Creative Commons License

Monday, October 29, 2018

Notations On Our World (Special Month-End Edition II): As We Go Dark Thru #USMidTerms2018

As we hope all have enjoyed our final retrospective for the year, we will be going dark in all our properties (including our Twitter Handle @ordinaryfaces) through after Election day here in the United States--although we hope all enjoy our Live Broadcast PODS featuring Al Jazeera here in our Main Property and Sky News in our Visions, Education and Ordinary Faces as we leave you with images of our community this month  as we remember the fallen in Pittsburgh--May the almighty bless their souls and grant solace to their families during this trying time.

Happy Halloween and Happy November:

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Notations On Our World (Special Month-End Edition): On the Month that Was

It has been quite a month throughout our properties as we have worked to assess our World as 2018 is starting to draw to a close.     We have been startled to observe the United States withdrawing from the World under Donald Trump, continue to be amazed as China rises and as Europe struggles with continued internal fissures.  This is as we continue to see challenges before us throughout the Arab World with the War in Yemen raging on, Gaza under siege, Jordan under immense difficulties and as Iran continues to deal with profound challenges as sanctions loom on the eve of the Mid-Terms.     

As we go dark thru Halloween here in the United States, please enjoy these "Random Selections" of what transpired in Politics, Business and finance our team complied from Al-MonitorCBInsight and the Real News Network--our team will continue to have daily updates on our Twitter Channel, periodic updates in our Google Corner at as we hope all visitors enjoy our Live Broadcast POD Featuring Al Jazeera and SkyNews

Onward to  November with all its' possibilities!!! 

The Khashoggi affair is the latest example of how Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has become a liability for Saudi Arabia.
Assassins for Hire: US Citizens, Israelis, and Palestinians Kill for Money in Yemen
The US-based mercenary company Spear Group, headed by an Israeli and hired by a Palestinian on behalf of the UAE, conducts extra-judicial killings in Yemen. Antony Loewenstein discusses the details

Inside Nikki Haley's Shocking Speech to Secretive Far-Right Group
Just days before she resigned as UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley delivered a private speech to the Council for National Policy, a secretive group of influential right-wing figures. Journalist Max Blumenthal obtained exclusive access and reveals shocking details — including Haley’s admission that she threatened the Chinese ambassador with a US invasion of North Korea.

Does the UK Need Donald Trump, or does America need Jeremy Corbyn?
In Part 1, TRNN correspondent Jaisal Noor speaks to Brits about their views on the U.S. president, Brexit, and more

How Germany Breaks its Own Laws to Arm Saudi Arabia
The German government is pursuing the interests of the its arms industry, even as this means violating their own laws, their coalition agreement, and promises to the public

Laura Flanders Show: The Next Economy
10 years since the financial crash we’ve learned that there exists in the US not just one economy, but many, as well as many kinds of economic actors. From platform cooperatives to cryptocurrency, people are continuously building economic alternatives. So says Nathan Schneider, crusader for collective ownership and author of “Everything for Everyone: the Radical…


Here’s A List Of 57 Bankruptcies In The Retail Apocalypse And Why They Failed
A list of major retail bankruptcies from 2015 to today.

Disrupting Trick-Or-Treat: 80+ Investor-Backed Candy Brands Taking On Halloween
From sugar-free candy to craft chocolate to cannabis-infused chewing gum, these new treats could take over your Halloween goody bag.

30 Corporate Innovation Labs In Finance

Some of the biggest names in finance are creating fintech innovation labs to solve the most pressing challenges faced by banks, merchants, and consumers.

Blockchain, Inc: A Look At The Ownerless Company Of Tomorrow
Here's a view of what a decentralized, all-code company might look like in its initial form.

 Attacking Healthcare Admin Costs: How 20 Startups Are Saving Time & Money For Healthcare Providers

Investors have bet almost $2.5B that these companies can effectively reduce waste, lower costs, and improve patient outcomes.

How Blockchain Could Disrupt Insurance
Insurance giants and startups alike are attempting to use blockchain solutions to prevent insurance fraud, digitally track medical records, and more.

 30+ Startups Disrupting The Heating, Ventilation, And Air Conditioning (HVAC) Industry
From improving air quality to developing new heating techniques, technology is enabling smarter, more sustainable, and more efficient HVAC systems.

 Fleet Telematics Analysis: Big Funding Bump To Startups That Help Cos Manage Car Fleets
With advances in vehicle connectivity, fleet telematics startups are driving efficiencies in car fleet management.

How 60+ Startups Are Disrupting Retail And Commercial Banking Around The World
Variations on the digital challenger bank model championed in Europe are spreading globally with new entrants targeting niche customer pain points. Collectively this year, startups in our market map have raised over $1.7B in venture capital.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Notations From the Grid (Special Friday Edition): On the Forefront in California

Elections loom--We here in California are faced with profound challenges as the drought exemplifies it as our team will continue our assessment throughout our properties.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Notations From the Grid (Weekly Edition): On the Forefront in Our Homestate of California

One of our must reads here at the Daily Outsider is CalMatters.    Please enjoy their latest snapshot of the week that was in California as it provides educational insights on what is the latest in California Politics as we enter a new post Jerry Brown Era:

Recent Articles

What’s behind all those DMV voter-registration snafus? ‘Motor voter’ may have launched with makeshift computer system

By Laurel Rosenhall
The DMV launched California’s new “motor voter” system in April without the proper computer program in place, likely contributing to recent snafus and errors on more than 100,000 voter registrations.

Why do California babies have syphilis in numbers rivaling those of poor nations?

By David Gorn
California has the nation’s third-highest rate of congenital syphilis. That’s “a failure of the public health system,” experts say.

Democrats get big bucks from small-dollar donors

By Dan Morain
Democratic congressional candidates in California’s most competitive races are significantly outraising Republicans in small-dollar donations. It’s a display of voter enthusiasm that can offer politicians long-term dividends.

Feinstein and de León debate in lopsided forum

By Ben Christopher
The “conversation” at PPIC between U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein and state Sen. Kevin de León was more or less the sound of one man debating.

Poizner’s independent run has a red tint

By Dan Morain
Insurance commissioner candidate Steve Poizner is shunning partisanship in his bid to become the first no-party-preference candidate to win statewide office in California. But he is raising much of his campaign money from donors who gave to him when he ran for governor as a Republican.

Why an AIDS foundation is all in for rent control initiative

By Dan Morain
The main funder of the Yes on Proposition 10 rent control campaign is the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, a Los Angeles nonprofit whose stated mission is to rid the world of AIDS.

Tracking California’s deadly wildfires

By Julie Cart
We track key data on California wildfires: land consumed, lives lost, growing firefighting costs.

Majority Report: Two debates are better than one edition

By Ben Christopher
A recap of California congressional races this week: Democrats are raking it in, Rohrabacher and Rouda debate (twice!) and Duncan Hunter Jr. quadruples down.

VIDEO: Newsom and Cox reveal how they would run California differently than Gov. Brown

By Byrhonda Lyons
Gavin Newsom and John Cox explain how their decisions on climate change policies, housing, schools and crime would compare to the current administration’s. Plus: book recommendations and hardest thing they’ve done.

VIDEO: Tony Thurmond, Marshall Tuck on California’s public school system

By Byrhonda Lyons
Candidates for Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and Marshall Tuck share their thoughts on charter schools, teacher tenure, their job qualifications, California’s educational issues and more.

Midterms missionaries: Voices inside one of California’s hottest Congressional battlegrounds

By Ben Christopher
The fight for the congressional seat in and around Fullerton is among the fiercest. As two small armies of campaign consultants, pollsters, fund-raisers, organizers and volunteer door-knockers descend upon this unlikely battleground, we talk to the boots on the ground.

A Californian on the 2020 presidential ticket? Here’s what state insiders say

By Elizabeth Castillo
The latest conventional wisdom among among state political insiders? There’s a good chance a Californian will be on the presidential ticket in 2020. And that Californian is likely to be Democratic U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris.

Wish choosing candidates were as easy as shopping for cars? It is, with our side-by-side comparison tool 

By CALmatters
Consumer Reports lets buyers contrast the features of Honda versus Toyota. Now comes our CALmatters election tool, allowing voters to compare California candidates on the issues.

CALQuiz: Trump talks wildfires, the Senate candidates meet and the power goes out

By Trevor Eischen
In this week’s edition of the CALQuiz, Trump bashes California leaders for their handling of the state’s wildfires, Kevin de León and Dianne Feinstein interact for the first and only time this election season, and PG&E makes an unprecedented move.


My turn: Why CA needs charter schools and how to improve them

By Marshall Tuck
Too many of our high poverty children-of-color have been stuck in failing public schools. The middle class and upper class have good options and opportunities. But public charter schools can most help our children with the greatest need.

Feinstein-de León Senate debate changed nothing

By Dan Walters
Kevin de León needed to get aggressive in his only joint appearance with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, whom he wants to defeat on Nov. 6. But de León was very subdued and didn’t change the campaign’s dynamics.

My turn: How the next governor can address our water crises

By Jay Lund
California’s two recent governors, Jerry Brown and Arnold Schwarzenegger, have been unusually skilled at water policy. Both responded effectively to urgent floods and droughts in ways that also brought long-term improvements. The next governor will face similar water problems. And he will see opportunities, expectations, and pitfalls along the way.

Locals seek new levies despite $4B property tax surge

By Dan Walters
Despite very strong growth in property taxes, hundreds of local governments are asking voters to approve additional taxes. They are reluctant, however, to tell voters that rising pension costs are the major reason.

My turn: California must fight Trump on auto emission

By Dan Becker and James Gerstenzang
California plays a central role setting auto rules and has a responsibility to lead the world’s fight against auto pollution. President Trump wants to revoke that unique authority. California Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols must defend it.

My turn: UC is Ground Zero for income inequality debate

By Kathryn Lybarger
Housing, food, healthcare, and other costs are soaring. Real wages are stagnant. And for UC’s lowest paid employees, most of whom are people of color, a raise means nothing if your job gets outsourced the next day to a private contractor that pays much less.

Brown’s legacy will include a DMV debacle

By Dan Walters
Jerry Brown has never been interested in management of the state bureaucracy and as he prepares to retire from the governorship he probably will leave behind a managerial debacle in the state Department of Motor Vehicles.

My turn: #BlueCollarRevolution’s basic question

By Robbie Hunter
What is the hardest, dirtiest job you’ve ever had? This is a question that we need to be asking all of our elected and prospective elected leaders, as it is an important lens for how they experience blue-collar Californians.

Four measures would do little about housing crisis

By Dan Walters
Four measures on the November ballot purport to address California’s housing crisis, but they are minimalist at best, and one would make it worse.

My turn: California should not reverse recycling gains

By Robert Peoples and Ron Greitzer
California’s recycling rate has dropped from 50 percent to 44 percent. The carpet recycling rate is one bright spot. The 2017 carpet recycling output rate increased by 27 percent over 2016 and is up 100 percent since the third quarter of 2015. Those increases show the program is working. CalRecycle should let the program continue to expand.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Notations From the Grid (Weekly Edition): On the Education Front

As Elections loom in California, this from EdSource featuring the future of the California Department of Education is hereby presented especially in light of the continued challenges on Education in California:     
A future in flux: what next for the California Department of Education?
By John Fensterwald, EdSource

The next state superintendent of public instruction will face a big challenge: making the case for a bigger role for the California Department of Education.

Cal Matters also reported on the legacy of Governor Jerry Brown:

Test scores test Brown’s education legacy

Why are California’ test scores chronically lagging, given the resources the state has pumped into its overhaul of K-12 education? One reason may be the overhaul itself, CALmatters contributor Karin Klein writes.
  • The lackluster scores raise questions about whether Gov. Jerry Brown’s two education initiatives—the revamped education funding formula that provides far more money for each disadvantaged student, and his doctrine of subsidiarity, or local control—can survive without significant changes after he leaves office this year.
The state has little understanding about what’s behind progress or the lack of it and uses Brown’s local control doctrine as a reason to avoid getting involved, experts tell Klein, a veteran education writer.
A literacy lawsuit is arguing that educating kids is a state mandate and that California can’t use local control to dodge it. In other words, the suit is about more than just reading skills; it also is an early test of whether Brown’s “local control” philosophy will be a state legacy or a blip.

This is also as we have also been following the case of this US Student who has been detained in Israel on accusations of being a BDS Activist.  As we went to press with this edition of Notations for our property here, the Israeli Supreme Court had halted her deportation: 

Court upholds entry ban on US student accused of supporting Israel boycott
Tel Aviv court rejects appeal, says government acting legally to deny entry to Lara Alqasem; Hebrew University denounces move, says will harm Israel academic efforts

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Notations On Our World (Weekly Edition): On the Nobel Peace Prize

Please enjoy this Video Profile of these two brave souls who have been awarded the Noble Peace Prize for 2018 courtesy of the team at the Guardian of London: 

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Notations From the Grid (Special W-End Edition): Some #RandomThoughts

It has been an interesting first week of October as we have been assessing our World.  We wanted to look back at #UNGA73 with this courtesy of the team at DEVEX:

Greetings from D.C., 

The U.N. General Assembly has ended, and we sincerely hope you've had a moment to recover. 

By most accounts, the 73rd UNGA was a mixed bag. The week kicked off with lots of momentum — but ended with comparatively few outcomes for key global health issues such as tuberculosis and noncommunicable diseases. Trump's mention of the foreign aid review left some in the development community with more questions than answers. On the upside, major commitments toward climate action and education left many with reasons for hope. 

We've distilled the key takeaways from all of the buzz and fanfare below. This will be the last Devex @ UNGA newsletter (until next year anyway) — but you can sign up here to receive other special edition newsletters. We'll be coming to you next week from the World Bank meetings in Indonesia. 

Wishing you all the best in the meantime.

— Team Devex 
(Amy LiebermanMichael IgoeAdva SaldingerCatherine Cheney, and Kate Midden)


1. Progress on NCDs and TB is TBD. Various U.N. leaders and government ministers echoed the need to confront TB and NCDs — but concrete, collective action to do so never fully materialized. Still, some experts pointed out the sustained focus on TB and NCDs throughout the week could, in and of itself, be a step in the right direction to prompt new research efforts and advocacy campaigns. 

2. Commitments to education. Education was high on the UNGA agenda and the focus of a number of high-level events. The week kicked off with the launch of the International Finance Facility for Education then Canada, France, and the United Kingdom hosted a session underscoring their commitment to give girls across the globe 12 years of free schooling, calling on others to pledge the same. That same day, 29 organizations gathered at the High-Level Meeting on Action for Refugee Education. Reporter Sophie Edwards has the full round-up of education news from UNGA

3. A harsh humanitarian reality. A few humanitarian and funding crises quietly played out at the U.N. headquarters, including a funding shortfall for the deteriorating situation in Yemen and a flurry of government pledges to the Palestinian relief agency after the recent U.S. decision to cut all funding.

4. Private finance gets a (bigger) seat at the table. More than in years past, private financial companies had a bigger footprint in discussions both inside and outside the U.N. But it remains to be seen whether their presence was symbolic, rather than a sign of willingness to change current practices and mobilize new capital to fund sustainable development.

5. Technology and the SDGs. Major tech conversations around blockchain, the Famine Action Mechanism — a new initiative charged with harnessing data to predict and help prevent famine — and what constitutes "good digital identity" dotted agendas and sideline conversations throughout the week.
As our quarter is in full swing, We wanted to be a bit upbeat as we captured a number of #RandomThoughts courtesy of the team at the Mission along with Values.Com--what Lee Iacocca noted especially struck a cord with us: Our Journey continues taking our queue from Fred Flinston: