March 12, 2020

Schmiden

Wafers-

The election--which doesn't amount to shit, really--is 8 months away, yet all of America is agog over this absurd nonevent. And the progs are all excited about the supposed anti-Trump, who is a senile, sclerotic goofball, a turkey of the 1st order who can't even identify the Declaration of Independence. But this is true democracy: Schmiden is comatose, and the entire nation is as well. Schmernie has been surgically removed, Tulsi is a joke, and we are left with a buffoon to tilt against Trumpola. The twilight of America, as I predicted in 2000.

Onward, into the abyss!

-mb

179 Comments:

Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

This, more than anything, might summarize the state of the Union:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/mar/12/sarah-palin-rap-tv-masked-singer-baby-got-back

mb

11:00 AM  
Blogger Ya'qkub said...

Hi Morris,

Hope you're well.

I'd like to share a researcher who's been putting out videos on the coronavirus. He has a background in toxicology and is really interested in data/evidence. In this video he shows us how Italy is faring & mentions that what's happening there is coming for the US.

https://youtu.be/t4N09qsMdPQ?t=392

Wish you and other Wafers good health, so that once this disease has passed y'all will be able celebrate the glory of Waferdom!

12:23 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Attention Doctor Berman and Wafers,
Great news! All is not lost with this coronavirus. There's an old saying that says, “The show must go on.”
In our modern day U.S.A. bread and circus, barbarism entertainment age which is comparable to the Roman gladiator matches, “the show” nowadays isn't a play on Broadway; it's the major UFC event that will go on this weekend in Las Vegas, virus or no virus.
Isn't American life still great? Eat. Drink. Be merry. Like capitalism where winning by whatever means is everything, watch them slug it out to victory. :)

https://www.reviewjournal.com/sports/mma-ufc/coronavirus-concerns-wont-impact-ufc-248-in-las-vegas-1974136/

2:19 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

While Cascadia remains in mourning over the demise of Tulsi’s campaign, more serious disturbances to America’s routines appear. Among them: Major League Baseball has announced the suspension of spring training and the regular baseball season, effective on Friday the 13th:

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/

Trump is considering travel restrictions to California and Washington State:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/live/2020/mar/12/donald-tump-coronavirus-travel-ban-joe-biden-bernie-sanders-stock-markets-live-updates

Meanwhile, Seattle area workers in the “hospitality” and restaurant sectors are facing layoffs as the Governor announced a ban on public gatherings over 250 people and public schools closed indefinitely; a city spokesperson said the city’s means of aiding workers were “limited”:

https://www.seattletimes.com/business/events-canceled-due-to-coronavirus-mean-lost-wages-difficult-spring-for-seattle-area-hospitality-workers/

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/health/seattle-considers-options-to-help-small-businesses-workers-residents-during-coronavirus-outbreak/

Gee, an increased homeless population, martial law and a suspended national election don’t seem so far-fetched, as the foresighted GSWH has warned us. As for me, I planted our vegetable garden yesterday – “Dogs may bark, but the caravan moves on.”

2:37 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Wafers, MB,

Not sure you're following what's going on in Europe, but it's complete chaos here due to this virus situation. Stock markets are crashing, companies are on the verge of bankruptcy, large-scale gatherings and events are getting cancelled, and generally speaking, people are going hysterical. All of Italy is confined, Macron is likely going to cancel the upcoming local elections on national TV today, and Ireland shut all its schools and universities today until the end of the month. Trumpi also cancelled all outgoing flights from Europe to the US for 30 days today.

Onwards! To the brink!

Kanye

2:49 PM  
Blogger Ajay Singh said...

All the good news fit to spread: "A senior Brazilian government official who visited Mar-a-Lago days ago, and was in close proximity to Mr. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence, has tested positive for the new coronavirus, Brazil’s government confirmed on Thursday."

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/12/world/coronavirus-live-news-updates.html

3:06 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

An article on suicide among American farmers.

https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/investigations/2020/03/09/climate-tariffs-debt-and-isolation-drive-some-farmers-suicide/4955865002/

Another article by Jean Twenge on the mental health crisis among American teenagers.

https://www.physiciansweekly.com/the-mental-health-crisis-among-teens/

3:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jack-

Thanks, but pls remember half-pg rule. I am in sackcloth and ashes over Tulsi. She was such a bright, shining star.

mb

5:52 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Tom: I don't know what to think about that. I grew up among the farmer types so I feel sad, yet I guarantee every one of them voted for Il Douche, and many O-bomber before that. So I guess you reap what you sow.

Kanye: I'm devastated that I cannot watch France win the 6 Nations this weekend. Always fun yelling Allez les Bleus with a bunch of French ex-pats who moved to Minnesota to work at 3-M. Anyway, there's plenty of crazy here. I stopped by the grocery store on the way home and they were out of toilet paper. Huh?

Didn't a WAFer say on the last post that the last straw would be when they cancelled the NCAA march madness? Well that happened today ... oh well.

Penny Lane: Saw your comment at the end of MBs previous post, all WAFers are hoping all is well with you. Take care and read books.

8:04 PM  
Blogger Nicholas said...

First of all, extending sincere well wishes to you and all your readers. Take care and preserve your health.

Secondly, as the general election fast approaches (descends), certain relatives are prevailing upon me to vote (Democrat) no matter whom. I had voted Green in the previous two cycles out of spite for the process, but I'm wholly disinclined to even participate to that extent in our charade of a democratic process. The spiritual and institutional rot has long since set in. Not that I'm moved, but what compelling counterpoints can I offer in response to family pressure on my civic (read: partisan) duty?

—Nick

10:38 PM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

MB and Wafers,

Please take care of yourselves as the coronavirus continues to spread. Below is a link to what I think is the best data-driven discussion I have read so far. I would appreciate other sensible advice Wafers uncover. I do believe we have ourselves a real-life pandemic just likes the WHO tells us.

https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-act-today-or-people-will-die-f4d3d9cd99ca

11:52 PM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Greetings MB & Wafers,

I've been quiet here in Switzerland, but still reading the greatest blog on earth!

Cases of the covid virus are surging in Switzerland, and the Canton of Ticino (ours - right next to Lombardy) has just announced the closing of schools, with more restrictions to come, probably tomorrow. We're just laying low, but there doesn't seem to be any panic (including panic buying) just yet, at least.

Meanwhile, thought I'd share this from The Intercept - an Italian living in America is trying her best to find a way back to Italy at this time. Why? Because, although the virus is surging in Italy, the culture of Italy is to try to help everyone, no one goes bankrupt, no hustling over this crisis, etc. Her view is the US is philosophically ill-equipped to deal with something like this - because it's all about the money.

https://theintercept.com/2020/03/12/italy-coronavirus-united-states-preparedness/?comments=1#comments

Stay well, folks

5:13 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

The serfs who labor beneath the surface to bring toilet paper to your door (is the obsession with toilet paper as a marker of crisis a specifically American thing or is it world wide?)-

https://slate.com/technology/2020/03/gig-economy-instacart-doordash-amazon-coronavirus-first-responders-delivery.html

6:37 AM  
Blogger Hallvard N. Jørgensen said...

Here in Norway we are now in full lockdown. The government acted late, but well. These are indeed "interesting times".

7:36 AM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

While the world media warns of and mourns the COVID-19 apocalypse, here are some sobering statistics.

’Since the beginning of the millennium reported figures range between 2000 and 6000 deaths every year. However, it is estimated that in reality 120 000 people die of cholera each year. In spite of all the efforts, many more deaths could be averted, provided that cases are recognized early and treatment is installed timely. Rehydrating patients with Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) already at home and during transportation to a health care facility is critical to save lives.‘

‘ In 2017, it was estimated that 435 000 deaths due to malaria had occurred globally, of which 403 000 deaths (approximately 93%) were in the WHO African Region. Almost 80% of all deaths in 2017 occurred in 17 countries in the WHO African Region and India.’

Source: WHO

Lack of access to healthcare, social apathy and lack awareness cause many of these deaths although the treatments are so well known. But these don’t cause noise at such high decibels because the rich and affluent or even the middle class are not affected. Not all lives are of equal worth.

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Krakhed said...

Here we go! This guy Mnuchin knows what Amerika is about: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/13/mnuchin-coronavirus-investment-opportunity-128132

Watching this coronavirus threat cause meltdown weakening our exchanges and the dunces in charge have no clue what to do. Is there anyone in sane in charge of these colossal state/institutional levers?

Our financial markets are manic: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/wall-street-jumps-worst-day-113943762.html

I have a feeling they're going to tell us not so far in the future that all the money we thought we had in the bank actually doesn't exist. And taxpayers have to pay it all back.

2:04 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Morris, you called out the Absurdity first...a Nation undergoing infantilism...

https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/sarah-palin-s-masked-singer-performance-fox-perfectly-encapsulated-our-ncna1157181

2:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

She's a jackass, but then so are most Americans.

Hallvard-

I heard Norway was abt to release the "Oslo Virus," which destroys capitalist economies.

Italiana-

If there's a way to make a buck off the virus, you can be sure America will find it.

Nick-

Fast approaching? It's 8 mos. away! As for what to tell yr family: what wd be the pt, really? Just don't vote, and shrug in response to their attacks. Or u cd tell them, "You have yr heads rammed in yr buttocks, and are rolling around like donuts." That shd convince them. :-)

Wafers-

Apparently Tulsi was found to have a cell fone stuck in her anus. It was surgically removed, and now the operation is known as a Tulsectomy. Shall we gather in Hawaii with full bladders?

mb

2:57 PM  
Blogger vsoguy said...

Hi Nick,

I'm in the same boat. My Bernie-crazed bandana-clad landlady is furiously setting up schmermie signs in the front lawn and plastering huge schmermie bumper stickers on the back of her car while I watch from the window in horror at her thinking that some old codger with 60 trillion dollars stuffed down the front of his pants can rescue our deluded culture from it's own flawed ideologies.

Seems to me that the schmermie cult is on par with the trumpi cult and both groups appear to be offsetting personal responsibility onto a halfass demigod.

My new strategy is to lie through my teeth and tell the schmermies I'm voting for schmermie and the trumpis I'm voting for trumpi, then on election day (if the election is even held)(at this rate covid-19 may be the next leader of this alleged country) I'll take a stroll on the beach and reflect on the collective delusion that's taken over large swaths of humanity, of which, the US, is ground zero.

4:29 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

I have a sneaking suspicion that while it may have taken a worldwide pandemic to accomplish it this crisis might be enough to undo Trump, on the other hand, how much of a hard-on must he (and his surrogates) have now that he has National Emergency powers?

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/01/presidential-emergency-powers/576418/

If we weren't through the looking Glass B4 we are now.

6:16 PM  
Anonymous Schmitt said...

In Ancient Greek Thought, Plagues Follows on Bad Leadership https://www.juancole.com/2020/03/ancient-thought-leadership.html

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Nicolas said...

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/amp/2020/03/coronavirus-shows-us-america-is-broken.html

Correction: It is a Continuation of Showing Us


Documentary rec (with a sequel in the make):
https://thecorporation.com/

9:38 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Tyler Hardeman, 23, uses a McDonald's hamburger as a weapon during a domestic attack:

https://www.fox13news.com/news/pasco-man-faces-aggravated-battery-charges-after-throwing-hamburger-vape-pen

After a Wafer strike force rescues Tulsi, MB, I will lead a battalion of Wafers to seal the doors of these bunkers, so that the rich will live permanently underground:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/11/disease-dodging-worried-wealthy-jet-off-to-disaster-bunkers

Captain Miles D. Deli

10:09 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

Dr. B, I don't see the people here in China trying to make a buck off of the virus. For the most part, the streets are empty and everyone is hunkered down inside. But, even then there is solidarity. Look at this vid in wuhan. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_PSSTP8ROg

Italiana, she is very articulate and right in what she says. And, as crazy as this sounds I feel safer in China then back in the USA.

2:15 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Wafers, MB,

Europe is in full shutdown, and at this point anything can happen. A friend of mine told me it's immoral to indulge in Schadenfreude, but I disagree. The chickens are finally coming home to roost, and from a bad-is-good perspective, the Covid-19 is great news. Even if like Asia, we'll eventually recover from it in a few weeks' time, the damage is already done. And it's not business damage I am talking about so much as "spiritual" damage. All the Progs and Thomas Friedmans' of the world supporting borderless capitalism and "growth" at all costs are taking a big slap in their face with this crisis and it's reveling to see their world come crashing down.

Kanye

7:00 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Interesting graph showing the percentage drop of the S&P 500 from its peak, 2007 in black and 2020 in red.

https://twitter.com/KyleKulinski/status/1238275046621229062

Dr. B you might get your wish far ahead of 2040. Think what I will of both the Baby Bush people and the Obama people, at least there were a good number of adults in the room. This time around, it's all ideologues and prayer mongers. Bolton disbanded the NSC pandemic response team in 2018.

https://www.wftv.com/news/politics/trump-disbanded-nsc/JFIVNLU4IFTISE7E3UALSUGSOY/

I imagine that we will find that Trump has gutted the potential for effective governance throughout the Federal level. He has built a Potemkin 'government' with people like Betsy DeVos and Ben Carson and Mike Pompeo strutting around acting like they have any idea how to handle the sh**storm about to hit.

The only effective levels of response will be on local and regional levels, not national.

9:26 AM  
Anonymous CYBILL said...

Watch "Les vies d'Albert Camus" on YouTube
https://youtu.be/5CIBtVu17_U

Great French doc on Camus begins w/ striking color footage of his fatal car wreckage

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Barney said...

Congratulations, Democrats! https://youtu.be/yJ1DVbJVWMc

5:28 PM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

Hi Dr. B and Fellow WAFERS:

Two new articles from Counterpunch worth sharing:

Craig Collins, "Four Reasons Civilization Won't Decline: It Will Collapse":
https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/03/13/four-reasons-civilization-wont-decline-it-will-collapse/

Paul Street,"Dear Berners: Dementia Joe is How Much Your Party HATES You:
https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/03/13/dear-berners-dementia-joe-is-how-much-your-party-hates-you/

I continue to read the blog daily from my scholarly digs in the north end of Toronto. As of the coming week, I was be teaching my students via email instead of face-to-face.

Here in Toronto, they're shutting most public services down for up to three weeks or more, including public schools, public libraries, day cares. We've been going through a rotating teacher's strike here for several months, and parents were having enough trouble covering for this kids once a week or once every two weeks when the strike hit their board. I have no idea how they will see to the care of their kids for three or more weeks?

I won't even try to comment on the degree to which the measures taken around the coronavirus can be viewed as utterly favouring elites and so-called 'white collar' workers over workers who have no right to or who can't afford to stop working.

-Northern Johnny

6:01 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Guy get stabbed with a broken wine bottle during a fight over bottled water at a sam's club during coronavirus panic shopping. And to think this is before employment shits the bed from knock on effects of the JIT system breaking down. Riots in the streets with the elite foreclosing on everything is going to be so much fun to watch.

I'm gonna be the guy setting tires on fire. Can't have a real riot without them, yanno?
https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/brawls-erupt-americans-panic-hoard-supplies-amid-pandemic

8:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

comrade-

I have been predicting riots, mass migrations, martial law, and general devastation for a long time now. I just never imagined it wd all be speeded up because of a virus. Looks like I need to go back to Omniscient Seer School, brush up. These rusty credentials are embarrassing.

mb

9:31 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

BANK RUNS!!!....Remember, unless we have paper bills in hand, it’s NOT OUR money...it’s just blips on the banks computer screen!


https://dnyuz.com/2020/03/14/a-bank-in-midtown-is-cleaned-out-of-100-bills/

10:35 PM  
Blogger Jason Tower said...

I haven't checked in for a while but I do monitor the blog and comments section. This is the only sane place left on the Internet.

It's illustrative that with a system collapse on the horizon Americans choose to hoard toilet paper. It shows you where their heads are at, doesn't it?

It looks like there's a real possiblilty of a national shut down for a few weeks or longer. I'm glad I'm an introvert and have no problem with solitude and quiet. Thank goodness for books and chess.

12:46 AM  
Anonymous Dr. Shithouse said...

More exceptionalism and greatness...A USA-er hustling her own « brand » of sanitizer ends up burning the skin of 4 kids. Usa, usa!

https://www.pix11.com/news/local-news/new-jersey/7-eleven-owner-arrested-after-boy-burned-by-sanitizer

1:57 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Greeting MB & Wafers,

@Nicolas - great article in NY Mag! Exactly why we left the US, and why we won't go back.

@cubeangel - I couldn't agree more - I feel much safer here in Ticino than in the US. (Some relatives in the US offered to house us if we wanted to come back - NO!) Also, not only are they singing in Wuhan, but also in Italy: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/14/italians-sing-patriotic-songs-from-their-balconies-during-coronavirus-lockdown

Meanwhile, Switzerland/Ticino has shut down everything not necessary (same as Italy), only groceries, pharmacies, mail, etc, are still open, as of midnight last night.

2:08 AM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

Hi Wafers,

Life under restraint here in India. Schools are closed in some parts. My teenage son at home. His mom having to keep an extra eye. Exams for my course postponed because three students are under quarantine. cancelled some on-essential travel plan on advice of my doctor friend.

So enjoying reading this blog, you comments and news from all over more frequently. Thought of sharing these two articles.

1. A reading of Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year by Marina Hyde in the Guardian.

2. An article viewing the Covid pandemic in the perspective of our consumer capitalism. Some excerpts:
‘ Under the widening onslaught of the coronavirus the brittle layers of our "civilisation" are peeling off , one by one. This is because this was never the way nature intended us to live ...’

‘ If we were to consider the whole thing dispassionately and clinically the corona virus is the best piece of news for planet Earth in a long time. It is not a disaster, it's a wake-up call.’

2:13 AM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

Hi MB, Breaking the 24 hr rule. Here is why. I found that blogger.com has not reproduced the links to the articles I mentioned in my earlier comment correctly. In stead of directing to the Guardian etc. both links go to blogger.com :-(

Request you to post the correct links.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/13/plague-coronavirus-british-panic-buying

https://www.thecitizen.in/index.php/en/NewsDetail/index/13/18452/Sermons-in-Stones-Lessons-From-Pathogens

Thank you.

6:22 AM  
Blogger Systems Crash Go said...

@ Ordinary Indian

Do you think that the government might be under reporting Corona Virus cases? From India too, so asking. What I understand from the opinions of experts, every country in the world is in for the long haul, however, when I talk to people here they view it as a minor annoyance. There is plenty of misinformation too (the virus will go away when it gets hotter so countries near the equator don't need to worry etc etc). Hand Sanitizers can't be bought for love or money - they have just flown off the shelves. My brother is in Pittsburgh and they had to close down the campus because many students had flown in from China in early January. A whole lot of confusion and a lot of running around.

8:03 AM  
Blogger vsoguy said...

Through the shrapnel of chicken mcnuggets we've witnessed the unfolding of a caloric arms race, first the hamburger, then the quarter pounder, then bring out the big guns- the big mac (which apparently they've now expanded to include 4 beef patties, which is just what we need to improve our lives) more, more, more!

8:31 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

vso-

I'm pushing for 6 patties, myself. There is no reason every detail of American life shdn't be made grotesque, from patties to the president.

Indian-

Thanks. Dunno why that's happening.

mb

9:00 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: speaking of grotesque...

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/15/the-hunt-movie-satire-too-real

9:28 AM  
Anonymous Quiet Desperation said...

Dr. Berman, seems to me that true Waferdom would reject voting altogether. There are far too many posts where it is obvious that the Wafer in question intends to participate in this fraudulent and utterly ridiculous scam masquerading as a democratic process. If what the DNC has orchestrated since Iowa and especially since Super Tuesday doesn't strike you as a complete farce then you are far more the average American moron than a Wafer. On the Corona front both of my daughters living in Seattle are both working from home and are healthy so far. The Amazon delivery guy jumped back four feet the other day when I opened the door, no worries I told him. When this thing is over and we are living in a world made by hand, I'll need to meet Mr. Jack Latteman for a cold one, seems he is just down the road. Thanks for maintaining this island of mercy Dr. Berman. Peace...

9:32 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Quiet-

Well, I've said on numerous occasions that the election is a farce, and that voting is a waste of time. What other Wafers wanna do is their business, altho if pushed, I guess I'd say Vote for Trumpi! He's our last, best hope for total destruction. His handling of the virus situation has made that quite clear.

mb

9:56 AM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

No. Johnny - thanks for the reference to the "collapse" article.
And Kradhed - that Mnuchin and others of his class would take advantage of an international crisis to make money should not come as a surprise. That's what the socio-politico-economic elite have always done. That's how many of them made their fortunes. They will do nothing for the middle and lower classes until they make sure their own wealth and power are secure. And it's not the first time Mnuchin has taken advantage - he profited fabulously from the housing crisis and recession of 2007-08. (for a fuller accounting, read Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine)

Italiana - yes, in America, as you know, it's always "all about the money". Even the beloved Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, and America's favorite doctor, lauded Trumpi's decision to depend on for-profit, private commercial enterprises instead of the government to supply virus tests for the nation. CVS, Walgreen's and drug factories stand to make billions off the crisis. Yes, Virginia, even a pandemic can be privatized for the benefit of the elite.
The contrast between the response of Italy and US could not be more stark. And not only singing arias but violins as well.https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/14/world/europe/italians-find-a-moment-of-joy-in-this-moment-of-anxiety.html

10:05 AM  
Anonymous Gaia said...

Our Tax Dollars Funded This

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/mar/14/duncan-socrates-lemp-maryland-shot-police-officer

Maryland man fatally shot by police while asleep in his bedroom
Montgomery county police said Duncan Socrates Lemp ‘confronted’ officers as eyewitness gave ‘contrary’ account

12:04 PM  
Blogger Mister Roboto said...

Alice Speri tell us "Why I'd rather be in Italy for the Coronavirus Pandemic".

The money quote: And now I try to explain to [my family and friends in Italy] why I’d much rather be there than here at this scary time because of something more invisible even than a virus: the loneliness and isolation I feel here, in a country where everyone’s out for themselves.

12:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gaia-

I'm surprised that the guy was white. This I don't understand.

Roboto-

Read my new bk, "Scumbag Nation."

mb

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Sally said...

He's insufferable

In an email to SpaceX employees this morning, Elon Musk said they're more likely to die in a car accident than from coronavirus. https://www.buzzfeednews.com/amphtml/ryanmac/elon-musk-spacex-employees-car-crash-coronavirus

12:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sally-

I may be mistaken, but I thought some scientific studies were done on Musk proving that he was a douche bag. No?

mb

1:13 PM  
Anonymous Lawrence Rosenberg said...

the pointless cruelty of american life was never necessary. they just told you it was.

America Is a Sham
Policy changes in reaction to the coronavirus reveal how absurd so many of our rules are to begin with.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/03/coronavirus-tsa-liquid-purell-paid-leave-rules.html

2:58 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Doctor Berman,
I have a couple of interesting questions ( and not opinions as I'm trying to follow the rules) for you and other Wafers here. And I hope no one finds them laughable or absurd. But could this coronavirus be nothing more than a giant hoax and a practice drill in preparation for the case of an actual, highly virulent, deadly pandemic that could happen in the future?
We all have heard of various actors, professional athletes, two U.S. Senators, N.Y. State assembly speakers, and other dignitaries by name “allegedly” having this virus. Yet absolutely nobody I personally know, or absolutely no one they know, right down the line, has this virus. Marshall law in some way already is in effect in New Rochelle, New York; that's about a 35 minute drive from where I live here on Long Island. You yourself have stated in your interviews that you can forsee marshal law happening in the United States. The National Guard has had an area of that city quarantined for a few days now.
See for yourself.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/12/nyregion/coronavirus-new-rochelle-containment.html
In addition to the above, could this “pandemic” actually only be a very high case of seasonal allergies as a result of global warming/climate change? I only ask this because it has been a mild winter. The prevailing jet streams in our atmosphere, as well as the meteorlogical oscillations have been relatively stationary.
What do you think?

3:47 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

Sometimes good cartoonists can sum up in a couple of panels what many of us (especially writing challenged me) can't in a thousand words.

https://m.arcamax.com/thefunnies/dilbert/s-2335992

https://m.arcamax.com/politics/editorialcartoons/stevebreen/s-2338106

4:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Lawrence-

Excellent article, thanks.

Joe-

I think the virus is real, but then I'm not a scientist.

mb

4:31 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

Well, Dr. B, I am not certain what you imagined when you have talked about the collapse of the US into regional and local entities. Probably less Marxism and anarchism for you, but there are people working around the country to build local support structures. Although I give them no chance in hell of lasting, every little bubble of such thinking and working on how to sustain any sort of social structure after a center collapse is a worthwhile learning experience? Lawrence's linked article about the American Sham was excellent and very welcome. The autonomous groups is at least trying to imagine a world after the sham is gone.

https://itsgoingdown.org/autonomous-groups-are-mobilizing-mutual-aid-initiatives-to-combat-the-coronavirus/

I will remind people that there is an excellent chance that there will be millions of Americans roaming the landscape under even the worst collapse/decline (short of nuclear bombs). Even the Black Death left 30% or more of the population alive. So all these people are going to have to live somehow, and I really would not wish wandering hoards of Americans on Canada or Mexico.

6:23 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Good for her! This, seems to me to be, a life worth living. I hope she finds comfort and the suicidal ideation subsides.

https://theintercept.com/2020/03/12/chelsea-manning-judge-order-released/

@Joe I think the pandemic falls under “Rahms’s” rule of never letting a crisis go to waste & for sure they’re gearing up and building infrastructure for the shit storm to come. From observation I think I’ve found evidence for this but that’s a post for another time.

https://www.perc.org/2013/02/13/rahms-rule-never-let-a-serious-crisis-go-to-waste/

6:36 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Did we miss this one somehow?:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/florida-woman-accused-zipping-boyfriend-suitcase-leaving-him-die-n1143356

Did Jorge think it was going to be fun and erotic to get into a suitcase?

Miles

7:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

This is better than Shaneka Torres! Of course, I suppose the alcohol didn't help.

Gunnar-

Shameful what the US did, continues to do, to a courageous American citizen. It tries to make trash out of heroes, when it shows itself to be the trash.

Dan D-

Check out final essay in AWTY. Altho I see the positive side of Dual Process as not very likely a scenario for the US. Europe, Latin America, maybe. As for gringos trying to get into Mexico: hopefully Mex will erect a border wall, and prevent any access. This country needs more gringos than it needs a hole in the head. No pasaran!

mb

7:46 PM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

Joe: It's real alright, but from the people I know in healthcare and Univ research, the reason for all the hullabaloo is that no one knows exactly how virulent it will be so they're acting as if it is bad. Check out the 1918 flu for an example of bad, almost 200k people died in October 1918 and over 650k in total. Considering today's population density and travel (admittedly we live cleaner today) another 1918 would have us reading Stephen King's "The Stand" as non-fiction.

9:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

The Debate: Where, I ask u, was Tulsi? Because only Tulsi can save us now.

mb

10:24 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr B-

The Guardian says "Biden avoided a complete debacle," which should make the DNC-types happy.

Here's Biden's complete "Cornpop" speech from 2017, in case you missed it. It's worth listening to in full-

https://youtu.be/oihV9yrZRHg

He just might win!

6:08 AM  
Blogger vsoguy said...

Dear Quiet,

It's my feeling that Wafer-ism is a process. From my experience, it takes awhile to undo the cultural conditioning that we've all been subjected to. I myself believed that voting actually mattered until not too long ago. I feel it's important to welcome fellow Wafers at whatever stage they're at in their personal journeys, and be mindful that more and more of us are waking up to the facade.

7:50 AM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

Love in the time of corona :) Classes got suspended. Students will be advised to leave. More time for myself, and family. This pandemic gives us the opportunity to spend the quality time our deadline driven work culture never allows us.

@Systems, on your question, my guess is as good as anybody else's. Here is mine. I don't think there is any deliberate under-reporting here. One reason, not so many tests are being done. Second, I do not get to hear abt community transmission in any serious way. Although the propaganda media will play the govt tune, there are enough of indie media and ppl on social media still active to report any such situation, as you probably would know. Haven't seen yet, thankfully. Were that to happen, we are doomed with non-existent healthcare system in the rural areas, and corporatized private ones in the cities, particularly in the northern plains where the population density is really really high. Also, with millions depending on their daily earnings, it is a nightmarish scenario to even contemplate what we have to face in case community transmission picks up.

And here is Newton working from home in the Plague Years for your read:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2020/03/12/during-pandemic-isaac-newton-had-work-home-too-he-used-time-wisely/?fbclid=IwAR0NGL79ctQRTD-zimaF6Pn6DhtWKuSp94BIPIz0-c9NfidcvE2ZqVg30yk

7:52 AM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

Although the MSM is blaming Covid19 for the meltdown in the stock market, the column below elaborates on the real reasons behind the meltdown:"Putin Unleashes Strategic Hell on the U.S."

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/03/15/putin-unleashes-strategic-hell-on-us/

In hindsight this could turn out to be the "Suez Moment" for the US Empire.

Himanshu

7:52 AM  
Blogger vsoguy said...

I'd suggest changing the title to "Scumbags and their discontents"

7:54 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Joe:I don’t think CV is a hoax (a friend’s sister is a MD in charge of infection control for a large hospital, and they are preparing for the worst), but there are so many strange things about it that I’m sure we don’t have the full picture.
Cel-Ray: The Spanish Flu killed 20-50 million world-wide and it’s thought that the overuse of aspirin had a lot to do with so many deaths: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091002132346.htm

I live in Connecticut, the home of Lyme Disease, which was most likely created in a bio-weapons lab on Plum Island: https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/05/17/where-lyme-disease-came-from-and-why-it-eludes-treatment/
Wuhan reportedly has bio-weapon labs: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/jan/24/virus-hit-wuhan-has-two-laboratories-linked-chines/

More on toilet paper - The following comment by Mike Adams (a prepper and big-time Trump supporter) of Natural News was my mental health break of the day: “All the idiots stocking up on toilet paper and nothing else will soon come to realize if you don’t buy food, you won’t need toilet paper.”

8:04 AM  
Anonymous Teri said...

A billion dollars. That's about how much President Trump  reportedly offered a German company in exchange for exclusive access to a coronavirus vaccine. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/15/world/europe/cornonavirus-vaccine-us-germany.html

Meanwhile in late post-apocalyptic capitalism ...

8:43 AM  
Anonymous Harlow said...

We'll likely see a push for an overt one world government and one world currency in the next few years

Fucking hell.

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Greeting MB & Wafers,

@Sarasvati - I had heard that the use of aspirin was a contributing factor to increasing deaths in the 1918 Spanish Flu. Interestingly, I just listened to a Webinar by a cardiologist who gave up conventional medicine for a more holistic approach a few years ago when he realized that his patients never actually got better, just kept needing more and more pharmaceuticals. Name is Dr Wolfson (thedrswolfson.com). Anyway, in the webinar, he quoted a number of published medical studies (that flew by really fast, so I couldn't write them down) stating that many common drugs can greatly increase bad outcomes for any kind of respiratory illness - some diabetes meds, ACE inhibitors, Prilosec (and other PPIs), and also aspirin equivalents (Advil, Motrin, etc), for example. One of them (don't remember which) was associated with a 300% increase in mortality - Yikes! So - it could be that the reason all those old people are dying is that they're all on a lot of pharmaceuticals that make respiratory issues much worse.

I did find a current BMJ Letter on ACE inhibitors: https://www.bmj.com/content/368/bmj.m810/rr-20

Food for thought!

11:35 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Fuckin' Biden, he looked like the demented ghost of Spiro Agnew in last night's 'debate,' while Bernie reminds me of the Talking Heads album 'Stop Making Sense.'

While I have a premonition this virus will kill me, so far quarantine in place is zero problem for my unemployable ass.

HBO premieres an adaptation of Phillip Roth's The Plot Against America tonight. HBO isn't infallible, their limited series are usually pretty good, so let's hope it's faithful to the book and not some "topical" "meditation" about Hair Meister.

https://g.co/kgs/DnhkGk

11:54 AM  
Blogger Shawn McDowell said...

Dr. Berman will this health crisis end up being America's "Suez" moment. I feel like the world and the American people are about to get a public demonstration of of how inept and corrupt our systems really are.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2020/03/coronavirus-tsa-liquid-purell-paid-leave-rules.html

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/03/16/norway-university-calls-students-return-home-countries-poorly-developed-health

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/03/13/grotesque-level-greed-owned-worlds-richest-man-jeff-bezos-whole-foods-wants-workers

12:32 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

In these throublesome times, even exiled Europeans realize that they are better off in their home countries than here. Absolute gem of an article by an Italian reporter living in the belly of the beast:

"And now I try to explain to [my parents] why I’d much rather be there than here at this scary time because of something more invisible even than a virus: the loneliness and isolation I feel here, in a country where everyone’s out for themselves."

"Italians know they’ll get through this because they have each other’s back. I am not sure we Americans can say that."

https://theintercept.com/2020/03/12/italy-coronavirus-united-states-preparedness/

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Dr Shithouse said...

Anecdotal, opinion only: I think we need to focus on tushies, who can dance, which singer is cool, and which millionaire can put a ball in a net really well. That’s what America was about and most Americans care about other than trying to get rich.

Forget no health care, CBT, FATCA, no real retirement, employment at will doctrine, massive assisted living costs, massive student loan debts etc.etc..

America was about chicken sandwiches and hamburgers....with the proper amnt of bacon.


1:48 PM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

vsoguy and quiet - for more on the facade of democracy, see Sheldon Wolin's "Democracy, Inc" in which he opines that America is no longer a democracy at all but a new political hybrid he calls "Inverted Totalitarianism". Democratic structures - like elections- may continue to exist but they no longer answer or are accountable to the public which, for the most part, is OK with letting the elites rule - so long as they continue to provide NASCAR races, full grocery stores, and TV thrills.

2:24 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

A timely message from my friend, Javi Parisi:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGOmL1bRR0c

Stay safe everyone,

Miles

2:26 PM  
Blogger Vaquero Supreme said...

Trumpi, in one of his recent speeches to calm down Americans, emphasized that Americans are consumers more than citizens. Very wise man, Trumpi is.

3:21 PM  
Anonymous Muffly Merkin said...


The most accurate reporting i've seen on covid19 - here's a must-see very short vid you should watch

https://youtu.be/Hks6Nq7g6P4

Muffly Merkin

3:35 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferes

Hey Joe, where ya goin' with that gun in your hand? department.

@Joe:

I always spelled it martial. But then, I'm not a militarist.

O&D!

3:58 PM  
Anonymous Vince said...

What more can you say?

https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/16/us/newport-911-toilet-paper-trnd/index.html

Peace,
Vince

4:04 PM  
Blogger Penny Lane said...

Wafers! Welp, I guess it’s a good thing that I didn’t stick around San Francisco, because they just enacted this: https://www.sfchronicle.com/local-politics/article/Bay-Area-must-shelter-in-place-Only-15135014.php.

How will SF’s ~9500 homeless people shelter in place? Article does not mention. Maybe they’ll put them all on a subway to Berkeley. But as a marginally housed person myself, I shudder to think, and had been dreading this scenario.

On Friday the 13th I headed my van up to the sierra foothills, to a small yoga ashram that I first discovered 25 years ago, and rediscovered this last Christmas. The people here are sincere and devout – this is not the lululemon crowd, at all. There’s just a small group here now, and today they made the decision to restrict additional visitors. I hope they let me stay until the surge passes (or doesn’t happen) because I have no other place to go.

It’s also a miracle that I can afford it. For 2.5 years I had been killing myself with overtime to pay down debt, and took out a few extra credit cards to improve my fico. So yeah, I’ll rock the cards a little bit to get through this. I have no job to go back to, but am literally thankful every moment to be here, in a 3-season knotty-pine cabin with a propane heater, amongst beautiful nature and gentle, aware, and non-hysterical people.

This situation is going to mess with a lot of people.

5:02 PM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

Sar, thanks! I totally forgot to say those were USA stats. If the numbers from China are true, this isn't going to be too bad... unless it gets into the homeless and underinsured then it could be bad. But nowhere near 1918 flu.

5:04 PM  
Anonymous Liv said...

Hello, Wafers from Spain. I'm sure, you heard Spain is the next imploding in COVID19 cases but here in Southern Spain is still minimal. I must praise the Spanish government to act quickly and implement National Lockdown which is taken very seriously. Saturday Night at 10:00 PM, Spaniards around the country stood at their windows and balconies and clapped for the country's health workers. It was a beautiful sound. Last week I met most humane and warm-hearted people everywhere. Neighbors really watch each other back. I am so content to be here during the pandemic than in the US.
Meanwhile in the US violence continues https://us.yahoo.com/news/bunch-losers-tempers-fray-san-100651822.html
Something about US fake history: How US American "Exceptionalism" (Fake History), Hides Shame, Creates Stupidity and Dangerous Imperialism: Formula for preserving Disney World US American fantasy: Create a fake story of nobility that hides the painful shame of two gruesome, founding genocides, murdering millions with impunity, enabling people to live as if in a stupor, a slick denial technique that easily morphs into dangerous, thoughtless stupidity, and global imperialism. Meanwhile, people shop. S Brian Wilson

5:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Penny-

All Wafers are pulling 4u. Gd luck. As regards homeless people: not clear to me why the govt doesn't just nuke 'em.

Vaq-

He got that rt, but forgot to add that 1st and foremost, they are buffoons.

mb

6:15 PM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

Hi Dr. B and WAFERS:

Hope I'm not repeating what has already been done by another poster here, but I couldn't resist posting this story from the Guardian, "
US sales of guns and ammunition soar amid coronavirus panic buying": https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/16/us-sales-guns-ammunition-soar-amid-coronavirus-panic-buying

Let's just hope the gun satires shared on this blog remain satires and don't become facts on the ground.

Northern Johnny

7:43 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Haveta say thanks MB, thanks for keeping this WAFer community alive. As you well know from the past 20+ years there are not that many places to go for community, or at least a sympathetic ear ... especially when you get tofu thrown at you when you say Biden-Schmiden or Bernie-Shmernie...

Alas, many bars and restaurants are due to close soon up here (Minnesota). What little social life the hoi polloi have is soon to be gone.

Peace WAFers! And I send these book recommendations:

The Water Knife: Paolo Bacigalupi
Wanderer: Sterling Hayden
Mockingbird: Walter Tevis
The Backyard Homestead: Carleen Madigan
1Q84: Haruki Murakami
The Way of Kings: Brandon Sanderson
Player Piano: Kurt Vonnegut
The Stand: Stephen King
Rainbow Pie: Joe Bageant
In Pursuit of Silence: George Prochnik
Red and Black: Stendhal

Dang, sorry, that's probably 1/2 a page. WAFers, please add your stuck in lockdown recommendations!

7:57 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

TEOTWAWKI....


https://youtu.be/y9pfPbJSE-8

8:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Pastrami-

Knowing that more than 99% of the American public are idiots can, oddly enuf, be a consoling thought. As for bks: Graham Greene.

mb

8:31 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

At least the virus answers the question-how will it end, in a bang or a whimper? Needless to say, a bang. Some predict half the US will be gone by the time this is over and if anyone still believes in free market capitalism after this they are insane or more insane than now if that's possible. What I find amazing is the massive state of denial. Sports radio is still pondering the NFL draft and the upcoming ML baseball season. Who's going to a game when you're not allowed groups of more than 10? Funny to see beer commercials with groups of young people together in a bar as all bars in Philly are closed. Also, the ultra-orthodox refuse to obey any Israeli edicts. All this time Israelis thought the enemy was outside when it was actually within its borders.

9:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan-

Well, it cd also just blow over in a few wks. In the meantime, I think the thing needs a friendlier name, so people won't freak out. E.g., Hot Juicy Virus. Something abt that that is v. attractive.

mb

9:28 PM  
Anonymous Mikko said...

MB - re: Hot Juicy Virus, the comedian that I recommended for you last week, Norm Macdonald, has started calling it THD, for Tom Hanks Disease. Hysterical!

Also

Tired: There Are No Libertarians in a Pandemic. Wired: There Are Only Libertarians in a https://reason.com/2020/03/15/tired-there-are-no-libertarians-in-a-pandemic-wired-there-are-only-libertarians-in-a-pandemic/

A lot of what we're doing in response to the pandemic is loosening restrictions.

9:59 PM  
Anonymous Bingo said...

Basically, America is comatose because it ran out of toilet paper. And that will speed up the collapse tremendously, possibly by a factor of 10.


Oregon Police: 'Don't Call 911 Just Because You Ran Out Of Toilet Paper'

https://www.zerohedge.com/health/oregon-police-dont-call-911-just-because-you-ran-out-toilet-paper

3:46 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Nice paragraph in Orlov's last post:

"Oh, and in case you are wondering, running out and stocking up on toilet paper in response to a coronavirus threat is a symptom of an entirely different disease which can very well turn out to be fatal. Most curiously, it seems to affect the cerebral cortex via the rectum."

http://cluborlov.blogspot.com/

Kanye

4:30 AM  
Anonymous cormorant said...

Every now and then, I wonder to myself: Perhaps DR Berman's assertions about The US are a tad overblown? Things can't be that bad surely? And then I come across reports like this, and I give myself a little slap:

https://deadstate.org/charlottesville-poison-center-asks-citizens-not-to-drink-bleach-to-cure-coronavirus/?fbclid=IwAR2YHJrscs2AyCY5nRKkw6ZOt6iJPoiye1fTrzXieSe5_Xt3cEvZJLugRb8

7:42 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Johnny-

Only 1 post every 24 hrs, thanks.

cor-

Were u aware that 38% of Americans are avoiding Corona beer because they think it's related to the virus? Does it get dumber than that?

mb

10:46 AM  
Anonymous J Giles said...

Sally, MB:

https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2020-03-16/coronavirus-tesla-fremont-factory-musk

LA Times: Tesla factory, deemed “essential business” by county government, to stay open during six-county lockdown.

Fuck Musk.

11:41 AM  
Blogger vsoguy said...

Anyone else notice the banner ads on CNN promoting the democratic debates as if they were a UFC deathmatch?

4:07 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Doctor,
Did you know that the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas which was completed in 2000 filed for bankruptcy at the end of Sept. 2001 because customers thought the hotel was somehow connected to the Middle East and 9-11?

4:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Unknown-

Sorry, I don't post Unknowns.

Dan-

Gee, what a surprise. Refer back to my post "Project X."

mb

5:59 PM  
Blogger Xair said...

Wafers,

What wonderful people populate this country.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.usatoday.com/amp/2262605001

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Pat Chouli said...

A friend of mine sent me this quote from Phil Rockstroh:

“Citizens of a nation that sold smallpox-tainted blankets to the First Nations people of the continent are panicked by a pandemic. In a frenzy of fear, the citizenry, cum mindless consumers, of a nation that is a de facto death cult purchase mountains of toilet paper and armoury-sized caches of firearms. Displaying: There is no amount of toilet paper that can wipe clean the mental shitscape of reeking vileness and vicious cretinism of a nation founded in genocide and sustained by state violence. Millions of dead Indians' imprecatory prayers have been answered.” {{Rockstroh at CounterPunch: https://www.counterpunch.org/author/kennphil0993/ }}

6:23 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

US airlines are about to get $50,000,000,000 plus. Not a bailout but a 'liquidity fix.'

In the last couple of years, they have spent over $50,000,000,000 on buying back their stocks to pay for executive bonuses and such. This includes money from the trump/McConnell tax cut. Note the symmetry? Seems like this cash could have been around to deal with a liquidity issue?

https://nypost.com/2020/03/16/feds-consider-coronavirus-bailout-for-airlines/

And of course casinos in Las Vegas are also looking for taxpayer money.

https://www.dailywire.com/news/casinos-airlines-lobbying-congress-for-billions-in-coronavirus-bailout-funds

Meanwhile, a local university is shutting down the dorms and food service. But no refund of any rent and dining fees paid by students. Easily over $10,000,000, stolen by a university. The students have been given one of the most important lessons of the semester.

6:45 PM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

An article from Common Dreams gives an estimate of 2.2 million American deaths due to COVID 19 without drastic and coordinated government action - such action might be required for up to 18 months (perhaps the time needed to develop an effective vaccine)! Most of those at risk are 80 years of age and others with various risk factors (i.e., diabetes, heart ailments, smokers, heavy drinkers, immune-deficient conditions, etc.).

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/03/17/terrifying-new-research-warns-22-million-could-die-coronavirus-us-without-drastic

9:53 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

Looks like Schmernie is toast, with Schmiden headed for apparent victory in today's primaries.

For entertainment, you might want to read some of the comments at this web site following the linked articles near the top middle of the page under "Democratic Primaries Forum." The comments are very representative of the "true believers" in the USA.

https://www.democraticunderground.com/

9:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Check out a TV series called "The Night Manager," based on a novel by John le Carre. Hot stuff.

Birn-

Schmernie was crushed like a bug. This is gd. Young people or black people interested in 'socialism'? Was he drunk? But maybe our dark horse, Tulsi, will suddenly surge from behind--a horse's behind, wh/is what she is. Go, Schmiden! Yr such a goofy, clueless douche bag!

Michael-

I can't help feeling this is overblown media hysteria. Most people who have the virus don't die from it. One dr. I talked to said that in cases of most epidemics, there is a tendency for the curve to rise and then taper off in a few wks. Does anyone *really* know what's going to happen? And on what basis?

mb

10:34 PM  
Anonymous Gordon said...

MB

There is media hysteria but the epidemiology is sound. Wafers, social distance,
wash your hands fastidiously and often; don't touch your face. Masks are minimally effective however gloves help. Millions will die, mostly those over 60. It is a true
pandemic.


https://www.thejuicemedia.com/

2:37 AM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Italiana - I've also heard about aspirin being a factor in 1918 flu deaths, and the idea of "minimum effective dose" not being firmly entrenched at the time.

Another interesting thing I came across and which, if you would, I'd like you to help me winkle out of the intertubes, that "alcoholics don't get colds". I was a pretty heavy alcoholic for a while and lo and behold, I actually didn't get 'em. I'd like to find the place I first read that. A real alkie, not just a beer-binger, will drink the hard stuff and they tend to get negligent about eating. In other words, they tend to be in "keto" mode as in "keto" diet-following. And indeed, keto-ists talk at times about catching less colds. I know if I stay "hard keto" with no cheats, I seem to not get them or get them only mildly.

3:37 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gordon-

Post only once every 24 hrs, thanks. As for the virus: you cd be rt. Time will tell, in any case.

mb

5:07 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

France is entering its third day of confinement. People are allowed out of their homes pretty much only to get food, to get medical care or to perform "critical" work (i.e. plumbing), and only with a signed-by-hand certificate made available by the government online. Those not following the rules can be fined 135€ by the police. Streets are empty, there are hour-long queues in supermarkets, and hospital staff are on the verge of mental breakdown. The virus, while certainly overblown by the media, however is NOT a hoax.

I was expecting collapse to happen after 10 years of reading MB's work and this blog, but I have to admit this is still catching me off guard.

Kanye

5:46 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kanye-

Well, me too. This was hardly the scenario for collapse I was expecting...but then are we really facing a collapse? Too many things are still up in the air. Personally, I wd not compare this situation with the Black Plague of the Middle Ages.

mb

7:30 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Dr. B:

It is quite possible to predict what will happen with the COVID 19 virus. Countries that quarantine and test will have better outcomes than those that don't. In the US we will have a higher infection and death rate than countries that have had experience with epidemics in the past.

https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-act-today-or-people-will-die-f4d3d9cd99ca

8:22 AM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Greetings from Cascadia, Wafers everywhere. As part of my stay-at-home reading this spring between breaks to garden and artistic endeavors, I’ve been focused on a new 800-page tome by Villanova University academic Eugene McCarraher, “The Enchantments of Mammon, How Capitalism Became the Religion of Modernity.” McCarraher is a former student of cultural historian Jackson Lears. I’m about halfway through and will write a short review for Wafers at some point, but one point driven home to me is how deeply and long hustling and commodity civilization are embedded in the history of American culture, and how weak the alternatives have been to the predominant enchantment.

Back to the presence crisis: my spouse yesterday found a link to a UK medical college paper discussing potential effectiveness of various strategies for suppressing the virus; you can read it for yourself here, but the gist is that a combination of strategies such as social isolation, institutional closures, hospital measures, etc likely will be necessary for 3 months at a time with short breaks until/if a vaccine becomes available (18 months?). The economic impacts of this should prove “interesting”:

https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/medicine/sph/ide/gida-fellowships/Imperial-College-COVID19-NPI-modelling-16-03-2020.pdf

9:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Mike-

I'm still confused, because apparently, the virus is not nec. a death sentence. At least so far, the percentage of those infected who then go on to die is relatively small.

mb

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

Another fine example of capitalism in the plague years.

https://www.theverge.com/platform/amp/2020/3/17/21184308/coronavirus-italy-medical-company-threatens-sue-3d-print-valves-treatments?__twitter_impression=true

11:12 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

From 1347 to 1350 the Black Death struck Europe:

· In less than two years 30% to 60% of the population of Europe was wiped out.
· Nearly 75 million died in western Europe alone.
· 18000 people died in London in the course of three years.
· Almost 1/3 of the worlds population had died from the plague by 1350.
· Estimates go from 100 to 200 million deaths worldwide.
· The mortality rate of the bubonic plague was 30% to 75% percent.

https://deathblack.wordpress.com/category/statistics/

Highest death rate for Covid-19 is 3.7% And that was a month ago.

It's the combination of economic and social effect that will be interesting. For example, ideally, as people spend more time not shopping and being still at home, they will develop their inner selves. Realistically, I expect after a few more days or so a large number of Americans are going to lose it and we'll have large roaming herds in shopping malls or more and more families doing the suicide/murder self-destruct.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan D-

I doubt that the coronavirus will be a repeat of the plague. As for developing inner selves: Americans don't have inner selves.

mb

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Tay Panovich said...

Dan/MB/Wafers:

Won't be a repeat of the plague, but please dont minimize this guys. Could really balloon into something nasty. Practice what we preach and monasticize! Hermetic isolation comes naturally to our community, it's better to be overly cautious instead of infirmed. Esp. our older members, esp. our beloved professor!

Even professional sceptics like the editor of the Skeptical Inquirer Michael Shermer think millions of Americans alone could possibly die.

This source is only a *CONSERVATIVE* # !
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/17/world/europe/coronavirus-imperial-college-johnson.html

11:55 AM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

Just as I was about to finish the day on a less than enthusiastic note, Som reports from around the world brightened my night up.

Rest assured Americans, we can fight the virus with guns: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/coronavirus-us-panic-buying-guns-ammo-nra-a9403886.html?fbclid=IwAR1DuWy62pYX4iPlp2yxEZD08Ea7-gGfiFr0bx8TAgS-CxGWhU6NsXe9tVc

In this part of the world, cows are saving us, but the police is not amused: https://www.theweek.in/news/india/2020/03/18/volunteer-falls-ill-after-drinking-cow-urine-bjp-leader-arrested-for-hosting-party.amp.html?__twitter_impression=true&fbclid=IwAR2CFppGcJzmCx1gwTVhYX-6VBblnFvrBGAbFFCgs9gwk6KkoJj0WlPjp70

And this is an interesting one exploring the bio-war angle: https://asiatimes.com/2020/03/china-locked-in-hybrid-war-with-us/?fbclid=IwAR3_j7LFh5gQzzmgscZ5hWBVFguk6n4gLvhgZE5YvAzhTEpQGzPObFZQsWI

Where are we, exactly? Can wafers show us some light?

12:58 PM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

Continuing the discussion of the facade of democracy, Chris Hedges has this to say:

"There are no substantial political differences between the Democrats and Republicans. We have only the illusion of participatory democracy. Both parties are full partners in the reconfiguration of American society into a form of neofeudalism. It only depends on how you want it dressed up."

Unfortunately, Chris ends, as he always does, by calling the masses to revolt against their oligarchic overlords, with the same effect as a preacher urging sexual abstinence.

https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-one-choice-election/

MB - I rise to second your recommendation of the Night Manager. Excellent presentation.

I doubt the virus is an intentional conspiracy. Viruses have been ravaging the human species for 100s of 1000s of years. BUT - it could be used by the unscrupulous with authoritarian tendencies as a rehearsal for later clamp-downs on American rights, which, by the way, are already on life support, as if a virus had infected them.

1:45 PM  
Anonymous cormorant said...

The virus certainly isn't the Black death. The main problem is that it's very contagious and there's a risk of hospitals being overwhelmed if control measures are not implemented. That's what's causing a lot of these deaths, not the virus itself. The reason why so many European countries are imposing draconian measures is to slow down the spread over a number of weeks months in order to help hospitals deal with infections. I agree with Dr Berman that a lot of stuff about the virus is overblown. I think these predictions of 12-18 months are certainly overblown. Interestingly, they are being used as an excuse by the UK and the US not to implement social controls and carry on with their laissez faire system. it's becoming clear that countries with strong social networks will get through this better than individualistic societies like the UK and US.

Overall it's not bad thing that the world system shuts down for a month or two IMO. It might help reset things on many levels.

2:02 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

trying-

As for Hedges, Gore Vidal said the same thing yrs ago. Plus, he's just a one-string guitar. Sure, Chris: the masses are going to rise up. Any day now, amigo. Hedges is proving what I have said repeatedly: there will never be a wakeup moment for him, at least not in this lifetime. He lives in Disneyland as much as any typical American.

mb

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Thomas Strimpel said...

Good afternoon, Dr. Berman,
I’m fairly new to the Wafer community and recently finished your Twilight of American Culture book.

At this point in American Empire, I highly advise that you bar the windows and doors to your house, as well as ride out into the night on horse back alerting your neighbors- THE AMERICANS ARE COMING!

https://www.wkbn.com/news/americans-flood-into-mexico-in-search-of-toilet-paper-food-and-water/

2:32 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

In addition to the news surrounding the virus and a possible major recession, the slow decline of the United States continues.

A review of the new book by Anne Case and Angus Deaton on deaths of despair in America.

https://www.npr.org/2020/03/18/817687042/deaths-of-despair-examines-the-steady-erosion-of-u-s-working-class-life

A study shows that social media makes breakups worse.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/02/200214094404.htm

3:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tom-

I live a few blocks from where Trotsky was killed. Will I suffer a similar fate? Stay tuned.

mb

4:07 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Shithouse said...

Norway is spot on ('leave countries with poorly developed health systems, like the US').

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/03/16/norway-university-calls-students-return-home-countries-poorly-developed-health

IMO, Mr Hedges likely has some brain damage or mental derangement bc any sane person would understand that the US empire was a bad joke. It's people, it's institutions etc...etc...the "rising-up" bullshit is part of his cognitive dissonance and/or part of the hustle for honoraria/book sales.

No health care, FATCA, CBT, employment at will doctrines, no paid leave, no real pension, student loan debts, militarism/war mongering, etc.etc..yet Dementia Joe is the answer?! Mr. Hedges that was some movement--more like a bowel movement.

The ONLY real movement is expatriation.

4:13 PM  
Blogger dermot said...

@ Mikko: (quoting Reason.com) "A lot of what we're doing is loosening restrictions".

God, what is wrong with Libertarians? I really mean it. Planes grounded, theaters shut by fiat, countries on lockdown, sports events canceled, flights canceled, travel restricted or banned - and the Koch Libertarian rag 'REASON' (probably the most inappropriate name for any website) cites the loosening of hand sanitisers on planes and a few other minor nonsenses as proof of Libertarian values contra the HEAVY HAND of GOVERNMENT? Bloody hell. What planet are they on?

Y'know why I KNOW Libertarianism is bilge? Because if the Free Market was left to itself, every public space would still be packed with people spreading their crud to one another and to the sick and elderly. Because the motto of Libertarianism can be summed up in one phrase:

"I'M ALL RIGHT JACK, FUCK YOU".

I think it was Mark Ames who said a few years ago, "If someone tells you they're a Libertarian, spit on them". Good advice then, but I wouldn't do it now because, not being a Libertarian, I wouldn't want to spread a potentially fatal disease.

5:20 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dermot-

Are there any critiques of Libertarianism you cd refer us to?

shithouse-

If yr optimistic, and patriotic, and tell yr audience that revolution is rt around the corner, you'll sell a lotta bks. Not clear to me how left-wing hustling is any different from regular hustling. But yes, cognitive dissonance is surely at work here. Will Freddie Wadsworth stop fucking goats long enuf to head to the barricades? Will Shaneka Torres train her machine gun on the Power Elite, rather than on McDonald's? And what will those radical communists souls--Lorenzo Riggins, Chrystal Walraven, Laquisha Jones, etc etc--do to foment the overthrow of that Elite? I'm on the edge of my seat.

mb

5:58 PM  
Anonymous Glans Butterworth, III said...

This is what America was all about:

https://nypost.com/2020/03/04/coronavirus-themed-porn-is-going-viral/


These are your neighbors/voters/true believers, the folks going to "resist" and "revolt." Maybe these US-ians are attacking the power structures with their genitalia while making a buck? What could be more American?

6:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

Check it out:

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/18/entertainment/tom-hanks-rita-wilson-coronavirus-update/index.html

8:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

If Schmernie gets Tulsified, what wd it look like? I await yr responses.

mb

9:53 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

It's really odd to me they can end a primary before the State of New York votes. If I were a New Yorker I'd be kind of pissed. My theory is Tom Perez and the Clinton/Obama cabal have no intention of exposing the extent of Biden's Dementia.

Bernie's Bull Moose Party 2020! Fuck it let's ignite that cold civil war, no wait I forgot we're at War with a Virus! Americans will nut-up hard at this clarion. Everyday Trump consolidates power, how easy it might be to call a rigged election as States attempt to"upgrade" their systems.

11:45 PM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

A very short article about what COVID 19 is putting the Italian medical staff through.

https://www.rt.com/news/483385-italy-piacenza-coronavirus-nurse/

And this link provides an interview with an Italian specialist about the Italian COVID 19 situation and commentary by Rupert Read about how UK is responding to COVID 19.

https://soundcloud.com/rttv/going-underground-coronavirus-advice-from-an-italian-doctor-on-the-frontlines-of-the-pandemic

12:54 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

In DAA and WAF, I discuss how out of it, in terms of rdg the American people, Jimmy Carter was when he gave his 'Spiritual Malaise' speech in 1979, urging Americans to turn away from consumerism and look for deeper values. Ronnie, on the other hand, knew his audience, and told them what they wanted to hear: you can live in Disneyland forever. And thus the senile turkey won the greatest electoral landslide in American history. To this day, he often shows up as #1 on polls asking, Who is yr favorite president?

Which leads me to wonder: What was Schmernie thinking, both times, when he launched his campaign? The American people have no interest in a redistribution of wealth; they just want greater individual opportunities to hustle, and to become wealthy. Biden adheres to this ideology; Trumpi does so in spades. In many ways, Schmernie represents the best in the Jewish tradition: fairness and justice for all, and helping the little guy, the underdog. Did he really think that this Jewish 'ideology' was going to play well, across the country? I can't help thinking he must be as senile as Biden.

Jimmy, of course, wasn't senile, altho the day after his lecture some Congressmen took to the floor to suggest he was insane. What he had done was map decency and true spirituality, in wish-fulfillment fashion, onto a populace that possessed very little of these qualities, and abs. no interest in cultivating them. Talk abt pearls before swine.

Anyway, Schmernie will soon drop out. As in the case of Tulsi, this was a campaign that never shd have started (altho she stands for nothing great in the Hindu tradition, that I can make out; there is Shiva the Destroyer, but apparently there is no Buffoon Goddess).

Anyway, all that is impt from a declinist pt of view, is that we continue our downward slide. Perhaps the corona virus will help in that direction, but ultimately I think it will play a minor chord in the symphony of inevitable self-destruction.

mb

12:59 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

One hugely important under-reported consequence of this Covid-19 crisis, is the amount of family dramas and violence playing out in homes across the world right now. After living apart and swiping their issues under the rug for years and years, many families confined together are for sure imploding from all the repressed rage and frustrations they've accumulated. They can't run away from each other in confinement. From a "bad is good" perspective, this is great news as it only accelerates the spiritual demise of the empire.

Onwards!

Kanye

3:20 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

This article from January suggests another reason why Bernie did not do as well this time-

"While Bernie still has fans in 2020, he has done major damage to his 'unconventionality brand.' By backing Hillary Clinton in 2016, he resembled every other cowardly politician."

https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/03/shit-life-syndrome-trump-voters-and-clueless-dems/

It seems that a lot of his younger supporters from 2016 did not come out this time- they were shafted by the establishment in 2016, with Bernie obsequiously surrendering to the DNC. It's the Bush the Lesser rule- "Fool me once, shame on..." Or something like that.

Prediction- O'Biden will mostly be kept from interacting with the public, and will only be allowed to make carefully scripted TV addresses.

3:48 AM  
Anonymous Bingo said...

My heart goes out to these people:

"Super-Rich Paralyzed As Private Jet Travel Restricted"

https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/super-rich-paralyzed-private-jet-travel-restricted

8:19 AM  
Blogger Kashe Varnishke said...

MB thank you for that DAA and WAF comment. It’s that kind of distillation of analysis that makes your blog so great.

Jim

8:54 AM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

Hedges describes the current economic, political and social culture with accuracy. He accepts that America is in unprecedented decline. But he errs in 2 ways:
1. He attributes the decline to the work of oligarchs, instead of the American way of life, favored by both rich and poor.
2. He continues to believe that the poor masses wish to and could regain control of the country if they would only rise up in protest.

Possibly because of his Calvinist upbringing, he lives, as MB notes, in a strict Disneyfied dichotomy of bad oligarchs and good masses, and, like the Judeo-Christian faith he espouses, dreams of a world of prophetic justice in which the poor and needy are treated with fairness and the rich are "sent empty away". A laudable vision, but one that is not likely to become a reality in a nation whose primary goals are the accumulation of wealth and power. Our only hope is in facing the reality of the world and living with as much integrity and compassion as possible.

9:34 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

trying-

Well, there's also Dual Process. The US will collapse, but what is on the other side of that watershed, and can we create alternative institutions? Not in America, I fear: our psychology is all wrong, and it's not gonna change. But there may be hope for Europe or Latin America, with different traditions and perhaps a Catholic-family-socialistic-humanitarian outlook. As for Hedges, History is trying to teach him a lesson, almost on a daily basis, but he prefers to stay stuck in Disneyland, and in a Manichaean world view. Hence, the sadness you can see in his eyes. This is one poor shmuck. No wakeup moment for Chris, in this lifetime. As one sage once said, when myth meets facts, myth wins.

Jim-

Yr welcome. Gotta admit, I never was a big fan of kashe.

Julian-

I guess suffering really *is* democratic!

Birn-

It cd be, altho I think Schmernie grossly overestimated the supposed idealism of American youth. During the VN war, for example, 95% of them were not in the streets; they were advancing their careers and looking forward to becoming rich. Today, I'm guessing that 98% of them are interested in hustling and the American Dream, not in Schmernie's brand of FDR-'socialism'. Like Jimmy, he was wide of the mark in his assessment of the American psyche. We are selfish and greedy, not generous and big of heart. We don't look inward, or see ourselves as others see us, as Jimmy asked us to do. No way, Jose. We, not the 3rd World, are truly the Wretched of the Earth.

mb

10:05 AM  
Blogger vsoguy said...

Schmermie Banters

Tulsi Gabs

But it's Trumpi who has his finger on the pulse of a culture-gone-wrong.

Only problem is the coronavirus is immune to his slurs and insults, which is the only tool in his arsenal.

Onward and downward!

10:09 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

So, what should Sanders be doing instead? Just rolling over and playing dead? Moving to another country and living off his income streams? By this logic, Martin Luther King Jr.should have done the same thing- cashed out and sat off-shore watching America burn itself to the ground in the '60s. None of us should ever do anything if we live in the US except figure out how to scam enough money to be able to bail. And scam is all that is possible, no way to make a living with any honesty or integrity?

If you want to keep certain elements of the human spirit alive, it has to be manifest at a variety of levels. Sure, he's on a hopeless mission in one way of viewing it. But keeping possibilities alive, which is part of my understanding of NMI, can take a variety of forms at a variety of levels.

10:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan D-

If Schmernie had a lick of intelligence, he'd understand that his candidacy was not viable in the US. What he shd have done, was stay put, in the Senate. MLK a whole different story, and a whole different set of dynamics--already discussed on this blog at length, more than once (where were *you*?). And if we choose to live in the US, and can't get out, there's the NMI option--again, already discussed here at length. Keeping useless possibilities alive, as a gesture, is not part of being an NMI. I take it yr a fan of Hedges. That shd take you far.

mb

11:37 AM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Tulsism joins Mittaic Philosophy in the junkbox of history, as Tulsi Gabbard ends her 2020 Presidential campaign. I shall dance the Wah-Tulsi one last time, and then tend to my spring vegetable garden. There’s no word on whether Gabbard will be invited to Evergreen College to teach a course “Yoga for Environs” for fall quarter.

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/world/us-politics/article-hawaii-congresswoman-tulsi-gabbard-ends-her-2020-presidential-campaign/

11:58 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jack-

The tragedy is that the American public will never get to know the wisdom of Tulsism. She was a brilliant comet, streaking across the American sky, ready to do great things for us. And now, Tulsi is condemned to the wastebin of history, little more than a turd floating down the toilet of American politics. Cd anything be more cruel? Tulsi, Tulsi! We adore you! Meanwhile, Schmernie is soon to follow her edifying example.

mb

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Shithouse said...

Most Wafers have read about sevl police depts. asking US-ians stop calling 911 due to a toilet paper shortage. (These must the "rising up" folks that are resisting/revolting as they obv don't know the difference b/w virus v. bacteria.)

This resto is offering a potential solution for Americans:

https://www.kiro7.com/news/trending/coronavirus-combo-oregon-restaurant-offers-pizza-toilet-paper-15/FIU5D2OM2VG7BNQFQVC55MSAH4/

1:32 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

The age-old question used to be....”Ginger or Mary Ann”?

Now, the most important question is....”Tulsi or Sarah”?


https://images.app.goo.gl/pSVZUTGPdeQi635DA


https://images.app.goo.gl/jYMzC4ysWxNVBXV79


2:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

jj-

Tulsi and Sarah: America in microcosm. You look at Tulsi's face, and when you realize how stupid she is, it's scary. Then there's Sarah dancing around in a bear costume, singing "Baby Got Back." Were the last days of Rome this ridiculous?

mb

4:05 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Newsflash from America's flaccid penis. "I'm not gonna let it stop me from partying." Hey man, no skin off my ass, it's called survival by natural selection. (this video may be upsetting to some viewers, graphic display of brain damaged, obese, morons)

https://twitter.com/CBSNews/status/1240371160078000128

4:38 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Wafers, MB,

Perhaps why you have to be cautious about reading corona
stories at first blush on the net. In addition corona stories seem
to be competing for eye balls as they have become the
focal point for placement of consumer ads and hustling it seems.

https://www.theverge.com/2020/3/17/21184308/coronavirus-italy-medical-3d-print-valves-treatments

4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

As George Carlin said about the elite, "it's a club and you ain't in it."

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/secret-recording-intelligence-chairman-warning-donors-about-coronavirus-weeks-ago-969767/

Not only did he warn donors he apparently sold off about 1.4 million dollars of stock a month before others knew what was happening.

American exceptionalism indeed!

5:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Tim-

I just received an ad endorsing an "Israeli doctor" who developed anti-virus pills, which they will sell to me for 3K a bottle. Yeah, where's my checkbk. There isn't a single event, a single area of American life, that doesn't involve hustling. (This includes 9/11.)

Where is SARS now? Where H1N1?

mb

5:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: some hard data:

https://www.latimes.com/science/story/2020-03-19/

6:51 PM  
Anonymous Harold said...

MB + Tim:

Here in the state of GA the governor enlisted a task force earlier today solely bc there's been so much con artistry. And that's coming from our con governor Kemp!

7:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Harold-

Many yrs ago Paul Fussell wrote that in America, everything is coated w/a fine layer of fraud. Now, of course, that layer is not so fine. Lurking in the wings is always the possibility of doing a scam, making a buck from any situation, including ones that involve tragedy. (There was even a scam w/credit cards using the info on the 3000 who died in 9/11.) America never really had a moral center, except for a few dissident voices.

You may know that a small group of black female elders interviewed Obama prior to his election, and their subsequent verdict was that "he has no moral center." His presidency subsequently bore that out--repeatedly, in fact. But as Richard Bushman shows in "From Puritan to Yankee," what little moral center that obtained was blown by the late 17C. Joyce Appleby ("Capitalism and a New Social Order") documented this as well, altho her dating was off by 100 yrs. (Her focus is late 18C.)

I have suggested on a few occasions that "In God We Trust" on legal tender be replaced by "What's In It For Me?" Why not just say who we are?

mb

8:05 PM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

American Dentistry organization is recommending unnecessary procedures and drilling teeth out to make an extra buck.

At what point do the guillotines come out? Oh nevermind this is America. Let's encourage them!

https://www.usatoday.com/in-depth/news/investigations/2020/03/19/dental-chain-private-equity-drills-healthy-teeth-profit/4536783002/

9:05 PM  
Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Doctor Berman,
Hey. Give this “doctor” a break. He's only trying to make an honest American living. Perhaps he'll find some willing customers. Con artistry is a talent in itself and just a minor ingredient of American hustling. Perhaps like the famous “great imposter”, Ferdinand Waldo Demara, this Israeli doctor peddling his anti-virus wares can be featured in Maria Konnikova's next book; and perhaps he also can receive royalties for letting his gimmick be mentioned.
https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/10/books/review/the-confidence-game-by-maria-konnikova.html

10:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Joe-

Fine, but what abt Anna Kournikova? Are we seriously going to leave her out of this discussion? Not to mention Maria Sharapova, and Nadezhda Bulvanova...

mb

10:37 PM  
Blogger Zzzt said...

MB...Chris Hedges did not predict the masses would rise up. He pointed out that that was the only hope to avoid human extinction which is perhaps unavoidable at this point.

2:39 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Z-

True, he didn't predict it. But he repeatedly calls for it in a context in which the result wd be the massacre of the 'uprisers'--pretty irresponsible, it seems to me. Plus, we hafta distinguish between specific actions on behalf of the environment--w/wh/I'm in agreement--and those attempting to broadly 'overthrow our corporate masters' (or the US gov't). The former hardly require a mass uprising. I've said it b4, that Hedges paints with a broad revolutionary brush; he makes few distinctions, and his psychology is quite Manichaean. Lumping everything together will not help us, I don't think.

mb

ps: Check out a film called "The East".

3:48 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps2: There is also severe cognitive dissonance going on w/Mr. Hedges, which I've also said b4: the possibility of this particular population, the American people, who (research has repeatedly shown) have very little objection to the upper 1% and only seek to join it, rising up against corporate America, is roughly negative infinity. This, Hedges never mentions; and living in reality means that you don't sweep this obvious fact under the rug. Plus, it is politically incorrect to label the American people clueless, not very bright, and fundamentally in agreement w/capitalism; and no public figure, Hedges included, wants to be seen as politically incorrect. Disneyland rules.

4:12 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

Just in case you wanted to watch Tulsi's "important announcement," here it is-

https://news.tulsi2020.com/en/an-important-announcement

She has now endorsed Biden, but supported Bernie in 2016. Here she is with Bernie in 2016, standing on Little Round Top at Gettysburg National Military Park-

https://bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com/gettysburgtimes.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/7/e1/7e117a0e-090b-11e6-8150-0f5a18323f93/571af95c8dc83.image.jpg?resize=1200%2C735

6:21 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Birn-

I guess she figures supporting Schmiden at this pt is more politically astute than remaining faithful to Schmernie. Which might mean she still has political ambitions. Que horror!

mb

8:21 AM  
Anonymous Ellisor, Lisa said...

Rinpoche's brain is 8 years younger than his body.

dzogchen meditation for the win!

https://allthatsinteresting.com/yongey-mingyur-rinpoche-brain

11:00 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Could this be part of an argument for degrowth? There is some evidence that American life expectancy increased during the Great Depression. Apparently a booming economy is not always good for your health.

https://www.history.com/news/great-depression-economy-life-expectancy

It would be interesting to compare how people dealt with the Great Depression versus more recent economy downturns. Are modern Americans more prone to deaths of despair? Is there less community now to bolster people during hard times?

11:27 AM  
Blogger Penny Lane said...

"The head of Israel's shadowy Shin Bet internal security service said Tuesday that his agency received Cabinet approval overnight to start deploying its counter-terrorism tech measures to help curb the spread of the new coronavirus in Israel."

https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/g5x3my/israel-just-texted-400-people-to-tell-them-they-were-exposed-to-coronavirus?utm_source=reddit.com

What could possibly go wrong?

11:46 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

You can listen to Tom Lehrer while you ponder a recent photograph of beach goers in Florida oblivious to the threat from the corona virus.

Lehrer :
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6qFG0uop9k

beach goers :
https://cbsnews3.cbsistatic.com/hub/i/r/2020/03/17/cd03123f-b634-401b-b64b-db8c023ac271/thumbnail/1200x630/5c2b35085282154fabb89824d6128633/screen-shot-2020-03-17-at-1-02-30-pm.png

accompanying article :
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-florida-beaches-ignore-social-distancing/

11:59 AM  
Anonymous Tamler said...

The smaller case load of the pandemic in Mexico might start to change:

Vail Emerges as Virus Hotbed for Mexican Skiers Returning Home

https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2020-03-19/vail-emerges-as-virus-hotbed-for-mexican-skiers-returning-home?

12:41 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

To the list of individuals knowing when to capture some of their longterm capital gains and set aside funds for stock purchases after an eventual market recovery, let us add; (1) Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA); (2) Senator James Inhofe (R-OK); and (3). Senator Kelly Loeffler (R-GA).

Feinstein is the senior—boy, I’ll say (86)—senator from California; she and her husband sold between $1.5 and $6 mllion in biotech firm Allogene Therapeutics stock between 31 January and 18 February.

Inhofe is perhaps best known outside Oklahoma for soundly refuting the climate change/global warming hoax by bringing a snowball into the well of the Senate. Take that climate kooks!

And Kelly Loeffler, newly elected senator from Georgia, is married to the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-20/senators-sold-stock-after-coronavirus-briefings-in-january

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Drury said...

https://www.amazon.com/Geography-Morals-Varieties-Moral-Possibility/dp/0190212152

The Geography of Morals: Varieties of Moral Possibility

In my quarantine so far I've finished this great book. Lots of well-balanced interplay between science and worldly philosophy

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Shithouse said...

Phenomenon that I encounter with USians; perhaps, Wafers can offer input.

Run into us immigrants from Asian and the EU working at stores, neighbors etc....and when I ask them how are their former countries dealing » with the flu-virus, they say much better, they have their shit together, the govt is working to help, working not broken testing kits, masks, transparent research, etc...then I interject that they have a real community with real values, and a govt /leadership of mostly experts not lawyers-politicians hacks.

Their face immediately changes like they’re sucking on a lemon, head goes down, and they quickly change topic.

I have done this at least 12x, and 12/12 this is the phenomena I observe. FYI-We are the fuck outta here—making appropriate plans.

3:21 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Wafers, MB

Perhaps further evidence that the decline is not
in jeopardy as fresh recruits have stepped up.
The alma maters are probably a little disappointed
their institutional names were not identified in the
video for future enrollee potential and Wall Street just
wants their names for future employee prospects.
The future looks like it is in good hands. I was
starting to get a little concerned.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gmm2se1HXOM

3:50 PM  
Anonymous DiogenesTheElder said...

Long time since I've written in. I'm gonna go ahead and call it ---- this is THE Suez moment for the US of A. Just my opinion, but things are looking bleak, and the Orange Turd is truly NOT rising to the occasion. Worse leadership in such a time one will not find! My sincere hope is for a deep transformation, akin to the caterpillar and the butterfly. Alas, I fear there is no vision anywhere for anything other than more of the same. Even the so-called "leaders" are silent at the moment (not sure who they would be, but all of this demonstrates how there is no moral leadership anywhere at the moment).

WAFERs may appreciate this book review:
https://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/have-we-been-denying-our-human-nature-for-four-hundred-years/

DTE

3:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dio-

You cd be rt, but I think the jury is still out. There hasn't been a major discrediting of the country yet, and I worry that the rest of the world will say the problem is just Trumpi.

Penny-

Be sure to see a film called "The Gatekeepers."

Tom-

On deaths of despair: check out impt artice by Helen Epstein, "Left Behind," in NYRB, March 26.

mb

5:01 PM  
Anonymous Mark Hong said...

Pretty sure it was Voltaire that once jabbed that the Holy Roman Empire was not holy,
nor Roman, nor an empire. USA lookin a lot like that lately....

5:33 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

A friend of a friend in Florida told me she is certain she has the virus and tried to get a test. She was told the next available time for her to get a test would be on April 15! This is a complete full-spectrum breakdown. 12 million people have no income, no health insurance, and no savings. Phila. police are not concerned with non-violent crime which includes robbery. Today kids were playing basketball and one claimed he was fouled. An argument ensued and one of the players got shot. In other words, I expect mass hysteria to occur should this last into April which I'm sure it will. Actually, I enjoy being alone but even I'm feeling stress. One can only imagine how more socially active people feel in this insanity.

7:19 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferes,

@ BirnZ Thanks for the photo of Burn and Watusi...On Monday April 2nd last year I stood at the exact spot on an overcast afternoon and surveyed that same somber scene after having spent the entire day on an auto tour of the great battlefield.. There I stood, alone with my little shih tzu. It was a meditative moment. Not exactly zazen, but useful...recommended to Wafers...Twelve days later in Manhattan, then @ "6ANYWSM". Makes for great memories and total satisfaction.

Now, a year later, we can observe with reverence the great irony of the actual coronal meltdown and flirtation with collapse, the banking scramble and the fracking of amerika's cold shale skin, as the arabs and the oiligarchs go head to head. Who could have ever written the fiction which become an even stranger truth? Hang on, hold tight.

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Dio: Good to hear from you! So far, as a so called "essential" employee actually working full time, I predict ... the longer it lasts the Virus will kill many small businesses but once the worst is over in April/May, the consumer will unleash pent-up spending craziness. Then, shit will go right back to hustling.

Lack of reflection, of thought despite they have plenty of time to think, most Amerikkkans will treat it as; "Thank god I made it, so now I better buy that yacht before COVID21 shows up."

9:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

mean-

Well, maybe John le Carre. But many are now looking forward to the 7ANYWSM, which is promising to blow the lid off the previous 6. May 2021, hopefully post-virus. Once again, outsiders are offering me yachts and gold bars to get a ringside seat.

mb

9:34 PM  
Anonymous Encomia said...

Corona for sure is the death disease of neoliberalism.

10:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Encomia-

Not for sure. Possibly a factor, but it might be over in a few mos, leaving the basic structures modified, but more or less intact. In any case, when you give us an assertion like that--provide a link, some evidence, whatever. Opinions don't count for much w/o proof.

mb

10:58 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

MeanGene-

You're welcome. I was a weekend licensed guide there for 15 years, but recently retired because I still work full-time and needed to spend more time with my ailing wife.

8:06 AM  

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