Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Random Thoughts For the Night: Being Thankful & Finding The Power of Finding Your Voice | Parisa Khosravi | TEDxBigSky

As I gear up for a weekend of training and service at Woodbadge , I am scrambling to get things tended to.   As I finished off a late "walkabout" On the Social Grid, I picked up her talk courtesy of a Facebook Friend after having watch Lost Time (The story of  the Families of Palestinian Prisoners last night) , I said to myself:  I am one lucky dude and grateful beyond words for all.   The idea of not judging and believing is something that is critical for us to learn from.  I agree:  Who are we to judge as I also reminded myself of this admonition I noted last night in the aftermath of having watched "Lost Times" and having being witness to the horrific tragedy in Whitter California as one of our finest was shot while on Duty:  

Image may contain: text  

Onward to March with all its' possibilities!!!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Random Thoughts: On the Week That Was....

It is the final week of February 2017--and It has been an interesting week.   

I don't mind noting how "virtually breathless" I have been as I have helped support @DailyOutsider and worked on other initiatives.   I have been blown away by Facebook and how it is starting to truly evolve into a tool to oppose the Presidents' Policies.   It is the World's Town Square precisely due to such very interesting thoughts: 

This Sunday saw the Chief Surrogate for the President, The White House Chief of Staff, work to change the conversation--even though the Giants in the Media Space seem to be getting their footing. What I have found very interesting is how Stephen Miller and KellyAnne Conway seem to have disappeared after Mr. Miller's very problematic performance   It has been a very worrying 30 days to say the least.

While working away on helping to prepare a write up on Israel, I ran across this very interesting set of images courtesy of +Haaretz.com : 


For those who may not know who he is , He's the legendary Chief of Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces, Moshe Dayan who went to Vietnam as a Special Correspondent during the Vietnam War and his criticism of the United States conduct of the War was profound.     

As I was working away, though, my hope and optimism continued to be sustained by a number of things.   I again refer to Facebook as I saw a friend and Community Leader supporting her daughter's Girl Scout Cookie efforts in the rain!!  We here in Southern California have been dealing with rain over the past number of weeks--yet Girl Scouts have been out there in full force come rain or shine!!    I was also so proud of my Son as he chaired his Lions Heart Club Chapter Meeting as their focus was on Community Service and how to give back.  It is witness to such that sustains me in the challenging times we've been witness to.    I also picked up this clip on another very hopeful and courageous act from Afghanistan to transform the lives of Girls in Afghanistan: 

As I finished off a working weekend of research, I ran across this:   

Image may contain: one or more people and people sitting

This depicts the last elected Iranian Prime Minister, Dr.Mohammad Mosadeq, as he received visitors while negotiating the Nationalization of Iran's Oil Industry.     He was deposed in a CIA-Sponsored Coup in 1953.    I also picked up another tragic story on the Late Shah of Iran's Second Wife, Queen Soraya that +CNN International  did a very nice job reporting on (including the image below from the late Shah and Queen Soraya):   

The Shah of Iran Mohammed Reza Pahlavi with Soraya Esfandiary Bakhtiari in 1958.
Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi & Queen Soraya Esfandiari
I could not help but help these random thoughts on what I picked up which was published by +POLITICO as they shared a summary of the editorial cartoons for the week as the Prime Minister of Canada ended his summit with President Trump:  
Signe Wilkinson - Washington Post Writers Group and Cartoonist Group.jpg

Onward to the New Week with all its' possibilities!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Random Thoughts 4 the W-End


This has been Woodbadge Weekend at the Outdoor Education Center in Irvine Park.  It has been quite a weekend as I have been witness to selfless souls who have interrupted their very busy lives to embrace the notion of service to the Youth.      The beauty of nature and how such an oasis can exist in Orange County persists blows me away every time.

It has been a long and busy three days--reasonably insulated from the challenges in our World especially as I saw that North Korea had fired a missile as the Japanese Prime Minister was visiting President Trump.   What I took comfort in was these thoughts complied by one of my must reads, +Jonathan Huie : 

It is not the magnitude of our actions
but the amount of love
that is put into them that matters.
- Mother Teresa

Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news.
The good news is that you don't know how great you can be!
How much you can love!
What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!
- Anne Frank 

Onward to the new week!!!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Random Thoughts.....

We're into the third week of the Trump Administration.   I was blown away by a column by the +RealClearPolitics  Carl Cannon that he titled "7 Days in January".   What he laid out in terms of the parallels with the Film 7 Days in May (that depicted a scamming Chairman of the Joint Chiefs planning a Coup) was chilling.   He also noted how a hope for the President changing not realized--underscored by his flurry of Executive Orders and claims of Voter Fraud along with his praise of Russia during the pre-game Super Bowl Interview.   The President, though, was curiously silent as the land law was passed in the Israeli Knesset that the Israeli Attorney General said he could not defend in Court.

As I write this, Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama is now the Attorney General of the United States.   This is after a bitter debate during confirmation that saw Senator Elizabeth Warren Silenced as she sought to have Corretta Scott King's letter entered into the record--Other Democratic Senators ended up reading most of the letter after the Rule 19 of the Senate was used by Senator McConnell.   I lamented at how I asked whether Mr. Sessions will have the guts to stand up to Donald Trump as the Israeli Attorney General has done despite the clear right-wing tilt in Israeli Policy towards the occupied territories.     I also could not help but marvel at the hypocrisy especially as I also saw Senator Hatch citing that debating Senator Sessions' record will hurt Senator Sessions' Wife.    What I found especially ironic and frankly laughable was how Senator Lindsey Graham noted how silencing Elizabeth Warren was long overdue.    Although I view him as having made some very good moves in opposition to Donald Trump, his own misguided views on Iraq in and of itself renders his personal judgment into question.     

I listened to the proceedings of the appeal and the team released a Newsflash on it yesterday.  It was fascinating to be witness to.   Beyond the embarrassing performance by the Justice Department Attorney,  one disturbing assertion was that the President's Actions as he perceives it in the area of National Security were "non-reviewable".    This was as the President himself went after Judges and said that his order could be understood by "even a High School student".    His own Nominee to the Supreme Court Called it demoralizing and disheartening.   When I saw this that, I came to the conclusion that his confirmation will be virtually guaranteed.  

As this was going on, The President was at it over Twitter attacking of all things--Nordstroms--retweeted by the President's Social Media Staff.  The Journalist Marc Cooper wrote this on his Facebook Page--and it was too funny if it was not serious in terms of the strategy the President employs:   
Emergency Alert to All Resistance Operatives and Comrades: The fascist insect enemy has uncovered our covert operational base. Our leadership orders you to immediately destroy all documents and evacuate.
We will rendezvous this evening at 2130 hours in our new base in the FEMA tunnel underneath the KMART #361 as marked on your coded map.
Another Friend responded that as the President did not know what to do about ISIS, Mexico or the ACA, he could sure make sure Nordstrom paid.    I also saw reports that TJ Maxx is also on the prowl to dispose of Ivanka Trump merchandise.     This is as the financial system massive deregulation has begun with potentially disastrous consequences.    

What continues to give me hope, though, is what I am witness to in the Community.  I had the pleasure to join the Point-In-Time Project earlier this month to conduct a Census of the Homeless in Orange County.    The team at +211 Orange County shared this with the volunteer team earlier this month:   

...and we're glad it did!

Dear Volunteers,

On behalf of 2-1-1 Orange County and the County of Orange, thank you for participating in the 2017 Point-in-Time Count & Survey of Orange County. This year, more than 1,000 volunteers turned out – the most volunteers in PIT history! This year 270 maps were walked, counted and surveyed in Orange County. We could not have done this without your help.

The Point-in-Time Count & Survey is a community-wide undertaking made possible only with the support of our dedicated volunteers, agency partners, civic leaders, law enforcement, elected officials, and community funders.  It is a strong demonstration of our shared mission to end homelessness in Orange County. Because of your help in capturing data across 800 square miles in five hours, we will have a snapshot of homelessness in Orange County and data to inform the delivery of programs and services to where they are most needed.

I finished off an article for one of the newsletters I periodically contribute to which I wanted to also share here--especially as we have the Random Acts of Kindness before us later this month: 

On Random Acts of Kindness Week 2017
Brief Reflections
Mike Pouraryan
February 2017

I had the chance to check out the Random Actos of Kindness 2017 at https://www.randomactsofkindness.org and sign up for it.  As noted on the website, it  “… is an annual opportunity to unite through kindness. Formally recognized in 1995, this seven-day celebration demonstrates that kindness is contagious. It all starts with one act – one smile, one coffee for a stranger, one favor for a friend. It’s an opportunity for participants to leave the world better than they found it and inspire others to do the same…”.  

Although it is a commendable gesture, I decided to embrace this just a bit “early”.
For me, it began on January 28 as I participated in the Orange County California Point in Time Survey.   With two other Volunteers, we embarked on a walkabout in South San Clemente as we sought out the Homeless to count them to understand some of their requirements.    What was so striking was how in the midst of the beauty of San Clemente such pockets of misery exists.   

As we walked and identified the homeless, we left care kits along with donated coats.    I also was on staff the following Wednesday at my local Catholic Parish as we served over 40 Families.   I had the pleasure to help a number of families as I carried their food to their vehicles—on older gentleman I helped with offered me one of the cookies he had picked up.    I had to take a walk around the Parish to compose myself—especially as I also observed another homeless family trying to somehow place the food in the midst of the space they had because they had lived in their car.  

As I geared up to be on the staff for a leadership training retreat in partial requirement of my Professional development commitments for the University, I could not help but wonder why such acts of kindness could not be done always.   I took on this leadership training retreat—where I will also help co-present on Leading Change—to help train the next generations of leaders serving our Youth.   

 I implore all to never wait for such occasions and to always be willing daily to do a simple act of kindness as by making a difference even in the life of one person would constitute success.

I continue to remain hopeful as I begin to take on  what the New York Times' David Brooks Challenge to start asking and answering "The Fallows Question" that I will be working to answer over the ensuing weeks and months.       As I read off his column, I could not agree more as the fact that what change that will occur will be done at the local level.  I have been witness to it as exemplified by what was done with the Point-in-Time Census.

As I depart for a weekend of training in support of leadership development for the Boy Scouts of Orange County Council, I wanted to be reminded of some simple common sense admonitions.   I hope I continue to live up to all the admonitions:  
Image may contain: ocean, sky, text, outdoor, nature and water


Saturday, February 4, 2017

Random Thoughts On This Working W-End......

In a few hours, Super Bowl LI begins.   It will be a nice distraction from the very challenging week the United States and the World has been witness to.   The President is in Florida at what they now deem the "Winter White House".    I will not watch the Super Bowl as I am not a fan--although I helped with curation of Pandora Stations and other thoughts for all to hopefully enjoy at the Daily Outsider. 

I had also hoped to be at an evening of service for the High School--but I thought I had double-booked myself--I ended up working on projects gearing up for upcoming training later on this week--as I continue to assess the on-going debate and the moves against the Federal District Judge--as a reporter for the Sydney Morning Herald noted how the President hit a "Brick Wall".     

As I have been working away, I saw another masterpiece from the Lebanese Blogger Elias Fares.  He wrote two beautiful pieces as the refugee ban began including a beautiful takedown of the Arab World:

He also wrote a beautiful tribute to America as well and followed it up with another eloquent reminder about all from the Middle East who have made America great that I released to my Facebook Wall earlier tonight: 

Enough said...

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Random Thoughts On the Eve of the Week End......

As the 2nd Week of the Trump Administration comes to a close, I ran across this while making the rounds on the "Social Grid" that was telling:

No automatic alt text available.

This person who released this to his Facebook Wall noted this: "....Folks -- An IMPORTANT FACT.....Donald Trump received about 63 million votes. That means only 20% of the overall population and 27% of the eligible voting population in the US voted for him. People don't vote..."  It begins with getting people out to the polls.   Whether the Democrats are able to do this or not is another matter.   The apathy is quite troubling, though.

As people are becoming apathetic, the fringe elements are very much becoming active.   Their view is, in my view, represented by Steve Bannon in the White House--whom according to the New York Times was at the dinner that had the President approve the Yemen Raid that killed an American Girl and also a US Navy Seal.    There are reports of flawed intelligence and mistakes--denied by the Pentagon.     What Chemi Shalev noted is as powerful as ever on the fringe elements seem to be in the ascendancy as underscored by the cover of this week's Time Magazine--and as a hatred of Islam seems to be at the forefront of White House Policy:  

As the World is witness to change, I ran across this from Iran's Foreign Minister about Iran's view on self-defense as The United States is apparently poised to impose sanctions on Iranian Entities after the President's early morning tweets: 


I find it interesting how the UN was cited by General Flynn even though they seem to exempt Israel always.     As I finished off my ""walkabout", I picked this up from the New York Times about how the lives of Ordinary Faces has been turned upside down by the refugee ban...Challenging Days...