Monday, July 4, 2011

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  • SunnySurya
    12-18 10:22 AM
    Nobody went to Mohammed Atta's house to destoy his building. They were the ones who crashed into the world tower.
    Nobody came to Kasab's house and killed his brothers and sisters, yet he went on to become a terrorist. It is very easy to stop rational thought and breed hatred. It is loose thinking like yours that perpetuates terrorism. There are injustices all over the world, yet not everyone goes on a spree killing inncoent people.





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  • nogc_noproblem
    08-26 10:59 PM
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  • Macaca
    08-08 09:19 PM
    A Shameless Congress Applauds `Ethics' Law (http://bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&refer=columnist_carlson&sid=aSwNPAuJbnbU) By Margaret Carlson (mcarlson3@bloomberg.net), August 8, 2007

    To much fanfare and self-congratulation, the U.S. Congress passed ethics legislation last week supposedly making the members subject to the same standards of behavior the rest of us live by.

    At almost the same time, a federal court handed down a decision involving a congressman whose office was raided by the FBI last year as part of a bribery case that included the earlier discovery of $90,000 he stashed in his home freezer. The ruling reminds us how much more Washington is like Vegas than Peoria. Under the Constitution, a congressman can protect his legislative files from being searched. In other words, what happens in your Capitol Hill office stays in your Capitol Hill office.

    The ruling came in the matter of Representative William Jefferson, a Louisiana Democrat indicted for bribery in June. Jefferson allegedly got the $90,000 from a telecommunications entrepreneur who enlisted his help in getting approval from a Nigerian official to do business in that country.

    The court didn't buy that the Justice Department did everything it could during the search to shield privileged documents, short of letting Jefferson conduct his own raid. A ``filter team'' removed any material that smacked of Jefferson's legislative duties. The court found the effort insufficient ``to protect the privilege'' of the legislative branch to be free from intrusions by the executive branch.

    Shielding Lawbreakers

    This means that under the principle of shielding lawmakers, lawbreakers may be shielded from legitimate law enforcement. Jefferson's lawyer Robert Trout was thrilled, saying the decision shows that every member of Congress has an ``absolute right to review his records first and shield legislative material from review.'' Federal agents get to see what's left.

    Jefferson must be kicking himself. Why didn't he think to take the loot out of the freezer in his home and disperse it among the files labeled ``congressional bills'' at his office?

    Consider the possibilities. Yes, it would have been hard for former Representative Randy ``Duke'' Cunningham, now in prison, to keep his Louis XIV commode hidden in his office. But he could have easily stuffed any records about goodies provided by his defense contractor pals, such as the lease for his yacht ``Duke-Stir,'' into a file drawer labeled ``Hearings.''

    Like the Jefferson affair, the case of Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska could give a whole new meaning to the phrase Capitol Hideaway. Stevens's house in Alaska was raided last week by the FBI and Internal Revenue Service as part of a broad corruption probe. Stevens has multiple ties to businessman Bill Allen, who, since pleading guilty to bribery in May, is said to be singing like an Arctic loon.

    If Only He'd Known

    With the court's ruling, Stevens could have shipped anything he didn't want to be discovered to the Hart Senate Office Building for safekeeping.

    Stevens and Jefferson are just two of at least a dozen members of Congress under investigation, which puts increasing pressure on the lawmakers to do something about corruption. That something, unfortunately, has loopholes large enough for a Gulfstream V to fly through.

    The ethics legislation allows members to do all kinds of things -- as long as they disclose them. Want to have a fat cat contributor? Just make sure he discloses that he's bundling donations from friends, clients and employees.

    Don't want to give up earmarks? You can still shoehorn an appropriation for millions of dollars onto an unrelated piece of legislation as long as you put your name on it.

    `Bridge to Nowhere'

    The law would have done nothing to stop Stevens from getting his ``Bridge to Nowhere,'' a quarter-mile span connecting an Alaskan town to an island of 50 people, a couple of years ago.

    Gifts and free travel are banned, unless they are part of campaigning. In other words, Congressman A can't have a rare rib-eye, creamed spinach and a bottle of Merlot with Businessman B at the Palm unless it's in conjunction with fundraising. In the case of congressional ethics, two wrongs do make a right.

    The reason disclosure no longer works as a deterrent is that shame no longer works. As the ethics legislation was rolling to passage, Stevens, at a private luncheon with Republican colleagues, threatened to hold the whole thing up if the ban on traveling on corporate aircraft wasn't removed. He will still be able to fly Air Lobbyist. He'll just have to pay for it at commercial charter rates.

    In wanting to keep his perks, Stevens may be the most outspoken member, but he's, by no means, alone. ``Ethics'' is the one area in Congress where there is heartwarming bipartisanship.

    `Culture of Corruption'

    Former Republican Speaker Newt Gingrich and Democrat Thomas Foley filed legal briefs in support of Jefferson. When the court said the search was unlawful, Speaker Nancy Pelosi applauded. Earlier, Pelosi, who once pledged to end the Republican ``culture of corruption,'' took away Jefferson's coveted seat on the House Ways and Means Committee after the FBI raid on his office only to try to award him a coveted seat on the homeland security panel.

    Some legislation is worse than no legislation. Senator John McCain, showing again why he'll never be president, said the ethics bill will delude voters into thinking things have been fixed when they haven't.

    ``This will continue the earmarking and pork barrel projects,'' the Arizona Republican said. ``Again, the American people will have been deceived.''

    Most of the other members are chest-thumping as if they've really done something. The public would be better off if Congress had to live by the laws that apply to everyone else, criminal and civil, and at least a few of the Ten Commandments. I'd start with thou shalt not steal -- and work from there.





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  • ns007
    07-08 06:43 PM
    I am of the opinion that what happened in june 2007 actually helped greatly the oversubscribed countries in probably advancing the dates for next fiscal year as many people got approved who probably shouldn't have.



    I agree with you. I am also of the opinion that July Fiasco has actually helped India and China (oversubscribed countries). USCIS might have approved tons of EB2 and EB3 (India and China) applications to use those 60,000 visa numbers. So, India and China might have got a big pie of the 140,000 EB visas.

    With that said I also felt the pain as other members did due to the July bulletin fiasco.



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  • mpadapa
    08-05 10:39 AM
    Rolling_Flood, great idea to benefit just U'r own GC cause. If you are positive about U'r logic why don't you go ahead and file a lawsuit. Looks like your true intention of creating this thread is to create a divide among IV members. Already members had a tough few weeks (in terms of unity) after the Aug bulletin. Now you are poking another rift.

    The EB classification is for a future job. Since the person is qualified, he ports to EB2 midway so what. The GC is for a future job, and when the person gets his/her GC, he/she is qualified for that position at that time. So what is U'r logic??


    If you want to truly fight the system them fight for a common basis for EB classification. There are cases where the same job title has been classified under all 3 categories. Example

    Senior Programmer (say Bachelor's with 5 yrs exp)

    Files under EB1 : because he/she came L1, qualification might be few yrs exp.
    Files under EB2 : because he/she has 5 yrs of exp and the attorney was smart to classify it as EB2.
    Files under EB3 : because of company policy or based on bad attorney advice (conservative approach).

    The above example shows that if U'r company and attorney is smart U can get U'r GC faster.

    If you are keen on doing a lawsuit why not
    File one against USCIS for wasting thousands of visa's over the past few years, which is the source of this backlog.
    Or file one against DOL for taking n number of years to get the LC done.
    Or file one against 245 filers who clogged the USCIS system which is causing USCIS to be inefficient.

    Friends,
    I need to find out how many people are interested in pursuing this option, since the whole interfiling/PD porting business (based on a year 2000 memo) can seriously undermine the EB2 category.

    I am currently pursuing some initial draft plans with some legal representation, so that a sweeping case may be filed to end this unfair practice. We need to plug this EB3-to-EB2 loophole, if there is any chance to be had for filers who have originally been EB2.

    More than any other initiative, the removal of just this one unfair provision will greatly aid all original EB2 filers. Else, it can be clearly deduced that the massively backlogged EB3 filers will flock over to EB2 and backlog it by 8 years or more.

    I also want to make this issue an action item for all EB2 folks volunteering for IV activities.

    Thanks.





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  • Macaca
    05-29 08:22 PM
    The Newest Lobbying Tool: Underwear (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/28/AR2007052801091.html) By Cindy Skrzycki (http://projects.washingtonpost.com/staff/email/cindy+skrzycki/), Tuesday, May 29, 2007

    It was inevitable. In the Internet age, interest groups seeking influence in Washington are joining presidential candidates in discovering a new electronic tool to press their agenda: YouTube.

    "Send your underwear to the undersecretary'' urges the actress in the Competitive Enterprise Institute's stinging 66-second anti-regulatory video posted on YouTube, a free video-sharing site that is a subsidiary of Google. The video blames a 2001 Energy Department rule for an energy-efficiency standard that it says has made new models of washing machines more expensive while getting laundry less clean.

    The underwear video illustrates what other advocacy groups are finding out: YouTube is a cheap, creative way to get a message to a potentially vast audience. This slow migration is in addition to more traditional lobbying approaches, such as direct mail, Web sites and scripted phone calls to federal officials.

    "This is the next step,'' said Missi Tessier, a principal with the Podesta Group, a Washington lobbying firm. She said her company is working on a YouTube piece pushing for more federal funding for basic research for one client, the Science Coalition, a group of research universities. "We are always trying to find ways to get our message out.''

    Concerned Families for ATV Safety, which wants to keep children off all-terrain vehicles, turned to YouTube to lobby for more federal oversight at the agency and congressional level. One of the parents produced the video and posted it May 18.

    "We decided to put it on to raise awareness about how dangerous the machines are,'' said Carolyn Anderson of Brockton, Mass., who lost a son in an ATV accident and is a co-founder of the group.

    Some of the presidential candidates already have calculated that YouTube postings will reach the same younger audience that regularly visits social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. A few federal agencies have taken the plunge, too.

    Officials at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy said it expects its YouTube messages to be ridiculed, laughed at, remade and spoofed. And they are. Its anti-drug message is also reaching the right demographic.

    The Consumer Product Safety Commission realizes that YouTube would be a great way to broadcast product recall and safety messages, though it has not produced a video for it.

    "There are a tremendous amount of people who use that Web site,'' said Scott Wolfson, an agency spokesman. "But we worried about the integrity of the message being changed by users.''

    The YouTube audience hardly seems like a demographic that would be interested in washing-machine efficiency. Still, the Washington-based Competitive Enterprise Institute, which opposes energy-saving fluorescent bulbs and increasing the gas mileage of cars and trucks, has 43 videos on the site. Many of them are snippets of speeches and testimony with few user "hits."

    And then there's the underwear video.

    "We figured we would try a very fast, inexpensive campaign that would go viral," said Sam Kazman, general counsel at the CEI and head of its Death by Regulation project. The video went up May 16 and had 1,306 hits in the first week, a respectable showing, especially considering the subject matter.

    Kazman said the campaign cost virtually nothing. He wrote the script and one employee did the acting and another filmed it.

    The CEI Web site links to the video and to a June Consumer Reports magazine article that rated top- and front-loading washing machines for energy efficiency and performance. The magazine found that since the Energy Department issued an efficiency rule in 2001, the performance of various machines has varied widely.

    "Not so long ago, you could count on most washers to get your clothes very clean," the article says. "Not anymore. Our latest tests found huge performance differences among machines. Some left our stain-soaked swatches nearly as dirty as they were before washing. For best results, you'll have to spend $900 or more.''

    Kazman, who said he owns a 21-year-old Whirlpool washing machine, took this as confirmation that predictions his group made in 2001, that the rule would wreck a "low-priced, dependable home appliance," have come true.

    The manufacturers of home appliances, energy-efficiency groups and regulators who are being mocked in the video disagree.

    Celia Kuperszmid Lehrman, deputy home editor at Consumer Reports, said the underwear campaign takes the ratings out of context. "We support energy standards for washing machines,'' she said. "There are alternatives that will wash as well as older machines. They cost more to buy but not to operate."

    "I think it's obnoxious; I don't think this dog barks,'' said Andrew deLaski, executive director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project in Boston, a coalition of industry, consumer, environmental and state interests.

    DeLaski, who was involved in the negotiations that led to the 2001 rule, said it was expected at the time that prices would go up but that consumers would save on utility bills.

    "That's a regulation working pretty damn well," he said, adding that consumers can expect to save $80 annually on utility bills with the new models.

    Michael McCabe, a senior engineer at the Energy Department, said that nine out of 10 models Consumer Reports tested are in the price range the department predicted when it issued the rule, an extra $250.

    On the underwear front, Kazman said he sent his own (clean) underwear to the Energy Department. The department said the mailbox of Undersecretary Dennis R. Spurgeon is still empty.

    Kazman blamed the late delivery on another government policy, which subjects packages to irradiation.



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  • puddonhead
    06-26 04:25 PM
    Have you accounted for the increase in rent (not rent controlled) every year? Mortgage on the other hand is fixed for 30 years!

    If you work based on the historic values of price and rent appreciation - it should not make any difference.

    How? Just like the "fundamental" of any stocks price is how much money that company makes - the fundamental of a home price is the rent it can fetch in the market. So the home price and the rent will always increase at approximately the same rate.

    With that assumption, you will benefit from a "fixed mortgage payment" only if your home price/rent increases > inflation. Based on historic numbers - I doubt we can assume this to be the case.

    The period "right now" - is an aberration. I would caution everybody against using our intuitions honed in the debt fueled binge between 1980 to now. Cold hard numbers based on some quantifiable assumptions are better bets.

    >> People are not going to sell. They will just say put rather than take a 40% loss.

    Until inflation eats away at their "wealth" in the form of a house. :-). Markets are far more powerful and has a lot more tools at its disposal than people in denial.





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  • brb2
    04-07 07:12 PM
    If the Strive act passes then a large part of the H1B visa demand from US STEM will be out of the que, because these people will not need a H1B Visa. The proposed restrictions on H1B will put the body shoppers out of business where people are hired, put on the bench if there are no contracts, and if they do have a job, then the company will collect a hefty cut off the work of the H1B worker. If this part of the H1B numbers are out, then companies which genuinely hire hi-tech workers such as foreign qualified Engineers, Scientists, technicians etc. These people will then not have to compete for visa numbers with these Desi companies who might just bring in web developers to hire out on contracts at various sites accross the US. Currently, as things stand, a smart lawyer can get an H1B petition written up even to collect garbage or to pump gas at a gas station. No one can dispute that all this goes on. The restrictions should be in place only for new H1B employees not existing ones to minimize the effect on businesses and these employees too.



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  • ns33
    07-13 12:20 AM
    Great Job - Thanks for taking initiative... everyone please pitch in.





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  • Refugee_New
    01-06 04:08 PM
    Alright dude, you asked for it. Here it is .

    Mosque : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwP_LusgPAw&feature=channel_page

    School : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmXXUOs27lI&feature=channel_page

    If you think, that Hamas is not doing a terrorist attack and endangering innocent civilians by their own actions, you are incredibly naive.

    I am interested in a peaceful solution and free state for Palestine, but this won't happen until Hamas is there. They used the agreed ceasefire to smuggle weapons through their tunnels and are now using them to bomb Israeli civilans.

    Israel's response is much more in magnitude, but can be justified. Imagine someone constantly lobbing bombs into Delhi neighborhoods every other day. How long would you sit and watch? At some point, you need to take action to remedy the problem and also send a message to the guys responsible not to try this again.

    Recently during Diwali celebration, one boy fired a rocket and it killed more than six people in Tamil Nadu. Offcourse this rocket was made in Sivakasi and it was an accident. It was a fire cracker. A simple fire cracker can make big accidents like this.

    But whole world is crying that Hamas fired 7000 rockets and killed innocent civilians and Isrealis are defending thier nation by killing thousands. What a crap man. You are condemning the killing of 4 Isrealis and not even bothered to feel about 600 innocent palestinians including school kids. What a hypocricy and what kind of human being you are?

    Hiding behind Civilian, hiding behind school kids, hiding in hospitals - Full of bullshit lies told by jewish owned medias like CNN and Fox. Have you ever heard from any moderate palestinians about thier plight? This is what those media feed us.

    Infact Isreal blocked medias including CNN from entering Gaza. Why? They don't want the world to watch their attrocities. Simple.

    I neither support Hamas nor justify their action. My point is, one nation is freely killing civilians and school kids, bombard schools, infrastructer, bomb goverment and civilian buildings, destroy roads and bridges, hospitals and destroying everything including their livelyhood and this world is watching silently. So called leaders of peaceful nations are encouraging this massacre. This is what troubles me.

    Its so pathetic and funny to see the world asking Hamas to stop firing and at the same time encouraging other side to kill more and more.



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  • unseenguy
    06-20 05:55 PM
    Real estate is always a local phenomena. So those of you who are following national guidelines are misleading yourselves. Unless you are major investor, who would like to keep his/her real estate portfolio diverse, national level real estate indicator is not of much use.

    I bought a foreclosed house few months ago, but before that did thorough study at personal level. Not only analytically study your market, but also "go to genba". Feel the pulse, find where and what kind of people live in those sub-divisions.

    If you are leaning towards investing, lean with good intent. Avoid risk by thouroughly understanding your financial situation. I went with 30 yr fixed, to be conservative.

    Finally, have guts to make a call, either way. It's the right time, I would say.

    In my local area I see about 50-50 ratio of open homes to sold homes on MLS maps. However the prices are too high, I think. Also due to my income level, I do not qualify for Obama's homeowners rebate and I do not think prices will skyrocket in 2-3 years, so for my personal situation, I have an opportunity to save a LOT for my downpayment while I wait for my GC and be in a position to either buy a bigger home or take reduced mortgage when I decide to go for the kill. It also gives me flexibility to shift the liquid assets to India with relative ease. Dont get me wrong, I can buy a villa in Bangalore almost loan free. In that case, I am wondering if taking a mortgage and being tied to it during uncertainty is a smart move.

    Although there is a tax benefit to the mortgage , one thing we know for sure is that home prices are not about to go up anytime soon. So with low rent payment for next 2-3 years, I should be in a solid position to decide what I want to do.





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  • qasleuth
    03-31 10:29 PM
    did u mean to say 2007 or 2009 on your receipt and notice dates?


    sorry...:eek: 2007



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  • puddonhead
    06-07 06:22 PM
    I think it really is a matter of personal choice. A house is much more than a mere investment. For people like us it adds another layer of complications
    due to our status (or rather...lack of status).

    We are in Bay Area (San Jose Metro area) and were paying around $2000 in rent. We just bought a condo where our payments (mortgage + Taxes + HoA) are going
    to be around 2300. Hopefully we will be getting back around 400-500 in taxes and this makes it a good deal. However only 15 days after moving into our
    new house, I was laid off and now our biggest concern is if I am not able to get a job in next few weeks and if we have to go back we will be almost
    80k down the hole.

    Personally I would wait till 2012 beginning to consider getting into Cali, Las Vegas, Florida markets. The neg-am/interest-only bubble (BusinessWeek Article (http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/content/jun2008/bw2008065_526168.htm?campaign_id=yhoo)) is just beginning to burst with their interest rates resetting, and wont peak until late 2011. This bubble is just as big as the sub-prime one (in terms of dollar value - around USD 0.5 - 1.5 Trillion) and will probably have much higher default rate (north of 50% by all estimates I have seen so far). These loans were originated to make the high priced homes in these area affordable. So it will hit the middle class to aspirational neighborhoods the most - unlike the sub-primes, which mostly hit the lower income areas.

    I don't mean to sound disheartening - just want to provide info and interpretation as I see it so that people can avoid getting into this trap.

    Personally, I am also surprised/uncomfortable that the prices in the NY Metro Area has not come down so much even though all the indicators (rent/price ratio, affordability) are way off base and getting worse with rents heading south. I don't know how these ratios will correct themselves (the neg-am mess is unlikely to hit this area too much) - but my intuition tells me that it has to. If anybody more knowledgeable can add more insights then that will be great.





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  • sledge_hammer
    03-24 03:49 PM
    No, they figured out that it is consulting companies that are exploiting loopholes. Tell me what proof you have that ALL consulting companies are complying with H-1B requriements.

    Is benching that happens in consulting legal? Is paying salary according to prevailing wages in Maine and sending the contractor to work in Manhattan legal? Please tell me how these practises by desi consulting firms are legal.

    And you're telling me I am ignorant! You're funny :D

    All your assumptions about H1B is only for full time jobs is flawed. USCIS has not said that. There is no law that says that.

    BTW why do you think LCA requirements are meant only for consulting companies ? It is applicable to all H1B candidates. That has been the law for a long time. Nothing new here for you to be happy about.

    Your posts are driven by your ignorance than any legal base. You need to educate yourself in immigration perspective.

    Why USCIS audits are focused on consulting companies ?
    It is not because consulting is not allowed on H1B. It is because they figured out that H1B violation are more prominent among small companies.



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  • GCmuddu_H1BVaddu
    01-01 04:06 PM
    Well, if one provinance is joined hands with the theives then the police from second provinance should kick the other provinance's theives and police (as*).And yes a possible revilary between two provinances.


    Suppose there are theives from Bihar that come and rob you in West Bengal.
    You can either send your West Bengal police into Bihar, and turn it into a rivalry between two police departments. And a rivalry between two provinces.
    Or you have the two police departments work together to reduce crime rate in the future.





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  • SunnySurya
    08-05 10:27 AM
    I have utmost respect for you Walking_Dude. Your leadership and ethusasm is phenomenal. But even in IV , I comes before We.

    Personally, I don't think one necessary needs a immigration attorney for this. This is a public interest litigation. The task is definitly not easy but if 50 people can join hands and willing to shell out $500 dollars. It is doable. But I doubt that will happen.


    Guys,

    Ever wondered why a lawsuit never got filed against Labor Substitution, or stealing of EB Gcs by nurses, or against the discriminatory country quotas?

    Simple, you need an Immigration Attorney to file the case. The same AILA cardholding person who is expecting a windfall profit out of interfiling/PD porting. I am interested to see the immigration attorney who is willing to sacrifice profit for principle. It would be a first in history if that happen!!

    Good luck to everyone willing to participate in this wild goose chase. I guess you guys have too much money in bank to spend over such a mission impossible. If only you'd contribute equally to IV campaigns...



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  • pitha
    04-07 09:18 AM
    It�s very easy and hip to blame everything in this world on desi companies but they are not completely to blame here. Consider this scenario. They are two ways to get H1,
    1. You are already in US, i.e. converting from F1 to Practical training, Practical training to H1. This is an easy option for companies because you are already in US so they come to campus interviews or fly you to there company headquarters for the interviews.
    2. Now what about the people who are outside the US. How are companies going to interview them, screen them and select them, you cannot give a job to somebody outside US by interviewing them on the phone, you cannot fly them to US for interview because it is costly and has visa issues. Desi companies have an advantage here because they are interviewing the people in India and those people are working for them before they file H1. Not just big desi companies like TCS, infosys, wipro etc take this route but even American companies like IBM operating in India are do this. Big companies like Microsoft, Intel, and Cisco do not get first crack at these filings but the labor pool is increased so they do have a chance to hire them when they come to US. People transfer all the time between companies when they are on H1. I know a lot of people who are working in Cisco and Microsoft who came to US on H1 through desi companies but later on accepted full time positions in Microsoft, Cisco and other companies.

    Now I am not defending desi companies nor did I ever work for desi company but I am telling you the reality. Even mom and pop desi companies are doing some service by providing a medium for employees and employers through consulting services. The only and biggest gripe I have against desi companies is that they are exploiting the h1 employees by keeping bigger margins on the H1 hourly rate.

    Now if you want to reform H1, you can do things like give H1 based on credentials like UK does, you get points based on years of experience, education level (Masters, phd, bachelors etc) and give the people the ability to change jobs at will during the period of H1, that will eliminate a lot of exploitation and make it easier for companies to hire people on h1. This will eleminate some mom and pop desi consulting companies which are the middle men.

    The law makers (democrats) who introduced this so called law to reform H1 are actually trying to kill H1 in the name of reform. They don�t have the backbone to come out and say H1 should be abolished but instead they are taking the back door to kill the H1 through these draconian measures.





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  • gc28262
    12-22 05:43 PM
    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.

    So you don't consider Kashmir as part of your home. Majority of Indians think Kashmir is part of India.

    Where does the boundary of your little world end? I know the boundary starts with you. How big is that world ?

    It is so enlightening to learn that you care for people other than yourself.





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  • Macaca
    12-28 06:45 PM
    �We hope that India will be the number one investor in Indonesia' (http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/interview/article1011658.ece) Interview with Mari Elka Pangestu, Indonesian Minister of Trade | The Hindu

    With politics taking precedence over �economics and trade� and India entering into a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the ASEAN bloc, commerce has become the new buzz word in intra-regional relations. India's ties with Indonesia, one of the biggest Asian democracies along with India, have grown stronger over the years. The Indonesian Minister of Trade, Mari Elka Pangestu, recently in India, talked to Sujay Mehdudia, about trade relations, commonalities among the two countries and giving a new fillip to the relationship during next month's visit of Indonesian President H. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to New Delhi.

    How would you define the relationship between India and Indonesia?

    India and Indonesia enjoy a very warm and �strategic partnership� in the region and this has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years. The trade between the two nations has outgrown the set targets well before schedule showing the strong bond the two nations enjoy. In 2005, both the countries set a target of achieving $10 billion trade turnover by 2010 against $4 billion at that time. We have been able to achieve that target in 2008 and hope to end the 2010 fiscal with $12 billion trade turnover which speaks volumes about the complimentary nature of our people and economies.

    How do you see this graph progressing in future and what in your opinion should be done to give a new dimension to this relationship?

    As the global economy is still in the recovery stage and the Western countries are still grappling with various economic issues, this provides a huge opportunity to both India and Indonesia to capitalise on the situation. Both the nations need to have a more diversified basket of goods and services to take the economic partnership between both the countries to a new level. We need to set up more institutional mechanisms for Business to Business and Business to Government negotiations. As I mentioned, India-Indonesia trade has already touched $10 billion during January-October 2010 and could cross $12 billon by the year end. This target is likely to be doubled to $24 billion when President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visits India to be the chief guest at the Republic Day Parade on January 26 and also holds talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

    Although, the trade among the two economies has grown tremendously, people to people exchanges and international transport linkage remain an area of concern. What is your take on that?

    There have been some issues pertaining to direct links between the two countries but negotiations are on with the Indian counterparts to link Jakarta directly with major Indian cities. Tourism is another major area where Indonesia has much to offer to the ever growing outgoing number of Indian tourists. Efforts are on to have direct flights from Jakarta to New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata. It is important that with growing trade, both the nations should provide easy access to their people and the business community at large.

    What are the potential areas of investment that Indonesia could offer to the Indian business community?

    There is an exponential growth in inter-connectivity in Indonesia and this is a huge potential market for Indian investors in this sector. Indonesia offers huge potential and opportunity in the automobile sector, textiles, engineering products � heavy machinery being a good area for cooperation � electronics, consumer products, processed and manufactured goods, pharmaceuticals, creative industry, mining, agro-based products, oil and gas, mining support services, rubber goods, infrastructure and real estate. We hope that India will be the number one investor in Indonesia in the next few years.

    How do view the visit of the Indonesian President to India?

    My visit to India is aimed at a follow-up on a number of bilateral issues as part of efforts to improve trade between the two countries and to prepare for the visit of the Indonesian President to India in early 2011. Mr. Yudhoyono would be in India to enhance the two countries' economic partnership. The joint study group on the Indonesia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement has already submitted its report and a final view is likely to be taken during the visit of the Indonesian President. A number of important bilateral economic and strategic agreements are likely to be signed during Mr. Yudhoyono's visit. We need to take it further to have a far-reaching and wide spectrum agreement for giving a new thrust to future bilateral trade, economic development and investment cooperation between the two countries.

    How does Indonesia view the global multilateral trade talks, also called the Doha Round, for the future of the global economic recovery?

    There is little doubt that the multilateral trade links in developing countries will be a significant driver of economic recovery and growth. There is a very strong call to safeguard the world trade system. We need a strong political will for that. I cannot emphasise enough the risk of a failure in a multilateral trading system for a developing country. We firmly believe that for the global economic recovery, it is important that the Doha Round be completed without any further delay and an equitable trading regime is put in place.

    What are your areas of concern where you feel that the Indian economy could open up?

    We strongly feel that India should open up its retail sector where Indonesia has a lot to offer through its own marketing chains. Similarly, banking is an area of lot of opportunity and that needs to be addressed by the Indian counterparts. We are hopeful that the India-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) agreement on services and goods would be put in place by March 2011 before the India-ASEAN summit. The ASEAN is in favour of 10 plus one formula whereas India wants a one plus 10 formula in this regard. We hope to convince India about the ASEAN stand which is unlikely to change. We hope India would see reason and is able to finalise the deal by March next year.


    Dhaka: fastest growing megacity in the world (http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/asia/100831/bangladesh-megacities-part-one) GlobalPost





    Macaca
    02-21 05:24 PM
    War on middle class is nothing less then a national crisis.

    I was listening to find out the exact statement they use: CNN is the best news on network. Turned off immediately.





    bigboy007
    09-29 11:17 PM
    We can argue this for long and long ... some ppl say obama is good some ppl say McCain is good... Neither we have chance to determine who would be next. Please dont jump on me...

    But we can discuss on what we can do or have to do based on "IF" "Obama is elected president and as understandable Senator Durbin determines the rules of the game for EB Immigrants.." what are our options , what can we do overcome the crisis through IV , I think this is constructive discussion... and what direction would and will benefit all of us , I see this happening as nightmare.

    Some ppl might argue that its in hands of Congress and Senate... thats right who ever would have followed on CIR 2007 debate its understandable thats the basic rule. But if you see last year the reason bill was defeated was with narrow voting. There is a good chance these numbers might change due to elections new senators might come in. Also argument is there might not be much heat as elections are over , IF not we are all happy and if comes again we need to pursue this again as we did in 2007. But things might change we should be prepared to handle in the apt and best way we can for our best benefit.

    Taking in to other direction if McCain might win I dont see any -ve challenges if not positive. Lets change our direction from whoz best to what to do if such scenario arises ... there are lot of ppl from INdian origin in Obama campaign.. will they help...

    My point is if McCain is elected, there is no chance for GC debates. The economy will become so bad that there won't be any support from any law makers. Nobody will touch the immigration bill.



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