Category Archives: Positraction

Interesting way to start the week

POSITRACTION: Gronkowski’s surprise


Watch Rob Gronkowski surprise a single mom with free furniture 
Marissa Payne, The Washington Post

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New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski isn’t just a talented football player; he’s also a really nice guy. If surrounding himself with cats for an ESPN magazine photoshoot last year wasn’t enough to convince you he’s a softie, perhaps his recent efforts to get a single mom and her two kids a new couch will.

Gronk teamed up with Eastern Bank and College Bound moving company CEO and philanthropist Edward Smith to make the special delivery. The mom’s reaction is priceless.

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Charity done publicly is “good”.

Done anonymously is “best”.

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POSITRACTION: baby dumped in freezing weather + stray cat = happy miracle


News World news Cats
Hero cat rescues baby dumped in street by climbing in box to keep it warm in freezing conditions
Jan 15, 2015 12:02 By Jon Livesey

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As well as using its long hair and body heat to protect the three-month old tot from sub-zero temperatures, the moggy also raised the alarm by constantly meowing

A long-haired tabby cat has been hailed a hero after finding an abandoned baby in a street and climbing in the box he had been left in to protect him from the cold.

As well as making sure the three-month-old didn’t freeze to death, the moggy raised the alarm by crying out to make people aware of the boy’s presence.

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A people say that animals aren’t “smart”.

I don’t know what you’d call this. Maybe “dumb luck”. Or a Guardian Angel.

And what state of mind was the Mom in?

Can’t imagine her circumstances.

Guess they don’t have “save haven” laws in Russia.

But they have better stray cats?

Dona Nobis Pacem

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The RaMBaM (Maimonides) distilled the Talmudic Sages’ principles of how to give tzedakah to a list from least to best:
1. Giving begrudgingly
2. Giving less than you should, but giving it cheerfully.
3. Giving after being asked
4. Giving before being asked
5. Giving when you do not know the recipient’s identity, but the recipient knows your identity
6. Giving when you know the recipient’s identity, but the recipient does not know your identity
7. Giving when neither party knows the other’s identity
8. Enabling the recipient to become self-reliant

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I like #7 and #8.

It goes to the core of “My Brother’s Keeper”.

At risk of interjecting some political thought, that’s what’s wrong with the Welfare State and Big Charity. They are not motivated to SOLVE the problem.

While it’s true that we will always have “the poor” and “poverty” — and the discussion of what’s truly “poverty” as if having lots of stuff that the truly poor die without — we can have a civil society where people are free. Free to make mistakes and free to learn, change, and thrive.

Taking away free will is as bad as designing a system that’s inescapable, demeaning, and disempowering.

I’m sure my fellow Jaspers have realized this long ago, but for me I’m further back not he road to Enlightenment. After all I am a fat old white guy injineer.

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POSITRACTION: Can we understand what it is to have clean, safe water


Why you should be thankful for clean, safe water
By Bill Horan
Published December 12, 2014

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I serve as president of Operation Blessing International, a global humanitarian charity. I travel to dozens of countries each year where our teams work to save lives and alleviate suffering, much of it caused by contaminated water—water that looks harmless, but contains nasty germs, disease-causing bacteria and viruses, and parasites. These contaminants are invisible to the naked eye, but poisonous to the people drinking the water, especially the very young and very old.

We are so incredibly fortunate here in the United States, where no matter how poor, everyone has access to perfectly safe water.

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Seems so obvious, but taken for granted.

As a tin foil hat, I am prepared for the day, which I hope never comes, when I can’t assume water is safe.

In other countries, this is just another risk they have to take.

In ingineering scruple, “sanitary engineering” was the butt of a lot of jokes.

But all jokes aside, it’s life or death in some places.

Dona Nobis Pacem

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POSITRACTION: Buchenwald atrocities


The day a Holocaust survivor got revenge on his tormentor
By Martin Greenfield
November 9, 2014 | 3:21am

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He survived the savagery of the Holocaust, made it to America with barely a penny and became a world-famous tailor in Brooklyn, dressing celebrities and presidents. In his new memoir, “Measure of a Man,” Martin Greenfield tells the story of his extraordinary life. In this excerpt, he explains how the concentration camps nearly stripped him of his humanity at age 16 — and the day he got it back.

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“Shoot her!” the other boy yelled. “That’s what we came here for! Do it!”
I froze. I couldn’t do it. I could not pull the trigger. That was the moment I became human again. All the old teachings came rushing back. I had been raised to believe that life was a precious gift from God, that women and children must be protected.

Had I pulled the trigger, I would have been like Mengele. He, too, had faced mothers holding babies — my mother holding my baby brother — and sentenced both to gruesome deaths. My moral upbringing would not allow me to become an honorary member of the SS.

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A friend shared with me an article from a 1945 issue of Life magazine about Nazi suicides following the war. Here is a portion of what it said: “In the last days of the war the overwhelming realization of utter defeat was too much for many Germans. Stripped of the bayonets and bombast which had given them power, they could not face a reckoning with either their conquerors or their consciences. These found the quickest and surest escape in what Germans call Selbstmord, self-murder . . . In Hitler’s Reich, Germans stopped killing others and began killing themselves. In Weimar, the mayor and his wife, after seeing Buchenwald atrocities, slashed their wrists.”

That day at the mayor’s home, God pricked my conscience. In so doing, He spared me the guilt and shame of killing the mayor of Weimar’s wife.

I didn’t need to kill her. She did it for me.

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[TIP ‘o’ the HAT to: Des Walsh shared Accidental Talmudist’s photo on Facebook]


Pro-life is pro-life.

It’s engrained in our DNA.

And yet the “culture of death” just rolls on.

You talk about a “war on women” or “racial discrimination”. 

Look at sex selection abortions.

Look at the minority abortions.

That’s the real war.

I go back to my favorite analogy.

Willie Crowther programmed Colossal Cave Adventure and I spent a lot of time on it.

But from it, I learned an important lesson — if you killed the bird, then you never got by the snake.

What if one of those aborted humans was the girl who would cure cancer, the boy who would bring peace, … … write the next Lullaby, figure out FTL travel, or some other hither too unimaginable invention or discovery.

But “we”, as society, killed her / him, and will never advance?


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POSITRACTION: A bald Cinderella


‘Wow, you look just like me!': Girl battling cancer meets bald Cinderella
Published December 11, 2014

2014 Dec 12 bald cinderella

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“She’s OK at the hospital. She’ll wear no hat at the hospital because other kids look just like her,” Harvey told ABC. “It’s more when she goes places where there are people that she knows, she gets more upset and she wants her hat on.”

Harvey wanted to do something special for her daughter— namely, to show her she wasn’t the only one who looks the way she does. So she contacted Gianna Nicole’s Heart of Hope, a group that works with families of children battling cancer. According to ABC, Heart of Hope was collaborating with photographer Alana Hubbard and Bella Princess, an event company that orchestrates princess-themed photo shoots and parties.

The organization created a surprise photo shoot for Isabella and Cinderella— a model dressed like a princess with a bald cap to help cast away Isabella’s insecurities.

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Nice when folks doing something special.

Now I’d have been more impressed if the model was truly bald.

But, it’s a start.

“Bon courage a vous tous”

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POSITRACTION: Dobri Dobrev “sneakily” begs for others


Murray, Paul F. [MC1967] posted on facebook

2014 Nov 30 begging

May 29, 2013 ·

98 year old Dobri Dobrev, a man who lost his hearing in the second world war, walks 10 kilometers from his village in his homemade clothes to the city of sofia, where he spends the day begging for money.

Though a well known fixture around several of the city’s churches, known for his prostrations of thanks to all donors, it was only recently discovered that he has donated every penny he has collected — over 40,000 euros — towards the restoration of decaying bulgarian monasteries and churches and the utility bills of orphanages, living instead off his monthly state pension of 80 euros

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[JR: I know I’d think “scam”. I have thought that. I hope I do better in the future.]

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