Tag Archives: Riyadh

The size and shape of a stage

Yes that is at times what we face and it was weirdly enough Yahoo News that got me there. Their article ‘Biden’s Saudi Arabia trip denounced as ‘frightening and enraging’ by dissidents’ (at https://au.news.yahoo.com/bidens-saudi-arabia-trip-denounced-as-frightening-and-enraging-by-dissidents-140526416.html), and yet the small part ignored is that a dissident is a person who opposes official policy. So as the US is trying to make nice with the people they need, they are hindered by the people they do not need. So when we see “the street was in front of the Saudi Embassy, and its new name was Jamal Khashoggi Way.” So in all this, how much hay is being made by a nation (Brazil) where 100% more journalists were murdered in the last week? There is a lack of the 78 million articles, a lack of some CIA report (via the UN) that it is highly likely, there is a need to paint one person white, the other person black and hoping that no one will notice that Al Jolson was not African American. That is a stage we see, that is a stage people play for and we are caught in the middle. You see, the report was dubious in a few ways. It does not make the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia innocent, but it clearly shows that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud is not guilty. And this all takes a harder sharp turn because the person no one (well almost no one) gives a hoot about was a columnist for the Washington Post. And the setting merely escalates from there.  

So as we see the pressing need for the US to postpone its dollar default for as much as possible, it needs business with the KSA (it is close to the only one who can afford this), they need the oil from them to be cheaper, because the US does not have enough and they all need it yesterday and the people who opposed official policy are trying to make that impossible. 

I have nothing against dissidents, some are validly so, some are to make a quick buck and get out of the mess they were in. That first group needs consideration, yet beyond them getting out they need to realise that if the dollar defaults they could end up back in Riyadh and how will they fare then? So now we get Bethany al-Haidari of the Human Rights Foundation, who gives us “Now she is worried that Biden will be sending to authoritarians around the world the message that political expediency trumps core conviction. And while that may always be the case in the world of realpolitik, the images sure to emanate from Riyadh will starkly contrast the divide between American values and practices.” It is a valid point, yet the validity is under fire from the setting of values and practices where social commitments have lost to the profits of big business. And the US government is not innocent here either. I spoke out about the essential overhaul of tax laws 24 years ago, they all called me crazy, it would sort itself out. And now? The US national debt has surpassed the $30,500,000,000,000 They are now well over $5,000,000,000,000 past the point of no return. At this point they need to reduce debt by $500,000,000,000 per year and it would still take 3 generations for the debt to become manageable. What do you think will go out the window first? Values or practices? A setting where the larger gain for the US will be Elon Musk, they know it and that is why they hate him. Mobile and energy power in the hands of one man, one man who is seemingly a lot more clever than Bill Gates and Larry Ellison combined and one generation later.  The politicians are scared, they opened a door they refused to close and now they are setting down with a mess all over the place, because they could not adhere to values and they are left with the practices that re out there at tax laws that are still unadjusted. 

The USA is about to become a mess for well over two generations and the media is silent, because they want their digital dollars, it is all they have left and it does not adhere to values, merely to the painting of flames and flaming targets. Elon Musk can wait until desperation takes over, Google, Amazon and IBM can wait and over that time Microsoft will merely become more desperate to spin their failures. Big tech in a world that merely adheres to the practices that they can adhere to for their board members and share holders. That is the world that needs to appease  to either Bethany al-Haidari or Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud. I reckon that the Bethany al-Haidari in this world are figuring out that they will be getting the short end of the stick, one that was handed to big business, not merely big tech. And Biden might be the last president before the Dollar buckles completely and the US becomes a third world nation. 

Are you depressed yet? 

Good, you need to see what is coming and for the longest of times, even as the media is trying to spin that all is well, all is not well and all is getting worse. As I stated, I do not give one hoot. It was clear to me when I saw the UN report that this was a hack job, that this was a well articulated magician’s trick and in the end how much visibility did we see on the 42 murdered journalists in Brazil? Journalists, not some columnist. And that is before we realise that Turkey has it own skeletons in their closet and when that gets out in the open we see the media is not indifferent, it is and has been actively hostile towards the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as such the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia can take its time and wait and watch the US go under one step at a time and at present quicker than several months ago. That is the reality, that is the impact of what some call realpolitik. It sounds nice on paper, but realpolitik is all about the practices, especially those who bring profit, values be damned. But the people who are lulled to sleep will see and face that part soon enough. 

So consider what you read and do your own research, do not take my word as gospel. I try to be as honest as possible, but I too adhere to practice more than value. I accept values and I admire those fighting for values, but in a place with 30 trillion in debt values will not last long, because every politician will see revenue as for the good of all and in that world people like Elon Musk are the options of tomorrow and no one has a better plan, because when that was an option the flaccid politicians saw it was easier to call me (and others) crazy and not in touch with reality, and that was not that long ago, these same people will now hide behind “It is difficult, it is a complex situation”, you tell me how I could see what was coming and I do not have an economy degree. I have three degrees, none in economy.

Enjoy your Friday and try to have a little fun.

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Local norms

This happens we attend or tend to adhere to “something that is usual, typical, or standard”, there is no hidden trap here. Or so I thought for the longest of times. I saw the sign outside the supermarket “Only with Face-mask are you allowed in this place”, so I adjusted my norm. However, I made a mistake, apparently the rest of the clothing was not optional. So with only a face-mask I still did not get in, silly me.

So when I saw the news ‘French restaurant in Saudi Arabia bans hijab, causing outrage’ (at https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20220526-french-restaurant-in-saudi-arabia-bans-hijab-causing-outrage/) I wondered what possessed the restaurant holder to set the stage towards: “last week and early this week to have prevented the entry of women who wear the hijab and the abaya, the loose-fitting robe worn by women in the Kingdom. Men who wear the traditional thobe – or long robe – were also reportedly banned from the restaurant” Let us be clear. This was in SAUDI ARABIA, an Islamic nation that has (decently) strict rules on clothing and behaviour. As such Bagatelle Jeddah is not given a long life. And it seems that this is what happened. I cannot respond to “the restaurant had been heavily criticised by many due to its “tasteless” and bland food.” As I never ate there. There is also “a social media user named Ameera Al Qahtani, for example, said it “does not deserve any star. Because it refuses to allow women [wearing] the hijab, and refuses the Saudi dress for men. They need to be kicked out of Jeddah. They don’t respect our religion, and this makes me very angry.”” It seems that there is more playing, more under the populous I mean. It comes to a point at the very end where we are given “It is the most recent example of concerns regarding the societal tensions resulting from the clash between Saudi society’s conservative values and the new era of liberalisation encouraged by the Saudi government to cater to tourists” To be honest, I saw the disgusting ‘catering to tourist’ setting on Crete (Greece). The orthodox church has rules. But tourist consider themselves above that, why? People should not go into a church without proper attire (more than a tank top), I do not get it, if I were to go to Saudi Arabia, I know I have to adjust, I need to adjust to Islamic settings. Isn’t that why I go see another nation? And there are reasons to go there. The grand mosque in Riyadh is stated to be one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. There is the Kingdom Centre and Riyadh has several other places that people would want to see. If you cannot afford the trip (I am on that list too) there is a YouTuber named Jason Billam Travel who created some awesome videos of walking trips of Riyadh. And I got to see a little more than I bargained for, showing me jut how little I know of Saudi Arabia, but the western press is not really about informing us, are they? So (at https://www.youtube.com/c/JasonBillamTravel) you can see the Video of Riyadh (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xk_4wPK6oks) where you can see more than you bargained for. There was another video which I could not find but seek “Riyadh Walking tour” and you will see jut so much more (if you cannot afford to go there).

Places like ‘Boulevard Riyadh City’ that shows me how little I know of Saudi Arabia, how little we are shown of Saudi Arabia, why is that? And lets be clear, we are visiting THEIR nation, it is an islamic nation, so we know we will have to adhere to certain differences. There will always be a debate of what we expect and what is tolerated. But a nation does not changes norms to us, we adhere to the norms of them. That is expected in London, Paris, New York and why not Riyadh? I just realised that the idea I gave here months ago (Augmented reality) might also work really nice in Riyadh too, but about that another day. I get that there could be a setting of “the new era of liberalisation encouraged by the Saudi government to cater to tourists”. Yet in all honesty. At present I hav e no idea what the opposing side “Saudi society’s conservative values” are. Yet consider in the US. Do they not adhere (to some degree) to the rules of the Amish? Do the Amish have rights? So why would you deny these rights to Saudi Arabia? Are their values and norms mine? I doubt it, I was brought up somewhere else. Yet I would want to visit it, see the places with my own eyes, as such I will have to adjust that is the rule in India, in Greece, in Egypt and as such in Saudi Arabia too. Is that not why you visit places? To see the sights and feel the brush of culture in that nation? If not then like me most can do with YouTube to show us the way. And the more I see, the more I consider what is any norm, the weirder the setting of Bagatelle Jeddah becomes. Now, I will accept that we do not see both sides, but the idea to attack a national norm in that nation seems like the most stupid ways of suicide, but that might just be me.

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Obsessed with doubt

We all have that at times, doubt comes in and does not leave. Sometimes it does not matter, trivial settings, unimportant settings and settings we do not care about. Then we get the important settings, the ones we care bout, we are passionate about, even if it is in the second degree. In some cases we can program around it if it is our own design (like IP) sometimes we cannot and it gets to us, because we would want to know. If it matters on a larger scale and I have been stumped on a few matters. The circle completed when something passed my eyes that was unrelated. The parts just clicked and for anyone that is a different path and a different way of resolving. We all have our tools and methods to deal with doubt. 

The resolving part
Around 4 hours ago (at https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-60843262) we are given ‘Evan Neumann: US Capitol riot suspect gets asylum in Belarus’, so one of the man connected to the Trump Tantrum in the US Capitol on January 6th 2021. He got asylum in Belarus, one of Russia’s tools. The man could have gone to China, the Russian Federation, Namibia, the United Arab Emirates, North Korea, Bahrain, Belarus, chunks of the Middle East, chunks of Africa and a few other places. This man went to the place that directly supports Russia and their Campaign, so why is that? The entire BBC article reads like a lie, which is not on the BBC. Yet when I see ““I do not believe that I have committed any crime,” he said. “One of the accusations was very upsetting. It is alleged that I hit a police officer. That is baseless.”” I wonder how stupid this all sounds and how on earth the Republican Party keeps on protecting in what I personally see is a loser who keeps on running to court ‘Trump files appeal against Manhattan judge in latest bid to overturn subpoena’ and the American people do not catch on? How stupid can people get? 

An earlier stage
In the earlier stage we see (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/1/9/saudi-arabia-may-run-out-of-interceptor-missiles-in-months-ft) a stage weeks ago when we are given “The situation represents the latest test for US-Saudi relations, which President Joe Biden’s administration has sought to reshape in light of the October 2018 murder of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi operatives in Istanbul.” The stronger language that followed was an American sign to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Which in light of ‘US sends Patriot interceptors to Saudi to ease tensions’ (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/3/21/us-sends-patriot-interceptors-to-saudi-to-ease-tensions-reports) 8 weeks later seems odd, well not if you take into consideration oil prices. Which as I mentioned in earlier articles aligns with biting the hand that feeds you. And the mention of “Riyadh has also voiced anger over the Biden administration’s decision to remove the Houthi movement from its list of “international terrorist organisations”, although Washington in recent months has mulled reversing the decision following a series of drone and missile attacks on the United Arab Emirates (UAE)” does not help the US of A, especially as the mention of Iran is slimmer than slim. The absence of simple investigations like How could Houthi forces manufacture these drones is blatantly absent, Iran is deeper involved and denying that any longer is no less than an absolute insult, but the media does not seem to think that matters, the US and the EU do not seem to think that matters. They still believe that a deal is possible all whilst that was never was a deal in the making. Iran is simply watching how the Russia setting plays out to see if there is a weaker deal to be made, and the stage is not done playing. 

Even earlier we saw
It all came after the story (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/3/21/ukraine-war-exposes-cracks-us-ties-middle-east-allies) giving us ‘Russia-Ukraine war shows cracks in US ties to Middle East allies’, I had issues here. Russia is part of OPEC, as such they have the table in places. The US wants Saudi Arabia and the UAE to take stands, but why should they? It is not THEIR war, it might become so, but for now it is not and if people have an issue with that, talk to Syrians and Yemeni’s who have been waiting for the US and the EU to make moves for years. Inactivity is not so much fun when you need and answer is it? So when we are given ““Al-Assad coming to the UAE, shortly after the Gulf Arab country voted to abstain from a UN Security Council resolution condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine last month, tells us that the Emiratis are very serious about asserting their autonomy from the United States,” said Giorgio Cafiero, CEO of Gulf State Analytics, a Washington, DC-based geopolitical risk consultancy.” We can accept the line “the Emiratis are very serious about asserting their autonomy from the United States”, I am not convinced that this is the real reason. The plays give us that these nations are making the plays that do not box them in and Syria is a larger player and it makes sense that the UAE will have questions that no one would set to a simple call, a face to face meeting between two heads of state makes sense. I agree that there are cracks, yet that stage was set by the US, and it was done on a collection of moves, all populist actions and they are now biting the current administration and the current administration made several of these moves.

Yet these are the thoughts as I ended up with and they have doubts here, they do and I admit this. Yet the media is no longer a reliable source and I feel uncertain who will give us the truth not the political play and it involves the media and the United Nations. But what do you do when the sources are a source of doubt? It is not a puzzle, it is a question, I have some ideas but for now they are mine to have and you need to find yours. 

For me the situation is simplified. If there is too much doubt in one direction, see what truths another direction can give you and this is not a simple matter, some give credence to sources when others see debatability in those sources. And with me doubt is an obsession, I need to take doubt apart piece by piece and see what cogs are getting hindered, that is how I roll. You might have different methods. We all have our ways.

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The next Furlong

Yes, that happens. We all look at races, we all enter horse racing (not betting I mean) and then we look as the wrecks stack up. This story goes back to 2019, I am certain I made mention before then. It was ‘The seventh guest’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2019/06/21/the-seventh-guest/) when I wrote “I would like to discuss the purchase of 20-30 Chengdu J-20 fighters. In light of both a first order discount, as well as a student discount (we are all students on the path of life), I believe that should the talks be successful, that 20-30 planes at a unit cost of $27.35 million (with rebates, discounts and commission applied), in addition the 2 years of full service with no regards to hours flown, mileage traveled or missiles fired. This is based on 2016 flyaway cost. The benefit is that these fighters will be directly engaging Iranian forces and as such you will have access to a massive amount of data enabling you to start on the 6th generation fighter, optionally making you the first country to have one. We would also be interested in the testing of the Xian H-20 prototype that is now nearing completion. If the specs are as they are claiming to be, it will help us in removing morale from Tehran and from the IRGC as a whole. In this the unofficial word is that the sky is the limit as regarding to the price of this place (my 2.17% commission still applies). My client is ready to upgrade several army based parts (both light and heavy guns), however I hope that this part can be tabled until Iran decides to attack directly, at which point Saudi Arabian boots on Iranian ground becomes a direct first”, and certain people laughed, the laughed loud and pointed at me. It would never come this far. And now we see (at https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202203/1254377.shtml) ’FC-31 stealth fighter spearheads display of cutting-edge Chinese equipment at Saudi Arabia’s 1st World Defense Show’, there we see “The Chinese arms industry brought a wide selection of cutting-edge weapons and equipment, including the FC-31 stealth fighter jet, to the ongoing first edition of Saudi Arabia’s World Defense Show in Riyadh. China can provide finished advanced gear and also transfer technology that enables domestic development and production, analysts said on Tuesday.” And although I lose out on a commission of 3.75% (my life sucks), the stage I saw coming in 2019 is now becoming a harsh reality for the US and the EU. Not laughing now, are they? And it is not even the worst of the setting either. That is seen when we add ‘Saudi Arabia and UAE leaders ‘decline calls with Biden’ amid fears of oil price spike’ (at https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/mar/09/saudi-arabia-and-uae-leaders-decline-calls-with-biden-amid-fears-of-oil-price-spike) the other part I discussed a few times over is coming to fruition (for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), the entire US pariah setting on lack of EVIDENCE is a bed they themselves made. You can call the consumer names again and again, but realise that this person can shop somewhere else and can not deliver to you, ask any supermarket, ask any grocer, butcher or baker. And now these stations are coming out, China is sitting on the sidelines laughing loudly. And the entire issue in the EU is not helping any. All setting I saw YEARS ago and now it is out on the 20 yard line the US is trying to set some premise to avoid the setting that was clear in the open. So when we now see the US playing courtesan to whomever will supply cheap oil, what was the direct label for such a person? It was clear as day and I illuminated that danger years ago and the blog is ‘evidence’ that I did so. A station that could have been clearly avoided from the start and that I perhaps the biggest failure of all. If I can see it and I am not the most clever person around (around two IQ points below Alan Turing) so why did THEY not see this coming? The lack of long term vision is staggering and the need for “also transfer technology that enables domestic development and production” implies that the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud implies that he is now on track with the promise towards 50% in house manufacturing via SAMI (Saudi Arabian Military Industries), so the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia gets even with the people playing with them, these players are massively losing out on revenue (me on commission, darn) and these players are now in a much worse position all whilst China becomes the top dog yielding the bone the EU and US are basically fighting over. 

As such we now see how much a failure (for the US especially) Davos in the desert 2019 was. So whilst some state it was a ‘shameless return of business and government leaders to Saudi Arabia’, we can now clearly see that it is about to become a massive trove of revenue that could pass the US and EU by on a few levels and they did this themselves. It was not unforeseen and as such I wonder what the next stupid act we see coming from the US and EU? Contemplating larger concession towards Venezuela and Iran? I cannot speak on the Venezuelan side, I know too little, but the concessions towards Iran will upset both the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the State of Israel even more. And both could optionally sour the milk for both the EU and US for any 5G they hope to set in Egypt. Another place of revenue loss, was that not clear to these people?

As such I wonder how the next furlong will play out, because in the end the US and the EU are in a series of horse races. One race is defence spending, another is telecom spending and then there are still the infrastructure and manufacturing races on the schedule. All now with both the US and EU degraded to second or even third choice, because whatever you think the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia needs to do, it needs to do what is best for the kingdom and that leaves Russia as a contender (for now). Several races with less than optimal choices and it could have been avoided to a much larger degree. Do not take my word, investigate and form your own opinion, but as I see it it soon becomes another stage where I get to say ‘Told you so!

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Early Christmas for China

Yes, it is not the headline you wanted to see, but there is a not unrealistic chance that Christmas for China is coming 10 months early. It is seen in the first in ‘Saudi Arabia may run out of interceptor missiles in ‘months’’ (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/1/9/saudi-arabia-may-run-out-of-interceptor-missiles-in-months-ft). Al Jazeera tells us here “As Houthi rebel attacks escalate, Riyadh has ‘an urgent situation’ as it runs out of missiles for its air-defence system, Financial Times newspaper reports” this is the wake up call. It is “There is an interceptor shortage. Saudi Arabia has asked its friends for loans, but there are not many to be had,” one of the people told the publication” that takes the cake. Terrorists are firing missiles (with Iranian support) on Saudi Arabia and civilian targets and we have to be serious on “there are not many to be had”?  Are you freaking kidding me? Well, there is an alternative, a Chinese alternative and when someone states that the interceptor is better, I cannot really counter that with other than “You have no stock, so what do you care?” A stage where the Americans decided to upheave their arms sales, first planes, then Navy and now Interceptor missiles. Well, the Chinese have the HQ-9, or Sea Red Banner-9 missile. There are a few alternatives so the Chinese will have a few versions for Saudi Arabia. So when we see “In February last year, Biden said he would end US support for Saudi Arabia’s “offensive operations” in Yemen, including “relevant arms sales”” we can all nod or realise that the interceptor has a defensive nature. But that might be me. In all fairness, my goal is still to get the 3.75% commission, and on sales that now could extend well beyond the $300,000,000,000 ends up being a really nice sum of money and as I see it, America does not need that revenue, they can go bankrupt with or without it. And there is the other side that Saudi Arabia would enable a much larger set of infrastructures to go via China, the EU seemingly not needing international revenue to go their way either.

When will people realise that it is too late for some high moral point of view? It is nice if you have the coffers to feed nations, but the US and the EU nations gave that away to banks and meaningless spending, as such they have to chose whether it is a population going hungry. It is just like these politicians having a go at Google and Amazon, all whilst Microsoft is overlooked as they install bloatware after bloatware interaction reducing the options and rights of billions. So when will these people take the proper scope in sight? For me there is a selfish reason. I am not Saudi, but I am massively anti-stupid and anti-enabling. So when the media gives us “in light of the October 2018 murder of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi operatives in Istanbul” all whilst no clear evidence has ever been reported or presented is just too stupid for words. So if I can get a few crumbs of billions by high lighting that, why would I not do that?

And in the second setting. The fact that Houthi forces have anything left to fire on Saudi Arabia and no one has stock to replenish, what does that tell you? When will these idiots act against Iran? Whilst we are treated two hours ago to ‘Iran denies interim nuclear deal reached – report’ (source: Jerusalem Post), so why are we getting denials, deferences and deflection in a stage where one player is becoming more and more dangerous. There is now an actual stage where at least one nation is willing to go to war. I tried to avoid that by making an idea to melt down the Iranian reactors without the need for bombs, so I did my bit and it is growing ever more likely that China will do their bit to, so where does all the inactions leave President Biden with the USA and his administration when inaction is all that they can offer? It is the worst political stage of enabling a competitive nation (China) I have ever seen and the EU is in a stage not much better at present. 

So where do they go when they have nothing left? I reckon it will be the path of the Chihuahua, but that might just be me.

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The shoddy essay

I actively dislike certain people, especially as they use their position to merely lash out at others. This is seen (at https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/dec/01/saudi-arabia-yemen-un-human-rights-investigation-incentives-and-therats) when we see Stephanie Kirchgaessner have another go at Saudi Arabia. I honestly think that is all she does. So here is my take. The article ‘Saudis used ‘incentives and threats’ to shut down UN investigation in Yemen’ Of course my first reaction was ‘What UN investigation in Yemen?’ And the article starts off with “Political officials and diplomatic and activist sources describe stealth campaign”. I go into the article and I am treated to “according to sources with close knowledge of the matter”, “Riyadh is alleged to have warned Indonesia”, and lets not forget ““You could see the whole thing shift, and that was a shock,” said one person familiar with the matter”, so what people were familiar to the matter? What actually happened? It is a fair question, especially when we are given “The resolution was defeated by a simple majority of 21-18, with seven countries abstaining”, it is in this case that I am apparently a much better investigator. So, lets take a look.

First lets look at some headlines ‘UN calls on Yemen’s Houthis to release detained staff’, ‘UN: Houthi rebels impeding aid flow in Yemen’, ‘Yemen: Houthi Terrorism Designation Threatens Aid’, and these are just three headlines from dozens in the last two years. In this, the UN and other parties (like essay writers) have been really active in silencing any actions that included Houthi and Iranian forces in Yemen. The article has two mentions on Houthi, one in a photo and none (read: Zero) mentions of Iran. We see one mention of all in “committed by all sides”. The article is that one sided and that much of a hack job. The situation in Yemen is large, much larger then this essay writer makes it out to be. 

I am not making some claim that Saudi Arabia is innocent, but I can tell you it is definitely not that guilty either. Houthi and Iranian forces have at least part of that blame (well over 50%) and we seem to forget that all this started by Houthi forces, The Saudi coalition was asked to come and no one seems to notice that. So whilst the Guardian hides behind “the Saudis appear to have influenced officials”, I merely wonder if there isn’t a much larger picture. We see mention by John Fisher giving us “It was a very tight vote. We understand that Saudi Arabia and their coalition allies and Yemen were working at a high level for some time to persuade states in capitals through a mixture of threats and incentives, to back their bids to terminate the mandate of this international monitoring mechanism”, here we see the stage, but we ignore the lighting. In addition to that stage, what evidence is there for “through a mixture of threats and incentive”, you see Iran and  Houthi Yemen do not want any monitoring for a few reasons, and they are non-mentioned parties, why is that? Shovelling BS all on one pile is nice at times and we love to see all that BS piled up at Strasbourg, but that will not happen either will it? 

You think that this I the end, but it is time to add flavour to it all,  because in all fairness, Stephanie Kirchgaessner is not in this alone, the stakes against Saudi Arabia are much larger. That is seen when we add the Conversation (at https://theconversation.com/jobs-are-no-excuse-canada-must-stop-arming-saudi-arabia-171792) where we see “Jobs are no excuse — Canada must stop arming Saudi Arabia”, and I would state ‘Yes, handing more revenue to China is the way to go!’ I would love to get a larger billion dollar stake holding a 3.75% bonus setting. Even as we are given “The bulk of Canadian arms exports to the Saudis are light armoured vehicles, known as LAVs”, We see the attack using ‘Human Rights’ all whilst Saudi Arabia is under actual attack, Houthi (apparently Iranian operated drones) are attacking civil targets in South Saudi Arabia, so whilst we are given “Canada has twice been named by the United Nations Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen as one of several world powers helping to perpetuate the conflict by continuing to supply weapons to Saudi Arabia”, and we are not given the clear involvement of Iranian and Houthi settings, it is all a one sided attack and it matters, these people attack one sided for a larger need, an ego driven need and the media is helping them do this. But feel free to state I am wrong, and I am happy to be wrong, especially if $12,000,000,000 going to China might fetch me a nice 450 million dollars (I can dream, can’t I?). when the numbers are this high 3.75% makes a very nice number. And the world is making this happen, so when we see project after project fail in Europe and the US because the moral high ground came at a price, consider the names of people who made that happen. Hunger on the moral high ground is not rare, it usually is linked to all kinds of revenue that they never got. This is not a perfect world, I never claimed it to be, but a commerce world needs to sell all kinds of stuff, also stuff that seems to be wrong, there is no denying that. And when it comes to that side, these two articles leave Houthi and Iranian actions in the dark. You should wonder why that is, because a nation does not spend 12 billion in any one sided event. If it was truly one sided one billion would have been more than enough. Did you consider that?

The US and the EU have at presently dropped 48 billion in revenue, revenue that they desperately needed and now that von der Leyen revealed the ‘300 billion euro answer to China’s Belt and Road’, how will that be paid for? Not from the revenue that Saudi Arabia required to defend its borders. That revenue will support China’s Belt and Road projects, a nice pickle they got themselves in and no one is wondering how this farce can go on, because soon there will be no money left, the overdrawn credit cards from the US, the EU, France, Germany and the UK makes any economic action close to impossible. And soon (in about 3-5 weeks) when the US has another debt ceiling, consider all the things that the US could have done to stop the new stress settings; the EU and the UK as well, now that these funds are going to China, the stage changed, the electricity bill can no longer be paid and there is no fighting ring, there is no event to watch, it is just a dark room in a dark location and that I the setting we all had to avoid. But rejoice, you then know one element that Yemeni people face, they have no electricity either, the Houthi forces made sure of that. 

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The blank stage

There is a stage, it remains blank. It is not a real stage, it is a stage in our minds. We all have one, there is no exclusion. Yet there is also a stage that we fill with assumptions, with presumptions and with unspoken accusations. We all do it, I do, and you do too. This all started during the night. I dreamt a new story, a dark one, for my doing a really dark one. It is set around the corrupt, a smitten hard burning love at first sight and the rage that follows. My mind is currently naming it ‘Wrath’, it is not merely the wrath of a person, it becomes an escalation when the people had enough, when they are pushed into a corner too hard, not unlike the main character and their response will be ‘interesting’. I need to do a little more research, but the law cases I saw in Australia seem to cover a lot, I reckon that if I look harder in the US I will have all the legal settings ready for the story (if I get around to it). I am still filling in the blanks in ‘Keno Diastima’ and I only have the smallest of basic foundations of ‘Vita Exhauriunt’. Most of ‘How to assassinate a politician’ is complete, but there I feel that more needs to be done, I need to add a cog, a need to add a few more parts. This is hardly a one hour story. But then, I never published an actual script before. Yet I reckon that ‘Wrath’ might open the doors to two of these solutions. So as I started to surf the internet to see if something could wake up my mind, I saw something else. Something I wrote about, something the media at large seems to ignore. So when we get to the story two days ago by the ICIJ ‘Pandora Papers journalists face government backlash for investigating financial secrecy’ (at https://www.icij.org/investigations/pandora-papers/pandora-papers-journalists-face-government-backlash-for-investigating-financial-secrecy/) something stirred in me. It was the quote “The Pandora Papers is a global investigation led by ICIJ, published earlier this month, that included more than 600 journalists representing 150 partner media organisations from 117 countries and territories. Based on a leak of 11.9 million documents of 14 offshore services providers, the trove revealed the secret holdings of more than 330 politicians and high-level public officials in more than 90 countries and territories, including 35 country leaders. Ambassadors, mayors and ministers,  presidential advisers, generals and a central bank governor appear in the files”, I almost had forgotten about it. The station that this was a leak, it was not. When we see “14 offshore services providers” all whilst at least two of them have above average protection, this has not a leak. This was a hack, a hack by a government player (most likely the USA) the tax issue is setting the wrong steps, there was a delay, but that delay runs out in 8 weeks and in 6 weeks the ‘tax the rich’ BS starts all over again. In all this time the ICIJ NEVER gave anyone a top line summary. Things like nations involved, like nations with the amount of politicians involved. Not names, a mere tally. So far the ICIJ sounds as useless as the stories they give us and when it comes to stories, I am seemingly better then they could ever hope to be. 600 journalists and no one in all that time create a dashboard for the people to see the impact. We see accusations against Tony Blair, yet they also hid inside the story that he did not break any laws, so how useless is that. Apart from the screaming need to overhaul tax laws, something I have been advocating for well over a decade and the NSA hack (the most likely player) was not required. And the agreement, or better stated the quoted agreement that the ICIJ would not go after the source is even more lame. How stupid do 600 journalists need to get? In the end there is a chance that some of them will move ALL their wealth to Nassau, Dubai, or Riyadh giving the other nations ever more to worry about. There are options for Guernsey, Jersey and Monaco. The US and a few more places would lose out, Wall Street would suffer greatly (not the worst idea) and that is merely thee beginning, the EU would also suffer to a much larger degree, all because a few players would not clean their rooms when they were supposed to do that (2009-2011), it has been playing for well over a decade and as people are flim-flammed into looking at environmental issues, we see that the media still has not taken a hard look at the European Environmental Agency report that has been out now for almost a year. Why is that? Is a hard look into the mirror not sexy enough?

Now, we might all think of giving the ICIJ and their 600 journalists time, but they’ve had months, and so far the setting of a dashboard that gives us the stage of no laws broken (especially the billionaires that have pushed through legally available  means their fortune in zero tax havens) should cover well over 60% of these documents (a fictive number). The simplest setting that you all can see is the missing tally, the guardian gave us a tally of what to look through, but they had the 330 politicians, so that part could have been clearly given and a dashboard does not show criminal sides, it is merely that a tally, but I reckon that the tally shows that most of these people are in places the bulk of us do not give a hoot about, just like the billionaires. How many are people of royalty from some Arabian nation? Then we get to the remaining billionaires and we will see that they broke no laws, when you get to that point you get to the stage how useless the ICIJ was from day one and how they blow their own horn whilst these 600 people might be obsolete. I cannot guarantee that, but the assumption might not be far off. 

The blank stage is filled, and as assumption and presumption shake hands the stage goes from black and white to a malleable version of grey where we cannot see the difference between the black and the white. It was that from the very beginning, I pretty much predicted that in the first hour. 

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Taking and making what it gives

Yes, we seem to think that this is the stage we need to be in, and at times you are correct, that is what there is. It dawned on me that at times innovation, or innovation alike can drive creativity. In the past there was an option to get into movies required a fortune, so you either tinkered by the side of the road, or you were some rich kid, that was the reality. Now consider that this is no longer the case, the stage is set to two elements (three actually).

1. GoPro Hero 10 ($600)
2. Mac Airbook (up to $4500)
3. Software (up to $500)

So for $6000 (max) you could have all you need to become a cinematographer. The laptop idea is expensive, there are cheaper solutions, to under $6000 there is a stage where you can make all kinds of movies and there is no cost for film or development. As we were in lockdown, the mind wanted to travel, so I started to watch the walking tours, a lot of them in 4K and most of them made with older GoPro devices. You might laugh, but some of these walking tours equal decent TV and in some cases cinema trips. I saw Portofino, Cannes, Monaco, Vancouver, Montreal, Buenos Aires, London (several), Riyadh, Jeddah and a few things stood out. The movies were well above average, the streets in Canada are amazingly clean, Portofino was worth the watch for a few personal reasons and so on. I believe that we are one step away from a ‘small’ company like GoPro to put a massive dent in Hollywood and that is before you realise that we will be drowning in amazing movies, the stage is already there that amateur film makers can make ‘their’ version of the Blair Witch Project. Another version of Cloverfield and we can go on in all kinds of directions. I myself was entertaining an idea in another direction (no matter what), but I am an idea man, not a movie maker (not yet anyway). 

And even as GoPro is making headway into setting the dynamic movies to a new height. I predict that they will corner the market in several ways within the next 2-3 years. I believe that the information given here is incorrect “The number of GoPro devices shipped worldwide has been decreasing since its peak of 6.58 million units in 2015, to around 2.8 million units in 2020”, there is not a decline, mainly because some people STILL use the GoPro 4, a lot are still using the GoPro 8, so there is a market of well over 15,000,000 film makers and I believe that with the additions on the GoPro Hero 10 that group will increase (a lot). And when you consider that this can directly be spread via YouTube channels, for GoPro the sky is the limit. Whether the film maker will decide to rely on GoPro tools, on Adobe Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro or iMovie, there are several solutions and as people tart to become more and more active there is a new market evolving. A market of services, critical evaluation and creation, all working in some form of symbiosis. And as the makers set out there options of short movies, I wonder when it will be a GoPro Hero user who in the near future will be the first to win a Academy Award for Best Short Film (Live Action) using a GoPro because the hardware is now definitely up for it, we now only need to wait for the creative soul to make that step (it will not be me), and I would not be surprised that thee will be more evolutions in this direction before the end of 2023, a stage that (as I personally see it) evolved and came to a much larger live during lockdowns and curfews. 

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Would it still be news?

We get that at times. A question regarding the news, not what they bring, but what they are. I was left with a few questions today when I took notice of ‘Saudi news channels start moving operations out of Dubai’ (at https://www.aljazeera.com/economy/2021/9/1/saudi-news-channels-start-moving-operations-out-of-dubai). Just as the BBC is in London, the NOS is in the Netherlands (Hilversum), Swedish News is predominantly in Stockholm. I always assumed that Saudi News was in Riyadh, so to see that they were in Dubai which is a nice and large town in another nation was a little bit of a surprise. So as I take notice of “Riyadh has told international firms to put their MidEast hubs there by the start of 2024 or risk losing out on business” has a certain amount of sense.

The question becomes who offers more, Dubai or Riyadh? I am not talking money, even though for the international stations that will be some part of it. Dubai has its yachts, its connected jet-setting, yet what does Riyadh offer? It is a genuine question. I must admit that I only recently saw Riyadh through the eyes of YouTuber Jason Billiam Travel, and he did an excellent job, if you have never been to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the view that (at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xk_4wPK6oks) where I got my first glimpse of the Kingdom Tower at the beginning of the video no less. He was able to give me a clear impression that Riyadh, the capital is larger than the entire nation of Bahrein and he gives us a lot more over several movies, more on Riyadh and more on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. There is one element that there is no yacht club in Saudi Arabia. If I had the ability to create one in Riyadh, I would. Even if it is just to set aside my sense of humour as the nearest decent amount of water is almost 400Km away (Sea of Dammam, aka the Persian gulf), so the idea to have a restaurant in the building that represents a yacht would be a fun idea. A place where 8 million people live and most have never seen a boat with their own eyes, so to create a concrete yacht that is a restaurant and optionally an international hotel will get the eyes of a lot of people. But we were talking about the news and Al Jazeera also gives us “Saudi Arabian news channels are starting to transfer operations out of Dubai amid a push by the country’s crown prince to get multinational companies to relocate their headquarters to the kingdom” and it makes sense, although it would have made initial more sense to have Saudi news offices in Saudi Arabia, but that is merely me and it is a thought that is based on the idea that news channels should be local. So when I see “Saudi Arabia has been pressuring international companies to put their Middle East hubs in the kingdom by the start of 2024 or risk losing out on business in the region’s largest economy” I do realise that too many people will focus on ‘pressuring international companies’, yet is that fair? Consider that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia should award business to its local parties, so Dubai has benefitted with its Media centre to the largest degree for well over a decade. And the reason seen in “The move is intended to limit “economic leakage” and boost job creation” makes perfect sense. 

There are actually two additional reasons to contemplate, whether it is all news is in the middle. With that shift the media will get a lot more exposure to Neom city as well as the tourist visibility places that Riyadh has to offer, the Kingdom Tower is merely one of them. The Grand Mosque of Riyadh is according to many another one.  

The entire setting made me wonder why Saudi news was not set on a local premise in the first place. I am not saying it was wrong, I am merely wondering what was the reasoning in the first place. There are many valid reasons that come to mind, yet none of these have been tested at present and with Neom City now a mere 9 years away, the local presence seem to make more and more sense. There is of course more, there is a larger stage to promote Jeddah as well, we can argue that this could be done from either place, but I have seen on how minds get distracted from other places as the distance increases and Dubai is very far away from Jeddah, it is not enough a reason, but it is one and consider that in the last 24 hours globally ‘Neom’ was mentioned 10 times. One in Chinese, three in Arabic and the rest in English, in a world where there are thousands of publication, 10 mentions? Yes the news needs adjusting and perhaps it starts with getting the international news stations local. As I see it it is a lot less about economic leakage and more about ignoring Saudi events, in this the Houthi attacks on civilian Saudi targets might finally get the exposure it deserves. 

Will it still be news after the switch? I hope not, as it had been happening for too long, but that is merely my 2 coins on the subject. 

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Genuinely puzzled

Yup it happens, the news at time makes little sense, it makes little sense for several reasons and that is fair, even for me. Consider the BBC headline ‘Saudi Arabia: Authorities defend mosque speaker restriction’,  which in itself outside of any Islamic nation might be treated with a simple ‘Meh!’ This would not be a negative response, merely a response that approaches the sentiment of ‘Whatever!’, so as I read “The country’s Islamic Affairs Ministry announced last week that all loudspeakers should be set at only a third of their maximum volume. Islamic Affairs Minister Abdullatif al-Sheikh said the measure was in response to complaints from the public. But the move in the conservative Muslim nation sparked a backlash on social media”, I initially wondered why the BBC even took time to give notice to the event, for the most, what does it inform us about? Is it to give visibility to Abdullatif al-Sheikh? Perhaps it was to alarm us to “the move in the conservative Muslim nation sparked a backlash on social media”? I actually do not know, but this news also gives us that there was no space for ‘WHO to start COVID-19 vaccination in Houthi-run north Yemen’ with “Houthi authorities in control have played down the impact of the pandemic, largely denying any outbreak there”, or perhaps it is ‘UAE shows last minute unity to host Asian Qualifiers as China baulks at covid outbreaks’ with “The remaining seven matches in Group A – which will qualify teams for both the next round of the AFC’s World Cup 2022 qualifying and directly into the Asian Cup China 2023 – will be now held at the Sharjah Stadium”, neither news is seen at the BBC, so whilst we accept that speaker settings for announcements are important to the people in the KSA, the western population would all like to know the impact of Football decisions (people in the UK are weird that way), oh I reckon that the people in France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Italy would react in a similar fashion.

So whilst it is nice to read “the measure was in response to complaints from the public”, I personally would reckon that the rules of Islam have been clear in many Arabic nations, and as these speakers tend to be set, why would there be complaints now? So whilst some might know that the 5 moments are “Fajr (sunrise prayer), Dhuhr (noon prayer), Asr (afternoon prayer), Maghrib (sunset prayer), and Isha (night prayer). Each prayer has a specific window of time in which it must be completed”, the internet also shows us “In a mosque, the muezzin broadcasts the call to prayer at the beginning of each interval. Because the start and end times for prayers are related to the solar diurnal motion, they vary throughout the year and depend on the local latitude and longitude when expressed in local time”, when we see that, some (including me) might wonder why the speaker settings are suddenly cause for concern. The sound of a person calling to prayer the islamic people is part of Islamic heritage, I wonder who the complaining people would be. I would go as far as stating that unless these calls are lately a lot louder, who would complain on speaker settings and the part we read “the move in the conservative Muslim nation sparked a backlash on social media” gives rise to my puzzlement. It is fair that this news would be (and is) seen in Al Jazeera, but I saw no mention in Arab News, so Islamic news made it to the BBC and not to Arab News? What is going on? 

And when we see “Mr Sheikh said that those who want to pray do not need to wait for the Imam’s call to prayer” the wondering does not top and here I found that the news also made it to Radio Athens, they give us on their website with the added “In a country where there are tens of thousands of mosques, the decision was generally welcomed. However, it also provoked reactions on social networking sites, with the appearance of a hashtag calling for a ban on loud music in restaurants and cafes”, I could not rely on the radio as I haven’t spoken proper Greek since 3575BC. And more important the information on Athens Radio is seemingly the same as the BBC, but the paragraph comes across different due to “with the appearance of a hashtag calling for a ban on loud music in restaurants and cafes”, all whilst both sides give us the one side that is seemingly strange “The restrictions come as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman continues attempts to make Saudi Arabia more liberal and lessen the role religion plays in public life”, I am not sure how to react, optionally, I see in part a reason to disagree. I get that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia wants to make liberal moves and as we can see on YouTube, several tourists are showing the world just how pretty and how amazing Saudi Arabia looks. I have seen a few of these video’s and the view we see from the Sky Bridge Kingdom Tower is amazing. It was the first time I saw this and I wonder why other media have never given a clear view of an architectural marvel like that and what it offers. Yet even if I were to go to Riyadh, I personally feel that I would miss out on the call of prayer, not that I am Islamic, but it is part of Islamic life. As a visitor we would not want to see changes that are part of the foundation of a nation. Yet, I admit that this might merely be me. And in all this I am personally more stricken by “those who want to pray do not need to wait for the Imam’s call to prayer” I have no idea what to make of that, but I understand that as I am not Muslim, I might not get that part. Another source gives us “The decision has angered ultra-conservatives in the country”, it is fair that there are those in favour and those opposing any decision, yet the BBC (Radio Athens neither) gives us anything on the ultra-conservatives and who they are. This sparked a revisit to the Washington Post who gave us in 2018 ‘Saudi Arabia’s once-powerful conservatives silenced by reforms and repression’ with the addition of “these conservatives now tiptoe on social media outlets like Twitter. In mosques and at community gatherings, they reluctantly criticise recent changes they stridently oppose, such as the easing of social boundaries between men and women”, with that in sight we see certain patterns emerge and the BBC was not informing us of that, or perhaps they assumed we knew that, which in light of the Martin Bashir caper is massively silly on several levels. In all this the one part some people overlooked. If the speakers are to be set to 33%, what stops them from upgrading the sound equipment in Mosques from 100 Watt to 300 Watt? It is merely a thought. All parts the BBC is overlooking and I know for a fact that they have faced the ‘hardware upgrade’ in the past. So the lack of information in their article is calling for a few questions. In the end, the only useful information I got from the article was the existence of Islamic Affairs Minister Abdullatif al-Sheikh. From my personal point of view the BBC article was a blunder, one that the BBC should not have made. 

As such my genuinely puzzled setting is quite complete.

A new starts and breakfast is approximately 3 hours and 32 minutes away. Have a great Wednesday!

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