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  • just_wait_for_gc
    08-11 02:52 PM
    toung is made of BS





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  • 485Mbe4001
    09-26 06:17 PM
    Good discussion. I am not a fox fan, but i read NYT and Drudgereport, listen to Rachel Maddaw as well as Handel. In fact i read any political and economics related blog i can lay my hands on. I understand your points.

    My point is that people say he will do so many things, the problem is that the congress is not changing. The congress has to approve something so that he can sign it. Secondly no matter what you say companies will do whatever is right for the bottomline and share price. if he starts taxing companies they relocate, he has proposed increasing the social security taxes across all categories. Says he will not increase taxes for middle class americans but gives little indication of how he will finance the trillion dollar spending program. If his universal health program passes then you will see more deducted out of your paycheck. How will he create tons of jobs, how will he subsidize education. The fact of the matter is that he will be under exterme pressure if he is elected to office with such high expectations. He will be screwed if he increases taxes and screwed if he doesnt fund the programs he is promising all over the place.

    As for long term, the country has to increase interest rates to support the current account deficit. IF you increase interest rates the economy will further go in the tank. The country has to increase taxes to fund SS or Medicare. If not they need to overhaul the SS and MC system and any pandering politican will never be able to make that change.

    The fact of the matter is that both are career politicians and will do anyting to win. i just want to present an opposing view when one is painted as the saviour and the other a @$#@ in a total crapfest where no one is pure.


    Just Kidding - reading your post i was feeling like I'm reading a comment from Fox News. However i do respect your opinion and thanks for expressing it.

    My Point is more long term - in the shorter term no major change can happen to economy even if Barack wins but eventually Economy would be stronger under Barack's leadership. He also stressed that he would stop "JOBS BEING SHIPPED OVERSEAS" which means companies like TATA or INFY or some Chinese company taking my Job ( or any American's Job ) away from US to INDIA or CHINA. If you are planning a future in US - you would not want your US job taken away by your brother at INDIA or CHINA and Barack will make sure that doesn't happen.

    The Bottonline is he will create tons of Jobs at US , so unemployment will be very low , average peoples will be happy and however loud ANTI-IMMIGRANTS scream and shout no AMERICAN will pay attention. Our EB reforms will Pass much easily and we will be able to able to lead a much happier and content life with GREEN CARD.

    Once again my Point is definitely Long Term - in the shorter duration Barack has to first fix the Mortgage Mess and do something with Iran by taking help from EUROPE.





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  • LostInGCProcess
    08-05 02:59 PM
    Seems to me he started the flood and left....I was going thru this thread, and after couple of pages Rolling_flood seems to have vanished. I think he got what he wanted...a pointless debate. It was funny though to read... :D





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

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

    Don't you think?
    Refugee Now,

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

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

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



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  • Macaca
    05-07 09:13 PM
    'The Other K Street' (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/06/AR2007050600892.html) In the Concrete Canyon of the Business Lobby, a Pocket of Liberal Activists Settles In, By Jeffrey H. Birnbaum (http://projects.washingtonpost.com/staff/email/jeffrey+h.+birnbaum/), Washington Post Staff Writer, Monday, May 7, 2007





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  • astral1977
    07-14 01:31 PM
    I guess this is the easiest way to become a Senior member. Copy paste the same "personally deduced information" in different threads. If required, create a new thread and paste it again.

    Dude, refrain from doing it.....Doesn't serve the purpose of the forum.

    Cheers.



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  • nogc_noproblem
    08-26 08:54 PM
    Recent Quips form Late Night

    "Yesterday, President Bush announced there are going to be some big changes in intelligence in the White House. Yeah, he's leaving." --Jay Leno

    "Yesterday, Bill Clinton was giving a speech, he told a group of supporters that his wife Hillary is the person he most wants to spend time with. Yeah, apparently Clinton likes to start every speech with a joke, sort of loosen things up a little bit, get people happy, relaxed." --Conan O'Brien

    "But I think the U.S. is going to do well, particularly in swimming, I think we have a very strong swimming time this year for the Olympics, yeah, that's right. Dick Cheney in particular looks great in the freestyle waterboarding." --David Letterman

    "Well listen, Barack Obama accused Republicans of trying to make others fear him, because, and I quote, he 'doesn't look like the other presidents on the dollar bill.' So the choice is, do you want to elect a guy who doesn't look like the president on the dollar bill, or do you want to elect a guy who looks older than the president on the dollar bill?" --Jay Leno

    "John McCain's daughter announced she's writing a children's book based on her father's life. I think that's very nice, yeah. The children's book is called 'James and the Giant Prostate.'" --Conan O'Brien

    "Yeah that's the big talk, they say Barack Obama could decide to go with another woman. See that's what killed John Edwards' chances of being VP, he decided to go with another woman." --Jay Leno





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  • unseenguy
    06-24 11:51 PM
    Why are be debating 3 - 4 years rent vs own? As the subject indicates "long" term prospects of buying a home..we of all the ppl should know the meaning of the word "long" based on our "long" wait for PD (which I think should be renamed to retrogress date because I see nothing priority about it)..the point being lets debate 10 years rent vs own..as against 3-4...I think over a 10 year timeline the buyers would come out ahead of the renters..maybe not in CA but in other states that's quite likely..

    coz, next 3-4 years make it special due to immigration status and special status of the economy and you can plan for 5-7 years but whats going to happen after that is beyond anyone.



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  • hpandey
    06-26 04:14 PM
    Have you accounted for the increase in rent (not rent controlled) every year? Mortgage on the other hand is fixed for 30 years!

    I agree.. a 1500$ rent might be a 3000$ rent 30 years from now .





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  • GCnightmare
    08-02 02:55 PM
    Thanks for the quick reply. I never overstayed my I-94 either before leaving US or re-entering US. But just a thought... Do you mean if somebody covered by 245(i) and never left US after filing the labor before April 2001, still be eligible to adjust status?
    Thanks



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  • ilikekilo
    03-26 07:05 PM
    As far as I know, yes it is...I remember doing H1 myself few years ago and the LCA form has prevailing wage rate section. As we know, the wage rates differ from place to place and so since H1 is based on prevailing wage rate on LCA, then H1 is also location specific. Even though LCA form has been changed since then, I think it still holds true...

    I am sure that per law or whatever when you filed for a h1b for a location A and the petitioner moves to a location B, then I believe you have to file an amendment for ur h1b to that new location...the question is Iam not sure how many people care to do that





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  • sands
    08-07 05:25 PM
    A couple drove down a country road for several miles, not saying a word.

    An earlier discussion had led to an argument and neither of them wanted to concede their position. As they passed a barnyard of mules, goats, and pigs, the husband asked sarcastically, "Relatives of yours?"

    "Yep," the wife replied, "in-laws."
    This is hilarious! :)



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  • delax
    07-14 10:54 AM
    Delax,

    please read my message you quoted. I wrote nothing in support of or aganst the letter. Nothing they (earlier posts) say is going to make the dates go back or forward. All the poor folks are trying to do is maybe vent out their frustration. What difference does this make to you? No action is going to be taken based on one letter. You are safe, please enjoy your current date status.

    I can see the writing on the wall about where IV would be once most of Eb2 get their GC. It would almost stop existing.

    You and other EB2 people dates are current. Enjoy your GC. Best of luck.

    I am not worried about my GC safety or lack thereof. Lets talk specifics - thats always been my position. I am also fully aware that nothing is going to happen in an arbitrary and knee jerk manner based on sympathetic letter requests.

    However for argument sake lets assume something happens based on these letters. If a number is taken from EB2 to be given to EB3, I am well within my rights to express my opposition to that just like EB3 is well within their rights to vent their frustration.

    Not mentioning EB2 in the letters is not going to result in numbers being created out of thin air. These numbers have to come from somewhere IF the total pie does not increase: read EB2.

    As to your comment about IV existing or not - time will tell, but I dont try to hide the fact that beyond attending the Sept. rally, I am only an arm chair participant.





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  • StuckInTheMuck
    08-05 02:13 PM
    Dick Cheney walks into the Oval Office and sees The President whooping and hollering.

    "What's the matter, Mr. President?" The Vice President inquired.

    "Nothing at all, Dickie. I just done finished a jigsaw puzzle in record time!" The President beamed.

    "How long did it take you?"

    "Well, the box said '3 to 5 Years' but I did it in a month!"



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  • mxh72c
    07-14 08:55 AM
    CIR is coming BACK in 2009! The only change that will happen in immigration is CIR due to the pandering politics. IV and all its members focus should be ensuring CIR is not passed on the backs of EB green cards. The group most likely to be screwed over will be EB3. All our energies and money should be on CIR and that we have a seat on the table when these compromises are made.





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  • Macaca
    12-20 08:01 AM
    Congress's Mixed Results (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/19/AR2007121902030.html) Democratic promises meet legislative reality, Dec 20, 2007

    FOR CONGRESSIONAL Democrats, the first session of the 110th Congress offered a sobering lesson in the practical limits of majority control. Democrats delivered part of what they had promised to the voters who returned them to power last November and recorded some significant achievements. But more often, Democrats found their legislative plans stymied -- first by Senate Republicans' willingness to filibuster any proposal with which they disagreed, then by the president's newfound zeal to exercise his veto power. The scorecard, in the end, is disappointingly mixed. Still, Democrats are more to blame for overpromising than for failing to deliver; their triumphant promises of January were never realistic. Given the slenderest of Senate majorities and the willingness of the minority to wield the filibuster with unprecedented frequency, Democrats' maneuvering room was dramatically limited.

    On the plus side of the legislative ledger, President Bush signed an energy bill yesterday that will raise fuel economy standards for cars and light trucks for the first time in 32 years, to an average of 35 miles per gallon by 2020. That is a significant achievement, albeit one that could have been even greater had Republicans not blocked efforts to include new requirements for boosting use of renewable sources of energy and to eliminate tax breaks for oil companies.

    Likewise, Democrats were able to secure the first increase in the minimum wage in nine years and the largest expansion of college aid since the GI bill, cutting interest rates on subsidized student loans and increasing the maximum Pell grant. They passed an important lobbying and ethics reform bill that will shine light on the bundles of campaign cash delivered by registered lobbyists and clamped down on lawmakers' ability to accept meals, travel and entertainment from lobbyists and those who employ them.

    The keenest Democratic disappointment -- failing to force the president to rapidly withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq -- is no disappointment to us. Although unhappiness with the war in Iraq helped propel Democrats to victory, in the end President Bush was able to secure continuing funding for the war with no strings attached. Of far more concern: Democrats could not overcome presidential vetoes of bills providing for federal funding of embryonic stem cell research or expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program. The children's health issue deserves another try next year; the extension that Congress adopted jeopardizes existing coverage for some children and makes it difficult for states to move forward with planned expansions of coverage.

    Democrats spent much of the session congratulating themselves, appropriately so, for reinstating pay-as-you-go rules requiring tax cuts or increases in mandatory spending to be paid for with offsetting tax increases or spending cuts.

    In the end, however, Democrats capitulated to a Republican refusal to pay for the $50 billion, one-year patch applied to the alternative minimum tax. The budget process was nearly as unattractive as ever, with a host of overdue spending bills wrapped into a giant package passed in the final hours of the session.

    Of most concern are the serious issues that remain unaddressed -- and that aren't likely to be taken up next year, either. An overhaul of the nation's failed immigration policy fell victim to ugly politics, despite the support of the president. Entitlement reform -- in particular a response to the looming Social Security shortfall -- never got off the ground, the victim of distrust and intransigence on both sides. Prospects next year for reauthorizing the president's signature education program, No Child Left Behind, look dim.

    The year before a presidential election is rarely a fertile moment for lawmaking; the poisonous level of partisanship in both houses makes that even more unlikely. Republicans seem to have concluded that their electoral hopes lie in blocking Democrats from ringing up any achievements. For their part, House Democrats have conveniently forgotten their pledges to treat the minority with more fairness than they were accorded when Republicans had control.

    Yet the new year will dawn with issues of enormous importance on the congressional agenda. In addition to those mentioned above, we would note the worthwhile proposal by Sens. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John W. Warner (R-Va.) to adopt a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emissions. Lawmakers and the president can continue to bicker and elbow for advantage until the next election rolls around -- or they can gamble that they have more to gain with a disgusted electorate by cooperating and getting something done.



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  • Macaca
    02-28 09:39 AM
    Jack Abramoff, Jack Abramoff ... (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/28/opinion/28thu2.html?ref=opinion) NYT Editorial, Feb 28

    Anxiety is palpable in the House as lawmakers try to wriggle out of a vote on whether to create an independent Office of Congressional Ethics. Despite last-minute cries of alarm and resistance from both sides of the aisle, the public is counting on Speaker Nancy Pelosi to stand fast and steer this overdue dose of ethics reform to passage.

    The office would have six professionals, appointed by the two party leaders, charged with the task of screening complaints of misbehavior for possible referral to the House ethics committee for fuller inquiry. Opponents from both parties openly worry that partisan rivals would hand over false complaints and that any investigation � including those that don�t result in a referral � could threaten their careers.

    Fears of any runaway inquisition can be more than negated by the appointment of blue-ribbon, nonpartisan professionals. Even now, those fears are being exploited by some Republicans. According to National Journal�s Congress Daily, Republican staffers have been threatening to use the office to target a hit list of Democrats this fall. This would be a new low in tooth-and-claw partisanship, and cooler heads had better prevail in the caucus.

    Members should face up to a vote that tests their mettle � and most recent campaign promises � as upholders of ethical reform for the peoples� House. We suggest lawmakers fight their anxiety by quietly repeating the name Jack Abramoff, Jack Abramoff � the imprisoned superlobbyist who corrupted House members � as a prevote mantra.

    Or they could chant the name Rick Renzi, the House member indicted on 35 counts of fraud, money laundering and extortion for allegedly netting $700,000 in a political land scheme. He joins a half-dozen other members plus staffers already brought down while the House ethics committee looked the other way.

    Critics have compromised the measure enough by stripping subpoena power from the proposed integrity office. However anxious, the House can�t duck cleaning up its ethics act. Lawmakers may even find doing the right thing an impressive accomplishment to present to the voters back home.


    Louisiana Governor Pierces Business as Usual (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/28/us/28jindal.html) By ADAM NOSSITER | NYT, Feb 28





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  • xyzgc
    12-20 03:44 PM
    I was saddened and anguised with the terrrorist attacks that happened in Mumbai. I hope India follows up on its tough talk and goes after the perpetrators, no matter their affliation or the consequences. That was a provocation and I would love to see LeT or anyone else responsible to pay for it.

    But It is sad to see 'educated individuals' channeling their anger to demonize muslims who are equally upset with the Mumbai incident. Just like any religion/race, there are extreme elements among muslims. But this guilt-by-association should not have any place in modern society though sadly it does. There have been subtle and some not-so-subtle attempts on IV to protray all muslims as terrorists or all terrorists as muslim.

    I agree that there are a lot of current terrorist activities that can be attributed to muslims and I condemn them. But Indian muslims have stood up against this latest incident. They are asked to wear their allegiance on the sleeve as if they are in some way responsible for this heinous crime. There are numerous examples of non-muslims who are terrorists but in my view that does not render the whole community as such. The gujarat genocide, the attacks on christians in Orissa and other parts are led by the VHP/RSS but the right wing marketing blitz has been so effective, a lot of people have defended this as a reaction. That is exactly the kind of excuse the LeT or any other terrorist organization would make.

    Why is it so hard to say - Lets punish the guilty irrespective of their name or religion. Lets have a transparent Criminal justice system. Lets investigate any crime before guilty verdict is pronounced. That would render ineffective any propaganda that extremists use to recruit new members. Most of the people in this forum live in America and the law of this country would be in my view a good example of punishing the guilty irrespective of who and where they come from.

    Agree with parts of it.
    Disagree strongly with your statement

    But It is sad to see 'educated individuals' channeling their anger to demonize muslims who are equally upset with the Mumbai incident. Just like any religion/race, there are extreme elements among muslims.


    Most muslims are NOT upset with the mumbai incident, especially muslims in Pakistan. They floated the theory that this was the handiwork of Hindus and Kasam (or whatever the name is) is saffron and not green.
    Only Some muslim moderates sound very sincere in condemning it.
    You need to do some reading before making some statements.

    On this forum itself there are folks like buddysinfo a.k.a aCool who have been leaving very filthy, unspeakable offline messages like mf***r, sf***r, ur mom f****d by paki, chop ur d**k off and so forth...a lot of these folks kept saying everything was a security failure, over and over again. Nobody is denying that but its an attempt to create a diversion. Just like politicians.
    Check out the closed thread "Mumbai attacked". Read through it properly and if you are a non-muslim/unbiased muslim, please accept the truth.

    Having said that, its wrong not to channelize your energy properly and bad mouth the entire community and IV threads are not to be used for it. I did it myself and I admit its wrong but its NOT gonna change the truth.





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  • Macaca
    05-29 08:22 PM
    The Newest Lobbying Tool: Underwear (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/28/AR2007052801091.html) By Cindy Skrzycki (http://projects.washingtonpost.com/staff/email/cindy+skrzycki/), Tuesday, May 29, 2007

    It was inevitable. In the Internet age, interest groups seeking influence in Washington are joining presidential candidates in discovering a new electronic tool to press their agenda: YouTube.

    "Send your underwear to the undersecretary'' urges the actress in the Competitive Enterprise Institute's stinging 66-second anti-regulatory video posted on YouTube, a free video-sharing site that is a subsidiary of Google. The video blames a 2001 Energy Department rule for an energy-efficiency standard that it says has made new models of washing machines more expensive while getting laundry less clean.

    The underwear video illustrates what other advocacy groups are finding out: YouTube is a cheap, creative way to get a message to a potentially vast audience. This slow migration is in addition to more traditional lobbying approaches, such as direct mail, Web sites and scripted phone calls to federal officials.

    "This is the next step,'' said Missi Tessier, a principal with the Podesta Group, a Washington lobbying firm. She said her company is working on a YouTube piece pushing for more federal funding for basic research for one client, the Science Coalition, a group of research universities. "We are always trying to find ways to get our message out.''

    Concerned Families for ATV Safety, which wants to keep children off all-terrain vehicles, turned to YouTube to lobby for more federal oversight at the agency and congressional level. One of the parents produced the video and posted it May 18.

    "We decided to put it on to raise awareness about how dangerous the machines are,'' said Carolyn Anderson of Brockton, Mass., who lost a son in an ATV accident and is a co-founder of the group.

    Some of the presidential candidates already have calculated that YouTube postings will reach the same younger audience that regularly visits social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace. A few federal agencies have taken the plunge, too.

    Officials at the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy said it expects its YouTube messages to be ridiculed, laughed at, remade and spoofed. And they are. Its anti-drug message is also reaching the right demographic.

    The Consumer Product Safety Commission realizes that YouTube would be a great way to broadcast product recall and safety messages, though it has not produced a video for it.

    "There are a tremendous amount of people who use that Web site,'' said Scott Wolfson, an agency spokesman. "But we worried about the integrity of the message being changed by users.''

    The YouTube audience hardly seems like a demographic that would be interested in washing-machine efficiency. Still, the Washington-based Competitive Enterprise Institute, which opposes energy-saving fluorescent bulbs and increasing the gas mileage of cars and trucks, has 43 videos on the site. Many of them are snippets of speeches and testimony with few user "hits."

    And then there's the underwear video.

    "We figured we would try a very fast, inexpensive campaign that would go viral," said Sam Kazman, general counsel at the CEI and head of its Death by Regulation project. The video went up May 16 and had 1,306 hits in the first week, a respectable showing, especially considering the subject matter.

    Kazman said the campaign cost virtually nothing. He wrote the script and one employee did the acting and another filmed it.

    The CEI Web site links to the video and to a June Consumer Reports magazine article that rated top- and front-loading washing machines for energy efficiency and performance. The magazine found that since the Energy Department issued an efficiency rule in 2001, the performance of various machines has varied widely.

    "Not so long ago, you could count on most washers to get your clothes very clean," the article says. "Not anymore. Our latest tests found huge performance differences among machines. Some left our stain-soaked swatches nearly as dirty as they were before washing. For best results, you'll have to spend $900 or more.''

    Kazman, who said he owns a 21-year-old Whirlpool washing machine, took this as confirmation that predictions his group made in 2001, that the rule would wreck a "low-priced, dependable home appliance," have come true.

    The manufacturers of home appliances, energy-efficiency groups and regulators who are being mocked in the video disagree.

    Celia Kuperszmid Lehrman, deputy home editor at Consumer Reports, said the underwear campaign takes the ratings out of context. "We support energy standards for washing machines,'' she said. "There are alternatives that will wash as well as older machines. They cost more to buy but not to operate."

    "I think it's obnoxious; I don't think this dog barks,'' said Andrew deLaski, executive director of the Appliance Standards Awareness Project in Boston, a coalition of industry, consumer, environmental and state interests.

    DeLaski, who was involved in the negotiations that led to the 2001 rule, said it was expected at the time that prices would go up but that consumers would save on utility bills.

    "That's a regulation working pretty damn well," he said, adding that consumers can expect to save $80 annually on utility bills with the new models.

    Michael McCabe, a senior engineer at the Energy Department, said that nine out of 10 models Consumer Reports tested are in the price range the department predicted when it issued the rule, an extra $250.

    On the underwear front, Kazman said he sent his own (clean) underwear to the Energy Department. The department said the mailbox of Undersecretary Dennis R. Spurgeon is still empty.

    Kazman blamed the late delivery on another government policy, which subjects packages to irradiation.





    Legal
    08-05 06:00 PM
    In a poor zoo of India, a lion was frustrated as he was offered not more than 1 kg meat a day. The lion thought its prayers were answered when one US Zoo Manager visited the zoo and requested the zoo management to shift the lion to the US Zoo.

    The lion was so happy and started thinking of a central A/c environment, a goat or two every day and a US Green Card also.

    On its first day after arrival, the lion was offered a big bag, sealed very nicely for breakfast. The lion opened it quickly but was shocked to see that it contained few bananas. Then the lion thought that may be they cared too much for him as they were worried about his stomach as he had recently shifted from India.

    The next day the same thing happened. On the third day again the same food bag of bananas was delivered.

    The lion was so furious, it stopped the delivery boy and blasted at him, 'Don't you know I am the lion... king of the Jungle..., what's wrong with your management?, what nonsense is this? Why are you delivering bananas to me?'

    The delivery boy politely said, 'Sir, I know you are the king of the jungle but ..did you know that you have been brought here on a monkey's visa!!!

    Moral: Better to be a Lion in India than a Monkey elsewhere!!!





    Macaca
    12-30 06:50 PM
    Why does China block foreign websites? (http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/malcolmmoore/100070017/why-does-china-block-foreign-websites/) By Malcolm Moore | Daily Telegraph

    Skype has joined the ever-growing list of internet companies that are now unwelcome in China.

    Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Foursquare, Vimeo, Blogger, Blogspot, Wikileaks and Hulu are some of the others.

    In the West, the automatic assumption is that China is scared of greater internet freedom. If it relaxes its grip on YouTube, for example, Chinese internet users might suddenly all start looking at videos of the Tiananmen Square massacre.

    Actually, while China does ban some of the websites because of the information they contain (Amnesty, Wikileaks), the ban on the others is nothing more than plain old protectionism.

    China is keeping YouTube out because it has its own domestic video sites � Tudou and Youku � and it wants them to grow and prosper. Youku just made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange and is now worth around $5 billion.

    Google�s departure has hugely benefited Baidu and now Alibaba, which has pushed the US giant into third place in the Chinese market.

    Likewise for Facebook. China doesn�t mind social networking. Its domestic Facebook clones, Renren and Kaixin001, boast 100 million users between them.

    Sina Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, is seeing its user numbers rise by 50 per cent every week. From last year to this year the number of Chinese microbloggers rose from 8 million to 125 million.

    Chinese microbloggers have scored some notable successes against the government this year, helping to highlight and, in some cases correct, a series of injustices.

    Of course, the Communist party also finds it easier to control (and censor) domestic web companies than foreign firms, so keeping out the likes of Twitter makes the strategy a double-win.

    Today�s revelation that Skype is now illegal is a continuation of the trend. In this case, the government is clearly supporting the home-grown services offered by its state-owned companies, China Telecom and China Unicom.

    These are more expensive than Skype, require both a hefty monthly fee and then higher call charges, and would probably flounder (as they have to date) without the government�s help.

    Stamping out foreign competition is nothing new. All countries do it. But China is quickly becoming the most aggressive and protectionist country out there.

    Perhaps after a few years the government will be pressured to let these foreign internet companies back in � Facebook already seems to be negotiating a return � but by then, they will have been firmly left in the dust by their Chinese rivals.



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