Yearly Kos stampede!

Everyone is going to be there now—Duncan Black is going, so are the Firedoglakers, and oh, yeah, me. Not yet in the press releases is the fact that the lovely Dr. Mrs. Gjerness Myers will also be attending. It’s going to be quite a crowd at the Yearly Kos. Anyone else joining the gang?

There will be so many of us, I don’t think we’ll need to worry too much about the blustering wingnuts showing up with ax handles (by the way, don’t these right wing kooks ever consider the meaning of their words? Or is it intentional?)

Now if only it were being held in an interesting place. At least there is one spectacle I’m going to have to try to make time to see.

Gosh, and skippy, too.

Sunday morning nausea

Thanks, Jody Wheeler, for poisoning my morning a little bit. You just had to mention this guy, Stephen Bennett, of Stephen Bennett Ministries, who is “Emerging as One of the Nation’s Key Speakers on the Issues of Homosexuality & the Homosexual Agenda…A Man who is Not Afraid To Speak the Truth… in Love.” Here’s Stephen Bennett’s kind of love:

As a heterosexual man who once engaged in homosexual behavior for 11 years, I’ve lost numerous dear friends to AIDS. While recent news in the search for a cure for AIDS is promising, I believe this possible HIV prevention pill is only going to push a culture down an already dangerous and risky path. This pill is the equivalent to a drug rehab assisting heroine addicts in their addiction by giving them needles. What is wrong with this picture? Why can’t these intelligent scientists and doctors understand we need to educate people on abandoning their risky, unsafe sexual practices and behavior-not give them a pill to enable and encourage them?

He has lost “dear friends” to AIDS, but apparently, they got what they had coming to them, and the loving Bennett would rather that scientists and doctors abstain from trying to help people. Let them suffer, let them die—it’s the only way they’ll get the message that God cares very much about what they do with their penises.

Oh, and I can explain why intelligent scientists and doctors and pursuing this line of research: because human beings engage in a great many sexual practices, and if we can reduce the factors that make them risky and unsafe, it will make them happier and healthier. It’s a much smarter strategy than simply filling them up with self-loathing.

Why am I not surprised that a callous, stupid, hate-filled freak like this finds a home in evangelical Christianity?


Some fields of science are so wide open, such virgin swamps of unexplored territory, that it takes some radically divergent approaches to make any headway. There will always be opinionated, strong-minded investigators who charge in deeply and narrowly, committed to their pet theories, and there will also be others who consolidate information and try to synthesize the variety of approaches taken. There are dead ends and areas of solid progress, and there is much flailing about until the promising leads are discovered.

Origins of life research is such an unsettled frontier. I wouldn’t want to work there, but the uncertainty and the confusion and the various small victories and the romance of the work do make for a very good story. And now you can read that story in Robert Hazen’s Gen•e•sis: The Scientific Quest for Life’s Origins (amzn/b&n/abe/pwll).

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