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  • Here's the logic behind this debate as I see it (not that there is much logic in the way the immigration laws/rules are framed)

    A person with a Master's or a PhD has spent 2-3 or 5-6 years respectively to get their degrees but do not get a priority date reflecting that time spent on acquiring the qualifications.

    On the other hand a person with a bachelors who gets 5 years experience can port their priority date while moving from EB3 to EB2 thereby getting credit for time spent.

    Porting is law while the Bachelor+5 is due to some memo. This memo does not take into consideration the above inconsistency and therefore this debate.

    I hope this sounds logical to atleast some of you folks.

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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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  • <SARCASTIC> Ignorance is Bliss. </SARCASTIC>

    I just hope sanity makes a come back and people will see that the new visa over flow interpretation is advantages to EB3-I.

    OLD over flow interpretation

    EB1 ROW ------->EB2 ROW---------->EB3 ROW.

    New over flow interpretation.

    EB1 ---------------->EB2------------------------>EB3
    (Any chargeability) (Any chargeability) (Any chargeability)

    Only condition is visa should be allotted to the oldest PD in the lateral distribution irrespective of the country chargeability. That's the reason EB2 I and EB C are having same cutoff dates and all EB3 is U. DOS took away the advantage of ROW and gave it to oldest PD in the category.

    With this new interpretation EB3 I dates can make rapid progress and I fail to understand why EB3-I is upset about this.

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  • I am not convinced with the whole systematic preadjudication logic at all. I think it has to do with the mistakenly released memo by USCIS and the criteria which is listed in it. Companies meeting the criteria listed in that memo's H1s/I140s are being looked at and I485 app in the same file. There is no trend in the posts on this site by people who received RFEs to suggest systematic preadjudication, they are all over the place. EB2, EB3 - priority date-years ranging from 2001 to 2006, received RFEs.

    May be their receipt dates are close.. Remember, CIS can't sort the application by PD. They can process in FIFO of RD.

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  • related article on murthy for the Inadvertent Unauthorized Employment

    Actually ..I had even read somewhere in these forums, that 'out of status' etc will be considered since the last entry into the country..

    in your case, if he re entered into the country in 2002, the previous status should not be considered...but we can never argue with the immigration officers,once it gets into their head,they can be the most 'sanki' guys..

    take appt with Rajiv Khanna/Murthy without wasting any minute further..

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  • Rolling_Flood, great idea to benefit just U'r own GC cause. If you are positive about U'r logic why don't you go ahead and file a lawsuit. Looks like your true intention of creating this thread is to create a divide among IV members. Already members had a tough few weeks (in terms of unity) after the Aug bulletin. Now you are poking another rift.

    The EB classification is for a future job. Since the person is qualified, he ports to EB2 midway so what. The GC is for a future job, and when the person gets his/her GC, he/she is qualified for that position at that time. So what is U'r logic??

    If you want to truly fight the system them fight for a common basis for EB classification. There are cases where the same job title has been classified under all 3 categories. Example

    Senior Programmer (say Bachelor's with 5 yrs exp)

    Files under EB1 : because he/she came L1, qualification might be few yrs exp.
    Files under EB2 : because he/she has 5 yrs of exp and the attorney was smart to classify it as EB2.
    Files under EB3 : because of company policy or based on bad attorney advice (conservative approach).

    The above example shows that if U'r company and attorney is smart U can get U'r GC faster.

    If you are keen on doing a lawsuit why not
    File one against USCIS for wasting thousands of visa's over the past few years, which is the source of this backlog.
    Or file one against DOL for taking n number of years to get the LC done.
    Or file one against 245 filers who clogged the USCIS system which is causing USCIS to be inefficient.
    Man, you hit the nail on the head !!! Thats precise the point, I was trying to say in my last post (somewhere on page 1) ... The whole eb2/eb3 qualification, job requirements etc can be rigged easily by employer/lawyers ...There is no black and white in this game ..

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  • Where is lesson 2?

    Lesson 2:

    A priest offered a Nun a lift. She got in and crossed her legs, forcing her gown to reveal a leg. The priest nearly had an accident. After controlling the car, he stealthily slid his hand up her leg.
    The nun said, "Father, remember Psalm 129?"
    The priest removed his hand. But, changing gears, he let his hand slide up her leg again.
    The nun once again said, "Father, remember Psalm 129?"
    The priest apologized "Sorry sister but the flesh is weak."
    Arriving at the convent, the nun sighed heavily and went on her way.
    On his arrival at the church, the priest rushed to look up Psalm 129 It said, "Go forth and seek, further up, you will find glory."

    Moral of the story
    If you are not well informed in your job, you might miss a great opportunity.

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  • Palestine people definitely deserve a state of their own. They have been living there for thousands of years. So does Israelis. Israel is surrounded by hostile arab countries that waged war against Israel several times. Perhaps, this is the reason why Israel reacts (or over reacts at times) to any attack.

    Palestine state could have formed several years ago. International community tried real hard several times to find a closure to this issue. These efforts were always nixed by 1) Hamas thugs 2) Surrounding arab countries (and to some extent other muslim countries).

    If you want to blame someone for Palestine plight today, blame these two actors.

    The palestine problem was created by British people without considering Palestian's approval for the same. What palestinians are asking is their legitimate right. So Hamas is not the first party to blame for palestinian's problem. But Britain is the first person.

    You can blame Hamas for wrong approach to the problem which aggravated the problem in such a way that it can not be solved. Also due to Hamas, Palestinians are suffering like anything. God bless all innocent people who suffers.

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  • Why are you so worried about this initiative. Do you think an official at USCIS will read a letter and change the process in one day. If you think so then i wish you had written a letter during the letter campaign, we needed someone with your 'positive' attitude. I have sent letters to everybodies uncle and this is my 8th year waiting in EB3 and 12th year in US. Give us a chance to express our thoughts and wallow in our black hole.

    We as EB3 feel that we got a raw deal due to a change in the intrepretation of a law. There is nothing wrong in sending a letter to express our opinion.

    You can send a letter to thank USCIS for helping EB2 and the fact that you have an MS and that makes you great etc...(isnt this what every other post says, disregarding the fact that EB3's have people from top US universities too, there top universities around the world. I guess that you guys or the USCIS thinks that 5yrs consultancy at desi bodyshop with manufactured resume = 2yrs MS at Yale). Nothing against you, let us post a simple letter and get on with our miserable lives.

    That is exactly it. This letter sounds desperate. Not exactly a recipe for success. Merely a shot in the wind, with no plan, and it is directed at someone with no power to legislate. Additionally, a few people mention they want to make him aware of this situation. Don't you think as someone who sets the PDs monthly he is aware of it already? He testified in front of congress recently about it.
    Getting the interpretation of the law changed is not going to happen especially after they changed their interpretation recently with congressional input.
    It is entirely up to the employer (except EB1OR and EB2NIW which are self petitioned) to file in a particular category. It should be based on the job description. If someone feels their job was EB2 qualified but their employer filed only in EB3, then they could consider moving jobs. Once the 140 is processed, the law allows a retention of PD across EB categories which to my mind is fairly generous.
    This letter cannot achieve anything, it in no way helps with the visa recapture. That is the only thing that helps everyone EB2, EB3 and EB3ROW. Visa recapture has a moral argument that is stronger ie. the Gov't agency involved did not process efficiently and wasted numbers while there were immense backlogs and it was the intent of congress to approve 140K visas a year in EB immigration so lets redress this...........
    This letter is certain to cause a distraction for all and lead to internecine warfare between EB categories. EB2I will most likely have a retrogression again in the Oct, bulletin and we will be back to the old scenario.

    Additionally, after 7 pages, I have not seen a single post explain to me how either spillover method ie previous vertical or newer horizontal spillover will help EB3I. Either way has to go through the gate of Eb2I and C. One can argue that since they had the wrong interpretation of spillover for nearly 2 yrs, those visas should be redirected in favor of EB2 I and C.
    Ultimately this is not the type of solution we need to our issue. We need to overall pie to be bigger.

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  • Long-Prized Tech Visas Lose Cachet ( By MIRIAM JORDAN | Wall Street Journal

    A visa program designed to supply skilled foreign workers to companies in the U.S. has slowed sharply, attracting about 50% fewer petitions so far this year than last year, and 80% fewer than in 2009.

    Several factors have contributed to the decline in H-1B visas, including the lackluster pace of the U.S. recovery, more opportunities for skilled workers in their home nations and higher visa fees, which appear to have spurred Indian companies operating in the U.S. to seek fewer visas. Attacks on the program by congressional foes of U.S. immigration policies have also cast a shadow over it.

    U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services told The Wall Street Journal this week that it received about 8,000 H-1B petitions from businesses in April, the first month the agency accepts them for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1. That compares with 16,500 petitions in April 2010 and about 45,000 in April 2009, according to USCIS.

    "It's baffling that H-1Bs aren't picking up if the economy is stronger," said Steve Miller, a Seattle attorney who prepares petitions for employers in high tech, retail and other sectors.

    For years, the H-1B program was a mainstay for software companies, architecture firms and other businesses that seek foreign nationals to fill certain jobs. Demand for the visas by companies outstripped supply, and companies such as Microsoft Corp. lobbied the U.S. government to raise the cap on the number of visas.

    In 2008, employers snapped up all 65,000 visas allotted on the first day, April 1. But starting in 2009, after the financial crisis hit, the flow of applications has steadily diminished.

    The program, which enables foreigners to work in the U.S. for three to six years, was created as part of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1990 to help U.S. companies overcome a shortage of workers in specialty occupations, such as computer programming. Recently, the program has been attacked by lawmakers who say it displaces American workers and depresses wages.

    Supporters and opponents made their cases at a congressional hearing held March 31, the day before the federal government began accepting H-1B applications.

    At the House Subcommittee on Immigration, a critic of the program, Ronil Hira, highlighted that Indian companies operating in the U.S., such as Infosys, Tata and Wipro, are among the biggest H-1B users, and that they're bringing in foreigners with ordinary skills.

    In an interview, Mr. Hira, a professor of public policy at Rochester Institute of Technology, said that "because of loopholes, employers can bring in cheaper foreign workers to substitute for American workers and undercut their wages."

    His research indicates only about a third of all H-1B visa holders are "really highly skilled or graduates of U.S. universities who would be eventually sponsored for green cards," or permanent U.S. residency, by their employers. Employers have said that the program enables them to tap top talent, whom they seek to hire permanently down the road.

    Supporters of the program, including high-tech firms and industry groups, say it attracts foreign talent that spawns innovation and creates jobs in the U.S. They cite former H-1B holders such as Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems, and Vinod Dham, an engineer behind Intel Corp.'s Pentium chip, as proof of its value.

    Vivek Wadhwa, a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley who studies immigrant entrepreneurs, said that an anti-immigrant climate had made it "a liability to hire H-1Bs," and that this will gradually chip away at U.S. global competitiveness, because the country has a dearth of homegrown engineers and scientists.

    Moreover, Mr. Wadhwa said that foreign nationals who obtain U.S. degrees were more likely than ever to return home. "Ten to 15 years ago, by default, you'd want to be in America, because you had more opportunities. Now, you can do much, much better at home," he said.

    In a survey of more than 250 Indian and Chinese entrepreneurs published last month, Mr. Wadhwa and co-researcher AnnaLee Saxenian, also of Berkeley, found that the majority of those who returned to their native countries believed they were faring better overall than they would have in the U.S.

    Nutan Kunduri, a software engineer who stayed in the U.S. on an H-1B visa after completing her studies, said she decided to accept a job offer in India less than a year into working in Silicon Valley.

    "Ten years back, I had this 'nothing will change in our country' attitude," she said. A recent visit to India made her realize that "for an IT professional like me, India is the place to be, with its booming tech industry."

    Abhinav Tripati, a software engineer with a U.S. company in Boston, also plans to return to India, where salaries are slightly lower but the cost of living is significantly cheaper. "I see my friends back home enjoying most of the comforts of Western life," he said, with the added bonus of being close to friends and aging parents. "We can't often bring our parents to the U.S., as it's getting difficult to obtain visas for them," he said.

    Some immigration attorneys believe companies are taking their time to file H-1B petitions because the 65,000 quota is unlikely to be exhausted soon. The cost and bureaucracy of applying is another deterrent. Last year, Congress passed a law that adds an additional fee of $2,000 for certain H-1B petitions that had cost $325. All told, lawyers' fees, filing fees and other expenses can reach $9,000 a applicant.

    "HR people are aware there's no rush on H-1Bs," said Julie Pearl, an immigration lawyer in San Francisco.

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  • There are many big companies that depend completely on consultants for their software projects. Example Sony, Boeing... If this applies to existing H1bs then their projects will suffer a great loss.

    ERP softwares basically are implemented by consulting firms .Then all big companies including Oracle,SAP cannot implement their applications anywhere as they have to hire people on their own to implement.All ERP implementations can be treated as consulting.This is going to be a big mess.

    I don't think this bill is going pass successfully.
    Not true. For many software development projects, it really doesn't matter whether the developers are located in US or in India. What they need onshore is project/program managers or IT architects, who they can hire directly via H1-B not via consulting firm. For those H1-Bs the new bill's restrictions will not be a problem.

    If this bill passes, I can see that many US employers start hiring the highly-valued onshore consultants as their employees via H1-B, and let the rest stay in consulting firm either onshore or offshore. It is so-called "insourcing" which is very popular among big firms nowadays. So this bill is going to be bad for H1-B based consulting firms, good for US employers and future H1-B workers (either new or extended). In the short term though, it is not going to help US workers much, because most companies would ship onshore consulting jobs offshore rather than hiring US workers to fill them. However, in the long term it prevents "some" consulting firms (bodyshoppers) from abusing H1-B workers which benefit us all. I expect this bill will also ease the EB retrogression in the future because there will be less H1-Bs waiting in queue especially from India or China.

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  • Investment strategies of any kind - options, stocks, etfs failed miserably in the past couple of years. I dont think that argument stands well to justify against buying a house.

    I have not opined as to the relative merits/demerits of house-buying .. all I did was mention that it is possible to attain those kinds of returns in alternative "investments" (in response to Jun's statement that he/she wasn't sure if 5% returns per annum were available anywhere).

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  • hi
    they are taking social security, medicare taxes. while we are not getting any benefit out of it. they must stop taking social. they are taking this taxes based on that they will give us permanent status. now they have delayed process near to impossible for EB-3.
    Intent of social security and medicare is to support social security benefits, but when they are not granting any of this benefit they should stop taking it from us or should make green card processing faster.
    they should clarify this situation since they are taking money from us.
    hetal shah

    You will reap the benefits when you retire. Not now

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  • I just want to list the difference in your home purchase decision when you have GC vs. you are in H1B/EAD.

    GC - You can splurge a little. Even if you have to move, you are almost certain that you are able to move within the US, or will be able to come back to the US. You will get better interest rates on a mortgage and a higher percentage of financing (upto 97%). You can buy your dream home (this usually means a nice community, big house etc. etc.) Even if the value of your purchase comes down, you can afford to wait for a longer period of time.

    H1/EAD - Think 10 times before purchasing a home. Take a conservative approach. If you think you can really afford a $400,000 house, purchase only a $350,000 house. Prepare to pay around 8% down-payment (some times even 20%) and you may not get the best interest rate. Plan very well for the possibility that you may have to move within the US or even out of the country. And prepare some plans considering that you may have to go out of the US and may not be able to come back. Consider the possibility of renting a town home or a single family home. In this market, you can even find homes by paying a rent which could be some times lower than the mortgage on the home. I agree with what h1tech has said ..and that is good advice. I guess there is enough info on this thread and hopefully people will take right decisions (so I will stop for the time being). btw ..nobody said bigger house is not better if everything else is constant .. maybe people are misreading things.
    and I guess inspite of all these arguments ..people will rush to buy ..which is good too it helps the economy.. ( I guess some like to shoot themselves in the foot ..).
    note - ARMS will reset in may / june (the batch that is referred below) ..which means many of these will foreclose in early 2009.
    The onslaught of homes facing foreclosures has yet to ebb, a research report showed Tuesday, with bank repossessions skyrocketing last month as more troubled homeowners mailed in their keys and walked away.

    And the worst isn't over: the wave of adjustable-rate loans resetting to higher rates will crest in May and June. And that's expected to push more homeowners into default and foreclosure in the third and fourth quarters of this year, according to RealtyTrac Inc. of Irvine, Calif.

    "Once we're through that batch of loans, the worst will have been worked through the system," said Rick Sharga, RealtyTrac's vice president of marketing.
    He estimates between 750,000 and 1 million bank-owned properties will hit the market this year, or about a quarter of the homes up for sale. In some areas, these properties will continue to slow sales and depress prices further.

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  • Dear xyzgc,

    As a fellow Indian I understand your anger about India's inaction. In no way India can match America.

    Look which countries America attacked after 9/11 ?. Hopeless Afganistan and throughly beaten Iraq. These countries are no match for America.
    America can attack half way from the globe and attack other unequally matched countries. Do you think US will attack Russia or China like Afganistan? It will think thousand times because of sure mutual destruction it will bring. Now Israel is thrashing Hamas which is not at all a regular army.
    Do you think Israel will touch Iran ? Iran will torch Israel.

    So, it is the kind of measuring the capacity of the enemy and acting accordingly.

    If India attacks Pakistan, Pak will surely use their Bramastra which is atom bomb.India again retaliates with another 10 atom bombs and full Pakistan and half India will be in ashes. Do you want that ?

    Again , this kind of massacre may happen in future . Who knows ?. But, I am sure we can't hit Pak like America.

    I am also thinking in line with Alisa's . To avoid castration from US army , these Taliban kind of people send some misguided youths to attack, thereby diverting the issue and diverting the Pak army to India border.

    The only way to solve this problem is the self realisation of Pakistan . Terrorism is like a double edged sword. It will harm both parties.

    " Unless the thief understand and realizes his misdeeds , nobody can destroy theft " - Famous Tamil poet Pattukotai Kalyanasundaram.

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  • Have you accounted for the increase in rent (not rent controlled) every year? Mortgage on the other hand is fixed for 30 years!

    If you buy - and take a mortgate - you end up losing (the same way you "lose" your rent)
    1. Interest you pay
    2. Property taxes you will pay forever.
    3. Maintenance you will pay forever.

    On the other hand - if you rent and,
    A. IF you pay less in rent than #1 + #2 + #3,
    B. IF you invest the remainder plus your mortgage principal amount in some other investment vehicle with superior investment returns than real estate.
    .... Then you will come out ahead renting.

    The tipping point is whether your rent equals interest + property taxes + maintenance. Based on which side is higher - either renting or buying could be good for you. I don't think there is a clear cut answer. This does not take into account the flexibility associated with renting - which is important for non-GC holders. If you assign a non-zero dollar value of $X with that flexibility, then your rent needs to be interest + tax + maintanance + $X to get to the tipping point. On the other hand, if you are not forced to save (in the form of mortgage principal payment every month) - you may just spend that money instead of investing that. If you assign a dollar value of $Y with that (probability multiplied by actual dollar value) - then the tipping point is at
    $rent = $interest + $tax + $maintenance + $X(dollar value for flexibility) - $Y(dollar value for probability of spending money instead of saving).

    Now as soon as you plug in the numbers in this equation - it will give you your tipping point and will tell you whether it is right for you to rent or to buy.

    Think about it. It is not as clear cut as you think it is. :-) Based on your earlier posts - you got an absolutely faboulous deal on your house (maybe because of your timing) and the tipping point equation would probably highly favor buying in your case. For many other (specially for those without a GC) - it may not be so clear cut.

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  • Bharatpremi - Thanks for yr earlier reply and for yr optimistic EB3 (I) predictions in other threads.
    here are the details about housing demand that the bubble has burst with huge inventory still remaining is difficult to see from where the (genuine) demand will come ..speculators and flippers are badly burnt ..This is from MSN money.
    this country's median income of roughly $49,000 can hardly be expected to service the debt of the median home price of $234,000, up from approximately $160,000 in 2000.

    Let's do a little math. Forty-nine thousand dollars in yearly income leaves approximately $35,000 in after-tax dollars. Call it $3,000 a month. A 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage would cost approximately $1,500 per month. That leaves only $1,500 a month for a family to pay for everything else! (Of course, in many communities the math is even less tenable.) This is the crux of the problem, and the government cannot fix it.

    Housing prices, thanks to the bubble and inflation, have risen well past the point where the median (or typical middle-class) family can afford them. Either income must rise -- which seems unlikely on an inflated-adjusted basis -- or home prices must come down.

    This whole thing is a set conspiracy for the benefit of 5% . My biggest surprise is that nobody is asking a simple question: Why the hell traditional mortgages are designed for 30 years/40 years? Why not for 5 years and at the most for 10 years? If you might have seen your county record, you will see land cost is always a bear cheap against your total purchase price. Now you also know that construction cost is not that great too.

    If you would have built that home by your self , you could built it at very reasonable price. So what is driving us nuts is the addition of "passive" amount which we call "market".. Now this "passive" insertion is designed for "Government" + " Lenders" + " realtors"--- and for their benefit you throughout your damn life end up paying mortgage. As long as the concept of "investment" and "profiteering" will be associated with housing you will see thousands of families get shattered for the benefit of some hundreds of families.

    And you are seeing the effect. Government is out to save Bear Stern's as* but is not yet out to save millions of families.:mad:

    Example: $ 500,000/- purchase price (3000 sq ft single family home)
    Land cost: 80,000/- ( defined by county - assessment record)
    Construction cost: 1,40,000/- (If you do home work you can easily
    derive current construction cost)
    Let's say you give the order to somebody to construct: Add his 25%
    profit which is reasonable)

    The real cost is 255000. If a man with median income of $ 49,000/- wants to buy a home he will still be able to do that with all happiness if government enforces some limit say for an example 5-10% "passive" margin on top of this actual current cost for these sharks. But now in today's world you would be paying this large "passive" difference so your lender, realtor and government become fat and you end up working your ass of for 30 years to pay it off.

    The beauty is that everybody is doing that and government has authorized it so it is legitimate. Basically this whole damn system corner the money to 5% people and I am not ready to tell that a capitalism. "Dacoits rule the city of theives."

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  • Israel is doing what is required of a nation when attacked. It is sad that innocent children are dying. But I do not see any better options left open for Israel. Offcourse they could have done what India does - whine for a few months, complain to every Tom, Dick and Harry and then shut up. But not every one is spineless.

    India has legitimate reason to attack pakistan or any terrorist camps in and out of pakistan. But our spineless leaders couldn't take any action on that. Its a shame on our leadership.

    But Palestine is not like that. They are fighting for their right. Have you ever seen or heard about how people in palestin live their day to day life? How many check points they have to cross before crossing a mile? How much time they spend waiting on each crossing?

    Don't you think they also deserve dignity? Don't you think they also live in peace and harmony? Don't you know their desperate situation? There's no electricity, no clean water, no drianage, nothing. Whole country is like a big prison. They are going thru this hardship for several decades. Everything was destroyed by the brutal force.

    We have seen Isreals brutal aggression year after year. Killing civilians and kids year after year. I don't know how much more blood they need??

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  • :eek:

    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!'

    very good post jung.lee. As you said lay offs have not even started !! Recent 80000 job loss data came in. This is givt data which is a lot worse than expected. Imagine the real job losses !!
    For me this is beginning of end !! Things will get real now. House prices will come in line with what people can afford .....

    Israel is fully justified in responding to the rocket attacks from Gaza. How long can they show restraint by not responding to the unprovoked attacks. Do you think US will remain silent, if Canada were to lob rockets into US. Asbolutely not. Every country has the right to protect itself.
    Hamas is such a coward orgn that they hide behind school, mosque, hospitals to shoot their rockets, so they really are luring israel to bomb those areas. Unfortunately innocents die...the blame should be on hamas. In fact, before bombing Israel even goes to the extent of calling and texting people in the target area to warn them before bombing. which country at war you know does that. Inspite of all these the biased media portrays Israel as the evil one. time to think. if only india shows some courage like that.

    Another muslim hater who justify organized crime and killing and support the killing of innocent school kids and civilians.

    Hiding behind civilians and schools and mosques???? 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?

    Congress's Mixed Results ( Democratic promises meet legislative reality, Dec 20, 2007

    FOR CONGRESSIONAL Democrats, the first session of the 110th Congress offered a sobering lesson in the practical limits of majority control. Democrats delivered part of what they had promised to the voters who returned them to power last November and recorded some significant achievements. But more often, Democrats found their legislative plans stymied -- first by Senate Republicans' willingness to filibuster any proposal with which they disagreed, then by the president's newfound zeal to exercise his veto power. The scorecard, in the end, is disappointingly mixed. Still, Democrats are more to blame for overpromising than for failing to deliver; their triumphant promises of January were never realistic. Given the slenderest of Senate majorities and the willingness of the minority to wield the filibuster with unprecedented frequency, Democrats' maneuvering room was dramatically limited.

    On the plus side of the legislative ledger, President Bush signed an energy bill yesterday that will raise fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks for the first time in 32 years, to an average of 35 miles per gallon by 2020. That is a significant achievement, albeit one that could have been even greater had Republicans not blocked efforts to include new requirements for boosting use of renewable sources of energy and to eliminate tax breaks for oil companies.

    Likewise, Democrats were able to secure the first increase in the minimum wage in nine years and the largest expansion of college aid since the GI bill, cutting interest rates on subsidized student loans and increasing the maximum Pell grant. They passed an important lobbying and ethics reform bill that will shine light on the bundles of campaign cash delivered by registered lobbyists and clamped down on lawmakers' ability to accept meals, travel and entertainment from lobbyists and those who employ them.

    The keenest Democratic disappointment -- failing to force the president to rapidly withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq -- is no disappointment to us. Although unhappiness with the war in Iraq helped propel Democrats to victory, in the end President Bush was able to secure continuing funding for the war with no strings attached. Of far more concern: Democrats could not overcome presidential vetoes of bills providing for federal funding of embryonic stem cell research or expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program. The children's health issue deserves another try next year; the extension that Congress adopted jeopardizes existing coverage for some children and makes it difficult for states to move forward with planned expansions of coverage.

    Democrats spent much of the session congratulating themselves, appropriately so, for reinstating pay-as-you-go rules requiring tax cuts or increases in mandatory spending to be paid for with offsetting tax increases or spending cuts.

    In the end, however, Democrats capitulated to a Republican refusal to pay for the $50 billion, one-year patch applied to the alternative minimum tax. The budget process was nearly as unattractive as ever, with a host of overdue spending bills wrapped into a giant package passed in the final hours of the session.

    Of most concern are the serious issues that remain unaddressed -- and that aren't likely to be taken up next year, either. An overhaul of the nation's failed immigration policy fell victim to ugly politics, despite the support of the president. Entitlement reform -- in particular a response to the looming Social Security shortfall -- never got off the ground, the victim of distrust and intransigence on both sides. Prospects next year for reauthorizing the president's signature education program, No Child Left Behind, look dim.

    The year before a presidential election is rarely a fertile moment for lawmaking; the poisonous level of partisanship in both houses makes that even more unlikely. Republicans seem to have concluded that their electoral hopes lie in blocking Democrats from ringing up any achievements. For their part, House Democrats have conveniently forgotten their pledges to treat the minority with more fairness than they were accorded when Republicans had control.

    Yet the new year will dawn with issues of enormous importance on the congressional agenda. In addition to those mentioned above, we would note the worthwhile proposal by Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John W. Warner (R-Va.) to adopt a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emissions. Lawmakers and the president can continue to bicker and elbow for advantage until the next election rolls around -- or they can gamble that they have more to gain with a disgusted electorate by cooperating and getting something done.

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