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  • Macaca
    12-29 08:01 PM
    Why we must reclaim religion from the right-wing ( By Yoginder Sikand | Rediff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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  • LostInGCProcess
    09-26 02:52 PM
    Everyone say "H1b is not good we want more GC". Then the whole thing moves towards a new points based system and everyone will support it saying - this will ensure US will have best and brightest. What happens to us???? We will be ignored

    I think for those waiting long enough would get extra points....5 Points/year of waiting :D:D:D:D:D

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  • Macaca
    12-30 06:26 PM
    Select Readings

    Alessandrini, Michele and Tullio Buccellato (2008), �China, India and Russia: Economic reforms, structural change and regional disparities,� Economics Working Paper No.97, December 2008, London: Centre for the Study of Economic and Social Change in Europe, 33 pp.
    Hoffmann, Steven A (1990), India and the China Crisis, Berkeley: University of California Press, 324 pp.
    Malone, David M. and Rohan Mukherjee (2010), �India and China: Conflict and
    Cooperation,� Survival, vol.52: 1, pp. 137-158.
    Bajpaee, Chietigj (2007),�The Panda and the Peacock,� China Security, vol. 3 no. 4 Autumn 2007, pp. 103 � 123.

    Asian Development Bank (2010), Key Indicators for Asia and the Pacific 2010, �The Rise of Asia�s Middle Class,� 41st Edition, 2010, Philippines: Asian Development Bank, August 2010, 283 pp.
    Pew Global Attitudes Project (2010) (http:/ / 2010.pdf), Indians See Threat From Pakistan, Extremist Groups, Released: Wednesday, October 20, 2010; Accessed online 12 December 2010
    The Chinese Central Government�s Official Web Portal (; Accessed online 16-20 December 2010

    �Chinese premier calls for enhanced cooperation, trade with India (http://�

    �China-India friendship,� Chinese premier tells teenagers in India with calligraphy (�
    Ministry of External Affairs (

    Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People�s Republic of China (

    �We�ll be able to reach strategic consensus, says Wen (http://,� Hindustan Times
    �Prime Minister and Wen to talk trade, stir sticky issues (,� Hindustan Times

    �India, China developing relationship of substance: Indian ambassador (http://,� Xinhua News

    �Jiabao�s visit to focus on strengthening Indo-China trade (http://,� CNBC
    �Has Chinese premier�s visit strengthened India-China bonds? (http://,� CNBC
    �China-India ties fragile, need special care: Chinese envoy (http://,� The Times of India
    �RCom to raise $1.9 bn from China bank ( tech/news/telecom/RCom-to-raise-19-bn-from-China-bank/articleshow/ 7106651.cms),� The Times of India
    �India, China cement ties with 49 pacts (,� Financial Express
    �China�s domestic demand push boon for Indian exporters (http://,� Financial Express
    �Indian drug firms look to scale the Great Wall (http://,� Financial Express
    �Pact on financial services likely to open doors for Chinese banks (http://,� Financial Express
    �India, China May Sign Banking Accord During Wen Jiabao�s Visit (http://,� Bloomberg
    �Shanghai Halts Fixed-Asset Lending through Year End ( article/SB10001424052748703929404576022550653865350.html), � The Wall Street Journal
    �PBOC Officials: Interest Rate Hike Could Hamper Economic Soft Landing (http:/ /,� The Wall Street Journal
    �Foreign Ministers should look into pending issues: Wen (http://,�
    �Officials should sort out stapled visa issue: Wen ( news/national/article956256.ece),� The Hindu
    �Muslim women lead protests in restive west China (http://,� MSNBC
    �China�s Galloping Inflation ( gordonchang/2010/12/12/chinas-galloping-inflation/),� Gordon G. Chang | Forbes,
    �Business interests further Sino-Indian ties ( foreign-view/2010-12/603015.html),� GlobalTimes

    �Al Qaeda urges Uighur jihad in China. So what? ( World/Global-News/2009/1008/al-qaeda-urges-uighur-jihad-in-china-so-what),�

    �The story of Chinese monetary sterilization ( 12/20215815/The-story-of-Chinese-monetary.html),�
    �Chinese banks scaling back loans to ship owners, yards (,4574,417590- 1292443140,00.html?),� December 15, 2010,

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  • nogc_noproblem
    08-26 01:05 AM
    Why cats are better then men ...

    � A cat matures as it grows older.
    � Back hair on cats is cute.
    � When a cat sleeps all day it's natural, not annoying.
    � Unlike a man, a cat can fend for itself.
    � A cat is loyal.
    � Cats actually think with their heads.
    � "Meow" is never a lie.
    � They'll both stand outside your door and whine, but the cat will stop when it gets in. :)
    � It's more amusing to watch a cat try and deal with a piece of tape stuck on its paw than to watch a man do anything.
    � To buy a fancy dinner for a cat only costs 35 cents.
    � A cat's friend is less likely to be annoying.
    � Cats can't show love without meaning it.
    � Cats are always cute.


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  • unitednations
    03-24 11:39 AM
    UN - I don't think people who indulge in fraud or use wrong route, go to Senators or Congressmen - rather they want to stay unnoticed. Most people who lobby - lobby for a better system.

    No one is taking on or poking at USCIS.

    On another note - what is permanent job? There is absolutely no such thing called future job - ie job that will come into place after 5 or 10 years. A permanent job is a job which is permanent at the time of employment.

    When we talk about good faith employment - it is the relationship that exists during the terms of employment.

    While your analysis makes sense - we really never know what is happening behind the scenes.

    I had little knowledge of immigration and of the type of people on h-1b and the type of companies who sponsor greencards when I first started perusing immigration boards. I thought many people were like me.

    Back in 2002 and 2003 when USCIS hardly approved any EB greencards; people were pretty emotional on

    Rajiv Khanna did a class action lawsuit against USCIS to start approving cases. He wanted some plaintiffs. Now; people on were so emotional about their approvals and cursing USCIS all over the place. Of the thousands of people who would post; there was only something like 13 people who actually signed up to be plaintiffs. I volunteered myself to be a plaintiff but my case had only been pending for about six months at that time so I didn't think I would be a good candidate. However; only 13 people signed up compared to the thousands who were bellyaching about it. I didn't understand at that time why there was so little people who were willing to step u.

    In 2007 AILF specifically wanted people to join the lawsuit but were very clear that they wanted "clean" cases. I thought it odd that they had to specifically mention this.

    Murthy didn't want to file lawsuit because they thought it would have negative repurcussions against their existing clients in future cases.

    USCIS is pretty much the toughest agency to deal with and people who deal with them regularly know this. Time is on their side. They can deny cases and it takes years to get through the system and people have to have a legal way to stay in the country while this goes on. Because of this hardly anybody challenges them.

    I concluded that not many people have clean cases. Many people faked things on their f-1 applications; had bench time; worked in different locations then where h-1b was approved for, etc., etc.

    If you look at the different positions people take on these immigration boards; it is usually based on their own situation or people they know of and that leads them to post in a certain way.

    eb3 versus eb2
    permanent jobs versus consulting
    country quota, etc.

    The lawyers are the ones who see thousands of cases and what USCIS does and generally do not want to challenge them because it will spell bigger problems.

    btw; I am still a little suspicious of the OP. Local offices mainly do family base cases and not employment base cases. Their requests for information are pretty standard and follow the lines of family base information. They do not regularly do employment base interviews. If what the OP is saying is true then this would be a directive coming from headquarters. If that is the case then asking for "contracts" is going to be very problematic as they are going after the temporary versus permanent job.

    Texas service center has been known to call candidates/companies but it is usually for very simple information (ie., company tax return, asking verbally whether person is still in same job or verifying current address). They don't call and ask verbally for complex information like OP has stated.

    In fact just about every local USCIS office makes you sign a statement that you are not being represented by a lawyer and they "swear" you in that you are going to tell the truth under penalty of perjury.

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  • damialok
    03-27 03:55 PM
    All good points, As always with Real Estate, its Location, Location and Location. So the decision to buy a home depends on where you are. My analysis was more towards the Bay Area market where prices have held steady except in periphery markets and neighborhoods which had lot of new construction. Demographics here are dual incomes, steady jobs, limited housing/new construction and strong tech sector(due to the global nature).

    One thing I believe is that, Mortgage rates are probably at the lowest we will see for a while. If you time it right, maybe you can go another 50 basis points lower but generally its quite low.

    Now, is the price of a home lowest? New home owners GENERALLY dont consider the price of the home but rather the MONTHLY payments. How much will it cost me monthly to own this home? And this is what drives the price of a home. So the price partially depends on the mortgage rate, type of mortgage(5-1 ARM, 30 year, 40 year etc).

    Finally another major thing to consider is the loan process. With the recent changes, its got much tougher. My company almost has a freeze on new loans and except for refi the rest is frozen. Tighter conditions like

    DTI ratio less than 35%
    LTV ratio not more than 90%
    For Pre-approval you need to show atleast 10% in liquid assets.

    will certainly slow down things even further.


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  • TomPlate
    09-26 12:31 PM
    I like Mccain to be the president. Based on his experience and his involvement for the country.

    Also Mccain is a great candidate for us.

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  • Macaca
    05-02 05:38 PM
    Don't kowtow to China now ( By Paul Dibb | The Australian

    PRIME Minister Julia Gillard's visit to China has confirmed important strategic priorities for Australia. She called for Australia and China to gradually increase their defence co-operation as a means to promote good relations and understanding of each other. She also talked about wanting to see increased military transparency by China.

    Defence Minister Stephen Smith says he has also made it very clear to his Chinese counterpart that Australia expects China to abide by, and conduct itself, in accordance with international norms, including the international law of the sea.

    Given China's military build-up and its more aggressive behaviour of late in the East and South China Seas, these are entirely legitimate strategic interests for Australia.

    While Gillard has made it plain that she does not support the idea of the US and its allies containing China, her strong support of the US alliance during her recent visit to Washington will not have gone unnoticed in Beijing. It was appropriate that the Australian PM first visit Japan and South Korea before going to China. The fact is that the US, Japan and South Korea are - like us - democracies and allies of America. China will never be our ally.

    None of this undermines the PM's objective of encouraging increased military co-operation and defence links. We have to understand what China intends to do with its military forces in future.

    These are non-trivial issues for Australia over the next two or three decades. Of course it is sensible policy to encourage Beijing to be a responsible emerging great power and to be closely engaged in the development of security and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

    It is also good policy to engage China across the full range of our bilateral relationship - political, economic, defence, cultural and human rights.

    But as Beijing's power inevitably grows this suggests that in parallel with engagement we should also have a policy of hedging against a more belligerent China in future.

    The Australian defence white paper of May 2009 states that by 2030 China will be the strongest Asian military power by a considerable margin and that its military modernisation will be increasingly characterised by the development of power projection capabilities.

    As China becomes more powerful economically, it can be expected to develop more substantial military capabilities befitting its size. But, as the white paper notes, the pace, scope and structure of China's military modernisation have the potential to give its neighbours cause for concern.

    If China does not become more transparent, questions will inevitably arise about the purpose of its military development plans. Beijing is developing some quite impressive capabilities that will eventually make it more hazardous for the US and its allies to operate in China's maritime approaches with impunity. This is increasingly recognised to be the case by the US and Japan.

    In Australia, there have been some fantasies lately suggesting we should be able to develop forces capable of attacking China directly. That is dangerous and stupid. We can, however, aspire to building force elements - including submarines - that would contribute usefully to a US-led coalition force, which would include Japan and Australia.

    This is not to see China as the next inevitable enemy. Now and foreseeably it will not have the awesome military strength of the former Soviet Union. And Beijing has no experience whatsoever of prosecuting a modern war.

    China needs a basically peaceful strategic environment so that it can give priority to governing an increasingly restive population of 1.3 billion.

    China is not a country without weaknesses. We need to remember this before we conclude that China will continue to rise and rise and not experience serious hurdles.

    To take one example, the one-child policy has resulted in a rapidly ageing population.

    By 2014, China's working-age numbers will begin to decline and by 2040 some 30 per cent of China's population will be over 60 years old.

    This will inevitably have serious implications for economic growth rates, which are already predicted to decline to about 7 per cent a year compared with 10-12 per cent growth previously.

    There are many other political, economic, environmental and corruption problems facing China in the 21st century.

    We should be wary of straight line extrapolations that predict China's inevitable growth to a position of regional supremacy.

    There are other geopolitical factors at work.

    If China becomes more aggressive it will face a closing of the ranks in Asia. Already, its more confrontational stance over maritime disputes and its unquestioning support of North Korea has led Japan and South Korea to be more pro-American.

    While it is true that many countries in the region, including Australia, are increasingly dependent on China for our economic wellbeing, there is growing unease about China's military build-up and its increasingly aggressive attitude over its territorial claims.

    The fact is that China's only really close friends in Asia are North Korea, Burma and Pakistan. India will inevitably find itself uncomfortable with China's growing power and that is already the case with Vietnam. Other middle powers, such as Indonesia, will also have to take account of how a more assertive China conducts itself.

    We have two scenarios here. The first is a China that continues to focus on its economic wellbeing and which increasingly sees it in its interest to be part of building a co-operative regional security environment (what Beijing calls "a harmonious region"). The second scenario is the one we must hedge against: it involves a militarily stronger and more dangerous China.

    The jury is out on which direction China will take. It is not prudent at present to panic and to build forces supposedly capable of tearing an arm off China. Nor is it time to kowtow and acknowledge the inevitability of Chinese primacy accompanied by, as some would have it, the equally inevitable decline of a US fatally weakened by its current economic difficulties.

    Paul Dibb is emeritus professor of strategic studies at the Australian National University. In 1978, as deputy director of defence intelligence, he visited China to open up defence relations.

    Another kind of Chinese History ( By Mark O'Neill | Asia Sentinel


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  • nogc_noproblem
    08-29 09:03 PM
    Dog Philosophy

    � The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue. - Anonymous

    � Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful. - Ann Landers

    � The average dog is a nicer person than the average person. - Andy Rooney

    � Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies, quite unlike people, who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and hate. - Sigmund Freud

    � Ever consider what our dogs must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul - - chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we're the greatest hunters on earth! - Anne Tyler

    � If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man. - Mark Twain

    � If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two of them. - Phil Pastoret

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  • rajs
    03-24 06:07 PM
    i thing some1 has complained to uscis about you,
    so your case is refered to NFDC , YOU might also get a interview call soon.
    or the best thing get your GD
    all the best


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  • Macaca
    12-27 06:43 PM
    Climate change leaves Assam tea growers in hot water
    Rising temperatures reducing yields and altering distinctive flavour of India's most popular drink (
    By Amarjyoti Borah | The Guardian

    Climate change is affecting the cultivation of Assam tea, with rising temperatures reducing yields and altering the distinctive flavour of India's most popular drink, researchers say.

    High hills and abundant rainfall make the north-eastern state of Assam an ideal place to grow tea, with 850 gardens over 320,000 hectares (593,000 acres) producing the majority of the country's harvest. But in the last 60 years, rainfall has fallen by more than a fifth and minimum temperature has risen by a degree to 19.5C.

    "This is clearly climate change, and it is bound to have major impact on the tea industry," said Debakanta Handique, a climate scientist in Assam.

    The Tea Board of India said it had recorded a steady decline in tea production in recent years. In 2007, Assam produced 512,000 tonnes of tea. By 2008 this had declined to 487,000 tonnes, with estimated production in 2009 down again to 445,000. A further decrease is expected this year.

    Mridul Hazarika, director of Tocklai Tea Research, the oldest tea research station in the world, said rainfall and minimum temperature were two of the most important factors affecting both quality and quantity of harvests.

    "The decline has been taking place although there has been an increase in the area of tea cultivation as new gardens have come up, and many gardens have added new areas for tea plantation. This is an indication of the seriousness of the threat," said Hazarika. Efficient rainwater harvesting and new breeds of tea plants were needed to reverse the trend.

    "Changes have already been observed in the flavour, but it is not possible to blame only climate change for this," he said. "Other factors like the fertilisers used and cultivation methods might also be partly responsible."

    The changing taste of Assam tea is a serious concern for growers. Sudipta Nayan Goswami, an Assam-based planter, said subtle changes had already been observed: "The flavour has changed from what it was before. The creamy and strong flavour is no more."

    "There is a huge demand for Assam tea abroad, and this is due to its strong, bright flavour. The changes will sharply hamper the demand for this variety of tea abroad."

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  • nogc_noproblem
    08-26 07:34 PM
    You've heard of the Air Force's ultra-high-security, super-secret base in Nevada...

    ..., known simply as "Area 51?"

    Well, late one afternoon, the Air Force folks out at Area 51 were surprised to see a Cessna landing at their "secret" base. They immediately impounded the aircraft and hauled the pilot into an interrogation room.

    The pilot's story was that he took off from Vegas, got lost, and spotted the Base just as he was about to run out of fuel. The Air Force started a full FBI background check on the pilot and held him overnight during the investigation.

    By the next day, they were finally convinced that the pilot really was lost and wasn't a spy. They gassed up his airplane, gave him a terrifying "you-did-not-see-a-base" briefing, complete with threats of spending the rest of his life in prison, told him Vegas was that-a-way on such-and-such a heading, and sent him on his way.

    The next day, to the total disbelief of the Air Force, the same Cessna showed up again. Once again, they surrounded the plane... only this time there were two people in the plane.

    The same pilot jumped out and said, "Do anything you want to me, but my wife is in the plane and you have to tell her where I was last night!"


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  • Mahatma
    10-02 09:10 AM
    Dear Ivians,

    I have not read all the mails. However, I want to express very naive thoughts (without a reading bias from previous mails) for now. I might reconsider some notions by the weekend until I am satisfied.

    I have studied Obama, CIR and immigrants plights all these years. Here is what I think could be positive:

    Obama is the kind of leader whao gets at the bottom the issues and tries to do the right thing (Watch Clinton's Florida speech, Oct 01, 2008 as to why he likes Obama!). He has the leadership skills and the strength of character to sway enough votes for any legislation including CIR. To me, so far he has shown Lincolnian charm. He is a serious guy who wants to do the right thing.

    He would try to balance middle class american families and unemployment situation. When close to half a millions jobs are lost, it is illconceivable for anybody to push for immigration reform eventhough we may be on the right side of justice and victim of broken system.

    There may be some tough situations for immigrants such as less outsourcing, american worker priority and other programs to promote STEM within the company. However, he will be the person to stand up for plights of tech workers. He understands the need and benefits of tech-immigration. As far as I know, his voting for H1 and CIR has been positive. It will be Obama and not someone elase whao will decide the policy. Durbin might tie the loose ends.

    My feeling is this: Let us trust this man. Explain to him through IV and any other channels our problems and how it impacts present and future of America. If we could successfully argue (by all pure means) for a "A business model where tech-immigrants bring benefits and rate of returns in a much higher and assured fashion than the stock market", we could win this debate.

    We are dealing with reasonable, smart and patriotic people. We need to continue to explore better methods to effectively communicate and win the deal. It is all about intellectual exercise to win a deal....

    It is always prudent to have back up plans, however, it should not distract us too much.

    haven't we agreed that GC is only worth so much and we do not want to have our life hostage to GC. At the same time, timely GC status gives better control of our career and discharging our family obliations. Sooner is better. However, we could do only so much.

    Let us continue to do our best and hopefully with a new administration, we would learn new equations.

    I trust in the ability of IV and IV-sympathetic constituencies to bring us deserved reward and recognition sooner rather than later.

    Staying positive, continuing to learn (lobbying and swaying), adapting to the environment (what are the business needs of main street and wall street and how leaders perceive those) and doing our best (use best of our minds and achess game of life.....a special gift of God to Indians and others) and learn to be happy.

    Remember, this is the first stroke of my pen.... I might revisit and reconsider some thoughts based on what most others are thinking.

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  • jkays94
    05-24 01:59 PM


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  • gc28262
    03-24 03:03 PM
    Again, I am not the one you should be asking to define "full-time" and "temp" type jobs. Ask USCIS or DOL or whoever is going to adjudicate your green card.

    I am simply saying that if USCIS has made a distinction between perm job and temp job, AND if they feel that consulting job is of temp type, someone along the line has dropped the ball and missed this. They also missed the fact that the employee needs to work at the LCA specified location. They also missed (or circumvented) that benching is not allowed.

    You can blame anyone and everyone for it. Maybe the immigration attorneys were the ones that should have warned both the employers and employees that consulting jobs do not fit the H-1B requirement. Maybe USCIS was sleeping all the while and suddenly they decided to start enforcing this. But the fact that they can ALL-OF-A-SUDDEN claim that H-1B visa is for permanent jobs only, AND that employees need to stay in the LCA location means that our lawyers, employers, and employees were incompetent in their judgment and did not do their due diligence to protect against potential audits and queries.
    I am telling you the same thing I told the other guy .... you don't need to give me justifications.

    Just hope that USCIS will buy your story!

    All your assumptions about H1B is only for full time jobs is flawed. USCIS has not said that. There is no law that says that.

    BTW why do you think LCA requirements are meant only for consulting companies ? It is applicable to all H1B candidates. That has been the law for a long time. Nothing new here for you to be happy about.

    Your posts are driven by your ignorance than any legal base. You need to educate yourself in immigration perspective.

    Why USCIS audits are focused on consulting companies ?
    It is not because consulting is not allowed on H1B. It is because they figured out that H1B violation are more prominent among small companies.

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  • h1techSlave
    04-15 10:11 AM
    Economists generally say 6 months of expenses.

    If you work in a hot technology with generally good job prospects I would say 3-4 months is good enough. Lot of people under estimate how much money they need on a monthly basis. My suggestion would be to calculate (last 12 months of your total after tax income - your actual savings amount) / 3. This is the amount you actually spend in an average 4 months period last year. Do not go by adding up various expenses. That might lead to missing various payments and would result in a lower monthly expense figure.

    But it would be a good idea to start life insurance for the principal money earner of the family and a will by both parents.

    We are looking to buy a house and the bank is asking us to put down 10%. How much money is considered safe to have after down-payment if we are buying a home. I know it depends on the situation, but I would like some estimates/ball-park figures.


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  • dealsnet
    01-07 06:46 PM
    From Forum Moderator

    We are forced to caution you that any use of profanity on the public forums, including when quoting others, will result in immediate ban from this forum without any further warning.

    Thank you for your understanding,



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  • Macaca
    12-29 07:47 PM
    Our Nation as a Startup ( By Rajeev Mantri | IndiaRealTime

    Doing business in India can be overwhelming for somebody accustomed to working in a more hospitable business environment. The World Bank�s Doing Business study ranks India 134th worldwide for ease of doing business, behind lesser-talked- about nations such as Tanzania and Ghana.

    Besides the well-documented inadequacy of physical infrastructure, archaic corporate and taxation laws are yet to catch up with modern ways of structuring and operating new ventures. Yet India is able to register high rates of economic growth year after year.

    U.S. President Barack Obama�s contention that India has already arrived is magnanimous � India is a startup with high potential but hasn�t made it yet into the pantheon of world powers. Like a startup, India is chaotic and unpredictable.

    Democracy adds another twist in the tale. As the last three months have shown, Indian politics can turn on a dime and the perception of political stability can give way very quickly. India�s business model is contrary to how other Asian economies have developed: India continues to be services-driven and domestically-oriented instead of being heavy on export-led manufacturing.

    This approach shielded the economy during the financial crisis. With growth driven by high-quality entrepreneurs who have been able to deliver despite a suspicious and often obstructionist state, it�s no wonder that investors continue to be bullish on India and tend to overlook major political and geopolitical risks.

    But high growth brings with it many quandaries. Though a happy problem to have, a growing enterprise faces its own management challenges. At the very least, the capacity of India�s executives and government to manage growth has been somewhat disappointing. India chose (some would argue that it stumbled upon) a bottom-up development model based upon entrepreneurship.

    We are now reaching a stage in the economic cycle where we need to push the envelop further, not negate the strategy that has served us very well over the last two decades. India saw two bursts of significant reform, from 1991 to 1996 under Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao and again from 1998 to 2004 under Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee. Since 2004, there has been virtually no reform initiated by the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government in areas such as labor law, where the current regime is constraining growth in manufacturing. This is impairing the quality of India�s economic growth and limiting job creation.

    Recently, Steve Jobs said that his company, Apple, is the world�s largest startup. It�s an interesting view given that Apple�s market capitalization, which is close to $300 billion, makes it one of the most valuable companies in the world. Apple also has zero debt and tens of billions of dollars in cash. From the brink of bankruptcy and irrelevance in 1998, Apple�s financial and competitive strength is now the envy of the technology industry.

    When Mr. Jobs returned as Apple�s CEO, he had a straightforward mantra: To rebuild Apple as a pioneering innovator and rescue it from the morass of creating �me-too� products, as he put it. He felt that the company he founded had forgotten what it stood for. This was audacious for a company struggling to stay on its feet.

    Indian administrators and policy-makers should also remember how high rates of economic growth have been achieved in the first place. Like a startup which has achieved a fit between product and market fit and is ready to scale up, India needs to continue providing its entrepreneurs with the space and environment to operate.

    Apple lost its mojo because it abandoned the strategy that made it what it was. Curiously, that strategy itself was not rigid and inflexible but one of continuous innovation, where Apple would make its products irrelevant before its competitors could. A return to this thinking has ensured the company�s rise through the 2000s. India, too, needs to return to policies that have transformed its economy from anemic to blistering growth.

    In Hindu philosophy, The Upanishads talk of the concept of �Atmanam Viddhi,� which roughly translates as �knowing oneself.� It turns out that self-knowledge is also a sound business strategy � to reach where you want to go, it�s first important to know how you got to where you are.

    The government must realize what it is that has delivered high rates of economic growth. Negating the ideas and policies that are driving India�s economic development by delaying the next round of economic reforms could prove to be immensely damaging to India�s economic prospects. India needs a visionary leader to step up and push through some of the changes that most agree need to be implemented � but few have the political courage to execute � or else an opportunity may be lost again.

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  • Macaca
    12-21 10:00 AM
    Republican Unity Trumps Democratic Momentum ( By CARL HULSE and ROBERT PEAR | NY Times, Dec 21, 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    09-26 07:53 PM
    Well I tend to go by the facts:

    Bill Clinton was good for immigration , everyone was happy in his days

    Eversince GW Bush took over, the USCIS has been consistently hitting below the belt to immigrant communities , right from Sep-11-2001. Not one thing was done for overall improvement in GC process. By this I mean congressional laws.

    Another reason I worry about is that McCains advisors are in favor of H1 visa. At no point they mention that they will also support GCs for EB immigrants. This means if he comes to power, there will be high influx of H1Bs without anyone gettting GCs. This seems to be worse than what Obama is planning to do. Maybe a few of us will have to leave in Obamas policy but those who remain here will be better placed. Under McCains policy, there will be a huge pressure on wages by H1B competing against other H1B while there is no reform in GC process. These ladies Carly Fiorina, Meg Whitman are big time in favor of H1 visa so as "to bring down salaries" and so that "they' can make more money. This is their only rationale in supporting H1s. I am not against H1s but the GC process also needs to be fixed. If GC process is not fixed more H1s is not only detrimental to us but also to the newcomers.

    Also when we try to get HR5882, the people like Steve King and Lamar Smith come from republican party. McCain is less likely to have any leverage on these individuals even if he comes to power. All of a sudden they can not change their stance on immigration. Another senator in the same bucket is Jeff Sessions.

    You guys tell me, should we be more worried about Jeff Sessions and Steve King or Dick Durbin? It seems that Dick Durbin is picking on Indian offshoring companies but nothing to indicate that he is against immigration in general.

    12-30 12:31 AM
    So what should India do?

    Not go to war overtly now. Start covert operations inside Pakistan on war footing and start funding and support for Balochi, Sindi, Mohajir, Pushtun, Baltistan freedom movements inside Pakistan.

    The Pakistani security establishment believes, and there is probably some truth in it, that India is already supporting groups that are trying to destabilize Pakistan. And because of that, they view India as an existential threat to Pakistan, and justify their own activities.

    Its quite a vicious circle.....

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