Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Qatar Airlift

This probably isn't the best idea for a desert country with no rain-fed agriculture, but it is notable:
The showdown between Qatar and its neighbors has disrupted trade, split families and threatened to alter long-standing geopolitical alliances. It’s also prompted one Qatari businessman to fly 4,000 cows to the Gulf desert in an act of resistance and opportunity to fill the void left by a collapse in the supply of fresh milk.
It will take as many as 60 flights for Qatar Airways to deliver the 590-kilogram beasts that Moutaz Al Khayyat, chairman of Power International Holding, bought in Australia and the U.S. “This is the time to work for Qatar,” he said....
Most of the fresh milk and dairy products for Doha’s more than 1 million population came from Saudi Arabia up until a week ago. That milk is getting scarce after the kingdom, the United Arab Emirates and two allies cut transport links with a country that spends $500 million a week to prepare stadiums and a metro before the soccer World Cup in 2022.
Al Khayyat, whose main business is a construction firm that built Qatar’s biggest mall, had been expanding the company's agricultural business at a farm 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of Doha. Food security is part of Qatar’s government strategy to steer the economy away from petrodollars, known, like in Saudi Arabia, as “Vision 2030.”
On a site covering the equivalent of almost 70 soccer fields, new grey sheds line two strips of verdant grass in the desert with a road running through the middle up to a small mosque. It produces sheep milk and meat and there were already plans to import the cows by sea. Then Qatar was ostracized, so the project was expedited.
I would say that trying to produce cow milk isn't the best investment of resources in the Middle East, but Saudi Arabia's investment in a war on Shiite Islam and anyone who supports the Shiites is even worse.  I don't understand how Obama supported the Saudis' war on Yemen, and it is scary as hell that Trump feels the need to encourage the ultimate terror sponsors to start even more shit.  Hopefully we manage to avoid the idiotic war with Iran so many morons in this country want us to pursue (such as the commander-in-chief).  I'll be rooting for Qatar in the current fight.

Your U.S. Open Host Origin Story

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has a really interesting story of how this year's host course Erin Hills was built, and how it came to host the U.S. Open.  It is hard to believe.