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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.

    You are educated by CNN and Fox. Go see what others are saying. Don't just be one sided.

    Yes, when you kill Muslims its collateral damage. Killing school kids and bombing schools and hospital is collateral damage. If we have this mentality, yes we would see peace and harmony in this world.

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  • Polls Aside, Bush Ends Year With Victories ( By John D. McKinnon | Wall Street Journal, Dec 21, 2007

    WASHINGTON -- President Bush is ending the year with the approval of just one in three voters, according to the Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, but he is enjoying a string of legislative successes in Congress, on matters from Iraq-war funding and the federal budget to energy policy, tax increases and mortgage relief.

    Bush aides believe they benefited from overreaching by Democrats flush with their 2006 election victory. The White House began the year by laying out relatively modest goals on issues like energy and federal spending. They clung to those goals, even as some Republicans in Congress wavered. White House officials wagered that voters care about concrete results and ultimately would blame Congress, not the White House, if results failed to appear. That made their hard-line negotiating more effective as the year wore on.

    Democrats became more eager to reach accords on issues such as energy after the Thanksgiving break, administration officials said. Meanwhile, with each victory -- on war funding, on foreign- intelligence wiretapping and on the proposed expansion of a children's health-insurance program -- Republicans on Capitol Hill gained more confidence.

    "I leave the year feeling good about our capacity to get some important things done," Mr. Bush said yesterday at a news conference.

    Meeting with reporters this week, Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Democrats might have raised expectations too high in their attempts to cut off Iraq-war funding. Some top Democrats said they were surprised Mr. Bush refused to cave in and negotiate a deal on children's health.

    Democrats rejected comparisons with the Republican Congress of 1995, which famously overreached in its clashes with the Clinton administration. Democrats also dismissed the White House view that Mr. Bush's determination helped congressional Republicans regain their political footing.

    "Here's the problem: When people say they want a change, the reference point is from George Bush," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel, the House Democratic caucus chairman and a top party strategist. "And now the Republicans have decided to get closer in the photo [to] George Bush. I will pay their cab fare every day for them to go to the White House to do that. I'll rent the bus so the whole caucus can go."

    White House aides said they are developing contingency plans for next year, aimed at shoring up the economy, if necessary, and perhaps at sweetening voters' sour mood about their finances. The nature and extent of administration proposals depend in part on whether the economy weakens as some experts predict, but two possible prescriptions could include new health-care proposals and Mr. Bush's trademark tax cuts.

    The president said his administration will "consider all options" to stimulate the economy. He urged Wall Street banks to record all losses relating to the housing crisis immediately. To tighten wasteful government spending, he said his administration would consider options for overriding some congressional "earmarks."

    Democrats say many Republican successes resulted not from the popularity of their positions but from the high procedural barriers to passing legislation in the Senate. Majority Leader Harry Reid's office this week sent out a list of 62 procedural votes that Republicans had forced in the Senate, contending it is a record.

    Democrats say they enacted five of their six major initiatives, including raising the minimum wage; passing energy legislation; enacting recommendations of the 9/11 commission; helping make college costs more affordable; and opening up stem-cell research. Mr. Bush vetoed the stem-cell bill, but the rest became law.

    While Democrats made big concessions on their spending totals, they say they realigned priorities within those limits. They also say the children's health issue will haunt the White House in the summer when states start to run out of money. And Ms. Pelosi said Democrats would be "relentless" next year in seeking to hold the administration accountable on Iraq.

    Sentiment Aside, Bush Scores Wins ( By John D. McKinnon | WSJ Blog, December 21, 2007

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  • Guys,

    There is going to be no difference whether you

    1. Renew your H1 at the same company by filing an extension,
    2. Transfer your H1 to another company by filing a transfer or
    3. File a brand-new cap-subject H1 for someone who has never been on H1.


    For all 3, you have to file the same form I-129 and you get the same 2 forms in return from USCIS : I-797 (and I-94 too unless its an H1 for someone outside USA).

    The first 2 ways are cap exempt, and the last one (brand new) H1 is cap subject.

    But the process is the same. Paperwork is the same. You have to file LCA that shows the address/location of work, nature of work, title, salary etc. So even if you are working at same company, when you file for extension, you have to file a new LCA, that has all information and all that information will DISQUALIFY you if the new law passed and those rules of "consulting is illegal, outplacement at client site is illegal" apply.

    So take this seriously and do not underestimate this.

    And if you work perm-fulltime it will indirectly affect you. Projects are not done in isolation. Most projects have a mix of full-time employees and consultants who are sourced from vendors and H1B recruitors. Projects falter and fail when abruptly some consultants go back to their home countries because their H1s couldnt get extended. And that affects everyone. Job security depends on success of IT or other projects and if you are a part of failed project that was lost half way due to lack of skilled employees, then your job security also diminishes. If you are laid off, then the H1 transfer to a new company would be subject to the new rules under this law.

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  • This thread is causing unhealthy division between EB2 and EB3. This thread should be closed and people should concentrate on the call campaign instead on fighting each other.

    Prefer to refrain from adding fuel to Sunny's reply as this thread is causing more rift than good.
    Agree this thread should be closed and deleted.

    Moderator: Is there any way people(ID's) don't contribute, don't get to open new threads if not posting comments( and dots too).

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  • Employers dont just go around spending thousands of dollars on H1B fees and greencard fees to hire a guy with foreign accent if a native citizen was available. And they do not underpay them, because they HAVE to pay prevailing wages based on the wages determined by the Department of labor.

    Just wanted to let you know that the employer has to pay at least the prevailing wage for a starter to qualify the petition. The employer also has to pay a median wage to the H-1B holder that is commensurate with similarly qualified employees in the company. Otherwise the employer could be prosecuted for wage violations.

    Norm Matloff's figures are faulty because he measures only the prevailing wage as a yardstick which is the bare minimum for qualification. And then he claims H-1Bs are undercutting American employees. No wonder, if you make calculations with lower figures, on the average, H-1Bs look as if they are getting paid less than American employees. To get the actual picture, Norm needs to know actual wages of H-1B employees, which is not possible because not all employers divulge employee pay. As long as the figures can be taken to one's advantage, we always will have these critics running around with distorted graphs and figures.

    One reform should support and fight for in EB Greencards is making the application employee-centric, not employer-centric. Current procedure is in a way bondage to the employer, especially when USCIS takes a long time with multiple stages (read delays) that too not bothering about how long the application has been pending. If USCIS processing improves and they try to reach out to their customers, then a wait of one or two years for Greencard should not be an issue. Infact, I support instant GC proposal in that case.

    Regarding the claims of stealing jobs, I see tons of job advertisements weekly. Many of these ads specifically exclude non-sponsorship candidates (read H-1Bs). US citizens have a bigger market and better opportunities than H-1Bs. I am not sure how it is not possible for them to get jobs. As Logiclife mentioned, the unemployment rate is 2% in IT field. Perhaps people are not prepared to move to areas where jobs are growing. I can not specukate any more on that.

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  • Nobody cares what qualifications u have. EB1, EB2 and EB3 is what matters at the end of the day.

    This letter is utter nonsense. Admins, Moderators...pls stop this nuisance as this will cause internal fighting and end up in nobody receiving any benefits in the near future. If USCIS responds +vely to that letter, then do u think EB2s will keep quiet??? This will cause chaos and thus nobody will get anything out of it. Why is this thread still alive. Pani, the starter of this thread shud be banned for initiating this effort. Shud anything -ve happen to EB2s as an outcome of this, I'm gonna hunt that fellow and sue him for ruining my life.

    Would you mind explaining a bit?

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  • San Francisco's Democrat ( and_outlooks) WSJ Editorial, Feb 15

    Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats appear to have decided that November's election is a distraction from their effort to simply pull the plug on a sitting President. How else to explain what is happening in the House this week?

    Democrats voted yesterday, for the first time in decades, to hold two White House officials in contempt of Congress. Hours later it emerged that Ms. Pelosi has apparently decided not to vote on the warrantless wiretap bill passed by the Senate days ago. This means that the Protect America Act -- which conferred Congressional support to wiretapping suspected al Qaeda terrorists -- will expire at midnight today.

    We admit to wondering earlier this week whether Congress's interrogating Roger Clemens was the best use of the Representatives' time. On the evidence, the country will be safer if the House takes up tilting at windmills.

    Speaker Pelosi says that letting the Protect America Act evaporate is no big deal. But the Director of National Intelligence told Congress last summer that the Administration lost two-thirds of its terrorist-surveillance capacity after it agreed to go to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and a judge there required a finding of probable cause to listen in on terrorists abroad.

    There are in fact enough Blue Dog Democratic votes in the House to pass the Senate bill, which had Democratic support there as well. But Ms. Pelosi instructed House Intelligence Committee Chairman Sylvester Reyes to begin negotiations with the Senate on a compromise bill. This effectively tosses the entire surveillance program into a kind of limbo, with all players uncertain about its practical authority.

    This was of a piece with the remarkable contempt vote against White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former Counsel Harriet Miers, which passed 223 to 32, as Minority Leader John Boehner led the Republican delegation out of the chamber. The pretext for this historic moment? The fight over the fired U.S. Attorneys. Remember that?

    This is the scandal that vanished because there was nothing to it. U.S. Attorneys are political appointees who serve at the pleasure of the President; he can fire any -- or even all -- of them if he sees fit. This nonscandal seemed to fade into the mists after it hastened the departure of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Ms. Pelosi asserts that this virtually never-used contempt vote is necessary to ensure "oversight" of the executive.

    Mr. Bolten and Ms. Miers, however, refused under orders from the President and on the advice of the Solicitor General, on the principle that the President's advisers should be free to give advice to the President without being called before Congress to explain themselves. Democratic Presidents to the horizon have made this claim.

    Every time he speaks, Barack Obama promises to overcome "bitter partisanship and petty bickering." Good luck with that. The House Speaker from San Francisco is obviously running her own campaign to gain control of the White House. The needs of the party's Presidential candidates appear to be a distraction from this.

    The House Strikes Back ( By Dan Froomkin |, Feb 15

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  • see my statement yesterday:

    Even if I offer current owners 20% less , the math does not make sense for me. Hence I am expecting 30% -35% correction from current expectations of the owners.

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  • If this forum is strictly for immigration, then we wouldn't have allowed members to discuss anything other than immigration.

    But IV allowed its members to discuss, degrade, humiliate muslims and Islam. Why didn't they stop it then?
    I don't believe anyone directly condemns Muslims and Islam. Everyone has a great respect for the religion and its followers. The problem starts when one person condemns terrorists and other takes it on Islam. I hope you believe they are not related, then why some people react such way.

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  • The 'Education' Mantra ( By Thomas Sowell | Investor's Business Daily

    One of the sad and dangerous signs of our times is how many people are enthralled by words, without bothering to look at the realities behind those words.

    One of those words that many people seldom look behind is "education." But education can cover anything from courses on nuclear physics to courses on baton twirling.

    Unfortunately, an increasing proportion of American education, whether in the schools or in the colleges and universities, is closer to the baton twirling end of the spectrum than toward the nuclear physics end. Even reputable colleges are increasingly teaching things that students should have learned in high school.

    We don't have a backlog of serious students trying to take serious courses. If you look at the fields in which American students specialize in colleges and universities, those fields are heavily weighted toward the soft end of the spectrum.

    When it comes to postgraduate study in tough fields like math and science, you often find foreign students at American universities receiving more of such degrees than do Americans.

    A recent headline in the Chronicle of Higher Education said: "Master's in English: Will Mow Lawns." It featured a man with that degree who has gone into the landscaping business because there is no great demand for people with Master's degrees in English.

    Too many of the people coming out of even our most prestigious academic institutions graduate with neither the skills to be economically productive nor the intellectual development to make them discerning citizens and voters.

    Students can graduate from some of the most prestigious institutions in the country, without ever learning anything about science, mathematics, economics or anything else that would make them either a productive contributor to the economy or an informed voter who can see through political rhetoric.

    On the contrary, people with such "education" are often more susceptible to demagoguery than the population at large. Nor is this a situation peculiar to America. In countries around the world, people with degrees in soft subjects have been sources of political unrest, instability and even mass violence.

    Nor is this a new phenomenon. A scholarly history of 19th century Prague referred to "the well-educated but underemployed" Czech young men who promoted ethnic polarization there-- a polarization that not only continued, but escalated, in the 20th century to produce bitter tragedies for both Czechs and Germans.

    In other central European countries, between the two World Wars a rising class of newly educated young people bitterly resented having to compete with better qualified Jews in the universities and with Jews already established in business and the professions. Anti-Semitic policies and violence were the result.

    It was much the same story in Asia, where successful minorities like the Chinese in Malaysia were resented by newly educated Malays without either the educational or business skills to compete with them. These Malaysians demanded-- and got-- heavily discriminatory laws and policies against the Chinese.

    Similar situations developed at various times in Nigeria, Romania, Sri Lanka, Hungary and India, among other places.

    Many Third World countries have turned out so many people with diplomas, but without meaningful skills, that "the educated unemployed" became a cliche among people who study such countries. This has not only become a personal problem for those individuals who have been educated, or half-educated, without acquiring any ability to fulfill their rising expectations, it has become a major economic and political problem for these countries.

    Such people have proven to be ideal targets for demagogues promoting polarization and strife. We in the United States are still in the early stages of that process. But you need only visit campuses where whole departments feature soft courses preaching a sense of victimhood and resentment, and see the consequences in racial and ethnic polarization on campus.

    There are too many other soft courses that allow students to spend years in college without becoming educated in any real sense.

    We don't need more government "investment" to produce more of such "education." Lofty words like "investment" should not blind us to the ugly reality of political porkbarrel spending.

    Tiger Mom: Here's how to reshape U.S. education ( By Amy Chua | USA Today
    The American Idea: An Open Letter To College Graduates ( By Carl Schramm | Forbes
    The Myth of American Exceptionalism ( By Richard Cohen | Washington Post
    The Role of Economics in an Imperfect World ( By EDWARD L. GLAESER | New York Times
    Where the Jobs Were Lost ( By CASEY B. MULLIGAN | New York Times
    No, We Are Not a Nation of Hamburger Flippers ( By Elizabeth MacDonald | Fox Business
    Multinationals Dump U.S. Workers for Foreign Labor ( By JAMES C. COOPER | The Fiscal Times
    California Economy Gets a Jolt From Tech Hiring ( By JIM CARLTON | Wall Street Journal

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  • Oh, I loved this joke!!!!!


    I got a RED dot for this post.

    Comment - "Racist Joke".

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  • Wish I could think so quickly.

    A man boarded a plane with 6 kids. After they got settled in their seats a woman sitting across the aisle from him leaned over to him and asked,

    'Are all of those kids yours?'

    He replied, 'No. I work for a condom company. These are customer complaints.'

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  • I think we have gotten way off topic from original poster.

    I should have posted the 140 denial where USCIS pointed at temporary job before person responded with their documents.

    in 140/485 stage it is very dangerous sending information like client contracts as you are putting it in their face that the job may not be permanent. In the particular case I attached; the attorney in trying to prove ability to pay winded up opening other doors for uscis to step through.

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  • India-China Relations: It’s the economy, and no one’s stupid ( 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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  • Guys and Gals,

    Everybody his entitled to his/her views and express them freely. That in itself among the many great things about this country. However at the same time this is an immigration forum. Please desist from making comments that diverge from the topic or create rifts in achieving our common goal - EB reform.
    When you're in this country you are not judged by the color of your skin, religion, faith or beliefs. You aren't judged by where you came from but where you're going. We are all in that pursuit of happiness.

    Remember you have several other newsgroups, message boards and blogs to express your views. Stop using IV for matters other than immigration - particularly the ones that are controversial and cause to create sense of discomfort among members.

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  • Big Labor flexes its muscles in Congress � with mixed results ( By Ian Swanson, July 24, 2007

    The day after voters returned Democrats to power in the House and Senate last year, the AFL-CIO held a press conference at its Washington headquarters to announce that union members had come to the polls in large numbers to vote Democratic.

    They also promised to remind the new rulers of Congress that labor put them there, and that unions would be back in 2007 looking for support. So far, all indications show Democrats in Congress have been happy to oblige one of their most loyal constituencies.

    Legislation backed by labor that was left on the shelves when the House was under Republican rule has been dusted off by Democrats and moved to the floor. This includes so-called card-check legislation approved by the House earlier this year, which was the subject of a huge lobbying fight between labor and business.

    By contrast, free-trade agreements opposed by labor and negotiated by the Bush administration have been delayed, some apparently until after the 2008 election.

    �There�s been a dramatic change since January,� said Bill Samuel, a top lobbyist for the AFL-CIO who is in frequent communication with Democratic leaders. �Issues that have been long ignored are now getting the attention they deserve.�

    �I think they�ve done a fair job in recognizing what our priorities are and addressing them,� agreed Fred McLuckie, legislative director of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.

    House Republican Conference Chairman Adam Putnam (R-Fla.) agreed with the labor leaders, but put a different spin on the changing tides.

    �The brazenness with which they�ve paid back Big Labor is astonishing,� said Putnam, who thinks the loyalty will come back to haunt Democrats next year, particularly since labor unions now represent less than 8 percent of the nation�s private workforce.

    Putnam said the shifting fortunes for labor reflect �a blatant return to the old stereotype of Big Labor bosses pulling the strings of Democrats.�

    Few Democrats, however, seem to think helping labor will hurt them. For example, only two House Democrats voted against the card-check legislation despite intense lobbying by business groups and negative advertisements in some districts. In the Senate, every Democrat voted in favor of card-check on the floor, as did Republican Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.).

    Pro-business Democratic Rep. Adam Smith (Wash.) said he has some differences with unions on trade. But he has no problem supporting card-check or other pro-union bills that he sees as helping low- and middle-income workers get a share of the economic pie.

    While card-check legislation, formally known as the Employee Free Choice Act, received the lion�s share of headlines over the first half of the year, dozens of other measures designed to help the labor movement have been inching forward.

    For example, lawmakers have attached to several bills language requiring that workers be paid a prevailing wage � and the tactic has helped highlight divisions within the Republican Party. Fifty House Republicans voted to keep prevailing-wage language in a water-resources bill earlier this year.

    In addition, the Teamsters and the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers won a provision in the House Federal Aviation Administration bill that makes it easier for employees of Federal Express to form unions, which could be a boon to the Teamsters and the machinists union. A second provision backed by labor would force the administration back to the negotiating table with air traffic controllers.

    And just last week, the House approved a bill providing collective-bargaining rights for firefighters and other first responders in all 50 states. The lower chamber also passed a Department of Labor funding bill that offers increased dollars for workplace enforcement offices like the Wage and Hour Division, which looks into claims that overtime is not being paid, while cutting funds for an office that investigates union corruption.

    In the second half of 2007, the AFL-CIO expects to push for bankruptcy law reforms as well as legislation overturning a National Labor Relations Board ruling that broadly defined workers considered to be supervisors. Overturning the decision could allow many more workers to qualify for collective bargaining rights.

    Furthermore, the Teamsters will continue to press Democrats to prevent the administration from carrying out plans to allow Mexican trucks access to U.S. roads, McLuckie said.

    Meanwhile, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which split from the AFL-CIO a few years ago, is lobbying aggressively on several broad policy issues, including an expansion of the State Children�s Health Insurance Program, according to Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger.

    The debate over ending the war in Iraq is also a top priority for SEIU members, who are even more anti-war than the rest of the nation, Burger said, explaining that the SEIU sees the Iraq war as diverting funds that could be used to provide universal healthcare and other priorities.

    Still, while union proposals have won momentum, only one union priority � an increase in the minimum wage � has actually become law. Other measures have been held up in the Senate by Republican-led filibusters or are threatened by presidential vetoes.

    While the AFL-CIO�s Samuel admits that moving from a defensive posture to offense has been exciting, he said there is frustration that labor issues have been held up in the Senate. And he insists Democrats have not given labor a blank check, even though he and his colleagues are spending more time in the offices of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) in this Congress. �You still have to argue your case on its merits,� he said.

    �For the last 12 years we were for the most part on the defensive,� Samuel continued. �It was other people who were making decisions which we were reacting to. I think now we are able to make decisions, to decide what issues to promote.�

    AFL-CIO officials meet weekly to decide which issues to push for. They are also in frequent contact with other labor leaders, who say there�s no evidence that Democratic leaders are playing favorites among the sometimes-fractious labor movement.

    SEIU and the Teamsters left the AFL-CIO a few years ago and formed the Change to Win coalition. But McLuckie said he hadn�t heard any complaints within the Change to Win coalition about access to Democrats.

    For their part, Republicans hope to use labor�s successes to portray Democrats as too compliant with union demands. For example, the National Republican Senate Committee is already trying to raise money from small businesses spooked by the card-check bill.

    It has produced an ominously scored video featuring grainy footage of Senate Democrats rallying for the card-check legislation to convince businesses to donate to the GOP next year. In the video, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) tells the crowd, �We have a majority in the U.S. Senate because of you.� Meanwhile, the figure $1,389,489 flashes on the screen to reflect the contributions Reid has received from �Big Labor.�

    The video closes with Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) promising to sign the bill into law when she is president, and notes Republicans need only two seats to regain control of the Senate.

    While unions are holding off on their presidential endorsements for now, the video reflects their long-term plan for card check. In 2009, labor hopes to have a Democratic president and a larger majority in the Senate, which would make business-backed filibusters more difficult.

    �I think it will be easier next time,� said Samuel, who thinks the labor agenda in Congress will help Democrats in next year�s elections. �I think these measures are generally very popular.�

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  • ok..never mind..I called the officer and informed that I don't have any such information and since it was taken over by a different company, I am not in a position to get Officer seemed satisified but asked few other related questions..and it is good for now..

    Dear friend - looks like ur sugar levels are going up and down - hang in there. I think you will be fine. Thanks for sharing your experiences with people here.

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  • Precisely my point! Majority of EB immigrants are pro-Democratic party and possible future contributors to Obama 2012 campaign.

    Why then should Obama support anti-EB measures that will hurt his chances in the future, when he'll get no benefits by supporting those measures?

    Hope better sense prevails!

    I got my green card earlier this year, and one of the first things that I did after getting it was contribute to Obama's primary campaign. Now I've been contributing to his election campaign (I'm sure that there's a public access site you can look up contribution at).


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  • Good Points. I like discussing real-estate; I'm deeply interested in it. So in that spirit of having a good conversation, here's my response:

    I completely agree that buying a house is a long term move. But I disagree with some of the points:

    1. Does rent always go up? No, my rent did not go up at all during the real estate boom as the number of ppl renting was low. Recently my rent has gone up only $75 pm. (love rent control!!!) So in 5 years, my monthly rent has gone up a total of $125 per month

    Real Estate market is always local. Unlike the market for -let's say- rice, which can be transported from one place where it's abundant to where it's scarce easily. Real Estate remains where it is. It's also subjected to a lot of local laws, municipal regulations etc. So, any discussion we have here will NOT apply to every single location. You have to research your own local regulations/market etc.

    If you have rent control, it significantly changes the picture. It usually doesn't make sense to buy if you have rent control.

    2. I hear about tax rebate for homeowners. But what about property tax?

    Yep, you pay it when you own a house. And yes, you pay it when you rent (it's rolled into your rent). The difference is that when you own, it's tax-deductible; if you pay it as part of your rent, it's not.

    3. What about mortgage insurance payments?

    You don't pay PMI, if you put down 20%. Not a bad idea to save that much. It forces one to learn financial planning and forward thinking.

    It is a misconception that 5-10 years is the cycle for real estate.

    Here's how in a sane real estate market the cycle should work:

    No population influx in your area or there is no exodus from your area:
    Your real estate ownership should be 25 years because that's when the next generation is ready to buy houses.

    However, in places like SF Bay Area/new York/Boston where there is continuous influx of young working ppl this cycle can be reduced to 15-20 years.

    Over the last few years, nobody thought of longevity required to make money in RE. Now that it is tanking ppl are talking about 5-10 years. Unless you are buying in a booming place, your ownership has to be 15+ years to turn a real profit.

    Profit/Loss is not what the primary residence is for.

    This is purely the financial aspect of ownership. If you have a family I think its really nice to have a house but you don't have to really take on the liability. You can rent the same house for much less. But if you are clear in your mind that no matter what I am going to live in XYZ town/city for the next 20 years, go for it.

    You can rent for less, now, but how about later? You're assuming rents don't go up, but they do. One of my neighbors pays $250 per month in loan payment for a house he bought 20 years ago (property tax and insurance adds $550 more). It was a big payment then. Now it's almost live living for free. If he rented this he'd by paying $2500 at least. Again, if you don't plan to settle down, don't buy. But owning your primary residence is the first step towards prosperity.

    As a sidenote for Indians. We all have either aging or soon to start aging parents. The way I see it, caring for aging parents is a social debt that we must pay back. This will need me to go back to India. Therefore, if you feel you need to care for your parents, don't commit to a house.
    Yes, if you're planning to go back... don't buy.

    Awesome piece of advice..I've got to meet ya!!

    Because you Can't Leave America.

    Integrating immigrants ( By Urvashi Butalia | The Express Tribune

    A few days ago, quite by chance, I happened to find myself at lunch with a member of the British political establishment. For a while, the conversation remained desultory and ranged over the usual subjects � India, economic growth, food, Indian business in Britain and so on. And then, suddenly, things began to heat up. We found ourselves talking about immigrant communities in the West. What began as a general discussion on whether and how immigrant communities �integrate� into the culture of the adopted country, turned specifically to discussing Indians and Pakistanis in Britain.

    Why was it, our host asked, that there was such a strong attachment to the home culture and, in many cases, such a resistance to integrating. In many places, he pointed out, immigrants even refused to learn the language of their adoptive country, in this case English, and this then meant that they could not move into the mainstream economic sphere, and they thus remained economically backward. He pointed to many stories he had heard, especially of Pakistanis, who could go through 16 years of schooling in Britain without learning English, or even showing a desire to learn it. And what mystified him even more was that these were not first generation immigrants who still carried the memory of the homeland with them, these were children born and raised in Britain, and for them there was no such memory to hold on to.

    The politician�s concern was quite genuine. How do you deal with your political constituencies if one set of them always elects to stay �outside�? But I�m not sure the reasons he gave � he pinpointed only the reluctance to learn the language � are adequate to explain what is increasingly becoming a problem in diasporic communities. For too long, migration, � or rather voluntary migration, when people go out in search of jobs or better lives � has been looked upon somewhat askance, especially if it is people from the erstwhile Third World countries moving to the so-called developed world. It�s almost as if, in seeking to improve their lives by going elsewhere, these people are doing something not quite right.

    This attitude towards immigrants holds both for the home country and the adoptive one � in one you are seen as a deserter and in the other as, at best, an unwelcome guest. So the onus of making yourself feel at home, of acquiring a new identity, of �integrating�, is put upon the immigrant. Whatever services the state provides seem almost to be given reluctantly, and are often accompanied by a discourse � not a state discourse but an independent one, which makes it that much more difficult to address � of resentment, anger, prejudice and, sometimes, just sheer envy. None of this encourages immigrants to try and integrate, rather it pushes them in the opposite direction.

    And then, if there�s already a community in existence, as there is virtually everywhere in England and America, you tend to remain within it, not seeking to enter a world that you feel is hostile to you. And you have to be driven to the wall to protest because protest means mobilisation, it means numbers, it means making yourself vulnerable, it means tackling the strength of an increasingly coercive state. Small wonder then, that most immigrant communities duck their heads and carry on doing their own thing.

    It isn�t only their relationship with the adoptive country that is problematic, but, especially for first generation immigrants, it�s very important to keep the connection with home, and to ensure that subsequent generations keep it too. This, as has often been seen, results in a somewhat static idea of what things are like at �home� and has also often led to a more dangerous phenomenon; the tacit support and the very real funding provided by diasporic communities to right-wing movements at home � there�s plenty of evidence of this and I don�t need to go into it here.

    But let me come back to our politician and his concerns. Why should South Asian immigrant communities in Britain be reluctant to learn English? There�s little doubt today that the world over, English has become the language of social mobility, and there�s a widespread desire to learn it. At home, in both our countries, as we know, institutes offering to teach English have sprung up everywhere and they are always fully subscribed. So what is it that holds Indians and Pakistanis in Britain back from this?

    My own sense is that we�re asking the wrong questions here. The question isn�t about whether people wish to learn English or not. Rather, it is much more about how immigrant communities are made to feel at home, about their rights and privileges, about their sense of self. One might just as well ask: What has the state done to help such communities integrate? Have Diwali and Eid for example, become part of the national calendar? Are there community centres and pubs and coffee places that are self-consciously and deliberately multicultural and that encourage people to sit together and talk? Have governments thought of new and innovative ways of ensuring that their �other� citizens have the same rights and privileges as their mainstream citizens, and that they know these rights belong to them?

    Dealing with difference isn�t always easy. Where do you draw the line? How far do you encourage and sustain difference and how far do you try to homogenise things? As the French move to ban the veil has shown, coercion is no answer. People have to be convinced of the logic and reason for change, they have to feel it works for them. How would it be if we insisted that foreign men in our countries had to wear either the dhoti or the awami suit? Much better, perhaps, to engage people in dialogue, to sit down and talk, and to find a solution that works for everyone. I�m not sure what message our politician took back to England with him, but it certainly wasn�t one that blamed communities for not integrating, instead it was one that looked at the question of integration as one from which both sides, if one can say that, gained.

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