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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 still exist: William and and Mary, Randolph Macon Woman’s College, Mary Washington, on and on. The setting was rural and bucolic, the nights speckled with stars, quiet except on weekends when the fraternities celebrated.

On many nights, summer and winter, I walked the road to Lanc’s store. It was a small, ancient frame building that looked as if it had been there since the Civil War and was thinking about collapsing.

Lanc–Lancaster Brown–was an aged black man who had lived for many years in a house set off in the nearby forest. In his younger days he had been in the Europe of World War One in a labor battalion of local blacks. France had astonished him. The illiterate young Negros of the batallion discovered that French women were not prejudiced against them and that the beer gardens, as Lanc called them, were open to all.

I discovered Lanc’s store on a winter night when I was walking the deserted road to commune with the dark woods and stars sharp in the cold and engaging in the Byronic delusions of young men who have not yet grasped the true nature of the world. The store loomed black with warm light straying from its only window. I had no idea who might be inside, but entered on a whim.

It was the size of a large closet. Light came from a bare bulb dangling on a wire from the ceiling. On the right side was an old, old glass display case with various sweets and, on top, jars of sausages floating in vinegar and pickled pigs’ feet. A worn bench, perhaps a pew from some forgotten church, ran along the other side.

At the back was a glowing pot bellied wood stove and, sitting next to it, Lanc. I couldn’t tell how old he was, but very. He stood with arthritic effort and greeted me, surprised to see a white face. He spoke with a sort of mumble. Again, Lanc was old.

Awkward myself, I said Hi, I was Rick Reed, Dr. Reed’s grandson. Hampden-Sydney was then small and isolated and my grandpa, as I still called him, had for decades been a professor (mathematics) and sometimes dean. My credentials were good. I was welcome, if my presence was unusual.

Hampden-Sydney is of the Cavalier South, the South of Jefferson and Lee and Washington, not of the brutal slave plantations of the Deep South, and unconnected with the equally brutal slave traders of New England who grew fat on their African cargos. The local racial relationship was patriarchal, with the whites well disposed to the blacks, but not wanting integration and not knowing what to do about the whole situation.

I became a regular. On many nights we sat at the back, frying baloney on the stove top. On occasion an apple joined the baloney. I was partial to the pickled sausages.

Lanc had lost much sharpness with the years but liked to reminisce about Paris. Sometimes he forgot which stories he had told and told them again. I didn’t mind.

Local blacks dropped in for a soda or loaf of bread or just to chat. I remember one night a girl, I’d guess in her early teens, came in and asked someone, “Where Jimmy and Morton?” or some other names. “They coon hunting,” was the answer. “Four-legged or two-legged kind?” she asked and then, seeing me, tittered in embarrassment.

Lanc talked a good bit about life in the labor battalion and going over on a troop ship, or such it sounded to have been. This was quite an experience for a man who had perhaps never been fifteen miles from home. But his favorite memories were of the beer gardens. Why, you could get a great big glass of beer, great big, didn’t cost hardly nothin,’ Anybody could go into into the beer gardens. Stay up all night, and go to work in the morning.

He was a relic, not quite an Uncle Remus South but of a different sort from the teenagers who came in to buy cokes. These were literate and quicker and belonged to their time. The black schools of Prince Edward County were not Eton but reasonably effective. Good kids, polite and affable, they bore no similarity to those who in later years would be killing each other in Detroit and Chicago.

I’m not sure what Lanc’s relations were with his suppliers. Beyond snacks and a few staples like bread and canned goods, he did not sell much. There was no refrigerator. Transactions took place through what may have been the oldest cash register on either side of the Mason-Dixon line. Everything seemed old. The Marlboro poster on the wall with the busty red-lipped blonde must have been printed in about 1953. He didn’t sell cigarettes.

On campus I was getting a reputation as a nigger lover. I wasn’t especially, at least not in an ideological sense. I just liked Lanc and the evenings of wood smoke and the sense of escaping into another world, another time. This rep for racial apostasy grew when I rented a room from Ben Hairston, another black guy in his thirties who drove a hearse he had bought for a song. Ben, like Lanc, had been around. He was worth talking to, which was not true of the sons of small town lawyers and shopkeepers who made up the studentry of the college.

Later, having become a journalist, I reflected on those days and what to make of them. Blacks were not persecuted around Hampden-Sydney, but neither did they rise to be engineers and IT managers. After the civil rights movement, they still were not persecuted, and still did not rise to become….Plus ca change.

Eventually I graduated and left. In the nature of the world before the internet I never saw Lanc again. Years later I passed through and went by to see whether the store was still there. It wasn’t.

 

Disculpatory note: In my last outgushing in this space I wrote of a booklet coming with a chemistry set that explained a bit of atomic structure and the difference between atomic number and atomic weight. Somehow this became “difference between atomic structure and atomic weight,” which is straightforwardly idiotic. Pardon.

start Daoud, GoDaddy, pseudo book review, red drops

Drug rehab is mostly a PR figleaf for the criminal justice system. Willy Bill, strung out on heroin, gets convicted of possession. Sending him to jail is not a good idea as these are bulging to the point of illegality. Letting him go will make the courts look soft on crime, and anyway Willy Bill will be shooting up again by nightfall. Rehab sounds good to liberals, and conservatives cannot easily complain of anything so progressive and constructive. All involved know that rehab doesn’t work but neither does jail.

Question: Keeshawn, seventeen, barely literate, gets twelve years for robbery.

 

I don’t say this so that you will think, gee, Fred is sure enough a splendid fellow (though if you have leanings in this direction, I don’t discourage them (but to make the point that, like all of us, I knew somewhat of things I did for a living. The service academies claim to be very selective, accepting only about ten percent of applicants. This is fraud, Bakken says. An application occurs when you fill out an application form. The academies cant as applicants everyone who asks for information. The actual acceptance rate is more like fifty percent, hardly selective.

The purchase of weapons is corrupt through and through. By now this is hardly secret to the alert. The disturbing thing is that officers, those steely-eyed warriors with the firm handshakes, know perfectly well what is going on yet remain complicit. In my day the protected defectives were things like DIVAD, Viper, the Bradley, the Osprey. Today most conspicuously we have the F35, a horrendous dog with an unending list of comic opera defects that the military, and Lockheed Martin insist will be roses any day now. They know exactly what they are doing.

Bakken notes, as has been noted for decades, that almost kn connection exists between the military and civilian society. Just so. While the draft existed, many families had someone recently int the military. Today, that connection is gone. If you are not in uniform and haven’t been, how many military people do you know? In Washington the number is close to zero. Today the military is isolated in places like Fort Hood in Texas and Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC.

 
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• Category: Culture/Society • Tags: Blacks, The South 
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  1. Yes, your reminiscence columns make a whole lot more sense than the anti-Americans ones that have been your standard type for a couple of years. On this one thing:

    Good kids, polite and affable, they bore no similarity to those who in later years would be killing each other in Detroit and Chicago.

    What exactly was it that made them bear no similarity to the rioters and thugs up north? I would imagine they had relatives who’d already moved there in droves back during the WWII years. Is it that the lack of forced integration kept whites and blacks from being at each others throats? Everything got bad up north during the middle of the 1960s and the hatred and animosity all spilled over down South after that. The forced integration of the children in the early 1970s just added insult to injury.

    That Osprey gives me the willies, even though plenty of them are flying around now (in places just like Jacksonville, NC, since you mentioned it). There are just too many modes of failure. If one nacelle does not rotate back to vertical-axis mode, that’s about it …

    • Replies: @Jeff Stryker
  2. trigger warning:

    Majik Negro appears in 3rd paragraph, and is then

    ubiquitous.

    just like in the rest of our (((MSM))). Fred, you R

    a silly cuck.

  3. bob sykes says:

    Fred and I are of the same generation. He, and my brothers in law, went to ‘Nam, and I and my young wife and daughter went to Purdue for grad studies. I don’t regret it. He is from the rural South, I am from Dorchester. We both had black experiences when young. It appears mine were worse.

    Sometimes Fred pisses me off. But mostly I like his essays.

    I also like Cobb. Apparently I am the only one who reads him. He is a good writer. You should follow him. He is a black software engineer

    I also like Van Der Leun. Although he has gotten sorta weepy since his home in the CA hills burned down.

    We are all geezers. We all lived through the same era, and watched America die.

    • Replies: @macilrae
    , @TJM
  4. Later, having become a journalist, I reflected on those days and what to make of them.

    Journalist? For Washington Times and Soldier of Fortune? That make you a journalist, Fred? You fucking kidding? Even WashPost wouldn’t have you. In the end, not even Washington Times.

    God, what a dick you’ve become. You’re no ‘journalist’. You’re a muse. Nothing more. Journalist. Riiiight.

  5. grampster says:

    I agree with Bob Sykes comment. I was in LE so I didn’t get drafted. I just happened to be in our domestic street wars in the 60’s. I lost 3 friends who were murdered on the Job. I enjoy Fred’s comments, but he does piss me off too, now and then. Nothing wrong with that as differing opinions cause thoughtful contemplation, though that doesn’t seem to be the MO of modern keyboard rats.

    Fred’s comments about blacks cause me to cringe a bit, but he comes from a different American culture than mine. My America has always been diverse…yet mostly united and mostly accepting.. contrary to the wailing bigots who accuse everyone of being a bigot.

  6. @Jim Christian

    Maybe he’s not a “journalist” in your own opinion, but I read everything that he writes, and impatiently look forward to each new posting.

    • Thanks: Weston Waroda
    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  7. IvyMike says:

    My wife knows I’m in lust with Don Lemon, but that doesn’t make me a n-lover. Plus Fred couldn’t work for the Washington Post because he actually is a journalist. I haven’t owned a suit since 1975 but Don Lemon sure knows how to wear one…

  8. @The Saigon Kid

    Most of journalism isn’t journalism in THIS day and age. The Fourth Estate is dead. Fred is a rogue and a muse, not a journalist. And he would call me an asshole for noticing.

    • Replies: @Weston Waroda
  9. Anonymous[709] • Disclaimer says:

    I wonder at the value of journalism such as Reed writes. He doesn’t really know any more about the subjects he opines on than any random person who keeps up with the news, and doesn’t seem to make any effort to dig deeper than the headlines. He also doesn’t seem to have any qualms about misrepresenting or exaggerating. This is, of course, not only true of Reed, but of all his ilk.
    If you actually know something about a subject he covers, say because of a working or professional connection, you will recognize this immediately.
    For example, with the V-22, Reed alludes to some negative aspects of the machine, but he doesn’t really know anything about it. But people involved with the V-22 know things that a kibitzer like Reed has no clue about.
    For example, one of my friends is an aeronautical engineer who actually worked on the development of the V-22. We exchange emails, and chat often about various things, including our professional lives. Here’s an excerpt from one of his emails when we were discussing the V-22. It’s routine chat between people who know the bird, but it’s far above anything Reed or other journalists of his type could ever write:

    “You mentioned the V-22 is going to replace the C-2A. I must admit I have mixed feelings about it. Obviously, it means more orders for us, but as you say, the V-22 has gained a pretty poor safety record (you made me laugh with your comment about the approved way to land an Osprey)
    [I said that was to crash it].
    I think I’ve mentioned it before, but one of the early V-22 fatalities is used as a Stress Analysis case study. Metal fatigue is the Stress Engineer’s bête noire. It is far more prevalent in rotorcraft when compared to fixed-wing aircraft, because there’s more vibration from the rotors which causes fatigue-inducing cyclic loading. The V-22 is closer to a helicopter than a fixed-wing ‘plane. You might have noticed a little bit of vibration when you flew in them!
    The case study we were presented with was a hydraulic pipe failure due to fretting. The rigid hydraulic tubes are made from titanium, which is particularly prone to fretting, but it is obviously lighter than the standard steel tubes. The fretting had been caused by an electrical wiring loom being clamped to the hydraulic pipes and the subsequent vibration caused the wire clamp to wear through the pipe, leading to a burst. The resulting loss of hydraulic power led to a catastrophic loss of control. Looking on the bright side though, the engineering problems seem to have been fixed and crashes are now just down to pilot error.”

    This man also worked nine years on the design of the F-35. He knows everything about its development and the problems encountered. One of my family members flies the F-35B (he transitioned to it from the AV-8B+). He knows everything about flying it. When those two start chatting about that bird, you learn a lot. (And it’s not all bad. Far from it!) More than Reed or his type could ever tell you.

    I could go on. So could most people regarding their particular fields of expertise. So what’s the point of this sort of writing? I enjoy Reed’s personal experience essays — scuba diving, Marine boot camp, etc. — and his nostalgia pieces (“When I was a kid, we could burn leaves in the front yard and shoot insulators off of telephone poles with our .22s and nobody cared ….”)
    I wish Reed would write more of that sort of thing and lay off the other garbage.

    • Replies: @bluedog
    , @Icanwalk
  10. @Jim Christian

    Fred is a rogue and a muse, not a journalist.

    That Fred is a rogue is apparent from his tequila swilling serape shrouded self on the cover of his book, but your characterization of him as a muse is puzzling. Do you suspect he has a connection to the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood?

  11. This reminds of something I’ve been thinking lately.

    The problem isn’t so much with blacks themselves; they are what they are, and if one treats them accordingly, there’s not necessarily any problem.

    The problems really arise when we start trying to pretend blacks are something they are not. Quit that, and a good two-thirds of the problems currently posed by blacks would vanish.

    • Replies: @Jim
  12. Jim Moore says:

    Fred says the service academies accept 50% of applicants. But West Point, Annapolis and Colorado Springs positions are mostly filled by Congressional nominations. Those are fairly selective. The Coast Guard uses a competitive exam. I don’t think 50% of initial applicants are accepted.

    • Replies: @RVBlake
    , @Icanwalk
  13. dearieme says:
    @Jim Christian

    To people of Fred’s age being a journalist is just a job description. Nowadays calling someone a journalist is an insult. Especially if they are alleged to work for the Washington Post.

    Fred can write. I enjoy his stuff be it Letters from Mexico or Reminiscences of his Youth.

  14. Journalist, muse, hack…., whatever. Agree, disagree, laugh, cry, smile. Thanks for your writing, Fred.

    • Agree: Colin Wright, AKAHorace
  15. @Achmed E. Newman

    Zero paternalism.

    Chicago whites-the children of Irish, Slavic, German, Italian immigrants have no interest in Africans. They did not import them to America, have no historical connection to the South (Most whites in the Upper Midwest trace their roots to continental European immigrants who arrived in the late 19th or early 20th centuries) or its plantation system.

    So some Polish guy in Chicago has nothing to do with slavery, feels no paternalism, doesn’t care what sort of poverty Africans live in, ignores them and you have an internal third world.

    Its the same with the US-Canadian border. Yankees don’t have a problem with Canadians coming over the border to the US because most of them think America is shit anyhow. Unlike the Southern border, it is enforced.

  16. When I was a schoolboy, our southern county responded to Yankee-ordered racial integration by bringing a small army of supposedly retarded people to my elementary school in the all-white suburbs. In large measure, these “retarded” kids were just very stupid, criminally inclined blacks who never had the slightest interest in education. It’s one of the under-appreciated artifacts of the bell curve — who populates the far left end of it. You could not devise a more effective strategy for making white kids loathe blacks.

    The fact that we were all being taught the theory of evolution made all the whites draw what seemed to be the obvious conclusion.

    I’m glad Fred met some more normal black people and counts that as a formative experience.

    Others had different experiences. Way different.

  17. I’ve been reading you columns since he early oughts and we used to swap the occasional email. You and I disagree on Chrisianity, but I still think you are a “splendid fellow.”

  18. RVBlake says:
    @Jim Moore

    I am a retired Coast Guard officer, non-Academy, and have heard grads boast of the non-political feature of CGA acceptance. I don’t know any of the stats.

  19. DocDictum says:
    @Jim Christian

    Your head is so far up your ass you have not been able to recognize anything for most of your life.

    • Thanks: bluedog
  20. @Jim Christian

    So why are you reading him?

    That’s not rhetorical. It’s a sincere question. Why read a guy you scorn?

  21. macilrae says:
    @bob sykes

    We are all geezers. We all lived through the same era, and watched America die.

    All true, even we who didn’t live in America – and some of us still have a fair bit of spark left in us too: though for how much longer God only knows.

  22. Muggles says:

    Fred’s description of Lanc’s rickety old store was wonderful. A nice bit of writing. Hard to do nostalgia without letting emotions override everything else.

    It brought to mind the many tiny, decrepit looking general stores or ‘only’ stores in the many tiny towns and villages I’ve driven through. In the remote, rural parts of the West you have to drive a long way to get to, these little places continue. Often with a gas and diesel pump outside. Sometimes as in Lanc’s a small food prep kitchen for the local road cuisine.

    You wonder how they survive even with the larger markups. But everywhere it seems, there is someone who runs a small wholesale delivery business that brings these places their goods. In many rural non US locales these supply most of the locals with essentials, since traveling to Walmart/Costco isn’t possible.

    You talk to the local “managers” (who are relatives to owners and half the town) to find out important info. How to get to X? Where is the doctor/dentists around here? Who has the local liquor license? And once you become known, who are the deadbeats, drug addicts/suppliers, wife beaters, etc. That takes some trust but if you seem credible and not a blabbermouth, you’ll learn a lot.

  23. Why read a guy you scorn?

    Read Fred’s books. I ran across him decades ago at WashTimes. He used to travel round with the kick-in cops in DC. U.S. Marshals, DC Police. He once was pretty cool (weren’t we all when we were younger?). Now? Look at him. Married to a Mexican lecturing us ALL. And claiming ‘journalist privilege? Really!

    I read everyone.

    • Replies: @The Grate Deign
  24. bluedog says:
    @Anonymous

    Are you referring to the garbage that the MIC produces and peddles for obscene money,and of course everyone who works for them are only concerned with their next paycheck their next boondoggle project to screw over the taxpayer.!!

  25. @Jim Christian

    ‘Journalist’ is an adaptation of a French term for what in English since the time of Pope and Swift
    have been properly called ‘Scribblers’. Fred scribbles, and so do the rest of them, whether at the
    august Times of New York or your favorite blog. If Christian thinks there is some kind of Higher
    Guild of the Spiritually Superior who fill the cubicles at the Bezos Post he has his head up his ass.

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  26. Icanwalk says:
    @Jim Moore

    I believe all nominations come from politicians. House and Senate. Maybe the Prez and/or VP.
    Then the applicant needs to get an academic appointment from the academy. Two steps. Two steps.
    Not sure what Fred is getting at here? AFA takes about 1000 cadets each year. 4000 total cadets.
    I guess if only 2000 kids apply, then the acceptance rate is about 50%. I think the number of applicants are more than that.

    The purpose of all of these academies is to provide leadership to their respective branches.

    • Replies: @Jim Bob Lassiter
  27. Icanwalk says:
    @Anonymous

    “The fretting had been caused by an electrical wiring loom being clamped to the hydraulic pipes and the subsequent vibration caused the wire clamp to wear through the pipe, leading to a burst. The resulting loss of hydraulic power led to a catastrophic loss of control. Looking on the bright side though, the engineering problems seem to have been fixed and crashes are now just down to pilot error.”

    Clamping an electrical system loom to an hydraulic system pipe. What could possibly go wrong there?

    Glad to hear that CFIT is finally causing more casualties than engineers failing their jobs.

    • Replies: @Hibernian
  28. TJM says: • Website

    “when I was walking the deserted road to commune with the dark woods and stars sharp in the cold and engaging in the Byronic delusions of young men who have not yet grasped the true nature of the world.” Fred Reed

    Sigh…..Oh to have those delusions of young men again and sit in those beer gardens in Paris like Lanc with pretty girls ready to dance with one.

    Sigh…

  29. TJM says:
    @bob sykes

    I am of the same age as you and Fred and yes, my experiences with the negroes where I grew up was not as idyllic as Fred’s. But what can one do? We live our lives as best we can and judge people by their characters and actions, not their skin colors. And as George Carlin said, ” Are whites people of no color?” We are pink and beige and olive and oh, racism is so stupid and such a human construct.
    Either people are human beings or not.

    Fred pisses me off sometimes, too. But then he almost lost his vision when he got shot in Vietnam. I give him a pass. He’s been in the belly of the beast. He’s been digested and vomited out.

    Well, macilrae, it’s the same old Irish story….

    TJM

  30. Rich says:

    Would a black “journalist” ever write admiringly of the old White vet who remembered how the black girls weren’t prejudiced against Whites? Would a black “college student” hang around an old White guy for any reason other than robbing or assaulting him? I was told that blacks in the South were once more placid because they feared the White man’s law and order policies. Those types of blacks are rarer today than a humble black woman.

  31. Skunkhair says:
    @Jim Christian

    Muse ?!? Fred has always had a good one, for sure… probably at least four as from time to time sound thinking requires eloquent expression in different venues and appropriate vernacular. . but your misuse of the word would have been more palatable for a literate person had you termed Fred a goose or a moose.

    Must admit, though: your usage is compatible with a shallow mind, a potty-mouth and a limited vocabulary. It’s also doubtful that you could distinguish between a journalist and a jingoist. On second thought, it is just possible that you consider a journalist to be an expounder of the popular wisdom emanating the vacuous albeit approved jargon from a keyboard in the lame stream media?

    Shame on you! You couldn’t carry the inkhorn of this ex-pat West Virginia-born scribe!

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  32. @Uncle Remus

    If Christian thinks there is some kind of Higher
    Guild of the Spiritually Superior who fill the cubicles at the Bezos Post he has his head up his ass.

    See? This is why newbies should be thrown out when they act like a-holes. Here’s another one in the form of Remus, with his always-insightful: “Agree with me or your head is up your ass”. Shame on you, Remus. Our press used to be thought of as the Fourth Estate. The scribblers, if you will, of that era were of a far higher caliber pre-Watergate. Period. Now, they’re all part of one political arm or another, Democrat, House, AIPAC or Immigration. Fred is a muse, used to be a beat reporter. Was never a journalist. Remus must be Fred’s brother-in-law down in old Mehico.

    • Replies: @Uncle Remus
  33. @Jim Christian

    You definitely don’t read everyone. You pick certain writers and ignore millions of others… which is fine. I’m just mystified when I see a commenter read an article and spend time inveighing against the writer. But hey, it’s a [far less] free country, so you can do as you please.

  34. @Jim Christian

    Christian, are you too much of a fool to get the point? The ‘Fourth Estate’ describes an illegitimate
    intrusion of scribblers into the constitutional governing order, first in England and France, beginning in the 18th century,
    enabled by advances in printing technology, Oscar Wilde hits the nail on the head: “In old days
    men had the rack. Now they have the Press. . . at the present moment it is the only estate. . . We
    are dominated by Journalism.” Your sages of the pre-Watergate coup period were no less fraudulent
    pretenders to power than today’s scribblers and talking heads. Fred as a beat reporter at least practiced the most honest form of a dubious trade. (And, by the way, a contemporary of Fred’s, I
    come from a newspaper-owning family.)

  35. @Skunkhair

    Fred Reed used to be good. He’s quite full of himself, but I enjoyed his FredOnEverything columns, because he’d write what other people were afraid to. Over his years at unz, his columns have been mostly about how great his new homeland of Mexico is and how all Americans are ignorant rubes because they want to solve the problems that Mr. Reed himself rails about when he comes back to get healthcare, more money, or what-have-you.

    This is my paraphrasing of Mr. Reed, all of it stuff that this muse has written over the last couple of years:

    Fred Reed likes to take both sides of every argument against every problem: [Fred Reed mode] America is decaying. There is no unified American culture anymore. There are lots of people mixed together from all over the world. There are bad ignorant Americans that are trying to prevent people from coming in from all over the world. Things don’t work well anymore. The new foreigners are better than those ignorant foreigner-hating Americans at working. America has changed for the worse from back when I was a kid when it was 90% white.

    Trump is a clown. The TV news that I watch all day is full of people criticizing the President for everything and making fun of him. TV sucks. Americans should see how bad their country is on the TV. Trump wants a wall built. Bad ignorant Americans want a border barrier built. Walls don’t work. Americans just don’t want we Mexicans to assimilate and exchange bodily fluids with them. Mexicans don’t want to assimilate and be part of the crass, new, sick American culture that I watch on TV. Mexican culture is better and we have great engineering schools and gated communities. Mexico is better, so Mexicans don’t want to go to America. There is no need for a wall, but they don’t work anyway. Bodily fluids! [/Fred Reed mode]

    He often has a great way with words, but never gets into details, because he is just a writer and doesn’t seem to do anything resembling actual work, where you have to get into details. For a gonzo-journalist, it’s always siesta time, but this time hold the Corona, muchachos!

    Jim is basically right, but I do praise the decent columns by Mr. Reed (his previous few too, BTW). I read them all, from a number of writers, because even derogatory comments about some of these guys get clicks to Peak Stupidity.

    PS: I thought Mr. Reed was from the Tidewater area. That is FAR from West Virginia.

    • Replies: @Skunkhair
  36. Skunkhair says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    Thanks for your bounce. Fred is in fact a West Virginian by birth, but he grew up in the heart of Mosby’s Virginia near Patrick Henry’s stomping grounds, before it became totally-yankified, which is to say “Northern Virgin-e-ized.”

    West Virginia is a misnomer to me. It resulted from the deep state politicans of the 19th-century deciding to bifurcate the Old Dominion for the benefit of private pockets in the name of public sentiment, which of course was utter BS… as was the Big Baboon’s (Lincoln’s) alleged condemnation of secession… that fabled, hallowed, hypocritical ‘rail-splitter’ having pitched in with the 1% scoundrels in Charleston to help them secede from their mother state.

    Now, the Bolsheviks hold sway in Richmond, courtesy of Bloomberg’s money and damnyankee Northam’s infamy, aiming at communizing what is left of Virginia.

    Fred “used to be good,” all right, but he was never perfect. E.g., he once characterized all critics of IDF/Israeli as numbskulls, an editorial posture that caused me to withdraw my support many years ago. His views have now changed on this and many other subjects, but isn’t this true of about 80% of truth-seekers who come to realize tomorrow that what they firmly believed yesterday is utter BS? Certainly, it is true with this writer.

    Are you really a longtime reader? Fred has only been with UNZ a year or so. I go back with him prior to this century and -given that no one is correct about all of one’s assertions- he is (in my opinion) one of the best and few-remaining honest scribes in the media.

    As to his occasional visitations to our now-occupied territory (continental U.S.), I believe he is entitled to any benefits he can glean from its fast-decaying institutions. He is a US Marine combat veteran, one who has long since seen his naiveté and the error of his ways in this regard… one whom -at the time- believed that he was sacrificing his physical well-being and his vision for his patria. One of his recent trips (4 years ago?) to Bethesda Naval Hospital cost him one of the two damaged eyes which had been severely compromised in Vietnam and landed him in a naval hospital for a protracted period, blind as a bat, prior to his reporter/columnist endeavors in the D.C. area. He is now an ex-pat, of course, but so was Charlie Linbergh (think about it).

    As to the depth of his reporting, we’ll have to disagree on that also. Again, it’s a matter of definition. If you are talking about politics, one man’s perception of truth and error (as well as another’s) is a matter of his epistemology. Truth remains truth and error remains error. Moot point. However, I challenge you to show me another scribe whose detailed knowledge and published output on science and military technology compares to (or even holds a candle to) Fred’s.

    Unfortunately, Fred’s muses are uniformly and solidly contrary to political-correctness and the current zeitgeist/millieu.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  37. Easyrhino says:
    @Jim Christian

    To quote Sgt Hulka: “Lighten up Francis!”

  38. @Skunkhair

    Thank you for the interesting and civil reply too, Mr. Skunkhair. I think Fred Reed has been published on unz here for closer to 2 years, by my recollection, but I tried to look at his archives to figure it out, and that older stuff must have been sucked in after the fact by Mr. Unz. Yes, I did read Mr. Reed in the 02-08 era or so, for periods every column and other periods infrequently.

    I don’t agree that Mr. Reed is ANY KIND of expert on science. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t write good opinions on some matters. (I agree with him on the Intelligent Design idea, for one). From his time in the Marines and his reporting times he may have detailed knowledge on some military hardware, along with how the military runs, but that’s not really technical knowledge as I see it.

    Unfortunately Fortunately, Fred’s muses are uniformly and solidly contrary to political-correctness and the current zeitgeist/millieu.

    FIFY, and that’s the only reason I read him at all to begin with. I still stand by my excerpt above though – that’s what I think of Mr. Reeds writing now – contradictions, good at calling out problems, but just as good as deriding those people who actually want to get off their asses and solve them.

    .

    PS: Got the correction about W. Virginia – thanks.

  39. “…engaging in the Byronic delusions of young men who have not yet grasped the true nature of the world.”

    There’s a lot of that still going around. It takes a lot of pain to make us drop our delusions (especially since they are so carefully inculcated).

    Some never get there.

  40. @Icanwalk

    “The purpose of all of these academies is to provide leadership to their respective branches.”

    And they’re doing a bang up job of it, aren’t they?

  41. Hibernian says:
    @Icanwalk

    Somebody thought the load is light, a bunch of wires, so its OK. Did this designer have a boss who reviewed the plans? Didn’t think so. And why didn’t inspections reveal the problem before it became fatal?

  42. “Today the military is isolated in places like Fort Hood in Texas and Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC.”

    Well, maybe so, but Virginia is just plumb ate up with military people. You can’t hardly spit your tobacco juice without hitting a soldier around here.

  43. @Jim Christian

    Jim, if your brain was transplanted into a hummingbird, it would fit, but then the hummingbird would fly backwards and suck a mule’s ass thinking it was a morning glory.

    • Replies: @Jim Christian
  44. @Twodees Partain

    Jim, if your brain was transplanted into a hummingbird, it would fit, but then the hummingbird would fly backwards and suck a mule’s ass thinking it was a morning glory.

    Sure, Fred, sure.

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