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Archive for April, 2012

Last Thoughts on Levon Helm

[ 89 ] April 23, 2012 |

I’ve been thinking a lot about Levon Helm and The Band over the past week. A few final thoughts.

I’ve been really impressed with the outpouring of grief for the passing of Levon Helm. While his passage may not have had the pop culture impact of Whitney Houston, for “music people,” broadly defined, Helm’s passing was a very big deal. I’m certainly too young to have been aware when Richard Manuel died, but I was already a big fan of The Band when Rick Danko passed. I remember that being a noteworthy event, but hardly a matter of massive remembrances and sorrow. Maybe that’s because internet culture was not fully developed in 1999 and maybe because Danko did himself in through his drug use.

What’s interesting to me is to think about why Helm’s death has had such a greater impact than Manuel or Danko’s. While all three shared the vocals for The Band, Helm sang of most of their most remembered songs and there’s no doubt that people’s knowledge of “The Weight,” “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” and “Up on Cripple Creek,” makes a difference. At the same time, none of The Band’s members exactly had a stellar post-breakup career. Manuel was a total mess. Danko put out at least one album in the 80s that people I respect talk fairly positively about, but I’ve never heard it and it’s hardly an important album (taking a look at Danko’s Wikipedia page, it seems that someone has been releasing live recordings of Danko solo shows from the 80s. Why? Am I missing something here?). It’s not like Levon did all that much more. His acting, since he had real skill at it, did keep him in the spotlight. But he didn’t release any solo albums of note. His “Midnight Rambles” definitely made people brought him back into the public eye on a small level, but it’s not as if that many people ever saw them (I looked into going to one last year and it was like $80 and I had trouble justifying that expense). Of course, Garth Hudson became the session keyboard whiz he always was after 1977. Robbie Robertson was supposed to be the one with the big solo career, but that fizzled fast.

So in creating a public historical memory of The Band, which members grab the attention. Somewhat to my surprise if you had asked me this 10 years ago, it’s clearly Levon.

I know that some people talk positively of The Band as a live outfit, but I’ve always found their live recordings pretty disappointing. I picked up the Live from Watkins Glen album several years ago and, while it’s OK, I hardly ever listen to it. I’ve felt this way watching footage on You Tube as well. They are tremendously skilled and do a functional job with their material, but there’s a huge difference between The Band playing their own shows and backing up Dylan. With Dylan, they feel so incredibly loose and awesome in a way that they never did by themselves. See these two clips:

Feel free to disagree with me, but to me, they sure sound better backing up Dylan on a Woody Guthrie cover than doing their own songs.

I’ve wondered if sudden fame for a career backing band didn’t freak them out a little bit and make them tight. None of those guys had the charisma of Dylan, even if Robertson tried. Despite their 2 transcendent albums and couple of pretty good albums, I still think The Band would have been better as primarily a backing band that occasionally did their own material, something like the members of The Meters and Booker T & the MGs. Today, I think of Calexico this way. Calexico does great work as a backing band, such as on Tom Russell’s Blood and Candle Smoke or that EP they did with Iron & Wine 6 or 7 years ago, but their solo work has always left me profoundly indifferent.

I’ve also been thinking about Helm’s noted bitterness over The Last Waltz and toward Robbie Robertson for hogging all the songwriting rights and thus the money. Of course, Scorsese and Robertson were good friends by the mid 70s, snorting coke together and such (I believe they lived together for awhile around 1980) so it’s hardly surprising that the film would focus on Robertson. And let’s face it, after 1970, he basically wrote all the songs. Now, one might argue that with a band like this, did the lyrics really encapsulate the songwriting? But the other guys did totally drop the ball on even trying to write lyrics for the most part. Even after Robertson broke up the band, the later Band albums were almost all covers. We might think of “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” and “Up on Cripple Creek” as Levon’s songs, but those were Robbie’s words and that does matter.

Still, Robertson’s slickness has always rubbed me the wrong way. His own solo albums are not good. Moreover, I have no problem that he’s embraced his Native American heritage late in life, even if it hasn’t helped his music. But I do have a major issue with him rewriting the history of The Band to include some sort of Native American influences. I saw an interview with him 7 or 8 years ago where he claimed that the indigenous music he grew up with as a small child was as big an influence on his music with The Band as rock, country, blues, gospel, and everything else that went into it. There’s zero evidence of this whatsoever. It’s not like the 1970s didn’t see hippies embracing Native American culture; had Robertson really felt this way, he could have talked about it sometime before the 1990s. This is a small thing, but annoying and somehow indicative of the slight prevarication I’ve always felt from him when reading or listening to interviews.

So I wonder whether Robertson will be remembered as fondly upon his passing as Helm. He seems less relevant today, maybe because he never sang much and maybe because his solo career is almost totally unremarkable and unremembered. I might be wrong about this of course.

Finally, given the age of the 60s generation rockers and the lack of concern with which most treated their bodies, I suspect we’ll be having several conversations like this in the next few years.

Is There a Left in Latin America?

[ 45 ] April 23, 2012 |

Colin asks a good question about the so-called Latin American “left.”

One of the biggest problems here is that, simply put, I don’t buy characterizations of people like Correa, Chavez, or Morales as “radical left,” for many reasons. First, a truly “radical” left, would seek truly revolutionary action that overthrew social, political, and economic structures suddenly and violently, both in terms of acts of violence and as a more abstract sudden and intense transformation. And that simply doesn’t apply to the “leftism” of Chavez, Correa, and Morales. Yes, they are trying to transform their societies in significant ways, and yes, they have the state institutions of violence (militaries, police forces, etc.) at their disposal (even if those forces aren’t always willing to work with them). But there is no real concerted effort at revolutionary struggle through armed violence; the Venezuelan elites or Ecuadoran journalists can complain that they are persecuted and limited in their freedoms, but any reasoned analysis of the situation on the ground makes clear that Chavez, Correa, Morales, or any other “radical left” leader is not the head of armed guerrilla movements or state officials who are just mowing down their revolutionary “enemies” in the way that, say, Che Guevara himself admitted to doing in the wake of the Cuban Revolution.

As Colin points out, this so-called leftism of Chavez is really about a cult of personality that works for Chavez, somewhat like it did for Peron, by placing himself on a vaguely defined left. But it’s highly unclear whether Chavez or even Morales have really implemented policies any more to the left than the more mainstream left of center governments in Brazil or Argentina. I truly do believe Morales is a “leftist” in a old-fashioned sense because he is reacting against an old-school Latin American Bolivian hard right with all the massive social and racial inequality inherent in those governments. But with Chavez, isn’t the leftism really just about his own desire to replace Castro as the big man in Latin America?

Agriculture, Child Labor, and Monocultures

[ 26 ] April 23, 2012 |

Big agriculture is going to the mat for what really matters–exploiting child labor.

Last year, two teenagers handling a large grain auger had their legs severed while working at the Zaloudek Grain Co. in Oklahoma. The Department of Labor (DOL) proposed rules that might have prevented this tragedy. The rules, designed to curb dangerous child labor in agriculture, were finally unveiled last year after a long delay. The labor changes would preventchildren from working in harsh conditions, including operating heavy machinery.

But as Republic Report noted earlier this year, agricultural industry lobbyists have worked aggressively to cut the DOL’s ability to implement this regulation. We showed how Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-MT), backed by campaign contributions and lobbying support from the farm lobby, circulated a letter to undercut the child labor rules. Now, Senator John Thune (R-SD) has a bill — euphemistically called the Preserving America’s Family Farm Act — that would revoke the DOL’s authority to prevent children from working on farms in dangerous conditions, including in manure pits.

Anytime Denny Rehberg and John Thune are behind a bill, you know it serves the interests of evil.

Speaking of agriculture, Dan Charles has an excellent story at NPR about how agriculture has tried to eliminate e coli outbreaks–by doubling down on the agriculture monoculture, seeking to kill animal in the fields and every plant that might provide the animals shelter. This classically high-modernist approach to agriculture has had major repercussions of its own, including a vast increase in erosion and declining wildlife habitat. It also suggests that the extreme management of the land for a single purpose, even food safety, might not be the best way to think about nature. It is highly unlikely problems with e coli and agribusiness stem from mice or owls; instead, while no one knows how the e coli got in the spinach, it probably comes from somewhere in the industrialized agriculture process. Eliminating the species that naturally occur in fields inherently makes little sense for a healthy nature. But of course, that’s not what agricapitalism has in mind. Any threat to the short-term profit motive must be eliminated, even if it undermines the long-term viability of the industry.

The Poisonous Fruit of Holder v. Humantarian Aid Project

[ 22 ] April 23, 2012 |

Andrew March has an excellent piece about the suppression of speech that has been made possible by Congress, the Obama administration, and the Supreme Court’s regrettable decision in Holder v. Humantarian Aid Project:

The government’s indictment of Mr. Mehanna lists the following acts, among others, as furthering a criminal conspiracy: “watched jihadi videos,” “discussed efforts to create like-minded youth,” “discussed” the “religious justification” for certain violent acts like suicide bombings, “created and/or translated, accepted credit for authoring and distributed text, videos and other media to inspire others to engage in violent jihad,” “sought out online Internet links to tribute videos,” and spoke of “admiration and love for Usama bin Laden.” It is important to appreciate that those acts were not used by the government to demonstrate the intent or mental state behind some other crime in the way racist speech is used to prove that a violent act was a hate crime. They were the crime, because the conspiracy was to support Al Qaeda by advocating for it through speech.

As March notes, it is essentially impossible to square this kind of prosecution with Brandenberg v. Ohio, which had been the controlling political speech case for more than 4 decades (and also involved advocacy for a terrorist organization.) It is now well-settled that political speech can only be prosecuted when it is (to use William O. Douglas’s phrase) “brigaded” with unlawful conduct or action. If the allegations are true, the Mehanna’s speech is despicable, but it would also appear to be protected by the First Amendment.

More on the Constitutionality of the PPACA

[ 39 ] April 23, 2012 |

I have some thoughts about Ronald Dworkin’s new NYRB article on the constitutionality of the PPACA. My primary takeaway:

Alas, as Dworkin also notes while the constitutional issues involved in the challenge to the ACA are trivial the effects of striking down the ACA would not be. Congress will not force anybody to purchase broccoli or a 2007 Chrysler Sebring if the PPACA is upheld. But if it’s struck down, many Americans will die or suffer needless illness and disability. These policy consequences would be disturbing if the constitutional arguments against the PPACA were compelling; given that the constitutional arguments are weak or silly striking the bill down would be outrageous. I wish I shared Dworkin’s confidence that Kennedy will not go down this road.

On that last point, Dworkin is certainly right that given his vote in Raich it would be ridiculously unprincipled for Kennedy to vote to strike down the ACA. But that doesn’t mean he won’t do it. The contradiction sure didn’t seem to affect Scalia

Teen Pregnancy Rates In Comparative Perspective

[ 46 ] April 23, 2012 |

Why, it’s almost enough to make me think that abstinence education doesn’t work…

…see also.

Noah?

[ 61 ] April 22, 2012 |

Darren Aronofsky is directing a film about Noah and the ark starring Russell Crowe as Noah?

Um.

Wow.

Will the scenes on the boat be very, very slow?

Hey look, water!

Seapower in Culture: Civilization IV

[ 40 ] April 22, 2012 |

The Civilization series of games is in some sense ideal for depicting the influence of seapower on history.  Civilization connects geography, technology, and economic power to military capability, requiring a player to formulate a coherent grand strategy based on factor endowment and international constraints. The system favors (even demands) the construction of empire, often across a series of unconnected landmasses. Every Civ player has his or her favorite edition, and favorite set of stories from that version.  I haven’t yet acquired Civilization V, and so this analysis will concentrate on Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword, and will focus mainly on solitary play. Beyond the Sword is in many ways a deeply Mahanian game; building a proxy-governed extra-territorial empire is strongly supported, and in many cases even required for victory. Seapower is often key to acquiring (through conquest or colonization) and maintaining this empire.  The questions relevant to this series are as follows:

1. To what extent are the depictions of seapower accurate in tactical and operational terms?

2. How does seapower fit into broader national grand strategy in social, economic, and military terms?

3. What could we learn about seapower from playing a few dozen 47 hour games of Civ IV on “Epic” timeframe at  ”Prince” difficulty?

On the accuracy question…

The game abstracts the bulk of the history of naval technology, with ships progressing along two lines until the modern era.  The troops ships run galleys to galleons to transports, while the warships run trireme to caravel (which does have some rump transport capacity) to frigate (and the mostly useless Ironclad and Ship of the Line units) to destroyer. In the earliest period ships are limited to coastal squares, leaving large portions of the map off limits, or at least difficult to find. Ships (like all other units) require no direct logisitical support. Although all military units produce a drain on national resources, individual units require no specific base of resupply.  This means, in the early and middle game, that a galley or caravel can leave its home port and not return for millenia, at which point it is promptly converted into a frigate or galleon. Early game units are unaffected by weather or sea conditions; there are no trade winds or similar phenomena to drive commerce and naval action into particular maritime “highways.”

The naval aspects become more interesting as the game progresses. A good primer on late game naval tactics is available here. As that primer suggests, however, the principles that apply to naval combat in the real world (and to naval industrial policy) don’t always apply in Civ.  Concentration, for example, has some value, but it’s generally very easy for a fleet to avoid direct conflict with an enemy stack of doom.  Indeed, it might well be correct to suggest that Civ follows Mahan less than Corbett.

However, since Civilization II air and sea combat have not been well integrated with one another.  The most obvious problem is that air units (apart from cruise missiles) cannot destroy sea units at sea, and cannot damage them in port.  This can prove extremely frustrating when a fleet of transports show up near your coast, and can’t be destroyed despite heavy air superiority.  Indeed, even having surface naval units available doesn’t always help, given the limit on numbers of attacks per turn. These limits are designed to preserve game balance (otherwise air units dominate the game), but they do detract from late game verisimilitude.

In Civ IV naval units have fewer ways of influencing shore events than in some previous editions.  Shore bombardment doesn’t destroy improvements, limiting the utility of wandering an enemy coast and laying waste.  Similarly, shore bombardment only destroys “cultural” fortification of cities, leaving the cities themselves (and their defending units) undamaged. Again, there are game balance reasons for this, but the decision limits the impact of naval superiority.

Nevertheless, in the late game stacks of amphibious doom can be truly devastating. Destroyers and battleships destroy the fortifications of coastal cities, cruise missiles and fighters wear down defending units, and marines destroy defending units.  It is extremely difficult to defend coastal cities against such stacks, and even the temporary loss of a major city can have dreadful economic effects.  Moreover, if the attacker doesn’t expect to hold but simply prefers to punish, even critical, millenia old cities can be burned to the ground.

And then there are the quibbles.  Missile cruisers could (and should) have far greater air defense capabilities, and indeed air defense should be an allowable promotion.  Something along the lines of an amphibious warship, with limited capabilities for carrying both air and land units, would be quite nice. Damaged vessels could move more slowly (as they did in Civ II), and a variety of other small tweaks could be introduced that would make the naval campaign more interesting without fundamentally unbalancing the game.

And the grand strategy question…

Seapower is important to many games of Civ. As all players know, one of the most rewarding parts of the game is exploration of the full map.  Different maps produce radically different constellations of military necessity; seapower is critical to some, but not all of these. I find that the most interesting naval contests happen with mediumish continents rather than archipelagos, mostly because archipelago cities rarely achieve the degree of industrial capacity necessary to the construction of massive fleets.

Nevertheless, Civ IV lacks a coherent economic theory of seapower. The role of trade in particular is abstracted, except in the case of a few critical resources.  To be sure, the game does allow a certain degree of economic destruction from the sea; positioning a ship in a city’s resource zone prevents the utilization of those and surrounding tiles, and raiders can cause a lot of damage to maritime resource infrastructure. Nevertheless, it’s difficult to cause critical damage to an economy through maritime means because there’s little underlying theory of how maritime trade undergirds the international economy.

It’s also unclear how naval power affect reputation in Civ IV.  In many games, I’ve never quite figured out how AI empires assess military power, but my best guess is that they aggregate, rather than divide between land, air and seapower.  Similarly, it’s not clear that the AI can assess its own vulnerability to different kinds of military power.  This may mean that you can build a world-beating fleet, yet not get taken seriously by the AI (or perhaps get taken too seriously) because of land power deficiencies.  This would operate much differently in a multiplayer game, of course. Still, Civ models the reputational and social effects of naval power poorly, if at all. We know that a Chinese aircraft carrier (or, in an earlier era, a Brazilian dreadnought) has a social and symbolic import that goes beyond its strict military value; reputation is an important consideration for naval procurement.

Overall, the lack of a strong economic underpinning to the Civ maritime system remains problematic.  A submarine oriented sea denial campaign can surely have some success, but it can only very, very rarely “starve” a nation in the sense of the Battle of the Atlantic or the Royal Navy blockade of Germany in World War I.  Cutting off a critical resource such as iron or oil is sometimes possible, but requires a tremendous, long term effort.  Perhaps most importantly, there is no such thing as an anti-commerce strategy.  All ships, even transports, are state owned military assets; there are no tramp freighters to sink or whaling ships to seize.  This cuts out a crucial component of naval warfare since the Age of Sail, and incidentally makes a “sea denial” or raiding strategy by an overmatched opponent considerably less rewarding.

And the lessons…

What applicable lessons could be learned from Civ IV? Very little in tactical or operational terms, obviously.  That aircraft carriers do better when escorted by destroyers and missile cruisers doesn’t tell us very much, although I suppose it might serve as introduction to the concept “carrier battle group” for someone new to seapower theory.  Similarly, the lack of basing or supply requirements completely abstracts most interesting operational concepts.  Civ IV has great difficulty explaining why base proximity could allow Japan to accept a 10:10:6 ratio, or why the Russian Baltic Fleet was so ragged when it finally arrived at Tsushima.

Of strategic lessons I can think of two.  The first is the reality of helplessness when, in fact, your empire faces a Turn Without Seapower.  Ships take a while to build, and when an enemy fleet shows up on your door either to raid or to land, it can cause immense (often decisive) damage before you get a chance to do anything about it. Fortunately wars can last centuries, so if you survive first contact there’s often the opportunity to get revenge.  The second, related, is the broader connection between industrial capacity and seapower. Cities have to be built or seized with an eye to how they fit into a broader national strategy, which of necessity includes seapower considerations. Decisions about improvements in particular coastal cities (whether to build a drydock, or how much to invest in finishing a factory) also work better when informed by a broad consideration of grand strategy.

What sort of introduction does Civ provide to seapower novices? The lack of a clear connection between maritime commerce and seapower is problematic. Ships exist primarily to destroy other ships, rather than to play a regulatory role. The lack of a good theory of logistics also produces misleading conclusions. While some navies can indeed operate effectively at extreme distance from their industrial bases, this is not true of all organizations. That said, a complex system of logistics would probably detract from enjoyment of the game. With regard to ship types, Civ isn’t particularly instructive in terms of the roles and capabilities of the real life counterparts of game units. All that said, the need for naval power on most maps (and the complexity of building and maintaining an advanced fleet) could serve as a foundation for an interest in naval affairs, or at least of an appreciation of the role that navies play in a grand strategic framework.

Book Review: Lisa Sun-Hee Park and David Naguib Pellow, The Slums of Aspen: Immigrants vs. the Environment in America’s Eden

[ 12 ] April 22, 2012 |

One of the nation’s wealthiest communities, Aspen, Colorado has a complex relationship with the environmental movement and social justice. While a community deeply self-conscious about its own liberal politics, Aspen hasn’t shown much tolerance for the poor. In fact, worried that immigrants might overrun the high mountain paradise, in 1999 the Aspen City Council passed an ordinance petitioning Congress and the president to restrict the number of immigrants, legal or illegal, who enter the United States. Citing concerns about overpopulation and the destruction of American environments, Aspen civic leaders became prominent voices of the anti-immigrant wing of the environmental movement. Meanwhile, these same Aspenites, who included some of the nation’s wealthiest and most famous people, showed their concern for the environment by building 10,000 square foot mansions with heated driveways on steep mountain slopes.

Lisa Sun-Hee Park and David Naguib Pellow use this incident as a jumping off point for their study of white privilege, immigrants, and the environment in Aspen, The Slums of Aspen. Focusing on the idea of “environmental privilege” as the flip side of environmental racism, Park and Pellow contrasts the elite lifestyle of the city’s residents with the people who make the city run: the cooks, shopworkers, and maids who work for cheap, live in substandard housing with long commutes into the uber-expensive city, and never get to enjoy the famous Rockies of Colorado. This environmental privilege means that only certain people can have access to the mountains because of the capital outlay necessary to access it. As the authors say, the Aspen lifestyle “requires the domination of the environment and of certain groups of people.”

Park and Pellow savage the green capitalism of Aspen, noting what they call “The Aspen Logic.” The Aspen Logic is the ultimate greenwashing. It’s living an elite mountain lifestyle, a lifestyle with huge negative impacts on the environment, while promoting a facade of environmentalism (recycling!) that does little to nothing to mitigate rich people’s impact on the planet. The Aspen Logic rejects any environmentalism that does not center capitalism and or that challenges white privilege.

Meanwhile, Park and Pellow spend a great deal of time with the largely Latino workforce in Aspen. They are feared and hated by the wealthy residents, forced into trailer parks far away from their jobs, and then attacked by Aspenites for despoiling nature through that housing. These workers don’t get to enjoy the mountains around them. They aren’t skiing or hiking. Instead, they are working two or three jobs to make ends meet, trying to save money to get through seasonal downturns in employment, and surviving without health insurance. The rich’s playground is their workplace, which might be OK on one level, except that their sheer presence is deeply resented and they are subject to racism by politicians, the police, and owners of the high-end stores in Aspen. Moreover, if exposure to the “environment,” as popularly conceived is supposed to regenerate us, do working-class people and non-whites have a right to access that regeneration? Or should we just tolerate (at best) their presence in order to facilitate our own time with the mountains?

All and all, this is an righteously angry book. And that’s fine, I agree with every point I’ve described so far. But I do have to take issue with their one-sided characterization of environmentalism. They treat environmentalism as a monolithic movement, with the residents of Aspen standing in for all environmentalists:

the mainstream environmental movement in the United States is most definitely not a movement concerned with racial justice. Nor has it shown much willingness to fight for even the broader–and less controversial–goal of social justice. This is not only because it has often traditionally been reserved for middle- and upper-class populations but also because it has always been haunted–indeed–fueled by a strong thread of white supremacy and nativism.

Whoa there. They are right that there is a strand of racism within environmentalism, pointing to such figures as Dave Foreman and Edward Abbey (both of whom clear racists), not to mention the roots of conservation in the early 20th century (which they don’t much talk about). But there’s also an equally long history of environmentalists working with other movements for the benefit of all. Not to mention the growing environmental justice movement that sparks great passion in the students I teach. Even if this statement had a measure of accuracy in 1999, this book came out last year and I just don’t buy it anymore.

With this exception, The Slums of Aspen is a pretty good and revealing book worth reading for those interested in environmental inequality or the state of Colorado. But constructing a monolithic environmentalism is a sizable demerit that puts a disappointing spin on an otherwise solid piece of activist scholarship.

What Have We Learned?

[ 7 ] April 22, 2012 |

Fifty years ago, Rachel Carson published Silent Spring, the landmark book connecting pesticide usage with species decline. Carson noted the very real threats of chemicals on humans as well as species and helped usher in the environmental movement that transformed the nation in important ways during the 1960s and 1970s. Elizabeth Kolbert wonders if, a half-century later, we have learned anything. It seems not. Kolbert cites several studies suggesting that colony collapse disorder in bees, a disease threatening the commercial viability of several fruits and vegetables we routinely eat, has happened because of a new type of pesticide. These neonicotinoids are neurotoxins that all these studies show completely decimates bee hives.

We may not have learned anything from Silent Spring, but Monsanto sure has. Unhappy with a research firm that produced a study critical of the Monsanto-produced neonicotinoids that are causing colony collapse, Monsanto simply bought the research firm. That’s some old-school Gilded Age action right there, like when Jay Gould used to buy newspapers who said bad things about him.

Grassley

[ 16 ] April 22, 2012 |

It’s just been too long since Republicans created a non-scandal scandal.

What I want Chuck Grassley to investigate is not whether Barack Obama brought some Colombian prostitutes to his suite, for all Republicans know he did. Instead, he needs to find out how many Colombian prostitutes Obama employed, how much coke he used, and whether Hillary used the same hit man she hired to whack Vince Foster to eliminate the evidence of Obama’s insatiable sexual desires.

UPDATE [SL]: I think these priorities are misplaced. Clearly, Obama ordered the Colombian prostitutes to kill Vince Foster again to cover up the heroin distribution ring he and Bill Clinton are running out of the Mesa and Peoria airports. We know that. The real question is — did the Colombian prostitutes collaborate with Obama on a failed property deal? We cannot be certain at this time, but I think we can all agree Obama should be preemptively impeached just to be safe.

“The Audience Response Was Huge!”

[ 57 ] April 22, 2012 |

Ah, Atlas Shrugged II: Pretty Much Just A Bad Actor Giving a Bad Speech For Six Hours — this will be another excellent demonstration of the fact that libertarians are not, in fact, a mass movement in American politics.

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