does anyone want to write a movie script for plausible
social science fiction horror movie?

3:50 PM  
Blogger Amazed! said...

"Amnesty International has just recently issued a travel warning to everyone visiting America. It includes advice on staying away from places where there are larger numbers of people such as tourist spots, cultural events, shopping malls and even schools."

"About 1.4 million people have died from firearms in the U.S. between 1968 and 2011. The murder rate in America is now 25 times higher than in any of the 22 developed high-income nations (OECD). Although America has half the population of the other 22 nations combined, the U.S. had 82 per cent of all gun deaths, 90 per cent of all women killed with guns, 91 per cent of children under 14 and 92 per cent of young people between ages 15 and 24 killed with guns."

USA! USA! USA!
Hahahaha.

https://truepublica.org.uk/united-kingdom/amnesty-international-issue-warning-to-travellers-to-america/

4:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Amazed-

Also, w/4.2% of the world's population, the US consumes 67% in dollar sales of all of the world's antidepressant prescriptions.

mb

4:40 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Tim--that website I linked with all of the Greta Thunberg crap for sale appears to be the official marketing site for her movement. You can also go to a another section and also buy all the Extinction Rebellion shit you could ever make yourself feel better by purchasing (thus creating even more garbage that will inevitably end up in a landfill). Keep in mind too that Thunberg's mother wrote the family's "autobiography," which is soon to be published in English by Penquin publishers and will probably be a bestseller. Who's getting all of the monetary proceeds from all of these ventures? The fact is, these days becoming an international celebrity means a veritable license to print money.

Anyway, if Greta t-shirts aren't your thing, perhaps you'd prefer one of U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib's designer "Impeach the Motherfucker" T-shirts. Only $29! It's amazing how these Dums and progs have their heads shoved so far up their asses that they apparently think staring at your own colon all day is a normal way to live. Fighting capitalist monsters like Trump by selling designer T-Shirts is like trying to hold the waves of the ocean at bay by using a firehose. Progs get all hot and bothered because Talib is a black Muslim woman in CONgress, but she seems like a typical American hustling douchebaguette to me

5:02 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bill-

And these people never, ever see the contradiction involved in these money-making schemes. Tell me we're not doomed.

mb

5:25 PM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

Shit is hitting the fan!

5 stabbed at mall near Baltimore

https://www.wbaltv.com/article/knife-wielding-man-reportedly-attacking-people-randomly-at-hunt-valley-shopping-center/29282914

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Ordinary: Thanks for one of the better opening posts to the comment section in recent memory. What MB says is true, and I try to explain to friends, it feels like this because we are living through both the end of an empire and possibly catastrophic climate change. Hope does not rest in your, or our, leaders. They are elected and paid to uphold the status quo and the bottom line of the corporations.

Anyway, you can have some hope living in India (I assume). I've never been there (alas) but from what I read and see (say on Anthony Bourdain's shows) it seems like a thousands of year old culture is more ready to survive the next 100 years than our hustling culture over here.

Forgive me if I assume too much. I greatly appreciate the opinions of those outside the US like Kanye from France and Italiana currently in ... Italy obviously. It is of great help to hear the reaction to the end of empire from afar!

8:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pastrami-

I too am encouraged by our far-flung net of correspondents. While Waferism will never take over the world, it might be able to infiltrate it; with this blog as the central node, from which all radiates outward. Then info comes back to the node, along vibrating strings, as it were, to keep us up to date abt events in SW Bulgaria or the glacial regions of Patagonia. I am currently working on contacts with penguins in Antarctica, despite some problems of language barrier; but I'll let you all know how that flaps out. I do wish the Brits were more active here; small pubs in the Lake District definitely interest me.

mb

8:46 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

T-shirt design - $$$$ RICHER THAN SIN SCHLOCKIER THAN DRUMPF $$$$$ (also t shirt line for babies)

8:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Re: impeachment: maybe it's time to bring Linda Tripp out of mothballs?

During the Lewinsky circus I was living in DC, and studying at the Italian Cultural Center in my off hours. One day I wrote this on the blackboard, b4 the teacher arrived:

Non e un hippi
E--Linda Trippi!

My 1st poem in Italian, ever. Dante, eat yr heart out.

mb

https://www.google.com/search?q=where+is+linda+tripp+today&hl=en&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=GdoqwiQJudavxM%253A%252CHDVcWGUnYm1GJM%252C_&vet=1&usg=AI4_-kTYSSRJxnWcw2vRT6TgENUWCSiiIw&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjppJ-36fTkAhXFoFsKHSCUDV4Q9QEwF3oECAYQCQ#imgrc=GdoqwiQJudavxM:&spf=1569718661619

8:59 PM  
Anonymous B. Louis said...

Dr. Berman,

I'm convinced the script for this scene was written with some VERY heavy influences from your books:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52EnTtGstKg

9:57 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Bill-
Thanks for the reply. Much appreciated. I
tried your Greta link and got 404’d. Maybe
I did something wrong. To clarify I was just wondering
if the Greta clan got a kickback. If the link is
redbubble here is a reply I got on a attempt
at the kickback question to redbubble site.

“Sadly, the only go ahead the printers need to print
the designs is when the request goes into them.
(this would apply to clothing for example)
The designs belong to the artist so the person in the
design is not included in the process”. I took that
as no kickback.

Same would apply to Extinction Rebellion
perhaps or maybe it is all just a big coverup.





Same may apply to Extinction Rebellion also.

11:48 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Louis-

Yeah, ya wonder...altho I did enjoy that film when I saw it a few yrs ago. Then there's the part where he guns down cell fone users in a movie theater.

mb

12:45 AM  
Blogger alex carter said...

I don't think any amount of economic hardship will cause Americans to pull their heads out of their asses. Living in the "internal 3rd world" of the US as I do, I (unfortunately) interact with few white Americans, but when I get talking with these scruffy scroungy types, often living in pretty severe hardship, it's apparent that the "suburbian" Duh-merican software in their pea brains is undisturbed, firmly in place.

Looking back at growing up in Hawaii, in a school system that's 99.9% non-white, I'm not surprised that no one in that system gave a shit if I learned to read/write at any functional level. It doesn't take much education to clean toilets, after all. But looking back, none of my "fellow" whites cared about readin' an' ritin' either. Even here on the mainland, education is held in contempt. Technical education is kind of OK as long as it makes you lots of money and that's it. The solution: Get out, get out if you can, when you can, just get out.

2:04 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

The merry go round of douchebaggery will also continue across the pond: Progs will keep suing BoJo over Brexit for the next 10 years and Macron will continue being a hypocrit pretending to acknowledge it's over while pushing neoliberal policies to the max, but Meghan and Greta will save us all!

Enjoy your retreat GSWH. May you come back with even more Waferdom.

Kanye

3:13 AM  
Anonymous Liv ( from ex-Bethesda) said...

I would like to react on Gunnar post concerning US military. During my short stay at DOD in DC, I found out that third of new-coming soldiers where having mental issues, another third had opioids addictions, and the last third was obese. So much for the greatest US military. Even the bombastic budget for DOD will not help them. The whole Pentagon is a joke.

I have posted on FB, the US Amnesty warning and nobody from the US responded. Those turkeys are having their heads deep in the sand forever.....Even they see the reality of US of front of their noses, they will just deny it or ignore it. Americans are the most brainwashed humans on earth. I grew up in Czechoslovakia during the communism but we knew Soviet Union was propaganda and all the shit. I was only a kid and I was very aware of it.

From Spain:
My elderly neighbor Pepe saw my daughter few days ago with the guitar on her back and was very pleased, she wants to learn how to play. He promised her to bring her all the Flamenco songs he owns from the greatest players. I thought he was just talking... Few days later, he rang our bell and brought her the USB stick with all the Flamenco and Sevillana songs. I was in shock. This would never happen in US.
Those little gestures of humanity happen in Spain not everyday but very often....

5:06 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Liv-

Great to hear from you! And to hear that Spain is working out 4u as well. Bethesda still needs yr urine, however. Turkeys don't understand much, but they do understand urine.

Kanye-

These Wafer Summit Mtgs we have in NY are great, but they last only a few hrs. What we need now are Wafer Retreats, where we get together and immerse ourselves in the essence of Waferdom for several days. Maybe somewhere in Northern Cal?

mb

9:22 AM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

@Mb Thanks for your response. It is one of those pleasures of waferdom to be able to see things for what they are while millions others keep hoping from their partisan trenches that their strongman will bring them the bright future they always dreamed of. On the question of roping in the penguins, well, can't be sure about them, but may be able to help you with some other species, cows may be, being in India. Being a product of essentially a pre-industrial culture, sometimes my intuition works in ways that may seem anachronistic. So just dial me up, and I will be at your service if I can.

@Pastrami Thanks. I think it is better not to assume too much about any culture, particularly about India. I don't remember who it was (Wendy Doniger?) who commented something to the effect of 'Whatever that you conclude about India, the diametrically opposite one is also true.' It's just too diverse. So, while on the one hand it does still contain the wisdom of thousands of years of old (naturally pre-capitalist and pre-industrial) civilization, it is also one of those that has taken discrimination to its utmost sophistication form. I still hope the civilization can survive the collapse of the capitalist order, but then the onslaught of the right-wing (coupled with corporate capitalism in its dying gasps) has been so ferocious over the past few years that we seem to be fast forgetting all that we had learnt.

12:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Indian-

Cows wd be OK. Always capitalize Waferdom.

mb

12:49 PM  
Blogger Yossi said...

MB. You want a Brit comment. Okay we're fucked. Remainers want to continue to be in thrall to neo-liberalism centred on Germany (mind you look where they seem to be heading), and Brexiters want to be in thrall to neo-liberalism centred on USA. The choice is do you wanna be poked in the left eye or the right eye.

1:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Yossi-

Thanks for yr input. It confirms my assessment: Brexit, Schmexit. r.u. sure yr not a Russian Jew?

mb

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

This is for anyone who has noticed that American drivers seem to be getting angrier and crazier every year. I have thought this for a long time and now there seems to be some confirmation of my observation.

“Fatal car crashes linked to aggressive driving climbed nearly 500% in 10 years, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, from 80 in 2006 to 467 in 2015.”

https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/10/health/road-rage-survival-tips-wellness/index.html

3:54 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B; hopefully not too long-

Meanly Losing, 1607-2019; With Sincere Apologies to A. Lincoln...

Twentyscore and twelve years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent, a novel notion, conceived in greed, that all men can get rich.

Now we are engaged in a great civil collapse, proving that that concept, or any concept so ill-conceived, cannot endure forever. We are met in dystopia, to dedicate community to its final resting-place, which we may, in all propriety do.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow community. Our citizens, living and dead, who hustled to no end, never gave community a chance. The world will little note, nor long remember our example of spiritual death, and will adopt and advance the same system. It is for the next hegemon, rather, to be dedicated here to the unattainable notion which we Americans have thus far so ignobly advanced. It is rather for them to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before the world- that from our meaningless lifestyle of consumerism they take increased devotion to that cause for which we gave the last full measure of devotion- that they here highly resolve that we have not died in vain- that the world, under neoliberalism, shall never have a new birth of community- and that government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich, shall not perish from the earth.

4:28 PM  
Blogger Penny Lane said...

Wafaring Companieros!

It's been probably a year (or more) since I've seen a film in the theater, due to sweeping austerity measures still in effect on Penny Lane, BUT! I gave myself a treat last night and you must, if you can, see the documentary Raise Hell: The Life & Times Of Molly Ivins.

She saw glimpses of America's failure back when George W. Bush was still a nobody rich boy Texas coke head drunk. Or, as we'd say now, the good old days! I never thought I could reflect on the prelude to our grim times with anything like nostalgia, but here we are. Looking back, Mollie Ivins was such a powerful respite to a younger me, stuck as I was in the wasteland of exurban America with no role models of resistance at all. I remember how her death in 2007 really hit me. And the rest is history, as the economic debacle which followed in 2008 precipitated my own slide sideways.

But God it was a boost to spend a couple hours with Molly, whom I haven't thought of in a while, and whose caliber of wit I don't hope to see much of again (unless I make it to a Wafer Summit, of course.) She was a powerful woman, a proto-Wafer, and a picture of resistance in our times; hilarious and lovely film!

4:30 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/33033806034.html?utm_source=2leep.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=exchange2leep&aff_platform=api&cpt=1569789198928&sk=CKPAEZWu&aff_trace_key=f7d136f7b1934a8bb04018770832f774-1569789198928-04579-CKPAEZWu&terminal_id=7ffe295f7f894f5b80a22e1537a527cb

Maybe you can find socks like this while you're gone? Do you think this is reason
enough to start nuking those Chinese for having little respect for D?

4:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Penny-

Didn't she do a bio of George called "Shrub"?

Birn-

Abe's original title was "A Salute to Turkeys," but he changed it at the last minute. Big mistake.

Tom-

Also a lot of accidents due to cell fone use while driving.

Waferinos-

I have been thinking a lot lately about urban legends, or American mythologies. I recently saw a documentary that had me wondering how much of what we believe, as a matter of unquestioned faith, has little or no basis in reality. The film is called "The Witness," and is about the search of Bill Geneovese to find out what really happened to his sister, Kitty, who was stabbed to death in Queens in 1964. The whole thing became a cause célèbre, an indictment of the callousness of New York and New Yorkers, 38 of whom supposedly witnessed her murder and did nothing about it because they “didn’t want to get involved.” Abe Rosenthal of the New York Times made his career based on the book he wrote about the incident, "Thirty-Eight Witnesses." The “Kitty Genevese Case” became a staple of sociology courses and “What’s Wrong with America” literature, as well as a number of movies. I think it was Time Magazine that had him on the front cover, with the headline HONEST ABE—i.e., the man who was brave enough to tell the “truth” about New York; or even, America.

A number of reporters who followed up the story were wary of it, felt it didn’t quite make sense. However, to challenge Rosenthal was a good way to destroy your career, so they kept silent. The NYT reporter who broke the story for the newspaper—I forget his name now—was asked, years later, by another reporter, Gabe Pressman, if it was possible that the “witnesses” hadn’t gotten involved because they figured it was a domestic, husband-wife dispute. The guy told him, “It could
have been the case; but that would have ruined a good story.” Pressman also taught a journalism course (many years later), and suggested to his students that they investigate the case. They did, and found a number of inconsistencies. In particular, they phoned Abe Rosenthal and asked him about these things, and Rosenthal went through the roof. He called Pressman up and literally screamed at him, saying that the Genovese Case was archetypal, the subject of hundreds of books, university courses, doctoral dissertations, and so on, and how dare he (Pressman) question it.

Bill Genovese was floored by these revelations. Neither the reporter who first broke the story, nor Rosenthal, gave a damn about the truth. What counted was that the Case was “a good story,” one that made their reputations, their careers. Meanwhile, here’s what emerges from Bill’s documentary:

1.The “witnesses” were audio, not visual. The view from the opposite building did not allow for an actual seeing of the event, or a knife. What these folks heard were screams; and indeed, some had concluded that it was a domestic dispute, and therefore none of their business. In addition, the #38 appears to have been an exaggeration.

2. A number of (audio) witnesses were not indifferent. Some called the police to report the incident; one woman ran down the stairs and held Kitty in her arms while she died.

The tale of “callous New Yorkers” made for good press, for the kind of story that captures the imagination, and gets an entire nation indignant and aroused; but there are shades of gray here that seriously modify that picture. Plus, the initial reporter was dishonest, and “Honest Abe” little more than a corrupt hustler.

Of course, times have changed. These days, no American cares if someone is getting murdered; no American wants to get involved. The Queens of 2019 is a very different one from the Queens of 1964. In addition, the concern with the truth bit the dust long ago, in the United States. Abe Rosenthal is hardly an exception any more. Which leads me to wonder how many other “urban legends,” or stuff we tell ourselves (Iran is evil, My Lai was an exception, the Internet creates community, etc.), is little more than fairy tales for adults.

mb

4:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: For example, how many Americans still believe Iraq had weapons of mass destruction?

7:46 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Of Course he did....This is what Americans DO...Stuff like this isn’t even newsworthy anymore...it’s not an aberration anymore.


A man was killed in March when he looked at another driver at a red light, Phoenix, Ariz., police said.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/phoenix-police-red-light-driver-killed-looking

8:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

Apparently Elliott had a bad temper (duh). Check out the face: America! (brrr) I'm always impressed that folks like this never think for a moment that if you kill this guy, you'll ruin yr life. No: he looked at me/I'll kill him. These people are 100% Id. But then, so is the gov't, so are the corporations, so are...

mb

8:21 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@MB--re: random shootings. Living in America, aren't these random shooters' lives already ruined? I mean, how much worse could prison be than working long hours at some shit job sans retirement benefits for a petty tyrant who makes your life a living hell?

@MB--Kitty Genovese case--I think in this instance the dishonesty of Rosenthal did some real societal damage in that it was a key moment in the demonization of the big cities by cultural conservatives, and the beginning of the notion that street crime was out of control thanks to the Earl Warren-led Supreme Court. The decades that followed saw the acceleration of "white flight" and the hollowing out of the cities. Nixon and Reagan, of course, would then go on to capitalize politically on these developments.

@Tim--whether there is a kickback or not the bottom line is, as I tried to emphasize with the example of the Impeach... shirts, is that more capitalism--in any form--is self-defeating to leftist causes since most people will just buy the merchandise believing that is the way you make a difference. There was a time when people on the left knew that action is what matters, not empty gestures (particularly not empty gestures that will sooner or later end up in a landfill). Imagine MLK or Malcolm X selling t-shirts with their images on it, for example. They and Che Guevara have to be spinning in their graves at what has been done to commercialize their legacies and defang what they stood for.

9:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bill-

I'm not sure these Id-shooters are spending too much time weighing the alternatives. I mean, they *could* reflect on the fact that prison involves sodomy, for example, plus a lot of beatings; but I guess they don't. As for Rosenthal: gd pt! I hadn't thought of that. My own interest is in the research passion it aroused among academics, journalists, free-lance writers, and other intellectuals. The Kitty Case became a kind paradigm, a huge explanatory structure that fueled a large literature and a great # of careers. This is "True Believer" stuff (Hoffer). One thing intellectuals apparently need to do is find a paradigm and then live inside it forever. Kittyism, in this case. (Plus think of all the dinner party discussions on the Upper East Side. Oo la la!)

mb

9:50 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Ah, college days. Tailgate parties, football games, mixers at the fraternity, and rampant criminality.

Felicity Huffmann is expected to begin her two-week incarceration on 25 October for her role in the Varsity Blues college admissions scandal. Lori Loughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli will hold a status conference on 2 October in anticipation of their trial in connection with the same sordid affair; they’ve decided to roll the dice and could face 20 years if convicted.

With this as backdrop, we learn now that another child of privilege, Thomas Gilbert Jr., has just been sentenced to life in prison after a failed insanity defense was rejected in June. Thirty-five-year-old Princeton graduate Gilbert—go Tigers!—spent his time skiing, partying, and spending his thousand-dollar-a-week allowance from his hedge-fund father but never held a steady job. When his father cut his allowance five years ago, Thomas confronted him in the parents’ East Side apartment, and shot and killed him.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/27/nyregion/thomas-gilbert-murder-sentence.html

9:55 PM  
Blogger Rosegarden said...

Front page news in the 25 September issue of the Tribune-Review (under photos of Trump and Pelosi) “Super Steelers Fan Receives Hall of Fame Treatment.”

Rick Holman is in the new “Hall of Fans” exhibit at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. As a college student in 2001 he sold all of his possessions, including his car, to buy football tickets. He has not missed a game. He stated he owes a lot to his wife, Melissa, and three children who support his love of the game. The children are so-o-o-o adorable in little jerseys and black and gold hair adornments. Holman cried when famous quarterback Terry Bradshaw tossed a football to him in his driveway. While touring the Hall of Fame, Holman reported Bradshaw cried as well. Ford Motor Company selected Holman through a Google search. His reward? He is in a TV commercial for Ford cars. His occupation? He teaches American history at the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School. (Disclosure: I am a retired public school teacher.) I have no way of knowing what is in Holman’s lesson plans. I cried when I considered what his children and students may be indirectly learning. A slightly different online version of the article can be found here.

10:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jas-

I'm hoping Lori gets 100 yrs w/o parole. Plus be required to write on a notepad, every day, 500 times, "I am a douche bag." Finally, to have her shoes peed on every evening, by anyone volunteering for the job. This wd be justice.

mb

10:31 PM  
Anonymous troutbum said...


Dr. MB and all Wafers worldwide,

Sadly, I learned of the death of the fellow traveler Immanuel Wallerstein on Aug., 31, 2019. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/10/books/immanuel-wallerstein-dead.html

If you can find them, read his 4 volume series "The Modern World System".

5:31 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

REMINDER: BLOG WILL BE CLOSED DURING OCT. 1-6. PLEASE DO NOT POST DURING THAT TIME. THANK YOU!

MB

7:25 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

I’m guessing every gov’t program is under siege yet messing with someone’s housing is especially cruel - philosophy is “pass a program, let the free market negate it.”

https://www.denverpost.com/2019/09/30/section-8-housing-voucher-discrimination-colorado/

Wishing you a wonderful retreat MB, see you on the 7th

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

MB & Wafers,

Just a short note before you go offline. FINALLY got my copy of Genio, and finished it in one night. Fantastic! I believe you've got the Italian essence. Fascinating details on all, but I had never heard of Marinetti. What a guy, with that Mussolini-like pose. Thanks!

It will be tough without the blog!

10:11 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Bill-

Thanks for your clarification. Much appreciated. Please
be assured we are on the same page.

Cheers

11:34 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

This is the result of both Republican and Democratic policies:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/09/26/income-inequality-america-highest-its-been-since-census-started-tracking-it-data-show/

The crucial divide in the US is not between the pro and anti Trump voters, but rather between the rich and the poor. This gap will most likely never narrow, and we can expect some form of Trumpism to persist.

Have a nice holiday, MB.

Catch you guys on the flip side,

Miles

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

If you will be in 'mur'ka, do not mention that you vote for the Democrats.
I caught fascist talk show when some caller insists that Democrats and
Satan are conspiring to sell 'mur'ka out to the Chinese. The advice
from this Vietnam vet was to start putting bullets into their heads as
he did in Vietnam. One wonders why they still have a broadcast licence
and NO 15-sec delay to screen out the loonie redneck patriots.

4:08 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

The USA chews people up and spits them out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cc-bYuvd44A

A black guy has a "radio" voice as well as a crack addiction, and he becomes a superstar. A black guy with schizophrenia sort of plays the cello, and has a book and movie made about him ("The Soloist") but this lady's been performing so well, no crazy, not drug-addicted, and no one cares? She looks "housebroken" and unlikely to waste money on "rocks" or threaten people, and the only reason she's clutching her bags and cart as she sings is she's learned through hard experience that they'll disappear immediately otherwise.

6:13 AM  
Anonymous Ashton said...

This is one of the most astonishing prison reporting scoops I can remember seeing. Read this. Watch this.

Shocking as it is, I hear All. These. Allegations in Texas prisons, too. Some, I saw first-hand in New York prisons.

The footage is rare. The conditions it shows are not

SPECIAL REPORT: Over a period of years, a convicted drug trafficker used specially rigged eyeglasses fitted with hidden cameras and a hollowed-out Bible with a lens peeking through the O in HOLY to capture the violent world inside this Florida prison. https://amp.miamiherald.com/news/special-reports/florida-prisons/article235623292.html

8:21 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

I'm back. During the meditation retreat, I achieved the highest level of consciousness possible in the history of the human race.

mb

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Josie said...

https://www.thenation.com/article/capitalism-religion-eugene-mccarraher-interview/

Has Capitalism Become Our Religion?
We talk with historian Eugene McCarraher about the myths and rituals of the market, the lost radicalism of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the rise of neoliberalism.
By Daniel Steinmetz-Jenkins
October 4, 2019

11:22 AM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EscI-TTyms4

Speaking of meditating...meditate how glad you are that you will not be going
to this high school when it is completed. How come the design did not include
a tall wall as recommended by Pres. Dumpster?

1:49 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...


Doctor Berman,
Welcome back. While you were away Genio arrived in the mail for me. I knocked it off in one day. It's a very good book.
Suffice it to say, 99 percent of Americans probably never have heard of the Italian geniuses like Giovanni Bernini, Michelangelo Caravaggio, and Antonio Gramsci whom you mention in it. They also probably haven't heard of Federico Fellini nor any of his great movies like La Strada. Americans' idea of a good movie is Deadpool; and their idea of a political theorist isn't Gramsci but someone like Sean Hannity.

3:40 PM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

Glad to have the greatest blog on earth and the GSWH back!

America's healthcare system is a corrupt sham

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/07/study-reveals-265-billion-wasted-on-health-care-each-year-in-us.html

And here's a way to distract poor people-- habits that will make them rich! When a pile of doodoo passes as journalism

https://www.businessinsider.com/good-habits-of-self-made-millionaires

5:12 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

The New Monasticism....


https://medium.com/dude-jitsu-for-everyday-life-leisure/the-new-monasticism-4d34a3071497

7:33 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Noted playwright and political thinker John Steppling calls out the Extinction Rebellion for its lack of class consciousness and even its racism: No Class. "I do not consider the side show carnival of Greta and the Prince of Monaco, Arnold and Barack, and eugenicist scum like David Attenborough (as an Brit friend of mine referred to him, 'that old racist tosspot') as serious. The Green New Deal is western Capital laying claim to a new market. And Attenborough and Goodall both are members of the anti immigration (Malthusian) group Population Matters...How many participants in any of the climate meetings were without brand new smart phones?

"Consider the unthinking reflexive adoration of Greta and the kids. And then consider the history of capitalism, of neo-liberalism. Consider just the history over the last thirty years. Greta is not anti-capitalist. She has carefully never said capitalism is a system destroying the planet."

Steppling considers pollution to be a greater immediate threat than global warming, and I agree with him on that point. But if you call out the polluters, you have to call out all the world's largest corporations--not just the "evil" oil and gas industries. Then there is the "inconvenient" fact that the U.S. military is the largest polluter on the planet. But Greta will never say that either.

8:21 PM  
Anonymous Smithfield said...

And what is Nietzsche? A mobile army of metaphors? ⁦Nietzsche’s Eternal Return
Why thinkers of every political persuasion keep finding inspiration in the philosopher.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/10/14/nietzsches-eternal-return

8:24 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Sri Bermananda, I bow to your lotus feet and welcome you back to Kali Yuga, the darkest of ages, where you remain a beacon of serenity, or whatever. Namaste, Gurudev!

10:31 PM  
Anonymous Noel Cummings said...

https://www.newsweek.com/exclusive-official-who-heard-call-says-trump-got-rolled-turkey-has-no-spine-1463623

Exclusive from Jim LaPorta: NSC source who heard Trump’s call with Erdogan says Trump got “rolled” by Turkey & that “U.S. national security has entered a state of increased danger for decades to come because the president has no spine and that's the bottom line”

8:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sar-

I tell ya, I'm so enlightened I cd just shit.

Bill-

Still, this is a rebellion worth having. It can't do everything, after all, and I think leaving capitalism aside for the moment and focusing on this one horrible thing--the destruction of the planet, which at least implies capitalist activity--is something we need to demonstrate abt. I just can't put these folks, including Greta, down.

Joe-

A lot of Americans never heard of Italy, and certainly can't locate it on a world map. But sales of Genio are thru the roof: the bk may reach .000001% of the American population!

mb

9:18 AM  
Anonymous Hans Castorp said...

Nice interview with the author of “McMindfulness”:

“Mindfulness is complicit with the smooth functioning of capitalism and its institutions, and that is because mindfulness is extremely conservative. How else can we explain why it has been so warmly received by governments, corporations, and educational institutions? Mindfulness tells us the problem is our minds rather than with these institutions and how they function. So, of course, they love it.“

http://blog.lareviewofbooks.org/interviews/panopticon-mind-talking-ronald-purser-mindfulness-today/

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

More fall out from being a good citizen and testifying against the police.

" most thinking people see a dangerous, inescapable conclusion to be drawn. There is no peace, no safety, no protection for people who testify against the police."

https://crooksandliars.com/2019/10/one-witness-against-amber-guyger-murdered

And for those who somehow think the US military will be a bulwark against totalitarianism there is this from Alternet:

https://www.alternet.org/2019/10/military-expert-warns-support-for-trump-in-the-us-armed-forces-is-downright-cult-like-and-creating-frightening-divisions-in-the-ranks/

Just a few of the many stories of the American decline while you were away meditating.

12:04 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Stephen Kinzer on Sidney Gottlieb and MK-Ultra:

https://www.commonwealthclub.org/events/archive/podcast/stephen-kinzer-mind-control-and-cia

Miles

12:40 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

WB MB, definitely missed the blog, I too am reading Genio, even a functionally illiterate dipshit like me can enjoy. To help reboot GBOE here’s a story abt a professor’s proclivity for strip clubs - it’s probably good to burn a straw man every so often, bonus pts for him being African American with a hard to pronounce name.

https://www.inquirer.com/news/strip-club-philly-drexel-university-chikaodinaka-dwankpa-federal-grants-20191007.html

This story just makes me sad:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/08/us/joshua-brown-amber-guyger-witness.html

Suggested Turkey anthem:

https://youtu.be/qE_Z6_2TNG0





12:41 PM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Glad to hear that your meditation retreat was so enlightening.

Andrew Bacevich compares what Trump may or may not have done to provoke the strategy of impeachment by the democrats with what the elites behind this strategy have done to Americans and the Middle East since the beginning of the twenty-first century. Of course what the elites have done is not being questioned or even inquired about by anyone outside of the alternative press.

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176613/tomgram%3A_andrew_bacevich%2C_high_crimes_and_misdemeanors_of_the_fading_american_century/#more

1:16 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

Matt Taibi has a fantastic article about the Trump Impeachment and how fishy it is.

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/political-commentary/whistleblower-ukraine-trump-impeach-cia-spying-895529/amp/

Even my own mother became an idiot over this subject when I linked this article. Americans are interesting. All that matters to them is Style not substance. For some reason a smooth talking jackass in Obama, commiting heinous crimes and want not is fine just be sure to talk eloquently!

1:30 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Welcome back Rajneesh MB,

On this side of the pond, looks like the UK is heading towards a no-deal Brexit. Only 3 weeks left before we find out. If BoJo pulls it off who knows what's next. Scotland and Ireland seceding, riots in the UK, financial crisis and other European countries breaking up - i.e. Catalonia in Spain. Could be a real Suez moment.

Go BoJo you're da man! Hegel would be proud!

Kanye

3:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Gd hearing from you all. My enlightenment has no limits. People are calling me Sri. I may have surpassed Gurdjieff Level 48.

Kanye-

I actually predicted much of this 'balkanization' in the Reenchantment bk (1981). And this was before my elevation to godlike status of last wk.

mb

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Cody Simpson said...

“China is about to become..an AI-powered techno-totalitarian state. The project aims to form not only a new kind of state but a new kind of human being, one who has internalised the demands of the state and the completeness of its surveillance and control”

“To be a [Chinese] urban millennial is to be in a state of constant anxiety about being left behind by technology, missing out on the latest lifestyle fad, or not getting enough likes for an Instagram post”

https://www.lrb.co.uk/v41/n19/-shengyun/chinas-millennials

5:20 PM  
Anonymous Stein Stein said...

Did Diderot’s Legacy Live Up To His Genius? — How the 18th-Century Philosopher Was Forgotten and Rediscovered.(Painting by Louis-Michel van Loo, 1767)

@

https://lithub.com/did-diderots-legacy-live-up-to-his-genius/

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Spiess said...

- Man in rural Mississippi fails to pay a fine.
- Sentenced to two days in jail (already a problem)
- Sheriff makes a mistake,
- Man spends 54 days in jail before committing suicide even though he was placed under suicide watch.

https://www.courant.com/sns-bc-us--jail-suicide-lawsuit-20191002-story.html

6:25 PM  
Anonymous Niget, William said...

"Anger and hatred are the materials from which hell is made. A mind without anger is cool, fresh, and sane."
― Thich Nhat Hanh
|
|
anger < innerpeace

7:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Berman, now that you are 'godlike', can you give us peons some more wisdom that we can imbibe? I just finished your Italian book and am starting on the Japanese one along with a few others your ilk. You continually amaze me with your pre-enlightenment erudition. I'm sure you have many more little nuggets in your pack to amaze us with!
Jim of Olym

8:11 PM  
Anonymous Ibsen said...

You should all listen to this podcast: http://davidharvey.org/2018/11/new-podcast-david-harveys-anti-capitalist-chronicles/
I think in particular that the last episode (or whatever they call it in podcast language), "Alienation part 2", was good. It explains a lot of what is going today in the world in a clear way.

8:48 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

then there's this:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/09/brexit-crisis-global-capitalism-britain-place-world

Namaste.

Kanye

5:22 AM  
Anonymous The Right Way Or The Highway said...

"Our present headache: a superhighway system jammed with people fleeing not from disaster but from the very city that is supposed to offer all the benefits that make life desirable."
—Lewis Mumford, 1968

9:55 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tom-

Too long, chico; half pg max. Thanks.

Jim-

In future, pls check in as Jim, not Anon. As for my enlightenment: know that I know all and see all. Everything you need to know to live your life is on this blog--and I mean everything.

Wm-

I love Thich.

Cody-

The Matrix. Also "The Circle" (Eggers).

mb

11:09 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This is nice:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/oct/09/nine-year-old-charged-with-of-five-people-in-trailer-park-fire

11:17 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Noam Chomsky has a thought experiment that goes "try to distance your point of view and see human life the way an alien would on first contact."

https://youtu.be/h0qdbsE3Jqo

Frontline has a new documentary 'On The President's Order' about Duterte's War on Drugs in the Philippines. When I apply Chomsky's suggestion I think, 'So, this is what all the fuss was about,'eh?' What a way to go, as a cleansing fire beckons, this is only just the beginning. (name another species that eats itself and everything in its path)

https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/film/on-the-presidents-orders/

3:30 PM  
Anonymous Childer said...

Doris Lessing wove space exploration, migration, climate change and social disintegration into novels that seem astonishingly prescient today. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-02992-9

7:02 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Jim - Surprised you're go-go-Greta. I thought you wanted it all to burn down.

But wait, there's (no) hope according to some; look into the global masking effect AKA the "McPherson Paradox" maybe we'll need airliners and coal-rollers for a bit longer.

7:36 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Meant Morris, not Jim. Please edit as desired.

7:37 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

Italiana you said "Been silent due to guests who stayed too long - Americans, clueless and 'insufferable' (my husband's term). Folks we hadn't seen in years. Let that be a lesson to us!" I hope I'm not coming off as an ass but if I do I apologize. The way I speak may be harsh and I may not realize it. Ok, if they were staying to long then why didn't you and your husband tell them to leave? If you don't like someone in your home then why wouldn't you kick them out? Am I missing something?

Dr. B Are these turkeys dancing in the rain like Gene Kelly?

10:06 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Degrowth for fun and profit-

"...This is a finite planet. There is a finite amount of energy. There is finite efficiency of converting it by animals and crops. And there are certain sensitivities in terms of biogeochemical cycles, which will tolerate only that much. I mean, that should be obvious to anybody who’s ever taken some kind of kindergarten biology. Unfortunately, this is a society where nobody’s taking kindergarten biology […] This is a new civilization we have. People are totally detached from reality. If you are attached, at least a bit, to reality, all of this is common sense."

"This is a big deal. Smil is one of the few mainstream figures to be making such a strong, vocal case for what many people ideologically closer to the left—and radical environmentalists—have long been calling for: economic degrowth. Mainstream economists have invariably dismissed the idea out of hand. The economic growth mandate, after all, has been one of the most important ideological ballasts holding steady the neoliberal consensus. Prior to this consensus, economists like Adam Smith reasonably factored material limits into their ideas..."

https://www.currentaffairs.org/2019/10/we-need-a-fair-way-to-end-infinite-growth

Ah, who cares? As if degrowth is even an option. Methane bubbling from underwater as permafrost keeps defrosting...

https://www.newsweek.com/methane-boiling-sea-discovered-siberia-1463766

10:11 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Good day Dr Berman and Wafers

Might be an interesting read ::

https://www.amazon.com/Obamas-Unending-Wars-Fronting-Permanent/dp/1949762009/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=JEREMY+KUZMAROV&qid=1570675782&sr=8-1

A Nobel Peace prize recipient no less.

Excerpt:
“Passing unnoticed in much of the media, Obama’s latter observation showed the significance of his presidency in institutionalizing a permanent warfare state. In 2016, the U.S. dropped 26,171 tons of bombs in seven countries (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Somalia), equivalent to nearly three bombs every hour, 24 hours a day. Special Forces could be found in 138 countries, a jump of 130 percent from the previous Bush administration. Obama further brokered more arms sales than any other president since the Second World War, with a 54% increase over Bush, sanctioned more entities, and authorized over 10 times more drone strikes.“

10:57 PM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Greetings MB & Wafers,

So glad you're back, and well and truly enlightened! We all missed you and the greatest blog!

For something to help the NMI, here's Maria Popova's Brain Pickings - Mid-Week Pick me up, on E.F. Schumacher's book "Small Is Beautiful: Economics As If People Mattered":

https://www.brainpickings.org/2014/07/07/buddhist-economics-schumacher/?mc_cid=696464557f&mc_eid=affaf06daa

One excerpt: "The Buddhist point of view takes the function of work to be at least threefold: to give a man a chance to utilize and develop his faculties; to enable him to overcome his ego-centeredness by joining with other people in a common task; and to bring forth the goods and services needed for a becoming existence. Again, the consequences that flow from this view are endless. To organize work in such a manner that it becomes meaningless, boring, stultifying, or nerve-racking for the worker would be little short of criminal; it would indicate a greater concern with goods than with people, an evil lack of compassion and a soul-destroying degree of attachment to the most primitive side of this worldly existence."

2:11 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

@MB,

Didn't you once advise us to stay away from anyone who gets interviewed by Oprah?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJ9UtuWfs3U

I ordered "Silence" a couple of years back upon recommendation on this blog, and it felt like reading your typical McMindfulness book catering to a neoliberal, individualistic and well-off audience - i.e. YOU and YOUR use of cellphones is the only thing responsible for the ills of the world, and breathing with attention will change that and make all the problems of the world go away. Seriously dude? I made a quick search on Amazon/Google, the guy has got retreat centers (Plum Village) all over the world and tons of books with catchy titles listed on Amazon. I am sorry, but this guy is just another hustler dressed as a monk.

Kanye

3:50 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

A rare author who seems to realize that the American people are complicit in the crimes of their leaders:

". . . hankering after the ease of a society in which there is no necessity to form a core of values beyond the practical calculation of personal and social advantage."

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/ellen-degeneres-and-the-american-psychopath/

6:23 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

Al Gore says we can "win."

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/20/opinion/al-gore-climate-change.html

Time will tell.

7:20 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Welcome back Dr. Berman. In declinism news:
Many elderly and disabled Americans are going hungry.

https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2019/09/30/Many-elderly-disabled-Americans-are-going-hungry-study-finds/1091569862132/

STD rates in America have reached a record high. “A new government report finds that combined cases of syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia reached an all-time high in 2018.”

https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2019/10/08/STD-rates-in-US-reached-all-time-high-in-2018-CDC-says/6761570552379/?mpst=1

8:12 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kanye-

As for Oprah, even the devil can quote Scripture. I've read Hanh's bks, I've seen him lecture. IMO, he's the real deal. As for politics: he was pretty heroic during the VN war. Of course "mindfulness" can be used for political quietism, and even worse (see Brian Victoria, "Zen at War"), and the US Army trains with it, as do major corporations. But negative uses are not the only uses. One can be 'mindful' and political as well. E.g., see post by Italiana on Buddhist economics.

Tim-

What a sham that guy was--a liberal 'darling'. But then he's black, and Madeleine Albright was a woman, and Condi Rice.....

alex-

The US yes; the planet, no. There's a difference.

Childer-

She was fabulous. I have read much of her work. Add Ursula LeGuin to that list.

mb

8:53 AM  
Anonymous Lia said...

MB /

Are you more of a Huxley or Orwell guy?

Wafers /

Same question.

3:13 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tis2aQr7cmQ&feature=youtu.be
You get the illusion of 'mur'kan dream in just ONE minute.

3:47 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

The people in a position to control countries and shape economies, and the citizens that cheer them on will never subscribe to the notion of degrowth. (Mantra of the Upwardly Mobile: “Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes-Benz, My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends.”)

“Today's degrowth movement has its roots in France: In the early 2000s, University of Paris-Sud professor of economic anthropology Serge Latouche began to write passionately about décroissance in Le Monde Diplomatique. While it paid homage to the Limits to Growth report, décroissance expanded on the concept. The question was no longer if there was a limit to growth. The new question was much bigger: How can we self-impose a limit to growth when our entire economic and political structure is based on it? How do we organize a society that delivers high levels of human well-being in the context of a shrinking economy? “
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/bj9yjq/the-radical-plan-to-save-the-planet-by-working-less

The irony is this: even if everyone were to agree that degrowth is necessary and should be implemented planetwide, the phenomenon of global dimming/aerosol masking suggests that reducing growth won’t save us. Greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere will continue the heating for years/decades, and the reduction/elimination of fossil-fuel aerosols will allow even more radiation to enter the atmosphere. What to do, what to do?

“Despite concerns over global warming, scientists have discovered something that may have actually limited the impact of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere in recent years by reducing the amount of sunlight reaching the surface of the Earth.
Https://www.earth.columbia.edu/articles/view/903

4:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Lia-

Both were rt. Depends on political context.

mb

5:49 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Of Course they did....because starting with this so-called President, there is no law and order anymore in today’s America.


16 police officers participated in an elaborate cover-up after Laquan McDonald's death, report alleges.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/10/us/chicago-inspector-general-laquan-mcdonald-shooting/index.html

7:51 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

MB - while officially I am required to believe USA == the world, I agree, there's only hope for the latter if the former does indeed burn.

The global dimming effect is a huge factor, and the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is generally considered to be high enough to have "baked in" a global temperature like the Pliocene. A sudden "wave a magic wand" cease in industrial activity could have us literally cooking in weeks. As McPherson had observed, while humans are pretty adaptable, the plants and animals they depend on are not.

If there is hope, it is probably through a gradual decrease in industrial activity and human population, plus perhaps global-scale programs like sulfur injection into the atmosphere, decrease in cattle farming, etc.

11:01 PM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

Good Evening Wafers,

Seeing this report from Germany caught my eye, because it looks like so many that happen in the US. Seems like more and more of these are happening in the West.

"German synagogue shooting was far-right terror, justice minister says" https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-50003759

And more corruption affecting Chicago police: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/xwe784/heres-how-chicago-cops-really-covered-up-the-murder-of-laquan-mcdonald

11:59 PM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

America seems to be suffering from a plague of "niceness". The appearance of caring without really having to go through the effort of getting to know someone. The cashier at the bank who acts like she has been your best friend since grammar school. The checkout person at the grocery store who treats everyone as if they were part of one big family and calls you "darlin" or "honey". The phone center caller who has never met you but calls you by your first name. Fake familiarity and "friendliness" not to build a community of mutual respect and care but in the service of capitalism and everlasting growth. One might refer to it as the "Joker" syndrome - forced by deformity (of the moral kind) to smile 24/7.Take, for example, the strange encounter of Ellen and George:


https://www.truthdig.com/articles/ellen-degeneres-and-the-american-psychopath/

5:07 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

@MB,

Fair enough, but getting interviewed by Oprah is still crossing the line. No matter how enlightened you are, you just can't.

Kanye

5:28 AM  
Anonymous Opalescent said...

https://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-mh-why-did-nbc-pay-chelsea-clinton-20140616-column.html

Why did NBC reportedly pay Chelsea Clinton $600,000 a year?

The news networks have become a patronage system for political families as well as intelligence and law enforcement officials

10:56 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kanye-

I think we can give Hanh a pass. He has done so much gd in the world, after all; and given his record in VN, he can hardly be accused of Oprism, i.e. the New Age belief that your thoughts create reality. Try being just a tad more flexible.

trying-

Have a nice day! (smiley face here)

mb

11:06 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: I'd be willing to appear on Oprah if she let me read the "Oprah" section of the 3rd story in my bk "Destiny." God, wd that ever be a hoot.

11:07 AM  
Anonymous Joshua Rezaz said...

https://www.businessinsider.com/american-billionaires-paid-less-taxes-than-working-class-wealth-gap-2019-10

American billionaires paid less in taxes in 2018 than the working class, analysis shows — and it's another sign that one of the biggest problems in the US is only getting worse

11:11 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Botox Face Speaks:

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/10/08/politics/hillary-clinton-donald-trump-tweet-2020/index.html?iid=ob_lockedrail_topeditorial

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Georgian said...

LINK - A man who had spent 1,181 days in the Fulton County Jail was released Wednesday after he was found not guilty of 21 felonies:

His attorney said the man only wanted to buy a $10 bag of marijuana, which nearly cost him his life and freedom. https://www.ajc.com/news/crime--law/man-acquitted-murder-after-years-jail-just-wanted-pot-attorney-says/hPFCUCioU3Oe97dBYym8aK/amp.html

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Hello Wafers and MB,

A lot of Wafers read Kunstler's blog, but if you haven't read it today, check it out:

https://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/in-memorium-reality/#more-11056'

Kunstler writes about the unraveling of the banking system along with the political system. I guess the old saying "follow the money" applies here. Our politicians will follow the money right down the shithole until there's no more money. Then the barbarians will prevail, at least here in the good ol' USA where it's every man for himself. I'm an NMI in that I've learned how to grow food and preserve it. I'll be okay until some guy with a sawed-off shotgun comes and takes it.

Dr. Berman, I hope you came home safely and at least are as enlightened as a GE 100 watt LED bulb. Those bulbs stay enlightened for 13 years, and I hope you last even longer.

It's beautiful today up here on the frozen tundra. Global warming is working out pretty good for my neck of the woods. Have a good day Wafers!

12:39 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Hi MB,

I was walking downtown today & spotted some folks calling themselves "protesting" against perpetual wars. The whole effort was quite laughable. It's a bit late @ this pt for Amerikkkans to be "protesting", dontcha think? Since the experiment is long over & its fate been sealed.

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

https://www.oddee.com/toilet-named-america-stolen-from-museum-exhibit-50049/

Toilet named "America"??? Which Wafer is the culprit?

2:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sarah-

Core of problem: Americans are dumb. There is simply no avoiding this fact. At least 99% of what is currently going on in the US is theater, or an outright joke.

Mike-

I think I may be up to 150 watts by now. :-)

Wafers-

Time to refresh yr post-its: DOUCHE BAGS OUT OF CONTROL

mb

5:31 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Another awesome American

https://nypost.com/2019/10/11/nj-man-allegedly-threatened-farmers-who-denied-him-sex-with-animals/

9:48 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Opalescent - Meanwhile political cartoonists are being fired from major papers for being ... political cartoonists.

https://rall.com/2019/10/01/the-new-york-times-called-a-famous-cartoonist-an-anti-semite-repeatedly-they-didnt-ask-him-for-comment

(Yes I know the cartoon - which the fired cartoonists had utterly nothing to do with - is considered controversial, although while it seems to be about Israel in some way it could as well be about black/white relations or women's rights or any damn thing.)

11:24 PM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Greetings MB & Wafers,

@cubeangel - no worries, no offense taken. We didn't throw them out because I didn't want to sever ties to the wife, who I went to college with many years ago. (It was hubby that was "insufferable".) They are also not used to being in Europe, and had no place to go. They finally left with our encouragement/help. (I tend to be non-confrontational these days - comes with age, I think.) But it taught us (especially me!) a big lesson about guests - be very clear about dates, and especially expectations.

Meanwhile, climate change is threatening N.American birds with extinction. This is what our system has wrought. https://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/10/11/study-predicts-frightening-future-north-american-birds-two-thirds-species-extinct

3:15 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Interesting article on the connection between American free trade policies, job losses and the opioid epidemic.

https://www.statnews.com/2019/10/08/free-trade-policies-opioid-epidemic/

7:13 AM  
Anonymous Mila said...

HOLY WOW there are a lot of American companies doing pro-China censorship!!!

https://www.reddit.com/r/worldnews/comments/dfc6qi/comment/f32iio0

10:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Bk rec: Haruki Murakami, "Killing Commendatore."

mb

11:13 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This is nice:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/education/2019/10/11/latina-novelist-spoke-about-white-privilege-students-burned-her-book-response/

So what else is new?:

https://edition.cnn.com/us/live-news/brooklyn-shooting-crown-heights-new-york/index.html

mb

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Luciano said...

The Myth of a Wilderness Without Humans
For over a century, conflicting views of wild nature created a rift between indigenous people and misguided conservationists.

One way to guarantee a conversation without a conclusion is to ask a group of people what nature is.
—Rebecca Solnit

Provocative essay by Mark Dowie: The Myth of a Wilderness Without Humans | The MIT Press Reader https://thereader.mitpress.mit.edu/the-myth-of-a-wilderness-without-humans/

12:18 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

Hey MB

About the book burning of that Latina author. It seems to me this anti-racism anti-white privilege campaign seems to be having the opposite effect.

This left-liberal concept of celebrating differences, seems to be igniting more ethnic tensions. I remember the doofus Richard Spencer saying that this inclusivity culture that centers on race did nothing but build a race conscious in whites and the cause of white nationalism.

It seems to me that the only tangible benefit to the current identity politics and anti-racism initiative are corporations and centrists elites.

1:18 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

WHY was she even allowed to procreate and become a mother in the first place?

PARENT LICENSING NOW!!!

A healthy boy was taken to the hospital 320 times, had 13 surgeries...

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/healthy-boy-went-hospitals-320-times-had-13-surgeries-his-n1065406

1:53 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Thanks Larry, thanks Sergey.

Google has made “substantial” contributions to some of the most notorious climate deniers in Washington despite its insistence that it supports political action on the climate crisis.

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/11/google-contributions-climate-change-deniers?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

“Don’t be Evil” my ass.

2:39 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

MB,

We don't have to agree on everything.

I guess living a real NMI life until the very end, in the shadows, eschewing fame, triple-digit book sales on Amazon and fully-booked 500$ retreats in the South of France is a very rare appanage. Reich didn't go on Oprah, and died in prison. THAT's real courage and consistency IMO.

I don't mean to be beating a dead horse, and I am sure Hanh is a good person deep down, but I am just so fed up with all these enlightened gurus. It's so déjà vu already. I just wish someone would *really* stand out from the crowd, but I've yet to see it happen.

Kanye

4:26 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Since Greta came to Colorado to sing praise to the choir it got me to thinking instead of rallying the troops she should head on over to California and actually present a plan of action. Lead the protestors to The Presidio and demand rationed electricity, $15/ gallon gasoline, and a flight from SF to NYC that costs $3000. Everything else is just noise

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/10/californias-blackout-warning/599851/

5:31 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

There's a lot of that going around, alex carter. A few weeks ago, Bill Maher had a guest who called Jeremy Corbyn an antisemite, and nobody, con or prog, batted an eye or challenged her on it. The Israeli hasbarniks has been quite successful in linking opposition to Israel's deeds with antisemitism.

5:44 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Back w/ another anecdote. This time I was riding with a friend whose car had a sunroof. I was poking my head thru said sunroof when suddenly the po-pos stopped us for about 15-20 mins. I guess they had nothing better 2 do eh?

U can get thrown in a cage for almost anything in this shithole. I really don't see a future for me here

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Wolf J. Flywheel said...

Run, don't walk, and pickup Matt Taibbi's latest book, Hate, Inc. - a reworking of Chomsky’s seminal Manufacturing Consent and so much more. Refreshing is Taibbi's frequent admissions of his own culpability in the news game; he doesn't only play the blame game. His "Ten Rules of Hate" and news as "WWE Wrestling" are at once disturbing and hilarious. And a special treat for longtime DAA participants: When speaking about a speech given by Dennis Kucinich in which the candidate quoted "the likes of Jung, ... and the humanist sociologist Morris Berman."

I'm nearly finished with the book, but couldn't wait to share it with the Wafers as it addresses many points discussed here.

11:37 AM  
Blogger Tim said...

Good Day Dr Berman and Wafers

Yes the rule may be repugnant but associating the rule
with the myth of 'The American Dream' reference seems
to be rather misplaced. A Federal judge no less.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-immigration/judge-blocks-trump-immigration-rule-calls-it-repugnant-to-american-dream-idUSKBN1WQ2G7

12:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wolf-

Haven't read it, but to me "manufacturing consent" has rather serious limits. It omits the role of Americans in validating our way of life. Blaming elites obscures this fact. The "false consciousness" argument can be taken only so far. Most Americans do want a Mercedes Benz, after all. Every poll confirms that they want to be part of the elite, not overthrow it, and believe that the rich deserve their wealth.

Sarah-

Intelligent people hit the rd. Gd luck!

Kanye-

He's just taking the opportunity to spread the message. Money is of no concern to him, outside of that. And he certainly *did* stand out, quite courageously. Flexibility, amigo; you really picked the wrong target for yr guru-anger.

mb

1:06 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

Matt Taibi is, as usual, spot on in his most recent public post.

https://taibbi.substack.com/p/were-in-a-permanent-coup?

The rats are really fighting hard over the carcass of Empire. Ensuring as Joe Bageant succinctly wrote " when Empires die, they die broke"

1:33 PM  
Anonymous Cole Evans said...

https://aeon.co/amp/ideas/to-make-laziness-work-for-you-put-some-effort-into-it

https://aeon.co/amp/ideas/to-make-laziness-work-for-you-put-some-effort-into-it

Good essay on idleness quiet stillness. Reminds me of the book on idleness MB recommended last year

2:02 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Kanye- re: Hanh and such: Something having exchange value does not mean that it has no use value.

2:21 PM  
Anonymous Schuster said...

So we are fucking over the Kurds, that is abominable

But yes, get out of Syria.

And Saudi Arabia.

And Iraq.

And Afghanistan.

And Yemen.

And Libya.

5:35 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Of Course they did, because this is what Americans do...we are the laughing stock of the entire world.


Three employees at a North Carolina assisted living facility have been arrested after police say they ran a fight club with elderly residents with dementia to fight each other.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/north-carolina-assisted-living-facility-dementia-fight-club

6:17 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Nesim Watani - As a 70s kid, I can say that *everyone* was highly encouraged to have a 'race consciousness" but if you were white and even whispered about it, the consequences would be severe. Most mainland whites don't have it as bad as I had, growing up in Hawaii, but you can't deny jobs, college, etc to whites for their race and not expect a backlash. Base the giving out of goodies on CLASS and individual circumstance, even though, yes, it's more difficult, and you'll automatically be helping more non-whites because most - not all - mainland whites have things pretty good.


My - and Rall's - point on the cartoon is; a cartoon by a European artist gets published in a US paper and some don't like it, therefore ALL staff cartoonists on that paper are fired. This is Pol Pot level rationality.

MB - Can you at least read the Cliff's Notes on Manufacturing Consent? wtf?

9:25 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

Italiana I understand. Since you brought up Climate change, what do you and others on here think of her? I think she is intelligent and I think she is right. But, I have Aspergers as well as she does and I can tell her as someone who is older and wiser then her (or at least I think I'm wiser. I hope so.) that most people have CRE (as Dr. B calls it) meaning they would have to take their heads out of their asses in order to get on board with her. My opinion, she needs to become a Wafer. It's the most enlightened way to be.

4:31 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

America eats its young. About half of Millennials and 75% of Gen Zers have left a job for mental health reasons as depression and deaths of despair increase among young Americans.

https://www.businessinsider.com/half-of-millennials-left-jobs-for-mental-health-reasons-2019-10

Suicide rates among young Americans are higher than previously reported.

https://wusfnews.wusf.usf.edu/post/new-uf-study-finds-suicide-higher-among-young-people-previously-reported

6:32 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

alex-

What r.u. talking abt? I'm fully apprised of 'manufacturing consent'.

mb

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Eugene Ormandy said...

The judgment of disaffected billionaires: Bill Gates Met With Jeffrey Epstein Many Times, Despite His Past
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/12/business/jeffrey-epstein-bill-gates.html

10:24 AM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

Gunnar and others: I suppose Greta is being managed by her parents, in that they determine where she will speak. If so, may I suggest that they put her in front of the Presidio and Pentagon and demand that the US Military shut itself down. That would do more to reduce greenhouse emissions than anything else she has proposed. Our"defenders" spew more CO2 junk into the air than any other polluter in America and more than some small nations.

https://www.zmescience.com/science/us-army-co2-emissions-92523634/

1:00 PM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

In USA today is Columbus Day. Some businesses and most banks will be taking the day off to remember the man responsible for the death of millions of Native Americans!

Wafers might be interested in this Dutch documentary interviewing Americans in the heartland one year after Trumps election. Cover's some different issues. Here's the link and the description of first episode.

https://www.npostart.nl/aflevering-1-zorgen-voor-zorg/19-10-2017/KN_1693702

"In one of the richest democracies in the world, it is still not self-evident that everyone has access to affordable healthcare. Teresa Gardner is the founder of the Wise County Pop Up, a large-scale free event where everyone can go for a free medical check-up. Teresa also drives her Health Truck through the area to treat people. Eva follows her efforts for a year to provide care to a community that has great difficulty keeping its head above water once the mining industry has disappeared."

2:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gee what a surprise dept.:

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/10/14/middleeast/isis-battle-wasted-gains-intl/index.html

It's getting sicker and sicker:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/10/14/fake-video-trump-killing-media-critics-shown-resort-draws-backlash/

mb

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Fisher said...

Libertarians & isolationists often ask "what would happened if we just pulled our troops out of X (or X, Y, Z & everywhere else) because the US can't be the world's police." It's usually just a counterfactual thought experiment. Not any more. Clearly there are dire consequences.

MB- What are your thoughts on libertarianism or your experience of libertarians?

Thank you very much, sir.

4:24 PM  
Anonymous Bells said...

"Over the weekend, State and Energy Dept officials were quietly reviewing plans for evacuating 50 nuclear weapons that the US had long stored, under American control, at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey"... Wow. Trump will be the first American president to lose control of a stockpile of nuclear weapons!

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/14/world/middleeast/trump-turkey-syria.html

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Cornish said...

https://www.theonion.com/nation-s-indigenous-people-confirm-they-don-t-need-spec-1839033177

Nation’s Indigenous People Confirm They Don’t Need Special Holiday, Just Large Swaths Of Land Returned Immediately

Happy Indigenous Peoles' Day

6:10 PM  
Anonymous Nikolas said...

Lady in SC rallies for higher barriers on bridge after her brat did himself in, as if there weren't other ways to kill oneself & more bridges to do it from.

www.live5news.com/2019/10/07/woman-renews-call-barriers-ravenel-bridge-after-sons-suicide/%3foutputType=amp

If Amerikkkans weren't so brain-dead, they'd wonder what's @ the root of all these suicides and take a good hard look at this society; It's amusing to me that they're too stupid to see the big picture. Onwards & downwards we go!

6:21 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

When anything arises throughout the world at the same time I get very suspicious. I’m sure that Greta is sincere, and raising awareness of climate change is definitely a good thing. However, it’s not only CO2 that’s destroying our planet and will do us in, it’s everything else as well: plastics, the burning of the rain forests, honey bee colony collapse, Fukushima, coral reef death - the list is endless. Of course the main culprit is the fact that humanity is insane, especially its belief in unending growth. We’re like a parasite or cancer, hell-bent on destroying our own web of life.

Anyway, I have to ask myself how Greta became a star, out of nowhere, supported by the "elites." How did she manage to meet the pope? Talk at the U.N? Sail across the ocean in a yacht? And because she’s a vulnerable youngster, nobody can question her about her beliefs and facts. I think she’s pretty good, but the whole scenario stinks to high heavens because she’s obviously being used.

Morris: I’ve been reading comments about the Trump video, and according to his supporters it’s a parody and those of us who are horrified need to lighten up. CRE at its finest.

7:10 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Society has already been pulled apart, even before the deep fakes...they will just be the nail in the coffin.

https://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/world-news/deepfake-videos-will-cause-worldwide-20574174


Here’s Chris Hedges imploring us all to pick up the torches and pitchforks....

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-age-of-radical-evil/

7:55 PM  
Anonymous cyrillia juniper said...

Quote of the day:

"...if a prominent person says something sensational -- even if untrue -- the press normally will report the statement exactly as spoken. ... The press simply acts as a mirror. Therefore the irrational blathering of a fool gets as much publicity as the studied wisdom of a patriotic genius, if the fool is 'news' at the time of his blather. The more violent and impossible the speech, ... the larger the headline and the more space it gets on page one."

William Lederer, 1961, in A Nation of Sheep, his followup to The Ugly American

Alas, USAians have always been a nation of turkeys.

9:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Fisher-

Lots of errors in the libertarian argument, but the biggest is the unstated assumption that the playing field is even. It isn't.

mb

10:11 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

He's basically a guitar with one (Manichaean) string. Same argument, over and over. I guess we might call him a revolutionary fundamentalist; and when folks like this get into power--watch out! And what hubris, claiming that this is the highest form of spirituality. Never mind Fellini's "La Strada," or Goethe's "Faust," or Rembrandt's self-portrait. After all, they weren't busy making the revolution, so we can just set them aside. Hedges' essay is an embarrassment to all but his devotees. And one thing is for sure, that I've mentioned b4: there will never, ever come a wake-up moment for him. People whose eyes are glazed--well, they stay glazed.

mb

11:03 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

I just returned from Portland, OR. A beautiful place this time of year, except for the smell of urine and the many homeless scattered about the city. I also did not find one good deli. Nevertheless, it's nice to be back on the blog.

Three elderly care employees have been charged for organizing a 'makeshift fight club' for dementia patients:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2019/10/14/elderly-care-staff-accused-pitting-residents-against-each-other-dementia-fight-club/

Jesus, has there ever been a more sick society as ours?

Miles

12:02 PM  
Anonymous terraplane said...

Re: shortcomings of libertarianism:

"In today's liberal democracies we are brought up to realize our potential as autonomous individuals. It is hard to envisage a time when so many people have enjoyed comparable freedoms. Yet the very exercise of these freedoms in the service of greed, aggression, and fear has led to breakdown of community, destruction of the environment, wasteful exploitation of resources, the perpetuation of tyrannies, injustices, and inequalities. Instead of creatively realizing their freedoms, many choose the unreflective conformism dictated by television, indulgence in mass-consumerism, or numbing their feelings of alienation and anguish with drugs. In theory, freedom may be held in high regard; in practice it is experienced as a dizzying loss of meaning and direction."

– S. Batchelor, Buddhism Without Beliefs, p. 110.

12:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

terra-

This was also the pt of Franzen's brilliant novel, "Freedom."

Jeff-

Clearly, a microcosm of the US. Altho I'm disappted that the 3 women didn't supply the elderly residents with guns.

mb

2:32 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

I chanced upon the YouTube video linked below and thought others might find it worth a few minutes (11 mins). Joe Rogan is interviewing Swiss-British journalist Johann Hari and their topic is loneliness and its causes. The full-length Rogan interview of the same man is on YouTube also.

Hari’s book on the subject is Lost Connections: Why You’re Depressed and How to Find Hope.

Whether his research and the solutions set out in the book offer any hope for Americans is another matter.

https://youtu.be/dscDPIf0GJI

3:06 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

MB,

I think I didn't convey my thoughts correctly so I'll give it another try. My problem isn't with Thich *per se* or the message he's trying to spread. I am not trying to pick on him or attack him personally. My problem is the seriousness and utter lack of sense of humour of Thich's writings/talks. And it's not specific to him. It's the same with Hedges, Greta, Kabat Zinn or Progs. How hard is it to slide a joke in a talk? Wouldn't that lighten up the message a little and make the content even more interesting? To illustrate my point, compare the following talk by Mathieu Ricard with one of Thich's talks on Youtube. Ricard talks about something serious BUT doesn't take himself seriously and that actually makes the audience LAUGH. I personally don't want to be part of any revolution - be it political or spiritual - if you can't have fun at the same time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbLEf4HR74E&t=469s

Kanye

3:47 PM  
Anonymous Schuster said...

Vulliamy highlights Camus’s magnificent Nobel prize acceptance speech, which was "about how the duty of a writer is to do more than write, but also testify to truth" https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/literature/1957/camus/speech/

6:34 PM  
Anonymous Flyingspaghettimonstr said...

I've got a serious question 4 MB

Do u think all these folks offing themselves would've reconsidered if they realized there was a whole other world outside Amerikkka, & that this way of life isn't the be-all-end-all?

4:50 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Flying-

Well...they probably aren't the types to read the Twilight bk, and decide on the Monastic Option. I dunno.

Kanye-

You've got a pt, altho I don't think humor is part of the Vietnamese style. Greta may be too young to think abt making jokes; Hedges, with his misguided 'advice', is grim as death warmed over--it's probably in his genes. As for Kabat Zinn, he stole my title (well, titles aren't copyright). And then, humor or no humor, the progs are boring. Anyway, rest assured that humor is a high priority on this blog and in the Wafer worldview. Ha ha.

mb

9:43 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: This is nice:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/10/16/san-antonio-woman-tampon-pulled-by-cop-cavity-search-drugs-settles-lawsuit/

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Heribert said...

"When Winston Churchill dropped his cigar in a London theater, an usher swooped in to save it. More than a half-century later, the saliva-soaked memento is going under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers on December 11."

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/winston-churchill-cigar

Gross.

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

@ Sarasvati -- I think what we're seeing with Greta is backing by a new type of stage parent. Mom & Dad obviously financed & promoted the well advertised ocean voyage & kept the spotlight trained on her. She's just a kid (like Judy Garland, Michael Jackson, etc) & easily coached & manipulated. Her parents can bask in the reflected glory of creating a "heroine" in the fight against global destruction which, you correctly pointed out, is about more than just carbon emissions. I'm not too impressed with the whole spectacle. The greatest pressure on the planet is overpopulation yet that subject is never discussed and no amount of recycling beer cans will address it.

On a lighter note, the food fights continue:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7546409/Shocking-moment-woman-22-slashes-mans-throat-Taco-Bell-told-zip-it.html

"An altercation was sparked between the pair when Luczkow entered the fast food chain in Sandy – around 30 miles east of Portland – to find Mason, dressed in a blonde wig, berating employees for taking too long with her order."

11:07 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Maybe the first “Presidential Scholar” in the age of Trump:

“If you conceive of your desire, you can then imagine that your goal will take place with belief, and then you will be able (to) retrieve the opportunity from the world’s storehouse of riches,” (Check out the book titles in the article for a midday chuckle)

https://www.denverpost.com/2019/10/16/george-mentz-trump-presidential-scholars/

I’m not entirely able to rejoice in the way some Wafers might (it’s like watching someone castrate themselves) nevertheless the runaway train is gathering steam:

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/trump-in-a-landslide-this-historically-accurate-model-predicts-exactly-that-2019-10-15



11:17 AM  
Anonymous Glans Butterworth, III said...

Some personal observations/anecdotal info:

It still amazes me (even after reading many erudite statements on Dr. Berman's blog) that so many USA-ians post on 'social' media about we should, we ought to, silly pics of Trump, transsexuals need toilets too, Russia, Russia, Russia, democrats bad, republicans good (and vice versa), we need to overturn FACTA, stop citizen-based double taxation etc...and this is from some folks with masters and doctoral degrees!

AS IF their rants, or 'screaming' matters. No one has a shit to give.

The US govt will do what it has always done as a domestic and foreign enforcement agency: give an illusion of a 'democracy', allow the tax subjects to twist and shout while the govt laughs from above. Hedges take note.

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Vernon said...

679pp of text, over 100pp of notes. That's telling How Capitalism Became The Religion Of Modernity by Eugene McCarraher https://www.thenation.com/article/capitalism-religion-eugene-mccarraher-interview/

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Tybee Beckford said...

“The general tendency of our culture is to ignore the mystical altogether, so it’s wonderful when a popularizer like Watts manages to inject some hint of spiritual wisdom into mass culture.”

https://www.ozy.com/good-sht/the-dead-philosopher-injecting-spirituality-into-mass-culture-on-youtube/96746/

I'll take Alan Watts over Jordan Peterson any day

1:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anon-

Sorry, I don't post Anons. You need a real handle, like Farnsworth V. Douchebag, Ph.D.

Tybee-

I esp. enjoyed The Wisdom of Insecurity and The Way of Zen. Quoted him in my Japan bk.

Glans-

These are folks who still believe in the US. They haven't figured out that History has different plans for America, and for them. Cold shower of Reality coming up! Meanwhile, see link provided by Gunnar.

Susan-

Caley Mason may bid fair to replace Shaneka in the Wafer Hall of Fame. I sometimes wonder how many Americans are outright morons. Or are they all walking around with short fuses, because the American Dream shafted them rt up the ass? I keep thinking that so many of them need to be beaten within an inch of their lives and then thrown on a dungheap, but the problem with punishment in this case is that Americans are too stupid to realize that they've done anything wrong. After Latreasa Goodman called 911 because McDonald's was out of Chicken McNuggets, she was interviewed on radio or TV and defended her actions because she considered the situation an emergency. And these are the folks who are going to rise up against their corporate masters, destroy capitalism, and establish an enlightened polity. When Tulsi Gabbard takes over the W.H. in Jan. of 2021, hopefully she will be flanked by Latreasa, Caley, Lorenzo, Shaneka, Brittany Carulli, Tracey McCloud, Freddie Wadsworth (goatfucker), and of course Chrystal Walraven.

Heribert-

Hard not to vomit. Check out some of the things Churchill said abt Gandhi.

mb

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Lydian said...

Yes, capitalism is broken. To recover, liberals must eat humble pie.
Richard V. Reeves
////
https://www.brookings.edu/opinions/yes-capitalism-is-broken-to-recover-liberals-must-eat-humble-pie/

5:40 PM  
Anonymous Statesboro Samuel said...

John Gray on Social Justice for UnHerd: https://unherd.com/2019/10/woke-revolutionaries-will-make-injustice-worse/


Another John Gray headline:

'The only people more dangerous than Jeremy Corbyn are the useful idiots ready to let him seize power'

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7438995/JOHN-GRAY-dangerous-Jeremy-Corbyn-useful-idiots-ready-let-seize-power.html

6:19 PM  
Blogger Krakhed said...


This is how America treats poor families. Fuck 'em.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/16/politics/trump-food-stamps-school-lunches/index.html


Who wants to bet that this will amount to nothing but a temporary distraction?

https://www.insider.com/propublica-trump-tax-records-financial-fraud-2019-10


Mormon church doesn't want conversion therapy banned. They still believe you can pray the gay away.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/lds-church-lgbtq-minors-conversion-therapy-utah-ban-opposes/


And some road rage murder. Look at the faces!

https://www.cnn.com/2019/10/16/us/road-rage-father-shot-trnd/index.html

8:57 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...


Under the heading “Prove You’re Not an Anti-Semite,” the following:
“Rightwing activists are attempting to spread new laws across Republican-controlled states that would ban criticism on public university campuses of Israel and its occupation of Palestinian territory.

Pro-Israel and conservative lobbyists are encouraging state lawmakers to outlaw antisemitism in public education, from kindergarten through to graduate universities. But the proposed definition of antisemitism is so wide that, in addition to standard protections against hate speech towards Jews, it would also prohibit debate about the human rights violations of the Israeli government.

The push began at a conference in August held by the American Legislative Exchange Council, Alec, a conservative network which has a long history of propagating rightwing policies at state level through model bills.”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/oct/16/conservative-activists-want-to-outlaw-antisemitism-in-public-education-why-is-that-a-bad-thing?

9:56 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jas-

Equating anti-Zionism with antisemitism is a clever Israeli strategy.

mb

10:09 AM  

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