From: The Local France
By: Ginger Rutland: Special to the Sacramento Bee
As I passed Parkside Community Church on my way to my gym on the Fourth of July a powerful tableau caught my attention. Kneeling on the church lawn were the figures of Mary and Joseph penned in a cage constructed of chicken wire. A few feet away, baby Jesus lay in his manger, penned in another chicken wired cage – mother, father and child, separated, unable to touch. A crudely lettered sign next to the cages read, “Seeking Asylum in America Today.”
Click Link for the full story
An anonymous person bought $1 million worth of toys at a Raleigh, North Carolina Toys “R” Us last week and reportedly donated them to children.
Employees at the store said that they spent all of Friday — the last day the toy store chain was in business — boxing up toys for the anonymous buyer and had to get toys from other locations to fill the order.
It’s not clear where the toys were sent.
Packing all those toys required the store to be closed one day early and shoppers hoping to get discounted toys before the store closed were turned away. But when WNCN-TV told them about the donation, would-be customers weren’t disappointed.
“Oh, that’s so nice. I’m happy to hear that,” said customer Erin Sampson.
On Friday, June 29, all Toys ‘R’ Us locations around the country were permanently closed after the chain filed for bankruptcy last summer and failed to find a new buyer to take over operations.
Fengxian District launched its annual campaign on Sunday to encourage citizens help to realize the dreams of the less fortunate.
The Dream Market campaign, which was initiated in 2016, encourages individuals, social organizations and enterprises within the southern outskirt district to offer their help and support. It is part of the district government’s poverty reduction campaign to create a generous and warm-hearted social atmosphere, the district government said.
“More than 320,000 people who sought help during the campaign have made their dreams come true thanks to the involvement of others,” said Sheng Qunhua, director with the district’s spiritual civilization office.
“Fengxian people has a long tradition to help others,” said Sheng. The name of the district literally means “to respect the nobility,” because early residents in the area offered help to an apprentice of Confucius.
During the Love Market on Sunday, those in impoverished regions were encouraged to write down and publicize their difficulties on a notice broad at the administrative service center of the district, while other residents selected and helped to realize these “dreams.”
For instance, Zhou Baocai, 80, an “intangible cultural heritage” master of the traditional paper-cutting skill of local Fengcheng Town, publicized his dream on the market to have a large-size bespoke table to finish a masterpiece, the paper-cutting copy of the “Along the River During Qingming Festival,” a famous panoramic scroll dating from the 11th or 12th century.
A furniture store boss soon claimed his dream and promised to made a long wooden table for Zhou. “I’m willing to help master Zhou to complete the masterwork to promote the traditional local skill that is at risk of being vanished, as well as the traditional Chinese culture,” the helper said on Sunday.
To better promote the campaign, the district government established 130 Dream Stations across its towns and subdistricts in May. Residents can publicize their difficulties or help others at the stations throughout the year, said Zhuang Mudi, the Party secretary of Fengxian. Over 1,000 helping projects have been collected at the stations, mainly on employment, agricultural problems, poverty reduction and cultural development.
A minority of Americans believe that many Muslims in the U.S. are not “American” enough, according to a new study by the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group
They also see little difference between Muslims from other countries and Muslim Americans, “suggesting that ‘Americanness’ alone does not lead to more positive views,” the study of 5,000 respondants found.
Further, nearly 20 percent of those sur-veyed would deny Muslims who are U.S. citizens the right to vote and many would support a temporary ban on Muslims enter-ing the country, according to the study by the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group.
Perceptions split dramatically down party lines, with Democrats believing that more than two-thirds of Muslims wanted to fit in, while Republicans believed only 36 percent did.
Overall, respondents believed only 51 percent of Muslim Americans respect American ideals and laws, and only 56 per-cent want to fit in. While the survey found major partisan lines in how people responded, Republicans and Democrats agreed on three perceptions: Muslims tend to be religious, have outdated views of women and outdated views of gay people.
Muslims were ranked the lowest of any demographic group – just behind feminists, with a score of 48 on a favorability scale in which respondents rated various demo-graphic groups on a scale of 0 to 100.
The perceptions among non-Muslims were inconsistent with how Muslims view themselves, with a large portion saying they consider themselves patriotic. “While these are disturbing perceptions, the survey itself shows that they are not a reflection of reality in that American
Muslims are well-integrated, patriotic and productive citizens — but are instead a product of misinformation and the active promotion of Islamophobia in our society,” said Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
Hooper put the blame squarely on Donald Trump for the overwhelmingly negative perception of Muslims. The president has been criticized by politicians on both sides of the aisle for his positions on Muslims – including his false statement that he saw thousands of Muslims in New Jersey cheering over the September 11 terrorist attacks.
During the 2016 Republican presidential primary race, Republican Governor Jeb Bush said, “You talk about closing mosques, you talk about registering people that’s just wrong.”
But reactions like those haven’t deterred the president from imposing policies that restrict people from several majority-Muslim countries from entering the U.S. The number of Muslims living in the United States is projected to double as a share of the U.S. population by 2050, according to the Pew Research Center.
Survey: 1 in 5 Americans would deny Muslims the right to vote
• Those surveyed view many Muslims in the United States as insufficiently “American.” On average, they believe that only 56 percent of Muslim Americans want to fit in and be part of the U.S., and that only 51 percent of Muslim Americans respect American ideals and laws.
• Perceptions of Muslims are strongly related to partisanship and cultural conservatism. For example, on average Democrats believed that a substantial majority of Muslims (67 percent) wanted to fit in, but Republicans believed that only 36 percent did.
• On three dimensions, however, perceptions of Muslims cross partisan and ideological lines: That tend to be religious, outdated views of women and, separately, have outdated views of gays and lesbians.
• There is significant support, especially among Republicans, for policies that would temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country and, for Muslims within this country, subject them to additional surveillance. In fact, almost 20 percent of those surveyed would deny Muslims who are American citizens the right to vote.
• Negative perceptions of Muslim Americans do not match what Muslim Americans themselves believe. For example, large majorities of Muslim Americans express patriotic sentiments
My neighbor approached me yesterday about a neighbor who is in his eighties. He wants to die she said. he leaves his door open, he is not eating, his friend is doing everything for him, but he wants to die. He’s not doing well, he can’t walk without falling down. I don’t know what to do? I don’t know his family or who to call? I thought of you because you seem to know about situations like this.
I told her I would make a few calls. Perhaps there is an city or county agency that would make a welfare check. I told her I would call later in the afternoon.
My neighbor came up to my apartment, she was dejected and I could smell alcohol on her breath. She said, called the management of the apartment complex, she said they were angry that she called. The called the city and various agency. He was in the Korean war so being a vet, she called the Veterans Administration and they told her, let him die! (I’m not convinced they said that ) I saw the tears in her eyes, I wanted to hug her, but didnt for some reason. I told her I am lucky to have a caring neighbor like her in the complex.
As I closed the door to my apartment, I thought to myself. Do we have the right to prevent a person who wants to die, to die?
I knew two people who committed suicide. I clearly remember wondering if I could have made a difference, prevented them from killing himself. Next response was anger and resentment, how cruel and selfish they were. People loved them, friends family and in one case children, they should have talked to someone! Told someone! sought help. Their choice of suicide will cause a great deal of pain and we will live with this stain of this selfish act !
I cherish life, I love it and think I am blessed every single day, but that is me!
I have no idea of the pain these individuals have, their suffering. How unbearable it might be for them, day to day, even living in my world.
Maybe its us who are cruel and selfish ones. We insist they live a life of misery and despair for us. We insist they hang in there with the endless needles and evasive procedures for us.
We ignore them and get angry hen they say their tired. We insist they trust god, when they simply want to go home.
Some of us demand that our love ones live a life of pain. We pray, we want them to want to live. For Us.
My neighbor was in his early eighties, he lived longer than both of his sons. Last year was an horrendous year for him. His beloved small white dog was snatched out of his arms and killed by another dog in front of him. He is a fixture in the apartment complex.
With his rapidly deteriorating health, I’m not sure I would want to live. My options would be very few and I wouldn’t want to be a burden on my friends and children.
“What if I want to die? Am I obligated to live for friends and family?
Vanitha Durai explains how she managed to get Indian women in Gothenburg to form a strong online community.
From: The Local Sweden
So what do you do when you arrive in a foreign city and find yourself convinced that you’re not the only Indian housewife struggling to find something to do?
Well, if you’re Vanitha Durai, you simply create the group that you want to join.
And so the Indian Women in Gothenburg community was born, an online group that has flourished and now hosts all kinds of events for its community of hundreds.
“I felt the need for a small group to discuss the difficulties of moving here, things like not having a job, or what it’s like to follow a spouse to Sweden,” she tells The Local.
“At first it was a kind of recreational thing, but then we started thinking how to expand it, and soon it became a place for people to find job-finding help, to have discussions, and to find things for their children.”
The group has since hosted events for Diwali Day, which marks the culmination of the week-long Hindu festival of lights, and summer camps for children.
Most recently, the group has hosted a flashmob event in a Gothenburg mall.
“The point of the flashmob was to celebrate the beauty of womanhood. Half of the women aren’t trained dancers, it was more a matter of accepting who we all are and sharing positive vibes,” she says.
Finding work for herself was another challenge that the 34-year-old tackled, eventually landing a job in business management with Volvo Cars.
Now in her fifth year in Sweden, Durai admits that it’s rarely an easy path when you’re looking for a career in Sweden.
“Of course you have a barrier with the language, that’s the main thing, and that isn’t helped that there aren’t many job opportunities,” she says.
“I think the main thing is you need to know a little bit of Swedish, enough to understand what’s going on, then also enough to express yourself in a way that people can understand.”
But her main tip, she says, is to really make the most of any interview opportunities.
“The interview is the place where you can really prove yourself. You have to use that opportunity to the fullest to prove that you can really do even more than what’s shown on your CV,” she says.
Of course, you have to adapt to life in Sweden too – which was an easy step for Durai, who originally hails form Chennai in southern India – some 7,500 kilometres from Gothenburg.
“The job culture is very welcoming here, but you have to get in – the entry part is the toughest step,” she says.
“But Sweden is a very good place to live and to bring up kids. The benefits are excellent and it’s a safe environment for the family.”
Indeed, the value placed on family life in Sweden is one of the things Durai highlights about Sweden in general.
“I feel the quality of life is good, you get a lot of time with the family, evenings, weekends, there is no pressure – you have your vacation,” she says.