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Tuesday, 9 August 2011

by the bootstraps

The Conjurer by Hieronymus Bosch (from: Wikimedia Commons)

"[...] So let's recap: an out-of-control and increasingly unregulated financial industry causes the greatest economic crash since the Great Depression through greed and irresponsible leverage, and then gets bailed out by taxpayers around the world. In the U.S., this is coupled with tax cuts disproportionately benefiting the same irresponsible 'investors' that sent the economy into a tailspin.
     The subsequent recession drives government deficits sky high due to lack of growth and lack of tax revenue, even as the financial industry that caused the mess rebounds to record profitability on the backs of ordinary citizens suffering in deep recessionary conditions.[...]
     When historians write about this period, it will be in terms of amazement at the collective hysteria of elite intelligentsia, combined with shock at the ruthlessness of the titan financiers and the all-too-easy cowing of once proud nations. [...]
     If, that is, there are any historians left by the time the social consequences of all this destruction are finally played out." — David Atkins, Hullabaloo

Saturday, 6 August 2011

objects foreign and domestic

From: Reanimation Library

“When the patient was asked if he himself had introduced the candle into the urethra, he reluctantly admitted that two days previously, while drunk, he had had intercourse with a prostitute whom he could not pay. She in her anger had inserted the candle while he was asleep.”
Improbable Research

"The clergyman, in his 50s, told nurses he had been hanging curtains when he fell backwards on to his kitchen table. He happened to be nude at the time of the mishap, said the vicar, who insisted he had not been playing a sex game. The vicar had to undergo a delicate operation to extract the vegetable, one of a range of odd items medics in Sheffield have had to remove from people’s backsides or genitals." — Regretful Morning

"Suppositories and pessaries in those early days were made with such vehicles or excipients as (1) oils and fats, (2) gums and resins, and (3) honey. Suppositories frequently encased a piece of soft, old linen, which enabled the undissolved mass to be withdrawn. These now have their equivalent in the linted suppository and the Watson-Cheyne bougie. All these forms of medication dropped out of use, at least in good practice, during the eighteenth century."— Chest of Books

Thursday, 4 August 2011

blink, blinkered, blinkereder

Photo: Michael Hale

"Surprise, surprise. Demand creates jobs. Austerity kills jobs. If consumers don't have money to spend, eventually the system seizes up and even well-insulated multinational firms take a hit. So Wall St. is taking up vain hope that the Fed will use more 'quantitative easing' to funnel money into the financial sector, to offset the austerity measures that Washington delightfully put in place in the middle of a recession, to prevent the discredited ratings agencies from maybe saying some mean things.
     The denizens of Wall St. must be the most short-sighted people on the planet. They've bought our government wholesale and gotten just about everything they've asked for. They've played Republicans and Democrats off of one another, encouraging neoliberal economic policy, free trade, bank bailouts, and then a hoodwinked Tea Party movement to stand up to Democrats just in case they might consider raises taxes even ever so slightly on the rich.
     What they've gotten for their trouble is a deadlocked government divided between far-right and center-right with a few mostly powerless center-left and progressives sprinkled in. A government that cannot even begin to function properly, has effectively hollowed out the American middle class, made investment in the future nearly impossible, and is ultimately very bad for business."— David Atkins, thereisnospoon
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