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Member since: Sat Feb 22, 2020, 12:55 PM
Number of posts: 5,482

Journal Archives

Savatage - When The Crowds Are Gone

Brag about your current Wordle streak!

I hit 50 today which is a record for me. I expect the DU linguistic experts to be much higher.

Shermann's take on abortion

Occum's Razor is a problem-solving principle which leads us away from complicated or convoluted explanations and solutions, and towards simpler, more straightforward ones. It is an epistemological approach and not a rule. It is not guaranteed to provide the right answers, however it maximizes the chances of finding truth and minimizes the chances of committing logical errors.

This principle can be applied to any problem, including the problem of policymaking. Democratic policies arguably are better aligned with this common-sense strategy than their Republican counterparts, as seen in the following examples:

- Gun proliferation correlates with gun violence, therefore the number of guns should be reduced
- Carbon dioxide acts as a pollutant at industrial scales, therefore emissions should be reduced
- Many have limited access to healthcare, therefore this access should be increased
- The United States ranks poorly in terms of wealth inequality, therefore wealth redistribution is required

Trumpians might argue that building a border wall is a simple, common-sense solution to the problem of uncontrolled immigration. However, upon closer inspection, this policy is revealed to be neither of those things.

These types of issues often negatively impact innocent people and disadvantaged groups. Being on the wrong side of them is obstructionist towards real progress and can therefore be seen not merely as illogical, but also immoral. Therein lies the major optics problem for Republicans. It is possible to defend the seemingly complicated or the convoluted. However, when this is the scenario with issue after issue, it takes a bit of a MAGA-apologetic tap dance to pull of (or distract from). That brings us to the right-wing talking point. Not all Republicans are capable of improvising these intricate twists and flourishes when challenged at the water cooler, so these scripted explanations (and distractions) are conveniently provided for them to stick to.

That leads us finally to the abortion issue. Republicans are desperate for issues where they can claim the moral high ground and position themselves as the sole champions of victims' rights. The abortion "debate" is largely manufactured around the mythological concepts of souls and God's plan and employs pseudo-scientific assertions of the significance of early heartbeats among other things. Republicans get to be the heroes of the unborn, and Democrats are the illogical, unrelatable villains. The "victims" never actually speak for themselves. It's all unfalsifiable and the perfect issue to create talking points around. There aren't many issues like this, and this strategically valuable ground will never be surrendered.

Abortion is a big thorny issue that has meant different things to different people over time, but I believe this is the crux of the politics behind it today.

Come on Down: The Kreig Teague Story

Here's an oddly entertaining time capsule from 1979.

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