Everyone is a phony.  Everyone knows everyone is a phony.  If you aren’t a phony you can’t survive childhood.  You will be bullied and teased to death or, if big enough, forced to become a bully yourself.  You tell people what they want to hear, agree with things you don’t believe and try to keep teachers from knowing you hate their guts.

The best phonies become prom kings and queens, football "heroes" or accepted by one clique or another as a trusted insider.  The price for this is diminishing our individuality, sacrificing values for survival.  These are things children do to survive the brutal society of the playground.

Those of us with military service know that, if anything, the military is worse than childhood.  We know but we never tell, not really.  The snitches and crybabies find a home in the military.  "Kissing up" is a trait the military loves.  The worst of us, the kids who had to stay close to the teacher or play jump rope with the girls went into politics.  We just got rid of an entire administration full of them.

It isn’t just politics.  Being a leader seldom involves charisma, talent or guts.  For every tough, stubborn SOB we have 2 dozen "mama’s boys" who spent their lives kissing butt to get into a position of power where others could protect them or fight for them.  The "Chickenhawks" are only a few of these.


Watch some television.  Every show, every movie is about this.  Some slimy piece of crap is in charge.  They are disloyal, incompetent and dishonest.  Our hero, us I hope, is brave, honest and needs nothing from anyone.

He has a great car, lives in a rotten apartment and gets the sexy, and sometimes the "nasty," girls.  He is needed because he gets things done where the mama’s boy can’t.  We watch things like this because we live our lives pretending to be that person, the one who stands up, gets knocked down and stands up again.

In movies and television, our guy wins.  In real life, we know he would rot in jail, end up on the street living under a bridge or kill himself.  We know he couldn’t keep a home for his kids and take care of his family or hold the kind of jobs we are forced to.  We like watching this but we know living this wouldn’t last much longer than the TV shows.

What do we give up?  We leave our manhood home in a drawer and put on the innocent face needed to make people accept us, pay us and trust us.  For those of us who served in war, real war, it is almost an impossible task.

Let’s talk about the military for a bit.  How do you describe something that can be the best and worst of a sick society?  We know America is sick.  The world is sick.  People everywhere are a disappointment.  We want to believe, gods, leaders, friends, we want stability, belonging and a feeling of worth and honor and find ourselves continually up to our necks in crap.

Going into the miltiary is a decision made based on who we are as people and involves things none of us every really talk about.  We all lie about why we went into the military.

The Marine Corps was filled with kids who were bullied on the playground.  Some of them fell apart in training and some of them toughened up.  If teachers supervising a playground had a tenth the skills of a Marine drill instructor, kids wouldn’t be as screwed up.  Alot of people "found themselves" in the Corps.  It’s too bad so many of them paid with their lives and are still paying. 

I was reading an article yesterday on morale and the military.  Among other things, it talked about how units in Vietnam killed their officers, disobeyed orders and refused to fight and how this was caused by the hopelessness of "endless war."

Now I am being inundated with stories of returned veterans, not only killing themselves, but murdering their families, becoming violent criminals, drunks and addicts.  This sounds like the "deja vu" of Vietnam all over again.  We know the sickness is real.  In a military where rape is common place and gangs openly operate, white, black, brown, training for a race war using millions in taxpayer money, we know there is a real sickness.

I can’t blame the people who report it, no matter how much they may lie, distort or pander.  They wouldn’t be able to lie if we weren’t such a pack of idiots as to allow it, want it and even demand it.  Anyone who has bought in on even one of the healthcare scare stories is proof of that.  We live in a rathole because we live with rats.

When Hitler saw Germany fall apart and people turn to Communism, he blamed the Jews.  People jumped on this right away.  "Yeah, it was the Jews, the Commies, the queers….they did it."

Sound familiar?  Every time you hear the word "liberal" or " socialist" or the stories about Islam taking over the world or how homosexual marriage is going to destroy our country, you part of that same social experiment.  Imagine how Hitler would have acted if the Wiemar Republic had a Jewish chancellor?  Imagine if he had been black or worse yet, French?

When people turn to history for lessons, why do they have to look under the trash can?

When people turn to leaders, why do they look to the "mama’s boys," the snitches and losers?

What person, in their right mind, would want to lead anything?  Only someone sick inside, crippled, and filled with self loathing would need followers and admiration to be able to accept themselves.  Any questions about that?  Look thru our "famous" people.  Anyone there you would play with?  You could go whoring with Bill Clinton or on drug runs or a weekend drunk with "W."

How far do you think you could go in a car with Dick Cheney without dumping him off at a gas station?

Would you have let Alberto Gonzales or John Ashcroft hold a credit card for 5 minutes, much less oversee the largest criminal justice system in the world?  Both are spinless nutcases.  Nobody doubts it.  Nobody has ever claimed different.

How many of the current gang are that different?  Evidence is that, though we may be lying alot less, backbone is still in very short supply.

Are we a nation led by people who, as children, sided with playground bullies because of chronic gutlessness?  Was every TV and radio talking head a playground snitch?  Let’s have a big "duh" on that one.

Sometimes I feel like I am doing pennance.  If I wanted to get paid for writing, I am told I have to start lying.  I already have a publicist but he is a damned liberal activist.  We could both end up starving together.

Me, in fact any of us, we could all be successful.  All we have to do is stand behind the bully.  I am already yellow enough as it is.  Notice that I leave Israel and certain government agencies alone?  There is a reason. 

I could start attacking African Americans.  They are an easy target, especially in areas where they don’t really live and people don’t know them as friends and neighbors.  Prejudice is very profitable among the ignorant and can pay well.

Hey, I could get a huge grant from a Conservative think tank to talk about veterans issues.  PTSD doesn’t exist, Depleted Uranium is harmless, there is no Gulf War Illness.

We are winning big in Afghanistan, we need more weapons that don’t work, there is no problem with rape or depression or suicide or racism or corruption in the military.

All the big bucks are in health care lies.  If there was ever a playground bully, its the health care industry.  To me, anyone siding with them is like a child excited when he sees a disabled child tripped in the lunchroom.  If anything, the Democrats are "disabled."

Following bullies and weaklings hasn’t led us anywhere but down.  The real leaders we knew as kids said "screw this" long ago.  They didn’t need a pat on the back or a lifetime of butt kissing to have enough money or power to get a trophy wife, big car and enough "insulation" to keep from being slapped down for being a horses ass.

We have choices.  The cowards and bullies can’t cure cancer, they can’t keep that meteor from hitting you on the head and they can’t add 5 minutes to your life.  If you are on their payroll, you have already sold your honor for money and, if you haven’t by now, will soon learn that everything you touch will burn you in the end.

If you believe in god, you know you are going to hell.  You will know hell, you live there now.

If you still believe that "queer bashing" and speaking in tongues is going to put you on the right hand of Jesus, chances are you may "misunderstand" his teachings more than a bit.

Run thru the gospels for the part where Jesus has lunch with the moneychangers and heads out to kick lepers.  Not there?  Maybe Jesus was a "socialist."

We learned more than we could guess as kids, or were supposed to although it isn’t so clear anymore.  Some of us didn’t get it right then.  Growing up is supposed to mean we can stop being kids, stop being afraid, stop looking to bullies to protect us and stop having to snitch and run to mama.

I see those kids, on the internet, on TV, red faced, signs, guns, aways hiding in a crowd, always meek as bunnies in person.  It makes me sad.

Gordon Duff is a Marine combat veteran and regular contributor on political and social issues.gduff_01








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Gordon Duff posted articles on VT from 2008 to 2022. He is a Marine combat veteran of the Vietnam War. A disabled veteran, he worked on veterans and POW issues for decades. Gordon is an accredited diplomat and is generally accepted as one of the top global intelligence specialists. He manages the world's largest private intelligence organization and regularly consults with governments challenged by security issues. Duff has traveled extensively, is published around the world, and is a regular guest on TV and radio in more than "several" countries. He is also a trained chef, wine enthusiast, avid motorcyclist, and gunsmith specializing in historical weapons and restoration. Business experience and interests are in energy and defense technology.