Category Archives: Positraction

Interesting way to start the week

POSITRACTION: Teen Vandals Reading Books About Racism

2019-Jun-16

https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/judge-sentences-teen-vandals-to-reading-books

Judge Sentences Teen Vandals to Reading Books About Racism – and It Apparently Worked
By McKinley Corbley – May 4, 2019

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Rather than punishing a group of juveniles for a racist act of vandalism, this compassionate judge wanted them to understand the error of their ways and made them read books—and it apparently worked.

Back in September 2016, five teenagers were charged with painting graffiti on a historic old schoolhouse in Ashburn, Virginia.

The schoolhouse, which had been used to teach black children during segregation, had been covered in swastikas, racist statements, and doodles that seemed typical of misled youngsters.

In fact, one of the teenagers had just been expelled from his school prior to the vandalism, which is why Prosecutor and Deputy Commonwealth Attorney Alejandra Rueda believed that the kids were lashing out – and she felt that she had a chance to turn the incident into an educational opportunity.

“The community blew up [over the vandalism]. Understandably. But you know, some of the kids didn’t even know what a swastika meant,” Rueda told BBC. “So I saw a learning opportunity.

“With children you can either punish or you can rehabilitate—and these were kids with no prior record—and I thought back to what taught me when I was their age, what opened my eyes to other cultures and religions… and it was reading.”

So instead of simply putting the kids on probation, Rueda drew up a reading list of 35 different books that deal with the pain and tragedies of racial injustice. Khaled Hosseini, Elie Wiesel, Harper Lee, Solomon Northup, Maya Angelou, and Alice Walker were just a few of the iconic authors she included on the list.

The teens were then asked to read one of the books each month for a year. For every book they read, they were asked to write a 3,500-word essay on the consequences of racism, bigotry, and prejudice. Additionally, the teens were made to visit the Holocaust Museum and a history museum exhibit on the Japanese-American internment camps following Pearl Harbor.

Two years after the incident, Rueda’s sentencing did exactly what she hoped it would. The kids are sticking to their education; they have not reoffended; and based on their essays as well as statements from the teens’ parents and lawyers, they were all “embarrassed” and regretful of their crime.

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Wish they had included the reading list and I wonder why it’s not part of the Gooferment Skrules?

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POSITRACTION: “Thousands of people” demonstrate their charity

2019-Jun-09

https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/strangers-donate-thousands-to-20-year-old-woman-raising-5-siblings/

Since Officers Gave Her a Car, Strangers Have Donated Thousands to 20-Year-old Raising Her 5 Siblings
By Good News Network-Apr 22, 2019
 
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Thousands of people have come together in order to support a 20-year-old woman who has been supporting her five younger siblings since their parents died.

Sam Rodriguez is the oldest of her brothers and sisters, ranging in age from 5 to 17. Since both of their parents died from cancer within the last five years, she has taken charge of their family.

Last week, the siblings made national headlines after their local police department published a video of themselves presenting Sam with a new car. The kids’ story was shared thousands of times – and it has resulted in thousands of readers donating to a GoFundMe campaign for the family.

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Here’s an example of private charity in action.  For all that everyone says that our society is greedy, self-involved, or uncaring, here’s a refutation.

Like the widow’s mite, a lot of small efforts add up.

For me, it’s the best way to sneak in the side door at the Pearly Gates.

Allow me to quote from my novel:

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Have you heard that old Irish adage about “good works only count if done in secret”. Funny, I learned that from my maternal English Protestant grandmother who wanted to teach me about my maternal grandfather’s “heathen Irish culture that has a few good points”.

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ROFL!  But still very true.

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POSITRACTION: ‘Stop, your life is worth it’

2019-Jun-02

https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/12-boys-hailed-for-talking-woman-out-of-suicide/

12 Middle School Boys Are Being Hailed for Talking Woman Out of Taking Her Own Life
By McKinley Corbley – Apr 9, 2019

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These middle school students are being hailed as heroes after they helped to talk a woman out of committing suicide last week.

The 12 young heroes, all of whom are members of the boys volleyball team from Kepler Neighborhood School in Fresno, California, had been jogging through the streets for their training when they saw the woman climb over the edge of a bridge.

Had she let go, she would have fallen 100 feet onto the train tracks below – but luckily, the boys took action.

The team members ran to their coach Elliot Murray, yelling for him to call 911. When he saw the woman hanging from the bridge, he told the boys to run back and do everything in their power to keep her from jumping.

“I immediately told the kids, ‘Do everything you can, chant, say ‘Stop, your life is worth it’ – and they just kept on chanting,” Murray told WPVI.

Sure enough, the boys spent the next 10 minutes with the 47-year-old woman, yelling words of encouragement and urging her to climb up from the ledge.

Upon hearing their compassionate chants, the woman finally crossed back over to safety just before police officers arrived on the scene.

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Good action by these young men.  How many of us would have the presence of mind to do this?

One can only hope that this inspires folks with what is possible.

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POSITRACTION: A “foolish” man creates immuno-oncology drugs

2019-May-26

https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/he-was-called-foolish-for-his-research-now-documentary-tells-how-he-won-nobel-prize-for-cancer-cure/

He Was Called Foolish for His Research; Now Documentary Tells How He Won Nobel Prize for ‘Cancer Cure’
By McKinley Corbley – Apr 14, 2019

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Jim Allison has been the quiet hero behind some of the most ground-breaking medical research of the last quarter century—but before he won the Nobel prize for his work, he was laboring tirelessly to proves his theories against a skeptical scientific community.

Back in the 90s, Allison was called “foolish” for claiming that the immune system could fight off cancer. Despite being shot down time and time again by medical researchers and pharmaceutical companies, Allison developed the basis for immuno-oncology drugs – also known as “lpi.”

Allison first became inspired to research cancer treatments as a result of his mother passing away after a long and debilitating battle with lymphoma when he was just 11 years old. After his mother’s passing, Allison would go on to lose a brother and two uncles to cancer; and he himself would end up beating cancer three different times.

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As a means of thanking him for his determined efforts, Allison was co-awarded the 2018 Nobel prize for physiology or medicine. More recently, film director Bill Haney released a documentary about Allison last month called Breakthrough – and it has been hailed as a masterpiece since its release.

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Interesting that this “foolish” man, pushed through all the nay-sayers, and did some great work for humanity.

“People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.” George Bernard Shaw

I note the toll cancer took on his family.  And, I read this recurrent theme in many stories about doctor’s motivation to do big things.

Perhaps this is all part of a Grand Plan?

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POSITRACTION: ‘Great Green Wall’ in Africa

2019-May-19

https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/dozens-of-countries-have-been-working-to-plant-great-green-wall-and-its-producing-results/

Dozens of Countries Have Been Working to Plant ‘Great Green Wall’ – and It’s Holding Back Poverty
By McKinley Corbley – Mar 31, 2019

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More than 20 African countries have joined together in an international mission to plant a massive wall of trees running across the continent – and after a little over a decade of work, it has reaped great success.

The tree-planting project, which has been dubbed The Great Green Wall of Africa, stretches across roughly 6,000 miles (8,000 kilometers) of terrain at the southern edge of the Sahara desert, a region known as the Sahel.

The region was once a lush oasis of greenery and foliage back in the 1970s, but the combined forces of population growth, unsustainable land management, and climate change turned the area into a barren and degraded swath of land.

After decades of political collaboration, the Great Green Wall project was finally launched by 11 countries in 2007.

The initiative has since recruited at least nine additional countries to plant drought-resistant acacia trees across the entire width of the continent. Though the wall is currently only about 15% percent complete, it has already dramatically impacted the participating countries.

Over 12 million acres (5 million hectares) of degraded land has been restored in Nigeria; roughly 30 million acres of drought-resistant trees have been planted across Senegal; and a whopping 37 million acres of land has been restored in Ethiopia – just to name a few of the states involved.

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Sounds like a great idea.

Wonder if we could do it here in the USA?

Bury some of the Interstates with “animal migration overpasses” and it’s possible?

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POSITRACTION: Homeless Man Gets Housing and Work Thanks to Teen Girl

2019-May-12

https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/homeless-man-gets-housing-and-work-thanks-to-teen-who-saw-plea-for-work/

Homeless Man Gets Housing and Work Thanks to Teen Girl Who Saw His Plea for a Job at a Bus Stop
By McKinley Corbley – Mar 27, 2019

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A homeless man has been given a job and a roof over his head thanks to a teenager who saw his impassioned plea.

In a bid to find himself a job, 37-year-old Anthony Johnson posted a “Work Wanted” sign at a Hastings bus stop in Sussex, England.

The sign read: “I will do a trial for free to show how I work. I don’t take drugs or drink. I will also do dog walking/minding, window cleaning, shopping, gardening, car valeting/washing, housework, cooking.”

“Anything to earn a living and make life seem worth living,” he added.

Luckily, the note was spotted by 16-year-old Charlotte Howard. After she snapped some photos of Johnson’s sign and tent, she posted them to social media and started a GoFundMe page in hopes of drumming up enough cash to buy him a used caravan.

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“I wouldn’t have got anywhere looking for a job if it wasn’t for her,” he added. “She really is incredible.”

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Amazing how a motivated teenager can solve a individual’s problem.

How many “opportunities” to do the same have I missed in my life?

Charity is best done by individual effort and look what one youngster can do.

Imagine what a society can do.

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POSITRACTION: “It’s a joy to help other people, I will die broke.”

2019-May-05

Bugle Blasts
May 2019 Vienna VA 22181
Volume 10 Number 10 Page 3 Story #2

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Denny Sanford, 83, made his fortune, estimated by Forbes to be at $2.2 billion, in banking and credit card companies. He said he plans to die broke, having given away his fortune. To date, he has donated $1.6 billion to causes that include health care research and services, neglected children, the University of Minnesota, education, the San Diego Children’s Zoo, stem cell and breast cancer research. “It’s a joy to help other people, I will die broke. Everything is committed to different organizations.”

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About all that’s missing is keeping it “secret”.

(Ever heard that old Irish adage about “good works only count if done in secret”. Means you can get your reward in Heaven or here on earth with praise; not both!  Funny, I learned that from my maternal English Protestant grandmother who wanted to teach me about my maternal grandfather’s “heathen Irish culture that has a few good points”. ROFL!)

You really can’t take it with you.

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