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By Anna

23jk7771In the race for world power, President Obama promised to leave Iraq within the first 16 months of office. And it seemed as though most Americans were behind this plan, but where was the punditry and critique of the Afghan War during the election? Where is the inveighing against our part in any war?

Though it may not have been in vain that we entered Afghanistan in pursuit of Osama bin Laden, we have yet to recover his remains and barely remember his existence, but for Sept. 11.

According to McClatchy Newspapers, “the U.S.-led NATO coalition in Afghanistan now has lost more troops this year than in all of 2008, and August is on track to be the deadliest month for American troops there since U.S. operations began nearly eight years ago.”

Though the United States is not on its own in Afghanistan, it certainly has the most pull and clout with more U.S. troops occupying Afghanistan than there are people in my hometown of 55,000, which explains why foreign policy experts are beginning to wonder if Obama’s decisions aren’t just in the Bush tradition “with the difference being that Mr. Obama could be putting more American lives at risk to pursue a failed policy,” according to The New York Times.

When the president talks of war he talks of death. U.S. troops may be expendable, but Afghan citizens are not. It has been a long time since a war has been fought on the homeland and I wonder what would be done differently if Afghan citizens were of equal value to U.S. citizens. What if the war was in your city?

In total:

2008: 294 deaths in Afghanistan

2009 (from Aug. 25): 295 deaths in Afghanistan

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MS Paint superstar up in here

MS Paint superstar up in here

Does the U.S. need healthcare reform?  Is the current set of bills in Congress a solution?  And what about “socialism”?  Joel and I bat these ideas around in this podcast for all the folks who were watching So You Think You Can Dance instead of the presidential presser.  Listen to it on your way to see G-Force.  AMERICA!

Download Reactionary Century Podcast 04 – 072709

Find in iTunes

There’s a new feature around these parts: a podcast.  We’re just trying this out for a bit to see how it goes, and to provide more content during the otherwise-slow summer months.

Today I talk with Joel Spencer, former Reactionary Century staff writer, about politics and Jared from Subway.  In the interview we mention a clip from Bill O’Reilly’s show, which you can see here, along with everyone’s favorite Jared picture.  We’re still waiting for the podcast to get approved by iTunes, but for now you can follow this link, and click the “Subscribe with iTunes” button to download the show directly to your iTunes Podcast library.  Otherwise you can just download it in MP3 form, or just listen to the stream.

Download MP3 Reactionary Century Podcast 01 – 061509

jared-fogle-before

By Adam

StarTrek_PineinChair-thumb-500x318-14416With the “Exit Theory” retrospective in the can and an unnecessary hiatus under the belt, we return now to our regularly scheduled blasphemy and rancor. I’ve been gone a long time, so we have a lot to catch up on. That means I get to use one of those bullet-point lists that I so love doing! What am I going to sodomize today? Read below for protracted colons!

  • Fucking Republicans. I try to be politically neutral here, but you guys are a whiny group of bitches.  Every time I turn on the television or listen to the radio some right-wing talking head is giving a fucking sermon on how Democrats are systematically ruining the nation. Are you guys fucking retarded, or what? This country has been fucked for decades. Really, there’s no way to win anymore: healthcare is boned, you will never be able to fully afford a visit to the hospital; social security for my generation is a pipe-dream; and we couldn’t stay out of a war with brown people to save our goddamned lives. Just because democrats have control the nation suddenly turns to shit? This is America, folks. Self-destruction is kind of our deal.
  • Hollywood Movies. People keep telling me Star Trek is good, but people insist on being wrong so often I just don’t know whom to trust anymore. “Well,” I said to myself, “better fucking try it for myself.” When you peel back the glossy special effects and the gritty, thick-like-an-Alabama-single-mother sexual tension between Spock and Kirk all that’s left over is the pussy from Troy screaming about some stupid planet. So his planet was destroyed, right? And the only way to save it was creating a massive black hole, right? I’m not a theoretical physicist, but doesn’t that sound fucking stupid to you? And if you could back in time to destroy Leonard Nemoy, why not just go back in time and warn everyone about the coming apocalypse? This isn’t hard. And that Wolverine movie! Holy god, that movie gave me fucking cancer. I hope my mom doesn’t spirit me away to die in a lonely Canadian cabin so she can draw attention to her crazy-ass beliefs. Paging Dr. Münchausen.
  • Swine Flu. Oh no, not the flu! So this killed like a billion people in Mexico, right? Listen, I have been to Mexico, and I have seen some of the hospitals they have there. A prescient man once said, “I hope I don’t die in some Mexican hellhole.” Methinks he was commenting on Puerto Vallarta. That city was built in a pattern: it alternated between herpes-ridden night clubs boasting “bubble nights” and hole-in-the-wall medical institutions that make the movie Hostel look accommodating. Swine flu is also great in that it disproves Catholicism—anyone else find it odd that the country in which every single human being is Catholic gets dominated by the flu? I mean, really, the flu? But I could be wrong about that one—Minnesota Representative Michelle Bachmann found it interesting that the last time swine flu was a problem a Democrat held the highest office. Wow, huh? What a cunt.
  • Television season finales. I used to be that guy that was all “Man, you watch Lost? What an asshole.” After watching the show I became all “Lost? I LOVE LOST.” After watching the season five finale, I wanted to stab a puppy. What’s even more frustrating is that it was critically adored! Television critics are a perfect analogue to crack whores: They’ve got to get that money somewhere, so if someone offers them a baked-diarrhea pie to eat, they think they got to eat it. But if it works once, it will always work. If you say an episode is awesome when it fucks all the continuity in the ass, introduces not one but two deus ex-machina characters, and ends in a fucking nuclear explosion, writers are going to think they can get away with that! Enjoy your baked diarrhea, fuckers! I’m done with this shit.

Rest assured, this isn’t all that has me pissed off over the past few weeks. I will be back, and I will be pissed, and you will read this shit. If you want to get pissed as I as go, follow me on Twitter.

By Anna

Karen Chapple and Michael Tietz, professors at the University of California, Berkeley, give eight causes of inner city poverty:95-theses

  1. Economic Shifts-often seen when manufacturing plants close or increase their robotics, resulting in loss of jobs
  2. Inadequate Human Capital-possibly no higher education, poor, or no education or no set skills
  3. Racial and Gender Discrimination
  4. Cultural Interaction-people emulate the culture around them, reacting to the agenda set by that culture. Also, middle class (most often white) culture usually sets itself apart from a diverse neighborhood because of a lack of understanding of culture
  5. Spatial Mismatch-segregation of classes that results in separation of workers and jobs
  6. Migration—of middle class to suburbs and middle/upper classes to areas in the United States. Also, push (crime, education) and pull (resources) factors of certain neighborhoods.
  7. Endogenous Growth Deficit—low access to capital because of a lack of businesses
  8. Consequences of Public Policy-usually intended to alleviate stress, but actually enables and can worsen situations

Of the eight, I’ll give you a bit more on the three I think are most important for redevelopment.

Inadequate Human Capital:

We all had those teachers growing up who we were smarter than, but most of us still got a pretty good education, public or private, because we were white, living in middle-income neighborhoods. Some of us even jump-started college with PSEO or AP classes, but if we were given education in the inner-city we would’ve had even less-qualified teachers and less of a chance to take advanced classes, not to mention the family support we got from our parents, whether in terms of money for good grades or groundings for bad grades-we were a motivated bunch.

Luckily, us white kids still don’t have to worry about future employers not hiring us because we are instinctually lazy (a “soft skill” most black people have held against them). This perceived human capital leads us right into the next cause of poverty:

Racial and Gender Discrimination:

Relating to the institutional economics of last week, racism and sexism is instilled within individuals whether it is recognized or not. One theorist (Glenn C. Loury) tells us these are racial stigmas, differing from discrimination because stigmas are how each individual relates to another based on race.

Racism and sexism in the United States derives from the constitution when black people were johannes_gutenberg3/5 human and women were left out all together, although white women were next in line to receive any benefits, which their male counterparts inherited from the constitution. And we all know the constitution stems from Enlightenment ideals, which wouldn’t have come along if Luther hadn’t pinned that 95 Theses on that Wittenberg church door starting the Reformation, and the 95 Theses wouldn’t have been mass produced if Gutenberg hadn’t invented the printing press a century earlier. But before we go blaming Gutenberg, remember he also printed the pamphlets for a group of rebel peasants fighting against serfdom. So if we can’t blame Gutenberg it’s best not to blame anyone but ourselves.

Public Policy:

You may already have noticed how each cause is somehow connected to public policy (and if not, you’re probably a Republican, or an Evangelical Christian), but I’m not speaking on behalf of anyone but the poor. The poor are unlucky enough to have their neighborhoods broken up by interstates, incinerators put in down the block and nullification for FHA Loans (allowing those who can afford it to move into nicer homes, while inner city homes depreciate), to name just a few policies. Many of these policies could be overturned if only the neighborhood had enough human capital to fight the injustices or to have the stamina to continually fight what is blatantly abuse. But after all, it is easier to step on colored toes than white ones and get away with it.