Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Notations On Our World: On #India as the New Budget is Being Announced....

As we are going to press right now, The Finance Minister of India, Arun Jaitely is about to formally present what India refers to as the Union Budget (The Central Government Budget) For the new Year.  The Chief Economic Advisor to the Indian Prime Minister discussed the Economic Survey as we await the presentation:

Some members are objecting because they are moving to have the Lok Sabha Adjourn despite the President of India agreeing and the Speaker having noted. It is fun to be witness to it as they are agitating as Arun Jaitley begins speaking as opposition members of Parliament are yelling and screaming--and as Arun Jaitley is trying to talk over them.

Live From Washington: Judge Neil Gorsuch is the Nominee to replace Antonin Scalia

neil gorsuch

We're live now as President Trump has just announced his choice for the Next Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court:  Judge Neil Gorsuch.     Judge Gorsuch is now speaking reflecting upon his career-quite a resume!!    

We would be remiss if we did not remember Judge Garland who did not get a hearing by The US Senate.   It was of interest as the Republicans lamented Democratic Hard Ball Tactics as they forgot how they treated Judge Garland.    We're pleased to report that he continues his quiet service as Chief Judge of the   U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit: 

Notations On Our World (Special Edition): On The Horror in Quebec (Statement By The Leaders of Canada)

In the aftermath of the Horrific attack in Quebec, the key leaders in Canada spoke out forcefully against the violence.    Our team is pleased to report on it.   The full segment is 26 minutes long.

View of the Week: An Iranian-American Speaks

Enough Said:

Notations From the Grid: On the 10-Days In January (On the Firing of the Acting Attorney General & Other Thoughts On @POTUS)

The Trump Administration fired the Acting Attorney General last night after she refused to defend The Immigration Order issued on Friday.    This is as The US Senate Judiciary Committee is holding a confirmation vote on the nomination of Senator Jeff Sessions to be Attorney General.     Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut is speaking now and the point-by-point rebuke of Senator Sessions' history is quite telling.    (Update:  Senator Chris Coons is now speaking and cited exceprts of the letter from Coretta Scott King which we have included here)   

As this has been going on,  what was also striking was the re-organization of the National Security Council.      The justification was that David Axelord sat it on National Security Council Meetings--which was rebutted by David Axelord as he noted how he becamse an "Alternative Fact" "....In justifying the appointment of Steve Bannon, the president's chief strategist, to the National Security Council, Trump spokesman Sean Spicer cited my role in the Obama White House as a precedent. Spicer said press secretary Robert Gibbs and I attended classified National Security Council meetings "all the time." That is simply not true.....As a senior adviser to President Obama in 2009, I had the opportunity to witness the fateful deliberations of his National Security Council Principals committee over the strategy the U.S would pursue in the war with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan..."  

This resistance to The President Actions, though, are taking shape as outlined by the message from the Anti Defamation League: 


Dear Mike,

Events during the last 72 hours reinforce the century-long role ADL has played in working to strengthen our democracy here at home and to protect the Jewish people everywhere. 
In an uncertain time, ADL has been an island of certainty. Our voice was clear, consistent and courageous on three separate but related issues that emerged since Friday. 
I want you to know it’s your encouragement and support that enables ADL to take these important positions on behalf of the Jewish community and all concerned Americans.
First, we gave voice to what’s become widespread outrage over President Trump’s Executive Order on immigration and refugee entry into the U.S. “History will look back on this order as a sad moment in American History,” I said in a Friday statement, “ . . . the time when the president turned his back on people fleeing for their lives.”
Our strong opposition to this order is consistent with our long-held stance on immigration and refugees. As the leading organization fighting terrorism and extremism, we understand the need to keep America safe from terror. But this order will do nothing of the sort. And it stands in total opposition to our Jewish values and the core principles of fairness and pluralism upon which this country was founded. We remember that we were once strangers, too, so we have spoken out strongly and will continue to do so.
Second, we opposed the executive order defunding so-called “sanctuary cities,” those protecting their relationship between police and immigrant communities by refusing to entangle local law enforcement in federal immigration enforcement. “Forcing cities to choose between losing funds or dividing police and immigrant communities is wrong and dangerous,” I wrote in a statement. This, too, has been a consistent theme for the ADL, informed by our close working relationship with law enforcement at all levels of government.
And finally, I called it “puzzling and troubling” that the White House statement on Holocaust Remembrance Day failed to mention the Jews as the primary victim of that horrific tragedy, as prior statements issued by Republican and Democratic presidents have done for more than 10 years. We were joined by others from inside and outside our community and from all sides of the political spectrum in this criticism. I then wrote a longer piece explaining why the failure to mention the genocide of European Jews inadvertently provides safe harbor for those who attempt to deny the Holocaust. 
It’s this firm, unambiguous voice that supporters like you have expected from ADL over the years. You can count on us to continue to be clear as we head into the future. We will speak truth to power to give voice to the powerless, especially those who have suffered from oppression and persecution.
I think it’s rather obvious how these three issues are linked to our mission—stopping the defamation of the Jewish people and securing justice and fair treatment to all. For more than 100 years, ADL has been guided by this simple call to action. And we certainly won't stop now.
Whether it's standing up for refugees, fighting against extremists or defending the memory of the Six Million, ADL is prepared to use all the means at our disposal to make an impact.
But we need your help.
Whether you want to get involved, lend your voice and simply make a gift, everything makes a difference. Now is the time when we need a hand.

With strength and gratitude,
JG signature
Jonathan Greenblatt

Fortune also captured the evolving view by Business in the aftermath of all that has bene going on: 


JANUARY 30, 2017
Good morning.
The honeymoon between Donald Trump and the tech industry came to an end this weekend, as various companies denounced the executive order banning immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countriesApple CEO Tim Cook wrote a memo to his workforce saying his company “would not exist without immigration, let alone thrive and innovate the way we do.” Apple’s founder Steve Jobs was, famously, the son of an immigrant from Syria, one of the now-blacklisted countries. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the U.S. should focus its security measures on “people who actually pose a threat.”
Some companies went beyond words. Google gave $2 million, to be matched by $2 million from employees, to the ACLU to help people affected by the order. The company says the order affects 187 of its employees. The co-founders of Lyft pledged $1 million (it was a good weekend for ACLU fundraising). Uber came under fire for alleged “strikebreaking” when Muslim taxi drivers in New York went on strike, prompting CEO Travis Kalanick toemail employees. Airbnb offered free housing to refugees and anyone else affected by the ban.
IBM’s senior vice president of human resources sent a memo to workers saying: “As IBMers, we have learned, through era after era, that the path forward – for innovation, for prosperity, for civil society – is the path of engagement and openness to the world. Our company will continue to work and advocate for this.” Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said he would look to hire 10,000 refugees in stores worldwide.
Opposition to the Trump order also came from the billionaire Koch brothers, who fund conservative organizations. “We believe it is possible to keep America safe without excluding people who wish to come here to contribute and pursue a better life for their families,” said Brian Hooks, co-chairman of the Koch network. “The travel ban is wrong, and will likely be counterproductive.”
In an apparent effort to calm the backlash, President Trump said the U.S. would resume issuing visas to all countries once secure policies are put in place over the next 90 days, and once again blamed the media for the fracas.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Thought For the Week : On the New Normal

The "New Normal" was captured by KAL of the Economist of London--Enough Said:

Notations From the Grid (W-End Edition) : On the #MuslimBan & The "New Normal"

It has been quite a day.   As we went to press here, we are monitoring developments out of Washington Senator Chris Murphy sent out this Tweet as news broke on the #MuslimBan:

Although Senator Schummer noted that all existing detainees remaining int he United States will be released,

He also reminded all of this:

Although the Administration has said that it is not a Muslim Ban and there have been assurances that all detained will be released, the Ban continues to stay in effect.   The full DHS statement is noted below:

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010
WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security will continue to enforce all of President Trump’s Executive Orders in a manner that ensures the safety and security of the American people. President Trump’s Executive Orders remain in place—prohibited travel will remain prohibited, and the U.S. government retains its right to revoke visas at any time if required for national security or public safety. President Trump’s Executive Order affects a minor portion of international travelers, and is a first step towards reestablishing control over America's borders and national security.
Approximately 80 million international travelers enter the United States every year. Yesterday, less than one percent of the more than 325,000 international air travelers who arrive every day were inconvenienced while enhanced security measures were implemented. These individuals went through enhanced security screenings and are being processed for entry to the United States, consistent with our immigration laws and judicial orders.
The Department of Homeland Security will faithfully execute the immigration laws, and we will treat all of those we encounter humanely and with professionalism. No foreign national in a foreign land, without ties to the United States, has any unfettered right to demand entry into the United States or to demand immigration benefits in the United States. 
The Department of Homeland Security will comply with judicial orders; faithfully enforce our immigration laws, and implement President Trump’s Executive Orders to ensure that those entering the United States do not pose a threat to our country or the American people.
# # #

The White House Chief of Staff said that the order does not affect Green Card Holders going forward--although they will be subject to further questions--even though they go through an extreme vetting process already.   This also affects US Citizens too--who will be questioned.   

As our team assessed the on-going developments, the rebuttals by the Media, our team could not agree more with this from the Democratic Leader of the Senate: 


This is one reality that Senator Schummer noted that is as powerful a message as ever: 

Saturday, January 28, 2017

View of the Week (Week-End Edition): : The View from Israel On the @POTUS Immigration Ban (w/an Update on the Latest Developments)

It has been a very challenging 24 hours as US President Trump signed an Executive Order banning immigration from 7 Muslim-Majority Countries.    This 2 Minute clip from the +Haaretz הארץ  Chemi Shalev is quite powerful--and we agree with every word:

Update:  Nationwide protests commenced and the ACLU just got a restraining order.   This was the scene from throughout the United States (courtesy of Ian Bremmer) despite President Trump's representations during his latest Executive Actions signings earlier today: 

Image may contain: 3 people, crowd and text

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Notations From the Grid: On the First Week of @POTUS in Washington

Trump signs an executive order to withdraw the US from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact.

January 27 is before us--it will be exactly one Week since Donald Trump took the oath of office--and it has been quite a week including resurrecting a conversation about torture,  voter fraud, immigration, The Mexico Wall and the pipeline--and that's just a partial list. !!

This Tweet from the Wall Street Journal's Brett Stephens was telling:   

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Notations On Our World (Special Mid-Wk Edition) : As The new @POTUS is at Work.....

Our team has been on the prowl assessing the first week of the New Trump Administration.  As we look forward to sharing some observations in an upcoming edition of Notations On Our World, it has been quite a whirlwind as the New Trump Government begins to take shape.     The column by the +Esquire  magazine Charlie Pierce was an indication of how challenging things are as The Trump Administration gets down to the business of Governing. 

There was some early morning Tweets from the President on Voter Fraud, an Executive Order on the Wall was signed and as we went to press, we are awaiting remarks by the President at the Department of Homeland Security.    The President underscored that Mexico will "pay" for the wall as he noted that it will cost 8 Billion to Build--even though estimates note it as at least 15 Billion with an annual maintenance cost of at least 700 Million.    This is as the Government of Israel has become emboldened by approving 2500 new residences for settlements in occupied West Bank despite a United Nations Resolution against it and over 70 Countries gathering in Paris at the final days of the Obama Administration--summarily dismissed by Israel.

Our team picked up this image courtesy of the Iranian Student Association at Penn State University which is poignant for all to be reminded of on what is ostensibly a "New Normal":

We also wanted to pay tribute to the memory of Mary Tyler Moore who passed away.   May she RIP....

Monday, January 23, 2017

what do we do with all these unemployed neuros????

Neuro disability and unemployment

For people with neurological disabilities that impact coordination, mobility, balance, visual spatial, perception, judgment; and problem solving despite high or genius IQs and intelligence, unemployment is a major issue.
The reason is because most disability laws in all countries say that one must be able to perform essential functions with or without a reasonable accommodation. Unfortunately for neuros, judgment, problem solving, motor skills, and coordination are essential functions of almost all jobs except maybe for post secondary teaching and tutoring
Such people can excel academically with masters and doctorates but cannot hold a steady position because of the difficulties their disabilities present. Therefore, these extremely intelligent beings get fired and never make probation, and therefore are among the poorest financnailly in our society.
This is unacceptable. Something has to be done. In the US alone the number of disabled who are unemployed is around 64% for those between the ages of 16 and 64 and its over 80% for neuros.

Possible solutiosns

1 make personal assitance a reasonable accommodation, required by law on jobs and not just a personal service
2 use Japanese style work enclaves where one's strengths balance another's weaknesses
3 eliminate probationary periods for neuros
4 increase sensitivity towards these kinds of disabilities

Dont Repeal Obama, Fix it

here is an article that I published in an online blog

George Washington and Alternative Facts.

“Father, a man from the future named Donald came with a thing called a chainsaw and chopped down the cherry tree.”

They say George Washington didn't really say "I can not tell a lie." Maybe he was the first president to use Alternative Facts."

This is not what our country stands for!
Stay informed, stay concerned, stay active!




View of the Week : On The First Few Days Of President Trump

President Trump has been quite busy as he has issued out a number of Executive Orders including a Federal Hiring Freeze and withdrawing the United States from the Transpacific Partnership.    He has also promised a massive cut in Taxes and Regulation as he has "hit the ground running".   As we have been working on a Notation on the first Week-End of the Trump Administration--including the World Wide Women's March on Washington:

It was interesting how The +Fortune Magazine +Geoff Colvin  released his latest this morning which may well be a sign of things to come:

Daily insights on leaders and leadership
Daily insights on leaders and leadership Daily insights on leaders and leadership

JANUARY 23, 2017
Now that Donald Trump is the first CEO to become president, you’ve got to wonder how long it will be before the next one. Maybe just four years?
Politicos are buzzing over the recent activities of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. He sets a personal goal for each year – in 2010 it was to learn Chinese – and this year it’s to visit all 50 states. His first stop was Waco, Texas, where he met with ministers and community leaders, which struck some campaign veterans as exactly the way a presidential candidate launches a campaign before announcing it. Two weeks ago he hired David PlouffeBarack Obama’s 2008 campaign manager, to run policy and advocacy efforts at the foundation he and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have established. They’re also forming a public policy advisory board of formergovernment officials to help guide the foundation’s efforts; the board’s leader will be Kenneth Mehlman, who managed George W. Bush’s 2004 campaign.
None of this means Zuckerberg is considering a run. But he’s doing just about everything a CEO would be doing at this extremely early stage of the cycle if he were pondering a run.
You may recall that last year Facebook issued a new class of stock that would enable Zuckerberg and Chan to give away vast numbers of shares while still retaining control of the company. Part of the move’s stated rationale was that it would require Zuckerberg to remain as an executive in order to retain control – unless, that is, he resigned “in connection with his serving in a government position or office.” Another consideration: For as long as he remained connected to Facebook, he would have access to the greatest trove of public opinion intelligence in existence through analysis of Facebook posts. As a candidate, would he be permitted to use it? Would he try?
One wonders if other CEOs might be thinking of a run in this new environment. A short-lived 2015 rumor, never confirmed, held that Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz was interested for 2016. Hillary Clinton’s campaign put Schultz and Bill Gates on its list of possible v.p. nominees, though no evidence ever surfaced that either of them would have considered it.
Conventional wisdom, built on the political graves of Wendell WillkieRoss Perot, and others, held that CEOs without government experience can’t become president. With that view disproven, a new class of contenders seems sure to emerge. It’s only a matter of time. And Zuckerberg in particular has a lot of time. He will turn 36 in 2020, meeting the constitutional requirement that a president be at least 35. He could postpone his run until 2052 and still be younger than Trump at inauguration. 

This interesting images grid courtesy of the Vanity Fair's Nick Bilton was telling: