June 05, 2018

The Presidential Blog-Medal of Honor


Over the last few months, this blog has achieved levels of brilliance never before seen in the blogosphere. It occurred to me that there was a Presidential Medal of Honor for a variety of activities, but not for a blog. It also occurred to me that while this blog deserved such a PMH, the likelihood of getting Trumpeta to bestow such an award on us was probably a long shot—even though Wafers have been among his most fervent supporters. What to do? But then I thought: If Trumpoli can pardon himself, which he has hinted he might do, why can’t this blog simply award itself a Presidential Blog-Medal, Trumpi be damned? I am therefore taking the liberty of awarding the blog the First Presidential Blog-Medal of Honor. We have earned it, we deserve it, and if Trumpo doesn’t like it, he can stick it where the sun don’t shine.

Let us devote this particular post to touting our amazing achievements. That we are magnificent is beyond debate, and now is a good time to rave and drool over what we have accomplished. Of course, if anyone wants to continue documenting our descent as a nation into dog excrement, that's OK too.



Anonymous COS said...

Its not a clipping for a shooting at a fast food place or of a deranged driver but I think some Wafers may find interesting anyway and that MB will find interesting and confirmation of some of his ideas as shown by John Gray


7:54 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Just in from CNN:

The President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trumpola, awards The Presidential Blog-Medal of Honor to Dr. Morris Berman. Simply put, this is the greatest award bestowed upon man. CNN reached out to Berman, a resident of Mexico City, for comment: "Well, I'm deeply humbled by this award, and I will continue to advance the miracle known as the Dark Ages America blog." And now back to our regularly scheduled programing.

8:23 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

As our president has taught us to do, we must acknowledge our greatness and at the same time take pride in the fact that, at least so far as it is possible to establish, none of our number has committed any act of mayhem or threatened the life of another. In a country where such antisocial behavior is the norm, our restraint is praiseworthy.

I blush.

Here’s to us. In Trump we trust, all orhers pay cash.

8:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd work. We're off to a running start. As the nation collapses, our star shines ever so bright.


9:01 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Thanks to Dr. Berman's blog and fellow WAFERS for their critical comments, input, etc... it's T-2yrs to emigration.

Everyday in this shit pit is one day less...

Bonjour, Paresse!

10:12 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Gunnar--my apologies, I meant to express my empathy for your health problem in my last post. I won't blow you any happy-talk smoke, but I'll be rooting for a successful outcome and wish your family would open their eyes and give you the support you need. It really does make a difference.

@BrotherMaynard--don't ever forget that not only was Sullivan an enthusiastic supporter of the Iraq War, before he soured on it due to Bush's incompetence he actually called into question the patriotism of those who opposed it. I've never forgiven him for that.

@Nessim--what you wrote reminds me of the kind of garbage I hear all the time from people I know who still work in the foreign policy arena. What they really hate about Trump is how he sets a "poor example" for the rest of the world--as if invading, bombing and droning hundreds of thousands of civilians to death wasn't enough to tarnish America's image. But, oh noes, you can do all of THAT, just don't send out mean tweets every day. What's even worse is these people have said that their foreign contacts tell them how much Trump's antics have empowered the worst elements in their own societies--when I suspect it actually neoliberalism and austerity politics that is causing the nationalist right's resurgence all around the world. For these douchebags words speak louder than actions, not the other way around--Hedges would love them.

11:25 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Now we're getting somewhere. The WashPost is calling Trumpolavan a turkey, picking up on Wafertalk:


Perhaps, in time, the Post will extend this label to the rest of the country. Imagine a scenario in which 327 million people, at a given signal, all stand up and declare, "We are just a bunch of turkeys." That cd be the beginning of major reform in the US. As the Buddhists say, the 1st step to enlightenment is awareness.


2:34 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Greater screen time associated with depression and insomnia in teens.


Was Jimmy Carter the most underrated president in history? A review of a new book about Jimmy Carter.


Note the comparison between "downbeat" Jimmy Carter and the optimistic Ronald Reagan.

7:01 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yes, he was. Check out discussions I have of Jimmy in DAA and WAF. Jimmy suggested the American people live in reality; Reagan offered them Disneyland. Guess which our enlightened citizens wanted?


9:09 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

You can't make this stuff up-


9:14 AM  
Anonymous Francois said...

I am delighted about the blog’s award. Can we award Chris Hedges the first ever Pulitzer Prize for Plagiarism?

9:17 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Do Americans know how much trouble they are in?


10:13 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


'Fraid not; he's hardly the 1st, or even the worst. In addition, Chris Ketcham's article really didn't make any difference (sad to say). What can I say? People get away with shit.


As far as Americans knowing anything of a serious nature, or even being interested in such things: ha ha, ha ha. But it's gd that Umair is writing, and not claiming to offer solutions, or urging 'revolution'. Of course, he probably gets as much attention as this blog, which means that his waving of a red flag is totally ignored. But the very fact of that seals our fate. Can you imagine what it wd be like, if the country consisted of 170 bozos, and 327 million intelligent, outraged citizens? Here's how history works: when the fix is in, it's in. A downward trajectory really can't be stopped, let alone reversed. No civilization in decline has escaped this fate.

What (said Lenin) is to be done? Well, you 170 non-bozos know he answer: there's the NMO (New Monastic Option), which can include working on the positive side of Dual Process; and there's emigration. Prog activism to make the US a better country is just spinning wheels; it's not going to become a better country, and in fact, it's going to get a whole lot worse. Trumpi has been in office less than 1.5 yrs, and the damage he has wrought is colossal. Nor is he finished. More destruction is on the way, and I personally predict he'll get re-elected in 2020. This will polish off the US once and for all. By the end of his reign, in 2024, the nation will be completely unrecognizable. All of you know this.


10:41 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Paul Craig Roberts is reaching the end of his rope, I think. In the past he has referred to the American people as 'insouciant' and concerning US foreign and urgent domestic affairs - that is certainly true. I feel for him. The reforms he outlines at the end of the essay whose address is below can only happen if enough people take action and that will NOT HAPPEN - the government won't do it, the elites don't want it and most of the people want what the elites have. And, yes, Dr. Berman, most Americans deserve what is coming.


11:19 AM  
Anonymous Think Wilder said...


A review of Thich Nhat Hanh's wonderful book "Peace is Every Breath", which shows that we can bring our mindfulness practice off the cushion and into every moment of our lives.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Umair makes some good points in that article, but he reveals quite a bit of yankhead in saying that Russians "are treated with suspicion, a little hostility, fear, and shame, wherever they go." I don't know which Russians he's talking about, or who views them in this manner, but I'm pretty sure he's overstating his argument.

Moreover, as I type, guys named Alexander Ovechkin, Dmitry Orlov and Evgeny Kuznetsov are three of the most popular people in Washington.

11:51 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yes, way overstated. Russians have respect, and allies, in lots of places. The Chinese also, but they do it via foreign investment. Meanwhile, in terms of foreign policy, the US is busy shooting itself in the foot. It's possible that our Suez Moment will proceed drop by drop. Then one day you wake up and "America? What's America?" One reason, from a declinist pt of view, Trumpi needs to be reelected in 2020.


Yes, Thich is one of my heroes. In terms of our inevitable decline, it's encouraging to note that his outlook and anti-hustling way of life has affected less than .00001% of the American population. My fellow countrymen! Just keep doin' what yr doin'! As Chandler Bing wd say, "Could you *be* more stupid?"


Gd essay. Several recent articles in New Yorker on how we are destroying our diplomatic capabilities: esp. resignations of the best people from the State Dept. Meanwhile, as we continue to commit political suicide, less than .00001% of the population understands what's going on. To quote Gore Vidal, "Stupidity excites me."


12:30 PM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

The Gomer blog is a good site for medical satire that everyone might enjoy. I found this one to be particularly funny as I detest The View.

"OMAHA, NE – Burpelson Hospital is investigating the apparent suicide of patient Grover Downs on the 13-East psychiatric unit. Mr. Downs, an 84-year-old man admitted for catatonia and debilitation, overpowered sitters and orderlies to smash a chair through a shatterproof glass window and plunge to his death on the parking lot below, totaling hospital President Muffy Mirkin’s BMW in the process. The View is the center of a Joint Commission patient safety investigation. Preliminary investigation reveals that Mr. Downs’ in-room, wall-mounted television suffered a catastrophic defect and became stuck on The View. "


jj & Dr. Berman --

No Americans do not know how much trouble they're in. In a book I read years ago (I think it was In An Instance of the Fingerpost but not sure) the point was made that people just gradually lost the ability to know how to do things -- simple things, like repair machinery, build structures, etc. and the elders who could teach them died off. But what I'm seeing where I work is a lack of curiosity to learn from those with more experience. A patient died on the unit several years ago b/c the nurse didn't recognize classic symptoms of a heart attack. She wasn't in the least perturbed.

12:32 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Poor Muffy.

Meanwhile, Americans lack curiosity to learn anything, from anybody--not just from elders or those with experience. Notions of knowledge, expertise, or craft pride have pretty much evaporated. Americans have no idea what they are living for, and if you ask them what's important, they say Money.

Again, from a declinist pt of view, this is abs. wonderful. Cultural suicide, political suicide, socioeconomic suicide, are all of a piece. Add to that complete ignorance or skill in the area of foreign relations, and--hey, crack out the champagne!


12:57 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

@BillHicks - touche on Sullivan and the Iraq war where he went around hysterically accusing non supporters of being a 5th column. In his defense, he did write a 19-page mea culpa entitled 'I was wrong"' it's rare for any pundit to admit to being wrong so I give him props for that:

I see Mr. David Hogg was 'swatted' yesterday. How nice we treat out high school age survivors of mass shootings. Laura Ingram mocking him on national TV about college admission. A police officer hoping he gets killed in a car accident. Seriously, nothing makes me more sick than when our politicians invoke 'the goodness of the American people" - Um, who exactly have they been talking to? We're beyond violent - we're a society of sadists: we take pleasure inflicting pain on other people. That goes double for non-whites, immigrants and foreigners.


3:51 PM  
Anonymous Zarathustra said...

This is indeed the greatest blog in the Universe. It's so difficult to find something that is not trash out there. Latest example, the article by John Gray in the New Statesman.

What is unprecedented is that anti-Semitism is now an integral part of a new style of politics promoted by the leader of the Labour Party.


Claims that anti-Semitism is being “weaponised” in an attempt to undermine Corbyn are the opposite of the truth.

Moore Bullshit.

Trump’s appointment of the uber-hawkish John Bolton as national security adviser and Mike Pompeo as secretary of state mark a major discontinuity in American policy and in global politics.

Extra serving of bullshit on the house.

Low-down and dirty politics in the mid-term elections and beyond will decide the future of the American republic.

I think I already exceeded the half-page limit, sorry.

4:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yes, pls watch length. Thanks.

How can this blog be 'weaponized'? How can Kim's buttocks be weaponized? Shd we contact Kim, and propose a joint weaponization? Wafers are invited to ponder these crucial questions.


5:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Meanwhile, WTF is going on with Rom Mittney, Ging Newtrich, Sarah Palin, and Lindsay Lohan? Months, and not a word from these great thinkers. Have they been weaponized?

5:35 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

I've been on an East Coast tour, and just visited Valley Forge.

Even our tour guide, who talked to us like preschoolers, had to admit the Continental army shot itself in the foot. Congress didn't want to interrupt the business of war profiteers, so there was a big supply shortage. The American troops were not very good, not well organized, and not well equipped by the hustlers around them.

It was only the entry of France into the war that turned everything around. Without them the Revolution would probably have petered out, like the failed slave rebellions of the 19th century.

Idk what to say about to Washington but... dude saw it through and got kinda lucky? Would be nice if his successors had remembered who really won the war, and made the country less English and more French.

6:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I've been thinking Kim oughta run for pres in 2020. Campaign slogan: "The future of America is between my cheeks." Wafers are encouraged to come up with additional slogans for this great historical event.


7:08 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Alice Marie Johnson, jailed since 1996 for taking part in a cocaine distribution ring, has been granted clemency by Trumpolini. Kim Kardashian spearheaded the campaign for Johnson's freedom.


Doesn't Shaneka Torres deserve a second chance? Indeed, the time has come for this nation to show a renewed level of inspiration and compassion.



7:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I agree, but I think the campaign will hafta enlist the services of Lorenzo Riggins, to be truly effective. He needs to contact Kim, who can then lay the case b4 the pres. Upon her release, Wafers will meet her outside the prison walls, and present her with an AK-47.

After that, we can turn our attn. to Freddie Wadsworth:



7:48 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: So many great Americans, so little time.

7:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...




8:14 PM  
Blogger Patrick D. Fitzgerald said...

'Do americans know how much trouble they are in?' dept: They do not.
An off the top of head look at what is LEGAL in the U.S.... NDAA: indefinite detention of civilians, Citizens United:money=free speech so the wealthy by definition have more freedom, slavery is still legal for criminals accd to 13th amndmnt, cons lose their right to vote, vehicles, livestock, and Sudafed more regulated than assault weapons etc.The writing is on the wall, ceiling and floor, but maybe if it was post-it noted to everyone's forehead, the masses would see it? No again; too much effort to look up from the smartfone.

two knees and six punches from a black cop to an unarmed law abiding citizen
Had to let his co-workers know whose side he is on. We can now add "standing while black" to risk factors for a beat down.
Blog haiku:
deli meats galore,
urine for shoes we abhor
who could ask for more?

8:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...



1st of all, the cops shd have shot the guy in the head; nothing less. Then, instead of being placed on leave, they all shd have received medals. This wd send the rt message.

Haiku: very moving.


9:02 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

@Bill Hicks

Oh no doubt. Americans do not care about actions they care about words as long as they benefit they do not care. They prefer myths to reality because then they can pat themselves on the back and brag about how good they are. Garbage people. They hate Trump because on a subconscious level they know that he is what they are everytime they look in the mirror.


Hope everything goes well for you! I am going to miss your posts!


Just an observation about the Modern day Left. I find that Western Leftists are largely a delusional lot that are just as gross as their rightwing counter-parts. Me and some of my friends were discussing how there is this growing disdain for Muslims in the Left and that as the Left continues to lose they are slowly moving towards Liberal tactics. The Social Justice crap is largely college idiot tactics that have no way or shape of effecting anyone. I feel like Muslims have become the new jews for the modern western societies. They are the pariah class and I do not see myself wanting to emigrate to a western nation when I do leave the US. My Uncle heart surgeon in Austria and he says if it wasn't for his kid he would moved long ago and that its very palpable that they are not wanted. Then again my dad said the same thing when he went to visit my Uncle but he was actually accosted by an Austrian couple. Said he would never go back to Austria.

3:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

US Ranked 121st of 163 Countries in Peace

Hard to imagine that 42 countries are still somehow less peaceful than this war-mad, super-violent imperialist hellhole. US *must* do better at creating a more nightmarish culture of pervasive, ceaseless strife, militarism, conflict, and societal chaos and violence until we are finally were we belong: number 163

I say we start by invading Iceland and knock them down a few pegs.


6:43 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Kim K’s Campaign Slogan for President....


10:21 AM  
Anonymous Pete Christen said...

MB: Congratulations on receiving the first Presidential Blog-Medal of Honor. And thank you for helping us see the truth by exposing the false. In the spirit of archiving the current disaster, I offer this: Seneca wrote that prosperity breeds anger (On Anger, XXI. Loeb translation: "prosperity fosters wrath"). It should come as no surprise that the world's richest country is the world's angriest. In November 2016, millions of angry people voted an angry man into the White House, thus accelerating a self-perpetuating cycle of anger. The angry man now sends out a steady stream of rage, which incites the angry masses to even higher levels of rage. As you showed in your trilogy, empires collapse from within, inevitably. The recipe for imperial disaster varies with time and place, but anger appears to be a key ingredient.

11:03 AM  
Blogger Geoff said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1:47 PM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

The Washington Post reports in this article that 45,000 suicides occurred in 2016, twice as many suicides as homicides. Note that authorities want suicide to be made a public health issue, 'lifestyle issues' including stressors such as strained relationships, financial problems and work place problems are mentioned - of course these stressors are probably all connected. Making suicide a public health issue is the way to go for this society - let private enterprise solve this problem, if the term 'society' even applies to much of the US people. The businesses and professions get to extract more money from the people.


1:53 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

Here's a good article that shatters the American Dream: Americans median net worth is well below other countries especially Europe but even countries like Australia. This is true even though Americans work more hours with less vacation, less employment security, less benefits than elsewhere. We are #16 - pretty shocking. Talk to the average American though and they will insist we have it better than anywhere else. Essentially, Americans are constantly gaslighted since birth into this myth so much so that even I, a proud Wafer, was shocked by the numbers:

The truth is American quality of life sucks when compared to other developed countries.


1:56 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Brother M--I will give credit to Sullivan for apologizing when so many others haven't. That said, I opposed the Iraq War from day one and had a security clearance I would have lost (along with my job) had his little witch hunt ever taken off. Later on, I blew the whistle on a Bush administration appointee for trying to cover up for his bosses' incompetence and malfeasance, but that's a whole 'nother story.

@al-Q--indeed, Umair does sometimes make daffy points in his writings. In that same essay he uses the example of US Senators being turned away from an ICE facility where children have been held in cages to prove his point when it is the existence of the cages themselves, not some asshole Senators trying to score cheap political points, that is the problem. After all, where were those oh-so-concerned Senators back in 2014 when the pictures of those children in cages were first taken? Kissing Obama's children-caging ass, that's where.

It's been fun watching supreme shit-for-brains Bill Clinton squirm while being #MeToo'ed over Monica Lewinski. Apparently, shit-for-brains Clintonista apologist Stephen Colbert tried help ol' Billy Boy by giving him a bunch of softball interview questions an epileptic toddler could have hit out of the park. And people think its odd that I hate all of the smug shitbags on late-night teevee.

5:00 PM  
Blogger Zarathustra said...

Nesim, it's the fate of most migrants to feel they never belong, regardless of religion or the place they go. That's just a fact of life, unfortunately. I am going to bet, however, that your uncle is much better in Austria than I would be if I moved to Saudi Arabia or Pakistan for a job. Try to put things in perspective and don't assume that all "Westerners" are the same. Oh, and by the way, yes, any religion that teaches that all the truth is contained in one single book is bullshit, whether that book is the Bible or the Quran.

6:59 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

In the "Shining City on the Hill" department, right now the missus is watching a story on a French TV show (Le Quotidien) about opioid use in Baltimore. The tenor of the piece is as if civilised people are discovering bizarre practices among savages. I'm guessing that there is heroin abuse in France, but going by this reportage, it isn't close to the level in the US.

8:07 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

Tippecanoe and a Kardashian too!

I wanna see her mudwrestle with Oprah. The loser gets to be sec state.

9:37 PM  
Anonymous BH said...

I went to Burger King and asked they leave off the onions and pickels on my Whopper. Lo and Behold! When I got home I found onions and pickles on my Whopper! Oh What should I do!

10:58 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Re great German literature:

Just started reading Faust part I in the original German. What an absolute masterpiece. The best expression of what may be termed "the tragedy of knowledge" in the modern Enlightenment era. And it's so natural and poetic in the German. A real pleasure just to read even when you don't know the odd word.

America is a grand Faustian bargain without the tragic self-awareness.

Goethe is pretty much completely invisible here... If I meet any bank tellers who want to go on a date after a Goethe reference, I'll be sure to let you all know.

11:56 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

American suicide rates are up 30 percent since 1999 according to the CDC.


One in five deaths among American young adults were caused by opioid overdoses.


8:16 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


It's time you got yrself weaponized!


Or possibly: "There's no buttocks like my buttocks." Wafers are encouraged to write the lyrics to this song, based on There's no business like show business.


9:03 AM  
Anonymous Quiet Desperation said...

Anthony Bourdain, one of the few Americans that I still had respect for...RIP brother. He saw the current condition of humanity and probably just couldn't take another minute of it. Wafers can relate, no? The start of another shitty day. Onward and downward...

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

I just read the sad news that Anthony Bourdain has died, most likely by suicide. I liked Anthony's television shows, as he often demonstrated through his love of travel and food that there are many nicer places than the USA.

Speaking of nicer places, I just spent a week in the Dominican Republic. I didn't see many sad or suicidal people there. Lots of smiles, laughter and good vibes. People called me "Papa" as if living as long as I have gave me a special status.I wore that title with pride while in the DR, because it was always said with reverence and respect. All I ever get called in the USA is "old man" or perhaps the slightly less pejorative "old timer". I think I would like growing old in a place where I am revered and respected, not in a place where I am a worn-out cog in a broken machine. Does that sound anything like Mexico, Dr. B?

9:59 AM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

RIP Anthony Bourdain. I usually don't get worked up about celebs, but I very much enjoyed his shows and books. He had a unique ability (for an American) to take people as they are and show their culture, dig deeper than the hotel and the beach and the Pizza Hut.

It was an apparent suicide and he left a young teenager behind. Who knows the actual circumstances, but if this US suicide epidemic can hit someone like that ... he was in France at the time too!

10:22 AM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

Here's a little something for your daily laugh:


"One room displays a room full of photos from Winfrey’s green room. On another wall, the living room-style furniture from her talkshow is displayed, along with clips from famous segments, like when she interviewed then senator Barack Obama, her friend and fellow Chicagoan whom she would help turn into the first black president of the United States.

Also displayed are diaries she’s kept since age 15, which chronicle everything from her travails with boys in high school to thoughts on gratitude for her astronomical success.

The temporary exhibition isn’t the only thing in the museum dedicated to Winfrey, who has donated generously to the museum, which was decades in the making and finally opened in 2016 on the National Mall to unprecedented crowds and rave reviews."

Yes, truly an inspiration to every steely-eyed opportunist in America. Where's Sarah's museum I'd like to know?!

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

This is an intriguing essay on Jean Baudrillard's reflections on America as a kind of vapid utopia:



12:38 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Bill Gates must not be as bright as everyone makes him out to be. First he went goo goo ga ga over Pinker’s stupid propaganda book on the Enlightenment, and now he’s championing this propaganda book calling it the most important book he’s ever read.


1:20 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

The costumes, the photo-ops, the makeup, the boobs
The buttocks that lift you when you’re down
The headaches, the heartaches, the fake-aches, the rubes
The sheriff’s shot sending you to the ground
The opening when your heart drains to goodbye
The decline when the history won’t comply

There’s no business like Kim’s business
Like no buttocks we know
Everything about them is appealing
Even tho the future will suck
No where could you have that happy feeling
When you are hustling that extra buck
There’s no people like Kim’s people
They grunt – who gives a fuck
Yesterday they swarmed like a foul hoard
That night you hit delete – cut their cord
Next day on the blog they’ve sent an award
Let’s go on with the show
There’s no business like Kim’s business
If you tell me it’s so
Unraveling the country, so side-splitting
Kim’s out in front with open crevice
Smiling as she watches ratings rising
Wafer’s enjoying the avarice

There’s no people like Kim’s people
They dream when they are low
Even with a turkey that they know will fold
They may be homeless out in the cold
Still they wouldn’t trade it for a sack o’ gold
Let’s go on with the show
Let’s go on with the show!

2:24 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

46,000 Americans killed themselves in 2016 and suicide rates are increasing. What's wrong with them? Don't they know they live in the greatest country ever (#GreatestCountryEver!)? Obviously, this is a law enforcement problem. Those who commit suicide should immediately be arrested and placed on trial. Judges should show no mercy and impose the death penalty. That will teach them!

The suicides of Kate Spade (at her 5th avenue penthouse) and Anthony Bourdain (at a luxury hotel in France) show life at 'the top' ain't what it appears to be. My impression is that it is very demanding (hustling) and socially isolating.

I can only imagine the existential pain one must feel to hustle your ass off, make it to the top, and then realize it kinda sucks. Sad to say that I'm not really surprised...


2:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I actually wept.


Aren't Americans absurd?


3:18 PM  
Anonymous STEVIE said...

BH - BUT u eat Burger King? EWWWWWW

5:03 PM  
Blogger Mark Moretti said...

Surprise, the only person with a brain on CNN, or all of American television really, kills himself.

You could tell Bourdain was trying, as difficult as it was, to show fat, sloth like, stupid Americans that there's a great big world out there that isn't about a trip to Disney and a new F150.

It's official, there is now NOTHING on TV worth watching.

6:21 PM  
Blogger Geoff said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:49 PM  
Blogger Patrick D. Fitzgerald said...


I sometimes play a game in my head called 'which billionaire is the biggest tool?' A few weeks ago I would have put Bezos at the top, but in light of Gates' very public statistical cherry picking frolick he has definitely reclaimed the title. At least Bezo's or Musk's desire to leave Earth is a tacit admission that humanity I wonder if this all-time great book includes the FACT that Mr. Gates has as much wealth as the poorest 2 billion or so folks on Earth, (who mostly aren't proficient in MSOffice, pathetic). But yeah, things are great! And we are all just nay-sayers and wet blankets, *we* are the problem come to think of it... What a soulless bag of skin and bones. But I did get to spend two nights in a 500$ hotel once on grant money from his foundation, so thanks for that Bill, best money he's ever spent if you ask me.

8:56 PM  
Anonymous Sorrowful said...

@Golf Pro

Thank you for a great suggestion. That essay was worth the time and focus necessary to grasp its concepts. Events are unfolding exactly as they should be and resistance is futile, just as Dr. Berman has been proclaiming for decades. I found the concept of a "Fourth World" particularly helpful.

" the “Fourth World desert zone,” the sectors of modern society that have been “disintensified,” or left behind. Again when he spoke of that in 1986, he was describing something that had not fully come into existence—but we find many more examples of this “Fourth World” today. Baudrillard says these zones have begun to lack political meaning from the standpoint of the successful zones. They are not the subject of a great historical struggle; they are not a zone of ideology; they are not aligned with an empire, for example, in the way that the Third World was aligned with the Soviet Union. He says that the social order has contracted to contain, essentially, those who are shallow enough to experience their liberation with no sense of loss, who enjoy circulating in the post-orgiastic world of free communication, association, travel, sex, meaning and lack of meaning. "

So the Fourth World desert zone (read flyover zone for the U.S.) exacts revenge for its neglect by generating disruptive political events such as Brexit or the election of Trumpus.

Thanks as well to the rest of the Wafers and Dr. B for pointing out articles I would never have happened upon by myself. It makes all the time I spend reading this blog a worthwhile investment. I hope I haven't exceeded the 1/2 page rule.

12:08 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Here is an interesting article called "How the Enlightenment Ends", by Henry Kissinger of all people:


I've been reading Sherry Turkle's "Alone Together", and she raises many similar concerns. I never had much interest in A.I. until I started listening to Hubert Dreyfus' lectures on Heidegger's Being and Time. Dreyfus had this idea that concept of A.I. is fundamentally flawed, as it is based on an overly simplistic "Cartesian model" of consciousness. For Dreyfus, Heidegger's notion of "Dasein" is the correct model of how humans apprehend the world. That being the case, Dreyfus thinks the very concept of A.I. is flawed, since Dasein is inimitable, and could never be replicated by a machine. And during his time at Berkeley, Dreyfus was a sort of gadfly to the tech people, telling them for several decades to just give it up, that nothing would ever come of it.

In any case, I have always felt that Dreyfus had a point. But now I'm not so sure. Maybe the whole thing really will take off? If that does happen, imagine how bad things could get for human beings! Good lord, with Kissinger talking about the "death of the Enlightenment", I guess all bets are off.

1:30 AM  
Blogger Art McTeagle said...

Sorry, I just can't laugh at the madness anymore.
It's worse than your dog shit analogy-this incipient train crash in slo-mo, knowing we're on that train. When Conrad penned the immortal "The horror, the horror.." little could he've imagine that it would become way, way worse.
It seems that nearly the whole of american society has descended into some sort of delusional, hysterical, mass insanity, booming out it's myriad, hydra like mantras, from every echo chamber ghetto blaster imaginable.
A contagion worse than any plague and no hope of a cure.

8:03 AM  
Anonymous Puss Killian said...

The greatest blog on earth was featured/quoted here:


9:09 AM  
Blogger Indaliya said...

Belman-nim & Esteemed Wafers,
Count me among the startled, but ultimately unsurprised Wafers at the news of Bourdain's suicide. To my mind, his end - like that of Hunter Thompson so many years ago - makes perfect sense. My comment on the New Yorker's website:

When life, even at the uppermost echelons of success & power, is unlivable, it is because there is no point - no god, no higher calling - only ratings, wealth, fame. In other words, nothing but ephemeral gratification. How fast must that become meaningless in the face of one's own success - and subsequent bondage to ratings-starved networks and sociopathic network executives. Bourdain, a human being, could hardly have ended otherwise.


10:08 AM  
Anonymous Rika said...


Return of the city-state — Nation-states came late to history, and there’s plenty of evidence to suggest they won’t make it to the end of the century

1:22 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...


If you don't mind will you

a. Please explain "Dasein" further? I've tried to read about but it goes over my head.

b. Please explain how if one can't have an imitation then how is it possible for the original to exist? Why would it be impossible to duplicate an original even if it is not 100% exact? Or am I misunderstanding what you're saying and off track here?

6:23 PM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

The madness continues in Silicon Valley:

Elizabeth Holmes is fundraising for a new startup

As detailed in John Carreyrou's new book Bad Blood, the entire Theranos project was founded on and driven by lies. It was pure fraud. And everyone knows it by now. The only remaining question is whether she will be prosecuted. Yet, she is making the rounds again with the vulture capitalists -- yes, they are willing to meet with her! This is the really insane part. It seems her political connections are the primary obstacle to the prosecution, and the primary draw for the vulture capitalists. They don't care is she's full of shit, she "knows people" and might be able to start something that they can extract some money from before it implodes like the last project. No word so (far on) what the new fraud would be about.

8:31 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Ahhhh....now people are starting to catch on....better late than never!!

“Americans are depressed and suicidal because something is wrong with our culture.”


9:05 PM  
Anonymous Megan said...

Art Mcteagle,

I hear you--my sentiments exactly. When I was a kid, I was always fascinated by the expression "Abomination of Desolation" from the book of Daniel and the gospels. I never knew what it meant, but it definitely sounded cool! However, it's clear to me now that WE are the Abomination of Desolation: 2018 America.

1:32 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

The picture at the top of this Russia Today story about the G-7 summit has to be my favorite news photo of the year. I just love how Trump is sitting there (with the porn stache of the Apocalypse standing next to him), arms crossed, staring down the horrid Andrea Merkel and the others as if to say, "yeah, what are you gonna DO about it?"

From a declinist's standpoint you couldn't possibly ask for better. As for those other 6 disgusting little poodles, I have no sympathy for any of them. They've done more than their fair share to enable Washington's actions around the globe and are now are getting their much deserved comeuppance. If Merkel really wanted to show her displeasure while actually doing something good for humanity, she'd close every American military base on German soil, but she's far too much of a coward to ever do that. Maybe when the Pentagon assholes can no longer count on a cushy, taxpayer funded 3-year vacation, er...deployment to the heart of Europe they'll start to turn on the Trumpenfuhrer.

@Art M--I couldn't agree with you more about the state of the country, but you've GOT to maintain your sense of humor. In my case it's the only thing that keeps me sane.

7:29 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Had lunch with a friend who's gone full techno. He not only carries his phone and tablet with him but now has the internet wrist watch. As I'm highly sensitive to electro-waves (I feel a pounding in my head) by the end of lunch I felt I had just experience a nuclear attack. Of course, when I asked that he at least wear a regular watch he was outraged, so wedded he was to tech. I thus don't see how we can meet again.
Saw Trump get out of a van and onto an airplane on his way to Singapore. He has easily topped 300 pounds. Then I saw Bolton behind him. I think for levity we should cut the sound and play something like The Keystone Cops music.
As you know, Trump refused to see my team, the Philadelphia Eagles. I read a lot of newspaper comments in response and saw a lot of Dissent is Patriotism, Peace is Patriotism and other bumper sticker sayings. It then hit me that the issue is not dissent or peace. The problem is, in fact, the word patriotism which is just a more mild way of saying nationalism. Imagine there's no countries, to paraphrase Lennon, and we might be on the road to something.

7:39 AM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

Hey Wafers,

How abt this? Name a book, any book challenge ...



9:34 AM  
Anonymous Eugene Trotter 5592849308 said...


LOL This is kind of neat. ICYMI guys: Why reality television's Love Island is like Sartre's Huis Clos [No Exit]

11:12 AM  
Blogger Zarathustra said...

Megan, Kissinger is late to the party; there is already a vast number of articles, talks and videos on how AI might be the end of humankind. And I am afraid they do have a point.

The initial efforts at AI were based on logic, like Japan's Fifth Generation Computer Systems program. They didn't achieve their most ambitious goals. However, a successful application of this approach are so-called expert systems, like those used in medical diagnosis. These systems simply encode expertise provided by human experts.

The latest crop of AI systems is based on neural networks, a computer simulation of the physical characteristics of animal neurons. Putting enough simulated neurons together you have a system of such complexity that it's absolutely impossible to understand. However, some techniques exist to "train" these systems, if they are fed enough data and "adjusted" when the system doesn't produce the desired result. This works well enough for image or speech recognition or even to play games.

The problem with neural networks is that, no matter what the experts paid by the corporations tell you, they are chaotic systems and fundamentally unpredictable. Chaotic systems may exhibit regular behaviour for some time, until the proverbial butterfly flaps its wings, so to speak.

So, while I think that AI will definitely not produce robots with anything similar to human conscience any time soon, it may produce something we could be incapable of controlling. Think about the project that has supposedly been cancelled by Google to apply AI to drones: killer robots, in plain English. And then read The Sorcerer's Apprentice again and again, because Goethe's poem is not a children's tale, but, on a metaphysical level, an accurate description of what's about to happen.

11:15 AM  
Anonymous Volta said...

For the NRA, guns and mufflers are the best friends of the world


"In honor of National Friends Day, we celebrate the friendship between guns and muzzles, and it is vital that they be more accessible," the NRA posted on Twitter. The message is accompanied by a video where a pistol pays tribute to his 'best friend' the silent.

"You make me feel good, you shut me up when I'm too noisy, you always compliment me and make me better". The video ends with a heart in the middle of which is written "Gun + Silent, best friends for life".

11:32 AM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Pyromerica, anyone? Asshole crony capitalist Elon Musk threw a “pick up party” Saturday at his Boring Company’s Los Angeles headquarters to sell the first batch of a new production run of personal flamethrowers at $500 a pop. (The first production run sold out in January.) Musk originally conceived of the things as a joke. Personal flamethrowers were a central feature of the dystopian novel Scorch. All I can say from Cascadia is, party on, dudes! Just in time for the patridiot Fourth of July holiday!


11:35 AM  
Anonymous Karen said...

Re: the Great Historic Meeting tomorrow

///Switzerland is unique in having enough nuclear fallout shelters to accommodate its entire population, should they ever be needed.///


1:05 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@ Jack Lattemann,

I guess it will only be a matter of time before Americans are using their personal flamethrowers to incinerate their schoolmates, work colleagues and fast-food workers who get their orders wrong. The sad thing is that Elon Musk apparently has a good number of fans who think he will save us by helping us move to other planets. American douchebaggery can then go interplanetary.

There was a time when sci-fi shows like the original "Star Trek" could present an optimistic future based on values and cooperation. Can anyone look at Elon Musk and other tech magnates and really think this will end well? That is why the latest Star Trek movies and TV shows have been shoot 'em ups. Nobody believes in or even wants a better future. Now people fantasize about becoming Big Shots in some future dystopia to compensate for being nobodies in the real world. What a difference from the 1960s.

Hat tip to WAFer Bill Hicks for mentioning Star Trek in another post. I have been thinking about how our ideas about the future have changed since Bill mentioned the changes to the Star Trek franchise in another post.

1:07 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Am excited abt all the new weaponry Americans have to off each other. Killing is so much fun!


Watch length, thanks.


Perfect portrait of America. Trumpi shd have been asked as well.


1:23 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Elon Musk was simply another american carpet bagger. Get money, get more money was his motto.

With ~38 american military bases in Germany, the chances of Merkel closing them is remote to nill, b/c indeed, the European countries are america's poodles-lap dogs. And with hoo hah us hero military bullshit dancing through the avg america's chow mein head.

Just look at FATCA---how many 'foreign' countries-bent over, spread their ass cheeks as the us forced this shit down their collective throats with threats of a 30% surcharge if they did not 'comply.'

Basically, every FATCA country is an american entity-watching over all its slaves (citizens) with IRS mafiaso style enforcement.

1:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...




1:30 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...


Heidegger gets credit for Dasein, but arch-declinist Spengler also had an interesting take on it.

Literally, it is just Da + Sein, "Being-There", or "Being in the World".

But it's more interesting if you contrast it with its partner Wachsein, or "Waking-Being" or "Being out of the World".

For Spengler, Dasein and Wachsein are the two ways of Being in eternal cycle in the world. Primitive folk ways of being are Dasein- they are organic, musical, unself-conscious. The modern world, by virture of its being awoken in the Enlightenment, is in a Wachsein phase. The world is something other, something we just try to control. "Ontologically stupid" comes to mind.

So AI is a kind of final expression of the Wachsein modality. It's an attempt to recreate the fullness of cognition on purely informatic terms, without the irreducible experience of living action (Dasein).

For me, it's much more interesting to consider how modern Western upper class types mimic AI in their lives rather than any successes of AI itself. They've never let themselves be in the world; they are just operating on it in some horribly dysfunctional algorithmic way.

AI happened to us humans long before we made it happen in a machine.

2:11 PM  
Anonymous Vince said...

@Tom Servo,

I grew up on Star Trek and The Twilight Zone. What both of them had in common was the way that they addressed the human condition. Coexistence, cooperation, compromise, collaboration were key elements to the Star Trek universe. Rod Serling and his writers were good at showing us who we were. Star Trek was good at showing us who we could become.

Star Trek The Next Generation was also written with the same ideas in mind as the Original Series. The series finale had Q trying to get Picard to understand what the whole exploratory experience was really about, the nature of existence itself. How far away we have moved from these ideals speaks volumes about the kind of expectations we have of ourselves as a people.

Personally, I stopped watching the Star Trek series after Enterprise. And even that series was a challenge to watch. Star Trek Discovery; I don't think so.


3:01 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

@Rika - thanks for the interesting link on city-states. I've been trying to think of the post-American model. I'm quite the fan of Nassim Taleb: he points out that the most stable democracy in the world, Switzerland, doesn't have a federal government per se. Highly likely dems wins a majority of the vote this fall yet fail to gain a majority of seats in the House due to gerrymandering. We could be facing a crisis of political legitimacy.

Re: Elizabeth Holmes - Who says America isn't great? It is for her. After scramming investors of hundreds millions, she got away with a $500,000 fine - pocket change for her. Travis Kalanick of Uber infamy is also raising capital for his new real estate firm. With rare exceptions, business news in the USA is self-congratulatory and reverential. it's been shown Wall Street research is all positive to get banking business. Good exception is this column by Bret Stephens on Elon Musk: https://nyti.ms/2GPE0Bz - the Donald of Silicon Valley.


4:50 PM  
Blogger Frederick Froth said...

For a completely different understanding of why Americans are chronically ill, wracked with seemingly incurable chronic and acute pain, overweight, suffering from all kinds of mental, psychological and emotional problems including depression check out these well researched books.
Wheat Belly by William Davis
Grain Brain by David Perlmutter
No Grain No Pain by Peter Osborne
Primal Blueprint by Mark Sisson.

8:56 PM  
Anonymous Gordon said...

The President has decided to wage a trade war on its allies, after
promoting Russia to the G6+1. The administration touts the positive results of leaving the Iran nuclear treaty without cause and states it is negotiating with North Korea in good faith.

Maurice your observations and analysis have proven correct...but I miss the idealism and aspiration for a better world.

Where is the individual in the world of neoliberalism?


1:04 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...


First, regarding your question B) about A.I. not being able to imitate human consciousness, since I was referring to Dreyfus, here's a clip that makes his views pretty clear:


As for question A) about Dasein, that's too difficult with just half a page. But here's the first lecture in a 30 hour series that should make it clear, assuming you have 30 spare hours! (It really is a great series, and worth the effort. Dreyfus is very analytical, and will probably appeal to your logical side. Once you finish, you can start wearing black, smoking clove cigarettes, and hanging out at cafes with a copy of Being and Time)


Zar, Thanks for the explanation of the neural network stuff. That looks interesting. I will have to read more about it.

2:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is neat:

"Leimome Cheeks"? What kind of name is that?!


3:29 AM  
Anonymous Will Feldman said...

Has Consciousness Lost Its Mind?
What would Noam Chomsky, Deepak Chopra, a very friendly robot, plus a bevy of scientists, mystics, and wannabe scholars do at a fancy resort in Arizona? Perhaps real harm to the field of consciousness studies, for one thing


7:32 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sorry, you need a real handle to participate in this discussion. I suggest Cranston V. Butterworth III.


I usta get invited to conferences like that, but after I suggested that they were pure horseshit, the invitations tended to taper off. These people are just beating off, while thinking they are doing groundbreaking stuff.


Well, there is Dual Process, if we are talking abt aspiration. Check out final essay in AWTY. And of course, you cd always emigrate: best solution ever, take it from me (nearly 12 yrs outta the US, and riding high).


Cdn't post it (too long).


9:19 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

The new American Insult.....DEFECATE on other people!!


10:07 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Hmm, I tried posting this yesterday, but it didn't go through:

Top advisers to U.S. President Donald Trump are launching blistering attacks on Justin Trudeau for comments he made at the end of the G7 leaders' summit this weekend, with one going as far as to say the prime minister deserves a "special place in hell."

I wonder if Trumpi reads this blog. If so, Toronto will be nuked any day now.

Cranston V. Butterworth III

10:50 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


You signed in as 'a', which won't work.


We are finally getting somewhere. America comes into its own. I can't tell you how happy this makes me. Wafers: a new post-it for yr bathrm mirror: MORE SHIT!


11:16 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

al-Q--there may not be a more pathetic excuse for a world "leader" right now than Justin Timberlake-Trudeau. Of course, idiot liberals love him because he's so darn cute with his Bambi eyes and wholesome politically correctness. Here's a guy who spent his whole life being groomed for power at the feet of the greatest neoliberal "thinkers" only to find himself cast out into a real world that is seeing the rise of a virulent new nationalism thanks in large part to the policies wrought by his own mentors. Canada needs to come to its senses quickly, recognize that what they don't need is a PC wimp who greenwashes the building of oil pipelines on every spare inch of available territory while running around babbling about "humankind," and elect a tough minded individual who is able to figure out how not to get dragged down into the abyss along with its southern neighbor.

Idiot liberals in action: Wealthy multimillionaire Bill Maher rooting for a recession and "doesn't care" who gets hurt so long as Trump gets defeated--because it would keep us from "losing our democracy." I don't know what's worse, Maher's appalling insensitivity or his fundamental lack of historical knowledge. The 1930s should be proof enough that severe economic downturns are NEVER good for democracy.

4:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


For those of you who may have missed it:


Meanwhile, I sent this message to a friend who tends toward the politically correct side of things, altho he sides with Cornel West on this issue:

The value of political correctness is that it addresses psychological issues of interpersonal relations, and that is important to the individuals involved, be they female, or black, or hispanic, or purple. This is the world of Ralph Ellison, Howie Zinn, and Coates. The down side is that by getting everyone excited abt these issues, it obscures the far more impt issue of rels of power, and in fact, by focusing on personal feelings and language, becomes a substitute for real politics. Hillary Clinton and Condi Rice are war criminals, as are Colin Powell and Barack Obama. There is, in addition, a small but very wealthy black class with major corporate connections that exploits poor blacks, and cdn't care less abt them. In a neoliberal world, you could replace the white Power Elite with black people, or women, or gays, or Martians, and you'd basically have the same world. Richard Sennett openly accused Bill Clinton of using identity politics (blacks have this idea that he is 'really' one of them) to keep down the minimum wage; in addition, he abolished welfare and got the passage of the Three Strikes Law--both of which cruelly hurt the black population. Economically speaking, blacks were better off b4 Obama's admin than at the end of it. Etc.

B4 MLK was killed, he reportedly said to Harry Belafonte that he often felt he was "herding people into a burning church." MLK was not deluded by identity politics; he understood that it hardly threatened the Power Elite. (Concerned that MLK's I Have a Dream Speech might not be heard across the Mall, RFK got the Navy Signal Corps to make sure everything was working properly. Christ, you don't get more establishment than that.) What he meant was that civil rts was attempting to give black people a bigger share of the pie, when the truth was that the entire pie was rotten. He began to connect the VN war with domestic unrest, such as the garbage workers' strike in NY, and this the Power Elite was not going to allow, because once you start talking abt rels of power, instead of identity politics, yr threatening the whole capitalist framework. I suspect his murder was an inside job (Coretta King accused the govt of this, in fact).

Meanwhile, you've got the country tearing down statues of Robt E. Lee and 'sanitizing' the work of Mark Twain. Real smart.

Rec rdg: WAF, ch. 4; John McWhorter, Losing the Race. Charles Murray, in his infamous Bell Curve, predicted in 1995 that black people wd increasingly form a socioeconomic underclass, with no hope of escape, and he's looking more correct every day. (College students don't allow him to speak on campus. Also real smart.) The politically correct crowd is doing exactly what makes race and gender relations worse, but hey, they get to feel righteous. Evergreen College remains a monument to this type of stupidity.


4:12 PM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

Great message you made there MB. I try to re-read the below article a few times a year to keep my head on straight. It was posted and commented on here a while ago, but worth of a re-post for newer WAFers:


5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill Hicks-

Justin Timberlake-Trudeau: brilliant.

Nothing's changing here. Gasoline where I am is $7 a gallon and everyone keeps buying cars to drive to Whole Foods for $8 organic smoothies.If Trudeau goes, he'll be replaced by another daytime talk show host. Trudeau is as delusional as the halfwits who think that marking an X every four years makes any difference.

You don't need Netflix. Just go outside and walk around, maybe try and start a conversation.It's so hilarious I don't bother reading fiction anymore.

6:28 PM  
Anonymous Zuni said...

I cannot urge you all enough to read: "Eyes on Havana- Memoir of an American Spy betrayed by the CIA" by Verne Lyon. Just about finished and, wowza!

8:28 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Speaking of a black socioeconomic underclass, consider the situation that confronted a homeless black man in an Oakland, California park last Friday (8 June). A white jogger, apparently offended by the man’s presence—existence?—took it upon himself to gather up the homeless fellow’s belongings and hurl them into the nearby lake, despite the protestations of onlookers. A similar outrage was committed recently by a white woman who called the police to the park when she objected to two black men who were barbecuing there.


8:45 PM  
Anonymous Harini said...

"How George Orwell Predicted the Challenge of Writing Today":

~Orwell was right. The totalitarian regime rests on lies because they are lies. The subject of the totalitarian regime must accept them not as truth—must not, in fact, believe them—but accept them both as lies and as the only available reality. She must believe nothing. Just as Orwell predicted, over time the totalitarian regime destroys the very concept, the very possibility of truth. Hannah Arendt identified this as one of the effects of totalitarian propaganda: it makes everything conceivable because “nothing is true.”~


9:54 PM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

"The Counter-Revolution of 1776" by Gerald Horne claims that the American Revolution happened because slave-holding rich American colonists feared possible imposed abolition of slavery by England on the American colonies. The rich colonists rebelled against England to keep their slaves - another major crack in idealism concerning the Founding Fathers just as the country is falling apart.


10:12 PM  
Anonymous Rupert said...

Yemeni farmers 'humiliated' after Netherlands denies visas for coffee convention



10:32 PM  
Anonymous Mo Ronich said...

You are right mb, universities and other institutions allow this kind of stuff because it represents no real threat to the dynamics of power. But these people get very upset if you try to point this out. "It's not 'Identity politics' it's HUMAN RIGHTS"!! etc. Presumably these folks think they are making the world a better place, and there are legitimate concerns they have, but it looks to me to be ultimately very divisive.

1:46 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...


That's an interesting way of looking at it, the difference between Dasein and Wachsein. Thanks for pointing that out. I only know a little French, but most of my favorite writers (Hesse, Mann, E.T.A Hoffmann, Kierkegaard, etc) are German. So I tend to miss the nuances. At any rate, I read "Decline of the West" last year after meaning to read it for about 20 years, and I was really impressed. What amazing erudition he had! I'm surprised that it's so far off the radar now, even for people who read lots of books. But I guess the "grand narrative style of history is out of fashion these days.

As for America, I just keep thinking of Trump's 44 percent approval numbers. Astonishing is it not? For as unspeakably bad as he is, the fact that basically half of America still enthusiastically supports him is just mind-boggling! Yeah, we just totally suck, don't we?!

3:44 AM  
Anonymous Zarathustra said...

An intriguing article by Yanis Varoufakis, of Syriza fame, in the "there is method behind Trump's madness" category: If Trump wants to blow up the world order, who will stop him?

By the way, Trumpolini is absolutely right; there's a special place in hell for Justin Trudeau. He is continuing and putting a pretty face on the environmental holocaust of the tar sands territories in Canada.

Susan Sarandon for president!

4:53 AM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

Here's a discussion about "mugshots" that's worth a read. Hustling is involved, of course-


6:04 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

There's a 5000 seat concert hall here which is having a night with 2 of the surviving Monkeys group. It's sold out. Imagine Boomers singing "Hey, hey, we're the Monkeys." They were just 4 guys corporately plucked together, no history of playing as unknowns unlike the Beatles for example, and lost their TV show when ratings started to fall; in other words, there was not a shred of authenticity about them. So what is their appeal? Boomers trying to recapture their youth? Nostalgia for the 1960's (when the Empire was on steroids), or perhaps something deeper like coming to realize that living the corporate consumer hi-tech lifestyle was not living at all and watching the Monkeys gives them a momentary feeling of life before they became drones. Interested in your thoughts.

7:38 AM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

This essay on the little-known Italian philosopher Augusto Del Noce is quite possibly the most mind-blowing thing I have ever read:


It starts off with an obscure post-war debate among European catholics, and then proceeds to explain how Del Noce predicted *in exact detail* how Neoliberalism would emerge, and why "liberatory" Marxist thought was essential to its creation.

The amazing thing is, not only did Del Noce produce the most penetrating analysis of Neoliberalism ever written, he also did it before it had even happened!

P.S. @Sorrowful - my pleasure!

8:07 AM  
Anonymous Onward to Dystopia said...

I've followed this blog for years and never posted before, but I felt this article would be of interest:


This is an interview with a man who went around the country trying to understand why the poorest people are so patriotic. The conclusion is; that's all the dignity they've got left. I really don't understand this, I'm very ashamed to live in and be a member of this society.

He also found that almost everyone thought the rich deserved everything they got. This is from people living in cars. A poor mother with brain cancer. A homeless man is glad to be American because, "In other countries, they would probably force me into a shelter." HA!

I've been listening to your lectures/interviews for several years Dr. Berman, for some time I thought there might be a way out of this mess, but now I agree with you entirely. It's all over but the shoutin'.

8:48 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for yr contribution, and glad you decided to lurk no more. For those counting on the masses to rise up against their corporate masters, this oughta give them a moment's pause. How pathetic all this is.


Great essay, thank you. All progs shd read it (but they won't).


Thank you for all yr contributions. Why anyone wd read another blog is completely beyond me.


9:17 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...


You are very welcome! Unfortunately, with the decline of letters and big ideas in the University set, I'm pretty sure only reactionaries and oddballs read Spengler nowadays. Like most German culture, it has been largely misinterpreted in the Anglo world. Spengler is more about mapping out modes of Being in history than browbeating foreigners.

As with Heidegger, there is an uncomfortable political background,though arguably Spengler was far less invested in the Third Reich. He actually predicted its demise with some accuracy!

Jack Kerouac was a big fan, btw.

Looked at some of the Dreyfus material- excellent stuff!

In both Spengler and Heidegger you have two relevant figures of genius whose ideas are almost completely absent from our advanced society. If Americans knew Heidegger, they would laugh at ridiculous AI claims, as Dreyfus demonstrated so effortlessly.

In the Roman empire they picked up the projects of defeated Greek geniuses rather eagerly; what percentage of the American elite has even considered learning and studying German?

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...


I'm all teary-eyed after watching Trump's future North Korea promo video. The film is just so beautiful -- Hollywood style suspense, "opportunity," free and open markets, technological advancement, beautiful and bigly condos along North Korean beaches, Disneyland-like entertainment for kids. This is the "good life" folks -- https://www.vox.com/world/2018/6/12/17452876/trump-kim-jong-un-propaganda-video

Okay, gotta barf now!

10:37 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

“Why the Civilized World Breaking Up With America Was Inevitable....Or, Why America’s Old Friends Are its New Enemies, and its Old Enemies Are its New Friends...”


11:56 AM  
Blogger remo26 said...

Mario Vargas Llosa: “Political correctness is the enemy of freedom”

Q. And what is western democracy’s main challenge now?
A. Its biggest enemy now is populism. No one in their right mind wants to model their country on North Korea, Cuba or Venezuela. Marxism is already on the fringes of political life but that’s not the case with populism, which shatters democracies from within. Far less direct than an ideology, it is a tendency weak democracies are unfortunately vulnerable to.

... intellectuals wanted to pass the progressive test because it was what was expected of them. In Latin America, if you weren’t a left-wing intellectual in the 1970s, you simply weren’t an intellectual. You were shut out. Culture was controlled by a left that was very clannish and dogmatic and that had a profound warping effect on cultural life.

Q. Does political correctness threaten freedom?
A. Political correctness is the enemy of freedom because it rejects honesty and authenticity. We have to tackle it as the distortion of the truth.

- remo

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Case Studies in american Assholery: Even the smart ones were dumber than cat shit.

At a medical CONference: 'brillant' invited thought leaders with advanced masters, doctoral degrees, elitist-sounding titles, full professorships, etc....yet dumber than shit. Intellectually, then can pass tests, and boards exams--yet, ontologically dumber than dog shit. Lots of group thk recommending prescribing pills as they stated community has nothing/little to do with obesity, depression, violence, malaise. Whereever you go, there you are mentality. We're a "positive" people (whatever that means): delusional, denial?

In their 'minds,' Mexico, Switzerland, Italy is no different from america. They can't fathom, if their society was rotten to the core, then what? All the action plans, shoulds, we needs to's would be as useful as a screen door on a submarine.

Also, very predictably, time until money is discussed (TUMID factor) was present. Within 12 sec of meeting, they were inquisitions into about salary reductions to do research, how upsell, and pharma stock talk and marketing techniques. There were supposedly unbiased, american university professors.

2:22 PM  
Blogger Bullshevik said...

Are we being walled in?

2:35 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Well, I might be eaten alive by the Clintonite piranhas, but I hafta hand it to Trumpo; he grabbed history by the pussy yesterday.


3:58 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Domino’s Pizza is filling potholes in several American municipalities.


This story reminds me of the Brawndo scene from the movie “Idiocracy” where the sports drink company buys the FDA and the FCC and replaces water.


4:15 PM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

Bill Hicks--

Bill "Let Them Eat Cake" Maher rails against PC speech on college campuses but rigidly follows PC/liberal ideology. I no longer watch his show. It's a constant barrage of Trump hatred by him and his guests who invariably include a prissy journalist, some washed up politician hoping to make a comeback and a self-righteous, self-styled feminist complete with pussy hat and #MeToo credentials. Or a B-list movie star. He was practically offering to give Obama a back rub when he finally agreed to an interview. I started losing respect for him when it became apparent what a sniveling coward he was. His hatred of Muslims I think is rooted in fear that "they're going to get him!". As Trump would say -- sad.

Dr. B --

Coates is going to have his moment in the spotlight and when it moves on, he'll be the first to scream that he's being ignored b/c he's so controversial! He's merely tedious. West makes a lot of good points and is no fan of Obama.

5:16 PM  
Blogger Mark Deagle said...

I will be 64 in August 2. And in all my years i have never seen a bigger clown hold office than crack pot Donald Trump. He puts down are friends and says all kinds of great things about bad leaders who murder people. He even said Canada burnt down the White house in 1812 unreal. Dr Berman i think the is coming sooner than anyone things

5:30 PM  
Anonymous EricM said...

Dr MB, it is gratifying to see what could be examples of Chap. 7, "Japan as a Post-Capitalist Model" (of your Neurotic Beauty) playing out.

"But an increasing, albeit still small, number of people appear to be bucking the trend, opting out of the daily grind of packed trains and long commutes for a simpler life closer to nature.
.... Communities like Itoshima are examples of what Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government wants to see more of as it tries to stymie the flow of people into metropolises and promote what it calls “regional revitalization.”

I doubt a concept like Dual Process can make it past the concrete slab 'protecting' lousy Abe's brain, but pigs do fly.


7:39 PM  
Blogger Frederick Froth said...

Speaking of Heidegger apparently the author of my favorite cartoon character Zippy the Pinhead was muchly keen on him.
Are we having fun yet! is Zippy's motto.

8:26 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

I rarely watch teevee--and never watch CNN, so I had only a vague idea who Anthony Bourdain was before he killed himself. Nevertheless, since several Wafers expressed their distress at his passing I paid more attention to this article than I otherwise might have: A Tale Of Two Tonys. In it, the author compares the genuine empathy of Bourdain with the recent virtue signalling of the long past his due date Robert DeNiro, who said "Fuck Trump" at the Tony Awards and then basked in the glow of warm applause from his fellow rich, douchebag liberal, show business twits. It strikes me that if people like the late Bourdain were a majority among successful Americans instead of a very tiny minority, we wouldn't have ended up where we are now.

Speaking of how we got where we are now, it seems that whole whole bunch of douchebags who are perfectly fine with our valiant military butchering children on a regular basis needed smelling salts to recover from seeing posted images of the littlest royal hooligan playing with a toy gun.

And--in the great adventures in poop department: Prisoner gave prosecutor an envelope containing fecal matter during court hearing.

8:59 PM  
Anonymous Merlin said...

“For beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror
which we are barely able to endure, and it amazes us so,
because it serenely disdains to destroy us.
Every angel is terrible.”

― Rainer Maria Rilke from his Duino Elegies

Quite a thought, or two.

10:15 PM  
Anonymous Megan said...


Yes, only reactionaries and oddballs. I'm assuming that we fit safely into the latter category! At any rate, I think another reason that Heidegger and Spengler don't really register here is that they are both too much of a check to the notion of "Progress". Also, for as ignorant as we are (33 percent believing that the sun revolves around the earth, etc.), there is a growing tendency towards scientism in our culture, especially on the Left (Where Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking function as the High Priests); and Heidegger like Thomas Kuhn, pretty much obliterated the foundations on which Scientism is founded.

It's a shame how we "teach" foreign languages here. 2 years in High School is not enough! It would be so easy to just follow the European model, and have kids learn a foreign language from first grade till graduation. The brain is more plastic in those early years, and it's also a lot more fun to learn a different language at that age. Instead of just recalling random words (Pomme de terre= potato, which is the kind of arbitrary stuff I remember these days), they could actually be fluent by twelfth grade. But we even manage mess that up, and now many foreign language programs are being cut from schools.

4:03 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Bill: If you have Netflix streaming, Tony's latest show "Parts Unknown" is on there. No Reservations should be on DVD. I have a suspicion that it was his success that played (in part) into his suicide. Ironically, being well known can be very isolating because you get sick of being recognized everywhere you go, so you hide out in your bunker.

Remo: not so sure about Llosa's Margaret Thatcher redemption, but she was a bit before my time so what do I know...

Watch out WAFers, we are seeing real-time consequences of climate change. Some of my friends who are birders are seeing drastic changes in bird migration and numbers this year... plus why not, 1000 year old baobab trees dying suddenly.

9:20 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Myself, I see Mario as very corporate and rt-wing: pro neoliberalism and globalization, wanting to bring 'the uncivilized' (Amazon tribes) into the modern market economy, etc. Not my kinda guy.

Meanwhile, look at Trumpi go:



9:36 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...


A good number of American students can't even realize that there isn't a simple 1:1 correlation, word for word, in translating from one language to another. Words are like blocks- hopelessly literal.

Dreyfus says Heid. changed the question of knowledge from 'knowing that' to 'knowing how'. Very good way of expressing the Dasein-Wachsein distinction.

To take a weird example- I am kind of obsessed with Marlon Brando, because he had millions of women fall in love with him by mumbling his entire career. But what Brando was saying was- 'knowing that' is completely unimportant. I can do this all off the cuff because I a master of 'knowing how'. He was just so ontologically smart, polishing it up would have killed the focus to 'knowing that' and made him another boring Jimmy Stewart style stiff.

Compare to today's fake actors always communicating the surface. Can you imagine Brando accepting the advice of a media coach?

11:30 AM  
Anonymous Quiet Desperation said...

I travelled with Anthony Bourdain, an hour at a time. Tony did the hard part of world travel, along with his merry band of pranksters who are among the best in the technical/creative business of television. I walked barefoot in those same narrow streets of Provincetown in the summer of '72 looking for my Dad who had snuck off for a cocktail at the Old Colony. I fondly imagine that Tony was there working, next door at the Lobster Pot. If you are unfamiliar with Mr. Bourdain's work I encourage you to have a look. Tony was a mensch and I will miss my friend. He showed me the places I will never go, the humanity and compassion of the scary "other". The season 2 Jerusalem episode of Parts Unknown was among his best. David Simon remembers his friend...


12:38 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

@Megan- re: foreign languages. I agree it would be nice if Americans learned a language from 1st grade through the 12th. I'm always impressed when i met someone from Europe such as Belgium (who speaks English, French, Dutch, and possible German) or Asia such as Malaysia (who speak English, Mandarin, Malay). They learn it in school as part of the official studies. Most Americans think these countries are dumb and cannot locate them on a map. Also, (and I have personally) been told this: why learn a foreign language when everyone speak American (not English) anyway? It's a waste of time.

I've also felt the same about art or music. Every child should learn to play a music instrument or an art or craft such as painting, sculpture, woodworking etc. by the time they graduate 12th grade.

This, of course, will never ever happen. First, there is no money for this. Second, most state legislators think the purpose of education is vocational. Colleges are eliminating the humanities in favor of the all important STEM fields e.g. the next Wastebook or Instagram....that's where the money is.


12:41 PM  
Anonymous Eddie said...

A new book on Indian Buddhist philosophy is in my reading queue.
->The Golden Age of Indian Buddhist Philosophy in the First Millennium CEJan WesterhoffThe Oxford History of Philosophy


1:06 PM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

I was listening to Richie Allen interview Hayden Hewitt who explained “Article 13 of the EU’s Copyright Directive, which is up for vote on the 20th June, how it will impose mandatory upload filters on internet users and how this in turn will signal the end of free speech as we know it, on the internet.”

Toward the end of the interview Hewitt pretty much sums up the current state of affairs when he says that we can’t win at this point, all we can do is prolong defeat.

Pastrami, it's not just bird numbers that are down: one of my biggest delights has always been listening to the insects on summer nights, and I just don’t hear them anymore. However, I’m not sure if this is due to climate change, or the fact that we’ve poisoned the land, air and water.

3:03 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

These are the type of DUMB and IMMATURE young adults America raises...and there are MILLIONS of them!

Penn State fraternity brother pleads guilty in Tim Piazza hazing death case


5:20 PM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

Irish people try listening to great American philosopher Kanye West.

7:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Golf Pro recently posted this article:


It strikes me as very impt. Check out esp. the last few paras. I personally gave up on Marxism and socialism--in part--because I realized that these had too much in common with capitalism. Certainly, Marx is the best analysis of capitalism we have, and I am certainly in favor of a massive redistribution of wealth. I am also not naive abt how "the religious dimension of life" can get manipulated to serve the interests of the ruling class. But if we substitute the phrase "spiritual dimension of life," then Marx's phrase 'opiate' becomes questionable. Beyond redistribution of wealth, socialism, like capitalism, is interested in technological and economic expansion--'growth'. But growth is killing the planet, and as a value-system is completely empty. It too, for example, sees education in terms of vocation, not as a search for truth or beauty or wisdom. It too regards reason as purely instrumental, and has no interest in metaphysical or ontological questions. As a world view, in other words, it too is barren.

Socialism now sits in the waste bin of history; capitalism will follow by the end of this century. By that time, the world may well be divided into those pursuing personal and technological hedonism, and a Wafer 'class' that thinks there just might be more to life.


7:29 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Cdn't run it (half-page-max rule).


7:51 PM  
Anonymous Cecilia said...

Infant ripped from mother's arms while she was breastfeeding the baby at border detention center; mother handcuffed for resisting https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2018/06/12/us/immigration-separated-children-southern-border/index.html


8:07 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

It's official--supreme douchebaguette Rachel Maddow has proven herself to be the intellectual equal to that other great 21st century thinker, Sarah "I can see Russia from my backyard" Palin. Maddow explained to her dimwitted audience last night that since North Korea has (gasp!) a COMMON BORDER WITH RUSSIA that peace in Korea would only help (horrors!) Vladimir Putin! It's almost enough to make one miss Bill O'Reilly.

Elementary school principal pummeling--on "Family Fun Day" no less.

Stupid Cop Tricks: Feds indict Florida police chief who framed a teen for burglaries so he could boast about perfect record.

This should be good: a new memoir is coming out from a young female Obama White House staffer about how Obama basically turned Air Force One into a party plane. Can the #MeToo-ing of America's slickest, most well spoken war criminal be far behind? If so, he'll pay a higher political price for that than being one of history's great mass murderers.

9:47 PM  
Anonymous Geoffrey said...

To bridge the partisan divide, it's helpful to read the other side's fiction, not just their nonfiction. If you're a Leftist baffled by why red state conservatives despise your ideology, read this fun, horrifying, fast-paced, near-future dystopian novel


10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

(((Corrected Chomsky link)))

mb- Quite rare to hear a major public intellectual and social critic reject both capitalism and socialism on the grounds that both are industrial ideologies and the environment can’t take any more “growth”. Who else would go there? Derrick Jensen maybe? John Zerzan!? The list is not long. Kudos though.

Even Chomsky—who usually counsels organizing to throw the bums out—is sounding uncharacteristically less optimistic than you these days, which takes some doing:


2:13 AM  
Anonymous DiogenesTheElder said...

Meet the new WH communications director!


4:10 AM  
Anonymous Megan said...


I had to smile at your description of The Monkey's reunion tour. There is something funny and slightly disturbing at the thought of aging Boomers "letting it all hang out", as the two remaining septuagenarian Monkeys play songs from 50 years ago! At the same time, the 5000 people at the event were probably not the most vicious segment of the American population. I mean, it's a little weird (as my former Jr. High students would probably say: "The Monkeys are so gay!"), but when I think, "Belligerent American Douchebag", I don't normally picture a harmless, balding, pudgy Monkeys' fan clapping his hands, smiling, and singing with nostalgic abandon, "Hey Hey We're the Monkeys!"

You could almost chart the decline of American society just by comparing Rock and Roll from the 60's to today. From the depth and poetry of Beatles, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, etc., we have descended to stuff like this--an incredibly popular song (and quintessentially American) from a few years ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iP6XpLQM2Cs

DioGenes, I love Marlon Brando as well. Masculinity is sexy, whatever the feminists say to the contrary. But you don't see his type too frequently these days. Now we have men like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8qp4WJiUeTc

5:10 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Tom Engelhardt in this essay pretty much blames the fall of the Soviet Union for US imperial overreach over the past 27 years - he interestingly feels that the Soviet Union's presence in the world after WWII in a way 'contained' the US's greedy ambition for 'total control' of earth and that clearly the US has failed.


11:43 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Hopefully more Americans will follow her example (they already have, metaphorically speaking).


I fear I'm only minor. Hell, I'm not even on the radar screen of public discussion.

1. I have wanted to pee on Rachel's shoes for a long time now. What a turkette.
2. I want to go on record as being in favor of school pummelings. I don't feel there shd be an upper limit to the # of pummelings per day, occurring at schls across the country. Furthermore, I think it shdn't go one-way. Everyone shd pummel everyone else.


Yes, it is indeed who we are. But scroll back to the post abt some guy throwing his feces at another guy, in a fit of road rage. That too is who we are, and I hafta admit, I love it. Of course, I'm assuming the feces were warm. What cd be ruder than throwing cold feces at someone?


12:23 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Well, that's it; I'm never rdg another physics bk again:


12:30 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...


So refreshing to hear someone identify the entire industrialist mentality as a problem. I think you could have smaller scale, focused industrialization without making society itself industrial. A good quote from the old Occupy rallies- "Growth for the sake of growth is the logic of a cancer cell".

@Meg I think that women can generally immediately sense if a guy is a pretender of "knowing that", or if he really gets down to "knowing how".

In our corrupt society, it shows up a lot in the "bad boy" phenomenon. Women would rather have a thug who bears no illusions about how gets things done than a normal engineer who knows all kinds of facts but never gets his hands dirty.

But these stupid dichotomies pervade our stupid society. Hard to figure out who were the nerds and who were the players in any premodern, especially pre-Christian society. Socrates was a soldier, a brick mason, and the first philosopher...

12:51 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Well, that's it; I'm never rdg another physics bk again:

Well, at least we know the drill right? Tear down the statues, excise his name from everything, rescind his Nobel prize, and, of course, bring up the fact that he was a horrible racist as the defining aspect of the man every time someone mentions his name.

1:10 PM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

@Burgess - re; Engelhardt's essay. It make me think of David Foster Wallace's 'This is Water':
"If you worship money and things, if they are where you tap real meaning in life, then you will never have enough, never feel you have enough. It’s the truth.... ...Worship power, you will end up feeling weak and afraid, and you will need ever more power over others to numb you to your own fear."
I'm not surprised the US Military hasn't won the war in Iraq/Afganistan etc. If we won, what else would we do? When the USSR fell, we had to create a new monster. It will never end.
We spend $1 trillion on defense, intelligence agencies, etc. and the vast majority of Americans are terrified of the rest of the world.
At this point, I think we are only one dirty bomb away from Trump suspending the Constitution and imposing martial law in the name of 'security.' Most Americans will applaud such a decisive action by a strong leader....the stock market will soar!

Brother Maynard

1:14 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I have a feeling that once we win the current war, we'll shift our theater of operations to Antarctica. Those penguins have a lot to answer for! They aren't even Christians, fer Chrissakes.


I'm tellin' ya, that's it for Einstein and me. I never wanna hear his name again.


1:22 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

A recent appointee to the State Department’s International Organizations bureau has set about identifying who among career diplomats and American employees of international organizations is sufficiently gehorsam and on board with the Trump agenda. (This will no doubt prove a challenging task, given the tendency of the president to shift positions and abandon supposed core beliefs without prediction or provocation.

The appointee, Mari Stull, who had previously been best known as a food and beverage lobbyist and wine blogger disgorging under the nom de vin “the Vino Vixen,” is mining the social media talings “for signs of ideological deviation.” Get with the program or get out might be her mantra.


1:34 PM  
Anonymous Nick said...


“Remarkably, of the 500 or so Amish settlements, about half were founded in the 21st century.”

I have visited Amish country in Pennsylvania. While it reeks of horse shit for miles, there’s something palpable there- satisfied people living in a real, extended community. You get just a brief glimpse of what we’ve lost in the West to the extent we can understand it.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Zen Citizen said...

Hilarious comment, Dr. B! I agree: Clearly there is no longer a place for the Theory of Relativity in the progressive physics community.

1:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I tell you, if I shd ever hear anyone defending either the Special Theory, or the General one, I will call him a racist and have abs. 0 to do with him again. I simply won't tolerate that sort of thing.


If there's one thing I can't stand, in addition to Einstein's physics, it's ideological deviation.


4:39 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: But my major concern these days is getting enuf shrimp in my sandwiches:


5:35 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

WAFERS--curious if any of you are following this very impt story abt Ms. Markle.


Don't know about fellow WAFERS (no real health care, no retirement-unless you die, employment at will, no real education, food insecurity, no affordable long-term care) but, this is keeping me up at night.

Maybe we should devote at least 2-3hrs discussing regal manicures in granular detail.

5:54 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

Dr. B

The Sounds of Silence by Simon and Garfunckle:

Trump is the Neon God.


And, look at the audience in all their glory with their cell phones. Isn't it precious?


I will check the vids out.

6:37 PM  
Anonymous BH said...

Dr. Berman,

I have read that many climate scientists think we have gone so far there is no turning global warming around. What do you think about that? I have read that craters are being blown out of the Russian and Canadian tundra because gasses like methane are unfreezing and violently releasing itself from the ground. I have read that it may be not too much longer before the frozen methane at the bottom of the arctic and antarctic regions will unfreeze and then that really will be the end. What do you and anyone else here have to say about it? It is eery really. I grew up in a religious household that always believed there would be an end of time, but it was always some time the future, probably after we are dead. It is disconcerting to think we may actually be on the very verge of it in a scientific sense and not just a religious sense.

7:57 PM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

Dr. B--

Wealth will never be redistributed. Seattle, one of the country's most progressive & wealthy, passed a city council bill unanimously to tax Amazon & other rich companies to help pay for housing for the homeless. It was killed in less than a month. Here's the story:


"The Seattle story is the latest of several examples that raise an important national question: “Even in 2nd Gilded Age, will anybody actually raise taxes on rich?” Vanity Fair’s Maya Kosoff says that Seattle’s quick reversal “reveals the long odds municipalities face when asking local corporations to help repair the social fissures they have left in their wake.” And Jezebel was even more pointed with its headline, targeting Amazon founder Jeff Bezos: “Richest Man Alive Still Winning War on Poor People.”

8:00 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@James Allen--just goes to show you how clueless these Trumpinistas are. Back in 2014, several dozen State Department officials wrote an official dissent objecting to Obama's decision not to use American combat troops in Syria to overthrow Assad. So why were our supposed diplomats so interested in ratcheting up even more war in a region that had clearly seen enough? Because they all duly expected ol' Botoxface was going to win the election, and knowing that she favored slaughtering even more Syrian civilians in the name of the empire decided to get a head start on kissing her war criminal ass. On the whole, principled foreign service officers like retired whistleblower Peter Van Buren (whose blog we've discussed here) are the exception. Most tend to be craven, feckless power whores whose main focus is on how they too can become an Ambassador someday--and if that means the deaths of a few hundred thousand innocent civilians, eh, cost of doing business.

This headline is so dumb it actually caused my brain to try and claw its way out through my ears: David Brooks Has a Name for His Jewish and Christian Beliefs: 'Religious Bisexuality.' Subheadline: "In recent years Brooks has been on a very public religious and intellectual journey." If that "public journey" can be described as doing everything one person could possibly do to dumb down the public discourse, I would have to agree. You could force this douchebag to wade underneath an outhouse in his designer Guccis and not drench him in as much urine as he so richly deserves.

10:35 PM  
Blogger Frederick Froth said...

Using Mcluhan famous phrase "the medium is the message, what kind of powerful in-your-face or whole body communication do bombs make?
In 2017 up to July 31st under herr trumpenfuhrer the USA had dropped 20,650 bombs on Islamic countries. And we wonder why they hate us!
The O-bomber only managed 26,000 in all of 2016.

12:51 AM  
Anonymous Sorrowful said...

Dr. B and Golf Pro

re: The Dead End of the Left?

Another contribution to shattering the accretion of my 60s values, which is true of many of the articles to which I am directed on this blog. I am, indeed, "calling into question some of the ideas of the 60s", some of which I imagined were my core values. IMHO Lancellotti is calling for nothing less than the Re-enchantment of the World.

In this regard, my admiration goes to Rev. William Barber and Rev. Liz Theohalis for helming the revival of MLK's Poor People's Campaign. https://www.commondreams.org/news/2018/06/12/poor-peoples-campaign-leaders-among-dozens-arrested-nationwide-moral-movement While I am not persuaded these actions will ultimately affect the precipitate decline of the U.S. or even effect political change, the Revs are calling attention to "a moral reality that we recognize inside and outside of ourselves and to which we must ascend." They are promoting the spiritual dimension of life in the face of materialism and technocracy. Good on 'em.

6:54 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


What cd be a bigger joke, than Brooks being hailed as some kinda major thinker? Only in America, where there are virtually *no* thinkers! Just clowns. Thinker, Pinker, Stinker...


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


Perfect image for the end of days.


Of course I'm very excited abt Meghan's manicure, but I'm wondering if she's getting enuf prawns in her sandwiches.


10:09 AM  
Anonymous BrotherMaynard said...

@BH - "I have read that many climate scientists think we have gone so far there is no turning global warming around. What do you think about that?"
Too late. Once the arctic melts and all the trapped methane is released we are facing an extinction level event (all mammals on earth). Methane is 30x more potent as a heat trapping gas than CO2. Also,climate scientists get a lot of death threats in this country (for some reason, I have no idea why?):
There is a good chance humanity won't exist by 2100 or quite possibly 2050. Personally, I just don't think there is any way we are going to make it as a species: war, greed, overpopulation. Don't worry too much: Elon Musk will save us!

Have a nice day!

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Interesting article on homelessness in California.

"One-quarter of homeless people in the U.S. live in California, despite Californians making up only 12 percent of the population."


Female suicide rate jumps 50 percent since 2000.

"Though men still commit suicide more frequently than women, this sobering new report reveals the rate of increase in suicides was approximately even until 2007, when female suicide rates started to rise faster."


1:47 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

David Brooks is one of the biggest tools to ever leave the shed. Everything about the guy is so offensively mediocre, but even his mediocrity is pretty useless. People are burning out on Christianity and Judaism, and either abandoning them or turning them into something unrecognizable, and he comes along with this tepid conversion narrative? There's maybe three or four people out there even slightly engaged with this spiritual journey of his.

Can't the church of outrage offer Einstein a chance to posthumously apologize? He'll need a crisis manager and a good PR firm, but I think physics may just pull through.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


No. I'm sorry, but I cannot tolerate racist physics.


3:56 PM  
Anonymous Millennial Realist said...

Mexico has a real chance of showing the world its true soul and compassion:
"From restrictions on asylum claims to mass deportations, the Trump administration’s draconian immigration policies may actually push Mexico closer to becoming the “refuge country” it claims to be."

It's heartbreaking watching immigrant children being separated from their families. But the world needs to see this. Trump/Sessions has unmasked the real soul (or lack thereof) of the U.S.

And finally, Oklahoma: The U.S. in a nutshell. As you all know, the U.S. has the highest incarceration rate in the entire world. The state of Oklahoma is actually leading the pack: http://www.tulsaworld.com/homepagelatest/recipe-for-disaster-oklahoma-s-incarceration-rate-now-no-in/article_0561c981-5e48-51a0-812e-19c22b33f55d.html. And not surprisingly, OK is struggling to fund schools and teacher's pay: https://www.economist.com/united-states/2018/01/30/whats-the-matter-with-oklahoma. This is just a microcosm of the overall picture of the U.S.

4:07 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Well you know MB, all atomic nuclei and elementary particles have a spin and the left and right just can't get together to solve anything. Those white dwarfs just don't want any black holes moving into their subdivisions...

anyway ... riding the sinking ship USS We Are Screwed is getting rather tiring. But again, Umair is beating the drums of collapse:


BroM: That Esquire piece you linked to chilled me to the bone, good thing 'cuz it is 90 degrees up here in MN today.

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

10 seconds will probably send you straight to jail:



7:31 PM  
Blogger comrade simba said...

I'm pretty sure that any discussion of regal manicures would violate the half page rule.

Why do I suspect that goofy conscientiousness gathering didn't have prominent displays of the Re-enchantment series. That and Jaynes' Bicameral Mind book ought to be on any consciousness researchers desk.

9:23 PM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

The other shoe has dropped. Elizabeth Holmes indicted on criminal fraud charges. Looks like the friends in high places were not enough to cover for her blatant fraud.

Yahoo Finance: Theranos Inc founder Elizabeth Holmes and the embattled blood-testing company's former president were indicted on charges that they engaged in schemes to defraud investors, doctors and patients, the U.S. Justice Department announced on Friday.

11:43 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

Just saw Shape of Water on a flight. A truly beautiful film that sticks in your head. Thoughts regarding egg symbolism? And the huckster addicted to candy?

12:19 AM  
Anonymous Gordon said...

There is a good chance humanity won't exist by 2100 or quite possibly 2050. Personally, I just don't think there is any way we are going to make it as a species: war, greed, overpopulation. Don't worry too much: Elon Musk will save us!

Have a nice day!

Dear Brother
I agree some what..

Guru Musk may sell the first ticket to Mars to Gingrich or Giuliani
and other deserving members of humanity. The profiteers may mine gold on
asteroids and leave the planet to plebeians as they race to the stars.

Or not

The dual process concept may give humanity some hope.. if you believe in
the power of alternative philosophy and humanities ability to adapt to evolutionary forces.

Unfortunately without enlightenment ideals; tribal and racist realities will once again forge a new reality.

Luck to all..especially those in suburbia mowing lawns and commuting to the golf course, or shooting ranges......

2:07 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Some of you who appreciate critics of the industrialist mentality might be interested to read Thomas Carlyle's "Signs of the Times," written in 1829.

"Were we required to characterise this age of ours by any single epithet, we should be tempted to call it, not an Heroical, Devotional, Philosophical, or Moral Age, but, above all others, the Mechanical Age. It is the Age of Machinery, in every outward and inward sense of that word; the age which, with its whole undivided might, forwards, teaches and practises the great art of adapting means to ends. Nothing is now done directly, or by hand; all is by rule and calculated contrivance. For the simplest operation, some helps and accompaniments, some cunning abbreviating process is in readiness. Our old modes of exertion are all discredited, and thrown aside. On every hand, the living artisan is driven from his workshop, to make room for a speedier, inanimate one. The shuttle drops from the fingers of the weaver, and falls into iron fingers that ply it faster"


Mind you, Carlyle also wrote a massive 467-volume biography of Friedrich the Great, which was Adolf Hitler's favourite book, so he's obviously discredited.

2:52 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

The Toddler clearly deserved the pummeling....


9:15 AM  
Anonymous Ritie said...

Irish Libraries abolishing fines, increasing opening hours, hiring 100 extra librarians to increase visitor numbers over the next five years


Ireland, a country that not only respects philosophy, but libraries too!

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

Dr. Berman --

Apparently not everyone is outraged at Einstein's diaries and do not see him as racist, but merely describing what he's observing.

"Many were in strong support of the scientist: “This is called insulting China? That’s ridiculous. Did the Chinese in that era look dirty? When I see the photos from then, they look dirty, Einstein depicted the true state of that era.”

Others compared the scientists’s observations to that of Lu Xun, considered the father of modern Chinese literature, who was best known for his scathing satire of Chinese society in the early 20th century. “We praise Lu Xun because he pointed out our disadvantages. Why should we blame Einstein for this?”


10:24 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This coddling has gotta stop. Why not just shoot the kid?


Pls watch length, thanks.


Yeah, I can't imagine.


11:37 AM  

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