Who said history was boring?

Posted on 12:08 PM by jr cline | 0 comments

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot and then once a day it was taken and sold to the tannery.  If you had to do this to survive you were "Piss Poor".
 
But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn't even afford to buy a pot. They "didn't have a pot to piss in" and were the lowest of the low.

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be. 
  
Here are some facts about the 1500s:
 
Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June.  However, since they were starting to smell, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.  Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water.  The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children.  Last of all the babies.  By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.  Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the Bath water!"
 
Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath.  It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof.  When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying "It's raining cats and dogs."
   
There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house.  This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed.  Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection.  That's how canopy beds came into existence.
   
The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt.  Hence the saying, "Dirt poor."
   
The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keep their footing.  As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside.  A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way.  Hence: a thresh hold.
  
In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire.  Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot.  They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat.  They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day.  Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while.  Hence the rhyme:  Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old. 
  
Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special.  When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off.  It was a sign of wealth that a man could, "bring home the bacon."  They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.
 
Those with money had plates made of pewter.  Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death.  This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.
 
Bread was divided according to status.  Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper crust.
  
Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey.  The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out.  Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial.  They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up.  Hence the custom of holding a wake.
 
 England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people.  So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave.  When reopening these coffins, one out of twenty-five coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive.  So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell.  Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, saved by the bell or was considered a dead ringer.
 
Is it real or is it fiction?  Beats me, it came in an email.
  

Tea-party-Republicans/Social Security

Posted on 7:16 PM by jr cline | 0 comments

 
I got this from diva-jyoti.
  

I watch the news a lot.  I watch all the channels, even FOX.  Now I have heard too many of these Tea-party-republicans saying they want to get rid of social security and medicare.  Here's something interesting about social security: I consider it to be urgent.  Benefit cuts this fall would affect so many people that I love.  Did you know there was no small percentage cost of living increase in social security for 2010?  Even though that is only a small percentage that they give for cost of living, already, this is hurting people. There is no reason to mess with people's social security that they paid into!  If you do facebook or twitter, there are some instructions on how to share this information and spread this information.  It's important.
  
*********************
  
Social Security is under attack and we need to fight back against the lies.
Have you heard that Social Security is going bankrupt? Driving up the deficit? In crisis?
Well none of that is true. These are all myths that opponents of Social Security have been spreading to scare people into accepting benefit cuts this fall. But the myths are taking hold—so we have to fight back with the facts.
So we've put together a list of the top five myths about Social Security, along with the real story. Can you check out the list and then share it with your friends, family, and coworkers?
  

Share the list by going to http://pol.moveon.org/ssmyths?id=22140-10414530-_Y7b3cx&t=1 
If you're on Facebook, share it by clicking here
If you're on Twitter, tweet it here
  

Top 5 Social Security Myths 

 

Myth #1: Social Security is going broke.
  
Reality: There is no Social Security crisis.
By 2023, Social Security will have a $4.6 trillion surplus (yes, trillion with a 'T').  It can pay out all scheduled benefits for the next quarter-century with no changes whatsoever.1 After 2037, it'll still be able to pay out 75% of scheduled benefits—and again, that's without any changes. The program started preparing for the Baby Boomers' retirement decades ago.2  Anyone who insists Social Security is broke probably wants to break it themselves.
  
Myth #2: We have to raise the retirement age because people are living longer.
  
Reality: This is a red-herring to trick you into agreeing to benefit cuts.
Retirees are living about the same amount of time as they were in the 1930s. The reason average life expectancy is higher is mostly because many fewer people die as children than they did 70 years ago.3 What's more, what gains there have been are distributed very unevenly—since 1972, life expectancy increased by 6.5 years for workers in the top half of the income brackets, but by less than 2 years for those in the bottom half.4 But those intent on cutting Social Security love this argument because raising the retirement age is the same as an across-the-board benefit cut.
  
Myth #3: Benefit cuts are the only way to fix Social Security.
  
Reality: Social Security doesn't need to be fixed.
But if we want to strengthen it, here's a better way: Make the rich pay their fair share.  If the very rich paid taxes on all of their income, Social Security would be sustainable for decades to come.5 Right now, high earners only pay Social Security taxes on the first $106,000 of their income.6  But conservatives insist benefit cuts are the only way because they want to protect the super-rich from paying their fair share.
  
Myth #4: The Social Security Trust Fund has been raided and is full of IOUs
  
Reality: Not even close to true.
The Social Security Trust Fund isn't full of IOUs, it's full of U.S. Treasury Bonds. And those bonds are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States.7 The reason Social Security holds only treasury bonds is the same reason many Americans do: The federal government has never missed a single interest payment on its debts. President Bush wanted to put Social Security funds in the stock market—which would have been disastrous—but luckily, he failed. So the trillions of dollars in the Social Security Trust Fund, which are separate from the regular budget, are as safe as can be.
  
Myth #5: Social Security adds to the deficit
  
Reality: It's not just wrong—it's impossible!
By law, Social Security's funds are separate from the budget, and it must pay its own way. That means that Social Security can't add one penny to the deficit.8
Defeating these myths is the first step to stopping Social Security cuts.  Can you share this list now?
Thanks for all you do.
–Nita, Duncan, Daniel, Kat, and the rest of the team
  
Sources:
  
1."To Deficit Hawks: We the People Know Best on Social Security," New Deal 2.0, June 14, 2010
 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89703&id=22140-10414530-_Y7b3cx&t=4
2. "The Straight Facts on Social Security," Economic Opportunity Institute, September 2009
 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89704&id=22140-10414530-_Y7b3cx&t=5
3. "Social Security and the Age of Retirement," Center for Economic and Policy Research, June 2010
 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89705&id=22140-10414530-_Y7b3cx&t=6
4. "More on raising the retirement age," Washington Post, July 8, 2010
 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89706&id=22140-10414530-_Y7b3cx&t=7
5. "Social Security is sustainable," Economic and Policy Institute, May 27, 2010
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89707&id=22140-10414530-_Y7b3cx&t=8
6. "Maximum wage contribution and the amount for a credit in 2010," Social Security Administration, April 23, 2010
 http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/240
7. "Trust Fund FAQs," Social Security Administration, February 18, 2010
 http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/ProgData/fundFAQ.html
8."To Deficit Hawks: We the People Know Best on Social Security," New Deal 2.0, June 14, 2010
 http://www.moveon.org/r?r=89703&id=22140-10414530-_Y7b3cx&t=9