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    • The Class War the Rich Won And the End Of NeoLiberal Capitalism
      Many years ago now, I wrote a post called “There Was a Class War And %he Rich Won.” Ironically, post the financial meltdown of 07/8, and thanks to Bush, Obama, Bernanke and Geithner both bailing them out and immunizing them from their crimes, that victory has accelerated. This chart, from Harvard, tells the story of […]
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This one is for Avedon Carol: 600 year old bras

Medieval bespoke soft linen twist front, no padding, size 32 B.

{{smirk}}

From HistoryExtra, which I think is the blog for the BBC History Magazine podcast (highly recommended), comes evidence that bras were originally medieval torture devices:

Lengberg Castle, first documented in 1190, was rebuilt into a representative palais in the 15th century by adding a second floor. During extensive reconstruction in July 2008, a vault filled with waste was found beneath the floorboards of a room on the second storey of the castle, where it was dumped during the 15th-century reconstruction.

Due to dry conditions in the vault the organic waste, mainly consisting of worked wood, leather (shoes) and textiles had been extremely well preserved, and four of the linen fragments resemble modern bras. The criterion is the presence of distinct cut cups – in contrast to antique Greek or Roman breast bands, simple strips of cloth or leather wound around the breasts and designed to flatten rather than enhance.

There are some written medieval sources on possible female breast support, but they are rather vague on the topic. Henri de Mondeville, surgeon to Philip the Fair of France and his successor Louis X, wrote in his Cyrurgia in 1312–20: “Some women… insert two bags in their dresses, adjusted to the breasts, fitting tight, and they put them [the breasts] into them [the bags] every morning and fasten them when possible with a matching band.”

These ‘bags’ served the same purpose as antique breast bands – that is to contain too large breasts. However, the “shirts with bags in which they put their breasts” that Konrad Stolle complained about in his chronicle of Thuringia and Erfurt in 1480 seem to have obtained the opposite effect, as he concludes his description with the words “all indecent”.

Forget the indecency of the “shirts with bags” attached, check out the matching string bikini panties.

What I want to know is did Maid Marian stuff her stretch lace underwires? It looks like they also made halter styles 600 years ago too. A little variety of discomfort for the ladies. Did they also have racerbacks and push-ups?  And now that Hillary has decided to go without makeup, will she dare to wear only a camisole under those pantsuits, setting another precedent for the rest of us? I only ask.

Anyway, I immediately thought of Avedon when I saw it.

Hope I scooped her on this one.  😉

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Bank Wankers bear down on Ireland

A half dozen years ago, Ireland was the Celtic Tiger.  Remember the infamous Irish Sandwich? Corporations loved to do business in Ireland because the country had a ridiculously low corporate tax rate.  You know, that thing the “jahb creators” are always screaming about?  If we only let them pay next to nothing in taxes there would be jobs for everyone and we would all be rich beyond our wildest dreams, more prosperous than our father’s father’s father and able to support ourselves fully without any assistance from the government.

Compared to America, with its harsh and punitive corporate tax rate {{rolling eyes}}, Ireland must be heaven.  The rivers flow with milk and Jamisons, the economy flowers and ripens with boundless enthusiasm for the free market and children are all above average and women are handsome and it is bliss and, uh, what?

The International Monetary Fund has ordered the Irish government to slash dole payments, cut child benefit, and take the automatic right to a medical card away from old age pensioners.

The IMF also wants the government to introduce a hard hitting property tax as it seeks a return on its investment in Ireland.

The proposals have come from the IMF in a hard hitting directive ahead of the government’s December budget.

The IMF is currently bank rolling Ireland’s economic bail-out along with the European Union and their latest orders have been met with harsh criticism from opposition groups and trade unions.

IMF bosses, in Dublin for their regular review of the Irish economy, ordered the Government to cut high social welfare benefits to encourage people back to work.

They warned: “Dole payments are high by international standards and responsible for low exit rates from the Live Register.

“With the Irish economy to grow by just 0.5pc this year, certain welfare payments should be means-tested to avoid long-term unemployment.”

If you have any doubts about where the money men are headed here in America, look no further than the IMF asking old aged pensioners in Ireland to give up their Medicare.  It’s the IMF’s modern update of A Modest Proposal where if the old are going to die anyway, it would be decent of them to do it quickly.

I love the IMF.  It’s so full of optimism.  Like, an unemployed person in Ireland is just collecting money because the government is generous and if only the government would turn off the spigot, people would go back to work. I’m not sure how that’s supposed to work when there aren’t any jobs.  I suppose they will just have to figure something out or starve.

Oh, wait, they did that back in the 1840’s.  And how did that turn out?

You know, given Ireland’s history of mistreatment from the ruling class and its negligence of the people’s incalculable suffering, you’ve got to wonder why it is that the Irish don’t grow a spine and tell the IMF to take a hike.  Depressing Ireland’s economy is likely to make the situation worse. It’s not doing the country any favors.

So, to recap: banks make a lot of stupid bets, corporations get everything they wanted, ordinary people were encouraged to invest everything they had in a party they were assured would never end and a bunch wankers in London fixed interest rates that affected loans, pensions, municipalities and mortgages all around the world.  THEN when the bankers blew it all up, they got to the front of the line to get a gigantic handout from the rest of us.  This gift was bigger than the world had ever seen.  It pretty much wiped us all out.

Now, those same idiots would like for all of us who have lost our jobs, houses, pensions and everything else to stop whining, go get some non-existent job or starve (it doesn’t really matter which as long as we keep the noise down).  In the meantime, they will sit on the gigantic wads of cash we gave them and complain that the corporate interest rates are too high and too many people want them to get off some of that mountain of cash for the pensions they were promised.

Ireland is not Greece.  Greece acted like a spoiled heiress with all of the money it borrowed.  It spent lavishly and didn’t collect taxes.  Sure, it’s not fair to take it out on average Greeks, who now are facing a collapsing public and medical infrastructure, but you can kind of see why they’re in the mess they’re in.  But Ireland has been operating by the west’s free market playbook.  It wasn’t supposed to turn out like this.  The idea of bailing out out the banks and letting everyone else go under is the social welfare for the criminals who caused the problem in the first place. What Ireland needs is an infusion of good Viking women from Iceland to tell the wankers to go take a hike.

Why the ^*(% are we putting up with this s^(% from the assholes who blew up the world??  Why do we willingly starve ourselves so that the wealthy and well connected   experience no deprivation?  Why are we supposed to settle for vastly reduced wages and benefits while the people who stole our money are just sitting on it? Why is it more important to impost a rigid morality on the working person while allowing a more fungible morality for the rich? Answer me that Mr. Brooks.  We’re talking about Ireland here, a Catholic nation that doesn’t allow abortion and frowns on the types of behavior that you find irresponsible. What did the Irish do to deserve this? They let business have everything it ever wanted and this is how they are treated.  The airwaves are full of a constant stream of harsh, mean-spirited, punitive, selfish and religious propaganda that has turned us all into nations full of whip kissers.

Any politician who continues to shelter these immoral, dangerous, out of control bankers deserves to lose and that goes for the donkey party he rode in to town on as well.

I keep thinking that I can’t be surprised anymore by the way these people operate and yet, they confound me.  What will it take for us to pull the plug on the whole damn scheme?  What we need now is a hard reset.  Wipe it out.  Wipe it all out and start from scratch. We all start on a level playing field and the bankers get sent to the Cayman Islands where they can spend the rest of their lives worshipping their worthless money.

********************

If you haven’t had a chance to see it yet, check out Jon Stewart’s run down of the LIBOR scandal from The Daily Show last night.  There’s no way to make this look good.

Ong namo guru dev namo (repeat)