Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Out & About : Brief "Month-End" Thoughts

August is here.      Despite the profound challenges in our World, I decided to headline my month-end retrospective with a note of hope and optimism in spite of the challenges at hand on a multitude of fronts.

It was another busy month.    I was witness to community spirit in a major way as I joined the Laguna Niguel Run in The Park that brought the Community together yet again.    This is as I also had the opportunity to be at my Son's High School as we helped facilitate the distribution of Registration Packets:  

At Aliso Niguel High School (@ANHSTealTown) 

I also had the pleasure to join in supporting the Michael Chang Classic in Newport Beach that featured the great Michael Chang putting on a show on its' annual classic in support of the Homeless:

At the Michael Chang Classic 

I also joined the OC Access Quarterly Food Provider Forum that brought together all food providers and I joined in my capacity as a member of the team at St. Timothy's Catholic Parish.    What is critical to note is how all of us at the forefront of hunger in Orange County will continue to get busier.  

Beyond some of my own on-going Community Outreach, there is also the continued commitments in support of the Daily Outsider.    This is as I was also quite busy with the on-going developments in Iran--it has been so fast moving that it has been frankly dizzying.   Here is a sampling of all the discourse over Twitter I captured:

What Professor Milani noted in his two Tweets in Farsi was the utter incompetence and sheer magnitude of the corruption  by the current crowd in charge in Tehran on how the value of the Rial continued to collapse and how in fact the late Shah in the End did the right thing and avoided bloodshed.   What was also so pathetic and sickening was how the regime played with people's mind.   On the one hand, it threatened people with execution and said that all "corrupt" persons will be prosecuted--the problem is that it had to begin with the top.    I was not too impressed with Secretary Pompeo's speech on Iran as it reiterated many of the key truths those of us already in the know understand it--as the Travel ban is in effect.   President Trump's offer of a meeting was ridiculed by the Iranian Regime Leaders as the protests again gathered steam epitomized by this captured by Radio Farda:

As I was reflecting upon the current predicament in Iran, someone on Instagram posted this from a great Persian Shah, Nader Shah The Great: 

He basically says that we must execute the Mullahs Twice--once for a useless life and once for being the fraud that they are and defrauding the poor men and women.     I could not agree more as I see how Iran has been driven to the ground.     That's why I repeatedly note that #WeWillClaimIran whenever I comment on matters in spite of the profound challenges of the past 40 years.   Two of the leading lights of Iranian Music in Exile reflected upon the predicament of the Past 40 years--the lyrics are in Farsi, but the images are striking and its a tribute to the resiliency of the Iranian People.

As I reflected upon the month, though, it was a point of pride and privilege as I joined the ground breaking ceremony at Laguna Niguel's Gem, Crown Valley Park.   The City Staff put on a fabulous show in the presence of Community representatives for the new Community Building:

Although I was blown away by what Dr. Tyson noted below, I look forward to doing what I can to be able to make a difference in hoping to elevate the conversation on an on-going basis:

Onward to August with all its possibilities!! 

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Out & About With Thoughts.....

It has been quite a week in our World.     I decided to take a bit of a "light" but upbeat stance for this week as I chose two Flash Mob Videos from Beirut and Amman: 

This second one from Jordan about Palestine was truly inspiring and beautiful to listen to at the Galleria Mall Jordan.      As I listened to these two, it reminded me of the Words of Francois Hollande as he paid tribute to the fallen of the Paris Bombings when he noted how we must sing more and louder ever more.    How timely it is as we will sing more and dance more to be a continued thorn in the side of all who will deny us all the right to be happy and to live.   I released the first clip to my Facebook Wall and it may have cost me a Facebook Friend--Oh well!!!  But this is the true face of the Middle East not withstanding attempts by some of the lowlifes in Iran especially to stymmie people's happiness with recent arrests. 

As I was finishing off my thoughts and "book-ending" some late curation work on Twitter, I ran across this On Leadership:  

I retweeted this--if only our current leaders at the National Level understood this. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Out & About w/ "My Word Is Free" & An Admonition from #Madiba

It has been an interesting week at the Daily Outsider.    For me, the level of respect has grown by leaps and bounds at the non-violent civil resistance that continues to persist inside Iran.    It has left me speechless as people continue to find ways to defy the Regime as challenges continues to mount for the ordinary man and woman that the Regime in Iran is simply incapable of solving.    I have tried to be optimistic but it is not easy to remain optimistic in the age of Trump as he continues to throw European allies under the bus and praises the President of Russia.  

As I am writing this, Donald Trump has landed in Europe and will be entertained in the UK as he will avoid the protests planned for him.   On the eve of his visit, Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, reminded the President that America does not truly have any allies around the World.    This is a crucial remark that is worth noting, "..... First of all, dear America, appreciate your allies, after all you don't have that many. And, dear Europe, spend more on your defence, because everyone respects an ally that is well-prepared and equipped. Money is important, but genuine solidarity is even more important. Speaking about solidarity, I want to dispel the American President's argument, which says that the US alone protects Europe against our enemies, and that the US is almost alone in this struggle. Europe was first to respond on a large scale when the US was attacked, and called for solidarity after 9/11. European soldiers have been fighting shoulder-to-shoulder with American soldiers in Afghanistan. 870 brave European men and women sacrificed their lives, including 40 soldiers from my homeland Poland. Dear Mr President, please remember about this tomorrow, when we meet at the NATO summit, but above all when you meet president Putin in Helsinki. It is always worth knowing: who is your strategic friend? And who is your strategic problem?...."    This is also as the US Senate in a 97-2 Vote rebuked the President on his stance regarding NATO.

What I did was to take comfort in what Emel Mathlouthi wrote for the Arab Spring.  I first saw scenes of it as she sang it on the streets of Tunis where it all began.  It seems so long ago--but the words "My Word is Free" resonates ever more that I thought might be a nice moment of reflection--this is also as how the World came together to rescue the 12 Thai Kids stuck in a cave for over three weeks.   It is also of note to remember what Nelson Mandela Reminded Us all that I hope all who are in power today make note on the eve of Mandela Day: 

Friday, July 6, 2018

Out & About: Weekly Thoughts

It has been quite a month as I worked away in support of the Daily Outsider as the third quarter has begun.   I had the pleasure to once again join the City of Laguna Niguel's Run in the Park and produced a Visual Essay on it that I distributed to my YouTube Channel.    It was great to see the Community coming out in support of the YMCA and the City.   The City's Fireworks yet again was just beautiful to be witness to.

One beautiful scene I was also witness to was the March For Families in opposition to President Trump's Family Separation Policy.   Thousands showed up within a week's notice at Portola High School--we all then Marched from Portola High School to the James A Musick Facility in Irvine where we understand 4 of the Mothers were held--I produced a Visual Essay on it.     

Once area I've been focused on has been what's been going on in Iran as the Protests have gathered steam.  I captured a few of the on-going coverage over the past couple of weeks as the Government in Tehran is clearly nervous in light of President Trump's decision to withdraw from the JCPOA:  

"...Vahid Shagaghi:  You impose a Tax on somehow buying Pizza, but someone who receives billions in Profits
not a single rial (Iran's Currency) was paid in Taxes--A government that was not even allowed to pass its' System of Taxation..." 

Iran Government Spokesman:  All Ex-Pats, Please bring your gold & foreign currency back ...

Special Military Advisor to the Supreme Leader:  It appears that if there is no Government in Tehran,
The country will run smoother

I was not per se concerned about the implicit threat of a coup that has dissipated.   But what I found laughable was the Government Spokesman request--I wondered if he forgot about all who have stolen billions--In the meantime, the continued attacks on the internal voices of dissent including Hengameh Shahidi has continued.   This is as the head of the Judiciary in the Country had threatened everyone with  20 years minimum imprisonment along with the following flow of thoughts which I found to be extremely disconcerting:

It has been quite challenging to remain hopeful about the state of our World especially as I am seeing challenges with Tariffs.  Our team at the Daily Outsider will be on the prowl assessing it develops.

Truly challenging times--but have to remain hopeful!!