When the Democrats won control of Congress a year ago, they promised bold new leadership. Things would change, they said. They had a mandate.
But they didn't have the votes to stand up to veto threats by Bush and filibusters by Senate Republicans. They didn't have the bold new leadership, either. A year later, Congress is lamer than the lame-duck president.
On the Democrats' No. 1 issue, the war in Iraq, it's been a year of defeat and surrender. They were going to "bring the troops home." Instead, President Bush sent more troops to Iraq. The "surge," coupled with a new counter-insurgency strategy, has led to a sharp decline in military and civilian deaths. All attempts to link war funding to a withdrawal timetable fizzled. Giving up completely, Congress passed $70 billion in no-strings war funding before the Christmas recess.
Democratic leaders blame their impotence on Bush's obstinacy. Bush didn't compromise. He didn't have to.
Democrats talked about limiting the excesses of the Patriot Act, banning cruel CIA interrogation tactics and closing the Guant�namo Bay internment camp. Didn't happen.
Instead, Congress authorized warrantless surveillance for six months by passing the Protect America Act before the August recess. Democrats were forced to push discussion on making the surveillance rules permanent into January. Bush will likely win this one, too.
After months of wrangling, Congress approved an omnibus budget bill that gave Bush the spending levels he wanted.
Promising fiscal discipline, the Democrats vowed to pay for any tax cuts with tax increases elsewhere or spending cuts. That "pay as you go pledge" was put aside to pass a popular bill protecting 23 million middle- and upper-middle-class taxpayers from paying $2,000 extra under the alternative minimum tax. Since the tax was originally designed to prevent the super-rich from using tax shelters, conservative Democrats tried to close tax shelters used by super-rich hedge-fund managers to cover the $50 million revenue loss. They lost.
Congress made baby steps toward fiscal discipline by trimming "earmarks" for pet projects by 25 percent from 2006, estimates Taxpayers for Common Sense. But legislators OK'd more than $15 billion for more than 11,000 pork-barrel projects.
President Bush didn't win them all: Social Security reform went nowhere, reauthorization of No Child Left Behind was postponed to 2008 and he couldn't rally enough Republicans to pass a complex and controversial immigration bill.
But this wasn't supposed to be his year. The triumphant Democrats made big promises a year ago, but delivered modest results. Democrats increased the minimum wage, enacted the Sept. 11 commission's recommendations into law and expanded student loans.
Most notable was the energy bill, which included the first increase in fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks in 32 years.
However, Democrats dropped plans to repeal tax breaks for oil companies and require more use of alternative energy. Bush insisted. Congress caved.
On other issues, Congress acted and Bush vetoed. Congress expanded health insurance for children and approved federal funding for stem cell research, but couldn't overcome Bush's "no" vote.
Stymied repeatedly, Congress saw its approval ratings fall to record lows. When you're less popular than George W. Bush, you're pretty darned unpopular.
"I don't approve of Congress, because we haven't . . . been effective in ending the war in Iraq," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco told reporters in response to the polls. "And if you asked me in a phone call, as ardent a Democrat as I am, I would disapprove of Congress as well."
2008 will be a year of partisan politics. No doubt Republicans will run against the do-nothing Congress. That could backfire. Democrats will tell voters that if they want Democratic policies - and most people tell pollsters they do - they need to put a Democrat in the White House in 2008.
For the next 11 months we can expect more of the same from the lame duck and lamer Congress.
wallpaper hairstyles Calendar May 2012
To be FAIR In your calculation should you not include the tax break you would get for buying a home. I know the interest is variable, You will be paying lot of interest in the early years. But maybe we can average say Total Interest Payment/30 = Average Interest paid per year. And use this figure to calculate the average tax break one should expect.
For e.g. Lets say on an average you pay every year 24K in Interest payment for your Mortgage, You would get approx 8k back in tax credits (assuming 30% tax bracket).
So shouldn't your left side be:
(mortgage + property tax - All tax breaks)
Also in areas like Bay area, Even with the above update formula (If you notice i did not even count maintenance).. I am not optimistic that this formula will ever work. So does that mean you can never buy a home in bay area :)..
Or should you include some more variables here say if you live in NYC/Bay Area has a thumb rule its ok to pay X% extra compared to the average national trend line ?
If only everybody in bay area used this formula before they bought their home :). Amen.
Well - your approach smells of speculation, which is pretty dangerous!!
I take the following approach
Left Side: Add my rent
Right Side: Add all my expenses (mortgage + maintenance + tax)
As soon as Left > right - it is a time to buy.
If you get to the nitti-gritties - it can get very complicated. e.g. you usually put 20% down. Plus the principal payment is technically not "expenditure" - it is "investment in your home equity". Owning means you lose flexibility. It is impossible to put numbers against all these.
However, my personal "estimate"/"Tipping point" (taking into account the loss of flexibility etc) is when I have positive cash flow from owning (i.e. rent > mortgage + tax + maintenance). Some very successful RE investors I know take the same approach and are very successful.
2011 2012 calendar should be
I am here legally in this country for 8 years. Applied for 9th year extension this month and waiting in line for Green Card since 2004. I strongly beleive that with Sen. Obama in WH, the US economy will get out of the current crisis and we can see the good old days of 90's again.
I am also looking after the backup plans now just in case if Sen. Obama's immigration policy is based on the CIR 2007 and all the provisions that are against the EB community are included then i do not have any choice other than to leave the country. I am getting ready to apply for Canadian PR whcih would not take more than a year and by that time i believe we will have a good picture of Obama's immigration policy.
Of course not! Intentional targeting of civilians is inexcusable and constitutes a war crime and we should never cease to protest it regardless if it is done by a primitive terrorist or from the comfort of an F-16.
American Army was not hiding in World Trade Center and launching rockets on the civilians in Saudi from there. There was absolutely no target of military importance in WTC. Civilians got killed in Gaza because terrorist were hiding among them.
Quit hiding among women and children and fight like man on battlefield.
Look at stratfor.com
its all about which side of the fence you are on!
i dont think anyone is cutting the line...there were already there..well before you ..they just rejoined with the right set of documents..
if you are willing to stick around for 10 years in the same job.. doing the same thing...hoping for ur GC to come thru...so that u can switch..then good luck to you..
i am sure WHEN USCIS formulated the law..they would have had this discussion...of how to accomodate "high skilled" workers..who climb the ladder ..and who aquire better qualification...and who have the b***s to change jobs and not be slaves to GC process.. this law is them..
Go ahead and file the case rolling stone...i will be the first to oppose it...c u in the battelground..;-)
in this context...i am a Pandu..u are a gandu..(pun intended)
I agree with "singhsa".
I was reading through this thread and couldn't help replying.
Before i voice my opinion, i would like to mention that I have a Ph.D in Aerospace Engineering (2002-2006 from a very reputed univ. in the US). My husband's employer (non-IT) had applied for his GC in EB3 - in 2005 which makes sense since the job required a B.S (Even though he was MS and was working for this company since 2002). We have our 485s filed and are using our APs/EADs. Now, i haven't applied for GC through my employer yet, but if i apply, it would most likely be EB1 or 2, and would love to port my PD of 2005. The reason i haven't done that is because i personally do not think that getting a GC couple of years earlier is going to make my life any different than it currently is.
Having said that, I completely understand what "rolling flood" is trying to say. And I also agree to what his point of view is. When a person who initially agreed to apply with EB3, changes his mind/company/ or whatever and wants to apply in EB2, he should theoretically start over. Why is it reasonable that he/she cuts in line ahead of a person who was already there. There is a reason why these categories are formed.
Shady means or non-shady means, EB2 means that u have superior qualifications and you are more desirable in the US.
EB3 means there are a lot like u, so u gotta wait more. Period.
2010 april 2012 calendar with
Why are you consistently discussing about H-1B caps. Green card delays are not because of H-1B quota, I am sure you know this. H-1B caps have nothing to do who applied for the H-1s, whether those were consulting companies in US or a company in Japan. You are just saying it consistently in all your posts because you don�t like more people coming here after you are on path to green cards. In all your posts, you have this mid set where the door closes right behind you and more people should not be allowed on H-1. I am sure you qualify to be the member of IEEE-USA. Please Google search for their membership form. Just because the name of the organization is �Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers� doesn�t mean that every thing on their agenda is kosher.
This shows that you have no clue about the reality. You have looked at the IEEE website and formulated the opinion about the nice people at IEEE-USA, who are working overtime for you to get your green card. This is what you think, right? Well! My friend we live in a very strange world in which political organization (like IEEE) show stuff on their website just so that they don�t appear to be outright anti-immigrants.
Also, I do think that anybody who do not want to pick up their ass to find a job and rather chose to whine about someone else taking away the job is lazy and for sure undeserving. They are interested to put restrictions on H-1B because they want to eliminate their competition. Every community/group, big or small, have their opponents and enemies just because of the sheer nature of the competition for resource with other groups/communities. H-1B community now forms substantially large group of people. It is natural that orgs like IEEE-USA will be a natural opponent of H-1B community because there is a competition. Now, most members of IEEE-USA are older and middle aged folks, who are not able to compete with good quality engineers from other parts of the world. The folks on H-1 are young, dynamic and fast learners. IEEE-USA folks cannot compete with this group and so they are working to eliminate competition from H-1B folks by other means. Sometimes they call H-1Bs as indentured servants, sometimes promoting outsourcing, sometimes taking away their jobs and sometime depressing wages. They throw out all sorts of rationale to hurt H-1B community. And some idiots on this and other forums have not clue of the bigger picture and are hell bent on screwing the so called �body shoppers� as if it is ok to work at the client site to do the same job at the same amount if you are employees of KPMG or Accenture or Bearing Point. But it is not ok to do the same thing if you are an employee of TCS, INFY or SIFY etc. If this is not discrimination, then tell me what is????? I sincerely do want to understand your view and please consider me to be totally ignorant person who is here to learn from you. I sincerely mean it.
So you do think that anything associated with the word �IEEE� is gospel. Let me share with you my friend that IEEE and IEEE-USA are totally different organizations. Just like any other organization in the world, IEEE-USA is working to address the issues of their members only. IEEE-USA is working to fix the issues of their members who live in USA ONLY. It has no clue and no desire and no objective to look at any of your issues, no matter what they are. We all acknowledge that are problems with the H-1B program but the question is, Is Durbin-Grassley approach the real solution to the problem? Congress did not address anything associated with H-1B visa for last 6-7 years. If you write to lawmakers they only understand only thing about the word �H-1B� and that is increase in H-1B� that�s it. Now every system in the world needs tweaking from time to time and this has not happened with H-1B program for a very long time. Either way, throwing out people waiting for green cards for 6-7 years is not the solution, putting in restrictions to undermine the entire H-1B program (because they know they will not have enough votes to reduce the visa numbers or eliminate the program) is not the solution, �investigating� companies when they hire someone on H-1B as if hiring someone on H-1B is a crime is not the solution, singling out companies from one country because the guy driving IEEE-USA (Ron Hira) doesn�t want more people to come from India because he hates his heritage � is not the solution. Yes there are problems, but Durbin-Grassley bill is not the solution.
Who needs enemies if we have friends like you? I mean why do you want hard working people to unnecessary go through more problems before getting their green cards, as if the existing problems for us are not enough. You simple want to make the system difficult to test human endurance? You know what, we can do this, how about all the stringent conditions of Durbin-Grassley bill will apply ONLY on you and we are all sure that the �HIGH-SKILLED� that you are, you will pass all the �tests� with flying colors. For rest all the others, please consider us lowly skilled and please set a bar lower to the extent that is humanly achievable, we are not �highly-skilled� super-humans like yourself.
Yes, you have not yet clearly said that �I support banning all H-1Bs�, not in those words, not yet. But reading your posts, it is apparent that you are headed there, as soon as you get your green card. As I said earlier, form now on, just think that all the Durbin-Grassley conditions apply on you and live your life as per the standard set by Durbin-Grassley. For the rest of us, please have mercy on us.
It's sheer poilitics .Immigration discussion is a hot importat topic before election.They can't take chances by supporting this,They have to consider their members first.DEMS major leap after 10 years break.It is going to be good for everyone.
After election is the main chapter.DOL has already agreed they have wasted visas as per OH Law breaking news recently.
Be positive that 2009 will help us all.This negative statement will misdirect our thought.We have our EAD ,Atleast thanks for the Fiasco,we filed out 485.
It's only the visa numbers...if not 1 year,it will be on the road by two years.Cheer up...I myself have negative feelings what will happen to my family future here.I just talk to myself,Whether I have to apply for Canadian PR for back up.It sure does kill our minds.
Cheer up...We all will be safe by 2009.It will move faster.
EB3 I 2004 Jul.
hair Home - Calendar - February
Even when they kill school kids, we still blame Hamas. We don't blame the killer and try to stop their mad actions. Thats my point.
:-) your argument or your feeble attempt at it is quite pathetic.
No one on this forum feels any less sad on the happenings in Gaza as you but at the same time no one is demanding sympathy the way you are....not to mention the bare display of your own rage and hypocrisy on discussions on Islamic terrorism which everyone except you feels is a major cause of the tragedy in Gaza.
If you want to do something constructive, put is in proper language...on the contrary you ignited a war of words between you and the rest of the member all of whom you reckon are "muslim haters"....
I will concede one point to you...you do know the meaning of hate...and you know it well..
Peace be with you...if it can.
My boss was canadian and he told me same story for canada. I think Health care is same where British ruled in past.. LOL !!
hot much July+2012+calendar+uk
The fact is that he is against IMMIGRATION of any form. I am sure he denies the fact that fore-fathers were immigrants and came from a distant land.
That is surely amnesia. What to say, one of my desi coworker who who got his citizenship recently has started "Why we need more people" . When asked about his case, "mine was different, because of y2k etc there were great demand around 1999-2000".
house Print february ourour
and now another problem is I applied for EAD in march and have not received new ead.my old ead expired 10 days ago.and now Iam not working.
there's a clause somewhere that if you don't get EAD in 90 days you can go to the local USCIS officer and get a temporary EAD.
Other than that, pray to you favourite god.
money, lawyers and god are useful to have on your side.
tattoo january February
DoS suddenly interpretted laws differently than before. This just like the PERM, BEC, and last July episode. They took actions without considering people already in line. Those with good faith waiting in line have been constantly pushed around. How many people experienced being stuck in BEC while PERM approves new application like crazy? Who is accountable for all of these? They can't do things willy nilly any more. Someone mentioned lawsuit since DoS either interpret the law wrong now or in the past.
Needless to say that the distincation between EB2 and EB3 has become so meaniningless now. How many positions really satisfy the EB2 requirements? From what I heard that most people just try to get around the system to get an EB2. One of the persons who filed EB2 told me that a high school graduate would probably be able to work in that position too.
Just my observation.
I dont agree at all!!!!!!!
How can you give consideration to people already in line at the expense of other people from a higher preference category also waiting patiently in line. Regardless of the duration of the wait EB3 is a lower prefrence category and will remain so under any interpretation. Remember that even under the 'old' interpretation EB3-I only got visa numbers after passing through the EB3 ROW and the EB2-I gate.
Notwithstanding the 'new' interpretation, an argument can always be made that the 'old' interpretation was not only wrong but blatantly wrong where EB3ROW was given preference over an EB2 retro country.
The only fix for this is elimination of country cap and/or increase in number of visas. The means to acheive that goal may be legislative or administrative. I'll defer to the experts on that!
pictures february calendar 2012.
There is a cash crisis in corporate America�although it comes not from a shortage of the stuff, but from a surplus.
In the first quarter, the five companies with the greatest cash hoards�Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Google, Apple and Johnson & Johnson�added $15 billion in cash and marketable securities to their balance sheets. Microsoft alone packed away roughly $9 billion, or $100 million a day. All told, the companies in the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index are sitting on more than $960 billion in cash, a record.
To be sure, at many companies the cash piling up is at global operations that generate "undistributed foreign earnings" that can't be brought home, under U.S. law, without incurring taxes of up to 35%. But hundreds of billions in cash remain available�and idle.
Meanwhile, the payout ratio�the proportion of earnings paid out as dividend income to shareholders�fell to 28.9% for the past four quarters. That, says S&P senior index analyst Howard Silverblatt, is the lowest level since 1936. Dividends are going up�Intel, UnitedHealth Group and WellPoint have recently raised them�but cash is still piling up far faster than most industrial giants can possibly find a prudent use for it. Of course, investors themselves might have a better use for the cash, if they could get at it.
As Daniel Peris, co-manager of the Federated Strategic Value Dividend fund, says, "The likelihood of spending money poorly is increased by having a surplus of it."
Microsoft's purchase price for the online telecommunications firm Skype, widely criticized as too rich at $8.5 billion, almost precisely matches the amount of cash that Microsoft raked in last quarter. Was that torrent of cash burning a hole in Microsoft's pocket?
"No way," says Bill Koefoed, general manager of investor relations at Microsoft. "We see this as being a very strategic acquisition."
The heart of the problem, as the great investor Benjamin Graham pointed out decades ago, is that the best interests of corporate management and outside investors are at odds. That is especially true for giant companies whose growth has been slowing. "The more dubious the company's prospects�the more anxious management is to retain all the cash it can in the business," Graham wrote. "But the stockholders would be well advised to take out all the capital that can be safely spared, because these funds are much more valuable to them if in their own pockets, or invested elsewhere."
Amnesia is another culprit. In the past, companies paid out vastly more of their profits as dividends, and they should again. "If there were a greater historical sensibility among investors and managers," Mr. Peris says, today's low payouts "would be called out as an abnormal situation that's likely to lead to that money being less well-spent than it otherwise might be."
Dividends have gotten short shrift in recent years as investors have come to favor companies that instead use cash surpluses to buy back their shares. Meanwhile, with the economic recovery barely out of the sickbed, many companies are reluctant to invest heavily in expansion. Others want to keep cash handy for potential acquisitions. So cash sits idle�even as interest rates, after inflation, are so low that cash often produces negative real returns.
Benjamin Graham made three simple proposals in 1951 that deserve to be revived.
First, investors need to realize that a company's cash is a valuable asset, even when interest rates are low; if management won't put it to good use, investors must speak up. As Graham wrote: "When the results on capital are unsatisfactory, it is appropriate for stockholders to�insist that it be returned to stockholders on an equitable basis."
Second, companies should set formal dividend policies. Rather than paying or raising dividends out of the blue, they should state in advance what proportion of earnings they expect to pay out as cash dividends. If, instead, they plan to use excess cash to buy back shares, they should offer hard evidence that the stock is undervalued.
Finally, Graham advocated that leading companies should pay out two-thirds of their earnings as dividends. That rate isn't as radical as it might sound, even though it would amount to more than a doubling from today's levels. The dividend payout, as a percentage of total profits, has averaged 52.3% since 1936 and 46% over the past two decades, according to Standard & Poor's.
If the companies in the S&P 500 raised their payout ratio to 50%, Mr. Silverblatt estimates, that would put an extra $207 billion into investors' pockets�at a time when shareholders' dividend income is taxed at historically low rates.
"Companies are basically earning more than they've ever made before, but their payouts are nowhere near that high," says Mr. Silverblatt. "They're holding their cash really tight. You can call them Scrooges if you want."
A Generation of Slackers? Not So Much (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/29/weekinreview/29graduates.html) By CATHERINE RAMPELL | The New York Times
Made in America: Manufacturing Jobs Are Coming Home (http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2011/05/26/Made-in-America-Manufacturing-Jobs-Are-Coming-Home.aspx) By Patrick Smith | Fiscal Times
dresses hot 2012+calendar+february
In short, he is doing this EB-3 bullshit just to get maximum mileage out of this in his favor. Given a chance, he would jump ship to EB-2 and not give a damn about EB-3 India.
Expanding on these points, if you, the reader, are an EB-3 or ported to EB-2 and work in the oh-so-familiar IT bodyshops, go suck on those sour lemons.
How dare you fuck@#n compare yourselves to EB-2?
Cant you FUC@#N understand what the phrase "preference category" means????? go get a higher education, change employers, get an EB-2 the right way.
Stop this bullshit you have going on. I for one will write my own letters to ensure none of this EB-3 India whining nonsense gets any attention. I will also mobilize other EB-2 India and China folks i know, to do the same.
If that does not succeed, i will slap a lawsuit against any organization that attempts to twist the rules to imply EB-3 and EB-2 are the same skill level.
Let us see who wins here. In the interim, go suck on those sour lemons and work for your blood sucking desi employers. Serves you right for being lazy and not trying to help your lot before.
Will rot for 7 years in EB-3, but will not get a US MS/MBA/PhD, will not change to an EB-2 job, and then when EB-2 gains something, will cry and create a ruckus????? Go screw yourselves.
EB3-I..please print the attached word doc and sign and mail it to Department of state..this week
Moderator could you makes this Sticky please
Could somebody also post the adderess of USCIS please..
makeup New Year 2012 Calendar
Far from subverting democracy lobbyists help to promote it
Niira Radia should be given the Padma Shrimati next year. As each new tranche of the leaked tapes of Radiagate are made public it becomes increasingly clear that, far from sabotaging India's democracy, the lobbyist was actually furthering its cause.
Though Radia's method of operation - which reportedly involves large-scale hawala transactions - was often dubious, there is nothing wrong with her broad strategy to influence public policy by inducing media people and other opinion makers to get A Raja the telecom portfolio. That his appointment - at least partly engineered by Radia - led to the 2G scam is another matter.
Lobbying - or what is often called public advocacy - is a perfectly legitimate, and indeed necessary, component of any democracy. In the US, for example, it is considered to be a high-profile and respectable profession made use of by everyone who would like to have a say in the framing of official policy. New Delhi has often employed US lobbyists to try and influence Washington's policies vis-a-vis Pakistan and Kashmir, among other things. In the US, there are accredited lobbyists for all manner of issues and individuals, from the right to bear arms to candidates for Senate seats.
If looked at in its broadest sense, what does lobbying boil down to? Nothing more, or less, than trying to get people to see your, or your client's view. All public relations exercises - be they for business interests or causes like animal welfare or AIDS prevention - are examples of lobbying: they are attempts to get the members of the public to change their ways of thought and action in particular spheres of interest or concern.
Similarly, all forms of advertising - and no media product, including this newspaper, could remain economically viable were it not for advertisements - are lobbying by another name. Advertisements try to persuade you to buy a particular product or service. A successful ad, a lobbying exercise that has worked, is one that makes the maximum amount of money for the advertiser, the client of the lobbyist, in this case the advertising agency. The most successful ads - the ones that have been most persuasive in changing public behaviour and thinking - are annually honoured by receiving awards given by the industry.
All politics, and not just at election time, is nothing but lobbying in its most blatant form. In a democracy, it is expected of all political parties to shape or transform public policy through competitive lobbying of the electorate via election manifestos and professed agendas. The voter is seduced, persuaded, bribed by all sorts of promised inducements, often in the form of cash subsidies or tax breaks, to support this or that party or candidate. There is the Election Commission to see there is no hanky-panky or rigging at the time of polling. But no Election Commission can compel a political party or candidate to make good on election promises - i.e., bribes in one form or another - once the balloting is over.
If politics is unadulterated lobbying, and it is, so is the media. All reporters and commentators - in the press, or on TV or radio, even those considered too insignificant to have been approached by Radia - try to shape public opinion, and through that try to influence official policy by having public pressure put on it, according to their own views, opinions and interests, or those of the organisations that employ them.
Indeed, democracy with all its components - media, market and elective politics - is a vast enterprise in lobbying, a never-ending argument between competing interest groups to change public policy to suit their own ends.
Radia's only fault was getting caught. But for having forced us, however unwittingly, to take a long hard look at our democracy and what it really means, she needs a commendation. Padma Shrimati? Heck, make her Woman of the Year. She deserves it. Or rather, we deserve her.
An inconvenient truth (http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Masquerader/entry/an-inconvenient-truth) By Anoop Kohli | Times of India
girlfriend The 2012 Quilting Arts
Many/most of us here have worked like crazy dogs most of lives, followed the rules, and played by the book. "Everyone" does not have your cavalier attitude towards truth.
My problem is not with consultants or nurses or doctors or magicians or whoever else is in line. My problem is with those who claim to be legal aliens but who routinely break the rules (by indulging in kickback schemes like splitting their salary with their employer).
IV is a community of/for legal aliens wanting to become legal immigrants. Rule-breakers and others don't belong here; just because one hasn't been caught cheating the system doesn't mean one is legal.
hairstyles Game Over 2012 Wall Calendar
Rubina Sandhi had settled in for a night of homework when panic swept through the narrow, congested alleys of her neighborhood.
It was Sept. 11, 2001. Television sets in the mosques, tea shops and market were beaming images of the World Trade Center engulfed in flames in New York. Five months later, Rubina's house was burning as Hindu mobs torched Muslim areas of her city, leaving thousands of people homeless. She remembers smoke hovering over Ahmedabad just as it had over New York.
With their few remaining possessions, Rubina's family members took refuge in a squalid relief camp and, several weeks later, moved into ramshackle housing on the edge of the city - where only Muslims lived and worked. "We felt like ghosts," recalled Rubina, who was then 12.
The rioting was among India's worst sectarian violence in decades, hardening divisions between the Hindu majority and the country's 140 million Muslims as hard-liners on both sides sought to exploit the tensions. Soon after the rioting, many young Muslims in Rubina's neighborhood started following stricter forms of Islam as imams fanned out into the region's poorest Muslim areas, some bringing with them Wahhabism, the fundamentalist form of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia.
Some Indian Muslims even sought training in Pakistan to carry out acts of revenge in India, their version of violent jihad. For her part, Rubina chose a different struggle, determined to be a good Muslim and daughter as the community around her became more radicalized. She fought for the right to make decisions for herself, and she tried to find a way to voice her beliefs as a woman, as others around her were being silenced.
Her decisions would mirror those of many other young Muslim women in her city who entered adulthood in the aftermath of religious violence and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. She would be asked to compromise her dreams, and her commitment to Islam would be questioned.
Ahmedabad, a 600-year-old city in the state of Gujarat, has long been a vibrant historical center where religions aspired to coexist. It was the headquarters for Mahatma Gandhi's ashram and his peaceful freedom struggle and is celebrated for its Indo-Islamic architecture. Of the city's 5 million people, 11 percent are Muslim.
Before the riots, many Muslims in Rubina's neighborhood celebrated Hindu traditions. Yet tensions between Hindus and Muslims here often rose to the surface.
The violence in 2002 erupted after 59 Hindus were burned to death on a train as they were returning home from a pilgrimage site. Muslim extremists were blamed for the blaze, but the cause of the fire remains in dispute. In 2004, a government-appointed panel ruled that the train fire was an accident and not caused by Muslims.
Soon after the anti-Muslim riots, extremist imams started to gain more clout. Among them was a firebrand televangelist named Zakir Naik, whose weekly sermons are broadcast from Mumbai and Saudi Arabia. Thousands of young Muslims have been drawn to his powerful slogans, including his declaration that to defend Islam, "every Muslim should be a terrorist."
This more conservative brand of Islam became more acceptable, and it seemed to empower Muslim men in India. But it had the opposite effect on Muslim women. The imams and mullahs warned young women to stay indoors, to forgo higher education and to become dutiful mothers of as many children as God would give them. The children, they said, would replace the Muslims killed during the riots.
"The Hindu mobs who attacked us called us all terrorists. Then the mullahs wanted to take away our freedoms," Rubina said, adding: "Everyone felt confused."
A pervasive fear
Rubina's father, Mohammed Sandhi, had an eighth-grade education and a job selling incense sticks to Hindu temples. When he was a young boy, his grandparents had told him haunting stories about Muslim-Hindu tensions in the 1930s and rioting in the southern city of Hyderabad that forced the family to migrate to Ahmedabad.
Mohammed believed in the aspirations of a rising India. He had saved for years to move the family into a comfortable two-room home, and he hoped that his two children - Rubina and her older brother, Irfan - would be the first in their family to attend college.
But after the riots, Mohammed began to believe that his ambitions were naive, at least for Indian Muslims. "We thought that was the past, over, just our history. But after the 2002 riots, we worry every day that the violence could happen again," he said.
In the street just outside the family's housing complex, 69 people, mostly Muslims, were burned alive during the riots, the first and largest single massacre during the crisis, a federal investigation later found.
From there, fighting spread. Over the next two months, more than 200 mosques and hundreds of Muslim shrines were burned down, and 17 ancient Hindu temples were attacked, according to police and human rights workers.
Everything in Rubina's home was destroyed: childhood photographs, birth certificates, school records and land deeds.
The family left behind the charred ruins of their home for a relief camp, one of more than 100 that housed 150,000 Muslims after the riots.
The city slowly calmed, but acts of violence on both sides continued and people remained fearful.
Watching their parents weep, Rubina and Irfan grew angrier and more confused. "We never thought this could happen here," said Rubina's mother, Mumtaz Sandhi. "We thought we are Muslims. But we are also Indians."
Silencing women's voices
After several weeks in the camps, Rubina's family settled in Juhapura, a poor area on the western outskirts of the city where many Muslims moved from Hindu-dominated localities.
The neighborhood has some middle-class areas but is largely poor, and activists have fought for basic government services, including paved roads, a sewage treatment system and garbage collection.
During her teenage years, Rubina started to notice that her brother, like many young Muslim men, was growing more observant of Islam, more conservative, introverted. They had always been close, and tragedy had strengthened their bond. But their paths began to diverge as Irfan sought comfort and sanctuary in the strictures of Islam.
Rubina, like other young Muslim women, feared she would lose her freedom under those strictures. She resisted calls from increasingly conservative imams to wear a traditional black garment that covers the body and sometimes the face.
In Gujarat, more and more women suddenly started dressing more conservatively, often as a show of Muslim pride but also to ward off sexual advances and potential sexual violence.
Rubina's mother began covering her hair, and Rubina said Irfan soon told her that he preferred to marry a woman who dressed conservatively.
Around this time, Rubina met a social worker named Jamila Khan at a meeting for Muslim women concerned about the living conditions in Juhapura and profiling of Muslim men as terrorists. But Khan also spoke out against Muslim leaders intent on reeling in Muslim women, curbing the liberties enshrined in India's secular constitution. She described herself as an "Islamic feminist."
"It doesn't matter what our women were wearing," Khan told Rubina and her friends. "What is important is still having a voice. Islamic rigidity is silencing our most dynamic Muslim female minds."
Many of Rubina's peers were giving up on having a career and were marrying and starting families earlier. Instead of going to college to study business or medicine, many were taking up courses at nearby mosques that taught them to be good Muslim wives.
But as Rubina entered young adulthood, she said, she became aware of the hypocrisy among many of the imams. Although they preached that Muslim women should be homemakers, they sent their daughters to private schools and universities in Britain, Canada and the United States.
During her first and only year at college, a Hindu extremist group circulating on campus began warning Hindus against having friendships or romantic relationships with Muslims. Rubina said some Hindu students started calling the places where Muslim students gathered "the Gaza Strip" or "Pakistan."
"But I am Indian, too," Rubina said she wanted to tell them. She felt ashamed. Betrayed. Silenced.
IV core members have only 24 hours a day to do IV work and their full time jobs. As such, we have to channel our resources in the most productive way possible. Lou Dobbs is the media equivalent of FAIR, NumbersUSA, Tom Tancredo and company [Do get on to Lexis-Nexis and find out more about him.] We are civil in our encounters with the representatives of these groups, but it is not a productive use of our time to engage with them more than this.
As for dealing with lawmakers -- there too we spend our time productively. We haven't been hanging out with Jeff Sessions and James Sensenbrenner. We use other more reasonable lawmakers to work out deals with the anti-immigrant wing.
I agree 100 percent. Anyone who believes Lou Dobbs is a friend of LEGAL immigrants probably also believes Tom Tancredo and NumbersUsa Sympathize with legal immigrants. It always ticks me off whenever Tancredo is waxing poetic in the press about how legalizing illegals would be "sending the wrong message to those trying to do it the right way"; when he is actively trying to end all legal immigration. What a tool and hypocrite. Lou Dobbs falls in the same boat. Dont believe their tripe for one second.
I'll give you some examples of what they have done of which I have intimate knowledge of:
1) Questioned company on I-140 why they had more 140's pending/approved then the number of people on payroll. Asked for all 140 info., h1, L1 and even the people who got employment base greencard and asked company to justify where they are
2) Department of state for visa stamping; if they don't trust client letter; they refer the case to department of state fraud unit in Kentucky. They will then contact signer of letter and HR of company to verify that person signed the letter
3) Department of labor is on a real war path of checking companies compliance with h-1b based on referrals made by department of state. I can tell you that there is no way any company who is h-1b dependent can be 100% compliant with h-1b. Patni got fined $3.5 million for violations.
4) Department of labor made a home visit to an HR person who was no longer working with the company to ask and verify her signatue on labor applications in a fast processing state when they weren't registered to do business there
5) Department of labor verifying that people were paid the greencard wage upon greencard approval (this was in conjunction with h-1b investigation). I can tell you that some states have very high eb2 wages and people aren't even close to the labor number; companies do it anyways to keep you happy but do they run that number once you do get the greencard?
6) h-1b rfe's from california service center. when quota finished in one day; there was some rumors from california service center that they would be treating h-1b transfers/quota cases very harshly in that companies were engaging in speculative employment. These days if you are involved in software and you file an h-1b transfer or even extension with california service center; you have a very good chance of getting a four page rfe. One of the things they have started to ask for is a table of people whom h-1b's have been filed for. Table has to list name, social security number, receipt number, date of birth, joining date, termination date, no show, future joining date. California service center then intertwines this information with company unemployment compensation reports. I have actually seen 3 recent denials where USCIS examined the unemployment compensation reports and looked at people who may have been paid a lower wage and pulled those people's h-1b files and denied the present case saying they can't trust the company to comply with the h-1b, lca.
These days; uscis/dol/dos really means business. I refer you to earlier posting of how evertime a company files a case; it gives uscis a chance to go through entire immigration history of a company. They have the resources and tools.
ok now i'm really confused between AC21 and future employment debate....
AC21 can be used after 6 months of 485 filing to change the job but then once u get GC you have to work for the original company that filed your 485 for few months?? so for e.g. if i change my job after lets say 1 year of 485 filing and lets say my 485 is approved after 3 years so now do i have to quit my new job and go back to my old employer to work for few months to get my gc? am i understanding this correct? i think i'm not... can you please clarify?? thnx