Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Support the Startup Jobs Act 2.0

As Congressman Robert Dold (R-IL) said on the House floor, "Students come to America from all over the world. They earn advanced degrees in science and technology , engineering, and mathematics. Then upon graduation, they’re forced to leave our country; to go home and in essence compete against us. And with them go their knowledge, their ideas, and their aspirations to change the world. Many of these students want to stay here in America, to make something of themselves here for America is still the best place for ideas to become realities. These ideas become solutions which in turn turn into job creating companies." That's why Dold and several other Republicans and Democrats offered the Startup Jobs Act 2.0.

Right now, the bill sits with Judiciary; Ways and Means; Science, Space, and Technology; Appropriations; and Energy and Commerce Committees, all of which have to vote in favor of it. It's a good bill that creates jobs and allows the world's best and brightest to participate in the American Dream--precisely what has made our country what it is. Congressman Mike Pence (R-IN) noted that any Member of Congress who receives ten calls from constituents on a matter will sit up and take notice, call staff meetings, and likely stand with his or her constituents. We need people to call their representatives in Congress and urge them to co-sponsor HR 5893, The Startup Jobs Act 2.0. Congressman Dold's staff has offered to provide them with information their staffs may need. Staff should call Daniel Serota at Bob’s District office 847-272-0404, or they can call Bob’s Washington office 202-225-4835.

People interested in hearing Bob Dold's speech in Congress about the bill can Judiciary; Ways and Means; Science, Space, and Technology; Appropriations; Energy & Commerce. Call them!

And here is a link for contacting individual Members of Congress.

People who call can say the following or change it so it is more comfortable (it only takes about a minute):

"My name is ____________. I’m one of Representative ____________’s constituents, and I strongly urge him (or her) to become a co-sponsor of HR 5893, the Startup Jobs Act 2.0. People from all over the world come here to get the best education possible, and right now when they’re done, we force them to leave the US—even if they want to become citizens, contribute to the economy, and participate in the American Dream. HR 5893 would mean not forcing these highly skilled individuals out of the US and it would help jumpstart the economy. Congressman Bob Dold of Illinois has offered to get information on the bill to staff; and they can call Daniel Serota at his District Office (847-272-0404) or they can call his DC office (202-225-4835)."

This bill will help us and help people who want to join us in the great experiment called America. It is in our hands to make this a success and at the same time show Washington that we are a strong group that cannot be ignored.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Bangladesh's Silly Denials: Ambassador Qader and Me

On Friday, May 25, 2012, I met with Bangladeshi Ambassador Akramul Qader at his country's embassy in Washington. It was not my first trip to the embassy, but my first conversation with Mr. Qader. My intention was to remind Bangladesh's representative of his country's request for my help, that I can provide what they need; but that I will not do so as long as Bangladesh refuses to protect all, specifically, its Hindu citizens.

The meeting went pretty much as I expected, but the man representing 150 million Bangladeshis made some of the most ridiculous blanket denials, insisting again and again that there was no persecution of Hindus in Bangladesh. We continued our an ever more acrimonious back and forth exchange. First, Qader denied that there had been any problems. Then, he admitted that there "were some incidents at the time of elections years ago" (I clarified with his concurrence that he was speaking about 2006); but he said that "all the perpetrators had been punished [and that] I know of no other incidents since then." Can you believe he said that? Do you believe he actually thought any sentient human being would have believed him? Usually, participants in ethnic cleansing at least try to make their denials seem credible. But I pushed and let him know I had evidence to the contrary. "Well then let me enlighten you," I said when he claimed he "knew of no incidents."

After that, he admitted to an "incident" involving "religious fanatics," and I surprised him by identifying them as the anti-Hindu pogrom in Satkhira. I also let him know that it involved far more than a small group of "religious fanatics" (and that his claim is one of the most pernicious myths about his country). When he again insisted--amazingly--that Satkhira was the end of it; I threatened to send the evidence of his duplicity and he agreed--which is great because he's not the only person in Washington who will see the evidence.

One final idiocy. During our struggle, I said that "you don't go from a third of the population in 1965, to a fifth in 1971, to between seven and eight percent today simply through 'voluntary emigration,'" he replied,

"Yes, it does because they cannot find suitable matches for their children, so they go to India where there are more Hindus."

"You're kidding, right."

But he insisted, and I realized that the Ambassador was ready to say pretty much anything, no matter how ridiculous, confident that lack of credibility or even sanity would be enough nonetheless to allow Bangladesh's ethnic cleansing of Hindus to continue with impunity.

As decent human beings, we must prove him wrong!

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