Discord & Dissension – Part ll – “How did we get here? – Part ll”

We proudly present the second part of this week’s ‘Discord and Dissension’ project … please feel free to comment and make any suggestions you may have … we want this project to make a difference! Thanks to all of you!

On The Fence Voters

Note to readers: This week’s post on our ‘Discord and Dissension’ project ended up being too long for a single post, and so it will be presented in two parts. The first part was presented earlier this morning, which you can read here. The following post is the second part. 

Bush v. Gore

The 2000 election was extremely close. In the end, it came down to the state of Florida. George W. Bush had a lead of only 500 votes over Al Gore, and a recount ensued. It was during this period where the partisan divide between the two parties was on full display. One of the closest and most contentious elections was ultimately decided by the Supreme Court when they settled in a 5-4 decision to halt the recount—a split decision which also reflected the conservative versus liberal ideological makeup of the court.

The fact that Al Gore ultimately…

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Discord & Dissension – Part ll – “How did we get here? – Part 1”

As we promised last week, here is the first part of our project. We welcome all comments and suggestions and we hope you find this to be of value!

On The Fence Voters

Note to readers: This week’s post on our ‘Discord and Dissension’ project ended up being too long for a single post, and so it will be presented in two parts. This is the first part, the second will follow this afternoon. It seems we have a lot to say, and this is likely to happen from time to time. 😉

As my good friend Jill over at Filosofa’s Word pointed out in her excellent intro to this project last Friday, Wake Up America! 2020 is here, and if you thought 2016 was bad, buckle up your seat belts. Campaign 2020 promises to be one of the most divisive in history. As we speak, the current president of the United States is about to go on trial in the Senate for two articles of impeachment.

And he’s not happy about it.

But beyond the current chaos in Washington, our political…

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There is a reason the US president does not want people reading evidence

There have been new developments in the impeachment case against Donald Trump, and our friend Keith has summed them up nicely for us. It is to be hoped that the testimony of Lev Parnas will be heard in the trial and that perhaps it will open the eyes of some of those republicans who have been wearing blinders. Thank you, Keith!

musingsofanoldfart

In an editorial by Neal Katyal and Joshua Geltzer yesterday in The Washington Post called “Lev Parnas and Rudy Giuliani have demolished Trump’s claims of innocence” (see link below), it lays bare false reasons of the US president using strong-arm tactics in Ukraine. Per the editorial:

“Americans who have been wondering why President Trump has taken the extraordinary step of trying to block every document from being released to Congress in his impeachment inquiry need wonder no longer. The new documents released Tuesday evening by the House Intelligence Committee were devastating to Trump’s continuing — if shifting — defense of his Ukraine extortion scandal, just days before his impeachment trial is likely to begin in the Senate. These new documents demolish at least three key defenses to which Trump and his allies have been clinging: that he was really fighting corruption when he pressured Ukraine on matters related to the…

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Blame It On Nancy

I stumbled upon this last night, and thought you might find some wisdom and humour from it.

claytoonz

cjones01172020

Yesterday, A Canadian CEO blamed Donald Trump for the lives lost by Iran shooting down the Ukrainian airliner.

Iran was responding to the United States killing its top general while he was on his way to the airport in Baghdad. The general was killed after Donald Trump ordered his assassination. The CEO, Michael McCain, chief executive of Canadian food packaging company Maple Leaf Foods, says one of his colleagues lost his wife and 11-year-old son when the airliner was shot down.

Iran has taken responsibility for shooting down the plane a few hours after shooting rockets at bases in Iraq where American troops where stationed. Iran’s attack was a response to Trump’s ordered hit.

McCain, who’s probably going to incur Republican wrath for his last name alone, lashed out on Trump through Twitter, and not just his private account, but his company’s. He said the 57 Canadians killed in this…

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Keep It Personal, Please

Perhaps there is no single place where the concept of separation between church and state is as important as in our public schools.  There was good reason for Thomas Jefferson to call for a ‘wall of separation’ between church and state, and today there are even more reasons.  And yet, in recent years, most especially since Donald Trump took office in 2017, that wall seems to be breaking down.

Today it was announced that …

“The Trump administration is moving to strengthen protections for students who want to pray or worship in public schools and proposing changes that would make it easier for religious groups that provide social services to access federal funds.”

Now, I can hear you saying, “Okay, so what’s the big deal … if a kid wants to pray while in school, who cares?”  But here’s the thing … any kid who wants to pray in school at any time of the day is already free to do so.  Nobody is going to punish the child who closes his eyes and says, “Lord, please help me pass this test”.  But … to allow a child to force the entire classroom to listen to his prayer is an infringement on the rights of the other children.

Prayer should be a personal thing, not a group activity … and especially when not all the group believe in the same things.  In today’s public schools, we have Muslim children, Catholic children, Jewish children, and atheist children.  But, it is the evangelical Christians who are driving the decisions to include prayer in school.  Can you imagine the evangelical parents of little Johnny who comes home one afternoon and starts talking about Allah, because little Mohammed said his prayers in school?  Oh yeah … mommy and daddy would be at the school board office bright and early the next morning, probably with their lawyer in tow.

But yet, Mohammed’s parents are supposed to accept him being subjected to Christian prayers.  There is a time and a place for everything.  If you follow a certain religion, you and your children have every right to pray, but do it at home or do it at church … school is the place we send our children to learn, not to pray.

I would remind those evangelicals who would like to see mandatory prayer in schools that they have a number of options, including sending their children to a parochial school if they feel so strongly about their child praying at school.  What they don’t have is the right to force every other child in the classroom to listen to their child’s prayers.  Public schools are open to children of any or no faith.  Children are in school a maximum of eight hours a day … surely it isn’t impossible for them to go that long without vocal prayer?

I would also remind them that this is NOT a Christian nation, but rather a constitutionally-mandated secular nation where people of all religions are welcome, as are people who eschew any religion.  Religion is a personal thing … keep it personal, please … remember that our schools are funded by tax dollars paid by people of all and no denominations. school-prayer

♫ Puff The Magic Dragon ♫

I could have sworn I had played this before.  I went looking through my archives and found no reference to it, no song played … nothing.

Now, I actually had begun tonight’s music post as Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers, but then I saw a comment by our friend Ellen who reminded me that today is “Annual Appreciate A Dragon Day”, and she suggested a song I just played a day or so ago, the adorable John Lewis & Partners video with the Dragon in I Can’t Fight This Feeling Anymore, or else this one, Puff the Magic Dragon.  Now, I don’t mind redux-ing, as I have done so often of late, but to redux a short 7 days later is a bit much.  So, I went for Puff, which as I said, I know I already did, but apparently I didn’t index it properly.

PuffPeter Yarrow, the ‘Peter’ of Peter, Paul & Mary, wrote the song in 1958 before he joined the group. It started with a poem his roommate, Lenny Lipton, left in his typewriter …

“Lenny Lipton and I were at Cornell, and it was exam time. He came to my place in Collegetown, sat down at the typewriter, and wrote some poetic words – he had been thinking about Ogden Nash for a while. And he wrote part of what became the lyric. He actually left the piece of paper in the typewriter when he left because he was absorbed in getting to his exams. It was not intended to be a lyric of a song or anything – it was just something that he typed on paper, and I looked at it and loved it. I wrote the rest of the words to give it a song form and a dramatic arch, and the music to it.

Later, on the second album [Moving], when we were looking for children’s songs – we did some children’s songs on the first album, including ‘Autumn to May’ and ‘It’s Raining’ – I suggested ‘Puff, the Magic Dragon,’ and we put it on the album, without any thought that it might ever become popular in any important way. Yet, it happened spontaneously at some point, because a DJ somewhere in the Northwest started to play it on the radio, and it just took off, and it’s the song that it now is.”

A few years after this song became a hit, Yarrow found Lipton and gave him half the songwriting credit. Lipton, who was a camp counselor when Yarrow found him, gets extensive royalties from the song.

According to Lipton, Lipton was feeling homesick when he wrote it. One day, he was on his way to dinner at a friend’s house, and was a little early, so he stopped at the library and happened to read some Ogden Nash poems. The title of the poem that grabbed him was The Tale Of Custard The Dragon, which is about a “Really-o Truly-o Dragon.”

Lipton was friends with Peter Yarrow’s housemate when they were all students at Cornell University. On the walk from Cornell’s library to the friend’s house (where he was to eat dinner), he wrote the poem, which was about the loss of childhood. But no one was home when he arrived – there was some sort of mix-up about dinner. So he just went in and used Yarrow’s typewriter to get the poem out of his head. Then, he forgot about it. Years later, a friend called and told him Yarrow was looking for him, to give him credit for the lyrics. Lipton had actually forgotten about the poem.

And on that note, my friends, in honour of Annual Appreciate a Dragon Day, I give you … PUFF!  The Magic Dragon …

Puff the Magic Dragon
Peter, Paul and Mary

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honahlee
Little Jackie Paper loved that rascal puff
And brought him strings and sealing wax and other fancy stuff oh

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honahlee
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honahlee

Together they would travel on a boat with billowed sail
Jackie kept a lookout perched on puff’s gigantic tail
Noble kings and princes would bow whene’er they came
Pirate ships would lower their flag when puff roared out his name oh

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honahlee
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honahlee

A dragon lives forever but not so little boys
Painted wings and giant rings make way for other toys
One grey night it happened, Jackie Paper came no more
And puff that mighty dragon, he ceased his fearless roar

His head was bent in sorrow, green scales fell like rain
Puff no longer went to play along the cherry lane
Without his life-long friend, puff could not be brave
So Puff that mighty dragon sadly slipped into his cave oh

Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honahlee
Puff, the magic dragon lived by the sea
And frolicked in the autumn mist in a land called Honahlee

Songwriters: Leonard Lipton / Peter Yarrow
Puff the Magic Dragon lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, BMG Rights Management

Snarky … grrrrrr … Snippets

I thought I had gotten rid of most of the snarky yesterday afternoon, but it turns out I had more.  And one of my beloved readers said that yesterday’s snarky snippets were too mild and asked if I was coming down with something.  So, let me see if I can do better today …


Send Lindsey to Siberia … please!

Lindsey-Graham-2-facesYesterday, after Nancy Pelosi appointed the seven impeachment managers who will prosecute the case against Donald Trump, the seven hand delivered the two articles of impeachment to the Senate.  Weasel Lindsey Graham, he who cannot remember which side of the fence he sits on, had this to say …

“The best thing for the American people is to end this crap as quickly as possible, to have a trial in the Senate, bipartisan acquittal of the president. And on Feb. 4, when the president comes into the House chamber to deliver the State of the Union, he will have been acquitted by the Senate.”

Lindsey-Graham-2NOT SO FAST, you little jerk!  The president having already been impeached, this is serious business and you get paid to take it seriously.  Obviously, Lindsey is not qualified to sit on the jury, for he has already shown bias.  Can you imagine during jury selection for a murder trial, if a potential juror said “let’s just end this crap quickly and acquit him”?  Get him out!  Send him … and Moscow Mitch along with him … to Siberia … without winter coats!

Now, there isn’t much hope that the Senate will ultimately convict and evict Trump, but there is now some ray of hope that they will be forced to allow witnesses and testimony, which Mitch had initially said he would not allow.  Republican Senators Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, Lamar Alexander, and Lisa Murkowski appear to be willing to call witnesses, including John Bolton.  Two other senators have indicated that they are not willing to rush the trial just to have it done with before Trump’s State of the Union on February 4th.


Lies, lies, and still more lies …

Trump and his tweets … don’t believe a single thing that comes out of his mouth or his tweety-thumbs.  A few examples from yesterday …

Trump: I was the person who saved Pre-Existing Conditions in your Healthcare.

False. In fact, Trump has done everything he can to undermine protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions, from spending two years trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s protections, to authorizing the sale of short term health plans that don’t have to cover pre-existing conditions so Americans unknowingly lose their protections.

Trump: …if Republicans win in court and take back the House of Representatives, your healthcare, that I have now brought to the best place in many years, will become the best ever, by far.

False. The Trump Administration is currently in the courts trying, yet again, to get the entire Affordable Care Act struck down, which would mean 20 million Americans lose their care and all the protections put in place, including protections for pre-existing conditions, would go away — immediately.

Trump: I will always protect your Pre-Existing Conditions, the Dems will not!

False. Trump STILL hasn’t put forward a health care plan that would do anything other than make millions of Americans lose their care and mean worse health insurance for millions more. He’s had three years to do it.


Send Junior to fight the fires …

Much of Australia is being devastated by the bushfires that have been burning out of control for weeks now.  I hadn’t heard much news on this side of the pond about what the U.S. was doing, other than having sent firefighters, so I went in search of.  Now, between the Soleimani assassination, Iran’s missiles fired in retaliation, impeachment, and the downed Iranian jetliner in Iran, the Australian fires and most everything else have been relegated to the back pages, so I turned to sources outside the U.S.

What I found was that Trump had “sent love” to Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison.  That was about it for Trump’s response.  Go figure.  But Junior had his say … a chip off the ol’ lying block, Junior falsely claimed that the fires were all a result of arsonists, not climate change.

After Junior’s tweet, conservative media outlets quickly picked up and amplified the story. They championed it as finally revealing the true cause of the catastrophe, not to mention undermining the legitimacy of climate change and adding that extra thrill of a conspiracy theory.

But Junior’s wasn’t the only conspiracy theory, nor even the worst of the lot.  One conspiracy bizarrely claims bushfires have been lit to clear a path for high-speed rail down Australia’s east coast. Others baselessly claim Islamic State is instructing its followers to wage war on the country with fire, that Chinese billionaires are using lasers to clear the path for new cities, or that eco-terrorists are trying to spur action on climate change by manufacturing a catastrophe.

Anything to keep from having to admit that climate change is a real threat and that if we don’t change our ways, we will destroy all life on this planet.  Prime Minister Scott Morrison, like Donald Trump, is largely a climate denier, always seeking other excuses.  Animals are dying by the thousands, people’s homes are being destroyed, and the only thing people can seem to think about is making up trashy conspiracy theories?  Some days I hate humans!


Well, I’ve got my blood pressure up and heart racing now, plus I’ve likely worn the lettering off another key or two on my laptop, so I think I shall stop snarking … there, was that snarky enough for everyone?  Oh, one aside … today is National Nothing Day.  According to the National Day Calendar people …

“The observance was created as a day to provide Americans with one National Day when they can just sit without celebrating, observing or honoring anything.  While it may be a good day to celebrate nothing at all, we suppose putting nothing in a glass and setting it on a table might suffice for celebration. You might leave your diary page blank on every January 16th. Don’t mark anything on the calendar on the 16th, either. It would be interesting to see what would happen if you sent a blank email dated January 16th. How many replies would you get saying, ‘There’s nothing here.’ 

For people whose birthday lands on January 16th, wrap an empty box. That should elicit and a nothing response appropriate for the celebration.  When asked, “What are your plans, today?” your response should definitely be, “Nothing.” What else would your answer be on a day like today? Now that we think about it, “Nothing” works well as an answer when recognizing the day.”

So, have a Happy Nothing Day!

Past Due Snarky Snippets!

It’s been a while since I’ve let loose with a string of snarky snippets, and the snark is building up … I noticed steam coming out of my ears as I was brushing my teeth this morning!  So …


Just one more lie …

One of Trump’s campaign “promises” was that he would bring troops home from the Middle East.  So why, some have asked, did we recently deploy 2,000 troops to Saudi Arabia.  When Trump was asked that question, he responded …

“Saudi Arabia, at my request, has agreed to pay us for everything we’re doing.  I said, ‘Listen, you’re a very rich country. You want more troops? I’m going to send them to you, but you have to pay us.’ They’re paying us. They’ve already deposited $1 billion in the bank.”

Trouble is, that appears to be untrue according to the Pentagon …

“Consistent with the president’s guidance to increase partner burden-sharing, the Department of Defense has engaged Saudi Arabia on contributing to US activities that support regional security and dissuade hostility and aggression. The Saudi government has agreed to contribute to the costs of these activities, and discussions are ongoing to formalize these contributions. Contributions of this nature do not lead to the deployment of additional US forces, and they do not drive DoD to take on new missions or responsibilities.” – Pentagon spokesperson, Cmdr. Rebecca Rebarich

“Discussions are ongoing” is quite different from Trump’s unequivocal claim that Saudi Arabia had “already deposited $1 billion in the bank.”  I’ve heard a few question just whose bank account that check was deposited into.  I find it rather unconscionable that Trump happily sends troops to a country that is not an ally, and whose Crown Prince ordered the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year.  Trump refused to hold the Saudis accountable then, and now he is sending troops and lying about the justification, just as he lied about the justification for ordering the assassination of Iranian General Soleimani.


Poor little ousted CEO …

In light of Boeing’s recent and ongoing crisis (see Expendable Lives), the company fired Chief Executive Dennis A. Muilenburg.  He will not receive any additional severance or separation payments in connection with his departure, and Boeing said he had forfeited stock units worth some $14.6 million.  Wow, pretty tough, eh?  Why, he might need to apply for food stamps and housing assistance, yes?  NO!

Muilenburg still walks away with other stock and pension awards totaling some $62.2 million!  AND … Boeing’s new chief executive, David Calhoun, will receive a $7 million bonus if he is able to get the 737 Max, which has been grounded since March, safely flying again.  Seems to me that Boeing has far more money to burn than it has compassion or conscience for human lives.


An apology … of sorts

Last week, Representative Doug Collins of Georgia made the following remark in an interview on Fox News …

“Nancy Pelosi does it again and her Democrats fall right in line. One, they are in love with terrorists — we see that. They mourn Soleimani more than they mourn our Gold Star families who are the ones who suffered under Soleimani. That’s a problem.”

What a nice man … NOT.  Two days later, he managed an apology, of sorts …

“Let me be clear, I do not believe Democrats are in love with terrorists, and I apologize for what I said earlier this week.  The comment I made on Wednesday evening was in response to a question about the War Powers Resolution being introduced in the House and House Democrats’ attempt to limit the president’s authority.”

This morning, when she opened her floor speech, Pelosi graciously accepted Collins’ apology …

“As I enter into the conversation, I want to thank the distinguished gentleman from Georgia for his apology for his ridiculous remarks about me and House Democrats. Thank you, we accept your apology, Mr. Collins. Now I want to go the purpose of why we are on the floor today.”

Pelosi-clapSpeaker Pelosi does have a way of making her point while at the same time being gracious, rather like her applause at the beginning of Trump’s State of the Union Address last year!  I like that woman!


And speaking of that bill …

Last week, after Trump nearly started a new war in the Middle East by ordering the assassination of an Iranian general without informing Congress nor seeking their advice, a number of members of Congress realized the danger Trump poses to this nation and that his power needs to be reined in.  Thus, the House proposed and passed a bill to curtail his war-making powers.

Most of us didn’t think the bill stood a chance in the Senate, where Mitch McConnell seems to be running a dog-and-pony show, but … today it appears that at least the requisite four republican senators have found the courage to stand and do the right thing!  What changed?

A few things, I think, contributed to the change of heart.  First, the classified, closed-door briefing last week from the president’s national security team. White House officials at the briefing, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, cautioned lawmakers not to question Trump’s judgment on Iran.  Then there is the fact that Trump keeps changing his story about the justification for the assassination, and when he finally couldn’t keep his stories straight, he simply claimed …

“It doesn’t really matter, because of his horrible past.”

But, before you get too excited about the possibility of this actually passing the Senate, remember that the odds of Trump signing the bill into law are slim-to-none, and it is unlikely that either House or Senate would be able to provide a 2/3 majority to override his veto.


Okay … so that’s enough snark for one day!  I’ll be back soon!

♫ Broken Wings ♫ (Redux)

I know, I know … I’ve been redux-ing a lot lately.  A number of reasons, but this one is by special request, indirectly.  And it’s been 9 months, since last April, that I last played it, so you’ve likely forgotten (except Ellen … Ellen never forgets anything!).  I promise something new tomorrow!


All it takes sometimes is a single word to put a song into my head … are you guys that way?  Anyway, last night I heard mention of a bird with a broken wing, and that was it … immediately this song jumped into my head and refuses to leave until I share it.

Released in 1985, this song was inspired by a book the lyricist John Lang read called The Broken Wings, by the Lebanese poet-philosopher Kahlil Gibran. The book, which was written in 1912, is a story of a love that is doomed by social convention.

Its theme is echoed in this song: picking up the pieces of your life and moving on. There is a note of heartbreak, however, as the singer is asking the girl to spread her wings and fly away, hoping that love will bring her back.

The line, “Take these broken wings and learn to fly” also appears in The Beatles song Blackbird, another of my favourites.

John Lang wrote this song with Mr. Mister frontman Richard Page and guitarist Steve George. According to Page, they were at his home in California when the three of them came up with the song in about 20 minutes and recorded it on Page’s tape machine.  The band, Mr. Mister, is another that I am not very familiar with, couldn’t name another song they have done, but I’ve always liked this one for some reason.

Broken Wings
Mr. Mister

Baby, I don’t understand
Why we can’t just hold on
To each other’s hands
This time will be the last
I fear unless I make it all too clear
I need you so

Take these broken wings
And learn to fly again
And learn to live so free
When we hear the voices sing
The book of love will open up
And let us in
Take these broken wings

Baby, I think tonight
We can take what was wrong
And make it right
Baby, it’s all I know
That you’re half of the flesh
And blood makes me whole
I need you so

So take these broken wings
And learn to fly again
Learn to live so free
When we hear the voices sing
The book of love will open up
And let us in
Take these broken wings

You’ve got to learn to fly, learn to live, love so free
When we hear the voices sing
The book of love will open up and let us in yeah, yeah

Let us in
Let us in

Baby, it’s all I know that you’re half of the flesh
And blood that makes me whole
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah

So take these broken wings
And learn to fly again, learn to live so free
And when we hear the voices sing
The book of love will open up and let us in

Take these broken wings
You got to learn to fly, learn to live and love so free
When we hear the voices sing
The book of love will open up for us and let us in
Yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah

Songwriters: John Ross Lang / Richard James Page / Steve George
Broken Wings lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

Good People Doing Good Things — Eva & Linda

Today is Wednesday, and you know what that means!  Time to look around at some of the good people in this world who are doing good things to help other.  I have only two today … not that I couldn’t find more, for I could … but I got a bit carried away with these two and ran out of time and space.  But, I think you’ll love these two women!


Eva Gordon of Seattle, Washington, lived to be 105 years old!  Sadly, Eva died last June, but … many will have reason to remember her for much longer.  Let me tell you just a little bit about Ms. Gordon.

She was born and raised in Eugene, Oregon, and though she very much wished to attend college, it was the height of the Great Depression, and the money simply wasn’t there. Eventually she moved to Seattle where she took a job as a trading assistant at an investment firm.  She was a frugal woman, salting away whatever she could, saving for a rainy day.  Early in her career, she began investing in a small way, buying partial shares in oil companies and other industries; when Nordstrom went public, Ms. Gordon was one of the earliest investors. She also invested in Seattle utility companies.

In 1964, when she was in her 50s, she married Ed Gordon, a Navy pilot-turned-stockbroker.  They had no children, but were always close to Ms. Gordon’s godson, John Jacobs, a financial adviser for Morgan Stanley in Seattle.  In her early years in Seattle, Eva had shared a room with Jacob’s mother and the two became close friends.Eva-Ed-GordonEd Gordon died in 2008, and Eva continued just as she always had with her frugal ways.  And so it was that when Eva died last June, nobody realized the wealth she had amassed.  So much, in fact, that she left $10 million to be split among multiple technical and community colleges in King and Pierce Counties in Washington.  According to Jacobs, who represents her estate …

“A lot of people didn’t know the wealth she had. If there was a coupon for two-for-one at Applebee’s, she was all about that. She liked seeing students working, earning and doing things. Her goal was to provide an opportunity for those folks who could ill-afford it, whether vocational training or an academic skill.”

Jacobs informed the schools that while there are no stipulations in Gordon’s will and testament for how the money should be used, she expressed her preference for the money to help the disadvantaged students of her adopted home state.

Each of 17 colleges will receive approximately $550,000.  This isn’t the case of some wealthy philanthropist sharing some of his wealth … this is a woman who lived frugally, clipped coupons, and saved her money so that when she died she could help others have the education she was denied.

Thanks to Scott Lawlor for sending me this story!


Linda Herring is a spring chicken at age 75, as compared to Eva Gordon, but Linda gets to share this week’s ‘good people’ spotlight because in her 75 years, she has been a foster parent to … wait for it … more than 600 children!

Herring and her husband Bob began taking in foster children some 50 years ago …

“My best friend was doing foster care for teenage girls and I thought, ‘Well, that would be nice to do the same,’ but I wanted little kids. So, I talked to the Department of Human Services and agreed to take kids with medical needs.”

As a foster mom, Herring ran a home daycare for local families and worked as a night custodian in a nearby high school. If that wasn’t enough, she also volunteered as a first responder for nearly 50 years.

Herring was known by everyone in Johnson County, Iowa, for never turning away a child, no matter their age, gender, or special needs, and would regularly travel to pick up foster children who needed a home.

Linda and Bob adopted three of their foster children, adding to their five biological children.  Two of Herring’s adopted foster children have severe medical and special needs. One of them, Dani, is fully dependent on others for care. While Dani wasn’t expected to live long after her birth, she is now 29 years old.

Herring passed on what she likes to call her “foster care trait.” Four of her biological children have fostered children, and three of them followed their parents’ footsteps and adopted kids of their own. Three of her grandchildren fostered children as well.  This is the great thing about good people … they inspire others to become good people too!Linda-Herring-2.jpegAccording to her son, Anthony …

“She also worked hard to keep families together. Keeping siblings together. Helping biological parents make the changes needed to be able to keep their children. She always makes sure a new child in her home was given a professional photograph that was placed on the wall in the living room. That seems like a small thing, but it helps them feel like they’re at home.”

When it comes to Herring’s inspiration to foster children, she had one explanation: love.

“I would just love my foster kids just like they were my own, probably more than I should. I cried when the kids would leave my home, no matter how long they had been there. It was so hard for me to say goodbye to them. I always questioned, ‘Why do I keep doing this?’ because it was never easy to say goodbye to a child. But I kept doing it because I had so much love to give to these children in need.”

Last October Herring chose to stop fostering children due to health concerns.  After announcing her decision to stop, Herring was honored by the Johnson County (Iowa) Board of Supervisors, with a resolution of appreciation.

“The Department of Human Services would call Linda in the middle of the night to take a child, and she would meet anywhere to get a child. Linda mostly fostered young children with special medical needs and kept bins of clothes in her garage, stacked to the ceiling, labeled by size and gender. No one had to worry about a child going without clothes at Linda’s, even if they arrived with nothing but what they’re wearing.”

Linda-HerringWhile Herring’s time as a foster parent is over, she enjoys the photos and cards she receives from the children she fostered after they’ve been adopted. Her favorite part is when her foster children come back to visit after they’ve grown up.

I raised three children and I can tell you that alone exhausted me … I am in awe of this woman who gave of herself so selflessly and tirelessly.  Two thumbs up to Linda Herring!  👍👍


A bit of a bonus today … after I finished this post, I was trying to catch up on friends’ blogs, and came across two who had posted something about good people, so I am including a link to JoAnna’s and Bee’s posts!  Thank you both for adding to the good news of the day!


I hope the tales of Eva and Linda have brightened your day just a bit, helped you remember that there are a lot of people out there giving so much, whether money or time or just love.  And remember, folks, let’s all try to do our part to be a good people, ‘k?