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December 26 2007

Emma Caulfield's Final 2008 Voting Choice. An interview with Ron Paul on NBC's "Meet The Press" determined her 2008 Presidential Election vote.

I didnt see a rule about politics in posts, but if this is innappropriate, I won't argue about its removal.
Tell me this isn't the interview where he said he would have opposed freeing the slaves in the Civil War in favor of something he termed "gradual emancipation". Because, well, that would be an unfortunate interview to be won over by.
Tell me this isn't the interview where he said he would have opposed freeing the slaves in the Civil War in favor of something he termed "gradual emancipation".

LOL. I have no clue. All I know is that it was on NBC's MEET THE PRESS.
Heh. Took the words right out of my mouth, bix. I'm still trying to figure out why he felt the need to come out and tell everyone he thought we ended slavery too quickly. It's not likely to help with those "Ron Paul is a racist" stories going around.
He's almost a Lbertarian, that's why soem people, not just Republicans, like him.
That's so Anya.
He's far more libertarian than mainstream Republican, whatever that may happen to mean in 2008. He ran as the Libertarian presidential nominee 20 years ago.

I had not heard that slavery quote, bix. Amazing. And not in the gee, wow, cool way.

I seem to recall that Emma was the most conservative member of the Buffy cast, just as was Adam Baldwin of the Firefly cast.
I saw the interview. Frankly, I don't know which is scarier to me -- Ron Paul or people who were swayed to vote for him by that interview. There are many disaffected people in this country, and there are many more who are cynical about the election process (in which group I tend to count myself), but I was truly jaw-droppingly amazed by some of Paul's answers and non-answers, and I can no longer fathom his appeal. But he's certainly raking in the dough.
I have been without broadband (Did we truly live in a dial-up world, just a few short years ago?) connection whilst moving, so I've missed much news. I do seem to recall that several Democratic candidates expressed support for the writers strike. And if so, where are their Republican counterparts? Even from Australia, Emma's choice makes me sad.
Tell me this isn't the interview where he said he would have opposed freeing the slaves in the Civil War in favor of something he termed "gradual emancipation".

Hmm, I'd be interested to hear his reasoning on why 'gradual emancipation' was necessary. I personally think freed slaves would have benefitted from some post-freedom education and aid. I think a lot of them just got cut loose with no means, so that had few options for survival.

Also, it took almost 100 years until we got the CRA, so I think that was gradual enough.
Someone should post the story on digg.com, you know, start a riot over the Ron Paul reference.
After checking out that interview and a couple of other things, I must say that this dude sounds quite sensible for a Republican. In fact, he doesn't sound like a Republican at all. But maybe it's the other Republicans who are off track, ideologically. I wouldn't know. I don't know much about ideologies or American politics, but this guy seems to do a bit more thinking than following, which I respect. Though I must say that he's a bit clumsy with words sometimes. He sort of blurts things out without formulating them first and sometimes they come out a bit easy to misenterpret. I can relate to that. Possibly asperger.
Anyway, I can see why someone would want to vote for him, and that's really a stretch coming from me as I tend to disagree with every single politician ever. Especially Americans. Especially Republicans. But at least this guy doesn't seem to be invoking the Bible every ten seconds, which puts him way ahead, and he's not for the constitutional ban on gay marriage, which puts him further ahead.
But I'm still not gonna vote for him.
Partially because it's hard to believe this guy is for real, partly because he says he's Republican and partially because I don't know his entire platform...but mostly because I'm not American.
Edited the link title a little. buffysmglover, there's no rule against political links. Neverthless, let's bear in mind the ancient saw against discussing politics (and religion) amongst friends, particularly as we have members of all stripes at Whedonesque. Please keep the conversation reasoned and polite, and address the substance of people's views rather than the individuals themselves. "Starting a riot" will lead to swifty deletion. Ta.
If i were american I would vote for Ron Paul in a heartbeat. Even though I disagree with most conservitive political values, the man is an actual HONEST politician, who seems to care first and formost about governance.

Im surprised to hear so many people query her decision. Ron Paul has gained a few million supporters over the past few months... all of which I would deem to be very decent people who only want the best for their country.

Those of you who are basing any judgement upon this one interview should do some of your own research, I think.
I think Rogue Slayer's nailed the issue Paul was speaking about. Freedom isn't a panacea, it's a starting point. There are plenty of more recent cases where "freedom!" hasn't turned out to be all sweetness & light for those freed.

And overall, I agree that political links should be considered carefully and posted cautiously, especially in the coming months. I prefer Whedonesque to be a place where I can take a break from the politics and whatnot I encounter in the rest of the web.
Hey, lookie there. Looks like SoddingNancyTribe is back in moderating form! Nice to see.

Speaking of not discussing politics, yesterday a conversation about Barack Obama turned into a heated argument between my brother (democrat) and my uncle-in-law (republican). It ended amicably without any injuries, and nobody the winner. Surprising, given the 5-2 ratio of Reps vs. Dems in the house. It's also quite unusual for my family to debate politics. It opened my eyes to the kind of misinformation out there coming from both sides.

[ edited by electricspacegirl on 2007-12-27 01:53 ]
I'm not attacking anyone or his supporters, but these are my two cents on Ron Paul and electoral politics.

The Ron Paul "revolution" seems to stem mainly from his support of immediate withdrawal from Iraq and just about everywhere where the US has a military presence.....I don't disagree at all.

Mix that in with his honest in your face style and he seems like a really great candidate. I don't know, he's popularized the free market like its handing out gifts to people ("Merry Christmas, Here's healthcare!"; "Katrina victims, here's your rebuilt city for you and not corporate interests!"). Letting the free market (true free market principles) determine prices and our way of life is not going to help anyone. But the way he lays his ideas down is pretty much his appeal. Constantly quoting the constitution and all that. Which is great because it lays down a decent system of checks and balances. However the constitution was created by land owning white men, and the least of their concerns was ending slavery. Economics first, people second. And thats my problem with Ron Paul.

Don't ask me who I'd choose then for president, because frankly its all a game in this country. If you read up on your history you'll understand that the only changes ever to come (women's rite to vote and choose, civil rights, gay rights, 8-hour day, child labor laws, unionization, ending vietnam war), came from social movements and not form presidents or congressmen.
<---- BLEEDING HEART LIBERAL TALKING ------->

I'm a tax and spend liberal. I make no apologies.
These aren't King George's taxes that people complain about--Like it or not, it's the cost of living in a modern, capitalist world. It is the cost of keeping a civil society "together" and "civil". Education, health-care, even some (not all) of that "pork barrel" spending are necessary to modern life. They are the infrastructure of life.
People talk about taxes as if they don't benefit from it.
I benefit from my neighbor's kids being well educated-- so they don't grow to be a drag on my property values.
I benefit if the poorest of our society are NOT sick and are GETTING better educational opportunities than my "privilged" neighbors-- So they don't feel the need to come and rob our neighborhood...
There are plenty of "selfish" reasons to be liberal... Not just cause it's the right thing to do.

[snipped]

BTW...Anya didn't start out being all "money" hungry-- just kind of clueless.

Which always made me wonder if Joss, or one of his merry minions, didn't write that in, as an elaborate "in-joke". Emma Caulfied is a smart woman and probably would have gone along with it... irony and all.

Also.. Ron Paul... I'm rootin' for him to be a spoiler.
I don't know a single liberal who is willing to split the vote this time. No one I know is voting "Nader". Only people who would never vote liberal ... SOO..

Go Ron Paul Go!

[ edited by hbojo on 2007-12-26 22:24 ]

[ edited by SoddingNancyTribe on 2007-12-27 00:51 ]
Ick. No, not the political views or the candidates or who supports them. Ick that I feel slightly compelled to bolster my political stance and enfeeble points of doctrine contrary to mine here on Whedonesque. Ick.

I'm going to shower now.
Emma's fairly liberal as Republicans go, not all of us are "Make Attila the Hun look like a sissy" types like I am. I don't much like Paul myself (there's only one of the candidates I do actually like) but again, Emma's not alone. Paul s eems to hAve the edge over all canddiates Democratic or Republican among active duty military. He and Richardson among the Dems are the only "immediate withdrawal from Iraq" candidates with decent poll numbers.

Let's be honest, if he was suggesting gradual emancipation starting say around 1834 I'm sure anyone would agree that would have been a better decision. (i'm not familiar with his speech, just pointing that out.)

Seriously, there are a lot of ways for the US slavery issue to have been solved other than the War Between the States and Reconstruction which would have been, in the long run, less damaging to all parties concerned. Some of those "lot" would have involved extending slavery for a generation or so; incalculably hard on that generation and their children but in any number of cases better for their grandchildren and so on.
Please tell me that's now actually Emma Caulfield's MySpace page. Because if it is, I think it's just ruined Anya for me.
oh god, not more ron paul stuff... i realize libertarianism seems so attractive on the surface but then you remember how neat it is to have inspected meat and child labor laws.
Vince said: Though I must say that he's a bit clumsy with words sometimes. He sort of blurts things out without formulating them first and sometimes they come out a bit easy to misenterpret. I can relate to that. Possibly asperger.

Can you please clarify what you mean by that?
Please tell me that's not actually Emma Caulfield's MySpace page. Because if it is, I think it's just ruined Anya for me.

Yes, that is her page. Check out the photos in her Myspace Photos. She has some that were taken by herself.

Welcome back SoddingNancyTribe!
Wow, what an interesting lady she is. She lists both John Stewart and Ronald Reagan as heroes. I'm sure John Stewart is probably spinning in his...uh, chair.

But I can't not like someone who lists Gaius Baltar as a hero. And it looks like, from her tv and movie choices, she's a big nerd. She's got my vote.
I snipped a bit of red rag waving above.

And I also feel compelled to ask that folks adhere to the site rules on spelling and punctuation, i.e., that they are good things. Yes, the most pedantic moderator is, indeed, back.
FYI, Ron Paul is going to answer questions concerning his Meet the Press interview on the Tucker Carlson show tomorrow (27th) on MSNBC at 6 p.m. ET.
Please tell me that's not actually Emma Caulfield's MySpace page. Because if it is, I think it's just ruined Anya for me.



Yes, that is her page. Check out the photos in her Myspace Photos. She has some that were taken by herself.

I read her other blog entries, and she certainly has some strong opinions now, doesn't she? Must be informed by all those hours spent reading "Jane Austin."
I've been snipped!!! (I actually don't remember what I wrote there....allergy meds)

I feel less manly somehow.
Tibbitz; I'm interested also in what you meant, especially since neither work nor the library allows me access to MySpace, so I can't actually read her blog.

Is it just knowing Emma is sort of rightish-of-center makes Anya 's hard-core cpaitalism harder to take?

Or are you judging Emma (and I have to admit you didn't *say* your judgment was negative, but it "almost sounded" that way) just because this is the first you're finding out what party she's registered in?

ETA: hbojo, what do you mean by a "spoiler"? Hoping he loses the Republican nom. and goes Independent?

[ edited by DaddyCatALSO on 2007-12-27 02:48 ]
Which always made me wonder if Joss, or one of his merry minions, didn't write that in, as an elaborate "in-joke". Emma Caulfied is a smart woman and probably would have gone along with it... irony and all.


I love this idea. While Anya encouraged Xander to make money to buy her things in season four, I think the real start of the uber-capitalism came from Fury, didn't it, in the Game of Life in "Real Me"? And then her role in the store in Petrie's "No Place Like Home"? Of course, Goddard made her a recovering communist too, in "Selfless".

The cast and crew have always been very comfortable with jokingly mocking differing political views (i.e. right-winger Tim Minear calling Joss "Kerry-boy").

As for the debate on the gradual emancipation, a Buffyverse example that comes to mind is "Chosen": Buffy may have been right in giving the girls freedom, but the decision *has* to be backed up by her working to ease the transition of the girls into their new empowered state, which she is doing in Season Eight. So too are sudden introductions of freedom without any help easing the transition inappropriate.

(By the way, I recently saw, and recommend, Deepa Mehta's film "Earth," about the chaos in India after the British's departure and partitioning; no one disputes that the British should have given India its independence back, but they departed without doing anything to deal with the chaos they left in their wake.)
I've said this before, but it was on a thread already off the front page. Ron Paul is not a breath of fresh air to me, having grown up in a nearby district in Texas, where he's been an elected representative for most of more than 30 years. He was one of the pioneer Republicans getting elected (in previously Democratic areas) by appealing to anti-civil rights, anti-choice, and pro-business (Texas-style) interests. His eccentricities were acceptable because of those. Now he's trying to get elected as President based on the ideological stuff, the eccentricities that appeal to independents - what he's said rather than what he's done for the most part, and very selective parts of each. Please don't buy it. I've been horrified for years by what people have been importing politically from Texas.

Look closer. There is a lot of toxicity, like the lead paint from China. Texas should be embargoed.

I accept being edited or deleted for this.
Eeek, I'm away from this site for a few days and suddenly y'all are talking about Ron Paul. Dreamlogic, I agree, except I'd like to defend Texas by pointing out that it also produced Molly Ivins and a lot of good music in Austin. (Btw, I've been away for a good cause. My sister is visiting, and I managed to get her addicted to Buffy. We are watching episodes back to back.)
A whole lot of Ron Paul's national popularity is his pledge to withdraw troops and (a bonus promise) to not start another war against Iran. That said, much of his Meet the Press Interview revealed some convenient historical oversights. Such as not mentioning that the Civil War was fought for the most part to keep the US actually united. Ron Paul says he is a constitutionalist but when in the pre civil rights era some states were deliberately abrogating an entire population's right to vote which was clearly not in keeping with the constitution he still sees no reason why the Federal Government had to intervene via The 1964 Voting Rights Act. There couldn't be anything more important than being able to vote and have it count and this is a proper role for the Federal government. That said, he is intriguing because he forces us to re-think old programs and Washington ways and maybe question a bit. So while he is loose with history and constitutional logic he does make us take a second look at our views.
Eeek, I'm away from this site for a few days and suddenly y'all are talking about Ron Paul. Dreamlogic, I agree, except I'd like to defend Texas by pointing out that it also produced Molly Ivins and a lot of good music in Austin. (Btw, I've been away for a good cause. My sister is visiting, and I managed to get her addicted to Buffy. We are watching episodes back to back.)

No, just the politics. Molly Ivins is dead, and I'm not feeling so good myself. She tried to be as cheerful for as long as she could, even trying to put the best face possible on Dubya, but had to give it up. I'm really just talking about the politics. The music and the food should be everywhere. I'm always praying for Taco Cabana to come here.
I wonder if people really understand what libertarianism is about. Paul is the closest we have to a true libertarian, and as an ethicist who believes firmly in the four principles and in the adequate allocation of health care for all, I cannot countenance his candidacy. Though truly, if I had to pick between him and any republican (which I do not, as I am a hardcore democrat), I'd take him in a moment. I live in Iowa. I'm Jewish. Huckabee runs ads here on TV that state "Mike Huckabee. Christian leader." Well, rather the libertarian who will end the war then the anti-evolution Bible thumper who might hold the nuclear trigger and believes in the Rapture. As to Emma, I wish it were otherwise.
The first amendment is Freedom of Speech--a very important amendment to all of us in the "good, old US of A" to quote Anya. Individuals are entitled to their opinions, which makes this forum fun to read. Members of Whedonesque are entitled to NOT read politically-themed posts, or any posts they wish to avoid.

I don't read every post on the forum, as some do not interest me. This one did, I read it, and I enjoyed the commentary. Some may not. To those some--don't read it if it will offend you or reduce the pleasure you find in perusing this site. However, do not limit the rights of others who may find the occasional political post interesting and thought provoking.
Not sure whom you're addressing there, pinkie7. No one is trying to limit any member's enjoyment of this thread, so far as I can see. As for the 1st Amendment, - if you want to get all technical, - it restricts only government action; consequently, none of you has a (constitutional) "right" to read, write, opine, or otherwise interject on this here site. But we're glad you choose to do so. :-)

Sorry 'bout that, hbojo: knock back a beer, scratch yourself, and you'll be right as rain again.
Just addressing in general. A few of the comments above leaned toward non-political commentary on the site, and some members stated that Emma's political views were not to their liking. She's a talented actress, we've all enjoyed her performance as Anya, and it would be sad if her political views swayed someone away from enjoying that performance. (Hence, the reference to the First Ammendment in defense of Emma, not posting on the site.)
Emma, Emma, Emma .... it isn't only Anya who's so easily swayed by evil. Frat boys everywhere, beware.
pinkie7, agree completely. I couldn't stand John Wayne's politics, but I still like his westerns.
Anytime someone supports a politician who is against the federal government intervening in matters of civil rights, it makes me a little sad. Although I'm for limited federal government on a lot of issues, civil rights is something that can't be left up to local government.

People have the impression that because Ron Paul is against the Federal Amendment to ban gay marriage that he is for marriage equality. He's not. He's just against changing the Federal Constitution so that local government can ban gay marriage. In fact, if a local government wanted to ban homosexuality altogether, he supports their power to do that. He even introduced a bill that would give states the power to do just that (and overturn Lawerence v. Texas.)
I don't think that there is anything I can say about Huckabee that isn't tainted by my obvious biases. I am generally not one to say anything about libertarianism, either, but I wonder if some people leaning that way might be being tricked by the Paul campaign's flooding of the Internet. I can email copyrighted material demonstrating to those interested that Paul is against scientific research on cloning (to include stem cell research) more than Bush. How does that favor liberty?
Yes, the most pedantic moderator is, indeed, back.

There goes the neighbourhood ;).

I've quite a lot of sympathy for libertarianism as an idea but then Communism doesn't seem too bad on paper either and look how that turned out.

If we're jumping into boxes then i'm socially liberal and fiscally fairly conservative - by European standards that is i.e. i'm still happy enough for a portion of my income to go towards universal, free (at the point of service) health-care and a limited welfare system, I just don't want basic income tax rates set at 55% in order to cover it. Pure libertarianism just seems to miss the failings of lassez faire capitalism to me though (i.e. monopolies, high barriers to entry, large and increasing income gaps etc.) but even a cursory inspection tells you that this guy isn't a pure libertarian, he's just a fairly right-wing Republican with some libertarian leanings (small, non-interventionist government has always been a Republican thing, right ? This guy just wants a smaller government than most).

That said, don't know much about him, at the moment it's not that relevant to me (though if he looks like he may become US President then it certainly will be) but he at least seems to have the courage of his convictions, even if I don't agree with many/most of them (speaking out against farming subsidies - one of the more hypocritical Republican policies it seems to me - when you're a Texas congressman isn't cowardly, whatever else it may be).

(and i've always known Emma Caulfield was a Republican, just like AB and TM, though her blog - assuming that's actually hers - paints her as a bit, err, strident with it. Doesn't put me off Anya though. AB, in fact, is also a Bush fan from what I gather which must make him, like, a Republican squared or something - not to mention an increasing rarity ;)
You've convinced me that you don't know much about U.S politics, Saje ;). All Republicans are for smaller government. Until they get in office and massively increase spending, in deficit.

The real Anyanka would make them eat all that gold until they burst.
All Republicans are for smaller government. Until they get in office and massively increase spending, in deficit.

Heh, yeah I might come across as believing that NOT all politicians say one thing when running then do another when they get in. I feel like i've blown any "die-hard cynic" cred I may have had ;-).
I'm trying to spread cynicism in this instance, reluctantly, because I feel that faith is being misplaced. I'm all for faith, if I could only figure out where to put it in this system.
Saje;which of the many ABs in the Jossverse do you refer, because I can only think of two and they don't fit that d escription ?.
Adam Baldwin DCA (though thinking about it, maybe he was more about respecting the office of President rather than the current individual ?).

Yeah, faith in the system is hard to maintain dreamlogic. Like whoever it was that said it said, "Democracy is the worst possible form of government, except for all the others" ;).
So true, and "all the others" seem to be invading.
<--- From Texas..
I apologize on behalf of Texas for
... NCLB
... Dubya
... Alberto Gonzalez
... Karl Rove

BUT I accept kudos (on behlaf of Texas AND San Antonio) for

... Amy Acker
... Summer Glau
... Araceli Valdez (Inca Mummy Girl)
and
... Joss Whedon

hmm....
well....
I've adopted Joss on behalf of Texas
hbojo, don't forget Alan Tudyk!

I'm not really sure why a lot of people on this forum seem to equate Emma Caulfield with Anya. She's not Anya, she's an actress who played her. Making the distinction is important because there's no reason why anyone's personal views should "ruin" your enjoyment of the character. I mean, just because Jayne Cobb is a thief and a robber doesn't mean you should expect the same from Adam Baldwin. I doubt anyone's enjoyment of The Sopranos is ruined because James Gandolfini is NOT a mobster in real life. One's personal picks in politics or religion should not affect your understanding that the actor and the character are entirely separate.

I'm not sure I support Ron Paul, but I am conservative. And I'd like to point out that no one has yet to actually provide a link to the Ron Paul interview in which he supposedly promotes graduated emancipation. I personally can't find it, but I haven't looked too hard since I'm posting this and trying to get out the door to run errands.
I am disappointed in Emma. I wish she would reconsider.
I think a certain beloved Firefly captain would be a staunch Ron Paul supporter. Just sayin'.
His point on slavery had to do with ending slavery by means other than a devastating war (like other countries did). This does not equal being against ending slavery.
Which other candidates (either major party), who had a vote, voted against the Iraq war AND against the "Patriot" Act from the beginning?
Dr. Paul did.
Don't judge any candidate by sound-bytes or one dimension of a three dimensional stance. Some things that he says aren't understood without hearing the rest of his answer. Like decriminalizing marijuana, understanding the damage of the "Inflation Tax", or how our interventionist foreign policies have provoked terrorist attacks on our country.
As with any candidate, we should hear their entire response, and not just something pulled out that somebody chose for us to hear. Not that we should ignore those, just investigate and get the whole story, please.
I'm obviously a Ron Paul supporter. He's the first presidential candidate in my lifetime (and I'm pretty old)that I feel I can enthusiastically support with my money and my vote. I agree with Emma (though not from that particular Tim Russert interview, check him out on the Colbert Report -YouTube it).
I think this candidate is worth the time to research.
I think a certain beloved Firefly captain would be a staunch Ron Paul supporter. Just sayin'.

-Just agreein'
hmm.. this is funny...but as long as we're wondering...
I think that certain captain would be pro-choice and Ron Paul ain't.
And that's a deal breaker for any self-respecting feminist

[ edited by hbojo on 2007-12-27 19:41 ]
and i've always known Emma Caulfield was a Republican, just like AB and TM,


If you're talking about Tim Minear, I believe he's a Libertarian, not a Republican.

Which other candidates (either major party), who had a vote, voted against the Iraq war AND against the "Patriot" Act from the beginning?
Dr. Paul did.


So did Barack Obama, and he's the one I'm voting for.

hmm.. this is funny...but as long as we're wondering...
I think that certain captain would be pro-choice and Ron Paul ain't.
And that's a deal breaker for any self-respecting feminist


That's my policy. Lay off my rights, and I mean all of them. I just can't trust anyone who wants to take away a right. That's a dangerous slope, and I don't want to end up living in a fascist country.
CaffeinatedSquint- but there are actors whose political views I find so offensive that I will not entertain any attempt to ever watch what they do- people like Ted Nugent, Ron Silver, James Wood, etc. I do not conflate the actor with the role, but I do the actor with her or her public pronouncements.
Which other candidates (either major party), who had a vote, voted against the Iraq war AND against the "Patriot" Act from the beginning?
Dr. Paul did.


So did Barack Obama, and he's the one I'm voting for.


Obama didn't have a vote at the time of the Iraq or original Patriot Act voting periods, to my knowledge.

[ edited by Rogue Slayer on 2007-12-27 20:25 ]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7R_VuvWLARo&feature=related

On that Meet the Press interview, (approx. min. 6.30 of the youtube feature above) Dr. Paul does explain his stance on how the country should have simply phased out slavery rather than go to war. He lays it at Lincoln's feet as an attempt to expand federal power.

If my memory serves, the country *was* trying to phase out slavery for decades and the southern states got upset enough about it to secede from the country before Lincoln took office. Terms like "Bloody Kansas" came out of that attempt to phase out slavery. The Confederate States of America was formed before Lincoln even became president. The war happened to keep to try to put the country back together.

If Dr. Paul wants to argue whether there was another way for Lincoln to get the south to return to the USA, fine, but it is a bit ingenuous to suggest that by the time Lincoln came into office all he would have had to do was offer to buy the slaves freedom or that the war was the country's first attempt to end slavery. For that matter it is a bit ingenuous to act like the war was all Lincoln's doing. When he arrived in office the southern states had already formed a separate government and were denying access to federal forts in their territory. They also started shooting at ships and attacked Fort Sumter within the first three months of Lincoln's presidency.

That was not a one sided war in any sense. There is plenty of responsibility to go around. One thing for sure, the south did not secede because they were looking for a federal buy-out scheme.

I get suspicious of candidates who rewrite and dumb-down history for their own purposes.
I think a certain beloved Firefly captain would be a staunch Ron Paul supporter.

I think that certain captain would be pro-choice and Ron Paul ain't.

To borrow an insight applied to someone much better known than Malcolm Reynolds, what a person sees in Mal often says far more about them than it does about Mal.

I'd caution against continuing this thread further into the political realm. Mentioning abortion is one step away from Godwin's law. Politeness and our social contract restrain me from further comment.
jclemens -- Fair enough, about Mal. And I agree with you on the abortion comment. But who are you borrowing this insight from? Just curious. It sounds familiar but I can't place it.
Oh good, newjc already explained the Civil War context similarly to how I would have done. Ron Paul's comments are a mix of truth and misconception. Early during the Civil War, gradually buying out slaves was one option that was still being debated within the Republican party. It's true that ending slavery wasn't a war goal until a few years into the war, but the war was all about the future of slavery. Lincoln went to war to restore the union; however, his original position when he was elected in 1860 (and which led to the first group seceding) was to limit the spread of slavery to new states. So no, he wasn't the staunch abolitionist some people think he was. But he was planning to make the first move that would phase slavery out by disrupting the delicate balance of power that the free and slave states had negotiated at that point. Plan A was something gradual. The length of the war forced his hand on the larger issue of slavery to a new Plan B.

What made the question of slavery in the U.S. different than other countries and capable of leading to a civil war was the inherent economic dichotomy: a southern agrarian economy that was dependent on slave labor and a northern industrial economy that wasn't. Slavery wasn't just a way of life in the south-- it was the entire economy. Most of the southern states saw any threat to slavery, such as Lincoln's election, as a threat to their very survival. Hence a war to settle the issue.
I find it a bit disturbing, no names here, about not watching certain performers professionally for reasons of their politics. I know indivdual viewers don't have the power of a studio system behind them but it reminds me a bit of blacklists. Of course I will avoid a performer because of "addytood" so perhaps I'm not consistent here.
And given that Emma is a Republican, and this is primary s eason, I'd see it as bad taste to endorse candidates in other parties yet *grin.
And they say the public is uninformed and apathetic about politics. ;)
Dana5140, I understand your justification for never watching anything that a particular person does if that person has obviously abhorrable beliefs, and I agree, but as we live in a free society (whether in the U.S., Canada, or Europe, Australia, etc.) we are free to believe in what we want. It's that generally most of us believe oppressive government (Communism, for example) is wrong, and I don't think anyone would say that they could support Communism.

That said, I think on matters as political party affiliation where neither party is a dictatorship, and we're operating under free choice, I don't think it's really fair to say you are angry, disappointed, or ANYTHING with an actor when he or she has beliefs, just like all of us do. I am personally a Republican, but would never stop watching an actor's work that I enjoy, if that person were Democratic or Libertarian. Their political affiliation does not affect my enjoyment of their roles because I feel that none of the major three parties are BAD or corrupt. I wouldn't support Communism, because that IS bad and corrupt in many ways.

I will, however, enjoy an actor's work less, if they make decisions that I think are morally apprehensible in their own lives. I'm not going to watch another Ben Affleck movie, not because Ben Affleck is a Democrat, but because I don't tend to enjoy his choice in roles. But if he were to advocate something so obviously morally apprehensible as to that the majority of the people, regardless of politics, would regard as offensive (say, if he were to suggest that women were second-class and shouldn't vote) then not only would I have problems watching his movies, but I feel that Sydney Bristow would exact revenge and then I might be able to watch Good Will Hunting again.
If you're talking about Tim Minear, I believe he's a Libertarian, not a Republican.

Well IIRC he was referred to as Republican and a Bush supporter in 2004 electricspacegirl (it's mentioned a few times on this thread about the Kerry fundraiser) by people like Alyson (who seems to have real world contact with him) though obviously that may well be because he didn't have the opportunity to vote libertarian (and he may no longer support Bush - right thinking people change their minds about stuff like that all the time, whichever "side" of the arbitrary left/right divide they happen to sit on).

Of course I will avoid a performer because of "addytood" so perhaps I'm not consistent here.

Old ground to some extent (Orson Scott Card casts a long shadow ;) but though I don't really care about an actor's politics, if I found out for instance that an actor felt that AIDS was God's vengeance on gays for being evil, that'd give me pause. Some knowledge just permanently colours your view of a person and if you can completely forget that when watching them act then I think you've an uncommon knack for compartmentalisation (that's the big 'you' BTW, not any actual 'you's on this thread ;).
CaffeinatedSquint: I realized as a teenager restricting my viewing due to politics would limit me to old Ronald reagna and George Murphy movies so your approach is sensible.

Saje;If an example is useful, I strongly objected to the Actual choice of words the lead singe fromt he Dixie Chicks used toe xpress her feeling sbaout Iraq while in copncert but I had no problem with ehr talking baout it. But when the fiddler from the group said she was glad they had recorded an album that had maved away form country format because she didn't want their songs on the same stations with a couple harmless fun songs she proceeded to bash, then I said good riddance.
CS and DCA- why ever would I wish to provide financial support, by my watching, of someone whose views I find reprehensible? This is not a "I won't watch republicans" comment- it is that the specific people I mention have made such vitriolic public comments about people who think differently than they do that I cannot in good conscience pay them further attention. This is, in a country which values free speech, my choice. I have not said they should shut up, or not express their views; I am exercising my right to not provide them support. That is NOT a black list; it is the marketplace in action. Just as I will not eat at McDonalds, or shop at Wal-Mart because I do not agree with their policies, I will not watch these actors because I feel that they are beyond the pale with their comments. Just as I would never purchase a book by Anne Coulter, I will never buy a CD by Ted Nugent. But I would fight for their right to write them or to record them. In what way is this wrong, if you believe in free speech?
I never said it was wrong, I said that I would understand the justification for not watching something one finds morally reprehensible. I don't watch a lot of things for that reason...but politics aren't my issue. Morality is. I don't care if you're a Democrat or Republican or you believe that aliens will soon come and liberate you. If your morals are not what I agree with to the extent that you downright change my opinion of who you are, regardless of what you've done or continue to do, I will not support you.

Don Imus is the perfect example. I don't care how much money he's donated to various African-American groups or even if he goes and adopts eight children from Africa, what he said about the women's basketball team was deeply offensive and unforgiveable to me. I've never listened to Don Imus, but even if he was a musician or an actor instead of a radio host, I'd extend the same courtesy I'd extend to anyone else who makes comments such as those - I wouldn't support them. But it has nothing to do with whether Don Imus is Democrat or Republican.
Tibbittz; I'm interested also in what you meant, especially since neither work nor the library allows me access to MySpace, so I can't actually read her blog.

Is it just knowing Emma is sort of rightish-of-center makes Anya 's hard-core capitalism harder to take?

Or are you judging Emma (and I have to admit you didn't *say* your judgment was negative, but it "almost sounded" that way) just because this is the first you're finding out what party she's registered in?

- DaddyCatALSO


Well, I'm always surprised to find out someone in the arts, and especially someone who's been involved in such an arguably progressive project as Buffy would support ideas/political parties that are inherently regressive. But it wasn't her political affiliation that I found so off-putting; rather it was this blog post:

It’s only natural

Maybe you haven't heard about the the breast feeding sit-ins that some crazy "activists" are pushing for, but I have. Sigh. Recently a mother was asked to cover up while breast feeding her baby while "dining" at an Applebees restaurant in Arizona. In an attempt to squash the discomfort of the other patrons, the manager asked if she could cover her breast while in the dining room. She explained she didn't have a blanket and then made it clear she was offended by his request and soon made her story national news. It is her "right" to breast feed in public, whenever and wherever she pleases.

Soon to follow were accusations of discrimination and the demands for apologies. An argument this woman and other Lactivists have made is that breast feeding is natural and therefor should be excepted and therefor catered to by all. They haven't actually said they should be catered to but really, that's what they want.

But you know breast feeding IS natural. And you know what else is natural? Sex. Should couples be allowed to shag in between meals if their desire overcomes them? What about relieving one's bladder or bowels? That's certainly natural, so should we forego using bathrooms as well? Hell while we're at it, being naked is the most natural thing in the world so should nudists be allowed to dine in the buff while sampling the all you can salad bar? The answer to these questions is no.

- Emma Caulfield


I think it's patently absurd that we have, as a culture, distanced ourselves so far from public breastfeeding that it's thought of by anyone as vulgar. It'll be hard now for me to watch Caulfield as Anya and not be reminded of how strongly I disagree with her views.

Not that this will actually ruin Anya for me, I was being dramatic...
Hence a war to settle the issue.


Sorry, Sunfire, but I think you misspelt "new nation." As much as we like to ignore it, the War for Southern Independence had a lot of economic and military similarities with the American Revolutionary War: Smaller, more agrarian section seceeds from larger, more populous industrial nation, which proceeds to launch a war of aggression to reconqueor the rebellious provinces.

Of course, we know what the moral issues and military outcomes were in each war, but the similarities are all-so-often overlooked. Fort Sumter was sovereign soil of the Confederate States of America, which it had de facto nationalized as part of secession. For the USA to attempt to resuppy it, rather than withdrawing its troops, was the initial act of war.

Morally ambiguous stories are part of what makes Firefly and Angel (and, to a lesser extent, Buffy) so interesting. Funny thing is, if you look beyond the dumbed-down versions we got in grade school, there's plenty of moral ambiguity right smack in the middle of history.
Tibbittz, That breastfeeding post made me cringe too. But then again, I'm just one of those self-absorbed lactivists who is looking to be "catered to." Among the outrageous demands that I placed on the public during the years that I was nursing both my children were (1) that I not be arrested for public indecency for the crime of feeding my child in the manner perfected through millions of years of evolution, and (2) that I not be told by restaurant and store managers that the only place I am allowed to feed my child is in their skanky bathrooms, both of which are in fact rights protected by law in the vast majority of states. Those women raising such a stink aren't looking for special rights; they're just protesting the failure of the public to respect the rights granted to them by law.

I won't even touch the post denouncing atheists who have the audacity to advocate for a separation of church and state ...
By the way, this is a link to an article about what actually happened, which provides a pretty good illustration of how informed Ms. Caulfield's opinions actually are.

The dispute with Applebee’s began June 14. Ryan chose a booth in the back of the restaurant away from other customers. When her baby, Michael, got hungry, she began to nurse him discreetly, she said.

But a waitress came over and said that if she wanted to breast-feed, she had to cover the baby with a blanket. Ryan said it was so hot that she didn’t have a blanket. The waitress then repeated her request. Ryan said she then asked to see the manager and handed him a copy of the 2006 law that prohibits any interference with a woman breast-feeding her baby in public.

The manager said he knew about the law but a customer had complained about indecent exposure, so she had to cover the baby with a blanket.

Just as her food arrived, Ryan left to nurse her baby in her car.

Her lawyer wrote a letter to Thomas and King, the company that operates Central Kentucky’s Applebee’s. They got no response. After a second letter, a Thomas and King lawyer said the restaurant chain would consider keeping blankets in the restaurant so that breast-feeding women could cover themselves.

“That’s like telling Rosa Parks she still had to sit in the back of the bus, but we’ll give her a blanket to make her more comfortable,” Ryan said.


Yep, that's a really "crazy" woman there who obviously is just looking for the public to cater to her.
I think it's patently absurd that we have, as a culture, distanced ourselves so far from public breastfeeding that it's thought of by anyone as vulgar.

I'm always amazed that it's apparently just the 'nippular' area that is offensive, given what passes for bathing suits and bikinis these days.

That said, is it unreasonable to ask someone to cover up their breast, regardless of why it is out? I've seen tons of women breastfeeding in public, and every one of them covered themselves with a blanket.
I mean, if we're going to say you can expose your breast to breastfeed, then why can I not expose my breast for the fun of it? Then you get into a bit of hairy territory with equal rights and whatnot.

Mind you, I think people should be able to go around nude if they want, and that we are a far too puritanical society, but just going along with society...it should be even-steven, if you ask me.

Ryan said she then asked to see the manager and handed him a copy of the 2006 law that prohibits any interference with a woman breast-feeding her baby in public.

Wow, that kind of sounds like a woman who was aiming to either start a lawsuit or prove a point. Who walks around with laws in their purse??

After a second letter, a Thomas and King lawyer said the restaurant chain would consider keeping blankets in the restaurant so that breast-feeding women could cover themselves.

Good for them. I don't agree with making people breastfeed in the restroom, because after all, that doesn't seem very hygenic. But asking them to cover with, and even providing, a blanket. Seems fair enough. Clearly some people find expose breasts offensive, and if you're a business trying to keep everyone happy, it seems a fair compromise. You're allowing the mother to feed her child naturally, and you're allowing the other patrons to not feel...whatever they feel by seeing a boob. Offended. Disgusted. Whatever negative emotions boobs evoke.

[ edited by Rogue Slayer on 2007-12-28 01:20 ]
Brew Bunny said:

I won't even touch the post denouncing atheists who have the audacity to advocate for a separation of church and state ...


That post, as well as the breast feeding post, also made me realize just how much I disagree with Emma's politics and beliefs. But they also made me think that she may just be an even better actress than I gave her credit for... she sold Anya completely, even if the character was used in service of messages she may not believe in herself. I always knew Emma had excellent comedic timing, but now, I am pretty convinced she is a great actress. And if she came over to my house for dinner, we'd have a nice boring discussion about the weather :)
Wow, I hadn't noticed her breastfeeding post. It's almost funny it's so absurd, though I don't think she's particularly unusual in feeling that way. But I think she'll change her mind if she ever lactates. She'll change if she's ever a sleep-deprived, hormonally-deranged new mother just trying to enjoy an evening of normalcy out at a restaurant while her baby screams, SCREAMS to nurse and the only place she can do it without drawing attention is the skanky public restroom.

But you know, it gives me new respect for the cast and crew of Buffy, that they co-existed (I think peacefully?) with Emma. Some of the DVD commentary would suggest they really liked her. I think that says a lot, that they saw the woman, not her wacky politics.
Wow, that kind of sounds like a woman who was aiming to either start a lawsuit or prove a point. Who walks around with laws in their purse??

A woman who is smart enough to know what her rights are and who is experienced enough to know that a large portion of the public is not similarly informed.

Signed,

Another woman who once carried a copy of her state's right to breastfeed law with her. ;-)
... then why can I not expose my breast for the fun of it? Then you get into a bit of hairy territory with equal rights and whatnot.

Well, men can already expose their breasts for the fun of it (though we might not get served in bars or supermarkets) so the equal rights thing doesn't worry me ;).

The thing is Rogue Slayer, some people find exposed hair offensive, they still don't have the right (in Western countries) to ask people that don't share their beliefs to cover their heads. And surely it could be she'd had trouble before and so got a copy of the law to cover herself (ba dum dum ;) ?

Just read the "Let's make a big church/state pie cos the founding fathers she praises so highly really didn't want the two kept separate (all evidence to the contrary)" post. She likes her totally unsubstantiated, ill-considered rants doesn't she ? Love it, everyone should have a hobby ;).
I would guess this woman carried a copy of the law in her purse because this was not the first time she had been told she couldn't breast feed her child in public and she was willing to take a stance.
And in Ontario, 10 years ago, it was decided that women could go topless where they pleased. More or less.
WOW.. what is VERY interesting about this thread to me.
Is that it continues.. that more and more people voice opinions about Caulfield's politics.

On other boards that I read (where testosterone is king...her opinions would not even raise an eyebrow).

Regardless, of the political stripes in here-- it seems that Whedonites just seem to be more politically interesting (eventhough you conservatives are wrong....we still love you).

Emma's opinions breastfeeding opinions aren't exactly mainstream... but I have to admit that they need to be confronted when appropriate.
I don't believe that it's right to just let other's "be" with what are patently wrong ideas. It's good to confront bad ideas.

Otherwise, bad ideas gain currency.

I'm still apalled by the fact that every American is not outraged at our involvement in a war based on false premises.
Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum... the fact that we are in Iraq and there were NO WMDs should make us ashamed. It's not a matter of left and right... but of right and wrong.

[ edited by hbojo on 2007-12-28 01:44 ]
Over-all comment, ye gods I wish I could read soem of these blogs of hers ! I might not agree with her more than about 54% of the time but it sounds like interesting reading. I won't deal with the lactation one since all sides seem to have been covered.


Dana5140; Sorry, I was taking your comment a bit more broadly than you meant it. I'm the last person to ever comment on another's decision to avoid spending money :-).

hbojo; The main probklem with Iraq is we're there now and just withdrawing isn't good way to deal with that emssy rel;aity.

Tibbitz;Just for the sake of argument, I could say the Buffyverse has a strong conservative element it it also, mainly because it has a fairly specific moral code running thru it and most prime-time shows, well, don't.

jclemens;Britain wasn't all that industrialized at the time; the economic asepcts were very different in the two wars.

hst3k; Emma and Tonyw ere the only actors from the casts invited to Aly and Alexis's wedding. Thsoe 4 plus AMy Acker, Nicky, and Charisma, plus their various spousen* are all fairly close socially last I heard.

*not a typo, that's how I spell and say it :-)

[ edited by DaddyCatALSO on 2007-12-28 01:47 ]
You know, out of curiosity, I looked up my state's breastfeeding rights, which state:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a mother may
breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, except the
private home or residence of another, where the mother and the child
are otherwise authorized to be present.


Now, of course, I've never argued anyone's right to breastfeed in public, but whether if 'covering up' is called for. The law doesn't really address it. And I wonder what the consensus would be if the mother were in a school. But like I said, it's never been an issue in my experience, as all breastfeeding women I've seen cover up in public, and from those I've talked to, they don't particularly like having their breast exposed to the public anyway.

A woman who is smart enough to know what her rights are and who is experienced enough to know that a large portion of the public is not similarly informed.

Signed,

Another woman who once carried a copy of her state's right to breastfeed law with her. ;-)


So this woman probably had prior experiences of breastfeeding in public, without cover, and people asking her to cover? Not speaking to the legality of it, but I'd just bring a blanket in the future if that happened. But then again, I'm not big on fighting for rights that don't really have much consequence, just because it's a right. I mean, breastfeeding in public is a right. Yes, fight for that. But being asked to cover up is not taking that right away from you. I mean, I'm sure she had a spit-up rag with her, if she is an experience mother. I wonder if her main problem was them asking her to cover up, or her impression that she had to leave. If they had provided her with a blanket, would she have refused it on principle? Didn't sound that way, sounded like she simply didn't have one. And did the restaurant insist she leave? I guess I just don't have enough facts to really get a full picture of the situation.

The thing is Rogue Slayer, some people find exposed hair offensive, they still don't have the right (in Western countries) to ask people that don't share their beliefs to cover their heads.

Yes, but in countries where it is against the accepted 'law' to expose your hair, they certainly can ask you to cover your head. And it seems in the US, it is not accepted to expose your breasts, so you are asked to cover them.

I would guess this woman carried a copy of the law in her purse because this was not the first time she had been told she couldn't breast feed her child in public and she was willing to take a stance.


I guess my point is, from the info we have, she wasn't told she can't breast feed in public. She was asked to cover up, as it was apparently offending other patrons.
But you know, it gives me new respect for the cast and crew of Buffy, that they co-existed (I think peacefully?) with Emma. Some of the DVD commentary would suggest they really liked her. I think that says a lot, that they saw the woman, not her wacky politics.

You know, for some reason, a lot of people in this world have made it a point to add in the words "in spite of" as if politics should be a yardstick for us to compare each other to. I don't care what your politics are, if you're a bad person who hates others, I'm not going to respect you.I don't feel as if anyone from the cast "put up with" or simply "co-existed" with Emma. It's not as if she had leprosy, for heaven's sake. That's one of the problems with this world, that instead of seeing people for being people, common decent human beings, we see red hat or blue hat, and we think that people with beliefs that are different than ours can't possibly get along with "normal" folks because obviously, Emma's politics are CRAZY.

I personally wouldn't like to breastfeed in public, thankyouverymuch. Forgive me for being extremely puritanical, but I think it'd just be a little distracting to the other restaurant-goers, if it was obvious. This woman wasn't being obvious, which is fine, that I have no problem with, but I don't think Emma should be judged or written off for expressing her opinion, which I'm sure is the same as many others.

And how dare any of us single Emma out for her comments. It's not as if any of us ever read one article on the internet and make opinions without digging through four or five other ones to confirm the details, right? I'm sure all of us do it a lot, even if we try not to. Her comments regarding the breastfeeding woman were not "she's a wretched human being" but simply that just because it is natural, perhaps it should not be done everywhere. That's a sensible line of logic, IMO.
The law doesn't really address it.

and

And it seems in the US, it is not accepted to expose your breasts, so you are asked to cover them.

seem slightly contradictory Rogue Slayer. If we don't know then we don't know, we can't say whether it's protected OR illegal.

I kind of agree though that it makes sense to pick your battles and (the odd occasion apart, usually in the morning or pre-coffee ;) i'm not really the sort to fight over the small things either. But then I guess everyone has different priorities on "issues".

And how dare any of us single Emma out for her comments.

We dare like ... this ;). Seriously, she posted comments in public, that means the public get to scrutinise them (just as all our comments on here are open to scrutiny and, within the rules of the site and the mods' judgement, being challenged/ridiculed). And anyway, I very much doubt she's so thin skinned to be bothered by it. Her logic's not "insane and happenstance" but at the same time it just boils down to what some find offensive and what others don't so in this instance, logic doesn't really help us (unless it's actually been ruled illegal, which seems murky).
It was not really to imply that we shouldn't discuss a public figure's comments...but rather that I think a lot of times, conservative people are labeled as 'crazy' or 'extremist' when their opinions are just as valid as anyone else's. I've spent a good spell fighting the labeling, so I guess any annoyance I feel at some of the kind folks' comments on her politics or beliefs stems from the fact that it does really seem like there's a lot of hate out there for conservative people.
Fair point, I don't like expressions like "right-wingnut" etc. either (or the corresponding anti left-wing versions) and it's also probably true that, on here at least, there are maybe more lefties than elsewhere on t'intarwebs (or those that are here are more vocal) so that she's coming in for disproportionate flak but I fundamentally disagree that everyone's opinions are equally valid. Everyone is equally entitled to have an opinion, that doesn't make them all as sensible as each other, otherwise we render the idea of "sense" itself meaningless (if she claimed for instance that women shouldn't breast feed in public because of anti-breast-feeding pixies then I think/hope we'd all agree that her opinion wasn't particularly valid).

In general, the (few) posts i've read have been ad hominem (in a general sense), ranty and sometimes nonsensical. That's fine, she's absolutely entitled to express herself any way she likes and on one level it's quite entertaining. Doesn't mean we have to just accept it without comment if it rubs us up the wrong way though (anymore than Ms Caulfield has to).
I'm like Tibbitz...I'm always surprised when I find out that people involved in the arts (especially something like Buffy) have political views like this.

I don't think republicans are bad people, and I think extremist democrats are just as reprehensible as extremist republicans. (Seriously, Tim Robbins is uber-talented, but I want to punch him in the face every time he starts talking about politics despite the fact that I agree with most of his beliefs). And if I want to, I can say that this disappoints me a little...and it does. I mean, she's as fully entitled to her beliefs as I am mine, but I always associate Buffy with liberalism.

Plus, her blog posts just seem rather insane, at least by my definition of insanity. And she's got a Rudy Giuliani thing on her MySpace (yet also tons of Bono admiration, which boggles my mind). Ugh.

This doesn't change Buffy or the Anya character for me, though. She's a very talented actress, and I will continue to enjoy her work. I mean, when I found out that Trey Parker and Matt Stone were registered republicans I nearly had a heart attack, but South Park continues to be one of the best shows on television (or at least it will if this damned strike ever comes to an end). Though I must say, their views seem way closer to mine than Emma's, and also sensible.
I admire Bono AND Rudy G., does that make it such a dichotomy? I don't fully support President Bush right now, but I don't regret voting for him. Is that such a dichotomy? I think many of us are surprised when actors have conservative political views because the most outspoken people are almost ALWAYS very liberal (Ben Affleck, Sean Penn, to name a few). Thus there is some bizarre notion that because some are like this, all of them are like this. Overall, I think most of Hollywood is liberal. But it doesn't mean conservative people (Emma, Tim Minear, Adam Baldwin) aren't out there. I especially enjoy how Adam Baldwin has handled the attention his character, Casey, gets for being such a patriot on "Chuck." I remember one interview in particular where the interviewer asks him whether Casey's obvious wearing of a 'support the troops' pin is a subtle way of showing Casey's political leanings. All Adam does is say (I'm paraphrasing) I don't think there's anything wrong with supporting the troops, do you? Wonderful.
CS: "And how dare any of us single Emma out for her comments." I ask back, how dare we not? Is Emma sacrosanct? Would you be defending as strongly someone whose views you do not agree with? If Emma posts publicly, it is fair to debate her views. Fortunately, this has been reasoned and reasonable. I have been on boards where the debate, to use the term loosely, has been incredibly vile. It makes me fear for the future of our country, since it is no longer enough to disagree; today, the tactic is to destroy your opponent- which was very much the political style of one Karl Rove. And now it carries over into our day-to-day discussions.

I find it funny that the same republicans who decry any "Hollywood liberal" voicing a political opinion will defend to the nth degree Chuck Norris speaking out for Mike Huckabee. I am tired of the situationalism. In fact, I hate it on both sides- the republicans are fighting for the same rights that they once stripped from the democrats, now that they are in the minority. Jeez.

As to Emma, not a one of us would give a fig for her views were she not on Buffy. I love her character, but she's a actor "without portfolio" right now and her comments will have virtually no effect on anything. Save for a day long political discussion here.
Posted by unpluggedcrazy: "I'm like Tibbitz...I'm always surprised when I find out that people involved in the arts (especially something like Buffy) have political views like this."

I'm surprised too, but mostly because Hollywood tends to lean left, way, way left. So hearing that someone takes a different point of view is refreshing to me. Sure some of her posts I don't agree with, but others make sense.

As for me, well I'm a libertarian at heart, even though I do recognize the limitations of the truly theoretical limited government that it aspires for. So back to the point of the original article posted about, her endorsement of Ron Paul, I'm glad to hear it since I voted for him for President when he ran the last time. While I find that my preference for limited govt. finds a better home on the republican side of the fence, in general elections I tend to vote third party to make the point that I'm not happy with the limited lesser-of-two-weavels choices our two party system gives us. That and the tendency of the republican nominating system to serve up candidates that are more into interventionist/authoritarian policies, like our current President.
Since it has generated a number of comments, I have to toss in my two cents on the breast feeding in public post. I agree with Emma that asking for a reasonable accomodation, covering up, isn't outrageous. I'm a guy and have no kids myself, so this isn't something I have had to deal with personally. But my friends with infants seem to have worked out how to be discrete yet take care of their child's needs. Some carry a cloth to cover the baby and breast discretely, or they wear a maternity top that allows access while again covering themselves well.

Even if the law confirms their right to breast feed their children, why is asking for some discretion such a problem. Sure it should be done politely, but just asking for consideration of others should not be a crime. We live in a too litigious society already, so bringing lawyers into the mix because you don't like how someone handled the situation is a bit much.
I have to tell you, I thought this thread was going to be a moderator's nightmare . . . happily, and not for the first time, you all have proved me wrong. Sharp, reasonable conversation. Kudos.

But nobody says a bad word about my beloved Dixie Chicks: DaddyCatALSO, you're fired. ;-)
The law doesn't really address it.

and

And it seems in the US, it is not accepted to expose your breasts, so you are asked to cover them.

seem slightly contradictory Rogue Slayer. If we don't know then we don't know, we can't say whether it's protected OR illegal.


I just meant that the breastfeeding law doesn't mention anything about the need for covering up or anything like that; however walking around with your breasts exposed is considered 'indecent exposure', so I do know that is illegal(or maybe depends on your state). So does the breastfeeding law exempt a woman from the 'indecent exposure' law? It's quite possible it does.
I 100% agree SoddingNancyTribe - this has been a pretty reasonable and open-minded discussion. Good for everyone. While as Dana has said, much of political discussion has lowered to the level of all-out warfare, at least we can discuss difficult subjects that we disagree on to one degree or another. I am happy to respect the points of view of those I disagree with, if they're sincerely held. I suppose it helps that I was raised by parents who agreed to disagree about the two parties, one tending to vote democratic and the other republican.

As a student of politics I appreciate that this year we have an embarassment of riches. There are almost twenty candidates between the two major parties, and even I'll admit that there are decent ones on each side who could be good Presidents if elected. Sure there are some clunkers and the typical ego trips who shouldn't have bothered filing for the nomination. So look around and research their positions, and you'll probably find someone you can tolerate. If you get involved now, you may even have an impact on getting your favorite nominated.
About the breast-feeding -- apart from the law, which seems to be on the side of public breast-feeding, I look at it this way: I believe it is more difficult for a mother to keep a child quiet in a public place if she can't feed it than for other people in the public place to look at whatever they came there to look at in the first place (presumably not a breast-feeding woman), i.e., their meals, each other, the newspaper, other diners, the view out the window, etc. For that matter, I personally tend to be a lot more offended by a baby screaming, which I can't avoid *hearing,* than by a baby feeding, which I can easily avoid watching (see above).

About seeing conservatism in "Buffy" because it's moral -- er, DaddyCatALSO, are you saying liberals aren't moral? :) I would disagree there.

About Emma Caulfield's political views being at odds with those of her castmates -- Joss Whedon hired her for five seasons of "Buffy" and gave Adam Baldwin a job on the end of "Angel" when "Firefly" went away (and brought him back for "Serenity"). If Joss is happy to work with people who have different political views than his own, then why should the actors who *do* agree with him politically be uncomfortable working with these folks? :)

[ edited by Shapenew on 2007-12-28 06:17 ]

[ edited by Shapenew on 2007-12-28 16:46 ]
SNT, If you want, I can get snarky.

Burp cloths = boobie burqas.

[ edited by BrewBunny on 2007-12-28 06:03 ]
The law doesn't really address it.

Doesn't the ninth amendment make it clear that no freedoms shall be denied that aren't specifically prohibited?
If so, then breast feeding in the open should be protected (but of course, that doesn't mean that you won't be unjustly arrested and detained for it without so much as an apology from the police),even if people are offended by it.
I'm just shcoked that we still have such Puritanical views that the actual reason breasts exist upsets people. Why should they be hidden when all they are doing is what they were created for? Each person in that room at one time suckled a breast, and big deal. Why should it be hidden away, as if it is something to be ashamed of? Why is this nation so hung up on sex? Why is it that Joss Whedon had to keep Tara and Willow from kissing until Joyce died, you know?
Personally I agree with you Dana5140, it's no great hardship to just not look if the sight is somehow abhorrent or offensive to you BUT Emma Caulfield's argument about crapping in public view applies here - your argument about its naturalness is just the flipside of that and holds about as much water.

The whole Janet Jackson tempest in a teacup clued me in like nothing else had just how sensitive some segments of the US are to nudity. Kinda funny ;).

(that said, we're "sensitive" about head-butts being shown on TV believe it or not - the UK seems to worry more about violence, the US seems to get more wound up about sex and swearing - so it's all just down to cultural mores)
Where does it stop, saje? Remember the dust-up when diners in an IHOP got angry at two women who gave each other a kiss? So the women were asked to leave? So, taking your argument to its logical extreme, if something offends someone somewhere, we need to accede to that? If a racist walks in and sees 2 blacks and is offended, they should leave? Jews for an anti-semite? There is NO LAW against breast feeding in public; it's completely legal. Crapping in public is not- there are various laws that cover that. But not breast feeding.
Saje, actually, defecating in public in unhygienic and can be smelled by anyone in the immediate vicinity. I do not believe breasts and/or breast milk are inherently unhygienic or give off a detectable odor (unless one is *really* in the vicinity, i.e., the baby). Ironically, the baby is liable to defecate into its diaper while in public, which is not a smell one wants in a restaurant -- that, to me, is a greater danger of offense to the other diners, and yet it goes unmentioned. The other examples of unacceptable public behavior Caulfield cited create more noise/smell/unhygienic conditions and/or take up more space than breast-feeding or any other behavior that would not naturally disturb people nearby but not involved. They really are not analogous to breast-feeding, in my opinion.
Got to admit, comparing breast feeding to defecating did not thrill me much. It is a baby eating...that's all. I get grossed out by the way and what some people eat, so I try not to watch. To me, that is a more apt analogy.
Hmm, now I'm wondering what the stance would be if, say, a woman were breastfeeding her 5 year-old in public(I do personally know of a couple instances where women breastfed that long). Clearly there is no law against it, but would it be considered 'inappropriate' for public consumption, so to speak? Is there a certain age for the child where it is no longer considered 'legal'? Things that make you go 'hmm'...if you're me and bored at work, that is.
I do not know the answer, RS, but the laws are written to allow women to breast feed their "infants" or "babies" in public, and I am not sure that a 5yo fits either of those definitions. But that would be a legalese.

But I think there is a greater point here, well beyond the issue. And it is this: this country is now so divided and so divisive that I think, in general, you can pick the politics of a person once they provide an opinion on just about anything. I will venture to guess that most- I said most, not all- of those who are against breast feeding in public fall on the conservative side of politics, and those for on the liberal side. And pick your issue, I think this is true- abortion, social security reform, universal health care, stem cell research, intelligent design (a canard if ever there was one), religion in the public square- pick it, and by your answer you reveal your politics- in general. And our politicians exploit these differences. I will be caucusing for Obama next week largely because he is the only candidate anywhere who continually and relentlessly talks about uniting, not dividing, hope not fear.
I will venture to guess that most- I said most, not all- of those who are against breast feeding in public fall on the conservative side of politics, and those for on the liberal side.


Or they wanna see some breasts. In which case, they should buy Angel: After the Fall... wah wah wah! Sorry, couldn't resist the urge to tie two semi-offtopic threads together.
ETA: Well now we're caught in a semi-off-topic loop, I hope you're happy with yourself Zeitgeist ;).

Saje, actually, defecating in public in unhygienic and can be smelled by anyone in the immediate vicinity.

Not necessarily. You could have a loo in the middle of the room so that it's basically the same as it is now only right out in front of people, nothing unhygienic about it (so long as you wash your hands - which we all do, right ? ;). And smelling bad isn't illegal either AFAIK - again, it's just arbitrary preference.

My point (and hers) though is there are plenty of things that are natural (and not illegal) that people don't do in public out of consideration for others i.e. being "natural" is no defence, it's still down to arbitrary lines.

(she used crapping to sway people by evoking disgust - standard rhetorical trick and another irksome thing about her posts IMO - but the point is not that crapping and breast-feeding are directly comparable, the point is they're both natural human bodily functions so that simply saying "Breast-feeding is the most natural thing in the world" isn't a justification for doing it in public - saying it's not hurting anyone so why shouldn't the mother be free to do it is IMO but I suppose it's down to whether we put the onus of dealing with the problem on those causing offence or those being offended i.e. either the mother could cover up or the offended people could look away)

So, taking your argument to its logical extreme, if something offends someone somewhere, we need to accede to that?

That's not my argument Dana5140, my argument is merely that pleading "naturalness" doesn't justify a behaviour. You hit the nail though in that it boils down to what people want to see, not what's natural (or even legal as in your women kissing example - i'm assuming that's not against the law in the US ?) i.e. it's about taboos. Your example about racism is germane I think because of course, 50 years ago, in certain parts of America they would have had to leave - what people find acceptable changed (as did the law) and that's no longer the case.

[ edited by Saje on 2007-12-28 18:16 ]
ETA: Well now we're caught in a semi-off-topic loop, I hope you're happy with yourself Zeitgeist ;).


Ah, but its only because you stole the gravitic anomalizer from my TARDIS. On the alleged topic - I think we should try and be aware that not everyone wants us to push everything we are doing in their faces. At some point we have to realize that people are slow to change and while it sucks, its not polite to ram things down people's throats if they are not ready for it. You have to get to tolerance before you have a chance at acceptance, and when you demand acceptance now versus asking for tolerance, you get a backlash reaction. So, hey, wacky idea, try being discrete about your breastfeeding or public displays of affection, unless you are doing it specifically to irk people and geta r eaction. I may be alone in this, but I don't go to the IHoP to see people breastfeeding or making out (no matter what orientation). No sir, I go there to eat crappy food and then feel sick and vaguely uneasy for three days following.
Ok ... as my people say...
¡Ya basta!

or..

¡Orale vato!
I have always enjoyed the Anya character. Now, I appreciate the actress more. After a lot of research, I knew months ago that I would be voting for Ron Paul.
I don't go to the IHoP to see people breastfeeding or making out

Yes, but where do you think that milk for your pancakes comes from, eh? Breasts! Cow breasts! So you are, in a roundabout way, breastfeeding yourself there, mister! As for the making out...well, making out usually comes before sex, which can lead to the inevitable breastfeeding. It's all a wacky circle of natural functions, right there in your IHOP(or Denny's if you're looking to go the full week feeling sick.)
I will venture to guess that most- I said most, not all- of those who are against breast feeding in public fall on the conservative side of politics, and those for on the liberal side.

Actually, not so much. The women who made up my breastfeeding support groups, message boards and listserves were among the most diverse groups of people I've ever encountered. From crunchy Berkeley vegans to gun-totin', red-meat-eatin', born-again Christian Republicans, we had them all. I'd like to believe that this is because breastfeeding is a public health issue that crosses all socical, political, economic and religious boundaries. The indisputable fact is that on the whole, feeding infants artificial baby milk rather than breastmilk makes our nation's children sicker. A mother who chooses to swim upstream and breastfeed her children deserve to be supported, not harassed.

And as for insistence that nursing mothers cover up with a blanket for the benefit of those who *may* be squeamish, have those of you who hold that view ever actually nursed a baby with a blanket? It's actually a bit of a pain in the ass. Nursing can be tricky enough in those early weeks when you're learning to help your physically helpless little one latch on and stay latched on without having to also hassle with keeping a blanket appropriately situated, not to mention nursing with an older, curious and wriggly baby who does not appreciate having their view of their surroundings obstructed.

Frankly, the idea that these mothers are a bunch of exhibitionists who like showing off their breasts is ridiculous. The vast majority of nursing mothers in this country do so "bottom up" rather than "top down," meaning that all that really gets exposed is maybe a little bit of tummy flab when they lift up their shirt and a little flash of nipple while the baby latches on and off. The rest that you see is no different from any images of breasts that are common in our world. Which suggests that it's not so much the exposure of the breast that people object to as the fact that there is a baby attached to it. Otherwise, you'd likely be seeing people running up to Victoria's Secret ads on bus stops with baby blankets and burp cloths to cover up the renegade titties. ;-)
I accept the public health issue, inasmuch as I am actually a long-time member of the American Public Health Association, where there is a devoted group regardng maternal and well baby health care. But then, APHA is notably liberal in its orientation. :-) But I think my overall point remains germane- we are divided and one can within reason predict a person's politics by their stance on virtually any given issue. And I think this is shame. I teach bioethics, and often the religious has to enter the debate, and for me, for example, I often felt that the discussions offered up by Cardinal Joseph Bernardin on the Catholic approach to the abortion issue were reasoned, and superbly presented, even if I did not agree with them. I like that it is possible to have such a debate- but today, it is all destroy destroy destroy. Look at Romney tear Huckabee apart or Hillary go after Obama- and they are on the same side, and all they want to do is win, and to do it, they feel they have to destroy their opponent- beat them up with 30-second sound bites, in a country where what Paris Hilton is doing (poor Paris, she will not inherit all her grandfather's dough!) is more important than, say, the death of Benazir Bhutto.
But I think my overall point remains germane- we are divided and one can within reason predict a person's politics by their stance on virtually any given issue. And I think this is shame.

The thing is, if your beliefs are coherent then it follows that how you feel about one "big issue" is very likely going to relate to how you feel about them all and since, ideally, how you vote relates to how you feel about the "big issues" (rather than for instance the candidate's colour or hair style or where they keep their reproductive organs) then it makes sense that people's views on e.g. abortion correlate to how they vote (because you vote for people that agree with and support your views).

Don't really see the problem Dana5140.

(though I do get what I think is your point about polarisation and demonisation of the "other" side - it's just barmy, all it does is make dialogue and compromise even more difficult to achieve. Course, the problem is, some opinions are morally incompatible which means it's a constant temptation to think of and treat people that hold those other opinions as bad people)
Shapenew: "About seeing conservatism in "Buffy" because it's moral -- er, DaddyCatALSO, are you saying liberals aren't moral? :) I would disagree there" Absolutely not and I do apologize for giving that impression. As I said, most TV doesn't really ahev such a scope, not really movies either it seems, and H'wood is a favorite target of the right, altho I admit i'm doing abit of "Defining a group by its enemies" there, a logical fallacy. but is till think it's a fair point at least to the extent of making watching Buffy a non-partisan action. And Jonah Goldberg liked it.

hbojo;I think the main issue in Iraq is, given that we're involved and can't "make that didn't happen," finding the least worst way out. I think that's taking shape, from what I've read of the latest events over there, And most of the candidates on either side, and most columnists, seem to agree a precipitous withdrawal isn't it.

Saje; A lot of areas seem to takwe the view of "if somebody is offended, that's it." Many workplace sexual harrassment, ethnic diversity, and other programs take a stance like that and disallow the "reasonable person defense."

be back later
"The thing is, if your beliefs are coherent then it follows that how you feel about one "big issue" is very likely going to relate to how you feel about them all and since, ideally, how you vote relates to how you feel about the "big issues" (rather than for instance the candidate's colour or hair style or where they keep their reproductive organs) then it makes sense that people's views on e.g. abortion correlate to how they vote (because you vote for people that agree with and support your views)."

This is obvious, saje, and makes my point. It has come down to what amounts to two antithetical world views. I just think it stinks- the moment you know someone is against stem cell research, you know exactly where they stand on a host of other unrelated issues. And isn't that just a shame? I feel so often like Hannibal Lector- what did he say, "I find discourtesy unxpeakably incivil" or something like that? Well, I do. Most conservatives do not debate me; rather, they call me names and excuse Bush administration depredations by citing Clinton-era ones, as if two wrongs make a right. For people who reuse situationalism- at least when they were not in power- there is sure a lot of it now, now that the tables are turned. But in the end, my feeling is that it is not just me that is tired of all this, it is the entire country. Change is coming, thank goodness.
In a representative democracy, we tend to vote for the party or candidate that most closely reflects our position on the issue that is currently most important to us, whether it be Iraq, the economy, or abortion. That doesn't mean, however, that the party represents our views on all other issues. It means that our vote is based on a whole constellation of either/both substantive issues (e.g. troops out of Iraq now) and strategic choices (can my candidate actually win? do I want to make an ethical point? am I voting for a third-party spoiler?). Fact is, every single time I vote, I disagree with my candidate on a whole host of issues, but find her or him to be the closest to me on the one or two that really matter at that time.

Thus, I'm not sure about the value of the coherency/two antithetical world views theory either. How you feel about abortion may be informed by your belief in a woman's right to "choose," by religious or ethical beliefs, by medical knowledge, or by a certain view of the U.S. Constitution. I don't agree that my position on that issue will necessarily tell you what I think about the economy, school desegregation, the war in Iraq, gay marriage, or whatever else. (As is made clear when you consider that certain liberal Democrats are anti-abortion or, more relevantly, that Ron Paul opposes both the war in Iraq and abortion). My own example: I think "Intelligent Design" is absolutely poppycock, from a scientific perspective, yet I'm quite tolerant of expressions of "religion in the public square," based on my own understanding of the Constitution. I believe the Second Amendment supports an individual right to bear arms, but I think gas guzzling vehicles should be far more severely regulated, and so on. My expression of support for certain candidates should not be read as an across-the-board endorsement of everything they stand for.
Dana5140; I'll take your word about anyone who's ever called you names;I *personally* don't debate you because I'm not really that interested in arguing political positions and I'm more interested in the things we *have* discussed like whether Tara lightens her hair. (And I hope it doesn't put you off him if I say Obama is the Democratic candidate I respect the most.) And this seems more liek a2-&-a-half day discussion :-).

Dana5140 SoddingNancyTribe BrewBunny; I also don't like the whole pick-an-issue predictability thing, not least because I'm one of the many people who isn't. (that's one reason I describe myself as a Whig) And I also agree on the fact that lots of people are tired of the polarization. (I *am*, however, not completley sure that the present system allows much change, so my hopes are limited.) And I believe in the "sauce for the goose" principle whether my party is in the majority or not. I just often wonder, outside of a group as preselected for intelligence as Joss-fans, how many people really do think these things thru as much as most of us seem to.

As for Emma being part of a larger group of friends most of whom disagree with her politically, I was just thinking of Henry Fonda and Jimmy Stewart. They started as struggling actors about the same time; they may have been roomates for a while. They decided early on that when they wanted to discuss politcs they wouldn't do it with each other, and remained lifelong friends. So it isn't *that* unusual.
I'm not sure about the value of the coherency/two antithetical world views theory either.

Can't agree with you more SoddingNancyTribe. Partisans on both sides of that divide would like you to believe that there are only two sides to pay attention to for all issues. But for most people the reality is that they agree and disagree with the stances of the major political parties and their prominent candidates at the same time. The challenge for most people is working out who to support based on their stances on a small number of critical issues, and stomaching the issues where you oppose what they stand for.

Part of the problem that we have seen in the last four or five Presidential elections (Bush41, Clinton, Clinton, Bush43, Bush43) is that the electorate has been roughly divided in half, with the "winner" barely getting half of the vote (of the half of the registered voters who bother to go to the polls). Heck, until the 2004 election, none of these "winners" even got 50% of the votes cast due to large enough third party efforts by Perot and then Nader. This fed the vitriol of the partisans on both sides as they sought to motivate segments of the electorate to vote based on "their" issue, whether it was abortion, the economy, tax cuts, fear of globalization ("that giant sucking sound"), and so on. That same partisan venom is also aimed at discouraging turnout by groups unlikely to vote the "right way", directly or indirectly. When I've done phone banking for candidates around election time, one of the keys is to identify a person likely to vote "our" way and to help motivate them to actually go to the polls - and bring their family and friends who will vote the same way. There's nothing wrong with that - but it also includes identifying those who disagree and making sure that you aren't encouraging them to vote.

Ironically Dana, the issue you raise as being so indicative, Stem Cell Research, is one that I'd disagree with you as being such a clear indicator of other policy positions. At least it is when you consider the supporters of it - I've met many very conservative folks who do support research on embryonic stem cells, including religious conservatives. For the most part their seemingly contradictory stance on that issue is due to having their lives or the lives of loved ones and friends affected by disease or cancer. Your point is apt in many ways when you use a different issue, like abortion or creationism, as an indicator.
Dana5140 SoddingNancyTribe BrewBunny; I also don't like the whole pick-an-issue predictability thing, not least because I'm one of the many people who isn't. (that's one reason I describe myself as a Whig)

I love that DaddyCatALSO - I will have to steal that line and become a Whig too!
But, kyrax, this makes my point yet again. This is the situationalism that the right rages against, except when it cuts close to home. And I think the partisan divide is huge, as witness the book "What's the Matter with Kansas" which goes into lengthy discussions about how people who even might agree with an issue will vote against it based on other factors. I mean, how can you be gay and work for anti-gay republican senators, for example? How does that work?

SNT- the concerns that inform one stance typically do so for others as well. On this baord, we have people far better able to express their opinion on a host of matters, likely better informed if for no other reason than that academic discussions of Buffy sort of mandates a bit of study, and so we might see more variance. But listen, I live in Iowa, and I am heading out to see Obama in a few moments, since he is here in Davenport, notwithstanding the 8 inches of snow we got today. And I can tell you, pretty definitively, that there is a huge and widening divide between the right and the left, and little ability to talk to one another. As a Jew, I am facing Huckabee's "Christian leader" ads, and I have to listen to what people in the stores say, and it is pretty damned scary. (Besides the fact that Huckabee apparently thinks the eastern border of Pakistan is Afghanistan, and i trying to link our immigration problems with Bhutto's assassination). I can say the pro-Bush folk here are all anti-abortion, anti-stem cell, pro-ID, anti-immigration, anti-gun registration, pro-war, etc. Without fail.

And DCA, Tara was never one to pay much attention to fashion, so rarely lightened her hair. If ever. :-)
In a representative democracy, we tend to vote for the party or candidate that most closely reflects our position on the issue that is currently most important to us, whether it be Iraq, the economy, or abortion.

Hmm, so you think many people vote Democrat one election and then Republican the following election based on one or a few issues SNT ? That might be true in the US (though I really doubt it) but it absolutely doesn't jibe with my experience of UK voting where many (maybe most) people waver at most as far as the centre (i.e. Lib Dem) from their normal affiliation. Conservatives tend to vote Conservative or abstain unless they want to register a protest vote (then they might go as far "left" as Lib Dem then at the following election they very often swing back) and the same holds true for Labour i.e. IMO people vote in accordance with broad philosophical agreement unless there's a very compelling reason not to.

(i'm pretty disgusted with the current Labour government for instance, despite voting them in in '97 BUT it'll take more than that to get me to vote Tory - Satan buying ice skates might do it ;)

This is obvious, saje, and makes my point. It has come down to what amounts to two antithetical world views. I just think it stinks- the moment you know someone is against stem cell research, you know exactly where they stand on a host of other unrelated issues. And isn't that just a shame?

I say again, not really. If you're socially conservative then broadly speaking you're going to feel the same way about a lot of issues - that's just intellectual consistency, there's nothing wrong with it, it's not (as you seem to think) a symptom of the real problem IMO i.e. the aforementioned demonisation and straw-man portrayals of the opposition along with aggressive, anti-compromise, often intolerant rhetoric (on both "sides" I hasten to add).

(I also don't agree with what you say re: pro-Bush voters, or rather I disagree that being pro-Bush is the same as being right of centre and most of the issues you mention are related to that rather than what someone might think of the current US President)
Dana5140: But then you have people like myself: Anti-gun registration, pro-gun-ownership, pro-severe penalties for misuse of a weapon, pro-choice on abortion rights, anti-big-business-conglomerations, pro-environment, anti-corporate welfare but pro-personal welfare (within reason, per necessity,) pro-stem-cell, anti-ID, pro-immigration, anti-war but anti-being pushed around. Hard left on some issues, hard right on others, somewhere in the middle on most. Where does that put the theory? I know what you're saying, I hear the same bunch of scary people here; but I also hear lots of other people who, despite whatever knee-jerk reactions they may have to any issue, are often much more moderate when they actually think about what they're saying. Lots of what we're hearing from the extremist fringe is just that: the extremist fringe, which has much more visibility now than they used to. And, of course, TV and talk radio loudmouths use that visibility to keep driving wedges between the sides.

[ edited by Rowan Hawthorn on 2007-12-29 02:47 ]
Hard left on some issues, hard right on others, somewhere in the middle on most. Where does that put the theory?

It doesn't do anything to the theory, it just makes you a liberal Rowan Hawthorn ;). Being anti-gun registration is consistent with valuing personal autonomy and responsibility very highly, everything else you mention is consistent with that, hence a (more or less) coherent political position. Out of curiosity, what are you "hard right" on ?

(that's in the classical liberal sense BTW i.e. more what's meant in the UK by "liberal" than the US definition)
RH- take the gun issue off the table and every other stance you have is typically liberal. Thus, you have a single issue that in part defines you, though you will not agree with me. And in fact, I suppose you are not pro-gun ownership so much as you are pro- being able to own guns, if you see the difference. You are not in support of everyone owning a gun, right? Just that people should have the right to own them, if they understand all the implications and are properly trained? And given the recent UVA shootings, I assume you must be in favor of some sort of registration, to at least keep guns out of the hands of the mentally disturbed. saje, here in the US being pro-Bush is about as close to being right of center as is humanly possible. I would never be so bold as to say, end of story, but really, it is. I know no one with heart-felt liberal believes who would define themselves as pro-Bush. These days, I know republicans who refuse to do that. :-)
Double post, sorry! Edited to remove it.

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2007-12-29 03:24 ]
So you think many people vote Democrat one election and then Republican the following election based on one or a few issues?


I didn't mean to imply quite such variability/fickleness. What I was getting at was my underlying disagreement with the sense that we each fall on one side of Dana's great partisan divide (although I certainly can't speak about Iowa). (I myself have voted for candidates from various parties here.) Nevertheless, I do think it's true that many who might normally have voted for John Kerry in 2004 chose to support the incumbent President for obvious reasons. (I think Margaret Thatcher benefited from a similar response post-Falklands). So while no "heartfelt liberal" (but that definition is begging the question, isn't it?) would define herself as pro-Bush today, some did in the aftermath of 9/11.

Every individual's political position is surely internally "coherent," based on her background, experiences, and preferences; what I'm suggesting is that position doesn't necessarily map onto any political party or candidate on offer. I think Rowan is right that most of us are more moderate (meaning, willing to listen to others' views) if given the chance. To illustrate once again: you could add a "somewhat," or a "depending" to every political stance identified by Rowan above, and you'd have my position.

Voting, alas, is the quintessential "yah/boo" expression - up mine, down yours, with no opportunity to express nuance or shade. And electioneering focuses on that binary opposition, thus drowning out reasoned discussion.
Saje:
It doesn't do anything to the theory, it just makes you a liberal Rowan Hawthorn

Hm. That's what I keep claiming...

Out of curiosity, what are you "hard right" on?


"Hard right" may be the wrong term to use from an international standpoint, although, here in the US, my position on gun ownership (think everybody oughta have'em, carry'em, and know how to use'em - if common decency isn't enough to get people to treat other people with a minimum of respect, let's see how the fear of getting their asses shot off will work) would class as that. I support capital punishment for some crimes (but I also support more rigid controls and accountability for the people in charge of it, so I guess that's a wash.) And I think the wrong side won the Civil War - not because I think we should have kept slavery, but because I think the result handed too much power to the federal government, with disastrous results. I think we're better off when the government actually has to work to get anything done, and I'd rather live with the inconvenience of waiting than live with the consequences of turning some damn fool loose with more power than he (or she) has ethics or conscience to deal with.
These days, I know republicans who refuse to do that. :-)

Yeah Dana5140, that's actually what I was getting at, I just worded it very badly. What I should have said is closer to "Being right wing doesn't necessarily make you pro-Bush" which sounds obvious when I actually say it in English like that ;).

My gist is, Bush supporters are (now anyway) often at the more extreme end of the spectrum and that you can be anti-abortion, anti-stem cell, anti-immigration and anti-gun registration and still not be pro-Bush (I doubt you're likely to be a proponent of ID - by which i'm assuming you mean Intelligent Design ? - and pro-war without also being pro-Bush though).

Every individual's political position is surely internally "coherent," based on her background, experiences, and preferences; what I'm suggesting is that position doesn't necessarily map onto any political party or candidate on offer.

Ah OK, that's closer to what I think SNT. I agree that you're unlikely to get anything like an exact match between your actual beliefs and a particular party (or even a particular candidate), we just have to pick the least worst choice (which IMO is the one that broadly matches, in the absence of "hot-button" issues, rather than based on one or a few specific issues - I think that might be a distinction without a difference though).

So while no "heartfelt liberal" (but that definition is begging the question, isn't it?) would define herself as pro-Bush today, some did in the aftermath of 9/11.

But in fairness, George Bush was a much less "known commodity" back then and i'd say that a lot of people that threw their lot in with him were actually throwing their lot in with The President of the United States i.e. the office itself and by extension the country he represents. It was an easy go-to choice for displaying patriotism and unity in the face of an "enemy" basically (quotes because I think calling them our "enemy" elevates them above the "mere" criminals that they actually are).

... although, here in the US, my position on gun ownership (think everybody oughta have'em, carry'em, and know how to use'em - if common decency isn't enough to get people to treat other people with a minimum of respect, let's see how the fear of getting their asses shot off will work) would class as that.

Yep, that qualifies in my book. Personally, that scenario would scare the shit out of me, I think I may have a bit less faith in my fellow humans than you do ;).
Dana5140:
RH- take the gun issue off the table and every other stance you have is typically liberal. Thus, you have a single issue that in part defines you, though you will not agree with me. And in fact, I suppose you are not pro-gun ownership so much as you are pro- being able to own guns, if you see the difference.


I certainly see the difference, but you suppose wrong. I am definitely pro-gun ownership. I just don't think you should have to be arrested fifteen fraggin' times for armed robbery before you get put away.

You are not in support of everyone owning a gun, right? Just that people should have the right to own them, if they understand all the implications and are properly trained?


But how can you have the one without the potential for the other? Either you have the right to keep and bear or you don't. There really isn't any "Well, you do, but let's say you don't," kinda thing there - although lots of people would like it that way (generally, though, I notice that most of the people who want this don't seem to have any problem carrying themselves - or hiring someone to carry for them.)

And given the recent UVA shootings, I assume you must be in favor of some sort of registration, to at least keep guns out of the hands of the mentally disturbed.


Well, medical records are not open to casual inspection (or generally, not at all without a court order,) so registration for that purpose would be useless for anyone who has not in some way gotten a criminal record because of it. And there's no way to make it work without removing doctor-patient confidentiality; any loophole created would simply throw the doors wide open to anyone who had a friend or family on a police force to gain access to those records, if they wished. When the gun registrations first started in the US, those records were not available to local (ie, city, state, or county) police; they were available only to federal officers. So, if the local sheriff wanted to look at the records, all he did was get in touch with the local BATF officer - who simply picked up the books and handed them over. Privacy? We don' need no steenking privacy!

Saje:
I think I may have a bit less faith in my fellow humans than you do ;)


Heh! I wouldn't be a bit surprised...

Edit:
Duh. I mean, I would be a bit surprised. Faith in my fellow humans is something I have very little of, these days.

[ edited by Rowan Hawthorn on 2007-12-29 04:08 ]
Hmm, see i'd rather the people I don't have faith in weren't armed cos, y'know, I don't have faith that they won't shoot me for some really dumb reason ;).

And rather than opening medical records, couldn't the police just ask the applicant's doctor/psychiatrist if there were any reason, in their estimation, for that person not to have a gun ? I guess it still betrays confidential information but much, much less.
Saje:
And rather than opening medical records, couldn't the police just ask the applicant's doctor/psychiatrist if there were any reason, in their estimation, for that person not to have a gun ? I guess it still betrays confidential information but much, much less.


Could they? Sure. Let's see:
Estimated population of Kentucky in 2006: 4,206,074
Percent of those under 18: 23.5%
That leaves approximately 3,217,646 who are of legal age to buy a gun. Now, I have no flippin' clue how many of those may actually be buying at any given time, but I think it's fair to say that trying to call up and ask each of these people's doctor (leaving aside the questions of which of their doctors you might ask, if they have more than one, and how would you know they weren't lying if they said they didn't have one at all, which lots of people don't,) would put a tremendous strain on services, both on the questioner's side and the questionee.

ETA: There also seems to be two slightly different ideas of registration going on here: I have no problems with people's criminal records being on file, nor of doing a background check the way it's done today to see if they have a criminal record. But once that's done, that should be it. It serves no real useful purpose to keep those records. They tell you who bought the thing, not who last used it (if I'm gonna commit a cold-blooded murder, I'm not gonna use one of mine, fer cryin' out loud - I'm gonna do like every other self-respecting murderer and steal one...)

[ edited by Rowan Hawthorn on 2007-12-29 04:36 ]
Hmm, so you think many people vote Democrat one election and then Republican the following election based on one or a few issues SNT ? That might be true in the US (though I really doubt it) but it absolutely doesn't jibe with my experience of UK voting where many (maybe most) people waver at most as far as the centre (i.e. Lib Dem) from their normal affiliation.

Well Saje, here in the U.S. we don't have a party of the Centre, like your Liberal Democrats. So for folks who really are of the center with opinions that straddle the divide, the choice is either a mixed vote, or going back and forth about which party to support. By a mixed vote I mean the tendency to vote for one party's candidate for President and the other for legislature. In a parlaimentary system you cannot do that, at least until you can vote on the King or Queen as head of state. Also the U.S. has two legislative bodies, so one can even split your vote three ways if you've got those choices available in your State or District.

As I mentioned earlier, in the U.S. there are strong partisans of one party or the other who will normally not vote for the other party. Like the comment about Satan getting ice skates, I'm not likely to vote for a Democrat but I have done so when the alternative is distasteful. Heck, even though I'm normally right-of-center, I voted for the Green Party candidate Nader in 2000 as a protest vote. In between both extremes are many people who vote for the candidate, not the party, that they feel will best represent them or will handle particular problems the best. That "soft" middle voted for Ronald Reagan in the 80's, but when it was "the economy stupid" voted for the centrist Democrat Bill Clinton in the 90's, and shifted to support G.W. Bush (#41) and his "family values" campaign in 2000. We're not talking about droves of people, but a few percentage points shift one way or the other is all it takes when our Presidents are elected with a slight plurality. Again from 1988 to 2000 none were elected by majorities of those who actually voted.
RH- I'm a doctor. The doctor-patient relation is not sacrosanct, like the priest in the confessional; there are many reasons, legal and moral, that allow it to be broahced- thinkgs like sexually transmitted diseases must be reported to the CDC and the public health authorities, mental patients who threaten others can be reported, patients who confess to crimes can be reported, and so on. I see nothing wrong with a system that allows for a check before you purchase a gun- if the privacy issue bothers you, you can have people sign off on it- you wanna buy a gun, then you al;low us to see if you have spent time in a mental institution. Otherwise, the thought of thousands of mentally ill people walking around with guns scares the hell out of me, and you cannot want that, though what you tell me would surely allow it. And I DO NOT WANT a gun in my house. One thing I know beyond question- the more guns there are in public, the more accidental deaths there will be. And that really is end of story. Otherwise, how would you keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them? Because, you know, they're crazy?
One thing I know beyond question- the more guns there are in public, the more accidental deaths there will be. And that really is end of story.


Just because you know it, Dana5140, doesn't make it true. In fact, if you look at the historical trends, gun ownership per capita in the USA is rising and has been for years, and at the same time the number of accidental firearms fatalities and injuries--in both absolute and per capita terms--are declining.

But that really begs the question--are you expressing a political viewpoint or a religious belief? The latter are generally not amenable to logical persuasion. If I were to demonstrate that your statement was incorrect, would it alter your viewpoint towards gun ownership?

Most anti-gun doctors see only one half of the equation--the suffering and death caused by the criminal misuse of guns. They don't see the crimes of violence not committed because potential victims were armed. And for those folks, the visceral reality of bloody patients far outweighs the cold calculus of potential crime victims not victimized.
the cold calculus of potential crime victims not victimized.

OK, jclemems. Produce the cold hard calculus, in the form of statistics with sources that can't be easily discredited. You must know that your assertion that higher gun ownership produces greater public safety has never met with any success, anywhere, when examined rigorously. Do you have a spectacular new source?
People's political beliefs may have "internal" coherence, but I really suspect that a lot of people in the U.S. vote for candidates based on impressions rather than stances on issues. I often hear people talk about how they like this one or that one because he (or she) seems strong or honest or amiable or "good-hearted," and the candidates focus on presenting those qualities in their ads more than on outlining their agendas, presumably because that's what works.
Dana5140:
RH- I'm a doctor. The doctor-patient relation is not sacrosanct, like the priest in the confessional; there are many reasons, legal and moral, that allow it to be broahced- thinkgs like sexually transmitted diseases must be reported to the CDC and the public health authorities, mental patients who threaten others can be reported, patients who confess to crimes can be reported, and so on. I see nothing wrong with a system that allows for a check before you purchase a gun- if the privacy issue bothers you, you can have people sign off on it- you wanna buy a gun, then you al;low us to see if you have spent time in a mental institution.


The "privacy issue" ought to bother everybody. And giving people permission to poke through your medical records does nothing to safeguard that privacy; beyond the fact that having to do this in in order to exercise (any) right is unacceptable - you're putting people who have no negatives associated with them to the same risk as people who do. At least, with the current background check, they're not searching through my personal information to see if I have a criminal record; they're searching police databases to see if they have any record of me. I would support a similar database of dangerously mentally ill patients, but only if the patient had the ability to appeal it - because otherwise, doctors who "know" that people shouldn't own guns would have a tendency to put patients on that list as a matter of course. As a doctor, you can deny that if you like, but I've seen too many people abuse whatever ability they may have to screw with other people's lives to give any credence to the "But they're professionals! They wouldn't do that!" theory. IME, professionals are just as quick to abuse their positions as anyone else.

Otherwise, the thought of thousands of mentally ill people walking around with guns scares the hell out of me, and you cannot want that, though what you tell me would surely allow it. And I DO NOT WANT a gun in my house.


That's your choice. Advocating ownership is not the same as advocating requiring ownership.

One thing I know beyond question- the more guns there are in public, the more accidental deaths there will be. And that really is end of story.


No, it really isn't end of story; more people die from household accidents (and botched medical procedures...) than gun-related accidents.

Anyway, I wasn't trying to turn this into a "gun thread", because that's pretty much a dead-end discussion and I'll be away for the next day or two and unable to keep up anyway.
Yeah, not to pile on you jclemens but i'd love to see the stats for "the crimes of violence not committed because potential victims were armed", seems like non-crimes might be quite hard to keep track of (I, for instance, have NOT murdered almost 6 billion people so far this morning but I haven't formally declared it to HMG's Office of Statistics yet ;).

AFAIK there's evidence either way pro and anti gun control and there's also a lot made of correlations without necessarily demonstrating causation (on either side). That said, it's hard to get clean information because it's such an emotive issue for some people.

Of course, if it's not guns that cause the alarmingly high (among Western nations) murder rate in the US then you're still stuck trying to find out what does (my own theory is sweets - a friend brought me back a chocolate bar from the US one time and trust me, that is NOT chocolate. Which might drive me to kill ;).
seems like non-crimes might be quite hard to keep track of

If there were such a thing as a downward trend in crime correlated with an increase in gun ownership, you could argue over an inference that guns deter crime, but I've never seen any such numbers. So it doesn't have to get that fancy, as far as I know.
Actually there is (I think) some (debatable) correlation in the states that have the most unrestricted concealed carry laws dreamlogic, can't remember where unfortunately but i'm sure i've read that (clearly just owning a gun isn't necessarily going to deter most violent crime, the criminal has to think you may actually have it on you).

My point though (apart from "Hey, facetiousness is great" ;) was partly that showing correlation->causation for an occurrence is hard, showing it for a non occurrence is very hard. Basically, we need a state to experiment on, who wants to volunteer ? ;)
Well, not to continue the Gun advocacy/Control arguments as I'm of mixed feelings on that one. But I thought the definition of Gun Control is hitting what you're aiming at... Sorry, couldn't resist.

As for the relative amicability of the primary races, I have to admit that the news is now full of he said/ he-she said stuff. The bickering level has gone up sharply in recent days due to extremely tight races on both sides of the contest.

Dana5140 - good luck with your caucusing next week. I hope that you and your neighbors pick well and help us get good choices for candidates. As a political junkie and concerned citizen, I admire the Iowa caucus system, with its second chance votes (if your first choice doesn't meet a certain minimum), open voting and so on. I'm not about to move there to participate, but it is an interesting way to do things. Besides, what else do you have to do in the dead of winter on the Great Plains? (;-)
everyone went all out on their comments. wow

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