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Assorted links March 10, 2007

Posted by Sharath Rao in America, assorted, geo-politics, humor, image, movies.
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Went out with my colleagues for a movie yesterday – my first in a theater in America and 4th ever. The movie – Pan’s labyrinth. An Oscar winner for Art direction, it is some amazing work. But appreciating technical brilliance is different from waiting for the screen to light up enough to be able to see the time.

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This particular image shot during the construction of the Empire State Building in NYC is an American icon. You can see several related images here.

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On the recent “invasion”, by the Swiss Army, of Liechtenstein, country most have not heard of :

Because Swiss politicians are giving the army increasingly less money, economical means must be found to keep the troops occupied. Shoes being cheaper than ammunition, the rank and file just keep on marching. Switzerland may not have the most powerful army in the world, but it does have the most stalwart marchers. If the planet ever runs out of oil, our soldiers will be the last ones moving.

In the same article, some cool sarcasm. Is George Bush listening 🙂

Invading Liechtenstein was admittedly a foolish thing to do, but at least the Swiss Army has shown it knows how to bring a failed military action to a happy conclusion. You just turn around and sneak back home as quickly and quietly as you can before anybody notices. And the next day you call on the head of the foreign territory and offer a formal apology.

Can you imagine what it must be a citizen of a country whose population is less than a million, which has no political, economic clout, that people don’t talk good or ill of, has had no army for the last 150 years ( but is one of the richest countries in the world ) ?
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Washington Post on why international graduates are America’s greatest exports. Bryan Kaplan on America’s foolish ( but not foolish enough, read why) policy of treating international students.

If you want to get a U.S. student visa, you’re supposed to demonstrate “nonimmigrant intent.” As one immigration lawyer puts it: “the student must have ‘nonimmigrant intent’ – that is, an intention to return to their home county and not remain in the U.S.” In other words, our laws try to make people go away after they finish their studies.

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U.S. policy, in contrast ( to erstwhile Soviet ) , is moderately less brutal, but stupid beyond belief. It says, in effect: “We’ll invest in you – as long as you agree to contribute as little as possible to our economy once you’re done.”

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