February 06, 2019



So, the 2019 SOTU has come and gone. Yawn. Nothing we didn't expect. The fact that Trumpola didn't have me write it for him has hurt my feelings more than I can say. Because if he had, I would have brought him outta the closet:

"My fellow Americans. On some level, all of you know that my job, historically speaking, is to dismantle the United States. The place isn't doing anyone any good; it's long overdue to retire the whole project. I think I can take a lot of credit for the damage I've inflicted on the country since I took office. Now, I pledge to you, my dear citizens, that you ain't seen nothing yet. The gloves are off; by November 2020, the place will be a shambles. Liz Warren, ha ha, turned out not to be Pocahontas after all; and I shall be bringing in Lorenzo Riggins to head up the State Dept. As for P. Snoots, just take a guess.

"All of us are turkeys, myself included. I thank you and good night.

"Oh, I almost forgot: Morris Berman will be heading up the dept. of Total and Massive Destruction (TMD)."



Blogger Gunnar said...

Just me or does Pence not look ready for prime time? Hail to the Chief, oops, hold the phone, the Korean War just ended...

12:19 AM  
Anonymous Lu said...

I missed this somehow! Klee's work was fantastic! A personal favorite of mine 3,900 Pages of Paul Klee’s Personal Notebooks Are Now Online, Presenting His Bauhaus Teachings (1921-1931)


1:38 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

"Who was the first man to look at a house full of objects and to immediately assess them in terms of what he could trade them in for in the market? Surely, he can only have been a thief… Any system that reduces the world to numbers can only be held in place by weapons, whether these are swords or clubs, or nowadays, “smart bombs” from unmanned drones…"

Book Review and Reflection: David Graeber's Debt: The First 5000 Years

1:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check this out MB, Wafers. The guy is definitely a Wafer:

"I definitely have a sense of fatalism about this system. I don’t think capitalism can last forever (or even much longer), and I think if you asked a bunch of ecologists, they’d agree with me. That doesn’t mean what comes next will necessarily be better, but if by “within this system” you mean liberal capitalist democracy, then no, I don’t see any real strategic possibilities there."



3:11 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Every so often, you run across an American who is not a clueless buffoon.


3:56 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

the usa-er filthy kike comment directed to Dr. Berman:

Post on your bathroom mirror:

98.7% of americans were dead from the neck up.

Once upon a time, there were americans, and they were born dead.

6:00 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Can you imagine what this guy's inner life must be like? What he sees, when he looks into that mirror?


8:33 AM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

Yay, more trollfoons! Interesting that he (I'll assume it's a he) reads the blog enough to know about the surgery, yet chooses to post in that manner. I blame the Russians. Ha!

More news on the gender disparity front, "historic" new female gov of South Dakota loves killing coyotes, is proud that the first bill she signed wasn't healthcare or jobs but rather concealed carry, and doesn't like solar power. The pussy hats must be rejoicing!

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Koepka said...

Dio - "Debt" was a great read.

Third World USA - About 1.6 million Americans lack indoor plumbing, about 1/2 of 1% of population. Virtually all of them in extremely rural areas


How many Americans go without clean water? Study aims to find out
George McGraw

9:17 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I love a gd, juicy trollfoon. I was beginning to feel neglected, but then this turkey comes to my rescue. It's so much fun, putting these little pieces of dreck down, crushing their (fragile) egos. Hopefully his post will stimulate other trollfoons to join in the fun.

As for the pussy hats, every day history slaps the progs in the face, once again. The SOTU handed them their latest plate of excrement. And do they learn from this? No!


9:42 AM  
Anonymous Vic Bold said...


Subtitle this "Mr Rogers was a communist." At 00:00:26 to 37 he dared to
question consumerism, the miracle that made America great. Part of MAGA
is certainly to return to those simpler days when THE ENEMY was godless,
materialistic, brainwashing slave state communism wanting our mothers,
wives, and daughters to bred commie kiddies. Nowadays family formation
for youngsters finally leaving home to start their own families and buy
a house is not looking promising when you consider the tens of millions
enslaved by student loan payments. Just one of many topics tactfully
omitted from the SOTU chitchat.

1:43 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Good day MB and Wafers,

Bullets fly dept.:

Robert Hakins decided to open fire when he discovered his wife giving a blow job to his friend inside his own hot tub:


I ask u, Wafers, is this a civilization worth preserving?



5:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Lots of interesting things going on in Va. these days. The proper response to yr wife giving another man a blowjob is to hunt down P. Snoots and avail yrself of her services. She is the solution to so many of our national ills (along with Tulsi, Lorenzo, et al.).


5:39 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

In techno-dystopia news, a major DNA testing company shared genetic data with the FBI.


I know a number of people who are big into genealogy and have gotten DNA tests and wonder why I refuse to do so. I will make sure to bring this story up the next time I discuss the issue with them.

6:32 PM  
Anonymous Gondwana said...

In 3 Years, Cops Have Killed 450% More Citizens Than 4 Decades of Mass Shootings COMBINED

As American citizens call for disarming the public, they conveniently ignore the most deadly group of people who will be the only ones with guns—the government.


Florida city commissioner resigns after being accused of licking men's faces, groping | TheHill

Personally I'm amazed that this is America's 1st political face-licking scandal ... get w/ the times USA

6:40 PM  
Anonymous Emily T said...

Been reading great article on how Spinoza was once attacked by man with a dagger - who might this assassin have been? It seems there are several candidates... https://jewishreviewofbooks.com/articles/4991/who-tried-to-kill-spinoza/

7:39 PM  
Anonymous Karin Brulliard said...

Woody Allen sues Amazon for dropping A Rainy Day in New York - BBC News

I still haven't seen "Crisis in Six Scenes" or "A Rainy Day in New York."

8:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


"Crisis" was released in 2016, but I never heard about it. Netflix doesn't list it. So where does one go 2c it?


Well, most have been busy with ass-licking, so I guess no time for faces. As for cops killing people, I have discussed end-of-America scenarios here a few times, and am sure it won't be pretty. Martial law, riots, and cops randomly gunning down crowds.


8:39 PM  
Anonymous Trumbull said...

Sherrod Brown quotes a passage about Toporoff from Totlstoy’s Resurrection to explain his particular political philosophy. Interesting interview: https://t.co/BO47x9IXnY

9:51 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Wtf would Washington,Jefferson, Madison, Monroe say about the commonwealth? Where are the guiliteens, perhaps?

9:58 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Twit of the day, from journalist Patrick Blanchfield, who published a book recently on American gun violence on why the same people who stockpile weapons also deny global warming: "let's be frank. there are a fuck-ton of men in this country who are one layoff and/or commuting annoyance away from killing themselves, their families and anyone else they can. when you really think about that, the sneering embrace of climate nihilism seems less, well, surprising" And one great reply: "Men have no one to talk to. Full stop."

Headlines: Chicago-area hospital treated people who tried boiling water challenge. Throw it in the air and watch as it turns to ice--just don't stand UNDER it when you do so. What fucking morons.

South Florida Family Wins Right to Drill for Oil in Everglades. The judge actually ruled that since the environment in the area is already so polluted it wouldn't matter anyway.

Prominent Republican wants to take student-loan payments out of your paycheck. Cretinous old Dumbocratic hack Joe Biden made student loans non-dischargeable in bankruptcy, and now cretinous old Rethuglican hack Lamar Alexander wants to make repaying them utterly inescapable. I just LOVE bipartisanship!

11:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Tolstoy, pazhalesta.


12:01 AM  
Anonymous John S said...

Here’s a couple of stand-out lines from Trump’s SOTU:

“Together, we represent the most extraordinary nation in all of history.”

“We must keep America first in our hearts. We must keep freedom alive in our souls. And we must always keep faith in America’s destiny – that one Nation, under God, must be the hope and the promise and the glory among all the nations of the world.”

Notice the in these passages and in the speech the recurring themes of manifest destiny, faith, American exceptionalism, freedom, God, and greatness – often those exact words, and recited like a sermon to be taken on faith, not as an argument. This is the core American Credo, or better yet American Core Mythology (ACM), or even better yet, bedrock delusion. Notice that these same themes are not at all unique to Trump, but can be found in Reagan, the Bushes, Clinton and Obama often with the same words used. One thing is clear, Americans believe in this ACM, and not in history, American’s in fact hate real history. Like Hill Cumorah in Palmyra, NY to Mormons, the credo must be proclaimed constantly like the Star-Spangled Banner at football games to sooth American inadequacies at every turn. You can see this mythos woven into American historian’s work like David McCullough or Doris Kearns Goodwin are thinly veiled hagiographies of their subjects, and celebrations of American exceptionalism, with history thrown in on the side. Or Ken Burns the documentarian on the Civil War or Baseball, the same uncritical raw raw for the greatness of Americans. To paraphrase T.S. Eliot, Americans cannot bear too much reality, or any at all it seems.

Challenge the view that we are “the most extraordinary nation in all of history” to the typical garden variety American, and he or she will give you the blank look that how is it even possible to question such an intrinsically axiomatic truth. Trump is not an aberration, he is firmly an American.

1:40 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Check out my essays on the subject in QOV.


4:41 AM  
Anonymous Puss Killian said...

Hi Gunnar, if I understand what you meant, yes, I noticed the same thing about Pence. He looks like he's been getting a lot of facials or something. No one cares about character, it's all about looks these days (e.g. QOV).

@Bill, thanks for that post on drilling in the Everglades. Based on projections of sea level rise, eventually the guy might need a permit for offshore drilling, because his land is going to be underwater at some point. Most of south Florida will, including the Everglades. Very sad. I stayed in a tiki hut on one of the reservations there, and learned a great deal about the history of the "Seminoles". I also learned they are excellent caretakers of the land.

Although it was a bit unnerving seeing alligators hiding under the front steps of neighboring tiki huts ... and just as unnerving to see the dismantling of one value system in service to the gods of profit and oil. Alligators everywhere!

8:57 AM  
Anonymous Toby said...

As the United States becomes a net oil exporter for the first time in 75 years, the US Department of the Interior has announced the discovery of the largest continuous oil and gas field ever found | https://www.doi.gov/pressreleases/usgs-identifies-largest-continuous-oil-and-gas-resource-potential-ever-assessed

Let us invade....New Mexico?

10:20 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

As politicians and would-be politicians across the country climb their hideaway stairs to search their attics for yearbooks, home movies, and photo albums from days gone by, it is always informative and above all amusing to revisit George Carlin’s take on American politics and voting:


I voted for the first and last time in 1972, for George McGovern. Would’ve voted for Pat Paulsen or Professor Irwin Corey, but neither ever made the ballot.

As George says, Fuck hope.

10:56 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

@Puss, I told my doc when all this began the real fun will begin when Pence gets installed (voter suppression or however). 'Complete it is, your training' as Yoda would say. I saw him on morning talk show broom in hand sweeping up Trump droppings. I envision him in office by end of the year, and lemmings will be so relieved, 'the constitution works' they'll say.

M. Moore's movie Fahrenheit 11/9 shld scare holy hell outta people but no worries 'socialist' AOP, Alexandria's new moniker, waits in the wings ready to deficit spend new infrastructure, national debt b damned.

12:14 PM  
Blogger delete said...

Dark ages of humanity jumps off the pages of my latest reading entitled
How the Rich are Destroying The Earth by Herve Kempf. A quick read in
106 pages covering a serious take down on neoliberalism acted out by players
on the global stage. Reading the book one
would think it conveys current events but it was published in 2007.
Good benchmark to show how far we have progressed.

Miles.. Thks for the link

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

#37 ranked us "health" "care" which is owned by privatized publically traded-shared holders and insurance companies is of great benefit to usa-ian academics, public health specialists, policy analysts, and other blow hards.

This is a great opp to get $ through grants, proposals, papers, speaking engagements, CONferences, books, throw-away trade magazines, lots of mental masturbation on how to "refine" it, etc...hu$tling.

Look for terms like: restructuring, reforming, taking things to the next level, transitions, patient -centered, enhancing the experience, engaging providers, pay for value, accountable care, etc...etc.. Even so-called "non" profits were run like for profits esp in american health delivery.

The next time you get 'treated' in the us "health" "care" corporation, remember, your ailment or maladie enriched the corporation.

2:53 PM  
Blogger Balázs said...

The ongoing coup in Venezuela (Vuvuzela for most people, I reckon) looks like a perfect illustration for the decline of the United States. The incompetence of the US plotters and their Vuvuzelan puppets is obvious, but somehow no one seems to be surprised. The contrast to the Chilean coup is striking. Even the players are interesting. Nixon and Kissinger were the tragedy, Trumpi and Johnny Bolton are the farce. Kissinger was (is) like pure evil. Our Johnny is an a-hole with a mustache, who has the manners and intelligence of a small town sheriff.

3:35 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...


You can’t make this stuff up!


5:24 PM  
Anonymous Kenneth Walker said...


The Study of Suicide by Emile Durkheim

5:31 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferes,

Morris, you are one resilient hombre. Thanks for the update.

Snyder is not a lightweight, to say the least. Thanks for the comment on his work. He is earnest, honest and a remarkable historian. Deserving of our respect.

Monday was a good day for me. I mailed my Wafer friend, in Northern New Hampshire, two fave reads: "The Man Without Qualities" and "On Tyranny'. His wife is a librarian. He usually says "mean, there is no hope, we're fucked!"


6:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yr friend's wife is a far-seeing chick. No pussy hats for her.


All his bks are great.

Lotsa gd discussion here; let's keep it coming.


8:21 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

This just in:

Trumpo's been given a clean bill of health after his annual physical exam. I demand an immediate colonoscopy to see if we can discover where Trumpo's brain is.


9:04 PM  
Anonymous Puss Killian said...

The Atlantic has declared a "sex recession".

“If the social conditions for a good sex life—for example through stress or other unhealthy factors—have deteriorated,” the Swedish health minister at the time wrote in an op-ed explaining the rationale for the study, it is “a political problem.”


Apparently, no one is having sex, or having as much sex.

For a geographic perspective:


Definitely a sign of decline ... for those of you who know history way better than I ever will, was this phenomenon observed in previous civilizations in decline?

8:42 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...


I think this is a peculiarly post-industrial trend, although you could argue that the rise of celibacy as a virtue in early Christianity is similar. I'm not sure we could say the Roman world was depopulated through a 'sex recession' per se, but perhaps enough of a proto-Christian monastic minority gave up on sex for the rate of growth to slow.

In our sex recession, you can see it's origins right around 2006ish. At that top pop music pretty much became evacuated of romantic songs, which had obviously been staples before. I listened to the "love" channel on Sirius radio once, and early 2000s was the cut-off.

Compare how sexy and emotional somebody like Whitney Houston was to how these creatures like Lady Gaga make you feel. It's like a national catatonia. Sexual behavior is problematized and dissected while the patient lies dead, insensible.

10:03 AM  
Anonymous Mary Tent said...

Read an interview with Prof Bryan Van Norden about his controversial new book, "Taking Back Philosophy: A Multicultural Manifesto"

Oh! And here is a new bio of our guy Nietzsche - The understated Nietzsche. Far from a bombastic prophet, he was mild-mannered, “uncomplicated,” a perfect gentleman.


10:26 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Around mid-March, I will ask those of you who are active participants to send me an email. At that point, I'll send you the venue for the 6th Annual Wafer Summit Meeting, which will occur on April 13 at 1pm. It will be the greatest gathering in the recorded history of the human race. In a recent email, one Wafer informed me he wd be flying in from Indonesia. They come from all corners of the globe, to bask in the glory of the highest collective spiritual evolution present on the planet. What more is there to say?


10:43 AM  
Anonymous Vic Bold said...


Just view the first view minutes to listen to the future of these youthful
debt slaves. Can you see them setting up a household and having four children
before age 30, as was done when America was great? If BIG capital cannot make
a buck overseas, then all that is left is to become financial parasite
living off the host country.

2:06 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Gunnar--the only way Pence will be president between now and January 2021 (and hopefully 2024!) is if Teflon Don dies in office. Even the Dumbocratic leadership doesn't really want him out. For example, because of SOTU spectacle this past week, most prog idiots were too distracted to notice that the Botox Princess completely knifed them by effectively killing any chance of Medicare-for-all (or even single payer) and the Green New Deal happening as long as it is her claws grasping the sacred gavel.

Note as well that the national debt is a bullshit excuse politicians of both major clown show parties use to kill every proposal to help working people. Yet somehow there is plenty of money to spend a trillion dollars a year for more war, hundreds billions more for a massive and out-of-control intelligence "community" (an abuse of that term so egregious as to make Webster himself blush in his grave), and to allow multimillionaires and billionaires to pay half or less the percentage of taxes paid by the middle and working classes.

That's not to say those getting screwed don't deserve exactly what they are getting since they themselves having been voting for this state of affairs in election after election since Reagan gutted Carter in 1980. They kept right on supporting charlatans of both parties who promised to lower their "unfairly high" taxes while punishing poor (read: black) "freeloaders." Instead, those same politicians lowered taxes on the rich and left these douchebags holding the bag, which seems entirely appropriate to me.

4:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Maybe since 1945. The masses opted not for democratic socialism, which wd have been one choice (extending the New Deal), but for Cold War, empire, and massive hustling, both national and personal. (Fins on cars, ooh! Check out Vance Packard.) And despite the fact that that choice fucked them but gd, they are still making it, only with "war on terror" substituted for Cold War.


4:34 PM  
Anonymous Abraham said...



Two great articles by our man John Gray. I would love to see a convo between Gray and our resident author MB

4:46 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jack L.-

Thanks for stuff on Groucho. A friend of mine visited someone's apt in San Fran in the 60s, where a poster of the Marx Bros was displayed on a wall. "So you're Marxists?" he asked the guy. "No," the latter replied, pointing to the opposite wall, which had a poster of the Beatles on it; "Lennonists."

Poster from Paris, May-June '68: "Nous sommes marxistes, tendence Groucho."

When will Evergreen be closing its doors?


5:20 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I don't post Anons. You need a real handle, such as Beef Jerky, or Cranston Butterworth III. Then you can post in all yr glory. Thank you.


7:41 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Morris, I just learned about the Anthropologist Marvin Harris, who appears to have been a WAFER....I’m curious, what is your take on him and his work?


7:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


It's been a long time since I read him, but I think I found him too purely materialistic, in terms of anthro analysis. Check out WG...I may have discussed him there.




7:48 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sitting Bull understood that you couldn't have a more stupid life than a life of hustling:

"Possessions are a disease with them."

"You judge a man by what he has. We, by what he gives away."

Wafers understand that karma moves thru the final stage of American history like a bulldozer.

We are little more than a hollow shell.


8:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers are invited to speculate as to what might happen if you were to ride around in a car that had the following bumper sticker on it:



8:26 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


You beat me to it, MB, as I was gonna post the exact same article about the murder of RFK! Pease's book looks very compelling, as Maheu certainly had the motive to kill RFK. Pease is also signatory to a new Truth and Reconciliation Committee seeking to reopen the murder of RFK, as well as JFK, MLK, and Malcom X:



9:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I think, with those assassinations, the US began to come apart, and it never got stitched back together again. There was a feeling among many of us during that decade that certain dark forces were running the show, and that the rest of us had no control over events.


9:27 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:
[something went wrong with my last attempt at posting]

I was watching a rerun of Archie Bunker today, and hung around after it ended to watch some NYC TV news. Get a load of this:


Pregnant woman upset over beef patties smashes restaurant windows with baseball bat

I believe we have a new Wafer heroine, anonymous as she may be.

On another note, for those of you who are considering emigrating to Canada, you might be interested to know that the temperature got down to below -30° C all week. It made it all the way to -41° (-53° with the wind chill) when I rolled my bike into work on Wednesday morning. I felt as if I accomplished something in just showing up.

12:26 AM  
Anonymous Rufus T. Schmeck said...

Hello Tom Servo,

To clarify, the company, FTDNA, did not share "genetic data with FBI". They allowed law enforcement to upload dna, five to ten “kits”, & compare the dna matches in an attempt to solve serious crimes. FTDNA did NOT allow them to access “raw data”.
However, one the thing that is dystopian, is that FTDNA did NOT tell their customers that they had changed their terms of service to allow this! As they were supposed to! This is the serious breach. And what is typical of American's & their sheepish worship of technology, is that will not be a check on this technology. It can be a wonderful tool, but it will become, soon enough, a powerful weapon.
The other issue, is that folks did not sign up to have this data used in this way. I do genealogy, & I do genetic genealogy, & I would never allow law enforcement to access my dna for ANY purpose. Simply because the overwhelming opportunity for abuse out ways any potential benefit. Here is a link that covers the issue & it's serious consequences:


Rufus T. Schmeck

2:08 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Greetings all from a rainy but beautiful Lugano, Switzerland! Hubby and I are here enjoying the palm trees (yes, there are palm trees in Switzerland, believe it or not), and enjoying trains and buses that run on time in Ticino, a place we call "Italy, run by the Swiss". Very pleasant. Been really busy, it's been hard to even get online to keep up.

Thought I'd add this article in CP, interview by The Saker with economist Michael Hudson, detailing exactly what's happening with the Empire's thrashing of Venezuela. Same old formula, just not even in the shadows anymore. There's not even one worry about hiding what we're really doing. And so many countries are just following along. Depressing:


Back to Italy (the real Italy!) on Monday.

2:49 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Lack of a beef patty is license to kill, really. Meanwhile, we now have Shaneka Torres II to celebrate, as you suggest.


3:43 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@Bill Hicks,

Regarding the tweet from Patrick Blanchfield, I saw that another reply mentioned the 1993 film Falling Down. I think Falling Down is a movie that Wafers would definitely appreciate. It is still relevant today.

I also agree with the reply about men having no one to talk to. Lack of friendship is one of the biggest problems for Americans. Americans are a lonely people. Social life has largely collapsed in this country.


Loneliness rivals obesity and smoking as a health risk.


3:57 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Response to bumper sticker:

Dude in $60,000 truck (writhing under debt burden/reduced hrs @ work) with the 12x12 American flag (pole arc welded to truck bed) cuts me off, angles truck in front of my car so I can't escape then proceeds to make a citizen's arrest @ gun point. Cops arrive (slow response time goes out the window if someone blasphemes) they taze then shoot me b/c I bad mouthed them while being electrocuted. Might or may not recover depending on jam packed triage @ hospital. Truck driver and cop go out for a beer.

10:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


In one way or another, Americans are taught, from an early age, that everyone else is your rival, even potential enemy. American life is abt showing yr better than the next guy, are more successful. In such a social and emotional climate, real friendships are very unlikely. I doubt Americans even know what such a thing is.


Yeah, likely scenario. Wd this do any better?:



10:30 AM  
Anonymous Shellby said...


Birth of the Chess Queen: A History Paperback – April 26, 2005
by Marilyn Yalom

Lovely reading recommendation here ~

"Everyone knows that the queen is the most dominant piece in chess, but few people know that the game existed for five hundred years without her. It wasn't until chess became a popular pastime for European royals during the Middle Ages that the queen was born and was gradually empowered to become the king's fierce warrior and protector.

Birth of the Chess Queen examines the five centuries between the chess queen's timid emergence in the early days of the Holy Roman Empire to her elevation during the reign of Isabel of Castile. Marilyn Yalom, inspired by a handful of surviving medieval chess queens, traces their origin and spread from Spain, Italy, and Germany to France, England, Scandinavia, and Russia. In a lively and engaging historical investigation, Yalom draws parallels between the rise of the chess queen and the ascent of female sovereigns in Europe, presenting a layered, fascinating history of medieval courts and internal struggles for power."

10:46 AM  
Anonymous Harvey said...



meanwhile, the quiet last days of a truly great human being

Thich Nhat Hanh, Father of Mindfulness, Awaits the End | Time

The Monk Who Taught the World Mindfulness Awaits the End of This Life


11:09 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A great man. I actually try to read a few pp. of "Silence" every day.


11:20 AM  
Blogger Ordinary Indian said...

Hi MB,

I have been lurking for a while. Wanted to re-surface with one comment and one question. The comment first.
The Wire has published an interview of David Harvey, the British Marxist Scholar. He accepts that capitalism is in crisis, but does not believe that it will go away on its own. He, as a Marxist, believes that it has to be pushed (read revolution). What is missing, at least in this interview, is the ecological perspective. Any comments on his position? Do Marxists generally miss the ecological perspective (that the world has finite resources), as you have discussed on several occasions? Where would you put this revolutionary position in relation assertions of many others who see capitalism in terminal crisis (you, Wallerstein et al.)?

Now the question. Can you suggest some book/article studying the role weapons research programs played in spawning research in that aspect of fundamental physics today we call `High energy physics'? My impression is that all these activities are direct descendents of the Manhattan project and its follow ups. But I would like concrete researched proof.


12:18 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Case studies in the us--"always keep america, in your heart."

70+yo individual, PhD in sciences,w/multi yr fellowship, is in pre-foreclosure and living with a 90yo+ family member in a 1BR apt.

The individual did everything they were instructed to do in the us empire (from getting the "right degree", kissing the "right" tuchas, being a "good" hard worker, loyality, including waving the flag and "voting" too, having all the 'right' opinions, yankee doodly dipshit, etc..etc...). Barely has 2000$ to the person's name, and was replaced by cheap youngins work-wise.

Spoke to some neighbors abt the situation. Overwhelming consensus--deserves being thrown of the home, let the sheriff do their thing, should've had a diff job, life's hard, things happen, why didn't the person pay their mortgage, this will teach the person a lesson abt responsibility.

usa, usa.

1:52 PM  
Anonymous Tim Whitmarsh said...

J Stuart Mill a Not-so-secular Saint


1:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I think yr rt abt the Manhattan project, and I'm sure there are numerous bks on the subject of derivatives from military research. But it's just not my area of expertise; I simply don't have the biblio. Of course the Internet came out of DARPA; you might start there.

As for the 'force' thesis that Marx advocated (it's the midwife of a new social order, he said): the environment is not a motherhood issue, and attempts at Dual Process and sustainability will be met with resistance. This is resistance we can meaningfully oppose, I believe; such opposition is not the proletarian 'mass uprising' foolishly predicted by Hedges. As for capitalism per se, think of the Middle Ages per se: the waning of the M.A. and the rise of capitalism took centuries. No doubt the process was assisted by the Protestant Ref and Voltaire etc., but the crucial issue was that by the 16C medieval Christianity was standing on clay feet. This change will also take a long time, but it is clear that it has been in process for some time now. So I don't know what to say to Harvey. It's actually possible that direct opposition to capitalism cd serve to prolong it, for all I know, i.e. give it unexpected life, a last stand.


2:44 PM  
Anonymous Ignatiy Vishnevetsky said...

Media Studiws Dept.:

I get so confused by these findings. Wishing I had Sherry Turkle or Nick Carr on-call to help parse the conclusions.

Calm Down, Parents: A Rigorous New Oxford Study of 350,000 Teens Shows Screen Time Is About as Dangerous as Potatoes https://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/screen-time-isnt-harming-kids-much-at-all-rigorous-new-oxford-study-finds.html

False Links Between Screen Time and Cognitive Development https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/checkpoints/201902/false-links-between-screen-time-and-cognitive-development

.... but then .....

“Researchers in Canada say children who spent more time with screens at two years of age did worse on tests of development at age three than children who had spent little time with devices.” https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/jan/28/study-links-high-levels-of-screen-time-to-slower-child-development


Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

2:54 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


We have many studies now showing increased rates of depression and anxiety, decreased rates of empathy and social interaction skills. Among other things. Many of these have been cited here over the last few yrs.


4:42 PM  
Anonymous DeadThoreau said...

Got a good friend who works as a fishing guide for Steelhead up on the Skeena River here in British Columbia. Tells me that most of his clientele are old, rich, white American businessmen, a lot of them are CEOs of large corporations. Just to add, my buddy is a farm boy, with a lot of traditional Conservative viewpoints, but he has quite the Green streak being someone who loves to fly fish. I guess you could say he's a true Conservative, in the Burkean sense. Anyways I had suggested that he should read Elizabeth Kolbert's The Six Extinction, which he did, a shock to his system he said. So he points out to these Americans on a trip up the river one day the declining numbers of steelhead and talks about the environmental damage that humans are causing. He was shocked by the Americans response, he said "it was like I was speaking Klingon or something, speaking something totally alien to them, these people didn't know about anything other then business. It was all about business to them". Hustlers. He's now reading WAF. He'll understand MB, you watch.

9:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Realist-

You shd know that in the case of hate mail, or personal attacks on me, I never read past the 1st line; I just delete. Why wd I possibly be interested in what you have to say? I am not the subject of this blog; rather, the American empire is. So on this blog, we don't discuss the blog itself or its facilitator. If you want to continue to attack me or the blog, you shd know that no one is listening; altho maybe such posts serve some cathartic purpose for you, I have no idea. It's all the same to me if you waste your time, and your life. (I am, after all, an extremely minor figure on the US intellectual scene, barely on the radar screen of public discussion, if at all. Why in the world wd you bother, or even care?) Wafers have better things to do, as it turns out, and the day I start sending hate mail to blogs of any sort, will be the day I realize I'm pathetic. Which you are, amigo; a guy with no purpose in life and way too much time on his hands. A shmuck, in a word, altho putz might be closer to the mark.


Interesting anecdote, thank you. With Waferism, we convert one person at a time; but most Americans are, indeed, a lost cause. To think the whole world is abt business is to exit the human race, in a way. Two films you might wanna suggest to yr friend: "The East," and "First Reformed."


10:18 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Greetings again from the Old DUMBinion, where Governor Coonman is desperately trying to hang on despite such antics as going on national teevee and referring to slavery as "indentured servitude," as if the slaves did what great-great-great grandpop from the old country did and signed up for 7 years of mandatory service to a plantation owner in exchange for the cost of their ship transport to this wonderful American utopia. I want a bumper sticker that reads: Ralph Is A True American.

@Tom--indeed, I saw Falling Down in the movie theater when it first came out. At the time I thought of Michael Douglas's character as an outlier, but have come to realize that he's pretty close to the norm of the average adult American male. The movie, which could never be made today, is beautifully nuanced in that it is somewhat sympathetic to Douglass, and features (as did Apocalypse Now) scenes of violence that are both horrific and uncomfortably exhilarating at the same time. Definitely recommended.

Blanchfield also linked to this story today: Kenneth Lilly, School Bus Shooting Suspect, Killed Teen In 2015. It seems our boy Lilly, who is 31, shot an injured a 78-year-old school bus driver after a fender bender. And of course, our boy Lilly is claiming both "self-defense" and (through his lawyer) to be "concerned" about the driver's condition. An 8-year-old kid who was on the bus was said to have been "not injured," but of course nobody cares that the child was probably psychologically traumatized for life. USA! USA! USA!

10:25 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Deleted it as soon as I saw yr name. Jesus, u.r. 1 dumb bunny. And pathetic...off the scale! How does a person get to be such a loser? Anyway, this is my last message 2u. Corresponding w/dreck has limited attraction for me.


1:01 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

It's all an amusing game to play spot the american abroad (rare species b/c they don't really travel).

So far, we're 5/7. Had to do some errands around the area-- Pathnognomic features include: always in a hurry (thk chicken w/head cut off, panting, stressed, or the need to use the toilet very soon look), pressured speech, constipated looking face (resting bitch face), rubber necking, loudly commenting on how cheap things are, or how expensive things to "back home," talking loudly, monolinguistic tone deafness w/o even making an effort in the native language, everything looks old commentary or needs to be "fixed" up, hands flailing/arms going/pointing, huge luggage in transport, playing with phone endlessly, taking pictures of everything and anything, shirts with the names of states in huge font.

Wafers likely can add more.

We just laugh and walk the opposite direction. usa-ers were really were walking jokes.

9:01 AM  
Anonymous Houze said...

Interesting weekend read

Was John Ruskin the most important man of the last 200 years? Ruskin was a man of intense contradictions...

11:21 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


No, but probably one of the top 5. There is some discussion of Ruskin in my Japan book, BTW.


11:32 AM  
Anonymous Joshua A said...

People killed by gun last year:

Japan: 10
Sweden: 41
Switzerland: 47
UK: 50
Israel: 105
Australia: 207

Total Population: 246,959,950
Total Guns: 8,804,000
Total Gun Deaths: 460

United States...

Population: 329,093,106
Guns: 393,347,000
Gun Deaths: 39,773

11:42 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

The problem seems to me is Americans don't have the synapses to think in terms of centuries. They want it all right now, and are willing to bomb whoever to get what they want. These idiots think their 'republic' is old and history ended when Berlin Wall came dowm, no way they can conceive of the next 200 yrs as a hellish transition.

Another NIMYBY story, fucking guy complains about piss and liquor bottles without slightest admission the chemicals he uses in body shop might b a bigger problem.


12:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I remember a video, not of Jay Leno but someone else, interviewing Americans in the street regarding the Civil War. When asked when it occurred, one woman said: "Oh, you mean in the 60s?" Another turkette was asked about the War Between the States, and replied, "Which states?" There are hundreds of videos along these lines. E.g., "When we became independent in 1776, from whom were we separating?" Answers included China; no one said Great Britain.


12:21 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Small wood dept. (?):

Antonio Smallwood, 41, arrested in Newport News, VA for screening a porno on his garage door:



1:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


It might have been Antonio's way of rising up against the system...a foretaste of the proletarian revolution that some have been predicting. This was possibly on P. Snoots' mind as well, but I suppose we'll hafta ask her for clarification. ("Fellatio is the true revolution," she might say, for example. Hmmm...another T-shirt?)


2:03 PM  
Anonymous Vic Bold said...


A true American video (one min.)showing what to do with consumer items no longer loved:
simply find amusement in violently destroying them. One thinks of a country
having its children shot dead in schools..what can be its future?

2:40 PM  
Blogger Balázs said...

Mike R., regarding "It's all an amusing game to play spot the american abroad".

While you're probably completely right, we should be very careful not to be overly biased or unfair. US-Americans are probably quite extreme but hardly unique in showing these traits. Eg. my compatriots (Hungarians) certainly have the "monolinguistic tone deafness", and "playing with phone endlessly" is a habit without borders. In Thailand the Chinese is the most hated and most annoying, and they do behave like loud idiots who own the place.

OFF. Now before I can submit this short text I have to declare that "I'm not a robot". But what if I'm? Would I know it? Actually, has anyone seen a robot sitting in the living room posting to whatever blogs? Just kidding...

2:59 PM  
Anonymous Dina Maron said...

Two wonderfully meditative books given to me for my birthday last week:

"Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin to Munger" by Peter Bevelin

"Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plant" by Robin Wall Kimmerer

I'd be happy to send them off to a fellow Wafer when I'm finished!

3:08 PM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

Dr. B and Wafers,

Enjoying the discussion... I had the chance to visit the Carribbean last week for my honeymoon and got a little taste of a slower paced and more authentic culture. Unfortunately, many Americans were also there. It was a tourist-dense environment and almost everyone we interacted with was hustling to make a buck, but there was something real and honest in the demeanor of the locals. They were playful, genuine, and upbeat. Maybe it's just because their weather is heavenly in February, but it was a nice change after going through the airport and being patted down, inspected, and admonished for not removing my belt and hiking up my pants (how does giving yourself a wedgie help airport security?) in a dehumanizing fashion.

It did seem to me like they look to America as a example to follow. The same media stories were discussed, and they knew much more about America than most Americans I'd wager. But I have hope for their culture surviving our collapse-they know how to cooperate 1000 times better than Americans. Next time, I'll steer clear of the American tourists hotspots.

Meanwhile: (Not America-but a shining example of CRE in the North America)

3:28 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferinos,

@MB Ahh - April in New York! As mentioned before, my favorite framed photo at home, for years now - Sitting Bull... on a related note, I talked with my local librarian, an Indigenous woman, about going to the Greasy Grass (Little Bighorn, Montana) for "Crow Fair" in August this year. I continue reading Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz's "Indigenous People's History of the United States". Wafer reading, as you've noted.

@Bill Hicks - right on with that last post. Always plenty of deficit spending for war.

O&D Dept: The postal service keeps stuffing this ridiculous little hustling rag in my mailbox; usually it goes straight into the newsprint recycling bin. I looked at it the other day. Here are two "typicals" showing how the death of the English language rolls on, Columbia:

local store ads: "furnature for sale"; "our comminity".

Illiterate ad writers? or just Death by a Million Typos? TWOAC, ad infinitum.

Perhaps the power of positive drinking. Public education at it's best, no doubt.

3:40 PM  
Anonymous Pat Chouli said...

According to the latest Pew Research poll...”respondents in a growing number of countries worried about the power and influence of the United States”:


But as this blog seems to have pointed out, there’s another question that continues to linger here. And that is whether or not these same folks who are responding can also equate the US gov’t with = the American people themselves?

4:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Foreigners find Americans pushy, entitled, and obnoxious, but quite honestly, Russian and Chinese tourists aren't a joy either. But in general, in my experience, Europeans see the American people as relatively benign, as a whole, and the govt as aggressive and destructive. I haven't found too many who connect the dots, see the microcosm in the macro, and vice versa.


Congratulations on getting married. Next time, try small towns in Italy (Italiana can help u, I'm sure). Some are not touristed at all.


Happy Birthday. I'm sure some Wafers will take you up on yr offer. Also try works by the almost-late Thich Nhat Hanh, for deep peace of mind. That guy is a Wafer to the max. When I compare the quality of his existence to that of the avg American, I am forced to hurl.


5:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Pls send messages to latest post. No one reads the old stuff. Thanks.


7:00 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

Dina, I have that Seeking Wisdom book. Perhaps not a wafer thing to say, but I think Buffet often has sensible things to say.

8:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Always, always, capitalize Wafer. Thank you.

BTW, what wd be the adjective? Waferish? Waferesque? Wayfaring?


9:25 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

I'm feeling positively "Waferish" about the state of American sickcare these days. First there was this long article: Grift the Pain Away. It's a perfect storm combining a broken system, technodouchebaggery, American idiots and celebrity douchebags. Worth it if you have a little time.

More importantly, I found this little nugget tucked away on a local news site that really ought to be screaming headlines for everything it portends about where America is headed: Ambulance Service of Fulton County shuts down. Yes that's right, in a country which refuses to tax billionaires, one unfortunate county will no longer have a public ambulance service. Looking a little closer, here are some of the given reasons: 1). Too many low paying Medicaid ambulance calls, which make up about half ASFC's responses, many of which fail to cover the full cost of service (My comment: damn poor people getting sick all the damn time). 2). Too many zero payment calls from individuals who either won't or can't pay for the service (My comment: damn poor freeloaders who expect "free" trips to the hospital). And here's the kicker: "If they charged every household in Fulton County $4 a year, we'd be solvent."

I know it's just one small service in one small county, but in these supposedly still "good" economic times, it seems to reflect a very dark American future to come. Once the economy really starts to unravel, this kind of thing will no doubt become the norm.

11:06 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Depends on context MB I could seeing using all three.

Last week we got SOTU trumpola tonight in El Paso witnessed the full unfurling of Hair Trump. Reminded me so much of the Daniel Day Lewis movie There Will Be Blood, this shit bound to go nuclear sooner rather than later. Also eerily similar to Caesar rallying the people and provoking congress & the first amendment - a rally for the ages (fav part - call me a perv -is watching in fascination as Trump pulls #'s outta his ass) .

11:09 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

It's Time to Admit That Many Americans Are Stupid....


12:25 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Greetings all, back in our little piece of heaven in Italy. During our time in Switzerland, we were looking for apartments in Lugano (long story for another time). In two cases, the real estate agents, once they realized we were escaping from America, opened up to us. One, who is originally from Guatemala (!) and has relatives in Texas, stated straight out that "Americans aren't normal!", while relaying stories of the neighbors of her relatives telling her that "USA is #1!!". Noted that we were different. (She also noted that big news in Switzerland is "Lost Cat!", not the latest mass murder.)

Second one - Italian married to a Brit but has been living in Lugano for 20 years, said all the Americans were only interested in how much people have, not in their character.

Last anecdote - last summer we were in a little village, Gandria, on Lake Lugano, in a tiny little restaurant. It was still the tourist season, and we realized we were surrounded by loud, obnoxious Americans - whereupon we decided to speak Italian to try to hide the fact we were American. Sigh.

2:03 AM  
Blogger Balázs said...

Bill Hicks, a heartbreaking example for American healthcare is about the victims of a mass shooting, who got broke because of the medical bills.


The next link points to the Onion magazine. Their parody so closely resembles reality they are often treated as real news sources.


And I have to tell you, the US may be an extreme case, the difference is just quantitative, not qualitative, to quote my high school physics teacher.

3:43 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


George Carlin usta say that we are born into a freak show, but that if yr born in America, you get a front row seat. Myself, I doubt the diff is just quantitative. See Italiana and jj above, e.g. Data in this category are overwhelming.


I doubt his 'solution'--get out the vote--is going to change very much politically.


4:20 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Gunnar: best posts are on a specific pt, and provide evidence. 'Generalized opinion' statements, not that helpful. Thanks.

4:22 AM  
Anonymous Fleishman said...

Amy Klobuchar Pledges To Fight Everyday Americans


7:41 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

A frightening article on the decline of the world’s insect population.


I wonder how many Americans would care if you told them about this problem or would be willing to cut back on consumerism to try to deal with the issue.

7:44 AM  
Blogger Irene fowler Nigeria said...

MB:- Brilliant and authentic take on the real SOTU! I went a bit further- postulating nuclear holocaust in my latest piece for the Global Policy Institute. http://gpiblog.lmu.edu/martin-luther-king-jr-and-germanys-martin-niemoller/

7:46 AM  
Anonymous Meghan Holland said...

“Casting off religion was meant to free us, give us our full dignity of agents... But now we are forced to go to new experts, therapists, doctors, who exercise the kind of control that is appropriate over blind and compulsive mechanisms" - Charles Taylor

"What are days for?
Days are where we live.
They come, they wake us
Time and time over.
They are to be happy in:
Where can we live but days?

Ah, solving that question
Brings the priest and the doctor
In their long coats
Running over the fields."

Philip Larkin

8:51 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


One of my favorite poets, thank you. TMWQ ends with "High Windows."


Thank you for the link. Most American politics, which on the surface looks insane, can best be understood as amounting to nothing more than theater.


My kinda gal, really, and somewhat akin to this blog: we seek to *expose* everyday Americans. (But to whom?)


10:04 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

@Bill Hicks

The ambulance situation had to be the brainchild of a handful of horrible accountants. They are like the semi-intelligent paternalist forces who are easily able to bamboozle dumb legacy administrators into an agenda with the authority of some Excel sheet.

I once attended some political rallies in Germany, and one thing that stuck out was how the speakers assumed the audience were knowledgeable about matters of budgeting/public accounting. It was interesting to actually hear a boring, detailed political speech and not the ra-ra Jerry Springer nonsense.

Since people here have the attention span of gnats, we get mysterious, nameless "wonks" to draw up austerity blueprints.

10:35 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Tom. Yep, Americans are notorious (though hardly alone) for their disconnect from nature. Not good news at all. There was an episode of the WAFer show Black Mirror where the bees die and they come up with micro-drones to replace them ... and yeah I won't spoil the episode.


10:42 AM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

More Wafernian reading


10:48 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Cheer up kids, this global warming thing can have a silver lining. Or so we’re told by a Reuters report concerning the melting of Greenland’s glaciers. The melting is releasing large amounts of sand and gravel—essential components in construction and industry—into the sea and coastal waters of the island. And, as you might have predicted, American scientists were partners in the research. You don’t have to be a businessman to be a hustler, I guess.

“By mining sand, “Greenland could benefit from the challenges brought by climate change,” a team of scientists in Denmark and the United States wrote in the journal Nature Sustainability.

Rising global temperatures are melting the Greenland ice sheet, which locks up enough water to raise global sea levels by about seven meters (23 ft) if it ever all thawed...”


10:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Gd essay, but why does she still own a cell fone and do Twitter? There's talk, and there's action.


11:30 AM  
Anonymous Capt. Spaulding said...

Greetings, Dr. B. --- I've been lurking for a good while and am resurfacing to share this interesting piece in the NYRB on the Russian/French origins of the concept of "internal exile." The author generally doesn't take the concept as far as NMI, she mainly sees it as a means of escaping one's political and cultural context, not necessarily as a way of private self-cultivation through immersion in the best that one's culture has produced. She also seems surprised that the idea is catching on in the West in the wake of Trump (not really realizing that Wafers have been doing so for years already). But it's still an interesting read:


Warm regards,

The Capt.

3:12 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferes,

Anecdotes from the fly-over heartland of dual process dystopia is what I usually offer. Sorry for no links, but Wafer bloggers seem to get them all, as above. Great posts. I learn a lot. And limit my time "on-line".

At the library. I've walked in, past an aging mini-van parked at an ice clogged curb and gutter. The peeling bumper sticker proclaims "I'm proud to be an Amerikan!" I step up to the counter and greet my native friend, the Navajo librarian. "Valencia, I'm proud to be an amerikan!"Fuck Amerika!" she replies. We both laugh. Dual process? All that l I know is that many are called and few are chosen; but I think there are many more Wafers out there than we might imagine...however we active Wafers are fighting the good fight and maybe even winning over, daily, those who already know that it is all a bad theatrical production. And the curtains will come down soon.

No twitter no smartphone no feces book no method no guru - but, "Childhood's End" by Arthur C. Clarke is definitely a ... a Wafernian classic! Get Waferized - you'll probably feel a whole lot better.

Roll on. Columbia!

4:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for the essay. I subscribe to the hardcopy edn of the NYRB, so I'm guessing it'll show up in my mailbox b4 2 long. It's been very interesting, watching Wafer concepts and ideas of up to 19 yrs ago show up in the mainstream press. I suspect much of the time lag is due to the radical nature of these ideas, which the MSM has a very difficult time absorbing. Almost all Americans are mesmerized by unconscious programming along very hackneyed lines, making it nearly impossible for them to step outside the box. As Will Herberg, Robt Bellah, and I have discussed, for Americans America *is* their (real) religion, and that can't be shaken because w/o this, Americans wd be staring into the abyss. (See essays in QOV.) This is why, as the American Dream crumbles, we see increasing violence, opioid use, alcoholism, cell fone addiction, suicide, and hysteria over not getting bacon on yr cheeseburger at McDonald's. So Waferian concepts penetrate the minds of only the tiniest % of the population, and this failure is also a contributing factor to our decline (as I argue in WAF).

A single example, also from the NYRB, this time from the issue of Feb. 7, Jackson Lears' review of 2 bks on American imperial decline, by Victor Bulmer-Thomas and David Hendrickson. Lears (an historian I admire v. much) identifies these bks as the most serious efforts to analyze that decline since Chalmers Johnson's work. I was writing at the same time as Johnson; I cite his work; we were both saying that the jig was up, w/abs no hope of reversing the coming collapse. Lears makes no mention of my trilogy, only because (I'm guessing) I'm not on the American intellectual radar screen, am basically invisible, whereas Johnson featured big on it (altho his work also fell on deaf ears). But I was fascinated by Lears' discussion of Hendrickson in particular because I lectured on "Dark Ages America" at Colorado College in 2006, where Hendrickson is a faculty member. His response to my talk was basically to dismiss it: I had arbitrarily picked certain events, he said, and strung them together to generate a negative picture of American history and predict the end of the empire. An easy thing to do, he claimed. Lo and behold, 13 yrs later Prof. Hendrickson does pretty much the same thing, altho now the 'events' are no longer arbitrary--what I argued in 2006 (no mention of that lecture, BTW, or of DAA; I assume he just forgot abt both) has now become truth. Gee, how did that breakthrough occur in the good professor's mind? In 2006, I pegged him as a middle-of-the-road kind of American patriot, and I suspect he still is. But perhaps a bit less so, today, because in order to see outside the box you have to back away from American 'holiness' and exceptionalism and grasp that we *are* an empire and that we *do* do evil in the world--a shitload of it. Maybe, in the yrs since I spoke at Colorado College, Hendrickson managed to make that journey, catch up to me and Chalmers Johnson. This is only one example of what I'm talking abt, that Wafer concepts of many yrs ago are unwittingly (I believe) presented as 'breakthroughs' today. I have often said that in the US, even the smart ones are dumb. Hendrickson is certainly not dumb, but he is, like almost all of the academic and intellectual establishment, slow on the uptake. And I doubt his book, any more than my trilogy (or Johnson's), will have any impact at all on that establishment, let alone on the rest of the population; the brainwashing in this country is simply too powerful.

But what his work, Chalmers' work, my work, and that of a few others can provide is an archive of why America failed. Picking thru the ruins 50 yrs from now, Chinese historians will say: "Hmm...this guy Belman...he had it right. Why was no one listening?" Why indeed.


5:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: One wonders abt the Chinese, however. A few days ago I accidentally ran into a woman who works as an editor at a major Chinese publishing house in Beijing. In the course of our discussion about what was going on in China and the US, I mentioned WAF, told her it had been translated into Mandarin by a different publisher in Beijing. She whipped out her cell fone and plugged my name into it; sure enuf, the bk came up on the screen. But here's the kicker: she told me that the title had been translated into Mandarin in such a way so as to suggest that the book was joking, wasn't really serious. Why would the Chinese do this, esp. since, if you read the book, it's quite clear that I *am* serious? I haven't a clue.

5:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Waferization is a very painful process, even tho it's purely voluntary (we force our views on no one). Most Americans undergoing the process wd either die, or go psychotic.

If we were a sect or religion, and if we did proselytize, I wd recommend Wafers fan out across the country armed with crowbars and buckets of K-Y Jelly. The idea wd be to forcibly extract the American head out of the American ass: Mission Impossible, really; but an act of charity nonetheless. Right now, 99+% of the population is rolling around like doughnuts.


5:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Check out "Cream," by Haruki Murakami, in Jan. 28 issue of New Yorker. Might be a gd pt of discussion.


6:20 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

Mahler's Songs of a Wafer-er (he he)

6:28 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


Re: Prof. Hendrickson

Jesus, is this a fucking joke? Hendrickson has even wrote a stringently critical "trilogy" on US foreign policy. His final one, to be fair, is the most critical, yet he couldn't see (in 06) what was two inches from his nose: that we're a nation of complete and utter douche bags! What more evidence did he need, other than the kind that you presented to him? For the life of me, I just can't wrap my brain around such obliviousness. Was he in a coma back then?

MB, Wafers-

Have a look at this:


Bamford describes the government's case against Butina as "extremely flimsy," and describes her as the perfect "scapegoat," caught up in our continuous "anti-Russian fervor."




6:39 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Apologies MB foretting evidence. Trump's speech in El Paso was the first time I've seen him where comparisons to Hitler/Mussolinni is now not open to debate. Maybe it was the pitch and tenor but it felt different to me. Here's one quote,

"ICE officers have made 200. Listen to these numbers, two hundred and sixty six thousand arrests of criminal aliens, including those charged or convicted of approximately one hundred thousand assaults. Forty thousand forty forty thousand large cities, thirty thousand sex crimes, twenty five thousand burglaries, twelve thousand vehicle thefts, eleven thousand robberies, four thousand kidnappings and 4,000 murders, murders, murders, killings, murders. "

New levels of bloviation. Read entire speech here (loved the part where says live births are being murdered)


7:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Only 1 post every 24 hrs, thank you.


One explanation is that if you have a cushy academic job and a rather large income, it's kind of difficult to be critical of the country that gave you those things. But the 'coma' you speak of is more general (i.e., not necessarily economically based), and again, this is why I say that folks with high IQs can be quite stupid; or in Hendrickson's case, blind. Giving up your country, esp. if it's the US, is like giving up an extremely addictive love affair; and for most Americans, it can only be done very slowly. Hendrickson heard my words, but at that pt he was still in the coma, the trance of American exceptionalism; letting my message in wd have been terrifying, more than he cd handle. So my selection of events was 'arbitrary', to be dismissed; obviously, anyone cd do what I had done. No truth on my part, just pure bias. Having said that, I (Hendrickson) feel safe. I haven't read his latest work; one can only hope that in the ensuing years, he developed a bit of psychological courage.

But most Americans, professors or not, don't develop such courage, because it's a matter of ontological knowing, not just intellectual knowing. For example, as Dan (on this blog) and I have experienced, talking to American (or British) Jews abt Palestine is a waste of time, because on an ontological level, for them, Zionism = protection from the Holocaust. When venturing outside of the 'coma' is ontologically equivalent to dying, very little progress can be made on the basis of empirical evidence. Most of these folks shift to ad hominem attacks very quickly--a sure sign that they are losing the argument. But if losing the argument is psychologically equivalent to death...well, I tend to avoid these discussions nowadays.

The same is true of Americans about America. In an ontological sense, how far was Hendrickson, vintage 2006, from today's Trumpite, yelling USA! USA! It's more a difference of style than substance. And this type of rigidity will contribute greatly to the implosion of Israel (I doubt it will reach its 100th birthday), and to that of the US. It's all religious fundamentalism, really. No one is hurting Israel more than Netanyahu; no one hurting the US more than Trumpola.

Arthur Koestler once wrote that the greatest enemy of the human race was 'devotion', i.e. blind adherence to a cause or world view (a coma, basically); and said we needed to develop a pill that wd combat it. His whole life was an illustration of such folly, as he was a rabid Zionist, then a rabid Communist, then a rabid anti-Communist, then a rabid paranormalist, and so on. He finally ran out of causes and committed suicide at age 78. (There's an excellent bio of Koestler by Michael Scammell; on this theme, see also Eric Hoffer, "The True Believer," wh/I've referenced b4.)

What success wd I have had in 2006 if I had suggested to Hendrickson that he was brainwashed like any typical American, living in a coma? "Oh, gee, maybe you're rt; I'll have to rethink my tepid, timid, political position." When pigs fly.


7:52 PM  
Anonymous Yoogoogyoolator said...

@Balazs, MB - Your nuanced take on tourist themes was enjoyed.

If nuance came back by popular demand we would all be better for it. Especially in media, nuance is only included as a thorough retort to reinforce a singular self-flattering theme.

Dual process or any mindful take on things goes out the window when one is shouting down from the high ground:

PS. About Wafervision being painful.. it's like wearing spectacles made my Erich Fromm that invert reality

9:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Looks gd:


10:03 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

On Twitter, Miss Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez showed how spineless she is in the face of AIPAC, praising Ilhan Omar's forced apology for tweeting that AIPAC's lobbying is why America's Politicians are so pro-Israel.

Now on to the good news, Wafers! I stumbled on this gem and been meaning to share it. It appears the US's life expectancy is in a decline like they have never seen before!


Couldn't happen to better people I tell you!

10:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yes, another prog revealed as being full of dog poopy.


10:34 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Here's a follow up story to one I posted yesterday: 'LOCK YOUR DOORS, LOAD YOUR GUNS': KENTUCKY SHERIFF SUSPENDS LAW ENFORCEMENT ACTIVITY OVER LACK OF FUNDING. The next recession/depression is going to be EPIC.

Also on the topic of America's disgraceful infrastructure, here's a twit from Mark Ames today about California's Dumbocratic governor killing its high speed rail project: "America is too corrupt to build a late-20th C. high-speed rail in the 21st C. But hey, we got the trillion dollar F-35 that supposedly might even fly some day. Are we ruled by talent or what?"

Indeed, here is one of our truly "talented" military "leaders" in action: Admiral to Congress: Think about the 280-plus ships that DIDN'T have collisions.

Then again, it's just a government as good as its people: Detectives Arrest Oldsmar Man After He Video Recorded Himself Performing Sex Acts On His Dog.

And finally: Wipe that smug off your faces douchebag liberals, the highest rates of vaccinations in the U.S. are in West Virginia and Mississippi.

11:32 PM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

I saw in my local newspaper that the California rail project has been axed. Could anything else possibly better speak to the decline of our nation? In contrast, last night I just finished watching a four-part BBC series on Netflix about the world's busiest cities. The four cities they examined were Hong Kong, Mexico City, Moscow and Delhi. Each of these four cities are pushing through massive public transportation projects. Each of these projects will be completed. Moscow, our perennial rival, will soon have the third largest subway system in the world, after Beijing and Shanghai.

Meanwhile, here in the US of A we have leaders calling for defunding of the whole shabby network. O&D USA USA USA!




9:10 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Hopefully by 2040 or earlier *everything* in the US will be defunded. Had Trumpi the wits to make me Minister of Massive Destruction 2 yrs ago, I cd have defunded the entire country in 48 hrs.


9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

Apparently there's still more potential new crimes for people of color... celebrating your birthday in a restaurant.


Given the history of the last few years I guess they're lucky nobody got shot.

11:43 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A kind of progress, I suppose...I wd have expected the cops to come in w/machine guns blasting. A black man having a birthday party! What nerve!


11:57 AM  
Anonymous Paul Owen (Rawlsian) said...

The Rawlsian Diagnosis of Donald Trump

Does Trump’s success vindicate or undermine liberal theory?


tldr: Persistent violation of basic standards of reciprocity seriously pisses people off.

12:23 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

From the police blotter, two items:

(1). A coed at the Mansfield, Ohio campus of Ohio State is abducted on 12 February by an armed man, who is spotted later in Kentucky and leads Kentucky police in a multi-county chase. The suspect and hostage are cornered near Louisville. An apprehending officer hears shots from within the vehicle, and fires into it, killing the skel and the coed.


(2). A Las Vegas worthy, doing front-porch pilfering on 7 February, steals a package containing chemotherapy drugs intended for a child living in the house. The mother reports to police that the drugs are worth some $40,000. Ripped off twice, it would appear.


1:19 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Think of all the stuff that goes unreported. This is actually daily life in America.


2:41 PM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

Thank you for recommending "Cream" by Murakami. There are encounters, coincidences, inspirations and events in everyone's life that are inexplicable.

I had a strange experience 40 years ago that baffled me then and I have no explanation for now. I was driving home in the late afternoon when I had an overwhelming compulsion to turn off the main road I was on and go back into a neighborhood I'd never been in before and had no reason to drive into then. I knew at the time it was completely irrational but I couldn't stop myself. After a few blocks I came to a stop sign and went to apply the brakes and had none. The way the car stopped was by running into a tree on the opposite side of the intersection and no one was injured. If I had stayed on the main road the next intersection was a very busy one and I could have easily hit another car doing who knows what kind of injury to the people in it.

3:20 PM  
Anonymous Cormorant said...

For peeople interested in the review MB mentions above, the link is here:


Speaking of historians finally waking up to the decline of the US,I'm currently reading 'The Anatomy of Fascism' by Robert Paxton (2004). it's notable in that Paxton strives to avoid reducing fascism to an 'essence'. However, he notes that fascism usually takes shape around a number of factors. These include:

' a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation, or victim-hood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy, and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.'

Paxton also mentions the emergence of a leader/chieftan who incarnates the group's destiny and whose instincts prevail over any semblance of reason.

However, he leaves it at that

3:27 PM  
Anonymous Vic Bold said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=293JOKSnkwA&feature=youtu.be (4 mins)

MAGA is to produce even more of the illusion of progress through techie toys.
Fortunately, Ma Nature knows the limit and the price paid for this folly, yet
America is spurred on to put all its talent toward such suicidal silliness.
It is possible that if it failed at this, it would actually by succeeding
to produce the American Dream as envisioned by its founders.

3:39 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hola MB and Wafers,

Spectacle of destruction dept.:



Where is Hieronymus Bosch when you need him?


Miles the Bald

3:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yr rt: we need someone to be painting all of this stuff. Much of the country is living in hell. We need a Bosch, and also a Thos Cole.


Ohiyesa, a Dakota Sioux Indian, wrote that white civilization was at heart "a system of life based on trade." "I am for development and progress along social and spiritual lines," he went on, "rather than those of commerce, nationalism, or efficiency."


Wow! Go figure!


4:02 PM  
Anonymous Capt. Spaulding said...

Hey Dr. B. -- I wanted to follow-up on your response to my post, and esp. your encounter with Hendrickson back in 2006. I hadn't heard of him before and quickly browsed the introduction and conclusion of his new book on Amazon, where he clearly spells out the ways in which Obama's foreign policy merely extended the brutality of Bush's. Yet, in his conclusion, he appears to believe that the US can still architect a new - more modestly scaled - liberal-based order that would supposedly be more in line with the intentions of the Founders (of whom, based on the little that I could read, he seems to excessively fond: though I could be wrong on that point). In any event, the book doesn't seem especially WAFer-ish to me, though that isn't a fair judgment since i've only read about 20 pages of it. To his credit, he wants to dismantle the empire and he sees how it has rotted out our politics (he cites Andrew Bacevich and Chalmers Johnson in his bibliography: a good sign) but he seems to think that another US-based liberal-based order is possible - somehow. The tip-off is in the title: "Republic in Peril": as though it were a damsel in distress waiting for Dudley Do-Right to arrive and save the day. It reminded me of the line from Auden: "we would rather be ruined than changed."

So your encounter with him in 2006 doesn't surprise me: back then, "Dark Ages America" notwithstanding, a lot of people thought that all you had to do was just get W out of office and the ship would "right" itself again, although what that meant was often kept vague. There are still a lot of people who believe that with respect to Trump but it is interesting that certain members of the educated establishment, like Prof. Hendrickson, are writing books where they appear to be fending off the gnawing, troubling realization that the jig is up. Didn't Hegel say that the owl of Minerva flies only at dusk? Well Hendrickson seems to be noticing that the sun is setting and it troubles his sleep...

5:00 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

(yet) (more) WAFer reading:


5:09 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


When Obama was running for pres in 2008, he was on the Tavis Smiley Show, and spoke glowingly, like a typical American turkey, abt the US. Smiley replied, "Excuse me, but the US is not some sort of magical land." And yet 99+% of Americans believe that it is, and this includes folks like Hendrickson, who oughta know better. Again, the distinction is ontological vs. intellectual. Americans are thoroughly brainwashed by age 5, and thus remain infantile in their assessment of the US and what is possible for it. What degree of cognitive dissonance does it take for a Hedges, for example, to keep predicting proletarian uprising? You hafta be literally nuts to believe such a thing, and yet here is a guy w/a high IQ spouting utter nonsense because by age 5, he was imprinted with this ridiculous bill of goods abt the US (I call it "The greatest story ever sold"). In this sense, people like Hendrickson are adult children, and no amt of facts will shake their commitment to American exceptionalism. America is the thumb they suck, and being able to say "It's over," and mean it, wd throw them into a void more terrifying than they can presently tolerate. It's certainly understandable, but to me it is tinged w/a degree of cowardice that does them no credit. "Republic in Peril" is a ridiculous title. *What* republic, for fuck's sake?


5:20 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

I wld be interested in a typical American response to these two stories - are they able to connect the dots?

Sixty is the new 30 (39 celebrities turning 60 in 2019)


A peer reviewed study suggests by 2080 this is the probable climate for notable USA! Cities


Most people I talk to tell me 2100 is a long ways off and it won't effect them. Clinical cognitive dissonance.

7:47 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Profiles in media courage: OSU Mansfield student, kidnap suspect shot and killed in Kentucky. Not only does the headline neglect to mention that it was a responding police officer who killed the victim when he shot wildly into a vehicle containing her and the perp, there is not one single word of criticism of the shooter in the article. His account is taken completely at face value, though even if true it showed reckless disregard for her safety. Bet had not both been black they'd still be alive.

Technology is making us safer: "Siri...unlock the front door and let me into my neighbor's house." Siri: *click*.

Snack food rage: Son sets mother’s home ablaze allegedly over Cheez-Its.

More Americans Are at Least Three Months Behind on Their Car Payment Than Ever Before. Hey, I have an idea: Let's build an extreme car-first transportation system that makes it virtually impossible to live without one in most of the country. Then let's keep slashing people's wages to the point where they can barely afford a car even though can't get to work otherwise. THEN, let's saddle them with debt so they can buy one. What could POSSIBLY go wrong? Answer: higher default rates than during the great recession.

11:32 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

More Americans are now mixing opioids with sedatives.

“For the study, Canadian researchers analyzed data from eight U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey cycles between 1999 and 2014. During that time, combination use of opioids and benzodiazepines increased 250 percent, and combination use of benzodiazepines and Z-drugs rose 850 percent.”


3:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For celibate Wafers out there:


4:36 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Someone in the US Congress dares to speak the truth about US aggression in Latin America. There will now be a race on to discredit this woman and marginalize her as a fringe element, which in fact she is. We Americans just can't handle too much truth-telling. And what a poor deluded soul the congresswoman is to think her words are ever going to change anything.


Dr. B, I am very much looking forward to the April 13 summit. I humbly suggest that Shaneka Torres be your keynote speaker, along with guest appearances by Freddy Wadsworth, P. Snoots, and Lorenzo Riggins. These people are on the cutting edge of the future.

5:54 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


They really are, aren't they? Meanwhile, around mid-March I'll ask folks planning to attend to send a message to that effect to my email address, and I'll reply w/the venue. Date and time are April 13, 1 pm. Manhattan is already gearing up for my arrival, once again.


6:25 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Check it out:


6:38 AM  
Anonymous Freddie said...

Convicted sex offender Bill Cosby claimed that he is a victim of “entrapment” and a “political prisoner” while comparing himself to the likes of Nelson Mandela and MLK, in his first official message from prison.



12:34 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


He probably believes it, too. I'm amazed at the human capacity for denial. Interviewed after the War, war criminal Klaus Barbie said he felt that they (the Nazis) had made a mistake with respect to the Jews. Did he mean, it was wrong to murder 6 million of them? Not quite. What he said was, instead of killing them in death camps, the Nazis shd have worked them to death in slave labor camps, thus helping the German war effort. Great!

Latreasa Goodman, who called 911 because McDonald's was out of Chicken McNuggets, subsequently did radio interviews defending her action. Did she say, "I don't know what I was thinking. Of course, no McNuggets is not a police emergency."? No, not at all. For her, no McNuggets was a crime. This is why I want to assume a top admin position in the Trumpola gov't with her at my side, along with Shaneka and Lorenzo. And Tulsi and P. Snoots, of course.


1:22 PM  
Blogger Janet D said...

My teen son & I just watched the documentary, "Generation Wealth" by Lauren Greenfield (released just this week to home video). He also requested I buy him the book (he's a sharp cookie). Both are excellent, very Wafer-ish & well-worth checking out.

My condensed version of summary: "GW is Greenfield's history of our growing obsession with wealth....she has created a revelatory cultural document by exploring a consumer appetite unprecedented in human history...Her journey starts in LA and spreads across America & beyond, as she documents how we export the values of materialism, celebrity culture, & social status to every corner of the globe. We hear the stories {of people} overwhelmed by crushing debt, yet determined to purchase luxury houses, cars, & clothing. GW is {a mirror}, forcing us to consider our own role in this story."

1:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sounds gd. Since it is politically incorrect to place any blame or responsibility on The American People, revered as some kind of mystical entity, American social critics zero in on the elite, the upper 1%, as oppressors and criminals. Which they are; but to a populace that has the same goals. As a result, the value of this criticism is rather dubious, and imo cowardly.

Serious critics also need to consider the spiritual vacuum that lies at the heart of this addictive consumerism--a vacuum that goes back several centuries, increased steadily over time, and then came to a crossroads with the election of 1980. The American public spoke loud and clear, at that pt, as to what their deepest values were. (check out WAF)


2:47 PM  
Anonymous Tamler said...

Winston Churchill was a villain, says John McDonnell


Shit the Regressive Left say:
“Hamas terrorists are our friends, but Churchill is a villain”
Welcome to the UK Labour Party under Corbyn & friends, boys and girls ....

Not a Churchill devotee, just please let us have some nuance w/ our history

2:54 PM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

Hi Dr. B. 'n all:

I haven't yet red it word-for-word, but I think this piece from the New York Review Daily will interest all Wafers:

Vic Groskop, "A Refuge from Reality, à la Russe," February 11, 2019:

I must admit, when I received a notice about this article via email today I was unusually receptive to its content and theme, as I have been re-watching the films of the late Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky over the past few weeks ... I wonder to what extent Tarkovsky's films are implicitly (even half consciously) informed by the notion of 'refuge from reality'?

Tarkovsky was my favourite filmmaker for many years. My friends and I received his The Sacrifice (1986) as revelation when we first saw it in the mid-1990s in our late teens.

Today, though I still love Tarkovsky's visual style, I no longer find the content and especially the dialogue in his films, persuasive or compelling.

In my view, our greatest living director is the American Terrence Malick and his greatest film, as far as intellectual and emotional impact are both concerned, The Thin Red Line.

-Northern Johnny

3:03 PM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

Dr B. - Thank you, Italy is next on my travel itinerary. Would love to hear Wafers & yours favorite places to visit and things to do there.

Here's some new data I stumbled across today.--Nearly 1 in 7 US kids and teens has a mental health condition, and half go untreated, study says


I would guess this will just snowball as these kids grow up and start their own families. With our healthcare system in disarray, adults and kids alike will just self-medicate and we'll start seeing more "deaths of despair".
O & D!

4:09 PM  
Anonymous August Moreland said...


California cancels plan for high-speed train between Los Angeles and San Francisco

.... that a country continuously fails at doing things like this is *very* telling of it's....longevity....

4:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Pls watch length. Yr over the half-pg limit. Thank you.


4:25 PM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

Good article on the mess in Virginia by Lionel Shriver:


From the article:

"Progressive purists have unleashed ruthless forces that are biting their own in the bum.

For aside from embracing an Old Testament mercilessness that equates forgiveness with moral dereliction, the left now promotes unapologetic presentism. "

4:50 PM  
Anonymous Arya Specter said...

Ra Wins Westminster God Show

'Egyptian sun god Ra impressed judges with his overall body proportions as well as his celestial temperament.'


This made me chuckle, hehe. PS I really enjoyed the tv adaptation of "American Gods"

Question for all Wafers: Who was your "favorite" god from any teaching or path? Ra was actually always a fav.

5:24 PM  
Blogger Frederick Froth said...

As far as I know Chicken McNuggetts used to be made out of pink slime!
Here is a bit of light relief from the Sunshine Makers www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQGNOwuJxw

5:36 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...




5:45 PM  
Anonymous Guy Ransom said...

Here is an actual crime in American law:

21 USC §§331, 333, 352 & 21 CFR §348.50(c)(1)(ii)-(d) make it a federal crime to sell male genital desensitizer without telling men to put it on their penis and not in their eyes.

Happy Valentine's Day, indeed!

6:47 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A very necessary law, 2b sure. Most American men are dumb as shit.


6:51 PM  
Anonymous Hannower said...

“The bank is something else than men. It happens that every man in a bank hates what the bank does, and yet the bank does it. The bank is something more than men, I tell you. It's the monster. Men made it, but they can't control it.”

― John Steinbeck

8:11 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Thanks, Tamler, for providing some nuance to the usual cartoonish view of Winston Churchill as the British Bulldog who saved the white, western empire from the Nawzis. Not only did he attack the British working class with live ammo, he sent colonial riff-raff to die on the shores of Gallipoli for the glory of England, and didn't mind dropping poison gas on the savage wogs of Mesopotamia on occasion:

Churchill was particularly keen on chemical weapons, suggesting they be used "against recalcitrant Arabs as an experiment". He dismissed objections as "unreasonable". "I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes _ [to] spread a lively terror _"


Jolly good show, Tamler.

9:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

al, Tamler-

Churchill was indeed a pretty awful guy. His expertise lay in making war; of making peace, he knew very little. Hence, with WW2 over, he had very little to do, and sank into alcoholism. But he did manage to fuel the Cold War with his "Iron Curtain" speech of 1946. Postwar, we needed him like a hole in the head.


10:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Newsflash: Just got a publisher for my bk on Italy. Now comes the joyous (ha ha) and expensive project of getting perms for 21 illustrations. Take me now, O Lord.

It's actually a gorgeous bk. And it's probably one of the very few bks I've written that I wd describe as 'happy'. Imagine that: Berman happy! Even ecstatic. Will wonders never cease.

Somebody was asking where to go in Italy. The Amalfi Coast is very touristed, but I very much enjoyed visiting Ravello, where Gore Vidal lived for 30 yrs. They told me his house was for sale at a mere 20 million euros; I said I'd check my bank acct and get back to them. :-)


10:14 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@MB--Churchill wasn't even particularly *good* at war. Let's not forget that the disastrous Dardanelles campaign, one of the great debacles in British naval history, was his brilliant idea when he was First Lord of the Admiralty.

Meanwhile in our own just-getting-started awful campaign for the Oval orifice, seems one Dumbocratic challenger, who is already under fire from throwing stuff at her staff in fits of rage, campaigned to keep pizza classified as a vegetable in school lunches. But the real question is, is Amy Douchebagobuchar SMARTER than a vegetable?

Harrowing read: Baltimore teacher: 'Our city is slaughtering black children.' "At Douglass, students take tests on computers that came off the assembly line when George W. Bush was president. When they crash mid-exam, as they often do, students are told to just deal with it."

Wafer humor: The Wyoming state Senate almost passed a bill to abolish the death penalty. Yet: "Sen. Lynn Hutchings, R-Cheyenne, argued that without the death penalty, Jesus Christ would not have been able to die to absolve the sins of mankind, and therefore capital punishment should be maintained." Sen. Lynn Hutchings is presidential timber for sure.

11:31 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

'For the discerning fellow, we present' the new year's antidote for male insecurities, 'these are the reliable Gold Standard' certain to chase away reminders of springtime sterility. (Never hurts to remind peeps of 911, good work porsche never let em forget!)


2:18 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Regarding Amy and Lynn: it's quite amazing, the people whom we elect to office; reflecting the populace that elects them. I recall in 2003 rdg an article abt how the kitchen at the House of Rep had renamed French fries "Freedom fries," because the French opposed our war on Iraq (we called them "cheese-eating surrender monkeys"). I thought it was something from the Onion, i.e. some sort of joke; but no, adult politicians actually thought this was a reasonable thing to do. It struck me as the behavior of petulant children. Yrs later, the particular congressman who devised this nonsense was apologetic; he had become a strong opponent of the war--just a bit late.


Only in America. Altho by 2005, 66% of Americans (Gallup poll) said they thought the whole thing was silly (33% thought it was patriotic).

Note that on SNL in 2003, Tina Fey (whom I adore) said that the French had renamed American cheese "idiot cheese."


2:26 AM  
Anonymous Teri Schooley said...

Bill Hicks,

One of my sons taught at Frederick Douglass for a couple of years.

As he was preparing for his first year, I sent him an email: "Grandma, Pops, and I would like to know what you need for your classroom. We'll buy some of what you need and you can pick it up next time you come for a visit."

Response: "Paper, paper, paper, pencils, pencils. I just found out my two math classes have to share one set of books and the kids aren't allowed to take the books home, so I have to design my own homework problems and make copies to send home with the kids. The teacher sign-up list for the school copier is a month long and I have to provide my own paper when it is my turn to use the copier. Thank you!"

A month in, another email from me: "What are you finding you need now that the school year has started? Should I make another run to Staples?"

Response: "Please buy some packaged food. Granola bars, protein bars, hell, crackers if you can't find anything else. I could use a regular supply of eat-out-of-the-package foodstuffs. Turns out many of my kids are sleeping in their parent's cars at night and even the ones in homes don't have enough to eat. They are coming to school hungry and can't focus. I have been taking the ones who have admitted to hunger into my little office between classes and giving them food on the QT. Now I know why my afternoon classes have high absentees; the kids always come in the morning and stay through lunch to get their only two meals of the day. After lunch, many have no reason to stay for afternoon classes. A lot of them are working part-time jobs to help their families out. Will be coming up to visit this weekend, if you and Grandma could hit the grocery before then. Thanks! PS: I can't believe that in the US, this is happening and no-one seems to know or care. WTF?"

Said son eventually escaped to France, where he is quite happy. I'll send him the link to that article you quoted.

- Teri

6:40 AM  
Anonymous Danielle Bollelli said...

Hannower - “When it comes to crime, what is the robbing of a bank compared to the founding of a bank.”- Bertolt Brecht

9:11 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Bill and MB: Don't forget my illustrious senator Amy K also voted for El Douche's $717 billion defense budget back in August. "Progressive" indeed ...

9:44 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

A VILE Woman...

Suspect heard on camera telling black officer: KKK 'will burn your family'


10:07 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Thanks for suggesting Cream by Haruki Murakami. The story reminded me of the book Black Elk Speaks about the visions of an Oglala Lakota medicine man.
When I checked it out online, I came across this quote from Voltaire: “God is a circle; center is everywhere and circumference is nowhere.”

Like Susan and Haruki I also had a very strange experience. In 1998 Paul and I started attending a chanting/meditation group that met every Tuesday night at a private home. When the owners moved we had to find another location. I eventually found space in a commercial building, but we also had new “leaders” who were so obnoxious that in less than a year attendance fell from over 30 people to 12. (If you think the average American is clueless, the spiritually inclined can make them look positively enlightened.)

Finally, my husband and I became so disgusted that we also dropped out. Then a year later I suddenly had this very powerful, irresistible urge to attend the program that night. Since it was more of the same, I arrived back home wondering what that urge was all about. At 5:00 the next morning the building burned to the ground.

Arya, my favorite god is Shiva.

12:12 PM  
Anonymous Francois said...

A nation of hustlers, https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/02/15/he-pretended-date-stood-him-up-outback-steakhouse-valentines-day-strangers-picked-up-his-tab/?utm_term=.e988924b05c9

12:28 PM  
Anonymous Puss Killian said...

Hi Wafers!

With lots of pictures, including a road to nowhere, this article demonstrates stupid on stupid, and how to create wastelands just steps away from the love child of Dolly Parton and I.M. Pei.


I used to fight the notion that the majority of Americans are stupid (trying not to apply one label to a large group) but the evidence, like this, just keeps piling up. I read this, I see the pictures, and shudder. A dystopia, indeed.

To everyone, the articles you post are amazing! Cream, the one about distraction, all of them: you keep reminding me what really matters. Thank you, all of you.

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Vic Bold said...


I regret to bring to your readers great sadness at the passing of a true MAGA
and patriot, few of which are left from the old days of American glory.

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Vernon said...

Socrates drank the hemlock on this day in 399BC. Questions were his way, the prison his ingress. His love of embodied life, and no few ensouled human bodies, awakened him to a greater, wider love. He died living in between - one foot here - the other already there.

Here, there, everywhere.

1:16 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

A Washington DC worthy decides to conduct a small-scale sociological experiment on Valentine’s Day. He visits a local Outback Steakhouse, sets himself up at the table in a manner suggesting he’s awaiting a female date, then drinks throughout the evening as he intersperses feigned calls asking whether she’s OK and when she expects to arrive. All of which he tweets to his followers on Twitter.

By close of business, he’s attracted the attention of patrons, and so moved one sympathetic couple that they pick up his tab, departing with encouraging words to him about his seeming distress.

Douchebag reportedly later contributes the dollar amount of his bill to the ACLU, presumably salving his conscience and showing he’s a decent chap after all.


2:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'm amazed anyone wd help him.


Remember, even the smart ones are dumb.


3:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Am very excited abt Trumpi's declaration of national emergency. This is so wonderfully destructive. God, I love the guy. But had he made me head of the Dept. of Total Collapse (DTC), I wd have done it w/in 48 hrs that he took office. I'm just a better destroyer, I guess.


3:46 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferes,

@Bill Hicks Thanks for the link to a true amerikan douchebaguette (in my own dystopian region). When I heard this on local NPR two days ago, I rolled with the punch, turned, and slowly walked away...

@MB Morris, today has been a declinist's dream come true, wouldn't you agree? But wait...it's getting better all the time! (to the well-known melody):

"I used to be cruel to my meat puppet,
Beat him and kept him apart from the things that he loved.
Man, I was mean, but I'm changin' my scene,
And I'm on to my next little scam!... I've got to admit it's getting better."

MB, as you are a man with a fine sense of humor, I have to say that I can't wait to read the new "happy" Italy book. Faith and begora, Wonders are like Miracles; an everyday occurence here in Fantasyland!

The bestest blog on the planet!


4:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Sometimes I'll be sitting on my couch, contemplating the brilliance of this blog, and I get so intoxicated that I pass out on the floor. Later, I come to with a smile. :-)


ps: Note that John Lennon said, "It's getting betta".

5:05 PM  
Anonymous PaulM said...

The "Freedom Fries" issue wasn't the first time that right-thinking Americans have renamed items that were associated with the enemy. During the patriotic fervor of the First World War, sauerkraut was renamed "Liberty Cabbage" and dachshunds "Liberty Hounds." When I heard about les frites, I was amused, but not entirely surprised.

7:41 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

Re Easy Payments link, there's a building photo there that looks straight outta Edward Hopper. Creepy!

9:41 PM  
Blogger Janet D said...

Thanks, MB, and I've now read (& loved) QOV & WAF. Generation Wealth does focus more on the elites, but it also showcases many poor/middle-class Americans who strive (& spend/consume) stupidly & shallowly. The mindset is a disease. I don't know that, once established, there is a cure. Other than collapse, of course.

This article might strike a more resonant note, however:
We Are the People of the Apocalypse

"In times of crisis, we turn reflexively to the ‘state of the economy’ without considering possible collapses within the general ‘state of the person’, or what psychologist Erich Fromm called a culture’s ‘social character’. .... Fromm already noticed the unfurling of a personality crisis, using the term ‘marketing personality’ to describe the one-dimensional, commodified and de-sensitized ‘eternal suckling’ ... succumbing to a culturally manufactured ‘consensus of stupidity’ that could prove our ultimate undoing."

11:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Fromm was part of the Frankfurt School, which included Herbert Marcuse. The latter made a similar argument in "One-Dimensional Man," an oldie but goodie. A related work: Nicole Aschoff, "The Prophets of Capitalism." It was Freud who 1st said that an entire society cd be neurotic. I take up related themes in the Twilight bk.


11:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

There can't be too many guns. This much is clear.


1:48 AM  
Anonymous Cormorant said...

RE: Trump's declartion of National Emergency.When Harry Truman tried to use a declaration of SOE to nationalise the steel mills during the Korean war, the steel magnates had it quashed in the courts. That's been pretty much the only Presidential SOE that has been rescinded, AFAIK. So it's ok to lock up Americans of Japanese descent for national security issues, but not nationalise a major industry for the good of the country: That's unAmerican.

3:48 AM  

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