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  • engineer
    01-04 01:18 PM

    if we want to exchange usual blame game on both sides, we don't need to waste each other's time..we can read blames in respective newspapers which are available online.

    /Secondly, this is a pretty good opportunity for Indians and Pakistanis who live in the USA to engage in a conversation about the relations between their countries. I don't think this thread is anything more than that. So, unless I start asking you to loan ( me a million dollars, 'trust' is a moot point./

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  • Macaca
    10-14 11:06 AM
    Getting Around Rules on Lobbying: Despite New Law, Firms Find Ways To Ply Politicians ( By Elizabeth Williamson | Washington Post Staff Writer, October 14, 2007

    In recent days, about 100 members of Congress and hundreds of Hill staffers attended two black-tie galas, many of them as guests of corporations and lobbyists that paid as much as $2,500 per ticket.

    Because accepting such gifts from special interests is now illegal, the companies did not hand the tickets directly to lawmakers or staffers. Instead, the companies donated the tickets back to the charity sponsors, with the names of recipients they wanted to see and sit with at the galas.

    The arrangement was one of the most visible efforts, but hardly the only one, to get around new rules passed by Congress this summer limiting meals, travel, gifts and campaign contributions from lobbyists and companies that employ them.

    Last week, Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Republican leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) found bipartisan agreement on maintaining one special privilege. Together they put language into a defense appropriations bill that would keep legal the practice of some senators of booking several flights on days they return home, keeping the most convenient reservation and dumping the rest without paying cancellation fees -- a practice some airlines say could violate the new law.

    Senators also have granted themselves a grace period on requirements that they pay pricey charter rates for private jet travel. Lobbyists continue to bundle political contributions to lawmakers but are now making sure the totals do not trigger new public reporting rules. And with presidential nominating conventions coming next summer, lawmakers and lobbyists are working together to save another tradition endangered by the new rules: the convention party feting one lawmaker.

    "You can't have a party honoring a specific member. It's clear to me -- but it's not clear to everybody," said Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), chairman of the Senate ethics committee. She said the committee is getting "these questions that surround the edges -- 'If it's midnight the night before,' 'If I wear one shoe and not the other.' "

    Democrats touted the new ethics law as the most thorough housecleaning since Watergate, and needed after a host of scandals during 12 years of Republican rule. Prompted by disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff's wheeling and dealing and the jailing of three members of Congress on corruption charges in recent years, the law, signed by President Bush on Sept. 14, was heralded by congressional leaders as a real change in Washington's influence game.

    But the changes have prompted anxiety about what perks are still permissible. In recent months, the House and Senate ethics committees have fielded more than 1,000 questions from lobbyists and congressional staffers seeking guidance -- or an outright waiver -- for rules banning weekend trips and pricey wedding gifts, five-course dinners and backstage passes.

    Looking for ways to keep spreading freebies legally, hundreds of lobbyists have been attending seminars at Washington law firms to learn the ins and outs of the new law.

    At a recent American League of Lobbyists briefing, Cleta Mitchell of the Foley & Lardner law firm said that while the law bans lobbyists from buying lawmakers or staffers a meal, it is silent on picking up bar tabs. A woman in the third row asked hopefully, "You can buy them as many drinks as you want, as often as you want?"

    No, Mitchell said, not unless the drinkers are the lobbyist's personal friends, and she pays from her own pocket.

    If that rule was clear to some, two charity dinners allowed hazier interpretations.

    Most of the 40 lawmakers dining on red snapper ceviche and beef tenderloin at the recent Hispanic Caucus Institute gala at the Washington Convention Center got their tickets from corporations, said Paul Brathwaite, a principal with the Podesta Group lobbying firm.

    Brathwaite said about a dozen of Podesta's corporate clients bought tables of 10 for $5,000 to $25,000 for the Hispanic dinner and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation gala over the past three weeks. The companies then gave the tickets back to the foundations -- along with lists of lawmakers and staff members they wanted to invite. Some lawmakers did buy their own tickets, Brathwaite said, but many did not.

    The rules require that charity sponsors do the inviting and decide who sits where. But "at the end of the night, everyone is happy," said Hispanic Caucus Institute spokesman Scott Gunderson Rosa.

    "The corporate folks want us at their tables, of course," said Rep. Raul M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), who sat at a Fannie Mae-sponsored table at the Hispanic dinner.

    Another provision of the new ethics law bans House members from flying on corporate jets. But senators, including the half-dozen presidential candidates among them, can still do so. Previously they were required to reimburse plane owners the equivalent of a first-class ticket, but now they must pay charter rates, which can increase travel costs tenfold.

    The Senate ethics committee decided not to enforce that rule for at least 60 days after it took effect Sept. 14, citing "the lack of experience in many offices in determining 'charter rates.' "

    The decision surprised some Senate staffers, Mitchell said, one of whom e-mailed her to say, "Welcome to the world of skirting around the rules we pass."

    "Breathtaking. . . . In my view, they're not complying with the plain language of the law," Mitchell said. "I think it should be easier for members of Congress to travel, not harder. But what I don't appreciate as a citizen is Congress passing something but then interpreting it so it doesn't mean what the law clearly says."

    The law has dragged into view several such perks that members long enjoyed but didn't reveal -- until they sought exemptions to the new rules.

    Lawmakers for years have booked several flights for a day when they plan to leave town. When they finish work, they take the most convenient flight and cancel the rest without paying fees, a privilege denied others. But after the new law passed, some airlines stopped the practice, worried that it violates the gift ban.

    Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Robert F. Bennett (R-Utah) appealed to the Senate ethics committee to allow multiple bookings. Then Reid and McConnell added language to the defense bill that, if it passes, would extend the perk to staffers, too.

    New bans on corporate-paid fun could hit hardest at the 2008 presidential nominating conventions. The law prohibits parties honoring a lawmaker on convention days; some lobbyists say the wording means such parties before or after those days are okay. House and Senate members have asked the ethics committees for guidance.

    "That's one of the issues that's going to need some clarification," said Senate ethics panelist Ken Salazar (D-Colo.), whose home state will host the Democrats in August.

    Meanwhile, lobbyists are booking up Denver's trendy warehouse district and Minnesota's Mall of America, near the GOP convention site in Minneapolis-St. Paul, for the pre-convention weekends. Host committees for both conventions say they will honor state delegations, including members of Congress who take part.

    "I think you'll see a lot of umbrella invitations," said Patrick Murphy, lobbyist for mCapitol Management, who is planning Democratic convention parties. "Invite 'Friends of Montana' and see who shows up."

    One of the most fought-over parts of the law requires that lobbyists who bundle multiple campaign contributions totaling more than $15,000 file reports every six months. But lawyers say that a fundraiser for Hillary Rodham Clinton signals a way to avoid public reporting when that rule kicks in Jan. 1.

    Female politicos have been e-mailing each other a slick online invitation to "Make History With Hillary," a summit and fundraiser on Wednesday. The invitation encourages women to bundle for Clinton by promising them online credit for each ticket they sell. Women who have already donated their legal individual limit of $2,300 cannot attend unless they bring in another $4,000.

    "It's a universe of junior bundlers under the radar screen," said Kenneth Gross, a campaign finance lawyer at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. For the lobbyists among them, the amounts are so small that "you don't have to worry about tracking them, and it would add up to a material sum over time" -- but less than the $15,000 limit.

    If a lobbyist asked his advice on the practice, Gross said, "I'd say 'Go for it.' "

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  • Macaca
    12-10 08:55 PM
    Moving fast: Tech lobbyist races to results ( By Kevin Bogardus | The Hill, December 11, 2007

    �I really don�t have a strong partisan style. I just like getting things done,� said Hellmann.

    Under his helm, the lobbying team at the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI) has earned a reputation as a smart and aggressive advocate on Capitol Hill for the high-tech cause.

    Hellmann, 46, joined ITI in 2001 after several years advising House Republican leaders, including then-House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.). But politics was not always foremost on the Florida native�s mind. He describes himself as a former �beach bum� who did not vote in the 1980 presidential election because he could not choose between Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter.

    �Now I know better,� Hellmann said.

    By college, Hellmann�s interest in Washington had begun to simmer. He majored in political science and says he typically flipped to C-SPAN instead of MTV. In 1984, he took a job as a paid intern to then-Rep. Buddy MacKay (D-Fla.).

    Hellmann soon after switched sides and began to move up the ranks. He worked for several prominent GOP lawmakers, such as Rep. Newt Gingrich (Ga.), before becoming a key adviser to party leadership. There, Hellmann helped to push through welfare reform, anti-poverty legislation and the No Child Left Behind Act.

    The lobbyist always strived for results in Congress and saw the need for both parties to work together. Hellmann put that philosophy into practice as the liaison between then-House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-Texas) and the coalition of Blue Dog Democrats.

    �He knows substance, but even more importantly, he knows the institutional quirks and the process as well as anybody in town,� said Rep. Adam Putman (Fla.), the House Republican Conference chairman. Putnam credits Hellmann with educating members on �how the technology sector is a driver of the economy.�

    As ITI�s senior vice president of government relations, Hellmann says it is not difficult to lobby for his trade group�s members � corporations like Dell and eBay � since they are �the coolest companies in the world.�

    �We call it the �wow� effect,� said Hellmann. But gone are the days when high-powered executives for tech companies could fly into Washington once a year, meet with lawmakers and expect to achieve what they wanted on Capitol Hill, according to the lobbyist. Now, a daily, active presence is necessary to keep check on Congress, which can affect the industry on multiple fronts.

    Increasingly, other well-heeled business lobbies with decades of experience in Washington are weighing in against tech companies� interests. �We have to match them in shoe leather,� said Hellmann.

    Adam Kovacevich, Google�s Washington spokesman, described Hellmann as an excellent advocate for the tech cause � a �good consensus-builder� who has �a great understanding of what is actually possible on the Hill.�

    �He has never stopped building relationships with new generations of staff,� said Kovacevich, who worked at ITI in 2005.

    To maintain ITI�s lobbying prowess, the trade group executive has helped assemble a team of �type-A personalities� who can work with both parties and understand how Congress works. Each lobbyist has between five and 10 years of government service, Hellmann estimated.

    �With Rahm, we moved a million miles a minute and we got things done. I felt ITI worked the same way,� said Jon Hoganson, who recently joined ITI from House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emmanuel�s (Ill.) office. �It wasn�t about white papers and setting up meetings.�

    Hellmann credits ITI�s quick action with helping to convince Congress to set a date for the country to move from analog to digital television. The trade group and its member companies formed the DTV Coalition, and stressed in Hill meetings that the sale of spectrum bandwidth could generate $10 billion in federal revenue, according to Congressional Budget Office estimates.

    More recently, ITI has waded into the emotional battle over immigration. Hellmann�s German-born parents came to America in 1956 on his father�s employment visa, so the debate has special resonance for the lobbyist.

    �There is a strong nativist element in Washington right now,� said Hellmann. Republicans have weighed in against immigration reform.

    Democrats, meanwhile, have railed against trade deals, another ITI priority.

    With so much on the trade group�s plate, Hellmann plans to keep ITI up to date on Washington�s happenings and sees no need to slow down.

    �Politics is a fast-moving sport,� Hellmann said.

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  • indianindian2006
    08-02 07:01 PM

    A little unknown thing is that even if you get married to someone who is eligible for 245i; you also get that benefit. Even if someone divorced a person who was eligible for 245i; they still get the benefit.

    Therefore, someone who has overstayed, out of status and marries someone who had a labor or 130 pending before april 30, 2001 (even though this person was never out of status or overstayed); then spouse can claim 245i benefit.
    You mean the spouse gets 245i benifit even if the spouse was not present here on dec 2000 and came after 2001.


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  • sriramkalyan
    12-19 02:26 PM
    Looks like time to shutdown IV site..

    I suggested long time back .. do not allow anyone to start the threads ..

    Only allow users who are active contributors to IV budget.

    Now this site is becoming like yahoo chats ...

    God help Immigration community ...

    EB3 is not moving ...EB2 dead stop ...

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  • pmpforgc
    06-08 10:39 PM
    Are you new to Atlanta area?


    I am in atlanta area for above a year. Moved from SC. Any suggestions or comments on my earlier post?



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  • another one
    09-29 07:20 PM
    To me collateral damage to GC is more acceptable than the same to human life.

    On economic front, the only person on either side who truly supports free market policies is Ron Paul. He is the one of the few Republicans who actually thinks about balancing the budget. Tax cuts are ok, only if you back them up with reduced spending, without increasing the national levergage. National debt is now at 100% of GDP (in the company of zimbabwe and jamiaca) , 20-30% of future income tax will go towards paying of the interest on Govt tax. It will definitely crowd out future private investments. Look at the history of national debt, and correlate them to the administrations.

    "Supply side" tax reductions of Reagan admin were good but even he increased the debt during his tenure. Leveraging is good for private cos (to certain limit, as we can say from recent developments), but not for Govts, as they do not really do much economically productive activity. Keynesian economists have all been hiding in their basement in the last two weeks.

    It is just my belief that Repubs dumb down everything.. from education to how to sell a war or economic plan to people.

    So you are ok with "colateral damage" to your GC ? I have never seen a school force creationism on a child, as for reading its the same everywhere (i remember in india my catholic shool was at pains to teach us that Ramayan was a legend...i didnt change my religion because of that). How many wars were fought during regans adminstration? Do you remember the tax rate during the Carter years? people were shelling out 17% on home loans while banks were paying 13% interest on their CD's. Media driven pontification is ok as long as you can substantiate them with valid reasoning. (Clinton years were good for us but some say that it laid the foundation for the dot com crisis, which lead to easy credit and so on)

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  • ksr
    08-14 05:45 PM
    There is another thread in this section that somebody posted that has the answers. You can take the Fp and request re-scheduling for your family giving the travel iternary copy and date(s) when they would be available

    Thank You Krishna. I have just mailed Fp notices requesting for re-schedule.


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  • sledge_hammer
    03-24 02:42 PM

    Don't get me wrong, I feel you!

    But, simply saying that the law took a long time to catch up hence we should be let to continue exploiting the loopholes will not get us too far. And I think this is what you are asking for.

    We are here because USCIS allowed us to come here. We (employees, employers, immigration lawyers) should have done our due diligence in doing everything possible to protect ourselves against possible/potential audits and queries. Someone should have warned us that there is actually a difference between "temp job" and "full-time job" (EDITED: for GC requirements) like 20 years ago when this consulting business started. The very same people who did not warn us should actually have told us that LCA location is not to be taken lightly, that benching is not okay. All of these did not even occur to us when we enjoyed our lives in this nation.

    Yes, USCIS is awake all of a sudden. They are enforcing rules all of a sudden. They are scrutinizing our application all of a sudden. Is that illegal for them to do it? NO. Can something be done to stop them? Certainly NOT. What could we have done to avoid getting into the soup? Should have seen this coming!!!!!!!!

    I read your replies and it seems you are ignoring some facts and are forming a one sided opinion.

    - Why did USCIS allow labor substitutions? Why did it take them so long to stop it? Why did they wait until after July 07 to stop it. Were they not allowing people to use this back door and lawyers to make money?

    - If consulting is a problem, what were they doing in the past few years? What are they doing now? Do you think just a few raids once is enough to stop the problem? Why can't they enforce their own laws so that they punish the companies and not the immigrants.

    - Why is USCIS making paperwork difficult. Why can't the system be simple like Canada or Australia so that we can do our own paperwork? Why are lawyers in the picture?

    - If they find problem in consulting, why are they not going after Tata, Wipro etc. Don't tell me these companies are clean?

    - Why is USCIS so disorganized without good IT. Do you think other agencies are also same? Do you think USCIS does not have enough money?

    - Why can't they ban DV lottery? But go after H1Bs.

    - Why can't ICE do their job of enforcement and round up illegals. If they were strict we will not have so many illegals or the problem of illegals.

    The questions will go on. But you need to step back and think more from the perspective of a applicant waiting for his GC or H1B .

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  • Macaca
    08-07 07:38 PM
    Tougher Rules Change Game for Lobbyists ( By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK New York Times, August 7, 2007

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 6 � H. Stewart Van Scoyoc, founder of one of the biggest lobbying firms in Washington, spent an anxious morning with his lawyer last week assessing the far-reaching ethics and lobbying rules Congress had passed the day before.

    The first worry was what lobbyists are calling the new �temptation rules.� Not only do they bar lawmakers and aides from accepting any gifts, meals or trips from lobbyists, they also impose penalties up to $200,000 and five years in prison on any lobbyist who provides such freebies.

    And worse still for Mr. Van Scoyoc, under the new law he is required to certify each quarter that none of the 50 lobbyists in his firm bought so much as a burger or cigar for someone on a lawmaker�s staff.

    �You are basically asking people to certify, with big penalties, that nobody has lied on their expense accounts,� Mr. Van Scoyoc said, marveling at the complexity of policing such casual contact between lobbyists and Congressional aides. �These are people who are sharing apartments together, playing on the same softball teams, each other�young people with active social lives.�

    The new law has quickly sent a ripple of fear through K Street. It comes amid signs that federal prosecutors are taking a newly aggressive approach to corruption cases � including treating campaign contributions as potential bribes.

    By requiring them to certify the good behavior of their employees, the law puts lobbyists at new legal risk and could subject them to new pressure from prosecutors. And new centralized disclosures of lobbyists� campaign contributions, fund-raising activities and even their achievements � in the form of Congressional earmarks in spending bills � make it only easier for federal investigators to paint unflattering portraits of lobbyists� influence.

    �It will be easier to connect dots,� said Ted Van Der Meid, a Washington lawyer who was counsel to Representative J. Dennis Hastert when he was House speaker. �Even if there shouldn�t be a connection, you are going to have to explain to them how the way they connected the dots is not what you intended. You are going to have to basically prove your innocence.�

    Stanley Brand, a longtime Washington defense lawyer who usually represents Democrats, said the law was a sea change. �It should send shivers down lobbyists� spines,� Mr. Brand said. �It is a minefield now.�

    These are hardly the first restrictions, of course. Internal rules already barred lawmakers or senior staff members from accepting a gift or a meal worth more than $50 from a lobbyist. But the rules were rarely, if ever, enforced and did not govern lobbyists.

    President Bush has not said whether he would sign the bill, but it is already changing the culture of Capitol Hill in myriad ways, beginning with more Dutch treats and fewer steak dinners.

    Lobbying firms are racing to train employees in the new rules. One firm, fearful that prosecutors might try to use the expanded disclosures to link official actions to campaign contributions, has sent letters to its clients advising them how to respond if a lawmaker brings up fund-raising in a conversation about policy or procurements. �We would love to have this conversation, but it would have to be at another time� is the short answer.

    One lobbyist, who would speak only anonymously to avoid attracting the attention of prosecutors or rivals, said he had started sending himself date-stamped e-mail to create a record of every phone conversation he had with a lawmaker. Then he stopped making campaign contributions.

    Another lobbyist recently scaled back the menu at a breakfast briefing for lawmakers, offering bagels and cream cheese instead of ham and eggs. The rules permit lobbyists to provide refreshment of �only nominal value.� The House ethics committee guidelines suggest �light appetizers and drinks, or soda and cookies,� a standard that is known as �the toothpick test.�

    The firm also advised a client distributing flashlights on Capitol Hill � to promote government openness � to make sure not only that they cost less than $10 each but also that they looked cheap, to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

    And the �staff briefing� � in which a lobbyist enticed Congressional staff members to hear a talk about some dry legislative concern by offering pizza � has become extinct. No one will come without the free food.

    Lobbyists complain that Congress is unfairly punishing them for the misdeeds of its own members, not to mention ruining the social lives of innocent and underpaid staff members.

    �All those people who grew up in the system � who aren�t evil-doers, just good people � used to be able to entertain and have fun,� lamented Jim Ervin, a veteran military industry lobbyist.

    Jan Baran, a longtime Republican lawyer whose clients include lobbyists, said: �There is a great deal of resentment. It�s �the devil made me do it,� and the devil this time happens to be lobbyists. They get tarred with corruption, and the next day they get mail from all the same lawmakers who are blaming lobbyists saying, �I have a fund-raiser next week � don�t forget to contribute!� �

    Many lobbyists say the rules pose dilemmas. Blocking them from buying dinners or trips for lawmakers, lobbyists say, will only force them to spend more time and money at political fund-raisers to get the same access.

    For lawmakers, one of the most contentious elements of the package is the requirement that candidates disclose the names of federally registered lobbyists who solicit and �bundle� contributions. But lobbyists say the recognition may only encourage them to bundle. Ties to lawmakers are calling cards for clients.

    �That is not going to be viewed as the mark of Cain or anything,� Lawrence O�Brien III, a Democratic lobbyist and fund-raiser, said dryly. �It could be perceived as bragging rights.�

    Other lobbyists, though, worry that prosecutors� new tactics could make fund-raising more perilous. In plea agreements involving the lobbyist Jack Abramoff and former Representative Randall Cunningham, prosecutors have treated certain campaign contributions as bribes for official favors, something almost never done before.

    For lobbyists � who live at the nexus of contributions and favors � it is an alarming trend. �They might as well just pull up the paddy wagon outside the Capital Grille,� one lobbyist said, referring to a clubby steakhouse near the Capitol that is a well-known K Street hangout.

    Between the ban on buying dinners and the scrutiny of fund-raising, �It is a lose-lose situation,� said James Dyer, a lobbyist at Clark & Weinstock.

    A self-described �earmarks guy� who specializes in spending items, Mr. Dyer said the new rules were an invitation to scandal hunters. For the first time, the law will require disclosure of both the lawmakers who sponsor such items and the campaign contributions of the lobbyists who seek them.

    �It is a road map that says, �Hey, come look at me; I have got my name against an earmark,� � he said.

    Some loopholes exist. At the annual Aerospace Industries Association trade show in Paris last month, for example, military contractors treated a gaggle of senators to luxurious receptions at galleries, parks and hotels � all permitted under an exception for �widely attended events.�

    But John W. Douglass, the group�s president, said the new rules were putting a damper on such events. �Who wants to go to a hot, crowded cocktail party,� Mr. Douglass said, �and have to worry every time the guy brings the hors d�oeuvres tray up, �Should I do this or not?� �

    Still, some lobbyists and lawyers wondered privately how long the new carefulness would last.

    At the Capital Grille the evening after final passage of the new lobbying bill, private wine lockers by the door still bore the names of several prominent lobbyists. Two mounted stag heads were the only sentries policing the dimly lit bar. Shaking a Belvedere Vodka martini for a lone defense contractor, a bartender leaned in to offer his thoughts.

    �What happens at the Capital Grille,� the bartender said, �stays at the Capital Grille.�

    Fundraisers Tap Those Who Can't Say No ( 'Bundlers' Look to Associates, Employees for Campaign Cash By Matthew Mosk Washington Post Staff Writer, August 7, 2007
    Draining the 'Swamp' Is Not So Easy ( Skeptics Question Bite of Ethics Rules By Elizabeth Williamson Washington Post Staff Writer, August 7, 2007


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  • 485Mbe4001
    08-06 01:52 PM
    red dot for this post.... are you nuts or someone touched a raw nerve or you have lots of spare time to create controversies:confused:

    Lets petition USCIS to scrap EB3 and send them home. Rolling_flood needs his GC real bad... We are unavailable today and will be U in 2010. you can have our 3k visa for your category.

    Have you never jumped a line in your life, i bet you have.

    We see it all the time, people will find ways to move ahead and so will you..nothing wrong with that. What is wrong is demeaning or ridiculing a group for you selfish needs...good luck with the law suit.. the least it will do is highlight problem our to a greater audience (Y).

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  • nojoke
    04-06 04:50 AM

    I am also looking for buying house in new jersey and as you mentioned all good places with good schools have hardly any effect from recession and housing down turn. But any way if you have to buy a house for long term then no point in waiting. The only thing bad times do to good places is value doesn't increase like it does in good times. Any suggestions on areas in New Jersey with good school and affordable (I mean something in 350-450k)? I know some very good areas where worst looking house starts at 700k which is out of scope.


    I hope this is not a joke. You have any idea what kind of downturn we will be facing? Why did Fed jump in to bail out Bear Stearns against all the criticism? What they did is considered illegal by many. But still they did it anyway. Because the Government is very afraid of this shaky economy. We were just few steps away from bank runs.
    My friend bought house in Atlanta and within 3 months the builder sold the same model houses for 100k less. We are going to see a 30% to 50% reduction depending on the area.
    People who wanted to convince themselves said it will not happen in california. As things started unfolding, they said it will not happen in Bay area. Then they said it will not happen in San Jose and Santa Clara. Now they are saying not in their block.
    If you still think a good school will protect your house price, go ahead and catch the falling knife. To give you some idea of what people here are thinking -------------
    “Sinclair: ‘But the prices kept going up. At one time, our house was worth over $600,000. In fact, a model just like this they were asking $699,000 — and now things have entirely collapsed.”

    “A similar house down the street is already in foreclosure and the bank is entertaining offers for under $200,000.”

    “The Sinclairs stopped paying their mortgage in October when the payment jumped from $3,000 a month to $4,000. Now they’re basically squatting in their own home, living there for free. Sinclair: ‘We had to start making some hard choices, which included going into foreclosure on our house and kind of starting again.’”

    “Sinclair: ‘We would do it if the equity was there, but in a case where we’re already so behind… Imagine that for five years, say, we’re gonna pay four grand a month and then we’re just gonna be back up at what we bought the house for. We feel like we’re throwing away money.’”

    They are just walking away from their house because they see that their house value is going down. This all will feedback and cause further decline in the prices. Don't think that the prices will be back in 5 years. For someone who bought a house in 1989, it took 8 years to 9 years to get back to their purchase price. This time it will be worse.

    Guys, people are talking about Depression and you guys want to buy house in a good school district. These FB(search google what it means), are waiting for some greater fool than themselves to unload their burden. This is why you will be called "greater fool"
    If you want to loose your 200K in 2 years, go ahead. It is your money. Don't tell that you weren't warned, like all these mortgage companies and banks who are now saying - "who would have thought it would get this worse".

    Land is plentiful in california and NJ. There are building restrictions artificially imposed to keep the prices high. But this is past. No realtors are saying "we are not making any more land" these days. I have been following the housing blogs and they are laughing at Indians who are buying here in Bay area. Do some research before spewing the realtor propaganda and don't compare situation in India with US. Sorry for the rant. I am doing this with good intention to save atleast some of you guys.


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  • gccovet
    08-05 04:10 PM
    WOW!!!!!!!!!!Rolling_Flood will be ROFLOL!!!!!!
    What a waste of time, folks!!!!

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  • gcisadawg
    12-23 12:52 AM
    Unfortunately the religious muslim leaders dont want the community to get educated, prosper and westernized because than they would loose control..its precisely for this reason that the religious leaders of this community have for centuries scared the followers of the community with gods wrath if they changed. The Muslim religion has to become progressive and moderate.

    Hmm....I'm trying to answer these questions....
    What control a religious Muslim leader has on his followers? Can he prevent them from being educated or prevent one from working after he graduates inspite of his initial control? I've some Muslim friends. I'd be curious to check with them whether their careers got jeopardised by religious or political Muslim leaders?. Can you do me a favor. If you do have Muslim friends, can you check with them?

    I'm thinking in terms of the following..Sometimes I'm naive..Pls. excuse me for that...I haven't mastered the inner workings of Muslim community yet.

    A Muslim guy gets an offer from oracle, IBM and Wipro. He goes to a Mullah/MP to get advice about which to choose? Assuming our Mullah/local MP is knowledgeable, he says "dont do Oracle because it is run by a Jewish guy, dont to IBM since it is a company of great satan. Do Wipro since it is run by a Muslim". :)

    Okay, it is a bit too much. Can the Mullah stop a father from educating his daughter? Agreed, he might have some influence. But if the father is rational/already educated, he would treat that advice as suggestion rather than a firm decision.

    To me, Muslims need to educate their daughters more and more...And Muslim men need to stay away from gulf type jobs and come to US and be backlogged in EB GC so that they can join IV and reply to this thread so that some of the burden on ss1026 is lessened!! :)



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  • Refugee_New
    01-06 04:08 PM
    Alright dude, you asked for it. Here it is .

    Mosque :

    School :

    If you think, that Hamas is not doing a terrorist attack and endangering innocent civilians by their own actions, you are incredibly naive.

    I am interested in a peaceful solution and free state for Palestine, but this won't happen until Hamas is there. They used the agreed ceasefire to smuggle weapons through their tunnels and are now using them to bomb Israeli civilans.

    Israel's response is much more in magnitude, but can be justified. Imagine someone constantly lobbing bombs into Delhi neighborhoods every other day. How long would you sit and watch? At some point, you need to take action to remedy the problem and also send a message to the guys responsible not to try this again.

    Recently during Diwali celebration, one boy fired a rocket and it killed more than six people in Tamil Nadu. Offcourse this rocket was made in Sivakasi and it was an accident. It was a fire cracker. A simple fire cracker can make big accidents like this.

    But whole world is crying that Hamas fired 7000 rockets and killed innocent civilians and Isrealis are defending thier nation by killing thousands. What a crap man. You are condemning the killing of 4 Isrealis and not even bothered to feel about 600 innocent palestinians including school kids. What a hypocricy and what kind of human being you are?

    Hiding behind Civilian, hiding behind school kids, hiding in hospitals - Full of bullshit lies told by jewish owned medias like CNN and Fox. Have you ever heard from any moderate palestinians about thier plight? This is what those media feed us.

    Infact Isreal blocked medias including CNN from entering Gaza. Why? They don't want the world to watch their attrocities. Simple.

    I neither support Hamas nor justify their action. My point is, one nation is freely killing civilians and school kids, bombard schools, infrastructer, bomb goverment and civilian buildings, destroy roads and bridges, hospitals and destroying everything including their livelyhood and this world is watching silently. So called leaders of peaceful nations are encouraging this massacre. This is what troubles me.

    Its so pathetic and funny to see the world asking Hamas to stop firing and at the same time encouraging other side to kill more and more.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    8. WARNING: Consumption of alcohol may cause sufficient brain damage to make you participate in this debate (


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  • pitha
    10-03 03:55 PM
    To all those people who want Obama to win and are "hoping" that he would do something good for EB folks, I have one question

    Can anyone show one positive deed or statement by Obama regarding EB problems. Note legal immigartns does not mean EB it only means family based according to Obama,Durbin, Kennedy and the democratic clan.

    I am asking this question because I am puzzled at the number of people who want Obama to win in the face his and Durbins hostility towars us. So I am thinking maybe there is a something postive obama did for US (Eb) which I might have missed, so to educate myself can somebody please tell me what Obama did for us.

    The choice between Obama and Mccain is not good and better but between worse and worst, or lesser of the two evils. Mccain might not do anything for us but he might not do anything bad either, with Obama\Dirbin CIR there is only bad and nothing good for EB. I have an open mind can somebody please tell me something good obama said regarding solving EB problems. Everybody knows the venom spewed by Durbin on EB so no need to discuss that part.

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  • jung.lee
    04-05 10:29 AM

    I have been reading this thread with a lot of interest and could not hold back from commenting on the unbridled optimism many of you guys are showing towards the housing market, which reminds me of the "long tailed" euphoria that followed long after the NASDAQ had crashed over 50% in 2001 after the tech bubble, and people kept wishing it would come back long after it became clear to most cynical observers that it would take decades to achieve the same levels as before (and it hasn't yet)...

    Housing has not yet bottomed. It still has a long way to go. You guys may think that the foreclosures related to subprime resets have subsided so the market may recover. You haven't seen anything yet. Consider:


    Option ARMs (adjustable rate mortgages) and Alt-A ARMs are the next two shoes to drop. In case you've had your head buried in the sand, the economy is on verge of a collapse. Unemployment is soaring and many more companies are considering layoffs. Many economic observers are opining that we are already in recession.

    Desi junta, and others, I entreat you readers to please consider this seriously in your house purchase decisions. If for some reason you need to sell and move out, at a minimum you will be saving some money (by not losing your downpayment, for example) by choosing to rent. Rent a house/townhouse from a private owner if you are tired of renting an apartment and have growing kids - it's a "renters market" in the private rental marketplace right now with so many investment properties purchased during the housing bubble available for rent.

    I would like to offer up a few blogs, whose commentators should be taken seriously. I recommend you read and bookmark the following blogs if you want to follow the housing market and the economy:

    I like this website for people just starting out to get more financially educated (in an entertaining way):

    Good luck and please be careful before 'taking the plunge!'

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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

    01-28 12:16 PM
    Why should anybody listen to this guy? This guy doesnt really represent the facts.

    The fact is that he is against IMMIGRATION of any form. I am sure he denies the fact that fore-fathers were immigrants and came from a distant land.

    06-24 12:04 PM
    If you can rent the same house for 50% of your monthly mortgage and on top of it never have to worry about declining home prices why would you be more happy owning it?

    You should compare only the interest part of your mortgage payment when comparing with rent.

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