Mark V. Shaney – Our Imaginary Employee

There’s an imaginary guy pixeling about, pretending he’s from The National Center.

According to Wikipedia, twenty years ago, some men at the Bell Labs created a program to write and send fake electronic messages. The fake messages their program generated were signed as “Mark V. Shaney.”

Lately, either someone using this name, or using the program itself or a similar program, has been generating comments on blogs under the name 1st Lt. Mark V. Shaney USMC. It is a busy little operation. Google shows 2,210 references for “1st Lt. Mark V. Shaney USMC” right now.

If you click on his name on many/most of these comments, you are directed to this website.

Mostly, “Lt. Shaney” just pixels onto someone’s blog and posts a comment, mostly without attracting notice. Lt. Shaney, it seems, can’t write very well. But in a few cases blog owners have wondered about “him,” as they do here, here and here.

So, for the benefit of anyone who wonders: Mark V. Shaney is not an employee of The National Center. We never heard of him or this little computer program before today, and we can’t vouch for the accuracy of any of “his” postings. (Please don’t cite him as a legitimate source!) Indeed, if his posts are written by a computer program and not by an individual playing a joke, any accuracies in his posts would be accidental at best.

In the meantime, despite Mark V. Shaney’s shoddy writing and research, you gotta love an employee who works for no salary and no withholding taxes, and who doesn’t even need a desk. Probably means he’ll be posting for someone else by next week.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.