Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Tiredness, Writing, and Two Quick Comments on Recent Events

with 8 comments

I figured I’d give you a quick health update, for those of you keeping score at home. (Someone must, after all.) I’m a lot better than I was three weeks ago. I’m back to editing on a more or less normal schedule, and I can and have resumed most daily activities, with some caution. I can do more than one thing a day now, which is very good; I can also do some more extended/difficult things, like shopping for an hour-plus (always hard for me to do, considering I walk with a cane and have some back issues), without making things any worse.

That said, the Nasty Respiratory Ailment (TM) is not gone by any means. It’s just a lot better, that’s all. Not quite down to a simple respiratory ailment (or even a capitalized Respiratory Ailment, which must be worse, right?), but still enough to get in the way if I don’t keep a running calculation of how much energy I have on any given day — and how much I can, in all actuality, do.

I’ve had some folks in the past ask me why I’m so open about my health. Mostly, I think someone out there may need to know that he or she is not alone; maybe they’re dealing with health issues, too. Or maybe they’re frustrated because they’ve been sick for weeks, and they wonder if there’s any daylight on the other side, because it’s been so long since they felt halfway decent, they can hardly remember when that was.

And I know I would’ve liked to find a blog like this when I felt my worst.

It’s because of the health issues and only because of the health issues that I didn’t blog at the time about two very big stories that upset me greatly. The first was the shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh; the victims were older folks, and all except for one were there to delight in the glory of God. (That last, a doctor, rushed to the scene when he heard gunfire, and was shot dead with the rest.) And the second was the unwarranted and vicious murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia; this last is compounded by the problem that the United States has not taken the lead on this despite Khashoggi being a permanent resident of the U.S. at the time. Instead, Turkey has been the one to find out the most details, and to do the most pressing on the international stage to get justice for an innocent man.

Both are horrible tragedies, and are hard even now for me to write about because I hurt so badly when I think about them. I don’t understand how a bunch of innocent people in a synagogue could be shot to death (and a doctor, rushing to help, too); I don’t understand how a writer who advocated for peace in the Middle East and for greater transparency and for the freedom of the press to do their jobs could be dismembered without the formal representatives of the country he was living in at the time, the United States (read: the State Department, the President of the U.S., the Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee, etc.), being outraged.

I am outraged by both.

So while I’m very slow off the mark to write about either thing, I wanted you all to know that I did see these stories. I was saddened greatly by them. And I hope there will be justice for the victims, because what happened to all of them should not have ever occurred.

It’s hard to heal when you see such devastating things as this. But I will continue to do whatever I can to get healthier, so I can perhaps write blogs in a timely manner when I am upset, outraged, or better yet, really happy over something going on. (Hey, it could happen.)

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Written by Barb Caffrey

November 3, 2018 at 2:38 am

8 Responses

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  1. There appears to be more to that reporter than what the News Media is reporting but I’m not going to argue with you about it.

    As for doing “anything” about Saudi Arabia, do you remember “No Blood For Oil”?

    [Begin Sarcasm] Obviously the Evil Trump/Hitler just wants control of the Saudi Oil Fields. [End Sarcasm]

    Take Care.

    Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    November 3, 2018 at 9:04 am

    • I didn’t say Trump was evil. The person I’m really surprised at, Paul, is Mike Pompeo (the Sec. of State). He’s the one who went and grinned with the Saudis not two days after the poor man died…that really looked bad, and I don’t understand it. In addition, Mr. Khashoggi had American-born children, and a fiancee who was American as well as I understand it. They deserved some consideration from the State Department as well.

      I don’t know what Trump is doing, and I’ve said that before. But I do know that a man who just wanted peace, and a man who wrote for a living, was brutally murdered. That really bothers me. And I hope it bothers at least some in our government as well, because we used to care about such things whether they happened to our citizens or not; it’s why Reagan called us “a shining city on a hill.”

      Barb Caffrey

      November 3, 2018 at 2:42 pm

  2. I decided that I needed to comment more.

    First, there’s plenty of evidence that that reporter wasn’t “Mr. Nice Guy”. He was a member of the radical side of the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Second, the current Saudi Crown Prince is doing a “clean-up of Saudi Arabia” including the home-grown Radical Muslims and this may have been part of the “clean-up”.

    Third, the Saudi’s really f*cked-up here and there’s no doubt about that. The reporter may have deserved death due to his involvement in the Radical Muslims but if there was any thing that the Saudis didn’t do wrong in their actions, I haven’t heard about it.

    Fourth, Saudi Arabia is a big mess (and has been for a long time) and is a disaster waiting to happen.

    Fifth, the loss of Saudi Oil would be an economic disaster world-wide including for nations that are friendly to the US.

    Sixth, the Saudi government (if you call it that) has been painting itself for a long time as a “Friend To The West”. The biggest sore spot in my mind is their support for Radical Muslims inside the US and in Europe. While the current Saudi Crown Prince may only be “cracking down” on Radical Muslims because they threaten the Royal Clan, I still see it as a Good Thing as he may also stop sending Oil Money to the Radical Muslims outside of Saudi Arabia.

    Finally, while I know that you see nothing good in Donald Trump, IMO the Saudi problem is one that is impossible to fix and puts any US government (or Western government) in a fix.

    Any criticism of the Saudi government will be seen as “too little” by critics (Right or Left) but may cause greater problems in Saudi Arabia by weakening the current Saudi government. I don’t think any smart person wants Saudi Arabia to fall to the really nasty Saudi Radical Muslims.

    As far as I’m concerned, none of the customers of Saudi Oil would thank any government that causes major internal problems in Saudi Arabia.

    Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

    November 3, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    • That’s well-reasoned, Paul. I appreciate you laying that out in such a way.

      I’ll have to look into Mr. Khashoggi’s background to refute some of this, if I can, down the line. But I agree with much of the rest of it, insofar as there were no really good options to directly confront the Saudis.

      I do think, as I said in my other answer to you, that it’s the Sec. of State who fell down on the job more than anyone. At least some of the Senators on the Foreign Relations Committee did say, “Hey, we want to know more about this,” and that is their job. I was frustrated that some of ’em didn’t, so that’s why I included them in my post…but at least a few did, including Marco Rubio of Florida. He was well-spoken, too, and I was glad to see that.

      I don’t think Republicans are evil. I do think that in this case, we did not do enough to try to find out what happened.

      What did you think of what I said about the synagogue shooting? Because that was just wrong, wasn’t it?

      I don’t blame anyone but the shooter for that. And I don’t understand why anyone would think shooting a bunch of people worshiping their God is a good plan…truly.

      Barb Caffrey

      November 3, 2018 at 2:47 pm

      • You said nothing about the shooting that I can disagree about.

        I am pissed off about others (not you) who have been using the shooting to attack Trump and Republicans but that’s not on you.

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        November 3, 2018 at 2:52 pm

      • Thanks, Paul.

        Yeah. The shooting in Pittsburgh was so depressing, wasn’t it? I just don’t understand things like that.

        Barb Caffrey

        November 3, 2018 at 9:11 pm

      • As for the Sec of State, there can be good reasons for him to not say anything in public.

        For one thing, it may not be a good idea to publicly “rub the Saudis’ nose in it”.

        “Saving Face” is more important for Arabs than it is for Americans and Europeans.

        In the Arab Culture, public insults can be worse than being killed. A public “slap down” of the Saudi could make matters worse internally in Saudi Arabia. The insulted person “has to take actions” against the person who insulted him and any criticism may be considered an insult. What could an important Saudi do against the US if the US (in the person of the Sec of State) publicly insulted him?

        As I said before, there isn’t a “perfect” solution. Anything the US could do/say might make matter worse.

        Of course, we don’t know what’s happening behind the scene diplomatically. Which can be a good thing.

        Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

        November 3, 2018 at 3:05 pm

      • I agree about the saving face being important in Arabic culture, Paul. That’s a good point.

        I think being solemn and forthright, but not accusatory, was the right way to go there. Pompeo certainly did not do that publicly, and that is very frustrating to me. There is a way to do that without automatically being insulting. Other past Secretaries of State, both D and R, have managed it. But Pompeo, who is a lifelong political operative, doesn’t seem to know how to do it.

        It is vexing.

        Barb Caffrey

        November 3, 2018 at 9:12 pm


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