The Daily Vigil, 7/14/17: Feeding the Saudi Beast
School’s In Session: News recently came out that Saudi Arabia is directly funding extremism, according to the former British Ambassador to that county. While he says that the Saudis “have not quite appreciated” what their promoted ideology teaches, I don’t buy that for a moment. These Wahabbist schools they fund act as a pressure valve on their own peoples’ discontent, channeling their anger outward instead of allowing it to cause change at home. This has happened all over the Muslim world and beyond; these schools can make the disaffected feel as though someone cares about them and understands them in situations where no one else does. Are we really supposed to believe that the Saudis “don’t understand” the connection between radical indoctrination and full-blown terrorism? Please.
Which is why Trump’s sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia comes off as so bass-ackwards. He’s been braying about terrorism and the Middle East in general since the beginning, so why is he trying to strengthen one of the core roots of the ideology he claims to hate? Why is the Senate supporting this madness? If you want to prop up the Saudis as a point of stability in the region, we can have that discussion, but the sale can be made contingent on whether or not the Saudis divest from these radical schools. (There’s also that small matter of Saudi war crimes in Yemen, but hey, who’s keeping score?)
Updated BCRA: Ok, ok, I swear I won’t go on and on about health care today. It’s still garbage and call your Senators, I just wanted to leave y’all the full version. Here’s a good list of the changes made to “update” the new version, and here’s the bill itself. I know that sometimes it can be a pain to find these things, so there you go. Don’t say I never got you nothin’.
Of Course, Of Course: I’d like to end on a bright note today. Apparently, Harvard scientists decided they wanted to test the data storage capabilities of DNA, so they modified e. coli’s genes to contain a GIF of a horse. Now, that might sound like an odd thing to spend time and money on, but as the interview notes, this was a “proof of concept” experiment to insert and retrieve some simple information from a strand of DNA- so why not a horse GIF? And they may be on to something here- not only does DNA has the ability to story truly gargantuan amounts of information per gram, but that storage remains stable for hundreds of thousands of years, at room temperature, with no special storage facilities needed. So y’know, we’re making progress in some areas. Never lose hope!