vineri, 1 iulie 2011

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  • Macaca
    05-09 05:50 PM
    China’s America Obsession
    Why Osama bin Laden's death is making Chinese leaders nervous. (
    By JOHN LEE | Foreign Policy

    In Thursday's edition of China's Communist Party-owned Global Times newspaper, the lead editorial was headlined, "After Bin Laden, will China become US's foe?" Hoping that economic integration would defuse "right-wing paranoia" about China in the United States, the editorial nevertheless concluded: "The rise of China is certain to cause friction" in America. On Friday, the paper led with an editorial that referenced an interview I had given the Global Times in late April to admit that "China could be the loneliest rising power in world history."

    Of course, editorials in state-owned newspapers do not always mirror the Communist Party's thinking or policies. But in this case, these two editorials remind us of two related points about Beijing's worldview. First, China respects and even fears the United States more than the vast majority of Americans probably realize. And second, China's sense of isolation is not an act but acute and real -- and Osama bin Laden's death will only accelerate America's reengagement with its Asian allies and partners at China's expense.

    When Washington shifted its focus toward terrorism and the Middle East after the September 11 attacks in 2001, Beijing experienced genuine relief. As China's leaders and strategists came to believe, an America distracted by two wars and a weak economy presented a priceless window of opportunity for China to extend its influence in Asia and beyond. But Beijing realizes that Washington's strategic attention will eventually turn eastwards, and the death of bin Laden is one small but significant step in hastening the arrival of that day. As one prominent Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) analyst put it to me recently, the American "spearhead will soon be pointed at Beijing."

    China's focus on America is obsessive and omnipresent among its leaders and strategists. In a study of 100 recent articles by leading academics at CASS, comprising the network of official state-backed think-tanks and institutes throughout the country, I found that about four in every five were about the United States -- whether it was seeking to understand the American system and political values, or describing how to limit, circumvent, bind, or otherwise reduce American power and influence. Of these themes, several emerged that help better understand the thinking behind editorials like the one in the Global Times.

    One is that Beijing views international politics in broadly neorealist terms. Chinese strategists believe the distribution of power in the world today will determine tomorrow's conflicts. China has long seen building competition between itself and America in particular as the inevitable and defining big-picture strategic play. In Beijing's thinking, tension can be managed, but never resolved, between the established power and the emerging one. Tension is a structural inevitability.

    But Chinese experts also view America as a unique superpower that relentlessly seeks not only to build and maintain its power, but also to spread its democratic values. This is of grave concern to the authoritarian Chinese leaders, because they believe that America will have difficulty accepting a greater leadership role for Beijing so long as Communist Party remains exclusively in power. Senator John McCain's "League of Democracies" might never become a formal reality, but Beijing believes that it already exists, at least in Asia, through democracies such as India, Japan, and South Korea.

    Moreover, Beijing fears the American democratic process. While Americans view democracy as an advantage since it can offer United States an institutional and bloodless process for leadership and policy renewal, China views American democracy as a source of irrationality and unpredictability. Many in Beijing, pointing to President George W. Bush's rapid decisions to go to war in Afghanistan and Iraq after 9/11, believe a new administration might actually increase the chances of uncomfortable shifts in policy that will lead Washington to suddenly focus its competitive and hostile gaze to the east.

    Some of Beijing's strategists now even argue that the United States has three advantages over China that will help preserve American strategic primacy in Asia.

    First, the United States has built an order based not just on American power but also democratic community. It has not escaped Beijing that few countries in East and Southeast Asia fear India's democratic rise. Whereas India's ascent is seen as natural, predictable, and welcomed, almost every country in Asia is trying to benefit from China's economic success while strategically hedging against Chinese military power by moving even closer to the United States. (Witness the recent speech by Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard to Congress in which she reaffirmed the alliance with America as the bedrock of Canberra's security strategy, or Singapore's leader Lee Hsien Loong urging America to remain engaged in Asia.)

    Second, unlike China, America does not have land and territorial disputes with other Asian states. For example, China still claims around 80 percent of the South China Sea as its "historic waters" and is in an ongoing dispute with India over the eastern-most Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. In this sense, China's rise is inherently disruptive since a more powerful China is likely to demand a resolution to these issues that is in Beijing's favor.

    Third, the United States is not a resident power in that it is not geographically in Asia. China now realizes that this simple fact, once seen as a handicap, instead presents America with a unique advantage. To maintain its military bases in the region and thus remain the pre-eminent strategic power in Asia, the United States requires other key states and regional groupings to acquiesce to its security role and relationships. There is broad-based regional approval of U.S. alliances with Australia, Japan, and South Korea, as well as with partners such as India, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. This interdependent relationship means that America is not so powerful that it can easily ignore the wishes of Asian states.

    In contrast, if China were in the dominant strategic position, its pre-eminence would be much harder to challenge or shift. Beijing would not need the same level of regional acquiescence. As a resident power, China would not need the "approval" of other Asian states to maintain its military footholds. As the largest Asian power, it would be easier to dominate regional institutions without an American presence -- yet one more reason why America is trusted to provide the public and security goods in Asian sea lanes while China is not.

    All this is why, instead of taking full advantage of America's terrorism obsession, Beijing has watched resentfully as the United States has built a hierarchical democratic order in which Asian states willingly aid in preserving American pre-eminence. In such an order, China remains a strategic loner in Asia, with Myanmar and North Korea as its only true friends.

    China is well aware of its relative vulnerabilities. Rather than lament the irretrievable loss of its better days, America should learn to better appreciate its relative strengths.

    John Lee is research fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney and the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. He is author of Will China Fail?

    U.S.-China Talks: What to Look for ( By Elizabeth C. Economy | Council on Foreign Relations
    Security and U.S.-Sino Scientific Collaboration ( By Adam Segal | Council on Foreign Relations
    US, China vie for influence among Indonesian riches ( By Sara Schonhardt | Asia Times
    As China Invests, U.S. Could Lose ( By DAVID BARBOZA | New York Times
    China Invests Overseas ( Asia Sentinel
    Is the Asian century a dream or reality? ( By Haruhiko Kuroda | Jakarta Post
    A Future Scenario for Asia ( By Philip Bowring | Asia Sentinel
    Japan, After March 11
    The country, resilient as ever, remains Asia’s true power. (
    By Guy Sorman | City Journal

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  • willwin
    07-13 11:21 AM
    Here is my 2 cents worth...

    Pappu, are you saying that whatever initiative that IV has taken now to address recapturing (HR5882), per country limit removal and STEM are GOOD ENOUGH as long as we have mass support and no further effort required?

    Well, If we are not having enough support, I am not sure how much of that we could change.

    What EB3 I wants to accomplish here is to emphasize that we are retrogressed beyond logic, limits and reason.

    What we could probably do is, write a letter describing our plight and also mention in the letter, the IV effort that is underway. By doing this, we can emphasize our situation and at the same time substantiate IV's effort.

    We can come up with agreeable facts that should go in the letter that explains EB3 I plight. IV core can help with this and also proof read and approve final version of the doc. We should stress on date being stuck in 2001. And AC21 not giving a whole lot flexibility to change jobs even with EAD. Like a programmer with 7 years of experience would be eligible to become a PM (if the person has acquired right skills/knowledge/experience) but I am not sure if AC21 allows a person to do that.

    Besides, EAD is not GC. If not, let them announce EAD as temp GC - meaning issuing EAD means GC is approved but the card is not issued owing to number availability - Makes sense? In other words, once EAD is issued the person's GC should not be disapproved. The clock for citizenship should start with I140 approval. That way the applicant will have the peace of mind! And then let DOS/USCIS issue GC at their own pace!!

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  • logiclife
    07-10 01:33 AM
    According to Lou Dobbs, all the problems faced by America today are purely a creation of immigration and immigrants.

    The global warming, Hurrican Katrina, Rising gas prices, inflation, rising interest rates, slowing economy, deficits...everything is something that is purely a product of immigrants.

    According to him had it not been for immigrants, everyone would have 2-3 mansions to live in, 10-20 high paying job offers, 4-5 luxury european cars. But immigrants took all that away by stealing the jobs of Americans. If the immigrants had not been sucking out the welfare from this country, the social security trust fund and the US treasury would be overflowing with money.

    Goddammit these immigrants who stole the jobs of thousands of hard working lettuce pickers and meat packers and farm workers, who, had it not been for these job-stealing, flag waving, non-english speaking, country invading, sovereignty ruining, wage-depressing immigrant intrudor-invader-thief would have been millionaires by now.

    When will the politicians listen to Lou Dobbs who is the only smart person left in the United States now?

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  • Refugee_New
    01-06 05:41 PM
    Oh! you were so saddened and shocked about the killings happening far way!
    And you condemned the killings of innocent people in Mumbai by Pak terrorists (Though I checked and didn’t see any post from you in that thread)

    Where you shocked when religious fanatics attacked and killed poor tribals in Orissa? The government itself accepted that 50,000 people fled the villages to forest? Even nuns were raped. These are not reported by CNN/Fox, but by all mainstream news media in India.

    OR you get shock only when people of your faith are involved, ONLY when they get killed (and NOT when they go on a killing spree)?

    I get shocked only when the world watches the massacre silently and doesn't stop the killing. By the way you couldn't find my post because "Mumbai attacked" thread was deleted by moderator after several weeks of discussion and racial insults.


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  • go_guy123
    07-28 02:35 PM
    Come the November Elections, Dems could lose 10 in Senate..

    And we are back to square one.

    Dejavu 2007/2008 ;

    If this happens, no bill will pass, leave alone Immigration Reform.

    Republicans will keep sending bills and Obama will Veto 'em.

    But if you look past history, skilled immigration has had allies when Republican have been in power. Its a wrong notion that h1B/Eb people have that democratic party is for immigrant. Actually Democratci party is for the illegal masses only.

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  • fide_champ
    04-05 04:05 PM

    I have been reading this thread with a lot of interest and could not hold back from commenting on the unbridled optimism many of you guys are showing towards the housing market, which reminds me of the "long tailed" euphoria that followed long after the NASDAQ had crashed over 50% in 2001 after the tech bubble, and people kept wishing it would come back long after it became clear to most cynical observers that it would take decades to achieve the same levels as before (and it hasn't yet)...

    Housing has not yet bottomed. It still has a long way to go. You guys may think that the foreclosures related to subprime resets have subsided so the market may recover. You haven't seen anything yet. Consider:


    Option ARMs (adjustable rate mortgages) and Alt-A ARMs are the next two shoes to drop. In case you've had your head buried in the sand, the economy is on verge of a collapse. Unemployment is soaring and many more companies are considering layoffs. Many economic observers are opining that we are already in recession.

    Desi junta, and others, I entreat you readers to please consider this seriously in your house purchase decisions. If for some reason you need to sell and move out, at a minimum you will be saving some money (by not losing your downpayment, for example) by choosing to rent. Rent a house/townhouse from a private owner if you are tired of renting an apartment and have growing kids - it's a "renters market" in the private rental marketplace right now with so many investment properties purchased during the housing bubble available for rent.

    I would like to offer up a few blogs, whose commentators should be taken seriously. I recommend you read and bookmark the following blogs if you want to follow the housing market and the economy:

    I like this website for people just starting out to get more financially educated (in an entertaining way):

    Good luck and please be careful before 'taking the plunge!'


    I do share the same concern as you. But after doing a little bit of research about housing in my area, i did figure out that housing in good school areas are always in demand. So it's probably more important than ever to buy in a good school district if anybody is buying. Moreover in NJ you hardly have any land left to build any new houses, so there are not a lot of houses on the market in some areas. I am kind of relieved a little to buy it in the area i am buying. The job losses are a concern though. Right now it's only in the financial field but it could affect other industries also. But it's still a cycle and everytime we see some recession looming, it's been advertised as the worst in recent history still people live and come thru it. Some suffer losses going thru it, some doesn't get affected. During last recession, people lost millions in stocks and some my own friends lost more then 50K and that is no better than the situation we are in right now. So why worry now?


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  • Refugee_New
    01-06 02:59 PM
    If the thief is hurling bombs and rockets towards police and other innocent people, then yes. Else more innocents will be killed by barbaric thief.

    Thats why Indian Govt. freed ruthless terrorists to save innocent civilians?
    Don't write crap just for the sake of argument.

    When Indian government can release ruthless terrorists in order to save Indians, Do you think people belong to Palestinian govt. elected by Palestinians will hide in schools in order to get killed by ruthless enemy?

    Don't you hear the same lie again and again year over year? If Hamas is using school kids as thier shield, then how do you think Palestenian people have elected the same people who cause their kids death rule their country?

    Don't you think?

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  • nojoke
    01-01 02:26 PM
    earlier even I had views like yours (one of our close friend was killed in 1993 blasts) ,,but think with a cool mind ..war will just lead to loss of more lives, economy everywhere will be devastated and you get more hardcore idiots/fundamentalists don't set a house on fire to kill few rats ..there are changes happening ..pakistan has killed many terrorists on its borders
    lets first see where we Indians are at fault ..which did congress (I) remove POTA, why were they (BJP included) advocating more train/bus tours with pakistan, why grant them visas at all ..why can't India fortify its borders (apparently politicians have tons of money for foreign tours and medical visits ..VP singh, kamal nath , there was one politician from Tamil nadu who spent crores and crores in a hospital in texas) ..why can't they give proper salary, weapons, immunity to police force ..why do they give special status to Indian muslims (instead of trying to integrate them in the main stream), why the HAJ subsidy ..I can go on and on ..lets first focus on changing these things before talking about war

    There are more problems to solve. But we don't need to tolerate another problem from pakistan. Do we need to wait to clean up our mess, while pakistan creates more mess in our country. No country is perfect. That is not a reason to allow another country to threaten and 'bleed by thousand cuts'. Even the most advanced countries(including USA) is not without corruption. But these counties do act when attacked. d


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  • smisachu
    12-30 10:01 PM
    Why should we waste our resources when Pakistanis are doing the damage by themselves??? The joke is Pak blaming some poor Indian for a bomb blast which was quickly owned up by a domestic terrorist organization!!
    Pakistan is a begging bowl which is trying to blackmail US by threatening to pull out troops from Afgan US and UK are trying to pacify India telling them that they will put pressure on Pak to do something.
    And you know what a bigger joke is? your slum dog cum president who told Larry King that no one from "his part of the country" were involved in the attack!!! What is his part of the country? his toilet seat??? It has not been 1 year since he killed his wife he was jumping all over Sarah Palin like a horny dog!! Barking dogs seldom bite, so don't just thump your chest just yet. When the fox has to die it runs towards the lion. That is what Pakistan is doing by pretending to pose as if it will go to war with India. If India attacks Pak will fold it's tail between its legs and run to US, like Nawaz sherif did during the Kargil war. We have beaten you in 4 wars, how may more beatings will it take for it to sink into your thick skull that Pakistan can NEVER beat India. Period!!

    Pakistan will disintegrate with in the next few years if they don't seek India's support in whacking them Jehadi SOB's. Baluchitan, NWFP, Sindh are all going to be independent countries and the Pak president can easily rule " his part of the country"

    Buddyinsfo you might try to bring friction among Indians by pitting people from different states against each other, but remember when it comes to any outside force we are all Indians first and we will Kick your Ass...

    This is like an ant taking on an elephant, if half the men in Punjab, Guj and Rajastan stand on the border and Pee; Pakistan will be washed away in a flood of Urine...If you poor people want to get killed, there are better painless ways than enrage India. So it is in Paks best interest to request India to come in clean up the terrorist camps which are now turning against Pakistan itself!!

    Pranab Muks, the foreign minister needs to be applauded (?) for creating a drama of sorts by setting up the army against Pakis assuming that the Pakis will give in to the pressure and return the militants that India is looking for. On the other hand, the Prime Minister ManMohan Singh was consistently giving out statements that India is not in favour of war and never was (completely contradicting Pranab Muks' moves) and as per the latest news that emerged out of nowhere (???) there seemed to have been some kinda communication between the military officials of both the countries and they've come to some sort of understanding that war was not in the best interest of both the countries and only dialogue was as India was apprehensive as to what Pak's response to a military strike wud be...the drama continues and its a big joke. With China playing the mediator and India (silently and 100% dependent on US and UK put pressure on Pak but to no avail) had to succumb to the boomeranged efforts by playing the peace game now. One only needs to wait to see what happens next. But one thing is for sure...India will never strike Pakistan at a point when there is really no open support from anywhere. At some point (yesterday?) the honorable Prime Minister was looking for Iran to pressurise Pakistan (by calling Ahmadinejad) and this in itself speaks volumes !!! India is making a joke of itself...Had it been US, they'd have made a strike at Paki's terrorist sites in no time (as they did after 9/11). Its been over a month of Mumbai strikes and the way India is showing its weakness makes us wonder if they really have solid evidence against Pakistan. The latest news goes like...The Mumbai Govt has ordered probes into the attacks...Wonder what needs to be probed now(after one month) and that too after the entire nation has been made to believe that it was always Pakistan and claiming and shouting at the top of their lungs that they had SUFFICIENT evidence!!!!

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  • kinvin
    02-25 06:06 PM
    Lou Dobbs is the founder of the failed site. He might realize that he could not have even got the business started without Indian H1B's.

    Had he run the business properly he would also have been a .com success story by now and would have been a key note speaker at Diwali and Navratri functions in NJ.

    �I am a .com success story because of you hard working H1B�s�-------- Dobbs.

    �But now I make a living by bashing them.�


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  • pd_recapturing
    08-05 07:48 AM
    What a Bull Sh** ?? Are you saying that ppl who have applied under eb2 are the only ones who satisfy the eb2 criteria and eb3s can not satisfy the eb2 criteria ??? Come on ...this eb2 and eb3 thing is highly abused by lawyers, employers or employees .. I guess, you are in eb2 but I am sure if you go line by line of the law to recheck your eb2 eligibility, you might not even qualify for eb10,11, etc ....

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  • alterego
    09-30 12:38 AM
    Right now I see the problem in DC as gridlock. They are paralyzed by partisanship, political bickering and resulting indecision. Part of it is due to the nature of politics and part of it is due to the impact of ever more represented special interests.

    I see it as more likely that this gridlock will be broken(for good or bad) if Obama is elected. With McCain, atleast on the immigration issue, I'm guessing we will see a replay of the two failed Bush efforts. When the Democrats took congress, many observers and even amongst us thought, with a pro-immigration president and a democratic congress, this was one of the few things that could get done, we all know how that worked out. I'm not sure how anything will be different with a McCain presidency.

    I think at this time, many in this community are weary of the politics of this issue. Tired, frustrated and upset at the lack of common sense on this issue. It almost feels like a roll of the dice might be better than this indefinite period of uncertainty and limbo. One can more effectively deal with a decision rather than what is offered us, which is a mere promise with no date certain. It is truly an unfair situation to put someone in, after in many cases 10 yrs in this land. I am hoping for an Obama victory as I see that as the best chance to break this gridlock and release us in some direction.


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  • Mani
    07-14 01:06 AM
    Eliminating concurrent filing of I-140 & I-485 could provide some short term relief for backlogged categories. But again, this would impact new filers in getting their EAD. Any short term solution isn't going to help all EB3 and EB2 folks. The bottom line is that we have limited number of visas and the demand is always greater than the supply. This issue isn't going go away. We will continue to be in this dog eat dog situation until supply is increased (Backlogged Countries Vs ROW, Legal vs Illegal Immigration & now EB2 vs EB3). Please continue to push for Lofgren bills which could get us out of this mess.

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  • nogc_noproblem
    08-22 03:08 PM
    One day, a teacher, a garbage collector, and a lawyer all died and went to heaven.

    St. Peter was there, having a bad day because heaven was getting crowded. When they got to the gate, St. Peter informed them that there would be a test to get into Heaven: They each had to answer a single question.

    To the teacher, he said, "What was the name of the ship that crashed into an iceberg and sunk with all its passengers?"

    The teacher thought for a second, and then replied: "That would have been the Titanic, right?" St. Peter let him through the gate.

    Next, St. Peter turned to the garbage man, and figuring that heaven didn't really need all the stink that this guy would bring in, decided to make the question a little harder. "How many people died on the ship?"

    The garbage man guessed 1228, to which St. Peter said, "That happens to be right. Go ahead."

    St. Peter then turned to the lawyer. "What were their names?"


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  • Macaca
    02-20 10:20 AM
    Some paras from A Few Degrees of Separation From Hillary Clinton's Top Adviser (, By Jeffrey H. Birnbaum (, Please send e-mail

    Mark J. Penn is a man who wears many hats: high-paid political and corporate pollster, chief executive of an international communications and lobbying company, and chief strategist to New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.

    Enough connections for you?

    Well, there are more. Penn's firm, Burson-Marsteller Worldwide -- with 2,000 employees and $300 million a year in revenue -- owns BKSH & Associates, the major lobbying firm chaired by Charles R. Black Jr. That's right, Black, counselor to Republican presidents, reports to Clinton's top strategist.

    The connections get even more entangled. Burson-Marsteller is a subsidiary of WPP Group, a London-based advertising and PR giant that owns many of the biggest names on K Street. These include Quinn Gillespie & Associates, Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates, Timmons & Co., Ogilvy Government Relations Worldwide (formerly the Federalist Group), Public Strategies Inc., Dewey Square Group and Hill & Knowlton.

    To be more precise, Penn's parent company employs as lobbyists and advisers an ex-chairman of the Republican National Committee (Edward W. Gillespie), a former House GOP leader (Robert S. Walker), a top GOP fundraiser (Wayne L. Berman), and the former media adviser to President Bush (Mark McKinnon).

    WPP's Democrats are just as well known. They include an ex-aide to President Jimmy Carter (Anne Wexler), an ex-aide to President Bill Clinton (Jack Quinn), an ex-Cabinet officer for Clinton and Bush (Norman Y. Mineta), and a former top presidential campaign adviser for Al Gore and John Kerry (Michael J. Whouley).

    The range of interests represented by these people is a staggering list of corporate America's who's who, with Penn himself a longtime adviser to Microsoft.

    "This is a classic example of how big money has inextricably intertwined the campaign advising and lobbying worlds of modern-day Washington with potential conflicts of interest all over the place," said Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, a watchdog group.

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  • Macaca
    12-27 07:15 PM
    In �Daily Show� Role on 9/11 Bill, Echoes of Murrow ( By BILL CARTER and BRIAN STELTER | New York Times

    Did the bill pledging federal funds for the health care of 9/11 responders become law in the waning hours of the 111th Congress only because a comedian took it up as a personal cause?

    And does that make that comedian, Jon Stewart � despite all his protestations that what he does has nothing to do with journalism � the modern-day equivalent of Edward R. Murrow?

    Certainly many supporters, including New York�s two senators, as well as Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, played critical roles in turning around what looked like a hopeless situation after a filibuster by Republican senators on Dec. 10 seemed to derail the bill.

    But some of those who stand to benefit from the bill have no doubt about what � and who � turned the momentum around.

    �I don�t even know if there was a deal, to be honest with you, before his show,� said Kenny Specht, the founder of the New York City Firefighter Brotherhood Foundation, who was interviewed by Mr. Stewart on Dec. 16.

    That show was devoted to the bill and the comedian�s effort to right what he called �an outrageous abdication of our responsibility to those who were most heroic on 9/11.�

    Mr. Specht said in an interview, �I�ll forever be indebted to Jon because of what he did.�

    Mr. Bloomberg, a frequent guest on �The Daily Show,� also recognized Mr. Stewart�s role.

    �Success always has a thousand fathers,� the mayor said in an e-mail. �But Jon shining such a big, bright spotlight on Washington�s potentially tragic failure to put aside differences and get this done for America was, without a doubt, one of the biggest factors that led to the final agreement.�

    Though he might prefer a description like �advocacy satire,� what Mr. Stewart engaged in that night � and on earlier occasions when he campaigned openly for passage of the bill � usually goes by the name �advocacy journalism.�

    There have been other instances when an advocate on a television show turned around public policy almost immediately by concerted focus on an issue � but not recently, and in much different circumstances.

    �The two that come instantly to mind are Murrow and Cronkite,� said Robert J. Thompson, a professor of television at Syracuse University.

    Edward R. Murrow turned public opinion against the excesses of Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s. Mr. Thompson noted that Mr. Murrow had an even more direct effect when he reported on the case of Milo Radulovich, an Air Force lieutenant who was stripped of his commission after he was charged with associating with communists. Mr. Murrow�s broadcast resulted in Mr. Radulovich�s reinstatement.

    Walter Cronkite�s editorial about the stalemate in the war in Vietnam after the Tet Offensive in 1968 convinced President Lyndon B. Johnson that he had lost public support and influenced his decision a month later to decline to run for re-election.

    Though the scale of the impact of Mr. Stewart�s telecast on public policy may not measure up to the roles that Mr. Murrow and Mr. Cronkite played, Mr. Thompson said, the comparison is legitimate because the law almost surely would not have moved forward without him. �He so pithily articulated the argument that once it was made, it was really hard to do anything else,� Mr. Thompson said.

    The Dec. 16 show focused on two targets. One was the Republicans who were blocking the bill; Mr. Stewart, in a clear effort to shame them for hypocrisy, accused them of belonging to �the party that turned 9/11 into a catchphrase.� The other was the broadcast networks (one of them being CBS, the former home of Mr. Murrow and Mr. Cronkite), which, he charged, had not reported on the bill for more than two months.

    �Though, to be fair,� Mr. Stewart said, �it�s not every day that Beatles songs come to iTunes.� (Each of the network newscasts had covered the story of the deal between the Beatles and Apple for their music catalog.) Each network subsequently covered the progress of the bill, sometimes citing Mr. Stewart by name. The White House press secretary, Robert Gibbs, credited Mr. Stewart with raising awareness of the Republican blockade.

    Eric Ortner, a former ABC News senior producer who worked as a medic at the World Trade Center site on 9/11, expressed dismay that Mr. Stewart had been virtually alone in expressing outrage early on.

    �In just nine months� time, my skilled colleagues will be jockeying to outdo one another on 10th anniversary coverage� of the attacks, Mr. Ortner wrote in an e-mail. �It�s when the press was needed most, when sunlight truly could disinfect,� he said, that the news networks were not there.

    Brian Williams, the anchor of �NBC Nightly News� and another frequent Stewart guest, did not comment on his network�s news judgment in how it covered the bill, but he did offer a comment about Mr. Stewart�s role.

    �Jon gets to decide the rules governing his own activism and the causes he supports,� Mr. Williams said, �and how often he does it � and his audience gets to decide if they like the serious Jon as much as they do the satirical Jon.�

    Mr. Stewart is usually extremely careful about taking serious positions for which he might be accused of trying to exert influence. He went to great lengths to avoid commenting about the intentions of his Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear in Washington in October, and the rally itself emphasized such less-than-impassioned virtues as open-minded debate and moderation.

    In this case, Mr. Stewart, who is on vacation, declined to comment at all on the passage of the bill. He also ordered his staff not to comment or even offer any details on how the show was put together.

    But Mr. Specht, the show guest, described how personally involved Mr. Stewart was in constructing the segment.

    After the news of the Republican filibuster broke, �The Daily Show� contacted John Feal, an advocate for 9/11 victims, who then referred the show producers to Mr. Specht and the other guests.

    Mr. Stewart met with the show�s panel of first responders in advance and briefed them on how the conversation would go. He even decided which seat each of the four men should sit in for the broadcast.

    For Mr. Stewart, the topic of the 9/11 attacks has long been intensely personal. He lives in the TriBeCa area and has noted that in the past, he was able to see the World Trade Center from his apartment. Like other late-night comedians, he returned to the air shaken by the events and found performing comedy difficult for some time.

    But comedy on television, more than journalism on television, may be the most effective outlet for stirring debate and effecting change in public policy, Mr. Thompson of Syracuse said. �Comedy has the potential to have an important role in framing the way we think about civic life,� he said.

    And Mr. Stewart has thrust himself into the middle of that potential, he said.

    �I have to think about how many kids are watching Jon Stewart right now and dreaming of growing up and doing what Jon Stewart does,� Mr. Thompson said. �Just like kids two generations ago watched Murrow or Cronkite and dreamed of doing that. Some of these ambitious appetites and callings that have brought people into journalism in the past may now manifest themselves in these other arenas, like comedy.�


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  • thakurrajiv
    04-06 09:35 AM
    I think you missed my point. I was not trying to connect the ARM reset schedule with write-offs at wall street firms. Instead, I was trying to point out that there will be increased number of foreclosures as those ARMs reset over the next 36 months.

    The next phase of the logic is: increased foreclosures will lead to increased inventory, which leads to lower prices, which leads to still more foreclosures and "walk aways" (people -citizens- who just dont want to pay the high mortgages any more since it is way cheaper to rent). This leads to still lower prices. Prices will likely stabilize when it is cheaper to buy vs. rent. Right now that calculus is inverted. In many bubble areas (both coasts, at a minimum) you would pay significantly more to buy than to rent (2X or more per month with a conventional mortgage in some good areas).

    On the whole, I will debate only on financial and rational points. I am not going to question someone's emotional position on "homeownership." It is too complicated to extract someone out of their strongly held beliefs about how it is better to pay your own mortgage than someone elses, etc. All that is hubris that is ingrained from 5+ years of abnormally strong rising prices.

    Let us say that you have two kids, age 2 and 5. The 5 year old is entering kindergarten next fall. You decide to buy in a good school district this year. Since your main decision was based on school choice, let us say that your investment horizon is 16 years (the year your 2 year old will finish high school at age 18).

    Let us further assume that you will buy a house at the price of $600,000 in Bergen County, with 20% down ($120,000) this summer. The terms of the loan are 30 year fixed, 5.75% APR. This loan payment alone is $2800 per month. On top of that you will be paying at least 1.5% of value in property taxes, around $9,000 per year, or around $750 per month. Insurance will cost you around $1500 - $2000 per year, or another $150 or so per month. So your total committed payments will be around $3,700 per month.

    You will pay for yard work (unless you are a do-it-yourself-er), and maintenance, and through the nose for utilities because a big house costs big to heat and cool. (Summers are OK, but desis want their houses warm enough in the winter for a lungi or veshti:))

    Let us assume further that in Bergen county, you can rent something bigger and more comfortable than your 1200 sq ft apartment from a private party for around $2000. So your rental cost to house payment ratio is around 1.8X (3700/2000).

    Let us say further that the market drops 30% conservatively (will likely be more), from today through bottom in 4 years. Your $600k house will be worth 30% less, i.e. $420,000. Your loan will still be worth around $450k. If you needed to sell at this point in time, with 6% selling cost, you will need to bring cash to closing as a seller i.e., you are screwed. At escrow, you will need to pay off the loan of $450k, and pay 6% closing costs, which means you need to bring $450k+$25k-$420k = $55,000 to closing.

    So you stand to lose:

    1. Your down payment of $120k
    2. Your cash at closing if you sell in 4 years: $55k
    3. Rental differential: 48 months X (3700 - 2000) = $81k

    Total potential loss: $250,000!!!

    This is not a "nightmare scenario" but a very real one. It is happenning right now in many parts of the country, and is just now hitting the more populated areas of the two coasts. There is still more to come.

    My 2 cents for you guys, desi bhais, please do what you need to do, but keep your eyes open. This time the downturn is very different from the business-investment related downturn that followed the dot com bust earlier t his decade.
    Jung.lee very good second post from you. People still think it is very easy to keep on holding onto your home for long time till turn around happens.
    But life events can cause you to sell like
    1. Job loss and not able to find job in the same area till back up money runs out.
    2. Kids grow up and you need to pay for college and you have little saving as you are holding to see turn around
    3. Hope not but some medical emergency.

    There can be many more situations. Do you know what people are currently doing in these situation ?
    Get money from Home equity ATM machine !!

    Personally I will be scared to buy now as my payment will be more than 50% of my salary and any of above situations will cause me to sell.
    The prices have to become saner ....
    This is very different from anything we have seen. Wall street will change, money will be harder to come by.
    I think time to say " Welcome savings again ". Long term very good for US as country.

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  • abracadabra102
    12-28 10:24 AM
    India defeating entire British empire without firing a weapon? Where did this come from? British colonized Indians for 150 years!
    If Indians were a military power, they wouldn't have been colonized in the first place.
    Do you seriously believe the dogma of non-violence Quit India movement drove the British away?:)

    I agree with you. British occupied USA and India at around same time (1600) and USA got it's independence by 1789 and we had to wait until 1947. UK was very badly hurt post second world war and had to borrow money heavily from USA to pay for veterans and keep war time employment rates. Clement Atlee in his wisdom thought that UK can not maintain it's empire any longer and let go of colonies. Winston Churchill was opposed to this but could not prevail over Atlee. I admire Mahatma immensely. But let us not kid ourselves that we got independence solely based on peaceful independence struggle. To all those peaceniks, if you think non-violence is such a great weapon, why can't we scratch the whole army and use that massive defence budget for something else? If we are maintaining an army, we are going to use it some time.

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  • hiralal
    06-24 08:13 AM
    one of the main reason that I stopped looking for a home is GC. the reason I was hunting around was to get advantage of tax credit ..but when I read articles like this ..I feel waiting for some more time has advantages too !! (so even if you take best case scenario of 10% drop in your area ..a house which costs 250K will drop by 25K ??? which is 3 times the tax credit).
    Searching for a bottom in the housing market
    Sales look like they could rebound soon, but you can't say the same for prices.

    See all RSS FEEDS (close)
    By Janet Morrissey, contributor
    June 19, 2009: 4:23 AM ET

    FORTUNE 500
    Current Issue
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    NEW YORK (Fortune) -- Sales in the decimated housing market may finally be bottoming, but don't expect home prices to stop dropping before mid-2010 at the earliest, analysts and economists say.

    Indeed, prices in the battered housing market could get a lot worse before they get better as an avalanche of specialized adjustable rate mortgages, known as option ARMs and Alt-A mortgages, are slated to reset over the next 18 to 24 months, and rising unemployment causes a surge in the number of prime mortgages going into default. All of this is expected to trigger another round of foreclosures and cause home prices to tumble at least another 20% before the market rebounds, according to market analysts and economists.

    Market bulls believe home prices could bottom in the second half of 2010, but the bears warn it could be 2013 before they finally trough. And once prices do reach a low, it could be years before they significantly rebound.
    0:00 /4:19Housing market's false hope

    "This is clearly the worst housing crisis since the Depression," says John Burns, president of John Burns Real Estate Consulting. Losses from the housing meltdown totaled $3.6 trillion at the end of 2008, and will likely approach $5 trillion by the time the crisis ends, predicts Lawrence Yun, chief economist with the National Association of Realtors.

    Bob Curran, managing director at Fitch Ratings, is a lot more cautious, noting that one month of gains doesn't make a trend -- existing home sales are still off 3.5% from a year ago. "You'd want to see a string of months -- ideally three months -- to say with confidence that a bottom has been reached," he says.

    "We're about two-thirds of the way through the pricing correction on a percentage basis," says Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist with MFR Inc., an economic consulting and analysis firm. He expects prices to slide at least another 20% over the next 18 months.

    01-07 04:09 PM
    I tried to stay out of this as much as I could. Can't tolerate anymore. Why the hell Narendra Modi is considered as terrorist?

    I am not saying every muslim is bad. As I mentioned earlier, few of my best friends are muslims. But why the hell each and every muslim remained silent when people in Sabarmati Express were burnt alive? Hypocrates!

    Because he committed Gujarat Genocide. My response was to the one who mentioned "All terrorirst are muslims".

    Didn't the truth finding commission found the real culprits in Sabarmati issue?

    01-07 05:27 PM
    Looks like Muhammad fooled his followers or enticed them!

    Apart from Lesbians, the virgins could be Male, Underage girls, Old Ladies or even a eunuch! :D

    You lived in India and hate India, because of your ....
    ..... . Do suicide bomb to get 72 virgins. If any one of the virgin is a lesbian, what will do ?. If the guy is old, do he get viagara???They don't know in heaven no sex. No flesh, people in spiritual state.

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