December 19, 2001

I LOVE THIS COUNTRY

Indonesia Maid Sues Saudi Princess

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — The Indonesian maid of a Saudi princess charged with assault sued her former employer Wednesday, claiming physical and mental trauma.

Ismiyati Suryono is seeking an undisclosed amount of money in damages.

Princess Buniah al-Saud, a niece of King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, was charged Monday with felony battery for allegedly hitting Suryono's head against a wall and pushing her down a staircase. Suryono is currently walking with a cane.

Al-Saud also was charged Tuesday with grand theft and dealing in stolen property for allegedly trying to sell electronics equipment and furniture belonging to a former driver. She is free on a $5,000 bond.

Her attorney, Bud Bennington, didn't return a phone call seeking comment.

In the lawsuit, Suryono accused al-Saud of hitting her several times, choking her once and verbally abusing her.

Al-Saud, 41, could get up to 15 years in prison if convicted of felony battery. She faces an additional 10 years in prison for the theft and stolen property charges.
BETTER THAN GERALDO RIVERA!

Can anyone clarify whether or not this is true? I just got this e-mail:

"Subject: Fw: Account of B-1 Crash/Rescue in the Indian Ocean.

A good read from the rescuer's point of view.

As everyone knows, we had a busy night. No matter what you hear on the
news, this is the story:

We watched on radar and talked on radio to this B-1 that left Diego
Garcia around 2100 hours last night. At about 100 nautical miles out, they
called in an emergency. One of their engines was out and they couldn't get it
going again. They turned around and started heading back, stating that they
were okay and that they would get back to D. G. and fly around the island a
little to burn off extra, then land. They didn't make it back. Shortly
after the U-turn, they disappeared from our scopes without a trace.

It's close to 2200 when this goes down and the Captain gets on the
announcing system to tell us what happened. We head straight for their
last position at over 30 mph. On our way there, we started preparing for the
worst. We manned up our two RHIB's (rigid hulled inflatable boats) with a
whole bunch of guys and gear. We had night vision gear, blankets, first
aid, stretchers, Gatorade (they were pretty happy about the Gatorade), and a
whole bunch of other stuff. Each boat had a corpsman (for medical help),
signalman (in case the radios died), engineer (to fix the boat), officer
(to be in charge), coxswain (he drives the RHIB), a seaman (to do
anything the coxswain says), and a rescue swimmer to bring the pilots out of the
water. Onboard the ship, they are preparing stretchers and stretcher
bearers. All sorts of lookouts are being manned. It was a pretty hectic
transit.

So the CO gets on the announcing system again, and tells us what he
knows.

"A B-1 went down. They have a crew of four. We are talking to one of the
pilots on his rescue radio. He is in his life raft and doing okay. He can
hear voices around him. Where they are is a shallow area that the ship
can't get to. We are going to stop about 5 - 10 miles away and send the RHIB's
down the bearing to the pilots." Just when we stop and begin to put the
RHIB's in the water, he gets on again. "Two pilots are now together and
in their rafts and doing okay. They can hear voices around them still." So
I'm now thinking that all four are accounted for and alive and talking. This
is good.

We dropped the RHIB's into the water. Mine went in second. Then, it
didn't start... but that's what the engineer is for. It only took a few minutes
to discover a loose cable on the battery. We got going a mile or two behind
the other RHIB. On our way out, we could smell all of the jet fuel. All I was
thinking was that I hope I don't have to swim in it. After about
7 miles, the other RHIB said that they had found the two that were
talking on the radio. We slowed down a bit and begin to close in on their
location.

We were looking all around. So were the planes. There were three planes
all doing low flying runs this way and that with their landing lights on. It
was kind of wild.

As I watched the water that one was lighting up I saw a flash. As the
plane flew by and the area darkened, it was easy to see a strobe light not too
far from us. We jammed straight for it. When we got closer and slowed down,
we saw that it was indeed a pilot. He said that he was okay, so we just
leaned over and pulled him in. The ejection process is a pretty violent
evolution.

He had 'rope burns' on his arm and neck and face from various straps and
stuff pulling tight when the chute opened. He was pretty stiff and sore,
too. Also, he didn't have his raft. It was torn away from him at some
point before he got to the water.

At this point we were told to transfer our guy to the other RHIB with the
two guys in it. Then, they were going to take them back and we would stay
and look for the fourth. As we were about to start over to meet the other
RHIB, we saw a flare. All three pilots said, don't worry about us, lets
go get our buddy. So, both boats headed straight for him. We got there about
the same time as the other one. We decided that we'd pick him up to even
out the loads in the RHIB. I actually got to get into the water for this one.

The guy was in his raft and we didn't want to get too close because we
might foul our prop on his parachute or sea anchor. I jumped in and swam up to
him. "Good evening, my name is Jim and I'll be your Rescue Swimmer for
the evening." It got me a smile and a chuckle - this guy is okay, too. He
asked me what the drill is to get him out of the raft and into the RHIB. I tell
him that he rolls out and I give him my floatation device. Roger that. He
rolls out and grabs the SAR-1 (floatation device), I grab him, and we
kick over to the boat. They lifted him into the RHIB and we were on our way.

Mission complete, job well done.

On the way back, they told us what happened. Once their engine failed,
other systems started dropping offline, too. They were down to one generator
when the last straw came. The attitude (not altitude) indicator malfunctioned.

Now they couldn't tell if they were flying level or not. And when they
did figure it out, they were flying upside down and heading for the water. At
night with calm seas and the stars reflecting on the water, it looks like
sky all around. So they all ejected at over 15,000 feet. Kind of a wild
story...

Anyhow, the CO gave us a holiday routine today, so I am going back to
bed."

GOOD COP, BAD COP

This little blurb culled from A.P. reports:

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is playing Joe Friday with Iraq by simultaneously warning the U.S. from expanding the war on terrorism to Iraq and urging Iraq to permit U.N. weapons inspectors into the country (which would be a first since '98). Wow. I can imagine what he said: "Now Iraq, you better quit screwing around and let our weapons inspectors in - after hiding all the goods, of course - or else those evil Americans will come and rain bombs on Baghdad!"

In real life, Annan went on to say, "I have not seen any evidence linking Iraq to what happened on Sept. 11. Any attempt to do that can exacerbate the situation and raise tensions in a region that is already under strain because of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.'' WHAT THE HELL? Is he saying that no link exists, despite evidence to the contrary? Or is he warning away inquiring minds who might seek to delve into the matter a bit more now that Afghanistan is largely under control? More importantly, what does Iraq have to do with the ongoing trouble in the West Bank? Saddam Hussein never did a thing for the Palestinians, and confined his anti-Israel activity to a few missile strikes.

Either way, it's clear: Kofi Annan is full of shit.