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  • unseenguy
    06-24 08:31 PM
    I completely agree with you.. I seriously dont understand what pride/ownership people feel by making 5% or best case 20% downpayment, Where the bank owns most of the house. It only truly yours when you have fully paid for it. To cite comparisons to our parents is plain foolish. Most of our parents bought their first homes by outright paying for it and having the home in their own name and not any BANK. Dont get me wrong, Not that i am pro renting and against home buying. I hope to have a bank financed home like everybody else in the near future. But i seriously would not feel any pride of ownership without actually owning it in the real sense. I fully own both my cars and feel proud about them :).

    Perfect. I agree. Infact I forced my landlord to have a clause that I could break the lease if I lost my job for 1 month additional rent, :)

    Also the apartment companies send your way lot of extras such as: garbage, water, in some cases parking, storage etc. I only pay electricity and everything else is free for me :)

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  • perm2gc
    08-11 03:52 PM

    Is Dobbs a Native American?


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  • bharol
    01-06 11:26 PM
    Exactly, its about how many people care about the issue. If terrorists kill innocent civilians, first thing they'll say is "Islamic Terrorism". Don't tell me media around the world didn't use this term. Anything and everything blamed on religion and people following the religion.

    There is a reason for that. The organizations which claim responsibility for such attacks have names like Jaish-e-Mohammad, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Deccan Mujahiddin... Now I don't have to explain the meanings of their names. Then they say they are doing Jihad!

    Why would somebody not call them Islamic terrorists?

    Now that does not mean all followers of Islam are Islamic-terrorists.

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  • Macaca
    12-23 10:53 AM
    Pelosi's first year as House speaker marked by little change on war (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/12/23/MNOUU26C5.DTL&tsp=1) By Zachary Coile | SF Chronicle, Dec 23, 2007

    The last day of the House's 2007 session last week summed up the turbulence of Nancy Pelosi's history-making first year as House speaker.

    In the morning, she beamed a wide smile as she stood beside President Bush while he signed an energy bill with the first major increase in fuel economy standards in 30 years.

    But by Wednesday afternoon, her party was facing two of its biggest defeats. To keep the alternative minimum tax from hitting 20 million Americans next year, Democrats had to abandon their pledge not to pass any legislation that increased the deficit.

    Then Pelosi, whose party took control of Congress pledging to change course in Iraq, watched the House approve $70 billion in war funding, part of a budget deal that avoided a government shutdown. Members of her own party denounced it as a capitulation to the White House.

    "The war in Iraq is the biggest disappointment for us, the inability to stop the war," Pelosi told reporters in a group interview in her ceremonial office just hours before the war vote. She quickly pegged the blame on congressional Republicans.

    The Democrats' failure to shift the war's direction, their No. 1 priority for the year, has eclipsed many of the party's successes on other issues, including raising the minimum wage for the first time in a decade and passing the strongest ethics and lobbying reforms since Watergate.

    And Bush, despite his lame-duck status, outflanked Democrats in the end-of-year budget fight - forcing them to accept his number, $555 billion in domestic spending, and funding for Iraq - simply by refusing to yield.

    Asked about the setbacks last week, Pelosi, as she has all year, flashed her most optimistic smile and refused to be drawn into the criticism.

    "Almost everything we've done has been historic," she said.

    But if Pelosi is smiling, so are Republicans. They began the year defeated and demoralized. But they have since shown surprising unity, backing the president on the war and finding new purpose in blocking Democrats' spending initiatives.

    "We've stood up to them every step of the way," House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said last week.

    The tense mood among Democrats in the session's final weeks was a marked contrast from the festive first weeks of the new Congress, when Pelosi was sworn in as the nation's first female speaker, surrounded by children on the House floor. She promised to lead Congress in a new direction.

    Democrats took off on a legislative sprint in which they quickly approved their "Six for '06" agenda including raising the minimum wage, cutting interest rates on student loans, backing federally funded embryonic stem cell research, and revoking tax breaks for oil companies.

    But the bills bogged down in the Senate, where the Democrats' 51-49 majority is so thin it allowed Republicans to determine what would be passed. Democrats have struggled to get the 60 votes needed to overcome filibusters, which are now an almost daily experience in the Senate.

    "Pelosi suffered the same ailment that (former Republican House Speaker) Newt Gingrich suffered from when he became speaker: Senate-itis," said Norman Ornstein, a congressional scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. "A lot of what the House accomplished this year either sat in the Senate or got eviscerated by the Senate. What you are left with is not nearly as robust as what you started with."

    Even the energy bill, the Democrats' crowning achievement, was stripped of a broad tax package and a renewable electricity standard that would have pushed the nation toward wind and solar power. Still, the fuel economy piece alone is expected to save 2.3 million barrels of oil a day by 2020 - more than the United States currently imports from the Persian Gulf.

    Pelosi had to make some painful trade-offs. To get the minimum wage hike signed, Democrats had to attach it to a $120 billion war spending bill.

    Other elements of her agenda fell victim to Bush's veto pen. Congress twice passed a bill with bipartisan support to expand the state children's health insurance program to cover 4 million more children. Bush twice vetoed it, forcing Democrats to settle for an 18-month extension of the current program.

    Pelosi and her Senate counterpart, Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., held countless votes on war measures setting timetables for the withdrawal of U.S. troops and other restrictions on Bush's policy. But their strategy counted on Republicans switching sides - and very few did.

    "I didn't foresee that," Pelosi acknowledged. "We thought they would reflect the wishes and views of their constituents."

    Some critics called the assumption naive. Anti-war groups have urged her to use Congress' power of the purse to simply cut off funds for the war, but Pelosi opposes the move, which many Democrats fear would be seen as undermining the troops. Instead the party has pushed for a "responsible redeployment" - meaning funding the war, but with strings attached.

    In October, Pelosi's ally and the House's top appropriator, David Obey, D-Wis., said Democrats would draw a line in the sand: They would refuse to pass any more war funding without a timeline for withdrawal. But by last week, with the budget impasse threatening to shut down the government, Democrats dropped the strategy.

    Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma, a founding member of the Out of Iraq Caucus, said the Democrats' mistake was not to force the threat to deny funds earlier in the year.

    "I wish she could have been bolder," Woolsey said, while acknowledging that Pelosi had to mediate between competing views in the caucus. "If we had started that earlier, we could have built on it until it reached a crescendo, because it's what the American people want."

    The Democrats were left in a weak bargaining position at the end of the year. They needed to pass 11 spending bills, but Republicans and Bush demanded the $70 billion for the war in return. The president also held firm on his spending limits. If the impasse led to a government shutdown, Pelosi knew her party would receive much of the blame. So she agreed to the deal, with the concession that Democrats were able to preserve money for their priorities, including home heating aid for the poor and health care for veterans.

    "We made it very clear months ago we were not going to shut down the government," said Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, one of Pelosi's top lieutenants. "Tragically, that put the president in the driver's seat."

    Miller said the fight over the war has obscured the progress Democrats made on other fronts, including cutting interest rates on loans for college students and passing a huge increase in veterans' benefits. He said Pelosi worked tirelessly to get the energy bill over the finish line.

    "At the beginning of the year, people said we had no chance of getting an energy bill," Miller said. "This was a tour de force for her."

    Pelosi also showed she was willing to buck some of her party's most powerful members to get her way. She went head-to-head with Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., Detroit automakers' top ally, over raising fuel economy standards - and won. She pushed through an ethics reform bill that her friend Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., called "total crap."

    "Some of her colleagues when they took back Congress said, 'That reform message worked to get us elected, but now it's our turn.' " Ornstein said. "That has not been her attitude and her approach, and I give her credit for that."

    Pelosi had clumsy moments, too. She pushed hard for a resolution denouncing Turkey's mass killings of Armenians during World War I as genocide, only to reverse course when it sparked a diplomatic fight, with Turkey threatening to reduce logistical support to U.S. troops in Iraq.

    Republicans say she has reneged on a promise to run a more open House. Following a pattern set by the GOP when it ran the House for 12 years, Democrats have often rammed bills through, giving Republicans few opportunities to amend them.

    "It's hard to work together when you're not even invited into the room," said Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas.

    But Pelosi's supporters say Republicans haven't been willing to compromise and have mostly tried to block Democrats from racking up accomplishments.

    "The Republicans have frustrated us because they want to run a negative campaign saying the Democrats didn't accomplish anything," said Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Los Angeles.

    The bickering in Congress, over the war and other issues, has taken a toll. When Democrats took power, Congress had an approval rating of 35 percent, but it's since dipped into the low 20s, according to the Gallup poll.

    Pelosi is already crafting a strategy for next year, when the presidential race is likely to take some of the spotlight off Congress. With the war debate at an impasse, she's planning to push a series of measures on health care, the economy, the mortgage crisis and global warming.

    If Democrats can't win on these issues, at the very least they can draw sharp distinctions with Republicans leading up to the fall elections, she said.

    "One of the reasons we were able to be successful with the energy bill is that this is something we took to the American people," she said. "That is what we have to do next. We have to go public with many of these issues."


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  • Rinku
    05-15 02:19 AM
    hey guys,

    M new to this. I have applied for a H1 B this year ....i went thru the pdf on bill S 1035 ...& it states the following:

    Section 2(e) Prohibition of Outplacement
    1. Employer cannot place, outsource, lease, or otherwise contract for the
    placement of an employee on H-1B. (This prohibits any consulting work for
    an employee on H-1B).
    2. This applies to all the application filed after the enactment of this bill.

    Does it mean that all existing consulting work will also be in danger?? M a bit confused as point 2 states that it will be for all applications after the enactment of the bill. Does that affect H1-b holders frm this year itself??

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  • lfwf
    08-06 02:50 PM
    But you see, what YOU think RollingFlood wants cannot be achieved through a lawsuit. From what I and pretty much most of us understand from the letter of the law is that it allows for earliest priority date. A lawsuit cannot change the law. Also remember that GCs in the employment based category are given based on SPONSORSHIP by an employer. So an EB3 got an earlier priority date based on a labor petition that existed at some earlier period in time when RollingFlood, I, and plenty of others decided we wanted to get a PhD instead. That was OUR choice.

    Also, this is a free country. People who are really committed to get an advanced degree, can enroll in graduate school part time, which is what many people I know did. They hopped onto the GC line as EB3 and went to grad school part time. Some now have graduate degrees from places like Stanford.

    Also note that the law accounts for really smart people to be unfettered by allowing for things such as EB2 National Interest Waiver and EB1 exceptional ability.

    To say that just because someone was doing a PhD and therefore needs to get an earlier priority date that accounts for their graduate program is, to say the least, weird. It is mixing up the employment based system with a merit based system. In fact, one could argue a merit based system should not have any notion of priority dates whatsoever!

    Also, just like you, I have no personal gain from this, one way or the other :-)

    I have desisted from posting here because all people do is give hystero-emotonal resposnses ranging from "advanced degree means nothing in law' to "his parents must have waived him goodbye". However recently I see some sane posts that actually consider the issues rather than the rhetoric and I feel constrained to point out that you are wrong.

    1. I cannot judge the merits of a lawsuit but the "equivelance" of an advanced degree is set at 5 years by regulation not law. That can be challenged in court. Again- I don't know if it will be thrown out, but it can be challenged all right. It would satisfy the goal of OP, whose primary grouse was with people who do not qualify initially for EB2, using the 5 years to both jump to EB2 and preserve their PD.

    2. The employment based system is actually stratified by "merit" or" "level of job difficulty" (rightly or wrongly so- that's a separate issue). So they are not different things. The preference categories are set up so that it's easist to qualify for EB3 and toughest for EB1. Therefore the jump that BS +5 takes to EB2 already gives them the advantage of a better cut off date in a smaller category. The PD porting magnifies that to the extent that genuine (adding this to avoid renewed attacks on the terrible things EB2 folks do to qualify) original EB2 filers are left at a huge disadvantage. I asked repeatedly why people who spent the same years getting adavanced education should be left behind. No one addressed that, instead gave me alternative sob stories about being wrongly placed in EB3. Two wrongs do not make a right! And I (at least) am not challenging the rights of people who initially could have qualified for an EB2 to port.

    And if its a free country OP has every right to question the regulation. Why have fits over it? How about analysing the issue itself instead and figuring out it's strengths and weaknesses? Do you think USCIS or Congress care that your attorney "made you file EB3"?

    3. EB2 NIW still gives you a PD only AFTER you complete your advanced education and prove yourself exceptional. Still the same EB2 line. EB1 similarly gives you a PD much later- of course for now it does not matter since its current- if it backlogs, expect the same questions from them.

    I fear this thread is fodder for anti immigrants. Virtually every EB3 here has questioned "most EB2's" classification and accused all of us of some kind of fraud. Really guys, be ashamed.


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  • GC_Applicant
    04-09 01:05 AM
    Thanks for the info. Did you enquire about FHA loans., and how hard or easy it is to get.

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  • unseenguy
    06-23 04:17 PM
    ca_immigrant, you have brought up good points and the sophisticated rent vs buy calculators are available online for free which anyone can run math in 10 mins. Rents are holding steady in CA, so calculations might play a bit differently in CA.

    First of all, 5% is not available today for 30 yr fixed, its more like 5.25%. Another attractive option could be 5 year ARM or 7 year ARM if you can make additional payments for the principal, it will significantly bring down the principal amount owed at the end of first 5 years if you make CONSISTENT (per month) additional payments.

    I live in WA, I searched MLS & zillow for recently sold homes, most homes are going for 15-20% less than owner asked priced. Avg 3 bedroom house price here is 500K.

    1. I do not qualify for tax rebate offered this year due to income level restrictions (spouse works)
    2. Rents in Seattle have fallen steeply. Last year (aug), I was searching for apartment, I was offered at 1600 or 1700. The same apartment is now going for 1450. Some have fallen more steeply upto 1200 of the same class. I can get a very good/posh 2 bedroom apt for 1050 USD per month in today's date if I move out 5 miles more. It was unthinkable in seattle area 1 yr back.

    As you said, monthly payment on a 500 K house comes to around 2750 USD, thats true even in seattle. Thats 1750 USD more than the rent or atleast 1500 USD more than the rent.

    The gamble would be to stay in 1050 rent house for 2 more years and save bigger nest for downpayment. And prepare for the prices to fall more. say 25% more.

    Even if I offer current owners 20% less , the math does not make sense for me. Hence I am expecting 30% -35% correction from current expectations of the owners.

    Dont get me wrong, the owners would still be making a profit on homes constructed before 2003 even if there were 30% more correction.

    One thing we all know for sure is , home prices are not about to go up spectacularly. Maybe 30-40 K up in 2 years from now. When you are thinking of 10-20 year deals, thats not a lot, its peanuts :)

    As of now, I am thinking of buying a nice car instead of a house, since I can talk down car owners equally and since my GC is in geopardy, buying a car for now makes better sense. :)

    As someone said we should consider luxury of a house. I have rented one townhome for 1500 a month for which my neighbour is making 2800 USD payment, go figure :)


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  • Macaca
    12-20 08:12 AM
    A glance at year-end actions in Congress (http://www.mercurynews.com//ci_7761858?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com) Associated Press, 12/19/2007

    A look at actions in Congress on Wednesday:


    Congress sent President Bush a $70 billion bill to fund military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The money is inside a $555 billion catchall spending bill that combines the war money with money for 14 Cabinet departments. Bush and his Senate GOP allies forced the Iraq money upon anti-war Democrats as the price for permitting the year-end budget deal to pass and be signed. The vote in the House was 272-142. The spending legislation affects virtually every part of the government other than the Defense Department's core programs.


    Congress sent President Bush legislation blocking the growth of the alternative minimum tax. The House voted 352-64 for a one-year fix of the tax, which was created to make sure very rich people did not totally avoid paying taxes. But since it was never adjusted for inflation, it affects a greater number of middle- and upper-middle-level income people every year. Without the fix, those subject to the tax would have risen from 4 million in 2006 to about 25 million in 2007, with the average levy of $2,000 a taxpayer. The main beneficiaries of the tax relief would be people in the $75,000 to $200,000 income level. Bush said he will sign the bill because it does not include tax increases or other new sources of revenue to pay for the $50 billion cost of the tax relief. The legislation will shield some 21 million taxpayers without a means to cover the cost to the Treasury.


    Congress approved legislation that would make it easier to flag prospective gun buyers who have documented medical problems. The legislation clarifies what mental health records should be reported to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which gun dealers use to determine whether to sell a prospective buyer a firearm. It also allows the attorney general to penalize states beginning after three years if they do not meet compliance targets. The bill requires federal agencies to notify people flagged as mentally ill and disqualified from buying a gun and to notify people when or if they have been cleared. Propelling the long-sought legislation were the April 16 killings at Virginia Tech, when a gunman killed 32 students and himself using two weapons he had bought despite a documented history of mental illness.


    Congress acted to give extra home heating assistance to cash-strapped families. The government's Low Income Home Energy Assistance program would get roughly $409 million more in a year-end budget bill sent to Bush. The program provides heating and cooling subsidies for the poor. Millions of poor and elderly people on fixed incomes rely on heating assistance to help pay their heating bills.


    Congress sent an extension of a popular health insurance program for children to Bush. Lawmakers supported a $35 billion expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program. Bush vetoed two bills that would have provided the additional money but is expected to sign this version. The extension through March 2009 was part of legislation that also gave physicians a 0.5 percent rate increase when they treat the elderly and disabled in Medicare. Physicians had been scheduled to take a 10 percent cut. The reprieve for doctors will last until June 30. The bill also includes a moratorium on new regulations that would reduce Medicaid payments to schools.


    The House approved a bill that lawmakers hope will make children's toys safer and increase the powers of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Under the bill, anything more than a minute amount of lead would be banned in toys meant for children under 12. The bill also increases the agency's budget to as much as $100 million for the agency by 2011, gives $20 million to modernize the commission's testing lab and bans industry-sponsored travel for the commission. The bill would also ban the sale and export of recalled products, require tracking labels on children's products to aid in recalls and require mandatory third-party testing by certified laboratories. The legislation now goes to the Senate.


    The CIA agreed to produce documents to Congress relating to the destruction of interrogation videotapes of two terror suspects. The CIA decision came after the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee threatened to subpoena two CIA officials to testify about the tapes.


    The Senate confirmed more than 30 of President Bush's appointments. They included Steven Murdock, the state demographer of Texas, as the new director of the Census Bureau, and Julie L. Myers as director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Critics had questioned her qualifications to lead the government's second-largest law enforcement agency.

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  • krishnam70
    03-26 07:59 PM
    Can I PM you or is there any other way. The question has no relation to this current thread but I need some clarification.

    - cheers


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  • paragpujara
    08-06 02:37 PM
    One Chinese person walks into a bar in America late one night and he
    saw Steven Spielberg.
    As he was a great fan of his movies, he rushes over to him, and asks
    for his autograph.
    Instead, Spielberg gives him a slap and says, "You Chinese people
    bombed our Pearl Harbor, get outta here.
    "The astonished Chinese man replied, "It was not the Chinese who bombed
    your Pearl Harbor, it was the Japanese".
    "Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese, you're all the same," replied Spielberg.
    In return, the Chinese gives Spielberg a slap and says, "You sank the
    Titanic, my forefathers were on that ship.
    "Shocked, Spielberg replies, "It was the iceberg that sank the ship,
    not me."
    The Chinese replies, "Iceberg, Spielberg, Carlsberg, you're all the
    This particular joke won an award for the best joke in a competition
    organized in Britain and this joke was sent by an Indian.

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  • looivy
    07-13 07:40 PM
    One of the qualifying criteria for EB2 is 5 years of experience. Right????

    If your I-485 application is stuck since July 2003 or prior, you are automatically EB2 by that rule. Are you not? You have been working for 5 years atleast.

    The revised rule should be

    EB2 eligibile = Anybody with experience on labor > 5 years (this would not impact current EB2 folks) or whose labor is older than 5 years (this will make EB3 folks happier).



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  • whattodo
    07-11 01:58 PM
    Her employer was not willing for her to start before SSN, so we had to wait. I hope that this will not be a problem.

    That should not cause any problems.

    On another note, one can start working as long as he/she has applied for SSN. One does NOT need ssn at hand to start working.

    Not a legal advice.

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  • jasmin45
    08-02 01:13 PM
    Yes, that is the same person. I felt discouraged and decided to not actively post; unless there is some real interesting issue.

    I consider this a real interesting issue.
    Your wisdom is amaizing and we are happy to see you and request you to help clear the darkness of GC for many souls.


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  • waitnwatch
    08-05 07:28 PM
    I had tried to frame the debate in my previous post which is quoted below. Never received as much as a yay or nay from anyone. On the other hand there are enough folks with a lot of bluster and rhetoric to keep the storm in the teacup going.

    It should be obvious that the USCIS doesn't make changes because we spit fire on this forum.

    That is exactly why we would be better of trying to use this forum for honing our arguments instead of punching imaginary bags and getting all riled up.

    This is probably my last post on this topic but I'll sure be visiting to enjoy all the shouting and screaming!

    OP is long gone. Your post is full of big brave words and no substance. If you want to have a discussion and demonstrate your "intellect", please make some rational arguments and back them up. There is no lawsuit discussion here, just a debate on the merits of BS+5 PD porting

    Here's the logic behind this debate as I see it (not that there is much logic in the way the immigration laws/rules are framed)

    A person with a Master's or a PhD has spent 2-3 or 5-6 years respectively to get their degrees but do not get a priority date reflecting that time spent on acquiring the qualifications.

    On the other hand a person with a bachelors who gets 5 years experience can port their priority date while moving from EB3 to EB2 thereby getting credit for time spent.

    Porting is law while the Bachelor+5 is due to some memo. This memo does not take into consideration the above inconsistency and therefore this debate.

    I hope this sounds logical to atleast some of you folks.

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  • pitha
    09-26 09:46 AM
    All this is going to happen in the very first year itself. Obama has already said CIR would be his priority for his first year. Dick Durbin and Obama will "reform" the EB system exactly the way you described below. In 2008 we have seen some eb friendly bills introduced by lofgren like visa recapture and exemption for STEM. Once Obama becomes president(which is almost a certainty) he will outsource the EB issues to Dick Durbin and he will make sure none of the EB friendly issues like visa recapture and exemption for STEM will happen. In addition obama and durbin will make our lives miserable with draconian restrictions on EB. We are alreday seeing USCIS denying AC21 485 (there is a seperate thread on this). If situation is like this now just imagine how horrible it would be with Obama and durbin.

    Why do I feel discouraged? If anything is going to happen for the immigrant community when Sen. Obama becomes the President, it is going to be in the lines of CIR 2007. There would be provisions to make illegal immigrants as legal and remove backlogs to family based quota whereas posing harsh restrictions on H1b visas and reducing Green Card quotas and scrap AC21 portability and try to experiment with some new kind of skilled immigration system.


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  • xyzgc
    12-22 11:35 PM
    Muslims have a very proud history (along with issues like most religions/races). Lets hope the people on all sides tone down the rheotric and live and let live

    Hindus also have a history and we are proud of it.
    Despite all the agressions by the barbaric islamic hordes, Hinduism has not only survived, it has actually flourished.
    We are proud of the fact that we didn't attack other countries and pillage other lands.

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  • Macaca
    12-27 08:33 PM
    The Speaker's Grand Illusion (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/26/AR2007122601484.html) Nancy Pelosi and Congressional Democrats Need to Get Real About What They've Accomplished By David S. Broder | Washington Post, Dec 27, 2007

    After one year of Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, public approval ratings for Congress have sunk below their level when Republicans were still in control. A Post poll this month put the approval score at 32 percent, the disapproval at 60.

    In the last such survey during Republican control, congressional approval was 36 percent. So what are the Democrats to make of that? They could be using this interregnum before the start of their second year to evaluate their strategy and improve their standing. But if Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House and leader of their new majority, is to be believed, they are, instead, going to brag about their achievements.

    In a year-end "fact sheet," her office proclaimed that "the Democratic-led House is listening to the American people and providing the New Direction the people voted for in November. The House has passed a wide range of measures to make America safer, restore the American dream and restore accountability. We are proud of the progress made this session and recognize that more needs to be done."

    While surveys by The Post and other news organizations show that the public believes little or nothing of value has been accomplished in a year of bitter partisan wrangling on Capitol Hill, Pelosi claims that "the House has had a remarkable level of achievement over the first year, passing 130 key measures -- with nearly 70 percent passing with significant bipartisan support."

    That figure is achieved by setting the bar conveniently low -- measuring as bipartisan any issue in which even 50 House Republicans broke ranks to vote with the Democrats. Thus, a party-line vote in which Democrats supported but most Republicans opposed criminal penalties for price-gouging on gasoline was converted, in Pelosi's accounting, into a "bipartisan" vote because it was backed by 56 Republicans.

    There is more sleight of hand in her figures. Among the "key measures" counted in the news release are voice votes to protect infants from unsafe cribs and high chairs, and votes to require drain covers in pools and spas. Such wins bulk up the statistics. Many other "victories" credited to the House were later undone by the Senate, including all the restrictions on the deployment of troops in Iraq. And on 46 of the measures passed by the House, more than one-third of the total, the notation is added, "The president has threatened to veto," or has already vetoed, the bill.

    One would think that this high level of institutional warfare would be of concern to the Democrats. But there is no suggestion in this recital that any adjustment to the nation's priorities may be required. If Pelosi is to be believed, the Democrats will keep challenging the Bush veto strategy for the remaining 12 months of his term -- and leave it up to him to make any compromises.

    An honest assessment of the year would credit the Democrats with some achievements. They passed an overdue increase in the minimum wage and wrote some useful ethics legislation. They finally took the first steps to increase the pressure on Detroit to improve auto mileage efficiency.

    But much of the year's political energy was squandered on futile efforts to micromanage the strategy in Iraq, and in the end, the Democrats yielded every point to the president. That left their presidential candidates arguing for measures in Iraq that have limited relevance to events on the ground -- a potential weak point in the coming election.

    The major Democratic presidential hopefuls all have their political careers rooted in Congress, and the vulnerabilities of that Congress will in time come home to roost with them. Today, Democrats take some comfort from the fact that their approval ratings in Congress look marginally better than the Republicans'. In the most recent Post poll, Democrats are at 40 percent approval; Republicans, at 32 percent. But more disapprove than approve of both parties.

    That is another reason it behooves the Democrats to get real about their own record on Capitol Hill. It needs improvement. And in less than a year, the voters will deliver their own verdict.

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  • gotgc?
    12-17 10:46 PM
    It is true that 99.99% of Muslims are not terrorists. But 99.99% of World's hardcore terrorists are Muslims.

    It is very true..and it is fact...why is that all terrorists are muslims...something is wrong ...muslims need to come forward....

    12-27 11:35 PM
    As someone who comes from an army family and who has been trained as a reserve, I want to assure you guys who think that an Indo-Pak war will linger; that it will not. It will take Indian army 15-20 days to reach Islamabad if the full force is deployed and the army is in charge of the war and not our politicians.
    Pak has nukes, but their delivery mechanism is not sound and before Pak launches any nukes, US will disarm them and even if a few are launched India had a very good anti missile shield which will intercept and destroy all warheads before it enters Indian air.
    Now to actual strategies that India should follow-
    1. The civilian government in Pak is not at fault, previously they were responsible for terrorist attacks on India but now they are suffering at the hands of a monster of their own making. Terrorism and ISI.
    2. India should use air and missile power to strike out and wipe out a 500km radius around each terrorist camps while offering an olive branch to the Pak govt. What this does is it will kill with certainty all terrorists and will also wipe out surrounding villages.
    3. These are casualties of war and are a necessary evil, it will strike fear in the hearts of villagers and when ever a terrorist camp is set up; the surrounding villagers will chase them out in fear of India's wrath.
    4. India should send RAW analysts to assassinate all rouge ISI officers, if needed Mossad of Israel can help India.
    5. Finally the only way to deal with the problem of Pakistan longtime is to either socially cleanse Pakistan for the civilian government and bring in more modernism or carve out pakistan into several independent states. This is a long term goal which has to be thought about.

    If anyone is interested I can post the actual army strengths of India and Pak, its an interesting statistic and I am sure the Pak government knows about it in more detail than me. And it beats me that in spite of knowing the facts they are doing all this war posing. Just a tit bit from it, Indian army (only) is 1.3mil + 450K (reserves) strong. The combined Pak armed forces are 450K active + 500K reserves. India outnumbers Pak in almost every aspect 1:5 on an average. We have fought 4 wars and India has won all 4 times, why should the 5th time be any different? Lets finish this and move on, we have to become an economic superpower and we cannot be bothered by such trivial things like terrorism and pakistan. Lets take terror to the terrorists, like the song from the Hindi movie Arjun goes
    " Dushman ko yeh dikadho dushmani hai kya...":cool:

    01-06 01:04 PM
    Please provide proof(example) to support your allegation that "IV allowed its members to discuss, degrade, humiliate muslims and Islam"

    If this forum is strictly for immigration, then we wouldn't have allowed members to discuss anything other than immigration.

    But IV allowed its members to discuss, degrade, humiliate muslims and Islam. Why didn't they stop it then?