Friday, November 20, 2020

While On a Brief Prowl w/a Single #RandomThought: (Requiem for flight 752)-Loris tjeknavorian

While out & about, I wanted to pay homage to the fallen angels of Flight 752.  As of today, none of the culprits have been brought to justice. 

Please #StaySafe & #WearAMask as I close things out with this courtesy the team at the Daily Stoic:

This has probably not been the year you expected. Few of us went into 2020 expecting an impeachment, a pandemic, riots, murder hornets, earthquakes, fires, record-setting unemployment, a contested election, whales swallowing kayakers and god knows what else has hit you individually. Blew out your knee? Lost a big client? A falling out?

It’s easy to sit here and say this has been a bad year. But is it really so bad? Is it 1865 badWinter of 1777 bad? Was it as bad as many of the years in Marcus Aurelius’s reign? The years at the end of Nero’s? How about 1919—when the world was mopping up after the Great War just as a pandemic was making landfall? Or '68, which had civil unrest, terrorist bombings and a major influenza outbreak on top?

Of course, this is not to dismiss or make light of any of your troubles. Things have gotten real. No one would deny that. The Stoics would simply have pointed out those other examples to help you see that you still have options left. There is still room to maneuver. All is not lost.

They’d want you to have some perspective and also to grasp this simple, black and white truth: Humanity will either survive this or we won’t. You will, or you won’t. Things looked dark in 180 AD, in 1777, in 1865, in 1919 and in 2009. But guess what? We made it through. We survived.

And the people who didn’t? They got their own form of relief too, as hard as that is to wrap our heads around in the moment.

This hasn’t been a bad year. It’s been a year. A year more like some others and less like some others. But it is what it is. You don’t control what it has been, but you have some influence over where it’s going—there’s still a couple quarters left to play. So focus on that. Stay objective and don’t despair.

It’ll get better…or as Marcus quips in Meditations, it won’t and you won't be around to worry about it anymore.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Out & About...Remembering.....

 Today was a day to remember as I had the honor to visit the Orange Wall of Valor here in the City of Orange whereby 1176 flags were set up to in honor of America--normally they set up 1776 flags but scaled it back due to Covid.   They also honored Medal of Honor Winners.

Please enjoy scenes of this day I captured while visiting the Wall of Honor:

I close these brief #RandomThoughts with this as the Commanding General, First Army, paid tribute to another American Hero:

Please #StaySafe, #WearAMask & #BeWell as I also note, #WeShallOvercome.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Out & About w/ #RandomThoughts on Being Witness to History....

 It has been a historic weekend in America.    As I was being supportive of special projects for the Daily Outsider, I wanted to share some of the "discourse" I captured while on Social Media.

The first one below is from the Writer at Large at the Bulwark.   Tim Miller was one of the group of Never-Trumpers in the Conservative Movement that in my view was one of the reasons President Trump was defeated--I am proud to note I am a Bulwark Plus member and what he noted about Joe Biden was spot on: 

  He's never given up and given in.  He endured the loss of his first love, a daughter and a son--fought back from an brain stroke hard and went on to a distinguished career of service.   He notes how he's the luckiest man in the World to have loved twice--and I am confident this will show in how he will govern.   There is no doubt he will disappoint--but he will lead the way in learning to disagree without being disagreeable.   

As I continued my daily "Virtual walkabout" and assessments, what I found especially striking was what the Mayor of Paris noted below: 

When she said, "..Welcome Back America"--it struck a cord.    It was unfortunate when I saw the likes of Lindsey Graham, Roy Blunt (The Senator from Missouri), Kevin McCarthy and others continue to press President Trump to fight.    But, for me, what hilarious was what the great Kaltoons (and I have been a diehart fan ) underscored as President Trump promised to fight on:  

There is of course, Iran.    Some have been speculating that Joe Biden will go "soft" on Iran--I don't believe it at this stage--but vigilance is important because the reality of Iran was captured by this depiction by the leading Iranian Cartoonist for Iran Wire Magazine Below: 

There is, then, the matter of the Election itself and claims of Fraud.   As this stage, I won't speculate about what goes on in other States in the United States.   But, I can attest that in California (and especially Orange County, California) fraud and other "stuff" alleged by President Trump and his supporters simply does not happen.   I just served in my 12th Election as an Canvass Board member and helped with canvassing over 66,000 Ballots over a 16 hour period.   It is a painstaking meticulous process and it was very gratifying to see praise on the work of those of us who were involved in it.   I look forward to my Election Day Diary which I will be publishing soon as I remain hopeful about a better day for America and the World.

Friday, November 6, 2020

On A Brief Prowl w/Some Brief #RandomThoughts

 It has been quite a few weeks --I had the pleasure to serve in the elections and continued special projects for the Daily Outsider as we await the elections.  

As I look forward to sharing an Election Diary, I just wanted to share this from General Russel L. Honoré that struck a cord:

I also ran across this from President Roosevelt that furthermore truly struck a cord:

It is overwhelming at times to be witness to history.

As I finish off these brief #RandomThoughts as we await the formal results, please remember to #WearAMask, Practice Social Distancing, Wash your hands as we together will truly shut down the Virus.

Saturday, October 24, 2020

Out & About with Brief #RandomThoughts

 It has been quite a few weeks--and that's putting it mildly.    Although a bit early,  I wanted to share some Month-End #RandomThoughts.   As I "go dark", I implore all to please #WearAMask, Practice Social Distancing and to please Vote:  

Please Stay Safe & Be Well. 

Monday, October 12, 2020

Out & About with Some Mid-Month Brief #RandomThoughts

It has been quite a month, yet again.  There is never ever a dull moment.

I have been continuing commitments at the Daily Outsider as I have been pushing away on some key long-term plans.    This was also a week that I'm remembering my late Aunt, Mahroo Pourarien (Pearson) that played such a pivotal role in my life--and I released a contribution to Mom's Against Poverty in her  memory.   I also worked on doing some minor long-delayed "tweaks' to a long-delayed Personal Social Media Profiles.

It has also been a busy month as I crisscrossed my beautiful State of California and grateful to the team at Google captured this for me:

 It was quite distressing to see the burnt lands as the burning continues even today.   

As I was out & about for the month, I got a chance to do a virtual audition for 25-Word or Less--It was fun to participate in it.  But beyond the "fun stuff", one k ey projects I worked on was watching the Movie Nasrin depicting the life of the valiant Lawyer and Civil Rights Campaigner Nasrin Soutodeh and released thoughts during my social Media engagements and made it a point of talking about it with friends--as I commend the team at the Boston Globe for having showcased it as it did: 

GlobeDocs Film Festival 2020

Your Nasrin pre-order is ready

Hi Mike,

It's time! Beginning October 1, 2020 12:00 AM EDT, your pre-order of Nasrin will be unlocked and ready for viewing. You have until October 12, 2020 11:45 PM EDT to start watching. You can access your streaming media via our website or by clicking the button below. Enjoy the show!

Watch now

It has also been a great month as I resurrected  contribution to the World Community Grid and Donate a Photo as I note a recent snapshot courtesy the team at The World Community Grid:

You are about 11 days away from earning your Bronze badge for Smash Childhood Cancer!
Your Contribution
Registered: September 26, 2010
Run Time: 395 days
Points: 992,833
Results: 1,759
Last Result: October 06, 2020
Learn about our Research
Smash Childhood Cancer OpenPandemics - COVID-19 Africa Rainfall Project

As I close out my Mid-Month Thoughts, I'm listening to an interview on Iran-E-Farda.  I am in awe at the courage of the young man speaking with a one year old daugther on how he's speaking out against the tyranny of the Islamic Republic--I salute him for his courage--I am just in awe.   How Iran has such beautiful people as Iran has been held hostage by evil.

I close out with this very compelling thought as I remain hopeful for the future in spite of it all: 

Thursday, October 8, 2020

#RandomThoughts: Reflecting Upon the Life of an Iranian Icon-Mohammad Reza Shajarian

I had been working away on projects and commitments at the Daily Outsider over the ensuing days.    I decided to dedicate this special #RandomThoughts to an Iranian Icon:  Mohammad Reza Shajarian who passed away--a legend in every which way.  

Ostaad Shajarian was one of Iran's Modern Icons and  was laid to rest in his birthplace of Mashhad in line with his wishes to be laid to rest next to the great Ferdowsi.   He was beloved by all.   In the aftermath of the 2009 Green Movement, he stepped up to be with the people and was banned by a Regime whose officials was stepping over themselves to extend condolences on his passing.   It was so irritating to be witness to--I noted this in a response  as a simple ordinary face in a tweet to  Rouhani's Deputy. 

 As news of his death spread throughout Tehran, the people came out in front of the hospital and began by shouting slogans like "Death to Dictator".    Iranian officials deployed security forces to deal with the people as the people also sang his iconic songs as a tribute to him.      They were so nervous that they slowed down the internet out and about Tehran as reported by NetBlocks late yesterday: 

His Son, Homayon, --a iconic performer in his own right--was so gracious as he left it up to the people to express their love especially as COVID-19 continues to ravage Iran--and there were also chants of "Long Live Shajarian".       The Leading Iranian Network Iran International had a special in Farsi I note here:

He was a larger than life figure and they could not do anything more than to just simply ban him.   Although Cancer took him, he will live in.   Iranians are grieving--but as Sadeq Sabah of Iran International Noted, it is a life to celebrate as I close out with the following thoughts in Farsi: 

(One Brief Update:     As I was listening to the interview with Ostaad Shajarian's Lawyer, he was not banned--he sued to have his work not be broadcast on Iran's State Broadcaster because it was his way to oppose the policies of the Islamic Republic--Quite a legacy...)

Folded hands

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Out & About with Mid-Week #RandomThoughts


It has been a very challenging few weeks on all fronts.   Yesterday I had the pleasure to release the image of the courageous Alexy Navalny, the leading Russian Opposition Figure, who was poisoned and was allowed to go to Germany for treatment and is now talking.   But, I was stunned as I saw how the Iranian Regime murdered (and yes I am prepared to say murdered) the Champion Wrestler Navid Afkari Saturday.   I had joined the Twitter Campaign to help save his life but to no avail.   But, as the Actress and Human Rights Campaigner Nazanin Boniadi noted, we cried--now we have to organize.   

In light of Navid's cold-blooded murder by the regime, I decided during this brief foray for my mid-month notation to share a few of the discourse I captured.  The first below is from the Journalist Mehdi Mahmoudian--he released a tweet earlier on efforts he had undertaken to help save Navid Afkhari's life--and in the Tweet below warns the Cyber Warriors of the Iranian Regime that if they think he and other campaigners will stop just because they've started some BS nonsense--they're sadly mistaken--and this is as pro-regime newspaper tried to justify his murder by calling for revenge--Mr. Mahmoudian was part of a team trying to entice the family to forgive--and he's been at the forefront of exposing the crimes of the regime since the Green Movement of 2009: 

I captured this from the journalist and campaigner Masih Alinjead's Instagram Account  that called "Death to Khameini" and how Navid's Death will be avenged--this is as just today another execution was affirmed by Iran's Supreme Court for the Journalist Rouhllah Zaam who was kidnapped while on a supposed trip to Iraq:

I was sickened when I saw a tweet quoting a member of Mashad's City Council.  Mashad's is Iran's holiest city and the headquarters of an organization called "Astan Qods"--that is one of the largest Economic Organizations in Iran controlling billions.   This member of the City Council said that a 14-Year Girl who went to the City Dump in Mashad ended up being pregnant so that she can sell the child to help with her life.   I was floored when I saw the tweet.    This is as  Nasrin Soutodeh continues her courageous hunger protesting the inhumanity in Iranian Prisons as I pay tribute to her and her courageous husband who continues to report on her condition--I had caught this about a documentary about her below but for some reason I could not track down the URL--but this I ran across is also quite insightful--she's currently sentence to 38 years in prison: 

The Iranian Journalist who works for Manoto, wrote a very simple tweet a few weeks back that captured the inhumanity of the Islamic Regime as she noted how Donald Trump heard Iran's plea and  yet the Iranian Leadership (and the Supreme Leader personally) is deaf: 

This is as the regime in Iran has told Iranians that they do not matter as they have forced children to go back to school and now they have forced people to sign a waiver like the one below--as Iran is expecting a third wave of the deadly COVID-19 virus:  


It is not easy to be hopeful--but there is no choice, is there?

Friday, September 4, 2020

Out & About with Brief #RandomThoughts On the Eve of Labor Day W-End


While out & about on the Grid, I ran across a clip from the Iranian Actress Shohreh Aghdashloo.  She was part of an all-star cast that starred in the Film Rosewater that depicted the horrific story of Maziar Bahari, an Iranian Journalist who was arrested and tortured by the Iranian Regime.   Ms. Aghdashloo was so right when she noted how what happened to Maziar is ever so relevant right now as the Iranian Lawyer and Civil Rights Campaigner Nasrin Soutodeh continues her hunger strike.  When on Twitter, I made it a point of thanking the President for lending his twitter voice in support of Navid Afkhari, The Iranian Champion Wrestler sentenced to death--the Social Media Campaign for his reprieve has been trending when I last checked it and I was proud to be a contributor.

It was also quite a disturbing night as I saw reporting by the Atlantic of disparaging remarks by President Trump in regards to the fallen--denied by the President and his staff as this made the Twitter Rounds: 

This is as I saw Dr. Atlas, the new advisor to Donald Trump peddling horrific ideas on COVID-19 and he has the President's ear when he saw him on Fox News .

As I close out these #RandomThoughts, the two things below resonated:  Tweet Less. Listen More.

VOTE sign

Please #StaySafe and Don't forget to #WearAMaskSaveALife    I wish all in the United States a Happy Labor Day Week-End. 

Friday, August 28, 2020

Out & About with Brief Month-End #RandomThoughts

An illustrated group of diverse volunteers.

September is before us.  It has been a very challenging Month in some respects as I have worked away on commitments at the Daily Outsider, a critical Graduate Project and new  initiatives which I look forward to sharing thoughts in a few weeks--as I continue to assess existing initiatives.   I look forward to sharing some updated  guidance over the ensuing few weeks. 

As I look forward to the new working month, I hereby remember all who agitate for freedom and democracy around the World as I close things out with this clip courtesy the team at Tavana  capturing the aspirations of 80 Million Iranians and by extension all who wish to be free from terror and to live in peace:  

Onward to September as I implore all to #WearAMaskSaveALife and to please #StaySafe.

Monday, August 17, 2020

Out & About With Mid-Month #RandomThoughts

It has been quite a challenging month being witness to a surge in COVID-19 and the on-going challenges in our World.     

 I tried to maintain a semblance of order as I was also very very saddened by what has been going on in Iran.   Nasrin Soutodeh, The Lawyer and Civil Rights Campaigner, went on a hunger strike.  I caught an interview with her husband as he provided an update on the latest regarding his wife's case.  I was so in awe by his courage as he explained the realities of the situation in Iran's prisons not withstanding a pathetic report on Iranian Television about how things were just great.   What I also found so pathetic was how a Government proposal was floated to sell Oil to ordinary Iranians to help fund government expenses and then they can "sell it back".  What was so pathetic was that it was proposed by the head of Mahan Air--for all who don't know who Mahan Air is, this is an airline owned and supported by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp that was the primary culprit to bring COVID-19 to Iran during the first phase--while Government officials denied the arrival of the virus and even went as far as say that religious sites had to be open.    What was also so infuriating was how Iran was on the prowl tried to "help" Lebanon with Drugs/Supplies (Some 15 Tons according to the President's Chief of Staff) and yet they complained about the lack of drugs.   When I saw reports about 57 Villages in the Province of Sistan and Baluchestan had no running water--I wondered what the priorities of the regime were.  

It was also quite a month as Israel and the UAE took steps to establish diplomatic relations.  UAE sent forth a probe to Mars.  I   helped release a Notation for the Daily Outsider as our development work & analysis continues--Daily Outsider will continue its' work curated its' Twitter Corner as the live pod will also be available as we scale back on our weekly analysis gearing up for the balance of the year.   It is also Democratic Convention Week--the first convention where it is going to be held virtual--and I can't help but wonder if the "show" will go on in a Post-Covid World.   I am hoping to make the rounds of some of the policy roundtables to understand it all.

.    It was also quite a month as I joined a round-table sponsored by OneVoice and Zimam .     There is of course the little matter of the US Elections--I had the chance to join a Zoom "Happy Hour" Meeting sponsored by Predictit featuring Anthony Scramuchi as there were discussions on the future of the Elections.  I have done done some "dabbling" on Predictit--I'll have some thoughts after the elections on how things turn out.The courage of the youth was so inspiring--in spite of the Israeli Blockade of Gaza.    

 What I found gratifying was the rays of hope in the midst of the challenging times.   I had the pleasure to join Two Boy Scout Eagle Board of Reviews and had the pleasure to be supportive of the St. Timothy's Catholic Parish Pantry Operations as it served an average of 100 families a week.   As I got to listen to the Eagle Scout Candidates and their projects, it elevated my sense of hope on how the future can be bright ever more.  

 This was also a month to celebrate Heroes and reflect upon their sacrifice: 

The Jacket on the left was Owned by SSG Frank  Barnese (1917-1975)-who was  active Duty 7 Dec 1941 Hickam Field Hawaii and Spent Word II Pacific Theater,  

I remain hopeful as I took comfort in the following: 


Please Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, abide by CDC and WHO Guidelines, WearAMask & Save A Life so that together we can overcome.

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Out & About With Brief #RandomThoughts...

As I write this, the continued aftermath of the Beirut Tragedy is heart wrenching to be witness to--The simple sentence Saad Harriri as he said:  Beirut Died said it all--and how I am convinced Hezobollah has a part it is part of the problem.    Walid Jumballat, the Druze Leader,  had opened up his areas of control as Shiite areas of Beirut opened their homes up--as I know Lebanon will rise up from the ashes again.   The leading Iranian Analyst, Dr. Nourizadeh, said that as long Fairuz is, so will Lebanon. 

As I was thinking about the week that was, I decided to capture some #RandomThoughts on the pain and of course as a tribute to Iranian Freedom Fighters during the Revolution of 1906.   I look forward to releasing translations of two current valiant fighters soon as I remain hopeful in spite of all the challenges.


Friday, July 31, 2020

Out & About with Brief M-End #RandomThoughts

Washington, D.C.

It has been quite a month and quite a year with projects & initiatives for the Daily Outsider and other initiatives.  

  I only decided to be upbeat as I wanted to share some scenes from my archives as a Rainbow set upon Washington, the beauty of the Damavand in Iran, scenes from an ancient Iranian/Persian Pre-Islamic Prayer session.   I also decided to close out these Random Thoughts with a collage of the Iranian Prisoners of Conscious being held in the worst possible conditions right now.

I remain hopeful about our World in spite of all the challenges.

Onward to August.....

Saturday, July 25, 2020

A Simple #RandomThought For the W-End

به امید فردای بهتر 
درود به گوگوش عزیز برای این کار زبا 

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Out & About with Brief Mid-Week #RandomThoughts

It has been quite a challenging week--a week that saw me also being "told off" during my engagements over Twitter.    I took comfort in this beautiful rendition of Oriental Jazz featuring a talented man by the name of Lloyd Miller who helped bring Oriental Jazz to Iran and was featured on Iranian State Television:

It is the beauty of music that sustains my sense of hope in spite of the challenging times as I implore all to #WearAMaskSavea|LIfe.   

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Out & About with Some Brief #RandomThoughts For the Week

It has been quite a Week--I decided to be a bit upbeat in spite of all the challenging times we've been witness to.   As I am writing this, I have been working on some #RandomThoughts on Iran which I hope to release soon--as the work are also continuing @ The Daily Outsider.    I joined the movement to stop the current wave of executions #StopExecutionsInIran as I saw that over 5 Million People participated.   What is horrific and sickening for me is that in Sudan and Saudi Arabia, horrific penalties that are ostensibly Islamic are now illegal (including lashes)--yet in Iran they remain in Iran.   What was also so horrific for me (and frankly sickening) was how Iran was 16th in Average Income before the Revolution and now is even worst than Bangladesh in the average monthly income.    

In spite of it all,  I remain optimistic about the future of Iran in spite of the current profound horrific conditions--but the struggle for a new Iran remains.   The need to stay upbeat is absolutely critical as I close out these brief thoughts with the following from the team at The Daily Stoic: 

Perhaps you’re alarmed about the state of the world. Perhaps you’re horrified at the risks and dangers that lurk about. Pandemics, political chaos, riots, people at each other’s throats, unprecedented events—from cancelled NBA seasons to impeachments to a collapse in order in cities all over the world.
What did you think living through history was going to be like? It wasn’t fun to live through the Watergate years or the Six-Day War or the 1973 oil embargo or the Cuban Missile Crisis. Nobody wanted to experience one of the countless civil wars of the past or the Reformation or the Cultural Revolution. It was scary. It was weird. It was confusing. That’s what history is! It’s only the passage of time that turns down the volume on these things, that reduces them to a passage in a history book that feels neat and clean. At the time? Nobody knew what was happening, where it would go, what it would mean.
It’s strange to think that we can take comfort from this, but we can. Marcus Aurelius wanted us “to bear in mind constantly that all of this has happened before. And will happen again—the same plot from beginning to end, the identical staging.” Everyone who’s ever lived, including you, lived through history. They experienced the sausage being made—and that’s never pretty.
Realize that that’s what is going on right now. That’s what the Trump presidency is. That’s what COVID-19 is. That’s what climate change and Black Lives Matter protests and so many other things are. These are historical events and you’re living through them. It’s up to you whether you live through them passively, or actively. You have the chance to influence that history. Some of us in a big way, others in a smaller way. But we all have the opportunity to face them with proper Stoicism—which means not panicking, not betraying your principles, that means acting with courage, moderation, justice and wisdom.