The Vaults

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Wow, what a weekend! Wow, what a report! Sometimes I even impress myself. 
If you missed the show at Echo, you missed a hell of a show. Worse, you missed Torchy’s final appearance in the Dames A’Flame!

Dear Friends and fellow Burlesquers,
It's official, Torchy Taboo has left the Dames
A'flame, headed toward parts unknown (well, not
completely unknown). To clarify: The Dames will still
be performing together, and I, Torchy will, of corse
still be performing as well...other places.
I enjoyed putting the group together; they're great
gals. We had some good, fun shows, and now we are
parting ways quite amicably. You may even see us
perform together again some day in the future.
If you need to reach me, go directly through my
personal E-mail address or my new yahoo group, "House
of Heat," rather than through the Dames website here
on out.
Happy Presidents Day, kids!

I may have gotten these before last episode but I’ve lost track. The democracy in America debate continues, kicking off with this retort from degenerate MH:

I'm going to vote for degenerate MM.

Next on deck, degenerate RVI:

Degenerate LS says:
"Voting actually could change the system. Creating massive voter apathy and convincing people they have no power ,when actually they have all the power, is what keeps the current system going. These assholes cannot get into office without money and votes. If we refuse to cosign their crap they can't seize power. If we sit quietly back and do nothing we just handed them control of our lives."
I am certainly not dissuading anyone from casting their vote, however, if one does vote, one ought not to walk away from the polling place with the warm feeling one has changed the world. You have done one duty of a citizen, but only one, and hardly the most important.
You say, these people "cannot get into office without money and votes. If we refuse to cosign their crap they can t seize power."
Oh? I am afraid they "seized power" a long time ago and "they" hold the power no matter who winds up in office. "They" are the 2% of the populace who control the majority of the capital and own nearly all the property in this country. You can look in the mirror and tell yourself you have as much power as you wish, but in the end, it is the moneyed class, their political cronies, and the pseudo-intellectuals, commentators, and apologists who attempt to justify the uneven distribution of wealth and power in this country - and encourage the rest of us to misuse the pittance of wealth and power we are allowed -- who hold nearly all the cards at present.
Why? Not because, as Marx thought, they have history on their side and they are a necessary "automatic" stage in the development of the world awaiting only the socialist moment to "automatically" arrive, seize the wealth and redistribute it equally; rather, they are in power because we, as a people, have chosen, of our own free will, to become materialists and hedonists. We choose it daily and in nearly every activity. From top to bottom, we are eaten alive with the belief that accumulation of things - new cars, new houses, new clothes, trips to the restaurant and the clubs, vacations, keeping up with the "style" of the day (the list is literally endless), the use of easily available credit to live beyond one’s actual means -- is the raison d jtre of human existence. That and we are overwhelmed by the conviction that pleasure for pleasure s sake is actually a worthy goal for a human life - people are literally starving to death and sleeping in the streets and going without basic medical services and walking around ignorant with heads full of myths and half-truths and I hear more whining about the time of the bars closing in Buckhead than indignation about any ONE of these horrors. The powerful are in power precisely because they pander to these cultural tendencies, economically benefit from them, get us to invest our money and time in them, fund the campaigns of politicians who support their belief system from the earnings and interest, and then indirectly suppress any real possibility that people might seek a different way of being human by bombarding the populace with advertising and entertainment and by attempting to see that curricula in the universities are skewed in materialist directions, whether to the right or to the left, by political means and by funding.
What I am suggesting is not so much that there is a conspiracy as that there is here a materialist culture that almost automatically acts to protect itself and expand at every opportunity, as cultures are analogous to organisms on many levels. Especially in that they rearrange the environment to suit themselves, even if the result is detrimental and self-destructive.
Voting within such a culture may slow the effects of the beliefs here and there, but it will not greatly effect the underlying structure of values which, in fact, motivate everyone involved.
I may post on the Blasphemy Board an article I wrote for a local paper last summer on this topic. Check there to see if it doesn’t raise some issues that need to be faced and will have to be faced on a plane more basic than the ballot box - i.e. in the university halls and by books and argumentation - if the ballot box is ever to be truly useful to a free people again. Apathy about ideas is far more deadly than refusing to cast a vote for the loudest slave in the pen.
Degenerate RVI

Last up, degenerate CP who’s still trying to simultaneously desubscribe, yet send in comments. Hey CP, nobody but the editor gets the last laugh around here! You can play, or you can stay away, but you can’t have your say and eat it too. Or something like that.

I unsubscribed, yes. I still got an email of the recent ezine. And saw a response from MM. Before thinking, I did this:

The Fed’s goal is 5% unemployment. Lower is bad. Higher is bad. Ask an economist for an explanation. Also, in an expansionist monetary policy, GDP is raised at the expense of unemployment numbers. It works the other way in a restrictive period. Also, the unemployment rate for adult males is 5.3%, for adult females, 5.3%; for teenagers, it's 17.1%. One last thing. Just to show you some of the actual ingredients in the soup that has become the entrée in this election cycle (also, thanks for the unemployment story from the journalism co-op the American Reporter. Name me a respected journalist among them.):

"The Department of Labor provides two different sets of labor market statistics: the? Establishment Survey and the? Household Survey . The Establishment Survey polls 400,000 companies on how many employees they have. The Household Survey questions 60,000 households each month on whether they have jobs and whether someone is looking for one.

There are a number of technical reasons that the two surveys can yield different numbers. For example, people with more than one job will be counted multiple times in the establishment survey. On the other hand, the self-employed are only counted by the household survey.

The so-called? “jobless recovery”?picture is painted using the Household Survey for calculating the unemployment rate but using the Establishment Survey for the number of jobs created. The Household Survey can be used for both measures as it, too, provides estimates on the total number of people employed. But the two surveys have implied dramatically different changes in employment over the last few years. Over the last year, the Household Survey shows that almost?two million new jobs have been created, while the Establishment Survey indicated a job loss of 62,000 jobs. Over the entire Bush administration, the Household Survey found that about 2.4 million new jobs have been created. By contrast, the Establishment Survey shows a net addition of only 522,000.

Why the difference? The number of companies does not remain fixed. Old firms die and new ones are born. The Establishment Survey finds out about the company deaths quickly, but it takes longer to learn about births. The current list of firms surveyed excludes firms started over almost the entire last two years. What the Establishment Survey shows is that total employment in older firms has changed little over the last three years. It completely missed the growth in new jobs among new startups and self-employment.

Not surprisingly, the choice of numbers is central to the political debate. Using the Establishment Survey, Democratic presidential candidates charge that over?two million jobs have been lost under the Bush administration from January 2001 to January 2003. Yet, as noted earlier, the inclusion of?more recent numbers now indicate a small net addition.?Eventually Democrats will be forced to update their claims. "

On the SUPPORT/OPPOSE thing: Geez. You are still sticking to those guns, huh? From someone who obviously looks deeper usually, too. That surface-only attempt at plebeian understanding was typical of America Online. I don't really rest on political summaries built by AOL web content folks.

Gay Marriage: Yes, a large part of the debate IS about non-married benefits. Look at the MA debate right now. They're attempting to ban, with provisions for civil partnership benefits. John Edwards opposes marriage but is all in favor of benefits for partners. Again, I ask the question: who would determine a civil partnership? If you are the owner of a small business, do you savor the thought of being forced to insure someone's significant other just because two people swear that it's the case? You think benefits are going to be denied MORE people in that case? Yep. Businesses will just stop coverage for ANY partner, married or not. But it's going to be okay. Because the democratic candidates would have you believe that everyone will have free healthcare. Of course out the other side of their mouth they complain about the cost of what little benefits did get passed last year. Money never plays into the picture for anyone but an incumbent.

Evidently, Bush HAS acted in the interest of the majority. That's what an approval rating over 50% means. And if this were not your first or second closely-followed election, you would know that polls pitting an incumbent who has yet to begin campaigning against actively campaigning opponents are notoriously skewed.

That freaking election: Great example here of refusal to admit anything. Your quote: "this was before the WSJ and NYT, among others, admitted that Gore should have won."
Go to the New York Times archive:
And read this:
EXAMINING THE VOTE: THE OVERVIEW; Study of Disputed Florida Ballots Finds Justices Did Not Cast the Deciding Vote

Late Edition - Final , Section A , Page 1 , Column 1

ABSTRACT - Comprehensive review of uncounted Florida ballots from 2000 presidential election, conducted by consortium of eight news organizations and professional statisticians, indicates George W Bush would have won election even if US Supreme Court allowed statewide manual recount of votes ordered by state Supreme Court; finds, contrary to allegations by partisans of Vice Pres Al Gore, that Supreme Court did not award election to Bush; says that Bush would have retained slender margin if Florida court order to recount more than 43,000 ballots was not reversed by Supreme Court, and that even under strategy Gore pursued at beginning of standoff, of filing suit to force recounts in four predominantly Democratic counties, Bush would have retained lead; says close examination of broader group of rejected ballots than those covered in court decisions shows Gore might have won if courts ordered full statewide recount of all rejected ballots, and if he pursued in court action he publicly advocated of calling on state to count all votes; finds statistical support for complaints of many voters, particularly elderly Democrats in Palm Beach County, who said in interviews after election that confusing ballot designs may have led them to spoil their ballots by voting for more than one candidate; charts; photos

Might have if counted by means other than required is a far stretch from “would have.” Bush “would have,” even if yadda yadda yadda. Just showing the bending going on with you guys.

Quote from you: “And I can say, from personal experience, that people earning $25-50K
also pay about 40% to the government” Man. Those are some generous people. Because if you knew the tax tables, they’re required to pay in the low to mid 20-percent range. You must be counting income tax plus property tax plus sales tax plus capital gains tax plus sin tax plus junk taxes. If that’s the case, people who make over $100K HHI pay about 75% to various taxes. But that wasn’t the point. Answer the question: (Re: The Economy) Why can't people do math? Let's see...raise taxes, but increase investments and spending by individuals. Ever heard of mutually exclusive? What's wrong with tax relief? Even for people with
more money.
I’d like to add “Especially for people with more money.” to the end of that paragraph.

Like I said all the above was before thinking about why. Then I remembered. The reason I’m unsubscribed now and submitting this as a last response?
First, I realized that I was having political conversations with people who value things like cool bands automatically and would be embarrassed to, for example, be religious (unless it too was Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, etc.) Too young of a set of values for me.
Also, I ran across this in looking at MM’s original post and it made the whole thing a folly for me. I’m digging up Dept of Labor Statistics information, the public Federal Reserve economic policy and Supreme Court opinions and my opponent has posted the output from an AOL political tool, the American Reporter and a conspiracy theory rant he got from a documentary film: Keep your eye on Florida. Note also that the company making the polling

machines to be used in many, many precincts all over the country is

rumored to be pro-Bush Republican. That scares the pee out of me,

personally, especially after watching "Unprecedented".

I hope you'll rent it.

The fact that people are making up their minds about the leader and defender of the United States based on what they read in degenerate press scares the pee out of me. I’ll read it when it again provides where to go and what to do, not Creative Loafing-like self justification (no offense mr. Dictator, sir. Although, now that it’s come up, I’m beginning to doubt your very title as potentate now that you’ve let political discourse run rampantly over your much-welcomed anarchy of taste.)

Rave on MM and don’t let the boogey man get you down.


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