Wednesday, June 29, 2011

kabul city

images 2011 Kabul City Refugee Camp kabul city. 2011 kabul city 2011.
  • 2011 kabul city 2011.

  • rsdang
    08-22 11:56 AM
    Once Indra Gandhi was invited by queen Elizabeth for a tea party.

    Zail Singh wanted to know why he would not be taken to the ocassion by indra gandhi. Indra said that he did not have any table ettiqquette but she would train him for it. After six months of rigourous training, they went to the party.

    After tea the queen kept her cup upside down while indra kept it the right way. Giani was utterly confused and so he kept his cup laying on its side. After the party indra wanted to know why he had kept his cup that way.

    He asked the reason for her keeping the cup the right way and the queen keeping it upside down. She said"i wanted more tea and the queen didn't.

    Why did you keep the cup on its side? Giani thought for a moment and said "my message was - agar chai hai to de do nai to koi gal nahin."

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  • Interior of new Kabul City

  • unseenguy
    06-26 05:26 PM
    Here is my strategy:

    Keep an eye on the interest rates, if they are going to cross, 6.5% lock them in immediately and monitor for 90 days.

    1) Wait for home prices to fall further or not increase (After the economic stimulus timeline has passed), sales may slump again
    2) Use this time to stay in a modest short term apartment/condo/townhome and save 1500 a month to build a large downpayment when you get GC.
    3) Use large downpayment to lower your monthly payment.
    4) use lowered monthly payments to make additional payments towards your principal thus further reducing the payments on mortgage interest.

    Hence in 2-3 years you can go for a bigger house with lower mortgage and quicker payoff since prices are not rising now.

    kabul city. Kabul, city of contrasts
  • Kabul, city of contrasts

  • Macaca
    12-23 11:04 AM
    'D' in Democrats means Do-Nothing ( BUSH, REPUBLICANS GET THEIR WAY ON MOST ISSUES DESPITE VOTERS' MANDATE TO CHANGE DIRECTION Mercury News Editorial, 12/23/2007

    When the Democrats won control of Congress a year ago, they promised bold new leadership. Things would change, they said. They had a mandate.

    But they didn't have the votes to stand up to veto threats by Bush and filibusters by Senate Republicans. They didn't have the bold new leadership, either. A year later, Congress is lamer than the lame-duck president.

    On the Democrats' No. 1 issue, the war in Iraq, it's been a year of defeat and surrender. They were going to "bring the troops home." Instead, President Bush sent more troops to Iraq. The "surge," coupled with a new counter-insurgency strategy, has led to a sharp decline in military and civilian deaths. All attempts to link war funding to a withdrawal timetable fizzled. Giving up completely, Congress passed $70 billion in no-strings war funding before the Christmas recess.

    Democratic leaders blame their impotence on Bush's obstinacy. Bush didn't compromise. He didn't have to.

    Democrats talked about limiting the excesses of the Patriot Act, banning cruel CIA interrogation tactics and closing the Guant�namo Bay internment camp. Didn't happen.

    Instead, Congress authorized warrantless surveillance for six months by passing the Protect America Act before the August recess. Democrats were forced to push discussion on making the surveillance rules permanent into January. Bush will likely win this one, too.

    After months of wrangling, Congress approved an omnibus budget bill that gave Bush the spending levels he wanted.

    Promising fiscal discipline, the Democrats vowed to pay for any tax cuts with tax increases elsewhere or spending cuts. That "pay as you go pledge" was put aside to pass a popular bill protecting 23 million middle- and upper-middle-class taxpayers from paying $2,000 extra under the alternative minimum tax. Since the tax was originally designed to prevent the super-rich from using tax shelters, conservative Democrats tried to close tax shelters used by super-rich hedge-fund managers to cover the $50 million revenue loss. They lost.

    Congress made baby steps toward fiscal discipline by trimming "earmarks" for pet projects by 25 percent from 2006, estimates Taxpayers for Common Sense. But legislators OK'd more than $15 billion for more than 11,000 pork-barrel projects.

    President Bush didn't win them all: Social Security reform went nowhere, reauthorization of No Child Left Behind was postponed to 2008 and he couldn't rally enough Republicans to pass a complex and controversial immigration bill.

    But this wasn't supposed to be his year. The triumphant Democrats made big promises a year ago, but delivered modest results. Democrats increased the minimum wage, enacted the Sept. 11 commission's recommendations into law and expanded student loans.

    Most notable was the energy bill, which included the first increase in fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks in 32 years.

    However, Democrats dropped plans to repeal tax breaks for oil companies and require more use of alternative energy. Bush insisted. Congress caved.

    On other issues, Congress acted and Bush vetoed. Congress expanded health insurance for children and approved federal funding for stem cell research, but couldn't overcome Bush's "no" vote.

    Stymied repeatedly, Congress saw its approval ratings fall to record lows. When you're less popular than George W. Bush, you're pretty darned unpopular.

    "I don't approve of Congress, because we haven't . . . been effective in ending the war in Iraq," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco told reporters in response to the polls. "And if you asked me in a phone call, as ardent a Democrat as I am, I would disapprove of Congress as well."

    2008 will be a year of partisan politics. No doubt Republicans will run against the do-nothing Congress. That could backfire. Democrats will tell voters that if they want Democratic policies - and most people tell pollsters they do - they need to put a Democrat in the White House in 2008.

    For the next 11 months we can expect more of the same from the lame duck and lamer Congress.

    2011 Interior of new Kabul City kabul city. The Kabul City Center Mall
  • The Kabul City Center Mall

  • delax
    07-13 01:27 PM
    I like that splitting the overflow across EB2-EB3 idea. That does make it a lot more fair to a lot of people. Its not right that people with 2001 PD still dont have an approval (I have a 2006 PD, but have been here for ~8 years, so I know how frustrating it is to wait so long on temporary status)

    At the outset, I am not against EB3, but lets think about this for a moment. Any logic that we use to break up spillover between EB2 and EB3 can also easily be applied to EB1 and EB2. I'll repeat an earlier post of mine. "How can EB1 of 2008 get the GC immediately when EB2-I (in my case) has to wait for more than 4 years - clearly preference is at play here".

    Any split will artificially retrogress EB2 more than what it otherwise would have. Similarly one can always argue to artificially retrogress EB1 to give more visas to EB2 just because someone from EB2 is waiting for 4 years.
    Isnt that against the law. Any break up of spill over visas invalidates the category preference as per current law.

    Please also note that any unfavorable change to the EB1 category based on a hypothetical approval of an EB2/EB3 break up will invite the attention of Fortune 500 companies and prestigious research/educational institutions (who use EB1 the most) with all their political and financial resources at their disposal. That could put a halt to everything.

    Irrational passion calls for dispassionate rationality.


    kabul city. Kabul City Centre
  • Kabul City Centre

  • SunnySurya
    08-05 09:17 AM
    If you find enough people and have solid plan in place, I am willing to pay anywhere between $500 to $1000 towards the lawyer's fees....
    I need to find out how many people are interested in pursuing this option, since the whole interfiling/PD porting business (based on a year 2000 memo) can seriously undermine the EB2 category.

    I am currently pursuing some initial draft plans with some legal representation, so that a sweeping case may be filed to end this unfair practice. We need to plug this EB3-to-EB2 loophole, if there is any chance to be had for filers who have originally been EB2.

    More than any other initiative, the removal of just this one unfair provision will greatly aid all original EB2 filers. Else, it can be clearly deduced that the massively backlogged EB3 filers will flock over to EB2 and backlog it by 8 years or more.

    I also want to make this issue an action item for all EB2 folks volunteering for IV activities.


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  • Kabul City Police received

  • nojoke
    04-06 04:50 AM

    I am also looking for buying house in new jersey and as you mentioned all good places with good schools have hardly any effect from recession and housing down turn. But any way if you have to buy a house for long term then no point in waiting. The only thing bad times do to good places is value doesn't increase like it does in good times. Any suggestions on areas in New Jersey with good school and affordable (I mean something in 350-450k)? I know some very good areas where worst looking house starts at 700k which is out of scope.


    I hope this is not a joke. You have any idea what kind of downturn we will be facing? Why did Fed jump in to bail out Bear Stearns against all the criticism? What they did is considered illegal by many. But still they did it anyway. Because the Government is very afraid of this shaky economy. We were just few steps away from bank runs.
    My friend bought house in Atlanta and within 3 months the builder sold the same model houses for 100k less. We are going to see a 30% to 50% reduction depending on the area.
    People who wanted to convince themselves said it will not happen in california. As things started unfolding, they said it will not happen in Bay area. Then they said it will not happen in San Jose and Santa Clara. Now they are saying not in their block.
    If you still think a good school will protect your house price, go ahead and catch the falling knife. To give you some idea of what people here are thinking -------------
    “Sinclair: ‘But the prices kept going up. At one time, our house was worth over $600,000. In fact, a model just like this they were asking $699,000 — and now things have entirely collapsed.”

    “A similar house down the street is already in foreclosure and the bank is entertaining offers for under $200,000.”

    “The Sinclairs stopped paying their mortgage in October when the payment jumped from $3,000 a month to $4,000. Now they’re basically squatting in their own home, living there for free. Sinclair: ‘We had to start making some hard choices, which included going into foreclosure on our house and kind of starting again.’”

    “Sinclair: ‘We would do it if the equity was there, but in a case where we’re already so behind… Imagine that for five years, say, we’re gonna pay four grand a month and then we’re just gonna be back up at what we bought the house for. We feel like we’re throwing away money.’”

    They are just walking away from their house because they see that their house value is going down. This all will feedback and cause further decline in the prices. Don't think that the prices will be back in 5 years. For someone who bought a house in 1989, it took 8 years to 9 years to get back to their purchase price. This time it will be worse.

    Guys, people are talking about Depression and you guys want to buy house in a good school district. These FB(search google what it means), are waiting for some greater fool than themselves to unload their burden. This is why you will be called "greater fool"
    If you want to loose your 200K in 2 years, go ahead. It is your money. Don't tell that you weren't warned, like all these mortgage companies and banks who are now saying - "who would have thought it would get this worse".

    Land is plentiful in california and NJ. There are building restrictions artificially imposed to keep the prices high. But this is past. No realtors are saying "we are not making any more land" these days. I have been following the housing blogs and they are laughing at Indians who are buying here in Bay area. Do some research before spewing the realtor propaganda and don't compare situation in India with US. Sorry for the rant. I am doing this with good intention to save atleast some of you guys.


    kabul city. Kabul City Center Mall
  • Kabul City Center Mall

  • sledge_hammer
    03-24 04:11 PM
    >>>>Why don't you give me the proof that ALL consulting companies are not complying.
    The fact that most of the companies that USCIS is coming after are desi consulting companies proves that MOST desi comapanies are corrupt. There you have your proof.

    And I have not seenn any non-desi company use the "bench". Since you support your desi company, tell me how many non desi consulting companies don't pay their employees on bench?

    Answer the above question before calling me ignorant.

    P.S: And when did I say that non desi consulting companies don't have to comply with USCIS rules???

    1. Why don't you give me the proof that ALL consulting companies are not complying. You are the one who is making the argument. Do you have any statistics to prove that ? Do you know all the consulting companies in US ? Do you know all the companies that directly hire H1 ? Do you know their compliance statistics ?

    2. Did I say any of these are legal ? If a company applies for H1B, the company has to comply with the requirements of the law. It is that simple. It doesn't matter whether it is a consulting company or a direct placement.

    2010 Kabul, city of contrasts kabul city. 2011 Kabul City Refugee Camp
  • 2011 Kabul City Refugee Camp

  • unitednations
    08-14 09:17 PM
    To United Nation

    I never went out of usa in 7 yrs.My first company did not pay me for the first 3 months because I did not get my ssn no for 3 months so I was not employed.After 3 yrs I joined the cliant company,so he got angry and did not pay me for 15 days but I have proof of time sheets.He threatned me like suing etc... but he did not do .Now I applied for AOS but I did not sent the W2 paper for that problem period .I have sent my last three years of W2 papers as per Lawyer's request .Will there be a problem for the un paid days.?

    I don't see much of a problem because it was less then 180 days.

    Although uscis sometimes asks for w2's in rfe's; lawyers shouldn't send them in proactively. If you are making too much in future base employment then it can be a problem. if you aren't making enough then it can cause status issues (the smart lawyers would use the w2's, tax returns, not to send them in but to see if there may be a problem in the future and try to remedy the situation now).

    I know at least 25 people in the last month and a half who had status issues with unpaid time and their h-1b visas had expired. All of them went to Canada; stayed one or two days and re-entered and used auto revalidation to reset the 180 day clock.

    I would tell them at high level what they needed to do but everyone is afraid of leaving the country and coming back in without a visa through canada; espeically when all their friends, relatives say not to do so. Depending on what language a person speaks; i would direct them to specific people who had done it so that they could get the most minute detail on how to do it; punjabi; telugu; hindi; gujarati, etc.


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  • throughout Kabul went off

  • Macaca
    12-27 06:59 PM
    India chasing a U.N. chimera ( By K. S. DAKSHINA MURTHY | The Hindu

    In recent years it has become standard practice for the Indian media to ask visiting foreign dignitaries where they stand on New Delhi's claim to a permanent seat in the UNSC. If the answers are in the affirmative, there are smiles all round and the glow is then transmitted to readers or viewers as the case may be.

    Among the Permanent Five in the Council, the United Kingdom has long affirmed support, so have France and Russia. China has remained non-committal. So the United States' stand was deemed crucial. When President Barack Obama, during his recent visit, backed India for a permanent seat, the joy was palpable. The media went to town as if it were just a matter of time before India joined the select group of the World's almighty. The happiness lasted a few days until the first tranche of WikiLeaks punctured the mood somewhat.

    The revelation of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's classified whisper, describing India as a self-appointed front-runner exposed Washington's innermost thoughts on the subject. Though the embarrassing leak was subsequently sought to be played down, it opened the curtain to a larger truth which is that the U.S. and the other four have never really been interested in real reforms to the Security Council.

    Public pronouncements, positive affirmations and slap-on-the-back relationships don't necessarily translate into action on the ground.


    Jakob Silas Lund of the Centre for U.N. Reform Education states a few individuals within the process believe that some of the Permanent Five countries “are more than happy to see reform moving at near-zero-velocity speed”.

    The reforms are open to interpretation. Broadly, they mean democratisation of the Security Council to make it representative and in tune with the contemporary world. This, for some, means more permanent members. The Group of four — India, Brazil, Japan and Germany — has been the most vocal in demanding it be included.

    What is surprising, especially where India is concerned, is the hope and optimism that it is heading towards a permanent seat. In reality, a committee set up by the United Nations 17 years ago to go into reforms shows little signs of progress.

    The first meeting was held in 1994 of the U.N. group, a mouthful, called the “Open-Ended Working Group on the Question of Equitable Representation and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council and Other Matters Related to the Security Council”. Until now, this group has completed four rounds of negotiations, just on preliminaries.

    A brief peek into the past will make it clear that the addition of more veto-wielding permanent members to the Council is a veritable pipe dream. For any amendment to the U.N. charter, two-thirds of the General Assembly needs to acquiesce. This may be possible but the next requirement, that of ratification by the Permanent Five, is the real obstacle.

    Since the formation of the United Nations in 1945, there have been only a handful of meetings of the Security Council to discuss the original charter, and even that, merely to discuss minor amendments. One of some significance came about in 1965 when the membership of temporary, non-veto powered countries in the Council was increased from six to 10 and the number of votes required to pass any decision increased to nine from seven.

    As academic and U.N. commentator Thomas G. Weiss wrote in the Washington Quarterly, “Most governments rhetorically support the mindless call for equity, specifically by increasing membership and eliminating the veto. Yet, no progress has been made on these numerical or procedural changes because absolutely no consensus exists about the exact shape of the Security Council or the elimination of the veto.”

    The argument for a bigger, more representative Council is undoubtedly valid but the issue is who will implement it and how.

    U.S. is the prime mover

    In today's global equation the U.S. is the acknowledged prime mover. It has already had to sweat it out to convince the other four members to go with it on several issues, like the sanctions against Iran. If more countries are allowed to join the Council the difficulties for U.S. interests are obvious, even if those included are vetted for their closeness to Washington.

    Real and effective reforms should have meant democratisation of the Security Council to reflect the aspirations of all its members. Ideally, this should mean removal of permanency and the veto power to be replaced with a rotating membership for all countries, where each one big or small, powerful or weak gets to sit for a fixed term in the hallowed seats of the Council. This is unthinkable within the existing framework of the United Nations. At the heart of the issue is the reluctance of the Permanent Five to give up the prized veto power.

    The situation is paradoxical given that democracy is being touted, pushed and inflicted by the U.S. across the world. But democracy seems to end where the Security Council begins. The rest of the world has no choice but to bow to its decisions. The consequences for defying the Council can be terrifying as was experienced by Saddam Hussein's Iraq through the 1990's. Iran is now on the receiving end for its defiance on the nuclear issue.

    Not just that, the credibility of the Security Council itself took a beating over its inability to prevent the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. Having failed to convince France, Russia and China to vote for invading Iraq, the U.S. went alone. The Council was reduced to a bystander. It failed to fulfil its primary task, that of ensuring security — to Iraq.

    What this also implies is that Council or no Council, in today's unipolar world, the U.S. will go with what it decides and no one can stop it. This has been the case particularly since the end of the Cold War. “With a U.S. global presence as great as that of any empire in history, Security Council efforts to control U.S. actions are beginning to resemble the Roman Senate's efforts to control the emperor,” writes Weiss.

    Instead of trying to clamber onto a patently unfair arrangement it would have made more sense if the four self-appointed front-runners along with the rest of the world had demanded a more equitable and representative Council.

    To achieve this, academic and U.N. expert Erik Voeten suggests pressure tactics to counter veto power. One tactic is for countries en bloc to ignore the decisions taken in the Security Council. Another is for Germany and Japan, which are among the largest contributors to the United Nations, to turn off the tap.

    Despite this, if nothing happens, countries may have no choice but to look for, or at least threaten to float, an alternative U.N.-like organisation whose structure would be more in tandem with the contemporary world. Idealistic, perhaps. But this should force the Permanent Five to sit up and take real notice.

    K.S. Dakshina Murthy was formerly Editor of Al Jazeera based in Doha, Qatar

    hair The Kabul City Center Mall kabul city. Kabul / September 2010
  • Kabul / September 2010

  • mbawa2574
    05-28 08:21 AM
    I think Indian Governernment should report this to WTO. America is creating conditions that are discriminatory and not business friendly. India should start cutting wings of American Companies selling goods in India. IT is our product and in case US people have problems with IT professionals from outside, they don't have any right to sell the goods to my people.


    kabul city. Kabul City.
  • Kabul City.

  • gcisadawg
    12-23 12:52 AM
    Unfortunately the religious muslim leaders dont want the community to get educated, prosper and westernized because than they would loose control..its precisely for this reason that the religious leaders of this community have for centuries scared the followers of the community with gods wrath if they changed. The Muslim religion has to become progressive and moderate.

    Hmm....I'm trying to answer these questions....
    What control a religious Muslim leader has on his followers? Can he prevent them from being educated or prevent one from working after he graduates inspite of his initial control? I've some Muslim friends. I'd be curious to check with them whether their careers got jeopardised by religious or political Muslim leaders?. Can you do me a favor. If you do have Muslim friends, can you check with them?

    I'm thinking in terms of the following..Sometimes I'm naive..Pls. excuse me for that...I haven't mastered the inner workings of Muslim community yet.

    A Muslim guy gets an offer from oracle, IBM and Wipro. He goes to a Mullah/MP to get advice about which to choose? Assuming our Mullah/local MP is knowledgeable, he says "dont do Oracle because it is run by a Jewish guy, dont to IBM since it is a company of great satan. Do Wipro since it is run by a Muslim". :)

    Okay, it is a bit too much. Can the Mullah stop a father from educating his daughter? Agreed, he might have some influence. But if the father is rational/already educated, he would treat that advice as suggestion rather than a firm decision.

    To me, Muslims need to educate their daughters more and more...And Muslim men need to stay away from gulf type jobs and come to US and be backlogged in EB GC so that they can join IV and reply to this thread so that some of the burden on ss1026 is lessened!! :)


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  • Rory Stewart in Kabul

  • HawaldarNaik
    12-29 12:19 AM
    Well comparing India to Israel is not going to be justified at this time cause Israel has had a offensive stance right from its inception whereas India has always been reactive, and in the long run, i beleive that has paid off.

    However at this point we have to make sure our neighbours take corrective action though to be frank, i am not sure they are capable or have the potency of bringing about the changes cause at the ground level all those dangerous elements (some who have gone and taken refuge from India), enjoy not just support from the intelligence and the army but also from some locals and roam around freely

    So in short it is a rogue country, frankly even the super powers are not in control of the situation there some factions are loyal to the superpowers, some to the dangerous elements and some to regional powers, and each one of them is being used by these powers to carry out attacks to various countries around the world...and implment their respective agendas which are contrary to one another.....

    What is the strategy for India

    In the short term i would say 'Our Sardar' (chieftain...i firmly think this time 'The Sardar' is leading from the front...and not being remote controlled by the lady ) is doing the right thing, he is garnering global support (he first tried the super powers and now is in touch with the regional powers also, and has got PC a highly efficient resource to strengthen internal security), at the same time watching the response from our neighbour, who are talking of war but are trying and i am saying trying to bring about some positive change (how much of that is possible i am pretty pessimestic due to reasons specified single control or point of contact).
    In the long term there has to be a solution to the neighbouring country problem either they revamp and reform (after 60 years of being the bad guys...hit men.... for various powers world over), or look at the possiblity of breaking down the wall cause then we can try and clear up the mess......


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  • left: Kabul City, right: Kabul

  • babloo_73
    05-01 11:29 AM
    When in college students used to rag others just because they were ragged when they joined the college. It�s not because they want to, it is just because they went through it. Indian software companies are just like, I worked enough in software industry and I have even been on call 24 hours but the truth is, it was never 12 hours or 10 hours work every day. Yes, occasionally I had 12 hours work which is the same in every industry and I used to get calls in the middle of the night at least once or twice during the night, but its not 10 hours work everyday. We want to impress our boss by working 10 hours, that�s the truth; it�s not that your boss wants.

    Similarly, in India people go to work on Saturday not because they have work but to show their face to their PM. Even if God comes down and says that people in India work 10 hours everyday, I cannot believe it. They might be in office for 10-12 hours but that does not mean they are working. It is the people who should be blamed for this. Yesterday�s programmer or today�s PM, and they expect the programmer to be there in the office for 10 hours just because they went through it. I am an ex TCSer, things worked exactly as I said. It is never going to change. All these talks about stress and coding 10 hours straight come on.....:cool:

    I partly disagree... I had worked in 6 different companies in India and in 3 companies, i had to work for more than 12 hours a day. What you are saying might be true for Maintenance projects, but it is definitely not true for development projects particularly when you working on a tight schedule...

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  • NKR
    12-24 10:58 AM
    but if a muslim rebels in lack of justice and equality�

    Thought I will stay out of this debate, but I couldn�t especially when innocents are getting killed�

    In India, Muslims have their own justice system according to their beliefs. Government sponsors Haj pilgrimage to poor muslims. We treat Taj Mahal as our symbol of love, fair enough.

    Abdul Kalam was the president of India, he is widely respected and all his lectures go full house even now.

    According to forbes, Wipro�s CEO Azim Premji was rated the richest person in the country from 1999 to 2005. He is the richest Muslim enterpreneur of the world. Many Hindus are working in Wipro and are proud of it.

    The three Khans in Bollywood are adored in India, Amir Khan�s Lagaan was India�s official entry for Oscars and now his �Taare Zameen Par� is this year�s official entry. We all will be happy if it wins.

    Azharuddin was the captain of Indian cricket team, though he was associated with match fixing and selling his country�s pride in cricket, he still roams scotfree.

    So where is the lack of justice and equality?. All the above chose to use the system wisely and prospered. They did not chose to lag behind and then rebel against the system.

    Now, If you think whoever is sponsoring terrorism are doing it in Islam�s favor, you are dead wrong, they are doing it so that they can lead a lavish life in their fortified mansions, they continue to sponsor terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering and what not�all at the expense of poor brainwashed people who are mere cannon fodders.

    A poor person from Pakistan comes all over to Mumbai to carry terrorist activities and I do no understand how you can say that he is rebelling against lack of justice and equality in India. For one there is no lack of equality as mentioned above, second, who gave them authorization even if you all think there was one. That is our internal problem for crying out loud.

    Even after showing proof that the captured terrorist was from Pakistan, they are back to their old lying game telling that the person�s name is not in their official records. What next, will they give that person�s dad to India to carry out DNA test?.. hell no, they will ask for DNA sample from India and say it did not match. Seems like the trait of lying and misleading the world is in their DNA.


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  • tattoo of the Kabul City

  • Macaca
    12-28 07:39 PM
    All India Radia ( By Jug Suraiya | Times of India

    Far from subverting democracy lobbyists help to promote it

    Niira Radia should be given the Padma Shrimati next year. As each new tranche of the leaked tapes of Radiagate are made public it becomes increasingly clear that, far from sabotaging India's democracy, the lobbyist was actually furthering its cause.

    Though Radia's method of operation - which reportedly involves large-scale hawala transactions - was often dubious, there is nothing wrong with her broad strategy to influence public policy by inducing media people and other opinion makers to get A Raja the telecom portfolio. That his appointment - at least partly engineered by Radia - led to the 2G scam is another matter.

    Lobbying - or what is often called public advocacy - is a perfectly legitimate, and indeed necessary, component of any democracy. In the US, for example, it is considered to be a high-profile and respectable profession made use of by everyone who would like to have a say in the framing of official policy. New Delhi has often employed US lobbyists to try and influence Washington's policies vis-a-vis Pakistan and Kashmir, among other things. In the US, there are accredited lobbyists for all manner of issues and individuals, from the right to bear arms to candidates for Senate seats.

    If looked at in its broadest sense, what does lobbying boil down to? Nothing more, or less, than trying to get people to see your, or your client's view. All public relations exercises - be they for business interests or causes like animal welfare or AIDS prevention - are examples of lobbying: they are attempts to get the members of the public to change their ways of thought and action in particular spheres of interest or concern.

    Similarly, all forms of advertising - and no media product, including this newspaper, could remain economically viable were it not for advertisements - are lobbying by another name. Advertisements try to persuade you to buy a particular product or service. A successful ad, a lobbying exercise that has worked, is one that makes the maximum amount of money for the advertiser, the client of the lobbyist, in this case the advertising agency. The most successful ads - the ones that have been most persuasive in changing public behaviour and thinking - are annually honoured by receiving awards given by the industry.

    All politics, and not just at election time, is nothing but lobbying in its most blatant form. In a democracy, it is expected of all political parties to shape or transform public policy through competitive lobbying of the electorate via election manifestos and professed agendas. The voter is seduced, persuaded, bribed by all sorts of promised inducements, often in the form of cash subsidies or tax breaks, to support this or that party or candidate. There is the Election Commission to see there is no hanky-panky or rigging at the time of polling. But no Election Commission can compel a political party or candidate to make good on election promises - i.e., bribes in one form or another - once the balloting is over.

    If politics is unadulterated lobbying, and it is, so is the media. All reporters and commentators - in the press, or on TV or radio, even those considered too insignificant to have been approached by Radia - try to shape public opinion, and through that try to influence official policy by having public pressure put on it, according to their own views, opinions and interests, or those of the organisations that employ them.

    Indeed, democracy with all its components - media, market and elective politics - is a vast enterprise in lobbying, a never-ending argument between competing interest groups to change public policy to suit their own ends.

    Radia's only fault was getting caught. But for having forced us, however unwittingly, to take a long hard look at our democracy and what it really means, she needs a commendation. Padma Shrimati? Heck, make her Woman of the Year. She deserves it. Or rather, we deserve her.

    An inconvenient truth ( By Anoop Kohli | Times of India

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  • xyzgc
    12-21 01:40 PM
    The minorities in India for the most part don't want to do anything with extremism. Like the rest of india, they are concerned with making a decent livelihood though there is a somewhat sucessful attempt at painting them all as extremists by the Hindu Right wing.

    The Muslim minority in India is a supporter of Pakistan and its terror actiities. Not for the most part, but a tiny fraction and that is enough to create havoc in the country. We have our internal enemies with external linkages.

    It is not embrassment as they are not part of this crime. It is sad that they are to go out and state their innocence in ways they did. If anyone has helped in the attacks, I say go after them and punish them within the laws of the country. If that means feeding them dal/roti in jail, so be it as long as they get the punishment they deserve.

    I agree with you that they should not be embarassed. They have done nothing wrong but these incidents have also created room for self-introspection. Why is it that the muslims all over the world are projected as trouble-makers? Its high time that muslim intellectuals give this question a proper consideration rather than simply sweep it under the carpet saying that we didn't do all of this/we are being attacked as minorities/it emanates from poverity and lack of education and so on.

    Pakistan is cornered and have to make some real effort to show that they are not trying to fade this incident away from the world's memory. Unfortunately, if they don't take quick and decisive measures, they could self implode. They better realise that it is better to fix their own dilipadated house than trying to destroy the neighbors. Though I am no war monger, for the short term I think a small 10-20 person tactical team can do some damage at precise locations. Tit for tat but with useful results

    Well said, nobody on IV forums will advocate killing innocent Pakistanis. Many will support such precise bombings. We don't want to turn India into another terrorist nation.

    Obviously the issue of internal problems has to be addressed. This is a source on which extremist can tap on. As someone mentioned on this forum, Saif Ali Khan ( who has a hindu mother, hindu ex-wife and hindu GF) cannot get a home in India's most cosmopolitan city. Neither can Javed akhtar ( an avowed atheist) or shabana azmi. One can only imagine what the normal minorities face everyday. And ignoring this as just complaints of an 'ungrateful' muslim populace does not remove the very real discrimination that minorities face in modern India.

    Yes the internal problems must be addressed. I agree with you. I completely condemn the attacks on innocent christians and muslims. Its sad and its embarassing for me despite the fact that I didn't have any role to play in it. But that has to be done without any discriminations.
    Uniform civil code ( must be implemented. Muslim appeasement politics must be stopped by Congress party. We don't want to see any repeats of Shah Bano ( cases. No special Shariat laws for Muslims.
    Hindus must be allowed to procure land in Kashmir, unconditionally. Kashmiri pandits who have lost everything in Kashmir must be reinstated. Article 370 ( must be abolished.

    This is why I keep hoping for a Justice and executive system that address this. Punish the guilty. I have seen people either ignore the issue of Gujarat/orissa or even defend it. If you put your religion/race shades on, then one can ignore/defend such inhumane events. Equal opportunity for employment/housing/schooling is needed just like in USA. Address in an academic way if affirmative action is needed and take the politics out of it. One of the parameters of a strong democracy is the treatment and security of the minorities. India would only be stronger for it and that is my sincere hope. xyzgc -See if you can finally get around to address this

    I would not ignore Gujarat and Orissa as much as I would not ignore Godhra massacre. I agree the guilty be brought to justice and punished.
    Its difficult to do it internally and its more than difficult to do it for our external enemies.
    But it doesn't make your point invalid.


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  • burnt
    04-01 02:24 PM
    Hello burnt
    From my own experience USCIS actually called me directly . So don't be surprised USCIS calling your attorney. The best thing about the call was the immigration officer, verified all my info and notified on my 485 approval and my wife on that same call. It was hard to believe it , since even infopass couldn't confirm my approval. And I recieved my card in just 3 business days after the approval. So chill out , its a good thing that USCIS is trying to resolve your case. nothing to be worried about


    Thanks For replying!. Just a little surprised as I was expecting an RFE for medicals, but the fact that USCIS personally calling my attorney just surprises me.

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  • like_watching_paint_dry
    07-16 10:10 AM
    Don't yell at me. I agree with most of you guys. I am also a masters degree holder from a US university and waiting for my GC and I think the body shops created most of the bad reputations for the h1-bs. Even though some of you say it is a small percentage, I disagree. If we also push for some h1-b reform, may be we can get what we want. Usually a bill develop as a package.

    Some one asked for the name of a body shop. I could provide that if you think there will be some action against them.

    If you go to anti-H1-b sites, They are displaying things like, Advertisements listing H1-b available for a number of US cities. These are ads taken from body shops. The anti-h1-b sites use this as a propaganda. I think it hurts all of us. :D

    If you hold an advanced degree from a good school in the US, then you are usually one of the most sought after professionals in this country. If you think you are not among the best and the brightest and you deserved to end up in a hole like the one you are talking about, the least you still do is keep your self respect and abide by the laws.

    You can definitely help by initiating action against the offending body-shop guy. DOL/CIS have stepped up enforcement and are going after such violators. It is not legal to "bench" an employee and not pay the offered wages or pay below the prevailing wage specified in the Labor Condition Application form filed by your employer. I'm not sure but I've probably read that asking the employee to pay the immigration processing costs is not legal either.

    DOL/CIS has forms for reporting these kind of violators. If you do not do this, that same body shop will do the exact same thing to the next person tomorrow. And that next guy could be your younger brother or sister.

    You can use these forms and file a complaint:

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  • Macaca
    05-27 05:20 PM
    U.S. Probes Infosys Over Visas ( By MIRIAM JORDAN | Wall Street Journal

    U.S. authorities are investigating whether an Indian software giant repeatedly violated American visa laws in order to place its own foreign employees in temporary jobs at some big corporate clients in the U.S.

    The probe is examining whether Infosys Technologies Ltd. used inexpensive, easy-to-obtain visas meant to cover short-term business visits to the U.S.�instead of the appropriate, but harder to get, work visas�to bring in an unknown number of its employees for longer-term stays, according to people familiar with the matter.

    These so-called B-1 business visas are intended for foreign nationals who come to the U.S. for purposes such as attending business conventions, consulting with business associates or installing machinery.

    A State Department spokeswoman said the department is investigating Bangalore-based Infosys but declined further comment.

    A spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, part of the Department of Homeland Security, said ICE agents had visited Infosys's U.S. offices. However, she said that "as a matter of policy, the agency can neither confirm nor deny the existence of an ongoing investigation."

    In a statement Tuesday, Infosys said it "received a subpoena from a grand jury in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. The subpoena requires us to provide information to the grand jury regarding our sponsorships for, and uses of, B-1 business visas."

    In a filing Tuesday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company said it "intends to comply with the subpoena and to cooperate with the grand jury's investigation."

    Infosys is best known as an outsourcing company that provides India-based computing and other technology services to Western clients. But it also boasts thousands of U.S.-based employees who develop and install software for back-office accounting, logistics and supply-chain management for companies in the retail, finance and manufacturing industries. Infosys doesn't disclose the identity of its clients.

    The visa investigation comes amid a national debate in the U.S. over whether foreign workers, particularly in the software sector, are displacing qualified Americans because they are cheaper to employ.

    The investigation has spurred the government to say it intends to tighten visa regulations to close loopholes that critics say enable employers to abuse the immigration system.

    The probe was sparked by a lawsuit filed in Alabama state court earlier this year by an Infosys employee named Jack "Jay" Palmer Jr., alleging that Infosys misused the B-1 visa program. The lawsuit, which was recently moved to federal court, alleges that Infosys should have used a different visa program, known as H-1B, under which high-skilled professionals, such as software developers, are allowed into the U.S. for longer-term work.

    The U.S. issues just 65,000 H-1B visas a year, and demand sometimes exceeds supply. H-1Bs take several months to get and can cost upward of $3,000 per individual. The is no cap on B-1 visas, which can be obtained in a matter of days for $140 each.

    In a court filing, Infosys, which acknowledges using B-1 visas, denied the lawsuit's allegations that it had abused them.

    In an interview, Paul Gottsegen, Infosys's chief marketing officer, said he couldn't comment on a matter before the court, but he added: "We are currently in the midst of a detailed internal review to understand whether we need to change or tighten controls with the visa-application process. We are moving as quickly as possible on this important work."

    After learning of Mr. Palmer's lawsuit, Sen. :DChuck Grassley (R, Iowa):D wrote a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, his staff said, citing the suit and demanding an investigation of the B-1 visa program.

    "I'm concerned about fraudulent actions that at least one foreign-based company has allegedly been taking in order get around the requirements and U.S. worker protections�.," said the April 14 letter, a copy of which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

    Visa fraud can carry penalties of 10 years in prison, in addition to fines. Companies found to violate the terms of a visa program such as H-1B can be temporarily suspended from participating in the program.

    For the fiscal year ended March 31, Infosys had revenue of $6 billion, about two-thirds of which came from North America. To service its U.S. clients, Infosys has become one of the top users of the H-1B visa program, employing about 10,000 H-1B holders in the U.S., according to its annual report. Other large users of the visas include Microsoft Corp. and Indian tech titans Wipro Ltd. and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd.

    H-1B visa holders can remain in the U.S. for as long as three years and are paid locally; their employers withhold federal and state income tax. B-1 visa holders are paid by the employer from their home country.

    In his lawsuit, Mr. Palmer, a principal consultant at Infosys, alleges that Infosys was affected by the limited number of H-1Bs in 2009 and began using B-1s to circumvent H-1B requirements.

    His attorney, Kenny Mendelsohn, said: "We are cooperating with investigators from the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security."

    In March 2010, Mr. Palmer attended meetings in Bangalore, where Infosys officials discussed the need to find "ways to creatively get around the H-1B limitations and process to work the system to increase profits and the value of Infosys' stock," according to the lawsuit. Infosys denies the allegation.

    Later, according to Mr. Palmer's complaint, he was asked to prepare letters in support of B-1 applications stating "the employee was coming to the United States for meetings, rather than to work at a job."

    After he refused to write such letters, Mr. Palmer was instructed "to keep quiet" by a manager sent from India who confirmed the violations, according to the suit�a claim Infosys denies.

    Mr. Palmer reported his concerns to Infosys' corporate counsel, Jeff Friedel, who told him to report them to the company's whistle-blower team, which he did in October 2010, according to the lawsuit. Mr. Friedel didn't reply to a request for comment.

    Mr. Palmer's suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages for, among other things, breach of terms of employment and emotional distress. Mr. Palmer remains employed by Infosys, but he is not currently doing any work, according to his attorney.

    In recent years, Congress has introduced anti-fraud, training and other fees that have significantly raised the price of securing an H-1B visa.

    "As Congress has made the H-1B visa category more expensive and more difficult to obtain, companies have searched for alternatives. The B-1 is one such alternative," said Stephen Yale-Loehr, an immigration-law professor at Cornell University.

    "Because the B-1 is nebulous, some companies may be going beyond its intention," he added.

    According to State Department regulations, a B-1 visa holder cannot engage in "local employment or labor for hire."

    U.S. Moves from Rhetoric to Action on Visas ( By Megha Bahree and Amol Sharma | IndiaRealTime

    What the Infosys Whistleblower Said on Visas ( By Amol Sharma | IndiaRealTime

    03-24 09:16 AM
    A lot of the list and questions that you are being asked is what department of labor asks when they are investigating possible h-1b violations. What they have asked you is usually in those types of investigations.

    There is a lot of things going on behind the scenes that many people are not aware of or totally clueless to.

    Many people are trying to make the GC easier for themselves whereas the real focus should be a defensive measure.

    Right now;

    VERMONT SERVICE CENTER is denying many, many h-1b's. These h-1b's are for companies who file greencards. If they are assessing that these companies do not have temporary jobs that require a degree then do you not think it is going to gravitate towards employment base greencards?

    They are figuring out through requesting of payroll records, w'2's, consulate denials, etc., that many, many people never joined companies; didn't get paid, transferred to other companies shortly upon arrival.

    It looks like USCIS/DOL have gone to zero tolerance and have devised ways to pierce through favorable rules protecting immigrant wannabe's.

    They pierce through 245k by going through possible immigration fraud by listing employment in the g-325a when a person didn't get paid and may not have had employer/employee relationship (i have actually seen this where USCIS cited possible immigration fraud due to this issue to trump 245k).

    USCIS is starting to challenge companies whether they have permanent jobs instead of temporary jobs; which looks like where this particular OP is going to go through. If they determine the job is temporary then that is going to spell doom for the EB greencard for him.

    People decided they were going to poke USCIS and take complaints to senators/congressmen (whom you all think are your friends but many of you do not realize that they are not your friends) and now everyong is going to see how the system in this country works. We are currently in a new day and age with immigration. Everyone should buckle their seat belts as this is going to be a real bumpy ride.

    I have to agree with you. I am seeing some folks living in Utopia and think that they can ram their way through USCIS, Senators and congress and can easily get a bill. They think removing country caps is so easy. All you have to do is meet some lawmakers and ask them to bring a bill. Likewise some think that by sending spam emails anonymously they can get all immigration fixes done. Our population thinks it is very easy and there is no point spending any dollar to it. By sending annonymous spam emails everything will change. I have seen that we all conveniently blame IV if nothing good is happening. But we are keeping our eyes closed to the outside world.

    The reality you have told is different and people who have EAD think they do not need to care about it. All they care about is their own greencard. People on H1B think they already have a good job and a 3 year extension stamped on PP so they do not need to worry about new laws. Students think only about getting H1B through a consulting company so that they have an H1B and will worry about problems later. People on greencard do not care about people on EAD and H1 as they are out of it. ROW folks do not care for Indians as they think it is only Indians that are in trouble. Chinese do not care because they think they need to be anti-Indians because Indians are taking all the rollover greencards. So I guess we are all divided and fail to see.

    I am seeing so many denials and RFEs on H1B too and we people are all quiet. People who have EAD do not want to help people like me who have not filed I485 and make opportunities equal for everyone to stay secure.

    I think USCIS needs to start investigating all old cases that used substitute labor and cut the line. Once they start doing that a lot of people on this forum will panic. Likewise they must investigate all cases where people have filed greencards for company B and are currently working for company A and even after getting greencards never worked for company B. Revoke all their greencards and you will see lot of greencard holders coming to IV and willing to contribute and begging for help.

    So I guess unless people's houses are on fire, they will not do anything about the state of immigration problems of others.

    Michael chertoff
    12-19 11:15 AM

    Please delete this thread. It is not helping in anyways to our immigration goals.

    Calm down friends.


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