Tuesday, July 5, 2011

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  • chanduv23
    04-13 03:03 PM
    ok..never mind..I called the officer and informed that I don't have any such information and since it was taken over by a different company, I am not in a position to get it..so Officer seemed satisified but asked few other related questions..and it is good for now..

    sigh..
    Dear friend - looks like ur sugar levels are going up and down - hang in there. I think you will be fine. Thanks for sharing your experiences with people here.





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  • nogc_noproblem
    08-06 11:56 AM
    A cardiologist died and was given an elaborate funeral.

    A huge heart covered in flowers stood behind the casket during the service. Following the eulogy, the heart opened, and the casket rolled inside. The heart then closed, sealing the doctor in the beautiful heart forever.

    At that point, one of the mourners burst into laughter. When confronted, he said, "I'm sorry, I was just thinking of my own funeral. You see I'm a gynecologist."

    At that point, the proctologist fainted.





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  • Macaca
    05-20 06:21 PM
    Diplomatically Insulting the Chinese (http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/diplomatically-insulting-the-chinese-5329) By Ted Galen Carpenter | The National Interest

    May 2011 is likely to go down as an especially important and intensive period in U.S.-China relations. Leaders of the two countries held the latest annual session of the bilateral Strategic and Economic Dialogue on May 9-10. And this week, eight high-ranking Chinese generals, led by Chen Bingde, chief of the general staff of the People�s Liberation Army, will meet their Pentagon counterparts and then tour selected U.S. military installations.

    The conventional wisdom is that these events mark a dramatic improvement in a relationship that has been marked by growing tensions in recent years. That interpretation is partially correct, but there are some worrisome countercurrents that are also important. Despite the improving communication between the two sides, U.S.-China relations remain strained, and there are troublesome issues that will not be easy to ameliorate, much less resolve.

    The opening day of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue illustrated both positive and negative trends. On the positive side, the Chinese delegation for the first time included high-level officers of the PLA. Their absence from those meetings in previous years left a noticeable void in the discussions, especially on such crucial issues as nuclear weapons policy and the military uses of space. American officials also viewed the lack of a military contingent in the Chinese delegation as tangible evidence of the PLA�s continuing wariness, if not outright hostility, toward the United States. The presence of those leaders in the latest dialogue was an indication that the cold war that had developed between the PLA and the Pentagon since the collision between a U.S. spy plane and a Chinese jet fighter in 2001 was finally beginning to thaw.

    On the other hand, the opening remarks of Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and other U.S. officials struck a confrontational tone. They expressed sharp criticism of Beijing�s recent arrests of activists and artists following the pro-democracy uprisings in the Middle East. More broadly, Clinton stated that �We have made very clear, publicly and privately, our concern about human rights.� In an interview in The Atlantic, released during the talks, Clinton was even more caustic, accusing China�s leaders of trying �to stop history,� which she described as �a fool�s errand.�

    It was not surprising that the U.S. delegation would raise the human rights issue in the course of the dialogue. But it was not the most constructive and astute diplomacy to highlight during the opening session perhaps the most contentious topic on the agenda. A senior administration official later stated that the discussions on human rights were �very candid,� which was probably an understatement.

    The broader context of the opening session was not overly friendly either. While that session was taking place, President Obama conducted a lengthy telephone conversation with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The White House issued a bland statement that the two leaders discussed matters of bilateral and international concern, including the killing of Osama Bin Laden, but the underlying message to the Chinese was anything but subtle. The timing especially sent a signal to PRC leaders that in addition to Washington�s strategic links with its traditional allies in China�s neighborhood (especially Japan), the United States had key options available regarding the other rising regional giant�and Chinese strategic competitor�India. As in the case of the lectures on human rights, highlighting U.S.-India ties at that moment did not help ease bilateral tensions with Beijing.

    Even when U.S. officials ostensibly sought to be conciliatory, the attempt often came across as self-serving and borderline condescending. Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner, for example, praised some �very promising changes� in Beijing�s economic policy that had taken place during the previous year, especially on the currency valuation issue. But there were few offers of economic carrots from the U.S. side. The emphasis was always on the concessions Washington expected from Beijing.

    The closed-door meetings appeared to be more constructive than the public session, as the participants reached agreement on a number of measures, both minor and significant. In the former category was the announcement of Beijing�s decision to offer twenty thousand scholarships to American students for study in China. In the latter category was a two-pronged agreement, which included both a commitment to conduct regular talks (dubbed �Strategic Security Dialogues�) regarding security problems in East Asia and a �framework for economic cooperation� to address the full range of occasionally contentious bilateral economic and financial issues. In addition, Beijing made commitments to increase the transparency of China�s economy, especially the government�s use of export credits.

    Progress on security and economic topics was gratifying and holds considerable potential. But whether the outcome deserves the label �milestone agreement,� as officials contended, remains to be seen. The significance of the accord depends heavily on the subsequent execution, especially on the Chinese side. Nevertheless, the dialogue clearly ended on a high note, and one that was better than anticipated following the U.S. delegation�s brusque comments at the opening session.

    Expectations regarding the visit of General Chen and his PLA colleagues are also upbeat. The visit itself is a significant breakthrough. Military-to-military relations have been tense and episodic for years. The most recent disruption occurred in early 2010 when Beijing angrily severed those ties following the Obama administration�s announcement of a multi-billion-dollar arms sale to Taiwan.

    Despite the cordial rhetoric accompanying this trip (and the full military honors accorded Chen during a ceremony at Fort Myer), the visit has far more symbolic than substantive importance. The U.S. and Chinese militaries are not about to become best friends. The best that can realistically be expected would be measures to improve communications between forces deployed in the air and on the sea in the Western Pacific region to reduce the danger of accidents or miscalculations. Any breakthrough on larger strategic disagreements will have to be reached between officials at higher pay grades than even General Chen and his American counterparts.

    The change in tone in the U.S.-China relationship is welcome, since better cooperation on both economic and strategic issues is important. Trends on both fronts over the past several years have been worrisome. A failure to cooperate on economic matters not only jeopardizes both the U.S. and Chinese economies, it also poses a threat to the global economic recovery. Animosity on security topics creates dangerous tensions in East Asia and undermines progress on such issues as preventing nuclear proliferation.

    Nevertheless, while China and the United States have significant interests in common, they also have some clashing concerns in both the economic and strategic arenas. There are bound to be tensions between the United States, the incumbent global economic leader and strategic hegemon, and China, the rapidly rising economic and military power. The critical task for leaders in both countries is to manage those tensions and to keep them under control.

    The political and diplomatic dance between such great powers is inevitably a wary, delicate one. But the alternative would be the kind of outright hostility that marked the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union, and that would be to no one�s benefit.



    China must stop being so secretive about its military rise (http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/peterfoster/100088783/china-must-stop-being-so-secretive-about-its-military-rise/) By Peter Foster | Telegraph
    Stealth has the smell of success (http://atimes.com/atimes/China/ME20Ad03.html) By Carlo Kopp | Asia Times
    A Rare-Earths Showdown Looms
    WTO litigation over China's export limits is inevitable unless Beijing comes to its senses. (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703509104576331010793763864.html)
    By JAMES BACCHUS | Wall Street Journal
    Chinese interests in Pacific nations: mining ventures in PNG (http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2011/05/19/chinese-interests-in-pacific-nations-mining-ventures-in-png/) By Graeme Smith | UTS and ANU
    China-risers should pause for breath (http://atimes.com/atimes/China/ME20Ad01.html) By Tom Engelhardt | Asia Times
    How China Gains from Fukushima (http://the-diplomat.com/2011/05/20/how-china-gains-from-fukushima/) By Saurav Jha | The Diplomat





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  • Macaca
    12-29 07:42 PM
    What India Inc. Was Up To in 2010 (http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2010/12/29/what-india-inc-was-up-to-in-2010/) By Tripti Lahiri | IndiaRealTime

    We looked back at almost a year of India Real Time blog posts on business and the economy and here, summed up in five points, are the highs, lows and key things to take away from all the court judgments, reports, numbers and other data that the Indian economy and India Inc. generated this year.

    The Ambani fraternal feud ended, sort of. A Supreme Court judgment in May said a gas price set by the government would prevail over one in an agreement between Mukesh Ambani and younger brother Anil Ambani, ending the long-running legal dispute between the two over at what price Mukesh should sell gas to his younger brother.

    Years on from their father�s death in 2002, and after an acrimonious split of the Ambani business empire in 2005, things seem to be easing between the two. This year the two brother scrapped a noncompete agreement. That move allows firms from each brother�s empire to work in areas that the other brother is already involved in.

    Car sales, viewed as an indicator of overall economic health, chugged along. Even though upgrades to meet new fuel emissions rules made cars more expensive and rate increases made loans more expensive, cars sold like crazy, according to sales figures released each month. Although small, compact cars continue to be India�s top preference, SUVs made a lot of headway in India this year, to the distress of India�s environment minister, Jairam Ramesh.

    Speaking of Jairam Ramesh, the environment minister has been very energetic, to industry�s distress. Mr. Ramesh was quick to act on a panel report that said the India-focused metals firm Vedanta had violated provisions of India�s forest rights law. He halted the company�s bauxite mining plans in Orissa. The Lavasa hill town project in Maharashtra also got a stop-work order from the environment ministry in the wake of complaints from a nonprofit.

    Mr. Ramesh is now debating whether or not to put the green hex on the already vexed Korean steelmaker Posco, which has been trying to bring plans to build a steel plant in Orissa to fruition for five years. What he does�a decision is expected early in the new year�on the steel plant will could help show industry whether Vedanta was a one-off or whether Mr. Ramesh means to continue as he has begun.

    RBI Governor Duvvuri Subbarao is watching inflation like a hawk. It�s true the central bank governor, who likes to crack a joke or two and quotes Chinese leaders from time to time, didn�t raise rates at the last monetary policy review two weeks ago. (He had said in November that the Reserve Bank of India wasn�t likely to do so for about three months.)

    However, inflation has been a key concern all year and the Indian bank has been fairly aggressive about tightening. With a goal of bringing the headline inflation rate, which was 7.48% in November, down by 2 percentage points by March, expect Mr. Subbaro to resume a tight hold of the reins.

    Indian women have a really hard time juggling family and work, and that�s probably not good for the economy. It�s pretty clear that Indian women aren�t shy about leading�a woman runs the ruling party and another woman heads India�s top private bank. More women are CEOs of top companies here than of Fortune 500 companies. But several reports and conferences over the year have said that India needs to do more to take advantage of educated women it has, particularly as firms in the formal sector complain of a shortage (as a country of a billion people, there�s no unskilled labor shortage though).

    Many of them agreed that Indian women face extremely high pressure on the family front, even compared to women in other emerging economies, and that it can be quite hard for them stick with positions and climb up the ladder as a result.


    India Raises Renewable Energy Target Fourfold (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203513204576048870791325278.html) By ERIC YEP | IndiaRealTime



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  • pitha
    04-09 12:42 PM
    Absolutely correct. When a company hires someone they are not just thinking about QA, junior programer etc they are thinking about the growth potential of that individual. You dont even need a seconday school certificate to do a QA job, but if the company is any good they will try to access your skills beyond the immediate required position and see how you might grow and be an asset to the company.

    I am sorry to hear this sense of mediocrity that you want to perpetuate - maybe, I made a mistake by preaching to the wrong set of folks. The person I want to hire for a particular position should be smart enough to move to other positions (if the original position were to go away or if his/her career plans were to change). The last thing I want is to hire a person whose skills are not transferrable to a different job position.

    I have myself moved from development to management to business and all because I believe I have the base skills to be an effective, valuable employee (and alas, every time I have done the change, my GC has been re-applied).

    In a competitive world, you are better off hiring the best talent - just pay close attention to the kind of folks McKenzie/BCG hires.





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  • nogc_noproblem
    08-08 11:46 PM
    Good one!!!

    I thought the first blonde joke was really very funny - Helloooooooo :)



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  • waitnwatch
    08-05 03:13 PM
    It is not the Law. It is just a guidance provide in one 2000 Memo by a USCIS director.

    Wondering whether the post bachelor 5 year experience for EB2 was also a memo. If so when was that memo written - before or after the Yates 2000 memo?





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  • thepaew
    09-29 04:58 PM
    I am an Electrical Engineer by training and I manage and lead an R&D group at an American semiconductor company. We design computer-chips that enable about 50% of the world's cellular phones.

    I will definitely be moving out of the US when the Dems get elected as I do not think that they are capable of making the politically tough but necessary decisions on immigration. They are beholden to too many populist groups and will make the immigration issue a class-based fight. I've had enough of paying taxes, creating $$ & jobs for US-based companies - I've been waiting since 1999.

    I am of course thankful to the US taxpayer who has paid for my graduate school tuition and board, to the US-companies that have given me opportunities that are equal to native-born Americans, and to my American friends for their friendship and hospitality. But prudence demands that I hedge my bets and I will have to relocate to friendlier shores.

    Thought I'd share my experience. Good Luck to All.

    By the next Presidential Election I will have mostly gotten my green card. I know I won't be eligible to vote then, but I will still be eligible to donate to the election campaigns. I have decided right now that whatever may happen I will donate to that party which makes my journey to the green card easier and faster.

    I also have a plan B if I don't get my green card in next 24 months. I am a chemical engineer by education and profession with a US graduate degree in chemical engineering and more than 7 years of work experience in a premium organization in the oil, gas & chemicals industry. Everyone is more than aware how good the oil, gas & chemicals industry is doing worldwide. I very well know that I am a hot commodity in the job market in the whole world. Those who have traveled on Singapore Airlines must have seen advertisements in the Singapore airport displaying that oil and gas is their largest (next to Singapore Airlines) revenue making industry and they need qualified and experienced personnel. Job advertisements in the airport? Wow! Think why Alberta is the hottest place these days. I got an invitation from Canadian Government to apply for Canadian green card, citing my occupation. Australian Government has declared Chemical Engineering as the occupation with the highest demand in Australia due to their conventional mining and metals business and now the newly found gas reserves in north and west parts of that continent. This is my plan B. I have already secured an Australian Permanent Residency and that too in 6 months time. Hats off to the highly efficient immigration department of the Australian Government. In addition I already have 3 job offers there - one each in Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth.

    I have 2 burning innovative ideas in my mind - one related to biogas and carbon credits and the other related to water desalination. I have kept both of them on hold right now until I get the US green card. I know I will work on them but not sure which country gets the benefit - USA or Australia.

    Then why am I sticking around here in the US? 1. I have a US graduate degree, 2. Both my daughters are born here and are US citizens and 3. I can't deny that I have started to put down my roots here. 24 more months and will not hesitate to quit USA and settle in Australia. It will be tough, but can't help it being forced to do it.

    P.S. Two of my friends with similar background as mine, have left for Australia for good in August this year. They have settled in Sydney. Another acquaintance with occupation related to oil & gas, has migrated to Perth.



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  • Legal
    08-05 09:00 PM
    I enjoyed both the original and follow-up. By the time, the lion gets the GC, he might have forgot he was a lion, and even after getting GC, he will continue to act like monkey.

    the Lion on the monkey visa finding out another Indian (very, very aggravating factor:p) lion in next cage actually on lion visa and not on a monkey visa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! phew! !!!!!!!!!!!! what a heartburn! threatening law suits, opening a new thread in IV. Generally threatening to bring down the zoo::D





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  • Refugee_New
    01-07 09:27 AM
    Those who said, Hamas was hiding inside school and firing rockets, go check the fact in CNN.

    U.N. 'sure' no militants at school hit by Israeli troops

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/01/07/israel.gaza.school/index.html

    Human sheild, hiding in hospital, hiding in mosques, hiding in school - All are big lie and bullshit. Just to justify the killing of innocent lives.



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  • Macaca
    05-27 05:56 PM
    U.S. Must Adapt to China's New Patterns of Growth ( | World Politics Review) By IAIN MILLS | World Politics Review

    The global financial crisis catapulted China into a position of international economic leadership a decade earlier than Beijing's strategists had intended. That significantly increased the urgency of rebalancing the Chinese economy away from the low-quality, export model toward higher-value, domestically driven growth.

    One consequence has been new and accelerated patterns of Chinese trade and investment abroad. For the United States, China's largest economic partner, the implications of this new multidirectionalism are significant. But with recent figures showing that bilateral investment between the two countries is contracting, the U.S. must adapt its approach to this issue to ensure it benefits from the forthcoming chapter in China's domestic growth story.

    American investment and consumption were the two key drivers of China's economy in its early reform years. By the time the global financial crisis struck, China had amassed $2 trillion of foreign exchange reserves, and it has added another trillion since. The U.S. economy benefitted from cheap, inflation-suppressing Chinese goods, while China's absorption of American debt was a key facilitator of the pre-2008 credit bubble.

    Beijing seemed content to watch the coffers swell, while largely ignoring the need to rebalance the Chinese economy and devise strategies for making use of its mounting foreign exchange reserves. But the post-crisis collapse of investment and demand from developed economies has forced China to mobilize newly acquired national wealth to maintain economic momentum.

    China's overseas investment strategy was originally aimed at securing key natural resources. Recently, there has been a growing focus on importing advanced technology and machinery, particularly in "strategic sectors" identified in the 12th Five-Year Plan. International expansion is being led by increasingly cash-rich state-owned enterprises and their affiliates, with sovereign wealth vehicles such as China Investment Corporation and China Development Bank also adopting more active investment strategies.

    But early indicators suggest the U.S. is missing out on the first wave of new Chinese overseas spending. As one recent report on the subject notes, "the main event in 2010 was a flood of [Chinese] money into the Western Hemisphere outside the U.S., led by Brazil but also featuring Canada, Argentina and Ecuador." Last year, China's total nonfinancial outbound direct investment (ODI) jumped 38 percent, to $60 billion, even as Chinese ODI to the U.S. contracted slightly, to just less than $6 billion. Inversely, April's foreign direct investment (FDI) into China was up by more than 15 percent on the year, but American FDI dropped 28 percent.

    For China, the benefits of reducing asymmetric interdependence with the U.S. economy are clear, but it is less apparent whether the U.S. can currently afford to miss out on the huge opportunities presented by China's continued domestic growth and rapidly increasing overseas spending. Therefore, while the yuan remains a critical issue in bilateral relations, reaching consensus on the scale and scope of bilateral nonfinancial investment is an equally significant emerging topic. And although a series of diplomatic disputes in 2010 may have been partly to blame for depressed Chinese investment, the institutional arrangements of U.S.-China relations have generally failed to keep pace with China's rapid economic ascent.

    Nowhere is this clearer than in bilateral investment agreements.

    China is keen to expand its investments in the U.S. agricultural, natural resource, advanced manufacturing and financial sectors. But political resistance in the U.S. is high, and sources in Beijing claim that Washington is giving mixed signals over how welcome Chinese investment is. Chinese officials are seeking a list of acceptable investment areas from Washington and seem frustrated by the complex institutional arrangements of the U.S. political economy. Meanwhile, American officials have expressed concern about the security implications of Chinese capital, and a general lack of transparency on the Chinese side continues to exacerbate these fears.

    Clearly, resolving these issues requires action from both sides. Washington must accept Chinese overseas investment as an economic reality going forward and design a strategy capable of deploying it in support of the national interest. The politicization of the yuan has damaged Washington's credibility in Beijing; avoiding a similar degeneration of legitimate debate on investment parameters must be a strategic priority. Washington should consider mechanisms for targeting Chinese capital in areas where it is needed most, such as urban real estate development and manufacturing. These need not amount to a centrally imposed directory, as produced annually by Beijing, but rather a semi-formal consensus that provides some kind of consistent framework for prospective Chinese investors.

    Washington could also learn from the European Union's approach, which tends to maintain a greater distinction between ideological and economic policy differences with Beijing. Although the EU has the luxury of leaving political criticism to national governments, Brussels has been more low-key and consistent in discussions with Beijing on potentially inflammatory economic issues such as the yuan and China's "market economy" status. As a result, financial and nonfinancial economic integration between the two has increased substantially since 2008.

    For its part, China must accept that poor standards of domestic corporate governance remain a major barrier to future economic development at home and abroad. The credibility of Chinese companies is undermined by opaque ownership structures and a general lack of transparency regarding strategic and commercial intentions. Notably, over the past five years, there has been a direct correlation between total Chinese investment in a given country and the volume of failed deals, regardless of the developmental level of the host nation. Moreover, foreign investment in China remains heavily regulated. Beijing must accept greater liberalization at home before it can push the issue too far with international partners.

    Clearly, China has the responsibility to improve its domestic culture of openness and accountability. Greater and more symmetrical engagement with experienced capitalist nations can hasten this process while providing much-needed capital injections to the latters' ailing economies.

    For the U.S., the central challenge is to formulate more consistent and strategically constructive responses to China's economic rise. That would entail initiating a paradigm shift in Washington -- one that focuses less on "the China threat" and more on how to benefit from new opportunities presented by China's rise.



    GOP sees red over China (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0511/55559.html) By Alexander Burns | Politico
    America And China: Finding Cooperation, Avoiding Conflict? (http://blogs.forbes.com/dougbandow/2011/05/23/america-and-china-finding-cooperation-avoiding-conflict/) By Doug Bandow | Forbes
    Henry Kissinger on China. Or Not.
    Statesman Henry Kissinger takes a cautious view of Beijing's reaction to the Arab Spring, and U.S. relations with the world's rising power. (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703730804576321393783531506.html)
    By BRET STEPHENS | Wall Street Journal
    Kissinger and China (http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/jun/09/kissinger-and-china/) By Jonathan D. Spence | The New York Review of Books
    Henry Kissinger’s On China (http://blogs.cfr.org/asia/2011/05/26/henry-kissinger%E2%80%99s-on-china/) By Elizabeth C. Economy | Council on Foreign Relations
    General Chen’s Assurance Not Entirely Reassuring (http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-skeptics/general-chen%E2%80%99s-assurance-not-entirely-reassuring-5351) By Ted Galen Carpenter | The Skeptics
    Go to China, young scientist (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/go-to-china-young-scientist/2011/05/19/AFCY227G_story.html) By Matthew Stremlau | The Washington Post
    No go
    The Western politician who understands China best tries to explain it—but doesn’t quite succeed (http://www.economist.com/node/18709581)
    The Economist
    Europe Frets Over Trade Deficits With China (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/21/business/economy/21charts.html) By FLOYD NORRIS | New York Times
    China’s Interest in Farmland Makes Brazil Uneasy (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/27/world/americas/27brazil.html) By ALEXEI BARRIONUEVO | The New York Times





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  • NKR
    03-25 02:13 PM
    If you have found a nice house in a good locality and have got a good deal, and if you think that not having GC is the ONLY hurdle, then I suggest you to go ahead and buy the house.

    I am on H1, I could not afford an independent house because of layers I have at work, so about 2 years ago, I went ahead and bought a town-home. I have a small kid now and we are happy. We might go for a bigger house after GC but I have not thought that far ahead.



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  • gcgonewild
    07-28 01:59 PM
    Come the November Elections, Dems could lose 10 in Senate..

    And we are back to square one.

    Dejavu 2007/2008 ;

    If this happens, no bill will pass, leave alone Immigration Reform.

    Republicans will keep sending bills and Obama will Veto 'em.

    I regret the day when Obama became the president, he is just another politician who does not give a damn about EB2,EB3....he is just worried about "re-uniting families" (aka supporter of illegal immigration)





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  • gchopes
    06-24 10:33 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..



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  • singhsa3
    08-05 04:42 PM
    Don't worry guys, this is just a time pass while people are waiting for Nebraska to issue some green cards..;)





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  • Macaca
    05-30 05:44 PM
    What Will It Take for Companies to Unlock Their Cash Hoards? (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303654804576349282770703112.html) By JASON ZWEIG | Wall Street Journal

    There is a cash crisis in corporate America�although it comes not from a shortage of the stuff, but from a surplus.

    In the first quarter, the five companies with the greatest cash hoards�Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Google, Apple and Johnson & Johnson�added $15 billion in cash and marketable securities to their balance sheets. Microsoft alone packed away roughly $9 billion, or $100 million a day. All told, the companies in the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index are sitting on more than $960 billion in cash, a record.

    To be sure, at many companies the cash piling up is at global operations that generate "undistributed foreign earnings" that can't be brought home, under U.S. law, without incurring taxes of up to 35%. But hundreds of billions in cash remain available�and idle.

    Meanwhile, the payout ratio�the proportion of earnings paid out as dividend income to shareholders�fell to 28.9% for the past four quarters. That, says S&P senior index analyst Howard Silverblatt, is the lowest level since 1936. Dividends are going up�Intel, UnitedHealth Group and WellPoint have recently raised them�but cash is still piling up far faster than most industrial giants can possibly find a prudent use for it. Of course, investors themselves might have a better use for the cash, if they could get at it.

    As Daniel Peris, co-manager of the Federated Strategic Value Dividend fund, says, "The likelihood of spending money poorly is increased by having a surplus of it."

    Microsoft's purchase price for the online telecommunications firm Skype, widely criticized as too rich at $8.5 billion, almost precisely matches the amount of cash that Microsoft raked in last quarter. Was that torrent of cash burning a hole in Microsoft's pocket?

    "No way," says Bill Koefoed, general manager of investor relations at Microsoft. "We see this as being a very strategic acquisition."

    The heart of the problem, as the great investor Benjamin Graham pointed out decades ago, is that the best interests of corporate management and outside investors are at odds. That is especially true for giant companies whose growth has been slowing. "The more dubious the company's prospects�the more anxious management is to retain all the cash it can in the business," Graham wrote. "But the stockholders would be well advised to take out all the capital that can be safely spared, because these funds are much more valuable to them if in their own pockets, or invested elsewhere."

    Amnesia is another culprit. In the past, companies paid out vastly more of their profits as dividends, and they should again. "If there were a greater historical sensibility among investors and managers," Mr. Peris says, today's low payouts "would be called out as an abnormal situation that's likely to lead to that money being less well-spent than it otherwise might be."

    Dividends have gotten short shrift in recent years as investors have come to favor companies that instead use cash surpluses to buy back their shares. Meanwhile, with the economic recovery barely out of the sickbed, many companies are reluctant to invest heavily in expansion. Others want to keep cash handy for potential acquisitions. So cash sits idle�even as interest rates, after inflation, are so low that cash often produces negative real returns.

    Benjamin Graham made three simple proposals in 1951 that deserve to be revived.

    First, investors need to realize that a company's cash is a valuable asset, even when interest rates are low; if management won't put it to good use, investors must speak up. As Graham wrote: "When the results on capital are unsatisfactory, it is appropriate for stockholders to�insist that it be returned to stockholders on an equitable basis."

    Second, companies should set formal dividend policies. Rather than paying or raising dividends out of the blue, they should state in advance what proportion of earnings they expect to pay out as cash dividends. If, instead, they plan to use excess cash to buy back shares, they should offer hard evidence that the stock is undervalued.

    Finally, Graham advocated that leading companies should pay out two-thirds of their earnings as dividends. That rate isn't as radical as it might sound, even though it would amount to more than a doubling from today's levels. The dividend payout, as a percentage of total profits, has averaged 52.3% since 1936 and 46% over the past two decades, according to Standard & Poor's.

    If the companies in the S&P 500 raised their payout ratio to 50%, Mr. Silverblatt estimates, that would put an extra $207 billion into investors' pockets�at a time when shareholders' dividend income is taxed at historically low rates.

    "Companies are basically earning more than they've ever made before, but their payouts are nowhere near that high," says Mr. Silverblatt. "They're holding their cash really tight. You can call them Scrooges if you want."


    A Generation of Slackers? Not So Much (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/29/weekinreview/29graduates.html) By CATHERINE RAMPELL | The New York Times
    Made in America: Manufacturing Jobs Are Coming Home (http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Columns/2011/05/26/Made-in-America-Manufacturing-Jobs-Are-Coming-Home.aspx) By Patrick Smith | Fiscal Times



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  • pitha
    10-03 03:55 PM
    To all those people who want Obama to win and are "hoping" that he would do something good for EB folks, I have one question

    Can anyone show one positive deed or statement by Obama regarding EB problems. Note legal immigartns does not mean EB it only means family based according to Obama,Durbin, Kennedy and the democratic clan.

    I am asking this question because I am puzzled at the number of people who want Obama to win in the face his and Durbins hostility towars us. So I am thinking maybe there is a something postive obama did for US (Eb) which I might have missed, so to educate myself can somebody please tell me what Obama did for us.


    The choice between Obama and Mccain is not good and better but between worse and worst, or lesser of the two evils. Mccain might not do anything for us but he might not do anything bad either, with Obama\Dirbin CIR there is only bad and nothing good for EB. I have an open mind can somebody please tell me something good obama said regarding solving EB problems. Everybody knows the venom spewed by Durbin on EB so no need to discuss that part.





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  • SunnySurya
    08-05 03:25 PM
    ....





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  • Ramba
    08-05 03:35 PM
    Wow ! So you are saying that no one qualifies for EB2 after 2004 !

    I kindly disagree.


    I am not saying no one qualified. Most of the Eb3 jobs requirements were modified to EB2 to cut-short the EB3 line. Then, why every employer (particularly in IT) files EB2 LC, than EB3 after 2005? Why does DOL is autiting EB2 requirements for IT/Engineering jobs now?. Before 2004, even if employers requires MS+4 years or BS+8 years DOL approves the LC. Why they don't do now? It is just everyone wants to go for EB2, if they have that qualification.





    unitednations
    03-25 03:13 PM
    Did you not think of the would be immigrants of Indian origin not part of this "system" when you came to this conclusion? I am one such. Think how disadvantaged my position is.

    I hate to say it but that is what collateral damage is...

    I don't discus it much but some people would even want to splinter Eb further. Some people have posted that they want andhra pradesh to be separated. There doesn't seem to be much opposition to h1b for non IT positions. We're all in this together. If one group tries to splinter then it will cause an equal or greater response from people who think they will be harmed.

    Right now: ROW doesn't say much because in eb2 the dates are current and in eb3 it is manageable. However; if they get harmed due to the lifting of the country quota then there might be further infighting or it gets stopped in its tracks before it can actually go through.





    unitednations
    08-03 08:50 PM
    Do you really think they would send the G-325a to the consulate? Do the consulates keep all the records? For how long? I heard from immigrationportal, somebody said they only send G-325a to the consulate if one applied a visa within one year prior to AOS application. Can anyone confirm this?

    If they send everyone's G-325a form to the consulates, would that result in another backlog? Thanks.


    How come the concern???

    USCIS forms ask questions for a reason right? They ask for the visa number, consulate issued, etc. There are a lot of inter-agency checks. When people are stuck in background check; it is a whole host of things that they check. Most of what they check is confidential and isn't even public; they are more investigative techniques.



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