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  • Macaca
    12-29 08:07 PM
    Watch Out for Russian Wild Card in Asia-Pacific ( By John Lee | Australian

    Just before we were tucking into Christmas turkey and plum pudding, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev met his Indian counterpart Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi to reaffirm what the Russian leader called a "privileged partnership" between the two countries.

    By contrast, Australia sees little role for Moscow in the future Asian balance of power, where the former superpower was mentioned in passing only twice in the 2009 defence white paper.

    But other countries are not making the same mistake.

    If India is the "swing state" in Asia's future balance of power, as a prominent CIA 2005 report put it, New Delhi is well aware that Russia remains the wild card in the region.

    Medvedev and Singh signed more than 20 agreements ranging from agreements to supply India with natural gas, reaffirming a commitment for a third Indian nuclear power plant to be built by Russian engineers, and the signing of a contract for the joint development of between 250-300 fifth generation fighter aircraft.

    Over the next 15 years, it is estimated that every second overseas nuclear reactor built by the Russians will be in India, while New Delhi could be the destination for more than half of all Russian arms exports in the next five years.

    It is no surprise that Russia is pulling out all the stops to court India.

    After all, its two main exports - energy and arms - are exactly what India needs.

    There is a long economic and strategic history of partnership between the two countries that began in the 1950s when the former Soviet Union and India became allies.

    But just as Moscow sees new opportunities in a rising India, New Delhi still sees value in a declining Russia.

    The problem for Russia is not just the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and a patchy commitment to economic reform after the Boris Yeltsin era, but a declining population.

    Russia has experienced periods of dramatic population decline before, from 1917-23, 1933-34 and 1941-46.

    Since 1992, and despite the absence of famine or war, Russian deaths have exceeded births by a staggering 13 million.

    With 141 million people now, numbers could be as low as 120 million by 2030.

    Nevertheless, there are strong reasons to believe that Russia can play the wildcard role in Asia's future balance of power.

    First, the common wisdom that Russia is moving closer to China in order to counterbalance America and its European and Asian allies and partners is incorrect, meaning that the Russian wild card is still very much in play.

    While Russia is preoccupied with regaining its influence in parts of eastern Europe, Moscow is also warily watching China's unauthorised movements into Siberia and the Far East.

    Beijing is about six times closer to the port city of Vladivostok than is Moscow, which has very weak administrative control over its eastern territories.

    Already, an estimated 200,000 to 500,000 Chinese nationals have illegally settled in these oil, gas and timber-rich areas.

    Beijing is also tempted by Siberia's freshwater supply, given that China already has severe shortages throughout the country.

    The Russian Far East is inhabited by only six million people, while the three provinces in northeast China have about 110 million Chinese inhabitants. By 2020, more than 100 million Chinese will live less than 100km to the south of these Russian territories, whose population will then number between five million and 10 million.

    As Medvedev recently admitted, if Russia does not secure its presence in the Far East, it could eventually "lose everything" to the Chinese.

    The point is that Russia will have as much reason to balance against China's rise as encouraging it. As the godfather of geopolitics, Nicholas Spykman, put it, the key is to control the Rimland (Western, Southern and Eastern) Eurasia.

    A small handful of long-sighted strategists in Washington, Tokyo, Moscow and New Delhi see potential for a grand alliance of convenience that can effectively constrain Chinese influence in Central, South and East Asia. How Russia plays its strategic cards in this context will go a long way in shaping Eurasia.

    That Russia may choose to tilt the balance against China in the future is also backed by diverging world views of these two countries.

    Should China continue its rise, Washington, Tokyo, New Delhi and Moscow will seek a favourable multipolar balance of power in Asia, even if it remains under American leadership.

    By contrast, China sees the coming regional and world order as a bipolar one defined by US-China competition, with powers such as the EU countries, Japan, India and Russia relegated to the second tier, something that is very difficult for a proud "Asian" power such as Russia to accept.

    Second, a declining Russia retains significant national and institutional strengths. For example, Russia will remain a legitimate nuclear military power with a large and pre-existing nuclear arsenal. It is also a genuine energy superpower and a global leader in advanced weaponry technologies.

    These factors all but guarantee Moscow a prominent position in the future strategic-military balance.

    Furthermore, Russia will retain its veto as a permanent member of the Security Council.

    Given the difficulty of reforming the council, Moscow will continue to exercise a disproportionate influence through the UN, even if it continues to decline as a country.

    Finally, Russia has that indefinable quality of seeing itself as a natural great power. This all adds up to Russia remaining a big player in Asia, with significant ability to influence, disrupt and complicate the plans of other great powers, even if it can no longer be dominant.

    New Delhi and Beijing believe that Moscow is well position to remain Asia's wild card.

    Australia should prepare for this as well.

    John Lee is a foreign policy fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney and a visiting fellow at the Hudson Institute in Washington, DC.

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  • cygent
    06-25 08:17 PM
    Just as an example, this may be an anomaly, but I know this Australian Indian citizen, who has recently bought 2 houses in the LA Valley and is having no issues filling them with contractors so far (1 my friend), even in this economy. He works on SAP projects traveling on H1 , but is in Aussie land most of the time, with his family. The rent more than pays off his mortgage.

    to buy another house (if it is not distress property / from auction) just to put it on rent is stupidity ..risk is good if it is calculated take foolish risk is foolishness ..anyway that is me. In this Country land is virtually unlimited !!! demand is low (see immigration ..they give majority GC's to people when they are 50 - 60 years old) and those who are young have smaller families because of high cost of living, way of living.
    to buy a house to put it on rent is big loss as there are millions of houses already competing for renters
    ONE more reason for those who are on H1/ EAD is that 90% of then job postings on DICE and other places ask for only citizens or GC holders.

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  • riva2005
    04-12 01:14 PM
    Its important to understand the root cause for the retrogression. Illegals dont have categories and categories in the EB GCs are there for a reason. It makes a world of a difference for somebody who is EB2 or EB3 if the person was from say.. Bangladesh. If EB2 he is all set if EB3 he will be languishing here. I am EB2 and am in trouble because of CONSULTANTS and yes I have a problem with that.

    Yes, we are all in trouble because of consultants. Nice attitude.

    I can say that I am in trouble because of everyone else in the queue of 500,000 highly skilled H1 and L1 people waiting for GC. Everyone else other than me and my family is causing trouble for me.

    If all others in the queue were to vanish or die somehow,my PD would become current and I can file for 485.

    Isnt that the attitude of IEEE-USA. We are in trouble because of competition from Indian and Chinese professionals.

    They have a problem with Indian and Chinese engineers whether they come here, or dont come here. They have problem with H1B, they have a problem if they dont come here and merely work on jobs in India and China that are outsourced from here to there.

    Just like IEEE-USA has problem with existence of competition, you have problem with the existence of consultants because that sub-community within this community is also asking for Greencards. And your solution is to eliminate competition.

    Consultants can say the same thing...that we are in trouble because of these perm-fulltime jobs holders who stick to one job for 10 years and we have a problem with that.

    How can you justify, with reasonable objective arguments that perm-fulltime jobs holders should be ahead of the queue from consultants and they are more deserving candidates for Greencard than consultants? I am not a consultant myself but I'd like to hear your reasoning behind this. Dont tell me crap that consultants pad their resumes. Everyone does it. Whether its consultants or perm-fulltime jobs holders, and whether its H1B or citizens, EVERYONE who is desperate for a job would pad his/her resume. You would do it too if it meant getting yourself away from filing bankruptcy.

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  • eager_immi
    02-02 12:22 PM
    this info is for lou dobbs and he can search for this information in Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (for all the middle-class that can get free information, most likey coded by an H1B)

    [edit] Taxation status of H-1B workers
    H-1B workers are legally required to pay the same taxes as any other US resident, including Social Security and Medicare.[2] Any person who spends more than 183 days in the US in a calendar year is a tax resident and is required to pay US taxes on their worldwide income. From the IRS perspective, it doesn't matter if that income is paid in the US or elsewhere. If an H-1B worker is given a living allowance, it is treated the same by the IRS as any other US resident. In some cases, H-1B workers pay higher taxes than a US citizen because they are not entitled to certain deductions (eg. head of household deduction amongst many others). Some H-1B workers are not eligible to receive any Social Security or Medicare benefits unless they are able to adjust status to that of permanent resident.[3] However, if their country of citizenship has a tax agreement with the United States, they are able to collect the Social Security they've earned even if they don't gain permanent residency there. Such agreements are negotiated between the United States and other countries, typically those which have comparable standards of living and public retirement systems


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  • satishku_2000
    04-12 05:48 PM
    Many/most of us here have worked like crazy dogs most of lives, followed the rules, and played by the book. "Everyone" does not have your cavalier attitude towards truth.

    My problem is not with consultants or nurses or doctors or magicians or whoever else is in line. My problem is with those who claim to be legal aliens but who routinely break the rules (by indulging in kickback schemes like splitting their salary with their employer).

    IV is a community of/for legal aliens wanting to become legal immigrants. Rule-breakers and others don't belong here; just because one hasn't been caught cheating the system doesn't mean one is legal.

    You mean to say Employer splitting the earnings with employee? I think that is legal as long as you pay uncle SAM his share (I mean taxes ):D

    My roommate/landlord is a "master hair stylist" and law abiding american citizen, He gets 40% of the revenue he generates as his salary.

    What section of law says that it is illegal to work on percentage basis .

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  • validIV
    06-25 12:28 PM
    All you and the renters here are doing is speculating. Speculators, from my experience, always buy and sell at the wrong time because all they do is guess. Even if prices do go lower in 2011, speculators will speculate that it will go down further and continue to hold off then miss their chance. Same problem with now in 2009, you missed the low interest rates and who knows when they will come back down to the 4s again. Personally I hope they do come back, cuz I missed a chance to refi one of my properties. You are not only losing your rent money to a landlord, but you are also losing valuable time that you could've used to knock off your mortgage.

    As for only putting 20% down and people saying that they want to buy their homes outright� they are idiots. You never pay full price or more than 50% for a home, even if you can afford it. Pay the downpayment, then invest the rest of that money elsewhere and build even more from that money. That is called leverage and thats what good smart investors do. They use the system, they leverage their money and NEVER pay full price. If you have $800,000 and want to buy an $800,000 3 family house, u dont use all ur money on it to pay it all in one shot. You buy 3 or 4 of them, paying 20% down then rent it out, use the rent money to pay the mortgage hold and sell after 20-30 years. Use the rest of the money and invest that in a portfolio or start a business. After 30 years all your properties will be paid off by renters like the people here. You can sell them, give them to your kids, whatever. But don't tell me you're not coming out ahead.

    And for the people that are proud to have more than 1 car and paid it all off� a car is not an investment. Unless you buy an antique that you can sell for more than what you paid for, it is not comparable to owning a home. I have a car, it degraded in value the minute i drove it off the lot. Its great for vacations, going around, getting to work whatever. But I am not proud to own a degrading liability even when its been fully paid 5 years after I bought it with no chance of increasing its value.

    I have no problems with renters like you or others in this forum. I make money from you. I don't care if you terminate your lease early because another renter will take your place. All renters do is throw away their money and will never get it back. I will use your rent money to pay my mortgage. But don't try to tell me that owning a home is a bad idea. Owning your own home is NEVER a bad idea and 68% of America agrees. You will ALWAYS need a place to live in.

    Nobody is saying that the world is coming to and end in 2 years.IMHO myself and many others would agree that long term buying a house makes sense. The question is does buying now if you haven't already bought your primary residential home make any sense.

    From the current data, Do you think a guy who buys a house in 2009 would come ahead of somebody who would buys in 2011 when the housing market may have fully bottomed out ? I know its impossible to time the market. But all indicators to name a few below point that home prices should continue to decline.

    Unemployment is still on the way up. We will cross 10% anytime soon is a given.
    Excess housing inventory
    Home prices are still above the trend line. Historically its common for the correction to swing even below the trend line before it stabilizes.

    Again IMHO, If you haven't bought a home yet, Save so that you can make a bigger down payment (Own more of the house when you buy one) and check the market again mid 2010.

    Giving your example.
    Lets say guy buys in 2009, and another guy buys in 2011 (Assuming home prices would have further gone down using existing data points).. Who do you think would come ahead in 2019.


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  • needhelp!
    09-29 11:21 AM
    And oh.. we already bought a house in 2002 (had never imagined that my status would still be "temporary" after 9 years of doing the right thing)

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

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

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

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

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


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  • krishna
    02-21 12:57 PM
    I am pretty sure he has figured out that he will not last in Congress. Hence he has chosen the route of being a TV show host and wants to try and influence policy in washington thro' his rants. He is nothing but a grumpy old man who vents his frustration on immigrants through his rants on TV. It is always good to know how people like him think and can try to influence policy but we should tune him out because what he says is irrelevant.

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  • yrspassby
    08-07 04:38 PM
    My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met.

    When a man brings his wife flowers for no reason, there's a reason.

    Always get married early in the morning. That way, if it doesn't work out, you haven't wasted a whole day.

    In olden times, sacrifices were made at the altar, a practice that still continues.

    Getting married is very much like going to a restaurant with friends. You order what you want, then when you see what the other fellow has, you wish you had ordered that.

    I think men who have a pierced ear are better prepared for marriage. They've experienced pain and bought jewelry.


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  • waitnwatch
    08-06 01:40 PM
    Note that there is a difference between the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and the Code of Federal Regulation (CFR) alternatively also called US Code (USC). The CFR is an interpretation of the INA to practically implement the law on the ground. Therefore from what I know a CFR change does not need a change of law by Congress per se. It may need a public comment period but that is about it. So a lawsuit against the BS+5 may have some merit because it is only in the CFR and not the INA.

    I'm not a lawyer and don't claim to be one. So I would like to know if I'm totally wrong.

    Here is the relevant portion from 8 C.P.R. � 204.5(k)(2). This is the reason, in my opinion, why any lawsuit against BS+5 has not much merit value.

    If you would like to read about related case, refer to this pdf vanced%20Degrees%20or%20Aliens%20of%20Exceptional% 20Ability/Decisions_Issued_in_2005/NOV152005_02B5203.pdf

    Sec. 204.5 Petitions for employment-based immigrants.

    (k) Aliens who are members of the professions holding advanced degrees or aliens of exceptional ability.

    (1) Any United States employer may file a petition on Form I-140 for classification of an alien under section 203(b)(2) of the Act as an alien who is a member of the professions holding an advanced degree or an alien of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business. If an alien is claiming exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business and is seeking an exemption from the requirement of a job offer in the United States pursuant to section 203(b)(2)(B) of the Act, then the alien, or anyone in the alien's behalf, may be the petitioner.

    (2) Definitions. As used in this section:

    Advanced degree

    means any United States academic or professional degree or a foreign equivalent degree above that of baccalaureate. A United States baccalaureate degree or a foreign equivalent degree followed by at least five years of progressive experience in the specialty shall be considered the equivalent of a master's degree. If a doctoral degree is customarily required by the specialty, the alien must have a United States doctorate or a foreign equivalent degree.


    US Permanent Resident since 2002

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  • Macaca
    02-27 08:14 AM
    A Republican Purge on K? (

    John Feehery has left the Motion Picture Association of America to start his own lobbying firm, the Feehery Group. Feehery, 43, joined the movie lobby with great fanfare in 2005 to help silence sotto voce attacks by congressional Republicans, then in the majority, on the group's chief executive, former congressman Dan Glickman (D-Kan.), and on left-leaning Hollywood. Feehery had been the spokesman for then-House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and a veteran GOP leadership aide.

    But last month, the MPAA named Seth Oster, a Democrat, as executive vice president for communications, in effect taking part of Feehery's portfolio. My colleague at, Mary Ann Akers, reports that lobbyists worry that the move might presage a citywide purge of Republicans. But Feehery professes no bitterness. "It was a good time for me to start my own business," he said. "It gives me a greater range to do things I want to do." The MPAA will be one of his first clients, he added.


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  • xyzgc
    12-30 12:25 AM
    at the risk of adding to this "no longer relevant" thread - there is a huge difference between US and India gaining case of the former - it was some Britishers now settled in America fighting other Britishers (loyalists to the throne) for autonomy and independence......

    India was perhaps the first successful example of natives gaining independence from a colonial European power....

    also - to brush up on some more history - India was not occupied in 1600 - actually East India Company was established in that year.....the real establishment and consolidation of territorial control happened between two historical events (Battle of Plassey in 1757 and Sepoy Mutiny in 1857).....if we consider the 1757 date as start of colonization in true earnest - then India was independent in 190 years (1947 - 1757) against your calculation of 189 years for USA (as per your post - 1789-1600) - so not bad for a mostly non-violent struggle :-)

    Also - one of the reasons Atlee thought it was too expensive to maintain colonies was because of all the Quit India and Civil Disobedience type regular movements -these movements took much political and military bandwidth that Britain simply did not have after the war.....if maitaining a colony was easy sailing - i doubt Britain would have given it up easily and we have to credit the non-violent movements for helping India becoming a pain in the neck for Britain......

    The British colonized the world using advanced weaponry, superior discipline, organized chain of commands within the forces, isolationist tactics, ground battle strategies and naval warfare.

    They came in as East India company traders, fought several battles and eventually defeated several Indian Kings to establish themselves as colonial masters.

    It is, therefore, naive to say that wars are won without firing a bullet.
    If non-violence could stop wars, India would not been colonized by the imperialists to begin with.

    Had Indians had gone up in united and organized arms revolt against the British, the British would not have lasted five years in India.

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  • wellwisher02
    03-29 09:02 AM
    o.k. ..I guess it was the beer that I had made my post confusing. what I am saying is even now home prices are inflated ..see mariners post above. GC is the main hurdle and it will take around 1.5 years to get it ...I guess by that time prices would have corrected and that is when I would buy it.
    if I had got GC 1 year back ..would I have purchased it ..a big NO.
    last point ..even when I buy the house ..I wont think of it as an investment ..because we will never see those appreciations again ..look around, there is no shortage of land whatsoever.
    having a GC simplifies things as I have one less thing to worry about and I can then atleast start looking.
    on EAD ..I won't even waste gas to look around ..
    even in california far as I know is because of excessive regulation that the RE is so pricey other countries and places in US open up and become innovation centres ..regulations would become less or else price appreciation would come down in california.
    BTW even I say it depends on one's situation ....some of my friends have extended families in US or their kids are grown up and they need space (some of them are renting their basements to a relative) such cases it definitely makes sense to buy a house.
    if it makes u feel better my view ..long term prices will go up around 4% once the correction is done (2010or 2011). at the same time for e.g when prices in atlanta drop by 4.5 percent (as in last case S index) ..the real drop is 7% when you take inflation in account.
    one last example of my batchmates in engg had purchased a house in san diego at the height of the bubble (750K) ..when I mentioned the bubble ..he said I don't care ..I like to live high or whatever his house is in foreclosure


    Buying a house is good or bad based on your homework you've done or need to do. I did not buy a house until I was close to my EAD. However, a couple of my wife's friends purchased their 'home' even when they were on H1B. This happened in California where the house value is astronomically high when compared to other places (like Texas, Arizona, Virginia, Chicago, etc). They lived in their home for 3-4 years, still didn't get their GC, sold their house and collected a huge profit of $200K and moved to over Texas. This happened in early 2006. They took the risk which worked out well for them ...meaning they were constantly on projects.

    You gotta live in a place like CA to make reasonable profits. I am at present in VA, having bought a house there. I bought in Nov 2006 when real estate began to crash. As I speak I didn't make any equity. How much equity will I build in the next 2 years. This is anybody's guess ...maybe 10K or 20K, assuming real estate problems are bottoming out.


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  • nogc_noproblem
    08-07 12:47 AM
    After his day's sightseeing, an American touring Spain stopped at a local restaurant.

    While sipping his wine, he noticed a sizzling, scrumptious looking platter being served at the next table. Not only did it look good, the smell was wonderful.

    He asked the waiter, "What is that you just served?"

    The waiter replied, " Ah senor, you have excellent taste! Those are bull's testicles from the bull fight this morning. A delicacy!"

    The American, though momentarily daunted when he learned the origin of the dish said, "What the hell, I'm on vacation! Bring me an order!"

    The waiter replied, "I am so sorry senor. There is only one serving a day since there is only one bull fight each morning. If you come early tomorrow and place your order, we will be sure to serve you this delicacy!"

    The next morning the American returned and placed his order. That evening he was served the one and only special delicacy of the day. After a few bites, and inspecting the contents of his platter, he called to the waiter and said, "These are much, much smaller than the ones I saw you serve yesterday!"

    The waiter promptly replied, "Si, senor!" Sometimes the bull wins!

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  • GCOP
    07-13 10:11 AM
    We are going to write the letter to DOS. All of us in EB3, request IV to step up the efforts to solve EB3 visa problem. EB2 has already advanced to 2006. We are happy for them. EB3 is still in 2001 . Nothing can be more serious than this. IV's concentrated efforts (Meeting with DOS or other authorities) in this situation will be highly admired, at this time when it's needed the most. Thanks in Advance.


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  • SunnySurya
    12-22 02:41 PM
    See me standing there in the video!
    Indian Americans ask UN to declare Pak a terrorist state

    PTI | New York

    Braving sub zero temperature and cold wind, more than 200 supporters and workers of dozens of Indian American organisation held a demonstration outside the UN, seeking the world body declare Pakistan a terrorist state.

    The demonstrators, from New York and adjoining New Jersey and Connecticut states spearheaded by Overseas Friends of BJP (OFBJP) and Indian American Intellectual Forum, demanded that the international community take action against Saudi Arabia also as groups based there had been funding the terror operations which are planned and executed from Pakistan.

    The international community, they said, need impose economic sanction against Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and force Islamabad to rein in its "infamous" Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI) which, they alleged, provides logistic and other support to terrorists.

    If Pakistan does not hand over the suspects that India has demanded, they should be tried by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, they said.

    The demonstrators carried pictures of Jewish couple Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and wife Rivka, who were murdered by the terrorists during Mumbai attacks, with caption: "It is a crime to be a Jew?" The demonstration began with a silence observed for one minute to pay homage to the victims of Mumbai attacks and the police officers who were killed in the action.

    "Who is funding terrorism?' Saudi Arabia," "Down with Pakistan," "Pakistan, a failed state," "Stop aid to Pakistan," and "Radical Islam is the worldwide problem," were among the slogans that they shouted.

    Gaurang Vaishnav, a spokesperson of the Tristate Indians under whose banner the demonstration was organized, said that it was important that countries such as US, Britain, Israel and India come together to evolve a strategy to root out the terrorism.

    Sunday, December 21, 2008 1.00 - 3.00 P. M.
    Dag Hammarskjold Plaza (East 47th Street between 1st Ave. and 2nd Ave.) Manhattan, New York


    If you answered YES to any one of the above, then
    Come Rain, Snow or Cold, JOIN
    The latest Pakistan sponsored terrorist attacks have traumatized the nation and left deep scars on its psyche. Property worth millions of dollars is destroyed and the economy is affected adversely. Safety of the people and security of the nation is compromised

    Who will set the things right? WE THE CONCERNED PEOPLE...

    TRISTATE INDIANS: Supporting Organizations
    Aligarh Muslim University Engineering Alumni Association of North America
    Afghan Hindu Association, Inc
    Arsha Bodha Center
    Art of Living Foundation, USA
    Baba Balak Nath Temple, New York
    Bangladeshi Hindus of America, New York
    Bangladesh Minority Forum, USA
    Bunt Association of North America
    Ekal Vidyalaya Foundation of USA
    Federation of Indian Associations
    Friends of India Society, International
    Hindi Samiti of USA
    Hindu Center, New York
    Hindu Collective Initiative of North America (HCINA)
    Hindu Human Rights Watch
    Hindu International Council Against Defamation (HICAD)
    Hindu Right Action Force (HINDRAF)
    Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh
    Indian American Intellectual Forum
    Kanchi Kamkoti Foundation USA
    Kannada Koota
    Malyali Hindu Mandalam of North America
    Marathi Vishwa
    Nataraja Mandir (WSFC)
    Om Temple of Garden State
    Overseas Friends of BJP
    Overseas Sindhu Sabha, New York
    Panchvati Ashram, New York
    Phagwah Parade & Festival Committee
    Punjabi Darbar Religious & Cultural Society
    Sadhanalaya Dance, Inc.
    Samskrita Bharati
    Satya Narayan Mandir, Elmhurst
    Save Temples in India
    Shree Trimurthi Bhavan
    Sindhi Circle, New York
    The Caribbean Voice
    The South Asian Times
    Vishwa Hindu Parishad of America
    and many more …

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  • DallasBlue
    09-29 07:22 PM
    USINPAC and AJC should support us for talented future lobbyists. :-)

    Forget the Israel Lobby. The Hill's Next Big Player Is Made in India ( By Mira Kamdar ( | Washington Post, September 30, 2007

    Mira Kamdar, a fellow at the World Policy Institute and the Asia Society, is the author of "Planet India: How the Fastest-Growing Democracy is Transforming America and the World."

    The fall's most controversial book is almost certainly "The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy," in which political scientists John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt warn that Jewish Americans have built a behemoth that has bullied policymakers into putting Israel's interests in the Middle East ahead of America's. To Mearsheimer and Walt, AIPAC, the main pro-Israel lobbying group, is insidious. But to more and more Indian Americans, it's downright inspiring.

    With growing numbers, clout and self-confidence, the Indian American community is turning its admiration for the Israel lobby and its respect for high-achieving Jewish Americans into a powerful new force of its own. Following consciously in AIPAC's footsteps, the India lobby is getting results in Washington -- and having a profound impact on U.S. policy, with important consequences for the future of Asia and the world.

    "This is huge," enthused Ron Somers, the president of the U.S.-India Business Council, from a posh hotel lobby in Philadelphia. "It's the Berlin Wall coming down. It's Nixon in China."

    What has Somers so energized is a landmark nuclear cooperation deal between India and the United States, which would give India access to U.S. nuclear technology and deliver fuel supplies to India's civilian power plants in return for placing them under permanent international safeguards. Under the deal's terms, the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty -- for decades the cornerstone of efforts to limit the spread of nuclear weapons -- will in effect be waived for India, just nine years after the Clinton administration slapped sanctions on New Delhi for its 1998 nuclear tests. But the Bush administration, eager to check the rise of China by tilting toward its massive neighbor, has sought to forge a new strategic alliance with India, cemented by the civil nuclear deal.

    On the U.S. side, the pact awaits nothing more than one final up-or-down vote in Congress. (In India, the situation is far more complicated; India's left-wing parties, sensitive to any whiff of imperialism, have accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of surrendering the country's sovereignty -- a broadside that may yet scuttle the deal.) On Capitol Hill, despite deep divisions over Iraq, immigration and the outsourcing of American jobs to India, Democrats and Republicans quickly fell into line on the nuclear deal, voting for it last December by overwhelming bipartisan majorities. Even lawmakers who had made nuclear nonproliferation a core issue over their long careers, such as Sen. Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), quickly came around to President Bush's point of view. Why?

    The answer is that the India lobby is now officially a powerful presence on the Hill. The nuclear pact brought together an Indian government that is savvier than ever about playing the Washington game, an Indian American community that is just coming into its own and powerful business interests that see India as perhaps the single biggest money-making opportunity of the 21st century.

    The nuclear deal has been pushed aggressively by well-funded groups representing industry in both countries. At the center of the lobbying effort has been Robert D. Blackwill, a former U.S. ambassador to India and deputy national security adviser who's now with a well-connected Republican lobbying firm, Barbour, Griffith & Rogers LLC. The firm's Web site touts Blackwill as a pillar of its "India Practice," along with a more recent hire, Philip D. Zelikow, a former top adviser to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice who was also one of the architects of the Bush administration's tilt toward India. The Confederation of Indian Industry paid Blackwill to lobby various U.S. government entities, according to the Boston Globe. And India is also paying a major Beltway law firm, Venable LLP.

    The U.S.-India Business Council has lavished big money on lobbyists, too. With India slated to spend perhaps $60 billion over the next few years to boost its military capabilities, major U.S. corporations are hoping that the nuclear agreement will open the door to some extremely lucrative opportunities, including military contracts and deals to help build nuclear power plants. According to a recent MIT study, Lockheed Martin is pushing to land a $4 billion to $9 billion contract for more than 120 fighter planes that India plans to buy. "The bounty is enormous," gushed Somers, the business council's president.

    So enormous, in fact, that Bonner & Associates created an India lobbying group last year to make sure that U.S. companies reap a major chunk of it. Dubbed the Indian American Security Leadership Council, the group was underwritten by Ramesh Kapur, a former trustee of the Democratic National Committee, and Krishna Srinivasa, who has been backing GOP causes since his 1984 stint as co-chair of Asian Americans for Reagan-Bush. The council has, oddly, "recruited groups representing thousands of American veterans" to urge Congress to pass the nuclear deal.

    The India lobby is also eager to use Indian Americans to put a human face -- not to mention a voter's face and a campaign contributor's face -- on its agenda. "Industry would make its business case," Somers explained, "and Indian Americans would make the emotional case."

    There are now some 2.2 million Americans of Indian origin -- a number that's growing rapidly. First-generation immigrants keenly recall the humiliating days when India was dismissed as an overpopulated, socialist haven of poverty and disease. They are thrilled by the new respect India is getting. Meanwhile, a second, American-born generation of Indian Americans who feel comfortable with activism and publicity is just beginning to hit its political stride. As a group, Indian Americans have higher levels of education and income than the national average, making them a natural for political mobilization.

    One standout member of the first generation is Sanjay Puri, who founded the U.S. India Political Action Committee in 2002. (Its acronym, USINPAC, even sounds a bit like AIPAC.) He came to the United States in 1985 to get an MBA at George Washington University, staying on to found an information-technology company. A man of modest demeanor who wears a lapel pin that joins the Indian and American flags, Puri grew tired of watching successful Indian Americans pony up money just so they could get their picture taken with a politician. "I thought, 'What are we getting out of this?', " he explains.

    In just five years, USINPAC has become the most visible face of Indian American lobbying. Its Web site boasts photos of its leaders with President Bush, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and presidential candidates from Fred Thompson to Barack Obama. The group pointedly sports a New Hampshire branch. It can also take some credit for ending the Senate career of Virginia Republican George Allen, whose notorious taunt of "macaca" to a young Indian American outraged the community. Less publicly, USINPAC claims to have brought a lot of lawmakers around. "You haven't heard a lot from Dan Burton lately, right?" Puri asked, referring to a Republican congressman from Indiana who has long been perceived as an India basher.

    USINPAC is capable of pouncing; witness the incident last June when Obama's campaign issued a memo excoriating Hillary Rodham Clinton for her close ties to wealthy Indian Americans and her alleged support for outsourcing, listing the New York senator's affiliation as "D-Punjab." Puri personally protested in a widely circulated open letter, and Obama quickly issued an apology. "Did you see? That letter was addressed directly to Sanjay," Varun Mehta, a senior at Boston University and USINPAC volunteer, told me with evident admiration. "That's the kind of clout Sanjay has."

    Like many politically engaged Indian Americans, Puri has a deep regard for the Israel lobby -- particularly in a country where Jews make up just a small minority of the population. "A lot of Jewish people tell me maybe I was Jewish in my past life," he jokes. The respect runs both ways. The American Jewish Committee, for instance, recently sent letters to members of Congress supporting the U.S.-India nuclear deal.

    "We model ourselves on the Jewish people in the United States," explains Mital Gandhi of USINPAC's new offshoot, the U.S.-India Business Alliance. "We're not quite there yet. But we're getting there."

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  • CreatedToday
    01-06 04:31 PM
    If this senior Hamas leader could send his son as a suicide bomber to kill innocent civilians in Israel, what stops him from using others' kids as shield?

    If its true, why media is not showing how Hamas is hiding behind schools and mosques? Its a big lie and this is what they say in order to justify the killing. Also what rockets you are talking about? Those 7000 rockets that killed 4 people? I agree Hamas must stop their mindless and useless rocket attack.

    05-29 08:22 PM
    The Newest Lobbying Tool: Underwear ( By Cindy Skrzycki (, Tuesday, May 29, 2007

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    And then there's the underwear video.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    06-07 01:39 AM
    Have you done your math ? Granted those $250 looks chump change for you, but what if it was invested for a return of 5% while the house may not be back at sales level for another 10 to 15 years ?

    No one will argue with you about buying a house for yours kids pleasure though.

    If you look at the details I posted, only $1050 goes to interest, insurance, and taxes. $400 goes to the principal. So, compared that to my $1200 rental, it is still wise choice. Isn't it?

    As per Zillow estimate, the value of the house I bought already appreciated by $10k above the purchase price.

    For the sake of discussion that it did not appreciate in the next 10 years (which I doubt because there's no other way to go but up) but the value stayed at purchase price, as per my amortization schedule, my loan would be at 75% of the purchase value. It means therefore that I already have a 25% equity of the house, which is $60k.

    If I saved the $250 per month at zero interest, I would have $30k. I don't know where you can find 5% interest p.a. investment today but for the sake of argument that I found one, I think I can't get the $60k at the end of 10th yr.

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