Story of an Unsuccessful Kidnapping

My client, Tamid, had a joint venture with the notorious ⁜ of Indonesia. His partner was Prince Quetzalcoatl, the son of King Khomeini of Bessarabia. Tamid had a diplomatic passport and performed various high-level missions for the King. Then, King Khomeini died, Prince Quetzalcoatl took over and Tamid was on the outs. The ⁜ venture, which was at least unofficially backed by the King, went to shit. As far as the Bessarabians are concerned, Tamid didn’t steal any money—but the US thinks he did.

A few years ago, Tamid attended the G20 meeting in Shanghai. Prince Charles told the Chinese that Tamid was a “terrorist financier” and should be arrested pending extradition to the Kingdom. The Chinese arrested him, held him for a while, became convinced that Tamid was no financier of terrorism and so let him go. The experience was unsettling— pulled off the street, a black hood put over his head, an extra-judicial Chinese detention. That sort of intervention could shake anyone.

As a result, Tamid has full-time, armed security at his home in Paris. The 5th, of course, a neighborhood known for ghosts. An ex-(French?) commando, with an M-16 always in arms’ reach.

Let’s throw a few more details into the pot. While Tamid was not an intelligence officer when he was working for the Bessarabians, let’s just say there’s a lot of blurring at that level. So throw in a Bessarabian intelligence network operating in Türkiye and maybe Iran as well. And Lebanon. Tamid is in the middle of this.

Tamid’s company performed an offshore drilling contract for Bolivia in Bolivian waters, the hojas de coca project. For some reason, Bolivia declined to pay. The company demanded an arbitration and though it took several years, won the arbitration. Bolivia was forced to pay $32,900. Because of interest, the sum has grown to $34,000. Bolivia wants it back.

Back to Paris.

Tamid’s bodyguard asks for the weekend off. Tamid agrees. While his bodyguard is away, Tamid goes to a bar in Geneva. There he meets a Venezuelan woman. They chat. Tamid is drinking. She is too. One thing leads to another.

Next, Tamid is in an apartment. His mind is fogged. Scopolamine? He “frees himself, and escapes.” Unfortunately, I don’t have more precise details. There were men around. In his befogged state, Tamid couldn’t identify what language they were speaking. Tamid speaks fluent English, French and Arabic. He does not speak Spanish or Farsi. He leaves the apartment. Outside on the street, his phone rings. It’s the Venezuelan woman, begging him to come back. He hangs up. She calls back. Threatens him that they will try again. Tamid goes home.

Extrajudicial murder is a popular way of settling differences these days. The practice has a long history. In the 70s, Pinochet and Letelier. Then Somoza in Paraguay. The Bulgarian dissident Georgi Markov assassinated with an umbrella weapon in the heart of London in 1978. More recently, Putin killing Litvinenko in the UK by poisoning his soup with radioactive Polonium. Putin’s next effort on UK soil failed. Ramzan Kadryov, the leader of Chechnya, is believed responsible for recent political murders in Austria, Germany and France. And of course, there’s Khashoggi.

So, what happened? Was it the Syrians? The Saudis? The Iranians? Sikh separatists? Paris is the seat of the International Commercial Court, so anyone can go there, anyone has an excuse for being there. Or was it merely a non-political criminal gang?

I believe it was the latter: a South American gang–a gang as small as two or three women and their pimp. Prudent kidnappers follow a set of rules. What are the rules for a successful kidnapping?

The first rule is to take away the victim’s phone. That prevents calls for help. Tamid has more than one phone, but would he carry more than one phone while visiting a bar?

The second rule is to secure the target. This was done poorly, so I have to assume amateurs were tying the knots. Zip ties are easily managed; supplies of duct tape can be purchased locally without raising suspicion. If Seal Team Six was constraining a target, that target would not be able to wriggle free absent extraordinary circumstances, none of which apply here.

The third rule is to monitor the target. Tamid couldn’t have freed himself from his bonds if he was monitored.

Finally, once the target has escaped, you don’t call him on the phone, begging him to come back. How do you know he won’t come back with the police and a SWAT team?

The threat to try again is a problem. Or is it? Won’t Tamid now be on his guard when meeting strange women in bars? The plan might have worked once, but it won’t work again.

I don’t doubt that Tamid is a target. After all, he’s linked to both ⁜ and ⁜. The Bolivians have a motive.  That gives all of them a reason to use extreme methods of persuasion.

Who else? Anyone else who unsuccessfully invested in his company—but are there any real victims? The Bessarabians might be afraid of the tea Tamid might spill, but would they mount an operation using Venezuelan women? Unlikely. Our guys? That is, the USG? No—he’s happy to walk in the front door. So I don’t think it’s any of these.

Venezuela has been at the forefront of new kidnapping techniques: one of these is the rapi-secuestro: you pull someone off the street, find out who he is, and then demand a few thousand from the family. There are many targets.

My guess was that this operation was not an operation at all but a crime of opportunity where the woman in the bar planned on just lifting his wallet, so there was no need for elaborate securing of the victim or following the other rules of kidnapping. She figured she could milk him for more money and that’s why she asked him to come back.

She could pass off the scopolamine as, “you had too much to drink.” I don’t think there was even a locked door—a befogged Tamid was in no shape to pick a lock. Assuming he was locked in a bedroom, knocked on the door and someone opened it, the excuse for the locked door could be she was worried he might fall and hurt himself. “Come back and I’ll take care of you, I’ll get you home tomorrow.” Any men around are the boyfriends of her roommates or her pimp, not Bessarabian or Singaporean operatives.

And of  course, there’s the possibility that much of this story is simply invented to avoid embarrassment. “Yeah, honey, the reason I didn’t come home last night is because I was kidnapped by Venezuelans.” Sure.

Certain details were obfuscated in this retelling; the names of the countries involved were changed or made up, Tamid does not exist. 

I am not here. I did not say these things.

Run Like a Demon

Q. We need our special teams receiver to run like the wind after catching 4th down punts. Can we invoke the aid of Pazuzzu, the Sumerian Lord of the East Wind Demons?

A. While not specifically a deity, Pazuzzu is otherworldly enough to qualify under the Court’s rule in Bremerton. His aid may be invoked on 4th down, kick-offs or wherever else appropriate. Caution should be exercised however, since many believe that Sumerian demons tend to linger in the area after the expiration of regulation time.

Thoughts On The Grift

Given the interest in the subject, it is strange that there is not a more fully-developed literature of the con, the uniquely American–or is it?–storytelling with a purpose, that is, to divest the unwary of their cash.

There is, of course, Jim Thompson’s The Grifters and the Paul Newman/Robert Redford film, The Sting. Wasn’t the fence painting in Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer a tale of grift? But given the prevalence of the subject in real life, one would think that stories about grifting, whether high or low, would be afforded their own literary genre.

There is a rich vein of such stories to be mined–they are never-ending. In modern times, one might be tempted to begin with Charles Ponzi, but there is so much more. There’s Zzzz Best Carpet Cleaning, the salad oil scandal. Anna Delvey a/k/a Anna Sorokin (Netflix’s Inventing Anna). There’s even a Vietnamese Anna, Tina Duong, who hired extras to portray wealthy relatives she did not have and an aging soap opera actor to give her away at a trigamous wedding to a young man who had failed to do due diligence.

There’s Samuel Bankman-Fried and Bernie Madoff; Jho Low and Elizabeth Holmes. Let’s not forget Ft. Lauderdale lawyer, political donor and University of Miami booster Scott Rothstein. His scam was discounting non-existent settlements to investors, promising a high rate of return. Until the scam was uncovered, he was regularly consulted by those who make our laws and granted sideline access to football games, perhaps an even greater honor in Florida. He flew to Morocco on a private jet after tasking the firm’s associates to come up with a list of countries that had no extradition treaty with the United States. Instead of flying to Israel, where he might have been safe, he returned to Florida and a long prison sentence.

Remembering other South Florida lawyers caught up in such matters, the bankruptcy of ESM Government securities caused a run on Ohio banks and led to the suicide of Stephen Arky, who claimed innocence. At least suicide removed the possibility of his indictment.

The point of all of this is that I am extremely cautious when it comes to deals which promise much but which are not conventional. There’s always an explanation. I am particularly sensitive to the possibility of the grift. I am not special when it comes to the con; people have tried to con me in the past. There have been times when I cursed my naïveté for almost falling for a scam.

One of the characteristics of a scam is that the terms of the deal are always changing. Experts and consultants are never fully paid. The bare minimum is rationed to keep them from resigning–and they are usually never the first firm brought on board.

To represent my clients effectively, I have to believe them. Once I know they are lying, I am no longer capable of convincing others that their story is true. Paradoxically, this means that to be effective I seek to have as little contact with my clients as possible. For me, “spin” does not make a story better or more palatable. When my client spun a detail, I always assumed it was to cover a lie.

For a while I had an office in an outbuilding at 1870 S. Bayshore Drive, a converted mansion in Miami. There was a staircase leading to the second floor; my office was on the first. The groundskeeper brought his teenage boys to help him and they would often relax, sitting on the stairs. One day I saw several spark plugs there and wondered what the boys were doing with them. I later found out that spark plugs are used by thugs to break windows of cars. If the thugs are stopped by the police, a spark plug is a dual use, and so an innocent item, that by itself is not probable cause for arrest. I felt the fool and never looked on his children in the same way again.

On another occasion I flew to Atlanta for a parole hearing. My client had promised to pay me, after he was released on parole. Surely he would be back on the street and be able to get funds owed to him so as to pay me. His parole was denied and I wasn’t paid. In another case, my client had shot a man after a drug delivery was botched. By the beginning of that death-penalty eligible first-degree murder case I still hadn’t been paid. “Did you bring the check?” I asked the family. There was no answer. I tried that case just to stay in shape, but it was my choice.

So I am particularly sensitive to clients that have not paid. I don’t even like wasting time talking about clients who will pay, who are going to pay, how payment is just a moment away especially when these discussions take place months after payment was due.

They talk about how Steve Jobs had a “reality distortion field,” but Jobs had–though he put it to legitimate use–what all grifters share: a storytelling expertise that would put Hemingway to shame, the ability to describe dreams with such detail that they seem real, so real that they become real until that inevitable moment when harsh reality shows the dream to be but an illusion.

Really, what is more American than the grift? George Santos “embellished” his resumé, not worrying about the fact that identity politics trumps even outright lies. Santos claims to be Jewish, biracial, and finding one box unchecked, gay. He is Latino enough and there are Holocaust survivors, albeit imaginary ones, in his family tree. A claimed 9/11 death in the family makes up for a lack of military service, and when the New York Times finally looked into his background and uncovered his failure to graduate from college only means the fact that he is a high-school dropout was lost in the noise. Shilling for sympathy, Santos had his mother die twice. He started a charity for animals and pocketed the cash, knowing that dogs and cats can’t file fraud complaints. He is an accomplished shameless liar, as any good grifter must be. None of this prevented his election to the 117th Congress. If anything, he is the perfect candidate.

On the Representation of Criminal Defendants


I remember when I saw WWH’s “lending bank” at a strip mall in Provo or some godforsaken place. I remember a transnational petroleum purchase deal that at the last minute saw the inclusion of two unknown names—a clear badge of fraud. A former billionaire who acts as if he still had money—the reality distortion field is very strong. There’s no reason not to believe him—until you realize that there was never any reason to believe him in the first place. All of these are examples of when reality comes crashing down. The solution is to require a paid retainer. For competitive reasons though, FOMO (fear of missing out) reigns and this principle, which should be tattooed on the forehead of every attorney, is forgotten.

I don’t recall any of my medical providers cutting me any slack. Quite the contrary: they demanded a credit card despite my age and my protests that I am covered by Medicare. Don’t have a Medicare number? Fuck you—pay me. When the $300,000 credit card deal collapsed, that should have been our response: fuck you—pay me. Instead we wasted hours squabbling with a guy who honestly believes that he was privileged to put his mitt into the piggy bank and pull out millions in cash. Millions that are wholly unaccounted for. When the FBI and the IRS claim that something happened, I tend to believe them. And lest you think that didn’t happen, let me point out that the USG wins something like 99% of its criminal cases. I had two federal acquittals and one hung jury in my career. Just two. They were outliers. Most defense lawyers never see even one.

Can Happen Here

The best way to deal with Trump is to ignore him. But we can’t–the media won’t let us.George W. Bush on his ranch? When was the last time you heard anything about him?Yesterday I saw four military helicopters flying in formation in the general direction of the jail.They closed I-85/75 and all the roads that crossed over it so snipers couldn’t have a shot. There are dozens of such roads. The roads leading to I85/75 were shut down as well. I-2o, I-285, etc. 

Basically Atlanta shut down.

A twenty-motorcyle police escort led the flotilla of SUV’s and an ambulance to the jail.And yet, we’re told that Trump is treated like any other defendant.

Sure.If Biden were smart, he’d issue a general amnesty for January 6th: the generosity of a winner. He could say the people were misguided but we need to come together. The advantage is that this takes Trump off the 24/7 news cycle. Biden might well beat the B-list of candidates that showed up at the first Republican debate. Not a single one was even remotely presidential. Maybe Christie, but he has no chance.

What’s going on in the world? I honestly don’t know: the only news last night was waiting breathlessly to see Trump’s mug shot. So what if Putin just executed a political rival, extrajudicial killings are commonplace, no big deal.

If you’re not protesting about Prighozin, you don’t get to complain about Khashoggi.

Was Ford right? Gerald Ford pardoned Nixon because a criminal prosecution of Nixon “would tear the country apart.”

Now we’ve got four prosecutions.

New Yorkers get it: Trump was always like this. No way an examination of his books and records would show spotless behavior. After all, this is a guy who couldn’t successfully run a casino.

If Trump is re-elected, expect martial law. And on that note, Trump’s mistake was not ordering the military to seize ballot boxes while he still had a chance.

As the helicopters flew overhead, I thought, “it only takes one general to command a stop to all this “to restore order.“That’s how it happens in the rest of the world.

Can happen here.

Double Standard

If you’re not protesting about Prighozin, you don’t get to complain about Khashoggi.

Double Standard

MbS is ostracized for Khashoggi while everyone stands around looking at their toes in the wake of Putin’s extrajudicial execution of Prighozin.

You read it here first.


My Mother the Juror

My mother served on a petit jury when she was 75 and had the time of her life. It was an excuse to dress up for court; the jurors exchanged pictures of their children or grandchildren and brought in food to share on Fridays. They stayed in touch for years afterwards.

One day, she sent a letter to the judge asking for a day off so she could see her oncologist. She included a package of candy in the envelope with the note, “I hear you like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.” The judge put the request on the record, granted her request and said, “unless anyone has an objection, I’m keeping the candy.”

In opening statements, the prosecutor painted a lurid picture of stolen money, boob jobs and strippers. Unfortunately, the first witness was a records custodian from BellSouth. My mother said that all men on the jury jockeyed for position since they thought the witness was one of the strippers. Poor girl.

At the conclusion of the trial, the judge read out the standard admonition to the parties telling them not to approach or bother jurors. He told the jurors they were under no obligation to speak to the parties about the case. There was a codefendant in the case; he was found not guilty. My mother went out into the hallway, cornered him, and shaking her finger at the “not guilty” man told him, “Buddy, you got a break. Don’t do it again.”

The trial took place in the West Palm Beach Division of the U.S. District Court, the same division—and perhaps the same courthouse at 301 Clematis Street—where Donald Trump is to be tried this fall.

Expect anything.

App Test

Let’s see if it works.

Initial Thoughts about Trump Indictment

It’s hard not to be dramatic in response to this. First, the indictment proves my point that classified information is radioactive. Lawyers should not accept a clearance in a criminal trial.

A Roosevelt moment. Republicans pushed the 22nd Amendment to avoid another Roosevelt. The Amendment ended up prohibiting another Reagan term. The risk to a sitting president is trumped-up criminal liability might be created after he leaves office. The safest move is to stay in office. Declare martial law? Inconceivable. But on Wednesday, indicting a former president was pretty much inconceivable.

Equal protection: Pence, Biden, Clinton and Obama all had classified info and were not indicted.

Politics: 70% of Americans believe this indictment is political as do I.

Does anyone honestly believe that Trump was acting as an espionage agent of a foreign government? I do not.

The case will be decided based on jury instructions, and I don’t think there are pattern instructions for this crime.

Whatever your views on Trump, this indictment is a huge mistake. The case will tear the country apart.

I don’t know why Trump kept the documents. Research for his memoirs? Probably it has something to do with his belief that he was rightfully elected. Does that turn the trial into a trial on the 2020 election?

With You and I

Mind your Pronouns

Hoss Missed Few Meals

I heard a native speaker say, “They can come with you and I.”

This is incorrect. Here, the word “I,” a subject pronoun, is used instead of the correct “me.”

Would you say, “They can come with I?”

Of course not. You’d say, “They can come with me.

I ascribe this error to an episode of the television show Bonanza where a one-room frontier schoolhouse teacher forced her barely literate charges to always use the pronoun “I.”

Me can’t think of any other explanation.

Patti Smith

Patti is a poet; friend of Robert Mapplethorpe (she wrote about him in Just Kids.) She was part of the 70’s New York Lower East Side Renaissance, born too late for the Beats she nevertheless followed the spirit of Rimbaud and made friends with William Burroughs, he of Junky, Naked Lunch, and his wife’s murderer. She was an accomplished poet, seeing her work published in the zines of the day.

Patti’s breakthrough was to set her poetry to music; the poem Oath with a back-up band led to her first album, Horses. A collaboration with Bruce Springsteen and a #1 hit record followed.

Then she retreated to the Midwest and married life, only to emerge twenty years later as if nothing had happened. Before you adjudge Patti of “aberrant behavior,” keep in mind that the rules she follows are those of the French poetes maudites: Baudelaire, Verlaine, Rimbaud; those who sought insight through a derangement of the senses. Only by that standard can she be judged. Political activist she was not; something tells me that she would not suffer Republican book clubs in the Detroit suburbs at all. Patti a sell-out?

Pas possible.

Before the Pandemic

I had just returned to Saudi Arabia. This is the view from my office on the Dammam Highway.

Roast Beef v. Thailand

“Why do you like Thailand so much?” they asked.

Lunch in Chicago: six chicken wings, french fries and a roast beef sandwich.


’Nuff said.

Roast Beef v. Thailand

“Why do you like Thailand so much?” they asked.

Six chicken wings, french fries and a roast beef sandwich.


’Nuff said.

Six Hour Delay: BA Held My Passport Hostage in Dubai

My friend left his passport in the aircraft seatback at 0800 March 30 2023. Flt. 105 LHR-DXB. An unfortunate act, to be sure, for which he takes full responsibility. But BA made things worse: he realized that he didn’t have his passport while on the Arrivals train at DXB. Once on the train, it is impossible to return to the gate without setting off alarms. There were no BA personnel available upon exiting the Arrivals train. At DXB immigration, likewise there was no BA staff available. We advised DNATA staff who called BA.

(Even though we could not leave immigration for lack of a passport, I later learned that there are no BA employees tasked with dealing with customer service baggage issues in the baggage claim area of DXB. You outsource this function and these third-party employees are not authorized to leave the area to go to BA gates.)

BA initiated a search for the passport, which was found at 0900. BA did not, however, arrange to bring the passport to the Immigration hall. Keep in mind that returning to the gate was not possible.

1000 and no response from BA, besides, “We’re busy.”

1100 and no response from BA, besides, “We’ll get to it.”

In the meantime, we were treated to exclusive seats on the bench reserved for criminals and other potential deportees, subjecting us to humiliation.

1200 and no response from BA, besides “We’re busy.”

1300 and no response from BA, besides, “We’re busy now.”

1400 Passport finally delivered.

I’d like to know why you think this is acceptable behavior.

I’d like to know why BA staff felt that it was appropriate to make us wait for six hours. I’d like to know why BA has no staff available airside or landside at DXB. BA closed its office at DXB during the pandemic. DNATA staff advised that in case of an emergency, they have no way of reaching BA.

I’d like to know how you can possibly believe this behaviour is consistent with your airline’s purported high standards.

I am truly shocked by this, and I doubt it is the first time something like this has happened.

Case No. 24675455

The Mandalay Bay Massacre and Saudi Arabia

Some have suggested that the death of 58 concert-goers in the Mandalay Bay massacre in Las Vegas in October, 2017 was an attempted assassination targeting Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman. The holes in the official story of the massacre are many and the Saudi angle has not been fully explored.

The secret history begins with a coup: on July 17, 2017, Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, the Deputy Crown Prince, replaced the Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Nayef, the head of Saudi intelligence, in what is widely regarded as a coup. Alarmed at Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s rapid rise and leapfrogging over older family members in line to the throne, the conspirators decided to remove him from the line of succession. They were aided by friendly elements of the US intelligence services, who may or may not have known their ultimate intentions.

The top floors of the Mandalay Bay aren’t part of the hotel at all; they belong to the Four Seasons hotel, a hotel owned by Prince Walid bin Talal, a prominent Saudi investor and one of the Kingdom’s richest men. Prince Walid had a fleet of airplanes that included a 747 and for a while, even a double decker Airbus A-380, the world’s largest passenger plane. From an Islamic point of view, the Four Seasons is almost chaste: the Four Seasons hotel is unique among hotels on the Las Vegas Strip in that no gambling is offered. Thus, a Saudi staying at the hotel is insulated from charges of un-Islamic behavior. It is a perfect place to lodge for the future Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, the official title of the king of Saudi Arabia.

Stephen Paddock, the man blamed for the attack, was to supply CIA-provided weapons, purchased legally from gun stores, to the assassination team. The guns are stashed in his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay. The hotel has always given conflicting information about how Paddock bypassed all the security the hotel had in place. No casino on the Vegas Strip has lax security. But with US intelligence as part of Paddock’s team, badges could be shown to bypass that security and carry bags without inspection to anywhere in the hotel.

The conspirators would pick up the guns on the 32nd floor and then head up the stairs to the Four Seasons where they would attack MbS. After he and his bodyguards were killed, they would return to the 32nd floor and escape in the confusion, perhaps with the credentials they had used to plant the guns prior to the commencement of the operation.

Two events happen to thwart the plot. MbS was not sitting with his entourage smoking sheesha in his suite at the 4 Seasons, instead he had put on Western clothes and melted into the Vegas crowds without his phalanx of bodyguards, walking to the Tropicana Casino, where he was enjoying himself playing cards, oblivious to the events that would soon unfold.

MbS bodyguards have in the meantime been alerted to the plot. They go to the Tropicana and pick up the prince, taking him to the McCarran Airport. There is a firefight at the airport. It is not clear whether this is shooting from the Mandalay Bay by frustrated coup plotters or a contingent that had somehow gotten wind of MbS’ flight to the airport from the Tropicana.

The FBI is busy arresting the coup plotters’ forces, which have now spread to other venues. There are sporadic shoot-outs. Two assassins are with Paddock in his room. They kill Paddock and do all the shooting of the concert-goers themselves in the hopes of creating a diversion that will permit them to escape.

They realize that the coup has failed and both commit suicide.

The CIA tells the FBI that the evidence of the coup attempt must be covered up. The FBI takes control of the crime scene and removes the bodies. Paddock is blamed for the massacre. The fact that the US government provided Paddock with the guns used for the massacre is buried along with the victims. The official story is that Paddock is a madman. The investigation turns up no motive for the attack.

How Paddock earned the vast sums needed to achieve “Whale” status is never quite clear. The story is that he regularly bet heavily, won at video poker, and that is why he was afforded privileges by the hotel. But no one wins regularly in Vegas, especially at any type of electronic slot machine. No one.

MbS returned to Saudi Arabia. A few weeks later, on November 4, Prince Walid was arrested, incarcerated at the Ritz-Carlton and the vast bulk of his fortune was eventually forfeited to the Saudi state. Prince Mansour, son of the former crown prince, fleeing arrest, was killed in a helicopter crash the next day.

Saad Al-Jabri was a top deputy to the former Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Nayef. He left Saudi Arabia in May, 2017. After the June 20 coup that ousted bin Nayef, Al-Jabri asked for and was granted political asylum in Canada.

On April 21, 2018, reports of another violent coup attempt were denied by Riyadh. According to the reports, MbS had been shot and wounded. Al-Jabri now claims that MbS sent an assassination squad to kill him five months later, in October, 2018.

There is little doubt that there has been one coup and countercoup attempt after another over the past three years. The Saudi government on March 6, 2020 arrested Prince Mohammed bin Nayef and accused him of planning a coup. If Al-Jabri can confirm that the Mandalay Bay massacre was linked to an attempted coup, he is indeed living on borrowed time. That is a story that must not get out.

The recent history of Saudi Arabia shows that the government and the coup plotters routinely ignore international borders when planning or carrying out operations. Coup attempts explain so much; the Ritz-Carlton arrests, the assassination of Khashoggi—what if he knew of the coup?—and MbS’ hard stance towards domestic critics. In an article published in The New Yorker on November 6th, 2017, Khashoggi was called an advisor to Saudi diplomats, strongly suggesting that he was a dissident. Did Khashoggi learn of the coup against MbS? If Khashoggi did and failed to warn him, this could be the real reason for his elimination. If MbS came to believe that Khashoggi was not just a journalist but one of the coup planners, killing Khashoggi is completely understandable.

Much of what has happened is in the public record; what is not proven is whether or not the Mandalay Bay massacre was part of a botched attempt to assassinate Mohammed bin Salman. Parts of this story can easily be corroborated; for other parts there is no evidence, or that evidence has been suppressed. Keep in mind that the official story requires belief that the de-facto ruler of Saudi Arabia just coincidentally happened to be a few floors above a madman who single-handedly plotted and executed the largest mass murder in American history.

Or maybe it all just happened the way they said it did.

Underground Bahrain

Is there a Bahrain underground? This book answers that question and tells the story of its denizens.

Underground Bahrain

This book claims that there is an underground in Bahrain and tells the story of its denizens.

Interesting Book

This book claims that there is an underground in Bahrain and tells the story of its denizens.

Instead He Wrote Howl

Follow the Science

The LGBTQ Community Causes Earthquakes, Concludes Rabbi

Bremerton FAQ

The U.S. Supreme Court has approved private, voluntary prayer at high school football games. The opinion raises many questions concerning the Establishment clause and the separation of Church and State. I have put together a helpful FAQ to aid bewildered school administrators.

Q. Has the Supreme Court put prayer back in the schools?

A. Not really. At this stage, there must be a football-related reason to justify invoking a deity’s aid.

Q. If one coach prays in an effort to obtain the favor of a particular deity, what should the other team do to avoid a competitive disadvantage?

A. A school-approved “chaplains’ panel” should level the playing field. Holy men of all faiths may apply.

Q. May a santero football coach sacrifice a goat on the 50-yard line during football games?

A. Of course! As long as a time-out is called and the sacrifice is performed quickly, such as at the end of a quarter or during half-time.

Q. Is voodoo a permitted football religious practice?

A. It certainly is! The practice is often seen at schools found in Haitian neighborhoods in Miami.

It is well known that invoking Papa Legba can often steer an errant kick into a three-pointer.

Q. Are underaged players permitted to smoke cigars and spew rum during conference games?

Of course! Note that since the rum is not consumed but instead sprayed in the direction of the orisha that underage drinking rules are not implicated. However, these sacraments should be used only under the guidance of the school Babalawo.

Q. Is it OK to speak in tongues in a huddle?

A. The term “huddle” is now deprecated. The new term is “game time prayer circle.”

And yes, what would otherwise be private prayer that becomes loud and public because of divine intervention may not be restricted.

Q. It’s 4th and inches. Is it constitutionally permitted to call a time-out for private prayer?

A. Whether it’s 4th and inches or 1st and 10, tell Coach that there’s no time like the present for private worship.

Q. My school has lost its last three games. Can we use black magic to beat our next opponent?

Of course. Drawing a pentacle on the field is one way to insure missed tackles and regular turnovers.

Q. Is permitted school football prayer restricted to “mainstream” religions?

Glad you asked. No, it’s not. As long as you have an identifiable deity, there is no restriction on private worship.

Q. Are Scientology tents permitted at high school football games?

A. Of course!

Scientology counselors packing e-Meters will offer free counseling, pre-clear services and sign-up sheets.

Q. We have an atheist in our game time prayer circle. What can we do?

A. Under Bremerton, football field prayer must be voluntary. However, Coach can bench whomever he wants for lack of good character.

The Supreme Court may rule on religious issues, but will not overrule the personnel decisions of a head coach, especially at game time.

Q. Should Zoroastrian players be permitted to light small fires on the field in honor of their god?

A. Yes. Zoroastrian fire marshals can insure that small fires lit by worshipful players pose no threat to the groundskeepers

Q. Coach requires two hours of classroom per week where he writes X’s and O’s on the board so the team can learn new plays.

My question is: can we have voluntary prayer in the classroom?

A. Yes. Because football is the reason for the class, prayer at these sessions is permitted.

Q. Can someone explain the Bremerton decision to me?

A. Because celebrity athletes are particularly well-suited to answer church/state questions based on their athletic prowess, we have decided to pose this question to Phil Mickelson at the earliest opportunity.

Q. We scored a field goal with 12 seconds left on the clock. What is an appropriate way to give thanks?

A. This depends on your religious tradition. Consult with your football team’s chaplain for best practices.

Q. Our school board refuses to fund the football team chaplain. The team has a special need, as they have had three losing seasons. What can we do?

A. Some school boards recommend setting up inter-faith religious commissions to vet candidates for the football chaplaincy.

Q. Coach and I share the same Christian faith. The team’s defensive coordinator is, however, of the Jewish faith. What should I do?

A. Help the defensive coordinator to form a minyan when requested. All faiths are respected on the field under Bremerton.

Q. We have an atheist in our game time prayer circle. What can we do?

A. Under Bremerton, football field prayer must be voluntary. However, Coach can bench whomever he wants for lack of good character.

Q. It’s 3rd and long and a rattlesnake brought for half-time snake-handling prayer has escaped onto the field. Can Coach use one of his time-outs?

A. Time spent collecting the reptile will not be charged to either team as the free exercise of religion at school-sponsored events must be respected.

Q. What is private prayer?

Private prayer is the subvocal, unobtrusive invocation of an identified deity, performed after alerting the media as to time and place of the subvocalization and voluntary prayer circle.

Q. After our last scoring drive, Coach went for two instead of the easy point. The conversion attempt failed. I feel like God has abandoned me.

A. Football field faith crises are normal after a missed conversion. Talk to your school’s religious counselor for guidance.

Q. If the 1st Amendment permits prayer in schools, doesn’t the 2nd Amendment permit guns in schools? When can our defensive tackles take their .357 magnums to practice?

A. First, let us compliment your defensive line on a wise choice of personal firearm. Automatic pistols may carry more rounds, but they are harder to clean and clear. A revolver is a safer gun because it is easier to insure that no round is chambered.

As to your question, Justice Roberts, who leaked the Dobbs opinion, intimated that we will see developments in this area soon.

Soul-Eating Monster

Q. “We are playing the conference champions next week and our team has had a dismal record. What can we do, that is, in a spiritual sense, to insure victory?”

A. Put photographs of a soul-eating Naga everywhere in the champions’ dressing room, and build a life-size model to be placed on a trailer so that it can dragged onto the field during time-outs for private game time prayer. With souls at risk, victory for your team should be assured.

Football Prayer Rug

American Muslims: now that the US Supreme Court in Bremerton has approved midfield prayer during football games, it’s time to get an appropriate prayer rug for the next game.

Respectfully submitted,

Michael O’Kane