The Unz Review • An Alternative Media Selection
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 BlogviewFred Reed Archive

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fredchina-1
America Makes Aircraft Carriers, China Makes Money
First, America increasingly relies on strong-arm tactics instead of competence. For example, in the de facto 5G competition, Washington cannot offer Europe a better product at a better price, so it forbids European countries to buy from China. The US cannot compete with China in manufacturing, so it resorts to a trade war. The US... Read More
Fred Figgered it Out, His Own Self
(This is an ancient column I just found, but represents a great service to humanity, so I republish it.) I'm trying to figure out sex, and why people get in an uproar about it, and run around waving their arms and hollering, and everybody's mad at everybody else. It's because men can't tell sex from... Read More
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Never Happen Since Too Many People Get Rich from It
As perhaps most now know, China is preparing a digital currency with which it intends to replace cash entirely, and other countries, including the US, are considering the idea. Conservatives and libertarians will shriek, pull their hair, and turn blue at the idea, perhaps with good reason—which doesn’t matter since it is going to happen... Read More
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I’d Rather Be Ruled by Brain-Damaged Twelve-Year-Olds
There is no limit to misjudgement. If the psychic curiosities in the Federal bunker start a war with China, or push Beijing into starting one, it will be blamed on a proximate cause, such as a collision of warships after which some lieutenant who joined on waivers lost it and opened fire. After all, historians... Read More
fredcoldwar-2
Fred Reports from Foxhole
Today’s characteristically luminous insights will be disordered and structurally horrifying, the sort of essay that would have sent my high-school English teacher into anaphylactic shock. In exculpation I plead laziness. Recently I wrote a column on China’s digital yuan, now in late-stage testing. Bare-bones explanation: You download a digital-wallet app with which you can then... Read More
maninprison
The other day a friend and I were partaking of the mortal remains of quite a number of defenseless grapes, and the subject of law enforce arose. Having spent a number of years as a police reporter, I began thinking of curious and often erroneous ideas that people have of what we regard as a... Read More
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Questions for My Betters
China is now vigorously testing a digital yuan and threatens to have it ready for prime time for the 2022 Winter Olympics. This seems, to me anyway, important. It will be a real, workaday yuan, not a speculative cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. It will use a digital wallet via a cellphone app, and will not require... Read More
Dark Forces Swirl
In newspapering, in which your scribe slaved for many years, great weight was placed on factuality. The rule was verify, verify, verify. (“If your mother says she loves you, check it out.”) The reasons were several, such as integrity, avoiding embarrassment, and fear of libel suits, which can result in judgements of millions of dollars.... Read More
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Cold Water on a Hot Topic
As part of wokedom’s fantasy-ridden fascination with indigenes, sports teams, such as the Redskins and Braves, race to change names. (For Washington’s team, the Federal Folders has been suggested.) Outraged conservatives see the changes as nauseating prissiness by historically illiterate ninnies. It is every bit of this. Still, the teams should be renamed. What civilized... Read More
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Actually, None is Necessary
The Correlation of Armed Forces: U.S. goods and services trade with China totaled an estimated $634.8 billion in 2019. Exports were $163.0 billion; imports were $471.8 billion. The U.S. goods and services trade deficit with China was $308.8 billion in 2019. Trade in services with China (exports and imports) totaled an estimated $76.7 billion in... Read More
jlic-fr
It’s only a lump. It will probably go away.
In a sort of distributed Ouija board enterprise, intellectuals these days predict the likely evolution of relations between China and America. These authorities do not wallow in consistency. China will take over the world. Alternatively, China will collapse because of a surfeit of men, because the different linguistic regions will become independent, because their debt... Read More
fredformulaimage
Justice for Box Turtles! Reparations for Potted Plants!
Headline “Fairfax school board eliminates admissions test at Thomas Jefferson High School” probably America’s most demanding school for science and technology. Oh god, Oh god. Who is on the school board? Predictably education majors, the dimmest, lowest SAT-scoring dregs of the professional classes, the horror of smart students subjected to their grade-school mentalities. But not... Read More
Plumbing the Crankosphere
That wretched virus has spawned great gushing waves of confusion regarding what is really happening. This column, a reliable journalistic source of a high order, has therefore gathered from other reliable sources what we genuinely know about the epidemic. Henceforth you will need to read nothing more on the matter. It is all here. Every... Read More
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Everybody and his goat has weighed in on the election, so I will too. This will make no difference to Trump’s core followers, for whom he is a cult figure, or to those who detest him. The undecided may be interested. Note how insubstantial Trump has been, pretending to be what he isn’t and claiming... Read More
darwin-fr-1
Three Evolutionary Siege Howitzers and a Popgun
This is a much-updated version of a previous column on evolution, is atrociously long, criminally even, by internet standards but I post it anyway because I get occasional requests. Few will read it, which is understandable. Apologies. The Devil made me do it. I will get transcendently stupid email saying that I am a snake-handling... Read More
Saturday morning was sunny and bugs screaming and buzzing, at least in my part of West Virginia, and it was nice and cool. Bugs is pretty much like folk. The boy bugs holler or buzz or I don’t know what all so the girl bugs will love them and they can get laid, and then... Read More
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As the presidential debates approach, and our grotesque candidates prepare to compete for Best Actor, with their supporting casts of pollsters, advance men, media shills, gestures coaches, focus groups, and allied technicians of mendacity, Americans of broad historical illiteracy, which is most of them, hear endlessly of the evils of China. Whether the evils exist... Read More
dismalracefr-1
A (very) black man walks up to a white five-year-old and shoots him in the head with no apparent provocation except, maybe, that the child rode his bicycle over the killer’s lawn. A (very) black man, Emanuel Deshaun Aranda, throws a white child of five from a rooftop café for no reason other, perhaps, that... Read More
Plumbing the Colonials
This admirable column gets a modest trickle of mail from European readers, for some reason chiefly in France and Italy but some from the Nordic realms. While these correspondents are intelligent and thoughtful, and sometimes translate my maunderings into their languages, they do not give a comprehensive view of what Europe thinks of the United... Read More
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The View From Up the Holler
I’m gonna do it anyway. Being as I’m just a West Virginia boy, and mostly barefoot, and don’t have much sense, a lot of folk say, maybe I shouldn’t be explaining the world. But the world don’t make even as much sense as I do, so guess I’ll stick my fork in. Sometimes I go... Read More
The Case for Liposuction
Today, God save the Queen, the country is in the hands of pathologically aggressive Cold War leftovers, in particular Mr. Genghis Pompeo. In light of his desire to get America into a war with Iran, plus the acrid whiff of desperation wafting from the White House, plus increased provocations against Iran, one may wonder about... Read More
The following, except for the two cop novels, are chiefly collections of his Fred on Everything columns with some magazine pieces thrown in for ballast. In them he savages the pretensions of the pretentious, lambasts poltroons right and left, and makes suggestions for improving the world, such as by buying a codpiece for Hillary. He... Read More
blackklan
Be a Miracle if it Don't
Black militia at Stone Mountain. Cocky, heavily armed, outgunning the police. White militias have similar firepower. A fight is entirely possible. In downtown America. Hoo-boy. She’s ready to explode, go high order. Smoking ruins, dead bodies, seething hatreds, and a country that can’t be put back together. It may not happen, but she looks ready.... Read More
The Horror, the Horror
In the predawn coolness of five a.m., we made coffee, put the dogs in the CRV, and set out along the deserted carretera to Chapala, a few miles away, where we walk the beasts. The night was dark and empty as an anchorman's mind and a drizzle splattered across the windshield. Fulu Miziki poured from... Read More
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A common topic around the web is whether automation will drastically increase unemployment. The usual scholarly answer is only a bit, and conservatives often insist that new jobs will always be found. Actually, automation has already created much joblessness. It continues to do so. We don’t notice because we have disguised the unemployment. Consider. In... Read More
Oh sigh. Recently we heard much huffing and blowing over the Supreme Court’s decision not to illegalize the DACAns. These, you may remember, are Mexicans’ brought illegally into the country while children. Obama gave them a sort of amnesty and allowed them to work. Anti-immigration activists say these interlopers are criminals and should be deported... Read More
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Nor, Many Say Quietly, Worth Saving
What fun, what entertainment. And rare: One seldom sees the collapse of a landmark society in a rush of wondrous idiocy. Would I could sell tickets. Don’t look at it as a loss, but as a show, an unwanted but grand amusement. The coup de grace in our ripening decadence is the current uprising purportedly,... Read More
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Studies in Applied Stupidity
This will be a disoriented essay. These are disorienting times. Perhaps the reader should prepare himself with a double shot of Wild Turkey throat sanitizer, or a doob. I am still getting mail saying that Floyd’s death was due to underlying conditions. I see. By purest coincidence, he died of natural causes while hand-cuffed, face... Read More
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DO I = 1,100; killburnloot CITY(I); LOOP
It was murder, plain and simple. There are no contradictory witnesses, no he-said-she-said. It is on the video, with no lapses. The man on the ground is clearly heard imploring mercy, begging to be allowed to breathe. Onlookers also implore. The officer knows the man is choking, yet keeps choking him. No police protocol calls... Read More
What the government Doesn’t Want You to Know
OK, every self-respecting columnist is writing about that wretched virus, so I suppose I have to. (Actually any self-respecting columnist is probably delusional. but never mind.) Columnists do what they are programmed to do, like bugs. I think I’m supposed to say that the coronavirus is most perilous, and like the Black Death that is... Read More
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Totalitarianism for Dummies
The genius of America’s totalitarian system of government is that it is not totally total, and sometimes not very totalitarian at all. It is just total enough. Truly total government--"Your papers, citizen," stop-and-frisk, permission needed to travel from city to city--might spark revolt. By contrast, a sufficiency of totalitarianism, but not an excess, keeps the... Read More
Que Será, Será
The most portentous events in American history were the enforced importation of African blacks by the New England slavers, and the opening of the southern border to Latin America. Both have proved disastrous. Compulsory mixing of disparate peoples has not worked. In response to the Latino influx, Nativist groups arose to oppose immigration and (not... Read More
A Cosmo-Galactic Five-Raio Super Bankshot Explanation of Everything
We will start this magisterial explanation of everything with the time-honored approach of the philosoñher, beginning with the things we know beyond doubt and then reasoning from them to suitably astonishing truths. As we know, Descartes began by saying, “Cogito ergo sum,” I think therefore I am.” (Ambrose Bierce, a more profound thinker, said, “Cogito... Read More
The Truth and its Consequences
"You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years, because they didn't wear a veil," Mattis said. "You know guys like that ain't got no manhood left anyway. So it's a hell of a lot of fun to shoot 'em." The first rule of human thought is that everything is... Read More
An Underside of Medicine
Readers sometimes reproach me, usually gently, for typos. These exist because I have poor and deteriorating vision because, years back, Dr. Phillip Francis Stanley, an ophthalmologist of sorts then at Bethesda Naval Hospital, pulled apart my good eye while removing sutures from a successful corneal transplant at Johns Hopkins. The transplant was done by Dr.... Read More
A mixed bag. This morning we sallied forth to stock up on the essentials of life in time of plague, such as throat sanitizer--Wild Turkey serves well. In the liquor store, employees wore face masks. At Walmart there was a hand-sanitizer squirter that all had to use before entering, and the PA system exhorted us... Read More
A Peek into the Drains
As you cross the Fourteenth Street Bridge from Arlington into Washington on a sunny spring day, the vista is magnificent, uplifting. Huge blue sky, brisk wind, the broad brown river flashing in the sunlight. As a portal to the capital of a world empire, it is suitable, even convincing. This new Tiber is at the... Read More
In Action, I Meant to Say --- Same Thing
Oh God. Oh God. We are down to Biden. I think. Bad. Bad. But maybe no worse than any of the other dwarves and surreal curiosities offering themselves as our managers Look, if you can bear it, at what we started with. Two billionaires, three women, two Jews, a black, a self-proclaimed Indian, two threshold... Read More
Possibly Interesting Response to a Reader
Over the years I have written columns about the growing doubts among scientists and mathematicians over aspects of Darwinian evolution. The fury aroused among the faithful has been intense and often personal, the doubts being called “ridiculous” but with no explanation of why they are ridiculous. These assertions are frequently, but not always, made by... Read More
A World No Longer in Supply
The road, little trafficked, ran past the college post office, past my grandfather’s house, and through a stretch of woods to Lanc’s store. Then it wound off through wooded Virginia countryside. Hampden-Sydney was one of the small Southern colleges founded well before modern times--1776 for Hampden-Sydney--offering liberal arts schooling of remarkably good academic quality. Many... Read More
fr-gilbert-2
A Pre-Enstupidation View
It was 1953 in the white newly prosperous suburbs of Arlington, Virginia, just outside the Yankee Capital. I was eight, having been born, like so many of my small compatriots, nine months and fifteen minutes after our fathers got home from the war. These men, my father anyway, had spent years in the Pacific, being... Read More
Today, regarding China and America, we will have Thought Most Potent, adequate to lube a diesel, curdle milk, or seal a driveway. Whole departments of international studies will close their doors in despair. Ha. Why, we ask, does it seem that the Middle Kingdom advances speedily on so many fronts, while the US doesn’t? The... Read More
oday we will have Profound Thought. Actually it’s the only kind we ever have in this corner of the internet. Thunderous insight. Volcanic perceptiveness. That sort of thing. Anyway, some slightly addled questions about robots, and sexbots and their relations with people and how smart they are or aren’t. For example, can you love a... Read More
Fred to Go into Hiding in Patagonia
In the mysteriously continuing hoorawhaw over whether the Twin Towers were brought down by an “inside job,”I have often ignited the fury of the extraordinarily sensitive Truthers, who believe in intentional demolition,. My sin was pointing out that demolition is a physical undertaking. It is not metaphorical. Physical explosives in specific quantities must be put... Read More
fred-random-2
Washington at Yuletide
Just got back to Guadalajara and environs after two weeks of Christmas in Washington. Good times were had, old friends seen, but it was not altogether a delight. Going back to America every nine months or a year is like watching something decay in time-lapse photography. It can be a shock. Arriving in the Virginia... Read More
fr-berlin-3
Old, New, and Improved
I have just finished reading William Shirer’s Berlin Diary. (This may not fascinate you, but I am coming to something.) I first encountered it in high school. It is of course Shirer's account as a correspondent in Germany of the rise of the Nazis. Most of it is well known to the educated. The Nazis,... Read More
The View from the Malecón
Lake Chapala at sunrise. It never looks the same twice. Though it is late in the season and should be chill, we do not seem to be having winter this year. The golondrinas, swallows, seem confused and have not migrated as early as they usually do. This year they sat in their thousands, three inches... Read More
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Writing about intelligence is splendid fun if you like watching dogfights among towering vanities. (This assumes that vanities can tower, though I’m not sure how dogs come into it.) On one side you have the politically correct protectors of Appropriate Values. These secretly believe that blacks are less intelligent than whites and live in terror... Read More
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Another Entry in the Tourney of Damn Fool Ideas
I suppose that by now everyone has heard of Trump’s offer to send the American military to “wage WAR on the drug cartels and wipe them off the face of the earth,” which he asserts can be done “quickly and effectively. “ Trump phrased this as an offer to help, not a threat to invade,... Read More
fredrecruitingbook
Why You Should Stay the Hell Away From the American Military
Some advice: Don't get shot in the face. I don't care what your friends tell you, it isn't a good idea. Further, avoid corneal transplants if you can. If you find a coupon for one, in a box of Cracker Jacks maybe, toss it. Transplants are miserable things. Unless you really need one. What am... Read More
Fred Reed
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.


Personal Classics
Not What Tom Jefferson Had in Mind
Sounds Like A Low-Ranked American University To Me
Very Long, Will Bore Hell Out Of Most People, But I Felt Like Doing It
It's Not A Job. It's An Adventure.
Cloudy, With Possible Tidal Wave