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    [–] Tibetan woman elected student president in Canada, Chinese students enraged istartedi 52 points ago in worldnews

    This reminds me of a time when I lived in DC and a guy asked me if I knew where the Eritrean embassy was. The only thing I could recall quickly was that Eritrea is geographically close to Ethiopia. Just so happens, I knew where the Ethiopian embassy was and volunteered that information, on pure speculation that embassies might decide to co-locate based on geography. As he politely walked away, something else clicked: Those two countries had recently been at war. The gentleman was unflappable! I'll never forget it. I've always wondered what he thought of me.

    Certainly he realized that he was in America. Certainly these Chinese students can realize they're in Canada.

    [–] Bold Plan? Replace the Border Wall with an Energy–Water Corridor: Building solar, wind, natural gas and water infrastructure all along the U.S.–Mexico border would create economic opportunity rather than antagonism istartedi 3 points ago in Futurology

    This is fatally flawed and naive, as others have pointed out. What would be kind of cool is a border surveillance system that doubled as a wildlife monitor. Why focus only on homo sapiens crossing the border? It would also be nice to know more about the possible re-introduction of jaguars into the US, the travelings of coyotes, armadillos, and of course El Chupacabra. For this to work you need the border to be porous, but still guarded by checkpoints from which law enforcement can quickly ride if necessary.

    [–] Amish rebuilding a barn that burned down less than 36hrs ago. istartedi 19 points ago in mildlyinteresting

    AFAIK, each Amish group called an "ordnung" is an independent entity. They generally make decisions based on what will keep the community together. So, a cel phone in an outbuilding is OK, but if they were all walking around texting that might drive the community apart so it's not OK. With all these little ordnungs separated by a day's buggy-riding distance, you're going to get a lot of variation.

    [–] Is Prius that popular in the US? istartedi 2 points ago in AskAnAmerican

    I lucked in to a Lincoln cab one time. Smoothest cab ride I ever had, even on city streets and something about the whole feel of it just said "solid". I'm sure some cabbies let them run to junk, but not this guy.

    [–] Favorite regional saying or word? istartedi 2 points ago in AskAnAmerican

    My parents were from the northeast, but we always said cattycorner. I was in NoVA, not the deep south, and I didn't hear kittycorner until I was an adult and got around more.

    [–] Favorite regional saying or word? istartedi 2 points ago in AskAnAmerican

    That reminds me of the old "depress the A key" prompt on computers. Is it OK if I just press it? No? OK, A key. Your life is worthless. You're ugly. Are you depressed yet?

    [–] China tries to stop academics from taking its constitution literally istartedi 9 points ago in nottheonion

    Rhymin' for thine but not for mine?
    This might be your year, but not over here!

    [–] Which US cities would you say are overrated based on your experience? istartedi 1 points ago in AskAnAmerican

    I liked DC so much better than SF. I'm not sure if it's because I had my fill of urban areas or the city itself. My big problem with SF is that I get sick half the time I go there. It's like there's something in the air, which there probably is from all the unsanitary stuff that happens. I have my best luck if I go for some specific thing, and avoid the big street fairs.

    [–] Which US cities would you say are overrated based on your experience? istartedi 5 points ago in AskAnAmerican

    This makes me treasure my visit to Austin in the mid 90s all the more. I guess I got to see it "before it got ruined".

    [–] What is your Opinion on the teachers strike in Denver? istartedi 2 points ago in AskAnAmerican

    And their hands are tied anyway. In private industry your employment is "at will" and administration can let you go for a wide array of reasons as long as it isn't racism, sexism, etc. School administrators in some districts have a very hard time letting teachers go even when they'd really like to ditch them. Teachers should be employed "at will", just like people in regular companies. Then we'd actually have a chance to see if the administrators are good, because they'd actually be able to do their jobs.

    [–] What are some of the cultural rules I should know before visiting America?? istartedi 19 points ago in AskAnAmerican

    I live in California and don't mind being called "sir". What creeps me out is when the guy behind the counter calls me "boss". It sounds like you just got out of prison. "takin' a water break, boss" as he sets down his pick and drinks from his canteen while the chains rattle.

    [–] What are some of the cultural rules I should know before visiting America?? istartedi 17 points ago in AskAnAmerican

    For a man from SA, visiting the US must be like a guy from the US visiting a tribal area where women walk around with bare breasts all the time.

    [–] The US Government is about to put a dog tag on your drone istartedi 1 points ago in gadgets

    How do you file a flight plan without a license? That seems like such an obvious way to keep this from happening--require license number on plan, plan is entered into database, boom! out-of-date licensee filing plan.

    [–] Is it a centrist idea to negate money from politics? istartedi 0 points ago in centrist

    I don't know if it's centrist or not. I think it's a laudable but unattainable goal to get money out of politics. I actually agree with SCOTUS's ruling--the 1A is not to be trifled with lightly. Even if we did, they'd find a loophole. It's what they do. Then we'd have honest people restrained by rules, and loophole finders spending more money.

    Money isn't everything in politics. Meg Whitman dramatically out-spent Brown for governor of California and lost. We don't need to screw around with 1A to take money out of politics. Instead of restraining organization and speech, we can organize and speak against monied interests.