2:00PM Water Cooler Independence Day 2019

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

Still-patient readers, this being a holiday, normally I would not post. However, I’ve been so remiss and sketchy this week I thought I would put something up. Talk amongst yourselves! –lambert

* * *

Trump, The World’s Greatest Troll™, has everyone all in a dither about tanks in Our Nation’s Capitol:

If the United States were a Third World country with a fractured and corrupt elite who have the habit of staging coups, what I would say is that Trump is sending a message to the intelligence community that he has the military on his side. (“The intelligence community. How many divisions have they got?”) And why wouldn’t they be on his side? He’s increased their budget (with, naturally, the assistance of #TheResistance) and despite saber-rattling, he actually has not gotten us embroiled in any new stupid wars worthy of the name — at least not as stupid as Iraq or Libya — not even in Venezuela. So from their perspective, what’s not to like?

Also, I’d like to thank the readership for an excellent discussion of popular music yesterday. Today, I’d like to ask readers who are familiar with different and especially more recent music to speak up, just in case voluble old codgers like me drowned them out. This is my go-to example:

When rap came in, I encountered it through NWA, and filed it mentally with the contemporaneous “gold chains” Jamaican dancehall music I detested, in contrast with the older, less digital and rootsier “red, green and gold” reggae that I enjoyed, so I rejected the genre. (Then circumstances intervened so that I didn’t listen to so much popular music in any case.) But when I rejected the genre, I missed Public Enemy, and I clearly missed a lot. For example, I know the name Trent Reznor, mentioned by alert reader Baby Gerald yesterday, but no more. So what else did I miss?

* * *

Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, (c) how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal, and (d) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (Bob):

Holy moley, what a ginormous morel! Bob writes: “There were at least 4 more of about the same size in that thicket of grass.” Quite a haul!

* * *

Readers: Water Cooler is a standalone entity not covered by the annual NC fundraiser. So do feel free to make a contribution today or any day. Here is why: Regular positive feedback both makes me feel good and lets me know I’m on the right track with coverage. When I get no donations for five or ten days I get worried. More tangibly, a constant trickle of small donations helps me with expenses, and I factor in that trickle when setting fundraising goals. So if you see something you especially appreciate, do feel free to click this donate button:




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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.

104 comments

  1. Samuel Conner

    Moon of Alabama speculates that the intrusion into Iranian airspace yesterday (on the 31st anniversary of US shootdown of Iranian civilian airliner, flt 655) of a manned reconnaissance aircraft was a provocation intended to result in a shootdown and commencement of hostilities that could be announced and justified in the context of the parade in DC. MoA seems to think that DJT himself may have authorized this. I hope that’s not right, though the implications of that not being right are also unsettling.

    My thought on reading that piece was “we are ruled and ‘protected’ by sociopaths”.

    Reply
    1. xformbykr

      Saw it, too. But haven’t seen anything on Twitter or elsewhere. At this point the report does seem believable. (Have not tried the MOA links)

      Reply
    2. lambert strether

      I do not have a model for what Trump might do (by intent, I believe). I am only saying what he has not done. I don’t think two years+ is sufficient time to show a pattern.

      Reply
  2. shinola

    “…and despite saber-rattling, [Trump] actually has not gotten us embroiled in any new stupid wars worthy of the name — at least not as stupid as Iraq or Libya — not even in Venezuela.”

    While the MSM, afflicted with Trump Derangement Syndrome, would have us think that Trump is the worst president ever, he comes nowhere close to the depredations of G. “Dubya”** Bush & his puppet master, that Dick Cheney (IMNSHO the worst prez/VP in my life time at least).

    **Gawd, I miss Molly Ivans

    Reply
    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Tucker Carlson’s interview of Trump in Japan had me thinking he was absolutely lucid and pretty reasonable:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRQW675j6dM

      I compare to the mental midgets, IDPols, Israel apologists, CIA stooges, Hilary clones, and failed short gay Indiana mayors the Dems are putting up an none of them (except Tulsi of course) comes close to the gravitas required.

      (For TDS true believers: I voted Dem in every election since 1968, except for Obama II and my 2016 abstention).

      Reply
      1. Pavel

        Haven’t listened to the Carlson interview yet (and may never) but thanks for the well-deserved rant, HAL!

        I compare to the mental midgets, IDPols, Israel apologists, CIA stooges, Hilary clones, and failed short gay Indiana mayors the Dems are putting up an none of them (except Tulsi of course) comes close to the gravitas required.

        And go #Tulsi2020… not perfect but who is?

        Reply
        1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

          The slow-mo assisted suicide of the Dems, even in the face of a clownishly easy-to-oppose president, is the stuff of Shakespearean or Greek tragedy.

          Ideologues seeking new levels of orthodox purity often ride a rocket ship straight downward as their ideology adds on more and more internal contradictions and impossibilities (Soviet communism comes to mind), but the pace of Dems adding to the different ways they are determined to lose has been surprising even to this cynical observer. You want your team to win, and watching the trainer tying the players’ shoelaces together and wrapping duct tape over their eyes is maddening.

          Reply
          1. VietnamVet

            On this July 4th, there is not a lot of independence from global oligarchs and their co-conspirators, the Five Eyes Intelligence Community, or the opposition nationalistic oligarchs. I was shaken out of my sleepwalking by Barrack Obama’s restart of the Cold War. Joe Biden was his First Hand flying off to Kiev to prod the West’s Ukrainian Coup to invade Donbass. Corporate Democrats are intent once again on forcing me to vote for the Green Party. An oligarch’s sole goal is to increase their wealth by taking it from everyone else. In the past, they always went too far and collapsed civilization. This time around, the denial and incompetence of the elite by not changing their ways is astonishing in the face of mankind’s looming extinction from nuclear war or climate change; if we live that long.

            Reply
      2. Hopelb

        Isn’t it fitting, and at the same exculpatory for Cailtlin, that Tucker is consistently posted on way of the bern , we aren’t asking, kosacks for Bernie? Remember when Counterpunch dismissed her because she endorsed the idea of a far left/ right coalition? (Paul Street still remains oddly enthralled with the Russiagate bullshit.) in light of the fact that the nefarious DNC machine is at this very moment throwing out ballots in order that their preferred candidate, Katz, overturns the progressive, I think we Bernese need to join forces with the MAgas and show up in front of our congresssional offices and at local news stations ( they are lazy. They’ll cover it especially if we have artistic signage and some local music bands chiming in) demanding Lambert’s paper ballots publicly counted. Do you know they are testing online voting in Iowa? Such an obvious and mendacious theft of the vote!

        Reply
      1. rowlf

        Pierce has been hard to read after he went “Raymond Shaw (HRC) is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I’ve ever known in my life.” before the stolen coronation.

        Reply
    2. wilroncanada

      But economic attacks on Russia, North Korea, Iran, the EU, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Guatamala, Nicaragua, etc. are war, at least according to the UN (the ICJ?). They are war, unless approved by the UN, also mostly a US lapdog, but the US doesn’t even bother anymore to get some “coalition of the (suckers) willing.

      Reply
    3. lyman alpha blob

      Thank you for the W reminder. Amazing to me that in these days of Trump Derangement Syndrome, this warmongering douchebag is being passed off as some kind of gentle statesman, getting hugs from Michelle Obama and Ellen Degeneres.

      Here’s a musical reminder of exactly what he is – the Idiot Son of an A**hole

      Reply
    1. ForFawkesSakes

      Oh, wow. I had the pleasure of seeing Parliament/ Funkadelic live in the late 90’s. I ended up assisting the bassist earlier in the day and he revealed himself to me and offered me backstage passes. I remember being stoned out of my gourd, and perching on top of a speaker when this song started. I became lost in the music and I’m not entirely sure I found my way back.

      It was one of the experiences in my life that will always be remembered. Thank you for sharing this version.

      Reply
  3. Amfortas the hippie

    If yer eyes ain’t bloodshot, you’re not doing brisket/ribs/half-chickens right.

    Cook it with smoke—-lots and lots of smoke.

    happy fourth y’all.

    what’s jammin in the trees at the hippie ranch:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=agXsKxMrTTs
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26UASuev6mI
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqOaQgD_2KA

    and because it’s a political day, in it’s bones:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ad4MH7fMLs
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hjPZpaXNs
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VjMoRb5f-EQ
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhTh01CO60Y

    have fun, but Rule #1, and all….
    shanti

    Reply
  4. Hepativore

    I cannot recommend a band called The Monochrome Set enough, particularly their first three albums.

    The Monochrome Set are a 1980s New Wave UK band. If I could compare them to anything, they are sort of like the Smiths meets 1960’s surf rock crossed with vaguely Latin American instrumental undertones. They are very good at putting together biting sarcasm and dry humor. Sadly, they never got the respect that they deserved and were largely overlooked.

    Their most well-known song, Jet Set Junta is an anthem for the current chaos in Brazil and Venezuela at the moment as it is a parody of all of the military dictatorships that ran the region during the 1970’s and 1980’s.

    Reply
    1. Phacops

      I find it harder to keep up with the music scene, though I think tastes tend to become fossilized . . . some of my friends are stuck in the 70s.

      But, the last band out of the UK that I heard and liked was Los Campesinos. From Wales, I think.

      Reply
      1. Hepativore

        Oh, here is another band that is great. They are called The Dandelion, and they have an LSD-soaked late-1960’s hippie vibe. They are from Australia. They just released a new album in May. Here are all three of their albums so far…

        Strange Case of the Dandelion

        https://invidio.us/watch?v=kBv-2gGRBnc&hl=en-US&local=true&autoplay=0&subtitles=%2C%2C

        Seeds, Flowers, and Magical Powers of the Dandelion

        https://invidio.us/watch?v=Sjjj7qp635A&hl=en-US&local=true&autoplay=0&subtitles=%2C%2C

        Old Habits, New Ways of the Dandelion

        https://invidio.us/watch?v=lnuRNXekOB4&hl=en-US&local=true&autoplay=0&subtitles=%2C%2C

        Then there is MGMT’s second album, Congratulations.

        https://invidio.us/watch?v=e1mMGhgyKsk&hl=en-US&local=true&autoplay=0&subtitles=%2C%2C

        Psychedelia is probably one of my favorite genres of music, both new and classic.

        Reply
        1. Lemmy Caution

          For late-60’s, blacklight poster, hippie vibe from a current band, check out Brian Jonestown Massacre. Anemone is a pretty trippy song to start with.

          Reply
          1. Hepativore

            There is also the Growlers, which are a strange mixture of goth rock and retro surf rock. Then there is Allah Las which sound like they came from the late-1950s surf rock scene. Both are modern California bands.

            Reply
  5. Hana M

    Bob’s morel is awesome but do they taste as good when they are that big or is it a bit dull like a ginormous zucchini? One of the many things I miss about Wisconsin is fresh-gathered morels in the spring. One dinner that I made and remember in particular included little new spring morels sauteed in butter and white wine and served over baby lamb chops. Funny how food memories last the longest. That one is about forty years old and I can still taste every ingredient.

    Reply
    1. Hepativore

      Around here in central Minnesota, we get a lot of shaggy mane mushrooms, and they are delicious with eggs in an omelet.

      We also see a lot of chicken fat mushrooms, which are also quite good.

      Reply
  6. Ekatarina Velika

    Re music:
    I’m a big fan of Dubioza Kolektiv, a Bosnian ska-punk-hip hop-reaggae etc. band that provides politically charged lyrics with a lot or humour, usually aimed at the listener rather than “the others.
    For example U.S.A.:
    https://youtube.com/watch?v=0a5BJxrarL0 (a song about immigration to the US from the point of view of an immigrant)
    No Escape from Balkan:
    https://youtube.com/watch?v=jtgA0jvhp2A (no matter where you live, you cannot escape your roots – with a Balkan twist…)
    Free.mp3 (the Pirate Bay song):
    https://youtube.com/watch?v=IOqxarVWKRs

    Reply
    1. Mark Gisleson

      Finally a response I feel comfortable adding to! I listen to everything and have a good sized Balkan folder (thanks to my including most of Eastern Europe and half the Middle East).

      If you like genuinely creepy music, Iren Lovasz’s Pava is short and interesting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gm9CkBUdImM

      And if you’re OK with that, maybe some Iva Bittova: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEZg3TX1k_g

      And for something completely different, Yoshikazu Meru: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMT1RKXz2BE

      Reply
        1. Mark Gisleson

          Reading this on Friday and after checking them out, I’m sure I’ll be visiting ruTracker (an excellent but maybe not legal source for bands with names originally spelled in Cyrillic).

          Thanks again for the new names!

          Reply
        2. Mark Gisleson

          Some days I can be very slow on the uptake. Please email me at mark.gisleson@gmail.com and let me know how much I owe you for your discography (which I just borrowed a copy of from ruTracker!) I like your music and based on that one cut suspect I’ll keep you in the same folder I where I store all my TequillaJazz, Goribor and Zvuki Mu.

          Reply
  7. meeps

    I also enjoyed the repertoire shared yesterday by the readership (hat tip, everyone).

    Getting up to speed re Chuck D; his new band is Prophets of Rage, a supergroup comprised of Rage Against The Machine (minus Zack de la rocha), Public Enemy, and Cypress Hill. Still doing powerfully relevant stuff like Unfuck The World:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ad4MH7fMLs

    In a different style, I’d maybe call it trip hop, there’s Phantogram: Run, Run, Blood

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfs2I5_HdZM

    For hardcore fans of death metal, my son recommends Cattle Decapitation, Pacific Grim:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZpMKK-LpRk

    This is an amazing blog, people. Regards…

    Reply
      1. Richard

        Thanks HAL! Have you heard eddie and les mccann do
        Compared To What
        If you feel like screaming about things in a beautiful way
        this is your song

        Reply
        1. meeps

          Sock it to me! Thanks, OpenThePodBayDoorsHal and Richard. Before my time ;) but that’s some smokin’ good jazz. Stands the test of time.

          Reply
            1. BhamDan

              Check out Radical Eyes, Living on the 110 & Strength in Numbers from the same album. Powerful stuff!

              Reply
      1. meeps

        That has good reggae feels. Your Gale Potter from last night was a new one for me, thanks. I think Cat Power is somewhat from that tradition. I saw her live a short time ago and her rendition of What The World Needs Now made me cry mascara all over my husband’s shirt.

        Reply
      2. Hopelb

        My husband and I were just talking about and wondering what happened to Morcheeba. I think they opened for David Byrne at this odd venue in Pittsburgh,pa, in what is called the strip district, way back when. They were amazing as was Byrne and his two violinists.

        Reply
  8. Prodigalson

    Pretty hate machine was reznors only good album. Everything else is just random industrial noises.

    Side topic, johnny cash did a cover of one of reznors few later songs that was still music and owned it.

    Youtube Cash’s cover of “hurt”.

    Reply
    1. Deschain

      Oh man I could not disagree with this more. He continues to make great music right up through today.

      Reply
      1. Potted Frog

        Reminds me of the guy yesterday who used Johnny Rotten to dis Patti Smith.

        Certainly taste and expectations plays a part. I like the sketchiness Ghosts I-IV but others dislike it for the same reason.

        Reply
    2. Grebo

      Trent Reznor, for those like Lambert who don’t know, is the genius behind Nine Inch Nails. “Industrial” is the usual pigeonhole. Not immediately rewarding for most people perhaps, but persistence pays off.

      Reply
  9. BoulderMike

    Not exactly current, but much more recent than the music from my youth (50’s, 60’s and 70’s). This is a very topical song for today for sure. I encourage everyone to check out the lyrics. And, having been an employee of the infamous Enron, it holds a “special” place in my heart.

    Guy Forsyth: Long Long Time

    Also, a bonus track, also not current, but not ancient:

    Iris DeMent: Wasteland of the Free
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYqDpL0YCvI

    Happy 4th, and I agree with Lambert: Don’t believe the Hype!

    Reply
  10. Wukchumni

    Wowser, went for a walk to the Eagle sinkhole in Mineral King (more water than i’ve ever seen draining out of it) when I felt the 6.4 Ridgecrest temblor early on in my sojourn-just gradual shaking being so far away from the epicenter, and of course I had no idea where it had emanated from. This is only the second time i’ve ever felt one in the High Sierra.

    Not that far away from one of the larger earthquake in California history as far as Americans being here, the 1872 Lone Pine quake which was felt from San Diego to Redding & similar in size to the 1906 SF quake.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1872_Lone_Pine_earthquake

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      There’s a cluster of aftershocks going on too. The gas readings for the Yellowstone caldera show a large magma intrusion ongoing.
      Interesting times.
      Can’t wait to see the Rapture Index for tomorrow.

      Reply
  11. voteforno6

    I happen to like N.W.A., but they’re not everyone’s cup of tea. If you’re interested in exploring hip hop, A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul were somewhat contemporaneous with Public Enemy. Also, the Roots are really good – right now they’re Jimmy Fallon’s house band, but they’ve put out some excellent albums, and they’re one of the best live bands that I’ve seen.

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      I really like the feel I get that by becoming the ‘House Band’ for a Fallon Enterprise, they have somehow sold out. Seriously good irony there.

      Reply
    2. Pat Morrison

      I grew up on, e.g. Beatles, Clash, Talking Heads, and their contemporaries… but ‘The Low End Theory’ (1991) from ‘A Tribe Called Quest’ is one of my most-played records of the last five years. Highly recommended.

      Reply
  12. bassmule

    Freakwater: Cheap Watch

    Wound up tighter than a cheap watch
    Wind it up, and watch how the time flies
    Little white teeth wound around what sounds like more cheap lies
    Little black clouds suck us up into the sky.

    Wound up where the Christmas lights stay up all year
    And it takes the barman half an hour just to get me another beer
    Was it just for kicks, or was it in and out of fear?
    One step closer, two-step posers got a Little King’s leer.

    One foot on the gas, two feet from Tennessee
    The little hand on the twelve gauge, and the big hand swingin’ free
    Well I made you look, but I could not make you see
    Look down at your shoes ’cause the tie that bind’s been untied by me.

    Rebel rouser, and the E string is my last nerve
    Ringing out, like a stabbing pain
    It’s the last call, but I’m callin’ for something they don’t serve
    Like a double shot of a ball and chain.

    Spoonful of absence makes my heart grow fonder
    Spoonful of absinthe makes my mind to wander
    Spoonful of sugar down at the candy store
    I got a string around your sweet tooth, baby
    And I’m getting up to slam the door

    Wound up tighter than a cheap watch
    Wind it up and watch how the time flies
    Little white teeth wound around what sounds like more cheap lies
    Little black clouds suck us up into the skies
    Little black clouds suck us up into the skies

    Reply
  13. voteforno6

    As far as the military parade in D.C. goes, I’m guessing that the people who like it the least are the members of the military dragooned into participating. They’ve got families, too, and they certainly enjoy celebrating holidays with them.

    Reply
  14. Hamford

    Perfect for 4th of July: El-P (currently with Killer Mike and Run the Jewelz) wrote this in 1999. “Patriotism”: A potent, sardonic criticism of U.S. Policy.

    A lyrics sample:

    A proletariat crushing State of the Union
    between serpentine words and mass confusion
    of media controlled blurb advertising disillusionment
    Your family will love my low-rent, low-life
    no-brain, reality-dagger, MOVEMENT
    Hop over the border for amusement; try to test the waters
    that the other slaughter crews pay all they dues in
    You up against — Jesus Freak, formin corporations in Young Republicans
    Indelible NATO force hidden agenda, puppet governments
    I’m lovin it! Keep the people guessin who I’m runnin with
    Control the population and hide behind sacred covenants
    F! with me?!?! Means liberal wildlife burnin, gasoline seized
    and an automagnetic third world printed with metal plates in they knees
    Can’t you hear the disenchanted, hide the scream of
    Gabriel’s reflected new wind instrument, a judgment played in flat C
    I replace humans like robots in a GM factory (warning! warning!)
    Then export metaphors to sweat shops, cause the price is satisfactory
    Your pious little cries of injustice get met with apathy.

    And the audio:
    https://youtube.com/watch?v=k47VVqMiUTg

    Reply
    1. Stormcrow

      A Marine Writes About Patrotism

      I found so much that was incorrect and immoral in the military in the coming years: misaligned priorities, a lack of basic readiness, exercises reduced to Hollywood-level propaganda, the astronomical waste of taxpayer dollars with a constant desire for more, political correctness, the calculated deceit and open lies of our senior officers, and so much more that could be detailed at length. But to focus the conversation within the boundaries of patriotism and Independence Day, the thing that bothered me the most, and what turned me into a dissident, was how everything that was immoral and wrong was being done in the name of the flag, in the name of allegiance to the ideals of America.

      https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/we-need-a-new-patriotism-one-that-embraces-dissent/?fbclid=IwAR2n-3d5_eVipJVaimbZ0Px0QWxZwpQ-ccLZVww9qLlOmN06L2CsnvWnSM8

      Reply
      1. anonymous

        Thanks stormcrow. It’s certainly worth a read. But it’s exhausting. Been reading these articles for a generation now Remember tomsdispatch?

        In NYC 2011, 10 years after 9/11, I worked with a young kid who, just like AOC, was Puerto Rican and from the Bronx. He was her age at that time too, 23. He had tattooed on the back of his right hand NEVER FORGET and on his left hand NEVER FORGIVE. He got them when he was 16 to show how he felt about 9/11 and his country. (The tattoos were in that NY TIMES type face.) the daily propaganda at that time was relentless and overwhelming, even for adults. To me, it’s a hopeful sign that AOC doesn’t need a history lesson to recognize a concentration camp when she sees one.

        The Marine Captain ends his piece in The American Conservative quoting Russian dissident Aleksander Solzenitsyn on patriotism. I remember back in the 70s (and into the 80s) when William Buckley jr,
        the dean of the blob , coulnt let a week go by without mentioning how Russians suffered in Soviet Gulags. Who would dare predict Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, Extrodinary renditions, and our horrific immigrant detention camps (separating small children from their parents?) back then? Or, attacks On Press freedoms? Whislteblowers? Stasi-like surveillance? (By private companies no less))?) The phone company at the time was in a huge anti-trust case that went on for years. There were no taxes on your phone bill back then; Reagan started that.

        One thing I keep thinking about on the 4th of july (and veterans and memorial day) is an article I read a couple of years ago in the Army Times. It said there were over 5,000 soldiers at Ft Bragg on anti-drepressants. And it estimated over 300,000 throughout that service branch.These are young soldiers who haven’t gone anywhere yet — theyre not even out of training and they’re on medication. (What about side-effects? How long will they be on them? What happens when they try to come off these powerful drugs? Do their parents know? Are they depressed because there are no job opportunities other than enlisting? College? (And, are these medications being pushed on kids because it’s on the tax-payers dime? If they weren’t in the Army would that even consider medication? Would they have healthcare to pay for it) I also wonder where they get their news from and how old they were at 9/11. Patriotism?
        These kids should be skate boarding. Working on GND.

        Reply
  15. ioga

    as an “indie rock” music nerd here are some more recent standouts that i’ve dug:

    1. (wonderful singer song writer) cass mccombs with one of the best ‘political’ pop songs i’ve heard in while.

    https://youtu.be/1R4TEsqkwO8

    2. amen dunes’ ‘freedom’-lovely from start to finish

    https://youtu.be/D8MrafypXsw

    3. sandro perri (a 22 minute song worth every minute!)

    https://youtu.be/iREC2GrXA6w

    4. khruangbin with their elegant 70’s psychedelic soul jams (a nice live show)-great background/hosting music

    https://youtu.be/q4xKvHANqjk

    -best!

    Reply
  16. anonymous

    I love Chuck D! He has a great voice! He’s the Frank Sinatra of hip hop.

    Chuck D should be a moderator at the Democratic debates!

    Reply
  17. Rojo

    This is a long shot:

    I’ve been searching for an anti-war song by one of those late 70’s/early 80’s bands that kind of stretched from Prog Rock to New Wave. i.e.like Roxy Music.

    All I remember is the line “the war is over” and that title had something about birds.

    I want to say Ultravox — but I can’t find anything in their catalog.

    Reply
    1. Rojo

      I found it. Maybe just getting the question out of my head helped my focus.

      Be Bop Deluxe, Jets at Dawn.

      Gorgeous Song

      Reply
  18. Chris

    It’s almost too easy to keep picking on MSNBC, Slate, the Atlantic, the NYT, and WaPo. They have an editorial line and they hold to it like a drunk loves their bottle. But not to be out done, Fox News is here to tell the American people that there is no such thing as Forever War.

    So, for those keeping score, we have the following working defitions across the political spectrum in the media over the last several weeks based on articles shared in comments and in the various links articles:

    The opposite of interventionism is not peace, it’s isolationism.

    We are not involved in any war in Yemen, Syria, or other countries because supplying weapons and making airstrikes on foreign countries is not war.

    Not jumping into regime change actions is a sign of weakness and will not make us safer.

    The best way to honor our soldiers is to send them into war zones repeatedly and not fund their health care or educational opportunities when they come home (if they come home).

    If you really love people in the middle east, you should continue to support bombing them at every opportunity.

    Happy 4th of July!

    Reply
  19. Plenue

    Trent Reznor also did the soundtrack to the original Quake game. For free, apparently; he liked Doom so much he gave the makers an hour of music just to be nice. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mv5Jvr2Fp48

    He also did some of the early sound design on Doom 3, but his work was replaced by the time the game was released.

    Reply
  20. NotTimothyGeithner

    Ah, is this supposed to be one of those threads where we confess to how many times I’ve seen DMB?

    Reply
  21. lyman alpha blob

    For my money Public Enemy is the greatest hip hop act to date. Here’s my favorite from them, a song that taught this rural white kid quite a bit, regarding the controversy surrounding making MLK’s birthday a national holiday – By the Time I get to Arizona

    Another somewhat more recent tune about letting New Orleans drown – Hell No We Ain’t Alright

    And if you like political hiphop, he’s another one I like from a lesser known artist Immortal Technique – Freedom of Speech

    And while i was looking those up, I ran across this one I’d never heard before with Immortal Technique, Bernie’s advocate Killer Mike, Chuck D (and some other dude) not mincing any words – Civil War.

    Reply
  22. lb

    I’m late for a water cooler playlist, but picking this music drowned out the explosions outdoors and it’s rich and diverse. From lyrics overtly about modern America to abstract instrumentals, across various genres and moods, here are songs from several talented bands (most songs are from the past 5-10 years):

    CunninLynguists — GONE
    Logic – America
    Deltron 3030 – Virus
    Prince Rama – Shitopia
    Hooverphonic – Horrible Person
    Diablo Swing Orchestra – Black Box Messiah
    Diablo Swing Orchestra – Mass Rapture
    Ladytron – The Animals
    Ladytron – Paper Highways
    The Killers – Read my Mind
    Royksopp – Keyboard Milk
    Chromatics – Into the Black

    Enjoy.

    Reply
  23. ChiGal in Carolina

    also late but for what it’s worth, these are Jeffrey St Clair’s picks for what he calls Trump’s “Fourth of Me”.

    + If I were programing the music for the Fourth of Me:

    Star Spangled Banner – Jimi Hendrix
    God Bless Amerika – Lil Wayne
    Crazy Horse – John Trudell
    This Land is Your Land – Pete and Arlo
    Fortunate Son – CCR
    My Country – Nas
    I’m So Bored with the USA – The Clash
    Heartland – Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan
    Fuck America – Choking Victim
    Uncle Sam Goddam – Brother Ali
    Empire of the Senseless – The Mekons
    Stars & Stripes of Corruption – Dead Kennedys
    If White America Told the Truth for 1 Day It’s World Would Fall Apart – Manic St. Preachers
    Fight the Power – Public Enemy

    and wow, he really is skeptical of Tulsi

    https://www.counterpunch.org/2019/07/05/roaming-charges-when-the-band-plays-hail-to-the-chief-they-point-the-tank-at-you-lord/

    Reply

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