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  • Macaca
    12-27 07:10 PM
    Dilip Kumar turns 88 (\12\28\story_28-12-2010_pg3_2) By Ishtiaq Ahmed | Daily Times

    The great thespian Dilip Kumar turned 88 on December 11, 2010. I had wanted to pay tribute to this larger-than-life megastar of Bollywood in my previous column but the tragedy in Stockholm made me postpone it till now. Thanks to YouTube I could follow some of the highlights of the birthday party from Stockholm. Among the many guests were veteran character actor Pran, 90 (started his film career in Lahore in a Punjabi film), and Dharmendra (also a Punjabi).

    His wife, once the beauty queen of Bollywood, Saira Bano, made very gracious remarks about her remarkable husband. The most touching was the warmth and feeling with which she narrated that 400 students of Khalsa College, Mumbai, where Dilip studied as a young man many, many years ago, donated 89 bottles of blood � one more than the 88 years that Dilip has completed � as a pious gesture to wish him a long life. For a very long time, Dilip sahib has been actively involved in charitable and philanthropic causes. On his first visit to Pakistan he was the guest of a blood donation organisation. Later, he has visited Pakistan to take part in Imran Khan�s campaign to raise funds for the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital. In India, he is constantly involved in rendering service to movements dealing with the blind and other physically challenged human beings. He is truly a man with a golden heart.

    As an actor there is hardly anyone who has attained so much fame and won so many laurels as Dilip sahib. He was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1994 for lifelong contribution to cinema. Mian Nawaz Sharif, like the late General Ziaul Haq, is very fond of Indian films. As prime minister, Mian sahib indulged his artistic self by conferring the Nishan-e-Imtiaz on Dilip Kumar. Those were the days when Mian sahib was considered a peacenik and had developed close rapport with another Punjabi, Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral (originally from Jhelum).

    I remember being in Lahore in February-March 1999 just after Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Mian sahib had reached the Lahore Declaration, which was to usher in peace and prosperity between India and Pakistan. At some of the social gatherings the atmosphere was extremely positive to India-Pakistan trade. One industrialist convinced me that we would benefit most because while the Indians will get a market of 150 million we would get a market of one billion. Somebody must have been listening to all this and wanted to subvert such economist argumentation. So, the Kargil mini-war broke out in May 1999.

    After the Kargil showdown, Shiv Sena�s Bal Thackeray and his goons carried out a hate campaign against Dilip sahib, alleging that like all Muslims he is at heart a Pakistani. They demanded that he must return the Nishan-e-Imtiaz because Pakistan had committed aggression against India. Dilip did not give in to such blackmail. He retorted, �This award was given to me for the humane activities to which I have dedicated myself. I have worked for the poor; I have worked for many years to bridge the cultural and communal gaps between India and Pakistan. Politics and religion have created these boundaries. I have striven to bring the two people together in whatever way I could. Tell me, what does any of this have to do with the Kargil conflict?�

    I had the rare privilege of spending some three hours with him late evening on October 20, 2001. The famous actor of the 1970s, Raj Babbar (parents originally from Jalalpur Jattan, northern Punjab), had on my request arranged the interview. Originally it was meant to last not more than half an hour. However, once I was inside his sitting room and met him I could feel that Dilip wanted to talk to me more and more.

    To my very great surprise he wanted to conduct the conversation in his native Hindko, which to a Lahore-born like me was hundred percent Punjabi, but with a peculiar accent. We went over his long life, starting with Peshawar of course, where he was born as Mohammad Yusuf to the family of a fruit trader, Lala Ghulam Sarwar and his wife Ayesha. That trade brought his father to Maharashtra. Some years later Yusuf Khan became Dilip Kumar.

    He convinced me to have an omelette, saying that this way he could also join me otherwise Saira Bano was against him eating fatty stuff. I enjoyed watching him as he shared his heartfelt views about some people that I wanted him to comment on. He dispelled the rumour that he and Raj Kapoor had at any time been estranged from each other or been against each other. On the contrary, he told me that Raj Kapoor was always a steadfast friend and their Peshawar roots cemented that relationship on the family level. About the great Rafi sahib he told me that a gentler human being than him was difficult to find. He and Sunil Dutt (originally from village Khurd, Jhelum district) were next-door neighbours. Their families also met regularly and were very close to one another. He spoke very highly of Sunil Dutt, calling him a man of great courage and a very pure conscience. Equally he showered praise on Pran, calling him a man of lofty principles and integrity.

    I was tempted to probe his feelings about some of the female stars he had worked with, with some of whom rumours about amorous relationship had circulated. Then, I thought it would be trespassing into his private life and I would be abusing his hospitality. So, I did not broach that topic. I could however easily understand why so many women fell in love with this very fine specimen of Pakhtun ancestry.

    Politically he appeared to be very well informed. The Americans had just started aerial bombing of Afghanistan in retaliation for al Qaeda�s 9/11 terrorist attacks. He expressed great concern for the loss of life that such conflict entailed. Being from that region himself, he was worried that if the conflict escalated, the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would suffer the most. It is amazing that at such an early stage he could foresee what was in the offing. I was quite surprised by his extensive reading of both Urdu and English literature and his interest in philosophy.

    The writer is Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Stockholm University. He is also Honorary Senior Fellow of the Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore.

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  • logiclife
    02-21 12:52 PM
    Lou dobbs, Pat Buchanan and people of that kind are full of vanity. It is wise to tune out such guys and make sure that they do not affect policy decisions in congress. I dont think policy makers care for his rant on TV.

    Pat Buchanan atleast ran for President for a couple of times. He has a lot of wrong ideas especially about immigration but he wanted to do something about whatever he believed in. And he actually did work in public service in the seventies in the Nixon White House.

    This guy Dobbs, claims to know everything that's wrong with congress, the laws, the trade agreements, and all he does is preach. Why doesnt he run for congress and fix things he thinks are so easy to fix. If he is so smart and able, then he should really run for congress and do what he thinks his right.

    The reality is... the chamber of House is no CNN studio. If a trust-fund, Preppie kid like him went to Congress, he wouldnt last a week.

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  • sanju
    05-15 05:42 AM
    hey guys,

    M new to this. I have applied for a H1 B this year ....i went thru the pdf on bill S 1035 ...& it states the following:

    Section 2(e) Prohibition of Outplacement
    1. Employer cannot place, outsource, lease, or otherwise contract for the
    placement of an employee on H-1B. (This prohibits any consulting work for
    an employee on H-1B).
    2. This applies to all the application filed after the enactment of this bill.

    Does it mean that all existing consulting work will also be in danger??


    M a bit confused as point 2 states that it will be for all applications after the enactment of the bill. Does that affect H1-b holders frm this year itself??


    Durbin-Grassley going after 9 firms.

    U.S. Senators question companies about visas

    Two US senators are questioning several companies about their use of a visa program for highly skilled workers. Senators Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Dick Durbin of Illinois are focusing on nine companies -- several of them foreign-based. Those companies used nearly 20,000 of the 75,000 H-One-B visas that were available last year. H-One-B visas are for high-skilled workers and are heavily used in the high-tech industry. The industry has long complained that too few visas are available. Grassley and Durbin, both on the Senate Judiciary Committee's immigration subcommittee, sent letters to the nine companies asking questions about visa use, wages and layoffs. The top users were identified with statistics from Citizenship and Immigration Services. The letters, posted on Grassley's Web site, were addressed to:

    Infosys Technologies Limited in Freemont, California
    Wipro Limited of Mountainview, California
    Tata Consultancy Services Limited of Arlington, Virginia
    Saytam Computer Services Limited of Andhra Pradesh, India
    Patni Computer Systems of Mumbai, India
    Larsen & Toubro Infotech Limited of Mumbai, India
    I-Flex Solutions of Mumbai, India
    Tech Mahindra Americas of Englewood, Colorado and
    Mphasis Corporation of Bangalore, India
    Here is a letter from Sen. Durbin and Grassley to these companies

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  • bfadlia
    01-09 08:05 PM

    I agree with you on most things you have said in your post and if you take a honest vote among the folks on this thread, you will find the overwhelming majority on the following views:

    1. The human loss and suffering of the innocent Gaza people is sad and horrific.
    2. Israel has reacted too strongly and used aggression to unacceptable limits.
    3. Palestine deserves its own state and power to govern itself.

    Now, the reason you have the same majority of folks respond in a manner that you, refugee and rayyan object and feel offended about is due to the following:

    1. You fail to acknowledge the role of Hamas in initiating this conflict AND not resolving this conflict. Even if you personally did, others have very ineffectively shied away from this point.

    2. There seems to be a lack of similar anguish and sympathy offered by you guys when it came to the mumbai attacks. Not saying you applauded the attackers but you didn't denounce them with the same vigor you are using to denounce Israel.

    3. Finally, the biggest reason you are getting such unwarranted and to an extent shameful posts on your religion is because you are not only ready to defend it when it's followers are the victim BUT also when it's followers are the aggressors (like in Mumbai attacks). And with all due respect to Palestinians, there seem to be more muslim aggressors in today's world than victims.

    In conclusion, I have nothing against you or the others. I am sure if I met you socially you will be a decent person. Lets hope peace is given a chance in Gaza and despite the differences educated people like us unite to fight for the common these forums, it is EB Green cards.


    bondgoli007, i'm glad we have some common ground.. i am sure my posts expressed that I despise intentional attacks on civilians.. i was disgusted hearing about the mumbai attacked and expressed that in its thread, although the guys there converted it into attack-islam thread
    having said that, i am still amazed the people starting history at the point hamas fired rockets and israel retaliated.. this is a more than 60 year struggle, with palestinians driven out of their homes and israeli settlements built over its rubble and tens of UN resolutions ordering israel to let the palestinians back and end the occupation but these just swept under the carpet based on israel's allies veto power.. point is hamas is resisting the wrong way by targeting civilians, but people resisting occupation will always happen regardless of how violently they are retaliated against


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  • greencardfever2007
    04-16 12:30 PM

    I am writing to enquire whether you have any vacancies on your strategic board for someone of my talents. I realise that it is a little unorthodox to apply �on spec� for such a high-ranking position within your organisation, but I believe I have the necessary skills to further increase the profits and assets of Big Bank Plc. In this letter I will attempt to demonstrate my knowledge of the challenges and opportunities in our marketplace.

    1) Who are our customers?

    I understand that our most lucrative customers are those with the least awareness of financial matters; indeed, the less numerate they are, the better. Rather like the dear old PM, in fact.

    If they don�t know the difference between APR and AER, if they fail to read the small print in their credit contracts - not that it matters, as I�m sure I have the necessary legal skills to make such text impenetrable - and if their limited attention is grabbed by an �introductory� rate, then they are exactly the kind of people we need to target.

    I think that if we closely follow that other highly successful model of commerce - drug dealing - we won�t go far wrong in attracting and retaining the right customer base.

    2) How do we get people to take on more debt?

    I�ve been thinking about this, since we need people to be in debt so that they pay us lots of interest. I believe the best way is to start with an asset class that everybody needs and arrange for its price to increase by far more than the general inflation rate. Then the people who want to buy the new, over-priced assets will have to take on far more debt than would otherwise have been the case.

    Of course, the people who bought the assets prior to the excessive price inflation wouldn�t be in debt, but I think we can get around that by encouraging them to take on larger loans for, say, holidays, new TVs, big cars, that sort of thing (maybe even encouraging them to buy more assets to loan to other people?), all while securing them against the now-increased �value� of their asset. We could describe these loans as �Asset Equity Release� or something; it sounds so much more friendly than �Borrowing a Lot of Money.�

    Ultimately this would mean that everyone is in far greater debt, paying us far more money, for exactly the same asset! Genius, eh?

    Oh. Hang on. That�s already been done with houses, hasn�t it?

    3) Social conscience.

    Every responsible company should have a social conscience, and Big Bank Plc is no different. We need to be in tune with the society in which we operate, sharing the values of our customers.

    Luckily that�s not too difficult; our customers are greedy and so are we! They want lots of money, right now. We want lots of money, but we can wait (that old �deferred gratification� thing).

    So we simply sell them the money to fulfil their greedy dreams, and they sign up for a lifetime of debt slavery to fulfil ours. Everyone�s a winner!

    4) Get-out.

    I have noticed that some of our customers have been attempting to escape from their obligations through IVAs, bankruptcy and so on. This really won�t do. Luckily we have a role model to follow here; America. The banking industry there successfully lobbied Congress to make it almost impossible to escape from credit card debt, even in bankruptcy.

    There�s much work to be done in the UK by comparison, but we�re getting there. Escape from student loan debt is almost impossible and an IVA won�t release people from mortgage debt. There�s still credit card debt, but at least we can now secure that on property (I love that one; we sell an unsecured loan at punitive rates, then secure it! They�d have been better off just getting a secured loan! How stupid are these people?).

    So, there�s just the problem of escape through bankruptcy, but I think we can work on that. Friends in government, nudge nudge, wink wink. Give me time�

    5) Our friends at Westminster.

    Speaking of government, I think our special relationship is going rather well, don�t you? They want a population that feels wealthy even though it isn�t (see number 2 above), that is unlikely to cause trouble (who can afford to go on strike when you have huge debts to service?) and that isn�t educated enough to understand what�s being done to them (have you seen the latest exam results?).

    Those are our goals too; it�s a marriage made in heaven. And if they want to rack up even more debt on the population�s behalf, we�re only too happy to oblige.

    We do need to be more careful at times, though. Our so-called competitor�s �employment� of that ex-Prime Minister so soon after leaving office was rather rubbing people�s faces in it, don�t you think? A few of the less stupid ones might start to put two and two together.

    6) Media

    Can we keep the mainstream and financial media �on-side�, thus keeping the population distracted by pointless celebrity gossip, �reality� TV programmes (oh, the irony), diversionary economic scare stories and back-to-back shows extolling the virtues of never-ending asset inflation (and with it, never ending debt)?

    Of course we can - we own most of them! And the government owns much of the rest. Anyway, people actually seem to want this stuff. Bread and circuses, I suppose.

    7) What happens if we run out of money?

    See number 5. There are plenty of options if we ever run into difficulties - direct government �loans� (rolled over ad infinitum), dropping the base rate below real inflation while raising lending rates, etc. - but they all boil down to one thing: take money from the tax-payer while using inflation to mask the theft. With a bit of luck we can even get the public to demand this action for us, with the help of the media.

    And anyway, we�re not actually lending real money, are we? It�s created from nothing at the point at which the loan is granted. So what do we have to lose?

    I look forward to your reply.

    Yours faithfully,

    Mr Wanabe A Banker

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  • nogc_noproblem
    08-06 09:54 PM
    A little boy went up to his father and asked, "Dad, where did all of my intelligence come from?"

    The father replied, "Well son, you must have got it from your mother, because I still have mine."


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  • Macaca
    12-16 09:22 PM
    Democrats Assess Hill Damage, Leadership ( By CHARLES BABINGTON | Associated Press, December 16, 2007

    WASHINGTON -- Congressional Democrats will have plenty to ponder during the Christmas-New Year recess. For instance, why did things go so badly this fall, and how well did their leaders serve them?

    Partisan players will quarrel for months, but objective analysts say the debate must start here: An embattled president made extraordinary use of his veto power and he was backed by GOP lawmakers who may have put their political fortunes at risk.

    Also, a new Democratic leadership team overestimated the impact of the Iraq war and the 2006 elections, learning too late they had no tools to force Bush and his allies to compromise on bitterly contested issues.

    Both parties seem convinced that voters will reward them 11 months from now. And they agree that Congress' gridlock and frustration are likely to continue until then _ and possibly beyond _ unless the narrow party margins in the House and Senate change appreciably.

    In a string of setbacks last week, Democratic leaders in Congress yielded to Bush and his GOP allies on Iraqi war funding, tax and health policies, energy policy and spending decisions affecting billions of dollars throughout the government.

    The concessions stunned many House and Senate Democrats, who saw the 2006 elections as a mandate to redirect the war and Bush's domestic priorities. Instead, they found his goals unchanged and his clout barely diminished.

    Facing a Democratic-run Congress after six years of GOP control, Bush repeatedly turned to actual or threatened vetoes, which can be overridden only by highly elusive two-thirds majority votes in both congressional chambers.

    Bush's reliance on veto threats was so remarkable that "it's hard to say there are precedents for it," said Steve Hess, a George Washington University government professor whose federal experience began in the Eisenhower administration.

    Previous presidents used veto threats more sparingly, Hess said, partly because they hoped to coax later concessions from an opposition-run Congress. But with the demise of major Bush initiatives such as revamping Social Security and immigration laws, Hess said, "you've got a president who doesn't want anything" in his final year.

    Bush's scorched-earth strategy may prove riskier for Republicans who backed him, Hess said. Signs point to likely Democratic victories in the presidential and many congressional races next year, he said.

    That is the keen hope of Congress' Democratic leaders, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. They have admitted that Bush's intransigence on the war surprised them, as did the unbroken loyalty shown to him by most House and Senate Republicans.

    Empowered by Bush's veto threats, Republican lawmakers rejected Democratic efforts to wind down the war, impose taxes on the wealthy to offset middle-class tax cuts, roll back tax breaks on oil companies to help promote renewable energy and conservation, and greatly expand federal health care for children.

    Pelosi on Friday cited "reckless opposition from the president and Republicans in Congress" in defending her party's modest achievements.

    Americans remain mostly against the war, though increasingly pleased with recent reductions in violence and casualties, an AP-Ipsos poll showed earlier this month. While a steady six in 10 have long said the 2003 invasion was a mistake, the public is now about evenly split over whether the U.S. is making progress in Iraq.

    Opposition to the war is especially strong among the Democratic Party's liberal base. Some lawmakers say Pelosi and Reid should have told those liberal activists to accept more modest changes in Iraq, tax policies and spending, in the name of political reality.

    "They never learned to accept the art of the possible," said Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., a former majority leader who is partisan but willing to work with Democrats. "They kept going right up to the limit and exceeding it, making it possible for us to defeat them, over and over again," Lott said in an interview.

    He cited the Democrats' failed efforts to add billions of dollars to the State Children's Health Insurance Program, which Bush vetoed twice because of the proposed scope and cost. A somewhat smaller increase was possible, Lott said, but Democrats refused to negotiate with moderate Republicans until it was too late.

    "They thought, 'We're going to win on the politics, we'll stick it to Bush,'" Lott said. "That's not the way things happen around here."

    Some Democrats say House GOP leaders would have killed any bid to forge a veto-proof margin on the children's health bill. But others say the effort was clumsily handled in the House, where key Democrats at first ignored, and later selectively engaged, rank-and-file Republicans whose support they needed.

    Some Washington veterans say Democrats, especially in the ostentatiously polite Senate, must fight more viciously if they hope to turn public opinion against GOP obstruction tactics. With Democrats holding or controlling 51 of the 100 seats, Republicans repeatedly thwart their initiatives by threatening filibusters, which require 60 votes to overcome.

    Democrats should force Republicans into all-day and all-night sessions for a week or two, said Norm Ornstein, a congressional scholar for the right-of-center think tank American Enterprise Institute. The tactic wouldn't change senators' votes, he said, but it might build public awareness and resentment of GOP obstructionists in a way that a one-night talkfest cannot.

    To date, Reid has resisted such ideas, which would anger and inconvenience some Democratic senators as well as Republicans.

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  • yagw
    08-20 02:56 AM
    One day Mr.X's little son was filling up an application and
    asked Mr.X what to write in the "Mother Tongue:...." field.

    Mr.X simply said 'write approximately 6cm'


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  • unitednations
    03-25 11:58 AM
    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

    "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."

    If you go back a few posts; I said that some people already have made up their minds and then they backtrack a way to justify their positions. USCIS has already made up their mind that they are now going to treat consulting companies as staffing agencies.

    Within IRS definition of emplloyer; they have added "employee leasing" as a definition of employer. It fits perfectly into staffing (essentially if a person is going through a staffing agency for placement they are pretty much considered an employee of the staffing agency.

    In common law the most critical function is who controls the work. In staffing arrangement it is the client who controls/supervises the work.

    USCIS has made up their mind that they are going to use this case on every staffing company. If a company wants to go the internal job route then they are asking for mountains of infomation; including letters from companies who have puchased the product, marketing plan, technical specificiations; even if you supply all of this infomation; they still find a way to deny.

    As I stated previously; companies/candidates will not challenge USCIS because time is on their side. If you want to challeng USCIS then you have to be clean on your side and follow all the laws perfectly which is pretty difficult for h-1b companis to do.

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  • mariner5555
    04-09 07:29 AM
    We've met with a lot of law makers and their aids, and really the housing down turn is not an argument for GC that is productive to use. If I get 30 minutes with a law maker's aid, each minute is valuable I can muster many more compelling arguments in that time.

    So to answer your question: yes IV has considered this, but only for about 2 seconds. It is something that is not worth raising with law makers or media.

    o.k. ..Thanks.
    In that case, I honestly don't know why a lawmaker would care much about faster GC processing. if I was a lawmaker and someone comes to me complaining about USCIS - I would think in my mind "hey that is the system with it". I would think the lawmaker would be thinking about other things (like having fun :-)) ..or taking care of the lobbyists who give them donations.
    ..I guess the only other hope would be if other countries in europe start giving super fast blue cards and the talent starts to go there. unless there is urgency the system will never change. even the namechecks were relaxed because of lawsuits.
    I guess the only silver lining is that I will continue to rent (become richer ;-) and have fun while watching the home prices go down and down)


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  • bajrangbali
    06-07 01:08 PM
    5% per month is easily attainable with some options strategies. But not everyone has the temperament/stomach/psyche for active trading.

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

    Active trading is a double edged sword, if you lose you lose big..if you bet even me one ETF or mutual fund which did not lose money in this market. People are calculating how small they lost compared to their competitors.

    Also, timing the market is very dangerous...maybe even worse than buying a house in boom-time..those who made money in bull run or by betting against in bear run, most will agree there is no such thing as win some, you lose some..same logic some of the other posters tried to convey for buying a house..

    Risk is a risk no matter how we spin it...all those who have invested heavily in indian real-estate took risk as well..rates are flat now..granted we are comparing a developing market with a mature market..

    end of the day everyone is trying to make good of their investment with as little risk as possible...when it comes to, kids adds into the equation...

    I would gladly lose 40-50K on a bad decision on house where I lived for many years with my family than invest in uncertain market and make bad decision there and lose it all on paper...ANYDAY

    I guess everyone atleast most learnt a lesson with this recession...every recession teaches control..i bet those of us who are here during the previous recesison agree..we all came out with something positive out of it upon survuval..

    Buying beyond the means is people are down to earth and making choices within their means...that is a positive take from this meltdown

    To take this thread further, posters who are looking to close the deal or negotiating or closed can post the info regarding location, price, lenders, agents which would help others who want to get in..

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  • kak1978
    06-05 10:46 AM

    Althought this is just for seattle area, this trend is more or less the same nationwide.

    According to this graph we need to wait out atleast one more year for the Rent - to- Price ratio to come down to the historical averages. But you get the Federal first -time home owner credit of $8000 (more in CA) only if you buy before the end of this year. So in my opinion, a good time to buy a house is in the month of december this year, if not the best time to buy. Now this is with an assumsion that mortgage rates don't rise substantially.


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  • abracadabra102
    07-14 07:28 PM
    We are old horses fo IV and dont have an agenda against any particular groups or category..all that we are trying to highlight is that our situation since 01..that's it...that having said the people will who are have been objecting to this will get thier GC's this time and will be gone ...and we in EB-3 2002 have to wait for another 2-3 years to get out turn..Can you imagine our situation..So please support this initiative...send out the letters...

    God bless us all!


    This is what you have in the draft letter.

    "Let me take you back to the situation in 2001-2003 when a lot of current (EB3) applicants were qualified under EB2 and RIR category(many of whom had masters degrees from Top US universities) our green card labors applications were sent back from DOL saying that the economy was slow and hence cant apply in EB-2. So we were forced to apply in EB3 NON- RIR categories, but when the economy improved in 04-05 you introduced the PERM system and most people applied in EB2 and got their Labors cleared in few months time while the folks who applied in 2001-2004 were stuck at the backlog centers for 3 plus years."

    Do you have any evidence/reference to back this up?

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  • malaGCPahije
    07-14 10:33 AM
    Sure EB3-I needs help, but if the help is in the form of taking numbers away from EB2 and giving them to EB3 just based on the length of wait, then I have my serious objections to this proposal. I have said openly that I will object to it - I have never seen a post that says plainly - Yes EB3-I is stuck for 7-8 years and therefore they want numbers from EB2 because EB2 has moved ahead by 2 years. The irony is that all earlier posts imply this and talk about this request for handover in a very general way (75/25 break up, recession, lawyer input, etc).

    Visa recapture, country cap elimination is where the solution lies. That is the REAL help that EB3-Retro wants. Any short term fix purely out of sympathy, empathy, humanity, kindness is not recogniszed by law.

    I know people will pile on for speaking plainly and in a matter of fact manner, but I am amazed at the innuendo, implications and lack of straight talk.


    please read my message you quoted. I wrote nothing in support of or aganst the letter. Nothing they (earlier posts) say is going to make the dates go back or forward. All the poor folks are trying to do is maybe vent out their frustration. What difference does this make to you? No action is going to be taken based on one letter. You are safe, please enjoy your current date status.

    I can see the writing on the wall about where IV would be once most of Eb2 get their GC. It would almost stop existing.

    You and other EB2 people dates are current. Enjoy your GC. Best of luck.


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  • dpp
    05-16 11:06 AM
    How wonderful that congress is finally introducing constructive bills to prevent 'consultants' mainly (but not only) from India from clogging up the H-1B visa system for honest skilled workers. The H-1B program is clearly intended for people WHO HAVE A SOLID FULL-TIME JOB OFFER AT THE TIME OF FILING THE APPLICATION. The whole body-shopping/visa abuse phenomenon is just disgusting. I wouldn't cry if any and all kinds of 'consultancy' activity were banned from the H-1B program. Someone stated that then they 'might as well lower the cap to 10.000/year'. Obviously not true. This bill clears out the infested issues of people illegally taking up visas on false premises. Good work!

    Part of the title of this thread reads 'even H-1 renewal will be impossible'. That is just priceless. No, H-1B renewal will be impossible IF YOU ARE NOT HERE BASED ON HONEST CIRCUMSTANCES. Anyone with trouble renewing H-1Bs after this bill should get a real job or leave if they are not up to that task.

    These are all base-less statements.

    H1B program in not just designed for lazy full-time in-house foreign nationals. If an employer who can pay minimum wage (or more) given by DOL, they can recruit H1 and sponsor the visa.

    Do you know that 70-80% of H1Bs are on working on Consulting basis to complete the short-term/long-term assignments. They are the bread and butter of US IT business, not the full-time H1bs working in-house, who again takes a consultant to complete his job.

    May be some are abusing the law, but you have no right to say all of them are like that. Good and Bad will be there in any field/society/law. So, for that do not blame everybody working in that.

    I know several full-time H1Bs working in-house , but depends on outside consultants to do each and every work and they take the salary every month for doing nothing. So, with that i cannot say all full-time H1Bs are lazy and don't update their skills. There are exceptions to everything.

    Consultants are not like that, they work hard every hour and get paid just for the time they worked.

    Do not start the argument of dividing H1Bs. If you want, goto anti-immigrant sites and join with them. They will ditch you too someday.

    Support IV.

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  • GCapplicant
    07-14 09:28 AM
    send the damn letter, nothing happens, and then come back here and vent your frustration again. as you said, buddy, HARD LUCK indeed !!

    I cannot believe the nerve that you EB-3 India guys have. You are begging for a GC based on your length of wait!!! laughable at best...........go wait a decade or so more, then come back here and start this useless BS again.

    one good thing happens for the EB-2 folks, and the EB-3 community cannot stomach it. pure freaking jealousy.

    Who are you?from where did you fall all of a sudden?-your comments are silly-


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  • chanduv23
    05-16 06:09 AM
    What if they give you all a chance for applying 485 and retaining PD before they ban h1b consulting??? I guess, you all will be happy with Durbin adn Grassley ;) ;) ;)

    The h1b system was designed to create brain drain in developing nations and bring them to America, but because of the implementation methodologies the opposite is happening, good people are either moving back or not coming or stuck with an employer which is not good for the economy.

    America gains nothing by banning h1b people - I am sure some provision will be there to protect people and get a fair chance towards imigration even if consulting etc.. practices are modified to work in correct methodologies.

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  • Macaca
    12-27 06:16 PM
    Of luxury cars and lowly tractors ( By P. SAINATH | The Hindu

    When businessmen from Aurangabad in the backward Marathwada region bought 150 Mercedes Benz luxury cars worth Rs. 65 crore at one go in October, it grabbed media attention. The top public sector bank, State Bank of India, offered the buyers loans of over Rs. 40 crore. �This,� says Devidas Tulzapurkar, president of the Aurangabad district bank employees association, �at an interest rate of 7 per cent.� A top SBI official said the bank was �proud to be part of this deal,� and would �continue to scout for similar deals in the future.�

    The value of the Mercedes deal equals the annual income of tens of thousands of rural Marathwada households. And countless farmers in Maharashtra struggle to get any loans from formal sources of credit. It took roughly a decade and tens of thousands of suicides before Indian farmers got loans at 7 per cent interest � many, in theory only. Prior to 2005, those who got any bank loans at all shelled out between 9 and 12 per cent. Several were forced to take non-agricultural loans at even higher rates of interest. Buy a Mercedes, pay 7 per cent interest. Buy a tractor, pay 12 per cent. The hallowed micro-finance institutions (MFIs) do worse. There, it's smaller sums at interest rates of between 24 and 36 per cent or higher.

    Starved of credit, peasants turned to moneylenders and other informal sources. Within 10 years from 1991, the number of Indian farm households in debt almost doubled from 26 per cent to 48.6 per cent. A crazy underestimate but an official number. Many policy-driven disasters hit farmers at the same time. Exploding input costs in the name of �market-based prices.' Crashing prices for their commercial crops, often rigged by powerful traders and corporations. Slashing of investment in agriculture. A credit squeeze as banks moved away from farm loans to fuelling upper middle class lifestyles. Within the many factors driving over two lakh farmers to suicide in 13 years, indebtedness and the credit squeeze rank high. (And MFIs are now among the squeezers).

    What remained of farm credit was hijacked. A devastating piece in The Hindu (Aug. 13) showed us how. Almost half the total �agricultural credit� in the State of Maharashtra in 2008 was disbursed not by rural banks but by urban and metro branches. Over 42 per cent of it in just Mumbai � stomping ground of large corporations rather than of small farmers.

    Even as the media celebrate our greatest car deal ever as a sign of �rural resurgence,� the subject of many media stories, comes the latest data of the National Crime Records Bureau. These show a sharp increase in farm suicides in 2009 with at least 17,368 farmers killing themselves in the year of �rural resurgence.� That's over 7 per cent higher than in 2008 and the worst numbers since 2004. This brings the total farm suicides since 1997 to 216,500. While all suicides have multiple causes, their strong concentration within regions and among cash crop farmers is an alarming and dismal trend.

    The NCRB, a wing of the Union Home Ministry, has been tracking farm suicide data since 1995. However, researchers mostly use their data from 1997 onwards. This is because the 1995 and 1996 data are incomplete. The system was new in 1995 and some big States such as Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan sent in no numbers at all that year. (In 2009, the two together saw over 1,900 farm suicides). By 1997, all States were reporting and the data are more complete.

    The NCRB data end at 2009 for now. But we can assume that 2010 has seen at least 16,000 farmers' suicides. (After all, the yearly average for the last six years is 17,104). Add this 16,000 to the total 2,16,500. Also add the incomplete 1995 and 1996 numbers � that is 24,449 suicides. This brings the 1995-2010 total to 2,56,949. Reflect on this figure a moment.

    It means over a quarter of a million Indian farmers have committed suicide since 1995. It means the largest wave of recorded suicides in human history has occurred in this country in the past 16 years. It means one-and-a-half million human beings, family members of those killing themselves, have been tormented by the tragedy. While millions more face the very problems that drove so many to suicide. It means farmers in thousands of villages have seen their neighbours take this incredibly sad way out. A way out that more and more will consider as despair grows and policies don't change. It means the heartlessness of the Indian elite is impossible to imagine, leave alone measure.

    Note that these numbers are gross underestimates to begin with. Several large groups of farmers are mostly excluded from local counts. Women, for instance. Social and other prejudice means that, most times, a woman farmer killing herself is counted as suicide � not as a farmer's suicide. Because the land is rarely in a woman's name.

    Then there is the plain fraud that some governments resort to. Maharashtra being the classic example. The government here has lied so many times that it contradicts itself thrice within a week. In May this year, for instance, three �official' estimates of farm suicides in the worst-hit Vidarbha region varied by 5,500 per cent. The lowest count being just six in four months (See �How to be an eligible suicide,� The Hindu, May 13, 2010).

    The NCRB figure for Maharashtra as a whole in 2009 is 2,872 farmers' suicides. So it remains the worst State for farm suicides for the tenth year running. The �decline' of 930 that this figure represents would be joyous if true. But no State has worked harder to falsify reality. For 13 years, the State has seen a nearly unrelenting rise. Suddenly, there's a drop of 436 and 930 in 2008 and 2009. How? For almost four years now, committees have functioned in Vidarbha's crisis districts to dismiss most suicides as �non-genuine.' What is truly frightening is the Maharashtra government's notion that fixing the numbers fixes the problem.

    Yet that problem is mounting. Perhaps the State most comparable to Maharashtra in terms of population is West Bengal. Though its population is less by a few million, it has more farmers. Both States have data for 15 years since 1995. Their farm suicide annual averages in three-five year periods starting then are revealing. Maharashtra's annual average goes up in each period. From 1,963 in the five years ending with 1999 to 3,647 by 2004. And scaling 3,858 by 2009. West Bengal's yearly average registers a gradual drop in each five-year period. From 1,454 in 1999 to 1,200 in 2004 to 1,014 by 2009. While it has more farmers, its farm suicide average for the past five years is less than a third of Maharashtra's. The latter's yearly average has almost doubled since 1999.

    The share of the Big 5 �suicide belt' States � Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh � remains close to two-thirds of all farm suicides. Sadly 18 of 28 States reported higher farm suicide numbers in 2009. In some the rise was negligible. In others, not. Tamil Nadu showed the biggest increase of all States, going from 512 in 2008 to 1060 in 2009. Karnataka clocked in second with a rise of 545. And Andhra Pradesh saw the third biggest rise � 309 more than in 2008. A few though did see a decline of some consequence in their farm suicide annual average figures for the last six years. Three � Karnataka, Kerala and West Bengal � saw their yearly average fall by over 350 in 2004-09 compared to the earlier seven years.

    Things will get worse if existing policies on agriculture don't change. Even States that have managed some decline across 13 years will be battered. Kerala, for instance, saw an annual average of 1,371 farm suicides between 1997 and 2003. From 2004-09, its annual average was 1016 � a drop of 355. Yet Kerala will suffer greatly in the near future. Its economy is the most globalised of any State. Most crops are cash crops. Any volatility in the global prices of coffee, pepper, tea, vanilla, cardamom or rubber will affect the State. Those prices are also hugely controlled at the global level by a few corporations.

    Already bludgeoned by the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA), Kerala now has to contend with the one we've gotten into with ASEAN. And an FTA with the European Union is also in the offing. Kerala will pay the price. Even prior to 2004, the dumping of the so-called �Sri Lankan pepper� (mostly pepper from other countries brought in through Sri Lanka) ravaged the State. Now, we've created institutional frameworks for such dumping. Economist Professor K. Nagaraj, author of the biggest study of farm suicides in India, says: �The latest data show us that the agrarian crisis has not relented, not gone away.� The policies driving it have also not gone away.

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  • chintu25
    08-06 11:12 AM
    "It looks like the Senate and the president have finally agreed on an immigration bill. ... This one looks like it could become law and, of course, nobody likes it. The conservatives say the bill gives amnesty to the illegals. The liberals say it doesn't go far enough to protect the hardworking immigrants here in America. And the L.A.P.D. doesn't know who to beat up." --Bill Maher

    "The liberals are saying that this guest worker program ... is really just a way to depress wages and create a permanent underclass of exploited labor. To which the president said, 'And the problem is?'" --Bill Maher

    "President said in his speech that immigrants have to learn English. The immigrants said, 'Hey, you first.'" --Jay Leno

    "President is down in Mexico right now. Again, I don't think President gets it. As soon as he stepped off Air Force Once, he looked around and said, 'Wow, you got a big problem with Mexican immigrants down here, too.'" --Jay Leno


    09-26 08:50 AM
    Also,as America becomes more socialistic the power of lobbying from companies becomes even more less appealing to the Politicians. Our interests had to be protected by ourselves.,8599,1843168,00.html

    04-13 02:22 PM Update..

    I got an email from the same officer asking me to provide the contact number of the client that I worked in 2004.

    duh..I dont have one..and that company (actually a Unit of GE) was bought over by a different company.

    How do I respond? :eek: