Abu Ghraib in the Workplace: What It Means to 'Hire a Veteran'

Column by Yarlan Zey.

Exclusive to STR

We’ve all seen them – the long list of affirmative-action questions that would-be employers ask when you fill out a job application. When you first began to look for work, you thought your education, experience, expertise, and skills would land you that next job! Sorry, you were wrong. Virtually every job-hunting website is stuffed with “hire the vet” bribes. Why?

Maybe it’s just me, but there is a pretty obvious reason staring us right in the face. Is it possible that – with fears of workplace violence inching higher day by day – any normal person is a wee bit skittish about inviting into the workplace a bunch of people who willingly joined an organization that kills people without accountability? Perhaps some employers simply don’t buy the excuse that “someone told me to do it.” That excuse didn’t work on mom when they used it as children, and it doesn’t sound any more convincing coming out of the mouth of a 24-year-old with a buzz cut. Do you think this could lead to second thoughts about hiring a vet? If not, read on.

The chicken-hawks already have bankrupted the United States both morally and financially. Their string of non-stop wars has been draining the economy since the end of World War II. And there’s no end in sight. And with government-mandated hire-the-vet policies, Uncle (Son of) Sam has found a marvelous new way to cripple the American workforce – both literally (with gunshot wounds on a “bad day”) and in terms of plummeting competitive performance. How? By giving preferential treatment to the propagandized products of a government-controlled school system that churns out bumper crops of obedient potato-heads and dumps them into an economic marketplace that has been blasted to smithereens by other government policies: in other words, a system that creates the typical “patriotic” high school graduate. You know who I mean – the kids who followed the Siren-song of big government and joined the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marines.

The Marines, in particular, use boot-camp training methods designed to deconstruct the personalities of incoming grunts – patching up what remains with a psychotic confabulation that is predisposed to PTSD, among other things. It molds kids into costume-wearing killers who have been bribed into silence with socialist welfare benefits. They wind up like Chucky dolls with really bad haircuts that remind you of Zip and Pip from the film Freaks. Then they are set loose to destroy property, maim, and kill hopelessly out-gunned, undernourished, and impoverished “enemies” in faraway places. Of course, the new cyber-warriors sit their snack-plumped fannies in air-conditioned trailer parks located in the desert near Las Vegas or the Mojave, where they murder people with killer drones using remote-control consoles that resemble the video games they’ve been playing since they were addicted to TV and high-fructose corn syrup as children. Thanks, ADM. Yeah, Amurrrrica!

Yup. Prompted by a Daddy Complex that left them feeling somewhat less than macho (usually after some important male figurehead insulted them or told their moms that they needed man-lessons), they wanted to be turned into arm-pumping cretins just like their Hollywood action heroes. So they joined the Marines. Nobody told them it would be just like hanging around with any other group of teenage gang-bangers – but with even higher rates of theft, bullying, assault, rape, murder, suicide and other bennies that are the order of the day in the Marines. But the music – is there really anything worse than marching-band music? – is even worse than in the most nefarious rap-addled doggerel-prone urban-gang. But government can make even the most tragic organizations look good by comparison, eh?

The “Veteran Status” Menu: Empty Bribes for Empty Minds

If you have never personally seen the affirmative-action questions or the designations that accompany a typical job application, here’s a list – all of them required under certain types of contracts.

Disabled Veteran Status – If you are in the armed forces, this gem can be achieved by twisting an ankle during a drunken fall off your motorcycle while fleeing an outraged father after you wiggled your worm-like fingers under the bra of his pre-teen daughter as she walked home from school near one of the military bases in Okinawa. Or maybe you were shot in the leg by someone in Fallujah who was defending a neighboring family made homeless by your armed attack as you left no hovel unmolested in your quest for Saddam’s fabled “weapons of mass destruction.” Remember those? The preferential points you get from the bonanza of Disabled Veteran Status will help you win a promotion or land a job that would otherwise go to a better-qualified candidate. Go on, make your mamma proud. Step up and claim your reward.

Special Disabled Veteran. See Disabled Veteran Status – but with percentages added to the definition.

Veteran of the Vietnam Era. This preferential status is awarded to soldiers who were lucky enough to survive the deadly Pentagon Party that snuffed out the lives of 2.4 to 4 million Vietnamese people who never had enough money to buy a boat ticket to Japan – half of them civilians. In other words, it is a hiring status that is awarded to the poor souls who were unable to escape into a college or cross the border into the Great White North of Canada during the Vietnam War Era. If you’re one of these sad sacks, you get to enjoy a benefit that is paid for by some feckless employer who just wants to pay you to do stuff for money. Meanwhile, the people who should be held responsible for victimizing you have never been put into a jail cell where they belong. And they are still collecting their military pensions for wasting your life away.

Armed Forces Service Medal Veteran. This is a special preferential status given to veterans who have already gotten a cheap piece of costume jewelry, called a service medal, for taking part in an operation for which they were already paid a standard wage by the government. I guess that the medal itself is somehow deficient in appearance or intrinsic value, so the creators of this status wanted to throw you yet another bone to make up for it. So you get a wage, a medal, and Armed Forces Service Medal Veteran status. It’s kind of like triple-coupon day at the U.S. government homicide outlet nearest you. Yup, awards for getting awards. Oy vey! When does this stop? Umm – not quite yet. Read on.

Recently Separated Veteran. No, this has nothing to do with divorce, detachable legs and arms, or crazy-gluing yourself to a really hot sex partner and having a doctor peel you apart. Uh-uh. It’s even nuttier. It applies to any of the other veteran groups as an added bonus if you left the military within the last three years. Again, it’s like double coupons.

Newly Separated Veteran. This benefit has a freshness-expiration date of one year after leaving a government-paid sinecure known as “military service.” The idea of “military service” is a strange one. After all, who is served? In circles where irony and the definition of oxymoron are not well understood, the phrase “military service” does not trigger laughter.

Other Protected Veteran. This is left for that tiny, tiny, oh-so-very-tiny group of people who fall through the minuscule cracks in the mixed economy that open up when awards are given to the other Disabled, Special Disabled, Vietnam Era, Recently Separated, or Armed Forces Service Medal veterans. Insanely circular, endless, and pointless, these awards literally mean “prizes for all” – just as in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There. You just can’t make this stuff up, folks. Reality really is stranger than fiction.

Look for an Increase in Workplace Violence and Unfriendly Workplace Lawsuits

Gee, what do you think will be the inevitable result of giving hiring and job-promotion preferences to veterans who cannot compete in the free market? Do you think your products will improve in quality? Will they be cheaper? Okay, enough with the easy questions. But what impact will it have on the workplace? Will preferential status awarded to people who are willing to engage in deadly violence make the workplace more pleasant and safe? Or will it make it coarse, tense, full of resentment from those who have been passed over, and just plain dangerous and fearful? The answer does not require a degree in rocket science.

I work for a healthcare-related company whose CEO is a former Marine. I didn’t know it when I joined. I just needed a job. Somehow the dunderheads on the board of directors at this company thought a real gung-ho Marine would whip the company into shape. Or is it possible that they hired a Marine because this company is owned – through many shell organizations – by a big-government military contractor, and they had no choice? Hmmm. But even if the first reason was used – the desire to put a “man” in charge – anyone with a red pen can cut costs. And yes, in a “formerly” mismanaged company such as the one where I am employed, this needs doing. But what comes afterward? The long-term success of a company will not blossom as a result of hiring someone who specializes in slashing and destroying – which is what Marines do best. It will thrive based on the creativity, inspiration, and productivity of the workers – especially in a company with an ingenious product or service. A Marine who chooses bullying as a management technique (and my CEO does prefer this technique) in an effort to replicate the PTSD-inducing experience of boot camp – is unlikely to inspire the most creative workers. These are the workers who joyfully come up with great ideas and go the extra mile because they are enthusiastic about seeing something wonderful through to fruition. Slaves and other beaten-down sods generally aren’t that productive. Maybe that’s why my company does not have a bright future.

The” German Look”: der Deutsche Blick in the Workplace

A corporate culture of brutality and fear is the perfect recipe for creating the kind of paranoid, hushed behavior that characterized civilian life during the Nazi regime or the subsequent plight of East Germany (and increasingly the USSA). It has been called “the German look” or der Deutsche Blick. People with der Deutsche Blick always look to each side and behind them before talking – just to make sure that unwanted ears are not listening. So how will the Human Resources Department and the Legal Department manage the unfriendly workplace that they are creating with this “hire the vet” policy? Even worse, what will employees do when they are treated in a heavy-handed fashion – with escalating intensity – day after day as a result of this official policy? Your guess is as good as mine, but I’ll want to know how many steps I am from the exit when it happens.


Yarlan Zey used to write frequently for Strike The Root under his real name, but he had to abandon his home-office career, which allowed him to publish proudly under that name. He still needs a paycheck, but under the hire-the-vet regime of his current employer, he would quickly become toast if this bit of fun were connected to him. He is now looking next to himself with a quick glance to the rear. Oops!

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Yarlan Zey's picture
Columns on STR: 1

Yarlan Zey used to write frequently for Strike the Root under his real name, but he had to abandon his home-office career, which enabled him to publish proudly under that name. He still needs a paycheck, but under the "corporate culture" and hire-the-vet regimes of most employers, he would quickly become financial toast if this bit of fun were connected to him. He is now engaging in der deutsche Blick. Oops!


Jim Davies's picture

Super, Yarlan, and welcome back.
I hear a humming. Could that be the whirr of government computers, doing textual and stylistic analysis to match this with earlier STRticles? If so, stand by to be brought to attention on the carpet of that Marine, with subsequent re-entry to the ranks of the self-employed. Achtung!

Yarlan Zey's picture

Thanks, Jim. We've written to each other before under another name. I have always loved to laugh at "stupid," and this article is that without apology. As Mencken showed us all, a good stereotype is worth 5 times the belly laughs of a carefully parsed syllogism. And I'm determined to see the farce in the situation I find myself in. Virtually everyone at this company is feeling traumatized -- so much that they have become used to it. It's like the old Soviet Union there, and this engine-manufacturing company that owns the firm has clearly set the hiring policy, which must never be questioned. I'll soon be joining the ranks of the unemployed if I don't find a replacement job. As you probably know, "blind obedience" is the credo of the military, and the group in charge want that and only that. Despite my performance there and the metrics that demonstrate the benefits of my contribution, there mere fact that I run on a competency-based program rubs against the grain in a place where conferred titles are assumed to convey total knowledge and expertise -- instead of the other way around. Even before I became self-employed, I worked at a number of small, entrepreneurial companies where everyone from the CEO down worked based on a shared goal. To find myself in a sclerotic hierarchy of suffering souls who enforce the suffering in order to avoid facing their own existential pain is truly eye-opening. It's amazing how traumatized people inevitably re-create all the dysfunctions of a toxic family -- in this case, the Pentagon family. Many good wishes.

mjackso6's picture

Super stereotyping.

Please do keep in mind that not everyone (and therefore every soldier/sailor/marine/etc.) is cut from the same cloth. Some of us, even those of us who bought the lie for twenty long years, do come out on the other end and eventually understand just what the military is really about.

And to paint every service member in the same shade of olive drab, especially when it's obvious that you have little or no actual experience with life inside the military, is a bid at propagandizing no better than that undertaken by the establishment itself in promoting the military's "wholesome" image.

So far as intelligence goes, I have met certifiable geniuses even in the Marine Corps you vent such scorn on; unfortunately, intelligence isn't necessarily a shield against naivety or gullibility, especially when, as you say, each and every one of us is bombarded with patriotic brainwashing from preschool on.

Service members are individuals, despite the best efforts of the various 'powers-that-be', and the majority of them don't deserve to have scorn heaped on them once they've managed to wriggle away from (Big Brother) Uncle Sam. At least some, if offered a little understanding and some instruction, will come around to the Voluntaryist and anarcho-capitalist viewpoint; ask Jim if you don't believe a 'crazy old soldier'.

Glock27's picture

Double post me??

Glock27's picture

One billion per cent agreed. Stereotyping does not reflect reality. Its like saying all black Americans are criminals, etc. I must agree though that the creation of special circumstances for a select group of people is an inappropriate division made by psychopathic legislators. All need or should be on a level playing field and hired according to our abilities not our disabilities, or special circumstances. Your remark was as a slender knife slicing through the B.S. which at times seems to be lauded here, despite many here I have to believe are more cognitively adroit at being able to separate fact from fiction. I find it rather amazing that a bulk of STR's seem to reflecting the idea that every living human being should know the difference. Young children take time to learn the difference of one coin from another and its value.

Humanity has it own style of development and to disparage anyone for choices made just seems wrong to me. I too enlisted at 19. How many 19 year olds know the difference. The government is sure as hell not going to tell them basically because they have absolutely no idea either.

I had no passion for death or dismemberment during the Viet Nam FUQ up so the U.S.A.F. became my hideout for four years, albeit my hero's were Lone Ranger, Gene Autry, had no impact on my enlistment. Therefore, to form the analogy of movie hero's seems to be somewhat moot. Also there were no video games. This is like people trying to blame violent movies and video games on todays circumstances. The idea of freedom is not an easy topic to get ones head completely wrapped around. It takes time to develop and grow that sense. How many here really believe an 18 or 19 year old is going to know the difference.

Thanks for your surgical observation. I believe it was seriously needed. Certain I will catch brimstone for this, but it is a free site. It is interesting the first amendment is held in high regard here. Interesting!!

With respect.

Glock27's picture

Had the new government stuck to the original plan outlined in the second amendment "A well regulated militia" and not a military force I believe it would be much different today. That is part of the governments problem-they cannot stick with the original plan. Greed and lust was the undoing.

Yarlan Zey's picture

Hello, jmackso6: Yes, yes, yes, we all hate (and love) a stereotype. But in this case, I am actually describing a real situation that is causing me real pain for all the wrong reasons. Must I really qualify every statement lest I trample on your oh-so-sensitive soul? What are you doing with your comments here? Yes, I actually have a number of friends who were formerly in the Navy and several who were marines. All of them have repented -- as you have -- of their episode in psychotic gang-banging while collecting a taxpayer-funded subsidy. So yes, thank you for stating the obvious. People DO grow and change, thank god. But amidst the unending propaganda push to feature every soldier as a stereotyped hero, must we squiggle and squirm when we spit into the wind? Must I confess that yes, soldiers are human beings? Fine. Feel your gratification at my admission. But you must own something. You must own why you -- and others like you -- chose the most despicable road before surrendering yourself to sanity. I was not raised in ideal circumstances. With a childhood interrupted by numerous relocations to new families, my former wife once quipped that I should have become a monster -- but I didn't. And some people did better than me and live a life freer of pain. And many have been worse? So please, do not imply that I cannot conceive of the plight of the soldier. I already acknowledged and had some empathy for the role of endless propaganda in their choices. I understand. But if I am to infer that this propaganda washes clean -- completely -- you are badly mistaken. If you want me to confer on you the respect due to a human being, you much own yourself -- everything. If you are trying to tell me that environmental factors cleanse you of the burden of free choice, you are asking me to treat you not as a man but as a vegetable who cannot control what he is. So while I will rejoice at your coming out of your self-imposed nightmare and willingness to snuff out the lives of others at the whim of some cretin, do not expect me -- in my current situation -- to discuss that. You are free to write your apologia for the soldier. But be warned. If you choose to make too many excuses for them, you actually show the ultimate disrespect by claiming they cannot exercise free choice. By insulting them in this way, you do more damage to and create a worse stereotype -- a non-human, vegetable one -- than I am guilty of doing in this article. At least I grant all of the human faculties to them. Perhaps it is you that should exercise some empathy. Here I am, a man who gave up his self-employed career because in the government military town where he lived, the only kind of writing work was documenting killer drones and surveillance systems. Instead of accepting such a well-paid job, I chose to close my business. This is the ultimate act of a man with a conscience. You may quibble with me about where I draw the line (after all, when I pay taxes I keep the military murder fund awash in my cash), but at least I made an attempt, even though it cost me a lot financially. Have you ever done the same? It may gratify you that some of the former Navy people I knew actually surrendered (as officer grade) their future benefits in the Navy. That, too, is an act of bravery.

Ask yourself: why is it that your first instinct is to defend that which is evil because there is a spark of humanity in all of us? Why were you unable to empathize with a man who made a painful choice and found himself in a bubbling brew of bullshit? This situation I find myself in is NOT a stereotype. It is real, and it is painful. And the motives of those in charge is driven by the stereotype I convey here -- nothing less. So please pay me the respect of not denying the truth of this experience because of your felt need to be defensive about other people in other situations. In effect, you are changing the topic to something less painful to you, and I don't appreciate it. It's like a little boy who sees a lone person beset upon by a cruel gang who feels a need to point out that the glee club is an example of a gang that is not cruel lest anyone passing by get the erroneous impression that all gangs are evil. My answer? So f-ing what?

Yarlan Zey's picture

jmackso6. Please see comment below. I always push the wrong buttons -- yours included, tough guy.

Glock27's picture

Wow!! I wonder who got who's goat here. Maybe if you had included just a touch of what you said here in the article it would have made far more sense and drawn less venom...unless venom is what you were desiring to draw. This smacks of a military assault more than a debate or dialogue. One of the critical elements to writing is knowing your audience. I, however, have to concede that I still have difficulty in being able to keep that in mind when I address this gang.
It is simply my observation and not a criticism that the remark here in conjunction with your article it seems as if venom was the primary purpose. I honestly believe the reason your article was published is that the editor has the perception that this would clearly draw a puff of smoke.

Best of luck with your endeavors. If you are operation your own venture I hope you keep the hiring field level as best as possible without a spy over your shoulder.

Paul's picture

"If you choose to make too many excuses for them, you actually show the ultimate disrespect by claiming they cannot exercise free choice."

No. One can have piles of free choice, be completely imbued with it - and still make the wrong choices based on incorrect information. Governments spend a lot of money in their indoctrination centers. I suspect they wouldn't bother if they didn't yield the results they wanted.

"willingness to snuff out the lives of others at the whim of some cretin"

I suspect it was not put in those terms. As we all know, government cannot exist without euphemism.

I'm glad you didn't work for the drone industry. You are to be commended for not joining the lowest of the low. But I don't see where the payoff is, attacking idiot 18-year-olds doing what they've been indoctrinated is the right thing. Were you fully aware at that age? If so, I am envious. It took me a long time to figure things out. Yeah, the special privileges are crap. Hell, fascism in all its forms is crap. So bang on those things. Try to figure out a way to get 18 year olds to stop joining the military. Reading this article probably won't do it.

Oh, and one other thing. The Marine Corps you describe isn't much like the one I remember. Most of the kids in my squadron hated the war; there was even some monkey wrenching going on. But it wasn't as if we could change our job by just walking away.

Yarlan Zey's picture

Paul, I was never so bereft of empathy – a defining quality of primates – that I ever for a moment thought that murder was glorious and that the government mass-murder machine was anything but that. And I have always despised people who lie to themselves and then cover the lies with rationalizations until they completely bury their conscience. The government propaganda seems to have entered your cranium without so much as a whisper of resistance or friction to cause any noticeable heat – planting itself so deeply in your grey matter that even now – claiming you have seen the light – your instinct is to jump to the defense of your “peak” experience among a bunch of clods. Tell me. Does it ever go away? Will you ever remove it, root and branch? Or will it always trigger the same fell instinct that led you astray in the first place and causes you to attack anyone that smells it?

Paul's picture

Responding in a similar fashion, I must inquire whether you ever get over your moral superiority over the rest of us fools and actually work to stop 18 year old kids from enlisting? You sure aren't doing it now. Time to stop preening...

Glock27's picture

You make an interesting point here Paul. I recall of some second luei's getting fragged in their own quarters during the Viet Nam Fuq up. Being 18 and stupid has always been in my mind when I read such material and I become confounded when others just cannot fathom this. Currently I am terrorizing my grandkids with this stuff, but 15 and 16 year old minds listening to granddad spout off I don't think is touching their minds.

Yarlan Zey's picture

As readers can see, I have been called upon to defend myself for pointing out the obvious.

In the interests of full disclosure, I will now admit ALL:

Yes, I like dick jokes, but I will not stop laughing at them because some people use their pudenda to rape women.

mhstahl's picture


Forgive me, but I don't see where you've been called on to "defend" anything, or where you pointed out the obvious.

You were criticized for making broad reaching stereotypes...which you seem to admit that you did. I'm really not sure of your issue.

You seem to be claiming in the article that hiring veterans will increase workplace violence...but I don't see where you support that claim with anything. You talk of being "traumatized", but don't go into any detail.

From what I understand, companies get EEOC credits from the government for hiring "diversity" candidates, much like the worker's comp. credits they receive for conducting absurd drug tests. I agree that this is wrong-no matter if it is for veterans, for race, or for those with disabilities(such as myself), but that does not appear to be your thesis here. The title of your piece suggests that we will soon see naked pyramids of dog collar adorned cashiers at Wal-Mart...that has not happened, nor is it very likely to happen.

I don't like hiring preferences, nor do I care for corporate culture...that doesn't change the fact that most people who were in the military never engaged in any sort of violence (very few are actually at the "tip of the spear" after all), or that it is totally possible to be a decent person and be a veteran.

I think that Mjacks criticism was fair. I would even go a step farther and wonder why, if you (admirably) detest what the military's mission has been lately, you are willing to work for a company owned by a defense contractor?

Don't you have the same blood on your hands as, say, a supply sergeant, or a motor pool "daddy"? What's the difference? You "need a paycheck"? So do they.

I appreciate that you are in a difficult position, but perhaps you should look more closely at your own complicity before you throw stones at amorphously defined "groups"?



Glock27's picture

Exquisite reply Mike. Recognition that young kids, being utilized by the gov. to do their handy work, have not completely developed that type of independence to make creative inquire into the choices they make. I will not argue that education requires correction, but to achieve this recognition of freedom is more on the parent, but if the parent is not cognizant of the ideas behind freedom then how are they going to get it. Their idea is the Constitution and will be to their grave.
At what age do we come to this recognition. I recognized it at 18, but was not aware of what I recognized. Now I am 69, accidentally discovered this site and now I am beginning to understand. Am I guilty for not recognizing it sooner? I don't believe so. Like everyone else, I live my life by the day with dreams of the future. When I was younger my mind, like nearly other males, focused on money, cars and girls (pudenda: As per Oxford English Dictionary). Normal. It seems to be. Or at least I believe it to be normal.

Yarlan Zey's picture

Mike, did you not read that I discovered these facts after I moved and was hired? After I spent thousands of dollars only to find that I was victim of a fraud? If you really need a motive for anger, you have it. So why claim I was "willing to work for them" knowing that I already explained that I discovered this after the fact. And even then it isn't clear to most people because most people think that the top-top-top parent company makes things like kitchen appliances and toasters. I really hate having to conduct this remedial reading stuff. Further, since we now live in the Soviet Union and the government literally "owns" the economy by contaminating every company from MacDonalds (a contractor to feed the military) to Facebook and Google, your call for absolute purity -- especially coming from someone who is defending those who actually joined the military because it was the military -- shows what a mincer and a parser you are. Perhaps you should read something of Professor Walter Block before you try to pluck the speck from my eye while a sequoia is hanging out of yours...hmm? I am righteously angry about the descent into crudity that came with the ouster of the person who hired me two months after I joined -- only to be placed by a marine thug. He actually threatened our entire department after one member couldn't stand it anymore and quit -- as if more threats would clam everyone. So if you need examples of the brutality and employee-traumatizing behaviors, I just gave you a whiff. Add to that the daily nonsense that crude, cruel people exact on those around them, and the picture becomes clearer. Perhaps the firing of anyone who dares complain is another example? Or injecting troop support into the marketing messages? Perhaps the exodus of long-time talented employees is a sign. I had one long-timer who said that the company is being dumbed-down in a serious way -- and he didn't even agree that there was anything wrong with hire-the-vet nonsense. But he knew something was changing. But his propagandized brain wouldn't let him reason it out. I could go on and on about the fetish about rank and not talking outside of one’s rank. Get the picture? What's your excuse? Yes, I'm very angry, and it's hard to get a job when you reach a certain age, and I've been looking for awhile now in a big way. Happy? Does this kind of personal disgust and misery not ring a bell with you? Instead, you worry that I state the plain fact that the U.S. armed forces have not defended this country period. From the Lincoln-induced Civil War to the horrid empire-building campaigns in the Philippines in the late 1800s, where the Americans slaughtered their allies among the native population after the government duped the dumb populace by stampeding them into contrived anger with the idiot's cry of "Remember the Maine," to the equally contrived sinking of the weapons-carrying Lusitania stuffed with civilian tourists whom the government kept from the knowledge that their vessel was a bona fide military target for illegally carrying weapons, to the systematically arranged attack on Pearl Harbor (read Stinnett) after the USSA was already engaging in a casus belli by blockading Japan, to the contrived Korean conflict, to the completely fabricated Gulf of Tonkin incident used to lie the mobs into the War in Vietnam, to the confabulated "babies being spilled out of incubators in Kuwait by Iraqi soldiers" lie-fest in the first Gulf War, to the idiotic and non-existent WMDs of Bush II and Colin Powell, his pet liar, to the failure of Amurrricans to realize that the WTC attack was a retaliation for a decade of conducting a US-backed campaign of bombing and sanctions against Iraq that killed over 500,000 Iraqi babies by 1996 (secretary Madeline Albright said it was "worth it" to Leslie Stahl on the show "60 minutes" and you and other Americans yawned), and on and on and on. And you thought -- you really thought -- you really really thought that the US armed forces were "the place to be," an emblem of honor, a goal to be pursued, something that innocent people just “do” as part of life? And none of this gives you pause at the magnitude of and the massive glut of the incomparable danger and ugliness and evil of your bone-headed stupidity? And you point a finger at me for a stereo type that at least has a kernel of truth – and more, much more? And you jabber about the need for examples? I think you need to re-balance your conscience and your “sensitivity” if you really possess either. You might want to ask why your knee-jerk impulse is to defend the source of evil instead of the one who points at it and calls it by its right name – for once. Oops, was I being a tad insensitive. Pauvre petit!

mhstahl's picture


"did you not read that I discovered these facts after I moved and was hired? After I spent thousands of dollars only to find that I was victim of a fraud? If you really need a motive for anger, you have it."

That pretty much sums it up. Pobrecita.

You control your actions, nobody else does. Quit. You'll lose money, but face no legal problems. Which is, by the way, not the case with those in the military who realize they have been duped...(or worse, were drafted) just like you were. Get off your moral high war-horse, you are no better than they are. Honestly, you are worse as far as I'm concerned since you are knowingly violating your own moral conviction for the King's silver. Since you are such a Latin expert, I wonder if you familiar with the term, mens rea? It matters.

You really should work on your reading comprehension, I never defended veterans or the military. I did critcize YOU for hypocricy, and for pointlessly stereotyping. You could have written a powerful article about hiring preferences, instead you went on a juvenile rant. Like Paul, I know many veterans who detest war, and the military. Propaganda is a powerful tool, particularly for the young.

I'm quite familiar with Dr. Block, as well as the ugly history of US military action and propaganda. Thanks for the history lesson I didn't need. Had I a magic wand, I'd disband the military today. I don't.

I'm sorry that you have so much bile, I suspect that it stems from the self-loathing that accompanies violating your own moral principles every day. I think that you must quit, for your own sake.

In any event, I sincerely hope you come to terms with your situation.


Glock27's picture

Yarlan Zey: Love the pudenda. However, should you desire to check the term out in a dictionary, pudenda is not a male genital. Despite this slight mistake I still think it to be a great word. Winston Churchill was noted to utilize this term rather frequently.

Yarlan Zey's picture

Mr G: The Latin word pudenda is a plural nominative noun of the second declension. Furthermore, it refers to either male or female genitalia. You really shouldn't limit yourself to dictionaries of the English language or limit yourself to one language. The curiosity that caused me to learn other languages is perhaps part of the reason why I never "ate the chocolate" that the government was passing out -- thinking it was Tootsie Rolls instead of shit.

Glock27's picture

Sorry I am not a multi-linguist. I only speak and read English like most common Americans. I did take Latin, but those declensions are a bitch. Many of us should not limit ourselves. However the sad thing is that we do. I think it is called rut. Once it is made deep enough, getting out becomes difficult, if possible at all. Actually everyone is in some rut of one form or another. Just note, I believe this was a deliberate editorial choice to see a diatribe of response. I think the editor achieved his hearts desire here.

Fundamentally I believe most of us are surfs, caught in the act of day to day life and accepting whatever MSNBC,, ABC, CBS, NBC feeds them. Until those giants get turned off I think there will be a future for this Nation. Should this even occur. I fear this nation shall continue to have surf regardless. Making a living, feeding kids, trying to assure their safety and future is not an easy task and to expect people to suddenly poof--recognize what's happening just will not make it--especially with the liberal media. Liberal media is a huge problem.

My empathy to your circumstance, but I am not your enemy!!

Glock27's picture

I could not help but notice that there exist a clarification statement at the end of the article "this bit of fun". I have to take this statement at face value "fun" not serious. Is this an accurate assessment?

Yarlan Zey's picture

G: Again, you really didn't read my article or my comment to Mr. Davies, did you? I am of the same attitude as H. L. Mencken. I don't have a fraction of his natural wit and talent, but I have a small portion of it and a spleen as large as his. It is full of disgust that I enjoy venting and that people like to read. People have -- and still do -- attack Mencken for this, but he is loads of fun to read, and that's why his editions continue to sell. He wrote when to "say it loud and plain" was still tolerated. So when I say this is a bit of fun, it's because I do like making fun of the brainwashed, who repeat their inculcated memes masquerading as thought. You're the last troll I'll feed today.

Glock27's picture

No troll here, guest by open comment and first amendment, if that is true. I did read your article on my level. Sorry I could not attain your position. The remarks I left, I think if you noted them carefully, were observations. And all the dictionaries I look into all of them...all of them refer to the female genital. Pudenda is plural; pudendous would be an adjective to mean shameful, pudendum--of course latin--the genitals, especially the female genitals. I reference this from the Oxford English Dictionary. It is my understanding that the Oxford English dictionary is considered to be the one true authority on words. Now who crowned it that I have no idea.

I am sorry for the way you feel. Since I am relative new at this game I find it regretful the way you feel. As I see it your position provides no real value to the advancement of the ideology. Fortunately for me there are some members here who recognize newness and do what they can to advance the knowledge and understanding of new membership. I may be wrong but what you appear to be doing is alienating anyone who would be curious and want to learn more.

I know all this seems to be critical to you , but please trust me it is no. It is more investigative. If I knew who Menken was maybe my comments would have been different. I hope for the ideologies sake you will be able to move around the rage you feel and become helpful to the ideology.

I was 18 when I discovered something was wrong but I could never put my finger on it. In my day the internet never existed and access to the information was pretty much contained in the library for me.

If you want things to change then it is your responsibility to be a part of the change and not being a suicide bomber. At least J.D. has developed sites, blogs and etc to be a part of the change. He is actually doing something.


Glock27's picture

Yarlan Zey:

Having read everything here relative to the article I have come to the conclusion "Chicken Shit" on your end.

Yarlan Zey's picture

In the future, I’ll avoid Troll Bait as I’ve been advised in several emails, but as I said, I’m out of practice. In summation, there are generous helpings of both rigid denial and what Ayn Rand might call a “desire for a moral welfare check” in these comments.

MJACKSO6: Denial by Topic Shift and Invalid Comparison
While a search of the internet for the last 10 years will reveal hundreds of articles cataloging the high rates of theft, murders, beatings and brutality such as this military rape-and-coverup, mjackso6 is locked in denial, hiding behind his stereotype of what the military experience is “really about” after accusing me of same. As I said, I am good friends with many ex-military who have already benefited from the 4-step spiritual journey of self-examination, none of which is evidenced by the shoot-the-messenger crowd so actively employed here:
• Contrition – cultivating a genuine sense of sorrow for what has done by seeking out and contemplating the meaning of true ownership of one’s past actions in all of its implications
• Confession – open and ready adult acknowledgement of this awareness to others without excuse
• Request for forgiveness – an expression that can only be made to the ones who have been injured by your actions
• Demonstration – an outward indication of one’s sincerity by directing one’s future behavior in such a way as to encourage an end to these actions by an appeal to one’s fellow “sinners”

I know well my own “sin” of pride (and justified anger is not the same as the sin of wrath) and readily acknowledge my indulgence in it here, but it is used here as a distraction – a red herring – by the messenger-shooters so as to continue the act of denial here. I think MJACK’s silliest remark has to be his claim that my criticism of the military “joiners” is “like saying all black Americans are criminals.” Do we even need to pop the top on this one to reveal DUMB? Is an inherited skin color really the same as a choice to kill? Logic much? I beg MJ to use that argument in defense of the man who beat my grandmother to death. How far will MJ go to deny the responsibility one must take for one’s actions. Is this really a serious argument?

Glock27: Refusal to Examine Oneself
Mr. Glock27 prefers not to examine the 4-step process, preferring instead to excuse his choice as a "normal" developmental step of childhood. Let's think about that for more than a clock-tick. Whether this is grounded in self-pity or simply fear of change or fear of honesty, I cannot say, but self-awareness is a frightening experience for most people. That an 18-year old cannot “know the difference” between right and wrong is belied by his exculpating language. The dancing he does reveals the existence of the floor beneath -- or is it a cauldron of muck? He leans on an even weaker reed by attempting to blame the government crime syndicate (what else can a violent-crime monopoly be?) for not sticking to a fraudulent clause in a scrap of toilet paper called the second amendment.

Glock later sees himself as “used by government” but refuses to own his invitation to be used. Even later, he demonstrates an inability to use the OED. Instead of pondering the etymology of the words listed there (realizing the source, which is plainly indicated) and following up with a trip to the Lewis and Short unabridged Latin Dictionary, he relies on this oh-so-thin (but inappropriate) "appeal to authority." Always a fell habit. He also blames the “lack of an Internet” for his former choices. Again, asking for a moral welfare check instead of owning the necessity to think for oneself – followed by a demand that I be the solution, again, and that I dare not complain. Again, no idea how much of my life I’ve devoted to this. Then he reveals his full philosophical depth, grounded again in denial mixed with self-pity: “Chickenshit.” A judgment, not a syllogism. But then, Glock is not responsible for his bad back, either – even though his paunch pulls his spine forward. That was imposed on him. I have to ask myself if his short-circuited thinking contributed to the deviancy of his students, or did they just have his number: self-pity incorporated. When I taught briefly before getting an honest job (I voted no on all school taxes even then while reconstructing myself), I didn’t reinforce stupidity and wrong-doing. Did he?

Paul’s Welfare-State Entitlement Mindset
In essence, his message is. “I want to ignore what you say, and until you and you alone have come up with a way to save me and others, I can ignore you, put my fingers in my ears, and still pretend I am communicating.” My message was an outraged complaint and a finger pointed at the source of the problem, yet instead of responding to that, I am told I am to be ignored because it is my responsibility to first fix him and those like him before I dare demand others to simply stop behaving as they do. Only I am responsible for my behavior, nobody else. This is a typical welfare-state attitude of entitlement. I’m busy trying to find a new job to escape from my current pickle (it may take a year at my age), but I’m told I must first solve the problem of people holding me up to pay for their crime sprees and convince people not to join the military – as if I haven’t. Paul is an armchair person and thinks everyone else is, too. Why doesn’t he do so himself – ever?

MHSTAHL: When in Doubt, Lie While Suggesting Self-Annihilation
Why do I have blood on my hands? Crime requires intention – motive. And that’s why I can defend my accusation against those who willingly joined the military, but he and his pals avoid it at all costs. His only remark on that score is that he disagrees with policy. When one joins the military, one makes a willful choice. My choice doesn’t contain this guilt at all. And my acknowledgement that my efforts may contribute to the bottom-line of an organization that owns my firm through a tangled chain is no different than my “guilt” in paying taxes that keep the monster running. That is the existential razor of life. We are torn between “existence itself” (staying alive) and “upholding what we believe is our essence as humans (our essence in principles). Life, in its complexity, leads these two into conflict, and we all “draw a line” in how we balance them. It is the ultimate expression of this human pain to acknowledge this conflict and one’s hand-wringing as we face it. Not one of you has dared to explore this in your abject fear of self-awareness. My willingness to do so, in fact, has been turned opportunistically against me. This is the ploy of one with bad intent.

Later he suggests I quit and stop eating. His appeal that I commit suicide (and deny the “existence” part of the human experience) is the expression of a man who does not value life. Your cruelty smells badly. Note that he has never counseled those in the military to do so. While I am a superhuman who has control of my actions, those in the military don’t. Hmmm. And he accuses me of hypocrisy? I never joined an organization that has never, ever been used for anything except dishing out death to native Americans, civilians in the South, and “enemies” abroad.

The point of this? Yes, while I acknowledge that we all grow and change (we must!) and can thus be viewed as pilgrims in this life, to answer my genuine cry of pain and outrage and snark -- what I have done in this article -- with condemnations because my arrows pierced a soft spot, is churlish and low. It also reveals much about those who gathered round to kick the victim in this case. Clearly, the impulse to gang up still looms strong in these souls -- the self-same instinct that caused them to join a gang of bullies in the first place.

Samarami's picture

This has been an unusual thread. Obviously, observing that the oldest (10th) comment was well over a week ago, acrimony doesn't fit well here. It has a dampening effect apparently.

It's not my fault that I was enslaved in my youth and forced to learn to become a murderer for state. I didn't understand it then, I don't understand why such a large segment of ordinary, peaceful folks still fall into the trap of participating in psychopathic political holidays such as the one yesterday to aggrandize that behavior.

I'm not to blame for the preferential treatment for "veterans" (killers all who have not seen the light and worked at changing) in hiring practice. It's moot at my age -- I haven't been out looking for work in ages -- but I don't support cronyism.

It's not my fault that it took me many years after that experience to land here at STR. It has taken help from individuals like Karl Hess and Harry Browne (all gone now) and a host of others to boost me, kicking and screaming, over the hill of anarchy. I'm not fully settled yet. I like to keep my old brain pliable and capable of accepting new information and willing to change.

That's why I urge you to lay off the newbies and those just now in the process of flexing and stretching and conditioning their libertarian sinews. Last time I voted in a political bread and circus event was 1964 for Barry Goldwater -- soon 50 years ago. But it took years and years of Jim Davies' and Per Bylund's and other root-strikers to pound sense into my withered old head. They of all folks recognize that the nature of anarchy is such that nobody can be pushed or shoved or forced into it.

All we can hope for is to shed light.

It was another hypocritical old scoundrel who said, "I feel your pain". Well, I do, Zev. Many times I pound out my thoughts here, only to find out nobody is listening. Or if they do hear, they hear wrong. Or they try to argue with plain, common sense (to me). Or everything I say is taken out of context.

It's then I have to replay my belly-button thesis: the world revolves around MY belly-button, not yours. My world. The advantage I have with that is the knowledge that YOUR world revolves around YOUR belly-button, whether you admit it or not. You don't actually intend to inflict pain on me.

I don't play that big of a part in your world.


Glock27's picture

I appreciate your re-marks you made regarding me. I had to read it several times as your language was highly metaphoric, among other things. Then it dawned on me. You have absolutely no idea about me or who I am. Your closing remark I have to believe is surgically precise.
I read your bio and believe it to be your own accurate assessment of yourself, yet I have no idea about who you really are. I do know there are some very decent individuals here of whom I deeply respect and they have been helpful to in my slow progress. Still I find it tragic that there are some who will, at all cost, attack for the pure pleasure of attacking another human beings. This is not the type of philosophy I have any desire to be a part of.
In closing, I extend to you my apology for my remarks. They were certainly not called for. It is not who I really desire to be. It is an up hill struggle to keep myself fair.


Yarlan Zey's picture

Glock27: Perhaps if you and the rest of the military-defensiveness-and-pity-party-brigade had in some way replied to the pain I am experiencing at the hands of these horrible cretins at work instead of absorbing my angry shout of pain as a personal indictment of you (how could it be since I did not know you before you wrote here unless you indicted yourself, perhaps?), then you would have demonstrated an amount of empathy equal to that which I already displayed in the article by recognizing the sorry plight of people who were drafted into the War in Vietnam. But your first act was to join in the attack because – God forbid – I was stereotyping. Until you look within and ask yourself why your first instinct is to fight a stereotype you feel does not fit you well instead of sharing a cry of pain, you will continue to fool yourself about who you are. Your newest complaint here -- that I don't know you -- is understandable, but how else can I know what you are if not by reading into what you have expressed? In other words, you are denying the perceptions I have about what you are saying based on your own communications to me. You can’t even own your own words? Even now in your wisdom of age? Will you ever own what you are? You didn’t as a youngster, and you won’t now, either. Next time, sit back and look within. I feel no need to apologize for my outrage at the fraud that brought me into the company from which I now seek to escape -- for hours each week as I sift through the posted jobs after a long day at work. Instead, only your defensiveness about your past choices is on your mind. Well, get a grip and grow up. You had more information in making your choice than I did in mine.

As a point of truth: I wonder just how many "pro veteran" web sites you have trolled with the same zeal you have shown here to overtly disagree with the stereotyped image of positive "freedom fighter" (sic!) that these pro-military web sites create? Crickets…more crickets... Those stereotypes can stand for eternity without so much as a breath of truth to stir up a ripple -- even though such sites are legion and are heavily subsidized by tax dollars forcibly extorted from people like me who disagree. But fighting a big strong enemy is not your way. No. You go for the small ones, the ones whom a gang can overwhelm Not a word from you to them and their stereotype achieved with good-looking models and great photo-shoots, eh? But oh, my! How dare I raise my voice against a sickening scenario at work if it pulls at the least trigger of guilt in you. Grow up, my overgrown child-oldster (and I’m one of you), or you will continue in this injured wobble-stance for even longer than you have. As a human being, you have it in you to be your best and to turn from this mode of thought and drop the semper-defensiveness. But you cling to it as if it were Kevlar armor that will repel targeted thoughts. But guess what? Just as the overblown military's use of massive and financially bankrupting and ineffective force abroad will never succeed as a tactic against the brave guerilla fighters abroad or their terror-inducing retaliatory attacks against the evil empire here at home in the USSA, your vigil of denial and defensiveness will never be able to cover over the seed of doubt that gnaws at you relentlessly from within. I encourage you to do the wonderful and easy and self-liberating thing. What’s that? For the first time in your life, free yourself from the need to continue excusing past bad behavior. Simply admit your error and move on. It’s easy, and you can then at last become a human being and a man. You have it in you. You will be amazed at how wonderful you feel when you come out on the other side and no longer feel obligated to expend a vast amount of energy pretending that you “didn’t know” what you were doing as a kid. FYI: many Germans tried to deny knowledge of what was happening a stone’s throw away at the death camps in Europe. Would you believe them, too? I am not asking you to melt into protoplasmic goo and evaporate in the sun. I’m simply saying: own what you were. Admit your guilt. And move on. And be happy. Stop defending your dead past – if it is, indeed, dead. For your constant defensiveness tells another story. Else why would you feel so compelled to defend it?

Glock27's picture

YARLAN: Looseing my dignity in reply, but a man thirsting for blood will not be sated unless his cohort also has a tongue for blood and I have no taste for blood-- there are a few here who are passionate for slaughter you may wish to engage. I only fight when there are no other options. I am old enough now to not give a shit; but your scourge, is not close to an option. There are too many here who have faced pain themselves you have no concept of. Since I am the least knowledgeable here I find it interesting you pick the weaker of the site to slaughter rather than someone whom has a sharper point for competition. I feel you have much to offer and why you insist on bleeding people is beyond my comprehensions.
I made my attempt to apologize to you, useless as it was. It is finished!

Glock27's picture

Sam: You make a great point. First I thank you deeply for the wisdom you have shared with me. If it were not for you and your kind words of encouragement I would have left this site. I held on and discovered there are some very decent and knowledgeable individuals here that I have come to respect deeply. Some like you, have been helpful and have chastised me with care and wisdom. You recognize that new subjects here do not have it all yet. Thanks Sam for your

With deepest respect

Yarlan Zey's picture

Glock27: You're right. That was churlish of me not to accept that apology. You have mine.

Glock27's picture

Yarlan: Thank you. I hope I can read your material with a more open mind and not influenced by prior posters. It happens sometimes. Looking at your bio I glean that you have an enormous amount to offer to the oldies and the nubies. I do not travers on veteran sites. I served as escape route during the Viet Nam Fuq up. I did not want to die or get shot, captured. I chose the USAF as a safe haven (this was during the draft (lottery), conscription. It was join something or wait to get drafted and running to Canada never entered my mind. I was broke at the time. Others choose different alternatives. Anarchy to me at that time was chaos, libertarian was not in my vocabulary, voluntarist did not exist in my world. All I was conscious of at the time was that "You are suppose to be a man and fight for your country" I did not see that being 18 was a man. I still have a tough time resolving myself as to what a man is (decent, respectful, helpful, kind, brave-Boy Scout motto-ism).
Every year I am brutalized financially by the IRS. I want to stop paying but my wife is terrified we will loose everything, which is not much, a small house and that's about it. My retirement barely gets me by and I have to borrow money to pay the sick IRS. I may be using the wrong accountant to do my taxes.
Enough. I just deeply regret letting my emotions get caught up with the others--something like the hive mind set.

With deepest respect

not you's picture

great article and the best discussion thread i have ever read.