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  • vdixit
    12-31 02:06 PM
    No war yet!! Good think I wasnt holding my breath or anything. All you war mongering folk must be dissapointed.





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  • Ahimsa
    02-25 06:34 PM
    Of late, people started giving 5 star rating for Lou on RateItAll.
    Please go to this site and rate him as you like.
    http://www.rateitall.com/i-29533-lou-dobbs.aspx
    I gave him a lowest single-star rating (terrible)





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  • waitnwatch
    08-05 05:22 PM
    Here's the logic behind this debate as I see it (not that there is much logic in the way the immigration laws/rules are framed)

    A person with a Master's or a PhD has spent 2-3 or 5-6 years respectively to get their degrees but do not get a priority date reflecting that time spent on acquiring the qualifications.

    On the other hand a person with a bachelors who gets 5 years experience can port their priority date while moving from EB3 to EB2 thereby getting credit for time spent.

    Porting is law while the Bachelor+5 is due to some memo. This memo does not take into consideration the above inconsistency and therefore this debate.

    I hope this sounds logical to atleast some of you folks.





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  • Ramba
    07-14 03:44 PM
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    It is very understandable the frustration of Eb3-I guys. The reason is very simple; supply Vs demand; nothing more nothing less. Both EB2 and EB3 gets about 40K visas per year. Since worldwide demand for EB3 is extremely very high, India gets abot 3000 visas per year. However, there is not much worldwide demand for EB2 visas, India and and China gets all spill over in EB2 catagory plus unused visas from EB1. This makes availability of visas in Eb2-for India and China is very much higher than EB3. I guess about 30 to 35K (out of 40K) visas goes to EB2 for both India and china. However in Eb3 both In and China gets 3K each. Just compare 30K vs 3k.

    Study the visa statistics for last 10 years at DOS website. http://travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/st...tics_1476.html
    Then, one can easily unserstand the demand for EB3 in worldwide. The reason is, unfortunatly EB3 has professionals and skilled workers catagory. There are thousands of skilled workers (who has just two years working experince with out much education) are in demand for EB3 numbers every year accross the world. This makes the availablity for India is just 3000. 1500 restarunt cooks with their dependents from India is sufficient to consume one year quota in Eb3. Thatswhy India stuck in 2001. It will be like that in future too. It will be in snail phase.

    So, it is not the DOS or CIS or DOL determines the movement of cutoff dates. It is the INA that contolls the allocation. DOS is just doing their job.

    The INA does not address how to give prefrence to a EB3 Indian guy with PD in 2001 with EB3-ROW guys with PD 2007. Every year EB3-ROW pours tons of new application. The demand from ROW will not dimnish, so India will get only 3000 by the virtue of increasing new demand by ROW form easch passing years. A ROW guy with PD 2007/2008/2009 will be in preference than a EB3 guy from India with PD 2002. Therefore there should be a mechanism to balance this effect. Unfortunatly there is no provision in INA. So, DOS may not help to overcome this, as DOS is a just a implementer of INA.



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  • NKR
    01-06 04:12 PM
    Its upto Indians to decide which type of leaders we need. Like Gandhi or Modi.

    What Gandhi did was right in 1947. Post late 80s, the same Gandhigiri by Indian leaders is not working now. When we are asking Pakistan to reign in terrorism and hand over terrorists, they are laughing at us. Tell me Mr Refugee new, what is your solution to this?.. Note that I am not talking in favor of Modi or anyone here but I hope better sense prevails with our Neighbor.

    Recently during Diwali celebration, one boy fired a rocket and it killed more than six people in Tamil Nadu. Offcourse this rocket was made in Sivakasi and it was an accident. It was a fire cracker. A simple fire cracker can make big accidents like this.

    But whole world is crying that Hamas fired 7000 rockets and killed innocent civilians and Isrealis are defending thier nation by killing thousands. What a crap man.

    Hiding behind Civilian, hiding behind school kids, hiding in hospitals - Full of bullshit lies told by jewish owned medias like CNN and Fox. Have you ever heard from any moderate palestinians about thier plight? This is what those media feed us.

    Infact Isreal blocked medias including CNN from entering Gaza. Why? They don't want the world to watch their attrocities. Simple.

    I neither support Hamas nor justify their action. My point is, one nation is freely killing civilians and school kids, bombard schools, infrastructer, bomb goverment and civilian buildings, destroy roads and bridges, hospitals and destroying everything including their livelyhood.

    Its so pathetic and funny to see the world asking Hamas to stop firing and at the same time encouraging other side to kill more and more.

    What is happening in Palestine is bad, so was what happened in Gujarat post Godhra, what is sad is such things COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED if only Hamas stuck to governance and people from some community in Godhra had not got brainwashed by the neighbor.

    Human suffering is the same everywhere, we need to go behind the suffering and find out who the real culprits are. All the war lords, drug smugglers, dons, some extent army, intelligence and sponsorers of terrorism are the real culprits/benefactors, Did you know that one of the Hamas leader got killed along with his 4 wives and many children, if he is a terrorist he shouldn’t be living with his family, a terrorist has no family and no religion. What is unfortunate is that in this ill conceived game, innocents, women and children, irrespective of religion and nationalities are getting killed…

    When the world is asking Pakistan to reign in terrorism, Pakistan laughed at the world. Now, even if the whole world ask Israel to stop killing, why would they listen?.





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  • TomPlate
    09-26 12:31 PM
    I like Mccain to be the president. Based on his experience and his involvement for the country.

    Also Mccain is a great candidate for us.



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  • nojoke
    09-29 09:06 PM
    its ok, you misunderstood my point. I dont want to divert OP of this thread.

    Anyways the fact of the matter is that we are in a limbo, all indications point to Obama becoming the next president of US. if CIR 2008 was any indication , we as EB applicants are royally screwed if Sen Durbin dictates his immigration policy. What is the use of talking about wars and innocent people when chances are that the advocate of his immigration policy is opposed to my main issue of EB reform. high low Taxes, 401k's, houses, Medicare etc will matter if you get to stay here in the first place. A average 6-9 years of paying taxes, supporting medicare and Social Security and we now need to think about moving to different countries where skilled immigrants are welcome....think about it. Just look at the CIR 2008 discussion to understand what i am talking about. Read the senators transcripts.

    My point is if McCain is elected, there is no chance for GC debates. The economy will become so bad that there won't be any support from any law makers. Nobody will touch the immigration bill.





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  • unitednations
    03-25 03:13 PM
    Did you not think of the would be immigrants of Indian origin not part of this "system" when you came to this conclusion? I am one such. Think how disadvantaged my position is.

    I hate to say it but that is what collateral damage is...

    I don't discus it much but some people would even want to splinter Eb further. Some people have posted that they want andhra pradesh to be separated. There doesn't seem to be much opposition to h1b for non IT positions. We're all in this together. If one group tries to splinter then it will cause an equal or greater response from people who think they will be harmed.

    Right now: ROW doesn't say much because in eb2 the dates are current and in eb3 it is manageable. However; if they get harmed due to the lifting of the country quota then there might be further infighting or it gets stopped in its tracks before it can actually go through.



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  • mariner5555
    03-28 04:45 PM
    correct.
    Bharatpremi - Thanks for yr earlier reply and for yr optimistic EB3 (I) predictions in other threads.
    --------
    here are the details about housing demand ..now that the bubble has burst with huge inventory still remaining ..it is difficult to see from where the (genuine) demand will come ..speculators and flippers are badly burnt ..This is from MSN money.
    --
    this country's median income of roughly $49,000 can hardly be expected to service the debt of the median home price of $234,000, up from approximately $160,000 in 2000.

    Let's do a little math. Forty-nine thousand dollars in yearly income leaves approximately $35,000 in after-tax dollars. Call it $3,000 a month. A 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage would cost approximately $1,500 per month. That leaves only $1,500 a month for a family to pay for everything else! (Of course, in many communities the math is even less tenable.) This is the crux of the problem, and the government cannot fix it.

    Housing prices, thanks to the bubble and inflation, have risen well past the point where the median (or typical middle-class) family can afford them. Either income must rise -- which seems unlikely on an inflated-adjusted basis -- or home prices must come down.





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  • thomachan72
    07-08 09:00 AM
    Having said that, dont forget to chose a lawyer who is noted to fight cases that are tough. Contact many lawyers including the murthy, rajeeve khanna etc etc. Evaluate what each of them say. Some will offer advice only after an initial siging of legal contract and paying the consultation fee, there are others who do the initial evaluation free of cost. Hope somebody in this forum with experience gives out the names of good lawyers for you in time.



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  • gccovet
    01-07 10:53 AM
    Hi,
    I know I am beating dead horse, awakening this thread again. I am going to get lots of RED but I don't care.

    http://www.hindu.com/nic/dossier.htm

    Paksitan govt. says the provided proof are not solid enough. lol!!!





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  • senthil1
    04-07 11:35 AM
    If H1b quota is increased last 2 years it could have done easily as quota was reached much before the start of year. Without union support same thing is going to happen this year as last year. IV members has to wait years to get gc. They will use H1b as shield to gc reform and no one will get anything. Possiblity is H1b and GC provisions can be passed without much visiblity when CIR is passed. Majority of US people does not want unlimited immigration in any section whether legal or illegal. Opinion polls show that. US people wanted moderate increase in immigration and that is reflected in congress but pro immigrants want unlimited number in legal and illegal. That is the problem


    I am glad IV is taking a strong stand against this bill. IV should work with Compete America (they have more of a vested interests in this) to make sure this bill doesn't see the light of day.

    This bill is introduced by 'Pro-Illegal,pro-union and protectionist' section of Democratic party and 'Anti-immigration at all cost' section of the Republican party. I believe both these groups are fringe elements in both parties. But they could use this bill as a bargain chip for CIR and might get it passed because of it. So we should not take this lightly even if we might not be screwed by this. It will definitely hurt people coming behind us.

    Only reform H1b needs is to increase the quota or have no quota. And also to tie the H1b to the worker and not to the employee. And I dont see any in this bill.



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  • GCapplicant
    09-26 09:52 AM
    It's really too early to pass judgements What will happen if he comes?
    It's sheer poilitics .Immigration discussion is a hot importat topic before election.They can't take chances by supporting this,They have to consider their members first.DEMS major leap after 10 years break.It is going to be good for everyone.

    After election is the main chapter.DOL has already agreed they have wasted visas as per OH Law breaking news recently.

    Be positive that 2009 will help us all.This negative statement will misdirect our thought.We have our EAD ,Atleast thanks for the Fiasco,we filed out 485.

    It's only the visa numbers...if not 1 year,it will be on the road by two years.Cheer up...I myself have negative feelings what will happen to my family future here.I just talk to myself,Whether I have to apply for Canadian PR for back up.It sure does kill our minds.

    Cheer up...We all will be safe by 2009.It will move faster.

    EB3 I 2004 Jul.





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  • chintu25
    08-22 11:23 AM
    :D


    "Some good news for the economy. President went on a month-long vacation." �Jay Leno

    "The federal government announced today that the recession ended back in November of 2001. It ended two years ago! Be sure to pass that on to all your unemployed friends. So you know what that means? The past twenty months of job layoffs, corporate bankruptcies and declining stocks, those were the good times. We should have been living it up." �Jay Leno

    "Yesterday Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said he would be willing to serve another term. Greenspan said, 'Where else would I get a job in this economy?'" �Conan O'Brien

    "Democrats were quick to point out that President 's budget creates a 1 trillion dollar deficit. The White House quickly responded with 'Hey, look over there, it's Saddam Hussein.'" �Craig Kilborn


    "President unveiled his new economic stimulus plan this week. It was reported that if the plan passes, the president himself would save $44,000 in taxes, Dick Cheney would save $327,000, and you could afford to take the whole family down to Burger King to pick up job applications." �Tina Fey, on Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update"

    "President 's economic plan will create 2.5 million new jobs. The bad news, they are all for Iraqi soldiers." �Craig Kilborn

    "According to a new study, bad economic times can actually be good for you because people tend to exercise more and eat better. This is not a recession, this is the President�s Health Care Plan." �Jay Leno

    "The big story here tonight comes from Washington, D.C. where President announced his new economic plans. The centerpiece was a proposed repeal of the dividends tax on stocks, a boon that could be worth millions of dollars to average Americans. Well, average stock owning Americans. Technically, Americans who own a significant amount of shares in dividend dealing companies. Well, rich people, that's what I'm trying to say. They're going to do really well with this." �Jon Stewart

    "Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neal has resigned. He didn't want to resign, but there wasn't any money left in the treasury so he's got nothing to do." �Jay Leno

    " Presidents advisers have long been worried that a lagging economy could hamper the president's re-election chances. They hope that the Cabinet shake-up will provide a needed jolt. If that doesn't work, North Korea has to go." �Jon Stewart

    "Al Gore says President�s economic plan has zero chance of working. Now, this raises on important question: President has an economic plan?" �David Letterman

    "President said today that it is our job to vote. That's what he called it, a job. And considering how the way economy is going, that may be the only job we have." �Jay Leno

    "The same week the administration slashed pay raises for all federal workers, they announced they are going to provide bonuses to political appointees who do a good job. You know, that guy who cut everyone else's pay, he gets the bonus." �Jay Leno

    "The Stock Market was down today. Two major businesses declared bankruptcy, consumer spending is at an all time low � in other words, president is back on the job." �Jay Leno

    "President hosted something called the President's Economic Forum down in Waco, Texas today. Waco. Apparently Jonestown and Guyana were booked up. When I think of government policy that works, Waco is the place to go. He invited members of small business to the summit. He was going to invite big business, but they're all in jail." �Jay Leno

    "President told the attendees (at his economic forum) that he wants to simplify the numbers on Wall Street so that people can understand what they are looking at. Simplify the numbers? We are already looking at single digits!" �Jay Leno

    "In a speech yesterday in Milwaukee, President vowed to do whatever it takes to keep the economy strong. In fact he said that if he needs to, he will take vacation for another three months." �Jay Leno

    "There's now speculation in Washington that President is now planning to increase the economic sanctions on Iraq. And let me tell you if they are half as tough as the economic sanctions he has imposed on this country, they are screwed." �Jay Leno

    "President is leaving the White House for a vacation. He's taking a month off. Yeah, take a break, you deserve it. But aides say that while on vacation, will continue to make two or three speeches a week to make sure that the market keeps crashing." �Jay Leno

    "Boy, another bad day on Wall Street. Things are getting ugly. Dow Jones is starting to look more like Paula Jones." �Jay Leno

    "Do you have any idea how cheap stocks are now? Wall Street is now being called Wal-Mart Street." �Jay Leno

    "The United States has developed a new weapon that destroys people but it leaves buildings standing. It's called the stock market." �Jay Leno


    "The economy is in big trouble. Yesterday in a big speech, President said the economy was still getting over the hangover from the 90's. And then, the president admitted he was still getting over his hangover from the 80's." �Conan O'Brien



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  • delax
    07-14 08:48 AM
    fine, then why are we working so hard to remove the per country limit? That was set by law too!!!

    We can't pick only those options that would favor us. Sometimes changes bring hard-luck.

    Sure sometimes change can bring hard-luck, but remember that if you want to change your luck at my expense purely based on your length of wait and regardless of skill level as established by law, then DON'T expect me to not push back. Another letter countering the position can always be written in an individual if not collective capacity.

    I also wonder where was all this thought about change and hard-luck when EB2-I was shafted last year and numbers spilt over to EB3ROW.





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  • hetalvn
    09-19 05:04 PM
    hi
    they are taking social security, medicare taxes. while we are not getting any benefit out of it. they must stop taking social. they are taking this taxes based on that they will give us permanent status. now they have delayed process near to impossible for EB-3.
    Intent of social security and medicare is to support social security benefits, but when they are not granting any of this benefit they should stop taking it from us or should make green card processing faster.
    they should clarify this situation since they are taking money from us.
    hetal shah
    hetalvn@yahoo.com



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  • xyzgc
    12-28 12:35 AM
    As much as terrorism is an evil thing, surgical strikes and stuff won't do crap. It will further alienate and give fodder to the mullahs to create more Kasab's. Really, do you think we can stop 20 yr old guys who are willing to kill themselves, think again? These guys are just washed out completely, there is no retribution, pain, all they see is a target and blow themselves out.

    Instead, we should concentrate on the war within that we face. Be it from communal/political/socio-economic violence or lack of regard for the common man's life. By no means I am saying inaction but war is certainly not the solution. Pakistan will meet its fate sooner than later if they continue the path they have chosen. We don't have to hasten it.

    200 Indians dying is painful but look at these figures to put things into perspective.

    Accidents in India:
    http://morth.nic.in/writereaddata/sublinkimages/table-6408184011.htm

    AIDS
    http://www.avert.org/indiaaids.htm

    Infant Mortality:
    http://www.indexmundi.com/India/infant_mortality_rate.html

    Rapes
    http://keralaonline.com/news/india-ranks-rape-cases_12144.html

    These are all staggering numbers and something none of us have to depend on a third country to seek the cure.

    I hope India continues to apply diplomatic pressure and show the world the parasite Pakistan it has become. As Zardari today acknowledged, they have a cancer within the country, its eating up. If they don't, its just a matter of time. To cure that, if they find mullahs as their doctors, time will be up pretty soon..

    Do you mean we should spend the $26 billion on defence budgets (yearly) just to make hollow noises and allow terrorists to run amok in our cities and attack our senate?How many years your folks in India have paid taxes to the central govt? Have you tracked the tax money that goes out of your family's pockets?

    Or are you saying that we should donate our arsenal to Pakistan and stop spending on defence, henceforth?

    Children are blinded to make beggars in Bombay, women get raped in Delhi, sex workers have AIDS all over the metros, so you are saying we should divert all our defence budgets towards humanitarian causes?
    Why don't you suggest this to Honorable Mr. Manmohan Singh and Honorable P Chidambaram and see if your Utopian proposal will be ever accepted?





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  • sledge_hammer
    03-24 12:26 PM
    I have full sympathy for anyone that has not broken any laws including OP and 'leoindiano". If I had the powers to approve green cards, I would give them away to him and his brother!

    The problem here is no one (consulting company/employee) bothered to make sure that a person on H-1B was allowed to do consulting. I'm not sure who dropped the ball - companies, employees, or the immigration lawyers. But someone should have raised a flag when the type of job was really a temp job. Unfortunately that did not happen.

    Now that the damage has been done, and USCIS is coming after such folks, they are upset that it is happening to them. Again, do note that I am not saying the consultants themselves are less skilled than anyone with FT job. I'm just saying that at the time they got into consulting they did not think of the various consequences. Maybe because no one ever thought that working at different locations, benching, temp nature of the jobs were all against H-1B visa rules?

    You get my point?

    face it as long as the economy is tanking this is going to be an ongoing debate. Everything goes thorugh stages of high and low and we are now expereincing the lows of having the h1b's.

    Sledge While your points are valid, remember folks do not choose consulting (nor do students) as a first choice but I have friends who were employed without any issues directly with client companies who in the midst of recession decide to fire everyone. What are you options if your GC is denied because the company declared bankruptcy? How do you justify to yourself staying with the employer when they files you under Eb3 category when you a master's degree holder from one of the 10 best universities in the US? What are the employee choices here, just pack up and leave? leave houses, friends and people you stayed with many years.

    You think they haven't searched for full time positions with other companies only to be turned back? or worse case restart the entire GC process and forgo the 6+ years?

    And the experiences I am relating are from the 2001 recession. I have already seen history repeat itself now but my more fear is that tomorrow USCIS will unfortunately hit the person who followed all the rules After all how is the USCIS knowing which are the good companies and which are bad? These very things are happening and very much can happen to you as well. Do not sit on a high perch and think it will not trickle down to me





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  • alterego
    04-07 06:24 PM
    I am glad IV is taking a strong stand against this bill. IV should work with Compete America (they have more of a vested interests in this) to make sure this bill doesn't see the light of day.

    This bill is introduced by 'Pro-Illegal,pro-union and protectionist' section of Democratic party and 'Anti-immigration at all cost' section of the Republican party. I believe both these groups are fringe elements in both parties. But they could use this bill as a bargain chip for CIR and might get it passed because of it. So we should not take this lightly even if we might not be screwed by this. It will definitely hurt people coming behind us.

    Only reform H1b needs is to increase the quota or have no quota. And also to tie the H1b to the worker and not to the employee. And I dont see any in this bill.

    Last time I looked Sen. Durbin was not anti immigrant nor was he Republican. He is a co-sponsor of this bill isn't he?

    The fact is there is abuse of the H1b program currently and it is need of modification before even fair minded people agree on an expansion (Which also I feel is needed).

    In the end we are likely to see both these things happen together, whenever it does happen, ie a fix to the program as well as an expansion of it.





    calboy78
    08-11 01:34 AM
    Lesson 1:

    A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower, when the doorbell rings.
    The wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs downstairs. When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next-door neighbor.
    Before she says a word, Bob says, "I'll give you $800 to drop that towel, "
    After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Bob After a few seconds, Bob hands her $800 and leaves.
    The woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs.
    When she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks, "Who was that?"
    "It was Bob the next door neighbor," she replies.
    "Great," the husband says, "did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?"

    Moral of the story
    If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk with your shareholders in time,you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.


    *********

    Lesson 3:

    A sales rep, an administration clerk, and the manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it and a Genie comes out.
    The Genie says, "I'll give each of you just one wish."
    "Me first! Me first!" says the admin clerk. "I want to be in the Bahamas, driving a speedboat, without a care in the world."
    Puff! She's gone.
    "Me next! Me next!" says the sales rep. "I want to be in Hawaii, relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of Pina Coladas and the love of my life.."
    Puff! He's gone.
    "OK, you're up," the Genie says to the manager.
    The manager says, "I want those two back in the office after lunch."

    Moral of the story
    Always let your boss have the first say.


    *********

    Lesson 4:

    An eagle was sitting on a tree resting, doing nothing. A small rabbit saw the eagle and asked him, "Can I also sit like you and do nothing?"
    The eagle answered: "Sure , why not."
    So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the eagle and rested. All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.

    Moral of the story
    To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high up.


    *********

    Lesson 5:

    A turkey was chatting with a bull. "I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree," sighed the turkey,"but I haven't got the energy."
    "Well, why don't you nibble on some of my droppings?" replied the bull.
    They're packed with nutrients."
    The turkey pecked at a lump of dung, and found it actually gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree.
    The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch.
    Finally after a fourth night, the turkey was proudly perched at the top of the tree. He was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot him out of the tree.

    Moral of the story
    BullShit might get you to the top, but it won't keep you there.


    *********

    Lesson 6:

    A little bird was flying south for the Winter.It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field. While he was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him. As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to realize how warm he was.
    The dung was actually thawing him out! He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy.
    A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate.
    Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him..

    Morals of this story

    (1) Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy.

    (2) Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend..

    (3) And when you're in deep shit, it's best to keep your mouth
    shut!

    Keep more lessons coming...don't worry about the #2 that you forgot





    Macaca
    12-30 04:18 PM
    THE MAJORITY LEADER (http://www.lasvegassun.com/sunbin/stories/sun/2007/dec/30/566688348.html) Reflecting on a rough year By Lisa Mascaro [(202) 662-7436 or lisa.mascaro@lasvegassun.com] | Las Vegas Sun, Dec 30 2007

    Sen. Harry Reid settles into the chair by the fire in his majority leader's office that is so stately and grand it looks like something Las Vegas would create if ever a faux Washington were added to the Strip.

    The first snow of the season has fallen outside his second-floor window, the Washington Monument framed by the sill. He sits close to the fireplace because his neck is stiff from doing his morning push-ups too quickly. Reid still does 120 push-ups and 200 sit-ups each day, but he has condensed his yoga into fewer sessions because there just isn't time. Now, a few days after his 68th birthday, the wear of the job has settled into normalcy.

    It's been a long year of long days and nights here, the first time Democrats have been in charge of Congress in 12 years.

    On this day alone he hosted a breakfast for a Henderson Democrat running for Congress, met with the White House over the budget stalemate, welcomed a group of Nevada real estate officials concerned about the mortgage crisis - and ran the floor of the U.S. Senate.

    Moving to the majority leader's job this year, after all those years as a leader of the minority, has been "the difference between playing first base for the Yankees and playing it for Basic High School."

    Democrats are ending this year downtrodden after the high of sweeping into power following the 2006 election. Congressional approval ratings are at historic lows - lower than those of the unpopular president. Though many of their campaign promises became law, much more of the Democratic agenda remains unfulfilled.

    Reid repeatedly says he feels good about the work he's done this year. Running the Senate, he says, is not as enjoyable as watching the grandkids play ball, but "it's been a tremendously fascinating, interesting year for me."

    Days after the interview in his office, however, he would concede that "I share the frustration" of having Democratic priorities blocked.

    Nevada's first majority leader was barely that, with the Senate thinly divided 51-49. Democrats may have come to Washington believing they had a voter mandate for a new direction, but Republicans had a different opinion. With such a slight majority, Reid's chamber became the place where so much of the Democratic agenda came to die.

    The leader on the House side, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, began 2007 with a bold 100-hours agenda, crafted without Reid's knowledge or input. Democrats should have known that nothing passes that quickly in the slower-moving Senate. Any momentum gained by the legislative flurry would soon be lost.

    Indeed, the bills arrived in the Senate with a thud.

    Senate Republicans soon gave Reid a taste of the partisanship he had dished out in the past and blocked every move. Grand plans for a new energy policy, for example, became skeletons of their original intent. More filibusters were conducted this year than ever in Senate history.

    President Bush, whose own ratings reached all-time lows, asserted himself in a way unexpected for an executive with so little clout and whose party was out of power. His willingness to wield the veto pen for the first time in his presidency created an incentive and a safety net for Republicans to obstruct the Democratic agenda.

    Reid calls Bush the "most stubborn" official he has ever known.

    In this environment, the year became one when politics, not policy, seemed to matter most.

    Both sides appeared to abandon any attempt at forming consensus and concentrated on laying a foundation for the 2008 elections. Democrats will say they need to win more Senate seats to accomplish their goals; Republicans will say voters should be wary of Democrats running Washington.

    Could a leader other than Reid have achieved a better outcome? Why was he unable or unwilling to get Republicans on board? When he couldn't break through the partisan gridlock, should he have tried to be nicer - or meaner?

    Thomas E. Mann, a constitutional scholar at the Brookings Institution, was among those reluctant to grade Reid on this year alone. Wait and see how Reid performs in coming years, especially with a new president, Mann said.

    "I would say incomplete," he said of this year's performance. "The test of Harry Reid's leadership lies ahead."

    What he brings to the job

    Late one night in the Senate this fall, Reid is about to announce that an agreement has been reached to move forward on the Farm Bill after weeks of legislative gridlock. Into the chamber walks a farm state Democrat, Sen. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas. He pulls her aside. The two stand face to face. One of his hands is on her left shoulder, the other is on her right. She nods, telling him thank you.

    That kind of personal interaction with every member of his caucus is what Democratic senators love most about Reid.

    He is clearly not the most charismatic public face for the party. His first impression on many voters came election night, when the diminutive Reid rambled a soft-spoken speech onstage at the Democrats' victory party.

    Rush Limbaugh dismisses him as "Dingy Harry." When Reid's whispery voice breaks through, it's often spitting an arrow that gets him into trouble - calling Bush a "loser" and a "liar," saying the Iraq war "is lost," deriding Republican senators as "puppets" of the White House.

    As majority leader, future president Lyndon Johnson towered over his colleagues, physically and emotionally, finding their vulnerable buttons and pushing hard, historians tell us. But as majority leader Reid more resembles Mike Mansfield or Bob Dole, a senator among senators - even if, as Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer wrote in his book, the former boxer will kneecap anyone who crosses him.

    Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy explained that at the regular Tuesday policy luncheons, when Reid lays out the week's goals for Democratic senators, "people fall in line and support them, because he has done a lot of work prior to that time in listening and giving people an opportunity to be heard."

    Kennedy says Reid builds consensus better "than any leader that I can remember in my time."

    But even this party unity was no match for the Republicans in the Senate who held together just as tightly, refusing to cave to the Democratic agenda.

    Republican Sen. Mel Martinez, the former Republican National Committee chairman who crossed the aisle to try to broker an immigration deal this year, said Reid simply doesn't have enough votes to steamroll the minority.

    "We have 49 - if we were a minority of 39 you could do that," Martinez said. "At some point it's going to have to dawn on him that Americans are going to want to see things getting done."

    Martinez says Reid is more intent on protecting his members from difficult votes than giving Republicans a chance to shape legislation that could pass.

    Only in the final weeks of the session did the backlog of bills pass, as Democrats faced the prospect of ending their first year in legislative gridlock. Everything that arrived on the president's desk was a compromise - energy policy, domestic spending, funding for the Iraq war.

    "The way you accomplish things in the Senate is in the middle," said the Republican leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. McConnell said his strategy was standard business for the Senate: "Either to shape things that we thought were headed in the right direction and there was a possibility of meeting in the middle, or if we thought it was completely inappropriate for the country, to stop it altogether."

    Like all strategies, the one Democrats have chosen is a gamble. Voters tell pollsters they are more likely to vote for Democrats than Republicans next year. But will voters stand by Reid if 2008 is branded as a do-nothing year?

    When Republicans called Democrats the do-nothing Congress this year, Democrats spat back that Republicans were the Grand Obstruction Party.

    Schumer, who heads Senate Democrats' reelection efforts, likes to say Republicans are filibustering themselves out of office.

    Democratic senators will fan out to their states in 2008 and say that Democrats stood together for initiatives popular with Americans - ending the war, providing health care for kids, curbing global warming.

    "People know what we believe in, what we stand for, they know the Republicans are blocking us and that's OK," Reid said.

    He believes his party will pick up at least four seats next year. If so, he would be in striking range of the 60 votes needed to pass legislation.



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