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  • Future Tense
    Are the United States and China on a collision course? (http://www.tnr.com/article/world/magazine/87879/united-states-china-diplomacy-taiwan)
    By Aaron Friedberg | The New Republic

    In October 2008, a month after the collapse of Lehman Brothers�with the United States�s financial system seemingly about to buckle and Washington in desperate need of cash to prevent a total economic collapse�a State Department official contacted his Chinese counterpart about China buying U.S. securities. To his surprise, the Chinese, who had previously displayed an insatiable appetite for U.S. Treasury bills, suddenly balked at lending a hand. The reason, the Chinese official said, was the recent announcement of an impending sale of U.S. armaments to Taiwan.

    This not-so-subtle threat, detailed in a memo released by Wikileaks, turned out to be a bluff, but it signaled a striking shift in the tone and content of Chinese foreign policy. Over the course of the past two years, Beijing has adopted a more assertive posture in its dealings with Washington, as well as with many of America�s allies in Asia. Among other things, China has threatened for the first time to impose sanctions on U.S. companies involved in arms sales to Taiwan; intensified its claims to virtually all of the resource-rich South China Sea; and conducted its largest-ever naval exercises in the Western Pacific.

    America�s �China hands� have long attributed any tensions between the two countries to misunderstandings or readily correctable policy errors. But with the passage of time it has become increasingly apparent that the differences between China and the United States spring from deeply rooted sources and aren�t likely to be resolved anytime soon. Indeed, as recent events suggest, it appears that the two nations are in for a long, tense, perhaps even dangerous struggle. And, most disconcerting of all, it�s a struggle in which, at least for the moment, China seems to be gaining the upper hand.

    If you look back over the last 2,500 years�from the days of Athens and Sparta through the cold war�there has inevitably been mistrust, rivalry, and often open conflict between leading global powers and rising states that seek to displace them. In these scenarios, the leading power has wanted to preserve its privileges, while fearing that emerging challengers would seek to overturn the international order that it dominates. Rising powers, for their part, chafe at hierarchies of influence that were put in place when they were relatively weak.

    Much of the tension in today�s U.S.-China relationship is a reflection of this familiar dynamic. But this tension is exacerbated by an additional factor that has only sometimes been present in great power rivalries of the past: deep ideological differences. One often hears it said that, because China is no longer truly a communist country, ideology has ceased to be a factor in its relations with the United States. This misses the point. Today�s Chinese leaders may no longer be anti-capitalist Marxists but they govern as Leninists and, as such, are determined to preserve the Communist Party�s exclusive monopoly on political power. China�s rulers see the United States as intent on spreading its brand of democracy to every corner of the earth. For their part, the American people continue to eye with suspicion a regime they see as repressive and autocratic. Ideology may not be sufficient, in itself, to provoke conflict between the United States and China, but it aggravates and amplifies the geopolitical tensions between the two.

    This backdrop of great power rivalry and sharp ideological disagreement helps to explain U.S. policies toward China and Chinese policies toward the United States. In contrast to the cold war strategy of containment, America�s strategy for dealing with China has never been codified in official documents or given a name. But over the past two decades, roughly the same strategy has been employed by both Republicans (Bush 41 and Bush 43) and Democrats (Clinton and now Obama). Broadly speaking, the aim has been to discourage Beijing from seeking to challenge America�s interests and those of our allies in Asia, while at the same time nudging China toward democracy. To accomplish these ends, American policymakers have employed a dual approach. On the one hand, they have sought extensive economic and diplomatic engagement with China. The hope has been that these interactions will �tame� China by giving it a stake in the existing international order�and, over the long run, encourage the growth of a middle class and the spread of liberal values, thereby pushing the country gently and indirectly down the path toward democracy. At the same time, Washington has worked to preserve a balance of power in East Asia that is favorable to its interests and those of its allies. This began in earnest following the Taiwan Straits crisis of 1995-1996, when Beijing test-fired missiles in an attempt to influence the outcome of Taiwanese elections, and the Clinton administration dispatched two aircraft carriers in response. Since then, the United States has taken steps to strengthen its military capabilities in the region, while solidifying bonds with partners old (South Korea, Japan, Australia) and new (India).

    China�s strategy for dealing with the United States developed somewhat more deliberately. In the wake of Tiananmen Square and the collapse of the Soviet Union, China�s leaders recognized that the previous rationale for cooperation with the United States no longer applied. They feared that, having toppled one communist giant, the Americans would turn their attention to the other. Surveying the scene in 1991, Deng Xiaoping circulated a brief memo to his top party colleagues. The essential message of the so-called �24 Character Strategy� was that China had little choice but to �hide its capabilities and bide its time.� That meant avoiding confrontation with other states, especially the United States, while working to build up all aspects of its power�economic, military, technological, and political.

    Recently, Chinese foreign policy has taken on a more assertive tone; but its overall aims have not changed much in two decades. Above all, the current regime wants to preserve indefinitely the Chinese Communist Party�s grip on political power; it seeks, in effect, to make the world safe for continued CCP rule. In part for this reason, China�s leaders want to restore their country to its place as the preponderant regional power. This requires reducing the influence of the United States in East Asia, constricting its presence, and perhaps eventually extruding it from the region. Chinese officials allude to this objective with varying degrees of subtlety. When I worked in the Bush administration from 2003 to 2005, I had several conversations with Chinese diplomats in which they said, almost in passing, that, while the United States might be a Pacific power, it was, of course, not an Asian power. Rather more bluntly, in 2007, a Chinese admiral reportedly told his American counterpart that their two countries should divide the Pacific between them, with China taking everything west of Hawaii.

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  • First of all, thanks for converting my argument about Europeans and native peoples into Muslims and non-Muslims. Shows us where our respective prejudices and biases lie. I am very happy when my comments on any situation are turned into a broad 'us vs them' thing. It just shows us that our primitive and primal instincts from the time when we split from the apes are still alive and kicking in some people. Its pretty fascinating for me.

    Secondly there is a difference between military strikes (retaliatory or otherwise), and acts of massacres. Pretty much the same as there is a difference between military confrontation and ethnic cleansing. If you condone and defend the latter, then you are pretty much defending ethnic cleansing. Striking Hamas targets are military strikes. Holing up a hundred members of an extended family into a house, and then destroying the house is an act of massacre. When we defend acts like the latter one, we defend ethnic cleansing.


    The world feels Israeli attacks is disproportionate. The recent Gaza attacks and the Lebanese attacks are deemed disproportionate. But that's the only answer to rockets being launched into Israel and the bombing of commercial establishments in Tel Aviv.

    India does not attack Pakistan's terrorist camps at all.
    Its another example of grossly disproportionate response!!:mad:.
    Islamic fanatics come and violate my motherland at will makes my blood boil in useless rage. I'm even more appalled when Indians themselves remain insensitive of this fact and want to preach peace.

    India is not Israel and Israel is not India. Israel not only attacks the terrorists but also exports weapons to India. Such a tiny nation, one of the most advanced nations in South-West Asia and takes the bull by its horns!. India imports weapons from Israel, has growing defence budget of tens of billion dollars and does nothing to stop terrorism. Its absurd!

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  • Palestine was never a country. Even historian knows that there was a kingdom of Israel & Kingdom of Judah. The kings and the timeslines when the kingdoms were destroyed are also known. Due to numerous invasions there was a great diaspora of Jews to the other parts of the world. Even Jerusalem belongs to the Jews. The Romans under Titus burned down the Jewsish temple and killed entire tribes of Jews during the Jewish revolt against Rome in AD. 70. The modern state of Israel was in fact simply returing the ancient land of Israel to the Jews. Kashmir belongs to India. Pakistan has occupied Kashmir.
    I hate selective use of historical context to justify certain acts.

    First - going by your logic - we should perhaps consider returning entire Europe to Italy (since it was all Roman Empire) and also returning pretty much entire West Asia and parts of South Asia to Macedonia (Remember Alexander's campaign?). Kingdoms expanded and contracted based on the power and territoial ambitions of the ruling sovereign - ancient legends should not form basis for modern map drawing.

    Second - since when have religious groups started having monopoly over a piece of land?....a geographical entity belongs to the natives of that area.....the natives may follow the same of different religions....Native Jews and Native Palestinians (you may not want to believe it - but Palestinians or philistines as a distinct population group existed even before the advent of Islam) have lived in the modern Israel + Palestine since time immemorial and the land belongs to these natives.....

    To blame only Palentinians for the current aggressions is not really fair......and honestly, there is no moral victory or military superiority on display here on part of Israel here either......no one wins when innocent civilians and children die

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  • EB3 India guys, please send out the letter. We need to get our concerns out there. May be some one will listen. Please send a copy to Zoe Lofergen also.

    Only the squeaking wheel gets the oil. Wake up, please. Otherwise we all will be still waiting while the others are getting their citizenship!!!!

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  • See Hitler exported terror, which is what Pakistan is doing now and the Allies used violence in retaliation but were ultimately successful in bringing long term peace.

    Do you realize that
    a) Hitler did not export terror. He invaded and occupied countries. Non-state actors trying to kill Pakistanis, and Indians, and trying to start a war between India and Pakistan, are not the same as one country invading another.
    b) That was before the atomic bomb,

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  • well said. people should realize that EB visa system is based on principles that are thought to benefit US. retrogressed EB2 categories cannot whine about EB1 saying that EB2 should be current also. personally I know many Physicians who have applied in EB2 and have been waiting for years even though many of them qualify for EB1. In the same manner EB3 cannot complain about EB2 saying that spill over should go to EB3 when EB2 is itself retrogressed. remember that the directive for the correct interpretation of the law came from Congress itself. This has actually revealed that EB2 was unfairly disadvantaged last year when all the spillovers got passed to EB3 while EB2 was unavailable. They may even consider to compensate retrogressed categories in EB2 with all those Visa numbers that were improperly given to EB3 ROW by giving EB3 ROW visas to EB2 retrogressed categories from this years and next years quota. I totally understand the plight of EB3 I and agree that there needs to be a solution for this. But complaining to State Department or USCIS will not change a thing as they are only there to follow the laws and not make any changes to the existing laws. campaign from the whole EB community has not produced much result this year to eliminate retrogression. I don't think campaign by one category (EB3) from just one country (India) is going to achieve the result by this letter campaign. rather, the efforts should be concentrated in ending retrogression for all the categories through effective legislation and can only be achieved by cooperation between all the categories.

    Disclaimer: I am an EB3-Indian with a PD of Oct 2003.

    Delax: I agree entirely with what you are saying. Your arguments are 100% valid. The part that I don't get is why are you trying so desperately hard to convince EB3-Indians that their letter campaign lacks merit?

    Remember, a drowning man will clutch on to a straw for hope. You are like a sailor in a boat trying to tell the drowning man that a straw is no good. So, if you cannot get Eb3-Indians to see your point-of-view, just lay off this thread. Do you really expect all EB3-Indians to say "Thanks to delax, we now see the folly of our arguments. Let's stop this irrational effort, and instead just do nothing!"

    I can assure you that despite being an EB3-Indian, I am not participating in this campaign. Because I know that it is a ridiculous argument to expect PD to take preference over skills. And honestly, I cannot come up with a single rational reason to demand a GC for me over any EB1 or EB2 applicant.

    To all you EB3-Indians, chisel this into your brain: The US immigration system wants EB1 first, then EB2 and then EB3. It doesn't matter what your qualifications are or what the profession is...what matters is in which employment-based category was your LC filed. If you think, you are skilled enough, then stop wasting time in arguing with EB2 folks. Use your skills to apply for EB1 (which is current) or EB2 and get your GC fast. Otherwise, get this chiselled into your head as well: You are less skilled than EB2 and EB1 (purely on the basis of the LC category), so it makes 100% sense that US will give you the lowest priority. Period.

    As I wrote earlier, I'm an EB3-Indian as well. Only differences being, I have still maintained my sanity, and I have the patience to wait for IV to deliver the official guidance on proceeding further.

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  • Alisa,

    Look, the Pakistani military/Govt. is not capable of dealing with these 'non-state' actors. Your logic that it is going to take several years to neutralize and India has to wait for that period to pass is simply dumb.

    Do you think Indian strikes on Pakistan, or a war between India and Pakistan, is going to weaken these guys, or strengthen them?
    What would be dumb now?

    Would you allow a thief to rob your own home over and over again? Depending on your logic, it looks like you wait for several thefts to pass before taking action against the thief.

    Suppose there are theives from Bihar that come and rob you in West Bengal.
    You can either send your West Bengal police into Bihar, and turn it into a rivalry between two police departments. And a rivalry between two provinces.
    Or you have the two police departments work together to reduce crime rate in the future.

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  • Ofcourse I am unbias.

    I can't even begin to think how many people I know; cases I know from people who are from india.

    I'd say that it is less then 3% from people with other countries.

    As another poster rightly said that many of the issues happening is mainly to India because it takes so long to get the greencard and eventually everyone gets into these issues.

    Non indians don't face many issues because they get the greencard so fast; and hence they go through very little issues (generally). If other countires had to wait so long then everyone would also have similar types of issues.

    Since most of the forums are related to IT and Indians then if I ever broach on something a little negative or give different perspective then people look at my profile and see I was born in Pakistan and think there is some bias there.

    btw; I left when I was five years old and hardly knew any pakistanis/indians when I was growing up and for what it is worth my wife is Hindu.

    I guess you are right. The long wait times for Indians should be one of the reason.
    The other one I think is, you typically deal with problematic cases. Simple ones will just pass through without much intervention from lawyers/experts like you.

    Also one has to take into account the number of H1B applicants from India. As majority of IT folks come from India there is higher probability that there will be more problematic cases from this larger sample.

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  • Atleast republicans listen to Microsoft, Google etc and gives some visa etc...AllObama does is warn about Indians and Chinese growth

    Frankly he has a lot more serious problems to worry about than our issues. from the backlog, we are around 0.25 million and you have 300 million people in this country and 10% of them unemployed. So yeah, blame him all you want but any sane politician in his position would do the same.

    Let's consider this for example. Imagine you were in India and you had a few 100,000 decently skilled immigrants from some other country, who were waiting for their green card. Now you are the PM and you have to choose your focus between fighting terrorism, fighting inflation, high budget deficits with healthcare costs, high unemployment rate or giving green cards to these 100,000 people. I would think there would be a lot of pissed off countrymen in India who would scream at you when you are ignoring real issues and focussing instead on giving green cards to foreigners especially when you already have a sky high unemployment rate. Wouldn't be a great political strategy, would it? But maybe you would still do it, perhaps if you have a vested interest in getting it done.

    Still, next year you can bet that he'll do something on immigration since the states have started legislating on their own now and they can't afford this to continue.

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  • red dot for this post.... are you nuts or someone touched a raw nerve or you have lots of spare time to create controversies:confused:

    Lets petition USCIS to scrap EB3 and send them home. Rolling_flood needs his GC real bad... We are unavailable today and will be U in 2010. you can have our 3k visa for your category.

    Have you never jumped a line in your life, i bet you have.

    We see it all the time, people will find ways to move ahead and so will you..nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is demeaning or ridiculing a group for you selfish needs...good luck with the law suit.. the least it will do is highlight problem our to a greater audience (Y).

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  • That is surely amnesia. What to say, one of my desi coworker who who got his citizenship recently has started "Why we need more people" . When asked about his case, "mine was different, because of y2k etc there were great demand around 1999-2000".


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  • We had similar case. It was in 2002. Company was ready to issue another future offer letter. Local USCIS office at Buffalo NY did not agree to continue process. They said job offer is gone the I-485 is gone and has valid reason the denial. They asked my friend to refile I-140 and I-485.

    What eventually happened to the case.

    The baltimore case I mentioned happened in 2005 which was certified by AAO.

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  • Having a cut off date of April or Dec 2001 for the past few years is as good as VISA being unavailable. So India EB3 was unavailable for the last 3 years or so (except last july).

    That's not the case with EB2. EB2 on paper has preference, I agree. That does not mean EB2 should have ALL spill over numbers. Split it 75-25 if not 50-50. Dec 2001 for a retrogressed country is just unfair. When you issue some EB2 2006 numbers issue some to EB3 2002 people as well. Is it too much?

    Fairness is not what this is about. That is the whole issue. Is it fair that EB2 India has been waiting for years while EB2ROW has been current? Is it fair EB1 is over supplied with visas while EB2 India even EB2NIW was left heavily retrogressed? Worse yet, is it fair that the USCIS interpreted the law wrongly and gave visas to EB3ROW at the expense of EB2I? Was Labor Subs. Fair?

    It is not about fair my friend. I am not unsympathetic to your plea for more EB3I relief. There absolutely should be some, and through a legislative fix. However the executive branch of Gov't has to implement the law as it stands.

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  • There is no change in his strategy; but what is interesting is: he is now claiming that many of the new (freshmen) Democrats are in fact "Lou Dobb Democrats." :) Is he suggesting that they support his stand?

    He is also claiming now that he never opposed legal immigration beyond the 1 million that enters every year. He must have forgotten about his daily telecast on H1Bs (in 2003-2004), whose number is well within the limits of 1 million. What was he screaming about then?

    Lou Dobbs is losing it, I think, which can only be a good sign. But if CNN were to fire him, that will be the best thing to happen.

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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.

    India is not yet spending its resources, and we all want India to spend substantial budget, say over $50 billion an year, to destabilize & disintegrate Pakistan.

    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.

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  • We are in a letter campaign mode and we can write something like this :-)


    Atlanta, Georgia
    September 13, 1970

    Billing Department
    Shell Oil Company
    P.O. Box XXXX
    Tulsa, Oklahoma 74102

    Dear Sir:

    I have been a regular customer of the Shell Oil Company for several years now, and spend approximately $40.00 per month on Shell products. Until recently, I have been completely satisfied with the quality of Shell products and with the service of Shell employees.

    Included in my most recent statement from your department was a bill for $12.00 for a tire which I purchased at the Lowell I. Reels Shell station in McAdenville, N.C. I stopped at this station for gasoline and to have a timing malfunction corrected. The gasoline cost $5.15; eight new plugs cost $9.36; labor on the points $2.50. All well and good.

    Earlier in the day I had a flat tire, which the attendant at the Lowell I. Reels station informed me that he was unable to fix. He suggested that I purchase a tire from him in order that I have a spare for the remainder of my journey to Atlanta. I told him that I preferred to buy tires from home station in Atlanta, but he continued to stress the risk of driving without a spare. My reluctance to trade with an unknown dealer, even a Shell dealer, did not discourage him and finally, as I was leaving, he said that out of concern for my safety (my spare was not new) and because I had made a substantial expenditure at his station, he would make me a special deal. He produced a tire ("Hits a good one. Still has the tits on it. See them tits. Hits a twenty dollar tar.") which I purchased for twelve dollars and which he installed on the front left side for sixty-five cents. Fifty miles further down the highway, I had a blowout.

    Not a puncture which brought a slow, flapping flat, nor a polite ladyfinger firecracker rubberburpple rupture (pop); but a howitzer blowout, which reared the the hood of my car up into my face, a blowout, sir, which tore a flap of rubber from this "tire" large enough to make soles for both sandals of a medium sized hippie. In a twinkling, then, I was driving down Interstate 85 at sixty miles per hour on three tires and one rim with rubber clinging to it in desperate shreds and patches, an instrument with a bent, revolving, steel-then-rubber-then-steel rim, whose sound can be approximated by the simultaneous placing of a handful of gravel and a young duck into a Waring Blender.

    The word "careen" does no justice whatever to the movement that the car then performed. According to the highway patrolman's report, the driver in the adjoining lane, the left hand-- who, incidentally, was attempting to pass me at the time-- ejaculated adrenelin all over the ceiling of his car. My own passengers were fused into a featureless quiver in the key of "G" in the back seat of my car. The rim was bent; the tits were gone; and you can f--k yourself with a cream cheese dildo if you entertain for one moment the delusion that I intend to pay the twelve dollars.

    Sincerely yours,

    /s/ T.B.T.

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  • First print the damn thing of plastic and I will buy. Right now there are pretty hot deals in my area and I am tempted to buy, but wont.
    Due to my spouse's job, I dont get the 8K benefit. So screw, let them fall further.

    1) Economy is unstable.
    2) Job is unstable.
    3) H1 / 485 is unstable

    Only the wooden sturcture would be stable.

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  • Unfortunately, there are no simple answers. Mortgage rates are tied to 10 year bond rate, so they generally are not affected much by short term fed rate. With credit crunch, bond market is in real bad shape.
    Fed is trying to supply short term funds to ease this crunch. I don't know how low Fed will go for this. What I am seeing is mortgage rates being stable or going down a little in near term bcoz of Fed easing. For long term, I believe rates will go up as bonds have to become attractive to get new investors.This may not be the best ( absolute bottom) but definitely very good time to refinance if it makes sense for your conditions.
    For first time buyers like me, there are a lot of parameters to be considered. In my opinion the parameters are tilted towards faster house price drop . Hence I am waiting at least for a year. I will not do anything till next spring.

    Thank you very much.

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  • Parts of the conversetion in Embassy between the Visa Officer and an applicant for a visa:

    O: All your responses must be oral, OK?
    A: OK
    O: What school did you go to?
    A: Oral.
    After a short explaination, the conversation continued:
    O: What is your date of birth?
    A: July fifteenth.
    O: What year?
    A: Every year


    Again where are you getting that 550K value for a house from . The houses that were 500K two years back are now 400 - 450K ( exclude the extremes ). Why the HOA - can't the house be a single family home like most of US .

    Taxes - well I was not saying you get the whole money back but are taxes the only reason one should not buy a house ?

    Housing price correction has already happened in most of the good areas. If you think that they are going to go down 20% more that is never going to happen. People are not going to sell. They will just say put rather than take a 40% loss.

    pandeyji, please dont jump to conclusion. The "kind" of house I want to live in is 550K now. I dont know how much was it 2 years back. I live in Seattle, where prices started to fall only late last year and this year when MSFT , Boeing and Starbucks announced layoffs.

    I agree that there are some places now such as : NC, SC, FL, MI , OH, TX, MN etc are good places to buy. CA , OR, NV, AZ and WA have vast supply of inventories.

    When I say I am expecting 20% correction, I am not speculating in blind. I have seen the data on zillow.com where they tell you last price the house was sold for, the date and current price. Zillow also tells you what is their estimate you should offer in current market conditions and how much correction, upward or downward have they seen in last 3 months.

    Now for eg: I see houses from 1999 where they sold for 250-300 K and owners of the same property now expect 550-600K in 2009.

    Now if I do a rent vs buy, I must offer this guy 400K-420K (max) for it to be profitable for me in 5-7 years against the current rent. Also majority of the houses have HOAs here in WA metro areas. Some are high and some are low.

    Again if I have any realistic chance for this guy to take my offer in good faith, he must bring down the cost to 450K. Then 400-420K is a doable deal.

    If the seller is serious, there is no reason why he will not accept a 420K offer because there is abundant oversupply in the market. He can hold out for 2 years but a distressed or needful seller will have to sell home for that price because he might get only 1-2 offers in a month or few months.

    Even in my own community, people are expecting 350 K for a condo with 280 HOA, do you think, I can offer them 270K? Only then the rent/buy will make sense for me in next 5 years (and to be honest I dont plan to live in a town home for 30 years).

    I have given you enough numbers, do the math, lets not bring emotional sentiment into this.

    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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