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  • desi3933
    08-05 04:55 PM
    You seem to be a rational person. You points are compelling and that's why we need to take some legal opinion on it.

    Thanks SunnySurya.

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





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  • validIV
    06-25 01:46 PM
    I couldn't agree more. My first home is almost fully paid off. Peace of mind is a great thing.

    I will be happy owning one home. And hope to repay it off quickly so i dont have any BANK to answer to. Having a peace of mind that one day when i pay off the home nobody can kick me off my home for any reason is PRICELESS to me.

    It's not for my grandkids. Its for my wife and my kids when I retire.


    Owning 10 homes so that you can donate to your grandkids may be PRICELESS to you. I wish you the best.





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  • gcisadawg
    12-27 02:21 PM
    Found this somewhere in the internet , this is meant for those Indian muslims who want to cause havoc in India.

    Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia , as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks.
    'We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language.
    -----
    Maybe if we circulate this , Indian citizens will find the backbone to start speaking and voicing the same truths against islamic radicals infesting the country.

    Interesting. In Australia, the Muslims that want to live under Sharia law are immigrants but In India they are part and parcel of Indian fabric for several centuries. So, John Howard's 'Memo' may not work in India! One pill doesn't cure all ills! As Howard said, try making one language as THE language and see what happens. We have gone thru that path and let us not fool ourselves.


    Coming to Sharia law in the context of Indian Muslims, If Sharia Criminal law is implemented for Indian Muslims, what would happen? While non-muslims who commit small crimes in India serves few months or few years in Jail, Indian Muslims who commit the same crime would loose a hand or a two and a leg, maybe. This would see equal application of Sharia Law, both personal and Civil.

    Sharia law is OK as long as it is personal and when things are resolved among Muslims. But when one of the community member isn't satisfied and come to a secular court, then the secular law of the land should apply. For instance, when Shah Bano came to court, Secular law should have been applied.

    Amend Existing personal and criminal law to remove any references to religion, either Hindu , Muslim, Christian or any. (I believe Criminal code never had any reference to religion)

    Pass a super law that states "With respect to PERSONAL laws only, India respects Hindu law, Sharia law and whatever new law any new religion comes up with when it is used solely among that community. But when a member of any community approaches any judicial wing of the country, then the secular law of the land would prevail"... For ex, if a muslim who marries two wives is drawn to court by one of his wives, the first question should be "which wife do you want to keep since secular law recognizes only one"...For the divorced wife, everything that should be done based on secular law should be done including alimony, child custody etc..

    Indian Muslim community is not one big mass instead it is fragmented. There is no national leader of repute that can unite them and lead them. They may not vote for BJP due to obvious reasons but their vote is spread across all other parties. For instance, they have to go either with DMK or ADMK where congress has no scope of occupying CM post! So much is made out of Antulay and the vote bank. Maybe Antulay would be able to win his constituency. But can he get the all the Muslim votes of Maharashtra? I doubt it..Forget about national level. Many people are hearing his name for the first time because of his statement.

    Where does it leave Indian Muslims who are caught between Vote bank politics and their self-inflicted as well as forced stagnation?

    Peace,
    G





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  • NKR
    04-14 11:39 AM
    Most of the posts here are not relevant to the original topic of the thread � buying a home when 485 is pending.

    You basically buy a home not to sell it off, but to live in it. Circumstances may lead one to sell a home, but no one can predict if that will happen for sure or when it may happen.

    For selling a home � just like stocks � it does not matter if the real estate market is doing well today or not. It only matters how the seller market is when it is time to sell. And again, no one can predict that in advance. Given this simple logic, it is totally useless to speculate resale values of homes which you may never even sell!

    I see people are so obsessed about resale value that they almost have never gone out to see homes, look at floor plans and see what they want, what the other family members want in a home or any of that. They instead prefer to calculate resale value based on current market conditions.

    Stop seeing a home as an investment and start seeing it as a place where you will live and where your kids will grow up. Obsessing too much about the monetary aspects just takes all the fun away.



    I cannot agree more. I have been trying to drill this into some peoples brain but they are so adamant on renting and has made this thread into a rent vs buy argument. I finally gave up. I am not saying that this is the right time to buy. Fast forward 2 or 2+ years, lets assume the market is good. Then when it comes to rent vs buy I advocate buying a house.

    Let�s say you have a small kid and you are living in an apartment, after 10 years you save enough money to buy a big house and you then eventually you buy it. Then you ask the your kid �do you like the house?�. He will reply �it�s very nice dad, but can you give you give my childhood now?.�. Go figure out guys. If you are not planning on going back for a very long time then at-least get a life in the country you reside and when the housing market is good.



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  • nojoke
    12-27 06:24 AM
    Ofcourse its Pakistan's responsibility since we created them. But the question is, where do you go from here?
    There is about twenty to twenty five years worth of infrastructure and intellectual capital built in the unofficial 'non-state' militant/jihadi circles.
    So, its going to take time for this infrastructure to go away.

    The challenge for Pakistan is to dismantle this infrastructure. A hostile or unfriendly India doesn't help. Ironically, it makes reliance upon this infrastructure attractive.

    If pakistan is innocent, how about handing over dawood ibrahim? or a few other terrorist to India. If not to India, why not hand them over to international court? If they don't want to do this, then it is logical for us to conclude that the pak government is involved





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  • StuckInTheMuck
    08-08 05:09 PM
    Q: Do you yield when a blind pedestrian is crossing the road?
    A: What for? He can't see my license plate.

    Q: Who has the right of way when four cars approach a four-way stop at the same time?
    A: The pick up truck with the gun rack and the bumper sticker saying, "Guns don't kill people. I do."

    Q: When driving through fog, what should you use?
    A: Your car.

    Q: What problems would you face if you were arrested for drunk driving?
    A: I'd probably lose my buzz a lot faster.

    Q: What changes would occur in your lifestyle if you could no longer drive lawfully?
    A: I would be forced to drive unlawfully.

    Q: What are some points to remember when passing or being passed?
    A: Make eye contact and wave "hello" if s/he is cute.

    Q: What is the difference between a flashing red traffic light and a flashing yellow traffic light?
    A: The color.

    Q: How do you deal with heavy traffic?
    A: Heavy psychedelics.

    Q: What can you do to help ease a heavy traffic problem?
    A: Carry loaded weapons.



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  • truthinspector
    01-02 12:58 PM
    It's about time we accept that we are not a Nation, but a mere labor pool with some 535 odd "Mukadams" at national level and hundreds of "Thekedaars" at state level.


    Here is a recommended motto for our currency(in replacement of "Satyamev Jayate")

    One Side : "Chalta Hain"

    Other Side : "Khao Khujao , Batti Buzao"

    Let's move on ( yes, that's the only option with any breed of politicians that may come to power in India).





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  • gchopes
    06-06 11:06 PM
    Buying a house at or around the same rent and availing the 8K credit doesn't seem like a bad deal to me. GC or no..most have EAD (at least Jul 07 filers)..so if we lose our job we would be in a similar situation as a GC holder..having a form of work permit so employer doesnt have to sponsor us.

    Uncle Sam is never going to give u 8K in the next 10 years that we will be waiting for getting our GC. So buy now before the rates get back to 7-8%.



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  • aadimanav
    07-14 05:43 PM
    Please participate in this non-controversial (EB1 vs. 2 vs. 3 and Row vs. Non-Row Compatible) campaign.

    http://immigrationvoice.org/forum/showthread.php?t=20190

    Thanks,





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  • vdixit
    03-24 04:31 PM
    Bought a house, sold it. Changed jobs, moved cities, planning to buy a new house.
    I dont think renting (flushing money down the landlords toilet) is a wise idea if you plan to live in this country for a long time.
    Go for it. PLan these things according to your family's needs.
    Cheers.



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  • Ramba
    09-29 03:57 PM
    Good analysis ..

    Full disclousre - I consider myself a fiscal conservative. But after watching the debate I believe Obama is a better candidate for Presidency than John McCain and here's why -

    1) There is a third dimension to the economic debate besides tax cuts and tax raises - National Debt - which has run into uncountable trillions of Dollars. Obama gets it. McCain doesn't.

    2) Both candidates want to cut Defense expenditure. McCain thinks making Defense contracts fixed cost will cut expenditure substantially. How does he plan to do that without affecting quality? Are we to see more of the guns that don't fire in Iraq? Obama has a better solution - end the Iraq War in a timely fashion and save trillions of dollars spent every month.

    3) McCain wishes to continue the practice of cutting billions of dollars check anually to Pakistan, most of which goes to buy ammunition from US weapons manufacturers. In other words, a subsidy/corporate welfare in the name of 'War on Terror'. Obama plans to hold them accountable for the money they receive and wishes to see the money go to rooting out Al-queda rather than weapons that threaten India into an arms race. Obama plans to hunt down and eliminate Al-queda in Iraq. McCain has no such immediate plans! He wishes to fight the war in Iraq for 4-8 more years and pass on the responsibility to his successor.

    4) McCains solution to energy crisis is to destroy the North Pole and burden thousands of generations to come with nuclear waste which will literally take a millenia to clean-up. Obama has placed is bet on replenishable ,greener and less expensive alternatives.

    5) Both candidates plans require 'Borrow and Spend' in the short term due to proposed tax cuts. I would rather have Obama spend it on Energy Research than let McCain blow it up in I-rack. At least with Obama plan, America has a chance that reduced dependency on foreign oil may let US government divert the money currently spent on Foreign Oil in paying off debt, rather than pass it on to the future generation.

    6) Obama has proposed a medical insurance to help veterans. McCains answer -' I know veterans. I will take care of them'. What kind of answer is that?

    7) Obama's stated position is that American companies can bring in more skilled foreign workers as long as there is a need. We are of course concerned about his buddy Sen. Durbin's views which are diametrically opposite of Obama's stated position. On the other hand, McCain doesn't consider EB immigration to be important enough to have a position. In John McCains world - we simply don't exist!

    I think it's a good effort by Chandu to educate EB immigrants on the political realities so that we get ready in the days to come to face any eventuality. Also it will aid those of us who get Green Cards in the mean time to make wise decisions while contributing to future election campaigns.





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  • nogc_noproblem
    08-26 08:54 PM
    Recent Quips form Late Night

    "Yesterday, President Bush announced there are going to be some big changes in intelligence in the White House. Yeah, he's leaving." --Jay Leno

    "Yesterday, Bill Clinton was giving a speech, he told a group of supporters that his wife Hillary is the person he most wants to spend time with. Yeah, apparently Clinton likes to start every speech with a joke, sort of loosen things up a little bit, get people happy, relaxed." --Conan O'Brien

    "But I think the U.S. is going to do well, particularly in swimming, I think we have a very strong swimming time this year for the Olympics, yeah, that's right. Dick Cheney in particular looks great in the freestyle waterboarding." --David Letterman

    "Well listen, Barack Obama accused Republicans of trying to make others fear him, because, and I quote, he 'doesn't look like the other presidents on the dollar bill.' So the choice is, do you want to elect a guy who doesn't look like the president on the dollar bill, or do you want to elect a guy who looks older than the president on the dollar bill?" --Jay Leno

    "John McCain's daughter announced she's writing a children's book based on her father's life. I think that's very nice, yeah. The children's book is called 'James and the Giant Prostate.'" --Conan O'Brien

    "Yeah that's the big talk, they say Barack Obama could decide to go with another woman. See that's what killed John Edwards' chances of being VP, he decided to go with another woman." --Jay Leno



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  • gc28262
    03-24 07:15 PM
    .................................................. .................................................. .
    .................................................. ..................................................
    The main reason that I can't get behind lifting of the country quota is exactly this reason. You have a lot of companies run by the same nationality who will only recruit their own people. The staffing companies don't advertise in Indonesia, Germany, Brazil, etc. They only go after their own people. The whole monopolization of visas was used to prevent this type of behaviour.

    .................................................. .................................................. ....
    .................................................. .................................................. ..


    UN,

    I don't think your view of Indian monopoly in IT is correct. It is a natural flow of human resources from countries which had plenty of it to USA which needed it.

    The reason for Indians/Chinese taking up majority of H1B visas is that there are lot of educated candidates to pick from highly populous countries like India and China.

    US never gave any preference to Indians or Chinese in H1B visas. The fact is India and China produced lot of graduates who were capable of doing IT work. So US had the necessity for skilled people, India and China had the supply of these people, naturally staffing companies came up to bank on this opportunity. It was a natural evolution, there was no bias towards Indians/Chinese. If you take any small country in the region, they didn't have enough qualified people so staffing companies didn't flourish in those countries.





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  • unitednations
    03-25 12:41 PM
    Thanks for the link. Essentially there are 2 issues here

    1. Proving that Employee - Employer relationship exists between H1 beneficiary and employer. The ability to hire, pay, supervise and fire should be demonstrated.
    In cases where it is denying, USCIS is of opinion that the employer is in contract, manpower agency and their variants.

    This is somewhat analogous to similar test done by IRS to establish emploee-employer relationship in case of independent contractors.

    Not sure if it would make much difference, but if the petition letter demonstrates that the employer has control over the employee required matters, provide equipment (laptop etc) and that employer is primarily not in manpower business, it may fly.

    2. Second issue is about need to bachelors degree and that computer programming is speciality occupation. I think there are clear precedents on this with guidance memos from USCIS agreeing that computer analyst /programmer is indeed a speciality occupation and that bachelors degree is a minimum requirement.

    I am unable to attach actual doc on this message because of size limitations. But here is summary quoting from murthy.com

    "In a December 22, 2000 memorandum from INS Nebraska Service Center (NSC) Director Terry Way to NSC Adjudications Officers, NSC acknowledges the specialized and complex nature of most Computer Programming positions. The memo describes both Computer Programmers and Programmer Analysts as occupations in transition, meaning that the entry requirements have evolved as described in the above paragraph.


    Therefore, NSC will generally consider the position of Computer Programmer to be a specialty occupation. The memo draws a distinction between a position with actual programming duties (programming and analysis, customized design and/or modification of software, resolution of problems) and one that simply involves entering computer code for a non-computer related business.

    The requirements in the OOH have evolved from bachelor's degrees being generally required but 2-year degrees being acceptable; to the current situation with bachelor's degrees again being required, while those with 2-year degrees can qualify only for some lower level jobs."

    Onc; uscis determines that company is an agent then they ignore the part of the petition with the job duties. They pass on the burden of job duties, description, etc to the place where person is going to work. Essentially; they state that since h-1b company is not contolling thei work then they are not in position to state job duties or whether job requires a degree.



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  • immique
    07-14 11:07 PM
    I think EB3 India may be the unintended beneficiary of the appropriate interpretation of the spill over of visa into retrogressed EB2 countries. I suspect that once EB2 India and China are current, the remaining visas will spill over into EB3. Thay do NOT spill over into EB3 ROW only but will spill over into EB3 as a whole. the reason for this is as both EB3 ROW and EB3 India are retrogressed, both these categories will advance equally as EB2 I and EB2 China are doing currently. I strongly think this will be the likely outcome next year and so EB3 India should see the PD movement approximately the same as EB3 ROW- but this will happen only when EB2 is current and the spill over reaches EB3 (this will likely happen in the final quarter of 2009)

    but you are not correct about this. please look it up. The vertical spillover was going to EB3 ROW, had that not been so, EB2 I would not have become U, even though (you are right about that) USCIS was actually allocating a little too fast.

    The bottom line is this: before the "system changed" the spillover went to EB3 ROW (country quota more important that category preference)
    Now with revised interpretation spillover goes first to EB2 retrogressed countries (preference category precedent over country quota- use of soft quota provison from AC21). Either way Eb3 I was last on the totem pole.
    There would have been no spillover to EB3 I in either situation. I'm not saying this to either to justify it or to argue for it's fairness. Just trying to make a point about the root issues.
    Therefore, the "change" leaves EB3 I exactly where it was before- which of course is an insane place to be. Frankly, in your place, I would be freaking going out of my mind. But if your only reason for this action is that "change", you have to sit back a moment and understand what the change has doen (or in this case not done) to you.
    The ONLY way to solve the EB3I problem is increased GC numbers. That is why recapture has been the first and foremost thing we have always pursued. Last time there was a recapture, GC numbers went to every single category. Anyway you look at it, if with a recapture, EB2 became current, every bit of spillover in every quarter would go to EB3. Eventually, there will be more long lasting reform. For now we desperately need the extra numbers in any form or shape.

    Just my 2c. not trying to trying to "stop your voice from being heard". One piece of friendly and well meaning advice. Target letters and measures at those that have the power to make the changes you want. Otherwise the effort is pointless from the start.





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  • hiralal
    06-08 07:24 AM
    similar arguments and predictions by different analysts
    ------------------------------
    And here's Whitney and Glenn's take on the future of house prices:

    We think housing prices will reach fair value/trend line, down 40% from the peak based on the
    S&P/Case-Shiller national (not 20-city) index, which implies a 5-10% further decline from where
    prices where as of the end of Q1 2009. It’s almost certain that prices will reach these levels.

    • The key question is whether housing prices will go crashing through the trend line and fall well below fair value. Unfortunately, this is very likely.

    In the long-term, housing prices will likely settle around fair value, but in the short-term prices will be driven both by psychology as well as supply and demand. The trends in both are very unfavorable.

    – Regarding the former, national home prices have declined for 33 consecutive months since their peak in July 2006 through April 2009 and there’s no end in sight, so this makes buyers reluctant – even when the price appears cheap – and sellers desperate.

    – Regarding the latter, there is a huge mismatch between supply and demand, due largely to the tsunami of foreclosures. In March 2009, distressed sales accounted for just over 50% of all existing home sales nationwide – and more than 57% in California. In addition, the “shadow” inventory of foreclosed homes already likely exceeds one year and there will be millions more foreclosures over the next few years, creating a large overhang of excess supply that will likely cause prices to overshoot on the downside, as they are already doing in California.

    • Therefore, we expect housing prices to decline 45-50% from the peak, bottoming in mid-2010

    • We are also quite certain that wherever prices bottom, there will be no quick rebound

    • There’s too much inventory to work off quickly, especially in light of the millions of foreclosures
    over the next few years

    • While foreclosure sales are booming in many areas, regular sales by homeowners have plunged,
    in part because people usually can’t sell when they’re underwater on their mortgage and in part
    due to human psychology: people naturally anchor on the price they paid or what something was
    worth in the past and are reluctant to sell below this level. We suspect that there are millions of
    homeowners like this who will emerge as sellers at the first sign of a rebound in home prices

    • Finally, we don’t think the economy is likely to provide a tailwind, as we expect it to contract the
    rest of 2009, stagnate in 2010, and only then grow tepidly for some time thereafter.



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  • Macaca
    02-24 07:33 PM
    Indian techie slams CNN Lou Dobbs (http://www.indiadaily.com/editorial/10-28a-04.asp)!, N. Sivakumar, October 28, 2004

    In a book titled "Dude, did I steal your job? Debugging Indian Computer programmers", the author, an Indian software engineer, has slammed Lou Dobbs of CNN for calling the foreign high-tech workers as non-tax payers, and humiliating the enormous contributions of foreign high-tech workforce to the American economy.

    "Foreign high-tech workers who come here on H-1B / L1 visas pay every tax that U.S. citizens do, including Social Security and Medicare. But if they return to their homeland, then they will not get any benefits from these programs. The recent recession cost the United States more than half a million foreign high-tech workers who had to return home after paying all these taxes. In fact, Americans owe them money"

    The author writes.

    "The ignorance to mention the stupendous contributions of immigrant high-tech workers was the primary cause for the anti-Indian atmosphere which is seen among computer professionals lately. Unfortunately, neither the media nor the public understand the foreign high-tech workforce. The net result: those who supported the foreign high-tech worker programs have taken a back seat to play safe, and Indians and others who came here on visas, and worked their butts off to make this country prosper are named 'slaves', 'dummies', and 'enemies'. writes the author, N.Sivakumar.

    The book also claims that bringing in foreign high-tech workforce at the right time was the primary reason for America's stupendous high-tech success, and gives statistics and evidence to prove that hadn't America acted quickly, the Europeans would have taken over the software dominance.

    The book also outlines the life, struggle and achievements of Indian programmers in America with entertaining facts, and is a prime discussion topic in many anti-outsourcing and immigration websites lately.





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  • Ramba
    09-26 03:24 PM
    Employment based GC will exist whoever wins. CIR or any other reform that increses number of immigrants per year (legal/illegal/ammnisity/point system/high skilled/low skilled) may not be possible in new administration (BO/Mcsamebush), unless economy bounce back. Immigration is tiny bit of the big problem facing this country. If the current economny lead to depression/recession what is the use of having GC/USC?

    Both are politicans their first ambittion is the office. Country first is simply bull. However, I think BO, is the right choice at this momnet. as atleast he is having professional approch in every problem. He is having little bit socialism. I think economy will boucnce back in BO admin, which is the important issue at this point.





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  • Macaca
    12-23 09:42 PM
    Congress Cool on Tech Issues in 2007 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/23/AR2007122301761.html) Patent reform, security, Internet access and other topics are expected to gain a higher profile next session PC World, Dec 23, 2007

    No one is calling 2007 a banner year for the technology industry in the U.S. Congress.

    Congress passed a handful of bills on many tech vendor and trade group wish lists, but in several cases, they represented partial victories.

    "This Congress so far has a record of neglect on technology issues," said Representative Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, whose party lost the majority in Congress in the November 2006 elections.

    Goodlatte isn't an impartial observer, but members of the tech community also acknowledge that Congress has been slow to act on tech issues this year. Still, not everyone was expecting great things from a Congress that had to reorganize after the change in party control.

    It's too early to judge this session of Congress, which continues through 2008, said Kevin Richards, federal government relations manager at cybersecurity vendor Symantec. "I think we have a lot of interest [from lawmakers], and this has the potential to be a tech-friendly Congress," Richards said.

    Members of the tech community point to some success in Congress this year:

    Congress passed the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science Act, which became law in August. TheAmerica Competes Actallocated US$43.3 billion for research and math- and science-education programs.

    Congress approved a free-trade agreement with Peru in December, the only such agreement approved this year. Some labor and environmental groups opposed some free-trade agreements, but the pacts are "imperative" for tech vendors, said Sage Chandler, senior director of international trade for the Consumer Electronics Association.

    The CEA, which launched a campaign against "protectionism" in October, said every trade agreement is important to its members. Upcoming free-trade agreements coming before Congress include Columbia, Panama and South Korea. A handful of CEA members are already doing business in Peru or would like to and between 2000 and 2006 U.S. consumer-electronics exports to Peru increased by 12 percent, Chandler said.

    "Without the ability to sell into foreign markets and get components from foreign markets, our companies aren't going to be able to employ Americans," she said.

    Some successes the tech community can point to, however, were partial victories:

    Congress, in late October, passed a seven-year extension to a moratorium on access taxes and other taxes unique to the Internet. But many tech groups and lawmakers had pushed for a permanent tax ban, arguing that it was needed to foster Internet and broadband growth.

    Opponents of a permanent ban successfully argued that it would remove a check on Internet service providers attempting to include other services, such as VoIP (voice over Internet Protocol), in the tax ban. In addition, some lawmakers argued that a permanent ban could cripple the ability to pay for services.

    But some lawmakers argued Congress should've gone farther. The House of Representatives, which in the past has approved permanent extensions, this year passed a four-year extension and "had to have the Senate show them the way to a better seven-year extension," Goodlatte said. The "ultimate goal" should be a permanent tax moratorium, he said.

    The Senate in December passed a one-year extension to a research and development tax credit for U.S. companies. TheTemporary Tax Relief Act, which the House approved Nov. 9, extends the tax credit, which covers 20 percent of qualified R&D spending. But many tech groups have called on Congress to permanently extend the R&D tax credit, which has been extended a dozen times since 1981.

    Supporters of an expanded tax credit argue that the U.S. has fallen behind other nations in its R&D support. Once the most generous with R&D tax breaks, the U.S. by 2004 fell to 17th out of the 30 nations of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

    But the tax break comes with a price tag of about $7 billion a year, and Congress has been reluctant to extend the program long term. Some government watchdog groups have called the R&D tax credit corporate welfare.

    Some tech groups have said the R&D tax credit helps keep high-paying tech jobs in the U.S. And companies have a hard time mapping out their R&D when the credit keeps expiring, said Symantec's Richards. "The on-again, off-again nature of the credit makes it impossible for companies to do the long-term planning that's needed," he said.

    In many other areas, Congress failed to act on legislation many tech groups called for:

    Patent reform: Many large tech companies said their top priority was for Congress to pass a wide-ranging patent reform bill that would make it more difficult for patent holders to sue and collect massive infringement awards. The House of Representatives in September passed thePatent Reform Act, which would allow courts to limit patent damage awards if a patented invention is a small piece of a larger product. Among other things, the bill would also allow a new way to challenge patents within one year after they've been granted.

    Supporters of the bill, including Microsoft and IBM, argued that it's too easy for patent holders who have no intent of marketing an invention to sue large companies and collect multimillion-dollar damages when a small piece of a technology product is found to infringe. "There are people who now just hold patents to sue and not to innovate," said Symatec's Richards.

    Another important piece of the bill would limit where patent holders could file lawsuits, Richards said. Many patent holders file lawsuits in the patent-friendly U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, even though neither the patent holder or the accused infringer is located there.

    Opponents, including pharmaceutical companies, some small technology vendors and inventors, have successfully stalled the bill in the Senate. They say the bill severely weakens the power of patents.

    Senate leaders say they will tackle the bill again in January. Opponents will continue to pressure lawmakers, said Ronald Riley, president of the Professional Inventors Alliance, which has enlisted the support of some labor unions.

    Opponents have talked about finding candidates to run against lawmakers who support the bill, Riley said. "We will have an all-out onslaught on the legislation," Riley said. "We think we will have to make an example of some legislators."

    H-1B visas: Another top priority of many tech vendors has been an expansion of the H-1B visa program for skilled foreign workers. The current yearly cap is 65,000 visas, with exceptions for an additional 20,000 graduate students, but in recent years, the cap has been filled before the year begins.

    Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates testified before a Senate committee in March, saying the U.S. should not shut out talented workers. "We have to welcome the great minds of this world, not drive them out of this country," Gates said. "These employees are vital to American competitiveness."

    But U.S. tech worker groups such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers-USA (IEEE-USA) have opposed a higher H-1B cap, arguing that companies use the program to hire foreign workers for less money than unemployed U.S. workers would receive. An H-1B increase to 115,000 was part of a comprehensive immigration bill in the Senate, but that bill stalled over a contentious debate about illegal immigration.

    Data breaches: A handful of data breach notification and cybercrime bills stalled as Congress focused on other issues. The House approved two antispyware bills, one that created penalties of up to five years in prison for some spyware-like behavior. But the Senate didn't act on the bills, in part because there are concerns that the second spyware bill would preempt tougher state laws.

    Net neutrality: Many consumer groups and Internet-based companies continued to call on Congress to pass a net neutrality law, which would prohibit broadband providers from blocking or slowing competitors' Web content. However, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission has included some net neutrality rules in an upcoming spectrum auction, and both Verizon Wireless and AT&T have recently pledged to allow outside content and devices on their mobile-phone networks.

    Congress has also examined tougher penalties for copyright infringement, but hasn't moved legislation forward. With the change in party control, some things have been delayed, and "that was fine with us," said Art Brodsky, spokesman for Public Knowledge, a consumer-rights group that has opposed tougher copyright penalties.

    Some observers expect Congress to be more active on tech issues in 2008. It will be an election year, and it will be hard for controversial legislation to move forward, but many tech issues aren't partisan, Goodlatte said.

    Passing some tech-related legislation would show some progress, he said. "I would think that the Democratic leadership, in the miserable lack of success they've had in passing legislation this year, would be looking for a new approach in the new year," he said.





    NKR
    04-15 08:34 PM
    Factors to consider when buying:
    1. Will you have to slog extra to make mortgage payments. If it means you are going to spend less time with your family, then is it really worth it.
    2. Will your spouse start working to help support mortgage payments. Does this imply kids go to daycare. Then probably your kid isnt geting the care a mom can only provide to her child.
    3. Will the stress level increase after buying the house (again worried for making payments, losing jobs). Is it worth it.
    4. Mostly all apartments have open areas where kids can play. They are much bigger then backyards in any house. Even in your backyard you will have to watch your kids when they are outdoors. Same here in the apartment outdooors.
    5. Chances are you will have more savings when you live in an apartment. You can do something really constructive like take you family for vacation, cruise.
    6. Does owning a home prevent you from visiting your home country, relatives etc as you are always tied up to making mortgage payments.

    For people who are really making lots of money & dont care much for it, above statments dont have much significance. Most of us are in the middle class range. So savings do matter to them.


    Let me declare the winners:
    1. Mariner & nojoke are logical & declared winners in this debate
    2. kaiserose & NKR have made some mistakes by buying a costly home & wouldn't admit.

    May God Bless you guys.

    probably you have change your handle from iwantmygreen to iamgreenwithenvy. dude, first of all who made you the judge, second of all how and why did you assume that I bought a costly home?. I went in for a townhome not far from where Mr Marinner lives, going by his posts I know he lives in or near atlanta. also, we are on single income and I can happily afford the mortgage for my small home and ofcourse my kid is happy.





    sledge_hammer
    06-05 02:14 PM
    It would be the most foolish thing to do to pay cash for your home, no matter how small your starter home is. If you make let's say 20% down, then you leverage is 80%, and so you are building equity on 100% of your home by only putting down 20%. The interest you pay on it now is 5%. What other investment can you leverage 1:4, get tax deductions on your interest, AND build equity?

    You may argue that margin buying is the same. But is that's not tax deductible!

    >> First off, a house is really both an investment and a home.

    If you look at the historical rate of appreciation vs. the risks involved - I think you will come to the same conclusion as I did - that it is a lousy investment in mature markets like US.

    The scenario is different in India. I believe (based on my assumptions and calculations) that the risk/reward ratio is much more favourable there.

    The intangible value of a "home" is the only reason I will ever "buy" a house here - because it is a lousy investment. For me - that tipping point is when I can afford a starter home for cash (it is a differnet topic that I will take a mortgage even then. If there is any problem with the title - the mortgage company is there to fight for me - so it acts as a second layer of insurance). It should not be as far off as you think if you are ready to settle for a small starter home AND actively invest (rather than spend) the principal payment you would have paid towards your mortgage every month.