Background Probability

The Agnostic Popular Front has moved to its new home at Skeptic Ink, and will henceforth be known as Background Probability. Despite the relocation and rebranding, we will continue to spew the same low-fidelity high-quality bullshit that you've come to expect.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Six Modest Proposals

The increasing polarization of American politics and culture has many people concerned for the future of our great Republic. After much careful consideration and not a little hand-wringing, I've come up with six ways to bring the right- and left-wings of the socio-political spectrum into a more perfect union.

1) Baby Oil
The right has called repeatedly for opening up more domestic sources of energy, with slogans such as "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less!" Meanwhile, the political left has supported innovation in renewable energy and (apparently unrelatedly) put its weight behind Roe v. Wade, which has allowed for an average of 1.3 million legally induced abortions per year since it was handed down. That is a massive amount of organic material which currently goes almost completely to waste. If we can only find a new method by which to fuel our vehicles and power plants using human fetuses instead of fossil fuels, surely both sides can come together and encourage abortion doctors to "Drill, Baby, Drill!" our way to national energy independence.

2) Single-payer sterilization
This one is such a win/win it is practically a no-brainer. The left has been clamoring for population control from time immemorial, from Margaret Sanger to Paul Ehrlich to the activists at; more recently they have also been clamoring for single-payer health care here in the U.S. Meanwhile, the right has been up in arms over abortion, bastardy, and transfer payments to single mothers. In the future, we can greatly reduce all these social ills and the human population itself by the simple expedient of universal mandatory reversible vasectomies for men and removable implants for women, both funded by the national health service and reversed upon request for those who can present a legal marriage certificate. The right will take consolation in the fact that only married heterosexuals will be allowed to create babies henceforth, while the left will finally enjoy the implementation of effective population control. As an added bonus, this policy will also have the effect of slowing if not halting the prevalence of dysgenic breeding, feared by right-wing intellectuals such as Charles Murray for decades. Naturally, this reform would make my first proposal obsolete, so we'll have find some way to wean ourselves off of fetal fuels prior to implementation.

3) Occupy Ball St.
Left-wing liberals love nothing so much as a crowd of rowdy hippies protesting the powers that be, while right-wing troglodytes apparently cannot get enough of college football. What better way to combine these two activities than to recruit a crowd of angry young hipsters to support Cardinals football? They have an 0-5 record in Division I bowl games, having been outscored by a total score of 184-97, so there is little risk that they will ever become part of the top 1% of NCAA football. If you're going gather together a crowd of discontented losers, why not gather two? Perhaps by rubbing elbows with sports fans, the protest crowd will finally realize that it is utterly hopeless to try to fix America, and then they can get back to serious endeavors like finishing up their degrees in [historically oppressed group of choice] studies.

4) War on Poverty
Generally, progressives support social safety nets and transfer payments as a means for promoting the national welfare, while conservatives support the notion that warfare is the health of the state. Why not combine these two notions into a modern synthesis? Instead of leaving our war veterans to find a job and fend for themselves upon returning to the homeland, we can recruit them to fight poverty by hunting down and killing the Wall Street bankers who wrecked the global economy in the first place. Naturally, the soldiers would be ordered to redistribute all wealth liberated from the clutches of the bankers in the form of transfer payments to the desperately needy. As the result of this policy, the left will get to realize their goal of eradicating poverty, while the right may rightly revel in the fact that patriotic American soldiers get to go on killing enemies of the state.

5) Church-state integration
On its face, this might seem like a total capitulation of the secular left to the religious right, but please hear me out. Once the wall of separation is torn down, the government can start paying churches directly to fund their building campaigns and charitable programs, and then threaten to withhold funding if the churches don't live up to strict anti-discrimination laws interpreted by a panel of west-coast liberal activist judges. If you can think of a quicker way to get Southern Baptists to offer marriage counseling and adoption planning to interracial gay couples, I'd like to hear it.

6) $2.50 / gallon gas -- On the moon!
This one should be self-explanatory. The left loves funding research and scientific advances, while the right loves oil subsidies and cheap gasoline. What better way to combine the two than to develop lunar colonies wholly dependent upon fossil fuels? Granted, a few million years of terraforming seems like a huge up-front investment, but we have to learn to take the long view.