If You're Subversive, And Live In South Carolina, Please Register With The State Gov't

from the before-hiking-the-appalachian-trail dept

Slashdot points us to the news that South Carolina has a new law requiring every member "subversive groups" to register with the government or face up to $25,000 in fines and a ten year prison sentence. Seriously:
"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 ... shall register with the Secretary of State."
Oh, and it will cost you $5 to let the state government know you're a terrorist wannabe.

Now, of course, it's already illegal to plot against the US government, so this law doesn't add anything, other than something else to throw at anyone arrested for being "subversive." Prosecutors can also point out that they "failed to register."


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  1.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Feb 11th, 2010 @ 10:14am

    In Michigan we used to have a law requiring drug dealers to obtain a license for their illegal drugs. For example, if you had 2 kilos of pot, you'd go down to your secretary of state office and obtain your license. Needless to say, not many people took advantage of that.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 10:20am

    I wonder how long it's going to take for Stephen Colbert, a South Carolinian, to be declared a subversive?

     

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  3.  
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    Matthew Cruse (profile), Feb 11th, 2010 @ 10:21am

    Re:

    Dumbest. Law. Ever.

     

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  4.  
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    Ima Fish (profile), Feb 11th, 2010 @ 10:23am

    My headline would have been:
    Wanna overthrow the government? We have a form for that!

     

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  5.  
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    A Dan (profile), Feb 11th, 2010 @ 10:24am

    Why did you leave it out?

    Immediately after the "..." in your summary, it says "by force or violence or other unlawful means". I think leaving that out will derail the discussion a bit.

     

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    Mike C. (profile), Feb 11th, 2010 @ 10:24am

    Any bets on how long it will take this to get abused for political reasons?

    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 ... shall register with the Secretary of State

    Don't both major political parties want to "control" the government of the United States?

    In my opinion, this new law is going to be trouble.

     

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  7.  
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    Mike C. (profile), Feb 11th, 2010 @ 10:30am

    Re: Why did you leave it out?

    Even with that addition, it's still a useless law. Here's an experiment for you to try:

    Name one "unlawful" method that can be used to gain control of the government and yet WON'T already get you sent to jail.

    This law adds no new protections, just new/extra punishments to already existing laws.

     

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  8.  
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    NAMELESS.ONE, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 10:31am

    yes retards everywhere stand up and claim there terrorists

    i saw this at dslreports and made this comment what what it is really about is that first they make a stupid law like this then the next law gives them the right to label you such then everyone would be forced to pay

    think how it could work in Canada
    make a law that all pirates that exist have to pay 50$ a month
    everyone laughs and then next law comes and suddenly no more laughter as govt can label you such at there discretion via the ACTA treaty.

    THEN YOU PAY
    PROFIT

     

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  9.  
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    ant anti mike, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 10:35am

    pirates are subversives so we have to make them pay

    would a pie in your face be considered unlawful and thus subversive and thus you get to pay?

    as your downloading your music are you really saying UP YOURS TO JOE BIDEN the mister hollywood vice president and thus are subversive

    yes mike watch were this one leads

     

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  10.  
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    A Dan (profile), Feb 11th, 2010 @ 10:36am

    Re: Re: Why did you leave it out?

    I agree with you. I still think it's wrong and unconstitutional, but the Slashdot discussion degraded into all politicians that want change going against the law (which is inaccurate). I would prefer that to not happen here on Techdirt.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 10:37am

    Re: Why did you leave it out?

    Err...how *else* would you overthrow the government? With magic?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 10:44am

    Further proof that King George blew it big time. If only he had enacted a law like this back in the day...

     

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    Richard (profile), Feb 11th, 2010 @ 10:46am

    or an organization subject to foreign control,

    So all members of the Roman Catholic Church will have to register.

     

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    NAMELESS.ONE, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 10:47am

    HEY wait a minute

    whats the penalty FOR not doing so and they label you as such?
    /me goes to his dads king George bible ...yea this isn't in there...

     

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    hitler would be proud, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 10:48am

    gets out his dnd basic edition and rolls some dice

    YES you too can over throw the govt we even have mass combat rules so you can take on the whole us army LOL

     

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    aguywhoneedstenbucks (profile), Feb 11th, 2010 @ 10:49am

    Re: Re: Why did you leave it out?

    Didn't David Copperfield make the Statue of Liberty disappear? That's one hell of a start.....

     

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Feb 11th, 2010 @ 10:51am

    How specific are we talking about here?

    If they specify controlling and conducting the US government threw illegal means, wouldn't most lobbyists have to register? Bribery is illegal and they are trying to control and conduct the government.

     

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  18.  
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    NAMELESS.ONE, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 10:53am

    truthfully

    you get the feeling that all the laws needed we have and these lawyers are now just making up stuff to get paid?
    Anyone get this feeling ?

    ITS that or maybe the worlds leaders are taken over by aliens. HOW else do you explain grown men , of intellect with lawyers around them making such laws that we common folk to know are utterly devoid of intelligence, unless its part as i said of a plan to extend the tax base and thus continue the american country a few more years till its known they are truly bankrupt. WHY else while your handing out trillions to scammers bring in health care at same time. WHERE is all this cash going to come form YES I KNOW we can buy up all the art and creativity and make YOU OTHERS IN WORLD PAY
    haha yes yes
    /me pictures the star wars emperor laughing hard now.

     

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  19.  
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    lavi d (profile), Feb 11th, 2010 @ 10:56am

    Sing Along

    If you're subversive and you know it
    raise your hand

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 11:03am

    Re:

    Of course not, no one suspects the US Government!

     

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    Jim C, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 11:04am

    Ex military

    Don't forget the Department of Homeland Security declared that all military veterans were potential terrorists. Do we have to register to or only if we decide to become "active" instead of potential?

     

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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Feb 11th, 2010 @ 11:06am

    We're talking about ..........ummmmmmmmm......South Carolina, right? No more really need be said, as that simple fact explains everything you need to know about the reasons for this law.

     

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    The Devil's Coachman (profile), Feb 11th, 2010 @ 11:07am

    We're talking about ..........ummmmmmmmm......South Carolina, right? No more really need be said, as that simple fact explains everything you need to know about the reasons for this law.

     

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    Jimr (profile), Feb 11th, 2010 @ 11:07am

    Sounds like the law could be used against any political party determine to take control of the government by winning an election. It could be applied to various groups that would like to see a change in government.

    Now problem is if your a Subversive group and register are you still a subversive group that no longer needs to register?

     

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  25.  
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    Richard (profile), Feb 11th, 2010 @ 11:16am

    The best approach

    The best approach to this would be to swamp them with registrations for spoof organisations.

    See if they can take the forms in with a straight face....

     

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    PassinThru (profile), Feb 11th, 2010 @ 11:19am

    "That's right, ladies and gentlemen of the jury - the defendant is not only a subversive, but an UNREGISTERED subversive!"

     

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  27.  
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    Left Out, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 11:20am

    Re: Sing Along

    What if you are merely devious and aspiring to be subversive?

    I'm only at cranky stage now (working on my ornery badge). Hoping to soon be mischevious! *fingers crossed!*

     

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  28.  
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    Snake BLISKIN, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 11:22am

    From the United Hackers Association to Anti Mike with Love or was it shit on his face

    im a escape form LA now

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 11:25am

    This is not a new law.

    The new bill is to repeal a law from the 1976 code, which was supposedly just a revision of a law from the Red Scare in 1951. Yes, it probably shouldn't still be one the books, but there are a lot of goofy laws still on the books from years ago that are never enforced.

     

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  30.  
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    Anony1, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 11:43am

    Slashdot points us to the news that South Carolina has a new (UNCONSTITUTIONAL) law requiring every member "subversive groups" to register with the government or face up to $25,000 in fines and a ten year prison sentence...

    @Richard:

    by Richard (profile)
    or an organization subject to foreign control,

    So all members of the Roman Catholic Church will have to register


    NO BUT JACKA$$ RELIGIOUS BIGOTS LIKE YOURSELF WILL BE AT THE TOP OF THE LIST.

     

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    NAMELESS.ONE, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 11:44am

    wha about that one in ontario where i live

    the law states that only horses can be usd to get to downtown
    YUP its an actual law. just no longer enforced.

    maybe instead a all the insane copyright stuff we could get lawyers work removing dumb laws..wait maybe thats why these laws are coming out so later they can work at removing them ....like a perpetual paradox machine form doctor who

     

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  32.  
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    George Parigian Jr., Feb 11th, 2010 @ 11:50am

    Global Government

    So I take this to mean that every government official in this country who promotes or espouses "global government" which by necessity would supersede the United States government, would have to register as a subversive.

     

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  33.  
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    NAMELESS.ONE, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 11:51am

    think of the children dont send them to church

    ya know so the father/priest can touch them.
    bigotry has nohting ot do with sick ways that religion has conducted itself and hindered innovation and creativy to mankind
    Galileo sound familiar, why do you think free masonry came into being as a powerful force in the world? because we need secret organizations that are chalked full a scientists ?

    yes its a lot more ...open dare i say then in the past largely because they won there lil secret war against the church. ALL THE FUNDING FATHERS OF THE USA ARE OR WERE MASONS.
    THINK about that when you speak highly of catholicism. organized religion has done far worse for this planet OF ANY KIND. belief in higher powers or a god(s) is your choice dont shove it at me with your PREECHY CRAP

     

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  34.  
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    ChimpBush McHitlerBurton, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 11:54am

    Re: Re: No One Suspects....

    NnnnnnOH one suspects the US Government!

    Amongst our weaponry are such diverse elements as fear, surprise, ruthless efficiency, and an almost fanatical devotion to removing every civil right available to the average American!

    General Fang... Get the Comfy Chair!

    CBMHB

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 11:57am

    Re: From the United Hackers Association to Anti Mike with Love or was it shit on his face

    P L I S K I N

     

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  36.  
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    Ven, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 11:57am

    Re: Re: Why did you leave it out?

    "Unlawful" is far to broad to be a limiting factor.
    For example, it is disturbing the peace to shout for an extended time in a public place.

    This law could be twisted to say that a group advocating a political change is attempting to "control" the government, and that in planning a demonstration they intend to use unlawfully disturb the peace. Now they can be charged just for planning the demonstration.

    And now we have written a law that creates thought-crime.

     

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  37.  
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    yozoo, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 11:58am

    umm

    Dont we have a freedom of association protection from exactly this type of intrusion (certainly Jefferson feared this specific abuse)? Is it Soviet South Carolina now?

     

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    ReVolt, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 12:01pm

    So funny

    How they are starting to prepare for the revolution these days! All their FEMA camps and coffins. I love it when the crooks in control start getting nervous about the "subversive groups" out there.. Hell, that all of America from where I'm standing.

    "What? Your worried we might revolt? You were not thinking about us revolting when you were flying planes into our buildings where you?" Then your going to get what you got.. US, MAD AS HELL.. And as the Marine was saying on Youtube, "From my cold dead hands"..

     

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  39.  
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    Ven, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 12:04pm

    Re: Re: Why did you leave it out?

    Voting sometimes works. The Articles of Confederation were peacefully overthrown by the ratification of the Constitution.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 12:04pm

    Re: think of the children dont send them to church

    Yeah, um... could you work on your grammar? Punctuation would be nice too.

    I figure if you spent as much time on those two things as you do on capitalization, you'd be set.

    Thanks,

    Buh-bye.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 12:25pm

    I may be reading the lists wrong, or parsing out the verbiage incorrectly but I saw this:

    "Every person who... practices... controlling... the government of the United States ... shall register with the Secretary of State."

    Does this apply to Lobbyists and/or politicians?

     

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  42.  
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    Emo the Libertarian (profile), Feb 11th, 2010 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re: Why did you leave it out?

    Well it could be said that Lobbyist use Dollars to overthrown the Government of the people for a Government of the Corporations... No Guns and they are not technically illegal either...

    Just saying...

     

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  43.  
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    OldGeek, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 12:33pm

    Too Bad

    To bad the Declaration of Independence doesn't hold any weight any more:

    That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

     

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  44.  
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    Bobby Boberstein, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 12:34pm

    Re: think of the children dont send them to church

    Where is yoru data to support you thesis? One Galileo is only a partial truth at best. Do not pull it out of the context of the day and try to apply your current state to items that happened to the past. Why is it just teh church you hold to this standard? What about the wrongful acts of EVERY govenrment on the planet? It seems you may be a democrat? What about the fact they fought for slavery(which christians fought against). Created terrorist groups to keep exslaves afraid to vote. The Republican controlled Executive office had to keep troops in Southerm State Government office to just protect the African Americans from getting killed and Harrased.
    Yet you still probably vote Demo. I can come up with many items against Repubs, and ANY COUNTRY or Goverment that has ever existed. The only thign you are proving is that YOU are teh close minded Bigot and that mankind has been horrible to each other in spite of what a few people haev tried to do to make the world a better place.

    So I woudl suggest you pull your head out of your professors Ar$#, quit hatin' and make the world a better place.

     

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    PRMan, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 12:34pm

    Well, maybe there IS an upside, after all.

    I wonder how long it's going to take for Stephen Colbert, a South Carolinian, to be declared a subversive?
    Well, maybe there IS an upside, after all...

     

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  46.  
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    Anony1, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 12:36pm

    @NAMELESS.ONE : Ya you know the same thing has occured in countles other religious organizations, and countless other non-religious organizations. Rather than correct your multiple historical inaccuracies, and obvious blinding uneducated, and uninformed hatred for organized religions I just have this to say: Your rant on the actions of priests (which were very wrong indeed) is completely off topic to my response to richard, but it DOES put you in the same catergory as him. Suffice it to say, no one asked you some mind your own damn buisness you nutcase. You sound like you're a few sandwhiches short of a picknick any how. Ignorance knows no bounds apparently. You're the one preaching idiot. I was merely pointing out an obvious bias. Anything else?

     

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    Overcast (profile), Feb 11th, 2010 @ 12:44pm

    Any bets on how long it will take this to get abused for political reasons?

    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 ... shall register with the Secretary of State

    Don't both major political parties want to "control" the government of the United States?

    In my opinion, this new law is going to be trouble.


    Well - the 'Government of the US' is by the people, for the people and of the people of the US. Not a state legislature, period. It never, ever says that at all. The 'state' has no control over the Federal Government or should have any say so in it's affairs - as an 'entity'.

    Therefore: a State government trying to 'dictate' matters in regards to the federal government is in fact trying to 'control' the government aka 'the people' of the United States. They are guilty of it themselves by simply making this law.

     

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  48.  
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    Danny (profile), Feb 11th, 2010 @ 12:46pm

    Escaping persecution? So that's why they call them "Mayflower" vans.

    My reading of the legislation suggests that the Republican Party in South Carolina, if they intend to support a 2012 candidate for President other than Barack Obama, is planning to advocate, teach, advise and practice the act of seizing or overthrowing the government of the United States.

    It's what we do every four years.

    So, now they have to register or be in violation of the law. Or move out of South Carolina.

     

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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 11th, 2010 @ 12:58pm

    Re:

    "Wanna overthrow the government? We have a form for that!"

    Put it on the iPhone or iPad and you can say we have an app for that.

    Put it on an app on the verizon network and include GPS tracking and you can say we have a map for that.

     

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    Palmyra (profile), Feb 11th, 2010 @ 1:46pm

    Four names that should be first on the list.

    Edward Rutledge, Thomas Lynch Jr., Arthur Middleton, and Thomas Heyward Jr.

     

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    TW Burger (profile), Feb 11th, 2010 @ 1:50pm

    OMG

    The people of the south are often the butt of jokes regarding odd sensibilities. I always thought these to be unfair exaggerations. Not any more. I guess Sarah Palin needs to sign up - and every Republican.

     

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    Anony1, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 2:27pm

    exaggerations. Not any more. I guess Sarah Palin needs to sign up - and every Republican.

    @TW Burger:YES. All the men, women, and teenagers of any political party other than the Democratic party is obviously not an American right? I mean, after all, Democracy is all about ONE political party rule right?
    There is no room for dessent right??

    Sorry you partisan hack. You want Communist China, it's a few thousand miles thata' way....

    Did you think before you typed that, or did you just swallow the kool-aid real quick? Oh wait you were "joking" right? BTW did you know the SOUTH is a bastian of the DEMOCRATIC PARTY. Particularlly South Carolina? Or that Sarah Palin (not a huge fan of the ex-Govenor myself) is from ALASKA, which is in the north?

    Hey why let silly facts get in the way though. You could only be more wrong if you changed your handle to "The Anti-Mike". Have a super day.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 2:32pm

    Stupid crap like this actually makes me WANT TO join a "subversive group".

     

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  54.  
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    Wolfy, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 3:58pm

    religion

    Off topic I realize, but since it's already been brought up, (Hey, look! Proper punctuation and capitalization!) Religion is nothing more than voluntary, self-inflicted mental illness. Period. You have to brainwash children with it for it to stick with any reliability, because you couldn't give it away, let alone sell it to any sane, healthy adult. It's by far the worst human invention for acquiring and maintaining power ever devised. It was perfected by evil men who should have been strangled in their cribs.

     

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  55.  
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    Glenn, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 5:06pm

    Really?

    I think a history lesson or two [hundred] is in order for a few [hundred] politicians in S.C. OK, children, let's start with the American Revolution...

     

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  56.  
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    Rekrul, Feb 11th, 2010 @ 5:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Why did you leave it out?

    Didn't David Copperfield make the Statue of Liberty disappear?

    No, he didn't. He had the live audience members and the camera on a rotating platform and simply turned it so that when the lights were turned back on, they were looking at empty space.

     

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    PRK (profile), Feb 12th, 2010 @ 2:11am

    The scary part is the lack of English language skills in the language:

    "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 ... shall register with the Secretary of State."

    Does the "who advocates, teaches, advises or practices the duty, necessity or propriety of controlling, conducting, seizing or overthrowing the government of the United States..." ONLY apply to "every foreign agent and every person"?

    If so, is merely being a member of an "organization subject to foreign control" mean you must register automatically? So if I am a member of the Bar Association of Barcelona I must register?

     

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  58.  
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    Michael, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 3:36am

    Re: Re:

    In CT, it is illegal to do your laundry in a parking space.

     

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    Fracture, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 7:03am

    The answer

    Can't believe no one divined the true intent of this legislation:

    It is a direct response to the latest SCOTUS ruling concerning a corporation's right to "free speech" through campaign contributions. This legislation is trying to limit and identify foreign-based, corporate-sponsored nominees.

    Or so it seems.

     

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    Anony1, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 8:19am

    (religion) was perfected by evil men who should have been strangled in their cribs...


    Like that Jesus guy who blessed his persecutors, and wished good upon those who spew venom (like you) right ? You're so right Wolfy..(sarcasm)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 1:45pm

    Does "foreign" organizations include the UN and Red Cross?

     

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  62.  
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    Nastybutler77 (profile), Feb 12th, 2010 @ 3:32pm

    Laws criminals don't follow

    This law makes as much sense as all the gun laws that keep getting passed. Criminals don't give a frozed rat turd about gun laws, just like "subversives" don't care about following laws like this.

    It would be like saying, everyone who wants to carjack someone needs to register with the DMV. Like I'm gonna wait in line for four hours to tell the athorities I'm gonna do something illegal.

    Isn't representative democracy fun?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    identicon
    Wolfy, Feb 13th, 2010 @ 5:41pm

    When you can PROVE that jebus existed, I'll grant you a point.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    Callum Yeater, Feb 14th, 2010 @ 9:54am

    .....screw this

    Wow what a way to nullify the constitution. If South Carolina wants me to pay 5 dollars to register as a terrorist just because I was pot legal and the republicans who control this state want to keep crying and bullying people because of it than screw this state. I'm not registering

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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