February 20, 2017

Another Interview with Guadalajara

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7lq9znCWgg

192 Comments:

Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Saying, as does Dan, that Palestinians will exact merciless revenge on Israelis once they gain the upper hand doesn't help the situation, and comes right out of the Zionist fearmonger playbook.

One hardly needs to go to the "Zionish Playbook." Statements from Hamas are pretty clear on this point...

2:11 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

In the previous installment of the Greatest Blog, Derek wrote:

"I'm moving to Italy in a couple of weeks and one thing that's struck me here in the USA is how everyone, regardless of age or political affiliation, feels the need to tell me that the USA is the greatest country on Earth."

I've linked the following YouTube clips for the blog readership in prior posts. Apologies for inflicting them on the WAFer community again, but they're so apt that they bear repeat visits from time to time. First an excerpt from Lewis Black's 15 May 2004 release on HBO of his show "Black on Broadway." He's an angry comic, and we all benefit from his choler: https://youtu.be/4mCDZMWVWuc

You might also like this clip on the same subject--American exceptionalism--from the HBO show The Newsroom (2012), with actor Jeff Daniels as Newsroom anchor Will McAvoy: https://youtu.be/q49NOyJ8fNA

5:08 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Here we have the quintessential American, a 550-pound blob who sat in a chair without moving for nine months and became moulded to it. Her "rescuers" were forced to wear hazmat suits just to move her out of her home. Two telling details of the case are the quote from the neighbor who said he lived next to her for 10 years without ever speaking to her, and one from a social worker who actually said she hopes that incidents like this don't become the norm:

http://kdvr.com/2017/02/19/elderly-woman-stuck-in-chair-for-months-found-molded-to-chair/?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

Meanwhile, in "the children are our future" department, several students at a high school in California held up a "KKK" sign during a basketball game. School officials are trying to claim that it was all a misunderstanding related to text messaging, to which one parent stated that if the little morons don't know what it means, maybe they should go to class more often:

http://fox5sandiego.com/2017/02/19/student-signs-cause-carlsbad-controversy/?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

6:16 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

My prediction is that Israel will be destroyed by the surrounding Arab and Muslim states once American power declines further. Since Israel is really nothing more than an American military base in the Middle East, such a conclusion is sadly inevitable.

8:43 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

THE RIGHT TO HUSTLE? ''This free man was a trader, who got ahead by accumulating money'' (thanks to Wafer for reference in Thomas Franks talk) http://jayhanson.us/thePersonificationOfCorporation.pdf

11:12 PM  
Anonymous al Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Indeed, Christian Schulzke, Hamas has been clear on what a future peace would look like. From that outrageous Islamist propaganda rag, The Jerusalem Post:

“We are not fanatics. We are not fundamentalists. We do not actually fight the Jews because they are Jews, per se. We do not fight any other races. We fight the occupiers,” said Mashaal.

“We ask for tolerance, for coexistence.”

http://www.jpost.com/Operation-Protective-Edge/Mashaal-Hamas-is-ready-to-coexist-with-Jews-but-not-the-occupation-369140

On the other hand, your opinions on Muslims and Arabs have been rather clearly stated as well.

I have a question for The Nation of Wafers: the text we use in our Lit class is heavily gringo-centric, and contains a few passages that don't seem to make a lot of sense outside a US context. The hypothetical city-state in Ursula K. LeGuin's "The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas" is given any quality the reader desires, yet the author finds it necessary to say that it has a "sense of victory." This idea seems odd to a Canadian, how about to you? There are passages in works by Langston Hughes (about being Black in the US) and Anzia Yezierska (about the immigrant experience) that say things such as "that's America" and "thirsting for America," that just sound...off.

Canada's no less a country of immigrants, yet we've never had a "dream" of Canada that immigrants hope for, although writers such as John Ralston Saul say we have similar, yet different mythologies.

What do you think?

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Gigalax,
Exactly. Israel is the like the monkey who sits on top of the tiger in the Aesop story thinking it's so strong until the tiger decides to eat it. It was created for one thing-advance western (at the time British) interests in the region. As such there will come a time when the western powers decide Israel is expendable. When my pro-Israel friends disagree I remind them of when Nixon went to China in 1973. At that time the US recognized Taiwan as the legitimate representative of the Chinese people. In one week mainland China and the US hammered out the Shanghai communique which not only recognized mainland China but gave it a seat on the UN Security Council.
And why shouldn't the Palestinians react with vengeance? During the British mandate Palestinians lived on 92% of the land. Then as Pappe writes: "Israel has never stopped killing Palestinians." In other word, Israel, much like the US, was created through a combination of theft and murder.Sorry, Christian, the Palestinians are not Gandhis. There are long simmering grievances which will be addressed one way or another. Trump is such a major fuck up that I highly recommend Israel address these issues as soon as possible.

11:13 AM  
Anonymous Derek said...

James,

Thanks for the clips; I enjoyed both of them. Perhaps I'll have to check out more of The Newsroom...

12:20 PM  
Anonymous Matt Siri said...

Greeting Dr. B. and wafers,

I just read David Brooks's "This Century is Broken" on NYT.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/21/opinion/this-century-is-broken.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region

Earlier I was reading the Editorial piece on "Robots Aren't Killing American Dream."

I am so tired of NYT and their inconsistent and illogical analyses of the American society and about what is the cause for our wounded optimism. Articles after articles seek to defend lies and myths, secretly always championing the cult of Schumpeterian creative destruction ideology.

They are worse than Fake News.

1:18 PM  
Blogger Frantisek Panuskova said...

MB,

FYI - re your dual process lecture being "buried somewhere on your blog." You could tell your audience/students next time to google > Berman & "Dual Process" <. 1st page, 2nd entry on the search results. Thanks for referring to that entry. I'll read it.

I share your views on China and Mexico largely emulating the U.S. culture. Maybe the next phase in history will see a domino effect of several capitalist cultures emulating and declining in rapid succession. Not just the U.S.

Glad to see that you are so optimistic about Europe. Greece, Spain, Portugal in particular. There is the Silvio-Gesell movement for alternative, non-monetary exchange systems in Germany. Immerhin! Niche movements so far, but a beginning. That's what Ernst Bloch meant with principle of hope and his concrete utopia. Rudi Dutschke, whom you mention in the podcast, was a close friend of Ernst and Karola Bloch by the way.

1:36 PM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

Milo Yiannopoulos, mentioned on this blog before, is being accused of paedophilia, his book deal with Simon & Schuster is cancelled and he resigned from Breitbart News:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/feb/21/milo-yiannopoulos-rise-and-fall-shallow-actor-bad-guy-hate-speech

Whether Progs or Alt-Right it's all the same spiel really: negative identity with a lot of repressed issues hiding in the basement. I am glad to see this happening. It's a blow in the face of the Red Pill douchebags who think the future is about returning to Patriarchy and have women back in the kitchen. Looks like they lost one of their main poster boys.

Kanye

5:42 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

The inevitable fate of Israel =by its own sting...
https://youtu.be/PI6vyI8vJlc

This poor botox-lover schmuck advising us of the virtues of the dick over the dildo. The inevitability of karma he ignores...
http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/the_4_dangerous_syndromes_of_coping_with_donald_trump_video_20170221

6:32 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Here are two entries in the "pictures are worth 1000 words" department. First up, two police officers shoot and kill a man who was up on his roof menacing the neighborhood with a firearm (pictures: looks like the guy was being evicted):

http://www.oregonlive.com/washingtoncounty/index.ssf/2017/02/man_killed_in_beaverton_office.html?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

A secondly, a couple in Florida killed their landlord and lived with the body for two weeks (pictures: looks like an elderly woman had to rent out space in her tiny, dilapidated house to two meth heads):

http://www.baynews9.com/content/news/baynews9/news/article.html/content/news/articles/bn9/2017/2/21/tenants_arrested_aft.html?cid=facebook_Bay_News_9&utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

And, in the "Americans are just plain shit heads" department, in North Carolina some sicko took the time to pound 40 hidden nails into tree roots along a popular nature path, seriously injuring a jogger:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/02/21/runners-foot-impaled-nail-purposefully-placed-trail-40-total-found-along-trail/98190816/?utm_source=fark&utm_medium=website&utm_content=link&ICID=ref_fark

6:44 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

900+ us military bases around the world. 34 or so just in Germany alone. The us is a rotten to the core, crooked empire--Vidal.

6:47 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr. B:

Another story of horror in the USA- two teen boys brutally murder two disabled men with a sword after breaking into their home to rob them-

http://www.wgal.com/article/court-documents-sword-used-in-double-homicide-in-lancaster/8955884

Both victims were in their 60s and one was confined to a wheelchair...

7:01 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

Whether or not any of them end up working, Israel has long been working on contingency plans for the decline of the US, cozying up to Putin and even making inroads with China. They are not fools, after all. Whether or not the new landlord is inclined favorably towards Israel is anyone's guess, but so long as industrial civilization doesn't collapse, somebody will take our place in the Great Game. The Egyptians and Saudis know it as well, becoming more aligned towards Moscow by the day.

Derek: The Newsroom is all downhill from that speech at the very beginning. It is the same old progressive hogwash. It actually expects us to believe that the rightly despised media elites are the ones who should take it upon themselves to make america great again by spouting the party line of the Democrats. It elevates the assassination of Osama Bin Laden to some kind of triumph on par with defeating the Axis Powers.

It's really further proof, as if we needed any, that liberals don't really believe a word of what they say.

11:37 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

El-

I make a distinction between dogshit and bullshit. If they don't believe what they say, it's bullshit. But if they actually do, it's dogshit.

Birn-

It's the fundamental kindness of Americans that I most admire.

Matt-

Most NYT writers are turkeys. Goal of the rag is to make the professional and upper-middle classes feel secure abt future of US.

mb

9:28 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Check it out:

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/02/22/politics/jewish-cemetery-muslims-fundraising-trnd/index.html

9:37 AM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

"Whether or not any of them end up working, Israel has long been working on contingency plans for the decline of the US, cozying up to Putin and even making inroads with China. They are not fools, after all. Whether or not the new landlord is inclined favorably towards Israel is anyone's guess, but so long as industrial civilization doesn't collapse, somebody will take our place in the Great Game. The Egyptians and Saudis know it as well, becoming more aligned towards Moscow by the day."

Russia and China seem to have "reasonable" imperial ambitions though. Unlike the U.S., they realize that ruling the whole world isn't possible.

9:39 AM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

"Oh beautiful for spacious skies,
For Muslims dragged off planes..."

Reported in the Guardian on 21 February:

"[British citizen Juhel] Miah was one of five adults from Llangatwg community schoolnear Neath, south Wales, who were accompanying a party of 39 children to New York via Iceland last week."

British Muslim teacher taken off US-bound flight: I was treated like a criminal
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/21/british-muslim-teacher-taken-off-us-bound-flight-i-was-treated-like-a-criminal?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Stanley said...

neo-medievalism & the end of the nation-state
But recent nationalism rise as a set back
https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22329850-600-end-of-nations-is-there-an-alternative-to-countries/?utm_campaign=webpush

10:13 AM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

This from an article On Killers and Bullshitters by John Grant is not a half bad quote Wafers will appreciate:

NOTE: The term bullshit is used here in the sense established by Harvard philosophy professor Harry Frankfurt in his little gem of a book titled On Bullshit, which opens with: “One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit.”

Marianne

11:53 AM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

Sorry, Christian, the Palestinians are not Gandhis.

Clearly not, I don’t recall Gandhi crafting a charter that heavily plagiarizes the worst bits of the Protocols of Zion. Still, you guys have a point, Hamas is positively warm and fuzzy compared to the likes of Hezbollah whose leader hopes that all the worlds Jews make Aliyah so that the Jews will be concentrated into one place and they don’t have to hunt them down all over the world to kill them.

1:06 PM  
Blogger Michael Burgess said...

Mike Burgess said....

Hi Dr. Berman and Wafers:

Here is the latest MuseLetter from Richard Heinberg. He sees what's happening in the US with the election of Trump as a response to a zero-growth economy in the developed nations including the US. This zero-growth economy in his opinion marks the end of not just Western Civilization but CIVILIZATION. Heinberg says "Trump is a symptom of both the end of economic growth and of the denial of that new reality". Heinberg sees Trump quickening our decline by further tearing down institutional structures (what there is left). He certainly sees the zero-growth economy as a result of increasing costs of energy and other resources as well as a harbinger of much more localized economies.

Mike

http://richardheinberg.com/museletter-297-awaiting-our-own-reichstag-fire

3:02 PM  
Anonymous Thistle said...

http://www.openculture.com/2014/11/the-wisdom-of-alan-watts-in-four-thought-provoking-animations.html

cute animations visualizing Alan Watts. Very peaceful

3:51 PM  
Blogger remo26 said...

Morris, I listened to the new interview, followed by your talk at the New Dominion bookstore in 2006. There was a guy who became agitated that your outlook was so bleak, and ultimately left after you proclaimed that you weren’t an activist. It struck me that similar sentiments are being voiced by people who pass through the blog, as well as the false sense of hope that many liberals are trying to prop up on this new insurgency of grassroots activism. It seems that the underlying problem is that people can’t come to terms with the fact that they are finally on the losing team, to abandon ship, find a new home, and give up the 1% dream. They, as the guy I mentioned, are holding out for some sign of a miraculous recovery that is triggered by chanting in the streets. When they say this isn’t kumbaya hand-holding, they are faced with a type of dissonance reduction of ‘hey, I’m an intellectual. I’m progressive. There’s got to be a way back to picket fences.’ It’s sad because I think it is sinking in to more people now. It is like collective mourning for America and denial at the same time.

- remo

4:35 PM  
Anonymous IQ84 said...


Gaddafi did have that famous Che Gavera-esque anti-imperialism speech about how leaders like Hussein and countries are expendable - capitalism is business after all. The global corporate flattening of culture has effectively silenced auto-didacts like bloggers because there is no money in it. The plutocrats didn't need SOPA to control thoughts since they couldn't for once control distribution. Somehow blogging became just a way to document venting about a run-away globalized train wreck beyond reform.

It's a shame although we have the internet that the leadership vacuum that imperial rape and pillage creates has just left a slightly more politically aware powerless atomized community of surplus labor and harvested countries - grievances without collective strategies and methods. Perceptions are managed and distracted when everyday becomes an emergency for the poor refugees running out of a civilization dependent on oil etc. The credentials are sought by holons who are Ivy League or connected specialist ghosts employed into the machinery of plutocrats useful if profitable.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-fny99f8amM (hyper-normalization)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZatGAkBZcW4 (marauding polit-bureaus for the rich)


4:41 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Well, even though it was an accident, the 12 year old should not have bumped into the other kid in the hallway. He is clearly at fault here and brought this vicious beating and Coma on himself, because everyone knows that in America if someone bumps into you by accident you have the Right, the Moral Duty, to beat the other person into a pulp and into a State of unconsciousness, and possibly even death...everyone knows this unwritten rule.


http://www.cbsnews.com/news/boy-14-put-on-electronic-home-monitoring-after-beating-classmate-12-into-coma/

8:17 PM  
Blogger Alogon said...

>Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...
Milo Yiannopoulos, mentioned on this blog before, is being accused of paedophilia, his book deal with Simon & Schuster is cancelled and he resigned from Breitbart News:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/feb/21/milo-yiannopoulos-rise-and-fall-shallow-actor-bad-guy-hate-speech

Milo is a bizarre and ridiculous figure in some ways, but so is this accusation. As a foreigner, he was fatally unaware of the peculiar American hangups around minors and sex, which are of course hypocritical through and through. At the same time as Americans liken pedophilia to murder, they have led the world ever since Shirley Temple in dressing little girls up in minimal clothing and maximal makeup to cavort around on stage; and in sexualizing children in cinema, fashion, and advertising. Milo's great offence was to make light of his sexual experiences with men as a teenager, in an interview that was out on Youtube for all the world to see for many months before it suddenly blew up in his face. It's obviously an orchestrated frame-up, although one made easy by Milo's narcissistic sense of invulnerability. For people who've gleefully demanded that an entire major university be demolished on account of the dalliances of one long-retired football coach, the destruction of one weird young Brit is trivial.

In the ensuing press conference, he declared that he was a victim, although he had not hitherto seen himself as one. Among the rather amusing responses is that those who profess to be so outraged by "pedophilia", accepting without question the dogma that *everyone* affected below whatever age of consent is a scarred victim whether he or she believes it or not, dislike Milo so much as to deny him the victim status that he stated as an objective fact. By their own admission, then, this received wisdom appears to have some exceptions after all.

Milo loves (or at least loved) America blindly, and I found his boosting of "Daddy" Trump insidious. But I will miss his campaign against the same absurdities in academe that Dr. Berman and Chris Hedges have also lamented.

8:19 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Here is a sobering article from The Baffler that I was able to get included in today's Naked Capitalism news feed, which argues that America is headed towards a major war--regardless of whether Trump or the Democrats prevail in the current power struggles:

"There’s something in the air, coming from both parties, from commentators on all sides. Let’s call it the New Praetorianism: a pervasive militant nationalism, a combination of exceptionalist chauvinism and get-tough pretense that sees all American politics as fundamentally oriented toward security, conflict, and, ultimately, war. In part, the New Praetorianism draws on our evergreen militarism, the ways in which, regardless of who’s in the White House, America is literally invested in fueling global arms races and stoking international conflicts. But now, in the chaos following the electoral upset, and in the even greater chaos that every day of this chaotic new administration seems to bring, the drumbeats are audible like never before."

https://thebaffler.com/blog/new-praetorianism-blanchfield

I think we now know what it must have been like to be living in Europe circa 1913, recognizing that a major war between the great powers would be a disaster, yet feeling helplessly swept along by the madness on all sides.

9:07 PM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

Gigalax: "Russia and China seem to have "reasonable" imperial ambitions though. Unlike the U.S., they realize that ruling the whole world isn't possible."

As for Russia, they have been through two imperial collapses in the past century. As a people, they tend to have their feet firmly on the ground, whatever one would say of them.

As for China, I have a suspicion that they will be an even worse version of the American empire. Right now, they are in the "Monroe Doctrine" phase, attempting to assert hegemony in their own backyard. Once they've achieved that, there's no telling what they will do. If you look at Chinese history, they have a similar manichean streak to the Americans, ruthlessly wiping out culture after culture, bringing barbarians to heel and civilization to the world. While China balanced this doctrine with a rich and stable traditional culture, noblesse oblige, I feel like the Cultural Revolution wiped a lot of this out. And as we all know, it did not pave the way for the Marxist utopia Mao sought so fervently to impose, but essentially an American-style consumer culture based increasingly on economic advancement as a means of personal fulfillment. Now that their domestic industrial growth is slowing, they must as the Americans did a century and a half ago, look outward.

11:13 PM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

My guess is that Belman is pretty well fed up with the current discussion about Palestine taking place here, but as what I hope is my last word on the subject, I ask that Mr. Schulzke please cite a credible source where Hassan Nasrallah is quoted as saying that he wants Jews all over the world hunted down and killed. That sounds really out of character for him, as well as sounding like an invented internet "news" item to me.

11:32 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@ Matt Siri,

I would recommend Dean Baker's Beat the Press blog for an antidote to the New York Times, Washington Post and other establishment media outlets. Baker is always posting interesting and powerful critiques of the establishment press.

Here is a good piece by Baker on the David Brooks article you linked.

http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/yes-folks-david-brooks-is-making-up-his-own-facts-again

2:33 AM  
Anonymous John said...

Hello Wafers,

Check out this article, It's pretty insightful:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/02/23/the-illusion-of-freedom-the-police-state-is-alive-and-well/

Dr. B- are you aware of Randall Robinson's book "Quitting America: The Departure of a Black Man from his Native Land" (Robinson was the founder of TransAfrica and he helped lead the anti-apartheid campaign from the states)

https://www.amazon.com/Quitting-America-Departure-Robinson-2004-01-26/dp/B019L4UJK6/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

and Oliver W. Harrington (he was a famous black cartoonist that left the US during the red-baiting years and ended up living the rest of his life in Berlin ), he wrote a book called "Why I Left America and Other Essays"

https://www.amazon.com/Why-Left-America-Other-Essays/dp/1604738987

8:05 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

El-

Check out the Preface I did for the Mandarin edn of WAF. It's buried in the blog Archives.

jj-

Not clear to me why the 14-yr-old didn't take out a .357 Magnum and blow Henry to kingdom come. Americans of any age need to be armed to the teeth, just in case anyone accidentally bumps into them.

remo-

Yeah, I remember that poor shmuck, who just cdn't tolerate what I was saying. He turned out to be a liar: wrote an article in the local paper abt the lecture, said that 'pessimism sells', that my goal was to make money. Nobody told him that it was optimism that sells, in the US. In fact, if I had to depend on royalties I wd have starved to death long ago. 11 yrs later, I assume that little turkey is demonstrating in the streets against Trump. What, indeed, can wake progs up?

mb

9:23 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

In france, intelligence, is complaining/confrontation/yelling--that's quite normal and can appear shocking to the avg american. in the us, consensus building, happy talk, and empty smiling is what sells.

Labeling-branding things as "doom and gloom" "pessimism," and/or "negative" helps americans marginalise and dismiss reality. They were taught best "country," boot strap nonsense, determination, and happy hard work myths as their mantras-e.g., "Oprahfication."

Positivism sells in the us --just ask Barbara Ehrenreich=Brightsided, or Heffernan's Willful Blindness--americans seem to be in a permanent trance of cognitive dissonance--their delusions and denials do not match reality. Hence, the Old Dominion bookstore imbecile getting agitated when confronted with truth. Lashes out by writing in some obscure paper, b/c his myth is challenged--the myth, is his us "life."

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Dean said...

Thanks for graciously accepting my apology, Dr.B.

Anyway, on to more important things:

dailydot.com/irl/black-history-month-lunch-menu-fried-chicken/

These kind of tragic miscarriages of justice could easily be avoided if people would simply go to the Bureau of Political Correctness website and after 5-6 hours of diligent searching find that pizza or kielbasa are the appropriate choices for such occasions.

If this kind of thing continues, will there be any choice but to have the pussy-hatted infantry patrolling the streets on hair- triggered alert?

10:28 AM  
Blogger librarian@play said...

I wonder if the editors at LinkedIn, which is a self-branding and job-hunting site, recognize the irony of making this article one of their "picks"?

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-i-moved-back-india-after-10-years-usa-nupur-dave

12:03 PM  
Blogger Frantisek Panuskova said...

MB, Remo,

Seems that you are expecting a linear or even exponentially regressive development for the U.S. Fast or somewhat slowed down, but always downward. The much-referred-to Western Roman example suggests that while the overall trend is a decline there could be periods of successful reform, where things temporarily get better. At least as far as some aspects of the culture are concerned. Not that I have much hope for that under Trump. But in general and over the course of several decades, there may be brief periods of improvement for some aspects of the U.S. No?

On the other hand, with our increasing reliance on a more and more digitally interconnected and therefore vulnerable infrastructure and supply chains, a relatively minor disruption could very quickly have catastrophic, non-recoverable consequences.

3:14 PM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

On a lighter note, eye of the tiger!

http://gizmodo.com/watch-an-ambush-of-tigers-rip-a-drone-out-of-the-sky-an-1792672660

4:15 PM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

I ask that Mr. Schulzke please cite a credible source where Hassan Nasrallah is quoted as saying that he wants Jews all over the world hunted down and killed.

New York Times – May 23, 2004 P15, section 2 column 1.

Here is also an article from Tablet magazine that contains a video of him saying basically the same thing.

http://www.tabletmag.com/scroll/189519/did-netanyahu-put-anti-semitic-words-in-hezbollahs-mouth

And while he isn’t a favorite of mine, here is a video of David Horowitz repeating the statement to a Muslim student and asking if she is in favor of it or against it. Her response sent chills down my spine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmlIJ0mUXKU

Bottom line, while it is perfectly reasonable to sympathize with the plight of the Palestinians, I don’t think it is unreasonable for the Israeli’s to question whether it’s a good idea to allow them to flood into their country with rhetoric like that.

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Harry Haller said...

Sorry, those who liked La La Land:

https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/feb/23/la-la-lands-inevitable-oscars-win-is-a-disaster-for-hollywood-and-for-us

"On their last night together they pledge eternal love; but they also promise to follow their dreams. For them, the latter was bound to trump the former: self-worship brooks no distractions. If, at the end, Seb seems a little lonely and Mia seems a little bored, no matter. Their final smiles indicate that both have attained what really matters: self-satisfaction."

5:46 PM  
Blogger Alogon said...

>Glad to see that you are so optimistic about Europe. Greece, Spain, Portugal in particular.

On PBS news tonight was a piece about declining life expectancy in American white men-- specifically non-college-educated and specifically due to alcohol, drugs, and suicide. These were explained by unemployment and a deteriorating economic outlook generally. But, interestingly, the report noted that the three countries above have suffered even more serious economic dips, but they have not precipitated the emotional depression and associated behaviors that we see in the U.S.

11:53 PM  
Anonymous troutbum said...

Dr. MB and all Wafers worldwide:

Today's recommended reading :

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/02/24/can-the-climate-survive-electoral-democracy-maybe-can-it-survive-capitalism-no/

Note the title, no further comment is necessary.

8:34 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Anon-

Sorry, I don't post Anons. You need a real handle.

Henry-

Jesus, what a terrible misunderstanding of the film!

Fran-

You keep insisting on labeling me with positions I don't hold; it's wearing me down, to be honest. I never said the American collapse wd be linear; never. All of this was covered by Arnold Toynbee ages ago. In the process of decline, there are inevitably periods of recovery, which can last as much as 20 or 30 yrs. It's just that the overall trajectory is downward, which we see in retrospect. But it is certainly never linear.

Chris-

Note that Horowitz never answered her question; he just changed the subject, then refused to answer the question. As far as Arab hatred of Jews: sure, it's quite intense, and Israel needs to protect itself. But there is a failure in folks like Horowitz to come to terms with the larger context, i.e. what Israel did to the Palestinians in 1947-48. The resulting rage is quite understandable; think how you wd feel if you were ethnically 'cleansed' out of your home. What Israel might do in addition to protecting itself is admit that al-Nakba did indeed occur, and that the pics and data in Ilan Pappe's work are real. And apologize. Then, make financial restitution to the Palestinians, and start the process of returning their homes to them. This wd go a very long way toward decreasing the rage. In any case, I think we need to get off the subject of Israel already...we are, by now, beating a dead camel (or mezuzah, I dunno).

librarian-

Gd article. Shows the emptiness, and loneliness, of American life. All America can offer is money, and now it can't even offer that. No wonder people go ballistic when McDonald's shorts them a burger.

Dean-

The up side of this kind of nonsense is that it shows me that collapse is indeed inevitable. The dumber the country is, the faster it goes down the toilet. As Gore Vidal once said, "Stupidity excites me." BTW, what the heck is a pussy hat?

Mike-

Again, bad news is gd. Denying reality is also an excellent way for Americans to commit political suicide. Bring it on!

mb

9:43 AM  
Anonymous xypeter said...

wafers better nt be tv sports reporters dept . . .

Chicago's most popular sportscaster Mark Giangreco @markgiangreco7 now suspended from ABC7 for stating: "So Obvious, So Disturbing. America exposed as a country full of simpletons who elected a cartoon lunatic."

Of course he wussed out and deleted his tweet immediamente, but not before Chicago Tribune screen-captured it. ABC7 (appropriately owned by Disney) says blah blah "we have reviewed the matter and are taking appropriate action."

i.e. suspended without pay. Let that be a warning to all you wafer sportscasters out there

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/breaking/ct-mark-giangreco-suspended-trump-spt-0224-20170223-story.html

9:49 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

peter-

I've said this b4: the one thing you can't say is that Americans are collectively dumber than shit, and yet it is the crucial factor in our decline. Where can 323 million buffoons be headed, really? Gore Vidal called us "a nation of morons." How is it that I have only 3 true colleagues: Mencken, Vidal, and Carlin?

This is a gd example:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/02/24/get-out-of-my-country-kansan-reportedly-yelled-before-shooting-2-men-from-india-killing-one/?tid=pm_pop&utm_term=.47bcd0a4e0fc

mb

10:00 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

MB - A pussy hat is the piece of knitted headgear that was worn for the Women's March the day after Trump's inauguration--hence my joke a couple of threads back about the epic battle to the death I was hoping would happen between two armies wearing MAGA hats and pussy hats. Of course, this being hustling, douchebag America, the pussy hats are now available for sale for as much as $35, and are no doubt made in third world sweatshops. That's some great "revolution" right there:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/507025941/pussyhat-pink-pussy-hat-adult-size-hot?&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=shopping_us_b-accessories-hats_and_caps-winter_hats&utm_custom1=f82ec51a-31c6-4213-9d97-3f31d776e2b8&gclid=Cj0KEQiA0L_FBRDMmaCTw5nxm-ABEiQABn-Vqa6M7zw24v9pPBzxebKPZxEwR2pPqeF6SDMmZtWOL-UaAnJS8P8HAQ

As for whether or not America's collapse is linear, certainly it has not been from an economic standpoint, which is something the many in the peak oil community got very wrong back in the 2008-2009 timeframe. From a political standpoint however, since 9/11 things have gotten steadily worse as temperate and reasonable voices have been gradually marginalized and shunted aside. The Bush and Obama presidencies were a 16 year long exercise in deliberately eroding civil liberties, expanding the warfare state and making the political and financial elites unaccountable for their actions. As a result, by the end of his presidency Obama was able to use his powers in ways Nixon in his darkest fantasies could only dream about without a peep of protest from the political establishment.

10:32 AM  
Blogger Mister Roboto said...

Here's the scoop on pussy-hats. The link to The Huffington Post makes it apparent that it's a prog thing. I suppose the phenomenon is a bit silly, but it does have the virtue of antagonizing shark-eyed fundamentalist Xtians.

The link posted by "librarian" was just one more thing I read about or experience all the time that confirms that US society seems to exist for the purpose of doing everything wrong that it could possibly do wrong. It has all become so toxic that I sensed a malignant shift in our society in early 2016 that I know is simply not going to shift back to anything more benign. I'm pretty sure it will culminate in something tragic and irreversible. So I guess I've decided to internalize as best I can your mantra that "bad is good".

12:31 PM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Hi Dr. B and Wafers,

I listened to your latest Guadalajara interview, and then I watched the Old Dominion Bookstore lecture. You were saying the same things ten years ago that you're saying today. The only difference is that you're now saying everything you believe with the force of ten more years years of history behind you. My favorite line from that Virginia lecture: "I'm not an activist." Some of the people in the audience were shocked by that.

I do have one request of you: keep talking to us about dual process. We're gonna need it real soon. I know it's an evolutionary thing, so I know it takes time.Thanks for all you do. This blog is the only one I pay attention to anymore. Kunstler's good but some of the people that follow him are eat up with political posturing. We should all be thinking about decline.

1:18 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Harry-

Re; "La La Land"

Pay no attention at all to this cynical curmudgeon, Mr. Fox. Has he ever been in love before? I tell ya, I would go as far to say that those who dislike "La La Land" are simply emotionally dead inside. It's a brilliant tragedy; a glorious feast for the eyes and soul.

Miles the Romantic

1:23 PM  
Anonymous Kevin said...

Per the David Brooks column, here's a response by Andrew Bacevich:
http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/176246/tomgram%3A_andrew_bacevich%2C_at_the_altar_of_american_greatness/#more

Also, the best image of Trump (in the Obama style) as what he is - the ultimate CON MAN - can be found here: https://collapseofindustrialcivilization.com/2016/11/15/rise-of-the-deplorables/

2:31 PM  
Blogger Frantisek Panuskova said...

MB,

I beg forgiveness. No intent to label, much less incorrectly and to the point of wearing you down. I am still a relative novice to the studies of the decline. Prolonged exposure to consumerism and the hustle has worn on me, making me fall for ignis fatui from time to time. Bear with me.

Re morons: for a regular abstract of the absurd and bizarre from around the globe I enjoy Harper's Weekly Review the most. Excerpt from today's edition: "An Indonesian woman arrested for her suspected involvement in the killing of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un’s half-brother told Malaysian authorities that she was tricked into thinking the killing was a part of a comedy television show."

http://harpers.org/blog/2017/02/weekly-review-6/

Frantisek

3:04 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Kev-

Gd essay, exposing hypocrisy of folks like Brooks, who is a prime A-1 asshole, and like Friedman, a lackey of imperialism. Not much in his head beyond stale mucus. But his membership in the School of American Denial, again, is a gd thing. We can't really save ourselves at this pt, but if there were any chance at all, coming clean abt who we really are, and what our history consists of, wd be the 1st step. I've been suggesting this path since the Twilight bk, and--amazingly enuf--the members of the School have ignored my advice! I'm really miffed, I tell u.

Jeff-

And it operates on a # of levels. It's actually a very sophisticated film.

Mike K.-

Amazing that no one listened to me, isn't it? I just can't figure that out! BTW, I'm not disparaging activism tout court. There are some situations where it makes a lot of sense--such as Dual Process activity. Then there's marching around with a pussy hat...For some examples of DP activity, check out Joel Magnuson's previous bk, which has a # of case studies. He is also alert to the ones that 'greenwash'--are hype, in other words. But all in all, given 400 yrs of American hustling, I put a lot more stock in DP activities in Europe, Japan (see ch. 7 of my Japan bk) and elsewhere. The US simply cannot dig itself out of the hole it's in, and my feeling is that that's just as well. Reversing our history has as much chance as turning an aircraft carrier around in a bathtub.

Roboto-

Thing is, if yr truly a declinist, there's much to celebrate. Every day the newspapers deliver more 'gd' news. For example, what appears to be an antisemitic edge to the Trump admin. Scary? Sure. But historically, once a nation starts threatening its Jewish population--the smartest segment of any society, whose contribution is typically enormous--it's clearly shooting itself in the foot. I wd encourage all Muslims, all Jews, to hit the road, b4 they are required to wear yellow stars. Check it out:

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/02/23/opinions/trumps-problem-with-jews-levy/

mb

ps: What are designer pussy hats selling for these days? I want to be as prog-chic as possible.

3:24 PM  
Anonymous Oak Ontrare said...

"It's actually a very sophisticated film."

It's a feeble variation on typical Hollywood fluff, actually. Anyone here see a film that actually IS great, and moving, Arrival? Yeah, that's what I thought.

7:47 PM  
Blogger pg said...

Greetings all, with or without hats.
I'd like to add just this www.pussyhatproject.com, and one groan: there already has been, for decades, a kind of "c*nt" hat (that's one of the slang names for it): the garrison/flight cap. Yes, that's right: the stream-lined headgear with folds, plain for enlisted, silver thread enhanced for officers, is unofficially called a c..t.
No, I don't recall Paul Fussell mentioning this in his fun book on Uniforms. But Wikipedia does ref it.
I was quietly hoping someone would whisper into the ears of the pussy-hatter-originators that they were walking onto old territory....

To the question some ways upthread on "The Ones Who Walked Away from Omelas"-- never trust a first person narrator.
Not like you'd trust a third-person narrator (who could be a "god's eye" point-of-view). First person narrator always has an agenda.
Second, that bit about the victory business is heavily qualified, modified, modulated, by the narrator's context. Read it again, slowly, carefully.
One more hint: those who leave Omelas go singly, hidden as much as possible, into his or her new monastic individual future, lost to the narrator.

9:58 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Does anyone actually believe that there isn't a two-tiered legal system and that the rich and famous are not above the law?


http://deadline.com/2017/02/bill-cosby-witnesses-rape-trial-pennsylvania-1201970536/

11:31 PM  
Anonymous Reno-911 said...

Western society feels hungover - confused angry tired thromboting egos abound. How could they expect all this to work out. Cultural critics lost in noise.

As a kid I knew there were too many people and the environment was being trashed beyond repair no thanks to parental ideals. A lifetime of moronic schools, institutions, companies, elite control, all people who saw what they wanted at the expense of so much now wasted and fading. Selfish ignorant schizophrenic tasteless childish douchebags.

There is no shame, humility, self-reflection anywhere - just business while the house gets washed into the sea - so stupid.

2:10 AM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...


Good article on the failure of the tech-driven Hillary Clinton campaign and the failure of technocratic liberalism generally.

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/02/hillary-clinton-brexit-trump-algorithm-experts-elites/

Interesting video on young Chinese people becoming hermits.

https://aeon.co/videos/why-some-chinese-millennials-are-taking-up-the-hermit-s-life-in-the-mountains

It seems that China is experiencing some of the problems associated with the hustling lifestyle. I wonder if we will also see young Americans experimenting with alternative lifestyles. China may have an edge on us because they have an old tradition of simple living while America was about hustling from the beginning.

6:57 AM  
Anonymous Rob Ansley said...

A kinda weird article on La La Land http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/oscars-la-la-land-moonlight-arab-muslim-actor-audition-terrorist-i-am-done-a7595261.html

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Harry Haller said...

Sorry, but to call the Jewish population "the smartest segment of any society" is naked racism, Jewish supremacism, pure and simple. It is crossing the line. Let me remind you, Dr Berman, of the other "monastic option": those of the remaining gnostics that had to go completely underground to escape the terrible rabbinical persecutions, with the acquiescence and, it's fair to assume, the approval or support of the majority of the "smartest segments of the societies" that gave shelter to the diaspora. As examples, the herem of Spinoza and many others even more recent.

9:57 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Harry-

Not racism at all; established fact. There are a lot of studies on the subject, as it turns out. It doesn't mean Jews are any better than anyone else, i.e. as people; for all I know, they may be worse (no studies on that). But in terms of intellect and achievement, the jury is hardly out. Herem of Spinoza etc. proves nothing abt IQ, position in society, and so on; very faulty logic on yr part. This is hardly my personal bias, nor is it a subject of my research. It's just the result of numerous articles I've run across over the years, supporting the contention with hard data. If it turned out that Druids were at the top, or vegetarians, I wdn't hesitate to report it.

So much for 'pure and simple' and 'crossing the line', eh?

Tom-

Check out my Japan bk for similar discussion.

Oak-

Too bad you failed to understand it; multiple layers there. Yr loss, amigo.

mb

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Harry Haller said...

Apologies for trying to violate the 24-hour rule. My logic may be faulty, but I am not trying to make a logical point, I admit to it. I couldn't care less if it is statistically true or not whether black people have lower IQs than white people. Nor I could care less about the methodological correctness of the comparative ethnic or racial studies carried out by the nazis and others. I am still opposed to anybody saying things like "whites have higher IQs than blacks" or "Jews have higher IQs than the rest". Accuse me of political correctness gone mad if you wish. Maybe there are situations where political correctness has its place.

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Susan Woldt said...

There's a good article by Patrick Cockburn on Counterpunch on American decline and Trump's pivotal role. From the article:

"...when it comes to the effect on US status and power in the world, the similarities are greater between Trump and Yeltsin than between Trump and Putin.

Trump does not drink alcohol, but his incoherent verbal onslaughts on Australia, Mexico and Sweden since he became President are strongly reminiscent of Yeltsin’s embarrassing antics. Both men won power as demagogic anti-establishment leaders who won elections by promising to reform and clear out corruption in the existing system. The result in Russia was calamitous national decline and the same thing could now happen in America.

It will be difficult for the US to remain a super-power under a leader who is an international figure of fun and is often visibly detached from reality. His battle cry of “Fake News” simply means an inability to cope with criticism or accept facts or views that contradict his own. World leaders who have met him say they are astonished by his ignorance of events at home and abroad."

Here's the entire article --

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/02/24/the-coming-decline-of-us-and-uk-power/

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

I know this isn't the topic of our blog but given that several people didn't enjoy La La Land I'd be interested in hearing about the multiple layers are they didn't get. I didn't get it either.

Marianne

1:00 PM  
Blogger Frantisek Panuskova said...

Bill Hicks,

Seems to me that things getting worse politically is a precondition for keeping Finance Capitalism going for a while longer. It's somewhat like a Ponzi Scheme the elite is playing with the rest of the population, to keep us in line (i.e. vested in the system). A return to motivating people by fear because the American Dream, entertainment, Protestant religions, buying more stuff etc. alone are increasingly ineffective means of getting people to put up with a growing concentration of wealth at the very top. Unfortunately for all of us, the "owners of this country" (Carlin) seem hell-bent on rather destroying the planet (or at least civilization as we know it) than relinquishing any control over the system or any of their privileges.

By the way, thanks for introducing me to Bill Hicks here. I watched some of his recorded performances on Youtube. He really was good!

Frantisek

1:12 PM  
Anonymous Sis said...

I came across an old B&W photo w/ everyone aboard a train w/ newspaper in each of their faces. Would this be a protowool over the eyes, to what the cellphone has become? Or just a generality to our antisociety, as it displays itself in different generations?

1:43 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Miles,
Well, I guess I am emotionally dead inside, but I thought La La Land was little more than a travelogue of what to see if you happen to be in Los Angeles. But I am in good company actually. In Counterpunch on January 27, Jeffrey St. Clair wrote: "La La Land is the visual equivalent of eating cotton candy. The two hours speed by pleasantly enough but when (if) you think about what the hell you just watched you get a little sick to your stomach." Better films I saw recently would be Fences and The Founder. I did go to see 50 Shades Darker and all I can say is what Gore Vidal said after watching Caligula for which he wrote the screenplay: the film should be cut up into 50,000 guitar picks.

2:07 PM  
Anonymous E Amacher said...

@Miles and @Morris Berman vs @Harry and @Rob

ya, I too was expecting to hate the film. Maybe I assumed it would be nothing but confection, like egg whites whipped in2 a big shiny meringue. I probably also held some of the reservations Rob has, like, "it's a film about LA w/o a Mexican to be seen?". Now that I've seen it, I guess I still feel that way a little, but I was very pleasantly surprised. It made for just lovely cinema.

I thought this was fair
https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/jan/09/why-musical-la-la-land-will-transport-you-from-trump-world

Not mentioned, this was a huge film made for only $30 mil ... still a lot of money, I know, but chump change in LA today. I highly respect what they accomplished.

What films are you all hoping to win at the Oscars this wkend? I have a few friends passionately opposing "La La Land" and some passionately in its favor. I think "The Arrival" had some interesting undercurrents for more philosophical reflection. The documentary short film "4.1 miles" follows migrants and refugees crossing the Mediterranean to Lesbos Greece. Terrifying.

Elliot Amacher

2:10 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

Burly men with the latest techno-hardware and a nasty attitude versus families who've come with their dogs. Still, we must never discount the power of clever signs.

Jia Tolentino in the New Yorker on the "never-ending protest." A quotation from the second paragraph says it all:

"The mood at these protests has generally been joyful and determined; the vast majority have been far less heated than the average college football game. People bring their dogs and their children and a rainbow of increasingly clever signs."

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/jia-tolentino/the-perils-and-possibilities-of-the-never-ending-protest?mbid=nl_170225_Daily&CNDID=24465181&spMailingID=10505104&spUserID=MTMzMTgyNDk2NzI1S0&spJobID=1102003316&spReportId=MTEwMjAwMzMxNgS2

3:31 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Harry--years ago, I underwent infantry basic training at Ft. Benning, where there was exactly 1 Jewish guy in a company of around 220, and he washed out because he was a nebbish who couldn't handle the physical aspects of the training (I just barely made it myself). Statistically, based on the percentage of Jewish Americans there should have been at least 5 Jews in the unit, but I suspect most are smart enough not to end up in the infantry. Just an observation.

From the We Can Only Hope department, here's an excerpt from a blog post asserting that Trump's impeachment might be the end of America:

"If rural people begin what’s effectively a mass general strike, urbanites won’t be forced out of the city by the government, they’ll be forced out by necessity. The price of food will skyrocket to the point of being unaffordable for anyone but the very richest of city-dwellers. Lines of production and transport will break down from lack of labor and self-sabotage, and the economy will begin folding in on itself."

https://medium.com/@IsaacSimpson/if-trump-is-impeached-it-might-be-the-end-of-america-b7a2243399b7#.14b56za2e

4:44 PM  
Anonymous turnover said...

A perfect comment on the Guardian article announcing Perez as the new chair of the DNC. The commenter wrote: "And the DNC sprays another heavy dose of Roundup on its grassroots."

When an organization is in the middle of self destructing, it's hard to stop.

7:54 PM  
Anonymous Sam said...


How Does Trump’s Pledge To Destroy NAFTA Affect Agriculture?

http://modernfarmer.com/2016/12/trumps-pledge-destroy-nafta-affect-agriculture/
-----------------
Unfortunately, Mexico is "la dictadura perfecta." Its elites are a pathologically self-centered oligarchy and kleptocracy.There is no one Mexico.

BTW, I agree with you about the Chinese. They are hustlers to the nth degree: "to be rich is glorious." The Mexican elites admire "progreso," "desarrollo," and "tecnologia" above all. Hence they admire the US. Look at the people on the ads of Televisa--they are not meztizos and certainly not indigenous Mexicans. They are white, and want to be white. The average Mexican wants to be white and can't be white: they are "hijos de la chingada." The Indians regard both the Whites and the Meztizos with disdain. The author Gerry Mander in his book "In the Absence of the Sacred," by Jerry Mander, has a pretty good handle on this.

See also"Yellowtail, Crow Medicine Man and Sun Dance Chief: An Autobiography" for a view of the N. American Indian way.

10:09 PM  
Anonymous Birney Zouave said...

Dr: B-

Predictably, the Dems chose former Obama Labor Secretary Tom Perez as their leader yesterday; the same guy who on one day a while back said- "We heard loudly and clearly yesterday from Bernie supporters that the process was rigged and it was. And you’ve got to be honest about it. That’s why we need a chair who is transparent." But- he quickly "corrected" himself by Tweeting that he "misspoke" about the primary process being rigged, and that "Hillary became our nominee fair and square, and she won more votes in the primary — and general — than her opponents." Wow, talk about a profile in courage!

7:55 AM  
Anonymous Clyde said...

everyone in a stir about Trump not coming to the correspondence din din, here's some great comedy from years past

Bush joking about WMD
https://youtu.be/o9EbssUgHj4
Obomba joking about drones killing https://youtu.be/WWKG6ZmgAX4

8:48 AM  
Anonymous Detours said...

Yo whad up DAA bloggers! Ok here's a block of instruction for ya'll on searching this blog site, because obviously some of you don't know how to. Ok here we go: let's say you want to find out if this blog has ever had a discussion about Pitirim Sorokin. Enter the following into your favorite search engine, EXACTLY like this:

site:http://morrisberman.blogspot.com Pitirim Sorokin

Again you type the word "site" followed by the colon mark, but pay attention because there's NO SPACE between site, the colon, and the web address. Then a single space followed by the search term. Does it work? Let's see: how many search results does this method yield using the search term "Pitirim Sorokin"? Let's look at three search engines: the Blogger search engine (in the upper left hand corner of this page) yields only a pathetic two (2) "hits." Google yields eleven (11) results. Yahoo yields nine (9). However, my favorite search engine is DuckDuckGo, which yields twenty-nine (29) results. Questions? Ok, thank me another time. Well, I'm bored, so now I'm going to search for info on this site re: the publication of the 5 vol. "Cornerstones of the Mittnaic Philosophy" which apparently Kiss Tuchis Press has dropped. Mmm...I wonder when the term douche bag was first used here? Wheeeee....






10:44 AM  
Anonymous oh shit said...

no shit https://www.forbes.com/forbes/welcome/?toURL=https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2017/02/24/report-u-s-will-trail-other-rich-nations-in-life-expectancy-by-2030-infographic/

11:18 AM  
Blogger Johnny Ostentatious said...

Pretty crazy, I'm rereading Dark Ages America, and in Chapter 4, "Pax Americana", in the Hot versus Cold Wars section, there's this sentence:

[Voters in 1980] were drawn to Ronald Reagan, a man who saw the world in just such simplistic terms, and who pledged to make America great again.

11:51 AM  
Blogger Voidisyinyang said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oyixrC3KxK0

Professor Berman - this is "drew hempel" - I called you around 1995 - looking for a copy of your book - and have read your work since. I did a master's degree in "liberal studies" finished in 2001 - focused on nonwestern qigong meditation training and radical ecology and philosophy of science all linked via music theory.

Please post that vid link - Professor Guy McPherson and Professor Peter Wadham, among others, forecast end of human civilization in ten years due to the gigaton permafrost explosion that will happen soon after the arctic ice is gone in the summer - probably next year.

I live in Minnesota and we've had freakishly warm weather - the arctic is over 50 degrees F. too warm - and yet catastrophic global warming is not allowed to be discussed. Agricultural failure is soon since the center of the big continents are much warmer than the global average.

That's why I trained in the radical alchemy skills - to be able to go without food and even very little water if necessary. I did 8 days on a half glass of water in 2000 to finish my master's degree and that's when my energy was strongest! haha.

take care,

http://voidisyinyang.blogspot.com

12:42 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Harry-

As it turns out, this is not one of those places. More on that in a moment.

I'm actually glad you wrote in the way you did, because it affords me yet another opportunity to demonstrate what it is to be an American. Americans 'think' in terms of political correctness; Manichaean slogans are 2nd nature to them. Evidence, sociological or historical data--they could care less abt such things, as you yourself make clear. They confuse emotions with ideas; nothing excites them more than to jump up and down, beat their self-righteous chests, and yell 'racism!' God, that felt gd, didn't it, Harry? How great it is to blame, call people names, and talk off the top of yr head, rt?

How might a Wafer have responded to my statement abt the Jews? Here's one possibility:

"I was intrigued by your suggestion that Jews are the smartest segment of society, and that historically, they usually rise to positions of success or high achievement in whatever country they are found. My question is, How do we know this? I'm assuming you have an evidentiary basis for this assertion--i.e., historical or sociological data to support this claim. Can you tell us what that might be?"

You see the difference, Harry? This person speaks to evidence and argument; he politely asks a genuine question. He doesn't get all worked up, indignant, and slander his interlocutor with political correctness. In a word, he's not an American (or is a very atypical one--which Wafers are). You, on the other hand, are an American thru and thru.

So here's the deal: we don't take kindly to political correctness on this blog, and we regard folks who engage in it as assholes. In fact, it was you who crossed the line, not me. Hence, this blog is not for you. There are thousands of blogs out there that espouse p.c., and that will welcome your mode of discourse, and your cutting-edge insights, with great enthusiasm. They will celebrate you as you deserve to be celebrated, i.e. as a sophisticated intellectual, whereas we will view you as a horse's ass. So godspeed, amigo; you've got a great future ahead of you. Appause and admiration will follow you wherever you go (in the US, at least).

mb

3:52 PM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Americans are just bit on edge these days and just waiting to snap.

http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2017/02/24/city-island-restaurant-fight/

4:25 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Fran--thanks for the kind words! To me, Bill Hicks was the Jimi Hendrix of comedy (a comparison he would have loved given that Hendrix was one of his musical idols). He was just as revolutionary to stand up comedy, and it is impossible to know where his talents would have taken him had he not died so young. He also used to describe himself as "Chomsky with dick jokes," which I just love. Here are a few of of his best lines:

On American politics: "I prefer the puppet on the left" "Well, I think the puppet on the right shares my beliefs" --"Hey! There's one guy holding up BOTH puppets!"--"Go back to bed, America, your government is in control"

On Christianity: "I believe God created me in six days"--"Yeah, it looks like He rushed it"

"Have you ever noticed that people who don't believe in evolution look really unevolved?"

On letting gays in the military: "Anyone DUMB ENOUGH to want to be in the military ought to be allowed in"

On flag burning: "My daddy died in Korea for this flag"--"Funny, mine was MADE in Korea!"

5:33 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Let's talk "La La Land" for a moment. For me the film was like a great painting, offering up many interpretations. The dreamscape montage at the end of the film is the crucial point because it reveals so well how easily Mia and Seb could have stayed together if small choices had only been different. And, of course, in the end we are the sum of the choices we make (very existential, BTW), but it's often difficult to see the long-term consequences of those choices. Mia gets to see those consequences in the final moments of the film, and it's mind-blowing. I think it's primarily Mia's dream because the camera seemed to focus on her, but I could be wrong. In any event, it speaks to the ambition and love dilemma, and the fact that both characters helped each other to achieve their personal dreams, but knew one would have to give up their dreams to pursue each other. They weren't willing to do this, and they are okay with it. So, another way to look at it, at least for me, was that even though they didn't end up together, it didn't diminish the love they had for each other at all and forever. This is the beauty of the film.

Miles

ps: Can't forget the music either; a rapturous score by Justin Hurwitz.

5:39 PM  
Anonymous Derek said...

Wafers,
I'd like to jump in on the La La Land discussion. I saw it and loved it. I've also read the articles people have posted here. I thought that Guardian article was a pretty weak takedown of the film; so the two characters choose to chase their dreams over love...well, that happens sometimes in life. FWIW, I don't necessarily agree with their decision, but I certainly can understand and sympathize with them. Neither of them sold out, but rather pursued their passions (jazz and cinema, respectively). IMO they weren't hustlers as they weren't in it for monetary gain. Furthermore, the film doesn't claim they made the right decision, as the ending is rather ambiguous for the viewer. It seems up to us to decide whether we admire them or not. Whether we agree with them or not, should that impact our opinion of the film?

I've also talked with people in their 50's and 60's who didn't enjoy the film. My take on this is that it's a generational difference. These "baby boomers" are perhaps unsympathetic to the goals of "millennials" who are often idealistic and would rather work odd jobs in order to pursue their art as opposed to taking a corporate job, settling down, and starting a family. Being a "millennial" myself I was able to identify with Gosling and Stone. Anyways, I thought it was a wonderful, captivating film. As for the "layers," one obvious one is all the references throughout to classic cinema; for example, when they're in the observatory from Rebel Without a Cause.

8:28 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

The corporate entities need to construct movies that americans and those in love with american culture want to see (e.g., hopes, dreams, and smiling bullshit).

The LALA movie is a movie for LA. people who love LA, specifically the romantic myth of Hollywood and film. Add in well-worn cliches, -- bad traffic, warm weather, model actors, and hopes, dreams, baristas/actresses and it wears thin--where were the Mexicans--it's LA? Or does that not sell in america?

The music was not robust enough to prop it up, and the nasal singing by the male lead were fingernails on a blackboard. But it was all very beautiful. The leads were uneven throughout, like an electrical connection that only makes contact half the time. A lot of that was script, yet, just as often weak singing or predictable dancing jolted me out of the story. Cop Rock TV show from the 90s--police singing/dancing in bad traffic.

It's not a bad movie, but not an award-winning story or performance. Maybe, A Man Called Ove.

8:34 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

I think Jews are very good at assimilating into host cultures, which allows them to rise to very high positions within any community or society. However, this ability is a double-edged sword. If the host culture has mostly negative traits, then Jews will take on those traits to a heightened degree.

American and Israeli Jews provide good examples of this mechanism in action. They tend to display a heightened version of American hustler and imperialist traits.

8:45 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Here's another movie that's worth seeing. I'm Not Your Negro. It's a historical story told by James Baldwin about black racism in this country. He asks some perennial questions about why we have to create enemies. Speaks eloquently about the hollowness of American lives and how we try to fill up the holes in ourselves with consummerism etc. A very Wafer like movie.

Marianne

9:29 PM  
Blogger Sanguillen39 said...

Here are some scary stats and facts about the current US economy. I was really shocked at some of the stuff.

https://www.commentarymagazine.com/articles/our-miserable-21st-century/

11:22 PM  
Anonymous Sam said...

I don't know whether it's correct to call Jews "the smartest" segment of society, but they surely are the most successful, above all in America, the true Promised Land for Jews. Jews tend to be raised with a good work ethic as well, which certainly helps. They are a "driven" culture(What Makes Sammy Run?), hence they hustle and are success-driven; they also stick together and network, and this is not a negligible factor. Alfred North Whitehead, in his "Aims of Education," and who taught at Harvard, makes the astute remark that the Jewish students tend to be more precocious than the Goyim, and more nimble mentally, but he warns that this cleverness should not be confused with depth of understanding. Personally, I find essential intelligence, as opposed to nimbleness of mind, to be rare in humans generally. Similarly, IQ is considered to be a measure of intelligence, which clearly is absurd, and is nothing more than shallow science. But there is no doubt that certain segments of Jews are often gifted, especially is this the case when their ancestry includes the renowned rabbis. In this sense, such family lines are almost like a caste. In India, the Jesuit missionaries considered the Brahmin students to be on the whole superior even to the best French students.Obviously, there is such a thing as heredity and selection.

2:31 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Harry-

I know p.c. folks are dumb, but you seem to be leading the pack. What part of "You aren't welcome here" did you fail to understand? Thick, much? Please be advised that anything you attempt to post in future will be deleted unread. You can't slander me or any other Wafer and expect to continue participating in this discussion. Smart, shooting yourself in the foot. Go elsewhere, shmuck.

Sang-

Gd data. The thing is that Americans are being punished for their hustling and aggressive way of life, but inasmuch as they aren't very bright, they aren't aware that they are being punished, or that they have done anything wrong. Hence, the punishment can't result in a positive outcome. To the extent that Americans can continue this destructive way of life, they will. And just get increasingly angry, instead of waking up.

Derek, Miles-

I'm with you. It has a # of layers, in fact; one of the most impt is the ironic law of unintended consequences. Things you do to solidify your love can actually wind up undoing it. Like at the end of "Cafe Society," the two people are still in love with each other, in an alternate reality; but in Allen's film, it came abt by one person's deliberate choice. Here, the outcome was determined by forces they couldn't control or even understand, at the time. Spectacular movie!

mb

9:14 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: Meanwhile, back at the ranch:

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/02/26/us/jewish-cemetery-vandalism-philadelphia/index.html

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

Hello Wafers:

I'll probably never watch La La Land, but I did watch Caligula for about 5 or 10 minutes. I had to keep reminding myself that Gore Vidal wrote it, which ought to make it worth watching, but that didn't help.

Thanks for your attempt at explaining why Le Guin had to inject "a sense of victory" into an otherwise reader-created setting, pg, but your response said nothing. While I like sophomoric condescension as much as the next guy, your airy allusions to knowledge of a deeper mystery were rather hollow, especially given that you don't know the fundamentals, such as the difference between first and third-person narration.

My question still stands, why did the author find it necessary to insist that the citizens of Omelas had to have a sense of victory, when the reader was allowed to imagine everything else (except the tortured child) about Omelas?

Bill Hicks, you might appreciate this: when I took basic training in the Canadian forces, a Jewish woman (we were co-ed - it was on the west coast, after all) was one of our star recruits. I found it funny that her name was "Harris." It was funny because my grandfather had a cousin named "Harris," except he wasn't born with that name, but changed it from his birth name, "Nasrallah."

Shalaam-de-lam

10:31 AM  
Blogger Frantisek Panuskova said...

Dr. B, Wafers,

On the movie discussion: "Manchaster By The Sea" was one of the most profound movies I have seen lately. Another one was "Into The Inferno" by Werner Herzog (mentioned here before). The latter made me resolve to, one day, travel to one of the few places on earth, where one can still look into an active volcano. Probably Iceland. I wonder what it will be like spiritually to glimpse at the glowing, wobbling, bubbling, mass of the Earth's core and feel that heat. Anyone here ever done that?

As far as musicals (and operas) are concerned I confess complete tone-deafness. I hope neither one is a requirement for sustained Waferhood.

As for the debate on Jews: I would be interested, MB, to what extent the research you mention suggests that their exclusion from many trades controlled by guilds (or similar bodies) in the Middle Ages contributed to them seeking more intellectual professions thus coming to the top in societies in greater numbers?

I like to offer the anecdotal evidence of the Jewish people coming up with the only working socialist/communist system I have personally experienced. It's been running for about one hundred years: the Kibbutz. Living and working in Ga'aton for one summer was a mind-opening and formative experience in my younger days.

Bill Hicks,
thanks for the quotes! The Korean war flag one says it all!

11:01 AM  
Anonymous re-Captcha-Challenge said...

Gigalax well said Garrison Keilor had some quote about how smart people just figure out more ways to rationalize stupid behavior. Regardless, the fake education system rewards bright kids who are ambitiously obedient no doubt. The gifted kids that question become resentful or get lost in their Wafering minds (thousand apologies for that). So we have a society of manager specialists like intellectually cleansed engineers and MBA's that don't question the cultures and problems their "trained" to solve e.g. that molds empty trans-national corp careerists wanting rotten pie. Bright people without neurosis or self-reflection are also better at seeing what they want to believe than gifted types who carry a heavier load.

Sam the Jews do network as much as the fanatical right and AIPAC famously mobilizes to destroy any anti-Zionist politician. Also the mediocre courtesan thugs that support the imperium G. Sach execs, Dershowitz, B. Brooks, Tom Friedman types - their philanthropy goes almost exclusively to Jewish institutions. I asked separately an Austrian and German friend years ago about anti-semitism in Europe and was surprised at how quickly and succinctly they responded without any collusion "black markets".

Culture becomes exclusionarily abusive one way or another. People hire their indoctrinated familiarity a reflection of primate mimicry. With vast marauding polit-bureaus for profit there has been no support for auto-didact alienated intellectual shaman critics of cultures and society. I've known people from all backgrounds that are deep, gifted, humble, nurturing, and value a low carbon footprint. Also, Dick Gregory recently mentioned that Jews don't run the imperium - he eluded that R-fellers, Morgans, DuPonts, are the heavies.

1:29 PM  
Blogger k_pgh said...

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/feb/25/australian-childrens-author-mem-fox-detained-by-us-border-control-i-sobbed-like-a-baby

“I have never in my life been spoken to with such insolence, treated with such disdain, with so many insults and with so much gratuitous impoliteness,” Fox said.

Fox said she was shocked by her treatment and “couldn’t imagine” returning to the US.

3:27 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Yes, the big story here in Philly is the cemetery vandalism. 75 to 100 stones were toppled but as our illustrious Philadelphia Inquirer reports:"The motive remains under investigation."You think it might be anti-semitism? I don't want to go too far out on a limb here. But at least this does settle one thing-Jared Kushner will not save the Jews. In case you're wondering my father's stone is not at that cemetery. Now a number of groups are asking Trump to make a nationally televised address about hate crimes, anti-semitism and the like. Yeah, that will happen. As we repeatedly say here, there's no end to progressive delusional thinking.

4:18 PM  
Anonymous James Allen said...

"Something familiar, something peculiar
Something for everyone: a comedy tonight
Something appealing, something appalling
Something for everyone: a comedy tonight**

Bill Hicks's comments on Bill Hicks prompt me to offer two of my favorites for your consideration. First, Mitch Hedberg (24 Feb 1969-30 Mar 2005). Hedberg died of "multiple drug toxicity" (cocaine and heroin).
What about the Dufresnes?
https://youtu.be/UUNvFVQYClY

And a second recommendation, Bisbee, Arizona's own Doug Stanhope.
Nationalism and Immigration
https://youtu.be/Z_iBOEDb7PM

Finally, I suggest Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Now on the Crackle app, but moving soon to Netflix. Jerry drives to a coffee shop with a favorite friend in a different classic car each episode. Now in its 9th season. Guests have included Larry David, Steve Martin, and Tina Fey.

**A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, lyrics and music Stephen Sondheim

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Veleda Fan said...

Hmm, nice article on the figure, who is the US's clairvoyant Veleda?

http://www.ancient-origins.net/history-famous-people/legendary-prophetess-veleda-secret-weapon-against-romans-007624?nopaging=1

6:25 PM  
Anonymous Marianne said...

Mike and Miles,

Appreciate your comments on La la Land. Full disclosure here, I left the movie a bit over an hour into it and your answers confirm for me I didn't need to waste my time staying any longer. It was an LA movie for people who love LA, and I can take my existentialism in other ways. I might have lingered longer for the music but that too left much to be desired. I remember the first time I saw LA, I must have been 13 or so in a car full of 5 siblings and our parents.Immediate Repulsive is the sense I had about the whole scene as I physically slipped down into my seat so I wouldn't have to see the smog, traffic, and glitz. Impressive what we know as kids.

Marianne

7:22 PM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Sorry if this appears to be preaching to the esteemed WAFER choir:

Sick of being stigmatized as: negative nellie, whiner, doom/gloom, this is "Adam Curtis" stuff, Euro fluff/sympathizer/socialist lover, you should (love that word-should) stop whining and make a plan to improve the us...(mean get back to work for the corporation, mow the lawn, put on the clitoris hat and chant, whatever).

the vast majority of americans appear NOT capable of having a cogent argument without labeling, name calling, rage, eye rolling, branding, and dismissing ideas as "negative" or "doom gloomers." They appear obsessed with action plans and ways to improve their american "life."

Is there anything in the american "brain" other than dog shit?

9:53 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Another example of just how far America has fallen is that in just one century we've completely forgotten the Henry Ford principle where he realized that in order to create a market for his cars he needed to pay his workers a high enough wage to afford to buy them. Nowadays, Ford's great and heralded Silicone Valley successors are busy building their own obscene fortunes in part by automating every manual job in existence with nary a concern about how the bottom 70% or so of the population will be able to make any kind of a living or buy any of corporate America's products.

The latest story was Wendy's announcing yesterday that it would install 1000 robot-operated kiosks around the county. The idiot libertarians (a redundancy, I know) over at Zero Hedge were quick to blame the soon-to-be replaced fast food workers themselves for having the audacity to ask for a higher minimum wage so they can afford to, ya know, actually pay the rent and keep the lights on--to say nothing of occasionally "splurging" and having dinner at some shitty fast food restaurant like Wendy's. Meanwhile, Wendy's CEO had to scrape by on a mere $8.2 million last year (a fact which Zero Hedge conveniently forgot to mention) to peddle the poison they call "food." Only in America could the plight of a sinking company that's been losing money for years be blamed on the mopes in steerage rather than the asshole captain who steered the ship onto a reef.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-02-27/minimum-wage-massacre-wendys-unleashes-1000-robots-counter-higher-labor-costs

12:23 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

k-

I think it might be neat if border guards and Customs personnel began physically attacking anyone who wanted to enter the US. Maybe that's 2 yrs away.

Fran-

There is a lot of lit on how Jews were barred from practically every profession except selling rags and money lending--even into the 20thC. Then they get blamed as Shylocks and usurers. Jesus wept.

mb

9:46 AM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

"The latest story was Wendy's announcing yesterday that it would install 1000 robot-operated kiosks around the county. The idiot libertarians (a redundancy, I know) over at Zero Hedge were quick to blame the soon-to-be replaced fast food workers themselves for having the audacity to ask for a higher minimum wage so they can afford to, ya know, actually pay the rent and keep the lights on--to say nothing of occasionally "splurging" and having dinner at some shitty fast food restaurant like Wendy's. Meanwhile, Wendy's CEO had to scrape by on a mere $8.2 million last year (a fact which Zero Hedge conveniently forgot to mention) to peddle the poison they call "food." Only in America could the plight of a sinking company that's been losing money for years be blamed on the mopes in steerage rather than the asshole captain who steered the ship onto a reef."

One of the main problems with libertarian economics is that it tends to think of producers and consumers as separate people. However, adults are generally both producers and consumers (i.e. the so called "prosumer" term coined by Alvin Toffer).

10:04 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

I haven't been to the USA since the mid-80s (North and South Dakota), and since the Maher Arar incident I've decided that any trip there could be fraught with peril, but I'd kinda like to visit New Orleans. The music is at the core of my radio show (I once did a segment on songs about New Orleans street names mentioned in A Confederacy of Dunces, and I've been binge listening to Jelly Roll Morton...and watching Tremé reruns lately), and I've always been interested in the place.

What do Wafers think? What's the lowdown on New Orleans?

11:35 AM  
Anonymous COS said...

Hello Wafers,

The insanity proceeds apace. Yesterday in what was not remarked on the news (save I am told for Fox) a number of Jewish schools and community centers across the U.S. were subject to bomb threats. In D.C. Jewish elementary schools in Virginia and Maryland were evacuated due to bomb threats In the midst of Kitah Hey Hallel Siyun my five year old son and his school were rushed out without time to put on their coats and were outside cowering under teacher sweaters, tallit and a tarp from the playground. A sad and upsetting sight. Dollars to bagels it was an action by some progressive faking a white supremacist act to make a point against Trump or solidarity for some oppressed group. Using children (and in some cases seniors) as pawns for some point is sick and typical of americans of the left variety should be clear to anyone who can fog a mirror. Time to leave as this is how it begins.

1:28 PM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Hello Wafers and Dr. B,

al-Q: I visited New Orleans in February 2014, just a few days before Mardi Gras. I liked the place immensely and intend to go back there when I can spend more time. The food was really good, the Lafayette hotel was cheap and safe, the streetcars were well-run and efficient, and the city did not have that homogenized feel of most of Corporation USA. I took a cab ride through the Garden District to Uptown and thought it all looked very beautiful. At times it did feel as though I were someplace else besides the USA. Every bar in the French Quarter had live music, which made it fun.

2:16 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@ Bill Hicks,

Don't worry the Silicon Valley magnates and their liberal allies will give us all a basic income guarantee so that we can continue to consume without working. The theory is that once freed from the need to work we will all become artists, writers and beard consultants.

Of course the reality is that most people will likely use a basic income to veg out in front of their TV/computer/virtual reality headset and will become socially isolated and mentally and physically ill, not to mention the other problems with a basic income guarantee as Bill Mitchell discusses:

http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=13025

http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=34412

I am sorry for going off on this tangent but the automation issue really highlights what I hate about the contemporary Right and Left. Those on the Right love punching down and seem happy to see other people suffer while the Left is currently dominated by ideas about the inevitability of globalization and the domination of humans by technique/technology, presumably because they have an unshakeable faith in progress.

Thomas Frank is probably the only liberal I can think of who actually questions whether all of this technology really represents true progress for human beings.

4:02 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Well, President Trump is boning up for his first address to Congress, Wafers. I tell ya, I would've given my left testicle to see MB given a chance to brief the president about our current situation. As you well know, the trouble is that Trumpo has before him an *enormous* subject: the collapse of the United States. And my worry is that he will most likely run the risk of talking about everything and wind up saying nothing. Too often, the sheer insanity and mania of America obscures the larger narrative of our atomized and alienated world. In other words, how will President Trump manage to convey the phenomenon of our delusional bedlam w/o MB's help? Short answer: He won't. Might as well show Kim's tuchas twisting on a continuous video loop for an hour or so...

Anyway, time for some jazz:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3Sm6zrzdC8

Miles

7:09 PM  
Blogger Patrick D. Fitzgerald said...

al,

I am from Chicago and have visited all but a small few of the major cities in the U.S. and New Orleans is to this day the only one I have ever liked overall. Others have their particular charms, but NO is the only one where charm runeth over in my opinion. I especially recommend Uptown as a neighborhood to spend time in apart from the more popular but equally attractive French Quarter and Garden District. I don't think you will regret it, the place doesn't feel as much like USA as other places, some might call it European-like, but it is without a doubt a place with a distinct culture.

Bill Hicks,

It's unfortunate that ZH has become so useless and frustrating; it used to actually give some good reports on the malfeasance of financial institutions and governments. Now it just seems to want to stoke uninformed ideological fires in a very sensationalized way. Commenters there are also quite remedial and hateful, not really interested in intellectual exchange despite their pretenses and posturing. Pretty typically murikan in that regard. The survival rate of that site as worthwhile has gone to zero for me in other words, ha.

8:58 PM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

United States of Aresholes
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/28/trumps-america-holidays-tourism-down

Do not sign anything – NOTHING
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/feb/26/muhammad-ali-jr-trump-travel-ban-muslims-border-agents

Give me your f'kn password -said the goon.
http://www.theverge.com/2017/2/12/14583124/nasa-sidd-bikkannavar-detained-cbp-phone-search-trump-travel-ban
http://www.alternet.org/human-rights/ill-never-take-my-phone-international-flight-again-neither-should-you

9:48 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

America's collective insanity is rapidly accelerating. Here we have the mother of a 7-year old XY chromosome child who claims she knew that her child was transgender because he liked to play with dolls when he was a toddler. Smug liberals love to condemn any parent who refuses to get medical treatment for their children on religious grounds, yet this dingbat--whose agenda driven child rearing rises to the level of psychological abuse--is celebrated and given a guest editorial in the Washington ComPost because she calls out Trump (side note: I'll bet if I wanted to write a ComPost OpEd condemning Trump's proposal to raise Pentagon spending by $57 billion by pointing out the massive amounts of waste, fraud and corruption in military procurements they would tell me to get fucked):

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2017/02/24/my-7-year-old-daughter-henry-is-transgender-shed-change-trumps-mind/?utm_term=.efbb3d17f68f


Meanwhile, the Trumpenfuhrer wants to cut State Department funding by 37%, which has liberals and neoconservative fellow travelers McCain and Graham already shrieking about the damage to U.S. diplomacy. Notwithstanding the fact that I know from personal experience just how bloated, inefficient and unaccountable the State Department really is, the idea that cutting it would hurt American diplomacy is laughable. Since 9/11, America's foreign policy can be summed up in one sentence: you're either with us or against us, and if you're against us we will kill you.

11:41 PM  
Anonymous Sam said...

America's Share of the World Economy

http://www.garynorth.com/public/16285print.cfm

Good graphics. You may be surprised.

12:34 AM  
Anonymous El Alamein said...

I believe that Henry Ford paid his workers more because too many of them were leaving due to the strain of work, and the constant re-training of employees was so expensive that it was simply worth it to raise wages. The living wage concept was something he backed into. It's become a pervasive neoliberal myth to talk about the good old days of "responsible capitalism" as opposed to the greedy Gordon Gekkos and Mitt Romneys of the world, when really, they were just profiting off technology that made industrial workers less valuable, in the same way that Ford profited off technology that made industrial workers more valuable.

12:56 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Trump promises renewal of America's Spirit...and what "Spirit" would that be that he is going to renew?


https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-hails-national-pride-address-congress-030509297.html

5:58 AM  
Anonymous DioGenes said...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2017/02/28/colorectal-cancer-rates-rising-sharply-among-gen-x-and-millennials/

Everybody wants to blame diet, but younger people are more likely to follow alternative dieting trends. Nobody ever wants to talk about stress, which comes down to a real critique of the lifestyle.

Everybody I know 25-35 is living month to month, working with zero job security and rotating boyfriends/girlfriends, who are largely also a function of circumstance.

I think back to the way things used to be in the 90s and it seems like such paradise. Add to it the blame and hatred of the Boomers castigating us for all of their mistakes, and it's a stress test many will fail. Tinderbox.

7:09 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Yes, Jews in Philadelphia are appalled by the cemetery vandalism but as a friend of mine quipped, Gaza looks worse.Good point. Gaza has real death and destruction including many innocent women and children. Jews in the US only face some, relatively speaking, inconvenience which law enforcement is quick to respond to. This is certainly not to condone bomb threats and the like but I would much suffer a bomb threat to an actual bomb.
At least these things here should wake Jews up to two glaring realities. One, Jews are not white so stop identifying with the white establishment and return to some sense of solidarity with the real oppressed in the US and elsewhere. And two, Jews are the eternal guests in this world even in Israel. Why the gentile world doesn't oppress you is not out of love. It's out of tolerance.

7:21 AM  
Blogger Kanye Cyrus said...

On the death of smartphone innovation in the Guardian:
https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/mar/01/nokia-3310-smartphone-industry

"So perhaps that’s it for major smartphone innovation. Maybe they’re destined to be relegated to commodity items. The new PC for the post-PC era; the beige box for the 21st century."

There's only so much incremental technodouchebaggery you can add I guess!

Kanye

7:29 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Of possible interest to WAF-ers:

https://newrepublic.com/article/140991/case-becoming-hermit

and:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/03/01/american-dystopia-a-future-of-racists-snitches-and-outcasts/

10:57 AM  
Anonymous Mike R. said...

Dan--appears true; in fact, Jews in america and elsewhere, are more like the black member/s of the country club--tolerated, not really "liked," and to tick a PC -compliance box, and use their minds for dinero accumulation. B/c Jews assimilate very well, they appear to have that endless american zeal for hustling/huckstering. They cling to lib-prog elites whereby they can sate their potential guilt or empathy for the perceived down-trodden.

Curious, how many of these folks live in predominately low-income, black/brown, Mexican american neighborhoods? How many drive 10yr+ car, or still have student loans, worked their way through uni?

Or do they pull a 'Milli Vanilli' (lip service), then drive back in their lux car to their lily white neighbourhood where they pontificate w/ their white bicycle friends over 6$ lattes about class struggles and how tough it is in america....

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

Hello Wafers:

I also wonder, Tom Servo, why progs include technological advancements in their notion of "human progress." Technology may provide us with convenience, but it's just as likely to diminish our humanity.

Something I've noticed in writing by progs is the phrase, "I'm no Luddite, but..." (It was used in an article linked to in the previous thread, and elsewhere).

What's wrong with being a Luddite?

11:35 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

al-

Nothing whatsoever, altho I suppose the correct phrase might be neo-Luddite. In any case, on why progs etc., see WAF ch. 3 (tech as America's hidden religion).

Mike R-

Rather sweeping generalizations, no?

mb

11:59 AM  
Anonymous Mike Kelly said...

Dr. Berman and Wafers:

I used to live in New York City with three million Jews. While I didn't meet them all, I met some. I worked with them, made friends with them, and shared drinks with them, although we Irish are much better drinkers. I fell in love with more than one Jewish woman. One thing I learned about Jews is that some are mail carriers, some are taxi drivers, some are teachers, some are bums, and some rise to the highest heights of success. I guess what I'm trying to say is that it is never wise to say that any one group of people is any one thing and believe it too strongly. We Irish are good drinkers, but we're also good poets and philosophers, too.

12:59 PM  
Blogger Frantisek Panuskova said...

Wafers,

Technology: I take Paracelus' view. Generally, it is the dose that makes the poison. A sedentary lifestyle kills. Nevertheless, the chair is a useful invention - as is, say, Google Blogger.

The Empire: Trump delivered a fairly coherent and grammatically correct speech to Congress last night. Without insulting everyone in the room. Listening to NPR this morning the prevailing mood seems to be one of great relief, almost happiness. Heads a spinning.

Any chance of you still joining the cabinet, MB? Appointments are being finalized. The window of opportunity is closing, I am afraid.

1:40 PM  
Anonymous COS two days in a row!!! said...

Hello again,

Mike R..reading Elders of Zion much lately? You may be disappointed to know that Jews are a diverse bunch. Largely bright and industries are we but we are not far removed from the shettel or pogrom. I don't know if we are guests per se, Hym Solomon who financed the revolutionary war was more than a guest...Judah P Benjamin the first Jewish Senator and later vice president of the confederacy (and secretary of war) did play more than a guest role and his later life as a distinguished barrister in London was legendary from an intellectual point of view. And where would americans be without the contributions of people ranging from William Shatter and leonard nimoy to Ed Koch.....Yes, many Jews do live in cities in tough neighborhoods, I count many relatives in Baltimore, Brooklyn, Brazil and Mexico City, who live and work with people from all walks of life. "We" don't shy from life--you seem to know a stereotype and not actual people.

A nifty little book I read recently is Allain De Botton's The News a Users Manual. Particulary apropos as there is a marked tendency among wafers to engage in confirmation bias and dig up bits of news which demonstrate the debased state of Americans. One could also find an abundance of rescuing kittens and acts of generosity but alas good news does not sell or draw clicks on the internet. But alas we should by now be comfortable with the idea that America is in a state of entropy and new stories of depravity while entertaining at some level don't further the case. DeBotton argues persuasively (and does a great job of laying out the types of news stories produced) that we are drawn to these horrible stories to a.) make us feel a bit smug and as b.) a psychological check that we don't become the person who kills their spouse in a fit of pique over burned mac and cheese.

As an added bonus---the progs douchebaggery explained: https://reason.com/blog/2017/03/01/moral-outrage-is-self-serving

1:56 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

cos-

Generally I'm not much interested in blog discussions of the blog; this isn't a meta-blog. However, you are certainly off base if you think Wafers are living in some sort of echo chamber. Of course, angry trollfoons typically assert this, but the problem for me is not dissonance or disagreement; it's style. They show up in an angry or agressive manner, inevitably insulting, and I'm not interested in that. Disagreements stated courteously are always welcome. You are also off base regarding selecting bad news vs. rescuing kittens, or whatever. The fact is that the bad news IS overwhelming, and characteristic of a culture in decline. Without particularly looking for it, I began to see facts of American decay multiplying from about 1995. The shift that was going on socially and culturally finally became obvious, and led to my writing the Twilight bk. De Botton's argument is in fact a very old one, pretty hackneyed, and it certainly doesn't apply to contemporary America. Anyway, I hope we can return to content, and avoid meta-blog in future.

Mike K-

Well said, thank you. Let's keep in mind that James Joyce's fictional hero was a Yid.

mb

4:18 PM  
Blogger Gigalax said...

""We" don't shy from life--you seem to know a stereotype and not actual people."

I would say that the stereotype is mostly true when it comes to American Jews and Americanized Jews. American Jews and Americanized Jews stand at the top of Hustler Mountain, which is formed by Americans and Americanized people. It is simply an unfortunate consequence resulting from the fact that Jews are extremely good at assimilating into whatever culture they are placed into.

4:36 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Sympathy for the Devil, Dept.:

One of the better pieces I've read about Trump:

https://www.thenation.com/article/is-our-president-bonkers/

A few excerpts:

"Trump baffled and defeated his conventional opponents because he expressed an emotional truth about the American condition that people feel in their guts. But neither Democrats or Republicans have the nerve to acknowledge it."

"The long and mostly successful saga of US triumphalism, in which Washington essentially ran the world, is finally stumbling toward a confused and chaotic conclusion."

"My point is this: Trump (along with Bernie Sanders) deserves credit for forcing this new working-class consciousness into the brain-dead political debate of Washington."

Well, godspeed Trumpo, I'm w/u 110%.

Miles

7:31 PM  
Anonymous Amir Isfahani said...

Mr. Berman,

I just finished reading your trilogy about the decline of American Society. It's unfortunate to see that the delusions among our political class and in the media landscape are only becoming more pronounced by the day. It seems we are in the final spiral of collapse, but all we can do is to double down on failed policies based on ignorance, militarism, technology worship and false hope. Even watching the discourse of our media and the greater society is sickening to me. It is sickening because none of the underlying structural issues are being discussed... its more of the same circus show of personality and identity politics...while the ship is literally sinking. It's hard to not become cynical right now. My family and I have been actively seeking options for living overseas. Please continue your interviews with Guadalajara and other outlets. It helps to hear some voices of sanity once in a while.

Respectfully,
Amir

9:28 PM  
Anonymous AS said...

This is coming from the neoconservative press, so take it with a grain of salt, but if true, it's certainly encouraging:

The State of Trump's State Department

"Anxiety and listless days as a foreign-policy bureaucracy confronts the possibility of radical change"

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/03/state-department-trump/517965/

It appears as though President Trump is now in the process of formally closing down the United States, something Wafers have been advocating for a very long time. There may be some debate about when the United States officially came to an end (I've always felt it was the 1960s, but I suppose some would argue the 90s); either way, to the confusion of many Wafers, the libraries, post offices, schools, banks, & other govt institutions remained in operation. This gave the impression to the outside world that the United States was still going on. Trump - himself a declinist - appears to have recognized the contradiction & seems to be correcting it. We are grateful to him for this.

Keep the progress going Mr. President!

P.S. Did anyone catch Trump's speech last night? There was a beautiful moment in which he turned to the Democrats & explained to them - in so many words - that they were, in fact, total douchebags. I let out a cheer.

10:42 PM  
Blogger remo26 said...

This monologue is from Assaf Harel's last episode of "Good Night," which has gone viral since being posted a couple of days ago. Harel's show was controversial since the time he ridiculed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for exploiting his brother's death (Bibi's brother) for political gain.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyyUvxHLYr4

The point I think worth noting for Wafers is that in IL the right are not as entrenched/stable as in other empires. They play tricks, they have won most of the battles for owning the narrative so far, but slowly they are losing legitimacy from within as the average Israeli is made aware what is really going on. From the outside, it appears to the foreigner that this process is too slow (it is), but I think it has the magnitude of a glacial shift. In that sense, this awakening seems much quicker than the denial witnessed with other empires.

- remo

1:04 AM  
Blogger Esca Dreg said...

Many Wafers still think he was feckless, just benign.

Uncle Tom is the very reason why we got Uncle Tomato.
https://youtu.be/3R6O-AdvzTM

8:36 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

cos: ps:-

One more comment on Botton. I read 2 or 3 of his bks many yrs ago, then stopped. They seemed like potboilers designed to make $. What he does is take popular cliches and disguise them as profundities. It's a winning formula, in terms of sales, and appeals to Americans who read, say, Time Magazine. "Conventional wisdom," I suppose, but not nec. accurate. My own reaction was just to shrug.

Amir-

Don't despair! The ship *needs* to sink, and that is what is happening. The worse, the better.

Gig-

Again, too sweeping an indictment, and it does smack of the Protocols. I'm sure lots of American Jews are top hustlers; I'm also sure lots of goyim are as well. We need to retire this subject, I think. Maybe we cd focus on Druids, or vegetarians, show their secret plans to take over the world.

mb

9:04 AM  
Anonymous Tara said...

de Botton's book "religion 4 atheists" is pretty good though.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/mar/01/cold-war-freud-an-intellectual-biography-dagmar-herzog-joel-whitebook

and here a rev of two new booksthat epitomise a new wave of thinking about the 'Freud wars' and the history of analysis

9:14 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

COS suggested that William Shatner is a gringo. Sorry, but he's yet another Canadian.

In case anyone missed it, Naomi Klein and Leonard Cohen are/were also Canadians. Beautiful losers, all.

Cohen was also a vegetarian, for a bit, although he was the type of vegetarian who ate only roses.

9:44 AM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

AS -- I read that Atlantic article about the State Department and had to laugh at its depiction of the denizens of Foggy Bottom sitting around in the cafeteria all day because they have suddenly been deprived of a mission. There is no greater collection of overeducated, ineffectual, self-important twits than the American foreign service. When Obama was president, they were happy to sell his shitty snake oil to the rest of the world, but now under the Trumpenfuhrer they realize that what they're selling has turned into a 1976 AMC Pacer that nobody in their right mind would every buy. Poor babies.

COS -- forget the news stories. My descent into WAFerhood over the past decade has more to do with the larger trends going on in our society (Donald Fucking Trump is the goddamned president while the Washington Post--the same paper that took down Nixon--thinks a great way to oppose him is to publish an OpEd by a fucking idiot who has "determined" that her 7-year old kid is transgender) and the fucking freak show I see every time I leave my house. Many people are angry, frustrated, pissed off and stressed out. You can see it in the way they drive, in the way they can't put their stupid phones down and in their overt rudeness and hostility. No, it isn't everybody, but when the media is constantly hyping up the antics of the very worst among us while downplaying the efforts of those who do try to make the world a better place, what does that say about us as a society?

11:39 AM  
Blogger Christian Schulzke said...

P.S. Did anyone catch Trump's speech last night?

I listened to it more than I watched it. It was a good speech, well delivered. However, I couldn’t shake the feeling that Trump didn’t believe in a good 80% of what he was saying. Personally, the more presidential and respectable and mainstream Trump acts, the less I like him.

1:14 PM  
Anonymous John S said...

Trump really represent a change in degree not in kind. Liberalism as a real force to actually implement economic change in America died in 1968 IMO. Johnson despite the war was the last president who actually believed in liberal values. Trump may be a change in degree, but really does no one remember the awefulness of Nixon, the Bushes and of course the imbecility of Reagan. And we all know that Bill Clinton and Obama are both careerists, who really only cared a little bit about identity politics on the margins but not much else except playing golf and the speaker circuit. Yes there was Jimmy Carter, who of course is ignored but despised the most. Yes Trump is a change in degree, but I don't see as big a difference in kind as everybody else does.

2:39 PM  
Blogger Frantisek Panuskova said...

When we are done with the Druids and the vegetarians, I suggest a debate about the Hollow Earth hypothesis, which by the way should be added to the Common Core for secondary U.S. schools. We need more choice in education!

2:43 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Fran-

Texas schl system now has a unit on Estee Lauder, none on Geo Washington.

Bill-

One *ascends* to Waferdom; it is the most evolved form of consciousness on the planet today.

al-

Cohen was no loser, in my book. Fabulous human being.

mb

6:05 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Hola MB and Wafers,

Could one be born a Wafer? I recall telling my mother early on: "I'm don't like mustard; I desire Russian dressing."

Meanwhile,

Everybody knows the the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That's how it goes
Everybody knows...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8IfmiKnZi3E

Miles

6:50 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

We have had much discussion here on the genetic tendencies (and, it seems, every other tendency) of Jews, which is hopefully now behind us (vey iz mir). But you raise a crucial pt: Is Waferdom genetic? I was 5 when my mother introduced me to chopped liver, but then that doesn't really prove this affinity was genetically based. Wafers, pls chime in!

I'm also wondering whether, in the 11 years (as of April) that this blog has been in operation, any parents named their child Wafer; or Waferette. Wdn't *that* be something?! (Now I feel like running out and impregnating someone. Tina, are you there?)

mb

7:54 PM  
Blogger Yossi said...

mb
De Botton's early books, "Consolations of Philosophy" and "How Proust Can Change Your Life" were well worth a read, but agree that after that he scratched around somewhat.

1:58 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Will someone tell me why either of these articles are regarded as news?:

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2017/mar/03/sent-unsolicited-photo-penis-how-do-i-respond

http://edition.cnn.com/2017/03/02/politics/george-bush-michelle-obama-friends/index.html

2:15 AM  
Anonymous siliconvalleyburnout said...

Hello Wafers,

Long time reader of this blog. I've read 2 of the Twilight Trilolgy books out of order, and I'm in the middle of my last one "Twilight of American Culture." I've been following from a distance the latest PC crisis at my alma-mater. A Japanese American posted fake posters around campus telling people of "Islamic Belief" that they must report to internment camps. He dated these April 1, and posted information about the parallels between Japanese internment and Trump's executive orders against Muslims. The response of course is utter outrage at how racist and evil this person is. Such outraged people of course sleep well at night knowing that they have earned their daily outrage badge. The author published this in the school's paper and was hit with more outrage.

http://triton.news/2017/03/person-made-posters-artist-explains-intent/

They would probably like to intern such non-PC savages without noting any bit of irony

2:19 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

silicon-

To quote Gore Vidal, "Stupidity excites me." Keep in mind that p.c. is a big part of the national suicide.

Meanwhile, I want to recommend a novel to you guys, written by my Mexican publisher:

https://www.amazon.com/Zero-Sum-Game-Eduardo-Rabasa/dp/1941920381/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1488535311&sr=1-1&keywords=eduardo+rabasa

It originally appeared in Spanish in 2014, and is now available in English translation. (It also got translated into French, and Le Monde gave it a rave review.) Terrific political commentary; the author is clearly Un Wafer, sin duda. I myself make a brief appearance as "Dr. Seeman" (Ver-man), toward the end of the book. Enjoy!

mb

5:07 AM  
Blogger Sarasvati said...

Dr. Berman,

“Is Waferdom genetic?”

I had a high school English teacher, Mr. Hocker, who repeatedly told the class “the world is black and white, there is no gray world.” I remember sitting there, thinking to myself (where I lived, you simply didn’t contradict the teacher) “Is he kidding? The world is all gray.” Around the same time I also decided that once could be a mistake, twice a coincidence, but the third time you had to take a really long, hard look (I’ve since amended this to taking that long, hard look on the second occurrence). With me, nothing happens in a vacuum.

For want of a better explanation, I think this is because of my “design,” which was nurtured by my iconoclast father. I would call myself a Devil’s Advocate, and at this point take absolutely nothing at face value. It’s a very lonely row to hoe. (I have to thank whomever it was on this blog who posted the Gandhi quote: “Friendship that insists upon agreement on all things is not worthy of the name.”)

So, in my opinion, Wafers are born that way, and with luck life doesn’t beat it out of them.




8:30 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Sar-

It cd be, altho high schl is a bit late to serve as genetic evidence, I suppose. Wafers: do you have Wafer profiles of yourself going back to age 3? Please, let us know. I need case studies for my new book, "Waferfiles in Courage."

mb

9:44 AM  
Blogger jjarden said...

Gives new meaning to "Law Enforcement."

http://usat.ly/2lza1ne

9:46 AM  
Anonymous Pastrami and Coleslaw said...

Can someone please kill me now...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/icon-condom-app_us_58b911e0e4b0b99894167584?qpn5szyzhw54revcxr&

I really hope that's fake.

Bill: Don't forget the wa-po is owned by that Amazon guy. Also, I'm reading "Ready Player One" and there's a bunch of Bill Hicks references in there I never noticed until the discussion of his work on here.



10:21 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

And not far from where my family is buried...

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-jewish-cemetery-20170303-story.html

10:45 AM  
Anonymous Celery Tonic said...

don't you just love humanity?

http://www.startribune.com/arrest-made-in-national-threats-to-jewish-community-centers/415324404/

"an effort to harass and vilify his former girlfriend" huh? Wha?

And - http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-39144176

As the proud non-owner of a smart fone, it has always baffled me what people are doing on them all day? What could possibly be that interesting for that long? Are people reading books or something?

10:58 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

I assume you mean Cel-Ray.

It turns out a very large % of the American population is brain-damaged.

As for use of smart fones: there is some data to indicate that a lot of Americans use them as suppositories, when not texting or whatever.

mb

11:21 AM  
Blogger Frantisek Panuskova said...

MB,

Liver as such is a strong indicator of a genetic pre-disposition to Waferdom. Chopped liver is as clear a proof as you can get. Consider yourself lucky! My mother withheld liver until I was 7 or 8. And then it came in one piece, fried and with onions. Not a good sign.

I am glad you brought up the liver though. Now, when something in my life does not work out as planned, I finally know which childhood deficit I can blame. Sorry, gotta go. Need to start looking for a late-liver trauma psychiatrist now.

11:33 AM  
Anonymous al-Qa'bong said...

Hello Wafers:

Liver and onions was a culinary horror I remember from childhood. Another is the memory of seeing a headless chicken at butchering time run past my three-year-old brother, spraying blood all over him.

Where were we?

Right, the "Beautiful Losers" reference is to the title of Leonard Cohen's great Canadian novel. It refers to a people with no sense of victory, other than making it to another April successfully each year.

What's with all the current attacks on Jewish boneyards? Is Trump to blame? In related news, some guy called in a bomb hoax against Muslims at Concordia University in Montréal last week. Spring madness?

1:38 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

al-

Thanks for all the interesting info. I think it's time, at least in the US, for everyone to start desecrating and attacking everyone else. WTF not, really? They don't seem to be living for any coherent purpose, after all. Not all of us can go to war, but we can at least bring the war home.

mb

1:59 PM  
Anonymous Terence said...

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2017/mar/03/no-more-death-taxes-but-do-we-really-want-to-live-forever-with-nothing-to-do?CMP=share_btn_tw

Saw a screening last evening, "The Future of Work and Death documentary questions the real consequences of our preoccupation with progress for its own sake"


3:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Ter-

Well, 1st off it was FDR, not Ben Franklin, who said the only things certain in life are death and taxes.

But that gaffe aside, it's an interesting article. I dunno: I've basically retired, and it feels pretty gd. Stats for the US, for males, is that a large % die w/in 2 yrs of retiring, because they can't imagine a life w/o work--even if that work sucked, wh/most jobs do. And then another large % just become alcoholics. Once he cdn't make war any more, Churchill sat in front of his fireplace drinking brandy all day long.

Truth is, if yr not defined by work, there's so much to explore. Of course, I still do interviews and lectures (to be sure, mostly out of the US; Americans don't wanna hear anything I hafta say), and the occasional article. But I think I'm finished w/bks. I'm currently trying to get #14 published (collection of essays), but the rest of my time: playing classical guitar and tennis, brushing up my Italian, classes in yoga and pilates and drawing, working out at the gym, hanging out w/(Mexican) friends (gringos are boring and have all the wrong values). Not exactly the worst life one cd have, and I owe it all to retirement. Honestly, 'progress', getting 'ahead' (to where, fer chrissakes?), trying to be rich or famous--what a waste. John Ruskin: "There is no wealth but life." Americans, aka hustlers, have been on the wrong path for more than 400 yrs, until the logical outcome: they put the Supreme Hustler in the W.H. What a charade. When you think abt it, and set hustling aside, retirement *can* mean that the world is yr oyster. There is so much to read and see and visit and love...I'm a little annoyed that I can't turn the clock back 50 yrs and start over. One life just ain't enuf.

mb

4:21 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Greetings MB and Wafers,

Don Trumpi dons military-chic:

http://dailycaller.com/2017/03/02/president-trump-is-decked-out-in-a-bad-ass-military-outfit-today/

Is Ivanka the only thing standing in between Trumpi and the first thing that pops into his brain? Anyway, stats on American retirees are depressing. My old man certainly fell w/in said statistic: 2 yrs after retirement, sad to say. My mother usta joke that the poor guy had so much wrong w/him, that she finally just had to kill him...

Meanwhile, I think some folks over at commondreams may finally be removing their heads ein bisschen:

http://www.commondreams.org/views/2017/03/02/making-america-mediocre-again

Miles

7:45 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

Very gd article; common dreams usually publishes prog crap. But this essay says what has been happening for yrs now--decline. The guy is rt, we are going to see a lot more of same. My question is: why aren't we going to see a lot more of such articles? This--reality--is what we need to hear, on a daily basis; not prog crap abt revolt and resistance.

p.c. = prog crap; also, political correctness.

Meanwhile, I'm still a tad miffed that Trumpi didn't enlist me in the effort, as Minister of Advanced Demolition (MAD).

mb

8:03 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Wafers-

It's the fundamental kindness of the US that I find so inspiring:

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/mar/03/us-immigration-proposal-women-children-separation-border

8:18 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

Is Trump the man without Qualities? Interested to hear comments re this article. Some silly Russia-Putin bashing (only a sentence). Otherwise an interesting thesis? By the way, Dr Berman thought you might like to play Tippett's Blue Guitar since you play https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/robert-musil-predicted-rise-donald-trump/; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avU1nY2u30k

8:47 PM  
Blogger Mister Roboto said...

Another is the memory of seeing a headless chicken at butchering time run past my three-year-old brother, spraying blood all over him.

I laughed uproariously and uncontrollably at this. Living in the USA my whole life is probably starting to get to me.

9:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Roboto-

Almost all Americans are degraded, but eventually they become debased. Degradation can be reversed, but debasement is permanent. It's possible you have crossed the line.

Neil-

Musil link failed.

mb

9:22 PM  
Blogger NeilW said...

Make America Austria Again: How Robert Musil Predicted the Rise of Donald Trump
By David Auerbach (sorry for post, just to give title)

9:45 PM  
Anonymous Shauna said...

https://www.theguardian.com/voluntary-sector-network/2017/mar/02/without-libraries-and-librarians-we-are-less-human-and-more-profoundly-alone

11:05 AM  
Blogger Himanshu said...

Dear Dr. Berman:

The following column titled "Protest on the Titanic" seems to be in line with the "dual process" you have often discussed:

http://peakchoice.org/pdf/titanic-protest.pdf

Best Wishes,
Himanshu




11:36 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Himan-

Thanks. I never thought Kennedy was killed by Oswald alone--the Warren Commission Report is one transparent pile of kaka--but the author's assertion that he was the victim of a military coup d'état is no more than speculation. Cd have been Cuban emigres, or the Mafia; Jackie believed it was a group of Texas oilmen who wanted LBJ in the W.H. And then linking that event to Vietnam and subsequent world events is quite dubious; it reads like an Oliver Stone movie. Whether there can be a serious response to the collapse of capitalism in the US a la Dual Process, however, is a different matter. I personally don't have high hopes for this country, and think DP is more likely to succeed on other continents. Also check out the article on rich survivalists in a recent issue of the New Yorker (mentioned above).

mb

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Golf Pro said...

The progs summed up in one headline:

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2017/03/womens_march_on_portland_canno.html

12:33 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Golf-

Indeed. Progs are not only stupid; they are also, apparently, corrupt. Way to go progs!--hustlers like everyone else. O&D!

mb

12:57 PM  
Blogger Bill Hicks said...

Much as I hate Sessions and wish it were possible for him to drown in a pool of WAFer pee, it's been fascinating to watch our idiot political class savaging each other over who met with Russian ambassador--whose job it is to, uh, MEET WITH American officials. Now Trump is accusing Obama of having wiretapped Trump Tower right before the election, which if true is basically the same action that got Nixon flushed down history's toilet.

Meanwhile, celebritard douchebags like Oprah Winfrey and Mark Zuckerberg are now making noises about running for president themselves since fame--no matter how undeserved--has become the top qualifier for the job. One of those two or any of the others like George Clooney who are making noises about maybe running might be much more palatable to idiot liberals, but their ascension would confirm to the world that America has become a big joke. It's gotten to the point where most Americans seem to have no real concept just exactly what it is that the president does, otherwise they'd be terrified at the very thought of any of these people being in the Oval Office.

1:21 PM  
Anonymous G Popova said...

Great interview, professor.

A fast question, do you have any words on the climate in Bolivia @ the moment. I have a job opportunity to be there for three yrs, but with the current administration here in the States, the mess it seems Morales administration is turning in2, wasn't sure if Bolivia was by its proximity going the way of the US of A. My partner has expressed her nervousness.

~Bolivia’s Morales built a $7.1 million museum to himself. That’s not his biggest ego trip~
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/andres-oppenheimer/article131775234.html#storylink=cpy
http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/andres-oppenheimer/article131775234.html

All the best

Gary

1:31 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Gary-

Many thanks. I fear I dunno much abt Bolivia.

Bill-

My own preference wd be to put an actual turkey in the Oval Office. Not a metaphorical turkey, like Oprah or Obama, but a real live turkey, sitting at the desk. We wd need an oracle class to decipher the meaning of its squawks, however.

mb

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Scott said...

Did coffee give us the Enlightenment? http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2017/02/28/alcohol-caffeine-coffee-evolution-humans-column/98210372/

A very *stimulating* read

4:13 PM  
Blogger Juliet Cash said...

Dear MB and Wafers

On retirement I found this article- according to a recent study it improves your life's satisfaction and health. I don't think I have seen statistics about American men dying shortly after retirement.

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/the-secret-to-a-happier-healthier-life-just-retire-2015-07-27

However, how happy one is after retirement depends greatly in two things: how much money you can spend in all of those activities to explore and how happy you were with your life before retirement.

On telated news the Atlantic recently published an article that explained how the new status symbol in American life is signaling that you are busy. And that's mostly because the top company men work longer and harder than ever so the fellows climbing the corporate ladder see it as a desirable career trait- to portrait how busy we are.
There's a group of men in prime working age 21-30 who aren't working at all. These men live with dad and mom and seem to be happy playing video games and hanging out. But those are the losers - which is why is important to say you are working your ass off, wouldn't want to be associated with them.

Hypothetically, if due to lack of jobs there was such a thing as a basic income for all who will be happier the fellow who was displaced by automation after having worked his ass off or the dude who was content playing Nintendo all along?

Adapting to Diminishing expectations might have something to do with contentment.

JC

6:01 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Note to Union League-

Pls send messages to most recent post. No one reads the older stuff. Thank you.

mb

7:06 PM  
Blogger Frantisek Panuskova said...

MB,

A Turkey will win neither the popular nor the electoral college majority. Where is your realism, please? Way not photogenic enough!

"Incitatus for President", on the other hand, is a winner and will finally put questions surrounding the plausibility of Caligula's rumored plan to rest.

8:04 PM  
Anonymous Tom Servo said...

@Juliet Cash,

I agree that being busy has become a status symbol just like physical fitness has become a status symbol. Both are meant to differentiate the meritocratic professional from the lazy, undisciplined poor or working-class person. Jacobin had an interesting article on the phenomenon:

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2016/10/victorian-values-fitness-organic-wealth-parenthood/

That being said, I don’t see the issue of unemployment or poverty as one of men being lazy and choosing to play video games or watch Internet porn instead of working. Both men and women have faced a drop in employment in recent years, as Dean Baker points out:

http://cepr.net/blogs/beat-the-press/if-men-don-t-work-because-of-video-games-what-explains-women-not-working

Most people want to work but the politicians don’t support the kinds of policies that would get more people back to work, instead they support things like austerity. I have seen what long-term unemployment can do to people, even people who have some income support, and it is not pretty. Often people lose their social circle, their physical and mental health declines, etc. Work has a positive role to play in our lives it is just that American companies have become so anti-labor that working is an increasingly abusive, soul-destroying experience. It doesn’t have to be this way but Americans seem to reject any alternatives as “socialism” so here we are.

8:46 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Fran-

Awk!

mb

8:54 PM  
Anonymous troubadour said...


The more wealth inequity and technology the harder the environmental damage - satellites help scoop up the last fish and useless eaters after all. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and remember so many bugs on the windshield and tadpoles in every ditch.

Worn out - thank you for mentioning the toxicity of corp environments which are all environments these days - keeping us busy until order 66. In my experience Dilbert isn't hyperbole.

People who see what they want to believe at the expense of others are the deplorables. Ideologies are evil and corrupt institutions reward the emptiest people - filling them with corp state horse shit. D. Gregory says a lot that's hard to vet or believe such as an undisclosed planet getting closer to earth. Regardless Musk isn't subsidized for us.

The wafering albatross is like Jonathon Livingston Seagull in my projections trying to escape the tax fueled empire David C. Johnston describes. If the new P. elect really is illiterate then he's at the mercy of dark souls. Real power employs the E. Schmidts who Thomas Frank points out is everywhere - to help round up and cull the herd like IBM did?

11:55 PM  
Blogger Jason said...

Re:Portland Women's March Missing Money

-I live in Oregon and have to deal with progs like this daily. These are the same people who think that they're saving the environment by driving hybrid vehicles and fighting the evils of capitalism by shopping at Whole Foods. Not a very bright bunch, but if you point out their hypocrisy they immediately get enraged and call you a fascist, a bigot, transphobic, or whatever their word of the day is. I'm sure they'll end up blaming the Russians for stealing the missing money.

And the TSA has decided its "pat downs" aren't humiliating enough:
http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/tsa-to-begin-%E2%80%98more-intimate-contact%E2%80%99-when-physically-screening/ar-AAnN1mB?OCID=ansmsnnews11

11:59 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jason-

I sympathize w/yr having to live in the midst of turkeys. But let me try to show you why progs are actually a gd thing.

1. Anything that brings us closer to collapse is a gd thing, because collapse is (a) inevitable and (b) historically indicated at this time. So enuf dallying around, already.
2. Stupidity is an impt factor in the collapse process.
3. An inability to grasp reality, ditto.
4. Progs are stupid and have a very shaky grasp on reality.
5. Ergo, progs are a gd thing. Let us celebrate the progs!

mb

12:51 AM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Could Dems be even more brain dead? Who cares about Russian influence in the last election other than those inside the beltway? Hell, so Sessions recused himself. How many people outside Washington even know what recuse means? What a sad sorry issue to latch onto to. How about a serious critique of military spending? Can't do that-dems are as equally dependent on the defense industry. How about climate change? Can't do that. Dems also depend on the fossil fuel industry for campaign contributions. Hey, how about Wall Street abuse. Are you crazy? Some say Chuck Schumer stays in such good shape taking the stairs up to Wall Street suites. Anyway, I have a winning strategy for the Repubs. Just say, "Sure I met with the Russians. I told them to stop hacking our computers!"
Doctor, I equally love retirement. The best part for me is waking up naturally, not through an alarm clock. Great to exercise, read, and be alone or spend precious time with my 92 year old mom. Not having to do another meaningless lesson plan or be observed by an administrator (read:failed teacher) also brings incalculable joy.

8:22 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Dan-

I'm thinking we need to organize an anti-prog, Wafer demo, to counteract all of the pussy hat demos or whatever that have been going on since Jan. 20. We'll need to whip up a bunch of signs, of course; like: THERAPY FOR PROGS, or PROGS ARE DOUCHE BAGS. Wafers are encouraged to think up other biting slogans to put on our signs.

mb

9:22 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps: yoga mats vs. Bud Lite:

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-trump-rally-berkeley-20170304-story.html

11:31 AM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps2: morons run around w/signs and pussy hats. Here's what intelligent people do:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/04/canada-increases-resources-us-border-influx-asylum-seekers

They might also engage in Dual Process:

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2017/mar/05/biodynamic-farming-agriculture-organic-food-production-environment

12:25 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

ps3: Turkeys on parade:

https://www.theguardian.com/fashion/shortcuts/2017/mar/05/sweaters-to-suits-evolution-silicon-valley-ceo-style-evan-spiegel-snapchat

Fran-

Pls observe 24-hr rule, thank you.

mb

1:45 PM  
Blogger Juliet Cash said...

Tom Servo
I don't disagree with your opinion of how significant work is to people's health. However, you have to ask yourself how much of that mental health comes from feeling above another person in status or from the work itself. I would say that most people wouldn't work for free because the work they are doing isn't fulfilling. If everyone got paid the same basic amount of money - if everyone had the same needs covered- then would we choose the work we do for money of for how meaningful it is? Another of your contentions is that politicians aren't making legislation for creating more or better work? How does that work under capitalism? How much can a politician directly limit the hands of the efficiencies that automation has created by competition just to give Johnny his assembly line repetitious yet better paid factory job back? Since industrial civilization started how meaningful has work been for the majority of people? Most of it has been utter slavery softened up later by better working conditions. But the bulk of jobs themselves haven't gotten any more intellectually stimulating. Even God himself thought of work as a curse- Adam's curse. That has changed dramatically as Protestants created the Puritan work ethic and Calvinism which according to Max Weber were the morality underpinning the spirit of capitalism. The ruling class has always rationalized the chains they placed upon the working people. Is there such as thing as Happy Slaves?

JC

3:57 PM  
Blogger Marc L Bernstein said...


Here's an article about so-called progressives.

https://popularresistance.org/be-wary-of-the-democratic-wing-of-the-protest-movement/

"The self-labeled Progressive Movement that has arisen over the past decade is primarily one big propaganda campaign serving the political interests of the the Democratic Party’s richest one-percent who created it. The funders and owners of the Progressive Movement get richer and richer off Wall Street and the corporate system. But they happen to be Democrats, cultural and social liberals who can’t stomach Republican policies, and so after bruising electoral defeats a decade ago they decided to buy a movement, one just like the Republicans, a copy.

... But they are just as committed as the right to the overall corporate status quo, the maintenance of the American Empire, and the monopoly of the rich over the political process that serves their economic interests."

6:17 PM  
Blogger Jack Lattemann said...

Americans can be right front-yard neighborly as this report from one of Seattle's suburbs demonstrates:

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/fbi-aids-in-investigation-into-shooting-of-sikh-man-in-kent/

Meanwhile, Wafers everywhere are still awaiting that invitation from Ivanka to MB for a Friday evening comfort meal such as curried corn soup with ginger, short rib pot pie, and for dessert carrot cake with coconut topping. Sounds more appealing than kippers with Palin (remember her?) on an ice floe, and MB could slip in some banter about his dream job as Secretary of MAD and how he's able to transmute straw into gold...

https://ivankatrump.com/weekend-dinner-menu-recipes/

7:12 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Marc-

I wasn't aware that there was actually a prog protest 'movement'. As far as I can make out, it's just a lot of unorganized people w/an emotional opposition to Trump, spouting the very ideology that lost them the election. Turkeys, in short.

2nd, it's always abt money in the US, and in particular elite/wealthy control of the political process. The article got that rt. And that's why we are going nowhere; it's just plus ca change, and it will stay that way. Progs march in the street, and haven't a clue. Only very dumb people doubt the prediction that things will be significantly worse in 10 yrs.

mb

8:03 PM  
Blogger Miles Deli said...

Good evening MB and Wafers,

Wallace Shawn's latest play:

http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2017/03/02/cocktails-in-a-cruel-country-evening-at-the-talk-house/

A fascist government installs a "Program of Murdering" and friends deliver severe beatings on each other.

Jack-

Shouldn't the dash of ginger go in Ivanka's borscht? Wafer Heaven: Ivanka whipping up a batch of chopped liver?

Miles

8:51 PM  
Blogger Morris Berman said...

Jeff-

Sounds like what life in the US is moving toward. I'm surprised Francine didn't mention "The Fever"--one of Shawn's best, I think.

mb

9:29 PM  

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