Sunday, April 17, 2011

Ludicrous Account of English Taxes

The Insidious Rapacious Suckers of American blood (IRS) have graciously extended the deadline for filing our taxes by three days. How kind of them. In celebration of the harvest, I am posting this timeless essay. 



1.  Permit me to inform you, my friends, what are the inevitable consequences of being too fond of glory. Taxes – upon every article which enters into the mouth, or covers the back, or is placed under the foot – taxes upon everything which it is pleasant to see, hear, feel, smell, or taste – taxes upon warmth, light, and locomotion – taxes on everything on earth, and in the waters under the earth – on everything that comes from abroad, or is grown at home – taxes on the raw material – taxes on every fresh value that is added to it by the industry of man – taxes on the sauce which pampers man’s appetite, and the drug which restores him to health – on the ermine which decorates the judge, and the rope which hangs the criminal – on the poor man’s salt, and the rich man’s spice – on the brass nails of the coffin, and the ribbons of the bride – at bed or board, couchant or levant, we must pay.

2.  The school boy whips his taxed top – the beardless youth manages his taxed horse, with a taxed bridle on a taxed road. The dying Englishman, pouring his medicine which has paid seven per cent, into a spoon that has paid fifteen per cent – flings himself back upon his chintz bed which has paid twenty-two per cent – makes his will on an eight pound stamp, and expires in the arms of an apothecary, who has paid a license of an hundred pounds for the privilege of putting him to death.

3.  His whole property is then immediately taxed from two to ten percent. Besides the probate, large fees are demanded for burying him in the chancel. His virtues are handed down to posterity on taxed marble, and he is then gathered to his fathers – to be taxed bo more.

4.  In addition to all this, the habit of dealing with large sums will make the government avaricious and profuse. The system itself will infallibly generate the base vermin of spies and informers, and a still more pestilent race of political tools and retainers, of the meanest and most odious description, while the prodigious patronage, which the collecting of this splendid revenue will throw into the hands of government, will invest it with so vast an influence, and hold out such means and temptations to corruption, as all the virtue and public spirit, even of republicans, will be unable to resist.

The above is taken from McGuffey’s Eclectic FOURTH Reader (1837 edition). 
The Fourth Reader as aimed at the upper end of grammar school.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Happy Reaming, Keep Dreaming, Hope there's some change left

Eat my heart out, IRS man.


Income Tax Time – The Ides of April

Beware the Ides of March, Caesar,
Brutus and the Senate will depower you
by killing you. You will breathe your
last, never again to hear someone ask, “How’re you?”

Beware the Ides of April, taxpayers,
when the IRS will devalue you.
The tax collector whacks layers
from your wealth – so much so, ye’ll cry: Boo-hoo!

Take me seriously – I mean not to be funny.
Beware the IRS, where the tax collectors lurk.
They whittle down your money
with a pencil-sharpened dirk.

And why do they extract
large chunks from your wallet?
To give to ruling dictators, in fact.
“Foreign Policy” is what they call it.

And to liquidate the nine trillion dollar foreign debt,
which never happens – like Topsy, it just grows and grows.
Them taxes get collected, and yet
no one knows where that money goes.

And, oh yes, the five trillion dollar national debt
owed to We the People. Excuse it me,
but this one really gets me upset –
it‘s what our reps “borrowed” from Social Security –

our retirement fund – to fund their own pet projects.
Which is why SS is in trouble. He who objects,
for example, you, if you fail
to pay your taxes, will end up in jail!

And have you ever wondered why
Soc Sec and Medi-Care are in trouble?
It’s because, that rep of yours, you buy
his private med insurance and retirement.
which is why he doesn’t give a gee whiz
about yours because he’ll certainly get his.
That’s where some of your taxes went.
I’m sorry that I broke your bubble.

So beware the Ides of April, taxpayers,
when the IRS will devalue you.
The tax collector whacks layers
from your wealth – so much so, ye’ll cry: Boo-hoo!

And while you’re at it, beware the guy you voted for.
For all you’ve done for him, you’ll discover he’s noted for
doing nothing for you. I never hear from my politico
but for a glowing self-written report , wouldn’t you know,
just before election day, telling of all he’s done for me,
whereas I know for a fact he’s done nothing but ignore me.

The Poetry Showcase

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Croissants, anyone?

For Stony, who sent me the video:  From January of 2008.

There are many great stories about how certain tasty dishes came about, and one of my favorite food myths is the history of the croissant.

From the Accidental Hedonist:

Food Stories: The History of the Croissant

by Kate Hopkins
It's the summer of 1683 and the city of Vienna is under seige. The Ottoman Empire has asked that the Hapsburg city to surrender, and the leaders have told the Turks to (and I'm paraphrasing here) "take a short leap off a long pier". The siege of Vienna was under way.
One of the many ideas that the Turks had to infiltrate the city was to dig tunnels beneath the city and their walls, set off explosions within the tunnels; which would in turn destroy said walls and allow the Turks to enter. It was a good idea, except for one variable that they could not have expected - a baker by the name of Peter Wender.
Mr. Wender was working in the basement of his bakery during the seige when he heard an unexplained sound coming from one of his walls. He alerted the city army and went to investigate and lo and behold, discovered the Turks and foiled their plan.
The baker, for his part, decided to advertise his part in preventing the invading army from...well...invading, and created a pastry in the shape of a crescent, which happened to be the symbol of the Ottoman empire.
After the Turks were ousted (with a fair amount of help from the Polish army), it became custom to serve morning coffee with Wender's pastry. A tradition was born.
A century later, a Viennese princess by the name of Marie Antoinette married the French King Louis XVI. She insisted that the bakers in Paris learn how to make the treat. Over the years, the french bakers added butter and yeast to the mix, and the Croissant (meaning 'crescent') was born.
It's a great story, but most of it is likely untrue. At the very least, the recipe for the croissant as you and I know it is not documented until 1906.
For those who like the mythology recounted above, have heart - crescent-shaped pastries called pfizers were baked in Vienna during the 17th century and that they migrated to France afterwards (although probably not at Mdme. Antoinette's request). It is not beyond the realm of probability that this pastry was improved upon.

The Great Food Battles of History, made yummy

This is a rehashed post for Stony, who sent me a most awesome video. Meanwhile, watch this a while.

H/T Thousand Sons @ Discarded Lies

Here are the players in this Epically Historical Mediterranean Food Fight:


Baba Gannouj

Tatziki (cucumber dip)




And Zorkmidden recounts how her great-grandfather was killed in that battle by the evil Imam Bayildi:

Imam Bayildi

A moment of silence for our Brave Heroes:

A Hero.

Now THIS is a food fight:

The Windows

Via Mme. Scherzo's tumblr

Personal Boycott of Hanes

There is so much to hate about this commercial. Where to even begin? Is it the nasty-faced, thankless pampered brats being strolled by mommy? These children wouldn't know what a recycled shirt looked like if their older siblings handed it down to them, complete with chocolate pudding stains and all.

It couldn't possibly be the foul hypocrisy of outsourcing their labor to sweatshops in the third world, could it?
And before you jump on me about unions pricing themselves out of the market, let me just say, I don't have a problem with companies making money and profits. That can be another topic for another day.

Maybe this is Hanes way of doing environmental pennance. (Sorry, I meant to say INDULGENCE)

Whatever it is, I'm not buying Hanes products anymore. This is one fugly repulsive commercial. I am willing to bet most clothing these days are made from partially recycled materials, so I'm definitely not buying the premise Hanes is making.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Well. That Didn't Last Long

After a lovely complaint letter from a kind reader that offered three choices: Come back. Come back, or Come back, being the options. I've decided to. Come back. Redecorating the place now. Working on a couple of stories of no importance, except that they are eating away at my little ear lobes, begging me to write them.
Later, all.