Friday, December 23, 2016

As #2016 Draws to a close: Some Final "Random Thoughts"

It has been a very interesting and challenging year.    There were some success and some notable setbacks.   But, one has to always look at the positive no matter what as the great Maya Angelou reminded us all:

Outsiders went through a bit of an evolution as I had consultations with a number of consultants and potential partners.   One very crucial highlight for me was contributors that I view as probably one of the most profound positive developments--and their contributions have been fabulous.     The on-going consultations has also led to more of a focus which I hope we can all build upon--a focus on the Social Transformation.    

One statistic that blew me away was when I saw what I was up to on Medium:  

My eyes nearly popped out as I saw this statistic.   It was also very gratifying that on a brand new platform, Medium reported that some 929 people were gracious enough to check out contributions to Medium.   I am excited to build upon this during the new year.   .

Beyond the personal, there is also the reality of what happened in our World.     Mr. Trump is continuing to staff his Government and I helped with the latest on appointments and the roadmap ahead.     With some of the views on regulation, the environment,  and foreign policy evolving, there is going to be even more uncertainty as 2017 comes about.   The latest controversy has had to do with comments Mr. Trump noted regarding nuclear weapons and the arms race which was just reported on SkyNews--and noted in this I just picked up from Esquire.        This uncertainty is even more so true in the Middle East with an impending move of the US Embassy to Jerselaum and the challenges that Palestinians will be dealing as the Trump era has arrived in Washington: 

As I have been finishing off my final                                     thoughts for 2016, I picked this up from a                                        Facebook Friend (and edited it out a bit): 

   When they've tortured and                                                    scared you for twenty-odd  years                                               Then they expect you to pick a                                               career

When you can't really function you're so full of fear
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV
And you think you're so clever and classless and free
But you're still.... peasants as far as I can see
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

This poem prompted by a very troubling article published at Five Thirty Eight about the continued widening gap between the rich and the poor in the World which is problematic.    It is available by clicking on it here.  It will a focus for the "ordinary faces" channel here in Daily Outsider.

As I worked away reflecting upon what has admittedly been a very challenging year, I had the pleasure to attend a memorial service for the Homeless who had passed away in Orange County this year--193.   Every name was read and a candle was lit in their honor.    Faith leaders from throughout Orange County came together at Chris Cathedral in a very moving tribute.   I had the honor of lighting one of the candles:

Here is a one minute Video Essay I produced on it:   

As the office parties wind down and people gear up to be off during this week,  I finish off these "Random Thoughts" with this admonition from the Fortunes' Geoff Colvin which is one of my required readings and whose work has been featured  periodically in our "Views of the Week" which I hope all listen--I hope I can!!!

If you’re actually at work today, please stop as soon as you can.
This is serious. The next ten days are the only part of the year when much of the Western world honors an unspoken agreement to take it easy. You’d be crazy not to use every minute of it. You already know the reasons: You work too hard and sleep too little. But you may not fully realize how bad this problem is for you, your family, and your colleagues.
By working too much and resting too little you become cranky and more pessimistic. Your judgment is poor and you can’t solve problems well, which is hardly surprising because you can’t think clearly or remember what you hear. Your health deteriorates because exhaustion makes you hungrier and loads up your body with stress hormones. You crave sugar and carbohydrates, making you fat, which increases the risk of sleep apnea, which means you’ll sleep even less and make all these problems worse.
Ah, you say, but this is the price I must pay in order to do the mountain of work in front of me. But it isn’t true. You actually accomplish less by pushing yourself too hard.
If you chronically overwork and under-rest, a good night’s sleep won’t cure what ails you. You need several consecutive days of abundant rest combined with stress-reducing activities. Don’t overthink this. You just need to take time to do what fulfills you and makes you happy.
That is, you desperately need this break.
So please don’t squander it. After all, it comes but once a year. Treasure it, relish it. Relax like there’s no tomorrow

& This From the Former President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints:

“This Christmas,
mend a quarrel.
Seek out a forgotten friend.
Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust.
Write a letter. Give a soft answer.
Encourage youth.
Manifest your loyalty in word and deed.
Keep a promise. Forgo a grudge.
Forgive an enemy. Apologize.
Try to understand.
Examine your demands on others.
Think first of someone else. Be kind.
Be gentle. Laugh a little more.
Express your gratitude.
Welcome a stranger.
Gladden the heart of a child.
Take pleasure in the beauty
and wonder of the earth.
Speak your love and
then speak it again.”

~ Howard W Hunter

Onward to 2017!!

"See" you all next year!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

On #Aleppo (Cont'd w/updated thoughts on the International Day of Migration)

Whatever the Russians or the Iranians say, this is the reality...and it is just heart-wrenching beyond words to be witness to.   

Here is the latest update as of 12/18/2016:

I am seeing reports that apparently there is an updated agreement to get civilians out of Aleppo after an agreement to get besieged Shiite villages in Rebel-Held Territory also evacuated--buses were attacked and were in flames.  This is as Russia is set to veto a French-sponsored resolution to have UN observers be sent to Aleppo.  

This is also the International Day of Migration as the World has seen the highest amount of migration every--240 Million (almost 7% of them being Syrians).     The UN released this in commemoration of it:

Friday, December 16, 2016

On This Working W-End: Remembering a Selfless Soul Who Made a Difference

The single will raise money for the Jo Cox Foundation

At the height of the Brexit Campaign in the UK, The British Parliamentarian Jo Cox was murdered by a madman who has now been jailed for life.   I was horrified as I saw live coverage of the murder and as the details emerged.    I was blown away by the dignity shown by her family in the aftermath of this horrific act.

In her memory, artists and friends got together to sing this beautiful Rolling Stones song and Sir Mick Jagger and Keith Richards have waived all royalties as all sales will be used to support the foundation that has been named in her honor to carry on her work supporting refugees throughout the World.   Here is the Spotify URL for all to enjoy--and hope folks will consider buying the single to support the work of her foundation.   I salute Sir Mick Jaeger and Keith Richards for what they did in waiving royalties and the British Government for waiving VAT for this. 

An Update: 

Remembering a Giant & Retaining a Sense of Hope....

It is a rainy yet beautiful morning here in our hometown of Laguna Niguel as I work away in support of commitments at The Daily Outsider.  One of our contributing columnists just released a beautiful column earlier that is available by clicking here.

As I write this,  I am continuing to monitor the latest out of #Aleppo as there are claims by Russia that the evacuation are complete even though people are still there and there is no end to the misery.   

I picked up two thoughts while on my "walkabout" on the Grid to cling to a sense of hope .   The first one below is from one of the giants of Iranian History, Amir Kabir, who served as Prime Minister and was assassinated by the Shah at the Time, Naser-Din_Shah: 

Image may contain: 1 person, text

The literal meaning of it is this:

  •  If you have a one-year vision , Plant Grain;
  • If  you have a 10-year vision,  Plant a Tree;
  • If you have a 100-year plan,  train and nourish the human mind

The second one below speaks for itself as I continue to see the latest out of Aleppo: 

Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey toward it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us. Samuel Smiles

Thursday, December 15, 2016

On #Aleppo

The image that Al Jazeera had on one of its' stories said it all.    From the reports I reviewed, Aleppo ran out of space to bury its' dead as the fighting continues with no end in sight.   The  World did nothing as Assad came out celebrating earlier as his comments got spread through pro-government websites.

As our team wrote about Aleppo over the past 24 hours, I picked up this clip from Lucy Aharish as she spoke and gave voice to what many of us believe.   I first got to know her work as she worked at +i24News  and her eloquence then as now was ever so evident.     She used the word, Holocaust in Aleppo and she is absolutely right on--a very powerful 2 minutes that we all need to do our part to help spread.  As she reminded us, will we learn from Armenia, Bosnia , Rwanda and all the other horrors that humanity has engaged in?   Do we have the courage to do so? 

Update: I just picked up this clip that was published yesterday and viewed some 160,000 times from the orphans of Aleppo--I don't mind noting that I nearly broke down:

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

On the Prowl with Brief Thoughts For the Night w/this: Earth Unprepared for Surprise Asteroid Hit

It has been an interesting 24 hours through the properties of #Outsiders. As the World has been witness to the atrocities in Syria and the injustice in Gambia, this more important story got Buried because our little "dot" in the Universe is clearly unprepared for an existential threat that seems to be lost:

Earth Unprepared for Surprise Asteroid Hit: Over the decades, there had been many speculations about the possibility that a large asteroid will hit Earth and wipe out the human race just as how it did to dinosaurs as theorized by scientists. But what will happen to Earth if this indeed happens?

Although I was very happy about the Trump Family having an "Office of the First Family" in the White House, I wonder if such issues will be at the forefront or not. I wonder if we Will we wake up?

Thought For the Week: Setbacks

A very interesting thought for the week:


Today's word is SET BACKS

Monday, December 12, 2016

Random Thoughts As I "relaunch" My Virtual Corner :)

The British Antarctic Survey’s Halley VI research station has recorded records data relevant to space weather, climate change, and atmospheric phenomena since 2012.

After some "lull", I decided to resurrect my Virtual Corner here on the Web as I continue to think about how to evolve #Outsiders and other projects--and about our World. 

I had the pleasure to be witness to the Laguna Niguel Annual Holiday Parade this past Saturday and produced a clip on it available here.    Beyond the confines of my City, though,   It has been quite an interesting year as we have seen the election of a New President in the United States and changes in all key G-8 Leaders around the World.    Aleppo is also about to fall with thousands of civilians at risk and reports of hundreds of men between 18-40 being led away and potentially executed--although the war in the rest of Syria goes on.       

One key area of concern I have is the moves by President-Elect Trump on Climate change as he continued to question the very fact that Climate Change exists--even though for instance the British Research Station in Antarctica is in danger of being lost and is slated to be moved.   This is as his nomination of a climate change denier at the EPA and his impending nomination of an Oilman as Secretary of State has profound implications for US Policy around the World.   It was quite a welcome development, though, as I saw that Bill Gates & other luminaries will be leading a $ 1 Billion Climate Change Fund as America retreats.   

I hope that as the #outsider journey continues,  I hope we live up to the personal admonition to be an encourager and continue to never forget this admonition:

(Update:  Thoughts for me is never complete unless I pay tribute to one of my all-time favorite guys, the Economist KAL whose depictions I have noted as I have written about our World--KAL gave us a preview of our World that I shared earlier while finishing off my "Virtual Walk-About" as I hope all enjoy the Year Ahead as noted by KAL available by clicking here--Happy Holidays to all!!!!