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Comment Re:proper mail voting explained: (Score 1) 143

1) Embassy voting is not a real thing. Nor would it make any sense, as different states handle elections differently, but embassies are a unified federal system. Nor does the US have embassies in every country. Nor are embassies guaranteed to be anywhere remotely near where a person lives within a country.

2) "Advance voting" makes no sense for expats. Believe it or not, some citizens live overseas. Including the military, by the way, who you apparently want to disenfranchise.

3) Your #1 case does nothing to guarantee vote privacy. The person can very well watch the individual fill out their ballot and then seal it up. All it does is make it harder/more expensive for the disabled to vote.

Comment Re:I wanted to take a photo of my ballot (Score 1) 143

Because I still have citizenship and because I still have to fill out stupid freaking IRS returns every year (unlike every other country on earth concerning their expats)?

US citizenship is a big disadvantage to carry around and getting to vote is the one decent thing that one gets out of it as an expat.

Comment Re:I wanted to take a photo of my ballot (Score 1) 143

That 3% number is clearly nonsense. And you can contact the county offices to make sure your ballot was received and is in order (which I did).

My vote is overseas. They're counted at the same time as local votes. You're thinking of absentee ballots.

What state are you? Don't forget about the downballot races.

Comment Re:Expectations (Score 1) 234

At first I assumed the Germans were less friendly, but I was later told that when I did the typical 'American smile' to strangers, the Germans would assume I was attempting to sell them something or otherwise solicit them.

This, by the way, is the end result of marketing-types coopting positive interpersonal gestures and mannerisms for their own sleazy ends. By abusing the tendency for people to take a smile or eye contact (or any of the other aspects that they're destroying) as a sign of friendliness or trust, they strip those gestures of their genuineness.

Comment Re:"I Don't Want Your Money" (Score 1) 234

Virtue signaling is less about actually doing things and more about talking about doing things.

Giving a buck or a sandwich to a beggar on the street is a fairly private affair, so it doesn't really qualify as virtue signaling. Now setting up a charitable foundation and naming it after yourself or donating to a hospital/university/whatever and getting a building or wing named after you is probably the most extreme example that I can think of.

Comment Re:"The app was never a revenue driver..." (Score 1) 52

Well, clearly they'd be making money hand over fist if it wasn't for Vine ;-)

Must admit I'm baffled by the uproar on Twitter. It was never that popular a service, and it sucked when your timelines were stuffed by autoplaying Vines, as they were when the service started and it was still novel.

Comment Re:except it wasn't people renting out their rooms (Score 1) 269

And you ought to be free to make such decisions for your private associations. You ought not to be free to impose such restrictions on other property owners.

Unless the HOA has the rule at the time every single person in the neighborhood has moved in, then no, it shouldn't be able to make that decision.

HOAs are not democratic governments. They are only allowed to enforce the rules in their charters, and given the power they have, and the ease with which that power ends up being controlled by a tiny group of people, it's absolutely right they're limited in that way.

Bans on AirBNB need to be addressed through the democratic process.

Comment Re:Grid Scale Batteries (Score 3, Insightful) 117

Solyndra was a bet that silicon prices would remain high. It was a way to get more power out of less silicon. The bet was wrong. With the drop in price in silicon, their death was inevitable. They also had a weird design decision, going for the concentrator. It made sense (in the economics of the time) to go for either concentrators or CIGS, but not both.

That said, the government took way too much flak - politically motivated - over Solyndra. With any diverse profile of startup investments, you expect some to fail. Economists analyzing the ARRA post-facto have been by and large given it quite positive evaluations for its effects on the economy. The loans program office had already wiped out the Solyndra loss just two years later.

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