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  • bfadlia
    01-09 08:05 PM
    bfadlia,

    I agree with you on most things you have said in your post and if you take a honest vote among the folks on this thread, you will find the overwhelming majority on the following views:

    1. The human loss and suffering of the innocent Gaza people is sad and horrific.
    2. Israel has reacted too strongly and used aggression to unacceptable limits.
    3. Palestine deserves its own state and power to govern itself.

    Now, the reason you have the same majority of folks respond in a manner that you, refugee and rayyan object and feel offended about is due to the following:

    1. You fail to acknowledge the role of Hamas in initiating this conflict AND not resolving this conflict. Even if you personally did, others have very ineffectively shied away from this point.

    2. There seems to be a lack of similar anguish and sympathy offered by you guys when it came to the mumbai attacks. Not saying you applauded the attackers but you didn't denounce them with the same vigor you are using to denounce Israel.

    3. Finally, the biggest reason you are getting such unwarranted and to an extent shameful posts on your religion is because you are not only ready to defend it when it's followers are the victim BUT also when it's followers are the aggressors (like in Mumbai attacks). And with all due respect to Palestinians, there seem to be more muslim aggressors in today's world than victims.

    In conclusion, I have nothing against you or the others. I am sure if I met you socially you will be a decent person. Lets hope peace is given a chance in Gaza and despite the differences educated people like us unite to fight for the common good...in these forums, it is EB Green cards.

    Cheers.

    bondgoli007, i'm glad we have some common ground.. i am sure my posts expressed that I despise intentional attacks on civilians.. i was disgusted hearing about the mumbai attacked and expressed that in its thread, although the guys there converted it into attack-islam thread
    having said that, i am still amazed the people starting history at the point hamas fired rockets and israel retaliated.. this is a more than 60 year struggle, with palestinians driven out of their homes and israeli settlements built over its rubble and tens of UN resolutions ordering israel to let the palestinians back and end the occupation but these just swept under the carpet based on israel's allies veto power.. point is hamas is resisting the wrong way by targeting civilians, but people resisting occupation will always happen regardless of how violently they are retaliated against




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  • rockstart
    07-14 02:11 PM
    vdlrao's figues tell the story

    Second: advanced degrees or exceptional ability 14,362--8,557-- 20,255-- 42,550-- 44,316-- 15,406-- 32,534 --42,597-- 21,911-- 44,162


    2006 only 21,911 visa for EB2? come on average is around 40K and they just halved it. Its Eb2 that should feel bad. Else the dates would have been in 2006 much earlier.




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  • cpolisetti
    04-18 06:09 PM
    I don't believe votes such as this are scientific. Also only people who like the opinion given by him watches the show, so everyone knows it will be biased.

    Anyway I did vote NO.

    Lou Dobbs at CNN is doing a quick vote to justify his oppinions against amnesty. So far, the majority of the vote is "against" rather than "for". I myself am not a big fan of the proposal becauses it deminishes efforts put in by legal immigrats like ourselves but regardless consider it necessary for us to support as it currently is the only bill alive including retrogression relief along with amnesty.

    Media generates publicity by twisting a small fraction of reality. Imagine what Lou would say if he gets a unanimous vote against amnesty. I am sure he will make the best of it to promote negativism towards any relief efforts regardless of it being amnesty or retrogression relief. Please go to the URL below and cast your support vote!

    Question: Do you believe Congress should first demand that our borders and ports be secured before taking up immigration reform?


    http://www.cnn.com/CNN/Programs/lou.dobbs.tonight/




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  • gccovet
    08-07 03:40 PM
    Political Science for Dummies



    DEMOCRAT
    You have two cows.
    Your neighbor has none.
    You feel guilty for being successful.

    You push for higher taxes so the government can provide cows for everyone.

    REPUBLICAN
    You have two cows.
    Your neighbor has none.
    So?

    SOCIALIST
    You have two cows.
    The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor.
    You form a cooperative to tell him how to manage his cow.

    COMMUNIST
    You have two cows.
    The government seizes both and provides you with milk.
    You wait in line for hours to get it.
    It is expensive and sour.

    CAPITALISM, AMERICAN STYLE
    You have two cows.
    You sell one, buy a bull, and build a herd of cows.

    BUREAUCRACY, AMERICAN STYLE
    You have two cows.
    Under the new farm program the government pays you to shoot one, milk the other, and then pours the milk down the drain.

    AMERICAN CORPORATION
    You have two cows.
    You sell one, lease it back to yourself and do an IPO on the 2nd one.
    You force the two cows to produce the milk of four cows. You are surprised when one cow drops dead. You spin an announcement to the analysts stating you have downsized and are reducing expenses.
    Your stock goes up.

    FRENCH CORPORATION
    You have two cows.
    You go on strike because you want three cows.
    You go to lunch and drink wine.
    Life is good.

    JAPANESE CORPORATION
    You have two cows.
    You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk.
    They learn to travel on unbelievably crowded trains.
    Most are at the top of their class at cow school.

    GERMAN CORPORATION
    You have two cows.
    You engineer them so they are all blond, drink lots of beer, give excellent quality milk, and run a hundred miles an hour.
    Unfortunately they also demand 13 weeks of vacation per year.

    ITALIAN CORPORATION
    You have two cows but you don't know where they are.
    You break for lunch.
    Life is good.

    RUSSIAN CORPORATION
    You have two cows.
    You have some vodka.
    You count them and learn you have five cows.
    You have some more vodka.
    You count them again and learn you have 42 cows.
    The Mafia shows up and takes over however many cows you really have.

    TALIBAN CORPORATION
    You have all the cows in Afghanistan , which are two.
    You don't milk them because you cannot touch any creature's private parts.
    You get a $40 million grant from the US government to find alternatives to milk production but use the money to buy weapons.

    IRAQI CORPORATION
    You have two cows.
    They go into hiding.
    They send radio tapes of their mooing.

    POLISH CORPORATION
    You have two bulls.
    Employees are regularly maimed and killed attempting to milk them.

    BELGIAN CORPORATION
    You have one cow.
    The cow is schizophrenic.
    Sometimes the cow thinks he's French, other times he's Flemish.
    The Flemish cow won't share with the French cow.
    The French cow wants control of the Flemish cow's milk.
    The cow asks permission to be cut in half.
    The cow dies happy.

    FLORIDA CORPORATION
    You have a black cow and a brown cow.
    Everyone votes for the best looking one.
    Some of the people who actually like the brown one best accidentally vote for the black one.
    Some people vote for both.
    Some people vote for neither.
    Some people can't figure out how to vote at all.
    Finally, a bunch of guys from out-of-state tell you which one you think is the best-looking cow.

    CALIFORNIA CORPORATION
    You have millions of cows.
    They make real California cheese.
    Only five speak English.
    Most are illegal.
    Arnold likes the ones with the big udders.



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  • pappu
    06-07 12:06 PM
    There is some excellent information on this thread. Pls add it on http://immigrationvoice.org/wiki/index.php?title=Buying_a_house_in_USA&action=edit

    as well
    http://immigrationvoice.org/wiki/index.php/Immigration_to_US
    There are some new Miscellaneous topics created in the wiki. Please help us by adding content in those titles as well so that this valuable information helps everyone. Do add links to relevant IV threads wherever possible.




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  • easygoer
    12-19 10:48 AM
    I am surprised that you have been brainwashed by your religious leaders into believing what you wrote... just to refresh your memory,,
    When Islam arrived in India, the Hindus welcomed the Muslims with open arms as brothers. In return Islam destroyed the entire Hindu civilization...over the years the followers of Islam killed over 100 million people. It has been documented that the largest genocide the world has ever witnessed was killing of over 100 millions hindus in the Hindukush region by Muslims. The muslim leaders �educated� Muslim men to rape Hindu women as this was a method to destroy the Hindu race. Infact raping Hindu women was part of what being a Muslim man was about! Temples were razed to the ground and villages were burned. Those who refused to convert to islam were either killed or raped if you were women. The reality is that islamic religious leaders wanted to destroy every religion from earth so that Islam the youngest religion in the world could prevail.Even today that is the aim of the islamic fanatics and cause of all the problems. Even in the recent past in this decade only.. the Taliban destroyed the Budha Statues in Afghanistan.. and people call this religion a religion of peace..., its a joke.

    Islam is a religion which does not even preach to treat your own wife with respect. Its a religion which teaches men to kill their wife incase they don't obey them. Even today women are treated like doormats and "things" of pleasure for men in this religion.

    Lets face it the fact is that Muslim community is now being cornered by the western world is because the violent front of the religion has become the face of Islam and the moderate religions and community in the world cannot take this anymore. That is the reason why the Muslim are suffering. Its like saying in Hinduism.. the Karma is catching up with you.

    Its sad that even today in India the muslim which is a minority community is holding the whole country back.. they continue to fight the hindus where ever they can and whenever they can in places like Kashmir and unfortunately the Indian leaders and Hindu community continue to follow the principle of Non Violence which is not working.

    The islam religion is not a religion of unification on the contrary the religion teaches the Muslims that non-Muslims are infidels and that they should be killed and that is the reason why Isalm was instituted through coercion and violence. So lets face Islam is everything but a religion of peace.. and yes I think the world is now waking up the violence of this religion and sooner or later the Islamic religion has to evolve into a moderate religion, failing which it will die its own death..

    redcard well said! If our politician had 10% of your courage we could have been in a better position. There is one question every muslim should ask thenselves 'Why everwhere in world they have fight with all different religion's people?' They have to change their understanding about Islam.

    The most important thing the educated muslims should try to stop propoaganda journalism run by muslim reporters because of them most of the muslims do not know the true facts and indulge in unnecessary hatred. These propagandas have created biggest disservice to Islam.



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  • Macaca
    12-28 07:24 PM
    Fighting for change

    At home, religion had started to drive a wedge in Rubina's family. Irfan, when he talked to her at all, often chided her for not covering her hair. He wanted her to quit school and marry a man whose version of Islam was as strict as his. With her father's support, she refused.

    "We don't really talk that much right now," Rubina said of her brother, who declined to be interviewed for this article.

    Her father arranged for her to marry a moderate Muslim, a man who had a promising job as a hotel manager and to whom Rubina felt attracted. Still, his family insisted that she withdraw from college to start preparing for her nuptials. With her brother and father pushing for the marriage, she agreed.

    She gave up her dreams of an English-language degree, a steppingstone for working-class Indians seeking better jobs in the country's booming call centers and outsourcing industries.

    The trajectory of her life suddenly seemed predictable, she thought, from fiancee to wife to mother and, as is tradition in many Muslim families, caretaker of her husband's home and family. But she still refused to cover her hair.

    Not long after she was engaged, 10 gunmen - young Muslims suspected to be part of a Pakistani jihadi group - crossed the Arabian Sea and came ashore in Mumbai, India's financial and cultural capital. During a three-day siege of the city, the assailants killed 166 people and injured scores - including Muslims - in part as retribution for atrocities in Gujarat, according to recordings of their cellphone conversations, which the Indian government later released.

    It was a turning point for India's Muslim community. For the first time in anyone's memory, many Muslim leaders came together to express anger against Pakistan, where the attackers were said to have been trained. Muslims in Mumbai even refused to bury the gunmen, nine of whom died in the attacks. The backlash was also directed at extremists within the Muslim community.

    "Many Muslims were very worried that we would be attacked after the siege of Mumbai," Rubina said. "We stayed at home, closed our shops. But after watching the Muslims of Mumbai protest in the streets, some here found the courage to protest against the terrorists and explain where we stood."

    The anti-extremist movement spread to other Indian cities with large Muslim populations, including Ahmedabad. Rubina and other women in her neighborhood saw it as an opportunity to speak out against extremism at a time when fatwas, or religious decrees, against women were on the rise.

    "Why do Muslim woman have to be so docile and submissive?" asked Khan, the social worker, who opened a chapter of a national Muslim women's group just down the street from Rubina's house. "Everyone is complaining about terrorists. This is the moment for Muslim women to speak up about our rights, too."

    The women's group filed, and later won, a lawsuit against the city accusing it of failing to provide electricity, water, and sewage and trash services in Muslim communities.

    Emboldened by that success, Rubina soon began studying health issues as part of a government campaign to help young mothers in the neighborhood care for sick children, offering health tips and medicine.

    "Many families here still think it's not safe for a girl to be out in offices or on the roads," she said one recent day, braiding her long hair and loading her briefcase with notes about neighbors in need.

    She walked past the mosque where her brother prayed. Nearby, children played hopscotch over open sewers clogged with plastic bags and crushed soda cans. She paused and tried to remember what her life had been like, how safe she had felt before the riots. Now 22, she wondered whether her life would have been different.

    "Would we have a better life?" she asked. "Would Muslims have a better life?"

    Just weeks ago, Rubina married the hotel manager. "My husband and his family will let me work. That is what's important," she said. "I don't want to sit home. There is a lot of work to do in the community. We are still recovering."

    Her brother attended the wedding ceremony and praised her work as a health activist, one of the few times he has let on that he was proud of her.

    Rubina glowed in a red sari, her hands stained with henna. She danced with the women in a midnight celebration at her home. And her father and brother danced in a nearby room.


    Muslim Women Gain Higher Profile in U.S. (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/28/world/middleeast/28iht-muslim28.html) By BRIAN KNOWLTON | New York Times




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  • Berkeleybee
    05-17 01:31 PM
    My only suggestion to learning01 and IV is this.......... If Lou Dobbs can help you you should use his help. You do not know what his thoughts are on legal immigration. If he says that he does not support your cause, you can move on and atleast know where he stands.

    If IV is talking to lawmakers from both parties, why cant we speak to all sides of the media?

    Qualified_trash,

    IV core members have only 24 hours a day to do IV work and their full time jobs. As such, we have to channel our resources in the most productive way possible. Lou Dobbs is the media equivalent of FAIR, NumbersUSA, Tom Tancredo and company [Do get on to Lexis-Nexis and find out more about him.] We are civil in our encounters with the representatives of these groups, but it is not a productive use of our time to engage with them more than this.

    As for dealing with lawmakers -- there too we spend our time productively. We haven't been hanging out with Jeff Sessions and James Sensenbrenner. We use other more reasonable lawmakers to work out deals with the anti-immigrant wing.

    best,
    Berkeleybee



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  • abcdgc
    12-27 01:17 AM
    You are right about the lack of governance in Pakistan. And that there are more personalities and less institutions.
    But I think you are wrong about Kayani. I haven't seen any reports about any intelligence agencies pointing fingers at Kayani. So, I am curious if you could provide any links. It sounds like a conspiracy theory otherwise.

    Let me give you a proof about Kayani, not that you will agree with it, but I will give it a shot anyways.

    Pakistan PM agreed to send ISI DG to India when he spoke with Indian PM. Later Zardari also publicly agreed to send ISI DG. Next day the three i.e. Gilani, Zardari and Kaayani had a meeting. After the meeting Pakistan announced that Pakistan will not send ISI DG to India. Now, if Gilani and Zardari agreed to send ISI DG, why the conclusion of the meeting was with the decision that ISI DG will not go to India. It was the starting point of escalation. Who triggered it? Kaayani. This is a well covered report. The point is, if sending ISI DG could deescalate the situation, and if India is asking to send ISI DG, why would Pakistan not send ISI DG even after PM and President agreed sending Pasha to India? Kaayani was himself ISI chief when Musharraf was President/Army Chief. The point is Hamid Gul, Kaayni and Pasha are all same group of cheats.




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  • greencardfever2007
    04-16 12:30 PM
    http://www.economonkey.com/2008/04/14/sirs/

    I am writing to enquire whether you have any vacancies on your strategic board for someone of my talents. I realise that it is a little unorthodox to apply �on spec� for such a high-ranking position within your organisation, but I believe I have the necessary skills to further increase the profits and assets of Big Bank Plc. In this letter I will attempt to demonstrate my knowledge of the challenges and opportunities in our marketplace.

    1) Who are our customers?

    I understand that our most lucrative customers are those with the least awareness of financial matters; indeed, the less numerate they are, the better. Rather like the dear old PM, in fact.

    If they don�t know the difference between APR and AER, if they fail to read the small print in their credit contracts - not that it matters, as I�m sure I have the necessary legal skills to make such text impenetrable - and if their limited attention is grabbed by an �introductory� rate, then they are exactly the kind of people we need to target.

    I think that if we closely follow that other highly successful model of commerce - drug dealing - we won�t go far wrong in attracting and retaining the right customer base.

    2) How do we get people to take on more debt?

    I�ve been thinking about this, since we need people to be in debt so that they pay us lots of interest. I believe the best way is to start with an asset class that everybody needs and arrange for its price to increase by far more than the general inflation rate. Then the people who want to buy the new, over-priced assets will have to take on far more debt than would otherwise have been the case.

    Of course, the people who bought the assets prior to the excessive price inflation wouldn�t be in debt, but I think we can get around that by encouraging them to take on larger loans for, say, holidays, new TVs, big cars, that sort of thing (maybe even encouraging them to buy more assets to loan to other people?), all while securing them against the now-increased �value� of their asset. We could describe these loans as �Asset Equity Release� or something; it sounds so much more friendly than �Borrowing a Lot of Money.�

    Ultimately this would mean that everyone is in far greater debt, paying us far more money, for exactly the same asset! Genius, eh?

    Oh. Hang on. That�s already been done with houses, hasn�t it?

    3) Social conscience.

    Every responsible company should have a social conscience, and Big Bank Plc is no different. We need to be in tune with the society in which we operate, sharing the values of our customers.

    Luckily that�s not too difficult; our customers are greedy and so are we! They want lots of money, right now. We want lots of money, but we can wait (that old �deferred gratification� thing).

    So we simply sell them the money to fulfil their greedy dreams, and they sign up for a lifetime of debt slavery to fulfil ours. Everyone�s a winner!

    4) Get-out.

    I have noticed that some of our customers have been attempting to escape from their obligations through IVAs, bankruptcy and so on. This really won�t do. Luckily we have a role model to follow here; America. The banking industry there successfully lobbied Congress to make it almost impossible to escape from credit card debt, even in bankruptcy.

    There�s much work to be done in the UK by comparison, but we�re getting there. Escape from student loan debt is almost impossible and an IVA won�t release people from mortgage debt. There�s still credit card debt, but at least we can now secure that on property (I love that one; we sell an unsecured loan at punitive rates, then secure it! They�d have been better off just getting a secured loan! How stupid are these people?).

    So, there�s just the problem of escape through bankruptcy, but I think we can work on that. Friends in government, nudge nudge, wink wink. Give me time�

    5) Our friends at Westminster.

    Speaking of government, I think our special relationship is going rather well, don�t you? They want a population that feels wealthy even though it isn�t (see number 2 above), that is unlikely to cause trouble (who can afford to go on strike when you have huge debts to service?) and that isn�t educated enough to understand what�s being done to them (have you seen the latest exam results?).

    Those are our goals too; it�s a marriage made in heaven. And if they want to rack up even more debt on the population�s behalf, we�re only too happy to oblige.

    We do need to be more careful at times, though. Our so-called competitor�s �employment� of that ex-Prime Minister so soon after leaving office was rather rubbing people�s faces in it, don�t you think? A few of the less stupid ones might start to put two and two together.

    6) Media

    Can we keep the mainstream and financial media �on-side�, thus keeping the population distracted by pointless celebrity gossip, �reality� TV programmes (oh, the irony), diversionary economic scare stories and back-to-back shows extolling the virtues of never-ending asset inflation (and with it, never ending debt)?

    Of course we can - we own most of them! And the government owns much of the rest. Anyway, people actually seem to want this stuff. Bread and circuses, I suppose.

    7) What happens if we run out of money?

    See number 5. There are plenty of options if we ever run into difficulties - direct government �loans� (rolled over ad infinitum), dropping the base rate below real inflation while raising lending rates, etc. - but they all boil down to one thing: take money from the tax-payer while using inflation to mask the theft. With a bit of luck we can even get the public to demand this action for us, with the help of the media.

    And anyway, we�re not actually lending real money, are we? It�s created from nothing at the point at which the loan is granted. So what do we have to lose?

    I look forward to your reply.

    Yours faithfully,

    Mr Wanabe A Banker



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  • indianindian2006
    08-02 02:21 PM
    United Nations,
    I do not have words to express how knowledgeable I find you in immigration related questions,You are very good.
    Please answer on simple question for me....
    What will be consequences if we file 485 without employer letter.Is EVL a part of initial evidence.




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  • nojoke
    01-04 04:42 AM
    What is your experience with secret service and snipers? You seem to be so sure about that let's see your expertise on that.

    Regarding, that was not a war against terrorist in the beginning. Now it is.

    Pakistanis are good people too. Do not take an isolated attack in India conducted by terrorists as a generic approach please.

    You sounded that it was easy to do it and sounded like an expert. So prove me it is easy. Common sense tells me that it is difficult and suicidal for someone to infiltrate and shot.
    My point is- Iraq was not involved in the terror and now created terrorist because US invaded that country. So your example that invading Pakistan will result in the same is wrong. Pakistan already has terrorists.
    Yes, there are good pakistanis. But they are fed propaganda and hatred towards India. They are going to turn a blind eye when it comes to terrorism done against India. They will refuse to won up and give excuse. You can see this in this forum.



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  • just_wait_for_gc
    08-11 02:52 PM
    toung is made of BS




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  • walking_dude
    09-29 02:36 PM
    Full disclousre - I consider myself a fiscal conservative. But after watching the debate I believe Obama is a better candidate for Presidency than John McCain and here's why -

    1) There is a third dimension to the economic debate besides tax cuts and tax raises - National Debt - which has run into uncountable trillions of Dollars. Obama gets it. McCain doesn't.

    2) Both candidates want to cut Defense expenditure. McCain thinks making Defense contracts fixed cost will cut expenditure substantially. How does he plan to do that without affecting quality? Are we to see more of the guns that don't fire in Iraq? Obama has a better solution - end the Iraq War in a timely fashion and save trillions of dollars spent every month.

    3) McCain wishes to continue the practice of cutting billions of dollars check anually to Pakistan, most of which goes to buy ammunition from US weapons manufacturers. In other words, a subsidy/corporate welfare in the name of 'War on Terror'. Obama plans to hold them accountable for the money they receive and wishes to see the money go to rooting out Al-queda rather than weapons that threaten India into an arms race. Obama plans to hunt down and eliminate Al-queda in Afghanistan. McCain has no such immediate plans! He wishes to fight the war in Iraq for 4-8 more years and pass on the responsibility to his successor.

    4) McCains solution to energy crisis is to destroy the North Pole and burden thousands of generations to come with nuclear waste which will literally take a millenia to clean-up. Obama has placed is bet on replenishable ,greener and less expensive alternatives.

    5) Both candidates plans require 'Borrow and Spend' in the short term due to proposed tax cuts. I would rather have Obama spend it on Energy Research than let McCain blow it up in I-rack. At least with Obama plan, America has a chance that reduced dependency on foreign oil may let US government divert the money currently spent on Foreign Oil in paying off debt, rather than pass it on to the future generation.

    6) Obama has proposed a medical insurance to help veterans. McCains answer -' I know veterans. I will take care of them'. What kind of answer is that?

    7) Obama's stated position is that American companies can bring in more skilled foreign workers as long as there is a need. We are of course concerned about his buddy Sen. Durbin's views which are diametrically opposite of Obama's stated position. On the other hand, McCain doesn't consider EB immigration to be important enough to have a position. In John McCains world - we simply don't exist!

    I think it's a good effort by Chandu to educate EB immigrants on the political realities so that we get ready in the days to come to face any eventuality. Also it will aid those of us who get Green Cards in the mean time to make wise decisions while contributing to future election campaigns.



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  • Macaca
    12-23 11:04 AM
    'D' in Democrats means Do-Nothing (http://www.mercurynews.com//ci_7792528?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com) BUSH, REPUBLICANS GET THEIR WAY ON MOST ISSUES DESPITE VOTERS' MANDATE TO CHANGE DIRECTION Mercury News Editorial, 12/23/2007

    When the Democrats won control of Congress a year ago, they promised bold new leadership. Things would change, they said. They had a mandate.

    But they didn't have the votes to stand up to veto threats by Bush and filibusters by Senate Republicans. They didn't have the bold new leadership, either. A year later, Congress is lamer than the lame-duck president.

    On the Democrats' No. 1 issue, the war in Iraq, it's been a year of defeat and surrender. They were going to "bring the troops home." Instead, President Bush sent more troops to Iraq. The "surge," coupled with a new counter-insurgency strategy, has led to a sharp decline in military and civilian deaths. All attempts to link war funding to a withdrawal timetable fizzled. Giving up completely, Congress passed $70 billion in no-strings war funding before the Christmas recess.

    Democratic leaders blame their impotence on Bush's obstinacy. Bush didn't compromise. He didn't have to.

    Democrats talked about limiting the excesses of the Patriot Act, banning cruel CIA interrogation tactics and closing the Guant�namo Bay internment camp. Didn't happen.

    Instead, Congress authorized warrantless surveillance for six months by passing the Protect America Act before the August recess. Democrats were forced to push discussion on making the surveillance rules permanent into January. Bush will likely win this one, too.

    After months of wrangling, Congress approved an omnibus budget bill that gave Bush the spending levels he wanted.

    Promising fiscal discipline, the Democrats vowed to pay for any tax cuts with tax increases elsewhere or spending cuts. That "pay as you go pledge" was put aside to pass a popular bill protecting 23 million middle- and upper-middle-class taxpayers from paying $2,000 extra under the alternative minimum tax. Since the tax was originally designed to prevent the super-rich from using tax shelters, conservative Democrats tried to close tax shelters used by super-rich hedge-fund managers to cover the $50 million revenue loss. They lost.

    Congress made baby steps toward fiscal discipline by trimming "earmarks" for pet projects by 25 percent from 2006, estimates Taxpayers for Common Sense. But legislators OK'd more than $15 billion for more than 11,000 pork-barrel projects.

    President Bush didn't win them all: Social Security reform went nowhere, reauthorization of No Child Left Behind was postponed to 2008 and he couldn't rally enough Republicans to pass a complex and controversial immigration bill.

    But this wasn't supposed to be his year. The triumphant Democrats made big promises a year ago, but delivered modest results. Democrats increased the minimum wage, enacted the Sept. 11 commission's recommendations into law and expanded student loans.

    Most notable was the energy bill, which included the first increase in fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks in 32 years.

    However, Democrats dropped plans to repeal tax breaks for oil companies and require more use of alternative energy. Bush insisted. Congress caved.

    On other issues, Congress acted and Bush vetoed. Congress expanded health insurance for children and approved federal funding for stem cell research, but couldn't overcome Bush's "no" vote.

    Stymied repeatedly, Congress saw its approval ratings fall to record lows. When you're less popular than George W. Bush, you're pretty darned unpopular.

    "I don't approve of Congress, because we haven't . . . been effective in ending the war in Iraq," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco told reporters in response to the polls. "And if you asked me in a phone call, as ardent a Democrat as I am, I would disapprove of Congress as well."

    2008 will be a year of partisan politics. No doubt Republicans will run against the do-nothing Congress. That could backfire. Democrats will tell voters that if they want Democratic policies - and most people tell pollsters they do - they need to put a Democrat in the White House in 2008.

    For the next 11 months we can expect more of the same from the lame duck and lamer Congress.




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  • suavesandeep
    06-25 11:35 AM
    Sledge,
    Nobody is saying that the world is coming to and end in 2 years.IMHO myself and many others would agree that long term buying a house makes sense. The question is does buying now if you haven't already bought your primary residential home make any sense.

    From the current data, Do you think a guy who buys a house in 2009 would come ahead of somebody who would buys in 2011 when the housing market may have fully bottomed out ? I know its impossible to time the market. But all indicators to name a few below point that home prices should continue to decline.


    Unemployment is still on the way up. We will cross 10% anytime soon is a given.
    Excess housing inventory
    Home prices are still above the trend line. Historically its common for the correction to swing even below the trend line before it stabilizes.


    Again IMHO, If you haven't bought a home yet, Save so that you can make a bigger down payment (Own more of the house when you buy one) and check the market again mid 2010.

    Giving your example.
    Lets say guy buys in 2009, and another guy buys in 2011 (Assuming home prices would have further gone down using existing data points).. Who do you think would come ahead in 2019.





    I agree with you 100%. These guys here are all getting worked up as if the world will come to an end in 2 years and it is unreasonable to think beyong 2011. A regular investor like us, someone w/ a job, one who saves in the bank, and/or dollar cost averages in a 401(K), should never think short term.

    Let's see 10 years from now who will be in a better position - the guy who owned a home or a guy that is renting.

    Of course, some guys will start complaining about GC, but then other posts here are claiming that regardless of GC, buying a house now is dissasterous.



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  • Macaca
    03-27 08:14 AM
    Lobbying Is Lucrative. Sometimes Very, Very Lucrative (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/26/AR2007032602027.html), By Jeffrey H. Birnbaum, Tuesday, March 27, 2007

    Lobbyists, as they say, make the big bucks. That's why so many lawmakers, congressional staffers and political appointees move downtown when they leave government.

    So just how lucrative is it? Well, pretty lucrative. According to new data from the Center for Responsive Politics, 22 clients paid $1 million or more in lobby fees to individual lobbying firms last year.

    Three of the biggest payments went to the usual suspects: Patton Boggs, Hogan & Hartson and DLA Piper -- all major law firms. But two of the top five recipients were small shops you have probably never heard of: Canfield & Associates and New Frontiers Communications Consulting.




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  • milind70
    07-10 08:18 PM
    My situation goes something like this.

    1) I got 7th year extension in Sep 2005
    2) Visited India and got stamped and got new I-94 on return.
    3) Applied for 8th year extension without submitting new I-94.
    but applied with old replacement I-94 came with I-797.
    4) So the same I-94 continued on subsequent I-797 extensions.
    5) Recently applied for 9th year extension with the same.

    My Question is, do I need to submit last entry I-94 card that I missed which is expired now, for correction? Or is there any issue with this.
    All these years I have the same employer.

    I appreciate your help on this.

    Thanks
    -BMS

    There are two things

    1. when you got your 7th year extension 797 with I 94 , you were supposed to submit that I 94 ( on 797) along with the i 94 in your passport.
    This is important most people dont do it .
    2. when u aplied for 8th year extension u submitted the 797 of the 7th year along with the i 94 attached to it( which you were suppose to submit when you left the country for 7th year stamping) hence the I 94 number did not change. Your I 94 are out of synch.

    I would suggest to talk to an immigration attorney and i mean a real good one .
    Otherwise you could talk to an immgration officer and expalin your case.
    Or you could now go out get stamped and get a new I 94 9make sure this time you submit both the I 94s when you leave)

    I had a very peculiar situation where i had to travel outside the country when my H1 extension was pending and it got approved when i was out of the country and when i got a new i 94 when i came back with a new number than the one with i 94 on 797 ( which was of a later date)
    I spoke to immigrtaion officer and he heard me my circumstances and said i was in status and my i 94 were in order.
    Last year i went to my home country and got stamped and got a new i 94 but i submiited the two i 94s when i left the country.




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  • pitha
    04-09 12:42 PM
    Absolutely correct. When a company hires someone they are not just thinking about QA, junior programer etc they are thinking about the growth potential of that individual. You dont even need a seconday school certificate to do a QA job, but if the company is any good they will try to access your skills beyond the immediate required position and see how you might grow and be an asset to the company.

    I am sorry to hear this sense of mediocrity that you want to perpetuate - maybe, I made a mistake by preaching to the wrong set of folks. The person I want to hire for a particular position should be smart enough to move to other positions (if the original position were to go away or if his/her career plans were to change). The last thing I want is to hire a person whose skills are not transferrable to a different job position.

    I have myself moved from development to management to business and all because I believe I have the base skills to be an effective, valuable employee (and alas, every time I have done the change, my GC has been re-applied).

    In a competitive world, you are better off hiring the best talent - just pay close attention to the kind of folks McKenzie/BCG hires.




    sledge_hammer
    03-24 02:17 PM
    Again, I am not the one you should be asking to define "full-time" and "temp" type jobs. Ask USCIS or DOL or whoever is going to adjudicate your green card.

    I am simply saying that if USCIS has made a distinction between perm job and temp job, AND if they feel that consulting job is of temp type, someone along the line has dropped the ball and missed this. They also missed the fact that the employee needs to work at the LCA specified location. They also missed (or circumvented) that benching is not allowed.

    You can blame anyone and everyone for it. Maybe the immigration attorneys were the ones that should have warned both the employers and employees that consulting jobs do not fit the H-1B requirement. Maybe USCIS was sleeping all the while and suddenly they decided to start enforcing this. But the fact that they can ALL-OF-A-SUDDEN claim that H-1B visa is for permanent jobs only, AND that employees need to stay in the LCA location means that our lawyers, employers, and employees were incompetent in their judgment and did not do their due diligence to protect against potential audits and queries.
    I am telling you the same thing I told the other guy .... you don't need to give me justifications.

    Just hope that USCIS will buy your story!

    sledge_hammer,

    Why don't you define what a "permanent" job is ?
    You think FT job is a permanent job and consulting is a temporary job ? I don't think so.

    There are consultants working for years in a consulting firm. ( Don't bring H1B into the picture) . There are many FT employees being laid off from companies before contractors are let go. Contractors are temporary from a client's perspective not from the sponsoring employer's perspective.

    Try to define a permanent vs temporary job in US without bringing H1B into the picture.




    Macaca
    10-02 11:02 AM
    As China Opens, U.S. Lobbyists Get Ready to Move In (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/01/AR2007100101672.html?hpid=sec-business) By Ariana Eunjung Cha | Washington Post Foreign Service, October 2, 2007

    BEIJING -- It's almost 8 a.m., and former U.S. commerce secretary Donald L. Evans and his team are standing in front of the St. Regis Hotel, preparing for their day of meetings with Chinese finance officials.

    Small but meaningful gifts in Tiffany's signature baby-blue boxes? Check. Briefing books with the pronunciation of everyone's names? Check. Black Audi A6s to whisk the group to the meetings? Check.

    Evans was in town representing the Financial Services Forum, which is made up of chief executives of 20 multinational banks. His goal was to convince Chinese regulators that opening their financial sector to more foreign investment would be good for China's economy.

    Armies of lobbyists are descending on the Chinese capital in anticipation of the 17th Communist Party Congress beginning in mid-October. The gathering will choose a new generation of leaders, setting the political agenda for the next five years.

    But the dark-suited Western lobbyists are an odd spectacle given that in China, policy and legislative decisions are still made behind closed doors. Lobbying exists in a gray area; because there are no laws specifically pertaining to it, it isn't even supposed to exist.

    Nevertheless, some of Washington's marquee lobbying firms -- including Jones Day, Hogan & Hartson, DLA Piper and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld -- have set up offices in China. Officially, they are just investment advisory and communications firms. Chinese companies mostly work through government-affiliated industry associations, although some have also hired Western-style lobbying firms.

    In June, foreign companies successfully lobbied Chinese officials to remove conditions on hiring temporary workers in a new labor law that they said would make it prohibitively expensive to do business in China. Likewise in August, they were able persuade China to remove some language in early drafts of the anti-monopoly law that seemed to discriminate against foreign companies, according to Chinese and foreign academics.

    The Chinese government has said it took input from domestic and foreign interests into account but has not been specific.

    Foreign companies are interested in what happens in China, as its economy is becoming the world's third-largest as well as a capitalist instead of planned one. There's concern that the legal framework for business that China's legislators are writing today could affect the fate of multinational businesses for decades.

    Evans said that the degree to which Chinese officials are interested in hearing foreign perspectives on business issues has increased dramatically. In the past, he said, he would go into government meetings and recite a set of bullet points, and the meeting would end. These days, he said, there's real discussion and debate.

    "They are very proactive in wanting to engage and share with the business community," Evans said.

    Scott Kennedy, director of the Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business at Indiana University and author of "The Business of Lobbying in China," said that as recently as a few years ago foreign companies would grumble that they heard about new policies only after they were announced.

    "That is increasingly no longer the case. Today, even if they don't agree with the final result, they know it's on the horizon," Kennedy said.

    But China's laws have been slow to respond to the influx of lobbyists seeking to take advantage of the closer ties. Zhao Kejin, an associate professor at Shanghai's Fudan University who studies government-business relations and has written a book on lobbying in China, argues that because lobbyists do not need to register or file disclosure forms, the system is vulnerable to abuse.

    "There is lots of lobbying money flowing to individual officials' pockets," Zhao said. In addition to straight-up bribery, some lobbying firms keep friends of high-placed officials on the payroll or pay for officials to take luxury "training" trips abroad.

    In 2004, Lucent Technologies fired four executives who were part of its Chinese operations for violating the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits bribing foreign government officials and politicians. Last November, a U.S. software maker, Fidelity National Information Services, was accused of paying for luxury vacations for Chinese banking officials and their families in places such as Rome and Las Vegas. Fidelity has denied the charges.

    Lobbying is not only less of an institution in China than it is in the United States, but the people being lobbied are different.

    For instance, Murray King, head of the Shanghai office of APCO Worldwide, one of the oldest government relations firms operating in China, said that Chinese academics are among the key players that companies should reach out to. The most important members of that group are those who work with the think tanks affiliated with various state ministries, because they play an important role in the drafting of legislation.

    Another crucial part of high-profile lobbying efforts are "guanxi brokers," well-connected individuals who can give introductions to important officials, or "rainmakers," people who are so famous that many Chinese officials might be happy to meet and shake hands.

    "Because China is a country that respects authority, former politicians of the United States, when they come to China, can always play a very important role," said Steven Dong, a Tsinghua University public relations professor who studies the reputations of corporations.

    A former U.S. official will almost always be greeted by a Chinese official of the same rank, Dong said.

    Former officials with star power in China include Henry Kissinger, probably the most sought-after because of the role he played in establishing diplomatic relations with the Communist Party during the Nixon administration. Former Federal Communications Commission chairman Reed Hundt, who routinely visits China on behalf of Silicon Valley companies to talk about opening up China's Internet and telecommunications sector, is also a regular in the halls of Chinese ministries. Gary Locke, a former governor of Washington whose consulting firm represents Microsoft and Starbucks, is celebrated for being the first Chinese American governor and is so well known that school girls run up to him to take his picture.

    Evans, who was commerce secretary from 2001 to 2004, has been working for the Financial Services Forum since 2005. This was his second trip to China on behalf of the group.

    Evans was received by the Chinese government this month with all the pomp and circumstance of a state visit.

    His schedule, which included all key financial ministries and regulators, was almost identical to that of Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. during his visit in July. Evans even had a private diner with Vice Premier Wu Yi.

    There was lobbying on both sides.

    Jiang Jianqing, chairman of the state-owned Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, a rank similar to that of minister, pummeled Evans with questions about the subprime lending crisis and trade protectionism in Congress. ICBC has recently been ranked the second- or third-largest bank in the world by market capitalization.

    Evans said the Chinese must make sure that U.S. legislators understand they are open to foreign investment. He said it's important for the Chinese to make sure the U.S. government understands "your view as an important trader, to make sure they understand your commitment to moving your economy toward an ultimate market economy."

    The total foreign ownership in a Chinese bank cannot exceed 25 percent. But even as Evans began to lay out his case for why China should raise or do away with foreign ownership caps for banking, securities and insurance firms, Jiang took the opportunity to point out his frustration that his bank's application to open a single branch in the United States has not been approved, while U.S. banks, including some that Evans represents, already have significant operations in China.

    Evans said he'd be happy to look into the holdup.

    Near the end of the one-hour meeting, the two turned to a less-tense topic: the development of China's countryside. Evans talked about his visits to western China, where he met two blind brothers with whom he has kept in touch, and how much their lives had changed over the years. Jiang said he, too, was concerned about bridging the gap between the rich and the poor in China.

    The two men smiled and shook hands. That was considered progress.



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