Embassies to the Middle East

American cultural embassies to the Middle East:

  • KFC
  • McDonald’s
  • Dunkin Donuts
  • Krispy Creme Donuts
  • Burger King
  • Dairy Queen

Any others?

Travel Dreams

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Travel dreams.

Bug the Fire Extinguishers

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When the CIA bugged the Ecuadorian embassy in London (howdey doodad?) they placed the bugs on the bottom of the fire extinguishers. The fire extinguishers were unlikely to be removed (except every few years) and were unlikely to be touched in the meantime unless there was a fire.

What is Close Contact

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Close contact may not be close contact, and occasional contact may now be close contact.

I guess.

Howda hell diddy get dat?

Howda hell diddy get dat?

Irresistible Force Meets Immovable Object

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Irresistible Force: Blaming the Russians, Cubans, Chinese

Immovable Object: Having to pay your employees’ comp claims.

More: www.gq.com/story/cia…

Bulgarian Chihuaha Smugglers

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Bulgarian chihuahua smugglers operating in Norway may mean the death of this innocent animal.

Lining Up In An Orderly Fashion

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This is what the US has been fighting for in Afghanistan.

Foreign Policy by Indictment

Foreignpolicybyindictment

Childhood

My childhood was typical: summers in Rangoon.

(From Austin Powers)

Americans Can't Extend French Visas, But Chechen Murderers Get Ten Year Residency

Americans can’t extend French Schengen visas, but Chechen murderers get ten year French residency permits.

Something to think about.

Sea-Launched Drones

Sea drones

Bad news for the US Fifth Fleet: Iran now has sea-launched drones. The Fifth Fleet is headquartered in Bahrain on the Arabian Gulf, facing Iran.

Proposed Scrivener Pleading Wizard

Scrivenerpleadingwizard

One way to make Scrivener easier would be to add Wizards for common tasks, like compile.

Back in the days of Wordperfect 5.1, I could set up a federal pleading simply by pressing alt+u. With a pleading Wizard, Scrivener could have the same functionality.

Masked Confrontations Now Commonplace

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The masked and the maskless both have strong opinions. That is why fistfights break out over masking, sometimes with tragic consequences. The maskless believe that the masked are fools; the masked feel threatened by the maskless. Social etiquette has not yet developed appropriate standards of behavior. Confrontations are common, especially on airplanes.

Machine Gun Kelly

Machine Gun Kelly was Italian, not Irish, as his name would otherwise suggest.

Causeway Questions Clear Up

The Causeway/border mystery has been resolved. The Causeway is open. But the reason why there has not been much cross-border traffic is because crossing is now expensive–to get into Bahrain, you need a Covid-19 test. The cost of testing in Saudi is SAR 850 ($226). If your lab isn’t on the list, you have to repeat the test in Bahrain at a cost of 60 BD ($160). In Bahrain, you’re supposed to self-quarantine for 24 hours, but if you have a positive test, they’ll come and get you for mandatory quarantine. Test results are only good for 48 hours, which means you’ll have to be tested going back. Family of 4? Four tests, no discounts. This means that casual day trips or weekend trips are no longer practical.

How the Indian Education System Teaches Students to Game the System

A devastating analysis of Jugaad, the Indian education system and gaming the system as a way of life:

pulkitsharma07.github.io/2020/10/0…

Second Wave: Ireland

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Ireland’s Covid-19 task force is now recommending a full, Stage 5 lock-down as cases increase to levels not seen since last April. Donegal, bordering on Northern Ireland, has been under Stage 3 restrictions.

Second Wave: French Bars to Close

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The French will be forced to drink at home as the number of cases of the Sickness increases.

Saudi Arabia and Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to susceptibility to the Sickness. Fully 83% of Saudi citizens have “Vitamin D issues.”

Juliette Binoche and E-Books

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Dealmaking in the Middle East

It is common in the Middle East for a party to enter into a transaction only to find strangers claiming commissions when the transaction is to close. What are the legal ramifications?

Here’s the scenario: Buyer contracts with Seller for a product. Seller doesn’t have the product, and eventually admits this to A, saying the product is difficult to find. Seller promises to source the product. Eventually, the product is found. Buyer is surprised because the contracts now mention a Stranger (“C”), who is from a third country (often Lebanon) who seems to have no relationship to the transaction: the Stranger does not have the product to sell.

What is the legal status of the Stranger? What are A’s obligations to him?

Making introductions and acting as a buyer or seller’s representative constitutes valid consideration for a contract requiring payment for services, whether on a percentage or flat fee basis. In other words, there is nothing wrong with the payment of a commission. The problem is when you throw in names of individuals without specifying their roles in the transaction. Then, without a reference to consideration, a trier of fact could reach the conclusion that the contract was a contract for a gift, which is not a legally binding contract.

This happens when someone decides to add names to a transaction to thank someone for whatever reason where that person has no real involvement in the transaction.

If you have a contract that says,

“Buyer will pay a commission to Seller for brokerage services”

that is completely acceptable. But there clearly is no consideration for anything paid to the Stranger.

There may be a relationship between the Seller and the Stranger. The Stranger may be a subcontractor of the Buyer. But that is not the Buyer’s problem or responsibility. If the Seller promised to pay the Stranger for services, let him pay out of his own pocket.

Given the above scenario, someone could later come in and say, “the Stranger is only the Seller’s friend, there’s no entitlement to a commission, so it cannot be paid.”

This is why for the document to be legally binding the roles need to be spelled out. Identifying a party as “integral to the deal” is a good way to analyze the party’s role. If a person has no role which is “integral to the deal” that person is a bystander looking for a gift. Contract law does not require a buyer to compensate bystanders.

Looking Back at the Roger Stone Arrest

I still believe that the (televised) Roger Stone arrest was the result of a deliberate leak by the FBI to CNN.

“everybody knew something was going to happen…”

Secret grand jury proceedings. Indictment sealed. Without a tip-off, there was no reason to send anyone to Broward county. Stone could have been anywhere. The question is, why not simply request that he show up in D.C. as he had so many times in the past? Why the need for the Florida sideshow? Short answer: there was no need; it was done for publicity.

What’s the best way to get publicity? Tip off the press. Which is what happened. Do you think that CNN was the only news agency covering the Mueller investigation? But they were the only one to show up in Broward. So you’re saying every other media organization was asleep at the switch? But that somehow CNN deduced from people walking around in the courthouse carrying pieces of paper that an arrest in Broward was imminent? Or is it simply more likely that someone on Mueller’s team or the FBI leaked the return of the indictment to a single CNN reporter?

It’s important to look back at these events, lest they repeat in the future.

There is no "Kavanaugh Rule"

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Lawrence Ferling

Lawrence Ferling is the birth name of the poet you may know as Lawrence Ferlinghetti.