Monday, July 4, 2011

city skyline drawing

images view a city#39;s skyline from city skyline drawing. of the city#39;s skyline.

  • of the city#39;s skyline.



  • malaGCPahije
    09-26 09:10 AM
    I support McCain. Please do not give me reds for siding with McCain.

    I think for the country McCain is going to be better as prez than Obama. He is a more mentally strong person (clearly displayed by his POW stint). He chose not to go home when given a chance by the enemy because he did not want to leave his army friends alone. That says a lot about character.

    Obama for most presents himself to me as a lot of talk and not much action. He chose to be absent when the congress was voting on important action items during his time as a senator.

    I think what is best for America is best for the EB community too. If America is not the economically strong country we all hoped it would always be, then what good is the EB community going to get staying in America. With McCain, chances of reforms for legal immigration are also going to be much more than with Obama.

    Just my 2 cents.





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  • stock vector : sketch of the



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


    LOL.
    :D:D

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





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  • G- liner with drawings of city



  • alisa
    12-31 12:41 PM
    See Hitler exported terror, which is what Pakistan is doing now and the Allies used violence in retaliation but were ultimately successful in bringing long term peace.

    Do you realize that
    a) Hitler did not export terror. He invaded and occupied countries. Non-state actors trying to kill Pakistanis, and Indians, and trying to start a war between India and Pakistan, are not the same as one country invading another.
    b) That was before the atomic bomb,





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  • new york skyline drawing. The Chicago Skyline Sketch



  • anilsal
    11-11 08:52 PM
    Lou seems to be a prominent member of CNN. So it is going to be difficult to remove him.

    Also Joe Scarxxx/Pat Buchanan on MSNBC are anti-immig.



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  • Macaca
    10-02 11:02 AM
    As China Opens, U.S. Lobbyists Get Ready to Move In (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/01/AR2007100101672.html?hpid=sec-business) By Ariana Eunjung Cha | Washington Post Foreign Service, October 2, 2007

    BEIJING -- It's almost 8 a.m., and former U.S. commerce secretary Donald L. Evans and his team are standing in front of the St. Regis Hotel, preparing for their day of meetings with Chinese finance officials.

    Small but meaningful gifts in Tiffany's signature baby-blue boxes? Check. Briefing books with the pronunciation of everyone's names? Check. Black Audi A6s to whisk the group to the meetings? Check.

    Evans was in town representing the Financial Services Forum, which is made up of chief executives of 20 multinational banks. His goal was to convince Chinese regulators that opening their financial sector to more foreign investment would be good for China's economy.

    Armies of lobbyists are descending on the Chinese capital in anticipation of the 17th Communist Party Congress beginning in mid-October. The gathering will choose a new generation of leaders, setting the political agenda for the next five years.

    But the dark-suited Western lobbyists are an odd spectacle given that in China, policy and legislative decisions are still made behind closed doors. Lobbying exists in a gray area; because there are no laws specifically pertaining to it, it isn't even supposed to exist.

    Nevertheless, some of Washington's marquee lobbying firms -- including Jones Day, Hogan & Hartson, DLA Piper and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld -- have set up offices in China. Officially, they are just investment advisory and communications firms. Chinese companies mostly work through government-affiliated industry associations, although some have also hired Western-style lobbying firms.

    In June, foreign companies successfully lobbied Chinese officials to remove conditions on hiring temporary workers in a new labor law that they said would make it prohibitively expensive to do business in China. Likewise in August, they were able persuade China to remove some language in early drafts of the anti-monopoly law that seemed to discriminate against foreign companies, according to Chinese and foreign academics.

    The Chinese government has said it took input from domestic and foreign interests into account but has not been specific.

    Foreign companies are interested in what happens in China, as its economy is becoming the world's third-largest as well as a capitalist instead of planned one. There's concern that the legal framework for business that China's legislators are writing today could affect the fate of multinational businesses for decades.

    Evans said that the degree to which Chinese officials are interested in hearing foreign perspectives on business issues has increased dramatically. In the past, he said, he would go into government meetings and recite a set of bullet points, and the meeting would end. These days, he said, there's real discussion and debate.

    "They are very proactive in wanting to engage and share with the business community," Evans said.

    Scott Kennedy, director of the Research Center for Chinese Politics and Business at Indiana University and author of "The Business of Lobbying in China," said that as recently as a few years ago foreign companies would grumble that they heard about new policies only after they were announced.

    "That is increasingly no longer the case. Today, even if they don't agree with the final result, they know it's on the horizon," Kennedy said.

    But China's laws have been slow to respond to the influx of lobbyists seeking to take advantage of the closer ties. Zhao Kejin, an associate professor at Shanghai's Fudan University who studies government-business relations and has written a book on lobbying in China, argues that because lobbyists do not need to register or file disclosure forms, the system is vulnerable to abuse.

    "There is lots of lobbying money flowing to individual officials' pockets," Zhao said. In addition to straight-up bribery, some lobbying firms keep friends of high-placed officials on the payroll or pay for officials to take luxury "training" trips abroad.

    In 2004, Lucent Technologies fired four executives who were part of its Chinese operations for violating the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which prohibits bribing foreign government officials and politicians. Last November, a U.S. software maker, Fidelity National Information Services, was accused of paying for luxury vacations for Chinese banking officials and their families in places such as Rome and Las Vegas. Fidelity has denied the charges.

    Lobbying is not only less of an institution in China than it is in the United States, but the people being lobbied are different.

    For instance, Murray King, head of the Shanghai office of APCO Worldwide, one of the oldest government relations firms operating in China, said that Chinese academics are among the key players that companies should reach out to. The most important members of that group are those who work with the think tanks affiliated with various state ministries, because they play an important role in the drafting of legislation.

    Another crucial part of high-profile lobbying efforts are "guanxi brokers," well-connected individuals who can give introductions to important officials, or "rainmakers," people who are so famous that many Chinese officials might be happy to meet and shake hands.

    "Because China is a country that respects authority, former politicians of the United States, when they come to China, can always play a very important role," said Steven Dong, a Tsinghua University public relations professor who studies the reputations of corporations.

    A former U.S. official will almost always be greeted by a Chinese official of the same rank, Dong said.

    Former officials with star power in China include Henry Kissinger, probably the most sought-after because of the role he played in establishing diplomatic relations with the Communist Party during the Nixon administration. Former Federal Communications Commission chairman Reed Hundt, who routinely visits China on behalf of Silicon Valley companies to talk about opening up China's Internet and telecommunications sector, is also a regular in the halls of Chinese ministries. Gary Locke, a former governor of Washington whose consulting firm represents Microsoft and Starbucks, is celebrated for being the first Chinese American governor and is so well known that school girls run up to him to take his picture.

    Evans, who was commerce secretary from 2001 to 2004, has been working for the Financial Services Forum since 2005. This was his second trip to China on behalf of the group.

    Evans was received by the Chinese government this month with all the pomp and circumstance of a state visit.

    His schedule, which included all key financial ministries and regulators, was almost identical to that of Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. during his visit in July. Evans even had a private diner with Vice Premier Wu Yi.

    There was lobbying on both sides.

    Jiang Jianqing, chairman of the state-owned Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, a rank similar to that of minister, pummeled Evans with questions about the subprime lending crisis and trade protectionism in Congress. ICBC has recently been ranked the second- or third-largest bank in the world by market capitalization.

    Evans said the Chinese must make sure that U.S. legislators understand they are open to foreign investment. He said it's important for the Chinese to make sure the U.S. government understands "your view as an important trader, to make sure they understand your commitment to moving your economy toward an ultimate market economy."

    The total foreign ownership in a Chinese bank cannot exceed 25 percent. But even as Evans began to lay out his case for why China should raise or do away with foreign ownership caps for banking, securities and insurance firms, Jiang took the opportunity to point out his frustration that his bank's application to open a single branch in the United States has not been approved, while U.S. banks, including some that Evans represents, already have significant operations in China.

    Evans said he'd be happy to look into the holdup.

    Near the end of the one-hour meeting, the two turned to a less-tense topic: the development of China's countryside. Evans talked about his visits to western China, where he met two blind brothers with whom he has kept in touch, and how much their lives had changed over the years. Jiang said he, too, was concerned about bridging the gap between the rich and the poor in China.

    The two men smiled and shook hands. That was considered progress.





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  • Sketch - City Skyline



  • puddonhead
    06-07 10:27 AM
    If you look at the details I posted, only $1050 goes to interest, insurance, and taxes. $400 goes to the principal. So, compared that to my $1200 rental, it is still wise choice. Isn't it?

    As per Zillow estimate, the value of the house I bought already appreciated by $10k above the purchase price.

    For the sake of discussion that it did not appreciate in the next 10 years (which I doubt because there's no other way to go but up) but the value stayed at purchase price, as per my amortization schedule, my loan would be at 75% of the purchase value. It means therefore that I already have a 25% equity of the house, which is $60k.

    If I saved the $250 per month at zero interest, I would have $30k. I don't know where you can find 5% interest p.a. investment today but for the sake of argument that I found one, I think I can't get the $60k at the end of 10th yr.

    Off topic - but I hope you have done a proper inspection with an independent inspection agency.

    99% of all Houses built after 2000 (i.e. during the boom time) are notorious for bad build quality. Chinese Drywall (http://www.google.com/search?q=chinese+drywall) anyone?



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    city skyline drawing. sketch 550x388 Chicago Art
  • sketch 550x388 Chicago Art



  • mariner5555
    03-24 01:59 PM
    True.

    I am sure you were not born in this country and brought up. Think about the enjoyment you had when you were young. Playing with 10 kids of your age everyday, running stairs up and down, cycling around the communities. Don't our kids deserve the same?
    They should not end up as "GC" victims.
    (my final thoughts ...)
    well one point is clear - those who have a house will justify it and those who rent will justify the same.
    I don't expect those who bought house to say that they made a mistake ..they have to justify (rightly) their decision even if they paid more. and I agree with them.
    both have their valid points but from what I have observed quality of life actually goes down a little when you buy a house at inflated prices or buy a house beyond yr means (as both hus / wife have to work etc etc ..many even end up cooking food once a week - if u know what I mean).
    I am from bombay -- and actually we had more fun in the buildings / apartments because you end up spending more time outdoors with friends. now ofcourse people will say they stayed in bungalows in smaller cities and they had fun too ..and I agree. similarly I know few people / friends who bought houses here (in USA) in such isolated / wealthy surroundings that their kid / kids have no friends !! ,
    similarly other in a hurry brought a house so far from work / city that they are in a soup !! some of their wives simply cannot drive or will take years to learn or they have only one car ..the net result - husband goes to work from 8 to 7 (including transit time) - kids end up at home (ofcourse they run up and down the stairs - watching TV). whereas in an apt - the chances that you would find someone in similar position is more (i.e. kids of same age who can play together is higher). maybe when they grow and go to school - things will be better -- I guess in the end it is personal.
    ...also just because someone buys a house - doesnt necessarily mean higher std of living and simarly those who rent - it doesnt mean that they have lower std of living ...in the end it is personal decision !! but in present scenario --- looking before leaping definitely makes sense. rather than buying a house quickly - just because everyone else is doing the same ..).
    BTW there are lots of articles out there which explains why renting is not throwing money away !!





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  • view a city#39;s skyline from



  • amitjoey
    08-05 01:29 PM
    I am an EB3 2003. I think I did qualify for EB2, but the job position did not require me to be in that category, moreover EB2 & Eb3 were both current and various other factors were considered and they decided to apply in EB3.
    NOW: It was my bad that I got stuck in the stupid BEC. A fellow I know with lesser qualifications applied in EB3 in 2004, then changed jobs, applied in EB2 in 2004 and has a green card already.
    DO YOU MEAN TO SAY: THAT YOU ARE GOING TO DENY ME MY 2003 PD IF I APPLY IN EB2. FORGET THINKING ABOUT IT! Not that it is easy or I am doing it. As a matter of fact, I am not interested!.



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    city skyline drawing. white clouds drawing. lack
  • white clouds drawing. lack



  • bfadlia
    01-08 11:04 AM
    If you don't got the greencard, good luck for that. Please don't discuss any religious things here. It make others furious. Concentrate on your carrer and family. Belief in God is enough. Religion will give misery only. Man made the religion. God didn't created it.

    i'm really confused, my posts asked people not to let religion interfere with a political issue, you responded educating us on the salvation and trinity and disproving Mohamed's message.. which one of us was discussing religion..
    And still how does this justify you being racist to egyptians?!





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  • Mexico-City-Skyline-



  • Macaca
    05-13 05:42 PM
    What if you had to buy American? (http://money.msn.com/how-to-budget/what-if-you-had-to-buy-american.aspx) By Katherine Reynolds Lewis | MSN Money

    Legions of patriotic Americans look for "made in USA" stickers before buying products, out of a desire to support the country's economy.

    But what if we all were restricted to purchasing only those goods that were made in America?

    Our homes would be stripped virtually bare of telephones, televisions, toasters and other electronics, and many of our favorite foods and toys would be gone, too. Say goodbye to your coffee or tea, and forget about slicing bananas into your breakfast cereal -- all three would become prohibitively expensive if we relied on only Hawaii to grow tropical crops.

    We'd have to trash our beloved Apple products because the iPod, iPad and MacBook aren't made in the U.S. Gasoline would double or triple in price, given that we now import more than 60% of our oil. And you couldn't propose to your true love with a diamond ring: There are no working diamond mines in the U.S.

    Moreover, a complete end to imports would actually hurt the U.S. economy, because consumers and domestic companies would lose access to cheap goods. Trade protections, whether through tariffs or quotas, cost the economy roughly $2 for every $1 in additional profit for domestic producers, said Mark Perry, an economics professor at the University of Michigan-Flint and a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank.

    "If we restricted trade to just the 50 states, what would happen immediately -- and would increase over time -- would be a huge reduction in our standard of living, because we wouldn't have access to the cheap goods we get from other countries," Perry said. "We also wouldn't have any export markets, so companies like Caterpillar and Microsoft would have a huge reduction in sales and workforce."

    So what do we make of heartfelt pleas to save U.S. manufacturing by buying American, or the many websites (see one here) that catalog U.S. sources for an array of products? Or the Buy American Act, which curbs government purchases of products that are made overseas?

    Do such efforts actually hurt the country they're trying to help?

    The argument for buying American

    Marc Kruskol, 53, a publicist based in Palmdale, Calif., goes out of his way to purchase products that are made in the U.S. because of his concern over the decline in manufacturing employment.

    "I truly believe that we could go a long way towards fixing the economy if we would just put people to work making things in this country that are made in other places," said Kruskol, who spends hours scouring made-in-America websites or visiting brick-and-mortar stores in search of U.S. products.

    He recently spent $10 on a pair of salad tongs made in America, which he tracked down in a restaurant supply store, after rejecting 99-cent foreign-made tongs. And he was happy to spend $650 on a domestically produced barbecue grill rather than a $450 imported one, just to support his countrymen.

    But financial experts say that it's best for America if you buy the cheapest product you can find without sacrificing quality. Their explanation rests on the concept of efficient manufacturing. An efficient producer creates the most valuable goods with the least possible expense, selling those items at lower prices than competitors who are less efficient. A country benefits when its manufacturers become more efficient.

    When you spend more on an equivalent product simply because it's made in the U.S., you're wasting your money -- and supporting an inefficient manufacturer that, by rights, should become more efficient or go out of business. Moreover, the additional $9.01 or $200 that Kruskol had spent on an inefficient U.S. producer could have been spent on something else, helping the economy further. Or it could have stayed in his savings account and been funneled by his bank into the financial system, which in theory allocates capital to the most efficient producers.

    "He gave effectively $9 to an inefficient producer to motivate them to keep producing inefficiently," said Ken Fisher, the founder and CEO of Fisher Investments in Woodside, Calif., and the author of "Debunkery." "I understand the well-intentioned view. Doing that would be terrible for America."

    The most efficient producers are best-positioned to create more jobs and return profits to their investors, and to the government in the form of tax revenue. "We make the country better by allocating resources towards the ones that can use them best," Fisher said.

    The complex manufacturing question

    At the heart of the issue are the interconnected global economy and the changes in the manufacturing sector.

    There's no question that U.S. manufacturers employ far fewer people now -- about 11.7 million in April -- than when the sector peaked at 19.6 million workers in 1979. But the decline in jobs is largely due to technological advances that have reduced the number of workers needed to run factories, Perry and Fisher pointed out. The average worker today is responsible for $180,000 of manufacturing output, triple the inflation-adjusted $60,000 of 1972, Perry said.

    Despite that increase in productivity, a March report by IHS Global Insight put China's manufacturing output ahead of the U.S. for the first time ever, at $2 trillion in 2010, compared with $1.95 trillion for the U.S. That's up from $1.69 trillion for China and $1.733 trillion for the U.S. in 2009, based on U.S. and Chinese government data.

    But Perry argued that exchange-rate fluctuations and differences in data sources caused the IHS Global report to skew the comparison between the U.S. and China. Based on U.N. data for 2009, the most recent available, the United States' manufacturing output was 14% ahead of China's, he said.

    Moreover, as manufacturing has declined as a share of the U.S. economy while the service sector has grown, most of the world has followed the same trend. The proportion has held steady in China.

    "We've left the Machine Age, and we're in a new Information Age. It makes sense that manufacturing would be less important," Perry said, noting that as other countries have taken over clothing and other low-end manufacturing, the U.S. has become more competitive in producing pharmaceuticals, software, aerospace technology, industrial machinery and medical equipment. "We're still world leaders and at the cutting edge of those higher-skilled, higher-valued-added areas."

    Not convinced yet? The other conundrum in trying to buy only U.S.-made products lies in what that really means.

    Do you accept products that are assembled in America but contain components from all over the globe? For example, U.S. companies in February imported $58 billion worth of industrial supplies, such as petroleum and plastics, and $40 billion in capital goods, from computers to engines and laboratory equipment.

    What about products that are assembled in China yet include parts from U.S. suppliers and were designed by American engineers? Every time you purchase such an item, the money will flow back to those American engineers and suppliers.

    Cars.com's American-Made Index illustrates U.S. industries' complex trade relationships. The website ranks vehicles built and purchased in the U.S. based on sales, the origin of the cars' parts and whether assembly was in the U.S. The top two cars -- Toyota Camry and Honda Accord -- are produced by Japanese companies through their U.S. subsidiaries.

    "On the surface, it seems like it might be plausible to have these 'made in the USA' campaigns," Perry said. "It all gets real tricky in a global economy with parts."

    When buying American helps

    That's not to say you should ignore the origins of the goods you buy.

    When comparing two products of equivalent price and quality, feel free to choose the U.S.-made one out of domestic pride. It may make sense to buy a U.S.-made product if the quality or safety is superior.

    Alex Kaplan, 41, the owner of Celebrity Laser Spa in Los Angeles, recently bought a pair of ottomans online for $120, only to find them cracked and cheaply made. After returning the made-in-China set, he found a craftsman through Etsy who made similar ottomans for $160 but allowed customers to choose the fabrics.

    "It's much more satisfying," said Kaplan, whose blog chronicles his attempts to find products made in the U.S. "The most important thing when it comes to buying American is being aware and asking yourself, 'Where is this made?'"


    Is College a Rotten Investment?
    Why student loans are not like subprime mortgages. (http://www.slate.com/id/2293766/)
    By Annie Lowrey | Slate



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    city skyline drawing. the far away city skyline.
  • the far away city skyline.



  • GotGC??
    04-07 08:48 PM
    Regardless of the various previous comments of whether this bill will or will not make it, I don't care to wait to find out.

    I will do whatever I can do to help a concerted effort to nip this bill in the bud. Give me my marching orders.



    What we have to do
    1.) This bill is discriminatory and puts unworkable restrictions on H-1B program. Please join Immigration Voice to oppose this bill in its current form.
    2.) Join Immigration Voice's efforts to oppose the bill S.1035 and educate the lawmakers to pass meaningful comprehensive immigration reform containing the provisions to end the massive employment based green card backlog.
    3.) If you are employee, employer or a lawyer, please take this threat very seriously and inform your organization, employer, colleagues, friends or anybody whom you feel should know about this discriminatory bill. Please request everybody to visit www.ImmigrationVoice.org (http://www.ImmigrationVoice.org) frequently for the latest action items and updates.
    4.) Please contribute to Immigration Voice TODAY and please send out SOS message to you friends, colleagues and employers to contribute and support Immigration Voice. We have very limited resources and desperately need everybody�s support.





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  • Refugee_New
    01-07 05:09 PM
    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.
    '


    Before blaming muslims try to understand the fact and know atleast a little history. When you have time just read this.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/07/gaza-israel-palestine

    news article written by Oxford professor of international relations Avi Shlaim served in the Israeli army.



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  • hair new york skyline black and new york skyline drawing.



  • ilikekilo
    03-25 04:27 PM
    lol...you are right..

    but dont know... I am going by hunch..I hope not to regret..:)


    None of my business as to what you do but U not going thru a lawyer seems counter intuitive to me.. not sure why u r taking chances to see whether you would regret or not? anyways good luck man..





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  • the city skyline and the



  • yagw
    08-20 02:53 AM
    Mr. X going to airport with his friend for the first time...

    Mr. X : What is that flight, taking off?
    Friend: Boeing 747

    The next day he went with his another friend and saw the same flight landing... then says to his friend....

    "I know the name of the flight... 'Vanding' 747!"


    Translation: Bo ~= Go
    Vandu ~= Come



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  • New York City Skyline pencil drawing - Matte Print 12x12



  • Macaca
    12-27 06:59 PM
    India chasing a U.N. chimera (http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/article995760.ece) By K. S. DAKSHINA MURTHY | The Hindu

    In recent years it has become standard practice for the Indian media to ask visiting foreign dignitaries where they stand on New Delhi's claim to a permanent seat in the UNSC. If the answers are in the affirmative, there are smiles all round and the glow is then transmitted to readers or viewers as the case may be.

    Among the Permanent Five in the Council, the United Kingdom has long affirmed support, so have France and Russia. China has remained non-committal. So the United States' stand was deemed crucial. When President Barack Obama, during his recent visit, backed India for a permanent seat, the joy was palpable. The media went to town as if it were just a matter of time before India joined the select group of the World's almighty. The happiness lasted a few days until the first tranche of WikiLeaks punctured the mood somewhat.

    The revelation of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's classified whisper, describing India as a self-appointed front-runner exposed Washington's innermost thoughts on the subject. Though the embarrassing leak was subsequently sought to be played down, it opened the curtain to a larger truth which is that the U.S. and the other four have never really been interested in real reforms to the Security Council.

    Public pronouncements, positive affirmations and slap-on-the-back relationships don't necessarily translate into action on the ground.

    Reforms

    Jakob Silas Lund of the Centre for U.N. Reform Education states a few individuals within the process believe that some of the Permanent Five countries “are more than happy to see reform moving at near-zero-velocity speed”.

    The reforms are open to interpretation. Broadly, they mean democratisation of the Security Council to make it representative and in tune with the contemporary world. This, for some, means more permanent members. The Group of four — India, Brazil, Japan and Germany — has been the most vocal in demanding it be included.

    What is surprising, especially where India is concerned, is the hope and optimism that it is heading towards a permanent seat. In reality, a committee set up by the United Nations 17 years ago to go into reforms shows little signs of progress.

    The first meeting was held in 1994 of the U.N. group, a mouthful, called the “Open-Ended Working Group on the Question of Equitable Representation and Increase in the Membership of the Security Council and Other Matters Related to the Security Council”. Until now, this group has completed four rounds of negotiations, just on preliminaries.

    A brief peek into the past will make it clear that the addition of more veto-wielding permanent members to the Council is a veritable pipe dream. For any amendment to the U.N. charter, two-thirds of the General Assembly needs to acquiesce. This may be possible but the next requirement, that of ratification by the Permanent Five, is the real obstacle.

    Since the formation of the United Nations in 1945, there have been only a handful of meetings of the Security Council to discuss the original charter, and even that, merely to discuss minor amendments. One of some significance came about in 1965 when the membership of temporary, non-veto powered countries in the Council was increased from six to 10 and the number of votes required to pass any decision increased to nine from seven.

    As academic and U.N. commentator Thomas G. Weiss wrote in the Washington Quarterly, “Most governments rhetorically support the mindless call for equity, specifically by increasing membership and eliminating the veto. Yet, no progress has been made on these numerical or procedural changes because absolutely no consensus exists about the exact shape of the Security Council or the elimination of the veto.”

    The argument for a bigger, more representative Council is undoubtedly valid but the issue is who will implement it and how.

    U.S. is the prime mover

    In today's global equation the U.S. is the acknowledged prime mover. It has already had to sweat it out to convince the other four members to go with it on several issues, like the sanctions against Iran. If more countries are allowed to join the Council the difficulties for U.S. interests are obvious, even if those included are vetted for their closeness to Washington.

    Real and effective reforms should have meant democratisation of the Security Council to reflect the aspirations of all its members. Ideally, this should mean removal of permanency and the veto power to be replaced with a rotating membership for all countries, where each one big or small, powerful or weak gets to sit for a fixed term in the hallowed seats of the Council. This is unthinkable within the existing framework of the United Nations. At the heart of the issue is the reluctance of the Permanent Five to give up the prized veto power.

    The situation is paradoxical given that democracy is being touted, pushed and inflicted by the U.S. across the world. But democracy seems to end where the Security Council begins. The rest of the world has no choice but to bow to its decisions. The consequences for defying the Council can be terrifying as was experienced by Saddam Hussein's Iraq through the 1990's. Iran is now on the receiving end for its defiance on the nuclear issue.

    Not just that, the credibility of the Security Council itself took a beating over its inability to prevent the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. Having failed to convince France, Russia and China to vote for invading Iraq, the U.S. went alone. The Council was reduced to a bystander. It failed to fulfil its primary task, that of ensuring security — to Iraq.

    What this also implies is that Council or no Council, in today's unipolar world, the U.S. will go with what it decides and no one can stop it. This has been the case particularly since the end of the Cold War. “With a U.S. global presence as great as that of any empire in history, Security Council efforts to control U.S. actions are beginning to resemble the Roman Senate's efforts to control the emperor,” writes Weiss.

    Instead of trying to clamber onto a patently unfair arrangement it would have made more sense if the four self-appointed front-runners along with the rest of the world had demanded a more equitable and representative Council.

    To achieve this, academic and U.N. expert Erik Voeten suggests pressure tactics to counter veto power. One tactic is for countries en bloc to ignore the decisions taken in the Security Council. Another is for Germany and Japan, which are among the largest contributors to the United Nations, to turn off the tap.

    Despite this, if nothing happens, countries may have no choice but to look for, or at least threaten to float, an alternative U.N.-like organisation whose structure would be more in tandem with the contemporary world. Idealistic, perhaps. But this should force the Permanent Five to sit up and take real notice.

    K.S. Dakshina Murthy was formerly Editor of Al Jazeera based in Doha, Qatar





    dresses of liberty face drawing. city skyline drawing. You need Flash 8 or higher to see a replay of this drawing.
  • You need Flash 8 or higher to see a replay of this drawing.



  • ca_immigrant
    06-23 03:55 PM
    I'm surprised nobody is even considering the other aspect i.e. the pleasure to live in your own house. We people are living in US in a small sized appt. while we bought houses in India, which is on rent. You will never know the pleasure of living in your own space...

    in agreement.....there is definately pleasure in living in your own house....



    more...


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  • Manhattan Skyline Pen amp; Ink



  • akkisingh@hotmail.com
    01-06 02:36 PM
    I agree that innocent civilians are getting killed which is very sad. I always had a soft corner for the Plaestinians and was horrified to see the massacre in Jenin some years back. But now Hamas is the legit government in Palestine. They are responsible for their civilians. Hamas cannot fire rockets on another country. Israel in this case is right in acting against Hamas. If Hamas was not in government then it would have been wrong but since they are the govt ,Hamas is responsible for the killings of these civilians.





    girlfriend the city skyline and the city skyline drawing. the city#39;s skyline (an
  • the city#39;s skyline (an



  • hpandey
    06-26 02:47 PM
    If you buy - and take a mortgate - you end up losing (the same way you "lose" your rent)
    1. Interest you pay
    2. Property taxes you will pay forever.
    3. Maintenance you will pay forever.

    On the other hand - if you rent and,
    A. IF you pay less in rent than #1 + #2 + #3,
    B. IF you invest the remainder plus your mortgage principal amount in some other investment vehicle with superior investment returns than real estate.
    .... Then you will come out ahead renting.

    The tipping point is whether your rent equals interest + property taxes + maintenance. Based on which side is higher - either renting or buying could be good for you. I don't think there is a clear cut answer. This does not take into account the flexibility associated with renting - which is important for non-GC holders. If you assign a non-zero dollar value of $X with that flexibility, then your rent needs to be interest + tax + maintanance + $X to get to the tipping point. On the other hand, if you are not forced to save (in the form of mortgage principal payment every month) - you may just spend that money instead of investing that. If you assign a dollar value of $Y with that (probability multiplied by actual dollar value) - then the tipping point is at
    $rent = $interest + $tax + $maintenance + $X(dollar value for flexibility) - $Y(dollar value for probability of spending money instead of saving).

    Now as soon as you plug in the numbers in this equation - it will give you your tipping point and will tell you whether it is right for you to rent or to buy.

    Think about it. It is not as clear cut as you think it is. :-) Based on your earlier posts - you got an absolutely faboulous deal on your house (maybe because of your timing) and the tipping point equation would probably highly favor buying in your case. For many other (specially for those without a GC) - it may not be so clear cut.

    Yes its not clear cut but lets replace your X, Y and others with numbers

    Suppose your rent is 1500$ a month

    You pay 540,000 $ in 30 years

    so your point 1 - the interest payment is always going to be less than rent if you look over the 30 year term of mortgage since there is no way to pay 540,000 dollars in interest in 30 years looking at the amortization table unless you are buying a million dollar plus house. ( I assumed 5 % rate of interest )

    2. Property taxes - these we write off from our income which again becomes pointless more or less

    3. Maintainence - Now that is a personal thing - I lived in rented apartments for many years until last year end - The property admins don't replace things on demand - so you have to live with the same old appliances , carpets etc etc until they really die off since no one is going to replace them on demand . Things break so many times as they reach the end of their life and you call the property office each time and so on.

    I would rather that I maintain my own things and have best of the market stuff rather than not.

    Some people might say there are rented places where they have top of the line stuff but remember that the rent goes higher too. So that negates that point.

    And coming to what you say in the end - my mortgage is the same as I paid for rent so renting doesn't make any sense to me. The only thing is that if I have to move back to India I will have to sell the house which I am not worried about since I live in a very good area and two houses in my lane got sold within a month last month at more than the price which I paid for my house.

    As someone said real estate is highly local. Not all places in US are losing values . There are a lot of good areas which have reached bottom. The house I bought was 20% off from the price the person whom I bought it from paid in 2005. So that is already priced in.





    hairstyles the far away city skyline. city skyline drawing. of New York City#39;s skyline
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  • minimalist
    08-05 03:37 PM
    I said most of the case. Not all. Ofcouse, most of the bodyshoppers does this abuse. Like labor subsitution, creating a duplicate job just to file EB2 etc.. I am not blaming good US employers and employees. There are tons on non-IT genuine EB2 cases are there..

    If Y2K issue was not there and there is no explosion of IT industry, you wouldn't have had this scenario where you find severe retrogression for India.
    If you are thinking in terms of meritocracy, I am sure most of the people who are so vehemently arguing are not the best and brightest from their batch on every level . People with better credentials may not be doing as well as you . So stop cribbing about how somebody else who you suppose is inferior to you is getting ahead.





    ItIsNotFunny
    12-23 12:03 PM
    Please quantify your response. There are numerous hindu groups that have worked for the upliftment of many. There are certain right wing hindu groups that do that just like there are many right wing muslims groups that target the other communities. As for Jinnah, I wonder if there would pakistan if he was offered the PM or the home minister. It is a rheotrical question and I doubt there is a clear answer.

    Hindus have pretty much killed the practice of Sati and I doubt there will ever be such abominable events. Atleast they looked at it and removed it and that is praise worthy. There is still work to be done with the caste sytem but it is slowly been taken down

    I agree with the Palestians point. I think that community is unfortunately the most beseiged and under one of the worst oppressors. Using religion to usurp their land and then making them prisoners in their own land in this age is unbelievable.

    Appreciate your modest views.





    mariner5555
    04-13 12:17 AM
    agree with Jung.lee. if you are in california or florida ..it definitely makes sense to wait. MSN reported that lot of people are just walking away ..
    http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Banking/HomeFinancing/HomeownersWhoJustWalkAway.aspx
    -------
    Ismael, 37, still lives in his four-bedroom house in Menifee, Calif., for now. But he is ready to leave.

    "The situation I am in is really ugly," said Ismael, who asked that his last name be omitted. "It's better for me to walk away and leave the stress and everything that is involved in this home. I am about 95% sure I am walking away."

    The single parent of a 3-year-old, Ismael bought his $370,000 home in 2005 for no money down, qualifying on his mid-$40,000s salary. (That's about triple what he might have qualified for under more traditional lending guidelines used in MSN Money's Housing Affordability Calculator.) He was paying $2,700 a month for an adjustable 8.25% loan.
    Photo by Joseph A. Garcia

    Then he and his girlfriend split up, reducing his household income to a single paycheck at the same time the mortgage was adjusting upward. To add to his struggles, the value of his house dropped by $145,000.

    Yadira Maga�a, left, with her children Lizeth Torres, 13, and Conrad Torres III, 10, have lived at her mother's Oxnard, Calif., home since walking away from their previous residence in 2007.
    Yadira Maga�a, a medical biller in her early 30s in Oxnard, Calif., has a similar story. She walked away from her $585,000 home in June 2007. When she bought it, Maga�a thought she had gotten a great deal. She made a $16,000 down payment on the house. But she lived there only eight months before her marriage collapsed.

    She couldn't afford to pay the $4,500 monthly interest-only mortgage, plus taxes and insurance separately, on her own $50,000 income. So she and her two children moved into her mother's house.



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