Life in Lubbock, Texas, taught me two things; One is that God loves you and you’re going to burn in hell. The other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on earth and you should save it for someone you love.

Butch Hancock

In the August 2009 issue of Scientific American I found this great quote from Tom Coburn on President Obama’s heightened gas mileage standard:

What if you want to drive a gas hog? You don’t have the right any longer in this country to spend your money to drive a gas hog?

See, Tom, you’re what I would call a “hypocritical shit-bag”. Yes, with the President’s new standard would mean that by 2016 all US vehicles should average some 35 miles per gallon. (The article mentions that this is something that two-decade-old Japanese cars, like the Honda Civic, have already gotten right.)

This would mean (nominally) that it’d be illegal for you to get a gas-guzzler. But with the bills and laws that you – Tom Coburn – sponsored, in this country it would be illegal to: burn a flag, marry a person of the same sex as you, use medical marijuana. So, Tom, let me see if I get this shit. You’re opposed to something that people do which has no negative impact on anyone else (flag burning and medicinal marijuana), or in fact has a positive impact (gay marriage), but get steamed up about not being allowed to pollute as much as you want?!

Holy Zombie Jesus, this guy a hypocritical shit-bag.

PS: Just remembered a very fun tid-bit. A few years ago I heard of a Ford hybrid car (gas-electric) that got the same mileage as comparable Ford non-hybrid cars. Ford designed a hybrid that did as “well” as a non-hybrid! WTF is the damn point?!

Individuals who have too many children are penalized, not because the whole population goes extinct, but simply because fewer of their children survive. Genes for having too many children are just not passed on to the next generation in large numbers, because few of the children bearing these genes reach adulthood. What has happened in modern civilized man is that family sizes are no longer limited by the finite resources that the individual parents can provide. If a husband and wife have more children than they can feed, the state, which means the rest of the population, simply steps in and keeps the surplus children alive and healthy. There is, in fact, nothing to stop a couple with no material resources at all having and rearing precisely as many children as the woman can physically bear. But the welfare state is a very unnatural thing. In nature, parents who have more children than they can support do not have many grandchildren, and their genes are not passed on to future generations. There is no need for altruistic restraint in the birth-rate, because there is no welfare state in nature. Any gene for overindulgence is promptly punished: the children containing that gene starve. Since we humans do not want to return to the old selfish ways where we let the children of too-large families starve to death, we have abolished the family as a unit of economic self-sufficiency, and substituted the state. But the privilege of guaranteed support for children should not be abused.

Contraception is sometimes attacked as ‘unnatural’. So it is, very unnatural. The trouble is, so is the welfare state. I think that most of us believe the welfare state is highly desirable. But you cannot have an unnatural welfare state, unless you also have unnatural birth-control, otherwise the end result will be misery even greater than that which obtains in nature. The welfare state is perhaps the greatest altruistic system the animal kingdom has ever known. But any altruistic system is inherently unstable, because it is open to abuse by selfish individuals, ready to exploit it. Individual humans who have more children than they are capable of rearing are probably too ignorant in most cases to be accused of conscious malevolent exploitation. Powerful institutions and leaders who deliberately encourage them to do so seem to me less free from suspicion.

The Selfish Gene, Chapter 7, Family Planning, pages 1117-118

At work I use a little program I wrote that inserts random signatures into my outgoing e-mail. It’s quite a nice thing and works wonderfully, though every once in a while I find myself requesting new signatures because the current one is either too long or not exactly work-friendly. Every so often, however, I decide to skip a signature just because it’s too good to be wasted on such silly things as bug-related e-mails. So, I present to you some of the signatures that, for one reason or another, didn’t quite make the cut:

A good holiday is one spent among people whose notions of time are vaguer than yours.

J. B. (John Boynton) Priestley

Watching football is like watching pornography. There’s plenty of action, and I can’t take my eyes off it, but when it’s over, I wonder why the hell I spent an afternoon doing it.

Luke Salisbury

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.

Carl Sagan

He is, in his way, keeping his options open by exercising none of them.

The Wreck of The River of Stars

Three quarters of the American population literally believe in religious miracles. The numbers who believe in the devil, in resurrection, in God doing this and that — it’s astonishing. These numbers aren’t duplicated anywhere else in the industrial world. You’d have to maybe go to mosques in Iran or do a poll among old ladies in Sicily to get numbers like this. Yet this is the American population.

Noam Chomsky

Some coworkers and I went to Building 36 for lunch.

Tad: I wonder who works here? They don’t look like devs… Lots of well-dressed people around here.

Discussion on the Atheist mailing list about Mike Huckabee’s comments: “[T]hat’s what we need to do — to amend the Constitution so it’s in God’s standards rather than try to change God’s standards so it lines up with some contemporary view.”

MB: Huckabee violated the Prime Directive of the Religious Right: “Never reveal that theocracy is your ultimate goal.”

GM: It’s hilarious even now to hear Christian conservatives voice their skepticism about Romney because of his wacky Mormon beliefs.

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