Monday, September 28, 2009

Something could be finer...

One of my three regular readers recently asked what evidence I have that South Carolina is a particularly inbred state. And it's a fair question.

First, to be entirely honest, there's no real way to tell. The government really doesn't track that kind of thing, and even if they did, their data would probably be inaccurate, as this particular problem is widely under-reported, according to most experts (and we won't even touch on the problem of false memory syndrome and how it might skew the results).

The argument can still be made, of course. There are a number of fascinating medical anomalies in South Carolina, any or all of which could be genetic, and thus reinforced by inbreeding: South Carolina leads the country in stroke deaths, and has the third highest rate of infant mortality in the United States; epilepsy, which affects between 0.4% and 1% of the rest of the country (lifetime prevalence rate), affects 2.2% of South Carolinians.

Interestingly, they also have one of the highest rates of HIV infection in the country, but that probably isn't related. (Not directly related, anyway...)

Having said that, though, we are still left with one question: what the hell is wrong with South Carolina?

South Carolina has a long history of racism - they were so in love with their plantations and ability to chain up fellow human beings that they were the first state to secede from the Union; and Edmund Ruffin was the South Carolinian (technically, a transplated Virginian) who claimed to have fired the first shot at Fort Sumter, kicking that whole mess off. (Also, upon hearing that General Lee had surrendered at Appomattox, Ruffin penned a letter stating his hatred for "the perfidious, malignant and vile Yankee race," and shot himself in the head, which many say gave him the dubious honor of firing both the first shot and the last shot of the Civil War.)

South Carolinian John C. Calhoun (7th Vice President of the United States) even gave a speech on the Senate floor where he explained that slavery was a "positive good" - he also spearheaded a gag rule that automatically tabled any discussion of slavery in the Senate.

"But, oh, Nameless One," you're probably saying, "that's the past. What about the present?" But is it truly the past? I'm not so sure, because when Mike Huckabee, while talking about the Confederate "stars and bars", can say to a group of South Carolinians, "You don't like people from outside the state coming in and telling you what to do with your flag," the audience just cheers, and nobody feels constrained to say, "Uh, Mike, that isn't our flag any more."

Regardless of that, though, South Carolina is well known for having more than their share of citizens who are frequently described as "colorful" - Sheriff Leon Lott, who purchased an armored personnel carrier for his police force, and famously broke down a door based on a picture of gold-medalist Michael Phelps holding a bong; Mayor Sallie Peake, who banned the police from chasing suspects on foot in Wellford, SC; noted hunter Nathan Dickson; Joshua Glidewell, a Fred Phelps wannabe who's suing the city of Greenville for not allowing him to harass passersby.

They're the only state in the nation who elects their National Guard adjutant; one candidate for that office, Republican Dean Allen, recently raffled off an AK-47 at a fundraiser. (You'd think that one of his opponents would point out that Mr Allen not only couldn't even be counted on to buy American, but felt it was appropriate to raffle off a weapon from the former Soviet Union.)

South Carolina also has a long-standing militia movement - people deluded enough to believe that a hundred hillbillies with hunting rifles can overthrow the entire US government.

You should probably also remember Caitlin Upton, the Miss Teen USA contestant from South Carolina, who gave this fascinatingly incoherent response when asked why 20% of Americans can't locate the US on a world map:
I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some, people out there in our nation don't have maps and, uh, I believe that our, uh, education like such as, uh, South Africa and, uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and, I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, or, uh, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future, for our (children).
And she was an honor student in high school. (Admittedly, a South Carolina high school, so the bar is pretty low.)

And their politicians are notoriously unstable. As far back as 1856, Representative Preston Brooks used his walking stick to beat another congressman, Charles Sumner, so badly that Sumner couldn't return to his congressional duties for three years. (Brooks actually had a long history of violent behavior - he never finished law school because he was expelled for threatening the police with a gun. However, his violent impulses apparently only extended to attacking without provocation - after being denounced for his actions by a third Congressman, Anson Burlingame, he challenged Burlingame to a duel, but chickened out when Burlingame accepted.)

Strom Thurmond was an evil old racist from South Carolina, who kept his Senate seat for 49 years following 2 years as governor. One of his many notable remarks was that "there's not enough troops in the army to force the Southern people to break down segregation and admit the nigra race into our theaters, into our swimming pools, into our homes, and into our churches." And he still holds the record for the longest filibuster in Senate history; he talked for 24 hours and 18 minutes opposing the Civil Rights Act of 1957. (Of course, this didn't prevent him from having a daughter out of wedlock with his black maid. Go figure.)

More recently, we had South Carolina Representative Joe Wilson, who felt that shouting "You lie!" at the President of the United States was an appropriate way to uphold the dignity of his office. (Wilson was also a strong supporter of Strom Thurmond, and an advocate for the aforementioned Confederate flag, in spite of, or perhaps because of, the fact that it's a symbol of slavery and repression.)

And lest we forget, Governor Mark Sanford, recently in the news for his habit of taking publically-funded junkets to chase Argentinian tail to meet his soul mate.

All of which brings us back to our original question: What the hell is wrong with South Carolina?

I can't answer that question, but until I'm given evidence to the contrary, I will continue to believe it's inbreeding.


Anonymous said...

Inbred??? At least we are keeping in the family.

Why don't you and the kook brigade share all those space women you have have camped out there in Roswell?

Frednekk of SC

Nameless Cynic said...

Sorry, Eric, but I'm done with you. Add to the discussion, or just go away. Mindlessly insulting people (and not even in an original way) is just sad. Find a life.

Anonymous said...

Theres nothing wrong with South Carolina, pigfucker!!! wat the hell is wrong iwth you, making fun of other states!!
South Carolina is proud of its heritige that dont mean were stupid. Youre just a bigot. Damn right i got a Confederate battle flag! I fly it proudly right next to Old glory! Im a proud american, but hte south is my heritige. I bet youre just some bigotted jew who dont know where you come from. I know where i come from and Ill kick your jew asss if you come down here to Bamberg County you fuck!
signed Proud Redneck

Steven K said...

My my, O anonymous one, were you able to type all that with your Klan hood on, or did you have to remove it for comfort's sake?


Nameless Cynic said...

I don't know, Steven, I think that kind of counts as "case closed."

Anonymous said...

Oh how crude and obtuse. I have never been so shocked in my life. I feel like I am watching Saturday Night Live with all the vulgar language. How can such a tolorant political foe like the nameless cynic swear and feel the need to slime a state that helped elect his master in chief?

Oh...yeah... I forgot...


Nameless Cynic said...

Oh how crude and obtuse

Yup, that's me.

I have never been so shocked in my life

Yeah, probably not. When two red-staters get together and one makes a racist joke, you just chuckle and high-five, so no real shock there, right? You're only shocked when the left is crude. How sad for you, getting left out of the good parties like that.

I feel like I am watching Saturday Night Live with all the vulgar language.

You're talking about the Jenny Slate thing, aren't you? Bitch says "fuck" one fucking time, and you cock-knockers lose your fucking minds. Sad.

Now, see, if you really had any "family values," the kids would've been in bed at that point, and there wouldn't be a problem, would there?

a tolorant political foe like the nameless cynic

A what now? I think you stumbled into the wrong blog by mistake.

How can... the nameless cynic swear

Yeah. That fucker. Somebody should do something.

a state that helped elect his master in chief

Well, ignoring that "master" thing (see, I could go all "you racist" about that, but I'm tolerant...), let's point out that, technically, every state "helped elect (Obama)."

But let's cast our minds wa-a-ay back in the past, almost ten whole months even, where some of us recall that, like most of the "deep South," SC went solidly for the white candidate (roughly 54% McCain).

That has nothing to do with why I assume they're inbred - I've thought that for years. I'm just sayin'.

You know, like facts and shit. I like to use those. Don't you?

Oh... yeah... I forgot...


Anonymous said...

I am shocked...I mean deeply shocked. Aimless, you actually did something we've rarely seen on your blog: You researched a topic. And not only did you research a topic, you used a variety of credible sources in backing up your conclusion. It was quite enlightening and refreshing to read. Bravo! And honestly, don't you feel better after googling?

Your actions were also responsible for another worthwhile reaction, in that you made me want to learn even more about the subject matter. So I did some follow-up research and formed some more conclusions (isn't this exchange of knowledge a great thing?)

South Carolina certainly has it's share of health problems as you made evidently clear. But would it be because of inbreeding as you suggest? As you stated initially, there is "no real way to tell". Fair enough, so let's follow your example and engage in some statistical speculation.

Addressing your points in order, we are first told that inbreeding (or, more accurately, incest, in the case of the publication you used) is "widely under-reported according to 'most experts'". "Most experts"? Where'd you see where "most experts" weighed in on the matter? There were a less than a dozen researchers (some of which apparently had no medical background) who were cited in the study. Please be more careful about throwing the phrase "most experts" around so loosely. This is a bad habit those on the left tend to get into.

Your argument gets a bit vague when you bring up the medical abnormalities. So, strokes, epilepsy and infant mortalities are results of inbreeding? Is that what you are trying to say?

This fascinated me so I did some research (again, just following your lead). As you pointed out, South Carolina ranks third in infant mortality rates. Behind Mississippi and Louisiana and just ahead of Alabama (I have heard other liberals remark that there's probably a lot of inbreeding going on in those states as well). Perhaps the most intriguing piece of statistical data gleaned from this research is that the District of Columbia, by far, has the highest rate of infant mortality (please see link posted below).

Hmmm...can we apply the inbreeding theory to D.C.?

Anonymous said...

I checked the United Health Foundation website and found very sharp declines in both death from heart disease, as well as infant mortality rates since 1990 (please refer to the link directly below).

Do you suppose this is due to the cases of inbreeding on the decline? Probably not, that stuff seems to carry on for generations.

Doing even further research, I found some intriguing information regarding strokes:

I'd always heard strokes affected blacks in this country at a considerably greater percentage than whites (and you've probably seen the recent PSA that's been running on television urging black men to be aware of the risks, it's quite powerful). That made me wonder...just how large a percentage of South Carolina's population was black? Googling for infomation, the most recent study I could gather was this, from the Magazine Publishers of America (Probably not as desirable as the U.S. Census Bureau, but certainly not a group with a political agenda, and definitely aware of demographics):

Now, this is where it gets very intriguing. Notice the top four entries in states with the highest percentages of African Americans (in descending order): D.C., Mississippi, Louisiana, and South Carolina. The same order of states with the highest infant mortality rates.

So, can we (using your methods of deduction) say that black people inbreed more regularly that whites, hence, greater health problems? Doubtful. Just wanting to point out that although your research was laudable, your premise is greatly flawed. It's just not a good idea to lump a group of people together. That's bigotry.

Pat Riot

Nameless Cynic said...

Well, yeah, it can be seen as "bigotry" - I prefer to use "discriminate," as in "I discriminate among people based on evidence of intelligence and sanity." Two factors which SC shows, and has always shown, a dearth of.

Yeah, I went fairly wide afield for incest data. There are some other fascinating statistical anomalies I didn't use - consider the "Southern Belle" stereotype, and then compare it to the fascinating datum that, among incestuous families, the female's (particularly daughter's) victimization profile, according to the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Profile) is elevated. (There are numerous issues with the MMPI, but I find it fascinating.)

And yes, most experts agree that incest is often under-reported. Had you thought about it, instead of trolling for arguments, you'd probably be able to figure out why. (If you really feel like looking, you'll find most incest research, except for biological - "Inbreeding avoidance in the northern fairy wren" - to be tangled among child sexual abuse ststistics.)

But feel free.

Rude and Not Ginger said...

Four readers, actually. Such a terrible, glaring mistake, O Nameless One! How could you? Obviously your research method is flawed. Personally, I feel terribly insulted, nay, betrayed, that you would not acknowledge a devoted follower of your blogging such as I... obviously you are terribly prejudiced against readers who don't add rambling comments after every new post. Are only the opinionated and obtuse worthy of your attention? Certainly this is evidence of your unending bigotry against the more thoughtful readers of your blog. Shame! Shame on the Nameless Cynic!

Nameless Cynic said...

I am embarrassed. I hang my head in shame. No act of contrition can make up for this grievous oversight.

I shall shuffle off to the Cynic-cave and try to ascertain what I can to to atone, in some small measure, for this egregious act of neglect

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the most fascinating part of your research on why to be glad you are not a resident of South Carolina was the profiles of some of S.C's most intriguing people. As a scholar of the Civil War, I was quite aware of the Brooks-Sumner beating (which happened in the Senate chamber, of all places). As memory serves, wasn't Brooks a democrat? Ah well, at least in a few years we'd have a Republican President who would save the country.

Aside from politicians, S.C. certainly has it's share of scoundrels: a sheriff who purchases an M-113A1 (at very low cost according to the article. I do have to take issue with the article refering to the APC as a "tank", an APC is in no way a tank) and knocks down the doors of potheads. Did he use the APC to knock down the door? Now that would have been something.

There were a couple of other people mentioned: a crazy mayor and a religious loon (Gee, I'll bet S.C. is the only state to have those kinds of people as residents). Refering to Nathan Dickson as a "noted hunter" is just sickening. He was a murderous coward who killed his family. The fact that you'd make a joke about that is quite telling about yourself.
Now, while you've certainly pointed out that S.C. is filled with it's share of all that's wrong with humanity (you left out Hootie and the Blowfish), it's quite obvious that any state can be demonstrated to have such qualities.
Using your logic, I decided to see if this could be proven:

Let's see, religious loons...hmmm...ah, how about Rev. Jeremiah White (I know his name is Wright, but "White" is just too tempting not to use). As far as criminals, usually the first person that comes to my mind in the history of U.S. criminals is Alphonse Capone. Capone, while not born in Illinois, certainly adopted the state as headquarters for his debotury. And when it comes to the truly disgusting and most vile segment of our society, John Wayne Gacy ranks close to the top.

Oh, I almost forgot, the rambling statement of Caitlin Upton. I am willing to give someone on a national stage a break, especially a teenager. If only there was some instance of another person losing his mind and ability to speak before the public...hmmm...wonder what would be a good example of...ohhh...ohhh...

Now, based on all those people, I could very easily assume Illinois was a rotten state, devoid of culture and humanity. But that wouldn't be right, now would it?

Perhaps someday you'll be enlightened and eductated enough to not be so bigoted in your judgements.

Pat Riot

Nameless Cynic said...

Now, pay attention to this response thread, Pats. The first Pat was intelligent, made good points, used humor. This one here - well, good points, some humor, but very accusative. Not as much fun as the first one. But overall, doing a much better job than some of you.

As a scholar of the Civil War, I was quite aware of the Brooks-Sumner beating
And as a scholar of the Civil War, I'm sure you're aware that while Preston Brooks was trying to beat another man to death (and stopped only when his fine walking stick broke), it was another South Carolina politician, Laurence M. Keitt, who drew his gun and threatened anyone who tried to approach and stop the beating.

And the response of the fine people of South Carolina? Brooks was sent a number of canes to replace his broken one.

And yes, Preston Brooks was a fine example of the Dixiecrat. (Look up the term, since you're such a history buff...)

Refering to Nathan Dickson as a "noted hunter" is just sickening... The fact that you'd make a joke about that is quite telling about yourself.
Yes, that I'm cynical. (Did you read the blog title? Just curious...)

But see what I mean about "accusatory"? Dude, lighten up.

But how could I have forgotten Hootie and the Blowfish? Man, that would have clinched the case right there...

Now, Al Capone was born in Brooklyn. And don't make fun of Gacy - a fine American. Loved children. And clowns. And a registered Democrat. (Unlike BTK, who was an active Republican.)

Ooh... you found a video where Obama stammered. Wow. Do you really want to play that game?

Now, based on all those people
Three? That's all you got?

I could very easily assume Illinois was a rotten state
Why do you hate America?

Now, South Carolina is also a major producer of tobacco (to which they add all kinds of poisonous chemicals - hell, that tops the body both Gacy and Capone right there. They're exporting poison to kill our children! They're a terrorist state! Weapons of mass destruction! Why do you keep defending these evil people?

You're from South Carolina, aren't you? That would explain a lot.

Donna said...

I'll bet none of the Pats says a word when they're on conservative websites and somebody brings up Massachusetts, Chicago or San Francisco

Anonymous said...

"Now, South Carolina is also a major producer of tobacco (to which they add all kinds of poisonous chemicals - hell, that tops the body both Gacy and Capone right there. They're exporting poison to kill our children! They're a terrorist state! Weapons of mass destruction! Why do you keep defending these evil people?"

So by your set criteria, Al Gore is a terrorist kingpin? Or has he reformed, much like Sen. Robert Byrd?

And what difference would it make if I was from SC? Jesse Jackson's from SC, is he all that bad of a guy?

Pat Riot

Anonymous said...

"And the response of the fine people of South Carolina? Brooks was sent a number of canes to replace his broken one."

Quite intriguing. Do you have a link to that piece of information?

Pat Riot

Anonymous said...

"Ooh... you found a video where Obama stammered. Wow. Do you really want to play that game?"

George Bush is an idiot. (Isn't that what we've been told for the past decade?) Obama is...refined...he is...the Messiah. It's humorous to see him not know the difference between a..uhh...ummm...a...breathalizer...and...and...ummm...and...ahhhhh...respirator.

Yes, to answer your question, I do want to play that game.

Pat Riot

Nameless Cynic said...

Wow. Three posts, from up to three different Pats, a month after the fact. You guys really do a great cockroach imitation - the lights go out, and you come scrambling in from behind the refrigerator. Let me just pretend you're all the same person here.

So by your set criteria, Al Gore is a terrorist kingpin? Or has he reformed, much like Sen. Robert Byrd?

Well, since his sister died of lung cancer and he stopped accepting tobacco money in 1990 (difficult decision for a man from the third-largest tobacco-producing state), I'd go with reformed, yeah.

And Jesse Jackson is a self-obsessed media whore, so what's your point?

Re: Brooks being sent canes to replace the broken one - why, yes. There are several links to it. Here's one now.

“Every Southern man sustains me. The fragments of the stick are begged for as sacred relicts [sic],” Brooks later crowed, and he was soon inundated with commemorative hickory sticks and gold canes from throughout the South. A group of Charleston merchants bought him a cane inscribed “Hit him again,” and Southern newspapers enthusiastically seconded the idea. The Richmond Enquirer advocated caning Sumner “every morning" and concluded: “We consider the act good in conception, better in execution, and best of all in consequences. These vulgar abolitionists in the Senate must be lashed into submission.”

Man, you are one lazy bastard, unable to even google your own questions, aren't you?

And yes, G.W. Bush was an idiot. An intellectually lazy C-student with the fortune to be the son of a famous polician. Unlike Barack Obama, who, lacking a rich daddy to get him into a prestigious school, had to earn his way in through talent.

Obama isn't the messiah. He's merely an intelligent man (which is really a nice change after the last eight years), who considers his words carefully. Sometimes too carefully, to the point that he stammers a bit.

So, if you're such a brilliant student of the human mind, where is it that you find fault with the president's intellectual achievements? And be sure to include evidence, which I'm sure you'll have a'plenty, right?