The Redneck Manifesto

Although I have always been a liberal, I read almost anything to try and understand other points of view, with the exception of anything written by a Fox News opinion propagandists. This is one of those books, and I believe it has quite a few points that are key to understanding why working class white voters chose the Tea Party and Donald Trump. They see how they are endlessly mocked, which is perfectly fine, but it is taboo to say anything about some minorities they may not even encounter in their lives. They resent all of the ‘white privilege’ talk when they are scrambling to feed their families every day, and believe they descend from white slavery, as they in fact may have relatives that involuntarily came over under indentured servitude. War is something that they are made to serve in, while the privileged liberals have the connections to get deferrals and protest. There is not enough time in a day to bother about political correctness and they work and live among working class blacks, while elitists have gated communities. Government to them is designed to take their money to pay for things they feel no benefit from, so the talk of small government and drain the swamp appeals to them because they genuinely want the world to burn because they feel impotent and powerless. Immigrants are not wanted because they drive down wages for the working poor. Gun control is stripping the only defense they have from the Government, so while a few whackos commit terrorism at home, it pales in comparison to the actual killing the government sanctions all over the world. Drugs and destructive entertainment allow them to feel and refuel for going back to the same thankless, low-paid mistreatment they face every day to scrape by a living.

Some of these voters were supportive of Bernie Sanders, and it would be in the liberals best interest to address some these issues in order to be elected. Own up to past failure to serve all of the people and prioritizing the needs of corporations and the wealthy over joe six-pack and start addressing their needs without resorting to calling them deplorables and maybe, just maybe, they will stop supporting total chaos and destruction of our institutions. Frankly, a lot of us are tired of being Charlie Brown voting for Lucy and being slammed on our back by the least worst candidate. Fallacies aside, this is what people believe and failure to address these core issues might steer us towards the decimation of every ideal we hold dear.

The link provided is an Amazon Affiliate link, but if you install the library extension on your browser, you may be able to find it at your local library or on the internet archive at archive.org.

Atomic Habits

This book is based entirely on the premise that minor improvements every day will snowball into huge returns over time. You pick a keystone habit to change, and when you have that one down it becomes much easier to improve upon. The resulting success makes it easier to start stacking other new habits with the original good habit.

Many people have habits they need to change and think it’s always all-out or nothing. For instance, diet changes. You buy a book about the newest diet craze and pick a specific date to start. You’re gonna toss out all of your food and buy all the items on the list for your weekly meals and tell yourself it’s all gonna work this time. It’s all going to go swimmingly because so-and-so at work lost 30 pounds on this diet and all of these testimonials prove it works.

So you manage to meal prep and choke down all the meals for a few days or weeks, and then it happens. You forgot to make your overnight breakfast glop yesterday and now you have no time. You fly out the door and see the fast food place you always go to and veer into the drive-thru. You start wrestling with yourself about how you should order their version of the breakfast glop. While you are having this internal discussion and thinking you don’t even like the glop, the order taker interrupts you and you blurt out that you want the breakfast platter that you always order. AND a large soda. Well, it’s all or nothing, right? You blew it. Since you ruined the day, you may as well make it a cheat day, right? You’re a bad person and a failure.

It is possible to change all of your habits, usually after a major health scare or a severe disruption of your life. Even then, the success rate is around 37% for the minority of people who attempt it. You may know intellectually what you need to do, but that isn’t going to change your habits. Habits are in the realm of your subconscious and are guided by emotions.

Habits serve you a purpose. They are pretty automatic and only one or maybe two can be changed at once. It takes an average of 66 days to cement a habit down, with a range of 18-200 days. The old ones are still lurking in your brain, and will default when you’re unprepared for a situation.

This book addresses how to set a new habit up for success. First, they should be identity-based, rather than outcome-based. Focusing on outcome can lead to quitting when the goal is reached. Saying I am a healthy eater reflects who you are and sinks into your subconscious mind. Saying I’m going to lose 10 lbs. means that you’ve succeeded and are done with your new habits after you achieve that goal.

Structure your environment in such a way that your old habits are not triggered. Conversely, set up cues to perform a new habit easily. Sleep in your exercise clothes, hide or get rid of distractions and cues to your former bad habits. Make them difficult to fall back on subconsciously.

Stack habits with current ones. Set up your night/day routine with all the cues needed in the bathroom. Face wash, toothpaste and brush, floss, etc.

Make new habits specific to a time and place.

Have implementation intentions. If x happens, I will do y. So, if you forgot your lunch or someone brought in food, plan what you intend to do beforehand. If a novel situation comes up and you fall into an old habit, add an intention for that and move on.

Bundle new habits with pleasurable experiences. Watch your favorite show while exercising. Beware of stacking negative habits like I will have a martini after I exercise 10 minutes. Next thing you know, you’re drunk and there’s a kettleball in your tv.

A slip-up into an old habit is just that. The new habit is not yet fully established. The old one will always be there lurking. Figure out what made you slip back and regroup.

Keep a success diary or calendar. Track the positives.

All animals conserve their energy. This is not a bad thing. Habits are automatic shortcuts. Make it easy for you to perform the new ones and difficult for the ones you are trying to get rid of.

The provided link is an Amazon Affiliate link. If you install the Library Extension on your browser, you can see if they have it at your local library or check the internet archive at archive.org.

The Stop and Drop Diet

This book is like Dimly Lit Meals for One – grocery store edition. The thesis of this book is along the veins of Eat This, Not That, but focusing on marginal improvements of one over the other without consideration of the appeal and tastiness of either dish. After all, the meals contain most or all of the major food groups: soy/meat, wheat, cheese, corn(sugar), vegetable oil, preservatives, emulsifiers, artificial flavors and salt. The pesky spices have been eliminated except for onion and garlic powder, and the vegetable group is generally 2% or less, I promise!!

Some of the meal suggestions are particularly gruesome:

Four sprays of olive oil on a salad with low fat feta.

Potato salad = 1/2c potatoes, 1 tsp. olive oil, 2 tsp. lemon, s&p. Sure to be a hit at parties! Or you can just buy Read canned german potato salad.

Suddenly Pasta Salad with Ranch and Bacon and light mayo. Soybean bacon bits and less than 2% peas. This comes in a box about the size of Kraft macaroni and cheese. It’s 4.5 servings. So, if you eat the whole box, it’s only 1575 calories!

If you love french onion soup, look away! Don’t say I didn’t warn you! Instead of topping the soup with a crispy slice of toasty bread and gobs of cheese, put a piece of melba toast on it with 1 tsp. parmesan. YUM!

Hungry and see a 7-11 up the block? Just go right in and get yourself a chicken salad sandwich!

Hormel Compleats Meatloaf and Gravy and Mashed Potatoes… one review says it tastes like cat food.

Banquet Salisbury Steak Meal… a review on the Banquet website called the meat a ‘hellish nightmare’.

7 Tostitos chips.

61 Eatsmart Garden Veggie Straws. !=62

I mean, I could go on, but I think I made my point clear. This is not a diet book for anyone to buy unless they want a permanent aversion to food. In a perverse way, it could be effective.

Medical Medium Life-Changing Foods

I became curious about this book because there were three by this author that kept disappearing off the shelves at the library and had large numbers of holds on them. Since I read almost anything, I had to check this book out.

The author of this would be utterly laughable if he wasn’t preying on individuals in poor health, as well as family members of those who are very ill. Anthony Williams ‘background story’ is that the Spirit of the Most High, who is apparently God’s HR recruiter, came down to give him the job of diagnosing people and prescribing foods to cure them when he was four years old. (I don’t remember a biblical HR person from what I learned in bible school, but it was a long time ago.) The spirit nagged at him about what to do and eat, and even cured him of a ten day illness after he did as he was told and ate fresh peas from the garden. Anthony really balked at diagnosing people, and the spirit got very, very angry with him and told him if he didn’t do it, the dog would be drowned in the canal after it had fallen in. Poor little Anthony capitulated to save his dog and began his life as a ‘healer’. (The spirit apparently found him a wife, so I suppose he also doubles as a pick-up artist. Also, the spirit knows how to fix cars…Jesus indeed Built My Hot-rod! I mean the Spirit of the Most High Built My Hot-Rod).

So anyway, Anthony starts doing as he is told by raving at people at his supermarket job about what their health problems are and prescribing fruits and vegetables for them to eat. So now we are raising the possibility he is in fact mentally ill and hears voices telling him these things. Please note there is a disclaimer in the book that if you are not cured, it was in fact just too late to save your sorry ass. You are among the people who “have manifested or attracted the wrong life circumstances”.

Among his claims are these gems:

• There is magical water in fruits and vegetables called hydrobioactive water and cofactor water nutrients that are “undiscovered information” by science.

• There is apparently an encyclopedic knowledge of the materia medica for fruit and vegetables in his head. (You know, like homeopathy. Get one of those and try to make any sense of it!)

• Apricots must be eaten after 3pm because that’s when the nutrients are at their highest levels.

• Cranberries can indeed metaphysically transform nutrients to you just by gazing at them on a table.

• You must hold on to an avocado for thirty seconds before you cut it to identify it as yours and connect its cells with your individual energy, being, soul and DNA, making it the most nutritious it can be for your personal needs.

• Cherries are so cleansing, detoxifying, that they serve us best in limited quantity.

I think you get the point. Anthony claims that he “has become a valuable resource to doctors who need help solving their most difficult cases”. In his previous book he says “This book is unlike anything you’ve ever read. You won’t find citation after citation, references to study after study, because this is fresh, ahead of it’s time information that comes from the heavens…. the facts actually come from the spirit”. These spiritual credentials are all he has to go on for making his medical diagnoses and cures.

Anthony Williams is affiliated with Goop and HayHouse Radio (which has a 50% affiliate cut and also hosts Angel Intuitives and Fairyologists, as well as Dr. Wayne Dyer). There are claims on the internet of him charging $500 for half-hour over the phone health consultations, in which he prescribes supplements that he also happens to sell on his website. Also, there is a claim and screenshot of a request to provide the most ‘inspirational’ review for his book for a prize package worth $3,000. https://www.inverse.com/article/40096-medical-medium-anthony-william That would help explain all of the five star reviews for this book.

I also found a blogger who wrote about talking to Anthony Williams on the phone for a consultation for her son, who had medical issues since birth. He told her that the child had mercury poisoning, and advised her what supplements to give the boy most of the call. She took the child to an acupuncturist to diagnose mercury poisoning (I know!) and gave him the supplements. She was convinced he was improving with the supplements, and then her son unexpectedly died and sent her universe crashing down. http://www.kateleong.com/2016/02/the-things-we-do-when-were-desperate.html

Anthony Williams has a presence on Facebook that helpfully includes a huge disclaimer of their responsibility for the contents of their own website, which obviously allows them to make money from him while claiming they are working on cleaning up false medical claims.

Books like this make me question the whole nonfiction category. There really should be a new book category called Alternative Facts. This would go quite well with Dianetics and Creation Science. One of the poor reviews of this book was not because it was complete nonsense, but that there were no specific recipes. Makes me wonder about people.