« So many wars, so little money | Main | 臥 虎 藏 龍 »

The Booboisie

By Michael J. Smith on Thursday March 26, 2009 09:03 PM

I've been lounging around the house the last couple of days, laid low by a vile cold. It's been so boring that I've actually sat down, for the first time in I-dunno-how-long, and read through a paper copy of the New York Times. I had forgotten what an entertaining publication it can be. For example:

There’s Safety in Military Contracts

Like so many small businesses in this weak economy, Kaos Worldwide, a sports apparel company just outside Houston, has been struggling. But it has managed to survive while its competitors have folded because it won a five-year, $1.5 million contract last year to supply sports bras to the United States military.

Owen, I'm sure, will want to know just how many of these garments you can buy for one and a half mil, and what is the distribution of cup sizes the US military requires. Are many of them... really... large? How many?

But then, Owen is an economist. The metric fetish comes naturally to him.

I on the other hand am kind of a novelist manque, and the back story interests me:

Mr. Emanuel [the bra man from Kaos] said he was lucky that, through personal connections, a general in Iraq had learned of his product. The general ordered 10,000 bras for his female soldiers by credit card in 2005.
Personal connections? Ten thousand bras on his credit card? Oh man oh man, it's good to be the general.
While it may seem that only large corporations like Halliburton and Lockheed Martin would have a shot at lucrative military contracts, the Defense Department actually awards more than half, or $55 billion, to small businesses. And the Obama administration’s $787 billion stimulus plan promises to make even more money available.
Now that is what I call a stimulus plan.

Comments (3)


I took it that the general ordered SOME bras with his credit card, and then aksed someone higher up in "quartermaster" corps, I think it's called, to place the big contract. The interesting story would be how many did the general order, what sizes, and what test did he use to see if they were "combat ready"?

scratch all that! This was a crap topic, Michael.


Mea culpa. It started out to be a ponderous reflection on military Keynesianism, but the sheer glorious absurdity of mil-spec ladies' underwear just took over.


Keee-rist, MJS! A mere two days salaried-labor furlough and you bring us this? Methinks your anti-Puritanical protestations are refractions in a mirror, or I'm beginning to think so anyway... the Distinction being that you are a self-disclosing Guy in late modern times.

And whoever said that the US garment industry was dead? I suppose it helps to be spatially proximate to the Port Arthur petrochemical complex, site of rayon inputs aplenty, as well as the aforementioned military-industrial contracting networks (like David Harvey would say, place-space still matters...)

Post a comment

Note also that comments with three or more links may be held for "moderation" -- a strange term to apply to the ghost in this blog's machine. Seems to be a hard-coded limitation of the blog software, unfortunately.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on Thursday March 26, 2009 09:03 PM.

The previous post in this blog was So many wars, so little money.

The next post in this blog is 臥 虎 藏 龍.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Creative Commons License

This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.
Powered by
Movable Type 3.31