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SBC's own club for discussing anything and everything regarding politics, on any level. We invite anyone interested in the subject to join!
  1. What's new in this club
  2. Yep, here we go! I've had this site on standby for months now, but nothing to write for it until now. So, here it is: "Thoughts of the Free", a mainly-political blog by yours truly. I don't know how often I'll be updating it, nor when I'm gonna get around to actually building the rest of the site, but to start off, I thought I'd mirror the first post here for all of you to see and, hopefully, enjoy. This one's a summation of my thoughts on the whole discourse around Kyle Rittenhouse, and what I see in it. Let's go!
  3. I took it and here are my results: Economic Left/Right: -0.38. Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -3.03.
  4. Decided to retake the political compass test, and these are my results: Looks like I made quite the voyage ever since 2019.
  5. Looks like we now have somebody who's actually interesting to debate! A couple of nights, I made a response video to a guy that some of you (apparently, from "Sandalscord"?) know as DTH, aka The Man With Nothing To Offer on Youtube. He made his own video on the topic of abortion from a pro-life stance, and I felt it would be a good starting point to make my own entry into making video content. The main problem with it is that I'm absolutely horrible at organizing my thoughts in real time (probably due to some combination of ADHD and autism), and that left behind a lot of room for more arguments to be made... which he did, by leaving a lengthy comment on my response video. I'm gonna be responding to that here. Yes, here, for reasons of... things. I dunno. Where the hell else am I gonna make a long-form, blog-like public post like this? Before we go on, if you're deep enough into this topic, I'd advise you to stop here and watch DTH's original video, as well as the response, and check out his comment on said response (it's the pinned comment). I go through the whole thing in one take in my response, but let's just make sure we're all on the same page. Alright, are you done with that? Are you sure? Are you really sure? Cool, now let's get into the fun part! So we were in the same situation, huh? Amazin'! Let's reframe this portion of the response video, and I can explain what I was saying. My original reaction was the following: "Okay, I'll tell you why [most people don't use the argument that people who get abortions are irresponsible]: because it's not a good argument. So, how do you define what's responsible in this situation? Or do you just assume, based on your opinion, that having a child is the most responsible option? Because, if you ask me, we know that most abortions are because of the parents not having a good [...] financial position, social position, or whatever. I'd argue that it's actually more responsible to not raise a child when you are not in a good position to do so, or you don't think you're ready to, than to just push ahead..." Underlying this entire section is the assumption that "you", in a hypothetical, are a pregnant woman who's not in a good position in life. Consequently, because you're not in a good position, you want to terminate your pregnancy, so as to not irresponsibly try and push on ahead with raising a child without the resources to do so. Also in this hypothetical situation, we're assuming that abortion is, if not outlawed (since you said early on in the video that you have a sort of paleolibertarian position on it), then considered highly taboo, to the point where getting one is liable to ruin you socially. If you get an unwanted pregnancy in this situation, and you're not in a good financial position, then you're kinda fucked in more ways than one by way of having no clear out. Now, of course, the usual response to this is to say that you shouldn't get pregnant at all if this is the case. The problem with this prescription is the same one that we run into with other issues like police discrimination: while it makes sense to prescribe individual solutions to individuals, on their own, they're not an adequate answer to issues of public policy. Telling black kids to not commit crimes doesn't seriously impact their disproportionate crime rate, and in the same vein, telling people to not have unprotected sex doesn't significantly prevent that either. There have to be more measures taken, sex ed among them (we agree on that), and as a last resort, abortion should also remain on the table for the betterment of society at large. (Funny enough, I'm also somewhat anti-abortion myself on a personal level, but I don't think it's my place to judge others for having them - again, personal level.) Whenever I have an argument like this, all I can really do without knowing more about the person I'm arguing with is extrapolate their likely beliefs from what they say. You might be the first anti-abortion person that I've ever seen actually be in favor of some of the things that would reduce them, so nice! (Worth noting: I live in a painfully evangelical place known as Mississippi, where, for example, we get shit like this for sex ed, if it's present in school at all.) I could object to that last part about sex ed, but that's a completely different topic that I'm not gonna bother getting into here. Pretty sure that was what our first "debate" was about, actually. It's not a particularly effective argument killer then, because I don't think I've ever seen an abortion debate where bringing up rape cases has ended it. Usually, pro-lifers will (as you did) point out how rare those are, and then continue with other points. I don't use this argument myself, anyway; cases of medical necessity are better for the point of establishing that abortion isn't an intrinsically evil act. There's two big problems with this. First, these aren't mutually-exclusive positions. It's entirely reasonable to simultaneously believe that: A) abortion should be kept on the table (see this again for an idea of what happens when it isn't), B) we should be redistributing the laughable amount of waste in our federal budget to other things, and C) foster care services should be among those things (as well as Medicare for A-*cough* I mean, death panels healthcare, infrastructure/green energy, etc). Also, I couldn't find any numbers on what improving foster care would look like funding-wise, but I'll say this: if we spend $5bil on foster care at the moment, that could maybe be reduced slightly by policy changes within the system, but even if we were to guess that it could be reduced by 20% down to $4bil, the 7.5x increase in the size of the foster care system that would result from ending abortions (114,000 + 862,000) would require us to give $30bil to the system, almost as much as you bring up with regards to Israel. Now, bear in mind, that's assuming that improving the system would reduce the cost; if they went up, they would most likely exceed that $38bil. Also, this isn't even taking into account the fact that it's unlikely that more potential adoptive parents would proportionally pop up, which is a problem of its own. Alright, now my head hurts a little bit from that. Let's get this thread done soon. Second, keeping in mind the fact that individual prescriptions aren't solutions to large societal problems, this also isn't taking into account how little the idea even factors into mothers' decision-making: "Most women who received abortions were aware of but uninterested in adoption. A minority of women denied abortions (n = 231; 14%) were considering adoption at 1 week after denial. Of participants who gave birth (n = 161), most (91%) chose parenting. [...] Among women motivated to avoid parenthood, as evidenced by abortion seeking, adoption is considered or chosen infrequently. Political promotion of adoption as an alternative to abortion is likely not grounded in the reality of women's decision making." "Findings suggest that the anti-abortion framing of adoption as a preferable alternative to abortion is inconsistent with birth mothers' pregnancy decision-making experiences and their feelings about adoption. Reducing social barriers to both abortion and parenting will ensure that adoption is situated as a true reproductive choice." This was a cross-reference of a couple of different statistics. It's a galaxy-sized pain in the ass to find the numbers again on health/disabilities in particular, because when it comes to adoption stats, they all fall under a broader "special needs" category alongside (IIRC) children of color, siblings, and those over 16. The second half, though, is easily demonstrable through studies. In that 114,000 number I cited earlier (of children waiting for adoption), "males outnumber females, African American children are disproportionately represented, and over half are 6 years old or older." And here: "We show that adoptive parents exhibit significant biases in favor of girls and against African-American babies. A non-African-American baby relinquished for adoption attracts the interest of potential adoptive parents with probability 11.5% if it is a girl and 7.9% if it is a boy. As for race, a non-African-American baby has a probability of attracting the interest of an adopting parent at least seven times as high as the corresponding probability for an African-American baby." This is side-stepping the point of the hypothetical. Even if we say that the state and the medical system are separate, the question then becomes "should a hospital be responsible for deciding whether or not you commit your bodily resources to another person?" The principle of the question isn't changed in that situation. The greatest right that we have as individuals is our bodily autonomy, so while abortion may not itself be a right, our bodily autonomy is. You have to commit a crime (or, well, be committed) to have it taken from you. Even after you've committed a crime, you have, at least on paper, a great deal of rights when it comes to that. The reason why the situation in my hypothetical is unheard of is because the state unconditionally recognizes that right. If, in that scenario, you killed the other person, you could be sued, or punished in a number of different ways, but still can't be forced to commit your bodily resources to the livelihood of the other person. You shifted away from the philosophical angle of the hypothetical to a legal one for a rebuttal, which, again, is missing the point of the thought experiment. Hell, I even said early in the video that the legal language that abortion currently rests on is weak, so it's not like the "not a constitutional right" part was ever really in play. Oh, and this is all talking about a grown person, not a fetus. When you combine this with the debate of applying personhood to a fetus, you get into some truly absurd philosophical territory. Again, this is missing the point. We're assuming, in that scenario, that the fetus is, somehow, still alive. I thought this was obvious, but... ahhhh, well, when have I ever been good at making things obvious? Probably. As I said before, all I can do with an unfamiliar opponent is extrapolate from what they say. Alright. This took 5 hours to write. I'm gonna go do something else now. Maybe listen to some Gary Clark Jr. or something.
  6. So, I retook my political compass test a whole back, here's what I got: I'm a pretty hard-leaning left-libertarian, a far cry from my previous right-wing position in 2016-2017/18. Judging from the image that @sbl posted, I'm closest (politically speaking) to Peter Kropotkin (given my ancom sympathies, this is not shocking in the slightest) Edit: whoopsie, I was off by a bit; it's likely Chomsky I'm closest to. Still, not at all shocking.

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