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Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:41 AM

The South has decided to be defeated and dumb. (BY Garry Wills)

Dumb America
Garry Wills


No part of the country will suffer the effects of global warming earlier or with more devastation than the South, yet its politicians resist measures to curb carbon emissions and deny the very existence of climate change—sending it to the dungeon with evolution and biblical errancy. One doesn’t need much imagination to see the South with lowered or swollen waters in its rivers and ports, raging kudzu, swarming mosquitos, and record-breaking high temperatures, still telling itself that global-warming talk is just a liberal conspiracy. But it just digs deeper in denial. The South has decided to be defeated and dumb.

Humans should always cling to what is good about their heritage, but that depends on being able to separate what is good from what is bad. It is noble to oppose mindless change, so long as that does not commit you to rejecting change itself. The South defeats its own cause when it cannot discriminate between the good and the evil in its past, or pretends that the latter does not linger on into the present: Some in the South deny that the legacy of slavery exists at all in our time. The best South, exemplified by the writers listed above, never lost sight of that fact. Where are the writers of that stature today in the Tea Party South? I was made aware of the odd mix of gain and loss when I went back to Atlanta to see my beloved grandmother. She told me not to hold change between my lips while groping for a pocket to put it in—“That might have been in a nigger’s mouth.” Once, when she took me to Mass, she walked out of the church when a black priest came out to celebrate. I wondered why, since she would sit and eat with a black woman who helped her with housework. “It is the dignity—I would not let him take the Lord in his hands.”

Tradition dies hard, hardest among those who cannot admit to the toll it has taken on them. That is why the worst aspects of the South are resurfacing under Obama’s presidency. It is the dignity. That a black should have not merely rights but prominence, authority, and even awe—that is what many Southerners cannot stomach. They would let him ride on the bus, or get into Ivy League schools. But he must be kept from the altar; he cannot perform the secular equivalent of taking the Lord in his hands. It is the dignity.

This is the thing that makes the South the distillation point for all the fugitive extremisms of our time, the heart of Say-No Republicanism, the home of lost causes and nostalgic lunacy. It is as if the whole continent were tipped upward, so that the scattered crazinesses might slide down to the bottom. The South has often been defeated. Now it is defeating itself.


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Reply The South has decided to be defeated and dumb. (BY Garry Wills) (Original post)
kpete Jan 2013 OP
kimbutgar Jan 2013 #1
Glorfindel Jan 2013 #2
Dawgs Jan 2013 #3
Solly Mack Jan 2013 #4
Democratic Principle Jan 2013 #5

Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:12 AM

1. They have to learn the hard way and experience the effects to the point that it wakes them up

In North Carolina there have been over 50 mudslides since the first of the year.

There has been a deluge of landslides over roadways, with nearly 50 slope failures causing problems on state-maintained roads, according to the Asheville Citizen-Times.

"We've had four in Cherokee County, three in Clay County, 23 in Graham County, eight in Haywood, 10 in Jackson, two in Macon, six in Swain and none in Henderson, Polk and Transylvania," said Joel Setzer, district engineer for District 14, which comprises the 10 westernmost counties.

Setzer noted that these are only slides on state-maintained roads. More have occurred on private roads.


Giant Washout Strands Residents Near Bluff City Tennessee (Jan 19)Members of the Hickory Tree Volunteer Fire Department began draining flood waters Saturday from a massive sinkhole on Barnette Road in the Chinquapin Road community, just outside of Bluff City, Tenn.

Resident Bobby Barnett says he's never seen it flood this bad.

"I've lived here all my life- it's the worst I've ever seen it. I've seen it flood before, but this is so much it can't take it. Somethings gonna have to be done about that hole right there," says Barnett.


Landslide Closes Cherohala Skyway Between N.C. and Tennessee (Jan 17)

West Virginia Rock Slide Closes Road in Kanawha County (Jan 16)

Wheeling West Virginia's Heritage Trail Plagued by Mudslides Past Several Years (Jan 11)

Fort Payne Alabama Landslide Will Take Months to Repair (Jan 16)

(There are more but I only provided about half the links)

So I guess these Southerners will have to learn the hard way that global warming is real and because of the people they support it will only get worse.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:46 AM

2. Sad but true

The people of the American south (no, of course not every one of us!) are their own worst enemies. I never cease to be amazed by the willingness of "the north" to subsidize "the south" while being hated a villified by the recipients of the largesse. The Repuke "congressman" who represents the Mississippi Gulf Coast actually voted AGAINST helping the victims of Superstorm Sandy.

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 01:01 PM

3. Great. Another South bashing thread.


How come we never see North bashing threads, considering many now have GOP governors and majorities in state houses?

Are all of those men and women for fighting global warming?


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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 02:04 PM

4. K&R

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Response to kpete (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 02:07 PM

5. I struggle with this...

I agree and have seen read about all the horrible weather. Melting in some places freezing in other. Our contribution to chemicals in the air. We do extinguish forest fires more quickly that would normally just continue but we also start more

But the planet has been here for 4.5 billion years. If we say that we have 300 years of data that would represent 0.00000006666666% of the time. Its very little data to pass judgment on a eons long evolution. We are entering our 11th year of the suns 11year activity cycle. It might be another bad year. I'm not sure how I get my arms around this?

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