August 14, 2019



Well, we've been having a pretty rich discussion as of late. I am always impressed with the quality of this blog. I think of other blogs, none of which can attain to this high level, and I feel kind of sorry for them. Why don't they just pack it in? In the face of our brilliance, what are they sticking around for? Hard to say; I guess they don't have much else to do. Well, obviously it's not our problem. Our own goal is clear: to continue being a shining example of what the most spiritually evolved consciousness in the universe looks like.



Anonymous rememberporthuron said...

Phil Rockstroh 8.12.19 Counterpunch essay quotes:

"The US is less of a nation than a collective, psychotic episode."

“Only part of us is sane: only part of us loves pleasure and the longer day of happiness, wants to live to our nineties and die in peace, in a house that we built, that shall shelter those who come after us. The other half of us is nearly mad. It prefers the disagreeable to the agreeable, loves pain and its darker night despair, and wants to die in a catastrophe that will set back life to its beginnings and leave nothing of our house save its blackened foundations.”

―Rebecca West, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon

"Trump is a two-legged emblem of the hypertrophy at play in late US imperium."

7:39 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


"collective, psychotic episode" is a pretty accurate description of the US. But there is also the dimension of the sheer dumbness of Americans. They are buffoons; they in no way see the national psychosis, which deepens from week to week. Wafers step back, look at the nations of the world from a global perspective, and see that the US is uniquely nuts, out of control, and--imploding.


8:03 AM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

Biney - It's even worse than that. Every Tuesday for 8 years, Obama would meet with his counter-terrorism team to decide who in Pakistan and Afghanistan would die by drone strike that day. Imagine if that had happened in the US at the hands of a foreign leader.

By 20011, Obama had authorized 193 drone strikes in Pakistan, more than four times the number of attacks that President George W. Bush authorized during his two terms, killing hundreds of men, women and children who posed no threat to the US.

It will probably come as no surprise that the US is the top arms dealer in the world – by far. I doubt many Americans realize that the beneficiaries are arms manufacturers, thinking that the nation somehow benefits. The govt acts like a sales rep, helping Boeing and other arms dealers make billions while purchasers of their goods slaughter foreign and domestic people throughout the world.

9:24 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@mariam--I'm sorry, but those HK protesters are either aspiring hustlers or are completely delusional. What "freedom" do we have in the U.S.? The freedom to sit around a bitch about the government certainly, but go out and actually challenge the system like the Standing Rock protesters did and you quickly find out you have no more "freedom" than they supposedly do in HK. You've got the freedom to buy an AK-47 and go out and shoot up the neighborhood, but if you consistently speak or act in manner outside of a very narrow socially acceptable norm, you will quickly lose your job, your health care access (if you have it) and your home--and not long after that you'll end up just as dead in the street as if you were struck by a riot policeman's bullet. The other possibility is that the HK protesters are aspiring hustlers who want to live under an American style system so that they can be "free" to become millionaires or billionaires by ruthlessly exploiting their citizens, because THAT is what American "freedom" really means. The Stars and Stripes only represent "freedom" because the modern propagandists in Hollywood and Madison Avenue (aided by the "intelligence" community) are better than Joseph Goebbles was at selling the "big lie" here at home and around the world, when in fact America is the greatest source of death, destruction and human misery on the planet.

And as for whether America will even experience a "Tiananmen," we already do--a little bit every single day: Police have killed 5,000 Americans since Ferguson protests.

11:38 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I read somewhere that during 2001-11 the police murdered 5000 unarmed civilians, some of them mental patients. What the figure is now, 8 years later, I have no idea; but 10,000 wdn't surprise me.


11:48 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Dear Dr. Berman: Please use this comment, and delete the former. Thank you Sir.
Wafer Bill Hicks, my thoughts exactly.

Mariam, perhaps you could research Eddie Bernays (father of US propaganda) or Operation Paperclip, MKULTRA, etc.. (bring Nazi criminals over to the US to learn their methods of propaganda/societal experimentation/influence/mind control/sales tactics.

Perhaps, that is why you feel 'misty eyed' about that US flag being waved in HK bc the US propaganda/sales tactics were so good, it's visceral for some folks who still 'believe' in the false narrative of the US.

What did that US flag represent to My Lai massacre? Or how about those US persons that decide to emigrate to another country? Ask them about FATCA and citizen based double taxation--that ONLY exists in the US empire and a small African dictatorship Eritrea? The massive expense to be a US person, a member of the world's premier: forms, taxes, and penalties club, being thrown out of banks because they're a "US person" (FATCA), no access to retirement, or mortgages, etc...

Respectfully, please spare us the typical US immigrant story of waxing poetic about how great the US empire is/was and that it's not "that bad." The minute you have a contrarian viewpoint--even if backed by evidence--your tuchas (rearend) will likely be shown the door (thanks to the US employment at will doctrine) and you'll be dumpster diving in between going to free/'low cost' health clinic visits.

12:30 PM  
Anonymous CWell said...

During my last job before retirement, I worked in a refugee mental health program for five years and I can say that almost all refugees were astounded by the realities of living in America - any illusions about the American dream were quickly extinguished. These were people primarily from Iraq but also Bhutan, Myanmar, DR Congo, Central African Republic, Eritrea, Somalia, etc. The Iraqis tended to be from urban areas and have more education, but many of the others were from rural agricultural communities and were suddenly living in large American cities. They were all relieved to be out of active war zones, threats from militias, no running water, schools or health care - but they were shocked by how hard it is to make a living and take care of their families. I would often hear, "This is a rich country - why don't they help people who need it. Why are there people begging on the corners?" When they had a sick family member and couldn't get time off I would hear, "Americans say they care about families, but they really care about work and money. Work comes before family."

Since Vietnamese resettlement in 1975, assistance in learning English, finding work, some minimal financial support,and adjusting to a whole new culture has been reduced from two years to eight months. Now the refugee resettlement programs are being completely dismantled.

12:35 PM  
Anonymous Glans Butterworth, III said...

Living in America was the equivalent of Sisyphus at the garbage dump.

1:00 PM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

I think the situation of the refugees was well captured in some German sociology.

Gemeinschaft — a society in which common values/concerns are established prior to economic and political life

Gesellschaft — a society in which economic and political imperatives are prior to any sense of community

America is obviously the largest Gesellschaft in the history of the world...

One relevant quote — De Gaulle, commenting on the Americanization of France — "Yes, I am quite alright with selling steak and fries (economic Gesellschaft), but steak and fries will never be national vision (Gemeinschaft)"

1:08 PM  
Anonymous cormorant said...

@ Bill Hicks: I pretty much agree RE: the Hong Kong Protestors. In fact it's difficult not to see the hand of the CIA in the ongoing shutdowns of the airport and Parliament etc. It's almost as if to goad the Chinese into imposing martial Law in HK. That's not to deny that the initial anti-extradition protests were widely supported.

Meanwhile, while the whole of the US is talking about whatever celeb gossip/Epstein etc, the Trump administration continues to get rid of academic advisors to the EPA and replace them with industry stooges:

1:13 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

After reading an article like this is it any wonder cops have such hair triggers? I’d have hated being a first responder when James Holmes went all joker @ the midnight premiere of Batman. In the late nineties I took an on call job in a locked adolescent unit at the state hospital. These kids ran the staff into the ground, being new I was shocked when one of them told me they all shld have been aborted and since the kids had nothing really to look forward to shld prob be put down like rabid skunks. In 2019 Wafers might look back at the guy as a visionary. As for American cops turning their weapons on citizens we can’t forget Waco or Ruby Ridge. The saving grace may only be if the cops/soldier’s families are starving too (MB’s insight not mine).

As for “coping” (I hate that fucking word) with insanity and finding some reason to live, I take Guy McPherson’s suggestion (I’m certain he’s quoting someone else) when you know you’re dying everything is beautiful. All we have is right now and that is enough. I also like the idea of being a Catcher In The Rye, stand near the edge catch as many (there won’t b many) before they take the plunge.

1:13 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Pls send messages to most recent post. No one reads the old stuff.


3:02 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

Think of it this way: Be grateful for patriots defending the
sacred 2nd amendment.

3:15 PM  
Anonymous Eliana Johnson said...

MB&Mariam re Hong Kong

Trump aides have been v careful speaking about HK because of a June 18th phone call between Trumpi and Xi when made an ad hoc commitment to Xi that he would not condemn the Chinese government over a crackdown in Hong Kong - This was a surprise -- and unilateral -- concession, admin officials said. Not linked to trade. He told Xi he understood Hong Kong was an internal issue and he didn't plan to interfere. Wilbur Ross echoed that statement today -

Totally vile president - we get the politicians we deserve imho....

5:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The day will come when Trumpolini will crack down on random crowds of (starving?) Americans, and he'll want Xi to stay out of it. After 2020, using guns on unarmed civilians will probably occur w/increasing frequency. So far Trumpini has gone easy on anti-Trump protesters, but there will be 0 to hold him back after Nov. 2020. And even less, when he cancels the election of 2024.


6:03 PM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

While this is satire, it does a good job of characterizing the mental capacities of way too many people :

From the article --

“A family earning the national average could at one time afford not only tickets, but also three nights in an onsite Disney hotel. But now, principal wage-earners must make tough sacrifices, which usually means leaving the young ones behind while Mom and Dad go off to ride all the rides and visit with all the Disney characters.”

Disney has done an excellent job of selling BS for decades. Millions of children who are now adults are convinced if their lives have turned out to be less than the fairy tale then someone "cheated" them and they are to blame for the disappointment they feel. Who these faceless villains are remains a mystery. The poet Charles Bukowski thought the Disney empire and Mickey Mouse in particular, evil. I must agree -- underneath all the sweetness and light lies something sinister. Perhaps it's the cynicism of taking a sucker for a quick buck.

6:52 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I wrote abt Disney in one of my bks, but I can't remember which (maybe CTOS). I also included the Ariel Dorfman critique, his discussion of how Disney had helped to infantilize the American people. He was basically a right-wing shmuck, and managed to turn nature, and life, into a cartoon.

But this is all part of a dying empire. I wanna see the American people not merely 100% infantilized, but also monetized, moronized, and above all--weaponized. We're getting there, day by day.


7:08 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Speaking of weaponized: it's actually getting kinda boring:

7:34 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


Re: Philadelphia shooting

We can only applaud the escalation of decay.

Meanwhile, James Clairmont, 56, arrested for deliberately running over a flock of ducklings in Pinellas County, Fl:

Also, where should we file this one?:

Shit's getting outta control here, to say the least.


8:00 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


If what's going on in the US were part of a novel, critics wd crucify it as being absurd and melodramatic. What I'm wondering is: How long b4 there are 3 major shootings a day? 2 yrs? 3? Wafers are encouraged to submit their estimates.


8:17 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

Capitalists are capitalizing on the recent spate of mass shootings-

The article is chock full of links to web sites offering bulletproof backpacks, bulletproof T-shirts, and stylish bulletproof hoodies. It's a burgeoning market!

8:58 PM  
Anonymous Pilgrim said...


>> It reminds me of the quote from Doris Lessing you used in Twilight MB... <<

I love that quote from Doris Lessing's novel too; when I first read it in Twilight I immediately tracked down Lessing's book in order to read the quote in its original context.

The book seems uncannily familiar to me. Decades ago I started tuning out the idiot culture around me, with its maniacal pursuit of distraction (i.e. running from oneself), and started listening more attentively to what was coming up from the depths below. I haven't found the answer; it's more like Dr. Berman's "vector" (SSIG), pointing in a vague direction. The details are for me to figure out. But it has provided an antidote to the stupidity around me.

"The important thing is this - to remember that some things reach out to us from that level of being, to here. Anxiety is one. The sense of urgency. Oh, they make an illness of it, they charm it away with their magic drugs. But it isn't for nothing. It isn't unconnected. They say, "an anxiety state,", as they say, paranoia, but all these things, they have a meaning, they are reflections from that other part of ourselves, and that part of ourselves knows things we don't know."

9:04 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Susan W - I recently read a story about a lady who infiltrates alt-right/MGTOW("Men Going Their Own Way")/incel(involuntary celibates) groups, and reports the real loose cannons to the FBI.

These guys .... what's the matter with these guys? In the world I grew up in, if you wanted the gals to like you, you could do any of a number of things. Work out, or learn a musical instrument well, or get a motorcycle or hot rod (those last also meant knowing every inch of how the thing worked and how to repair it) or be on your way to being a hotshot professor or engineer or something. Really it came down to showing competence. These incels hide out in their rooms, the only developed muscles on their bodies are their thumbs from working game controllers, and they whine about gals not liking them. Nobody likes them!

9:05 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


A few words abt the vector. It's a way out of the Pynchon dilemma, and is similar to the credo espoused by Sally Potter in her film, "The Tango Lesson." In a way, the process of making the film becomes the film itself (much like Fellini's "8 and 1/2").

In 2 of his novels, Thos Pynchon poses the dilemma of what he calls the 2 paranoias. The 1st is the modern scientific world, in which things are completely random and unrelated to one another. It's just one accident after another, so to speak, and by the time you get to around p. 150 of these novels, you feel alienated, depressed, and completely strung out. But if you keep rdg, very slowly Pynchon reveals that these apparently disconnected things are in fact related on a deeper level; and as Pynchon weaves the web tighter and tighter, you finally feel claustrophobic, unable to breathe. This is the intimate world of the Middle Ages, as I describe it in the Reenchantment bk: the theory of correspondences, where everything is connected to everything else. Pynchon doesn't resolve this dilemma, he doesn't posit some compromise, some intermediate middle ground. He just leaves you w/the dilemma.

The notion of the vector is a way out of this, and perhaps best explained by Sally Potter in a discussion she has with Pablo Veron in "The Tango Lesson." He asks her what she believes, and she says: I don't think there is some all-knowing force guiding our lives; I believe that reality is indeed random. However, I believe that randomness, chance, offers us the possibility of creating our destiny. This is done by an act of will. You intuitively sense an opportunity (a "glimpse," I call it in SSIG), and you follow it. This mode of behavior is neither purely random nor purely "given" (pre-determined). As Antonio Machado put it, "Se hace camino al andar"--we make the road by walking it.

My very 1st bk has a chapter on Michael Faraday. I was always fascinated by his intuitive/imagistic understanding of electrical and magnetic force fields. One German scientist (I forget who, now) said of him: "Er riecht die Wahrheit"--he smells the truth. I guess one hasta develop a nose for these things.

My advice: trust. Just put one foot in front of the other, as Machado advises. Pay attention to your dreams, your body, your physical reactions to things. As you walk, you'll make the road.

Good luck.


10:16 PM  
Anonymous Kay Kay said...

"Jeffrey Epstein was incarcerated in the United States of America, and this is how the United States of America, the mightiest and richest nation there is or ever has been, treats incarcerated people."

Just takes it happening to a rich white millionaire for the population to notice.

1:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Highly recommended TV show for Wafers: HBO mini-series Chernobyl.


3:45 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Continuing from the last post, regarding American mall culture, the sad thing is that as bad as malls are at one time they did function as social spaces and not just for young people. I remember elderly people playing cards, chess and checkers at my local mall. Now the mall is a ghost town that is half empty. At least malls involved face-to-face interaction and not just staring at screens. I never thought I would miss the days of mall culture but that shows you how bad social life has become in America.

I found this clip by stand-up comedian Sebastian Maniscalco where he talks about receiving unexpected company in the past compared to today. I thought it was funny and sad at the same time. I am old enough to remember the time period that Maniscalco describes so I could relate to what he was saying. Many people would dismiss his observations as nostalgia but I definitely think there has been a real decline in social life in this country.

5:40 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Classic work on decline of social life is Robt Putnam, "Bowling Alone." I'm sure there have been other, similar studies since then.


5:51 AM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Never read an economist (maybe because I don't read economists' writings much) who expressed concern for external costs of business passed on to the environment but Paul Craig Roberts really hammers Trump for attempting to dismantle the environmental legislation passed during the 1970s for which Nixon deserves credit. There positions taken in this article for everyone here to agree and/or disagree with.

As for the desire on the part of the military/industrial/intelligence establishment to remove Nixon, I remember this book from almost 2 decades back getting a lot of play (there have been other works covering the same ground) - maybe now I will read it.

Robert's last remarks about the American people reflect views often expressed on this blog.
Sorry about the length!

11:21 AM  
Anonymous cormorant said...

The British poet/rapper Kate Tempest: "Europe is Lost". Apply to the US too of course. Pretty much covers the bases that are discussed around here:

11:33 AM  
Blogger Waldo Pepper said...

Yahoo article on increase in Americans "voting with their feet" and exiting the armed madhouse:

There is a pro-tip in this article on how Americans can still apply for a "freelance visa" to the Netherlands. If you don't already have an exit in the form of citizenship elsewhere, you might want to hop on this before the Netherlands closes this loophole. After Trumpi wins in 2020, and the wave of aspiring American expats begins to resemble a flotilla of Syrian refugee boats, the good people of that fine country may conclude they have to "build a wall" against these endless waves of desperate Americans fleeing the war, poverty, pervasive violence, authoritarian government, police brutality, corruption, and complete social breakdown of their nightmarish failed state.

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

One of the most depressing pictures of have of my father is him at Disney World wearing a Micky Mouse shirt. Here was a battle hardened, grizzled World War II Vet yet still couldn't resist buying and wearing that shirt. Kunstler has a good chapter on Disney in his Highway to Nowhere book by the way.
So Israel is so delicate it can't allow the 2 congresswomen in? What is Netan-Yahoo! so afraid of? This should cost Israel billions in diaspora aid who've been increasingly fed up with the place anyway.
Just completed an online course in teacher-student behavior with regard to sexual misconduct. My God, teachers should not even lean over a student to correct something on his or her paper for fear of being accused of some impropriety. A teacher's entire day is one gigantic minefield. Better to have students stay home and do the work on-line.

1:08 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Tom--author Chris Arnade, who spent several years travelling around the country and interviewing people in the manner of Studs Terkel (and one of the few who saw Trump's election coming) has stated that for as bad a name as McDonalds has among the educated classes, in many communities it is now the only place people can go to gather with their friends, drink coffee and be social. Broken down malls and Mikey D's--how fitting that these are the last "common spaces" in idiot America.

@alex--whose fault is it that the incels are the way they are--the kids, or the douchebag parents who raise them to think the universe revolves around them, and a society that encourages them to isolate themselves and demonizes them if they even remotely try to act like men?

@Susan--my wife had a Millennial age, college graduate coworker who used to wear Disney clothing to work every day and who would go to Disney World every year for vacation. She was, not surprisingly, an emotionally immature dingbat who would lash out over even minor criticism and would never admit when she screwed up, which was frequently. Needless to say, they were happy when she got transferred to another office.

@Eliana--I just wish Trump would make the same pledge to Venezuela, Iran, Syria, Cuba, etc. Declaring that the U.S. is NOT going to meddle in another country's affairs for once is one of the few positive things Orange Julius has done. Makes me glad yet again that he's the president and not the Botox Queen.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I'm intrigued. I have no interest in leaving Mexico, but it wd be kinda nice to have an EU passport, and I'm wondering if that can be done thru Holland. Do you have any more info on the subject?


1:25 PM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

MB: That yahoo article Waldo sent also has this one:

"Poland counts anyone with a Polish parent or grandparent as a de facto citizen"

2:26 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Tough luck; we're all Russians. No interest in going there.


2:28 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


Well, I rarely agree w/anything Paul Craig Roberts writes, and his latest is no different. Where to begin? Nixon was no closet environmentalist, not even by default, as Roberts suggests. I remember Earth Day 1970, and guess what? Nixon refused to even notice it. Nixon had no wish to identify himself w/any real core of the conservation movement at all. In fact, he did the opposite, directing his Sec. of Interior Walter Hickel to endorse construction of the Alaska pipeline on Earth Day! Over and over, Nixon ensured that environmental regulations would remain subordinate to economic growth. Also see Nixon's activity regarding his veto of 1972 Clean Water Act. He denounced it, and called it anticapitalist. Essentially, much of Nixon's policies regarding environmental protection (as well as in housing, welfare, the arts, etc.) were part of an underhanded strategy to prevent real change. See Bruce J. Schulman "The Seventies: The Great Shift in American Culture, Society and Politics." As for Roberts's views about Watergate: they are laughable, and cannot be taken seriously. In terms of the Colodny book, don't waste yr time, friend. It does not, in any way, refute the so-called "conventional narrative" of Watergate. Serious historians have systematically decimated it as entertaining fiction.


2:39 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...


I'm sorry, I think I might have wrongly addressed my comment to Waldo. My response should be to Michael. Thank you.


2:48 PM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

Dan, Alex, & Bill -- I guess all that contrived wholesomeness sometimes backfires:

Bill - Boys don't get to be boys anymore as far as I can tell. I never had sons, only daughters, but my neighborhood is full of boys I've watched them grow up for the last 15 years. There's a creek at the end of the street and one year all the boys went down during the dry season and built a fort -- unsupervised. They grew up and the latest crop is on their cell phones -- INCELS, in training.

Pilgrim & Kanye -- Here's a poem by Rumi you might like:

Keep walking, though there's no place to get to.
Don't try to see through the distances, that's not for human beings.
Move within, but don't move the way fear makes you move.
Today, like every other day, we wake up empty and frightened.
Don't open the door to the study and begin reading.
Take down a musical instrument.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.

2:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I guess yr not familiar w/the rules of this blog. Let me spell them out:

1. Don't send messages to previous blog posts; no one reads them.
2. Don't send more than 1 message per 24 hrs.
3. Don't send messages of more than 1/2 page in length. Either compress down to half a page, or send in halves, 24 hrs apart.

Thank you.

3:03 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

Perhaps it is time for good ol' fashioned labor camps to beat cheap Chinese labor?
What else can you expect when AI and automation are creating millions of useless
persons. What is the escape from this modern dilemma?

3:32 PM  
Blogger Nesim Watani said...

Hey Wafers, I have been busy with family and friends, its a good thing to get off the internet and just enjoy the relaxing in the backyard.

Anyway, @Bill, the issue of Incels isn't that they want to act like men. In fact, if you go onto their forums and such you find these men view themselves as inferior men. They are the product of Capitalist culture. They hate women because they are socially inept. They do not want relationships, they just want sex with women (gee I wonder why no woman would want a man who wants to use their bodies... hmmmm), and they despise women for their inability to be the "Chads" they wish they were. Chads btw are men who are highly successful at bedding women.

Ultimately, the Incel is the natural consequence of our Market-based society. The West may crow about how great it is for women but women are still commodified. The Pornification of societies has reared men who obsession for sexual intercourse and lack of social skills has created a misogynist who believes that it is a man's right to rape a woman who denies him.

Here is an Incel forum.

These are loathsome creatures.

4:47 PM  
Blogger librarian@play said...

Vox did a good in-depth report in the incel movement. You can add racism to misogyny as among their defining characteristics. Loathesome creatures, indeed, Nesim.

This movement is nothing short of the radicalization of a segment of American men.

5:09 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

A WAFER who probably doesn’t know she’s a WAFER!!

5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

I hesitate to post this. It doesn't mark the decline of America, instead it extols some of the flavour of Canada.

At least five made me laugh out loud. And they can serve as both an invitation and a warning of what to expect should any Wafers decide to relocate here.

5:48 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Hee hee.


6:09 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

A new docu-series on HBO

As ignorant as I am this series is very interesting to me. Seems pretty timely, my reaction watching it was, wtf why are these people fighting over this rocky, dusty, desert, icky land? If only it were a place of beauty; co-equally restored with a new vision of glory and peace for all humankind. Now that wld be a shining city on a hill. Highly recommend.

6:34 PM  
Anonymous B. Louis said...

I've admired Polish culture for a long time. Centuries of war and social upheaval have turned it into an artistic mecca of sorts. They understand the pain of living under dysfunctional circumstances quite well.

Every time I read the Emma Lazarus poem about America taking in the 'Wretched refuse of your teeming shores..." I can't help but think that this painting is a more appropriate companion to it than the Statue of Liberty:

7:21 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...




8:10 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

A mini-Suez moment?:

Who gives a shit what the US says?

8:34 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

"Who gives a shit what the US says?"

Oooh, the other day I made the mistake of mentioning to someone that all in all the world is starting to laugh at the USA, finding it all funny, horrifically funny of course, but just not able to take us seriously.

Result of my comment: a five minute rant on how the US doesn't care, doesn't need any foreigners or foreign countries, that they can all go screw themselves for all we care, etc. etc. People here know the basic content.

The weather. And kittens. I will collect kitten photos and keep them on my phone and simply point to them. That should keep me out of trouble.

Must give it to Trump. Like Baby Bush, he has hastened a process that could have taken a decade and made it happen inside of three years. Very impressive! If all goes well, the US should be impotent far ahead of schedule.

10:49 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Smart people being dumb dept.: I love it when they come up with a 5-pt plan to save America, w/o telling us how these wonderful pts are going to be implemented:

He only needed to add: ps: I'm a moron.


3:13 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Some good (recent) stats in here, but ends with typical "defeat Trump and things will be better" crap:

8:12 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Re the Guardian article, the best way to encourage women's participation in the labour force is to end male participation in the world force. And the male rights crowd will also get behind this, because then we can have an older style patriarchy where women do all the work and men sit around and be served.

So the two screaming movements actually wanted the same thing all along ... Funny how bizzare things get when nobody will ever question the hustling premise that having a job and showing up for work is some kind of prize.

As Vergil knew, wicked work has conquered all.

10:39 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...




10:43 AM  
Anonymous Jody said...

The American Aristotle: C.S. Peirce -

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Glans Butterworth, III said...

Dan Daniel--good idea about talking abt kittens when (unfortunately) speaking with USA-ers.

I have pictures of rainbows, unicorns, and piles of money; that way, we can vigorously chat about what really matters to them.

11:23 AM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

MB – Putman also wrote a sharp critique of the American Dream. In “Our Kids“(2015), he argues that an “opportunity gap” has emerged in America. A central tenet of the Dream is that persons with talent and determination will succeed, no matter their background. Putman presents personal examples that, to put it lightly, challenge that tenet’s accuracy.

As the soul of America wilts in the heat of internal meaninglessness and violence, its infrastructure continues to collapse – with apologies to St Augustine, an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual vacuum.

1:33 PM  
Blogger Ajay Singh said...

@ MB: Morris! Apologies for violating your tempospatial rules, although I'm still unclear about how to measure half a page.

@ Gunnar: Regarding "hair triggers," have you read "TWILIGHT: LOS ANGELES, 1992," by Anna Deavere Smith? A masterful work of "documentary theater," it uses the verbatim words of people who experienced the Rodney King riots. One of them, lawyer Charles Lloyd, represented a female Korean liquor store owner who evidently shot an African American underage girl. Here's a hilarious excerpt from his reference to an LAPD ballistics report:

"A hair trigger"
A hair trigger?
That's an expression from the Old West.
It's something men know a lot more about than women.
"... external examination
has revealed evidence
of disassembly
without — pulling — the trigger!
Hitting the hammer in full cock
will discharge this firearm without pulling the trigger.
This firearm must be classified as

2:15 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Shoot for 1/4 of a page. Then you'll probably get it rt. The above post is just a hair-trigger too long.


Gd pt abt symbolism of infrastructure.


2:34 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

I'll give the incels credit for this much: the only place they are ever going to see actual combat is in video games. Being too dysfunctional to join the real American military, they are far less of a threat to innocent women and children around the globe that their mass murdering "normal" counterparts. Living in NoVa, I personally know about a half-dozen or so prog-minded, Trump hating feminist types who are married to current or retired military officers--and no doubt they would come unglued if you suggested that their nice houses and cushy upper middle class lifestyles were purchased with blood money.

@Dan D--it's just too bad that when your average American idiot says that America "doesn't need" the rest of the world, they don't mean that we really should go our own way and leave all other foreign countries alone. No, even the progs and Dumbs want foreign nations to just shut up and bow and scrape to America's will.

Can there be a more typically pathetic American death than this: California Man Dies During Taco Eating Contest. "Hitchings reportedly had been preparing for the competition. One report said that he suffered from diabetes and had a couple beers before the competition." Of all the stupid things Americans have turned into competitive contests, eating has to top them all.

2:55 PM  
Blogger dermot said...


These types worship the free market, neo-liberalism, survival of fittest. If you watch their YT alt.white 'skeptic' channels, they're all of a kind: cruel social darwinist victim-blamers.

BUT when they can't get a woman to spread'em, because women aren't attracted to neckbeard stinklords, what sayeth them then?


They who attack government handouts and who preach crude Dawkinsian survival of the fittest, when they can't find a willing orifice for their bell-ends, demand a government handout, for society to give them a guaranteed wo-man.

"Socialism for pricks", I call it.

3:12 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...
Check the first minute or so.
Yes, the old ways in 'mur'ka were better for both peoples.
MAGA uber alles!!!

3:16 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The one (among many) problem the US will never solve, even after it goes completely under, is race. This conflict will go on forever, for reasons I outlined in WAF ch. 4. The Civil War never really ended. However, maybe if we purchase Greenland...


Next step: projectile vomiting contests, w/the audience wearing full-length body condoms. This too wd be symbolic of our last days.


3:27 PM  
Blogger meangenekaz said...

Hola a los Waferes,

@Alex- plenty of incel women out there as well. I met one the other day, had not seen her in a while. "All thumbs and no sex' was her mantra.

a personal encounter - a 37 year old Yale Humanities grad, Princeton, N.J. resident, solo Continental Divide Trail hiker, Russian born, "only child". I was floored when she quickly called me and asked to take me up on an offer of a comfortable private bedroom, and all amenities, including a foot massage, and a 5 minute private guitar recital. In return I received a heart of stone. A feces-booked amerikan. Irretrievably lost in space...

@Susan W. - Thanks for the poem by Rumi... "Take down a musical instrument, let the beauty we love be what we do."

The bestest and only blog needed, ever.

p.s. @MB - great reply to Pilgrim. Thank you. (I have been in absentia lately...)

4:15 PM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

People like this are a dime a dozen-- just your average neighbor if you live in the USA:

And this is just your average elected official:

Idiocracy is looking more and more accurate.


5:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The US probably has more morons per hectare (MPH) than any other country in the world. It cd also be called the EBI (Escalating Buffoon Index), or the RDBI (Runaway Douche Bag Index).

Recently discovered 1st draft of the Gettysburg Address!: Abe had written: "...government of the buffoons, by the buffoons, and for the buffoons, will indeed perish from the earth--and a good thing, too." His close advisers convinced him to alter it. Pity, that.


Not sure I get the ref to thumbs.


5:44 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: mean: when you find out why anyone wd bother with other blogs, pls let me know.

5:45 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

dermot - They've read "The Selfish Gene", published in the mid-70s, they've not kept up with Dawkins or evolutionary biology, which has plenty of room for kindness, it turns out, hence MB's little Mexican kid helping him with his spilled groceries.

meangenekaz - Let me get this right. You offered a room to someone in need, had an offer out to any hiker, whatever it was, and she accepted the offer .... the offer was not one, like on Craig's List, "sex for X" was it? If all you offered was a room for the night, why get all bent out of shape when you didn't get sex out of it?

6:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


That was probably more cultural than genetic, I'm guessing. Raised in the US, the girl wd have just shut the door.


6:39 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Man promised woman late night sex. Woman arrived at front door of man's home. He did not answer; she returned later that evening and torched his house.

"The victim, awoke around 4:30 a.m. to find flames blocking the exit from his smoke-filled residence. He escaped by physically removing a window frame and climbing through the opening. The man, described as "covered head to toe in soot and ash" and wearing only a T-shirt, then ran around two-tenths of a mile to Woodbury's police station."

usa, usa! Does this shit happen in any other (real) country?

7:02 PM  
Anonymous Fleishman said...

Some pretty important context in both of these articles.

But also, a sign of the way this president finds ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory: imagine if he'd given this article as a reason?

"Here's a part of the Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib Israel story that you've likely not read.

They planned the trip with a vile, vicious anti-Semitic group that spread blood libel, printed neo-nazi propaganda, and celebrates terrorists who kill children":


POLITICO Playbook PM: Scoop: Miftah wasn’t a problem when other congressmen went to ‘Palestine’ with them

7:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


All this is kinda confusing. How deeply connected the 2 women are to Miftah is unclear; plus, we have all these other congressmen going to Israel b4, courtesy of Miftah, and there was no uproar over it. Wd be best, however, for the 2 gals to issue statements disavowing stuff like the blood libel, alleged Jewish control of everything, etc. There is an endless confusion of Judaism with Zionism that is unhelpful, to say the least.


8:02 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Check it out:

8:23 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,


I'm confused. Elaboration, por favor.

MB, Wafers-

Hunter Mills, arrested for dumping heaps of dirt on girlfriend's car. Reason?: failure to answer his question.

Meanwhile, Trumpo wants to buy a mineral rich socialist island.

Jesus, we're morons.


8:35 PM  
Anonymous Wafer #503 said...


Imagine our president declining to visit somewhere because the people he's meeting with have said and done vile things. JUST imagine.

Even if reasonable minds could differ on whether the context justified the action, it was first presented through the president’s tweets as “look what I did.”

8:53 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


American exceptionalism: no other empire in the history of the world died from imbecility. There's something hysterically funny abt all of this, in a very noir way. As I said earlier, it wdn't be plausible in a novel.


9:21 PM  
Blogger Pilgrim said...

If you're wondering what it might be like to live in a world where severe water shortages are causing society to unravel, then you might enjoy reading The Water Knife, by Paolo Bacigalupi. At a point in the near future, climate change is strangling the Southwestern USA, Arizona is cratering, and govt and private entities are fighting one another over the dwindling water supply. It's now in paperback.

A "water knife" is someone who provides muscle and detective services to a powerful water syndicate. Follow "Angel", a water knife, as he maneuvers through a collapsing society of desperation, corruption, and a botoxed, toothless Britney Spears (yes, I did say that) as the culture circles the drain.

"I used to know this Indian guy. ... Anyway, the thing he said that stuck with me was that people are alone here in America. They're all alone. And they don't trust anyone except themselves. He said that was why he thought India would survive all this apocalypse shit, but America wouldn't. Because here, no one knew their neighbors."

The novel also mentions an actual book, Cadillac Desert, by Mark Reisner, which is considered a classic by people in the field on the history of water (mis)management in the West...

"My boss makes all her new hires read that. She likes us to see this mess isn't an accident. We were headed straight to Hell, and didn't do anything about it."

Here's some links about the book...

An NPR article
A podcast iterview

9:49 PM  
Anonymous WanderLust said...

Poll: Record number of Americans want to leave country

9:57 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


The quote abt American isolation: this is what I mean by Americans being punished for what they've done and having no idea what they've done (hence, wasted punishment). Every time you use yr cell fone, every time you let another day pass w/o introducing yrself to yr neighbor, every time you say, "Not my problem!", you are contributing to the cultural suicide, and to yr own suffering.


9:58 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

A small but possibly interesting glimpse into the post-collapse world? A shipyard in Belfast is closing, and workers have occupied it and are planning to do manufacturing for green energy such as tidal generators. Although I give them little hope at this point in time, let's be real. Even if the US collapses into an anarchic mess, some places will be calm enough to where toilet paper and clothes will be in regular demand. Unless your vision is a one-month apocalypse with no survivors, there will be something rising from the ashes?

@Glans Butterworth, III said... "I have pictures of rainbows, unicorns, and piles of money; that way, we can vigorously chat about what really matters to them."

The prospect of vigorously chatting with most Americans leads to the desire to projectile vomit.

@Bill Hicks- Although you are right in most cases, that Americans recognize the need for the rest of the world to bow down in abject submission, my conversation was with someone who wanted the US to nuke every other country into oblivion. Did you know that plutonium is so heavy so it will fall to the ground before it gets to the US...

10:02 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

@Ajay - I haven't but will look for it. As bad as the Watts case is here's another just as gruesome - didn't get as much national press but still pretty fucked up.

If this is true it kind of makes EVERYTHING a moot point.

10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

portrait of a douchebag:

Umar's posts are all well and good, but where's the sense of humour? Feels like reading Hedges...


4:42 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yeah, that display after the victory over Thailand was grotesque. She's a true American! As for Umair: true, like Hedges he is humorless, but unlike him, U is a genuine declinist. You won't find him telling us how the masses are going to rise up against their corporate masters. He's smart enuf to know it's over.


5:36 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...


The Latin name was Publius Vergilius Maro, and there is an alternative tradition of keeping it in the Latinate spelling. Some say it changed to the Virgil spelling in the Middle Ages because the poet was seen as a magician, and this elided with the Latin 'virga', or magical wand.

Dante says Vergil was the perfection of human reason without divine aid... I would rather say he was that perfection unsullied by narcissistic divine pretensions!

10:44 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Of Course!! This is BRILLIANT!! Living space is hard to come by in NYC, and if you’re a landlord with a small crawl space somewhere in your building with ceilings that are only 4.5 feet high, turn them into apartments and charge big rent so you can make even more money!! It doesn’t matter that your tenants have to walk around hunched over or walking on their knees....That’s the American Way!!!

2:13 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

America’s many homeless would likely find this highly amusing.

Florida vacation home invaded by vomiting vultures

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A New York couple’s luxurious vacation house in Florida has been taken over by dozens of black vultures that are vomiting and defecating everywhere.

The Palm Beach Post reports the Casimano family can’t even visit the $702,000 home they purchased earlier this year in the Ibis Golf and Country Club.

3:28 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yes, I know what his middle name was, but whenever he is cited in English, it's rendered as Virgil.


4:13 PM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

I beginning to wonder if the US is on a death trip. Freud postulated an instinct or drive toward death, later called thanatos, after the Greek god who was the personification of death. Thanatos opposes Eros, the life drive, and represents the aggressive instincts, whose aim is destruction.

I have no proof of this, but it seems to me that the death instinct could manifest itself culturally as well as personally. If a culture sees itself as dying without any hope of recovery, might it not commit suicide, like an individual dying of cancer. Or if it looked over its history and saw little else but death and destruction wrought by its own hands upon its own people and the rest of the world? Especially if its citizens have equipped themselves with the means to kill in large numbers. Those carrying out the destruction might be society's unofficial representatives, unconsciously doing what the culture wants done.

As for purchasing GREENLAND, I think it's a stoke of genius. Free, pure glacier ice into eternity. Once the glaciers have disappeared due to global warming, Trump could build all the golf courses he wanted. After all, the man is President. He should be able to do whatever he wants.

6:01 PM  
Anonymous Sybok said...

Regarding incels,
The way the media portrays them does not reflect my own experiences. Every incel I have ever known, down to a man, has been a male ingénue. They put women on pedestals & are generally very polite. If they are socially awkward, it is because, being honest men, they take others at their word & don't pick up on subtext very easily. Incels are predominantly just naive children who either don't understand how awful most American women are, or they know it, but are unwilling to become the manipulative, entitled jerks that American women crave. If Elliott Roger had turned himself in after his rampage instead of committing suicide, I have no doubt that he would lost his virginity shortly thereafter (and no, not to 'Bubba').

6:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Yes, been said b4: Freud, "Civilization and Its Discontents." Sure, an entire society can go wacko. Last bk he published, b4 he fled the Nazis; who were burning it in public bonfires.


6:46 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Dan D--I too have heard variations of the "nuke 'em all" sentiment far too often, which I is why I said earlier that I worry that the *last* American president will do just that. I doubt it would be the huckster Trump, but Mike "Apocalypse Soon" Pence seems like just the kind of whacked out fundie who could get the job done.

@WanderLust--so if everything else remained unchanged but BotoxFace was in the Oval Office instead, the douchebags in that poll would be perfectly content? Still waiting for Cher, Madonna and Lada Gaga to pack their shit and head to Canada as they promised to do. Thanks to the global warming their private jets have helped accelerate, I hear isn't even that cold up there any more.

@Pilgrim--I read The Water Knife back when it was first published--it is indeed a scary, all too potentially accurate glimpse of the future. Bacigalupi's earlier novel, "The Wind Up Girl," covers similar ground and is also a great read. One quibble with that direct quote, however: if blogger Ian Welsh is correcct, India is actually going to have it worse than America. Welsh estimates that when the yearly monsoon rains give out hundreds of millions will perish in a very short time. Indeed, this summer in Chennai we've seen the first loud warning of what is coming soon to the subcontinent.

@Mike/Miles--the dude who dumped the dirt on the car his girlfriend was driving should hook up with the chick who burned down that guy's house for being denied sex. They sound like a perfect American couple!

8:10 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

What is that constant variation when a tragedy hits, "We are all XXXXXers now." We are all Berliners, all Charlie Hebdo, on and on....

We are all Americans now."

"A waiter in Paris has been shot dead by a customer who was reportedly angry because his sandwich wasn't prepared quickly enough...

"Police say a murder investigation has been launched after the incident on Friday evening in the eastern Noisy-le-Grand suburb....

"His colleagues told police that the customer had lost his temper at the pizza and sandwich shop because of the length of time it had taken to prepare his meal...."

8:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


On CNN today, the invention of a robotic tail for humans, plus an article on Madonna's "cone bra" of 1990. *This* is what we are supposed to be concerned abt. Along with Meghan Markle's latest hat, of course.


10:53 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

Meanwhile, Beto has been trying to restart his campaign-

11:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Is there no limit to American stupidity? (no)


11:30 PM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Greetings MB & Wafers,

Again, sorry to be so silent - gave my yearly koto concert in our little village, in the 1000 yr old church - fabulous acoustics! Great fun, long dinner with friends afterwards.

The discussion here as always is stellar.

I'd like to note an article in Counterpunch by Paul Street:

In this fairly long article he goes through the history of America noting how we've ALWAYS been racist/lethal to any yellow or brown race that stood in our way. Too many great quotes to choose from. But to finish he poses the question - is Trump really any different? Or is he just letting the foundations of American "civilization" out in the open for all to see (minus the polish of "Obomber" and others).

@Bill Hicks - he also notes the phrase "turn (country X,Y, or Z) into glass" is fully in keeping with the American character and credo. (In my career with the US Navy I also heard that phrase uttered multiple times.) The US is what it is, it will not change, it is baked into the character of 99% of the population.

3:47 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


In addn to the racial thing, there's the money thing, as I demonstrate in WAF: hustlers going back to the late 16C. Trumpi is simply the apotheosis of hustling, along with white supremacy--American reality with the gloves off, in effect. The premises of the US simply have been, from a spiritual and human pt of view, faulty; and as you suggest, all of this is by now sewn into our DNA.

Progs, of course, are anti-racist; to which I say, Good luck with that. This is one problem America will never solve, and we see incident after incident (e.g., black kid down South gets into trouble for looking at a white woman--this a few days ago) showing this is the case (consider the kill rate of young black men by cops). But progs are hardly opposed to hustling; virtually no American is opposed to it, because it is the core psychology of the American Dream, around which American lives revolve.

In the Twilight bk, I laid out the 4 factors that, as in the case of Rome, were taking us down the drain (to which we need to add imperial overstretch). 19 yrs later, not only did the US not attempt to reverse these trends; it actually exacerbated them. This is the historical norm: in the late-empire phase, no civilization reverses its trajectory. In addition, Americans are singularly obtuse in terms of being able to step back and objectively analyze what is happening. Progs or Trumpites, they have shit for brains, and this includes the ones with high IQs. What future for us then? Significant change is very difficult for individuals; how much more difficult for nations, or empires?

However, history does not stand still. In "Genio," I discuss the role of St. Francis in trying to reform the (corrupt) Church. This was in the early 13C; by the early 16C, the Reformation had exploded on the scene. Machiavelli's comment on all this was that the Church blew it: Francis gave the Church 3 centuries of breathing space, and the only chgs they effected during that time were cosmetic ones. Which finally made someone like Martin Luther inevitable. You bend, or you break, and the Church managed to bend about 0.5%. We are following a similar path, as is all of late-capitalism.

So the real question for us today is not, How can we reverse the American trajectory, or How can we save the country. We can do neither; and in Toynbee fashion, our civilization is going to collapse--indeed, it's happening rt now (this is the larger meaning of Shaneka Torres, Chrystal Walraven, et al.--collapse on the micro-level). The real question is, How is history going to play out? Where will we be in 50 yrs? A 3rd-rate power, colonized by the Chinese? Secessionist movements de-fanging the empire by breaking it down into small pieces? Creative exp'ts in what I have called Dual Process? It's anybody's guess, really. But in the interim, the smart person (.000000000000001 % of the American population) becomes a Wafer, an NMI, and takes time to help other people and, of course, to smell the roses. It means being among the tiniest of minorities, but at least has this formidable advantage: that your life means something; that you didn't piss it away on feel-good fantasies.


5:23 AM  
Anonymous Northern Johnny said...

Hi Dr. B and WAFERs:

Just read about the events that unfolded yesterday in Portland, Oregon: Smaller versions of these events have been ongoing in the USA (and Canada), but the seeming national scale and strategic calculus of Saturday's events leads me to wonder if the USA is moving into an era of coordinated, nation-wide Left/Right populist intervention? It is also notable how easy it now is for the Right to appropriate and deploy, in entirely contrary ways, the language / discourse / idioms of the Left. In response to the events yesterday, Trump is said to have Tweeted: "'Major consideration is being given to naming ANTIFA an ‘ORGANIZATION OF TERROR’ ... Portland is being watched very closely. Hopefully the Mayor will be able to properly do his job!'"

-Northern Johnny

8:25 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@Bill Hicks, thanks for the link to the article about McDonald’s. I agree that it is fitting that dilapidated malls and McDonald's represent the last bastions of common life in America. There is really nothing else left and what is left are the husks of our decrepit consumer culture.

In declinist news, there has been a startling increase in binge drinking among older Americans. “From 2001 to 2013, the proportion of seniors engaged in high-risk drinking surged 65% and the proportion with alcohol use disorder more than doubled.”

9:39 AM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

A chilling article by Thom Hartmann hit me as a punch in the guts - a visceral documentarion of the sociopathy of Trump and by extension America.

And as to nuking everyone Randy Newman's Political Science (drop the big one) doesn't seem as funny as it did when I first heard it in the 70s.

9:47 AM  
Anonymous rememberporthuron said...

Economist MN Gordon writes:

Pathological Madness

You can no more ignore these discrepancies and signs of impending disaster than you can ignore a gathering of pyromaniacs in the alley behind your residence. Most nights their penchants will be restrained to barrel fires. But come the next full moon, they will let out a communal howl and burn down the city block.

On surface, it takes a downright pathological character to go into hock at the rate achieved by U.S. consumers, U.S. corporations, and the U.S. Treasury. Only mental defectives, Scientologists, and university economics professors can justify it with a clear conscience. Nonetheless, these debt loads are a symptom of the compulsive effort to hold onto an economic golden age that’s slipping and sliding away.

10:33 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Got a link? We like evidence on this blog.


10:51 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

Americans paying a stranger to cuddle with, what cld possibly go wrong?

11:14 AM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Mensch dept.:


11:30 AM  
Blogger Pilgrim said...

Regarding racism...

>> This is one problem America will never solve... <<

"The color line has been described as a 'changing same.'", Chauncey DeVega, Salon

11:32 AM  
Anonymous door said...

The article by Thom Hartmann at Truthdig about Ayn Rands model for her main character in her novel Fountainhead shows that the truth is far stranger than fiction.Its almost unbelievable.I could not make up a story like that if I tried.

12:04 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

The sickness reflected here daily in accounts of acts of violence and self-destruction is surely on an irreversible upward trajectory. Wait until food supply and water shortages start mass migrations from further south than Central America. (Build that wall. Build that wall.). Or until some Western states decide they don’t want their water being used for the lawns and golf courses of citizens further downstream. Or until regular river flooding makes normal planting and harvesting in the US a mere memory. The latest report from the IPCC says we ain’t seen nothing yet.

“The climate crisis is damaging the ability of the land to sustain humanity, with cascading risks becoming increasingly severe as global temperatures rise, according to a landmark UN report compiled by some of the world’s top scientists.
Climate crisis reducing land’s ability to sustain humanity, says IPCC

Here’s a link to the report:
Climate Change and Land: an IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems [published] at its 50th Session held on 2 – 7 August 2019 [at Geneva, Switzerland].

12:21 PM  
Anonymous rememberporthuron said...

link to Economist MN Gordon 8.16.19 essay

and thank you for the link to umair!

12:28 PM  
Blogger Ajay Singh said...


What are your 3 top characteristics of Americans that make them instantly identifiable overseas?

Mine: 1. Wearing shorts. 2. Inability to use cutlery. 3. Tendency to say, "Where are you at?" (instead of just, "Where are you?")

@ MB: Remember's missing link, regarding economist M.N. Gordon's article (titled "Writing on the Wall"):

1:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


4. Talking loudly

5. Content of talk is trivial

6. Frequently, obese

7. Monolingual


2:06 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Interesting and prescient Wafer-esque and NMI passage on page 38 in PD Ouspenky’s 1949 book, “IN SEARCH of The MIRACULOUS”...

George Gurdjieff says....

“There are periods in the life of humanity, which generally coincide with the beginning of the fall of cultures and civilizations, when the masses irretrievably lose their reason and begin to destroy everything that has been created by centuries and millenniums of culture. Such periods of mass madness, often coinciding with geological cataclysms, climatic changes, and similar phenomena of planetary character, release a very great quantity of the matter of knowledge. This, in its turn, necessitates the work of collecting this matter of knowledge which would otherwise be lost. Thus the work of collecting scattered matter of knowledge frequently coincides with the beginning of the destruction and fall of cultures and civilizations.”

2:21 PM  
Anonymous pshaw said...

Pharonic practices and bloodlines from Sumer and Egypt practicing a Babylonian Talmudic Zoharian Kabalistic converso (fake semite, fake Catholic, fake Christian - they hate actual semites as well as caucasians or any other group of "sub-humans") criminal syndicate (mostly out of Eastern Europe, Russia, Turkey) have been subverting Americans since the Louisiana Purchase.

Though people are dumb animals and they let themselves be degraded and demoralized through sophisticated social engineering (since it worked), if you're not part of the club life will be a miserable death by a thousand cuts from being harvested for a lifetime - see E.M. Jones and Kalergi. Yet M. Berman has contempt for the victims.

4:58 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Do you know anything at all about this blog? We're not interested in updated versions of the "Protocols," as I have explained many times b4. Your anti-Semitic ravings, backed by no evidence whatsoever, are not welcome here; and your reliance on authors like Jones and Kalergi is pathetic. But never fear: there's gd news 4u out there: there must be thousands of anti-Semitic blogs out there that wd welcome this kind of demented drivel. They will not, however, be able to solve the problem of your being a total putz. I suggest you concentrate on that sad fact of your life (you might start by googling 'putz'), rather than on some purported Jewish conspiracy to take over the world. Why spend the rest of yr life as a stupid shithead? (which you'll do, of course; of that, I have no doubt)


5:17 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: be aware that I won't be printing any more of yr crap. Yr in the "Instant Delete Unread" category.

5:22 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


See exchange with pshaw for some idea of what's out there, in this great country of ours. Normally I don't print this vile type of garbage, but it doesn't hurt, occasionally, to get an idea of what's lurking in the American sewers. This crackpot is no isolated voice, unfortunately.


5:27 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

This is nice:

Also this:

6:40 PM  
Anonymous CWell said...

When I lived in Alaska, there were remnants of a cult in our area that pushed this kind of stuff. They printed up flyers with excerpts from the "Protocols" and distributed them door to door at the closest Alaska Native village. The village reaction was basically that these are some really crazy white people! I met some of their kids who were in their teens and 20's and it was sad - they could barely read or write, had been isolated and brainwashed, had no birth certificates or social security numbers - so that they couldn't really function outside of these very isolated communities. I'm afraid there's more of these people out there than we might think and they want things to fall apart so they can triumph.

A Native American psychologist, Delores Bigfoot, described sub-types of white people who live in Native American communities: military, missionaries, misfits, and saviors. She encouraged us to look at our motivation and how we could be truly helpful. I had to take a hard look at myself to make sure I wasn't falling into any of those categories!

7:06 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


These people (anti-Semites) are the dregs of humanity. Sartre had it rt, in his post-War essay on the subject, that the anti-Semites were lucky that Hitler didn't manage to wipe out all of world Jewry, because if he had, their lives wd have no purpose. And that's exactly it, with pshaw and his ilk, that there is no meaning in their lives, so they latch on to anti-Semitism and world Jewish conspiracy theories to give themselves what's psychologically missing. Human garbage, nothing less. Next pshaw will be telling us that the medieval blood libel accusations were true. Instead of feeding on white supremacist crap, he might try rdg this:

Yes, I know: he'll read it when pigs fly. (Hey, they're not kosher)

pshaw: I enjoy teaching you Yiddish. In addition to putz, you need to know dreck--also descriptive of what you are. Really, don't you make yrself sick?


8:18 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Hustling ueber Alles:

8:32 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Italiana - "turn (X) country into glass" is a common saying of my 70-year-old boss.

Gunnar - I used to know (NOT patronize) a gal who gave guys "massages" including prostate, with a (sterilized for each customer) glass dildo. Seemed pretty safe, effective, and everyone was happy. An educated populace will know about germs...

Ajay - I ride a bike everywhere and in warm weather I wear shorts. Am waiting for knickers to come back in. Fear my calves!

CWell - I've lived in flyover country and various forms of The Protocols and weird broadsides about "Sunday Law" are all over the place. You could use 'em for toilet paper. If "they" were smart they'd print them on rolling papers, those and those Jack Chick tracts.

9:16 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Ajay--ugh: 1). Wearing flip flops anywhere but the beach, 2). Ugly ass tattoos on pasty, flabby skin, 3). Bragging about how many countries they have "collected" (as if setting foot somewhere and immediately moving on is the same as visiting), 4). Taking selfies with their frickin' FOOD. I could go on...

@Gunnar--"industry unregulated" Only in America could "professional cuddling" be considered an "industry." Maybe all those unemployed factory worked can be retrained.

And further down the shitter does American higher "education" go: "American University has brought in an academic...with a curious mission for an academic institution: to teach academics not to grade on the writing ability of students as opposed to their “labor.” Professor Asao Inoue believes that writing ability should not be assessed to achieve “antiracist” objectives."

I recall one professor I had in college who would mark a paper down 2 points for EVERY grammatical error contained within. Getting a 100 score from him on my midterm paper was the proudest moment in my academic career. But I just went to sum dum state skool, 'n didn't haf ta "privwedge" of payin $50 tousand bux a year fer a degree dat ain't werth da dam paper it be printed on.

9:25 PM  
Blogger delete said...

Hola Dr Berman and fellow Wafers

And the downward spiral continues.
Another fine example of wonderful American compassion
on display. Soulless scumbag.

10:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Watching American U. contribute to American cultural suicide shd warm the heart of every declinist. Over and over I keep saying that in America, even the smart ones are dumb.


10:49 PM  
Anonymous Rufus T(he Original). Schmeck said...

Hello Wafers & MB,

I think Sartre was wrong. I think that if the Jews had been killed off, the "negative identity", of us vs them, would have manifested in other ways...hatred of the Jews has just been convenient (minority group with it's own religious arrogance... "we're the chosen people".)

"Pshaw" is an example of negative identity. He needs something to hate in order to have an identity or to have meaning to his life, which in a society of emotional retardation, makes perfect sense. People call this "dysfunction", but in reality, it's functionality, given the cultural mythology we've been replicating for hundreds of years here in the US, & for a millennia in the Manichaean West & Middle East.

I spent a semester in the UK during college, & I remember a trip to Scotland to visit my roommates friend, where we ended up in a pub with, as far as I was concerned, "white boys". By the end of the night, it was an all out brawl.... the English hated the Scottish; the Scottish hated the Welsh; & the Irish hated the English... I couldn't understand this. Growing up in an urban center in the US, the only "real" division was white & black (not to me, I was surrounded by every shade of humanity & they were just people to me). Further, I've done genealogy research for hire for years, & I've found so many of the genealogies of the mid to late 1800's, full of the nonsense of the English, the Welsh, the Irish & the Scottish, as well as the German & Dutch.... as different RACES... can you believe it?! I was gobsmacked. Genetic analysis makes it clear, there is no such thing as race.

This Manichaean (dualistic) mythology runs deep. Isn't America just a deep expression of this mythology?

Rufus T(he Original) Schmeck

2:06 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I dunno if yr rt, but at least it's interesting. BTW, watch length, in future--yr a bit over the half-pg mark. Thanks.


3:02 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wealthy douche baguette gets off lightly:

3:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"author Steven Pinker, who was flown to a TED Conference on Epstein’s private jet in 2002, including Daniel Dennetand John Brockman, has recently refuted any suggestions that he knew, or had any relationship with Epstein."

Obviously now Stinker is denying all allegations.


5:07 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...


Race is what society turns to when it has no ideas about who it really is. For all that racialists love to prattle on about the great cultural achievements of 'their race', those achievements were almost never made through times/places/people preoccupied with race.

Look at Germany, which 1850-1914 rose up to be the prime power in Europe *despite* having a very limited international empire in comparison with the formerly slaving Atlantic empire of England. Compare the art and science of that period with what Germany became once the idea of 'racial Germans' became popular.

Racism is just an especially vicious version of resting on one's inherited laurels.

Also, it's worth noting that the racialism that developed in the later 19th century was seen as barbarism even by apparently conservative intellects. One obvious example is Spengler, who had no time for the emerging Nazi race idea. To him (as I believe to any pre turn of century thinker), it was obvious that spirit (culture, meaning) rather than blood moved history.

7:08 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Cd u provide us w/some links? We're big on evidence here, as opposed to merely broadcasting one's opinion (which anyone can do, really). Thanks.


8:52 AM  
Anonymous TG said...

Optimistic nihilism!

9:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re Civil War ... as the good Doctor Berman said, it wasn't about slavery.

Interesting read.

9:29 AM  
Anonymous Cedric said...

John Rawls and the remaking of political philosophy | Harvard Magazine (

9:41 AM  
Anonymous Salmon Skin said...

“He’s like a heat-seeking missile for Trump’s ass.”

Lots of powerful reporting -- and quotes -- in this @sbg1 profile of Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of Trump

Also just read this from Oliver Morton author of Eater of the Sun":

"Removing the ice from Greenland to provide new land for America was the theme of 'The President of the United States, Detective', a very strange Nietzschean geoengineering story by Gerald Heard published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine in 1947."

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Susan W. said...

An interesting article on education by a man who returned to teaching after several years off. He was shocked at the lack of standards and poor student accountability:

On a different subject I found this article summarizing the Jeffery Epstein mess illuminating:

From the article --

"It’s extraordinarily telling about the national mindset that shortly after the FBI announced they are classifying “conspiracy theories” as a “domestic terrorism threat,” far more Americans believe the “conspiracy theories” about Epstein’s death than are buying the official story."

11:47 AM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

@Bill - that was exactly my thought. Wtf? A "cuddle industry" that needs regulation? If that isn't a marker of decline what is?

Watched the first episode of The Family on Netflix, if you are interested in an incubator of "religious" though obviously apocalyptic "christian" fascism this is the show to watch. It is truly frightening to understand how they have infiltrated the military in ways much deeper than people realize. (my bro-in law came out of the air force academy on fire for Jesus and completely brain scrubbed and that was 1982.)

I kept thinking these guys are in training to be a new praetorian guard. Trump is heaven sent b/c he's tearing down the existing structure. Once it collapses they'll anal rape trump and step in to pick up the pieces. In my mind, growing up in the Salt Lake City of evangelicalism (Colorado Springs), they've already won and were very stealth in their takeover. LGBTQIRSCNOIP, or whatever, has been put on notice in my mind.

12:47 PM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

In "Uncle Sam was Born Lethal" Paul Street recounts the bloody killing of anyone who stood in the way of American's drive to 'have it all'. Not exactly the history Americans are taught. Probably all the other European empire builders and colonialists probably behaved similarly.

2:00 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hola MB and Wafers,

There's Nazis in the bathroom
Just below the stairs...
Nobody told me there'd be days like these
Strange days indeed
Most peculiar, Mama

~John Lennon


2:19 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...

You should be seated while watching these videos, the death of happiness
in 'mur'ka. Just think of the waste and all the immigrants who could be
shopping if only they were let in.

How can it be claimed that there is no room in 'mur'ka for them with
30-40% of the food as garbage?

2:39 PM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

Interesting dialogue here:

2:41 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

How Life Became an Endless, Terrible Competition.

4:36 PM  
Anonymous Savantesimal said...

You have discovered the "original" meaning of race. Though it included all of the concepts of "inheritance" of characteristics, it was not originally a biological concept, but a social one. The distinction between biological and cultural characteristics had to wait until there was such a thing as biology to be distinguished. In earlier ages, nearly all human characteristics were believed to be inherited more-or-less directly, in analogy to simpler animals inheriting everything, even temperment. Thus, what we today call a "nationality" (or perhaps "ethnicity") was also called a "race" in pre-scientific times. So, yes, there are "races" in the original sense -- social groups with different characteristics. The problem comes with assigning all the weight of human identity to broad catagories like nationality, and especially with assigning rank to those various identities.

Modern dictionary definitions try to cover all these various uses, and it makes the entry on this word very confusing:
Wiktionary on "Race" Note the inclusion of the use for distinctive types of animals, what we could today call "breeds". The difference between humans and other animals, of course, is that humans are much more flexible and can be changed by environment (culture, training, etc.) more than any other animal. But in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries as science advances there is a growing emphasis on "race" instead of a fading away. It's ironic that the growing knowledge of science was used to double-down on an error instead of clear it up.

6:18 PM  
Anonymous cubeangel said...

Dr. B

I am in Beijing China as we speak. I have to say I love it. And, I had to turn in my paperwork yesterday to my new job. Today, I had to turn in a couple of more things to my new job. Yesterday I took a taxi. Today, I took the subway. Here is what happened today that shocked the hell out of me. To give background, in some parts of Beijing it is difficult to get a taxi to stop for you. Riding the subway, I was able to get close to my new job but I didn't know how to the rest of the way and no Taxi would stop. And, it was raining to. Lo and behold, one of the natives chose to help me out. He walked me where I needed to go from the subway station to my job. It was such a blessing. Would someone ever do that for me in the USA? Hell No! And, he held his umbrella over my head to.

4:44 AM  
Anonymous Julio said...

Newt Gingrich trying to sell Trump on a cheap moon plan

A general, Gingrich and Michael Jackson's publicist are proposing a $2 billion contest to return Americans to the moon.

I swear to god we are in the dumbest possible timeline.

"Newt Gingrich and an eclectic band of NASA skeptics are trying to sell President Donald Trump on a reality show-style plan to jump-start the return of humans to the moon"

8:23 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

Interesting article on the negative impact that extreme inequality has on health outcomes, particularly mental health.

8:46 AM  
Anonymous Prophetic said...

Woooow Dept.:

Trump, Qanon and an impending judgment day: Behind the Facebook-fueled rise of The Epoch Times
Started almost two decades ago with a stated mission to “provide information to Chinese communities to help immigrants assimilate into American society,” The Epoch Times now wields one of the biggest social media followings of any news outlet.

The Epoch Times is the largest pro-Trump spender on Facebook.

It's run by a religious sect that believes judgment day, which sends those they label “communists” to Hell⁠, is 30 years late—and that Trump is making it happen

9:40 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I don't post Unknowns. You need a real handle.


10:14 AM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

The US will not provide flu vaccines to children in migrant detention camps.

Cruelty is vastly underrated as a key trait of Americans. Cormac McCarthy has it right.|twitter&par=sharebar

We are not capable of stopping this. Either we implode and eat each other alive, or others from outside will need to come in to stop this.

2:23 PM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

MB, et al – Regarding American decline, the question for me is: How do I respond to its inevitable collapse? I can’t control the timing or the causes. All I can control is what I decide to do in response. What, for me (and a very few like minded friends and relatives), would be meaningful, insightful, and fulfilling?

Servo – I think elders are more attuned to decline because they are closer to their own demise and with advanced age begin to wonder what meaning their lives had.

May I humbly suggest that a 5th marker of decline or another marker of Americans Abroad is the inability to use language appropriately. Millions of Americans are unable to communicate without using the word “like” and the phrases “kind of”, “sort of” and “you know”. The abuse of these phrases is not confined to the illiterate but is widespread among the "educated" as well. For example, while driving home from Wilmington this morning, I was listening to the NPR talk show “1A”. The host and his guests were all well-educated and otherwise articulate individuals, but they could barely finish a sentence without unnecessarily interjecting one or more of the above phrases. It happened so often that I began to wonder if they were being paid by the phrase. As in “Well, I sort of agree that red flags laws for guns is, you know, kind of a good thing. But, I mean, look, not everyone, you know, is going to abide by the law. And that will sort of render them unenforceable”. Why the interjections? Are they unsure of themselves or their facts? Or just stupid.

4:31 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B-

U.S. Dept. of Peace, proposed by Marianne-

5:51 PM  
Anonymous Stormy said...

EXCLUSIVE: The US won't provide flu vaccines to migrant families at border detention camps
Cram people into small spaces, increase their stress, reduce their hygiene and nutrition, create the conditions for infectious disease to spread — and then don't take the obvious actions that will prevent disease spreading.

Oh, this will go well.

7:56 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@Prophetic--a stated mission to “provide information to Chinese communities to help immigrants assimilate into American society...” In other words, become American style hustlers. So much for the idiotic prog and Dumb idea that increased immigration will permanently turn America "blue." As soon as economic migrants start to enjoy even a little prosperity, many come to hate paying taxes or being told they bear any responsibility to society at large. After all, I would gather that the nearly one-third of Hispanics who voted for Trump in the last election didn't care about his pledge to build the wall.

@Miles--prior to 1942, American school children gave the "Hitler salute" every morning during the pledge of allegiance. Maybe we should go back to that, as it would help to clarify what the American flag really stands for. "Nazi, Schmazi, says Wernher Von Braun" -- Tom Lehrer

@Michael B--"the bloody killing of anyone who stood in the way of American's drive to 'have it all'." Speaking of the pledge of allegiance, this pretty much sounds like what the Nazis were trying to do, eh? Except we're too cheap to directly occupy our "Lebensraum," and prefer to let our 750+ overseas military bases do the job for us.

8:17 PM  
Blogger Janet D said...

Hello all,

It's been ~ 2 months since I last posted. We moved cross-country in the meantime, from WA State to the Midwest. Hubby's work necessitated this change, but it gave us the chance to sell our house without having to pay a realtor fee (still quite the racket...6% of sales price + you usually pay 3% more in closing costs), thanks to hubby's company. We are now renting where we live, which is a great feeling of freedom. We are going to use this time to plan our escape & won't have to sell a house when the time comes.

Traveling across the country (we drove) was quite the eye-opening experience. Many places have a stagnant, sullen feel to them (IMHO). And every place is kind of the same - strip malls, hotels, chain stores & chain restaurants. It's McMerica, no matter where you go. Oh - and the interstates are absolute *shit* in place through several states.

My contribution for this week: a worthwhile read about large insurance companies paying law enforcement, witnesses, etc. to go after people who dare to file claims. Yep, there's fraud, but turns out (shocker) that the insurance companies have turned abusive with this practice & are bending the rules to go after innocent people. Murika.

8:53 PM  
Anonymous Quiet Desperation said...

On the subject of American Exceptionalism, previously recommended, finally finished:

and currently, by Thomas Ligotti:

10:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting article about young people coping with late capitalism by watching "comfort" TV shows like Friends. I found it quite moving.

Speaking of movies, I can't wait for this one to come out!


3:10 AM  
Blogger flanagle said...

Gunnar- John Frankenheimer was way ahead of the curve back in '64 with his excellent film "Seven Days in May". In it, a disgruntled US Air Force general plans a military coup to replace the president with himself. All too likely there is a real-life, seething, Jesus-freak, turn-it-all-into-glass AF general or colonel, just waiting for his (corporate-backed)chance at-bat post 'Suez Moment' or when it all heads south in the near future.

1:35 PM  
Anonymous Henri said...

Matt Taibbi :

“Historians will list [Trump] somewhere between Vlad the Impaler and France’s Charles VI, who thought his buttocks were made of glass” — on the 2020 campaign trail with America’s Mad King:

1:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


It's not that complicated. You can leave the country, or become an NMI. There aren't any other choices.


2:35 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


This is very misleading. Read the article, amigo. The "Bellamy Salute" had 0 to do with the Nazis; it was not a Hitler salute. Por favor...


2:38 PM  
Blogger Dan Henry said...

Well i dunno about incels but us traditional male types find it quite hard to get women anymore as well. I get called a smokeshow behind my back and that's about the extent of the play i can get from American white women, because the average American woman weighs more than i do. Advertising had so thoroughly crushed the self confidence of our females that they are incapable of seduction anynore. The country is demonizing masculinity and then the women complain they can't find good men.... Well duh

3:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan H-

What in god's name is a smokeshow? How do I attend one, and are tickets very expensive?


4:00 PM  
Anonymous Amaria said...

The World of American Hikikomori

Forms of distress / disability described by diagnoses are often portrayed as spreading from the West as a form of psychiatric 'colonisation'. This describes active identification with Japanese Hikikomori in American teens.

All the lovely forms of colonization exporting out of the west. What a world

4:31 PM  
Blogger Dan Henry said...

For MB

🤣🤣🤣 I'm happy to introduce you to urban dictionary

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Cel-Ray Tonic said...

From Urban Dictionary -- Smokeshow: A word to describe someone so hot that you basically see the smoke coming off them...

I get called the jerk in the glasses behind my back, which happens to be true, but who's counting?

5:19 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Just read this and was left dumbstruck,

do they not look in the mirror? Is there no self-reflection in the MSM anymore (if there ever was). Il Douche does this hairbrained crap because you idiots in the media put it front page, top of the website for days and days. You write editorials about it and guess what, free press for The Orange Hairball.

7:09 PM  
Anonymous Noah Rothman said...

"The only thing that saves Reps. Tlaib and Omar from the universal reproach they are due is the plausibility of the claim that their displays of anti-Semitism are unconscious. But the. . evidence suggests that they know exactly what they are saying."

Just clarifying, I think these congresswomen have some odd & bigoted skeletons in the closet, but must one support the current corrupt regime in Israel in order to not be anti-semitic? That, and continue to send over huge amounts of American tax $$ to Israeli military and settlements?

7:55 PM  
Anonymous Sybok said...

Donald Trump hailed as the long awaited messiah & king of Israel by Jewish evangelical Christian. Our president agrees.

Oy veh!

8:07 PM  
Blogger Krakhed said...

Kenn Orphan on the destruction of the Amazon and the indigenous protests:

Dan H- Most American women are selfish, arrogant, and greedy and not worth your time.

8:08 PM  
Blogger illini said...

Morris... You may under estimate how fast big bust decline is forthcoming. I see 2026-2032 as likely. Not just the Empire but much more. Complete collapse of civil society. Ref Strauss & Howe book about the 4 Turnings. Also Dr Guy McPherson on abrupt climate change. We could be almost there!

8:40 PM  
Blogger alex carter said...

Bill Hicks - The Epoch Times has long been on coffee shop counters here, "The Most Boringest Paper Ever" - only difference is they're putting a lot of money into pro-Trump ads. For all I know fellow kooks the Scientologists are too.

The "Roman" salute used in US schools was just that. It and the swastika were just fine until the Nazis created such bad connotations. I suspect orange spray-tan and Wally George wigs are going down in fashion these days also.

mb - thought while riding the bike after being yapped at by yet another dog: we've always had dogs in the US, sure, but it's really changed since I was a vet tech in the 80s. It's become a friggin' cult, a child-substitute, etc. The reason? - Dogs won't judge. You murder your wife, beat your kids, fire people all day at work, are a thoroughly awful person or at last don't relate to people because you were raised by a game controller, doesn't matter, Fido will still greet you like you're the bestest EVAR.

8:47 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

@MB--my bad, I should have made my point more clear as I am aware that the salute was the Bellamy Salute, which was why I placed "Nazi" in quotes. My point was that that picture of those American schoolchildren giving that salute to the flag drives home the point that flag humping Americans are celebrating a symbol of tyranny with a body count higher than that of the Swastika, even if we haven't (yet) engaged in a genocide quite as efficiently organized as the Holocaust.

Speaking of which, a top admiral says the U.S. Navy is now "ready" to attack Venezuela, another country which has never once threatened the U.S. in any way. "Waging aggressive war," rather than the Holocaust, is what got the German senior military leadership hung at Nuremberg.

@Janet D--I'm old enough to remember when the Interstate highway system was still under construction (1970s and 80s). When my family drove from Illinois to Wyoming on vacation in 1974 large sections of I-90, the major northern route, were not yet complete and we kept having to divert to secondary roads. Now it's all falling apart already. What's worth remembering is that Eisenhower pushed for the construction of the Interstate system construction first and foremost for military purposes (so tanks and such could easily be transported across the country). There's a book called "American Road" by Pete Davis, which documents the two week cross country truck caravan Ike led in 1919, which plus seeing the Autobahn in Germany, planted the idea for the system in his mind.

9:04 PM  
Anonymous Anjin-san said...

Charles Pierce is one of the funniest and most astute columnists writing today. God knows why he's at Esquire but I hope they pay him lots.

I particularly liked his title for Trump - El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago. Franco would be green with envy if he were still alive.

9:07 PM  
Anonymous B. Louis said...


"Cruelty is vastly underrated as a key trait of Americans."

I could not agree with this more, and I think it's actually THE key component of the American social fabric.

Few admit it, but the average American LOVES a good bully. From churches, to board rooms, to entertainment, this culture absolutely adores anyone with the 'self-confidence' to kick another person while he's down. For all of their chest-pounding about 'freedom', Americans are a downright docile people who submit at the first sign of aggression from an alpha.

This is exactly why there's no outcry when an outright crime is committed in the business world. The alpha chimp is simply entitled to whatever he wants, whenever he wants precisely because he's the alpha.

Run a company responsible for the largest personal data breach in history? You get to bail out with 90 million bucks. No questions asked. To the vicious go the spoils:

9:29 PM  
Blogger Gunnar said...

An imagined response to this article from Holden Caulfield, "This is just goddamed sad. Poor fucking kids their ancestor's sin before them and being lied to about it right from the start. I'm no expert wouldn't want to be or ever try to be some goddamn counselor, I'd probably say something like the only honest thing your being given today are the sunglasses it is indeed going to be very bright. No one wld ever hear my complaining about it, no dog in this hunt for me, but shldnt education be truthful? " - Or something like that. Maybe they'll open that Salinger vault soon and he can shed some light.

10:19 PM  
Anonymous CWell said...


I read the Guardian article on "comfort" TV and and found more data on social deterioration and loss of connection in this article: A recent study showed that 22% of American millennials report that they have no friends at all, another 27% say they have no one they consider a close friend. These are 23 to 38 year-olds - a time of life when it’s generally easier to make friends whether you’re single or have a family. There was some speculation in the article on causes, but no real examination of the root causes of this level of alienation.

10:56 PM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

Here’s something bizarre that I stumbled onto a couple posts back. It got so weird that I decided not to post it at the time, but since we’re currently discussing malls, what the heck. To refresh your memory, a couple posts ago, Miles linked to a news story about Grace Brown urinating on the potatoes of the West Mifflin Walmart. Shortly before that, Bill Hicks said that “when it comes to classical music unless it's the first few minutes of Beethoven's 5th, or maybe the ‘Apocalypse Now’ portion of Wagner's ‘Ride of the Valkyries’ American's don't want any part of it.” The story of the potato pee-er made me think of the adjacent mall. I haven’t been there in decades and decided to look it up. One of the first results was a video of someone driving around the dead mall set to “Ride of the Valkyries.” If you click to see the other videos on the channel, you’ll discover that it’s mostly hundreds of videos of the insides of restrooms.

Salute by gesturing over the horizon with fully extended arm grasping a bag of potatoes; place left hand on fly.

God bless America,
Land where I pee,
From beside her
Deride her
For gunfight
Lacks insight
She’s crappy.

12:11 AM  
Anonymous Italiana said...

Greetings MB & Wafers,

First, just have to comment on Trumpi's fit of pique at Denmark's prime minister because she called the thought of selling Greenland to the US "absurd" - way to go, Trumpi! Lay it all out there so the rest of the world truly understands how 'Murikans think!

Meanwhile, in Japan, they are having the All Japan Soroban (Japanese abacus) championships. Keeping this skill alive, which actually makes the users use their brains! Hmmm, can't have that in 'Murika. (I remember watching shopkeepers use this when I lived there - lightening fast fingers!)

What a contrast.

2:03 AM  
Blogger NeilW said...

AN ARGUMENT FOR ART “I sometimes think the only American story is the one about the reading of the will” - Lewis Lapham, ‘Money and Class”

5:33 AM  
Anonymous Scott Andretti said...

"The Racism of Jung"

Interesting piece on Jungi

9:21 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

Re: evidence

Spengler on race:

"Spengler dismisses 19th century ideas of race as a biological phenomenon as well as pseudo-anthropological claims about the phrenology of cultures. Instead, he suggests that the idea of race derives largely from a geographic location and that “race-expression is completely transformed” in the migration and movement of peoples...

His ideas about race fundamentally opposed National Socialism, which predicated its policies on a biological distinction between the “Aryan” and Jewish race. Due to his opposition to the racist biology of Nazism, Spengler’s books were eventually banned during the Third Reich." (link also provides good info on other aspects of Spengler)

Historical race concepts:

"The word race itself is modern and was used in the sense of "nation, ethnic group" during the 16th to 19th centuries and acquired its modern meaning in the field of physical anthropology only from the mid-19th century."

Very interesting how modern race, a basically empty designation, has replaced 'clan' or 'community'. This autistic fixation on physical skin over and above real group harmony makes racism an obvious indication of decline.

9:34 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

It was only inevitable-Jews are next. After you've exhausted immigrants, Hispanics, Trans, Blacks you get to the holy grail of hate-Jews. Talk about hitting the jackpot. Now anytime Trump hits on Wall Street, Hollywood, liberals, democrats, Jews will be implied.
Of course the problem is that Jews have no allies in the US.They thought their white skin would save them so they identified with the white elite. Hell, an entire high school here was built because white, predominantly JEwish parents did not want their precious kids have contact with people of color.
Traditionally, elites have used Jews to cover their own crimes- think all the Jews as head of the Federal Reserve or treasury secretary.I recall an interview with Toni Morrison years ago in Time. She was asked about black anti-semitism (Farrakhan, et al). She said blacks hate Jews because Jews think they're white. Now 100 tires were slashed in a Hasidic community and my mom and I have decided not to attend synagogue this coming high holidays.
Next, waiting for a politician to state why we give Israel 38 billion dollars when we have so many problems here. SOmeone will get tapped.

10:00 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


Thanks for links. Watch length.


Re: Holocaust: I think there were categories that covered it, during the trials, such as "Crimes against humanity" or whatever. For more on interstate hwy system, see DAA ch. 7.


You'll hafta check earlier blogposts, but I remember saying that 2030 was probably the outside date for massive collapse. And only 11 yrs away!


There has been in recent yrs a conflation of Zionism and Judaism, which is very unfortunate, to say the least. As for Omar et al.: I personally am on the Palestinian side of this tragic conflict, but remain disturbed when these folks repeat classic anti-Semitic cliches--e.g. about "the Benjamins," or Jews in service to foreign powers, etc. This crap is rt outta the "Protocols of the Elders of Zion," a document forged by the tsarist secret police ca. 1903. Even Tsar Nicholas knew it was bullshit, but it hardly stopped him from stoking pogroms. The whole thing was discredited by the London Times in 1920 or 21 (chunks of the document were plagiarized from the work of an anti-Semitic German writer from 1863), but the mythology is now worldwide, facts be damned. Echoing these cliches can't have helped Omar's cause, I don't think.


Thanks for info. Meanwhile, check out my bk on Japan.


10:11 AM  
Blogger dermot said...

Dark Ages UK. Millionaire makes model of Grenfell towers, fills it with little pictures of people. Sets it on fire with his friends and has a good laugh.

Main line of attack on this inhuman filth is the accusation of 'racism', which he's countering by saying that the figures were meant to represent him and his friends, so it's all OK hahaha. The fact that it's naked classism, rich millionaire laughing at working class people burning to death because rich spivs like him and his mates shaved $5000 off the cladding by using flammable material is lost on him and the identitarian media.

UK heading down the same sewer pipe as USA.

11:42 AM  
Blogger marnieinseattle said...

A parody of Merica? A time capsule opened after 50 years has nothing in it:

11:45 AM  
Anonymous Tink said...

"Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has a dream for the Yucatan Peninsula. He wants to build a train that will leverage the tourism economy of Cancun by bringing more visitors inland to the colonial cities, Mayan villages and archaeological sites that dot the region."

Mexico wants to run a tourist train through its Mayan heartland — should it?

This was news to me. The indigenous community is very upset w/ Obrador, I thought he was better than this. What does our professor in Mexico have to say? Any insider scoop?

12:26 PM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

I just learned about this on a TV news program. As of Oct, 2020, every citizen of US will have to present a REAL ID card in order to fly domestic or enter federal buildings.

REAL ID law was passed in 2005 at the bequest of the Homeland Securty Dept. Under the REAL ID requirements in NC where I live, applicants must prove identity, Social Security Number (SSN) and residency when applying for a card.
One identity document that shows your full name and date of birth, such as a passport
or birth certificate.
One SSN document that shows your full Social Security Number and full name, such as a
pay stub, Social Security card, W-2 form or 1099 form.
Two residency documents that show your residential address in North Carolina, such as
a utility bill, rental agreement, mortgage statement or medical bill.
One or more name-change documents if your legal name does not currently match the
name on your identity document.

Once these requirements have been met, a gold star is placed on your driver's license certifying that you are not a threat to the peace and tranquility of these US and that you have nothing to fear when boarding an airplane.

12:33 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

For those who might be interested, I looked into the Nuremberg Trials—the International Military Tribunal (IMT) (20 November 1945-1 October 1946)—that dealt with the major war criminals of the Nazi regime. Twenty-four individuals were tried on four counts: (1) crimes against peace (i.e., the planning, initiating, and waging of wars of aggression in violation of international treaties and agreements), (2) crimes against humanity (i.e., exterminations, deportations, and genocide), (3) war crimes (i.e., violations of the laws of war), and (4) “a common plan or conspiracy to commit” the criminal acts listed in the first three counts. At the end of 216 sessions, twelve defendants were sentenced to death, four to terms of imprisonment, and three were acquitted. For an excellent overview:

The murder of the Jews and other inmates of the concentration and extermination camps would have fallen under Count 2, it appears, although the scale of criminality was so great that other of the charges could also have been found to apply.

Additional trials were also held in Nuremberg subsequently under the Nuremberg Military Tribunals (NMT), including the Doctors’ and Judges’ Trials.
These subsequent trials involved literally dozens of individuals.

2:29 PM  
Blogger Dan Daniel said...

An interesting commentary by an American psychologist on his experience of medical care in Italy. Worth reading in entirety for his knowledge of US hospitals-

"...He looked at me with an amused smile and said that it would cost me nothing. Further, he reported that he had signed me up for the national health program and that from now on, everywhere in Italy, my records would be available if I had further medical needs. I was astounded. He went on to inform me that he was a medical doctor not an economist and that if someone needs medical care, it was his job to provide it for me and that cost was not an issue...

"It strikes me how different this medical experience was from the way that health care is handled in our country. The first person a foreign tourist would see would be the screener from the billing department, which would be the largest department in the hospital. There was NO billing department in the Italian hospital...."

And the plight of the homeless working class-

Maybe we are missing the reality here. Maybe the collapse has already happened, and we are now well into the looting and pillaging stage. One giant media-induced Potemkin village.

Update of Shakespeare: "The first thing we do, let's kill all the MBAs"

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Imhotep the 82nd said...

I just finished reading Christakis's "Blueprint"

"I do not think that I have met a single person who didn’t share the exact same aspirations at the end of life: to make amends for mistakes, to be close to loved ones, to tell one’s story to someone who will listen, and to die free of pain.”

7:41 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

'Strategic insolvency'? Yep

6:50 AM  
Anonymous Marty said...

Obamas reportedly buying multi-million-dollar Martha's Vineyard mansion

He's so relatable

10:15 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...


I appreciate your distinguished Egyptian ancestry, but I'm guessing most Americans don't share those aspirations. "The one who dies with the most toys wins"--popular bumper sticker from yrs ago.


Long discussion. AMLO does some things very well, and others, like this verkakte tourist train, not so well.


For a contemporary time capsule, to be opened in 50 yrs, I just suggest a picture of Lorenzo Riggins holding his bag of burgers from McDonald's. Without any explanation.


10:20 AM  
Anonymous Samantha Panola said...


French waiter shot dead for being 'too slow with sandwich', say witnesses

Police open murder inquiry after customer attacked waiter at a pizzeria on the outskirts of Paris

Others noted high crime levels in the area, notably drug-dealing and public drunkenness.

Guess this is not just an American thing.

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Cynthia said...

Wait. Sean Spicer is on Dancing With The Stars now?


11:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Add to that Grenfell story the story of the 6-year-old kid being thrown off the roof of the Tate Modern a few weeks ago, the state of the new PM's car , and the picture is complete.

The UK deserves it though. I've lived in London for 10 years, and the level of hustling, wealth inequality, technodouchebaggery and aggression I've witnessed there is beyond comparison to anywhere else in Europe.


12:12 PM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

«As [John] Shaw explains, the Berlins fled anti-Jewish pogroms in Siberia when Irving Berlin (née Israel Baline) was barely 5. They settled in the tenement slums of New York City where they endured a Lower East Side version of the desperate poverty Guthrie would witness nationwide three decades later.
Kate Smith came to [Irving Berlin] seeking a special Armistice Day number for her radio show, Berlin was feeling thankful to have achieved so much from such desperate beginnings... [H]e offered Smith “God Bless America.” “Berlin had written a love song,” Shaw explains. The assimilated Russian Jew imagined it as a quiet ballad of gratitude to the country he felt he owed so much, a personal and humble plea: “God bless, America, my home sweet, home.”
“Quiet” and “humble,” however, were never Smith’s vocal strengths. When she recorded the song a few months later, Smith characteristically bellowed the song at the top of her considerable lungs. The arrangement’s brass boasted and made a fist; the strings swelled with belligerent pride; the pace was martial. The difference between Berlin’s motivation and Smith’s interpretation embodies the way a complex love of country can shrink to mere pride. The gulf between the song’s conception and its best-known execution reminds how easy, perhaps even inevitable, it is for patriotism to warp into nationalism, into the conviction that one’s country is not only beloved but better, deservingly blessed, and beyond criticism, let alone in need of it. Smith’s triumphalist reading was the one Woody Guthrie heard and hated.»

1:05 PM  
Anonymous trying to stay sane said...

The first cases of lung damage caused by vaping are starting to show up in American hospitals. This is another case, in a long line of corporate greed, of unregulated capitalism taking priority over human life. Conscious decisions have been made by corporations like Juul which benefit directly to ignore the evidence and keep encouraging people to use their products. As has been done for decades by cigarette makers and oil companies.Nothing is allowed to impede the financial profit of the elite few.

A humble suggestion toward a new blog emphasis: Surely no one who regularly reads and commends on this blog would deny that America is in the throes of unalterable decline due, in part, to the reasons listed by MB in the Trilogy. Most comments, however, offer proof after proof of decline in education, violence, stupidity, inequality as if the case had not yet been made. While it's important to continue to make the case, I wonder if we might also emphasize how those who will remain in the US intend to deal with the consequences of collapse. How do you intend to adjust? What, as a New Monastic Individual In Place (NMIIP), will you do differently? Will you try to survive on your own or team up with others of like mindedness? I look forward to reading your comments.

1:58 PM  
Anonymous Salem Penn said...

Weatherman Bill Giles says climate change is good for UK as it'll boost tourism

If instead of ‘tourism’ he had said ‘migration’ he might have been closer to the mark.

2:14 PM  
Anonymous Art Baker said...
One sure way to get gun control will be when homeless get guns
or become suicide bombers. The arrival of old-time diseases
gives further charm to LA.

3:20 PM  
Anonymous Rehustle said...

Barack and Michelle Obama 'to buy $14.85 million Martha's Vineyard estate from Boston Celtics owner Wyc Grousbeck' after spending summer there and falling in love with sprawling beachfront property

Could the Obamas maybe house some of these unfortunate souls in their new abode? Spread the wealth, or something like that, wasn't it? Real change you can believe in, was it not?

The reason Trump won in 2016 and will win again in 2020, is that he at least doesn't pretend not being a hustler.

3:40 PM  

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