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Chuck Thompson is one wicked good writer and wordsmith.

In preparing himself for this book, he traveled through the south, mainly the bible belt. In the process, he learned about the innate racism, fear, and religiosity that so overwhelms rational thinking in the south, that we can never expect them to deal sanely with us yanks. Or a black president. Or liberals, even if our ideas save their sorry asses.

Just to try out the new sketch editor, below the badly thrown orange garter, here is something totally unrelated to the book discussion.  

ipad sketch of a dried plant
Thompson visited churches, bars, Klan outfit shops (right across the street from City Hall),  and bars. Many, many bars, apparently.

Even a visit to a gas station (where an african american miscounted and charged too little) resulted in colloquy such as, "There's benefits, you know, to niggers living in your society. Small, yes."

If you are a small minded idiot, an ultra-conservative christian,  (but I repeat myself) , then you will not like this book. If you are sensitive, hate the repeated use of the N word, or believe that most Southerners are actually humane, decent, and admirable folks who are simply misunderstood, you will hate this book with a passion.

You cannot help but laugh at their short-sighted idiocy. When Tim James ran for the governorship of AllyBammy, he ran on the plank of saving money by requiring all drivers to pass a license test in English, ignoring the $2.1 billion investment each year by Korean and German companies (whose frequent visitors speak no english).

For sports fans, especially college futbol, his dissection of the scheming fraud that is perpetrated on unsuspecting players - simply for riches and lucre, is a must read. I will never look at sports the same way. I doubt if you can either.

"Football is really religion in the South. The notion of its southern covenant is entirely predicated on faith.  Unwavering belief in shameless fakery helps keeps it strong."  
This is standard fare, except he supports it with many examples.

On education, I confess that I had some suspicion of something wrong down south, but had neither the curiosity not inclination to learn more. Now, the whole charter school and privatization pushes from the bellicose bastards on the Right fall into place. And with it comes a realization that these assholes are aiming to do great harm to our society on every level, in every state, not just the bible bleating south.

His description of the politics and policies that are driven by racism was shocking, especially when he leads you to by the nose to an inescapable conclusion. Every parent, every teacher, and every student should take notes.

My favorite part of his book takes aim between the eyes about 15% of the way in (including footnotes).  

The persistent defiance of every Democratic attempt to deal intelligently with national problems, be they recession, debt, or childhood diabetes - has nothing to do with political ideology, taxes, health care, or acceptable degrees of federal authority. It has everything to do with nullification, disruption, zealotry and division. It is part of a time-sharpened effort to debilitate nearly every northern led government by injecting it with the Seven Deadly Sins of Southern Politics: Demagogic dishonesty, religious fanaticism, willful obstruction, disregard for own self-interest, corporate supplication, disproportionate influence, and military adventurism.
And then he gives examples.

I highly recommend this book.

If your interest in the upcoming election is flagging, if you are worn out and tired, if you shudder at hours of Andrea Mitchell's mindless GOP puppet act, get this book. Read it. Pass it on.

Fear is a great motivator. W knew that. Reagan knew that. Thompson knows it, and he will motivate you.


Better off without 'em. A northern manifesto

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