Sunday, July 3, 2011

texas tech baseball

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  • gomirage
    06-08 12:47 AM
    It is very nice discussion.

    I am in process of buying forclosure home in SUWANEE ( Atlanata) area. I based on my survey and research feel that I am getting good deal(175 K price for 2800 sqft, 2004).by th


    Recently interest rates are gone up. Does any one has any idea that it will come down in a week or two due to possible federal intervention to keep houising going further down? can some one point to the relevant articles?

    Also if you know this area and have any reference for the good lenders?

    Also any points to keep in mind while buying foreclosure? apart from routine home inspection, termite inspection etc. Does survey is required for lot and property?

    Also is it good to put higher down payment or not? How much is better to put, assuming no financial constrain. Is it wise to put 20% down or not? Is it wise to purchase points to get interest rates down?

    Thanks for your continuing suggestions and discussions.

    Interesting questions. What are your plans for buying the house ? Just looking to take advantage of the good deals ? Do you have the conditions and like the area to settle there 5-10 years ?





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  • 485Mbe4001
    08-05 03:16 PM
    Wow...good for you...welcome to America...

    Friends,
    I need to find out how many people are interested in pursuing this option, since the whole interfiling/PD porting business (based on a year 2000 memo) can seriously undermine the EB2 category.

    I am currently pursuing some initial draft plans with some legal representation, so that a sweeping case may be filed to end this unfair practice. We need to plug this EB3-to-EB2 loophole, if there is any chance to be had for filers who have originally been EB2.

    More than any other initiative, the removal of just this one unfair provision will greatly aid all original EB2 filers. Else, it can be clearly deduced that the massively backlogged EB3 filers will flock over to EB2 and backlog it by 8 years or more.

    I also want to make this issue an action item for all EB2 folks volunteering for IV activities.

    Thanks.





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  • mbartosik
    04-09 01:50 AM
    I cannot remember what FHA is. If it is what I'm guessing, then my income would have been too high anyway. Basically the broker found something that I liked, in the end I paid less than most US citizens pay, but that was because I took an 5 ARM and was happy for it to adjust where as most take a 30 year fixed. I worked the mortgage system to my advantage, more to do with personal finance than immigration status.

    My basic points are be knowledgeable in the mortgage technical details, and a broker should be able to find you something good assuming you have good credit and deposit. Only put people with SSN on mortgage. If you use the seller's realtor (after agreeing price terms etc) to find mortgage (if they are licensed, and legal in your state) then they may work double hard because they lose double if it don't work, but be aware of the conflict of interest, understand all technical details, and make deposits if any contingent on something you like (not just mortgage acceptance -- otherwise you could be 'accepted' for at a 10% APR). You are the boss not them. Since you may be more vulnerable to job prospects, factor that into the about of debt you are prepared to accept -- all personal finance more than immigration.

    You might also like to consider independently getting a valuation and inspection of the property, paid for by you directly, not via mortgage application. I am more bothered in conflict of interest there. But in my case I knew mortgage finance inside out after my research, but knew less about home inspections and valuations.

    My experience is that finance industry here knows little about GC, H1, AOS, etc. they care about credit score, SSN, deposit, employment/salary verification, state ID (maybe), and their commission. Do not handicap yourself.





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  • Macaca
    03-04 07:32 PM
    Resources

    American Immigration Law Foundation (AILF (http://www.ailf.org))
    World Policy Institute (WPI (http://www.worldpolicy.org/))
    National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP (http://www.nfap.net/))
    Economic Policy Institute (EPI (http://www.sharedprosperity.org/topics-immigration.html))



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  • xyzgc
    12-30 12:42 AM
    The Pakistani security establishment believes, and there is probably some truth in it, that India is already supporting groups that are trying to destabilize Pakistan. And because of that, they view India as an existential threat to Pakistan, and justify their own activities.

    Its quite a vicious circle.....

    If that is true, to complete the circle, you'll also see terrorist attacks, sponsored by India, on innocent civilians in Pakistan. You'll soon get a fitting reply, something which will put the lives of your mom and dad in danger and scare the hell out of them.





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  • dealsnet
    01-07 08:21 PM
    Our leaders have no guts to speak to these people.

    You know what is your problem?
    From Ottaman, Genghis khan, Temur, to recently Laden all did terrorism to innocent people. When any person or nation protect this terrorism, you guys calling them terrorist!! Bush senior and Bush junior punish terrorist act, you are calling them terrorist. When Israel give answer, you are calling terrorism. When Narendra Modi react against Muslim terrorism, you calling him Terrorist. You guys only like people who don't give answer like current Indian government.
    Now world has changed attitude. World has decided to compromise on Human right to fight with terrorism. Earlier only Israel has policy but after 911, many countries have policy not to negotiate with Plane Hijackers.

    Now read following Australian PM's statement and call him terrorist. You if don't change your mind set, one day you will find board at every country; "Muslims are not welcome"
    Read this Australian PM's bold statement.

    Prime Minister John Howard - Australia

    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.'



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  • nixstor
    08-11 04:00 PM
    Born in Texas and raised in IDAHO speaks volumes about his stand towards immigration issues.

    perm2gc,

    I am curious why you bold everything. on usenet, writing in caps and bold is conisdered shouting and rude. I know this is not usenet but somehow I see that in most of your posts and wanted to know why you do that.





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  • randallemery
    07-16 11:22 PM
    This thread is very interesting to me. I've kind of lived though both sides, and it is really aweful for everyone but the abusive employer.

    My understanding of Immigration Voice's agenda is that this group is really for people who have H1B visas and are in the country already to bring their spouses and children here with full rights to travel and work, make sure renewals of H1Bs happen so you can stay in the country, and, even better, to convert H1B visas to green cards.

    My understanding is that the only reason that Immigration Voice supports increased H1B visa numbers is because people whose current visas are about to expire, and family members, are counted in these same numbers.

    Please correct if I'm wrong. I really would like to get this right.

    Anyway, if I do have it right, it seems to me that the AFL-CIO position (give people green cards instead of H1B visas) bridges the core concerns of members of Immigration Voice and the Programmers Guild. Whether or not everybody recognizes this is a different story, but it is good to know where the overlapping concern is, and hopefully in long term, get people talking about a solution that really does try to bridge the gap.



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  • Marphad
    01-07 04:30 PM
    Because he committed Gujarat Genocide. My response was to the one who mentioned "All terrorirst are muslims".

    Didn't the truth finding commission found the real culprits in Sabarmati issue?

    Yes Nanavati commission found Madresa in Godhra was responsible!





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  • sayantan76
    01-11 03:48 PM
    I don�t agree with your argument. Who is holing up the innocents..? Hamas using the kids and civilians as human shield. I also don�t consider the civilians as innocent there. They are whole heartedly support and elected Hamas -the terror organization. They are the one poisoning the kids with hatred. But I feel very sorry for the kids and the developments are very much disturbing.

    The Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran and Syria � the devil�s club will never achieve their goal � wipe out ISREAL from the map. ISREAL is IS REAL and this mullahs needs to understand that.
    we should be careful here - there is a thin line between terrorism and legitimate freedom struggle....also - the classification may very well vary based on which prism are you looking through.....for example - Bhagat Singh and the likes were considered terrorists by occupying British colonial power but were considered revolutionaries and freedom fighters by the Indian masses.....how can we say that the Indian Freedom Struggle was any more just and legitimate than the Palestinian desire for self governance...

    Another example - were the Mughal rulers in medieval India an occupying invader or were they populist rules loved by the masses? Based on how you answer this question - Chatrapati Shivaji either becomes a glorious Maratha freedom fighter or a terrorist leader....

    On the current situation - Hamas fighters live in a densely populated area....so of course - there are civilians there - what do you expect - Hamas would say - Israel is coming to fight us - lets find some sort of Panipat (check battles of panipat on wikipedia for those who dont know) or Kurukshetra (check Mahabharata on wikipedia) where we can fight Israelies in a vast unpopulated area - Israel is the invading army here - they have chosen to fight in densely populated areas - Hamas is merely responding....

    One of the newspapers today suggested that Hamas has booby trapped Gaza and thats causing problems for Israeli army and somehow Hamas is wrong in doing so - guys what do you expect - Israelis would be welcomed with garlands in Gaza? If some armed enemies were attacking your home and you knew you did not have the might to directly face them - wont you try every underhand tactic in the book to cause as much damage to the enemy as possible?

    While I am no supporter of Hamas or religious extremism - i think its important to study the Palestinian/Israel issue as an ethnic problem as opposed to a religious issue.... - holocaust was a terrible thing to happen but just because of the collective Western guilt conscience (of having done nothing to prevent Holocaust)- the Palestinian/ Israeli dispute has never been judged objectively and one side has always been given a long rope while the other has gotten the short end of the stick.



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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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  • 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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  • chanduv23
    05-17 06:31 AM
    For folks who think banning any sort of consulting on hn1b will solve the purpose and has a good cause, this is what is going to happen.

    You most probably will have been a h1b working ina fulltime job. You will think that when h1b consultants go away, you will fall ahead in the queue and get ur GC. But my dear friend, the intent of this bill is different. IEEE USA, PG etc.. have members who are American citizens and a lot of them may be your own collegues at work and will be encouraging you to support their cause saying it benefits you.
    Once consulting is banned, and when your own American collegues know it is banned and consulting company cannot hire h1b, they will be after your job. They will make conditions miswerable for u at workplace and life will get worse and you will not have any options left for you but to lead a screwed up life.
    If you get fired or layed off, you will be left with no option at all. Remember, while cost cutting, companies will get rid of h1bs before they get rid of citizens, no matter how much u hang on to your job and how much u perform. Basic fact is that your are despensible.
    Their only aim in life is to get rid of all Asians especially Indians and Chinese and reduce their numbers drastically, they will follow any tool or weapon. Don't believe their sweet words and their intent to help you. You must help yourself and help IV.

    Though I do agree that h1b body shops indulge in irregular practices, this is common to any company. Look at biggies like msft, google etcc. they have an entire legal team working hard to workaround any system and utilize loopholes in the system. Thats how businesses survive and make money. Business means "no ethics". So just do not rationalize yourselves by claiming that you know everything. It all boils down to survival of the fittest and it is how you handle situations. Lets all not be selfish and be divided among ourselves.





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  • django.stone
    06-26 07:13 PM
    as you can see in this chart, 1940 was the lowest point in house values, so obviously the number looks good, but in reality, house prices never increase until the recent crazy buying by financially clueless and greedy

    http://photos1.blogger.com/photoInclude/blogger/6089/1833/1600/shiller.gif



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  • chanduv23
    04-13 03:03 PM
    ok..never mind..I called the officer and informed that I don't have any such information and since it was taken over by a different company, I am not in a position to get it..so Officer seemed satisified but asked few other related questions..and it is good for now..

    sigh..
    Dear friend - looks like ur sugar levels are going up and down - hang in there. I think you will be fine. Thanks for sharing your experiences with people here.





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  • unitednations
    08-02 06:36 PM
    Guys


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


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

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



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  • Macaca
    12-29 07:31 PM
    Suicides in India Revealing How Men Made a Mess of Microcredit (http://washpost.bloomberg.com/Story?docId=1376-LE3PZI1A1I4H01-0F7HGVAGBBTBG4G4S2I5PL8TJ5) By Yoolim Lee and Ruth David | Bloomberg

    Tanda Srinivas was lounging in the yard of his two-room house in the southern Indian village of Mondrai shortly after noon on Oct. 28 when his wife, Shobha, burst out of the door covered in flames and screaming for help.

    The 30-year-old mother of two boys had poured 2 liters of kerosene on herself and lit a match. The couple had argued bitterly the day before over how they would repay multiple loans, including those from microlenders who had lent small sums to dozens of villagers, says Venkateshwarlu Masram, a doctor who called for the ambulance.

    Shobha, head of several groups of women borrowers, was being pressured to pay interest on her 12,000 rupee ($265) loan. Lenders also were demanding that she cover for the other women, even though the state had restricted microfinance activities two weeks earlier, Bloomberg Markets magazine reports in its February issue.

    When Srinivas, 35, tried to snuff out the flames with a blanket, his polyester clothes caught fire. Within three days, both parents were dead, leaving their sons orphans.

    Now, on this November morning, the boys� ailing 70-year-old grandfather and blind grandmother say they are caring for Aravind, 10, and Upender, 13, in the farming village where many men earn a living gathering palm extract to make alcoholic beverages.

    None of the boys� relatives can support them full time, says their 60-year-old grandmother, Saiamma, breaking into tears.

    India�s Microlending Hub

    The horrific scene in Mondrai, 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the city of Warangal, has played out in dozens of ways across Andhra Pradesh, India�s fifth-largest state by area and the site of about a third of the country�s $5.3 billion in microfinance loans as of Sept. 30.

    More than 70 people committed suicide in the state from March 1 to Nov. 19 to escape payments or end the agonies their debt had triggered, according to the Society for Elimination of Rural Poverty, a government agency that compiled the data on the microfinance-related deaths from police and press reports.

    Andhra Pradesh, where three-quarters of the 76 million people live in rural areas, suffered a total of 14,364 suicide cases in the first nine months of 2010, according to state police.

    A growing number of microfinance-related deaths spurred the state to clamp down on collection practices in mid-October, says Reddy Subrahmanyam, principal secretary for rural development.

    �Every life is important,� he says.

    Perverse Turn

    On Nov. 8, police arrested two managers of lender Share Microfin Ltd. on allegations of abetting another suicide, this one of a 22-year-old mother. Share Microfin didn�t respond to requests for comment on this story.

    As India struggles to provide decent education, health care and jobs to millions still locked in poverty, microlending -- the loaning of small sums to the world�s neediest people to help them earn a living -- has taken a perverse turn.

    Microcredit has become �Walmartized� by unrestrained selling of cheap products to the poor, says Malcolm Harper, chairman of ratings company Micro-Credit Ratings International Ltd. in Gurgaon, India.

    �Selling debt is like selling drugs,� says Harper, 75, the author of more than 20 books on microfinance and other topics. �Selling debt to illiterate women in Andhra Pradesh, you�ve got to be a lot more responsible.�

    Opposite Effect

    K. Venkat Narayana, an economics professor at Kakatiya University in Warangal, has studied how microfinance lenders persuaded groups of women to borrow.

    �Microfinance was supposed to empower women,� he says. �Microfinance guys reversed the social and economic progress, and these women ended up becoming slaves.�

    India�s booming microlending industry is part of a global phenomenon that began as a charitable movement but now attracts private capital seeking growth and high returns.

    Banco Compartamos SA, a former nonprofit that�s now the largest lender to Mexico�s working poor, raised about $467 million in its 2007 initial public offering. The August IPO of SKS Microfinance Ltd., India�s biggest microlender, drew further attention to the industry.

    SKS began operating in 1998 as a nongovernmental organization led by Vikram Akula, 42, an Indian-American with a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Chicago.

    The company raised 16.3 billion rupees by selling 16.8 million shares at 985 rupees each. SKS shares peaked at 1,404.85 rupees on Sept. 15. As of Dec. 28, they�d fallen to 652.85 rupees.

    Andhra Pradesh Crisis

    On Oct. 15, the government of Andhra Pradesh imposed restrictions that bar microlenders� collection agents from visiting borrowers and required companies to get local authorities� approval for new loans. The rules have crippled lending and repayments. Loan collection levels in the state have dropped to less than 20 percent from 98 percent previously, according to an industry group.

    The upheaval in Andhra Pradesh is a long way from the vision of Muhammad Yunus.

    The former economics professor won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for his pioneering work in Bangladesh providing small sums to entrepreneurs too poor to get bank loans.

    Yunus, 70, discovered more than three decades ago that when you lend money to women in poverty, they can begin to earn a living, and most of them will pay you back.

    Yunus started the Grameen Bank Project in 1976 to extend banking services to the poor. Since then, it has lent $9.87 billion and recovered $8.76 billion; 97 percent of its 8.33 million borrowers are female.

    �Wrong Direction�

    Yunus says he�s not against making a profit. But he denounces firms that seek windfalls and pervert the original intent of microfinance: helping the poor.

    The rule of thumb for a loan should be the cost of funds plus 10 percent, he says.

    �Commercialization is the wrong direction,� Yunus says, speaking in a telephone interview from Bangladesh�s capital of Dhaka. �An initial public offering is the triggering point for making a lot of money personally as well as for the company and shareholders.�

    David Gibbons, chairman of Cashpor Micro Credit, a nonprofit microlender to the poorest women in India�s Uttar Pradesh and Bihar states, says public, for-profit lenders face a conflict.

    �They have to decide between the interests of their customers and interests of their investors,� he says.





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  • NKR
    03-28 08:06 PM
    Job is never guaranteed ..so watch out !! I agree it is highly personal - so if you can and have purchased it --good for you. I was giving my opinion and also to educate about the myth that home is a great investment ..it is not ..it is just a place to live..and so is an apartment..I guess both have advantages and disadvantages ..
    to answer yr question on top ...do you mean to say kids won't grow up in an apartment ?? I feel at v.young age they find more friends in apartments.
    or do u mean to say young kids ( 2 - 6) years lead inferior lives in apartments ?? I big NO ..by renting I come home early and spend more time with kids and they love that ..now if you are able to buy house near your work then that is good for you ...but where I stay (and for many) they cannot do that because of the bubble !!
    to answer yr other post ..actually you should have framed it this way ...would I buy an house if I get green card (SINCE I BELIEVE I WILL GET GC BEFORE PRICES GO UP ..i.e. with in next 2 years). my answer ..
    if I get GC ..yes ...irrespective of price going up or not ..within a period of 6 months after getting GC, I would buy house ..credit is good and have downpayment.
    on EAD and I need more space ...(I would need extra space only when my son grows up and he needs his own space and room)..before this happens I believe I would get a GC ..if I don't get GC then I would try to rent a home.
    EAD and don't need 2000 sq feet (i.e. sons are still small) ..then I would continue to rent (and watch the falling prices !! and perhabs thank USCIS just for this i.e. preventing me from buying a house at inflated prices !!).

    You keep mixing up things, You are both for/against in your own post. On one hand you say that apartment is good for kids since they find other kids to play with, on the other hand you say that if you get a GC, you will buy a house within six months. So what exactly are you trying to tell. If the market is good, is buying a house good thing or bad thing.

    Home might not be a great investment, after a couple of years it becomes a necessity. Living in a house is not a great thing, nor living in an apartment is less pleasant. Like I have said it all depends on one�s situation and what one wants. A person and his/her family including kids should be happy wherever they are, it�s all that matters.





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  • gsc999
    08-15 12:41 PM
    A comprehensive look at Lou Doub, his past, his present and his future ( ;-) please see quote below for future...)


    "CNN president Jonathan Klein refused The Nation's requests for an interview, but he has told the New York Times that "Lou's show is not a harbinger of things to come at CNN."

    http://www.thenation.com/doc/20060828/eviatar





    GCwaitforever
    05-31 06:01 PM
    Lou is an arm-chair critic. I have nothing more to say.





    Macaca
    12-28 07:24 PM
    Fighting for change

    At home, religion had started to drive a wedge in Rubina's family. Irfan, when he talked to her at all, often chided her for not covering her hair. He wanted her to quit school and marry a man whose version of Islam was as strict as his. With her father's support, she refused.

    "We don't really talk that much right now," Rubina said of her brother, who declined to be interviewed for this article.

    Her father arranged for her to marry a moderate Muslim, a man who had a promising job as a hotel manager and to whom Rubina felt attracted. Still, his family insisted that she withdraw from college to start preparing for her nuptials. With her brother and father pushing for the marriage, she agreed.

    She gave up her dreams of an English-language degree, a steppingstone for working-class Indians seeking better jobs in the country's booming call centers and outsourcing industries.

    The trajectory of her life suddenly seemed predictable, she thought, from fiancee to wife to mother and, as is tradition in many Muslim families, caretaker of her husband's home and family. But she still refused to cover her hair.

    Not long after she was engaged, 10 gunmen - young Muslims suspected to be part of a Pakistani jihadi group - crossed the Arabian Sea and came ashore in Mumbai, India's financial and cultural capital. During a three-day siege of the city, the assailants killed 166 people and injured scores - including Muslims - in part as retribution for atrocities in Gujarat, according to recordings of their cellphone conversations, which the Indian government later released.

    It was a turning point for India's Muslim community. For the first time in anyone's memory, many Muslim leaders came together to express anger against Pakistan, where the attackers were said to have been trained. Muslims in Mumbai even refused to bury the gunmen, nine of whom died in the attacks. The backlash was also directed at extremists within the Muslim community.

    "Many Muslims were very worried that we would be attacked after the siege of Mumbai," Rubina said. "We stayed at home, closed our shops. But after watching the Muslims of Mumbai protest in the streets, some here found the courage to protest against the terrorists and explain where we stood."

    The anti-extremist movement spread to other Indian cities with large Muslim populations, including Ahmedabad. Rubina and other women in her neighborhood saw it as an opportunity to speak out against extremism at a time when fatwas, or religious decrees, against women were on the rise.

    "Why do Muslim woman have to be so docile and submissive?" asked Khan, the social worker, who opened a chapter of a national Muslim women's group just down the street from Rubina's house. "Everyone is complaining about terrorists. This is the moment for Muslim women to speak up about our rights, too."

    The women's group filed, and later won, a lawsuit against the city accusing it of failing to provide electricity, water, and sewage and trash services in Muslim communities.

    Emboldened by that success, Rubina soon began studying health issues as part of a government campaign to help young mothers in the neighborhood care for sick children, offering health tips and medicine.

    "Many families here still think it's not safe for a girl to be out in offices or on the roads," she said one recent day, braiding her long hair and loading her briefcase with notes about neighbors in need.

    She walked past the mosque where her brother prayed. Nearby, children played hopscotch over open sewers clogged with plastic bags and crushed soda cans. She paused and tried to remember what her life had been like, how safe she had felt before the riots. Now 22, she wondered whether her life would have been different.

    "Would we have a better life?" she asked. "Would Muslims have a better life?"

    Just weeks ago, Rubina married the hotel manager. "My husband and his family will let me work. That is what's important," she said. "I don't want to sit home. There is a lot of work to do in the community. We are still recovering."

    Her brother attended the wedding ceremony and praised her work as a health activist, one of the few times he has let on that he was proud of her.

    Rubina glowed in a red sari, her hands stained with henna. She danced with the women in a midnight celebration at her home. And her father and brother danced in a nearby room.


    Muslim Women Gain Higher Profile in U.S. (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/28/world/middleeast/28iht-muslim28.html) By BRIAN KNOWLTON | New York Times



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