June 16, 2018

The Horror Show


I’ve been thinking recently about how Americans need to be punished for the way of life they have led, encouraged, and sought to spread around the world. The problem is that the punishment is more or less wasted, since Americans are clueless regarding that way of life—defined by “What’s In It For Me?” They haven’t the faintest notion that they may have done something wrong, let alone inhuman.

Here’s a real-life example; you may be able to find the tape of this on YouTube. It was roughly fifteen years ago; I remember the date was July 1st . What was recorded by the security camera in some hospital in Brooklyn, in a small waiting room, were two women sitting on opposite sides of the room. What we see is one of the women sliding off of her chair and onto the floor, unconscious. The other woman dully looks on at this; she has no visible emotional reaction. Occasionally, a nurse or hospital staff member looks in, sees the woman on the floor, does nothing, and moves on. It took the woman thirty minutes to die; literally no one gave a damn. Later, there was some sort of internal investigation into staff negligence; I assume it came to nothing.

I often thought of wanting to interview the other woman in the room, ask her: “What were you thinking, when you saw this woman collapse onto the floor?” I suspect the answer would be “Nothing. Nothing at all.” But here is where the punishment comes in. When this woman herself kicks the bucket, who will be observing her, and also thinking of nothing? If you treat people like zeroes, eventually you’ll be treated like one yourself. This is a pretty good description of social interaction in the US today. Since the American philosophy of life can be captured in phrases such as “Not my problem,” or “There is no free lunch,” a large fraction of the American public is miserable and lonely. The stats of opioid use, alcoholism, TV and cell phone addiction, workaholism, suicide, prescription drug use, obesity—anything to sedate the pain of loneliness, anxiety, and depression—are through the roof. But Americans are not very bright, so they don’t connect the dots. They simply don’t get it, that if you treat others like shit, others will treat you in the same manner, and you’ll feel like shit most of the time, as a result. You think this is coming from the outside? Think again.

James Baldwin once wrote that the problem with nasty people getting their karma is that they don’t really recognize it, so the message is basically wasted on them. Consider, he says, a man who is emotionally dead. His karma is that there is no love in his life; not much of anything, really. But because he is emotionally dead, he can’t be made to see that very fact. So he lives out this awful karma in an ignorant fog. This describes a huge segment of the American population, maybe most.​

I remember once, many years ago, getting a massage, and for some reason saying to the masseuse: “I’ll probably die surrounded by my books.” Horrible fate, and had I stayed in the US, it would have been mine. I had very few real friends in the US, very few people I could really trust or talk to. My situation now is the complete opposite ofthat. Of course, I never expected to float out into the Great Beyond speakingSpanish, but life is funny that way. The more important point is that I’ll be surrounded by close friends, by people who love me, not by a pile of books. And this is the reality for most Mexicans as well, I’m quite sure: it’s the nature of this society. What a horror show the United States is; what an absolute, unconscious, horror show.



Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

Hi MB,

I can see the difference between the US and Mexican societies easily. Though I do not have any experience of Mexico (except for a few days in Mexico City), I come from a traditional society. And traditional societies, I have a belief without much justification, have the wisdom of doing the right things for a meaningful, fulfilling happy lives (most of the times). I narrate a few of my own experiences.

Once my wife and I got into a bus, a crowded one. There were no vacant seats. Seeing my wife standing, an elderly lady, who was seated, offered her to sit on her lap! For us in our younger days, giving up our seats in buses/trains to older people was the social norm.Not doing so was considered rude. Once I was traveling by bus in the small town I live in. An elderly man got down at some stop. From his body language the driver had a suspicion if he knew where exactly he had to go. The driver asked him, once, twice. The man said yes. The driver was still not convinced. He waited for a few minutes, saw the man enter a building, and then started the bus. Interestingly, none of the other passengers complained.

Well, 1) this happens only in small towns and villages, 2) with the invasion of 'development' (a euphemism for predatory capitalism) these are slowly disappearing.


12:54 PM  
Anonymous BH said...

I have a psychologist friend that investigates workplace violence incidents out in California, Oregon, and Washington state. He tells me when someone usually goes "nuts" there was some serious bullying or crime taking place against the one turned shooter and no one in authority would do anything about it. The would be shooter tries to go to management about the problem, goes to a lawyer, goes and tries to find another job but can't or find one that pays anything like what they are already making. Eventually the bullying or in some cases criminal violence (people get assaulted by coworkers and management) at work takes its toll mentally and they break. Fight or flight is now active but disfunctional due to their nervous break disfunctional and so they go get the gun and fight. I have not read Going Postal but it sounds a lot of what my friend describes.

The thing is he tells me once something like a shooting happens no one at the workplace learns anything. Workers are not trained how to interact better with one another, no one does anything about bullies and inappropriate behavior as long as certain someone brings in money, and management goes on and does not change their behavior either being as hateful and spiteful as they were before.

1:45 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

When my dad came to this country one of the things that disturbed him was how people treated their elderly parents. It disgusted him that a person's children would stuff them in a nursing home or just abandon them to live alone waiting for the occasional greetings card or holiday to see their kids. For many American elderly this is their fate. to die alone because their kids cannot be bothered to take care of them, both emotionally and monetarily. This was completely different than in his country of Iran where the family took care of the elderly parents and when they died they were surrounded by friends and family.

2:03 PM  
Blogger alyosha said...

James Baldwin once wrote that the problem with nasty people getting their karma is that they don’t really recognize it, so the message is basically wasted on them.

Then the universe cranks up the volume on the message, repeating it. Countless examples, from (society wide) the increase in mass killings, to (personal) getting whacked too many times on drugs, resulting in bigger and bigger accidents, maybe losing a job or a spouse, until finally hitting bottom. It's an individual pattern and a collective one.

It begs the question: how bad must things get before a critical mass of people wake up from the hypnosis and begin to feel the pain? (let alone the many more subtle, chronic pains, such as dying alone, that people can generally bear). That's what's going to happen, it's just a question of when and in what manner.

BTW, I finished WAF, can proudly claim to be card-carrying Wafer.

2:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Display yr card proudly. As for 'when': sorry, not gonna happen. Not in the US, at least.


Ontologically speaking, no one learns anything anywhere in the US As I told alyosha, there is no wake-up moment, and never will be. Reports on shootings, for example, are either abt terrorism or it's some lone, deranged person. The way we live is not relevant to any 'analysis' because what cd be better than life in America?


2:53 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Ian Welsh also discussed some of these themes in a blog post on why American culture is so mean and cruel. Welsh called it the "The Culture of Meanness."



Americans will never change because most of them approve of this culture. They like it because they think that one day they will be at the top of the food chain or they are satisfied having people below to kick. Most Americans simply do not care about other people unless it involves using them for something. The awful quality of interpersonal relationships is perhaps the worst thing about America.

It is only getting worse. I have noticed that Americans increasingly seem cold and detached from each other. They seem almost rock-like. I don't know why this is but it is truly strange and unnerving.

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Chairface Chippendale said...

Hi Waferdom! New to the blog, but not new to Wafer-ish thoughts or declinism. By way of intro, I’m a Wisconsinite, a 48 yr old Gen Xer, a dude, and I’m putting together a plan to get out of here — faraway. I have immense respect for Dr. B and his work, esp. his view of the US of Amurica - which is pitch perfect. My edu is in philosophy, specifically PhilSci and PhilMind, in the Analytic tradition, but I had a notable teacher who was a renowned Nietzsche scholar. I’ve been an urban explorer (benign trespasser) for a decade or so, travelled in Canada and a bit outside N. Amer, done a bit of comedy writing, and a fair amount of labor organizing (incl. on WI univ. campuses for adjunct & tenured faculty). I like Aristotle, Spinoza, von Humboldt, Godwin, Kropotkin, Alexander Herzen, Tolstoy, C. Wright Mills, Edmund Leach, Wilfrid Thesiger, Jacques Ellul, and Mario Bunge. I’m presently greatly enjoying uncle Michel (Montaigne). Hi all!

3:49 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Excellent piece. There's a quote from Caesar- "it's better to be first in a village than second in Rome". America's definitely carried on that imperial mentality- preferring to be first in a nation of losers than respectable in a world of greater quality overall.

Americans generally like weakness in others- they are not a threat- rather than healthy confidence, which they interpret as their own predation.

A vivid, if somewhat unserious, example is the sporting world. The world is celebrating the World Cup, enjoying a basically non-violent game that demands teamwork. The US is not there, and instead obsesses over the ridiculous Super Bowl, which is pure violence, aided and papered over by confidence in technology (helmets).

I know FIFA is corrupt, but it's so fun to see the general positivity at the WC as compared to the miserable, violent, narcissistic, scapgoating world of US sport. They all want to be first in their little backyard local games rather than participate in the world.

4:49 PM  
Anonymous Pete Christen said...

MB: "The flight of the intellectuals." I once made a list of all the intellectuals who fled Nazi Germany before its implosion. It was a long list. I said to myself: when the intellectuals start to flee, you know the end is near. I'm making a list for the US now, and you're on it, of course. I'm hoping WAFers can offer up some other names to help me fill in the list.

5:50 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@BH--you just hit on what I find completely laughable about libertarian philosophy. Libertarians believe that the government in the biggest threat to people's freedom, when most people these days are essentially "owned" by their employer. Get fired once, even through no fault of your own, and suddenly you're a "problem employee," and finding another position in the line of work you are trained for becomes impossible. Employers know this, and a fair number of them are more than willing to exploit people's fear of being fired. If "freedom" means you have the "right" to end up homeless and destitute, how "free" are you really?

@Nesim--when I was a kid, Harry Chapin's song "Cat's in the Cradle" was a number one hit. Chapin wasn't that good of a songwriter, but he it out the park that time with his tale of a father who works so hard he's never able to make time for his son, who keeps saying, "I'm going to be like HIM." In the final verse comes the kicker--his son has graduated college and moved to another city. When the father asks if they can get together for a visit, the son tells him he is far too busy. It is only at that moment that the father realizes his son really HAS grown up to be just like him. Too bad more people didn't listen more closely to that song:

The Cat's in the Cradle--Harry Chapin

9:47 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


Well, when it seems that there's literally nothing more to say about the poison of American life, MB, you always find a deeper gear. Your profound eloquence and obvious authenticity shine a brighter light for all of us. In any case, I think it's important to maintain a form of grace and dignity in the face of walking around amongst the monsters up here, and your words help a great deal. Thank you for giving us so much of your time and energy.



1:39 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Buongiorno MB and Wafers!

We have arrived back at our little piece of heaven in southern Tuscany - although the trip was a bit more stressful this time. I managed to seriously hurt my foot in a fall down the front stairs before we left, but managed, due to very nice people wheeling me around in the airports. Finally healing.

As soon as we arrived in Italy, even at the airport in Rome, it just felt so much better (we always feel this). A society that cares about people and takes the time to live. Our Italian neighbors found out about my injury and immediately brought over a bowl of cherries! Had a group dinner with our friends here last night, so good to be back. We'll be here until the end of October - some day soon, we'll move here permanently. The US is hurtling to further disasters, and, as you say, there will never be a wake-up moment. We feel an urgency to leave.

Ciao to all!

6:01 AM  
Anonymous Nostra said...

Yeah and speaking of horror show:


Jesus H. Christ, and you’ve talked here too about Saturn devouring his children. And now more evidence of our own oncoming karmic devastation, good Lord we are truly f***ed. I guess only Wafers would know—and understand— why the headline should say: “America is NOT better than this. This IS America.”

6:27 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

I had a date last evening on Philadelphia's main line. Needless to say, the restaurant was well over-priced ($14 for a glass of wine) and $21 for Pad thai which I could get on a street in Bangkok for $2 and, of course, more delicious. Anyway, we were sit at a table for two alongside other tables for two. We were basically touching each other. Occasionally, my eyes would stray to the other tables. You thought I had invaded their living rooms. I got such mean stares in return since I had violated the 6 inches separating us.
White people need not fear losing white privilege. The main line makes Nazi Germany look like a multi-cultural paradise. One guy actually entered wearing a white tee shirt with what looked like a gravy stain on it. Still, he was greeted warmly by the staff since money is the only thing that counts there. Interestingly, I noticed hardly any children. All were safely home with their tech-crap and/or nanny. A very bizarre evening. To quote Billy Joel, "If that's what you call moving up, I'm moving out."

8:44 AM  
Blogger Taking a Leap With African American Students said...

My first comment. Not sure why, I refer to your monastic option in many ways. I do my share of writing and documenting and now we are in the dark ages that we will survive, we always survive we are human and indestructible.

I live in Washington, Seattle to be exact. A strange place having been raised in Northern NJ. with a view of NYC. Where people had opinions and expressed them. Seattle is a pure liberal city and has been for many decades. So having nothing to save people from, they created homelessness, Seattle Public on the top ten list of biggest achievement gap. And number 17 in the State. Homelessness that was caused by selling the public housing property to one of the wealthiest men in the world. ???? Yes, liberals did this. Now they want to solve the homeless projects by putting children and families in what they call tiny houses, but they are not they are large garden sheds, no windows and picture laid next to a slave shack, except that the slave shack had a window and no paint the slave shack is bigger. We have not advanced much in 150 years.

11:29 AM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Greetings Wafers everywhere, here’s your news roundup from Cascadia:

Evergreen College announced it is "updating" after reporting a 20 percent drop in enrollment in the wake of 2017 Day of Absence / Day of Presence protests and the departure of professor Brett Weinstein.


And from the more wheels spinning department: local politicos in Seattle and vicinity continue to talk about homelessness and a 14,000-unit area deficit in affordable housing after the Seattle City Council repealed its own unanimous approval of an employer head tax after vociferous opposition from Seattle business interests and the Seattle Times newspaper:


Meanwhile, a group of farmworkers who claim they’ve been blacklisted for going on strike last year over working conditions have brought suit against an orchard and an entity called the Washington Farm Labor Association, which works with growers to bring in foreign laborers under a temporary H-2A visa program to perform labor that Mericans care not to do:


11:31 AM  
Anonymous Desmond said...

Last night I had the strangest dream, where the future of humanity on this planet is nothing but a fog of neocameralism. And when Elon Musk and Bezos etc move us to Mars and each companys' colonies are each a country, we'll see this grand cosmic continuation of that neocameralistic model. TBH, neocameralism unfortunately may be the only thing that works on Mars, given the extremely hostile conditions and the overwhelming importance of security and risk minimization. Bye bye to ontological livin! What hell!

With that, I end my weird rant. But e search for intelligent life continues, THAT'S for sure.

12:51 PM  
Anonymous Mujib said...

Is there anyone who says they're a 'thought leader' who is actually a thought leader in USA, rather than just someone who gave a couple of TED talks?

THIS IS BRILLIANT. Wonderful satire of TED!


12:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Dyson-

I guess yr not familiar with how this blog works. It's actually a sacred space, and you hafta approach it with extreme courtesy, if not actual reverence. The slightest bit of Attitude toward me, other Wafers, or the blog in general, and you can't get posted. Don't for a minute think u.r. superior to us. Rest assured, you aren't.


Welcome to the blog. Don't lurk; live!


God, yr making me jealous. I'm currently working on my Italy bk. What a culture. Deep into Fellini at the moment. E arrivato Zampano! (La Strada)


Thanks for yr thanks. For more on the same theme, check out essay "Ik Is Us" in QOV.


Welcome to the greatest blog on earth. But note an impt rule: only 1 post every 24 hrs, thank you.


3:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: It's time we weaponized our arts festivals:


4:07 PM  
Anonymous Dove Bradshaw said...

Amazing musician vocalizing the Epic Of Gilgamesh in Sumerian.... a powerful transference of the great oral epic


4:52 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

The us empire selected for morons/hu$tlers/carpet baggers, profiteers, colporteurs, etc... It attracted them from all over--a bunch of Babbitts in training. They deserve everything that's coming; however, the lesson will indeed be an absolute lost cause as they will not ontologically and intellectually understand the lesson b/c they thk they're amazing, incredible, and #1 (gas lighting/fantasies). ~88% have never left the us, and those that do 'travel'----travel with other anglos in a quasi 'pope mobile' divorced from reality of another culture; after the 9-11 days, it's back to the hamster wheel. .

Case example: An american immigrant acquantance stated she does not have time to 'invest' in 'friendship' anymore b/c unless they can get her money, or become business contacts, then it's pointless. She stated this as she fiddled and diddled her idiot phone. In fact, her friendships are pretty much based on proximity and being instrumental--not really a visceral friendship. Mutual tummy rubs, you're awesomes, and group thk. american stupidity excites me!-Vidal.

For americans, emptiness, loneliness, aggression, and anti-intellectualism was like water to a fish. The american "life" was simply leap frogging into oblivion from one hamster wheeling business opportunity to another with the limit being death. most americans funerals will be a sham, as they are already 'dead.'

6:34 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

What do they call these....Darwin Award Winners?


6:40 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

@Bill, BH

The whole libertarian idea is based on a seperation of the economy from the state and society in general. After 2008, this position became laughable, because terrible, awful financial firms- the ones the market said should go away- demonstarted the ability to use the government to write their own checks.

Not to mention the fact that we are all running around for dollars issued by the government for corporate parties to go bid up their own stocks and create bubbles.

Working life in America is so incredibly miserable compared to even just a decade ago, I think most working people will physically or mentally break down before 50 within ten years. It's a gigantic mind game. The company is your family, yet you are completely disposable.

Wonderfully harmonious way of life. The modern workplace needs to be completely dismantled. Completely and totally. In its stress its caused more deaths than any of the normal bogeymen- tobacco, terrorism, etc.

8:12 PM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

Currently reading The Art Spirit by Robert Henri. The book is filled with thoughts that would interest a Wafer. As just one example, his 1915 Letter to the Class illuminates how debased we are a century later with ubiquitous screen use and unmitigated connectivity. Why in so many seemingly different situations do we Americans invariably choose the wrong path?

An excerpt:
I think it is safe to say that the kind of seeing and the kind of thinking done by one who works with the model always before him is entirely different from the kind of seeing and thinking done by one who is about to lose the presence of the model and will have to continue his work from the knowledge he gained in the intimate presence. The latter type of worker generally manifests a mental activity of much higher order than his apparently safe and secure confrère... I have often thought of an art school where the model might hold the pose in one room and the work might be done in another... The pupil could return to the model room for information. In getting the information he could view the model from his place or could walk about and get an all-around concept; he could also make any sketches he might desire to make— for information— but these drawings are not to be carried into the work room. Into this room he only carries what he knows.

It would be a wonderful school and the pupils in it would not only enjoy their work and profit more but they would be a much better class of students. For this class of work would demand such activity of mind and such energy that the practitioners of idle industry that now occupy so many places in school studios would eliminate themselves.

8:21 PM  
Anonymous Rufus T. Schmeck said...

Nesim Watani: As to being disturbed by parents being treated badly. Please remember, that many of these parents were assholes to their children. "Thou shall honor thy mother & thy father".... NO, "Thou will naturally honor thy mother & thy father when thy mother & thy father honor you." You only have to order children to do what they would naturally do, when you're going to treat them with contempt, disrespect & cruelty... this is the norm in the US because of the bibilical injunction to beat the devil out of children. Nature, including human nature, is corrupt, because of Adam & Eve's disobedience in the garden of eden. Theologically, this is crap, but this is the center out of which our sociology & our personal psychology has developed. My mother, got significantly better treatment then she ever gave her sons.... and she did NOT deserve it...it was, at least from me, an act of compassion, that came from the healing I had done. America & in general, Zoroastrian-Judeo-Christian-Islamic cultures, warp & twist human relationships so profoundly that genuine compassion is hard to muster. Think of Alice Miller's work(Drama of the Gifted Child; narcissistic wound) & Andrew Bard Schmookler's work(Out of Weakness- a work about narcissistic woundedness, which leads us to war.)

Rufus T. Schmeck

1:04 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Dear Dr. Berman,

I would like to share an anecdote with you and your readers: In May my family and some friends from the east coast coast of Ireland decided to drive west for a spontaneous break. we spend a week in Kerry, Ireland. We The weather was amazing and the scenery gorgeous. We were at a particular beauty spot when a bus disgorged its load of American tourists. One American approached us after a few minutes. No kidding, his very words to us were: 'why aren't you guys at work?' It was such a bizarre question we all burst out laughing. I explained to him that we all took time off to enjoy our lovely country and each others' company. He looked visibly perturbed at our attitude to work and life. Even though we stood just feet from each other, we were separated by an unbridgeable cultural chasm.


3:40 AM  
Anonymous Dokaebi said...

Belman-nim & Estimable Wafers,
Spent an enjoyable day in Shanghai visiting the Propaganda Poster Art Center (PPAC), an entirely independently owned-and-operated venture, which appears to be a labor of love assembled and maintained in the basement of an old (and I mean, old) apartment complex in the ancient, Puxi section of the city. These brothers (Shanghainese by birth, early-elderly now) have been archivists of Shanghai- and Communist-related artwork for their entire adult lives, now boasting an impressive collection dating back to 1910 (Dr. Sun-Yat Sen's Anti-Imperialist, Nationalist Revolution). In this basement archive is a priceless record of China's past century. And, importantly, it's completely left in the hands of these dedicated brothers, who receive a healthy stipend from the government to maintain their impressive collection. Note, here, that this so-called callous, autocratic, and totalitarian government has lifted not a finger to "nationalize" this rare and wonderful collection, but instead has subsidized these fellows and helped them to advertise their archives for public edification. Don't believe everything (anything?) you read in the New York Times, Wafers.

4:05 AM  
Anonymous Norman said...

A great post!
I am also watching in horror as other countries follow suit and I am surprised to hear that Mexico, at least D.F., is holding its own.

4:32 AM  
Anonymous Dowdy said...


I think this is an exceptional book about how we’ve come to the present crisis at borders across the world, and it helped me understand it better. I hope you get to read it.

7:10 AM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

Hi MB,

Reading this bk review: https://aeon.co/ideas/what-did-max-weber-mean-by-the-spirit-of-capitalism

particularly these lines: 'Values were increasingly the property of the individual, not society. So instead of humanly warm contact, based on a shared, intuitively obvious understanding of right and wrong, public behaviour was cool, reserved, hard and sober, governed by strict personal self-control. Correct behaviour lay in the observance of correct procedures.'

in conjunction with this heart-wrenching news about separation of children from their parents by the US: https://edition.cnn.com/2018/06/18/politics/immigration-trump-congress-family-separation/index.html

I was wondering if it is ever guaranteed that rationality by itself can lead us to a humane society. Or is there always a 50-50 chance for a society governed by purely 'rational' laws to degenerate into an immoral authoritarianism?

Also, if you talk of a society, how can values be property of the individual entirely? There has to be a set of shared values. Following procedures correctly is one thing (Nazis did very well on that front), but who decides if the procedures are correct? And here, obviously, correct has to mean ethical.

Your thoughts?


7:39 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Welcome to all the new WAFers!

Chair: There's a few of us from MN on here, so a neighborly good luck on getting out! It was all I could think of watching world cup games this weekend, but my chances are slim.

8:59 AM  
Blogger Allyn F said...

I used to volunteer at Catholic Community Services, doing house/yard work for elderly people living alone at home. Some of them had family willing to take them in but the elders wanted to stay independent. Others told me to have children to avoid that fate. My own parents value “not being a burden on anyone”, and their own parents lived alone in old age even though they didn’t have to. So the mindset has been with us a long time.
Ordinary Americans are punishing themselves plenty. (Tide detergent pod anyone?)
Off to another day in Paradise!

9:29 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Welcome, new Wafers! It's gd 2c lots of new 'faces' on the blog. Don't lurk; live!

While the rest of the country commits suicide, we document it!


9:39 AM  
Anonymous Matt S. said...

Dear Dr. B,

Your remark on the American horror show prompted me to reflect on the on-going debacle at the southern border (and in cities across the country) as immigrant children are mercilessly separated from their parents who are jailed or whose deportation is pending. It is a very American thing indeed to try to rip apart the social fabric or the dignity of the latin-american families. How ironic (yet fitting) it is that a nation of shopping addicts should should detain thousands of innocent immigrant children in Walmart stores! America has never disappointed us. When it comes to horror shows this country keeps producing the very best.



10:38 AM  
Anonymous Patricia said...

@K -

In second the Art of Spirit !!

10:43 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Another Western 'skeleton in the closet' revealed in Israel. Thousands of newborn children of Mizrahim, Jews mostly from Yemen but also from other Arab countries brought into or migrating to the newly created state of Israel, were abducted from hospitals and either sold or given away to Ashkenazi parents - often the children's biological parents were told their child was dead or that they had enough children (!) so they could 'spare' one or two! Apparently Ashkenazi Jews shared a European prejudice against people from 'less developed' societies, even if these people were Jewish.


11:22 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

If I'da been Rudolph, I'da told Santa to Piss Off! (Book title anyone?)
Two weeks without reading might not bother many Amuricans but was hell for me as I could not. Eye is healing nicely, thank god for Medicaid I won't even see a bill for what I know was an expensive procedure. As far as my family goes they really dislike me b/c I'm kind of dancing on their graves. I never bought into the system and knew it was a suckers game by the time I was 16. Only now do they see I was right and they hate me for it. But if they think I'm some kind of Joesph (bible story/siblings sold him into slavery only for him to rescue them 'what you did was evil god used for good) they are sorely mistaken 1) there is no salvation 2) what if real love is the opposite of a hallmark card?
Been meditating on a verse from Psalms 'blessed is the one who dashes your children's head upon the rock' (Koran got nothing on the old testament) I have my own thoughts on this darkness wd b interested in others.

12:15 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

Greetings to all the new Wafers out there! My message to you is: no, you're not crazy; you're among the 175 or so sane ones in a society whose wheels are rapidly coming off the wagon. While Wafe-ism is to some degree obvious, it is often times a struggle to see what is right in front of ones nose.
I share this NYT comment from a person whose spouse's family died at Theresienstadt and whose own family perished in the Armenian genocide. He sees what is coming. This is not going to end well. As bad as things are, they will get a lot worse. It is best to get out while one is still able to:
On a personal note, I am pleased to report that today officially makes one month to my departure. Reading the news some days, I feel like I can't wait. It is not an easy process and surely not an economical one, but I know for sure it is the right one.


1:23 PM  
Blogger Chairface Chippendale said...

@Ordinary Indian: "I was wondering if it is ever guaranteed that rationality by itself can lead us to a humane society."

My own take on this is, first I always thought Weber shd hv separated 'rationality' into 'instrumentality' and 'sensible reasoning' and, second, I agree with John Ralston Saul in his book on social humanism "Equilibrium", in which he argues that rationality must be balanced with other human traits, such as compassion (which is not what US/UK/Canada/Aus have done).

It's now clear that the US is by this point not only a failed state and a failing empire, but it’s a full-bore anti-society (as Dr. B has so usefully put it). It is a very dangerous, amorphous, senseless thing with little substance beyond its effects. And those effects are all anti-nature and anti-human.

For me, the only suitable analogy in all literature is to HP Lovecraft’s Azathoth, the “Blind Idiot God”, a monster of pure chaos who creates the universe by dreaming it into being.
USA = United States of Azathoth.

1:41 PM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...

The amount of hypocrisy and blind spots that Americans ("Turkeys) have is absolutely breathtaking. Former First Lady Laura Bush has criticized Trump's "immoral" immigration policy and compared it to U.S. treatment of the Japanese during WWII. Yet, she conveniently ignored her husband's administration's horrid and atrocious treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Not to mention Gitmo and the disaster known as Iraq. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/laura-bushs-critique-of-trumps-immigration-policy-rings-hollow. Don't throw stones at glass houses, Laura. Your husband makes Trump look like Ghandi.

Another example closer to home. I have environmentally "progressive" relatives who loathe people like Scott Pruitt. They go on these rants about how Trump is ruining our environment and all of the progress we've made towards cleaner air. They'll praise the bike-friendliness and well-run public transit system of several European cities. Yet, they all live in low-density, car-centric suburban McMansions and drive gas guzzling SUV's that get about 10 MPG. These same people criticize our usage of fossil fuels. I mean, you can't make this shit up. How are they any better than Scott Pruitt or ExxonMobil? How can such "enlightened" and "well traveled" people have such a glaring lack of self awareness? The icing on the cake is that they don't want bus stops or public transit access in their neighborhoods.

Please Trump, hurry up the decline!

2:38 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi to everyone. I'm new here, having followed a link from a comment over at NakedCapitalism.com, where I used to comment under the handle b1whois but now comment as Expat2uruguay. I'm a 55 year old woman who just had breast cancer surgery last week, living in Uruguay. It's been a two-year process to move here from Sacramento California, but I was considering suicide, so I had to get away. I left behind three children, mostly grown, and a well-paying job as a civil engineer working for the transportation department of California.
For several years during Occupy and after I was a hardcore activist. I did just about everything you could think of, signed petitions, wrote petitions, organized marches, lead chants, organized calls into Congress, created and deployed huge banners, and spoke dozens of times to electeds at Sacramento City Council and at California State Capitol. My crowning achievements were three arrests for civil disobedience, volunteering as a Legal Observer with the National Lawyers Guild, and a 12-day political water-only fast. Hundreds of hours, and nothing to really show for it. The only thing I worked on that got any traction at all was raising the minimum wage.

So now that I have introduced myself, I have a question. Why do you identify as WAF? I did enough research to understand that the reference is to a book titled Why America Failed. But there's been multiple books written by Dr Bergman, and the name of the blog is something else. So why is this particular book the one that is used to identify the group? Thanks in advance for your responses, and thanks to Dr Bergman for hosting this blogspot and to the others who post comments here. May we be respectful friends, my comrades. Laura

2:39 PM  
Anonymous COS said...

Ordinary Indian,

Much is made of rationality. Humans are not rational. Kant's great insights in both Critique of Pure Reason and Practical Reason, include that "reason" is just an idea like say justice, preference for wheat bread or coal vs wood stove. Montaigne in his Essays makes similar points--there is no rationality but rather accepted modes of discourse and behavior in different times and places (within the bounds of physical reality and attributes of humans). The rationality of say Chinese in 2018 is very different from the rationality of the English of 1835. The rationality of Cortez was much different of that of the Aztecs and so on infinitum. Today, people confuse rationality with a sort of easy scientism, but for the more intellectually developed trained, rationality has roots in the enlightenment. If you go for more modern takes, the work of Norman Cohn, John Gray, Issaih Berlin and even Yuval Harrari (Jung too in psychology) share in common skepticism of rationality and some go as far as to note that Atheism, faith in reason and science are actually religious faiths shorn of mystery and transcendence,.

In a sort of Satori moment, had occasion to see a former teacher (psychiatrist) who is an expert in Autism. He convincingly shared observations somewhat confirmed w my limited work with Autistic people that for reasons unknown a large portion of the adult population are subclinical autists. Operative conjecture screens, easy consumption of junk food will one day be recognized in the U.S. as similar to the lead dishware and pipes of the romans. I'm not so sure, but do know that positive human attributes are not fixed and are context specific. Personality for that matter is also a Chimera and a myth and determined to a large extent by context. Point: in a different context/environment many americans would be either worse or better people. There is a great history by Curzio Malaparte "The Skin" which shows how Naples went from a a fun and warm place with a lot of social capital to after 1943 when everything was destroyed, crime was rampant, prostitution a norm, priests stealing and murder common to settle old grudges and many horrible things--including canabalism.

4:25 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


You can't check in as Anon; need a real handle. Try again, thanks.


1st, I'm Berman, not Bergman. 2nd, congratulations on discovering that prog activity results in 0. Most progs never figure that out. 3rd, congrats for hitting the road: this is what intelligent people do. As for WAF: I started the blog (under duress from my then publisher and agent) just after DAA was published, and have never bothered to change the heading. 5 yrs later I published WAF, and that seemed convenient, i.e. to refer to ourselves as Wafers. We really didn't have much of a handle b4 that. Anyway, it's not a big deal. But thank you for joining us. Enjoy Uruguay, and keep posting. All of us here are pulling for your surgery to be successful, and want u2 have a long and happy life. (Becoming a Wafer almost guarantees that.)


Check out a British documentary called "The Age of Stupid."


In a nutshell: what's coming down the pike will be sheer hell. I said it many yrs ago, and the reality of this is happening on a daily basis. You can't imagine what the US will look like in 10 yrs, but I guarantee it will be dystopia city.

1. Congrats on operation. All of us are relieved to hear the gd news.
2. Your family is basically a collection of imbeciles. You know this.
3. Yr basically Holden Caulfield.
4. See #2, again. These people have shit for brains, but rest assured that there are many more like them in America than folks like you or me.
5. Also see film "Rebel in the Rye."


6:37 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B:

There's been some discussion of elder care here. I wonder what the chances are for the USA to build "dementia villages," similar to this one, built by the Dutch-


I guess the chances are probably negative infinity, but it could easily be done by cutting the "defense" budget...

6:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


67% of Americans approve of torture and of drone attacks that kill unarmed civilians. I'm wondering how many approve of the brutal child separation policy now being practiced by the govt. Something similar, I'm guessing.

Part of the Horror Show is the sheer cruelty of Americans. The amt of poison in the American soul is staggering. When I started this blog 12 yrs ago, and saw the hatred and bitterness pouring in, I was amazed. I never realized how sick the nation was. Now, I'm pretty inured to it. I also know that the poison is a major factor in our collapse. You don't get sicker people than this. We are rotting from the inside.

A Roman soldier asked Hillel (1st C BC) to summarize the Torah for him in the time that he (the soldier) could balance on one foot. "What is hateful to you," said Hillel, "don't do to others. That's it in a nutshell. All the rest is editorializing."


6:58 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

You oughtta like this, from the Canadian Broadcorping Castration:

"Donald Trump, who loves winning, is winning. He is beating America's allies, he is crushing America's media, he is demonizing and desiccating American law enforcement, and hinting that in the end, he might even use his pardon power to sweep away rule of law. He has in fact already done so.

In her op-ed for The Washington Post, Laura Bush asked for compassion, kindness and morality. This is not America, she argued.

Well, yes it is. Trump is America
, and America, it turns out, isn't so exceptional after all."


7:20 PM  
Anonymous Sophia said...

Brilliant essay by on Imaginary Cities: "The cities that never existed - What if the urban visions of famous architects had actually been built?" From Le Corbusier’s Paris to Frank Lloyd Wright's BroadacreCity - & beyond:


7:21 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

I hope other community members won’t think me presumptuous if I offer some general comments prompted by new WAFer Laura’s questions regarding who congregates here. Others free to correct or expand upon what I say.

First, best wishes for a speedy recovery from the surgeries, WAFers Gunnar and Laura. Now for who we are (definition purely my own). We are people who tumbled early on to the shell game underway in the United States of Amnesia (Gore Vidal coinage). As George Carlin observed, it’s called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it. These two could be considered patron saints of the community. Also H.L. Mencken. Plus other sages and scholars whom you’ll see reference to if you stay in touch here. More references to more sources of spiritual reflection and intellectual stimulation than you could ever get around to reading or viewing are cited in any given day’s contributions. No nastiness, occasional mild disagreement, though the latter couched in civil terms admitting of the possibility that one of the disputants is perhaps viewing things slightly askew. Mistakes generally admitted to, misunderstandings readily corrected.

Welcome to the blog.

7:23 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

This could be of interest:


Trumpo confidante Roger Stone indeed may have been the target of an *FBI sting operation* during the 2016 election. Stone said he was lured to a meeting in Florida w/an operative who tried to interest the Trump campaign in buying Russian dirt of Hillary. Stone turned down the offer, and stated that Trump didn't pay for anything. It turns out -- and the WP confirmed this -- that the operative (calling himself Henry Greenberg) is a Russian national w/a history of working as an *informant* for the FBI. Stay tuned, kidz.


ps: Do you guys remember Hank Greenberg, the old-timey baseball player? They usta call him "Hankus Pankus" or sometimes "The Hebrew Hammer." Anyway, time to whip up a batch of chopped liver.

7:45 PM  
Anonymous Francois said...

Hello Laura, I identify as a Wafer because I saw Dr. Berman on CSPAN discussing “Why America Failed” and decided to check out his books. It was roughly 2012 when I realized that the American left was a bunch of buffoons who did not understand that the American people are not good. Chomsky, Hedges, Moore, are a disgrace for not seeing that they are a bunch of hustlers in a nation of hustlers. I find Dr. Berman, Robert Kaplan, John Gray and Pankaj Mishra to be awesome, even when I don’t agree with them.

9:01 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Gunnar--glad to hear you are on the mend! After my cancer surgery, I couldn't read for several weeks because I was too drugged up and in too much pain. It was indeed hell.

Lihn Dihn has an excellent new post up about the decline of reading in America: Posliterate America. Posliterate America. "I was just interviewed by two Temple journalist students, Amelia Burns and Erin Moran, and though they appeared very bright and enterprising, with Erin already landing a job that pays all her bills, I feel for these young ladies, for this is a horrible time to make and sell words, of any kind, and the situation will only get worse. We’re well into postliteracy." With widespread screen addiction, hardly anyone buys books or newspapers anymore.

And Michael Krieger has new post up about the DOJ/OIG report: The Myths We Tell Ourselves. "The sad truth of the matter is that we as a people have been too propagandized and naive to admit how corrupt and vicious our government has become, irrespective of who resides in the oval office. Our current problems are deeply systemic and therefore cannot be solved by obsessing over the symptoms and switching out a president."

9:08 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

I would say what makes Water is not just seeing what's wrong with the US, but knowing so completely that it's toast that you've thrown in the towel on the whole deal. Up and walking away to Uruguay certainly gets you Wafer creds.

Welcome, new posters.

9:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd summary, thank you. I only want to add (all modesty aside) that this is literally the ONLY place in America--press, media, blogosphere--where you can find out what is actually coming down, as opposed to various dogshit versions of what is coming down. Meanwhile, here I am, living a few blocks from Trotsky's house, and neither Ovama nor Trumpi have chosen to send someone down with an icepick. Am I living on borrowed time?


Also check out DAA ch. 7.


Time for us to launch a new genre: Wafer poetry. Here is my own contribution:

The turkeys fly high
They darken the sky.


10:43 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Two turkeys out on the town
I am unimpressed by their renown.

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

the post-it on my mirror
says i am 'midst buffoons
still in the US show of horror
a WAFer i am that wears pantaloons

Bill: I thought Linh moved back to Vietnam?

11:28 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

I've been lucky enough to have a few friends a bit older than me (early 30s), so I can see what's coming down the line.

Literally everyone who had hard academic interests like philosophy and literature has been forced into tech work to make a living. Even physics majors all take this same funnel.

An old friend who used to read Wittgenstein describes her work bio as a 'philosopher and digital marketer'.

Even worse is a guy I know who went to the Ivy League and studied intellectual history, and now works at some scam fly by night company after attending 'coding bootcamp'.

Tech is the last game in town, but it's a complete and total joke. It's taken in a huge flood of desperate people that have much interest in the field as a prostitute in a john. These intelligent young people are basically schizophrenics out of economic and social necessity. The top end of the intelligence pool is so personally traumatized and alienated that they will probably never have kids.

11:47 AM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

@Chippendale & @COS

Thank you so much for your valuable comments. Will try to follow up on some of the materials, whatever I find accessible.


12:13 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

Laura- Welcome to the Greatest Blog on Earth! My introduction to Wafer-ism was this youtube video:
I had some pieces of the puzzle but this video put it all together. As you have discovered, resistance is futile because the vast majority of Americans believe the world wants to be us. In truth, we are here to serve and grow the economy (not the economy to serve us). Hence, our citizens elected Trumpi & Co. with 90% of Republicans strongly approving of his performance in office. Question for you: how is life in Uruguay versus Sacramento?

Professor, while we talk of the US's Suez moment, I'm more concerned about our Reichstag fire. I can easily see something happening this fall before the midterms for Trumpi & Co. to excite the base, rally around the flag, and demonize enemies. This is especially true if it looks like a 'blue wave' is coming. It would allow Trumpi to declare marshall law and suspend the election in the name of national security. I really do think something like this is on the horizon.


1:33 PM  
Anonymous George Carlin said...

Hello MB & Wafers,

Have not posted in a while. Was on vacation to visit my sister in Singapore. Bloody hell the two idiots had to meet when I was there. Paid no attention to the news whatsoever.

MB - Americans are like addicts. Addicted to money and like most addicts they will not admit they have a problem. I have tried to put some sense into some of my American friends but to no use. Most of them think I am an idiot to have moved out of the US. Over the last few years I have slowly stopped interacting with most of them or only talk to them on a limited basis as I want to preserve my sanity. Like most addicts I see them suffering from within and they want this suffering to end but dont have the courage to let go of their greed. Unfortunately they will die a slow miserable death or some will just decide to shoot themselves and others in the process.

Also as an immigrant, whenever I used to point out faults within the American culture, I was indirectly or sometimes directly asked "why I dont move back to India if America sucks". It is bizarre that as an immigrant I am not even allowed to point out minor flaws and if I do it means I hate America.

MB - many thanks to you for moderating this blog so well and keeping the trolls and idiots out. This blog has helped many Wafers to connect and know that they are not alone. You have been true to your word for a decade now and taken brave steps to move and stand out of the crowd. Unfortunately honest people like you will not get anything in return except the gratitude of Wafers. Decades from now people will know your value.

2:01 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

This seems like a pretty explosive situation....

Trump ramps up rhetoric: Dems want 'illegal immigrants' to 'infest our country'


2:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thank you. Copernicus published the heliocentric theory in 1543, then died. It took something like 100 yrs for Europe to start realizing he had been correct. I suspect this will be my fate, saying that America was upside down and being ignored, until decades after my death. I have already picked out the epitaph for my tombstone: I KEPT TELLING THEM BUT DID THEY LISTEN? NO!

Trollfoon activity has abated somewhat, as they can get no traction here, so they emigrate to other blogs (I guess). But they have been interesting as a phenomenon, both here and in their 'reviews' of my books. Anything, any lies, to show that my scholarship is supposedly invalid, or that I am somehow corrupt. And why? My belief is that in my work, here and elsewhere, they discover someone who is completely candid abt what is going on, and this makes them very bitter. After all, *they* aren't living authentic lives, and they are hoodwinked by the very crap I expose. Once again, existential strain: you can't get your own life in order, so you try to drag down those who are head and shoulders above you. Problem: it doesn't really manage to alleviate their suffering. They just continue to stew in their own juice. Arab proverb: The dogs bark but the caravan moves on. There sure are a lot of dogs out there, sad to say.


Martial law is definitely in our future, but not that soon, I don't think. Just a guess. In addition, I believe Trumpi will get reelected. Who, after all, do the Dems have to oppose him? Botox Face?


Linh is still in Philly, but his move back home is definitely in the works. As for post-its:


That shd cheer u up every morning! Print up a bunch of them, give them to yr neighbors. :-)


3:05 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hola MB and Wafers,

Wafer poetry contribution:

If we continue on the path we've chosen
Pretty soon we'll all be wearing lederhosen.

~ Miles D. Deli III

4:08 PM  
Anonymous Nostra said...

I’m halfway through Bellow’s 1971 novel Mr. Sammler’s Planet. These selected passages from the end of Chap. 3 seemed relevant:

“Sammler thought that this was what revolutions were really about. In a revolution you took away the privileges of an aristocracy and redistributed them. What did equality mean? Did it mean all men were friends and brothers? No, it meant that all belonged to the elite. Killing was an ancient privilege. This was why revolutions plunged into blood. Guillotines? Terror? Only a beginning—nothing. There came Napoleon, a gangster who washed Europe well in blood. There came Stalin, for whom the really great prize of power was unobstructed enjoyment of murder. That mighty enjoyment of consuming the breath of men’s nostrils, swallowing their faces like a Saturn. This was what the conquest of power really seemed to mean. ...And for the middle part of society there was envy and worship of this power to kill. How those middle-class Sorels and Maurrases adored it—the hand that gripped the knife with authority. How they loved the man strong enough to take blood guilt on himself. For them an elite must prove itself in this ability to murder. For such people a saint must be understood as one who was equal in spirit to the fiery twisting of crime in the inmost fibers of his heart. The superman testing himself with an ax, crushing the skulls of old women. The Knight of Faith, capable of cutting the throat of his Isaac upon God’s altar. ... The middle class had formed no independent standards of honor. Thus it had no resistance to the glamour of killers. The middle class, having failed to create a spiritual life of its own, investing everything in material expansion, faced disaster. Also, the world becoming disenchanted, the spirits and demons expelled from the air were now taken inside. Reason had swept and garnished the house, but the last state might be worse than the first...” (pbk. Penguin 2004 ed. w/intro by Stanley Crouch)

4:19 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Wafers might find this article interesting. It covers many of the indicators of decline we discuss on this blog.


Millennials are on track to have worse health than their parents in middle age. Note the emphasis on stress, anxiety, depression and chronic loneliness among other health problems.


Study links rising inequality with a growing sense of despair.


4:24 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Dr Berman, Pastrami, Chair, and all other Wafers:

My wife and I are headed for the Minneapolis Canadian Consulate this week. Our daughter says she wants to go soon, also. Now, we're trying to talk our son into moving to Canada, as well.

If my family can move there, perhaps Canada will let an old duffer like me, into their beautiful country, too. I'm turning 70 this year. I'm very much afraid for my mixed grandkids if they continue to live in the U.S.

If Canada should get to be too crazy, there is the NMI option, up in the tundra, someplace, LOL. Or maybe move to the Nordic countries (I'm all native Swedish).

Edward Johnson

5:05 PM  
Blogger Bullshevik said...

I think we have become the U-SS-A. SS drawn with lightning bolts, of course.

5:59 PM  
Anonymous William said...


Wealth of millionaires surges 10.6% to top $70 trillion for the first time

9:29 PM  
Anonymous Graha,m said...



A Meditative Look at a Japanese Artisan’s Quest to Save the Brilliant, Forgotten Colors of Japan’s Past


9:36 PM  
Anonymous Onward to Dystopia said...


One of the worst things about getting older, which no on ever mentions, is how BORING everyone becomes. Most people in their 30's and 40's just want to talk about work, no one wants to have philosophical conversations because everyone's jaded, cynical and doesn't care anymore. Most of them stop investigating more obscure music, books, art, etc. and just want to be distracted by garbage after an exhausting day at work. This seems to be the worst for "middle age" people -- I have had the rare, interesting conversation with people much older. These are the people no one else sees a reason to talk to, since they've likely been outside the workforce for years.

Two people who I could still have interesting conversations with both died over five years ago. I've been more lonely since.

I know that you, Dr. Berman, have mentioned in lectures that one reason you left the US is you just had no one to talk to! I can relate, I feel like I'm in Zombie Land. America is indeed soulless and broken -- it is also terribly boring for most of us who want something a bit deeper out of life.

11:46 PM  
Anonymous mac coon said...

i will forever deeply regret that you and i were separated at birth, morris! what fun we might have had growing up together then ending up coming to the same conclusions about what is so transparently obvious to you but apparently so opaque for so many others! espero que te encuentro un dia en méxico!

1:59 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Several times a month, something will happen down here that reminds you that yr definitely not in the US. Yesterday, 2 such events. There's a bus that runs by my apt. bldg in Mex City, and as I was locking the front door, it was approaching. I waved my arms, as it passed by; and then suddenly, it came to a screeching halt, about 15 meters past my bldg. I ran to catch up to it, mumbled Gracias, muy amable, as I gave him 5 pesos. The driver just nodded, as if to say: Of course. Can you imagine an American bus driver doing anything like this? Their attitude is basically, If you missed the bus, too bad 4u, sucker.

Anyway, bus left me off in the center of Coyoacan, where I came upon a taco stand. I ordered 2 tacos; the muchacho put them on a styrofoam plate. There were no chairs, so I walked about 10 meters away to a house, and sat in the doorway, eating my tacos. Then the electricity guy came by--bad timing!--and as I got up to move away, he said, No, not a problem, I can walk around you. Again, in the US, the interaction wd be abrasive: You shdn't be blocking the doorway, I'm an impt person, etc.

These little things add up. Mexico is a gracious society, the US an angry and unhappy one.


You won't find anything deep or worthwhile if you continue living in the US. Of that, you can be abs. sure. Turkeys can only gobble. This blog, the only exception. Try to set up an NMI study group in yr area, if at all possible.


Check out a fascinating bk called "Neurotic Beauty."


Something like that is definitely in our future. I once heard Chomsky say that we were only 1 step away from Fascism, namely concentration camps.


Canada better, but I suggest moving to a non-Anglo country.


9:53 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The country is in the lurch
The turkeys are falling off their perch.

9:54 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...


The most depressing is the late twenties/early thirties period when people start to go through the marriage ritual and take on another stressful role to play besides work. I can't imagine any other society where married people have such an aversion towards their spouse having many single friends/independent interests.

Because the society is so busy and alienated, we place way, way too many demands on marriage. A great counterpoint to this bad sitcom way of life is Italy. Italy has one of the highest rates of infidelity in the Western world, yet they have one of the lowest divorce rates.

I think they recognize that marriage is actually about more than love, that love is about more than marriage, and that middle aged men searching for a new wife after their second divorce are kind of pathetic. It's a testament to the strength of their culture that they can have a system at once more flexible and durable than the American straight-jacket way of life.

We, on the other hand, are prisoners of Disney prince-princess ideas about men, women, and how they should spend life together.

American fantasies today are romanticism without the romance. We need a good dose of naturalism.


10:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Onward, I feel your pain. Sadly this is not exclusive to the US. Most of my friends in France from high-school and college have turned into corporate douchebags who swear by Tech, "making it" in the world etc... It's really depressing and I can count on the fingers of one hand the friends who have kept their rebellious and fun spirit from youth. I guess when the time comes to really walk the walk, few educated people have the courage to forego the benefits of the Matrix to live a real life.


11:41 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Every interaction--regardless of holidays, vacations, everyday everyday was about careerist ambition talk, money, economic expansion, buying more real estate, "advanced" degrees for careerist bullshit, next big things, etc....The 'ah hah' moment was -I knew something was profoundly wrong in this business venture ("country"); even when I was in 1st grade--didn't 'fit' in, thought I was an outsider, not hyper aggressive, competitive, win at all cost american mentalities (brain damage).

Eventually, I searched--'america sucks'/capitalism sucks' something like that, --and found Dr. Berman. WOW--he was my voice, my soul if you will, through adolescence, adulthood. Thank you Dr. Berman for all you did, and thank you WAFERS for the critical input, respectful differences, and references.

Rotten to the core american people who were shells of human beings.

Get out if you can WAFERS, or NMI (Berman), or dual process it.

We're getting out, and in the interim, it's Georges Brassens that keeps us sane.

12:47 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

In college I took a J.D. Salinger seminar, the professor, a Salinger scholar thought I was reincarnation of Holden. Funny thing my apartment is named the Holden building. I carry the flag with honor (in a good way not like John Hinkley) mixed with a little Thoreau and the Beats. I'm literally allergic to these people, if I'm around them too much esp in the workplace I seriously fall into suicidal depression.
West-have you ever questioned the nature of your reality?-World on hbo is pretty darned good, Anthony Hopkins (last good role?) is great imho.
Looks like Colorado is turning blue for the fall election the front running Dem is calling for a multi state consortium to buy into Medicare saying pretty forcefully healthcare will never b solved at the federal level. Gives me hope only in the sense that when things break apart CO may go with CA instead of Kansas or the south. Not sure what they'd do with Ft. Colorado Springs though.
In our ongoing series 'the face of America' I submit this guy


Thanks all for well wishes!

1:09 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Good luck Ed! I think getting permanent residency in Sweden isn't that hard ... I do know you need to live there 5 years. Getting a job is the hard part, but you may be retired?

1:22 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

Good article by Ross Douthat today; sex and marriage in the USA is more of a commercial marketplace than it is about love and romance. The whole article is good especially the way the hiring couple treated the poor woman like a reproduction robot than an actual person. Perhaps, they will leave her a bad review on Yelp?
Money quote: "... the most culturally important strands of American feminism have been the ones devoted to making women’s lives safe for market capitalism rather than the other way around — with “lean in” and egg freezing for Silicon Valley elites and the temporary sterilization of I.U.D.s and LARCs for the working class, both together encouraging the idea that professional goals are the heart of personal fulfillment..." The last wedding I went to the bride and groom each had their own lawyer negotiating with each other over the commercial terms of the agreement. It was less of a marraige and more of a merger. Next time, why don't they hire Morgan Stanley?

@Ed - Love Canada but agree with the professor that there are much better options. I'd explore some options before I settle. Check out: http://nomadcapitalist.com - the author renounced his US citizenship and said that it was the first time he ever felt free.


2:32 PM  
Anonymous George Carlin said...

Nazis inspired by Jim Crow Laws .. what a surprise !!


2:44 PM  
Anonymous Zen Citizen said...

Good luck, Edward! A married couple who were dear friends of mine since the 80's just emigrated to Canada, a process made easier by virtue of the husband's having been born there. In advance of their departure they had secured housing, bank accounts, etc. The prerequisites were complicated. But what impressed me most about their story was the fact that upon their arrival for the first time as resident Canadian citizens, an official at the border greeted them warmly with, "Welcome to the good side."

Fellow Wafers: Tracking the progress of the Canada meme might be an interesting way to gauge our country's decline. Here's another example to add to Edward's aspirations and my friends' departure: I just finished watching the first season of "The Handmaid's Tale" on DVD, and in the series Canada figures as a refuge for people fleeing Gilead, the theocracy that has seized power in what was formerly the U.S.

Of course, Margaret Atwood, the author of the novel on which the series is based, is Canadian. Atwood was also a consulting producer for the show, and an "Extra" on the DVD set includes an interview with her. In it she makes the following remarks about the novel, "When it was published in 1985, the responses were quite different. In England they said, 'What a lively imagination you have, to be sure!' In Canada they said, nervously, as they often do, 'Can it happen here?' And in the United States they said, 'How much time do we have?'"

Good question.

3:13 PM  
Anonymous Josie Rhodes Cook said...


White House Preparing Bio-Defense Strategy As Germ Warfare Fears Rise


Synthetic biology raises risk of new bioweapons, US report warns


U.S. Prepping for Possible Germ Warfare


World War 3? Biological war fears as 'ANTHRAX antibodies found in North Korean defector'

Shiversome stuff.

3:14 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-San said...

Reading the horrors documented in the recent posts reminded of a Matt Taibbi article from a year ago... even more relevant today.

"We deserve Trump, though. God, do we deserve him. We Americans have some good qualities, too, don't get me wrong. But we're also a bloodthirsty Mr. Hyde nation that subsists on massacres and slave labor and leaves victims half-alive and crawling over deserts and jungles, while we sit stuffing ourselves on couches and blathering about our "American exceptionalism." We dumped 20 million gallons of toxic herbicide on Vietnam from the air, just to make the shooting easier without all those trees, an insane plan to win "hearts and minds" that has left about a million still disabled from defects and disease – including about 100,000 children, even decades later, little kids with misshapen heads, webbed hands and fused eyelids writhing on cots, our real American legacy, well out of view, of course... This is who we've always been, a nation of madmen and sociopaths, for whom murder is a line item, kept hidden via a long list of semantic self-deceptions, from "manifest destiny" to "collateral damage." We're used to presidents being the soul of probity, kind Dads and struggling Atlases, humbled by the terrible responsibility, proof to ourselves of our goodness. Now, the mask of respectability is gone, and we feel sorry for ourselves, because the sickness is showing."


5:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Of course I hate this separation policy for toddlers, but it does have one advantage: it exposes our cruelty and our barbarism for all the world to see. Americans don't know abt the VN fallout described by Taibbi, and wdn't care if they did. But this toddler separation program is out in the open, and the whole world is condemning it. It is also obvious that Trumpi is courting his base with it, so one can only conclude that a large % of the American people are utterly disgusting human beings. Part of the national suicide, which deepens by the day.

The turkeys are on the run
I doubt it can be much fun.


5:49 PM  
Blogger Baron Von Strangeknight said...

@ Anjin-San that assessment is dead on. Thanks.

5:55 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I need a survey. I want to take Meghan's hat and ram it up her ass:


Does this make me a bad person?

Same question for my desire to urinate (heavily) on Kirstjen Nielsen:



6:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Turkeys out of control
I need to vomit in a bowl.

6:12 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

Dr. B, Italiana

Speaking of Italy, I'm writing an entertaining fanfic to help show case how American culture is shit. In part of my story this boy is bullied by his peers mercilessly and the administration and teachers don't like him either. The school gets a foreign exchange student named Alessia (which means defender) who is 14 just like him, likes him and hates to see him bullied. She also is versed in the martial arts and fought his bullies in school. All including him are suspended due to zero tolerance laws. They eventually get back in and have their suspension lifted because another woman protagonist of mine was able to get dirt on the administration and school board like one guy cheating on his wife, money laundering, woman cheating on her husband. This woman Kathryn Santiago also is well versed in martial arts and helps uplifts her man and both teach their men how to fight. There is way, way more to this including lots of love. What do you think?

6:24 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

The irony of the now intolerable human rights abuses openly practiced by the US govt. is that the people who are migrating are doing so because the US *screwed* up their own societies so badly (vis-a-vis US foreign and drug policies). In particular, the people who are refugees from Central America are a direct result of those policies. I would also argue that the same thing goes for Muslim migration into Europe. All Wafers should contact the UN, and ask them to carpet bomb our concentration camps in Texas.


6:45 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Wafers--I've always enjoyed Canada, but John Dolan, aka The War Nerd's experience of moving to Victoria to teach English at a university, getting fired for encouraging his students to think critically and ending up homeless in a place where no one cared whether he lived or died should be seen as a cautionary tale: LIVING WITH CONS AND PAUPERS IN CANADA’S ARCTIC WATERS.

Dolan's latest War Nerd column about Yemen, in which he compares what's happening there to Biafra in the late 1960s, is eye opening: THE WAR NERD: ANGLO-AMERICAN MEDIA COMPLICITY IN YEMEN’S GENOCIDE.

@MB--you're not a bad person, though I would also advocate for the hat to be doused in hot Tabasco sauce before being rammed up the royal bum.

Another "positive" aspect of the toddler separation policy: hopefully, it will convince the parents of these children not to bring them to America. When the shit really starts to hit the fan here, immigrants are going to have huge targets painted on their backs.

8:39 PM  
Anonymous Derek said...

Prof. Berman,

Your story about the bus screeching to a halt reminded me of one of my own. I was living in France a couple of years ago and was out late at night when I missed the last bus going to my area of the city. I got on another bus instead and asked the driver which stop I should get off at to be closest to my house. He told me to wait until all of the other passengers had gotten off and that he would drive me to my house, which he did! Can you imagine something like that happening in the USA? Mind you, this wasn't a small village, but Lyon (the 2nd or 3rd biggest city in France). I think it's important as well to note that the driver was of Arab origin. From my experience, French people are better than Americans, but it's really the Arabs in France who will help you out, chat with you, and take an interest. My two best friends that I still have from France are both African (Madagascar and Algeria) FWIW.

8:45 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I've been quoting E.M. Forster's "...only connect" to students for something like 14 years, although it had been 20 years since I read Howard's End when I started doing that, so I thought I'd better reacquaint myself with the book. Wafers should like it, as it discusses the shattered humanity of the Edwardian hustling gradgrinding classes, who evaluate humanity through Carlyle's "cash-nexus," and have little use for the nature of either man or the planet outside of their profitability.

For fun I've been reading Malory lately, and immersing my brain in Middle Englysshe. Doing so makes me wish I could encounter a résumé with, instead of the usual "has excellent verbal and written communication skills," something along the lines of ""canne welle ansuere bothe by mowthe and by wrytynge."

Then again, one finds passages like this:
"Brastias smote one of hem on the helme / that it wente to the teeth / & he rode to another and smote hym that the arme flewe in to the feld / Thēne he wente to the third and smote hym on the sholder that sholder and arme flewe in the feld / And whan Gryflet sawe rescowes / he smote a knyght on the tempils that hede & helme wente to the erthe"

Hoo Rah.

8:46 PM  
Anonymous Francois said...

I read that my favorite hustler Michael Bloomberg is donating 80 million dollars to help the democrats win in November. I hope they lose seats everywhere. I want Bloomberg to have to drown his sorrows with large quantities of soda on election night.

9:23 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

I can’t be the only person to have noticed the irony inherent in Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s choosing to dine at a Mexican restaurant last night. Hecklers and dinner-disrupters drove her out after 10 minutes. It would be interesting to know who chose the restaurant, the Secretary or her dining companion(s).

As the GSWH as pointed out, the country is rife with supposedly well-educated folk who don’t know shit from shinola. And are distressingly tone-deaf.

Nielsen a case in point: Georgetown University AB, and JD from the University of Virginia.

9:30 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Don’t remember if I posted this one....

How American Collapse was a Choice....


10:17 PM  
Anonymous Onward to Dystopia said...

@DioGenes & Kanye Cyrus

Indeed, people change drastically in their late-20's, to the point that I hardly know them anymore. I wonder how many, when they get older, have the self-awareness to think it was such a waste. Of course they'd never speak such heresy aloud.

DioGenes, I like that you mentioned naturalism, that is actually one of my favorite genre's. I love Emile Zola's dark novels, and there are a few American naturalism authors as well. There are also some American authors writing noir today and I think the best are exploring what life is like in the decaying small towns and rural areas. I recently read David Peak's "The River Through the Trees" which is considered "weird fiction," but it offers an incredibly bleak portrait of small town poverty too.

In the same vein, film noir is my favorite movie genre, and I find it interesting that America produced such dark films in the 40's and 50's. Some of them have a happy ending tacked on, or put in didactic moralizing, but many do not. Perhaps for a brief moment America had a realization about it's way of life?

11:53 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Dr. Berman:

I sent off a post a few minutes ago, and am now wondering if I spelled everything correctly, which I won't know until you upload it. In any case, the novel is Howards End by E.M. Forster.

12:11 AM  
Anonymous BH said...

Down in Mexico
Drinking a hot coa coa
Berman sits
Satisfied he tried to warn the twits
about a stupid git
by the name of Trump
hell bent on turning America into a dump

12:20 AM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

Thank you for this wonderful quote -


It really makes me feel good. I’ve already posted it where I can see it often. Truth lifts my spirits. I think it would make a great Christmas card.

3:42 AM  
Blogger Zarathustra said...

I am trying to replace the lyrics of the Star-Spangled Banner, how about this?

American turkeys
All around me
Deep in a dream
Constantly, aimlessly
Flapping their wings
I am alone
Since I'm not asleep
But I keep my peace
Despite all the turkeys
Who cannot be free

4:13 AM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Nielsen enjoys her Mexican food
Jailed migrant kids, oh not to brood
A turkey taco fits the Merican mood

Turkeys claim they respect all cultures
But all I see are turkey vultures

10:04 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Cdn't post it. Too long, and violated the 24-hr rule.


But you need a pic as well, for yr card. Abandoned lot in NJ?

al, Jas-

I'd like to smite Kirstjen Nielsen with a plate of rancid enchiladas. What an absolutely awful human being.


10:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Meanwhile, this really is who we are:


And then, on the douche baguette front:


What a turkette!

But is it wrong for me to want to take Meghan's and Kirstjen's heads, and bang them together for 20 minutes?


10:24 AM  
Anonymous WAFer in exile said...

A couple WAFer posting tips, when you post a really long link like the commondreams Kirstjen Nielsen link MB posted, everything after (and including) the ? in the link can be deleted, like this:


And anyone hitting the paywall on Umair's site (that jj just linked to) clear your browsing history and cookies and you can read as many as you want. In chrome click the 3 vertical dots on the top right of the screen, then "More Tools", then "clear browsing data".

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

I saw an interview with a young woman from Honduras holding her 3 year old son telling the interpreterer "she didn't know if she'd risk losing her son to enter the country and hadn't decided what she'd do." She said the drug gangs in her country were so bad she wanted out. We have drug gangs here too. We have poverty here too. Half of the children attending public schools qualify for free lunches. Half of working class people can't come up with $600 for an emergency. How are we going to be able to help -- provide sanitary living conditions (we can't even do that in Seattle!) for more and more people?

Reunite parents and children immediately, send them home and stop immigration -- i realize this will make me very unpopular to say this but the only people this open border policy benefits are the rich who want as much cheap, unprotected labor as possible. Whether it's working as domestics, in meat processing plants, food production or construction, the constant inflow of cheap labor makes life worse for everyone but those who are exploiting them. A Mexican-American man I work with who was born and raised in Austin told me he voted for Trump b/c he agreed the border needs to be closed. He lives in the community here and sees the effects at ground zero. I believe him.

A good book to read on drugs and open borders is Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones

12:27 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Turkeys don't know how To Be
All that I can do now is pee

12:34 PM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Well, Paul Craig Roberts realizes that Westerners' notion of the world is the one provided by the media and government. Americans really don't make US foreign affairs their business and I simply don't know how they could obtain accurate information about it, especially from the US Government or the mainstream media.I especially like his comments about why the US runs a $400 billion trade deficit with China, corporations that offshore their manufacturing facilities along with the jobs - and Trump wants to impose tariffs?!


2:14 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Immigrant hu$tlers coming in-to and fro'
B/c they don't know what they don't know.

2:18 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

@BH - thanks for the article on homeless Canadian English professor. I liked one of the comments: "It takes a very clever rat to find its way out of the maze." Canada is a saner version of the USA but still a variation on the same theme. Hard to believe when the USA implodes, Canada will still be OK. For one thing, 330 million crazed and heavily armed Americans see Canada as their backup plan. Can Canada absorb tens of millions of American refugees? Ironically, this is much like the Central Americans now fleeing to the USA. Unless Canada builds a wall, I wouldn't go.

Looking at all the Anglo countries, the sanest one appears to be New Zealand, largely due to its Maori population anchoring it to the left. We, of course, in the USA are anchored to the right by the Confederate states.


3:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Well, Americans are simply wonderful people:


4:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Meanwhile, whaddya say we give Fascism a chance?


5:02 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gee, what a surprise:


5:11 PM  
Anonymous Nostra said...

1. Look deep in their eyes, oh so murky
Tryin’ to look past another ‘merican turkey

2. Tracing the void ‘long Kim’s intoxicating rump
Makes me glad I’m gettin’ my hump (with Trump)

5:24 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...


That was a funny piece, but it probably needs a bit of context. Canada is not a uniform nation, and British Columbia is, from my experience, the worst province.

In the years since the article's been written, the Americanized Vancouver has basically become little more than a Chinese money laundering hub. At times its real estate bubble has rivaled San Francisco. And it's also one of the loneliest cities in the world, with that famous Cascadian snobbery.


But parts of Canada are very distinct. Most obvious is Quebec, a very strange and fun place. Then there is the beautiful Nova Scotia, which is an economic disaster zone but much better tempered than Ontario and BC. Small-town Ontario is pretty interesting. They are like what American Midwesterners were 30 years ago.

I was in Canada for two years, and I connected with most people except the West coasters, who were often nasty to other 'inferior' Canadians.

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...

"Turkeys getting hot in here, so pee on all of their clothes."

You've gotta love the sympathy from Trump fans:

"Dem breakin' all dem rules. Don't got no sympathy." Classic American. Unable to empathize with others. His whole view is that everyone outside is criminal. And for that one lady, she cares more about her next meal than the separated children.

6:28 PM  
Anonymous Kiki said...

I guarantee you another family from Honduras would have no problem letting her into their home to help her. My family is from India and on many occasions
we have drove to the airport and brought back people we barely knew into our homes. That's our community, we help each other. When I was a kid eleven people lived in our house, until they were able to move into their own place. That's the community most americans wish they had.

6:56 PM  
Anonymous WuduFugel said...

Susan, I worked in the service industry (restaurants & hotels mostly) for many years, and as bad as it makes me feel I have to agree with you. I saw how immigrants were taken advantage of by businesses who viewed them as disposable. This was possible because there were so many and they were so unprotected. Plus I'm sure what I saw pales in comparison to what goes on in the agriculture industry.

Corporations love having millions of immigrants living in a shadow economy, unable to speak with lawyers or the police. The solution is to create a pathway to citizenship for the people who already have established lives here and to seriously restrict immigration for everyone else. But the Right doesn't want to make immigrants citizens, and the Left thinks immigration restriction is akin to Fascism, so I doubt there will be any compromise.

The tragedy of all this is that a big part of the reason why so many of these people are coming here is the trail of destruction the U.S. has left in Central & South America with its foreign policy over the last 50 years. Who knows, maybe in 30 years it will be us broken Gringos fleeing in the opposite direction.

9:31 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Cubeangel: in the end, the two kids should be so disgusted with all the barriers to sanity they've had to plow through that they say fuck it, and end it all with an epic shooting at the school district admin building. No survivors.

10:55 PM  
Anonymous Bartleby Caulfield said...

Susan- White Europeans decimated Latin America and made it the basketcase it is today. It’s only just that they get a taste of the dysfunction that they created. They could’ve lived up to the Enlightenment values and ensured a system which provided for all humans, but they chose imperialism, exploitation, white supremacy, and greed instead. Actions have consequences. Now that the mess is spilling out of its confines into their own backyards, they want to shut their ears and eyes and hope it all just goes away by whatever means possible. Very dangerous situation we’re in.

1:57 AM  
Anonymous BH said...

Dr. Berman,

What do you think of Melania wearing a jacket saying "I don't really care" on a visit to some children duirngthis hubub over immigrant kids? People have pulled up various websites that shows the manufacterer of the jacket made purses with swastikas on it and had a childrens shirt that looked a lot like the shirts concentration camp inmates had to wear with their star on it.

I've come to a conclusion. There are exceptions but I think the main qualification to getting rich isn't any smarts or real skill set. It simply is the ability to not care about anyone but yourself ad not care who gets hurt in your quest for wealth.

I remember reading in a psychology book where there were consistent tests giving the same results over and over that the higher you climb the power ladder the higher you scored on the sociopathy scale. I would share this information with people I know or if something realated came up in conversation and I just get blank stares or "Well, that's how you have to be to get stuff done". In my opinion if a company or society has to have people like that leading to get anything done that company or society does not deserve to exist. I remember talking to two Vietnam Vets when George Will admitted Nixon, wanting to beat Humphrey in 68, sent his girlfriend to China, North Vietnam, and South Vietnam telling them to keep the war going and reject anything LBJ offered and He Nixon would give them a better deal. When he won he kept it going four more years. The Vets just stare like they can't take such information in and change subject.

You are so right about people being turkeys. It hurts seeing people like this but what can one do? It's kinda like one of the bible prophets said about the people in their day "They are like drunk people, but not with wine".

7:07 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

I didn't see this article posted here but noticed that Morris was wondering about the level of approval among US citizens for Donald Trump's current immigration policy :


The statement on which US citizens were supposed to either agree or disagree is the following :

“It is appropriate to separate undocumented immigrant parents from their children when they cross the border in order to discourage others from crossing the border illegally.”

From the article :

" Of those surveyed, 27 percent of the overall respondents agreed with it, while 56% disagreed with the statement. Yet, Republicans leaned slightly more in favor, with 46% agreeing with the statement and 32 percent disagreeing. Meanwhile, 14 percent of Democrats surveyed supported it and only 29% of Independents were in favor. "

Apparently, cruel persons tend to gravitate towards the Republican Party.

8:21 AM  
Anonymous DiogenesTheElder said...

The artists always know before everyone else:


The artists and we WAFers, that is.


9:18 AM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

Delusions of rich folk, if I don't see it during my chauffeured town car ride to the office it doesn't exist:


10:11 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


What more evidence do we need that the American public is brain damaged?:



And yet another awful human being.


Melania already cited (scroll back).


10:38 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

So where are the so called "Family Values" types now?


American hypocrisy at its finest...

11:05 AM  
Blogger Allyn F said...

Whenever the entire news media starts nonstop coverage of a single issue I get really suspicious. Why now? Because of the IG report? Did a huge lake of methane in Siberia shoot up into the sky? Because Russiagate is a nothingburger?
Yes it is a problem to have a workforce at the mercy of employers through fear of deportation. These poor paint scrapers and welders at the boatyards my hubby gets sent to wear no respirators. The owners would probably say that’s their choice.
We’re exploring getting out as well. Hubby got offered a job in Japan if he spoke Japanese. Going to keep looking.

Plastic in the ocean
Why all the commotion

12:45 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...


Trumpo's immigration crackdown will not stop the flow of migrants coming north. In addition, they are not migrating for a shot at the so-called American Dream, as many erroneously believe. Most are fleeing because of life and death situations; the tragic result of US-generated Cold War-era civil wars that consumed the region during the 1970s and 1980s:


I feel yr friend's desire to close the border may be misguided, because if the choice is between capitalist exploitation or certain death, most will choose capitalist exploitation.


1:37 PM  
Blogger Mark Moretti said...

If they build it, in about 20 years, they'll need Trump's wall to keep Americans in rather then to keep Mexicans out.

1:52 PM  
Anonymous George Carlin said...

BH - You are absolutely correct regarding your conclusion. I have worked on Wall Street and felt the same, to get rich you must become a narcissist. Suck up to your superiors and backstab anyone if it helps to advance your career. Unfortunately you have to become an asshole yourself or just move out. If you are nice and want to be a team player etc, you will be considered to be stupid or weak or beta male. The obsession with being an alpha male and a narcissist is disgusting. That is why I guess half the country voted for a moron like Trump.

There is a book called "The No Asshole Rule" which talks about this. Read it if you are interested.

1:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


To master basic Japanese, when I went there, I used the Pimsleur language CD's, Level I. Available on Amazon.

I've been musing recently abt the feminist claim that if we had more women in govt, we wd have a kinder govt, because women have strong maternal and nursing instincts, and lean toward cooperation rather than competition. Folks like Nikki Haley and that douche baguette who was eating at a Mexican restaurant while her DHS was separating children from their mothers wd seem to bear this out.

Hats off also to self-declared feminist Meghan Markle, only too happy to participate in a wedding that cost millions, while millions across England were going hungry.

And then there's Condi Rice, a war criminal; also Botox Face; etc.....So much female kindness in govt! It makes ya wanna weep.


2:36 PM  
Anonymous John S said...

Here is one of the best short talks from an economist I've heard in a long time - from Yanis Varoufakis. The guy had real influence at one time working for Greece during their banking crisis and even discusses a personal meeting with Obama, which he reveals, surprise surprise, that basically he is a gutless schmuck working for the empire. It is about how what we all know the global financial system is a farce, as well as politics and economics is mostly made up BS. Brutally honest. Enjoy.


3:56 PM  
Anonymous Aaron Thomas said...

Allyn, the media can control the message to some degree, but only if people are willing to listen. Is the media controlling people, or are people just stupid and eat up all the garbage they're fed? I think it's the later. I have several coworkers who are complete idiots and just seem to follow whatever stupid news story, fad, hashtag, or other thing is popular at that moment. When you have a shit for brains population it's easy to make money just giving people garbage.

I do kinda wonder if people really think about anything, or if they just bounce from one hashtag to another and just spend their time cultivating their online presence and shopping for lifestyle accessories.

9:32 PM  
Anonymous Puss Killian said...

Well, those women in government listed are exactly like what George Carlin describes in his post. They are narcissists or at least narcissistic, which is what is necessary to get promoted, as George says.

I cannot say that the feminists are correct, ' tho. And we will probably never know, for the same reasons he describes. The fems speculate on something impossible to prove.

As a nice woman in government, I can attest to rampant narcissism in the workplace, where narcissists of any gender certainly are well represented in the upper levels. At my level, I much appreciate the women I work with, for all the reasons George mentions. Helps with staying sane. One thing is for sure: not all women in government help me stay sane. Some are avoided at all costs, as are some men (but not all men).

It isn't gender, so maybe they should just shut the fuck up. They and the incels have screwed everything up for the rest of us.

Personally, I think all narcissists should be tagged or licensed or registered, like organ donors. Their incapacity for compassion and lack of conscience makes them as dangerous as any weapon.

9:50 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...


I scrolled back to watch the piece on Melania's jacket. I don't have a TV so never see this kind of thing but it's a PERFECT example of so many examples on this blog on WAF. I couldn't believe all the blabber about nothing with facial and voice expressions saying this is soooo important. Turkeys indeed.


10:59 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Such LOVE ❤️

Police searching for man who allegedly chopped off wife's arm


1:11 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

MB--you forgot Sarah Palin! Also Michelle "Crazy Eyes" Bachmann, Gov. Jan Brewer (whose evil is etched right on her hideous face), Madeline "Half a Million Dead Iraqi Children was Worth It" Albright, Janet "Burn Up the Women and Children" Reno, Rep. Corrine "Embezzle the Student Scholarship Money" Brown, Rep. Virginia Foxx...the list goes on and on!

And feminists not only wonder why Trump won, but is likely to keep on winning:

“So men,” she writes, “if you really are #WithUs and would like us to not hate you for all the millennia of woe you have produced and benefited from, start with this: Lean out so we can actually just stand up without being beaten down. Pledge to vote for feminist women only. Don’t run for office. Don’t be in charge of anything. Step away from the power. We got this. And please know that your crocodile tears won’t be wiped away by us anymore. We have every right to hate you.”

See, you have to not just vote for women, but the kind of FEMINIST women who hate every single man and believe that their way of "thinking" is the only valid way a person could possible think/vote. Nope--no possibility of tyranny arising from any of that.

1:27 AM  
Anonymous Bartleby Caulfield said...

George- There is a hypermasculine arms race in the US, it seems. One of the ways this manifests is in the new ‘muscle’ aesthetic among the men, obsession with extreme fitness, beards, etc. It’s almost rare to see a guy who isn’t either monstrously obese or trying to comically outcompete other guys with how buff he looks.

MB- Many women here aren’t much different from the men because life in the US is one giant competition and the power types are basically sociopaths vying for the top position against the men. On the whole, however, women do tend to be more cooperative and pleasant to be around. I definitely wouldn’t mind living in a matriarchy. Frankly very sick of the machismo and arrogance of the men. Trouble is, those types of women seem to be in the minority. A lot of women , even if they aren’t terrible people like Trump’s wife, are narcissistic or unfortunately have very poor self-esteem because this superficial society makes them feel like they aren’t worth anything if they don’t look perfect. The world should be run by the meek, or the philosophers like Plato said, but instead it’s run by a bunch of creeps who in a just universe would be hanging from a scaffold.

2:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The face of America Wafers!


6:23 AM  
Anonymous Anjin-San said...

As a 66 year old Canadian I would like to add to the discussion about Canada and its future.

Given that new data shows climate change is happening faster than models predicted... and given that the models predict a drier and hotter USA... which will inevitably lead to a need for water and a decline in agricultural productivity... which will further destabilize an already dysfunctional society.

Given what the USA has done in the past for oil (think Middle East) and land (think indigenous people and Mexico)... what will they do for water and food?

I think inevitably they will look north... and not to trade.

I live in Alberta, a place that could be described as America Lite. I know there are many here who would welcome joining the USA... I think it is inevitable in some form or another... and that is my idea of a horror show.

9:44 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Quite a pic. Talk abt shit-for-brains. US in a nutshell.

Bartleby, Bill-

Regarding my list of nurturing, supportive women: Sarah Palin, of course, and then Gina Haspel, enthusiastic torturer in Iraq, now head of CIA. But hey, she broke the glass ceiling, and that's what matters, rt?

But male or female, when I think of Americans in general, I realize there just isn't enuf urine to do the job that eventually must be done. New post-it for all Wafers:



11:10 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

We can hope, Anjin-San, that the gringos build that wall along the 49th parallel before they get any ideas about invading Canada. Another thing, they might not consider coming here as they think it's all tundra and igloos.

I'm all in favour of equal opportunity in the workplace (of my last few bosses, I liked the females best) but I've been saying since the 80s that one benefit of sexual discrimination is that it kept 51% of the sharks out of the water.

Add Margaret Thatcher to your list of horrible dames.

11:23 AM  
Anonymous Nostra said...

Prof. Berman and Wafers—fyi—“Counting Blessings” is on sale for only $0.95 on Amazon. Only 6 copies left after I just ordered mine. I look forward to checking it out:


1:26 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

From the police blotter:
A report released by the Tempe, Arizona police department reveals that the Uber driver whose autonomous vehicle struck and killed Elaine Herzberg in March 2018 had spent roughly 32 percent of a 21-minute ride streaming the reality show The Voice over the Hulu app. The driver looked up from her device seconds too late to avoid Herzberg. No charges are expected to be filed, though a misdemeanor charge hasn’t been ruled out.

Four teens and an adult who taunted and filmed a man drowning in a Cocoa, Florida pond last July will not be charged with a crime or offense. The State’s Prosecutor pointed out that no Florida law requires bystanders to render aid in such cases.

And under the heading “good fences make good neighbors”, a French teen visiting her mother in British Columbia found herself in a Tacoma, Washington ICE lockup for 2 weeks after her evening run on 21 May took her inadvertently into the US.

1:31 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Eleanor Roosevelt was a decent human being and forever tarred with the 'homely' label.

5:58 PM  
Anonymous George Carlin said...

Bartleby & Puss - There was a documentary on Netflix called "The Mask You Live In" which discusses in detail the obsession of American society with masculinity. This obsession partly contributes towards narcissism and lack of empathy among men. Also on a side note I think this obsession is driving record amount of meat consumption among Americans (an average American consumes about 270 pounds of meat per year, more than any other country). I know a few of my friends who were vegetarians all their life but changed to heavy meat diet when they moved to the US and all of them gave the reason that they needed to put on muscles. Though meat consumption is declining in a few countries, it will be crazy if everyone starts thinking in this manner; we will destroy the Earth at an even more rapid pace. As the documentary suggests American society has created highly insecure men who always need to put on a mask of strength.

6:42 PM  
Anonymous Megan said...


I think one reason that male/female relationships are becoming more unhealthy is the whole Internet dating thing. On the face of it, internet dating sites have some appeal (If Plato is right, we all have an "other half" wandering around out there. So maybe Match.com can help me find the good-looking, misfit version of myself?!). But the problem is that dating sites turn it into something entirely transactional. Like when a good-looking man or woman has 150 people expressing interest in them. That's far too much for any brain to process! By default it ends up becoming something coldly transactional (and almost entirely visual), where a person is just going through photos, saying, "yes, no, no, maybe"....But I think it's horrible to just sort through human beings like that! Plus, I'm not good at being mean, so I wouldn't want to have to tell anyone that I wasn't interested.

And what is with the whole "dating scene"? Americans are weird. How can someone date 15 or 20 different people (and this is common, apparently), before finding the "right" one? Seems very unnatural to me. I simply can't imagine "discarding"--or being discarded by-- that many people before finding my "ideal" match. It would scramble my brain!

3:14 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Negative social media experiences increase odds of depression.


Good interview with Jean Twenge on the link between smartphones and teenage depression. I am even more anti-smartphone and anti-social media than Twenge is but she makes some interesting points about the downsides of this technology.


4:12 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

Here's another of a seemingly endless series of anecdotes highlighting the stupidity and cruelty of the current US government ---


"A spokesperson for the US government told the CBC [Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (?)] that detention policies are applied whether someone crosses the border accidentally or not."

9:05 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...


Longtime fan of Yanis. David Graeber is also great.


Also- Scottish economist Andrew Ross wrote 'Creditocracy'


In the post-Bretton era, credit expansion is little more than a Ponzi scheme. It will end when Jeff Bezos buys out Warren Buffet and the US Treasury for a quadrillion dollars, and not a single sucker is left to enable 'growth'. Society will become unsustainably absurd (even for Americans) when the plummeting birth rates of the miserable people living within this scheme collapse the mandated 5 percent annual hustle increase into extended contraction.

10:45 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

More Family Love ❤️


1:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, there ain't no money in poetry, but then there ain't no poetry in money, either.


4:01 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Liberals used to bemoan the way the right wing was worsening civility, but now they've decided to jump right on the bandwagon: No Breakfast For You: Red Hen Kicks Out Sarah Sanders And Her Family. Forget for a moment that Sarah H-S is a disgusting human being working for an even more disgusting human being, and revel in the hypocrisy which caused her kids to be humiliated by a virtue signalling douchebag who apparently believes it's okay to deny someone service for who their boss is but NOT because, say, your religious beliefs are opposed to assisting their wedding ceremony. We can only hope that partisan, brain-addled morons will soon graduate from denying service to one another to actively pummeling each other.

This is nice: Hundreds gather at the funeral of four children under 12 who were held hostage and killed by their mother's boyfriend in a 21-hour standoff.

You know what the real problem with history is? There's just so darn MUCH of it. Better we just cut everything from before 1450 off of the AP World History test. It isn't like anything important happened before 'Murica was "discovered" anyway--amiright?.

5:31 PM  
Anonymous Bartleby Caulfield said...

Megan- The internet probably contributes something, but I think it’s more just an anti-human culture on the whole. Internet dating is really a joke as far as meeting people these days. Everything is boiled down to the most superficial characteristics, and apparently there are far more men on these sites than women, with most of them being ignored completely. I don’t recall there being this deluge of desperate men on the web before social media really started to take off. I actually know some people who found their spouses through these sites, but that was more than a decade ago. Now it just seems like a waste of time, though I’ve admittedly not tried it myself. Trouble is, a lot of the traditional avenues for meeting people are gone now (e.g., bookstores, striking up conversations in public, etc.) because everyone is always working or preoccupied with the internet.

George- American men are really insecure. You don’t see this preoccupation with physicality in places like France or Japan or countries one might think of as being more ‘feminine’ or intellectual. Way too many brutes here. I’ve actually had guys try to physically intimidate me in places like museums (!) when I’m just minding my own business. I try to imagine what’s going through their heads, like: This guy looks kind of weak. I don’t know him, but I should try to assert my dominance over him and prove what a man I am. It’s really sad but also very unpleasant to deal with. This isn’t to glorify places like France or Japan, which are pretty backwards in their own ways, but not in this particular way.

2:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For any English Wafers or Wafers interested in Brexit:

What the Left has become is just depressing. Good thing the FIFA World Cup makes the headlines at the moment to distract from all this douchebaggery. Mexico is almost guaranteed to make it to the knock-out round BTW. I hope MB you'll be flying out all Wafers to your homestead in case they make it to the finals.


4:55 AM  
Anonymous Nostra said...

Thanks Prof. Berman. And how about this: “What is the coin of poetry’s realm? Poetry is a gift economy.” Or so says William Slaughter over at ‘Mudlark’, a poetry journal he edits:


Maybe that sounds trite under the circumstances. But I also read somewhere recently that: ours is a time when even death and the self have been reconfigured as commodities. So I’ll be reading “Counting Blessings” as a way of thinking against that neoliberal saturation and commodification of everything. At least I’ll try.

7:04 AM  
Anonymous Andy Yang said...

Deaths now outnumber births among white people in more than half the states in the country. Much of this is low birth rates and white men dying from substance abuse and suicide. Our life expectancy has declined for 2 years. We need to do much more.


7:20 AM  
Anonymous Sad Joe said...


Doom and Gloom: The Role of the Media in Public Disengagement on Climate Change. People flooded with worst-case scenarios may develop "apocalypse fatigue" (AI catastrophists take note.)

7:42 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...




9:19 AM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

Dr. Berman and Bill --

From the Truthdig article;

" She wasn’t served because she has chosen to lie for a living and to use one of the nation’s most powerful platforms to put down beleaguered minorities. "

Would this restaurant have refused to serve the Clintons? Of course not! But let's ask the people in Libya and Haiti and the minorities filling the prison cells of the for-profit system Bill C. helped create with the three-strike rule how beleaguered they feel. I'm sick at heart at the complete lack of civility that's paraded as "courage" and "virtue". The bakers in Colorado were IMO wrong to refuse to make a wedding cake for their gay customers and the people in this restaurant were equally wrong in their behavior.

10:08 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...


The Huckabee Sanders saga reminds me a lot of American foreign policy. If somebody is out of line, you *ban* and *sanction* them into virtue. You isolate them until they are making faux nuclear threats just to get your attention.

No doubt sanctions are currently being prepared for the EU and Canada as well. It's like the Calvinism of the political sphere. *We* are the elect. The rest of you are *banned*.

If those dolts had a bit of cleverness, they could have found some magnanimous way to keep her away without banning her from the premises as such. Maybe give her a free cake for the most lies told on camera. Anything but this almost medical fear of ideological contamination.


Online dating is like life in reverse. You begin at the surfaces and the formal self-conscious ego ("I like mountain biking and yoga!") rather than the Dasein which is quite evident in real personal interaction.

11:10 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Under the heading “It’s about fucking time,” this item:


It reports the decision of the board of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association, to change the name of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal to the Children’s Literature Legacy Award. The Wilder award ahs been given in recognition of authors or illustrators who make a “significant and lasting contribution to children’s literature.” Wilder is best known for her Little House on the Prairie series.

The board cited “anti-Native [American} and anti-Black sentiments in her work” as justification for the removal of Wilder’s name from the award and the renaming. This is of a piece with the removal of Confederate statues, and the renaming of schools, highways, and highway rest stops; Democrats seeking a plank for their upcoming local and national contests could capture this as “calling out and castigating hateful dead folks.”

11:41 AM  
Anonymous George Carlin said...

The Red Hen Restaurant should focus more on cleaning its filthy canopies, doors and windows (badly needs a paint job) rather than refusing to serve a fine person like Sarah Huckabee Sanders. I always had a rule, if a restaurant is dirty on the outside, it is dirty on the inside! ~ Dotard Trump

What a fucking moron he is. Personally I think Sanders deserved it. People often look back at the Nazi regime and ask what were the good Germans doing while all evil happened. While Trump regime is not yet like the Nazis, there is a possibility that it could happen if people dont stand up. I think between good and evil , the one who is the more relentless wins. That is the tactic of Trump, to wear down by constant lying and provocation. Its too late to save America, but atleast some innocent people might be saved if this imbecile is stopped.

12:01 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

As there is no other proper (urine?) civic response to this morally abhorrent administration, I fully support the ejection of Sarah Huckabee Sanders from the Red Hen restaurant. I also applaud those who heckle Kirstjen Nielsen, Stephen Miller, and other Trumpo stooges. Indeed, whenever any Trumpo minion ventures out into public, he/she should be shamed and shunned. Perhaps a few more good Germans shoulda made Goebbels and Heydrich a bit less comfy when they were buying their high-end schnitzel...


1:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I think they shd have allowed her to stay, but on condition that she eat only turkey.


Americans don't give a damn abt Libya and Haiti or black men in jail or the fact that Obama is a war criminal. The Red Hen wd be honored to serve the Clintons, the Bushes, Ovama, etc.


1:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...



2:04 PM  
Anonymous Zen Citizen said...

Re: The Red Hen / Huckabee Sanders brouhaha, I recall (perhaps erroneously) a report that during his presidency, George H. W. Bush wished to dine at Chez Panisse, Alice Waters' Berkeley restaurant celebrated for being an early champion of organic, locally-sourced, farm-to-table cooking. The restaurant accommodated Bush but did not accept payment for the meal. This seems to me to be a more skillful and non-dualistic way of handling the situation: The point was precisely targeted and delivered but did not trigger yet another fruitless skirmish in the culture war. (This may merely be Bay Area lore; I cannot readily document this 26+ year-old story, perhaps because the event took place pre-Web era.)

Daniel Kahneman, in Thinking Fast and Slow, discusses phenomena like the Red Hen furor as examples of an "availability cascade," a term coined by Cass Sunstein and Timur Kuran to describe "a self-sustaining chain of events which may start from a media story" and which "becomes a story in itself." One political consequence of an availability cascade can be the resetting of priorities. In this case, we risk fixating on Sanders v. the Red Hen instead of, per Dr. B's comment above, the Clintons', Bush 43's, and Obama's more harmful, systematic offenses.

3:09 PM  
Blogger Zarathustra said...

"This feels like the moment in our democracy when people have to make uncomfortable actions and decisions to uphold their morals."

That'll show them! Hey, "politely asking" Himmler to leave a restaurant could have stopped the holocaust! Who knew? Ah, the sweet scent of moral superiority... unspoiled by the smell of sweat due to actually doing something about anything.

This is excellent news, anyway. I am pretty convinced now that Trumporrhea will win re-election in a landslide. The stuffing of the civil service with completely incompetent idiots will reach saturation levels. (However, expect the police go fully militarized.) The US is utterly an obsolete concept.

3:13 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

I want my piece of that (rancid) american pie,
I shall work till I die.

4:10 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Personally, I favor not only denying service to ALL politicians and their flunkies, but for them to be unable to leave their houses because of the mobs of people lined up to pee on their shoes if the set foot outside. But no, of those Americans who are actually politically aware 99% condemn the crimes of the other side while ignoring or excusing every evil perpetrated by those they support. Letting your "leaders" divide you from others in your own economic class makes one complicit in the downfall of democracy no matter where you stand politically. Meanwhile, the nation's "owners" kick back and laugh while raking in their ill gotten gains, no doubt amazed at how easy it is to set douchebag Americans against one another.

I have several retired friends who are conservative but were not Trump fans back in 2016. These days they have become much more enthusiastic about Orange Julius, and a big part of the reason is nonsense like the Red Hen stunt--which political red meat for those on the right. Polls are showing that Trump's approval rating is near an all time high and that the initial Dem lead in the midterms has mostly evaporated. That's because they continue to do nothing but engage in virtue signalling and name calling--which is exactly what cost them the 2016 election. From a declinist's standpoint, of course, it's all good. O&D, baby, O&D.

6:30 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

American Humanity.....

5 Florida teens who mocked and recorded drowning man avoid charges...


7:15 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

We're now putting blue lights in convenience store bathrooms so people can't see their veins-


9:58 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

This is an interesting article, a bit of history associated with the "I really don't care, do you?" slogan on a sweater worn recently by Melania Trump as she was visiting a southern border detention camp for children :


"Four years ago, speaking at a First World War commemoration in the small town of Redipuglia, Pope Francis linked ‘me ne frego’ ['I really don't care'] not only with the carnage of that conflict, but also with the horrors of Fascism".

Another poignant article :


"Every morning at the shelter for separated immigrant children [the day] begins the same way. The kids are asked to recite the Pledge of Allegiance." --- Meghna Chakrabarti (care of Washington Post).

5:56 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

In the "That's just stupid" department, French vegan terrorists are now attacking French butchers.

Isn't non-violence supposed to be a foundation of being a vegan?


While weeding the garden yesterday, I was wondering, "Who would win a fight between Tolstoy and Gandhi? Could Buddha take Jesus in an arm wrestle?"

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

Meh, the levels to which I don't give a damn about Red Hen are out of the ball park (mixing metaphors?). A business can refuse service to whomever, just like the republicans precious gay bashing cake bakers.

Much more important is alas! yet another of our precious old skool bars is closing:


where's a workin' WAFer supposed to get a cold Grain Belt on a hot Christmas morning...

Also, here's Paul Street tellin' it like it is ... shock, so-called lefties like Bernie support ICE!


12:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


What cd be better evidence of a collapsing country? I do like the fact that 'turkey' is part of the article, however.


I'd like 2c a urine Wafer squad outside of all restaurants that these govt criminals eat at.


I think shaming these awful human beings, like the Red Hen did, takes a lot of courage. They will probably lose a lot of business. I applaud them, and hope more restaurants will follow suit with that Nielsen douche bag, Nikki Haley, Gina Haspel, and etc. Altho urine remains my #1 choice of expression.


2:20 PM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...

Costa Rica's investment in renewable energy:
> https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/costa-rica-electricity-renewable-energy-300-
> "Costa Rica currently generates more than 99 per cent of its electricity using five different
renewable sources. In contrast, the United States generated about 15 per cent of its electricity from renewable sources in 2016, according to the US Energy Information Administration." A lousy 15%!!!

Over in Madrid, they're banning cars from their city center:
> https://www.citylab.com/transportation/2018/05/madrid-spain-car-ban-city-center/561155/

Meanwhile back in hell, metros like Dallas-Fort Worth are continuing on a path of environmental degradation -- even more highways and sprawl in 2045. The status quo for the most wasteful and gluttonous nation on the planet:
>"Less than 3 percent of the $42.9 billion in traditional federal and state transportation
revenues in the plan goes toward projects built for pedestrians and bicyclists; less than 1 percent goes toward public transit." What's shocking isn't the minuscule funding for eco-sustainable mobility options, but this notion that the U.S. is even going to exist in 2045! Spain and Costa Rica are the future, folks.

2:24 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Samantha Mears, armed w/a machete, directs ex-boyfriend to disrobe and have sex w/her. Apparently, Mears held the machete as the couple copulated:


In any event, Wafers, Samantha is my kinda gal. Also, if it's all the same w/you guys, I've been thinking that we should invest in a turkey farm in upstate New York.


3:17 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Adam Gopnik on Sarah and The Red Hen:
“As a moral duty, we should share the pleasures and conversation of the table with as many people of as many views as we can—and, even when we can’t, we shouldn’t grumble too nastily under our breath at our kids when someone at a nearby table takes up the case for the Donald. (A self-directed moral rule, this.)
On the other hand, the Trump Administration is not a normal Presidential Administration. This is the essential and easily fudged fact of our historical moment. The Trump Administration is—in ways that are specific to incipient tyrannies—all about an assault on civility.”

And as a general observation, this report on the fortunes of former White House press secretary Sean Spicer, who is working on a talk show: https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/sean-spicer-developing-tv-talk-show-1123249

When Sarah Hucklebee—as one commentator called her by mistake—leaves her current gig as has been rumored, there’ll be a place for her too. Memoirs, a chair alongside the other ladies of The View, perhaps.

Truth and truth telling are not important to the American public. As the expression has it, “Mundus vult decipi, ergo decipiatur.” The world wants to be deceived, so let it be deceived.

3:53 PM  
Anonymous Puss Killian said...

Changing the subject: this is nice. Mexican philosophy:

"Thus, the philosophy of Mexicanness represents an effort to achieve liberation from the dominant paradigms of Western thought, as well as a genuine desire for self-knowledge – what the Mexican philosopher Emilio Uranga (1921-88) referred to as ‘autognosis’."


4:17 PM  
Anonymous George Carlin said...

"Urges good will by Jews for Nazis" --


Above thread was put together by someone refering to articles in nytimes in 1934. US religious leaders asking the Jews to show good will to Nazis. This is why the argument to understand the deplorable Trump and his suppporters is futile.

4:41 PM  
Anonymous ennobled little day said...

I apologize for this being off topic, but...

I haven't posted anything in a long while (and I only visit every once in a while, anyway), but when I came across this article, I had to come back and share it with you guys:


As the American son of Mexican parents, this was fascinating: I can almost see them at times as I read the article.

5:03 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Nasim Watani - The thing is, almost all parents in the US want their kids out the door to sink or swim at age 18, earlier if they can get away with it. And they don't help their kids with anything. They're on their own. So the kids putting the parents away to a "nursing" home to years of bedsores, petty theft, subtle if not outright abuse, etc. is only sweet justice.

This is how American works. We are the Iks. I can't believe I've found a blog where someone is saying what I've been thinking, and trying to say, for years now.

I have relatives "worth" millions of dollars. I live on about $13k a year, in "Silicon Valley". I work part-time and live in the warehouse I work out of. I could do much better with some help, but a stranger is more likely to loan the money to start a business than any relative is. Hell, a stranger is more likely to help me if I am injured or starving than a relative is.

This is why I don't have kids; in a culture if everyone against everyone, why create more competition? This is also why I think the US deserves every bad thing it gets.

When the planes hit the towers in 9/11, my first thought was, "Who did we harm? We must have done something really bad to someone for them to feel strongly enough to have done this". A very Un-American way of thinking by the way!

Yeah, maybe if we weren't such an utter bastard worldwide, we'd not have to worry about bombers.

5:08 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

More re:dating

A good friend of mine went through a really painful breakup about three years ago. Rather abruptly, he then met somebody online and they were engaged within a year.

I think any honest online dating would begin with 'Hi, I'm meeting you to replace somebody from my real life." Because that doesn't happen, everything has a kind of forgone conclusion- we are going to make this work because, well, we both kind of need this.

Many of those sites are just for hookups, but the more serious ones like Match actually seem to lead to rapid, unnatural marriages.

You can only use the internet to force a concrete objective (sex, marriage). It's useless for natural emotional vulnerability.

But then we've abolished the concept of nature from our worldview entirely.

5:59 PM  
Anonymous Nostra said...

This is really good, but Wafers already know that, Wallerstein seems to hold a place of honor within the Wafer pantheon, at least I think so as I read through old postings here on the the blog:


To change the subject, if you don’t mind Prof. Berman since this isn’t about the decline of the U.S., I was wondering about each of you Wafers’ favorite opening sentence to a novel. Let me know if you feel like it. Here’s mine:

“Gil and I crossed the eastern divide about two by the sun.”

That’s the first sentence of Walter Van Tilburg Clark’s novel “The Ox-Bow Incident” (1940). It’s haunted me for decades since I first read it in 10th grade English class. It’s a book I’ve reread at least a half-dozen times in the past 25 years.

6:04 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

A self-answering question headline: How Cynical Is the Democratic Party’s Support for Identity Politics? Talks about how in New York state, there are two primary challengers to two of the most corrupt Democrats in the country, Governor Cuomo and Rep. Joe Crowley (both white males) who are both minority females and one is gay. So who ya s'pose all the big time Dems, including ol' Botox Face, are supporting? Go ahead, guess.

Meanwhile, over at the Democratic Socialists of America (who supposedly represent America's "true left"), an event designed to educate potential volunteers on how to campaign for Medicare-For-All was shut down before it even happened by a bunch of assholes who had a beef with one of the organizers over "ablism":

"This is someone celebrating — celebrating — that they helped get an event cancelled, and they’re openly admitting that they did it for NO OTHER REASON than that they had a personal vendetta against one of the organizers. I’ve met plenty of bullies before, and this is a bully’s language."

6:41 PM  
Blogger Zarathustra said...

Well, I'm very sorry, but I can't see how the Red Hen were brave. They got a lot of free publicity, and for the loss of Republican customers they might get an increase in Democrat customers.

Did they refuse to serve top military brass, for example? Now, that I would call courageous. If not, I'd call them childish and selective.

7:00 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

I've been to Mexico twice and observed the locals. The communities do look poorer at least one I saw. I haven't been to others. But, the people there look so vibrant and happy. They seem to see each other like brother and sister, like family. I never see this here. Dr. B I can see why you said Adios to the USA.

7:09 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

@Al - Jesus (hands?) down, he'd miracle Buddha's arm off at the shoulder!

Like Chevy Chase in Caddyshack who'd b more comfortable with Bill Murray in his pond instead of his pool I believe SHS should have been led out back in the alley eating out of a trouph full of corn laced with antibiotics - what a fucking heifer. I like what Hen did but think it's as effective as donating $ to Trumpo's re-election.

PBS aired w/ a straight face and no laugh track a story on guns & dementia giving all new meaning to 'from my cold dead & demented hands.'

8:49 PM  
Anonymous Quiet Desperation said...

Slow suicide...apt description of how things seem to be going. Most days I get to the end of my street and just turn around. Shit.


12:32 AM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

Dr. Berman --

Maxine Waters would then qualify as a person of courage. Here's a quote:

Maxine should not be surprised if someone assaults the person and property of Trump officials, burns swastikas on their lawns, tosses dead animals in their cars, befouls their water, sends them bombs and poisons, or paints their buildings with graffiti. There are many ways to harass people. That’s what she is calling for: “…these members of his cabinet who remain and try to defend him, they won’t be able to go to a restaurant, they won’t be able to stop at a gas station, they’re not going to be able to shop at a department store. The people are going to turn on them. They’re going to protest. They’re absolutely going to harass them…”

I really don't see how this does not qualify as hate speech. Substitute (for "members of his cabinet") Jews, gays, blacks, Hispanics, or just about anyone who doesn't agree with Maxine Waters and must be eliminated. And all this under the banner of so-called virtue.

9:21 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

With all respect, isn't shaming more or less the same as the pussy hats? It's totally ineffective or to quote the good doctor, structural problems require structural changes. As Chomsky notes, speaking truth to power adds up to nothing since power already knows the truth; global warming for example.
Simply put, it's game over again as the great doctor reminds us. Yesterday, the Supreme Court left stand Hair's immigration ban citing national security. Needless to say, a more than slippery slope as it's now possible to arrest all kinds of Americans (gays, trans, intellectuals) citing the same reason. Simply put, time to get out of Dodge. Of course, you can take the monastic option, but that doesn't preclude you will not get caught.

10:12 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Well, pussy hats had no specific target; it was just a generalized emotional reaction. Shaming specific govt criminals carries more weight, I think. Red Hen was courageous: surely they lost a lotta business.


That's a different level of aggression than refusing service, I think.


That county is heavily red, and that's where their customers come from. Quite courageous, in fact.


"Longtemps, je me suis couche de bonheur"--Proust, Du Cote de Chez Swann


10:45 AM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...

Some intelligent commentary here :


Ebert's latest article :


"Furthermore, the global migration crisis, according to Culkin, which Trump avows also to put a stop to, is in fact the fallout and result of American militarization and unrestrained multinational corporatism that Trump fully supports."

It would be uplifting if just a small portion of the collection of US citizens understood just this one remark.

A further remark :

"We are looking, over the next century, at the uprooting of possibly over a billion people in zones where failed nation states, such as in Syria and Iraq, and gradually increasing global temperatures, will be rendering such areas inhospitable and uninhabitable. The Syrian crisis is merely the prelude to the gradual depopulation of the Middle East as soaring temperatures will render it shorn of all human beings. These people have to go somewhere, and northern latitudes are going to be prime real estate. The irony is that Trump’s policies of deregulation will only make this situation worse, never better. Just like entropy. It only goes one way."

10:47 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...



12:01 PM  
Anonymous Meka said...

Touchscreen sitter: Smartphone use prevents parents from reaping the social benefits that come with spending quality time with their children

Smartphones distract parents from cultivating feelings of connection when spending time with their children

Kostadin Kushlev, Elizabeth W. Dunn

First Published April 10, 2018 Research Article 



In the U.S., 95% of smartphone users admit to having used their smartphones during their latest social gathering. Although smartphones are designed to connect us with others, such smartphone use may create a source of distraction that disconnects us from the people in our immediate social environment.

12:49 PM  
Blogger Steven Schuldt said...

20 year-old woman talks about differences between Germany and America, having lived in Frankfurt and now living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her conclusions? Americans make small talk because they are isolated and have no deep relationships. Also, they are obsessed with and talk constantly about money, which is considered incredibly boorish and gauche behavior in much of Europe. She concludes that Americans don't understand that life isn't about money.

I guess there are lots of WAFers out there who don't even know they are WAFers...


1:16 PM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

I might get stuck at the end of an old post, but I urge all WAFers to read that link Quiet posted, some really, really good stuff:


"It’s as though we are floating on nothing, sustained by nothing, in love with nothing – all the while embracing any thing that a materialistic, capitalist consumer culture can throw at us. We are living in an empire of illusions, propagandized and self-deluded. Most people will tell you they are stressed and depressed, but will often add – “who wouldn’t be with the state of the world” – ignoring their complicity through the way they have chosen compromised, conventional lives devoid of the spirit of rebellion."

and quoting R.D. Laing, The Politics of Experience, 1967 (another book I gotta read):

"Children are not yet fools, but we shall turn them into imbeciles like ourselves, with high I. Q.’s if possible."

1:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for latest contributions. Pondering these, I've come to the conclusion that things are Not Good.

On to the next post!


6:30 PM  

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