Cumberland Falls, Cumberland Falls State Park, Honeybee/Corbin, Kentucky

**PLEASE NOTE** - I use no other social media and my comments are closed due to persistent harassment and impersonation by one individual - sorry :(

Monday, August 30, 2021

"Val" on Amazon ...

 (Edited - content added)

So ... I started watching this documentary, last week, but every time I saw the barely recognizable Val Kilmer, speaking through that voice box (time stamp 1:44), I teared up - just so tragic. 


The loss of that rich, sonorous, sexy-fantastic voice - perfect for the voices of both Moses and God in "The Prince of Egypt," once playing Batman in Batman Forever, as well as Jim Morrison in the movie, "The Doors" - I just couldn't fathom.  

In fact, it's his son, Jack - who sounds exactly like a young Val - who narrates most of the documentary, reading his dad's words for him, including in the clip above (when not showing actual clips of a pre-cancer Val).

For those who don't know, Val Kilmer was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2015 (which he denied until last year, not wanting pity), had chemotherapy, most of his vocal cords were removed, had 2 tracheostomies, and now needs a feeding tube to eat.

The documentary also includes several fun sneak-peak looks behind the scenes of most of the films and plays he was in, as he was one of the first people to get a video camera, and filmed everything in his life, nearly every day, like a video scrapbook :) 

I finally finished the documentary tonight, and I'm so glad I did :)

Okay, yes - he's weird (like most actors are) - but I'm weird, and I like weird - and he can be intense, flaky, even obnoxiously childish, and difficult (or at least he used to be) -  but he can also be very sweet, very fun, very spiritual, brilliantly creative, loves hard, is fiercely loyal, and has not a bad word to say about anyone - so you can't help but love the guy :)

Though once known as quite the Casanova, in Hollywood, it's always men that have give him that "difficult" reputation, and he's also one of the few men in Hollywood to never be accused of mistreating women  - in fact, all the women in Hollywood that he worked with or dated still adore him, with former girlfriend, Cher, even letting him bunk in her guest house to recuperate from his throat surgery.

Of course, with the exception of his former wife,  Joanne Whalley, who says he abandoned her when filming, was terrible with money, and suspected him of cheating with Drew Barrymore, but that was never confirmed - and even she says, as far as she knows, he never cheated on her until that point and it was just the last year (and no one has accused him of cheating on Joanne).

And if you ask me, despite the supposed iciness between them, still, I suspect he's still in love with Joanne, and that she's still in love with him, though neither will likely ever admit it  - after all, neither ever married again.

I believe much of the problem is that Val - at the time, the youngest person ever accepted to The Juilliard School of Drama - is also method actor - meaning he throws himself into a role and literally becomes that person, day and night, for the entire film shoot, which can take months - and if the character is an asshole, so is Val.  

In fact, Michael Biehn has famously said that when people asked him what Val was like to work with on Tombstone, he said, "People ask me what it's like to work with Val Kilmer. I don't know. Never met him. Never shook his hand. I know Doc Holliday, but I don't know [Kilmer]."

I'm NOT saying that excuses it -  but she knew he was like that when she married him, too - and he admits the way he was -  but the method-actor thing was too hard on Joanne.

Not helping, I do think his fame went to his head, for a time while, and he admits he behaved badly at times, could be bizarre, but now is full of nothing but positivity and gratitude - if there ever was any Hollywood-induced narcissism, the throat cancer has completely knocked it all right out of him.

I can't help but feel like most of the time, however, in this documentary, he was mostly trying to entertain us and make us laugh, rather than get too vulnerable and show us the real Val, which I get - though diagnosed in 2015, he denied he had cancer until last year, because he didn't want pity, and you never want to get  too private in these things - and yet it makes me sad, that he still felt he had to entertain us and that just being himself wouldn't be okay with us :(

Also, lots of fellow actors and directors have expressed that he was never as difficult as he got the reputation for, to begin with, that he was undeserving of that reputation, when others were way worse, and that he often was simply misunderstood.

It was pretty clear from Val's home videos that Director John Frankenheimer was a total prick to everyone around him, on the set of The Island of Dr. Moreau, even to Marlon Brando (who Val got along very well with, which was not easy for anyone to do lol) - it was pretty clear that John would just prefer that no one ever speak to him at all and just do what they're told, like slaves.  

I think, though, the most damaging hit to his reputation was director, Joel Schumacher, saying he'd never work with him again, when most people say Joel is easy to work with and the nicest director.

The problem in Hollywood is, what the director says goes, and if even one disses you, you lose roles, and if it's two, you're done in Hollywood, even if the director is a total ass (which they often are).

And yet there are those that are fiercely loyal to Val, saying he was very easy to work with - including producer, Jeffrey Katzenberg, director Tony Scott (who worked with him three times), and most of his fellow actors and actresses.

In fact, it seems to me the problem came in with the type of directors that are not fond of taking any input from their actors - they have a vision and that's the way it is, no ideas from the actors - period.

As nice as Joel Schumacher is, he's a visionary, he sees it all in his head before he ever starts filming, and he's apparently not a huge fan of that being tampered with, including any actor input on the character unless he asks for it.

Val Kilmer, however, started at Juilliard, on the stage, and stage actors have much more input on the characters, it's often welcome - and therein might've been the problem.

However, as I said, in movies, you do what the director/filmmaker tells you - period - you don't ever push back, you don't ever complain - which Val  did.   :/

The director and/or filmmaker orders you to stand and film in the freezing rain for 5 hours, despite he, himself, having two production assistants holding an umbrella over him, a heated blanket, unlimited coffee, and a portable heater? 

You do it.  

The director and/or filmmaker tells you to jump repeatedly into a muddy pit of an unfinished backyard pool, filled with very real, dead-human cadavers - like JoBeth Williams had to do, when Steven Spielberg told her to, for Poltergeist

You do it. 

Or -  you never work in Hollywood again.

That's right, ladies and gentlemen - those were NOT cast models - those were actual dead human skeletons, bought from a medical school in India, in that muddy pool slush, in Poltergeist - and they didn't tell Jobeth beforehand  and Steven Spielberg insisted she do it repeatedly, even after she knew they were actual dead humans.

(In fact, this is the impetus for the "Poltergeist curse" theory, of why so many people related to this film have died.  I don't believe that, of course - but the real skeletons being used thing is 100% true)

JoBeth didn't reveal that publicly, until just few years ago, with both her and Steven saying it was for "added realism" and a "prank" - but the look in her eyes, when she says it, despite the smile on her face, says it all.

Because there had already been persistent rumors since the movie was made, that as well loved as the nice and generous Steven Spielberg supposedly is (who does typically take input from his actors, by the way), he also developed an unhealthy romantic obsession with Jobeth, at the time, nearly stalking her - though she had just married TV director, John Pasquin (whom she's still married to)  - so you gotta wonder - was it "added realism" and a "prank" or was it retaliation for rejecting Steven Spielberg's advances?

Jobeth will never tell, and she worked with him again regardless - but that's what you do, in Hollywood, if want to keep working :/

However, giving some further credence to that 40-year-old rumor was also the whole scene where she's in nothing but a football shirt to sleep in, when a spirit drags her from the bed and pins her up the wall, with her shirt repeatedly being yanked up, revealing her panties  -  including several inappropriate, odd, direct through-the-legs/crotch shots.  

Of course, I'm not going to post the actual scene here - but we women already thought the scene was unnecessarily disturbing, went on way too long, had some very crass through-the-legs crotch shots, and was just oddly out of place with the rest of the theme and tone of the film.

But now, to our male readers (and clueless female ones) - after I've told you that 40-year-old rumor (if you hadn't already heard it) - when you see this movie again, see if you notice how many of those inappropriate through-the-legs crotch shots there actually were, in a near-spiritual-rape scene, how aggressively sexual the scene actually was, and how out of tone with the rest of the film it was  - which was especially odd from Steven Spielberg, who normally doesn't stoop like that, even with horror.

I guess we'll never know - because again, you never diss a director, no matter what they do - and if you talk about it, you put a positive spin on it, like Jobeth did.

Oh, but by the way - that shouldn't happen again, with actual human cadavers from medical schools, because there have been ethics and health laws implemented since.

However, it likely still could, because who's going to tell on the director?

No one.

As for unnecessary and inappropriately aggressive/forced sex scenes with women, where we make rape sexy, instead of actually just  being another method of power abuse?

Well, that's likely not going to change :/

And they can't complain to anyone about it privately, because they know most actors would kill for those roles, they're getting paid big money, and they don't want to appear ungrateful or diva-like or bite the hand that feeds them.

However, back to Val, as stated, most of his former fellow actors and actresses still adore Val.  

In fact, before Tom Cruise signed on for the Top Gun sequel,  Top Gun: Maverick:  Top Gun (to be released next year), he insisted that he would NOT do this movie without Val :)

Well, they've found a way - a company called Sonantic has found a way to computer-generate Val's legendary voice, using old recordings, so that he can speak again :)

Here's a sample ... 

Interestingly, after what I said about God's blessings coming in the form of healing, rather than money or fame or power, two posts ago, Val mentions that very thing - how getting cancer and surviving it, learning to face the darkest parts of himself and heal, not just physically, but emotionally and spiritually, made him feel "blessed." 

We still love you, Val - you're still "our Huckleberry" lol - welcome back, we missed you  :)

After The Third Time I've Seen This COVID Vaccine Dysinformation ...

(*Edited - content added)

I have seen two Americans, and one British person, showing memes of Fauci and his wife, Christine Grady, claiming that her being on the bioethics committee for the NIH means she had control over vaccine approval lol.

I didn't say anything to any of them, I'm just saying it here, because such dysinformation especially irritates me as a pharmaceutical transcriptionist.

Because that's not the way any of this works! lol

I'm especially embarrassed for the 2 Americans spreading this dysinformation - the ignorance, refusal to do their homework, or blatant dishonesty is astounding.   

First of all, the NIH and FDA are two separate entities - with the FDA being part of the executive branch of our government, while the NIH and CDC are not - they're part of Health and Human Services.  This means the FDA ultimately has authority over the NIH (and the CDC as well) - not the other way around.

It also means neither the NIH nor the CDC have the authority to approve drugs - in fact, approving drugs, or even recommending drugs, isn't even within the scope of focus or jurisdiction of either the NIH or the CDC.

The purview and purpose of the NIH and the CDC are researching disease states and  publishing new data (NIH) and/or evaluating public health diseases and providing standard-of-care guidelines for public health diseases (CDC) - period. 

Members of the NIH can sit on one of the many expert-reviewer panels for a new drug as disease-state experts - when asked to do so by the FDA - to help assess the results of clinical trials for a particular drug, and give their recommendations - which the FDA weighs and can even choose to ignore, should they choose (like they did with Aduhelm for Alzheimer's.)

There are several review panels, both government and independent review panels.  The review panels do typically contain members of the NIH,  but they are not solely comprised of just NIH members - also CDC experts, key-opinion leaders from academic institutions, members of medical societies/reputable publications for a specific disease state, as well as others considered experts in a disease state - but they are almost always MDs and PharmD's.

As experts in a specific disease state, the committee panels will be asked to give a review of a drug and their recommendations  - but it's several separate review panels who give their recommendations to the FDA via majority democratic vote for each committee -  meaning no one person ever has full control.

In the the end, the various review committees give their recommendations to the FDA (but never "approval") so that the FDA can weigh them and hopefully find a consensus for their decision, and it's rarely just a "yay" or "nay" recommendation vote, and they have to qualify and quantify the vote.   

For example, even if a clinical-review committees/panel gives a positive recommendation, they will usually include specifics, along with any concerns - i.e., recommendations for restricting the drug for specific indications or for a specific population, restrictions to a specific dosing, or they can even suggest to the FDA include a black-box warning for toxicity concerns or contraindications - which the FDA can consider, include in full or part, or even completely ignore (like the did with Aduhelm).

Now - though Fauci's wife, Christine Grady, is the Chief of Bioethics at the NIH - she is a nurse - making it highly unlikely that she has ever sat on any review panel for drug evaluation with the FDA, or even any P&T committee for any-scale government institution, large commercial institution, or insurance company.

Even sitting on the P&T committee for a regional or local hospital or clinic, helping to make decisions about adding drugs to their internal formulary, would be a stretch of her capacity as an RN, unless she also had an MBA (Master of Business) or MPH (Master of Public Health) and was a healthcare-business  administrator, rather than a clinician.

Also, her focus of bioethical research is in HIV - not COVID - and clearly, the people passing around this meme don't even know what  the word "bioethics" means (see below)

More importantly, her husband, Dr. Anthony Fauci is an MD, and is actually a medical director at the NIH -  the Director of NIAID (National Institute for Allergy and Immunology Department).

This means that unlike his wife - who again, is a nurse -  he has, and will continue to, sit on many review-committee panels, when the FDA asks him to, to review clinical trials. 

So if anybody had any pull on  the FDA's decision on vaccine approval, it'd be Fauci himself as an MD and an NIH director, requested by the FDA to sit on a review panel, not his wife - and yet still, he's one of many on a committee and just one vote for recommendation -  not approval!

Lastly, and most importantly, the people sharing these memes clearly don't know what bioethics means, and were too lazy to  look it up and find out lol.

(Or maybe the word "ethics" was like holy water to them, and the depraved souls simply recoiled from the term? lol.)

Bioethics is simply making sure that ethics have been upheld in clinical research and the field of medicine in general.

Bioethics have zero to do with efficacy and safety of a drug, and certainly not approving one - other than they check a box on whether or not the ethical standards were upheld during clinical trials for a drug - period.

The FDA has their own internal bioethics committee, and even they do not have the power to actually approve or not approve drugs - they simply make sure that ethical standards were followed and upheld in the clinical research presented by the pharmaceutical companies.

Therefore, the FDA has no need, nor would they appreciate, some nurse from the NIH coming in and telling them how ethical the clinical trials were, without being asked, because they have their own internal bioethics experts.

And they most definitely would not appreciate -  nor would they ever even ask -  a bioethics nurse educator's opinion on the actual efficacy and safety of a drug, and whether or not to approve it!!! 

So ... what have we learned from these memes?

All we've learned is that women-blamers and misogynists - and their female enablers - will go out of their way, beyond the point of reason, rationality, or even possibility - to try to find a way to blame a woman  - despite the fact that said woman literally has no power, authority, or educational or practical expertise to do so, but her husband does  - and it's hilarious!!!  LOL

Sunday, August 29, 2021

PS - A Happy Ending, and Lessons from the Story of Naaman :)


I did later privately forgive the person that I mention in the post below, and when I learned they died, I remembered the good.

It's just recent events rekindle old memories like that, ya know? 

Plus forgiveness is a process - especially when the person never apologizes, continues to justify their actions until they die, actually believing themselves patriotic, righteous, and "providing for their family" - as well as when they never realize the long-lasting ripple effects their behavior and choices had on not just those around them, but in some cases, their community, their country, or even the world.

But forgiveness really isn't about them anyway - it's about freeing yourself from the damage they caused :)

And I neglected to mention the best part of the story, the happy ending - which is not JUST the happy marriage and life I have now, with my husband :)

Also, that experience was the impetus for the call, which I've written about here a few times, to a rabbi that changed my approach to God and my life, which I'm going to tell again today for anyone who missed it :)

So, I was driving, with my heart  beating like crazy, playing and singing with my daughter in the back seat and trying to act like everything was okay, but also wavering between praying and being mad at God for not rescuing me out of this family very early on - but then at the same time, I couldn't deny that it was pure chance that I saw that 20/20 special just a few days before that confrontation with this person that tipped me off. 

My daughter was very young, so it was unusual that I ever got to sit down and watch a full show of anything, and usually, it wasn't 20/20 on a Friday night  - but in those days, that show was on at about 9 or 10 p.m. and she was in bed.  

It starting me thinking, and when filing the documents a few days later, I had to ask, hoping I just had an overactive imagination  - but was surprised by the answers given - and then the Gravitron ride began.

Was this one of those overly-coincidental things that sometimes happen that make you look up and go, "Was that you?"

I determined that was silly and shrugged it off, at the time.

As I mentioned, I told no one the full story for three years, just that this person was involved in something illegal that I couldn't be a part of, and that they were dangerous. 

However, I was hurting ... well, traumatized, truth be told ... and felt stuck on the Gravitron ride.

In case you don't know what I mean, the Gravitron ride is that ride at amusement parks or fairs when it starts spinning so fast, you stick to the wall, and the bottom drops out - it's fun when you choose to get on it and know it's safe - but when trauma forces you on the metaphoric Gravitron - not so much.

Struggling with where God was, in all this mess, I landed upon the thought, "If there is a God, why would he care about me, when he let 6 million of his own people die in the holocaust?  The horrors of what Christians of color endured in slavery, and their children?  Isn't that arrogant of me to think he would help ME if he didn't help THEM?"

So it was then that I decided to call a rabbi and ask him that - how they reconciled that for themselves?

His name was Rabbi David, and he could've said, and probably should've said, "What an impertinent question, you ignorant little Goy, you have no idea what you're talking about" - but he didn't :)

This is NOT a picture of Rabbi David (it's actually a picture of Rabbi Neal Katz in Texas) - it's just an image of what I imagined Rabbi David may have looked like, only hearing his voice over the phone (though maybe a bit younger) :)

He was very kind, very calm, and very patient, and exactly the father-figure I needed, the complete opposite of what I'd just experienced.

The conversation went something like this:

Me"Hi, Rabbi David.  My name is Chrystal, and I'm really struggling with my faith and where God is, at the moment.  I was raised a Christian, I hope that's okay?  But I've become agnostic in recent years, nearly atheist - but at the moment, I'm just - struggling." 


Rabbi David:  "That is absolutely okay, you called at a good time, and I'm always happy to help anyone struggling with faith." 


Me:  "Thank you, I really appreciate the time.  I've just experienced something with family that I can't seem to get over.  I can't and won't go into details, but despite being agnostic, my natural inclination, or maybe my upbringing, brought me to pray.  You know what they say, "There's no atheists in foxholes."  Actually, the person responsible for this situation taught me that phrase, ironically."  
"Anyway, I don't think I know how, because the way I was raised, in charismatic Christianity, prayer gave you power, which to me is almost the same as witchcraft, when it's not supposed to be about personal power, is it?"  
"Then I got mad at God, if it's true he cares about me and prayer works,  why didn't he rescue me from this as a child?  Why did other Christians around us not realize what was going on, with both parents, and do something?  They believed them just because they were Christian or were white and had money?"  
"Then I started to feel arrogant, for even asking for that, or anything,  that God would care about and help me, when he didn't save 6 million of his own people during the holocaust or people of color during slavery, even babies?  Much more righteous and innocent people than me - who am I to even ask?"  
"Then I got mad at God, again - if he exists, why he allows these things to happen?" 
"So then I called you.  I don't know how to reconcile this - and I know that the Jewish people continue to have faith despite the holocaust.  How do you do it?  How can you believe in a God that let 6 million of his own people, including babies, be tortured and killed?  


Rabbi David:  "Because, honey, we don't believe God rescues us, especially from choices we get ourselves into, but even things we don't or are born into or what people use their free will to do to us.  Christians are taught that God protects and rescues, but if you look at the Old Testament, rescue and miracles are very rare.  Can you think of miracles in the Old Testament?  There aren't many."  


Me:  "Well, there's Moses, the Red Sea, etc.  Enoch being taken up to heaven without death.  Naaman being healed from Leprosy by dipping in the Jordan River.  Daniel in the lion's den.  Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendego. Eclipses during battle.  I'm not sure the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was a miracle, it was a little scary - and how come he doesn't do that with evil people today?"  


Rabbi David:  "That's right.  Those instances are when our civilization and race were very young, fledgling, and if he hadn't intervened, with the Pharaoh especially, we wouldn't have survived as a race and faith at all - there would've been no survivors at all or incorporated into Egyptian culture and faith completely.  Miracles and divine intervention are now very rare, and usually with very special people for an important purpose or during an important time we don't have the big picture of.  And today, though Hitler got many of us, he didn't get ALL of us, we survived and thrived. God's promise to Abraham that we would be as many as the stars came true :)
"You see, Christians are taught to expect miracles, to expect to be blessed financially, etc.  There's a certain amount of "we're special to God" mentality in that.  We don't believe we're "special," and we don't "expect" anything from God, we just respect him, appreciate him and are grateful :)" 


Me:  "Well, I think that any of those "miracles" in the bible had scientific explanations anyway, like washing in the Jordan River - it probably contained a lot of sulfur, which cures leprosy.  Even with Jesus, if those miracles happened, there was a scientific explanation. Also I think a lot of those stories were allegories or metaphor and never actually happened, like Job - I think that story is a metaphor for Israel." 


Rabbi David:  "Right, but couldn't it be both science and spiritual?  How did early-civilization Elisha know that certain waters contained natural antibiotics like sulfur that could heal leprosy?  He didn't.  In fact, he still didn't even after Naaman was healed, he just knew on a spiritual level doing so would help Naaman, not knowing why.  In fact, did your Jesus know exactly why the things he used to heal worked, like sulfur water or certain compounds in mud could have curative effects on growing cataracts, or was he just following a spiritual prompt?"  


Me: "So ... do you believe in prophets?"  


Rabbi David:  "I believe that everyone can tap into a spiritual plane, and some people are just better at it than others, and know what to do, even if they don't know exactly  how or why."  


Me:  "Yeah, and then there are some people, like my Mom, who believes she's a prophetess, but her predictions rarely happen, and are her own fears, and usually do more harm than good."  


Rabbi David:  "I don't know your mom, but yep, there are those out there, too, even in our faith.  Lots of well-intentioned people who misguided themselves, and also lots of people doing things in God's name for selfish gain. Time  usually tells the tale.   Also, faith must be balanced with reason, but even biblical prophets made mistakes.  They're human, too." 


Me:  "There's always this societal push between believing one or the other, science or faith, logic versus instinct.  Or maybe that's just my own internal struggle lol." 


Rabbi David:  "I think both.  There is a legitimate push to choose between the two, as if it's black or white, and people get out of balance.  Some people believe beyond the point of reason.  Some smart people can't  allow room for spiritual prompting or instinct.  Both are important and should constantly be put in check by the other.  Smart people can't help but question God, and that's okay, he doesn't expect you to believe anything blindly.  God can handle your questions, even your anger.  He probably thinks it's cute, just like when our kids do lol.  And then they grow up and become disillusioned with us, that we're not exactly what they think we should be." 
"Then they become parents, too, and they get it, and it often works out lol.  And sometimes they're right, like in your situation with your parents. God never meant for your parents to be the way they are, honey.  I'm sure it makes him very sad, whatever happened.  And I  know it's especially hard to trust God when your own parents are so untrustworthy, but it's important to separate out God from your parents."  
"Regardless, we don't expect miracles or pray for rescue or that other people will gain insight or consequence, we don't consider ourselves "special" to God.  We pray for wisdom, second-wind strength, and that God's presence can be felt.  And I can promise you, if you talk to those who were in concentration camps, who still practice the faith, they'll tell you that God's presence could still be felt, even in that darkness, even before death.  And in the end, we had faith that it would all end someday, because it always does, with lessons learned."
"And it DID end, and things changed for the better - with most in the world learning an important lesson, and with us learning we could just as easily learn to hate back, but that's the antidote - NOT to hate back, even forgive - not because they deserve it, because it frees you from their disease.  Not everyone learned this lesson, no, but it's not about what happens to them, it's about what happens to us, our own souls"  
"The point is, God isn't the one that needs to change - it's your expectations of God.  Change your expectations of what God actually does, and you'll never be disappointed with prayer. "



Well, that hit me like a ton of bricks. 

The Gravitron ride just ... stopped.

In fact, I felt like Naaman, cleaning myself of spiritual leprosy, based on this Rabbi's advice.

 I felt sufficiently humbled, as a Christian-turned-atheist/agnostic.

Rabbi David was right, I often confused the nature of God with my parents.  And it was true, perhaps it wasn't that there wasn't an intelligent designer of this creation, there wasn't a problem with the way God works, but the way I worked, what I expected God to do and had been taught versus reality - and that perhaps faith was simply science we didn't yet understand.

Thus I thanked him profusely and then skulked away lol.

This conversation had a profound impact on my life.  I don't pray for rescue any longer -  especially if there was a choice I made to get myself in that situation.

(Well, that's not true, I think we all have, at times, but it's honestly setting up for disappointment.)

I usually pray for self-insight, discernment and wisdom, both earthly and spiritual, second-wind strength,  self-control, and for the peace and presence of God and his comfort can be found and felt, both for myself and others, that myself, or the person I'm praying for, won't feel alone, even at the hour of their death - and I'm never disappointed :) 

This Sunday morning, I decided to reread the story of Naaman, it had been a long time, which is found in II Kings Chapter 5.

It's amazing when as an adult, you open your mind to the perspective of the way other faiths look at God and then reread the bible - you notice little nuances and lessons you missed, because you were so focused on your own culture-conditioned ways of looking at things, especially if you were taught that way by your parents and church - when the bible doesn't necessarily say or mean things that way, and context and big picture lessons often get overlooked, too.

Several lessons I'd overlooked in this story, one in particular brought me comfort and strengthened my faith - and it's not the part you think it would be - it's about the true nature of God :)

Just to summarize, Naaman was a great commander of the Aram army (modern-day Syria).  He had been afflicted with leprosy, and went to his king, asking if he could go to the King of Israel to ask for help with healing, after a Israelite servant girl suggested it to his wife.  

The king gave permission, and off Naaman went, believing in another God, but desperate for a cure. 

Upon arriving before the King of Israel, the King of Israel (unnamed in this story) knew he could do nothing for the man himself, believed it a trick and tore his robes, believing the King of Aram was trying to pick a quarrel with him and attack.

Elisha, the prophet, heard of this and was like, "Erm - why did you tear your robes?  You're right, you can't heal this man and neither can I, we're not God.  However, God may have some direction on this matter that will bring peace instead of war?"

Thus, Naaman went to Elisha's house for healing, but Elisa curiously refused to come out lol. 

Instead, he sent out his servant, Gehazi, instructing Naaman, to tell him to wash in the Jordan River seven times.

Well, Naaman got mad.  

As a great Syrian commander, this meager-living Jewish prophet refused to come out and see him, how DARE he? ;) 

Plus ew?

The Jordan river stinks, it's full of runoff (likely from sulfur -water springs as tributaries) - the Abana and Parphar rivers were much cleaner and smelled better?

However, his servants essentially said, "If the prophet had told you himself, would you have done it?  Just try it, it can't make it any worse, at least?"

Naaman apparently was like, "Yeah, it's just THAT guy I don't trust" (which we learn later was for good reason.)

So Naaman washes in the stinky Jordan river 7 times  - and is cured of his leprosy (likely from the sulfur). 

He brings many gifts directly to Elisha, who sees him in person, now, but refuses to accept them, as it was not him who healed him, it was God, and Naaman simply followed the spiritual direction - and blessings aren't about money and wealth anyway.

Naaman tells him that he knows now that the God of Israel is the most powerful and true God, and that though he may hear of him bowing down to Rimmon at the temple in Aram, know it's because he has to, but his heart is with the God of Israel.

However, he was right to initially distrust Elisha's servant, Gehazi overall.

Because Gehazi ran after Naaman, falsely claiming that Elisha had changed his mind because two fellow prophets had just arrived and needed two talents of silver and clothing, which Naaman gave to him.

When he returned, Elisha called him out, basically saying, "Now is not the time to be thinking of ourselves, we just avoided war, and here you go, thinking of yourself and how you can profit from it - in my name, and more importantly, in God's name. As a result, Naaman's leprosy will now fall on you and your descendants" - and it did.

Elisha didn't play around, he was pretty harsh - and so was God, in the Old Testament.

I think the reason for this perception of God in the OT is multifactorial - and not because, or just because, of the Christian theory that there was no forgiveness, only atonement, in the old testament.

Remember, this was a civilization mostly under Babylonian rule and law, and their Hammurabi's code of law clearly influenced Levitican law, as some of the laws are exactly the same as were carved into that code stone.  

Babylonian law was swift, harsh, and merciless.  

This is because even though the ancient Sumerians (later Babylonians) believed in Gods, they didn't believe in an afterlife, so all punishment was swift, harsh, and merciless.

Thus, the Israelites, mostly under Babylonian rule and clearly influenced by their code of law, perceived God as swift, harsh, and merciless like law, as opposed to God's true nature - again, our  misperception of who God is versus reality - just like Rabbi David mentioned my perception of God getting confused with my parents ;)

Also, we can't forget they were toddler civilization.  

With toddlers, they won't understand if you explain to them why something shouldn't be done, just not to do it - period.  

Also, toddlers aren't capable of self-differentiation - they don't understand others as a separate entity from themselves yet.  They don't understand if something hurts someone else, it doesn't hurt them, which is why they giggle if they scratch or pinch you and you say, "ouch" - not because they're evil, but because think it's a game, and they're testing the limits of where the self stops and others begin.

(FYI, your reaction to this is a very important empathy lesson - don't overreact like they're evil, because they're not - this is a normal part of child development.  However, also don't underreact, like it doesn't hurt.  It's "Ouch!" - just so they understand the concept of others being separate entities from themselves, why causing others discomfort pain that doesn't also hurt them, and we don't want to cause others discomfort or pain.  For more on this, read Piaget on the stages of child development.)

Then by the time Jesus came along, we were a young child-like civilization, so he explained it and literally repudiated the Babylonian influence over Levitican OT law, like "an eye for an eye,"  stating that all law was meant to hang on loving thy neighbor instead, rather than lack of mercy.

However, in the New Testament, God stopped "striking people down," even before Christ's death, for doing things in his name, simply warning them repeatedly - except in one instance. 

Ananias and Sapphira were immediately struck dead after it was discovered they were stealing from the first church.


Because the first church had been set up under the explicit direction and guidance by the Holy Spirit - so their skimming off the top was considered blasphemy of the Holy Spirit - and again, the bible says that blaspheming the Holy Spirit is the only unforgivable sin.  

Plus, had they continued, there would be no Christian church today.

So ... what lessons can we learn from the story of Naaman - and by that, I mean other than the obvious one of faith and trust in God (which was NOT blind faith, mind you)?

And by "we," I mean, Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike, serving the same God?

1)  First of all, the story makes it very clear that God is not a fan of war unless absolutely necessary, as in self-defense - and definitely not over faith. 

This situation almost started a war, because these two cultures and faiths already distrusted each other, then the King of Israel misperceived the King of Aram (Syria's) request for help as a trick question.

The bible is very clear in this story that God already blessed the Syrian, Naaman, when this story began, because he sought him (albeit also worshipped other Gods for certain things in Babylonian pantheon), and apparently, because he would be instrumental in keeping peace between the two cultures at an important time.  

2)  God doesn't favor one culture or faith over another, his mercy is for all faiths as his children, regardless - even if they're confused as to what to believe - he just wants you to not rule him out/consider him, as Naaman did, who gave him a chance and God blessed/healed him as a result :)

In fact, note how much human distrust had been created between the two kingdoms and cultures over disagreements on faith - when God himself didn't appear to care what faith people were unless it caused war - and actually blessed/healed Naaman the Syrian.

In fact, Naaman straight up admitted, in advance, that he would still be forced to bow down before Rimmon - but Elisha didn't care and God didn't punish him - isn't that interesting?

Now, I found this interesting, because of the whole Esther and Mordecai story about bowing.

But again, this could be explained by the fact that God isn't about punishment for belief - he seems to care more about what people who already claim to follow him say and do in his name.

Though at times, it may appear God is "jealous" in the Old Testament, but again, I think that's OT-authors' misperception of God under the swift-and-harsh Babylonian rule of law.

Because in actuality, God never asked anyone to go and charge people down and massacre, persecute, bully, or even distrust other people simply based on their faith - only self-defense - and he especially got pissed when great leaders did so in his name, because of the effects it had on his people.

For example, David didn't die very well, the bible says he suffered - and the prophet, Nathan also told him that this suffering, was not only because of the Bathsheba incident (having her husband killed to have her for himself), but that his current suffering was due to "shedding too much blood in God's name" - and a further punishment was that he would never lay eyes on, or set foot in, the temple that his son, Solomon, would build in God's name.

(Which is why David named his son, "Solomon," meaning "wisdom," in the hopes that his son would have more wisdom than he had, and God granted that request.)

However, that is NOT to say that people always suffer in life because of their own sin, because all of the disciples died badly, and we make saints of suffering Christians, don't we?

However, David was a special case - he was the second and preferred King of Israel, whom God expected much from - and yet he let God down one too many times, and God specifically let him know that.

3)   God's blessings don't typically come in the form of money or power, Old Testament or New Testament, unless that leader has a specific purpose affecting many (even if for nothing more to use that person to prove God's power despite them).  

Instead, note that God's blessings in the bible, both OT and NT, usually come in the form healing - physical, mental, emotional, and/or spiritual. 

I love it that Elisha refused to come outside himself to tell Naaman himself.


Well, it wasn't because Elisha feared leprosy, that's pretty clear. 

It was both a humbling lesson for Naaman and simultaneously asking Naaman to take an extra leap of faith, despite the message being given through a clearly untrustworthy servant. 

God doesn't care who you are or how much money or power you have - "Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and he will lift you up."(James 4:10) 

There's a reason why Jesus was born in a stable to poor immigrant parents - hellloooo?

Also, Naaman clearly distrusted Gehazi, rightfully so - and yet in the end, listened to his spiritual instincts, even if through an untrustworthy messenger.   

His early instincts were correct, the messenger himself was not to be trusted - only the message - which had he not also listened to his spiritual instincts, and heard God's "voice,"  the spiritual message anyway, in Gehazi's message, he wouldn't have.  

And then unfortunately, the messenger stole from him later, which thank goodness Naaman never discovered, or war would've surely proceeded - but Elisha saw it, and more importantly, God saw it.

Lastly, this is the part I found the most interesting/comforting, especially in recent times, when we're witnessing Christians say and do lots of horrible things in God's name, Jesus' name, and the Holy Spirit's name. 

4)  Today, lots of people may get away with saying and doing selfish, horrible things in God's name, Jesus' name, and the holy spirit's name (which the bible says is unforgiveable blasphemy) even lifelong, and will appear to profit it from it - but God sees it and promises consequence - if not in this life, because we humans tend to reward people for it, then in the next. 

Naaman, Elisha, and Gehazi, the Parable of the Merciless Servant, Ananias and Sapphira, Nathan's prophecy to David, Christ's repeated warnings to the publicans, Pharisees and Sadducees, his warning to the wealthy man who asked how he could better serve God, and Christ tells him to abandon his wealth and power to follow him, telling him it's "easier to pass through an eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven" - these are all repeated warnings against valuing wealth and power (Mammon) over God, and that God typically doesn't bless people through material possessions.

No, God doesn't strike people down anymore, for doing selfish or political-power things in his name anymore, likely because if he hadn't back then, the culture and church wouldn't have continued and survived, if he hadn't - but he warns them repeatedly throughout the bible.  (It was only if his new church wouldn't have survived, in the New Testament, that he struck Ananias and Sapphira down).

We watch as people profit and gain power using Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit to do it, despite saying and doing horrible things, and wonder, "Where is God?"

Rest assured, God sees it - and they know they were warned in both the Old and New Testament against it.

Though they may appear "blessed" in this life, it's only money and power, which is typically NOT God's blessing - because again, both Old Testament and New Testament repeatedly warn us against "Mammon," which is the spirit of the love of money and power and greed and is not of God -  and also repeatedly gives us story after story that God's blessings usually come in the form of physical, mental, emotional or spiritual healing.

Regardless, the point is not what happens to them, though, God will take care of it, if not in this life, then the next - it's about what you do in this life and happens to your soul.

The point is not to lose your faith, solely based on what other Christians, Muslims, or Jews do in God's name.

And to worry about your own soul, rather than other people's - lest you become them ;)

5)  Then the obvious lesson, which is NOT to have blind faith, actually - it's to keep your spiritual instinct open for your own healing - physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual -  while still balancing your faith with your logic/science/reason.

Because Naaman was correct in his evaluation that the messenger, Gehazi, was untrustworthy - yet he was able to "hear" the spiritual message sent through him anyway.

Essentially, he balanced his logic with his spiritual instinct, took the spiritual lesson crux out of it he needed, and left the rest.

Also, he took good medicine and advice (likely sulfur in the stinky Jordan River which cures leprosy), even if he didn't understand it, not even Elisha understood how or why it worked, and even though it was delivered in an untrustworthy package - trusting there was good reason for it ;)

I'm not saying this last part is a pro-vaccination message, but I'm not saying it's not, either ;)

I'm just saying not to dismiss the balance of science AND faith, sometimes coming in imperfect packages, that is required for your own blessing, which usually comes in the form of healing - physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual - rather than money or power ;)

And in the end, God doesn't always rescue, in fact it's rare. 

God especially may not rescue you out of messes you chose against your better judgment to trust or get involved in  - but it has been my experience, if you use your free will to go against your better judgment, there's not much God will do.

In the situation in the post below, I wasn't a child anymore - I made the choice to visit this person, giving them a second chance to make amends and pay for me to finish college, knowing it was against my better judgment (but also not fully trusting my own judgment).

If there is rescue, it's not usually in a dramatic form - it's sometimes a very overly coincidental red flag - like my seeing that 20/20 special literally days before that event. 

Had it not been for that, which was unusual that I even saw, I would've never put the pieces together, asked the questions I asked, and learned the truth - and would've been in a lot worse situation. 

So in the end, I am grateful for that, the timing of it - because it gave me the red flag I needed to just get out - "pull the poison arrow out and not worry about who shot it and why, just  focus on healing," as Buddha put it  :)


Friday, August 27, 2021

On Trump, Saudi Arabia, 9/11, and Osama bin Laden, The Taliban and Afghanistan


On August 9th, the U.S. Justice Department stated that it would start slowly declassifying and releasing to the public documents related to investigating connections between certain people in Saudi Arabia funding 9/11 and other terrorism - something that the families of 9/11 victims and smart people have suspected for a very long time, but everyone tiptoes around that elephant in the room, and refuses to fully investigate, likely out of fears of losing oil-rights issues?

I'm just going to say my opinion and suspicions out loud, in front of God and everybody - I suspect that there are a few very wealthy people in Saudi Arabia and the UAE that are actually behind the wire-transfer funding for not just 9/11, but lots of terrorism, paying desperate poorer countries and people to do it, so they can sit back and keep their noses clean, looking innocent ;)

I also think, as the 9/11 commission report mentions, that there are some American businessmen and politicians  in South Florida, who either unknowingly, inadvertently, or negligently assisted with money-laundering for the Saudis and the U.A.E. - perhaps meaning those actions as a sort of "back-scratching diplomacy," but instead - hopefully unbeknownst to them - the now-laundered money was actually going to fund terrorism  :/

Actually, that last paragraph is not just an opinion - I know for a fact  that money-laundering for certain people from Saudi and the UAE was being performed by white American businessmen in South Florida, as far back as 1998 - and not just because the 9/11 commission report expressly states it (without naming names) - but through personal experience, with a now-deceased family member, living in the area at the time.

(However, it's odd that the 9/11 commission report very clearly states that, but nobody, on either side of politics, ever fully investigated where that funding came from, isn't it? ;)

However, let me be clear - No -  I do NOT mean, or believe, that 9/11 was an inside job, or that any American businessman or politician intentionally and knowingly helped fund 9/11 or terrorism.

I simply mean that I know for a fact that what the 9/11 report clearly stated was true - that there was money laundering of Saudi and UAE money going on in South Florida, which unintentionally, inadvertently, or  negligently led to the funding of 9/11 and other terrorism.


I'm not going to give too much detail, but just enough detail so that you know that it's from personal experience, and that I'm not making this up.

Well, maybe you'll still think that anyway, and that's fine, I don't blame you - but it's worth a shot.  

So why tell it, publicly?

Well, in addition to recent terrorist events at Kabul Airport reminding me of all this, I didn't tell a soul, not even my therapist, for three years after I ran across it in 1998 - not helping was the first person I told didn't believe me  - but luckily, my therapist did, when I finally told her :)

I still don't expect anyone to believe me, even though since then, so much has happened in the world that it doesn't sound as far-fetched as it once did, and the 9/11 commission report confirmed my story.

(I often wonder what that person thinks about my story now, after  9/11 later happened and that commission report came out and confirmed money-laundering in South Florida, and it was all over the news, but I'll never ask.  Eff 'em for not believing me then.)

But I guess the main motivation is it now just feels good to not be afraid anymore to tell this truth, especially fear of this family member, who is deceased? :)

Also because people need to know that there are some people, in this country, including this family member (now deceased), who are not as innocent as they like to appear, or as they convince/self-justify themselves to believe. 

Also, don't be fooled, for one second, to believe that Trump, also in Palm Beach County/South Florida, despite all of his deflection off of himself onto others, didn't have his own dirty hands in that pot himself  ;) 

(I do not know that last particular aspect for a fact, mind you - but this family member did insinuate him, without saying his name - HOWEVER - this person was also a pathological liar and name-dropper of famous people he'd never met, to sound more important than they were, so who can say - but I DO know that at least this family member's actions turned out to be 100% true.)

As mentioned, this  family member is now deceased, so I'm no longer afraid of them.  As for their contacts, because this person was small-time, there were only a few, and I'm a nobody, so they likely won't care, especially now.  

I'm sure they know very few people would believe me anyway, or even read this blog, so it really won't matter - and if they do, oh well, as Esther said,  "if I perish, I perish" lol :)

Just joking -  that's extremely unlikely to happen -  because as I said, I'm a nobody, and any former "foreign" business associates that happened upon it will assume that readers will assume I'm lying or crazy anyway, but just in case, I won't mention the names - just the countries they were from - but I seriously doubt they would even care what a nobody like me said, anyway lol. 

Besides - this post will get buried under future posts and forgotten anyway, or chalked up to me being crazy or a liar, or whatever people need to say  - but I'm not taking it down - I'm not ever fearing telling this story again, and now I'll tell it as many times as it needs to be told - because regardless of whether people don't believe it or something worse were to happen, it is still 100% true - and it needs to be told. 

Anyway, I discovered this in 1998, while helping file away some documents for this family member in South Florida, in exchange for supposedly paying my college tuition, upon returning to college.

However, once I ran across certain strange documents which involved moving large amounts of money and gold bullion from bank to bank, at all hours of the day and night, staying in a bank for a few days, pretending to invest in this person's companies that did not exist - I told this person I didn't want to finish helping them file, because I didn't want to be involved in whatever this was, it seemed suspicious.   

I feared not only possible legal issues, but asked this person how they were certain it wasn't drug money, and more importantly, that it was  NOT going to fund terrorism?  

(Coincidently, or act of God lol, I had literally just seen that now famous ABC 20/20 special on this very subject, as that episode was the first press to warn us about the possibility of 9/11 three years before it happened, specifically warning us about Osama bin Laden after he tried once before, and also warning of about suspecting money-laundering in South Florida in 1998 possibly going to fund terrorism, unbeknownst to American businessmen laundering it for the Saudis and UAE.)

I really had hoped this person would laugh and reassure me that I had an overactive imagination, that I was crazy, and that what that 20/20 episode was warning against in South Florida didn't involve him.  That there was a perfectly logical explanation for all this.

But there wasn't - and they didn't.

Instead, they were dead serious, when their response was: 

"This is simply for these people to avoid taxes.  I'm not the only one, I'm actually small time compared to some in the area, much more rich and powerful men than me, much bigger fish in this pond.  The U.S. Treasury knows all about it, both sides of politics, they've done it for years, so nothing bad will happen.  See the U.S. Treasury stamp on them?   They're allowing it as part of diplomacy for oil rights.  We don't ask where it goes, it's don't ask/don't tell.  We can only hope that scratching their backs will result in less terrorism instead of more."

Because this person was a known name-dropping, pathological liar, I wondered if they were just making it up, to sound important - UNTIL - the threat they made ... 

"But you need to never say that out loud again -  to me, or to anyone else -  because you don't know who you're dealing with.  And not just me, this time, that you need to worry about.  I'm talking about the sort of people that will literally cut your fucking head off, AND your daughter's, if you ever breathe one fucking word of this, to anyone."

"The other option is, of course, I can always just try to have you committed for saying it, telling the psychiatrists that you're paranoid and making it all up.  Better that than your life, right?"

"Or you can just keep your mouth shut and I pay for the rest of your college tuition out of the big payout I'll get from it.  Your call." 

I will never forget my heart dropping into my stomach, the room spinning like I was in a bad dream or on that Gravitron ride at the fair, that spins around so fast, you stick to the wall and the floor drops out?

I had been hoping I just had an overactive imagination or was paranoid/mentally ill - but they actually confirmed it.

Though they were already known as a compulsive liar that name-dropped people they'd never met, I'd actually seen evidence of this one myself.  Plus they were physically abusive (which is what they meant by "it's not just me, this time, you need to worry about."

But they had me there - I was a nobody comparatively, and was already in therapy, they could just say I was a nut, and I had nobody but my daughter.

And as IF this person didn't already blow all their money in the first week, and would never pay for the rest of  my college anyway, but now I didn't want his dirty money anyway.  

I had my suspicions before, but I'd never take a dime from this person, now.   

You may think that's stupid, that I should've taken the money (which would've never happened anyway, they blew money the second they made it) and keep my mouth shut, plus this person  owed me - but if I have nothing else, one thing I DO have is my integrity.

You see, unlike this person - and people like Trump - my soul is NOT for sale :)

But this person didn't realize that, nor that they didn't have me in a corner as they thought, either altogether ;)

Though I said ...

"Oh, okay, well, I guess I choose committing me then, because, as you say, it's better than a beheading - as if THAT isn't complete scare-tactic bullshit - and I'm not taking a dime of your dirty money or lying for you, either.  I AM effed up,  after all this shit this family has put me through, so yeah, let's go with option B - I'll go to a psych evaluation and we'll both find out how how crazy I am" ...

... and agreed to meeting this person at the local mental hospital on Saturday (and they accepted that answer, because they knew I was usually honest to a fault) ...

Honest to a fault except when it comes to my/my daughter's safety - so instead, I piled my daughter and my stuff in my car and skipped town in the middle of the night, with my heart beating faster than a Kentucky thoroughbred until I crossed that state line LOL!

That was the option was never mentioned, and the only one I was actually good with - plus a final "F you" to this person AND their money ;)

But I didn't sleep for a few months after, out of fear -  from both this person and whether they were telling the truth about whomever they were warning me about, if that part was true -but considering I was staying with my grandparents at first, I knew I was fairly safe. 

So I told not a soul until 3 years later, not even my therapist, and  I never had contact with this person, or that side of my family, ever again, other than to answer the phone to take a condolence for my grandmother's cancer. 

After 9/11, I did call the FBI, who actually called me back a couple of times for more info, but told me they could never tell me the result, only that they weren't after anyone else in that side of my family, they'd be safe, just that person.

In fact, they said they weren't even after this person, just their Saudi and UAE contacts - in fact, nothing would happen to them from a legal standpoint, if they simply turned over/provided their contacts info.

(The reason they told me this is that I hesitated telling everything, because I wanted to be sure my motivation was to help the country, rather than punish this person in revenge.)

Regardless, I never heard a peep after that, under than the call in 2007 from that person, with their condolences for my grandmother.

This person also asked me if I needed anything.

Me:   "Yeah - but not a big wad of your dirty money.  I need you and ___ to take responsibility for how much the two of you effed up this family, without blaming each other for it.  If you can do that, call me back.  If not, goodbye.  I'll forgive you in my own time, but for now, I'll just say that I'm sorry I ever knew you." 


Person:  "Well, well, you're not as weak and stupid as I thought, are you?  Good for you, you've finally grown some balls - erm, I mean a backbone - I'm proud of you!"  


Me:  "Actually, I always did, and despite you - it's just whenever I tried to show it, somebody like you, with more power than me, tries to gaslight me, trying to convince me/everyone around me that I'm crazy to discredit me, instead of just taking responsibility for the crazy shit they've actually done affecting me. Oh, btw -  how's your nose?  Never mind, rhetorical :)" 


Then I just hung up, laughing myself silly lol.

I was laughing at the "How's your nose?" part,  because I was referring to the time when I was eight years old and this adult person was "trying to teach me how to box," telling me I was too weak, but was really just bullying me, by hitting me repeatedly.

When they dropped their block to laugh at me, for refusing to hit back -  I socked them right in the nose - and broke it!


They thought it was an accident, that I wasn't smart enough to plan for it -  but that's exactly the moment I was waiting for, and the only chance I had with an adult literally beating me. 

Now, they told everyone it was an old football injury that had resurfaced, instead of admitting the truth - which was that an eight-year-old girl that he was bullying, by pretending to teach her to box, but really just beating on her for being "too weak," broke his nose when he dropped his block ;)

Ya know? 

There are very few times in life, where you ever even get the opportunity to confront the person that wronged you, and find the words to say exactly what you always wanted to to say or do at that time - but that time, perhaps my one and only time, I did it  - successfully :)

And of course they never called back to take that responsibility I asked them for ;) 

The next and last thing I ever heard about this person was that he had died in May of 2019, but there's no obituary and no information on their whereabouts at the time, we only know they're truly dead because a family member confirmed it with the social security office.  

However, as I told this person who discovered it at the social security office - just as I told the FBI in 2001 - this person actually had three social security numbers, which despite being traumatized and shaking like a leaf, I at least had the presence of mind to copy down on the back of an envelope in the process ;)

Regardless, I do believe this person has truly passed, because apparently his wife has moved far away, which she had been terrified to do, when he was alive.  She could never leave or he'd kill her, and we knew that.

Oh, and by the way?

Though he said people on both political sides knew about the money-laundering for the Saudis and UAE, and allowed it for "diplomacy" -
 the family member actually doing it was a staunch Republican, as were his even affiliates, who were much bigger,  in Palm Beach County/South Florida. 

Believe that or not, but it's the 100% God's honest truth.

So when I tell you I know for a fact this went on in South Florida  - I mean it.

Regardless, back to South Florida and the Saudis,  I think it's very odd that Trump's relationship with the Saudis is so close, especially with Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, bailing him out of bankruptcy - twice - and his refusal to investigate them over Khashoggi's killing - don't you?

Also, I find it very odd that ISIS seemed to calm down, during his presidency, without he, or anyone, kicking ISIS ass with any real impact to accomplish it, don't you?  

And that suddenly, they're ramping up again in Afghanistan :/

Hmm.  I'm not saying they're connected, and it could even be coincidence - I'm just saying those aspects, and the timing, are ... odd.

What I'm 100% certain of is that it's wildly inappropriate that Trump just boasted about his "bigger terrorist kills" versus the killing of the "one-hit" wonder that was Osama bin Laden, suggesting that he "wasn't a monster" versus other terrorists

Oh, grow up, ya giant baby - this is NOT a pissing contest between presidents  - but if it was, YOUR one-hit wonder against ONE ISIS  faction, that did NOT "end ISIS," was nothing,  compared to the killing of the man that orchestrated the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil in history that was 9/11,  which killed nearly 4,000 citizens!

You've never actually seen up close any military action a day in your life, you never served - in fact, you hid in your bunker because of unarmed protestors! 

But then I can understand why OBL doesn't seem monstrous to you, because you, yourself, are a monster - you'd probably be besties, if he were still alive.

Regardless, if I was family member of a 9/11 victim, though I don't condone violence, I'd understand if they punched him right in the face, for that comment.

I wish to God someone had the balls to investigate any of this, but no one will out of fears of losing oil rights  - they all just want to look like they're "handling" it/in control of it, when in actuality, it would be more truthful to say the Saudis are in control of them, and just let them look like they're in control, and they know it  ;)