Wednesday, December 30, 2015

On the Eve of #2016: Some Brief Personal Thoughts.....

It has been quite a year as the #Outsider journey continue and as I have had the privilege to be witness to the evolution of it--a journey that initially began a little over 7 years ago with zero knowledge of blogging, websites, etc etc. and now we have a Virtual Network with Four Channels, a Vibrant and engaging Social Grid presence which I hope to build upon in 2016.

Just like some, I have a few simple New Year Resolutions which I hope to keep and I shared it in response to a call to action from Darren Hardy as I was finishing off rounds on the Social Grid for the year.    They are:

  • Ban the Words Hate & Worry
  • Forgive
  • Read at least a Book a Week 
  • Take Up  Music
  • Swim
--and yes, I did note that I would be working to continue supporting Daily Outsider to take it to the next level.    I wonder when I am in my "Corner" this time next year--how would I fare?  Would I be part of the 8% who made it or the 92% who did not (Based on what Darren Hardy noted).   It won't be for lack of trying.    

As I look forward to another year of #outsiders starting January 4, I took comfort in this simple thought while I was at the Rose Palace in Pasadena working on the Sikh America Rose Parade Float: 

Onward to 2016 with all the possibilities. 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

On the Prowl For Christmas Week-End 2015.......

I had the pleasure and privilege to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with my Family.  It reminded me of all the blessings Providence has bestwoed upon me..

'Touched By The Warmth', Says PM Modi After Meeting Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif    

It was also quite amazing Earlier tonight, a "thought 4 the week" on this weekend was released on #Outsiders.  The themes of Love, Unity and ideas are some of the things I hope we can pursue in 2016 especially embracing the poetry of Ibn Arabia in light of all that we've been witness to in our World.    

I have also been fascinated by China as well.    China's challenges is also of concern as the Economy continues to slow, the Environment continues to be a profound challenge and the related social fissures will be one of the challenges I look forward to the team's research and reflections here in #Outsiders in 2016.      The beauty of china was evident though as epitomized by this image from Shanghai:

Before I went dark on the "Grid" for Christmas Day, I shared this I received this that underscores the sentiments as we look to a new year which I wanted to conclude my thoughts with:   

“May your light rest in our hearts,
And remind us that you are the eternal star.”

“Let us dream of a world without any more violence –
A world of justice and hope.
Let us each give a hand to our neighbor…
As a symbol of peace and brotherhood.”
“Give us strength.
Fill us with love that we might love and be loved.
Let this be our prayer.”
~ Carol Bayer Sager and David Foster

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Brief Thoughts On This Christmas Eve 2015

As the team was putting the finishing touches on Christmas Greetings throughout the Network, I ran across this that I could not help but share this from the Peanuts Gang: 

I also had attended Saddleback Church's Christmas Service at its' Dana Point Campus earlier tonight.   I realized there is a reason Pastor Rick is as beloved as he is.  It was an atmosphere of love, laughter, joy and happiness as he shared the challenges and the embraces of faith.     He talked about the fears that Mary, Joseph, The Shepherd, Herod and Zachariah faced  It was just fascinating to be witness to.

There is truly a lot to be thankful for as we embrace 2016.   I have "put my foot down" literally so that the team takes a well deserved few days as we go dark throughout our network.  I hope the musical selections are of interest as they are released throughout the various channels of the #Outsider Network.     As I finished off these thoughts, I saw this from the Publisher of the "Nooner" which is quite a gift for all Beatles fans--although I warn you that the link for John Lennon's Happy Xmas is very hard to watch:

HAPPY X-MAS!  2:01am tomorow morning, you'll be able to listen the entire Beatles music catalog for the first time on streaming sites.

As I finished off final rounds, I saw this on my personal facebook page:

Each and everyone of us has the ability and the responsibility to change the world for the better #Ubuntu #Humanity
Posted by Nelson Mandela Foundation on Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Wishing all a Fab Holiday!!!

Winding Down 2015: On Our World, #Outsiders & Other Thoughts

Today was a day that was quite a day throughout #Outsiders as we are going dark.  Although I had put my foot down for all to take some time, the work continued and it was surprising the interesting work that was released throughout the network that I supported and facilitated.   

It has been a challenging year.   One of the highlights for me, though, was joining the BBC Newsday program last week as Newsday traveled the United States to get a firing line perspective on Iranian Americans in the aftermath of all that has been going on with San Bernardino and its' aftermath.   One of the team members put together excerpts of it: 

Here is a clip from the show when w/the crew around Westwood Blvd:

This is a clip from when we spoke about Donald Trump and the rise of Islamophobia:

As I was reflecting upon this, I ran across this from one of the greatest Iranians, Amir Kabir.  For those who do not know who he is, he served as Prime Minister under the Qajar King Nasir Din Shah and was ordered assassinated by him.     This thought from him depicts the profound challenges faced as a result of the influence of religion and the loss of reason in Iran.    
A rough translation is:  Iran fell behind when it stopped thinking, stopped exploring, stopped analyzing, stopped being bold and using simple logic and common sense.    As I saw the challenges around the Middle East and listened to Dr. Milani's talk at the Commonwealth Club (featured in the Education Channel), it was quite chilling and tough to listen to.

As part of my own on-going research in support of @DailyOutsider, I caught up on episodes of the Voice of America's Farsi Service Last Page.    The host, Mehdi Felllahati, does a fantastic job to showcase the true reality of the Islamic Republic.   In one of the episodes, one of his guests, the Scholar and Journalist Akbar Ganji, reflected upon the hollow and mythical nature of Shiism and how the development ensued in large measure thanks to the influence of Zorostanianism.   Beyond that, what I found especially shocking was that the 11th Imam did not even have a child and that this whole mythical sense that a 12th Imam is coming to save us all was just conceived as a result of political and economic rivalries--which has persisted in Iran today in a major way due to the very nature of corruption prevalent in the Country.   The Faith of Islam will continue to be strong--no question.   Many--including Sheikh Hamza Yousef--are spearheading a renaissance in the faith that has to persist that I look forward to researching further during the new year.        As I look forward to building on this and reflecting upon it, I was reminded of another colonial legacy thanks to the talk by Dr. Milani:  the term Middle East.    It will be one of the new year resolutions for us to ban the use.

The team has also been hard at work finalizing the Social Media rounds and I have tried to keep up with them (and  yes at times have been virtually breathless!!!).   What I saw on the New York Times captured the essence of our World as we bid farewell to it:   

Sergey Ponomarev for The New York Times
A selection of the year's most riveting photographs.

This month was also a month that was quite a trying month on a number of personal fronts as I remembered my paternal grandmother who passed away 25 years ago this month.      It was during one of the darkest days that I caught a Movie that was as pivotal in laying the groundwork for DailyOutsider and beyond and that movie was Invictus.       I decided to purchase it for my Amazon Movie Library and as God Bless Africa plays in the background, it was the poem Invictus itself that truly left an impression as it reminded us all:

I am the master of My Faith
I am the Captain of My Soul

This is as I took heart in this--as I wish all a wonderful joyous season and a fantastic 2016: 
“If we had no winter,
the spring would not be so pleasant:
we did not sometimes taste of adversity,
prosperity would not 
be so welcome.”
~ Anne Bradstreet

Monday, December 21, 2015

Winding Down 2015: On Our World, #Outsiders & Remembering the Fallen (First in a Series)

The year 2015 is fast coming to a close.      Although the team has been "dark" on the properties, the team has been busy with the daily social media curation on our World as we all here @ #outsiders gear up for 2016.    It has been quite busy on the US Political Scene as the Democrats had their debate and the Republicans exploded with demands for apology.   This is as Senator Lindsay Graham of South Carolina dropped out of the Presdeitnail race noting that he had "hit a wall".  The prospects of the Senior Senator from South Carolina losing in his home state was not too pretty a prospect.

It is going to be quite a year as Brazil has hit a wall, Argentina goes through a transition process, Spain will have a new Government and the Right in Europe will continue to make inroads--as Syria and Iraq continues to burn.    I have also been quite fascinated by how the Oil Market has literally fallen apart--and the bottom is yet to be recognized at the detriment of the Gulf States.   The challenge with Islam is also quite disturbing to say the least.   One of the interesting scholars I have been following is Akbar Ganji who has been quite vocal in debunking a number of key myths that the Islamic Republic has advanced (On the essence of Shiism) which is quite controversial.   It is also of note that there is a struggle for power in the Shiite World as we speak between Khameini in Tehran and Sistani in Najaf.   It was interesting to note how Khameini's mentor, Shahroodi (an Iraqi currently in Iran and a former Chief Justice of the Country), is being mentioned as a replacement for Sistani.   What is also of importance to note is that Shahroodi has been the "mentor" to Moqtada Al Sadr, the troublesome cleric that caused so much trouble for US Forces--some of the very forces at the forefront of the fight against #Daesh.   Iran, though, came out forcefully against the Visa waiver provision noting that it violated the agreement.   

As I have been reflecting upon this, there is plenty for the team to research, comment and assess for 2016.     As I "wind down" the  year, I wanted to remember the fallen in Afghanistan.  Six US Soldiers died in a Taliban attack at Baghram Airbase in Afghanistan which underscores the profound challenge faced by the World on the eve of 2016.     As I remembered them, I shared this earlier as a "Virtual Good Token" and hope that others throughout our nascent #Outsider community consider installing this APP and contributing to the worthy initiatives spearheaded here by Johnson & Johnson (as we in the Social Grid refer to as #jnj)

Tomorrow also is the anniversary of General Patton's death.  I could not help but wonder what his reaction would have been at the wars raging on by the United States throughout the World.    Will there be the courage found to truly transform?   I wonder...

Monday, December 14, 2015

What a Week....

It all started for me as I had a chance to join the youth of Aliso Viejo High School as they were on a Communtiy Service outing at the @Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County's Incredible Edible Farms.     I had a chance to learn how to plant lettuce and cabbage and got a chance to talk with one of the dedicated staffers, Raul, who oversees the Ranch.     I had the pleasure to join the Adopt-a-Pantry program sponsored by the Indian-American Community as some 249 Families were served and over 9,000 pounds of Food were disbursed.

As the week ensued, It was time for the Laguna Niguel Annual Holiday Parade.    I had the privilege to lead the Orange County Council Boy Scout Contingent down Crown Valley Parkway as some 360 Scouts and Scouters joined the contingent.   It was just fabulous.   It was also quite a Sunday yesterday as I had the privilege to support Aliso Viejo Middle School as it joined the Debate by +Orange County Debate League which had some 250 Middle School Students competing at two different facilities by serving as a Judge.    

It is "back to work" though for the team as the team worked on releasing a new "notation" and also released a newsflash on one of the Kickstarter Projects in addition to the dailly Twitter Curations on the key watch areas our team focuses on.     It is going to be quite a week as all race towards Christmas.

As I "raced" to finish these thoughts, I ran across this very cute clip courtesy of my good friend Jim Holden which I hope brings a smile to everyone's face:

This Looks Like A Normal Grocery Store, But When The Lights Go Out? Awesome.
It took a team of cashiers, 13 different hidden cameras and a whole lot Christmas spirit to pull off this epic holiday surprise! 
EdekaGermany’s largest supermarket chain, decided to surprise its shoppers with a seasonal treat. In an attempt to liven up the otherwise boring chore of grocery shopping, these cashiers opted to delight their patient shoppers with a choreographed orchestra that beeped the holiday classic, “Jingle Bells.” (Turn your sound up).
Click on this link:

Merry Christmas!  

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Thoughts On This Saturday & A Story that Must Be Told.....

It was beautiful day in Laguna Niguel.     It was also a busy day in #Outsiders with Notations and Views of the Week being released although the team had initialy decided to be "dark".    As I was on the "prowl", I wanted to report on this very beautiful note I received from    It is on a very nice note as I saw this--I made a token contribution to this campaign and the beauty of the human spirit was ever so evident here: 

Salams,  today we can proudly say that we have reached a remarkable feat in our community's history and have demonstrated serious resolve by raising over $200,000 for those afflicted by the recent tragedy in San Bernardino, CA.
Yesterday (12/11/15), we flew in the father of one the deceased who was stuck in another state and was otherwise unable to make it to her funeral. His presence at a gathering last night, hosted by Senator Connie Levya, was brief but a somber reminder of the grief faced by these families. At this get together, one of the Muslim ER Medical Residents (visibly so due to her hijab), who was on-shift at the county hospital the day of the tragedy, treating the victims, recalled her experience that moved all the the public officials and Intefaith leaders present. 
We delivered the first check amounting to $100K that was the largest first sum received by United Way as other foundations begin to pitch. The United Way was designated by San Bernardino County for all contributors to channel their funds to families of the victims. 100% of these proceeds were earmarked for these families.
Please do not hesitate to contact me.
Jazakallah Khairan and many blessings!
United4SB Campaign

As I, along with the team, goes "dark" for the Week-End,  such are the stories that give me hope.    I also got the team to let me use this received from +Jonathan Huie as I wish all a fab rest of the weekend and a fab Week:

See all 1000+ Daily Inspirations with pictures and links at
See Copyright and Re-publishing information
You can un-subscribe at

Friday, December 11, 2015

A Busy Yet Beautiful Day. w/#United4HumanityLA, #HR158 & Other thoughts.....

It has been quite a day as I have been witness to an explosion of activity in the aftermath of HR158.   The group that was formed which I joined has mushroomed to some 55,000 as the aftermath of the action taken by the House has been overwhelming.

As I was also working away and supporting the team's effort throughout the day with the release of the Friday Musical Interlude, I ran across this on n update on the progress being made from one of the leading Iranian Americans in the Country,  Dr. Firouz Naderi:

UPDATE -- Some progress.
Key senators have been contacted by prominent Iranian-Americans and have been made aware of the unintended consequences of HR158. Many in the House now say they regret the language and last minute riders that were passed. There is hope that Senate will make the bill less onerous for Iranian-Americans. Vote is likely next Wednesday.
Thank you PAAIA for working behind the scene reaching out to the members of Congress; thank you to thousands in the Community who have called their representatives, thank you to NIAC & ACLU for their efforts drawing attention to this issue. And thank you to the few who had the great idea of setting up HR158 Facebook page (~50,000 members in less than 3 days!!!).
Win or lose this issue, our community has come of age.

There is still a lot of work that the Community must do.  But the coming together is just one indciation as I just checked on the campaign for San Bernadino launched by Faisal Qazi which I was privileged to contribute to--staggering in how people have come together as he is at 194,000 and exceeded his goal of 175,000.  Please click on here for the latest on this progress.    

I was also so gratified to be invited to join the local chapter of @NIAC Action to join this rally in Los Angeles--I would not be able to attend becuase I was just asked to support Aliso Viejo Middle School's Debate Club--but this is just another indication that we shall truly overcome:

On such a beautiful day, I thought I end this retrospective on the eve of the W-End as I have asked the team to be "dark" with this true "oldie" but "goodie" from Louis Armstrong as I wish you all a fab joyous and fantastic weekend:

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Working Away w/Thoughts 4 the Night......

It has been a busy day yet again in #Outsiders.   I was working on a column and ended up having to "take it offline" due to the fact that all my notations were not reflected.   I hope all enjoy this "thought 4 the day" though that I always personally enjoy checking out and sharing with my students as I listen away to Erik Erickson's discussions with a panel discussion of undecided voters as I can't help but wonder about their view of the World.

The team has decided on an interesting choice for the "Friday Musical Interlude" which is just fab....

Today's word is TRANSITIONING

Thanks for joining me.
What you do TODAY matters. Each day, I hope to inspire, challenge, and equip you with leadership teachings that are as timeless as they are true.

I am excited to share these short, powerful, FREE video messages with YOU. I encourage you to pass these on to others, and together we can intentionally enrich the world.



Winding Down the Year w/Notations For the Night (With Brief Updated Thoughts)

It has been a very challenging few weeks yet again  ever since Donald Trump came out with his grotesque and inhumane comments.   Although mainstream Republicans (including the top Republican in Government Speaker Ryan) have come out in opposition to Mr. Trump's views,  the adoption of HR158 is of profound concern as our Team released an update earlier on the grassroots efforts being done to make changes.

The worst manifestation of it was noted in this from Khalid Latif yesterday that was horrific in its' nature:

"As Islamophobia continues to rear its ugly head in America, hateful rhetoric turned into a hate crime last night in...
Posted by Khalid Latif on Wednesday, December 9, 2015

It then continued as I saw reporting that +Council On American Islamic Relations offices in Washington were evacuated after a foreign substance was received.   I was quite pleased, though, as outreach efforts were continuing especially with the FBI and Anaheim Police Department noting that "we're here for you" while asking the Community's help--which is ever so vital as ever.     What I found quite challenging to grasp though was the Conservative Media (epitomized by Erik Erickson that I got on my personal email below) on how the move by Trump was right "politically correct and in how the Washington Post noted that it is "discipline & method".     Here is the excerpt of his comments as he is now on the air now with a panel of undecideds.   

It is clear that there is no path at all for him to the Presidency--but it will be interesting.  The paranoia on this was underscored by the moves by Texas to deny the right of Syrian Refugees to come to Texas--and Federal Courts have been rejecting moves by Texas again and again.  What I found quite on point was what I saw here that all Muslims must embrace in a major way: 

"The Islamic State wants every American Muslim to feel alienated," writes a naval officer. "We must not let that happen."
Posted by The New York Times Opinion Section on Thursday, December 3, 2015

This was fabulous to see:  

I also found this from Professor Dabashi quite on pointe which is ever so vital to embrace by all: 

Never allow the crooks, the charlatans, the criminals or the power-monger politicians determine your life, decide what...
Posted by Hamid Dabashi on Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Monday, December 7, 2015

On An Interesting Day....and Watching Sri Lanka From the International Space Station......

It has been a very unfortuante day on the political front in the United States.  Donald Trump came out calling for a total ban on Muslim Immigration to the United States.    It was welcome that Jeb Bush called it "unhinged" along with others--this is right after President Obama's call for Tolerance.  The Speech last night was attacked by the Republicans--but Donald Trump went one step further.    Although Ezra Klein called it grotesque on his Facebook Page, I prefer to call it simply inhumane.   More than that, it is unconstitutional.  

Throughout my visits on "The Grid", I was lamenting how we were lacking our Generation's Edward R. Murrow and Joseph Welch who both stood up to Joseph McCarthy--whose views Trump epitomizes today in many ways.   It then occured to me--#Outsiders was launched to try to change th narrative and transform it.   Yes there are those like Vox, BuzzFeed and others who are also workign through it--but there needs to be a different way.   Whether the journey is successful is another question.

Our team has been "virtually pounding the pavement" will have some thoughts over the ensuing days.    What I took comfort in what Scott Kelly sent out as he bid good night to those of us on this Earth which I took my queue as I "go dark" for the night which I released to my Personal Twitter Feed earlier:

Embedded image permalink

Sunday, December 6, 2015

On the Late Prowl for the Night: Brief Notations & Remembering a Valiant Soul......

It has been a busy weekend throughout Outsiders.   The team ran across one of the periodic thoughts that it features on #Outsiders and decided to feature one on all #outsider properties on dreams--we are chasing a dream to transform the conversation about our World.

As I was working away, I ran across this.    The Poet/Songwriter Yaghma Golrouee has been detained in Tehran by Ministry of Intelligence Agents and is now at Evin Prison.   This clip (which I released to my personal Facebook earlier tonight) is dedicated to the Women of Iran and how he ends is just powerful beyond Words as he noted, " the end of the story, we will be free..." as he ends the video with a clip of Jafar Panahi's niece accepting Germany's top prize for his film, Taxi.   As all watch the clip, some will notice leading Iranian Women such as the actress Golsifteh Farahani, The Math Whiz Maryam Mirzakhani and the Enterpeneur and Astronaut Anousheh Ansari.    This is as he does such a maginficent job to feature the ordinary who make it all possible.

Onward to the New Week.....

On Our World: Reflections As A New Week Dawns (#Guns & #Refugees & #Hope)

It has been quite a few days in our World.    It was of note as our team came down firmly in support of the Front Page Editorial in the New York Times.     

I saw the Erick Erickson stunt yesterday and my first reaction was:  Get a life dude!!!   If you have that much time to pick up your gun and shoot up a newspaper article, you really don't have a life.   Beyond that, though, the disturing nature of his email really was of profound concern--and he's still one of the more mainstream elements within the conservative movement.   I have not visited oathkeepers or the Gun Owners of America to see what their views are, yet.   

I caught a glimpse of the debate on this as CBS interviewed Donald Trump.    What was so disturbing about Trump's views was that he basically said the entire 3 Million Estimated Muslims in the United States must be subject to "tracking"--something I am very pleased that more mainstream Republicans have condemned.  What is striking is how he continues to be leading the polls.    He was also "gung ho" on the 2nd Amendment (never mind he was for Gun Control before he was against it) and talked about if folks were armed in Paris the carnage would not have occured.   The culture of "every person for himself" is quite problematic to say the least.

I was shocked by this I saw on the Guardian of London that I released to my personal Grid within the past hour--but not too shocked as I stepped back to think about Erick Erickson's stunt and then a report that Iowa is beginning to issue Gun Permits to the legally Blind:   
Ben Jennings 7.12.2015

This the perception that the World has--America can do better than this. What I find problematic is how facts and reality seem not to matter in the current political narrative that is before us.    #Outsiders has been an attemp to work to change the narrative one notation at a time--whether we can do it in light of the profound noise is a struggle.

As I was supporting #Outsiders throughout the day, I took a little time to catch Gandhi.   There is a scene it as he decides on the next phase of the campaign that led to the indepedence of India and he reflects on a song at his temple and reflected upon this, "...He bows to all and despises none...".   It was a lesson to be remebered by us all.

I continue to remain hopeful though beyond words.   I was witness to the geneorsity of spirit this past Saturday as I along with the youth of Aliso Niguel High School was at The @Second Harvest Bank of Orange County to plant, prepare field and thereafter join the Adopt-A-Pantry sponsored by the Indian Southern California Basketball League assisting with serving some 249 Families with their weekly meals.    It is such that continues to give me hope that we can and will overcome this level of "noise" as a dose of reality was again noted by Nicholas Kristoff earlier today: 

"785,000 refugees have been admitted to the United States since 9/11 and not one has been convicted of killing a person...
Posted by The New York Times on Sunday, December 6, 2015

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

On #SanBernardinoShootings: Thoughts For the Night

We here in the United States were again witness to another mass shooting.     The GOP was out in force to offer prayers.    Tomorrow New York Daily News Headline noted below is telling: 

Meanwhile, there was another shooting too in Georgia that hardly made the news.    As I am writing this, the Police Chief of San Bernandino is on the air providing an update and has named the suspects who were shot dead by police and going through the facts as known.    Although I noted the names of the suspects in my rounds on the "Grid", I am not going to repeat it here.    The Police Chief is ending the news conference now.

I can't help but wonder whether our society will muster the courage to truly deal with this menace once in for all.   

Working Away With Some Mid-Week Notations.....

It has been a interesting few days yet again as the team has been on the "prowl".      I ran across this that was a stark reminder about the challenge we have here in #Outsiders as we work to provide a potential trail to help transform the conversation about our World: 

 “Not everyone thinks the way you think,
knows the things you know,
believes the things you believe,
nor acts the way you would act.
Remember this
and you will go a long way
in getting along with people.”
~ Arthur Forman

This admontion underscores the simple fact that we have to respect each other.    This sense of respect is clearly lacking in some of the utterances that have been prevalent in the GOP so far which is of profound concern.   This is also as the World is witness to @COP21 that our team has been assessing (and finished off a notation on it late last night).   This is also as the War against #Daesh is being ramped up.    What Patrick Cockburn wrote about the fate of the War though was absolutely devastating: 

As I reflected upon the work done here in #Outsiders, all I could do was to take comfort in what these thoughts were from +Jonathan Huie  that the team was gracious enough to allow me to use because in the end it is about a sense of serenity that is necessary if we are to deal with the profound challenges our World continues to face in that it all begins with a sense of faith that we must have: 

He who has faith has...
an inward reservoir of courage, hope, confidence, calmness,
and assuring trust that all will come out well -
even though to the world it may appear to come out most badly.
- B. C. Forbes

Monday, November 30, 2015

Winding Down November: Brief Thoughts....

It has been an interesting morning in #Outsiders as the team worked on the Daily Twitter Feeds and decided to bid farewell to November with a simple yet profound Madiba thought.   For me it was a profound weekend though as I had a chance to join a Community Forum organized by Iranian Circle of Women's intercultural Network.   

The keynote was given by a Syrian Journalist/Activist who shared a gripping tale of the true reality in Syria today.   Her own father died of a Brain Stroke brought about by the tortrue he suffered at the hands of the Assad Regime.  I was awe struck as I listened to her sharing her insights and what she tries to do despite all the challenges.

I am remaining hopeful about Paris as #COP21 begins--there have been a lot of handshakes so far.    The need to be hopeful is ever so critical now as is the need for courage and kindess as I "dug this up" from my own digital archicves: 

I look forward to the on-going dialogue.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Notations For the Week-End (Part Deux) : On #Colorado Springs; #Syria & #France & Other Thoughts.....

France remembered its' victim on Friday November 27.    President Hollande led France in a solemn tribute which was attended by the entire French Cabinet, Former President Sarkozy, military officers, first responders and victims who were able to attend: 

I had the good fortune to say awake to be able to watch the entire proceedings on France24.   I was (as I am sure many around the World were) struck by the solemn way Francois Hollande walked in had a lonely chair in front of all who were in attendance.   For me, what he said struck a special cord as he spoke for all of us as he said we will sing more, dance more so that what the former Prime Minister of Australia called the Merchants of Death of Daesh will be relegated to the dustbin of history.   It was so beautiful as I saw depicition of #Daesh Fighters being photoshopped with ducks on their head.

As our team and I await to report of the ultimate fate of the #DaeshScum (what I have used in my twitter tweets),  the price paid has been such a heavy one  though as depicted by what the team released yesterday in a recent edition of Notations.   The problem, though, is that elements of what I call (Daesh Light) exists in countries like Iran right now.   One must also not forget the Afghan Inferno that continues to burn daily.    It was heartbreaking too as I caught reporting from SkyNews as the Russian Marine killed in Syria trying to rescue the fallen Russian Pilot was put to rest under the watchful tearful eye of his daughter.   Based on reporting reviewed by the team, it appears that the leaders of what Sam Kiley of SkyNews so ably noted as the "Death Cult" have apparently escaped Raqqa as the ordinary man, woman and child continues to bear the brunt of the assault by US, French and Russian Fighters--soon to be joined by British Fighters.

As I worked away supporting on-going daily commitments for the team as all wanted to be "back at it", reports from Colorado Springs here in the United States on a shooting at a Planned Parenthood Clinic which The Guardian of London provided live footage on which is now available on the Guardian Website:   

The shooter (who  is a terrorist) surrended after what I understood to be a five hour gun battle.    It resulted in a Police Officer losing his life and I shared these thoughts in his memory while I was on Facebook yesterday:  
Catching up for the AM working away before "running off"....very distressing to see this as I was seeing reports...
Posted by Mike Pouraryan on Saturday, November 28, 2015

President Obama was once again ever so forceful.   Ted Cruz released a Tweet keeping the victims in his thoughts and prayers--I made it a point of being on Twitter noting that although his thoughts were welcome, we have to go beyond prayers.      There were reporting on the Independent of London of celebrations for the shooting and quite an indictment by the Haaretz Chemi Shalev.   I was chastised for finding something "negative"--and I noted that all lives have to matter.   There needs to be a change in the manner we look at the 2nd Amendment and there are moves going on as this recent depiction in TakePart underscores:

10 Companies with Sensible Gun Policies

More than a dozen U.S. states allow residents to openly carry firearms without a permitMore than 20 other states allow open-carry with a license, while only five, plus the District of Columbia, ban open-carry outright.

Considering the wave of violent gun crimes that have rocked the country in recent years, some companies are beginning to approach gun policies as a corporate social responsibility (CSR) issue.

For these firms, allowing customers to openly carry guns inside their establishments can make the company appear complicit with its state’s lax gun laws.
With that in mind, this week we tip our hats to companies that are braving the backlash and adopting sensible gun policiesRead on>

Beyond the Issue of Guns, there is also the Climate Change Conference.    The Marches have begun Worldwide and I plan on joining the March in Irvine later on today as I also plan on joining a meeting on the impact of the Syrian War on Women.       What Dr. King noted as the "fierce urgency of now" is ever so evident now: 

I was also keen to see how retailers did since 70% of the GDP of the United States is dependent on Consumer Spending.   In assessing the reporting on the aftermath of Black Friday, it seems as if it was not as vibrant--but people were apparently flocking to all the sites.   I understand from reports that Target was on track to break records and of course there is Cyber Monday which I am sure all will make a killing!!    This is as one of the retailers in our hometown, Haagens, is in the midst of its' final sale as I had a chance to visit it yesterday.   I asked how the displaced workers were doing--and the checker who served me noted that most had found places--but it was difficult because they wanted "Kids".     She noted that she was going to retire and hang out with her 92-year old Mother.   I congratulated her and was happy for the news since I had known many of them for years.

It is ever so a challenging World as our team continues its' on-going efforts.     I wanted to end this with a bit of a high note:

Challenging times.....

Saturday, November 28, 2015

On #gratitude: Notations For the W-End.......

It has been another difficult 24 hours in the United States.    A terrorist walked into a Planned Parenthood Office in Colorado Springs, killed a police officer and took hostages until he was "talked down" and surrended.    I will have more to say on it later on.

It has been though a week to be thankful.    There is no question that every day is a day to be thankful.  As I always tell friends, as the great philosopher Pit bull reminds us, "every day above ground is a great day".   It was so appropriate as I saw this that the #Outsider team was gracious enough to share to remind me of it:

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
- Philo 

This hit home to me in a major way as I had the pleasure to join the Fish For Life Cruise from Dana Point earlier this month.    This is a charity founded by an old and dear friend of mine, Jim Holden, that holds fishing cruises for special needs children by having their families have a day of joy under the Sun.

This particular one broke my heart as I saw a girl full of heart who had lost a hand--and I was told cancer as she made her way to the cruise: 

It is a pleasure to share this on the day and how joyful an event it all was:  

This I received from the John Templeton Fund said it all.    May the Almighty continue to bless all as we await some hopeful news from Paris as the climate change conference begins  and as we deal with the menance of Daesh:

Give Thanks