Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"Reagan the Baffled" and Other Gems: Fred Reed on American Politics

I didn't set out to bring you this piece below, but rather a more hard hitting, if not a quite miserable piece by the irrepressible Fred Reed. But for impact and misery I have no taste today. So in keeping with the majority of Fred Reed articles that can be found featured on this blog, I shall stick with the previous formula, Fred Reed doing what he does best, writing with no small amount of humour.

Oh! and cynicism, did I mention the cynicism? it wouldn't be Reed without a helping of that to help any essay along.

Of the original article that I intended to run, I shall leave a taster and a link below, thus allowing me to do here, something that goes against my own blogging ethics, that of running another's article in its entirety.

But at this moment my biggest conundrum is, how I might fit  Reagan the Baffled in the header? It being just one of Reed's little gems in the text. (Easy enough)

Election Remorse

Why the Romnibus Wasn't the Omnibus
by Fred Reed
November 12, 2012

I have been a bad person. I did not vote. I confess it. I would rather be caught in a gay brothel dealing in underage boys than in a voting booth. The two are equally degrading, but voting carries the further implication of low intelligence. Ages ago a Japanese friend told me “We are not too intelested in Amelican national erection.” Me too either.

What was the point? We suffered years of blather from unqualified charlatans who regard the public as ignorant hamsters of low caste, and what do we get? The same unqualified charlatan. We could have done it without an election. Think of the peace and quiet.

This deplorable practice—holding elections, I mean—is thought to be fraught with consequences. For example, I am told that the defeat of Romney signals the end of rule by Angry Old White Men. I hope so. I enjoy living in the Third World, and soon Americans will be able to do so from the comfort of home.

To me Mr. Romney’s candidacy signaled the Republicans’ admirable capacity to do the impossible: find an aspirant even more depressing than Obama. But they managed. It was a triumph of the human spirit. Never underestimate American ingenuity.

How was this result achieved? Mr. Romney asserted that Russia is America’s most perilous adversary, wanted to deal fiercely with China, asserted the nonexistence of Palestinians, pledged his undying troth to Israel (America presumably would be a second wife), wanted to attack Iran, and thinks we need to increase the military budget.

Oh god. Oh god.

Were the Chinese paying him off? If you want to bring the United States down, keep it spending. On anything. On everything. Does nobody understand this?

It is most curious. Conservatives think that Reagan the Baffled won a great victory over the Soviet Onion by spending it into penury. Grrr. Woof. But in the great sweep of things, what he did was to increase military spending. The Russians didn’t matter: The Pentagon quickly found another financial pretext in Terrorism after the budgetary godsend in New York. Subsequent presidents continued the trend. From a Chinese point of view, it is wonderful. They build their economy while we assassinate ours. They don’t need a military. Ours is doing the job for them.

The trick is to keep America’s wars going as long and inconclusively as possible until the land of the free (free lunch, free rent, free everything) ends up selling pencils on street corners. I figure Beijing pays the White House under the table.

So much for Romney. By contrast, with Obama we will have little cause for alarm, other than abolition of the Constitution, currency controls, selective denial of passports to enemies of the administration, uncontrolled inflation, wild federal spending, and a level of surveillance that would frighten a laboratory rat. See? The Democrats are much better. I feel so liberal.

In a decade I figure we will look longingly at North Korea as a model of civil liberties.

Then we have the gender gap. I am told that women favored Obama by a margin of twelve points, while men went for Romney by eight. Here is clear evidence that women do not understand politics. It is too difficult for them. They worry their pretty little heads about trivia like schooling, health care, peace, security, paying the bills, and having a livable country in which to live. No nation can long survive such an agenda. Repeal the Nineteenth Amendment, I say. Should women ever evolve politically, which doesn’t seem likely, they will see the wisdom of killing child goat-herds in Afghanistan, like their sexual betters.

And the geography gap. I have seen Mr. Romney quoted as describing Syria as Iran’s “route to the sea.” This is fascinating. He doesn’t know where Iraq and Turkey are. And what does he think the Persian Gulf is? A ham sandwich? Oh well. There’s always Google Earth.

But the hamstervolk want a hamsterfuehrer who Looks Like America, and if a candidate were discovered to know where his wars were, he would be thought elitist.

We come to the threat of socialism. Mr. Obama, I am told more often than I really think necessary, is a socialist. He is going to make America into Europe, thought to be expiring of socialism, a sort of economic gangrene. The same people also tell me, often with curious orthography, the he is a Marxist, a communist, a Moslem, and an America-hating Christian. This notion is an example of the remarkable versatility of barely existent minds. If the man is a Marxist or communist, these being explicitly atheistic, then he cannot be a Moslem or any kind of Christian. If he is a Christian, then he cannot be a Moslem or a…

But socialism. On the outdated theory that words mean things, I had recourse to the dictionary and found that socialism is “an economic system in which the means of production and distribution belong to the government.” Thus America cannot be socialist, since the means of production belong to the Chinese. Nor can I understand why Europe is regarded as socialist. I have walked the streets of Madrid, Paris, Sevilla, Frankfurt, on and on, and seen no indication that the stores and restaurants belonged to government. Neither, I thought, did Siemens, Dassault, BP, BMW, Mercedes, Santander, Leica and, most importantly, Bass and Guinness.

Europe looks to me like a capitalist economy with good health care and long vacations. I feel deeply threatened by this nightmare, and hope that Congress will impeach Obama before he can impose such a dreadful thing.

The idea that Obama could turn the US into a socialist realm is more interesting psychologically than economically. It suggests depths of giddy retardation that could be plumbed only in a bathysphere. Corporations control the US. They own Congress. Do you really think that the CEO of Lockheed-Martin wants to see the company nationalized and himself put on a federal salary? Oh sure, any day now. In fact, I expect it by nightfall.

Yes, I know. I will get email telling me of the economic collapse of Europe, in stark contrast to America’s booming economy, full employment, staggering trade surplus, and incorruptible government.

Despite all these blessings brought to us by our laudable leadership, I suggest that instead we ought to borrow Angela Merkel, Uri Avnery, or that unpronounceable but indescribably gutsy and intelligent woman who is giving the dictators hives in Burma. Diversity would be our strength.  Fred Reed

As mentioned.

Dulce et Decorum

And May You Get the Chance
by Fred Reed
December 8, 2012

I am a soldier. I am dirt. With Joshua I put the cities of Canaan to the sword while women screamed and tried to protect their babies. I spent long days in Nanjing butchering and butchering civilians because I enjoyed it. For I am a soldier. I am dirt. I fire-bombed Hamburg till the wind-fanned flames left nowhere to hide and the people burned screaming and their fat puddled in the streets. I am a soldier. I am dirt.

On the crumbling walls of Angkor Wat, the Cold Lairs, trees now crawling over the walls, you may see me carved, marching, marching to kill forgotten peoples, it matters not whom. In the sweltering heat of Chichen Itza and the terrible winter of Stalingrad and the flaming paper cities of Japan and on the Death March of the PhilippinesI killed and killed, for I am a soldier. I am dirt. I kill.

In this I glory. I spend my declining years drinking in bars with old soldiers I knew when Breda fell to us and we raped and killed and looted, when we torpedoed the troop ships and left the soldiers in their thousands to drown slowly as their strength gave out. The fierce exultation of watching Atlanta burn, Pearl Harbor, Nagasaki, these I remember lovingly. For I am dirt.

Crush their skulls and eat their faces, we say with remembered bravado. We remember the adventures fondly. They almost had us at Plei Cuy when a 551 arrived with beehive rounds, and that put paid to them, hoo-ah. more

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