2:00PM Water Cooler Labor Day 2015

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Since this is Labor Day, I’ll just drop this here:

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Readers, feel free to contact me with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, and (c) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant (Alex):

ecobean garden 026

Alex says this is an “ecobean garden”; he didn’t say why the “BEACH” sign, but I wish I were on one. Anyhow, I’m using this image because putting plants in pots is more self-evidently laborious than many other forms of horticulture (especially since I’m too lazy to weed).

If you enjoy Water Cooler, please consider tipping and click the hat. This is turning into a tough month, and I need to keep my server up!


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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Michael Hudson

    I grew up with different words:
    this is not my land
    This is not your land
    From the Wall street offices
    To the Hollywood star land, etc.

    We used to sing these at parties where Stalinists would sing their words — and usually got thrown out.

    1. Gerard Pierce

      I also remember a different set of revised words:

      This land is my land,
      it’s only my land.
      I’ve got a shotgun,
      and you ain’t got one.
      This land was made for only me.

    2. craazyman

      well. one thing is for sure.

      that is one beautiful song. partly because it’s only true in that part of the imagination that sometimes gets so far out in front of reality that you think it isn’t there

      some of those lyrics, I mean “wow”. Just holy wow that somebody thought of them and wrote them ,down as objects of such apparent simplicity. Though as we all know. they are very far from simple.

      whatever, one way or the other — Woody Guthrie was a genius the likes of which the world rarely sees,

      I once saw some dancing hall sketches he did. They could have been Van Gogh drawings. That’s how good they were. He saw right through to the most essential energetic structures of the phenomenon and portrayed it with a harmony of revelatory lines and shapes that were at the level of a master. Having flailed away a bit myself at drawing from a model, I could only look at them and marvel. That’s news that stays news. That’s news that you never, ever forget. I can bring them to mind any time and look at them in my memory and they’re just like “Holy Fukking Shit”. Just like the lyrics to that song. It’s a bright mind light that shines and lets you know who you are, even if you don’t think of it like that. That’s it.

      1. Optimader

        Arlo makes more sense then his dad who i recall concluding was probably pretty much a self centered prck that wasnt dependible to his family, after watching some documentary a few year back.

        …This land is not my land, this land is the various taxing authorities, they let me live here as long as I payup…
        Yes i know it doesnt rhyme, still working on it

  2. Daryl

    > Clinton Says No Email Apology: ‘What I Did Was Allowed’

    Allowed by what? Certainly not common sense.

    1. Jim Haygood

      “Hillary Clinton to Show More Humor and Heart, Aides Say,” improbably claims the latest NYT headline.

      This ought to go over at least as well as Newt Gingrich’s charm offensive in 1995, which exhibited the warm, personable side of his character.

      In other news, the fox community has launched a ‘protecting America’s chicken houses’ initiative.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        Just warms the cockles, I can see the headlines: “Laughing Grandma Fascist Gives Bootlicker Staff an Extra Day Off so She Can Bake Cookies”

  3. alex morfesis

    eco bean garden is from ecobean cafe/tea house in tarpon springs…

    when I have had it with humanity and think about selling everything and moving to the monastery at the top of Ithaki Island and become a monk, I meander on over to “the bean” for some spiritual refreshment and get back on the horse called life…

    tarpon springs…where you are always just ten minutes from one of two beaches…and an ankle full of bites from noseeums…

    1. frosty zoom

      i once drove 17.6 hours to get some greek food in tarpon springs. that place is one of the reasons god invented america.

      sponge on!

  4. Ulysses

    I know that I’m preaching to the choir here, but we are never going to improve things for ordinary people at home or abroad without confronting militarism:

    “The war industry, feeding off the carcass of the state, grows fat and powerful with profits. This is not unique. It is how all empires are hollowed out from the inside. As we are impoverished and stripped of our rights, the tools used to maintain control on the outer reaches of empire—drones, militarized police, indiscriminate violence, a loss of civil liberties, and security and surveillance—are used on us. We have devolved, because of the poison of empire, into a Third World nation with nukes. We are ruled by an omnipotent, corporate oligarchy and their Pretorian Guard. The political class, Republican and Democrat, dances to the tune played by these oligarchs and militarists and mouths the words they want it to say.”


  5. spooz

    Interesting set of charts for labor day from Zerohedge, comparing the proportion of jobs created since the financial crisis that went to foreign born vs native born workers.

    But the punchline: since December 2007, according to the Household Survey, only 790,000 native born American jobs have been added. Contrast that with the 2.1 million foreign-born Americans who have found a job over the same time period…

    Zerohedge speculates that it will add fuel to the Republican’s focus on the topic of immigration in the 2016 presidential elections.


  6. alex morfesis

    what would joe hill think…would he be crying about opportunities lost or laughing at the last days of the 1 percenters and their flexian corporate carabinieri…

    the few who have even heard of joe hill today probably don’t know of his involvement with the magonista takeover of baja california (for maybe 6 months…or never, since maybe no one noticed at first)…1911 was such a long time ago…

    I think he would be laughing…hot water, no more stinky horse manure to get from point a to point b…running water…not a bad life if you want to make something of it…

    yes he would laugh at how the other side is in a panic…

    let the merry breezes blow…

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