Category Archives: South Carolina

The Pencil Today:

THE QUOTE

“In America, sex is an obsession. In other parts of the world it’s a fact.” — Marlene Dietrich

THE LEAST OF US

Here’s a classic good news/bad news story.

The IDS reports this morning that the homeless are welcome to use Indiana Memorial Union facilities.

The East Lounge at IMU

You know, it’s easy to be magnanimous with people in need as long as they’re cuddly and harmless.

Professional athletes, for instance, are great at this. They’re forever flitting from one children’s hospital to another, signing autographs, bringing game-worn jerseys, and hugging kids made bald by chemotherapy. And, yeah, the poor kids are thrilled to pieces. They grin and swoon. How can anyone with a beating heart not embrace some unfortunate little one who’s dying of cancer?

But what if the needy person stinks or is obnoxious? Things get a little difficult. Take a guy who’s 52 years old and scraggly-bearded, who hasn’t changed clothes or had a full bath in weeks. How quickly is the shooting guard for the Indiana Pacers going to wrap his arms around that guy?

And don’t get me wrong. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been in the Monroe County Public Library and have chosen to move from my table when a homeless dude who smells like hell sits across from me. Or when a half dozen homeless folks set up camp at the table next to mine and loudly argue about who’s a better friend of whom.

Suddenly, I’m not a saint.

Not Easy

It’s not easy being a saint. The people who run IMU, though, have made the hard choice and we should salute them.

“We are a very public building and invite everyone into our building,” IMU official Thom Simmons tells the IDS.

That’s the good news. The bad news? Just that there are homeless in this very, very wealthy land.

SEX, SEX, SEX, SEX, SEX, SEX, SEX, SEX, SEX, TAXES, AND GUNS. AND SEX.

Another h/t to my pal R.E. Paris. She messaged me yesterday, pointing out that the Republican Party in some backwoods South Carolina county is demanding its members sign affidavits that they’ve never had pre-marital sex.

“Would You Be My Wife And S&M Submissive?”

Wow!

Oh, and that “Your spouse cannot be a person of the same gender…,” and “You cannot now, from the moment you sign this pledge, look at pornography.”

Do we really need any more evidence that the GOP is obsessed?

ELECTIONEERING

Barack Obama’s White House shocked the bejesus out of Chicago by moving the G-8 Summit from my hometown to Camp David.

The May pow-wow had the potential to be as wrenching an experience as the 1968 Democratic Convention. Obama’s political advisers sure as hell are not going to let their man suffer the same fate the late Hubert Humphrey did.

Law And Order

Mark it — the Obama brain trust is as politically astute as the gang that Bill Clinton assembled 20 years ago.

That c-note I have riding on the Obama reelection looks like a smarter prop every day.

PULP HISTORY

Did you catch the motion filed by Sirhan Sirhan’s lawyers in an attempt to get the RFK assassin out of prison?

Sirhan did not fire the kill shot, they claim.

The Jordanian-born, Palestine-state advocate put a slug in Robert F. Kennedy’s cranium on June 5th, 1968, in a Los Angeles hotel kitchen. Kennedy died the next morning.

Sirhan’s attorneys say, yeah, their boy was on the scene when the gunshots rang out, but he didn’t kill the presidential candidate.

As is the case in all high-profile shootings, conspiracy theories began bouncing off the walls seemingly before Kennedy was even loaded into the ambulance. The most persistent theory has it that a security guard standing behind Kennedy either inadvertently or as part of a plot fired the deadly bullet.

Me? I have little patience for conspiracy theories. Public officials have a hard time filling potholes efficiently and promptly. They usually can’t even agree on what time to break for lunch. So how are they gonna put together an airtight plan to topple the Twin Towers, whack the president, or capture extraterrestrials?

Once in a great while, though, conspiracy wingnuts raise a point that might just pass the sanity muster. For instance, why couldn’t a part-time security guard who was probably trained for all of two and a half hours have accidentally fired his gun in the chaos at in the Ambassador Hotel kitchen?

But Sirhan’s lawyers say the security guard wasn’t the shooter. Someone else was — and their boy was a patsy.

Wrestling With Sirhan

Here’s where they lose me: Sirhan, they insist, was “hypo-programmed” by conspirators. His role was to serve as the fall guy while the real hit men did their thing.

Oy! You know what? A lot of people are gonna buy into this fever dream. Too many folks in this holy land can’t tell the difference between reality and cheap fiction.

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