Poverty Draft?

You take a black kid, Hispanic kid, Italian kid, and a kid of undefined ethnicity…and let’s say each of them—surprise, surprise—has meager pecuniary prospects. You know, the whole “economic downturn” thing everyone is yapping about.

So…the undefined guy weighs his options and promptly enlists in the United States Marine Corps. The few, the proud, and all that.

Everyone—and I mean, everyone—in his immediate circle applauds this decision. Not only will undefined guy pull himself out of financial hardship, they reason (sic), but he also gets to “serve his country.” Bravo…

Meanwhile, the poor black kid weighs his options and promptly “enlists” in the Crips.

The poverty-stricken Hispanic weighs his options and promptly “enlists” in Latin Kings.

The uneducated Italian kid weighs his options and promptly “enlists” in the Mafia.

Like the “heroes” in the military, these three kids are also facing a stark choice—being poor or choosing a uniform and gun—but no one hangs yellow ribbons for them, no one makes excuses them when they kill innocents.

No one argues when these kids are called “criminals.”


Well, there’s one colossal difference between them and the men and women who volunteer to join the US military and get paid to wage illegal and immoral war:

Even though the US military is far more dangerous than any street gang or Mafia family, the US military is considered legal.

Mickey Z. is the creator of a podcast called Post-Woke. You can subscribe here. He is also the founder of Helping Homeless Women - NYC, offering direct relief to women on New York City streets. Spread the word. Read other articles by Mickey.

16 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. David said on July 13th, 2009 at 8:21am #

    Good one, Mr. Z.

    And as the economy continues to plunge southward and as Obama and the wealthy and powerful begin to feel the pressure and bullets from below, a war to save America from the godless foreigners will be needed for distraction.

    And the Italian kid and the Black kid and the Hispanic kid will find themselves in basic training courtesy of the newly instated military draft, absolutely necessary, of course, to save America from those godless foreigners.

    The undefined kid will already have made his mark, having gotten into the Marines early (assuming he hasn’t gotten his head blown off in some police action on the other side of the world or isn’t stuck in a closet in some VA facility in Alabama or Arkansas).

    And the winners? Why, the bonus mongers at Goldman Sachs and the landed wealthy and the politicians that are so good at working the honor and duty and courage bit, of course.

  2. Don Hawkins said on July 13th, 2009 at 9:06am #

    Very good comment David and on that path down the drain in slow motion or not so slow so why do it what is the purpose? I think we know why. I guess a few million words on this but four might work. The easy way out and of course no way out but right in it called deep do do.

  3. Don Hawkins said on July 13th, 2009 at 10:06am #

    I wonder if so called leaders ever think well probably nuclear weapons as there is no other way. At least it will be quick for most of the masses and we of course will live in a bunker for a few years and then build a new World. They would need to stockpile food as not much around and of course that radiation around for many moons. Make a good book. Could call it the List a super top secret list. I would have the ending where they are found out and the New York Times put’s out an extra big headlines in red. Of course they don’t think like that well the last President does have that land in Paraguay with a big aquifer. Could be a hard book to get published especially if the publishers are on the list. I mean they must know that this climate change bill is joke and what is to come as they do have some of the best information and you would think some plan’s by some but then again maybe not.

  4. DaveS said on July 13th, 2009 at 10:17am #

    As I like to say, in this country, if you kill someone, you get life in prison or even the death penalty, but if you kill tens or hundreds of thousands, you get re-elected. I think of the US as a “double 0” country. In James Bond lore, the double 0 agents, like Bond 007 himself, have a “license to kill.” Some countries have it — the US and Israel, and any country that supports the same general agenda at the time — and some countries don’t. Those countries’ killings are not mass murder because of their haloes. Similarly, those countries are entitled to threaten others, while unfavored countries’ threats are considered grounds for war. Just look at the statements made by Israeli leaders about Iran and vice versa. If Ahmadinejad ever said about Israel what Netanyahu freely says about Iran, it would be considered sufficient justification to invade and bomb Iran. Thus it has been necessary to exaggerate his far milder statements that did not really threaten any military action.

  5. Don Hawkins said on July 13th, 2009 at 12:12pm #


    James Hansen New again an eye opener.

  6. joed said on July 13th, 2009 at 1:11pm #

    is this the best you losers can do!? will you never step out of the safety of this FREE SPEACH ZONE?! if you leave the FREE SPEACH ZONE you might get into trouble with the govt.
    mickey z is one of the true dissidents and you sorry-assed punks honor Mr. Z with your pap and crap. the bad guys won because you let them win. there is no going back–so get over it. some guy last year tried to arrest one of the bush gang at the un in nyc. one guy tried to arrest a member of the bush gang–why wasn’t there a million people doing the arresting. because they were here in the FREE SPEACH ZONE taliking about the mean ol’ bush gang.
    care for some cheese with your whine!
    yelling at me doesnt matter either!!

  7. David said on July 13th, 2009 at 3:12pm #

    Well, joed. That’s quite a head of steam you’ve built up.

    You would serve yourself better if you remembered that posters on this board come from all walks of life and have many different experiences.

    During my one and only tour in Viet Nam, I was formally disciplined and sent to the stockade three times. Why? For refusing to shoot those unarmed gook civilians.

    Do you know what the MPs did to people who refused to shoot the little yellow people? They beat the shit out of them, that’s what. I acquired some nice new teeth courtesy of Uncle Sam. And my ribs have healed nicely, thank you, with but an infrequent twinge from the dampness.

    And what about you, joed? Have you had your face rearranged lately for standing up to the government?

  8. lichen said on July 13th, 2009 at 3:36pm #

    Except there isn’t only a poverty draft driving the military, there is also a steady stream of right-wing psychotics that were so abused by the adults around them that they have an extreme violence in them and would love to take it out on vulnerable people in the middle east and otherwise, would love to enter a fascist hierarchical organization like the military. If there is a draft, it should be everyone, male and female, over 45–the people who destroyed the world.

  9. joed said on July 13th, 2009 at 4:33pm #

    hi david, no they took my gub away from me before i had a chance to use it. and, yes i have had my ass kicked by the pigs.
    i wish someone would write an article about how the internet has become a true FREE SPEACH ZONE and how it keeps you people off the streets.
    seems just about everything the bush/cheney gang did (FREE SPEACH ZONE) has become common place and ok for most amerikans.
    anyway david, i am on your side but i hated to see you guys just let this happen without a whine or a whimper except in the FREE SPEACH ZONE which is where the govt allows you to speak somewhat freely.
    my motto untill recently was, “HIT THE STREETS AND HIT”EM HARD” but obviously i was pissin’ in the wind so now i say, ignore the govt as much as you can and create the community you want to live in.
    the bad guys won david and without major sacrifice and hardship the future is rather bleak for most of you. sacrifice and hardship doesn’t gaurantee anything but at least you wont go all the way down without a fight.
    please don’t condemn me for writing this as my walk of life is different from most of you amerikans. the govt really has you guys scared and intimidated. sacrifice and hardship…if only there was a leader an organization. the term “lampolier” comes to mind.

  10. kalidas said on July 13th, 2009 at 5:16pm #

    “As I like to say, in this country, if you kill someone, you get life in prison or even the death penalty,”

    I wonder how many millionaire murderers have ever been executed. None?

  11. Myles Hoenig said on July 13th, 2009 at 5:27pm #

    I think Ted Bundy could have qualified for the millionaire’s club but the point is well taken. Those with power and use it at the cost of innocents’ lives are never held accountable. In time, we’ll be saying the same thing about the Obama administration, not that we really have to wait to level war crimes charges against him/them.

  12. Don Hawkins said on July 14th, 2009 at 4:23am #

    I sent this to CNBC this morning I guess hopeing it will help somehow.

    Did you happen to read James Hansen’s new post. Here is a few words from that post.

    The truth is, the climate course set by Waxman-Markey is a disaster course. It is an
    exceedingly inefficient way to get a small reduction of emissions. It is less than worthless,
    because it would delay by at least a decade or two the possibility of getting on a path that is
    fundamentally sound from economic and climate preservation standpoints.
    Officials in the Obama administration privately admit that the science demands much
    more rapid emission cuts than Waxman-Markey would yield, but they say that their hands are
    tied by a recalcitrant Congress. Is that so? Has President Obama provided direction or
    guidelines for what he expects from Congress?

    Al Gore probably has the strongest voice that the President would listen to, so assessment
    on that front is useful. Last year Al called for rewiring America within 10 years – a national
    electric grid with renewable energies and energy efficiency replacing 100 percent of coal use.
    Now he supports Waxman-Markey, which locks in negligible movement in that direction –
    indeed, the progress in that direction might be greater without Waxman-Markey, and surely
    would be greater with a rising carbon price. Perhaps “100% carbon-free in 10 years” was only
    meant as an idealistic goal to be abandoned. James Hansen

    Again what Hansen wrote he was being nice. He did put a few clues in his witting and an ice free World was one of them. Now just on the off chance that the science is correct and what we now see with our own eye’s if you look Earth 2100 is on the way. If the climate bill is a disaster course and that can’t even get passed what are the chances a real try at this will happen about zero. I guess the thinking will change in a few years and then we could hear President Palin the planes are ready awaiting our order. 12 trillion to take out 35ppm oh well. Basically what we hear from most on bringing this system back to normal is let’s take the easy way out and then comes gated communities then bunkers or deep do do. I have to admit watching the stupidity on TV is nothing more than a waste of time. Last night on Glenn Beck he had a few words on climate change and many more not just him the push is on. Don’t worry what needs to be done will not happen as the low road will win the easy way out on the dot. Can you do that let your mind go out into space and look back at Earth. Try it what do you see?

    Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar”, every “supreme leader”, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there — on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.
    Carl Sagan


    Read DV so called leaders you people are pathetic with your idealistic speech’s that is nothing more than illusion.

  13. phreeman said on July 14th, 2009 at 10:24am #

    I guess I’m dense. I just don’t get your point. It’s legal to wage an illegal war? Who decides when a war is legal? Each individual soldier? And why throw racism into the mix?

    Plus, the analogy between criminal gangs and the military is . . . weak. The military is, unfortunately, necessary. There really are nations and people out there who want to kill us. There really are nations (Russia, China) who want to replace us as the world’s greatest power. Do you really think they would be better than the U.S., even as flawed as the U.S. has been over the past eight or nine years?

    There can be a lot of debate about foreign policy goals and strategy, but if you are really proposing to eliminate the military that defends us, then, well, I think you might want to read some history.

  14. john andrews said on July 15th, 2009 at 1:08am #


    Right as always.


    Respect man, you’ve been there.


    I think you’re mistaken wishing for a leader. Leadership is grossly overrated. It’s also a bit of copout hoping for some enlightened soul to lead us to the promised land – it ducks responsibility for being your own change. Thing to do is… simply stop being a follower; read; argue peacefully with others – turn them round with the power of reason, or at least show them you’re not taken in. If you want to know how this could produce radical change visit my website. Free Democracy is a solution http://www.freedemocrats.co.uk.

  15. mary said on July 18th, 2009 at 3:18am #

    Mickey is spot on as usual.

    As unemployment hits 3m here in the UK (the true figure is more like 5m and rising) young kids are ‘joining up’ as there are no other jobs.

    They are probably influenced by the stream of propaganda for this illegal and cruel war coming out of the trash newspapers (mostly Murdoch owned) and the terrestrial TV channels, the ZBC, ITV and Sky the latter also Murdoch owned.

    On Thursday both 24 hr news channels, BBC and Sky, carried live coverage of Col Thorneloe’s funeral at the Guards Chapel with Prince Charles and his consort? the Duchess of Cornwall in attendance to add gravitas and recognition to the sad proceedings.

    Yesterday Sky were broadcasting the funeral of 18 year old Trooper Joshua Hammond of the Tank Regiment live from Plymouth. His colleagues were in attendance and looked like children. An Irishman Enda Brady was doing the commentary and it was revolting. All buttons were being pushed to arouse the viewers’ ‘patriotism’. Bagpipes were played following a gun salute.

    My paper, the Surrey Advertiser, a weekly in the Guardian group, has the front page headlined ‘Parents so proud of their son killed……’ and a whole page inside of photos and reports of the Princess of Wales Regiment marching through Guildford. I was not in the gawping crowd.

    To date there have as many deaths of British military as there as days in the month. Three of them were 18 years old.

    There is obvious MOD and No 10 involvement in this manipulative crapoganda. What a waste of lives. It should be NON Est Dulce et Decorum Pro Patria Mori unless in self defence.

    You probably notice the connection of the monarchy in the names of some of the regiments and their attendance at these morbid ceremonies.

    There is a weekly broadcast of the theatrical procession of identical hearses through a village called Wootton Bassett near to the RAF station where the mutiliated corpses are repatriated. None of the wounded and maimed who are probably on the flights are shown or even mentioned of course.

  16. Danny Ray said on July 18th, 2009 at 6:25am #

    Mary British wounded go to Birmingham, The dead fly alone.