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  • gimme_GC2006
    03-24 01:08 PM
    USCIS adjudicators follow a manual and very specific set of procedures as laid out by their headquarters. Sometimes in the gray areas or areas of interpretation they are given wide latitude in how to interpret those rules.

    However; document list and procedure for getting them is very prescribed. When person posts of their experience with USCIS and it is very different then what their policies, procedures are then it makes it very suspicious...

    Everything you have posted falls in line with department of labor audit and not local uscis office interviews or requests for information from local office interviews.

    If what you are saying is accurate then you and your company should have consulted with your attornies and specifically asked for this in a request for evidence and assessed the legality of this request and pulled the officer back and sent in only what was required by law.

    California service center back in 2004/2005 was denying 140's due to "temporary job" issue. Lawyer stupidly in replying to ability to pay part of rfe sent in contracts like you do in H-1b and put it in front of uscis that the contracts were temporary. USCIS had no choice but to deny the 140's and this was one of those issues (one of the people actually had their approved 140 reopened and denied for this issue). That particular company had 35 straight denials over this issue.

    The point is..these are the same questions and documents Officer asked me when I went for Personal interview..

    I showed what I got and I said I dont have for what I didnt had..Officer was fine..basically they were going by what is written in Biographic form (g325a).

    They may look like DOL process but yeah, per their field manual they are supposed to check..now dont ask me how do I know whats in their field manual..she had field manual open on her desk...it has steps..do this..check this..check that..step 1..step 2..etc

    There was a step in their manual, which prompted them to check visa bulletins for
    a) the date 485 was filed
    b) for the date interview was being held.





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  • unitednations
    03-24 02:39 PM
    UN - why do you think USCIS allows

    (1) File for h1b from consulting company - when they think there is an issue
    (2) Allow labor substitution - when they think it is not good
    (3) Allow eb3 to eb2 porting - when they think it is not good
    ....
    ....
    ....

    the list can go on

    Why do you think people who are following law - not liked by USCIS?

    I am not blaming USCIS or not poking at them or your interpretation.

    I personally see that if you are not properly represented either by company or my a good Attorney - you are bound to have issues.

    Right now USCIS is giving everyone a hard time.

    I didn't even think that getting rid of labor substitution was a good thing. Much of the issues related to labor substgitution had to do with IT jobs. Although IT jobs take up a good number of greencards; it impacted other companies/people who weren't doing anything wrong with it. It was a first step in making eb harder.

    I am a pretty good advocate of the staffing companies. Kill staffing companies and h-1b and employment base greencard is finished for people from india. I don't think many people realize the implications of what is going on. Staffing companies are the lifeline for employment base IT and for nurses. Thre would be no more retrogressoin as people wouldn't be able to come here. All the people who are here in so called permanent jobs will also eventually get squeezed (laid off; company mergers; promotions; more rules like tarp, etc., and they will eventually also stop doing greencards except for the most senior of senior people).

    People really need to be careful right now.





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  • Macaca
    07-08 09:29 AM
    googled it and found the link..it might be helpful to many folks..

    http://www.ilw.com/seminars/august2002_citation2b.pdf
    This ia an Aug 2001 report. Hope it is current!

    Is it authentic if written by lawyers? Thanks





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  • StuckInTheMuck
    08-05 01:28 PM
    Great going folks :D
    Here is one (paraphrased from another):

    Hello, and welcome to the USCIS Hotline. If you are obsessive-compulsive, please press 1 repeatedly. If you are co-dependent, please ask someone to press 2. If you have multiple personalities, please press 3, 4, 5 and 6. If you are paranoid-delusional, hit your head with the handset. If you have COLTS, hang up and check your LUD here (https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/jsps/login.jsp)...



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  • Macaca
    12-29 08:01 PM
    Why we must reclaim religion from the right-wing (http://www.rediff.com/news/column/column-why-we-must-reclaim-religion-from-the-right-wing/20101229.htm) By Yoginder Sikand | Rediff

    Decades after the two States came into being, relations between India and Pakistan continue to be, to put it mildly, hostile. This owes largely to the vast, and continuously mounting, influence of the Hindu religious right-wing in India and its Muslim counterpart in Pakistan.

    Seemingly irreconcilable foes, the two speak the same language -- of unending hatred between Hindus and Muslims -- each seeking to define itself by building, stressing and constantly reinforcing boundaries between the two religiously-defined imagined communities.

    Much has been written on the ideology and politics of right-wing Hindu and Islamic movements and organisations in both India and Pakistan, by academics and journalists alike. Yet, almost no attention has been given to how individual Hindu and Muslim religious activists at the local level, as distinct from key ideologues and leaders at the national-level, imagine and articulate notions of the religious and national 'other'.

    Understanding this issue is crucial, for such activists exercise an enormous clout among their following.

    The Lahore-based Mashal Books, one of Pakistan's few progressive, left-leaning publishing houses, recently launched a unique experiment: Of recording and making publicly accessible speeches delivered by maulvis or Muslim clerics at mosque congregations across Pakistan's Punjab province, including some located in small towns and obscure villages.

    These speeches deal with a host of issues, ranging from women's status and scientific education, to jihad and anti-Indianism, all these linked to an amazingly diverse set of understandings of Islam.

    Hosted on the Mashal Books Web site MASHAL BOOKS (http://www.mashalbooks.org), these speeches reflect the worldviews of a large majority of Pakistani maulvis, representing a range of sectarian backgrounds, who now exercise a major influence on the country's politics and in shaping Pakistani public opinion and discourse.

    Of the dozens of speeches hosted on the Web site, only two are classified as relating particularly to India, but these may still be taken to be representative of how a great many Pakistani maulvis conceive of India and of relations between India and Pakistan. Predictably, in both speeches India is depicted in lurid colours, as an implacable foe of Pakistan, of Muslims, and of Islam.

    Not surprisingly, then, efforts to improve relations between India and Pakistan or to work towards rapprochement between Hindus and Muslims are vociferously denounced. The two maulvis appear to insist that Islam, as they understand it, itself requires that Pakistani Muslims must never cool off their anti-Hindu and anti-Indian zeal.

    The first of these two speeches, by the Deobandi Maulana Muhammad Hafeez of the Jamia Masjid Umar Farooq, Rawalpindi, refers to India only in passing. He presents Muslims the world over as besieged by a host of powerful non-Muslim enemies.

    It is almost as if their 'disbelief' (kufr) in Islam goads all non-Muslims, wherever they may be, to engage in a relentless conspiracy against Islam and its adherents, a war, like Samuel Huntington's infamous 'Clash of Civilisations', in which compromise and reconciliation are simply impossible because Islam and 'non-Islam' can, in this worldview, never comfortably coexist.

    It is also as if Muslims have a monopoly on virtue and non-Muslims on vice. 'Islam will rise,' Maulana Hafeez thunders, 'and America and India will fall,' conveniently forgetting (assuming he knew of the fact) that India probably has more Muslims than Pakistan and that if India falls, it will drag its tens of millions of Muslims along with it, too.

    The second speech is by a certain Maulana Mufti Saeed Ahmed of Jamia Masjid Mittranwali, Sialkot, who belongs to the Ahl-e Hadith sect, which closely resembles the Saudi Wahhabis.

    Pakistani Ahl-e Hadith groups, most notoriously the Lashkar-e Tayiba, have been heavily involved in fomenting violence across Pakistan, Kashmir and in India as well.

    Hatred for India and the Hindus seems to be an article of faith for many Pakistani Ahl-e Hadith, as Maulana Ahmed's speech clearly indicates.

    At the same time, it must also be recognised, as is evident from instances that the Maulana cites, that these deep-rooted anti-Indian and anti-Hindu sentiments are constantly fuelled by brutalities inflicted by non-Muslim powers, including the United States and fiercely anti-Muslim Hindu chauvinists in India, on Muslim peoples.

    These brutalities need not always be physical. They can also take the form of assaults on and insults to cherished Islamic beliefs, which inevitably provoke Muslim anger. The appeal of people like Maulana Ahmed lies in their practiced ability to use these instances of brutality directed against Muslims to craft a frighteningly Manichaean world, where all Muslims are pitted against all non-Muslims in a ceaseless war of cosmic proportions that shall carry on until Muslims, it is fervently believed, will finally triumph.

    Recounting a long list of anti-Muslim brutalities (but conveniently ignoring similar outrages committed by Muslims on others), Maulana Ahmed exhorts his listeners to unite and take revenge. 'O Muslims!,' he shrilly appeals, 'get up and take in hand your arrows, pick up your Kalashnikovs, train yourselves in explosives and bombs, organise yourselves into armies, prepare nuclear attacks and destroy every part of the body of the enemy.'

    His speech is peppered with fervent calls for what he terms as 'jihad' against both America and India, these being projected as inveterate foes of Islam and of all Muslims.

    He prays for America to 'be destroyed', and ecstatically celebrates the recent devastating terrorist assault on Mumbai by a self-styled Islamist group that left vast numbers of people dead, unapologetically hailing the dastardly act as a 'big slap on the cheek of the Hindus'.

    Not stopping at this, he calls for continuous terrorist violence against India, including, he advises, unleashing 'bloodbath to (sic) Indian and American diplomats in Kabul and Kandahar'. Only then, he argues, can Pakistan's rulers 'relieve the pressure' on them and being peace to their country.

    The 'enemy', as Maulana Ahmed constructs the notion, could be any and every non-Muslim, particularly Americans, Jews and Hindus or Indians. It is as if every non-Muslim is, by definition, irredeemably opposed to Islam and is necessarily engaged in a grand global conspiracy to wipe Islam from off the face of the earth. It is as if non-Muslims have no other preoccupation at all.

    All non-Muslims are thus tarred with the same brush, and no exceptions whatsoever are made. It is almost as if Maulana Ahmed desperately wants all non-Muslims to be fired by anti-Muslim and anti-Islamic vitriol, for that is his way to whip up the sentiments of his Muslim followers and fire their zeal and faith.

    It is as if further stoking such hatred is crucial to his ability to maintain a following and to claim to authoritatively speak for Islam and its adherents. 'The hatred among the people against the kafirs has reached a new height,' the Maulana exults.

    For the Maulana, fomenting hatred of non-Muslims is his chosen way of realising what has for centuries remained the elusive dream of Muslim unity. That this hatred, which he so passionately celebrates, inevitably further stokes the fires of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim prejudice, already so widespread among non-Muslims, appears of no concern to him at all. In fact, he seems to positively relish the frightening Huntingtonian thesis of the 'Clash of Civilisations'.

    Deobandi and Ahl-e Hadith outfits today enjoy tremendous clout in Pakistan, and they have been at the forefront of Islamist militancy that now threatens to drown the country in the throes of what promises to be an interminable civil war.

    As the speeches of these two Pakistani clerics, one a Deobandi and the other from the Ahl-e Hadith, so starkly indicate, inveterate hatred for India and the Hindus, indeed for non-Muslims in general, is integral to the ways in which vast numbers of Pakistani Muslim clerics understand religion, community, nationalism and the world.

    Such hatred is inevitably further fuelled by acts of brutality directed against Muslims by non-Muslims, including by the United States, India (particularly in Kashmir) and by militantly anti-Muslim Hindu chauvinist groups.

    Muslim and non-Muslim right-wing radicalism and militancy thus enjoy a mutually symbiotic relationship, opposing each other while, ironically, unable to live apart, needing each other even simply to define themselves.

    Religion is too powerful an instrument to be left in the hands of hate-driven clerics to manipulate as they please, most often for fuelling conflict between communities and states.

    As the frightening records of Hindutva chauvinists in India and the Pakistani clerics discussed in this article so strikingly illustrate, leaving religion to the right-wing to monopolise is a sure recipe for bloody and endless conflict.





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  • gapala
    06-07 04:46 PM
    Very interesting discussion going on in this thread.

    Can some of the gurus here point to some websites for fundamentals of home buying as well as investment in general ?

    Appreciate your feedback.

    http://homebuying.about.com/od/buyingahome/qt/0307Buyinghome.htm



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  • jonty_11
    04-09 10:59 AM
    What is IV's position on this bill?





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  • StuckInTheMuck
    08-06 09:31 AM
    New alcohol warnings (from Toronto Board of Health):

    1. WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may cause you to wake up with a breath that could knock a buzzard off a wreaking dead animal that is one hundred yards away.

    2. WARNING: Consumption of alcohol is a major factor in dancing like an idiot.

    3. WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may cause you to tell the same boring story over and over again until your friends want to assault you

    4. WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may cause you to thay shings like thish.

    5. WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may cause you to tell the boss what you really think of him.

    6. WARNING: Consumption of alcohol is the leading cause of inexplicable rug burn on the forehead.

    7. WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may create the illusion that you are tougher, handsomer and smarter than some really, really big guy named Psycho Bob.

    8. WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may cause sufficient brain damage to make you participate in this debate (http://immigrationvoice.org/forum/showthread.php?t=20669).



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  • new_phd
    08-10 01:58 PM
    Sorry to post in this thread, but I was wondering if United Nations would be kind enough to answer two questions for me (well, actually one is from my colleague). They are kind of generic so it might help other people too, I hope. I posted this on other threads but I havent gotten any responses for the longest time, so Im posting here. Very sorry to those who are following this thread for the original topic.

    1) From my colleague: As per his family customs, his mothers FIRST name was also changed after marriage. Before marriage she was Vimla Patil, and now she is Anasuya Deshpande. She uses her married first name and last name on her passport, childrens birth certificate, etc. Only her school leaving has her maiden first name, maiden last name.

    He was wondering how to put this info on his I-485/G-325a form. They ask for Mothers Maiden name in one column, and then first name in the next. If he puts down Patil and then Anasuya - it wont be correct as such a person doesnt exist. What is the best way to represent her name. (remember, the birth cert that he will be submitting for himself will have her name as Anasuya Deshpande)

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    2) My question (and this has been asked before, but no one has a rock solid answer). My husband's labor has been approved, approved I-140, his priority date is Oct 2006. I received a labor sub (please dont scream at me.. I dint have anything to do with the matching... it just came my way:o) , but pending I-140, my priority date (if I-140 is approved) will be Feb 2005.

    I wanted to know if we should only choose one of these two applications to proceed further or file two I-485 applications- One with me as primary and him as beneficiary, and the other with him as primary. There are these rare postings where people have said that USCIS can reject both applications/ drop both or deny one initially itself, or ask you to choose one upfront. No one has talked about successful multiple filings, so we dont have unbiased statistics in this space. What is your thought on this issue? Which way would you recommend we proceed? Frankly, I am nervous about my application until the I-140 clears, (and my I-140 was only applied in July 2007) ... yet my husbands pd is almost 20 months after mine. Please enlighten.

    Thanks!

    FYI, both of us have been in the U.S since 2000, but for various strokes of timely bad luck we couldnt file until Dec 2006, So I hope there arent too many hard feelings from people who have also waited as long as we have. I know the feeling.





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  • xyzgc
    12-28 12:21 AM
    Please don't advocate war.
    If India can defeat the entire British Empire without firing a weapon, I can't believe that there isn't an ingenuitive solution to this mess. I can't believe that Indians and Pakistanis can't be the ones to solve it without weapons, especially nuclear ones.

    Nuclear weapons technology is old. Soon every country (and undergraduate engineering student) will posses the knowledge to build them. Yet if we continue to handle disputes in the same way that was bred into us when our people hunted on some African plane, it will be the end of all of us.

    India defeating entire British empire without firing a weapon? Where did this come from? British colonized Indians for 150 years!
    If Indians were a military power, they wouldn't have been colonized in the first place.
    Do you seriously believe the dogma of non-violence Quit India movement drove the British away?:)



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  • validIV
    06-05 11:43 AM
    Sorry but no matter how you spin it, owning a home is better than renting. Renting is not smart. period. your money is gone every month. You are not getting that money back.

    When you own a home, the money goes towards a mortgage, and although most of it goes to interest at first, all interest paid is tax deductible which is a huge chunk of change every year. I get more money back as an owner than a renter and in the long run I save more AND own the home.

    30 year renter vs 30 year home owner? That is not rocket science.


    here is a good point about long term housing prospects. I for one am glad that GC delay saved me from buying a house.
    this is from an article
    ------------------------------------
    Why do I think housing is in the tank for the long term?

    First, I listen to people smarter than I am - a key to success from investing to recreation league baseball. When my rec team had its first losing season - after twelve consecutive great seasons (two per year) I did the logical and hired a professional coach. They were winners the next season. Ditto for analyzing stuff - and I follow Ivy Zelman and Whitney Tilson. They have been dead on about the mortgage meltdown - and see a larger one coming.

    Listening to them, reading data and being objective has led me to see the key to a rebound in housing is clearing inventory - too much supply and too little demand, and since lower than five percent interest rates have not spurred buying, supply is the issue. Supply comes from the sale of existing homes, the sale of new homes, and the sale of foreclosed homes.

    * Typically ten to fifteen percent of Americans sell or want to sell their home in a given year. Recent survey data shows the number is now 30%. Keep that in mind.
    * New home sales are incredibly low. Market wisdom said home building stocks would rise once the new housing start rate hit a million and inventory became tight. New home starts are roughly half of that and there ain't no rebound. As the poet said, times, they be a changing.
    * People are not selling, and builders are not building, not just because people are not buying - it is because prices are low and going lower and the driver here is foreclosures. Data can be found here, there and everywhere but the salient data points are a) banks are accelerating foreclosures, b) the next wave of resets of mortgages, the cause of most foreclosures, does not peak until the summer of 2011, c) banks are already sitting on more than half a million homes they have not listed for sale, and the whopper is d) the New York Times has reported that there are nineteen million empty housing units and only six million are listed for sale.

    This last point, when combined with another couple of million foreclosed homes, then with desire for people wanting to sell their home as soon as they can, means excess inventory for as far as the eye can see. I originally projected housing prices would, nationally, bottom at the end of 2011 and prices would begin to pick up in mid 2012. I may have been premature. With resets peaking in mid defaults will probably peak in early Q4 2011; this means foreclosure listings will peak in mid-summer 2012, after the peak selling season, not good for managing down inventory. Assuming demand picks up - a near heroic assumption at this time as interest rates will be higher and unemployment could be the same or higher at that time - you will start to see inventory declining in a meaningful way until 2013 at the earliest.

    I have focused on supply - was I too cavalier about demand? Well, that is more problematic - resets, defaults and foreclosures are fourth grade math and although the only thing I knew about housing was my own mortgage before this mess started, I can do fourth grade math and every forecast I have made about foreclosures and inventory has been right within a 30-45 day period.

    Using fourth grade math as our primary tool does have value in estimating demand. Roughly 40% of demand in the peak year - 2006 - was sub-prime or near sub-prime - and these buyers are out of the market for a considerable period of time. And a very large percentage - some analysts estimate as high as a third - of all sales were for investment and second homes. Most of this demand is gone for the foreseeable future. Add tightening credit standards, recession ravaged incomes and personal balance sheets, and a new frugality and it is hard to see demand in 2013 or 2014 climbing past 50% of demand in 2006. Even if the FHA does not go bust - which it will, requiring another Treasury bailout.





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  • nk2006
    10-07 11:40 AM
    Asain-Americans seems to favor Obama overwhelmingly as per this survey. its interesting to read the survey - these immigrants who have gone thru the process themselves and might have friends/relatives in the process - didnt mention immigration as one of their important topic to decide on the vote. Understandably economy is the top topic but was expecting to see immigration atleast behind economy.
    http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=44144



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  • obviously
    08-05 08:59 AM
    Rolling Flood,

    Clearly, you are a NumberUSA person trying to provoke deep rifts amongst a highly skilled workforce that succeeded in getting HR 5882 out there. Your game is up. Look, no one is claiming porting / interfiling is due to 'length of time'. Each application, under each category, is for a DIFFERENT job. Now, obviously, when you gain experience in one job, you become MORE ELIGIBLE for another job, typically at a more senior level. With that, comes a higher income and higher TAXES back to the USA. So, it is likely that EB3 applicants might have started in one job, gained 5 or 6 years experience, a Masters degree and a few certifications etc., and then become attractive candidates for jobs that require a Masters degree ... hence being eligible for an EB2 filing. The folks reviewing EB applications didnt start yesterday and are not wet behind their ears. EB3's that interfile to EB2's have to, LIKE ANYONE ELSE, show the merits of the EB2 application BY ITSELF. There is no notion of 'imagined eligibility'. If that hypothesis were true, how do we know that you did not suffer from a case of 'imagined eligibility' yourself??!!

    Your perverted logic that people are using interfiling on the premise of 'waiting time in EB3 queues' is a fallacy without legal merit. It is a classic case of riding the ladder of inference and using your own conclusions to make up supporting-evidence, to the contrary of reality and law.

    Now, if you think you can snake in a controversy through a law suit, only to protect your inflated sense of protectionism, keep in mind, that your target is the EB2 category itself, not the interfiling process. That latter is a provision of law. I presume that you are in EB2 yourself. Be prepared for unintended consequences because USCIS could very well freeze ALL EB2's INCLUDING YOURS! Might seem a far stretch, but realistically, anytime a court sees 'merit' in challenging an established system, ALL come under purview. How can your case be assumed to be 'innocent' while everyone else that you are against be 'guilty'? How do we know that YOUR EB2 filing was not based on 'assumed eligibility'?

    There are numerous cases of people going to court seeking 'justice' only to find themselves very quickly standing 'on the other side'... trying to get out of a self inflicted mess.

    Obviously, you have issues that run deeper than discontentment with US legal immigration process. Get yourself some help. Seriously.

    I challenge you to disclose
    YOUR REAL NAME
    YOUR CASE NUMBER
    YOUR EMPLOYER'S NAME
    YOUR EB2 JOB DESCRIPTION
    so that the larger community can find out if there really is no eligible US person to take that job. Seriously. Want to play that game? I can give you a 100% guarantee, that you would rather fight a 'shadow cause' being the coward you are ... and wont hold yourself up to the kind of scrutiny that you wish to hold others to.





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  • rsdang
    08-11 04:55 PM
    :D1) Did you fart? Cuz you just blew me away.

    2) Are yer parents retarded? Cuz ya sure are special.


    3) My Love fer you is like diarrhea, I can't hold it in!

    4) Do you have a library card? Cuz I'd like to check you out.


    5) Is there a mirror in yer pants? Cuz I can see myself in em.


    6) If you was a tree and I were a Squirrel, I'd store my nuts in yer hole.


    7) You might not be the best lookin girl here, but beauty's only a light switch away.

    8) Fat Penguin................... Sorry, I just wanted to say something that would break the ice.


    9) I know I'm not no Fred Flintstone, but I bet I can make yer bed-rock.


    10) I can't find my puppy , can you help me find him? I Think he went into this cheap motel room.


    11) Yer eyes are as blue as window cleaner.


    12) If yer gunna regret this in the mornin', we kin sleep Til afternoon.



    13) Yer face reminds me of a wrench, every time I think of it my nuts tighten up

    And.... The best for last!

    14) I may not be Mr. Right, but I'll damn sure hump ya' till he comes along...



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  • apt29
    07-29 03:36 PM
    I regret the day when Obama became the president, he is just another politician who does not give a damn about EB2,EB3....he is just worried about "re-uniting families" (aka supporter of illegal immigration)


    I am no supporter of either party. To be fair, the economy could have collapsed without him and most of us could have been back home by now.





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  • vghc
    01-06 06:22 PM
    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.


    Then why don't you quit your job not and fly over there to help them?
    Voicing your opinions here won't make them feel any safer.
    The world is a mess up place, most of us here can't even get our bloody greencards after years of waiting.



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  • Macaca
    12-21 10:00 AM
    Republican Unity Trumps Democratic Momentum (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/21/washington/21cong.html) By CARL HULSE and ROBERT PEAR | NY Times, Dec 21, 2007

    WASHINGTON � It was a picture-perfect start for Nancy Pelosi as she took the speaker�s podium last January in her tailored aubergine suit surrounded by children to emphasize her singular status as the first woman, mother and grandmother to lead the House.

    What Ms. Pelosi did not know, as she beamed at her fellow Democrats cheering their return to power, was that the glum Republicans witnessing the tableau would remain persistently unified against her and her ambitious new majority in the legislative year ahead.

    Defying expectations and surprising even themselves, Republicans were able to slow and sometimes halt Democratic momentum by refusing to break with President Bush and his war strategy, no matter how unpopular, and by resisting social initiatives, no matter how appealing.

    �What is interesting to me is how the Republicans have stuck with the president,� said Ms. Pelosi, of California, looking back on her history-making first year capped by the president signing an energy bill that she declared as a top priority from the start. �I didn�t foresee that.�

    Republicans say their unity was inspired by what they saw as Democratic overreaching on policy, bolstered by a fundamental belief that a Congressionally forced withdrawal from Iraq would be disastrous, and stiffened by attacks on vulnerable members from outside advocacy groups.

    Holding together, they exerted their influence in three main areas: a children�s health care bill, domestic spending and, first and foremost, the war in Iraq. Time and again, even when a few of their number defected, they refused to provide the votes needed to challenge the president�s handling of the war. As a result, the final House vote of the year handed Mr. Bush another $70 billion for combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, much to the frustration of Democrats who had begun 2007 with enormous expectations.

    �I was much more hopeful and optimistic that we would be able to do more to bring a new direction to this war, with our majority in the House and Senate,� said Representative John Lewis, the Georgia Democrat often viewed as the conscience of the party.

    As they left the Capitol, Congressional Republicans took the view that they had been able to leverage their minority status to a degree even they had not thought possible.

    �A year into �the wilderness,� our Republican team has scored legislative and political victories that no one � no one � could have predicted a year ago,� Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the Republican leader, wrote in a confidential memorandum distributed to Republican House members.

    Democrats predicted that Republicans would pay a steep price in 2008 for their conduct in 2007 while Democrats would take advantage of their own victories on kitchen-table issues like worker pay and education costs.

    As they face the voters in a presidential election year, Republicans will have to explain their loyalty to Mr. Bush�s war policies when polls have been clear for months about public dissatisfaction with the war. Even the relatively positive military trends that some see in Iraq have not, so far, produced much in the way of social stability there.

    Democrats will remind voters at every turn that Republicans fought the expansion of health insurance for children and higher federal spending on biomedical research, college aid and an entire spectrum of federal programs.

    �Many are paying and will continue to pay a price, but they are standing by the president and their most conservative base,� said Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate. �The general polling across the country suggests this will not work in November.�

    As Democrats asserted their new power at the start of the year, they raced ahead in the House with a series of initiatives on the minimum wage, higher education, terrorism, health care and energy, often with solid bipartisan support, giving hope that they might be able to attract Republicans.

    But the early action also foreshadowed problems that would hinder the new majority all year: the Senate, with its minority-empowering rules, was not on the same hurry-up schedule, and House Republicans bristled at what they considered heavy-handed treatment. �Overreaching and the exclusion of Republicans � that formula equals a lack of results,� said Representative Dave Camp, Republican of Michigan.

    The first serious collision with Republicans and Mr. Bush came in the spring when Democrats first tried to condition $120 billion in war spending on a deadline for withdrawal. Initially they were able to push the measure through with minimal Republican support, but when it was vetoed, they fell far short of the margin needed for an override.

    Unwilling to be accused of depriving the troops of funds, they stripped the withdrawal provision. It was a pattern repeated throughout the year. At different points, Republicans seemed poised to bolt from Mr. Bush on the war � and other issues � but held firm.

    On another national security issue, Democrats caved to administration pressure on terror surveillance before a summer break. Ms. Pelosi allowed the House to approve a temporary extension of a wiretapping program even though she considered the proposal constitutionally flawed and felt that the White House had dishonestly accused Democrats of impeding surveillance. �That was a sad day,� she said. �Sometimes it is just a fight where we don�t have a similar platform.�

    The solidarity of House Republicans was also on display in a long-running fight over proposals to expand the Children�s Health Insurance Program, a top priority for Ms. Pelosi and other Democratic leaders. On Sept. 28, one day after a child health bill cleared Congress for the first time, Democrats mapped out a strategy to override Mr. Bush�s promised veto.

    Democrats and their allies held rallies, broadcast television commercials and made hundreds of telephone calls. They focused initially on 15 House Republicans, many from swing districts and suburban areas. They predicted that most of these lawmakers would switch sides and support the bill. But none did.

    As the spending bills that finance federal agencies stalled, partly because of a long Senate immigration debate that ended without producing major legislation, Republicans joined Mr. Bush in insisting that Democrats not exceed the White House�s spending limit. Democratic leaders, who by and large earned their spurs on the appropriation committees, kept waiting for Mr. Bush to cut a deal. But the White House was spoiling for a fight.

    �The president as we all know, I can verify this for sure, has been eager all year to veto bills sent to his desk,� Representative Roy Blunt of Missouri, the No. 2 Republican, said Thursday.

    Though Democrats had to settle for Mr. Bush�s spending figure, they rewrote parts of the $555 billion spending package to suit their own priorities. And they said that by passing the budget measure, they succeeded where Republicans could not in 2006, while depriving Republicans of the clash they wanted.

    Heading into 2008, Republicans say they know they cannot campaign without a more positive agenda than simply thwarting Democrats. Republicans say they are putting together their own proposals on health care and the economy to present to the public.

    �I think it�s incumbent upon us to provide solutions to their concerns,� Mr. Boehner said, �but solutions built on our principles.�

    Democrats have their own plans. Ms. Pelosi and others say they will revisit elements of the energy legislation that they had to jettison to get the new law enacted. They will have a health care push and major economic legislation to counter the possibility of a looming recession. They will keep the pressure on over Iraq, though the speaker indicated that she might focus more on policy questions and less on money for troops.

    And Democrats will try to paint Republicans as the problem. �But for the president and the Bush Republicans in the Senate,� said Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, �we could have accomplished so much more.�





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  • unseenguy
    06-26 03:02 PM
    There is a myth with deduction:

    Deduction is not same as TAX credit. When you get a tax credit of $3000 . you save $3000, but when you get $3000 tax deduction, you only save $3000 * .28 or .33 whatever is your highest tax bracket. For most married couples it should be either 28% or 33% of their income. Hence you only save 28% of the interest + taxes. It can help further reduce your tax bracket if you have educational loan or charity contributions etc by bringing your taxable income down. Further reduction in tax bracket can help you qualify for additional deductions.

    However, if I am paying $1000 as interest, then I am only saving $310 or $280 in deudctions, but I am still left to pay $690 as interest.

    ValidIV, is stressing on 30 yrs of home ownership, however, what we are saying is prices may go down 20% further. If that happens, then you are losing your downpayment and it may take years for your home value return to what you paid with interest.

    If you buy a house $550K, over 30 years you end up paying more than 600K in interest only. Forget about taxes or HOA fees. Calculate the tax deductions and let me know how much sense did it make to pay that amount if the value of house further depreciates 20% in next 2 years Vs. waiting for 2 years, having 1-2% rate increase, going in with double down payment and flat house price or 1-2% increase.





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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.





    Macaca
    12-28 07:44 PM
    Why Nobel laureate Obama will not cry for Binayak Sen (http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Main-Street/entry/why-nobel-laureate-obama-will-not-cry-for-binayak-sen) By Shobhan Saxena | Times of India

    Liu Xiaobo is locked up in a dark cell in a notorious Chinese prison whose walls are so thick that even the news of him winning the Nobel Peace Prize hasn�t reached his ears. Liu has been to jail four times. His crime: speaking up against China�s current system. Liu was picked up by the police in June 2009 on "suspicion of inciting subversion of state power," a crime under Article 105 of China's Criminal Law. According to Xinhua, Liu was arrested because he had incited the subversion of �state power and the overturn of the socialist system through methods such as spreading rumours and slander�.

    But Liu's real crime was his participation in drafting �Charter 08�, a letter written by more than 300 Chinese intellectuals who demanded �more freedom of expression, human rights, more democratic elections, for privatizing state enterprises and land and for economic liberalism�. In a country where a Communist party runs the world�s second-biggest capitalist economy, it�s a heinous crime to challenge the state.

    But, let�s look at what�s happening in our own backyard. Dr Binayak Sen, a doctor and human rights activist, has been sent to jail for sedition under Section 124A. According to this notorious law, invented by British imperialists, �Whoever, by words, either spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise, brings or attempts to bring into hatred or contempt, or excites or attempts to excite disaffection towards the Government established by law in India, shall be punished with imprisonment for life, to which fine may be added, or with imprisonment which may extend to three years, to which fine may be added, or with fine.�

    The charge against Liu was that he had written �Charter 08�. He has not denied the accusation. The charge against Dr Sen is that he was a courier of letters �for imprisoned Naxal leaders and was sympathetic to their cause�. Dr Sen has been given life sentence.

    Though Liu and Sen are very similar � both are intellectuals fighting for human rights, there is a huge difference in their positions. The day Liu was supposed to receive the Nobel, US President Obama called on China to release him. "Liu Xiaobo is far more deserving of this award than I was," Obama said. "All of us have a responsibility to build a just peace that recognizes the inherent rights and dignity of human beings��

    In recent months, Obama has spoken for protecting the freedom of democracy activists. The list is long: Liu Xiaobo, Aung San Suu Kyi, Dalai Lama and Shireen Abadi of Iran. Himself a Nobel winner, Obama has been using his poetic words to show that he cares for human rights. Surprisingly, on the Binayak Sen issue, he has been totally silent. Forget the US president, even American human rights organization, magazines and bloggers have not raised this issue. Dr Sen may not be a Nobel laureate but he is a well-known figure.

    Why is that the Americans� heart begins to bleed when a Chinese dissident is held, but they keep quiet when after a kangaroo court-style trial India sends a human rights activist to jail. Not that it matters, nor should we worry about the Americans' view interest on our internal affairs, but Obama�s deafening silence on the Binayak Sen�s case says a lot about the world�s oldest democracy and the biggest democracy and the conspiracy of silence between them. Why America loves Liu Xiaobo but ignores Binayak Sen? Why even a slight violation of human rights in Tibet rattles the US but it looks away when systematic torture in Kashmir is brought to light? Why Washington begins to scream if the Iranian police use tear gas on the streets in Tehran but keeps quiet when the Indian security forces kill young boys, rape women and raze entire tribal villages?

    Why the Americans don�t treat Sen at par with Liu?

    The answer lies in their politics. From his writings, Liu comes across as a pro-West intellectual. "Modernization means whole-sale westernization, choosing a human life is choosing Western way of life. Westernization is not a choice of a nation, but a choice for the human race," he once said in an interview. In his articles, Liu has argued that the �free world led by the US fought almost all regimes that trampled on human rights �." Liu has defended US policies in the Israeli�Palestinian conflict and supported George W Bush's war on Iraq. No wonder when Liu got the Nobel, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, "We raise human rights in every meeting that we have between the US and China, and we will continue to do so."

    Clinton comes to India at least 10 times a year, but she never raises the human rights issue. Of course, she cares two hoots if a doctor who has been working among the poor tribals of Chhattisgarh for 30 years lives or die. For the Americans and their MNCs, Chhattisgarh is a goldmine of business opportunities. In recent years, almost all American ambassadors have made trips to Raipur. American MNCs have signed hundreds of MOUs with Chhattisgarh government. The content of these MOUs and the agenda of US ambassadors� visit remain secret. Why?

    Dr Sen�s crime was that he spoke against Salwa Judum, a private militia created by Chhattisgarh government with the objective of forcing the tribals to give their land to mining barons and MNCs. Till a few years ago, Salwa Judum was on a rampage, killing people, raping women and burning down villages. As Salwa Judum�s atrocities became unbearable, Dr Sen exposed their crimes. Dr Sen in his jail on sedition charges because he spoke against the state that kills its own people.

    But, the Americans love Chhattisgarh government as it is making the state safe for profiteering (a coincidence if its sounds like �Making the world safe for democracy� � Hollywood�s favourite punch line). That's why this client state privilege to India. That�s why they are quiet about Dr Sen, who will never get the Nobel because that will force the Americans to speak for him. That will be embarrassing for another Nobel laureate: Barack Husain Obama.



    Verdict against Sen (http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/article995829.ece) Letters | The Hindu
    Call to free India rights activist Binayak Sen (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-12084785) BBC
    Dr Binayak Sen: Tribal doctor (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7397734.stm) BBC
    Jailed rights activist wins award (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7361046.stm) BBC





    sledge_hammer
    06-08 10:44 AM
    There you go - "inflation"! This is another reason why investing in a house makes so much sense (iff your gc/job etc are sorted out).

    Let's say you buy a house today for $300,000, and you're paying $2,000 towards your monthly mortgage. Even if you don't build too much equity on it because of the falling real estate, you will STILL come out better because inflation will make sure that your monthly payments of $2,000 in 2019 will really become $1,500 in today's money.

    But if you continue to rent, you will pay let's say $2,000 today in rent, and 10 years from now you'll be paying $2,500, and you don't have a home to call your own!!!

    During times of inflation, commodities, home, etc are the winners.

    Thread gets more interesting...way of life..love the way it transformed from home buying good/bad to sound investment advice...here is my bit:

    With all the $$ spending by government, inflation is inevitable. FED can try to fight it by increasing interest rates, but that will open another box of worms. In a hurry now and will post a detailed discussion later about interest rates, fed and inflation..very interesting indeed

    my take is gold...solid investment in these times and a proven hedge against inflation

    goodluck guys..more later