Thursday, June 30, 2011

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  • Macaca
    12-28 07:00 PM
    N.B.A. in India, in Search of Fans and Players ( By JEREMY KAHN | New York Times

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    �The problem is timing,� he said.

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

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

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

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

    N.B.A. officials dispute this assessment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Their favorite team?

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

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  • Macaca
    05-01 05:49 PM
    The New Virtual Political System ( By Elizabeth C. Economy and Jared Mondschein | Council on Foreign Relations

    As uprisings spread throughout the Middle East during the early months of 2011, a small band of Chinese citizens and expatriates began to call for their own Jasmine Revolution. Like their African and Middle Eastern counterparts, these activists used the Internet to urge people to gather in support of political change. However, unlike in Tunisia, Egypt, or Libya, security forces in China quickly locked down the proposed demonstration sites and arrested anyone thought to be a potential source of unrest. The demonstrations proved ephemeral, with many more police than protesters. It was a massive deployment of China�s public security forces that signaled not only the power of the country�s security apparatus but also the enormous insecurity of the country�s leaders and their concern about the organizing power of the Internet.

    While the Internet may not have produced a revolution in China�s political system, it most certainly is producing an evolution. The Internet has become a virtual political system, providing an almost unprecedented level of transparency, rule of law, and official accountability. With over 450 million Chinese Internet users�and the number is increasing daily�information crosses gender, age, professional, and provincial boundaries in ways that Beijing often considers threatening. News of government corruption and cover-ups go viral in a matter of minutes, forcing the government to think quickly and flexibly and react decisively�not traditionally strengths of China�s political system.

    Netizens Demand Change

    What do the Chinese people want? Nothing unusual. They want their concerns heard and addressed. Chinese nationalists, for example, often rally support for their causes via the Internet. Anti-Japanese sentiment, in particular, has been a recurring theme among online Chinese nationalists. Periodically, Chinese nationalists have taken to the Internet and the street�often in very large numbers�to protest historical inaccuracies in Japanese textbooks and to call for retribution. Nationalists have also initiated anti-Japanese protests after recent territorial disputes in the South China Sea, perhaps encouraging the government to adopt a tougher stance in its negotiations with Japan.

    Yet online activism in China is the domain not only of the nationalist but also of the political reformer. Much of what transpires on the Web in China is bringing transparency to the political system. In late 2010, Chinese netizens contradicted official reports by covering a significant environmental disaster in Jilin province, where thousands of barrels of pollutants were dumped into a water source by a local chemical plant. In the ten days that it took Chinese officials to admit to the disaster, thousands of citizens were informed of the cover-up via the Internet. They responded by purchasing a massive amount of bottled water and angrily denouncing the government�s inaction. It was only after citizens refused to believe the official stories that the government finally acknowledged the disaster and handed out free bottles of water to those in the afflicted areas. Similarly, a year earlier in Guangzhou, online transparency had caused a reversal in local government policy. Middle-class-led protests over a planned incinerator were picked up by young online netizens, who then spread the news through social media websites. Even though the activists, themselves, were not affected by the plans, they wanted the word to get out. Once enough citizens became involved, the government agreed to halt the project until a full environmental assessment was completed.1

    The Internet has also become a means of holding officials accountable. In a now-famous case, in October 2010, Li Qiming, the son of a local deputy police chief. Li Gang, ran over two Hebei University students in his car while drunk�fatally injuring one and breaking the other�s leg. As he tried to escape the scene, he yelled out, �Sue me if you dare. My father is Li Gang!� Communist officials attempted to suppress information about the event but failed, as netizens from all over the country latched onto Li Qiming�s threat. Despite official reports alleging that the victim�s families were content with the government�s handling of the situation and with public apologies from both father and son, the online activists demanded (and got) more: Li Qiming was sentenced to six years in prison, his family was forced to pay over $70,000 to the families of the two students, and much of China�s online population has adopted the phrase �My father is Li Gang� as a shorthand for the widely held belief that the powerful and politically connected do not have to face the consequences of their actions.

    In this way, online activism can also promote a form of the rule of law�albeit one that often resembles vigilante justice. During the summer of 2010, for example, Chinese reporter Qiu Ziming was forced into hiding after police placed him on a wanted list for writing critical stories about a local business. Qiu took his case to his blog, and a poll on Chinese website recorded that of the more than thirty thousand people polled, 86 percent opposed the police pursuit of Qiu.2 Bowing to public pressure, the government rescinded the order of arrest and ordered the police to apologize to the reporter.

    Microblogs such as Twitter and Weibo, despite being heavily censored or even blocked, have become particularly politicized Internet venues, especially among middle-class urban youth. According to the popular netizen Michael Anti, microblogs are the most important political organizing force in China today. Anti notes that through Twitter, over 1.4 million yuan were raised for the Open Constitution Initiative (Gongmeng), an NGO of rights defense lawyers. He also points to the uncensored discussion held between the Dalai Lama and Chinese citizens in May 2010 as an example of the political influence that Twitter can exert. According to Anti, the people who participated stopped referring to the Dalai Lama as Dalai and now call him by the more respectful Dalai Lama.3 With over 120 million microblogs in China, censors haven�t yet discovered a viable long-term response and are generally reduced to attempting stop-gap measures to block certain news from going viral.4

    The Party�s Response: Nailing Tofu to the Wall

    Despite the inherent challenge of �trying to nail Jell-O to the wall,� as former president Bill Clinton once characterized China�s attempts to regulate cyberspace, China�s leaders are committed to controlling this evolving virtual political system. While they see the advantage of the Internet as a medium for better understanding the views of the Chinese people, their overwhelming objective is to prevent the Internet from contributing to a broad-based call for political change. To this end, Beijing has deployed both Internet police to monitor traffic and insert government opinion and the full range of technical solutions to shut down websites or blogs that the party views as particularly destabilizing.

    Beijing has also sought to use the Internet to engage with the populace as a transmission vehicle from the party to the people. In what is now commonly referred to as �AstroTurf advocacy,� Internet police often add favorable opinions of the government to various social media websites under the guise of grassroots support by anonymous citizens. The party has also had its top leaders participate in Internet chats in a bid to show its engagement with the growing online community. Both President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao have engaged in online chats, with the latter receiving almost ninety thousand questions from a massive online audience in only two hours. However, efforts to make such Internet engagement a permanent feature of Beijing�s interaction with the Chinese people have faltered in the face of often politically sensitive questions from the Internet public.

    For China�s leaders, who are already confronting over one hundred thousand protests annually,5 the Internet adds another layer of uncertainty in their bid to manage an increasingly restive society. While Beijing haltingly pushes greater transparency, the rule of law, and official accountability within the political system, the Internet forces it upon them. In the end, political evolution via the Internet may produce its own form of system revolution.

    Malcolm Moore, �China�s middle-class rise up in environmental protest,� Daily Telegraph, November 23, 2009.
    �Public outcry forces Chinese police to revoke arrest warrant on journalist,� Times of India, July 31, 2010.
    Elizabeth C. Economy, �Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo and the Future of Political Reform in China,� testimony before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, November 9, 2010.
    Keith B. Richburg, �In China, microblogging sites become free-speech platform,� Washington Post, March 27, 2011.
    Murray Scot Tanner, �Unrest in China and the Chinese State�s Institutional Responses,� testimony before the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, February 25, 2011.

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  • chanduv23
    05-16 09:16 AM
    Cool down.....

    I am not saying Infy and others are doing it right. If US asking more explanation that is fine with me, they should have used their brain before approving cases, not after. My point is consulting is not new to H1, even so called big company also do that via "permanent job".

    All big companies including google,, yahoo, msft use tons of h1b consultants from Infy etc....

    So if Infy gets affected, literally these firms get affected.

    It is all a power game, where the fittest will survive. it may only be the weaker and smaller firrms that will find it difficult to adapt to such situations.

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  • sledge_hammer
    03-24 02:42 PM

    Don't get me wrong, I feel you!

    But, simply saying that the law took a long time to catch up hence we should be let to continue exploiting the loopholes will not get us too far. And I think this is what you are asking for.

    We are here because USCIS allowed us to come here. We (employees, employers, immigration lawyers) should have done our due diligence in doing everything possible to protect ourselves against possible/potential audits and queries. Someone should have warned us that there is actually a difference between "temp job" and "full-time job" (EDITED: for GC requirements) like 20 years ago when this consulting business started. The very same people who did not warn us should actually have told us that LCA location is not to be taken lightly, that benching is not okay. All of these did not even occur to us when we enjoyed our lives in this nation.

    Yes, USCIS is awake all of a sudden. They are enforcing rules all of a sudden. They are scrutinizing our application all of a sudden. Is that illegal for them to do it? NO. Can something be done to stop them? Certainly NOT. What could we have done to avoid getting into the soup? Should have seen this coming!!!!!!!!

    I read your replies and it seems you are ignoring some facts and are forming a one sided opinion.

    - Why did USCIS allow labor substitutions? Why did it take them so long to stop it? Why did they wait until after July 07 to stop it. Were they not allowing people to use this back door and lawyers to make money?

    - If consulting is a problem, what were they doing in the past few years? What are they doing now? Do you think just a few raids once is enough to stop the problem? Why can't they enforce their own laws so that they punish the companies and not the immigrants.

    - Why is USCIS making paperwork difficult. Why can't the system be simple like Canada or Australia so that we can do our own paperwork? Why are lawyers in the picture?

    - If they find problem in consulting, why are they not going after Tata, Wipro etc. Don't tell me these companies are clean?

    - Why is USCIS so disorganized without good IT. Do you think other agencies are also same? Do you think USCIS does not have enough money?

    - Why can't they ban DV lottery? But go after H1Bs.

    - Why can't ICE do their job of enforcement and round up illegals. If they were strict we will not have so many illegals or the problem of illegals.

    The questions will go on. But you need to step back and think more from the perspective of a applicant waiting for his GC or H1B .


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  • senthil1
    12-18 10:35 AM
    Even if terrorism is accepted because someone in their family killed terrorists have to target those people who had killed their family members In what way a child from Bombay was reason for sufferings of Afghanistan or Kashmir? In my view Terrorism was spread by some leaders for their enrichment. You can see lifestyle of LET and other Terrorist group Leaders in Pakistan. They were living in big Mansions with bullet proof cars with multiple Wives at the same time the trained terrorists are killing the innocents at the same dying themselves.

    be it Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan Somalia,Darfur,Chechnya, Kashmir, Gujarat... everywhere muslims are killed for being muslims...noone goes to cuba,srilanka,north korea,zimbawe or whereever for watever reason...just imagine God forbid someone comes into your house, occupies it, kills your family, your brothers and sisters in front of you and kicks you out of your home and you are seeing no hope of justice... you wont stand outside your home sending flowers like munna bhai's gandhigiri.. trust me you will become a terrorist.

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  • 485Mbe4001
    09-26 03:50 PM
    For arguments sake :)
    if Barak wins the skies will part, unemployment will disappear, GCs will rain from the sky. Americans will hug Iran and peace will is insane arguments like the one below that obamaphiles make, scares me about what will happen when he becomes the president. No legislative experience that is ok for him but not ok for Republican VP choice. Trashy ads from him are ok but from the republicans. not a single major newspaper talks about his dealings with rezko or the 100k allocated to be spent on the garden. No major deatails on a single concrete proposal...reason being that public is not interested in the finer details. In the tank with major unions, look at the promises being made to them...anyways i dont get to vote i can look at all this dispassionately and watch it from far. He has a slick marketing campaing and the media loves him. Either ways my EB is so screwed i dont think either can help us out.
    as you say 'lets take it EZ'

    Here is my Point if we educated legal immigrant community support Barack or John ( though its a virtual support because we are not eligible to vote:))

    If Barack doesn't win this 08 election economy is going to go further down , unemployment rates will spike , DOW will further nose dive , more banks will be bankrupt ( today morning WAMU broke 9/26/08) and there will be NO EMPLOYMENT BASED REFORM in such a Turbulent Job Market Situation.

    Anti Immigrant Groups will scorch the phone lines and will probably gather support from neutral peoples as well and scuttle any EB REFORM if the economy is bad. Their point is Americans are Jobless and you are giving Permanent Job Permit to Foreigners and any one will buy it - how much we SCREAM and SHOUT that we already have a Job, you know !

    Now tell me if you want to support Barack Obama OR John McCain - take it EZ


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  • santb1975
    09-28 06:05 PM
    After 8 yrs of Bush, I sure am ready for Democrats to take over. America needs a change. But Sen. Obama's victory will surely spell doom and gloom for the EB community - of which I am one.

    I have been in the United States for 10 years - LEGALLY. I came here for my Masters and I work as a Compliance Analyst in the Pharmaceutical Industry. I have bent over backwards to follow the letter of the law, irrespective of how convoluted it is. I pay taxes and contribute to the American economy and I hope that I can settle down in this great country.

    I want the Democrats to win...but guess what - the failed CIR 2007 woke me up to the fact that Sen. Durbin will never make it easy for EB immigrants. His hostility towards this community is making me explore opportunities outside of the United States after spending 10 years in this great land. I have little bit more time to decide what I want to do but if things don't take a turn for the better on the Immigration front, I have made up my mind to pursue opportunities outside of the United States.

    Till date, I only see Durbin driving immigration - and it is definitely against the EB community. My question to Sen. Obama - what do you have to offer to us, the highly skilled immigrants? Would you rather we just liquidate all our assets (home, stocks, bonds, vehicles, etc) here in America and take it with us to another country that is more welcoming???

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  • Marphad
    12-23 03:09 PM
    Though I strongly disagreed with some points made by the initial poster, some of your points look like they are out of the VHP's handy book. Muslims do have a slightly higher fertility rate, this is falling fast and there is only a slight difference between hindus and muslims. Partly it has to do with religion but there are various other reasons including higer female numbers and better mortality rate.

    See article.

    Another article(slightly older):

    I don't think this is accurate. It went upto a stage that Atal Bihari Bajpei personally had to interfere when he was PM to stop publishing census because number of minority rise was scary. I read this somewhere. I may be wrong but to convince myself I need more solid official census kinda proof.

    Also, please read my previuos post of muslim population in India at the time of separation, just after separation and now.


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  • validIV
    06-27 12:45 PM
    nothing you have said below answers my question. In 30 years if u are paying 1500 for rent that is 540,000 that is gone. Instead if you used that money to pay the interest, you canclaim that 540,000 as a deductible. Let me say it slowly so u can understand.

    540,000 of rent nets you zero in 30 years.
    540,000 paid towards interest makes it a deductible. That is the difference. In the 28% tax bracket you receive an extra 5,040 a year in your tax refund. But if you are renting you receive zero. That amounts to 28% of that money u lose renting which is a whopping 151,200 in 30 years which is huge.

    Again let me repeat 30 year rent of 1500/month is 540,000 down the drain. As a renter toy claim to save money while u are losing 1500/month. As an owner that 1500 goes to interet which I can get back 28% every year. You don't.

    I'm not even calculating principal here.

    When you rent the amount you save is the same as the principal+equity+property value of my home and savings combined. And in that case after 30 years i managed to get something back with that money you lose in rent. Even if u rent for 30 years the home you mightve wanted to buy 30 years ago at 400,000 is now 800,000. You cannot Afford to buy it anymore. And on top of that you blew 540,000 renting. I blew 540,000 on interest but guess what? I got 151,200 of that amount back in tax returns.

    Why can you not see that? Your arguments do not display any financial sound to renting other than you like to throw 1500 a month away.

    Pandey ji / Valid IV
    o.k..I will explain it slowly ..I can understand that those who are homeowners will justify their home purchase. some maybe in denial and have their head in sand.
    honestly, few months back, even I would have purchased a house . if I had, I would still admit -- that home is not necessarily good investment but a place to stay. even after I buy, I would still say that renting in an apartment has its advantages. here are 2 links in english.
    Why rent? To get richer - MSN Money (
    Why Your Mortgage Won't Make You Rich - (
    now you need to read this carefully else you won't understand what the authors are trying to say ..since it is bit unclear but it has good points (not trying to make fun here :)) read since they are superb articles
    but here is even simpler explanation and hopefully that will explain what I am trying to say ..if you still don't understand ..u will need to find someone else to explain.
    first renting gives you flexibility say, u get better job offer or lose job - you don't lose lot of money compared to house if you have to move.
    for 250K house, you pay around 300 property tax, 60 HOA fees, 150 - 200 in maintenance (recurring like lawn plus once in long term like roof, painting etc) , 100 - 150 extra in utilities. you pay downpayment of 50 k ..if you were to invest that money in better investments (mutual funds, stocks, high CDs. bonds) would make 250 - 300 per month. plus add fees when you have to sell the house, insurance, termite protection etc etc ..
    plus in many cases, you end up buying a house further away than if you were to rent (since many want brand new house ) ..this means extra 250 - 300 in gas + vehicle degradation per month.
    (ALSO SAY U WERE IN MICHIGAN OR IN CALIFORtNIA -- you could get away from the state after making money easily if you were renting. .home means you could end up stuck there).

    I agree in apartment you get less space and hence I mentioned - u need to ask - do you really need extra space at this time in life - if yes, then home is better. (but renting a home is even better esp if prices are still falling in your area in this case).
    btw - as of now rents are going down -- you just need to negotiate.
    now you don't get the money back in rents..but neither do you get money paid in the expenses listed above.
    (in other words - you don't get money back that you pay in rent yr apt BUT you get a place to stay ..this is not India where you can sleep on foot path - so you need a place. apartment property owner will make a small profit - but that is the system)

    before you jump - house is good when it appreciates by atleast 1 -2 percent above inflation and I am not saying that you should never buy a house.
    there are many other points and I will post it in IV WIKI ...and I hope this helps newcomers ...this is my last personal post ...and do watch the movie :) ..once again I did mention in plain english that it is worst case scenario (the movie "pacific heights")..but best case scenario is not good either if you are a landlord with property in US while you are in India (or vice versa).

    hope that answers your question ..please note: the above is for normal cases ..but if you get a good deal or short sale or foreclosed home for 50K --- then yes, buying makes sense !!

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  • bajrangbali
    06-05 05:35 PM
    Your analysis is so spot on except for item #8 and item # 9. I have a question though.. The example you have given suits my scenario so well. I am planning to buy a house (310k ) very soon. The loan offers I have from my lender has interest rates pretty much the same for both 10% down payment and 20% down payment, 5.0 with 20% and 5.25 with 10% down payment. I can down pay 10% right away and the other 10% is also available in a risk free(can withdraw without penalty) cd which yield me a return of 3.5% . So which is better for me 10% or 20% down pay. thanks in advance.

    As for buying or is more of a personal choice - to me, buying a house has tangible benefits over renting.. like a sense of entitlement to call some place ur true home and most likely a good enviroment for raising the kids. Life has phases like education, marriage, kids, job, etc..Now that I am into my 30's, I would like to see
    what it feels like to have owned a home.

    If I were you..I would go with the 10% down payment option. Your monthly payment would not increase much and you would have more cash safe in CD for life events.

    Consider the rent you are currently paying and make a choice...buying a home should not burden you with more than 10-20% of you current rent payment. In my case I am more conservative and going with a mortgage < my current rent payment.

    If it helps, here are my details:

    Condo cost: 300K
    Down payment: 5% - 15K
    Using fed stimulus: 8K towards down payment
    Total payment: 7K+closing costs

    Current rent: $2200
    Mortgage: ~$1500-1600
    Price trend in the past 5yrs: down <20% from peak prices

    Estimate living time: 2yrs min

    Even if house value drops after 2yrs by 10%, the tax savings, equity, happiness would compensate more than enough for it...

    I agree everyone's situation is different, but please do not make the mistake of taking a huge burden of payment if you are buying. Always buy within/below your means...


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  • Macaca
    12-27 06:43 PM
    Climate change leaves Assam tea growers in hot water
    Rising temperatures reducing yields and altering distinctive flavour of India's most popular drink (
    By Amarjyoti Borah | The Guardian

    Climate change is affecting the cultivation of Assam tea, with rising temperatures reducing yields and altering the distinctive flavour of India's most popular drink, researchers say.

    High hills and abundant rainfall make the north-eastern state of Assam an ideal place to grow tea, with 850 gardens over 320,000 hectares (593,000 acres) producing the majority of the country's harvest. But in the last 60 years, rainfall has fallen by more than a fifth and minimum temperature has risen by a degree to 19.5C.

    "This is clearly climate change, and it is bound to have major impact on the tea industry," said Debakanta Handique, a climate scientist in Assam.

    The Tea Board of India said it had recorded a steady decline in tea production in recent years. In 2007, Assam produced 512,000 tonnes of tea. By 2008 this had declined to 487,000 tonnes, with estimated production in 2009 down again to 445,000. A further decrease is expected this year.

    Mridul Hazarika, director of Tocklai Tea Research, the oldest tea research station in the world, said rainfall and minimum temperature were two of the most important factors affecting both quality and quantity of harvests.

    "The decline has been taking place although there has been an increase in the area of tea cultivation as new gardens have come up, and many gardens have added new areas for tea plantation. This is an indication of the seriousness of the threat," said Hazarika. Efficient rainwater harvesting and new breeds of tea plants were needed to reverse the trend.

    "Changes have already been observed in the flavour, but it is not possible to blame only climate change for this," he said. "Other factors like the fertilisers used and cultivation methods might also be partly responsible."

    The changing taste of Assam tea is a serious concern for growers. Sudipta Nayan Goswami, an Assam-based planter, said subtle changes had already been observed: "The flavour has changed from what it was before. The creamy and strong flavour is no more."

    "There is a huge demand for Assam tea abroad, and this is due to its strong, bright flavour. The changes will sharply hamper the demand for this variety of tea abroad."

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  • optimystic
    04-06 02:08 AM
    Excellent analysis Jung.lee

    Summers are OK, but desis want their houses warm enough in the winter for a lungi or veshti

    I couldn't control my laughter. You have a good sense of humor too people wear lungi at home in winter !! May be in the temperate climates of bay area and further down in So Cal :)

    But up here in North Cal (Roseville), where quite a few times the lawns freeze during early winter mornings, I feel cold even with full length fleece pants inside my home!! :D . But anyway, that might just be my excuse to not wear a lungi :) ....Never liked wearing it when I was growing up as well...preferred pajamas !


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  • nogc_noproblem
    08-29 09:03 PM
    Dog Philosophy

    � The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue. - Anonymous

    � Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful. - Ann Landers

    � The average dog is a nicer person than the average person. - Andy Rooney

    � Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies, quite unlike people, who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and hate. - Sigmund Freud

    � Ever consider what our dogs must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul - - chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we're the greatest hunters on earth! - Anne Tyler

    � If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man. - Mark Twain

    � If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then give him only two of them. - Phil Pastoret

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  • jkays94
    07-10 02:02 AM
    Like UN said..wonder what we/they achieve with lawsuits,but we can expect a lot of digging into our cases during AOS...

    (lawsuiting/challenging is no good idea with USCIS/DOS,they will not budge even a mm,they r huge monster govt organizations,it is best to move with the flow and instead work on ideas of allowing to file 485 when dates r not current etc..)

    USCIS Settlement Notices and Agreements ( D&vgnextchannel=2492db65022ee010VgnVCM1000000ecd190a RCRD)


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  • bondgoli007
    01-06 04:03 PM
    Another muslim hater who justify organized crime and killing and support the killing of innocent school kids and civilians.

    Hiding behind civilians and schools and mosques???? Don't you hear the same lie again and again year over year? If Hamas is using school kids as thier shield, then how do you think Palestenian people have elected the same people who cause their kids death rule their country?

    Don't you think?
    Refugee Now,

    I believe the thinking needs to be done by the moderate muslims like yourself all over the world. Do you agree that Hamas is a terrorist outfit? Do you agree that no good can come with them as the decision makers in Palestine? Do you agree that by NOT re electing Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah party, the people gave mandate to a outfit (Hamas) that was seeking the end of the ceasefire with Israel?

    How comel you stand quite when the terrorists all over the world most of them who cite Islam or the defense of Islam as a reason to cause havoc and terror? It is clear you can have a strong voice when protesting the tragedies like in Gaza, how come the same voice is missing when the perpetrators are Islamic like in the case of Mumbai?

    I whole heartedly join you in bemoaning the human loss in this conflict and pray for peace.

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  • minimalist
    08-06 11:46 AM
    Shady means or non-shady means, EB2 means that u have superior qualifications and you are more desirable in the US. EB3 means there are a lot like u, so u gotta wait more. Period.

    Well, then why are they allocating Visas to EB3s. They should give all visas to EB2 and then only go to EB3.

    Your statement that EB2 requires higher qualification is correct. But the number of jobs requiring those qualifications are less.Doesn't mean people taking up jobs that fall into EB3 category have inferior qualifications. Think of it this way. There may be many people who may be qualified to be a CEO but there will be only one CEO for company.
    EB3 has a lot more applicants because of the 245 cases that were filed in 2001. So get off the pedestal and think normally.
    So you are an undesirable/inferior when compared to people in EB1? If you feel so then you have serious self esteem issues.
    Don't try to spread such inferiority complex.


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  • Rolling_Flood
    08-05 08:39 AM
    What do you mean "i am eligible for EB2"?????

    A JOB is what decides EB1/2/3, not your imagined eligibility !!

    If the job that you do requires no more than an EB3, then how are you saying your employer did something wrong? Why should you get to port to EB2 based on your "imagined eligibility for EB2"? Please explain that to me.

    Remember, the JOB REQUIREMENTS should be there, it does not matter if you are a PhD from MIT...........

    Get Lost 'Rolling_Flood' - you dont understand anything, that's why you started a post like this.

    I'm eligible for EB2 but my employer forcibly filed me in Eb3 category. Now i'm thinking of porting from Eb3 to Eb2 after my 140 gets approved ( By filing a new PERM labor and new 140 of course )

    What's wrong you see in my intentions ? Whats wrong you see in the law ?

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  • unitednations
    03-25 02:54 PM
    I heard from the grapevine that UNITEDNATIONS will be the next USCIS chief - so folks better behave with him or he wil report ya all :D :D :D :D

    My first order is greencards for everyone then next time people will see me would be at my funeral after the anti immigrants knocked me and obama off.:D

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  • unitednations
    08-02 06:36 PM

    A simple question here ... I know that if an I 140 gets rejected 485 results in automatic denial as well as denial of all associated benifits. Is there any use with the labor? Can it be used to file for 140 again or can it be used to extend the H1B after 6 years.

    Re-file 140 or file an appeal on the 140.

    Filing the appeal; you will be able to extend the h-1b.

    05-24 12:44 PM
    can you tell me why nurses and physio-therapists are brought on H1B visas, and once they are employed their GCs are applied straight away and UNDER NO quota.

    You seem to be liking one or part of Lou's argument. You are only seeing the trees. My friend, start to see the forest. The big picture of Lou.

    05-16 10:47 AM
    :p :p I like this most. Lets move on...

    It appears that some of us are mad at our employers and there can be several reasons –
     We think we are “high-skilled” and deserve more even though we are spending most of our time at work on IV forums
     We think our employer is taking advantage of our situation and if we had green cards we would have taken over the crown from Bill Gates and Warren Buffet
     And so on….

    For some of these reason, we are faulting everybody around us, our employer, companies not our employers, consulting companies/body shopper, other H-1B applicants, L-1 applicants, people who come on B-1, companies like TCS/INFY/SIFY etc. And there seem to be this idea that if a bill is passed to harm consulting companies or body shoppers or companies like TCS/INFY/SIFY, then somehow that is my gain because I am suffering because of these guys. Consistently, I have seen this argument on the forums, but somehow I am not convinced that these guys have to lose something before I could get what I want.

    IEEE-USA, Ron Hira et al has problems with us if educated/skilled/talented people come here on H-1/L-1. So that’s why they oppose any increase in H-1. These guys have a problem with us if we apply for green card and that is why they did not include a single provision in Durbin-Grassley bill to fix the green card backlogs. In fact they are making sure that people waiting for green card will have to somehow leave the country. These same guys at IEEE-USA have a problem if we choose to go back to wherever we came from and we decide not apply for green cards. In this scenario they say that we are promoting outsourcing because we are returning to the country we came from. And if we never ever chose to come here at all, these guys simple say that we are still taking their jobs because we are the people on the receiving end of the outsourcing. So either way you look at it, these guys are simply out there to screw us. The bad thing is they are organized and we are not. And the worst thing is we have guys like Senthil1 on this forum who thinks that by some how causing harm to consulting companies/body shopper/companies like tcs, infy etc we are making up for our delays in the green cards. And I just find this argument very very bizarre. No offense to anyone, but just wanted to clearly say that Durbin-Grassley bill is not designed or intended to help anybody on H-1/L-1/green card applicant, directly and indirectly. In fact, in the long term, I do not know who is getting the benefit from Durbin-Grassley bill other than the BPO companies in the other countries.

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