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  • easygoer
    01-06 06:35 PM
    Palestine people definitely deserve a state of their own. They have been living there for thousands of years. So does Israelis. Israel is surrounded by hostile arab countries that waged war against Israel several times. Perhaps, this is the reason why Israel reacts (or over reacts at times) to any attack.

    Palestine state could have formed several years ago. International community tried real hard several times to find a closure to this issue. These efforts were always nixed by 1) Hamas thugs 2) Surrounding arab countries (and to some extent other muslim countries).

    If you want to blame someone for Palestine plight today, blame these two actors.

    The palestine problem was created by British people without considering Palestian's approval for the same. What palestinians are asking is their legitimate right. So Hamas is not the first party to blame for palestinian's problem. But Britain is the first person.

    You can blame Hamas for wrong approach to the problem which aggravated the problem in such a way that it can not be solved. Also due to Hamas, Palestinians are suffering like anything. God bless all innocent people who suffers.

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  • jonty_11
    07-09 02:12 PM
    You already have I-94 valid until 11/11/2209.

    Just to verify, are the numbers same on both I-94s (8/11/2007, 11/11/2009)? If so, you are ok. Staple the new I-94 in the passport along with the old one.

    Not a legal advice.
    Ah!! I see.....I do have the same i94 number on both the I-94s

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  • logiclife
    02-21 11:16 AM
    Today, Lou Dobbs has written on more article.

    This time, Lou Dobbs is having a lot of admiration and good words to say about.....guess what ...LOU DOBBS.

    Yes, Lou Dobbs loves Lou Dobbs. He has created a whole new class of people in this country. He says that there are 150 million "Lou Dobbs Democrats" in the country the no ones knows about.

    Read the whole article here (http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/02/20/Dobbs.February21/index.html)

    Excerpts of Lou Dobbs talking about how great and popular Lou Dobbs is...

    The ascension of the so-called Lou Dobbs Democrats in the November election gave hope to many that our representatives and senators were awakening to the need to represent the largest single group of voters in the country, 150 million working men and women and their families.
    --Lou Dobbs, Feb 21 2007.

    The Democratic Leadership Council is obviously frightened that my brand of independent populism is a threat.
    --Lou Dobbs again, on Feb 21 2007, when absolutely in awe of Lou Dobbs.

    I call that independent populism, not neo-populism. And I also call that truth.

    --Lou Dobbs, calling Lou Dobbs an INDEPENDENT populist while writing a column praising Lou Dobbs.

    In the case of the Democratic Party, there seems to be a rising fear that more Lou Dobbs Democrats are on the way and are going to demand truth over slogans and an improving reality for working men and women rather than ideological posturing that will salve the corporate masters of both parties.

    --Lou Dobbs, describing the Lou Dobbs brand of Democrats.

    Geeezzz...really. Why doesnt he just run for office instead of campaigning from CNN.

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  • obviously
    08-05 09:48 AM
    ... and dont forget that you drink from it too.

    Take the $500 or $1000 and contribute to IV so that we can get a solid resolution.

    No wonder illegals are so strong. United they stand. Pity 'highly educated' workers use their 'intelligence' for matters nefarious and counter-productive. No wonder we are in this situation to start with.

    If there were a collective voice with strong bargaining power, we would have not been in this situation.

    Law breakers are feared. Law abiding folks are derided.

    Go on, feed Loo Dogs for yet another sensational story on why ALL immigrants need to go back.

    Dont forget, for the average Joe anyone that does not 'look like them' can be a target for hate crime and resentment. PR about a case like this can only make the entire community weaker. If you happen to be Indian, what is to stop someone that is upset about immigrants not targeting you or your family? They wont know that YOU are their protector in chief, with the lawsuit stuck in your backpocket. You are but a symbol of the problem that you make out to be.

    Seriously. I have been involved in very key discussions with very senior public figures. Their number one pet peeve: You guys are so divided, even if we wanted to help, we are unable to.

    You just go on to prove their point.

    It is understandable that you are upset about what you see as being 'unfair'... just extrapolate that to the Ron Hiras of the world and NumberUSAs of the world ... you are feeding the larger cause of hatred towards highly skilled workers ... by creating a false impression that highly skilled workers abuse the system...

    Dont make your pillow peeves an issue that comes back to hurt ALL, including you. On many dimensions. This is serious stuff. Think about it.



  • rockstart
    07-14 09:24 AM
    A guy who filed his labor in say 2001 and it took 3 years for that labor to approve should he complain that after PERM guys got labor approved in 2-3 months and in some cased even before him. Should we complain USCIS / DOL for improving the system? Guys just because your Lawyers asked you to file EB3 does not make things right. Why did you agree on EB3? if you were so convinced that you qualified for EB2 you could have taken the matters to your boss and upper management in your company? If you did not get juistice then you could have quit that company and joined another organization that was ready to recognize your talents? All phani_6 wants is a cake and eat it too. This is not possible dude this letter in its present draft is a laughing stock. Make it factually correct and this will make entire IV community support it regarless of Eb2 or Eb3.

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  • sledge_hammer
    06-27 11:52 AM
    Right, you pay for what you called "service", which is what your landlord is providing. And you pay him to let you stay in his house, which means YOU my friend are paying more than 80% of HIS mortgage. At the end of his mortgage, all his tenants would have collectively chipped in to pay more than 80% of HIS mortage and he has a house at the end of it all. What do YOU have? Zero, zilch, nada!

    Money paid as interest is the "service" cost of the money being loaned to you. You are paying so that you can live in the house you did NOT pay full cash for.

    My interest in a year is 2 times more than the standard deduction. I don't have a business yet, but when I start one, I'm going to have more deductions. Do the math!

    Its not logical to think of rent as money flushed down the toilet. It is the money you pay for a service aka for a service that provides shelter without any maintanance involved.

    Is the money that you are paying as interest for mortgage money flushed down the toilet???:rolleyes:

    Taxdeduction is overrated, remember everyone gets a standard deduction, so even if you
    dont have mortgage you get a break.


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  • mrane1
    04-07 02:45 AM

    I had no idea my two humble posts would stir up such a hornets' nest among the desi junta here. I certainly see more "bears" coming out of their hibernation now that spring is here :).

    OK, I admit that I am also in the camp that really wants to buy a house and "settle down" in a good area with good schools for my kids. The mythical "nesting instinct" is alive and well here. I am obsessed with the real estate market, and am constantly watching real estate porn as my wife calls it, i.e., surfing on ziprealty.com and redfin.com trying to spot good deals.

    However, the reality is that I am scared sh*tless of the market right now. I do not want to burn my hard earned equity in the form of a good 20% plus downpayment. If you are in the same situation as I am, then I would offer the following practical suggestions to help you cope with the situation:

    1. Rent a house/townhouse/condo from private parties instead of an apartment complex to help you understand the responsibilities and expenses of homeownership.

    2. If renting an apartment in an area with moderate schools, and have school age kids, instead of trying to chase the dream of building equity in a house in an area with good public schools, in the short run, consider sending your kids to a decent private school. The cost of added property taxes in case of home purchase would alone balance out the high monthly payments of private schooling, with probably better "return on investment" at a private school.

    3. Feel good about renting an apartment: You should not succumb to peer pressure and try to keep up with the Janardhan's (OK, bad joke, "Joneses") and buy a house just because other people took the plunge at the wrong time. Your time will come. Just be patient. Not to be taken lightly is the fact that in the month of April we celebrate Earth Day - think positively about all the energy you are saving living in an apartment with shared utilities with other people living in the complex. A house is a big energy guzzler (although I am sure an enjoyable one!) in all respects - more heating and cooling costs, more water used (esp. in summer with lawn watering), more greenhouse gas emissions from your individual lawn mower, leaf blower, and snow blower (can you picture yourself mowing your lawn or riding the snow blower in your lungi :D- OK this joke is getting old)...

    4. More quality time spent at home with the kids - when you are not having to do chores around a big house. A house seems to take up a lot of maintenance time, not to mention time spent cleaning/vacuuming /dusting the entire 3000 sq ft area and otherwise maintaining the 1/4 acre yard. You could instead spend a lot of quality time with your kids doing projects/homework/art work with them and being a kid again yourself. In a house it is more likely that unless you have kids big enough to help you do those chores for some incentive, your kids will be watching Dora and Diego while you are cleaning up.

    All in all, I think there are many positives to look forward to while you save money renting, and like I said before, when the time is nigh, you will have your turn. You will also by then, hopefully have your green cards in hand and may even be able to move to a more desirable city or other states looking for better work opportunities and where your downpayment savings will take you farther in getting you more for your buck.


    "Real estate porn".... I just burst out laughing... Yeah I am a hardcore RE porn lover! I have been studying the market since 2004... I even got my GC in sept (although my wife is still stuck in name check... hopefully now that she is current again we might get the news!). So anywho, I completely agree with you junglee. Something tells me that you are an old timer who saw the 2001 crash unfold. I currently live in BA and I am shocked to see even desis spread so thin its really hard for me to fathom how they sleep at night. Many are just a few paychecks away from foreclosure... So did you invest in any of the inverse ETFs such as SRS, SKF, DXD, SDS?

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  • hopefulgc
    07-13 09:56 PM
    eligibility comes for having gained the requisite experience in another job.. not the current one.

    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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  • Macaca
    05-27 05:46 PM
    The Next Great Resource Shortage: U.S. Scientists (http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2074024,00.html) By ANDREW J. ROTHERHAM | Time

    The word "stem" is tossed around so much at education meetings these days, you'd think you were at a gardening seminar. STEM is shorthand for "science, technology, engineering, and mathematics" � all fields that are growing, providing lucrative jobs, and key to future American competitiveness. That's why everyone from President Obama to the United States Chamber of Commerce is worried about whether we're producing enough STEM graduates from our colleges and universities. That this is a problem is one of the few things that everyone in education seems to agree upon.

    Part of the push for better STEM education stems � sorry � from American companies claiming there are shortages of American workers able to take on certain roles. Each year, American technology and engineering firms push to expand the number of workers allowed under the "H-1B" visa program, a category that allows companies to hire foreigners in roles where they cannot find a qualified American citizen. Critics claim the H-1B program is more a ploy to allow companies to hire skilled workers cheaper.

    STEM anxiety is also an outgrowth of larger concerns about American competitiveness. The growing number of STEM workers in countries like China and India has policymakers on edge. You often hear that China and India are producing many more engineers than the United States, but when researchers from Duke University looked closely at the numbers, they found that what's counted as an engineering degree in those countries would often be considered a vocational certificate or two-year degree in this country. The Duke team found relative parity between the United States and China and India when the engineering comparison was apples to apples.

    And part of our STEM obsession is frankly just longtime habit. In the 1950s, it was Admiral Hyman Rickover calling for more math and science education as part of the effort to keep us competitive with the Soviets. Congress passed legislation to support math and science education in 1958 and advocates have been pushing for more ever since. Congress passed several STEM measures in just the last decade, including the 2007 America Competes Act, which includes measures to recruit and train teachers in STEM subjects.

    Still, debatable need, confused statistics, and force of habit doesn't mean there isn't an actual STEM problem facing the United States. American students should be doing better in math and science than they are now, and we are arguably producing too few college STEM majors. If the global competitiveness race turns into a numbers game, we're in trouble absent dramatic improvements: If it were its own country, the populations of China and India aged 14 and younger would each still be among the top five nations in the world in terms of population. That means that even marginal improvements in education in those countries will pay big dividends and put them on a stronger competitive footing. Besides, there is little doubt that our own economic future hinges in no small part on remaining a leader in innovation in science and technology.

    So we want more college graduates in STEM careers. How do we get them? Right now policymakers are fixated on upgrading the quality of the math and science teaching force through better recruitment and training. "Out-of-field" teachers � meaning those without proper training in the subject � remain an acute problem in math and science. Scholarships, loan-forgiveness, and even higher pay are all used to attract more teachers into STEM fields. More creative ideas are emerging, too. Math For America provides $100,000 fellowships for math teachers and Partners in Science gives science teachers the opportunity to undertake actual scientific work at national laboratories during the summer. All good ideas, but to some extent we're chasing our tail: Not enough STEM graduates means not enough STEM teachers, regardless of the incentives.

    The second answer is to expose students to STEM fields early on and use scholarships and inducements for them to choose STEM careers. This is where the STEM rhetoric meets our educational reality: A lot of students are not going into STEM careers today not because they're unaware of the choice, but rather because they cannot make that choice because of the quality of education they are receiving.

    Think about it. With high school graduation rates of only about 75 percent overall (and 64 percent for Hispanics and 62 percent for African-Americans) we lose a lot of potential STEM students long before college. At the same time, many students graduating from high schools are not taking the math and science courses necessary to pursue a STEM career. Experts estimate that only about one-third of graduating high school students are genuinely college-ready.

    Of course, not all currently underserved students would choose STEM careers either. People chose their work for a variety of reasons. Yet it's a reasonable assumption that some percentage of currently underserved students would choose STEM just as some percentage of more advantaged students do now. So rather than trying to squeeze a few more STEM students from populations that can already choose STEM if they want to, perhaps policymakers should focus even more on giving currently under-served populations the ability to make a STEM choice in the first place. If you're not taking the right classes � or worse, if you're not in school � STEM careers are not a viable choice for you. Fixing that seems the path to the richest untapped vein of future American talent.

    In other words, in the long term, the STEM agenda really isn't that different than the more general school improvement agenda. Linking the two more explicitly would also help make the push for STEM more relevant and engaging for parents than it is today. Because while education leaders can't shut up about STEM, it's hardly even on the radar of most parents � when they talk about stems they usually are talking about plants.

    The Right Job? It�s Much Like the Right Spouse (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/22/business/22corner.html) By ADAM BRYANT | New York Times
    The Downsized College Graduate (http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/05/24/the-downsized-college-graduate) The New York Times
    Top Colleges, Largely for the Elite (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/25/business/economy/25leonhardt.html) By DAVID LEONHARDT | The New York Times
    Five myths about America�s schools (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/five-myths-about-americas-schools/2011/05/09/AFunW27G_story.html) By Paul Farhi | The Washington Post
    The Failure of American Schools (http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/print/2011/06/the-failure-of-american-schools/8497/) By Joel Klein | The Atlantic

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  • gjoe
    07-15 06:55 AM
    I would like to first applaud Pani for this effort. I strongly support his initative. I think his letter is original and from his heart. It is more authentic and human than what some on this forum are suggesting here. I think his gut feeling on this one is more important than the calculated steps IV has been taking so far.
    These kind of authentic letters from members like pani would give IV a more strong foundation to focus their energy. I think all those who want to write letters to the President, Senator, Congressmen, USCIS, DOL, DOS, DOJ, etc should do so and also should write the letter on their own instead of copying one. The reasons, sentiments and purpose will add more flavour to the whole thing. I would go one step further to suggest that some should write the letter in Spanish, French, Mandarin, Hindi, Urdu, etc, etc, if they think that they can express themselves better in their own language.
    Pani once again I would like to say that you are doing the right thing.

    PS: When the ship is sinking everyone wants to escape but the one who is aggresive to save himself has more chance of living than the other who is waiting for someone to save him.


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  • Raju
    05-24 12:21 PM
    If you go through the transcripts of his shows over the last 4-5 years, he is stauncly against everything foriegn, period. He hates H1-Bs, absolutely hates indian call centers , hates cheap chinese goods, hates illegal aliens ... he is not just anti-immigrant, he is xenophobic.
    The reason he is so popular is because he appeals to populist sentiments .. its the easiest thing in the world to blame foreigners when the economy is bad and believe everything will be hunky-dory if they are kicked out.

    I used to watch his show for 2 yrs. This is what exactly he wants to do. I agree 200% to the above passage. He wants to build walls for everything, technolgy, foriegn goods and Immigrants(legal and illegel). I am surprised that he is a harvard graduate. He want to send 15 mil illegals out, which is 10% of the whole work force. The current unemployment in this coutry is under 5% which the best in the world. How is he going to fill the jobs that were left behind by the illegals...

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  • supreet
    06-07 04:52 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.


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  • Marphad
    12-30 04:20 PM
    I think I agree with quite a lot of what you say. But I think there is some truth in Pakistani fears that India is already supporting anti-state actors in Pakistan, like in Balochistan.

    I don't think we all want that.
    I don't think even all Indians want that.
    I don't think its in the interest of India, or anyone else for that matter, to have a huge Afghanistan on its Eastern border.

    Well my personal opinion, I don't believe it is true. Actually Pakistan doesn't need India for all this. It is capable by itself. By sheltering Dawood and Azhar Masood what do you expect? A university of peace?

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  • pcs
    05-16 12:54 PM
    Free market economy is the best for mankind. As long as nobody steals, laws should not bind people's imagination & creativity.

    Hiring of H1-B by "consultencies" is like stocking goods in a shop before you open for business. This is an acceptable model for business in any society. I support the process of hiring H1-B by bodyshoppers, BUT would like Congress to implement some guidelines by which H1-B should have more dignified life & freedom to work like.... unlimited freedonm of job changes of employers within 6 years or valid VISA period. Self administration / support of green card process. This single step will cure all evils.

    By the way, I am not an IT guy / bodyshopper


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  • alisa
    01-04 02:13 AM
    Please don't kid yourself ...all these points seem so shallow that there's no way one could read too much into it. I find this exchange meaningful though it took me 4 posts. Please keep playing your game.I think you proved the point that I initially raised.

    Like someone pointed out before you can't wake up someone that's pretending sleeping.

    Thank you.

    But I still can't figure out what your argument really is.

    Lets agree to disagree, I suppose. Let me know, if you can, what exactly and specifically it is that you didn't like about what I said.

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  • lfwf
    08-05 06:49 PM
    I think it is all subjective. You ask “Do years spent doing MS/Phd have no value?”. A person who has 5+ years experience will ask “Do years spent working have no value?”.

    Just think of a scenario where a person who right after finishing a degree gets into masters because he had money and another decides to work for whatever reason (he could not afford could be one reason), The former finishes his MS and applies GC right away, how can the latter person who waits for an extra three years and apply get ahead of the former?.

    Now you might say “ No dude, I did not have money, I worked for 2 years and then got into MS”, like I said it is all subjective. You pick a case that augurs well for your argument and I chose a scenario to counter yours.

    I think it is fair to equate 5 years of work experience (remember, to qualify for EB2 you need to have PROGRESSIVE work experience, you need to show some progress/advancement in that 5 years) with 2+ years of MS. I had more than 5 years of experience and I applied in EB2 and now I am doing my masters. Will I withdraw my GC application and wait to apply after I do my masters?. Hell no.

    I believe you missed the entire point.
    YES the people with work expereince can ask that question- and in fact they ARE getting the benefit of those years.
    Now, answer the question- why are the years spent in MS/PhD not getting any credit?
    Whether you have money or not is irrelevant nonsense. This is like complaining that you are married so cannot have a girlfriend- that is your problem pal. Make your own choices, don't blame others for them. What does it have to do with immigration lines?

    I'll answer for you since you refuse to be objective.

    The benefit of doing an advanced degree was placed in law as the ability to get a job in a higher preference category. That takes care of the lost years in getting a PD. When a person in EB3 becomes eligible for EB2, that's great, he/she gets to reapply and move to EB2 and take the benefit of the improved GC cut off dates. At this point if this person ALSO ports an old PD based on the years of work, which others in the EB2 category cannot use (they were training) it becomes a disproportionate advantage.

    If you and I both came in 2000, and I did a PhD and you worked..(this is not that far from my story- so it's not completely fictional), your PD might be 2002 and mine may be 2007. Now you are as close to current in EB3 as I am in EB2. Now if you jump to EB2 without porting), you would be 2008 (or even 2006) and given faster movement in EB2 you benefit. If you jump with porting, I'm totally screwed. You are way ahead of me simply because I chose to get the degree. Does it begin to make any sense? You are asking for the ability to get a GC because you have waited "x years". So HAVE I!!!!
    Except that my PD does not reflect it like yours. If you still insist you have first right...well that's your opinion.

    I'm posting this mainly to frame the debate properly. All I hear from most people is innuendo and accusation. Everyone but the poster is a fraud, while the poor EB3 poster is genuine and cheated. What rubbish! There is some basis for angst over porting dates, just as there is basis for angst over people being stuck in EB3 because their employers chose it that way.


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  • reddymjm
    08-05 10:32 AM
    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.


    I asked this before and asking again. How many of that EB2 got jobs with out faking their resumes and skill set. Atleast did you?

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  • Macaca
    05-18 05:29 PM
    Why Ai Weiwei's case matters for the future of China on the world stage (http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/peterfoster/100088312/why-ai-weiweis-case-matters-for-the-future-of-china-on-the-world-stage/) By Peter Foster | Telegraph

    There’s a perception in Britain that human rights issues in China are really just a hobby-horse of the liberal left, an issue that only bothers people who pay an annual subscription to Amnesty International.

    That’s a big mistake, because human rights – or more broadly, political reforms and good governance – are the fundamental key to China emerging this century as a developed and stable nation. Everyone has an interest in making that happen.

    A recent report from France’s INSEAD business school picked up by the Wall Street Journal traces the clear correlation between good governance (rule of law, property rights etc) and prosperity.

    Economically oligarchies and authoritarian states stall when they hit per-capital income levels of about USD$15,000 a per head. China is predicted to reach USD$8,300 this year, which means the time when these issues are starting to press is fast approaching.

    “Without reform, growth is not sustainable,” says Antonio Fatas, an economist at INSEAD and co-author of the study, “This has clear implications for China and other countries.”

    That’s why Jim O’Neill of Goldman Sachs, on a visit to China last week, said that his biggest worry for China was not near-term inflation, or asset bubbles or bad debts but the Communist Party’s long-term ability to adapt politically to a new world.

    Asked about risks to the ongoing China story, Mr O’Neill (the man who coined the BRICs acronym) cited inflation and rising protectionism in Washington as “small” risks, before sounding his note of real caution.

    “The third thing [risk to China], that’s much longer term; as Chinese people get wealthier, the Chinese central party machine has to adapt more and more to keep in synch with what Chinese people want, and that might be a real challenge,” he warned.

    That’s why Ai Weiwei’s case matters – not just as an individual human being (though he does) but also because his case is symptomatic of the failure of China’s ruling Communist Party to create credible political institutions in which the rest of the world can have faith.

    As Markus Loning, Germany’s human rights commissioner, said this week in Beijing. “It is not about a single case, but the rule of law. If we want to have development, it is important for people to claim that they are protected [by the law].”

    The world must speak up over the detention of Ai Weiwei (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/borisjohnson/8515705/The-world-must-speak-up-over-the-detention-of-Ai-Weiwei.html) By Boris Johnson | Telegraph

    Australia's multilateralism fetish (http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2011/05/18/Multilateralism-Time-to-rip-off-the-band-aid.aspx) By Michael Wesley | The Interpreter
    Will violence in Mexico impact immigrant pool in US? (http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Americas/Latin-America-Monitor/2011/0517/Will-violence-in-Mexico-impact-immigrant-pool-in-US) By Sara Miller Llana | The Christian Science Monitor
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    Critics are wrong: The Secure Communities program works. (http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-baca-immigration-20110517,0,7647155.story)
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  • Beemar
    01-01 03:14 PM
    Guys, sorry for starting this alarming thread. But the talk of an imminent indian strike in pakistan was all over the internet. I found so many links where indian govt threatens pakistan with war if it does not mends its ways. Just see for yourself.

    India Set to Launch 'Small War'

    Delhi ups its war rhetoric

    US fears India may attack militant training camps in PoK

    India Hinted At Attack In Pakistan; U.S. Acts to Ease Tension on Kashmir

    Bush appeals to India, Pakistan to `draw back from war'

    India, Pakistan shoot, talk of war

    12-21 01:40 PM
    The minorities in India for the most part don't want to do anything with extremism. Like the rest of india, they are concerned with making a decent livelihood though there is a somewhat sucessful attempt at painting them all as extremists by the Hindu Right wing.

    The Muslim minority in India is a supporter of Pakistan and its terror actiities. Not for the most part, but a tiny fraction and that is enough to create havoc in the country. We have our internal enemies with external linkages.

    It is not embrassment as they are not part of this crime. It is sad that they are to go out and state their innocence in ways they did. If anyone has helped in the attacks, I say go after them and punish them within the laws of the country. If that means feeding them dal/roti in jail, so be it as long as they get the punishment they deserve.

    I agree with you that they should not be embarassed. They have done nothing wrong but these incidents have also created room for self-introspection. Why is it that the muslims all over the world are projected as trouble-makers? Its high time that muslim intellectuals give this question a proper consideration rather than simply sweep it under the carpet saying that we didn't do all of this/we are being attacked as minorities/it emanates from poverity and lack of education and so on.

    Pakistan is cornered and have to make some real effort to show that they are not trying to fade this incident away from the world's memory. Unfortunately, if they don't take quick and decisive measures, they could self implode. They better realise that it is better to fix their own dilipadated house than trying to destroy the neighbors. Though I am no war monger, for the short term I think a small 10-20 person tactical team can do some damage at precise locations. Tit for tat but with useful results

    Well said, nobody on IV forums will advocate killing innocent Pakistanis. Many will support such precise bombings. We don't want to turn India into another terrorist nation.

    Obviously the issue of internal problems has to be addressed. This is a source on which extremist can tap on. As someone mentioned on this forum, Saif Ali Khan ( who has a hindu mother, hindu ex-wife and hindu GF) cannot get a home in India's most cosmopolitan city. Neither can Javed akhtar ( an avowed atheist) or shabana azmi. One can only imagine what the normal minorities face everyday. And ignoring this as just complaints of an 'ungrateful' muslim populace does not remove the very real discrimination that minorities face in modern India.

    Yes the internal problems must be addressed. I agree with you. I completely condemn the attacks on innocent christians and muslims. Its sad and its embarassing for me despite the fact that I didn't have any role to play in it. But that has to be done without any discriminations.
    Uniform civil code (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uniform_Civil_Code) must be implemented. Muslim appeasement politics must be stopped by Congress party. We don't want to see any repeats of Shah Bano (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shah_Bano_case) cases. No special Shariat laws for Muslims.
    Hindus must be allowed to procure land in Kashmir, unconditionally. Kashmiri pandits who have lost everything in Kashmir must be reinstated. Article 370 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_370) must be abolished.

    This is why I keep hoping for a Justice and executive system that address this. Punish the guilty. I have seen people either ignore the issue of Gujarat/orissa or even defend it. If you put your religion/race shades on, then one can ignore/defend such inhumane events. Equal opportunity for employment/housing/schooling is needed just like in USA. Address in an academic way if affirmative action is needed and take the politics out of it. One of the parameters of a strong democracy is the treatment and security of the minorities. India would only be stronger for it and that is my sincere hope. xyzgc -See if you can finally get around to address this

    I would not ignore Gujarat and Orissa as much as I would not ignore Godhra massacre. I agree the guilty be brought to justice and punished.
    Its difficult to do it internally and its more than difficult to do it for our external enemies.
    But it doesn't make your point invalid.

    12-27 06:16 PM
    Of luxury cars and lowly tractors (http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/sainath/article995828.ece) By P. SAINATH | The Hindu

    When businessmen from Aurangabad in the backward Marathwada region bought 150 Mercedes Benz luxury cars worth Rs. 65 crore at one go in October, it grabbed media attention. The top public sector bank, State Bank of India, offered the buyers loans of over Rs. 40 crore. �This,� says Devidas Tulzapurkar, president of the Aurangabad district bank employees association, �at an interest rate of 7 per cent.� A top SBI official said the bank was �proud to be part of this deal,� and would �continue to scout for similar deals in the future.�

    The value of the Mercedes deal equals the annual income of tens of thousands of rural Marathwada households. And countless farmers in Maharashtra struggle to get any loans from formal sources of credit. It took roughly a decade and tens of thousands of suicides before Indian farmers got loans at 7 per cent interest � many, in theory only. Prior to 2005, those who got any bank loans at all shelled out between 9 and 12 per cent. Several were forced to take non-agricultural loans at even higher rates of interest. Buy a Mercedes, pay 7 per cent interest. Buy a tractor, pay 12 per cent. The hallowed micro-finance institutions (MFIs) do worse. There, it's smaller sums at interest rates of between 24 and 36 per cent or higher.

    Starved of credit, peasants turned to moneylenders and other informal sources. Within 10 years from 1991, the number of Indian farm households in debt almost doubled from 26 per cent to 48.6 per cent. A crazy underestimate but an official number. Many policy-driven disasters hit farmers at the same time. Exploding input costs in the name of �market-based prices.' Crashing prices for their commercial crops, often rigged by powerful traders and corporations. Slashing of investment in agriculture. A credit squeeze as banks moved away from farm loans to fuelling upper middle class lifestyles. Within the many factors driving over two lakh farmers to suicide in 13 years, indebtedness and the credit squeeze rank high. (And MFIs are now among the squeezers).

    What remained of farm credit was hijacked. A devastating piece in The Hindu (Aug. 13) showed us how. Almost half the total �agricultural credit� in the State of Maharashtra in 2008 was disbursed not by rural banks but by urban and metro branches. Over 42 per cent of it in just Mumbai � stomping ground of large corporations rather than of small farmers.

    Even as the media celebrate our greatest car deal ever as a sign of �rural resurgence,� the subject of many media stories, comes the latest data of the National Crime Records Bureau. These show a sharp increase in farm suicides in 2009 with at least 17,368 farmers killing themselves in the year of �rural resurgence.� That's over 7 per cent higher than in 2008 and the worst numbers since 2004. This brings the total farm suicides since 1997 to 216,500. While all suicides have multiple causes, their strong concentration within regions and among cash crop farmers is an alarming and dismal trend.

    The NCRB, a wing of the Union Home Ministry, has been tracking farm suicide data since 1995. However, researchers mostly use their data from 1997 onwards. This is because the 1995 and 1996 data are incomplete. The system was new in 1995 and some big States such as Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan sent in no numbers at all that year. (In 2009, the two together saw over 1,900 farm suicides). By 1997, all States were reporting and the data are more complete.

    The NCRB data end at 2009 for now. But we can assume that 2010 has seen at least 16,000 farmers' suicides. (After all, the yearly average for the last six years is 17,104). Add this 16,000 to the total 2,16,500. Also add the incomplete 1995 and 1996 numbers � that is 24,449 suicides. This brings the 1995-2010 total to 2,56,949. Reflect on this figure a moment.

    It means over a quarter of a million Indian farmers have committed suicide since 1995. It means the largest wave of recorded suicides in human history has occurred in this country in the past 16 years. It means one-and-a-half million human beings, family members of those killing themselves, have been tormented by the tragedy. While millions more face the very problems that drove so many to suicide. It means farmers in thousands of villages have seen their neighbours take this incredibly sad way out. A way out that more and more will consider as despair grows and policies don't change. It means the heartlessness of the Indian elite is impossible to imagine, leave alone measure.

    Note that these numbers are gross underestimates to begin with. Several large groups of farmers are mostly excluded from local counts. Women, for instance. Social and other prejudice means that, most times, a woman farmer killing herself is counted as suicide � not as a farmer's suicide. Because the land is rarely in a woman's name.

    Then there is the plain fraud that some governments resort to. Maharashtra being the classic example. The government here has lied so many times that it contradicts itself thrice within a week. In May this year, for instance, three �official' estimates of farm suicides in the worst-hit Vidarbha region varied by 5,500 per cent. The lowest count being just six in four months (See �How to be an eligible suicide,� The Hindu, May 13, 2010).

    The NCRB figure for Maharashtra as a whole in 2009 is 2,872 farmers' suicides. So it remains the worst State for farm suicides for the tenth year running. The �decline' of 930 that this figure represents would be joyous if true. But no State has worked harder to falsify reality. For 13 years, the State has seen a nearly unrelenting rise. Suddenly, there's a drop of 436 and 930 in 2008 and 2009. How? For almost four years now, committees have functioned in Vidarbha's crisis districts to dismiss most suicides as �non-genuine.' What is truly frightening is the Maharashtra government's notion that fixing the numbers fixes the problem.

    Yet that problem is mounting. Perhaps the State most comparable to Maharashtra in terms of population is West Bengal. Though its population is less by a few million, it has more farmers. Both States have data for 15 years since 1995. Their farm suicide annual averages in three-five year periods starting then are revealing. Maharashtra's annual average goes up in each period. From 1,963 in the five years ending with 1999 to 3,647 by 2004. And scaling 3,858 by 2009. West Bengal's yearly average registers a gradual drop in each five-year period. From 1,454 in 1999 to 1,200 in 2004 to 1,014 by 2009. While it has more farmers, its farm suicide average for the past five years is less than a third of Maharashtra's. The latter's yearly average has almost doubled since 1999.

    The share of the Big 5 �suicide belt' States � Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh � remains close to two-thirds of all farm suicides. Sadly 18 of 28 States reported higher farm suicide numbers in 2009. In some the rise was negligible. In others, not. Tamil Nadu showed the biggest increase of all States, going from 512 in 2008 to 1060 in 2009. Karnataka clocked in second with a rise of 545. And Andhra Pradesh saw the third biggest rise � 309 more than in 2008. A few though did see a decline of some consequence in their farm suicide annual average figures for the last six years. Three � Karnataka, Kerala and West Bengal � saw their yearly average fall by over 350 in 2004-09 compared to the earlier seven years.

    Things will get worse if existing policies on agriculture don't change. Even States that have managed some decline across 13 years will be battered. Kerala, for instance, saw an annual average of 1,371 farm suicides between 1997 and 2003. From 2004-09, its annual average was 1016 � a drop of 355. Yet Kerala will suffer greatly in the near future. Its economy is the most globalised of any State. Most crops are cash crops. Any volatility in the global prices of coffee, pepper, tea, vanilla, cardamom or rubber will affect the State. Those prices are also hugely controlled at the global level by a few corporations.

    Already bludgeoned by the South Asian Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA), Kerala now has to contend with the one we've gotten into with ASEAN. And an FTA with the European Union is also in the offing. Kerala will pay the price. Even prior to 2004, the dumping of the so-called �Sri Lankan pepper� (mostly pepper from other countries brought in through Sri Lanka) ravaged the State. Now, we've created institutional frameworks for such dumping. Economist Professor K. Nagaraj, author of the biggest study of farm suicides in India, says: �The latest data show us that the agrarian crisis has not relented, not gone away.� The policies driving it have also not gone away.