Thoughts on Khashoggi

What’s the life of one man or one journalist worth, anyway?

1. Even if, cynically, you don’t want the occasional murders to get in the way of a big sale, why would Trump even raise the possibility publically?

2. Mike Pompeo.

There was nothing Mike Pompeo did that couldn’t have been done over the phone, behind closed doors (I think what Pompeo did should always be done behind closed doors). Instead, the world was “treated” to a kissy-kissy submission to MBS, a symbolic grovel, a clear message that Trump’s USA is okay with murdering journalists if they criticize you so long as they are personal business partners and have your son in law in their pocket.


Finally getting to the question I started with:

I was asked by my elementary school principal how much a human life was worth. I don’t know what I said, but I think it was the biggest dollar number I could think of. He said, “Wrong. There is no amount of money that is worth a human beings life.” I remember thinking….wow…!

But clearly it isn’t true. The price varies depending on the perspective of the ones who benefit. Would you commit…or condone a murder for $100? $1,000? $25,000? $50,000?

What about $500,000?

Still here? Good. What about $5,000,000?

Want my answer? Well, I wouldn’t assault anybody, let alone kill them, for any amount of money. Condone a murder? Hmmmm. I’m not a wealthy man, I’d have to consider it, rationalize it. All I can say is that if I wouldn’t do it for a million bucks, no larger amount would make any difference to me (need an emoji here that says I’m half kidding while studying your reaction).

Anyway, Trump sent an indication of some sort out last night, approving of Greg Gianforte’s assault on a reporter last year.


Semi-wild speculation now…I think the message of “The Press is the Enemy of the People” is clearly being amplified here. Erdogan / Turkey’s role was to reveal the gruesome details. The MBS / Trump role is to make sure journalists understand that the USA does not have their back. When a journalist is assaulted, Trump approves. When a journalist is murdered, he and other authoritarians shed crocodile tears and say, “Hmm, gee, that’s too bad.”

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It’s always tricky to gage intent with Trump. Effect and intent aren’t always in lockstep; in Trump’s case, they are often not in the same room. He just blunders and blusters along, mostly being his selfish, me-me-me self, and the rest of us have to figure out how much of it is intentional, and how much of it is inadvertent. In this case, I think it’s more instinctual than deliberate. Trump distrusts anyone who doesn’t lick his boots, so he distrusts everyone in this scenario. He reacted the way you would expect him to react, not so much defending the… Read more »


I don’t see shock the way you see it, but that’s mostly because I come at it from a different angle. There is a “meaning of life” piece on here somewhere that I wrote as a response to someone who said the meaning of life was impossible to determine. The upshot is that the meaning of life is everywhere, but we tend to expect to hear angels sing and have it given to us in a neat package. We don’t see it lying around, because we are looking for the package, not the ingredients. Shock, to me, has a similar… Read more »