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  • chintu25
    08-06 09:28 AM
    COULD NOT RESIST THIS IS A FUNNY ONE FROM INDIA

    There are hindi words used ......

    Laloo Prasad sent his Bio Data - to apply for a post in Microsoft Corporation, USA.
    A few days later he got this reply:

    Dear Mr. Laloo Prasad,
    You do not meet our requirements. Please do not send any further correspondence. No phone call shall be entertained.
    Thanks
    Bill Gates.

    Laloo Prasad jumped with joy on receiving this reply.
    He arranged a press conference :
    "Bhaiyon aur Behno, aap ko jaan kar khushi hogee ki hum ko Amereeca mein naukri mil gayee hai."
    Everyone was delighted.
    Laloo prasad continued...... "Ab hum aap sab ko apnaa appointment Letter padkar sunaongaa ? par letter angreeze main hai - isliyen saath-saath Hindi main translate bhee karoonga.

    Dear Mr. Laloo Prasad ----- Pyare Laloo prasad bhaiyya
    You do not meet ----- aap to miltay hee naheen ho
    our requirement ----- humko to zaroorat hai
    Please do not send any furthur correspondance ----- ab Letter vetter bhejne ka kaouno zaroorat nahee.
    No phone call ----- phoonwa ka bhee zaroorat nahee hai
    shall be entertained ----- bahut khaatir kee jayegi.
    Thanks ----- aapkaa bahut bahut dhanyavad.
    Bill Gates. ---- Tohar Bilva.





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  • chanduv23
    09-26 02:26 PM
    OBAMA is for lesser H1B but more EB GC. He prefers workers who are entering the US to have intention to stay permanently than temporarily because it helps the economy.

    That's the wisdom of Durbin amendment. Lesser H1B because you will get GC instead.

    Everyone say "H1b is not good we want more GC". Then the whole thing moves towards a new points based system and everyone will support it saying - this will ensure US will have best and brightest. What happens to us???? We will be ignored





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  • Macaca
    07-08 09:29 AM
    googled it and found the link..it might be helpful to many folks..

    http://www.ilw.com/seminars/august2002_citation2b.pdf
    This ia an Aug 2001 report. Hope it is current!

    Is it authentic if written by lawyers? Thanks





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  • gapala
    12-17 05:24 PM
    :D:D:D That atleast made my evening!

    I can see tabletpc standing naked!!!!!:D



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  • hiralal
    06-24 08:13 AM
    one of the main reason that I stopped looking for a home is GC. the reason I was hunting around was to get advantage of tax credit ..but when I read articles like this ..I feel waiting for some more time has advantages too !! (so even if you take best case scenario of 10% drop in your area ..a house which costs 250K will drop by 25K ??? which is 3 times the tax credit).
    -------------------------
    Searching for a bottom in the housing market
    Sales look like they could rebound soon, but you can't say the same for prices.

    See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
    By Janet Morrissey, contributor
    June 19, 2009: 4:23 AM ET

    FORTUNE 500
    Current Issue
    Subscribe to Fortune

    NEW YORK (Fortune) -- Sales in the decimated housing market may finally be bottoming, but don't expect home prices to stop dropping before mid-2010 at the earliest, analysts and economists say.

    Indeed, prices in the battered housing market could get a lot worse before they get better as an avalanche of specialized adjustable rate mortgages, known as option ARMs and Alt-A mortgages, are slated to reset over the next 18 to 24 months, and rising unemployment causes a surge in the number of prime mortgages going into default. All of this is expected to trigger another round of foreclosures and cause home prices to tumble at least another 20% before the market rebounds, according to market analysts and economists.

    Market bulls believe home prices could bottom in the second half of 2010, but the bears warn it could be 2013 before they finally trough. And once prices do reach a low, it could be years before they significantly rebound.
    0:00 /4:19Housing market's false hope

    "This is clearly the worst housing crisis since the Depression," says John Burns, president of John Burns Real Estate Consulting. Losses from the housing meltdown totaled $3.6 trillion at the end of 2008, and will likely approach $5 trillion by the time the crisis ends, predicts Lawrence Yun, chief economist with the National Association of Realtors.

    Bob Curran, managing director at Fitch Ratings, is a lot more cautious, noting that one month of gains doesn't make a trend -- existing home sales are still off 3.5% from a year ago. "You'd want to see a string of months -- ideally three months -- to say with confidence that a bottom has been reached," he says.

    "We're about two-thirds of the way through the pricing correction on a percentage basis," says Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist with MFR Inc., an economic consulting and analysis firm. He expects prices to slide at least another 20% over the next 18 months.





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  • number30
    03-26 06:14 PM
    Per my understanding, it absolutely is. An LCA amendment has to be filed each time there is a location change outside of commutable distance from the original location for which the H-1B was filed.

    That what our attorney's office said. One guy moved from Houston TX to Austin TX . Earlier we use to get LCA and keep it in file. when we asked the attorney last year he told us do H1 amendment. In doing this amendments filing etc company is losing the business. Now they are planning come out of H1 Business totally



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  • akred
    06-20 12:22 PM
    2. Taxes - If you've AGI above 300k, buying house is one of the few options left to reduce your tax bill

    Yes, but you do not have to buy it within the US.





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  • yabadaba
    06-01 09:45 AM
    Sau Chuhe kha ke Billi Haj ko Chali

    roughly translated...after eating 100 mice the cat goes for a pilgrimage



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  • paragpujara
    08-06 03:08 PM
    PEOPLE WONDER WHY THEY R PAID SO MUCH......FOR JUST BEING ON THE PHONE ------ TAKE A LOOK: last one is really good !!!!

    1). Tech Support: "I need you to right-click on the Open Desktop."
    Customer "Ok."
    Tech Support: "Did you get a pop-up menu?"
    Customer: "No."
    Tech Support: "Ok. Right click again. Do you see a pop-up menu?"
    Customer "No."
    Tech Support:: "Ok, sir. Can you tell me what you have done up until this point?"
    Customer: "Sure, you told me to write 'click' and I wrote 'click'."
    *****************************

    2) Customer: "I received the software update you sent, but I am still getting the same error message."
    Tech Support:: "Did you install the update?"
    Customer: "No. Oh, am I supposed to install it to get it to work?"
    ***********************
    3).Customer:: "I'm having trouble installing Microsoft Word."
    Tech Support:: "Tell me what you've done."
    Customer: "I typed 'A:SETUP'."!
    Tech Support:: "Ma'am, remove the disk and tell me what it says."
    Customer:: "It says '[PC manufacturer] Restore and Recovery disk'."
    Tech Support:: "Insert the MS Word setup disk."
    Customer:: "What?"
    Tech Support: "Did you buy MS word?"
    Customer: "No..."
    ****************************
    4).Customer:: "Do I need a computer to use your software?"
    Tech Support:: ?!%#$
    ********************************

    5).Tech Support:: "Ok, in the bottom left hand side of the screen, can you see the 'OK' button displayed?"
    Customer: "Wow. How can you see my screen from there ?"
    ******************************************
    6) Tech Support:: "What type of computer do you have?"
    Customer:: "A white one."
    *********************************
    7). Tech Support:: "Type 'A:' at the prompt."
    Customer:: "How do you spell that?"
    **********************************
    8). Tech Support:: "What operating system are you running?"
    Customer: "Pentium."
    ***************************************
    11).Customer: "How do I print my voicemail?"
    **************************
    12). Customer: "You've got to fix my computer. I urgently need to print document, but the computer won't boot properly."
    Tech Support: "What does it say?"
    Customer: "Something about an error and non-system disk."
    Tech Support: "Look at your machine. Is there a floppy inside?"
    Customer: "No, but there's a sticker saying there's an Intel inside."
    ***********************************
    14). Tech Support: "Just call us back if there's a problem. We're open 24 hours."
    Customer: "Is that Eastern time?"
    ********************************
    15). Tech Support:: "What does the screen say now?"
    Customer: "It says, 'Hit ENTER when ready'."
    Tech Support:: "Well?"
    Customer: "How do I know when it's ready?"
    *****************************
    16). A plain computer illeterate guy rings tech support to report that his computer is faulty.
    Tech: What's the problem?
    User: There is smoke coming out of the power supply.
    Tech: You'll need a new power supply.
    User: No, I don't! I just need to change the startup files.
    Tech: Sir, the power supply is faulty. You'll need to replace it.
    User: No way! Someone told me that I just needed to
    change the startup and it will fix the problem! All I need is for you to tell me the command.
    ****
    10 minutes later, the User is still adamant that he is right. The tech is frustrated and fed up.
    Tech: Sorry, Sir. We don't normally tell our customers this, but there is an undocumented DOS
    command that will fix the problem.
    User: I knew it!
    Tech: Just add the line LOAD NOSMOKE.COM at the end of the CONFIG.SYS.
    Letme know how it goes.
    ****
    10 minutes later.
    User: It didn't work. The power supply is still smoking.
    Tech: Well, what version of DOS are you using?
    User: MS-DOS 6.22.
    Tech: That's your problem there. That version of DOS didn't come with NOSMOKE. Contact Microsoft and ask them for a patch that will give you ! the file. Let me know how it goes.

    1 hour later.

    User: I need a new power supply.
    Tech: How did you come to that conclusion?
    User: Well, I rang Microsoft and told him about what you said, and he started asking questions about the make of power supply.
    Tech: Then what did he say?
    User: He told me that my power supply isn't compatible with NOSMOKE.





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  • xyzgc
    12-30 11:05 PM
    Why should we waste our resources when Pakistanis are doing the damage by themselves??? The joke is Pak blaming some poor Indian for a bomb blast which was quickly owned up by a domestic terrorist organization!!
    Pakistan is a begging bowl which is trying to blackmail US by threatening to pull out troops from Afgan border..so US and UK are trying to pacify India telling them that they will put pressure on Pak to do something.
    And you know what a bigger joke is? your slum dog cum president who told Larry King that no one from "his part of the country" were involved in the attack!!! What is his part of the country? his toilet seat??? It has not been 1 year since he killed his wife he was jumping all over Sarah Palin like a horny dog!! Barking dogs seldom bite, so don't just thump your chest just yet. When the fox has to die it runs towards the lion. That is what Pakistan is doing by pretending to pose as if it will go to war with India. If India attacks Pak will fold it's tail between its legs and run to US, like Nawaz sherif did during the Kargil war. We have beaten you in 4 wars, how may more beatings will it take for it to sink into your thick skull that Pakistan can NEVER beat India. Period!!

    Pakistan will disintegrate with in the next few years if they don't seek India's support in whacking them Jehadi SOB's. Baluchitan, NWFP, Sindh are all going to be independent countries and the Pak president can easily rule " his part of the country"

    Buddyinsfo you might try to bring friction among Indians by pitting people from different states against each other, but remember when it comes to any outside force we are all Indians first and we will Kick your Ass...

    This is like an ant taking on an elephant, if half the men in Punjab, Guj and Rajastan stand on the border and Pee; Pakistan will be washed away in a flood of Urine...If you poor people want to get killed, there are better painless ways than enrage India. So it is in Paks best interest to request India to come in clean up the terrorist camps which are now turning against Pakistan itself!!

    smisachu, if you use this kind of language, the tender, sensitive minds of the other IVians will get bruised.You'll be branded as a out-of-control maniac, who's lost his mental balance.

    Benazir was one of the level-headed politicians in Pakistan like her father, but she was deemed pro-western. Her father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was charged with false conspiracies and hanged because he was one of the few secular leaders and held peace talks with India. She was ruthlessly murdered, what a loss!

    Good leaders don't stand a chance in Pakistan and the country is sure to disintegrate - its just a matter of time!!

    However, what buddysinfo says is right. India is not Israel. Its a land of weaklings and this Gandhi-Nehru doctrine is somewhere deep down in our DNA. Nenru was still chanting his favorite Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai and reading the Panchsheel and romancing with Lady Mountbatten, when the Chinese back-stabbed India. I have nothing against the Chinese - they are progressive people, thousand times better than these bankrupt Pakistanis (who can't look beyond terrorism and bloodshed) and they have made gigantic industrial progress! This just goes to show how useless Nehru-Gandhi leadership has historically been!!

    On the other hand, his daughter Indira was a loose cannon, a dictator but being a lady - she had balls! What a shame!
    Rajiv Gandhi was another strong leader. I have always disliked the congress for its vote bank politics but I grant it to Rajiv Gandhi for catapulting India into the information age.
    The same Bofors gun over which everybody raised a big hue and cry (Bofors kickbacks) came to our rescue during Kargil.
    After Rajiv, the leadership has completely collapsed - no absolute majority, coalition goverments, hung parliaments, its a chaos.

    Look at buddysinfo and look at the dirty,hateful offline messages he has left people. Pure, unadulterated hatred. Some Indians are more interested in Thakre driving out North Indians, others are beating up Laloo for giving some jobs to Biharis (are Biharis not Indians??), the South vs the North, Tamil vs Hindi - rather than bandying together as Indians.

    And to top it all, some one starts some idiotic thread as to how America is going to disintegrate! We need to learn a lot from America and Israel, when it comes to nationalism!
    Everyone was united after 9/11, everyone supported war and if there is another attack on American soil, there will be another war in the middle east, make no mistake. The war comes first, the questions and the regrets come later..that is America! Its not a nation of Nehru and Gandhi, its a nation of Roosevelt, Truman and General Eisenhower!

    On the other hand we will argue till doomsday - whether India should go on war with Pakistan or not, create some Bollywood style drama , while the islamic savages come and violate our land at will. Its been happening since 1600 A.D, nothing new here. It will happen again, who cares!

    Peace!



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  • Macaca
    12-27 07:10 PM
    Dilip Kumar turns 88 (http://dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\12\28\story_28-12-2010_pg3_2) By Ishtiaq Ahmed | Daily Times

    The great thespian Dilip Kumar turned 88 on December 11, 2010. I had wanted to pay tribute to this larger-than-life megastar of Bollywood in my previous column but the tragedy in Stockholm made me postpone it till now. Thanks to YouTube I could follow some of the highlights of the birthday party from Stockholm. Among the many guests were veteran character actor Pran, 90 (started his film career in Lahore in a Punjabi film), and Dharmendra (also a Punjabi).

    His wife, once the beauty queen of Bollywood, Saira Bano, made very gracious remarks about her remarkable husband. The most touching was the warmth and feeling with which she narrated that 400 students of Khalsa College, Mumbai, where Dilip studied as a young man many, many years ago, donated 89 bottles of blood � one more than the 88 years that Dilip has completed � as a pious gesture to wish him a long life. For a very long time, Dilip sahib has been actively involved in charitable and philanthropic causes. On his first visit to Pakistan he was the guest of a blood donation organisation. Later, he has visited Pakistan to take part in Imran Khan�s campaign to raise funds for the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital. In India, he is constantly involved in rendering service to movements dealing with the blind and other physically challenged human beings. He is truly a man with a golden heart.

    As an actor there is hardly anyone who has attained so much fame and won so many laurels as Dilip sahib. He was awarded the Dadasaheb Phalke Award in 1994 for lifelong contribution to cinema. Mian Nawaz Sharif, like the late General Ziaul Haq, is very fond of Indian films. As prime minister, Mian sahib indulged his artistic self by conferring the Nishan-e-Imtiaz on Dilip Kumar. Those were the days when Mian sahib was considered a peacenik and had developed close rapport with another Punjabi, Prime Minister Inder Kumar Gujral (originally from Jhelum).

    I remember being in Lahore in February-March 1999 just after Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Mian sahib had reached the Lahore Declaration, which was to usher in peace and prosperity between India and Pakistan. At some of the social gatherings the atmosphere was extremely positive to India-Pakistan trade. One industrialist convinced me that we would benefit most because while the Indians will get a market of 150 million we would get a market of one billion. Somebody must have been listening to all this and wanted to subvert such economist argumentation. So, the Kargil mini-war broke out in May 1999.

    After the Kargil showdown, Shiv Sena�s Bal Thackeray and his goons carried out a hate campaign against Dilip sahib, alleging that like all Muslims he is at heart a Pakistani. They demanded that he must return the Nishan-e-Imtiaz because Pakistan had committed aggression against India. Dilip did not give in to such blackmail. He retorted, �This award was given to me for the humane activities to which I have dedicated myself. I have worked for the poor; I have worked for many years to bridge the cultural and communal gaps between India and Pakistan. Politics and religion have created these boundaries. I have striven to bring the two people together in whatever way I could. Tell me, what does any of this have to do with the Kargil conflict?�

    I had the rare privilege of spending some three hours with him late evening on October 20, 2001. The famous actor of the 1970s, Raj Babbar (parents originally from Jalalpur Jattan, northern Punjab), had on my request arranged the interview. Originally it was meant to last not more than half an hour. However, once I was inside his sitting room and met him I could feel that Dilip wanted to talk to me more and more.

    To my very great surprise he wanted to conduct the conversation in his native Hindko, which to a Lahore-born like me was hundred percent Punjabi, but with a peculiar accent. We went over his long life, starting with Peshawar of course, where he was born as Mohammad Yusuf to the family of a fruit trader, Lala Ghulam Sarwar and his wife Ayesha. That trade brought his father to Maharashtra. Some years later Yusuf Khan became Dilip Kumar.

    He convinced me to have an omelette, saying that this way he could also join me otherwise Saira Bano was against him eating fatty stuff. I enjoyed watching him as he shared his heartfelt views about some people that I wanted him to comment on. He dispelled the rumour that he and Raj Kapoor had at any time been estranged from each other or been against each other. On the contrary, he told me that Raj Kapoor was always a steadfast friend and their Peshawar roots cemented that relationship on the family level. About the great Rafi sahib he told me that a gentler human being than him was difficult to find. He and Sunil Dutt (originally from village Khurd, Jhelum district) were next-door neighbours. Their families also met regularly and were very close to one another. He spoke very highly of Sunil Dutt, calling him a man of great courage and a very pure conscience. Equally he showered praise on Pran, calling him a man of lofty principles and integrity.

    I was tempted to probe his feelings about some of the female stars he had worked with, with some of whom rumours about amorous relationship had circulated. Then, I thought it would be trespassing into his private life and I would be abusing his hospitality. So, I did not broach that topic. I could however easily understand why so many women fell in love with this very fine specimen of Pakhtun ancestry.

    Politically he appeared to be very well informed. The Americans had just started aerial bombing of Afghanistan in retaliation for al Qaeda�s 9/11 terrorist attacks. He expressed great concern for the loss of life that such conflict entailed. Being from that region himself, he was worried that if the conflict escalated, the people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would suffer the most. It is amazing that at such an early stage he could foresee what was in the offing. I was quite surprised by his extensive reading of both Urdu and English literature and his interest in philosophy.

    The writer is Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Stockholm University. He is also Honorary Senior Fellow of the Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore.





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  • walking_dude
    09-28 08:01 PM
    Obama presidency will be a positive experience or a negative, based on whether Sen. Obama chooses to show Leadership or panders to the extreme left-wing of his party.

    Obama has everything to gain from supporting the EB community. An example is the loyal following Pres. Clinton has developed with the Asian community through the passage of recapture in the American Competitiveness in the 21st Century Act. Passing pro-EB immigration bills will definitely create a pro-Obama community as he gets ready to run for the second term. Though these new Permanent Residents may not be having the vote, they can contribute generously to the Obama campaign legally.

    Obama campaign won't be able to bank on 'Hope and Change' for the second term. Contributors will be judging him based on what he has done for their community. As he faces the Republican money-machine these contributions from the grateful former-EB immigrants will create a safe avenue for funding.

    Helping EB immigrants will not hurt Obama with the labor unions and left-wing groups. Whatever be their gripes, they will not be voting Republican or contributing Republican for sure. Same cannot be said of EB immigrant community who can by and large go Republican, if they see Obama working to the detriment of their interests and the community. With Asian votes and more importantly being so crucial in NY/NJ and CA, If I were Obama I would think hard before supporting anything that can turn these communities against me, and my party for a long time given the uncertainties of politics. If past trends have been any indication EB immigrant community has always voted solidly Democratic. Last thing any sensible leader or party will do in democracy will be losing thousands of future voters likely to vote for them and/or their party.

    Obama can either create a lasting Legacy with this community.Or he can make them angry for life by pandering to the extreme left-wing of his party, who won't even remember the action come the next elections. I hope Obama makes a sensible choice for the greater good. But if the current Democratic party politics is any indication, I am skeptical. It is beyond my understanding why the Democratic party leadership is hell-bent on converting the pro-Democrat EB immigrant community into future reliable Republican voters, by consistently black-balling any bills that could help the community!

    Passing anti-EB immigrant measure will NOT help the Dems get any new votes that they already don't have. Dems may lose a few votes for short term -which I highly doubt - by passing Recapture and other pro-EB bills. But that loss will be more than offset by new grateful voters who will vote Democratic for a generation and may be more. I can only hope that common sense prevails, and Obama acts keeping the common interests of his party and EB immigrants in mind while acting on the issue, while getting ready to pack-up for Canada or India, if forced to do so by Sen. Durbins pet policies.



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  • xyzgc
    12-24 03:37 PM
    What a tiresome thread!!!

    Several years ago, people actually made an effort to make IV an organization representing all skilled workers, from all parts of the world. Now, immigration matters are totally irrelevant on the forums. Heck, forget about being an exclusively India focused forum, as this thread demonstrates, it is a venue to vent on matters even more narrowly focused - My religion, my sect, my opinion, my petty prejudices. If this is not irrelevant enough, we have enough threads on red dot-green dots to justify a whole separate category of forums :rolleyes:
    Anyway, it does a pretty good job of turning off people. I guarantee you this thread alone has contributed significantly in influencing many planning on attending the March rally to change their mind. It sure did mine.

    I think you and many others like you didn't want to go in the first place. You are just inventing an excuse.
    There are other threads on this forum, this is not a good excuse. If you don't like this thread, don't bother reading it. Its really simple.





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  • sk2006
    06-23 10:58 PM
    Also the condos in cupertino & townhomes are like 3 storied, you spend a lot of life on staircase instead of enjoying the comfort.


    LOL.
    :D:D

    A realtor showed me a 3 story town house. It looked like 'Kutub-Minar'.
    When I pondered that it would be hard for my aged parents to manage so many stairs every day, the realtor suggested me to have an elevator in side the house.. and she was serious.



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  • xyzgc
    02-12 10:31 PM
    its all forgotten now, just wait for a bright tomorrow.:D





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  • Macaca
    12-28 08:03 AM
    House Members Spent $20.3M on Mailings (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/27/AR2007122700903.html?hpid=sec-politics) By DENNIS CONRAD | Associated Press, Dec 28, 2007

    WASHINGTON -- U.S. House members spent $20.3 million in tax money last year to send constituents what's often the government equivalent of junk mail _ meeting announcements, tips on car care and job interviews, surveys on public policy and just plain bragging.

    They sent nearly 116 million pieces of mail in all, many of them glossy productions filled with flattering photos and lists of the latest roads and bridges the lawmaker has brought home to the district, an Associated Press review of public records shows.

    Some offered advice on topics one would more commonly expect to see in a consumer-advice column.

    "Keep your car properly maintained" to improve mileage, suggested Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., in a newsletter on how to deal with rising energy prices.

    Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., offered tips on home improvements.

    And Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga., who lost her primary race last year, sent out a taxpayer-funded newsletter a few months before the election that included this simple observation:

    "Convicted felons can vote," she said, if "your" prison sentence has been served, parole or probation completed and fines paid. While campaigning, McKinney, who is black, noted that blacks make up a disproportionately large share of the prison population, which she said dilutes their voting strength.

    A dozen House members spent more than $133,000 each to send 9.8 million pieces of mass mailings. Total cost? $1.8 million.

    Sometimes the lawmakers' taxpayer funded mailings topped what they paid for direct mail through their campaign funds.

    Of the 64 House members with at least $100,000 in taxpayer-funded mailing expenses _ and overwhelmingly for mass mailings _ 42 were Republicans and 22 were Democrats, the AP review found.

    In sharp contrast, 59 lawmakers in the 435-member House _ 35 Republicans and 24 Democrats _ spent nothing on mass mailings. They tended to be the more experienced House members, often with 14 or more years of service.

    Mass mailings cannot be blatantly political, but they still can have political benefits, said Pete Sepp, a spokesman for the National Taxpayers' Union, which has condemned mass mailings.

    "A taxpayer-financed mailing doesn't have to say 're-elect me' to have an impact on voters," Sepp said. "A glossy newsletter splashed with the incumbent's achievements in Congress can build useful credentials a lawmaker can take with him to the ballot box. The franking privilege is one of the main cogs in Congress' PR machine."

    Franking, practiced since the early days of the republic, lets members of Congress send mail with just a signature where the postage would normally be affixed. Although the mailings are regulated by a congressional commission to guard against overt political appeals and cannot go out within 90 days of an election, they still sometimes take a dig at the opposition.

    In a June 2006 newsletter, Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., noted that under the Republican majority, Congress had passed tax cuts that "benefit the wealthiest Americans at the expense of working families."

    Stark has been a regular among the biggest users of the congressional franking privilege. For 2006, his mass mailings alone cost $172,357, an amount large enough to rank him among the top congressional mailers. House documents reported his overall mailing costs to be about $37,000 less. The AP received no explanation for the apparent discrepancy from spokesmen for Stark, the House Administration Committee and House administration staff.

    Some lawmakers defend the newsletters as a vital way of communicating with constituents.

    "One of the biggest complaints my constituents had (with) my predecessor was that they never knew what was going on in Washington," said Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Fla. "They never had the opportunity to do surveys, etc. I promised I would communicate with them regularly."

    Brown-Waite is one of the biggest users of bulk mail, with 657,951 pieces at a cost of $129,428 last year. That surpassed the approximately $110,000 her campaign spent on direct mailings and related costs.

    One taxpayer-funded mailing featured a picture of her and the headline: "Medicare Prescription Drug Update: The Time to Act is Now." Another, entitled "Constituent Service Guide for the 5th District," included a survey and information about how to obtain U.S. flags, assistance from federal agencies and an appointment to a military academy.

    The House Democratic Caucus encourages members to use the mailings to communicate with constituents, spokeswoman Sarah Feinberg said. She said it was a good way for congressmen to focus on an issue or, if survey questions are used, get a handle on what constituents are thinking.

    That argument doesn't persuade Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Ill., who said he has never used the mailings in 13 years in Congress. "It's a waste of taxpayers' money," he said. "I don't believe in this self-promotion."

    LaHood argues that franking should be used only to answer constituent mail. He has repeatedly introduced bills to ban mass mailings and just as often the legislation dies in committee.

    For the House and Senate combined, the cost of taxpayer-paid mailings, including mass mailings, letters to individuals and groups of up to 500 people, was $34.3 million for fiscal year 2006, according to a recent Congressional Research Service report. In 1988, before more restrictions were imposed on the use of mailings, the figure was more than three times larger, $113.3 million.

    The biggest senders in the AP analysis included freshmen in tight re-election fights and veterans who coasted to victory.

    Rep. Henry Brown, R-S.C., had the most pieces of mass mailings: 1,257,972. His mass mailings' cost of $171,286 was among the highest in the House, as was the overall cost of his franked mail, at $177,706.

    Murphy, who advised constituents to maintain cars, was one of the House leaders in sending out bulk mail, with 1,003,836 pieces. The price tag: $165,650.

    Among legislative leaders, the biggest spender was Rep. Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., who last fall became chairman of the House GOP Conference. He spent $133,053 to mail 844,336 pieces.

    Other leaders in the last Congress and the current one were not big users.

    The cost of postage is not the only expense for taxpayers. Printing and reproduction can add tens of thousands of dollars to a mailing's cost. The printing cost for one mailing from McCotter was $30,259.

    There is a practical limit on how much can be spent on mailings.

    Funding comes from a congressman's office budget, which ranges from $1.2 million to $1.4 million for payroll and other expenses. The more spent on mass mailings, the less money is available for such needs as staff, salaries and district offices.

    Senators can also send franked mail, but the amount for each senator is specific and generally based on the number of addresses in a senator's state. At no point may it exceed $50,000 a year for mass mailings. For fiscal year 2004, overall mail allocations ranged from $31,746 to $298,850.

    Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., who mailed 906,788 pieces last year and won re-election with 60 percent of the vote, sees the mailings as helping him do his job.

    "Ours is a representative government, requiring an active dialogue between elected officials and those they serve," Stearns said in a statement.

    Mike Stokke, a political aide to recently resigned Rep. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., when he was House speaker, said he would advise congressmen to send out mailings when they've fulfilled an important promise, such as getting money for a bridge in the district.



    more...


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  • learning01
    05-24 01:00 PM
    It's a request.





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  • Macaca
    12-27 06:39 PM
    Onions vs. Corruption on the Outrage Scale (http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2010/12/27/onions-vs-corruption-on-the-outrage-scale/) By Rupa Subramanya Dehejia | IndiaRealTime

    Are we a democracy in name only? Is the Indian electorate apathetic? Why aren�t people marching in the streets protesting the recent spate of corruption scams?

    Well, OK, some marched last Wednesday as the BJP sponsored demonstrations against corruption in the major metros. But it was hardly a spontaneous and large-scale outpouring of popular disaffection. And it was rather late at that.

    While India�s political classes and the English speaking elite are working themselves into a rhetorical frenzy over the succession of scandals that have beset the United Progressive Alliance government, contrast this to the apparent complete lack of engagement by the common man. While most Indian commentary has focused on the political intrigue within Delhi, Paul Beckett in the WSJ remarked on the fact that �this is the sort of event that in a less apathetic democracy would lead to genuinely convulsive outrage.�

    At least every five years, India is a vibrant democracy, with a high participation rate and a robust tendency to punish incumbents who perform poorly, even more so than in most Western democracies. But why do we become so lethargic in between? Where are the convulsions that we surely should be seeing?

    Recently, I�ve been posing this question to just about everyone I meet from Mumbai taxi drivers, construction crew in the neighboring apartment, Twitter followers, and whomever else I can buttonhole. Some professed no interest, saying that all of their energy and time are occupied by putting food on the table. Others expressed a sense of helplessness: �I�m a day laborer barely making ends meet; how can I influence what these big politicians do? Who will listen to me?�

    This sense of resignation needs to be questioned. If common folk felt that helpless, why would they bother to vote in such large numbers and turf out politicians they don�t like every time an election comes around? As the recent state election in Bihar demonstrates, voters are quite prepared to reward good governance and punish grandstanding populism. Clearly, as an electorate, we�re responsive and agile when we want to be.

    So what�s going on?

    One hypothesis is that people largely see this as political theater. So long as the economy is booming and there�s no direct impact on their pocketbook, it�s business as usual. Let�s not forget when existential questions such as land acquisition or the price of staples are at issue, we do see the common man coming out on the streets and expressing his displeasure, forcing governments to react. Witness the recent uproar over the price of onions.

    The estimated $40 billion loss to the exchequer from selling the 2G spectrum below its value is money not spent on electrifying Indian towns and villages, building schools and hospitals, etc. Why don�t people see it this way? It is not merely a �presumptive� loss as Kapil Sabil contended to Barkha Dutt on NDTV recently but a real economic loss. After all, a rupee not earned is a rupee wasted.

    Another reason could be that two-thirds of the people are poor and don�t pay much in the way of income taxes. Perhaps they don�t see the recent scams as costing them. Contrast this to the West where every allegation of government money misused is widely portrayed as a waste of taxpayers� money and galvanizes opposition. In India, the bulk of the tax base is rich individuals and corporations who, as we should expect, are the ones who�ve been screaming loudest about the recent scandals.

    A related explanation may be that there�s been a failure by the opposition parties in articulating the cost to the common man of these various scams. Broad and sweeping condemnations of corruption don�t speak directly to the fact that the money lost could have been used for productive social ends. The talking heads on cable news channels and the pundits in print seem so caught up in the minute details of parliamentary and judicial procedures that they miss the forest for the trees.

    The crux of the matter is this: government strategists have presumably deduced that none of these recent scams will be consequential at the polls. What animates the common man is not television debates between Anglicized lawyers who use fancy words but fundamental issues such as food, water and land. Despite all of our economic progress, there remains a fundamental divide between the interests of the urban middle and upper classes and of the poor, whether urban or rural.

    Until that changes, the price of onions will always be politically more salient than whatever corruption scandal is making headlines, and will dictate electoral fortunes.

    Do you agree? Share your thoughts in the Comments section.





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  • dealsnet
    01-08 10:29 AM
    I have use the word bastard after you used for Jews. You have said, your war will end till Jews are defeated. So get my reply. Don't cry!!!!! foul !!!

    read your comments:

    I agree, the conflict discussed here is a political conflict. It could have been resolved much easier if all sides stopped looking at it with the religious-end-of-times lens (jews: nile-to-euphrates empire belonged to us 3000 years ago, christians: jews from all over the world must be transfered back there for the messiah to return.. and muslims: end of times won't come until jews fight the muslims and we beat them)..



    you called all non christian nations "satanic nations that will be wiped out", called 95% of egyptians war children, brain washed bastards and terrorists.. u r right, u don't use vulgar language, only racist hate speech..





    pani_6
    07-14 11:45 PM
    Pappu,

    Could you please outline what you would you say about helping EB-3 out when you meet with DOL/USCIS officials next time IV meets them...also I want you to write a full letter that address the issue faced by Eb-3 and post it for us to mail it out...I understand that letter is not perfect..but it brings the dire picture of EB-3-I..

    From what I have seen in the Fourm posts nobody clearly knows how these Visa numbers are clearly allocated and everybody has thier own theory..and you know well legislation will not come this year and we do not know the composition of new congress next year..we may have a congress that even more anti-immigrant with the slowing economy.. and EB-3 I is badly hurting..

    We cant convert to Eb-2 now its too late..LC PERM are getting Audited (Taking 8-9 months ) and no PP for I-140..even if we apply for Eb-2 now...by the time it comes ..we dont know whether Eb-3 would have moved to say 2003 making all the PERM and I-140($$) efforts go waste...


    We want to know what is in store for EB-3...some folks write that only 5 families per state are going to get thier GC in EB-3.. at the current rate 2001 Eb-3 have to wait another 5 years to get thier numbers....

    Could you in your next meeting with DOL/USCIS/DOS please bring up the issues with EB-3 now that EB-2 has some relief..and give us whether we need to convert to EB-2 or in the near future will the numbers in EB-3 move..

    Frankly I have no enegery left ...

    Pappu..you are doing a great job..I commend your efforts..please show some direction for EB-3 ..some news from DOS/USCIS would be helpful...





    I have my disagreements with the letter content and have let it known in my posts on the thread.

    Pani you are an old IV member with IV experience and I trust that you would give second thoughts based on my comments.





    lfwf
    08-06 03:38 PM
    Dude, I did not personally bash anyone let alone give you a red dot, I was just putting forth my opinions which you and some of our ilk did not like which is fair enough.

    You guys saying guys with Masters are from heaven compared to EB3 guys getting 5+ years experience is like personally bashing each and everyone who falls in that category.

    You repeatedly insist on looking at things that way. No one is from heaven and no one is precluding Bs+5 from applying for EB2. They should, why not?
    The question is only: Is it fair for them to get that entire 5 years in their PD as a jump on those who filed EB2 after an advanced degree. That's it. Nothing more or less than that. Please don't read needless nonsense into this. I have no interest in inferior, superior, holier, more genuine etc.
    Nor am i bashing experience and all that. the question simply whether the advantage for going from EB3 to Eb2 should be magnified by allowing the old PD to be ported with it. This kind of situation puts people like me (7 years of education! multiple degrees...) at a serious disadvantage. We would potentially have to wait for every single EB3 that came to the US >5 years ago (even well after we came) to get their GC before ever standing a chance.
    Because they would all be BS+5....and we can't match their PDs. And we have waited as long or more.



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