January 30, 2016


Dear Wafers,

Probably time to start another thread. The publishing biz continues to limp along. The Man Without Qualities, my new novel, is tentatively scheduled for release on Feb. 15, but in my experience these things can drag on longer than expected. Nevertheless, the publisher is keen on getting it out, so fingers crossed for meeting the deadline. They are also trying to find a venue for a reading--I'll be in NY April 2-7--and I'll let you all know how that turns out. ("The Berm Returns to NY! Crowds Go Insane (Again)!") Just want to add that if there are enough of you guys in or near NY who want to arrange for a 3rd NY Wafer Summit Meeting, I'm game. Just write me at mauricio@morrisberman.com, expressing your interest, and if we can manage to get 7 people together, I'll write you back with time and place.

SSIG is scheduled for republication, but (different publisher) several snags have been holding it up. Not good. But sooner or later, it'll be back on the shelves, hopefully before summer. Then, I'll turn my attention to getting Counting Blessings reissued as well.

So that's the news from Lake Wobegone, though I should add that I've been doing classes in yoga and pilates, going to the gym, and playing tennis, and am now ready to take on 3 Israeli commandos with my bare hands. Although I'd prefer to use them to wring Hillary's neck. Jesus, we're facing 8 years of pure douchebaggery, a face so grotesque only a mother could love it. I keep wondering if she sprays it each morning with polyurethane.

So onward, Dear Wafers, toward the 10th anniversary of the greatest blog in the history of the world!



Blogger Morris Berman said...

This might start the ball rolling:



11:57 AM  
Anonymous Bollywood Fan said...

Just found the blog and very much enjoy it.

I've been stuck in US anti-culture for my entire life, and I was very relieved to recently find a very good alternative to Hollywood in a local Bollywood theater.

Perhaps Wafers may enjoy this contribution to a cultural alternative. Go out and enjoy a light-hearted, joyful Bollywood film.

(BTW, not Indian nor do I have any ties there. Just found this rich treasure trove of prolific films and had to create a web-space to catalog and comment.)


12:47 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

U need to send Robert Erich one of ur books. He is a professor at Berkeley . I'm really getting tired of him. Every time I go online to read the news he has another article or book out on how to fix America . He is delusional. http://m.truthdig.com/report/item/this_is_the_most_pragmatic_way_to_fix_american_democracy_20160128

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

News from the Collapse front:

This is not just an occasional problem, it's a major trend:
Emergency room visits from distracted walking skyrocket

An estimated ten percent of pedestrian injuries that land people in emergency rooms are due to distracted walking, a recent study found. That's thousands of people injured -- sometimes killed.

In San Diego, investigators believe Joshua Burwell may have been trying to take a picture of the sunset when he took a fatal fall some 40 feet off Sunset Cliffs.

"He wasn't watching where he was walking and looking more down at the device," said San Diego Lifeguard Sgt. Bill Bender.

Meanwhile, the drive to get everyone on drugs continues:
Onpoint Radio: Depression Screening For All?

New recommendation from a national task force this week: that all adult Americans be screened by their doctor, their GP, for depression. And if they’re struggling, get them on to antidepressants and/or into psychotherapy. Is life that bad? We all need depression screening? That’s not the point, says the panel. Too many people go undiagnosed – and suffer. New moms and moms-to-be in particular. But everybody. This hour On Point, the call to screen us all for depression. And treat it.

3:09 PM  
Anonymous AS said...

In regard to Prasenjit Sen's comment at the end of the last post - this may be of interest:


4:20 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


On the other hand, you might send him a nice vial of urine, suggest he apply it to his shoes. This might serve to clear his mind.


Welcome to the blog. I confess, I got hooked yrs ago on Satyajit Ray, and was never able to make the switch to Bollywood.


4:49 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Prasenjit, What the British empire couldn't achieve in 350 years of "colonization and cleansing" of India, the Gringo empire did it in mere 50.

​I have travelled extensively through that subcontinent and witnessed the clash of cultures, foreign against native, of diametrically opposing values. It is appalling to see in India, a country that was building the Kailasa temple in the same period when Europe was writhing in the dark ages, well-dressed and well-fed foreign missionaries enticing desperate folks with ice-cream in remote villages to Jesus=Liberty&Prosperity gospel, American-style. These "nice" mind-colonizers like their corporate counterparts believe that their empire has the might so their god must be right.

Having conveniently forgotten history today we find empire's apologists themselves claiming victim status against reverse racism. The colonizers from Europe and America who still haven't given up on their mischief on third world now demand the world's sympathy that their sovereignty and culture is under attack by the "savages"; the savages of their own making.
http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/01/28/winston-churchill-the-imperial-monster/ ​

On a bland-n-pale homogenized planet soon we all will be singing the "Potato Song," in English of course.​

​​Empire's douchebag Thomas Friedman will have it no other way but,

10:35 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Here's a shocker dept.: The official newspaper for high-brow douche bags, i.e. the NYT, just endorsed a colossal douche baguette, i.e. Hillary, for the Democratic nomination. Let's not worry that she's a liar and a warmonger and a close friend of Wall St. and major corporations and part of the 1%; Plastic Face will be with us for 8 more yrs of increasing disintegration and collapse. O&D, folks.


11:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

News from the front:

a. JP Morgan CEO thinks people aren't worse off because - wait for it - "they have iphones"!

b. Shaneka would surely have gone on a rampage over this

With love.


12:50 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This is why Muslims fight, if we don't our 1000 plus years religion and culture we'll be destroyed by the douche bags like Hillary and Obama. It's not for oil. The Hindus bend over take it because they wanna be peaceful and be adored by the western liberals . White liberals love ghandi . But not Muhammad because mohamed and his followers won't tolerate the destruction of their culture and religion. They pick up a sword and scream allah Akbar . So they are called savages and terrorist, those who are submissive to western hegemony are called peaceful and righteous and Hollywood makes movies about them. Western liberals also love mlk but they despise Malcolm x for the same reason they despise mohamed, Geronimo and Che Guevara . Anyone who questions or resists western douchebags is called a savage and an obstacle to progress. Douchbags wanna turn the whole world into a Walmart parking lot and a wasteland. Look what they did to the natives and south east Asia . That place is capital of the sex workers and pimps. Men in Japan are wearing skirts and having sex with robots. They have lost their minds.

1:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I dunno...I think Americans need to go to McDonald's, get a cheese stick, and stick it where the sun don' shine. Then go out and vote for Don or Hillary.


6:52 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Morris McDonald's cheese sticks up the Gazoo might leave them with a bit of a hollow experience which may induce"Brain Fart" moment that makes them vote for Bernie who seems to have cornered the voter who's been hollowed out by the Wall Street bankers! http://www.slate.com/blogs/business_insider/2016/01/27/mcdonalds_served_mozzarella_sticks_without_the_mozzarella.html
I also think McD's mozzarella sticks problem is very good metaphor and symbol of what American society has become! Fried Hollow bread stick!

1:18 AM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

Bernie is pandering to liberal city people, he's basically saying, "work hard within the American industrial system, and you are entitled to all the goodies the system offers!" Here in Seattle, I hear it all the time. Too many office workers live in a bubble of people who think like them, and they listen to too much NPR. People have these techno fantasies about the future, and the optimism about technology and the free market can't be overstated.

It's just the absolute focus on growing industrial life that bothers me. I mean, what's the end goal? Say everyone has a cell phone, a house, free education and healthcare and everything is solar powered and gay friendly. Is that the end goal right there? It doesn't matter if you're alone and your life has 0 meaning, so long as you have gadgets and a hobby, right?

I think it was Philip Slater who said we shouldn't measure years alive, but instead should measure years of quality life. When asked about quality of life, people will then talk about their hobbies and lifestyle as giving them meaning in life. The reality is, most people are isolated and looking after themselves.

10:18 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, as Geo Carlin famously said, our leaders don't come from Mars. They come from us, are representative of who we are and what we want, and for this reason alone things cannot and will not change in any fundamental way. It's odd, that on that deeper level, Bernie and Donald aren't really very different. Life for them, and for the rest of the country (Wafers excepted), is abt goodies.


10:56 AM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

Article from The Guardian about Americans moving to Canada: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/01/us-citizens-move-to-canada-presidential-election

As a Canadian I have to say that while Canada obviously remains distinct from the USA, it is looking less so each passing year.

12:44 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

This is why Muslims fight, if we don't our 1000 plus years religion and culture we'll be destroyed...

The European are saying the exact same thing about themselves, and at the end of the day I can't really blame them. Western culture has its issues, but it has its virtues as well. If putting up with cell phones and McDonalds is the price I have to pay to live in a society that doesn’t treat women like dogs, where differences are tolerated, I am not subjected to religious dictums and I don’t have to worry about being beheaded as Kufir, then it is a price I will happily pay.

12:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I ask u2 look at Hillary's face, because yr gonna be seeing it for the next 8 yrs!:


The horror! The horror!

This, however, I kinda like:



1:11 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

The world just keeps getting better...

The European Union, Georgia, France and another unnamed European country are investigating the alleged crimes, including rapes, mostly committed in 2014 in or near a camp for displaced people next to the airport at Bangui, CAR's capital.

One of the girls interviewed by UN staff said that in 2014 when she was 7 years old she had performed sexual acts on French soldiers, part of the EU's EUFOR force, "in exchange for a bottle of water and a sachet of cookies", a UN statement said.


I thought some of you might find this interesting, as a few years ago we had a discussion about how these "New Atheists" often behave like fundamentalists:

Most of the time, in one way or another, politics is about economics. This is an important truth to remember as we ponder another truth that, in the clamor of commentary and reporting and debates and propaganda concerning geopolitics and terrorism, is often sort of forgotten, namely, that imperialism is essentially about wealth. It’s a set of systems and methods for, and chauvinistic ideas about, coercively acquiring or controlling wealth and resources belonging to peoples outside the national border, and for using the power that comes with that wealth to further enhance the oligarchy’s elite position. So, when Sam Harris talks about the need for “benign dictatorships” across the Middle East, to be installed through the intervention of the West whenever the West deems it necessary, it is not easy to think of anything more political.

And as the writer Phil Rockstroh argues, it’s a politics of the most putrid and profligate kind, “the same old, odious White Man’s Burden palaver that Western imperialists have been churning out since the Plundering Class got its start during the Age of Discovery.”

1:45 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...


In a recent post Morris said: "Bernie and Donald aren't really very different. Life for them, and for the rest of the country (Wafers excepted), is abt goodies." Having been interested in politics from a very early age, it isn't any different for me now. I say look at the history and backgrounds of Sanders and Trump and you decide if they are the same or different. I agree systemic changes will be highly unlikely but to say there's no difference between these two candidates seems nuts.


2:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, maybe not. You know I'm not all that enamored w/Chris Hedges, but try googling "Hedges on Sanders" and see what comes up. You'll get an eyeful. E.g.:


Bernie has backed increased military spending, says he'll destroy ISIS, approved of the latest Israeli massacre in Gaza, etc. As Hedges says, the guy stays w/in the circle of 'legitimate' electoral (= corporate) politics, and that means that the differences between candidates are necessarily small, no matter what the appearances are.(Watch what he does, not what he says.) It's very easy to get mesmerized by language; the progs fell into that trap w/Obama in 2008. Yr a smart gal; why not avoid the circus this time around? Not doing so may be what's really nuts here.

"If we're always picking the lesser of two evils, how come things are always getting worse?"--Dick Gregory


2:34 PM  
Anonymous Bingo said...

Whatever happened to the World Wafer Convention (WWC) on the Aran Isles? Was it everything we imagined it would be?

3:02 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

This just in from CNN:

As New York City emerges from historic levels of snowfall, word on the street is that a greater threat is headed to The Big Apple this April: Mauricio Belman. Indeed, tension levels are running high as New Yorkers recall Belman's previous visit in September; a visit, described in The New Yorker, as "Bonkers in the Bowery!" Thanks to the valiant efforts of a cadre of radical feminists and Wafers, the city held... Tilden A. Katz, Wall Street financier, described Belman's September visit to NYC as, "essentially bad for business. Another Belman visit, I fear, could be fatal; think ISIS and El Chapo combined in one person." Despite these insults, Belman has stated that he comes to NYC in peace w/a hopeful message: "From Greenpoint to Bay Ridge...from Alphabet City to Sugar Hill, u must recognize yr own douchebaggery. And yes, u may quote me on that!"

5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Seems right--only a mother could love that sinister countenance. Boy, the miserable pressure her makeup artist must feel on the daily. I'm real curious to know where I can find me some tidbits on your less than fond view of Hedges. Everything I've read and heard from you in books/interviews suggests you were a consistent admirer or his work. Curious to know how your opinion has tempered and what caused it. I personally find Hedges to be a little one-note and the sermonizing/moralizing mixed with questions about writing attribution has turned me off his work quite a bit.

I have a question: If one is a jaded liberal--jaded in the extreme--is privately reveling a little in the ascent of Trump acceptable? Conceit--if only from an aesthetic POV, I would like to see Sanders vs Trump. This is spurred principally by the antiestablishment angle. This is also a little bit of schadenfreude.. screw you Hilarubio, ie- establishment elites.

Such thoughts trouble me. I know I'm meant to hate them all and feel a zen indifference about the rotisserie of marionettes..

Also, if I weren't stuck in the gray abyss of Seattle, I'd be at the NYC hangout in a second. General question--have you shared your comments/thoughts/reflections on Robert Musil's masterpiece with interweb anywhere and if so where? I'm curious.

Also, have you tried hot yoga? If not, you must, its great. Go for vinyasa.. the bikram kind can be a little hardcore.

Thank you!


5:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for yr input, but in future pls sign in as Aidan, and not as Anonymous. Normally I don't post Anonymous entries. Regarding Hedges: discussions of this go back to the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo massacre, a yr ago, and after. You need to return to the blog from around 15 Jan 15, and scroll thru the comments sections. We discussed the one-note quality, the sermonizing/moralizing, and the plagiarism in some detail. As for Trump, see my further comments to Marianne, below. Basically, when a civilization falls apart, it can very easily produce Trumps. He won't win this time around, but wait for another 2008-style crash and further defeats abroad, and there will no stopping the emergence of even more rabid demagogues. When civs collapse, it generally ain't pretty. The fact that millions regard Trump (or Sarah Palin, for that matter) as presidential material really says it all.


Sadly, the Irish Convention collapsed with a whimper. I'm tempted to suggest Kuala Lumpur as a next possible venue, but I'm guessing there won't be too many takers for that either. For now, we'll hafta stick to the US, which means NYC during April 2-7 of this year. However, Wafers pls note that I'll be in Vancouver May 15-21, and those of you w/in striking distance might wanna set something up. Anyway, Wafers desiring a NY Summit Mtg, please write me between now and then; those desiring a Vancouver Mtg can do the same (mauricio@morrisberman.com).


Always inspiring, CNN. Here's my vision for my visit to NY: Upon my arrival at LaGuardia, 322 million people stand up as one and declare: "My God, this is the problem: We are all douche bags!" Possible NYT headline the next day: NATION DECLARES ITSELF TO BE A COLLECTION OF DOUCHE BAGS, AND SO IS THE NYT! A more redemptive vision I can't imagine.


6:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Here's a ps to my reply 2u above, wh/may (or may not) clarify things further. It’s almost impossible for someone born in the US not, when push comes to shove, to see the nation as fundamentally gd. Which includes believing that it can be repaired, put back ‘on track’. Virtually 100% of the nation is patriotic, in other words, and this includes Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, Ralph Nader, and even Chris Hedges. They all want America to be great again, really, or at the very least, to stop fucking up so horribly.

But it’s possible to take a different position, one that is just simply historical and disinterested, and that says: Every civilization comes to an end, and this is our time. Fucking up horribly is the end game of every civilization, as it turns out, and there’s simply no avoiding it. From this perspective, it’s fairly clear that the basic theme of our own civilization—economic and technological expansion, i.e. material acquisition—is one to which all presidential candidates must and do aspire; and this includes Bernie as much as Donald. Sure, Bernie wants to distribute the goodies a bit more fairly, which is fine; but as his own foreign policy demonstrates, he is a solid believer in empire, because it’s via empire that the US obtains goodies. Their talk is perhaps very different, but they move within the same world view, and it is the world view, not the language, that will determine what they do once they are in the White House.

The only exception to this, as I explained in DAA and WAF, was an historical accident, one that cd only occur in the most unlikely of circumstances (post-Vietnam, post-Watergate, etc.). This was Jimmy Carter, who envisioned a foreign policy not based on blaming our enemies for our own problems, and a domestic policy not based on consumerism for the masses. Even more, he took a number of concrete steps to realize these goals, and failed utterly because this was to contradict what more than 99% of the American public wanted, and also because these goals represented a reversal of 400 yrs of American history. Today, his presidency is relegated to the status of a bad joke, but as I argued in those bks, the joke is on us.

I suspect that to see all of this clearly, one has to stop being patriotic. It’s very difficult, because we take this addiction to nation in with our mother’s milk. But at least rationally, it shouldn’t be that hard: given what the US has done in the world, and to the world, over the last 150 yrs or so, one can choose to be a patriot of the US or a patriot of humanity, but I don't think one can choose to be both.


6:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Fer god's sakes, will ya look at Hillary's face?:


Tell me it ain't the age of Kali Yuga!


6:29 PM  
Blogger Sird said...

Oh god.. Ms. Hilarys visage enough to give night terrors.

7:39 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

"Every civilization comes to an end, and this is our time. " most civilizations last at least 1000 years before they die. Why America dying so early?

8:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I suspect that our pointed avoidance, historically speaking, of deli meats, chopped liver, and matzo balls, must have something to do w/it.


What reasonable person wdn't want to vomit on her? I mean, really? The woman is beyond grotesque.


8:35 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...


While I'm not ready to concede that I may be confused on the concept around the political elections, I'll consider your words. Like what you said about how easy it is to get mesmerized by words. True enough.

This exchange reminded me of another time in 1960 when our family took a road trip to D.C. My 5 siblings and I were walking in a corridor of the Sam Rayburn building when we spotted John Kennedy at the other end. All 6 of us took off running toward him. When we got to the elevator which Kennedy was getting into he held the door open. I'll never forget the broad smile on his face when he saw all of us wearing Nixon buttons. Now that was being confused on the concept; you see I have a history here


PS. Really appreciate your further words on the subject. You're right rationally it's easy to be non patriotic, it's the emotional piece that's way more difficult. When you come from an Italian immigrant family as I do, when Nonno looked at the US as a land of opportunity, and when your Dad cried at baseball games every time God Bless America was sung....it's a whole other ball of wax. I will take time with the historical realities of the collapse of all civilizations and hope for some enlightenment. Thanks again.

9:18 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Attended a Shiva yesterday and Islamic phobia was rampant. It was the usual crap. Obama is a Muslim, he intends to visit a mosque, and supports BDS. Then it was off to the races about how the neighborhood has changed. Yes, nothing warms my heart more than listen to right wing Jews spooling hatred especially at a Shiva. When I tried to counter that Obama has a right to visit a mosque I was immediately branded a "liberal". Did I miss something but isn't or wasn't there something called the liberal Jewish tradition; you know, marching with King, supporting FDR. And why did these Jews at the Shiva think we were all monolithic in our thinking? Because, except for me, they were.

9:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, lots to think abt, for sure. I appreciate yr willingness 2b open to the argument. But pls, next time: remember the post-only-once-every-24-hrs rule. Thanks.

Regarding patriotism: one problem for most Americans is not merely the heavy brainwashing that occurs early in life, but that in addn to social climbing and buying things they don't need, identifying w/America is all they really have. I recall being a freshman at Cornell, sitting in a bar, and some drunk older guy at the bar saying to the college student sitting next to him (they were watching a ball game on TV), "Aren't the Yankees great?" The student replied, "Well, a lot of people identify with them as winners because they are such losers themselves." It was a bit harsh, of course, but I remember this 53 yrs later because I recognized that psychologically speaking, this was dead-on accurate. Samuel Johnson said that "patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel," but it wd be more precise to say, "the last refuge of the empty person." And Americans are terribly, terribly empty; it accounts for their (repressed) sadness as well as their aggressiveness, and of course, their patriotism. So if u tell an American that Hillary is better than Bernie, or vice versa, or that Trump is better or worse than both, this is OK, because yr still in the magic circle of "Isn't America great?", like the guy at the bar. But if you point out the underlying reality--that American democracy is an illusion; that all 3 candidates ultimately stand for the same thing; and that therefore America *isn't* so great and in fact might be doomed--the Abyss opens up and the ontological challenge is too much to bear. What to make of poor Noam Chomsky, who has said that as bad as Hillary is, it will be important to vote for her if only to keep Trump out of office. Jesus, I remember hearing the same crap in the 1964 election: how Goldwater was a complete madman; how he would launch a nuclear war; how we had to elect LBJ to save civilization itself. I bought into that nonsense as well, and then watched LBJ ruin the US in Vietnam--a war from which we never really recovered, imo. And I have no doubt that Hillary will keep us in a permanent state of war, while making the rich richer and the poor poorer, and the country adrift in bleakness and anomie.

Of course, there's no question that Trump wd do a tremendous amt of damage as president, I'm guessing even more than Hillary (who will just be a continuation of the Bush-Obama presidency, let's face it) wd. And as I've said b4, maybe that's a gd thing. More important for this discussion, however, is the fact that until a psychotic Dick Cheney became the de facto president, in a very unusual post-9/11 context when the White House had carte blanche to do literally anything it wanted, every candidate once in office had to pull in his pre-inaugural horns and tow a centrist line. You can't really govern otherwise. I, for one, don't regard Trump as more dangerous than Dick Cheney (one of the sickest people on earth, when you get rt down to it); but the pt is that if he does become president, he won't be able to keep talking like Rush Limbaugh or a member of the Klan. We are no longer in a terrified post-9/11 situation where anything goes. Looking back, it's clear to me that Barry Goldwater wd also have had to trim his sails, had he become president; and considering the horror LBJ unleashed on the world, it's hardly clear, in retrospect, that Lyndon was the lesser of two evils.

As for Bernie, I'm sure he's a gd guy, and that he's sincere in his beliefs; but as Hedges correctly pts out, he's part of the same shell game. And it's the game that's running the show, and which lies at the heart of our problems.


10:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


You might suggest to them that they sit shiva for the US.


10:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Further ps to Marianne-

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, during the very time that LBJ was campaigning against Goldwater and labeling him a dangerous warmonger, he manufactured a phony Gulf of Tonkin incident (early August, 1964), leading to the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, wh/authorized him to 'retaliate' and thereby open the door to the Vietnam war. (It later turned out that we had attacked them, rather than the reverse.) "We seek no wider war," declared the oily, lying warmonger. We wound up murdering 3 million peasants and torturing tens of thousands. Wish I had voted for Barry.


6:30 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

WAFers -

I just ran across perhaps the most nauseatingly phony example of techno-triumphalism and pseudo-optimism that I've ever seen :


The article is not long and is little more than swollen, self-congratulatory fluff and nonsense. At the end the author writes :

"Anything is possible, and that is why we need to change the national dialog now from one that is bogged down in pessimism to one in which we discuss how we make the most of the amazing opportunities ahead."

The author's credits :

Vivek Wadhwa is a fellow at Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University, director of research at Center for Entrepreneurship and Research Commercialization at Duke, and distinguished fellow at Singularity University. His past appointments include Harvard Law School, University of California Berkeley, and Emory University.

Is Vivek Wadhwa a douchebag? Does a bear in the woods scratch its back on the bark of a tree?

7:42 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The deeper the delusion, the faster the collapse.


7:49 AM  
Anonymous Edward said...

Wadhwa: "These breakthroughs are delivering the enormous productivity gains and dramatic cost savings needed to sustain economic growth and prosperity. And they are enabling entrepreneurs to solve the grand challenges of humanity, the problems that have always bedeviled the human race: disease, hunger, clean water, energy, education, and security."

Marc: "I just ran across perhaps the most nauseatingly phony example of techno-triumphalism and pseudo-optimism that I've ever seen"

DR B: "The deeper the delusion, the faster the collapse"

Notice that Wadhwa came from India. He wants his readers to believe that the fears and pessimism concerning the condition of the nation are unfounded.

Well, you can go through his list of so-called breakthroughs and you can point out with examples how stupid he is.

He talks about advances in computer technology. Well, tell him to think of the effects technology: together alone, bowling alone, etc

He talks about advances in desalination and water technology. Well, tell him about how the entire population of Flint, Michigan, has been poisoned by sewage water.

He talks about advances in medical and pharmaceutical industries. Tell him that Americans are sicker today than 100 years ago, that more Americans take anti-depressants than ever due to mental illnesses, and that the cost of healthcare and lack of preventive medicine and too much stress and fewer time to rest and be with family members are to be blamed.

Just like Obama, this man is associated with best schools the West has to offer. Yet he does not think or reason like an educated person. He only spits out meaningless words like Obama.

9:45 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

"We came, We saw, He died" hahahahaaa!! You broke it, now you own it, you shit-face. HAHAHAHAAA!! Same with Mexico and central america with-respect-to nafta/cafta/tpp and stuffing power up your nose -you can't give up on your addiction and controlfreekiness, well then -you own the repercussion of immigrants fleeing violence you created.

Mohamed, thankyou for you candid opinion on the clash of civilizations version-2.0, "why Muslims fight". ​On that same note I ask why didn't the latin americans fight against the atrocities committed upon them by US? Why Haitians fought back and thus were penalized by the west? Who made Africa into a basket case? It is refreshing reading your point-blank comments, not pussy-footing around trying to be politically correct and "nice" to the so called liberal-progressives. You are a true WAFER.

​Ted Simon, a good friend of mine, travelled the world on his motorbike in early 70s and wrote a book​,​ Jupiter's Travels. I remember a conversation with him where he ​mentioned how ​the ​arabs​=muslims​ (middle east is much more than muslims​, ​​Wafers take note) taught the West​ personal hygiene by means of​ ​"​jabón y toalla​". ​ You realize that when you visit Spain, Portugal, N.Africa, Iran and the old arab world. In 2001 Ted once again went back on the same trail and found that the world had drastically changed, thanks to neoliberalism and monoculture of globalization; that it had crossed the critical threshold to shitland. He then wrote Dreaming of Jupiter to express those sentiments. Wafers and Wafer-wanabees should read the two books before worrying about (a commentator wrote to mohamed) "being beheaded as Kufir​ THEREFORE ​the ​price I will happily pay​" machiavellian dichotomy​.​ That's literally what Dick Gregory remarked about finding simplistic comfort in bad-worst options. I like strawberry flavored shit because I read that chocolate flavored shit is no good; that US​ and the West​ is better because it is not Iraq or Syria.​ ​The west that has conveniently forgotten what ​Arab societies used to be ​before foreign malicious interference​,​ ​starting from the Crusades to ​Sykes-Picot and Balfour​ and propping up of stooge​ ​dictator​s​ who balked. ​


10:48 AM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

I largely agree with your take on "patriotism" and the inherent desire of many to buy into the American mythos (i.e. it was great in the past and we only have to restore that) but I also think there is a substratum of folks - per WAF the "alternative tradition" - whose interest in changing the trajectory has more to do with their inherent love of place and landscape than the American imperialist adventure. To me this is why Kunstler (who calls what we have now "the geography of nowhere" and "entropy made visible") or Leopold (the land ethic) resonate. The values expressed in horizontal societies per WG.

10:48 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'm guessing that substratum = abt 1%, but I cd be wrong. These are the NMI I talk abt in the Twilight bk, or that Huxley puts on the physical margins of 'civilization'. Or Ray Bradbury's memorizers of bks.


12:19 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


I too would like to see a Sanders/Trump race.

MB, Wafers-

What the hell happened to Hillary? Jesus, a phony like her shoulda trounced Bernie, no? In addition, I'm sad about el Trumpo. Perhaps MB is correct: el Trumpo is a bit behind the curve, so to speak. Time, a few more economic hits, and a possible nuke attack will produce more *live* hyper-douche bags.

"Our numbers have increased in Vietnam because the aggression of others has increased in Vietnam. There is not, and there will not be, a mindless escalation."


ps: Yes, Vivek is an incurable douche bag.

12:20 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Esca - Cool! I really enjoyed Jupiter's Travels and now I'll have to order up a copy of Dreaming of Jupiter too.

Marianne said, "it's the emotional piece that's way more difficult."

Trust me, most of us here have been through the emotional roller-coaster that comes with becoming a WAF-er. Read through some of the old posts and comments and you'll feel better.

1:12 PM  
Blogger Shawn McDowell said...

I wasn't sure if you or the other bloggers have seen this yet, but this is pretty breathtaking. I honestly thought this was a piece from the Onion, or Cracked, but no, it's real!

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...


Is being a patriot of alcohol OK?

Asking for a friend...

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

Add this to the bullet-proof backpacks for school kids:

ABC News: Americans Are Packing Classes in How to Survive a Shooting
Study your surroundings. Find exits. Identify makeshift weapons. Americans are gleaning those tips and others as they pack classes on how to react to and survive a shooting.

Such training is already common at schools, colleges and businesses, but sessions for the general public are the next step in confronting fears of mass violence that have been around for years and, for many, came to a head after the 1999 Columbine High School shootings.

Police have offered the "awareness training" in Livonia, Michigan, and Douglasville, Georgia, while more than 600 people have attended classes taught by the Potter County Sheriff's Office in Amarillo, Texas, beginning about three years ago.

Public demand increased dramatically after the shooting in December that killed 14 in San Bernardino, California, said Lt. Scott Giles, a class instructor in Amarillo.

"This is really just something that was born out of necessity," Giles said. "Active shooter events just continue to happen."


4:04 PM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

The thing with the whole NMI scenario of which I feel associated with is that we are surrounded by 'true believers' who think nothing of the horrors they approve of in the name of the system they worship..... and when the chips mount up to the point where a dive off a cliff might seem more appealing to some nut steering the ship it's the ones who have been maintaining the library who are the first to go....especially in this anti-intellectual culture.... if you know what I mean... at least in the sense that there really is no 'Emerald shore' to retreat to this time around..... would you think that when this one (civ) blows it's gonna be a world-wide event? I don't know, the thought of coming out the other side of this into some kind of rational steady state transformation seems like we're all just part of a game of Russian roulette? I don't see it beyond a few stragglers here and there feeding on carcasses....armed to the teeth.... Consider Rome was just one area on the globe..with limited tech... the Empire today is global and the system is really what needs to go and like you said we're all part of the addiction to some extent....just a thought....

not to get too gloomy but:


I mean it's nice to have hope for humanity but it's kinda like Obama's message of "hope and change"....



a few things to consider .....


4:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, I dunno, but here's what you get when you pick the lesser of two evils: a combo of a punk and a moron:



Relative to what?


Democracy in action!


5:29 PM  
Blogger Rosegarden said...

Regarding healthcare, the Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance was formed in the spring of 2015. Three institutions have combined forces to mine everything – the electronic health records, diagnostic imaging, prescriptions, insurance records, data from wearable devices, etc.

“That’s why the Alliance is so unique. The University of Pittsburgh brings expertise in medical research, Carnegie Mellon University in world-class computer science and machine learning. University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (hospitals and the insurance company) brings deep data, the clinical setting and a track record of successful commercialization.”

Yes, boys and girls, the aim is to take all of your medical information and sell it. Hey, it will provide jobs! And, we're helping!




6:06 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

Don't take either of these things as too much of a defense of Bernie, but my takeaway is that

a) He would have been a great candidate 20-30 years ago, and the fact that he's gaining traction only now that's too late is a sign of how far behind reality the American people and political system are.

b) The fact that he's still around and kicking, while the Pauls (and good lord, I'm not trying to defend them) never got anywhere indicates to me that you can upset certain economic and financial interests in this country, but the last thing you can do is challenge the military's budget and interests. I don't know how I feel about this.

7:52 PM  
Blogger Janus said...

lack of coherence-

Do you mind dropping me a line at the email address in my profile? I wanted to talk to you more about Seattle, but don't want to clog up this thread.

11:21 PM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

Here's a funny history of japan going around...


1:31 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A trifle demented, but I enjoyed it. Pity he didn't read my bk, however.


2:19 AM  
Anonymous Transatlantic said...

Shawn --

Hilarious. And, according to the article, Hillary has won all of the coin tosses that they know of. What a coincidence.

5:24 AM  
Anonymous Edward said...

El Alamein, you said this "The fact that he's still around and kicking, while the Pauls (and good lord, I'm not trying to defend them) never got anywhere indicates to me that you can upset certain economic and financial interests in this country, but the last thing you can do is challenge the military's budget and interests. I don't know how I feel about this."

Ron Paul challenged military budget and he got nowhere running for president. The same thing is now happening to his son Rand Paul. Americans love their drones and guns. Challenging military and guns in America is looking for trouble. Did you notice that Obama got nowhere trying to control gun sale while applying drones to kill a lot of children and women in Pakistan. There are connections between the shootings in America and drone murders in places like Pakistan. Remember the slogan: guns do not kill people; people kill people. Americans kill people in Pakistan. Americans kill Americans in America. Do not blame the guns or the military budget.

7:08 AM  
Anonymous Juliet said...

Habermas says "Outer nature is appropriated in production, inner nature is appropriated in socialization."

Just reminded me of a credo i'd read here

8:44 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Americans are not smart enuf to make those sorts of connections, even when they are obvious: if you are going to kill abroad, then you are going to kill at home. Duh. So we "defend" ourselves in the Middle East, murdering civilians, and then we "defend" ourselves at home, killing our next-door neighbors (or the cops do it for us). Now we are going to up the ante against Putin, and guess what's going to happen at home? The truth is that even Obama can't make the connection. Hi IQ, and dumb as a stick. Anthropologically speaking, there is no escaping from the magic circle of stupidity in the US. Every dumb thing we do is mutually reinforcing. And all the candidates, Bernie included, have pledged to defeat the Ay-rabs; otherwise, they wdn't get elected.

The one thing that never happens, except on the part of a few Wafers and random intellectuals (and of course foreign analysts), is to escape from the magic circle and look at the whole package as a system, sociologically, from the outside. Once you do that, yr better off leaving the country, because you won't have anyone to talk to.

Bumper sticker I saw in DC, ca. 2004: YOU CAN'T FIX STUPID


9:23 AM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Senator Chris Murphy discussing a subject that is almost never talked about, but represents a serious issue.


2:24 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Check out Hillary's face on upper left of screen:


Be careful not to barf on yr computer.


5:38 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

OK, how many of you dreamt of World Domination when you were in high school? At least one of the presidential candidates was. Here's documentation of the making of a sociopath:


I'll bet he doesn't eat bagels either.

5:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


He certainly looks demented in that h.s. picture. But what, really, can compare to Hillary's face, which I find utterly terrifying? Jesus, talk abt sociopaths!


6:01 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers-


If the war of terror was legit, we would've bombed Riyadh by now, yes? Essentially, the U.S. government's war on terror is a racket and a fraud.

Jack, MB-

For the longest time, I was under the mistaken impression that sociopaths exhibited certain traits, behaviors, and mental profiles only. What's needed is a sociopathic facial feature category. Hillary, Ted, Carly, and el Trumpo would certainly qualify. Most Americans now, in fact, generally *look* like sociopaths.


6:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This is actually an interesting question. I googled 'sociopath' and the definition is as follows: "a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience." I don't know if most Americans have a lack of conscience, tho I'm guessing that many of them do. But the inherited cultural legacy of extreme individualism does strike me as being a common characteristic, inasmuch as it is celebrated in America as a positive thing. Which might mean that most Americans are quasi-sociopaths, or potential sociopaths, and this in turn cd explain why we have the political representation that we do. Someone like Jimmy Carter was (as pres) highly aberrant, as I've argued many times.


7:01 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

Miles, Christian - While I applaud this Senator's rare display of honesty, I am sad to say that the stirring of anti-Saudi sentiment has largely functioned as a smokescreen to distract from America's misdeeds in the region. (Israel supporters often use the same tactic). In fact, there was even a movie about a decade ago starring Jamie Foxx, which is essentially a fantasy of the US finally holding the Saudis accountable for their radical doctrines and support thereof.

Sadly, we are pretty much stuck supporting these guys. Since we went off the gold standard, the US Dollar's value is only benchmarked by the dollar-denominated sale of oil, which of course OPEC maintains through Saudi influence.

In any event, the sordid history of collaboration between the US and radical Islam extends far beyond the Kingdom. The Muslim Brotherhood was a well-known CIA asset during Nasser's time, and of course the Islamicization of Pakistan, while financed by Saudi money, was carried out by Zia ul-Haq, whose coup-d'etat was backed by the US. This essentially follows the path of the British support for the Brotherhood and Partition, which raises some troubling questions about the symbiosis of jihad and empire.

9:34 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

In america definitely the sociopaths call the shots and run the show. Behind the walmart logo smily face it is the true psyche of the nation. It is a prerequisite to get elected/selected and rise in any american institution (aka industry), be it politics or church or education or healthcare, any company or corporation. See this documentary to understand what titilates a sociopath...

Hearts & Minds, a chilling account of the Vietnam war. MB rightfully said "a war from which we never really recovered".
Wonder if there were videos of atrocities on the natives and early black slaves, what would they depict?

​If the essence of this documentary is true then the god-fearing americans (the non sociopaths) should plead for God Damn America.

getting so comfortable with lie that your very existence becomes a lie -Mark Twain on Silent Lies.

If you need data on a nation gone mad read The Imperial Cruise by James Bradley.

9:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Once again check out this unbelievable face:



12:02 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Here's a great film: "Our Brand Is Crisis" (Sandra Bullock)


4:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good article on CP:

Talking about sociopaths, they don't come across to me as some kind of psychos with very unstable personalities. Quite the contrary, most of them seem quite "normal in their abnormality". "La banalité du mal" as Arendt would say. If you Wafers haven't watched the series Breaking Bad by the way, it's highly recommended as an illustration of this and is a great portrait of American psyche in general. Todd's character (he only shows up in the final season) is particularly terrifying in the series...


9:28 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Guns, Sociopaths:

“Do not blame the guns or the military budget.”

Okay, I get it…guns don’t kill people, people kill people. However, and it’s a big however, guns are designed specifically to kill humans…unlike shotguns, knives, chainsaws and cars, for example, which have other uses (for obvious reasons target practice doesn’t count). What I find absolutely amazing is all the genius, effort and money put into finding more efficient, impersonal ways to kill as many people as possible.

That said, the ugly truth is that life lives on life...something must die in order for something else to live. So it looks like some level of violence is built in. Of course there are other, spiritual ways of coping with this fact, but I think those truths were abandoned long ago.

BTW, I prefer the term “psychopath,” to “sociopath.” The difference is one of hairsplitting, and somehow the term “sociopath” doesn’t sound quite as awful. (Wafers, please correct me if I’m wrong, but it’s my understanding that psychopaths/sociopaths cannot be rehabilitated.) Anyway, let's face it, the PTB are psychopaths, because if they weren't they couldn’t be doing what they do. Has anyone here read "Political Ponerology"?

10:46 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


For psychopath google has "a person suffering from chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behavior."


12:52 PM  
Blogger Juliet Cash said...

I am currently enjoying MB's 'The Reenchantnent of the World' and I'm fascinated by Laing's schizoid false self system and the comparison that MB drew with Descarte's Cartesian model - the body/mind split. Reason is quite arrogant, isn't it? I wonder if Narcissism is also a result of this false self system - not being Whole - that modernity brought to us via scientific revolution. Dr. Berman, I guess some folks are more wholesome than others for identifying personality disorders would be impossible if there wasn't a continuum of being Whole- of being well connected in body and mind. What is scary is that one day Narcissism might be so prevalent that it would be considered normal and even necessary for survival. Some psychology magazines claim that a level of narcissism is healthy. Narcissists are skillful manipulators. You noted that the false self is a defense against the manipulation that individuals have to expect from others in this system. Hustlers will be manipulators. I can see why we are ground zero for Nihilism.

Personally I know people who avoid intimacy because they are afraid of suffering. Of connection. Of vulnerability. You noted that Americans are incapable of intimacy and authentic relationships. Is true. I think they are only capable of shallow utilitarian relationships. Good Will is impossible to grow. I also think they have no capacity to recognize their own emptiness because suffering is something they see as a weakness. They avoid it at all cost. I think that Happy Inc. and the stigma of depression has killed our capacity to recognize sadness, grief and loneliness.
As you said earlier Americans have a constant repressed sadness that comes out in the form of aggressiveness. I can see why we export it across the world.

In another observation: Have you noticed that now Americans don't even have funerals? It is becoming fashionable to just "celebrate life" by inviting people to eat and watch a movie of family pictures of the deceased. And many others just don't have anything at all. Could this also be the avoidance of suffering?


2:16 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Socio/Psychopaths everywhere:

1. http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-virginia-tech-murder-suspects-clues-20160204-story.html

2. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-congress-shkreli-twitter-idUSKCN0VD244

Goodnight, Irene!


4:30 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

GSWH, Why are americans so indignant on Martin Shkreli over drug price gauging of 5000% ? Would 500% markup be ok? He did what a true american is required to do; to make america great one Shkreli at a time. We should celebrate him and have a Shkreli-day. On that day we should do 2X overtime workday with no pay to show our patriotism.

Amerika, the only "1st world" "developed" country with no national healthcare, ...where the for-profit lame-arse obamacare faced opposition all the way to supreme court 'coz the price gouging wasn't satisfying enough, ...where a family can go bankrupt with medical bills even with a health insurance, and the american congress dares insult our hero Shkreli !!!???

Just see the smirk on this schmuck. Or better watch the pretentious arsewipe congressmen on inquisition of their showcase lemming caught in their big-hole net.

Shkreli should have paid this exemplary couple a percentage from his profits to learn some slick tricks.

4:41 PM  
Anonymous The Craw said...


Your statement regarding the Muslim Brotherhood's "well known" status as a "CIA asset" during Nasser's time is a revelation to me.

Could you please provide citations to your evidence?

Thanks in advance.

4:47 PM  
Anonymous Chris Long said...


The Countries Where People Are the Most Emotionally Complex

4:56 PM  
Anonymous SW said...

On sociopaths, you might want to read The Sociopath Next Door - here's from the Amazon description:

"We are accustomed to think of sociopaths as violent criminals, but in The Sociopath Next Door, Harvard psychologist Martha Stout reveals that a shocking 4 percent of ordinary people—one in twenty-five—has an often undetected mental disorder, the chief symptom of which is that that person possesses no conscience. He or she has no ability whatsoever to feel shame, guilt, or remorse. One in twenty-five everyday Americans, therefore, is secretly a sociopath. They could be your colleague, your neighbor, even family. And they can do literally anything at all and feel absolutely no guilt."

Juliet -

I watched The End of the Tour last night & you might like it. David Foster Wallace understood how alone Americans feel and how soul destroying technology was. Another movie, French with subtitles, is The Beat That My Heart Skipped about the redemptive value of art & creativity.

4:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


That's such a terrible story, of two teenagers murdering that poor defenseless kid. What in the world?


Das ist schrecklich (terrible).


4% seems far too low. Granted that nearly all Americans are douche bags, I wonder if there is a kind of natural evolution, whereby douche bags eventually turn into sociopaths. I'm guessing 50% is a more likely figure.

Meanwhile, for an excellent portrait of the US today, check out a movie called "Anesthesia."


6:44 PM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

Juliet - really enjoyed reading your most recent contribution. Virtually everything you wrote rang true. Also great to see Reenchantment of the World discussed here. Dr. Berman's consciousness trilogy is an outstanding specimen of its kind and forms a vital counterpart to American culture / Empire trilogy that began with The Twilight of American Culture. I hope someday to have the time and the energy to discuss the early works on this blog - as well, and let's not forget Dr. Berman's first book, Social Change and Scientific Organization, which I read carefully about six years ago, and which in many ways lays the groundwork for Reenchantment.

Cheers from southern Ontario - which, incidentally, is still green and feels - evening tonight - like late April ...

- Northern Johnny

9:22 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Miles, Christian - While I applaud this Senator's rare display of honesty, I am sad to say that the stirring of anti-Saudi sentiment has largely functioned as a smokescreen to distract from America's misdeeds in the region.

US foreign policy in the Middle East has much to answer for, however ignoring the Saudi's support for Wahhabist teachings is a mistake. Too many on my side of the political aisle (left) assume Muslim rage is a predictable result of US foreign policy and if said policy were changed the rage would subside. There is some truth in this, but it isn't the whole story. A country with essentially unlimited wealth supporting thousands upon thousands of schools indoctrinating youth in what would otherwise be a radical, fringe version of a major religion is completely changing the face of Sunni Islam. Left unchecked, it will be the Muslim moderates that are in the minority.

As to what the US should do, well, for a start I would ditch the Saudi's as "allies" and pursue an alliance with Iran, who, for a variety of reasons, are our natural allies in the region.

Taking a step back and looking at the issue from a distance, I believe this "clash of cultures" we are currently in (too use an imperfect phrase) is going to be the defining crisis of our time. And, to be honest, I expect the West will lose, and lose quite spectacularly. Which, is a shame, as there is much to admire in Western values.

10:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Speaking of Southern Ontario, I'm giving lectures on May 13 and 14 as part of a conference at the U of Waterloo. You might wanna check it out--folks pursuing "Dual Process" and alternative strategies.


12:13 AM  
Anonymous Sean Kerrigan said...

W/ regard to the psycho vs sociopath, I believe psychopath is the all encompassing clinical term. They don't use sociopath anymore. Finally, they absolutely can be treated, though it requires intense socialization, especially for young psychopaths. For others, it's more about careful management of their life perspective -- recognizing they are sick and working to act with some measure of compassion even if they don't feel compassionate inside.

I thought you'd find this mildly interesting: "Lucas Weiss was just another dropout on the gringo trail until he landed among Ecuador's remote Secoya people. Now he's a tribal leader, heir to their revered 103-year-old shaman — and maybe their best hope for survival."


1:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Life follows art: check out Mario Vargas Llosa, "The Storyteller."


1:17 AM  
Anonymous turnover said...

Dr B,

Do you have a link for the Waterloo conference? Thanks.

2:00 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Nuts. I'm not sure it's open to the general public. I just checked previous emails from one of the organizers, and she says something abt 30 participants, all scholars. So, I just dropped her a note asking if "laymen" can attend. Stay tuned, I'll let u know.


6:40 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Whew, I made the mistake of criticizing Bernie to a bernie-bro last night ... not a good idea! It was the now classic argument, "... yes Bernie voted for the F-35, but at least he's for X or against Y." I just gave up.

Anyway, here's a good interview with Orlov:


10:02 AM  
Anonymous Edward said...

Sarasvati: "Okay, I get it…guns don’t kill people, people kill people. However, and it’s a big however, guns are designed specifically to kill humans…unlike shotguns, knives, chainsaws and cars, for example, which have other uses"

Airplanes and then drones were originally designed to move people from one place to another. The same can be said of ships and boats. Today the most deadly war machines are ships, airplanes, and drones. We can now change the slogan:

Airplanes, ships, drones do not kill people; people kill people.

10:17 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to turn, Johnny, and anyone interested in attending my U of Waterloo lectures on May 13 and 14: Here's the scoop:

1. I'm giving a lecture open to the public on May 13 at 7 pm in the Environment 3 bldg. on campus.

2. I'm also giving a lecture on May 14 at 9:15 am, but this is part of the daily workshops, which are open only to invited academics or scholars with a specific interest in the conference topic. I did, however, ask the organizer if this cd be modified to let the general public in, but I don't think they are inclined to do that.

3. In terms of those of you who are nowhere near Ontario, if they record either of these talks, I'm assuming I can get links and post them on this blog later on.

I thank u4 yr patience, amigos.


12:46 PM  
Blogger Chad In Chicago said...

Dr B, that face. God help us all:


12:53 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

[Christian Schulzke]

I can never remember precisely how things began to go south among the Muslims, lo these many generations ago, so I found this paragraph from a 2013 piece in the Economist that may also be of interest to the readership:

""The argument dates back to the death in 632 of Islam’s founder, the Prophet Muhammad. Tribal Arabs who followed him were split over who should inherit what was both a political and a religious office. The majority, who would go on to become known as the Sunnis, and today make up 80% of Muslims, backed Abu Bakr, a friend of the Prophet and father of his wife Aisha. Others thought Muhammad’s kin the rightful successors. They claimed the Prophet had anointed Ali, his cousin and son-in-law—they became known as the Shia, a contraction of "shiaat Ali", the partisans of Ali. Abu Bakr’s backers won out, though Ali did briefly rule as the fourth caliph, the title given to Muhammad’s successors. Islam's split was cemented when Ali’s son Hussein was killed in 680 in Karbala (modern Iraq) by the ruling Sunni caliph’s troops. Sunni rulers continued to monopolise political power, while the Shia lived in the shadow of the state, looking instead to their imams, the first twelve of whom were descended directly from Ali, for guidance. As time went on the religious beliefs of the two groups started to diverge."

Mr. Schulzke wrote "...Iran..our natural allies in the region." While a man--or a country--can always use a good friend, with roughly 80 percent of the world's Muslims (1.6 billion Muslims total in 2010 per Pew Research) adherents of the Sunni branch, choosing the Shia Persians may be sensible for any number of reasons but is almost certainly bound to piss the other sect off, with who knows what consequences.

It might be sensible to question whether we should ally or align ourselves with any country whose government rests to any great extent on religion or any religious principles any more complicated than the Golden Rule.

As for the idea "...the West will lose..[this cultural conflict]," I agree. How could it be otherwise? Evidence for our failure exists in abundance: wars across multiple countries and continents going on for two decades has not gotten the radicals to recognize the hopelessness of their situation, to stack their arms, and to go home.

The most powerful military in the world has been unable to persuade these recalcitrants to conform to our wishes. I'm reminded of a T-shirt sentiment I saw once: the floggings will continue until the morale improves. Or, a pop culture reference: Basil Fawlty yelling at Miguel in an increasingly louder voice in English, hoping that volume will overcome the Spaniard's incomprehension.

More Predator strikes, more kinetic solutions. That'll surely bring them around to our way of thinking.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...


If there was an Oscar category for most realistic depiction of the US, "Anesthesia" would win, no doubt about it. I watched it via amazon last night and was left speechless. Waterston and Stewart are absolute standouts here... Not to give anything away just yet, but I've never seen such a collection of douche bags in my life! How about the mother who asked her daughter if she thinks mommy drinks too much? This, while she goes about flipping off all of the other moms dropping off their spoiled brats at school. Jesus, this was a terrific film. Anyway, many thanks for the recommendation.


Incidentally, I listened to an interview w/Richard Dreyfuss yesterday. He's out promoting his new film, "Madoff." I haven't seen the film, but toward the end of the interview he explained to the host that he believes ISIS means to decapitate his grandkids, and probably will as a result of US policy in the Middle East. The discussion was stopped b4 he could explain his position any further. I could be wrong, but I took it to mean that the US has absolutely no grasp of the laws of cause and effect in terms of blowback for its policies in the Islamic world.


2:14 PM  
Blogger Dawgzy said...

Hola WAFers- It's interesting when we look at our ruling class and find ourselves so often using the term psychopath/sociopath.
I comment on another blog (involving cities and politics) where one of the more energetic and prolific commenters sometimes hurls the term "sociopath" as a weapon at certain others with whom he disagreed. To defuse this I started googling the concepts with the intent of clarifying matters for him. I found welter of opinion- sometimes contradictory when it comes to Psychopath/sociopath definitions. I have some familiarity with the real thing (having worked on a forensic psych ward for several years) and know about DSM and ICD definitions. We are all familiar (whether we like it our not) with popular notions of the problem. But what are we perceiving when we spot sociopathy? It's complex.
I tend to focus at the level of the self and others in this dynamic- on individual characteristics and interpersonal exploitation. But increasingly we area seeing the dynamic "writ large" The Milgram (pain) and Zimbardo (prisoner) experiments area pretty good analogues for seeing how this might operate in the "real world." It seems that good normal types who area high achievers, often idealistic, succumb to pressures from authorities -or a by having position of complete control- find themselves doing things that they later regret. It seems that too many of our social structures bring these tendencies to bear. (Then there's"Eichmann in Jerusalem.") Politics and Business too often attract folks who are working their stuff out on the larger stage. Geez- I wish Don and Ted and Hillary had been theatre majors instead of political science and finance types.

2:38 PM  
Anonymous Joe from Chicago said...

Dr. Berman and the Wafers,

Hello all. Last time I posted was about Richard Hofstadter. Subsequently read his Age of Reform, which led me to Charles Beard's Economic Interpretation of the Constitution. This reading has sharpened my thinking on a recurring theme: the polarity between the conspiratorial theory of history vs. the impersonal forces theory of history.

Age of Reform includes some fascinating discussion on the role of conspiracy theory in the Populists' attempts to grapple with the ascendancy of corporate power post Civil War. Hofstadter isn't entirely unsympathetic, but is indeed derisive of the simplified, Manichean mythos manifest in the insistence on the villainy of the robber barons. On the other side, Charles Beard's introduction to An Economic Interpretation, deftly deconstructs the deep habit of treating abstractions like "justice" or "the advancement of the common weal" (and we could anachronistically add "the free market") as the prime movers of history.

Here's what I submit to the group. Is it so difficult to conceive of the pragmatic synthesis of these poles? A la Marx, "Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please." It's a both/and, a reciprocal relationship between human agents and the echoes of past human agents. Under the dominant paradigm, it's an either/or, and if you ascribe human agency to power elites, you're a conspiracy theorist.

The Sanders/Clinton "what is the establishment" shenanigans dance around the refusal to reconcile the concept of humans/and "forces" originating in the aggregate agency of humans through history. The upshot is - the abstract forces theory fosters a spirit of resignation. The reciprocal view I advocate avoids homogenizing ruling elites but does not go so far as to pretend that agendas can get anywhere without agents.

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

Dr. Berman: I would love to attend your public lecture at the U of Waterloo. I will take note of the date and perhaps the Southern Ontario contingent (among which I would count myself) can meet up for coffee or a meal.

Following yesterday’s post, I thought I would pull out my heavily underlined and well-marked hard copy of Dr. Berman’s Social Change and Scientific Organization: The Royal Institution, 1799-1944 (Cornell UP), originally published in 1978. I recall reading and finishing the book while vacationing in Alberta with my soon-to-be fiancé in the summer of 2009 – indeed, I can still see an image of myself working my way through its pages while sitting in the shade of my in-laws suburban backyard, near the ripe tomato plants. The book thoroughly impressed me at the time and I still consider it one of those books in my collection that will probably remain on my bookshelf until the day I expire.

Dr. Berman wrote the book’s Preface in San Francisco in January 1976, two years before the book reached the marketplace and he notes in the Preface that the original version of the book’s second chapter had first appeared as a journal article in 1972. In the Preface, Dr. Berman identified the book as a work of historiography – a discipline I’ve come to love since completing my B.A. Honours English and History at a certain university in Southern Ontario over ten years ago. In the margins of the Preface I noted as I read that Dr. Berman was even think suspicious of what I termed ‘paradigm adulation’ – a point more thoroughly taken up in his Coming to Our Senses a decade later. If I were to extract one sentence from the Preface that seems to pinpoint the book’s central concern, it would be: “During the past few years there has been a growing feeling in the Western industrial nations that something philosophical, or even metaphysical, rather than just economic, is definitely awry with our way of life, and that science and technology may be more a part of the problem than a part of the solution” (p xi).

In the coming weeks I'll try to share more of my experience of reading Social Change and Scientific Organization and also the Consciousness Trilogy and would love to hear from other WAFers on the same.

P.S. Hope this post does not violate the posting word limit.

3:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


So again, the lecture of May 13 (7pm) is open to the public, and if the organizer changes her mind regarding the lec. of May 14 (9:15 am), I'll let you know. As for getting together with you and yr pals, and perhaps having the 1st Canadian Wafer Summit Conference (CWSC), I think I might be free at 5pm on May 14, at least for an hr or 2. We'll hafta see how it goes.


One of my favorite quotes, Beatings will continue until morale improves. That was certainly McNamara's plan for Vietnam, and we know how that turned out. What was his IQ? 175? You hafta ask yrself how technically brilliant people can be so fucking dumb. And what did we learn from Vietnam? Nada! ps: Pls remember to watch length, thanks.


I'm glad you screened that movie, and hope other Wafers will do so as well. It's a tragic, fantastically accurate X-ray of the US today. BTW, I think Dreyfuss is Canadian, if that makes any difference.


5:33 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Dreyfus isn't Canadian, but he played one (Duddy Kravitz) in the movies. There's a quote, "I like her. She's got qualities," by one of Duddy's buddies in Richler's book that I think of whenever I see the title of Belman's new novel.


I'm no student of psychology, which I rate up there with alchemy as a serious area of study, but many "progressives" (the type one finds on Commondreams.org) seem to think that everyone in government is a sociopath. Apparently "sociopath" and "fascist" are interchangeable synonyms.

A WAFer conference in Ontario...just another reason for us in Western Canada to hate the East.

There's a late Canadian proto-Wafer named George Grant who makes all sorts of connexions between technology and the decline of Western culture. I don't think anyone reads him anymore, but I recommend y'all check out his Technology and Empire.

8:11 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

WAFers ---

interesting article (by David W. Noble):


an excerpt :

"They no longer want to participate in a middle-class culture which insists that it has no limits. This renunciation of the modern world is based on the belief that all efforts to transcend limits are self-destructive. Members of the Second Scientific Revolution and other heretics want to save a living earth that is their home. Are we at the beginning, therefore, of a growing heresy that will replace modern orthodoxy? This alternative orthodoxy promises that we will experience spiritual fulfillment when we reject the exodus narrative and choose to stay home and take care of it."

7:57 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

EDWARD, I never knew that boats, ships, airplanes and drones were designed specifically to kill humans. I guess almost anything can be used as a weapon, even wet noodles if you stuffed enough of them down someone’s throat to choke ‘em to death.

SEAN, if psychopaths have no conscience, what motivates them to seek treatment and actually modify their behavior, especially once they’re an adult? My mom had Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and only went for therapy after I insisted. Of course, she totally manipulated her first therapist who was obviously out of her depth, so all it did was reinforce in her mind her own, special wonderfulness. She died at 96, and after seeing therapists for over 25 years never developed a conscience, empathy, nor saw any need to change her behavior.

AL-QA’BONG, while I’m sure that the majority of people in government are not psychopaths, only a total lack of conscience would allow those in charge to do what they do. And, because of their ruthlessness (much admired in the U.S.A.), psychopaths tend to reach the top of the heap, so I do think that they populate the upper echelons of power. Or else they wouldn’t have survived.

11:04 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Christian, How about the 3rd option, neither align with the Saudis nor with the Iranians? Does Uruguay or Zambia worry whose side it MUST ​have to ​be on? Haven't we already been on the Iranian side when we helped the overthrow of Mossadegh? Or are we talking about Manifest Destiny, aka WMBS? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViNU2Zu4PVU

Sean, For your note on Lucas in Ecuador from Men's journal I point to you the same, White Man's Burden Syndrome:

W.M.B.S is unconscious and involuntary. The afflicted is not aware of the dis-ease.​ ​Nevertheless​ ​the proverbial​ ​result is, the white man exterminates the buffalo while he endeavors to resurrect the buffalo. The white man invents the nuclear bomb and the white man is afraid of his nuclear bomb. The white man tames the savage and now he is worried that the savage is behaving just like him. He consumes copious amount of drugs and has to blame the Mexicans for selling him those​ ​drugs.​ ​The white man ​​plunders​ ​the planet and the white man laments that HIS planet has been ruined.​ ​ The white man is ​​perpetually straightening the world​ ​while​ ​paranoid​ ​at​ ​his own shadow.​...he is​ ​in a either-or bind; a zeal to civilize the wild or disillusioned with that very zeal itself. ​ ​Whatever,​ ​in both the cases he​ ​practices​ ​his trait/frustration on​ the​ ​gullible colored..., and the end result is predictably the same​ -​​the white man is​ ​disappointed having fixed NOTHING and​ ​learned NOTHING -but in​ ​the ​bargain the​ ​na​tive​​ ​is contaminated with "cocacola and cargo"​.​​


Since Columbus​ ​WMBS​ ​has​ ​​altered​ ​​the new world​ ​and the perpetrator alike.​ ​Lucas Weiss​'s​ conundrum is nothing new.​ ​He is ​rebel against his wmbs. ​Like Columbus ​he finds himself as a tribal "leader" in Ecuador. He can't help he's white and by nature he can​not​ be a follower. His destiny is to lead​ ​and control​, then preach​. That is his "burden"​ ​and​ ​he'll never be aware of it.​ And one day he too will return home to Michigan disillusioned and, like Kipling before him, write a book on either how fantastic were the Indians or how backward rubbish they were. ​An​ ​ode to​ ​the Lucases of the world​ ​by a fellow white​, ​Don Henley.​..​​
The Last Resort: https://vimeo.com/138519389​

11:45 AM  
Anonymous Edward said...

Sarasvati, you are right and I agree with you, that the airplanes used to drop atomic bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki were designed SPECIFICALLY to send love to the people of Japan in August 6 and August 9 of 1945.

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Suzanne said...

As a woman, I feel uneasy with all this talk about Hillary's "hideous" appearance. I don't care if she looks like the Elephant Man, the only thing that should concern any voter is her record on the issues. No one seems to go on and on about the fact that Trump looks like a spray-tanned mushroom wearing a wig. Let's stick to the issues and not relegate women to objects.

5:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, as you probably know by now, this ain't a politically correct blog. However, I take yr pt abt Trump's appearance, and I encourage everyone to gasp at it as well. But I don't agree that body language is irrelevant, and that the world of the rational (e.g., voting record) is all that counts. Far from it. Russian proverb: "glaza zerkolo dushi," the eyes are the windows of the soul. When I look into Hillary's eyes, I see hollowness, emptiness, and this tells me who she is. Similarly, her face is frozen, plastic--as are her political positions (rote, mechanical). In any case, I welcome contributions from you and all Wafers regarding what you/they see when you look at the terrifying face of Donald Trump.


7:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: almost forgot: for those of u who like "Anesthesia," there is another film by Tim Blake Nelson that is a real gem, "Leaves of Grass," with Keri Russell and Ed Norton. One of my all-time faves. (Incidentally, it argues that our true lives are in our bodies, not in our rational minds.)

7:48 PM  
Anonymous Zeke said...

Loved Leaves of Grass, if only to see Ed Norton play himself and his stoner twin brother. I really came here to write about the GOP Debate, though. I'm sure plenty of other people will have some insights to share, but did anyone catch that intro? Christ, Ben Carson missing his name and just waiting in the wings like a serial killer. The longer it went on, the more it went from comedy to tragedy. The man may have been a skilled doctor but every second he stayed out there I was less inclined to laugh and more inclined to wonder how he'd even gotten this far. To remember all the strange, idiotic things he'd said, and think how respected he is. And then the debate moderators simply forgetting outright that John Kasich was ALSO supposed to be on stage. I know that people forget things, they have a lot on their minds, but the empty podium is literally right there. It baffles the mind, how stupidity can be this prevalent, even among the elite.

1:25 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


In the US you can say strange, idiotic things and millions will respect you. You can say, "Let's ban all Muslims," and they will cheer. On the other hand, if you give a speech saying that life shd not be abt consumerism, and that we can't keep blaming the Soviet Union for all of our problems, they will regard you as a clown, or even insane, and will vote an actual clown into office to replace you; and will revere that clown for decades afterwards. BTW, according to some reports, Carson is not a very skilled doctor.


4:16 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


Many thanks for "The Last Resort" video. Incidentally, when the US took the West from its first inhabitants -- by treaty, deception, and force of arms -- the government put forward a moral principle from John Locke to justify the seizure. Locke argued that property was a function of human labor, and that God gave the world in common to all mankind. God also commanded individual people to labor and subdue the earth. Thus, according to the theory, productive Anglos that make property beneficial should take it! Nice, eh? Ultimately, the US government used this argument to push the Indians off the land, and reasoned that since the Indians were not being productive w/the land they had no right to it. Interestingly, Cliven and his boys, and the rest of the occupiers in Oregon, believe this and are ready to be martyred for it.


2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The beeb seems to have forgotten the main reason: "because they're douchebags!!"


6:30 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Looks like collapse of American Dream, loss of opp'ties, and loss of America's power in world are major items here. So I guess a lot of Americans feel they've been hoodwinked. Problem is, instead of taking to the streets, they are gonna vote for Don or Bernie, wh/won't save shit. But I do think yr rt, that the BBC has overlooked the No. 1 crucial factor: Americans are clowns. They have shit for brains, and there's very little that can be done abt that.


7:07 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Miles, if you liked the The Last Resort which was a warning call for non-Wafers, you'll like the wordings of LearnToBeStill...enuf of doin anything; now just be still. It goes well with a glass of whiskey!

Sad day in america for my white brothers (and sisters too, for they bear the brunt at home). They are afraid to admit the desperation and to seek help. But admit to a cruel judgmental culture that has no bandwidth for the fallen? I still remember how I was treated by my colleagues after I was FMPed from a top notch engineering position. Seek help from whom? The shrink, who himself is a product of this f'kd up hustler society? (google the euphemistic term FMP layoff. One of our FMPed committed suicide.)
...while the call is for more of the same,...

Suzanne, By traits Hillary is a man like Cheney and Rumsfeld. When she joined the league of the scums she forfeited the right to any latitude as a women. She is no more a women as Obama ain't no black anymore.
GSWH pointed out, compare the eyes of Hillary with Rachel Corrie or Jane Goodall and notice the difference. You should meet Rachel's mother, you'll know what I mean. These pachamama females are worth your women defense, not Hillary the pathetic macho -a face that truly reflects a sociopathic narcissist.

After dry prose and pontification's failure to hammer home the dead-end point, it is only by means of poetry that we have a chance to express the futility of the modern human enterprise and genuinely feel the remorse. This song is for all WAFERS. Learn To Be Still -by Don Henley.....

7:40 PM  
Anonymous Deadthoreau said...

I wish I could live in Norway.

"Some years ago, I faced up to the futility of reporting true things about America’s disastrous wars and so I left Afghanistan for another remote mountainous country far away. It was the polar opposite of Afghanistan: a peaceful, prosperous land where nearly everybody seemed to enjoy a good life, on the job and in the family.

It’s true that they didn’t work much, not by American standards anyway. In the US, full-time salaried workers supposedly laboring 40 hours a week actually average 49, with almost 20 percent clocking more than 60. These people, on the other hand, worked only about 37 hours a week, when they weren’t away on long paid vacations. At the end of the work day, about four in the afternoon (perhaps three in the summer), they had time to enjoy a hike in the forest or a swim with the kids or a beer with friends — which helps explain why, unlike so many Americans, they are pleased with their jobs.

Often I was invited to go along. I found it refreshing to hike and ski in a country with no land mines, and to hang out in cafés unlikely to be bombed. Gradually, I lost my warzone jitters and settled into the slow, calm, pleasantly uneventful stream of life there.

Four years on, thinking I should settle down, I returned to the United States. It felt quite a lot like stepping back into that other violent, impoverished world, where anxiety runs high and people are quarrelsome. I had, in fact, come back to the flip side of Afghanistan and Iraq: to what America’s wars have done to America. Where I live now, in the Homeland, there are not enough shelters for the homeless. Most people are either overworked or hurting for jobs; housing is overpriced; hospitals, crowded and understaffed; schools, largely segregated and not so good. Opioid or heroin overdose is a popular form of death; and men in the street threaten women wearing hijab. Did the American soldiers I covered in Afghanistan know they were fighting for this?"


7:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


If the candidates know 0 abt Scandinavia, how can the American people be expected to know? From top to bottom, a nation of ignoramuses. I can't get over the refusal of other political analysts--i.e. leaving out Mencken, Vidal, Carlin, and myself--to face the most obvious fact abt America, that we are going down the toilet because we are clueless morons.


8:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Am wondering if any of you have seen a TV series called "Mr. Robot." I just screened the very 1st episode (2015), and it has a Waferish flavor to it. Whaddyu think?


10:02 PM  
Anonymous Tammie S. said...

Re: Mr robot,

The Philosophy/Moral Psychology podcast Very Bad Wizards recently had a special eoisode where they analyzed the 1st season. That's how i got hooked. The show is very cool stuff,sorta gimmicky, but gets away w/ it

10:16 PM  
Blogger ab645471 said...

2 pieces of news I think to be interesting for Japan's aficionados.

Japan's traditional relationship with ocean life,


and looking into the future,


8:06 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

MB: I have seen the first season of Mr. Robot, it gets pretty confusing (to me at least and I think that was the point of the show) as it gets towards the end as Elliot tries to figure out his mental illness. Other people have pointed out its similarity with the movie Fight Club and I think its a good WAF-er comparison. In FC the anti-corporate acts done to "free the people" are all physical (fighting, blowing up buildings) while in Mr. Robot, the acts are almost entirely technological hacking. I very much enjoy the personal difficulties of the characters in FC, i.e. "I can't get married, I'm a 30 year old boy". In Mr. Robot, I get the sense that without Elliot's mental illness there wouldn't be any of this personal reflection. Plus, I really, really doubt that if some hacker killed all the banks/credit cars/etc. the people would be dancing in the streets, it would more likely be chaos and mass murder. Notice how there is no military involvement in Mr. Robot at all.

Dead: Thanks for the link!

WAF-ers: The below article beats a dead horse a bit, but I say the more it's said the better:


10:12 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to turn, Northern Johnny, and all of u folks in Southern Ontario: I have news!

Once again, I'm giving a lecture open to the public on May 13 at 7 pm in the Environment 3 bldg. on the Waterloo U. campus. As for the May 14 lecture, at 9:15 a.m.: I'm happy to tell you guys that the organizer relented: you can attend! It will be held at the Basille School, Boardroom #1-23. The only caveat is that this rm holds 30 people, and 24 have already registered for the workshop. So if there are 6 of u, that's fine, but if more, let me know, and the organizer will move the lecture to a larger rm.

c.u. there, chicos-


10:22 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

After seeing the headline "Beyonce’s Formation is one of the most important songs and videos of the decade" on wastebook I had to chime in. Yes, she brings up Katrina, black heritage, and the Black Lives Matter movements but in the end the whole video is summed up by the last line ""Best revenge is your paper"... Is that the best revenge? Money doesn't have any moral compass so I don't see how to bridge the activism this song elicits and the lame, empty, and materialistic closing line. It seems to me that better "revenge" would be serious cultural change not getting rich. It is such a perfect example, as I see it, of how empty our culture is as a whole. We see injustice in the world and respond by saying "get lots of money"!?! It doesn't make any sense!

11:07 AM  
Anonymous turnover said...

Great! Thanks for getting us in the lecture.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Except to Americans. To Americans, Beyonce included, that's what life is abt. She's pretty representative of how hollow Americans are. Push comes to shove, there ain't much in their lives; which is why they are sad and angry. And given the fact that they aren't very bright, there's not much chance that they are going to understand this.


1:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


My pleasure; these are very accommodating folks. If you and Johnny cd let me know how many are in yr merry band, I'll let them know, because if it's more than 6 they'll need to switch to a different rm. Anyway, #s don't matter for evening lec on May 13, because that's in a large hall, and open to the public. As for a Canadian Wafer Summit Mtg (CWSM), after 5pm on May 14 might work. (I can ask the organizer on May 13 if I'm gonna be free on May 14.)


2:10 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Christian, How about the 3rd option, neither align with the Saudis nor with the Iranians?

I would love for the US to be able to disengage completely from the region, let the locals get up to whatever they want, and tell the Arabs to go drink their oil.

However, as that isn’t possible from a practical standpoint, we have to make the best of it. Iran is ideal as an ally because they have as much to lose from Sunni fanaticism (which is increasingly becoming the norm, rather than the minority) as we do. Also, as Muslim nations go, they are, in spite of the Mullahs best efforts, some of the least observing. Iran’s mosque attendance rates are some of the lowest in the Muslim world.

Furthermore, Western culture, American in particular, has made serious inroads into Iranian life. Sure the school girls may wear chadors on the way to school, but on the weekend at underground parties, its tank tops, exstasy, and vodka, with American music playing in the background.

Finally, unlike other Muslim countries, the Iranians have cultural and emotional ties to their nation state in ways that other Muslim populations, who live in “countries” whose borders were defined by colonial powers, do not.

2:35 PM  
Anonymous JWO said...

Good one here:


3:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Problem is that identity politics and pol. correctness seem to be increasing, not decreasing. Madeleine Albright and Gloria Steinem are saying that women not voting for Hillary are committing a criminal act. There doesn't seem to be a lot of feminist awareness abt Maggie Thatcher, or the fact that Condi Rice is on the board of Chevron and a war criminal. Yrs ago I heard Grace Paley say that with women in power, the world wd change. Yeah, right. Bright people in the US are stupid; that's the bottom line, and it don' matter much if they are male or female or black or purple.

Christopher Lasch wrote in 1979, now that Americans have learned that they can't change what matters, they are turning their energies to things that don't. Preoccupation with 'correct' language is a gd example of this. Symbolic politics is a fool's game, but man, we've sure got a lotta fools out there.


Check out my forthcoming bk, "Iranian Girls in Tank Tops."


4:47 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Way to go, Killary, dept.:


Gee, we hate to break it to u, but Henry is a poster boy for mass murder. Can't wait till next wk when u discuss the virtue of Ronnie Raygun. Wafers will stay tuned...


ps: Didn't Nixon say: "With a friend like Henry, who needs an enemy"?

5:57 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dear Dr. B & All: Just another day in America-


6:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


It might say something abt the future of this country when toddlers are killers. However, I'm hoping the NRA can break thru to the 1-yr-old crowd. The idea of gangs of 1-yr-olds toting AK-47's has a certain appeal...


7:09 PM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

Dr. Berman: Great news about being to attend the U Waterloo lecture and about being able to get together. I am marking the dates on my calendar.

Will write more about Social Change and Scientific Organization soon, I hope. Tonight, after a day of work, I am watching one of the great American films for perhaps the 5th time: Terrence Malick's "The Thin Red Line." What an outstanding war film. If there is such a thing as an American spirituality, it's expressed through the thoughts of the characters in this film.

A question for the evening: If Canada can be said to have a bright and dynamic future, which province(s) are most likely to lead the way? I say British Columbia or Quebec.
British Columbia remain's the nation's visionary and most dynamic province - sometimes referred to as part of Cacadia. Politically, the unions recently committed to act in solidarity with First Nations to actively oppose the building of new pipelines. Following the fall of the Alberta Tories, Saskatchewan has emerged as the de facto stronghold of the Prairie right-wing. Ontario, meanwhile, seeks to become a kind of Neoliberal utopia. Then there is Quebec, the only province in Canada that feels fully and comprehensively alive and cultured. Whereas British Columbia can be understood as pointing to the future, Quebec represents the bastion of older progressive cultural and political values. It remains, despite a Neoliberal onslaught, a defiant social democracy with vaguely socialist tendencies. Then we have the Maritimes, or the real Eastern Canada. Generally a quite part of the country, aside the snow storms that always roll in at this time of year.

But, the world is focused on Canada's federal Liberals and on JT in particular - our dashing and emotionally intelligent Prime Minister. While Canada's Green Party leader Elizabeth May is probably the best politician we have, that party had no hope of making advances in the last election, so JT really was the only viable alternative - particularly after our traditionally social democratic party - the NDP - went Neoliberal lite and ended up advancing an agenda that was actually more conservative than the Liberals.

Let me close this Canadian ramble by noting though that American should stop comparing the USA with Canada. While Canada is a utopia compared to the USA, the country is a shadow of its former self, and truthfully never did get past its firmly liberal roots. No, if you want to compare the USA, compare it to Scandinavia. Norway and Denmark are probably the world's most civilized countries.

-Northern Johnny

10:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Any idea how many people in your group? The rm holds 30, and 24 have registered so far. Turnover will come up from Ann Arbor. If # exceeds 30, I have to let organizer know, so she can switch to a larger rm. BTW, pls watch length of yr posts, keep to half a page max. Thanks.


7:07 AM  
Anonymous Harrison said...


Derrida on Seinfeld, thought of you immediately, Dr. B!

8:19 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks! How embarrassing for Derrida; truly a shmuck. But then most of postmodernism is embarrassing.


8:38 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I get my US news via Trevor Noah and Larry Wilmore, but was fairly surprised to see how Chris Christie emerged from the recent Republican debates as the intellectual giant of the group. There isn't a lot to choose from in that mob. Then again, the Dems aren't substantially better. This reminds me of the back cover of a Mad magazine from the early 1970s, which showed Lady Liberty weeping as she looked upon the choice between Richard Nixon and George McGovern.

As for the Ontarian slanders by Northern Johnny, I don't know if "bastion of the prairie right wing" is much of an improvement over the slur that in Saskatchewan we can watch our dog run away from home for three days. Hey, we're the home of Medicare, the CCF (NDP) and agrarian socialism...and I'm sticking to that story!

In any case, saying what he said about Saskatchewan isn't as bad as praising Prince Justin Trudeau, although I must say I agree with Trudeau's pulling our air force (yeah, we have a few aeroplanes) out of "The War on Terror"® in Syria and Irak.

10:11 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


For several yrs now I have been petitioning the Pentagon to nuke Toronto and Paris. They don't answer my letters, wh/has been very insulting. Hence, I'm wondering if you cd get a petition together to Trudeau, for him to vigorously bomb the state of Virginia. That wd also knock out the CIA, just as a bonus.

BTW, why don't you come to the Waterloo lectures? Wat. is a mere 2875 km from Saskatoon--piece of cake!


11:02 AM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

file under Seinfeld:


3:51 PM  
Blogger Sird said...


I've been puzzling over this blog a little bit and it got me thinking about the role of redemption/amelioration. If we assume that the fate of the nation is still to be determined and though overwhelming signs point to a bad outcome, is there anything you see as redemptive or even surprising about the overall trajectory/cultural pattern of the US? Is everything a Road Not Taken.. or are there microcosms of hope and alternative strategies that, though small now, might grow into something? I ask this, because I'm enmeshed in it and--barring the unforseen--I have many years of participation left in the system. I've noticed that common to the blog, which I enjoy, is a lot of gloomy posts that seem to confirm the negative course we're on. And I get the need for this--the media and culture in the US is criminally delusional/insane and truthful expressions need an outlet; thus this blog. But I'm curious to know if you notice anything about the broader US culture that you think is an improvement. Do you put any stock in the emancipatory potential of any new technology? How about the secularization or the decline of Catholicism.. anything? This may be too broad a topic to be useful, I'm just a little curious.

Go Hillary! (joking)



5:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for joining us; I welcome yr query. I discuss alternative paths in 2 contexts. The 1st, in my "America" trilogy, are the rds not taken. These voices still exist, but are politically feeble by now--Jimmy Carter was the last official expression of them. The other is what I've called Dual Process, and I've discussed this in a few lectures (Archived on this blog, I think; like, "The Waning of the Modern Ages"), and at some length in ch. 7 of my Japan bk, Neurotic Beauty. Thing is, in terms of D.P. having any success, I have much more faith in Japan or Europe or Latin America, than I do in the US (we 'monetize' everything, eh?). But these discussions might give u some food for thought. Best advice I can give you is to emigrate, asap.

As for Hillary, Gloria Steinem says I hafta vote for her, so I guess that's that.


5:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Here's a gd article:


Be sure to scroll down, catch pic of Hillary's grotesque, terrifying face.


ps: I've been looking at large list of candidates, Dem and GOP, in NH, and nowhere did I find the names of Lorenzo Riggins or Shaneka Torres. And we claim to be a democracy!

6:22 PM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

Looking over the "Introduction" to Dr. Berman's Social Change and Scientific Organization, I am struck by the distinction it makes between 'the mythology of science' and 'the ideology of science.' Dr. Berman goes on to explain that his book offers a sociological ('prosopographic’) study of science as an ideology.

The book, its "Introduction" explains, addresses the following: how science became the 'grammar' of industrial society; the insight that science creates the world rather than 'describing' it; the rise of the professional middle classes and the decline of the aristocracy; the rush to make all endeavours scientific, including politics, which was to be reduced to technique; the evolution of the British Royal Institution (arguably England’s most influential exponent of ‘science as ideology’); and the transition from agrarian to industrial society.

Two key quotes from the "Introduction":

"If it is commonly assumed that science is the key to material comfort, that technical expertise can effectively deal with social and economic problems, and that, more generally, reality consists of only that which can be quantified, then it is vital to understand the process by which science became a working metaphysics" (p. xx)

"The RI [Royal Institution] was founded midst the fear of revolution, and scientific activity was seen as a means of containing potential disruption" (p. xxiii)

Toward the end of the "Introduction," Dr. Berman points out that at the time (1976) Foucault had not yet generated a discipleship (p. xxiv). This is a fascinating observation and suggests Dr. Berman’s book was written just on the cusp of the shift from cultural modernism to cultural postmodernism.

-Northern Johnny

P.S. Hope this isn't too long; if it is, set a word limit and I'll stick to it in future.

8:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


So, Bernie crushed Hillary in NH, 60% to 39%. Quite a stunning defeat for the ol' douche bag. Of course, when we talk abt douche bags here, we are talking metaphorically. Hillary isn't literally an actual, physical douche bag. But I got curious, and searched out douche bags on Amazon. Here's an example (it's apparently also an enema bag):


Now clearly, Hillary doesn't look like this...or does she? Wafers are encouraged to point out potential similarities between Hillary and this adorable little douche-enema bag.


4:47 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...


Re: Cute Blue Enema-Douche

Indeed, the best thing for this nation: an effective squeezable cleansing.


11:07 AM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

we're really hitting the high notes of intellectual discourse on this one.... Hillary v douche/enema bag....

The 'product' of course being much more 'functional' in it's intended use, hands down..... Hillary on the flip side as far as being "presidential" goes?.... depending on how you want to define that? I dunno, it would be interesting to see her dressed as a dominatrix with Putin tied up and hanging upside down in one of those b&d swing sets.... though she's probably more likely to be going down on someone like Lloyd Blankfein.... it's a toss up?..... though it would open up a whole new series of scandals, and we could all feel empathy for 'poor Bill'....

meanwhile, there's this:

4:28 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

America had the option between driving the powerful monster carefully, in whose belly it was riding but didn't know or let go all for some cheap thrill.
With limited wisdom (brains) and even lesser maturity (hands) it was either-or, and it chose the later.

A metaphor: On its epitaph it shall be written, "It went out quick leaving a undignified mess". What a way to go America!

4:48 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I agree: in the annals of this blog, the Hillary-douche-enema analysis is probably our greatest moment, and all Wafers can be proud. I found that little blue bag kinda cute, actually. What I think might be neat is if a large contingent of Wafers showed up at her inaugural, with signs bearing the pic of the little blue bag (no explanation needed). On the other hand, on the unlikely chance that it's Donald's inaugural, the signs cd just have pics of a horse's ass.

As for yr dominatrix scenario: shades of Woody Allen, I guess.


5:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Moving on from the subject of douche/enema bags, I keep wondering when the Nobel committee is going to set up a category for Predictive Talent, and make me the 1st recipient. You are probably scratching yr heads, wondering the same thing. Here I write a bk in 2011 (WAF) wh/says that the core of America, its very heart and soul, is hustling, and 5 yrs later millions of our fellow countrymen want to make Donald Trump, the apotheosis of greed/hustling/disgust, the next president! How long will you ignore me, O Lord?

I think of past presidents, and how they reflect various aspects of the American people:

Reagan: senility, Manichaean thinking, a bone head; the Teflon president
Bush Sr: a nonentity, a featherweight (let alone Dan Quayle!); a turkey
Clinton: oily, slick, snake oil salesman
Bush Jr: an utter fool, unrecovered alcoholic (dry drunk)
Obama: vapid, a poseur; a glorified punk
Hillary: OK, let's not beat a dead douche bag anymore; truly plastic person
Trump: vulgar, egomaniacal, Hustling as the meaning of life; fascist tendencies

"There's a shit storm coming"--Kurt Vonnegut


1:16 AM  
Blogger Nathan said...

Glad I'm not the only one who thought the whole Beyoncé thing was just about money http://www.deathandtaxesmag.com/280129/beyonce-capitalism-black-activism/

2:02 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

FDR redux:


8:15 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

American in action dept.:



12:41 PM  
Anonymous COS said...

Some good yucks from NC

Mexico Builds Border Wall To Keep Out U.S. A*sholes” [The Onion]. Hilarious Spanish-language TV “report.” Oh, and lots of bros; you’ll see what the word means.

2:52 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Thank you USA. Finally one of your citizens has mentioned what Saskatchewan is really about (it's not right-wing politicians or endless plains, by the way)...

Saskatchewan 'Is Known For Sasquatches' Says Fox Sports Broadcaster

A Fox Sports broadcaster thinks Saskatchewan is where all the sasquatches live.

The comments were made during a NBA game between the Utah Jazz and the Dallas Mavericks. Trey Lyles, who plays for the Jazz, is the first-ever NBA player from Saskatchewan, according to CBC.

"Of course, that region is known for being home to lots of sasquatches," says one announcer.

I wonder if this news is going to cause the number of gringo sasquatch-hunting tourists to increase here.

3:19 PM  
Blogger Dan Henry said...

Nathan, thanks for that link. Great article. I've noticed the Beyonce power net widening to the women in my lily white circle in the last couple years. She's gonna make Oprah look amateur.

4:11 PM  
Anonymous Devon Bev said...

Americans recognize 'past presidents' who never were, study finds


Japanese scientists to recreate first settlers' voyage


4:17 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Why there is no Chang no matter who is in power. The deep state . Bill moyers and former republican staffer

11:27 PM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

This isn't really news since it's been happening for decades, but here's a recent video of a meeting between the boss and workers about jobs getting shipped to Mexico


6:02 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

The delusion of the progs:


10:40 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, it's abt time Mr. Chang took control. But I presume you meant change. As for the deep state: right on. It's amazing how the whole country is absorbed in these primary elections, huge arguments abt who is the best candidate, etc., when it simply doesn't matter who is in the W.H.; the power is somewhere else. Let the charade continue...


5:58 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Enema kit is what she ordered on Amazon. Watch the last 30 sec

7:57 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

[From "Wiretapping the Oval Office," first appearing in The Nation on 27 September 1999, Gore Vidal writing about the use of tape recorders by presidents from FDR to Clinton:]

"When the wise Frank Church heard the virtuous Jimmy Carter promise the American people that he would never lie to them if elected president, Church said, with morose delight, 'He would deny the very nature of politics.' But when, as must happen, all sense of social reality is lost, the rulers and the ruled then plunge into the churchly abyss where nothing at all is ever real again and even the ghost of the Republic is gone while the first, and probably last, global nuclear empire reels from crisis to crisis, involving ever weaker enemies, led by ever more off-the-wall* rulers."

Included in the collection The Last Empire: Essays 1992-2000.

* Trump and Cruz, anyone?

9:15 PM  
Anonymous Peter Sloan said...

"He would, like many of our military leaders, treat climate change as a national security threat and indicated to me that he would seek to have the Senate ratify the Law of the Sea Convention, which defines the rights and responsibilities of nations with respect to their use of the world’s oceans, establishing guidelines for business, the environment and the management of marine natural resources.
Finally, Sanders has demonstrated an admirable commitment to diplomacy. He is not naive in suggesting, as he has, that the United States should reach out to Iran to try to normalize diplomatic relations. Nor was Nixon naive when he went to China in 1972, at the height of the Cultural Revolution and at a time when Mao Zedong’s government was still providing arms to North Vietnam to kill American troops.
A President Sanders would govern more like a President Dwight Eisenhower, who refused to give in to the demands of the military-industrial complex even after the Russians launched Sputnik, and focused on nation-building at home rather than spending billions on unnecessary weapons systems. Or like Nixon, who cut defense spending dramatically and developed a health care plan more inclusive than Obamacare. Or like Obama, who not only reached out to Iran, but also has tried to reduce and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons, and who restored diplomatic relations with Cuba."


8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Old wine in new bottles dpt but still interesting article:

This guy is clearly a Wafer BTW. All his other articles on Vice are brilliant.


9:11 AM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

Just in case there's anyone who hasn't been alerted to the incredible natural beauty of Donald Trump:


12:50 PM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

Interesting Lecture

John Ralston Saul
Technology And The Rise of Authoritarianism

no grand solutions but some good points....

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Edward said...

"Where to Invade Next is Michael Moore's most disturbing film yet. Contrasting the progressive public policies practiced abroad with those here at home, Moore starkly drives home just how inhumane American society has truly become.

The movie is a simple exercise in comparing and contrasting American public policies with those of other countries. It's full of Moore's inner dialogue and characteristic humor. But it's also profoundly moving because he cuts deep into the marrow of what's wrong with American society and must be changed."

More here:

5:27 PM  
Anonymous Varied Air said...


WOW that pretty hilarious, tbh. Voltaire vs. Chomsky!

Thoughts: I couldn't stand that original published correspondence between Harris and Chomsky when i read it, but this cute video points out some of the shortcomings to Chomsky's techniques and views, in only ways some small and weird and pithy Voltaire cartoon can.

12:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Usually I get at least one event a week that smacks me in the face, and reminds me (once again) that (happily) I'm not living in the US. Here's today's event:

I return to my apt. in Mexico City carrying a few plastic bags from the supermarket. I'm halfway up the stairs (I live on the 1st floor, i.e. the Mexican or British 1st floor) when one of the bags breaks. Contents spill out on the stairs, and across the ground floor. On the 1st floor, a door opens, and a 5-yr-old girl looks out, sees what's going on. Her parents are not around. She immediately comes out of her apt. and helps me gather up the groceries, put them next to my other plastic bags, and then returns to her apt, while I'm saying gracias!

I don't know how many 5-yr-old girls there are in the US, but I'm guessing not one of them wd have done this. In Mexico, children are taught (by example) that they are part of a community, and that if someone is in trouble you help them out. In the US, they are taught, 1st, that strangers are dangerous, and 2nd, that other people's problems are their own; you owe them nothing. So if this event had taken place in America, the child wd have opened the door, looked out, and then closed it, end of story. This is the difference between human beings and robots. Meanwhile, Americans can't understand why they are unhappy.


4:37 PM  
Blogger Juliet Cash said...

I can relate. I traveled to Puerto Rico recently and while in the grocery store I was helping myself through the wine aisle to purchase something for my mother who lives there. A middle aged couple sees me going through the wines and the husband asks me if I could help him choose a wine bottle for a wedding gift for he had no knowledge of wines. And so a total stranger approached me and we had a conversation of possible choices. I have lived in mainland USA for over 20 years now and this has happened to me zero times at any USA grocery store or mall. Most of the times people approach a worker for help or have confused me for a store worker to ask me where something is. But they never approach another shopper for an opinion on a purchase other than to ask you to reach something that is out of their reach while sitting in a shopping scooter. That individualism paired up with the fear of strangers runs deep in the zombie land USA. While Puerto Rico is Americanized it still has a soul.


10:26 PM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

lecture on the Venus Project:


Thoughts, Comments?

Certainly something that's not gonna happen tomorrow but something to work towards? I thought the guy had a lot to say that made sense even if it's a "ya gotta start somewhere" type of thing... what the hell. At least some people are using their minds to consider thinking a different way about creating the kind of world you'd want to live in....

1:39 AM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

Dr. MB and fellow Wafers:

Reply to Edward regarding the movie "Where to Invade Next".
I've seen the movie and I recommend it. Yes, it's not perfect but it is a rather damning view
of American culture via comparison to more enlightened places. Take for example, the comparison of public school lunches. In France they are 3 or 4 course meals at a small table seating of 4, taken over 90 minutes, the food locally sourced and remarkably prepared, much like you'd see at a French Bistro. See here for examples: http://karenlebillon.com/french-school-lunch-menus/ .
In America, school lunches are mostly crap, i.e., pizza, french fries, soft drinks, etc. If one had an open mind, ( yes, I know a big assumption ) you might question this state of affairs and how it came to be such. The movie goes through many such comparisons.
It's not often Americans are faced with a movie that's at its core, subversive to the dominant culture.

6:58 AM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

American lunches are the way they are because this is how kids are raised. I'd say blame comes down to American culture and what we want. Kids would much rather have a honey bun and a gatorade instead of a French lunch.

When I was in school, kids wanted pizza, chicken strips, and other fast food. It was uncool to eat regular food. This continued in college when the meals were actually good. Most people preferred the greasy philly cheese steak over meat and veggies with a salad.

In high school the only kids eating the meat and two veggies were the ones who were on the free lunch program and couldn't afford the pizza.

I don't know how the film portrays it, but if it's anything but blaming the parents and kids for wanting to eat total crap, he's wrong.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

How did hustlers become suckers? Divine justice?

Much respect for the rabid right who have the courage (or madness) to stand up for their convictions than the pansy left who preach spineless ineffectual "safe" non-confrontation. It is funny to observe how the left still believes that it shall save the day by recycling toothpicks, positive-thinking and eating locally grown organic celery.

Refer to Aristotle on page#112 of Politics of Philosophy. Amerika the Greatest Democracy: Ruled by the Lowest Common Denominator.
After Joe-the-plumber now comes Lee-the-hooker.....

The shit is so off balance it is tipping over the US ark.

1:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I think by now it's clear that the progs need to be vigorously slapped, and then have their shoes peed on. I'm counting on u2 lead the charge.


4:50 PM  
Anonymous xypeter said...

Can't wait to read MWQ. I wish I had known about this blog before today. How did I miss it, except that excessive use of the internet was making me ill? xox xypeter

4:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Some guidelines on using this blog.

1. You sent in 2 messages. Pls confine yrself to 1 message every 24 hrs.
2. Always send messages to latest post. I have no idea where yr other message went, so in 24 hrs you might wanna resend it to this post. You were talking abt Iceland, Bobby Fischer, editing a zine, etc.

Thank you.

As for TMWQ, I'm expecting to have the proof copy in hand on Feb. 22. If there are no errors, publisher will start running off copies and post it on Amazon as well. You shd know that those very few people who read the ms. got so excited they lost control of their bowel functions, and are now trying to get me to pay their dry cleaning bills. I do feel a tad guilty, but not that guilty. What's Ivory Liquid for, after all? Anyway, just an aviso, as we say in Mexico.


6:26 PM  
Anonymous Jim Fincher said...


Food For Thought Dept

9:27 AM  
Blogger Sird said...


Did anyone catch what everyone is calling Taylor Swift's feminist Grammy acceptance speech? I threw up in mouth, then grabbed my American flag:

"I want to say to all the young women out there—there are going to be people along the way who are going to try to undercut your success or take credit for your accomplishments or your fame. But if you just focus on the work and you don't let those people sidetrack you, someday when you get where you're going, you'll look around and you will know that it was you and the people who love you who put you there. And that will be greatest feeling in the world."


12:44 PM  
Anonymous Dawgzy said...

Juliet Cash- I was in Austin recently and got a ride from the airport with a Puerto Rican transplant. He left because of crime -the business that he'd built was held up "twice a week," and because the local economy had cratered (is PR USA's Greece?) He and his wife had a 6 year old, after they's raised adult children in PR, wanted a safer environment. Started over in his 40s. He characterized the difference "In PR my house was open to friends, children, in-laws, nieces and nephews. When we'd see each other we would hug." It's not there now. He talked about the lack of community, even in his church congregation. We didn't get into whether there were barriers within the largely Mexican Hispanic community there.
That said, on the way back to the airport I had a nice chat with an Anglo driver who did Uber to supplement his retirement income- needed because he'd stopped working at 59 realizing "you only live once and every day is precious." He had retooled his working career 4 or 5 times.

3:46 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Just in from CNN:

Obama's Supreme Court short list:

1. Rachel Butterbaugh, 33, of North Liberty, Iowa
2. Tracey McCloud, 44, of Cleveland, Ohio
3. Shaneka Torres, 30, of Grand Rapids, Michigan
4. Natasha West, 28, of Chicago, Illinois

5:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This is a scandal: not a word abt Lorenzo Riggins!

But then there's this:



6:18 PM  
Blogger Juliet Cash said...

The island's economy is in a state of collapse and crime- especially robberies - has spiked tremendously. The damage done to the island has been a product of 100 years of American colonization and the accompanying lack of sovereignty over its economic and constitutional affairs. However, the Puerto Rican is a product of 500 years of history and traditions from 3 races that mingled into the criollo which is what a Puerto Rican is: a combination of Taino, Africans and Spaniards. The Puerto Rican who is born and raised in the island is family orientated and reluctantly leaves the island- mainly due to economic desperation. Community life is painfully becoming non existing mainly due to the fear of crime and the corruption in the police and justice system plus the disappearance of the public urban life center via big retailers and malls that opened up in the suburbs- outside of the center of the town's which destroyed the small local business base. The takeover has been systematic and I foresee gentrification similar to Hawaii where rich foreign investors will take over most of the prime real estate in costal and tourist areas leaving the locals with what remains. Many people living in exile dream of one day returning to spend their remaining years there. A Puerto Rican household still knows how to open its doors to friends and family with a big homemade dinner. Something I still haven't experienced living in the states except from invitations of other Puerto Rican exiles.

10:02 PM  
Anonymous Zoete Tand said...


That was supposed to be a knock on the disgusting piece of caca Kayne West, who had sneered (probably at the behest of his managers): "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex, I made that bitch famous" (by interrupting her honors at an award show some years back).

As such, her comment was a nice rebuke. Still, to qualify for non-douchebag status, she should wholly rethink her participation in such a vicious culture. I recommend she quit the business, move to New Zealand and raise sheep. Almost anything would be better than pretzeling one's existence around that crappy biz. "The greatest feeling" isn't rising to the top of a dungheap, it's leaving the heap altogether.

As the great filmmaker Orson Welles once explained to a wide-eyed Henry Jaglom: "Never touch shit, even with gloves on. The shit doesn't get gloveier; the gloves just get shittier."

11:15 PM  
Anonymous xypeter said...

Lorenzo Riggins, what about Matthew Riggins

4:59 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Uh, I think he's kinda dead.

Meanwhile, from the Annals of Douchebaggery:



11:15 AM  
Anonymous Roman Plebeian said...

Spanish civil servant who didn't show up for work for 6 years reportedly spent time reading Spinoza.


"3.1a. 4Ap.IV:237— Peace of Mind

Thus in life it is before all things useful to perfect the understanding or reason, as far as we can, and in this alone man's highest happiness or blessedness consists, indeed blessedness is nothing else but the contentment of spirit which arises from the intuitive knowledge of God: . . .
{knowing you are bound into an organic interdependence of parts.}" Spinoza

6:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Cdn't run it. The rule is: post no more than once every 24 hrs. Thanks.


There is a famous foto, taken in Amsterdam last May, of myself standing in front of the statue of Spinoza. It's somewhere on my computer, and if you write me at mauricio@morrisberman.com I can try to find it and forward it 2u. Caption: "The Two Greatest Jewish Thinkers of the Last 400 Years."


6:49 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and fellow Wafers,

1. Ted Cruz incites possible Suez Moment:


2. Trump Train continues to roll:




7:32 PM  
Anonymous Amir said...

Any thoughts on Krugman's opinions on Sanders as of late? Was curious if Bernie's idyllic hopes and happy dreams cd partially be an example of Krugman's predictions of spiraling economic lopsidedness etc etc etc


8:29 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

I'd like to nominate Justin Keller for a Wafer award, "Douchebag of the Day", for going the extra distance in displaying all-Merican lack of empathy:


I invite Wafers to send in their daily nominations; at the end of 2016 we could have an annual contest to name the "Douchebag of the Year" as useful documentation for future Chinese historians.

10:01 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

WAFers might enjoy reading this short, pithy article by Dmitry Orlov :


A couple of excerpts -

Dmitry Orlov :

"On the Democratic side, we have Hillary the Giant Flying Lizard, but she seems rather impaired by just about everything she has ever done, some of which was so illegal that it will be hard to keep her from being indicted prior to the election. She seems only popular in the sense that, if she were stuffed and mounted and put on display, lots of folks would pay good money to take turns throwing things at her. And then we have Bernie, the pied piper for the “I can't believe I can't change things by voting” crowd. He seems to be doing a good job of it—as if that mattered."

"Not that any of this matters, of course, because the country's trajectory is all set. And no matter who gets elected—Bernie or Donald—on their first day at the White House they will be shown a short video which will explain to them what exactly they need to do to avoid being assassinated. But I won't be around to see any of that. I've seen enough. This summer I am sailing off ..."

4:38 AM  
Anonymous Edward said...

The Pope says Trump is not a Christian because Christians do NOT build walls to keep other people out.



2:20 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

"Happiness is a warm gun"**

On 16 February at 4:27 PM, Jeb (JEB!) Bush sent out a tweet. Under the heading "America," he tweeted a photo of a pistol lying atop what appears to be a gun case. The pistol bears the engraving "Gov Jeb Bush" along the slide (top).

Jonathan Jones, in The Guardian newspaper on 17 February, wrote an article entitled "Jeb Bush's gun tweet is a portrait of the American nightmare."

He wrote:

"...what is currently happening in US politics is only funny if you are an alien watching from a spaceship and the fate of the entire planet is just one big laugh to you."

Find the article here:


** The title of a song from The White Album (1968). John Lennon was reading an article in a gun magazine and saw this sentence, the slogan of the National Rifle Association at the time.

2:58 PM  
Anonymous xypeter said...

Well, I enjoyed Orlov, and it's always fun to say the D's and R's are the same. But in fact, that is not the case. To give just one example, Marco Rubio wants to not even repeal laws protecting LGBT rights -- he wants to DISOBEY them. In fact, he has founded a task force to eliminate gay rights:


Are we going to say we don't care about bias that really kills people, because the country's admittedly unchangeable superstructure justifies throwing up one's hands? Civil rights do actually matter on the ground, to those who have to live here.


4:27 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B: I wonder where they learned to do something like this...


5:22 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Pope Francis takes on Trump:


It just occurred to me that Trump is the Karl Wallenda of politics: always on a high wire. He calls women bimbos, immigrants criminals, denounces GOP-backed trade deals, unloads on Jeb and W over the Iraq War, and basically calls Francis a coward. Karl, of course, eventually slipped and fell 37 meters to the pavement. When will der Trumpenführer slip and fall? When? When? Trumpenführer gets away w/it all...


6:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yes, of course it matters to those affected; but in the grand scheme of things, identity politics changes nothing--certainly not the relations of power. A black president promotes "white" values; a black female secretary of state is a war criminal; etc. Someday we might have a black, female, gay, handicapped, Korean president, and it'll be business as usual. Which is why this blog doesn't really deal with those issues, esp. since there are so many blogs that do. Hence, let's stick to the theme of this blog, which is the collapse of the American empire. Thanks.


6:34 PM  
Blogger Juliet Cash said...

The amazing Trump can do or say no wrong to the equally amazing cult following he entertains. Could it be that he totally reflects their values?
But thanks to WAF we all know the answer to that question. Of course, that also means we are totally screwed.

7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I like your idea of a "Douchebag of the Day" award. Today's award goes to all the douchebags on this list!


3:41 AM  
Anonymous lack of coherence said...

I may have missed this being posted already, but here's news about someone biting a fast food worker for getting their order wrong.

I like that the attackers name is Lovely Robinson.


7:41 AM  
Anonymous Frankistan said...

Miles Deli: [Trump] "calls women bimbos, immigrants criminals, denounces GOP-backed trade deals, unloads on Jeb and W over the Iraq War, and basically calls Francis a coward"


Women, all women?
Trump has a couple of daughters - and he did a good job raising and educating them.

Immigrants, all immigrants
To demand that people wanting to come to America obey the laws and apply visa properly is now NO NO in America. No person should utter such words lest you be called a hater.

GOP backed trade deals
GOP is now the test for the best trade deals for America?
Can you cite examples of such trade deals that are good for the American workers?

Jeb and W over the Iraq War?
Can you tell us why you think Iraq war has been good for America?

Francis a coward?
Tell us why Francis is not a coward when he said no word against gay marriage?
Can you be gay and Christian at the same time per Bible?

11:10 AM  
Blogger Shawn-Paul said...

This is yet another "Not the Onion" news stories. It reminds me a lot of what Kunstler has to say abut America becoming full of places not worth defending. Well here was one place worth defending, and not even the locals knew what it was.

12:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


If you look into Lovely's eyes, you will see the future of America.


1:37 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Trump could use some help from products of our Great Women's suffrage movement.
No kiddin what some strippin for police can buy. She means it. She has seen it work before.
But wait. They don't wanna go to hell. Vote for Hillary for salvation instead.

2:16 PM  
Anonymous cos said...


Puerto Rican exiles? They are Americans--they simply moved. For other Latinos ( I'm Mexican, my wife Argentine) Puerto Ricans are a sourcr of puzzlement. The benefits and magic of citizenship have seeminly done nothing for them. On any scale they ate doing worse than any other Latino group including the undocumented. Warm homes yet driven away by massive crime by other puerto ricans. Among other Latinos the thing we avoid at all costs-dining invitations. As Earl Shoris pointed out in his great book "Latinos" Puerto Ricans cant give their food away at any price...consider new york--millions of puerto ricans but no restaurant scene. Sadly, Puerto Ricans dont seem in general to like other Latino groups and well the feeling is mutusl, to us they are just americans who speak horrid spanish.

Will Trump bring the end? Who knows, if warren g harding did not spell the end I dont know what will.

9:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note: Those of you posting to an old post: bad idea. No one reads the older stuff. Pls post to the most recent one. Thank you.


11:41 AM  
Blogger Juliet Cash said...

They are not political exiles- I agree- but they are economical exiles in the sense that what pushes them out is mostly deep recessions. The first big wave of exiles went mostly to New York during the 1950's and the second wave started in mid 2000's given a deep recession from which Puerto Rico hasn't been able to snap out of in over a decade for which it has incurred in the biggest per capita debt as compared to any other state. Puerto Rico is not a state. It is a territory. A colony. And for that reason it has no sovereign powers to create its own independent economy. Puerto Ricans have been paying into social security and Medicare and have gone to fight American wars yet we have no representation in congress, we can't vote directly for USA president, and we have no power in conducting any trade deals with other nations or in importing goods under any other flags other than American ships. We have been colonized for 100 years- most Puerto Ricans have no knowledge of their own economic history, and of the resistance groups that fought against this colonization which were repressed by the FBI- and the results are now quite apparent in the Economic and social collapse that it is experiencing. An island of 3million people is hardly a power to fight an American colonizing power. We have had independent resistance groups- one called the macheteros was responsible for entering the USA congress in what I believe was the only shootout inside of congress in US history- but those groups are a minority.
So, what you call a sweet deal is being able to live and work in the USA? With the same kind of racism and ghettoisation as blacks in New York and against any other central and South American spanish speaking group who live elsewhere?
I don't understand what you have against Puerto Rican food. Is that a litmus test for the best Spanish speaking culture? Or a litmus test before you accept an invitation to dinner for yourself? That seems quite petty for someone who claims that Puerto Ricans are anti Latinos.

4:10 PM  

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