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  • Under the Democrats immigration principle, family members of EB GC applicants will be given GC but not count towards the 140,000 quota.





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  • Just an offtopic response, I used to trade options, which is far better than margin. Options give you 5 to 20 times leverage. And if you want more leverage, futures can give you 100x more. But my experience is the higher the leverage the more risk you are willing to take which is BAD. I have lost over 60k net (excluding fees) in options trading which I claim every year (max of 3k). I will admit I have had some amazing trades (SNPS, Dollar General and many others) giving me 10-12 times in returns, but I lost more than I made. I used to use IB and Tradeking.

    Probably not very relevant - but you can get a lot of leverage if you have the stomach for it by opening a brokerage account with 40k (your initial downpayment). A good semi-professional one would be IB (interactivebrokers.com). Margin accounts give a 3X/4x leverage any day. Buy a few interest rate, currency or commodity swaps with that - and your leverage can reach stratospheric levels. I know I dont have the stomach for that.





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  • Marphad,

    But none of their postings (jaspreetsinghgandhi & tabletpc) had your kind of religious-politics in it!

    This is exactly why terrorist and their supporters like antulay are succeeding...



    Ek aur double standard...

    You definitely didn't think about server hard drive space and your most valuable time when you posted these:

    Medical Insurance:
    http://immigrationvoice.org/forum/showthread.php?p=221246#post221246


    DOW is down - ha ha ha:
    http://immigrationvoice.org/forum/showthread.php?p=186584#post186584





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  • I think I agree with quite a lot of what you say. But I think there is some truth in Pakistani fears that India is already supporting anti-state actors in Pakistan, like in Balochistan.



    I don't think we all want that.
    I don't think even all Indians want that.
    I don't think its in the interest of India, or anyone else for that matter, to have a huge Afghanistan on its Eastern border.

    Well my personal opinion, I don't believe it is true. Actually Pakistan doesn't need India for all this. It is capable by itself. By sheltering Dawood and Azhar Masood what do you expect? A university of peace?





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  • Thanks Milind70,

    I had submitted the lattest I 94 to my company

    but somehow they filed ext with I 94 that came along with i 797

    now i will get three yr ext with I 140 cleared

    then i can get new i 94 with stamping

    You mean,
    talk to immigration officer now at local off?
    can they correct that i doubt since its already expired and i have new I797 with I94





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  • Resources

    American Immigration Law Foundation (AILF (http://www.ailf.org))
    World Policy Institute (WPI (http://www.worldpolicy.org/))
    National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP (http://www.nfap.net/))
    Economic Policy Institute (EPI (http://www.sharedprosperity.org/topics-immigration.html))





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  • Looks like his initial intentions were not bad but discussion went on wrong direction.

    Shanti! Shanti!

    Marphad,

    In the recent past, I have expressed my views about the same subject on this forum. I was very angry with what happened in Mumbai. The desire to fix the wrong has not gone away, but now that I look back, I regret some of the things I said at that time. My comments did not do any good and some of the coments offend few others on this forum. Those who felt offended by my comments are just as entitled to these forums as I am. I am not trying to be politically correct, just trying to say that it doesn't serves any purpose to dicsuss this issue on IV fourms.

    Branding all people from a specific faith doesn't help in anyways. For too long men have fought because of religion and each such time was avoidable.

    I do have a suggestion. To get some perspective, I suggest you watch the bollywood movie "New York", although I am not a big fan of bollywood movies.

    Peace.


    .





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  • I'm sure you meant Larry David ;)

    Did you send Seinfeld a royalty? :D
    -a





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  • There is a lot of FUD being spread around this thread. Let me try to dispel one.

    1: Reverting rollover will only benefit EB3-ROW.

    WRONG!!. As stated in other threads the spillovers are used on whoever has been waiting the longest. That is the guiding principle that is allowing EB2-I getting the GCs ahead of China. If not it was high time the Chinese priority date becomes current. If we revert back the spill-over utilization, whoever has been waiting the longest, gets the GC first. So stop your FUD.


    People dont get sidetracked by the nay-sayers. If you would like to write to anyone, do write. If not anything else, we will at least get to hear back from the people whom we wrote to.

    People who are saying "IV does not support it, do dont do it". Excuse me, IV does not run our lives. If we want to help ourselves, we ought to be able to do it. Yes, we should not use IV's name without its authorization, that is wrong.

    People who say, I am EB3, but I think EB2s are right (in the sense that they are more entitled, they need to get the visas ahead of us etc. etc), good for you, but dont pull down those who don't agree with you. We have a brain to think for ourselves.





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  • Reds.........Hmmm what for?





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  • one last addition ..I guess builders are normally the optimistic lot even when things are bad ..and they seem unhappy now (which means happier days are ahead for fence sitters like me (who are waiting for a GC by the way before looking)
    http://www.cnbc.com/id/24129427 ..

    ----------
    Fitch Ratings said in a conference call Tuesday that the housing sector is likely to continue to contract throughout 2008, and could worsen further in 2009 if the economy slides into a sharp recession. The ratings agency said low mortgage rates, cheaper home prices and government proposals to aid the ailing industry will not be enough to spark a turnaround.

    "Despite a few steps in the right direction, U.S. housing remains mired in a steep cyclical decline, with more pain likely for U.S. homebuilders through 2008," said Fitch homebuilding analyst Robert Curran





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  • You seem to be a rational person. You points are compelling and that's why we need to take some legal opinion on it.

    Thanks SunnySurya.

    Personally, lawsuit against EB-2 eligibility due to BS+5years or against porting due to BS+5 is not a good idea.





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  • This person hiding behind the user id "Rolling_Flood" is an extreme selfish person. The whole idea of our community is to help each other and to provide support & guidance to each-other. Instead he is trying to stop others from getting this advantage, trying to make us believe that EB-2 is his birth-right. I am in EB-2, but I do not support this selfish fox, he will harm the IV community exploiting 'divide & rule' policy. :mad:





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  • Oops, I just saw UN's reply. His answer is more specific than mine, and mine is based on anecdotal evidence so please go with what he says since his is based on personal experience.

    UN, Thank you for following up on my question on the Baltimore case.

    here is the link.

    Becausing of uploading issue: follow this link.

    http://www.uscis.gov/uscis-ext-templating/uscis/jspoverride/errFrameset.jsp

    from there click on a-1 certification; decisions issued in 2004; click on second decision from the top. If someone can download the pdf and attach then we can discuss.





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  • N.B.A. in India, in Search of Fans and Players (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/28/sports/basketball/28india.html) By JEREMY KAHN | New York Times

    The success of N.B.A. Commissioner David Stern�s 25-year crusade to globalize basketball is often summed up in two words: Yao Ming. After Yao, a 7-foot-6 center from Shanghai, was drafted by the Houston Rockets in 2002, the league attracted hundreds of millions of new fans in China. And though Yao is out for the season with a stress fracture that could end his professional career, the N.B.A.�s international march continues.

    This season, the league will play its first regular-season games in Europe, a two-game matchup in March between the Nets and the Toronto Raptors in London. And having conquered China, the N.B.A. has its sights fixed on Asia�s other big emerging market: India.

    Like China, India has a rapidly expanding middle class with newfound leisure time and disposable income, factors that Heidi Ueberroth, the president of N.B.A. International, says make the country ripe for new forms of entertainment.

    �There is a growing appetite for sports and entertainment and more options in India,� she said.

    In a nation where cricket is an obsession, other sports have struggled to find an audience. Cricket�s popularity has been reinforced by the Indian Premier League, which began in 2008. I.P.L. teams play Twenty20, a faster-paced game that has attracted younger fans and billions of dollars in corporate sponsorship.

    But in part because the I.P.L. has proved that city-based sports franchises can succeed in India, many sports are betting that they will be able to find new fans and corporate backers here.

    �The race is now on to become India�s second-most-popular sport,� said Sunder Aaron, the head of Pix, one of two Indian television channels that earlier this month signed a contract to broadcast live games and other N.B.A. programming.

    The list of international sports knocking on India�s door is a long one: Formula One is scheduled to hold its first race in India in 2011. The European Tour of professional golf has held tournaments here. English Premier League soccer, which has a growing following, held a promotional trophy tour in the country this month. And FIFA, soccer�s world governing body, has opened a marketing campaign to sell official merchandise here. Even Major League Baseball has attempted to recruit pitching talent in India.

    Ueberroth said that basketball�s popularity could grow rapidly in India because of the sport�s relative simplicity and the fact that a court can be created almost anywhere one can hang a hoop. This gives it an advantage over soccer and cricket, which require open fields. Basketball also requires little specialized equipment.

    A core part of the N.B.A.�s expansion strategy in India is increasing grass-roots participation, based on the belief that people who play basketball are also more likely to follow the N.B.A. The league also knows that the more Indians who play basketball, the more likely it is that one day an Indian player will be good enough to make the leap to the N.B.A. � an event that could vastly expand the league�s popularity in the world�s second-most-populous nation.

    The Basketball Federation of India, the sport�s governing body, estimates that 4.5 million Indians play the game. That is a fraction of the country�s 1.2 billion people, but Ueberroth said the N.B.A. suspected the real number was much higher because the federation�s statistics missed players who did not belong to a league.

    To try to accelerate basketball�s growth, the N.B.A. dispatched Troy Justice to India in February to serve as its first director of basketball operations in the country. Justice helps run the N.B.A. Mahindra Challenge, a series of youth leagues and tournaments in five Indian cities.

    Justice said the N.B.A. saw the young players as the vanguard of the N.B.A.�s efforts. The concept, he said, was to give the country�s teenagers more opportunities to play basketball in a formal setting throughout the year.

    �The kids here have the natural ability and the talent, but they are not given the opportunity to develop it,� he said.

    In addition to Justice, the league sent the Orlando Magic�s Dwight Howard and the Los Angeles Lakers� Pau Gasol on short ambassadorial missions to Mumbai and Delhi in the summer. It also sent two coaches to India to train the men�s and women�s national teams ahead of November�s Asian Games in China. It has created an India-specific portion of NBA.com, featuring postings by two Indian bloggers.

    Viewership for the N.B.A. in India has also been rising quickly, but from such a low base that it remains minuscule, said Atul Pande, the chief executive of Ten Sports, which has contracted to broadcast Eastern Conference games. Pande said he thought the audience for a live N.B.A. game would never exceed 200,000 households. The viewership for many I.P.L. cricket matches is in the tens of millions.

    �The problem is timing,� he said.

    Games played in the Eastern United States are broadcast at 5:30 a.m. or 6:30 a.m. in India.

    �It was hard at first to get up and watch the games,� said Karan Madhok, the communications director of India�s federation, who also runs an N.B.A.-related blog called Hoopistani, which is featured on the N.B.A. Web site.

    �I thought I was the only person in the country watching. But as I�ve started blogging about the N.B.A., I�ve been contacted more and more by other fans, and I realize there are a lot more fans who do it.�

    For the N.B.A. to reach critical mass among Indian sports fans, many say, will require what Madhok calls a Yao Ming moment. In other words, India is waiting to see a homegrown star make it in the N.B.A.

    N.B.A. officials dispute this assessment.

    �There are a number of countries where basketball is extremely popular without any players in the league,� Ueberroth said.

    Others note that the ranks of English Premier League soccer fans in India are growing rapidly even though there are no Indians playing in the league.

    Still, the N.B.A. is not turning a blind eye to the search for an Indian Yao. Among Justice�s jobs is scouting talent. And he has found a few prospects. Among the most promising is Satnam Singh Bhamara, 14, a 7-foot-2 player from a rural village in Punjab Province. Justice helped him land a spot at an IMG basketball academy in Bradenton, Fla.

    �He has a bright future,� Justice said. �We don�t know where he�ll end up, but he�s got a lot of natural � for a 14-year-old, 7-footer � a lot of natural basketball instincts.�

    Others point to the potential of two Canadian brothers of Indian descent, 15-year-old Sim and 17-year-old Tanveer Bhullar, who are more than 7 feet. Madhok said that if either made it to the N.B.A., it would inspire Indian fans and players.

    The lack of a native star had not dented enthusiasm for the N.B.A. among the young players who were competing in the Mahindra Challenge tournament here last Saturday. All the players on the Basketball Rocker Jazz, a team from Shalimar Bagh, a middle-class neighborhood in the northern reaches of this sprawling city, said they followed the league closely.

    Their favorite team?

    �The Lakers,� Raghav Mittal, 11, said without hesitation. �Most of the best players are there.�





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  • i am sorry that israel has been a little callous about collateral damage...not cool!

    i have seen most of the opinions favouring israel so i need not speak out here. but these are my feelings and i don't care how many red dots i get:

    a. hamas does not believe in coexistence with israel but wants its destruction. and belongs to the powerful syria-iran-hezbollah axis. not cool!
    event Egypt and Saudi Arabia regard Hamas with skepticism.

    b. they teach kids that killing jews is the right thing. and btw for that matter US DoS had protested revised 4th grade Saudi text that teaches all non-believers should be killed. teaching hatred to kids is not cool!

    c. hamas was using mosques and schools as cover. hiding amongst civilian population, using women and children as suicide bombers and then making an outcry...not cool!

    d. hamas was the first to break the truce and had been secretly preparing via tunnels etc throughout the period of calm. not cool!

    e. in UK sometime back i remember a church had been converted to a mosque with the blessings of the locals. so cool!

    tibetians have been killed and driven out of their land for example...but you dont see the Dalai Lama summoning Tibetians for killing of chinese soldiers stationed in Tibet. so cool!

    ...not sure it would be possible in an islamic country. why is it that if it is "terrorism", it usually means islamic terrorism?
    moderates like you need to spread the message of negotiation and distance themselves from any act of violence and such teachings.





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  • India-China Relations: It’s the economy, and no one’s stupid (http://idsa.in/system/files/IB_IndiaChinaRelations.pdf) By Joe Thomas Karackattu | Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses

    The recent visit by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao clearly had a productive focus - SinoIndian economic ties have been re-enforced, and there has been an effort to re-balance the trading relationship. This Brief uses irony to communicate five propositions (i.e. the intended meaning of these five statements is the opposite of what is stated), that can be found in several discourses on Sino-Indian ties. It evaluates these propositions in the light of the tangible and intangible gains from Premier Wen Jiabao’s second official visit to India.

    1. Obama’s visit had more substance for India

    How do you weigh a visit by a foreign Head of State or Government – one that prods a relationship in an incremental way versus one that promises a turnaround from a low baseline? The political and strategic dimension of the India-US partnership received an immense boost with Obama’s visit, and so did the economy. However, with Wen Jiaobao’s visit, India and China have prepared the ground for what hopefully shapes up to be a balanced economic and a healthy political partnership. If Premier Wen has second-placed talk of India and China being rivals – surely the political gains are waiting to be realized. Incidentally, the MoUs signed during Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit are worth $16 billion (against $10 billion worth of agreements signed during the Obama visit).

    Re-balancing of the Indian deficit (roughly USD 20 billion) from its trade with China has been promised through enhanced trade facilitation in the pharma and IT/Engineering sectors, a proposed CEO’s forum, more openness to Indian agro products, greater presence in Chinese trade fairs, and the desire for a strategic economic partnership. The present focus on infrastructure financing in India through Chinese banks is demonstrative of a ‘win-win’ situation for both sides. China’s consumer price index (CPI) 1 , a key measure of inflation, hit a two-year high of 5.1 per cent year-on-year in November 2010. Meanwhile, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC; the equivalent of the RBI in India) raised banks’ reserve requirement ratio (the deposits mandated to be withheld) for the sixth time in 2010 as a sterilization measure to prevent excess money supply from adding to inflation. Under such circumstances, Chinese banks have been foraying into lending operations elsewhere as well (Industrial and Commercial Bank of China’s (ICBC) commercial property loan in summer 2010 to a group led by private-equity firm, the Carlyle Group, in the United States is a case in point)

    Policy Focus: The push for horizontal investments from China i.e. market seeking FDI through local production seems to have received less attention. This is an area which needs to be explored fully to address employment generation in India, and for Chinese firms to have a visible household presence in India (similar to Korean and Japanese consumer durables, for instance).

    2. China has not changed. It cannot be trusted. Politically, there seems to be no progress on resolving the border dispute, and in the economic sphere there seems to be an in-built incongruence in the growth trajectories of the two countries.

    The 1962 war was the reflection of the variance in India and China’s diplomatic, ideological and political approach to bilateral ties and international affairs. Those were the years running up to the Sino-Soviet split, the US engagement in Korea, Taiwan, and the second Indochina war (all involving China), and the domestic misfortune of the Great Leap forward. China had real and perceived fears of India’s oscillation between the United States and the Soviet Union. However, today China is placed in different circumstances, both as a political power and as an economic power. It is now more deeply entrenched in the economic architecture of the world. China’s concern to develop its Western regions coupled with diminishing incentives to foreign investors on the East Coast implies a patient and consistent effort at domestic restructuring in China. The stimulus measures and other construction projects need to be absorbed, the idea of “soft infrastructure” over “hard infrastructure” i.e. transparency and corruption-control has to be pushed through, and inequity needs to be tackled both between cities and rural areas, and between provinces in China. That is a long-drawn process of reforming social security and healthcare in China, apart from administrative reforms relating to land and labour rights (hukou system).

    Intuitively, the prospects of relying on Europe and the United States as consumer markets for China over the long term are dicey (imagine how long an economy growing at 8 to 10 per cent could rely on markets that grow at between 2 and 3 per cent?). The present incongruence in the growth trajectories of India and China is ascribed to the market-first approach in China versus the business-first approach in India’s liberalization of its economy. Almost as a visible consequence, China is a larger trading nation even as the private sector there is yet to benefit from lenient financial intermediation (the State plays a big role even today). India on the other hand has a promising private sector and vibrant secondary markets even as its integration into the international economy is hindered by relatively higher tariff barriers in the country. The absence of overlap in the key growthdrivers of both countries (Industry versus Services in China and India, respectively) actually presents the most important reason for India to work with China, and for China to work with India.

    The economic imperatives for China to engage with the larger Asian region are borne out by the trends in consumption expenditures in this region. China presently is mired in the need to revive consumption expenditure internally, in order to offset the export-dependent economic engine of its growth. The Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2010, the flagship annual statistical data book of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), indicates the role that Asia stands to play as an alternate consumer market in the long term. The resilience of the middle class in Asia during the 2008-09 recession is highlighted by an estimated USD 4.3 trillion in annual expenditures during the crisis (ADB 2010). This was nearly a third of the private consumption in OECD countries, and is projected to account for 43 per cent of the worldwide consumption in 2030.

    Policy Focus: India and China have a real chance of promoting mutual economic growth and development if their economic ties are not ‘securitized’, and the issue of tariff (from India’s side) and non-tariff barriers (China’s side) and protectionism (both countries) is addressed. The CEO’s forum, for one, could initiate linkages with Chinese Universities to develop internship programmes drawing on China’s younger generation of graduates to visit Indian companies desirous of expanding operations in China.

    As for border talks, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Premier Zhou Enlai agreed in the past to have mid-level bureaucrats handle talks for mediating the border issues (Hoffmann 1990: 32). Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Premier Wen Jiabao have reached an understanding to have foreign ministers of the two countries deal with the vexed problem. Certainly, the level of engagement has been upgraded specifically vis-�-vis the border issue.

    Another important point to note is that, as per the Pew Research Centre’s Global Attitudes Project (October 2010), in 2009 46 per cent of Indians expressed a positive view of China, compared with just 34 per cent in 2010. The Chinese Ambassador to India may think that the fragility in India-China relations emerges from over-reaction to issues concerning China in India. However, the same report qualifies that only 3 per cent of Indians surveyed consider China as the greatest threat for India, whereas, despite a sanctioned media, more Chinese have negative opinion on India (only about one-third of Chinese respondents (32 per cent) have a favourable opinion).

    So where does the fragility come from? Does it arise from the ‘looseness’ of a democratic apparatus to shape public opinion? But Chinese public opinion is negative despite the regimented approach to the dissemination of information. Clearly, even if it is not the final word, these perceptions reveal how both countries need to do more to genuinely take forward the elationship at the level of ordinary citizens. The leadership in both countries has to find ways to shape debates within their countries to soft-land negotiated outcomes, if there is a genuine and concerted effort to resolve the border issue, and other contentious issues that may arise.

    Policy Focus: There is a need to cultivate individual perceptions of the other, at the level of citizens. This exercise could be executed at the level of greater tourist facilitation measures or exposure to popular culture through mass media. More Indian television programmes, dubbed in Chinese, should be promoted in China (currently only a few such programmes are broadcast in China). Surprisingly, Chinese programming (similar to NHK, DW-Asia or Russia Today) is not even on offer on most satellite networks in India. Events such as the ‘Festival of India in China’ or the ‘Festival of China in India’ should be promoted on a wider scale to involve citizen participation beyond the diplomatic corps.





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  • India is nobody's fool. Will you take back inside your house, the trash you have trown out? India wins the war, destroys all terrorist camps, kills all the wanted terrorists on Indian files. Then India withdraws from pakistan leaving back pakistan in the hands of its current civilian heads. All India wants is to kill the terrorists, either Pakistan does it or We do it for you. India will be doing Pakistan a favor. So either you do it or we do it. Bottom like the terrorists need to be Killed.

    And as far as comparing us to President Bush, India has never lost a war yet because India never went to war with any one with out them provoking it. India always fights Justified wars and justice always wins.


    So Mr. Trained Reservist,
    Let's say the war is won in 15-20 days based on your expert knowledge, what is next? India occupies Pakistan? and acquires 160 million muslim population along with Talibans? You think that will end terrorism and riots in India?

    Oh BTW, there is another trained reservist in the history who claimed Iraq war would be won in two weeks. Do you know who he is? Hint: he became the worst president in the history of the US.





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  • though its very tempting to support obama with all his elequent talk, I think action speaks louder than words. he has absolutely no history of doing anything in the senate, and has not worked in a bi-partisan way with the republicans to pass any thing. do you think all of a sudden as prez he's going to get things done. further his stance on matters changes as the wind blows. meanwhile mccain has a history of making things happen, even sometimes going against his party. Dem will be more interested in helping the illegals become permanent, and not the legals 'coz their sights are on the vote banks. reps in general are more pro-business, and will favor the legal as opposed to illegals. of course there are some who are against.
    someone pointed out the days were better in the 90's...i do agree that was a period of boom in the us economy with the rise of the dot com companies. but towards the end of the 90's, the dot com going bust, the us economy was heading in recession. and adding to that the rise of other economic powers like china, india, russia, the competition grew intense, and started to hurt the US economy much. However to the credit of the repub prez the SU economy came out from the inital recession, and the overall unemployment % was only ~5.4%, the lower in several decades incl the 90's. I think it was only through the right economic and pro-business policies of this admin that helped in this. of course the wars and the housing bubble has brought us to this new economic situations. It would require the next admin to frame policies that would keep US out of next recession.
    but with dems policies of higher taxes on business (of course higher taxes on you and me), and more govt spending using mine and your tax dollars (of course our ss which we might never see) to hand it out to the lazy, and good for nothing people, you'll def see the US economy going into deeper recession. on top of that the universal health care would see us going the way of CA and europe with health care rationing, and long lines.
    I could go on adding the benefits e.g. favorable deals with india the repubs would bring, but I thinks this is good for now.
    so I would suggest stop going with the age old mentality and blindly believing that the dems are best. Start to think rationally.

    How is giving tax break to the business helping us in the time of recession? If your company is not selling products, it will hire more to do what? The tax cut will simply go to executives and there will be layoffs. Trickle down economy is a scam.
    Did you compare Obama's tax plan with McCain's. Go to CNN and you will that you will get more from Obama than from McCain's tax cut. How is universal health care bad? There are 50million without healthcare here. Soon your company will say that it cannot pay your healthcare plans because it is getting costly. The middle men(insurance companies) maybe eating more of your money than the actual health care costs. The long lines are due to less available doctors, not because of universal healthcare.
    "A Commonwealth Fund study of six highly industrialized countries, the U.S., and five nations with national health systems, Britain, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, found waiting times were worse in the U.S. than in all the other countries except Canada. And, most of the Canadian data so widely reported by the U.S. media is out of date, and misleading, according to PNHP and CNA/NNOC."





    In defense of lobbying (http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2007/09/in-defense-of-l.html) This country�s Founders actually set up a system to encourage the petitioning of government. And yes, like it or not, that means lobbyists have the same claims to the First Amendment as our free press does By Ross K. Baker | USA Today, sep 27, 2007

    Ross K. Baker is a political science professor at Rutgers University. He also is a member of USA TODAY's board of contributors.

    There was a moment in one of the recent Democratic debates in which former senator John Edwards practically accused Sen. Hillary Clinton of being in league with the devil. For some time, he had been attacking her for accepting contributions from lobbyists. Now, using the occasion of a just-passed lobbying reform bill awaiting the signature of a skeptical president, he exceeded even his previous needling of her by suggesting guilt-by-association. Turning to the audience, he charged that lobbyists, such as those who contribute to Clinton, "rig the system against all of you (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/09/us/politics/09edwards.html?_r=1&ex=1187841600&en=a9c739db3da26fdf&ei=5070&oref=slogin)."

    Edwards' accusations deftly played into a belief common even among well-educated Americans that lobbying, if not actually illegal, is a blot on American politics. The problem with this belief is that it is misinformed.

    It might come as a surprise to most people that lobbying is a constitutionally protected activity (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/01/06/AR2006010602251.html) under the hallowed First Amendment. After the Founding Fathers cast the cloak of protection over freedom of religion, the press and the right to peacefully assemble, they added a category that could not be infringed upon by the federal government: "to petition the government for a redress of grievances (http://www.archives.gov/national-archives-experience/charters/bill_of_rights_transcript.html)."

    Few contemporary efforts to influence government action come by way of a formal petition. But the idea of giving citizens access to government was seen by the writers of the Constitution as something worth safeguarding. And it is, indeed, worth safeguarding because every group in America, at one time or another, has got a gripe and turns to Congress or the federal bureaucracy.

    Groups engaged in activities that might seem wholly unconnected with politics, such as the American Automobile Association (http://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/legislative/b_three_sections_with_teasers/clientlist_page_H.htm) (the folks who get your car started on cold mornings), maintain a presence in Washington to monitor what goes on in Congress. When lawmakers and congressional staffers return from their summer recess, the army of lobbyists storms Washington alongside them.

    Religious and military organizations, despite the apolitical nature of our armed forces and the Jeffersonian wall of separation between church and state, stick very close to Congress. So close are the Methodists (http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?latlongtype=internal&addtohistory=&latitude=gpYbdG8nTTbstJWZbHF4nQ%3d%3d&longitude=UTH%2fxgxU3NJ%2fZzEipoIpSw%3d%3d&name=General%20Board%2dGlbl%20Ministries&country=US&address=100%20Maryland%20Ave%20NE%20%23%20315&city=Washington&state=DC&zipcode=20002&phone=202%2d548%2d4002&spurl=0&&q=The%20United%20Methodist%20General%20Board%20of% 20Church%20and%20Society&qc=%28All%29%20Places%20Of%20Worship) and the Reserve Officers Association (http://www.mapquest.com/maps/map.adp?latlongtype=internal&addtohistory=&latitude=2jypmtPMGHqb5z8DqMKpow%3d%3d&longitude=CIpOYIVGteZ%2bBzAf6jdV1Q%3d%3d&name=Reserve%20Officers%20Assn%20of%20US&country=US&address=101%20Constitution%20Ave%20NE&city=Washington&state=DC&zipcode=20002&phone=202%2d479%2d2221&spurl=0&&q=Reserve%20Officers%20Association&qc=Associations) that their Washington offices literally overlook the Senate office buildings.

    To be sure, the vast bulk of the roughly 35,000 lobbyists in town represent businesses and industries. Nonetheless, as citizens of a commercial republic, should this really surprise us?

    A vision of dueling interests

    James Madison recognized the tendency of Americans to advance their own economic self-interest at the expense of the general good and pondered what to do about it. He dismissed (http://usinfo.state.gov/usa/infousa/facts/democrac/7.htm) the possibility of banning these "factions," arguing that they are a byproduct of our freedom.

    His solution was just to allow them to multiply and, as the country expanded, no single interest would dominate. Free to struggle for influence, they would checkmate each other.

    What Madison had not reckoned on was the vast expansion in the scope of activities of the federal government over the next 200 years.

    As the government expanded, it has affected the lives and livelihoods of more people. They, in turn, want to ensure that government action does not harm them. Even better, they look to an expansive government to benefit them. So if the federal government gets into the business of building dams, they want to supply the cement. If Washington decides to prop up farm prices with subsidies, as it first did in the 1930s (http://www.cato.org/pubs/tbb/tbb-0203.html), you want to make sure your commodity gets its share.

    People of the revolutionary generation probably imagined that individuals would make their way to Washington to personally make their case for government help. They could not have imagined the hordes of surrogates, many of them receiving princely sums, who would take up residence in the nation's capital and subsist on pressing the cases of others. The idea that a professional advocate such as Jack Abramoff would be corruptly influencing the federal government would have been altogether inconceivable to James Madison.

    The good with the bad

    The defect in Madison's architecture is not that interest groups would proliferate, but that there would be such an imbalance between those seeking to get or maintain private gain and those advocating for the needs of humbler people. There are, of course, multitudes of lobbyists who advocate the needs of the handicapped, the elderly and endangered species, but they are often out-gunned by trade associations and industry lobbyists.

    The defeat in the House of the recent effort to require U.S. automakers to boost the fuel economy (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20079816/) of their cars is eloquent testimony to the clout of business. On the other hand, the high rollers who pushed for the elimination of the inheritance tax (http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/273376_estatewash09.html) received a stinging rebuke when the repeal that they favored was defeated in the Senate. The big boys don't always get what they want, especially when the focus of the media puts the issue out in the open.

    There are in lobbying, as in other enterprises, noble and degraded examples. So you have the Children's Defense Fund pushing for an expansion (http://www.cdfactioncouncil.org/childhealth/) of the State Children's Health Insurance Plan and a smug and arrogant Abramoff manipulating the Bureau of Indian Affairs (http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-01-30-tribes-giving_x.htm) on behalf of his well-heeled clients.

    Both are lobbying. Even so, it would be as unfair to assume that all lobbyists are like Jack Abramoff as it would be to liken all physicians to Jack Kevorkian.





    Infanticide happens among muslims too, look at the way they treat their own women and produce dozens of children. The islamic laws make women virtual slaves of men.
    We should work for putting an end to this. These are bad practices carried out in the name of religion against members of the same religion. It is not cross-border terrorism.

    Though I strongly disagreed with some points made by the initial poster, some of your points look like they are out of the VHP's handy book. Muslims do have a slightly higher fertility rate, this is falling fast and there is only a slight difference between hindus and muslims. Partly it has to do with religion but there are various other reasons including higer female numbers and better mortality rate.

    See article. http://signal.nationalinterest.in/archives/madhu/63

    Another article(slightly older): http://www.thehindu.com/thehindu/mag/2002/11/10/stories/2002111000610300.htm



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