Saturday, March 14, 2015

Really? US Embassy In Saudi Arabia Halts Operations Due To Security Concerns? -- March 14, 2015

For the record: the data for the CLR Lawrence wells in North Tioga oil field has been updated (IPs, test dates; total production to date); at this post

Most Important News On Pi Day

NCAA basketball: Harvard beats Yale in "championship" game -- 53 - 51. Harvard advances to the NCAA championship tournament; one of 32 teams in the first round.

Disclaimer: this is not a sports betting site. Do not make any Las Vegas betting decisions regarding March Madness based on anything you read here or think you may have read here. But I can say with some certainty: it's unlikely Harvard will take the NCAA championship in 2015. 

Well, This Is Not Good

Fox News is reporting:
U.S. officials said Sunday they will halt operations at the embassy and consulates in Saudi Arabia for the next couple of days, in response to “heightened security concerns.”
Embassy officials in Riyadh issued the statement, saying telephone lines at the facilities will be down Sunday and Monday and encouraging U.S. citizens in Saudi Arabia to “be aware of their surroundings and take extra precautions when travelling throughout the country.”
The message did not cite a specific security concern or threat nor call for the evacuation of the facilities. 
Call me "over reacting," but this does not sound good. Perhaps the JV team is phoning it in.

Later: see first comment below.  The Saudi princes do not have a "record" of defending themselves. They do not have a "warrior culture." From wiki:
The army has been chronically understrength, in the case of some units by an estimated 30 to 50 percent. These shortages have been aggravated by a relaxed policy that permitted considerable absenteeism and by a serious problem of retaining experienced technicians and noncommissioned officers (NCOs). The continued existence of a separate national guard also limited the pool of potential army recruits.
When Syria/Iran/ISIS go after the prize, the big question is whether the US wants to confront Russia by proxy.

This Is Really Not Good

PJ Media is reporting:
Seattle’s $15 minimum wage law goes into effect on April 1, 2015.
As that date approaches, restaurants across the city are making the financial decision to close shop.
The Washington Policy Center writes that “closings have occurred across the city, from Grub in the upscale Queen Anne Hill neighborhood, to Little Uncle in gritty Pioneer Square, to the Boat Street Cafe on Western Avenue near the waterfront.”
Of course, restaurants close for a variety of reasons. But, according to Seattle Magazine, the “impending minimum wage hike to $15 per hour” is playing a “major factor.” That’s not surprising, considering “about 36% of restaurant earnings go to paying labor costs.”
Seattle Magazine, “Washington Restaurant Association’s Anthony Anton puts it this way: “It’s not a political problem; it’s a math problem.”
“He estimates that a common budget breakdown among sustaining Seattle restaurants so far has been the following: 36 percent of funds are devoted to labor, 30 percent to food costs and 30 percent go to everything else (all other operational costs).
The remaining 4 percent has been the profit margin, and as a result, in a $700,000 restaurant, he estimates that the average restauranteur in Seattle has been making $28,000 a year.
“With the minimum wage spike, however, he says that if restaurant owners made no changes, the labor cost in quick service restaurants would rise to 42 percent and in full service restaurants to 47 percent.”
Restaurant owners, expecting to operate on thinner margins, have tried to adapt in several ways including “higher menu prices, cheaper, lower-quality ingredients, reduced opening times, and cutting work hours and firing workers,” according to The Seattle Times and Seattle Eater magazine.
As the Washington Policy Center points out, when these strategies are not enough, businesses close, “workers lose their jobs and the neighborhood loses a prized amenity.” A spokesman for the Washington Restaurant Association told the Washington Policy Center, “Every [restaurant] operator I’m talking to is in panic mode, trying to figure out what the new world will look like… Seattle is the first city in this thing and everyone’s watching, asking how is this going to change?”
My hunch: Starbucks will see an increase in business as their competition goes away. 


  1. The following was sent to my by personal e-mail. Re-posted as a comment, anonymously, but due to "blogger" application, it is posted over my name:

    The USA has always protected Saudi Arabia from Iraq and Iran. Saudi Arabia wasn't too concerned about these two threats after Iraq and Iran beat themselves up for about 10 years and then the "Coalition" finished off Sadam's military. But with Iraq and Iran teaming up to fight the JV the Saudi's are certainly scared to death.

    I lived and worked close up and personal with Sunni's and Shiite's for five years....there is zero warrior mentality in Saudi Sunni culture, none nada. One of my Shiite buddies, built like a linebacker, with a Iraqi mother, whom he frequently traveled with to Iraq to visit his cousins said, "in a fight, one Iraqi like me is worth 10 Sunni Saudi's"...Everything I saw confirmed his position.

    If an Iraqi/Iranian coalition teams up and defeats the JV, Saudi Arabian crude will be controlled by Iraq/Iran ...unless a republican president (if we ever have another one) intervens....and it's gotten difficult to justify with our new found oil/gas capabilities. The Saudi's know Obama wouldn't lift a finger, except maybe a couple drones...(many of the Saudi's I worked with understood American Politics better than most of my co-workers here in the US).

    1. I have a stand-alone post ready to go in line with your thoughts if/when the conditions warrant the post. We may be looking at something bigger here that is not being discussed in the mainstream media but may be buzzing on the streets in Riyadh.