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  • Beemar
    12-26 12:52 PM

    Looks like we may see some action from India within hours now. The war clouds have been gathering ever since the Mumbai attacks. But now the signs of an imminent war are unmistakable.

    Apparently India had given pak a deadline of one month to hand over the perpetrators of this attack. The deadline expires on December 26th.

    Both India and pak have canceled the leaves of their military personnel.

    People in border villages of Rajasthan are evacuating.

    CNN has been reporting that paki troops are on the move.

    If my hunch in right, something big will happen in next 24 hours.

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  • SunnySurya
    08-05 10:27 AM
    I have utmost respect for you Walking_Dude. Your leadership and ethusasm is phenomenal. But even in IV , I comes before We.

    Personally, I don't think one necessary needs a immigration attorney for this. This is a public interest litigation. The task is definitly not easy but if 50 people can join hands and willing to shell out $500 dollars. It is doable. But I doubt that will happen.


    Ever wondered why a lawsuit never got filed against Labor Substitution, or stealing of EB Gcs by nurses, or against the discriminatory country quotas?

    Simple, you need an Immigration Attorney to file the case. The same AILA cardholding person who is expecting a windfall profit out of interfiling/PD porting. I am interested to see the immigration attorney who is willing to sacrifice profit for principle. It would be a first in history if that happen!!

    Good luck to everyone willing to participate in this wild goose chase. I guess you guys have too much money in bank to spend over such a mission impossible. If only you'd contribute equally to IV campaigns...

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  • gccovet
    08-07 03:40 PM
    Political Science for Dummies

    You have two cows.
    Your neighbor has none.
    You feel guilty for being successful.

    You push for higher taxes so the government can provide cows for everyone.

    You have two cows.
    Your neighbor has none.

    You have two cows.
    The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor.
    You form a cooperative to tell him how to manage his cow.

    You have two cows.
    The government seizes both and provides you with milk.
    You wait in line for hours to get it.
    It is expensive and sour.

    You have two cows.
    You sell one, buy a bull, and build a herd of cows.

    You have two cows.
    Under the new farm program the government pays you to shoot one, milk the other, and then pours the milk down the drain.

    You have two cows.
    You sell one, lease it back to yourself and do an IPO on the 2nd one.
    You force the two cows to produce the milk of four cows. You are surprised when one cow drops dead. You spin an announcement to the analysts stating you have downsized and are reducing expenses.
    Your stock goes up.

    You have two cows.
    You go on strike because you want three cows.
    You go to lunch and drink wine.
    Life is good.

    You have two cows.
    You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk.
    They learn to travel on unbelievably crowded trains.
    Most are at the top of their class at cow school.

    You have two cows.
    You engineer them so they are all blond, drink lots of beer, give excellent quality milk, and run a hundred miles an hour.
    Unfortunately they also demand 13 weeks of vacation per year.

    You have two cows but you don't know where they are.
    You break for lunch.
    Life is good.

    You have two cows.
    You have some vodka.
    You count them and learn you have five cows.
    You have some more vodka.
    You count them again and learn you have 42 cows.
    The Mafia shows up and takes over however many cows you really have.

    You have all the cows in Afghanistan , which are two.
    You don't milk them because you cannot touch any creature's private parts.
    You get a $40 million grant from the US government to find alternatives to milk production but use the money to buy weapons.

    You have two cows.
    They go into hiding.
    They send radio tapes of their mooing.

    You have two bulls.
    Employees are regularly maimed and killed attempting to milk them.

    You have one cow.
    The cow is schizophrenic.
    Sometimes the cow thinks he's French, other times he's Flemish.
    The Flemish cow won't share with the French cow.
    The French cow wants control of the Flemish cow's milk.
    The cow asks permission to be cut in half.
    The cow dies happy.

    You have a black cow and a brown cow.
    Everyone votes for the best looking one.
    Some of the people who actually like the brown one best accidentally vote for the black one.
    Some people vote for both.
    Some people vote for neither.
    Some people can't figure out how to vote at all.
    Finally, a bunch of guys from out-of-state tell you which one you think is the best-looking cow.

    You have millions of cows.
    They make real California cheese.
    Only five speak English.
    Most are illegal.
    Arnold likes the ones with the big udders.

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  • xyzgc
    12-17 04:24 PM
    Now you may go and dig out my previous postings too!

    Ah! all these red dots are showered on me by you kinda folks for questioning this type of nonsense!

    Bring it on more (red dots) LOL

    Want to discuss which airlines to boycott?:D...
    There is an IV thread for you!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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  • hpandey
    06-26 03:41 PM
    There is a myth with deduction:

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

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

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

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

    Again where are you getting that 550K value for a house from . The houses that were 500K two years back are now 400 - 450K ( exclude the extremes ). Why the HOA - can't the house be a single family home like most of US .

    Taxes - well I was not saying you get the whole money back but are taxes the only reason one should not buy a house ?

    Housing price correction has already happened in most of the good areas. If you think that they are going to go down 20% more that is never going to happen. People are not going to sell. They will just say put rather than take a 40% loss.

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  • unseenguy
    06-23 04:17 PM
    ca_immigrant, you have brought up good points and the sophisticated rent vs buy calculators are available online for free which anyone can run math in 10 mins. Rents are holding steady in CA, so calculations might play a bit differently in CA.

    First of all, 5% is not available today for 30 yr fixed, its more like 5.25%. Another attractive option could be 5 year ARM or 7 year ARM if you can make additional payments for the principal, it will significantly bring down the principal amount owed at the end of first 5 years if you make CONSISTENT (per month) additional payments.

    I live in WA, I searched MLS & zillow for recently sold homes, most homes are going for 15-20% less than owner asked priced. Avg 3 bedroom house price here is 500K.

    1. I do not qualify for tax rebate offered this year due to income level restrictions (spouse works)
    2. Rents in Seattle have fallen steeply. Last year (aug), I was searching for apartment, I was offered at 1600 or 1700. The same apartment is now going for 1450. Some have fallen more steeply upto 1200 of the same class. I can get a very good/posh 2 bedroom apt for 1050 USD per month in today's date if I move out 5 miles more. It was unthinkable in seattle area 1 yr back.

    As you said, monthly payment on a 500 K house comes to around 2750 USD, thats true even in seattle. Thats 1750 USD more than the rent or atleast 1500 USD more than the rent.

    The gamble would be to stay in 1050 rent house for 2 more years and save bigger nest for downpayment. And prepare for the prices to fall more. say 25% more.

    Even if I offer current owners 20% less , the math does not make sense for me. Hence I am expecting 30% -35% correction from current expectations of the owners.

    Dont get me wrong, the owners would still be making a profit on homes constructed before 2003 even if there were 30% more correction.

    One thing we all know for sure is , home prices are not about to go up spectacularly. Maybe 30-40 K up in 2 years from now. When you are thinking of 10-20 year deals, thats not a lot, its peanuts :)

    As of now, I am thinking of buying a nice car instead of a house, since I can talk down car owners equally and since my GC is in geopardy, buying a car for now makes better sense. :)

    As someone said we should consider luxury of a house. I have rented one townhome for 1500 a month for which my neighbour is making 2800 USD payment, go figure :)


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  • skakodker
    12-31 10:58 AM
    India needs to look inwards for answers.

    We elect (those of us who actually vote) brigands, murderers and looters and expect leadership. They loot us, abuse our martyrs (re: the Kerala CM), and in turn, expect our mute subservience. Where is the interest in protecting the tax-paying citizen? Who cares? Look at how these vultures behave - Narayana Rane, Vilasrao Deshmukh, that ass-clown in Kerala. What a disgrace!

    Corruption has taken root in the administration and even some parts of our military services. Nothing gets done without someone's palms being greased first - openly and without shame. My friends in the IAS live like kings. When they visit New York, they live in the Waldorf Astoria! Meanwhile, our brave soldiers are called upon to give all they have in avoidable debacles like what we witnessed in Mumbai.

    One thinks twice before reporting a crime to the Police for fear of persecution. Journalists who catch Politicians accepting bribes on video camera are chastized. Many parts of India remain as backward and undeveloped as the day we kicked the British Raj out. Some might say they've regressed even further. I sometimes wonder if Churchill was right when he said that we'd only mess things up if they gave us Independence.

    Yet, since 50 milliion Indians are enjoying relative economic well-being, we believe that India is shining.

    Will attacking Pakistan really make India safer? Really? I have yet to see a single instance when violence was not met with more violence. Look at the Middle East, Sri Lanka, Kashmir, Iraq, Colombia, Peru - the list goes on and on and on.

    The fix is internal. Our freedom fighters came up against what was then thought to be an unmovable object and somehow moved it. There must be a way to leverage the tools they used with today's technology to help us bring change and conduct our affairs with dignity and courage. Attacking Pakistan will only bring to India the problems that overran them. They are pitiful.

    Peace to all.

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  • mariner5555
    03-24 12:01 AM
    I live in NJ close to the cherry hill area and i am looking to buy only in Burlington county. I have been living here for about 9 years now and so far haven't thought of investing here. I invested in india and the investment appreciated 4 times or more so i am happy about the decision. I actually needed a bigger place now and i am not seeing that as a investment but if it turns out that way that's fine with me. I just wanted to find out what are people's experiences with the house escpecially for those who are under H1/EAD. well the experience that I gave above was as good as I could since it was told to me in person. it all depends on yr long term horizon u think u will be in NJ for a long time ? if yes and if u are getting a good deal, then house makes sense - price of house would always go up by the cost of inflation + 1 percent (except during bubble burst now) - and I guess RE in NJ will always be in demand ..but u would know better.
    house is definitely better in many many respects --
    if u don't see it as an investment -- then why not ..take the plunge !!
    The only problem that I have (in my case) is GC !! and the fact that prices went up by average of 10% during last 4 - 5 years - which is craziness (And as we know now - a bubble). I for one am not a sucker who wants to pay high for an asset than it is actually most areas in US atleast --land is plenty and time it takes to build infrastructure is less . demand is low and will be low -- and I don't think of renting as throwing money (did extensive research on the same) - as of now I am happy as I have lot more time on hand , commutes are shorter and the money that I save - I am investing aggresively in stocks etc. here is a latest article about home prices - I guess bottom in 2009 feb ?
    Even as sales have plunged, more supply has come on the market, from home builders, foreclosed homes, and from owners who need or want to sell. It'll take a year at least to work off the excess supply, which is driving prices lower.
    Falling home prices could be keeping some buyers on the sidelines, waiting for a better deal. But prices have already fallen significantly, which means more potential buyers can find an affordable house.
    The two major home price indexes will be released on Tuesday by Standard & Poor's and the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight. S&P's Case-Shiller index will probably see a decline of 11% in the 12 months ending in January, down from 9% through December, according to economists at UBS.
    Futures markets predict home prices will fall another 14% by next February, UBS said.



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  • pmb76
    07-14 04:29 AM
    IV core,

    Pani's letter completely undermines IV's initiatives. IV has to move in one single direction not in 10. If this guy wants to send a letter he should not be allowed to send it using IV's banner. Please request this guy to either stop this letter campaign or NOT use IV's name. I do not understand how jokers like Pani are tolerated by IV. IV must disown this guy and his dangerous campaign.

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  • go_guy123
    07-28 02:35 PM
    Come the November Elections, Dems could lose 10 in Senate..

    And we are back to square one.

    Dejavu 2007/2008 ;

    If this happens, no bill will pass, leave alone Immigration Reform.

    Republicans will keep sending bills and Obama will Veto 'em.

    But if you look past history, skilled immigration has had allies when Republican have been in power. Its a wrong notion that h1B/Eb people have that democratic party is for immigrant. Actually Democratci party is for the illegal masses only.


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  • milind70
    07-11 11:21 AM
    Thanks Milind70,

    I had submitted the lattest I 94 to my company

    but somehow they filed ext with I 94 that came along with i 797

    now i will get three yr ext with I 140 cleared

    then i can get new i 94 with stamping

    You mean,
    talk to immigration officer now at local off?
    can they correct that i doubt since its already expired and i have new I797 with I94

    I think the best case for you is when u get your 3 year extension
    go to your home country for stamping and make sure u submit all your I 94s
    when u leave even the one that came with 797 .
    Whne u reenter you will get a new I 94.

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  • validIV
    06-25 12:28 PM
    All you and the renters here are doing is speculating. Speculators, from my experience, always buy and sell at the wrong time because all they do is guess. Even if prices do go lower in 2011, speculators will speculate that it will go down further and continue to hold off then miss their chance. Same problem with now in 2009, you missed the low interest rates and who knows when they will come back down to the 4s again. Personally I hope they do come back, cuz I missed a chance to refi one of my properties. You are not only losing your rent money to a landlord, but you are also losing valuable time that you could've used to knock off your mortgage.

    As for only putting 20% down and people saying that they want to buy their homes outright� they are idiots. You never pay full price or more than 50% for a home, even if you can afford it. Pay the downpayment, then invest the rest of that money elsewhere and build even more from that money. That is called leverage and thats what good smart investors do. They use the system, they leverage their money and NEVER pay full price. If you have $800,000 and want to buy an $800,000 3 family house, u dont use all ur money on it to pay it all in one shot. You buy 3 or 4 of them, paying 20% down then rent it out, use the rent money to pay the mortgage hold and sell after 20-30 years. Use the rest of the money and invest that in a portfolio or start a business. After 30 years all your properties will be paid off by renters like the people here. You can sell them, give them to your kids, whatever. But don't tell me you're not coming out ahead.

    And for the people that are proud to have more than 1 car and paid it all off� a car is not an investment. Unless you buy an antique that you can sell for more than what you paid for, it is not comparable to owning a home. I have a car, it degraded in value the minute i drove it off the lot. Its great for vacations, going around, getting to work whatever. But I am not proud to own a degrading liability even when its been fully paid 5 years after I bought it with no chance of increasing its value.

    I have no problems with renters like you or others in this forum. I make money from you. I don't care if you terminate your lease early because another renter will take your place. All renters do is throw away their money and will never get it back. I will use your rent money to pay my mortgage. But don't try to tell me that owning a home is a bad idea. Owning your own home is NEVER a bad idea and 68% of America agrees. You will ALWAYS need a place to live in.

    Nobody is saying that the world is coming to and end in 2 years.IMHO myself and many others would agree that long term buying a house makes sense. The question is does buying now if you haven't already bought your primary residential home make any sense.

    From the current data, Do you think a guy who buys a house in 2009 would come ahead of somebody who would buys in 2011 when the housing market may have fully bottomed out ? I know its impossible to time the market. But all indicators to name a few below point that home prices should continue to decline.

    Unemployment is still on the way up. We will cross 10% anytime soon is a given.
    Excess housing inventory
    Home prices are still above the trend line. Historically its common for the correction to swing even below the trend line before it stabilizes.

    Again IMHO, If you haven't bought a home yet, Save so that you can make a bigger down payment (Own more of the house when you buy one) and check the market again mid 2010.

    Giving your example.
    Lets say guy buys in 2009, and another guy buys in 2011 (Assuming home prices would have further gone down using existing data points).. Who do you think would come ahead in 2019.


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  • Macaca
    12-27 06:59 PM
    India chasing a U.N. chimera ( By K. S. DAKSHINA MURTHY | The Hindu

    In recent years it has become standard practice for the Indian media to ask visiting foreign dignitaries where they stand on New Delhi's claim to a permanent seat in the UNSC. If the answers are in the affirmative, there are smiles all round and the glow is then transmitted to readers or viewers as the case may be.

    Among the Permanent Five in the Council, the United Kingdom has long affirmed support, so have France and Russia. China has remained non-committal. So the United States' stand was deemed crucial. When President Barack Obama, during his recent visit, backed India for a permanent seat, the joy was palpable. The media went to town as if it were just a matter of time before India joined the select group of the World's almighty. The happiness lasted a few days until the first tranche of WikiLeaks punctured the mood somewhat.

    The revelation of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's classified whisper, describing India as a self-appointed front-runner exposed Washington's innermost thoughts on the subject. Though the embarrassing leak was subsequently sought to be played down, it opened the curtain to a larger truth which is that the U.S. and the other four have never really been interested in real reforms to the Security Council.

    Public pronouncements, positive affirmations and slap-on-the-back relationships don't necessarily translate into action on the ground.


    Jakob Silas Lund of the Centre for U.N. Reform Education states a few individuals within the process believe that some of the Permanent Five countries “are more than happy to see reform moving at near-zero-velocity speed”.

    The reforms are open to interpretation. Broadly, they mean democratisation of the Security Council to make it representative and in tune with the contemporary world. This, for some, means more permanent members. The Group of four — India, Brazil, Japan and Germany — has been the most vocal in demanding it be included.

    What is surprising, especially where India is concerned, is the hope and optimism that it is heading towards a permanent seat. In reality, a committee set up by the United Nations 17 years ago to go into reforms shows little signs of progress.

    The first meeting was held in 1994 of the U.N. group, a mouthful, called the “Open-Ended Working Group on the Question of Equitable Representation and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council and Other Matters Related to the Security Council”. Until now, this group has completed four rounds of negotiations, just on preliminaries.

    A brief peek into the past will make it clear that the addition of more veto-wielding permanent members to the Council is a veritable pipe dream. For any amendment to the U.N. charter, two-thirds of the General Assembly needs to acquiesce. This may be possible but the next requirement, that of ratification by the Permanent Five, is the real obstacle.

    Since the formation of the United Nations in 1945, there have been only a handful of meetings of the Security Council to discuss the original charter, and even that, merely to discuss minor amendments. One of some significance came about in 1965 when the membership of temporary, non-veto powered countries in the Council was increased from six to 10 and the number of votes required to pass any decision increased to nine from seven.

    As academic and U.N. commentator Thomas G. Weiss wrote in the Washington Quarterly, “Most governments rhetorically support the mindless call for equity, specifically by increasing membership and eliminating the veto. Yet, no progress has been made on these numerical or procedural changes because absolutely no consensus exists about the exact shape of the Security Council or the elimination of the veto.”

    The argument for a bigger, more representative Council is undoubtedly valid but the issue is who will implement it and how.

    U.S. is the prime mover

    In today's global equation the U.S. is the acknowledged prime mover. It has already had to sweat it out to convince the other four members to go with it on several issues, like the sanctions against Iran. If more countries are allowed to join the Council the difficulties for U.S. interests are obvious, even if those included are vetted for their closeness to Washington.

    Real and effective reforms should have meant democratisation of the Security Council to reflect the aspirations of all its members. Ideally, this should mean removal of permanency and the veto power to be replaced with a rotating membership for all countries, where each one big or small, powerful or weak gets to sit for a fixed term in the hallowed seats of the Council. This is unthinkable within the existing framework of the United Nations. At the heart of the issue is the reluctance of the Permanent Five to give up the prized veto power.

    The situation is paradoxical given that democracy is being touted, pushed and inflicted by the U.S. across the world. But democracy seems to end where the Security Council begins. The rest of the world has no choice but to bow to its decisions. The consequences for defying the Council can be terrifying as was experienced by Saddam Hussein's Iraq through the 1990's. Iran is now on the receiving end for its defiance on the nuclear issue.

    Not just that, the credibility of the Security Council itself took a beating over its inability to prevent the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. Having failed to convince France, Russia and China to vote for invading Iraq, the U.S. went alone. The Council was reduced to a bystander. It failed to fulfil its primary task, that of ensuring security — to Iraq.

    What this also implies is that Council or no Council, in today's unipolar world, the U.S. will go with what it decides and no one can stop it. This has been the case particularly since the end of the Cold War. “With a U.S. global presence as great as that of any empire in history, Security Council efforts to control U.S. actions are beginning to resemble the Roman Senate's efforts to control the emperor,” writes Weiss.

    Instead of trying to clamber onto a patently unfair arrangement it would have made more sense if the four self-appointed front-runners along with the rest of the world had demanded a more equitable and representative Council.

    To achieve this, academic and U.N. expert Erik Voeten suggests pressure tactics to counter veto power. One tactic is for countries en bloc to ignore the decisions taken in the Security Council. Another is for Germany and Japan, which are among the largest contributors to the United Nations, to turn off the tap.

    Despite this, if nothing happens, countries may have no choice but to look for, or at least threaten to float, an alternative U.N.-like organisation whose structure would be more in tandem with the contemporary world. Idealistic, perhaps. But this should force the Permanent Five to sit up and take real notice.

    K.S. Dakshina Murthy was formerly Editor of Al Jazeera based in Doha, Qatar

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  • Macaca
    12-23 11:04 AM
    'D' in Democrats means Do-Nothing ( BUSH, REPUBLICANS GET THEIR WAY ON MOST ISSUES DESPITE VOTERS' MANDATE TO CHANGE DIRECTION Mercury News Editorial, 12/23/2007

    When the Democrats won control of Congress a year ago, they promised bold new leadership. Things would change, they said. They had a mandate.

    But they didn't have the votes to stand up to veto threats by Bush and filibusters by Senate Republicans. They didn't have the bold new leadership, either. A year later, Congress is lamer than the lame-duck president.

    On the Democrats' No. 1 issue, the war in Iraq, it's been a year of defeat and surrender. They were going to "bring the troops home." Instead, President Bush sent more troops to Iraq. The "surge," coupled with a new counter-insurgency strategy, has led to a sharp decline in military and civilian deaths. All attempts to link war funding to a withdrawal timetable fizzled. Giving up completely, Congress passed $70 billion in no-strings war funding before the Christmas recess.

    Democratic leaders blame their impotence on Bush's obstinacy. Bush didn't compromise. He didn't have to.

    Democrats talked about limiting the excesses of the Patriot Act, banning cruel CIA interrogation tactics and closing the Guant�namo Bay internment camp. Didn't happen.

    Instead, Congress authorized warrantless surveillance for six months by passing the Protect America Act before the August recess. Democrats were forced to push discussion on making the surveillance rules permanent into January. Bush will likely win this one, too.

    After months of wrangling, Congress approved an omnibus budget bill that gave Bush the spending levels he wanted.

    Promising fiscal discipline, the Democrats vowed to pay for any tax cuts with tax increases elsewhere or spending cuts. That "pay as you go pledge" was put aside to pass a popular bill protecting 23 million middle- and upper-middle-class taxpayers from paying $2,000 extra under the alternative minimum tax. Since the tax was originally designed to prevent the super-rich from using tax shelters, conservative Democrats tried to close tax shelters used by super-rich hedge-fund managers to cover the $50 million revenue loss. They lost.

    Congress made baby steps toward fiscal discipline by trimming "earmarks" for pet projects by 25 percent from 2006, estimates Taxpayers for Common Sense. But legislators OK'd more than $15 billion for more than 11,000 pork-barrel projects.

    President Bush didn't win them all: Social Security reform went nowhere, reauthorization of No Child Left Behind was postponed to 2008 and he couldn't rally enough Republicans to pass a complex and controversial immigration bill.

    But this wasn't supposed to be his year. The triumphant Democrats made big promises a year ago, but delivered modest results. Democrats increased the minimum wage, enacted the Sept. 11 commission's recommendations into law and expanded student loans.

    Most notable was the energy bill, which included the first increase in fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks in 32 years.

    However, Democrats dropped plans to repeal tax breaks for oil companies and require more use of alternative energy. Bush insisted. Congress caved.

    On other issues, Congress acted and Bush vetoed. Congress expanded health insurance for children and approved federal funding for stem cell research, but couldn't overcome Bush's "no" vote.

    Stymied repeatedly, Congress saw its approval ratings fall to record lows. When you're less popular than George W. Bush, you're pretty darned unpopular.

    "I don't approve of Congress, because we haven't . . . been effective in ending the war in Iraq," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco told reporters in response to the polls. "And if you asked me in a phone call, as ardent a Democrat as I am, I would disapprove of Congress as well."

    2008 will be a year of partisan politics. No doubt Republicans will run against the do-nothing Congress. That could backfire. Democrats will tell voters that if they want Democratic policies - and most people tell pollsters they do - they need to put a Democrat in the White House in 2008.

    For the next 11 months we can expect more of the same from the lame duck and lamer Congress.


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  • lfwf
    08-05 03:09 PM
    Never said that. That was just a "story" response to a "story" post. The intent of the post is DO NOT TRY TO FRAME THE ISSUE IN ONE STORY. THERE ARE MANY STORIES.


    However you offered no answer to the original question raised by the "story". If you spend years doing an advanced degree instead of working with a bachelors, should you be penalized for all those years? many of us are being penalized. We get PDs when we finally start working. And folks who port based on experience working during that time then jump ahead of us in EB2.
    You will have to explain how this is fair.

    Instead of addressing the issue you threw in the red herring about rich kids. That was uncalled for in this debate. How do we know the EB3 bachelors was not paid for by rich parents? And are we now to penalize those with rich parents?

    I worked through many years and educated myself highly. Now I am to be told that anyone who came to the US with me OR after me and managed to get a job early on and a PD, has to be ahead of me because they were "waiting"? So I was not waiting just because I got advanced degrees and had to wait for my PD? Why do you think preference categories were created at all? Why not just one big pool?

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  • chanduv23
    09-29 11:00 AM
    Obama presidency will be a positive experience or a negative, based on whether Sen. Obama chooses to show Leadership or panders to the extreme left-wing of his party.

    Obama has everything to gain from supporting the EB community. An example is the loyal following Pres. Clinton has developed with the Asian community through the passage of recapture in the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act. Passing pro-EB immigration bills will definitely create a pro-Obama community as he gets ready to run for the second term. Though these new Permanent Residents may not be having the vote, they can contribute generously to the Obama campaign legally.

    Obama campaign won't be able to bank on 'Hope and Change' for the second term. Contributors will be judging him based on what he has done for their community. As he faces the Republican money-machine these contributions from the grateful former-EB immigrants will create a safe avenue for funding.

    Helping EB immigrants will not hurt Obama with the labor unions and left-wing groups. Whatever be their gripes, they will not be voting Republican or contributing Republican for sure. Same cannot be said of EB immigrant community who can by and large go Republican, if they see Obama working to the detriment of their interests and the community. With Asian votes and more importantly being so crucial in NY/NJ and CA, If I were Obama I would think hard before supporting anything that can turn these communities against me, and my party for a long time given the uncertainties of politics. If past trends have been any indication EB immigrant community has always voted solidly Democratic. Last thing any sensible leader or party will do in democracy will be losing thousands of future voters likely to vote for them and/or their party.

    Obama can either create a lasting Legacy with this community.Or he can make them angry for life by pandering to the extreme left-wing of his party, who won't even remember the action come the next elections. I hope Obama makes a sensible choice for the greater good. But if the current Democratic party politics is any indication, I am skeptical. It is beyond my understanding why the Democratic party leadership is hell-bent on converting the pro-Democrat EB immigrant community into future reliable Republican voters, by consistently black-balling any bills that could help the community!

    Passing anti-EB immigrant measure will NOT help the Dems get any new votes that they already don't have. Dems may lose a few votes for short term -which I highly doubt - by passing Recapture and other pro-EB bills. But that loss will be more than offset by new grateful voters who will vote Democratic for a generation and may be more. I can only hope that common sense prevails, and Obama acts keeping the common interests of his party and EB immigrants in mind while acting on the issue, while getting ready to pack-up for Canada or India, if forced to do so by Sen. Durbins pet policies.

    In my opinion, Sen Durbin's stance on EB immigrants would be the cause of concern and like we all know Sen Durbin will make calls on these issues if Sen. Obama becomes the President. Lets see how it unfolds.

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  • unitednations
    08-02 10:51 PM
    ouch. there is always uncertainty, all steps of this gc process :(

    thanks for the note. I only hope they 'go after' people if they suspect fraud or out of status or salary issues etc.

    We are just a widget/number to uscis adjudicator. All of these ability to pay denials were very scarce prior to 2004. However, in 2003 and 2004 a lot of the 245i labors got approved (gas stations, restaurants, etc.). USCIS started to see a lot of bogus companies filing for people. They decided to clarify in a memo how they were going to look at ability to pay. Now; ability to pay was used rarely, in those cases that didn't look genuine (if you go to AAO decisions you would have seen the type of companies that uscis usually went after). However, to combat the 245i labors they started to apply the memo to all companies. Just imagine that a company with $20 million revenue can get ability to pay denials; but a company with $15,000 in revenue can get approval.

    04-08 11:44 PM
    Not that I am going to buy right now., but want to get my home work done.

    Can anybody suggest some good guidelines for mortgage financing., like FHA loans (if I-485 applicant can qualify) and good lenders.

    Thanks for all the great info.

    07-13 01:27 PM
    I like that splitting the overflow across EB2-EB3 idea. That does make it a lot more fair to a lot of people. Its not right that people with 2001 PD still dont have an approval (I have a 2006 PD, but have been here for ~8 years, so I know how frustrating it is to wait so long on temporary status)

    At the outset, I am not against EB3, but lets think about this for a moment. Any logic that we use to break up spillover between EB2 and EB3 can also easily be applied to EB1 and EB2. I'll repeat an earlier post of mine. "How can EB1 of 2008 get the GC immediately when EB2-I (in my case) has to wait for more than 4 years - clearly preference is at play here".

    Any split will artificially retrogress EB2 more than what it otherwise would have. Similarly one can always argue to artificially retrogress EB1 to give more visas to EB2 just because someone from EB2 is waiting for 4 years.
    Isnt that against the law. Any break up of spill over visas invalidates the category preference as per current law.

    Please also note that any unfavorable change to the EB1 category based on a hypothetical approval of an EB2/EB3 break up will invite the attention of Fortune 500 companies and prestigious research/educational institutions (who use EB1 the most) with all their political and financial resources at their disposal. That could put a halt to everything.

    Irrational passion calls for dispassionate rationality.

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