Notations From The Grid: On #SOTU, #Clinton, #Istanbul & Other Thoughts

It is State of the Union Day in Washington as the President is gearing up to speak later on tonight.  As a build up to this, the Guardian of London compiled an analysis of the key promises of President Obama and the record.  

Some of the guests include as noted by the Heritage Foundation's Daily Signal:

Meet 18 VIPs in the Audience for the State of the Union

Guests include a 4-year-old, the mom of a Navy SEAL killed during the Benghazi attacks, the co-founder of Black Lives Matter, a college president who criticized students during the protests in the fall, and family members of veterans.
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 This is as another interesting development occured: Fox Business Network dropped Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul from what we here @ #Outsiders like to call the "A-Listers". Reports we reviewed this morning note that Senator Paul plans not to participate.

As we went to press, this was published by the Washington Examiner on the on-going investigations related to Bill and Hillary Clinton:

'150 agents' said to be working Clinton Foundation probe

A former U.S. attorney said the FBI's reported investigation of "public corruption" at the Clinton Foundation has actually been going on for months, although it made headlines for the first time Monday. "There are now, I am told, 150 agents working on this case," Joseph DiGenova told the Washington Examiner, noting that was "a very unusually high number" of investigators to be working on one case.

Beyond the Politics of the United States, though, the World has been witness to another horrific day as a tourism center in Istanbul was bombed and scenes of utter chaos were the order of the day

Ten persons have lost their lives.     In discussions we had with our founder, he  recalled the fond memories he had as he walked that beautiful and historic district.

We will be sharing observations on the State of the Union soon.    However, we wanted to end this by featuring this very interesting compilation by the team at +Muftah that has gone beyond the now in sharing the stories of the forgotten which we are pleased to feature here: 

Special Creative Writing Collection:
Invisible Communities

In an increasingly interconnected world, with technology and media making knowledge of other peoples and places accessible at the click of a button, it sometimes feels like we know all there is to know about the world around us. But what about those communities that cannot share their stories via the Internet, that do not have the technology or the connections, to make themselves visible to the rest of us?
The purpose of this collection of creative writing is to unearth the stories of these “invisible communities,” that have been marginalized, overlooked, or forgotten, and whose narratives rarely, if ever, have made it into the mainstream. These communities include religious and ethnic minorities, the socio-economically disenfranchised, and those who have otherwise been sidelined to the edges of society. They are the slum-dwellers and the refugees, the bedouins and the sex workers, the political prisoners and the immigrants. They are the ones who stand before us, but who we rarely see.
The pieces featured in this collection give us a glimpse into the lives of some of these forgotten communities. They include a personal essay on the experience of fleeing persecution in Afghanistan as a member of a minority community; a reflection on working with battered and abused women in Saudi Arabia; a poem about the immigrant experience in the UK; a look at the Palestinian-Israeli conflict through the eyes of a little girl; and the poetic ruminations of a political prisoner watching the sun through his cell.
We encourage you to share your thoughts and reactions to these pieces on the site, as well as on Twitter and Facebook. Engage with the authors, ask questions, and share your own perspectives. Please also take a moment to visit our Creative Writing section, where this collection is housed.
We look forward to continuing the conversation and providing a platform for powerful, creative voices that refuse to be marginalized.
by Tasnim Qutait
by Fatima Albanawi
by Maryam Laly
by Zena Agha
by Hadeel Salameh
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