Late Night Shots

I attended a triple birthday party this Saturday in Georgetown, at Blue Gin no less. Considering I spend more weekends in Adams Morgan than anywhere else for purely practical reasons, I knew this would be a slightly different crowd than my typical weekend exploit. Sure, I used to spend the majority of my student days hitting up the local scene, but this was different. First off, Blue Gin (formerly Champs) is one of the very few places in the area that that thinks of itself as a club, with a regular cover and dress code. Secondly, the school which the birthday girls hailed from already has a reputation of being ultra preppy. But its good to get back to my roots once in a while, I figure, so I put on the polo shirt (albeit unpopped) and headed out to make my appearence.

It turns out that they had basically the upstairs to themselves, and, while still relatively early, had a decent amount of people already there. And yes, it was pretty much the crowd I thought it would be. I found the birthday girl, wished her a happy birthday, chatted with a few mutual friends, and headed over to the bar to get my $6 beer. I was shortly introduced to another member of the birthday party, who I made small talk with (what’s your name, who do you know here, etc…).  He was shorter than me, with an Oxford shirt and mixed drink in his hand, and also a few years out of school.

We are scarcely into our conversation when his eyes light up, and he suddenly asks me, “Do you like Asians?”

“Huh?” I ask

I follow his eyes towards three Asian girls making their way to the bar.

“Uh, I guess…I mean, I’ve never had anything agianst Asians.”

Interested, he turns to me. “Have you ever hooked up with an Asian before?”

Not sure where this was heading, I responded “Uh…”

“Oh, I love Asians. You got to hook up with them. I’m telling you, there nothing fucking like it.”

I quickly nodded in agreement, taking a swig of my beer, as if this was a foreseen conclusion by me. But then when he found out I went to Georgetown, he immediately asks about a girl he knows there.

“Do you know her?”

“Sounds familiar, not sure though.”

“Was on the lacrosse team … ”

“Oh, um…”

“Total slut.” he interjects.

“Really?” I ask, more incredulous of the point raised by him in the context of our conversation than the fact that this girls is (allegedly – but I’ll give it to her) a whore.

“Definitely. You have no idea. You been to Third’s?”

Third Edition is where most of the lacrosse team ends up (especially Wednesday nights)…

“Yeah…”

“She did two guys. In the bathroom there…plus probably most of the guy’s team.” he says with glee.

“Well, that’s good to know…I’ll keep that in mind?” I had no idea how to respond to this.

The thing was, this was normal banter for this guy, and he did not hesitate to engage me in this shortly after introducing ourselves. I may make comments like this to my close friends, or occasionally joking around, but what if that girl was my friend? The thing is, if she has friends like this guy, she probably hangs around people like this all the time.

Then I found out that there is a place especially made for these people so they can find each other and socialize: Late Night Shots.

Late Night Shots is a “closed social network which allows you to explore your city’s social landscape and bar scene” as the web site describes it.  Essentially, it is invitation only, allows people to arrange their social lives around specific bars, and create a network.  There are other similar organizations like this, to be sure, such as the formal Capital Club, limited to a 100 members, or the informal crowd that gathers at Smith Point.

As Rock Creek Rambler puts it:

The site in itself is actually kind of a cool idea.  Bars are arranged by neighborhood and list nightly drink specials.  People associate themselves with the bars at which they are “regulars” so you can kinda get an idea of the scene at each bar.  The problem is: the people.  I mean, it’s like a tractor trailer hauling duffeldouches jacknifed on the highway after colliding with a chartered bus for Hootie and the Blowfish, leaving the highway strewn with a bloody mangled mess of dead Hootie and used douche bags.  Hmmm… too macabre?

Aye, the people.  Therein lies the rub.  These people, or douches as we are apparently referring to them, were the inspiration for this week’s “must read” City Paper feature, “Members Only“.

The author, Angel Valdez, allows readers to gain some insight into the group by attending its functions and asking provoking questions of its members,  reporting on her observtions, and perusing its forums.  While the first people she speaks to claim to think little of the group, it becomes clear that most seem to take Late Night Shots seriously or are actively involved, and the idea of status is the pervading element in keeping interest strong, and racist and sexist overtones are the norm.

The three guys sitting at the bar at Town Hall in Georgetown swear it’s a true story: A friend of theirs called a buddy in the middle of a sexual conquest, placing his cell phone out of view. When the voice mail picked up, it recorded him asking his lady, “You like that Republican cock?”…At first, the sordid tales of preppy hookups just make me laugh. Then the bearded one in the middle busts out with this: “Do you like anal sex?” I squint. I’m confused. “Do you do anal?” he repeats, head bobbing with excitement.

The sense of entitlement and snobbery becomes clear when the author approaches a set of African-American twins at a LNS charity event:

I’m standing near a station serving only Red Bull with vodka when I meet Otis Ofori, 24, who, along with his twin brother, Curtis, is another star of LNS. I ask him what it is like to be a black man among such a uniformly white crowd. (I recently found a profile on the site for one Tyrone Biggums, who lists his skills as “Suckin dick for crack and drinkin red bawls!”) Ofori leans forward, reaches for my waist, and pulls me close. He says he knows people talk behind his back, but he doesn’t care. He’s rich, and that’s all that matters. “My brother and I, we do all right,” he says. “Guys with money can do whatever they want.” He grabs me again and says, “You’re kind of cute.”

She writes about the forums:

Code words like “turbo” and “turbette” help posters maintain the site’s exclusivity. The lingo ranges from abstruse to obvious. In addition to “takedowns” and “going to poundtown” or “PT” (getting laid), there’s “big timing” (snubbing someone, often a member of the opposite sex, at a bar), “smoke” (an attractive LNS member), and “RBV” (a Red Bull with vodka, the preferred drink of many LNSers).

Indeed, topics worth discussing include:

Lying about Greek affiliation
Posted By: very concerned on 10-19-2006 11:20 am
At age 29 if you’re dating a chick, how big of a problem is it if you’re digging through her desk and you find out that she was lying about what sorority she was in. This happened to a friend of mine.

RE: what are acceptable handouts from parents
Posted By: taxman on 10-25-2006 6:23 pm
Someone should receive absolutely no more than 30 k/yr and car payments from parents. If you’re above that, you really have problems. Girls may be entitled to a bit more than that with shopping and everything, but I feel like 30k is pretty reasonable.

LNS Forum Photo

The forums had been monitored for the past year by Wonkette, who shared
this exchange:

Breakage

Posted By: Plan B on 11-29-2006 10:00 am Report as shockingly offensive

Last night, after a few too many glasses of wine at Milano, I dropped my date off at her apartment. She asked me up for a drink. I was not into it, but Tuesday night takedowns only happen ever so often so I proceeded. She made me wear a condom because she was not on the pill for some reason. Deed done, I went into the bathroom to dispose of said condom and discovered it had long since broken. In a panic, I went back into her room, chatted for a few minutes and then departed gracefully. She also mentioned she was glad we slept together because she was getting her period in a few days. I failed to mention whatsoever that I may have impregnated her. Do I have to say something or just leave it be and hope she won’t get pregnant? Maybe she knew? I never want to see or talk to her again. She was a boring conversationalist and the sex was bad.

RE: Breakage

Posted By: oh god on 11-29-2006 12:00 pm Report as shockingly offensive

wait, plan b? im kind of freaking out. were you at a table in the front room of milano with me at milano and did we stop at the cvs in gtown before going back to my place to buy durex ultra thin strong>condoms? i tried calling but you wont pick up

RE: Breakage

Posted By: Plan B on 11-29-2006 12:16 pm Report as shockingly offensive

oh god: I probably should have searched for your profile on here first. That’s us. Check your gmail and tell me what you want to do. Sorry.

RE: Breakage

Posted By: oh god on 11-29-2006 1:16 pm Report as shockingly offensive

this is unbelievable. how could you not tell me? i could have taken plan b this morning instead of having to run all the way to cvs sobbing.

Hilarious.  Commentary ensued:

BY JOSETTE 12/01/06 03:56 AM

The brutality of this exchange brought tears to my eyes. Tears of AWESOME.

BY KJC9 12/01/06 01:21 AM

I’m not sure if Hallmark makes a card for this situation….but they should.

BY SHADOWFAX 12/01/06 11:24 AM

Peejay, you’re right… actually not that bad. I had a condom pop off mid thrust and it got lost inside the girl’s ( insert Britney Spears most recent photo incident slang) and couldn’t be located even with about 10 minutes of thorough searching… Of course, had to explain that one to her right away or she would have wondered where the Trojan came from a couple of hours later… and of course we never had the forum encounter to discuss it… wait… Ashley???? Is that you???? Who the hell were you out at Milano with????? Slut.

 

Want these people as friends?  Join Late Night Shots! 

The article sparked an immediate reaction from the LNS crowd, who countered that the article portrays them in an unfair light, that interviews were inaccurate, and that she revealed the full names of those she spoke to.  The “hipsters” lashed back immediately as well.

Here is some sample commentary:

 —————————————————————————————-

Comment: By: MGR Jul. 12, 2007, at 2:29 pm

At the end of the day, they hate because they are jealous. Jealous of our priviledge, jealous of our economic success, jealous of our fun. I hate to say it but they hate us for the same reasons the terrorists do. Perhaps that’s why they all want us to withdraw from Iraq and hand victory to al Qaeda on a silver platter? Ok, I better stop before I go off on a major tangent/rant here.

Comment: By: Coldbliss Jul. 12, 2007, at 4:20 pm                                                         

The problem with the LNS people is that they exclude themselves from the rest of Washington, DC society. It’s not that they are shutting people out; they are isolating themselves and this is detrimental social behavior–anti-social behavior even. I think if the LNS members would expand social networks to include minorities, middle-class people, homosexuals, and people who have liberal political views, they would become more sensitive, thoughtful human beings. The comments from LNS members to this article re-affirms my thinking. Coming from a prominent family and making a high-income living doesn’t make you an ass hole…shutting yourself away from society and spouting racist, homophobic, sexist, and class-based hate makes you one. This is something LNS people will have to come to grips with.

Comment: By: Note to LNSers: Jul. 12, 2007, at 3:25 pm

Hipsters enjoy…

There is a reason this embarrassing paper is free and staffs Angela vanslut. Let them have their forum of use posts and we will go back to our forum. Enjoy your crummy Indie music and making minimum wage. When I need your opinion or critique on privilege, I will be sure to give you a ring (and opinion) while I am renting a car and you are filling up my tank. Both of which you did a terrible job of doing. Hipsters its no wonder you cannot not find a job. Keep writing about us and we will be sure not give damn whether you live or die. That is the thing about your purported privilege. While you are busy writing about us, we are busy running the world and making money so you have something to write. LNS end scene.

Comment: By: Pimp C Jul. 12, 2007, at 5:47 pm

 I love LNS but Inigo Montoya, that has got to be the wordiest, dumbest comment I’ve ever read.  I knew the article was made up when she claimed that some guy told her she was cute. I mean, come on:  http://www.myspace.com/angelavaldez

Comment: By: Jack Hoff Jul. 13, 2007, at 10:44 pm

I own loafers and a red polo shirt and I like anal sex. How do I join this LNS?

Comment: By: We Drink Bitter Jul. 13, 2007, at 0:48 am

Holy shit, the comments section is like finding out, after dad gives you the keys to the yacht that he left you 105 pairs of 2007 boat shoes inside. And, worst of all, I just moved to Honolulu and you ridiculous haoles are actually making me MISS DC. I always thought it ironic that these kids always had coke that was so much lower-quality than the stuff east of 18th st NW. Good luck, dummies, though God knows you’ll never need it.

p.s. the terrorist comment was the best of all.

Comment: By: Cranky Media Guy Jul. 13, 2007, at 3:26 am

Bottom line: you’re a bunch of cowards, desperately frightened of the parts of the world which aren’t entirely populated by smug preppie Caucasoids exactly like yourselves. You’d shit the leather seats in the Beamer your folks bought you for managing to graduate from prep school if you ever took the wrong exit and found yourself in Southeast D.C. I hear those black men have HUGE cocks and can steal any women you might have. Be afraid, be VERY afraid!  You HAVE to drink at every opportunity because your world is hollower than a basketball. In twenty years, you’re be as big an alcoholic as your Mummy. Keep telling yourselves you’re somehow, inexplicably, intrinsically superior to the people you see on the street. Keep killing those brain cells with your trendy drink; it’ll keep you from contemplating the incredibly mediocrity you really are.

Comment: By: welcome to the world Jul. 13, 2007, at 10:12 am

“while you are busy writing about us, we are busy running the world and making money so you have something to write.”

oh, honey. You aren’t running my world. you aren’t even IN my world. I know the LNS 22 year olds love to feel they have some sort of actual importance beyond their adorable little website, but it’s just not true. Kissing ass every day on the Hill and puking up Smith Point’s offerings every night does not a world leader make ye.

Comment: By: Goatse Jul. 13, 2007, at 4:19 pm

This article is garbage. What about the positives that LNS brings to our community? Not once did it delve into the snuff porn charity auctions, the turbo grope-a-thon, or the homeless person nickel dance.

You act like the members of LNS are criminals, when they are simply doing the same things the majority of you people do every time you go out. Is it such a crime to sleep with a girl when she’s passed out cold? And if she’s out cold, is it such a crime to strangle her a little bit?

If we were wearing hipster outfits instead of Lacoste polo shirts, would we really be any different?

Comment: By: Jame Gumb Jul. 13, 2007, at 5:26 pm

Is it too late to perform abortions when the child is in his mid-to-late 20s?

Comment: By: Feeling Bad for Courtney Jul. 13, 2007, at 6:10 pm

Oh, dear deluded Courtney. Many, many people have money, good looks, nice houses, nice clothes, etc. and do not act like assholes. You choose to associate with a group that is elitist, sexist and offensive. I guess you missed the whole point of the article.

Do you really enjoy hanging out with men who think you and other females are nothing more than a piece of meat to use for their own sexual gratification, especially when the females are vulnerable and drunk? Oh, yeah, they have a lot of responsibility to handle. As a female, I embarrassed that any woman would defend such disgusting behavior. Respect yourself more.

Comment: By: Dooder Jul. 14, 2007, at 6:14 pm

As background, I graduated from one of the “top” Ivy League schools, aka HYP. Therefore, I went to school with tons of people who are richer than God, and surely richer than almost any of these Smith Point country club types who went to Georgetown or wherever the hell they go. Let’s be honest about a couple of things here.

1. Jack Ellis is right. Dumb dudes from Landon from middle-tier private colleges may have rich dads, but they’re certainly not “significant,” except in the sense that they may have finished close to the top of the country club tennis championships a few times. Bottom line — it’s tough to be significant without being smart.

2. I know plenty of rich republicans. Many (i.e., a vastly disproportionate number) of them turned out to be closeted homosexuals. While I don’t think this is “news,” I’m somewhat surprised that it wasn’t mentioned in the article. If dressing-up in pants with pictures of sailboats isn’t at least somewhat of a giveaway, you must be smoking something.

3. Let me say a word about the kids from my college who went to schools like Landon and Georgetown Prep. Besides the closeted gays, most of these dudes were beer-chugging lacrosse players (or were wannabes who had quit the lacrosse team). Actually, I’d say that most of these were nice people–cocky and dumb, maybe, but fun and personable, too. I found the St. Albans people to be smarter, for whatever reason. In any case, no one thought of these laxers as “important,” especially in comparison with the super-rich New Yorkers (and maybe some Californians), unless they thought that a dull country club life in Maryland funded by an inheritance was somehow extremely desirable. As I said before, you can’t be significant without being smart (unless you’re W, and your dad was beyond significant).

Comment: By: regina Jul. 15, 2007, at 3:58 am

let me tell you what happens when these lns guys hit 40 or so..

a very good friend of mine was a hyper-sucessful real estate broker for a big commercial firm in DC. came from old money. daddy went to harvard but despite that. buddy boy couldn’t get in. couldn’t even make it to georgetown, so his great shame was to graduate from GW. this weighed heavily on his social cred. (boo hoo, right? but to this guy, it MATTERED)

he partied. A LOT. he was a big guy. could outeat, outdrink and outsnort anybody in g’town. made “friends” (i.e. drinking/fuck/drug buddies) and spent his 20s and 30s kind of aimlessly drifting from job to job, all lucrative, but none engaging enough to keep him clean and interested in anything more than the party scene. finally, he met a great girl (not a size 4, but beautiful by most sane people’s standards), who convinced him to give the smith point scene a rest. he went into rehab on the company dime and made a go of a drug and alcohol-free life for a few years. we were all proud.

this guy loved to travel, and it was during a trip abroad that the old party lifestyle began to rear its head. before you could say “red bull and vodka” the game was back on, full force. he started drinking, snorting, then smoking, then shooting coke, all from the confines of his posh waterfront condo. it wasn’t long before the faithful girlfriend caught on and moved out, pleading with him to get help. he was in and out of rehab, bought a bunch of cars and real estate, partied with a variety of strippers, escorts and drug dealers as well as his old g’town cronies for longer than you think his heart or bank account could sustain it.

when he finally decided to get help, he figured he’d have one more go before he went into the seclusion of rehab. that was his last party. he overdosed in his bathroom with a tourniquet around one arm and wasn’t found for 2 days. glamorous, huh? total rockstar young republican way to go out- straight outta a bret easton ellis novel, but the guy was 41.

at his funeral, i wanted someone to stand up and say that there was some quality others had missed- that he did volunteer work, that he read books to the blind, that he had a soft spot for small animals. because he did- all of those things were true. but the only things anyone (and it was a group pf coworkers and old pals that chose to speak) had to say was how he liked to “have a good time” to party down at the club, that he had many expensive posessions, that he was a savvy businessman.

while all of these things were valid, they seemed very cold comfort. he, like all of us, was a complex human being, with much more to offer than the fact that he was skilled at acquiring wealth. in life, he had blustery, cocky way of speaking, so much so that it put many people off. but he was generous, gregarious, and charming too. its clear that he needed to feel important– that all his goods and self-medication were part of an elaborate system to stave off the fact that he wasn’t really, in the grand scheme of things, more significant than anyone else. that he had failed many many times, perhaps more than he succeeded. he hadn’t lived up to the old man. he didn’t find the fountain of youth. and the hangovers never got any prettier.

a wasted life is always a tragedy. money (or the sustained illusion thereof) is a very poor substitute for things that really matter, kids. and alcoholics don’t tend to age well.

Comment: By: BILL Jul. 16, 2007, at 11:18 am

FINALLY an article that exposes you elitist pricks for who & what you really are: shallow, spoiled, undereducated yet overly confident brats. i have many friends in LNS, and not all of them are douchebags; but there are several things they all have in common: lack of social skills, a desire to ‘belong’, and sincere case of insecurity. ALL members of LNS are pathetic & should be pittied. these are people who’s passtime is DRINKING? lol you losers. try doing something productive with your lives instead of ‘HEY DUDE LETS GET DRUNK, DO COKE, AND SEE IF WE CAN BE REALLY OBNOXIOUS’. just a bunch of leftover frat & sorority members who want to feel like they’re important or have a social life. if drinking with someone is the only thing you have in common: check your priorities. LNS may work well in other cities, but DC is so full of you assholes, you give LNS a bad name. and in response to a comment earlier about someone who was mentioned in the article getting fired over their coverage: GOOD. just like a dog: it shits on the carpet, you rub its face in it, & MAGICALLY it doesnt shit on the rug anymore. the guy’s boss probably did him AAAAAAAAAAND his company a favor.

——————————————————————————————

One blog’s commenters further noted: 

“There is nothing academically or even financially distinguishing about the LNS crowd. Their sense of superiority seems to come from the fact that they have achieved positions that were competitive within their own circumscribed social milleu (eg, they managed to join a fraternity at their mediocre college and managed to get a political staff position with their local Congressman). As a consequence, they believe they are part of a vaunted, superior station in life. Hipsters seem to be more than well aware of the fact that there are lots of other people who make more money than them and came from more elite families than they did. The LNS crowd is stunningly clueless about this reality… yet it sort of explains LNS– lacking any outlets in which they could be exclusive, they needed to create their own.”

My view after reading the article can be summarized as such:

1) This may have been the second most interesting thing I read all year – the first being the comments, which are priceless, and can be found in their entirety here.  No where are the divisions in DC as evident as in the rants of the “hispters” vs. “LNSers”.

2) As a piece of journalism, Angela Valdez seemed to cross the lines in several incidences.  Some claimed she was drunk, some say she baited members and then misquoted or invented conversations, effectively slandering them.  Furthermore, releasing full names of those involved was unncessary, and did in fact prompt one member to lose his job (not funny) and another to “have to speak with his parents” (hilarious).

3) Much of the forums and attitudes evidenced are exaggerated on purpose, much of it is real as well.  I see it all the time in DC, and I know that even is sarcasm lies a hint of truth, and some of these LNSers really are, in fact, pompous jerks who care little for anyone but themselves.  Go ahead, go to Georgetown, they are not hard to find.  The fact that someone complained that they had to answer to their parents for their own actions at the age of 25 leads me to believe that attitudes and actions portrayed at LNS are largely reflective of the group.

4) Being rich doesn’t make you an asshole.  Being an asshole  makes you an asshole.  I feel like every Maryland kid I ran into during school only owned preppy clothes, but I saw that as a regional attire.  I have been surrounded by those with “old money” like LNSers claim to be, whether it be growing up in Greenwich or attending Georgetown.  Plenty of these people are just like you and me, and don’t feel the need to shove it in others faces.  They have had the unique opportunity to learn what class is, to achieve the best education this country has to offer, and realize what a gift that they have been given that is not to be taken for granted. 

Too bad most of these LNSers do not fall in this category.  First off, they seem to be only in the club to social climb, which shouldn’t be necessary if they already were what they claim to be.  Instead of broadening their horizons, as true blue bloods might do, they insist on hanging out with themselves, and pity those who can’t make the cut.  Secondly, instead of focusing on why the article portrays them in a bad light, they seem to mock the crowd of outsiders, and add further fuel to the flames – “you are just jealous of us”, “we run the world you don’t” etc.

They also set themselves up for this one, besides responding inappropriately.  Their forum banter is consistently offensive, and has been monitored by blogs for a while now. 

See their forum comments  below following a Take Back the Night event, regarding sexual assault: 

~Did anyone else have a bunch of girls with candles hold one these outdoor parties in their honor during college? I’m pretty sure they wanted to take back the night I blacked out and took them down in my frat love den. Grrrr.

~A better solution would be to promote going to AA – then these silly take back the night vigils wouldn’t occur and inconvenience everyone

~I’m a woman, and I certainly don’t think sexual violence and rape is funny. But the feminazis holding the candles are just jokes.

Ignorant, offensive, and inexcusable.

5)  As my last point insinuated, these are, as others pointed out, mostly kids who went to good but not great colleges with some money trying to get ahead.  Good for them, I have no problem with that.  Network all you want, I commend you.  I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a set of friends that I know I can rely should I ever need connections or offer me means to access what otherwise would be difficult for me.  That is smart.  But putting your reputation, the thing that counts the most, on the line by engaging in bawdry talk and inappropriate conduct just to “fit in” is as low as you can go.  Which leads me to believe that those regularly involved are not worthwhile people, and those that join specifically to meet these type of people, well….I am gald you are at least in one place and I know where to find you.

6) Speaking of which, we now know how such people continue to exist.  Despite guys bragging how easy it is to bag girls using the site, and speaking exclusively in derogatory terms about the females, they still come in droves, not caring and thinking they’ll “make it” and be “part of the scene”.  As long as these type of people continue to procreate, the asshole meets dumb gene lives on.

7) The aftermath of this should be interesting.  I know there was talk of suing the writer, and many LNSers are now denying their membership in the group.  All in all, the article served the purpose it was supposed to – get a rise out of those reading it, good or bad.  There is little denying that it helped the City Paper short term (pending any actions taken) and inspired revealing discussions of the dynamics at play.

I’ll leave you with one blogster’s comments:

The point is that the guy who said:

He says he knows people talk behind his back, but he doesn’t care. He’s rich, and that’s all that matters. “My brother and I, we do all right,” he says. “Guys with money can do whatever they want.” He grabs me again and says, “You’re kind of cute.” Is absolutely right. My parents are immigrants, they put a huge amount of work getting to where they are right now…

I wish I could feel that sense of entitlement, the knowledge that I could get away with almost anything, the ability to be a complete and total asshole and still get laid, and in the end I would still be part of the elite telling everyone else what to do and how to live their lives, while being completely insulated from the real world…So unlike everyone else, who whines about how Republicans are hypocrites, how they are such good old boy alpha-males, racists, homophobes, rich, entitled, and shallow people that brazenly and uncouthly hit on girls they don’t know in bars; I salute you!  I honestly wish I could be you and will be dedicating my life to getting into the Social Register (and hopefully marrying someone who is in it or as equally ambitious as I am to get listed .) If I have a daughter she will have a cotillion. The rest of you can be content to be turned in indentured servants sinking deeper into debt, having your sons sent off to fight in Iraq, pay your taxes, be mistreated and abused by a government controlled by business and lobbying interests. 

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