Friday, September 23, 2016

Road to Recovery - phone worries

Not sure what to conclude on this. I gave a Cancer patient a ride to Chemo today. The patient told me he/she has four adult kids in the area that are unable to reliably give rides. His/Her biggest concern is a middle of the night call to the kids who won't answer their phones or read a text in the middle of the night. Its not that they are hard hearted but part of a couple of generations that tend not to answer phone calls or quickly react to texts. We decided 911 would probably be the answer---
If you want to help us with costs here is a link to Universal Giving or through Pay Pals Charitable Fund
"Volunteer drivers donate their time and the use of their cars so that patients can receive the life-saving treatments they need. If you or your loved one needs a ride to treatment, call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 to be matched with a volunteer, or enter your zip code in the box in the link below to check for programs in your area."…/supportprogramsser…/road-to-recovery
Please pass the word on this free service to Cancer patients.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Would you hide a Jew from the Nazis?

Would You Hide a Jew From the Nazis?
NY Times: Nicholas Kristof
“WHEN representatives from the United States and other countries gathered in Evian, France, in 1938 to discuss the Jewish refugee crisis caused by the Nazis, they exuded sympathy for Jews — and excuses about why they couldn’t admit them. Unto the breach stepped a 33-year-old woman from Massachusetts named Martha Sharp.
With steely nerve, she led one anti-Nazi journalist through police checkpoints in Nazi-occupied Prague to safety by pretending that he was her husband.
Another time, she smuggled prominent Jewish opponents of Naziism, including a leading surgeon and two journalists, by train through Germany, by pretending that they were her household workers.
“If the Gestapo should charge us with assisting the refugees to escape, prison would be a light sentence,” she later wrote in an unpublished memoir. “Torture and death were the usual punishments.”
Sharp was in Europe because the Unitarian Church had asked her and her husband, Waitstill Sharp, a Unitarian minister, if they would assist Jewish refugees. Seventeen others had refused the mission, but the Sharps agreed — and left their two small children behind in Wellesley, Mass.

Their story is told in a timely and powerful new Ken Burns documentary, “Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War.” The documentary will air on PBS on Tuesday evening — just as world leaders conclude two days of meetings in New York City about today’s global refugee crisis, an echo of the one in the late 1930s.
“There are parallels,” notes Artemis Joukowsky, a grandson of the Sharps who conceived of the film and worked on it with Burns. “The vitriol in public speech, the xenophobia, the accusing of Muslims of all of our problems — these are similar to the anti-Semitism of the 1930s and ’40s.”
The Sharps’ story is a reminder that in the last great refugee crisis, in the 1930s and ’40s, the United States denied visas to most Jews. We feared the economic burden and worried that their ranks might include spies. It was the Nazis who committed genocide, but the U.S. and other countries also bear moral responsibility for refusing to help desperate people.
That’s a thought world leaders should reflect on as they gather in New York to discuss today’s refugee crisis — and they might find inspiration from those like the Sharps who saw the humanity in refugees and are today honored because of it.
Take Poland, where some Poles responded to Nazi occupation by murdering Jews, while the Polish resistance (including, I’m proud to say, my father’s family) fought back and tried to wake the world’s conscience. One Pole, Witold Pilecki, sneaked into Auschwitz to gather intelligence and alert the world to what was happening.
Likewise, a Polish farmer named Jozef Ulma and his wife, Wiktoria, sheltered desperate members of two Jewish families in their house. The Ulmas had six small children and every reason to be cautious, but they instead showed compassion.
Someone reported them, and the Gestapo raided the Ulmas’ farmhouse. The Nazis first shot the Jews dead, and then took retribution by executing not just Jozef and Wiktoria (who was seven months pregnant) but also all their children. The entire family was massacred.
Another great hero was Aristides de Sousa Mendes, a Portuguese consul general in France as the war began.
Portugal issued strict instructions to its diplomats to reject most visa requests from Jews, but Sousa Mendes violated those orders. “I would rather stand with God and against man,” he said, “than with man and against God.”
By some estimates, he issued visas for 30,000 refugees.
Furious at the insubordination, Portugal’s dictator recalled Sousa Mendes and put him on trial for violating orders. Sousa Mendes was convicted and his entire family was blacklisted, so almost all his children were forced to emigrate. Sousa Mendes survived by eating at soup kitchens and selling family furniture; he died in 1954 in poverty, debt and disgrace.
“The family was destroyed,” notes Olivia Mattis, president of a foundation set up in 2010 to honor Sousa Mendes, who saved her father’s family.
As today’s leaders gather for their summit sessions, they should remember that history eventually sides with those who help refugees, not with those who vilify them.
Currently, only a small number of leaders have shown real moral courage on refugees — hurray for Angela Merkel and Justin Trudeau — and even President Obama’s modest willingness to accept 10,000 Syrians has led him to be denounced by Donald Trump.
Without greater political will, this week’s meetings may be remembered as no better than the 1938 Evian Conference, and history will be unforgiving.
“We must think of Sousa Mendes’s heroism in today’s context,” Jorge Helft, a Holocaust survivor who as a French boy received one of Sousa Mendes’s visas, told me. “I have dinners in Paris where people start saying we have to kick all these people out, there are dangerous people among them.” He paused and added, “I remember being on a ship to New York and hearing that some Americans didn’t want to let us in because there were Nazi spies among us.

“Yes, there might have been Nazi spies, but a tiny minority,” he said, just as there might be spies among Syrian refugees today, but again a tiny minority. “Ninety-five percent or more of these people are decent, and they are fleeing from death. So let’s not forget them.”

Friday, September 16, 2016

Spanish Riding School

"The end of male dominance has began as the over 450- year-old Spanish riding school of Vienna, renowned for its white horses and immaculate equestrianism, presented its first ever woman rider.
"I am so very proud to be here, which has nothing to do with being a woman," 29-year-old Hannah Zeitlhofer said. Back in 2008 the school in the center of Vienna opened its training to women. After eight years of learning Hannah Zeitlhofer will now be in charge of several horses as well teaching at the school. She says there is no battle of the sexes at the riding school, adding: "Here you are accepted 100 percent as a woman and I'm very pleased about that."
The riding school belongs to UNESCO's intangible World Heritage. Heading the institution since 2007 has been the entrepreneurial society dame Elisabeth G├╝rtler. The traditional school for Lipizzan horses in the Hofburg offers public performances as well as permitting public viewings of some training sessions making it a popular tourist attraction. Every year some 300,000 people visit the sold-out dressage performances in Vienna, the stables in Piber near Graz or the training center in the lower-Austrian Huldenberg."


Friday, September 9, 2016

Snow Leopard

Please, before you go to sleep tonight, think of ways you can reach out and help all the creatures out there-----humans as well. 
Snow Leopards. These rare, beautiful gray leopards live in the mountains of Central Asia. They are insulated by thick hair, and their wide, fur-covered feet act as natural snowshoes. Snow leopards have powerful legs and are tremendous leapers, able to jump as far as 50 feet (15 meters). They use their long tails for balance and as blankets to cover sensitive body parts against the severe mountain chill. woodland Park Zoo contributes to programs in Central Asia to help preserve these great animals
Let Kids Be Kids advocates for the rights of all those in the animal kingdom. Yep, humans too-----And, in particular, all those Snow Leopards out there.
Photos: MBarrettMiller/Connemara Productions 9 September 2016
You can help us with our animal advocacy via