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I was working on an article about last month’s rampage massacre in Afghanistan that left 17 villagers dead, when news hit of this past Monday’s massacre at an Oakland, California, religious college, leaving seven dead. In both cases, the shooters survived and face a possible death penalty — which is rare: Usually these rampage killings end with self-inflicted bullet in the mouth.

These “going postal” rampage killings like the one that just took place at the Oikos University campus so often and with such relentless rhythm, a lot of people might easily assume that these mass-shootings at American schools and workplaces have always been with us.

It’s not true, of course — as I wrote in my book Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion — it’s an exclusively American phenomenon specific to our time. The first post office rampage killing took place in Edmond, Oklahoma, in the mid-1980s, at the height of the Reagan Revolution’s war on the American worker.

Those post office massacres quickly migrated into private workplace massacres by the end of the 1980s, where they’ve become a regular rhythmic staple of our murder culture ever since – and from the adult workplace, the massacres migrated to our schools.

We’ve had mass-killings before; and every now and then, you’ll read about a rampage killing in some other country. But only in America, and only since the mid-1980s, do American employees attack their own workplaces and offices, and middle-class students attack their own schools, with such consistency, year after year.

It was only after the crash in 2008 that some Americans began to accept the obvious: That the cruelty, predation and concentration of wealth and power introduced by the Reagan Revolution sparked a new type of murder that has more in common with insurgency violence or rebellious peasant violence than, say, the psychopathology of a serial murder.

Like so many school rampage killers, last Monday’s alleged murderer, One L. Goh, was reportedly bullied and mistreated at his nursing school program at the small Korean Christian nursing program he enrolled in. Bullying also was blamed for the high school rampage killing a few weeks ago in suburban Cleveland that left three students dead and five wounded.

The gruesome details about the way Goh is said to have lined up and executed his victims, the way he apparently singled out women, make it hard not to caricature him as a monster, a demonic psychopath — and yet, without excusing Goh’s killings, one should try to make sense of what happened to him, the downward-trending bleakness, the slow water-torture of low-five-figure debts, the broken marriage, the $23,000 tax bill owed to the IRS.

Losing Hope

In the Naughts, One L. Goh helped run a construction company. But construction collapsed as an industry in 2006-7; and unless you were Countrywide Financial CEO Angelo Mozilo, you’d have nothing to show for the few good years.

In late 2007, Goh moved into the Yorkview Apartments complex in Hayes, Virginia — a bleak, prefab looking structure in a rural corner of Virginia. By the following summer, One L. Goh found himself unable to cover his $575 rent payment two months in a row. He was evicted; and on the same day that they they evicted him, creditors took his car.

The future rampage-murderer took it all stoically, even politely, according to one of Goh’s apartment complex neighbors, Thomas Lumpkin: “You would never expect it out of him. He just don’t seem like that type of person.”

Here is how his neighbor described the scene of One L. Goh’s last day at the Yorkshire Apartments:

Lumpkin said he recalled the day when Goh was evicted and his Nissan pickup was repossessed. Goh left by cab that day.

“He was always neat, wore nice clothes,” Lumpkin recalled. “You would never expect it out of him. He just don’t seem like that type of person.”

So he lost his car the same day he was evicted from his apartment in bumfuck, Virginia—and he took it all stoically as he cabbed away to god knows where.

I tried to imagine what that cab ride felt like for One L. Goh, a pudgy 40-something Korean-American dweeb, stewing with resentment, in his nice neat clothes. How far did he go in that cab — and where to?

The Yorkshire Apartments parking lot

Eventually he wound up with his father on the West Coast. One L. Goh’s father lives in an Oakland housing project for senior citizens run by a Christian non-profit. Goh found work in a San Mateo warehouse; he moonlighted as a mover. Anything to get back on his feet.

It’s not a good place to be if you’re a middle-aged failure: San Francisco has so much obscene wealth, and smug beauty — to be a fat 40-something nerd working with your father in a grocery store in Daly City, in the shadow of San Francisco, is some kind of Hell, a Hell for failures.

Goh, who was born Su Nam Ko, had lived in the shadow of his more successful, celebrated war hero brother, Su Wan Ko. In 2002, he changed his name from birth name, Su Nam Ko, to One L. Goh, stating that he did “not like my current name because it sounds like a girl’s name.”

And then last year, Goh’s brother, an Iraq War veteran and Special Forces hero, died in a freak car accident when his Toyota slammed head-on at 70 mph into a “multi-ton” boulder lying on a Virginia road. The photos of the accident scene look almost unreal, almost staged.

The freak accident that killed One L. Goh’s war hero brother

The news of the brother’s death destroyed One L. Goh’s mother: She died within months of her son’s funeral.

This is the backdrop to Goh’s fateful decision to pull himself out of a years-long rut, and to start a new career for himself as a nurse. It may have been the shock of the back-to-back deaths in the family — or maybe it was his father who encouraged him, or the experience of living with his father in a building for the elderly.

Whatever the case, his widower father supported his son with a $6,000 loan to pay for the vocational nursing school tuition. But after a few months, One L. Goh was out of the program, bitter and vengeful, dead set on murder; and his father was out $6,000, thanks to his son’s bad bet.

Ignition to a Massacre

What set Goh off? Why did he leave the nursing school so early? Most reports say he was teased by his classmates for his age, 43, and his accent. Which is odd, considering most of the students are foreigners and Koreans.

(Another Korean-American rampage-killer was teased over his voice:  Virginia Tech killer Cho Seung-Hui. As another Virginia Tech student told reporters back in 2007, “As soon as [Cho] started reading, the whole class started laughing and pointing and saying, ‘Go back to China.’”)

Goh enrolled in what must have been one of the very worst nursing programs in the entire state of California: the vocational nursing program at Oikos University, a fundamentalist Korean-American Christian school in Oakland.

The school’s nursing program is accredited, which is important of course if you want your for-profit school program to make money. To comply with the accreditation, Oikos U. had provide a “2010 Performance Sheet”summing up its students’ performances both on the national nursing exam and, once licensed, in the job market.

The “performance” is abysmal, to the point where you almost wonder if it’s even statistically possible to fail as spectacularly as Oikos University’s nursing students. Of the programs 28 graduates from the Spring 2010 – 2011 term, only 11 of those 28 managed to pass the national nursing exam. That’s a 39 percent pass rate, almost unheard of.

Oikos University ad promises: “Dreams Do Come True”

According to a spokesman for the California Department of Consumer Affairs, it makes Oikos among the state’s very worst programs — the average success rate for graduates of other programs is 75 percent. (An Oakland Tribune article puts Oikos U’s exam pass rate at 41 percent of students who took the test, but the actual Performance Sheet gives a lower 29 percent pass figure — either way, both are awful).

Oikos University failed to prepare its students for the test, and it failed those who passed when they turned to the job market. According to the same Performance Sheet, of the school’s 11 students who passed the exam, eight found paying jobs as nurses, with salaries ranging as low as $5,000 per year to the one lucky top salary earner who earned up to $35,000. That’s in the Bay Area, the most expensive region in America.

In sum: One L. Goh could not have chosen a worse nursing program to pin his personal hopes on. This nursing program was all but guaranteed to fail him.

Fundamentalist Mission

One thing Oikos University does fairly convincingly is fundamentalist evangelical Christianity for Korean-Americans. Students at Oikos U. are required to attend regular church services; the pious language of evangelical Christianity frames everything.

The school’s president, Rev. Jongkin Kim, says his goal is “to foster spiritual Christian leaders who abide by God’s intentions and to expand God’s nation through them.” Under the university’s “Our Vision” it reads:

“The vision of Oikos University is to educate emerging Christian leaders to transform and bless the world at every level – from the church and local community levels to the realm of world entire.”

And then there’s the reality, revealed in a lawsuit filed last month by a former staffer of Oikos University named Jong Cha, who says the school cheated her out of $75,000 in salary and expenses, and stiffed her on a $10,000 loan that she personally gave to the Christian college in 2008.

Viewed from this angle, One L. Goh might have come to the conclusion at some point that he’d taken scarce funds from his poor old widower father, and handed it over to religious hucksters running the Golden State’s worst nursing program.

One thing to keep in mind here: It’s easy to see why Oikos University introduced a nursing vocational program. If you get it accredited, these nursing programs are guaranteed cash-cows. Most of the big for-profit education predators like Kaplan Inc. (which subsidizes the Washington Post) are in on the vocational nursing for-profit gig.

You can charge students insane tuitions, hire hacks as teachers, pocket the difference, and dump the unpaid loans on the government in exchange for 100 cents on the dollar.

The Reverend who founded Oikos University certainly understood this — his good friend told the New York Times that Rev. Kim “had established the nursing school to support the school’s department of religion.” The cash must have rolled in quickly, because within a year after launching its nursing program, Oikos doubled its size — meaning doubling revenues.

And yet even with all those new revenues coming in, the school couldn’t figure out a way to raise its graduates’ test results out of the failure category. The school appears to have stiffed one of its top staffers out of her pay and her loan, suggesting, in the words of the Oakland Tribune, “that the school may have fallen on hard times.”

The bleak Oikos University “campus”: Like a converted warehouse

I wonder if this is what set off One L. Goh a few months after he enrolled — the realization that he’d been fleeced, that he enrolled in the wrong program on his father’s money.  The year 2011 had already taken his brother and his mother.

A Dashed Last Hope

There is something in between the lines that suggests his plan to become a nurse, worked out with his father’s assistance a kind of desperate last attempt to turn everything around in the proverbial One Bold Swoop.

He would do something practical, and morally good, helping the elderly, people like his father — and earn a steady income that would allow him, at last, some dignity and some chance to start paying off his debts.

It was as though Goh pinned everything on this plan to reinvent himself as a nurse — and according to all our cultural propaganda, all the Hollywood movies and newspaper bromides, Goh would be rewarded for undertaking this self-transformation. It was guaranteed to change everything. As the Oikos U. ad promised, “Dreams Do Come True.”

And for a brief while last year, Goh’s mood was transformed, he really did think he had a great future ahead of him. One of Goh’s former employers at a food warehouse described Goh as “upbeat” when he ran into him last year in Oakland — a change from the usually quiet, sullen Goh he’d known.

This new “upbeat” One L. Goh boasted to his former employer “about how he had returned to school to become a nurse and help elderly people.”

The idea that you can reinvent yourself, that your fate is in your own hands, that you have the power inside of you to make yourself a winner (and if you fail, it’s all your own fault) — this may be America’s most toxic cultural snake-oil. And yet it never fails to find takers.

Of course, nothing changed — except that Goh had been conned out of his dad’s money. As his former employer put it:

“Not many people go back to school at that age. He was trying something new and it wasn’t working.”

It didn’t take long for him to figure it out. Just a few months after enrolling, One L. Goh dropped out of the Oikos University program. When he dropped out of the program, he asked them to refund his father’s $6,000 that he paid for tuition. He was denied. He fought with the administrators, but they didn’t budge. This was what made him snap.

The administrator, whom Goh fought with for his tuition refund and whom he came to kill that day, has now come forward. Her name is Ellen Cervellon. She was gone on the day of the massacre because she also teaches nursing to students at California State University at East Bay.

Ellen Cervellan: The face of “Real America”

Now she will have to wonder, why didn’t she just approve the refund to a desperate man? What if she had approved it? Her argument was that he’d already spent several months in the program. According to a friend of Ellen Cervellon’s, Linda Music, she even denied Goh his last reasonable request, to prorate the refund.

As Matthai Kuruvila reported at, Goh had asked Ellen Cervellon for a full refund of his tuition and when he was denied suggested prorating the tuition refund. Cervellon said no, Music said.

That meant he threw his father’s money away: He had nothing to show for the $6,000 given to the university; he would never be able to pay his father back; and he would never be able to borrow a sum like that from him again. That was it, the final act. The jig was up for him.

Lack of Empathy

Why? Why couldn’t Cervellon meet this desperate failure half-way? What was in it for Cervellon? What’s with the Ayn Randian lack of empathy in this country among the non-oligarchy caste?

Cervellon seems to be asking herself this same question: “In talking to several of the students and faculty who were there, I think he was looking for me. I have that weight on my shoulders and I don’t know what to do with it,”

School officials have been painting a portrait of One L. Goh as a psycho and a freak, using phrases like “behavioral problems” and calling him “angry” and “paranoid.” There must be truth to that; nice, normal people in a healthy state of mind don’t rampage-massacre others.

But the intended target, Ellen Cervellon, disputes that: “He was never forced out, he showed no behavioral problems, and he was never asked to leave the program. He decided on his own to leave the program.”

The depressingly familiar dead-end life that One L. Goh found himself in — surrounded by petty scams as revealed in the ex-staffer’s lawsuit and the bleak performance of the school’s graduates, combined with the back-to-back deaths of two family members — could make a lot of sane people desperate and enraged and suicidal. Not to mention the larger context of an inequality-ravaged America where opportunity and dignity are scarcer and scarcer.

On top of all this, as he complained often, students at the nursing program wouldn’t talk to him. That could be traumatizing even under better circumstances, but under his conditions, being mocked and ignored by fellow fundamentalist Christians for being an aging loser, would be devastating.

One of Goh’s teachers continued criticizing Goh even after the massacre: “I always advised him, ‘You go to school to learn, not to make friends.’”

More great advice from the Oikos University folks.

After quitting the nursing program, One L. Goh spent the last few months working with his father at the Daly City supermarket. He was back at square one: A failure, swindled, condemned to work in a shitty job beside his struggling father whom he’d let down.

You might say that One L. Goh snapped because for once, he saw things as they really were, stripped of hope, stripped of fantasies about self-improvement or self-transformation.

He failed at everything; he was one of those faceless, anonymous losers. But there was one thing he could still excel at, something that could get him attention, something that this country perversely celebrates: mass murder in a blaze of anti-glory.  So long as you’re ready to make that transformation-of-character into a death row inmate, that option is always available here.

Last Monday, according to police accounts, One L. Goh armed himself with a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol and showed up at the Oikos school for his final act. But the plan failed from the start: The administrator he was after was gone. So the target became the entire setting, Oikos University, as it so often happens in these “going postal” rampage killings.

There’s a section on the Oikos University website about the 11 beliefs that the University holds to — they call it their “Doctrinal Statement” and it’s the last belief, Number 11, that sums up the malevolence of it all:

“We believe in the existence of a personal, malevolent being called Satan who acts as tempter and accuser, for whom the place of eternal punishment was prepared, where all who die outside of Christ shall be confined in conscious torment for eternity.”

Would you like to know more? Read “Revenge of the Nerd: What the Media Won’t Tell You About The Rampage Killer Who Attacked A Pittsburgh Aerobics Class” and “Alabama Murder Mystery Solved: The Shocking Story Of How A Chicken-Slaughtering Billionaire Plundered Rural America” by Mark Ames. Also read Ames’ previous Consortium News piece, “The One Percent’s Doctrine For The Rest Of Us: We Are Not Human Beings, But Livestock Whose Meat They Extract As ‘Rent'”.

Mark Ames is the author of Going Postal: Rage, Murder and Rebellion from Reagan’s Workplaces to Clinton’s Columbine.

Click the cover & buy the book!



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  • 1. TG  |  April 11th, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Adam @98, what it comes down to is that for all his supposedly Goh-like failures, Frank never used his collection of phallus substitutes to shoot anyone. So, y’know, give him one of those cookies he needs to make him feel special.

    What Frank doesn’t take into account is that he was the author of his own career misfortunes, whereas Goh was scammed and exploited time and time again — probably by people with the same greedpig mindset as Frank.

  • 2. vortexgods  |  April 11th, 2012 at 4:25 pm


    Oh well, can’t take credit for that. It’s something Louis DePalma said to Alex Rieger on an episode of Taxi when he was bragging that, “He’d had his share of women and then some.”

  • 3. EnableWeMuch  |  April 11th, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    “Again, I want to know why a serious analysis of the relevant details and conditions surrounding the tragedy is met by you with such aggrandizement.”

    Because he makes excuses for the inexcusable.

    See, when someone is contemplating suicide, they usually just kill themselves. Some people can’t bring themselves to do it, so they engage in “suicide by cop”. Then there are other people, soulless narcissists, who feel that-they have been wronged, it isn’t fair! So they decide to get payback. They murder people. Never police, never the military, no. It has to be sheep. Why? Because they LIKE it, they love the feeling of power over helpless people begging for their lives. They don’t fight armed people because they don’t want to do battle(they’re cowards, remember), they want to murder.

    I will give an example: Last year a Homicidal individual walked into a Detroit police station with a pump shotty, and opens fire.(he wanted battle) You might already be familiar with the case. The video is not to be believed. This guy never planned on leaving alive. He is engaged by every cop in the room and still keeps coming. Going so far as to jump over the counter and take ground. It was very impressive, but he still is a murderous, lowlife. He wasn’t however, a coward.

    As I already explained to you, Ames concocted this whole meme in order to make a case for more government intrusion( what else could you do?) He doesn’t hide it, it is the premise of his whole thesis.

    Other than that, I don’t know what to tell you. It is that simple. Yes, this sight IS infested with sick fucks. Read. The. Comments.

    Try this, “I don’t condone raping and strangling a woman[mass murder], but if your going to do IT right[murder the people who happens to be in charge,fuck ’em]. Why do these guys always pick out ugly, fat women?[not the people in charge] Not that I am condoning it-because I most certainly am not[I grow physically excited by the idea, and dream of it often, that’s why I am here]-but seriously [I am serious]..”

    Sick. Fucks.

    I did get quite the little chuckle over the desperate dissembling and projecting from the resident Lemmings,”I am so worried that Frank is going to use his guns,that he’s had forever, to murder some one”!eleventy11!

    “Mawkish Martyrdom”That cute. T hose blessed souls at AAA should be Canonized and Sainted, STAT!

    Hysterical pejoratives aside, thanks for making the effort, Adam.

    “when you look back at all your failures, stop blaming everyone and everything else (“wahh! the nanny state”;
    “ consider that the only common factor in these situations is you and your self-destructive, chaos-addicted toxic personality” got my number on that one .I do enjoy risk,.

    @101:[ Sniff] Poor Goh..

    OK. One more bit of Koch funded Reich Wing propaganda and I will leave you to your hand wringing, and shame closets. Per my original post:

    IF you can keep your head when all about you
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
    Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
    If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
    If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;
    If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
    If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
    If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
    ‘ Or walk with Kings – nor lose the common touch,
    if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
    And – which is more – you’ll be a Man, my son!
    Words to live by…

  • 4. vortexgods  |  April 11th, 2012 at 5:28 pm


    I keep coming out on the right side of these scams by blind luck. My parents made a small fortune investing my college fund in a Savings and Loan, and got out just before that organized fraud blew up. In fact, I was able to get a second Bachelors Degree years later when I needed it, paid for by what was left of my college fund and later by the company I started working at.

    Oh, that! My salary was quite nice for a single young man with no dependents. Just basically took care of my few needs and watched the numbers in my bank account increase. Of course, when the company collapsed under the weight of it’s own fraud I had to coast on my savings for a bit before finding another tech job, but the contacts I had made at the served me well. Pity those stock options they kept trying to ply me with proved to be worthless.

    Tech has been good to me. Steady, well paying employment for many years, never having to work very hard. (Avoid the “hot” fields, like video games or social media. Those are the usual places for grueling death marches. You want to work doing something that makes people’s eyes glaze over with boredom when you try to explain it, that’s the trick.)

    Marriage, on the other hand, I can’t recommend. Oh, I love my wife… but she loves debt.

    Still, even with her influence I did manage to put off getting shackled to a mortgage until after the great housing scam had blown up…. but you should have seen the wad of cash they waved under my wife’s nose to get me committed to a mortgage.

    Well, anyway, now I have a kid who just got accepted to college, a nice job, and a house in the suburbs. I’ve been fortunate enough to survive a few rounds of layoffs at my current company (which have subsided into the past now), though I miss all my friends who got the axe (most of them are either employed elsewhere or enjoying semi-retirement now, anyway. There are a few, I admit, I’m hoping are rotting in some gutter somewhere.).

    Oh well, the guys with the post-apocalyptic spite-zombie death-wish seem to be winning now, working their darnedest to collapse what’s left of the New Deal and even a functioning modern state into the muck so we can all find out what it’s like to be “middle class” in Pakistan… I mean, Hell, we aren’t even going to have postal service soon. My grandkids will probably have to go to private schools, whenever they show up, because the decent public schools I went to as a kid will have been sold to the same Wall Street scammers who’ve blown up everything from Iraq War military contracts to the housing market.

  • 5. rick  |  April 11th, 2012 at 6:59 pm

    Great article, Mark, but it has little to do with why you’re a genius…I wish Ames’ id wrote more articles. I mean I recall an intermediate period where your id shit was strained a bit, and worn out, but it might come back. Maybe you know something I don’t(your id is as shitty now as a 70’s rockstar’s new song), but writing the eXile for years out of a Russian strip club WITHOUT MENTIONING IT was tragic in itself. I might be slightly delusional, but your literary talent in ransacking Americana in the eXile book is no small thing–that book fucked me and a handful of friends up hard, like punk rock.

  • 6. ☭ mouse ☭  |  April 11th, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    Great Article, pretty depressing too though.
    Sucks that innocent people got shot, but I cant blame the guy either really. I personally would’ve opted for the suicide ending though so you dont have to deal with the consequences of your actions!

    I read your book Ames.. I cant remember have any of these guys ever got their target? Like the one commenter said, You gotta call ahead on the big day!

  • 7. BasementBum  |  April 11th, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Consider the harm his nursing school was doing, Goh actually did the world a favor.

    Over the next God knows how many years, hundreds if not thousands won’t have to be ripped off and screwed by that place.

    If it still exists after what he did, they’ll be forced out of paranoia to improve 1000X fold.

    Yeah it was evil, and yeah I’m sure some of em weren’t bullies, but it’s not like no good will come of what he did.

  • 8. L. G.  |  April 11th, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    I would like someone to do an article on why we have a death penalty that is never enacted, but instead we spend billions of dollars feeding, clothing and housing these creeps who have no thread of remorse for what they’ve done.

  • 9. Ilich Sánchez  |  April 11th, 2012 at 11:28 pm


    Deep, man. Was Hunter S Oppenheimer your relative?

  • 10. adam  |  April 12th, 2012 at 5:27 am


    Again, more platitudes and more grandstanding. And this is exactly what I anticipated from your limp mind. You couldn’t convince us that your anti-inquiry approach is a better alternative to this. However, you did try to tempt us with stories of spending gobs of cash and fucking white trash. And, just so you know, in most circles telling stories like those is like holding a big, blinding fluorescent sign over your head that says “my life is milquetoast”.

    You call yourself a libertarian, but your comments make you sound more like a philistine, if there’s even a difference.

    As far as I can tell, your answer to the problems the rest of us adults are trying to grapple with is “fuck it, just make money”.

    In short, problems like what to fuck or buy seem well suited to your abilities; let us handle the rest.

  • 11. adam  |  April 12th, 2012 at 5:30 am

    And one quick aside:

    If the day comes when you and your robber barons meet me and my moral leaders on the battlegfield, I will not enjoy claiming your scalp; it wasn’t fun doing it here, and it won’t be then either.

  • 12. TG  |  April 12th, 2012 at 5:38 am


    “Huh?” says the proud Libertarian, who no doubt grumbles about the moochers and risk-averse and brags about his squandered fortune and his Randian superman self as he tills the soil for near-minimum wage.

    As I said earlier, there’s nothing wrong with being risk-friendly. But there’s a smart way to do it and a stupid way. All the Kipling in the world doesn’t change that (thanks for the earlier CS Lewis quote — if the religious propaganda wasn’t bad enough, now he’s downplaying the depredations of robber barons. Nasty).

    As for Ames, he isn’t making excuses for Goh’s actions, he’s putting those actions in context. He’s pointing out that the guy, who seems not to have been the sharpest knife in the drawer to begin with, was preyed on and humiliated time and time again by grifters and bullies and, indirectly, a rigged casino economy. Goh was in “helpless and nothing left to lose” territory — territory deliberately created over the past 30 years by Reaganites and Libertarians like yourself. This Oikos University grift, a direct result of that conservative programme, was the thing that pushed Goh over the edge into this horror.

  • 13. TG  |  April 12th, 2012 at 6:20 am


    Dot-com veteran here, too, so yeah, words to live by for the young techies out there.

    Sounds like you’re in a good place, now. So am I, thanks as much to good luck as my own hard work. But, man, do I feel sorry for the kids who are graduating into Frank’s Libertarian “paradise.” One of the few ways we have left to undermine the greedpigs who want to return us to the economic glory days of 1896 is to work with young people.

  • 14. Mr. Bad  |  April 12th, 2012 at 9:55 am

    @ EnableWeMuch

    I don’t think you understand the difference between a healthy society and a sick one. Your macho bullshit code is suited only to one kind of person, you. At bottom, you’re just a Nazi, because the only logical “final solution” is the execution, enslavement or imprisonment of the weak. The libertarian ideal. You’d like lots of “clean”, noble deaths for the masses rather than the dirty, difficult task of implementing compassion on a mass scale. You’d rather a dozen welfare cases starve than one con man game the system, amiright? Look, you’re nothing new, just a 20th century hangover headache with no memories of how you got here and no plan on how to move ahead. Protip: Learn Spanish, gringo.

  • 15. Mr. Bad  |  April 12th, 2012 at 10:06 am

    @ EnableWeMuch

    It must be comforting to know that you’re “philosophy”f life is compact enough to fit inside a single “meme”, older than the intertubes itself and promulgated by pubescent boys and gangsta rappers:

    Oh right I forgot you also help little old ladies across the street and change tires or whatever the fuck. You are an hero.

  • 16. Trevor  |  April 12th, 2012 at 11:00 am

    Damn, EnableWeMuch is still around. Told ya that loser was easy to troll.

  • 17. Doncha know they're gonna kill your sons?  |  April 12th, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Goh’s TV coerced TV apology is some real tasty humiliation porn. Think they’ll be able to top this before they fry him? Mos’ def. Wait till the trial, Mr. AEC!

  • 18. Cum  |  April 12th, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Well Goh has expressed remorse. Not that it matters. The prison industrial complex is all about profit and they’ll make lots of money housing these guys. And also off their slave labor.

  • 19. adam  |  April 12th, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    From encyclopedia dramatica’s hilarious entry on libertarianism (

    This morning I was awoken by my alarm clock powered by electricity generated by the public power monopoly regulated by the US Department of Energy.
    I then took a shower in the clean water provided by the municipal water utility. Then, I brushed my teeth with that water, filtered to standards set by the EPA and my state.
    After that, I turned on the TV to one of the FCC regulated channels to see what the National Weather Service of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration determined the weather was going to be like using satellites designed, built, and launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. I watched this while eating my breakfast of US Department of Agriculture inspected food and taking the drugs which have been determined as safe by the Food and Drug Administration.
    At the appropriate time as regulated by the US Congress and kept accurate by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the US Naval Observatory, I get into my National Highway Traffic Safety Administration approved automobile and set out to work on the roads built by the local, state, and federal Departments of Transportation, possibly stopping to purchase additional fuel of a quality level determined by the Environmental Protection Agency, using legal tender issued by the Federal Reserve Bank and printed by the Federal Bureau of Engraving and Printing. On the way out the door I deposit any mail I have to be sent out via the US Postal Service and drop the kids off at the public school.
    I park my car on the street, paved and maintained by the Department of Transportation, and put quarters issued by the United States Mint into the parking meter.
    Then, after spending another day not being maimed or killed at work thanks to the workplace regulations imposed by the Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, I drive back to my house which has not burned down in my absence because of the state and local building codes and the fire marshal’s inspection, and which has not been plundered of all its valuables thanks to the local police department.
    I then log onto the Internet which was developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Administration and post on freerepublic and fox news forums about how SOCIALISM in medicine is BAD because the government can’t do anything right. Keep government out of my Medicare!

  • 20. Zhu Bajie  |  April 12th, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    “As a Libertarian, and a citizen of the reality based community…”

    These two clauses do not belong together. Most Libertarians that I’ve met are NOT in contact with reality.

  • 21. vortexgods  |  April 12th, 2012 at 7:01 pm


    Here’s the future that I see coming. An inefficient, incompetent, but still quite brutal police state backing up a form of capitalism that can no longer create things that are useful or work properly or deliver services that aren’t simply egregious scams.

    Nothing but Grifter Kings and Monopoly/Monopsony Extortionists as far as the eye can see.

    Sure, it’ll all eventually end in violent revolution, but who wants to go through the intervening horrors. (Or bet that the outcome of the revolution will be “good.”)

  • 22. BillyRubin  |  April 12th, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    Two items to bear in mind:

    1.) be careful judging a case like this; you are assuming that One has the same faculties and capacity for reason that you yourself possess. Intense mental anguish manifests itself in vastly different ways in different people depending on what glands are firing what ratio of what. We are all fucked-up bags of chemicals walking around an increasingly unnavigable playing field.

    2.) the geeks who try to out-scathe one another in the comments section are effectively wiping your collective asshole all over Mark’s work. Most of the comments of this variety get to be real depressing real quick; they read like a bunch of spoiled brats or arrested adults going back-n-forth who think peppering their “I fucked yer mom last night/my dick is bigger than yours/my dad could rape your dad” bubububub with some overreaching vocabulary somehow elevates it to something clever. It doesn’t. It sucks. Die.

  • 23. Zhu Bajie  |  April 12th, 2012 at 9:42 pm

    @121 Vortexgods, I tend to agree. Look at the history of warlord China (just 100 years ago) for an example of what might happen. Imagine your favorite gun-nut or right-wing militia indulging their fantasies against YOU.

    Flee the wrath which is to come!

  • 24. ☭ mouse ☭  |  April 12th, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    @118 this is a perfect example of why you should just kill yourself after your rampage. I feel more sorry for One L Goh than the victims families at this point.

  • 25. damn red  |  April 12th, 2012 at 11:17 pm

    Why is it when I read anything posted by a libertarian the first thought the pops into my head is autistic sociopath?

    And as a young tech worker my father an old timer in the field is just shocked that the starting wage today is less then what he made starting out.

  • 26. damn red  |  April 12th, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    I mean serious that is some serious word vomit from enablewemuch or what ever his name is

  • 27. meh  |  April 13th, 2012 at 1:50 am

    “The idea that you can reinvent yourself, that your fate is in your own hands, that you have the power inside of you to make yourself a winner (and if you fail, it’s all your own fault) — this may be America’s most toxic cultural snake-oil.”

    Ames should definitely write more about this, it is so real and so true

  • 28. TG  |  April 13th, 2012 at 5:23 am


    Yep, Vortexgods. Don’t forget to throw in debtor prison and debt peonage. Also a gerontocracy to go along with the corpratocracy. Add a pervasive surveillance state that’s as much run by Frank’s beloved corporate persons as it is by the government. And a Gini co-efficient trending towards Brazil’s (plus side: increased employment in the guard labour sector!). Citizens supplanted by obedient and pliant human resources/consumers. All of this is already underway, and no-one in power seems to want to stop it.

    Violent revolution? Who knows, given the doping up of American youth for every little thing and an education system that’s ensured that American Idol and Kim Khardasian are the most important news out there.

    The only way I see to push back at this point is to opt out when you can (the opt-in approach allows human resources/consumers way too much freedom for the comfort of the corporations). You can’t bring the machine to a complete standstill that way, but with enough people opting out you can grind it down to a slower pace and starve out the predators.

    Or, at least make the predators and third-rate warlords so conspicuously unwelcome in some places that they’ll start preying on each-other out in the dying exurbs and small towns and in rural areas.

    I’m very interested to see what will happen with the May Day general strike called by Occupy, although organised labour’s total lack of support doesn’t bode well for it or the Occupy movement in general (on the other hand, I don’t underestimate what millions of young people walking out of their McJobs would do to our service economy). I’d like to see at least the same level of OWS activity as in 2011, but I’m prepared for disappointment.

  • 29. vortexgods  |  April 13th, 2012 at 7:06 am


    But it’s like he was deliberately trying to be a parody… anyway, I’m backing off.

  • 30. Cum  |  April 13th, 2012 at 10:58 am


    I wouldn’t exactly bet on the odds of a revolution resulting directly in a social democracy. At least in the 20th century, revolutions triggered by extreme austerity tended to be followed by a fascist or communist regime (or both!) before social democracy could be established. Neither of those outcomes are particularly good for Jews. Still, I wonder how much of a future I will have in this decaying empire so I’m throwing my lot in with the left and hoping I’ll survive whatever comes next.

  • 31. Cum  |  April 13th, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    April is the month of going postal! Office slave, learn how to defend yourself from your co-slaves!

  • 32. dominic  |  April 14th, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Mark, what does America breeds such assholes and bitch ass man-children-commenters like this guy typing this turd-comment? Man, why am I such a bitch ass loser who wasting his grandma’s bandwidth? Can you believe this comment man? Who am I working for that I have to say that you sound like the pussiest liberal bitch i’ve ever met….wah wah wah! Is it because I’m a big streched out pussy? Work is too hard! Wah! Gotta mooch of my poor widdwe grandma. I suck at football! Man, I don’t have the balls to do anything but sit here and munch of cheerios. I should put some fucking titanium bracers in my wrist or back to wacking off to Ames’ Going Postal book. Wah wah wah

  • 33. CT  |  April 14th, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    College is a brutal experience believe it or not. The astronomical tuition, the petty bullying by peers and professors, and the stress weighs heavily on college students. According to this study half of all college students have suicidal thoughts, compared with 15% of the general population.

  • 34. Jim's Neighbor  |  April 14th, 2012 at 9:18 pm

    Great reporting. Looking at the background sure reveal truths about our society. Social order is obtained partially through busy and productive people and to a greater extent by the love of life. Seem this guy had something missing in addition to good luck.

  • 35. Damn dirty red  |  April 14th, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    @132 I consider being called a liberal an insult, and ames didn’t you put a PDF of going postal up on this site, I read it and it had to be the sanest rendering of the 80s and 90s I have ever read.

    I would also like to ask if I care to submit an article as a freelance asshole who doesn’t care for pay how would I go about doing that.

    Back story and interesight concept I would like to submit, I used to live on the coast moved to a state in the midwest during the conservative revolution mid 90s and only by actually sitting down and studying this crap have did I realize what insight I was given for free. I have stories about school rallies celebrating a fictional assassination of bill clinton and more holy fuck moments that I did not notice.

  • 36. Damn dirty red  |  April 14th, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    I’d write about my time in Texas, but Texas was dull. No one ever talked to their neighbors not to mention I never thought I would say that gang shoot outs are boring till I moved to Texas.

  • 37. Cum  |  April 15th, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    You didn’t think gang shootouts would be fun did you?

  • 38. Zhu Bajie  |  April 16th, 2012 at 4:09 am

    “In today’s America, to live a basic life, you must be perfect in every way.”

    So emigrate when you get the chance. Learn a world language first, and your opportunities will multiply. Teach English abroad.

  • 39. GrumpusRex  |  April 18th, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Thank you for contextualizing this mans life. Sad, but compelling writing. Well done.

  • 40. Paul  |  April 27th, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    who ever wrote this Fu*k you you little puss*s ass feel sorry for this motherfucker for being a useless piece of fat shit who couldn’t make shit out of himself or use the education given to him. you wouldn’t understand unless your daughter or wife was in that room getting shot you bitch then would you say the same. My sister was in that room, you don’t see us going postal to kill innocent family mates. fake feared pussies like you write this stuff. F u mate straight to your face and this fat piece of shit who had the chance to try for 43 years should get hung NOW! Those young adults didn’t even get the chance to fail in there life, because this piece of shit did all the failing for the seven dead and three wounded mentally and physically for life.

  • 41. Count Awesome  |  May 1st, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    Nice try but this guy was emotionally ill to begin with. He isn’t the only one trying to swim upstream against hopelessness and poverty. Millions of people are and many are suffering more than he could ever begin to imagine and they don’t go murdering people as a result. They get buy with a little help or none.

  • 42. Count Awesome  |  May 1st, 2012 at 2:53 pm

    Sorry “by not buy”…. still a look at the keyboard 2 finger typist and post before checking fool.

  • 43. Alien rock  |  May 3rd, 2012 at 5:48 am

    Every time a thing like this happens humans
    are forced to briefly look into the mirror. We see the sad existence and history of homo sapiens. A history of chronic war, exploitation, oppression and general shittyness. A history of simple might makes
    right in the last 100 years replaced by capitalism as disguised oil-drenched feudalism. Of course we don’t like what we
    see that’s why we have collectively chosen
    to deny the existence of the mirror.
    And fiercely attack anyone who openly rebels and again briefly shows us the ugly truth:

    The great majority of humans is exploited by a small group of humans.

    Deep down we all know.

  • 44. Jack Boot  |  May 7th, 2012 at 9:17 am

    The top 1% in 18th Century France lived rather well – until 1789…

  • 45. Vinny  |  December 15th, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    I stopped reading this bullshit article right after I saw the bit about Reagan Revolution. Left wing bullshit propaganda. I’m gonna get into the tinfoil tent I live in my mom’s basement to protect myself from leftwing hyper-neural transmissions

  • 46. watch Music movie  |  July 4th, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    He described how his worship of Hitler had given way to unease concerning the
    far proper’s homophobia.

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