Friday, October 30, 2009

On Peaceful and Productive Baha'is: Rapturous, too?

Some folks put the Baha'i Faith in a category of "Modern Cults & Religions ... that deny the biblical Jesus alone is the complete atonement and only Savior for mankind, add works to grace, and extra-Biblical rituals to worship, thus negating true salvation." Participants on a forum devoted to the subject noted Rainn Wilson's appearance on Nightline in which he discussed the Faith had these comments. -gw
Originally Posted by novembergirl View Post
Has anyone ever heard of this religion? I saw it on Nightline. Rayne Wilson of "The Office" is really into it. Their saying all religions are under one God. They don't show a picture of the founder because he is too sacred to look at and their goal is world peace. They say the founder is the same as Jesus, Moses, Abraham, etc.

One of my many college roomates was from Rwanda Africa by way of Paris, France, and Iran. She practiced this faith and was a lovely person. I wasn't too concerned about my Christian walk back then and didn't pay much attention to her business but she was very peaceful and productive.

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On Practice Teaching: Baha'is learn to teach the Faith through practice

The process of learning is well thought out for Baha'is today. Baha'is collectively constitute a concious learning community. The growth of the commmunity is an inevitably outcome of this process. The Baha'i approach boils down to we learn by doing. The goal of each of the books in the Ruhi sequence is an aspect of service. To be a Baha'i is to offer one's life in service to others. The following is an excerpt from one of the workbooks that structures a study circle, a core activity of Baha'i community life. Baha'is learn to teach the Faith through actual practice. -gw

Section 4

Having recognized Bahá’u’lláh’s greatness and being conscious of our nearness to the ocean of His Revelation in the depths of which lie invaluable pearls, we fill our souls with the spirit of faith and share these pearls of divine guidance with others, pearls that we continually discover in our own study, prayer and meditation. In doing so, we use the power of His own Word. It is important, then, that we meditate deeply on the power of the Word of God and its effect on the human heart. The following quotation of Bahá’u’lláh will help us to appreciate this great power:

“The Word of God may be likened unto a sapling, whose roots have been implanted in the hearts of men. It is incumbent upon you to foster its growth through the living waters of wisdom, of sanctified and holy words, so that its root may become firmly fixed and its branches may spread out as hight as the heavens and beyond.”
– Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh (Wilmette: Baha’i Publishing Trust, 1983), XLIII, p. 97

1. To what may the Word of God be compared?
2. Where have the roots of the tree of the Word of God been planted?
3. How should we foster the growth of this tree?
4. Mention some of the qualities we will show forth when the Word of God is firmly established in our hearts.
5. What does the phrase “its branched may spread out as high as the heavens and beyond” mean?
6. Explain in a few sentences why sharing the Word of God is of the most importance.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

On the Passing of a Former Parliamentarian Who Became a Baha'i: I learned that the party political system will not solve the problems of humanity

Leaders of Israel's Baha'i community will next week commemorate the recent passing of Murray Smith, former Deputy Secretary General of the Baha'i International Community.

Smith, a New Zealander who served in Israel from 1994 to 2007, died last month of cancer at the age of 67 in New Zealand. A former Labor member of parliament in his native land, Smith was a well-known and well-liked figure at diplomatic receptions and events in Israel. ...

Smith served as an MP for three years until 1975. In 1989 he converted to the Baha'i faith, moving to Israel in 1994 with his wife, Miette Smith, who took up the Baha'i faith some years before he did and volunteered at the Baha'i center in Haifa as a librarian.

Believers of the Baha'i Faith refrain from alcoholic drinks, drugs, gambling, theft, violence, adultery and defamation. The Baha'i, for whom Haifa is a major holy site, are forbidden to participate in partisan activities and consider themselves to be apolitical. "From my experience I have learned that the party political system will not solve the problems of humanity", Smith said in an interview in 2007.

During the Second Lebanon War, Murray announced the Baha'i Garden will remain lit at night beyond the normal hours, as a way of "lifting the morale of the people of Haifa."  covered the passing of Baha'i Murray Smith in its online article above. Below is Murray's own overview of his career.
National Secretary and CEO, National Spiritual

Assembly of Baha’i of New Zealand

Earlier this year, I came home to New Zealand after almost

13 years in Haifa, Israel, at the Baha’i World Centre. I

was Deputy Secretary General of the Baha’i international

community, responsible for managing relationships with

the host country and with the diplomatic community.

Haifa has been a highlight in a varied career that included

time in the public sector, three years in Parliament,

shepherding two government-owned entities through

privatisation and consulting for Roger Douglas Associates.

My wife and I returned to New Zealand to retire, but I was

asked to take up my former job as Secretary of the New

Zealand Assembly, and here I am – back full on. It is a

challenging job, but a very interesting one. The basic goal

of the Baha’i faith is world peace. This makes the work very

meaningful which helps a lot to cope with the pressure.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

On Borrowing Music: And getting Mom & Dad to take you off the Baha'i children list

Erik Satie
My assignment to myself after reading Darrell's article on the Bosch Music Industry Weekend and the run-down of attendees there was to try to familiarize myself with those on his list I hadn't already heard of. Like Tyler Thompson. So I Googled the name and came up with an abtruse but interesting musical reference to Tyler. -gw
Assignment #53
Give advice to yourself in the past.
Age 6
0. As soon as you can read this: ask Dad to buy Satie and the soundtrack to 'On Her Majesties Secret Service'.� Listen to the song titled 'Try'.
Age 8
1. 3rd Grade:� In Mrs. Bowers class, exempt yourself from both the language arts and the geography assignment or you will miss recess again.
2. If you get an SNES use IGN and Elliott Hofe as references to find good games.
Age 10
3. 5th Grade:� You are playing the wrong instrument.� Play bass.� When you can afford one get a four stringed bass guitar.� After highschool, when you can afford one, get a six stringed bass guitar (your hands will be big enough by then).� Don't make fun of Scott Conolly.
Age 14
4. Get Mom & Dad to take you off the Baha'i children list.
5. Freshman Year:� When Sims lets everyone do what they want, paint comedy pictures from photographs using good paint (not what the school has) or practice using pen and ink (archival ink).� Borrow music from Tyler Thompson.

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On Precious Gems: A tribute to the lives of Baha'is

Lovers of Baha'i links will find Vahid and Jeannette's site full of precious gems.-gw
Dear Friends:
A tribute to the lives of Bahiyyih Khanum The Greatest Holy Leaf the blessed daughter of Bahá’u’lláh, and for the photos of Amatu’l-Baha Ruhiyyih Khanum the wife of Shoghi Effendi, and a biography of Dr. David Ruhe a former member of The Universal House of Justice, click and scroll down to them.
TaliaSafa ~ Bahá’í Music for Souls & Hearts, click and scroll down to it.
Introduction to Baha'i Books Baha’i Stories Blog Reflecting on Baha'i Writings
For your Persian friends we have Abdu'l-Baha traveling to America video of happenings, please click here and scroll down to it.
Best regards,
Vahid and Jeanette

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On Go Ahead: AskBahai

Sometimes you just want to get the the heart of the matter. In which case, just...

AskBahai Search Engine

The Majnun search engine is now AskBahai. -gw

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On Bosch's Music Industry Weekend:

Baha'is to know and in the know, musically speaking, attendees at Bosch this last weekend. Read Darrell's moment by moment account. I hope there is video of all this somewhere. His accounting makes it all sound so thrilling. -gw
Darrell Rodgers – Coordinator, Guitar, vocals
Deb Rodgers – Photographer (and audience advocate)
Jordan Rager – Bosch Deputy Administrator, guitar, drums, piano, vocals
Tyler Thompson – Piano, vocals, guitar
Robert Gillies – Piano, vocals, guitar & bass!
Alan James – Guitars, vocals
Russ Salton – Guitar, vocals
Chuck Thrapp -  Guitar, vocals
Jon Rezin – Bass, Percussion, expertise
Auntieclaire Rezin – Vocals & motherhood
Jerome Matthew – Percussion and wisdom
Borna Khavari – Percussion and youth
Nima Jalali – Guitar, vocals
Faraz Ghoddosi – Sax, Piano, Guitar, Vocals
Sena Ghoddossi – Drums & percussion
Ian McAleece – Guitar, Drums, vocals, percussion
Karen McAleece -  Guitar, vocals
John Armour – Native Flutes
Walter Heath -  Guitar, vocals
Angela Owens – Piano, vocals
Kyra Platte – Vocals
Jon Butah – Piano

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On a Two Baha'i Fireside Uber Super Fun EXTRAVAGANZA Weekend: It's like ... two mints in one

This is, like ... Doublemint gum. -gw
With the discovery of DNA it was the double helix, then, with changing corriculums it was the double cogort, now, it's the uber-super-fun-japanese-canadian-not really japanese at all-double-fireside-weekend-EXTRAVAGANZA! Two firesides, Saturday at 7 we have Martin Braithwaite (He's baaaack...) talking on virtues and how to get good and why being good ain't so bad and the like, and Sunday at 7 we have a Professor of Native Studies from Alberta to talk about Native Spirituality Meets Baha'i Faith. Very cool.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

On Baha'is and Computer Technology: A few names of Baha'is at the forefront of the computer revolution

Thanks to Robert of the Northwest Baha'i Library for this intriguing short list of Baha'is at the forefront of their profession. -gw
Bill Fernandez
Mention of the Baha'i Faith by co-founder Steve Wozniak co-Founder of Apple
E-mail to Wozniak:
I am a devoted mac user and as long as Apple makes it, I will loyaly use it. I love the fact that a man of your stature in the computer world makes himself so available to general public. I am delighted to find out that you are such a down to earth person. Having read your responses to most letter, I must say that your beliefs closely mirror mine. I am a Bahai, that is my religion. Have you ever heard of the Bahai Faith or have any familiarity with it?
Yes. Our third Apple employee (badge number 4, but he was hired before number 3), Bill Fernandez, has been a Bahai since high school. Bill was my technician at Hewlett Packard (I'd helped get him in there) before we started Apple. Bill lived a few houses down from me on the same street, and is the one that built the "Cream Soda" computer with me, not Steve Jobs as portrayed in "Pirates of Silicon Valley." Bill is also the person that introduced Steve and myself. Bill has also helped in my current computer class, teaching 3D drawing. So I know something of the Baha'i Faith and I appreciate it but I won't get into that."
Bruce Rothaar
Bruce and two other engineers, Robert B. Ingebretsen and Prof. Thomas Stockham of the University of Utah invented technology that translated analog sound into a digital format -- a discovery that eventually led to the development of compact discs.
Laurence G. Lundblade
Pioneered PINE  a widely used email program with Mike Seibel at the University of Washington.

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On Check Out the New Baha'i iPhone (and Web and Windows) Software: Thanks, Ian!

Check out the new Baha'i iPhone (and web and Windows) software at
I downloaded the Interfaith Explorer for PC tonight. Boy, am I glad I (finally) did. -gw
Interfaith Explorer for Windows PCs [FREE download]
This free software has over 5000 books in 20 languages including all the newest letters from the House and ITC updated automatically. Add your own content too!
Cool feature! Create a USB stick version. It'll copy your current setup to a USB stick which can then run on any PC simply by plugging it in. Leaves no trace on the PC!
Interfaith Explorer for iPhones and iPods [FREE download]
A free app! Just got published by Apple. Finally a good reason to buy an iPhone or iPod touch! Search and read 5000 books in 20 languages including all the newest letters from the House and ITC as they are published. New books and documents added automatically.
You must have the newest OS, 3.1 or higher.Join our Facebook group to get new feature updates:
View Video: How to use this web site, do simple searches and navigate the library at

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Monday, October 26, 2009

On a New Introductory Brochure on the Baha'i Faith: Complete with registration card

Here are pics of an introductory brochure on the Baha'i Faith that uses language and concepts used today to teach the Baha'i Faith effectively, dovetailing neatly with what is lovingly referred to by Baha'is as Anna's conversation. -gw

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On Photo Not to Be Forgotten: Expressions in the moment

Somehow this photo didn't make it in the previous post, but it is definately a photo not to be forgotten. -gw
A day after the official end to our Intensive phase, Deb and I were in another home in the neighborhood this evening, beginning consolidation. We visited Charles, former Baptist, former Muslim, lover of unity and the oneness of mankind, to continue a conversation that began with just a brief exchange Deb and Kale had at his doorstep the afternoon before, during the same time the children's class was occuring with Haji Hossain and children, where the above photo was taken. In Charles' home, too, are lovely children and grandchildren, and we learned he works with youth, coaching football. He said he had assisted last year in engaging about 30 gang members, getting them off the streets and into sports. We engaged him in Anna's conversation, giving him a complete overview of the Baha'i Faith. He said that this was the first religion he had heard of that taught what he had always believed, that religions should be one. He committed to come to a devotional meeting.-gw

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On the Qu'ran - Baha'i Children's Class With Hajji Hossain: Baha'i friends in Tacoma join with their neighbors for the spiritual education of their children

The light was low at the combined Qu'ran-Baha'i children's class with Hajji Hossain and his children, nephews and nieces. I have never figured out how to use a flash on the camera my son passed down to me. The low-light conditions meant I had a lot of photos that I euphemistically call "artful," images that were discernable but distorted, images convenying an experience that was too memorable not to keep.

Our visit to the home where we had the class was our third. I encountered this extended Muslim family from Kenya, along with my teammate Michael from the visiting Black Men's Gathering, on the first day of our cluster's 17th Baha'i Intensive Program of Growth, our fourth focused on Tacoma's Hilltop neighborhood. The approach we were taking in the campaign this time was to focus on inviting residents to partake of the Baha'i core activities as a way of building a spiritual community of people of all backgrounds on the Hilltop.

Hajji Hossain taught how to do the Muslim obligatory prayer, complete with prostrations and ablutions, and the Baha'i teachers, Tahirih and Helen, shared Baha'i songs about unity and engaged the children in coloring activities. There were eight children in the home, which were joined by four Baha'i children, Tahirih and Helen's combined brood, and five Baha'i adults. One of the friends, Shadi, spoke Arabic, much to Hajji Hossain's comfort, having learned it going to Arab school in Haifa, Israel.

Hossain kindly offered us hot sweet tea with milk, served from two thermos. He shared about his life and recent difficulties. He expressed great interest in children's classes in our cluster. We look forward to returning to the home. Hossain's 14 year-old son may be interested in participating in junior youth activities as well. -gw

Hajji Hossain and the children

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Saturday, October 24, 2009

On If I Were to Update My Blogroll: New adds

I do have a blogroll. (It's on Baha'i Views on Wordpress.) It's out-of-date. I may get around to updating it. But here are some blogs that could be added. And tthis is just for starters. -gw
Photo: "B is for Blogroll..." Uploaded on July 24, 2006 by MyEyeSees, licensed under Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 Generic

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On A Woman Searching for a Nice Man - 34 (Kirkland): He should be confident, happy, not addicted to TV

Found this on seattle craigslist > eastside > personals > women seeking men. Hope the lister finds her man. -gw

Dark hair/eyes

Persian/ Baha'i



very social and fun to be around

Love cooking and entertaining others

Enjoy home decorations and doing little projects around the house.

I am very goal oriented and always want to achieve high goals in my life.

I got my Business degree from UWB.

Very spiritual and enjoy intellectual conversations.

Very expressive

Love travelling and doing spontaneous things.

My best feature is my good heart.


Have no kids.


Educated and well established in life.

Plz be 29 to 39 year old

Plz have no children



not addicted to TV.

No drugs, plz

Please live on the eastside
Please send your profile along with a photo

  • Location: Kirkland

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On Self-love: I just subscribed to my own blog

I just subscribed to my own blog and got this email. -gw
Hi George Wesley
George Wesley Dannells just added your site to their reading list.
You can see George Wesley Dannells's profile page here:
To add George Wesley Dannells's site to your reading list, click here:
Subscribe to bahaimusic's posterous
If you don't know George Wesley Dannells, George Wesley Dannells probably likes your blog and wants to bookmark your site. Don't worry about reciprocating unless you like their site

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On We All Want to Be Beautiful: Open the eye of thine inward being

O My Brother! Until thou enter the Egypt of love, thou shalt never come to the Joseph of the Beauty of the Friend; and until, like Jacob, thou forsake thine outward eyes, thou shalt never open the eye of thine inward being; and until thou burn with the fire of love, thou shalt never commune with the Lover of Longing.
Ezra on Rants, Raves, and Rhetoric v4 calls the attention of his readers to this 2007 music video by Baha'i Devon Gundry,"We All Want to Be Beautiful." -gw

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On Heartfelt: Thank You God for curing me of my ridiculous obsession with [romantic] love

Heartfelt. -gw
I am done. I will only accept what God gives me now. I am so blessed. The only men around me now in my life are men that love me and that will be good friends to me. Thank You for "curing me of my ridiculous obsession with [romantic] love."

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Friday, October 23, 2009

On Where the Baha'i Practitioners Gather For Prayer in Antarctica: The guts and butts class used to be here

Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised that Baha'i prayers are being said in Anarctica, too. -gw

This is the Chapel of the Snows. It is where I do yoga 1-2 nights/week. There is a Catholic priest and a military chaplain, bible studies and even Baha'i practitioners gather here for prayer. The guts and butts class used to be here. Now they have that in the laundry room. Talk about crazy. All these people crammed into, that's right, a laundry room (think industrial size) doing an abdominal workout to Eminem between machines, boxes and piles of pillows. If I wasn't crying from the pain I'd be laughing at the oddity of it all.
Photo: Uploaded on June 4, 2004 by Guildo The Enforcer on flickr

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On an African Birth of the Bab Celebration: The junior youth got up and started singing

Galen's blog entry on Uniting for Change is so incredibly rich in its descriptions of Baha'i activities in Ethiopia. I suspect the singing at the Birth of the Bab celebration mentioned below paralleled the exuberant singing of the video above. -gw
The Birth of the Bab celebration last night at the Amares was incredible. It was the most colourful and lively Baha’i celebration that I have been to. We got there and there was a beautiful huge carpet laid out inside the compound. There was a golden fabric hanging in a very African style pavilion covering the carpet. Around the edge of the carpet were several sofas and chairs. In the middle were two incredibly lush bouquets of roses. Around the edges was scattered long green grass sprinkled with rose petals. There was a small candle labara in the middle next to the roses. It was so beautiful; the setting was perfect and incredible. The sun was shining on the golden fabric leaving the area beneath in the cool shade. It was an amazing experience. There were some devotions, we all rose and faced Akka while some readings were read in Amharic, then there were some prayers in English and Amharic and some more readings. After that the junior youth got up and started singing with their beautiful and lively songs.

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On Taxing the Rich: The group say the financial crisis is leading to an increase in unemployment, poverty & social inequality

Contrast this news article below with the excerpt from the Universal House of Justice's Promise of World Peace (published 1985) that follows it. Thanks, Canadian friend, for this.) -gw
A group of rich Germans has launched a petition calling for the government to make wealthy people pay higher taxes.

The group say they have more money than they need, and the extra revenue could fund economic and social programmes to aid Germany's economic recovery.

Germany could raise 100bn euros (£91bn) if the richest people paid a 5% wealth tax for two years, they say.

The petition has 44 signatories so far, and will be presented to newly re-elected Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The group say the financial crisis is leading to an increase in unemployment, poverty and social inequality.

Simply donating money to deal with the problems is not enough, they want a change in the whole approach.

"The path out of the crisis must be paved with massive investment in ecology, education and social justice," they say in the petition.

Those who had "made a fortune through inheritance, hard work, hard-working, successful entrepreneurship, or investment" should contribute by paying more to alleviate the crisis.

The inordinate disparity between rich and poor, a source of acute suffering, keeps the world in a state of instability, virtually on the brink of war. Few societies have dealt effectively with this situation. The solution calls for the combined application of spiritual, moral and practical approaches. A fresh look at the problem is required, entailing consultation with experts from a wide spectrum of disciplines, devoid of economic and ideological polemics, and involving the people directly affected in the decisions that must urgently be made. It is an issue that is bound up not only with the necessity for eliminating extremes of wealth and poverty but also with those spiritual verities the understanding of which can produce a new universal attitude. Fostering such an attitude is itself a major part of the solution.

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On the Two Who Voted No to H. RES. 175 Condemning the Persecution of Baha'is in Iran: Everyone has a right to their opinion

I noted that the U.S. House passed this yesterday.



Condemning the Government of Iran for its state-sponsored persecution of

its Baha’i minority and its continued violation of the International Covenants

on Human Rights.

I noted the votes were 407 yeas and 2 nays. Two is not a big number compared to 407, but I wondered, who were the two Congressman who went on record as being against the resolution? So I went to this page which gave me the breakdown. I noted that there were 23 Congressmen who were listed as "not voting." The two who voted against were Dennis Kucinich of Ohio and Ron Paul of Texas. Although I am curious as to what the reasoning of the two was, I am deeply grateful that the other 407 who saw fit to vote for this resolution. That human rights are God-given rights is my belief. We all have a right to our opinion. -gw

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On the Green Acres Lady: A Baha'i berry farmer

I gotta try these kiwi berries grown by a Baha'i. -gw
Born in Iran, Farah moved with her family to the United States when she was a teenager because her father, who was Baha'i, believed it was his moral duty to educate his daughter as much as his son.
"He just felt he needed to do that, so he brought us here," she said.
Ramchandani eventually graduated from UCLA’s School of Public Health and, after a career spent as a health educator, she and her husband bought the Nine Star Ranch in Wilsonville in 2005. It was already planted with the kiwi berries that the previous owner had sold to markets in Japan. Though she knew nothing about farming and was soon dubbed "the Green Acres lady" by some of her neighbors, she dedicated herself to learning about the unusual fruit.
Photo: Uploaded on October 8, 2009 by Carly & Art on flickr, licensed uner Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

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On the Web Is My Favorite Website: My take

Facebook Page
Other blog
The web is my favorite website. I am very loyal to it. I keep going back to it day after after day.
I am not especially loyal to specific pages on the web, but I am forever looking for Baha'i content that is up-to-the minute and relevant, wherever it is to be found. And there are so many devices to search the Internet, and more and better each day.
I do my own filtering. I know what to click on and what to skip over.
I am my own aggregator, and will use my own sites to point to what I like. But I realize in this day that it is in the creation of new content that Baha'is on the Internet can be of the most service.
Put your content up, any way you like. Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, MySpace, YouTube, Vimeo, FriendFeed, your own domain name site, or use any of a variety of at-the-ready popular blogging platforms.
I like posterous. No muss, no fuss. Get your content up there. Others will find it.
Tell your story. Offer your opinion. Write your post. Make your comments. Shoot your shots. Record your video. Upload away.
We are connected. -gw

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