Monday, July 11, 2011

august 2010 esquire

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  • breddy2000
    03-31 10:02 PM
    I was quoting you to make a point, did not mean to put words in your mouth. Apologies.

    I totally agree about the transperancy part and the affect measuring people has on productivity. My receipt date is 07/30/09 and notice date is 09/06/2009, there were cases filed after mine on which RFEs were issued. Does it mean they have preadjudicated/looked at my case ? I can only wish as it is pretty hard to believe that it was looked at.

    did u mean to say 2007 or 2009 on your receipt and notice dates?





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  • wantgc23
    08-11 07:55 PM
    really good thread





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  • Macaca
    12-29 07:31 PM
    Suicides in India Revealing How Men Made a Mess of Microcredit (http://washpost.bloomberg.com/Story?docId=1376-LE3PZI1A1I4H01-0F7HGVAGBBTBG4G4S2I5PL8TJ5) By Yoolim Lee and Ruth David | Bloomberg

    Tanda Srinivas was lounging in the yard of his two-room house in the southern Indian village of Mondrai shortly after noon on Oct. 28 when his wife, Shobha, burst out of the door covered in flames and screaming for help.

    The 30-year-old mother of two boys had poured 2 liters of kerosene on herself and lit a match. The couple had argued bitterly the day before over how they would repay multiple loans, including those from microlenders who had lent small sums to dozens of villagers, says Venkateshwarlu Masram, a doctor who called for the ambulance.

    Shobha, head of several groups of women borrowers, was being pressured to pay interest on her 12,000 rupee ($265) loan. Lenders also were demanding that she cover for the other women, even though the state had restricted microfinance activities two weeks earlier, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its February issue.

    When Srinivas, 35, tried to snuff out the flames with a blanket, his polyester clothes caught fire. Within three days, both parents were dead, leaving their sons orphans.

    Now, on this November morning, the boys� ailing 70-year-old grandfather and blind grandmother say they are caring for Aravind, 10, and Upender, 13, in the farming village where many men earn a living gathering palm extract to make alcoholic beverages.

    None of the boys� relatives can support them full time, says their 60-year-old grandmother, Saiamma, breaking into tears.

    India�s Microlending Hub

    The horrific scene in Mondrai, 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the city of Warangal, has played out in dozens of ways across Andhra Pradesh, India�s fifth-largest state by area and the site of about a third of the country�s $5.3 billion in microfinance loans as of Sept. 30.

    More than 70 people committed suicide in the state from March 1 to Nov. 19 to escape payments or end the agonies their debt had triggered, according to the Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty, a government agency that compiled the data on the microfinance-related deaths from police and press reports.

    Andhra Pradesh, where three-quarters of the 76 million people live in rural areas, suffered a total of 14,364 suicide cases in the first nine months of 2010, according to state police.

    A growing number of microfinance-related deaths spurred the state to clamp down on collection practices in mid-October, says Reddy Subrahmanyam, principal secretary for rural development.

    �Every life is important,� he says.

    Perverse Turn

    On Nov. 8, police arrested two managers of lender Share Microfin Ltd. on allegations of abetting another suicide, this one of a 22-year-old mother. Share Microfin didn�t respond to requests for comment on this story.

    As India struggles to provide decent education, health care and jobs to millions still locked in poverty, microlending -- the loaning of small sums to the world�s neediest people to help them earn a living -- has taken a perverse turn.

    Microcredit has become �Walmartized� by unrestrained selling of cheap products to the poor, says Malcolm Harper, chairman of ratings company Micro-Credit Ratings International Ltd. in Gurgaon, India.

    �Selling debt is like selling drugs,� says Harper, 75, the author of more than 20 books on microfinance and other topics. �Selling debt to illiterate women in Andhra Pradesh, you�ve got to be a lot more responsible.�

    Opposite Effect

    K. Venkat Narayana, an economics professor at Kakatiya University in Warangal, has studied how microfinance lenders persuaded groups of women to borrow.

    �Microfinance was supposed to empower women,� he says. �Microfinance guys reversed the social and economic progress, and these women ended up becoming slaves.�

    India�s booming microlending industry is part of a global phenomenon that began as a charitable movement but now attracts private capital seeking growth and high returns.

    Banco Compartamos SA, a former nonprofit that�s now the largest lender to Mexico�s working poor, raised about $467 million in its 2007 initial public offering. The August IPO of SKS Microfinance Ltd., India�s biggest microlender, drew further attention to the industry.

    SKS began operating in 1998 as a nongovernmental organization led by Vikram Akula, 42, an Indian-American with a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago.

    The company raised 16.3 billion rupees by selling 16.8 million shares at 985 rupees each. SKS shares peaked at 1,404.85 rupees on Sept. 15. As of Dec. 28, they�d fallen to 652.85 rupees.

    Andhra Pradesh Crisis

    On Oct. 15, the government of Andhra Pradesh imposed restrictions that bar microlenders� collection agents from visiting borrowers and required companies to get local authorities� approval for new loans. The rules have crippled lending and repayments. Loan collection levels in the state have dropped to less than 20 percent from 98 percent previously, according to an industry group.

    The upheaval in Andhra Pradesh is a long way from the vision of Muhammad Yunus.

    The former economics professor won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his pioneering work in Bangladesh providing small sums to entrepreneurs too poor to get bank loans.

    Yunus, 70, discovered more than three decades ago that when you lend money to women in poverty, they can begin to earn a living, and most of them will pay you back.

    Yunus started the Grameen Bank Project in 1976 to extend banking services to the poor. Since then, it has lent $9.87 billion and recovered $8.76 billion; 97 percent of its 8.33 million borrowers are female.

    �Wrong Direction�

    Yunus says he�s not against making a profit. But he denounces firms that seek windfalls and pervert the original intent of microfinance: helping the poor.

    The rule of thumb for a loan should be the cost of funds plus 10 percent, he says.

    �Commercialization is the wrong direction,� Yunus says, speaking in a telephone interview from Bangladesh�s capital of Dhaka. �An initial public offering is the triggering point for making a lot of money personally as well as for the company and shareholders.�

    David Gibbons, chairman of Cashpor Micro Credit, a nonprofit microlender to the poorest women in India�s Uttar Pradesh and Bihar states, says public, for-profit lenders face a conflict.

    �They have to decide between the interests of their customers and interests of their investors,� he says.





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  • Macaca
    05-01 06:05 PM
    A New Immigration Consensus
    A bipartisan coalition of business leaders and mayors have joined together to make the case that visa reform is an economic imperative. (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703387904576279293334248326.html)
    By MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG | Wall Street Journal

    Last month, President Obama convened a diverse group of business executives, mayors, law enforcement leaders, ministers and advocates at the White House to discuss a problem that threatens America's economic future�our broken immigration system.

    We've tried before to fix it. President George W. Bush made comprehensive immigration reform a major legislative priority during his second term. Congressional leaders from both parties, including Sens. Ted Kennedy and John McCain, worked tirelessly to pass legislation. But the bill could not garner the required votes. Nor could a much narrower bill, the Dream Act, which would have granted legal status to the children of immigrants who enroll in college or the military.

    These defeats have led to a conventional wisdom in Washington that bipartisan immigration reform is impossible. But a new consensus on immigration reform has emerged in the business community that could break the logjam and provide a much-needed jolt to our economy. The idea is simple: Reform the way we attract and keep talented and hard-working people from abroad to better promote economic growth.

    In the global economy, the countries that attract the world's best, brightest and hardest-working will grow and succeed. Those that refuse them entry will not. America has long understood this. We would not have become a global superpower without opening our doors to immigrants�and we cannot long remain one without continuing that practice. Smart, self-motivated immigrants spur the innovations and create the jobs our economy needs to thrive. Between 1995 and 2005, for example, 25% of high-tech startups in the U.S. had at least one immigrant as a key founder. Those companies alone have created 450,000 jobs�with the vast majority of them going to Americans.

    Our global competitors understand how crucial immigrants are to economic growth. They roll out the red carpet for entrepreneurs; we have no entrepreneur visa. They heavily recruit our advanced-degree students; we educate them and send them home. They woo the engineers, scientists and other skilled professionals who invent new products, launch product lines, and develop the technology of tomorrow; we erect arbitrary, senseless and bureaucratic barriers to recruitment. And we do all this even as our unemployment rate hovers around 9%.

    Although each party claims to have the solution to our country's economic woes, neither has embraced a job-creation strategy based on immigration reform, which would not add a penny to the national debt. To spur them into action, a bipartisan coalition of business leaders and mayors has joined together to make the case that visa reform is an economic imperative. In nine months the Partnership for a New American Economy has grown to more than 200 members, including companies that together employ more than 3.5 million people.

    We believe in the need to secure our borders, make it possible to hold businesses accountable for verifying the status of workers, address the reality that 11 million people are here illegally and cannot be deported en masse�and increase lawful opportunities for those who want to come to this country and contribute to our prosperity. Nevertheless, our nation cannot afford to wait for Washington to get its act together and pass comprehensive immigration reform. There is too much at stake. Our economy demands that we take immediate action on the most urgent�and politically attainable�reform: making it easier for job creators to come and stay here.

    Creating a visa for entrepreneurs who already have funding to start their businesses will lead directly and immediately to American jobs. Visa reforms to improve temporary and permanent pathways for companies to fill the current shortages of engineers, scientists and other specialists�whose annual visa caps are often exhausted within days of becoming available�will spur growth at existing U.S. companies.

    Providing visas to the brightest foreign graduates of our universities will allow our economy to reap the rewards of their work. At the same time, allowing immigrants who succeed in college, or serve in our military, the chance to pursue a career and build their lives here legally will strengthen the long-term health of the American economy.

    Finally, developing a reliable way for employers to hire guest workers�who grow the nation's food, support our $1.3 trillion tourism industry, and fill seasonal gaps across industries�will help support U.S. businesses and create additional, better-paying American jobs.

    Those who focus on where the parties differ on immigration, rather than where they both agree, have paralyzed the debate in Washington for far too long. Despite this deadlock, there is an opportunity for both parties to seize upon the economics of immigration reform and focus on what all Americans agree we need: more jobs. Leaders of both parties talk about creating jobs, but they are ignoring the voices of business leaders who can actually create them�if only Congress would give them the tools.

    Mr. Bloomberg, an independent, is mayor of New York City

    In Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio shrugs off a rough April (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-arpaio-trouble-20110501,0,3084923.story) By Nicholas Riccardi | Los Angeles Times
    Obama renews call for immigration action in Miami speech (http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-renews-call-for-immigration-action-in-miami-speech/2011/04/29/AFbdHUHF_story.html) By Perry Bacon Jr. | The Washington Post



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  • jhegde
    08-02 03:47 PM
    .





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  • gc_chahiye
    08-02 07:38 PM
    People always read what they want to read.

    Read the memo and they always mention "intent", "good faith".

    USCIS always leaves significant wiggle room for themselves when they want to deny cases.

    ouch. there is always uncertainty, all steps of this gc process :(

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



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  • Madhuri
    05-16 08:27 PM
    Who knows what bills congress is going pass and not . I would rather live with status quo rather than things getting worse for me . They dont even let me file for 485 because of per country limits etc.....
    I second that. I don't want to find myself in biggermess after all this is over.


    I am talking about people whose permanent labors are approved but they can not get green card for whateever reason. My labor application for future job was applied 3 yeags ago in the past As per my employer job was available 3 years ago and government took its own time to adjudicate the application. Does my last statement sound illogical? Your analysis is same , I mean illogical .

    Who knows what bills congress is going pass and not . I would rather live with status quo rather than things getting worse for me . They dont even let me file for 485 because of per country limits etc...





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  • xyzgc
    12-22 01:53 AM
    It is one of the obvious facts that D-Company has financed and supported(ing) lot of terror activities in India. I'm not able to understand why the Indian government is not taking steps to crackdown their illegal empire in Bombay. If the funding is stopped there will be a huge decrease in terrorist activities.

    Yes, India may not be able to go to war and catch Dawood in Pakistan but they can definitely start taking action against all the business and people supporting Dawood in Mumbai. I was surprised why nobody has talked or taken any action about this. Up to the time government start taking some sincere actions Indian people have to suffer like this.

    Agreed, lot of issues are internal. There are internal enemies and external.
    The govt is corrupt. What else can we say? Most of the elections are run on illegal money.
    Believe me, friend, there is going to be another attack, in some other city probably, and strong-minded indian citizens are going to ignore it like its another mosquito bite.
    If your parliament can be attacked and you can ignore it, you can perhaps survive anything.



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  • alterego
    04-06 09:35 AM
    I think you missed my point. I was not trying to connect the ARM reset schedule with write-offs at wall street firms. Instead, I was trying to point out that there will be increased number of foreclosures as those ARMs reset over the next 36 months.

    The next phase of the logic is: increased foreclosures will lead to increased inventory, which leads to lower prices, which leads to still more foreclosures and "walk aways" (people -citizens- who just dont want to pay the high mortgages any more since it is way cheaper to rent). This leads to still lower prices. Prices will likely stabilize when it is cheaper to buy vs. rent. Right now that calculus is inverted. In many bubble areas (both coasts, at a minimum) you would pay significantly more to buy than to rent (2X or more per month with a conventional mortgage in some good areas).

    On the whole, I will debate only on financial and rational points. I am not going to question someone's emotional position on "homeownership." It is too complicated to extract someone out of their strongly held beliefs about how it is better to pay your own mortgage than someone elses, etc. All that is hubris that is ingrained from 5+ years of abnormally strong rising prices.

    Let us say that you have two kids, age 2 and 5. The 5 year old is entering kindergarten next fall. You decide to buy in a good school district this year. Since your main decision was based on school choice, let us say that your investment horizon is 16 years (the year your 2 year old will finish high school at age 18).

    Let us further assume that you will buy a house at the price of $600,000 in Bergen County, with 20% down ($120,000) this summer. The terms of the loan are 30 year fixed, 5.75% APR. This loan payment alone is $2800 per month. On top of that you will be paying at least 1.5% of value in property taxes, around $9,000 per year, or around $750 per month. Insurance will cost you around $1500 - $2000 per year, or another $150 or so per month. So your total committed payments will be around $3,700 per month.

    You will pay for yard work (unless you are a do-it-yourself-er), and maintenance, and through the nose for utilities because a big house costs big to heat and cool. (Summers are OK, but desis want their houses warm enough in the winter for a lungi or veshti:))

    Let us assume further that in Bergen county, you can rent something bigger and more comfortable than your 1200 sq ft apartment from a private party for around $2000. So your rental cost to house payment ratio is around 1.8X (3700/2000).

    Let us say further that the market drops 30% conservatively (will likely be more), from today through bottom in 4 years. Your $600k house will be worth 30% less, i.e. $420,000. Your loan will still be worth around $450k. If you needed to sell at this point in time, with 6% selling cost, you will need to bring cash to closing as a seller i.e., you are screwed. At escrow, you will need to pay off the loan of $450k, and pay 6% closing costs, which means you need to bring $450k+$25k-$420k = $55,000 to closing.

    So you stand to lose:

    1. Your down payment of $120k
    2. Your cash at closing if you sell in 4 years: $55k
    3. Rental differential: 48 months X (3700 - 2000) = $81k

    Total potential loss: $250,000!!!

    This is not a "nightmare scenario" but a very real one. It is happenning right now in many parts of the country, and is just now hitting the more populated areas of the two coasts. There is still more to come.

    My 2 cents for you guys, desi bhais, please do what you need to do, but keep your eyes open. This time the downturn is very different from the business-investment related downturn that followed the dot com bust earlier this decade.

    The truth is probably between the extreme pessimism in this post and the unbridled optimism in other posts.

    Never trust what realtors tell you, they are in it to make a sale and it is always in their interest to talk up the market. I have never yet seen/read/heard a realtor speak negatively about the market. Even if they are asked an obvious question like do you think prices have fallen in the last year they will say they have trended down a little but the foreclosure crisis is over now, and the fed is acting decisively and the demographics speak to a longer term secular uptrend bla bla blaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Some BS to justify their talk.

    The bottom line is there will be a hangover of a few years from this unprecedented bubble in housing, it will be more severe in hotspot areas we all know about. In those areas you will likely see a 25-30% drop with about half of it already baked in, another half spread out more slowly over the next 3 yrs that that graph illustrated. Additionally the inflation rate of 3-4%(you can expect an uptick over the next 2-3 yrs) will eat away another few percentage points of your capital , while also eating away at your loan.
    The net effect is that you would be another 20% or so the worse off in these hotbed areas in the next 3-4 yrs. In more steady areas, that fall will be much more muted perhaps half or less of that. However sales will slow to a crawl with the slowing jobs market.

    The main determinants of house prices are.

    1) Inventory............a negative right now.

    2) Credit............negative but with scope for improvement in the next 12 mths.

    3) Jobs...........likely to be down for the next 6 months atleast.

    4) Salaries..................Global pressures on these will likley persist with some tax help to average americans likley if Dems. take control.

    5) Market psychology...................likely damaged for the near term atleast 12 mths.

    6) The replacement value of homes. Land is a non factor here in this country. I scoff at suggestions to the contrary. Even in cities with restrictions, this is a yawn yawn factor. Unless you are speaking about downtown manhattan it is not a factor. Construction costs on the other hand are a factor. A value of $100 per Sq Ft of constructed value is perhaps par for the course right now, that can only go up, with rising commodity prices, salaries for construction with illegals kicked out etc over time this will go up.

    7) Rental rates to home prices. This too will catch up. Folks kicked out of sub prime mortgage homes need to go somewhere. They will likley drive demand for rentals.

    All of this points to a fast then a slow correction. I think we are nearing the end of the fast phase of home price correction. 20-25% in hotbed areas and 7-12% in other areas. I think you will see a more gradual correction of a similar magnitude spread over 3-4 yrs now.

    Lets see how it all unfolds.

    Remember Every drinking binge has a hangover! The US housing market is now in one.





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  • puddonhead
    06-26 05:52 PM
    A lot of bickering going on in this thread is because many of us (including yours truely) find it very difficult to understand/calculate
    1. Time Value of money (Wiki Link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_value_of_money)).
    2. Cash Flow (Wiki Link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cash_flow))
    3. Risk, not the english term - but the quantifiable aspects of it (Wiki link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Risk))
    4. Leverage (Wiki Link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leverage_(finance)))

    I have worked on many of these concepts for > 2 years at work (I am a techie - but have also worked as a BA and part time quant for some time). I still personally find it very difficult to intuitively understand many of those concepts.

    A proper conclusion of whether buying is better or renting is would involve each and every one of these concepts - and a lot of assumptions (what will be rate of inflation, how will the home prices behave etc). Since there would be so many assumptions - I doubt it will be at all possible to arrive at any definitive conclusion. Your best bet would probably be a monte carlo analysis and see which one is more probably the superior one.

    So surprise of surprises - there is no "right answer"!!

    That said - I personally follow the a modified model of "dynamic programming" that my college taught me in the 2nd year of bachelors. You CAN NOT estimate future variables with ANY accuracy. So optimize your present steps based on some cost function.

    Applying that to the present problem - you CAN NOT estimate how the home prices will behave in future or how will the rent be or how will the inflation (or - horror of horrors - deflation) behave. The only thing you can optimize is your cash flow TODAY and the Present Value of any investment you hold. Present value = market value of your equity (even if the price is 40% lower than when you bought). Your "cost function" (maybe we should rename it to "wealth function") that you are trying to optimize is your net worth.

    The result of the "dynamic programming" approach if probably not going to be the most optimal - but it will be the best that I know of. :-)

    Best of luck guys.



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  • krishna.ahd
    08-26 09:19 AM
    What men say and what they actually mean . . .

    • "I'M GOING FISHING" Means: "I'm going to drink myself dangerously stupid, and stand by a stream with a stick in my hand, while the fish swim by in complete safety."
    • "YES, DEAR..." Means: Absolutely nothing. It's a conditioned response.
    • "IT WOULD TAKE TOO LONG TO EXPLAIN" Means: "I have no idea how it works."
    • "TAKE A BREAK HONEY, YOU'RE WORKING TOO HARD". Means: "I can't hear the game over the vacuum cleaner."
    • "THAT'S INTERESTING, DEAR." Means: "Are you still talking?"
    • "I WAS JUST THINKING ABOUT YOU, AND GOT YOU THESE ROSES". Means: "The girl selling them on the corner was a real babe."
    • "WHAT DID I DO THIS TIME?" Means: "What did you catch me at?"
    • "I HEARD YOU." Means: "I haven't the foggiest clue what you just said, and am hoping desperately that I can fake it well enough so that you don't spend the next 3 days yelling at me."
    • "YOU KNOW I COULD NEVER LOVE ANYONE ELSE." Means: "I am used to the way you yell at me, and realize it could be worse."
    • "YOU LOOK TERRIFIC." Means: "Please don't try on one more outfit, I'm starving."
    • "WE SHARE THE HOUSEWORK." Means: "I make the messes, she cleans them up."
    Just want to add one more

    "Thats a good question" - Means i have no clue or have no answer for that question.





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  • Ahimsa
    02-22 06:46 AM
    ... there would be more louder Dobbsians in the future if anti immigration gets established inteh general psyche of Americans as it has already in many, many, many european nations.

    Dobbsians will fail in establishing anti-immigrant sentiments, because at anytime, general psyche of Americans will always be "US is a nation of immigrants". US is different in this respect compared to european nations.



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  • gcisadawg
    12-31 04:55 PM
    Do you realize that
    a) Hitler did not export terror. He invaded and occupied countries. Non-state actors trying to kill Pakistanis, and Indians, and trying to start a war between India and Pakistan, are not the same as one country invading another.
    b) That was before the atomic bomb,

    Alisa,

    Look, the Pakistani military/Govt. is not capable of dealing with these 'non-state' actors. Your logic that it is going to take several years to neutralize and India has to wait for that period to pass is simply dumb.
    Would you allow a thief to rob your own home over and over again? Depending on your logic, it looks like you wait for several thefts to pass before taking action against the thief.

    Looks like most of Pakistan doesn't want to grow up.

    Thanks,
    G





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  • Macaca
    12-26 08:38 AM
    Congressional Quarterly now conducts multiple voting studies and often does not count procedural votes. To get the most politically accurate result, the NRCC monitors only how often the freshmen vote with Pelosi, who as speaker usually votes only on the most important issues. Washingtonpost.com's party unity score is based on all votes.

    Rep. Brad Ellsworth (D-Ind.), who has opposed more than half the journal votes, called his opposition "protest votes against little things I heard during the day" before.

    "I hope the people back home are monitoring all my votes," he said.



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  • riva2005
    04-06 09:06 PM
    you need to touch the bottom of barrel to go on another direction, this will be the bottom of the barrel I suppose

    these protectionist will realize as many H1B dependent companies virtual outsource all there jobs

    well in all seriousness I don't think this bill will be passed in senate,

    This bill may not be introduced in its current form anywhere.

    But I am sure they are going to use this bill to pull sections out of it and introduce it as amendments. Both sponsors of this bill are Judiciary committee. That makes it possible for them to put amendments not just on the floor, but also in the committee. If they think whole bill will not pass as a single amendment, they will put small pieces of it so that it can pass the roll-call one piece at a time.





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  • akkakarla
    07-15 11:28 AM
    Let us be honest. A lot of us who came through body shops had to pay lawyer fee or had to take a cut in pay. Many of us had to sit in the bench for a long time with out pay. At the end of the day, not all of us are the best and the brightest but we are ready to work harder than the average Joe. With or without us this country will go forward. We are here to get a greencard and to become part of the melting pot. Please admit it my friends. I fully understands why many Americans are against us. We simply take their job. Then we insult them. Then we say, if we go back the American economy will go to hell. The companies are here for cheap labor. The congressmen who support them are the biggest receivers of their contribution. That is the reality. Let us not forget that. :D

    You cannot make a definite conclusion that everyone come through Body Shops and Stay on Bench etc. There are many who came to do Masters and got good jobs on H1B. Because of few rare incidents you cannot generalise that everyone do the same. We Indians(atleast the indians I know) never felt that way of American economy will go to hell blah blah if we are not there. Maybe you feel that way then it shows your arrogance. We need to be careful not to dig grave by ourselves by posting or quoting rare incidents because Immigration Opposing people frequently visit these forums and take them as "Quote: An Indian Posted like this on that forum"



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  • cagedcactus
    04-07 05:43 PM
    I wonder if big names like Mircrosoft and others are aware of this. I am sure they will have a huge loss if this bill went through. May be it is time Bill Gates dropped his gloves and fight for us too.





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  • gapala
    12-24 08:54 AM
    Well said Sanju.

    These are those age old arguments that they lay down to justify evil acts. its rediculous





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  • jung.lee
    04-06 04:54 PM
    :p

    I had no idea my two humble posts would stir up such a hornets' nest among the desi junta here. I certainly see more "bears" coming out of their hibernation now that spring is here :).

    OK, I admit that I am also in the camp that really wants to buy a house and "settle down" in a good area with good schools for my kids. The mythical "nesting instinct" is alive and well here. I am obsessed with the real estate market, and am constantly watching real estate porn as my wife calls it, i.e., surfing on ziprealty.com and redfin.com trying to spot good deals.

    However, the reality is that I am scared sh*tless of the market right now. I do not want to burn my hard earned equity in the form of a good 20% plus downpayment. If you are in the same situation as I am, then I would offer the following practical suggestions to help you cope with the situation:

    1. Rent a house/townhouse/condo from private parties instead of an apartment complex to help you understand the responsibilities and expenses of homeownership.

    2. If renting an apartment in an area with moderate schools, and have school age kids, instead of trying to chase the dream of building equity in a house in an area with good public schools, in the short run, consider sending your kids to a decent private school. The cost of added property taxes in case of home purchase would alone balance out the high monthly payments of private schooling, with probably better "return on investment" at a private school.

    3. Feel good about renting an apartment: You should not succumb to peer pressure and try to keep up with the Janardhan's (OK, bad joke, "Joneses") and buy a house just because other people took the plunge at the wrong time. Your time will come. Just be patient. Not to be taken lightly is the fact that in the month of April we celebrate Earth Day - think positively about all the energy you are saving living in an apartment with shared utilities with other people living in the complex. A house is a big energy guzzler (although I am sure an enjoyable one!) in all respects - more heating and cooling costs, more water used (esp. in summer with lawn watering), more greenhouse gas emissions from your individual lawn mower, leaf blower, and snow blower (can you picture yourself mowing your lawn or riding the snow blower in your lungi :D- OK this joke is getting old)...

    4. More quality time spent at home with the kids - when you are not having to do chores around a big house. A house seems to take up a lot of maintenance time, not to mention time spent cleaning/vacuuming /dusting the entire 3000 sq ft area and otherwise maintaining the 1/4 acre yard. You could instead spend a lot of quality time with your kids doing projects/homework/art work with them and being a kid again yourself. In a house it is more likely that unless you have kids big enough to help you do those chores for some incentive, your kids will be watching Dora and Diego while you are cleaning up.

    All in all, I think there are many positives to look forward to while you save money renting, and like I said before, when the time is nigh, you will have your turn. You will also by then, hopefully have your green cards in hand and may even be able to move to a more desirable city or other states looking for better work opportunities and where your downpayment savings will take you farther in getting you more for your buck.

    Cheers!





    boreal
    09-27 12:31 PM
    Obama might be the only person who is still sane and might want to end the war, save the country 10b per month. This might have its own positive effects as there would be more money to spend on economic development in the US, which in turn might mean slowly improving economy and better jobs. All of these might translate into optimism in the country and lesser opposition to EB immigrants in general. Agreed that Durbin might try to derail the EB process by the introduction of new skills based program and what not...but highly doubt that it would be applicable retro-actively and affect ppl already in the queue. And for new EB applicants, they would know what they are getting into, if such a points based system is introduced, and hell, might work for quite a few of the new EB applicants...

    Mccain, on the other hand, seems to so over-confident and as arrogant as his predecessor that he he failed to mention, even once, that the war needs to end. (as evidenced by yday's debate at Ole Miss). He is still talking about 'strategies and tactics of war and differences between them' in the debate when the nation is reeling under the most severe economic crisis...the point is that this guy doesnt seem to be the person that will be of any help either to the country or the EB immigrants like us. He is nothing but an extension of the Bush Government and i hope that he doesnt become the President (not that he has great chances either)

    Anyway, whoever becomes the President, as someone put it .."Its the Congress, stupid!!' The congress would still need to act on any legislation. And the way the things are working since 2005, election year or not, it seems to be a very uphill task to get anything passed, be it for illegal or legal immigrants. The anti-immigrants force seems to be so strong that it seems almost impossible for anything to be passed for any kind of immigration..so, i believe the status-quo would continue even after the new President takes over..

    Well, that leaves us, poor EB immigrants, as usual at the mercy of USCIS...if we are lucky enough, we will still be emloyed when our visa number becomes available...(Remember that Seinfeld episode when the Seinfeld party finally gets the table at the Chinese Restaurant, but they are long gone..!!!)





    somegchuh
    03-24 07:33 PM
    Ok, so everytime I see a rent vs buy discussion I see apartment living compared with living in a house. This may not apply to a lot of other places but here's how it goes in SF Bay Area:

    Rental
    Apartment: Decent sized 2 Bed/2 Bath --- $1600 pm
    House : Decent sized 3 bed/2.5 bath --- $2000 pm

    Mortgage:
    House : Decent sized 3 bed/2.5 bath --- $3500 pm

    So, is additional 1500 pm worth the money? Why not rent a house? What's the point of trying to get into a sliding market when even Greenspan can't say where the bottom is?

    I am in a decent sized apartment right now and if I have to upgrade its a rental house. Buying in a sliding real estate market doesn't make sense to me.



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