We, the Blood Bladder: America as Feeding Trough for Lampreys

I am communing in my office with a sufficiency of Wild Turkey, the whiskey of the great Hunter Thompson. With its help I think curmudgeonly thoughts about America, which is over, done, surrounded by feeding leeches, ticks, hag fish, lampreys, and corporations. And Joe Biden. I find this deeply satisfying.

Here you have to understand curmudgeonry. We in our  ashen-souled trade are misunderstood. We do not enjoy undeserved suffering. If you fall off a motorcycle while doing wheelies, or contract malaria in the jungles of Africa, you will have our sympathy. But self-inflicted and avoidable catastrophe, ah, this warms the cockles of our hearts. Whatever a cockle is. When an entire country voluntarily disintegrates in a maelstrom of pointless rot, for curmudgeons it is better than vox seats at the Superbowl.

This may not be excessively coherent. Everything in moderation, I say. If the good Lord had wanted consistency, he would not have invented Wild Turkey. Anyway, attempted thoughts:

America is not a country but a swarm of special interests that happen to be in the same place. They siphon money from the great, semiconscious, unhappy citizenry, about whom none of them give a wan, etiolated damn. It is adroitly done and, in its craftiness, worthy of admiration. It is also worthy of a national lynch mob or a high-throughput guillotine.

From a curmudgeonly point of view, it helps that Americans don’t  like each other.  They are  mutual alien’s, like Trump supporters and inclusiveness goofballs.  For example, West Virginia has nothing in common with Southern California, which has nothing in common with Mississippi, which has nothing in common with Massachusetts, which has nothing in common with Latinos, who have nothing in common with blacks, and coastal elites who have nothing in common with the middle of the country that really isn’t one. These used to seem to get along because with bad roads and no internet thee wasn’t really any contact to amount to anything. Now there is, and they want to kill each other. It is probably a good idea.

Americans, the less alert anyway, think they live in a democracy. They do not. Why? First, the parties  select the candidates we get to vote for, and these are preloaded to do things such as protect Wall Street, Israel, and the military budget. Elections determine division of the spoils, but not policies that matter. The public is allowed to get all riled up over things that don’t interest the lampreys and leeches in New York, such as abortion and gun control. Second, the populace knows on average nothing about anything–and what little they think they know is determined by the media, both legacy and social, which are de facto organs of government. Those alert enough to see through this are so few that they can be ignored.

Which brings us to Abraham Lincoln, who said, “You can fool some of the people all of the time and  all of the people some of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time. Being a politician he didn’t say that you don’t have to. You can fool enough of the people enough of the time, and that’s enough. This is the fundamental principle of American politics.

America is different from China, where everything is censored, and the Chinese know it. In America enough things are censored enough, but no more, so most people don’t notice, and those that do can be delisted by Google. This is really pretty slick.

In America we choose our leaders by popularity contests from provincial lawyers who usually don’t know about anything but watermelon agriculture in South Dakota, or whatever they do in South Dakota. Since to get elected pols have to be as manipulative as three conjoined Amway salesmen and not too principled, they are ideal for being controled by donors, who really run the country that isn’t one. See? Isn’t that clever?

Violeta just googled Wild Turkey and Erdogan came up in second position. This may be an omen of some sort.

The genius of the American system is that it allows democracy without giving the public influence over anything. I mean, do you have a say over what your children are taught in school? Over what kind of teachers they have, and whether these teachers can read? Would you rather have decent medical care or a war in Ukraine? But which do you get? Would you prefer modern infrastructure in America, such as the kind of space-age rail the Chinese have, or a hundred batplane  international nuclear bombers at a half-billion a pop? Well, you have the bomber. Do you have any influence over who it bombs? Do you have any influence over anything?

No. But you pay the bills.

Come morning Vi and I listen to various international news outlets and come evening likewise on YouTube–al Jazeera, France 24, Deutsche Welle from Germany, Telemundo from Mexico, and Sputnik and RT from Russia, all in Spanish, Asia Times, Nikkei Asia, South China Morning Post, and Global Times, a Chinese government outlet, in English.

As we used to say in long-ago crazier times, it is a trip.  From countries controlled by Washington, meaning chiefly Europe, you get a steady diet of shameless pro–Israel, pro-Kiev propaganda, often false, often by omission. From countries not controlled by America,  you get ghastly video from Gaza and footage of large anti-Ukraine demonstrations that simply don’t appear in Western media. We hear at length Russia is losing in Ukraine, is running out of soldiers, the Russian population is about to revolt against Putin, and the like. All calculated twaddle. Now that the public is being prepped for war with China, the nonsense in America about China grows wilder. If you control what people think they know, you control what they do.

Note that American military industry is getting bloated toad-frog rich on the wars, which is no small part of the reason for them. Washington gives the Ukraine all sorts of expensive toys to use up, and then pays the military industrial  complex fortunes to replace them. European militaries send their old weapons to Kiev and then buy shiny new ones, mostly from America. What the Pentagram calls aid to the Ukraine is recycled to the US arms companies. Which the public pays for. Crafty. Very crafty.

Meanwhile Washington prints trillions which fuels inflation which is a swell way to suck the country’s financial blood without anyone being responsible. To raise taxes congress has to vote in favor and the constituents notice. Just print money and we yokels don’t know who to blame.  It’s brilliant.

The worst effect of all of this is that inflation pushes up the price of  Wild Turkey. I may have to talk to Erdogan about this.


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Comments 43

  • As usual Fred, spot on. Too bad we can’t have candidates like you.

  • Fred, as usual you have successfully cut through the chaff and hit the nail squarley on the head

  • Well, in the spirit of the season, Fred’s latest offering appeared in my inbox vis-a-vis the angel who announced the birth of Jesus. Fred’s astute analyses are a most welcome highlight of the day. Unfortunately (or fortunately, as the case may be) I do not have Wild Turkey at hand. The best I can do is a mug of hot strong tea, and a murder of crows outside waiting the serving up of their daily food scraps. It warms my heart. Some kind of elucidation lives on through the spirit of Hunter S Thompson, Lenny Bruce, and of course Fred Reed. Saints preserve us!

  • Thought you might like this Fred, it seems somewhat apposite.

    The last story in the book of reminiscences of Professor Richard Feynman, Nobel Prize winning Theoretical physicist and mathematician, {Surely you’re joking Mr Feynman” } he talks of what he very accurately calls “Cargo Cult Science”, modern science where the aim is not to find something out, to learn about the world and Universe, but to get the right results to fit a dominat narrative, for grants, to keep tenure, and get students to pass exams where they just reiterate what they’ve been told, with no understanding.

    It occurs to me that Cargo Cult minds, named after the poor souls of the South Pacific who built replicas of runways etc, to try to get Cargo planes to bring them food, are all around us and prevalent in modern Western Government. He finished with this paragraph:

    “So I have just one wish for you – the good luck to be somewhere where you are free to maintain the kind of integrity I have described [seeking truth no matter what anyone else thinks or believes] and where you do not feel led by a need to maintain your position in the organization, or financial support or so on, to lose your integrity. May you have that freedom”

    So few now do. I feel lucky I always have.

  • Hello, Fred.

    I realize you are a kneejerk anti-Trumper but Donald J. Trump and a majority of his deplorables have similar positions to you & yours in regard to the Ukraine situation. It wasn’t Trump or his supporters that did everything they could to re-start the Cold War after the breakup of the USSR.

    It took three administrations (BJ Clinton, “W”, and Hussein Obama) and a civil war in Ukraine to get to the point where NATO once again was plotting the destruction of Russia. But the dirty work wasn’t don’t by Trump or his supporters: it was done mainly by Hillary and John McCain with a bit of help by Romney and the neocons.

    I regret I can’t understand much Spanish because of do enjoy the coverage or world events on see on the Spanish network(s). All, I can tell is that it’s light on the talking heads and heavy in showing a lot of action footage.

    I’m a supporter of the Jewish State and support the IDF in getting revenge on the attacks of 7 October. Like it or not, revenge and retribution are effective.

    your, John Gilmer (current a resident o King George, VA)

  • Hmm, .. what’s the worst vice, Wild Turkey or coffee? Years ago, when I foolishly slaved under the glow of office fluorescent lights, I became addicted to drinking coffee, endlessly, like most of my coworkers. You’d think coffee is the milder vice, but I’ll never forget an immensely amusing and popular poster that popped up all over U.S. corporate cubby walls, some 30 years ago. It showed the webs spun by 6 spiders, under the influence of equal doses of six different drugs: alcohol, coffee, methamphetamines, LSD, and two others that I forgot. All spiders spun with some mild disorder, except for the coffee spider. lts spun web was so absurdly disordered and random, you couldn’t help but just stare in wonder at its comparison with the other webs. Maybe, the world would be much saner and less anxious, if the local corner Starbucks drugstores dispensed Wild Turkey, instead of espresso.

  • Great insightful article, thanks!

    I no longer refer to the US as a nation or country, I refer to it as a greed-based conglomerate of special interests. It seems like Balkanization has already started in the former American Republic.

  • Fred: I suggest you are being too hard on Israel and not nearly tough enough on Hamas. Douglas Murray made a very astute observation recently when he said Hamas is worse that the Nazis. He pointed out that the Nazis, at least, KNEW what they were doing to Jews was wrong because they tried to hide it. Hamas celebrates their atrocities publicly. Hamas killers were photographing their own savagery and bragging about it. One of them texted his parents, bragging that he had just killed 12 Jews. Hamas is pure evil, and Israel must completely destroy it. But what does that mean?

    Think back to WWII. During that war the allied powers all agreed that Nazism and the “military imperialism” ruling Japan both had to be destroyed, completely and permanently. Those countries had to be beaten and beaten so thoroughly that they would never again be a threat to anybody. The war goal was, therefore, unconditional surrender. To achieve that goal, it required unprecedented brutality and total war. Allies firebombed countless cities in both Germany and Japan. Tokyo was destroyed and 100,000 civilians killed in one firebombing raid, and it still took 2 atomic bombs to get the Japanese to throw in the towel. Dresden in Germany was destroyed during one infamous raid and an estimated 40,000 civilians were killed. Berlin was a pile of rubble with Hitler committing suicide in his bunker.

    Israel now must do whatever it takes to wipe out Hamas. If it unfortunately takes flattening all of Gaza and killing thousands of civilians (who, by the way, voted Hamas into power), so be it.

    • >I suggest you are being too hard on Israel and not nearly tough enough on Hamas. Douglas Murray made a very astute observation recently when he said Hamas is worse that the Nazis.

      Nazi comparisons are the among most stale and hackneyed rhetorical devices in existence. The fact that you are saying, with no trace of irony, that a Nazi comparison is “very astute”, is an illustration of why democracy probably is a bad idea. After all, there are millions of simpletons just like you who are out there contaminating the ballot boxes. When one thinks of it, your comment full of trite Nazi references which you think to be deep profundities actually dovetails nicely with the subject matter of the article.

      • And you are a coward that would never have the guts to express yourself that way to someone’s face. Just sit there in your mamma’s basement all stiff-dicked behind your shield of anonymity.

    • When you examine the “purported” Holocaust, from the proper perspective of a legal case, with its rules of evidence and criminal procedure, you’ll see that the Allies never proved their case in Nuremberg and the other Soviet/British trials. Until they prove their case, legally, the commonly accepted conviction that the Germans committed a Holocaust is just propaganda. Of the 485 tons of confiscated German documents sitting in our National Archives, not a single document describes a Holocaust plan, even though the Germans meticulously documented every detail of their military campaigns. The prosecution sought and obtained very relaxed rules of evidence and criminal procedures to win their convictions, because they couldn’t win the cases with proper legal procedures. The German prisoners suffered severe physical symptoms of torture, but many of them said the psychological torture was worse– mock executions and threats to deport their families to the Soviet Union, where they would have met certain death. A legal team that has a winning case doesn’t need to resort to loosening criminal procedures, eliminating rules of evidence, and threatening and torturing witnesses. It rightly impugns their case. The U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Harlan Stone, said of the Nuremberg Trials: “Chief Prosecutor Jackson is away conducting his high-grade lynching party in Nuremberg. I don’t mind what he does to the Nazis, but I hate to see the pretense that he is running a court and proceeding according to common law. This is a little too sanctimonious a fraud to meet my old-fashioned ideas.” The hypotheses that the Germans conducted a Holocaust was never proven with proper legal arguments. It should be considered war propaganda, not much different that the fake news rampant in this country

      • “When you examine the “purported” Holocaust, from the proper perspective of a legal case, with its rules of evidence and criminal procedure, you’ll see that the Allies never proved their case in Nuremberg and the other Soviet/British trials. Until they prove their case, legally, the commonly accepted conviction that the Germans committed a Holocaust is just propaganda. ”

        Gawdhelpus, another Holocaust denier. The Holocaust happened, and beyond any doubt, and it was well documented. Often by the killers themselves. The Nuremberg trials proved their point.

        Holocaust denial is actually a crime in Germany today. Too bad you can’t be prosecuted.

        • Aren’t you able to comprehend what I just said? It’s really not that hard. “Gawdhelpus” is right, but it’s Gawdhelpus from the average U.S. adult whose reading comprehension is at the 6th grade level, yet make up nearly all voters in this nation, and nearly all commenters on the internet. Try to follow the logic that I just mentioned. The Allies (excepting the Soviets, who just wanted to shoot the Nazi leaders without a trial) agreed to create a court, the Nuremberg Court, with rigorous rules of evidence and criminal procedures to convict German Leaders of “crimes against peace, humanity, and war crimes.” They established specific evidence rules and criminal procedures in the “Nuremberg Trial Proceedings Vol. 1, Charter of the International Military Tribunal.” There are 30 articles encompassing these rules and procedures. But, they found they couldn’t prosecute without loosening the rules and criminal procedures, as I described. The U.S. Chief Justice, at that time, Harlan Stone said it was not a court proceeding according to common law. If you torture witnesses/defendants and throw out rules of evidence, then you’re not “rigorously” proving the allegations. That’s why our U.S. Chief Justice called it a lynching party instead of a Court. If you disagree, you state what you disagree about. The proceedings are public information on the internet.

    • That would seem to be the only way. Hamas delenda est.

    • Actually, I dislike both sides. It’s like Scorpions vs Tarantulas. And an unsolvable situation. Let them kill each other off and stay out of it.

  • I’m surprised Violeta didn’t take the wild Turkey away, now that she has discovered what is causing your meanderings.

  • A gonzo journalist always has a back up plan….Karens

  • A gonzo journalist always has a back up plan….Karens

  • A gonzo journalist always has a back up plan…lol

  • Your meanderings in the Halls of the political mind, always bring out the most interesting comments. Except for the few who drank the Cool-Aid, and don’t know it.

    By the way, you are more astute than you pretend to be.

    Why don’t you tell us what you really think, Fred?

    Merry Xmas et al.

  • Fred,I have to confess to a bit of fright due to the bloodlust exhibited by some of your readers. Nearly 20,000 Palestinians, many of them women and children, have been murdered by the IDF as of today,and still those who love the taste of Israeli spittle call for more.The events of October 7 did not occur ex nihilo,but were the culmination of decades long apartheid.78 years of oppression yield a terrible harvest,and the genocidal policies of the Israeli army are creating more freedom fighters on a daily basis.
    Indications are that approximately half of the constantly mentioned “1200 civilians” died due to IDF incompetence and negligence, but what use are facts when we’re discussing Israel?
    As someone unaffiliated with any of the desert cults maybe I just don’t understand the bravery required to use American weapons and funding against unarmed civilians. Civilians bereft of an army,air force or navy,but to people who view with approval the use of battle tanks against rock-throwing teenagers, what would that matter?Genocide and white phosphorus, all Made In America. Kinda gets you right in the feels.

    • >Fred,I have to confess to a bit of fright due to the bloodlust exhibited by some of your readers.

      These people are paid shills belonging to some JIDF-type organization. (The JIDF is no more, but I’m sure similar groups have taken its place.)

      I mean, think about it: The theory that an alt-right blogger like Fred, who until just recently was hosted on an anti-Semitic site like Unz, would just organically attract such a crowd just doesn’t add up.

    • Hamas has made it pretty clear that the question is not “will anyone be killed?” but “who will be killed?” On the whole, it seems to me that Israeli answer to that question is inevitable.

    • Indeed. And Hamas did not commit any atrocities?

    • I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but you’re an idiot.

      Name anything Hamas has done for the Palestinian people, other than bring them death and misery by provoking Israel for 17 years with their rockets, suicide bombers, street assassins.

      Their leaders are billionaires living in luxury well away from the missiles and bombs they’ve brought upon “their people”.

      The tired word “apartheid” ignores the 20% of the Israeli population that’s Muslim, and the “occupation” ended in 2005 when Israel kicked out Jewish settlers and the Palestinians voted for Hamas as their government in 2007.

      Jew hating isn’t attractive.

      Ozarks Tom

  • “… Now that the public is being prepped for war with China, the nonsense in America about China grows wilder. If you control what people think they know, you control what they do.” Fred

    If there is a War with China, what will the public do?
    We shipped most of our real productive industries, mostly to China, overseas.
    September 17, 1787:
    Elizabeth Willing Powel: “Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?”
    Benjamin Franklin: “A republic, if you can keep it.”
    Monarchy or an orderly reestablishing of our Constitutional Republic.
    If we want to keep it, as I see it, the first step domestically would be bankruptcy reorganization, the re-enactment of the Glass-Steagall law and the creation of a system of credit for industrial production and new nuclear energy production.
    End all foreign aid, close overseas military bases, shut down the covert section of the CIA and make “ALL” redacted federal government documents public.

  • […] We, the Blood Bladder: America as Feeding Trough for Lampreys, by Fred Reed […]

  • I take extreme umbrage to the term “apartheid state” when referring to Israel, the meaning of the term was always separate but equal and White south Africans never indulged in the senseless, crazed killing being carried out by Israel now. For information check the demographics of South Africa from 1910 to 1990 where a startling growth of the black population vis a vie the rest of the population groups (White, Asian and mixed race) can be seen. (Well worth comparing to the plight of the Aboriginal people of Australia). Also for the finger pointers the execution of convicted murderers and rapists was just over 4000 across 80 years, not many per year eh?
    That being said, more strength to your arm Fred and Felice Navidad to you and your family.

  • How did this animosity begin?….I’ve heard it’s 3,000 yrs old???? I would like to know exactly what it’s all about…..

    • For some bizarre reason I feel the urge to reply to this (note that I did not say “answer”).

      The “animosity”, beyond that which one can expect from the strife between different groups of human beings, probably began when Mohammed, in 627 AD, as part of setting his group of followers up as supreme in his city (Medina) was opposed/rejected by a tribe of Jews, the Banu Qurayza. Mohammed had them massacred and their wives and children were taken into slavery – both sides agree on this although they would obviously put a different “spin” on the narrative.

      Mohammed banished all unconverted Jews from the Arabian peninsula, although some versions disagree on whether this was done/completed before or after his death.

      Later, when Mohammed was approaching death, he complained that he had not “felt right” since a certain Jewish slave woman had prepared a meal for him – which was and is taken to mean that she had poisoned him, earning Jews eternal enmity beyond that which Muslims hold for other “unbelievers”.

      The fact that both claim exclusive right to the same piece of territory is just salt in old wounds.

      That is a very short version of a complicated history which glosses over several bookshelves worth of detail.

      • Regarding “what it’s all about…” one should not misunderstand that a significant portion (although less than a majority) of the Israeli population consists of people who are descendants of refugees, driven out of the Middle East and North Africa by riots when Israel was founded.

        Do not doubt that they believe their backs are to the wall, faced by many millions who want them massacred to the last man.

        Like before, there are many details there, and arguable points, but the Muslims are facing people who will fight like cornered rats – do not doubt that.

  • This morning (12/18), the Confederate Memorial, often called the Reconciliation Monument, located in the Arlington National Cemetery, is being removed. I suppose this means the War is back on.

    Still on hold is renaming Washington, DC, and the State of Washington and all the various Mount Vernons scattered across the land.

  • Saludos Fred,

    Outstanding work – even with Wild Turkey. I wish I could afford it. I settle for Evan Williams. You put the hay down where the farm animals can get it with mostly all shots in the Ten and X rings of Truth. I learned a new word from you — Curmudgeon. I don’t think I qualify but acutely understand the qualities and requisites – I have known one or two. From where I operate in middle Tennessee, you are correct about America. Mainly the Blue states that have been led for years by tax and spend Democrats who cannot think beyond their mail boxes where their brains are delivered. Their major cities are turning into crime and garbage dumps. Leadership in these states and cities is abysmal.

    Here in middle Tennessee, we are mostly still solid America – we fly the US Flag from multiple places including many homes and sing patriotic songs. But the Destructive Anti-American Wave alive in America is but a few years away rolling in like waves from the Blue States. Patriotism is slowly drying up with us old folks dying off who remember ration stamps in WW II and our families telling us stories about the Great Depression of the 1930’s. Not to mention the real threat of German or Japanese occupation of our country.

    Money was scarce back then. But then the novel idea of Credit slowly entered our society and rapidly gained favor in all ranks — civilian and strongly in government. There was no lender demanding repayment by the government. It was now only the people who gave up the power to hold the government accountable and accepted their promise to repay…. Someday. But everyone felt good…. Things were rosy with no war, employment was high – we had reached “utopia”. In the 1950’s, Communism was halted in America and then the Cold War Started….. and we won! Or did we? Or was it just a lie by the government to keep our attention? With the landing of a man on the moon who could touch America? America rested on her accomplishments for years — we slept soundly and securely.

    Our country has lived on credit ever since WW II (only one year since WW II with a balanced budget). Credit is perhaps the one greatest factor in the success of American Dream with patriotism a strong second. The abuse of credit will be a significant factor in our demise We forgot how to use credit effectively and it ran away with America – civilian and government. Hell Fire! If we have an emergency in our country or somewhere in the world… Just print more gobs of money and never look back. Benjamin Franklin was correct…. They left us with a Republic but the last fifty years since LBJ (whom I think started our demise) has given proof that collective America is not astute enough to understand our problems much less solve them. Too many outside influences. Our children have been hi-jacked while their fashionable parents seek higher social positions and larger houses. As you have implied before, and I strongly agree, the Blacks will be one of the final straws for America. They have had more than ample opportunity to join the American culture and become productive citizens but too many have chosen otherwise. Perhaps the Orientals, Hispanics, Jews and Indians will pick up the Black slack. They certainly put all America to shame academically.

    In addition to the abuse of credit, I call attention to the aggressive Muslim movement all over the world and our mostly innocent children being spewed out of our public schools that have been ran by the Democrats –continued lower standards for students and little training to think. Not to mention the subliminal influences of TV, Cell phones and peer influences on their searching minds. They have been hi-jacked and many of these students will be conditioned at higher learning universities to work hard against our Republic and support every Tom, Dick, Democrat and Muslim that has a bitch about our Constitutional government. Many or most of our children today cannot pass proficiency tests in reading, math or science and I don’t see any real effort to reverse this awful trend. These are the people who are going to take the reins of America in the near future with an obscene national debt of nearly $34 trillion dollars.

    America is being led by and large by blithering idiots and that includes our military. America indeed is fading. There is hope for a short reprieve if Donald Trump is reelected to the White House. I see this man the last chance for the America we know today and even Trump will have a steep hill to climb.

    –Jack B

  • The main problem in any democracy is that crowd-pleasers are generally brainless swine who can go out on a stage & whup their supporters into an orgiastic frenzy – then go back to the office & sell every one of the poor bastards down the tube for a nickel apiece. Probably the rarest form of life in American politics is the man who can turn on a crowd & still keep his head straight – assuming it was straight in the first place.

    Hunter S. Thompson

  • “Note that when Tucker Carlson told too much truth on Fox News, Fox terminated him at their great expense. If I had the following of Twitter and Tucker Carlson, I would be having difficulties. But as so few Americans have the ability to think for themselves, those controlling our lives don’t worry about us.
    We who think for ourselves are the last free people. Perhaps it will last a while longer.” https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2023/12/19/how-to-understand-our-situation/

    • Roger…. Your thoughts Ursel,

      The Democrats get their brains in the mail and have done so for years. One of their greatest problems — their inability to think for themselves.


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