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.
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"... at least two of his four wives, as well as several of his children ...
Mr Rayyan, a professor of Islamic law, .... his five-storey home ... He had been an advocate of men having up to four wives and as many children as possible,...
He had vowed that Hamas would go on to seize control of the West Bank from Fatah, as it had done with Gaza in a week of street battles in June 2007. He accused the Western-backed Fatah leadership of Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President, of collaborating with Israel, a charge that normally means execution in Hamas's rough justice
I am not talking about who is right and who is wrong. What i am saying is "whole world is watching while genocide happens in palestine". thats it.
See when Georgia attacked its neighboring state, Russia came for its rescue. Every nation, every leader condemn the Russian aggression against Georgia. I don't know who is right and who is wrong. But all the world leaders urged the killer to stop killing.
Thats not happening in this case. When UN try to bring a resolution on cease-fire, so called peace loving leader veto it. What does it mean? Doesn't it mean its a green signal for killing and murdering?
Only thing I know is group of 10 killed 300 in Mumbai
and group of 21 killed 2000 in New York
Where is the gray in there?
Alright! Let us be adults. It is like Sri Lanka going all over and telling the world that LTTE is as lethal as Al Qaida and is a threat to US, UK, Israel and Europe. Although US and UK has declared them as terrorist organization, I think it was more because they had a hand in Rajiv Gandhi's assasination.
Agreed, LTTE is a terror org and their issue is Sinhalese treatment of Tamils.
(another example of the tyranny of the majority against minority) .
Lankans may be followers of Buddha but when it came to Tamils, they were far from being a Buddha and more like anti-buddha!
And Israel did the same thing too. It projected its conflict with Palestinians as part of Bush's global war on terror, the centre piece of which was a war-of-choice in Iraq. Russians tried to project their conflict in Chechnya as part of Global war on terror. Now Georgia is trying to project it as a victim. The line between aggressor and the victim is becoming increasingly blurred. That is the reason I believe, this issue is much more than black and white with a shade of Gray all over it. We can argue till the cows come home but until the countries understand the motivation of (any) enemy, the enemy is not going to be defeated.
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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!
dont jump too much, i can see u are EB2 and trust me this date can go back anywhere without u getting ur golden card...i am EB3 and i am a pharmacist and i dont know why we are in EB3, we have much more demand than the computer people who all are in EB2. so buddy good luck if u get ur card in few months.... just pray for us....thank u...
Perhaps the person drafting the letter can explain their rationale on including this in the letter.
First off, we are here to get our GC faster so the effort is commendable.
However, I was also wondering about the old interpretation of the law. After the EB2-ROW numbers fall through to EB3-ROW and presumably make it current, the excess numbers go to EB2 China and India or does it go to EB3 China and India? Glad that someone else also caught this.
But I still can't figure out what your argument really is.
Lets agree to disagree, I suppose. Let me know, if you can, what exactly and specifically it is that you didn't like about what I said.
Let me try. I still have one day more before I start working again.
We said 'can you hand over Dawood him'. You said he is past. How is being past meant that his crimes go unpunished? You then say no extradition treaty. So if we give proof for the Bombay incident, how are you going to take action, if you have not done yet for the past incidents. I just don't get it.
We want see if we can trust you. You don't won up, yet you won't punish and infact you seem to protect these guys.
Searching for a bottom in the housing market
Sales look like they could rebound soon, but you can't say the same for prices.
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
By Janet Morrissey, contributor
June 19, 2009: 4:23 AM ET
Subscribe to Fortune
NEW YORK (Fortune) -- Sales in the decimated housing market may finally be bottoming, but don't expect home prices to stop dropping before mid-2010 at the earliest, analysts and economists say.
Indeed, prices in the battered housing market could get a lot worse before they get better as an avalanche of specialized adjustable rate mortgages, known as option ARMs and Alt-A mortgages, are slated to reset over the next 18 to 24 months, and rising unemployment causes a surge in the number of prime mortgages going into default. All of this is expected to trigger another round of foreclosures and cause home prices to tumble at least another 20% before the market rebounds, according to market analysts and economists.
Market bulls believe home prices could bottom in the second half of 2010, but the bears warn it could be 2013 before they finally trough. And once prices do reach a low, it could be years before they significantly rebound.
0:00 /4:19Housing market's false hope
"This is clearly the worst housing crisis since the Depression," says John Burns, president of John Burns Real Estate Consulting. Losses from the housing meltdown totaled $3.6 trillion at the end of 2008, and will likely approach $5 trillion by the time the crisis ends, predicts Lawrence Yun, chief economist with the National Association of Realtors.
Bob Curran, managing director at Fitch Ratings, is a lot more cautious, noting that one month of gains doesn't make a trend -- existing home sales are still off 3.5% from a year ago. "You'd want to see a string of months -- ideally three months -- to say with confidence that a bottom has been reached," he says.
"We're about two-thirds of the way through the pricing correction on a percentage basis," says Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist with MFR Inc., an economic consulting and analysis firm. He expects prices to slide at least another 20% over the next 18 months.
2010 and after plastic surgery.
Increasing numbers of Americans are simply walking away from their houses and mortgages, increasing pressure on banks and the economy.
Rapid house price falls in many parts of the United States will soon leave as many as one in five borrowers owing more on their loan than the house will fetch, removing at a stroke the single most powerful incentive to keep up with payments.
The phenomenon of "walk aways" or "jingle mail," so called because of the noise the house keys make in the envelope mailed to the bank, is hard to measure but shows every sign of gathering pace and having a substantial impact.
Is your GC approved now?
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o.k..I will explain it slowly ..I can understand that those who are homeowners will justify their home purchase. some maybe in denial and have their head in sand.
honestly, few months back, even I would have purchased a house . if I had, I would still admit -- that home is not necessarily good investment but a place to stay. even after I buy, I would still say that renting in an apartment has its advantages. here are 2 links in english.
Why rent? To get richer - MSN Money (http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Banking/HomebuyingGuide/WhyRentToGetRicher.aspx)
Why Your Mortgage Won't Make You Rich - WSJ.com (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124352291846962809.html)
now you need to read this carefully else you won't understand what the authors are trying to say ..since it is bit unclear but it has good points (not trying to make fun here :)) ..do read since they are superb articles
but here is even simpler explanation and hopefully that will explain what I am trying to say ..if you still don't understand ..u will need to find someone else to explain.
first renting gives you flexibility ...so say, u get better job offer or lose job - you don't lose lot of money compared to house if you have to move.
for 250K house, you pay around 300 property tax, 60 HOA fees, 150 - 200 in maintenance (recurring like lawn plus once in long term like roof, painting etc) , 100 - 150 extra in utilities. you pay downpayment of 50 k ..if you were to invest that money in better investments (mutual funds, stocks, high CDs. bonds) ..you would make 250 - 300 per month. plus add fees when you have to sell the house, insurance, termite protection etc etc ..
plus in many cases, you end up buying a house further away than if you were to rent (since many want brand new house ) ..this means extra 250 - 300 in gas + vehicle degradation per month.
(ALSO SAY U WERE IN MICHIGAN OR IN CALIFORtNIA -- you could get away from the state after making money easily if you were renting. .home means you could end up stuck there).
I agree in apartment you get less space and hence I mentioned - u need to ask - do you really need extra space at this time in life - if yes, then home is better. (but renting a home is even better esp if prices are still falling in your area in this case).
btw - as of now rents are going down -- you just need to negotiate.
now you don't get the money back in rents..but neither do you get money paid in the expenses listed above.
(in other words - you don't get money back that you pay in rent yr apt BUT you get a place to stay ..this is not India where you can sleep on foot path - so you need a place. apartment property owner will make a small profit - but that is the system)
before you jump - house is good when it appreciates by atleast 1 -2 percent above inflation and I am not saying that you should never buy a house.
there are many other points and I will post it in IV WIKI ...and I hope this helps newcomers ...this is my last personal post ...and do watch the movie :) ..once again I did mention in plain english that it is worst case scenario (the movie "pacific heights")..but best case scenario is not good either if you are a landlord with property in US while you are in India (or vice versa).
hope that answers your question ..please note: the above is for normal cases ..but if you get a good deal or short sale or foreclosed home for 50K --- then yes, buying makes sense !!
Thank you Mr. Hiralal for your condensending post . Your trying to explain it slowly will not make your argument strong.
I am not trying to justify my homeownership to you or anyone else here. I am just presenting the real facts that apply to my case. I did not buy a house to get rich neither would I become rich if I rented.
I bought a house only a few months back and not in the real estate bubble time. I have paid a good price for it and my mortage is the same as my rent . The house has four times the area of the apartment I used to rent and is in a very very good area . So why should I go on renting.
Anyway my primary reason to buy was for my 2 year old who ( and my family ) need more space to live rather than a cramped two bedroom apartment. I don't know about you but I have spent 9 years in this country . GC is no where in sight. Waiting for GC and wasting valuable years of your life living in a rented accomodation don't make sense to me when you can get a nice big house for your family at a very good price and low mortgage .
Maybe you believe all these media articles but these are written for a broad view.
Everyone is unique and every situation is unique. There are a lot of places in US where the prices did not fall that much and there are some place where they are in fact rising now .
Mortgage rates are low now as are the home prices after correction but what about mortgage rates two years from now ? I can't predict if the home prices will go down or not since that depends on the location but I can say this for sure that mortgage rates will go up .
Homeowners like me don't have our heads stuck in the sand as you say - I spent a good two years 2007 and 2008 making calulations , waiting for the right time and finding a good valued house at a good mortgage rate.
We are not as stupid as you think.
Thank you .
I have an important question for you and would request your suggestion:
Here's my situation: I am working for my current employer from last 6 years. My I-485 has been filed last week through my employer's attorney. My EB3 I-140 approved and I am on 9th year of h1-B. My H1-B expires in January next year. I have 3 other dependants on H4.
Now my current employer is trying to either fire me off or reduce my work hours to about 8 hrs / week.
What would be my best option to take decision?
1. Should I :
a. Stay home untill the expiry of 6 months and invoke AC21 after that? or
b. transfer my H1-B to some other employer and start working on H1-B and just wait for 6 months to invoke AC21?
2. Can my current employer reduce my hours legally? Meaning if they have to alter my H1-B to 8 hrs per week what will happen to my H1-B? Can i still able to transfer my H1-B to new emploer to work for 40Hrs/week if I want to?
The problem is- if they can't reduce my hours legally, I may be fired. And, if I get fired, they will revoke my H1-B on the same day but won't revoke my I-140 untill 6 months.
What do you suggest to help both me and my employer?
Thanks a lot for your valuabale suggestion and helping me out.
Once 485 is filed then you are authorized to stay in USA. If you want to work then you can use EAD; if you want to go in/out of USA then you need advance parole.
At the same time you can have h-1b.
Both things allow you to stay here.
Now; once 485 is filed; you do not need to comply with the terms and conditions of your non immigrant status. However; you shouldn't start working with another employer until you have EAD.
Technically; you could sit at home and do nothing; as long as you have intent to work with the employer until 485 is pending for more then six months and employer doesn't pull the plug before 180 days then you would be fine.
You could try to convert the h-1b to part time or transfer to another company.
I only know of one case where person was doing future base employment and invoked ac21 at his local office interview (law says you can do this) and stated he was going to work with someone else.
USCIS adjudicator asked for a letter from the company that they had intent to hire him up until the 485 had been pending for more then six months. Company would not give the letter and his case was denied.
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DRIVING LICENSE APPLIKASON PHOROM
NOTE: Please do not soot the person at the applikason kounter.
He will give you the licen.
For phurthar instructions, see bottom applikason.
1. Last name:
(_) Yadav (_) Sinha (_) Pandey (_) Misra (_) Dot no
(Check karet box)
2. First name:
(_) Ramprasad (_) Lakhan (_) Sivprasad (_) Jamnaprasad (_) Dot no
(Check karet box)
(_) Less than phipty (_) Greater than phipty (_) Dot no
(Check karet box)
4. Sex: ____ M _____ P(F) _____ not sure _____not applicable
5. Chappal Size: ____ Lepht ____ Right
(_) Politison (_) Doodhwala (_) Pehelwaan (_) House wife (_) Un-employed
(Check karet box)
7. Number of children libing in the household: ___
8. Number that are yours: ___
9. Mather name: _______________________
10. Phather Name: ____________________ (If not no,leave blank)
11. Ejjucason: 1 2 3 4 (Circle highest grade completed)
12. Dental rekard:
(_) Ellow (_) Berownish-ellow (_) Berown (_) Belack (_) Other -__________
Give egjhakt color
(Check karet box)
13.Your thumb imparesson :
(If you are copying from another applikason pharom, please do not copy
thumb impression also. Please
provide your own thumb impression.)
PELEASE DO NOT USE PHINGERS OF YOUR LEGS
Use thumb on y our lepht hand only. If you dont have le pht hand, use your
thumb on right hand. If you do not have right hand, use thumb on lepht
NOTE: IF YOU DONT HAVE BOTH HANDS, YOU CANNOT DRIVE.
WE ARE VARY ISTRICT ABOUT THIS .
WOW guys too good .....love this bihari joke....keep going
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If one has to apply for a labour cert every time you want an extension of an H1b, it will become unworkable. The main reasons for extending H1bs is because the DOL and USCIS take so long to process (or are not allowed to process) their existing workload today, including labour certs. This appears to compound an existing problem.
It is unfortunate that consulting is barred too. Consulting is a good gig. My main goal for going through this silly green card process is simply to consult individually.
If they actually addressed the problem, such as making the labor cert process simply a web site with a "Submit" button, then it would be an actual improvement. Is it really that difficult to compare a wage rate doing a certain job in a certain location with the market rate? Can't you do that now on Monster or Dice?
Remember the proportion of applications rejected are dwarfed by the proportion of applications that are simply abandoned. Probably due to the time it takes for them to get around processing them using their super-modern VDT technology.
Could we please *at least* have an exemption for technical consulting to the DOL and USCIS? They really could use some professional assistance.
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Iraq - Aren't you glad to see people are free from dictatorship of Saddam ?
Afghanistan - Can you name a place on earth which is worst than this country ?Have you seen video how they treat woman ? Have you seen how school girls were thrown acid for attending a school ? Help Nato/ US/ other country to help those poor souls.
Darfur - Do you really know what is going there ? I wonder why not Middle-east country has come forward to stop that killing so far.
Kashmir - More, (may be 1000:1 ratio) pundits/Hindus have been killed there. As I have heard, they had cut 100s Hindu women's **** and hanged in line in main street ! Can you imagine being refugees in your home country !
Gujarat... - Get your facts clear.Muslims are much safer/prosperous in this state. Riots were normal for all of you till the killed Hindus numbers were higher than killed Muslims. some 1000 local were killed in 2002 including 400 + Hindus. People do not mention what happened before in that burning train and 100 + pilgrims were burnt alive.
Accept that there is a problem and fight how you can change it. Today some one is become victim, tomorrow it will be your turn. Doesn't matter where you are from/which religion follow.
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Mr XYZ was able to file his green card in 2002 in EB3 category based on his shady arrangements with his employer, whereas Mr SunnySurya continued to do right and socially acceptable things i.e. studied, got a job and then after several years this big company filled his green card in EB2 category in 2006.
On the other hand after strugling for several years Mr. XYZ has collected enough years on his resume to be elligible for EB2. Now he want to port his PD
SunnySurya's PD is 2006 and Mr. XYZ PD is 2002. Now if Mr. XYZ want to stand in EB2 line, I wonder what problems SunnySurya can have???:confused:
Oh my gosh..This much argument. I do not know the PD porting is law or rule. If it is law, one can not file suit against the amended law. But one can request the law maker to change. If it is a rule, one may do that. But it does not have any merit. It is waste of time.
PD porting, in theory, is very genuine. (may be not-genuine in many cases; just to cut-short the line or line jump by creating a EB2 job) So, one cannot challagne that. Here is why. A cook may have a PD 2001 in EB3. He has right to study PhD and apply in EB1 catagory, by poring PD. There is no violation of ehics here.
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Also send send a copy to congress woman The Honorable Zoe Lofgren (Chairwoman
Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security
and International Law, House Committee on the Judiciary,517 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC 20515)
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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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On the other hand if some one is attacking me in my home and/or hurting my family or freinds, I have full rights to defend and call for justice to prosecute the attacker, in this case declaring Pakistan a terrorist country.
Weren't you the one who said India should gift kashmir to pakistan to solve all terrorrist activities and war ?
How come you became a patriot and started caring about india all of a sudden ?
Do you have any consistent opinion ?
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also there is a 0.000000000001 percent chance that they may come up with law of faster GC for those who buy a house (almost impossible that it will happen but who knows and might as well keep that route open :D)
I would not buy a home if I do not get my GC...Even if it means paying more after I get my GC....
And if I get my GC, I will buy home paying down atleast 50-75%...Thats it
Bombay is attacked, our mother land is attacked. Our brothers and sisters are killed. They didn't done anything wrong. They are not maratis alone, from all over India. Children of Mother India. They are killed not during war, or during firing rockets, but were going for work, for feeding their family. Bombay is not a war Zone or disputed territory.
You are furious, because your fellow muslim are the killers. You are loving the religion above the nation you live. Minority among the muslims live india, but support the pakistan or any terrorist only because of religion. Go to pakistan or saudi, if you don't like india. Love India or leave India. Same apply to USA.
I have seen in bangalore muslims support Pakistan during cricket match between India and pakistan. I have heard they clapping evry time Indian wickets are fallen.
After getting my GC, i visited this forum many times, helped a couple of forum members on how to contact congressman, sent them the draft letter etc on how to approach Ombudsman, congressman etc. I took help from this forum and i will try to return my favor to this forum.
I highly regarded this forum, its core team and its members until "Mumbai attacked" thread was open. I knew that it will be a nasty thread and it will foment hatred towards one particular religion and its followers. And it did cause a lot of damage to members of one particular group including myself.
Core team didn't stop this. They didn't even reminded the rules and regulations of this forum. That led to IV turning into HIV. This is not the right forum to discuss about politics especially war/terrorism etc. I don't know if IV will make it as a policy.
I created this thread just to remind people that there are so many ruthless people/group/organization around the world that kill innocents mercilessly. I didn't create this thread to rally support for any particular group or speak against any particular faith or any particular country.
I could have started this thread when the killing began two weeks back but i didn't. I started this when innocent school kids were massacred using missles and later it was justified. There are still so many heartless/mindless members sitting and supporting/justifying this brutal killing.
Anyway, i'll sign off and i won't post any more message in this thread again.