April 07, 2017

SSIG Is Back!

Good news, Wafers: Spinning Straw Into Gold is finally back online:


Given the vagaries of American publishing these days, it took forever, but it is at long last back in print. If you didn't buy it way back in 2013, here's an opportunity to purchase the new improved edition (with almost identical content).

One thing did, however, get lost in translation, and this is a first for me: the Customer Reviews got wiped out when the book went offline in 2013, and cannot be retrieved. There were something like 21 reviews; if I remember correctly, something like 18 were very positive, and something like 3 very negative. Since Amazon cannot restore this lost material, I want to make an appeal to those of you who did write a review way back when to rewrite and repost it again, if that's at all possible. I realize that you are not likely to still have your original review in your possession, but perhaps you could skim your copy of the book as a reminder, and then send in something to Amazon based on your memory or impression. I realize this is a strange thing to ask, but inasmuch as Amazon did permanently remove the previous set of Customer Reviews, there isn't much else I can do at this point.

I thank you all, and for the 1st or 2nd time--happy reading!



Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers,

I was very sorry to hear that Freddy Wadsworth has dropped off the Internets.Freddy Wadsworth is my personal hero. I wish he would start an American Academy of Goat Love. After all, goats need love, too. Question for today: What is Freddy's wad worth?

We bombed Syria last night, sending a message that we can still kick some poor people's asses. Putin is quaking in his boots, and Donald Trump scored a hole-in-one at Mar-a-Lago. Americans everywhere were hungry for some good old fashioned mindless aggression. Enough of that hopey-changey stuff. Let's bomb something!

Congrats on the re-publishing of SSIG, Dr. B!

8:20 AM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

Hi Dr Berman: Will be buying the book as soon as I can. Just checked Amazon.ca and Amazon.com this morning from southern Ontario and unfortunately I'm not seeing the new edition on offer, only old editions. Maybe it's still too early?

Still reading this blog every day, by the way, though haven't been commenting.

Read this morning about Trump's cruise missile attack on Syria and noted that of all the media I sampled on this, the only voice noting that the attacks were a violation of international law was Putin's. But, let's face it, international law only applies to the small and medium powers - laws don't generally apply to empires.

Northern Johnny

9:17 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


What puzzles me is why Trumpi didn't bomb Hillary instead:


Is there no way to shut this woman up? Will the day never arrive when she stands in front of the mirror and says: "I lost because I'm a politically correct douche bag"? Do we really hafta keep seeing that awful face? Merciful God in Heaven, are you listening to this?


9:21 AM  
Blogger Grille said...

Will get the book and read it, MB. As soon as I have emotionally recovered from the description of a colonoscopy without anesthesia in AQOV. (I had one in 2010 in a land with proper, single payer medical care for all of its citizens and the question of anesthesia did not even come up. It was a given that I get one.)

Reading that text recently reminded me of a line in one of my favorite songs though:

"Oh, god I am the American dream,
With a spindle up my butt till it makes me scream."

So, maybe you were closer to living the good life than you thought at that moment?

9:29 AM  
Blogger ab645471 said...

This one is good:


9:31 AM  
Blogger Juliet Cash said...

I don't disagree at all with your position on the intellect and spiritual cultivation relevance of classic literary works- however, I am framing their relevance on their ability to be disseminated to the masses. The high bro society's intellectual finesse has had quite a hard time adding to its ranks the majority of the proletariat members because it takes dedication to do so- lots of free time and money to study difficult reads. That's why it has fallen upon the elite's hands to push for political revolutions. Who do you think autocrats imprison, execute and exile when they want to hang on to power? The intellectual class. The American Mercedes Benz liberal class shares the biggest amount of blame on the failure of the proletariat to see itself as indentured servants of the property owners. Another point: the 7th art - films- replaced literary works as a tool for literary works dissemination. It has given the common modern man an unparalleled opportunity to see classics in a way that previous centuries never had - but would have done so had they had the technology. We can't squarely blame the average beleaguered working man for the demise of print.
Trump- the unprincipled one- has changed his stance on Syria. My theory: the deep warring US state has bribed him into changing his tune, demote Bannon, and go against Assad lest he gets impeached and ruin what he loves the most- his brand name- and his one an only principle.The chemical attack out of nowhere was the false flag operation that would provide Trump and The Deep State the cover for war against Assad. Russia's increasing geopolitical influence might be the real target.
Congratulations on your upcoming essays and on the online version of SSIG.

9:44 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Here it is; shd be available for purchase in a day or 2:



Yeah, that wasn't a whole lotta fun; esp. when he took a call on his cell phone.


America in a nutshell! Remember the final episode of Seinfeld.


11:19 AM  
Anonymous Dean said...

Better get used to having Hillary still around, Dr. B.

Now that the Bernie Bros./Sanders movement are starting to be characterized as a Russian op, Hillary may end up getting her rightful place on the throne after all. Hillary/Chelsea 2020, anyone? Don't we owe it to her and her family after what we allowed the Russians to put them through? Anyone who doesn't agree with that should be summarily shot. Time we took our democracy back and restored its' rightful owners.

To follow up on what Juliet said, I don't think it can be discounted that the Trump presidency, itself, is a false flag operation. What better way to get the alt-right non-globalists/non-interventionists on board with a major escalation abroad? And, if there is internal dissent to crack down on, they certainly would prefer that not come from the most heavily armed segment of the population.

Frankly, I'm not sure how much longer blogs/websites like this are going to be allowed to exist. Just look at the new "hate speech" definitions/legislation coming out of Germany. I think this is the template for how the citizenry of the West will be swept along/into the mass depravity we are about to embark upon. Those of us that choose to, or have to, remain in the "West" are going to be faced with some epic choices of conscience, and right soon.

12:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Cdn't run it (too long).


2:28 PM  
Anonymous AS said...

Chomsky, right on cue, pops up on Amy Goodman to spew regime change propaganda 24 hours before Trump bombed Syria:

"Syria is a horrible catastrophe. The Assad regime is a moral disgrace. They’re carrying out horrendous acts, the Russians with them."

Perhaps his most heinous and morally repugnant comment is his characterization of the NATO war against Syrian society as "suicide" - effectively blaming a woman for the man who raped her.

It's amazing this turd is still held in such high regard by many "leftists."


2:49 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Dean--I could be wrong, but I doubt much effort will be put into shutting down independent blogs and news sites like Naked Capitalism. There is already an effort underway to discredit those who aren't on board with the program as Putin stooges and fake news, as well as pressure being applied to Google to adjust its algorithms to make them harder to find. What possible threat does a site that is read by a few hundred or few thousand people scattered throughout the country post to TPTB? Better to let them blow off a little steam. Besides, if they were to shut them down they couldn't then keep track of what's being said.

Were Joseph Goebbles alive today, he would no doubt be astounded that it's become possible to so thorough propagandize a population without having the secret police going around arresting anyone doing the equivalent of secretly listening to the BBC on their radios. Americans love to think of themselves as being so free, yet in reality they are even more docile and compliant that were the Germans circa 1933-45. We even have the illusion of free and fair elections where, for example, if you vote for the candidate who promises fewer foreign interventions over the candidate who specifically promises greater intervention in Syria, you get greater intervention in Syria anyway.

In America today, the danger of being shipped to a concentration camp is minimal. Much more likely is saying or doing something that causes you to lose your job, become blackballed, and thus begin a rapid descent into poverty and homelessness. No one talks about it, but it's that fear of losing one's livelihood that is a very effective curb on dissent. On the right it means demonizing anyone who is viewed as not being sufficiently patriotic, on the left it's PC police, but they both serve the same purpose.

3:29 PM  
Blogger Edward Miessner said...


Congratulations on getting your book back online and into print. Now if I can only get a copy... extremely tight budget you know. Most of I books I get from the library -- I'm reading Oswald Spengler's Decline of the West right now (abridged edition--the only one available).

Well the drums of war are at it again! And we fell for yet another false flag attack, this time probably ordered and/or directed by Turkey's president Erdogan. He's the one who faces a referendum on an expansion of his powers in a week or so, who hates Assad with a passion, and who also is fighting to suppress the Kurds in his area. Well the gas attack happened in Idlib, Syria, a town not far from the Turkish line and in an area not controlled by the Kurds. Cui bono?

5:25 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Bombs away dept.:


In any event, Don has a ways to go to equal the 7,000 bombing sorties Obama ordered inside Syria since 2014.

Jackass dept.:



5:53 PM  
Anonymous Detours said...

What's the haps DAA Blogers?!

MB & Wafers--many of the reviews for SSIG can still be accessed if you insert the following URL into the Internet Archive's "Wayback Machine":


Doing so gets you here (w/ approx. 17 "captures" between 2013 -2016):


You'll notice 10 out of 21 customer reviews are "captured" here:


Going back to earlier archived "captures" of the page shows some other reviews not listed in the above "10 out of 21" reviews:


Dunno if all the reviews can eventually be found, but w/ time & patience, maybe all 21 of the reviews can be found. Hope this helps some of the original reviewers responding to MB's query...

Well, holler... and until next time: O&D. Say goodnight, Gracie...

6:19 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...


Not sure calling Noam Chomsky a turd is very smart.

"It's amazing this turd is still held in such high regard by many "leftists." You might disagree with him but it seems to me calling him a turd is way beyond what is called for.


7:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This is great info, thanx so much. One small problem: I have no idea how to get to the Internet Archive's "Wayback Machine". I wdn't even know where to start.


You might get yr library to order it, put you down as #1 on list of requesters. Cost 2u: 0.


Check out face of Lucas Dietrich. Where do these people come from?


8:28 PM  
Anonymous SrVidaBuena said...

Another problem with progs re: last night's bombing. Not the bombing; they seem basically OK with that. It's the name of the rocket - Tomahawk. I mean, when will they stop appropriating Native American culture?

10:07 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@Bill Hicks,

I agree with you. The United States is a kind of soft totalitarian state. I have been saying for a while that the biggest source of tyranny is not so much the state but the system of employment where you can be fired for practically any reason at all including having “bad thought” political beliefs.

See: https://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/21/your-money/speaking-about-politics-can-cost-you-your-job.html?_r=0

In the United States loss of employment can mean the loss of your home, the breakup of your family and even homelessness. For people who always like to trumpet how they don’t take crap from anybody, Americans are very servile when it comes to their employers and you rarely hear much about the amount of power bosses have over workers here. I notice that Europeans are often shocked by how few rights we have in the workplace

The other aspect of American soft totalitarianism is the pacification of people via entertainment. I think Huxley was more prescient than Orwell. There really is no need for an American form of hard totalitarianism since Americans will accept anything as long as the video games, movies and cool new gadgets keep coming.
There is no point in shutting down websites like Naked Capitalism because so few people read them. I guarantee that more people are following Kim Kardashian on Twitter than reading Yves Smith.

11:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Check out the Amazon listing for SSIG: all 22 reviews are back, amazingly enough. I'm not sure what happened, but I took the links you gave me and sent them to a friend of mine in Bklyn who is a computer genius. (When he's not knocking back large pastrami sandwiches, he's doing transcendent things on his keyboard.) Anyway, those of you who did a review in 2013 can now ignore my appeal to re-do it. Those of you who are rdg the bk for the first time: join the discussion, if you'd like! So many thanks for the url info, and thanks to Dan in Bklyn, if this was indeed his doing.


1:42 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Bill, Americans especially young people will gladly line up for a FEMA camp is they're promised free apps. As for workplace servility, this coming August will mark 4 years Philadelphia public school teachers will be without a contract or even step increases. Yet they continue to vote in the same union representatives and even give them standing ovations at the annual get-together. At the same time more and more clerical work is piled onto teachers who hardly produce a sound of protest.
With regard to protest there's a great Youtube video of French university students protesting the appearance of the Israeli ambassador. They articulate perfectly why they oppose Israeli policy vis a vis the Palestinians. Then nearly everyone walks out of the auditorium. Could you find even a 100 US college students capable of that or even know what the issues are?
Finally, not one instance from any US major (corporate) media outlets calling what Trump did as an act of aggression. One had to go to RT to find that. My guess is that the attack was a prelude to an attack on North Korea which would lead, according to various military analysts, to the immediate incineration of Seoul. One could even imagine Trump threatening the Chinese premier who was here on a state visit to rein in North Korea. No one even mentioned the Chinese leader's loss of face in all this-waging aggression during his visit.Sure the Chinese with a 5000 year culture is soon going to take orders from the US-the biggest joke that even hit the bigtime.

7:52 AM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

@Tom Servo

Yeah, American totalitarianism comes from the bottom-up and is actively supported by the general population. I think Americans actually hate freedom unless it is situated in a consumerist context (e.g. the freedom to shop at Wal-Mart or Target). If a form of top-down totalitarianism ever comes to America, it will come from mega corporations.

"To follow up on what Juliet said, I don't think it can be discounted that the Trump presidency, itself, is a false flag operation."

I do not think the Trump presidency has been a false flag from the start. I think the Deep State has realized that keeping Trump around is more valuable than having him impeached. Trump's administration has been neutered and is no longer a threat to the Deep State.

10:23 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

I don't believe for instant that Assad gassed his own people. He had nothing to gain and everything to lose, so it doesn't make sense. Assad might be cruel, but he’s not insane…Donald Trump has that market cornered.

I ignore the MSM as much as possible, but it’s ubiquitous and cannot be avoided 100% of the time (we never watch the news on TV). The cheerleading from the likes of CNN and the comments that Trump has "now become president" are nothing short of nauseating.

When I hear comments about how horrifying it is that Assad killed “beautiful babies,” I mention that, not only do I not believe it (in this particular case), but that the United States has been doing that in the Middle East for at least the past 15 years (to say nothing about Madeline Albright’s statement that the death of 500,000 Iraqi children due to sanctions was “worth it”). I receive no response, so I must assume that when we do it it’s OK because we’re humanitarians and mean well, not like the evil “others.”

The cognitive dissonance of Americans is mind-boggling. For me, the Syria debacle has really driven home the fact that most Americans don’t have two brain cells to rub together.

Morris, congrats on SSIG, a really great book that I very much enjoyed!

12:00 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

American antics dept:

Almost as much fun as firing a bunch of cruise missiles after giving advance warning to the enemy of the target area. At least trumpo has been narrowed down to either tool or fool. Is "darling of the left" worse than being labeled Hitler?

Lets make the doomsday clock 12 seconds closer to midnight.

12:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This may be part of an initiation rite, whereby the president is not regarded as real or valid until he destroys something. This was Clinton's problem as well, you remember, until he had the FBI destroy the Branch Davidians in Waco in 1993 (something like 80 people burned to death). He was then a 'man', in charge. Which says more abt the American public than it does abt the presidents.


1:32 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

See the difference?

F'k me "your excellency," cooed the 'hunt. The tail that shtups the dog.

How many you know who have the courage of this man?
....especially in light of his own personal history.

2:19 PM  
Blogger pg said...

"Progress"!! (WAMC is Northeast Publ Radio)


4:04 PM  
Blogger Edward Miessner said...



On Americans and hustling and Millenials and The American Dream (TM) -- it didn't take long but the kids are buying in.


4:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Some of you may remember a very funny bk from the 70s called "The Diceman," by Luke Rhinehart. It served me well: I remember getting laid a # of times by chatting women up about it. (I'm guessing these women wd have preferred sleeping w/Luke, but I was the next best thing.) Anyway, I recently ran across a novel he published last year called "Invasion," a combination of political satire + the usual Rhinehart humor. I probably won't attempt to use it for sexual purposes this time around, given the fact that I am now an old geezer; but I think Wafers wd really enjoy it:



5:03 PM  
Anonymous AS said...

Trump's Syria attack shows the man knows exactly what he's doing: Russia has been utterly humiliated (yet again), and China is left with egg on its face.

"'Moscow might not like Washington’s response,' Mark Galeotti, an expert on the Russian military, wrote in an online commentary, 'but nor was it willing to stand in the way of it.'" https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/07/world/middleeast/missile-strike-syria-russia.html?_r=1

During their meeting at the White House, the Chinese almost looked confused & bewildered, like they had gotten lost on their way to the servants quarters. The American Century looks far from over.

Marianne -

You may be right: "douchebag" is perhaps a more appropriate term, though in reference to someone who disseminates CIA lies that get tens of thousands of people killed (to say nothing of the orientalist subtext of much of Chomsky's MENA analysis), I believe both terms are accurate.

5:48 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I sometimes feel that it is the fine details, which get overlooked, that are the things that we most need to be concerned abt. For example, everyone is excited about N. Korea's nuclear missiles, but I personally believe (I've said this b4) that the real threat is Kim Jong-on's haircut. Anyone running around with that rug on his head can only be a menace to humanity, but because of the haircut, not because of the missiles.

In a similar vein, how did any human being wind up with the name Reince Priebus? It sounds like a type of Mongolian fungus. I wd put my faith in a killer orca before I wd trust anyone named Reince Priebus. This is an absurdity, of the same order as Kim's so-called haircut.

Wafers are invited to submit similar grotesqueries for our collective consideration.


10:28 PM  
Blogger bp said...


would have loved to see you in this discussion --http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2017/04/john-michael-greer-james-howard-kunstler-chris-martenson-frank-morris-dmitry-orlov-discuss-trump-inequality-taboo-hot-topics.html

11:05 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

AS -- I'm more in line with this guy's way of thinking, which has Putin playing the same sort of "long game" that bin Laden was playing:

"...Russia will attempt to make the U.S. extend itself further in a region where no real success is possible, at the same time that the American economy deteriorates further. Recall that the current very weak economic “recovery” has been going on for nearly a decade. This cycle is very long in the tooth, and all Russia really needs to do is sit back, make some moves behind the scenes and allow the U.S. to collapse upon itself in its hubris and stupidity."


Just like in Shriver's novel, The Mandibles, it will be the collapse of the economy that ultimately brings the American empire to its knees. Keep an eye on this upcoming debt ceiling fight, and remember that Trump's OMB director doesn't believe defaulting on the debt would be a bad thing, when anybody with half a brain knows that if the music stops on the debt parade the whole house of cards will come tumbling down (to mix up some metaphors).

11:28 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Good evening MB and Wafers,

WARNING: This guy's face is downright terrifying.

I may have discovered a person uglier than Hillary; and that's saying something, Wafers:




11:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Quite a face. This is a guy who shd go out on a date w/Hillary. I can see them at some romantic restaurant, with Hill explaining to him, over wine, that the future is female.


Well, this guy is no dummy, and neither is Putin. It looks like he is doing to the US something like what we did to the USSR in Afghanistan during the late 70s--drawing us into a quagmire. The US is very precarious, economically, and imperial overstretch, as it's called, can only make it worse. Putin sees the game ahead, long-term; we don't. He has a clear game plan, whereas Trumpi is just shooting from the hip. The USSR went into free-fall in 1989; at some pt down the line, it will be our turn.

A # of analysts have pointed out that what we did to ourselves in the wake of 9/11 was far worse than anything the attackers did to us, and that bin Laden was shrewdly counting on this. Here is Krieger's summary:

"Since 9/11:
1) Non-stop war.
2) Destruction of U.S. middle class.
3) Banker bailouts.
4) Death of civil liberties."

Bush Jr. got the ball rolling, Obama continued the program, and Hillary wd have been an extension of Obama. Instead, we have Trumpi also continuing the program, but at a much faster rate. And we have the NYT and the rest of them castigating Trumpi for mos.--media that praised Hillary--when it really is all the same program, speed notwithstanding. Bobby Fischer aside, chess is Russia's métier, not ours.


3:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wafers, MB,

I very much recommend you watch the movie Demolition with Jake Gyllenhaal. It's about an investment banker who after the loss of his wife, decides that his life is meaningless and goes postal. Gyllenhaal is definitely a Wafer.


6:47 AM  
Anonymous John said...

While the American people celebrate Trump's bombing of a Syrian airfield...there are reports that the Syrian Air Force is still using napalm and white phosphorus on civilians. Trump is just optics and has no real plan. I wonder what he'll do now...


Dr. B, Bill- yes, if you read some of the original writings and interviews with Bin Laden, you'll see that weakening the US financially was a stated goal....it's estimated they spent around $500,000 on 9/11 and we've spent trillions since...this is how empires overextend themselves.

8:56 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yeah, I saw it a while back, enjoyed it very much.


9:44 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

"Regime change"...now where have I heard those words before?:


9:52 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

On Saturday, the USS Carl Vinson, two guided missile destroyers and a guided missile cruiser left Singapore bound for Korean waters. Meanwhile, in the eastern Mediterranean, the Navy's two destroyers have reloaded their Tomahawk launchers, ready for the Commander-in-Chief's "Execute" command. Good times ahead.

From the website "brainpickings.org," two Erich Fromm essays you might enjoy reading.

The Sane Society

Erich Fromm’s 6 Rules of Listening

10:30 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


One thing Arnold Toynbee concluded from his comparative study of civilizations was that in the final phase, the period of serious decline, every civilization tended to do precisely the wrong thing, i.e. the thing that wd hasten the decline. To do the opposite, to try to reverse or arrest the downward trajectory, was counter-intuitive. Hence, they didn't do it! The results were always the same.

As far as our renewed interest in regime change in the Middle East, it calls to mind that old adage abt insanity consisting of repeating the same behavior over and over again and expecting a different result. Remember that other adage, that whom the gods wish to destroy, they 1st drive crazy.

Watching the US now not as a patriotic American, but as an objective historical observer, one is led to say: "Well, every other civilization did the same dumbass thing in its final phase; why not us?" It's difficult not to see the country these days as one big nuthouse.


11:26 AM  
Anonymous Detours said...

You're welcome MB, I'm not sure how all that worked out in the end, but that's good news. So Wafers & MB: The Wayback Machine is a digital archive and time capsule that stores snapshots of a webpage for the future. Very useful, as the recovery of the original SSIG amazon.com page--including those customer reviews--demonstrated. Yo, I don't want to get bogged down in a meta-discussion of this blog's purpose or what we need to do or should do. But here's a suggestion: let's make sure this blog is stored at the "Wayback Machine," just in case their Internet Archive's "web crawler" has missed it. Here's how. First go here:


On this page you'll notice this feature "Save page now: Capture a web page as it appears now for use as a trusted citation in the future." Sure enough, I entered the URL for DAA's blog post #295 (from March 28, 2017). And now it's stored in "The Wayback Machine" here:


And until next time....holler..and ..check...

2:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, I'm sure you got better things to do, but if you wanna store the entire blog--11 yrs old this month--be my guest!


3:26 PM  
Blogger Arthur V. said...

I've been thinking about all the news this past week. I would like to throw a few notions out and see what folks think. Lost in all the big news of air strikes and Supreme Court nonsense, the folks in Cook County, Illinois had a number of local elections. I live in Chicago, which is in Cook County, but we had no elections. Anyway, the turnout was terrible. About 20%. Also, a number of elections were uncontested. But the best of all was that some offices had NO ONE running at all. Really, NO ONE AT ALL. The news was talking about it again this morning. It's like folks simply said this is a waste of time. It made me think that there are more Wafers out there than may appear at first. This is not to diminish the number of a. . .holes out there. Believe me, I've met more than a few. But I'm thinking there's a lot more who are just tired of beating their heads against a wall and want to spend what little time we have left just trying to enjoy themselves in whatever fashion fits their particular lives.

5:48 PM  
Anonymous AS said...

Bill, MB -

This kind of analysis - basically, the US prog narrative that US foreign policy is a "disaster" and that the CIA/Pentagon have no idea what they're doing - doesn't stand up to close scrutiny. Make no mistake: Osama bin Laden & Vladimir Putin were not/are not brilliant thinkers or strategic masterminds; that's the sort of fan fiction Putinits like Pepe Escobar peddle. The fact is that Russia is collapsing even faster than the US (thanks in large part to Putin's neoliberalism, his reliance on Western bankers, and the influence of Atlanticist integrationists like Medvedev who think Russia should be America's "partner" & follow its lead).

Putin's instinct in Ukraine was to *abandon* the elected govt and allow a fascist CIA putsch to take place, because he didn't want to upset USA. Medvedev chose to allow the US attack on Libya to proceed when he could've vetoed it at the UN, because he didn't want to upset USA. Putin chose to allow the CIA's contras to tear apart Syria for 4 years before intervening, and then pulled out most of his air force before the job was finished. The Russians then naively believed Trump would end the New Cold War & pursue detente.... These are not the actions of a chess master or a long-term thinker. China has been watching all of this, understands Putin's ineptitude, and appears to be inching closer to USA as a more reliable partner.

For more, I recommend Paul Craig Roberts: Is the Russian Government Insouciant? http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2017/04/01/russian-government-insouciant/ & Russia Has No Partners In The West http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2016/09/17/russia-has-no-partners-in-the-west-paul-craig-roberts/

6:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


You cd be rt, but I think the 'prog analysis', as you put it, is much more likely to be the correct one. I don't think we really *had* a foreign policy under Obama; it seemed largely ad hoc, reactive. Bin Laden understood that an attack on the Twin Towers was not only symbolic (money center), but wd also lead Bush Jr. to do all the wrong, self-destructive things; wh/he did. And Russia doesn't seem to be collapsing; Putin seems to be biding his time as the US digs itself deeper into shit, on both the foreign and domestic fronts. Roberts cd be rt, but he cd also be wrong...as cd I. Things seem pretty murky in this area; we may only know in retrospect. But one thing we do know for sure: the US is on a downhill slide.


6:30 PM  
Anonymous Max-Weber said...

Arabic and Kanji - good god no wonder so few learn non-Romanacized languages.

The thing I noticed about the Cal U vid: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsdtafcbqrE
was how ugly the pro-Jewish people were in this case and how that "professor" threatening students ideologically bullied a guy that scared him - haha.

I've read how AIPAC targets anti-Zionist politicians and professors like N. Finkelstein. In a repressive and even fascist hierarchy no one dissents - so again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0KMVhb57RqI.

Money printing enables corp state gov theft and share-cropping.


6:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'm no fan of Oren's, but better to let him speak and then ask pointed questions--using hard and embarrassing evidence. Also note that 'Jewish' and 'Zionist' are not nec. the same thing.


7:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Turkeys genuflect to power:


9:33 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...


The problem with PCR's analysis and other similar writings is that they only look at the short term. In the short term, America certainly has the advantage over Russia. However, imperial overreach is a very real problem, and America overextended itself some time ago.

Putin is slowly starting to realize this fact. He doesn't have to do much against America because America will destroy itself. There will be a lot of pain for Russia and China in the short term, but they will come out on top in the long run.

10:36 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

New Chris Hedges interview...


11:41 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Check it out:


11:46 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yeah, I think you pegged it: we are simply on the wrong side of history now; our time is up. That China and Russia wouldn't grasp this obvious fact is very unlikely. We are doing ourselves in on practically every level on practically every day.

A few yrs ago, and several mos. b4 he died, Ronald Dworkin did an article in the NYRB in which he maintained that every single institution in the US was hopelessly corrupt. More to the pt, this self-destruction is systemic; it's impt to connect the dots. On the macrolevel, we start to discuss 'regime change' all over again, apparently having learned abs. 0 from our experience in Iraq--one of the greatest foreign policy disasters in American history. On the microlevel, people gun down McDonald's because they didn't get exactly what they ordered. These events seem worlds apart, and yet the (self-destructive) psychology is basically the same. No correction of the system can possibly occur, because it wd require a regime change at home, in the American brain.

What can Wafers do? (note that 'revolt' is the wrong answer)
1. Leave the country. This is Numero Uno.
2. Become an NMI.
3. Compose limericks abt what is going on.

For example, can anyone complete the following?:

A dashing young gal named Shaneka
Got the wrong order at McDonald's in Topeka.
"They left off my bacon,
An insult I'm not takin'"

The Donald made clear his intention
To oppose any type of foreign intervention.
The neocons chortled "Ho ho ho,"
Told him, "We run the show,"


12:24 AM  
Anonymous Fubar said...

Serious question: is there a reason for the rather childish insults or nicknames? E.g."Trumpi", "Botox face", "trollfoons", etc.? Surely you can - and often did - do better, as your far more mature and serious writing style in books and interviews show.

It occurred to me you might be using such language delibetately, tongue in cheek, as a broad hint to the reader about the ephemeral and unserious quality of online life, as you did, for example, in "The Twilight of American Culture".

But if so, why would a person who despises the internet have a blog at all? To be sure, you use "book mode" posting - infrequently and when you have something to say, not obsessive constant online "life" - but still.

I am confused about this point...

2:30 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'm glad yr confused. I like to sow confusion wherever I go.

As for why I have a blog: you come late to the party. I explained this long ago, several times. I was forced into it by agent and publisher. Seriously.

And, the blog is a gd place to have fun. Wafers are fun people (unlike yrself). We like to laugh. You shd try it sometime.

Finally, you shd also know that one thing I'm not interested in discussing on the blog is the blog itself. That wd turn it into a metablog, which is tautological and boring. However, I believe there are many blogs that are into that, and I suspect you'd be a lot happier conversing w/them, than w/me. The only reason I decided to answer you, and not delete, is that I thought it wd be fun.

In future, however, I'll be glad to entertain any questions or contributions you have regarding the collapse of the American empire (the subject of this blog). I won't be posting any messages you send regarding the nature of the blog itself.

Amigo, you need to lighten up. It wd do you a world of gd.


4:24 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Meanwhile, let's do Iraq all over again. That makes sense:


4:40 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

What is America abt, after all? War!:


6:17 AM  
Anonymous Tamler said...

Sadly, I was just in Hollywood for work. However, they are screening classic films on original nitrate reels this weekend, I saw https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Narcissus

It was like an illuminated manuscript...terribly beautiful

8:34 AM  
Blogger Patrick D. Fitzgerald said...


This article is offering that racism trumped economic concerns in the election. What do ya'll think?

It seems that even the Bernie and Warren camp is trying to win back Trump votes as opposed to simply motivating more left liberals to actually show up and vote. The DNC's Bernie betrayal is no doubt to blame for the abysmal liberal turnout, and it's interesting to see just how much the Dems are already blowing the next election. What a joke of a political system for a drain swirl riding joke of an empire.

9:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure why anyone ever believed that Trump would be a non-interventionist. Before he was elected I was telling everyone I knew, "The guy is an empty shell, like GW Bush. Don't believe anything he says. He'll get into office and, like Bush, the neo-cons will take him over and it'll be business as usual."

No one can change the path of America.

9:57 AM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

It depends what you mean by "racism" Patrick. Whites are now starting to create their own brand of identity politics which is both unforseen and decried by the liberal establishment. In their eyes identity politics are fine as long as white people don't engage in them. If they do what the liberals have encouraged every non-white to do, it gets classified as racism.

All fully predictable, of course, and why I have never liked identity politics to begin with.

10:21 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Hi Morris,

You said: “On the macrolevel, we start to discuss 'regime change' all over again, apparently having learned abs. 0 from our experience in Iraq--one of the greatest foreign policy disasters in American history.”

Years ago, during the Bush Administration, I started wondering if there was something unseen behind the apparent stupidity of our so-called leaders. I figured that if I could see what was happening, and I’m an absolute nobody, then maybe something was going on that we’re not aware of. IOW, maybe what’s happening isn’t all that organic or random or just the result of abysmal ignorance.

I hate to come across as a “conspiracy theorist” (a meme put into play to stop those who questioned the laughable Warren Commission Report), but I really wonder because it’s hard for me to believe it’s all a coincidence. I’ve always said that once could be a mistake, twice might be a coincidence, but the third time required a long, hard look.

At the very least, win or lose, war makes huge amounts of money for those involved in the war machine, and in this country that’s all that matters.

What do you think?

10:57 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Good discussion WAF-ers, notice how the missile strike in Syria drowned out all news about the Chinese visit to Florida...

JHK talks about it today: http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/wonderland/

"The US couldn’t find a jucier enemy than Kim Jong Un, a character so improbable he might have been dreamed up in a Batman comic. Hence, he’s comprehensible to an American public that more and more looks like the ever-present crowd of perplexed bystanders in a Batman movie."

11:08 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

I've never read that Ronald Dworkin article, but I also reached the same conclusion awhile back about every American institution being hopelessly corrupt. That corruption happens because of the insane amount of money sloshing around at the top, which corrodes everything it touches. I saw this myself working in Washington. For the most part, the average bureaucrat himself or herself is not willfully corrupt, but they go along and instinctively know there are lines you cannot cross and things you cannot say to challenge the system lest powerful forces come after you. They tried to come after me when I was whistleblower about a decade ago, and they came after this guy, whose blog I've linked to here before:


So what was Peter Van Buren's great "crime" that the State Department tried to rip his pension away from him? He simply had the audacity to point out the systemic corruption of the American reconstruction effort in Iraq. Note how he compares himself as an American working in the Green Zone to a wealthy 1%-er back here at home. I know from my own experience that it is an apt analogy, which is why few who have served as civilians in America's war zones have been willing to speak up--they are all in on the take, getting two and sometimes even three times their already high salaries as "danger pay" while over there. Even worse, it is also true that the State Department went after Van Buren much harder than they ever did the many war profiteering contractors who during this same period ripped off the taxpayers for countless hundreds of millions of dollars. It was that coverup effort I blew the whistle on, for what little good it did me other than to have the stress of it help destroy my health.

11:55 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


These are probably not mutually exclusive. Neocons cd be pulling the strings, and great stupidity cd be operative as well. Describes the Obama admin, imo.


12:04 PM  
Blogger C. J. Timmins said...

Excellent news about SSIG! I read it two years ago and never got around to writing a review. This gives me good reason, even with the original reviews now revived.

Speaking of straw, Sanders, Warren, and the rest of the progs continue to grasp at flimsy straws on their downward fall, while endorsing neocons like James Mattis. The spiral continues.

And in Florida, we again witness America's finest. I present Tabatha Mature at her best in the happiest place on earth: http://www.complex.com/life/2017/04/michigan-woman-chokes-teen-at-disneyworld

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...



12:25 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Did someone hear the sound of hobnail boots? Adventures in aviation. Chicago O'Hare to Louisville. The "Friendly Skies" of United.

"An airline supervisor walked onto the plane and brusquely announced: “We have United employees that need to fly to Louisville tonight. … This flight’s not leaving until four people get off.”

A man wouldn’t leave an overbooked United flight. So he was dragged off, battered and limp. - The Washington Post


And George to put things in a larger perspective:

1:08 PM  
Anonymous Dead Presidents said...


Fantastic novel on Lincoln re: memento mori ....

Haven't read something this interesting on Lincoln since Gore Vidal's Lincoln novel

2:53 PM  
Blogger mike said...

How about this!


Machines make the decisions and no one is to blame. Serfdom by machine.

3:08 PM  
Anonymous John said...

Identity politics on this continent is a genie that was let out of the bottle centuries ago by Europeans and solidified in America after Bacon's Rebellion.

Ideas of race, class and identity are so interwoven in American society and around the world that I think neither of them can be understood without addressing the other.

Look at any institution in America: war, education, health, sports, film, literature, etc and these three ideas blend together in all of them.

Failure to appreciate this complexity is one of our great blindspots, willful or not, it is and will continue to play a role in the dissolution of American empire.

3:17 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Tamler, If you liked Black_Narcissus, you may also like THE JEWEL IN THE CROWN.
MB, wonder if you have watched this British TV serial? If not, I highly recommend.

To Fubar -aka Fufu, If you want to be taken seriously please don't open a sentence with a "serious question." It is like the amerikn parlance "to be perfectly honest," which is a dead giveaway of a hustler talk.
"Charm is the ability to insult people without offending them; nerdiness the reverse." I know, it is all so confusing!!

3:36 PM  
Blogger Edward Miessner said...


Put this in the Why-would-you-want-to-antagonize-your-hosts-before-paying-them-a-visit? department: On eve of visit to Moscow, Rex Tillerson takes jabs at Russia.


In the meantime the Chicago police dragged a man off a plane, why? Because United Airlines overbooked the flight and Because nobody volunteered to give up their seat so four passengers were picked at random and ordered to leave to make room for the flight attendants.


3:40 PM  
Blogger Grille said...

MB, Wafers,
This seems to be, at least, in the category of an internist taking a cell phone call while performing a colonoscopy on an awake historian in pain. A bit more public though:
This twitter remark pretty much sums it up:"We screwed up and overbooked flight, so oh hey there's a guy, let's beat him and drag him off."

And the CEO statements refers to "re-accommodating" him. Where does corporate newspeak cross the line from just mind-numbing euphemisms into fascist language along the lines of final solution for industrialized mass-murdering people?

3:50 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


I don't think Trump's appeal is reducible to any one thing, except perhaps *escape*. Sure, racism is part of the equation, so is a rejection of identity politics, but I think, however, that Trump and his movement is essentially reactionary -- largely a negation of the present for some nostalgic version of the past. The Trumpites are fueled by an irrefutable narrative about a lost golden age, which is to say that they want to relive what they imagine was a better time, a better world. In addition, I think it's important to realize that people all over the country are hopelessly lost, seeing no future at all, hence there's a deep urge to return to something more familiar, greater, as it were. Trump provides energy to this particular narrative in vague and ill-defined ways. Trump's basically a nostalgic reactionary; he believes we were once what we were supposed to be and somehow history has twisted us into something else. This is what makes him and his movement particularly dangerous. Anyway, I hope this makes sense.


4:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Fran, Ed, mike, Jas, Golf-

What I don't understand is why they didn't take out a nightstick and beat him to a pulp, b4 dragging him off the plane. Or just shoot him. Maybe that will be the common m.o. by next yr.


Maybe Tillerson is a jackass.


I tell ya, some of these people are just outright brain dead. Wd u believe that after I specifically told Fufi not to send in any more questions on the blog itself, he did just that (again)? So I deleted him, as promised! What douche bags Americans are. I mean, what part of "Don't do this" did he fail to understand?


Move over Brittany Carulli, here comes Tabbatha Mature! See above, my discussion of rel. betw. macro and micro. Tabbatha is micro, as is dragging some guy off an airplane; Syria is macro. Same mindset.


Of course, I left out the one factor that is larger than all of the others, the more so for being unconscious. I have an extended discn of this in QOV, but briefly, America has never had a real identity; it has never known what it was. So what it did was create a 'negative identity' (Hegel), i.e. one dependent on opposition to someone or something. 1st it was the 'decadent' British, whom the Pilgrims rejected; and then it was the 'savage' Indians, whom they proceeded to wipe out. Then we went on to Spain, Mexico, Russia, Islam, and so on. Truth is, we don't function well w/o an enemy. When our archrival crashed in 1989, we spent 12 yrs adrift (OJ trial, Monica, etc.--pure b.s.), until 9/11 came along to save us, give us (oppositional) purpose once again. Obama, Hillary, Trump--all of these people are like marionettes on strings, dancing to music they can barely hear; and this includes the asslicking liberal crowd like Fareed Zakaria. Even Walter Lippmann knew this: "Our imperialism," he wrote, "is largely unconscious." We are driven to find enemies whether they exist or not. As a people, we are not transparent to ourselves--at all--and so our behavior is driven, mechanical. Hence Trumpi talked a noninterventionist line on the campaign trail; now, in office, he easily and unconsciously slides into the centuries-old American pattern. It's why we don't learn anything; and after Syria becomes a total cockup, like Iraq, we'll make war on Bulgaria, or maybe Ghana. War is our mode of relating to the world because we don't really know any other way of being in the world.


5:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Sar: There's a brilliant elaboration of this theme by the late Denis Duclos (he was a director of the CNRS in Paris), "The Werewolf Complex." Right on the mark, imo.

6:03 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

Here are my responses Dr. B. What do you think?

"A dashing young gal named Shaneka
Got the wrong order at McDonald's in Topeka.
"They left off my bacon,
An insult I'm not takin'"

-----So I blew my shit and everyone felt a quaking.

"The Donald made clear his intention
To oppose any type of foreign intervention.
The neocons chortled "Ho ho ho,"
Told him, "We run the show,"

-----we fucked everything up from high to low.

6:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Your brilliant talents as a limericist come thru like the full moon on a winter's nite. I literally wept as I read your completing sentences. Pls, I beg of u, do not stray far from this blog.


8:18 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Another shooting at an elementary school. I wonder hold long it will be before American children have to go to school in military-style bunkers.


Cook County, Illinois judge shot and killed.


Here is a wild video from the Lake County, Florida Sheriff’s Office. Police officers sure dress differently now. No more Andy of Mayberry.


8:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


There's an article by Michael Gerson in today's WashPost abt Trumpi, that he simply has no idea what he's doing. Of course, that wd be an open door to the unconscious 'programming' I talk abt above (and in QOV), that America is a nation that can only define itself by fighting someone else. In other words, it's the unc. programming that is really pulling the strings, while Trumpi et al. dance like marionettes. But I think the cumulative effect over these next few yrs will be increasing, and possibly rapid, disintegration of the country. Every day there is an event that pummels the nation: United Airlines drags a man off a plane, Trumpi gets excited abt fotos from Syria and so bombs the country (meanwhile, no proof that the gas came from Assad), Tabbatha Mature chokes a teenager for blocking her view, health care environmental care and just abt everything else are seriously threatened, and so on. All this will bring the nation down--the death of 1000 cuts, as was said of the Roman Empire. The US will be pummeled and pummeled and pummeled and pummeled until finally, there will be nothing left to pummel.


9:08 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

(A A B B A)

A dashing young gal named Shaneka
Got the wrong order at McDonald's in Topeka.
"They left off my bacon,
An insult I'm not takin'"
Whereupon she shot up the place, and went next door for chicken paprika.

The Donald made clear his intention
To oppose any type of foreign intervention.
The neocons chortled "Ho ho ho,"
Told him, "We run the show,"
Whereupon Donald followed their plan of democratic circumvention.

2:01 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Neat, tho they don't exactly scan (iambic pentameter). But you and cube are clearly in the lead here.


4:31 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Game of nuclear brinksmanship Trumpo is currently playing w/North Korea is very intelligent. Nothing like a good nuclear war to clear the air. Of course, when an empire dies, it loses all sense of proportion and self-control, and lashes out at the world in rage and pain. God, we are so smart. (Don McLean music in background)


4:45 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd 'pummeling' list. Every day now...


4:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Meanwhile: why not Kramer?


5:03 AM  
Blogger Mister Roboto said...

I tell ya, some of these people are just outright brain dead. Wd u believe that after I specifically told Fufi not to send in any more questions on the blog itself, he did just that (again)? So I deleted him, as promised! What douche bags Americans are. I mean, what part of "Don't do this" did he fail to understand?

That's another thing I've noticed about mainstream American behavior, namely a pathological, almost downright autistic level of doubling-down and doubling-down again. This stems from our collective refusal to ever "look in the mirror" about who and what we really are. This, in turn, stems from the fact that we are a narcissistic society that has no idea how to be anything else. I hope social historians of the future will hold up the USA as an example of how absolutely not to run a society.

7:45 AM  
Blogger Polk said...

For an enlightening alternative to the usual explanations of "Why Trump and Why Now?" see the new book, "Strangers in their own land". Once upon a time a Cal liberal sociologists spend 6 years in Louisiana interviewing Tea Party Reps about they so often voted against their own best interests (ala Thomas Frank's Kansas but with a somewhat different answer). She uses the keyhole of pollution to come to an explanation.

Another new book offers a response somewhat like MB's monastic option. This one is by a conservative Catholic lay person and scholar who presents "The Benedict Option" as a response to the spiritual depletion and moral exhaustion of America. (Benedict was a Roman saint who founded 12 monasteries to preserve the faith and what was left of civilization after the Fall of Rome.) Like MB, he compares what is happening to the US today to the fall of Rome but from a religious rather than political or economic point of view. The author advises Christians to ride out the inevitable collapse in self-selected communities akin to monasteries and then start anew after the dust has settled. The option calls for "strategic separation" and "virtual walls" between the communities and the culture.

I'm not a committed religious person but found it interesting that 2 persons coming from totally different places on the spiritual/political/economic spectrum came to the what is basically the same conclusion about the inevitability of collapse (albeit for different reasons) and similar options.

8:09 AM  
Anonymous Dean said...

But, of course, Dr.B. Kramer for President.

The wall is the dumbest thing ever. But a gigantic rubber bladder surrounding the US? Now, there's an idea. Sound public policy if I ever heard it.

8:33 AM  
Blogger Sanguillen39 said...

A dashing young gal named Shaneka
Got the wrong order at McDonald's in Topeka.
"They left off my bacon,
An insult I'm not takin'"
Whereupon she decides to go ber-zeek-a.

The Donald made clear his intention
To oppose any type of foreign intervention.
The neocons chortled "Ho ho ho,"
Told him, "We run the show,"
Whereupon he nukes Pyongyang into extinction.

8:37 AM  
Anonymous Turtle Time said...


Great essay on the slowness and "The Slow Professor: Challenging the Culture of Speed in the Academy"

8:50 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Honestly, I just wanted to grab Fufi by the lapels, shake him, and scream into his face, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?? FUFI, WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?? He probably doesn't even know, himself. Maybe 'narcissistic autism' explains it.




1st-rate. With regard to avoiding nuclear war: I just had a brilliant idea. Trumpi appoints me Ambassador-at-Large, and I sit down with Kim Jong-un and Reince Priebus and try to come to an agreement. I tell Kim that he hasta name his haircut Reince Priebus, and that Reince has to change his name to Reince and Repeat, or perhaps Spin Cycle. Of course, both these guys will angrily reject the notion, but as negotiations progress, Kim agrees to call his haircut Sha Na Na, and Reince will from now on be called Korean BBQ Beef. Everyone is happy, and there will be no nuclear war. The world is so lucky to have me.


10:10 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: There was only 1 other condition that Kim put on the agreement, which will still hafta be worked out. He wants a change in the Pledge of Allegiance. He wants it to read as follows:

"I pledge allegiance to Reince Priebus, and to the foolishness for which he stands, one nation under a haircut, utterly confused, with Korean BBQ beef for all."

Wafers are invited to comment on this somewhat unusual proposal.

10:16 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps2: As far as Syria goes, are we running another Tonkin Gulf incident?:


It won't take much to whip the American people up into a war frenzy; American history demonstrates this repeatedly. How many times do I hafta say it:

We are not dealing with a very intelligent population.
We are not dealing with a population that is familiar with critical thinking.
We are not dealing with a population that understands the difference between emotions and ideas, opinions and arguments, or that even knows what the word 'evidence means'.

USA! USA!--This is what they know.

10:33 AM  
Blogger Patrick D. Fitzgerald said...


Julia Louis Dreyfus would make it back to back billionaires in the White House (heiress to around a three thousand-million dollar fortune (lest we forget how much a billion really is)).


You make a great point and the progs aren't innocent of it either:


liberals were touting this left and right on social media a few weeks back, and I loved the beginning cuz it was chock full of facts I cite regularly, but of course the end appeals to an erroneous golden age thinking and misguided nostalgia. "We used to be a country that..." blah blah blah. No, sadly the nation has always held dear the values that are now accelerating its downfall. Best of luck to future would-be empires.

10:44 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...


In addition to what we’ve already discussed, I sometimes wonder if failed states in the Middle East have actually been our goal and not due to incompetence. Maybe all the chaos is somehow to our advantage (at the very least it keeps the MIC in business).

I love this one:

“Democratic congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard has provoked a backlash from senior Democrats after refusing to take Syrian President Bashar Assad’s complicity in the Idlib chemical attack at face value and demanding proof.”


11:01 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


In a very deep sense, this woman Tulsi is un-American, whereas the senior Democrats are profoundly American. In the American scheme of things, when u.r. working yrself up into a war frenzy, objective analysis is the last thing you need.


11:13 AM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

@Bill Hicks, thanks for posting that article by Peter Van Buren. I love his witty style. I would encourage everyone to read his earlier piece about his time in Iraq, his hilarious description of mercenaries alone is worth the read.


@Sarasvati You are the third person in the past week that I have heard express that thought on the Middle East. I call it the Von Falkenhayn strategy, after the WWI German general who’s plan for the battle of Verdun wasn’t to win outright, but rather to create a meat grinder situation that Allies would be compelled to keep feeding until they were bled white.

12:20 PM  
Anonymous AS said...

MB, Gigalax -

I understand your points, and there’s no question that both Bush Jr. & Obama were massive clowns & that USA is ultimately headed for the trash bin, but I would argue there’s a distinction to be made between the *internal* collapse of USA (which we witness & document every day), and its imperial expansion.

Obviously the “failure” or “success” of an American adventure can only be determined by the objectives of the operation. If the objective of the invasion of Iraq, for example, was to spread “freedom & democracy” and stabilize the Mid East (as many progressives evidently believe), then certainly it was a failure and a “disaster.” However, if the objectives were to remove Hussein and replace him with a vassal govt, assert control over Iraq’s oil fields, established FOBs & airfields to be used in future attacks against other US targets (Iran, Syria, Libya, Hezbollah), and create training camps for jihadists (to be later deployed for destabilization ops in the Caucasus, northwestern China, etc.), than it was a massive success & a huge strategic victory.

I think too often – consciously or unconsciously – the progressive analysis seeks to mask & disguise USA’s true material interests in the countries it plunders. I think many US analysts can’t even identify what USA’s interests actually are (which is why so many of them interpret it all as one big “mistake”). But USA reaped huge rewards from Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, etc. The heroin it harvests from Afghanistan & the oil it's currently stealing from Syria, for example, will go quite a long way to financing other projects.

12:22 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

It's become apparent that the near term future of humanity is now dependent upon the survival instincts of one Vladimir Putin. Think about how frightening that is. It's also ironic that the very same Clintonistas who were saying before the election that Trump's temperament would cause him to start WW3 are now cheering him on as he pushes us toward the brink. The more sober commentators I've read are comparing this to the run up to the Iraq War, but I think that's an inexact analogy. Saddam was politically isolated, whereas Assad has the world's biggest nuclear stockpile backing him.

Moreover, liberal collaborators among the chattering classes were much more guarded back in 2003. Describing removing Saddam as our solemn duty might have been complete BS, but nowadays these same people sound as wildly bellicose as Dick Cheney. At least back in 2003, Tulsi Gabbard would have only had to worry about being attacked by Chimpy and the Republithugs and not being backstabbed by her own party. Goes to show you how little patriotic credibility being an actual war veteran in Congress will get you these days.

Meanwhile, as the world burns those crack journalists at the NYT have found a story that will really hit Trump where it hurts, that his administration might botch that most pointless of stupid White House traditions, the annual Easter Egg Roll:


12:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Cdn't run it (24-hr rule).


In the case of Rome, the macroworld was integrally related to the microworld; they reinforced each other. This is true of America as well. I don't think your distinction holds much water, really, except in some theoretical sense. These kinds of academic distinctions mask what is going on, overall.


Well, we bled ourselves white in Vietnam, then in Iraq, and now (again based on bad info and probable lies) are all set to do the same thing in Syria and North Korea. For reasons I indicated above, abt unc. process, there simply will be no wake-up pt on the part of the govt or most Americans. War is all we know; the fact that it is self-destructive is of no matter to us, because we can't see it. And these wars are part of the same psychological complex, of how Americans relate to one another on a daily basis, which is also a form of war. Macropummeling arises from micropummeling which then reinforces micropummeling which leads to more macropummeling...This is one vicious circle from which we shall not escape. We are punishing ourselves out of existence.


1:30 PM  
Anonymous Todd said...

Bannon's view of cyclical repetitions in history...

Was very interested in getting our resident objective historian's views on "The Fourth Turning,” the work that inspired Bannon by Neil Howe and William Strauss. The work "lays out a theory that American history unfurls in predictable, 80-year cycles of prosperity and catastrophe. And it foresees catastrophe right around the corner."

The idea loosely reminds me of what Morris Berman references as la longue durée... the particular school of thought in the study of long-term slow-moving historical structures. Is this just coincidental, and these two guys are just wacky amateur historians, or is there something more academically interesting there.


2:08 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

The screams from the individual being dragged off the United flight are heart wrenching--viscerally sickening.

In a few days or even minutes, it will be forgotten. Didn't happen to me- not my problem, the person deserved probably deserved it, should've listened.

For example, the day after the Newtown massacre, I brought it up to my neighbor to discuss the large amts of mental illness in america, and she said--'shit happens' and then proceeded to discuss in excruciating detail a sitcom episode and an american 'funniest' video of a person's pants falling down.

2:38 PM  
Blogger Edward Miessner said...

Hi MB!

"And these wars are part of the same psychological complex, of how Americans relate to one another on a daily basis, which is also a form of war. ... .This is one vicious circle from which we shall not escape. We are punishing ourselves out of existence."

Which confirms my hunch that when America finally does finish its collapse, everyone will be fighting like starving rats.

And on the collapse front:

One-third of US car owners can't afford emergency repairs to their vehicle.


And an article about the opioid addiction how it's devastating small towns like Pawtucket, RI, Salisbury, Mass., and Huntington, W. Va. Plus an explanation of the root cause ... it goes back to the Reagan years when corporations were empowered to market the drugs to manage chronic pain.


3:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Plus something like 40% are one paycheck away from a disaster. In other words, hanging on by their fingernails, and if anything goes wrong--car gets totaled, they break a leg, etc.--they slip into real poverty. Addiction of all kinds, w/high death rates, is now widespread in the US. See also "The Mandibles," by Lionel Shriver.

Mike R.-

It's obvious that yr neighbor is a true American, and that yr a commie pinko traitor!


When Braudel talked abt la longue duree, he meant much longer than 80 yrs. As for Howe and Strauss, it's an argument based on generational cohort theory, I believe. I never found it very convincing.


3:43 PM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

Regarding American addiction/opioids/etc. It may just be me, but it seems as if everyone I know (including me) seems to be sick right now, has has been all winter. I wonder if it's stress, election, insecure jobs, insecure and expensive housing, all adding up. It is also no wonder why someone would turn towards drugs when you feel like crap all the time in addition to no real job/house/food security...

4:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Plus end o' the American Dream, bro; end o' the American Dream. There are now whole communities (W. Va., e.g.) with high death rates due to drugs. This too constitutes the pummeling we are going thru.

I've been working on an epitaph for my grave. One possibility: "I *told* them, but did they listen? No!" Wafers are encouraged to submit other possibilities, altho I won't be croaking till 2045. Well, it's always gd 2b prepared.


4:25 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

You can't make this up dept.:


Spicer suggests that Hitler didn't "sink" to using chemical weapons during WW II. He then went on to say that he believes Syria's Assad is worse than Hitler because Hitler "was not using gas on his own people." I didn't think it was possible, but stuff like is way beyond stupidity and CRE (Cranial Rectal Embedment).


4:26 PM  
Anonymous Detours said...

Hell yeah I'll do it, MB. I just did a random check, and it seems that the Internet Archive's web-crawler has already "captured" everything on your blog up until the last few years. So it ain't rocket science. I'll start w/ the most recent post and work my way back.

Note to other interested in doing this too: make sure to archive the entire post in the Wayback Machine. That way you insure that all the comments are saved. For an example, I'll use the recent DAA post "Janis." You need to save this link to The Wayback Machine:


But do NOT save this link:


because this link is only to MB's original post, WITHOUT the comment stream. Not good. Got it?

And that's a wrap...

4:28 PM  
Blogger Bullshevik said...


4:48 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Very gd (accurate), but mostly incorrect analysis of why Trumpi won.


Ura prince. Once the entire 11 yrs is copied, where do we store it?


Hmm...I seem to remember that Hitler *did* gas his own people...


4:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

But surely, guys; what we need is war, and war, and more war, no?:


5:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Cdn't run it (24-hr rule).


6:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Now this is smart:


As all of you know, I wrote the Obama Pentagon several times, urging them to nuke Toronto and Paris. They foolishly chose not to reply. Now that Obama is gone, I'm hoping Trumpi will go nuclear, and stop dicking around. We have some great opportunities here: not only Paris and Toronto, but also Syria and N. Korea. We are a dying empire, and when empires die, in their rage and frustration they typically lash out at others. Walk tall, America; as Madeleine Albright once said, "What's the pt of having a great military if you don't use it?" Go, Trumpi, go; start a worldwide nuclear conflagration. The honor of America depends on it!

We salute you.


6:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Just wrote the following to a journalist friend:

"As an empire dies, more and more people are full of shit. Actually, that's a gd title for a bk; feel free to use it, if you want."

7:10 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...


The question of which American special interests and factions benefit in the short run is completely irrelevant. America no longer has the social, cultural, financial and political capital required to keep existing. The physical capital is drying up as well.

I think the real fanfiction is the idea that America can somehow take over the world by "regime changing" one country at a time. Putin is not a strategical mastermind, but he does see the obvious writing on the wall. Americans cannot see the writing on the wall because they are incapable of medium-term and long-term thinking. America is just wildly thrashing around trying to avoid its inevitable collapse.

7:46 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


There's also a hollowness at the center. If your identity is a negative one, i.e. generated by opposition, this raises the question of what you affirm. For the US, it's power for the sake of power, expansion for the sake of expansion--a spiritual hollowness that ensures implosion. On such a basis, what possible future could we have?


7:53 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Ops! We made a few mistakes,...

...but it's the "white man's burden" that made us dicks.

So you ragheads from Basra to Pyongyang, suck on this!!

And to the rest of the world -AMERIKA, F*#K YEAH!

8:41 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

Thanks Dr. B. I appreciate your compliment. I love to do puns wordplay sometimes.

As for Tulsi Gabbard, I've noticed something. Anyone who has fought in a war or seen war who become leaders are reluctant to fight in a war unless absolutely necessary. Eisenhower was the same way. Those who have not act like chicken hawks and are all gung ho.

9:25 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

It's kinda weird. Somehow, everybody seems to be copying this blog. I introduce a word, and then it pops up everywhere. The Boston Globe reports that late-nite comics are "pummeling" United Airlines. Soon, the media will be saying that daily events in the US are pummeling the US. Just wait and see.

It turns out that I hafta take a United flite to Cincinnati in Oct. (booked long ago). I'm hoping that the cops don't drag me off the flight and pummel me.

10:08 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

A dashing young gal named Shaneka
Got the wrong order at McDonald's in Topeka.
"They left off my bacon,
An insult I'm not takin'
I gots my AK to prove I'm not fakin'!"

The Donald made clear his intention
To oppose any type of foreign intervention.
The neocons chortled "Ho ho ho,"
Told him, "We run the show,
And you, Mr Bigly, can blow!"

Yep. More proof that this is TGBOE.

10:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


It really is, isn't it? I try to be modest, but I fail. Meanwhile, I've been trying to work up a limerick that contains the word 'pummel'.


10:47 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

WAFers may find reading pleasure at the site "duffelblog.com". Sometimes referred to as a military version of the Onion, it holds up to ridicule, mirth, and general merriment the day-to-day activities of our fighting forces. By which I mean the actual army, navy, air force, and marines. Not the general public.

Here, a followup to the United Airlines story:

"WASHINGTON — The Pentagon announced Tuesday it had awarded a sole-source contract to United Airlines for work related to the forcible removal of President Bashar al-Assad from Syria."


11:17 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

I just ran across this youtube video :

"Social Machines and the Death of Freedom - An interview with Sean Kerrigan" :


Sean Kerrigan talks about Lewis Mumford and his work.

On a similar note,

"Trump's Syria Attack Sanctioned by the Media" :


In this interview of Norman Solomon, Solomon says

"They [the media] glorify the use of technology."

This is a constant theme in our culture, part of our unconscious programming. We're all supposed to worship technology and lust after the latest electronic gadget. We're also supposed to stoop down in awe of destructive weapons. Hollywood and its movies reinforce this. It's sickening.

1:59 AM  
Blogger Eeee said...

I just found out about Morris Berman tonight, of all times, through the way randomly following the next link still sometimes leads you to gold. This is fascinating stuff, and I'm glad he has a sense of humor about it all. If you can't laugh you're gonna cry or get radicalized and commit suicide by powers that be..

2:43 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Welcome to the blog. We (royal we) are amazed that you found us. Truth is, I'm not even on the radar screen in the US. America's failure to listen to me since the Twilight bk (2000) has now given us the mess we are in. Possible epitaph for me, when I croak in 2045: "I told them, but did they listen to me? No!"


3:06 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Juliet-

Did you send in a message? I'm not sure, I may have deleted it by mistake. If so, sorry! Pls re-send. If not, have a nice day. :-)


9:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Putin just remarked that the whole Syria strike thing was a rerun of Iraq 2003, which he called a 'tedious story'. Which is true. You have Nikki Haley, a major turkey, holding up pics of gassed babies at the UN--w/no proof that Assad did it. I remember something similar in 2003, stories of babies in Iraq taken out of incubators and put on the floor, etc. Meanwhile, Iraq had abs. 0 to do with 9/11. This is what I mean: the US can't stop making war; it's in our DNA. I recall Thos Friedman (talk abt turkeys) saying--approvingly, mind you--that the US needed to "throw some crappy country up against the wall every ten years." But the country that behaves like that is not crappy?

I think it might be gd if Russia were simply to take over the US. I'd like to see this start at the Russian Tea Rm on W.57th St. (rt next to Carnegie Hall). Russian troops, carrying bowls of borscht (and the RTR's borscht is exquisite) fan out across Manhattan, bringing joy and sanity to the rest of NY, then NY State, and finally the whole country. Maybe this might stop us from provoking phony wars.

I'm kinda wondering if there has been a more fucked up country in the history of the world, than the US.


9:37 AM  
Blogger David said...

Made this observation at lunch with some old geezers at the senior center:
While the Empire rots the public prefers to focus on their tech gadgets.
The old geezers have refused to speak to me again.
Guess I should have sang "kumbaya"??

10:22 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


There is an answer to this situation, occasionally discussed on this blog: urine. You knock back a 6-pack of Bud Lite, and then hose down their shoes. You will find this very fulfilling, while for them it might possibly be a wake-up call. Let us know how it works out.


10:39 AM  
Anonymous Transatlantic said...

I can't even follow the Syria situation anymore. Degenerates on parade. Press lauding Trumpo for carrying neocon/lib water and launching a barrage of cruise missiles into a sovereign state in violation of international law and without congressional approval.

A few days later they are up in arms at Spicer's silly comments on Hitler and gas; and we even have the Clown News Network stating that the Hitler comparison is a "third rail" of sorts and should never be used, despite telling us daily for nearly a year that Trump is the second coming of Der Führer.

Then to cap it all off, we have Fake Tapper directing us to the Twitter account of a 7-year-old girl to get the "truth" on Syria. That this 7-year-old tweets neocon talking points in grammatically correct English on a regular basis in the middle of a war zone should, of course, in no way arouse suspicion.

Just launch the nuclear ICBMs now and put us out of our misery.

11:27 AM  
Anonymous al Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Not only did the USA use chemical weapons in Vietnam - the effects of which are still manifesting themselves in birth defects - they went through a lot of DU-tipped ordnance in Iraq, with similar results. In other words, they used weapons of mass destruction on Iraq, which they had cynically accused of hoarding weapons of mass destruction.

I think Trump ought to demonstrate his Presidential mien and ship the Fifth Fleet to Chesapeake Bay, where its ships could lob salvo after salvo of missiles against Washington.

This will be both retribution for the use of weapons of mass destruction, and a means by which those pesky Washington insiders can be cleaned up.

Everybody wins, and Trump knows about winning.

11:27 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Mike Burgess said...

Dr. Berman and Wafers-
According to Paul Craig Roberts, Russia and China may not bother taking over the West and the United States, that obliterating us might be best, maybe we will go out with a BANG after all! This is moving very fast, too fast for the so-called decision makers in Washington. Of course, subtle analysis and the capacity to reflect on our own actions is not our forte!


11:57 AM  
Anonymous AS said...

Just 24 hrs after Trump's attack on Syria, Russia was already back to calling for "further cooperation with the United States on Syria" & said Russia couldn't resolve the conflict in Syria w/o USA. Meanwhile China blocked a DPRK coal shipment from entering China upon request from USA, apparently dumping its North Korean allies and placing "massive orders" for US steel instead.

Gig -

Well, what can I say; we’ll have to agree to disagree & see how things play out. But here’s a good ex. of what I was getting at earlier: CIA doc from 1986 laying out regime change possibilities for Syria – very close to the policy USA has been carrying out since 2011.

Clowns like Bush/Obama/Trump are just figureheads, not in charge of drawing up actual policy – that’s left to the experts at CIA/Pentagon/State Dept., recruited from the best universities; these are not dumb people. Empty, but not dumb.

12:39 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

As long as we're going on about Hitler comparisons, I used to marvel at the Nazi's attempt to make it like Poland was the aggressor at the beginning of WW2 by attacking one of their own radio stations along the border and then scattering the grounds with murdered concentration camp prisoners dressed in Polish army uniforms. Who could possibly fall for THAT, I used to wonder. Well, now we have the likes of Jake Crapper "reporting" even more laughable propaganda to help gin up a war. To paraphrase Walt Kelly, "we have met the Nazis and they is us."

cubeangel--actually, Gabbard is an exception to the war veterans who become reluctant to start wars. Look at crazy ass John McCain, as well as the numerous other Republithug congresscritters who are also recent war vets. And how about John Kerry, who went from veteran Vietnam War protester to voting for the Iraq War? Even Eisenhower waited until he was leaving office to warn about the military-industrial complex instead of doing something to stop it when he was in power.

Christian--I'm glad you like Peter Van Buren's blog. What he did took a tremendous amount of courage in a day and age in which the guy who blew the whistle on the CIA's torture program was the only person associated with that atrocity to prosecuted and imprisoned.

12:56 PM  
Anonymous John said...

There is some decency left in the world....imagine this happening in America....


1:51 PM  
Blogger Edward Miessner said...

(Formerly Ed-M here)


Yes I have read the Mandibles. To me, Lionel Shriver was an optimist. I'm convincved that the aftermath of the collapse of the United States will be more like Cormac McCarthy's The Road or at least like the breakup of the former federal republic of Yugoslavia.

Meanwhile, in the collapse department-

"Kenneth Knight III, 30, of Prairieville, La., was booked Tuesday (April 11) with aggravated burglary, armed robbery, two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm and two counts of being a convicted felon in possession of a weapon"


"Neilson Rizzuto, the 25-year-old man New Orleans police say was legally drunk when he drove his pickup truck into a crowd of people during the Feb. 25 Endymion [a local Mardi Gras krewe, like a team or society] parade, pleaded not guilty Wednesday (April 12) to 27 separate counts against him."


This is so seriously absurd you can't make any of this up!

3:24 PM  
Anonymous Vincent in Auvers said...

Ian: Rem acu tetigisti. This blog is a treasure trove of intellectual treats, particularly the earlier postings. A few years ago when I was unencumbered by responsibility I actually went through the entire archive and found so many great book and film recommendations. I credit this place with my own little mini-enlightenment. I still come back from time to time for the humor. Emil Cioran in his Short History of Decay described the necessity of frivolity for retaining one’s sanity in this screwed-up world:

“We must be thankful to the civilizations which have not taken an overdose of seriousness, which have played with values and taken their pleasure in begetting and destroying them…No one achieves frivolity straight off. It is a privilege and an art; it is the pursuit of the superficial by those who, having discerned the impossibility of any certitude, have conceived a disgust for such things; it is the escape far from one abyss or another which, being by nature bottomless, can lead nowhere.”

But too much can be a bad thing, no? That’s when you get what Neil Postman described in Amusing Ourselves to Death. I suppose the key is striking the right balance between levity and gravity.

4:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Cdn't post it (half-page-max rule). Compress, re-send.


Thank you. Clearly, the balance here is perfect.

Then there's this:


Tonkin, WMD, and now more of the usual horseshit.


4:29 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

My prediction:

1. The US attacks North Korea
2. NK fires nuclear missiles against the US in the western pacific
3. NK fires nuclear missiles against SK/US military bases
4. One US carrier is destroyed
5. Several SK/US military bases are destroyed
6. 6 million NK soldiers storm into SK w/2,400 multiple-launch rocket systems and conquer it w/in 3 weeks
7. 2.5 million Chinese troops move into SK in an attempt to disarm NK and unify K
8. China fails to achieve objectives
9. Trump orders a nuclear attack against NK, says "nuclear winter is the solution to global warming."
10. US nuclear missiles hit Russia along the Tuman river instead
11. Putin orders nuclear attack against the US
12. Trump orders nuclear attack against Russia
13. Morris Berman orders 177 Wafers to urinate wildly on both the US and Russia
14. Berman constrains Kim Jong-un and gives him a decent haircut.
15. Crisis is averted

Over and out,


4:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A breathtaking scenario; we can only hope it comes to pass. I'm not sure how to get all those Wafers up in the air in helicopters, with shitloads of Bud Lite, but maybe the Army will help out. I wd also add a #16: Berman takes Reince Priebus and Sean Spicer and bangs their heads together for 45 mins. Reince agrees to chg his name, and Sean agrees to spend a nite in a gas chamber.

#17: Wafers start a newspaper called the Daily Pummel, documenting the daily pummel.


4:50 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

John: Yeah that impressed me too, and BVB fans aren't know for being the most courteous of soccer fan groups.

5:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I confess to being disappted by the CEO of United Airlines, Oscar Munoz. 1st he blamed Dr. Dao, who was dragged off the plane; then, when stock value of UA dropped 4% or whatever, he said he was 'ashamed'. What a lack of backbone. This man is not a true American. A true American wd have said, "The next time Dr. Dao or anyone refuses to get off a plane, we'll call in the Army and shoot him like a dog, fly over the Atlantic, and throw his body into the ocean." I'm hoping Munoz grows a pair and shows us the real, unapologetic, face of corporate America. Go Oscar! You da man!


5:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Meanwhile, where is Sarah Palin during all this uproar w/Syria and Russia? Or Pat Buchanan, for that matter? These cutting-edge intellects have been strangely silent, just when we need their input the most.

5:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Pummeling is everywhere:


In Oct. I'm taking a United flite to Cincinnati. Will I be forcibly ejected from the plane? Will I be pummeled?

Pummeling is the new handshake!


5:47 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Trump said SO many nutty things during his campaign just to get elected, because he knew his poorly educated and low information followers would enthusiastically eat up his rhetoric...and now that he is in office, he is reversing many things he said...here's one...


5:47 PM  
Blogger ccg said...


I haven't written in a long time but have read the blog religiously. I'm writing just to point out an error in your remark about the babies being taken out of incubators in Iraq as part of the US war build-up propaganda in 2003. Actually, that lie was propagated to support the build up for the first Gulf war in the early 90's. It was that babies had being taken out of incubators in Kuwait and then thrown on the floor to die. Of course, none of that was true. But surely the lesson learned by the neocons (and their neolib partners in war crime who supported the war), was that any lie suffices to get their wars started so the strategy is safe to use repeatedly. They need only rely on the laziness and stupidity, and let's not forget the nastiness, of the American public. It works every time.

6:07 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Workplace surveillance is the new office ‘perk’


The merging of fast food and technology is truly the apotheosis of the American way of life.



Violence at McDonald's.


6:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for the correction. Yeah, it was babies and incubators in 1990, and WMD's being able to attack the US in 45 mins. in 2003. Gulf of Tonkin 1964 (turns out, we attacked the Vietnamese!), and now we can all get worked up abt sarin gas that remains unproven as a weapon by Assad. Endless war, and the American people will buy it every time. A tedious story, as Putin pointed out.


Just my own take, but I think Trump believes whatever he says when he says it. Then when he does a 180-degree reversal, he believes *that*. As many have observed, he has the attn. span of a gnat. Altho Ovama had very little idea of what he was doing, at least it wasn't pure chaos. This is, which I find very exciting. Part of the daily pummeling. What if Trumpi declares that he is rounding up all white Christians and putting them in detention camps in Idaho, and welcoming all Muslims from whatever country they come from, and appting many of them to key posts in his admin?


6:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Re: McDonald's: It now seems that Shaneka Torres will go down in history as a vanguard character, a canary in a coal mine.


7:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Here's a smart thing to say; no proof, but let's not worry abt that:


8:35 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I want to recommend a film called "I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore". It's on Netflix and features two misfits trying to reclaim some stolen property, stumbling through the world and making a series of messes. The characters are amazingly American in their behavior. Hopefully you'll enjoy it like I did.

12:02 AM  
Anonymous BH said...

I remember the story about the babies and incubators on the news right before the First Iraqi War. It turns out the girl testifying she saw babies thrown out the window and incubators taken was the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the US. She was over here in the US the whole time this was all going on. When that lie came out a sane population would have realized the whole war was a sham and demanded there not be a war, period. Same thing about the Second Iraqi Wars. Bush and his entourage lied about WMD. One once again Americans could care less about the lies and once again prominent people cover for other prominent people with no one going to jail. What is the difference between countries like Argentina and the US where our leaders lies are exposed, even lies that lead to thousands of deaths and no one does anything to them but in Argentina generals and presidents are later sent to prison for lies and getting people killed. Even Mexico, as corrupt as it supposedly is, did jail the brother of one of its presidents for drug smuggling.

1:31 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


What sticks in my mind is the run-up to Vietnam. I recall the local SDS at Cornell holding a demo at an award ceremony for ROTC; this in 1965, I think. Cops had to protect the demonstrators from being attacked by the other (non-ROTC) students. The frenzy over the war, for the war, was incredible--and this was at a heavily anti-war school (George Kahin was holding large teach-ins against our involvement in VN). I didn't know at that time, of course, abt negative identity, and how war defines us as a people. I didn't realize how courageous those few SDS members were. Even at the height of later demonstrations, only a very small fraction of the American public were involved in opposing the war. The rest were screaming "Love it or leave it" (I eventually took their advice, which in retrospect made a lot of sense). My then father-in-law told me, "America right or wrong." But it was the frenzy, the lust for war, that remains big in my memory, because I realize now that I was seeing the real America. Most Americans probably cannot tell you what the Gulf of Tonkin 'incident' was, let alone that it was fraudulent, or who Daniel Ellsberg is. And then we had a similar frenzy in the lead-up to the 1st Gulf War, w/the incubator babies story, and of course in 2003, w/the phony WMD threat. I'm guessing most Americans still believe that there *were* WMDs in Iraq, and believe Saddam Hussein was behind the 9/11 attacks. And today, they, the govt, and the MSM are not terribly interested in verifying the Assad-sarin gas assertion; they applaud the strikes against Syria and will soon be thirsting for more. What I learned back in 1965, and has been repeatedly verified, is that Americans literally love killing, and have very little interest in exploring the facts or truth of any situation in which the lives of others (and our own soldiers) are involved.


5:51 AM  
Blogger Mohamed said...

this economist thinks american arent hustling enough. http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/12/news/economy/us-economy-big-problem-tyler-cowen/index.html?iid=surge-stack-dom

6:17 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

WAFER BH--War monger-polly Tom Santos was a strong proponent of the 1st Gulf War often reciting the incubator baby nonsense. Everyone it appeared was repeating the BS incubator baby stories by "Nariyah" inc Bush over and over again. And the us fell for it again.

You're right--even after the story was proven blatantly false akin to the Gulf of Tonkin "incident," and exposure of the Pentagon Papers (RAND-Ellsberg etc..)--Nothing changed. The populace did basically nothing.

9:41 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Except follow the leader. Which they did in 2003, and which they will do today. They truly believe the armed forces are protecting us. They do not know the meaning of the word 'imperialism', and most probably have never even heard of it. Walter Lippmann wrote, many yrs b4 Vietnam, "Our imperialism is largely unconscious." But he should have added, "The American people are largely unconscious." Turkeys running toward Thanksgiving.


10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MB, I live in Cincinnati. You're not black, so you won't have any problem here.

10:39 AM  
Blogger James A said...

Tonkin Gulf, babies in incubators, WMD. The topic of our wars and their justifications always reminds me of the Carlin routine from his 1992 show "Jammin' in New York." I've very likely inflicted the recommendation on this readership before--please excuse me--but there may be newcomers who would like see the clip. Titled by YouTube posters "We Like War," here's George.

"We like war"

And in a time of alternative facts and politicians spending an inordinate amount of time "walking things back," in a time when we learn that words mean what our Humpty Dumpty politicians say they mean--fuck you Oxford English Dictionary--here's George from an appearance at the National Press Club in May 1999 dissecting pols and their empty language:

National Press Club

11:00 AM  
Anonymous al Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Unconscious imperialism? I hadn't heard that one before, but it sounds a lot like Great Britain's "absent-minded" imperialism; you know, where the Brits conquered one-quarter of the world's land surface by accident.

The really incredible thing to me about Little Nayirah's story is that it was part of a campaign cooked up by the PR firm Hill and Knowlton, those dogged defenders of Big Tobacco. Why this isn't common knowledge is beyond me. (I can't believe I just said that)

Read all about it in Stauber and Rampton's Toxic Sludge is Good for You: Lies, Damn Lies and the Public Relations Industry.

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

People are finally coming around to what WAFers knew weeks ago:


"That an unpopular President can improve his ratings just by bombing another country – at least if we are told that that country is deserving of such a bombing – while that same President’s massacring of civilians throughout the world is simply ignored, demonstrates that the American Republic is no more."

11:19 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

We are going a bit too far blaming all 'murikans as bloodthirsty. Oprah was vehemently against the Iraq invasion. Haunted by the ghosts of slave-owners of her own family she chided one warmonger in her show who dared question her 'murikan-values.

"We are basically good people." This book catalogs all our past good deeds.

Like here, bringing water to the thirsty...

12:08 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

Regardless of the US having a negative identity, it must also be said that Kim Jong-Un does have a negative haircut, and one that would be sorely provocative even if it wasn't on the bonce of an unreconstructed communist.

My constructive proposal to Kim would be to die his hair pink, and thus produce a semi-natural pussy hat. This would not, admittedly, be much of an aesthetic improvement, but it would grant him a more contemporary and progressive image, and result in him merely being subjected to mean tweets from Trump, rather than Tomahawk missiles.

12:54 PM  
Anonymous AS said...

After his meeting with Tillerson, Lavrov said Putin would put the air safety memorandum back into force (only 5 days after Putin pulled it), pledged to help USA pacify North Korea and joined the US in calling for a new Syrian constitution (presumably drafted by USA). Lavrov went on to speak of “intensifying” efforts to cooperate with USA in other areas. At several points Lavrov even adopted US language in characterizing Russia’s own allies as “dictators.”

As a result of Russia’s concessions, the Pentagon concludes that escalation with Russia over Syria is unlikely.

Russia, however, had the decency to veto USA’s Syria resolution at the UN, while China (USA’s new best friend) abstained. After Trump spoke over the phone with Jinping, a report emerged that China has deployed 150,000 troops to the border of North Korea. Will China now invade its own ally on behalf of USA?

Meanwhile in Budapest, the citizens are protesting in support of George Soros. Strange times we live in.

1:38 PM  
Anonymous Dean said...

So now, in response to the death of ONE soldier, the US drops the "mother of all bombs" on Afghanistan. A country we've occupied for 15 years.

It's looking more and more like we are approaching the end game here. Russia and China have to be looking at US as a crazed person wielding a machete. You can only just stand back for so long. They are going to have to do something big in hopes of sobering US soon. (Good luck with that.)

As mentioned above, Europe (including Scandinavia), Canada, Australia, and Japan are all along for the ride with US. That is a reality that I don't think WAFers and Declinists here have fully allowed to sink in. It's time to start channeling our inner Extinctionist and revel in the real possibility (hope) that humans are about to meet the natural justice we so richly deserve.

Perhaps we can phrase it as a (self) reaccomodation of humans to a different sphere of existence?

2:41 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...


Check this out. More and more people are confirming what you're saying Dr. B.

Bill Hicks

Unfortunately, you're right :(

6:47 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Prof, I tried all day at work to rhyme pummel with no luck. Here's the best I could come up with. Sorta limericky, definitely Wafery.

Hillary's annointment got bungled
As Trumpi just couldn't be muzzled.
As Shaneka would say
"Now yous bitches gon' pay"
America, prepare to be pummelled.

6:56 PM  
Anonymous BH said...

I had a great uncle serve in the military and he was in the Korean War. He passed away a few years ago but said when in the service he worked for some high up officers serving them as a secretary like person or delivery guy. Anyway, he always said that the Korean War was not started by the North but by the South at our (Truman's) prodding. He knew this was true because his job allowed him to know it was so. And when the war broke out he was at the front lines firing machine guns in Chinese soldiers coming down hills en mass. He saw MiGs straif artillery units and saw operators blown in half with guts going eveywhere. He always told me and his grandsons not to ever volunteer for a war. If we got drafted and could not get out of it honorably that was one thing but if he ever heard of us volunteering he was going to come break every bone in our body to stop us. He had nightmares and felt guilty taking life because he knew we started the war.

7:55 PM  
Anonymous make us smarter said...

Americans are S.M.A.R.T. (Stupid . Moronic. Assinine. Retarded. Trivial.)

9:09 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Here's David Gergen talking about Trump and how he needs to transform his own leadership skills, and he takes a dig at Jimmy Carter saying that his famous speech was a failure because it was all about BLAMING the American people instead of himself.


10:39 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

SCHMUEL THE JEW J. S. Bach: Brich dem Hungrigen dein Brot (BWV 3…: http://youtu.be/pDnwQ-YIAoQ

1:30 AM  
Blogger Yossi said...

Not sure who said it but after 9/11 someone wrote that 'most Americans are like the children of mafia hoodlums who are shocked and surprised when their home is firebombed'.

2:58 AM  
Anonymous Bingo said...

I noticed that as soon as Trump bombed Syria his approval rose. So after that he dropped that mother of all bombs on some caves in Afghanistan, I suspect in order to make his approval rise further. If his approval rises again, we should then expect up to 59 thermonuclear bombs to be dropped on some random small country somewhere. I must say, he's a quick learner.

Happy Passover/Easter everybody!


5:17 AM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

My hat is off to the Deep State and the neocons. In just under three months they have neutered Trump and corralled him into a foreign policy that would make Hillary proud. Not surprisingly, the Alt Right is jilted at the betrayal.

11:42 AM  
Anonymous KJ said...

Dr B, have you read Rod Dreher's new book on the Benedict Option? It's getting a lot of attention.

One of my favourite novels is Walter M Miller's 'A Canticle for Leibowitz', about a monastery in America after a nuclear world war. Seems more plausible by the day.

12:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I think I discuss Miller in the Twilight bk. I'm assuming Dreher makes no ref to my discn of the Monastic Option.


I like it!


I'll be giving a lecture nr. Cincinnati on Oct. 27, if United Airlines doesn't drag me off the plane and beat me up. Thereafter I fly to NY, where according to de Blasio, millions will be waiting for me at LaGuardia, screaming and drooling. 4th or 5th NY Wafer Summit Mtg will be held lunchtime on the 29th; venue TBA. If I don't show, assume the FBI dragged me off the plane, beat me up, and sent me to Guantanamo.

De Blasio wrote me that the crowds will be coming with scissors, to cut off a piece of my suit, along the lines of relics of the saints. Sorta like, "Wood from the cross, cloth from the robe; special price for you!"


1:26 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

I love the smell of progs coming to their sense in the morning. Smells like...victory:

"The world shouldn’t have to suffer one more day of American exceptionalism.

I clear the table, put the dishes in the sink, stare at the water running into the drain. Drain the swamp.

I want to scream.

Fuck you. Fuck you, Trump. Fuck you. Fuck all of you with your might-makes-right bellicosity. Fuck Obama. Fuck Hillary Clinton. Fuck George Bush. Fuck Dick Cheney. Fuck all the fucking warmongers. Fuck corporate news. Fuck the war industry. Fuck the war profiteers.

Fuck the United States of Fucking America."


She just forgot to add: "Fuck the American people for willingly going along with it all."

2:02 PM  
Anonymous ted said...

Has America Become the Reality of the Abusive and Cruel Stanford Prison Experiment?


spoiler: it always was

3:22 PM  
Anonymous Mac said...



8:48 PM  
Anonymous M Campbell said...

Grounded in truth.
Storytelling preserves geological events.
This is important.
Great essay:

9:24 PM  
Anonymous John S said...

Wafers, these days if someone calls me un-American or anti-American, I take it as a huge complement. To insult me, call me an American, can't think of much worse things to be called - really.

9:24 PM  
Anonymous JUS said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers,

I ran across this article and wondered what your thoughts were on it.



10:53 PM  
Anonymous Roger said...

O blessed glorious Trinity,
Bones to philosophy, but milk to faith,
Which, as wise serpents, diversely
Most slipperiness, yet most entanglings hath,
As you distinguish’d, undistinct,
By power, love, knowledge be,
Give me a 1 such self different instinct,
Of these let all me elemented be,
Of power, to love, to know you unnumbered three.

Since we're skimming a nuclear Easter, it seems appropriate to quote J. Robert Oppenheimer's favorite poet John Donne on the Trinity


9:21 AM  
Anonymous Eon said...

Just saw a free screening of the new film "Lady Macbeth"

WOW. This film is immense

9:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dr. Berman;

Is your lecture near Cincinnati open to WAFers?

On a different note ...

I've enjoyed your observations that you can tell a person's personality from their facial expressions. I was thinking of that yesterday while watching Rex Tillerson on TV. He has an expression that says simultaneously "how the heck did I become Secretary of State, I can't do this", and "damn right I deserve to be Secretary of State, I'm a rich and powerful guy!"

I'm so grateful I don't have to live with that kind of self-induced schizophrenia.

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Suzanne said...

Tyler "marginal revolution" Cowan suggests that Americans need another war to rev them up for more hustling.
Meanwhile, here is a (rather long) clip of Marxist economist Richard Wolff, who actually understands that we are in the death throes of capitalism and that we need to explore other economic paradigms (Syriza/Podemus/Mondragon):


11:20 AM  
Anonymous francxit said...



12:01 PM  
Blogger Edward Miessner said...

mb, Dean-

"Russia and China have to be looking at US as a crazed person wielding a machete." I've read elsewhere of the US being likened unto a heavily armed mentally ill street person ... who's off his meds. Maybe that explains the two countries now bending over backwards to cooperate with it.

And mb, please tell the other Edward I send my regards if you do manage to make it to LaGuardia. I can't make it, unfortunately. No money. :(

4:08 PM  
Blogger David said...

For what is worth Dept.
I was on a flight from Guatemala to Houston when I carried a copy of DAA and read it to get my mind off the cramped quarters I was buckled into. My seatmate, a middle aged man who appeared like a curious bureaucrat saw what I was reading and wanted to know more. I told him if he wanted to know where America was headed this was THE book. He took his cellphone and got a photo of the cover. Perhaps that is one way to increase readership?

5:16 PM  
Anonymous Free-istan said...

So very true--this sentence is gold:

"What I learned back in 1965, and has been repeatedly verified, is that Americans literally love killing, and have very little interest in exploring the facts or truth of any situation in which the lives of others (and our own soldiers) are involved."

Why 1965-Vietnam?

5:19 PM  
Blogger Rook said...

They look at their screens; outside, a world exists.


4:09 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

I nominate Paul Craig Roberts for honorary WAFer membership :


A few characteristic excerpts :

"It has become embarrassing to be an American. Our country has had four war criminal presidents in succession."

"What were the lies used to justify bombing tribesmen in Pakistan, to bomb a new government in Yemen? No American knows or cares. Why the US violence against Somalia? Again, no Americans knows or cares. Or the morons saw a movie. Violence for its own sake. That is what America has become. Indeed, violence is what America is. There is nothing else there. Violence is the heart of America."

"And now we have the embarrassment of Trump’s CIA director, Mike Pompeo, possibly the most stupid person in America. Here we have a moron of the lowest grade. I am not sure there is any IQ there at all. Possibly it reads zero."

Maybe Dr. Roberts could have simply explained that a substantial portion of US citizens have mashed potatoes where brains are supposed to be. That would explain everything at once and obviate the need for further explanatory details.

5:38 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Again to use one of my favorite phrases, I'm kvelling nonpareil at the prospect of your coming to NYC in last October. I'm almost guilty not visiting you in Mexico to be honest. Thanks again for coming.
Yesterday was techno-douchebags on parade. I'm taking a 4 week course in stand-up comedy. The teacher asked each of us (6) to prepare a 5 minute bit. Except for yours truly, the others stood up there using their I-phones essentially reading their jokes-yeah great spontaneity as they were busy scrolling down to the next joke. Hey, think you can look at the audience a minute? I could see that the teacher who is quite good actually, getting highly frustrated. I mean how can you honestly critique someone reading from a phone? This was a 3 hour lesson during which we had time to know a little about each other. Think we could meet after, have a drink, and talk about comedy or something? Of course not. Everyone quickly left the classroom and left to check their messages or some other meaningless nonsense. TO be honest, unless my hearing is going I could hardly understand what the others were saying on stage-it sounded like complete gibberish. I suppose a life of tech is starting to make uttering a simple grammatically correct sentence a challenge.

8:39 AM  
Anonymous Alan said...



10:23 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Why that grotesque face is still in the news is beyond me. She needs the Wafer Urine Treatment (WUT), badly.


I too am looking forward to NY, and yet another glorious Wafer Summit Meeting (WSM). While De Blasio tells me he can't give me the key to the city just yet, he did write that he will get me the key to the bathroom in his office bldg. I wonder if it also unlocks Trump Tower. Wafers are encouraged to submit suggestions as to what I hafta do to get the key to the city. E.g., roll around in a tub of pastrami, perhaps.


Yes, rt on pt. He shd have added that more than 90% of Americans have never heard of Pakistan, Somalia, or Yemen.


Probably the *only* gd use of a cell phone.

Edward R.-

Cincinnati lecture is actually at Thomas More College, Oct. 27, 7:30 pm. As far as I know, it's open to everyone, altho you shd probably phone the school to make sure, the wk b4. But will I make it? My flight to Cin is on United, and they may drag me off the plane and beat me up. I also have to pass thru Houston en route; the FBI may intercept me, drag me off to Guantanamo and waterboard me. As for the lecture, I can imagine trollfoons showing up with buckets of rotten fruit. I tell ya, life is getting increasingly hazardous. On Oct. 28 I fly to LaGuardia, with the crowds there screaming and yelling ("Belman!", perhaps), and De Blasio giving me the key to his toilet, and then there will be a fabulous Wafer Summit Mtg (WSM) on the 29th, time and place TBA. Does life get any better, I ask you?


10:27 AM  
Anonymous politically incorrect said...

Any future plans for visiting CA? SF bay area or perhaps inland - UC Davis?... I know the crowds can be a bit of a challenge but CA needs an infusion of reality every now and then... the monastery has been too quiet lately...

2:46 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Be sure to send messages to most recent post. As for CA: no invitations as yet. For some odd reason, I get very few invites to lecture in the US. Can't figure it out!


4:01 PM  

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