Far from subverting democracy lobbyists help to promote it
Niira Radia should be given the Padma Shrimati next year. As each new tranche of the leaked tapes of Radiagate are made public it becomes increasingly clear that, far from sabotaging India's democracy, the lobbyist was actually furthering its cause.
Though Radia's method of operation - which reportedly involves large-scale hawala transactions - was often dubious, there is nothing wrong with her broad strategy to influence public policy by inducing media people and other opinion makers to get A Raja the telecom portfolio. That his appointment - at least partly engineered by Radia - led to the 2G scam is another matter.
Lobbying - or what is often called public advocacy - is a perfectly legitimate, and indeed necessary, component of any democracy. In the US, for example, it is considered to be a high-profile and respectable profession made use of by everyone who would like to have a say in the framing of official policy. New Delhi has often employed US lobbyists to try and influence Washington's policies vis-a-vis Pakistan and Kashmir, among other things. In the US, there are accredited lobbyists for all manner of issues and individuals, from the right to bear arms to candidates for Senate seats.
If looked at in its broadest sense, what does lobbying boil down to? Nothing more, or less, than trying to get people to see your, or your client's view. All public relations exercises - be they for business interests or causes like animal welfare or AIDS prevention - are examples of lobbying: they are attempts to get the members of the public to change their ways of thought and action in particular spheres of interest or concern.
Similarly, all forms of advertising - and no media product, including this newspaper, could remain economically viable were it not for advertisements - are lobbying by another name. Advertisements try to persuade you to buy a particular product or service. A successful ad, a lobbying exercise that has worked, is one that makes the maximum amount of money for the advertiser, the client of the lobbyist, in this case the advertising agency. The most successful ads - the ones that have been most persuasive in changing public behaviour and thinking - are annually honoured by receiving awards given by the industry.
All politics, and not just at election time, is nothing but lobbying in its most blatant form. In a democracy, it is expected of all political parties to shape or transform public policy through competitive lobbying of the electorate via election manifestos and professed agendas. The voter is seduced, persuaded, bribed by all sorts of promised inducements, often in the form of cash subsidies or tax breaks, to support this or that party or candidate. There is the Election Commission to see there is no hanky-panky or rigging at the time of polling. But no Election Commission can compel a political party or candidate to make good on election promises - i.e., bribes in one form or another - once the balloting is over.
If politics is unadulterated lobbying, and it is, so is the media. All reporters and commentators - in the press, or on TV or radio, even those considered too insignificant to have been approached by Radia - try to shape public opinion, and through that try to influence official policy by having public pressure put on it, according to their own views, opinions and interests, or those of the organisations that employ them.
Indeed, democracy with all its components - media, market and elective politics - is a vast enterprise in lobbying, a never-ending argument between competing interest groups to change public policy to suit their own ends.
Radia's only fault was getting caught. But for having forced us, however unwittingly, to take a long hard look at our democracy and what it really means, she needs a commendation. Padma Shrimati? Heck, make her Woman of the Year. She deserves it. Or rather, we deserve her.
An inconvenient truth (http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Masquerader/entry/an-inconvenient-truth) By Anoop Kohli | Times of India
wallpaper warmly received at Kabul
I encourage IV members to go to the above website and add themselves to the list of petitioners asking CNN to fire Lou.
Lou Dobbs has a right to speak his mind. A lot of what he says is rhetoric but it is within his rights. I wouldn't want to associate IV with any Latino related immigration movement. Their objectives, issues and means are altogether different from ours.
We [should] care only about legal immigrants and not have even a whiff of supporting illegal immigration in any form and from any country. For a long time now, the word immigration has been expanded to mean Latino immigrants and only Wall Street Journal takes care to single out that immigration from countries like India is of a different hue (more knowledge based), than immigration from Mexico (more labor intensive).
Bottom line, aligning ourselves with the Latino agenda is bad policy and politics and a losing proposition.
2011 US troops at Kabul airport
All of a sudden when EB2-I moves ahead I hear voices of 'injustice', fair play and demands for visa number handovers. Sorry aint gonna happen.
Mark J. Penn is a man who wears many hats: high-paid political and corporate pollster, chief executive of an international communications and lobbying company, and chief strategist to New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Enough connections for you?
Well, there are more. Penn's firm, Burson-Marsteller Worldwide -- with 2,000 employees and $300 million a year in revenue -- owns BKSH & Associates, the major lobbying firm chaired by Charles R. Black Jr. That's right, Black, counselor to Republican presidents, reports to Clinton's top strategist.
The connections get even more entangled. Burson-Marsteller is a subsidiary of WPP Group, a London-based advertising and PR giant that owns many of the biggest names on K Street. These include Quinn Gillespie & Associates, Wexler & Walker Public Policy Associates, Timmons & Co., Ogilvy Government Relations Worldwide (formerly the Federalist Group), Public Strategies Inc., Dewey Square Group and Hill & Knowlton.
To be more precise, Penn's parent company employs as lobbyists and advisers an ex-chairman of the Republican National Committee (Edward W. Gillespie), a former House GOP leader (Robert S. Walker), a top GOP fundraiser (Wayne L. Berman), and the former media adviser to President Bush (Mark McKinnon).
WPP's Democrats are just as well known. They include an ex-aide to President Jimmy Carter (Anne Wexler), an ex-aide to President Bill Clinton (Jack Quinn), an ex-Cabinet officer for Clinton and Bush (Norman Y. Mineta), and a former top presidential campaign adviser for Al Gore and John Kerry (Michael J. Whouley).
The range of interests represented by these people is a staggering list of corporate America's who's who, with Penn himself a longtime adviser to Microsoft.
"This is a classic example of how big money has inextricably intertwined the campaign advising and lobbying worlds of modern-day Washington with potential conflicts of interest all over the place," said Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, a watchdog group.
What is important right now is to get hold of the masterminds of Bombay in a transparent and credible manner. That would be in the long term self-interest of Pakistan (and India, and the world).
Tomorrow the Bombay attack is old too. You are delusional and good making up reasons.:D:D:D:D:D
How about an apology for what your country men did as a first step? Then we will consider your advice about what we should do. You are so good at giving advice to people who suffered at your country men's(like don't start war etc) hands and yet you don't own any responsibility.
2010 in Kabul airport incident
This bill is introduced by 'Pro-Illegal,pro-union and protectionist' section of Democratic party and 'Anti-immigration at all cost' section of the Republican party. I believe both these groups are fringe elements in both parties. But they could use this bill as a bargain chip for CIR and might get it passed because of it. So we should not take this lightly even if we might not be screwed by this. It will definitely hurt people coming behind us.
Only reform H1b needs is to increase the quota or have no quota. And also to tie the H1b to the worker and not to the employee. And I dont see any in this bill.
Last time I looked Sen. Durbin was not anti immigrant nor was he Republican. He is a co-sponsor of this bill isn't he?
The fact is there is abuse of the H1b program currently and it is need of modification before even fair minded people agree on an expansion (Which also I feel is needed).
In the end we are likely to see both these things happen together, whenever it does happen, ie a fix to the program as well as an expansion of it.
hair Cheap Flights from Kabul
Lobbyists are scrambling all over Capitol Hill to prevent any of their clients from becoming a "pay-for."
The Democrats' new pay-as-you-go budget regimen means that lawmakers who want to spend more on one program have to either cut another or raise taxes to pay for it. Similarly, if they want to cut taxes, they must fund the cut by trimming programs or raising other taxes to make up the difference.
Those budgetary offsets are called pay-fors -- a new Washington buzzword striking fear in the hearts of special interests.
This form should be used for employment related immigration issues, end of discussion.
I have given you green for it.
I agree with you in principle..
but then again several thread of same sort have been running for weeks with mostly flaming content while being blessed by admins and senior members.. what makes one conflict employment related and another not much so?
hot Flughafen / Airport Kabul 2007
Didn't say anything about "systematic" at all - I think we all know better than to use "systematic" and "USCIS" in the same sentence!:D However, they definitely seem to be making some progress on adjudications even if none the country caps limit green cards issual. Aamazing how you can change behaviour when you set a goal and start to measure people on it - looking at the bits and pieces of info being released by USCIS, you can see something is changing and I would suspect a lot has to do with the new leadership in government, that has a mandate for greater transparency (unlike their predecessors). Given the lack of visibility to Case Officers of cases with old PD's (they track by RDs and not PDs), I cannot but believe this will be good for getting some structure into the system.
house in Kabul airport military
You post is a testimony that not all hope is lost with Islam. There are still people like yourselves who can think objectively or at least open to one.
And this is the reason why I am not against Islam as this would also mean that I am raising my fingers on the guys like urself.
Though I sense your intent, I am too feeble to carry the burden even a fraction of the weight of your point. And I am not even trying to be modest here. Though there is a quite a bit of work to be done for moderate muslims to come forward and lead the way, Muslims have a very proud history (along with issues like most religions/races). Lets hope the people on all sides tone down the rheotric and live and let live
tattoo into Kabul airport on
Ray Capuana paces the rows of cubicles in a haggard high-rise a stone�s throw from Wall Street as his people hustle the phones and hope for a bonus check.
His employees are not bond traders, though. They are call center workers. Many are African Americans without college degrees. Some lack high school diplomas. They work for a Mumbai-based company called Aegis Communications.
India�s outsourcing giants � faced with rising wages at home � have looked for growth opportunities in the United States. But with Washington crimping visas for visiting Indian workers, some companies such as Aegis are slowly hiring workers in North America, where their largest corporate customers are based. In this evolution, outsourcing has come home.
Capuana, a manager for Aegis in New York, motivates this U.S. office with dress-down days and the prospect that workers could, one day, earn a stint training call center workers in Goa, India. One of his tasks is to staff 176 cubicles, where workers make or take calls for customers of prescription drug plans or Medicare contracts and enter and verify information. The pay runs $12 to $14 an hour, with bonus checks of up to $730 a month.
�Our recruitment model is simple,� says Capuana, who played Division III college football, wears rosary beads on his wrist and has a picture of Jesus above his desk. �I don�t care if you come from Park Avenue or the park bench. If you can do the job, we want you.�
Aegis, a subsidiary of India�s Essar Group, an energy, telecom and metals conglomerate, says it�s pioneering the next generation of outsourcing: putting the work close to its global customers. Its executives call the practice �near-sourcing,� �diverse shoring� and, sometimes, �cross-shoring.�
Madhu Vuppuluri, chief executive and dealmaker for the Americas division of Essar Group, remembers watching outsourcing grow in India in the late 1990s and early 2000s and thinking that the decline of U.S. call centers was overdone. He persuaded the billionaire Ruia brothers, Essar�s Indian owners, to let him make a counterintuitive bet: In 2000, he bid on the bankrupt assets of Telequestion, a 500-person call center in Arlington, Tex., for $2.5 million.
That led to other acquisitions in the United States and abroad. Today, Aegis employs 50,000 of Essar�s 70,000 employees on several continents. About 5,000 people work at nine U.S. call centers. Aegis, which is on the hunt for more acquisitions, has said it aims to triple its U.S. head count, to more than 15,000.
The strategy is based on the old-fashioned idea of being close to your customers. It�s one embraced by companies such as credit card giant American Express, insurer Humana and government agencies, which sometimes prefer on-shore call centers to handle customer service for sensitive life insurance, financial or health-care products.
�The customer is the king,� Vuppuluri said. �Wherever the customer wants the services to be, we can provide.�
Visitors on visas
At its U.S. sites, Aegis says, 90 percent or more of its workers are American. In that way, Aegis is an exception to the rule. Until now, India-based outsourcing companies have largely brought Indian workers into the United States using H-1B visas and L-1 visas and have been the heaviest users of those programs.
In India�s $60 billion software-exporting industry (which employs roughly 4 million people worldwide), Aegis is competing with companies such as Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services, Genpact, WNS and Infosys. Most are expanding their outsourcing work � from call centers to high-tech consulting and financial services � to the United States. In many cases, it�s a key part of the companies� growth strategy. But political and economic forces in this country and India complicate things.
Some say the visa practice has hurt U.S. jobs and wages. These new visa categories were created by the Immigration Act of 1990, allowing foreigners to work in the country for up to six years. The aim was to lure high-tech talent. Tech America, an industry trade group, says that the visas are crucial to American innovation, future competitiveness and job creation.
But they have been abused, too. In a study released in 2008, the government found fraud and technical violations on 20.7 percent of H-1B applications. Violations ranged �from document fraud to deliberate misstatements regarding job locations, wages paid and duties performed,� said Donald Neufeld, of the Department of Homeland Security, at a March hearing.
Immigration officials and the State Department have worked to crack down on the fraud.
�There will be, in any situation, an effort to go around the law,� said David T. Donahue, deputy assistant Secretary of State for Visa Services. �Our job is to catch the companies doing that.�
:DSome lawmakers are looking to curb the practice and to encourage the India-based outsourcing firms to follow Aegis�s model of hiring Americans at U.S. sites.:D Issuance of regular H-1B visas � 10,200 so far this year � is down 43 percent percent from 2010, according to federal data. Last year, the Obama administration added a roughly $2,000 fee per H-1B visa for large companies, which could be curbing applications.
In the past, if, say, BNY Mellon inked an IT contract with Infosys, Infosys would handle 70 percent of the work in India and send 30 percent of its project staff to the United States on temporary work visas. These Indian workers often live in ethnic enclaves on the outskirts of a city, work long hours and earn less than an American would for the same work.
Companies such as Tata Consultancy Services, Genpact and Infosys are the largest users of the H-1B visa program and have collectively brought as many as 30,000 workers into the country in a year on H-1B or other visas.
Critics of the visa programs, such as :DRonil Hira:D, a public policy professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology, say the work arrangements can amount to indentured servitude. The workers are often paid �home-country wages� in America. �That�s as low as $8,000 a year� with housing allowances, he says. The employers own the visas � so the workers can�t bargain for wages, and if they lose their job they have to leave the country.
Hira said Indian workers still make up more than 90 percent of most outsourcing companies� U.S. head counts. He and other critics argue that many of these workers are not more highly skilled than their American counterparts but are simply willing to work for less. �It�s harming American workers,� he said. �It�s taking away their job opportunities, bringing down their wages and harming their working conditions.�
The companies that use the visa programs have faced opposition from U.S. labor unions as well as age-discrimination lawsuits from American tech workers alleging that they were passed over by the hiring practices.
At the same time, as high unemployment lingers and the economic recovery lags, India-based companies have seized on an opportunity to improve their image and expand their U.S. businesses by taking over companies and hiring more U.S. talent.
pictures At first, Kabul Airport was
dresses hot in the Kabul airport when
be it Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan Somalia,Darfur,Chechnya, Kashmir, Gujarat... everywhere muslims are killed for being muslims...noone goes to cuba,srilanka,north korea,zimbawe or whereever for watever reason...just imagine God forbid someone comes into your house, occupies it, kills your family, your brothers and sisters in front of you and kicks you out of your home and you are seeing no hope of justice... you wont stand outside your home sending flowers like munna bhai's gandhigiri.. trust me you will become a terrorist.
makeup of the Kabul International
I'll give you some examples of what they have done of which I have intimate knowledge of:
1) Questioned company on I-140 why they had more 140's pending/approved then the number of people on payroll. Asked for all 140 info., h1, L1 and even the people who got employment base greencard and asked company to justify where they are
2) Department of state for visa stamping; if they don't trust client letter; they refer the case to department of state fraud unit in Kentucky. They will then contact signer of letter and HR of company to verify that person signed the letter
3) Department of labor is on a real war path of checking companies compliance with h-1b based on referrals made by department of state. I can tell you that there is no way any company who is h-1b dependent can be 100% compliant with h-1b. Patni got fined $3.5 million for violations.
4) Department of labor made a home visit to an HR person who was no longer working with the company to ask and verify her signatue on labor applications in a fast processing state when they weren't registered to do business there
5) Department of labor verifying that people were paid the greencard wage upon greencard approval (this was in conjunction with h-1b investigation). I can tell you that some states have very high eb2 wages and people aren't even close to the labor number; companies do it anyways to keep you happy but do they run that number once you do get the greencard?
6) h-1b rfe's from california service center. when quota finished in one day; there was some rumors from california service center that they would be treating h-1b transfers/quota cases very harshly in that companies were engaging in speculative employment. These days if you are involved in software and you file an h-1b transfer or even extension with california service center; you have a very good chance of getting a four page rfe. One of the things they have started to ask for is a table of people whom h-1b's have been filed for. Table has to list name, social security number, receipt number, date of birth, joining date, termination date, no show, future joining date. California service center then intertwines this information with company unemployment compensation reports. I have actually seen 3 recent denials where USCIS examined the unemployment compensation reports and looked at people who may have been paid a lower wage and pulled those people's h-1b files and denied the present case saying they can't trust the company to comply with the h-1b, lca.
These days; uscis/dol/dos really means business. I refer you to earlier posting of how evertime a company files a case; it gives uscis a chance to go through entire immigration history of a company. They have the resources and tools.
ok now i'm really confused between AC21 and future employment debate....
AC21 can be used after 6 months of 485 filing to change the job but then once u get GC you have to work for the original company that filed your 485 for few months?? so for e.g. if i change my job after lets say 1 year of 485 filing and lets say my 485 is approved after 3 years so now do i have to quit my new job and go back to my old employer to work for few months to get my gc? am i understanding this correct? i think i'm not... can you please clarify?? thnx
girlfriend at Kabul Airport II.jpg
This thread is causing unhealthy division between EB2 and EB3. This thread should be closed and people should concentrate on the call campaign instead on fighting each other.
hairstyles warmly received at Kabul
How about renting a home to provide something good to your family?
With the home values declining I think it makes way more sense to rent the same house (at least in the area I live). If your mortgage payment is only $500 above apartment rent I would say buy. But if you are looking at paying double as mortgage I think its really inflated.
I would like to read more about buying foreclosed properties. I hear there are some good deals out there :D
When you sell, you need to pay 3% as commission to both the seller and buyer agent. You will break even as soon as the house appreciates 6% plus your closing costs, anything above that would be your profit.
Now with the market going down, my guess as to when the house appreciates is as good as anybody else�s.
As far as Rent vs Mortgage goes, I would go with owning a house and paying mortgage than being on rent, I just cannot live in an apartment anymore. Caring for aging parents is our duty and responsibility as much as providing a decent home to our children and giving them a life. If I can strike a balance and fulfill my duties to both, I am happy. Coming to think of it, sometimes I wonder why I did not buy the small house I am in a couple of years ago.
Hire a good attorney and respond thru Attorney. Good luck with everything and keep us updated. I am really interested in the outcome. Hopefully they will give you what you want.
yea..it looks scary..
hey but I have decided not hire an attorney..just dont want to waste another grand on GC anymore.
I will send whatever I can just tell them that I dont have contracts with client 'coz I am not expected to have them since its between employer and client.
And will see how it goes..hopefully officer will understand it.
But thanks to all of you..I will post here if anything useful happens or this might just end up as we need your latest finger prints. :cool:
"Employment Preference Categories" have very real legal groundings, and i intend to challenge the porting rule based on those facts.
If someone is unsatisfied with their EB3 application, they are more than welcome to start a fresh EB2 or EB1 application process, rather than try the porting subterfuge.
I hope i have made my point clear? Thanks.
And if you feel your esteemed queue is getting bigger you are more than welcome to leave this place.