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Juan Cole reports this today.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s clerical leader, gave a speech on Sunday in which he said he supports an agreement with the West on Iran’s nuclear enrichment program that is practical and can be achieved, but added, “I will not accept a bad deal."
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Tue Feb 03, 2015 at 02:27 PM PST

Lance Armstrong Hasn't Changed One Bit

by oblomov

Late last year the 7-time world champion fraud and liar bashed into a couple of parked cars in a hit and run ----- in Aspen CO.  He got his girlfriend to tell the police she was driving.  The police (not being stupid everywhere) quickly sussed out what really happened, and she confessed that LA was behind the wheel.

http://www.cbssports.com/...

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In an unprecedented move, the USG has asserted the 'law enforcement privilege'(NYT)/'state secrets' doctrine(JDF) to block the progression of a lawsuit between private parties.  The plaintiff, a Greek shipping company owner named Restis, alleges that the defendant, a group called UANI (United Against a Nuclear Iran), defamed him when it accused him of evading sanctions against Iran.

When Restis filed for discovery of UANI's donor list and other material, the USG moved to quash the suit under the grounds of state secrets.  But how does a private, albeit influential, group such as UANI have USG secrets?

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Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 12:21 PM PST

Fun at the Movies (MPAA Overreach)

by oblomov

Guy wears his Google Glass with prescription lenses to a movie at an AMC theater, does not record anything, does not misbehave in any way.

Guy gets accused of recording the movie and grilled by MPAA goons (and the FBI) for hours, until they finally accept his offer to check the content of his GooGlass.

Then they offer him some free passes and let him go.

http://the-gadgeteer.com/...

IMO he has some causes of action against these scum, but movie prices today can get these guys all the lawyering they need to bury him in procedure.

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Mon Nov 25, 2013 at 09:01 AM PST

Saudi Arabia Joins Up

by oblomov

From VOA:  

Saudi Arabia has joined other Gulf Arab states in cautiously welcoming a nuclear deal reached by their regional rival Iran and a group of world powers.

In a statement issued Monday, the Saudi government said the agreement "could be" a first step toward a comprehensive solution to the Iranian nuclear dispute, "provided there is goodwill."

http://www.voanews.com/...

One of the loudly trumpeted objections to the nuclear accord has been that savvy regional Gulf states, chiefly Saudi Arabia, would agree with the characterizations made by Israeli and American Likudniks (viz., that we are duped, that the Iranians are 'masters of deception,' etc. etc.), denounce the agreement as foolish, and commence a regional arms race.

But in the latest challenge to the increasingly inadequate aginners' playbook, Saudi Arabia (perfidious Arabs, huh?) has looked at the first-stage agreement and made its decision, which is undeniably something of a breakthrough.

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CITIBANK has sent out a notice on its statements sent out nationwide that effective in April, they will reserve to themselves the right to spring a 7-day-wait-before-withdrawal rule on checking accounts. This is neither a misprint nor a joke.  The bank claims that the nationwide mailout was a mistake and is only intended to apply in Texas. Hmmm.

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The "right of return" sought by the Palestinians to the lands from which they were evicted during the war for Israel's independence is not part of a practical solution to the I/P problem, any more than giving the American West back to the Indians was realistic in 1920.  Actually, it's even less practical, because in 1920 there weren't enough American Indians left to alter the balance of population power in the US, while if large numbers of  stateless Palestinians refugees and their descendants were allowed to return to Israel the essential Jewish character of the State of Israel would be threatened, if not undermined completely.

The bad-faith substitute offered by some Israeli sympathizers, allowing to "return" only persons who were themselves evicted in 1948, isn't even worth spitting on.

Only a withdrawal to pre-1967 boundaries (with rational adjustments) will move the problem toward a solution. Everyone knows this, but a some Israelis, and others, just don't want to give all that good land and copious water resources back to the rightful owners.  

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Believe it or not, it's true.  Ever wonder who is the source for all the bad-faith bullet points unreasoning supporters of continued Israeli domination of the West Bank seem to come equipped with?

Courtesy of Ha'aretz, pollster Luntz has it all in one handy-dandy document, his "Global Language Dictionary," published just in time to use against Obama's hopefully more realistic approach to the I/P mess.

http://www.haaretz.com/...

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Israel now tells us that unless The Iranians' putative nuclear weapons program is reined in, Israel will defer all but a few palliative steps in its dealings with the Palestinians.

In other words, "We, Israel, will never take our boots off the neck of the Palestinians."

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Thu Apr 02, 2009 at 07:46 AM PDT

Water in the West Bank

by oblomov

Israel's ongoing theft of Palestinian lands in the West Bank isn't just intended to provide room for the ever-increasing settlements there, it is driven at least as strongly by Israel's insatiable desire for the region's water.  Water is a great weapon-- sure, Israel has objectively legitimate needs for it, and also wants it to maintain a nice suburban lifestyle for its so-called "settlers."

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Ignoring the recent lesson on failed states, the US and Israel do not overlook any opportunity to destabilize other countries viewed as a threat.

Iraq (long-term, now that the US has destroyed its economy and infrastructure) and Iran (short-term, we haven't attacked it yet) are seen by the US and Israel as threats to our unquestioned dominance of the region.  So, after the US is run out of Iraq, who will keep Iraq weak, disunited, and in chaos, and who will be a thorn, or a spear, in Iran's side?  The Kurds.  This is the next installment of the US/Israeli strategy of permanent chaos in the Middle East.

 

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