Author Archives: wendyedavis

Let Them Eat Cake: a Journey into Edward Said’s Humanism

The title is an essay by Ted Steinberg published on September 6, 2019 at counterpunch.  He’s kindly given me permission to reprint it all,  given that I’d told him that not only is it one of the best pieces (a dual hero journey) I’ve read in a long time, but it really should be read all of a piece.   Had I needed to retell some it, surely I’d have made a hash of it.  It’s chock-full of the many epiphanies both he and Edward Said had experienced along their roads less traveled.

Mr. Stinberg uses plain-speak, non-academic language throughout, perhaps because the vignette begins with himself at age 13, and he weaves ‘the cake’ motif as a central touchstone throughout the progression, and along the way discovers that the indigenous in Israel had been airbrushed out of history in his Hebrew school.  I hope you’ll think it’s a brilliant as I do, and appreciate it even half as much.

As a side note, I’ve struggled not to bold or italicize any text I’d wanted to draw emphasize, and it’s been hard (smile).  Enjoy!

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Barr and Durham to investigate the CIA

It seems fitting that today is Sept. 11, or in holiday parlance: Patriot’s Day.  When I’d seen that on the calendar a few days ago, I almost threw up.

‘What spooked the spooks? What we still don’t know about Russiagate (by Stephen Cohen)’, 6 Sep, 2019, RT.com

“But the question remains: Why did Western intelligence agencies, prompted, it seems clear, by US ones, seek to undermine Trump’s presidential campaign? A reflexive answer might be because candidate Trump promised to “cooperate with Russia,” to pursue a pro-détente foreign policy, but this was hardly a startling, still less subversive, advocacy by a would-be Republican president. All of the major pro-détente episodes in the 20th century had been initiated by Republican presidents: Eisenhower, Nixon, and Reagan.” [snip]
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what a bloody waste of time (a vignette)

(A reprise; I wrote this a number of  years ago, but I can’t quite place it in time.)

Our son seemed to have been born with a predisposition to love grandparents. I don’t know how he came by it; could there have been a genetic cause, hardwired somehow into his wee neural net, passed down from his biological forebears?  Did it come from the books we’d read him as an infant and toddler?  My mind flips through the long lists of titles and book covers, but I can’t find any particular ones that might account for this.  It’s a mystery to me.
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the Kontinuing Killing of Iran

Will it reach a CKrescendo soon? Yes, we’re lookin’ at you, Bibi. Also: your wife wears combat boots (on her face), so there!

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catching up on biotechnology and genetically modified organisms

Mainly courtesy of Colin Todhunter (UK) on Twitter.


‘Scientists Call for Do-Over for Rules on Creating “CRISPR Babies”;
On Tuesday, an international commission will meet to develop less ambiguous guidelines for embryo editing, Sharon Begley, scientificamerican.com, August 12, 2019

“A group of 18 prominent scientists—including some who helped develop CRISPR–Cas9, the current leading tool for gene editing—issued a call Wednesday for an international moratorium on gene edits to eggs, sperm or embryos, and for establishing a process to discuss how and whether it should ever occur again.
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the rising tempo of julian assange’s murder in belmarsh gitmo

‘Slow, cruel assassination’: Mother blasts US & UK for treatment of Assange’, 11 Aug, 2019, RT.com


“Julian Assange’s mother has accused the US and UK governments of “slowly, cruelly and unlawfully” killing the WikiLeaks co-founder because he revealed war crimes and corruption.
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Lindsey Graham wants a bilateral defense treaty with Israel

A hypothetical Q: if it were ever to get far enough in the long process, would two-thirds of the Senate vote to ratify it?  Some of the background:

‘Lindsey Graham’s Blank Check. Why a Defense Agreement With Israel Would Be a Disaster for Americans’, Philip Giraldi, August 22, 2019

Giraldi writes that Graham had first publicly advocated for such a pact at the Republican Jewish Coalition in April of 2019, times of israel :

“Graham said at the annual meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas Saturday that it’s time for the US to declare to the world how important its relationship is with Israel.
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