September 14, 2020


Well, as many of your posts suggest, we continue to go to hell in a basket. The election is only a few weeks away; either way, it will change nothing. Except that Trump will make things even worse, should he be reelected. The bubbas are armed; the progs have their heads rammed deeply in their buttocks, and roll around like donuts. You do the math.


Blogger Joe McIlnen said...

Dr. Berman,
You mentioned the Bubbas and the Progs. However, you forgot to mention the Karens! These tough gals could be the deciding swing votes that decide if Don the Con gets reelected.
And speaking of rolling around like donuts, how about these two “Ultimate” Karens? One is in the super heavyweight class; the other wants everyone to see her butt rolling around as they tough it out. LOL!

1:45 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

To add to the annals of the decrepit New York Times, a family paid for a death notice for Nicholas Sturgeon, a philospohy professor at Cornell. The notice ended with a note on donations or such:
"...between now and November 3rd, write postcards, make calls, send texts, donate cash, and otherwise dedicate themselves to achieving Nick's dearest wish: flipping the Senate, soundly defeating the incumbent of the White House, and rescuing our democracy from fascism."

The New York Times refused to print the text 'from fascism.' "My apologies as we are not able to mention in the last line of the death notice "from fascism". I did remove that copy from the notice as it doesn't meet our acceptability standards."

This is the newspaper who brought you Judith Miller and Tom Cotten.

On a lighter note, Major League Baseball is filling the stands with cardboard cutouts-

2:39 PM  
Anonymous Cherith Cutestory said...

-- Wafer David mentioned Americans not being able to accept grim reality and how they have optimism in their DNA. This reminded me of James Baldwin's contemplation that Americans have no "sense of tragedy". From Suzy Hansen's spectacular book Notes on a Foreign Country: "Baldwin meant that [Americans] couldn't grasp that life itself was a risk, that there was no such thing as safety, that eventually we all suffer and die, and that the acceptance of this fact is precisely what empowers us to struggle and endure".

-- In Arabic, I love that that in written dialog, the person talking comes before their speech. In English it's: "Are you from around here?", asked David. Sometimes it's confusing, esp. when it's a long quote and the context is ambiguous. In Arabic it's: David asked, "Are you from around here?". Makes much more sense. Also Arabic speech is pretty direct and mostly devoid of the hesitant, weak hedging we always use: not uncommon, you might want to, if i were you i would, etc.

2:43 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Daja Tucker, 24, is headed to jail after attacking three McDonald's employees for not receiving her cookie:


2:57 PM  
Anonymous Seneca's Cliff said...

The fires have brought out the best in the Bubbas. Most of Oregon's Bubbas live out in forested hinterlands of the state so they have had more than their share of exposure to the tragic fires burning everywhere. But despite the threat posed by the fast moving fires and apocalyptic air quality they seem to be mostly concerned with urban youth sneaking out to the woods and stealing their stuff. Make sure you go to the part of this article with photos of the signs the Bubbas have put up to warn off the looters.

4:09 PM  
Anonymous cormorant said...

Mike Duncan on twelve reasons the US is heading for revolution:

Duncan is a USian who lives in France. He saw the way the wind was blowing and got the hell outta Dodge.

5:47 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

New book available: "How the South Won the Civil War," by Heather Cox Richardson.

Here's a review-

6:06 PM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

Turkeys cant get enough wrestling! Now facing $10,000 in fines.

Biden signs in many of the lawns around me but there's always a few Trump supporters sprinkled in. I even saw a Qanon bumper sticker.

Stupidity levels through the roof. Trumpi could pull another upset!

7:41 PM  
Anonymous Dr. Shithouse said...

Getting a little verklempt (teary eyed) Dr. Berman and Wafers, this is what the US was about. A US-ian police officer does a "wellness check" on an obviously mentally ill man, and then beat the shit out of him and of course, tasers him.

How's that Black Lives Matter trendy thing doing, is it like Occupy Wall Street and the Brett Cavanaugh shows?

usa, usa!

8:50 PM  
Anonymous Tino said...

‘Like an Experimental Concentration Camp’: Whistleblower Complaint Alleges Mass Hysterectomies at ICE Detention Center

Literal crimes against humanity.

9:19 PM  
Anonymous Sean Kerrigan said...

For the first time ever, I think this election might actually change something; not due to who eventually is elected (selected?) president, but rather the process itself, which could be so disruptive it destabilizes the political environment even more seriously than anyone is currently predicting. Will we even have a clear winner by January?

As presidential elections get close, people, even relatively smart and skeptical people, start to fall in line with "my guy has to win!" thinking (less so every 4 years, but it still happens). It blinds people to the underlying problem that the wild swings and general craziness are becoming more intense. I see no reason to think 2021 will be any less wild than this year, which may end up being historic in how textbooks chart the collapse of the US empire.

9:28 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

I made a post office run today. It was like it is a week before Xmas. People and packages everywhere. Someone with a cart full of Priority Mail flat-rate boxes ranting something about how they're "legally required" to open a side door for him. Delivery chute was jammed. I grabbed a USPS "boat" box and put my packages in it, went around to the back loading docks and dropped my packages off there - it's perfectly OK and encouraged for large loads actually. They'll get used to seeing me and my bike/trailer going in and out of the back docks I guess.

Next stop FedEx. Commented about the situation at the Post Office - "Oh yeah, they shut down half their conveyor belts" the friendly guy said.

This P.O. is a major hub for Silicon Valley. It's not some little hole in the wall.

So, nothing profound or political, just a snapshot of the fuckery on this fine (cough cough "red" air) September 14th ...

11:36 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Jack Rasmus argues that unemployment in the United States is much higher than the official figure. Instead of the official figure of 8.4%, Rasmus argues that US unemployment is 25%, or about the same as the worst years of the Great Depression.

Even if Rasmus is overstating the unemployment rate I suspect that he is right that it is worse than official figures suggest.

3:24 AM  
Anonymous Bartje said...

<< And now here we are. There’s a sense in which last week was historic. When was the last time—50 years ago? 100? 150?—that within a span of five days, Americans on both sides of a political divide were killed by Americans on the other side? Now the hope is that we can keep last week from becoming really historic—remembered by historians as a gateway to something way worse. >>

Tips on Avoiding a Civil War

7:56 AM  
Anonymous Andalusian Musician said...

All I can say is that things can fall apart a lot faster than anyone has anticipated. Few anticipated the swiftness of USSR collapse. No matter how election goes, it is clear that most, whether on the side of Biden or Trump will not accept results of the election. USA denied freedom to choose to others, and now chickens have come to roost. Well I am with you Mr. Berman on this: Bad is good. Lets get through it, we will have to eventually. Can I suggest an interesting book? "The Upside of Down" by Thomas Homer Dixon. I am not sure you heard of the book. Take care!

9:16 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, I don't post Anons. Please pick a real handle. Thank you.


The bk was publ. in 2008. Homer-Dixon is a sharp guy.


We've discussed this b4: there are ways that the stats of unemployment can be 'legitimately' rigged. 8.4% is b.s.


In the 1960 election, we didn't have the official ruling on JFK's win until Jan. 1961.


I guess she joins the Shaneka Torres hall of fame. In the US, there is no upper limit to the # of morons. Some go to McDonald's; many to this blog.


1000 apologies. I love the Karens.


11:22 AM  
Blogger moresoma said...

“It would be some consolation for the feebleness of ourselves and our works, if all things should perish as slowly as they come into being; but as it is, increases are of sluggish growth, but the way to ruin is rapid.” ~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca

As far along & dangerous as social, political, cultural & institutional collapse are a much deadlier threat is screaming in the humans faces &... la la la we're not listening.

“It’s going to get A LOT worse,” Georgia Tech climate scientist Kim Cobb said Wednesday.“ - “A year like 2020 could have been the subject of a marvelous science fiction film in 2000,” Cobb said. “Now we have to watch and digest real-time disaster after disaster after disaster, on top of a pandemic. The outlook could not be any more grim. It’s just a horrifying prospect.” ---

11:47 AM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

Just think of the scene, Tulsi marching ahead on her mission to save America. Molten down Karens following her in full strength. What else can define these times?

Three headlines:

World fails to meet a single target to stop destruction of nature – UN report

Hurricane Sally is crawling toward the Gulf Coast, and that could mean heavy flooding and lengthy, punishing storm surge

22 people are missing in the West Coast wildfires, but it's too dangerous to search for them

Yet, we think an election here and there are the biggest events that will determine our life and death. The frogs still believe Biden and his ilk will fight climate change that Trump isn't doing.

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Monica said...

"We took a 4 billion year old planet, disrupted its climate with a 250 year old social system dependent on carbon then, on realising the problem, decided a 25 year old ideology must be the only solution - the free market..."

5:48 PM  
Anonymous Sanders said...

the anthropologist who says it’s westerners who are the weirdos

I think I need to read this book!

8:04 PM  
Anonymous Ted's Handle said...

In all 13 countries surveyed by Pew global this summer, people see America's response to COVID-19 more negatively than they see the response of their own country, the WHO and the EU. Everywhere except Japan, they also rate it worse than China's response.

8:58 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

Mr Belman is on the Radar ''McMindfulness Who Moved My Cheese
​Morris Berman wrote, Why America Failed, and Are We There Yet, and Dark Ages America. He recently appeared on the podcast: Nature Bats Last''. thanks @ cormorant for link. Also Piketty's new book is brilliant

2:31 AM  
Anonymous Orca said...

I don't know what to make out if this

4:40 AM  
Anonymous Allegra said...

From mine-resistant vehicles to robots to semi-automatic weapons, a new CostsOfWar study documents the insane post-9/11 militarization of American police, and truly just the latest example of how our wars have come home.

Any thoughts from Paul Krugman?

7:01 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

This is what organized crime looks like:

"Like many of the virus’s hardest hit victims, the United States went into the COVID-19 pandemic wracked by preexisting conditions. A fraying public health infrastructure, inadequate medical supplies, an employer-based health insurance system perversely unsuited to the moment—these and other afflictions are surely contributing to the death toll. But in addressing the causes and consequences of this pandemic—and its cruelly uneven impact—the elephant in the room is extreme income inequality.

"How big is this elephant? A staggering $50 trillion. That is how much the upward redistribution of income has cost American workers over the past several decades.

"This is not some back-of-the-napkin approximation. According to a groundbreaking new working paper by Carter C. Price and Kathryn Edwards of the RAND Corporation, had the more equitable income distributions of the three decades following World War II (1945 through 1974) merely held steady, the aggregate annual income of Americans earning below the 90th percentile would have been $2.5 trillion higher in the year 2018 alone. That is an amount equal to nearly 12 percent of GDP—enough to more than double median income—enough to pay every single working American in the bottom nine deciles an additional $1,144 a month. Every month. Every single year...."

8:16 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

As George has taught us, “we got some dumbass motherfuckers floatin’ around this country”:

“Almost two-thirds of young American adults do not know that 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust, and more than one in 10 believe Jews caused the Holocaust, a new survey has found, revealing shocking levels of ignorance about the greatest crime of the 20th century. According to the study of millennial and Gen Z adults aged between 18 and 39, almost half (48%) could not name a single concentration camp or ghetto established during the second world war.

And here, an essay focused on Lord Peter Wimsey novelist Dorothy Parker’s views on the value of a classical education. Parker’s father, the Reverend Henry Parker, began teaching her Latin at age 6.

11:51 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Interesting report on a RAND Corporation study on the increasing inequality of incomes of Americans over the decades. The report makes some very interesting but not surprising claims. The author of this report includes critics who provide the following reasons for the increasing inequality of incomes (including links supporting the reasons):

"But [Nick] Hanauer and [David] Rolf had no hesitation singling out culprits.

They say the blame lies, in large measure, with decades of failed federal policy decisions—allowing the minimum wage to deteriorate, overtime coverage to dwindle, and the effectiveness of labor law to decline, undermining union power. They also cite a shift in corporate culture that has elevated the interests of shareholders over those of workers, an ethos that took root 50 years ago this week with the publication of an essay by University of Chicago economist Milton Friedman."

Another reason not considered above is that with many Americans trying to hustle a fortune for themselves, why even pay attention to such changes if you see yourself joining the 1%?

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Spencer said...

"Can America SURVIVE Election Day?" on YouTube

2:31 PM  
Anonymous Tidal said...

Nearly two-thirds of US young adults unaware 6m Jews killed in the Holocaust

7:05 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

American Bloodlands....

1:16 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Hell, they don't even know what WW2 was. And 50% of Americans think that our enemy in WW2 was Russia.


I cdn't find any ref to who moved my cheese...


11:12 AM  
Anonymous Reegan said...

How Bolivia embraced toxic bleach as a COVID-19 miracle cure - Business Insider

How awful....

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Bentley said...

Chris Rock: "Put it this way: Republicans tell outright lies. Democrats leave out key pieces of the truth that would lead to a more nuanced argument. In a sense, it’s all fake news."

2:57 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

mb - "Who moved my cheese?" is the kind of book you find in office supply stores, along with titles like "Sudoku On The John" and "MORE Soduku On The John"

The stats on ignorance on the Holocaust in the US amaze me. To put it frankly, I grew up on the Holocaust. It was on TV-movies, it was in books, etc. The only fundamental change to my mental furniture on this has been that genocides are not "the" Holocaust but happen pretty much all the time. Rwanda. Yugoslavia. First Nations here in the US.

Even with the recent spate of WWII movies, how can the avg. US'ian be so ignorant? Oh, yeah, we live in Dumbfuckistan.

5:49 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

"GPS tracking service" is kind of vague doesn't say how they cld activate lights or disable the engine, also face of America pic

7:09 PM  
Blogger ccg said...


I used to read Krugman quite regularly for many years, and I don't recall even one time when he criticized American military spending. I don't recall him even bringing up the topic. It was as if military spending has had no effect on the economy, let alone a negative one and on many levels at that. Military spending is apparently Krugman's "elephant in the room." He complains about Trump and the Republicans spending on questionable endeavors, but not on military spending, even under Trump. I don't think one has to be an economist to realize that US military spending has an oversized effect on the national economy. Well, I realized a long time ago that Paul Krugman was nothing more than a shill for the Democratic Party establishment. Of course that's why he gets to write for the New York Times.

7:36 PM  
Anonymous Tudor said...

Grotesque stuff - In Flint, Michigan of all places. Investing $20M of needed taxpayer funds into new cages for children as young as 10....

11:22 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

During a class discussion today about how the media distort the way we receive the news, I mentioned the example of the Kuwaiti Incubator Babies and how a PR firm invented the whole story. Your news doesn't get any more fake than that.

Nobody had ever heard of them. What's worse, they didn't seem at all curious about what happened.

2:41 AM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...

We must save our democracy from fascism by removing democratic choices from the ballot!
^^This sums up progre$$ive brain rot all in one tweet. The irony and lack of self awareness is breathtaking. You have the DemoRATS whining and complaining over Trumpi/Rethuglican voter suppression tactics, while simultaneously using said tactics to suppress another party. All in the name of saving our "democracy" from fascism. Incredible. The Green Party isn't much better. Their heads are also rammed up their butt by thinking they actually have a snowball's chance in hell of saving this country.

For further reading: "Wisconsin Supreme Court rules Green Party presidential ticket is ineligible for state ballot"

But have no fear. Karen will save us!

9:32 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

Kunstler's column today alerted me to this- it seems that the recent letter from Princeton's president has caught the attention of the DOE in DC-

Princeton's reply-

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

11:03 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yes, I know the bk. I thought Neil was quoting from an article by that name.


Gd documentation here of our collapse. Perhaps Chinese historians will find the blog records 50 yrs from now.


1:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Chile revisited-

How is it we can't seem to learn *anything*?

1:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This is also nice:

1:16 PM  

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