Tag Archives: Austria

When Murder is just Tough Love: the Culture and Practical Reason of Terrorism after the Quatorze Juliet

A close friend sent me a cute French electronic card for Bastille Day 2016.   And what a Bastille Day it turned out to be, eh?  Think about it!!! A third massive attack on the French people in about a year… But… Cui Bono? What is an attack but an invitation to a counterattack? So if you’re going to start a war, your attack should always be something that weakens the enemy in some regard, right? But NONE of these stupid Muzzies seem to get that, do they? They always attack innocent civilians—everywhere they go, or at the most they attack government bureaucrats….What kind of logic is that? You attack people to prod them into attacking you, but all of your attacks seem carefully designed to arouse ire and anger among the populace while leaving the infrastructure of war that will be used against you completely intact and untouched. Is it just me or is there something wrong with this picture? It’s almost like the people making the attacks ONLY want to make the people MORE willing to counter-attack them back? How is that logical?

Holidays are very important, especially those with fireworks.  I have never lived in France or Quebec, but by the time I was 18 I had lived in London, Dallas, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Honduras, and whether it’s New Years’ Eve, Guy Fawkes’ Day, the Fourth of July, the 15th of September, or the Queen’s Birthday, fireworks celebrations are really great.  So I try to imagine what would have happened if there had been a bombing during one of those holidays in any of the places I ever habituated…. and what would have been the purpose.  

And what of the Quatorze Julliet?  My grandmother was a Francophone and Francophile native of Louisiana and my Texas-born grandfather’s life took him from Galveston to “the City” on a regular basis, plus I took French in High School and College, and several of my professors were Francophones and Francophiles at Tulane and during those years—including  Archaeologists Harvey Bricker and Cynthia Irwin-Williams who had both studied under Hallam Movius, and from them all, I obtained a love for and habit of celebrating July 14, Bastille Day.

Terrorism, traditionally understood, is a species of poor-man’s war or revolution.  As such, it is inherently secretive and illegal.  War is open and honest: Austria declared war on Serbia, so Russia declared war on Austria, Germany was required by treaty to go to war with Russia to defend Austria, Britain was required by treaty, etc., and so the Great War of 1914-1918 began.  BUT EVERYBODY KNEW IT.

When terrorist organizations claim responsibility after the fact for their crimes… they are doing just that, they are claiming criminal responsibility… and when criminals claim responsibility for anything, you have to wonder: why?

And so I think to myself, what do the April 1995 Bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building, 9/11/01 in New York City and Washington, 7/7/05 in London, Dylan Storm Roof’s murderous assault in Charleston last June 17, Charlie Hebdo in France, and now this latest atrocity in Nice all have in common?  

Well, they neither advance any coherent revolutionary plan, nor weaken the countries they attack.  They all happen either on days with interesting numbers or anniversaries.   But the truck bombing that took out 84 yesterday, including two American tourists apparently, just “takes the cake” on Bastille Day—which now joins Guy Fawkes Day and 9/11, 7/7 and 6/17/15 anniversary of the collapse of Denmark Vesey’s 1822 slave uprising in Charleston as “false flag” or stage events of terrorism.

Bastille Day was already a slightly fictitious holiday because, as Louis XVI wrote in his diary, on 14 July 1789, “Nothing Important Happened.”  A mob knocked down an old prison with one prisoner, but the embattled King with a short life-expectancy didn’t even notice, under his peculiar circumstances.  As my son likes to say—the 14th of July was really a tragedy for the future of French Tourism—the Bastille, Mediaeval relic fortress that it was, would have been a major attraction had it survived…  But the French know how to make a good party out of a bad deal—and very few American Fourth of July Cookouts EVER equal the average 14 July party in France or among Francophile/Francophones worldwide… the comparison of the food and wine alone…. oh well, never mind.

But I keep trying to think to myself: if I were an Islamic Freedom-Fighter or would-be Caliph, would attacking innocent people over and over again at random make any sense?  What would I be hoping to accomplish?  What would be my goals?  What good TO ME AND MY CAUSE could possibly inure from committing such crimes?

A sophisticated and coordinated attack in the United States followed by a similar attack in London, and then a decade later two similarly “low tech” attacks in France, and a bunch of random attacks in the meantime… scattered around the world.  Shootings at Fort Hood in Texas, connected or not?  Who knows?  The Boston Marathon whatever it was, connected or not?  Who knows?  The Chattanooga, TN veteran shooting, connected or not?  Who knows?

What is absolutely certain is that SOMEONE wants to create the image of Islamic terror as a world-wide phenomenon that requires  coordinated security and response.  If I were an Islamic Freedom-Fighter or would-be Caliph, would this kind of premonitory strategy seem like a good idea to me?   The answer is NO.

Revolutionary terrorism needs to be targeted on ONE government, one regime, one power structure—and it needs to be consistent and persistent enough to destabilize a society or at least an elite.  The pattern of Islamic Terror since the original 1993 World Trade Center bombing is NOT THAT.   The movement around the map, the focus on NON-STRATEGIC, NON-MILITARY, NON-INFRASTRUCTURE targets is very consistent.

The murder of innocent people was an integral part of Timothy McVeigh’s and Dylan Storm Roof’s approach in distinctly non-Islamic terrorist events in the United States—and their two attacks had no more coordinated relationship to any ideological goals than the long line of supposed Islamic terrorist events.  Even my dearly departed, mild mannered, deeply religious late mother said, way back in April 1995, “if they call themselves Patriots and wanted to make a meaningful statement, they really should have bombed the IRS.”  And if Dylan Storm Roof were really a racist White Supremacist, the LAST associations he would have wanted to make were the killing of elderly black people during a prayer meeting at a conservative African Methodist Episcopal Church on the 193rd anniversary of the Suppression of one of the most famous Slave Rebellions in U.S. History: this sort of symbolism all plays for the OTHER side—and so does bombing the French Riviera during Bastille Day celebrations.  

IF you want to make sure to build your enemies’  anger and take every step possible to ensure that NOBODY has any sympathy for your cause, (a) make sure nobody knows what your cause is and (b) do things in random places but on important days to make sure people remember the randomness.

In short, to my mind, there is absolutely ZERO chance that the Nice attack on Bastille Day was organized by anyone sincerely to advance the Islamist cause.   You want to bomb a target on a holiday?  If you’re a real revolutionary, you seek a target like an electrical power plant or water pumping station or even a sewerage processing plant where you can disable your opponents entire city and infrastructure in some really inconvenient and expensive way.  Osama bin Laden was a structural engineer and IF he had been in charge of 9-11, as a plot against the United States, I’ve always said his targets of choice would have been the undefended dams along the Colorado River, in order to cutoff the water supply to evil sinful cities like Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and the California “Inland Empire.”

So none of these attacks, my friends, are about an Islamic agenda for World Domination or even in revenge for the (indisputable) wrongs suffered by the Arab and Islamic people generally at British, French, and most recently American Imperialist hands….

WHO WANTS TO DIVIDE AND CONQUER THROUGH TERROR?  The Radical Islamic World?  Or Powers, Princes and Potentates MUCH Closer to Home!

All these attacks, in my opinion, reflect a “tough love” strategy of the United States, French, and British Governments to “soften up” the people and by long-term repetitive pseudo-Pavlovian conditioning make them (i.e. US, the free and responsible people of America and Europe) willing to accept an all-encompassing, eternal “Thousand Year” Police State—exactly what Strom Thurmond predicted was the goal in his “Dixiecrat” Platform of 1948.  They want to impose the police state for our own good and our own protection, don’t you understand?  That’s why modern government false-flag murder is just TOUGH LOVE.  And if you don’t like it, well, tough s__t, you know, my fellow Americans: “We have to break a few eggs here and there to prepare for you our New World Order of Omelette—-they’re all for you, you know!  But we know you’re too stupid to want this wonderful highly organized Police State where we can organize and regulate all of your lives, so we have to scare you into it.”  

In other words: Tales of Terrorism function for the modern media  motivated masses exactly the way Perrault’s or Grimm’s Fairy tales did in days of yore…. scary stories are INSTRUCTIONAL!  You need to scare the children by telling them about the BIG BAD WOLF and what he did to Little Red Riding Hood, or about what the Witch did to Hansel & Gretel with her candy house, so that they will live in constant fear of strangers and of attempting to strike out on their own.  FEAR!  FEAR!  FEAR!  “You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear, it’s got to be taught from year-to-year, it’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear, You’ve got to be carefully taught.”

DALLAS WAS JUST PERFECT!

The Dallas Police Murders last week, which suspiciously took place on the now recurring date of 7/7, were not Islamic either, but they served the fear purpose and the “Divide and Conquer” purpose to a degree unmatched in any other attack.  Black people killing black cops—a recipe made by Machiavelli in Hell….

Peaceful black protesters complaining about police brutality were forced to hide behind the police lines when one or more black gunmen murdered 5 and injured 7 more.  DID THIS ADVANCE THE CAUSE OF “BLACK LIVES MATTER”?  No, but it was a boon for American Renaissance (and I write this as a regular reader  of and a subscriber to AmRen).

To feed the ignorant white suburban paranoia of blacks attacking whites was a simple stroke of Genius on the part of the Obama administration—all of a sudden, we have forced a portion of the black population into making a choice: either they act out the worst fears of the white middle class suburbanites or they support the Police.  Obama, as usual, was totally two-faced, but two-faced is how the supporters of the police state need to be: they need to FOMENT inter-racial violence on the one hand and then condemn murder on the other, because THIS STRATEGY SUPPORTS INCREASING THE POWER AND THE EFFICACY OF THE STATE.

The way to satisfy the Black Lives Matter movement is to suppress white-conservative expression and culture and desires to be left alone in an essentially segregated society.  To satisfy the White AND Black Middle and Upper Classes, the government must enlarge (a better word might be to engorge) the police state and enhance the power of the police to protect them from the rising black tide.

Now I read AmRen and similar publications and websites because I support what I perceive as their key long-term goals, namely segregation of the races to maintain cultural continuity.  Strangely enough, many black civil rights advocates share these goals, and I wholeheartedly support those who do.  BUT I HATE INJUSTICE, UNFAIRNESS, and  OPPRESSION and the way the POLICE STATE MAXIMIZES all three.  And the only thing that all the terrorist murders of the past 21 years since Oklahoma really have in common is: they justify oppressive measures and unfair oppression.

I totally disagree, then, with the advocacy of increased police power and authority which the reaction to Dallas has engendered both among the White and Black Middle Class.   Whites may believe that the police are on their side, but my experience in life is quite the opposite.  The calibre and IQ of men (and women) who opt for a career in law enforcement are not the highest, and police ONLY support the “side” that pays them directly (namely the State and City power structures, and the banks and other large institutions who support those) AGAINST ALL THE PEOPLE, REGARDLESS OF RACE CREED, OR COLOR.

One feature of modern society that deeply distresses me is the increasingly lack of respect among people.  The police do not respect anyone’s rights, as can be seen from countless examples in various fields of law enforcement, from domestic relations to enforcement of judicial foreclosures.  But ordinary people, too, do not respect each other’s rights, space or property, and depend for all protection on the police or state power generally as arbiters of everything.  Individuals need to take responsibility for all things, including their own protection and that of their loved ones and property.

Concern over lack of respect is, I think, a unifying theme in both the radical White and radical Black Lives Matter movements.  

Quatorze Juillet  (Edith Piaf)

Il me vient par la fenêtre
Des musiques de la rue.
Chaque estrade a son orchestre.
Chaque bal a sa cohue.
Ces gens-là m’ont pris ma fête.
Je ne la reconnais plus.

Dans ma chambre, je me chante
L’air que nous avons valsé.
Je regarde la toquarde
Où tes doigts se sont posés.

Tu m’as dit : “Tu es si belle.”
Et tu as, l’instant d’après,
Ajouté : “La vie est bête.”.
J’ai compris que tu partais.
Si tu ne reviens jamais,
Il n’y aura plus de quatorze juillet.

Il me vient par la fenêtre
Un murmure qui s’éteint,
Les chansons d’une jeunesse
Attardée dans le matin.
N’allez pas troubler mon rêve.
Allez rire un peu plus loin.

Que m’apporte, que m’apporte
Cette joie de quelques heures ?
Je suis morte, je suis morte
Et je t’ai déjà rejoint
Et mon corps est près du tien
Mais personne n’en sait rien…

The 14th of July

He comes to my window
The music in the street
Each stage has its orchestra
Each dance has its crowd
These people took my celebration
I don’t recognize it anymore

In my room, I sing to myself
The air that we waltzed in
I watch the infatuation
Where your fingers encountered mine

You tell me “you are so beautiful”
And you after a moment
Added “life is stupid”
I understood that you left
If you never come back
There will not be another 14th of July

He came to my window
A murmur that has extinguished
The songs of youth
Lingering in the morning
Don’t go troubling my dream
Laughing one step further away

That brings me, that brings me
The joy of a few hours
I’m dead, I’m dead
And I already reached you
And my body is close to yours
But nobody knows anything…

A Lament for Austria, Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Hapsburg Dynasty, on the Centennial of the Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

I cannot say whether my own fondness for the late 19th century/early 20th century results from the fact that I was, in large part, raised by my grandparents who were born and grew up in that last generation before World War I, but whether from personal prejudice or not, I think it is fair to say that the late 19th Century in Europe was the apogee, the Zenith, of Western Civilization, and it’s been straight downhill since 1914 for everything that one might value in the traditions of the West.  This decline actually began a half century earlier in the United States with its own fratricidal “rehearsal” for the 20th century in 1861-65.  But it was Europe’s “Great War” that brought the most beautiful things to an end, and one of the most beautiful things to be destroyed in that War was the Hapsburg Empire of Austria.  

Previous moments of glory for Hapsburg Austria had included (1) the reign of Maria Theresa, mother of Marie Antoinette, and the not entirely unrelated life and career of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, in the late 18th Century, (2) the final defeat of the Ottoman Turks on September 11, 1683 (yes, September 11 has always been a critical day in Christian-Muslim relations, apparently, or at least for over 330 years now), (3) the battle of Lepanto in the Gulf of Patras in the Ionian Sea off the western Greek Peloponnesian Peninsula (Peloponnesos) on October 7, 1571, and last but not least, (4) the first siege of Vienna by Suleiman the Magnificent which ended on October 11-12, 1529 with the retreat of the Ottoman forces, literally, from the Walls of Vienna.  

Hapsburg Austria was instrumental in saving Christendom, and so Austria’s final destruction as a world power in 1918 may be symbolic of the final demise and destruction of Western Europe as a truly Christian continent in the world.

Although everyone knows the title of Adolf Hitler’s Mein KampfI am willing to bet that few have read it closely enough to recognize why Der Fuhrer would hate the title of this essay and have no sympathy with its content.   In brief, Mein Kampf starts off with an indictment of Hitler’s native country, its role in history, and its very existence.  It’s pretty clear to me from his introductory diatribe against the “Eastern Empire” and its 700 year ruling dynasty, the Hapsburgs, that Hitler had only the shallowest comprehension of European history.  This failure to understand history was most notable in Hitler’s ill-fated invasion of Russia, the single “event” which turned his nearly victorious conquest of Europe into an abject failure, but that’s a separate topic for another essay.

On June 28-29, 2014, the Hundredth Year since Gavrilo Princip’s  (pardon my saying so) idiotic act of assassinating the Austrian heir apparent, I cry for the loss of Austria as a world power, for the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and for the Hapsburg Dynasty as among the most valuable and stabilizing elements of European history EVER.  

Though p’raps I may incur your blame, the things are few I would not do to convince you that the demise of Austria as a power in Central Europe is truly much more at the root of the troubles of the rest of the 20th Century (and even today) than is normally given credence or credit.  

(1) Hapsburg Austria was the most stable power on the Continent, with a longer-continuity of rulership (since their Rheinisch Swiss origins in the early 11th Century, taking charge of Austria in 1276, and remaining there until 1918) than any monarchy in all of Europe save that of England, and rendering Austria the most stable institutional configuration in Europe after the Vatican first and England Second.

(2)  Austria—etymologically “Österreich, the Eastern Empire” (or more metaphorically, the Empire of [Christian] Easter)—defined the eastern boundary of Western, Christian Europe for most the same six and a half centuries of Hapsburg domination.   Both before after the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks, the Armies and Navies of Austria kept the Saracens and other Muslims at bay, doing on the East Side of Europe for nearly three gifts of a millennium what Charlemagne did in 800 by defending the Pyrenees  Mountains on the South from the Islamic Caliphate of Cordoba in Spain.

(3)     Austria was a greater center of music and arts than any other region of the German speaking world during most of that time, but especially after A.D. 1600. Nuremberg in Bavaria was Vienna’s nearest competitor.  Berlin never amounted to much of anything until the later 19th Century.  Frankfurt, Mainz, and Cologne, and Württemberg all pale compared with Vienna, equal at most to Salzburg.  The monastery of Melk knows few if any peers anywhere in the world.  Mozart simply knows no peers anywhere.  Vienna during the 19th Century was a much more stable center of intellectual and scientific development than Paris, albeit quieter.

(4)    The Nineteenth Century, which effectively died on 28 June 1914 at Gavriolo Princip’s hand, was defined by the greatness of Vienna, Paris, and London in nearly equal terms.  But, remarkably, Austria, second oldest of the monarchies, and center in 1815 of the reactionary Congress of Vienna, where Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich orchestrated not only the end of the Napoleonic Era set the stage for a very conservative post-revolutionary generation-and-a-half Europe brought to an end by the uprisings of 1848 which followed the publication of Marx’ & Engels’ Communist Manifesto in February of that year.  

Ironically, in light of what followed in Europe, by 1914 Vienna, Austria was clearly the most liberal and most enlightened, free-thinking spot in Europe, even including England.  Just how liberal was Austria?  For the heinous crime of assassinating the Heir Apparent Archduke and his Duchess-Consort, Austria knew in 1914 no  more severe penalty than life imprisonment.  How liberal indeed? At least as amazing as the abolition of Capital Punishment in Austria, it is remarkable that Hitler’s homeland was not only not anti-Semitic, but Vienna had a higher status Jewish middle and professional class than anywhere else in Europe: Sigmund (and his daughter Anna) Freud, Alfred Adler, and Melanie Reises Klein in psychology and psychiatry, Gustav Mahler and Arnold Schönberg in music, among many others.   Some have speculated that “familiarity bred contempt” in the young Hitler who went to private school in Linz side-by-side with the much wealthier future Jewish-born philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (born, coincidentally, to Austria’s second wealthiest Jewish family, second only to the Austria Rothschild’s only 6 days after Hitler, on April 26, 1889, and thus also celebrating his 125th birthday this year).  The anti-Semitic scandal known as Dreyfus affair was French and Benjamin Disraeli, although the U.K.’s First (and only originally) Jewish Prime Minister, converted to Christianity and died a practicing Anglican.   Alfred Adler and Ludwig Wittgenstein also converted, but until 1938, Vienna was perhaps the most comfortable place in Europe to belong to the continent’s most traditionally detested minority.

(5)   So in short, Austria was far ahead of its time in so many ways: multi-cultural and embracing more “minor” nationalities than any other place, liberal in every social and cultural regard, and yet supremely civilized in the best traditions of Western European Christendom, led by a Kaiser of ancient lineage.  Multi-culturalism as defined in Austria-Hungary somehow did seem “degenerate” as it does today and certainly, not cause the degeneration of European civilization in Vienna, but offered a strong and positive “road not traveled by” (multiculturalism under German Christian leadership) since the collapse of that empire in 1918.

Austria’s natural and architectural beauty survived the brutality of allied bombing during World War II better than the rest of the German Third Reich, and Austria endures until today, little larger than Switzerland where the original castle Hapsburg was located not so far from the Rhein and the Carolingian relic principality of Liechtenstein (where some of my ancestors come from), but it is strange that Prague and Budapest were once respectively the Second and Third Cities of the Austrian Empire, Prague being Mozart’s preferred venue for premiers, and that Trieste was Austria’s harbor from which the great Austrian Navy was launched for roughly 400 years.  But by the truncation of Austria to its very German nub, Europe after Versailles lost the great balancing power of Central Europe, and the greatest historical “defender of the Faith” against Islamic and other Eastern Invasions….  

Of course, once again, in the 1950s through 70s, Vienna was once again at the gate of the terror that was the East (this time defined by Communism)….but it had lost all realistic power and position of leadership to do anything about it—leaving a power vacuum which ultimately was filled, ironically, by the American Empire, about as far to the West as one can imagine…. Had Austria survived, or could we reconstitute the Christian Led nature of Austrian multi-cultural liberalism, the world today would be a much better place.

99 Years since the Senseless Assassination which sparked the Senseless War which Destroyed not only an entire generation of European youth but also (effectively) destroyed the 20th Century—Oh, and another Senseless War, the Korean War, Started on this same day in 1950—so June 28 was just, all round, a bad day to live in the 20th Century…

In the early chapters of Adolph Hitler’s autobiography Mein Kampf  (“My Struggle” in English, “Mea Lucha” en español, much more widely available and read in Mexico, and all over Latin America, oddly enough, than in the USA or Europe) the future Führer condemns the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Hapsburg dynasty as degenerate and oppressive, separating the German people from the Austrian people unnaturally.  It’s not the only ideological position I disagree with in Mein Kampf but I have to say I think it’s one of Hitler’s strangest ideas.   The Austro-Hungarian Empire, it seems to me, was one of the greatest peacekeepers in European history, and one of the greatest protectors of European Civilization.  From the Fall of Constantinople until 1918, Austria-Hungary was the Eastern Boundary of Christian Europe against the Turks (as the name Österreich indicates, the “Eastern Empire”),

How prophetic, how ironic, that it was a poor Bosnian Serb who fired the fatal shot which provided the pretext for plunging all of Europe into an idiotic, totally purposeless war that wiped out a whole generation of the young men of England, France, and Germany, and marked the end of the most glorious century in European history, starting after the fall of Napoleon I in 1815, and the beginning of the catastrophic 20th century.  

Austria was so civilized and so much ahead of its time in social thinking that it did not sentence the young terrorist (who was a couple weeks shy of his 20th birthday) to death.  The execution of youths for crimes committed while they are minors (at that time the age of majority was 21) is an issue that still vexes us today.  But to my mind, Hapsburg Austria-Hungary was not only not degenerate, it was the shining light of Central and Eastern Europe.  What a tragedy to see it fall.   We had an elderly neighbor, Faith Wagner, when we lived in Palm Beach, Florida 33480 back twenty plus years ago, who was born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire and still proudly kept her original Austro-Hungarian passport with Kaiser Franz Joseph’s image, seal, and printed signature.  It was a great nation and with its demise, Central and Southeastern Europe fell into major chaos.  I think that Austria-Hungary should have become a “triple crown” and absorbed Serbia rather than disappearing form the map.  Yugoslavia never really worked out as a nation, either as a kingdom under Serbian leadership or under Marshal Tito’s “separate way” of non-conformist communism.  (A memorably funny line in the French movie Entre Nous, set in France in the early 1950s comes when one of the two main (female) characters’ husbands says to his dog “Tito, couchez” —the dog ignores him— “Tito Couchez” he repeats.  “Comment vous l’appellez?” asks the other husband.  “Tito—il obait jamais.”)[“Tito, lie down; Tito lie down”—“what do you call him? [your dog?]” “I call him “Tito” because he never obeys”].

On This Day: Archduke Franz Ferdinand shot, triggering First World War

The death of the royal heir at the hands of Serbian gunman Gavrilo Princip led the empire, which then ruled the city in Bosnia, to declare war on neighbouring Serbia.

By Julian Gavaghan | British Pathé – 12 hours ago

June 28, 1914: Austro-Hungary’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo on this day in 1914 – triggering the First World War.

The death of the royal heir at the hands of Serbian gunman Gavrilo Princip led the empire, which then ruled the city in Bosnia, to declare war on neighbouring Serbia.

And, thanks to a series of alliances, Europe’s major powers were all dragged into fighting an unimaginably bloody conflict that led to the slaughter of 16million people.

The war, which pitted Britain, France, Russia, Italy and ultimately the United States against Germany, Austro-Hungary and Turkey, changed the face of the continent.

A British Pathé newsreel describes Britain’s prior innocence in with people shown enjoying cricket and “lovely things” at Ascot while unaware of trouble brewing.

An artist’s rendition shows the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary and his wife, Czech …

In France, champagne growers are seen harvesting their grapes while soldiers were cheered off as they went to fight a conflict they thought would be over by Christmas.

But the war – characterized by the stalemate of trench war and of lions led by donkeys as they were machine-gunned down for a few inches of land – lasted until 1918.

[On This Day: HG Wells predicts outbreak of World War Two]

Ultimately, the British and French were victorious, but the German army was never defeated militarily.

Rather their countrymen were being starved to death at home and the entrance of the U.S. in 1917 made the Allies look unbeatable.

This sense of a cheated military outcome – combined with harsh reparations ordered by France – is argued by many historians to have been a cause of World War Two.

The First World War – characterized by the stalemate of trench war and of lions led by donkeys as they were machine-gunned …

Mounting Russian casualties during WWI also led to a Communist dictatorship that led to the deaths of millions in purges and careless tactics in the following war.

Yet all these tragic events might have been avoided if Franz Ferdinand’s chauffeur hadn’t driven the wrong way back in June 1914.

Driver Leopold Loyka made a wrong turn past Sarajevo’s Schiller’s deli, where forlorn gunman Gavrilo Princip was dining after his earlier assassination plan failed.

The Yugoslav nationalist, who hoped to unify occupied Bosnia with independent Serbia, leapt out of the café and seized his chance.

Two bullets later, both Franz Ferdinand and Princess Sophie, who was shot as she tried to cover her husband, lay dead and the rest, as they say, is history.

EU arguments about who should profit from tax shelters? Little Countries Like Austria or Big Countries Like Britain? The “Progressive” income tax has built in all the most awful incentives known to man—it is a universal disaster…

I invite the opinion of my former colleagues still active in history and comparative socio-cultural evolution/political anthropology to tell me whether, in their well-researched opinion, there has ever been a system of taxation as counterproductive and mind-numbingly stupid as the graduated “progressive” income tax.  The article below shows the international scale of the dishonesty which the tax begets.  What do we expect from a tax which penalizes a little success a little bit and a lot of success a LOT?  The income tax has but one incentive built into it: either make no money at all or lie about it if you do.  Does the fact that I am in the former category rather than the latter make me more “virtuous” because I don’t have to lie about anything?  Or does it mean that I have failed to achieve that level of comparative economic success which apparently the elites hate and despise because the moment you achieve it, they do what they can to take it away from you….

But there are other built in perversities in the income tax: I was conversing today in the Garden District in New Orleans with a hotel-owner (one of the most famous brand names of any hotelier in the whole world, history of the hotel business in fact) about the “historic preservation tax credit”, about which I knew very little. But after listening to his description of recent litigation in federal court (arising out of the attempts to preserve and pass on the “Map of the Town that Made the Monopoly Board,” namely Atlantic City, New Jersey, http://www.ca3.uscourts.gov/opinarch/111832p.pdfAtlantic City Boardwalk “Historic Boardwalk Hall”) about who was reaping the benefits from this tax credit, I was able to draw  comparisons to the “clean air emissions tax credit” (which I studied because of my interest in environmental law rather than my terror of the income tax—struggling some twenty some odd years ago—and how odd they’ve been—to learn the arcane logic of this tax law credit swap business from the most unbelievably disorganized and incomprehensible professor I had at the University of Chicago Law School—Professor, now one of Obama’s top “Czars,” Cass Sunstein). In essence, the 1990s revisions to the Clean Air Act set up an exchange system dictating how tax credits can be swapped or sold at a discount (like any obligation of indebtedness, right?) so that those who have succeeded the most in fulfilling the tax credit’s stated purpose (contributing to historical preservation or emitting less toxic fumes from a single point source, e.g. factory complex) can make more money by selling off and trading the benefits of THEIR efficiency and success to those who are LESS successful, making the rich richer (as always) and (somewhat counterintuitively) lessening the burden or penalties on those who are either abject failures or in the “the middling-to-less successful” categories in the middle.

The income tax is simply a tool of arbitrary and capricious governmental control—an instrument of terror and lies.  If anyone knows a worse system of taxation—I would love to hear about it.  And don’t tell me “Aztec Tribute involving Human Sacrifice”—because the incentives built in to participate in that system were HUGE—honor and glory to one’s name and family, life transcending death either through apotheosis or something near to it.  There is no honor or glory for anyone in paying the income tax—if you show a high income and pay high taxes, the socialists want you to pay more and the country club set snicker at you for poor tax planning.  If you don’t pay when you owe income taxes, you’re going to be prosecuted a criminal of course, unless you ARE one of the elite who hire the most elite tax accountants who can turn the super-byzantine tax code on its head and upside down to your benefit…. And there’s no real glory in either of those outcomes either.  The income tax is the single worst aspect of the Keynsian Socialist-Corporate State, because it is the most universal—or, at least, it was the most universal until OBAMACARE…..

British offshore banking under fire in EU tax haven battle

TelegraphBy Bruno Waterfield | Telegraph 

Austria has accused Britain of being a haven for money laundering and tax evasion as the Alpine nation comes under European Union and German pressure to axe its banking secrecy laws.

Europe’s finance ministers meeting in Dublin today are pushing Austria hard to follow Luxembourg’s example in agreeing to reveal information on European banking depositors to EU tax authorities.

Maria Fekter, the Austrian finance minister, has vowed to “fight like a lion” against the demands and has refused to change her country’s laws until Britain ends tax haven and banking secrecy laws in offshore financial centres, such as the Channel Islands.

“Austria is sticking to bank secrecy. We fight tax evasion and money laundering,” she said.

“Great Britain has many money laundering centres and tax havens in its immediate legal remit – the Channel Islands Gibraltar, the Cayman Islands, Virgin Islands. These are all hot spots for tax evasion and money laundering.”

Austria is opposed to German-led demands for the automatic exchange of information on banking depositors with other EU countries, proposals that will be discussed by Europe’s finance ministers.

Earlier this week, Luxembourg caved into German pressure and announced it would to share foreign bank account details with the depositor’s home governments, if EU countries, from 2015.

“Automatic exchange of information involves a massive interference in people’s privacy rights. Here the state sniffs around deep into the private affairs of account holders,” said Mrs Fekter.

The Austrian finance minister has described Britain as “the island of the blessed for tax evasion and money laundering”, comparing British offshore banking to the Cypriot financial sector that is to be forcibly restructured as part of a eurozone bailout.

“Just as we urged the abolition of sealed foundations in the Cyprus rescue to drain the money laundering swamp, we must demand the same of the UK,” she wrote in an article for Kurier, an Austrian newspaper.

“We want a trust registry for the Channel Islands, but also for countries where British law applies, such as the Cayman Islands, the Virgin Islands or Gibraltar. These are all areas that are havens for tax evaders.”

Eurozone finance ministers will also discuss Cyprus as the EU-IMF has frozen its contribution at €10 billion as the costs of its bail-out surged from €17.5bn to €23bn, larger than the size of the country’s economy, further bankrupting the island.

In a bid to stop Cyprus leaving the euro, the EU-IMF has demanded that it hand three quarters of the countryメs gold reserves to pay back loans making it much harder for the island to ditch the single currency to go it alone.

Oz: Mythic Power in the Power of Mythic Deception

Ok, my not so amazing prediction: “Oz, the Great and Powerful,” will not be nominated for any academy awards next year.  The new Oz comes out just over 11 and under 12 months after The Hunger Games (premiered March 23 2012) which is its ideological opposite: Hunger Games is a movie of the people against the government crowds are shown, but closeups of faces in the crowd are not cartoon snapshots of stereotypes—in the new Oz, all the common people are cartoon snapshots). 

Oz is a movie which not only glorifies but presumes that monarchical government and autocracy, a government of “Archons” is both natural and essential.  In Oz: the Great and Powerful, we see only the cartoonish choice between good dictators/kings and bad dictators/kings (reminiscent of the 1939 Glinda’s question to Dorothy: “are you a good witch or a bad witch?”)

“Oz, the Great and Powerful,” may neither be certainly a great or powerful cinematic event, but it is not a bad movie.  It is more than worth seeing and thinking about.  As a statement of political power mythology, it is closest (but superior both as a movie and as a dramatic contribution to mythic evolution) to “Batman, Dark Knight Rises”.   

As a Disney Production and product of the Magic Kingdom, Oz finds pro-monarchist, elitist ideological common ground with The Lion King (June 15, 1994).  But whereas world of Simba and Mufassa was elegantly pure Dumézilian structuralist mythology in support of the absolute monarchy of the lions, Oz merely celebrates Bush-Cheney-Obama low-brow dictatorship by deceit.  

Fair to say I enjoyed Oz: the Great and Powerful more than I thought I would given the almost universally disappointed/disappointing reviews.  It is true that the three witches are pretty much flat, two dimensional, and on the dull side even if they are more conventionally attractive than even Glinda was in the 1939 Classic and each is more beautiful possessing more sex appeal than Elphaba in “Wicked.”  But Elphaba is a MUCH more interesting character, developed with oh so much more depth and dimensions.

“Wicked” has ten to a hundred times more lasting mythological power as a post-modern statement of relativism than anything in “Oz, the Great and Powerful.”   But on the other hand, James Franco’s Oz is more realistic as a portrayal of conservative, monarchical values than Batman or Bruce Wayne was in the last installment of the Dark Knight Trilogy.  Oscar Diggs is not exactly Scar from the Lion King either.  He is really closest to any of the past four U.S. Presidents Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama.  His personality comes nowhere close to as engaging as Ronald Reagan or as articulate and humble as Carter.

There are really only three ways to portray political power in a story:  (1) as natural and necessary—so that the struggle is between good and bad “rulers”, (2) unnatural and not only unnecessary but oppressive and therefore evil—so that the struggle is between the people and the power structure, and (3) natural or at least “a given” —“always with us” (kind of like “the poor”) but essentially trivial and irrelevant.

Movies of the third type used to be fairly common in the American cinematic repertoire, but they have all but vanished in modern times.  The third type of movie was the “heroes ride off into the sunset” variety of “Western” or “rugged individualist” myth embodied and exemplified seriously as in (1) Casablanca, (2) High Noon, and (3)  The African Queen or comically as in (4) Cat Ballou.  

Recent years have seen Hunger Games and Serenity in the “Government is the Enemy” category pitted against Batman: Dark Knight and now Oz: the Great and Powerful.  Oz and Batman presume the paradoxical necessity of autocratic rule in society, with “Good” Autocrats guaranteeing “Freedom & Justice” while “Bad” Autocrats are just like the Good Autocrats only “Bad.”   Television series such as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,”, “Angel”, and “Dexter” tend to vacillate between “Government as the Enemy” and “Government is always there but Irrelevant.”  

In “Oz: the Great and Powerful”, we see a very specific “real world” dramatic retelling of the story of the disembodied leader becoming more powerful after death, as an Icon and a Myth, than he ever could have been as an earthly individual.  The Character of the Wizard Oscar Diggs is not even “intriguingly” Banal and Ordinary.  He is really kind of uninspiringly banal and ordinary—much like the real life Bill Clinton or George W. Bush.   Like George W. Bush, Diggs is a master of illusion and deceit, and that is his primary qualification as a leader.  Like Clinton, Oscar Diggs’ “Oz” is attractive to the ladies and that makes the movie at least somewhat pleasant to watch.  But as with last year’s somewhat deadly dud “Dark Shadows” with Johnny Depp, stories involving beautiful but jealous witches are really so awfully unoriginal as to be boring—and I’ve not only watched too many I’ve lived the story in real life just several too many times….ahem, but I digress…

Unlike the stories of both Dorothy Gale (or her as yet cinematically almost unknown friend and colleague in adventure in most of L. Frank Baum’s later stories, “Ozma”) and Elphaba, there is hardly a hint of feminism or “girl power” in any of the three witches.  (No “Buffy” or “Willow” or even “Anya” on the scenes of this Oz).   Even Glinda (Michelle Williams) is at best a kind of exquisitely delicate, weak, very pretty and attractive but only marginally talented “second rate” witch outshown and outperformed by Oz’ mechanical illusions which ultimately succeed in vanquishing and exiling the evil sisters to the East and West of the Emerald City.  [It made sense to see Oz on St. Patrick’s Day weekend since Oz, like Ireland and Ancient Maya Yucatán, is a magic land divided into four color-coded cardinal direction (NSEW) quarters of the world with Green at the Center—the Emerald City = the Yaxché at the Center of the Maya universe and Tara at the cosmic and ritual center of the Emerald Isle itself].  

[The beautiful witch who turns green and ugly (the future W.W. West, Mila Kunis) reminds me ever so much of my own former wife Elena K….. beautiful and ambitious in the beginning, looked really good in red, but ultimately deadly and green   for all the wrong reasons (Elphaba was green for “good” reasons).]

What are interesting from the standpoint of mythic deconstruction in “Oz, the Great and Powerful” are Oz’ assertions that he is more powerful as a disembodied image than as a man, that illusion is more powerful than reality.  This IS a valid post-modern deconstruction of the American Presidency, and of Institutional “Corporate” government and economy in general.

Does the generalization apply to the life of Julius Caesar, or merely to the post-mortem TITLE of Caesar, which endured for a thousand years as the Supreme Emblem of “Imperial” Authority in the non-Latin monarchs (Kaisers & Tsars) of Germany, Austria, and Russia?  

A certain kind of post-modern deconstructionalist will tell you that Jesus Christ and Julius Caesar both planned their deaths for the purpose of Apotheosis and Institutionalization of Power.  This is exactly what Oscar Diggs does in “Oz: the Great and Powerful.”  

Power by deception and illusion is the political science of Machiavelli’s Il Principe and Cardinal Richelieu’s dictum “to dissemble is to rule” as well as the apparent embodiment of the theory underlying American foreign policy probably since the sinking of the Battleship Maine. Power by deception and illusion is a very anti-democratic theory of the origin and nature of power, totally opposed to the Katniss Everdeen or Buffy Summers schools of “Divine Kingship through Combat and Sacrifice.”  Katniss and Buffy were both pitted against dictatorships built on bloody lies and concealment of the truth, as were the “Wild West” type heroes on the Crew of “Serenity” (paired with Buffy and Angel, also by Joss Whedon).  As I have been writing for more than ten years, Buffy Summers’ death in Season Five of her series was a classic “Golden Bough” moment, though after Buffy’s resurrection in Season Six she was not quite “divine” after all.  Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark in Hunger Games together played the game of the Rex Nemorensis in Diana’s Wood at Aricia very well as a team (a wonderful team unprecedented in history or myth).

Essentially, the lesson we should learn from “Oz: the Great and Powerful” is that all institutional (aka “Corporate” = permanent but impersonal, perpetual) government originates in and works best when founded on lies. In this political theory, lies and falsehood and illusion are sources of strength, and the secrets must be kept by those in the “inner circle” of government, even by China Dolls….(a reference to the “Dainty China Doll” in L. Frank Baum’s original book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” which did not make it into the 1939 Judy Garland “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” musical movie).

Batman: Dark Knight surely reflects the same ideology, but never states it quite so bluntly.   So Oz now joins with certain deconstructionist interpretations of the lives of Julius Caesar, Jesus Christ, Abraham Lincoln, and John F. Kennedy…. in articulation the rule by deception explanation of the origin and nature of political power.  I can only pray for the ultimate triumph of the poor man’s “Divine Kingship” model of weak government, an essentially anarchical theory of government as a model of or metaphor for nature red in tooth and claw…. wherein the King (or Queen) is normally only a symbol of nature rather than an actual wielder of power.  

In which connexion, long live Buffy Summer & Katniss Everdeen.

Archaeology of Underwear: Digging below the surface of the late middle ages yields bright linen garments from the end of the Dark Age….. Die Ausgrabungen von Unterhosen?

Ah, Beloved Austria!  Innsbruck and the Beautiful Tyrol no less—thoughts of Mediaeval Romance!  This is why we got into archaeology, isn’t it, Indy?  Actually, very modern looking bras and bikinis are both preserved in ancient Roman frescos & ceramic painting from Pompei, Herculaneum, and even in (relatively) more stuffy, stodgy contexts in Greece—but after all, THESE unterhosen are from the so called “Dark Ages” of Europe—albeit very LATE in the Mediaeval period…really the extremely early renaissance if this date of 600 years ago is correct (1412?)–but we’re talking about Rural Austria here, neither Vienna nor Rome nor Paris…. so the stylistic implications are that these were as normal then as now… throughout Europe….

600-year-old linen bras found in Austrian castle

  • By George Jahn Associated Press
  • Posted July 18, 2012 at 5:03 p.m.
This undated picture publicly provided by the Archeological Institute of the University of Innsbruck, shows a medieval bra. The bra is commonly thought to be little more than 100 years old as corseted women abandoned rigid fashions and opted for the more natural look. But that timeline is about to be revised with the discovery of four brassieres from the Middle Ages in a debris-filled vault of an Austrian castle. The find, formally announced Wednesday July 18, 2012  by the University of Innsbruck, is being described by historical fashion experts as revolutionary because it indicates that the bra was already worn around 600 years ago before being abandoned for the stiff stays dictated by the form-hugging clothing that become the mode for centuries. (AP Photo/University  Innsbruck Archeological Institute)<br /><br /><br />

This undated picture publicly provided by the Archeological Institute of the University of Innsbruck, shows a medieval bra. The bra is commonly thought to be little more than 100 years old as corseted women abandoned rigid fashions and opted for the more natural look. But that timeline is about to be revised with the discovery of four brassieres from the Middle Ages in a debris-filled vault of an Austrian castle. The find, formally announced Wednesday July 18, 2012 by the University of Innsbruck, is being described by historical fashion experts as revolutionary because it indicates that the bra was already worn around 600 years ago before being abandoned for the stiff stays dictated by the form-hugging clothing that become the mode for centuries. (AP Photo/University Innsbruck Archeological Institute)

This undated picture publicly provided by the Archeological Institute of the University of Innsbruck, shows medieval underwear. The find, formally announced Wednesday by the University of Innsbruck, is being described by historical fashion experts as revolutionary because it indicates that the bra was already worn  around 600 years ago before being abandoned for the stiff stays dictated by the form-hugging clothing that become the mode for centuries. Also found at Lemberg Castle in Tyrol was a linen undergarment that looks very much like a pair of panties. (AP Photo/University  Innsbruck Archeological Institute)<br /><br /><br />

This undated picture publicly provided by the Archeological Institute of the University of Innsbruck, shows medieval underwear. The find, formally announced Wednesday by the University of Innsbruck, is being described by historical fashion experts as revolutionary because it indicates that the bra was already worn around 600 years ago before being abandoned for the stiff stays dictated by the form-hugging clothing that become the mode for centuries. Also found at Lemberg Castle in Tyrol was a linen undergarment that looks very much like a pair of panties. (AP Photo/University Innsbruck Archeological Institute)

VIENNA — A revolutionary discovery is rewriting the history of underwear: Some 600 years ago, women wore bras.

The University of Innsbruck said Wednesday that archeologists found four linen bras dating from the Middle Ages in an Austrian castle. Fashion experts describe the find as surprising because the bra had commonly been thought to be only little more than 100 years old as women abandoned the tight corset.

Instead, it appears the bra came first, followed by the corset, followed by the reinvented bra.

One specimen in particular “looks exactly like a (modern) brassiere,” says Hilary Davidson, fashion curator for the London Museum. “These are amazing finds.”

Although the linen garments were unearthed in 2008, they did not make news until now says Beatrix Nutz, the archaeologist responsible for the discovery.

Researching the items and carbon dating them to make sure they were genuine took some time. She delivered a lecture on them last year but the information stayed within academic circles until a recent article in the BBC History Magazine.

“We didn’t believe it ourselves,” she said in a telephone call from the Tyrolean city of Innsbruck. “From what we knew, there was no such thing as bra-like garments in the 15th century.”

The university said the four bras were among more than 2,700 textile fragments — some linen, others linen combined with cotton — that were found intermixed with dirt, wood, straw and pieces of leather.

“Four linen textiles resemble modern-time bras” with distinct cups and one in particular looks like today’s version, it said, with “two broad shoulder straps and a possible back strap, not preserved but indicated by partially torn edges of the cups onto which it was attached.”

And the lingerie was not only functional.

The bras were intricately decorated with lace and other ornamentation, the statement said, suggesting they were also meant to please a suitor.

While paintings of the era show outerwear, they do not reveal what women wore beneath. Davidson, the fashion curator, described the finds as “kind of a missing link” in the history of women’s underwear.

Women started experimenting with bra-like garments in the late 1800s and the first modern brassiere was patented in the early 19th century. It is thought to have been invented by New York socialite Mary Phelps Jacob, who was unhappy with the look of her gown over a stiff corset.

Also found at Lemberg Castle in Tyrol was a linen undergarment that looks very much like a pair of panties. But Nutz said it is men’s underwear — women did not wear anything under their flowing skirts back then.

“Underpants were considered a symbol of male dominance and power,” she said.

Medieval drawings often show a man and a woman fighting for a pair of underpants in a symbolic battle to see who “wears the trousers” in the family.

This undated picture publicly provided by the Archeological Institute of the University of Innsbruck, shows a medieval bra. The bra is commonly thought to be little more than 100 years old as corseted women abandoned rigid fashions and opted for the more natural look. But that timeline is about to be revised with the discovery of four brassieres from the Middle Ages in a debris-filled vault of an Austrian castle. The find, formally announced Wednesday July 18, 2012  by the University of Innsbruck, is being described by historical fashion experts as revolutionary because it indicates that the bra was already worn around 600 years ago before being abandoned for the stiff stays dictated by the form-hugging clothing that become the mode for centuries. (AP Photo/University  Innsbruck Archeological Institute)<br /><br /><br />

This undated picture publicly provided by the Archeological Institute of the University of Innsbruck, shows a medieval bra. The bra is commonly thought to be little more than 100 years old as corseted women abandoned rigid fashions and opted for the more natural look. But that timeline is about to be revised with the discovery of four brassieres from the Middle Ages in a debris-filled vault of an Austrian castle. The find, formally announced Wednesday July 18, 2012 by the University of Innsbruck, is being described by historical fashion experts as revolutionary because it indicates that the bra was already worn around 600 years ago before being abandoned for the stiff stays dictated by the form-hugging clothing that become the mode for centuries. (AP Photo/University Innsbruck Archeological Institute)

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So sexy war das im Mittelalter: 600 Jahre alte Dessous in österreichischer Burg gefunden

Yahoo! NachrichtenYahoo! Nachrichten – Do., 19. Jul 2012

Der Büstenhalter aus dem Mittelalter (Bild: dapd)Die Geschichte der Unterwäsche muss neu geschrieben werden: Ein Sensationsfund in Österreich offenbart, dass Frauen schon vor etwa 600 Jahren Büstenhalter trugen. Archäologen fanden vier auf das Spätmittelalter datierte Leinen-BHs auf Schloss Lemberg in Tirol, wie die Universität in Innsbruck am Mittwoch mitteilte. Der Fund überrascht sogar Mode-Experten, denn bisher glaubte man, dass es den BH erst gibt, seit er vor ungefähr 100 Jahren das Korsett ablöste. 

Die neu entdeckten historischen Hingucker belegen nun: Offenbar wurde zuerst der BH erfunden, gefolgt vom Korsett, das dann aber wiederum vom BH abgelöst wurde. Besonders ein Exemplar der Mittelalter-Dessous „sieht genauso aus wie ein moderner Büstenhalter“, sagt Hilary Davidson, Mode-Konservatorin des „Museum of London“. „Das sind wirklich erstaunliche Funde“.

Die Leinen-BHs waren schon 2008 entdeckt worden – doch es dauerte sehr lange, die Fundstücke zu untersuchen und mittels Kohlenstoffdatierung auf ihre Echtheit zu überprüfen. Nutz hielt letztes Jahr einen Vortrag über die Büstenhalter, aber die Neuigkeit verließ die akademischen Kreise nicht, bis das BBC History Magazine einen Artikel verfasste.

Die Unterhose war im Mittelalter nur für Männer ein Kleidungsstück (Bild: dapd)„Wir konnten es selbst nicht glauben – wir gingen bisher davon aus, dass es im 15. Jahrhundert keine BH-ähnlichen Kleidungsstücke gab“, sagte die verantwortliche Archäologin Beatrix Nutz von der Universität Innsbruck. Die vier BHs befanden sich unter mehr als 2700 Stoffstücken, zusammen mit Schmutz, Holz, Stroh und Lederteilen, wie die Universität weiter mitteilte.

Vier Leinen-BHs sehen aus wie modische BHs mit ausgeprägten Körbchen. Besonders einer hat es den Forschern angetan: Er wirke wie aus einem modernen Kaufhaus, „mit zwei breiten Trägern und einem möglichen Rückenband, das zwar nicht erhalten, aber durch Ausbeulungen an den Körbchen angedeutet ist, an die es angebracht war.

Die Wäsche war jedoch nicht allein funktionell. Die BHs waren aufwendig mit Borten und anderem Schmuck verziert und sollten denen gefallen, die sie zu Gesicht bekamen. Das Mittelalter war also aus heutiger Sicht weit sexier, als bislang angenommen.

Gemälde aus dem Mittelalter zeigen, was zu jener Zeit in Mode war, sie zeigen aber nicht, was die Leute drunter trugen. Davidson, die Mode-Konservatorin, beschrieb den Fund daher als „fehlendes Glied in der Kette der Geschichte der Unterwäsche“.

Ende des 19. Jahrhunderts begannen Frauen mit BH-ähnlichen Kleidungsstücken zu experimentieren und der erste BH, wie wir ihn heute kennen, wurde Anfang des 20. Jahrhunderts patentiert. Man glaubt, dass er von der New Yorker Society-Lady Mary Phelps Jacob erfunden wurde, die mit dem Look ihres Abendkleids über einem steifen Korsett unzufrieden war.

Neben den BHs wurde auf Schloss Lemberg außerdem eine Leinen-Unterhose gefunden, die wie ein moderner Slip wirkt. Nutz meint jedoch, dass es sich dabei um Unterwäsche für Männer handelt – denn Frauen trugen damals nichts drunter. „Unterhosen sah man damals Machtsymbol“, meint sie. Gemälde aus dem Mittelalter zeigen oft Mann und Frau, wie sie sich in einem symbolischen Kampf um eine Unterhose streiten – um auszukämpfen, wer in der Familie „die Hosen anhat“.

Sehen Sie auch: Spektakuläre Studie über die Intelligenz der Geschlechter

May the Fourth be with You (and with thy Spirit)…. May 3rd was Day of the Holy Cross (in the Old BCP anyhow); Warnings from History about the Coming Dark Age: May 3 is also Polish Constitution of 1791 Day, and the 60th Anniversary of the Youngstown Sheet & Tube Company Petition for Certiorari

Yes, May the Fourth is international Star Wars Day (“May the Fourth be with You”—but watch out for the “Revenge of the Fifth”), and yesterday, all over Western Christendom, is or at least used to be called “the Day of the Holy Cross” (this construction of the Calendar is sometimes said to be a “Gallican” custom, involving the mixture of Celtic rites of Beltane [May Day] with Christianity, in the time of Saint Gregory of Tours and other such French sources predating the time of Charlamagne*, but even as a 20th century Anglican/Episcopalian, I grew up thinking that Constantine’s Mother the Empress Helen**  went to Jerusalem and found the “true Cross” fragments on May 3, and when I started traveling to and living in Mexico I found that the Mexicans [in “Veracruz” and elsewhere] still celebrate the 3rd, notwithstanding anything Pope John XXIII did the year I was born [1960], and the Maya of Yucatán—see my birthday greetings for Pedro Un Cen on May 1—still celebrate May 3 as the day that the Chaacs (the Ancient Maya Raingods) return to the land from the East to start the beginning of the rainy season, but Last things first:

POLISH CONSTITUTION OF 1791 Day: A Warning for our Time

Most Americans have heard of American Revolutionary War hero General  Andrzej Tadeusz Bonawentura Kościuszko (at least by the shorter version of his name: Tadeusz Kosciuszko).  He came to the United States to assist in the War of Independence for no reason other than he thought it was the right thing to do.  He was a volunteer Patriot in Founding a country 1/3 of the way around the world from his homeland.  

I have the feeling that Kosciuszko lived to feel even more defeated than John W. Davis….(see my adjoining post on the 60th Anniversary of the Youngstown Sheet & Tube Petition for Writ of Certiorari) possibly more like Jefferson Davis must have felt…..  

Kosciuszko lived long enough after the American Revolution to see first the French Revolution, then the final partition of his own homeland by three of the major powers OPPOSED to the French Revolution, the restoration of the core of his homeland (briefly) between 1807 and 1815, and then the final re-annexation of Poland by Russia after the Congress of Vienna in 1815—a situation which would endure for another 104 years….

After helping launch the American nation, with a career comparable and in some ways parallel to the actions of the Marquis de Lafayette in France, Kosciuszko went back to his native Poland where he tried to rebuild and save his own nation, and modernize its constitution in light of what he had learned and seen in America. I have previously, on this blog, mentioned the wonderful Polish Professor Wiktor Osiatynski under whom I was privileged to study at the University of Chicago 1990-1991 and my fascination with the Polish nation and constitutional history has never ceased since then.  Poland is a Phoenix-like nation having been consumed by fire into ashes and portioned by its neighbors Germany and Russia at least twice (and Austria once).  The metaphoric image of the mythical Phoenix arising from its flames parallels takes on added and appropriate meaning given Poland’s association with the City and University of Chicago, not least since Chicago is the largest Polish-speaking urban area anywhere outside of Poland and the City itself has at least once or twice in history arisen from the flames (after the Great Fire of 1871, but arguably again after the riots of 1968 also…).  

On May 3, Poland celebrated the 221st anniversary of the Constitution of 1791, the last Constitution before the two final (18th century) partitions of Poland 1793-1795.   The Twentieth Century Partition of Poland, between Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia was in a thousand ways much worse, more brutal, more destructive, but also much shorter in duration.  The 18th Century Partitions of Poland were reversed by the Emperor Napoleon I Bonaparte in 1807 as he vainly tried to restrict and limit the power of Prussia.  The Von Ribbentrop-Molotov (aka “Stalin-Hitler”) Pact of 1941 was reversed a mere four years later, but not before Poland had not only been savaged by Nazi occupation but by the Stalinist reprisal which, in terms of meaningful reality, involved much vaster forced migrations than any that history had ever seen, and comparable only to the forced internal migrations (poorly documented though they are) which took place in Maoist China during the “Cultural Revolution”.  

Now you might ask, why should an American care about learning the details of Polish Constitutional History?  As Professor Wiktor Osiatynski made us all aware in the two courses he taught that year at the University of Chicago, Poland’s constitutional history was a major source of its downfall.  Prior to meeting and studying with Wiktor, my primary familiarity with recent modern Poland had been a vague knowledge of the partitions of the late 18th century, the fact that Napoleon I had created the Duchy of Warsaw, and that Chopin and many other 19th century artists had gained fame for the culture of Poland and quietly advocated the restoration of Polish Sovereignty and Nationality.

Of course, I had also been very generally aware from a lifetime obsession with historical cartography, I was aware that Poland had once been the largest nation in Europe—a fact, again, which probably very few Americans must know.***  Yes, the combination of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland once not merely “dominated” but in effect “was” all of Eastern Europe—controlling during most of the 15th-early 18th Centuries all of the territory from the Baltic to the Black Seas, dwarfing “barbarous” Russian during most of that time, although Russia started climbing out of an inferior position in the 16th century, though it did not achieve “world nation” status until the 18th under Peter and Catherine the Great.  

But indeed, the Constitutional History of Poland and Lithuania together is very interesting, and historically relevant for Americans, especially in this day and age.  Lithuania, so it was forced to ally more closely with Poland, uniting with its western neighbor as the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (Commonwealth of Two Nations) in the Union of Lublin of 1569. According to the Union many of the territories formerly controlled by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania were transferred to the Crown of the Polish Kingdom, while the gradual process of Polonization slowly drew Lithuania itself under Polish domination. The Grand Duchy retained many rights in the federation (including a separate government, treasury and army) until the May 3 Constitution of Poland was passed in 1791. 

I submit to you, “my fellow Americans” that we today are much like Poland—because of the abrogation of our traditional Federal Union into a centralized dictatorship, we are weak and face extinction, division, and perhaps even partition between, say, China, Mexico, and a resurgent Europe.  

* Pope Adrian I between 784 and 791 sent Charlemagne, at the King of the Franks’ personal request, a copy of what was considered to be the Sacramentary of Saint Gregory, which certainly represented the Western Roman “Early Dark Ages” use of the end of the eighth century.  This book, far from complete, was edited and supplemented by the addition of a large amount of matter derived from the Gallican books and from the Roman book known as the Gelasian Sacramentary, which had been gradually supplanting the Gallican. The editor may well have been Charlemagne’s principal liturgical advisor, the  Englishman Alcuin. Copies were distributed throughout Charlemagne’s empire, and this “composite liturgy”, as Duchesne says, “from its source in the Imperial chapel spread throughout all the churches of the Frankish Empire and at length, finding its way to Rome gradually supplanted there the ancient use”. More than half a century later, when Charles the Bald wished to see what the ancient Gallican Rite had been like, it was necessary to import Hispanic priests to celebrate it in his presence, because the Gallican rite took root firmly in Toledo, Viscaya, Aragon, Catalunia, and elsewhere in the land of the Christian Visigoths of Hispania before the arrival of the Moors (and survived there ever after, even during the Caliphate of Cordoba—which resilience explains why May 3 remains the Day of the Holy Cross everywhere in Latin America).

The Luxeuil Lectionary, the Gothicum and Gallicum Missals, and the Gallican adaptations of the Hieronymian Martyrology are the chief authorities on this point, and to these may be added some information to be gathered from the regulations of the Councils of Agde (506), Orléans (541),Tours (567), and Mâcon (581), and from the “Historia Francorum” of St. Gregory of Tours, as to the Gallican practice in the sixth century.

** Constantine’s Mother the Empress Helen did a lot of traveling and established a lot of Churches.  Named after Helen of Troy, Empress Helen kept the name alive and popular among the Christians, and it was the Empress Helen, I am told, after whom were named both my Louisiana-born grandmother who raised me with love and my Greek-born wife who razed me with something else.

***For my lifelong obsession with maps, I have mostly my mother to blame, because she bought me so many Atlases–Shepard’s Historical Atlas, Oxford Historical Atlas, just for starters–when I was very small and for some reason decorated my boyhood room with a collection historical individually framed maps of almost every county in England, Wales, & Scotland—this led to my grandparents, somewhat later, always putting me in charge of studying the maps when we traveled and making reports on local geography as we did—Baedeker was almost like a family friend, and sometimes AAA and National Geographic.