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  • Libyan Desert



  • JazzByTheBay
    06-05 01:41 AM
    It's reassuring to see one's thought process wasn't entirely illogical after all.

    Now, if you talk to real estate agents, you'll be told this is "the best time to buy".

    jazz


    here is a good point about long term housing prospects. I for one am glad that GC delay saved me from buying a house.
    this is from an article
    ------------------------------------
    Why do I think housing is in the tank for the long term?

    First, I listen to people smarter than I am - a key to success from investing to recreation league baseball. When my rec team had its first losing season - after twelve consecutive great seasons (two per year) I did the logical and hired a professional coach. They were winners the next season. Ditto for analyzing stuff - and I follow Ivy Zelman and Whitney Tilson. They have been dead on about the mortgage meltdown - and see a larger one coming.

    Listening to them, reading data and being objective has led me to see the key to a rebound in housing is clearing inventory - too much supply and too little demand, and since lower than five percent interest rates have not spurred buying, supply is the issue. Supply comes from the sale of existing homes, the sale of new homes, and the sale of foreclosed homes.

    * Typically ten to fifteen percent of Americans sell or want to sell their home in a given year. Recent survey data shows the number is now 30%. Keep that in mind.
    * New home sales are incredibly low. Market wisdom said home building stocks would rise once the new housing start rate hit a million and inventory became tight. New home starts are roughly half of that and there ain't no rebound. As the poet said, times, they be a changing.
    * People are not selling, and builders are not building, not just because people are not buying - it is because prices are low and going lower and the driver here is foreclosures. Data can be found here, there and everywhere but the salient data points are a) banks are accelerating foreclosures, b) the next wave of resets of mortgages, the cause of most foreclosures, does not peak until the summer of 2011, c) banks are already sitting on more than half a million homes they have not listed for sale, and the whopper is d) the New York Times has reported that there are nineteen million empty housing units and only six million are listed for sale.

    This last point, when combined with another couple of million foreclosed homes, then with desire for people wanting to sell their home as soon as they can, means excess inventory for as far as the eye can see. I originally projected housing prices would, nationally, bottom at the end of 2011 and prices would begin to pick up in mid 2012. I may have been premature. With resets peaking in mid defaults will probably peak in early Q4 2011; this means foreclosure listings will peak in mid-summer 2012, after the peak selling season, not good for managing down inventory. Assuming demand picks up - a near heroic assumption at this time as interest rates will be higher and unemployment could be the same or higher at that time - you will start to see inventory declining in a meaningful way until 2013 at the earliest.

    I have focused on supply - was I too cavalier about demand? Well, that is more problematic - resets, defaults and foreclosures are fourth grade math and although the only thing I knew about housing was my own mortgage before this mess started, I can do fourth grade math and every forecast I have made about foreclosures and inventory has been right within a 30-45 day period.

    Using fourth grade math as our primary tool does have value in estimating demand. Roughly 40% of demand in the peak year - 2006 - was sub-prime or near sub-prime - and these buyers are out of the market for a considerable period of time. And a very large percentage - some analysts estimate as high as a third - of all sales were for investment and second homes. Most of this demand is gone for the foreseeable future. Add tightening credit standards, recession ravaged incomes and personal balance sheets, and a new frugality and it is hard to see demand in 2013 or 2014 climbing past 50% of demand in 2006. Even if the FHA does not go bust - which it will, requiring another Treasury bailout.





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  • mariner5555
    04-14 02:39 PM
    Glad to know that you remember me. I don’t understand your logic, do you mean to say that I go to my house only on weekends, or do you mean to say that people who live in apartments spend the weekdays with family and go to work only on weekends?. What is your point dude?.
    what is your point duuude when you say "Let’s say you have a small kid and you are living in an apartment, after 10 years you save enough money to buy a big house and you then eventually you buy it. Then you ask the your kid “do you like the house?”. He will reply “it’s very nice dad, but can you give you give my childhood now?.”
    do you mean to say all those who are renting will buy after 10 years or do you mean to say that children who grow up in rented house or appt ..don't have a childhood ?? as it was mentioned in earlier posts ..there is a greater chance that your son / daughter will find a likeminded play friend in a good apartment complex then in a subdivision of houses.





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  • In the west, the Libyan Desert



  • WaitingYaar
    04-05 05:12 PM
    jung.lee

    The analysis is interesting, but this much amount has already been written off considering 100% of option ARM, and alt-ARM will fail. Furthermore, it is worth noting that if one is buying the property for personal consumption or for invetment. If for invetment, then I agree with your assesment, but if you are buying for yourself, it always a good time :-) Home sweet home!! Also always wise to pay your own mortgage than anyone else's.

    Also, if the housing goes down further, you would see a much broader threat to the economy, so i feel that all will be done to contain it. We are currently at 2004 prices, and in some areas escalations on the foreclosed properties are are being seen.... So it tells something, that buyers who have been holding the cash are started to look around. But the inventory being so high that it may some sometime. However, the interest rates may not be friendly for long because of the inflation threat and considering the risks associated with the mortgages. So, this time with low rates, and low house pricess may not last long since these two things are generally inversly proportional!!





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  • Libyan desert - photo by



  • gcseeker2002
    12-27 12:55 PM
    Found this somewhere in the internet , this is meant for those Indian muslims who want to cause havoc in India.

    Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia , as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks.


    Separately, Howard angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying he supported spy agencies monitoring the nation's mosques. Quote: 'IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT. Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali , we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians. '


    'This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom'


    'We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society . Learn the language!'


    'Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.'

    'We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us.'

    'This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, 'THE RIGHT TO LEAVE'.'


    'If you aren't happy here then LEAVE. We didn't force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted.'


    Maybe if we circulate this , Indian citizens will find the backbone to start speaking and voicing the same truths against islamic radicals infesting the country.



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  • gondalguru
    07-08 08:00 PM
    Assuming your husband is here from 2000, they are asking for 7 years, i.e. 12 * 7 = 84 months of paystubs? This is ridiculous. How many people keep paystubs from 7 years ago? Infact in those days paystubs used to have their social security numbers on them, they should be shredded, atleast that's the common advice.

    My pay stub still has SSN.

    Its always good to keep all the paystubs / w2/ tax returns / employment verifications letter / what ever other evidences you have.. especially employment based GC applicants





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  • qasleuth
    03-25 04:05 PM
    Go back and read each and every line of what UN posted and you would understand.

    Should something bad happen (Which I dont understand why it would), .


    I do not understand either...OP says he/she does not want to spend a grand (not sure if it costs that much) in attorney fees while he is willing to spend time/money trying to immigrate to Alberta. Taking a fatalistic approach and hoping for the best seems to be the idea. Again good luck to OP.

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



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  • chanduv23
    03-24 02:48 PM
    Unitednations,
    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. You will say to do that law must be changed. But at least go strict on whom you approve once they are selected in the lottery. Are they not bringing lot of criminals, fanatics, unemployed and uneducated poor through DV.

    - 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 .

    Well - that is because we have a lot of opposition. Employers want us ONLY for the business, lawyers handle stuff with USCIS and employers and guide them accordingly - for lawyers - this complex web is bread and butter.

    It is our visibility and vulnerability that puts focus on us.

    Remember - it is not your fault if you get a call from USCIS asking for paperwork like the original poster. It is just that there is so much focus on people like us.

    Also remember - nothing is over - as long as the original poster has followed the law and handles it he/she must be fine.





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  • hiralal
    06-08 07:24 AM
    similar arguments and predictions by different analysts
    ------------------------------
    And here's Whitney and Glenn's take on the future of house prices:

    We think housing prices will reach fair value/trend line, down 40% from the peak based on the
    S&P/Case-Shiller national (not 20-city) index, which implies a 5-10% further decline from where
    prices where as of the end of Q1 2009. It’s almost certain that prices will reach these levels.

    • The key question is whether housing prices will go crashing through the trend line and fall well below fair value. Unfortunately, this is very likely.

    In the long-term, housing prices will likely settle around fair value, but in the short-term prices will be driven both by psychology as well as supply and demand. The trends in both are very unfavorable.

    – Regarding the former, national home prices have declined for 33 consecutive months since their peak in July 2006 through April 2009 and there’s no end in sight, so this makes buyers reluctant – even when the price appears cheap – and sellers desperate.

    – Regarding the latter, there is a huge mismatch between supply and demand, due largely to the tsunami of foreclosures. In March 2009, distressed sales accounted for just over 50% of all existing home sales nationwide – and more than 57% in California. In addition, the “shadow” inventory of foreclosed homes already likely exceeds one year and there will be millions more foreclosures over the next few years, creating a large overhang of excess supply that will likely cause prices to overshoot on the downside, as they are already doing in California.

    • Therefore, we expect housing prices to decline 45-50% from the peak, bottoming in mid-2010

    • We are also quite certain that wherever prices bottom, there will be no quick rebound

    • There’s too much inventory to work off quickly, especially in light of the millions of foreclosures
    over the next few years

    • While foreclosure sales are booming in many areas, regular sales by homeowners have plunged,
    in part because people usually can’t sell when they’re underwater on their mortgage and in part
    due to human psychology: people naturally anchor on the price they paid or what something was
    worth in the past and are reluctant to sell below this level. We suspect that there are millions of
    homeowners like this who will emerge as sellers at the first sign of a rebound in home prices

    • Finally, we don’t think the economy is likely to provide a tailwind, as we expect it to contract the
    rest of 2009, stagnate in 2010, and only then grow tepidly for some time thereafter.



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  • milind70
    07-10 08:18 PM
    My situation goes something like this.

    1) I got 7th year extension in Sep 2005
    2) Visited India and got stamped and got new I-94 on return.
    3) Applied for 8th year extension without submitting new I-94.
    but applied with old replacement I-94 came with I-797.
    4) So the same I-94 continued on subsequent I-797 extensions.
    5) Recently applied for 9th year extension with the same.

    My Question is, do I need to submit last entry I-94 card that I missed which is expired now, for correction? Or is there any issue with this.
    All these years I have the same employer.

    I appreciate your help on this.

    Thanks
    -BMS

    There are two things

    1. when you got your 7th year extension 797 with I 94 , you were supposed to submit that I 94 ( on 797) along with the i 94 in your passport.
    This is important most people dont do it .
    2. when u aplied for 8th year extension u submitted the 797 of the 7th year along with the i 94 attached to it( which you were suppose to submit when you left the country for 7th year stamping) hence the I 94 number did not change. Your I 94 are out of synch.

    I would suggest to talk to an immigration attorney and i mean a real good one .
    Otherwise you could talk to an immgration officer and expalin your case.
    Or you could now go out get stamped and get a new I 94 9make sure this time you submit both the I 94s when you leave)

    I had a very peculiar situation where i had to travel outside the country when my H1 extension was pending and it got approved when i was out of the country and when i got a new i 94 when i came back with a new number than the one with i 94 on 797 ( which was of a later date)
    I spoke to immigrtaion officer and he heard me my circumstances and said i was in status and my i 94 were in order.
    Last year i went to my home country and got stamped and got a new i 94 but i submiited the two i 94s when i left the country.





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  • boreal
    09-27 12:31 PM
    Obama might be the only person who is still sane and might want to end the war, save the country 10b per month. This might have its own positive effects as there would be more money to spend on economic development in the US, which in turn might mean slowly improving economy and better jobs. All of these might translate into optimism in the country and lesser opposition to EB immigrants in general. Agreed that Durbin might try to derail the EB process by the introduction of new skills based program and what not...but highly doubt that it would be applicable retro-actively and affect ppl already in the queue. And for new EB applicants, they would know what they are getting into, if such a points based system is introduced, and hell, might work for quite a few of the new EB applicants...

    Mccain, on the other hand, seems to so over-confident and as arrogant as his predecessor that he he failed to mention, even once, that the war needs to end. (as evidenced by yday's debate at Ole Miss). He is still talking about 'strategies and tactics of war and differences between them' in the debate when the nation is reeling under the most severe economic crisis...the point is that this guy doesnt seem to be the person that will be of any help either to the country or the EB immigrants like us. He is nothing but an extension of the Bush Government and i hope that he doesnt become the President (not that he has great chances either)

    Anyway, whoever becomes the President, as someone put it .."Its the Congress, stupid!!' The congress would still need to act on any legislation. And the way the things are working since 2005, election year or not, it seems to be a very uphill task to get anything passed, be it for illegal or legal immigrants. The anti-immigrants force seems to be so strong that it seems almost impossible for anything to be passed for any kind of immigration..so, i believe the status-quo would continue even after the new President takes over..

    Well, that leaves us, poor EB immigrants, as usual at the mercy of USCIS...if we are lucky enough, we will still be emloyed when our visa number becomes available...(Remember that Seinfeld episode when the Seinfeld party finally gets the table at the Chinese Restaurant, but they are long gone..!!!)



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  • A piece of Libyan desert glass



  • radhay
    04-08 04:16 PM
    As many have already suggested, location and time frame you have is the key. If you are in an area where there are more jobs being created and population is growing (parts of TX, NC) you should seriously consider buying if you plan to stay there for atleast 3 yrs.
    We are in a period of stagnant income growth for most of the population and increased inflation and hence there is little money left to pay for inflated houses.





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  • rkgc
    03-23 03:21 PM
    Hi All, Let's post some useful information for gimme_GC2006, s/he must be anxiously waiting for our reply.

    Did you get in touch with a lawyer yet?

    ~rk



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  • alterego
    04-06 09:35 AM
    I think you missed my point. I was not trying to connect the ARM reset schedule with write-offs at wall street firms. Instead, I was trying to point out that there will be increased number of foreclosures as those ARMs reset over the next 36 months.

    The next phase of the logic is: increased foreclosures will lead to increased inventory, which leads to lower prices, which leads to still more foreclosures and "walk aways" (people -citizens- who just dont want to pay the high mortgages any more since it is way cheaper to rent). This leads to still lower prices. Prices will likely stabilize when it is cheaper to buy vs. rent. Right now that calculus is inverted. In many bubble areas (both coasts, at a minimum) you would pay significantly more to buy than to rent (2X or more per month with a conventional mortgage in some good areas).

    On the whole, I will debate only on financial and rational points. I am not going to question someone's emotional position on "homeownership." It is too complicated to extract someone out of their strongly held beliefs about how it is better to pay your own mortgage than someone elses, etc. All that is hubris that is ingrained from 5+ years of abnormally strong rising prices.

    Let us say that you have two kids, age 2 and 5. The 5 year old is entering kindergarten next fall. You decide to buy in a good school district this year. Since your main decision was based on school choice, let us say that your investment horizon is 16 years (the year your 2 year old will finish high school at age 18).

    Let us further assume that you will buy a house at the price of $600,000 in Bergen County, with 20% down ($120,000) this summer. The terms of the loan are 30 year fixed, 5.75% APR. This loan payment alone is $2800 per month. On top of that you will be paying at least 1.5% of value in property taxes, around $9,000 per year, or around $750 per month. Insurance will cost you around $1500 - $2000 per year, or another $150 or so per month. So your total committed payments will be around $3,700 per month.

    You will pay for yard work (unless you are a do-it-yourself-er), and maintenance, and through the nose for utilities because a big house costs big to heat and cool. (Summers are OK, but desis want their houses warm enough in the winter for a lungi or veshti:))

    Let us assume further that in Bergen county, you can rent something bigger and more comfortable than your 1200 sq ft apartment from a private party for around $2000. So your rental cost to house payment ratio is around 1.8X (3700/2000).

    Let us say further that the market drops 30% conservatively (will likely be more), from today through bottom in 4 years. Your $600k house will be worth 30% less, i.e. $420,000. Your loan will still be worth around $450k. If you needed to sell at this point in time, with 6% selling cost, you will need to bring cash to closing as a seller i.e., you are screwed. At escrow, you will need to pay off the loan of $450k, and pay 6% closing costs, which means you need to bring $450k+$25k-$420k = $55,000 to closing.

    So you stand to lose:

    1. Your down payment of $120k
    2. Your cash at closing if you sell in 4 years: $55k
    3. Rental differential: 48 months X (3700 - 2000) = $81k

    Total potential loss: $250,000!!!

    This is not a "nightmare scenario" but a very real one. It is happenning right now in many parts of the country, and is just now hitting the more populated areas of the two coasts. There is still more to come.

    My 2 cents for you guys, desi bhais, please do what you need to do, but keep your eyes open. This time the downturn is very different from the business-investment related downturn that followed the dot com bust earlier this decade.

    The truth is probably between the extreme pessimism in this post and the unbridled optimism in other posts.

    Never trust what realtors tell you, they are in it to make a sale and it is always in their interest to talk up the market. I have never yet seen/read/heard a realtor speak negatively about the market. Even if they are asked an obvious question like do you think prices have fallen in the last year they will say they have trended down a little but the foreclosure crisis is over now, and the fed is acting decisively and the demographics speak to a longer term secular uptrend bla bla blaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Some BS to justify their talk.

    The bottom line is there will be a hangover of a few years from this unprecedented bubble in housing, it will be more severe in hotspot areas we all know about. In those areas you will likely see a 25-30% drop with about half of it already baked in, another half spread out more slowly over the next 3 yrs that that graph illustrated. Additionally the inflation rate of 3-4%(you can expect an uptick over the next 2-3 yrs) will eat away another few percentage points of your capital , while also eating away at your loan.
    The net effect is that you would be another 20% or so the worse off in these hotbed areas in the next 3-4 yrs. In more steady areas, that fall will be much more muted perhaps half or less of that. However sales will slow to a crawl with the slowing jobs market.

    The main determinants of house prices are.

    1) Inventory............a negative right now.

    2) Credit............negative but with scope for improvement in the next 12 mths.

    3) Jobs...........likely to be down for the next 6 months atleast.

    4) Salaries..................Global pressures on these will likley persist with some tax help to average americans likley if Dems. take control.

    5) Market psychology...................likely damaged for the near term atleast 12 mths.

    6) The replacement value of homes. Land is a non factor here in this country. I scoff at suggestions to the contrary. Even in cities with restrictions, this is a yawn yawn factor. Unless you are speaking about downtown manhattan it is not a factor. Construction costs on the other hand are a factor. A value of $100 per Sq Ft of constructed value is perhaps par for the course right now, that can only go up, with rising commodity prices, salaries for construction with illegals kicked out etc over time this will go up.

    7) Rental rates to home prices. This too will catch up. Folks kicked out of sub prime mortgage homes need to go somewhere. They will likley drive demand for rentals.

    All of this points to a fast then a slow correction. I think we are nearing the end of the fast phase of home price correction. 20-25% in hotbed areas and 7-12% in other areas. I think you will see a more gradual correction of a similar magnitude spread over 3-4 yrs now.

    Lets see how it all unfolds.

    Remember Every drinking binge has a hangover! The US housing market is now in one.





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  • mariner5555
    04-22 03:52 PM
    this is from schiller ..an economist ..I am sure he knows more about housing than others ..I guess this is a worse case scenario (if not the worst).

    http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/080422/economy_shiller.html?.v=2
    ----
    Economist cautions housing slump could exceed drop of the Great Depression, require bailouts

    NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) -- An influential economist who long predicted the housing market bubble cautioned Tuesday that the slump in the U.S. housing market could cause prices to fall more than they did in the Great Depression and bailouts will be needed so millions don't lose their homes.

    Yale University economist Robert Shiller, pioneer of the widely watched Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index, said there's a good chance housing prices will fall further than the 30 percent drop in the historic depression of the 1930s. Home prices nationwide already have dropped 15 percent since their peak in 2006, he said.

    "I think there is a scenario that they could be down substantially more," Shiller said during a speech at the New Haven Lawn Club.

    Shiller's Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller home price index is considered a strong measure of home prices because it examines price changes of the same property over time, instead of calculating a median price of homes sold during the month.

    Shiller, who admitted he has a reputation for being bearish, said real estate cycles typically take years to correct.

    Home prices rose about 85 percent from 1997 to 2006 adjusted for inflation, the biggest national housing boom in U.S. history, Shiller said.

    "Basically we're in uncharted territory," Shiller said. "It seems we have developed a speculative culture about housing that never existed on a national basis before."

    Many people became convinced that housing prices would increase 10 percent annually, a notion Shiller called crazy.



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  • sc3
    08-05 06:41 PM
    Come on!, give me a break. You guys are now worried that EB3 will spoil your (what I still consider, ill gotten) party by PD porting. You now come up with arguments about what is EB2.

    First argument: "EB2 requires advanced degree"

    If that is the case, there is no one who is eligible for Eb2, as "Advanced degrees" is not a degree that is offered by any university in US. Mostly the ones I know offer, Masters and PHD and likes. No one says I am offering "advanced degree". ;)

    Further more, advanced degree is subjective. Bachelors is advanced compared to Diploma, which is advanced compared to 10th passed, which is advanced compared someone who failed 10th.


    Second: It is not fair to allow EB3s to port.
    It is in the law. that part is not grounds for a lawsuit. If you still want to complain, then complain about the fact that AC21 allows you to jump jobs without even getting your GC.

    Third (these are my own points)

    When people got their F1, they said there are here without immigrant intention. Why is USCIS giving them H1 and then also accepting GCs for them. Come to think of it, OPT is not required by any university for granting the degree, so why are F1s even allowed to work??


    The point I am trying to make is that if you try to open one can of worms, everyone else has a Costo or a Sams club to go to and buy a boat load of cans of worms to open - that is going to put you in a bad situation.





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  • niklshah
    01-07 10:35 AM
    Those who said, Hamas was hiding inside school and firing rockets, go check the fact in CNN.

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

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

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


    oh every one saw your link u sent, did u see CNN when they were showing mumbai killings.. Palestine and Israel are fighting for land and occupation but what was fault of people in mumbai??? think hard man if this war needs to be stopped it has to be stopped from all the sides u cant blame single community or nation for this..........



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  • Macaca
    12-26 09:33 PM
    Wal-Mart Lobbies Above Retail Value (http://http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/26/AR2007122600874.html) By DIBYA SARKAR | Associated Press, Dec 26, 2007

    WASHINGTON -- Wal-Mart's message to America is "Save money. Live better." Its motto in Washington might best be summed up another way: Spend more. Lobby harder.

    The world's largest retailer spent nearly $1.8 million in the first six months of 2007 and is on pace to break the nearly $2.5 million it spent for all of 2006.
    While overall spending on lobbying appears to be slowing a bit, some industries, such as private equity, and companies, such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., are bucking the trend.

    A relative newcomer to lobbying, the Bentonville, Ark.-based company is making sure Capitol Hill knows it doesn't take a discount approach to getting its message out about everything from immigration to financial-services licensing.

    Wal-Mart spent more than $4 million lobbying in the past 18 months compared with the $6.6 million it collectively spent in the prior seven years, according to federal lobbying reports.

    The retail sector as a whole isn't a lobbying juggernaut in Washington, where defense, energy and pharmaceutical industries write the big checks. For example, Target Corp. spent $100,000 in lobbying expenses in the first six months this year, Sears Holding Corp. spent about $141,000, while defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp. spent $4.8 million in the same period.
    Wal-Mart spokesman David Tovar would not comment on specific legislation or issues. He said the company's spending depends on the congressional agenda.

    This year, that agenda included immigration reform legislation that failed and a minimum wage-hike bill that passed. The company has said higher wages will push up the cost of goods for customers.

    For their part, Wal-Mart lobbyists pushed for tougher tactics against organized retail crime and for legislation promoting electronic health records and other technology aimed at reducing health-care costs.

    But, Wal-Mart, long criticized for having skimpy employee health-insurance benefits, also lobbied against legislation that would allow employees to form, join or help labor organizations. Its employees are not unionized.

    In the financial services arena, Wal-Mart dropped a bid for a bank license earlier this year after it was strongly opposed by banks, unions and other critics. It continues to push for the ability to offer other financial services, such as prepaid Visa debit cards for millions of low-income shoppers who don't have bank accounts.

    Other issues listed on the disclosure form included legislation tied to international trade matters, currency, taxes and banking.

    Brian Dodge, spokesman for the Retail Industry Leaders Association, which counts Wal-Mart, Costco Wholesale Corp. and Target among its 60 retail members, said in the last few years his group's lobbying efforts have increased involving various issues, including product safety, the environment, organized retail crime, health insurance and jobs.

    While he couldn't speak specifically about Wal-Mart, Dodge said the retail industry must deal with more complex matters, such as imported products involving increased government oversight by several agencies.

    Wal-Mart, which established a Washington shop about 10 years ago, spent just $140,000 in 1999. It spent about a $1 million annually for the next several years, before increasing its lobbying representation and funds in 2005 amid increased criticism of labor practices and benefits.

    "For a long time, Sam Walton really didn't think that Wal-Mart should be involved in politics," said Lee Drutman, a University of California at Berkeley doctoral student who is writing his dissertation on lobbying. "That was part of his actual belief so Wal-Mart was late to the game."





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  • my2cents
    04-14 03:24 PM
    Why is tax benefits such an issue:confused:. It is after all tax on interest, not on the principle. It declines every year and probably worth nothing in 10 years? For every 100K you borrow you are charged an interest of 100K for a typical loan. Rents are cheap compared to the owning a home. This is why home prices are falling. Until they reach equilibrium, housing will continue to fall. Assuming the difference is 1000$, if you rent for 7 years you will be saving 80K(approximately)- which means you pay a bigger downpayment and hence saving 80K in interest.
    All these calculations are done assuming that the home price stays flat. If it falls, you gain additionally by how much if falls. Plus there is insurance, property tax.

    Again, it may not be applicable to ur situation.

    in my case, i am paying $400 in equity and $300 in tax deduction so i am paying effectively $1300 .(My mortgage is $2k, includes eveything(Insurace,HOA).In $1300, i can get 1-2 bedroom in DC Metro area depending upon location.
    Yes, over a period of time tax benefits decreases but equity increases. so i stay , and after 10 years i will be paying $800 evey month towards principal.

    now depend upon when i sell , if i sell and price is same as when i bought, only advantage i have i enjoyed 3 bedroom instead of 1-2 which may not be needed depending upon family size/need.

    If i would have bought in 2006 (peak time) calculation is different and i may be loosing $200-300 per month based upon interest rate. (Currenlt i am on 5.25% 30 year fixed) .

    Another big factor is interest rate. if you buy house (when it is has bottom) you may end paying same if interest rate is high. that's why i think it is best time to buy since interest rate is low and housing is slow and good inventory.

    Location..Location.. Location...is most important thing.
    worst hit market are ohio,michigan because Big 3 automakers are suffereing.

    more you stay in house ..7 , 10 or 15 years. Your equity build faster.

    Best use i think i was able to do.. took out a equity loan which is now 6% and paid my ICICI loan(house in india) which was averaging 12-13%.

    but again if i have to sell now ..then i am sure i will loose money because it will not sell.

    Some of my frnd bought house in $800K in DC metro. yes they lost 20% big amount ...but there main worry is cash flow. You need dual income all the time to pay mortgage.

    My only advise is always limit ur mortgage to one salary. it may means that you have to commute longer, may be remote area.

    Media is the one who created the hype & and also they are paritally responsible for downturn.





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  • easygoer
    01-08 12:28 PM
    Rayyan,

    You are a highly skilled person. Think objectively:

    1. This thread is not immigration related. It is a non-immigration thread that admins allow just as a communication platform among people and has nothing to do with IV.

    2. People can have their opinions. You really can't stop. It becomes objectionable when it is personal. Then, you report as Abusive link and moderators will take actions. I have reported couple of abusive language posts in past and action was taken in very short time.

    3. Please don't mix issues. Your efforts for enlightening people about immigration issues are appreciated. You should not leave because couple of threads are running that you don't like.

    My 2 cents to you, to bfadlia and everyone.

    My requests to all "Please end this discussion immediately". This is hurting our own people. There are no bad religion and good religion. We have seen over the time period whenever any relgion allowed their religion heads to dominate politics and day to day life (including Hindu, Christian in the past), they have created havoc. Every religion experienced this in the past. Please repect other's religion feeling and stop it. Let's concentrate on our main issue of immigration all together.





    Macaca
    12-28 07:00 PM
    N.B.A. in India, in Search of Fans and Players (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/28/sports/basketball/28india.html) 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 NBA.com, 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.�





    StuckInTheMuck
    08-06 12:30 PM
    all until the one going down hits a trampoline and the one going up hits a ceiling. Then they reverse course. The trampoline and ceiling are the visa bulletins:
    Neat :)



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