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Author Chuck Thompson
Last week's book review of Chuck Thompson's Better Off Without 'Em: A Northern Manifesto for Southern Secession spurred the comment section into overdrive in a passionate discussion of the book's premise. During the past week, Thompson and I corresponded via email and I brought up many of the points that were made in comments. His responses are below.

Additionally, he will be joining us live here in comments today to discuss his ideas—and Daily Kos user reactions and questions—further, so dive into comments and read (and ask!) away.

But before we get started on the give and take, back and forth, Thompson has a few things to say ....

Chuck Thompson (hereinafter CT): Before addressing the questions below, a few prefatory remarks to lend a bit of perspective.

1. There’s nothing punitive behind my call for southern secession. Certainly nothing like an attack on Fort Sumter.

A large part of my book is intended to show how North and South have historically and still are operating as fundamentally different societies, with sharply contrasting agendas and values. My primary position is simply that a union based on such diametrically opposed approaches to societal organization is like a bad marriage that needs to end in order to save the children from turning into the same dysfunctional assholes as the parents.

2. Many if not most of the questions below are handled in more detailed and specific fashion in the book. I’ll keep answers here relatively brief.

3. The official theme song for this interview is Phosphorescent’s “It’s Hard To Be Humble (When You’re From Alabama).” I’m cueing it up right now and suggest you do the same.

Okay, let’s do this ...

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Susan Gardner (hereinafter SG): Can you give readers a very brief bullet-pointed outline of how a peaceful separation between the North and the South could work?

(Continue reading below the fold)

CT: The U.S.A./C.S.A. (Confederate States of America) Treaty of Secession has many provisions. A few highlights:

  • A series of U.S.A./C.S.A. Mutual Defense Treaties will provide for cooperative defense and co-ownership titles into perpetuity on major military bases currently located in southern states, especially at Norfolk, Pensacola, and all NASA facilities. Lease agreements on other bases around the C.S.A. would sunset at increments of twenty-five, fifty, seventy-five, and a hundred years.
  • The U.S.A./C.S.A Economic Separation Agreement makes the United States the guaranteed consumer of no less than 75 percent of all C.S.A. energy exports. This figure ensures northern energy needs will be met, while leaving the South with enough product to allow the new nation to nurture a healthy export economy.
  • The Beltway Partition Agreement will cede that section of Virginia to the United States. Sorry, Virginians, it’s a lot of money and educated people to lose, but most of y’all don’t consider that part of the state “southern” anyway, and neither do the rest of us.
  • Ten-year open border and automatic citizenship in either country for those left on the wrong side of the divide.
  • The Annual Coca-Cola/Starbucks Blood Bowl ™ will determine the true college football champion and produce what would become football’s grandest extravaganza, an annual North-South gridiron border war between each country’s champions that would dwarf even the Super Bowl for drama, spectacle, Miller Lite consumption, and thirty-second ad buys.

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SG: You've spent the whole book arguing that we'd be better off without the South because the region is overrun with irrational, angry, violent, racist, anti-science, religious fanatics—and then in the end, your solution is to have a treaty that gives them the U.S. military bases and defense contractors. Why would you arm a fanatical region on our border?

CT: Wow, you’re tougher on the South than I am. I’m not advocating “giving” the independent South anything. Like all successful treaty provisions, the ones I suggest in the book are derived from interest-based needs on both sides and provide mutually beneficial arrangements.

To soothe your fears, I believe that let loose from the enabling northern teat, the South would be forced to address and fix a number of the problems that have bedeviled the region for centuries. I may disagree with virtually everything they believe about governance, but the South is blessed with an extremely intelligent and gifted political class. Forced to swim in the new world economy or become a North Korean-style pariah state, an independent southern republic might just surprise everyone with its ability to at last overcome. Or, at least, to at last come over to my side of the argument with the realization that they, too, might be better off without ’em.

Anyway, as even a number of southern academics told me, one of the first things an independent South is going to do is arm itself. This is inevitable—trying to keep southerners away from guns and tanks is like trying to keep fourteen-old-boys away from their peckers.

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SG: What has the reaction to the book been in both the North and the South?

CT: Knee-jerk anger and rigidity of thought are phrases that come to mind.

By and large, people see that slave-days flag on the cover and leap to one of two general conclusions: a. Oh, boy, here’s yet another supercilious Yankee bigot trafficking in the same old stereotypes of a mouth-breathing South so fuck him and anything he has to say I will rage against this book without reading it because I don’t need to open the cover to know what kind of utter assaholic bullshit inside. b. Yeah, boy, about time someone told it like it is about the hillbilly horror show that exists down in that blighted possum kingdom of limb-chewing Dixie fucktards.

I’d say 75 percent of the reader response and published reviews have roughly followed this script. When people take the time to read the book and actually see the research and analysis I’ve done, they tend to be more open-minded about it. The review on Daily Kos falls into that latter 25 percent category and I appreciate it.

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SG: Here at Daily Kos, the range of reaction was everything from "Fuck yeah," to "Hell, no," with a lot of anger and accusations of bigotry and abuse from both sides of the aisle. Does that surprise you?

CT: Not at all. I’ve been hearing the "Fuck the South" ranting for years here in socialist (or are we commies now?) Cascadia. In some ways this book started as a simple attempt to articulate and add facts and stats to the issues that my angry liberal friends have been voicing about the South for years.

As for the "Hell, no" reaction (and what a polite way of putting it), I still have relatives in Georgia, used to have some in Virginia, have been traveling in the South since I was a kid and was well aware before doing this book how hyper-sensitive southerners are to criticism, especially when it comes from a pissant northern liberal who thinks he has all the answers. Many “reviews” of my book haven’t reviewed the book at all—they’ve reviewed a pathological fantasy of Yankee persecution that has taken hold of a certain kind of southern mind (not all) since the days of Reconstruction.

I’m not blind to the difficult issues this book attempts to address. Splitting the country apart feels unnatural; at the very least, a crime against manifest destiny. Americans have become so accustomed to their hard divisions—conservative-liberal, black-white, Roe-Wade, red-blue, call them what you like—that the chasm separating North and South feels ordained, an organic, even integral part of the national tradition. Just because spiritual, political, racial, and commercial divides have always been with us, however, doesn’t mean they have to continue to define us.

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SG: So I went through the 1,000+ comments from the review last week and tried to get a good sampling of observations from our readers that I'd love to have you respond to.

Here we go, on to commenters' views, questions, observations, objections, etc., and your answers or reaction to them:

Several users pointed out that the problem is less geographic than cultural. After all, there are inarguably pockets of bigotry and backwardness in every state. Why single out the South? Isn't that just Northern hypocrisy?

Typical comments include these:

  • From user SueDe: "This may boil down to a measure of constituencies in rural vs. urban areas rather than a North/South dichotomy."
  • Many users made a variation of this observation, made by David54: "I was going to say...'the South' is not a geographical distinction anymore."
  • Unduna says: "50% of the red on the electoral map is the South. The rest is, well, NOT the South. The intellectual fail in this bigoted idea that the South dominates the republican party, now being promulgated on the front page of a 'progressive' blog, is fucking astounding."
  • angry marmot: "Thompson is just yet another sanctimonious jagoff who mistakes geography ("the South") for sociology ("southernization"). The problem isn't "the South," the problem is the less geographically circumscribed cultural conservatism, predicated on issues of religion, race and an abiding distrust of and disdain for the Federal Government, intellectuals and other secular authorities, all of which appeals to a naïve, disaffected and reactionary element in American society which extends far beyond the physical geography of the Old South."

CT: There are a number of ways to try to explain the cultural/political/moral schism that currently defines this country. Red state/blue state. Urban/rural. Christian/Non-Christian. Tea Party/Sane. I have examined them all and as arguments they’re all reasonable and all have their merits.

However, I think when you look at it analytically, the preponderance of the evidence lines up with the notion that the divide we’re dealing with today is the same one that has been with this country since the Continental Congress. That is to say, a North-South divide. All other formulations are no more than offshoots of this profound and historic divide at the nation’s heart.

The primary social building blocks that separate North and South are approaches to religion, public education, economic policy, politics (this last one gets into significant differences in state constitutions). I examine and try to quantify all of these (and lesser but still important distinctions) in separate chapters.

Of course, there are good counter-arguments to be made, but I think in the end the North/South reading of the nations’ troubles makes the most sense and it’s pretty easy to prove.

As for finding racism and evangelical Christian fanaticism and ultra-conservative dogma and paranoid rubes in the North as well as the South, well, yeah, no shit, that’s obvious. People act like I didn’t think of this. Jesus, I grew up in Alaska. David Cross has a funny bit about finding the redneck accent in all fifty states and specifically includes Juneau (my hometown) in that bit. There’s this thing called the southern Diaspora and transient populations in this country. I’m aware.

But establishing a moral or cultural equivalency between South and North by pointing out this obvious fact is misleading. You can find barbecue joints, Walmart fatties, and crooked elementary school football teams in the North, too, but that doesn’t make the North the South, any more than the presence of Levi’s, KFC, and Spider-man makes China the United States.

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SG: Many, many commenters were dismayed by the willingness to abandon the powerless, minorities, the impoverished in the South. Many were equally dismayed by what they perceived as a dismissal of the generations of hard work by forebears to lead the fight in civil rights and to bring enlightenment to the region. Typical of the comments:
  • Dale encapsulates in this comment an objection of many commenters—what about the progressives, the minorities, the dispossessed marooned in the South? His comment in full:
    "Thing is, Thompson's thesis Would have us jettison the baby with the backwater -- er, bath water.

    Every time the electoral college vote is held, I think about how many African American, immigrant, and progressive voters are effectively disenfranchised by the winner-take-all, first past the post system, which ensures that the South is treated as a solid block of re state, no matter how many progressives live in places like Atlanta or North Carolina or northern Virginia.

    The "write 'em off" thesis does nothing but make permanent the state of affairs that those marooned progressive Southern voters face every time they go into the voting booth for federal races.

  • LihTox: "This is what makes me pause. 'In 2010, 55 percent of the black population lived in the South, and 105 Southern counties had a black population of 50 percent or higher.' Should we abandon them?"
  • And probably the most impassioned, deeply felt reaction on the part of proud progressive southerners, was written by Ms Johnson:
    What a bunch of shit. And how it dishonors the noble work of progressives in the South who struggle daily to effect incremental change in their communities.  And what a slap in the face to Martin Luther King, Jr., the Southern Poverty Law Center, and other Southern warriors who have waged battle against the forces of intolerance and ignorance.

    It's easy being a progressive in California or New York.  Try being one in Northern Alabama.  So to this author and anyone who agrees with his thesis, I say a hearty "fuck you."  How about instead of writing off Southern people, you take out your check book and write a check to any of the inumerable progressive groups working down here?  

    We have a lot of challenges in the South.  But the voices that will lead that change will arise from here and certainly not from Chuck Thompson, who, incidentally hails from Alaska, off all fucked up places.

CT: Ha ha. I wasn’t aware of how much people hate Alaska till I did this book. So many shit comments about the greatest state in the Union! I guess that’s what having Palin around does for us.

You know what’s sad? I travel around the country and world a lot and it used to be that when you’d tell people you were from Alaska the first thing they’d ask you about was the northern lights or maybe the dark winters. Now the first thing they ask you about is Sarah Pailn. Fucking Palin is now more famous than the northern lights. Life is horrible.

As for the main question, this one is the trickiest of all (I hear it a lot) because I have so many mixed feelings about it. Let me share just a few of my reactions:

  • The amount of people who speak of me “abandoning” or “writing off” or “marooning” or “leaving behind” all those millions of southern liberals and African Americans, as though these people were soldiers trapped behind enemy lines, underscores for me how real the North/South dichotomy is.
  • It also puts me in mind of the famous LBJ quote: “We are not going to send American boys nine or ten thousand miles away from home to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.” I mean, how long are we expected to fight these battles on behalf of a liberalism that the majority of the people down South clearly do not want? My secession treaty offers open citizenship to anyone in Dixie who wants to relocate to the North.
  • As I mentioned in my response to a previous question, I’m not so sure that an independent South wouldn’t surprise the world by reforming itself and becoming a much better place for all people to live (though not to work).
  • I’m tired of “incremental change.” The stakes in the 21st century global world are too high. We need results, we need a difference, and that means "dramatic change."
  • I visited the Southern Poverty Law Center (my interviews and experiences there are detailed in the book) as well as the Civil Rights Memorial and MLK’s Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, all in Montgomery, Alabama. Or, as I was informed there, what the truckers refer to as “Monkeytown.” Yes, I know all about those places and people you say I slap in the face.
  • Relax, I’ve been on the right side of a lot of arguments in my life and so have you but that doesn’t mean I’m gonna win this one. Secession might be a good idea—at the very least it is a worthwhile frame through which to examine many of the problems in this country—but that doesn't mean it’s going to happen anytime soon.

I’m serious about my book, but I’m also a realist and if you can’t see that there is a bit of a Swiftian proposition at work here, then you obviously haven’t bothered to read the book.

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SG: Others argued that the problem was in the structure of the federal government and the restrictions of the constitution, or in the capitalist system itself and the way the South has historically been exploited by the North:
  • noexit argues: "There is nothin wrong with the south that can't be fixed by improving the form and structure of our government. If expelling the south were easier, I might be convinced that the immediate short term gain was worth it, but, ultimately it doesn't address the root of the problem which is a structure of government too vulnerable to capture by the 1%."
  • cacamp asserts: "The book is wrong about blaming the "south" because its more about race than region. It should actually be named "Whats the Matter With White People" but that name has already been taken. Whereever the white power structure is solidly in control the rabid right is doing its damage be it north or south. But wherever that white powerstructure is being changed and challenged by a growing diversity, sanity is returning. Texas and Arizona will soon be blue states. When that change takes place the onslaught of stupid laws will cease."
  • Ludovique:
    The South is a colonized land. The sort of economic despoliations and social degradations that one sees currently in places like Mexico were first inflicted by the North (the US industrial plutocracy) on the newly colonized post-bellum South. The descriptors: "uneducated, morbidly obese, racist, indigent, xenophobic, socially stunted"--and, I would add, bellicose--could easily and similarly be applied to a large part of the population of present-day Mexico (the racists, in their case, would be the lighter-skinned segments). The gypsification, to put it colloquially, of whole swathes of a country's population does not, of course, come about by accident: it is the result of decades (if not centuries) of colonialism/neocolonialism and the fundamentally extractive and subordinate position of a nation in a nexus of imperial and internationalized economies, in which a hegemonic power (the US) safeguards and promotes, at great cost to itself and the world, a fundamentally dangerous and damaging socioeconomic system, i.e. the neoliberal Washington Consensus. These are the same policies both Obama and Romney stand for (with minor social policy differences) and, as can be ascertained by the examples of both Mexico and US (North and South, but especially South) the results aren't pretty, the degradation of human beings and human societies never is.

CT: I agree with the notion that fixing a lot of our problems requires amending the basic structure of our federal government, likely starting with shuttering the electoral college. And, by the way, as an earlier questioner noted, that damn winner-take-all format does really perpetuate the notion that the “whole South is conservative” and clearly that is not the case.

But, look, when guys like South Carolina Rep. Jim DeMint promise to make a sitting president’s major policy initiative (Obama, Healthcare) his “Waterloo”; when Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell says his party’s singular goal is to turn Obama into a one-term president; when the first lady launches a pretty harmless program meant to curb childhood obesity and half the South screams “Socialism!” (Georgia Rep. Paul Broun among them); then do you really think restructuring government is even a remote possibility?

The white power structure is very much in control in New Hampshire and Montana and Oregon and Canada and many other perfectly nice places to live, so I don’t buy into the "all whities are evil" argument.

Incidentally, my issue here isn’t with Republicans. It’s with southern obstructionists and often with usually southern fanatics who want to conflate Biblical law with U.S. law. When they’re doing their fiscally responsible, missionary-hump-values routine, the Republicans are fine.

As for the poor victimized South, Jesus Christ, give me a break. The South’s most destructive evangelical mission is this whole “right to work” lie whose ultimate goal is, in the grand Dixie tradition, to turn the entire economy into a master/serf equation. The economic race to the bottom being led by southern states is doing far more harm to everyday Americans (North and South) than those billions of dollars of federal charity northern states are handing over to the southern states every year.

Have northern and international industrialists raped portions of the South as part of the rapacious capitalist profit motive? Duh. But painting the South as helpless victims of this sort of thing just shows the epic hypocrisy and misunderstanding of history that underscore these arguments. (There’s much more on this in the economics chapter of the book.)

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SG: There were several questions about practical aspects of a separation:

WhamBam asks: "What about the debt? Does the North keep the federal debt?" He also asks: What happens to federal lands/parks in the South?Your response, and to any other questions of a practical nature about how it would work?

CT: A portion of the federal debt will be assumed by the new C.S.A. I didn’t do the calculations on that, nor do I provide a firm figure. But I’d guess the C.S.A. would carry away about 35 percent of the national debt.

The South takes control of its national parks and most of the federal land currently within its borders. Treaty provisions take care of the gray areas.

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SG: Some believe the notion shouldn't be taken seriously, but that there's some good mileage to be had out of the idea if it sparked some real talk. An example is this comment, from firenze:
All I'd love to see in this political fantasy is a serious discussion with tons of media coverage and the threat of passage: The idea that each state should get the same per-capita proportion of federal revenues as they contribute. Then maybe some of these anti-government "self-reliant" Red Staters might understand who exactly is and is not benefitting from federal largesse.
 
CT: Jesus, finally, someone gets it. Thank you.

Look, whether or not you consider the meta argument absurd (which most normal people will), secession is still a fitting or at least useful and interesting umbrella beneath which to examine the primary source of the dysfunction that's hogtying this country on political, social and moral levels. "Thought experiment" is a phrase I used often when describing the book during research.

Above all, I'm a realist and I understand secession isn't going to happen and that I'm unlikely to win many converts to my side of the argument. But it’s an argument worth having because I do think it exposes the prevailing source of much of our federal dysfunction.

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SG: There also were a couple of good points made about the import of bad politicians from the North and what the importance of some true recent southern leaders:
  • southdem: "don't forget a lot of our 'Southern' politicians are imports from up North, like Gingrich (PA.)"
  • Timmethy: "Our last 3 Democratic Presidents before Obama came from the South and were elected by the South (Clinton, Carter, LBJ) and were pretty good.  California and Texas seem to supply the bad GOP Presidents of late (Nixon, Reagan and the Bushes). Texas = 1 for 3, California = 0 for 2."

CT: Sorry, we’ll take the blame for Bachmann and Santorum, but Gingrich is all on you guys who voted him in and made him a national celebrity. Lindsey Graham and a few thousand others also come to mind.

Until Obama, if a southerner wasn’t on the Democratic ticket, the liberals had very little chance of winning a presidential election, which is why there almost always seemed to be a southerner on it. I expect Obama to be an anomaly in this regard and for the “gotta have a southerner to have a chance” mantra to return to the Dems. I hope I’m wrong on this and I might well be.

By the way, easiest path to the White House in 2016? Any southern Republican willing either to switch to the Democratic side or simply seize the Republican brand name from the Tea Party Dollar Store gentry and run on a platform that promotes the kind of fiscal conservatism and small government generally associated with the Republicans (both GOP lies, of course, but the rhetoric still fools lots of people) and the kind of social liberalism generally associated with the Dems. That candidate would win 80 percent of the vote in this country. Obvious guy to do it is Marco Rubio, even though I’m not a fan of his.

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SG: There also were many, many optimists, not just from the South, but from the North as well, who made solid arguments that things really are changing for the better, slowly but surely. And that what was unimaginable a generation ago is common now. An example of this observation is made eloquently by litho:
Maybe I'm just engaged in wishful thinking but it looks to me like the South is poised on the edge of a tremendous historical shift, as economic growth and diversification coupled with demographic change fundamentally alter the region's long-standing social formation.

When I see latino shopkeepers in North Carolina and Georgia, industrial workers in South Carolina and Alabama, and an honest-to-god financial services sector in Florida and North Carolina, I simply have to wonder if the old structures of power can remain in place.

With a black man running a competitive race for president in places like Virginia and North Carolina, and performing surprisingly well even in racist bastions like Georgia and South Carolina, it looks like the day is not far off when the stranglehold Thompson complains of will be broken.

CT: Sounds great but this "the South is changing, no, seriously it’s really changing" nonsense has been with us since the 1800s.

The New York Times has run some iteration of this hopeful story every single year since at least 1974. I cite numerous other examples in the book, but here’s one from W.J. Cash’s totemic “Mind of the South” published in 1941:

"Articles in the chief magazines hopefully announcing that the South was beginning to generate a wholly new attitude toward the Negro, were common even before 1910; commoner in the 1920’s. And in 1929 so astute a social critic as Oswald Garrison Villard, writing in Harper’s, could actually see the whole color line in the South as in the process of fairly rapid disintegration!"

Here’s another bit from the book, from an interview with white, 73-year-old, Mississippi-based Civil Rights legend and activist Rims Barber:
 

Many southerners had made the point to me that the N-word is rarely used in the South, anymore. Over the course of my travels, I heard it in casual conversation only a handful of times, far fewer times, for example, than one might hear it on a New York subway during the morning commute.

"Does the fact that ‘nigger’ is almost never used in public, and not much even in private, mean that things are improving in the South?" I asked.

Barber thought for a moment, then tapped his forefinger on his desk.

"What that means is that the veneer on this wood is quite good," he said.

Sizing up my bemused expression, Barber spread out his hand and ran it across the desktop.

"This desk looks nice, doesn’t it?" he continued. "Like walnut or oak or something. I put a lot of coats of dark stain on it to make it look this nice. But, you know, it’s still just plywood underneath."

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SG: By far the biggest backlash against the premise of Better Off Without 'Em among the Daily Kos commentariat, however, was that writing off the South, the assumptions made about Southerners, the arrogance of outsiders judging the region, is in itself just as deeply ingrained—and as offensive—a form of bigotry as the racism and backwardness the book purports to condemn. Dozens of comments (many long) were made along those lines, but two of the most succinct can stand in for the rest:
  • toddsmitts: "you can't be disgusted at present-day southerners who are nostalgic about the idea of secession if you're sympathetic to the idea yourself."
  • North CountryNY: My question for those who advocate writing off the South. How are your views any different than this: Romney writes off 47% of Americans? Looks pretty much like the same kind of mind-set to me. A very poisonous one."

CT: To respond to a critique of the South by shouting, "You’re just as bad as they are!" is to employ the classic schoolyard bully misdirection, "Oh, yeah, I'm stupid? Well, guess what, you're ugly." It’s a baseless argument that’d get laughed out of any freshman rhetoric class.


These type of comments often come from the type of mamby-pamby liberals that drive me absolutely bonkers, the kind of who disdain the blowtorch rhetoric of the Limbaugh-Hannity crowd but don’t have the stomach to stand up to it. I’m sick of the left cowering to morally bankrupt hypocrites. I’m willing to match that bullshit line for line and then some.

As for being as bad as a Confederate secessionist, look, I’m not advocating launching a war meant to preserve slavery or the legal construct of white supremacy. Big difference.

And if there is some overlap in interest between me and the reactionary South, well, that just goes to show you that the title of the book is meant to cut both ways. Divorces are tragic but sometimes they're inevitable and sometimes both parties ultimately benefit after the initial shock.

You say I can’t be disgusted with present-day southerners who want secession if I am sympathetic to the idea myself: well, I’m not disgusted with them. We both want the same thing, and we both think we’d be better off without the other. Fine, let 'em go their way, let us go our way. You know what? We both might win in the end. We sure ain't getting to where we want to go together.

So, let me get this straight: Romney wants to write off 47 percent of Americans and his party has been proving that they have the will and means to do this very thing for decades and decades and I’m supposed to sit here and say, "Oh, that’s OK, we still love you and want to be with you"? Look, I want nothing to do with Romney’s hatefulness—that’s why I want him and his southron power base out of my country. If half (or, God forbid, more than half) of the people in this country agree with him, I’d just as soon show them the door than invite them in to raid my refrigerator, not offer to clean the mess, and then bitch about what a shitty person I am.

I’m so tired of the nonstop talk of fear and judgment and "America is doomed" from these people. It’s pathetic the way briar patch prophets and their followers give up so easily. I find that sort of pessimism completely at odds with the traditional American character of optimism. If they can’t behave like real Americans, I’d prefer they start their own Lost Cause country and do their bitching and blaming gays and abortion clinics for all the world’s ill somewhere else.

=
SG: And finally, on a lighter note, this observation by sewaneepat: "I do understand y'all not wanting to compete with SEC football, but who would fill your pro-teams rosters? And the only good music you would be left with is Bruce Springsteen."

CT: Lighter note, my ass. This is as serious as the book gets.

You know, not a single published southern critique has even attempted to mount a fact-based counter-argument to my book. All they can do is scream about me being yet another Yankee who hates on them poor old southerners who no one will give a break to and gripe about me coming down South to shoot fish in barrels and use the mouth-breathers to dishonestly paint the whole region. (Total bullshit, by the way. Far and away the southerners presented in this book are professionals, mainstreamers, business owners, elected officials, university profs, public administrators, demographers, statisticians, pastors, entrepreneurs, etc. In other words, community leaders.) I mean, for God’s sake, I draw a direct line from the 1960s Klan subsuming themselves into the evangelical political movement that now dominates the southern GOP and not one single published review or hostile email I’ve received has bothered to even try to refute that.

The one exception is the sports fans, who reliably fortify their arguments with statistics and facts. Now, I can’t say I totally agree with those arguments—and I anticipated and addressed most of them in the book—but I will say they are legitimate arguments and deserve consideration and thank God for football fans, who are apparently among the last ones in the South who still know how to bring logic and facts to an intellectual debate.

Anyway, never fear, northern football fans, the U.S.A./C.S.A. Treaty of Secession provides us access to NFL-caliber wide receivers and incentives for the equitable redistribution of cheerleaders. (By the way, whenever people talk about jazz as America’s only original art form and singular gift to world culture, I hasten to remind them of the cheerleader outfit.)

As for music, that Phosphorescent CD I put on at the start of this interview is about done, so I guess I’ll pop on some Kanye or Los Lobos or Red Fang or Paul Simon or reach back for some Mudhoney or Stevie Wonder or Steely Dan or Charlie Parker or Duke Ellington …

C’mon, I love Skynyrd and lots of southern and country music. Zac Brown and Eric Church were practically the soundtrack for my two years of southern research. But this has got to be the most legless argument of all.

It ain’t a Berlin Wall I’m advocating. It’s a solution to a very real problem that might leave both sides better off.

Thanks for the questions.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 01:30 PM PDT.

Also republished by Readers and Book Lovers and Kos Georgia.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I loved hearing your interview (41+ / 0-)

    recently with Mike Papantonio on the radio.

    I am wondering to what extent do people in the South realize that they are net tax receivers who will devastated under Republican economic policies?  If known, do they think they'll just be exempt?

    Thanks.

    There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning. Obama-Biden-Big Bird 2012

    by Puddytat on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 01:35:08 PM PDT

    •  Moral Hazard (8+ / 0-)

      You're assuming that southerners think that the federal money their states receive is a good thing.  Many refuse to accept any kind of assistance for themselves (out of pride, perhaps), and resent those who receive any such benefit as unworthy and morally impaired.  A caste system where everyone knows his place and class mobility is very low somehow just seems right to these folks.

      Anything that helps "the undeserving poor" improve their lot is just outsider "meddlin'"

      I want my government to be big enough to drown Grover Norquist in a bathtub.

      by sercanet on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:14:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  a caste system (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite, Puddytat
        A caste system where everyone knows his place and class mobility is very low somehow just seems right to these folks.
        India has started to realize it is folly in today's world.
        Where is the next great invention that serves humanity coming from? Noone, noone, anywhere in the world can point with certainty. IF, most countries were to provide the highest standards of education and research it would be amazing at how quickly we could all have a higher standard of life, even when factoring in the forces of greed, status quo, and plutocracy . What we have right now are most countries tagging along behind the countries who have pioneered "past" breakthroughs. In reality we are basically at a stand still as we have the forces of darkness..er.. ignorance being given voice, a voice which seems to lead to a society based on yes, caste, serfdom and, even slavery.

        Life is just for living - Ernie Smith http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3AegEwa124 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernie_Smith_(singer) DON'T VOTE HATE, VOTE FREEDOM

        by longtimelurker on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 04:25:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You Mean Like SSI? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joanbrooker, Eddie L

        Or working for someone (a farm, say) who's taking federal dolllars and surviving? Or driving on a federal road? Or going to a federal park, etc, etc.

        I suspect they don't take much more than any one else but I don't buy refusing to accept assistance.

        Time is an enormous, long river, and I’m standing in it, just as you’re standing in it. My elders are the tributaries, and everything they thought and every struggle they went through & everything they gave their lives to flows down to me-Utah Phillips

        by TerryDarc on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 07:28:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks for the Ring of Fire (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Puddytat, pHunbalanced

      shout out. I am a big fan of the show. By and large, most southerners I spoke with were indeed aware of the net profit their states make from federal taxation.

    •  They don't believe it is true. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Puddytat

      You can't reason with people that don't believe in reason.

  •  This is kind of funny (35+ / 0-)

    For years now, I've joked with my family about how we (the U.S.) would be better off as a country if we could cut the Southeast loose, and let them start up their own little Somalia.

    Chicago--Proud Home of the 1907-08 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs

    by Jeff Y on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 01:36:33 PM PDT

    •  Actually, I think the South would do really well. (8+ / 0-)

      I see every reason for a happy and productive society. It's amazing what a nation can do when the people respect and support their government.


      A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. -- Groucho Marx

      by Pluto on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 01:48:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think they'd be alright, but only after (39+ / 0-)

        they fail miserably a few times.

        The only way they would thrive is if they first have their ideolgy fail them completely, with no excuses ("evil libs") to fall back on.

        Chicago--Proud Home of the 1907-08 World Series Champion Chicago Cubs

        by Jeff Y on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 01:54:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Like raising teenagers... (8+ / 0-)

          If you buy them a new car everytime they crash the old one, they'll never learn. Make them get a job to buy their own beater and insurance, and gas, and they'll treat it like like a hallowed artifact.

          Responsibility is about ownership. Make the states own their success or failure. It's the only way to learn the hard lessons.

          Would it not be be simpler, if the government simply dissolved the people and elected another? Bertolt Brecht

          by George Hier on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:38:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Just occurred to me this could be a weak link... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jeff Y, Fixed Point Theorem

          ...in his argument. When you give (putatively) benighted folks a chance to make it "on their own"/"on their own terms", there remains the endless scapegoat concern that things continue to fail, not because the southern learning curve turned out to be not as steep as we expected, but because laggard elements (who didn't migrate) are slowing things down. Real purity has yet to be achieved.

          Who knows? We could see a reinstitution of the auto-da-fe!

          Isn't it a good feeling when you see the paper in the morning, it says 'Axe Slayer Kills 19' and you say, "They can't pin that one on me!" - Jean Shepherd

          by razajac on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:05:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  With the racial breakdown of some southern (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Quicklund, BoiseBlue, Jeff Y, ssgbryan

          states, wouldn't it not be very long before "evil libs" were replaced with "evil black people?"  Particularly since the voting in Southern states is so astonishingly racially divided, at least when it comes to white/black populations.

          "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

          by auron renouille on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:22:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe, but since their majority Party doesn't (8+ / 0-)

        believe in..."Big Government" (except when it comes to using government to suppress and repress women's rights) there wouldn't be much "government" to respect or support.  

        Also, since their majority Party, and it's supporters, don't believe in paying taxes, there wouldn't be many financial resources to support that government.

        And, finally, since their majority Party thinks everyone can "build it" on their own, hopefully they wouldn't be needing any new roads (or maintenance on their current ones), bridges, government buildings, institutions, parks, schools, research facilities, etc.  But then, no doubt private corporations will step up to fill the void (for a substantial price).  

        Rugged individualism and "small government" sound great in theory, but are just a wee bit more difficult in reality, especially for those who don't have unlimited personal wealth.

        •  Getting The Working Class Southerner To Focus (6+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          countrycat, kurious, qm1pooh, Jeff Y, UniC, jlb1972

          on his/her real economic and social interests is the key.  

          As long as the Southern plutocrats and mercenary demagogues can divert the suffering and rightfully angry working people from achieving a living wage by lying about 'scary' blacks or 'illegal' immigrants or 'baby-killing' liberals, the cycle of ignorant bitter hate continues.

          The problem is the anti-democratic, anti-union ideology of the Southern "elites."

          •  One of the best books I read (8+ / 0-)

            during research for this book is called Taxing the Poor: Doing Damage to the Truly Disadvantaged. In came out in 2011. Authors Katherine Newman (I think of Johns Hopkins) and Rourke O'Brien discuss this and many other related economic issues. They focus on how southern states' constitutions and tax systems are set up to maintain the cycle of poverty in their states. This is sort of a policy wonky book but it is very good. I called Newman for an interview after I read it and a couple of her quotes are in the book. The book is not a polemic, it is straightforward (depressing) reporting and analysis of the persistence of southern poverty and shows how it is hard-wired and maintained by state constitutions. I highly suggest it to anyone with an interest in this topic.

            •  Damn right it is. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              UniC

              I had to flee the south to ever get a chance to even see middle class as it flew by just out of reach in the 90's :)

              I would have still been managing other people restaurants and convenience stores for them in rural NC if I had not fled to my current liberal/green/socialist 7th congressional District of WA. :)

              I think a more realistic secession would be "cascadia from the rest of the country but the discussion of the whole north/south dichotomy  would be immensely entertaining to play out on Facebook with my relatives  some of whom would flee if they had the chance and others who would be adamantly still grinding away at their own liberty just to make sure no one else gets the chance to be happy either.

              The biggest threat to America is not communism, it's moving America toward a fascist theocracy... -- Frank Zappa

              by NCrefugee on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 09:11:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  They would be all right (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KateCrashes, ssgbryan, DSPS owl

        only because they would find that democracy doesn't work for them and they form their own personal, private, discriminatory hell form of government upon which they may all feel sanctimoniously self-justified to feed anyone who doesn't agree with them to the sharks.

        There are a few pockets of sanity where I feel badly that, simply due to geography, they will have to endure the failure that the southeastern part of our country will impose upon its stupid self.

        A man abstemious, rigidly upright, inflexibly honest, ferociously chaste. A man with every virtue, except humility and human kindness. - Ellis Peters

        by nolalily on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 06:15:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think they would do horribly! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KateCrashes, UniC

        They don't believe in taxes, education, science, medical care for,the poor and elderly. They would be in serious third world status in 10 years. And the poor dogs! I have personally rescued about 4000dog and puppies from the south. Who would help the animals that get slaughtered regularly down there. And I am NOT talking about the good Progesssives in the south, I would feel terribly for them.

        My dog is a member of Dogs Against Romney: He rides inside.

        by adigal on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 06:21:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You are delusional (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        UniC

        1.  What would they use for money?

        2.  How could they keep Mexico from bringing Tejas back into the fold?

        3.  What happens when all of those southerners lose their federal benefits?

        I can go on and on and on with this subject.

    •  I've long seriously advocated this to friends (23+ / 0-)

      ... yet never regarded it as publishable. If my earliest Kos posts are still around, I'm sure you'll find several urging we let the South go. The current North-South arrangement in North America is as senseless as the one in the EU. The cultures are just too different. And those in the south in both cases are corrupt, econonically inept, and requiring of vast subsidies just to be kept not-too-far-behind. Republicans who don't want the US to be "the next Greece" should appreciate the close parallels between Greece and Alabama. Hell, Greece was originally a slave society too.

    •  I've often thought Lincoln was wrong (6+ / 0-)

      to fight an enormously destructive war to "save the Union."

      The spirit of liberty is the spirit which is not too sure that it is right. -- Judge Learned Hand, May 21, 1944

      by ybruti on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:13:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Huge mistake (7+ / 0-)

        ...if the issue was "saving the union."


        A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. -- Groucho Marx

        by Pluto on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:17:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But NOT A Mistake To End Slavery (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BYw

          My god, am I hearing this right?!

          Time is an enormous, long river, and I’m standing in it, just as you’re standing in it. My elders are the tributaries, and everything they thought and every struggle they went through & everything they gave their lives to flows down to me-Utah Phillips

          by TerryDarc on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 07:31:12 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  fairly obvious (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TerryDarc

          ... huge mistake if the goal was saving the union... not such a bad idea if the purpose was ending slavery.  

          •  Um. History matters (16+ / 0-)

            The Civil War didn't start to end slavery, but it sure as hell ended it, and WWII didn't start to end the Holocaust, but it sure as hell ended that as well.

            That makes neither of those a mistake. No matter what the reason for starting it was, it was worth it.

            And it's a slap in the fucking face to a whole lot of people when you claim otherwise.

            P.S. I am not a crackpot.

            by BoiseBlue on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:36:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not to mention the future wars unity avoided. (12+ / 0-)

              Had the USA/CSA gone their speerte ways in 1863 or so you can be assured the 1861-1863 war would not be the end of the wars between the two. When WW1 started it'd probably include the CSA on one side and the USA on the other. Trench warfare from DC to NO. That would have been fun. Too bad the Union was saved huh?

              What claptrap.

              •  You know, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DSPS owl

                Harry Turtledove wrote an alternate history series where the CSA did go its own way (not because Lincoln let them, but because of the CSA's victory).  It had the CSA siding with Great Britain during WWI and the USA siding with the Germany. I believe the result was the Central Powers winning WWI and no Hitler.

                "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

                by TLS66 on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 08:32:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  oh please (3+ / 0-)

              peddle your outrage somewhere else...  Or peddle it here if you get excited by that kind of silliness.  

              Fact is the Civil War northern victory of 1865 was quickly followed by the southern victory of the 1880s and 1890s, and we've been a Southern nation ever since, and none the better for it.

              Have a little perspective.    Lincoln won the battles... but the South won the war, the one that continued after reconstruction, through Jim Crow and right down to the present... and we've been the poorer ever since.    

              •  Expand? Why, how do you think this happened? (0+ / 0-)
                •  Because (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  RainyDay, George Hier

                  .... military victory is not the same as cultural transformation....   And racist Northern States could not effectively push for a change that they were only slightly closer to than the defeated states.  Compromising with slavery and plantation economics was built into the national DNA.  War enabled a moment of righteousness and the Emancipation Proclamation... but the excitement of war faded.... and the commitment of Southern racists to a racist society was much stronger than the lukewarm Northern support for an alternative.   Lincoln was gone, "normalcy" was desired, "heal up the wounds" was the doctrine... and never mind the wounds that slavery had inflicted on African Americans.    The south lost the battles, but it won the war.

              •  The South won the war so much so that we have (10+ / 0-)

                an African American president.

                Jesus, no wonder some of you are so on board the "get rid of the South" idea. You would set us back hundreds of years because we're not perfect NOW.

                Not one rational person believes that racism will die. No one. It won't.

                But its most devastating effects can be rendered moot by history.

                You know what else will dramatically curb institutionalized racism? The war on drugs. By your logic, there's no reason to do that because racists will just find another way to discriminate.

                I'd rather be outraged than A) clueless about history and B) defeatist in the most ridiculous way.

                P.S. I am not a crackpot.

                by BoiseBlue on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 04:24:15 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well we can agree on being outraged (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  wilderness voice

                  But why do we have a war on drugs?  It is part of the ongoing racist effort to control African Americans.   The war on drugs is just a tool in that struggle.  The political reason for that tool lies in the victory of Southern culture and Southern attitudes about race throughout the country.

                  If you want to end the war on drugs, you have to go after the political desire to imprison and control minority populations, and AAs in particular.  

                  How do we have an AA President?  Well you'll have a better argument that something has changed if he wins re-election.... but I have a gloomy sense that we are about to find out that the Southern American nation is rising again from its Bush induced stupor.      

                  •  Yes. There is an ongoing racist struggle (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Glen The Plumber, qm1pooh

                    And throughout our history we have (very slowly, to be sure) taken steps to rectify that.

                    The Civil War was but one step towards that.

                    I don't understand how you cannot see that as a win for the right side.

                    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

                    by BoiseBlue on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 04:43:06 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  It was an ambiguous victory (0+ / 0-)

                      We defeated the South militarily, but then included in the nation, and were re-infected with its values... values that the North had only begun to move away from.

                      So many people view the Civil War as an unalloyed victory for the North and for AAs, when in fact the political gains for AAs in the South were quickly beaten back, for 100 years.

                      It was better than slavery, but a very partial victory... and at the cost that the North was deeply influenced by the planatation mentality and Southern militarism.    

                      I'm not advocating for having let the South go in 1860.  I don't believe in imaginary history, and can't imagine what that would have been like.  I'm just arguing with a triumphalist view of 1865, as if it was a pure victory and did not contain the seeds of Northern cultural defeat after the collapse of Reconstruction.

            •  But It Started BECAUSE Of Slavery... (0+ / 0-)

              ...not some southron, lost cause, states-rights bullshit.

              Time is an enormous, long river, and I’m standing in it, just as you’re standing in it. My elders are the tributaries, and everything they thought and every struggle they went through & everything they gave their lives to flows down to me-Utah Phillips

              by TerryDarc on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 07:33:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Engage your brain (0+ / 0-)

          and I'm sure you can figure it out if you try.

          As was pointed out, the effort to save the union was a waste.  Ending slavery wasn't.

          You know, after abolishing slavery in the South, there wasn't a compelling reason to let the Confederate States back in the union, rather than keeping them as territories or as a colony without voting rights.

          Never believe your own press, never drink your own KoolAid

          by Mindful Nature on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 04:09:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nope no compelling reason at all (6+ / 0-)

            I mean, what could go wrong with holding a territory occupied by pissed off people and denying them all the rights that we enjoy?

            Engage your brain a bit. What could possibly go wrong with that scenario?

            P.S. I am not a crackpot.

            by BoiseBlue on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 04:31:27 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  You have clearly never lived in a US territory. (5+ / 0-)

            So you would sacrifice the soul of "northern" democracy by completely disenfranchising the south, including the freed African Americans who lived there.

            Your slogan would be equality under the law - "no votes for anyone" but taxation and military conscription for all!  Black or White!

            I guess that's one way to end the evils of slavery and tyranny.  

            Yes, someone should engage your brain.

            "Out of Many, One." This is the great promise of our nation -9.75 -6.87

            by Uncle Moji on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 04:36:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  YOu mean (0+ / 0-)

              like most of the rest of the US at the time?

              If and when the southern states wanted to apply to admission to the Union, having shown they could handle it, they would have been free to get in line behind the western states.  

              (and

              Never believe your own press, never drink your own KoolAid

              by Mindful Nature on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 05:07:28 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  So you have no substantive reply (0+ / 0-)

                so you pretend none of the states have any legal rights?  

                That's not an answer, that, my friend is a convenient dodge worthy of a person without a compass, moral or otherwise.

                Sad to say, you don't really know what a democracy means if you don't understand what it means to be a territory, your proposed "brilliant solution".

                What you propose is tyranny, a nation without dissent - or at least not the kind of dissent you approve of.  

                His Excellency King Mindful Nature.  We overthrew the last of your kind a couple of hundred years ago.

                "Out of Many, One." This is the great promise of our nation -9.75 -6.87

                by Uncle Moji on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 08:00:45 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Look (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  UniC

                  once they left the country, afterwards they were conquered territories, with no particular claim to admission, any more than Japan or Germany had a legal claim to admission to the United States after WWII.  Or perhaps you are suggesting that the Japanese and Germans should have been allowed to vote in the election of 1948?  That certainly is an interesting theory.

                  Having seceded and been reconquered, the South was in no position whatsoever to dictate or claim particular rights.  That was purely within the realm of the US governmnet to determine.  As it happens, it was a pretty straightforward notion to simply readmit the south as if nothing had happened.  Was that a wise idea?  Maybe, maybe not.  

                  In the meantime, we have a series of apologists for the confederacy and its descendants trumpeting about their moral compass.  Seems very strange to me.

                  Never believe your own press, never drink your own KoolAid

                  by Mindful Nature on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 08:38:33 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  The Thought Of The North (0+ / 0-)

            Occupying the south for 175 years until they came of age and decided on their own that slavery was an evil. Whew! Make Iraq look like a tea party.

            Time is an enormous, long river, and I’m standing in it, just as you’re standing in it. My elders are the tributaries, and everything they thought and every struggle they went through & everything they gave their lives to flows down to me-Utah Phillips

            by TerryDarc on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 07:35:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Amen! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          BoiseBlue, jlb1972

          This is supposed to be a progressive as well as Democratic blog, isn't it?! Good for you calling 'em out.

          Time is an enormous, long river, and I’m standing in it, just as you’re standing in it. My elders are the tributaries, and everything they thought and every struggle they went through & everything they gave their lives to flows down to me-Utah Phillips

          by TerryDarc on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 07:32:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  the way it happened (6+ / 0-)

        as he was in the process of taking office he was faced with armed insurrection all around him right in D.C.  And only was able to remain in town with the prompt arrival of northern troops.  Then the attack on Ft. Sumpter followed.  So the whole mess was sort of thrust upon him.

        That said, I agree with you.

      •  That could have been phrased better. (9+ / 0-)

        Still, Lincoln did not start out his term with the intent of stopping slavery. He made preserving the union his foremost goal, and ending slavery came into it later, as the war progressed.

        If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. -Lincoln

        Would it not be be simpler, if the government simply dissolved the people and elected another? Bertolt Brecht

        by George Hier on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:43:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's important to remember (0+ / 0-)

        that the attack on Ft. Sumpter was started by the South, soon after Lincoln came into office.

        "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

        by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:58:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What would you have him do? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AaronInSanDiego, ybruti, qm1pooh, jlb1972

        As others have noted, the South attacked the North, seized Northern assets, both civilian and military, threatening to kill Northerners.  Not only that, it's important to remember that at the time, Canadian-American relationships were not the casual, "Let's go to Vancouver for the day" relation that we have today.  The UK, still an empire at the time, was in all likelihood going to play the South against the North as a means of forcing both nations to again become dependent on the UK's system.  In fact, Canada didn't even come into being as the united country we know it today until after the Civil War, when London concluded that "divide and conquer" wasn't going to subjugate the American economy to London's whims; in light of the failure of the UK to divide North and South, Canada entered into its own confederation and in doing so actually quite rapidly stabilized North America's northern frontiers.

        Thankfully, of course, everyone settled down and by the early 1900s, everyone outside of the far right and the far left was more-or-less in agreement about the need for extremely close cross-Atlantic relations.

        But at the time of the Civil War, although the people of the UK were rather abolitionist, the government was much more pragmatic and absolutely would have done exactly that solely to weaken both nations and maybe even split off the western states, leaving us not with a united north but instead a North American Balkans.

        "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

        by auron renouille on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 04:19:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Great Britain (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          auron renouille

          came very close to entering the war on the Confederate side, and in fact one reason for the Union building the Monitor and other ironclads was to convince the British that their navy would be devastated if they tried to fight for the South. The US-Canadian relationship is much more complex than people now know, as is the case with the US and Great Britain.    

          Then let us learn our range: we are something but we are not everything - Pascal

          by jlb1972 on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 07:10:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Welcome to Somalia: Libertarian Paradise (11+ / 0-)

      I'm sure this was precisely what you were thinking of with your comment, but thought I'd post the video of the same. Right on the money for those who think they hate The New Deal and Great Society for its oppressive intrusion into our lives!

      "Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob." -- Franklin D. Roosevelt

      by Kombema on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:17:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A longtime Democratic activist (0+ / 0-)

        in Tennessee or Alabama (i.e. Appalachia) was quoted once as saying that it was galling for him to listen to "New South" types going on about the evil gub'mint when he knew their families and knew that  if it hadn't been for the New Deal they'd all still be looking at the back end of a mule. But no-one wants to admit it ...

        BTW, thanks for posting the video (that young woman is gorgeous!), and the outraged comments by libertarians on its Youtube thread would be hilarious if there weren't so many who cling to that bitter fantasy.

        Then let us learn our range: we are something but we are not everything - Pascal

        by jlb1972 on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 06:16:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  It is hard to be a progressive in the South (18+ / 0-)

      But I continue to try.  It hurts to someone from outside the South brand us all as "stereotypical" redneck mouthbreathers and write us off.  As I have posted here many times before, stereotyping never solves a problem.  However, I do understand the author's reasoning which can lead to a good discussion about how to solve the problems we face with our nation being so divided.  

      But let's be realistic.  Money in politics is the real evil.  So even if we divorce this country into two separate countries, the problems of division will resurrect themselves again in each of the two new countries.  Dividing the electorate is a great strategy for the monied interests and that is what they have been doing for decades. The South was easy pickings and the Republican party decided to cultivate the Southern strategy by feeding off some long standing problems.  

      The solution proposed is radical and may not prove to even  be a solution of the politics of division for either the North or the South.

      "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

      by gulfgal98 on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:55:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree. I think it would only transfer the (12+ / 0-)

        problem and there would be a 'new south' in the north.  I live in the north and there is no shortage of tea-party holdouts.

        I actually wonder if the success of america wasn't due to WWII and the generation it spawned.  They say there are no atheists in foxholes but I say that is bunk - anyone who truly believed god would save them would throw down their gun and pull out the prayer beads.  But instead you had as many pagans holding onto their lucky charms as you did monotheists clutching their bibles, and they were all holding onto their guns.

        But what you did not have in foxholes were passive 'let the market do its magic' types who acted against their own interests because they believed in some stupid ideology.  Bluntly put, you had an entire generation forced into action, true action where they shaped the events around them or literally died trying.  I'm pretty sure this knocked them out of their shells and made them immune to the stupidity that plagues the republican party today.

        and their contempt for the Latin schools was applauded by Theodoric himself, who gratified their prejudices, or his own, by declaring that the child who had trembled at a rod would never dare to look upon a sword.

        by ban48 on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:10:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  PS - Just search youtube for "new york police (10+ / 0-)

        shooting homeless".  I think the 'liberalism' of the north is slightly over-rated.....

        and their contempt for the Latin schools was applauded by Theodoric himself, who gratified their prejudices, or his own, by declaring that the child who had trembled at a rod would never dare to look upon a sword.

        by ban48 on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:55:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No one is branding everyone as anything (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        beaukitty, pitbullgirl65, KathleenM1

        what we are pointing out is that if the southern states were not in the US

        we would have universal healthcare in the US
        We would be dealing with climate change (and NO, we should not guarantee purchase of the South's polluting power, for christ sakes!)
        We would have stronger financial and environmental regulation
        The ERA would have passed
        We would have a much stronger set of social programs.
        We'd probably have solid educational systems.

        Majorities in the South oppose all those things and a whacked out economic policy.  FIne, let them do that, but there's zero reason the rest of the country has to get flushed down the toilet with the south.  We should not be paying to pander to this region by adopting suicidal policies.

        Never believe your own press, never drink your own KoolAid

        by Mindful Nature on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 04:12:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  North Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Unduna, Glen The Plumber

          South Dakota, Utah...

          "Out of Many, One." This is the great promise of our nation -9.75 -6.87

          by Uncle Moji on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 04:52:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  math skills? (0+ / 0-)

            together, that's what six representatives?  New york has what, thirty?  I don't see that the intermountain west could overwhelm the majorities in the rest of the country.  

            Never believe your own press, never drink your own KoolAid

            by Mindful Nature on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 05:03:48 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  In these our great 39 states of America (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Glen The Plumber, jlb1972

              Our new Senate includes Rand Paul, Mitch McConnell, Jon Kyl, John Thune, John Barasso, John McCain, Dan Coats, Chuck Grassley, Pat Roberts, Scott Brown, Thad Cochran, Roy Blunt, Rob Portman, James Climate Change Inhofe, Tom Coburn, Lamar Alexander, Orrin Hatch, among others.  

              If you think all the nutbags are south of the new border, you have your head up your math.

              "Out of Many, One." This is the great promise of our nation -9.75 -6.87

              by Uncle Moji on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 07:53:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I didn't say they did (0+ / 0-)

                I said they wouldn't be a dominant majority that can block ALL progressive policies and drag the entire US into a cesspool the way they are now.

                But hey, I guess Southern values are just fantabufuckingtastic!  Stars and Bars forever!  Save your confederate money, boys, the South will rise again!

                We're supposed to be cheering for that?  I say it's past time to be straight up about just where the epicenter of our disastrous circumstance is.  Here's a hint:  it ain't located in Berkeley, Manhattan, or Seattle.

                Never believe your own press, never drink your own KoolAid

                by Mindful Nature on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 08:00:13 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Now a bit of math (5+ / 0-)

                  The Republicans hold 47 seats in the US Senate.  There are 31 Republican Senators north of your new Border.  Some of the most conservative and obstructionist Republican Senators are part of the new US of 39 States.  

                  You do not need a simple majority in the US Senate to block progressive legislation or have you been asleep at the switch for the last 4 years?  

                  One of the worst and deadliest race riots took place in New York City during the Civil War, as working class whites who were conscripted into the Union Army attacked and murdered black New Yorkers.

                  Have you forgotten the Detroit and LA race riots?  The anti-bussing attacks on little children in school buses in Southie, Boston?  

                  Did you know the highest percentage of victims of police violence in SF are Asian Americans?

                  Have you missed all the anti-Latino, anti-Mexican racial profiling in Arizona, home of Joe Arpaio?  (who was born and raised in Chicopee, Mass?)

                  If you want to be "straight up" about the anti-progressive forces in our 50 states, I strongly suggest you pay better attention to the details of American life for the most of Americans who are not you.

                  "Out of Many, One." This is the great promise of our nation -9.75 -6.87

                  by Uncle Moji on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 08:14:57 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Most of which misses te point utterly (0+ / 0-)

                    The dominant force of conservative am since the 1980s has come out of the south, and not just in the last four years, but in the last thirty.  Certainly no Republican President since 1984 could have been elected without the southern block.  Yes conservatives would be elected, say from the west, but not in the numbers we have now. It would be a radically different country.  (Or maybe you are suggesting New York and California are no different from Texas and Alabama?).  

                    As for you other points, none of them actuall speak to this.  Unless of course you are arguing that the rest of the country is just like the South.  I guess you are, in fact.  

                    Never believe your own press, never drink your own KoolAid

                    by Mindful Nature on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 08:24:14 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Well, hate crimes against (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Glen The Plumber, jlb1972

                      Hispanics have spiked in California and according to the SPLC they have far more hate groups than any other state. As for New York, I've heard several people, including people on this site refer to New York City (housing about 42% of New York's population) as the most racist place they've ever been, so I think in that department they have more in common with Texas and Alabama than you want to admit.

                      "The government of the many, not the government of the money" - Nancy Pelosi

                      by Americantrueandblue on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 08:54:43 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  But (0+ / 0-)

                        we are better off with the Southern representatives and Congressment fighting tooth and nail against hate crimes legislation than without them.  That is what you are saying.

                        Never believe your own press, never drink your own KoolAid

                        by Mindful Nature on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 09:25:28 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  No, I'm saying (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          fuzzyguy, diggerspop

                          that trying to pawn all the blame of everything that's wrong with the country on the South (which happens all too often here) isn't going to solve anything.

                          "The government of the many, not the government of the money" - Nancy Pelosi

                          by Americantrueandblue on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 01:37:15 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Not that I'm arguing exactly... (0+ / 0-)
                            ...trying to pawn all the blame of everything that's wrong with the country on the South (which happens all too often here) isn't going to solve anything.
                            Not that I'm arguing against that exactly, but then, if that were the standard for discussing this stuff on dKos, I guess we'd better shut down 99% of the diaries on here, because they aren't going to solve anything either.
                          •  Well, you may not have, but (0+ / 0-)

                            it is something that appears here constantly and can be found on this site. But, I think you understood the point I was trying to make in relation to California and New York, to Georgia and Alabama now, right?

                            "The government of the many, not the government of the money" - Nancy Pelosi

                            by Americantrueandblue on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 04:37:32 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

        •  Seems very fanciful, (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Unduna, gulfgal98, fuzzyguy

          for one thing of the top of my head we don't have universal health care because of the power of the  insurance industry, which is based in New England, and because Wall Street doesn't want it. The Tea Party, though largely astro-turf, is nationwide.  

          Then let us learn our range: we are something but we are not everything - Pascal

          by jlb1972 on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 07:15:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  which gets back to my point about monied interests (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jlb1972, fuzzyguy

            The South was easy pickings for the monied interests.  They simply cut the South out of the whole by using deep seeded racial fears along with fundamentalism to create a voting block.  If we split the existing US into North and South, the monied interests will find issues to divide the North too.  And they will find different issues to divide the new South as well.

            The bottom line is that the real problem is this country is that it is being controlled by big money.  Think about what is our biggest export...it is war.  Who benefits from war?  The military industrial complex.  It certainly is not the citizens of this country.

            "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

            by gulfgal98 on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 06:57:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, I've thought recently (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              gulfgal98, diggerspop

              that the South was really an all-too-willing tool for TBTB, and it's understandably tempting for desperate non-Southern liberals and progressives to try to fix the blame for the nation's ills on what is really just an instrument for larger powers that operate everywhere.

              Then let us learn our range: we are something but we are not everything - Pascal

              by jlb1972 on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 08:21:46 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  somewhat agree because (0+ / 0-)
        Money in politics is the real evil
        It is the politicians who are culpable, they make real what would not exist but for them.
        Unless the politicians who are complicit in the creation of this system  and, who continue to refine and accept what is really greed and corruption are brought to justice, the system will only work for the 1%ers. Remember money is a tool created by humans. The republicans in congress are the absolutle example of the worst corruption in todays politics.

        They seem to operate under the mantra, "live for today for, tomorrow we die". Scorched earth politics. NAZI world view 101.

        Life is just for living - Ernie Smith http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3AegEwa124 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernie_Smith_(singer) DON'T VOTE HATE, VOTE FREEDOM

        by longtimelurker on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 04:58:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The book does not sterotype all southerners (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Little, OLinda, renbear, ssgbryan, gulfgal98

        as redneck mouthbreathers. It includes many quotes or mini-profiles of liberals and moderates and lots of intelligent people. I know that many reviews say otherwise but these reviews are either dishonest or written by people who have not read my book. I'm fine with people disagreeing with the premise of the book, thinking I'm a shitty writer, not caring for the humor (or attempts at) but the book is not a about stereotypes.

        It's about the prevailing mindset in Dixie in 2012. When I point out people like this nutcase Rep. Hubbard in Arkansas who recently said slavery was a blessing for black people; or U.S. Rep. Broun in Georgia calling accepted science lies from the pit of hell, or state senator Jake Knotts calling Obama a raghead or point out countless other such cases, my position is that these people are elected representatives of their people ... aka community leaders. These people represent the will of the majority of voters in the states or districts. To me, elected community officials are not cherry-picked fringe mouth-breathers. They represent the majority interest of voting adults in a society. If you don't like it, stop electing these people.

        •  I sincerely appreciate your taking the time (0+ / 0-)

          to read and respond to every comment here.  While I am not sure that your solution would actually solve the problems we face, I do hope to read your book.  If for no other reason, it has spawned some great and thoughtful conversation and exchange of ideas here at dkos.  That is always a good thing in my book.

          "Growing up is for those who don't have the guts not to. Grow wise, grow loving, grow compassionate, but why grow up?" - Fiddlegirl

          by gulfgal98 on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 07:02:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Personally, (0+ / 0-)

          I'm enjoying your book. Some of the outrage being expressed here reminds me of The Satanic Verses and Monty Python's Life of Brian. It's okay to be outraged, but at least read the fucker first.

          I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

          by itsjim on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 02:30:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You miss the point. (0+ / 0-)

            The anger is not necessarily at the fact that the book exists. Many of us would ignore it if it weren't given a platform here. There are so many books that have been recommended to me, so I have to choose. Nothing about the way the author has presented his ideas gives me any desire to read it. Since I find the premise being argued antithetical to my basic values, I have to be given a very good argument for reading it, and that hasn't happened.

            "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

            by AaronInSanDiego on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 08:52:33 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No, I think you miss the point. (0+ / 0-)

              If you had actually, you know, bothered to read the the book, you would know that what the author did was illustrate the absurdity of secession. He rather accurately defines the socio-political schism that has existed between the "North" and "South" since before the industrial revolution. He takes a devil's advocate position and says, "Fine. you want to secede? Here's the implications." He is not advocating secession. He's calling the real secessionist's bluff. The book isn't intended to convince you that secession is a good idea. It's intended to make people like Rick Perry look like idiots. The tone and style of the book appear to be intentionally employed to make the average secessionist's head explode. The frequent references to SEC football should have been a dead giveaway.

              I don't know Chuck Thompson personally, but I suspect that he was laughing his ass off at some of the comments in this thread. I know I was.

              Ya'll been played.

              I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

              by itsjim on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 12:50:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  so then it's just a big joke? (0+ / 0-)

                What indication is there for us to know that based on what he and others have written here? If that's true, why isn't he letting us, his supposed allies, in on the joke? if he thinks he is, he's doing a poor job of it, and so are his supporters. And of we're the target of the joke, I don't see why it's given prominence here.

                Btw, thanks for laughing at people for being concerned about bigotry.  Founds like what the other side does.

                "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

                by AaronInSanDiego on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 07:33:48 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  pardon my swypos n/t (0+ / 0-)

                  "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

                  by AaronInSanDiego on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 07:50:26 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I didn't say it was a joke. (0+ / 0-)

                  Just sharing my impressions of the book from, um, having actually read it.

                  My laughter was not at people, but at comments from people so concerned about bigotry that they dismiss this book without having turned a single page of it, and encourage others to do the same. Doesn't that seem just a bit disingenuous? What's next? Should we burn them?

                  Look, I'm not interested in getting into a "Best Liberal Ever" contest. I just subscribe to the notion that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, even if the author agrees to participate in a circular firing squad on DK. You obviously think differently. I'm okay leaving it at that and offering you the last word.

                  Peace out.

                  I feel like I'm taking crazy pills!

                  by itsjim on Wed Oct 24, 2012 at 05:13:14 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Then there is KS, NE, WY, some very red states (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      qm1pooh, jlb1972, llywrch

      and then there are people like Akin in MO who fits in better in the deep south.  

      The religious right is one of the core problems and some mega churches are also located most everywhere, granted most are in southern states.  But it seems one does not have to travel far in any state to find the religious far right spouting and screaming their crap values and trying to shove their beliefs on us.

      I would guess then that the religious right and teabaggers would move south and the progressives relocate to the north. Where are we going to put everybody who relocates here? I  guess we could move progressives to states with a lower population like ND, SD, ID, MT?  We could make them larger, more liberal states then?

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:15:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  doing the thought experiment may help: (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DSPS owl, WestCider

      Personally I don't want to see the South go.

      But it's clear that there's a serious need for historic culture-change and political transformation.

      The way to get that transformation may just be to put peaceful secession on the table in a most serious way, as a kind of "put up or shut up" to radical-right-wing politicians and their constituents:

      What happens when the tax benefits from liberal states go away?

      What happens to the economy when the race to the bottom is stopped with a national border?

      What happens to competitiveness with an under-funded public education system?  

      Etc. etc.

      No doubt the extreme right will paint pictures of utopia.

      But in the end those utopian dreams will be rejected on the most practical of grounds.  

      And at that point, the extreme right will be seen for what it is: fundamentally unpatriotic.  And its day will be O-V-E-R.

      "Minus two votes for the Republican" equals "plus one vote for the Democrat." Arithmetic doesn't care about their feelings either!

      by G2geek on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 06:42:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Your book just arrived from Barnes & Noble. (18+ / 0-)

    Looking forward to reading it.

    Show us your tax returns !!!!!!

    by Bush Bites on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 01:38:48 PM PDT

  •  the demographic shifts might be more serious (18+ / 0-)

    with secession as would the possibility that the ideological shifts in places like UT, OK and KS would further fragment the USA  and begin an insurgency sponsored by the CSA

    yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 01:39:00 PM PDT

  •  My own expectation? (28+ / 0-)

    You can't fix stupid.

    A voluntary partition is still going to end up creating as many problems as it solves - maybe more. I have little confidence that without the North and the Federal Government to blame for all their problems, they'll suddenly wise up.

    Just for a hypothetical, what happens when rising sea levels start inundating their coast line, of which they'll end up with a lot? Given the "You're On Your Own" mentality that seems to be becoming the norm, I don't expect them to cope well with natural disasters - especially when so many deny the cause. We could be looking at one heck of a refugee problem...

    Hurricanes, Mississippi floods, tornados - it's not going to be pretty.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 01:40:34 PM PDT

    •  Yup (26+ / 0-)

      And that's precisely when their hatred for the great big bad gubmint does a 180.

      They suck up federal tax dollars that come from other states.  The South is a net receiver of those tax dollars from other states that pay in far more in federal taxes than get returned to them.  And as you add in the disaster relief that they get, it adds up even faster.  And those storms (and Gulf Oil Spills) are only going to get worse.

      They love to proclaim their independence and strength and decry "moochers", but they, like the rich, are the biggest suckers on the government teat.  A lot of that comes from their Right to Work (for less) laws that leave most workers poverty stricken and eligible for benefits, but much of it comes from their very, very low tax rates.  Their roads are crumbling because they don't want to pay the taxes to fix them (unless they get federal dollars) as a good example.

      Yes, we'd be much better of without 'em.  I only wonder how long it will take for them to petition for re-entry into the United States of the Tax Dollars We Really Want to Receive Again.

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning. Obama-Biden-Big Bird 2012

      by Puddytat on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 01:58:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  When you have a fiat monetary system, taxes (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Puddytat

        don't actually fund government spending.  That's not to say that it doesn't matter how we distribute wealth, including those dollars that are in infinite supply. --  at least when it comes to wars and bank bailouts.

        •  really? (0+ / 0-)

          Once the money is produced, doesn't one dollar have the same value as another? So if it funds any other kind of spending, why not government spending? I mean, there's debt, but is that a function of the fiat monetary system?

          "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

          by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 08:20:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  if you had a money making machine in your (0+ / 0-)

            kitchen, would youneed to collect taxes before you could spend?

            Nope, you'd just push that button whether you collected taxes or not.

            I know we've been trained by politians and the press to think of the Federal Budget as being the same as a household budget, but that's just not how national monetary opperations actually work.

            The US fed gov makes dollars out of thin air.  You and I don't.  And that makes all the difference in the world.  You and I are (and the US states and Euro countries as well), the Fed Gov is not monetarily constrained.

            No, the debt/deficit is not necessarily the result of a fiat monetary system.  But what we make of the deficit, how we think of it, SHOULD be based on the reality of having a fiat monetary system, cuz you would think of YOUR debts very differently if you had a money making machine in you kitchen.  Cuz if you did, you'd know that you could pay off any size debt -- that you could never run out of dolllars, could never go broke.

            •  a money making machine in my kitchen (0+ / 0-)

              is not a good analogy for the federal reserve, because creating more money doesn't give the government a greater share of the money, it just makes the total supply larger. If the total amount of money is currently 10 brazillion dollars, and the government makes 1 brazillion more, then a dollar is now worth 10/11 of its former worth. Anyone's dollar, not just the government's. Of course, correct me if I'm wrong.

              "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

              by AaronInSanDiego on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 08:00:09 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The government doesn't need a greater share (0+ / 0-)

                of the money.  It's not a currency user, it's a currency creator.

                You and I, California, Alabama, Greece and Spain, are currency users.  

                The US Fed Gov?  Nope.  It's a currency creator.

                Different things.

                Even if printing (electronically marking up accounts) more dollars creates the type of dollar devaluation you suggest, then wages should rise to keep pace.  Especially if expanding the money supply is necessary to buy good stuff, like labor -- and other real wealth purchases (productive stuff, like a smart grid, etc).

                The danger is in the new money being used for stupid, wastefull things, like giving it to banks the malinvest it, buying bombs that blow up, etc....

                But as long as the economy absorbs the new dollars, then there's little indication that there's the close cause and effect of inflation like you're suggesting.  If there was then Japan would be seeing huge inflation.  It's not.

                •  It's a currency user as well. (0+ / 0-)

                  How does it get into debt if it doesn't use currency? How does it pay all its employees and contractors?

                  "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

                  by AaronInSanDiego on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 09:49:28 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The national deficit (not talking trade deficit) (0+ / 0-)

                    is an accounting of all dollars in circulation.  The deficit could just as well be referred to as:  "All dollars being saved in the private sector).  Every dollar bill is an IOU, a liability to the Gov.  And it's a private asset.  This is just simple, double entry accounting.

                    This is not a function of being a currency user, like you and I are.  It's a function of accounting identity.

                    Yes, it's that simple.  Really.  So start here, then proceed....

                    THEN there's the interest owed on this deficit.  This is because, yes, the Gov "borrows" the money from the Fed.  It could, however, stop doing so.  You'd still have a deficit for the above reason:  Double Entry Accounting -- all dollars are both a public liability and a private asset.  Again, however, it might be better to rename the deficit  to "all dollars in circulation, or all dollars being saved in the private sector".

                    There's a really good new blog at "New Economic Perspectives" called "Myth Drives the Budget Fuss".  It is really short and well written.  You might also see the responses as some really smart people participate.

                    Also, New Economic Perspective -- it's a blog -- has lots of stuff on national monetary opperations and accounting.

                    •  Don't know enough to know... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      katiec

                      ...whether that post is good or not. However, thought a link might be useful for others, who like me, wanted to check it out.
                      http://neweconomicperspectives.org/...

                      "...you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem." Mitt Romney

                      by Catte Nappe on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 01:25:34 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Exactly :) Don't know how to link :) (0+ / 0-)
                        •  Well, there's fancy ones, and plain ones (0+ / 0-)

                          Fancy ones are where you see a title or term that can be clicked on. Plain ones, like the one in my comment, are pretty easy. Copy the URL of the website you want to link to, and paste it in your diary or comment. It becomes clickable automatically, by virtue of being recognized as a URL.

                          "...you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem." Mitt Romney

                          by Catte Nappe on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 01:58:27 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Copy? Don't know how -- lol. But thanks..... (0+ / 0-)

                            and happy reading.  Understanding the difference between a fiat and commodity currency, the history of the struggle between the two, and national accounting practices, have changed my life.

                •  also when new currency is created (0+ / 0-)

                  it doesn't just go directly to the government, does it? I thought the fed bought bonds and such from commercial banks.

                  "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

                  by AaronInSanDiego on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 10:03:40 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The US government "borrows" money from the (0+ / 0-)

                    Fed.  It could choose not to -- like before there was a Fed.  No real need to issue bonds, like Lincoln's Green Backs and Silver Certificates which circulated for a long time after.

                    Also, like coins today -- the Treasury mints coins directly into circulation.  As the law is now, the Pres could actually direct Treasury to issue a "jumbo coin" -- a coin of any value -- could be 500 million, etc....  

                    I think it's the US Gov that sells bonds to the banks then pays interest on those bonds.  Yes, sometimes it buys those bonds back.

                    Anyhow, I'd highly recommend that article at New Economic Perspectives.

      •  Well, Puddytat, this is where you and I (0+ / 0-)

        part company.

        Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

        by cassandracarolina on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 07:51:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Places like Mississippi, Alabama, (0+ / 0-)

          Georgia and South Carolina need to understand that much of the poverty there is self inflicted by their state politicians through low wage laws, Right to Work, loathing of taxes, and far too much corporate influence as well as political corruption.   They are being artificially held down with poverty as a direct result.

          Every time they get close to seeing it, a dog whistle gets blown distracting them and reventing any action.  I have family in South Carolina and I've seen this first hand.  

          Texas is changing and fast, but that's more like the southwestern states that the real Old South.   New Mexico and Nevada are seeing significant change, too.

          But the in the deep Old South, we'd be better off spending Democratic resources to influence elections elsewhere.  

          Mike Papentonio, on the Ed Show, has said this before, most recently a couple of weeks ago.

          There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning. Obama-Biden-Big Bird 2012

          by Puddytat on Tue Oct 23, 2012 at 10:07:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  their very, very low tax rates (3+ / 0-)

        This is close to the real issue. The South is an enormous economic producer - for just two critical measures, most of the gasoline used in the US is refined in New Orleans and Houston and New Orleans ships out 85% of the Midwest's agricultural product (our major export, along with weapons made in Massachusetts and Illinois, among other Union states and Texas of course ...). The South also contributes a disproportionate number of soldiers to our wars of economic aggrandizement, which are overwhelmingly decided on in Washington and Wall Street. So the Federal tax disparity is key, but so are many other things that are going on here.

        Then let us learn our range: we are something but we are not everything - Pascal

        by jlb1972 on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 06:26:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  yeah (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      xaxnar, annieli, tikkun, bnasley, mdmslle

      a ten year open border period is too long, mother nature might clue them in faster than that.

      It's been a hundred years, isn't it time we stopped blaming Captain Smith for sinking the Titanic?

      by happymisanthropy on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:07:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tikkun, xaxnar
      A voluntary partition is still going to end up creating as many problems as it solves - maybe more.  
      Where to start? It might be voluntary in concept, but that's about it. And frankly, it assumes that a New and Improved Confederate States of America would deal with their Union counterparts in good faith. Who wants to put that kind of expectation on it? Not me.

      We might end up making things worse.

      It is time to #Occupy Media.

      by lunachickie on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:10:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not to mention problems with the Corporatocracy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jlb1972

        Any partition scheme would first have to get the approval of our financial overlords on Wall Street and the Multinational corporations that write our laws and regulations. I suspect it couldn't happen until they'd figured out how to wring maximum benefit for themselves out of it.

        And think how Disney World would have to redo so many of its exhibits!

        "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

        by xaxnar on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:13:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Then there are states like Florida and NC that (7+ / 0-)

      are considered southern swing states and both went for Obama last time around.  But it was not even close in Kansas, Nebraska,  Utah , and Idaho.  

      Atlanta is also full of northern transplants, some of my family members who are liberals living in a diverse region of Atlanta and a blue suburban area and county.

      Atlanta then has potential if relocated to another state.
      My sister lives in a very diverse suburb of Atlanta that is deep blue.  She lives in an area where there are very well educated minorities with higher income jobs and many with PhDs.  In fact, the principal and football coach and most African American faculty at her public school have PHDs and are very libeal.  She sees more liberals in Atlanta than she sees in Pittsburgh and less racism too. She visits PA and OH and sees so much racism.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:23:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  never in my widest dream (18+ / 0-)

      Did I expect to such hatred and intolerance on the Daily Kos, and right now 19 people have taken the time to agree with hatred.

      Here is what would happen if the Deep south went away.  The whit majority would increase back to 2/3 of the country, which would mean that the White non-hispanic homogeny would be free to continue to rule.  Conservatives will continue be free to continue to move wealth to the wealthy, and ignore the poor.  

      Here is what will happen if the deep south went away.  The immigration 'problem' would go away.  You know what, there was no immigration problem until hard working immigrants started competing with midwest people.  I wonder if fear of the south is more fear of the non-white person, while using other arguments as a straw horse.

      In the south we are used to working hard, and are not afraid of competition.  30% hispanics in our schools. Beautiful if we can train them to be engineers and scientist so they can make our state more productive.  It is maryland that had over 10,000 citizens try to block this common sense solution.

      I have not read his bok, but this man's website lists religious intolerance in the south.  But removing the deep south will not remove religious intolerance.  As long as religion is given a pass they will be intolerant and spew hate.  Why is it acceptable to treat me differently just because I may not believe in your particular mythical being.  Why it is acceptable to murder directly and indirectly just because one is so weak willed as to need personal beliefs validated by others.

      The deep south, or even the south does not have a copyright religious intolerance.  Check the SPLC hate watch.  Michelle Bachman, whose husband traumatized god knows how many people with his religious intolerance, represents a state where there are 4.5 hate goups per hundred thousand.  John Boener's state Ohio has 0.5 per hundred thousand, comparable to texas at .6 per hundred thousand.

      Take a look at who is trying to save children.  Yes, for instance, texas is against planned parent hood, but they are are also one of two states that is trying to get universal immunization of HPV vaccine.  Bachman is trying make sure as many children suffer and die as possible.  Atkins of the MO, not in the deep south, want to go back to the 70's when a man could rape a slut and get away with it.

      Then we have Romney, whose religion is so superior that rather than spend two years building houses or feeding hungry children he spent those two years telling others that they were inferior and worthless because they did not believe as he did, and somehow this gets credit as the work of god.  The good people of Massachusetts thought this was such a great thing they elected him governor.  

      All these are anti-government people.  None of these are from the deep south. You want the most vicious anti-government people, you want the biggest stealer of tax payer money, you have to go the north.  All the way from Washington state to Mn.  These are the people who take subsidies to do everything, except an honest days work, and then expect to be heroes for it.  If any states need to go it is these.  We would be better off, more diverse.

      I will end on a very serious note.  Most people who grow up not in the south grow up in a very protected environment. For the most part people look like them, think like them, and I think that makes some of them not have the skills to understand how to live with others.  For instance MN is 82% white non-hispanic, 85% have a stable housing situation, only 10% speak another language at home, they have families of 2.5 people, have 30K a year to spend, almost everyone who has a religious preference is protestant, mostly lutheran.  Alaska, where the author is from, is not much different, except for the native population which I will discuss later.

      So I ask, how can people who live a segregated situation possible understand the complex issues that it takes to navigate a diverse society.  Of course Atkins and Boehner and Bachman, and maybe even the author, is not able to understand how to accept other beleifs because they never had to.

      Every day at work I have to navigate with catholics, protestants, muslims, hindi, atheists, black, whites, hispanics, middle Easterners, africans, europeans, among many others.  I can't be intolerant of other beliefs for a second.  I don't have the freedom to call people stupid because they have different beliefs.  I can't complain about a porous border when I see how much profit it brings to eh state.  I can't complain that a church is not wanting to marry one couple when churches across the nation are denying to marry other couples.

      And my church, with vibrant location across the south and the country, has always been open, and has always married everyone.  In the deep south.  Can you say your northern church welcomed other races in the late 50's, or married and welcomed gay couples in the 80's.  We did.  We did because we saw the harm of hate and intolerance first hand.  It was not hypothetical or far away. Our church was discriminated against by the state just like the Mosque was discriminated in New york. We won because in the south there is a deep knowledge of what oppression is, and a long tradition of opposing it.  If such experience existed in  New York, the mosque may have been built.  As it we have many representations of various religions all around the city center, and we are better off for it.

      To end, I would like to ask one question.  Why the south?  Why not Alaska?  The native people are under great attack.  They recently in a desperate attempt to save their way of life contracted with a shady character to dump metal in the sea.  There are many scholarly papers on who the natives are being physiologically damaged by the focus on oil and profit.  The Artic is going to be opened up to drilling, further destroying their way of life.  Would it not be better to start with a known oppression rather than project on a deep and vibrant culture?  A culture that has used oil revenue to help people by creating opera house, dance companies, museums, schools, universities, and unique non profits to help people get back on their feet?  I know the south is hard to understand.  People who are not always looking for the angle, people who are happy to take their children to a free museum or an outdoor show or hunting or fishing rather than over scheduling every day of their lives in hopes that they may get into a 'good' school.   But things that are different are not always bad.

      •  You should put this in a diary. nt (6+ / 0-)

        P.S. I am not a crackpot.

        by BoiseBlue on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 04:33:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Nobody has a monopoly on stupid (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KateCrashes, UniC

        Consider the super wealthy - the world is their pot to piss in and too many of them feel free to whenever they want. Money insulates them from the consequences of their actions. They can believe in social darwinism because for the most part they're the top predators.  After a time though, hereditary wealth is a self-solving problem. It's awfully hard on the rest of us though.

        But to get back to the subject of your complaint, the animus directed at the Red States is because that where so many of the ills afflicting this country translate directly into politics. The attitudes behind them are why the South has still not recovered from the times of slavery.  I'm not just talking about racism here - I'm talking about attitudes towards religion, government, authority, and how society should work in general.

        By one theory, the roots of this ongoing clash go back to the original settlers of America, 4 waves of immigration from the British Isles whose cultural attitudes and where  they settled are still shaping our country today. The book is Albion's Seed by David Hackett.  It's not the whole story by any means, but it is definitely food for thought.

        Sara Robinson starts a very good discussion of the ideas in the book here.  Then more here, and here, and here. There's a part 4 out there somewhere, but Google isn't finding it. BUT, Sara has put together a write up of the whole package here.

        "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

        by xaxnar on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 05:39:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  how society should work? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          diggerspop

          "But to get back to the subject of your complaint, the animus directed at the Red States is because that where so many of the ills afflicting this country translate directly into politics. The attitudes behind them are why the South has still not recovered from the times of slavery.  I'm not just talking about racism here - I'm talking about attitudes towards religion, government, authority, and how society should work in general."

          I would never presume to say how society should work in general, and would be very wary over anyone who has a strong opinion on this.  One thing I was taught through my church, my business mentors, my schools, it to have faith in the process.  Things change, time moves, and the one thing that will help us get from A to B is an equitable process.

          But the point still remains.  The South is a patsy meant to distract from the real and material harm done by conservative and religious fanatics in the north who get a pass because a hundred years ago their ancestors opposed slavery.

          Perhaps there is the difference between the north and the south.  The realization that things take time versus the need to have things done now.  The realization that we can talk to one another in a civilized manner, even if one is the oppressor and one is the oppressed.  The realization that we could be wrong.

          I knew one person who moved from the far north to the south.  She was always very concerned how friendly people were.  She took this to be superficial.  I took this to be a value, why be mean or even off handed if one does not need to be.  A stranger has done nothing to you, so why not be kind?  I don't want to make generalizations, but I often see profanity, stereotyping, and general lack of decorum on Daily Kos.  How do we expect to learn anything if we can't talk to people who disagree with us, and how can we change if we assume we know.

          •  Hmm (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            xaxnar
            I would never presume to say how society should work in general, and would be very wary over anyone who has a strong opinion on this.
            Well, then, stand back. All progress throughout history for the common man has been made directly due to people who had a strong opinion on how society should work, as distinct from how it does work, and who have fought for such change.
            One thing I was taught through my church, my business mentors, my schools, it to have faith in the process.  Things change, time moves, and the one thing that will help us get from A to B is an equitable process.
            These are the words of someone who is willing to let others fight for him. This is not now nor has it ever been the way that change occurs.

            White people didn't just gradually decide that the civil rights act was a good idea. Straight people didn't just one day wake up and say, hey, maybe we ought to start treating gay people like human beings. People fought. People died. The only reason the arc of history bends towards justice is because people are out there bending the fuck out of the damn thing with their bare hands.

            Honestly, I can't bring myself to read the rest of your post. That part was just so wrong to me that I don't even want to know what the rest says.

          •  Presuming never to say... (0+ / 0-)

            how society should work IS presuming how society should work. If you don't have time to look at the links I suggested, just take a look at the last one. Find out the difference between Cavaliers, Borderers, Puritans, and Quakers and see if that offers some insights that might be useful.

            "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

            by xaxnar on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 05:52:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  I live in Cascadia, and we hear the same rubbish (24+ / 0-)

    about the West Coast from the Republicans year after year.  "Left Coast", not really part of America, not the "heartland", socialist, whatever.

    Of course you never heard that when the west coast was voting Republican.  

    The bottom line is that there is nothing wrong with this country that can be fixed by sawing off a large part of it.

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 01:40:35 PM PDT

    •  Yep, California was a republican stronghold (8+ / 0-)

      in presidential elections until what, 1992?

    •  That's essentially what I said (9+ / 0-)

      What do you do with all the states that aren't "North" or "South"?

      P.S. I am not a crackpot.

      by BoiseBlue on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 01:52:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes NC went blue last Presidential election as did (5+ / 0-)

        Florida and the election was much closer in a state like Georgia than it was in NE, KS, UT, ID.   What do we do about those states, oh yeah and Wyoming too..the home of Cheney and his ilk..and Oklahoma..OMG, ..Oklahoma..I would rather be a liberal in say Atlanta than a liberal living in Oklahoma or some parts of Texas.

        Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

        by wishingwell on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:26:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Orange County would be ideological kin (5+ / 0-)

      to the New Throwback Country.

      •  Would be - it is - it was settled by (6+ / 0-)

        people who fled the dust bowl during the 30s - and they were strategic about making sure that it stayed very white - things haven't changed there much either.

        Personally, I think we should set Alaska and Texas free first and see how that goes for them.  My plan, however, would not include any military or other support - just total freedom.  

        If they appear to be having a great time without the protection and subsidies of the US Federal Government and with their other close trading partners Mexico and Russia respectively, then cool for them.

        But I don't really believe that there are any fewer or more assholes above or below what we call the Mason-Dixon line.

        It certainly isn't like Wisconsin is currently making a great showing of caring about "The People", democracy or the common good at the moment.  Should we put them on probation for their trespasses?

        North and South Dakota are no peaches either these days.  Don't get me started on Wyoming.

        Ironically, much of the liberalism that many of us wish would come back was created and enacted in government policy by Southerners.  Their legacy is lost in this era - but what's really interesting is that the very reason that they were motivated to come to Washington to do the work they did was because they were informed by their experiences with inequality and limited opportunity in the South.

        Moreover, I would blame the complacency of the Northern liberals and moderates of the past 30 some years that has led to the erosion of liberal governance.  The "it will never happen" attitude towards abortion, social security, medicare, and numerous other important freedoms and policies.

        •  yep.... (11+ / 0-)
          It certainly isn't like Wisconsin is currently making a great showing of caring about "The People", democracy or the common good at the moment.  Should we put them on probation for their trespasses?
          I've had multiple conversations with people from outside the South here at Kos over the years and asked the question about the "swing states" over & over.  Most of them are outside the south - Pennsylvania, Michigan, Iowa, Wisconsin, Colorado, OHIO....

          When Democrats win there, it's usually by a couple of percentage points (if that).  But many of those Kos folks who live there there feel entitled to preen themselves and brag about their "blue states" at the same time they bash the red.

          When in many cases, the only difference between colors is a few percentage points.

          There are ignorant jerks, sanctimonious bastards, and the willfully stupid in every state.  Sure, we have a lot of them in the South. I'm a 7th generation Alabama native and as liberal as they come.

          And when I get frustrated with my local/state political situation, it's fun to hang out at DKos with others of like political mind.  Or at least it usually is.

          Thanks a lot y'all for sharing on this diary.  Your progressive Southern allies feel so empowered and so welcomed.

          It's been a peach, really.

          Yes. There ARE progressive Democrats in Alabama. Visit with us at Left in Alabama

          by countrycat on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:39:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I know this seems irritating, but don't (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            countrycat, jlb1972

            take it personally.  These are simple answers to complex questions - and simple answers to complex questions always fall short.

            I know that the author believes that he has researched and reviewed plenty about why and how and I believe that he has.  But at the end of the day, a line between the north and the south in this country is not going to end up being the solution to what is effectively the looming fall of democracy in this country.

            Enlightenment and bona fide, direct participation are what is lacking, in my opinion.  And I'm not talking about religious enlightenment or participating by doing what your preacher tells you to do in the voting booth.  Sending the South out on their own would only further the erosion of both of those important components to a healthy democracy.

            Would it be nice for me if when I went "home" to Alabama, I found more enlightened poor people who understood their potential power to change their lot in the South?  YEP.  Could that happen for them without help?  NOPE.  I find that void very threatening, actually.  And the reality is that if I tried to put them behind a border, it wouldn't help the situation.  They'd continue to be manipulated by a long-standing and very powerful manipulative system designed to make sure poor and working-class folks in the South stay poor and segregated.  They'd just end up being more dangerous to the rest of us if we completely abandoned them.  The Preachers, crooked politicians and corporatists would fill our void quickly - and I would not be at all surprised to see them used to "take their country back" - including the Northern United States.

            Anywho...

          •  Here is one WI resident who gets your point (9+ / 0-)

            The original diary was bad enough but today's doubling down is pathetic. The two diaries are an indulgence in bigotry - just dressed up in the pretty guise of 'intellectualism'.

    •  Yeah, I don't see secession as farfetched as some (12+ / 0-)

      do. In fact, I am hearing northerners talk it up more and more. Its even coming up with my apolitical friends. This arrangement..........the US of A.........is increasingly an unpleasant and rancorous union. If we were a couple, we would have been divorced long ago.  

      •  That still leaves half of all Americans (10+ / 0-)

        ...angry as hell and resentful.

        The same thing would happen if Romney won -- to the other half.

        That's no way to run a nation. It's a fail.


        A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. -- Groucho Marx

        by Pluto on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:20:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's hard to,see us as a nation anymore (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pluto

          Just look how the polls change when the south is over represented. From doing dog rescue for 5 years, I can tell you that the rural south is 50 years behind us in NY, and damn proud of it.

          I heard thousands of times: "I don't neuter my dog." Instead, they have puppies every year, bring them to the local pound, where they immediately heart stick or gas them. We got rid of the gas chamber 40 years ago in NY.

          This is just my personal experience as to how we are already two separate countries. Secession would be a formality, and while I know there would be many problems if it happened, there will be even more, I fear, if we continue on this path. I don't think it is an either-or choice, though. I hope there are some other options.

          My dog is a member of Dogs Against Romney: He rides inside.

          by adigal on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 06:34:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Fifty percent of Americans (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            adigal

            ...according to Pew,  believe health care is a human right (we pay for together). Fifty percent do not (tough luck, you are on your own).

            Therefore, fifty percent of America does not believe this is a nation, either.


            A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. -- Groucho Marx

            by Pluto on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 09:23:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  And if the North & South went their own ways (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jlb1972

      We out here in the West would be chaffing under the halter of Eastern dominance. (And despite what you may have heard or read, there is a distinct difference in attitudes concerning government between the East & Western halves of the US.) Let's divide the reduced US into Western & Eastern parts.

      Yet if you look closer, there are even more subtle tensions in each of these parts. Rivalries between the states (Oregon vs. California, Idaho vs. Oregon/Washington, New York vs. New Jersey, etc.) will force even more divisions, & I wouldn't be surprised if after a few years of subdividing we are back where we started: 50 (or so) quarreling subdivisions under some form of a federal government -- although maybe not with the same powers as before.

      That's my take on why Chuck Thompson's proposal of Southern Succession wouldn't work in the long term.

  •  Your book just came in the mail yesterday. (18+ / 0-)

    I am looking forward to reading it. I think that the US has become too big to be governable.

    •  Yes, I began seriously pondering this problem (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue jersey mom, RainyDay

      in the eighties and the number and types of divisions have magnified considerably since then.

      But my fears were directed more toward the possibilities of a technological totalitarian police state as eventually becoming the "solution" to the problem and we have moved closer and closer to that outcome with all the changes after 9/11 and the spying network which now is admittedly in place, the planned extension of domestic drone surveillance, the militarization of police training and forces, etc.

      Chief neoconservative/fundamentalist allied belief: All things are possible if only you lie.

      by blueoasis on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:14:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Author'$ Mi$$ion Accompli$hed. (6+ / 0-)

      Will these advertisements be a weekly feature I wonder?

  •  Excuse me, but I hate this idea (43+ / 0-)

    Hey, I live in the south, East TX, Bible belt country. There's a lot of us folks here, who are liberal progressive, peacenik democrats. We don't want to secede. Can we please all agree that those 200K bodies in Civil War graves died to preserve the Union? The Civil War is over. Once a state, always a state.  

    the Republican brand is totally bankrupt.

    by vlyons on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 01:41:20 PM PDT

    •  The very premise is short-sighted ... (22+ / 0-)

      ... destructive, and antithetical to the Constitution itself.

      Since a reasonable response to a metaphor is self-evidently stupid -- how about a metaphorical reply to the "bad marriage" one?

      "Seccession is like taking poison and hoping the opposite side will die from it."

      Screw this idea of Yugo-Amerika.

      ... It should come as no surprise that people like to fight for people who are fighting for them. -- Kos

      by MT Spaces on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 01:49:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The whole secessionist argument is silly (28+ / 0-)

      This year, Obama will get c. 40% of the vote in states such as Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina, and Texas.

      So, Obama gets 51% of the vote in Ohio.  How are those states so dramatically different from each other?

      40% is a substantial number.  51% is also a substantial number.  A switch of 5.5% of the vote means they are the same electorally.  Big deal.

    •  It's just a stupid idea (24+ / 0-)

      It's laughable when Rick Perry proposes it and it's laughable when a liberal does.

      Fine, let the South secede. Then come up with a plan for all the rednecks in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Utah.

      The idea is just silly.

      P.S. I am not a crackpot.

      by BoiseBlue on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 01:58:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Same here. (35+ / 0-)

      As a Mississippian who's staying here and fighting my idiot Republican neighbors and working to make this state more purple (and it turns a little more purple every year), this is pretty much a slap in the face.  But, then, I'm used to having to put up with "allies" like Chuck.  I keep working for a more progressive South despite him.

      I know the South is a burden to the rest of the country because of the idiocy down here, and I try to tell my neighbors that... but the real problem is fundamentalist Christianity. I'm not sure Thompson has the guts to tackle that head-on, 'cuz he'll really piss people off if he writes a "hey, let's deport the Christians" book (which, by the way, is also a bad idea, since plenty of Christians are good people... just like there are plenty of good people in the South mixed with the idiots).

      I hate a lot of things about the South, but I don't want to live in the North.  Lousy climate, and the people really aren't that much better.  If anybody thinks the North is asshole-free, they're wrong -- I know plenty of Yankees, and pretty much 90% of every population is scumbag.  Only the accent changes.

         But then, I am an admitted misanthropist...

      "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

      by Front Toward Enemy on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:00:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We don't need to deport (8+ / 0-)

        fundamentalist Christians, but we do need to have a Supreme Court that will rule that DOMA, LGBT issues, abortion/contraceptive issues are all RELIGIOUS issues.

        If we had a SCOTUS that truly believed in the idea that freedom OF religion also meant freedom FROM religion, we would all be a lot better off.

        In 1969, a book came out call the "Last Days of the Late, Great State of California." Everyone thought it was a prediction of CA falling into the ocean. What it really was was an examination of how much CA meant to the US and what would happen if CA didn't exist. It presented some issues that people didn't (and even today don't) want to believe.

        BTW, come to California. True, it is the land of fruits and nuts (if you believe the hype), but you won't find a better place to find whatever type of environment you want. Plus, there are still a lot of places that are empty enough for the most anti-social amongst us.

        I reject your reality and substitute my own - Adam Savage

        by woolibaar on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:14:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  thanks, but I've been to California... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FlyingToaster, MadGeorgiaDem

          ...and I wanted to nuke it.  No offense, but while I like some of the people there, I fucking hate California.

          "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

          by Front Toward Enemy on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:28:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  ?! Why?? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Shane Hensinger

            It's the best place in the country.

            •  to each his own... (3+ / 0-)

              I'm not knocking it for anybody else, but it just wasn't a place for me.   Just not my kinda place.  

              "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

              by Front Toward Enemy on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:43:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  So what is your kinda place? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                bnasley

                CA has the strictest auto emmissions laws in the country, for instance. You'd prefer a more poluted place?

                If you live in Washington State or Oregon, then, yeah, I'm familiar with their anti-CA views. But are you saying you'd prefer a place like Mississippi?

                •  yep! (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Anak, MadGeorgiaDem, downsouth

                  Like I said in my previous comment, I had trouble even breathing in the part of Cali I visited (Santa Monica & Burbank).  It's probably cleaner somewhere else, but those are the filthiest places I've ever seen.  I almost couldn't breathe.

                  Air in Mississippi is a whole lot cleaner.  We're burdened by Southern Baptist idiots, true, but... yep, it's definitely a hell of a lot cleaner here.  

                  I'm not "anti-CA," I just wouldn't live there myself.  I'm all for keeping it for the people who enjoy it, but I'd never live there myself.  I'll still take Mississippi despite its many flaws...

                  "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

                  by Front Toward Enemy on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:02:52 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I metioned specific laws. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Front Toward Enemy

                    So, maybe were you were in there is bad air--but that is due to the geography and weather patterns--but CA still has the toughest air emmissions laws. And unlike Indiana, they have motorcycle helmet laws too. And intersections have more than just one fricking traffic light, unlike IN.

                    Of course, if you don't like mountains or beaches or whatever, fine. That's your personal preference. No problems with that. ;)

                    •  I like beaches... (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Anak, MadGeorgiaDem, downsouth

                      ...but if you've ever spent a lot of time in Pensacola, Florida, it's pretty hard to top. :)

                      "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

                      by Front Toward Enemy on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:14:40 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  That's on the "Redneck Riviera?" (0+ / 0-)

                        I dunno. I'm a short, scrawny Asian guy who wears glasses. I even feel scared sometimes here in Indiana, so I think I wouldn't feel quite at ease In Pensacola.

                        Btw, every place I went to when I lived in Nor Cal, there was another Asian there. At the post office, library, supermarket, strip club, everywhere. Here, except for when I go on campus, I am the only Asian everywhere and almost always. You may see more Asians now in Miss, but you may not realize how few of them there really are, if it is anything like Indiana (which is called the Southern state in the north, or something like that.)

                •  It also has just about the worst mass-transit (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Front Toward Enemy, fuzzyguy

                  of any of the wealthier states in the union, massive sprawl designed such that people live far from where they work and have to deal with colossal traffic jams every day, and the lack of affordable housing is so acute here that when people from other states see the prices of our random hovels their jaws hit the ground.

                  I love California but we have a lot of serious serious problems here.

                  •  What part of CA are you referring to? SF & LA now (0+ / 0-)

                    have great transit - SF has been doing well for a long time but LA (both city and county) have engaged in one of the fastest modern build-ups of mass transit seen and has really turned most of the city into a great place to be car-free.  Of course, Palmdale and Malibu Rancho Palos Verdes will always be remote and difficult to access by transit, but living car-free in most of LA west of the 5 is quite pleasant.

                    "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

                    by auron renouille on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 04:34:34 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The Greater Bay Area and the Greater LA (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      fuzzyguy

                      Area are sprawled all over and the fraction of commutes in cars is very very high.

                      SF - if you live and work in The City -- is great. But tons of people don't.

                      •  In the Bay Area (0+ / 0-)

                        Unlike the vast majority of the country, it is quite possible to live in the Bay Area and commute to work via public transit, without getting into a car.

                        However, for much of the Bay Area, you have to decide that you wish to do that, and then choose your house/apartment accordingly. It is not a public transit paradise: you can't choose your half-acre four-bedroom house way out in the corner of the suburbs based on everything else and then just assume that public transit will be a possibility. But I have commuted to my last four jobs from four different locations in the Bay Area: the first job I rode a bicycle to or walked to. The second job I started out riding a bike, then I moved and took Caltrain. The third job I took Caltrain, and then moved and started walking. The fourth job, I now take a bus.

                        It is eminently possible everywhere in the Bay Area, as long as your destination has good public transit access, which the majority of workplaces do. It's just that you have to decide to live somewhere with access to transportation options. It's not hard, it's not even more expensive (generally), but if you don't think about that at all, you'll regret it.

            •  It used to be (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Front Toward Enemy

              before Reagan started the fucking-up process, and Howard Jarvis came along.

            •  My nephew loved it but says he cannot afford (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Anak

              to live there and only lived there because he was stationed in CA in the army. He would love to retire there as he adores the climate and his in laws live there as well. But he says it would be far easier for him to live in another state where his retirement check will go further.  That is why he is considering retiring in CO,  PA,  NC where he was raised, or etc.

              I would move to CA but my money would not stretch as far as it does elsewhere.  Some of us on very fixed incomes cannot afford to the nicer regions of the country. The cost of living is too high. We would love to live in Hawaii but we cannot afford to.

              Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

              by wishingwell on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:34:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Depends on what part of the state you visit (5+ / 0-)

            There's quite the, ahem, North/South divide there as well.

            P.S. I am not a crackpot.

            by BoiseBlue on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:38:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  What earned your hatred in California? (0+ / 0-)

            "... the best of us did not return." Viktor Frankl

            by RMeister on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:40:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  several things... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Anak, Chi, MadGeorgiaDem

              I'm not a fan of mountains, so that did nothing for me.  Personal taste there, but, it is what it is.

              The air is amazingly nasty.  Granted, I was in Santa Monica and Burbank only, so that's probably not the best place, but as the plane was landing you could see the air getting greasy.  It was like looking through Vaseline.  And you could feel it going into your lungs, like grease.  After being used to Mississippi air, it just repellent.

              I gotta admit, I didn't like the people much.  Superficiality turns me off, and everywhere we went were people recovering from plastic surgery, etc.  And they weren't much fun to talk to.

              And as much beating as the South takes over this (and much of it deserved), I was taken aback by the racial divide in the part of California I visited.  See, where I'm from, we all live and work together.  I'm white, my across-the-street neighbor's black, my co-workers are a cross-section of white, black, Asian, Hispanic, straight, gay, etc. and it's never really an issue.  Granted, I'm in a more liberal area of Mississippi than most, but I'm used to a real "melting pot."

              What I saw in California, though, was just bizarre.  I saw no black people.  I asked why, and was told "they have their own neighborhoods."  Everybody working in the stores was Hispanic, but that's about the only place I saw them.  The rest was just white people walking around, shopping.  It was just very weird and very segregated to me.

              Santa Monica was also overrun with homeless people... and I'm cool with the homeless, I used to date a nomadic biker chick who was homeless a lot, but... I don't know why somebody doesn't do more to help the people I saw in Santa Monica.  On more than one occasion I saw people just vomiting in the street.  One old dude who looked a hell of a lot like Charles Darwin just threw up in this fountain and then rinsed his beard off in it.  All these alleys just reeked of piss... it just seemed like a major failure to have this stuff going on.  The South can be a mean-spirited place, but if somebody's down on their luck here, they tend to get some help.  

              Traffic was insane.  Not a fan of that.

              And then the beach was like the ugliest beach I've ever seen.  I guess I'm spoiled by spending a lot of my childhood in Pensacola, but what I saw in Santa Monica looked like landfill runoff.  Just nasty.

              I dunno, it's just not my style at all.  If other people like it, that's cool, but I couldn't wait to get out of there.  It was my least-favorite place I've ever been, next to Texas...

              Anyway, not trying to dog it, just explaining since you asked.  Anybody who enjoys living there, you've got my blessing, but not my company. :)

              "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

              by Front Toward Enemy on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:58:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Wow. (5+ / 0-)

                Thanks for sharing, but, wow.

                CA is the most racially diverse state I've ever been in. You saying Miss has more Asians and Hispanics walking around?! I've never been to Santa Monica, but maybe that's why you only saw whites walking around.

                •  overall it probably is... (4+ / 0-)

                  ...but honestly, I saw a much more racially-diverse population in my hometown (which is near a college, which does give it a big advantage -- if you go to a more backwoods town, it won't be that way... but, I don't go to those towns).  I can go into the local Wal-Mart and see Blacks, Asians, Latinos, Middle-Eastern people, you name it, and hear almost every language on the globe being spoken.  And everybody's pretty friendly, for the most part.  There's such a growing Latino population here now I'm thinking I may need to pick up one of those Spanish Rosetta-Stone things and bulk up my high-school/college Spanish, just to make things easier.  It's great - we get a wider variety of food stocked in the stores now! :)  My town's got a great Asian grocery with all kinds of cool stuff.

                   Only the extreme rednecks really complain... and fortunately they're becoming a dying breed.  Things like racism change generationally, and the younger Southerners just aren't buying into it for the most part.   I like having a wider-variety of people here... but, my dad was a Hungarian immigrant, so I'm more partial to diversity than some here, I admit. :)

                  Of course, that fills the hardcore-racists with fear because they see they're losing their grip on things, so they sometimes make more noise... but, they're on their way out.

                  "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

                  by Front Toward Enemy on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:12:16 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  have to say if that's all you experienced then (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Front Toward Enemy, Anak

                you didn't experience California.  NoCal is very different than SoCal (which i don't care for either) and an argument could be made the Central Valley is its own distinct region.

                However, if you don't like mountains... well, then i see your point.

                •  you're probably right... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  bnasley

                  ...but, like I said, not a big mountain guy.  I didn't even like the Ozarks much, either...

                  I'm an admitted homebody, so...

                  "Glenn Beck ends up looking like a fat, stupid child. His face should be wearing a chef's hat on the side of a box of eclairs. " - Doug Stanhope

                  by Front Toward Enemy on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:13:12 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I have lived in CA all my life (0+ / 0-)

                with 5 years elsewhere. 1 year of that time was in Los Angeles/Santa Monica/Valley which was 2 years too long!

                As soon as I could afford to move back to the bay area (where I grew up and where I live now), I did.

                Anyone who looks only at the southern part of the state (LA, San Diego, et al) has not seen California.

                There is a phenomenon in the LA basin (which includes the airport and the beaches, unfortunately) that traps the air and makes it smoggy (inversion). It was far worse before the very strict smog laws, but even now, even in the Bay Area with its weird inversions sometimes, we have "Spare The Air" days when people are urged to stay indoors and take transit rather than drive.

                At least in CA we are working on our problems. Other places in the country, not so much. Of course, whatever starts in Ca usually ends up in other states eventually!

                I reject your reality and substitute my own - Adam Savage

                by woolibaar on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 05:05:57 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  "Spare the Air days" do not mean "stay inside." (0+ / 0-)

                  They mean try not to drive and don't use your fireplace. Where did you get the idea you had to take shelter indoors during a "Spare the Air" day?

                  "The two pioneering forces of modern sensibility are Jewish moral seriousness and homosexual aestheticism and irony." Susan Sontag

                  by Shane Hensinger on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 06:52:25 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  The problem existed (0+ / 0-)

                  even before Europeans arrived, from what I've read.

                  "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

                  by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 07:13:53 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes, it is a problem (0+ / 0-)

                    with geography and weather. The inversions at any time trap hot air below a cooler upper layer, so the air stagnates.

                    Even if there were no cars, anything trapped in that lower layer could cause smog and did with the early tribes that lived in the air and had cooking fires.

                    I reject your reality and substitute my own - Adam Savage

                    by woolibaar on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 06:57:26 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  I was raised all over the world by parents from (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              tonyahky, diggerspop

              Kentucky. Do I have a southern accent? Yes. In California at least once a week (I lived in Monterey for three years), some 'wit' would ask me "if your parents got divorced, would they still be brother and sister?" They thought it was a real knee slapper. Once a month some one would offer to read the menu for me at a restaurant, after all being southern I must be illiterate (reading at collage level since 8th grade thank you). The whole hear southern assume its stupid thing got real old, also the assumption I was a bigot (I am not). Had a man (in New Hampshire to be fair) tell me he loved southerners because they knew how to handle their n####s, I was horrified, this crap I have faced all over the country. I speak French, German and a little Spanish, I read like no ones business, I even learned a little Arabic. I don't appreciate being told I'm a racist moron and probably inbred. I though here there were people like me I could learn from and have intelligent exchanges with. I didn't know being from Kentucky I would be labeled yet again as stupid and unwelcome. Thanks lots

              "And while it was regarded as pretty good evidence of criminality to be living in a slum, for some reason owning a whole street of them merely got you invited to the very best social occasions."

              by Shippo1776 on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 04:33:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Wow, best climate in the U.S.A. but you hate it (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Anak

            got skiing, oceans, wine country, redwood forests, high desert, lush valleys, one of the most productive states in the union, but you wanna nuke it.

            No accounting for taste I guess.

            "I watch Fox News for my comedy, and Comedy Central for my news." - Facebook Group

            by Sychotic1 on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:07:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Fine (0+ / 0-)

            go back to whatever place you came from.  Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

            Never believe your own press, never drink your own KoolAid

            by Mindful Nature on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 04:16:43 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  That's fine. (0+ / 0-)

            Too many people here as it is.

            "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

            by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 05:00:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Goodness... (0+ / 0-)

            ...an 'admitted misanthrope' who hates California.

            No offense, but you sound like just about the hipster-iest hipster that there ever was. It's fashionable to hate California, because so many people like it and being contrarian is always a good way to get attention.

            Also, 'wanted to nuke it'? Really? Why are you posting on a progressive web site if you're going to talk like that? You sound like Bill O'Reilly. And that isn't exaggeration... it's exactly something he would say.

      •  Re: "real problem is fundamentalist Christianity" (8+ / 0-)

        I don't really agree with that point.

        The real problem is American citizens are not informed enough to understand the connection between who they vote for and what happens to their own prosperity and their childrens' future prospects. Every new blow, whether it's a financial crash, or loss of healthcare, or collapsing bridges, or a new war -- comes as a surprise and a shock. Yet many (most?) of these outcomes are entirely predictible, e.g. when Clinton signed the end of Glass-Steagall The Nation predicted way back in 1999 trillion dollar bailouts of "too big to fail financial corporations".

        Over and over and over again it has been demonstrated that if you ask individuals to make a national budget they spend far more of the resources on things that make sense as investments for our future: education, environment, clean/healthy food+water, health care. But they don't make the connection that the candidates on the ballot will deliver war, jails, pollution, lack of health care, etc.

        The campaigns appeal to the amygdala. Democracy needs to work in the cerebral cortex, but ours doesn't. Fixing that is more than just reducing the influence of wingnut fundamentalist preachers.

        •  i can speak with some authority about (4+ / 0-)

          fundamentalist christians and would agree that they are a big part of the problem.  If, as you state, the problem is a lack of informed voters, then how much more of a problem is it when a large segment of the populace, i.e. fundamentalist christians, takes extraordinary measures to AVOID becoming informed?

          I don't think there's been any other time in recorded history when its been so incredibly easy to access accurate information about, well, everything, if one genuinely wants to learn and become informed.  However, fundamentalists as a bloc put a huge amount of energy into striving to remain willfully ignorant.

          •  There's (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Quicklund, Odysseus, DeepLooker, jlb1972

            more information than at any time in recorded history... but there's not necessarily better information.

            I know plenty of non-fundamentalist non-Christians who just watch FOX "News" and haven't the foggiest clue about what causes what. That's my point. If you just removed the fundamentalist Christians as if by magic, you'd still have millions and millions of people whose understanding of the way the world works is about equal to their understanding of unicorns and leprechauns.

            •  actually, i'd say there's definitely much better (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              KateCrashes

              access to better information as well.  There's definitely much chaff among the wheat but folks who choose to listen to Fox or conservative talk radio or Pat Robertson or Drudge, et. al. are very much NOT interested in a better understanding of the world around them.  They're interested in assurances and a psychological need to prop up a particular view of the world.

      •  And places like OK and KS and NE have a ton (4+ / 0-)

        of wingnuts too as evidenced by the fact they are not swing states. But NC and FL and VA are swing states, but not some of those western states.

        Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

        by wishingwell on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:31:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  We cannot wait any more (0+ / 0-)
        I know the South is a burden to the rest of the country because of the idiocy down here
        Yes, it is.  And on issue after issue it is time for the rest of the country to move forward, because we cannot wait for that majority Southern block to understand that evolution was proven a century ago, and climate change is happening right now.  We just can't wait any longer.

        Never believe your own press, never drink your own KoolAid

        by Mindful Nature on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 04:16:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Wish I could rec this 1000x (7+ / 0-)
        But, then, I'm used to having to put up with "allies" like Chuck.  I keep working for a more progressive South despite him.
        Bravo.
    •  Texas would secede from the New South just like (10+ / 0-)

      they would from the US. Probably form an international union with New Independent Scotland and run energy schemes on the rest of us.

      I'd tip you but they cut off my tip box. The TSA would put Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad on the no-fly list.

      by OHdog on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:18:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But I love this idea, (15+ / 0-)

      and I too, live in the hellish backwater that is East Texas.  I, too, am a fire breathing liberal and peacenik, and to beat you out, an atheist, in one of the most religious parts of the country.  I would be happy to move north, or west, just like the author provides for in his book.  And all the conservative, religious, deliberately ignorant could move to the south.  Any qualms I have about climate are easily assuaged by living among folks that have the ability to think critically.  Ironically, I have called for us to divorce more than a few times and do it all the time right here in east Texas...and the East Texans who are opposite me in every way agree with the premise.  We don't like them, we don't like their policies, we don't like their overbearing religion...any more than they like us.  The majority I talk to here are all for it...As for Union soldiers buried in the south...that is easy enough.  Preserve them as Union graves or dig them up and move them north, where their service will be more appreciated.

  •  I'd love to be rid of Jesusland... (34+ / 0-)

    but Alabama gets the bomb? Do we really want a nuclear-armed Confederacy? And how would we prevent one?

    I'd be a lot more comfortable with a nuclear Iran than with a nuclear Confederacy.

  •  I'm from Detroit, live in Nashville now. (29+ / 0-)

    I fail to see how this book, this author, or this diary make the world a better place. Or promotes Democracy for that matter or helps the Democratic party elect better Democrats.

    Tracy B Ann - technically that is my signature.

    by ZenTrainer on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 01:44:11 PM PDT

  •  Basically, "Tyrrany of the majority" in the south (10+ / 0-)

    is what he's recommending.  Letting the 51% who can win an election dictate what the other 49% have to do, good sense or not.

  •  Fascinating to see this in book form. (17+ / 0-)

    I especially like the treaties and agreements. In reality, the two new nations would probably become very close allies in the Western hemisphere and globally -- not to mention enhanced economic traders.

    I believe that people are much, much happier when they can have the kind of government they believe in and trust. It strikes me as a human right.

    I've been working on the concept for some time and have collected dozens of US maps measuring all sorts of demographics and trends -- from education and religion to soda pop preferences and UFO sightings.  In every case, there is a clear divide that clearly follows the suggested divide.

    All that being said -- a question:

    Did the Civil War ever end -- or is that a convenient myth?


    A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. -- Groucho Marx

    by Pluto on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 01:44:51 PM PDT

  •  While I respect the thought process / information (21+ / 0-)

    presented, the missing point here is that while we still have bastions of "others" in areas of our nation, we have one thing in common.

    We are citizens and holders of the ideals that constitutes the United States of America.  All of the States.

    I am a Californian, living in the South East US.  I know that the situation isn't as progressive as it is in CA.  I also live with, and relate to the people that have accepted me into their fold.  I did not ask for acceptance, and yet, although some here find me too librul for their tastes, we mostly have important discussions.  

    What I've learned from that?  Their children do not agree in part because they live another reality from what their ancestors did, and in part because they are living in the 21st Century.

    We have a lot of work to do as a nation of people.  I find that I'd rather work with those that are learning to make sense of the reality that is evident as opposed to shutting them out.

    Obama in 2012: Because There Might Not Be Much Left by 2016

    by funluvn1 on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 01:45:27 PM PDT

    •  what does this sentence mean? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Monitor78

      I can't figure it out...

      Their children do not agree in part because they live another reality from what their ancestors did, and in part because they are living in the 21st Century.
      Whose children? The kids of the people you talk with? Whose ancestors? - the kids' or the people you talk with?

      Isn't everyone you're talking with living in the 21st century - just different versions of it?

      I was intrigued by trying to imagine your conversations, and would like to know more about them.

      But I don't get the "children/generational" part of your comment.

      "There's nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending a trillion dollars on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires." - President Obama

      by fhcec on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:15:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'll give you a personal example (9+ / 0-)

        Mother's Day, 2008.... my daughter & I took my mother to lunch & we were talking about the election.

        Mom had an Obama sticker on her pickup truck long before I joined the Obama bandwagon, but she still told us at lunch that a lot of her neighbors wouldn't vote for him because.... (big WHISPER) he's black!!

        I responded that she didn't have to whisper: I was pretty sure that Obama knew he was black.

        But my (then) 15yr old was totally flummoxed.  She looked at my mother like she had just said nobody would vote for Obama because he wore socks (or some other stupid reason).  She was at a rural North Alabama high school and a LOT of the kids there were Obama supporters even though their parents didn't support him.

        Change comes slowly here, but it is changing in many ways.

        and this "they're ignorant... not worth talking to... let them get the hell out" kind of talk is, IMO,  totally counter-productive to the work that many of us are trying to do in our states and communities.

        Yes. There ARE progressive Democrats in Alabama. Visit with us at Left in Alabama

        by countrycat on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:54:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Catching up to your comments (15+ / 0-)

    Will try to handle these in a bunch then one at a time if possible. Thanks for the Ring of Fire shout outs, I am a big fan.

  •  As a life long New Englander (23+ / 0-)

    I've often felt we'd be better off cohabiting with Maritime Canada quite frankly.

  •  Add my name to the critics. (32+ / 0-)

    For all the reasons they stated above. This is simplistic nonsense that no amount of self-proclaimed "well, if you look at things analytically" can salvage.

    To the extent that it contains any analysis at all, it's flawed analysis. To think that, say, metro Atlanta, is more southern and therefore has more in common with a notional CSA than, say, rural Pennsylvania or Central Illinois or virtually the entire state of Nebraska is simply ludicrous.

    More Georgians than Wisconsonites voted for John Kerry. As appealing as this North-South split is to those who are ignorant of the South - and, apparently, of the past 50 years of American history, economy and social demography - it's probably not even in the top 5 ways to coherently partition the US.

    Great way to sell books, though!

    If you don't stick to your values when they're tested, they're not values. They're... hobbies. -- Jon Stewart, Jan. 22, 2009

    by pat208 on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 01:46:04 PM PDT

    •  well, I could go with ending (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bnasley

      cross state subsidies...

      We have our own problems with funding in CA that would be ameliorated to some extent if we didn't have to send so much South, and could use it on our own schools, nutrition and health needs, debt and infrastructure.

      "There's nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending a trillion dollars on tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires." - President Obama

      by fhcec on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:19:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I have comments somewhere espousing this. (4+ / 0-)

    So I agree with the premise.  However, you can't call it a break between N and S, you really have to call it Regional Separation.  I proposed it as 4 regions - South, North, Midwest, and West.  My thought was that each could go their own way in terms of the divides that bring us to dysfunction.  So South could have as many little statehoods as they wanted, all based on varying types of religions.  West could grow a bunch of pot and leave religion behind.  North could be more of a centralised region with one government, maybe even using the Euro rather than dollar and perhaps joining more with Canada than the past has allowed.  Midwest would have to take into account farming needs as its major policy driver.  It's a great idea, and the time has come.
         You have to sell it as "regional needs have caused economic turmoil when attempting to conjoin varying parts of a landmass which is too diverse to fall into one system of governance."  At least I think that would work.

    •  Oh also... (10+ / 0-)

      You'll also have to convince the whole South/(R's) that they thought of it first and it's their idea.  Then they'll embrace the heck out of it.  Otherwise it's just more "northern aggression."

      •  The South did think of it first (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wishingwell, Fixed Point Theorem

        and acted on it with original secession.  Just tell them that we were "wrong all along"  except for the slavery bit, which we were right as rain on, and that we should have bought their slaves freedom and let them go in the first place.  If everyone that wants to does not get out of the south in the ten year time frame, we could allow those people to come into the north or west as "political refugees".  Of course, they would have to swear allegiance to the the USA and disavow all ties with the CSA...we would always welcome those that "see the light".  I would imagine that many might do this, prompting the CSA to build a wall to keep citizens in, rather than immigrants out.

        •  What makes you think... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ConfusedSkyes

          that we would accept the designation "CSA", just because we chose it before?  Or, for that matter, that we would allow you to keep the moniker "USA"?  We, too, are states, and this eviction from the Union would make us more united than ever!  So maybe the South will keep the "USA" designation.  You can be something else...how about Northlandia?  Yankeestan?

          Terror has no religion.
          لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الل

          by downsouth on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 08:05:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I See It as a Meaningful Topic Because We're a (12+ / 0-)

    construction, we operate under a purpose-designed system, drawn from all peoples and philosophies, not an ancient traditional society or a creation of divinity.

    I see us as having long been near to meeting the "When in the course of human events" test. Most of my life, I'd have been inclined to accept the secession and to at least consider expulsion.

    However if the corporatists get much farther, their significantly South-influenced ideology takes over the country completely and these kinds and many far lesser questions probably won't be the people's to address. This could be one of the briefest discussions of the nation's destiny it ever has.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 01:47:08 PM PDT

  •  I have not read your book but I completely agree (16+ / 1-)

    with your proposition.  Southerns hate the federal government, they hate paying taxes, they hate that everyone refuses to believe what they believe in their ignorant, narrow, fear driven minds. They want to live according to the principals of the 18th and 19th centuries, I say let them.  I am tired of funding their insanity.  I want to live in the 21st century and use my money to fund a great infrastructure, great schools, universal healthcare, a social safety net and  stop  fighting about abortion, women's rights and gay rights.  I want to live in a country where religion(everyone's religion) knows it place and it is absolutely outside of government.  I think their leaving is the best thing that can happen to us, maybe the rest of us can merge with Canada and form a more perfect union.

    •  Stereotype much? (19+ / 0-)

      Southerners are just as diverse as any other area of the country.

      You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

      by sewaneepat on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:02:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not in their voting and that is what counts. (10+ / 0-)

        We have to get over fighting the fights of the past, time to move on.

        •  Well, that is just silly. (11+ / 0-)

          who do you think votes for John Lewis or .Steve Cohen? Or Julian Castro?

          Westerners, not counting the coast, seem much more homogenous in their voting than Southerners to me. Likewise the Midwest.

          When you look at governorships and state legislatures, you will also find that most
          Southern states vote Democratic as often as Republican, even more so before 2010.

          And if you look at the margins of the 2008 vote, it was not the South that generally gave the largest margins to McCain, it was the west.

          You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

          by sewaneepat on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:01:19 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  based on that , then KS, NE, WY, have to be (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Unduna, qm1pooh, jlb1972

          included as well as Idaho and Utah and to some extent, the Dakotas too.

          Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

          by wishingwell on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:47:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  So your answer to intolerance (10+ / 0-)

          Is more intolerance? My way or the highway? Isn't that the thing you complain about in the republicans? So, your right and they can get out of your country? Not everyone in the south is an ignorant red neck. Not everyone in the north is open minded. Splitting our strength and wealth is NOT the answer. I don't like the way you vote so you can't vote in my country...this is progressive how?

          "And while it was regarded as pretty good evidence of criminality to be living in a slum, for some reason owning a whole street of them merely got you invited to the very best social occasions."

          by Shippo1776 on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 04:06:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Do you not get that we will drown with these (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            UniC

            vampire squid hanging around our necks?  WE ARE LOSING our country and all anybody says, if we just work harder and smarter we will convince them we are right.  NO WE WON't.  Only in the fantasy world that we live in around here.  The only way things will change is when the demographics change and they are doing everything they can to change the rules so even that does not matter.  We are in a life and death struggle for the soul of our country and WE ARE NOT going to convince enough of these people to change so that it matters.  A good portion of them are just beyond our reason, we need to save what we can, take back our government, take back our media, take back our rights and we cannot do that if we have to play nice with the mentally and morally deranged.  If you think we can, take a good look at Afghanistan under the Taliban, it is where we are headed.

            •  You're getting confused - (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Shippo1776, Unduna, UniC

              the vampire squid is Wall Street. So, I gather that with the South gone, Wall Street and Washington will no longer practice austerity on all of us left in the North and the oil industry and CIA will no longer rip off foreign nations for their resources and the US arms industry will stop exporting billions of dollars of arms to oil dustatorships?

              Then let us learn our range: we are something but we are not everything - Pascal

              by jlb1972 on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 07:31:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I am not confused, Taibbi called Goldman Sachs (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                UniC

                a vampire squid.  I think it is a good name for the teabaggers, fundies and all the states that suck the money and energy(and ulitmately our rights) from the rest of us.

                •  Wall Street, teabaggers, (4+ / 0-)

                  and fundies are nationwide. Look at the Midwest and the voter suppression efforts in Ohio and Pennsylvania and atypical Florida. This is much larger than the South. "Vampire squid" should stay where Taibbi first put it if it's going to have any specific value, and where he put it isn't in the South.

                  Then let us learn our range: we are something but we are not everything - Pascal

                  by jlb1972 on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 08:48:08 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Really? (0+ / 0-)

        then why all the stranglehold of conservative politics?

        Never believe your own press, never drink your own KoolAid

        by Mindful Nature on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 04:20:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  See my answer above. (5+ / 0-)

          the South neither has a monopoly on conservative politics, nor are all Southern politicians conservative.

          You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

          by sewaneepat on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 04:24:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Look at the southern congressional delegations (0+ / 0-)

            without them, we'd have SOLID democratic majorities in both houses, and ROmney would be getting a tiny fraction of the electoral college.

            I don't realy care that there are small smattering of non-conservatives.  THe fact is that the overwhelming majority of them are, and we cannot afford the conservative policies the rest of the county has to live under that result.

            Never believe your own press, never drink your own KoolAid

            by Mindful Nature on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 05:02:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It would be 153 Dems to 146 Republicans (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              qm1pooh, jlb1972

              in the House. A majority but not what I would call a SOLID majority.

              You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

              by sewaneepat on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 06:00:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  after a GOP sweep in 2010? (0+ / 0-)

                That's a ton better than the BOehner house we've got now.

                Never believe your own press, never drink your own KoolAid

                by Mindful Nature on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 07:57:06 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, it is, but you don't know what things would (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  jlb1972

                  be like if the South were  a different country. All the rich folks down here would probably immigrate there and mess up your population.

                  Seriously, though, the South is about 40+% Democrats and 50+% Republican. Tennessee voted 42% for Obama and Georgia about 48% in 2008. So we have large numbers of liberal people here.

                  And as for the diversity issue, which was the original subject matter of this thread, the South is much more diverse racially than any other area, I believe, so you would be missing a lot without us. Even if you would rid yourselves of a lot of dumbasses in the process.

                  Also, there are many, many southerners who do not hate the federal government, do not hate taxes, and do not possess "ignorant, narrow, fear driven minds," while a lot of people in the North, Midwest and West who do have those characteristics. To my mind stereotypes are always ignorant, mean-spirited, and wrong factually. And not the way liberals or progressives think.

                  You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

                  by sewaneepat on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 05:36:09 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  The original question (0+ / 0-)

                    was whether the rest of the US would be better off.  I see two key differences that would happen:

                    1) fewer Republicans in Congress and fewer Republican presidents
                    2) fewer tax dollars siphoned off to support the southern states.

                    Both changes would leave the remainder of the US better off.  No need to bring stereotypes into it, really.

                    Sure, there are mean spirited people everywhere on earth, but the question is where can they command a majority.  There's a world of difference between a 55-45 split and a 45-55 split, even though the numbers aren't that different.

                    And there are four majority minority states in the US, and I happen to live in one of the three that aren't in the South, so my perspective is decidedly skewed on that front.  

                    Never believe your own press, never drink your own KoolAid

                    by Mindful Nature on Mon Oct 22, 2012 at 11:21:03 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

    •  There is no such thing as (4+ / 0-)

      "perfect." If we were to merge with Canada, pretty soon the same problems would begin to arise, considering how much more left-leaning most Canadian provinces and territories are compared to our "Blue states."

      "The government of the many, not the government of the money" - Nancy Pelosi

      by Americantrueandblue on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:07:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hey IndieinVa, you know that the HR is not meant (0+ / 0-)

      to mean I disagree.  Please read the site rules.

  •  Seriously? (27+ / 0-)

    What about people who were raised in the North, but now live in the South, blueing up the big Southern cities.  Do we get repatriated if we don't subscribe to your so-called Southern way of thinking about things?  Will I be able to trade my faculty position at a branch of the UNC system (where I teach graduate and undergraduate science to the most diverse classrooms I've ever been in) for one at, say, UW-Eau Claire?  Oh wait, is Wisconsin The North anymore, anyway?  I am not sure after their last couple of elections?  Actually I'm not really sure you ought to send North Carolina along with the South -- the state has been heavily investing in education and science for decades now.  Maybe send us with the North and give the South...Wyoming?

    My point:  Even if there was a "Southern" worldview that is so different that the twain shall never meet, that could at one time have been neatly excised by booting out the former confederacy, people have moved and traveled and mixed and mingled so much after 150 years, that you'll never tease it out.  There will remain pockets of Muslims in India and pockets of Hindus in Pakistan, and we know how well that all worked out.

    But hey have fun being the king of bad ideas for a while.

    Do you not see that it is the grossest idolatry to speak of the market as though it were the rival of God?

    by kismet on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 01:48:46 PM PDT

    •  The difference is a voting plurality (6+ / 0-)

      Of course there are southerners all across the U.S. (the world actually) and as a number of people told me "Southern is a state of mind." The difference for me is that archetypal "southern" thinking and philosophy is dominant in the southern states and its adherents form a huge voting bloc, so they are able to extend their power both inside their state governments and beyond to Wash DC. A single-issue anti-abortion candidate in, say, Oregon might make a stump speech on that single issue and expect to get about 15 percent of the vote. But the same speech will get a candidate in the South roughly 50-60 percent of votes right off the bat. A candidate in the South can run for office making appeals to voters based on evangelical Christianity or gay-baiting or any number of issues antithetical to most of the country and have a reasonable chance of success. That's the different we're dealing with here.

    •  NC, FL, VA would not be swing states if only (0+ / 0-)

      native southerners live there , same with some regions of Atlanta with a lot of northern transplants, not to mention strong Democrats in regions of Florida.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:48:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think is a conversation better suited for... (35+ / 0-)

    Red State or Free Republic...this is hurtful to our fellow hard working activist in the south.

    I live in a very liberal area...and could easily cherry pick stupid cons and libs to make fun of...as the author has done in his book.


    We are not broke, we are being robbed.

    by Glen The Plumber on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 01:48:46 PM PDT

    •  Cherry pick (20+ / 0-)

      This is the one comment about the book that's completely bogus. There was no cherry picking involved. Yes, as a writer, you have to choose which examples from two years of research (and more of personal experience) to present as representative of the whole. I feel I did this evenhandedly and fairly. The fact is, when I would get into even friendly conversations with southerners about politics, the "birther" anger came out waaaaaay more often than I'd expected. easily fifty percent of the time. And the anger and hostility toward gays and Muslims "taking over'' was astounding. This from elected officials, business leaders, white-collar workers, college educated people, etc. If the people presented in this book look to you like chery-picked morons, I'd say that just makes my case for me, because they represent mainstream southerners with all but two or three exceptions. And I can name you the exceptions if you like.

      •  hate crimes... (19+ / 0-)

        by state...here.

        per capita...here....notice the blue areas...and where is your state..??..nearing yellow.

        yes you cherry picked...just as many reviews of your book have claimed.


        We are not broke, we are being robbed.

        by Glen The Plumber on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:01:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed, the south is (5+ / 0-)

        scared of Sharia, and full of conspiracy nuts.  I am born and bred southern....born and raised in Louisiana, and now reside in East Texas.  Have heard these things all my life, and only learned that not everyone thought this way when I went to college, then traveled extensively.  The racism is still present, just changed form.  I know the southerners and their problematic ideas have spread thru out the union.  But I agree they could move...and should be told that moving would behoove them as otherwise they will probably never wield political power again if they choose to stay, because their voting power will be diluted by the true exodus of liberal southerners who will be chomping at the bit to leave.  Put me first in line...and I want to live in Vermont.

      •  also I could saved you some time... (16+ / 0-)

        you could have driven south on I-5 thru CA's central valley read all the Paul-bot signs complaining about government...as they water their farms with water from government funded and run canals....or parts of WA and ID with the same crap.

        the problem you speak of is real...it's just not regional...hate, ignorance and stupid politics are everywhere...you just have to look.


        We are not broke, we are being robbed.

        by Glen The Plumber on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:53:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Isn't This Really a "Lifeboat" Argument? (7+ / 0-)

        The question of whether some Southern states "deserve" to get kicked out of the United States because they have majorities that are backward seems to miss the point. There are equally backward people all over the place and why kick out some but not others?

        The more seductive thought is that if we kicked out just a couple of Southern states that would pretty much guarantee a Democratic White House, a Democratic Congress, and open the door to all kinds of progressive things. If we just kick out Texas and Oklahoma the rest of us would have single payer health care. Like the Hitchcock movie "Lifeboat" the rest of us would be better off if we threw somebody overboard.

        It's probably true that the rest of us would be better off in the short run, but is throwing somebody overboard the only option?  Is it an absolutely necessary option?  With the huge demographic shifts in Texas isn't this problem likely to solve itself in 10 years even if we don't throw anybody overboard?

      •  There are so many ways to cherry pick (7+ / 0-)

        One is, of course, the selection of examples which you claim to have done evenhandedly. Another is in choosing where your "research" will be done. What states, cities and towns you choose to visit. Where and how you seek people in those locations to listen to or interview. Even what questions you choose to ask, and even how you phrase your questions and lead the conversation.

        I live in what is probably the most publicized "secession leaning" state, thanks to Governor Goodhair (thanks to Molly Ivins for this sobriquet - only one of numerous outstanding liberals from this southern "backwater"). I have lived here for a number of years, and come in contact with lots of people. Lots and lots of them, from all walks of life and socio-economic strata. Certainly there are some expressing "birther" anger, or anti-gay or anti-Muslim views, but far from all do. Not even a preponderance of them do. Whether you admit it, or recognize it, I think you cherry picked.

        "...you can’t find any oxygen from outside the aircraft to get in the aircraft, because the windows don’t open. I don’t know why they don’t do that. It’s a real problem." Mitt Romney

        by Catte Nappe on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 04:17:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Flaming liberal in deep south Georgia here. (28+ / 0-)

    Been here for hubby's work for 25 years.  Hate it here.  We're isolated, but it's brought us closer as a liberal family living in Hateville.  We're close to retirement and if we get "cut loose" from the north it will be just that much easier to get the hell outta here.  These people are beyond reaching.

  •  As for the utopian North ... (13+ / 0-)

    I hear some form of xaxnar's comment often: "I have little confidence that without the North and the Federal Government to blame for all their problems, they'll suddenly wise up."

    I reject the often repeated idea that northern issues with the South are simply a convenient way for northerners to ignore their own problems and blame all of the nation's ills on one small segment of the country. I think it was Howard Zinn who really popularized that notion but it had been around long before he articulated it. But that's not my issue at all.

    I don't believe a South-less North will be some kind of puppies and rainbows utopia. I just think it'll be set up better to govern itself the way the majority of its people prefer.

    •  No one said it would be all rainbows and sugar (4+ / 0-)

      plums but if you haven't noticed, lately this country isn't making a lot of progress in things that matter in an increasingly global economy. We are falling behind the rest of the world in terms of educational levels, life expectancy, infrastructure improvements, etc.  A major impediment to this progress is the GOP and its southern base. I am sick to death of it........to be frank.

  •  Remember When Rick Perry Pandered (9+ / 0-)

    to Tea Partycans and made a thrill run down our leg with implications that Texas could secede back in 2009?

    Readers & Book Lovers Pull up a chair! You're never too old to be a Meta Groupie

    by Limelite on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 01:50:17 PM PDT

  •  The South is too good a place (22+ / 0-)

    to abandon to the yahoos who are ruining it.  I'm a 10-15 generation Southerner, all the way back to Jamestown on some lines, and I love the place even though it's dominated by ignorant rubes.  

    Thing is, as recently as 20 years or so ago things were improving here in Georgia: we were electing good moderate Democrats like Zell Miller before he went crazy, Pierre Howard, Wyche Fowler, John Lewis, Elliot Levitas,Andrew Young, both white and black with plenty of biracial support.  That started to fade in the early 90s, partly due to the move to create black majority districts that would be sure to elect blacks.  Nothing wrong with that, but it also meant Democratic votes were concentrated in so few districts that Republicans started getting elected in droves.  And not just any Republicans, thinly veiled white supremacist Republicans who no longer had to worry about appeasing minority voters.

    My point is that in Georgia this GOP trend is not all that old, and is already starting to be threatened by the growth of the state's population. People are moving in who want good schools and infrastructure, and who could care less about "Biblical government." I'm not as familiar with other states, but I do remember the same sort of moderate Democrats getting elected governor and to Congress in the 70s-90s.

    Your plan would stop that trend in its tracks as all of us sensible Southerners will either have to immigrate North or submit to permanent defeat. Nope, I'm not going to do it, I'm staying here and fighting the GOP/KKK and eventually, in another 5-10 years, there'll be another shift down here and y'all can be proud of us again.  More importanly, we can be proud of ourselves.

    There is not one human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise. - Gore Vidal

    by southdem on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 01:50:23 PM PDT

    •  I've got to give you a raised eyebrow on the (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Anak, keetz4, bnasley, tikkun

      assertion that Zell Miller was ever a moderate anything.
      Re Georgia, I visited for the first time a few years back and was told that once I got out of Atlanta I'd really be in the south. Sure seemed like the truth as I rolled past Stone Mountain in Gwinnett County. I'd always thought MLK was making a biblical reference in his "I Have A Dream" speech and not illustrating a pointer to the work of demons.

      •  I know it sounds incredible (8+ / 0-)

        but old Zell wasn't just a moderate, he was a flaming liberal (at least by Georgia standards) back in the 70s.  He endorsed George McGovern before the Dem Convention in 1972.  What started turning him right wing was nearly getting beat running for reelection as Governoer in 1994.  But even after that he was an excellent education governor throughout his second term, lots of funding, plus annual 6% raises that made Georgia teachers the highest paid in the Southeast.  I was one of them.

        Its true, things were different here not so long ago.  Georgia voted for Clinton narrowly in 92 and nearly did again in 96.  Even in 84 Walter Mondale (!) got over 40% of the vote here.  That couldn't have all been residual Carter love.

        Can't argue with you about Stone Mountain except that it's in DeKalb County.  As Faulkner said about history in the South: the past isn't dead, it isn't even past.

        There is not one human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise. - Gore Vidal

        by southdem on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:23:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Ah, DeKalb...where the border squeaks up (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bluezen

          to Gwinnett. I was visiting a dying friend in a Snellville hospice. Stayed at the Marriot where Mike Huckabee was speaking and only cable news station was Fox. Unpleasant all the way around.
          The lit for Stone Mountain abounded in the lobby - the unfortunate Southern defense caused by Northern aggression was the supposed reason for this horror to 'honor' the noble 'defenders.'  Nothing to do with the KKK, of course.

      •  I love the Tucker./ Norcross area of Georgia (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        southdem

        which is blue and very diverse. My sister teaches at a school where the student and faculty are very diverse and overall quite liberal.  The schools in that region are proud to be so diverse where 33 different ethnic groups are represented.

        My problem with some regions in the north that are not urban and suburbran is the lack of diversity, too many whilte people and I am white.

        Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

        by wishingwell on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:56:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I understand your dilemma but seriously, (4+ / 0-)

      the author of the book makes a valid point..........we've been hearing the South is changing forever.......since at least the early 20th century. Its seems that the more the South changes it stays in place.

    •  My sister lives in Dekalb County Georgia which (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      southdem

      is blue and her congressional district is solid blue as well.  Meanwhile I live in a part of central PA which is solid red but our state goes blue for presidential elections.  Granted PA has stronger unions than does Georgia and that hurts her as a public school teacher. She said she would still rather be in Red county in PA than a blue county is a red state.  

      But I love the diverse area she lives in near Atlanta and find it far more interesting than small town PA and small town OH overall.

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:54:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why Would the South Secede? (26+ / 0-)

    The Red States have taken over the country. Red State mentality runs boardrooms, runs the media and runs the government. They are getting everything they want -- the Blue States are the makers and they get to be the takers.

    It's working out just fine for them now.

    "I'll believe that corporations are people when I see Rick Perry execute one."

    by bink on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 01:50:26 PM PDT

    •  The South is very close to winning the war (17+ / 0-)

      ...and taking the entire thing.

      Siding with the corporations, they've blown up the debt and are starving the Federal government anyplace that it reaches into the states. The rest has been privatized.  It took them a long time -- but they finally did it.

      I'm working on a piece about it that ends with:

      What we are witnessing is the eclipse of US politics. The political parties are fading away as centers of policy formulation, and are willfully stripping the government of its powers vis-a-vis business corporations. In pursuing this course, US political leaders are losing relevance as points of appeal. Financial crises will reoccur, commodity prices will gyrate out of control, global warming will imperil our ecosystem, all thanks in large part to US policies -- but the international community won't find any US politician who is able to do anything about it…
      It seems to take Americans a really really long time to figure out what's going on around them.


      A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. -- Groucho Marx

      by Pluto on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:00:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What happens next? (18+ / 0-)

    A heavily armed, possibly nuclear, Third World country right on our border? What could possibly go wrong?

  •  If the South does separate again (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TFinSF, Puddytat

    do they call themselves the Confederate States of America and raise the Stars and Bars over state capitols?

  •  Folks in Ecotopia still want out, too (7+ / 0-)

    The USA should really be about 7 different countries.

    "Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed." -- Vaclav Havel

    by greendem on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 01:51:18 PM PDT

  •  Okay fine (5+ / 0-)

    Disregard the whole Lincoln "A house divided against itself cannot stand" thing.  And it's done peaceably (ha).  Where's the dividing line?  What will be done  for refugees (most likely people trying to leave Jesusland)?  Who gets what states, how are resources divided, much  less ones that were formerly federally owned?  You can't  just  draw  a line  down or across the  middle of the US anymore.  As attractive it is to rope off some useless state (say Utah, as Texas has the oil) and dump the wingnuts in it surrounded by an  intense force field, it just  would NOT work.  Any attempt to  divide  the  US a la Germany, Korea, VietNam would be a disaster.

    "I'm sorry, I have no pithy, insightful, enlightening quote for my signature." --- Me

    by liberalagogo on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 01:52:40 PM PDT

  •  A comparison of major differences between Canada (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto, wishingwell, tikkun

    and the United States is that Canada's "exceptional" area is Quebec: an area large enough that its interests must be appeased in the national dialogue.  And while once-upon-a-time a culturally conservative bastion, for the last several decades it has been more like a patch of western Europe appended to North America.  It pulls Canada to the Left.

    Meanwhile, America's "exceptional" area whose interests must be appeased is The South, with the above-outlined arguments the result.  An interesting explanation for part of the cross-border difference in politics.  This is not my own theory - but I cannot remember where I read it.  I'd love to give credit where due, but wanted to introduce this hypothesis into the debate.  

  •  Why the north should go first.. hint: the debt (9+ / 0-)

    We Northerners should secede first, leave the USA, maybe even join up with Canada, if they want us.  

    Most importantly, if we Northerners go first, we can leave our trillions of debt behind for the Southerners and we'd get a fresh start.  The South has been milking us dry for years, let's get smart about it.

    Also, I have a feeling that if this ever came to bear, Texas would just go off on its own, and probably do fine, as least by their own standards.  

  •  This is actually a front page post? (18+ / 0-)

    I live in East Texas now, and lived in Montana as a kid.  Montana had a lot of anti-government hatred and racism.
    And there were separtists up there, too.

    Should they split off, too?

    Barack Obama for President '12

    by v2aggie2 on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 01:55:32 PM PDT

  •  Any one remember (4+ / 0-)

    A book "Nine Nations of North America" which basically divided the continent into nine socio economic regions.

    •  every Ecotopian/Cascadian should /nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy

      yksitoista ulotteinen presidentin shakki. / tappaa kaikki natsit "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) 政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

      by annieli on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:00:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I remember that book (7+ / 0-)

      It's an interesting read. If you liked that book, you might also like Colin Woodard's more recent book, American Nations. He, like Joel Garreau in Nine Nations, divides the United States and (to a lesser extent) Canada into different "nations", but more on the basis of culture and history than Garreau did.

      Woodard doesn't advocate, or predict, a breakup of the United States in its current form. But one of the main themes of his book is that U.S. history is largely a story of conflict between two regions in particular: "Yankeeland" (roughly New England, New York state and the northern portion of the midwest up to the Great Plains or so) and "Deep South" (most, but not all, of the Southeast and eastern Texas). Woodard then explains American history and politics through the lens of this conflict, and the two regions succeed in bringing their opposing visions of American civilization to the extent that they are able to ally with other regions.

      It's an interesting thesis. I have some issues with it, of course, but it's a good read.

      Procrastination: Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now.

      by Linnaeus on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:07:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  CSA hostility (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gecko, Chi, tikkun

    All that CSA hostility would have to go somewhere. They'd probably support a war against the North, with sniper outposts at every women's clinic, every mosque, and every government building.  Since they would call it an official war, there would be no justice served and we, the North, would be constantly under attack.  But maybe that wouldn't happen until after the CSA had committed genocide against all their own minorities and passed laws to prevent women from working outside the home.  Suddenly, full employment for white guys!

  •  I have to say (6+ / 0-)

    I usually find those that bring up secession, whether it be the South from the rest of the country, blue part from a red state, or a red part from a blue state, to be blinded by ideology and not wanting to look at the real consequences of such actions, which would most likely affect both sides harmfully, despite what the separatists dream off, and not really contributing to the betterment of the country/state or new country/state they are trying to create.

    "The government of the many, not the government of the money" - Nancy Pelosi

    by Americantrueandblue on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 01:57:30 PM PDT

  •  I actually think the US should be divided... (0+ / 0-)

    ....into 5-7 culturally based states.

    If the northern ones want to make an alliance, and the Southern ones do too, that's cool with me.

    But there's really too many cultural differences for just two states.

    Show us your tax returns !!!!!!

    by Bush Bites on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 01:57:49 PM PDT

  •  assuming the South secedes again, and assuming (3+ / 0-)

    it continues its racist redneck ways (and indeed reverts back to the good ole days of Jim Crow), what moral obligation would those in the United States have towards helping blacks, Latinos, gays, women and everyone else the rednecks hate, in the new Confederacy?

  •  The author has a good point (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, Pluto, ElizabethRegina1558

    The southern states are very different than the northern states.  I know because my wife and I read many posts and news stories that seem like the entire south (including VA) represents a culturally deprived back-water that fears god and a citizenry that votes against its own self interests (Midwest included here).  My wife often says, we could never move/retire in the south and I can easily see her point.

    Slavery was wrong and the North was right to prevent secession so as to prevent/abolish slavery.  No that this has been resolved it might be time to allow them to go off on their own.

    •  well, certainly, READING about something (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      qm1pooh, VaBreeze, jlb1972

      beats actually personal experience and knowledge.....  Just ask the Drudge/Fox News set.

        snark....

      Yes. There ARE progressive Democrats in Alabama. Visit with us at Left in Alabama

      by countrycat on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 04:04:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I Totally Agree With Your Wife (0+ / 0-)

      When my children were considering colleges, one of the things I was thinking about was getting to an area where they could meet a wider variety of progressives instead of their having to include a huge number of latter day Republicans in their range of choices for life mates.  Like it or not, we marry who we know and in a region that is mostly latter day Republicans, our progressively raised children would have had few likely choices for life partners

      I was pretty secretive about this plan for a long time.  Last weekend I spent three days with ten wonderful progressives from Missori, Nebraska, and Tennessee. The one heart breaking story that kept coming up was the life choices their children made.  Out of about 6 or 7 children among them, two children married Republicans and one child became a right wing Christofacist.  My children, on the other hand, married very different kinds of mates but they all had in common the fact that they were intelligently educated and ranged from moderately progressive to very progressive in their political views.  

      For mothers, at least, this is one good reason, among others, to stay the hell of ouf severely Republican regions whether or not there is a formal separation and divorce.

      Newt 2012. Sociopath, adulterer, hypocrite, Republican.

      by tikkun on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 04:35:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Question for the Author (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto

    Wouldn't it be easier to just leave everyone where they are in the nation but have 2 different systems of governments. One red, one blue.  Common overlapping causes for Police, Fire, and military yet for schools, healthcare & taxes, you would choose which govt you want to be a part of.  For example, if you are part of the blue Zhovt, your taxes are harder, your kids go to Public schools, you get universal single payer health care, Social sec, and your taxes are higher.  If you choose to live in Red Govt, it's lower taxes, private Education, & private hospitals.  Infrastructure would be shared by both Govts.  

    I think this basic framework would be easier to manage then everyone moving, or punishing people who like living in the south for weather, or other reasons.  Wonder if the author ever thought about that and just giving the citizens a choice of which govt they wanted to be in no matter where they live.

    •  Like Mindanao or Hong Kong (4+ / 0-)

      An early draft of this book had a section on granting the South the same sort of political status that the Muslim province of Mindanao has in the Philippines or Hong Kong as a Special Autonomous Region (I think that is the term they use, not sure) has with China. My proposal would have given limited autonomy to southern states in the same way. Let them run their governments as they wish. In exchange southern states would have to give up their votes in Congress, become something like Guam or Washington DC in that regard.

      •  People trapped in the south. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FlyingToaster

        I'd be fine with that as Ning as the people in the south who wanted to join the institutions and practices of the north were allowed to join.  Like if you wanted single payer, or Social Security, or cheaper public school, you should be allowed to get it while still living in the south.  The people of the north who don't want they could choose the southern way of life as well of lower taxes and lower federal government regulation.

      •  You just brought up Mindanao. Yeah. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        fuzzyguy

        That does it.

        You have no fucking idea what the fuck you are talking about, to not know the fucking difference a blood soaked field and tortured body dumped, flayed to death, on a doorstep and the dangers of the southern region of the USA.

        FUCK YOU.

        FUCK YOU AND YOUR IGNORANCE.

        "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order." Carl Jung

        by Unduna on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 05:06:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  never read the book, but (10+ / 0-)

    my bottom line is this is upsetting people.

    There is nothing to be gained by badmouthing some places that some people live and love.

    fact does not require fiction for balance (proudly a DFH)

    by mollyd on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:00:51 PM PDT

  •  I think it's an idea for which the time has come. (3+ / 0-)

    Not only because of the clash in values between the South and the North but also because the country's sheer size itself makes a mockery of democracy. Instead of retail campaigning and people who feel that someone is listening to them, we get these awful TV ads and email blasts. Size fosters disengagement, and mass disengagement contributes to the death of democracy altogether.

    Maybe we need to be 4-6 different countries. No guarantees that all of them will remain democratic--smaller countries have turned to despots as often as large ones--but a ten-year open immigration should give people long enough to see which of the nations works best for them in terms of political structure, social legislation, and economy.

    •  Big country (4+ / 0-)

      I hear some form of this comment often and I agree. As I wrote in the book: "Shared values, cultural norms, and manageable geography—not the chance tentacles of history and insatiable federal bureaucracy—are what unite, or at least what should unite, a given population."

      •  My congratulations... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annieli, bnasley

        ...on combining the thought experiments of Einstein with the snarky satire of Swift.

        One point of contention, a "Blood Bowl" ain't a "Blood Bowl" without blood.  Hand out edged weapons to the players.  No crossbows, firearms, or spears allowed.  Up close and personal.

        Please feel free to HR me for my informative and argumentative nature. 'To know what is right and to do it are two different things.' - Chushingura, a tale of The Forty-Seven Ronin

        by rbird on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:36:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Solve it the old way, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rbird

          with a nice American stickball game.

          When you come to find how essential the comfort of a well-kept home is to the bodily strength and good conditions, to a sound mind and spirit, and useful days, you will reverence the good housekeeper as I do above artist or poet, beauty or genius.

          by Alexandra Lynch on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:10:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  i was waffling on the fence but CT's inclusion & (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tully monster, FlyingToaster

    standards for the Blood Bowl sold me.  All snark aside (unfortunately), the Blood Bowl would probably get a huge number of corporate entities behind secession as well.

  •  I worry that... (0+ / 0-)

    ... I would not be able to get Treme on my cable here in Louisiana, only Honey Boo Boo.  The only place I would consider moving to is San Francisco, not that it's perfect either, but financially, I'd probably wind up getting about as far as El Paso.   Hmmm, is that Yankee or Southern?

  •  If the humans leave that's one thing but to share (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bnasley

    A continent with them, that won't work.

    The radical Republican party is the party of oppression, fear, loathing and above all more money and power for the people who robbed us.

    by a2nite on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:04:12 PM PDT

  •  its to late to split the country... would have (3+ / 0-)

    had to happen in Lincolns time.  it didnt.  Unfortunately, the war lincoln fought to save the union never really ended...it just became a political war and we are still fighting it.

    but what do I know, according to people I speak with on 'the other side' we northerners are all socialist commies and liberal nazi's hellbent to destroy America and turn everyone gay against their will.  oh and they want their country back, whatever the heck THAT means   :)

    "You've got to be an optimist to be a Democrat, and a humorist to stay one" - Will Rogers

    by KnotIookin on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:04:19 PM PDT

  •  Ya know (5+ / 0-)

    The only place where this dividing a country thing worked in recent memory was Korea.  And technically, those two sides are STILL at war.

    Didn't work for Vietnam or Germany.  Both countries eventually went one way or the other and became one again, after years of hardship on their peoples.

    "I'm sorry, I have no pithy, insightful, enlightening quote for my signature." --- Me

    by liberalagogo on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:05:14 PM PDT

  •  What should happen (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    abarefootboy, atana, TiaRachel, bnasley, tikkun

    What should happen is not secession, but a major change to the content of our national political discussions and debates.

    What this book lays out with clarity is that the social and political culture of the former Confederate/Jim Crow states is caustic and wearing on the national social and political culture.  

    What we have not ever done is put the case in the center of our political discussion and debates.  And no, blog posts don't count.  We need a documentary mini-series explaining exactly what Chuck Thompson explains in the book.  There aren't that many Americans in the North, Midwest, and Pacific West who know the history and who understand how the successors to the Confederacy and Jim Crow affect our national government and how we live.

    •  You are right (8+ / 0-)

      about few Americans having a solid grasp of the history of all this. Probably the main thing that surprised me in my research was how you could look at papers and arguments and debates people were having about the country during the Continental Congress and before the Civil War and during Reconstruction and then in the 1930s and 1960s and it is uncanny how we are still having almost word for word arguments today. This stuff is really deep, I was amazed. Southerners have been calling northern libs godless commies and socialists for going in 200 years. And it informs their entire posture toward the rest of the country. Absolutely surreal.

  •  The fact that Virginia, North Carolina, and (15+ / 0-)

    Florida recently elected Barack Hussein Obama to be president really makes Thompson's snide

    Sounds great but this "the South is changing, no, seriously it’s really changing" nonsense has been with us since the 1800s.
    comment seem deeply stupid.

    It's not the 1800s.  Change happens.

    The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present

    by Inkin on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:06:51 PM PDT

    •  Yeah, I don't agree with the binary approach. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Glen The Plumber, jlb1972

      I think there'd be a mid-Atlantic region too, and VA and NC would be eligible for membership -- they can vote whether they want to be a mid-atlantic state or a southeastern state.

      Show us your tax returns !!!!!!

      by Bush Bites on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:13:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Politics is only one part of this book (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto, Anak, gecko, HoratioGalt, bnasley, tikkun

      This is something that is commonly misunderstood among those who haven't read the book. I'm not just talking about a Repub/Dem, blue/red situation. I am making the case that the entire societies are at odds -- politics is merely a reflection of this. That's why the book is divided into chapters discussing what I consider to be the fundamental building blocks of northern and southern society: religion, economics, education, politics, race and, of course, football. The North/South division isn't simply about politics and voting patterns and the like, though I understand how on a site such as this, politics would be the main point of emphasis.

    •  this is largely because people are moving South (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      diggerspop

      Companies move South to avoid regulation and taxes, but they need to import skilled workers from more progressive states. This leads to the Southern population gradually becoming more progressive.

    •  2008 (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      citizenx, qm1pooh, Chi, MadGeorgiaDem

      President Obama got a higher percentage of the vote in Mississippi, and Georgia than he did in Wyoming, Idaho, and Utah.  In Madison County, ID he got 12% of the vote.

      “I believe all Southern liberals come from the same starting point--race. Once you figure out they are lying to you about race, you start to question everything.” ― Molly Ivins

      by RoIn on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:40:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And right now it appears (0+ / 0-)

      that at least North Carolina and Florida are going to go to Romney...so much for real lasting change.

    •  There are two reasons why Obama won (0+ / 0-)

      VA and NC: northerners/westerners/techies are moving to N VA and tech cities in NC, and both states have sizable minority populations. Nonetheless, the resident white population in both states is still pretty much the same. That's not change I can believe in or feel comfortable with........and its why both states could flip to red again this election.

  •  Repatriation to enable secession sounds nice. (4+ / 0-)

    But it's simply not possible for a lot of people fiscally or emotionally or for some other reason.

    Never attribute to malice what is owed to ignorance or honest disagreement.

    by ConfusedSkyes on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:07:05 PM PDT

  •  A Southerner sez, I hate the snow but want (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bnasley, Quicklund

    Northern values!

    I hope that demographics will dilute out the Southern racist and love for ignoramuses to a point where life is bearable.

  •  nobody's bad mouthing the South (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    keetz4

    It's just that we in the North are sick of the South bad mouthing us.

  •  Are we "better off without 'em"? In a cartoon (12+ / 0-)

    ...universe, my response would be a resounding "yes." Unfortunately, or fortunately, whichever way we take it, however, we do not live in a two dimensional cartoon universe thus I'm afraid there is no "we" without "them."

    I think Chuck Thomas' argument is lacking insight about the complexity of the human universe and about the fact that "the whole is bigger than its parts." Furthermore, we need ALL PARTS in order to be complete as a nation. Half a part, I would add here, does not make a whole, and thus illusions of creating a peaceful whole from a part alone is an ILLUSION at best.

    I conlcude that U.S.A. is an indivisible whole and it will not exist in division.

    The individual states are simultaneously individual and the all.

    What part of "E Pluribus Unum" does Mr. Thomas does not understand, I wonder...

    Regards.

    "Corruptio Optimi Pessima" (Corruption of the best is the worst)

    by zenox on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:09:24 PM PDT

  •  When he says something like this: (16+ / 0-)
    A large part of my book is intended to show how North and South have historically and still are operating as fundamentally different societies, with sharply contrasting agendas and values.
    I read it as this:
    A large part of my book is intended to use a completely inflammatory premise in order to sell a bunch of books.
    There's a legitimate way of looking into the cultural differences that exist in this country but this is not one of them.

    The Great Depression: Now In Color!

    by TheChop on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:09:29 PM PDT

    •  Here's the deal about selling books (6+ / 0-)

      First thing is, if you buy a copy of the book, or if 1,000 people on this site buy a copy of my book today, I will get zero dollars from that. Nada. I am not here to make money today, believe it or not.

      This is how it works. I've already been paid everything I am going to make for this book. My payday for Better Off is over. That's generally how the book economy works. I get paid an advance against earnings. It is very rare for any book to "earn out," meaning earn more than the advance so that the author starts earning royalties. Now, it CAN happen, in some miracle universe my book might start selling in the Dragon Tattoo and 50 Shades of Jumper Cables on Your Nipples and Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly territory. But the likelihood of this in minimal. Truly, writers do not write to get rich.

      And, anyway, why are writers always criticized for "wanting to sell books"? Do people criticize their plumbers for "only being in it for the money" when they fix their leaky pipes? Do people suspect the motives of their doctor when he/she is removing that growth from their neck or prescribing medicine?

      If I can make one lasting point here today it's that almost nobody who writes for a living gets rich off it. Myself included.

      •  Here's the deal about what I actually said... (11+ / 0-)

        My criticism was one of sensationalism over substance in order to generate buzz, move books and get another contract. You're very conveniently ignoring the "using a completely inflammatory premise" part of my comment in order to prop up an absurd argument in order to easily knock it down. I did not criticize you for trying to sell your work. I criticized you for using inflammatory garbage to sell your work.

        Further you're taking a laughable stance that using an inflammatory premise to promote it provides you absolutely no benefit because your royalties only come after an unattainable amount of units have sold. You pitched the book and got that advance largely on the premise of southern succession from a liberal point of view. That is the entire hook of the writing and the reason we're all talking about it. You benefit from the book selling well. To say that you don't is absurd. If no one bought this book I doubt your next advance would ever come.

        And I would be okay with the basic hook if you weren't so serious about it. Writing is a tough business and a book entitled: "Economic and Cultural Differences Examined in Detail Between the North and the South" would sell about as well as the title reads. So if you want to put the St. Andrews cross on it and talk about succession in the title to move it off the bookshelf that's fine but when your first answer in a promo interview outlines the basics of a treaty to actually split the country I have to say you're a little past that. I'd be fine with a little wink and nudge in the title and then an admission that you're not advocating actual division. But I guess that's not as controversial and controversy is what you're going for not an actual discussion.

        Which makes the entire book a notch below reading Ron Paul talk about how we should end the Fed or go back to the gold standard or whatever nonsense that old coot cooks up. They're all nonsense ideas that have absolutely no basis in reality because they're not possible.

        You wrote an inflammatory book that talks about a fantasy and then decry that people aren't taking you seriously. It's like walking into someone's living room and taking a shit on the carpet and then getting annoyed that they won't shut up about the turd to get to know the real you.

        The Great Depression: Now In Color!

        by TheChop on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 04:57:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Plumbers are only in it for the money! (5+ / 0-)

        As a matter of fact I do say something like that ... about those plumbers who provide a leaky product.

        Another leaky product I am asked to buy is the notion that an author's income is completely unaffected by the number of his books which sell.

  •  My goodness, did you leave you sense of humor (7+ / 0-)

    somewhere?

    And the South will never sign a treaty that lets you take our football players; and our cheerleaders dress too scantily to move any further north so they won't go either.

    You can't scare me, I'm sticking to the Union - Woody Guthrie

    by sewaneepat on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:09:32 PM PDT

  •  Engagement (6+ / 0-)

    For what it may be worth to the discussion herein, I offer a few thoughts.

    I think it understandable that we at times get fed up with the extremism and, in cases like Texas where some significantly sizable and vocal group starts shouting secession, that we just sigh deeply and say sure, go ahead, leave already, we're tired of this crap.

    However, for we as a people, as a global community, to continue to thrive on this planet, to adapt to the changes to this planet that our children will inherit, to overcome ingrained historical patterns that have brought so much suffering, destruction and death in the past, to deal with growing populations and dwindling supplies of food and water, we all need to become more inclusive, more compassionate, more willing to communicate, to teach, to share, to understand, to offer, and to work with each other; with everyone.  We need to engage the people and the governments of Syria and Iran, of North Korea and Burma, of China and Russia; we should exclude or write-off no population of people on this planet.  It is, in my view, imperative for our future as a people, as a global community, that we do what ever we can to promote peace, education, agriculture, sustainability.

    It is from that perspective that I look at what I've read of your book, and wonder if perhaps your plan, even if well intentioned, isn't expending a great deal of energy that could be put to better use.

    In the same way that we need to engage and connect with the people of Iran, shouldn't we also be trying to engage and connect with people living in this country.  And yes, it does seem at times as though such engagement is fruitless, but the fact that engagement is difficult doesn't mean that it's not worth the effort or that progress can't be made.

    Separation causes suffering.  As individuals, when we separate ourselves from others, we look at the world as a me in the center and an everyone else from which we try to protect ourselves.  The result is fear, jealousy, hatred, hoarding, competition, anger, violence.  But when we move from separation to inclusiveness, to seeing ourselves as part of a whole, as part of the human family, as part of this Earth, then the result is love, sharing, compassion, cooperation, helping, peace.

    The same is true for groups as well.  Separation causes territorial disputes, trade disagreements, invectives, saber rattling, anger, war.

    Trying to separate ourselves from others seems to me a path that will lead to more problems rather than fewer problems.  I think the better path is to continue to reach out, to communicate, to share, to educate, to help.

    It is of course a long and difficult process.  But it seems to me the better path than separation, division, purposely saying we are different than those others.

    I don't think it helpful to purposely find differences that separate us one from another, excuses to build walls.  I do think it helpful that we look for commonalities than bring us together.  This I think true for our engagement with the people in the homes of Iran and the people in the homes of Alabama.

    Just a few thoughts to add to the conversation.  Thank you for visiting with us, and stimulating our thoughts.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Love one another

    by davehouck on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:11:07 PM PDT

  •  Okay, So the author is claiming that this was an (13+ / 0-)

    attempt to call Rick Perry's bluff about seceding from the Union. So you fight stupid ideas with an equally stupid idea?

    Other questions:

    What do you propose we do with other regions of the US? Because, ya know, it's not all about North and South. What of the Midwest, the West, the Southwest, etc?

    Second- and this is one I really want an answer about: Considering that the Civil War is over and the right side won, what do you propose we do with all of the African Americans in the South? Say, hey, sorry suckers! Yeah, you're heavily concentrated in this area that we've decided is just too burdensome to worry about anymore. See ya later, suckers! We're so upset that some of your neighbors think the war isn't over that we are going to let you fight it all over again.

    Because Northerners are noble and carry their own weight.

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:12:43 PM PDT

    •  Thanks for this. (11+ / 0-)
      Second- and this is one I really want an answer about: Considering that the Civil War is over and the right side won, what do you propose we do with all of the African Americans in the South? Say, hey, sorry suckers! Yeah, you're heavily concentrated in this area that we've decided is just too burdensome to worry about anymore. See ya later, suckers! We're so upset that some of your neighbors think the war isn't over that we are going to let you fight it all over again.
      This question wasn't really answered by the author in the body of the article. Instead, we were told to relax and that he has "met some of these people" by visiting key places in Alabama. Since we're being analytical, let's talk some numbers. Mississippi has an AA population of 38%. The poverty rate is 22.6%. The child poverty rate is 32%. The number of single families with children who live below the poverty line is at 47%. If you travel to the Delta region, you will see generational poverty at its worst, with a "downtown" area of clothing shops and spas surrounded by cotton fields and broken buildings.

      An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. - Gandhi

      by missLotus on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:25:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Southern African Americans (0+ / 0-)

      Such an interesting and impossible question. I fielded MANY responses to this very question. The most bullish among those I interviewed noted that many affluent African Americans in this country are in the South and that more African American owned business have started in the South in the past 20 years than any other region. Also, as UGA prof. James Cobb told me, there is no evidence anywhere of southerners practicing racism to their economic detriment. The suggestion being that economics, not race, will drive the new South (secession or not). I tend to agree with this notion.

      On the other side, I also interviewed many learned people who basically projected a return to Jim Crow days. I don't believe that would happen.

    •  How to counter Rick Perry's proposal (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BoiseBlue, jlb1972, MaikeH

      most of the world has done it this way:

      Rick Perry said what? Who is Rick Perry again?

  •  I assume the Southern nation would slash taxes (7+ / 0-)

    on corporations and the wealthy even more and virtually eliminate regulations.  This would be mighty attractive to corporate America and many rich Northerners (hey, if I were a billionaire, I'd consider moving to a country with no estate tax and extremely low capital gains taxes, which I assume this Southern nation would  have). What's to stop all the businesses and the rich from moving to the South and taking their jobs and tax dollars with them?

    Why outsource to China when you have this new, very low wage, anti-union, low tax, low regulation country nearby?

    I know, as someone from the "rustbelt" that this has been happening already, but wouldn't this just speed up that trend?

    •  This is what I was worried about (5+ / 0-)

      I'm sorry but if the Southerners will take the punishment, then the corporations will flock there and the north would have to go the way of Scandinavia i.e. high tech manufacturing and unexportable jobs in high education sectors which would be difficult to do on a large scale.  I'm sorry but public education in the north only goes so far.  Where they have Wallmart obesity zones we have urban decay and blight where education is just as bad.  The north would have to take on the Washington State model of business.

      Romney/Caligula 2012!

      by sujigu on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:18:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  This is happening already (0+ / 0-)

      The South is leading the economic race to the bottom and the rest of us are going to be pulled along, I fear. The same way southern states helped decimate Detroit they are doing in the aeronautics industry today, with states such as South Carolina and Alabama waging a war against union workers in Puget Sound and threatening to destroy the work force that has made Boeing this country's number-one exporter by value every year (including 2012) since WWII.

      •  But at least now, even in the south, businesses (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dewley notid, jlb1972, diggerspop

        are subject to federal taxes and Osha regulatons and EPA regulations and things like the federal minimum wage.

        Imagine if they curtailed those in the South. Would there be any businesses left in the North?

        It would be a plutocrat's dream come true. Live in Palm Beach. Do business without government regulation. Don't worry about minimum wage.  Don't worry about an estate tax. Pay little to no income tax. Fly in your Learjet to New York or L.A on a whim whenever you want to enjoy culture and shopping, then fly back to your tax haven and do business in a land of deregulation.

        There won't be any businesses left in the North.

      •  Secondly, in that ten year grace period, the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dewley notid

        South would eliminate most social welfare programs and make life onerous for the poor and disabled and the elderly to purposely drive them North.

        You would see a massive shift of the wealthy to the South and of the poor and disabled to the North.

    •  Has already happened (0+ / 0-)
      if I were a billionaire, I'd consider moving to a country with no estate tax and extremely low capital gains taxes,

      And as it turns out, winning a debate is surprisingly easy when a candidate decides he can say anything and expect to get away with it. -Rachel Maddow

      by mrobinson on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:50:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  On country music, and other thoughts... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi, dewley notid, jlb1972

    Allison Krauss is from central Illinois.  She's as Yankee as I am (I live in her hometown).  Just sayin'.  We wouldn't have to cede bluegrass, at least not entirely.

    Seriously, though, a few years ago a somewhat similar insight hit me:  it often felt as though the South was a kind of colonized culture always struggling against Northern hegemony, kind of the way the Irish or the Scots have struggled against the British, and maybe we needed to look at them that way.  Unlike their U.K. counterparts may not really be oppressed, but they see themselves that way.  And the poverty, bitter divisions between ethnic/religious groups (subalternity) are certainly real enough.  

    I guess my concern would be for ordinary, poor white Southerners, too.  We've been held hostage by Southern political and economic attitudes, but if "Southern" economic, religious, and cultural structures are allowed to take over the C.S.A. again, what will happen, really?  Most of the positive change that has occurred in the South has occurred as the result of intervention by the federal government.  Would the C.S.A. gradually come to look like South Africa during the apartheid era? And if there were a mass exodus of minorities to the North,  who would be on the bottom of the totem pole, and what resources, in the wake of the abolition of unions and regressive taxation and institution of theocracy, would be left to them to effect any kind of real change?

    And--oh, yes, the national parks.  Who will protect the Everglades?  Who will keep the Appalachians from falling completely victim to mountaintop removal and strip mining?  As long as those places are part of the U.S., they're MINE as much as any Southerner's, and I don't want them jettisoned because I love them.

  •  It' a book, people. It's a excavation. And a hell (6+ / 0-)

    of lot of work, too.

    I look forward to reading it, Chuck.

  •  What about the border states? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    keetz4, jlb1972

    I live in Kansas City and I'm sure that my fellow citizens here and in St. Louis would want to be part of the USA, while southern MO would probably want to affiliate with the CSA.  We might see the partitioning of several states - perhaps North Missouri and South Missouri would be an answer that would keep tensions down.  Of course, Kansas will always be a problem, as they'd doubtless want to join the CSA.  Not sure I want to be surrounded by 'em in case they start a war.

    you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows

    by Dem Beans on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:16:11 PM PDT

  •  USA is too big (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto

    It needs dividing. It's too hard to fend off corporate take-over of our democracy in such a geographically huge nation. Smaller works better for self-rule.

    I agree with North/South to start. Southerners would probably be happier and I know I would be - for all the reason outlined in the introduction to this fine book. Thanks for it.

    And as it turns out, winning a debate is surprisingly easy when a candidate decides he can say anything and expect to get away with it. -Rachel Maddow

    by mrobinson on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:16:34 PM PDT

  •  Why don't we focus our energy... (9+ / 0-)

    ...on abolishing the outdated electoral college?

    "One must never tire of repeating that racism is a monstrous error or an impudent lie." -- Franz Boas

    by Varlokkur on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:16:57 PM PDT

  •  Wow. Great stuff here... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto, atana

    ...to make folks think. There are so many logistical, economic and individual adjustments to be made if this country were to split that it can make ya dizzy.

    Mutual defense would of course be a primary issue, but there are quite a number of nukes in the south. Both WMDs (some of 'em MIRV'd) and power plants. I'd hope that a good deal of our military hardware - for active duty military and National Guard (all those armories and transport planes) - wouldn't be left in place. For a new country that got all the way to threatening civil war before The Plan for orderly secession came into being. The people you want to give in to in order to allow secession hate us. They hate education and science and technology and... black people and brown people and everything we stand for and...

    If we're not going to allow Persia... er, Iran to have nukes because they're too close to Israel, why would we want the CSA to have nukes, right next door to all of us right now? P.S. The facilities for fuel fabrication and weapons component manufacture/assembly are primarily in the south. Just so you know...

    •  Why would not the south get their proportion? (6+ / 0-)

      If teh country is split, that means the south gets its share of teh nuclear weapons and teh aircraft carriers. It gets the USN's biggest naval port on the east cost.

      If the south does not get its share, if it is up to the rest of the country formerly known as the USA to decide what the south gets to keep, then it is not really a split is it? Then it would be an eviction.

      I am sure the Americans living in the south would accept being evicted lying down and peacefully. Not.

      •  The reality of war seems to escape most of (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Quicklund, jlb1972, diggerspop

        the readers here today.

        Hell, you and I are the ONLY readers to bring up war at all.

        For a pro-peace site, the stupidity on display here is at the least hypocrisy, at the worst, downright dangerous.

        The Daily Kos front page is promulgating the political purity ideology of War, and yet.....  only two of us have even pointed at that fact.  Stunning.

        "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order." Carl Jung

        by Unduna on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 05:34:02 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Stunning ideed (4+ / 0-)

          Is the book meant to be taken seriously? If so, what piece of crap it is.

          Is the book intended to be one big snotty joke? Then why the fridge should anyone spend hours reading it and spend money just to waste time?

          In either case, why is it being advertised on the front page two week sin a row? Or one week in a row for that matter?

          •  I'm genuinely baffled. (7+ / 0-)

            Susan called the book a "serious thought experiment."

            "Serious", mind you.  So, yes, apparently we are to take it seriously.  
            As so many are clearly happy to do....  which is how it begins....

            And, what's more, she called it "thought."  I quibble.

            And, "experiment."  This is the worst word of all of the three very bad ones.

            This "experiment" has been "tried" before, all over the globe (perhaps most critically to the Ottoman Empire) much to history's ongoing and very bloody dismay.

            I'm horrified.  It is nothing less than the ideology of political purity that leads to War being promulgated on our front page.

            The best we can hope for is that this is a set-up and that a front-paged, and vehement, refutation is on it's way, that this book and its author are being used to make some sort of slashing and damning point.

            Which, somehow, I doubt.

            So I guess we look closely, and know our enemy, for he is, indeed, us.

            "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order." Carl Jung

            by Unduna on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 06:16:19 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  No, I recognize that little problem (0+ / 0-)

          first and foremost in my post. If it were to come to civil war, the south has a lot of materiel (including WMDs and delivery systems/vehicles) we can't afford to stare down. That's why we had a 40-year "Cold War" instead of a 5-10 year hot war with the Soviets.

          If the REASON the south wants to secede is that it wants to stiff the rest of the nation as much as possible (possibly in retaliation for the last war they lost), they hate us enough to make such a concession highly questionable if not suicidal.

          In the end we all get to ask ourselves if we're willing to go to war to preserve the union. Against our neighbors, friends and family, because that's what Civil War looks like. If both 'sides' are armed with nukes - and there's some tacticals out there that aren't entirely unthinkable - there can be no 'winner'.

          Bottom line, we're better off working to keep the union together. If anybody's got real war on their mind as a physical play-out of current instability and class warfare, they need to be reminded of what civil war looks like. Because they've apparently missed assimilating that lesson the first time around.

          •  The South doesn't want to secede. (7+ / 0-)

            The South isn't Rick Perry.

            The South doesn't want to secede.

            The South would just like to be fought FOR, like it matters to the party, to the country.

            Some members of Texas might, but the South doesn't want to secede.

            Your premise is wholly faulty.

            "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder, a secret order." Carl Jung

            by Unduna on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 06:20:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, I'd most certainly HOPE (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Unduna, diggerspop

              my premise is faulty! That was my whole point. We can't afford to split the union, on any level. Moreover, I expect enough southerners (myself and my regularly-voting family included) to know that so as to prevent any such a situation coming to pass.

              Yeah, the Teabaggers (those who are minions and not tools) hate. The racist rednecks hate, and so do the spiritually misled Christianists (there's some overlap here). The eternally put-upon marginals hate. Scapegoats are a dime a dozen, Obama's just one of the most popular these days. Most citizens of this nation are not entirely stupid. They may not remember much from their skool-daze per detail, but they know about what they care about. There's an educational opportunity here.

              There is not a good reason to go to war amongst ourselves.

  •  We're missing something else here. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dewley notid, Quicklund, jlb1972, MaikeH

    New Southern secessionism in the broad is at most sentimental.  Serious secessionists are insigificant even in their own backyards.  Not sure why Chuck thinks that the South, let alone the North, would agree to a break, not when they estimate that they can run the whole shindig at least half of the time.

    All in all, people who buy into an irreconcilable North-South divide live on the fringe.

    •  The South would not agree to a break (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli

      I never make this argument. I did talk to the head of the largest secessionist organization on the South. His name is Michael Hill, he claims his League of the South has 25,000 active members, which I would say is no small amount. ... That said, you are absolutely right. 99.99 percent of southerners want nothing to do with a real secession. They just like to wave their slave state flags and talk about rising again and accuse the president of being a Muslim radical.

      Nevermind that the prevailing local mythology remains one of self-sufficiency and rugged individualism, the importance of independence myths is inversely proportional to the degree to which any society has surrendered its sovereignty.

      I know this firsthand from growing up in Alaska.

  •  It's a bad marriage. Time to end it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    keetz4

    That is all.

    Show us your tax returns !!!!!!

    by Bush Bites on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:18:22 PM PDT

  •  Well, what will they think of next? (2+ / 0-)

    To quote Groucho, "That's the silliest thing I evah hoid!"

    Facts matter. Joe Biden

    by kpardue on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:19:11 PM PDT

  •  As a short-lived peace fantasy story outline (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rbird

    Mandatory nuclear disarmament for all States followed by a less violent Partition as the whackjobs from all States travel south and all the frustrated useful people move north.

    Yay! Peace, freedom and prosperity for the north and freedom, total deregulation and religion for the south.

    Peace rules for a generation.

    The North prospers. The South descends into chaos.

    The Old Testament run neo-liberal south'n paradise is too unstable. No one can do any business with them or have any contracts honored because Biblical law doesn't mention anything beyond idolatry and adultery. There is no central government as the States right movement devolved all power into the hands of badly regulated armed individuals.

    The North, faced with waves of economic migrants, built the Barbarian wall with steel made in the North. It's the largest man made object that you can see from the moon.

    Avoiding Theocracy at Home and Neo Cons Abroad

    by UniC on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:19:56 PM PDT

  •  Oh wow (9+ / 0-)
    These type of comments often come from the type of mamby-pamby liberals that drive me absolutely bonkers, the kind of who disdain the blowtorch rhetoric of the Limbaugh-Hannity crowd but don’t have the stomach to stand up to it. I’m sick of the left cowering to morally bankrupt hypocrites. I’m willing to match that bullshit line for line and then some.
    I could kiss you for that. That's been my sentiment for years.

    "On this subject, I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation." William Lloyd Garrison

    by HoratioGalt on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:20:04 PM PDT

  •  But can Oklahoma return to Indian Territory? (8+ / 0-)

    After the civil war we were punished for siding with the south by the "land runs" onto our lands by hungry white folks. We Indians sill want our own homeland and now that were rich with casinos we'll even pay all the crackers to move on back to Alabama and New York.

    btw, did you know the "state of Sequoia" was advocated by Indians here before the land runs? I thought not.

    America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

    by cacamp on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:20:06 PM PDT

  •  Silly And a Waste Of Time At Best (18+ / 0-)

    Offensive at the worst.

    We are, supposedly, trying to re-elect a president who has said that their isn't a red America and a blue America there is only the United States of America and we're taking time off to discuss what we have mocked Rick Perry for suggesting?

    Please.

    “I believe all Southern liberals come from the same starting point--race. Once you figure out they are lying to you about race, you start to question everything.” ― Molly Ivins

    by RoIn on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:22:23 PM PDT

    •  I believe Obama meant that ... (0+ / 0-)

      But have you been paying attention to how the southern-led coalition in the opposition party have been obstructing the government's every turn for the last four years? (And one might make the case, at varying degrees, for the last 150.) Obama and the left can cheer all they want for a unified country but what can they do when the other side refuses to play ball? Jesus, Obama was on 60 Minutes a few weeks ago offering to wash the GOP's cars and walk their dogs in exchange for just a little cooperation. News flash: IT AIN'T COMING! Especially not as long as southern radicals are running the GOP in Congress. Gotta wake up, man, I'm sorry, but it's true.

  •  I come from a southern family (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glen The Plumber, Quicklund

    but I have relatives up and down the east coast.
    We fight we make up but as family we always make sure each one of has what they need, be it money, food, housing, whatever.
    People just need to have more sex and mix it all up so we're all related.

  •  Not this crap again (17+ / 0-)

    I guess if you make the rookie mistake of moving to the South after a lifetime in the North, you're not fit to rank among the truly Progressive Kossacks.

    Here's my previous response

    Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

    by cassandracarolina on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:22:43 PM PDT

  •  So if the South leaves (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quicklund

    will they build a giant fence?

  •  Its not secession, its partition (6+ / 0-)

    and I have a feeling the result would be just as unhappy as the partition of another country that was considered too big and too conflicted to remain whole.

    Barack Obama is not a secret socialist class warrior who wants to redistribute wealth in America. But I'll still vote for him, anyway.

    by looty on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:23:50 PM PDT

  •  you never answered this question; why not? (10+ / 0-)
    cacamp asserts: "The book is wrong about blaming the "south" because its more about race than region. It should actually be named "Whats the Matter With White People" but that name has already been taken. Whereever the white power structure is solidly in control the rabid right is doing its damage be it north or south. But wherever that white powerstructure is being changed and challenged by a growing diversity, sanity is returning. Texas and Arizona will soon be blue states. When that change takes place the onslaught of stupid laws will cease."

    America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

    by cacamp on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:24:00 PM PDT

    •  I answered that in the interview above (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kingfishstew

      I gave examples where white people are almost exclusively in power positions but where I think life is generally OK and mass racial oppression is not a severe problem. I reject the notion that all white people are evil. Oregon is pretty dang white but the rabid right is not in control here. Many similar examples.

  •  It would be far far better (6+ / 0-)

    if we could reform the federal government so that the Congress ended up looking more like America.

    e.g. The Senate is not a democratic body, giving Wyoming citizens a massive voice and Californians a tiny voice. And the House, with winner-take-all districts, kills off minority voices.

    But, if we were trying to estimate the probability of pulling off the following reforms:
    (a) Reform the representation and election process, or
    (b) Split the country into 2 or more pieces

    I would rate (a) as having zero probability (given that amending the constitution is nearly impossible, and small states are never going to give away their over-representation), and (b) as having infinitesimal probability (meaning that it's probably not worth talking about with such passion).

    Face it, we're stuck with each other. The Founding FathersTM designed a system that is far too difficult to reform, and for better or for worse, we are locked in a death spiral of decline because greedos and no-nothings are able to dominate government policy.

    •  Excellent comment. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Little

      Unfortunately, because a house divided cannot stand, we're stuck with Gov-Co now, in total control at the federal level. They (our Corporate Overlords) don't even bother to lobby anymore. They write core policy themselves, at the state, Federal, and international levels.

      I'm afraid the "political solution" window is closed. It has been for decades.


      A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. -- Groucho Marx

      by Pluto on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:52:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's possible Lincoln ws wrong (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Pluto

        we are divided on many issues, and still we stand. Well, wobble?

        •  We stand with all the rights of Colonists. (0+ / 0-)

          Not citizens. Even our natural resources are privately owned and exploited. We have to buy them on the commodity markets at full price.

          We have an outdated constitution written to benefit and protect slave holders -- which confers NO basic human rights on the people as defined by the UN Declaration of Human Rights and present in the overwhelming majority of the world's modern constitutions.

          The flaw in this entire issue is a structural one.


          A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five. -- Groucho Marx

          by Pluto on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:25:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The South sure had some shitty ass negoitators (6+ / 0-)

    in this deal.

    *They have to give up Washington DC & Texas.

    *They are forced to sell 75% of their own natural resources to the north.

    * The have to participate in what would be the equivalency of a CFL vs. NFL Super Bowl.

    What exactly is the North giving up? We ain't taking Trump or Wall Street.

    I guess you will be wanting our food next, then what?

  •  Although I like the idea of (0+ / 0-)

    kicking the South "out of the house", so to speak, I worry about what will happen to people down there who don't fit in to the majority. Black people didn't have an easy time there before the Federal Government laid down the law. The confederate states may just start up slavery again if they are their own country.

    Where are all the jobs, Boehner?

    by Dirtandiron on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:26:11 PM PDT

  •  Susan----Will you be providing equal time (3+ / 0-)

    from an author of a similar book from a Southern point of view?

  •  West coast offense (0+ / 0-)

    almost always beats SEC defense.  Just sayin'

    "To recognize error, to cut losses, to alter course, is the most repugnant option in government." Historian Barbara Tuchman

    by Publius2008 on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:28:48 PM PDT

  •  he completely dances around the minorities issue (10+ / 0-)

    "Hey, they can just move up here" is about as helpful as telling liberal Americans to move to Canada or Germany.

    No, they can't. The North/West can't handle a massive influx of impoverished Southerners. It couldn't even handle a massive influx of Southern liberals. At the very least, you would be looking at a massive refugee crisis that would cripple the very social programs that Thompson thinks secession would strengthen. In all likelihood, you would see that AND a massive spike in racial and class animosity in even the most liberal areas of the country.

    It's the same reason everyone didn't just move to the North after Emancipation and the same reason most liberals don't just move to Vermont or Oregon.

    The better solution (and what's actually happening) is actually for northern liberals to move to Southern cities and change the South from within.

    •  Which is why in my comment (0+ / 0-)

      I don't suggest we force everyone to move around, but just subsidize those who want to move to such a 'new country'.  Simply grab a contiguous area of very low population, buy out any current residents via eminent domain at triple the market rates, then subsidize them to move anywhere else, and subsidize all of the wannabe 'sovereign citizens' to move to that area to start up their new land.  We'll put a big border fence around it, of course, since they're always so concerned about security, and they can show us what they've got.

      And no backsies.  You want to be a 'sovereign citizen', you lose your US citizenship.

    •  No they can't but ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stroszek

      For a long time I've wondered about the South and its economic dependency on the rest of the USA. It would be a Caribbean country, similar to the others in the region, and how it organized itself politically, socially and economically as a nation might well follow one or another of the patterns established in the full range there: from Haiti to Cuba, from the Dominican Republic to Martinique. It would be hard to predict if, once the South was removed from the US teat, how it would proceed.

      Are there any Southerners who have seriously thought through what type of government they would REALLY like to have? and not just something that was constantly defined by its anti-Yankee style in everything?

    •  I don't even think (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Stroszek, qm1pooh, jlb1972

      migration would go the way most here think it would. For the past 30 years or so internal migration for blacks as well as the country as a whole as been moving towards the South and states like South Dakota and Colorado and leaving the West Coast, Midwest, and Northeast. According to the last census several states, including New York and Massachusetts, would have lost population if it weren't for incoming immigrants from other countries.

      "The government of the many, not the government of the money" - Nancy Pelosi

      by Americantrueandblue on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:15:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Northerners been doing that (0+ / 0-)

      for years. The big change every one believes will come as a result is not likely. There's an interesting study (quoted in the book) about how new immigrant groups coming to the South tend to be more influenced by and adopt southern standards and mainstream beliefs than they influence a change in those standards.

      •  big difference, the Northerners moving South (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        qm1pooh, diggerspop

        tend to be more educated people pursuing tech and research jobs. In that case, it was an issue of businesses moving South to avoid taxes/regulations and needing to import skilled labor... in other words, people came because the jobs moved first.

        That would not happen with poor minority populations. America, as a whole, is already struggling to provide enough jobs for less educated and lower skilled workers, and the North/West simply would not be able to provide a viable safe haven to even a single-digit percentage of the South's minority population.

        As for the big change... it's already happened which is why North Carolina and Virginia are competitive for Obama. And as I noted above, it's not an issue of Northerners/Westerners changing Southern minds, it's simply an issue of gradually adding to the proportion of progressive/center-left voters in the region. I don't doubt that people who move to the South are more likely to be slightly influenced by Southern culture, but this does not mean that even a majority of them become gun-twirling, racist hillbillies. They may moderate their beliefs, but the aggregate effect is still a leftward shift in the electorate. This is what I saw growing up as a child of Europeans in the South, and again, it's the reason Virginia and North Carolina are gradually breaking away from the old CSA.

    •  So the South is being changed from within? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto

      I have to agree with the author on this point, I have heard that for a while now, and it never seems to happen. And in fact, most Southern states seem to be getting worse.

      But of course change is really going to happen this time, for sure! it's just around the corner this time.  But I for one, am not  holding my breath for it to actually happen.

      I mean I wish it were otherwise, because that would be great. I personally just see other parts of the country getting worse as well. And frankly? I have more hope in trying to get those places 'back' than I do in the South actually changing.

      Secession isn't realistic, as the author admits,  but I do think some of the ideas of the book are worth talking about,  in a Swiftian kind of way. Which is what the author says is really the point of the book. So I hope this book becomes very popular, and than maybe more light can be shed on the idea that all government = bad, is a stupid one. And that in point of fact, it's the South who feeds off the teat of the government precisely because government actually IS needed to do things, and gasp! things they like! And that their stupidity is making it harder for the rest of us.

      You mess with the Badger, you gonna get the claws.

      by ElizabethRegina1558 on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:26:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The South only really ever seems to change when (0+ / 0-)

        its forced to at gunpoint so we've probably got a few more years of neo-fudalism and Mormano-Christian fundamentalism to deal with before there's enough outrage to force the next step.

      •  they're not getting worse at all (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        qm1pooh, diggerspop

        The change is gradual but real. I spent three years working for a GLBT advocacy group in a Bible Belt city, and while it's obviously still not a good place to be gay, the conversations I had with older GLBT folks made it clear that things are much, much better than they used to be.

        Now, these people can express who they are and only have to worry about getting into an ugly argument with a bigot.

        Fifteen years ago, they would have been too worried about losing their job.

        Thirty years ago, they would have been too worried about losing their life.

      •  in terms of economic policy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jlb1972

        You are right. Things are getting worse everywhere (including Europe), and getting rid of the South would, at best, only temporarily halt the onslaught of neoliberalism. After all, the Democrats (Obama included) aren't backing away from public health insurance and rational financial regulation because they want to appeal to voters in Alabama.

        If anything, the GOP's increasingly archaic alliance with the South on cultural issues is helping to preserve progressive liberalism elsewhere. At some point, the GOP is going to have to let go of the old South to be viable as a national party, and getting rid of the South now would only expedite that process in the North and West.

        Yes, evangelical neoliberals would largely be contained in the CSA, but that would just leave us with slightly more culturally progressive versions of Boehner (OH), Romney (MA) and Paul Ryan (WI).

      •  and arguing that the South is somehow inherently (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Unduna, diggerspop, jlb1972

        right-neoliberal is BS.

        The South used to be solidly, New Deal Democratic. In terms of economic policy, it used to be more liberal than much of the West and North is now.

        Right-wing economics was a gift to the South from the North.

  •  There's a point that I have seen no (27+ / 0-)

    one make in this discussion.  (Count me among the appalled lifetime subscribers who think it is a very bad idea to have this discussion here today.)  

    The author and commenters seem to have forgotten that millions died to keep this country together and to protect it from external threats.  His argument seems to be "it's inconvenient to be in a country with people who disagree with us on many things, so let's just give up the pretense and be two countries."  So did Lincoln's dead die in vain?  Did our soldiers die in vain in WWI and WWII?  

    I am astounded that many Kossacks seem to agree that Lincoln's Union was a disposable item or is a fantasy.

    I will not participate further in this discussion and for the first time in my eight years on the site I am deeply ashamed of Daily Kos.

    It is stupid and offensive when Rick Perry does it but his ignorance excuses him.  When our side does it, it's worse.

    Still enjoying my stimulus package.

    by Kevvboy on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:31:00 PM PDT

    •  Amen, Kevvboy - last week this discussion (17+ / 0-)

      left me feeling physically ill.

      Clearly, I have misjudged this site as a home for Progressive people who want to work collectively to elect more and better Democrats. Instead, it's looking more and more like a venue for stereotyping fellow Americans and salivating over the prospect of tossing millions of them under the bus.

      If this is the front page, there's really little point in hanging out here any longer.

      Those who do not understand history are condemned to repeat it... in summer school.

      by cassandracarolina on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:35:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well said (12+ / 0-)

      the jingoism has taken over this discussion and it is embarrassing to see.

      Most of the northerns who move down here looking for jibs seem to be a little more open minded than these "progressives"

    •  It's a fucking book. A BOOK. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Pluto, kingfishstew, fwcetus

      Maybe we should  burn it?

      Jesus. wtf is wrong with you?

      •  Little, if there was a book (A BOOK) (12+ / 0-)

        urging the armed overthrow of the US government, I would object just as strenuously.  (Matter of fact, in his sly, joky way, that is exactly what the author is proposing.)  This is a completely inappropriate discussion and does not add to the site's mission of electing more and better Democrats.  Just my opinion.  I promised not to participate in this discussion and I'm not.  If I knew who to HR, I would.

        Still enjoying my stimulus package.

        by Kevvboy on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:48:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We have as a country some deep kernels (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Pluto, kingfishstew

          to unlock and uncage and twenty rows of teeth that need kicked in to get us out of rut of violence and division and more violence. On the way there a whole lot of VERY uncomfortable questions have to be raised. They at least have to be raised. Mistakes are going to be made n that path. If this is one, fine. But I think it's a good faith attempt to kick the country in the teeth - something it very badly needs.

          •  Not in good faith. (12+ / 0-)

            Smug, smirking, supercilious, cherry-picking his research, seeing only what confirms his bias, Hannitian in his disdain for those who are Less than he, indulging every stereotype, ignoring all history, seeking to divide us rather than unite us.  

            No.

            Not in good faith.  

            He is spitting on the graves of all the men and women who died to make this country the UNITED States.

            And no we do not need  "teeth kicked in." Or violence.  Or secession.  Or separation.  Or anything other than to win this fucking election.  And the next. And the one after that.  Democracy sucks.  It is much worse than any system of government, except for all other systems of government.

            Still enjoying my stimulus package.

            by Kevvboy on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:56:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

              "And no we do not need  "teeth kicked in." Or violence."

              Is that deliberate misreading of me?

            •  This type of hyperventilation (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kingfishstew, Little, renbear

              almost always comes from people who don't bother to read the book.

              •  Chuck Thompson, (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                downsouth, diggerspop, jlb1972, fuzzyguy

                go right ahead and insult me, but I know more about books and the South than you will ever know in your entire life.  I find your premise disgusting and your methods spurious.  You aren't a real journalist, just another regional opinionator.  What about the Civil War, Chuck?  All those folks died in vain?  Lincoln's idea of the Union isn't worth our time and effort?  Your ridiculous "thought experiment" is just like Rick Perry's.  Exactly.  Not even the flip side.  You sum it up very well above.

                And no, I will not contribute one cent to you or this absurd book.  

                Still enjoying my stimulus package.

                by Kevvboy on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:28:33 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  To be fair (7+ / 0-)

                You're doing a piss-poor job of making me want to read it.

                Every single serious question that's been asked has been answered with, essentially, "don't worry about it."

                I don't like the premise of the book. I admit, I will never buy it. But after the original review was posted, I thought I would probably check it out from my local library in a year or two.

                But so far, you're basically shrugging off every question or answering it with more nonsense, which leads me to believe that it's really as shallow and stupid as I had originally suspected.

                You've done a remarkable thing here by making me LESS interested in reading your book.

                P.S. I am not a crackpot.

                by BoiseBlue on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:47:27 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I have read most of his comments, BB (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  renbear

                  and am not getting that feeling at all? Can you point to some?

                  •  I'm sorry, I don't have the inclination to link (7+ / 0-)

                    to every one of them.

                    I asked him specifically about what happens to all of the African Americans, who are highly concentrated in the South, and his answer was essentially, oh, there's not a lot of racism to worry about in the South anyway.

                    Right. The South is a racist shithole but don't worry about the minorities there.

                    What of the poor?

                    Oh, well we'll have a ten year deportation period.

                    Do you realize how expensive it is to make a long distance move?

                    Crickets.

                    Then he said the point of this is not about politics, but the point is that by doing this, we'll have a solid voting bloc.

                    Which is not about politics?

                    He has not answered the most basic and troubling questions about this proposal, which is the effect it would have on minorities and the poor. When pressed, he concedes, yes, it's a ridiculous idea, but it was meant to call Rick Perry's bluff. And then goes on to defend this incredibly ridiculous idea.

                    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

                    by BoiseBlue on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:57:13 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Here's ONE (5+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Kevvboy, qm1pooh, citizenx, jlb1972, missLotus

                    That's easy for me to link to because it's attached to my comment.

                    My question:

                    What do we do with all of the African Americans in the south? Say, hey, sorry! We're outta here!

                    The author's answer?

                    The most bullish among those I interviewed noted that many affluent African Americans in this country are in the South and that more African American owned business have started in the South in the past 20 years than any other region. Also, as UGA prof. James Cobb told me, there is no evidence anywhere of southerners practicing racism to their economic detriment.
                    Why, then, are black southerners facing a much higher rate of unemployment than their white counterparts? That's one question I have. The other is how one can be so blindingly stupid as to suggest that there is no evidence of economic racism in the south.

                    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

                    by BoiseBlue on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 04:15:32 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I think this is partly because it's not a serious (0+ / 0-)

                      argument. this is one of the areas that highlights that. I don't think it hshould necessarily kill the whole idea,. But you can of course disagree.

                      This from teh diary supports me:

                      Relax, I’ve been on the right side of a lot of arguments in my life and so have you but that doesn’t mean I’m gonna win this one. Secession might be a good idea—at the very least it is a worthwhile frame through which to examine many of the problems in this country—but that doesn't mean it’s going to happen anytime soon.

                      I’m serious about my book, but I’m also a realist and if you can’t see that there is a bit of a Swiftian proposition at work here, then you obviously haven’t bothered to read the book.

                      And this is a bit better as a response to your question, isn't it? I mean it doesn't answer it exactly, but it is a very good point:
                      The amount of people who speak of me “abandoning” or “writing off” or “marooning” or “leaving behind” all those millions of southern liberals and African Americans, as though these people were soldiers trapped behind enemy lines, underscores for me how real the North/South dichotomy is.
                      •  We're going in circles now (6+ / 0-)

                        Anyone who has questions about the premise of the book is just told "You obviously haven't read the book."

                        The amount of people who speak of me “abandoning” or “writing off” or “marooning” or “leaving behind” all those millions of southern liberals and African Americans, as though these people were soldiers trapped behind enemy lines, underscores for me how real the North/South dichotomy is.
                        That part? That could apply to every red state. He's not proposing writing off the red states in the Midwest or West, but the problems that he highlights about the South are problems that exist in every red state.

                        It's not a North/South issue. It's more complicated than that. I live in a Western red state and I'm telling you, secession is not going to magically solve our problems. It will make them worse.

                        But the author refuses to address that.

                        P.S. I am not a crackpot.

                        by BoiseBlue on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 05:05:36 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  It's far more a rural/urban divide, (0+ / 0-)

                          and 50 years ago Eisenhower pointed out that the MIC was in every state and Congressional district. This is nationwide.

                          Then let us learn our range: we are something but we are not everything - Pascal

                          by jlb1972 on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 08:09:02 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

        •  And Thomspon says here that he is (0+ / 0-)

          not urging that. It is a book.

        •  Always amazed at thse types of reactions (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kingfishstew, Little, renbear

          Really? No one but me and a few kooks in this country have ever sat around thinking, "What if we'd just let the South go?" Or, "Shit, you guys feel so oppressed by Washington DC and hate gays and abortion so much, just go ahead and make your own damn country." Seems to me like a discussion many people in this country have had. Why so afraid of it? I dunno, I'm not freaked out by opinions. Hell, I listen to FOX and Rush often enough, I can take it, I know what's going on on that side, believe me, it ain't pretty.

          •  That's exactly right. If it's wrong to write this (0+ / 0-)

            it's wrong to think it - and Kevboy seems to be backing that up with his comments. He is perfectly free to blast you with several million rhetorical barrels - but chooses book burning instead. Even while you're right here taking the flak. Blerg.

          •  yeah, people tell bad jokes too. (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Unduna, Kevvboy, qm1pooh, jlb1972

            I wouldn't read a whole book of them, nor would I read a book by Rush. If that's your thing, go ahead, but I prefer to waste my time by writing pointless comments on daily kos.

            "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

            by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 04:07:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  But to my point, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            diggerspop, jlb1972

            Chuck Thompson, what about the Civil War?  Didn't it settle the question you want to reopen?  Isn't your notion blatantly racist on its face?   Yes, lots of people have had the discussion you describe.  Most of them are yahoos or Klansmen or fans of Rick Perry.  Now you drag your silly garbage on here masquerading as some sort of "study."  It's just your half-assed opinion, and plainly you are the kind of writer who lives to stir the pot.  

            Still enjoying my stimulus package.

            by Kevvboy on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 04:11:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  it's a fucking STUPID book, racist to boot (11+ / 0-)

        what's wrong with you? It's being frontpaged on a blog you spend a lot of time on so it must be germane to you and many kossacks.

        But at its heart it's just as racist as the original secession of the south. He's telling black, Hispanic and progressive Americans they have to be "relocated" or else see their homes turned over to racists. Only the white majority gets to decide.

        My Grandfather and Grandmother were "relocated" to Oklahoma by the USA calvary. Not some ancient relatives, my Grandad and Grandma. So I can tell you what it does to people. It isn't pretty.

        The whole idea is deeply racist in that it thinks only the feelings of white people count. But its stupidity is even worse than its racism. It's a goddamn shame this would appear on dkos, Stormfront would be more fitting.

        America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

        by cacamp on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:24:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you. (5+ / 0-)

          Thank you.

          A million times thank you.

          Still enjoying my stimulus package.

          by Kevvboy on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:32:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  That is mindbogglingly unfair. (0+ / 0-)

          You need to read your own words more carefully:

          He's telling black, Hispanic and progressive Americans they have to be "relocated" or else see their homes turned over to racists.
          •  Mrs Thompson (0+ / 0-)

            you have said enough now.

            Still enjoying my stimulus package.

            by Kevvboy on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 04:12:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  no, that's exactly true, racism from the left (5+ / 0-)

            which is why you don't refute it. My people live on reservations in the south where we were placed at the whim of the conquror. We've made our homes and lives on these lands. Now some white guy is telling us we must move again or live under a repressive regime of unreconstructed white supremists. Fuck that, we'll fight as we have in every war for freedom America has waged.

            America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

            by cacamp on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 04:57:29 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't intend to argue with your experience, or (0+ / 0-)

              the experience of your family and people. I do think it's fair to simply say that I think you go a little too far here. One of the author's chief complaints, and one of the thing his argument attempts to address, is racism. If his solution is hamhanded and would simply end up having results that end up harming the very people it attempts to help - well, I think you're more than fair in calling it hamhanded, or self-defeating, or dumb, or whatever. But I don't think it's fair to call it racist.

      •  Burn the Witch! n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Little
      •  Yes life offers us only those two options (9+ / 0-)

        (!) Advertise this book on the FP of Dailykos or (2)burn it. There is no other options such as, I dunno, letting this little book sell itself w/o promotion two weeks running on this particular web site. Life sux.

    •  I understand your upset but what's happening (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chris Jay

      is that Thompson has plugged into a whole mother lode of anger that a lot of us have been suppressing.  There is a problem with the current GOP and the way it relates to the rest of the country. The South is the main power base and population center for the GOP.

      In a number of important ways, southeners are very different from people outside the South. Foreigners have said the same thing........the South stands apart from the rest of the country. Pretending those differences don't exist is ridiculous. Not trying to find a solution to the problem is dangerous. We can't find a solution if we refuse to discuss the options. One option is secession.

    •  And after nearly 150 years, (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kevvboy, Quicklund, qm1pooh, citizenx, fuzzyguy

      during which we undoubtedly have made progress, why now? In fact, this actually seems to be evidence that we are making progress, ironically, because it's when we are on the cusp of change that people seem to get the most impatient.

      "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

      by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 03:35:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm giving this diary a rec (0+ / 0-)

    only so I can always come back to it and check any new comments.

    "The government of the many, not the government of the money" - Nancy Pelosi

    by Americantrueandblue on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:31:33 PM PDT

  •  Please make an audio book (0+ / 0-)

    I listen to most everything these days.  Please do an audio book.

    I think the premise is bang on.

    Mrick

  •  2 questions: (18+ / 0-)

      When Rick Perry preaches the secession hate doctrine, Daily Kos labels him an unhinged lunatic.

    But when Chuck Thompson preaches the secession hate doctrine, Daily Kos introduces Chuck Thompson as a hail-fellow-well-met.  

    So, first question: When will pro-secession liberals & websites be issuing public apologies to Rick Perry?  

     Second question, & speaking of Rick Perry:  This would see a perfect "strange bedfellows" opportunity for Chuck Thompson & Rick Perry.  So I want to know if Chuck Thompson & Rick Perry have had any meetings on how to make this secession thing happen?

     

    "You just gotta keep on livin man! L-I-V-I-N!" - Wooderson

    by wyvern on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:34:25 PM PDT

  •  I have had these thoughts ever since I lived in (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto, Chris Jay

    Texas for a full decade; very glad someone more capable than me has put them in an intelligent, well-researched format. My thoughts also include working towards a North American Union with Canada, along with an EU-style process for Mexico ( and the CSA to re)join the Union.

    A homo in a bi-national relationship - at 49, I had to give up my career, leave behind my dying father, my family & friends and move to Europe. And I'm one of the *lucky* ones: Immigration Equality

    by aggieric on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:36:01 PM PDT

  •  and don't forget "Aztlan" or is this all white? (6+ / 0-)

    A big portion of the SW has to be set aside for Hispanic peoples. From West Texas to California "Atzlan" is a part of Greater Mexico. Or do only white people get a sayso in how the nation is divided?

    Your book seems to take in only the thinking of white people but remember white people will not be the majority much longer.

    America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

    by cacamp on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:36:06 PM PDT

    •  Well, you're getting into the parts where (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fuzzyguy

      you then have to face up to the fact that the entire bloody continent was stolen.  If we're going to completely Balkanize, we'd have to hand back a hell of a lot more than just the SW.

      (We meaning primarily European derived Americans such as myself and others like me.  You'd obviously be on the receiving end of any such land reparations.)

      It actually leads to a not-horrible idea - letting tribes buy back land to add to reservation boundaries far more easily than they currently can, with the incredibly onerous hoops to jump through.  Surely tribes that were forceably relocated should be allowed to purchase back areas in their traditional home areas if they have the wherewithal, no?  

      •  no, I'm talking about today only (4+ / 0-)

        My peoples problems aside this whole idea is racist to its core. Notice the author in his answer to me doesn't say what the interviews with minorities produced or whether he spoke with minorities who wanted to remain on their homeland but still desire to remain American.

        America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

        by cacamp on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 04:40:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not true at all, I interviewed many (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chris Jay

      and discuss African American, Latino and, to a lesser degree, other minority groups in the book. The big mistake most northern critiques make when dealing with the South is assessing it purely as a Caucasian redneck place. That's not the case at all. African Americans are interviewed and the situation discussed in every chapter of the book. The first anecdote from the book comes from an African American Baptist church in Atlanta.

  •  The partition solution has a geography problem (8+ / 0-)

    The issue isn't North vs. South any more, it's Blue States vs. Red States.

    In any territorial partition scheme, the Midwest prairie states (aka what's the matter with Kansas) would probably want to join the Confederacy 2.0, along with most of the Roxky Mountain states. Which would leave us divided into E. Bluestan and W. Bluestan.

    And what about poor New Mexico, surrounded and cut off by The CSA? And which way would the purple states go? Judging from the last go round, that one could get REALLY ugly.

    No, for better or worse (increasingly worse, IMO) red and blue America are stuck with each other. This isn't Czechoslovakia and we don't do "velvet divorces."

    We do Gettysburgs.

  •  Ironically enough, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chris Jay

    this topic seems to create a great divide of sorts on site.

    "The government of the many, not the government of the money" - Nancy Pelosi

    by Americantrueandblue on Sun Oct 21, 2012 at 02:39:07 PM PDT