Tuesday, July 12, 2011

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  • validIV
    06-25 03:42 PM
    You just gave an example of a guy who owns his own house.

    Rich guys first make their money and then buy houses. Reverse is not necessarily true. They are not rich because they bought houses. If money was no object for me I too will go ahead and buy house even it did not make strict financial sense. I'm not there yet.

    As for naming names, Warren Buffet who is plenty rich does not favor real estate as an investment vehicle. Real estate has has 1-2% average rate of return over the last 60 years barely keeping up with inflation barring crazy speculative booms like we recently had which quickly go bust. This is to be expected since house is an unproductive asset and unlike businesses (stocks/bonds) does not "produce" anything so in the long run it's price will roughly track the inflation.





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  • redcard
    12-23 12:03 AM
    I feel the mood getting a little lighter here and about time. What happened in Mumbia was dastardly and the responsible gotta pay. Lets keep the pressure and focus on it.

    What I dislike though is the attempt by extremists to generalize a group of people to make them less humane and easy for the other group to kill them or worse ethnic cleansing. The point you mentioned is very often quoted to scare/anger the majority. The muslims have been guilty of been easily misled too so this is not unique to hindus.

    Amen to the end of terrorism but India is way ahead of its neighbors. I do not even wish to compare us to our neighbors though I hope they wake up and get their act together

    I am sure that once muslim community or for that matter any community prospers the radicalism reduces. 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.

    About the terrorism was thinking what options does India have to fight against this. Yes military action definitely is an option but it does more harm to India than to Pakistan. Attacking Pakistan, India has a lot to loose while Pakistan has nothing loose. It would make Pakistan from a failing state to a failed state, but would put India years behind as far as economy is concerned and create the biggest headache for India for decades to come. A military confrontation and weakening of Pakistan’s military establishment would let Pakistan slip fully into the hands of Religious fanatics and produce million more terrorist who will be a long-term headache for India.

    If one back goes back in the history, Pakistan has lost a lot more than India in the last three wars, and that is the only reason why the establishment in Pakistan including the Military has preferred encouraging and sponsoring cross border terrorism which is of very little cost to Pakistan but a constant headache to India. India has lost more from these terrorist attacks including Kargil war than they would if they had gone through a one time direct confrontation. I personally feel that if India does decide to go in for a military confrontation it has to be long term strategy to occupy the country and wipe out terrorism and help to nurture the economy so that prosperity and wealth creation takes a front seat and religion moves low in the peoples priority. In fact if Pakistan can ever have a strong economy and strong democracy, I am sure the country will move towards a moderate religious society. Lets face it, man is a very selfish being, it will never put its personal prosperity at stake for a larger cause even it that happens to be religion. An example of this is the Middle East Kingdom where the monarchs including the common folk is very possessive about personal wealth and will go to any extent to preserve it.

    The only way this can ever happen is by a willing global coalition, which is ready to be there for a long haul and not by India alone. If India did do a quick military action and left the country, Pakistan would move to become another Afghanistan creating the biggest headache for India for decades and decades to come and effectively dragging Indian economy and prosperity.

    Its sad that India let this headache linger on for so long, had it taken remedial action by taking control of complete kashmir and installing a pro Indian govt in 1971 we would not be confronting an nuclear dragon with very little option to fight it.





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  • Macaca
    12-27 06:43 PM
    Climate change leaves Assam tea growers in hot water
    Rising temperatures reducing yields and altering distinctive flavour of India's most popular drink (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/dec/26/climate-change-assam-tea)
    By Amarjyoti Borah | The Guardian

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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





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  • gcisadawg
    12-23 12:24 AM
    Good post,
    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.


    Dude, if ss1026 is not on this forum, then is the absence of ss1026 a testimony to the fact that all hopes are lost with islam? I dont buy this line of thinking. we are better than that!



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  • xyzgc
    12-22 09:35 PM
    With all due respect XYZGC, I never said Kashmir should be gifted to Pakistan. What I have said is for a UN supervised solution. And I did not change my mind on that. We have fought three major wars and spending crores to maintain the status quo but to what end. It just a pain in @$$.

    I share you concerns about Hindu minority in Pakistan and other Islamic society. But to make it clear neither I am against Islam (Though I DO NOT support the present Islamic Leadership structure) nor I beleive that it is not even remotely possible to covert India into a Islamic Society. But one should be prepared just in case.

    On the other hand , I do beleive that by declaring Pakistan a terrorist nation it will force them to take some drastic steps.

    Yes, we agree. I am also not against islam but against islamic leadership, especially the hardliners who seem to be ruling the Pakistani and drowning out the voices of the moderates and intellectuals there. In fact, nobody is against any individual.
    And you never used the word "gifted". You already provided your reasons for saying whatever you did.





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  • nojoke
    01-01 12:23 PM
    Do you think Indian strikes on Pakistan, or a war between India and Pakistan, is going to weaken these guys, or strengthen them?
    What would be dumb now?



    Suppose there are theives from Bihar that come and rob you in West Bengal.
    You can either send your West Bengal police into Bihar, and turn it into a rivalry between two police departments. And a rivalry between two provinces.
    Or you have the two police departments work together to reduce crime rate in the future.

    You are delusional. Your example is no way related to what is happening. I don't know if I should explain the difference. 'You can wake up a sleeping man, but you cannot wake up a man pretending sleeping'. I have a feeling that you are simply trolling here.
    The attack on pakistan terrorist camps is not to defeat terrorist, but to send a message to pakistan government to get serious. Either take action on these terrorist or we will do it. (It is more like humilating pakistan that we can do this and world is on our side and you better do something about this problem). We ask Azad Masood now because, if we get one guy out of pakistan, all other terrorists would realize that they cannot have a safe haven in pakistan. At least they won't be preaching openly in the public to go and bomb India.
    So stop trolling:D



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  • nk2006
    09-30 10:13 AM
    I was schocked to find out on Sep 22 that my I-485 has been denied. My wife is on AP and can't enter U.S now withot her H4.

    Sorry to know your troubles. I am curious about the reason for 485 rejection and how you are going about it (is it because of using AC21 and I140 revocation by previous employer?) - there is an effort to deal with I-485 rejections without NOID - there is a separate thread on that with conf call today. Please join the call and give your details. Thanks.





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  • Macaca
    02-29 09:03 PM
    Oracle Unit Lobbied on Patents, Visas (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/02/28/AR2008022803503.html) Associated Press, Feb 28

    WASHINGTON -- A unit of business software maker Oracle Corp. paid VAR II LLC $140,000 in 2007 to lobby the federal government .

    The firm lobbied Congress on a patent reform bill and immigration reform legislation related to visas for high-tech workers, according to the form posted online Feb. 13 by the Senate's public records office. Oracle USA Inc. paid the firm $140,000 in the second half of 2007 to lobby on those issues after hiring VAR II earlier last year.

    The House last year approved a patent-reform bill intended to reduce litigation, improve patent quality and establish a post-approval evaluation process. Technology and financial services firms support the legislation, but pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies said it would weaken patent protection by reducing infringement penalties. The Senate is considering similar legislation.

    Oracle is based in Redwood City, Calif.

    Lobbyists are required to disclose activities that could influence members of the executive and legislative branches, under a federal law enacted in 1995.



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  • Refugee_New
    01-06 05:24 PM
    What would be the purpose of reading all that? I thought the spotlight was on hamas...this is how you try to move the spotlight away huh!!

    My point is, they keep the spotlight on Hamas and go kill as many innocent civilians as possible.

    Even when they kill school kids, we still blame Hamas. We don't blame the killer and try to stop their mad actions. Thats my point.





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  • panky72
    09-27 11:07 PM
    If you visit this website, you can read Obama's policies on legal Immigration reform. It looks like Obama and Joe Biden plan to fix the legal immigration system and improve processing speed due to bureaucratic delays. He also introduced the legislation to speed up FBI background checks.

    Source: http://www.barackobama.com/issues/immigration/

    I found this on shusterman's regarding obama's views on immigration. Looks like he is all for family based immigration but no mention about employment based immigrants or green card backlogs.
    http://shusterman.com/pdf/obama908.pdf



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  • mirage
    02-12 08:57 PM
    On the ground does it solve any purpose ? India remains as prone for more attacks as it was 2 months or 2 years ago...
    Finally Pak agreed Mumbai terror attacks are partly planned on its soil. I hope they come back after few months and say ISI partly involved.


    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/7886469.stm





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  • Refugee_New
    01-07 05:09 PM
    You know what is your problem?
    From Ottaman, Genghis khan, Temur, to recently Laden all did terrorism to innocent people. When any person or nation protect this terrorism, you guys calling them terrorist!! Bush senior and Bush junior punish terrorist act, you are calling them terrorist. When Israel give answer, you are calling terrorism. When Narendra Modi react against Muslim terrorism, you calling him Terrorist. You guys only like people who don't give answer like current Indian government.
    '


    Before blaming muslims try to understand the fact and know atleast a little history. When you have time just read this.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/07/gaza-israel-palestine

    news article written by Oxford professor of international relations Avi Shlaim served in the Israeli army.



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  • sk2006
    06-23 10:58 PM
    Also the condos in cupertino & townhomes are like 3 storied, you spend a lot of life on staircase instead of enjoying the comfort.


    LOL.
    :D:D

    A realtor showed me a 3 story town house. It looked like 'Kutub-Minar'.
    When I pondered that it would be hard for my aged parents to manage so many stairs every day, the realtor suggested me to have an elevator in side the house.. and she was serious.





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  • rshirodkar
    10-01 09:25 AM
    Hello folks,

    United States was and is a SHINING BEACON in the whole world. That was the reason that this GREAT COUNTRY attracted so many people from all over the world. People from all walks of like come here because they have a DREAM to make it BIG here. But looking at the state of affairs right now, it does not seem that this country will be the SHINING LIGHT that it used to be.
    I came to this country in 1999. For the last 10 years I have been residing legally, paying taxes. At the end of all this I just dont see things moving. I had lot of opportunities but I could not take them because of my status.
    Looking forward, I would sincerely hope that either of the presidential candidates look at the EB category people as legal residents.
    People are becoming impatient. Many of my friends went back to other countries since they are getting better opportunities. I personally feel that countries like Cananda, Australia with their immigration policies are attracting good quality talent. Also with the Indian and Chinese economy growing at more than 7% -8%, there is growth in those countries.
    I hope the next presidential candidate takes these things in consideration while working on the CIR bill.

    thanks

    Rohit Shirodkar



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  • amulchandra
    04-06 11:26 PM
    I knew that something of this kind is going to happen after seeing the first day H1b rush.This is extreme exploitation of the system and Govt has to take some steps atleast to show people that it is trying to take some action. If they are not going to take some kind of measures to curb this, even after (if at all) they increase H1b visas next year .... the same thing might repeat.

    I am one of those waiting to win the H1b lottery. But please can anyone clarify this one point

    ---This applies to all the applications filed after the enactment of this bill.

    So how is it going to effect the current H1b consultants?

    Thanks

    Amul





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  • Ramba
    09-30 02:08 PM
    I love to see Obama in White House too. My only concern is who drives his Immigration Policy. Sen. Durbin? The provisions in CIR 2007 were scary.

    I am here legally in this country from Sept 2000.
    Applied for GC in March 2006 (EB3 I), filed 485 in July 07, used AC 21 in April 08 and now working on EAD.

    I already had backup plan for Canada. If I wanted to keep my Canadian PR current I had to fulfill the 2 yrs out of first 5 requirement and was required to relocate to Canada in Aug 07. After July 07 fiasco and getting EAD, I thought of giving up on that back-up plan. It was not an easy decision, but we decided to bite the bullet and were thinking that AC-21 memo and EAD are good enough safe-guards for any denial if and when it comes. Also other thing I thought as it is it's going to take ages for my date to become current by that time at least my child's education will be done (he is in high school) and he doesn't have to go through relocation pains as far as school is concerned. He has already done that 4 times in last 8 years. So all in all we were satisfied with the decision to abandon Canadian PR and using AC 21. But now all of a sudden I see there are so many denials for straight forward AC21 cases and moreover if Obama wins then immigration policy are driven by Durbin. AC-21 is the thread that I am hanging on to, if that goes away then what....just don't want to think about it.

    AC21 denial is nothing to do with immigaration policy of Durbin or Obama. It is due to lack of regulations in USCIS or USCIS not efficient to follow the law/rules or bad customer service. This is where we need Obama. Becuase, he is favor of more/stright regulation or more accountability or strong government.



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  • unitednations
    03-24 07:25 PM
    Its rather ironic that system created for staffing companies was misused so rampantly that they are the ones bearing the brunt of this onslaught.

    So according to your experience are they are always denying applications even when the employee is able to furnish a contract with the end client ? This is indeed surprising and alarming. I am just worried this can spill in to everything that USCIS adjudicates.
    on the other hand how do you put an end to this misuse ?

    Should'nt they establish a set of guidelines for the employers and employees? So both are aware what they are up against. Looks like its pretty arbritary right now and USCIS indeed playing the "hand of god"

    There are two service centers that process h-1b's. California and vermont.

    Vermont was very, very easy in the past. Now; they want contract and purchase order with end client. If somehow you can get it then they want detailed duties to see if job requires a degree. it is difficult to get a purchase order/letter from end client let alone a detailed job description/duty. If you can't get one and they ask in an rfe; they are denying it.

    If you can get one; they are stating duties aren't specialized enough to determine job requires a degree OR they think the company is going to further outsource the candidate.

    California is along similar lines but they only deny if they think the contract/purchase order is from the middle man.

    Big problem is verrmont changed their expectations midstream. California has been pretty consistent the last few years and they haven't changed much in how they look at h-1b's.





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  • gcisadawg
    12-26 11:40 PM
    So, you want to remove the threat of nuclear weapons by using them?



    Well, remove the threat by telling Clearly and unmistakably that use of nuclear weapon by Pakistan would invite catastrophic counter attack. Not by using it. Remember, India has "no first use" policy....


    Otherwise what happens...Pak would keep taunting that " Hey, remember we have nukes...wanna pick a fight with us?" and keep doing what they are doing. They are trying to take the option of war OFF the table. India should keep it in the table but use very very cautiously.

    Peace again,
    G





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  • mariner5555
    04-14 02:39 PM
    Glad to know that you remember me. I don’t understand your logic, do you mean to say that I go to my house only on weekends, or do you mean to say that people who live in apartments spend the weekdays with family and go to work only on weekends?. What is your point dude?.
    what is your point duuude when you say "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?.”
    do you mean to say all those who are renting will buy after 10 years or do you mean to say that children who grow up in rented house or appt ..don't have a childhood ?? as it was mentioned in earlier posts ..there is a greater chance that your son / daughter will find a likeminded play friend in a good apartment complex then in a subdivision of houses.





    vallabhu
    04-06 11:52 PM
    My understanding H1 B employers (mostly desi companies) are root cause of this situation by abusing H1 b program, they have made enough money by sucking H1 employees blood, now hey are equally affected it is time for them to share some of it and fund all the efforts to curb these kind of Bills.

    Please forward the text of this bill to all your employers and ask them to join hands with IV.





    Macaca
    05-01 05:49 PM
    The New Virtual Political System (http://www.cfr.org/china/china-new-virtual-political-system/p24805) By Elizabeth C. Economy and Jared Mondschein | Council on Foreign Relations

    As uprisings spread throughout the Middle East during the early months of 2011, a small band of Chinese citizens and expatriates began to call for their own Jasmine Revolution. Like their African and Middle Eastern counterparts, these activists used the Internet to urge people to gather in support of political change. However, unlike in Tunisia, Egypt, or Libya, security forces in China quickly locked down the proposed demonstration sites and arrested anyone thought to be a potential source of unrest. The demonstrations proved ephemeral, with many more police than protesters. It was a massive deployment of China�s public security forces that signaled not only the power of the country�s security apparatus but also the enormous insecurity of the country�s leaders and their concern about the organizing power of the Internet.

    While the Internet may not have produced a revolution in China�s political system, it most certainly is producing an evolution. The Internet has become a virtual political system, providing an almost unprecedented level of transparency, rule of law, and official accountability. With over 450 million Chinese Internet users�and the number is increasing daily�information crosses gender, age, professional, and provincial boundaries in ways that Beijing often considers threatening. News of government corruption and cover-ups go viral in a matter of minutes, forcing the government to think quickly and flexibly and react decisively�not traditionally strengths of China�s political system.

    Netizens Demand Change

    What do the Chinese people want? Nothing unusual. They want their concerns heard and addressed. Chinese nationalists, for example, often rally support for their causes via the Internet. Anti-Japanese sentiment, in particular, has been a recurring theme among online Chinese nationalists. Periodically, Chinese nationalists have taken to the Internet and the street�often in very large numbers�to protest historical inaccuracies in Japanese textbooks and to call for retribution. Nationalists have also initiated anti-Japanese protests after recent territorial disputes in the South China Sea, perhaps encouraging the government to adopt a tougher stance in its negotiations with Japan.

    Yet online activism in China is the domain not only of the nationalist but also of the political reformer. Much of what transpires on the Web in China is bringing transparency to the political system. In late 2010, Chinese netizens contradicted official reports by covering a significant environmental disaster in Jilin province, where thousands of barrels of pollutants were dumped into a water source by a local chemical plant. In the ten days that it took Chinese officials to admit to the disaster, thousands of citizens were informed of the cover-up via the Internet. They responded by purchasing a massive amount of bottled water and angrily denouncing the government�s inaction. It was only after citizens refused to believe the official stories that the government finally acknowledged the disaster and handed out free bottles of water to those in the afflicted areas. Similarly, a year earlier in Guangzhou, online transparency had caused a reversal in local government policy. Middle-class-led protests over a planned incinerator were picked up by young online netizens, who then spread the news through social media websites. Even though the activists, themselves, were not affected by the plans, they wanted the word to get out. Once enough citizens became involved, the government agreed to halt the project until a full environmental assessment was completed.1

    The Internet has also become a means of holding officials accountable. In a now-famous case, in October 2010, Li Qiming, the son of a local deputy police chief. Li Gang, ran over two Hebei University students in his car while drunk�fatally injuring one and breaking the other�s leg. As he tried to escape the scene, he yelled out, �Sue me if you dare. My father is Li Gang!� Communist officials attempted to suppress information about the event but failed, as netizens from all over the country latched onto Li Qiming�s threat. Despite official reports alleging that the victim�s families were content with the government�s handling of the situation and with public apologies from both father and son, the online activists demanded (and got) more: Li Qiming was sentenced to six years in prison, his family was forced to pay over $70,000 to the families of the two students, and much of China�s online population has adopted the phrase �My father is Li Gang� as a shorthand for the widely held belief that the powerful and politically connected do not have to face the consequences of their actions.

    In this way, online activism can also promote a form of the rule of law�albeit one that often resembles vigilante justice. During the summer of 2010, for example, Chinese reporter Qiu Ziming was forced into hiding after police placed him on a wanted list for writing critical stories about a local business. Qiu took his case to his blog, and a poll on Chinese website Sina.com recorded that of the more than thirty thousand people polled, 86 percent opposed the police pursuit of Qiu.2 Bowing to public pressure, the government rescinded the order of arrest and ordered the police to apologize to the reporter.

    Microblogs such as Twitter and Weibo, despite being heavily censored or even blocked, have become particularly politicized Internet venues, especially among middle-class urban youth. According to the popular netizen Michael Anti, microblogs are the most important political organizing force in China today. Anti notes that through Twitter, over 1.4 million yuan were raised for the Open Constitution Initiative (Gongmeng), an NGO of rights defense lawyers. He also points to the uncensored discussion held between the Dalai Lama and Chinese citizens in May 2010 as an example of the political influence that Twitter can exert. According to Anti, the people who participated stopped referring to the Dalai Lama as Dalai and now call him by the more respectful Dalai Lama.3 With over 120 million microblogs in China, censors haven�t yet discovered a viable long-term response and are generally reduced to attempting stop-gap measures to block certain news from going viral.4

    The Party�s Response: Nailing Tofu to the Wall

    Despite the inherent challenge of �trying to nail Jell-O to the wall,� as former president Bill Clinton once characterized China�s attempts to regulate cyberspace, China�s leaders are committed to controlling this evolving virtual political system. While they see the advantage of the Internet as a medium for better understanding the views of the Chinese people, their overwhelming objective is to prevent the Internet from contributing to a broad-based call for political change. To this end, Beijing has deployed both Internet police to monitor traffic and insert government opinion and the full range of technical solutions to shut down websites or blogs that the party views as particularly destabilizing.

    Beijing has also sought to use the Internet to engage with the populace as a transmission vehicle from the party to the people. In what is now commonly referred to as �AstroTurf advocacy,� Internet police often add favorable opinions of the government to various social media websites under the guise of grassroots support by anonymous citizens. The party has also had its top leaders participate in Internet chats in a bid to show its engagement with the growing online community. Both President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao have engaged in online chats, with the latter receiving almost ninety thousand questions from a massive online audience in only two hours. However, efforts to make such Internet engagement a permanent feature of Beijing�s interaction with the Chinese people have faltered in the face of often politically sensitive questions from the Internet public.

    For China�s leaders, who are already confronting over one hundred thousand protests annually,5 the Internet adds another layer of uncertainty in their bid to manage an increasingly restive society. While Beijing haltingly pushes greater transparency, the rule of law, and official accountability within the political system, the Internet forces it upon them. In the end, political evolution via the Internet may produce its own form of system revolution.

    Malcolm Moore, �China�s middle-class rise up in environmental protest,� Daily Telegraph, November 23, 2009.
    �Public outcry forces Chinese police to revoke arrest warrant on journalist,� Times of India, July 31, 2010.
    Elizabeth C. Economy, �Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo and the Future of Political Reform in China,� testimony before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, November 9, 2010.
    Keith B. Richburg, �In China, microblogging sites become free-speech platform,� Washington Post, March 27, 2011.
    Murray Scot Tanner, �Unrest in China and the Chinese State�s Institutional Responses,� testimony before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, February 25, 2011.



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