Notations On Our World: On the Eve of a New Week….

Our team wanted to begin by paying tribute to the ordinary faces of the Southern Orange County Community we have the privilege to call home.

In November 2016, the Scouting Units of The Boy Scouts of America, Orange County Council, came together in the communities of Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Laguna Hills and Dana Point to commit to supporting Scouting for Food .  This is as annual event in support of the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County that helps to bridge the gap of Food Security that some 300,000 residents of Orange County deal with it on a monthly basis.    The Communities raised over 4,000 lbs of Food in support of this noble cause.

Please enjoy this “Grid” in tribute to all the ordinary faces who made such a difference–it is witness to such selfless acts that continues to give us hope:

Notations From the Grid (Special Week-End Edition): On the Syria White Helmets

We are gratified to feature this we received from the Syria Campaign as the war rages on.     The words speak for themselves as we are also pleased to see that they are up for an Oscar:

Khaled Khatib is a White Helmet volunteer who worked on Netflix’s ‘White Helmet’ movie. It’s been nominated for an Oscar, results are announced on Sunday 26th. This is his story.

Dear Mike,

I was 16 when the revolution started. In the first few years of the uprising I saw a lot of foreign photojournalists and TV crews come to document what was happening in my city of Aleppo. I watched them dreaming that I could do that: tell the story of my city and my people. When I saw the work of the White Helmets, I knew that was the story of Syria I wanted to tell to tell the world.

The White Helmets have a motto taken from the Quran: “to save a life is to save all humanity”. I started to document their work as a volunteer to show the world that everyday Syrians were pulling humanity from the rubble of bombs.

When the bombs fall I follow the teams to the scene. I watch as they use diggers, cranes, the drills, their hands — anything that can help rescue those trapped. It is my job to remain calm, to capture the reactions from people recovering from the shock of seeing their homes, families, lives buried under rubble. I try to focus on capturing their stories.

The media is so important for the White Helmets and other humanitarian groups working in Syria. We want people to see and understand what is happening: who is doing the killing and who is working for peace. I do this work because I believe if the world understands the suffering of my people they will be moved to stop it; to stand with us on the side of life.

In November 2015, the director Orlando von Einsiedel and producer Joanna Natasegara contacted us about making a documentary. They had seen the rescue missions we shot and wanted to tell our story to the world. We watched their other films and understood they are people who know how to tell the stories of heroes. I hoped that we could work together to create a film that would tell the true story of the White Helmets to people around the world.

I worked with the team in Adana while they were shooting at the White Helmets training ground. I learnt a lot from the cinematographer Frank Dow about how to shoot, to edit, to tell the story. By the end my notebook was full.

Khaled At Work

It is so important that people see the film. It is important that people understand that Syria has people who want the same things they want: peace, jobs, family, and to live without the fear of bombs. This is what I hope the film does.

I plan to travel to LA next week for the Oscars where the film is nominated for an award. If we win this award, it will show people across Syria that people around the world support them. It will give courage to every volunteer who wakes up every morning to run towards bombs.

If I cannot enter the US, I will not give up: we know that we have many friends in US, that there are people that share our humanitarian values. I look forward to meeting them all one day.

When this war is over I dream of going back to study film — we Syrians have many, many more stories to tell.

In peace,


PS. If you want to send a message of support to Khaled please hit reply to this email and we will pass them all on.

PPS. Not watched the Netflix film? Click here.



Thought For the Week: On #Immigrants & their impact on America

We are seeing reports of another impending Executive Order to replace to existing order impacting many ordinary faces in lieu of the ban in effect.     Our team picked up this very interesting depiction of the impact immigrants have had on America (Tesla; Google; etc.)

It is a telling testament to the lure and power of America.

Thought For the Week: How Leaders Inspire Action

Image result for simon sinek

Ordinary Faces always look to leaders to help transform.    Our team chose this “Ted Talk” from Simon Sinek for  this mid-week edition “Thought for the Week” which we hope is of interest:

Notations From the Grid: A “Thought 4 the Week” On this Valentine’s Week 2017

It has been admittedly a challenging week as our sister site noted and as we have been working away.     In our Daily “walk-about” around the Grid, our team picked up this beautiful thought from the Author and Human Rights Activist  on Facebook that we dedicate to all the ordinary faces to underscore a simple yet critical fact:  We must never give up, never give in and always remain optimistic on this Valentine’s Day 2017:

Notations On Our World (Mid-Week Edition): On a Challenging Week…..

It has been quite a week yet again.     We have been working away on a number of key initiatives assessing the following (and as we’ve been curating our Twitter Channel) as these key developments have ensued: 

These challenges have  left us “virtually breathless”.      We chose to begin our mid-week by choosing this curated thoughts from +Jonathan Huie that our team found quite timely as we continue our mission to “work to change the conversation about our World”:

We can never obtain peace in the outer world
until we make peace with ourselves.
– Dalai Lama
Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit.
Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever,
even if your whole world seems upset.
– Saint Francis de Sales
The world has always been in an uproar, and it always will be.
Choose Peace. Choose to live with Peace.
Choose to interact peacefully with everyone –
especially those whose instinct is not to be peaceful.
– Jonathan Lockwood Huie
You may not seem able to change some outer circumstances
but you can start by changing your inner experience of life and yourself.
– Joy Page 

Notations From the Grid: On Our World

The Author and Human Rights Activist Elahe Amani featured this poster designed by Aasif Sirkhotte for a recent article she published on Human Rights which speaks for itself as the battle ensues over President Trump’s Travel Ban and the political battles looming in France and Germany:

This is as we are proud to feature the controversial 84Lumber commercial in full that was rejected by Fox as being too controversial for Super Bowl 51:


Notations On Our World: On the Aftermath of #SB51

It is a rainy yet beautiful morning here in our Headquarters in Laguna Niguel California.   It was quite a Super Bowl-including the advertising!!

The team at the Washington Post captured it and the day after in their usual comprehensive way underscoring the view of all ordinary faces.    Please enjoy as we wish all a fabulous Week:

The Daily 202
The most political Super Bowl ever
Martellus Bennett, with his daughter, answers questions after the Super Bowl in Houston last night. He said he will boycott the White House ceremony to recognize the team&#39;s championship because he objects to Donald Trump. (Chuck Burton/AP)</p>

Martellus Bennett, with his daughter, answers questions after the Super Bowl in Houston last night. He said he will boycott the White House ceremony to recognize the team’s championship because he objects to Donald Trump. (Chuck Burton/AP)

THE BIG IDEA: The permanent campaign pervades more deeply into our lives than ever before, so it should come as no surprise that we could not escape politics during last night’s Super Bowl — before, during or after the game.

Martellus Bennett of the New England Patriots told reporters following his team’s stunning win that he will not travel to the White House for the traditional celebration as long as it’s occupied by Donald Trump. The star tight end has been sharply critical of the president, including his immigration ban last week:

Meanwhile, Trump and his own fans celebrated the victory as if it was one of their own. The president reiterated to Bill O’Reilly during an interview before the game that he is good friends with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady. Brady has distanced himself to varying degrees from his friend since a “Make America Great Again” hat was spotted in his locker two years ago.

Trump watches the Super Bowl

Trump cheered on the Patriots during a watch party in Florida, but he left a little before 9 p.m., when the Atlanta Falcons were up 28-3. Before the game, POTUS had predicted a Patriots victory by eight points. It’s unclear if he caught the final half hour, but he quickly tweeted congratulations afterward:

So did diehard Patriots fan (and White House press secretary) Sean Spicer:

Tom Brady celebrates with wife Gisele Bundchen and daughter Vivian Brady after the game. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)</p>

Tom Brady celebrates with wife Gisele Bundchen and daughter Vivian Brady after the game. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

IF YOU MISSED THE GAME — Great takes on deadline from four of our sports reporters:

— In a rally for the ages, quarterback Tom Brady scored the game’s final 31 points to defeat the Atlanta Falcons, 34-28, in overtime. “The Patriots trailed 21-0 in the first half, 28-3 in the third quarter and 28-9 entering the fourth quarter,” Mask Maske files from Houston. “Yet they secured their fifth Super Bowl triumph in seven appearances in the big game with Bill Belichick as their coach and Brady as their quarterback.”

— “Brady [who is 39] played the greatest game of football the sport has seen,” Adam Kilgore writes. “Not the most perfect, nor the most artistic, nor even the most excellent. Just the greatest. He led the Patriots back from a 28-3 deficit on a stage that had never seen anything better than a 10-point comeback. He passed for 466 yards, a Super Bowl record, and completed 43 of 62 passes. He led a 91-yard drive touchdown in the final four minutes, capped with a two-point conversion.”

— “Consider it the greatest comeback and the greatest choke in 51 years of this game,” Jerry Brewer says. “Like like most games that shift dramatically, it was a combination of Patriots greatness and Falcons mistakes and perplexing decisions that contributed to the drama. In the end, though, you will most remember the Patriots’ extraordinary resolve. … You will remember the Patriots, complimented often for their brains and ingenuity and ruthlessness, showcasing another trait: guts.”

— “Deflategate ended with Super Bowl LI, and Roger Goodell heard the boos to prove it,” adds Cindy Boren. “This championship was, Kraft said, ‘unequivocally the sweetest.’ And Goodell, who has avoided going to New England for two full regular seasons now, was drowned out by boos as he spoke and handed the trophy to Kraft. After taking the Lombardi Trophy, Kraft said: ‘A lot has transpired over the last two years and I don’t think that needs any explanation.’ Goodell will get the chance to have a public moment with Brady and Belichick on Monday morning, when he presents Brady with the MVP trophy.”


At least eight of the commercials during the Super Bowl, which cost $5 million per 30 seconds to air, had a political message:

Airbnb said last weekend that it will give free housing to refugees and any others not allowed into the United States because of Trump’s travel ban. During the game, the home-sharing site showed faces of people from many different ethnic backgrounds. “We all belong,” the ad said. “The world is more beautiful the more you accept”:

We Accept | Airbnb

A family-owned company called 84 Lumber produced a commercial that showed a Mexican mother and daughter trying to immigrate into the United States. Their original version showed the pair arriving at an imposing border wall. But Fox rejected that as too controversial, the company said, so the ad was re-cut to show a less imposing barbed-wire fence. It ends with the mother and daughter holding hands, with a link to the company’s website.

“Ignoring the border wall and the conversation around immigration that’s taking place in the media and at every kitchen table in America just didn’t seem right,” Rob Shapiro, who works at the ad agency that helped 84 Lumber come up with the ad, told Marissa Payne. “If everyone else is trying to avoid controversy, isn’t that the time when brands should take a stand for what they believe in?”

See the original, rejected ad here:

Watch the full ad Fox deemed too controversial to air during the Super Bowl

Audi highlighted the lack of equal pay for women in a spot with the tagline, “Progress is for everyone.” A male narrator poses the question: “What do I tell my daughter? Do I tell her that her grandpa is worth more than her grandma? That her dad is worth more than her mom?” As his daughter wins a road race, he wonders how he can stop her from “being valued less than every man she ever meets.” Cindy Boren observes, “It’s a smart ad, given that women wield incredible influence in household purchases, and it was directed by a woman.” Watch:

Audi #DriveProgress Big Game Commercial – “Daughter”

Coca-Cola re-aired an ad just before kickoff with people singing “America the Beautiful” in different languages:

Coca-Cola | It’s Beautiful

An ad from the hair care brand “It’s a 10” advertised men’s products by alluding to Trump: “America, we’re in for four years of awful hair,” the narrator said. “So it’s up to you to do your part by making up for it with great hair. … Do your part. … Let’s make sure these next four years are ‘It’s a 10.’”

It’s A 10 Hair Care Super Bowl Commercial

Cyprus Air used a bad Donald Trump impersonator to sell gas fireplaces in a spot that ran in the D.C. media market. “Washington is so cold. I thought Russia was cold,” the fake Trump says. He says Cyprus has a yuuuge sale:

Funniest Local Commercial From The BIG GAME?

Some ads were not intended to be political, but people couldn’t help see them that way in the context of the Trump presidency. An ad promoting “avocados from Mexico” invariably prompted commentary about Trump’s proposed tariff to get our southern neighbor to pay for the wall:

#AvoSecrets | Avocados From Mexico | Big Game 2017 Commercial | Secret Society

An ad provided by the NFL portrayed football as something that unifies all Americans. “We may have our differences, but recognize there’s more that unites us,” Forest Whitaker narrated:

Inside These Lines

But the social media conversation surrounding many of the commercials underscored just how divided we have become as a nation in 2017. A Budweiser spot about the immigration story of its German founder, Adolphus Busch, opened with Busch being told, “You don’t look like you’re from around here”:

Budweiser 2017 Super Bowl Commercial | “Born The Hard Way”

The company claims the ad was in the works for nearly a year, long before the election, but it was unavoidably seen by both supporters and detractors as a critique of Trump’s nativism. A “Boycott Budweiser” movement trended online throughout the game:

Lady Gaga performs during the halftime show. (Matt Slocum/AP)</p>

Lady Gaga performs during the halftime show. (Matt Slocum/AP)


Lady Gaga was not as politically explicit as many expected, but progressives heard the political overtones in her message. When she sang “This land is made for you and me,” for example, Hillary Clinton tweeted:

WaPo pop music critic Chris Richards points out that Gaga’s performance was not as political as last year, when Beyoncé’ came onto the field surrounded by a squadron of dancers dressed in Black Panther garb. But she still went farther out on a limb than many artists have in past years: “She marched into ‘Born This Way,’ a melodic celebration of ‘gay, straight, or bi, lesbian, transgender life.’ … Instead of speaking out, Gaga asked a mild question, “How are you doing tonight, Texas? America? World?” She already knew the answer — not great. So she asked another one: ‘You wanna feel good with us?’ For a moment, it felt like she was finally inviting us to her kind of party — one where the doors are open to weirdos, outcasts, freaks and geeks. But as energetic as she appeared up there, it still felt restrained.”

George H.W. Bush flips the coin, with wife Barbara. (Al Bello/Getty Images)&nbsp;</p>

George H.W. Bush flips the coin, with wife Barbara. (Al Bello/Getty Images)


Three members from the original cast of “Hamilton,” the women who played the Schuyler sisters, put their own spin on the first verse of “America the Beautiful.” They tweaked the penultimate line of the first verse by singing, “And crown thy good with brotherhood … and sisterhood” before finishing, “from sea to shining sea!”

The creator of “Hamilton” loved it:

A huge smile broke out on Falcons Coach Dan Quinn’s face when he heard the “sisterhood” line:

But Patriots coach Belichick didn’t appear to be as moved by the performance (though, to be fair, he never really smiles at anything):

Bush 41 received a standing ovation from the crowd as he was rolled in for the coin toss at the start of the game.

Meanwhile, this plane circled the stadium as fans went inside:

In an interview that aired ahead of the game on Fox, Trump announced that Mike Pence will be the point man on looking into his unsubstantiated claims that millions of people voted illegally in the presidential election. “I’m going to set up a commission … headed by … Pence, and we’re going to look at it very, very carefully,” the president told Bill O’Reilly.

The V.P. enjoyed the game from a skybox with former Secretary of State James Baker and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott:


The statistical odds of a Patriots comeback were less than 1 percent for a chunk of the game. Afterward, it seemed like everyone on Twitter – from Bill Maher to Donald Trump Jr. – compared the result to Election Night. Scott Allen rounds up some fun examples:

— Trump supporters celebrated the victory as a sign that the new president is making America great again:

— Boston is one of the country’s most liberal metropolitan areas, so Trump’s outspoken support for the team made some fans uneasy. A campaign caught on in the Bay State in which people pledged to give a certain amount of money to charities and groups that oppose Trump for every touchdown the Patriots scored. The idea was dreamed up by “Last Week Tonight” writer Josh Gondelman. (Marissa Payne looks at how the cause went viral.)

Three people who participated:

— Regardless of how they feel about Trump, though, everyone in New England is cheering this morning:

— Do you believe in miracles? A survey conducted on the eve of the game found that one quarter of Americans believe God plays a role in deciding the winner of the game. Meanwhile, nearly 50 percent of Americans said they think God rewards athletes who are more devout on game day.

Welcome to the Daily 202, PowerPost’s morning newsletter.
With contributions from Elise Viebeck (@eliseviebeck).

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What you need to know about the ruling temporarily blocking Trump’s travel ban


— A federal appeals court on Sunday declined to reinstate Trump’s travel ban, allowing those previously banned from coming to the United States at least another day to get here. Matt Zapotosky and Robert Barnes report: “The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit preserves a lower judge’s order to temporarily halt the ban — and based on a schedule the court outlined, the stop will remain in place at least until sometime on Monday. The Justice Department said it would not elevate the dispute to the Supreme Court before that. What ultimately lies ahead likely is a weeks-long battle that will be waged in various courtrooms across the country.”

— A group of Silicon Valley tech giants – including Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Uber and 93 more firms – will file a legal brief today opposing Trump’s travel ban. Elizabeth Dwoskin reports: “The move represents a rare coordinated action across a broad swath of the industry and demonstrates the depth of animosity toward the Trump ban. The filing describes Trump’s ban as a “seismic shift” toward discrimination that departs dramatically from principles that have governed U.S. immigration law for decades: “Long-term, this instability [caused by the executive order] will make it far more difficult and expensive for U.S. companies to hire the world’s best talent—and impede them from competing in the global marketplace.”

— Former Secretaries of State John Kerry and Madeleine Albright, along with a host of other former top national security officials, including former Secretary of Defense/CIA director Leon Panetta, published a six-page declaration this morning that the White House order “undermines” our national security and will “endanger U.S. troops in the field.”

“We all agree that the United States faces real threats from terrorist networks and that vetting is necessary,” the distinguished elder statesmen say. “We all are nevertheless unaware of any specific threat that would justify the travel ban’ established by the executive order. Rather, they said they viewed it as one that ‘ultimately undermines the national security of the United States rather than making us safer.” It will “disrupt key counterterrorism, foreign policy and national security partnerships,” they declare, and “endanger intelligence sources in the field” by “breaching faith” with them. (Read Fred Barbash’s story. Read the full declaration here.)

Former CIA director Michael V. Hayden explains why Trump’s ban hurts American spies in countries affected by the order – damaging critical relationships between case officers and human sources that help keep America safe. “Some will quibble … that this is a temporary ban (maybe) and exceptions can be made (possibly),” he writes in today’s Post. “But … it doesn’t take paranoia to connect the action of the executive order with the hateful, anti-Islamic language of the campaign. In the Middle East, with its honor-based cultures, it’s easier to recruit someone we have been shooting at than it is to recruit someone whose society has been insulted.” The simple idea of America didn’t hurt either: “[One] station chief said that one of the fundamentals of his business was selling the dream. The Soviets ‘had a hard time with that. We had it easy. They didn’t necessarily want to go there, but it was a place they kept in their minds where they would be welcome.’”

— A crush of people stranded in legal limbo are rushing to fly back into the United States while the temporary stay remains in effect, and vulnerable refugee families who had been scheduled to travel to America are living in fear and limbo. Louisa Loveluck and Zakaria Zakaria report: “Last month, the Tawouz family were told a new life in the U.S. was just days away. Last week, they learned they were no longer welcome. And by Saturday, they had no idea what to believe. ‘We’ve been hopeful, we’ve been devastated. Now we just don’t know,’ said Majid Tawouz, a father of five …Their bags had been packed and were nearly bursting on the morning in late January when they learned they would not need them.” Now, an aid official says the U.N. will likely be expected to sort through already-vetted case files to identify the most vulnerable families for referral to another nation’s resettlement program. “For Wajeeha, 11, the suspension meant an indefinite wait for hormone treatment that the family cannot afford in Turkey … For her younger brother, it meant longer until a doctor can explain why his bones have grown curved. Moments later, Wajeeha’s small voice echoed down the phone line. ‘I was so excited, but now I just feel sad,’ she said. ‘Baba told me there aren’t planes for people like us anymore. Why don’t they want us?’”

The Syrian refugee Anas Modamani arrives for court today in his lawsuit against Facebook in Wurzburg, Germany. (Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)</p>

The Syrian refugee Anas Modamani arrives for court today in his lawsuit against Facebook in Wurzburg, Germany. (Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)


View of the Week (W-End Edition): Looking Back at the Last Year of @POTUS44

As The third week of the Trump Administration is at hand,  our team thought this was quite interesting  to feature especially as @ordinaryfaces were featured prominently in this final retrospective issued by the Obama White House.    Please enjoy this on this Super Bowl 2017 Week-End:

This was the year in photos:For the eighth and final time, go behind the lens with White House photographers.

2016 Photos of the Year

In Review: The Obama Presidency

As the year comes to a close, White House staff looked back at a few of our favorite moments from the past eight years.

Read on Medium: President Obama's top speeches, as chosen by his speechwriters

President Obama’s top speeches, as chosen by his speechwriters

Read on Medium: President Obama's top moments in the digital era

President Obama’s top moments in the digital era

Read on Medium: he President's filmmakers pick their favorite White House videos

The President’s filmmakers pick their favorite White House videos

Read on Medium: First Lady Michelle Obama's Top 10 Let's Move Moments

First Lady Michelle Obama’s Top 10 Let’s Move! Moments

Read on Medium: Looking back on eight years of letters to the President

Looking back on eight years of letters to the President

Read on Medium: The most memorable We the People petitions

The most memorable We the People petitions

Helping To Transform The Conversation About Our World