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It Probably Ain’t Gonna Work Much Longer
In pondering Washington’s new toy, a cold war against China, one sees a pattern. China’s approach to influence and prosperity is commercial and longsighted. This does not mean that the Chinese are warm and fuzzy, only intelligent. They advance their interests while turning a profit, which wars don’t. China invests heavily in the infrastructure, both... Read More
Saigon Evacuation, 1975.  Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Or Gilbert and Sullivan Come to Afghanistan, Depending on Your Perspective
Forty-six years ago in a previous comedy I was in Saigon, recently having been evacuated from Phnom Penh in an Air America—CIA—Caribou carrying, in addition to me, several ARVN junior officers and perhaps a dozen BUFEs (Big Ugly Fucking Elephants, the ceramic pachyderms much beloved of GIs). America had already embarked on its currently standard... Read More
Notes on the World’s Motherlode of Moral Hypocrisy
Among the more nauseating elements of what has become the American national character is the moral preening, the lecturing of others on the virtuousness of the Exceptional Nation, on America’s incontinent goodness and sense of superiority. The world isn’t buying it. The internet makes fraud impossible. Start with the domestic. The whole world can see,... 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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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
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
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
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
fr-racewar-1
All cultures are equal. At least, as things are going, they soon will be. But couldn't they be equal somewhere else? Month after month after month, surprising as sunrise, predictable as the value of pi, come the casualty reports documenting racial disaster. Details change. The substance does not. Gangs of American Africans beat whites into... Read More
American Homeless picking their way through garbage
America as Others See it
Americans are brought up to believe that the United States is a shining city on a hill, a light to mankind, that the world envies us for our values and freedoms, and hates us because we have them. This is ground into us from birth. Those of us now long in the tooth remember the... Read More
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The appeal of conspiracy theories is strong. They seem to provide the believer a sense of esoteric understanding, of elevation above the limited grasp of moiling herd. They may make life less boring. Yet to many people, including me, they seem borderline delusional. How come? The curious thing is that CTs–Conspiracy Theorists–seldom seem to be... Read More
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Many people I talk to seem to think American foreign policy has something to do with democracy, human rights, national security, or maybe terrorism or freedom, or niceness, or something. It is a curious belief, Washington being interested in all of them. Other people are simply puzzled, seeing no pattern in America’s international behavior. Really,... Read More
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Papua New Guinea Looks Better and Better II
Having just returned from two weeks in the curious environs of Washington, DC, I offer a few observations on the national lunacy deposit: The de-Christianization of the country, or at least this part of it, is almost complete. I can think of hearing the word “Christmas” only twice in two weeks of trough-inciting retail advertising.... Read More
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College Boys in KKK Robes Chant “Hitler! Hitler! Hitler!”
Oh God. Oh God. Is there no surcease? I know, silly question. Squalling protesters: Half of the country seems fifteen years younger than its chronological age. Staged ire. Sordid passion of the herd. Hysteria. Irrationality. Weird accusations. Savage feminists. As per custom, it is all about how horrible men are. One of the sillier sillinesses... Read More
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Applicants Must Supply Own Pliers
By now I suppose that everybody and his dog knows (well, actually, I haven’t asked my dog) that the New York Times has hired, and defended, one Sarah Jeong, an avowedly racist, sexist, mouthy, and apparently kinky twitess as tech writer. “Kinky” is the polite term for people who enjoy cruelty. Which, she says, she... Read More
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A Twelve-Toed Analysis
I’m trying to figure out politics. It’s slow going. I’m just a holler hopper out of West Virginia, and I guess I puzzle easy. Maybe you can help me. I reckon America is pretty much a dictatorship now. It’s because one man, just one, does anything he wants to other countries and to us and... Read More
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Disordered thoughts on the National Cockatoo’s latest antics. One: The aghastment and horrilation about the terrible, appalling, shocking etc nature of gas warfare is nonsense. There is nothing unusually hideous about the use of toxic chemicals. Hideous, yes, but not unusually hideous. Boring old workaday artillery, that nobody criticizes, leaves children watching as mommy frantically... Read More
The Noble Reporter in His Splendor
Everything goes to hell. It warms a curmudgeon’s heart. I remember when, as God intended, reporters were bright and profane drunks with no respect for anything. This philosophical end-point was natural for men steeped daily in the lying, thieving, corruption, bribes, shysterism, misery, and unrelenting stupidity that are public life. Ashen-souled, cynical, with a wonderful... Read More
Merciless news weasel, with  ballistic vest, battening of human misery and degradation. Often mistaken  for Mike Hammer or Philip Marlowe, though Clark Kent  would be more accurate.
In the dog hours after two a.m., the empty time when the streets are dark and lifeless, a police car is an alien bubble, a small moving world unconnected with the streets, not part of the neighborhood. Yet it has to be there. The city is dead. Blank windows, alley mouths leading into nowhere. Parked... Read More
We Will At Least Be Less Bored
Katie, bar the ever-lovin’ door. Compromise seems a forlorn hope in today’s strange version of America. Anger runs too deep. All that is left is to choose sides. We will then see whether the country sinks—continues sinking–into a Soviet future already largely upon us, or we see armed mobs battling in the streets. Does this... Read More
Dark Spots in a Shining Sea of Twaddle
Much is written about slavery and its aftermaths. A large part of this is frenetically modified history issuing from people both excited and poorly read, a comic-book version apparently intended to support agendas of the impenetrably adolescent Left. A few points: First, slavery was always bad, frequently hideous, much worse in the Deep South than... Read More
To one watching the advance of Chinese science and technology, or to me anyway, several things stand out. First, the headlong pace. Second, the amount of it that appears aimed at making China independent of the West technologically and getting the United States off Beijing’s back. Third, the apparent calculated focus. It looks like intelligent... Read More
robertelee
The man was perceptive. Amalgamation of the states under a central government has led to exactly the effects foreseen by General Lee. In, say, 1950, to an appreciable though imperfect extent America resembled a confederacy. Different regions of the America had little contact with each other, and almost no influence over one another. The federal... Read More
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More than I Can Take
Apparently I have missed Memorial Day by being on the road in Guanajuato. I gather I should have thanked Our Boys for their service to the exceptional nation. I will pass. My tolerance for nauseating twaddle has diminished with the years. To begin with, “Our Boys,” so affectionately denominated, are not our boys but suckers... Read More
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Understanding the Vacuity
Do you wonder why the legacy media are such puzzled otherworldly twits? Why, for example, they had no idea what was happening in the recent election? Why they seem to know so very little about America or much of anything else? Some thoughts from a guy who spent a career in the racket: Ask journalists... Read More
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In Washington, where the rice paddies of self-importance are nourished with the night soil of mendacity, columnists are viewed with the seriousness properly reserved for lung cancer. This is ridiculous. Columnists, the rodent class of journalism, have the dignity of carney barkers and merit the social standing of bellhops. It’s a living. For most of... Read More
The Empire’s Nightmare
Methinks the insane hysteria over Russia needs to stop. It probably will not. For reasons of domestic and imperial politics the American public is again being manipulated into a war frenzy by Washington and New York. It is stupid, without justification, and dangerous. The silliness over Russia is, obviously, part of the Establishment’s drive to... Read More
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Only the Democrats Could Have Lost to Trump
A great uproar goes forth from the enemies of the Trump Beast, with much gnashing of hair and pulling of teeth. He will be a terrible President, they say, and they may well be right. There are ominous signs, particularly as regards foreign policy, and he seems radically incoherent and contradictory. Interestingly, his critics have... Read More
Continuity is comforting. The sun rises, the value of pi remains unchanged, businesses burn, cars are smashed, and rioters with the minds of children and the hormones of adults throw bricks at the police. All in good fun. These incidents seem to come at shorter intervals. In characteristic confusion, in Milwaukee the mob believed that... Read More
Michael Gordon / Shutterstock.com
Encountering almost daily criticisms of the police by Pathologically Virtuous Whites of the sort one finds at Salon and NPR, many of these criticisms being nonsensical, I find myself wanting to ask these unpleasantly nice people: Do you know any cops? Have you ever known any? I mean known them well enough to have a... Read More
From the sewers they come. Anti-Trump animalia beating a supporter of Trump in San Jose. They have done the same to Sanders. Anti-Trump is legitimate. Beating up his supporters is not. Us or them.
From the Drudge Report, America’s thermometer, regarding the disruption a campaign rally for Trump: ‘NEVER SEEN ANYTHING LIKE THAT IN AMERICA’… TRUMP CAMPAIGNERS CHASED DOWN LIKE PREY… DOZENS PUNCHED… POLICE ASSAULTED… SAN JOSE MAYOR JUSTIFIES VIOLENCE… VIDEO: FEMALE PELTED WITH HUEVOS… MEXICAN FLAGS RAISED AS AMERICAN FLAG BURNS… Enough. This can’t last. If people want... Read More
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I am a reasonably retired mid-level journalist of no import but much experience, interested in international affairs, law, society, education, and political trends. Yet, God’s truth, I do not know who Boehner and Pelosi are, or were, and now somebody or something called Ryan. Yes, I know that they are in Congress, or were, but... Read More
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Those who try to understand military policy often confuse themselves by focusing on minor matters such as strategy, tactics, logistics, and armament. Here they err. For years the central goal of the military, the brass ring, has been independence from control by civilians. It has been achieved. In time of war, the first concern of... Read More
A frequent theme nowadays is “Why do they hate us?” meaning why does so much of the world detest the United States. The reasons given are usually absurd: They hate our freedom or democracy. They hate us for our cultural superiority. They hate us because we are wonderful. No. Actually the reason is simple if... Read More
I Hear the Fat Lady Singing
Breitbart: A white man in Baltimore was sitting in his car when two female er, teens got into a fight. To continue this enterprise they climbed atop his car, perhaps mistaking it for a tree. He got out and asked them to take their dispute somewhere else, whereupon fifty er, teens beat him nearly to... Read More
As a certified member of the curmudgeon's tribe, practicing our dismal and lonely trade, I am delighted by the events in Baltimore. Among curmudgeons, almost our only joy is the gratification of confirmation of our dark expectations of humanity. In the case of Ballmer, a particular source of somber joy is the gap separating the... Read More
Credit: Fred on Everything
The Symptoms Worsen
Partial index, Knockout Game a Lie? To cure a disease, begin by admitting that you have it. Ah, the joys of escalation. In Ferguson blacks are shooting policemen as others cheer .It does a curmudgeon’s soul good: Everything gets worse, the collapse continues, and unreasoning stupidity goes thundering into the future. We will hear I... Read More
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Birth of What Will Prove a Short Siege
I see with no surprise that Washington is stepping up its campaign to censor the internet. It had to come, and will succeed. It will put paid forever to America’s flirtation with freedom. The country was never really a democracy, meaning a polity in which final power rested with the people. The voters have always... Read More
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Separation of People and State
It is curious: Though I have spent a lifetime in journalism, I do not read a newspaper, not the New York Times nor the Washington Post nor the Wall Street Journal. Nor do I have television service. Why? Because, having worked in that restaurant, I know better than to eat there. The foregoing media are... Read More
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Random Thoughts on a Confluence of Putrescenses
Methinks there cometh three horsemen of a sorry apocalypse: First, blacks are again rioting, looting, and burning. Second, the media are as usual lying, interpreting, concealing. Third, swatted-out heavies of a bush-league police force knock reporters around, arresting them for nothing, and refusing to reveal their identities. We are seeing the birth of a nation.... Read More
The Media: The Illusion of Coverage
In a paroxysm of patriotic musing, I reflected that Washington is an insular, incestuous, inward-looking city, chiefly interested in itself, so politically inbred as to be in danger of hemophilia, out of touch with reality, having remarkably little understanding of or interest in the rest of the country or the world. Isnl’t this wonderful? Inbreeding?... Read More
By A Well-Known Traitor
Much email comes my way, from military folk both current and retired, assuring me that the press consists of leftist commy anti-American liberal tree-hugging cowardly backstabbers who probably like the French and would date Jane Fonda. It is an old song. Having spent decades covering the armed forces, I have seen much of the Pentagon... Read More
Reflections On Our Media of Communication
I love the media. They remind me of a man who bangs on his thumb with a hammer and wonders why it hurts. Every year a conclave of editors and publishers laments the decline in circulation and blames illiteracy or television or the alignment of the planets. It’s someone else’s fault. Recently I saw a... Read More
Pondering Two Years On The Web
Having written this curious column for something over two years now, I thought it time to take stock, to see what it has done, guess where it's going, and wonder "Whither Internet journalism?" The column itself is of no great import in the grand scheme of things, being one man's vaporings. The larger question ?... Read More
The Unsurprising Decline Of Newspapers
I figure we'll take newspaper editors, and shove'm into a woodchipper, and make mulch. They look absorbent. Thing is, if you planted corn in shredded editors, it would probably grow sideways, because it wouldn't know which way was up.Now I gotta figure out whether there's a market for sideways corn. Journalism is harder than it... Read More
Disordered Thoughts Of A New Web Journalist
I'm telling you: Journalism on the Web is crazier than six bats in a ceiling fan. It's going to pan-fry ordinary publications. I'm just now starting to figure it out. Maybe. Random vaporings: More and more people are getting their news from the Web instead of from truck-farms publications. (A truck-farm pub is one that... Read More
The Origins of Bushwah
Everyone and his pet goat has noticed that the media do a poor job of covering the news. The facts frequently aren't facts, the reporters conspicuously don't understand their subjects, and the spin is annoying. Why? For lots of reasons. To begin with, newspapers necessarily attract certain types of people. To get the news, reporters... 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