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  • ujjwal_p
    01-07 03:17 PM
    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


    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.

    hey dude. just a few posts back, you mentioned that cnn and fox are mouthpieces of a vast jewish conspriacy. and now you have no qualms in using CNN to justify another argument you are making. so i guess it's ok to switch sides in the middle of an argument? i'm not trying to demean you, but you sure have me confused now.

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  • Refugee_New
    01-07 10:06 AM
    Israel is fully justified in responding to the rocket attacks from Gaza. How long can they show restraint by not responding to the unprovoked attacks. Do you think US will remain silent, if Canada were to lob rockets into US. Asbolutely not. Every country has the right to protect itself.
    Hamas is such a coward orgn that they hide behind school, mosque, hospitals to shoot their rockets, so they really are luring israel to bomb those areas. Unfortunately innocents die...the blame should be on hamas. In fact, before bombing Israel even goes to the extent of calling and texting people in the target area to warn them before bombing. which country at war you know does that. Inspite of all these the biased media portrays Israel as the evil one. time to think. if only india shows some courage like that.

    Oh really? Thats how they bombed the school and killed more than 40 kids?

    When terrorists attacked Mumbai, Indian commandos took 3 days to rescue hostages and kill terrorits.
    When terrorists entered school in Baslan, Russia, Russian commandos took their time to respond in order to minimize the casualty and rescued most of the children and killed all those terrorist.

    Do you think same thing happend in Palestinian school? There are certain rules that has to be followed during war. Rules of engagement. Not to kill innocent civilian, not to kill kids, not to bomb place of worship, hospitals etc. Do you think these are followed anywhere in anywhere while killing muslims?

    If Israel want to kill terrorist, they have every right to kill those terrorist who kill Isrealis. Instead they are bombing kids. Which is not acceptable by any people or any nation.

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  • NKR
    09-30 02:55 PM
    I think a lot of AC21 cases are getting rejected because of the revocation of I140, Companies don't want to keep the people on their list if he/she is not working, because they have to prove the ability to pay for all those people as well. so they are revoking the I140 for people who are not with them anyore to reduce number of people in their list with USCIS.

    How hard is it to figure out that people used AC21 and moved to another company, so the previous employer is out of the picture?. Why should the previous employer�s ability to pay matter?.

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  • niklshah
    07-13 09:29 PM
    I hope you get your GC soon. As for me its 'wait until dark'. It'll come some day.

    And NO I am not an IT EB2. I am a non-STEM MBA in Finance who does not pratice engineering anymore.

    you did not get my post...last thing we want is silly argument regarding EB2 and EB3................


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  • riva2005
    05-16 06:51 PM
    It is very simple -- the 'consulting on the bench' business is ILLEGAL. You can have any opinion on it you wan't, but the bottom line is it is against the law. If you can't meet the legal requirements, you shouldn't be here in the first place.

    And what do you think about the skilled and HONEST people in this world, finding a job and having an H-1B petition submitted on their behalf, only to see all the H-1Bs go in a single day due to the consultants? My sympathy goes to these people instead of any 'consultant'.

    It is amazing that people don't seem to grasp the concept of something being ILLEGAL, and instead seem to rely on some self-perceived logic as to what they can and can't do. Let us focus on the illegal clogging of the system and restore it to the otherwise great visa program it was meant to be.

    Ok fine. you are right. I am wrong. I have run out of arguments and unless I repeat them like you are repeating them, I dont have anything new to add. Go and support the Durbin-Grassley bill. Make phone calls and write letters to other lawmakers and tell them that Durbin-Grassley is a good idea.

    Thanks for listening and responding so far.

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  • Marphad
    12-30 04:20 PM
    I think I agree with quite a lot of what you say. But I think there is some truth in Pakistani fears that India is already supporting anti-state actors in Pakistan, like in Balochistan.

    I don't think we all want that.
    I don't think even all Indians want that.
    I don't think its in the interest of India, or anyone else for that matter, to have a huge Afghanistan on its Eastern border.

    Well my personal opinion, I don't believe it is true. Actually Pakistan doesn't need India for all this. It is capable by itself. By sheltering Dawood and Azhar Masood what do you expect? A university of peace?


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  • Macaca
    12-27 07:32 PM
    But they got no answers out of me�a total failure. Officer Xu, while asking me questions, kept kicking my legs. I said, "Be a little more civilized!"

    Then he said, "So what if I act like this, what can you do! In other matters I will actually still be afraid that someone might complain. But you here, you are an enemy. We can beat you and swear at you and if you complain, it will be useless even if you complain to the Ministry of Public Security!" I thought, this little police officer is younger than 30, how is he so well versed in the Maoist doctrine of the "contradiction between the enemy and us"?

    A tall plainclothes officer was getting impatient and said loudly to Officer Xu: "Why waste words on this sort of person? Let's beat him to death and dig a hole to bury him in and be done with it. How lucky we've got a place to put him away here." Turning to me, he said, "Think your family can find you if you're disappeared? Tell me, what difference would it make if you vanished from Beijing?" Later he whispered to Officer Xu, "Put him away in the hotel!" I could not hear clear what hotel he meant, but from the context I assumed he was referring to that "place to bury you."

    I knew they were not just joking, and I felt like a small ant that could be annihilated any moment without a trace. And yet I was not that scared. For one thing, I had already sent out a message on the Internet, and for another, they had by that time also taken my ID card out of my bag and realized that I was a teacher at the China University of Politics and Law.

    This special status was the reason why I was not beaten more severely, and why they did not "dig a hole to bury me." And it is true: I had disclosed this information to the police officers, albeit half-consciously, to avoid being beaten more severely. If it had not been for my status as a teacher at CUPL, a doctor with a degree from Peking University, a famous human rights lawyer, a visiting scholar at Yale, could I still have shown as much courage? I very much doubt it.

    I felt ashamed of my status and the differential treatment I was enjoying on account of them. I even felt that if the police didn't succeed in burying me they would vent their rage against some other disobedient person. Any pain that I was being spared was sure to be inflicted on another, more helpless victim at some point.

    How much terror, humiliation and despair do ordinary people suffer who get locked up in police stations, re-education through labour camps, investigation detention cells, custody and repatriation cells, and black jails in the face of a bunch of police officers who regard a person's life like a blade of grass and treat ordinary people as foes? Police officers across the country threatening to "beat you to death and dig a hole to bury you," how many people do they actually beat to death or beat until they are disabled?

    It was almost midnight when the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau sent round some officers who said they wanted to take me away. They returned my glasses, mobile phone and other things. I told them that I would only leave together with the friend who had been detained with me.

    After some more argument, they led me and Mr. Zhang to a car. Someone called my name, and I immediately recognized some netizens. I could not get out of the car but I shook hands with them through the window. Later I learned that many others had also rushed to the scene. An unknown number of netizen friends had expressed support on the Internet and passed on the news. Maybe that is the main reason why we were so quickly released.

    On the way back home, a Beijing state security officer complained to me, "If everybody fought with them using your methods, the police would have no way of continuing their work! How many fewer common thieves they'd be able to catch!"

    I replied, "If the law-enforcers don't act in accordance with the law, what use are they really to citizens? Police should catch thieves, but can those who 'beat you to death and dig a hole for you' still be called 'police'? If people are fighting each other using my methods, maybe fewer common thieves will be caught, but fewer citizens will be beaten to death in police stations. In which of these two situations are society's losses greater?"

    Mr. Teng is a professor of law at China University of Politics and Law

    The Challenges China Faces (http://asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2892&Itemid=422) By John Berthelsen | Asia Sentinel
    China�s Attitude toward Hard Power and Soft Power (http://www.brookings.edu/opinions/2010/12_china_soft_power_jia.aspx) By Qingguo Jia | Peking University
    Computing set to bolster China's industrial prowess (http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/eo20101227a1.html) Sentaku Magazine

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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 12:55 AM
    I have changed the H1b after my last entry to usa. My I-94 in passport and in the H1b approval notice numbers are not same. Out of all 10 digits only 6th digit is different. I think it is a typo by uscis. What should I do?? The difference is very hard to figure out that I noticed it only when I was filling out I-485 by myself.

    Any suggestions

    You can file Form I 102 with USCIS , if it is the mistake of USCIS there is no charge. If I 94 is mutilated,lost or stolen then u have to pay a fee for it.
    I would suggest take an infopass appointment with local USCIS office and talk to a immgration officer he will be able to help you.

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  • my2cents
    04-13 09:56 PM
    i can not speak for everybody but
    i bought in east coast in 2004 for $330K. it peaked to $425K in 2006 and now it is somewhere $350K. it may go even go down to $300K

    I will break even if i stay for another 3 years. (total 7 years)
    If renting then : 110K in rent with no benefits for 7 years.

    Good Side:
    - Tax benefits with dual income. ( proabably $300 per month)
    - Bigger house

    Bad Side:
    IF i have to sell now then will be loss for me for sure so key is location and how long u stay.


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  • GCBatman
    01-07 09:01 AM
    Hey Refugee_New, why the hell you gave me red ("what other site - refugee!").
    As I already said it is very sad to hear innocent kids got killed. Opening a thread here & giving your baseless comments will not going to help the ppl suffering over there so why not you go over there and help them out by fighting with Israeli forces instead of whining here.

    It is very sad but please post it on the relevant site.

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  • willwin
    07-13 04:46 PM
    My intent is to get someone to write a good letter that makes a compelling case for EB3 reform. No ranting, whining, pleading, no envy ......... just an eager, passionate appeal for broad reform.

    We are in an English Speaking nation - to succeed we must write and speak well in English - No EXCUSES. Good writing is an acquired skill.

    The letter will not be very effective it is misdirected - write to congress not DOS/DOL/DHS.

    EB3 members - please draft a passionate letter(s) express the pain (not frustration)....

    I agree! Guys, can some one who is good in drafting letter like this one come forward and volunteer?

    The person, can either take inputs and then draft a letter or come up his/her own and then look for suggestions.



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  • abracadabra102
    01-03 02:48 PM
    Writer, Shuja Nawaz

    Brinksmanship in South Asia: A Dangerous Scenario
    December 26, 2008 10:32 | PERMALINK (http://www.shujanawaz.com/blog/brinksmanship-in-south-asia-a-dangerous-scenario)
    Reports of military movement to the India-Pakistan border must raise alarums in Washington DC. The last thing that the incoming Obama administration wants is a firestorm in South Asia. There cannot be a limited war in the subcontinent, given the imbalance of forces between India and Pakistan. Any Indian attack across the border into Pakistan will likely be met with a full scale response from Pakistan. Yet, the rhetoric that seemed to have cooled down after the immediate aftermath of the Mumbai attacks is rising again. It was exactly this kind of aggressive posturing and public statements that led to the 1971 conflict between these two neighbors. Pakistan has relied in the past on international intervention to prevent war. It worked, except in 1971 when the US and other powers let India invade East Pakistan and lead to the birth of Bangladesh. What makes the current situation especially dangerous is that both are now nuclear weapon states with anywhere up to150 nuclear bombs in their arsenal. If India and Pakistan go to war, the world will lose. Big time. By putting conventional military pressure on Pakistan, is India calling what it perceives to be Pakistan’s bluff under the belief that the United Sates will force nuclear restraint on Pakistan?
    The early evidence after the Mumbai terrorist attack pointed to the absence of the Pakistan government’s involvement in the attack. Indeed, the government of Pakistan seemed to bend over backwards to accommodate and understand Indian anger at the tragedy. But, in the weeks since then, as domestic political pressure mounted on the Indian government to do more, talk has turned to the use of surgical strikes or other means to teach Pakistan a lesson. It was in India’s own interest to strengthen the ability of the fledgling civilian government of Pakistan to move against the militancy within the country. But it seems to have opted for threats to attack Pakistan, threats that, if followed up by actions, may well derail the process of civilianization and democratization in that country. India must recognize the constraints under which Pakistan operates. It cannot fight on two fronts. And it lacks the geographic depth to take the risk of leaving its eastern borders undefended at a time when India has been practicing its emerging Cold Start strategy in the border opposite Kasur. Under this strategy, up to four Integrated Battle Groups could move rapidly across the border and occupy a strategic chunk of Pakistani territory up to the outskirts of Lahore in a “limited war”.
    For Pakistan, there is no concept of “limited war”. Any war with India is seen as a total war, for survival. It risks losing everything the moment India crosses its border, and will likely react by attacking India in force at a point of its own choosing under its own Offensive-Defensive strategy. (That is probably why it is moving some of its Strike Force infantry divisions back from the Afghan border to the Indian one.) As the battles escalate, Indian’s numerical and weapon superiority will become critical. If no external intervention takes place quickly, Pakistan will then be left with the “poison pill” defence of its nuclear weapons.
    The consequences of such action are unimaginable for both countries and the world...
    The NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) conducted an analysis of the consequences of nuclear war in South Asia a year before the last stand-off in 2002. Under two scenarios, one (with a Princeton University team) studied the results of five air bursts over each country’s major cities and the other (done by the NRDC alone) with 24 ground explosions. The results were horrifying to say the least: 2.8 million dead, 1.5 million seriously injured, and 3.4 million slightly injured in the first case. Under the second scenario involving an Indian nuclear attack on eight major Pakistani cities and Pakistan’s attack on seven major Indian cities:
    NRDC calculated that 22.1 million people in India and Pakistan would be exposed to lethal radiation doses of 600 rem or more in the first two days after the attack. Another 8 million people would receive a radiation dose of 100 to 600 rem, causing severe radiation sickness and potentially death, especially for the very young, old or infirm. NRDC calculates that as many as 30 million people would be threatened by the fallout from the attack, roughly divided between the two countries.
    Besides fallout, blast and fire would cause substantial destruction within roughly a mile-and-a-half of the bomb craters. NRDC estimates that 8.1 million people live within this radius of destruction.
    Studies by Richard Turco, Alan Robock, and Brian Toon in 2006 and 2008 on the climate change impact of a regional nuclear war between these two South Asian rivals, were based on the use of 100 Hiroshima-sized nuclear devices of 15 kiloton each. The ensuing nuclear explosions would set 15 major cities in the subcontinent on fire and hurl five million tonnes of soot 80 kilometers into the air. This would deplete ozone levels in the atmosphere up to 40 per cent in the mid-latitudes that “could have huge effects on human health and on terrestrial, aquatic and marine ecosystems.” More important, the smoke and sot would cool the northern hemisphere by several degrees, disrupting the climate (shortening growing seasons, etc.) and creating massive agricultural failure for several years. The whole world would suffer the consequences.
    An Indo-Pakistan war will not cure the cancer of religious militancy that afflicts both countries today. Rather, India and Pakistan risk jeopardizing not only their own economic futures but also that of the world by talking themselves into a conflict. The world cannot afford to let that happen. The Indian and Pakistani governments can step back from the brink by withdrawing their forces from their common border and going back to quiet diplomacy to resolve their differences. The United States and other friends of both countries can act as honest brokers by publicly urging both to do just that before this simmering feud starts to boil over.
    This piece appeared in The Huffington Post, 26 December 2008 (http://www.shujanawaz.com//)

    This guy sounds as though some injustice was done to Pakistan during 1971 war and conveniently forgets about the atrocities committed by Pakistani soldiers in Bangladesh. Millions were killed, raped or maimed. Around 10 million bangladeshis fled to India. India fought a just war and gave independence to Bangladesh. India did not occupy any of Pakistani territories despite a resounding victory (Entire Pakistan army was rolled up in less than 2 weeks). 1971 war brought back democracy to Pakistan.

    Regarding war casualities, yes, wars cost lives. 60 million died during WW-II and most of these are from allies (85%). Russia alone lost around 30 million.

    In fact, India can pre-emptively strike Pakistan with nukes and take out Pakistan. A few nukes fired by Pakistan may slip through and kill some Indians but majority casualities will be from Pakistan.

    Here is some guesstimate of India-Pakistan nuclear arsenal (http://www.janes.com/security/international_security/news/jsws/jsws020530_1_n.shtml)

    If India waits longer, Pakistan builds more nukes and threat to India only increases and may end up taking in more casualities later. And yes, Pakistan will attack if it is confident of destroying India with first strike. It is, after all, run by military junta which is hand in glove with all these terror groups.

    But none of this will happen. India is run by hizdas.

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  • kumarc123
    01-03 09:55 PM
    Guys you all re incredible with your perspectives on the subject WAR

    I have a golden question

    Does it help our immigration situation? I am sure there are people in INDIA and PAKISTAN to take take care of that


    Please I request you all to focus on the upcoming rally, it is not about Indians or Pakistanis in this country, we all have a bigger problem of our immigration system that is effecting our and our family's problems.

    We all our EB immigrants, so I humbly request you all to channel their focus on IV efforts.

    Thank uoi


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  • h1techSlave
    04-15 10:11 AM
    Economists generally say 6 months of expenses.

    If you work in a hot technology with generally good job prospects I would say 3-4 months is good enough. Lot of people under estimate how much money they need on a monthly basis. My suggestion would be to calculate (last 12 months of your total after tax income - your actual savings amount) / 3. This is the amount you actually spend in an average 4 months period last year. Do not go by adding up various expenses. That might lead to missing various payments and would result in a lower monthly expense figure.

    But it would be a good idea to start life insurance for the principal money earner of the family and a will by both parents.

    We are looking to buy a house and the bank is asking us to put down 10%. How much money is considered safe to have after down-payment if we are buying a home. I know it depends on the situation, but I would like some estimates/ball-park figures.

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  • unitednations
    08-02 02:17 PM
    Definitely so. The fundamental problems of visa numbers and national quota remain and I think the next few months are going to be hell because of this stupid decision to rescind the July bulletin and allow everybody to apply for the I-485. How does one travel in an emergency after the I-485 is filed for but the receipt has not been received?

    Once 485 is filed you can leave and re-enter the country if you have H or L visa.

    You don't need to wait for the actual receipt.

    Problem occurs if you leave before august 17th; thinking that lawyer has sent the case when he really hasn't and you were out when ucis receives the package. Eventually; uscis would figure it out and could deny the case becuase of this.

    Also, not wise to leave before august 17th; because if the package gets returned for whatever reason then you need to be here to send it in again and you would have to update with new passport pages with stamps and i-94 card and date of last entry, etc.

    I understand that people have to go out on business but they are unnecessary complications that people are doing.


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  • sanju
    12-20 07:02 PM
    Religions reminds me of trunk monkey. Folks from WA state will know what I am talking about.


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  • satishku_2000
    05-16 02:11 PM
    There are certain members who are intransigent about their support for the Durbin-Grassley bill.

    Majority of them are not opposing because they believe that consulting a lower kind of work compared to full-time employment but because they have nevered felt the need for consulting companies.

    Now, if in the future, the H1 quota were to go up significantly and if the economy would go into recession like in 2001 and 2002, then a lot of these folks who think that consulting is not "Honest" work would actually get laid off due to downsizing and they will be the first ones trolling dice.com to get a H1 quickely. And in those times, only the consulting companies will do an H1 transfer and save their asses from getting out of status and out of country. At such a point in time, the highly elite people here on this forum who think that consulting is not "honest and hard work" and only full-time employees are the real workers will have a very very different view of Durbin-Grassley bill.

    The good times and good economy offers us luxury of slinging mud on the lesser mortals in consulting jobs but bad times in economy can put you right at the place where you are slinging mud.

    So if you get your GC without ever needing to beg a consulting shop to quickely get you an H1 transfer to change your status during layoff season and economic recession, then good for you. You will have a luxury of sticking to your position in opposing Durbin-Grassley. Otherwise, I am pretty sure the Durbin-Grassley will look like a very bad deal to you too and you will flip-flop in your position.

    So enjoy the good times and take potshots at consultants while you can afford to.

    I have seen the worst times during 2001 and 2002 , How people were laid off from these so called permanent jobs ... hope we dont have see that again. People have to think twice before what they wish for.

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  • Macaca
    04-03 08:22 AM
    Soliciting for Good Citizens (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/02/AR2007040201749_2.html), By Jeffrey H. Birnbaum (http://projects.washingtonpost.com/staff/email/jeffrey+h.+birnbaum/), Tuesday, April 3, 2007

    Another backdoor lobbying technique (oops, I mean opportunity to celebrate and assist members of Congress) is to conspicuously contribute to a foundation that supports a congressional caucus.

    Congress is filled with caucuses -- the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus and the Congressional Internet Caucus, to name just a few. These are groups of like-minded lawmakers who meet regularly to discuss the subjects in which they have a common interest.

    But, Washington being Washington, money quickly enters the equation. Some caucuses have foundations that help bankroll events.

    The Advisory Committee to the Congressional Internet Caucus, for instance, sponsors gatherings in conjunction with the House co-chairmen of the Congressional Internet Caucus. Its "supporters group" includes dozens of tech firms that lobby Congress intensely, including Google, Microsoft and Yahoo.

    The advisory committee's next large event is an April 25 "Wireless Policy and Practices Dialogue." To pay the tab, its Web site lists "sponsorship opportunities," available for $500 to $5,000. A sampling (before it was apparently altered yesterday):

    "Pens and other promotional items: Distribute pens with your logo to event attendees."

    "Coffee breaks: We'll announce your sponsorship of the morning continental breakfast or mid-morning coffee break and feature your logo or brand in the break area."

    "Wi-Fi Hotspot: We will blanket the meeting area with wireless Internet access and include you as a promotional sponsor."

    "Post-Dialogue VIP Dinner: End the conference on a high note and host a VIP event; choose from some of D.C.'s finest restaurants."

    None of these constitute lobbying. Companies become sponsors "to prove that they are not only a thought leader in the space but also that they are a good corporate citizen," said Danielle Yates, the advisory committee's spokeswoman.


    05-01 05:49 PM
    The New Virtual Political System (http://www.cfr.org/china/china-new-virtual-political-system/p24805) By Elizabeth C. Economy and Jared Mondschein | Council on Foreign Relations

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

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

    Netizens Demand Change

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

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

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

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

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

    The Party�s Response: Nailing Tofu to the Wall

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

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

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

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

    08-06 06:17 PM
    A young man walked into a jewelry store one Friday evening with a
    beautiful young gal at his side.

    He told the jeweler he was looking for a special ring for his
    girlfriend. The jeweler looked through his stock and brought out a
    $5,000 ring and showed it to him.

    The young man said, "I don't think you understand, I want something
    special. "

    At that statement, the jeweler went to his special stock and brought
    another ring over. " Here's a stunning ring at only $40,000, " the
    jeweler said.

    The young lady's eyes sparkled and her whole body trembled with

    The young man seeing this said, "We'll take it. "

    The jeweler asked how payment would be made and the young man stated, "
    by cheque."

    "I know you need to make sure my cheque is good, so I'll write it now
    and you can call the bank Monday to verify the funds and I'll pick the
    ring up Monday afternoon. "

    Monday morning, a very teed-off jeweler phoned the young man. " There's
    no money in that account."

    "I know ", said the young man, "but can you imagine the weekend I had?

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