|A Tribute to Atena Daemi|
Wednesday, July 8, 2020
Saturday, July 4, 2020
Tuesday, June 30, 2020
When our young children and future grandchildren revisit history, they will be utterly shocked that the wealthiest country in the world somehow managed to politicize wearing masks during the deadliest pandemic that their parents and grandparents witnessed.— Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar) June 30, 2020
Monday, June 22, 2020
heartbreaking ...let's do all we can @khansarinia to be supportive of the quest for justice for @ps752justice ...@JZarif @Rouhani_ir ...shame on you and your masters.... https://t.co/YCEHGwNOY6— Mike Pouraryan (@mikepouraryan) June 22, 2020
Monday, June 15, 2020
This is my 700th Notation here in my Virtual Corner--and what a journey it has been!!
It was a good day as the US Supreme Court came down on the sign of the LGBTQ community and the Neo-Conservative establishment went crazy. The opinion was written by Justice Gorsuch--I noted that he might be our generations' David Sutter--I wonder if I will be proven right or not in spite of the circumstances that got him to the US Supreme Court. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the Elections. I helped finished a Notation for the Daily Outsider that is now available in the Perspective Platform.
I have also been out & about in the Community as I was witness to opening up. States are opening up--and we here in California have begun to open up. The cases, though, are continuing to increase which is alarming. It is upon each of us in our own way to be responsible--but I could not believe my ears and eyes as I saw Rouhani attacking the United States as COVID19 has ravaged Iran and as Iran is agitating to get Arms Shipments resumed--as all the neighbors are arming up.
We are opening up--and it has been great to be witness to a sense of normalcy returning. I was on alert as a member of the Guard as I also tried to manage some of the other commitment . As I am writing this, I am listening to Iran E Farda on the plight of Human Rights in Iran. Kamran Assa, who lost his Brother during the 2009 Green Movement, was a guest and his anguish was heartbreaking to be witness to. His humility was humbling as he said how simple a man he was and yet his anguish was profound--and how his level of knowledge and understanding was profound.
I have also been working on monitoring the case of Nazanin Zargari-Radcliffe and the campaign to agitate for the victims of Ukrainian Flight 752 as I look forward to seeing their conference tomorrow:
It is not easy to be upbeat as I have been witness to so much distress and challenges over the past number of weeks. But, there is no choice but to be upbeat. I decided to again be upbeat on this milestone I've achieved here as I am proud of the vibrancy of our Community-epitomized by this from my archives of 2018:
It was a busy time over Social Media Too as I passed another milestone of over 74,000 Tweets in my personal Tweets and over 33,000 Tweets for the Daily Outsider. I had to deal with Twitter as it suspended the Daily Outsider and my appeal succeeded.
As my engagements continued, I captured the three tweets below that to me captured was also a sense of hope for the future:
On a brief prowl 4 the night..as I embrace these beautiful thoughts by the great & Talented @NazaninBoniadi on underscoring a commitment to Justice, righteousness...as I was so moved as I read this by Prof @milaniabbas : https://t.co/IWzAQTJ9rU https://t.co/93KEPpVAAD— Mike Pouraryan (@mikepouraryan) June 10, 2020
When one sees such stories (and I was so bummed to have missed the live interview earlier...but looking forward to catching it..) because I know that #WeShallOvercome ..they did..we can't do no less...as I took comfort in this as well-wishing all a fab Wed from @LagunaNiguelCty pic.twitter.com/lTW6GeSWNt— Mike Pouraryan (@mikepouraryan) June 10, 2020
The theme song for Make a Mark is live! A project that has changed the lives of three refugees, it is proof that sport has the power to change lives!— Abhinav Bindra Foundation (@abfoundationind) June 10, 2020
Learn more about the project with @abfoundationind #MakeAMark@campriani @Abhinav_Bindra @rickykej pic.twitter.com/1o7XNNXyoy
Monday, June 8, 2020
Friday, June 5, 2020
I joined a protest on Wednesday and was so proud to be witness to the young and old and all represent the beautiful rainbow that Is America being there. I also joined the Webcast for the George Floyd Funeral and stood for 8 minutes & 46 Seconds. It was just simply powerful--just like Covid , George Floyd's death has changed us forever.
I'll let the Tweets I chose as I worked away speak for themselves as I will note this: #WeShallOvercome:
After Pearl Harbor 1941, FDR refused suggestions to surround the White House with light tanks because it might look as if our democracy was under siege: pic.twitter.com/0LR7WwqCld— Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) June 4, 2020
Absolutely stunning. The walls keep going out further and growing taller. What a message this sends to the nation and to the rest of the world. https://t.co/crpIfyQKNU— Ariane Tabatabai (@ArianeTabatabai) June 4, 2020
Salman Rushdie: I've Seen Dictators Rise And Fall. Beware, America-Take note @PressSec @SecPompeo @Mike_Pence @senatemajldr @GOPLeader @hiuseh https://t.co/SiegeBzvKi— Mike Pouraryan (@mikepouraryan) June 4, 2020
— Mike Pouraryan (@mikepouraryan) June 4, 2020
Respect ✊ brother @drewbrees as I know #WeShallOvercome https://t.co/4vBUOZkGVL pic.twitter.com/ahhE7E1jPH— Mike Pouraryan (@mikepouraryan) June 4, 2020
Monday, June 1, 2020
Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.— Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar) April 24, 2020
—Nelson Mandela pic.twitter.com/7IpFcqqPpe
Tuesday, May 26, 2020
As May 2020 drifts away into the dustbin of history, I was hopeful to end my #RandomThoughts on a high note as I did during Memorial Day 2020--yet the tragic killing of this 13-year child shocked me as I read this on the Telegram Channel for the Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi. One can argue that it was too early for her to get married to her boyfriend--but that does not justify killing her savagely no matter what.
I also finished some thoughts on my Facebook Wall which I wanted to also release here as my Final entry for the Month. We have so much to be thankful for, but so much that we can do as we all figure out a way to live our lives beyond the lockdown--because we have got to get it done:
I close out with this reminder from the great Victor Frankl as I Look forward to my #RandomThoughts next month and being continually supportive of the mission of the Daily Outsider:
Monday, May 25, 2020
Friday, May 22, 2020
I close out this thought with this to remember and honor a valiant fighter for Freedom in Iran-Nasrin Soutodeh as I know #WeWillReClaimIran--I implore all to #StaySafe & #BeWell as I wish all in the US a safe #MemorialDay2020:
Tuesday, May 19, 2020
As I also continued being out and about, I decided to call up one of Coach Wooden's Favorite pieces of poetry which is kind of appropriate for the moment as I implore all to #StaySafe, #BeWell & #KeepTheFaith as I wish all a great rest of the week and a great weekend:
Monday, May 18, 2020
Monday, May 11, 2020
As I have been assessing on-going initiatives, pondering the future of the Daily Outsider and thinking about #LifeAfterCovid, my mind drifted to my trip to Atlanta back in February before the Pandemic hit us as it did. I had the pleasure to visit the National Civil Rights Center, the Georgia Aquarium, CNN and the Olympic Park--and the Coca Cola Museum. All of these symbols of American Greatness reflect a true sense of the possible and a sense of resilience. I was in awe at the courage and optimism I saw in spite of all the challenges--when, for instance, I was seeing the scenes from Dr. King's Funeral. I will have more to say on it over the ensuing weeks as I produced this Visual Essay on Atlanta:
This is also quite a month as Muslims are celebrating Ramadan. Every night around 10 PM PST the Kalameh Network from London features a live feed from Saudi Arabia (delayed though) as evening prayers are cited at the Holy Kaaba. The Holy Kaaba, Islam's Holiest Shrine, is closed and all who are praying are the Kaaba Staff who have been tested and are not allowed to leave. It is quite a scene to be witness to it --Normally, millions on a 24 hour basis visit the Holy Kaaba which was first built by the Prophet Abraham.
While I was out & about in the Community, someone called me out--she wanted me to step aside to observe Social Distancing Rules even though she did not have a mask and I did--I was unfortunately side tracked on my Phone as I was doing my mid-day review of developments for the Daily Outsider. Later on, I visited a friend of mine and he made it a point of reminding on how we must all be diligent on Social Distancing Rules. I note these two very simple examples to underscore how the new normal is before us and we must embrace it for the sake of each other.
I close out with the following Visual #RandomThoughts on Visual Essays I produced over the course of the last number of weeks during #LifeInTheTimeofCorona:
Saturday, May 9, 2020
finishing off PM walkabout before being off the grid 4 #MothersDay - my Daily Snapshot curated by @paper_li & @nuzzel updates will be available...Thank you @LadiKhanom aziz 4 this..and thank you @azarnafisi as well-.lookin; forward 2 the discourse next wk... #HappyMothersDay https://t.co/jpqxh4ZPV3— Mike Pouraryan (@mikepouraryan) May 8, 2020
#SundayThoughts : U must maintain unwavering faith that u can & will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties, & at the same time, have the discipline 2 confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be-Jim Collins— Mike Pouraryan (@mikepouraryan) May 8, 2020
Jim Collins pic.twitter.com/0x7RgrZexD
Monday, May 4, 2020
Thursday, April 30, 2020
|@Laguna Niguel Smart & Final: April 2020|
It has been a very challenging Month in many ways. Although it was a month of reflection and engagement, it was also a month that saw how our World as we knew it ended thanks to a Virus.
I had the pleasure to be supportive of the initiatives at the Daily Outsider as our team pulled together guidance from the WHO, the CDC, The State of California and the Orange County Department of Health. Schools and Government Buildings in my hometown, Laguna Niguel, have been shut down. It will be a long road back to recovery--I am hopeful that the Daily Outsider will play its' part as we emerge from the Shutdown and start thinking about #LifeAfterCorona. We have been busy with on-going editorial work throughout the platforms as we have tried to be uplifting in spite of the profound challenging times we live in. It has also been a busy month with my Virtual Education Activities & my Doctorate as well.
I had the chance earlier in the Month to join a Zoom Meeting sponsored by Coro. The head of the LA Economic Development Corporation gave a devastating picture of the shutdown--90% of Los Angeles International Airport being shut down. This devastation has continued with massive unemployment numbers--but the most tragic story has been the number of infected with COVID-19 and the number of our fellow Americans who have died--so far over 60,000. Unfortunately, the clamor in the conservative media has been challenging to be witness to--with one of the President's Chief Supporter even calling for a peaceful rebellion. I also joined the Virtual Earth Day Celebrations as Ed Begley Jr. and His Daughter hosted a Virtual Worldwide event--and also caught comments by World War Zero hosted by John Kerry. I look forward to continued engagements.
Beyond the shores of the United States, I continued my work & assessment regarding Iran. It was disheartening to see how the regime showed how it had no regard for for the ordinary faces in Iran-as it clamoured to open the economy as COVID-19 continue to ravage the Country. The head of Tehran's City Council, blasted official figures of the dead in Iran--and then there was an announcement earlier today that just at Tehran's Main Cemetery, some 13,000 people were buried as the regime continued to lie and mislead trying to potray an image of normalcy. Tehran's Main Cemetery is under the municipality of Tehran--yet the head of the Council got in trouble. I want all to realize that the head of the Council, Mohsen Hashemi, is the eldest son of Hashemi Rafsanjani--the former President who was killed on orders of Khameini. This is as the plight of the people continued to be heartbreaking--and yet the regime clamored for the opening of religious sites and celebrated the launch of what they deemed to be a satellite. What it turned out was a reverse Webcam as noted by the Commanding General for the US Space Command. What was even more agitating was that the Supreme Leader (Supreme Guide) Of the Country opened up a page on his site for people to contribute even though he controls billions in assets. Furthermore, he gave his "assent" for some funds to be released to the Government and also gave his "assent" for privatization--which is another scheme for the Government to fleece the people. Tehran's Stock Exchange is continuing to increase even though there is no fundamentals to support such an increase. As I was assessing the daily analysis, I saw a report that the average age of addicts in Iran had fallen to 8 years--this shows that another generation is being lost to the Revolution as the previous four generations. This is as the rights of women continues to be trampled--which is one of the darkest periods over the past 41 years--underscored by this report on Iran International as one of the Detainees, Sepideh Gholian, noted torture by women prisoners in Iranian Prisons.
One of the most disheartening of messages I caught this on Iran International as the Wife of Reza Pahlavi, the eldest Son of the late Shah of Iran, went to Greece to see first hand the plight of Iranian Refugees which was produced by Iran International:
By lending her support, Yasmine Pahlavi highlighted the plight of these Iranian Refugees who were living in horrible conditions In Greece. This is not about when anyone is a Royalist or not--as I noted in a note when I released this to my Facebook Storyline-- but it is about treating humans in a righteous and fair way. Right after this premiered on Iran International, I saw reports of a She was joined by one of the leading Iranian Entertainers, Arash--Although the narration is in Farsi, the scenes are just horrific to see. I also saw rays of hope as I saw a new Cafe opened up by a refugee. As I saw this hope, I also saw a statement from the head of the local labor federation in Northern Iran as he noted how his members could not even afford to pay for bread--in a country that is one of the richest in the World in terms of resources.
As I was working to wind down the month, I released this to my Instagram Page in support of Donate A Photo to reflect upon #LifeInTheTimeofCorona , celebrate the history of Iran and to honor the victims of Ukraine Flight 572 which I also released to my Facebook Wall below:
This month also saw disheartening news--the Orange County Fair was cancelled. However, it was a welcome development because it was about people staying safe and healthy as we continue to deal with #LifeInTheTimeofCorona. Businesses have adapted to the realities. Our local Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to authorize a gradual reopening and Mayor Davies of our City sent forth a letter lending support to it. It was also great to see the City working on and creating the Economic Development Tool Kit--as the Chamber also spearheaded a #LagunaNiguelStrong Campaign which I had the pleasure to join by ordering a shirt which I showcased earlier this week:
It has been gratifying to make the rounds to visit local businesses to do my small part to be supportive and to uplift them fully embracing all they asked to do to practice social distancing--It is also good to have seen a uptick exemplified by a bit more cars in the streets.
This was also a month that I had a chance to catch a very tough movie:
04/21/2020 02:04 PM PDT
The OC Health Care Agency (HCA) is pleased to announce the launch of the OC COVID-19 Testing Network, which offers COVID-19 testing starting Tuesday, April 21, 2020 to Orange County residents who meet the criteria detailed below.
Calvary Chapel WestGrove: Food Pantry*
Christ Cathedral: Food Bank
Cool Water Ministries: Mobile Food Pantry*
Families Forward: Drive Through Food Bank
Food for Christ at the Rock: Drive Through Food Bank
Mariners Church: Food Pantry*
Saddleback Church: Peace Community Resource Center Food Pantry
Saint Paul's Episcopal Church
Salvation Army Orange County: Drive Through Food Distribution
The Salvation Army of Southern California*
Second Harvest Food Bank Drive Through
Southwest Community Center
South County Outreach: Appointment Only Food Pantry
Tustin Drive Through Food Drive
As I was working away on these month-end thoughts, I reviewed comments by President Trump as he went after "Democratic" States, blamed China and threatened Tariffs without taking a bit of responsibility even though he was informed about this. But what I took comfort in was this I captured from the Persian Gulf that Radio Farda featured as it was Persian Gulf Day:
I could not help but take comfort in this courtesy the team at the Daily Stoic that provides an absolute admonition to us all:
There are also two key dates to note-first the advent of the Web that allows us all to be on and to the voice as we have been thanks to some great visionaries:
The World Wide Web was born 27 years ago today (April 30, 1993).— Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar) May 1, 2020
It begin as a @CERN project called ENQUIRE, initiated by British scientist Tim Berners-Lee.
When @timberners_lee first proposed the World Wide Web in 1989, his boss responded: "vague but exciting" pic.twitter.com/fSlPuOS0Us
I also note that tomorrow is Labor Day around the World--and the Month of May has a very important day-Mothers Day:
As I conclude I wanted to remember all the fallen of COVID-19 and ask that the almighty grant solace to their loved ones. I also salute all the Doctors, Nurses, Hospital Workers , the Grocery Clerks, the UPS & Fed-Ex Drivers, the Uber Drivers, the Lyft Drivers, The Public Transport Workers, Law Enforcement Officers, Fire Fighters, Soldiers and all others workers who have been at the forefront of keeping us alive, fed and protected during this Pandemic.
I know #WeWillGetThroughThis and emerge stronger. I close out my #RandomThoughts with the following Visual #RandomThoughts From my archive I released on my Twitter Feed throughout the Month as I say loudly--Onward: