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  • xyzgc
    12-28 03:48 PM
    While I would love India to retaliate in some fashion on Paki soil to show them that there are going to be consequences for messing on Indian soil, I think this is not the time to strike overtly on Pakistan however.

    Why now is not the right time?

    Because this whole War hysteria is mostly being whipped by one side - Pakistan. Immediately after Mumbai atrocities there were street protests organized by Islamic fundoos like Jamat-ud-Dawa, JeM, etc in major cities in Pak to protest against India. They were supposedly protesting because India is going to attack Pakistan! Most Indians were amused at that time as they were busy attacking their own politicians at that time for their Intelligence failures. This shows to some extent that something else is going on here and Pakistan army or elements within it want tensions on Indian border.

    Why will they want that on Indian border in case it boils over into a war that they will never win? Because the Americans on Pak's western border are putting a lot of pressure on Paki Army to attack the Taliban and other Islamic fundamentalist nut cases that their own Intelligence arm - ISI - has helped train and arm. These nut cases are their assets for all the covert attacks on India to keep it tied down in Kashmir and elsewhere.

    Besides they know that India will never attack and even if they did the International community will be pissing in their pants (including US) about the prospects of Nuclear armageddon and come to Pakis' rescue with a ceasefire call. Zardari and his Civilian Govt. Institutions will take the blame in Pakistan for succumbing to international pressure and stopping the brave Paki army from decimating kafir/powerless Indians. Army will announce a coup promising more security against India and overthrow Zardari/Gilani or whoever and entrench themselves again back in power for another decade.

    What will America do?

    US and rest of the world while shaking with fear about the nuclear war that was averted will start focusing foolishly (or maybe for their own clandestine gain) on Kashmir as the core issue and pressure India to give it freedom! What more does Paki army need? India-Pak hypenation is back so that Pakis feel important in International circles again. Tensions alive on their Eastern border to keep the army as center of focus and power internally in Pakistan. Covert terrorism in Kashmir will again resume with all the international attention on it, and Indian army and diplomacy is tied down there, and all the Taliban and other Islamic nut cases that they trained and armed have a cause to give up their worthless lives and not be fighting the Paki army for achieving their goal of going to heaven for quality time with some virgins.

    Besides Americans dont care if Kashmir is blowing up - infact they would love to see an independant state their to get a leg firmly in South Asia.

    So what should India do?

    Not go to war overtly now. Start covert operations inside Pakistan on war footing and start funding and support for Balochi, Sindi, Mohajir, Pushtun, Baltistan freedom movements inside Pakistan. If there is any other terrorist attack in India, activate these people inside Pakistan to blow up their prime targets - Muridke headquarters of Jaamat-ud-Dawa for instance. Assinations of ISI officers, encourage suicide attacks on their army camps, cantonments. In other words make them feel the cost of any further attacks inside India, but covertly. And also take the covert proxy war to their soil.

    For now, India should not attack Pakistan and give their army an excuse to squirm away from fighting their own created Franenstein monster - Islamic Jehadists on Western border. Indian army should sit back, relax and let the Paki army take their own creation on their Western front.

    I hope the internal politics inside India dont come in the way of the above goal.

    Covert operations are also war. Read war as concrete steps to curb this terrorism. Terrorist camps may be moving targets, identify them using intelligence and eliminate them. India is already at war, the world is also at war with Terrorism. Its a global issue - at the very least your coworkers are going to be concerned about business trips to India, if this is not nipped in the bud.

    Here's a thought - India should start manufacturing and exporting armaments.
    We can also export some artillery to Pakistan and invest the profits wisely. That way defence budgets go down and the funds can be used for improving national security (e.g: junk the British Raj rifles Bombay police use, provide them better bullet-proof vests and helmets), humanitarian causes and so on.We can offer it at competitive prices so that Pakistan doesn't have to rely on the Chinese, the Russians and the Americans. And we don't rely on the Israelis and the Americans.
    India can be part of a profitable armament race and build a nation of defence contractors.
    It will also give a boost to allied manufacturing industries in India, generate employment, so that they can also contribute to India's GDP in a big way.

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  • ca_immigrant
    06-23 03:48 PM
    Yea your calculation is a little off. 400,000 financed @ 5% 30 year fixed is $2,148. Factor in your taxes and insurance in escrow thats a total of (approximately, im guessing for your area) $2,500 total. Plus your HOA of $250/month thats 2750 which sounds about right with gapala's calculation. Your closing costs, give or take should also be factored, approx. 10-30k.

    So that comes to 33k/yoy in expenses. That may not be bad when your making six figure incomes or combined household incoming is 150K+, since 20k+ of interest is deductible yoy, but imo i wouldnt buy a 500k+ property unless there is some sort of income to bring down my monthly cost, like a rental unit.

    Townhouses here in NY are very similar to condos so I'm assuming that its the same there. I personally would not pay 500k for something similar to a condo unless its in Manhattan. Just curious why not buy a house instead of a townhouse? Unless thats the norm in that area. I would prefer to take care of the house myself than pay maintenance and HoA dues. You learn a lot more and grow as a homeowner.

    Sorry and thanks for the correction....I missed the closing costs...
    but from what I know it is 1% of the home price ? so around $ 5000. (again not sure)

    as for the calculation....I did not take into consideration the that is not an expense.....

    as someone said calculation might make sense if prices keep falling down...

    As I said ...Is there risk invloved...? of course yes -;)

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  • Mahatma
    10-02 09:10 AM
    Dear Ivians,

    I have not read all the mails. However, I want to express very naive thoughts (without a reading bias from previous mails) for now. I might reconsider some notions by the weekend until I am satisfied.

    I have studied Obama, CIR and immigrants plights all these years. Here is what I think could be positive:

    Obama is the kind of leader whao gets at the bottom the issues and tries to do the right thing (Watch Clinton's Florida speech, Oct 01, 2008 as to why he likes Obama!). He has the leadership skills and the strength of character to sway enough votes for any legislation including CIR. To me, so far he has shown Lincolnian charm. He is a serious guy who wants to do the right thing.

    He would try to balance middle class american families and unemployment situation. When close to half a millions jobs are lost, it is illconceivable for anybody to push for immigration reform eventhough we may be on the right side of justice and victim of broken system.

    There may be some tough situations for immigrants such as less outsourcing, american worker priority and other programs to promote STEM within the company. However, he will be the person to stand up for plights of tech workers. He understands the need and benefits of tech-immigration. As far as I know, his voting for H1 and CIR has been positive. It will be Obama and not someone elase whao will decide the policy. Durbin might tie the loose ends.

    My feeling is this: Let us trust this man. Explain to him through IV and any other channels our problems and how it impacts present and future of America. If we could successfully argue (by all pure means) for a "A business model where tech-immigrants bring benefits and rate of returns in a much higher and assured fashion than the stock market", we could win this debate.

    We are dealing with reasonable, smart and patriotic people. We need to continue to explore better methods to effectively communicate and win the deal. It is all about intellectual exercise to win a deal....

    It is always prudent to have back up plans, however, it should not distract us too much.

    haven't we agreed that GC is only worth so much and we do not want to have our life hostage to GC. At the same time, timely GC status gives better control of our career and discharging our family obliations. Sooner is better. However, we could do only so much.

    Let us continue to do our best and hopefully with a new administration, we would learn new equations.

    I trust in the ability of IV and IV-sympathetic constituencies to bring us deserved reward and recognition sooner rather than later.

    Staying positive, continuing to learn (lobbying and swaying), adapting to the environment (what are the business needs of main street and wall street and how leaders perceive those) and doing our best (use best of our minds and achess game of life.....a special gift of God to Indians and others) and learn to be happy.

    Remember, this is the first stroke of my pen.... I might revisit and reconsider some thoughts based on what most others are thinking.

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  • mbawa2574
    01-09 12:35 PM
    If a Muslim attacks you and if you cry, then YOU are a problem maker. You will be considered to be anti-muslim. This has been going on in many countries including India/pretty much all Western countries etc. Our admins are also following the same strategy. Buddy, please get used it.

    They are defending their territory from rocket attacks by so called Palestine freedom fighters a.k.a terrorists. Israel gave them enough notice before kicking off these raids. Islamic Fantics drive UN of today and they become victims after killing non-muslims.

    India should have done this with Pakistan after 26/11 but we failed the opportunity. India should buy into nuclear missile defense system and start planning this type of air raids to take pakis to stoneage.

    Go Israel Go !!!!!


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  • Macaca
    02-22 11:49 AM
    Hey Chinese! can we have more of the following here (

    I am almost 7 years in this country and have paid hundred of thousands of dollars in payroll taxes, and now stuck with the EB priority date.

    I want to say there are many good things going on in the world. Many people take the technology advancement and good life for granted, but behind the scene, there are many people who are doing the real hard work, and we are part of them.

    The reason I came here is I thought this country can turn my talent into fortune and create opportunities for many people. My college roommate in China created the Linux Virtual Server in his PhD thesis and still leads the LVS project. The government covers their 100% medical + 100% housing + 80%-100% pension. But if he did that in the States, he would be very rich and can achieve more goals.

    The current immigration system is neither pro- nor anti-immigration. It is just a limbo system. Everything getting in is just stuck there. Some of my friends have gone back China because they don�t want to wait.

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  • bestin
    03-24 09:21 AM
    If you want to buy a home after you get your green card, mostly you will get after your retirement.

    I don't want to feel "my home" when I am 68 and after my kids are out on their own. So I decided, dump the H1B, H4, 485, 131, 761, 797, 999, 888, I94, EAD, AP... AAD, CCD etc crap in trash, and bought the home.

    I am happy. Even if I am asked to leave the country tomorrow, I just lock the door, throw the keys in trash and take off.

    who cares when life matters.Exactly.Thats the way i think too.We might be spending an additional 500 on a mortgage But we get better comforts.Spending a good paortion of your age without comforts which ypou are eligible doesnt make sense.And if something fails let the bank have it.After all we spent Rs.20000 PM for additional comfort.


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  • puddonhead
    06-05 04:42 PM
    >> But going with the spirit of my original post, in the long run, the equity you build (15K/yr) will far out weigh the yearly savings you get by renting.

    You are right in 90% of cases - where people will otherwise spend the money and not save it.

    If you have a mortgage - you are "forced" to save because the monthly amortization automatically builds equity. If you are renting - you are not "forced" to save that amount - and hence would probably be spent (in my case) in a gaming machine with I7 processor (which has NO long term value).

    However, in the hypothetical 10% scenario (in case of immigrants, specially Indians, my gut feel is that it is significantly more than 10%) - where the amount is saved in some sort of investment vehicle instead of being frittered away - you would come out ahead in the long term.

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  • number30
    03-26 04:48 PM
    Person leaves employer X (140 approved, more than 180 days since 485 filing, etc.) and joins employer Y on EAD (under AC21).

    Employer X revokes 140 so as to not run into any issues like you pointed out. Nothing personal against the employee, just business.

    That person after a while decides to go back to employer X (485 is still pending) under AC21.

    Does the USCIS look at that as okay to do? Or do they question the employer's intentions since the employer had earlier revoked the 140.

    Thanks in advance for sharing your opinion on this.

    We had similar case. It was in 2002. Company was ready to issue another future offer letter. Local USCIS office at Buffalo NY did not agree to continue process. They said job offer is gone the I-485 is gone and has valid reason the denial. They asked my friend to refile I-140 and I-485.


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  • reedandbamboo
    10-01 09:15 PM
    With all the uncertainties shrouding legal employment-based immigration reform (accompanied by talk of CIR) I've been looking into other high-skilled-immigrant-friendly countries.

    Canada is starting to seem a far friendlier place for folks like us - relatively short wait times in the application queue, with no country-based quotas discriminating against applicants from countries like India and China.

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  • yagw
    08-20 02:40 AM
    Little Johny's first day in pre-school, the teacher gave a little test. She asked the kids to close their eyes and stick the tongue out. She then put honey drops and asked them to guess what it is. When no one was able to, the teacher decided to give a hint.

    "children, its how your mom calls your dad.. well, most of the time anyways"

    On hearing this, Little Johny screamed, "SPIT IT OUT GUYS... ITS A** HOLE"


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  • paskal
    04-09 11:47 AM
    The job description can be put in the way that points to your plus points. If you go the Harvard Biz. school you will have those. I dont think they want you to leave. There will be other avenues out there.


    i am a physician and in the same boat as you. my employer searched high and dry before i came along. but you are missing something here. except universities that can hire the "best candidate", every other employer has to employ a citizen/gc applicant with the "minimum qualifications for the job". please revisit the rules if you do not understand this. your talent and extra skills count for nothing. employers cannot take the best applicant...if an LCA is needed. this is a very significant problem if applied to H1B renewals. Any tom dick and harry can displace you every 3 years. think about it please, not just your own situation. i am strongly in favor of H1B reform. i believe that this if linked with a bill like strive dramatically increase support for retrogression relief. however the reform needs to be thought through carefully. a 6 mnth LCA process for each renewal would kill us. let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater...

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  • sk2006
    06-05 12:27 PM
    Buying a house would be a BIG Mistake right now..

    Sub-Prime losses we have been hearing in main stream media is just the begining.
    Wait until 2010 when Alt-A and ARMs taken in 2005/6 start resetting.
    It will be a big mess.




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  • paragpujara
    08-06 03:08 PM
    PEOPLE WONDER WHY THEY R PAID SO MUCH......FOR JUST BEING ON THE PHONE ------ TAKE A LOOK: last one is really good !!!!

    1). Tech Support: "I need you to right-click on the Open Desktop."
    Customer "Ok."
    Tech Support: "Did you get a pop-up menu?"
    Customer: "No."
    Tech Support: "Ok. Right click again. Do you see a pop-up menu?"
    Customer "No."
    Tech Support:: "Ok, sir. Can you tell me what you have done up until this point?"
    Customer: "Sure, you told me to write 'click' and I wrote 'click'."

    2) Customer: "I received the software update you sent, but I am still getting the same error message."
    Tech Support:: "Did you install the update?"
    Customer: "No. Oh, am I supposed to install it to get it to work?"
    3).Customer:: "I'm having trouble installing Microsoft Word."
    Tech Support:: "Tell me what you've done."
    Customer: "I typed 'A:SETUP'."!
    Tech Support:: "Ma'am, remove the disk and tell me what it says."
    Customer:: "It says '[PC manufacturer] Restore and Recovery disk'."
    Tech Support:: "Insert the MS Word setup disk."
    Customer:: "What?"
    Tech Support: "Did you buy MS word?"
    Customer: "No..."
    4).Customer:: "Do I need a computer to use your software?"
    Tech Support:: ?!%#$

    5).Tech Support:: "Ok, in the bottom left hand side of the screen, can you see the 'OK' button displayed?"
    Customer: "Wow. How can you see my screen from there ?"
    6) Tech Support:: "What type of computer do you have?"
    Customer:: "A white one."
    7). Tech Support:: "Type 'A:' at the prompt."
    Customer:: "How do you spell that?"
    8). Tech Support:: "What operating system are you running?"
    Customer: "Pentium."
    11).Customer: "How do I print my voicemail?"
    12). Customer: "You've got to fix my computer. I urgently need to print document, but the computer won't boot properly."
    Tech Support: "What does it say?"
    Customer: "Something about an error and non-system disk."
    Tech Support: "Look at your machine. Is there a floppy inside?"
    Customer: "No, but there's a sticker saying there's an Intel inside."
    14). Tech Support: "Just call us back if there's a problem. We're open 24 hours."
    Customer: "Is that Eastern time?"
    15). Tech Support:: "What does the screen say now?"
    Customer: "It says, 'Hit ENTER when ready'."
    Tech Support:: "Well?"
    Customer: "How do I know when it's ready?"
    16). A plain computer illeterate guy rings tech support to report that his computer is faulty.
    Tech: What's the problem?
    User: There is smoke coming out of the power supply.
    Tech: You'll need a new power supply.
    User: No, I don't! I just need to change the startup files.
    Tech: Sir, the power supply is faulty. You'll need to replace it.
    User: No way! Someone told me that I just needed to
    change the startup and it will fix the problem! All I need is for you to tell me the command.
    10 minutes later, the User is still adamant that he is right. The tech is frustrated and fed up.
    Tech: Sorry, Sir. We don't normally tell our customers this, but there is an undocumented DOS
    command that will fix the problem.
    User: I knew it!
    Tech: Just add the line LOAD NOSMOKE.COM at the end of the CONFIG.SYS.
    Letme know how it goes.
    10 minutes later.
    User: It didn't work. The power supply is still smoking.
    Tech: Well, what version of DOS are you using?
    User: MS-DOS 6.22.
    Tech: That's your problem there. That version of DOS didn't come with NOSMOKE. Contact Microsoft and ask them for a patch that will give you ! the file. Let me know how it goes.

    1 hour later.

    User: I need a new power supply.
    Tech: How did you come to that conclusion?
    User: Well, I rang Microsoft and told him about what you said, and he started asking questions about the make of power supply.
    Tech: Then what did he say?
    User: He told me that my power supply isn't compatible with NOSMOKE.

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  • thakurrajiv
    04-06 08:53 AM
    I have mentioned this point in some other post, I just got confirmation of that and wanted to share with everyone.
    I went to one of my friends home yesterday. He has ARM which recently got reset. His rate was 4.3 and this year after reset he got to keep it !! Not only that his monthly installment reduced by $10 , he did not know why !!
    So, what we are saying is deadlock here. People who dont have to move will very happy to keep their current loan which will be much cheaper than new loan. Buyers will face not only issue with credit but potentially higher rates. So there are 2 possible scenarios now :
    1. Fed keep fed fund rate same or reduces
    As we are seeing, current owners will like to keep their home if possible. Buyers dont see much bargain in current loan rates. So, anyone who has to sell will have to lose much more in price. Home market will be frozen,very bad for economy.The longer the fed keeps status quo, lower the price ...
    2. Fed increases rate
    Now ARMS will get reset every year. My friend was surprised when I told him his rate will get reset every year now tied to prime rate. Also, I told him that if not for Fed cuts his rate would have reset to around 7% !! So if Fed raises rate, current owners will suffer. Primes will be new sub-primes !!

    In either case, the house prices are going down. The psychology of owning home is changing as equity is not getting build. If no equity, wouldn't I save for my son's college than spend twice the money just to get more space ( and 0 saving in turn).
    Wait and watch, be ready for saner prices. 20% drop in home prices from here is very much possible .....


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  • 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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  • xyzgc
    12-24 02:19 PM
    Ghazni's best-kept secret - The Indian Express
    S.C. Sharma ()
    April 25, 1998

    Title: Ghazni's best-kept secret
    Author: S.C. Sharma
    Publication: The Indian Express
    Date: April 25, 1998

    Provocative Ghauri was the title of an editorial that appeared
    on this page earlier this month. Pakistan has named its missiles
    Ghauri and Ghaznavi with the specific intention of taunting
    India. These worthies' claims to fame and glorification, in the
    perception of the Pakistanis, lies in the fact that they were
    credited with plundering and devastating north-western India time
    and time again in the eleventh and twelfth centuries.

    In their enthusiasm to score brownie points, the Pakistanis have
    got mixed up on chronology, they have produced Ghauri before
    Ghaznavi. Also, they have perversely sought to commemorate these
    Afghan rulers of Turkish descent in utter disregard of the fact
    that most of the territories they plundered are their own - the
    North West Frontier Province, the Punjab and Sind. The men and
    women they tortured, enslaved, ravished and put to the sword were
    their own forebears.

    If Pakistanis wish to revel in the inglorious misdeeds of
    foreigners perpetrated on their own soil and on their own
    ancestors, they are welcome to twirl their moustaches in euphoria
    and say: " Where ignorance is bliss, it is folly to he wise."

    Indians may look forward to future generations of Pakistani IRBMs
    and similar sophisticated weaponry named after the likes of
    Changez Khan, Nadir Shah and Ahmad Shah Abdali. Alexander the
    Great and Harshavardhan also have strong claims, but they might
    be disqualified for obvious reasons.

    In the course of his many abortive forays into India, Mohammad
    Ghori is said to have been captured once by the forces of Delhi.
    But Prithviraj Chauhan, king of Delhi, magnanimously let him off.
    Legend has it - and it is widely believed in India - that when
    Ghori eventually succeeded in defeating Prithviraj Chauhan at the
    Second Battle of Tarain in 1192, he blinded him and took him in
    chains to Afghanistan along with his friend, the poet

    Ghori held a grand durbar to celebrate his victory. His prize
    catch, the king of Delhi, blind and a prisoner, was paraded and
    publicly humiliated. Deeply incensed by the treatment meted out
    to his monarch, Chandravardai took refuge to a subterfuge. He
    announced that though completely blind, Prithviraj could still
    hit a target guided solely by sound, and he asked for permission
    for this feat to be performed.

    Prithviraj Chauhan was handed a bow and arrow, and Chandravardai
    sang a now-famous verse which told him of the elevation and
    distance to Ghori's throne. And thus, guided solely by sound,
    Prithviraj shot his arrow through Ghori.

    The legend may not be entirely true, but it would be absolutely
    accurate to say that even after eight centuries have elapsed,
    Prithviraj is regularly subjected to indignity in the land where
    he was taken as a captive. I have seen it at first hand.

    Many years ago, while travelling by jeep from Kandahar to Kabul,
    I had to make a night halt en route at Ghazni. At the hotel, I
    learned that there was a grand mausoleum over the tomb of Sultan
    Mahmud Ghaznavi near the town, and I determined to see it. A few
    extra Afghanis (the local currency) helped my driver to
    comprehend the necessity of making a small detour the next

    The mausoleum was indeed grand -judging by local standards - with
    a high, arched doorway like the Buland Darwaza. lie tomb proper
    was in a cellar about four or five feet be low ground-level. It
    intrigued me considerably to note that there were no steps
    leading down into the tomb. Instead, a metal chain hung from the
    ceiling of the cellar. I was told that I would have to hold the
    chain and jump down.

    I asked for the reason for this peculiar method of entry. The
    caretaker was evasive at first. But after much persuasion, he
    disclosed that there was another tomb at the exact spot where you
    jumped down. There, the infidel king of Delhi, Prithviraj
    Chauhan, lay buried.

    ================================================== =====================
    Might I add, that the very Islam these Pakis seem to be proud of, was forced down upon them.
    Most of these are descendents of forced converts to Islam!


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  • Macaca
    07-28 07:43 AM
    Democratic Leaders Agree on Overhaul of Lobbying ( By CARL HULSE New York Times, July 28, 2007

    WASHINGTON, July 27 � Congressional Democrats reached tentative agreement Friday night on a major overhaul of lobbying rules that would for the first time require lawmakers to identify lobbyists who assemble multiple donations and turn them over to candidates.

    The disclosure of what is known in political circles as bundling would be a central element of the first major changes made in lobbying rules in the aftermath of the Jack Abramoff scandal and other Congressional corruption cases tied to lobbying.

    Democrats, who intend to push the changes through Congress next week, say the bundling disclosure requirement and a number of other changes would shed new light on the relationship between lawmakers and those who seek to sway them on legislation.

    �This rewrites the rules as it relates to lobbyists and their influence on Washington,� said Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the Democratic Caucus and an advocate for the changes.

    Democrats, who campaigned against what they called a �culture of corruption� in taking control of the House and Senate last year, are eager to finish the package next week as part of their drive to counter Republican accusations that Democrats are making little legislative headway.

    Negotiators for the House and Senate Democratic leadership engaged in talks throughout the day Friday in an effort to reach final agreement on the long-delayed bill. They hit a last-minute snag over the level of bundled donations that would set off disclosure by the House and Senate campaign committees.

    But officials familiar with the talks said that point appeared to be resolved in an evening phone call between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, putting a deal in place.

    �We have reached an agreement,� said Representative Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

    There are other potential obstacles. The details had yet to be presented to the Democratic rank and file in the House and Senate. But officials said they were confident the tentative agreement would hold, and a spokesman for Ms. Pelosi said he expected the legislation to reach the House floor as early as Tuesday.

    �We are committed to lobbying reform and we are committed to operating Congress in an open and transparent manner, and we will live up to our commitment,� said Brendan Daly of the speaker�s office.

    Because of objections by one Republican senator, the House and Senate were not engaged in formal, bipartisan negotiations, and Republican leaders said Friday they were unaware of the details of the emerging agreement and could make no judgment. But Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, said repeatedly this week that Republicans were leaning toward support of the measure.

    The tentative proposal puts new requirements on lobbyists as well as on lawmakers, and orders disclosure of contributions that have become alternative ways to curry favor with politicians by giving to entities like favored charities, special awards and honors and presidential library funds. Lobbyists would also have to disclose at least twice a year if they paid for meetings or retreats.

    The measure would set a one-year ban on lobbying for former House members and senior staff members, and two years in the Senate. New restrictions would be put on lobbying by spouses, and lobbyists would be required to disclose any previous experience in the executive or legislative branches.

    Politicians would be banned from trying to pressure firms and associations to hire certain lobbyists based on partisan background � the so-called Republican K-Street project. Lawmakers and top aides would have to recuse themselves from issues where there could be a conflict because of negotiations for future employment, and such negotiations would have to be disclosed within three business days. New public databases would be established of lobbyists� disclosures as well as of lawmaker travel and personal financial data. Penalties for violations would be increased.

    Watchdog groups that have pressed for the changes were awaiting the details. �I am very hopeful about this legislation, but the final statutory language still has to be seen,� said Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21.

    Bundling became a focus after critics complained it was a back-door way for some lobbyists to ingratiate themselves with Congressional candidates by collecting a series of legal donations from others and then getting credit for delivering the cumulative amount and saving the politician the effort.

    Under the tentative proposal, Congressional contenders and the respective campaign committees would be required to notify the Federal Election Commission once one individual had delivered more than $15,000 in contributions within six months or $30,000 in one year.

    The plan initially approved by the House had put the responsibility for disclosing the bundling on the lobbyist. But in the talks, Senate Democrats proposed shifting the onus to the recipient and making the Federal Election Commission, which handles campaign fund-raising reports, the repository of the record.

    But Mr. Van Hollen said House negotiators decided to consent to the change since the basic information being disclosed remained the same.

    Mr. Van Hollen said he believed that the new requirements, if they became law, could represent a fundamental change in the interaction between lobbyists and lawmakers. �We heard the message voters sent last November and we are following through,� he said.

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  • Macaca
    12-30 06:50 PM
    Why does China block foreign websites? ( By Malcolm Moore | Daily Telegraph

    Skype has joined the ever-growing list of internet companies that are now unwelcome in China.

    Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Foursquare, Vimeo, Blogger, Blogspot, Wikileaks and Hulu are some of the others.

    In the West, the automatic assumption is that China is scared of greater internet freedom. If it relaxes its grip on YouTube, for example, Chinese internet users might suddenly all start looking at videos of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

    Actually, while China does ban some of the websites because of the information they contain (Amnesty, Wikileaks), the ban on the others is nothing more than plain old protectionism.

    China is keeping YouTube out because it has its own domestic video sites � Tudou and Youku � and it wants them to grow and prosper. Youku just made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange and is now worth around $5 billion.

    Google�s departure has hugely benefited Baidu and now Alibaba, which has pushed the US giant into third place in the Chinese market.

    Likewise for Facebook. China doesn�t mind social networking. Its domestic Facebook clones, Renren and Kaixin001, boast 100 million users between them.

    Sina Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, is seeing its user numbers rise by 50 per cent every week. From last year to this year the number of Chinese microbloggers rose from 8 million to 125 million.

    Chinese microbloggers have scored some notable successes against the government this year, helping to highlight and, in some cases correct, a series of injustices.

    Of course, the Communist party also finds it easier to control (and censor) domestic web companies than foreign firms, so keeping out the likes of Twitter makes the strategy a double-win.

    Today�s revelation that Skype is now illegal is a continuation of the trend. In this case, the government is clearly supporting the home-grown services offered by its state-owned companies, China Telecom and China Unicom.

    These are more expensive than Skype, require both a hefty monthly fee and then higher call charges, and would probably flounder (as they have to date) without the government�s help.

    Stamping out foreign competition is nothing new. All countries do it. But China is quickly becoming the most aggressive and protectionist country out there.

    Perhaps after a few years the government will be pressured to let these foreign internet companies back in � Facebook already seems to be negotiating a return � but by then, they will have been firmly left in the dust by their Chinese rivals.

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  • Refugee_New
    01-06 04:47 PM

    Can you read how much hate you are spewing in your posts? against jews, against hindus...against anyone who disagrees with the mostly wrong opinion you have. Where do you get your information from by the way? I mean the REAL TRUTH?? Have you been to Gaza?

    Read Hamas's is clearly mentioned in there "calls for the destruction of the State of Israel and its replacement with a Palestinian Islamic state in the area that is now Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip"

    I am not spewing venom against anyone or any faithful members of other religion.

    When you blamed entire muslims and their faith for the actions of few people, i am just showing how people kill muslims unjustly and how this world watch silently.

    Why its ok to say Muslims killed Hindus and NOT OK to say Hindus killed Muslims?

    Why its ok to say Muslims killed Jews and NOT OK to say Jews killed Muslims???

    03-23 11:54 AM
    it would be interesting to see if you would really get an email from them and if that is really from USCIS.

    12-26 11:16 PM
    to clean our bottom. I agree. We have to do it ourselves.However, attacking terror camps in Pak by India is not going to solve the problem.

    We are dealing with mad , fanatic , fundemantalistic army with weak democratic government.I think majority of Pak citizens are like us.They don't want war. The ideal way is squeeze that country by economic sanctions, international seperation etc.

    If we attack even the so called terror camps, the Laskar e Toiba people will be gone long time ago. May be we have to satisfy by killing the some innocent Pak citizens by those surgical attacks.

    World policeman America did the similar cleaning business by arming the fanatics in Afganistan to oust Soviet army from Afganistan. The devil nourished by America with support of Saitan ISI is biting back US now.

    Israel is not sleeping peacefully. OK they won the six days war by preemptive strike of Egypt. What happened now ? Stupid palestinan Hamas fire two rockets killing two isralies inturn killing of twenty innocent paletinaian by brutal isral army. Is the middle east problem solved by preemptive attack or postemptive attack? It will be solved by mutual giving and taking not by war.

    You don't want to get tore away your front and back by fighting with lunatic Pak military. You may destroy the Pakistan, but you will be without front to
    --- and back to ----.You means not you. Our brave Indian soldiers.You will be sitting in your airconditioned room , watching the live relay in CNN of Indo-Pak war and happy with mutual assured destruction the war will bring on both poor countries.

    So, let US army to attack the so called camps .They are already doing in the Afgan-Pak border. Let them tilt their gun little bit more so that the camps on POK also get hit.

    It is foolish to get killed.Let the other man do the job for you.Let the world policeman do what it preaches. " War on terror ".


    I agree with you. We can start the war. But what next? How to end it? US is struggling to end the war in Iraq. And India is not US and Pakistan is not Iraq. It would be a closely fought battle although we have some edge.

    Whenever talka bout war breaks out, Pakistan does nuclear sabre-rattling.
    Indian leadership should tell the world in no uncertain terms that if pakistan uses any unconventional weapons, then all pakistan's cities and towns would be wiped off. Yes, we may loose people but 'proud nation' of pakistan would disappear from the map. I'm against death of innocent but my point is to remove the threat of nuclear weapons.

    India should say that our options are not limited by presence of absence of nuclear weapons. If pakistan uses nuclear weapons, then the guy that pulls the trigger should know that there wont be pakistan anymore. We shud deploy some of the weapons in South and in Sea to give a fitting reply in case one is lobbed at us. This response should be the default option and ingrained into the psyche of Military leaders. And PM and all military chief should sign a declaration to that effect. Again, I'm against innocents but my point is to remove the threat of nuclear weapons.

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

    We need to do all we could do to tell Pakistan that this wont be a free ride ANYMORE!!

    One of the Pakistani General remarked to Benazir saying "Madam, creating trouble in Kashmir using Jihadis is like maintaining an extra brigade with no cost to tax payers"

    We need to show that it comes with a COST. War is not an option.

    Typically, the media and Indians living abroad beat the drums of war a bit more than people actually living there now.

    If you have any Pakistani friends/neigbors/colleagues in USA, how many of you have talked to them about this situation? And what is the response?