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Paul E Ester

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Member since: Tue Jan 13, 2009, 01:46 PM
Number of posts: 952

About Me

When I clicked this thread, I said to myself, \"I wonder who said the inevitable stupid thing.- You did not disappoint.\" - WilliamPitt Hmmm. Interesting…nt - SidDithers What the hell is going on here, anyway? -Hekate This is one of the most hilarious threads I have read on DU… - defacto7 \"That has got to be the stupidest thing I have ever read on DU.\" - AsahinaKimi

Journal Archives

Aramco, Chinese firm sign deal on Yanbu refinery

Kingdom’s state oil giant Aramco inked a deal Saturday with China’s Sinopec to build an oil refinery in Yanbu that will process 400,000 barrels per day, state news agency SPA said.

The project, named Yasref, aims to be operational in 2014, SPA reported.

The deal “represents a strategic partnership in the refining industry between one of the main energy producers in Saudi Arabia and one of the world’s most important consumers,” said Aramco president and CEO Khalid Al-Falih.

The Kingdom is China’s top oil provider.


Saudi Aramco and Sinopec have a long and successful history of forming joint ventures that develop and execute world-class mega-projects.

Saudi Aramco and Sinopec are partners (along with ExxonMobil) in the Fujian Refining and Petrochemical Company Limited in Fujian Province.

Saudi Aramco and Sinopec are also partners in Sino Saudi Gas Limited, one of the Kingdom’s gas exploration joint venture companies.

YASREF is Sinopec’s first international downstream investment and ushers a new chapter of partnership with Saudi Aramco.

YASREF possesses the location advantage to effectively and efficiently supply both international and domestic markets.

Sinopec is Saudi Aramco’s largest crude oil buyer.


The Republican Party’s Ratings Now Stand at a 20-Year Low

Remember when Speaker John Boehner lamented that President Obama wanted to shove the Republican Party to the “dustbin of history”? Turns out, it’s not Obama who’s killing the GOP; it’s more of a suicide.

For those who pay attention, this should come as no surprise, but rather a “what took so long” response. Yes, America is on to the GOP. The Republican Party’s ratings now stand at a 20-year low.

Andrew Kohut, founding director and former president of the Pew Research Center and president of the Gallup Organization from 1979 to 1989, is a polling expert, so when he writes a column titled “The numbers prove it: The GOP is estranged from America”, it means something.

Writing in the Washington Post, Kohut compares the radical image problem of today’s GOP with that of the Democratic Party of the 1960s and early 1970s.


Wild horses rescued from BLM.

A herd of wild horses removed from an area off of Deer Run Road last month were purchased Saturday at a Bureau of Land Management adoption in Carson City.

The BLM-sanctioned silent bid adoption was held at Silver Saddle Ranch. The horses were bought for $850 by the Deer Run Preservation Group in a collaborative effort with the American Wildhorse Preservation Campaign.

About 100 people attended the auction, many of whom were supporting the group and its efforts to save the horses.

The horses will go to a 2,000-acre ranch in Northern California where they will live wild and free forever, said Annie Jantzen, spokeswoman for the group. Among the horses adopted are five adult mares, two males and two foals born recently at the Stewart Ranch.

"They will never see a pen, a saddle nor will they have to worry about their families being stripped away ever again," Jantzen said. "This is a huge victory for the horses."


Hitler joins gun debate, but history is in dispute

When the president of Ohio's state school board posted her opposition to gun control, she used a powerful symbol to make her point: a picture of Adolf Hitler. When a well-known conservative commentator decried efforts to restrict guns, he argued that if only Jews in Poland had been better armed, many more would have survived the Holocaust.

In the months since the Newtown, Conn., school massacre, some gun rights supporters have repeatedly compared U.S. gun control efforts to Nazi restrictions on firearms, arguing that limiting weapons ownership could leave Americans defenseless against homegrown tyrants.

But some experts say that argument distorts a complex and contrary history. In reality, scholars say, Hitler loosened the tight gun laws that governed Germany after World War I, even as he barred Jews from owning weapons and moved to confiscate them.
Advocates who cite Hitler in the current U.S. debate overlook that Jews in 1930s Germany were a very small population, owned few guns before the Nazis took control, and lived under a dictatorship commanding overwhelming public support and military might, historians say. While it doesn't fit neatly into the modern-day gun debate, they say, the truth is that for all Hitler's unquestionably evil acts, his firearms laws likely made no difference in Jews' very tenuous odds of survival.

"Objectively, it might have made things worse" if the Jews who fought the Nazis in the 1943 Warsaw ghetto uprising in Poland had more and better guns, said historian Steve Paulsson, an expert on the period whose Jewish family survived the city's destruction.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/news/us/article/Hitler-joins-gun-debate-but-history-is-in-dispute-4378784.php

Utah governor vetoes bill to carry concealed gun

The governor said Friday he had vetoed a bill that would have allowed Utah residents to carry a hidden, unloaded gun without a permit.

It was one of the most hotly contested measures to come out of the Utah Legislature this year.

"As I've said it before, if it ain't broke, don't fix it," Gov. Gary Herbert said, noting the current system has not inhibited the ability of state residents to bear arms.

Supporters of the bill say they will urge lawmakers to overturn the veto.


More than 430,000 people hold Utah concealed carry permits. That includes Utah residents and some people who live outside the state.

Apple introduces two-step verification for Apple ID, iCloud accounts/

Apple is finally ramping up security around Apple ID / iCloud accounts with the introduction of two-step verification. The new safeguard requires users to verify their identity on a trusted device before making changes to their personal information. Much like the way Google and other companies handle the two-step login process, Apple will send out a verification code to one of your devices that must be entered before your sensitive data can be accessed or changed. Users will also receive a recovery key that serves as a last-ditch verification method if they forget their main password or lose a trusted mobile device.

In offering the new measure, Apple is addressing critiques that the company hasn't gone far enough to protect its users. Senior Wired writer Mat Honan's Apple account was compromised in a high-profile hacking incident last year, which led both Amazon and Apple to reevaluate their authentication practices.


Apple yesterday rolled out two-step verification, a security measure that promises to further shield Apple ID and iCloud accounts from being hijacked. Unfortunately, today a new exploit has been discovered that affects all customers who haven't yet enabled the new feature. It allows anyone with your email address and date of birth to reset your password — using Apple's own tools. We've been made aware of a step-by-step tutorial (which remains available as of this writing) that explains in detail how to take advantage of the vulnerability. The exploit involves pasting in a modified URL while answering the DOB security question on Apple's iForgot page. It's a process just about anyone could manage, and The Verge has confirmed the glaring security hole firsthand. Out of security concerns, we will not be linking to the website in question.


https://appleid.apple.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/MyAppleId.woa/ to set up the better security.

Pakistan hopes for Buddhist boost to tourism drought

Religious violence may be on the rise and the Taliban still a threat, but Pakistan is hoping a rich Buddhist heritage will help it boost international tourism to its troubled northwest.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, with its balmy climate in the mountains and its wealth of history on the border with Afghanistan, was once a playground for colonial adventurers and a favorite holiday destination for upper-crust Pakistanis.

Yet after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the US ushered in war in Afghanistan and an insurgency against the Pakistani government, it has become synonymous with Pakistani Taliban and other Islamist militants who have killed thousands in recent years.

Wealthier Pakistanis and Westerners stopped visiting, scared away by attacks and the threat of being kidnapped, but the provincial government is now trying to lure thousands of visitors from wealthy Asian countries such as Japan and South Korea.

A group of about 20 Buddhist monks from South Korea made the journey to the monastery of Takht-i-Bahi, 170km from Islamabad, and close to the tribal areas that are a haven for Taliban and other Islamist militant groups.


From about 1000 BC until the seventh century AD, northern Pakistan and parts of modern Afghanistan formed the Gandhara Kingdom, where Greek and Buddhist customs mixed to create what became the Mahayana strand of the religion.

Should Politicians be required to wear logos of their sponsors’ like NASCAR drivers do?

Sign the Petition:

Require Congressmen & Senators to wear logos of their financial backers on their clothing, much like NASCAR drivers do.

Since most politicians' campaigns are largely funded by wealthy companies and individuals, it would give voters a better sense of who the candidate they are voting for is actually representing if the company's logo, or individual's name, was prominently displayed upon the candidate's clothing at all public appearances and campaign events. Once elected, the candidate would be required to continue to wear those "sponsor's" names during all official duties and visits to constituents. The size of a logo or name would vary with the size of a donation. For example, a $1 million dollar contribution would warrant a patch of about 4" by 8" on the chest, while a free meal from a lobbyist would be represented by a quarter-sized button. Individual donations under $1000 are exempt.


Top 10 Most Powerful Nuclear Bombs In History

With the power to level entire cities, nuclear bombs are the most powerful weapons on the planet. We take a look at the top 10 nuclear devices ever to be detonated in history.

Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky found dead in his bath

A close friend confirmed to The Telegraph that Mr Berezovsky died at his estate in Surrey.
The circumstances of the death remain unknown but the 67 year-old businessman is thought to have been found dead in his bath.

It will inevitably raise questions about nefarious activities because Mr Berezovsky had survived several assassination attempts, including a bomb that decapitated his chauffeur.

He was also a close friend of Alexander Litvinenko, the Russian dissident who was fatally poisoned with radioactive polonium-210 in London in 2006.

Another close friend in the "London Circle" of exiled but influential Russians is Ahkmed Zakayev, who was also the subject of a plot to assassinate him on British soil.


The multi-billionaire initially supported Vladimir Putin but quickly clashed with the new president and sought exile in Britain in 2000, and was granted politcal asylum three years later.

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