The news racket is dead, mummified, and ready for a mausoleum. The joy has gone. Reporters were once a misbegotten tribe of ashen-souled cynics, honest drunks chain-smoking their way to the grave, foul-mouthed, profane, boisterously male, believing in nothing but the certainty of corruption and the squalor that is human nature. In short, they were... Read More
All night it rained in Jocotepec, my small town in Mexico. Rain isn’t unusual, but this was different. It was heavy. It didn’t stop. Come morning, my wife and I looked out the window and saw inches of brown water sluicing down the sloping street from the mountain. About 9 o’clock that morning, the speakers... Read More
Has anyone noticed that the various “anti-terror” measures we see everywhere are just security theater—that is, utterly ineffective for their purported purpose and staged for political reasons? On Washington’s subway, the PA system admonishes passengers over and over to watch each other and report any unusual behavior to Metro personnel. “Let’s be prepared, not scared,”... Read More
You need to know about how in 1962 I was a half-wild country kid of 16 in the wilds of King George Country, Virginia, and drove a derelict ’53 Chevy that shouldn’t even have started but in fact went places that would terrify an armored corps. (You may think you don’t need to know this.... Read More
Today, thunderous matters of cosmic import: why has the West dominated scientific and technological advance practically forever? This has certainly been the truth for many years. From—take your pick: 1500 on?—the West has produced both the scientific giants and the fields in which they flourished. Many of the towering figures are unknown today, but they... Read More
The observant will have noticed that we hear little from the troops in Iraq and see almost nothing of the wounded. Why, one might wonder, does not CNN put an enlisted Marine before a camera and, for 15 minutes without editing, let him say what he thinks? Is he not an adult and a citizen?... Read More
Vientiane, Laos—The Mekong flows brown and ugly past the beer stalls and restaurants across the street from the Lane Xian hotel, a slightly decomposing pile, but comfortable enough. The country is green, perhaps not hopelessly backward but nearly so, and rattles with motor scooters. The people are small and brown. When female, they are often... Read More
It is fascinating, when it isn’t just depressing, how often the things people want lead to exactly the things they don’t want. The other day I was reading G. Gordon Liddy’s book of conservative nostalgia, When I Was a Kid, This Was a Free Country. He paints a sunset picture of former times when America... Read More
I recently discovered that I am a dangerous environmentalist, worse than Joseph Mengele and bin Laden, and just no damned good. It was because I liked back-country camping. The mountains corrupted me. I can’t see the advantage in having a trail covered with beer cans and styrofoam. Maybe there is a benefit, and I’m just... Read More
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About Fred Reed
Fred, a keyboard mercenary with a disorganized past, has worked on staff for Army Times, The Washingtonian, Soldier of Fortune, Federal Computer Week, and The Washington Times.
He has been published in Playboy, Soldier of Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Harper's, National Review, Signal, Air&Space, and suchlike. He has worked as a police writer, technology editor, military specialist, and authority on mercenary soldiers.