Happy Anniversary USMC

17 years ago today I was standing on some yellow footprints down at MCRD San Diego getting yelled at by some psychopath in a funny hat. I am going to have to get a new job soon. Boo!

On that day DoD 4160.21-M-1, "Defense Demilitarization Manual" was also

This article was in time Magazine

Monthly Basic pay for a Private in the Marines was 753.90 before FICA, Social Security, MGIB, and medicare got taken out. You ended up with about 400.00 after all that.

Funny thing is, when I first enlisted, I did not even know we got paid!

Semper Fi


Carol said...

Semper Fi, Jordan! And Happy Anniversary/Birthday!

You've done well and served your country with pride.

I will always get tears in my eyes when I see the Marine Corps. ads on TV.

I am the mother of one of the Few, The Proud, and The Brave!

Thank you for making us so proud of you!



Barry said...

Hi Jordan,

Thank you for your long commitment!

A long time ago in an interview, a teacher asked me this koan (that had come out of her reading of the news of the day):

"How does a man of war make world peace?"

She passed me on my answer, but I continue to work on the question because it remains remarkably relevant to our times. Maybe you'll find some interest in it, as well.

Your friend in the Dharma,

Yamakoa said...

I for one am glad that a person of your vision is in the military. The only thing that is needed for evil to succeed is for good men/women to do nothing.

Interestingly I read the article that you linked. What I found fascinating is how tomorrows friend is todays enemy. Vice-versa. I think this may have something to do with Right View and Action.

Jordan, do you think that an institution as large as our government can/will create foreign and domestic policies with a truly altruistic view in mind? I know this is a loaded question. Not looking for a political answer it is just that I often wonder about this very question. I think of the interdependant nature of the world and ramifications of our actions.
When trying to multiply this concept to the government, the chain of cause and effect would be mind blowing. Not to mention calculation the potential effects of our non-actions.

Anyways, Thank you for your service and doing it to the best of your abilities.

Always trying to be faithful to the truth

SlowZen said...

Thank you,


It is a pleasure to serve!
You presented the case:

"How does a man of war make world peace?"
I have replied in the past, what else can I do? Any other option is untenable.

Also I enjoy pointing out that Gautama Buddha and Bodhidharma both came from the military casts in India, which would indicate that they would have received military training.

A bow in deference,


Thank you,

Jordan, do you think that an institution as large as our government can/will create foreign and domestic policies with a truly altruistic view in mind?

The way I see it at this moment is that our country is in the position it is in today largely because of people’s altruistic ideas. We might be better off just dropping altruistic ideas all together.

I would like to share some quotes about government that I think resonate with me:

John Gardner:
The citizen can bring our political and governmental institutions back to life, make them responsive and accountable, and keep them honest. No one else can.

There is my altruism.

H. L. Mencken:
As democracy is perfected, the office represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their hearts desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
The Baltimore Evening Sun, July 26, 1920

that is just crass.

Hubert H. Humphrey:
It was once said that the moral test of Government is how that Government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.

Abortion as contraception, factory style old folks homes, homelessness, Veterans hospitals….

Mark Twain:
The government is merely a servant -- merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.

Ahhh, there you have it.

Paul Martin:
For years governments have been promising more than they can deliver, and delivering more than they can afford.

I think it is characteristic of our present style of democracy to do this.

Eugene McCarthy:
The only thing that saves us from the bureaucracy is inefficiency. An efficient bureaucracy is the greatest threat to liberty.

This is a truth! Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Russia had very efficient bureaucracies. Thank goodness ours is so awful!

Elie Wiesel:
It may well be that our means are fairly limited and our possibilities restricted when it comes to applying pressure on our government. But is this a reason to do nothing? Despair is nor an answer. Neither is resignation. Resignation only leads to indifference, which is not merely a sin but a punishment

Vote! Get involved; heck run for office if you think that is the best option. Apathy is not acceptable.

And perhaps most importantly…

Edward R. Murrow:
Our major obligation is not to mistake slogans for solutions.

In eight years, do we remember, off the top of our heads, what the last elected official’s campaign slogan was?
Sorry I can not answer your question more directly at this time.

Take care,

Uku said...

Good job, Jordan! Military needs people like you!


SlowZen said...


Yamakoa said...

Thank you for your reply.

You state "The way I see it at this moment is that our country is in the position it is in today largely because of people’s altruistic ideas. We might be off just dropping altruistic ideas all together. "

Jordan, if by altruistic you mean overly idealistic, then I may perhaps find some common ground, if not, I do not agree with this statement. I fail to see how some of the major legislation passed in the last several years could be seen as altruistic. I will not cite some of the more egregious piece of legislations passed. Suffice to say that our once protected liberties (civil) have been seriously weakened and power has been truly consolidated on the "hill." When power and capital are the driving force of legislation, there can be very little thought of altruism.

The Bill of Rights stands out as a shining example of what I believe to be an enactment of a "truly altruistic" mind set. At that precarious moment in history, the founders could have replaced one tyrant for another and consolidated power on their own behalf. As we see, they had a bigger view than just themselves and instituted something quite beautiful and unique. That is why still to this day they are venerated.

You asked "In eight years, do we remember, off the top of our heads, what the last elected official’s campaign slogan was?"

This may be a rhetorical question but I do remember; a humble foreign policy, no nation building, and no policing the world. What is up is down and vice versa.

Anyway, thank you for the quotes. Some of them are really great. One that rings true with me at this particular moment is:

"It has been said that each generation must win its own struggle to be free." Robert Kennedy
Ah, sounds very dharma like to me. Don't worry brother, I am out trying to fight the good fight. I hope our paths cross in this most important of struggles.


SlowZen said...

This is just some freewriting, you know sometimes people tell me I can't just say whatever pops into my head. Oh well....

I think for the most part allot of the infringements we perceive on our civil liberties were brought on by fear. What the folks writing these laws do not understand is that people who would do harm to others do not play by the rules. So the rules do not do much good. Imagine playing chess with someone and they start jumping their pawns over yours getting to the other side of the board and saying "King me!" Lawmakers are playing the wrong game. Most of this is done in what they presume is in the best interest of the people who elected them.

A problem with a democracy is that people figure out that they can vote in bread and circuses. As long as people perceive that they are well fed and entertained, our government will continue to do whatever it takes to keep people well fed and entertained. The system feeds itself for a while. Sooner or later it is going to collapse on itself. Our empire is sadly in its twilight. It started going down hill over 100 years ago with the Spanish American War and the rate of decay of what used to be American values has been in a long slow spiral. the good news is I think we are getting pretty close to the ground now and seem to be speeding up so we may be feeling the impact soon, brace yourself. After that, if we are not totally gone over into a socialist state, we might be able to pull together and start acting like americans again. I just hope they put a DNR label on the government we have now soon or what we have going right now will keep us in a limbo like coma as a country for a long time.

OK, I feel like I just came out of a trance!
No more poly ticks for a while, I already mailed in my vote. My candidate will probably not be elected. It is OK. Change is coming no matter what.

Metta practice seems useful.

Take care,

Anonymous said...

I would love to hear your thoughts about meditation and how you can use such devices to accomplish goals. You seem like you've accomplished much in life.

I use mediation every single to relax and prepare my subconscious mind to soak in my visions of a better lifestyle. However, I feel like I only slip into the "trance" for a brief moment. How do I stay in this moment for longer?

Another method I've been using lately is visualization with vision boards. Have you ever heard of them? They are images pasted on a board that represents your hopes, dreams, and goals. Studying these boards every days plants seeds of these goals within your subconscious mind.

Your subconscious mind is where all of habits are formed. Combine these visualizations with mediation and affirmations, and the seed in your subconscious mind will begin to grow, sprouting a newly developed habit that is oriented towards your desired outcome, or goal.

John Assaraf does a better job of explaining this and showing you how to do it in his new book "The Complete Vision Board Kit." I downloaded the free chapter here: http://tinyurl.com/56mfen

SlowZen said...

Anonymous, I do not use meditation to accomplish goals. I practice Goalless meditation.
There are many useful articles linked on the left that may be helpful if you are interested in my type of practice. If you are in the Portland Or/ Vancouver Wa Area we could get together for some tea and chat.

As to accomplishing much in life, I think that over time water will cut a rock.

I have never investigated visualization practice. I think what you describe sounds materialistic and Anti Buddha.

May you be free from suffering and craving

SlowZen said...

OK, that is bizarre, the url you referenced is now different than the one I saw before. The original site I wound up on referenced the secret, which I find rather creepy. Funny thing is, now it is calling it self "The Change Blog"


Take care,

Anonymous said...

So does this mean the marines are going to force you out of service 3 years before the 20 needed to get retirement pay?


SlowZen said...

Uncle Lloyd,

No they can not do that, I am vetted to get my 20. The thing is I still don't know what I want to be when I grow up!

Thank you for your concern!

Thanks for looking!