Burlington, VERMONT Meetup August 17, Montreal QUEBEC Meetup August 18 (with Lambert)

The Burlington meetup will start fashionably late at Thursday, August 17 at 8:00PM (since that’s when my bus gets in).

The Montreal meetup will start earlier on Friday, August 18, at 6:00PM.

I hope readers will suggest venues for both Burlington and Montreal. The basic requirement is enough quiet for people to be able to talk!

I once was very familiar with Montreal, so but and I think somewhere downtown, certainly on the Metro, but not a student hangout (noisy) would be best.

The Naked Capitalism Summer Tour continues! Hope to see you there!

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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. Jonathan Holland Becnel




    1. Yves Smith

      I go to Alabama in November and December and could figure out how to go to New Orleans from there. Meetups in December in most big cities seem dodgy because every place is mobbed (business people book rooms and seem to do a lot of meet and greet then), but is that the case in New Orleans? December does not seem like a happening time for tourists or conventioneers, so are bars less crowded at that time of year compared to most places?

      1. John Zelnicker

        Yves – New Orleans has a big mob for New Year’s Eve since it’s warm, but November and December aren’t especially busy. Of course, the French Quarter is always full of people, but there are few places there for the type of meet-up you do (it’s a very noisy place). I’m sure that there are suitable places outside of the Quarter, but I have no idea what’s left or has come back after Katrina. It’s been 30+ years since I lived there.

        Please, please, please try to make a meet-up happen in New Orleans. It’s only a couple of hours from me and I will be there come hell or high water.

  2. MaxFinger

    Jonathan…I second a trip to New Orleans. We could start a fund to get Lambert here. I will try to make the Burlington one. Trying to get out of the southern heat.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I hope to see you in Burlington!

      (All these other suggestions are great, but the personal advantage for me in staying in the Northeast is that I can travel by bus, and it’s quick, cheap, and doesn’t interfere with posting. We are a pretty lean operation, you know!)

    2. Colonel Smithers

      Thank you, Jonathan and Max.

      I second a meet-up in New Orleans, a great excuse to visit the Creole cousins. A tres bientot, j’espere.

  3. JohnnyGL

    Please tell us there’s a Boston meet-up in the works?

    I really don’t want to have to drive 4 hours….but I might do it….

  4. MtnLife

    Will really try to make the Burlington one but that’s 3 hrs. Starting at 8pm means overnighting. Not sure how many NCers are up that way. It’s sort of a hotbed of blind worship to the Democratic Party. Any chance Albany is in the works? That’s only 1.5 hrs.

    1. lambert strether

      > a hotbed of blind worship to the Democratic Party

      Maybe we can straighten some of them out…

      1. Toske

        It’s definitely a progressive haven but hardly a place of blind Dem worship, luckily. VT is home to the nation’s most successful (at getting its people elected) third party, the Progressive Party, which not only gets lots of votes but also serves to drag VT Dem candidates leftward on policy.

        1. Annonny

          Live near Burlington VT for a year now. Definitely NOT a hotbed of blind support for Dems. Actually very interesting mix of rural poor, aging hippies, landed “gentry” living on land values and young innovative types (environment warriors/ IT people). Local organic food scene is amazing.

          70% voted Bernie in primary, no party affiliation in voter reg, so party affiliation not a barrier to voting in primary. Republican governor, dem state congress.

          Anyway, needed to defend new home.

    2. lambert strether

      The bus schedule down from Bangor and up to Burlington is what is is, unfortunately. I wish I could be earlier, but that would mean another night in a hotel, and we do need to keep things Spartan….

  5. Pavel

    Ha ha Lambert I am in MTL as I type but alas shall not be here on the 18th. I’d love to join one of your meet-ups… I’ll try to think of a place — how many do you expect?

    Sadly many of the bars and restos here (just as in the US) are dreadfully noisy… drives me insane. There is a restaurant with great food which insists on playing loud club music for some reason; it totally ruins the meal. I took my elderly parents there once and conversation was impossible. Why can’t there be places without ANY music? /grumble

    1. Pavel

      hi again Lambert on reflection if the weather is good and the number not too high you might try the Marché des Eclusiers at the start of the old canal in Vieux Port. It is a bar with various types of food offered, and has a great view of the canal and the locks and the old wheat factories. You can see photos here:


      There is a smallish second-floor terrace which might hold 20-30 people; you’d need to reserve the spaces but I suspect that is possible. Prices are a bit higher than some places but figure on CAD 9 or 10 for beer or wine.

      Much of Vieux Port is a tourist madhouse but the area around the locks is much more relaxed and peaceful.

    1. MtnLife

      I could definitely make any Brattleboro meetup. I think that’s closer to more of the NC commentariat than Burlington, at least from what I’ve gleaned in the comments. On the train line from NYC too.

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        C’mon, people. Brattleboro to Burlington is NOT a great distance. I drove from one to the other before breakfast. Try telling someone in Alberta or Nevada or Alaska how arduous a trip it is.

        1. MtnLife

          All other factors notwithstanding it isn’t. I’ve driven from Seward to above the arctic circle, that stretch north of Fairbanks is rough. I’m quite familiar with long drives, I just wasn’t working when I did that. When you work 70-80+ hrs (haven’t had time to even read NC most of this past week) a week of physical labor without having had a day off in a month that drive gets a little sketchy. If I had a white collar job where I sat on my ass all day it’d be no problem. But I don’t. Will still do my best to make it – might have to find me a driver.

    2. lambert strether

      I don’t think Brattleboro is that far?
      In any case, if I get as many as were in Portland, ME, I’ll be satisfied.

      1. thoughtful person

        Fwiw, in my case just in Brattleboro today for a business mtg. I live in Charlottesville, Virginia – but mom is in Portland ME, so will be keeping an eye out for there too.

      1. skippy

        The cold of not being in the radius of those I would seek to affiliate with…

        disheveled… alas its a life long experience…

    1. Yves Smith

      I would love to go to Oz but tickets are very pricey and you can no longer get seats on Qantas with frequent flier miles. It used to be that American Airline mileage users were preferred because AA paid Qantas hard dollars to honor AA mileage awards. No longer.

  6. EyeRound

    I’ll try to make it to Burlington, along with my partner. Not that familiar with the town, but I’ll ask some people in my neck of the woods where’s a good–not too noisy–place to meet, and if I find out anything I’ll post it here.

  7. Barbara Kurth

    I live at the top of Church St in Burlington Vt. I have an extra bedroom if anyone would like to use it for the meetup (including Yves). There are very few quiet places to meet unless it is the Unitarian Church which sponsors a lot of progressive, human rights, climate change type stuff.

    1. MaxFinger

      Barbara, if still available I would like to take you up on your accommodations.Would love to spend time with a fellow NC’er. I am traveling doing work on local food economies. cheers

      1. Barbara Kurth

        Yes, still available. Where is the meetup taking place? Give me some of your details like a phone number.

        1. MaxFinger

          We are traveling up tomorrow. Not sure how to contact each other, don’t think I can post an email address. Maybe meet for coffee or tea nearby? We can check on this comment thread. Cheers

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