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  • bajrangbali
    06-07 05:46 PM
    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

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  • Macaca
    12-29 07:32 PM
    �Can�t Be Done�

    Gibbons, 70, says he learned that lesson when he tried to raise 4 million pounds ($6.2 million) from two wealthy London- based nonresident Indian investors in November 2006.

    Talks failed because of differences over expectations for returns on equity and other contract terms, he says.

    �That�s what made me think this just can�t be done,� he says.

    Indian microlenders differ from Yunus�s Grameen Bank in key ways. To protect depositors� money after bankruptcies among nonbanking financial companies in the early 1990s, India�s Reserve Bank in 1997 made it more difficult for them to meet the requirements needed to take deposits from the public. Only 36 microlenders are registered as nonbank financial companies, according to information supplied by the Reserve Bank.

    �I Feel So Sad�

    Indian microlenders themselves borrow from banks at 13 percent or more on average and extend credit to the poor. They charge interest rates that can rise to 36 percent, says Alok Prasad, chief executive officer of the Microfinance Institutions Network, which represents 44 microlenders. He says all 44 firms are registered with the Reserve Bank.

    SKS Microfinance gets funds at about 12 percent interest and lends at 24.52 percent in Andhra Pradesh, spokesman Atul Takle says.

    In Bangladesh, Grameen Bank got a banking license in 1983, which allowed it to take deposits. It charges 5 percent for education loans and 8 percent for housing loans. Beggars can borrow for free, and interest on major loans is capped at 20 percent, Yunus says.

    �Microfinance has been abused and distorted,� he says. �I feel so sad because that�s not the microcredit I have created.�

    Indian microfinance has roots in decades-old informal community financing.

    Nongovernmental organizations pioneered cooperative lending, known today as self-help groups, with seed money from the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development. Encouraged by these projects, the state-backed bank worked to tie borrowing groups to local bank branches in 1992.

    For-Profit Companies

    Nonprofit organizations subsequently got involved as middlemen between the banks and the borrowers. By 2005, nonprofits such as SKS and Share Microfin had turned themselves into profit-making enterprises.

    Akula�s SKS attracted investors such as Khosla Ventures, Sun Microsystems Inc. co-founder Vinod Khosla�s venture capital firm.

    Capital flowed into the new industry from commercial banks, venture firms and private equity.

    Sequoia Capital, in Menlo Park, California, and Bangalore- based Infosys Technologies Ltd. Chairman N.R. Narayana Murthy were among the backers. George Soros�s Quantum Fund has a 0.37 percent stake in SKS.

    Private-equity investors alone have put $515 million into Indian microfinance companies since 2006, research service Venture Intelligence says.

    �Explosive Growth�

    More than half of the 66 Indian microlenders tracked by Micro-Credit Ratings are for-profit firms. Some 260 microlenders had 26.7 million borrowers and 183.44 billion rupees of loans outstanding as of March, according to the Microfinance India State of the Sector Report 2010.

    �Over the last two years, we�ve been seeing explosive growth,� says N. Srinivasan, who wrote the report. �Microfinance institutions found that it�s easy to make money. Not that making money is bad, but when you go overboard and say you require money for growth, you get into problems.�

    Polelpaka Pula, a mother of two, says she saw microlenders rushing into her village of Pegadapalli to compete for business -- with tragic results.

    Her husband, Prakash, a painter who made 250 rupees on a good day, first borrowed from a group of villagers to build a house. Each participant of the so-called chit fund contributed 1,000 rupees a month and took a turn collecting the entire sum.

    Microfinance officers from L&T Finance Ltd., Spandana Sphoorty Financial Ltd., Share Microfin and SKS began offering loans in the village starting in 2004, she says.

    The couple, already contributing to their village fund, took five more loans totaling 64,000 rupees. That saddled them with payments of 7,300 rupees a month, more than Prakash�s 5,000 rupee maximum monthly income.

    Loan Shark

    When Prakash ran out of microlenders to borrow from, he went to a village loan shark, who charged 100 percent interest.

    With no way out and debt from multiple lenders ballooning, Prakash hanged himself in November 2009, his wife says.

    The small house he�d dreamed of was never completed. Only the foundation stands next to the home of his parents, a tiny structure with a roof of palm leaves.

    Spandana says that neither of the couple�s names is in its database. The company says the media wrongly attribute harassment cases to microfinance, especially when Spandana is mentioned.

    �The trigger factors for suicide are manifold, such as stressful situations at home,� the company said in an e-mail response to questions about the death.

    Subprime Parallel

    SKS spokesman Takle says its staff has practiced responsible lending for the past 12 years. Its employees are not paid based on the loan size or repayment percentage.

    �This ensures against giving out larger loans than what a borrower can repay,� Takle says. A spokesman for L&T Finance declined to comment.

    Overlending in Andhra Pradesh calls to mind the U.S. subprime crisis, says Lakshmi Shyam-Sunder, director of corporate risk at International Finance Corp. in Washington, which invests in microlenders.

    �Subprime lending was initially seen as extending homeownership to poorer people, doing good,� Shyam-Sunder says.

    As the industry expanded, making a profit became more important to some lenders, she says. �Tension arises when you work on activities with both social goals as well as commercial interests,� she says, adding that it�s important to strike the right balance.

    Companies chasing profits amid poor corporate governance are undermining the intent of microfinance, Cashpor�s Gibbons says.

    �Lending Gone Wild�

    During the past five years, the number of microloans in India has soared an average of 88 percent a year and borrower accounts have climbed 62 percent annually, giving India the world�s largest microfinance industry, Micro-Credit Ratings says.

    �This is unrestrained consumer lending gone wild,� Gibbons says. �It�s not about poverty reduction anymore.�

    Sumir Chadha, managing director at Sequoia Capital India Advisors Pvt., says that without a profit motive it�s hard to find anyone who will lend to the poor.

    �Capitalism doesn�t have to be a bad thing,� says Chadha, whose firm has a 14 percent stake in SKS. �If you can�t profit off the poor, it means that no companies will service the poor -- and then they will be worse off than earlier.�

    Chand Bee�s Tale

    For Chand Bee, a 50-year-old who led three borrowing groups in Andhra Pradesh, too many loans almost became her undoing.

    She says she ran away from home after collectors began harassing her. She took out multiple loans beginning in 2005, and she names Spandana as one of the lenders.

    Some of the money paid for the funeral of her eldest son. When she fell behind on payments, she says loan officers threatened to humiliate her in front of neighbors and pressed her to sell her small grandchildren into prostitution.

    She left her slum in Warangal, where she lived with her deaf husband, some of her eight grown children and more than a dozen grandchildren.

    After living as a beggar for a year, Chand Bee returned home in early November when family members told her that the state ordinance that went into effect on Oct. 15 had suspended some collections. A Spandana spokeswoman says none of the company�s four customers in the district with the name Chand Bee has had trouble repaying.

    Almost every household in the slum of 250 people -- where barefoot children play in lanes between rows of dilapidated shacks -- has taken several loans. So many microlenders ply their trade that residents refer to them by the days they collect: Monday company, Tuesday company and so on.

    Debt Free

    Rabbani, a widow with four children, is one of the few women who are debt-free. She started a spice shop with two loans, which she repaid with her small profit. After seeing her neighbors� pains, she vowed never to seek another microloan.

    SKS says 17 of its clients have committed suicide, none because of loans being in arrears or harassment.

    �Suicide is a complex issue,� Akula says.

    Sitting in the second-floor conference room of SKS�s seven- story headquarters in Hyderabad, where posters of smiling women running handicraft and tailor shops decorate the doors of elevators, Akula says there�s nothing wrong with seeking profits.

    �What does it matter to a poor woman how much an investor makes?� says Akula, dressed in his trademark knee-length kurta shirt from Fabindia, a seller of ethnic clothes made by rural craftsmen. �What matters to her is that she gets a loan on time at a reasonable rate that allows her to earn higher income.�

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  • immignation
    04-06 02:31 PM
    how's the market conditions in the San Jose/Santa Clara belt. houses there were really heated up avg 600k+. has it cooled down or still that crazy..

    I have been house hunting here in central NJ (west windsor, plainsboro and vicinity and am having a sticker shock just looking at the property taxes.. about 2%). What I understand from talking to people here is that these places are supposed to be a very good school district and schools receive most of their funding from property taxes (and very little from state). Good schools attract families with kids which increases the burden on schools and again property taxes have to be increased to build more schools/expand existing ones..

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  • Refugee_New
    01-06 02:32 PM
    Yes, they definitely have...Hamas should stop using school kids as human shield before complaining. Heres link for you - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elyXQ6g-TJs

    Gaza is a small town where more than 1.5 million people live there. Hamas is part and parcel of Gaza because they are elected by palestinian people and wherever they go, its full of people. Its a small land with crowded people. Gaza is like a crowded market.

    Again you are trying to justify the killing of innocent school kids and civilian. This is a big LIE constantly told by media to cover up the massacre. This is part of their divide and rule strategy. This Lie is something similar to WMD claim.

    Do you think Indian police will bomb the crowded street in order to kill a theif, then blame the theif that he is hiding behind civilian?


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  • abcdgc
    12-27 01:55 AM
    I also think the media could have acted more responsibly than it did. I was somewhat disappointed by Pakistani media. I think there was too much bias and not so much objectivity in the coverage. I am afraid the Indian media would have acted in a similar manner too....

    You haven't yet denounced the Bombay attacks but you are quick to attack Indian media. Good job, you have been trained well. Indian media is at fault in showing the carnage but the terrorist who carried out the carnage are saints???

    Its funny to see your assertion that its ok if 200 die in a bomb blast. It maybe ok for Pakistanis, but it is not ok for Indians. Stop calling Indian media as "bias". There was no ambiguity in the coverage. It was direct telecast. Why blame the media to educate the larger population that what's going on. Let me guess, terrorist do not like freedom of speech. You need to stop watching that garbage in Pakistani TV channels.

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  • 485Mbe4001
    09-26 06:17 PM
    Good discussion. I am not a fox fan, but i read NYT and Drudgereport, listen to Rachel Maddaw as well as Handel. In fact i read any political and economics related blog i can lay my hands on. I understand your points.

    My point is that people say he will do so many things, the problem is that the congress is not changing. The congress has to approve something so that he can sign it. Secondly no matter what you say companies will do whatever is right for the bottomline and share price. if he starts taxing companies they relocate, he has proposed increasing the social security taxes across all categories. Says he will not increase taxes for middle class americans but gives little indication of how he will finance the trillion dollar spending program. If his universal health program passes then you will see more deducted out of your paycheck. How will he create tons of jobs, how will he subsidize education. The fact of the matter is that he will be under exterme pressure if he is elected to office with such high expectations. He will be screwed if he increases taxes and screwed if he doesnt fund the programs he is promising all over the place.

    As for long term, the country has to increase interest rates to support the current account deficit. IF you increase interest rates the economy will further go in the tank. The country has to increase taxes to fund SS or Medicare. If not they need to overhaul the SS and MC system and any pandering politican will never be able to make that change.

    The fact of the matter is that both are career politicians and will do anyting to win. i just want to present an opposing view when one is painted as the saviour and the other a @$#@ in a total crapfest where no one is pure.

    Just Kidding - reading your post i was feeling like I'm reading a comment from Fox News. However i do respect your opinion and thanks for expressing it.

    My Point is more long term - in the shorter term no major change can happen to economy even if Barack wins but eventually Economy would be stronger under Barack's leadership. He also stressed that he would stop "JOBS BEING SHIPPED OVERSEAS" which means companies like TATA or INFY or some Chinese company taking my Job ( or any American's Job ) away from US to INDIA or CHINA. If you are planning a future in US - you would not want your US job taken away by your brother at INDIA or CHINA and Barack will make sure that doesn't happen.

    The Bottonline is he will create tons of Jobs at US , so unemployment will be very low , average peoples will be happy and however loud ANTI-IMMIGRANTS scream and shout no AMERICAN will pay attention. Our EB reforms will Pass much easily and we will be able to able to lead a much happier and content life with GREEN CARD.

    Once again my Point is definitely Long Term - in the shorter duration Barack has to first fix the Mortgage Mess and do something with Iran by taking help from EUROPE.


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  • unitednations
    08-02 11:55 AM
    I read this thread ONLY to not to miss any single word from US, no wonder.. his advises are indirectly helping many others like me in getting more understanding about what we are doing..
    Long live UN(even chain smoke cant distroy you ;) )

    Coming to my situatation,
    I came in July 2000, got job in Nov 2000. in 2002, I left for India to help my Dad who was hospitalized for Cancer. I came back in Dec'02 and have been on the payroll till today without fail.

    Once when I am applying for a H4 for my spouse, the US consulate at India issued a 221(g) to give the details about "Why the employee was paid less then the LCA promised wages?" In fact the officer didnt check all of the paperwork submitted, I had shown that I used FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act) to assisit my Dad. My spouse went on the next day, pulled out the same letters and my Dad's hospital bills and Doctor letters etc and shown, and got the Visa approved..

    So, folks who got their payroll significantly showing the gaps, please show the real reason, if you start covering up something, you will end up in the Original poster's spouse of this thread.

    Once again, thanks UN...

    very good information. I just hope it isn't too late for people to put in the correct information into the forms.

    I remember in my previous day job whenever there was a gray area that we were trying to exploit (could be Securities and Exchange Rules, IRS rules, etc.), all we had to do was convince ourselves and ourselves had the vested interest in getting a certain outcome. However; we always had to be ready for the next level if the regulatory bodies came asking that we had a reasonable basis for our conclusions.

    Difference in most things is that the SEC and IRS do not "approve" your tax returns or financial statements. They may come and ask. However; immigration law; the onus on us is to prove that we are eligible for the benefit and have to prove it with every application. Everyone should be ready for the next level of scrutiny.

    I had worked on a case where USCIS was trying to add up 20 i-140's for ability to pay and telling the company that they don't have the numbers for all those people. While we were working on this; we had to get ready for the possible outcome (ie., uscis going after the approved i-140's (44 of them) and the h-1b's. We responded to the 20 rfe's but had set it up that if uscis came asking about the others that the information we were showing in these responses would not contradict and would be sufficient if they came after the approved ones.

    Well; after the rfe response; uscis did come after the approved cases and sent in the notice of intent to revoke the 44 approved cases (some were approved almost three years before). They all got re-approved but you have to be ready with all the evidence.

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  • NKR
    08-05 08:28 AM
    What i mean is: Porting should not be an option based on the LENGTH OF WAITING TIME in EB3 status. That is what it is most commonly used for, thus causing a serious disadvantage to EB2 filers (who did not port).

    "Employment Preference Categories" have very real legal groundings, and i intend to challenge the porting rule based on those facts.

    If someone is unsatisfied with their EB3 application, they are more than welcome to start a fresh EB2 or EB1 application process, rather than try the porting subterfuge.

    I hope i have made my point clear? Thanks.

    I am EB2 and I do not support this idea. Just imagine, someone could have applied in EB3 though he was qualified for EB2 because he was ill advised by his lawyers or employers. Why should he be punished TWICE for no fault of his?.


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  • sledge_hammer
    03-23 01:24 PM
    I'm not sure if its just me being a conspiracy theorist for a change, but I see that these types of phone calls and RFEs, etc are coming only to people that DON'T have a lawyer. Anyone else feels the same?

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  • lost_angeles
    07-13 03:30 PM
    Last year's flower campaign was very successful. It created positive vibes for us all around. The reason for the campaign's success was it's novelty, non-confrontational approach and it's appeal to the sense of justice of the people that mattered.

    With the EB3-I situation as it is, we definitely need to start a new and similar collective initiative as has been discussed in this thread. It is been generally agreed that the format of our initiative would be a letter, contact, and action based effort.

    Not to be preaching to EB3-I-inans, but most of us are truly in a trance where we refuse the possibility of not getting a Green Card, at least when it is meaningful. To many of us this possibility is such a catastrophic event, that sub consciously we have not even provisioned for it. In the euphoria of EB2-I advancement, we forget that the relief is most likely temporary, and we go back to square one in OCT 2008. I think everybody who is still in immigration process, should take a part in this effort. For those who are already ashore, would be a nice gesture if you too lend a hand. On a personal level, I am glad that I am waking up from my laziness and apathy to do something on my own and not wait on others to do it for me.


    I want to use this post to outline a first cut for two things --
    1. Compile a list of points that outlines the general message of what and why of we are doing.
    2. Discuss the action items that accompany our message.

    1. Points for general message --

    * We understand that immigration is a privilege and national interests are above our plight.

    * We are highly educated and experienced residents. Most of us have been living in USA for more than past 7-8 years.

    * We are in suspended limbo without knowing the timeline of what the future holds for us.

    * When we started the immigration process, it was with implicit belief in the fairness and transparency of the system. The general labor substitution, paying money for Green cards and other abuses have thwarted this belief. This point should be emphasized.

    * There were and still are lots of loopholes in the system. Till now, the process has glaringly rewarded the law breakers. As long as these distorted incentives remain, the priorities will be skewed for some.

    * We are not here to rob anybody's livelihood. It is a symbiotic relationship. If it is not true and not good for USA, let us know. You cannot let few H1 scams discredit the whole ilk.

    * We are tied to our jobs/positions; creative juices are suppressed; creating a secondary class of indentured labor.

    * We cannot afford to do tech-speak (245, AC-21, EBs, ....) in the message. The message that we are trying to convey should be understood by the layman in 20-30 seconds.

    * We should try to empathize with groups like Numbers-USA. Yes, they too have valid points. If we agree to their points and quote their valid issues, it will take some sting out of their message and work to both our advantage; more to ours.

    * By being in this uncertain state, we cannot decide on big ticket items like buying a house, etc.

    * We request respect and dignity versus treating us like a dumb herd of sheep. Give us more clear cut direction and transparency.


    2. Ideas for action item --

    * Similar to flower campaign, we need to find a novel action that accompanies our message.

    * This action item should somehow reflect that it is selfless and for a higher cause, which creates a general feeling of well-being.

    * Some of things I thought of are -- contributing to Salvation Army / Goodwill, sponsoring education for children from low income family in USA, blood donation campaign, etc.

    * Out of this, I think blood donation provides most bang for buck. The idea sounds like too extreme and desperate. It probably is, but it sends a strong signal, also subtleness of if-my-blood-is-good-enough......
    Also other inherent benefits are it does not cost anything and is good for your health. And you can be very discrete about it, if you think of lobbying for your green card is stooping too low.

    * For blood donation or any other option that is decided, attach proof of receipts/certificates along with our letter. Alongwith a national level office (USCIS director?), this should be sent out to all local representatives, news orgs, etc.


    This is a long post and I appreciate your patience in going through it. Please post your comments on this post and add any other ideas you deem fit. I think we all should move very fast and try to drum up as much attention as possible. The ultimate goal is to get some kind of direction or relief before the end of this year.



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  • xyzgc
    02-12 10:31 PM
    its all forgotten now, just wait for a bright tomorrow.:D

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  • GC08
    02-01 09:00 PM
    It is time for IV to do its job by letting the truth out. The claim that H1Bs do not pay any taxes are outrageous. They should know that H1Bs pay all the tax but do not enjoy the benefits, e.g., when they get laid off, they have to leave the coutry right away without getting a penny of unemployment benefits. They will not get the social socurity benefits if they do not work in the U.S. for at least 10 years while their visas only allow them to work 6 years in a row. Such unfairness can go on and on...:mad:


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  • bfadlia
    01-07 11:26 AM
    I participated in the "mumbai attacked" thread, but always tried not to give any analysis of the history because I sure don't have the background not belonging to the region..
    yet I'm reading the darnest things here from people who apparently read 2 lines from wikipedia, copy and paste here then start talking like they know everything about the arab-israeli conflict and think they can analyze it..

    The phrase foxnews and similar media have everyone parroting here is "Israel is surrounded by hostile arab countries that waged wars against it several times. Israel is always in self defense" Let's see..

    1948: Israeli Irgun and Shtern gangs, the prototype of the israeli army were going village to village massacring palestinians to drive them out of their villages to annex them to newly created israel which they did.. arab nations who were mostly still under colonial influence sent their police-like forces to try to protect the palestinians, but of course they were no match for the mostly european WWII-veterans Israeli forces

    1956: In a dispute between Egypt, Britain and France over the control of Suez canal that in no way involves Israel, Israel attacked Egypt and took control of Sinai peninsula until Soviets and US urged it to leave.

    1967: Without a single bullet shot at Israel, it attacked Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Gaza and the west bank, occupying Egypt's Sinai, Syria's Golan heights, and annexing gaza, East Jerusalem and the west bank.

    1973: Only time Arabs started the offensive, Egypt and Syria attacked to get back their occupied lands. Egypt managed to get part of Sinai, and got the rest through peace treaty. Syria failed and the golan is still occupied till this day.

    1982: Israel invading Lebanon and occupying southern Lebanon till 2000.. Reason was meddling in a conflict between Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and Lebanese factions in which none of these parties attacked Israel.

    60 years have passed with the civilized world issuing UN resolutions for israel to end its occupation and to let the millions of displaced Palestinians return to their homes inside israel and Israel rejecting them. Then we have the courage to blame the Palestinians for not taking it easy, accepting the miserable conditions israel imposed on them and firing their 7000 fire crackers that killed 4 people.. the ungrateful bastards!!

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  • rvr_jcop
    03-26 08:37 PM
    With regards to h-1b processing; if you file an h-1b and you are silent as to the work location on the i-129 and you get an lca for your h-1b office location and then USCIS gives you an rfe for a client letter.

    You get a client letter in a different location and did not have an lca for that location prior to the receipt date of the h-1b filing then USCIS will deny the h-1b saying that it wasn't approvable when filed. Therefore, because of this USCIS is essentially saying that you are only getting h-1b approval for the work location specified in the petition when it was filed. It does not include a blanket approval to work at multiple locations.

    Therefore; one should always amend the h-1b for different work location. Everytime you amend; you have to pay uscis/lawyer fees and are at risk of getting rfe everytime.

    With regards to greencard. You don't have to work at the location required in the labor until the greencard gets approved. Most labors state job location is "various unanticipated locations across usa". If it has this statement then you are covered and don't have to locate to the office of the company; you can work in any location.

    If there is not such an annotation in the labor then to make it 100% legal you should go and work in the location covered by the labor. However, as the baltimore decision stated; you can use ac21 for a different locaiton with same employer. Therefore, if 485 is pending more then six months and greencard gets approved; you have essentially used ac21 without even knowing it.

    I do know a few cases where attorney did labor in location of where persons client was located. However, if person has shifted to another location then it would be impossible to justify it legally that you will go back there when greencard gets approved because that job would no longer exist.

    There are a lot of complexities involved in this. It just goes to show that on a whim; uscis can do a lot of things to make peoples lives miserable.

    Thank you UN for wonderful explanation. You hit the nail to the point. Usually USCIS sends these work location queries at the time of 140 processing. I am surprised we are seeing these at I-485 stage. Is there any recent memo related to this by USCIS that you know of?


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  • dtekkedil
    10-02 10:46 PM
    I have always been a supporter of Democrats. Because I believe in their philosophy. If I were a citizen, I probably would have even joined the Democratic party.

    However, the past two years have opened my eyes - There is one major difference between the Republicans and Democrats. Republicans are bullies and manage to get away with anything because they stand together. Where as Democrats can't even collectively make a decision on what color shoes to wear - every Democrat has a personal agenda that is more important to them than the good of the country or even the party.

    I truly believe that George W Bush did not win the first election and he did not win the second one either... the Democrats lost it!

    The Republicans may put the wealthy and big corporations ahead of us common folks but they can achieve more than the Democrats and perhaps some of that may trickle down to the rest of us. The Democrats on the other hand will be busy squabbling and nothing will get done.

    So, even if Obama wants to fix immigration or be sympathetic to our cause, there will definitely be others like Sen. Durbin who will attempt to stop him. In the end, four years down the line, we will be hoping for the next President to help our cause.

    I have been in this country for over 10 years and I am still waiting for a Green Card. I love this country and there is no other place on Earth that I want to settle down. However, there comes a point when I have to ask myself if this wait in limbo is worth it.

    Is all this really worth it? Not being able to settle down; not being able to make plans for the future. Worrying everyday if the company that I work for will have a bad quarter and have to let me go? Worrying about when I will have to pack up my things from this country and start fresh in some other place? Will I have to live with all this stress for another five or six years only to be told that my Green Card cannot be approved? Where will I go? Can I go back to India? Will I be able to cope with the culture there anymore? Can it be my HOME anymore?

    I am sure the same thoughts have gone through many of your minds.

    I have always believed that I should be more than what I am. How can I do that when I can't even be what I am. There are so many things I want to do. I am a man of science and I have ideas that could probably change the world tomorrow. But I can't even do my PhD. It is not because I am not smart enough, it is because I have started my Green card process and I cant go back to being a full time student because I need an F-1 visa... which I am not eligible for because I have started my Green card process!

    What I am trying to say is that we are paying too high a price for a Green Card, there is only one life, it is short and you don't get second chances. So, for those who have just started this Green Card process, my advice to you is; Don't let the Green Card carrot steal your life away from you. You still haven't invested many years of your lives, cut your losses and run!

    The last time I came back from India, the first and overwhelming thought I had when I stepped out of the airplane was "I'm Home!". That is when I realized that I am not an Indian anymore, I am an American; at least in my mind! But I cannot let my life pass me by while I wait for a Green Card; not anymore! I am in the process of applying for an Australian PR and will also be applying for a Canadian PR. It is not that I do not want to live in the US anymore - it is just that I cant afford to live here much longer in this situation. The emotional and physical cost is far too high. America has become my home but living here is costing me my life.

    Sorry for rambling on... but my point is that while my heart wants Obama to win (I truly believe he will make a GREAT president) my head tells me that McCain should win. Because, the chances of our issues being solved or even for the good of this country, it is better to have a Republican President and a Republican congress!

    On a side note -

    The point of getting a Green Card is so that I can settle here and raise my family here. But really, is there a future here anymore? Social Security will be non-existent by the time I retire, medical insurance is probably the biggest scam ever, and all jobs will be outsourced to other countries soon. So, will the US remain such a great country 40 years down the line?

    A country can remain great only if men with vision guide it. Over 50 years ago President Eisenhower and his colleagues had the vision to implement the Interstate system. They saw what things will be like 40 - 50 years down the line and prepared for it. Today, the politicians in Washington just think about the next election and that is where the downfall of America begins. It is not Bin Laden who can destroy America, it is leaders without vision or love for the country; Leaders who worry more about elections than making the tough but correct decisions.

    Be it Obama or McCain, this country is unfortunately in a situation where the next President will make or break America. I hope it is the former from the bottom of my heart.

    I came to this country because it meant life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. But today, I realize that I have given up my life, liberty and happiness in pursuit of a Green Card.

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  • Macaca
    12-28 07:00 PM
    N.B.A. in India, in Search of Fans and Players (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/28/sports/basketball/28india.html) By JEREMY KAHN | New York Times

    The success of N.B.A. Commissioner David Stern�s 25-year crusade to globalize basketball is often summed up in two words: Yao Ming. After Yao, a 7-foot-6 center from Shanghai, was drafted by the Houston Rockets in 2002, the league attracted hundreds of millions of new fans in China. And though Yao is out for the season with a stress fracture that could end his professional career, the N.B.A.�s international march continues.

    This season, the league will play its first regular-season games in Europe, a two-game matchup in March between the Nets and the Toronto Raptors in London. And having conquered China, the N.B.A. has its sights fixed on Asia�s other big emerging market: India.

    Like China, India has a rapidly expanding middle class with newfound leisure time and disposable income, factors that Heidi Ueberroth, the president of N.B.A. International, says make the country ripe for new forms of entertainment.

    �There is a growing appetite for sports and entertainment and more options in India,� she said.

    In a nation where cricket is an obsession, other sports have struggled to find an audience. Cricket�s popularity has been reinforced by the Indian Premier League, which began in 2008. I.P.L. teams play Twenty20, a faster-paced game that has attracted younger fans and billions of dollars in corporate sponsorship.

    But in part because the I.P.L. has proved that city-based sports franchises can succeed in India, many sports are betting that they will be able to find new fans and corporate backers here.

    �The race is now on to become India�s second-most-popular sport,� said Sunder Aaron, the head of Pix, one of two Indian television channels that earlier this month signed a contract to broadcast live games and other N.B.A. programming.

    The list of international sports knocking on India�s door is a long one: Formula One is scheduled to hold its first race in India in 2011. The European Tour of professional golf has held tournaments here. English Premier League soccer, which has a growing following, held a promotional trophy tour in the country this month. And FIFA, soccer�s world governing body, has opened a marketing campaign to sell official merchandise here. Even Major League Baseball has attempted to recruit pitching talent in India.

    Ueberroth said that basketball�s popularity could grow rapidly in India because of the sport�s relative simplicity and the fact that a court can be created almost anywhere one can hang a hoop. This gives it an advantage over soccer and cricket, which require open fields. Basketball also requires little specialized equipment.

    A core part of the N.B.A.�s expansion strategy in India is increasing grass-roots participation, based on the belief that people who play basketball are also more likely to follow the N.B.A. The league also knows that the more Indians who play basketball, the more likely it is that one day an Indian player will be good enough to make the leap to the N.B.A. � an event that could vastly expand the league�s popularity in the world�s second-most-populous nation.

    The Basketball Federation of India, the sport�s governing body, estimates that 4.5 million Indians play the game. That is a fraction of the country�s 1.2 billion people, but Ueberroth said the N.B.A. suspected the real number was much higher because the federation�s statistics missed players who did not belong to a league.

    To try to accelerate basketball�s growth, the N.B.A. dispatched Troy Justice to India in February to serve as its first director of basketball operations in the country. Justice helps run the N.B.A. Mahindra Challenge, a series of youth leagues and tournaments in five Indian cities.

    Justice said the N.B.A. saw the young players as the vanguard of the N.B.A.�s efforts. The concept, he said, was to give the country�s teenagers more opportunities to play basketball in a formal setting throughout the year.

    �The kids here have the natural ability and the talent, but they are not given the opportunity to develop it,� he said.

    In addition to Justice, the league sent the Orlando Magic�s Dwight Howard and the Los Angeles Lakers� Pau Gasol on short ambassadorial missions to Mumbai and Delhi in the summer. It also sent two coaches to India to train the men�s and women�s national teams ahead of November�s Asian Games in China. It has created an India-specific portion of NBA.com, featuring postings by two Indian bloggers.

    Viewership for the N.B.A. in India has also been rising quickly, but from such a low base that it remains minuscule, said Atul Pande, the chief executive of Ten Sports, which has contracted to broadcast Eastern Conference games. Pande said he thought the audience for a live N.B.A. game would never exceed 200,000 households. The viewership for many I.P.L. cricket matches is in the tens of millions.

    �The problem is timing,� he said.

    Games played in the Eastern United States are broadcast at 5:30 a.m. or 6:30 a.m. in India.

    �It was hard at first to get up and watch the games,� said Karan Madhok, the communications director of India�s federation, who also runs an N.B.A.-related blog called Hoopistani, which is featured on the N.B.A. Web site.

    �I thought I was the only person in the country watching. But as I�ve started blogging about the N.B.A., I�ve been contacted more and more by other fans, and I realize there are a lot more fans who do it.�

    For the N.B.A. to reach critical mass among Indian sports fans, many say, will require what Madhok calls a Yao Ming moment. In other words, India is waiting to see a homegrown star make it in the N.B.A.

    N.B.A. officials dispute this assessment.

    �There are a number of countries where basketball is extremely popular without any players in the league,� Ueberroth said.

    Others note that the ranks of English Premier League soccer fans in India are growing rapidly even though there are no Indians playing in the league.

    Still, the N.B.A. is not turning a blind eye to the search for an Indian Yao. Among Justice�s jobs is scouting talent. And he has found a few prospects. Among the most promising is Satnam Singh Bhamara, 14, a 7-foot-2 player from a rural village in Punjab Province. Justice helped him land a spot at an IMG basketball academy in Bradenton, Fla.

    �He has a bright future,� Justice said. �We don�t know where he�ll end up, but he�s got a lot of natural � for a 14-year-old, 7-footer � a lot of natural basketball instincts.�

    Others point to the potential of two Canadian brothers of Indian descent, 15-year-old Sim and 17-year-old Tanveer Bhullar, who are more than 7 feet. Madhok said that if either made it to the N.B.A., it would inspire Indian fans and players.

    The lack of a native star had not dented enthusiasm for the N.B.A. among the young players who were competing in the Mahindra Challenge tournament here last Saturday. All the players on the Basketball Rocker Jazz, a team from Shalimar Bagh, a middle-class neighborhood in the northern reaches of this sprawling city, said they followed the league closely.

    Their favorite team?

    �The Lakers,� Raghav Mittal, 11, said without hesitation. �Most of the best players are there.�


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  • Ramba
    09-28 01:50 PM
    Last time the CIR bill died because a lot of people are against granting amnesty to illegal immigrants ( both Republicans and democrats ) . The president alone ( read Obama ) cannot decide that he wants to pass this bill because remember last year Bush was strongly in favour of the CIR bill and even had a conference with Senate leaders to push it through but it failed . The politicians know that the American people don't like the bill but they have to show that they are concerned with solving the illegal immigrant issue. This CIR bill is only a political gimmick. It came into picture because of the upcoming elections and next year I am pretty sure with no more elections the interest would not be that much to get it passed ( although I am sure there will be a lot of people interested in getting it to the House and the Senate ).

    As someone said before if they try to bring some anti - highly skilled workers bill then the big companies are sure to cry out loud ( Microsoft , Cisco , Oracle etc etc ) and the politicians don't listen to us but they will surely listen to them. They have got the clout to get themselves heard.

    Right. CIR (amnesty bill) is a gimmick to win vote bank. Mcain drafted in 2007 in view of winning hispanic bank in his prez bid. Recently he flip floped to concervatives that enforcement is first. Though BO has reservation about EB/H1B/oursourcing, he is right and has right judgement. If unemployment reaches historically high, how one can expect they will increase the foreign workers? They are elected by USC not by H1Bs or GCs os AOS guys. If economy bounces back, if more jobs are created, if market needs more workforce then they (Mcain or BO) will increase H1/EB etc. Otherwise, they (either BO or Mcain) wont touch the immigration that increses foreign worker.

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  • bkarnik
    08-06 06:19 PM
    A father passing by his teenage daughter's bedroom was astonished to see the bed was nicely made and everything was neat and tidy. Then he saw an envelope propped up prominently on the centre of the pillow. It was addressed "Dad". With the worst premonition, he opened the envelope and read the letter with trembling hands:-

    Dear Dad,

    It is with great regret and sorrow that I'm writing you, but I'm leaving home. I had to elope with my new boyfriend Randy because I wanted to avoid a scene with Mom and you. I've been finding real passion with Randy and he is so nice to me. I know when you meet him you'll like him too - even with all his piercing, tattoos, and motorcycle clothes. But it's not only the passion Dad, I'm pregnant and Randy said that he wants me to have the kid and that we can be very happy together. Even though Randy is much older than me (anyway, 42 isn't so old these days is it?), and has no money, really these things shouldn't stand in the way of our relationship, don't you agree?

    Randy has a great CD collection; he already owns a trailer in the woods and has a stack of firewood for the whole winter. It's true he has other girlfriends as well but I know he'll be faithful to me in his own way. He wants to have many more children with me and that's now one of my dreams too.

    Randy taught me that marijuana doesn't really hurt anyone and he'll be growing it for us and we'll trade it with our friends for all the cocaine and ecstasy we want. In the meantime, we'll pray that science will find a cure for AIDS so Randy can get better; he sure deserves it!!

    Don't worry Dad, I'm 15 years old now and I know how to take care of myself. Someday I'm sure we'll be back to visit so you can get to know your grandchildren.

    Your loving daughter,

    At the bottom of the page were the letters "PTO". Hands still trembling, her father turned the sheet, and read:

    PS: Dad, none of the above is true. I'm over at the neighbor's house. I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than my report card that's in my desk centre drawer. Please sign it and call when it is safe for me to come home. I love you!

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  • dealsnet
    01-06 08:29 PM
    Israel is doing this for their safty. They are a soverign country and attacking the terrorist. Hamas don't want cease fire, then why they expect mercy. If they don't want to stop the war, then why other people raise their voice. Mind your business.
    They are not occupy any body's land. They live there from thousand of years, which God given to them. When they not recognize the saviour and cruxified, God's wrath fall upon them and they are disperesed. But to fulfil the Holy Bible prophesy, they regain the land and living there. No force in earth to distroy them. They are surrounded by hostile nations. Still they are surviving.
    These Arabs during and after the time of Mohammed tried to conquer the lands, and they occupy the land of Jews. They occupy the Constanople, where the biggest church situated, and they anexed to ottaman empire, now Turkey. They slaughtered everybody in that city. They did it in Syria, Egypt in AD1100. They distroy their culture, language etc. They cut the tongue, if anybody speaks the local language Syric in Syria and Coptic in Egypt. You can ask the minority people from these countries or read history. Barbarian Arabs conqured Indian subcontinent and convert the people by force. So Islam is not a religion of peace. It started with violence and end with violence. Every religion, religous people will be pious, but in Islam, they become terrorist. Satan is controlling these people. Sorry to say that. But it is true. In the last days, God punish these evil people. May all wiped out.

    See this web site for more detailshttp://www.faithfreedom.org/Articles.htm

    01-08 10:29 AM
    I have use the word bastard after you used for Jews. You have said, your war will end till Jews are defeated. So get my reply. Don't cry!!!!! foul !!!

    read your comments:

    I agree, the conflict discussed here is a political conflict. It could have been resolved much easier if all sides stopped looking at it with the religious-end-of-times lens (jews: nile-to-euphrates empire belonged to us 3000 years ago, christians: jews from all over the world must be transfered back there for the messiah to return.. and muslims: end of times won't come until jews fight the muslims and we beat them)..

    you called all non christian nations "satanic nations that will be wiped out", called 95% of egyptians war children, brain washed bastards and terrorists.. u r right, u don't use vulgar language, only racist hate speech..

    08-11 08:46 AM

    maybe we can do an official press release showing how dumb these people are. as far as i know all this information can be downloaded directly from the flc datacenter. we need to start writing op eds against people like lou dobbs who keep skewing the debate
    great find yabadaba. Thanks. I have sent this link to someone who can do some data analysis in our favor. However we are looking for EB GC data.

    do you/anyone know of any data sources for EB greencard applications on USCIS site/someone has already done stat research based on uscis data? We would be able to get independent analysis of that data by experts to our advantage. This analysis can be used by media when they interview us and also can be given to lawmakers to win their favor. you can PM me or post any such information on this forum and I can send it to experts I know.

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