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Interesting –


That’s what I thought – the Tea Party had been hijacked by the conservatives and big business bunch. It has looked that way for awhile.

And, watching the coverage about hurricane Katrina – reminded me of a question I’ve always had about it which was, why did they wait so long to call for evacuations in New Orleans especially?

Watching the five-year anniversary coverage – I think maybe the answer is that the businesses involved with tourists didn’t want to stop the party where they were receiving the benefits of people continuing to spend money. Yep, probably.


I did walk to the store, and did some more vacuuming. Turned out my computer to find the proposal info sent to Staples, which I finally found and started work on some articles.


The Koch brothers must be laughing all the way to the bank knowing that working Americans are aiding and abetting their selfish interests. And surely Murdoch is snickering at those protesting the “ground zero mosque.” Last week on “Fox and Friends,” the Bush administration flacks Dan Senor and Dana Perino attacked a supposedly terrorism-tainted Saudi prince whose foundation might contribute to the Islamic center. But as “The Daily Show” keeps pointing out, these Fox bloviators never acknowledge that the evil prince they’re bashing, Walid bin Talal, is not only the biggest non-Murdoch shareholder in Fox News’s parent company (he owns 7 percent of News Corporation) and the recipient of Murdoch mammoth investments in Saudi Arabia but also the subject of lionization elsewhere on Fox.

(etc.) – and this story apparently a common thing rather than unusual –

Doctors remove nails allegedly hammered into maid by employers

By Iqbal Athas, For CNN
August 27, 2010 9:43 a.m. EDT
Colombo, Sri Lanka (CNN) — Doctors at a Sri Lankan hospital operated for three hours Friday to remove 18 nails and metal particles allegedly hammered into the arms, legs and forehead of a maid by her Saudi employer. ( .. .)

Ariyawathie left Sri Lanka on March 25 to work as a housemaid in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia after the bureau registered her as a person obtaining a job from an officially recognized job agency.

She was held down by her employer’s wife while the employer hammered the heated nails, Ruhunuge told CNN. She apparently had complained to the couple that she was being overworked, Ruhunuge said.

The nails were hammered into her arms and legs while one was on her forehead, he said.

“Most of the wounds are superficial but five to 10 are somewhat deep,” said Dr. Prabath Gajadeera of the Base Hospital. “Luckily, none of the organs is affected. Only nerves and blood vessels are affected.”

Ariyawathie, 49, is a mother of two children who were opposed to their mother’s journey to Saudi Arabia for work.

( . . . )



I knew this story had something to do with the first one, but I couldn’t put my finger on it – then I noticed the same Saudi handling of things in both.

This is interesting, too.

WASHINGTON—The Obama administration plans to include attack helicopters in an expanded arms package for Saudi Arabia, swelling the size of the proposed deal to as much as $60 billion over 10 years, according to officials familiar with the matter.

The deal would be the largest overseas U.S. arms sale, the officials said, though the size could change as the package is finalized, one official said.

New details about the deal include plans to sell the Saudis about 70 UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters and up to 60 Longbow Apache attack helicopters together worth about $30 billion. That comes on top of a previously disclosed $30 billion tranche that includes 84 Boeing Co. F-15s and upgrades to older fighters in the Saudis fleet.

Boeing makes the Apache. The Black Hawk is manufactured by United Technologies unit Sikorsky.

Negotiated largely in secret because of the sensitivities in the region, the sale is part of a strategy spearheaded by the George W. Bush administration and expanded by President Barack Obama to beef up the militaries of Arab allies as a counterweight to Iran

Flush with oil cash, Saudi Arabia has become a top weapons buyer. It spent $36.7 billion worldwide on arms between 2001 and 2008, according to a Congressional Research Service report.


From –


AUGUST 14, 2010

U.S.-Saudi Arms Plan Grows to Record Size
Addition of Apaches, Black Hawks Swells Deal to $60 Billion



(and this one)


TEHRAN — Iran plans to pump more crude from three oilfields shared with Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in the Persian Gulf, the managing director of Iran’s Offshore Oil Company (IOOC) said here on Sunday.

The Mehr News Agency quoted Mahmoud Zirakchianzadeh as saying that some 30,000 barrels per day would be added to the country’s production capacity.”

He also said that some 400 million euros have been allocated for the development of Esfandiar oil field out of the energy fund, which Iran shares with Saudi Arabia.

“Oil output of Salman and Forouzan oilfields will increase by 10,000 barrels per day,” Zirakchianzadeh said.

Iran shares its Salman and Forouzan oilfields with the UAE and Oman, respectively.


Iran starts mass production of long-range artillery shells
Tehran Times Political Desk

TEHRAN – Iran has inaugurated the production line for the country’s longest-range artillery ammunition.

During the inauguration ceremony on Sunday, Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said the advanced 130mm artillery shells with a range of 42 kilometers can be used to hit enemy targets in the distance.

These artillery shells act like ballistic missiles and they use a solid propellant, Vahidi stated.

( . . . )



Saudi crown prince on leave abroad

Sat Aug 28, 2010 6:43pm GMT

RIYADH Aug 28 (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz, who was for much of last year out of the country for medical treatment and rest, went abroad on Saturday for vacation, state news agency SPA said.

Sultan, who is also defence minister and deputy prime minister of the top oil exporter and major U.S. ally, left Saudi Arabia for a “private holiday” for an unspecified time, SPA said in a brief report, citing a royal court statement. It did not say where he was going.

In March 2009, King Abdullah appointed Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz as second deputy prime minister, a promotion that places him well to become king one day.

Nayef has been interior minister for more than 30 years and is one of the conservative forces in the royal family which has given the religious establishment vast influence in a country applying a strict version of Sunni Islam. (Reporting by Ulf Laessing; Editing by Jon Hemming)




And this one is interesting – but its from last year –

Wednesday, 15 Apr 2009

The President of Russia’s Lukoil announced that the company has discovered to oil fields in Saudi Arabia.

He said in a press conference that the two fields have C1 + C2 reserves of 70 million tonnes of condensate and 300 billion cubic meters of gas. The company will need another two and a half years to carry out a full appraisal. After that, it will start developing the project.

In 2004, Lukoil and the Saudi Oil Ministry signed a contract for the exploration and development of gas fields and gas concentrate in an area known as Bloc A. The term of the agreement is 40 years.

(Sourced from MENAFN)



From recently –

Wednesday, 18 Aug 2010

Reuters quoted the head of the trading arm of Lukoil as saying that his company Litasco was not selling gasoline to Iran, after traders said sales had resumed despite US and European Union sanctions.

Mr Sergey Chaplygin CEO of Litasco said that “We are not supplying to Iran. We have no existing contracts and we don’t have any JV with Chinese or any other companies to supply gasoline. We already had a statement in April that we are not supplying any refined products and nothing has changed since then.”

Industry sources said that Lukoil’s trading arm Litasco together with China’s state run firm Zhuhai Zhenrong had discharged 250,000 barrel gasoline cargo at the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas recently.

Traders said that the Geneva based Litasco was expected to ship a second cargo to the Iranian port later this week.

(Sourced from Reuters)



Pentagon considers pre-emptive strikes as part of cyber-defense strategy
August 30, 2010 12:00 AM

The military’s dismantling in 2008 of a Saudi website that U.S. officials suspected of facilitating suicide bombers in Iraq also inadvertently disrupted more than 300 servers in Saudi Arabia, Germany and Texas, for example, and the Obama administration put a moratorium on such network warfare actions until clear rules could be established.

My Note – I like this part especially –

Some officials and experts say they doubt the technology exists to use such capabilities effectively, and they question the need for such measures when, they say, traditional defensive steps such as updating firewalls, protecting computer ports and changing passwords are not always taken.


Very interesting article, though.

I don’t even want to know how it is that 300 servers in Saudi Arabia, Germany and Texas could’ve been connected in such a way as to be affected across all of them.

– cricketdiane

Oh yeah, and this part from that article was very interesting as well –

The command — made up of 1,000 elite military hackers and spies under one four-star general — is the linchpin of the Pentagon’s new strategy and is slated to become fully operational Oct. 1. Military officials have declared that cyberspace is the fifth domain — along with land, air, sea and space — and is crucial to battlefield success.

“We have to have offensive capabilities, to, in real time, shut down somebody trying to attack us,” Gen. Keith Alexander, the head of the Pentagon’s new Cyber Command, told an audience in Tampa this month.

)also from)