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Comment: Re: Restrictions (Score 1) 96

by kevinbr (#48013193) Attached to: Mobile Phone Use Soon To Be Allowed On European Flights

Fact is, phones or not people talk on airplanes. But current American culture being fearful and intolerant and all about "me" will result in yet more disputes. Want to sleep in a public place? Earplugs or noise cancelling head phones. And no one needs to shout at 85 dB to be heard with a person in the next seat or for a phone conversation.

Comment: Re:10 years later (Score 2) 804

by kevinbr (#37368018) Attached to: Marking 10 Years Since 9/11/2001

Thank you, well said. I myself went to Afghanistan in 2003 but to help not to kill. Since the CIA created and funded Osama, would it not have been cheaper to bomb CIA headquarters? 99% of Afghans want help from anywhere - they will accept the Taliban ( as they did ) to get minimal security. The Taliban had nothing to do with 9/11. The ongoing struggle between Pashtun and Northern Alliance has nothing to do with us. Osama was our chicken coming home to roost.

Comment: Re:And if you (Score 1) 688

by kevinbr (#32562768) Attached to: $1 Trillion In Minerals Found In Afghanistan

Iran is favored in Afghanistan, except the US with their aid budget precludes buying for example farsi software. We like to ship them English Windows. Mac OS X could be used with a pashtun and dari and uzbeck but no wat in 2003 was the US going to buy Mac's.

Pakistan is pretty much hated by the average Afghan. They had to escape to Pakistan but they don't forget how badly they were treated.

China has been all over Afghanistan for 8 years now seeking to win tenders and gain influence.

fact is you can gain influence by bribing people.

Corruption is endemic.

Comment: Re:CNN said this could make it the saudi arabia (Score 3, Informative) 688

by kevinbr (#32562720) Attached to: $1 Trillion In Minerals Found In Afghanistan

".....The sharing of family wealth has been a critical component in maintaining the semblance of a united front within the royal family. An essential part of family wealth is the Kingdom in its physical entirety, which the Al Saud view as a totally owned family asset. Whether through the co-mingling of personal & state funds from lucrative government positions, huge land allocations, direct allotments of crude oil to sell in the open market, segmental controls in the economy, special preferences for the award of major contracts, outright cash handouts, and astronomical monthly allowances, - all billed to the national exchequer - all told, the financial impact may have exceeded 40% of the Kingdom's annual budget during the reign of King Fahd. Over decades of oil revenue-generated expansion, estimates of royal receipts have varied, ranging as low as an unlikely $50 billion and as high as well over $1 trillion. [5]. This method of wealth distribution has allowed many of the senior princes & princesses to accumulate largely unauditable wealth and, in turn, pay out, in cash or kind, to lesser royals and commoners, and thereby gaining political influence through their own largesse.
During periods of high oil prices as were the late 70s, early 80s, and again, immediately after the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, national income has outpaced the developmental needs & social obligations of the Saudi government and the effects of royal skimming were diminished. From the mid 80s through the 90s, when international crude oil prices dropped to the teens and below, the subsequent shortfall in income, and the availability of surprisingly limited financial reserves (when compared to such countries as Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates which continued to grow during crude price droughts because of dividends generated from years of prudent investments.)[6]. According to well-publicized but unsubstantiated reports, King Abdullah has intentions to reduce the Al Saud share of the budget, an act which may sow discontent within the royal family, but would be popular with the Kingdom's citizenry."

Fact is no one knows really how much the Royal family keep and how much gets shared.

Saudi Arabia has the wealth to never export oil but to process it all on shore. INstead that potential excess to invest in expensive downstream processing goes in to the royal family.

Afghanistan will be the same.

Have a read of :

Comment: Re:CNN said this could make it the saudi arabia (Score 1) 688

by kevinbr (#32562656) Attached to: $1 Trillion In Minerals Found In Afghanistan

Have you ever been to Saudi Arabia?

The GDP per capita is 20K USD. But ...... that does not imply the wealth gets spread very evenly.

Yeah the work the Saudi's don't want to do, as if a benign oil corporation and a corrupt government would rather pay high wages to locals or import Filipinos and Indians to live in work camps and work like slaves.

Comment: Re:CNN said this could make it the saudi arabia (Score 3, Insightful) 688

by kevinbr (#32562486) Attached to: $1 Trillion In Minerals Found In Afghanistan

Saudi Arabia is poor, because the downstream value of the oil is lost. The sales values goes to the corrupt ruling family, the ordinary Saudi lives in poverty.

It will be the same in Afghanistan. The raw material will be ripped out at the lowest cost (lowest cost meaning maximum pollution) and the real wealth of downstream value add will take place out of Afghanistan.

Just like the raw opium.

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