A picture of a cardinal in my back yard. Just because. I like cardinals. I like birds.
I’m getting ready for my second chemo infusion on Tuesday. There is another site where I chronicle that experience. I mention it here as context because I’ve dropped 15 pounds since mid-August. I haven’t been able to exercise as much as I’d like, but I also don’t eat as much. The first chemo infusion took away my appetite for a while and while I wasn’t eating I think my stomach shrank because I’m just not as hungry as I used to be.
I’m also not as interested in SCROTUS as I used to be. Trying to follow the idiocy masquerading as an administration is difficult enough, but when you’re tired anyway for other reasons trying to follow it is irritating. Still, there are things going on that get my attention.
One of the big stories this week has been the disappearance of a journalist, a WashPo contributor, Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi is a citizen of Saudi Arabia, but lives and works in the Northern Virginia area of the USA. He is also a harsh critic of the current monarchy in Saudi Arabia. That I am using the present tense here is me being hopeful. It is becoming more and more likely that while he was in Turkey he entered the Saudi consulate to get the forms required to get married, and never came out. The theory is that a Saudi hit squad was waiting for him, killed him, dismembered him, and shipped his body parts out. Sounds like it should happen only in the movies, right?
If there is an area of the world from which it is difficult to get the truth, it is the Middle East, and especially conservative autocratic countries like Saudi Arabia (SA). Right now there are way more questions than answers. There are reports of Turkey having recordings of the murder, but we have not heard them yet. SA insists Khashoggi left the consulate on his own, but they have not provided video of him leaving. There is video of him entering, so there should also be video of him leaving. Khashoggi’s fiancée was waiting for him just outside the consulate. She was there for hours and he never emerged. It does not make sense that he would voluntarily depart the consulate and just leave her standing there. When Khashoggi first inquired at the consulate regarding obtaining the marriage forms, they told him to come back on October 2nd to get them. They gave him a specific date, and that is the date he returned to the consulate and vanished. We have a lot of different parties making a lot of different claims and no proof of anything, except that Khashoggi is definitely GONE.
So, how does the USA fit into this? First of all, Khashoggi may have been in Turkey when this happened, but he was officially working and living in Virginia, USA. Second, SCROTUS has close ties to the monarchy in SA, all monetary of course. He has way too much personal wealth tied up in that country to be trusted to do the right thing in this case. This sinister mystery made headlines for several days before SCROTUS said anything. It apparently was more important for SCROTUS to hold court for, and be worshiped by, F-bomb dropping Kanye West in the Oval Office than to take a position on the possibility of his rich friends committing a horrible crime.
Besides personal wealth, SCROTUS does not want to endanger the arms deal he has going between the US and SA. When asked about it, SCROTUS said he doesn’t want to endanger the defense industry jobs that are dependent upon us filling SA’s arms order. Someone in Congress should investigate how this ties in to any and all Trump family business in SA. Rather than hold SA’s feet to the fire to get the truth; it is more important that the US provide SA with even more arms than we already have. That way we can be even more complicit and responsible the next time SA launches weapons against another country and kills a bus full of school children.
SCROTUS also said he asked the SA monarch about Khashoggi, and the monarch denied the accusations “in every way imaginable”. Well, I guess that settles it. SA is innocent. After all, all it took was Putin denying that Russia cyberattacked us to convince SCROTUS. Since he does not want to anger SA, their denials will probably be all SCROTUS needs to just brush off the whole thing.
Until next week….