Sunday, July 10, 2011

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  • Refugee_New
    01-07 10:50 AM
    Refugee_New,

    Is this true? Are you just visiting forum just for this and not for your immigration at all? If so, its really bad.

    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.





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  • redgreen
    12-17 02:41 PM
    What is there in his remarks to be so 'terrorised' about? Where is 'Muslimism' here?

    I hope as far as there are people like you and some others who commented as if 'Muslim means Terrorist' (but you won't tell that directly), there will be more terrorists; and it is quite understandable.

    This is exactly I hate. To divert focus of terrorism to Hindu group, Muslim leader comes out - WOW!

    Sounds like LeT informed Hindu group in advance that they are going to attack so as a by-product they can kill Karkare. Ha ha ha.

    Times Of India Headline: Antulay raises doubts over Karkare's killing





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  • alisa
    12-26 11:29 PM
    Amma,Yes, we may loose people but 'proud nation' of pakistan would disappear from the map. I'm against death of innocent but my point is to remove the threat of nuclear weapons.

    So, you want to remove the threat of nuclear weapons by using them?


    Having said that, we need to do a conventional warfare. But I guess that, it would be more of a dogfight that would bleed us economically. Meanwhile, we need to strengthen the laws but also ensure it is not abused ( corruption and bias are something that is prevalent among people with power..it wud be very hard but people with power shud be very disciplined). Diplomatically pressurize the failed nation of Pakistan and do undercover ops in Balochistan and NWFP. Collaborate with Sindhi Mujahirs and create a division between Urdu speaking Punjabis and Sindhi speaking Mujahirs and Pashutun groups.
    IK Gujral stopped the covert ops. It need to be restarted.

    Ironically, those steps are exactly what the right-wing Pakistani establishment is afraid that India is currently undertaking to destabilize Pakistan.


    Peace,
    G
    Peace indeed.....





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  • SunnySurya
    08-05 03:00 PM
    :D:D:D:D:D:D
    Seems to me he started the flood and left....I was going thru this thread, and after couple of pages Rolling_flood seems to have vanished. I think he got what he wanted...a pointless debate. It was funny though to read... :D



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  • cinqsit
    03-26 06:25 PM
    Alas cannot upload an attachment either ..





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  • babloo_73
    05-01 11:29 AM
    When in college students used to rag others just because they were ragged when they joined the college. It�s not because they want to, it is just because they went through it. Indian software companies are just like, I worked enough in software industry and I have even been on call 24 hours but the truth is, it was never 12 hours or 10 hours work every day. Yes, occasionally I had 12 hours work which is the same in every industry and I used to get calls in the middle of the night at least once or twice during the night, but its not 10 hours work everyday. We want to impress our boss by working 10 hours, that�s the truth; it�s not that your boss wants.

    Similarly, in India people go to work on Saturday not because they have work but to show their face to their PM. Even if God comes down and says that people in India work 10 hours everyday, I cannot believe it. They might be in office for 10-12 hours but that does not mean they are working. It is the people who should be blamed for this. Yesterday�s programmer or today�s PM, and they expect the programmer to be there in the office for 10 hours just because they went through it. I am an ex TCSer, things worked exactly as I said. It is never going to change. All these talks about stress and coding 10 hours straight come on.....:cool:

    I partly disagree... I had worked in 6 different companies in India and in 3 companies, i had to work for more than 12 hours a day. What you are saying might be true for Maintenance projects, but it is definitely not true for development projects particularly when you working on a tight schedule...



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  • abracadabra102
    01-06 05:36 PM
    If we take out the religion from equation, Israelis and Palestines are one people. They belong to same genetic pool and lived together for hundreds of years. In fact it was an Arab Calipha who allowed jews back into israel/palestine area after jews were ejected from this area by Romans. It is a pity they ended up like Indians and Pakistanis (same genetic pool again). Having said that, it is Arab countries that screwed Palestine people after 1948 war with Israel. Israel was willing for a compromise and creation of Palestine.

    Taken from wikipedia:

    "Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the 1949 Armistice Agreements between Israel and neighboring Arab states eliminated Palestine as a distinct territory. With the establishment of Israel, the remaining lands were divided amongst Egypt, Syria and Jordan. The Arab governments at this point refused to set up a State of Palestine."

    complete article with several cross references here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palestine).

    Israel is doing what is required of a nation when attacked. It is sad that innocent children are dying. But I do not see any better options left open for Israel. Offcourse they could have done what India does - whine for a few months, complain to every Tom, Dick and Harry and then shut up. But not every one is spineless.





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  • nogc_noproblem
    08-06 06:30 PM
    Wish I could think so quickly.

    A man boarded a plane with 6 kids. After they got settled in their seats a woman sitting across the aisle from him leaned over to him and asked,

    'Are all of those kids yours?'

    He replied, 'No. I work for a condom company. These are customer complaints.'



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  • greencardfever2007
    04-16 12:30 PM
    http://www.economonkey.com/2008/04/14/sirs/

    I am writing to enquire whether you have any vacancies on your strategic board for someone of my talents. I realise that it is a little unorthodox to apply �on spec� for such a high-ranking position within your organisation, but I believe I have the necessary skills to further increase the profits and assets of Big Bank Plc. In this letter I will attempt to demonstrate my knowledge of the challenges and opportunities in our marketplace.

    1) Who are our customers?

    I understand that our most lucrative customers are those with the least awareness of financial matters; indeed, the less numerate they are, the better. Rather like the dear old PM, in fact.

    If they don�t know the difference between APR and AER, if they fail to read the small print in their credit contracts - not that it matters, as I�m sure I have the necessary legal skills to make such text impenetrable - and if their limited attention is grabbed by an �introductory� rate, then they are exactly the kind of people we need to target.

    I think that if we closely follow that other highly successful model of commerce - drug dealing - we won�t go far wrong in attracting and retaining the right customer base.

    2) How do we get people to take on more debt?

    I�ve been thinking about this, since we need people to be in debt so that they pay us lots of interest. I believe the best way is to start with an asset class that everybody needs and arrange for its price to increase by far more than the general inflation rate. Then the people who want to buy the new, over-priced assets will have to take on far more debt than would otherwise have been the case.

    Of course, the people who bought the assets prior to the excessive price inflation wouldn�t be in debt, but I think we can get around that by encouraging them to take on larger loans for, say, holidays, new TVs, big cars, that sort of thing (maybe even encouraging them to buy more assets to loan to other people?), all while securing them against the now-increased �value� of their asset. We could describe these loans as �Asset Equity Release� or something; it sounds so much more friendly than �Borrowing a Lot of Money.�

    Ultimately this would mean that everyone is in far greater debt, paying us far more money, for exactly the same asset! Genius, eh?

    Oh. Hang on. That�s already been done with houses, hasn�t it?

    3) Social conscience.

    Every responsible company should have a social conscience, and Big Bank Plc is no different. We need to be in tune with the society in which we operate, sharing the values of our customers.

    Luckily that�s not too difficult; our customers are greedy and so are we! They want lots of money, right now. We want lots of money, but we can wait (that old �deferred gratification� thing).

    So we simply sell them the money to fulfil their greedy dreams, and they sign up for a lifetime of debt slavery to fulfil ours. Everyone�s a winner!

    4) Get-out.

    I have noticed that some of our customers have been attempting to escape from their obligations through IVAs, bankruptcy and so on. This really won�t do. Luckily we have a role model to follow here; America. The banking industry there successfully lobbied Congress to make it almost impossible to escape from credit card debt, even in bankruptcy.

    There�s much work to be done in the UK by comparison, but we�re getting there. Escape from student loan debt is almost impossible and an IVA won�t release people from mortgage debt. There�s still credit card debt, but at least we can now secure that on property (I love that one; we sell an unsecured loan at punitive rates, then secure it! They�d have been better off just getting a secured loan! How stupid are these people?).

    So, there�s just the problem of escape through bankruptcy, but I think we can work on that. Friends in government, nudge nudge, wink wink. Give me time�

    5) Our friends at Westminster.

    Speaking of government, I think our special relationship is going rather well, don�t you? They want a population that feels wealthy even though it isn�t (see number 2 above), that is unlikely to cause trouble (who can afford to go on strike when you have huge debts to service?) and that isn�t educated enough to understand what�s being done to them (have you seen the latest exam results?).

    Those are our goals too; it�s a marriage made in heaven. And if they want to rack up even more debt on the population�s behalf, we�re only too happy to oblige.

    We do need to be more careful at times, though. Our so-called competitor�s �employment� of that ex-Prime Minister so soon after leaving office was rather rubbing people�s faces in it, don�t you think? A few of the less stupid ones might start to put two and two together.

    6) Media

    Can we keep the mainstream and financial media �on-side�, thus keeping the population distracted by pointless celebrity gossip, �reality� TV programmes (oh, the irony), diversionary economic scare stories and back-to-back shows extolling the virtues of never-ending asset inflation (and with it, never ending debt)?

    Of course we can - we own most of them! And the government owns much of the rest. Anyway, people actually seem to want this stuff. Bread and circuses, I suppose.

    7) What happens if we run out of money?

    See number 5. There are plenty of options if we ever run into difficulties - direct government �loans� (rolled over ad infinitum), dropping the base rate below real inflation while raising lending rates, etc. - but they all boil down to one thing: take money from the tax-payer while using inflation to mask the theft. With a bit of luck we can even get the public to demand this action for us, with the help of the media.

    And anyway, we�re not actually lending real money, are we? It�s created from nothing at the point at which the loan is granted. So what do we have to lose?

    I look forward to your reply.

    Yours faithfully,

    Mr Wanabe A Banker





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  • rsdang
    08-11 05:19 PM
    If you don't laugh at the end of reading this then there's something wrong with you... Just imagine sitting in traffic on your way to work
    and hearing this. Many Chicago folks DID hear this on the WBAM FM morning show in Chicago. The DJs play a game where they award winners great
    prizes. The game is called "Mate Match." The DJs call someone at work and ask if they are married or seriously involved with someone. If the
    contestant answers "yes," he or she is then asked 3 random yet highly personal questions. The person is also asked to divulge the name of
    their partner (with phone number) for verification. If their partner answers those same three questions correctly, they both win the prize. One
    particular game, however, several months ago made the Windy City drop to its knees with laughter and is possibly the funniest thing I've heard
    yet. Anyway, here's how it all went down:


    DJ: Hey! This is Edgar on WBAM. Have you ever heard of Mate Match?

    Contestant: (laughing) Yes, I have.

    DJ: Great! Then you know we're giving away a trip to Orlando, Florida if you win. What is your name? First only please.

    Contestant: Brian.

    DJ: Brian, are you married or what?

    Brian: Yes.

    DJ: Yes? Does that mean you're married or you're what?

    Brian: (laughing nervously) Yes, I am married.

    DJ: Thank you. Now, what is your wife's name? First only please.

    Brian: Sarah.

    DJ: Is Sarah at work, Brian?

    Brian: She is gonna kill me.



    DJ: Stay with me here, Brian! Is she at work?


    Brian: (laughing) Yes, she's at work.

    DJ: Okay, first question - when was the last time you had sex?

    Brian: She is gonna kill me.

    DJ: Brian! Stay with me here!


    Brian: About 8 o'clock this morning.

    DJ: Atta boy, Brian.

    Brian: (laughing sheepishly) Well...

    DJ: Question #2 - How long did it last?

    Brian: About 10 minutes.

    DJ: Wow! You really want that trip, huh? No one would ever have said that if a trip wasn't at stake.

    Brian: Yeah, that trip sure would be nice.

    DJ: Okay. Final question. Where did you have sex at 8 o'clock this morning?

    Brian: (laughing hard) I, ummm, I, well...

    DJ: This sounds good, Brian. Where was it at?

    Brian: Not that it was all that great, but her mom is staying with us for a couple of weeks...

    DJ: Uh huh...

    Brian: .and the Mother-In-Law was in the shower at the time.

    DJ: Atta boy, Brian.

    Brian: On the kitchen table.

    DJ: Not that great?? That is more adventure than the previous hundred times I've done it. Okay folks, I will put Brian on hold, get this wife's
    work number and call her up. You listen to this.


    (3 minutes of commercials follow)


    DJ: Okay audience, let's call Sarah, shall we?


    (touch tones... ringing...)


    Clerk: Kinkos.

    DJ: Hey, is Sarah around there somewhere?

    Clerk: This is she.

    DJ: Sarah, this is Edgar with WBAM. We are live on the air right now and I've been talking with Brian for a couple of hours now.

    Sarah: (laughing) A couple of hours?

    DJ: Well, a while now. He is on the line with us. Brian knows not to give any answers away! or you'll lose. Sooooooo... do you know the rules of
    MateMatch?

    Sarah: No.

    DJ: Good!

    Brian: (laughing)

    Sarah: (laughing) Brian, what the hell are you up to?

    Brian: (laughing) Just answer his questions honestly, okay? Be completely honest.

    DJ: Yeah yeah yeah. Sure.. Now, I will ask you 3 questions, Sarah. ! If your answers match Brian's answers, then the both of you will be of To
    Orlando, Florida for 5 ! days on us. Disney World. Sea World. Tickets to the Magic's game. The whole deal. Get it Sarah?

    Sarah: (laughing) Yes.

    DJ: Alright. When did you last have sex, Sarah?

    Sarah: Oh God, Brian....uh, this morning before Brian went to work.

    DJ: What time?

    Sarah: Around 8 this morning.


    DJ: Very good. Next question. How long did it last?

    Sarah: 12, 15 minutes maybe.

    DJ:! Hmmmm. That's close enough. I am sure she is trying to protect his manhood. We've got one last question, Sarah. You are one question away
    from a trip to Florida. Are you ready?

    Sarah: (laughing) Yes.

    DJ: Where did you have it?

    Sarah: OH MY GOD, BRIAN!! You didn't tell them that, did you?

    Brian: Just tell him, honey.

    DJ: What is bothering you so much, Sarah?

    Sarah: Well, it's just that my mom is! vacationing with us and...

    DJ: Come on Sarah... where did you have it?

    Sarah: In the butt...

    (long pause)

    DJ: Folks, we need to take a station break



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  • dontcareanymore
    08-05 02:16 PM
    Good points, but let me put a counter argument. Two people , one is named SunnySurya and the other is named Mr XYZ. Both came to the USA at the same time in 1999. The difference was SunnySurya came here for his masters and the other guy came here through shady means.

    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:

    And let me add another twist to the story.

    The Guy with Masters degree is working with a desi sweatshop and convinced his masters (No pun) to file for Eb2 even though his job duties were just dish out code like a high school grad can do. On the other hand there was another guy who was in US for a decade , gone though masters degree and got a very good job in a very good company. He was eligible for EB2 but his only mistake was to not force the company to file a EB2 case or even worse his lawyer makes a mistake and files under Eb3 even though the job he was in and he are qualified as Eb2. The company wants to make amends now by filing a EB2 case and first MS guy (sweatshop guy) wants him to start again and wait for another decade.

    The kicker : The sweat shop labor guy works in the same company as contractor and reports to the second guy and in the same reporting chain, just two levels below him.



    How about another story :

    Both guys go to the same engg school back home. One guy passed with distinction and got a job immediately in a respectable company immediately. Other guy takes two additional years to finish the degree , but his dad was rich enough to send him to the US to complete the MS and now he thinks he is smarter than every one else and needs a special place in the queue.


    You can come up with 100s of stories if not more. Therefore you can't generalize. Just don't think all those who filed under EB2 first are with MS and smarter than others and all those who are Eb3 are here by shady means.





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  • nojoke
    01-01 02:26 PM
    earlier even I had views like yours (one of our close friend was killed in 1993 blasts) ,,but think with a cool mind ..war will just lead to loss of more lives, economy everywhere will be devastated and you get more hardcore idiots/fundamentalists ..you don't set a house on fire to kill few rats ..there are changes happening ..pakistan has killed many terrorists on its borders
    lets first see where we Indians are at fault ..which did congress (I) remove POTA, why were they (BJP included) advocating more train/bus tours with pakistan, why grant them visas at all ..why can't India fortify its borders (apparently politicians have tons of money for foreign tours and medical visits ..VP singh, kamal nath , there was one politician from Tamil nadu who spent crores and crores in a hospital in texas) ..why can't they give proper salary, weapons, immunity to police force ..why do they give special status to Indian muslims (instead of trying to integrate them in the main stream), why the HAJ subsidy ..I can go on and on ..lets first focus on changing these things before talking about war

    There are more problems to solve. But we don't need to tolerate another problem from pakistan. Do we need to wait to clean up our mess, while pakistan creates more mess in our country. No country is perfect. That is not a reason to allow another country to threaten and 'bleed by thousand cuts'. Even the most advanced countries(including USA) is not without corruption. But these counties do act when attacked. d



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  • seattleGC
    04-07 10:50 AM
    I am glad IV is taking a strong stand against this bill. IV should work with Compete America (they have more of a vested interests in this) to make sure this bill doesn't see the light of day.

    This bill is introduced by 'Pro-Illegal,pro-union and protectionist' section of Democratic party and 'Anti-immigration at all cost' section of the Republican party. I believe both these groups are fringe elements in both parties. But they could use this bill as a bargain chip for CIR and might get it passed because of it. So we should not take this lightly even if we might not be screwed by this. It will definitely hurt people coming behind us.

    Only reform H1b needs is to increase the quota or have no quota. And also to tie the H1b to the worker and not to the employee. And I dont see any in this bill.





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  • Ramba
    08-05 02:28 PM
    Good points, but let me put a counter argument. Two people , one is named SunnySurya and the other is named Mr XYZ. Both came to the USA at the same time in 1999. The difference was SunnySurya came here for his masters and the other guy came here through shady means.

    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:

    Agree. Like labor subsitution scandal/abuse, you should have a documenterly evidence to go after this scam (creating duplicate EB2 job just to cut-short the line). If it is a USCIS rule, they may ripoff this ( like labor sub.). It is long way to go. The nut shell-- as long us GC is in high demand, people abuse the system. DOL, USCIS, knows this. Thatswhy DOL is auditing most EB2 labor certification. In my view, who ever filed EB2 between 2000 to 2004 (when EB3 was current) are true-EB2. After 2005, most of the EB2 filings are cut-short the EB3 que. Most of the cases not based on actual MINIMUM requirements for the job. Everyone knows this..



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  • xyzgc
    12-30 12:25 AM
    at the risk of adding to this "no longer relevant" thread - there is a huge difference between US and India gaining independence.....in case of the former - it was some Britishers now settled in America fighting other Britishers (loyalists to the throne) for autonomy and independence......

    India was perhaps the first successful example of natives gaining independence from a colonial European power....

    also - to brush up on some more history - India was not occupied in 1600 - actually East India Company was established in that year.....the real establishment and consolidation of territorial control happened between two historical events (Battle of Plassey in 1757 and Sepoy Mutiny in 1857).....if we consider the 1757 date as start of colonization in true earnest - then India was independent in 190 years (1947 - 1757) against your calculation of 189 years for USA (as per your post - 1789-1600) - so not bad for a mostly non-violent struggle :-)

    Also - one of the reasons Atlee thought it was too expensive to maintain colonies was because of all the Quit India and Civil Disobedience type regular movements -these movements took much political and military bandwidth that Britain simply did not have after the war.....if maitaining a colony was easy sailing - i doubt Britain would have given it up easily and we have to credit the non-violent movements for helping India becoming a pain in the neck for Britain......

    The British colonized the world using advanced weaponry, superior discipline, organized chain of commands within the forces, isolationist tactics, ground battle strategies and naval warfare.

    They came in as East India company traders, fought several battles and eventually defeated several Indian Kings to establish themselves as colonial masters.

    It is, therefore, naive to say that wars are won without firing a bullet.
    If non-violence could stop wars, India would not been colonized by the imperialists to begin with.

    Had Indians had gone up in united and organized arms revolt against the British, the British would not have lasted five years in India.





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  • sledge_hammer
    03-24 12:26 PM
    I have full sympathy for anyone that has not broken any laws including OP and 'leoindiano". If I had the powers to approve green cards, I would give them away to him and his brother!

    The problem here is no one (consulting company/employee) bothered to make sure that a person on H-1B was allowed to do consulting. I'm not sure who dropped the ball - companies, employees, or the immigration lawyers. But someone should have raised a flag when the type of job was really a temp job. Unfortunately that did not happen.

    Now that the damage has been done, and USCIS is coming after such folks, they are upset that it is happening to them. Again, do note that I am not saying the consultants themselves are less skilled than anyone with FT job. I'm just saying that at the time they got into consulting they did not think of the various consequences. Maybe because no one ever thought that working at different locations, benching, temp nature of the jobs were all against H-1B visa rules?

    You get my point?

    face it as long as the economy is tanking this is going to be an ongoing debate. Everything goes thorugh stages of high and low and we are now expereincing the lows of having the h1b's.

    Sledge While your points are valid, remember folks do not choose consulting (nor do students) as a first choice but I have friends who were employed without any issues directly with client companies who in the midst of recession decide to fire everyone. What are you options if your GC is denied because the company declared bankruptcy? How do you justify to yourself staying with the employer when they files you under Eb3 category when you a master's degree holder from one of the 10 best universities in the US? What are the employee choices here, just pack up and leave? leave houses, friends and people you stayed with many years.

    You think they haven't searched for full time positions with other companies only to be turned back? or worse case restart the entire GC process and forgo the 6+ years?

    And the experiences I am relating are from the 2001 recession. I have already seen history repeat itself now but my more fear is that tomorrow USCIS will unfortunately hit the person who followed all the rules After all how is the USCIS knowing which are the good companies and which are bad? These very things are happening and very much can happen to you as well. Do not sit on a high perch and think it will not trickle down to me



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  • unseenguy
    06-26 03:02 PM
    There is a myth with deduction:

    Deduction is not same as TAX credit. When you get a tax credit of $3000 . you save $3000, but when you get $3000 tax deduction, you only save $3000 * .28 or .33 whatever is your highest tax bracket. For most married couples it should be either 28% or 33% of their income. Hence you only save 28% of the interest + taxes. It can help further reduce your tax bracket if you have educational loan or charity contributions etc by bringing your taxable income down. Further reduction in tax bracket can help you qualify for additional deductions.

    However, if I am paying $1000 as interest, then I am only saving $310 or $280 in deudctions, but I am still left to pay $690 as interest.

    ValidIV, is stressing on 30 yrs of home ownership, however, what we are saying is prices may go down 20% further. If that happens, then you are losing your downpayment and it may take years for your home value return to what you paid with interest.

    If you buy a house $550K, over 30 years you end up paying more than 600K in interest only. Forget about taxes or HOA fees. Calculate the tax deductions and let me know how much sense did it make to pay that amount if the value of house further depreciates 20% in next 2 years Vs. waiting for 2 years, having 1-2% rate increase, going in with double down payment and flat house price or 1-2% increase.





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  • Macaca
    02-17 02:33 PM
    American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU (http://aclu.org/))
    Center for Responsive Politics (CRP (http://www.crp.org/))
    CompeteAmerica (http://www.competeAmerica.org)
    Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CCIR (http://www.cirnow.org/))
    Essential Worker Immigration Coalition (EWIC (http://www.ewic.org/))
    Immigrants' List (http://immigrantslist.org/)
    National Council of La Raza (NCLR (http://nclr.org/))
    National Foundation for American Policy (http://www.nfap.com/)
    National Immigration Forum (http://www.immigrationforum.org/DesktopDefault.aspx?tabid=732)
    National Immigration Law Center (NILC (http://nilc.org/))

    U.S. Chamber of Commerce (http://www.uschamber.com/default)





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  • Macaca
    08-14 11:27 AM
    Convention Party Favors Include Face Time (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/13/AR2007081301067.html?hpid=topnews) By Jeffrey H. Birnbaum Washington Post Staff Writer, August 14, 2007

    Congress just completed ethics legislation designed to put distance between lawmakers and the interests that seek favors from them.

    But the people in charge of next summer's presidential nominating conventions are busy selling package deals that would put them closer together.

    The host committees of 2008's biggest political gatherings are soliciting corporations, wealthy individuals and others with a lot at stake in government decisions for seven-figure payments. In exchange, the givers receive all sorts of goodies, including access to lawmakers and other politicians. The more money the donors spend, the more access they get. Donors also garner valuable publicity for their businesses and the convention's locale, which has its own commercial payoff.

    Microsoft and AT&T, to name two, have been high-profile donors to the host committees of previous conventions.

    At the Republican convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul, donors of $5 million or more will receive (among many other things) a private dinner and a separate golf outing with the Republican leadership, according to a list of benefits distributed by the host committee.

    At the Democratic convention in Denver, a million-dollar contribution purchases invitations to a series of private events that feature Colorado's governor, Denver's mayor and members of the state's congressional delegation, among other special advantages.

    The host committees do not hide their cash-for-access offers; they flaunt them. "As a corporate sponsor, you will be invited to exclusive forums and special events where you will interact with our state's and the nation's government and business leaders," the Democratic solicitation states. "In financial terms, your sponsorship is an investment in the future."

    The host committees, which are run by local officials separate from the political parties, collect the tens of millions of dollars needed to put on the extravaganzas, which next year will take place for the Democrats in late August and for the Republicans in early September.

    Yet the marketing comes at a sensitive time. Congress just passed -- and President Bush is likely to sign into law soon -- a bill that aims to restrain the amount of influence lobbyists and their clients will have at the conventions.

    The legislation aims to stop lobbyists and lobbying groups from paying for lavish parties that honor the lawmakers and the congressional committees they are hired to influence most. Such parties, a staple of the previous conventions, have been criticized by government-reform groups as giving undue clout to interests that have lots of money.

    But the bill is silent about other kinds of parties and events, including those put on by the host committees. And those not only will continue but also appear likely to proliferate.

    Top givers to the GOP convention are invited to a private reception that will include Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Sen. Norm Coleman and local mayors. They also will have the right to advertise in prime locations throughout the Twin Cities.

    The biggest contributors to the Democratic convention get invitations to all events sponsored by the host committee and special recognition in all host-committee publications.

    The nominating conventions, which are held in the late summer before presidential elections, have offered similar benefits packages before. Sponsors are the primary source for the money needed to put on these massive events, which bring together delegates from every state, a who's who of the nation's political establishment and journalists from around the world.

    Host committee representatives said they are promoting their cities and are seeking funds from corporations and others who want to make an impression locally and to a large national audience. Acting as a go-between for lawmakers and the interests that want to persuade them is a much more minor concern, they say.

    "We're not here to put on a bunch of parties to honor a bunch of individual members" of Congress, said Jeff Larson, interim chairman of the Minneapolis-St. Paul host committee. "We want to promote the quality of life we have here in Minnesota."

    "We're reaching out to a lot of constituencies, not just members of Congress," said Elbra Wedgeworth, president of the Denver host committee. "We are hoping to promote the Rocky Mountain west."

    Washington gadflies, however, see more calculation than that. Easy access to lawmakers and other senior Washington officials, they say, has long been a major attraction of these conventions and will remain so despite the recent legislation.

    "It's ironic given that the last thing Congress did before the August break is pass lobbying reform that included a provision limiting the parties that can be thrown at these conventions," said Melanie Sloan of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. "That would suggest that they didn't mean it, which will really come as a surprise to no one."





    validIV
    06-08 08:23 PM
    You are a genius.

    Thanks but flattery will get you nowhere.





    fide_champ
    04-05 10:54 PM
    Jang.Lee,
    I totally aggree with you. I am also from socal and a regular visior to irvinehousingblog.
    Currenly I am in apt and tired of living in apt, but I am definitely in no rush to buy and would probably find a good private home to rent.

    Please check your PM.

    Land cannot be manufactured. The population is growing by the day and people need a place to live. So the space is at a premium here. The housing market maybe down because of the sub-prime crisis and the banks going out of business. But eventually it has to come back. Maybe this market is not for people who are looking to invest.

    Look at india for instance: whatever state the economy is in, the housing always booms because of the supply/demand factor. Eventually US will reach that stage unless otherwise the population shrinks.



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