Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Random Thoughts For the Day While On the Road......

I have been on the road today on business and as earlier a "view of the week" was released on what an Iranian-American spoke (which I also shared on my own Facebook Wall), I picked this up on Facebook:

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I finished off two key thoughts on Facebook which I also wanted to note here:

On the road today...but continuing to see what is going on..and unfortunately caught just one minute of the latest rant by Sean Spicer out of the White House--Sean Spicer "Claims" it is not a ban--and what is so pathetic is how countries on the so-called list are supposed to "prove" they can vet-Dr. Naderi and all the other leading lights in Iranian-American Community would hot have been here to make America better Donald J. Trump Paul RyanSpeaker Paul Ryan (who just came out to say support the ban--which to me shows he does not have any backbone to stand up to TrumP) and what was also so pathetic was when Steve Scalise (Paul Ryan NO 3) came out criticizing Senate Democrats for showing some backbone when the GOP did everything in its' power to frustrate Obama--I asked a simple question while on Twitter and on the road earlier: How are these geniuses going to somehow compensate for the lack of Engineers, thinkers and Doctors (one estimate that US needs 95,0000 Doctors over the next number of years)? I hope these same geniuses who claim to be American but can't stand Americans hear Dr. Firouz Naderi story--and the pleas of all whose lives have been upended (yes after an extreme vetting) as a result of this--and for those who say it is about the Islamic republic, I note that Iran is not the Islamic Republic..and will just leave it at that....

& then continued as I formally released the image of leading Iranian Americans:

I always will salute Mark Zuckerberg Jack Dorsey et. al for what they did to grant us all ordinary faces & outsiders the opportunity to do what we can to make a difference--these visionaries are Iranian-Americans & they all helped to make America a better place because they lived up to the promise of America--I continue to remain optimistic despite the Monday Night Massacre in Washington, despite the ban, despite the tragic stories that I salute the The New York TimesWashington Post The Guardian CNN have reported on the lives up-ended by this by making sure they were not forgotten not withstanding the spint out of the White House--And salute Sally Yates for having the courage to stand up--it showed strength not withtstanding what the President said--as I salute all the Attorneys and regular ordinary folks who galvanized to be available especially in the Iranian American Community which I am proud to be a member of--As I was reminded of the immense accomplishments of these beautiful souls below, I only took comfort in one expression I have noted during all my walkabouts here: We Shall Overcome.

What was disappointing was the continued rhetoric out of the White House.  I compare that to what Justin Treadue noted when he spoke in Parliament after the horror in Quebec--a message of love, compassion and understanding that was very moving:

If only President Trump (who claims to be more Presidential than anyone else) understood what true leadership is.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Eloquence At Work

I am a firm believer in noting that when others speak more eloquently, those of us who have the privilege to be witness to it to share it to underscore the true state of our World as we have been witness to the Muslim Ban and other moves by the Trump Administration. This is by my Cousin Katy McDonald that speaks for itself--I am very very proud of her and my cousin Richard who served with honor and distinction in Iraq and Afghanistan:

Katy McDonald
6 hrsLos Angeles
In 1998, when my husband & I were mere babies and just dating, he was sent off to fight in support of Operation Desert Fox. Back then, as a 19 year old, I had no clue what was really going on, other than the fact that he was being deployed. It was then, while worried sick about him, that I started learning about politics and global affairs. I would wake up every morning, and read the latest news over coffee, so I could understand what was going on in the world, and why we were involved in the conflicts we were involved in. That's something I've done every day since.
In 2000, Rich & I made it official and I married into a Muslim family. My last name may be an Irish McDonald, but make no mistake: it is the Persian side only of my husband's family that exists today and it is the Persian side I interact with on a daily basis. My husband's Mother, herself an Iranian Immigrant, saw the writing on the wall and came over just before the Fall of the Shah. Other family members came as Political Refugees as the conditions worsened. My husband, and his brother, both joined the Military as a thank you to our Country for the kindness to their family. Several other family members have done the same.
In 2001 I had a baby, and gave her a Persian name in honor of her Persian heritage. At the same time, I welcomed my little brother into the family, himself the son of an Illegal Mexican Immigrant Migrant Worker who swam across the Rio Grande (sidenote: she is now a legal citizen, and legal for many years).
I watched helplessly from a hotel room in Arizona as planes flew into the World Trade Center on September 11. Then the Pentagon. I sat in fear, those early days, as I listened to the rhetoric on the news about "Muslims" and worried about what that meant for my family and child. Then became thankful, as the media pressed to make sure Americans knew the difference between "terrorists" and a normal American citizen of Islamic Faith.
Inevitably, I watched, with my heart in my throat, as my husband strapped on his boots and walked away that very first deployment. to Iraq. I watched my friends, also active duty military, do the same. I watched our economy surge, because War stimulates the Economy, right (read further)? I watched the Rise of Fox News, who, at the time, differentiated between terrorist and Muslim American Citizen.
At the same time, I watched my husband get sent to the Uprising of Al Sadr. I watched my ENTIRE American Community in Germany "go dark" as we watched our loved ones on CNN, Infantry and Armored units fighting in the 2nd Battle of Fallujah - which would turn out to be one of the worst points of conflict in the war, and the worst since Vietnam. Stories in Rolling Stone, Time, and other major press would be written about our soldiers in this conflict, as Press was imbedded with them. Incidentally, this would be the very same Infantry community CPT Kahn, whose father stood on stage at the DNC this past year, belonged to. The memory of his death twisted to fit a political narrative, at a time when our military has been gutted to a record low, our soldiers thrown by the wayside and we're actively fighting for our rights......
.....but I digress....
I watched as our community learned of CPT Kahn's death, and then all the deaths that came after. I watched as our neighbors and friends died. I watched, and felt myself, the ABSOLUTE TERROR at an unexpected knock on the door. The fear of answering it because it meant your life was about to change forever. The unwritten rule was you called before you knocked.
I witnessed an ENTIRE community mourn, blinds drawn, complete and eery silence outside. I watched again and again as my husband was deployed. Each time they asked, and it became asking as we went more to "training teams" vs unit deployments - he went, no questions asked. I delivered my 2nd child alone, in a foreign country, and raised him and my daughter a year by myself while my husband fought again - a feat not uncommon at all by the women I was surrounded by. So many of us did this.
I watched on CNN as my husband's base blew up, an ammo dump having been hit by mortars - not knowing if he was alive or dead, until hours later he was able to call via a Satellite phone and say he was alive.
At the same time, I watched as my Father's Rental business, which depends heavily on Immigration (as Agriculture brings the biggest jobs back home), was gutted and he nearly went belly up during the Immigration Raids of 2006 in rural SE Georgia. I watched helplessly, across the ocean in Germany, as families hid in the woods and families were ripped apart during those raids. I heard about Illegal Migrant mothers giving away their American born children to families in hopes that they could have a better life here. I watched my husband deploy over and over. Each time, he came home more and more different from the person I remembered. They kept giving him medals, hell, General Pittard even flew in to pin him as Major, but that could hardly take away the changes happening in our family.
I watched our Economy go belly up. I watched the money we'd put away into our IRA's -- money that we'd been saving from all those deployments -- amount to absolutely nothing. I watched, in the suburbs of D.C,, as our Government stopped compromising. I watched, furious, as our Government shut down. I watched as my neighbors, government employees - the typical resident for that area, fretted over how to pay their mortgages and feed their families. I watched as Budget cuts, an AUTOMATIC and known consequence brought on by a shut down government, defunded our Military. This was not unexpected. This was known. The very same people who sent our men and women to war, now felt it was ok to defund our military because they refused to find common ground. And I'm talking about ALL of them, BOTH sides let this happen. I was there and I was paying attention.
I watched as Veterans fought to receive care. I watched as they continuously took those budget cuts out on the backs of our men and women in uniform, instead of buying/developing new toys. I watched as they tried to come for our heath care. I watched as they tried to come for our benefits. I watched every sneaky way they tried to take from our men and women, and I watched which elected officials were actually out there fighting for us, vs who was just giving lip service. Words mean nothing when your voting record doesn't back it up.
I watched, FURIOUS, as they sent pink slips to soldiers serving down range. I watched as suicides were swept under the rug in Korea from soldiers given pink slips. Yes, this actually happened. I watched well respected Generals removed from their posts. I watched, COMPLETELY LIVID, as my husband, despite having 2 bronze stars and a perfect record, was told he, too, had to go. I watched as the VA rated him as a 90% disabled Veteran from his injuries in Combat.
Then, our dynamic changed. At the start of our new life, our family moved into a predominately Pilipino/Mexican Urban neighborhood, where I, a white woman with blonde hair and blue eyes, became a minority. I listened as the community around me railed against their displacement due to gentrification. I noticed how a typical NORMAL SIZED HOME value here in my Los Angeles neighborhood of Eagle Rock went from averaging 300,000 to a million. 1 million dollars for an 1800 sq ft Craftsman. Does that seem reasonable to you for a working class community? I watched as, at the same time, my Dad bought over an acre of land, complete with 2 houses for $10,000 back home in Rural Georgia. Something he did several times, actually, to the point that he bought nearly a whole town.
I watched then, as our Government and our media continued to divide, the feigned premise of unbiased news LONG gone. Our elected officials stopped doing their damn jobs of Compromising and, instead, went on Social Media and on TV shows to plead their case. Because winning became more important. I watched and shook my head as campaigns of half truths came out on both sides. I watched people share stories they didn't bother to read or fact check on Facebook. I watched the Rise of the Orange Orangutan. I listened, in SHOCK, as I learned how many in my Persian - MUSLIM - family, staunch Republicans, planned to vote for Donald Trump. Then I listened to their reasons, and tried to understand. I listened to my Armenian Doctor, himself an immigrant with a thick accent, say the same thing. I saw entire towns turned into nothing more than abandoned buildings and rubble as I drove back and forth across the Country, twice. I saw my very own hometown, a once booming small Southern town, slowly boarding up business that have been around since before I was born. I've watched as they move to close down the Hospital my Grandfather, one of the very first doctors in my hometown, helped build. I listened to friends back home talk about the jobs they once held, factory jobs, and how they went away. Some of them gone bankrupt, some of them bought out, some of them moved overseas.
As I drove and road tripped around the country these past 2 years, I started actually noticing the changing landscape across rural America. It was impossible to ignore. I started noticing the population booms in cities around the Nation. I noticed ENTIRE TOWNS in Rural Southern Georgia boarded up and wasting away. ENTIRE TOWNS. And then, I watched slack jawed, as Donald Trump become President. Since then, I've watched people I once admired and respected reduced to hypocritical and childish bullying and name calling - people I actually agree with politically.
I believe in Science. I believe in Climate Change. I believe Social Programs are important. I believe in Inclusion and tolerance - tolerance INCLUDING people you don't agree with. I HATE racism and if I see you mistreating someone based on these things, I'll get ALL UP IN YOUR FACE. Anyone who knows me, actually KNOWS me - not Internet knows me - knows that. I believe in human rights, I believe in the importance of migrant workers. I believe strongly in the right to choose, even if I know, deep in my heart, I could never have one because an abortion is against my personal code of ethics. I believe in the rights of LGBT. I believe, whole heartedly, that black lives matter. I believe White Privilege absolutely exists. At the same time, I also believe cop lives matter. I believe we've reduced the controversy to simplistic terms, and it's just not a simple issue. It's a HUMANITY issue and it starts and ends with one another.
I HATE war -- but I believe, by God, we take care of our military. Especially if we're going to have the audacity to ship them off to one to line our pockets. I believe we take care of the poor, and I believe the solution to that in rural areas is very different from the solution in Urban areas. I don't believe there's a one size fits all solution to our Country, yet we're trying to impose one size fits all solutions to a population of people who are very different from one another. In the process, we're denigrating an entire population of people we don't even know just because they don't fit a mold we think they should fit. I believe that is how Donald Trump won the Presidency. Most of all, I believe in Democracy. That is what my husband fought for. I believe in Compromise. Even if I'm not a Republican, I believe we need Republicans, and their Conservative fiscal policies, to balance the financially giving nature of Democrats. I believe right now we do need balance, as we're 19 trillion dollars in debt. That is a fact. No, I don't believe we're going about it the right way, but I do believe we have to do something. Our Country is in crisis, as evident by rural America in decay. And just, FTR, I also believe Democrats don't have a monopoly on kindness, compassion and/or intellect, despite the current popular social media narrative. I don't believe all Republicans are racists and/or Xenophobes. I do believe Donald Trump is an idiot, and only got into this for publicity, and then to line his own pockets once he realized he had something. I also believe (based on historical facts) he is not a Republican. I believe we've stopped listening to each other. I believe we are no longer a democracy BECAUSE of this. I believe we the people ARE ALL fighting for the same damn thing, but we're just so caught up in our own constructed labels, and what the media tells us that looks like (despite what it ACTUALLY looks like), that we're too blind to see it. I believe I'm sick and tired of half/fake/click bait news, and people from all sides of the political spectrum crowing superiority from the security of their little echo chamber bubble without having a clue how those outside that bubble live. Finally, I'm sick and tired of people crowing for civil war, when they have NO CLUE what actual war looks/and or feels like.
If we're going to see our way out of this chaos, then I'm sorry, war ISN'T the answer. You know what is? COMPROMISE. That's how a Democratic Government is supposed to run.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Random Thoughts: As a New Week is at hand

As a new week begins, I wanted to share two random tidbits for all to enjoy:

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I picked this up while on Facebook on an old image of Donald (Now President) Trump in Iran right before the Revolution.  He had visited Iran with Warren Beatty and Jack Nicholson wanted to open up a Casino--and the plans were scrapped after the Revolution.   

But on a higher note, I wanted to share this (that the Outsider team also shared as well) on this very interesting book from Peter Diamands--something to celebrate about the possiblities of Humanity I hope all will have a chance to check out as I wish all a fabulous Week--and implore all to keep the faith...

This week, it's my pleasure to share with you a beautiful illustrated publication on the Top 10 Tech Trends Transforming Humanity.
I hope you'll download it, read it and share with friends, family and colleagues.
To read the publication, click here.

Help Me Spread the Word…

We live in the greatest time in human history (despite the negativity you hear constantly).
I want more people to understand this and to have an Abundance mindset.
Forward this email, or share this link with friends and family and help me spread a bit of optimism or copy this link (http://bit.ly/diamandis-top10tech).

As a New Week is at hand....

After what has been a very trying week, I wanted to create this "grid" to share a sense of positive thinking as we begin a new week to hopefully do my part to "shine a little light" as I wish all the very best of weeks--and implore all to truly keep the faith: 

"We Shall Overcome"

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Random Thoughts On this Working W-End: On The Executive Order by President Trump & The Actions to Oppose it

I began today with a sense of purpose as I joined the Point-in-Time Survey to identify the homeless.  I began around 4:30 AM in the morning as I rushed to San Clemente to join a team as we began to make the walk to identify the homeless by interviewing them and then giving them a care kit and a coat to help them stay warm.     I was at a Community Event the night before as I was witness to selfless souls who have the pleasure to call friends were honored for their service to Scouting.

As I was working away, I was keeping tabs on the simmering Tsunami that was developing in the aftermath of one of President Trump's latest Executive Orders:  The one on Executive Action.    As I first got wind of it thanks to the team at +NIAC , I was needless to say horrified.      As we all prepared to see what it entailed, it was clear that it confirmed our worst fears.     I helped finish off some columns for the Daily Outsider as I also began virtually pounding the pavement as I saw stories across my social media feed and doing my part.  As I saw this, I made sure to reach out to close members of my family who are US Permanent Residents to make sure that they did not leave the United States under any circumstances for the foreseeable future.

As I was working away, I released this on my Facebook Wall:

I am still numb as I work away.    The stories of families broken apart is just absolutely heartbreaking.  I was glad to see efforts by the Huffington Post and others throughout Social Media to help amplify the human tragedy this has brought.    Despite the revulsion I have for the Islamic Republic, I concur with one key point Javad Zarif, The Foreign Minister made, when he noted that this move by Donald Trump is a gift to the Jihadists.  I also concur with Hassan Rouhani's comments that now is not the time to build walls.  

What was gratifying to be witness to is how the Iranian-American Community has reacted.  The Iranian American Bar Association issued this on the Executive Order which is a crucial read for all lawyers and laymen:

One week into his presidency, Mr. Trump took the first step towards making good on one of his most controversial and discriminatory campaign promises: a ban on Muslims entering into the country. Today, Mr. Trump issued an Executive Order ("EO") temporarily banning nationals of seven Muslim majority countries from entry into the U.S., based on little else other than their nationality and religious beliefs. The highlights of the EO are as follows:
1- A total ban will be placed on entry of nationals (immigrants and nonimmigrants) of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen, for at least 90 days, while a review of visa admissions is conducted;
2- During the review period, it will be determined what additional information is needed from the listed countries to resume admissions of their foreign nationals; and if the country in question does not (or cannot) cooperate, the ban can remain in place indefinitely, or until they do;
3- Admissions of refugees from the listed countries will be halted for at least 120 days while a review of the refugee admissions program is conducted, with exception of Syria, whose refugee admissions has been halted indefinitely; during this period, the only refugees permitted will be "minority faith members" fleeing religious persecution (i.e. non-Muslims fleeing Muslim countries) on a case-by-case basis and only if it is determined to be in the U.S.' national interests;
4- The 120 day refugee freeze may be extended and, even after resumption of admissions, priority in admissions will continue to be given to "minority faith members" fleeing religious persecution (i.e. non-Muslims);
5- Completion and implementation of a biometric entry-exit tracking system for all travelers to the U.S. will be expedited;
6- A suspension of the Visa Interview Waiver Program will be put into place for non-immigrant visas of the nationals in question;
7- Adjudications of other immigration benefits besides visas could be impacted.
Put simply, this EO bans people from entering the U.S. solely on the basis of their religious beliefs and nationality; and prohibits entry into the U.S. of some of the most vulnerable people in the world - refugees escaping war, destruction, and famine - on the same discriminatory basis.
One of the most disturbing elements of the EO is the scope of the ban. Department of Homeland Security representatives have already said that it applies even to permanent residents (i.e. green card holders) who have left the country. And it is as yet unclear if Iranian dual nationals are affected, but it is very likely that they will be. So, for example, a German citizen of Iranian descent may be entirely prohibited from entering into the U.S. while the order is in effect, whereas a German citizen of any other minority descent would be permitted. Mere hours later, the effects of the ban have reverberated throughout the world (for one news story, out of dozens, click here).
Given that the EO's express purpose is to detect and stop people with terrorist ties from entering the U.S., this order is necessarily based on a single assumption: that the nationals of the listed countries, and the followers of the Muslim faith within those countries, are all potential terrorists...individuals who are inherently dangerous and pose a threat to the U.S. If this notion does not sit well with you, or is offensive, you are not alone. It has been refuted not only by nearly every major organization supporting civil liberties in the U.S. (and abroad), but also by the Republican Party membership during the recently concluded presidential campaign (such as now Vice President, Mike Pence, and current Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan - both of whom denounced a ban on immigrants based on religion during then-president-elect Trump's campaign).
Let us, for a moment, set aside the practical considerations of such a law, such as the wasted resources spent on screening millions of people with no connection to terrorism, or the faith/ideological based tests required to enforce it.
As lawyers, we all took the same oath as Mr. Trump: to uphold the Constitution and the laws of this U.S. One of our highest principles - and one of the most cherished promises of the Constitution - is that all people will be treated equally before the law regardless of their nationality, ethnicity, or religion. As the gate keepers of those covenants, we cannot allow our government to ban or deport people based on their religion or country of origin. We are, and must, be better than this.
This EO effectively writes discrimination based on nationality and religious beliefs into the law. And it confirms fears by many that the divisive rhetoric we witnessed during the presidential campaign is not only coming to life, but is leading to a path of devastating policies - one of the first steps towards state-sanctioned bigotry by an administration whose advisors, during their presidential campaign, cited the Japanese internment as legal precedent for creating a Muslim registry.
This is not a time for sitting and waiting. Many of you, including many who attended the IABA National Conference, asked what you can do to help. This is your opportunity. It is the moment for collective action. If, as members of the bar and bench, we do not act now, we will have no one to blame when a Muslim registry or something worse follows.
With the foregoing in mind, IABA urges you to take 15 to 30 minutes out of your lives to take as many of the following steps as possible:
Call and write your local officials (simply run a search for your local mayors and council men/women, express your concerns, and ask them to issue statements on this issue).
Call and write your federal representatives to express your alarm at this law, and ask them to speak out against it or introduce legislation to refute or minimize it. You can find your House of Representative members here; and your senators here. You can also call (202) 224-3121.
Sign onto email campaigns. There are some groups who have already started such campaigns, such as NIAC.
Share this news with your friends and family via email or social media, get the word out, and encourage them to do the same.
Donate to your organizations of your choice working on this issue. For IABA you donate here.
For those of you with more time, and truly wishing to give back with your law degree, get involved:
If you have expertise with constitutional or immigration law, and are interested in exploring and working on a legal challenge to this EO, please send an email to: President@iaba.us.
We need attorneys to go to the US international airports and provide assistance to detained nationals from the 7 countries listed on the visa ban list. If you're interested, please email us at info@iaba.us and we will send you more location specific information
We know that there is a lot of ongoing confusion about this EO, and its effects on your, your families', and your friends' lives. We will follow up with additional emails to provide you more information.
We will also continue to monitor this situation and work hard behind the scenes, both independently and in coordination with other Iranian-American and other minority groups and bar associations.
Please stay tuned.  

The IABA National Board

Note:  For all who wish to document a case, please click here. 

The despair is evident I picked up notations from two very successful Iranian Americans, Soheila and Amir,  that I have the privilege to call friends.    I have the privilege to share Soheila's Notations Below:

If the current laws applied 12 years ago I could have never come to the United States. If today's laws were in place 6 years ago, I could have never come back home from a trip abroad. I would have never known some of you who are now my best friends.
Today, families are being torn apart as a result of the recent Executive Order. People's lives are at stake. Even I don't feel safe as a first-generation American, because now I'm treated like a second class citizen. And far far far away from equal.
Today, my daily life quite literally involves solving America's problems. All I'm concerned with are policies that will make this country better and that can improve its international image. That's literally what I do while I'm trying to become more and more integrated and be the informed and engaged citizen that this country needs. I am working my ass off to contribute to the wellbeing of all American people, whom I have the pleasure to call fellow Americans, but I'm not sure they're happy to call me that back!
Quite honestly, this is not just about the administration in power. This is about a mindset, an inhrent fear of immigrants and especially Iranians. The Administration is just riding on that fear. This is sad. Unfortunate. Ironic even, given the contributions of immigrants, and Iranian Americans to the United States.
I was born in one country, raised in another, and chose California as my home. I believe that what has made America great is that it is the land of immigrants. The best and brightest from around the world. The most patriotic even. So search within your soul, you may be politically correct, but is your heart there too?
I don't know whether or not you stand by me and people like me today. But this is a test for you on how American you are. And how you may inherently equate American with just being White or having no accent. And I'm not in a place to make that judgement. You are.
The issue of immigrants aside, I have an Iranian issue. I'm sick and tired of being profiled because of my Iranian heritage. I am proud of my ethnicity. I am proud of the culture I was raised in. I love the country I grew up in. And I shouldn't have to hide it. I shouldn't have to explain myself about my choices and feelings. About who I am. YOU should learn to be less ignorant and YOU should know better than to use shows like 24 and Homeland as supplement to education. You should know better that the junk media you consume has framed me as the evil that I am not. You have been programmed to fear me. I can't change that. You can.
The issue of immigrants aside, banning visas for anyone from Iran sends a clear message: we are at war with you, the people. We hate (fear) you. Not a single f'n terrorist attack in the US, killing people, was carried out by an Iranian. In other words, if Iranians were banned to come to the US before 9/11, the tragedy would still happen, San Bernardino would still happen. The list of terrible things that would still happen goes on. Because Iranians were not even involved in any of that. Iranian artists, students, professionals coming to the U.S. impose zero threat to anyone.
I'm broken and hurt today. I'm tired. Consumed. But tomorrow, I will rise again and fight the fight for all of us. This is our country, and I take it upon myself to help make it a better place. I'll make it a better place for you too, despite the fact that you don't trust me. And I will do that as a proud Iranian American.

Here are Amir's Notations:

I was once a refugee as well. I came to this country when I was 5 to escape Iran in the middle of the Iran-Iraq War. Under then President Reagan, the State Department granted me and my family entry into the US. I served this country honorably as an officer in the US Army, an intelligence officer and later as a State Dept official supporting American diplomacy overseas. Had this latest blanket ban on refugees and visas been issued back then, I would have never made it here. Right now there are families halted at airports all over the world. We can be safe and be kind at the same time.

In contrast to what the United States did, Canada opened it up its' door yet again.    As I reflected upon the past 24 hours, I only took comfort in this:


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Some Brief Random "Mid_Week" Thoughts

After a rather challenging night on the first few days of President Trump, I wanted to take comfort and be just a bit "hopeful".   The week, though, began with this from the Capistrano School District School  Superintendent:

Good Morning,
Throughout the weekend and early this morning Capistrano Unified school site faculty and staff, maintenance & operations and grounds crew were in our classrooms and campuses identifying leaking roofs and ceilings as well as other weather-related issues so that we could be prepared for students as we begin another school week.
With over four million square feet of classrooms and building space throughout our District, we must prioritize this work, with some being done immediately, while other needs are entered into our electronic work order system so that our maintenance & operations team can plan and schedule their work accordingly.
While inclement weather poses many challenges for our aging schools, we do our best to monitor storms and ensure that we have the resources on hand to respond as quickly as possible and remedy the problem. Our priority is to keep our classrooms safe, warm and dry.
Have a wonderful week!
Kirsten Vital

I will be serving on the School District Facilities Advisory Committee for the next 12 months.  I hope I can make a difference.

I ran across this which I thought might prove some comfort to all--the lesson is simply this:  We can never give up, we can never give in because as Lombardi reminded us all:  Winners Never Quit & Quitters Never Win....



@POTUS Trump at work: Quite a Few Days....and it has only been a Few Days.......

It has been quite a few days as President Trump took office.    Saturday saw the White House Press Secretary go on a rampage, Sunday saw Counselor to the President peddling "alternative Facts" (just like George Orwell's 1984) and threatening Chuck Todd of NBC News.   Tuesday saw President Trump reinstating Keystone and Dakota Pipelines--that have no justifiable economic viability.  It reminded me of this admonition that seems to have been forgotten from Saint Pope John Paul II:

“The Earth
will not continue to offer its harvest,
except with faithful stewardship.
We cannot say we love the land
and then take steps to destroy it
for use by future generations.”

~ Pope John Paul II

There was, of course, the media ban by the EPA along with the so-called Gag Rule banning US funds for family planning organizations around the World.

As Wednesday is before us, President Trump is poised to sign an Executive Order passport holders from Syria, Iran and Yemen, Iraq and two others countries from entering the United States.    I just signed a +NIAC Action petition that has gone to President Trump protesting this move as I hope ALL will.    Here is the Action Alert from NIAC Action that went out earlier tonight:

NIAC Action
Dear Mike,
This is not a drill. Tomorrow, President Trump plans to sign an Executive Order banning Iranians as well as six other Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, according to both Congressional sources as well as media reports.

It remains unclear for how long the ban will be in place. Sources tell NIAC it could range from 30 days to several months, after which a more stringent visa application process with ideological tests will be put in place.

At this point, the trajectory should be clear to all:

What started with the discriminatory Visa Waiver bill H.R. 158 in late 2015 has now evolved into a blanket ban for Iranian passport holders, only to be followed by an “ideological” test that Iranians and six other nationalities - but not others - will be subjected to.

And once again, Iranian are targeted while citizens of Saudi Arabia are excluded from these measures - even though Iranians have not committed acts of terror on US soil while Saudi citizens were behind both 9/11 and other Wahhabi-inspired acts of terror.

This is discriminatory. This is un-American. And last but not least: This is dangerous as it pits Americans against Americans while undermining the very principles of inclusivity and tolerance that made America great.

Let’s not be silent - we must make our collective voices heard. Send a letter to President Trump TONIGHT to register your opposition.
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We will be in touch over the coming days and hours as this develops so that we can work together to stop this dangerous path of division.

Jamal Abdi
Executive Director

While on Facebook, I picked up excerpts of the Poem on the Statue of Liberty that is quite poignant on this dark night:  

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