Carl Sagan on the new astrology

We can all get a little attached sometimes.

Black people are a special interest group

At least Maine Gov. LePage said as much.

While attending a meeting for business leaders in Sanford, Governor Paul LePage spoke out about why he would not attend Martin Luther King ceremonies on the upcoming holiday.

LePage has declined invitations from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The organization has already expressed its displeasure with the governor’s plans to not attend the events.

“They are a special interest. End of story…and I’m not going to be held hostage by special interests.

He also points out that he has an adopted black son, so I don’t think anyone is about to accuse LePage of being racist. But if he’s right that the NAACP is a special interest group, then doesn’t his logic dictate that EVERY INSTITUTION OF GOVERNMENT is just special interest? Ya know. For whites.

LePage really doesn’t get it. I mean, he gets his core constituency, but he doesn’t get why he needs to attend this Martin Luther King Jr. day ceremony. This isn’t about special interest. It’s about honoring a man who fought dearly for civil rights – not special rights, but fucking civil rights – so that we might remind ourselves of our very (proclaimed) values.

Update: From other articles I’ve been reading, it seems one of the big sticking points for people is that LePage said the NAACP can “kiss my butt”. Who cares? I’m glad he’s using direct and overt language. The real issue is that he is dismissing an equality group as being merely “special interest”.

A challenge to theists

Or anyone, really:

Demonstrate how atheism inherently leads to any particular philosophy.

Does atheism lead to libertarianism? If so, how? Nihilism? How? Utilitarianism? Humanism? Pragmatism? How, how, how?

Oh, rule internalization, when will you go away?

This story offers two instances of rule internalization.

An assistant manager at a Minnesota McDonald’s found herself kicked to the curb recently after her boss found out that she’d broken the rules by letting Minnesota Vikings superstar Adrian Peterson use the restaurant’s restroom after hours.

The woman, who considers McDonald’s to be a career for her, not merely a job, was reinstated at her position once local media caught wind of the bullshit the company was pulling. That’s great, but this is still an excellent example of rule internalization. She broke a rule that was probably there for some sort of insurance purpose or safety of the employees. At any rate, Peterson is a massive star, especially in that area, so it isn’t like he posed any threat to the reason for the rule. Is he someone who would sue for some bizarre reason? Would he try and rob the place or employees? Obviously not.

The other instance of rule internalization comes from the user comments at the end of the story.

Wait, wait, wait. She knowingly violated company policy by letting someone in the facility after hours who had no reason to enter the facility. She was fired for doing that (too much? I don’t know what McD’s insurance policy states) and went complaining to get her job back? Ugh.

and

But again, those are the policies of the company and she’d been there long enough to know them. She broke them, she suffers the consequences.

and

The rules are there for a reason… she violated them and was fired. I don’t care who the person she let in was.

My favorite is that last one. Yes, the rules certainly are there for a reason. I fail to see how enforcing them without reason is somehow a good in the world.