Tuesday, July 12, 2011

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  • ita
    01-03 11:10 PM
    But doing circles doesn't make it any less complex...one long post or may be few more (if one had something new to say ) would be any day better than doing circles. Anyways suit yourself if you are getting a kick out of it.

    Thank you.


    I try to avoid long posts, as well as obviously silly ones. I also pick and choose sometimes.
    Otherwise it takes up a lot of time.

    Let me try to sum up my logic, and my beliefs. I'll try to be brief.

    1) There are militants running around in Pakistan that want to provoke India into a conflict with Pakistan. These are the same people who blew up Marriot in Islamabad, and killed Benazir, and tried to kill Musharraf twice.
    2) If they succeed in starting an India/Pakistan 'cricket match', that would provide them with relief, and give them more room and more chances to grow.
    3) If they don't succeed, they will probably try again, and again, until they DO succeed, which would be a disaster. And therefore, it is absolutely necessary that Pakistan investigates and gets to the bottom of Bombay.
    Unfortunately, in Pakistan, I am seeing denial. That is not good.
    4) Steps that convert the situation into an India-Pakistan cricket match must be avoided. In the past, India and Pakistan have tried to score points against each other, and supported insurgencies and tried to destabilize the other country. Some of that probably goes on today as well. So, this childish and silly cricket match should stop.

    So, that probably sums up what I think. I don't know if I contradict myself anywhere; maybe I do. But its a very complex situation, with no easy answers.





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  • JunRN
    06-07 02:07 PM
    JunRN, it all depends on how much risk are you willing to take in what area. Equity is generally believed or historically trended to provide 10% returns over 10 years span (multiple market cycles). Where as dwelling as an investment provides a marginal 3 to 5% depending on location in a normal growth rate (Exception to Bubble). Equity market has nose dived as did housing market and people consider it too risky to invest at this stage in equity due to uncertinities (lot of companies may not make it through though times or No. PC companies which has become QPC -filed for chapter11 protection has increased) even though it doesn't involve huge amounts as housing at per unit basis. For investers, same applies for dwelling investment as well at a higher scale. More Chapter 11->more job losses->more houses on foreclosure.

    Just to counter your argument, Let me tell you one scenario, When stock market went down, I invested in shares some time back in February 09, as of today, If I look at the individual investment, it stands at 60% increased. But I do not think that it will provide me a 60% returns.. over 10 years... I expect only 10% and may increase to 15% in the long run which is a ball park number.

    Lot of sellers/brokers referred Zillow during 2006 and early 2007 (Bubble) to sell their houses at an inflated prices as I mentioned earlier, when it went up 20000 per month for several months.. Based on these numbers..people streached themself and jumped to grab one before it goes beyond their reach thinking that it will continue to go up.. Now, the houses values under water and they are whining about it every day and night.. some of their home values evapourated by 30 to 40%. (I am talking about 100,000 to 150,000 south). Zillow goes up and down.. in short term depending on historic sales and builder's listing price changes, not based on any economic outlook. Every agent wears two hats and is two-faced, because a home�s �value� has to be higher when represent a seller and lower when represent a buyer. The Zillow range of value represents best hope for buyer at the low end of the range, and highest for seller at the high end of that range.

    Here's what they say about it in disclaimer "The Zestimate is not an appraisal and you won't be able to use it in place of an appraisal, though you can certainly share it with real estate professionals. It is a computer-generated estimate of the worth of a house today, given the data we have available. Zillow.com does not offer the Zestimate as the basis of any specific real-estate-related financial transaction. Our data sources may be incomplete or incorrect; also, we have not physically inspected a specific home."

    My point is, Unless the correction happens in housing market, which is widely believed to be another 10 to 12% further south from where it stands now.. there is always a risk in buying one thinking that its going to appreciate in next 10 years. Remember though the demand cycles for realty market is lenghty ones which will rise once in 10 to 15 years but this does not mean that there's going to be another bubble again to hike it up by 100 and 200% :). It may rise as historically did to provide a 3 to 4% returns. This is regardless of location... location.. location.. First, It will take time to stabilize the market just because there's too much supply, affordiability issue and aging population.

    Buy or not, depends on whether and how much you are willing and open to take risk. Higher the risk, higher the returns.. doesn't mean it applies to stupid decisions... One thing I wanted to mention though, we have utilization value for living in a house, bigger than an apartment, again its an individual perspective.

    I have not entered into the discussion of the intrinsic/utilization value of owning a home specially with 3 small kids like mine because it's hard to put a $$ value without being biased.

    The 10 to 12% down south estimate might be true on the average. However, from where I stand now, in my county not just my zip code, house prices started to go up by 0.8% since January. It might still go down as I see fluctuations but I feel that it's stabilizing already.

    Could I have waited until home prices go down another 10%? Probably a wiser decision but as I monitor home purchase price of same model as mine in same community, not one was able to buy same model home as low as my purchase price. So I felt relieved.

    But only time can tell, right? All I'm doing right now is to satisfy myself that I made a right decision. Should I find out that it's a mistake, I should be truthful to myself that I did. There's no reason to lie to my ownself.





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  • chintu25
    08-08 11:52 AM
    You MUST read them out loud

    1) That's not right ................................... Sum Ting Wong
    2) Are you harboring a fugitive?................. Hu Yu Hai Ding
    3) See me ASAP....................................... Kum Hia Nao
    4) Small Horse ........................................ Tai Ni Po Ni
    5) Did you go to the beach? ...................... Wai Yu So Tan
    6) I think you need a face lift .................... Chin Tu Fat
    7) It's very dark in here ............................Wai So Dim
    8) I thought you were on a diet ..................Wai Yu Mun Ching?
    9) This is a tow away zone .........................No Pah King
    10) Our meeting is scheduled for next week ..Wai Yu Kum Nao?
    11) Staying out of sight ..............................Lei Ying Lo
    12) He's cleaning his automobile ..................Wa Shing Ka
    13) Your body odor is offensive ....................Yu Stin Ki Pu

    :D





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  • vdlrao
    07-14 01:03 PM
    I presume EB2 India will be current by next October. Till now for EB2 India there are only 1/3 of 7% of 140K visas which are 3,266. Due to the new change of horizontal fall outs EB2 India exclusively getting about 32k visas, very little share to china. So this change making an availability of about 30k aditional visas to EB2 India along with regular 3,266. So total About 32K visas for EB2 India. This includes unused Family Visa Numbers as well. So from now on EB2 India getting almost 10 times more visas.

    And due to the change to Horizontal Fall out of Visa Numbers from Vertical Fall outs, Its not the India which loses but its EB3 ROW.



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  • American Idol Season 10 Top 11



  • gimme_GC2006
    03-23 02:19 PM
    hey buddy are they digging your case just because you worked for the top 5 indian IT and does it start with a "S*****" , just wondering are they digging up all those who worked for them?

    well..you hit nail..yes..I initially worked with that company that started with S**..but I changed them after 1 year after coming to US





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  • JunRN
    06-07 02:07 PM
    JunRN, it all depends on how much risk are you willing to take in what area. Equity is generally believed or historically trended to provide 10% returns over 10 years span (multiple market cycles). Where as dwelling as an investment provides a marginal 3 to 5% depending on location in a normal growth rate (Exception to Bubble). Equity market has nose dived as did housing market and people consider it too risky to invest at this stage in equity due to uncertinities (lot of companies may not make it through though times or No. PC companies which has become QPC -filed for chapter11 protection has increased) even though it doesn't involve huge amounts as housing at per unit basis. For investers, same applies for dwelling investment as well at a higher scale. More Chapter 11->more job losses->more houses on foreclosure.

    Just to counter your argument, Let me tell you one scenario, When stock market went down, I invested in shares some time back in February 09, as of today, If I look at the individual investment, it stands at 60% increased. But I do not think that it will provide me a 60% returns.. over 10 years... I expect only 10% and may increase to 15% in the long run which is a ball park number.

    Lot of sellers/brokers referred Zillow during 2006 and early 2007 (Bubble) to sell their houses at an inflated prices as I mentioned earlier, when it went up 20000 per month for several months.. Based on these numbers..people streached themself and jumped to grab one before it goes beyond their reach thinking that it will continue to go up.. Now, the houses values under water and they are whining about it every day and night.. some of their home values evapourated by 30 to 40%. (I am talking about 100,000 to 150,000 south). Zillow goes up and down.. in short term depending on historic sales and builder's listing price changes, not based on any economic outlook. Every agent wears two hats and is two-faced, because a home�s �value� has to be higher when represent a seller and lower when represent a buyer. The Zillow range of value represents best hope for buyer at the low end of the range, and highest for seller at the high end of that range.

    Here's what they say about it in disclaimer "The Zestimate is not an appraisal and you won't be able to use it in place of an appraisal, though you can certainly share it with real estate professionals. It is a computer-generated estimate of the worth of a house today, given the data we have available. Zillow.com does not offer the Zestimate as the basis of any specific real-estate-related financial transaction. Our data sources may be incomplete or incorrect; also, we have not physically inspected a specific home."

    My point is, Unless the correction happens in housing market, which is widely believed to be another 10 to 12% further south from where it stands now.. there is always a risk in buying one thinking that its going to appreciate in next 10 years. Remember though the demand cycles for realty market is lenghty ones which will rise once in 10 to 15 years but this does not mean that there's going to be another bubble again to hike it up by 100 and 200% :). It may rise as historically did to provide a 3 to 4% returns. This is regardless of location... location.. location.. First, It will take time to stabilize the market just because there's too much supply, affordiability issue and aging population.

    Buy or not, depends on whether and how much you are willing and open to take risk. Higher the risk, higher the returns.. doesn't mean it applies to stupid decisions... One thing I wanted to mention though, we have utilization value for living in a house, bigger than an apartment, again its an individual perspective.

    I have not entered into the discussion of the intrinsic/utilization value of owning a home specially with 3 small kids like mine because it's hard to put a $$ value without being biased.

    The 10 to 12% down south estimate might be true on the average. However, from where I stand now, in my county not just my zip code, house prices started to go up by 0.8% since January. It might still go down as I see fluctuations but I feel that it's stabilizing already.

    Could I have waited until home prices go down another 10%? Probably a wiser decision but as I monitor home purchase price of same model as mine in same community, not one was able to buy same model home as low as my purchase price. So I felt relieved.

    But only time can tell, right? All I'm doing right now is to satisfy myself that I made a right decision. Should I find out that it's a mistake, I should be truthful to myself that I did. There's no reason to lie to my ownself.



    more...


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  • american idol season 10 top 9.



  • thakurrajiv
    04-06 09:17 AM
    jung.lee,

    I do share the same concern as you. But after doing a little bit of research about housing in my area, i did figure out that housing in good school areas are always in demand. So it's probably more important than ever to buy in a good school district if anybody is buying. Moreover in NJ you hardly have any land left to build any new houses, so there are not a lot of houses on the market in some areas. I am kind of relieved a little to buy it in the area i am buying. The job losses are a concern though. Right now it's only in the financial field but it could affect other industries also. But it's still a cycle and everytime we see some recession looming, it's been advertised as the worst in recent history still people live and come thru it. Some suffer losses going thru it, some doesn't get affected. During last recession, people lost millions in stocks and some my own friends lost more then 50K and that is no better than the situation we are in right now. So why worry now?
    Fide_champ, very good arguments if you are not the one who is loosing ....
    You will be winner if you come through. 2 problems though :
    1. How do you know you will come through ?
    2. Even if you do come through, dont you think you will make more if believe the economy is going further south !!
    I will mention one of my favorite quotes :
    " If my neighbor loses job it is recession but if I do its depression".





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  • gcnotfiledyet
    03-24 03:53 PM
    Ofcourse I am unbias.

    I can't even begin to think how many people I know; cases I know from people who are from india.

    I'd say that it is less then 3% from people with other countries.

    As another poster rightly said that many of the issues happening is mainly to India because it takes so long to get the greencard and eventually everyone gets into these issues.

    Non indians don't face many issues because they get the greencard so fast; and hence they go through very little issues (generally). If other countires had to wait so long then everyone would also have similar types of issues.

    Since most of the forums are related to IT and Indians then if I ever broach on something a little negative or give different perspective then people look at my profile and see I was born in Pakistan and think there is some bias there.

    btw; I left when I was five years old and hardly knew any pakistanis/indians when I was growing up and for what it is worth my wife is Hindu.

    Your posts are arguably best on this forum. I have religiously read all your posts and will do in future. Your posts always make sense. I just wish we could get more insight and perspective from you. Great work. Keep them coming.

    What are your thoughts on h1bs/GC sponsored by universities. Do you forsee any problems with them? Also any insight on long time it takes for visa stamping?



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  • damialok
    04-08 11:19 AM
    People reading these posts are not cogs. They know that its one person's view. Whatever its worth.

    My post should be read with a context. Its always within a Location. RE is always about location(Core SF Bay Area). Go ahead and plot the interest rate with home prices for the last 20 years and you will see the underlying evidence or argument. AND my analysis is localized to SF Bay Area. Its NOT for Loudon County or Miami Dade County or anywhere else. In my analysis of the demographics of this area, thats what I believe in.

    So whats your recommendation on the subject of this thread? Watch more closely till you reach the bottom? Well you will never know that bottom. Yes, I might be off the bottom price by another 5-10% but with a lock in interest rate of around 5.5-6% thats a deal. Everyone is in a different phase of their life, ppl need to map out their 5-10 year outlook and make a decision. Thats easier said than done.

    WS expects prime to hit lowest this Christmas. To be able to grab that lowest rate I need to start looking now and lock in my rate. Most Financial institutions offer ability to adjust rates once.

    My biggest concern is Inflation/Stagflation and I will do everything I can to protect my assets against that. Thats my view and others should view that just like any other info they get on the web.





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  • Macaca
    12-30 05:49 PM
    India-China Relations Negotiating a Balance (http://www.ipcs.org/pdf_file/issue/IB160-Banerjee-India-China.pdf) By Dipankar Banerjee | Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies.

    Now that Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao�s visit to India in Nov 2010 has ended, it is necessary to reflect on the nature of India-China relations and where it is headed. Kishore Mahbubani, the distinguished Asian thinker from Singapore, described India-China relations as, �the most important bilateral relationship of the 21st Century�. Indeed, historically, civilizationally, from the perspective of economic benefits to the region or from peace and security in Asia and the world; this is a relationship that is likely to shape the global future.

    There is no scope for mistakes. Two large nations that are simultaneously reemerging at a rapid pace, thus this relationship has to be based on carefully balanced enlightened self interests. To achieve this will call for delicate negotiations based on our respective genius, taking account of our differences, yet accommodating the genuine concerns and interests of both. It is important to be clear that tension and conflict, easy to generate in an atmosphere of fear and distrust, can do immense harm to all.

    HISTORICAL & CULTURAL LEGACIES

    Historically near neighbours, India and China had very little contact or understanding of each other. Two long but intermittent periods in early history may be considered as exceptions. One was the epoch of the Nalanda University in India, which flourished nearly two millennia ago and brought the world�s scholars to its gates. This was amongst the biggest confidence building measure in the history of Asia. The other was through the Great Silk Routes emanating from China with some branches passing through India and going to the world, enriching both countries. This was an early example of globalized commerce that benefited the entire then known world.

    The absence of recent contact failed to develop in India an understanding of the �Middle Kingdom�. On its part China has never quite grasped the importance of democracy, pluralism and diversity of India, which with all its imperfections, constitute the quintessence of the Indian state and its nationalism.

    Instead, our awareness of each other in modern times can be traced to the 19th Century, where it was coloured by colonial influences with their national interests firmly centred in European capitals. This brief interlude in history was the only period when neither India nor China was a leading nation in the world with neither in a position to shape its own destiny. Yet, it may be argued that spared outright conquest, Beijing secured its national interests somewhat better than Delhi. Many of today�s problems originate from that period, even though goodwill between both nations remained intact. Examples from India were Rabindranath Tagore and Dr Kotnis.

    In his highly controversial first visit to China in 1924 Tagore said at a lecture in Shanghai, �I want to win your heart, now that I am close to you, with the faith that is in me of a great future for you, and for Asia, when your country rises and gives expression to its own spirit -a future in the joy of which we shall all share.� Tagore visited China purely as a poet, yet his words set the tone and trend for India-China relations till the 1950�s. Premier Wen Jiabao hit the right note, when in his first engagement in Delhi in 2010 he visited a school named after Tagore and drew attention to the renewed attention in China today to his humanistic writings.

    Congress Party sent a small medical mission led by Dr Kotnis to help the Eighth Route Army in its War of Resistance in 1938. This team�s dedication and service to the People�s Liberation Army left a deep impression in the minds of the members of the Long March generation. This was the backdrop in which Nehru reached out to China in the 1950�s.

    A rude awakening to the Cold War realities of the 20th Century came about in the deteriorating relations in the end of 1950�s and to the 1962 War. The impact of this was different in the two countries. In China the average citizen had little knowledge of this War. They were in the grip of a totally controlled media. Besides, the population at large was grappling with life and death questions of the consequences of the Great Leap Forward. But, the impact in India was traumatic. Essentially it transformed in to a deep sense of betrayal at several levels, a sentiment that left deep scars.

    This contrast was reflected personally to me in June 1991 in many places in China where as a General Officer of the Indian Army and as the first Indian military guest of the PLA in over three decades, one was repeatedly accosted with the statement; �there are a thousand reasons why we should be friends and none at all why we should be enemies�. This was a sentiment that few would have shared in India at the time. As a first step in reconciliation we need to put this current history firmly behind us. This possibility was brought home to me personally through a brief encounter in Vietnam in the autumn of 2010. Shocked to see the utter devastation caused to innocent Vietnamese civilians in the most massive bombing in world history, in the deep underground bunkers north of Ho Chi Minh city, we asked if it was possible to forgive an enemy that caused these horrors. I was struck by the response of the young Vietnamese guide. He said; �If we were to hate the Americans, then how can we not also hate the French, the British, the Australians and the Chinese? We need to put history behind us if we hope to build a future�.

    Many would object to this idealistic approach to hard issues of national interests and they have a point. But, continuing with historic animosities is not the best foundation for national policy. In the realpolitik world of the 21st Century we will need to carefully craft a balance between our concerns and interests and evolve a cooperative relationship.

    THE NEED TO CHANGE MINDSETS

    The litany of issues between us is long and complex. A short paper such as this will only indicate broad approaches that India should adopt on some of the more important issues.

    The border issue easily heads any list and is also the most urgent. Even though no shot has been fired in anger across the Line of Actual Control since the last twenty six years, an unresolved border can no longer be �left to the next generation� to resolve. Already more than a generation has passed since Deng Xiaoping�s statement and this generation has not proved wiser. There is too much at stake today to pend this issue for long. Lingering problems tend to fester and often can be brought to light from hidden memories to buttress misgivings on other issues. Political sensitivity of this issue to both India and China however, has to be accepted and haste has to be made even if slowly.

    The fundamental reality about borders in the 21st Century is that none can be changed arbitrarily between two sovereign nations of some consequence without causing great destruction. Copious blood has already been shed over this border and today both nations have substantial nuclear weapons as well as conventional arms capability to persuade us to rule out this option. If that much is accepted, the only option that remains is a negotiated settlement. There is no doubt that each side should be prepared to make substantial compromises. But, the framework of a settlement has already been agreed in 2005 at Premier Wen�s last visit in 2005 under the Agreement on Political Parameters and Guiding Principles for the Settlement of the IndiaChina Boundary Question. This clearly rules out the possibility of exchanging populated areas.

    While there may be concerns today to make the borders porous, access to holy lands and pilgrimage places should have easy though controlled access. This will address so called claims based on religious sentiments. Fortunately most places along our common borders are uninhabited and hence minor changes in lines drawn on maps should have easier chance of acceptance.

    The question of the Kashmir border with China has caused recent concern in India. This need not really be the case. Once again on the Jammu & Kashmir question the position of both India and Pakistan has evolved. An exchange of territory, howsoever desirable to either side is not a realistic and even a desirable option. Hence converting the de-facto to de-jure is the issue between India and Pakistan. This will also have to be the option between India and China. This would require a leap of faith and bold political leadership.

    Admitted that such leaps are not the preferred options for realistic politicians aspiring to return to office a background of trust and friendship has to be created. Which in turn should be based on carefully crafted win-win situations for both. This is where other major approaches become important.



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  • pani_6
    07-14 11:45 PM
    Pappu,

    Could you please outline what you would you say about helping EB-3 out when you meet with DOL/USCIS officials next time IV meets them...also I want you to write a full letter that address the issue faced by Eb-3 and post it for us to mail it out...I understand that letter is not perfect..but it brings the dire picture of EB-3-I..

    From what I have seen in the Fourm posts nobody clearly knows how these Visa numbers are clearly allocated and everybody has thier own theory..and you know well legislation will not come this year and we do not know the composition of new congress next year..we may have a congress that even more anti-immigrant with the slowing economy.. and EB-3 I is badly hurting..

    We cant convert to Eb-2 now its too late..LC PERM are getting Audited (Taking 8-9 months ) and no PP for I-140..even if we apply for Eb-2 now...by the time it comes ..we dont know whether Eb-3 would have moved to say 2003 making all the PERM and I-140($$) efforts go waste...


    We want to know what is in store for EB-3...some folks write that only 5 families per state are going to get thier GC in EB-3.. at the current rate 2001 Eb-3 have to wait another 5 years to get thier numbers....

    Could you in your next meeting with DOL/USCIS/DOS please bring up the issues with EB-3 now that EB-2 has some relief..and give us whether we need to convert to EB-2 or in the near future will the numbers in EB-3 move..

    Frankly I have no enegery left ...

    Pappu..you are doing a great job..I commend your efforts..please show some direction for EB-3 ..some news from DOS/USCIS would be helpful...





    I have my disagreements with the letter content and have let it known in my posts on the thread.

    Pani you are an old IV member with IV experience and I trust that you would give second thoughts based on my comments.





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  • engineer
    01-03 12:31 AM
    Writer, Shuja Nawaz
    http://www.shujanawaz.com/index.php?mod=about


    Brinksmanship in South Asia: A Dangerous Scenario
    December 26, 2008 10:32 | PERMALINK (http://www.shujanawaz.com/blog/brinksmanship-in-south-asia-a-dangerous-scenario)
    Reports of military movement to the India-Pakistan border must raise alarums in Washington DC. The last thing that the incoming Obama administration wants is a firestorm in South Asia. There cannot be a limited war in the subcontinent, given the imbalance of forces between India and Pakistan. Any Indian attack across the border into Pakistan will likely be met with a full scale response from Pakistan. Yet, the rhetoric that seemed to have cooled down after the immediate aftermath of the Mumbai attacks is rising again. It was exactly this kind of aggressive posturing and public statements that led to the 1971 conflict between these two neighbors. Pakistan has relied in the past on international intervention to prevent war. It worked, except in 1971 when the US and other powers let India invade East Pakistan and lead to the birth of Bangladesh. What makes the current situation especially dangerous is that both are now nuclear weapon states with anywhere up to150 nuclear bombs in their arsenal. If India and Pakistan go to war, the world will lose. Big time. By putting conventional military pressure on Pakistan, is India calling what it perceives to be Pakistan�s bluff under the belief that the United Sates will force nuclear restraint on Pakistan?
    The early evidence after the Mumbai terrorist attack pointed to the absence of the Pakistan government�s involvement in the attack. Indeed, the government of Pakistan seemed to bend over backwards to accommodate and understand Indian anger at the tragedy. But, in the weeks since then, as domestic political pressure mounted on the Indian government to do more, talk has turned to the use of surgical strikes or other means to teach Pakistan a lesson. It was in India�s own interest to strengthen the ability of the fledgling civilian government of Pakistan to move against the militancy within the country. But it seems to have opted for threats to attack Pakistan, threats that, if followed up by actions, may well derail the process of civilianization and democratization in that country. India must recognize the constraints under which Pakistan operates. It cannot fight on two fronts. And it lacks the geographic depth to take the risk of leaving its eastern borders undefended at a time when India has been practicing its emerging Cold Start strategy in the border opposite Kasur. Under this strategy, up to four Integrated Battle Groups could move rapidly across the border and occupy a strategic chunk of Pakistani territory up to the outskirts of Lahore in a �limited war�.
    For Pakistan, there is no concept of �limited war�. Any war with India is seen as a total war, for survival. It risks losing everything the moment India crosses its border, and will likely react by attacking India in force at a point of its own choosing under its own Offensive-Defensive strategy. (That is probably why it is moving some of its Strike Force infantry divisions back from the Afghan border to the Indian one.) As the battles escalate, Indian�s numerical and weapon superiority will become critical. If no external intervention takes place quickly, Pakistan will then be left with the �poison pill� defence of its nuclear weapons.
    The consequences of such action are unimaginable for both countries and the world...
    The NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) conducted an analysis of the consequences of nuclear war in South Asia a year before the last stand-off in 2002. Under two scenarios, one (with a Princeton University team) studied the results of five air bursts over each country�s major cities and the other (done by the NRDC alone) with 24 ground explosions. The results were horrifying to say the least: 2.8 million dead, 1.5 million seriously injured, and 3.4 million slightly injured in the first case. Under the second scenario involving an Indian nuclear attack on eight major Pakistani cities and Pakistan�s attack on seven major Indian cities:
    NRDC calculated that 22.1 million people in India and Pakistan would be exposed to lethal radiation doses of 600 rem or more in the first two days after the attack. Another 8 million people would receive a radiation dose of 100 to 600 rem, causing severe radiation sickness and potentially death, especially for the very young, old or infirm. NRDC calculates that as many as 30 million people would be threatened by the fallout from the attack, roughly divided between the two countries.
    Besides fallout, blast and fire would cause substantial destruction within roughly a mile-and-a-half of the bomb craters. NRDC estimates that 8.1 million people live within this radius of destruction.
    Studies by Richard Turco, Alan Robock, and Brian Toon in 2006 and 2008 on the climate change impact of a regional nuclear war between these two South Asian rivals, were based on the use of 100 Hiroshima-sized nuclear devices of 15 kiloton each. The ensuing nuclear explosions would set 15 major cities in the subcontinent on fire and hurl five million tonnes of soot 80 kilometers into the air. This would deplete ozone levels in the atmosphere up to 40 per cent in the mid-latitudes that �could have huge effects on human health and on terrestrial, aquatic and marine ecosystems.� More important, the smoke and sot would cool the northern hemisphere by several degrees, disrupting the climate (shortening growing seasons, etc.) and creating massive agricultural failure for several years. The whole world would suffer the consequences.
    An Indo-Pakistan war will not cure the cancer of religious militancy that afflicts both countries today. Rather, India and Pakistan risk jeopardizing not only their own economic futures but also that of the world by talking themselves into a conflict. The world cannot afford to let that happen. The Indian and Pakistani governments can step back from the brink by withdrawing their forces from their common border and going back to quiet diplomacy to resolve their differences. The United States and other friends of both countries can act as honest brokers by publicly urging both to do just that before this simmering feud starts to boil over.
    This piece appeared in The Huffington Post, 26 December 2008 (http://www.shujanawaz.com//)



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  • Macaca
    05-27 06:05 PM
    The Audacity of Chinese Frauds (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/27/business/27norris.html) By FLOYD NORRIS | The New York Times

    To pull off a fraud that humiliates the cream of the global financial elite, you need to have some friends. And where better to have them than at the local bank?

    The fraud at Longtop Financial Technologies, a Chinese financial software company, was exposed this week in an amazing letter from its auditors, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu. It appears to be a tale of corrupt bankers and their threats to auditors who had learned of the lies.

    Deloitte, which had given clean audit opinions to Longtop for six consecutive years, apparently was well on its way to providing a seventh, for the fiscal year that ended March 31. But for some reason � Deloitte did not say why �the auditor went back to Longtop�s banks last week to again seek confirmation of cash balances.

    It appears Deloitte sought confirmations from bank headquarters, rather than the local branches that had previously verified that Longtop�s cash really was on deposit. And that set off panic at the software firm.

    �Within hours� of beginning the new round of confirmations on May 17, the confirmation process was stopped, Deloitte stated in its letter of resignation, the result of �intervention by the company�s officials including the chief operating officer, the confirmation process was stopped.�

    The company told banks that Deloitte was not really the auditor. It seized documents, Deloitte wrote, and made �threats to stop our staff leaving the company premises unless they allowed the company to retain our audit files.�

    Despite the company�s efforts, Deloitte learned Longtop did not have the cash it claimed and that there were �significant bank borrowings� not reflected in the company�s books.

    A few days later, Deloitte said, Longtop�s chairman, Jia Xiao Gong, told a Deloitte partner that there was �fake cash recorded on the books� because there had been �fake revenue in the past.�

    The stock has not traded since that confrontation. The final trade on the New York Stock Exchange was for $18.93, a price that valued the company at $1.1 billion. At its peak in November, it had a market capitalization of $2.4 billion.

    It now seems likely that the stock is worthless. It is a real company, but its revenue and profits probably were a small fraction of the amounts reported. The existence of the �significant� debt means that whatever assets are left are likely to be owned by the banks, not the investors.

    Deloitte may have decided to check the numbers again because it knew a growing group of bears on the stock had been challenging the Longtop story as too good to be true, questioning both its financial statements and the claims it made for its software. A month earlier, Deloitte resigned as the auditor of another Chinese company, China MediaExpress, in part because of questions about bank confirmations.

    It is never good for an auditor to have certified a fraud, but Deloitte seems to have acted properly. It got bank confirmations, and it got them directly from the banks rather than relying on the company to provide them, as PricewaterhouseCoopers had done when it failed to notice a huge fraud at Satyam, an Indian technology company.

    But the confirmations were lies.

    �This means the Chinese banks were in on the fraud, at least at branch level,� says John Hempton, the chief investment officer of Bronte Capital, an Australian hedge fund. He was one of the bears who questioned Longtop�s claims and now stands to profit from the stock�s collapse.

    �This is no longer a story about Longtop, and it is not a story about Deloitte,� he added. �Given the centrality of Chinese banks to the global economy, it�s a story much bigger than Deloitte or Longtop.�

    The Securities and Exchange Commission has started an investigation, and no doubt more details will emerge, including the names of the banks involved. Just what, if anything, Chinese officials choose to do could provide an indication about whether defrauding foreign investors is deemed to be a serious crime in China.

    Fraud in Chinese stocks is not new. But it had seemed that the worst problems were in small companies without Wall Street pedigrees. Many of the fraudulent companies went public in the United States by the reverse-merger shell route, a course long favored by shady stock promoters. That route allowed companies to start trading without going though a formal underwriting process or having its prospectus reviewed by the S.E.C. And many used tiny audit firms based in the United States that seemingly did little if any work.

    What is stunning about Longtop and some other recent disasters is the list of smart people who were fooled.

    Longtop did not go public through a reverse merger. Its initial public offering, in 2007, was underwritten by Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank. Morgan Stanley was a lead manager in a 2009 offering of more shares. Major owners of the stock included hedge funds run by people known as �tiger cubs� because they got their start at Julian Robertson�s Tiger Fund.

    On May 4, only a couple of weeks before the fateful struggle at Longtop offices, an analyst for Morgan Stanley, Carol Wang, wrote:

    �Longtop�s stock price has been very volatile in recent days amid fraud allegations that management has denied. Our analysis of margins and cash flow gives us confidence in its accounting methods. We believe market misconceptions provide a good entry point for long-term investors.�

    By then, Longtop officials had begun to scramble. According to its last audited balance sheet, cash accounted for more than half of Longtop�s $606 million in assets. Bears were asking why the company needed all that cash and were questioning whether it existed.

    In mid-March, just after the fraud at China MediaExpress was exposed, Longtop announced plans to put some of the cash to use by spending up to $50 million to repurchase its own shares. On April 28, the company tried to assure analysts that the fraud claims were bogus. Derek Palaschuk, a Canadian accountant who served as the company�s chief financial officer, wrapped himself in Deloitte�s prestige, saying that those who questioned Longtop were �criticizing the integrity of one of the top accounting firms in the world.�

    �For me,� he said, �the most important relations I have other than with my family, my C.E.O., and then the next on the list is Deloitte as our auditor, because their trust and support is extremely important.�

    Mr. Palaschuk had an explanation for why the company had not repurchased any shares. It had some very good news that it had not yet released, and �we were advised by our securities counsel that we should not be in the market purchasing our own shares in the event that this would be considered insider trading.�

    Longtop is not the only Chinese fraud that caught prominent Americans. Starr International, an investment company run by Hank Greenberg, the former chairman of American International Group, invested $43.5 million in China MediaExpress and had a representative on the company�s board. Starr has filed suit in Delaware against the company and Deloitte.

    Goldman Sachs was not the underwriter of ShengdaTech, a Chinese chemical company traded on Nasdaq, but its investment arm, Goldman Sachs Investment Management, had accumulated a 7.6 percent stake in the company before its auditor, KPMG, refused to sign off on the company�s 2010 annual report and then resigned in late April. KPMG cited �serious discrepancies� regarding bank balances and �discrepancies between KPMG�s direct calls to customers and confirmations returned by mail.� Just as at Longtop, it appeared that auditors had been given false confirmation letters.

    In each of those three cases � Longtop, China MediaExpress and ShengdaTech � the auditors discovered discrepancies, but only after signing off on financial statements. That was not the case in this year�s other � and perhaps most embarrassing � resignation by a Big Four auditing firm.





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  • chintu25
    08-08 06:54 PM
    Boss: Where were you born ?

    Santa: Oye Punjab.



    Boss: Which part?

    Santa: Oye, Kya which part? Whole body born in Punjab.



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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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  • thomachan72
    07-08 08:56 AM
    Avery sad situation indeed. Hoping and praying that you see the silver line around the dark cloud fast. Is anybody aware of lawyers who would work through such situations for legal immigrants for free? I know it seems an absurd question, but in this country there are many service minded people also. One suggestion I have is to contact a nearby church / christian ministry and see is there are any lawyers with them who would give advice for free. I know many churches conduct free vaccination, health evaluation, maternity camps which specifically target desperate immigrants / poor american citizens.



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  • puddonhead
    06-26 01:48 PM
    If you spend the rest of your life renting, the risk is 100%�you end up with nothing. I will take my chances investing my money in buying a home because its certainly better than losing 100%.

    If you buy - and take a mortgate - you end up losing (the same way you "lose" your rent)
    1. Interest you pay
    2. Property taxes you will pay forever.
    3. Maintenance you will pay forever.

    On the other hand - if you rent and,
    A. IF you pay less in rent than #1 + #2 + #3,
    B. IF you invest the remainder plus your mortgage principal amount in some other investment vehicle with superior investment returns than real estate.
    .... Then you will come out ahead renting.

    The tipping point is whether your rent equals interest + property taxes + maintenance. Based on which side is higher - either renting or buying could be good for you. I don't think there is a clear cut answer. This does not take into account the flexibility associated with renting - which is important for non-GC holders. If you assign a non-zero dollar value of $X with that flexibility, then your rent needs to be interest + tax + maintanance + $X to get to the tipping point. On the other hand, if you are not forced to save (in the form of mortgage principal payment every month) - you may just spend that money instead of investing that. If you assign a dollar value of $Y with that (probability multiplied by actual dollar value) - then the tipping point is at
    $rent = $interest + $tax + $maintenance + $X(dollar value for flexibility) - $Y(dollar value for probability of spending money instead of saving).

    Now as soon as you plug in the numbers in this equation - it will give you your tipping point and will tell you whether it is right for you to rent or to buy.

    Think about it. It is not as clear cut as you think it is. :-) Based on your earlier posts - you got an absolutely faboulous deal on your house (maybe because of your timing) and the tipping point equation would probably highly favor buying in your case. For many other (specially for those without a GC) - it may not be so clear cut.





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  • gomirage
    06-08 06:41 PM
    Your common sense tells you to abandon your GC because it is taking too long? Then with your defeatist mentality, you should leave the country now. In case you didn't read a word of what I said, the interest you pay is tax deductible.

    What is the difference if you had your GC or not? If you had it would you still be renting? The ONE and ONLY reason I would ever rent is if it was a rent stabilised apartment in a good location in Manhattan, or when I am saving up enough money to buy.

    You are a genius. Actually it's been a while now since since I left and I am glad and had the defeatist mentality to build a better life for myself and my family elsewhere.

    For a genius, you should better. Just because you are on this forum, doesn't mean you are in the US, lol.

    I have been member of this community and like to discuss with ex fellow GC seekers. You don't know the difference between GC or not ? Let me explain it to you, genius. With a GC you know that you are legaly entitled to stay permanently, at least until you commit something to have it revoked. Without GC, when your time is up, you have to pack and leave. Get it ? or is it STILL too complicated for you, genius ?

    Wonder how can someone suffer after GC and still doesn't know the difference.





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  • pranju
    05-29 09:00 PM
    Donot forget to send the webfax :)





    LostInGCProcess
    08-05 03:56 PM
    ROLLING_FLOOD HAS STARTED THE 'FLOOD' AND HE 'ROLLED' OUT....He is probably laughing his as* off....

    Don't worry too much about GC...it would ruin your life if you think a lot about it.

    We all (at least most of us) came to this country with 2 big suitcases and a carry-on bag (with lots of pickels and masalas and clothes and many other stuff) and maybe couple of thousand $$.

    So, if you look back you all have achieved something more then that for sure...if we don't get GC, then lets pack those 2 suitcases and head home...no big deal !!!! keep a positive attitude and everything would be fine.

    just my thoughts :)





    Macaca
    09-24 04:30 PM
    How To Write To Congress (http://consumerist.com/consumer/your-government/how-to-write-to-congress-302775.php) BY CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER | Consumerist, SEP 23 2007

    Writing to Congress is the single best way to express your view on public policy. The average consumer has a surprising ability to influence legislation by crafting a well written missive and avoiding several common mistakes.

    Why Personal Letters Beat Form Letters

    Don't get suckered in by the quick and easy "Write to Congress!" form letters littering the internet. Form letters are not an expression of values; they are a show of organizational strength. If the NRA convinces five million people to send letters opposing gun control, it shows that the NRA can muster five million people to action, not that five million people necessarily care about gun laws. Congressional offices know this and generally disregard form letters.

    So what happens when you send a letter?

    Every office has its own procedures for tabulating constituent correspondence, but most will produce a report at the end of week breaking down how many letters were received by issue area, separating out form letters from letters sent by individual constituents.

    Members treat each type of letter differently, but most look for individual letters as a barometer of their district's concerns. These are the letters that have the most influence, the ones we will show you how to write.

    What Should Your Letter Say?

    We adhere to the three paragraph rule: introduce yourself, introduce your issue, request action. Congressional offices have staffers whose days are spent solely on the mail, so make their lives easier by keeping letter succinct and to the point.

    Introduce Yourself: There is a two-prong test for determining your worth: 1) Are you a constituent? 2) Are you an important constituent? Feel free to puff up your chest. Are you a lifelong member of the district? Are you associated with community groups? Say so! Convince the reader that yours is a voice of experience and wisdom.

    Be specific: Don't just ask a Member to oppose mandatory binding arbitration agreements. Ask them to rush to the floor to support S.1782, The Arbitration Fairness Act of 2007.

    Marshall Facts: Your argument - and you are making an argument - must be supported by facts. Feel free to use facts gleaned from us or other sources, but don't copy and paste paragraphs of pre-written text from form letters. Personal experiences are particularly effective, and often moving. Share them!
    Be Exceedingly Polite, Please: Congress attracts haughty personalities. Staffers don't appreciate being spoken down to or insulted. You are trying to rally them to your cause, so be nice!

    Clearly State Your Request: Plainly tell your representative that you want them to support or oppose a certain bill. If you want a response, explicitly (but politely!) ask for one.

    It should go without saying that your letter should follow all formal style guidelines, such as a return name and address, and should be free of spelling and grammatical errors.

    Send Your Letter To The Right Place

    Only write to your representatives. You have three: one Representative in the House, and two Senators. Do not send more than three letters. Some citizens try to get their voice heard by writing to all 435 members of the House. Congressional courtesy compels the 434 Members who do not represent the zealot to forward his letter to the one lucky Member who does. This angers the Member's staff greatly at the expense of any point you are trying to make.

    The addresses for your Representatives and Senators are available online, but don't waste your time with an email. Letters carry significantly more weight. Send your letter to the Capitol, where the legislative staff is based, though it will take a while to arrive since all incoming Congressional mail is irradiated thanks to those still-unidentified Anthrax mailers.

    For an even greater impact, send your letter care of the staffer covering the issue. These staffers - called Legislative Assistants - are the Member's eyes and ears on their assigned issue areas. Finding the staffer destined to read your letter is easy: call the Capitol switchboard (open 24 hours a day!) at (202) 224-3121, ask for your Member's office, and ask the person who answers for the name of the staffer handling the issue area or bill number. Once you get that name, address your letter like this:

    Member Of Congress
    c/o Staffer
    Office Building/Number
    Washington, DC 20515

    What Should You Expect In Return?

    Depends. There are 535 Congressional offices and each handles constituent correspondence differently. The vast majority respond to letters with either a form letter pre-written by a Legislative Assistant, or with a more personal response written by a Legislative Correspondent. Controversial issues that attract many letters normally receive a form letter response, while smaller issues or specific questions often receive the attention of a personalized response.

    Conclusion

    Members of Congress work for you. Without your votes, they won't stay in office. They go to great lengths to cultivate a positive relationship with you, their boss. Very few people take the time to write to a Member of Congress, so the few that do carry a disproportionate influence.

    Fifteen minutes is well worth the time to influence a $2 trillion enterprise.



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