Movies, Dissent, and the Civil War

Bill Kauffman, who worked for Reason back in the '80s and still occasionally contributes to our pages, wrote the screenplay for Copperhead, an upcoming movie set in upstate New York during the Civil War. Scott Horton interviewed Kauffman earlier this month, and in the course of that conversation the writer described one of the picture's themes:

I learned a thing or two from ol' Charlie, don't you know.If the movie has a political point, to me it's a defense of dissent....Of course, everyone says he's for dissent, you know? Or everyone's for the First Amendment, everyone is for "I disagree with what you say but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." But I don't know how often we really mean that. Most works of art—movies, plays, books, whatever—about dissenters, to me they really stack the deck...because the author flatters himself, and the audience, that of course the dissenter is right, and of course all right-thinking people—including you, the audience member—will be on the side of the dissenter. Because the dissenter is always the guy who insists that the Earth goes around the Sun or that the Earth is older than 6,000 years, or they're the witches at Salem. It's so easy to stand at a great distance of years and miles with Galileo, or with the witches of Salem, or with Scopes and Darrow in Inherit the Wind.

This movie, one reason that I think it's challenging, is that it shows a dissenter that many audience members may not instinctively want to stand with. He's a farmer who's against the war. He explains why he's against it. Maybe you'll agree; maybe you'll disagree. But he's gradually ostracized by the community, and a horrible act is committed, and— I don't know, I think it challenges audiences in a way that historical films seldom do.

Right on cue, here's Alyssa Rosenberg at ThinkProgress. She hasn't seen the movie, but she did watch the trailer, and she has concerns:

I just wish that instead of Copperhead, we were getting a biopic about Charlotte Despard, a wealthy British woman (and sister to British war leader John French) whose pacifism grew out of a range of social concerns, including her work on poverty and her suffragist activism—in other words, a movie that can put war resistance in its social context, rather than one that in its advertising is hiding the uncomfortable truth of the Copperheads' acceptance of slavery.

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  • John||

    Funny how dissent just isn't cool anymore among the left. Things just magically changed right around January of 2009. Any ideas on why that is?

  • JWS||

    OMGRACIST!!!111

  • WTF||

    Don't worry, it will be cool again if a republican gets elected President in 2016. Along with anti-war protests.

  • Lyle||

    And Think Progress should stop whining and make their own damn movie.

  • Tony||

    Stop mistaking bland TV pundits for "the left." There is plenty of bitching and moaning going on on the real left about the Obama administration if you ever bothered to read it.

    Now show me the conservative who is allowed to dissent from the party line, no matter how absurd or ridiculous. Show me the Republican who is an outspoken advocate for clean energy policy or healthcare reform. Why don't you work on that log of lockstep marching in your eye before you start picking at those of the "left" you've imagined in your head?

  • ||

    Tea Partiers went heavily after RINOs in the last election cycle. Democrats did a much better job of setting aside their ideological differences during the same time period. That hasn't always been true, and won't be true again at some point, but currently the Democrats are better TEAM players than the Republicans. I know a lot of my progressive friends had serious reservations about Obama, but they held their noses and voted for him anyway (actually a number of my friends went with Jill Stein, but we live in CA so it's not like our votes matter).

  • WTF||

    Why waste your time arguing with a dishonest troll?

  • Tony||

    This is true, and I don't consider it a vice on the part of liberals to be team players. (You can't get anything accomplished if you can't win elections or compromise. How much you're willing to compromise is up to you.) But what would happen if any tea partier decided that Obamacare isn't so bad? That global warming is real? THAT is a dissent-disfavoring movement if there ever was one, bordering on cultlike.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Or how about a Tea Party member against the neverending war? You know, like the ones who are being ostracized every fucking day by the GOP establishment. Or ones that aren't for the status quo in the drug war? Or bailing out corporations?

    You're willfully blind to dissent among republicans. So shut the fuck up.

  • ||

    If they thought those things they probably wouldn't be in the Tea Party, you idiot. It's bad enough the Tea Party old farts quickly came to the defense of Social Security when the people that started the movement would have danced in the streets if SS ended that very day. They have their own issues to work out, and affinity for Obamacare and acceptance of global warming aren't them.

    Where is the liberal dissent against the Democratic party for reckless government spending? Oh yeah, right here with the classic liberals we have to now call Libertarians because asshats like your progressive predecessors co-opted the term liberal.

  • WTF||

    See? Completely dishonest troll. Don't waste your time.

  • Tony||

    Why don't you waste your time on WTF's substanceless whining instead?

  • WTF||

    Why don't you grab your ears and pull your head out of your ass?
    Fuck off troll.

  • Paul.||

    This is true, and I don't consider it a vice on the part of liberals to be team players.

    No you're right. Tossing people in prisons without charging them, droning civilians and engaging in endless war is something you want to put aside to hang on to power. It's no vice at all.

  • Tony||

    If the only alternative is the neocons back in charge, it is not necessarily unreasonable to take what you can get.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Except that there is no substantive difference between neocons and what we currently have.

  • Tony||

    Except there very much is, and the only reason to say otherwise is to apologize for the neocons.

  • Otis B. Driftwood||

    Tony is always willing to compromise his principles so that the Team wins the match. What a morally and intellectually bankrupt shitstain.

  • Tony||

    If my Team losing the match means more people die in pointless wars and more people get tortured and more global economic calamities happen, then I consider it my most profound moral duty to see to it that my Team wins.

    What goes on inside your heart is of no consequence to the world.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    If my Team losing the match means more people die in pointless wars and more people get tortured and more global economic calamities happen, then I consider it my most profound moral duty to see to it that my Team wins.

    And even if they win and all these horrible things continue to happen, it's STILL my obligation to make sure it happens, AND carry water for the perpetrators.

    /tony

  • Tony||

    To claim that Obama hasn't executed foreign policy better than Bush is to be delusional and probably a partisan apologist.

  • DColts||

    That doesn't mean that his foreign policy is good, it's still terrible.

  • ant1sthenes||

    You can't get anything done if you win elections by voting for people who are corrupt and will sell you out the second they get into office either, moron. Why they should they worry about your opinion, when they know they can take your vote for granted?

  • John Thacker||

    There is plenty of bitching and moaning going on on the real left about the Obama administration if you ever bothered to read it.

    Now show me the conservative who is allowed to dissent from the party line, no matter how absurd or ridiculous. Show me the Republican who is an outspoken advocate for clean energy policy or healthcare reform.

    Interesting elision from conservative to Republican; there was plenty of opposition to Bush from the "real right" when he was in office, but it took him leaving office to have dissenters from Bush policy like Rand Paul and Mike Lee get elected and have real authority. Just like how nearly all elected Democrats have decided to live with Obama-endorsed Bush policies even while parts of the base fumes.

    McCain was an outspoken advocate for both clean energy policy and healthcare reform when running for President, and he was nominated by the party. (Simply because his healthcare reform was not the same as PPACA doesn't make it not healthcare reform.) Surely the Presidential nominee counts as diversity?

  • Tony||

    McCain is 150 years old and hated by the current GOP base. A party of John McCain's wouldn't be a problem. A party in the process of purging its John McCains is the one I'm describing.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    McCain is 150 years old and hated by the current GOP base. A party of John McCain's wouldn't be a problem.

    Seriously. Shut the fuck up.

  • grrizzly||

    See, John McCain is already considered a good and decent Republican back from the days when there were reasonable Republicans, very much unlike all the crazy Republicans of today. That was fast.

  • Irish||

    Wasn't McCain the one that leftists informed me would have us go to war with every country in the world should that evil hatemonger be elected president?

    Man, he sure has become a pretty cool dude in the intervening 5 years.

  • ||

    Now that they are in charge, bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran sounds fucking sweet.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Wasn't McCain the one that leftists informed me would have us go to war with every country in the world should that evil hatemonger be elected president?

    This.

    In 08 we were told that electing McCain would be nothing but a continuation of Bush's policies. Instead we elected Obama and got a continuation of Bush's policies, AND we're being told how reasonable McCain is, and how we'd all be better off if all Republicans were just like him.

    Consistency, how the fuck does it work?

  • G-dub||

    McCain is popular among the left now that he's in no danger of wielding any real power. Republicans should be more like him because he couldn't steal votes from any Democrats and conservatives don't like him either.

  • Otis B. Driftwood||

    Ageist!

  • Sam Grove||

    What do I care about Republicans vs Democrats?

    Sy Leon: "Voting is like going through one of two doors, no matter which one you go through, you end up in the same room."

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    "Show me the Republican who is an outspoken advocate for clean energy policy or healthcare reform."

    Let's try the old switcheroo, shall we ...

    Show me the Democrat who wants to eliminate the Departments of Commerce, Education, and Energy.

    What! You mean Democrats are marching in lockstep on the need to retain those departments, no matter how absurd or ridiculous! Tell me it ain't so, To.

  • Paul.||

    It changed before that, John. I put it around 1992.

  • sarcasmic||

    Any criticism of the War Among the States means you support slavery.

    Any criticism of Lincoln means you support slavery.

    Why do you support slavery?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    War Among the States

    What the fuck is the "War Among the States"? Are you referring to the treacherous failed "Southern Insurgency"?

    Shit, stirred.

  • Brett L||

    You mean the "War of Northern Aggression"?

  • LynchPin1477||

    I think he means the War of Southern Rebellion

  • Jerryskids||

    Second War of Independence

  • cavalier973||

    First War of the Southern Secession.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    If we wanted to be "aggressive", we would have appointed Sherman to oversee Reconstruction.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Oh, and circumcised aborted fetuses.

  • Loki||

    While force feeding people deep dish pizza.

  • RBS||

    Off to The Hague with you!

  • ||

    You crossed the line, sir.

  • JW||

    I just wish that instead of Copperhead, we were getting a biopic about Charlotte Despard, a wealthy British woman (and sister to British war leader John French) whose pacifism grew out of a range of social concerns, including her work on poverty and her suffragist activism

    And why didn't he speak out against the dangers of fraking and GMOs in this film? Huh? HUH?

    Here's a pro tip, sweetie: make your own fucking film if you want to see those things. Zod knows I could use the sleep.

  • John||

    Here is another tip, most people are not like you. Most people who objected to the war in the North did so because they felt it was a war to free a bunch of Negros. It wasn't so much that they supported slavery. It was that they didn't care enough about it to fight and die for it.

  • sarcasmic||

    And here I thought the war was to preserve the union, and freeing Negroes was an afterthought.

  • John||

    Funny that. All of the Southern apologists claim the war was about the Union and not slavery. Yet, the northerners at the time who objected to the war did so primarily because they refused to fight a war to free a bunch of black people. The people in New York who rioted over the draft didn't go burn down black neighborhoods because they thought they were being drafted to preserve the union.

  • sarcasmic||

    Southern apologists. Are they like climate deniers?

  • John||

    No, they are idiots who act like the South were the victims rather than the aggressors. Who do things like pretend the South cared about states rights even though they were guilty in the 1850s of the worst violations of states rights at any time before the New Deal.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'll take that as a yes.

  • John||

    I don't write history just read it. And anyone who white washes the antebellum South as anything but loathsome doesn't know much.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Well, I don't think the South was really much more loathsome than the North in regard to race. The North didn't slowly get rid of slavery because of moral reasons, after all.

  • ||

    I'm no southern apologist, but you can't have a war over slavery wherein both sides allow slavery throughout the entirety of the war, and neither makes any attempt to alter the dynamic prior to or during the war. Not really logically coherent.

    Slavery was the anvil, I don't think anyone really disagrees on that. Beyond that point, your analysis is as simplistic and trite as most of what you get from "southern apologists".

  • John||

    and neither makes any attempt to alter the dynamic prior to or during the war.

    Clearly the South thought the North intended to change the dynamic or they would not have left the Union. The cause of the war was Lincoln's commitment to keep slavery from spreading West and the South conclusion that that meant long term slavery would be ended via constitutional amendment as slave states got more and more out numbered.

    As far as the war, Lincoln did free the slaves in the South. And the North very early on started freeing slaves as a way of harming the Southern war effort. Once the war started there was no way slavery was going to survive absent a Southern victory.

    So while, there is never a single cause of any event as large as the civil war, slavery is pretty obviously the major cause. All of the ancillary causes would have never mattered had it not been for slavery.

  • ||

    Lincoln was willing to allow the South to maintain slavery to stay in the Union. He made no move to free the slaves HE ACTUALLY HAD AUTHORITY TO FREE.

    Your problem is that you're trying to convince everyone that slavery was wrong, and the South was loathsome to secede in order to protect against its dismantling. We're all on board on that point. What you miss is that the North was uninterested in ending slavery, even during the war, and were equally loathsome - do you think the industry of the North would be as successful without the machine of slavery? Of course not.

    The Civil War was about colliding cultures, and slavery was its mechanism, and tipping point. There was no good or bad side, there were only two halves of a generation that in hindsight was largely loathsome, by today's standards.

    The Civil War was, like nearly all wars, a battle of economics, organized by the rich and fought by the poor.

  • John||

    What you miss is that the North was uninterested in ending slavery, even during the war, and were equally loathsome - do you think the industry of the North would be as successful without the machine of slavery?

    Your problem is that you think that because Lincoln didn't come out and try to end slavery from the first, that makes him as bad as the South. And that is just sophistry. The South are the ones who wouldn't end slavery and were willing to break up the country and fight a horrible war to preserve it. Nothing Lincoln or the North did is even close to being that bad.

    You are playing a bait and switch. You are arguing that because Lincoln or the North were not as pure as they could have been or the myth says they were, that means they were just as bad as the South. Bullshit. The South was much worse, bears the entire responsibility for that war, and their defeat was one of the most noble moments in US history.

  • ||

    You are arguing that because Lincoln or the North were not as pure as they could have been or the myth says they were, that means they were just as bad as the South.

    No, I'm not. You could only reach that conclusion if you approach the conversation from the idiotic and myopic view that there is such a thing as a "wrong" or "right" side in the modern analysis of this war, which can only be reached by glossing over the actual words and actions of all involved.

    I'm claiming that it's a highly nuanced, highly decentralized issue of context and individual motivations, and that you're trying to shoehorn it into an incredibly simplified and anachronistic false dichotomy.

  • John||

    There is nothing highly nuanced about slavery. It is by far and away the biggest moral stain on the history of this country. Sorry, but I can't say anything good about it or the people who defended it.

  • robc||

    It is by far and away the biggest moral stain on the history of this country.

    Agreed. Give me a call when it ends.

  • ||

    There is nothing highly nuanced about slavery. It is by far and away the biggest moral stain on the history of this country. Sorry, but I can't say anything good about it or the people who defended it.

    Herp-a-derp-derp.

    No one said there was anything nuanced about slavery. The causes of this war (you know - the current conversation?) certainly were HIGHLY nuanced, as were the intents and motivations of many of the involved actors.

    But keep throwing your false dichotomy monkey shit against the wall, as long as you can establish that agreeing with your modern interpretation unequivocally is the only path to opposing slavery.

  • ant1sthenes||

    I don't know, I think genocide and ethnic cleansing was pretty big too. At least there are enough black people still around to remind us that white people living back then were total assholes.

  • Jerryskids||

    Why the biggest moral stain on the history of this country? Virtually every group of people in the history of the world thought enslaving people from a different group of people was perfectly normal - what makes this country different?

  • Irish||

    Virtually every group of people in the history of the world thought enslaving people from a different group of people was perfectly normal - what makes this country different?

    Considering that black people were enslaving each other long before white people started doing it, this point can't be made enough.

    If anything, Europe and America outlawed slavery before most of the rest of the world did. India's slave market wasn't brought to an end until Europeans colonized the country and forced them to end slavery. Africans enslaving other Africans also wasn't ended until colonizing European colonies stamped it out.

    I don't understand why American slavery is treated like some sort of evil that didn't exist anywhere else when slaver continued worldwide for 70-80 years after it was abolished here.

  • Tuna||

    Proctor: All right, here's your last question. What was the cause of the Civil War?

    Apu: Actually, there were numerous causes. Aside from the obvious schism between the abolitionists and the anti-abolitionists, there were economic factors, both domestic and inter--

    Proctor: Wait, wait... just say slavery.

    Apu: Slavery it is, sir.

  • robc||

    The South was much worse

    Agreed.

    bears the entire responsibility for that war

    Absolute bullshit. The North could have let them walk. The South didnt start the War, the South was defending their new nation from foreign aggressors.

  • robc||

    And yet KY remained a strong slave state and a strong union state throughout the war.

  • Sam Grove||

    Clearly the South thought the North intended to change the dynamic or they would not have left the Union.

    Among other reasons such as domination of the Federal government by the North. Let's just leave it at this: succession was about slavery, the war was about succession.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I'm no southern apologist, but you can't have a war over slavery wherein both sides allow slavery throughout the entirety of the war, and neither makes any attempt to alter the dynamic prior to or during the war. Not really logically coherent.

    The impetus for Northern opposition to Southern slavery wasn't abolition, but an attempt to curb Southern "Slave Power" in the Congress. Northern states found it highly unfair that Southern states could get increased representation in Congress from a servile population with no suffrage.

    Of course, the South argued that the boatloads of Irishmen, who could eventually vote, daily entering Northern ports equaled things out. Nevertheless, the issue was so acrimonious that no peaceful resolution could be found before 1860.

  • sarcasmic||

    Northern states found it highly unfair that Southern states could get increased representation in Congress from a servile population with no suffrage.

    Wait a minute. The North invaded the South because they had disproportionate representation in the government from which they were seceding? That makes absolutely no sense.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    You think people go to war for utterly rational reasons?

  • Jerryskids||

    Keep in mind that the war was fought on the legal grounds that the Confederate states were not allowed to secede from the Union but after the war the Confederate states were required to meet certain provisions in order to be readmitted to the Union. So did they leave the Union or not?

  • robc||

    So did they leave the Union or not?

    Ive been asking this of anti-secessionists for 25 years. Ive yet to get a coherent answer.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Perhaps the Republicans in the North thought they could make political inroads in the south by freeing the slaves?

    Well, 100+ years later, conservative Republicans do dominate Southern politics. And the vast majority of black people support the party of slavery and Jim Crow.

  • sarcasmic||

    Well, 100+ years later, conservative Republicans do dominate Southern politics. And the vast majority of black people support the party of slavery and Jim Crow.

    The irony! It burns!

  • John||

    What really turned the North against the South was the fugitive slave act. The South literally sent bands of terrorists into Ohio and Indiana to raid and kidnap entire black populations in the name of capturing runaway slaves. The fugitive slave act made every norther person and every northern peace officer criminally liable if they harbored a slave or didn't assist a slave's owner in recapturing him. It made every single Northerner an active participant in slavery at the pain of criminal liability.

    The south effectively invaded the North long before the North ever picked up a rifle.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Not to defend the South, but there were people from the North helping to "steal" slaves, so that was a problem from their point of view.

    I loathe the practice of slavery, which both sides perpetuated through the war, and I also loathe the idea that the union is all-important, even to the point of a massive civil war. We lost a very critical right because of that war--the right of secession. Without that, the Leviathan-like federal government was inevitable.

  • John||

    Then you should especially loath the South Pro. They are the ones who soiled the right of succession by doing it for the most base and evil reasons.

  • ||

    I've settled on saying that the war was over secession, and secession was over slavery. And as Pro Glib says, we should eternally hate the slave-driving shitheels who threw away the right of secession because they wanted to continue living as unaccountable aristocrat scum.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Hey, now, let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater. A personal goal is to live like unaccountable aristocrat scum. No slavery. Not really. Just the other perks.

  • ||

    Good point. But as long as I get the right of prima nocte, I don't really need any other perks of nobility.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Right. As long as I'm free, the rest of you can go hang. That's the central tenet of libertarianism. Except that you are all wrong, and I'm right.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    You must apply the right of prima nocte equitably. Both the serfs (both genders), the livestock, and the crops (easiest with squash).

  • Pro Libertate||

    Oh, please. That's like saying Illinois Nazis soiled the right of free speech.

    Lincoln broke a lot of rules about how our government was supposed to work to fight the South. I'd have a different view if the North had invaded the South, freed the slaves, then walked away.

    And there's ample evidence that slavery wouldn't have been banned under a non-secession scenario. So where's the moral authority? And the North probably was a little more eager to resort to violence than the South. Not to mention that some of Lincoln's illegal activities helped prevent a more peaceful solution.

    All in all, I'm glad the evil of slavery ended, but I don't think it required a war. The UK did it without one.

  • robc||

    That's like saying Illinois Nazis soiled the right of free speech.

    Dammit, stop stealing from me in advance.

  • ||

    All in all, I'm glad the evil of slavery ended, but I don't think it required a war. The UK did it without one.

    I think this is right, too. The Civil War was pretty much the worst possible scenario.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Despite the marketing, it wasn't that civil, either.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    That's like saying Illinois Nazis soiled the right of free speech.

    And yet, you saw a lot of "hate crime" legislation being passed after Skokie.

  • robc||

    And yet, you saw a lot of "hate crime" legislation being passed after Skokie.

    Its sad when the Nazis arent the bad guys, isnt it.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    "Bad guy" is analog, not digital.

  • robc||

    "Bad guy" is analog, not digital.

    In the movie made about your post, the hate crime passing legislatures are the bad guys. Illinois Nazis are just bit players in the background.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I see. I've never seen the movie.

    The point I think we're all making is that there is always a bigger piece of shit that will take advantage of what a smaller piece of shit does.

  • robc||

    I've never seen the movie.

    Hypothetical movie based on your post.

    It was a short initial script, but Im sure writers can work with it.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Didn't that really get going after the gay kid got killed?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Didn't that really get going after the gay kid got killed?

    Federally, yes. But at the state level, in the late 70's/early 80's you saw places like California and New York passing such laws.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Love that shit. Special laws for special people. Someone kills me, it's merely murder. If I were a gay, black, woman cop? Eleventy billion executions!

  • robc||

    They are the ones who soiled the right of succession by doing it for the most base and evil reasons.

    That is like saying the 1st amendment is soiled by Illinois Nazis marching in Skokie.

    That doesnt soil it, the people who support the rights of fucktards elevate it. Only supporting rights when you agree with their cause is easy and cheap.

  • Lyle||

    I have to call nonsense. Slave owning was constitutional and the fugitive slave act was Federal law.

    It was totally legal to apprehend runaway slaves and return them to their owners.

  • Doctor Whom||

    I wonder how many of the apologists have read the Confederate Constitution and the state instruments of secession.

  • sarcasmic||

    Secession was about slavery.

    The war was to preserve the union.

  • John||

    So the south left the union and fought a war to preserve that independence for the purpose of preserving slavery. Yet slavery wasn't the cause of the war? And the fact that the North tried to be reasonable and tell the south they could keep slavery if they just came back to the union, taints the Northern cause?

  • sarcasmic||

    Yes the South seceded to preserve slavery. I'm not arguing against that, nor am I condoning it. But the war was not to end slavery. It was to preserve the union. Ending slavery was incidental.

  • John||

    The stated reasons don't matter. It was the real reasons that matter and Lincoln suspended habeas and wanted to build the transcontinental railroad or something.

  • Marc F Cheney||

    I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be "the Union as it was." If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.

    He really was that loathsome.

  • sarcasmic||

    Marc F Cheney is a Southern apologist! John said so!

  • ||

    The stated reasons don't matter. It was the real reasons that matter, and southerners had slaves and bluebirds on their shoulders or something.

  • John||

    Marc,

    So if Lincoln was so bad because he wouldn't fight to end slavery, how bad does that make the South who would fight to preserve slavery? It is not like Lincoln would have stopped the South had they freed their slaves. You are saying Lincoln was loathsome because he didn't properly rise to the moral challenge the South's moral loathsomeness.

    This is why many black people think libertarians are racists. Libertarians like Marc act more offended by Lincoln than they do by the people who actually perpetrated slavery.

  • sarcasmic||

    Libertarians like Marc act more offended by Lincoln than they do by the people who actually perpetrated slavery.

    No, dipshit. To say that the war was to preserve the union, based upon Lincoln's own words, is not a statement in support of slavery. Talk about a false equivocation.

  • ||

    This is why many black people think libertarians are racists. Libertarians like Marc act more offended by Lincoln than they do by the people who actually perpetrated slavery.

    Die, strawman, die!

  • Irish||

    This is why many black people think libertarians are racists. Libertarians like Marc act more offended by Lincoln than they do by the people who actually perpetrated slavery.

    John, most black people don't think about libertarians often enough to think we're racist.

    Do you honestly think that black Democrats have delved so deeply into libertarian thought that they've become offended by the positions some libertarians take on Abraham Lincoln?

  • robc||

    Abe Lincoln hasnt helped the image of the GOP with blacks any.

  • sarcasmic||

    Abe Lincoln hasnt helped the image of the GOP with blacks any.

    That's only if you look at his actual words which, as John says, don't really matter.
    What matters is that he has been deified as THE MAN WHO SINGLE HANDEDLY FREED THE SLAVES! BOW TO HIS STATUE! WORSHIP HIM!

  • WTF||

    That's because they're probably convinced Lincoln was a democrat.

  • ||

    Do you honestly think that black Democrats have delved so deeply into libertarian thought that they've become offended by the positions some libertarians take on Abraham Lincoln?

    Speaking exclusively from a decade's experience in the Army, almost without exception, black people I've discussed the issue with don't give two shits about Lincoln. He was just another racist white man to most...obviously because they don't think slavery was a bad thing.

    /generalizedanecdotalrebuttal

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Lincoln was a hero to most
    But he don't mean shit to me

  • Libertymike||

    "I will say then, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races - that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them for office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this, that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And, inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together, there must be the position of the superior and inferior and I, as much as any man, am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race."

    Taking a wild f........ing guess as to the author of the above.

  • Libertymike||

    John, the people who owned slaves did not perpetrate mass murder and make total war like Lincoln.

  • Brandybuck||

    Nah, they just habitually raped their property.

  • ant1sthenes||

    "So if Lincoln was so bad because he wouldn't fight to end slavery, how bad does that make the South who would fight to preserve slavery? It is not like Lincoln would have stopped the South had they freed their slaves. You are saying Lincoln was loathsome because he didn't properly rise to the moral challenge the South's moral loathsomeness."

    So, John, next time we start talking shit about Stalin and the USSR and naive liberals who support/supported them, please feel free to jump in and explain to us that we must be closet Nazis. I mean, it's basically the same argument you're making now, so at least be intellectually consistent.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    The stated reasons don't matter.

    Ya facts don't matter, only John's yokeltarian strawman matters. Everybody listen up! John can read the minds of all the dead people and he's got it figured out. Any further debate means you are Racist. Derp.

  • RBS||

    Hey, easy on John. He doesn't write history, he just simplifies it.

  • Brandybuck||

    The South left BECAUSE of slavery. They seceded to preserve their "peculiar institution". That doesn't make Lincoln's war right, but to suggesting it wasn't about slavery is stupid.

  • ||

    Most people who objected to the war in the North did so because they felt it was a war to free a bunch of Negros.

    Maybe. But most people who were for it were in it to preserve the union/whip the South and not to free the slaves.

  • John||

    So what MP?

    The South was fighting to preserve it. The fact that the North was in some cases fighting to preserve the union doesn't make the North anywhere near as horrible as the South.

  • ||

    In terms appropriately simplified to meet your level of consideration of the topic...

    The South was unwilling to end the practice of slavery if it meant no more free labor.
    The North was unwilling to end the practice of slavery if it meant the dissolution of the Union.

    Your argument is therefore "intentions are more important than results".

  • Libertymike||

    How about the black codes of Illinois?

  • ||

    So what MP?

    Because I don't see why pointing out the racism of the objectors really matters. 1800's whites were predominantly racist, regardless of where they lived.

  • Loki||

    It was that they didn't care enough about it to fight and die for it.

    This. Most average northerners didn't give 2 shits about a bunch of "negroes" and sure as hell weren't interested in fighting and possibly dieing for them. Add in the fact that even the ones who weren't overtly racist probably wouldn't be too keen on having a bunch of former slaves all of a sudden providing a source of cheap labor that could make their wages go down after the war, and it's not too hard to see why most northerners weren't really that interested in freeing slaves.

  • Loki||

    Oh, and "Oh yay, a Civil War thread!" Now all we need is an abortion thread, a circumcision thread, and a deep dish pizza thread and I'll be all set for my weekend number 2s.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    But there are only racists in the south, John. Everyone knows that.

  • Dweebston||

    That is a veteran soldier of the culture war you're quoting, JW. Show some respect. She needn't bother about the crude craft of producing art. She's part of that democratic process by which we collectively sort good art from bad. If Rosenberg doubts the thematic purity of this film, we all share her doubts.

  • Balloon maker||

    Wait, so people can now write movie reviews about movies they didn't see, consisting solely of what they wished that movie was instead? Genius!

  • Not Sure||

    I really wanted the hobbit to have light sabers. That movie sucked without any car chases. Where were all the gun fights and car chases?!

  • Irish||

    The best part is that the Think Progress writer isn't even arguing about how THIS movie could be better. She's complaining that it isn't an entirely different movie set in a different country, focusing on a different war objector who objected for different reasons.

    That would be like me going to Iron Man 3 and being like 'Goddammit! I was hoping this would be about Spiderman!'

  • sarcasmic||

    Not even. Iron Man and Spiderman are both Marvel. More like "Goddamit! I was hoping this would be about Superman!"

  • Dweebston||

    Rein it in, Cassandra. Preferring Superman to Iron Man would be absurd.

  • Irish||

    I still remember the day I went to The Avengers and walked out after fifteen minutes in a state of barely suppressed rage.

    I was hoping that movie would be about the political and economic climate in 1200's England leading up to the signing of the Magna Carta.

  • Dweebston||

    It's not? I thought it was metaphor!

  • Brett L||

    That was pretty much the high-point of Anglo-Irish relations.

  • JWS||

    It isn't about reviewing a movie though. It's about making sure there isn't any mass public visibility that expresses any form of sympathetic character to a group of people who've been overgeneralized, marginalized, and dehumanized to a level below red ants.

    You cannot be allowed to like this person.

  • Brandon||

    I actually like this idea. Man of Steel really should be more of a new visualization of Atlas Shrugged.

  • cavalier973||

    Who is Clark Kent?

  • Pro Libertate||

    I mean this in all seriousness--someone should do a pro-speech movie about the Nazis in Skokie. There was a TV movie about the incident, but I don't think it was as focused on the freedom of speech angle.

    That event really spells out the importance of free speech, especially for those we all agree have reprehensible views. I say this as someone who hates Illinois Nazis.

  • ||

    Illinois Nazis. I hate Illinois Nazis.

  • John||

    Get that license plate number.

  • WTF||

    Henry Gibson's finest role.

  • JW||

    Weren't they just all run off a bridge by a couple of Hassidic diamond merchants in a 74 Dodge?

  • Pro Libertate||

    That was later. Since that cop car with cop tires and no catalytic converter was actually a privately operated vehicle, no First Amendment implications, either.

  • Jesus H. Christ||

    and no cigarette lighter, either.

  • MJGreen||

    Ugh, Alyssa Rosenberg. One of those people that may be tolerable, even worth following, if she didn't make everything about her stupid politics.

    And Alyssa, if you would prefer a different movie, write it. That's what this guy did.

  • ||

    The movie Alyssa Rosenburg would write would be boring and preachy, like basically all issue movies made by Hollywood progressives.

    There' simply isn't anything interesting about making a biopic about a suffragette who is interested in social welfare, precisely BECAUSE there's nothing to disagree with about it. There is no conflict and hence no drama. It would be a retardedly manichean film populated by saintly activists and mustachio-twirling cartoon villians.

  • Dweebston||

    In other words, it would reflect reality for most progressives.

  • ||

    Yes, and they think that it's Republicans who are simple-minded.

    I've never met people who saw the world more purely in terms of black and white than a group of progressive activists. I just got an email last weekend in which someone asked people to come out and protest "the most evil corporation in the world" Monsanto.

  • ||

    But I thought Teh Kochtopuz and their subsidiaries were the most evilest ever! And what about AIG and Citi?

    I'm so confused!

  • JW||

    How DARE he make a movie that doesn't tell the trite and popular narrative of a bloody conflict, that's been dragged in by the cat thousands of times?

  • General Butt Naked||

    I’m not an absolute pacifist myself, but I do think that the courage to stand up against some conflicts is admirable, and the amount of it required is more considerable than we generally acknowledge, given the risk that you’ll be labeled treasonous or mentally ill.

    "It's okay to be against wars of colonialization for the American Oil Empire, *cough* BUSH *cough*, but we should never question the utility of just wars for freedom!"

  • John||

    The phrase "absolute pacifist" shows how stupid she is. Being less than an absolute pacifist is like being kind of pregnant. There are only absolute pacifists. So if you are not that, you are not a pacifist. What a poorly written and stupid sentence.

  • WTF||

    John, stop othering her with your 'mansplaining'.

  • General Butt Naked||

    I'm sure that there were 8 years in her life where she summoned the courage to be an absolute pacifist. But then things changed and she had to reevaluate her ideas. She now sees that war is a good thing if just the right people are in charges.

  • John||

    She really did some serious thinking about the issue around December of 2008.

  • MJGreen||

    given the risk that you’ll be labeled treasonous or mentally ill by people like me.

  • ||

    I have to see this movie now.

    I'm totally will Bill Kauffman on this. It's so much more interesting to present a story which defends the right to free expression without making the expression itself admirable.

    Also, quite agree with the criticism of Rosenburg's objection. She finds it uncomfortable to have to sympathize with the free speech rights of a person that supports slavery, and she'd be so much happier if the person speaking was a suffaragist or a social activist with similar concerns to her own, so she could agree with what they were saying. This betrays a striking inability to or discomfort with empathizing with people who don't agree with her politically. Par for the course with the progressives I've met, but telling.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's easy to want to protect the rights of those who agree with you. I mean, it's fucking stupid not to understand that the whole point of freedom of speech is protecting speech the majority (or the minority in the government) doesn't like.

  • JW||

    "Yeah, you got rights. Sometimes I like to stay up late and drive myself crazy by counting them."

  • John Thacker||

    It's a pretty ridiculous objection coming from a critic who normally likes complex characters and motivations and so forth. But suddenly get a real historical bit about a complex issue, and there's a desire for a perfect black-and-white issue and hero(ine).

  • ||

    Right, exactly. Bring up anything remotely related to racism and the liberal brain retreats to a nice safely black and white world view. Nuance is banished.

    It's what makes it so easy to play the race card. Suggest racism and instantly everything is cast in pure black and white, good and evil terms. People's brains just fucking shut off.

  • Loki||

    She finds it uncomfortable to have to sympathize with the free speech rights of a person that supports slavery

    I'm curious to see if the main protaganist in the movie actually supports slavery, as in thinks it's perfectly hunky-dory. Or is it just a case of a story about a guy who didn't want to fight a war in order to free a bunch of other people? As has been discussed above in this very thread, the reasons behind the Civil War are quite complex, and not as simple as "if you don't support the war, you're in favor of slavery."

  • Barry Zuckerkorn||

    That's why To Kill a Mockingbird has always bugged. Anybody can be a "hero" by defending a guy who's innocent. Let's see how dreamy Atticus Finch would be defending James Holmes.

  • sarcasmic||

    Here's a link to the trailer.

    http://www.imdb.com/video/user.....tt_pv_vi_1

    Looks interesting.

  • JW||

    Looks like it could be pretty good.

  • Drake||

    I had assumed it was based on the Bernard Cornwell novel. My desire to see the movie just took a dramatic drop.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I like his books. Especially the Sharpe series. Loved the TV series, too. To this day, I remain annoyed that Sean Bean's career has been dominated by bad guy roles. He was a great heroic lead.

  • Rasilio||

    "To this day, I remain annoyed that Sean Bean's career has been dominated by bad guy roles"

    Was it? The roles I know him from were Boromir from LOTR, Ned Start from GOT, and Zeus for Percy Jackson.

    I mean I know he did a lot of stuff before that including the Sharpe series, which I have heard of but like the rest of his earlier work never actually seen.

  • Pro Libertate||

    There are exceptions, yes. He was Odysseus in Troy, too. But he's more often the bad guy, and he even more often dies. He's one of the leading dying actors of all time. I saw something that suggested that only John Hurt has died more on screen than he.

  • robc||

    But he's more often the bad guy, and he even more often dies. He's one of the leading dying actors of all time.

    This is why the people who managed to avoid the spoilers but were still surprised when Ned Stark died were hilarious. He was played by Sean Bean, of course he died.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Of course he died. Exactly. I knew it without being told and before I read the first few books.

  • Drake||

    He did make a believable Mic terrorist.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    And a good fraud of a mercenary.

  • Jerryskids||

    ...because the author flatters himself, and the audience, that of course the dissenter is right, and of course all right-thinking people—including you, the audience member—will be on the side of the dissenter.

    Amen.

    All right-thinking people would have been Radical Republicans had they lived 150 years ago - despite the fact that Radical Republicans were a pretty widely reviled minority at the time. Freeing the slaves was one thing but nobody seriously argued that Negroes were entitled to all the same benefits of citizenship as human beings.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    nobody seriously argued that Negroes were entitled to all the same benefits of citizenship as human beings.

    Really? William Lloyd Garrison and other abolitionists argued just that. Granted, they were a radical minority, but they were prominent enough voices not to be considered "nobody".

  • John||

    Some did. And they were called radicals and crazies. It still amazes me how the South won the war over the history of this war. The radical Republican Congress of 1965 should be remembered as one of the great moments in American history. They not only ended slavery but passed Constitutional Amendments that were meant to ensure blacks were full and equal citizens. Sadly, the moment didn't last. But damn what they tried to do was as noble as anything the country has ever done. Yet, the high school history books write them off as crazies who wanted to punish the South and impeached Andrew Johnson.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Yet, the high school history books write them off as crazies who wanted to punish the South and impeached Andrew Johnson

    That has to do more with the markets for textbooks. While we don't have a national curriculum (yet), book publishers don't market different textbooks to different regions. It's just not profitable. So, they have to take a one-size-fits-all approach. The two biggest markets are the two most populous states: California and Texas, of course. If it's not going to play well in L.A. or Houston, it's not going in the book.

  • Irish||

    How did they win the war over the history of the Civil War? Sure Southerners still love their Confederate heritage, but the South is called evil and racist to this day because of things that happened between 50 and 150 years ago. That's despite the fact that the south of 2013 is no more racist than the north.

    People still haven't let them live the legacy of slavery down.

  • John||

    I would say the South is called evil and racist today more because of Jim Crow than because of slavery. And they won the history because the most respected figures out of the war are from the South. And the abolitionists never get anywhere near the credit they deserve. William Loyd Garrison ought to be an American hero. Instead few know who he was. Contrast that with the fucking cult of Lee worship.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I think your comments about textbooks are dated. I doubt that your average HS student (assuming he learns history at all) is taught that Garrison and Thad Stevens were evil fanatics. Nowadays there's a lot of Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass - at least they're heroic and worth covering.

  • MJGreen||

    Still, it's like saying, "If I was a Roman, I'd be appalled by the Coliseum and stand to defend the Christians and slaves sacrificed there!"

    Nah, you wouldn't. Chances are you'd be one of the slobbering masses, cheering on as lions rip people to shreds.

  • ||

    Still, it's like saying, "If I was a Roman, I'd be appalled by the Coliseum and stand to defend the Christians and slaves sacrificed there!"

    Nah, you wouldn't. Chances are you'd be one of the slobbering masses, cheering on as lions rip people to shreds.

    All of this. It's what makes the side-choosing and morality-defining so fucking mendacious, and simplistic.

    Everyone wants to see themselves as the guy shooting the zombies, no one ever thinks they would be the zombie getting shot.

  • Barry Zuckerkorn||

    Yep. Paul Fussell said somewhere that if you can't imagine yourself as a guard at Auschwitz hustling Jews along toward the "showers," you have a defective imagination.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    What about Virgilia Hazard. Huh? Huh?

  • Jerryskids||

    Obviously that's hyperbole - I did point out that they were a minority, not actually non-existent.

  • Jon Lester||

    I wasn't reading ThinkProgress when "Gangs of New York" came out. Did Rosenberg have anything to say about that? Clearly that part of the Union didn't have the consent of the governed, if Navy ships were firing on civilians during the draft riots.

    Wonder what she thinks of "The Outlaw Josey Wales?"

  • Irish||

    If she knew anything about history, she wouldn't be a prog.

  • Lyle||

    I like this comment.

  • General Butt Naked||

    She thinks The Outlaw Josey Wales should of really been about M. Jacques Deaubag, the french socialist who didn't get invited to any parties because he once said the poor weren't so bad.

    And The Sting should have been made to be about Johhny "Two Times" Witherspoon, the first socialist paraplegic to graduate from Harvard medical school.

  • ||

    +1

  • Loki||

    Niether one of those movies were explicitly feminist, progressive, or expressed "a range of social concerns" and put war resistance in its "social context" [blah blah blah insert more proggie buzzwords meant to signal to her readers that's she's a hyper intelligent progressive, not a super dumb teathuglican racist here].

    Plus The Outlaw Josie Wales starred that racist right wing nut, Clint Eastwood.

  • Libertymike||

    The best movie of Clint's career.

    One of my all time faves.

  • ||

    I wonder what she thinks of 'The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford' ?

  • Loki||

    Right on cue, here's Alyssa Rosenberg at ThinkProgress. She hasn't seen the movie, but she did watch the trailer, and she has concerns

    Of course she does. In progressive-land the civil war was strictly about ending slavery, and since slavery is an unmitigated, the civil war therefore was good. End of story. There wasn't anything else at play there, and no other issues that the people of the day could possibly be concerned with. Therefore anyone protesting the war in those days was ipso-facto pro slavery. The End.

  • MJGreen||

    Workshop time! Watching a show about the Kruger National Park the other day, I started sketching an outline for a simple thriller set there, with a team of poachers trying to get at a rhino but constantly frustrated by a fairly old security guard. It wouldn't be about how poaching is evil or good vs evil; the head poacher and the local guardian would be given equal time and I'd do my best to make both sympathetic. The poaching is largely treated as the excuse for a taut game of cat and mouse.

    I don't have much to it yet, other than a strong grasp of the two main characters and a few key scenes. I do think it should end with the guard getting half his body blown off by an elephant gun. That may be too Coen-y/nihilistic, but it's a film about poachers, so someone needs to get blown apart by an elephant gun.

  • ||

    The poacher and the guard need to kill each other, I think.

  • WTF||

    While they're both trying to get the drop on each other, they both get gored and trampled to death by the rhino.

  • WTF||

    And it's a pygmy rhino, so it takes a while.

  • Irish||

    It's a metaphor for how nature shall not be constrained by the will of Man.

    I like it.

  • MJGreen||

    Probably, but I feel like that's expected. Granted, no matter how sympathetic I make the poacher, no one would want to see him walk away while the innocent party dies. But I don't want them to both die unless I can make it adequately chaotic and surprising.

  • Jesus H. Christ||

    The poacher is cornered, but he has the rhino as a hostage, the guard "shoots the hostage" as an outside the box method of freeing it. The shot, meant only to wound the rhino so the poacher can't escape with it, enrages the rhino and it tramples both men to death, and limps off into the sunset.

  • B.P.||

    Guard pursuing poacher on foot through woods, poacher gets mowed down on dirt road by an open-air Land Rover full of tourists out looking for rhinos and such.

  • ||

    This movie needs a Tootsie reveal

    The poacher is really a woman who's brother was killed by the guard when she was a young teenager.

  • Billy Boogers||

    "But I don't want them to both die unless I can make it adequately chaotic and surprising"..

    Ok, Rhino is a Suicide Bombing Rhino.... charges in on Poacher and Guard bellowing "RRRHHIIIIINNNOOOOOOOOO!" and... detonates....

    More than adequately chaotic and surprising....with lots of gore and spew

    Fuckin A!

  • Irish||

    Yeah, but wouldn't your movie be better if it was about the persecution of gay people in the late 1700s Ottoman Empire? /Alyssa Rosenberg

  • ||

    "Um... How about this: Adam Sandler inherits like, a billion dollars, but first he has to become a boxer or something."

  • Jon Lester||

    And someone else only wounded by a 7.62x39, just to show how the scary black guns compare to the ones that would be exempt from a Feinstein ban.

  • Pro Libertate||

    I don't want to get all artsy, but what about the guard slaughtering the poachers while riding the rhino?

  • Brandon||

    Why not bring back the Rhino decoy from Ace Ventura, but give it a turret?

  • Brandon||

    I do agree with her that movies about that time period should probably address suffragists, since it was an issue at the time. I think Tombstone handled that pretty well, balancing the attention due to that issue with its main story almost perfectly.

  • Tony||

    Was I misinformed when I was told that Reason cleanses its boards of posts by blatant nutjob racists?

    What guaranteed free expression is meant to prevent is the silencing of people with good ideas by people with bad ideas and political power. It has a pragmatic, progressive purpose. The point is not to have ideas constantly competing, but to establish a democratic pool of ideas from which the best ones surface. We don't jail people for having abhorrent views not because their views might be healthy or good, but because we see the value of a social pact that says we cannot be jailed for our views either, and at any rate there's no point in creating martyrs of racists and whackjobs.

  • ||

    Fuck off, sockpuppet.

  • Tony||

    I'll consider your perspective.

  • Irish||

    The point is not to have ideas constantly competing, but to establish a democratic pool of ideas from which the best ones surface.

    This is pretty much directly contrary to everything that the Founders said about free speech and is directly contrary to virtually all the current jurisprudence as regards free speech.

    Was I misinformed when I was told that Reason cleanses its boards of posts by blatant nutjob racists?

    Where on earth was there anything racist up above? Okay, now I know you're just a sockpuppet. I don't know why I've been responding to you like a person.

    I should have listened to Epi.

  • ||

    Fuck off, potatopuppet.

  • Irish||

    I prefer whiskeypuppet.

  • ||

    Proper Emerald Isle spelling: whiskypuppet.

  • Tony||

    Was it the Founders' position that free speech was meant to result in a chaos of competing ideas, none of which could be considered superior to any other? Surely not. The point (disclaimer: not a deeply held belief, but a topic for discussion) is that dissent is tolerated for a useful purpose, that being that dissenters can sometimes be right and can have good ideas. It is perfectly OK to say white supremacy is a bad idea that should die. There is no point whatsoever to a marketplace of ideas if some don't succeed over others. The democratization of ideas (universal free expression) serves the pragmatic goal of making it more likely that the best ideas outcompete the worst ones. Without the practical, progressive goal of making society better, none of it matters.

    And I don't know if there were any racist posts, I was just told once that Stormfront types get erased when they pop up. Could be wrong, though for a right-wing rag this place is curiously devoid of such.

  • WTF||

    Fuck off sockpuppet.

  • Brandon||

    none of which could be considered superior to any other?

    Straw man. And this is actually the high point of your post, logically speaking.

  • Brandon||

    none of which could be considered superior to any other?

    Straw man. And this is actually the high point of your post, logically speaking.

  • WTF||

    Yeah, it took me a while to learn my lesson and stop responding to the dishonest troll as though he were actually a real person arguing in good faith. "Fuck off" is the only appropriate response at this point.

  • Tony||

    "We believe in a robust marketplace of ideas and welcome all dissenters!"

  • WTF||

    Fuck off sockpuppet.

  • SugarFree||

    Fuck off, sockpuppet.

  • Tony||

    Sockpuppets sockpuppeting sockpuppets.

  • Brandon||

    What guaranteed free expression is meant to prevent is the silencing of people with good ideas by people with bad ideas and political power.

    Every other sentence in your post contradicts this one. How is it possible to be this stupid?

  • Tony||

    It's a simple defense of the position that free expression is pragmatic. Try to keep up.

  • Brandon||

    Please. It's the same fallacious bullshit you always spout. The same "majority uber alles" crap that would justify, in your mind, every crime perpetrated by any state actor in history because it was popular at the time. Fuck you and the cock you rode in on.

  • Tony||

    Whereas you're better because you want to impose a set of absolutist norms, because you're just right, because you say so.

  • ||

    I don't think this is regular Tony. While regular Tony is incredibly dishonest and uneducated, this one is just throwing out red meat ad hominem without a second's pause for coherence or the pretense of a point of view.

    There is one thing that is pretty much beyond debate - Tony, being a full-throttle supporter of the status quo, and enthusiastic sycophant to us-vs-themism, has to be the leading candidate for retroactive placement in the "blacks are inferior, and therefore perfectly suitable as chattel" crowd circa de 1860.

  • Brandon||

    This isn't T o n y.

  • Virginian||

  • Virginian||

    Then they burned that valley in a blaze of fire,
    Cut through the lands like a red hot iron.
    Til the men took cover where the horses piled,
    Then we shivered and then hold against them.

    Fuck you John. They burned our farms, killed our sons, butchered our stock. The boys that did the killing wore blue wool, but the fuckers who sent them to war did so in fine suits of Southern cotton.

    If we're going to go around assigning collective guilt, then the Northerners who made their fortunes shipping that fine slave picked cotton to other countries are at least as guilty. So spare me your bullshit moralizing. War's don't usually have good and bad sides, just bad and worse.

  • RBS||

    They burned our farms, killed our sons, butchered our stock.

    In exchange for more coverage of the abolitionists in schools they should provide an equal amount of time for this. Incidentally, I went to k-12 in "the south" and we spent a lot of time learning about the abolitionists.

  • Virginian||

    Seriously, it's infuriating. Now it would be one thing to burn the huge slave plantations, or to be even more draconian and burn any houses that kept slaves, even though there were a lot of households where the slaves worked alongside the landholder in the fields or acted as a nanny to a widower's children.

    But that's not what they did. My family never owned slaves. Too poor. Didn't matter. They arrived in the afternoon, ransacked the house, slept in the barn, milked the cow in the morning, then slaughtered it and ate it along with the contents of the cellar. Then they left.

  • Goldwyn Smith||

    Collective punishment in war is bad except when it is.

  • Goldwyn Smith||

    Collective punishment in war is bad except when it isn't.

  • robc||

    Even before my father's fathers
    They called us all rebels
    Burned our cornfields
    And left our cities level
    I can still see the eyes
    Of those blue bellied devils
    When I'm walking round tonight
    Through the concrete and metal.
    -- Tom Petty

  • robc||

    Also, the site I copy pastad that from got the lyrics horrible wrong, but close enough.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    a simple thriller set there, with a team of poachers trying to get at a rhino but constantly frustrated by a fairly old security guard.

    That's no good. How about a bunch of ultra-smart teenagers who want to rescue that poor rhino from its oppression and servitude? And one of them is a super hot girl who doesn't even know it!

  • creech||

    When Lincoln called for 75,000 troops after the firing on Ft. Sumter by Confederate hotheads, he explicitly cited the need to hold Ft. Sumter in order to collect revenue from the Charleston customs house.
    But very few would march off to war to fight for a ten cent tariff on imported skillets. So Lincoln switched to an emotional argument in his call: that a democratic republic needs to "maintain its territorial integrity against its own domestic foes." He considered it a "fatal weakness" to allow discontented minorities to "break up their government and thus practically put an end to free government upon the earth." This is nonsense, and he was called on it by
    those who was supposedly trying to show that democracy was a viable
    system: London "Times" (9/13/1862)said "Democracy broke down not when the Union ceased to be agreeable to all its constituent States, but when it was upheld, like any other Empire, by force of arms."

  • Goldwyn Smith||

    So Republican Wars are good now?

  • Goldwyn Smith||

    Also a Charlotte Despard biopic would ignore the uncomfortable reality of the racist British imperialism and that Despard was a Commie and a Stalinist apologist. The later will be especially problematic to the left...oh wait.

  • Goldwyn Smith||

    The topic of the American Civil War is rather interesting from an anti-war and libertarian perspective. If the Civil War is good since it freed the slaves then war can indeed be just and good.

    From a libertarian perspective well the South owned slaves. If opposing the USG is good then doesn't that make the slave owners the good guys? And supporting the North is rather difficult for someone who opposes war and statism.

  • cavalier973||

    There were alternatives to a five year war to "end slavery" that killed a million Americans and vastly increased the power of the cenrtal government.

    For example, after the first seven states seceded, Lincoln could have sent troops to the TN/MS border to receive any escaped slaves and not return them to their owners. As MS had seceded, the "Fugitive Slave Laws" no longer applied.

    Instead, Lincoln chose to call for a military invasion, and lost the upper South as well.

  • cavalier973||

    It's not a nation-wide release. It looks like people living in Florida have plenty of theater options, which means that New Yorkers will be able to see it.

  • Stephdumas||

    It could be interesting to compare it with the South African movie "Verraaiers" http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2247109/ about the 2nd Anglo-Boer war. http://www.channel24.co.za/Mov.....s-20130121

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