Sunday, November 25, 2018

Notations From the Grid (Final Month-End Edition): Out & About

Laguna Beach:  Thanksgiving 2018
As we went to press as the Holiday season is officially on, it was the dawn of Cyber Monday--although Amazon began a  "Cyber Monday" week to help drive demand.    The Holiday Season is also officially before us--This is also as we received reports of a new Earthquake in Western Iran.  The Need to be prepared is ever so critical as we leave you all with this courtesy of the team at FEMA.

Onward to December with all its' possibilities:

Individual and Community Preparedness eBrief

u s d h s f e m a

In this issue:

Stay Secure on Cyber Monday

It’s important to be secure whenever you shop online. On Cyber Monday, cybercriminals may try to take extra advantage of online shoppers. Here are some tips to protect your information:
  • Shop from trustworthy and established websites only.
  • Make sure your information is encrypted. Look for URLs that begin with https:// and have a closed padlock icon next to them.
  • Use a credit card when you shop online. There are laws that protect you if you find fraudulent credit card charges. You may not have the same level of protection for your debit cards.
  • Check your statements and record of your purchases. Compare these to your bank statements.
For more tips on staying safe when you shop online, visit:

Be Fire Safe This Holiday Season

Fire safety during the holidays
Have you put up holiday decorations at home? It’s important to be safe when you decorate with candles, lighted decorations, or Christmas trees. Use these tips to keep your home fire safe as you celebrate the holidays:
  • Always turn holiday lights off before leaving home or going to bed.
  • If you have a Christmas tree, water it daily. A dry tree can catch on fire easily. Keep it at least 3 feet away from heat sources.
  • Keep candles 12 inches away from anything that can burn. Consider using flameless candles for all or part of Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa celebrations.
Learn more about holiday fire safety at
Looking for more tips for a safe holiday season? Follow @Citizen_Corps and @Prepareathon on social media for seasonal tips, and share your own with #HolidaySafety

Prepare for Severe Weather

Severe Weather
Are you ready for winter? The best time to prepare for winter weather is before it arrives.
  • Know if your area is at risk for winter storms. Follow the National Weather Service for weather forecasts. Your area may also have local weather alert systems.
  • Start an emergency supply kit for your car. Include jumper cables, warm clothes, bottled water, snacks, a spare cell phone charger, blankets, flares, and an ice scraper.
  • Have supplies ready at home in case you lose power. Keep in mind your family’s needs, such as medication. Don’t forget about food and supplies for pets.
  • Prepare your home to keep out the cold with insulation, caulking, and weather stripping.
For more winter weather tips, visit: watch this video

Important Dates to Remember

Disclaimer: The reader recognizes that the federal government provides links and informational data on various disaster preparedness resources and events and does not endorse any non-federal events, entities, organizations, services, or products. Please let us know about other events and services for individual and community preparedness that could be included in future newsletters by contacting

Monday, November 19, 2018

On Our World On This #Thanksgiving2018

As we go dark in our properties thru Thanksgiving here in the United States, we wanted to wish all the most joyous as we take stock of all that we're thankful for as we leave you all with this courtesy of the team at the World Bank:

October 2018. 246 pages.
English Version. Paperback.
ISBN: 978-1-4648-1353-5.
Price: $45.00
View PDF
Toward a New Social Contract
Taking on Distributional Tensions in Europe and Central Asia
By Maurizio Bussolo, Maria Eugenia Davalos, Vito Peragine, and Ramya Sundaram
Now available!
The growing economic fissures in the societies of Europe and Central Asia between generations, between insiders and outsiders in the labor market, between rural and urban communities, and between the super-rich and everyone else, are threatening the sustainability of the social contract. The institutions that helped achieving a remarkable degree of equity and prosperity over the course of several decades now face considerable difficulties in coping with the challenges presented by these emerging forms of inequality. Public surveys reveal rising concerns over inequality of opportunity, while electoral results show a marked shift to populist parties that offer radical solutions to voters dissatisfied with the status quo.
Figure 1. The social contract as a dynamic equilibrium
Figure 2. Distributional tensions along four dimensions are explored
There is no single solution to relieve these tensions, and attempts to address them will vary considerably across the region. However, this publication proposes three broad policy principles: (1) promote labor market flexibility while maintaining protection for all types of labor contracts; (2) seek universality in the provision of social assistance, social insurance, and basic quality services; and (3) expand the tax base by complementing progressive labor-income taxation with taxation of capital. These principles could guide the rethinking of the social contract and fulfil European citizens’ aspirations for growth and equity.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Notations From the Grid (Special Friday Edition): As the #2020 Battle Begins

An understanding of what happened in 2018 won't be possible without a realization of this group did.   Our team received the two dispatches which we wanted to share in its' entirety to understand as the #2020 Battles Loom as they released this having appeared on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show:  

We know it’s late, but this is important: tonight, Ezra went on The Rachel Maddow Show to share Indivisible on Offense, a grassroots organizing blueprint for the next (and hopefully final) two years under the Trump administration.
We can't show you the guide just yet. (We wish we could! It launches tomorrow morning -- and we’ll send it your way first thing, promise.) But we can tell you this: we think this is the winning strategy for taking back the White House in 2020:
  1. We go on offense in the House. Agenda setting power. Must-pass and messaging bills. We can advance progressive policies and ideas.
  2. Oversight and investigation: How House Democrats can use subpoena power, investigations, and hearings to shine a light on the corruption of this administration.
  3. Don't forget about defense: Resisting Senate GOP's plans to advance the Trump agenda
  4. Indivisible States: We can seize big gains and new opportunities to save democracy and the state and local level. 
Watch Ezra on Maddow >>
On January 4, 2017, Indivisible caught the attention of the entire country when Rachel Maddow invited Ezra to join her on her show. You’ve seen the clip: when Ezra first walked on set, we were 350 groups strong. But as he and Rachel talked, Ezra’s phone kept buzzing (on LIVE TV) -- each buzz signifying a new Indivisible group forming.
Tonight’s interview shows just how much has changed in two short years. Our movement has helped stop some of the Trump administration’s worst attacks on democracy as we know it. And just last week, our efforts paid off: we flipped the House, six state legislatures, and moved the entire country forward.
Literally none of this would be possible without support from folks like you, Mike. It’s each of us pushing a little bit harder, together, that’s going to defeat the Trump agenda.
 They continued with this updated on Wednesday: 
This time two years ago, we were lost, angry, and scared (okay, we were pissed. Really pissed). Republicans had taken the House, Senate, and Presidency. They were planning to go big. And we knew the only move we had was to play defense, focus on our own representatives and senators, and never give an inch. In that moment, we wrote the original Indivisible Guide, beginning with these lines:
Donald Trump is the biggest popular vote loser in history to ever call himself President-Elect. In spite of the fact that he has no mandate, he will attempt to use his congressional majority to reshape America in his own racist, authoritarian, and corrupt image. If progressives are going to stop this, we must stand indivisibly opposed to Trump and the members of Congress who would do his bidding. Together, we have the power to resist -- and we have the power to win.
Looking back, we think this holds up pretty well. And the growth of the Indivisible movement, and what you have accomplished, has surpassed our wildest expectations.
You didn’t just read the Guide. You didn’t just start groups in your hometowns across the country. You made Congress listen. In 2017, Indivisibles went to town halls, die-ins, and district offices. We defeated TrumpCare, rallied for immigrants, and turned the Republican tax cut for the rich and corporations into an enormous political liability. We stiffened Democratic spines and weakened Republican resolve. We couldn’t stop everything -- but we did stop a lot.

The grassroots were responsible for Democrats retaking power.

Taking back the House used to be a pipe dream. It’s easy to forget, but just a little over a year ago, winning back the House was an idea that was too crazy for conventional Washington wisdom (read: pundits). Folks had good reason to believe taking back the House would be impossible. Back in 2010, the Republican Party succeeded in their sinister plot to flip targeted state legislatures and the House, giving their party control over redistricting after the 2010 census. And with that power, they drew gerrymandered districts to ensure a GOP House majority, no matter how unpopular their party became.
But where Republicans built a seawall, you built a bigger blue wave. A week ago, we flipped the House. We flipped 6 state legislatures. And we moved the whole country to the left. 317 out of 435 Congressional districts (73%) were more blue on Tuesday than they were in 2016.
Indivisibles endorsed candidates, knocked doors, registered voters, phonebanked and textbanked. You dragged your friends, family, and neighbors to the polls. Drop by drop, you built the blue wave and remade Congress, state houses, and governors' mansions. And as a result, our slate of elected leaders at every level across the country will feature people who look like America, ready to fight for economic and racial justice and beat back the worst of Trump’s attacks on our neighbors, communities, and future.

After two years of defense, we now go on offense.

Now, Democrats have the House of Representatives and a ton more power at the state level. (Thank you for that!)
We had a feeling last Tuesday would go well for us. So we’ve been working on a new federal-level guide and state-level guide for months to prepare for this new political reality that we’re calling Indivisible on Offense. We can’t wait for you to dig in. Here’s a quick and dirty summary of how we win over the next two years:
  1. We go on offense in the House. With the majority, House Democrats can determine which bills get votes and there are two big opportunities to go on legislative offense in 2019 and 2020: messaging bills and must-pass bills. House Democrats can also hold Trump’s entire administration accountable through oversight and investigations (subpoena power, investigatory power, congressional-hearings power, and more!). This all gets complicated, but check out the guide for practical steps on how to use this intel.
  2. We start making gains in the states to save democracy. There are huge opportunities to resist Trump and provide a progressive vision for the country through state-level advocacy. And many of the same principles you use when advocating for federal change apply at the state level. With the big gains last Tuesday, we have a lot more opportunities to accomplish proactive policy wins -- and this all starts happening early in 2019 when state legislatures are sworn in.
This is the road to stopping Trump in his tracks, locking in the gains we've made, and advancing an alternative vision for the country rooted in democracy, inclusion, and respect. This is the road to retaking the White House in two years. But none of this is automatic. We won last Tuesday. Now we have to make those wins mean something going forward.
So here’s what we need you to do to get ready for this fight:
  1. Find your local Indivisible group. No, really. The key to the Indivisible movement is building strong, local groups. And if you haven’t found yours yet, you need to right now. Want to start your own? Awesome. Do it.
  2. Read our new federal Guide: Indivisible on Offense. New power in the House means we need a new game plan to demand that our newly-elected members of Congress check Trump and offer an alternative to his backwards agenda.
  3. Read our new state Guide: Empowering the States to Resist the Trump Agenda. Some of the most important work you can do to save our democracy is to take action in your state legislatures around the country.
Two years ago, we wrote the Indivisible Guide because we knew that everything we hold dear was under threat. We’ve lost a lot since then, but we ‑‑ along with critical partners -- have accomplished so much. We resisted. We retook power. And with control of the House of Representatives and new power in the states, we will band together, indivisible to remake this country.
These new Guides offer a road map for the next two years of our journey. Together, we will pave the way to the post-Trump era. Together, we will win.
In solidarity,
Ezra & Leah

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Notations From the Grid (Special Edition): Emergency Plans for Holiday Guests, Travel Preparedness, Community Evacuation Routes

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

It is the Holiday Season!!

In that spirit, we wanted to make sure that we released this courtesy of FEMA on this eve:

Emergency Plans for Holiday Guests, Travel Preparedness, Community Evacuation Routes

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Notations From the Grid (Weekly Edition): On a Window Into the Future

One of the focus points we hope to do is to continue assessing the challenges laid out by two of the leading lights of our World, Vala Afshar of SalesForce and Elon Musk whom we have had the honor of featuring on our Twitter Handle: @ordinaryfaces as we're witness to the utter destruction in our home state of California:

Friday, November 9, 2018

Notations From the Grid (Weekly Edition): On the Billionaire Bonaza 2018

As part of our commitment to bring alternative views to our Community, we hereby present this courtesy of the team at the Institute for Policy Studies on a challenging read: 

Billionaire Bonanza 2018
Wealth in the United States is concentrating into fewer and fewer hands, a trend that IPS has tracked in two previous Billionaire Bonanza reports in 2015 and 2017.
This year’s edition of the report focuses primarily on “dynastic” wealth that has passed from one generation to another within families.
Our analysis is based on the Forbes magazine list of the 400 wealthiest individuals in the United States and the Federal Reserve Survey of Consumer Finances.
In this report, we analyze the grand fortunes of the wealthiest individuals and families and compare their wealth to the absence of wealth at and near the nation’s economic bottom. The wealth of the rest of the country has not kept pace with the billionaire class.
  • Three dynastic wealth families—the Waltons, the Kochs, and the Mars—have seen their wealth increase nearly 6,000 percent since 1982. Meanwhile, median household wealth over the same period went down by 3 percent.
  • The proportion of households with zero or negative wealth is nearly one in five, about 19 percent. These families living without wealth survive without any buffer from economic calamity.
  • Four in ten families could not come up with $400 if they needed it in an emergency, according to a recent study from the Federal Reserve.
If we don’t intervene to reverse these dynamics, we’re moving toward a 'patrimonial capitalism,'" Chuck Collins writes for the Guardian, "where the heirs of today’s billionaires will dominate our politics, culture, philanthropy and economy. That’s a world none of us will want to be part of.
Billionaire Bonanza 2018: Inherited Wealth Dynasties in the 21st-Century U.S.
Our latest report analyzing the grand fortunes of the wealthiest individuals and families, comparing their wealth to the absence of wealth at and near the nation’s economic bottom.
Read Our Latest Report →

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