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A law is now in effect in South Carolina requiring that all groups wanting to overthrow the government register with the Secretary of State.

Known as the "Subversive Activities Registration Act," Title 23, Chapter 29 of the South Carolina Code of Laws requires that, "Every member of a subversive organization, or an organization subject to foreign control, every foreign agent and every person who advocates, teaches, advises or practices the duty, necessity or propriety of controlling, conducting, seizing or overthrowing the government of the United States, of this State or of any political subdivision thereof by force or violence or other unlawful means, who resides, transacts any business or attempts to influence political action in this State, shall register with the Secretary of State on the forms and at the times prescribed by him."

FITSNews, a South Carolina web site, ridiculed the law in an anonymous post.

"In the long and storied history of utterly retarded legislation in South Carolina, we may have finally found the legal statute that takes the cake for sheer stupidity, which we think you'll agree is saying something."

The state charges a $5 filing fee per organization. The required form can be found at the Secretary of State's web site and requires respondents to check "yes" or "no" after the following question:

"Do you or your organization directly or indirectly advocate, advise, teach or practice the duty or necessity of controlling, seizing or overthrowing the government of the United States, the state of South Carolina or any political division thereof?

If yes, please outline the fundamental beliefs. If applicable, attach a copy of the bylaws or minutes of meetings from the last year."

Punishment for violating the law includes a maximum of $25,000 and/or 10 years in prison.

This isn't the first law in South Carolina requiring a criminal, or someone who intends to commit a crime, to voluntarily cooperate with the state. South Carolina is one of several states that also tries to tax marijuana and other illegal drugs.

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My congressman did what?

Though I (obviously) voted for Rob Miller.

Goes on the SC list.
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Jon Stewart noticed about South Carolina.

I'd forgotten about the gorilla incident. It's a lovely gorilla though.
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And now a South Carolina man was videotaped raping a horse.

I'm not saying he wasn't mentally disturbed or it couldn't possibly have happened elsewhere (though maybe not filmed elsewhere) or that we shouldn't pity him etc.

I'm just saying it goes on the list.
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Worst mistakes of my life:

#1: Moving to South Carolina.

#2: Swimming spermform into a deterministic trajectory moving me to South Carolina.
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No. 44, they're calling him. The Mysterious Stranger? I've had at least three southern grad students (!) tell me there's something indefinably frightening or untrustworthy about him. Not that he was black, liberal, Muslim, smart, but that something was wrong. Which pretty neatly became my opinion about them, of course. The narrator of No. 44 comes to see the stranger as the sensible one.
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What was worst about last term: how little people improved, from essay to essay, and how much of what they said was bullshit, or some painfully reduced or garbled version of what I or the professor had said, and how those that did think for themselves were...not doing it very well.

What was best was how thirsty they looked when, sensing some failure in general knowledge had rendered something in the text or the professor's take on it incomprehensible, I explained something pretty uncontroversial about history, or religion, or logic or science or storytelling--some connection affecting everyone. Their faces spelled not just eureka, but eureka at the possibility of eureka.

My main feeling about that is close to Howard Roark's about whatshisname, when he showed him his paintings. That Ayn Rand/Mr. Eddy within needs shooting over and over, eh?

But the other feeling was good.

The South teaches you that history actually matters--where and when it does, anyway. It's a valuable cliche that slavery enslaves the master as much as the slave--and nominal freedom didn't really take care of the one problem any more than the other. Whites and blacks were both trained into something down here that they haven't really left--I guess by definition those that can leave the mindset leave the region, or at least move to Atlanta or something? There's a glaze of 1680 over so much down here. Much more than in NC or Virginia. MUCH.

The white and black 17C mindsets both resist liberal conceptions of education. And for the whites, don't think I mean some kind of 'master' attitude--they're absurdly subservient too. The Deep South was the most vicious because slavery was more dangerous to the enslavers. The whites molded their society, their minds, their children's in response to the threat. Not questioning authority was big, not mentioning certain subjects--both fatal to thought, both surviving and thriving now that (non-legacy) racism is dying fast.

It's immensely sad and frustrating and explains a lot about US history that was otherwise kind of unclear. Cut this state I'm sitting in out of the country c. 1900 and the ensuing century plus would have been a LOT different. I really believe that. No Vietnam, no Hiroshima & Dresden, no Cold War, neither Iraq War (therefore no 9/11). Erase this one state, or even its two million most reliable supporters of the worst entertainable ideas, and we're most of the way to Canada. A lot of things now discussable would be undiscussable, and for a long time; a lot of undiscussable things would have been debated decades ago, and put in practice years ago. A lot of actions that needed the X number of willing victims to execute them would have come in at X minus fifty thousand.

I either need to get out of here or everyone else needs to come down and help. 

Eh, I'm probably just working myself up about it. Let's see how Obama does.

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Also I'm sick to death of the taste of pine pollen.


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