Wednesday, June 29, 2011

golden eagle in flight

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  • Madhuri
    09-30 02:19 PM
    Yes, you are right, the recent 485 denials for people using AC-21 have nothing to do with Obama/Durbin immigtaion policy. But I kind of remember there were some harsh provisions for people using AC 21 in CIR 2007 version. I am trying to find out the details about it.
    Correct me if I am wrong.

    AC21 denial is nothing to do with immigaration policy of Durbin or Obama. It is due to lack of regulations in USCIS or USCIS not efficient to follow the law/rules or bad customer service. This is where we need Obama. Becuase, he is favor of more/stright regulation or more accountability or strong government.





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  • texcan
    08-05 07:00 PM
    In a poor zoo of India, a lion was frustrated as he was offered not more than 1 kg meat a day. The lion thought its prayers were answered when one US Zoo Manager visited the zoo and requested the zoo management to shift the lion to the US Zoo.

    The lion was so happy and started thinking of a central A/c environment, a goat or two every day and a US Green Card also.

    On its first day after arrival, the lion was offered a big bag, sealed very nicely for breakfast. The lion opened it quickly but was shocked to see that it contained few bananas. Then the lion thought that may be they cared too much for him as they were worried about his stomach as he had recently shifted from India.

    The next day the same thing happened. On the third day again the same food bag of bananas was delivered.

    The lion was so furious, it stopped the delivery boy and blasted at him, 'Don't you know I am the lion... king of the Jungle..., what's wrong with your management?, what nonsense is this? Why are you delivering bananas to me?'

    The delivery boy politely said, 'Sir, I know you are the king of the jungle but ..did you know that you have been brought here on a monkey's visa!!!

    Moral: Better to be a Lion in India than a Monkey elsewhere!!!

    Killer .....

    thanks





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  • Macaca
    08-07 07:38 PM
    Tougher Rules Change Game for Lobbyists (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/07/washington/07lobby.html?_r=1&oref=slogin) By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK New York Times, August 7, 2007

    WASHINGTON, Aug. 6 � H. Stewart Van Scoyoc, founder of one of the biggest lobbying firms in Washington, spent an anxious morning with his lawyer last week assessing the far-reaching ethics and lobbying rules Congress had passed the day before.

    The first worry was what lobbyists are calling the new �temptation rules.� Not only do they bar lawmakers and aides from accepting any gifts, meals or trips from lobbyists, they also impose penalties up to $200,000 and five years in prison on any lobbyist who provides such freebies.

    And worse still for Mr. Van Scoyoc, under the new law he is required to certify each quarter that none of the 50 lobbyists in his firm bought so much as a burger or cigar for someone on a lawmaker�s staff.

    �You are basically asking people to certify, with big penalties, that nobody has lied on their expense accounts,� Mr. Van Scoyoc said, marveling at the complexity of policing such casual contact between lobbyists and Congressional aides. �These are people who are sharing apartments together, playing on the same softball teams, each other�young people with active social lives.�

    The new law has quickly sent a ripple of fear through K Street. It comes amid signs that federal prosecutors are taking a newly aggressive approach to corruption cases � including treating campaign contributions as potential bribes.

    By requiring them to certify the good behavior of their employees, the law puts lobbyists at new legal risk and could subject them to new pressure from prosecutors. And new centralized disclosures of lobbyists� campaign contributions, fund-raising activities and even their achievements � in the form of Congressional earmarks in spending bills � make it only easier for federal investigators to paint unflattering portraits of lobbyists� influence.

    �It will be easier to connect dots,� said Ted Van Der Meid, a Washington lawyer who was counsel to Representative J. Dennis Hastert when he was House speaker. �Even if there shouldn�t be a connection, you are going to have to explain to them how the way they connected the dots is not what you intended. You are going to have to basically prove your innocence.�

    Stanley Brand, a longtime Washington defense lawyer who usually represents Democrats, said the law was a sea change. �It should send shivers down lobbyists� spines,� Mr. Brand said. �It is a minefield now.�

    These are hardly the first restrictions, of course. Internal rules already barred lawmakers or senior staff members from accepting a gift or a meal worth more than $50 from a lobbyist. But the rules were rarely, if ever, enforced and did not govern lobbyists.

    President Bush has not said whether he would sign the bill, but it is already changing the culture of Capitol Hill in myriad ways, beginning with more Dutch treats and fewer steak dinners.

    Lobbying firms are racing to train employees in the new rules. One firm, fearful that prosecutors might try to use the expanded disclosures to link official actions to campaign contributions, has sent letters to its clients advising them how to respond if a lawmaker brings up fund-raising in a conversation about policy or procurements. �We would love to have this conversation, but it would have to be at another time� is the short answer.

    One lobbyist, who would speak only anonymously to avoid attracting the attention of prosecutors or rivals, said he had started sending himself date-stamped e-mail to create a record of every phone conversation he had with a lawmaker. Then he stopped making campaign contributions.

    Another lobbyist recently scaled back the menu at a breakfast briefing for lawmakers, offering bagels and cream cheese instead of ham and eggs. The rules permit lobbyists to provide refreshment of �only nominal value.� The House ethics committee guidelines suggest �light appetizers and drinks, or soda and cookies,� a standard that is known as �the toothpick test.�

    The firm also advised a client distributing flashlights on Capitol Hill � to promote government openness � to make sure not only that they cost less than $10 each but also that they looked cheap, to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

    And the �staff briefing� � in which a lobbyist enticed Congressional staff members to hear a talk about some dry legislative concern by offering pizza � has become extinct. No one will come without the free food.

    Lobbyists complain that Congress is unfairly punishing them for the misdeeds of its own members, not to mention ruining the social lives of innocent and underpaid staff members.

    �All those people who grew up in the system � who aren�t evil-doers, just good people � used to be able to entertain and have fun,� lamented Jim Ervin, a veteran military industry lobbyist.

    Jan Baran, a longtime Republican lawyer whose clients include lobbyists, said: �There is a great deal of resentment. It�s �the devil made me do it,� and the devil this time happens to be lobbyists. They get tarred with corruption, and the next day they get mail from all the same lawmakers who are blaming lobbyists saying, �I have a fund-raiser next week � don�t forget to contribute!� �

    Many lobbyists say the rules pose dilemmas. Blocking them from buying dinners or trips for lawmakers, lobbyists say, will only force them to spend more time and money at political fund-raisers to get the same access.

    For lawmakers, one of the most contentious elements of the package is the requirement that candidates disclose the names of federally registered lobbyists who solicit and �bundle� contributions. But lobbyists say the recognition may only encourage them to bundle. Ties to lawmakers are calling cards for clients.

    �That is not going to be viewed as the mark of Cain or anything,� Lawrence O�Brien III, a Democratic lobbyist and fund-raiser, said dryly. �It could be perceived as bragging rights.�

    Other lobbyists, though, worry that prosecutors� new tactics could make fund-raising more perilous. In plea agreements involving the lobbyist Jack Abramoff and former Representative Randall Cunningham, prosecutors have treated certain campaign contributions as bribes for official favors, something almost never done before.

    For lobbyists � who live at the nexus of contributions and favors � it is an alarming trend. �They might as well just pull up the paddy wagon outside the Capital Grille,� one lobbyist said, referring to a clubby steakhouse near the Capitol that is a well-known K Street hangout.

    Between the ban on buying dinners and the scrutiny of fund-raising, �It is a lose-lose situation,� said James Dyer, a lobbyist at Clark & Weinstock.

    A self-described �earmarks guy� who specializes in spending items, Mr. Dyer said the new rules were an invitation to scandal hunters. For the first time, the law will require disclosure of both the lawmakers who sponsor such items and the campaign contributions of the lobbyists who seek them.

    �It is a road map that says, �Hey, come look at me; I have got my name against an earmark,� � he said.

    Some loopholes exist. At the annual Aerospace Industries Association trade show in Paris last month, for example, military contractors treated a gaggle of senators to luxurious receptions at galleries, parks and hotels � all permitted under an exception for �widely attended events.�

    But John W. Douglass, the group�s president, said the new rules were putting a damper on such events. �Who wants to go to a hot, crowded cocktail party,� Mr. Douglass said, �and have to worry every time the guy brings the hors d�oeuvres tray up, �Should I do this or not?� �

    Still, some lobbyists and lawyers wondered privately how long the new carefulness would last.

    At the Capital Grille the evening after final passage of the new lobbying bill, private wine lockers by the door still bore the names of several prominent lobbyists. Two mounted stag heads were the only sentries policing the dimly lit bar. Shaking a Belvedere Vodka martini for a lone defense contractor, a bartender leaned in to offer his thoughts.

    �What happens at the Capital Grille,� the bartender said, �stays at the Capital Grille.�

    Fundraisers Tap Those Who Can't Say No (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/06/AR2007080601403.html) 'Bundlers' Look to Associates, Employees for Campaign Cash By Matthew Mosk Washington Post Staff Writer, August 7, 2007
    Draining the 'Swamp' Is Not So Easy (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/08/06/AR2007080601298.html) Skeptics Question Bite of Ethics Rules By Elizabeth Williamson Washington Post Staff Writer, August 7, 2007





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  • immique
    07-14 01:48 AM
    well said. people should realize that EB visa system is based on principles that are thought to benefit US. retrogressed EB2 categories cannot whine about EB1 saying that EB2 should be current also. personally I know many Physicians who have applied in EB2 and have been waiting for years even though many of them qualify for EB1. In the same manner EB3 cannot complain about EB2 saying that spill over should go to EB3 when EB2 is itself retrogressed. remember that the directive for the correct interpretation of the law came from Congress itself. This has actually revealed that EB2 was unfairly disadvantaged last year when all the spillovers got passed to EB3 while EB2 was unavailable. They may even consider to compensate retrogressed categories in EB2 with all those Visa numbers that were improperly given to EB3 ROW by giving EB3 ROW visas to EB2 retrogressed categories from this years and next years quota. I totally understand the plight of EB3 I and agree that there needs to be a solution for this. But complaining to State Department or USCIS will not change a thing as they are only there to follow the laws and not make any changes to the existing laws. campaign from the whole EB community has not produced much result this year to eliminate retrogression. I don't think campaign by one category (EB3) from just one country (India) is going to achieve the result by this letter campaign. rather, the efforts should be concentrated in ending retrogression for all the categories through effective legislation and can only be achieved by cooperation between all the categories.

    Disclaimer: I am an EB3-Indian with a PD of Oct 2003.

    Delax: I agree entirely with what you are saying. Your arguments are 100% valid. The part that I don't get is why are you trying so desperately hard to convince EB3-Indians that their letter campaign lacks merit?

    Remember, a drowning man will clutch on to a straw for hope. You are like a sailor in a boat trying to tell the drowning man that a straw is no good. So, if you cannot get Eb3-Indians to see your point-of-view, just lay off this thread. Do you really expect all EB3-Indians to say "Thanks to delax, we now see the folly of our arguments. Let's stop this irrational effort, and instead just do nothing!"

    I can assure you that despite being an EB3-Indian, I am not participating in this campaign. Because I know that it is a ridiculous argument to expect PD to take preference over skills. And honestly, I cannot come up with a single rational reason to demand a GC for me over any EB1 or EB2 applicant.

    To all you EB3-Indians, chisel this into your brain: The US immigration system wants EB1 first, then EB2 and then EB3. It doesn't matter what your qualifications are or what the profession is...what matters is in which employment-based category was your LC filed. If you think, you are skilled enough, then stop wasting time in arguing with EB2 folks. Use your skills to apply for EB1 (which is current) or EB2 and get your GC fast. Otherwise, get this chiselled into your head as well: You are less skilled than EB2 and EB1 (purely on the basis of the LC category), so it makes 100% sense that US will give you the lowest priority. Period.

    As I wrote earlier, I'm an EB3-Indian as well. Only differences being, I have still maintained my sanity, and I have the patience to wait for IV to deliver the official guidance on proceeding further.



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  • jonty_11
    07-13 05:51 PM
    willwin - What we are essentially saying is to artificially retrogress EB2 than it otherwise would have so that an EB3 who is waiting for 7 years gets his GC first - thats really what the spillover break up will do. Similarly an argument can be made to artificially retrogress EB1 so that an EB2 who is waiting for 4 years gets his GC first.
    Whether EB1 is presently retrogressed or not doesn't matter.
    Let's think about this for a moment. We are trying to completely negate the category preference established by law and asking them to grant GC's based solely on PD regardless of category.
    Ain't gonna happen - dont want to be a pessimist but at some point we have to call it as we see it.
    Agreed.....the categories were made for a reasson.....and the same logic is being followed by the DOS to spillover unused VISAS. While I understand the frustration of EB3 folks, I would encourage those same folks to folllow IVs initiatives like - call campaigns for House bills...etc. As I have said before IV is working for one and all...w/o caring for their categories. It was not IV that created this spillover policy...however IV is the one that will fight for you irrespective of whether you are EB1, 2 or 3. The key is to post a united front and some level of participation from every member...I was sad to see Pappu publish low numbers for contributions and phone calls....and only wish we would come together as a group rather than breaking apart.
    While I fear this will create an offshoot EB3 group within IV, I hope that goos senses will prevail.

    FYI - EB2 is still retrogressed over 2 years.....it is not that it is current





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  • rkgc
    03-23 03:21 PM
    Hi All, Let's post some useful information for gimme_GC2006, s/he must be anxiously waiting for our reply.

    Did you get in touch with a lawyer yet?

    ~rk



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  • django.stone
    06-26 07:18 PM
    i completely agree with you. i follow exactly the same logic by puddonhead and in fact i place a high $ value on flexibility (X) and very low $ on lost savings (Y), as i am very disciplined in saving the extra income which makes it even harder for rent to exceed interest + tax + insurance + hoa + maintenance fees. so i am on this forum to get my GC and escape the hell out of bay area to a place where normal people can lead a happy life





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  • validIV
    06-26 02:47 PM
    I don't know what else to tell you except what I've already stated. Frankly I am surprised that this debate has gone beyond 1 page. I am tired of beating a dead horse.

    If you are renting for 1500/month thats 18,000 a year, or 540,000 in 30 years that you lose with no chance of claiming as a deduction or ever using for anything. Rather than losing that money, why not use it to own the property you are living in?

    As a homeowner, you can use that 540,000 to own the home. The interest and property taxes you pay are tax deductible, and the principal means that at the end of the 30 years, the home is yours (20 if your loan is 20 years). Even when you are paying the mortgage, you are saving. You are getting bigger tax returns and you are owning the home that you live in. No amount of rent will guarantee either.

    Through a combination of tax deductions, home equity, and property value, I am willing to bet you that I can save the same amount you do by renting, but still be ahead by owning the property I live in in 30 years. Just take a look at any home owner's history and tell me someone who hasn't doubled the value of their home (home only, not including their savings) in the past 30 years or more.

    Everyone here that is dead-set on renting, by all means continue to throw your money away. And it REALLY is throwing your money away. How you wish to justify doing so is fine by me as long as you can sleep at night and explain to your family, friends and kids why you chose to rent for 30 or so years.

    If you buy - and take a mortgate - you end up losing (the same way you "lose" your rent)
    1. Interest you pay
    2. Property taxes you will pay forever.
    3. Maintenance you will pay forever.

    On the other hand - if you rent and,
    A. IF you pay less in rent than #1 + #2 + #3,
    B. IF you invest the remainder plus your mortgage principal amount in some other investment vehicle with superior investment returns than real estate.
    .... Then you will come out ahead renting.

    The tipping point is whether your rent equals interest + property taxes + maintenance. Based on which side is higher - either renting or buying could be good for you. I don't think there is a clear cut answer. This does not take into account the flexibility associated with renting - which is important for non-GC holders. If you assign a non-zero dollar value of $X with that flexibility, then your rent needs to be interest + tax + maintanance + $X to get to the tipping point. On the other hand, if you are not forced to save (in the form of mortgage principal payment every month) - you may just spend that money instead of investing that. If you assign a dollar value of $Y with that (probability multiplied by actual dollar value) - then the tipping point is at
    $rent = $interest + $tax + $maintenance + $X(dollar value for flexibility) - $Y(dollar value for probability of spending money instead of saving).

    Now as soon as you plug in the numbers in this equation - it will give you your tipping point and will tell you whether it is right for you to rent or to buy.

    Think about it. It is not as clear cut as you think it is. :-) Based on your earlier posts - you got an absolutely faboulous deal on your house (maybe because of your timing) and the tipping point equation would probably highly favor buying in your case. For many other (specially for those without a GC) - it may not be so clear cut.



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  • micofrost
    01-11 02:13 AM
    Muslim World and Non-Muslim World.

    Allothers saying abt secularism is just BS. I seriously doubt if the secular credentials will ever come from the heart.

    All the muslims are now united. And the ignorant ones are brain washed to become Jihadis.

    Problem is going to be more acute in the next 15-20 yrs. All these so called idiots( Jihadis, my balls), getting killed are leaving behind tonnes of kids. They will become even more fanatic and will go on rampage once they reach their teen age or youth state. How do we stop this cancerous issue is a trillion dollar question. The extent of hatred among these misguided youths have reached such a state, like a mad dog. Only treatment is to wipre them out.
    Unfortunately like cancer, there is no cure to this problem either.

    Countries like Israel, will kill a few muslims, all these false secular credential holding country will raise a hue and cry, and the war will stop. Will they succeed in even stopping the further malignant growth of this evil culture ?

    I honestly think not possible. These homo mullahs, are hiding in the schools thinking its safe to attack the enemy from a UN school compund. And our IV friend, ID" RefugeeNew" is saying Isrel killed innocent kids.

    Wht the f*** these Hamas guys dont openly fight with Israel. A terrorist organisation, by intimidating the people, was able to form a govt. NEither the govt nor the people who elected them as ovt, has no place in this free loving society or world.

    I would like to ask Mr "RefugeeNew", about any comments on talibanisation of Afganistan. Can he explain abt the "Sharia Law".

    You want to hear my views. Or even the world's opinion on this. "You idiot b****rd".





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  • 485Mbe4001
    09-30 03:01 PM
    He had proposed a very harsh H1b revamp and a total revamp of the L1 visa system.
    for example companies hiring H1 would have had to certify and attest that multiple american candidates were interviewed for the poisition. The prevailing wage had to be the highest of three measures (i forget which 3). Transfers were limited or restricted. On the other hand the Dream act simply gave citizenship to any illegal attending high school. The Senator talks about humane immigration and i agree to a certain extent but it should be humane for legals too.


    Yes, you are right, the recent 485 denials for people using AC-21 have nothing to do with Obama/Durbin immigtaion policy. But I kind of remember there were some harsh provisions for people using AC 21 in CIR 2007 version. I am trying to find out the details about it.
    Correct me if I am wrong.



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  • pthoko
    07-11 02:39 PM
    Hi UN, Please take a look when u get a chance


    First of all my sincere gratitude to you for your patience and the time you put in to give a detailed reply to all cases.

    Here's my situation(I think a case of status violation)


    I did an L1 to H1 transfer in 2005. My L1 was valid till APRIL 2006. So my intention was to work with L1 employer till April 2006 and then switch to H1 employer.

    H1 employer also applied for a change of status, which I was not aware of that time. I asked the H1 company's lawyer whether I could continue with my L1 employer after getting the H1 and she said it's fine.

    So I got the H1B approval in Oct 2005, but still continued with L1 employer till APRIL 2006, then switched to H1.

    Recently I came to know that this could be an issue. When I was filling the G-325A form, I wondered if I specify that I worked with the L1 employer till APRIL 2006, would they catch this?? Even if they catch , how big an issue would this be??

    If I put the dates to reflect the dates to show that I quit my L1 employer in Oct 2005 itself, would this be an issue?? I guess in this case, if by any chance they ask for any further evidence like pay stubs or W2 in that period of time, I would be in trouble.



    From what I have read from the forum, A lawful re-entry should clear the violation in my case right?? I haven't filed the I-485 yet. My I-140 is pending.
    Do they catch this during I-140 stage??

    ALSO CAN THEY DENY H1B DUE TO PREVIUOS VIOLATION OF STATUS, WHILE I RE-ENTER?? This is my biggest fear now!!!

    Can I go to Canada/Mexico for stamping? where would I get an appointment at the earliest??




    Thanks.





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  • ilwaiting
    04-09 11:46 AM
    Yes you are correct. Employee has nothing to do with the Abuse. More over most of the employers have nothing to do with the abuse as well. Lawmakers must get their facts straight before imposing such foolish laws.


    Pete, I am myself a manager at a leading company and do not fit into the typical "consultant" profile.

    That does not mean I want more shackles on myself because I feel someone is abusing the system. If someone (employers) are abusing the system, go after them - why do you want to go after the employee who, in a lot of cases, has nothing to do with the abuse?

    In fact, if this bill passed in its current form, it will probably not affect me but I will still oppose the bill - why, because it goes against my fundamental belief of freedom of movement. If the senators want to reform the system, may I ask

    1. Why prevent H1Bs from joining legitimate consulting companies such as Deloitte, IBM, BCG etc

    2. Why should H1B's pay Social security and medicare when they are "temporary" and do not get a dime back?

    Think of the bigger picture and then about your own objectives - I am sure you are a well educated person and you will understand the consequences of arbitrary decision making based on vested interests.



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  • Macaca
    12-30 07:15 PM
    Binayak Sen: India's war on a man of peace
    A life term for Binayak Sen under a law used by the British against Gandhi has shocked my country (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2010/dec/28/binayak-sen-india-british-gandhi) By Kalpana Sharma | The Guardian

    More than 150 years ago, the British introduced a law in India designed to check rebellious natives. In 2010 this law has been used by an independent India to check activists who question government policy.

    Section 124A of the Indian penal code was introduced in 1870 by the British to deal with sedition. It was later used to convict Mahatma Gandhi. In his statement during the hearing on 23 March 1922, Gandhi said, "The section under which Mr Banker [a colleague in non-violence] and I are charged is one under which mere promotion of disaffection is a crime. I have studied some of the cases tried under it, and I know that some of the most loved of India's patriots have been convicted under it. I consider it a privilege, therefore, to be charged under that section � I hold it to be a virtue to be disaffected toward a government which in its totality has done more harm to India than any previous system."

    The man convicted under this section in 2010 is, like Gandhi, a man of peace. Dr Binayak Sen, celebrated human rights activist and medical doctor, has worked for more than three decades as a doctor in the tribal-dominated areas of the state of Chhattisgarh in central India, working for people denied many of the basic services that the state should provide, such as health and education.

    As a civil rights activist, Sen has been an outspoken critic of the state government and its repressive actions against the armed rebellion launched by the banned Communist party of India (Maoist). The state has introduced special laws to suppress support for the Maoists, raising a militia to fight them. Independent observers concur with Sen on the extent of human rights violations, but in May 2007 he was arrested on charges of working with a banned organisation, based on visiting a well-known Maoist ideologue, Narayan Sanyal, in jail.

    Denied bail for two years, Sen was finally allowed out on bail last year. On December 24, a case that on all counts was weak and based on hearsay and circumstantial evidence, concluded. Sen was found guilty of sedition and other charges, and sentenced to life imprisonment. The judgment has provoked widespread condemnation from Indian civil society.

    Why this case has shocked people's sensibilities has as much to do with the man himself as the state in which he has chosen to work. Sen worked among the poorest and most deprived people in India, the Adivasis. The Maoists have also established their base in the tribal belt stretching through the heart of India. Their concerns are similar; their strategies diametrically opposite.

    But for the Chhattisgarh government, the Maoists are evil and deserve no sympathy or understanding. Because they use violence, the response of the state must be equally violent.

    Sen and many others who question India's development policy, which has exacerbated the gap between the poorest and the rich, argue that groups like the Maoists succeed because the state fails to serve the needs of the poor. In an atmosphere where everything is reduced to "You are either for us, or against us", there is no place for people like Sen who are fighting for social justice without violence. Arundhati Roy, who has dared to speak publicly about freedom for Kashmir and has spent time with the Maoists to present their worldview, also narrowly escaped sedition charges earlier this year.

    The judgment against Sen also reveals the extent to which paranoia and political bias in a state can affect the justice system. In Chhattisgarh today you would need to be a brave individual to question the state. Even judges in lower courts will not. Sen's supporters are determined to file an appeal and take it to the highest court. But whatever the outcome, the very fact of such a ruling has shocked many. India's judiciary has not remained untouched by the scandals currently being unearthed of corruption in very high places. Yet, by and large, faith in the excruciatingly slow judicial system remains fairly high. Today people ask: if even high-profile people like Sen can be denied justice, what hope is there for some unknown citizen being picked and charged of being a Maoist sympathiser or a terrorist?





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  • Macaca
    12-28 07:00 PM
    N.B.A. in India, in Search of Fans and Players (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/28/sports/basketball/28india.html) By JEREMY KAHN | New York Times

    The success of N.B.A. Commissioner David Stern�s 25-year crusade to globalize basketball is often summed up in two words: Yao Ming. After Yao, a 7-foot-6 center from Shanghai, was drafted by the Houston Rockets in 2002, the league attracted hundreds of millions of new fans in China. And though Yao is out for the season with a stress fracture that could end his professional career, the N.B.A.�s international march continues.

    This season, the league will play its first regular-season games in Europe, a two-game matchup in March between the Nets and the Toronto Raptors in London. And having conquered China, the N.B.A. has its sights fixed on Asia�s other big emerging market: India.

    Like China, India has a rapidly expanding middle class with newfound leisure time and disposable income, factors that Heidi Ueberroth, the president of N.B.A. International, says make the country ripe for new forms of entertainment.

    �There is a growing appetite for sports and entertainment and more options in India,� she said.

    In a nation where cricket is an obsession, other sports have struggled to find an audience. Cricket�s popularity has been reinforced by the Indian Premier League, which began in 2008. I.P.L. teams play Twenty20, a faster-paced game that has attracted younger fans and billions of dollars in corporate sponsorship.

    But in part because the I.P.L. has proved that city-based sports franchises can succeed in India, many sports are betting that they will be able to find new fans and corporate backers here.

    �The race is now on to become India�s second-most-popular sport,� said Sunder Aaron, the head of Pix, one of two Indian television channels that earlier this month signed a contract to broadcast live games and other N.B.A. programming.

    The list of international sports knocking on India�s door is a long one: Formula One is scheduled to hold its first race in India in 2011. The European Tour of professional golf has held tournaments here. English Premier League soccer, which has a growing following, held a promotional trophy tour in the country this month. And FIFA, soccer�s world governing body, has opened a marketing campaign to sell official merchandise here. Even Major League Baseball has attempted to recruit pitching talent in India.

    Ueberroth said that basketball�s popularity could grow rapidly in India because of the sport�s relative simplicity and the fact that a court can be created almost anywhere one can hang a hoop. This gives it an advantage over soccer and cricket, which require open fields. Basketball also requires little specialized equipment.

    A core part of the N.B.A.�s expansion strategy in India is increasing grass-roots participation, based on the belief that people who play basketball are also more likely to follow the N.B.A. The league also knows that the more Indians who play basketball, the more likely it is that one day an Indian player will be good enough to make the leap to the N.B.A. � an event that could vastly expand the league�s popularity in the world�s second-most-populous nation.

    The Basketball Federation of India, the sport�s governing body, estimates that 4.5 million Indians play the game. That is a fraction of the country�s 1.2 billion people, but Ueberroth said the N.B.A. suspected the real number was much higher because the federation�s statistics missed players who did not belong to a league.

    To try to accelerate basketball�s growth, the N.B.A. dispatched Troy Justice to India in February to serve as its first director of basketball operations in the country. Justice helps run the N.B.A. Mahindra Challenge, a series of youth leagues and tournaments in five Indian cities.

    Justice said the N.B.A. saw the young players as the vanguard of the N.B.A.�s efforts. The concept, he said, was to give the country�s teenagers more opportunities to play basketball in a formal setting throughout the year.

    �The kids here have the natural ability and the talent, but they are not given the opportunity to develop it,� he said.

    In addition to Justice, the league sent the Orlando Magic�s Dwight Howard and the Los Angeles Lakers� Pau Gasol on short ambassadorial missions to Mumbai and Delhi in the summer. It also sent two coaches to India to train the men�s and women�s national teams ahead of November�s Asian Games in China. It has created an India-specific portion of NBA.com, featuring postings by two Indian bloggers.

    Viewership for the N.B.A. in India has also been rising quickly, but from such a low base that it remains minuscule, said Atul Pande, the chief executive of Ten Sports, which has contracted to broadcast Eastern Conference games. Pande said he thought the audience for a live N.B.A. game would never exceed 200,000 households. The viewership for many I.P.L. cricket matches is in the tens of millions.

    �The problem is timing,� he said.

    Games played in the Eastern United States are broadcast at 5:30 a.m. or 6:30 a.m. in India.

    �It was hard at first to get up and watch the games,� said Karan Madhok, the communications director of India�s federation, who also runs an N.B.A.-related blog called Hoopistani, which is featured on the N.B.A. Web site.

    �I thought I was the only person in the country watching. But as I�ve started blogging about the N.B.A., I�ve been contacted more and more by other fans, and I realize there are a lot more fans who do it.�

    For the N.B.A. to reach critical mass among Indian sports fans, many say, will require what Madhok calls a Yao Ming moment. In other words, India is waiting to see a homegrown star make it in the N.B.A.

    N.B.A. officials dispute this assessment.

    �There are a number of countries where basketball is extremely popular without any players in the league,� Ueberroth said.

    Others note that the ranks of English Premier League soccer fans in India are growing rapidly even though there are no Indians playing in the league.

    Still, the N.B.A. is not turning a blind eye to the search for an Indian Yao. Among Justice�s jobs is scouting talent. And he has found a few prospects. Among the most promising is Satnam Singh Bhamara, 14, a 7-foot-2 player from a rural village in Punjab Province. Justice helped him land a spot at an IMG basketball academy in Bradenton, Fla.

    �He has a bright future,� Justice said. �We don�t know where he�ll end up, but he�s got a lot of natural � for a 14-year-old, 7-footer � a lot of natural basketball instincts.�

    Others point to the potential of two Canadian brothers of Indian descent, 15-year-old Sim and 17-year-old Tanveer Bhullar, who are more than 7 feet. Madhok said that if either made it to the N.B.A., it would inspire Indian fans and players.

    The lack of a native star had not dented enthusiasm for the N.B.A. among the young players who were competing in the Mahindra Challenge tournament here last Saturday. All the players on the Basketball Rocker Jazz, a team from Shalimar Bagh, a middle-class neighborhood in the northern reaches of this sprawling city, said they followed the league closely.

    Their favorite team?

    �The Lakers,� Raghav Mittal, 11, said without hesitation. �Most of the best players are there.�



    more...


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  • chintu25
    08-05 11:55 AM
    I am requesting an amendment to the spelling of "mahaul".
    I think it would sound better if we spelled it as "mahole" :D

    Mohol --> :D





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  • msp1976
    02-16 10:45 AM
    If your proposed legislation is defeated, there is frequently another opportunity to reintroduce it. Don�t be discouraged. Often it takes several tries to pass a measure, especially one that seeks to bring about an important change.

    If you win, do not get complacent. Monitor implementation and make sure your legislation is fully funded. Look out for opposition attempts to undo or diminish your victory by trying to repeal your legislation, filing litigation to overturn it, or seeking regulations to significantly weaken its implementation.



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  • NKR
    09-26 09:34 AM
    Hello there,
    highly skilled immigrants have a buying power
    Thanks

    Yes, that is why they have allowed you to keep renewing your H1s and/or EADs so that you can keep buying. They will not give you GC soon





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  • indianindian2006
    08-02 07:01 PM
    Yes.

    A little unknown thing is that even if you get married to someone who is eligible for 245i; you also get that benefit. Even if someone divorced a person who was eligible for 245i; they still get the benefit.

    Therefore, someone who has overstayed, out of status and marries someone who had a labor or 130 pending before april 30, 2001 (even though this person was never out of status or overstayed); then spouse can claim 245i benefit.
    You mean the spouse gets 245i benifit even if the spouse was not present here on dec 2000 and came after 2001.





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  • nojoke
    04-21 03:43 PM
    I suggest you stop looking at national level figures if you are seeking accurate information. Look at the specific neighborhood you have mind and you may find that the situation there is not exactly what is shown on CNN.

    As an example the DFW area is doing alright inspite of the gloomy picture painted by the media at the national level. Used homes will take longer to sell, but it is nowhere as bad as Florida or CA. And we are not discussing selling here anyway...we are discussing buying.

    The Dallas Morning News. �The housing downturn is hitting almost every neighborhood in the Dallas area. Even affluent close-in residential areas that had previously avoided declines, including the Park Cities and North Dallas, are seeing falling prices and significant drops in home sales.�

    �And sales of high-end homes no matter where they are � until recently a bright spot � are sliding, too. Economists and other experts blame a large inventory of recently built speculative homes, higher interest rates for large mortgages and sellers who have not lowered unrealistically high prices.�

    ��We are definitely seeing a deterioration in sales across price ranges,� said D�Ann Petersen, business economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. �The high end did hold up quite well until recently.��

    �Preowned home sales dropped 25 percent in the Park Cities. And prices were down 1 percent from a year ago � the first such decline in more than five years, according to North Texas Real Estate Information Systems.�

    �In North Dallas, sales in the first quarter were down a staggering 40 percent. Prices were also off by 1 percent from a year ago. Median home sales prices dropped by 4 percent in Far North Dallas, and sales in that area fell by 26 percent.�

    �Sales prices fell in almost two dozen of the 46 residential districts The Dallas Morning News tracks each quarter.�

    �Even the most blue chip neighborhoods are having some problems. �I talked with a leading appraiser who said he was working on 16 or 17 foreclosures in Preston Hollow � they were all builders,� said longtime Dallas residential agent David Nichols. He said there are �plenty of buyers out there,� but with so much to look at, they are taking longer to decide on a house.�

    �Sales of $1 million-plus homes fell by 19 percent in the first quarter in North Texas. The sharp decline follows several years of double-digit gains at the top of the local market. Sales of homes priced between $600,000 and $1 million fell by between 20 and 38 percent in the first three months of 2008 compared with the same period last year.�

    ��People who have a lot of money and are looking to buy the very expensive properties aren�t stupid with their money � they don�t like paying the higher cost and may be waiting for the market to respond,� Mr. Gaines said.�

    �Veteran Dallas appraiser D.W. Skelton isn�t surprised to hear that the first-quarter preowned home sales statistics look a bit bleak. �We�ve seen it for a while,� he said. �The numbers are not as optimistic as some would lead you to believe.��

    ��Most of it is the result of builders running up values in some neighborhoods and now they have come down,� Mr. Skelton said. �It�s more a problem of price point � no matter what the location. They need to come off those prices. Their expectations were unrealistic because our market was so robust for so long.��

    �All the publicity about so-called rescue plans to help troubled homeowners isn�t having an impact so far on Dallas-Fort Worth foreclosures. The number of homes facing foreclosure in the area next month is up almost 40 percent from a year ago.�


    �Mr. Roddy said the number of D-FW foreclosure postings is the second-highest on record. �Back in February, we were over 5,000,� he said. �But the percentage gain this year is unbelievable when you consider that last year was unbelievable.��

    �Almost 43,000 homes were posted for foreclosure here in 2007 � a record and up 10 percent from 2006. The number of home foreclosure postings has risen by 24 percent from the first five months of 2007.�

    �He said he doesn�t expect to see much change in home foreclosures over the next 18 to 24 months.�





    lakshman.easwaran
    07-10 03:19 PM
    After going through this post
    I checked my I 94 last entered in 2006 it has different number than other I 94
    I am working with only one company since 2004
    They wrote company name src number correct on I 94
    but number is not same as the one on I 797 bottom totally different

    should i get it corrected ? How


    I do not think you have to correct anything since your last entry I-94 card will have different number from that in 797 approval notice. I-94 number has to be the same in last entry card and 797 only if you have a situation like me as below

    1) Last entry to US in 2004 - Hence have an I-94 card.
    2) Switched employer in 2006. So received new 797 approval notice alongwith updated I-94.

    In my case, the updated I-94 and the last entry I-94 card have the same I-94 number.

    Hope this helps.





    Macaca
    12-27 07:10 PM
    Dilip Kumar turns 88 (http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\12\28\story_28-12-2010_pg3_2) By Ishtiaq Ahmed | Daily Times

    The great thespian Dilip Kumar turned 88 on December 11, 2010. I had wanted to pay tribute to this larger-than-life megastar of Bollywood in my previous column but the tragedy in Stockholm made me postpone it till now. Thanks to YouTube I could follow some of the highlights of the birthday party from Stockholm. Among the many guests were veteran character actor Pran, 90 (started his film career in Lahore in a Punjabi film), and Dharmendra (also a Punjabi).

    His wife, once the beauty queen of Bollywood, Saira Bano, made very gracious remarks about her remarkable husband. The most touching was the warmth and feeling with which she narrated that 400 students of Khalsa College, Mumbai, where Dilip studied as a young man many, many years ago, donated 89 bottles of blood � one more than the 88 years that Dilip has completed � as a pious gesture to wish him a long life. For a very long time, Dilip sahib has been actively involved in charitable and philanthropic causes. On his first visit to Pakistan he was the guest of a blood donation organisation. Later, he has visited Pakistan to take part in Imran Khan�s campaign to raise funds for the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital. In India, he is constantly involved in rendering service to movements dealing with the blind and other physically challenged human beings. He is truly a man with a golden heart.

    As an actor there is hardly anyone who has attained so much fame and won so many laurels as Dilip sahib. He was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1994 for lifelong contribution to cinema. Mian Nawaz Sharif, like the late General Ziaul Haq, is very fond of Indian films. As prime minister, Mian sahib indulged his artistic self by conferring the Nishan-e-Imtiaz on Dilip Kumar. Those were the days when Mian sahib was considered a peacenik and had developed close rapport with another Punjabi, Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral (originally from Jhelum).

    I remember being in Lahore in February-March 1999 just after Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Mian sahib had reached the Lahore Declaration, which was to usher in peace and prosperity between India and Pakistan. At some of the social gatherings the atmosphere was extremely positive to India-Pakistan trade. One industrialist convinced me that we would benefit most because while the Indians will get a market of 150 million we would get a market of one billion. Somebody must have been listening to all this and wanted to subvert such economist argumentation. So, the Kargil mini-war broke out in May 1999.

    After the Kargil showdown, Shiv Sena�s Bal Thackeray and his goons carried out a hate campaign against Dilip sahib, alleging that like all Muslims he is at heart a Pakistani. They demanded that he must return the Nishan-e-Imtiaz because Pakistan had committed aggression against India. Dilip did not give in to such blackmail. He retorted, �This award was given to me for the humane activities to which I have dedicated myself. I have worked for the poor; I have worked for many years to bridge the cultural and communal gaps between India and Pakistan. Politics and religion have created these boundaries. I have striven to bring the two people together in whatever way I could. Tell me, what does any of this have to do with the Kargil conflict?�

    I had the rare privilege of spending some three hours with him late evening on October 20, 2001. The famous actor of the 1970s, Raj Babbar (parents originally from Jalalpur Jattan, northern Punjab), had on my request arranged the interview. Originally it was meant to last not more than half an hour. However, once I was inside his sitting room and met him I could feel that Dilip wanted to talk to me more and more.

    To my very great surprise he wanted to conduct the conversation in his native Hindko, which to a Lahore-born like me was hundred percent Punjabi, but with a peculiar accent. We went over his long life, starting with Peshawar of course, where he was born as Mohammad Yusuf to the family of a fruit trader, Lala Ghulam Sarwar and his wife Ayesha. That trade brought his father to Maharashtra. Some years later Yusuf Khan became Dilip Kumar.

    He convinced me to have an omelette, saying that this way he could also join me otherwise Saira Bano was against him eating fatty stuff. I enjoyed watching him as he shared his heartfelt views about some people that I wanted him to comment on. He dispelled the rumour that he and Raj Kapoor had at any time been estranged from each other or been against each other. On the contrary, he told me that Raj Kapoor was always a steadfast friend and their Peshawar roots cemented that relationship on the family level. About the great Rafi sahib he told me that a gentler human being than him was difficult to find. He and Sunil Dutt (originally from village Khurd, Jhelum district) were next-door neighbours. Their families also met regularly and were very close to one another. He spoke very highly of Sunil Dutt, calling him a man of great courage and a very pure conscience. Equally he showered praise on Pran, calling him a man of lofty principles and integrity.

    I was tempted to probe his feelings about some of the female stars he had worked with, with some of whom rumours about amorous relationship had circulated. Then, I thought it would be trespassing into his private life and I would be abusing his hospitality. So, I did not broach that topic. I could however easily understand why so many women fell in love with this very fine specimen of Pakhtun ancestry.

    Politically he appeared to be very well informed. The Americans had just started aerial bombing of Afghanistan in retaliation for al Qaeda�s 9/11 terrorist attacks. He expressed great concern for the loss of life that such conflict entailed. Being from that region himself, he was worried that if the conflict escalated, the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would suffer the most. It is amazing that at such an early stage he could foresee what was in the offing. I was quite surprised by his extensive reading of both Urdu and English literature and his interest in philosophy.

    The writer is Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Stockholm University. He is also Honorary Senior Fellow of the Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore.