Tuesday, September 29, 2015

On the Eve of a New Quarter.....


Our team sat down to assess the Quarter.    As the team finished off two special edition of "Notations", it decided to end the Quarter by featuring a Quarter-End Musical interlude of Kygo.   I hope all who visit enjoy it when it is available tomorrow on the properties of the #Outsiders.

It has been quite a Quarter as I look forward to working on the continued trasnformation of Outsiders with a number of the exciting projects including the launch of the "NASSIM" countries, The UN Global Goals, comment on the work of organizations like the Climate Reality Project and the Main Street Partnership as the US Election Cycle gathers steam and as we also continue to assess the Technological Evolution we are witness to.  

As I finish off some late work in #Outsiders, I decided to borrow this from the #Outsider Vault courtesy of +Jonathan Huie as noted below as we look forward to the new quarter:









Winding Down the Quarter: Thoughts On #Iran, #US & Other Thoughts

It has been an interesting morning already here in #Outsiders.   As the team finished off Notations & Newsflashes and worked on the Daily Twitter Curations, one very interesting newsflash caught my eye.    i24News reported (and I released it to my personal Twitter Feed) on a handshake between President Obama and The Iranian Foreign Minister, Dr. Zarif at the UN.    One of the "dead-enders" in Tehran objected to it because he felt that a "red line" was crossed.     I am not sure when being polite was wrong--but it appears to be the case with the dead-enders in Tehran.

I also saw some reports that President Rouhani was undern pressure to return to the Tehran.  He did cut his trip short to go back to deal with the aftermath of the tragedy in Saudi Arabia as the death Toll and the missing continues to rise:



This is as he reviewed the troops accompanied by his First Vice President before going into meetings on this.      This is also as our team was reviewing the latest disturbing reports out of Afghanistan as Kunduz fell to the Taliban as President Ghani of Afghanistan ordered a counterattack.    It was ironic that US Warplanes were bombing Kunduz as they did in 2001 as the team also reviewed reports of a rethink in further drawdowns of US Troops in the country.

Beyond the inferno in that part of the World, there is the political inferno in the United  States.   The team finished a notation on it as the scramble for "Cash" and "poll numbers' continues.    Just this morning an appeal for Jeb came out under President George H.W. Bush, Jeb's Father as another one yesterday came out from George P. Bush, his son who is serving as Texas Land Commissioner and will mor than likely run for Governor.       This is also as stories continue on Hillary Clinton's slide in the polls and the continued speculation over the Biden Candidacy.    Our team had decided to refrain from direct commentary--but with the Speaker's resignation and the looming deadline of a new Fiscal Year, it is becoming quite interesting to say the least.

Interesting times as we look to a new quarter......

Monday, September 28, 2015

As a New Week Begins: On #Outsiders & thoughts on #Beauty & #Failure

It was another intersting and challenging weekend on the political front with the Speaker of the House resigning.   It was such a joy to support the release of Notations being witness to history as the Holy Father was in the United States.  Our team released the last update on his trip late last night.

It is going to be another interesting week.     I wanted to step back while enjoying the Lunar Eclipse last night here in Orange County (our home) to reflect upon the true beauty of our World as the team was gracious enough to let me borrow this from one of the team's "Must Reads" from this selection from +Jonathan Huie  which was quite "poignant" to me that I wanted to release on the eve of a new week and as we wind down a very interesting Quarter and gear up for the 4th Quarter throughout the #Outsider Properties: 







Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.
- Franz Kafka 

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful,
we must carry it with us or we find it not.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson






I also wanted to note forget this admonition (which I reminded the team of) from one of my personal favorites I look at daily , Darren Hardy of +SUCCESS Magazine  which is one of my personal reads and the team released a "View of the Week" on it over the weekend in the Education Channel:





FAILURE.
While most people make the mistake of avoiding failure whenever possible, I want you to do the opposite.
Run right at it, and seek as much failure as you can!
This is why (and how it played a huge role in my own success!):

Action for today: Go to post


Onward with the New week!!!
:-)




Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Working Away: Some Mid-Week Notations (On Yogi Berra & Other Thoughts)

It has been an interesting morning here at our Virtual Studios.     The Pope has been at the White House, we got word on the Pardon of the Al Jazeera Journalists and our team has been tracking the latest from Indian Prime Minister Modi.

I was a bit saddened at first when I saw the report earlier this morning on the passing of Yoggi Berra. I personally was a profound fan of his "Yoggism"--but I also think that we should not be saddened by the passing of such men.  We have to celebrate it.   For me, the one is probably the most classic of all as his wife asked him where he wanted to be buried.  His answer: "..I don't know....surprise me".  I nearly fell out of my chair in laughter.     I just looked up his classics that the team +BrainyQuote  put together which I hope all enjoy: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/y/yogi_berra.html

As I was pounding the Virtual Pavement, though, I ran across this courtesy of the team at GiveMore that does some great work in the areas of Motivation and giving all a moment of pause and yes, "To Think..."--what #outsiders is about in the final analysis:     


disenthrall: to liberate from. enthrall: to captivate the fascinated attention of.
 
 
 
"Think of a flabby person covered with layers of fat. That is what your mind can become - flabby, covered with layers of fat till it becomes too dull and lazy to think, to observe, to explore, to discover ... not wanting to be disturbed or questioned into wakefulness."
– Anthony de Mello
 
"The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie - deliberate, contrived, and dishonest - but the myth - persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the clichรฉs of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."
– John F. Kennedy
 
"The softminded person always wants to freeze the moment and hold life in the gripping yoke of sameness."
– Martin Luther King, Jr

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Personal Thoughts On the Occasion of the Release of "We're All Mexicans" (With A Brief Update)

As the debate over the comments by Mr. Trump and Dr. Carson has continued to occupy the "punditry" class, one very cute clip I ran across undermined this by the ever so talented Emilio Estefan who happens to be the husband of Gloria Estefan:


The message is just simply too powerful to ignore.     The lack of regard for the Constitution, the contribution of immigrants and the essential history of the country is just beyond the pale.  The latest manifestation of it was late last night on Fox News.     I reflected upon this on my personal Facebook page late las night as I simply noted that we shall and will overcome this sense of bigotry and ignorance.   As I thought about the debate, I looked up this old clip from "Newsroom" that is compelling beyond words--Mr. Trump, Dr. Carson et. al should listen to it again and again: 




As I supported the team's effort with the daily curation and social grid updates, my mind could not help but be inspired by the Holy Father's reminder to many of us that we were all Foreigners once and it was critical for all to remember this fact to aspire to transform America.

Monday, September 21, 2015

On This World Peace Day 2015....


I had the pleasure to share this on my Personal Twitter Feed earlier tonight as I work away on  commitments in #Outsiders.    At times, it does not seem that anyone can do anything right now with the Syrian Inferno.    This is as the World is witness to the indignities the Refugees are suffering at the hands of Europe.  

Challenging times....

Sunday, September 20, 2015

On the Eve of a New Week: On #Gratitude, #Youth, #Faith & Other Thoughts



It has been an interesting weekend of reflection as I continued to support the curation of releases on this working weekend in Outsiders and gearing up for the new week.    It was also a moment of pause for me to be thankful as I continue to support the evolution of Outsiders over the ensuing weeks.   I joined a number of Community leaders for the afternoon yesterday to honor the achievements of the "Trailmasters" of Troop 772.  It is such an honor to see leadership in action.  I captured this scene as the leaders kept a watchful eye on the Scouts swam, surfed and had a fantastic time.   

There is a lot going on in our World right now which will be the immediate focus for us here @ # Outsiders including the UN General Assembly, the Clinton Global Initiative, the visit of the Holy Father and the on-going challenges our team has been in focus on.     I did catch this Sunday's Meet The Press and was disturbed by the comments by Ben Carson on noting that Muslims should not be President.   It was very gratifying to hear the conservative stalwart Hugh Hewitt remind all that Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution has no litmus test for those to run for office.  I made it a point of tweeting my thanks to him.

As the team finished off a View of the Week on Gratitude, I wanted to share this I ran across this morning that was so perceptive from Senator Corey Booker:

“Before you speak to me about your religion,
first show it to me in how you treat other people.
Before you tell me how much you love your God,
show me in how much you love all His children.
Before you preach to me of your passion for your faith,
teach me about it
through your compassion for your neighbors.”

It is quite a lesson to be taken to heart by us all.    

Onward!!! :-) 


Friday, September 18, 2015

Thoughts On The Eve of another Working Weekend....

It was such a joy to support the team in choosing and releasing the Friday Musical Interlude and the selections for the very talented Iranian American Singer, Rana Mansour. I can't help but reflect upon a very challenging week as we were witness to quite a show this week on the political circuit with the GOP candidates.

I could not help but be amused by how Fiorina seems to have emerged as the "flavor of the day".    The debate and the aftermath has been discussed to death by the "punditry" and some of the after-thoughts are not worth even the time of day being mentioned here.    Our team will provide a monthly update on the state of the campaign starting next month in the aftermath of the first Democratic Debate.    

Despite disagreements I have with all the candidates, I can't help but admire the courage of all who throw themselves out there.    With the myriad of forms, the 24x7 scrtunity they have to endure, I can't help but wonder--why do it?    When you get in, what then?    What I did find quite telling was this exchange about Fiorina as she criticized Hillary Clinton for her campaign:      



What I found laughable was how still even today there are people in the United states don't believe Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. 

As our team assessed the "day" and worked on the twitter feeds it was also quite telling how Republicans had also descended on South Carolina to attend a 6-Hour Heritage Action Event which Mr. Trump backed out of due to what the Campaign called a "business transaction" in the aftermath of the birther question noted last night.     I will only note this:  Some of the Republicans may well make it to a Republican President's Cabinet including George Pataki and Chris Christie.  In the meantime, though, the business of Government has to continue as a budget battle looms which our team will continue to monitor.   We also will be sharing thoughts on the visit of Pope Francis slated for next week.

The team allowed me to once again borrow this from +Jonathan Huie to underscore the spirit of what #outsiders and about the possibilities:  




The most difficult thing is the decision to act,
the rest is merely tenacity.
The fears are paper tigers.
You can do anything you decide to do.
You can act to change and control your life;
and the procedure, the process is its own reward.
- Amelia Earhart

The only way to discover the limits of the possible is
to go beyond them into the impossible.
- Arthur C. Clarke 


Thursday, September 17, 2015

Working Away......

It has been an interesting 24 hours yet again.     The team worked on some initial GOP "post-debate" thoughts as the punditry class on the right and the left continues its' analysis.   One of the key interesting talks points was on Religious Liberties as the case of the Kentucky County Clerk was brought up.     It was striking as I ran across this during my own daily review on the "Grid":



As the work in #Outsiders continues, I could not help but take comfort in this I saw on my Personal Twitter Feed from the always perceptive +Jonathan Huie which I also released to my personal Pineterest & Facebook pages earlier as we continue to assess our World here in #outsiders and work on long-term plans:




On the Prowl w/A "tip of the week" To Enjoy :-)

I enjoy reading up the work by Stratfor.      They did a nice job putting this together which I wanted to share with all:



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Hi ,Compass - Too Much Oil
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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

On the "Prowl" For the Day: On #Iran, #Democracy & Other Thoughts

As I work away supporting @DailyOutsider, I carved out a bit of time to catch a Boy Scouts Live Stream on JTE "Journey to Excellence" as I shared it also on my personal Twitter feed earlier.  I have   the pleasure to serve as a Boy Scout Leader managing the website for Troop 772 in Laguna Niguel California.   The insights shared is quite interesting to insure the leaders of tomorrow through the creation of Scoutbook to support the development of the Youth that our team decided to report on in the #Outsider Community Channel South County Matters earlier today.

I also continued working on supporting the team as Notations were released on the Iran Deal on the debate in Iran in Education and on being Witness to Democracy as we await the Republican Debate on +CNN  later on this evening.    It was quite interesting to me as the new leader of the Labor Party, Jeremy Corbyn, decided to "Crowdsource" the Prime Minister Question time as he did.    

I wanted to conclude these thoughts with this I just saw on my personal Email which I found to be gratifying from the team +Global Zero which speaks volumes on the power of Social Media that is ever so fascinating to be witness to:


Thank you. Thanks to supporters like you, the Iran deal made it through Congress. This is a huge victory for the movement to eliminate nuclear weapons. And it wouldn't have happened without you. Fight on, The Global Zero Team




Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Daily Notations While Working Away: On Our World, #Turkey, #Iran & Other Thoughts

It has been an interesting 24 hours yet again as I worked on supporting the team with the Daily Social Grid curation and assessing our World.    I was not too shocked as I saw Tony Abbott in Australia being toppled by Malcolm Turnbill which I hope will see a more sensible Australia emerging after the chaotic time in Australia.  I suppose when Tony Abbott lost Rupert Murdoch, it was only a matter of time.    Australia is the "A" in the "NASIIM" concept our team is working on which will be a regular series in #Outsiders.    I have also been fascinated by the latest out of Singapore (The "S") as they just had elections.  

What I continue to be worried about is the inferno engulfing the Middle East.   As our team continues to review the horrific daily reports, it again brought home to me personally the gut-checking article Walter Russell Mead did for the Wall Street Journal.   I wanted to again release this here from his own Twitter Feed for all to review:


His article was a hard read for me especially in the way he characterized Iran and Turkey.   Turkey is continuing the path of self-destruction after so much achievement during the enlightened years of AKP rule as Edrogan is continuing a misguided policy that is on the verge of tearing the country apart with an economy that is teetering, a security situation that is perilous and the inferno of the Kurdish insurgency that continues in such a profound way.   I commend the team at +BipartisanPolicy as they released this which I received on my personal inbox that underscores another domino that would fall:

Political, Ethnic Violence Tearing Turkey Apart

Is Turkey on the brink of civil war? Both Turkish and foreign commentators have asked, following the collapse of the two-and-a-half year ceasefire between the Turkish state and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The renewed conflict is playing out both within and outside Turkey’s borders, as Turkish warplanes bomb PKK camps in Northern Iraq and PKK militants launch attacks in Turkey’s cities. The intensification of violence has claimed the lives of at least 70 Turkish servicemen and hundreds of PKK fighters since July, causing widespread concern that Turkey may be returning to the violent conflict that consumed much of the 1980s and 1990s.

The renewed violence is having disastrous spillover effects in Turkish society, encouraged by the charged rhetoric of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP), that threaten to tear the social fabric of the country apart. The Bipartisan Policy Center’s (BPC) Turkey Task Force warned of this possibility in itsfirst report, stating that failure to address Turkey’s remaining democratic deficits, particularly the Kurdish question, could cause Turkey to “fall victim to some of its unresolved social tensions, potentially destabilizing the country and setting back its political and economic progress as well as its aspirations for regional influence.”

If allowed to continue, this could lead to the “Syrianization” of Turkey, bringing ethnic conflict once again to Europe’s doorstep.

 I hate to use the "Domino" analogy--but the old rules and new alignments do not apply as we are witness to the profound implosion of the Middle East.  


Monday, September 14, 2015

On the "Virtual Run" w/Daily Outsiders: Personal Thoughts 4 the Night......

It has been a challenging 24 hours in our World as the World has yet again been witness to atrocities beyond the pale.    As I worked away supporting the work of the Daily Outsiders, I released two personal tweets which I wanted to report on here:



As the World has been witness to death and destruction, what especially struck me was the story of the 10-year little girl and the fact that she started a school.      

I just saw a Tweet cross my desk whereby a migrant boat heading to Greece from Turkey sinks and 13 are dead.   When can we make sure that there are no stories like Barra?    

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Working Away: Brief Thoughts on "Life".......

It has been a busy weekend in #Outsiders as the team has geared up for a new week of Notations on Syria, Iran, The US Elections and the on-going Europe migration crisis.     As I was working away supporting the work and tending to my own on-going projects, I took comfort in this excerpt from the team at Simple Truths which I am also sharing with my Students.   There is no other way--is there?

Onward!!

You Can Live Every Day of Your Life
from Attitude
by Nido R. Qubein


The law of inertia holds that a body at rest tends to remain at rest, and
a body in motion tends to remain in motion, at the same speed and in the
same direction, unless acted upon by an outside force.

With one major difference, that law applies very well to the pattern of our lives.

People who are successful tend to remain successful.
People who are happy tend to remain happy.
People who are respected tend to remain respected.
People who reach their goals tend to go on reaching their goals.
So what’s the major difference?

In physics, inertia is controlled by outside forces; but the real changes in the directions of our lives come from inside us. As William James said, “The greatest discovery of my generation is that a person can alter his life by altering his attitude of mind.”


You can live every day of your life. You can be alive to the tips of your fingers. You can accomplish virtually any worthwhile goal you set for yourself. 

 

Friday, September 11, 2015

On #911Day: Brief Personal Thoughts

Within the past few hours, I supported the release of a write-up for the day for #Outsiders that for today is Uniform throughout the 4 current properties.   It is a day to remember and honor the fallen and their families.    It is also quite remarkable as the Nation Remembered led by the President: 
It is a day as our team noted that changed America and The World forever.

Although we have to look ahead, those of us who were witness to that day will never forget.   For me, I was getting ready for work and was due to pick up my boss to get him to work before he was to be picked up for his trip to Japan.   I remember that it was a great month as I had my family back after a trip and then my Wife yelled as CNN was on:  They hit the towers.  I could not believe it thinking that it was actually a replay of the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing.  When the second plane hit, I knew our World would never be the same.    Within a few hours as the Secretary of Transportation announced the closure of US Airspace, I told my boss that he will not be leaving for Japan.   This was as The Pentagon was hit and then Flight 93 which apparently was headed for the White House was taken over and crashed by the heroes.  I am with NBC News' Jim Miklaszewski as he noted that their heroism is to be celebrated ever more as I remember
the coverage by all the major networks on that fateful day.    I did a quick +YouTube search which
yielded some 49,000,000 hits and I went ahead and included the search results 
here for all.   

As I worked my way to the Office, the shock was evident on the face of all.   As one of the Senior Managers, I had to help calm fears as we had to be reminded that things had to go on.   Later on, Our CEO led us all outside for a solemn remembrance especially as we remembered the fallen.     Despite profound disagreements I have had with the Speaker of the US House as he reflected upon this earlier today:

Click to visit Speaker.gov
September 11, 2015  |  John Boehner  |  VIEW ONLINE
Click to watch the video: We Will Never Forget

This is the story of where I was on 9/11.

It’s not remarkable or altogether different from the stories of many Americans.  I remember what I was doing when the first plane hit.  I remember trying to go about my morning.  I remember when everything changed.

My story could be much different, if not for the heroes on Flight 93.  We know they saved countless lives and quite possibly the Capitol itself.
They saved us all, really.  At the lowest moment in our history, they lived up to our highest ideals. Through tremendous love and sacrifice, they did the unforgettable -- as did so many on those three sacred pieces of soil.  Now our brave men and women serve in their memory, engaged in the great task of keeping us safe and free.
So our sorrow is still deep, but our faith is deeper still.  These are our stories, but this will always be their day.  Patriot Day.
John Boehner


I have tried to do what I can to serve.    On the eve of 9/11, I had a chance to join the "Tip a Cop" initiative sponsored by @City of Aliso Viejo Police Services in support of Special Olympics.   As I also supported the work of @DailyOutsider as we celebrate our first year,   I started today with my daily "Virtual Good Turn" in the tradition of Scouting as I participate in the Johnson & Johnson Donate a Photo and later on will join the 9/11 remembrance event at Moulton Elementary School in Laguna Niguel.     As the radio stations play on, the news continues and the World is ever so dangerous, we need to learn and be ever so stronger to do all we can to make a difference.   To me, that's the ultimate lesson.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

On the First Year of @DailyOutsider: Working Away....

It has been one year formally since @DailyOutsider was begun.   It has been an interesting, challenging and fun year as I have been witness to the evolution.    Today was another typical day as the team was  busy as it finished off the daily curation in the properties and the daily curation on the "Grid".  I have also been working on my own personal feeds.   It has been fun.

I have used this "corner" to share my own thoughts as I have also shared what is going on with #Outsiders.   One of my personal projects has been reflecting upon the Iran Deal.   As all know, I have been in support of the deal.  The House GOP Conference has settled on a different strategy as it shelved plans to do the "up and down" vote on the original resolution passed by the Congress.     Someone once said that it will be ironic if the Iranian Parliament votes on it and the Congress ends up not supporting.   There is also a claim by the GOP conference underscoring the fact that there is a "side deal" and that in fact the law has not been abided by.   I found it amusing as the House Democractic Leader, Nancy Pelosi, found the latest moves to be "Cuute".

There are challenges beyond the immediate right now that our team is assessing--including the plight of the refugees, the economic calamity and some of the upcoming challenges as we also work to roll a number of new initiatives in time for the dawn of the 4th Quarter.

As the great Diane Nyad always underscores:  Onward!!

I hope all enjoy this as a "Virtual Token" in celebration of the one year Anniversary:



Tuesday, September 8, 2015

On The "Prowl" w/these "Thought(s) 4 the Day"

As the #Outsider team was busy with its' daily curation of the network, I was given permission to borrow this from the repository the team received from +Jonathan Huie which I hope all enjoy as the journey continues ever more:



Our fatigue is often caused not by work,
but by worry, frustration and resentment.
- Dale Carnegie

It is hardly possible to build anything,
if frustration, bitterness and a mood of helplessness prevail.
- Lech Walesa

Fatigue makes cowards of us all.
- Vince Lombardi

All that is necessary to break the spell
of inertia and frustration is this:
Act as if it were impossible to fail.
- Dorthea Brande

Monday, September 7, 2015

On the Prowl w/#Outsiders On This Labor Day 2015: Notations On #TheIranDeal, The Middle East & Other Thoughts

It has been a busy morning in #Outsiders as the team facilitated the Daily Twitter Curation and as I worked on supporting the latest Notation for the Day on the US Political Scene.    There is never, ever a dull moment.

I have also been assessing the on-going debate on the #Iran Deal.    I have been on the record in my private capacity in support of this for the sake of the people of Iran fully realizing the continued challenges Iran represents.    What I saw From General Conway and General Wald issued under the auspices of the Iran Strategy Council was of profound concern to me which I have noted below for reference as part of my own personal notations on the #IranDeal.  It was also of profound concern as I saw bellicose comments from the Iranian Defense Minister as reported by MEMRI .    I also reviewed reports of the Saudi King Visit to Washington and how Saudi Arabia is continuing to flex its' muscle as our team reviewed reports of UAE, Bahrani and Saudi soldiers dying as they have continue to fight the Houthi rebels who have been driven from the South.

The vote on the #IranDeal is slated for September 17 as moves will be at hand to strengthen the sanctions regime against Iran.    It will be an interesting few weeks as I note the CNN Article & also the work that @MoveON  has done along with the analysis by  +BipartisanPolicy  and the original guidance the team +NIAC 

Why Should Congress Support Deal



What will Iran’s nuclear program look like upon implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)? What will it look like in 10 years? How about 15 years? This timeline of the deal’s major provisions shows how the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program change over the next two decades.
Though some provisions of the final deal remain in place for 20 or 25 years, provisions in several critical areas begin to lapse in as early as eight years. By year eight, Iran will be able to manufacture and stockpile advanced centrifuges that are up to 17 times more efficient than the ones it is currently operating, and be able to buy and sell ballistic missiles. By year 10, Iran will be able to start using advanced centrifuges for enrichment, and have no limits on the number of centrifuges spinning at its Natanz enrichment facility. Within 16 years, by BPC calculations, Iran’s breakout timing (the amount of time required to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon) will be just three weeks, down from one year.


Dear MoveOn member,
The road to change is long and hard. It takes many people, over many years, acting in many different ways to lead to real change. And there's always more work to do.
That's why we take moments to step back from the work and celebrate each other. We hope that today, Labor Day, you're able to take a moment—whether you're grilling, parading, or working—to do that.

This short video celebrates the work of so many MoveOn members and allies over the last six weeks.
 Our organizing has contributed to a major victory for diplomacy over war. There's still plenty of work ahead to preserve this historic diplomatic agreement with Iran and shift our country away from the militarism of the Bush years. But today, let's revel in each other and in our collective power.
Diplomacy Defended: Watch the Video!
   
 There's so much good stuff in this video: 
  • The #SchumerMobile, which buzzed around New York City last week to hold Senator Charles Schumer accountable for opposing diplomacy—and also swung into Connecticut and New Jersey to let Senators Richard Blumenthal (CT) and Cory Booker (NJ) know what they could expect from progressives if they followed Senator Schumer down the war path. (Sen. Booker has since announced he's supporting diplomacy!)
  • Thousands of people at more than 200 events around the country on the August 26 #NoWarWithIran National Day of Action, earning tremendous media coverage. 
  • Town hall meetings with members of Congress—where pro-diplomacy constituents outnumbered opponents at 87% of the events we tracked. 
See for yourself: watch and share the video today—and take a moment to remember why you fight for change.

P.S. This Thursday, September 10, as Congress prepares to vote on the Iran agreement, MoveOn members and allies are holding candlelight vigils in more than 150 cities. Can you attend a Vigil for Peace and Diplomacy near you, or sign up to host one if it's not yet planned for your area? 




Iran Strategy Council Co-Chairs Gen. Conway and Gen. Wald Author Op-Ed on CNN.com



Editors Note: Gen. (Ret.) James Conway is former commandant of the Marine Corps. Gen. (Ret.) Charles Wald is former deputy commander of United States European Command. They co-chair the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA)-commissioned Iran Strategy Council. The views expressed are their own.














The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), negotiated by the United States and other world powers with Iran, is often referred to as the "Iran nuclear deal." Supporters contend it prevents a nuclear Iran; however, even if it adheres to the agreement, Iran will become a threshold nuclear state in no more than 15 years, when the deal's major nuclear restrictions expire. The deal undercuts America's realistic ability to prevent an Iranian nuclear breakout, and has other significant negative implications for the national security of the United States and our regional allies.


The new Iran Strategy Council of retired senior U.S. military leaders, which we co-chair, was commissioned by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs to provide objective analysis of the deal's potentially grave strategic implications and what that could mean for U.S. policy. And what we see is troubling.

Iran's adversarial intentions and activities are well known. As President Barack Obama said last month: "We have no illusions about the Iranian government or the significance of the Revolutionary Guard and the Quds Force. Iran supports terrorist organizations like Hezbollah. It supports proxy groups that threaten our interests and the interests of our allies -- including proxy groups who killed our troops in Iraq. They try to destabilize our Gulf partners."

However, the JCPOA will actually compound these threats. The deal will provide Tehran access to resources, technology, and international arms markets required to bolster its offensive military capabilities and support for proxy groups like Hezbollah. And even if only a fraction of the roughly $100 billion in overseas assets to be unfrozen as part of the agreement -- more than the government's entire budget for the current fiscal year -- is devoted to military spending, Iran will be able to begin revitalizing its defense industrial base. Plus, it is also set to acquire advanced S-300 air defenses from Russia at the end of this year.

Over the medium term, the removal of economic sanctions and the U.N. arms embargo will allow the regime to acquire other advanced technologies and weapons from abroad. And, once sanctions against its ballistic missile program sunset, Iran could more easily develop weapons capable of reaching targets within the Middle East and beyond -- including Europe and the United States.

It is also not just about conventional military spending. The JCPOA also will provide Iran with greater resources to funnel to Shiite militias and similar groups across the region. The infusion of new revenues in the coming years will create opportunities to significantly expand involvement throughout the Middle East (and possibly farther abroad). By giving Iran the means to extend its influence and expand its involvement in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza, Yemen and elsewhere, the agreement directly threatens to undermine the national security of the United States and our closest regional allies.

Already, Saudi Arabian officials, despite accepting the deal, have explicitly threatened to pursue their own nuclear arsenals in response to Iran attaining nuclear weapons, while others have at least suggested they might. We have served in the region, and we take those remarks very seriously.

The president has made clear that the JCPOA does not preclude the need for robust military capabilities: "[I]f 15 or 20 years from now, Iran tries to build a bomb, this deal ensures that the United States will have...the same options available to stop a weapons program as we have today, including -- if necessary -- military options."

And yet, even as the agreement boosts Iran's ability to meddle in the region and strains longstanding alliances, sequestration is already diminishing the U.S. military's ability to project power in the Middle East. The U.S. military will still rise to face any future challenge, but it will do so with less manpower, fewer capabilities, more antiquated platforms, and a lower level of readiness than it has now or has had in a very long time

For all these reasons, the United States is in far better position to prevent 
a nuclear Iran today, even by military means if necessary, than when the JCPOA sunsets. Protecting our national interests and our allies will require putting in place a strategy to begin mitigating the deal's downsides now.