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  • arc
    04-13 04:10 PM
    I don't think it's good time to buy in CA.. Just wait for option ARM reset and market will drop more.

    In California have anyone explored a Duplex/Triplex market where 2 parties buy a multiplex togather they pay less money, get a good location and good school district. I have heard a lot of success stories, plus duplex is like 2 single family homes with yards/decks etc. 2 friends buy the property togather, you also get usual tax deduction and NO HOA like town homes... (if you pay 300/mo HOA you end up paying 108000 in 30 years). I think owning a multiplex for about 5 years then renting it out and getting a single family home makes a lot of sense for long term...what say!





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  • ArkBird
    01-09 05:05 PM
    so.. by your logic, Al qaeda has declared war on the United states (they did, OBL issued that declaration some time in the late 90s) civilians die in each war, so alqaeda had every right to kill civilians in 9/11?
    Of course not! Intentional targeting of civilians is inexcusable and constitutes a war crime and we should never cease to protest it regardless if it is done by a primitive terrorist or from the comfort of an F-16.


    American Army was not hiding in World Trade Center and launching rockets on the civilians in Saudi from there. There was absolutely no target of military importance in WTC. Civilians got killed in Gaza because terrorist were hiding among them.

    Quit hiding among women and children and fight like man on battlefield.





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  • sri1309
    08-13 07:43 PM
    Guys,

    We saw the September bulletin..
    We knew what to expect..
    But we were all a little hopeful to see some miracle happen.
    And we were doing this every month.

    NOW comes the count down we all were waiting for the last few months. Oct bulletin. In that, most of us are expecting some good news.. But what if it moves 3 months forward.. What if it moves 2 years forward. Then it will stop there for next 1 year, while we check every month.. Then it moves back.. Do we want this..
    Its not going to make much difference to most of us here.
    THIS IS THE TIME TO ACT NOW. We must all do some campaign may be flowers, may be cards, or I donno.
    I have written to all the six members or reps to help us, but a bunch of mails will not help. JUst imagine if all the people in waiting sent the letters. Imagine 100,000 mails going to each of them, or 100,000 flower bouquets going to all.
    Please please, lets act now. These small fixes cannot help us. If they want to put any quota limit, that should be at the main entry level whatever the non-immigrant category. Not at the other point when people start applying for GCs and suffocate here. We dont deserve this.
    Please Lets act now., ONce again.. We did it in the past and it helped..
    We need to do it again... Together we can do it. Together ONLY we can do it..

    Sri.





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  • chanduv23
    03-25 03:50 PM
    ok..lets see how it goes.

    I did not hire an attorney nor took a consultation..I thought folks here on IV combined are as good as an attorney :D

    Just came from the Post office..sent all documents they asked for including Resume.

    I dont know if my employer responded..I called them but they didn't respond..typical..huh

    Lets see how it goes..

    Should something bad happen (Which I dont understand why it would), you will see me in
    "Alberta Welcomes H1b" thread.. :D:D:D

    It is always good to utilize services of a good Attorney for complex situations. But anyways good luck.



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  • Macaca
    05-09 05:51 PM
    After bin Laden, U.S. Will Look East (http://www.realclearworld.com/articles/2011/05/06/after_bin_laden_us_will_look_east_99510.html) By Daniel Kilman | German Marshall Fund

    Al Qaeda's attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, precipitated an unprecedented level of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan. With Afghanistan beset by a resurgent Taliban, and Pakistan increasingly unstable, the United States subsequently doubled down in this troubled region even as the Asia-Pacific became the locus of global economic growth and great-power military competition. Although U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan for years to come, bin Laden's death heralds the beginning of the end of America's "Af-Pak" fixation. Increasingly, the United States will look eastward; Europe should as well.

    Many forget that, pre-September 11, America's strategic focus was gravitating toward Asia. Coming into office, President George W. Bush was determined to rethink how the United States managed China's rise, a development that posed a long-term challenge to American economic and military primacy. This determination was reinforced when a Chinese fighter jet rammed a U.S. spy plane in April 2001, resulting in a short-lived crisis. However, the terrorist attacks orchestrated by al Qaeda redirected the Bush administration toward Afghanistan and the larger Muslim world. Although America remained active in the Asia-Pacific throughout President Bush's tenure, the primary focus of U.S. strategy lay elsewhere.

    Like his predecessor, President Barack Obama entered the White House intending to prioritize the Asia-Pacific. Again, events intervened. To prevent the Taliban from solidifying control over large parts of Afghanistan, Obama authorized a surge of U.S. troops there and ratcheted up armed drone attacks against terrorist sanctuaries in Pakistan. Yet his commitment to reorienting the United States toward Asia appears to have never wavered. Prior to bin Laden's death, National Security Advisor Tom Donilon told The New Yorker that the United States was "overweighted" in the Middle East and Afghanistan and "underweighted" in the Asia-Pacific.

    The death of bin Laden in a shootout with U.S. special forces does not presage an imminent pullout from Afghanistan or a rapid drawdown in American assistance to Pakistan. The United States has committed itself to a "responsible transition" in Afghanistan and will retain a considerable military presence there in the years ahead. Terrorist networks that have metastasized within Pakistan over the past decade and now threaten the integrity of the state will not disband because of bin Laden's demise. Even if elements of the Pakistani government were complicit in hiding the leader of al Qaeda, the United States cannot risk lightly the collapse of a nuclear-armed state by cutting off foreign aid.

    At the same time, the completion of America's original mission in Afghanistan that bin Laden's death symbolizes will allow for a strategy that increasingly reflects the Asia-Pacific geography of U.S. interests. This shift will not occur overnight. For the moment, the revolutions rocking the Arab world will absorb U.S. attention. Nor will this shift automatically substitute China for al Qaeda as America's animating enemy, a development some in China may fear. In fact, the outlines of a U.S. reorientation toward Asia are already clear. The United States will strengthen existing alliances and strategic partnerships, forge new ones, and link like-minded nations together. To reinforce its military presence in the region, the United States will retain permanent bases, negotiate agreements for temporary access to facilities, and deploy more of its naval and air forces to the Indo-Pacific rim stretching from Japan and South Korea to Southeast Asia and the approaches to India. At the same time, the United States will pursue a reinvigorated trade agenda anchored by the Trans-Pacific Partnership talks that seek to lay the foundation for a free trade area spanning the Pacific Ocean. Lastly, Washington will continue to champion democracy and rule of law as universal norms that all countries in the region should embrace.

    U.S. rebalancing toward the Asia-Pacific will have significant repercussions for Europe. Over the past decade, Afghanistan has become a central theater for transatlantic security cooperation. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization will continue to operate in Afghanistan, but, in the future, the United States will increasingly look to Europe as a partner in Asia. Yet transatlantic cooperation in this region remains weak, and many in Europe continue to regard Asia primarily as a market rather than as the cockpit of international politics in the 21st century. This should change. Europe should anticipate America's eastward shift and begin to define a role in the Asia-Pacific that transcends trade.

    During the second half of the 20th century, the United States and Europe, acting in concert, transformed what was then the world's most important region-the North Atlantic. If Europe can join the United States and refocus on the Asia-Pacific, the transatlantic partners can shape this century's most vital region as well.

    Daniel M. Kliman is a Transatlantic Fellow for Asia at the German Marshall Fund of the United States


    Talking to China (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/08/opinion/08sun2.html) New York Times Editorial
    Chinese investors still searching for U.S. welcome mat (http://money.cnn.com/2011/05/04/news/international/chinese_investors_america.fortune/index.htm) By Sheridan Prasso | Fortune
    The U.S. must push back against China�s investment controls (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-us-must-push-back-against-chinas-investment-controls/2011/05/06/AFoRjRTG_story.html) The Washington Post Editorial
    Renren, China�s Facebook, sells shares on NYSE
    But amid murky numbers and dubious accomplishments, is it really worth billions? (http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business-tech/110504/renren-china-facebook-nyse)
    By David Case | GlobalPost
    Can China's billions spur the next big idea? (http://in.reuters.com/article/2011/05/05/idINIndia-56786220110505) By Don Durfee and James Pomfret | Reuters
    The Rights and Wrongs of China�s Aid Policy (http://idsa.in/idsacomments/TheRightsandWrongsofChinasAidPolicy_gsingh_040511) By Gunjan Singh | The Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses
    China sees bright side of elite exodus (http://atimes.com/atimes/China/ME05Ad01.html) By Wu Zhong | Asia Times
    China Imposes Price Controls, Informally (http://blogs.forbes.com/gordonchang/2011/05/08/china-imposes-price-controls-informally/) By Gordon Chang | Forbes





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  • pappu
    06-07 12:06 PM
    There is some excellent information on this thread. Pls add it on http://immigrationvoice.org/wiki/index.php?title=Buying_a_house_in_USA&action=edit

    as well
    http://immigrationvoice.org/wiki/index.php/Immigration_to_US
    There are some new Miscellaneous topics created in the wiki. Please help us by adding content in those titles as well so that this valuable information helps everyone. Do add links to relevant IV threads wherever possible.



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  • unitednations
    03-25 02:56 PM
    I heard from the grapevine that UNITEDNATIONS will be the next USCIS chief - so folks better behave with him or he wil report ya all :D :D :D :D


    I know you are kidding; however, you only get selected for such positions as long as your idealogy is in line with what they want.





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  • logiclife
    11-21 05:44 PM
    Lou Dobbs gets his ratings based on how much angry he can get people.

    Same goes for Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly.

    The easiest way to get good ratings and viewership of your program on radio or TV, if you dont have substance and if you dont want to work hard, is to make people angry.

    Angry listeners are regular listeners and motivated listeners. Also, a lot more emotional and a lot less objective.

    They all know they are talking garbage. Take Bill O'Reilly's "War on Christmas" for example. Does it really matter if walmart hangs a sign that says "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas". Does it feed the hungry homeless people? Does to stop Genocide in Darfur. NO.

    But it can make some people angry, which gets good ratings and 90% of broadcast media are ratings pimps. All they care about is viewership and ratings and they dont themselves believe in the nonsense they utter into the microphones.



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  • unseenguy
    06-24 11:51 PM
    Why are be debating 3 - 4 years rent vs own? As the subject indicates "long" term prospects of buying a home..we of all the ppl should know the meaning of the word "long" based on our "long" wait for PD (which I think should be renamed to retrogress date because I see nothing priority about it)..the point being lets debate 10 years rent vs own..as against 3-4...I think over a 10 year timeline the buyers would come out ahead of the renters..maybe not in CA but in other states that's quite likely..

    coz, next 3-4 years make it special due to immigration status and special status of the economy and you can plan for 5-7 years but whats going to happen after that is beyond anyone.





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  • sanju
    12-17 04:05 PM
    Since everyone is posting what they want, I guess I can also just post anything here....



    GAWilA_mkoQ




    .



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  • Amma
    12-31 12:44 AM
    Dear xyzgc,

    As a fellow Indian I understand your anger about India's inaction. In no way India can match America.

    Look which countries America attacked after 9/11 ?. Hopeless Afganistan and throughly beaten Iraq. These countries are no match for America.
    America can attack half way from the globe and attack other unequally matched countries. Do you think US will attack Russia or China like Afganistan? It will think thousand times because of sure mutual destruction it will bring. Now Israel is thrashing Hamas which is not at all a regular army.
    Do you think Israel will touch Iran ? Iran will torch Israel.

    So, it is the kind of measuring the capacity of the enemy and acting accordingly.

    If India attacks Pakistan, Pak will surely use their Bramastra which is atom bomb.India again retaliates with another 10 atom bombs and full Pakistan and half India will be in ashes. Do you want that ?

    Again , this kind of massacre may happen in future . Who knows ?. But, I am sure we can't hit Pak like America.

    I am also thinking in line with Alisa's . To avoid castration from US army , these Taliban kind of people send some misguided youths to attack, thereby diverting the issue and diverting the Pak army to India border.

    The only way to solve this problem is the self realisation of Pakistan . Terrorism is like a double edged sword. It will harm both parties.

    " Unless the thief understand and realizes his misdeeds , nobody can destroy theft " - Famous Tamil poet Pattukotai Kalyanasundaram.





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  • alahiri
    07-10 10:10 AM
    What logiclife has written is well said .. but did we get a chance to articulate this in the radio itself? Or "Mikey" got all the air time?



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  • thomachan72
    08-06 04:28 PM
    THERE IS THIS GOOD OLD BARBER IN SOME CITY IN THE AMERICA....

    ONE DAY A FLORIST GOES TO HIM FOR A HAIRCUT. AFTER THE CUT, HE GOES TO PAY THE BARBER AND THE BARBER REPLIES: "I AM SORRY. I CANNOT ACCEPT MONEY FROM YOU.I AM DOING COMMUNITY SERVICE." THE FLORIST IS HAPPY AND LEAVES THE SHOP.

    THE NEXT MORNING WHEN THE BARBER GOES TO OPEN HIS SHOP, THERE IS A THANK YOU CARD AND A DOZEN ROSES WAITING AT HIS DOOR.

    A POLICEMAN GOES FOR A HAIRCUT AND HE ALSO GOES TO PAY THE BARBER AFTER THE CUT. BUT THE BARBER REPLIES:"I AM SORRY. I CANNOT ACCEPT MONEY FROM YOU. I AM DOING COMMUNITY SERVICE." THE COP IS HAPPY AND LEAVES THE SHOP.

    THE NEXT MORNING THE BARBER GOES TO OPEN HIS SHOP, THERE IS A THANK YOU CARD AND A DOZEN DONUTS WAITING AT HIS DOOR.

    AN INDIAN SOFTWARE ENGINEER GOES FOR A HAIRCUT AND HE ALSO GOES TO PAY THE BARBER AFTER THE CUT. BUT THE BARBER REPLIES: I AM SORRY. I CANNOT ACCEPT MONEY FROM YOU. I AM DOING COMMUNITY SERVICE. THE INDIAN SOFTWARE ENGINEER IS HAPPY AND LEAVES.

    ..Enjoy

    THE NEXT MORNING WHEN THE BARBER GOES TO OPEN HIS SHOP, GUESS WHAT HE
    FINDS
    THERE...

    CAN YOU GUESS?

    DO YOU KNOW THE ANSWER YET?

    COME ON, THINK LIKE A INDIAN....

    A DOZEN INDIANS WAITING FOR A HAIRCUT........!!!!!
    well most of us guessed the answer because as soon as we read about the barber we were thinking of asking whether you knew his address!!





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  • pd_recapturing
    04-15 02:58 PM
    1. Money cant buy happiness


    A new research:
    http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN2042446720080320?feedType=RSS&feedName=domesticNews&rpc=22&sp=true



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  • unseenguy
    06-20 05:55 PM
    Real estate is always a local phenomena. So those of you who are following national guidelines are misleading yourselves. Unless you are major investor, who would like to keep his/her real estate portfolio diverse, national level real estate indicator is not of much use.

    I bought a foreclosed house few months ago, but before that did thorough study at personal level. Not only analytically study your market, but also "go to genba". Feel the pulse, find where and what kind of people live in those sub-divisions.

    If you are leaning towards investing, lean with good intent. Avoid risk by thouroughly understanding your financial situation. I went with 30 yr fixed, to be conservative.

    Finally, have guts to make a call, either way. It's the right time, I would say.

    In my local area I see about 50-50 ratio of open homes to sold homes on MLS maps. However the prices are too high, I think. Also due to my income level, I do not qualify for Obama's homeowners rebate and I do not think prices will skyrocket in 2-3 years, so for my personal situation, I have an opportunity to save a LOT for my downpayment while I wait for my GC and be in a position to either buy a bigger home or take reduced mortgage when I decide to go for the kill. It also gives me flexibility to shift the liquid assets to India with relative ease. Dont get me wrong, I can buy a villa in Bangalore almost loan free. In that case, I am wondering if taking a mortgage and being tied to it during uncertainty is a smart move.

    Although there is a tax benefit to the mortgage , one thing we know for sure is that home prices are not about to go up anytime soon. So with low rent payment for next 2-3 years, I should be in a solid position to decide what I want to do.





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  • mbawa2574
    03-25 11:18 PM
    www.ushomeauction.com

    U should look more at Pre-forclosure ( if u can get hold of one) than the foreclosed properties. Most of forclosed properties need substantial investment to fix them. Generally public gets the last chance of good foreclosed properties. It is a bank- real estate nexus which eats up the good inventory before hitting into the market. US home auction is not a real auction but more like a open house for 100 properties at the same time. Quality of inventory is not worth it.



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  • Marphad
    12-17 02:48 PM
    I never commented Muslims as terrorists and even don't believe so. If you read the title again, it clearly says "I hate converting terrorism to muslimism" - which few morons like Antulay are doing. They are actually indirectly trying to imply that.

    If I meant anywhere that I have problem with muslims, believe me it will be writing issue. Yes, I do have problems with people who are Indian citizens but support Pakistan and terrorism.


    What is there in his remarks to be so 'terrorised' about? Where is 'Muslimism' here?

    I hope as far as there are people like you and some others who commented as if 'Muslim means Terrorist' (but you won't tell that directly), there will be more terrorists; and it is quite understandable.





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  • rbalaji5
    07-13 10:38 PM
    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.



    Great one -

    Yes - if you have enough skills and experience amend your category to EB1, you will get your visa way faster before EB2.





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  • Macaca
    12-30 07:11 PM
    Judgment that risks tainting democracy (http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/article1018825.ece) By VINAY SITAPATI | The Hindu

    One thousand three hundred and twenty days after he was first arrested, Binayak Sen has been sentenced to life imprisonment for sedition against the Indian state. Narratives on his guilt portray him as an �intellectual� coordinating Naxal attacks in the red corridor, just as narratives on his innocence are of a sainted doctor fingered by a vengeful state. But the only narrative that really matters is the legal case against him, and this in turn hinges on three distinct legal questions: Is the evidence against Dr. Sen enough to convict him? Are the laws applied to him fair? And finally, is the maximalist sentence (life imprisonment) justified?

    Around a single event

    The evidence against Dr. Sen centres on a single event. He is accused of having met a jailed Naxalite, Narayan Sanyal, 33 times and carried letters from him to a Naxalite, Piyush Guha. But Dr. Sen met Sanyal in Raipur Central Jail with the permission of the Chhattisgarh police; the jail superintendent who supervised the meetings told the Raipur sessions court that no letters were exchanged. At the other end of the �crime�, Piyush Guha did not name him when he appeared before a magistrate. He is alleged to have implicated Dr. Sen while in police custody. But this is legally barred from being weighed as evidence, since all custodial confessions are presumed tainted with torture.

    The central allegation against him is therefore tenuous at both ends. Other attempts to link him to Naxalites are individually trivial (or downright dubious, like an unsigned letter from the CPI-Maoists allegedly found in his house, but which is not part of the official seizure memo). But taken together they have managed to convince Justice B.P. Verma of Dr. Sen's role in aiding and abetting Naxal groups.

    The second concern is the fairness of the laws used against Dr. Sen. Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (Sedition) is a colonial-era law that has been previously invoked against Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. Since it is a serious offence with the possibility of life in jail, in the 1962 case of Kedar Nath Singh v. State of Bihar the Supreme Court limited the definition of sedition to the �tendency to create disorder or disturbance of public peace by resort to violence.� Dr. Sen is convicted for acting as a letter courier between Naxalites; it is questionable if this �act� falls within the definition of sedition.

    The other laws that Dr. Sen has been convicted under, the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, make illegal a wide variety of actions that �support� unlawful activities: taking part in meetings or harbouring a Naxalite. These laws have been invoked against grain merchants and cloth traders who unwittingly sold their wares to Naxalites. Taken together, what all these laws do is to broaden the scope of what �guilt by association� means. Perhaps this is understandable in a State where Maoists are present in half of its 18 districts and requires an army of civilian supporters to sustain a war under forested cover. But fashioning a blunt legal tool to go after an elusive enemy enhances the risk of snaring innocents.

    The final concern

    The Congress party has declined to comment on the judgment, invoking the prerogative of an independent judiciary. It is no one's argument that the decision was politically determined. But political abuse includes the fairness of the laws formulated by the political class for judges to impose. After all, judicial independence must also consider the quality of laws that the Raipur sessions court had to enforce, and those laws define �guilt by association� so broadly that they blur the line between innocent and guilty.

    The final concern is that of punishment. Dr. Binayak Sen has been sentenced to life imprisonment for conspiring to commit sedition. Sentencing ranges from three years to life in jail. Justifying the use of the maximalist sentence, Justice Verma's Hindi judgment points to �the way that terrorists and Maoists are killing ... paramilitary forces � and innocent Adivasis.� But surely there is a difference between CPI (Maoist) General Secretary Ganapati, a man with much blood on his hands, and a mere courier of letters between Naxalites? Even if Dr. Sen is guilty as charged, that charge is not of violence � something he has repeatedly spoken out against. To club varying actions together defeats the purpose of flexibility in sentencing, which is after all to permit the judge to recognise degrees of motivations and culpabilities.

    The Raipur sessions court verdict is only the quarterfinal. Indian law affords Dr. Sen one automatic right to appeal, and another at the discretion of the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, given the visible disparity between the quality of allegations against him and the repercussions, the judgment is sure to provoke an outcry, if the national and international outrage over his two-year long arrest without bail is any indication (already Amnesty International has criticised the verdict).

    The outcry will reverberate beyond one man. In 2009, a non-violent critic of the state was held guilty of sedition and sentenced to a lengthy spell in prison. That man's name is Liu Xiaobo, and the international focus on him dims the mandarin equivalent of India Shining. While the specific �crimes� of the 2010 Nobel Prize winner vary from those of Dr. Binayak Sen, the life imprisonment given to the Chhattisgarh doctor will surely discredit the justifiable struggle against Naxalism much as Mr. Liu's incarceration discounts the distance China has travelled since Tiananmen Square. Apart from the irreparable harm to the life of an individual and his family, the judgment risks tainting Indian democracy itself.

    The writer is a doctoral student working on law and politics in India





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





    Macaca
    05-02 05:32 PM
    America is bleeding competitiveness (http://venturebeat.com/2011/04/28/brain-drain-or-brain-circulation-america-is-bleeding-competitiveness/) By Vivek Wadhwa | Entrepreneur Corner

    With anti-immigrant sentiment building across the nation, and clouds of nativism swirling around Washington, D.C., skilled immigrants are voting with their feet. They are returning home to countries like India and China. It�s not just the people we are denying visas to who are leaving; even U.S. permanent residents and naturalized citizens are going to where they think the grass is greener. As a result, India and China are experiencing an entrepreneurship boom. And they are learning to innovate just as Silicon Valley does.

    Some call this a �brain drain� others say it is �brain circulation.� It is without doubt, good for these countries and it is good for the world. But this is America�s loss: innovation that would otherwise be happening here is going abroad. Without realizing it, we are exporting our prosperity and strengthening our competitors.

    There are no hard data available on how many skilled immigrants have already left the U.S. My estimate is that 150,000 have returned to India and China, each, over the past two decades. The trend has accelerated dramatically over the past five years; tens of thousands are now returning home every year. Most authorities agree with these estimates. For example, the Chinese Ministry of Education estimates that the number of overseas Chinese who returned to China in 2009 having received a foreign education reached 108,000: a sharp increase of 56.2% over the previous year. In 2010, this number reached an all-time high of 134,800 (a significant proportion studied in the U.S.).

    Why is this important? Because, as research conducted by my team at Duke, UC-Berkeley, Harvard, and New York University has shown, 52.4% of all startups in Silicon Valley, from 1995 to 2005, were founded by immigrants. With all these immigrants leaving, and the next generation of foreign-born entrepreneurs trapped in �immigration limbo,� we won�t have as many immigrant founded startups in the future. The xenophobes who are lobbying against skilled immigration will cheer; but there won�t be more jobs for Americans; just less startups in the U.S. and more abroad. The U.S. pie will be smaller.

    My team researched the backgrounds of immigrant founders, and the U.S. immigration backlog. We learned that the majority came to the U.S. as students; 74% held graduate or post graduate degrees, of which 75% were in science, engineering, technology, or mathematics. On average, immigrants started their ventures 13 years after entering the U.S.

    During the last twenty years, we admitted record numbers of international students and highly educated foreign workers on temporary visas. But we never expanded the number of permanent resident visas that allow them to stay permanently. The result is that we have a backlog of more than one million skilled workers�doctors, scientists, researchers, and engineers, who are trapped in immigration limbo. They are working for the same companies and doing the same jobs as when they filed their paperwork for gaining permanent residence; this may have been 10-15 years ago. A foreign student who graduates with a masters or PhD in engineering from Duke or Stanford and joins the queue today will have to wait 10-20 years, perhaps longer, to gain permanent residence. They can�t start companies or progress their careers during the most productive period in their lives. Why would anyone put up with that?

    Indeed, a survey we conducted of 1,224 foreign nationals who were studying at U.S. universities in 2009, or who had just graduated, revealed that they believed that the U.S. was no longer the destination of choice for professional careers. Most did not want to stay for very long. Fifty eight percent of Indian, 54% of Chinese, and 40% of European students said that they would stay in the U.S. for at least a few years after graduation if given the chance, but only 6% of Indian, 10% of Chinese, and 15% of European students said they want to stay permanently. The largest group of respondents� 55% of Indian, 40% of Chinese, and 30% of European students�wanted to return home within five years. This is very different than what used to be the norm in previous decades: the vast majority of Indians and Chinese stayed permanently.

    Our surveys, in 2008, of 1,203 Indian and Chinese immigrants who had worked in or received their education in the U.S. and returned to their home countries revealed that although restrictive immigration policies had caused some returnees to depart, the most significant factors in the decision to return home were career opportunities, family ties, and quality of life. The move home also served as a career catalyst. For example, only 10% of the Indian returnees held senior management positions in the U.S., but 44% found jobs at this level in India. Chinese returnees went from 9% in senior management in the U.S. to 36% in China. The vast majority thought that quality of life, professional advancement, and family ties were at least as good at home as in the U.S.

    The majority of the people we surveyed said they planned to start a business within five years. When we published our research, many experts said that this is where returnees would face the greatest frustration�that the weak infrastructure in India; authoritarianism in China; and corruption and red tape and lack of funding in both countries would be a severe handicap. In other words, when it came to competition from startups in India and China, the U.S. had nothing to worry about.

    So, last September, we initiated a project to learn how the entrepreneurship landscape in India and China compares to the U.S. We wanted to learn why these entrepreneurs returned, what their perceptions of the entrepreneurial climate in their home countries were, what the advantages and disadvantages of working in India and China were over working in the U.S., and what types of ties they maintained to the U.S.

    We were really surprised at what we learned. In the next installment, I�ll discuss our findings.



    Standing Up for Guest Workers (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/02/opinion/02mon3.html) New York Times Editorial



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