Monthly Archives: March 2018

Addendum to “Trump’s Lawyers Speak for … Trump, Themselves, Somebody, Nobody”

It is widely reported that Michael Cohen, who allegedly represents himself in connection with the Non-Disclosure Agreement enter into by Stormy Daniels in exchange for $130,000 paid by Cohen personally (Cohen says), is claiming that he is entitled to damages from Stormy Daniels of $20 million for her multiple violations of the agreement.

Given the “looseness” of the factual setting in this situation, we have to make some assumptions in order to say anything rational about it. So, let’s go along, hypothetically, with Cohen’s claim that he paid the hush money from his own pocket with no knowledge of, or expectation of reimbursement by, Trump. Let’s also go along for now with the assertion that Ms. Daniels violated the agreement by publicly declaring an affair with Trump.

Now, let’s assume that either through arbitration enforceable by a court order, or by a direct lawsuit, Cohen gets a verdict that Ms. Daniels violated the “hush agreement.”

Who was damaged by the violation of the NDA?  Cohen? He was not the real party in interest. The NDA was designed to protect Donald Trump, not Michael Cohen. Whatever Ms. Daniels may have said about her claimed affair with Trump is about Trump and, if there is an argument to be made, the argument is that Trump sustained the damages, not Cohen.

But, Cohen may argue, the $1 million was “liquidated damages” under the NDA and thus no proof of damages is required. Maybe so, but the law generally does not permit the use of fixed damage amounts in contracts if the damage amounts are considered a “penalty” rather than a substitute for having to go to the expense of proving actual damages in court. If Cohen is claiming he is the real party in interest in the NDA with Daniels and thus is entitled to damages, Most courts would likely invalidate the liquidated damages clause as a prohibited penalty because its provision has no relation to the actual damages Michael Cohen would have sustained from Daniel’s breach.

If, on the other hand, Trump is the real party in interest, the damages would belong to Trump who is not a party to the litigation claiming the NDA was violated. I cannot imagine, even in the Trumpian Universe, that a court is going to award damages to a non-party based on an agreement the non-party did not sign and about which the non-party claims to have had no knowledge.

In the end, the courts may decide. One interesting potential maneuver in the litigation would be a motion by Daniels to add Trump as a party. If that were successful, Trump would be subject to having his deposition taken under oath about the affair, the entering of the NDA and much else. Wouldn’t that be interesting?





Trump’s Lawyers Speak for … Trump, Themselves, Somebody, Nobody

Multiple sources have reported that Donald Trump’s “personal attorney” called for the Justice Department to fire Robert Mueller and terminate his investigation into, among other things, collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and Russian government interests intending to support his candidacy and damage Hillary Clinton’s chances. See, e.g., The demand by John Dowd followed immediately the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe which, according to Dowd, was fatally influenced by political bias. Repeating claims made directly by Trump, Dowd said “I pray” that the investigation is ended.

Dowd’s “prayer” will have the same effect as the “thoughts and prayers” that are the sole national Republican response to the Parkland Florida school massacre.

Curiously, Dowd told the Daily Beast that he was speaking on behalf of the president in his capacity as Trump’s attorney. When the Daily Beast published that statement, Dowd immediately retracted it and said he was not speaking for the president.

If Dowd was truth-telling in his retraction, it means that while serving as Trump’s personal attorney, he has made public statements on his own initiative about a matter of the greatest importance to his client without his client’s knowledge or approval. If indeed Dowd were not speaking for Trump, one would expect Trump, the client whose interests are being affected, to discharge his attorney for acting without permission in a way that could damage the client. On the other hand, if Trump liked what Dowd said, he (Trump) would not fire the attorney and would align himself with the attorney’s statements. That is, in fact, what Trump did via the usual Saturday tweet storm, denying yet again that he colluded with Russians and yet again attacking federal law enforcement agencies and the State Department that he has criticized repeatedly during the campaign and after becoming president.

This dance brings to mind that other Trump attorney who claims to have acted in another matter of vital importance to Trump but without Trump’s knowledge or approval. This, of course, is Michael Cohen who has represented Trump for years and who admits he paid $130,000 to porn star Stormy Daniels to secure her agreement to remain silent about her claimed affair with Trump, an affair that Trump has denied.

So, once again, we have an attorney for Trump claiming to act on behalf of Trump without Trump’s knowledge or consent, using the attorney’s own funds and without expectation of reimbursement.

While the standards of attorney conduct have apparently loosened dramatically over recent decades, it is still considered risky for an attorney to invest in a client’s business. The potential for conflicts of interest to arise when at attorney has a financial stake in a client’s business is serious. One supposes, however, that even when it occurs, the attorney’s investment in the client’s affairs is disclosed to the client. Indeed, I believe it would be a clear ethics violation for an attorney to invest in a client’s business without disclosure to the client.

So, if I am correct, Dowd either is lying about Trump’s knowledge of the payoff to Daniels and the signing of the Nondisclosure Agreement by Dowd on Trump’s behalf or Dowd acted on Trump’s behalf without disclosing that he was, in effect, investing in Trump’s business (in this case, the business being the presidential campaign) by making the secret payment to Daniels with no expectation of repayment. Trump himself did not sign the NDA, but standing alone, that fact does not prove that he was ignorant of the arrangements. Even if it’s true that Cohen did not expect repayment (he reportedly complained to friends that Trump had stiffed him, but this is not substantiated), the payment still represents an investment that would, if successful in silencing Daniels, help get Trump elected, with longer term rewards to Dowd from his alliance with President Trump.

If there is a middle ground here, I don’t see it. We have two different attorneys acting on behalf of a client they claim was ignorant of their actions on the client’s behalf, in matters of the utmost importance to the client’s future. Perhaps someone more steeped in the nuances of attorney ethics than I can explain how such actions are not ethics violations. And, of course, if Trump did know what was being done on his behalf in either or both cases, then the lying is compounded and becomes further dishonesty and corruption on the part of the president.

Time will tell how all this shakes out. Ms. Daniels is represented by Michael Avenatti who is very measured in his public statements and, by relying on his client to speak about Trump, seems to know what he is about. Her interview with 60 Minutes is scheduled to be broadcast next Sunday and, if it happens, will shed new and dramatic light on the situation. And then there is James Comey’s book which is about to publish. Buckle your seat belts. The ride is about to get wilder.

How Things Were Back Then

I have no idea why the memories I am about to relate have emerged from the fog of the past. I get these moments of clarity often when shaving, as in this case. Perhaps it’s something about having a super-sharp blade scraping down my throat. In any case I want to set down some memories and thoughts about an episode from my youth, long since passed into the rearview mirror of time. And, no, they are not closer than they appear.

In high school, late 1950s,I was elected by the student body to the “student government.” The student government had no real role to play, but we were selected to visit with a member of the Memphis city government. In my case it was the Commissioner of Public Works, or something similar. The essence of my “job” was to follow the Commissioner around for a day, do photo ops with him and try to learn something while staying out of the way. I did. I learned that I did not want to be the Commissioner of Public Works.

However, of greater importance at the time was the connection I made. I needed a summer job badly and, at that time in Memphis, they were hard to come by. So, the Commissioner gave me a job on one of the survey crews that laid out the elevations for streets being built at a furious pace in those days.

The crew consisted of the chief, whom I’ll call Bill, and two others, a young white boy whom I’ll call Jack and another, possibly Cajun but likely white, man whom I’ll call Dax. Truthfully, the other crew member is lost to memory. I do not remember their real names. Dax was a person of very limited intellect, likely suffering a mental disability, but was always kind to me. He would pick up screws, bolts, anything of a salvageable nature on the streets and handle them like they were lost gem stones. I asked him why he kept such things but he just said they might be useful to him some day. I better understood when we stopped by Dax’s “house” one day and I was told to go in with him to pick up something. Dax lived in what amounted to a hut, a single room house, with a single bed, single chair, small table and a small black and white TV.  He literally had nothing. Yet he showed up for work every day and went about his job without complaint.

Bill was a good ole’ boy in many ways, but also had a degree of native intelligence about things. He did the math calculations in a notebook and seemed skilled with trigonometry. How he acquired that skill was never revealed and it wasn’t something you asked about. Overall, Bill was a pretty decent guy. He always did the driving, in a beat-up station wagon (remember those?) into which the three of the working crew and the surveying equipment were crammed. There was no car air conditioning in those days and Memphis was a humid baking oven in the summer.

The day always began the same way. All the crews convened in a single room in downtown Memphis, where they mingled, smoked and just hung around waiting for the crew chiefs to come in with the day’s assignments. I was the odd man out in this group, a high school student bound for college, and not a person to whom anyone was drawn. Mostly, I just watched and stayed out of the way as much as possible. The chiefs always met with the top guy in a separate room to discuss, and argue about, which crews would go where during the day.

The crew’s assignment generally was to drive to wherever surveying was needed. Bill would park the wagon in the shade if he could find it. The work always began by finding, often with difficulty, a “marker,” consisting of the top, or what remained of the top, of a large nail or spike that had been driven in the pavement somewhere near an intersection. The altitude of that point was known from prior survey work, so it became the reference point for staking out the altitude and direction of the street that was to be laid down. Finding that initial point sometimes took a half hour or more of crawling around on the hot pavement in the open sun, brushing aside gravel with our bare hands, until someone yelled “got it.” If Bill confirmed the location, we were able to use an adjustable level and a long stick with marks on it, like a long yardstick, to determine the various levels for the giant road graders and dirt haulers to go by.

Many of our jobs entailed redoing the stakes that had been driven under or simply destroyed by the road graders that were far from fine-tuned instruments and were driven by what I believed to be ex-rodeo riders. Bill shared something in common with them, as his favorite diversion during the long days was to drive the wagon at high speed between, for example, two parked road graders with literally an inch of two to spare on either side. This led to much hooting and hollering among the crew, who thought we were going to die each time. But Bill never hit anything.

The other diversion was, I thought then and now, remarkable. The crew loved to play chess. Every day when we weren’t on immediate call, which was often, Bill would drive the wagon to one of his favorite cheap sandwich shops, where we’d order lunch meat and cheese on white bread and soft drinks, then drive to a shady spot somewhere, decamp from the truck and set up the chess board. On a good day, that is, one with little or no actual work to do, the chess games would go on for hours. Bill thought nothing of driving for an hour across the city to find a sandwich place and a nice park, even when the next job almost certainly would be where we had just been.

So what, you may say. The city was paying for men to play chess and occasionally do some necessary but largely unpredictable work under poor working conditions. No surprise there.

The real point of telling this long tale is this that one day we were working in downtown Memphis. In those days Main Street was actually a busy thoroughfare with department stores and other active businesses. The area was the center of commerce in Memphis. It was sometime in July, I believe, when the heat and humidity were almost unbearable and we were out on the pavement finding our marks, moving from spot to spot, probably for a repaving that was due. Jack, Dax and I removed our shirts to try to get such relief from the sun as we could. In those days we believed this was the proper approach. Later we learned otherwise. In any case, it felt better at the time.

During the next morning’s preparation meetings, we were informed that removal of our shirts when working in the sun was no longer permitted. Some citizens had complained that it was unseemly to have city government workers outside without their shirts. Of course, we weren’t told who had complained or how many complaints there were, but we did learn that the complaints were from members of the gentler sex, and that was sufficient. It was irrelevant that we did not have government uniforms. Jack, Dax and I worked in our own blue jeans. No matter. The sight of young men without shirts was offensive to Memphis womanhood and henceforth we would wear shirts regardless of the weather conditions.

And so that’s how it was back then. Opinions may differ about whether the city’s action was justified. I can only recall the events as helping form my view, later realized, that I had to leave Memphis.

What It Must It be Like to Fear Your Own Government

One of the big National Rifle Association arguments in favor of free access to weapons of all kinds is the alleged Second Amendment right to bear arms as a deterrent and/or defense against the government of the United States.  According to the NRA and extreme gun rights advocates, this “right” springs from the fear that the Founding Fathers justifiably had about strong governments taking away the rights of the people. After all, that is essentially why the Revolutionary War was fought — to end the tyranny of the King of England over the colonies.

Fast forwarding to the present, these folks appear genuinely to believe that there is reason to fear that the federal government, which through the President, commands one of the most powerful military forces in the world, may someday during their lifetimes turn on the people, confiscate their weapons under color of some gun control law or the other, and enslave everyone.

Call it paranoia, call it wacko, call it what you will, many of our citizens appear to deeply fear that scenario. Some of them have acquired arsenals of semi-automatic rifles with high-capacity magazines with which to resist forcibly the imagined takeover. Some of them apply camouflage coloring to their faces, like the real military they’ve seen on TV and, deep in the remote woods of (mainly) the south, practice drills, running and shooting at stationary targets and so on. This activity, they believe, will prepare them to defend hearth and home against an invading army of United States Marines, Army soldiers, perhaps aided by the local police and National Guard (who would most certainly be called up during a takeover) equipped with tanks, true tactical training and supported by the most advanced and fearsome combat aircraft on the planet.

Of course, those guys, mostly guys, running around in the woods are shooting at stumps and cardboard figures that don’t shoot back. One must wonder how would perform in the face of a squad or two of U.S. Marines in full battle gear. But, hey, they’ll go down fighting which seems to them like the best alternative to the imagined takeover and the dystopian Hunger Games-like life that would ensue. Living with such fear must be a terrible burden to carry through life.

The more one thinks about this scenario, the more ridiculous it seems, putting aside the idea that the government could or would actually try this. I suppose that if you watch enough conspiracy movies, in which a handful of military people secretly agree to order the U.S. military to attack the citizenry, striking at the TV stations, electric grid and internet server farms to gain instant control over communications, you could come to believe such a thing is possible in the United States. Then again, when you consider the physical scale of the country, the complexity of its physical infrastructure, the ubiquity of the internet, the certain massive resistance by the majority of the population and the awareness that the failure of such an enterprise would be conviction for treason punishable by death, is it even remotely plausible that a federal takeover using the military could occur here?

In my mind, to ask the question of plausibility is to answer it, but I must recognize that no matter how implausible the scenario is, there are many people who apparently live in constant fear that the federal government is about to enslave everyone. Curiously, many of these same people are the most ardent supporters of the current president who, among all modern presidents, is the most likely to attempt to subvert the country into a totalitarian regime. This irony is missed by all of those who live in fear and claim that the Second Amendment somehow gives them the protection they require.

I get the argument that “anything is possible” but when considering that, why can’t these people see that the “possible turned reality” is already here in the form of irregular but recurring slaughters of children in schools, not to mention the thousands of others who die by gunshot every year. American exceptionalism, of which that crowd seems so certain and so proud, has placed us high in the world in gun-related deaths, especially among countries with significant socioeconomic success.

You don’t have to imagine any conspiracy to understand this; just open your mind to reality.

Trump Proves Yet Again His Incompetence and Corruption

A few days back Donald Trump put on another display for public consumption regarding the massacre of students and teachers at Parkland School in Florida. In a meeting at the White House he said he was ready to do something about the curse of easy access to high-powered assault rifles and other military grade firearms that were typically used to kill large numbers of people in a few minutes. From the White House website: “It’s not going to be talk like it has been in the past. It’s been going on too long; too many instances. And we’re going to get it done. The press was giddy with excitement at the thought, the “fact,” that Trump was going against the National Rifle Association, was in favor of enhanced background checks, confiscation of certain weapons when necessary and limiting the age at which “rifles” could be purchased.

As if usually the case when Trump speaks extemporaneously, unscripted, this appeared to be a change of course, induced, at least in part, by the aggressive public pressure by the surviving Parkland students, still grieving even as they declared “Never Again.”

Trump loves being the center of attention. Indeed, the evidence is overwhelming that he will say and do almost anything to assure that in any situation, he is the dominant personality, the critical actor, the driving force for whatever agenda he has at the moment.

Of course, skeptics were …. skeptical. Those how have learned from experience, one of the hallmarks of intelligence and education, were concerned that Trump’s conversion was no more authentic than the hundreds of other times when he had either lied outright or quickly reversed himself only minutes or hours after some attention-grabbing maneuver. They were right.

It took almost no time for Trump’s newfound moral compass to gyrate itself into a hole leading straight to Hell. Trump has now disavowed virtually everything he said just days before. Now the White House website displays a four-point “master plan” for protecting students in schools:

First, “Hardening our schools: The Administration will make sure our schools are safe and secure—just like our airports, stadiums, and government buildings—with better training and preparedness.” [Italics mine]

Think about that for a second. Is the President proposing to create a School Security Administration like the Transportation Security Administration that inspects luggage and performs body scans on every airline passenger and compels visitors to the U.S. Capitol and other federal agencies to remove belts and shoes and pass through metal detectors? Will children attending schools be treated that way every day? What is that going to accomplish when, courtesy of the National Rifle Association, the next shooter appears with an AR-15 and immediately guns down the inspectors before entering the school to kill students and teachers?

 Or, is the President proposing to set up military-style gun emplacements around every school entrance so that anyone entering the area can be challenged and, if necessary, shot before doing damage? Bear in mind there are about 90,000 public and private elementary schools in the United States with more than 33 million students attending. That’s just elementary schools. Compare that with 5,145 public use airports.

“Hardening” schools as a protective measure seems like a ridiculous idea.

 Two, “Strengthening background checks and prevention: President Trump is supporting legislation and reforms to strengthen the background checks system and law enforcement operations.”

Grand. Other than the NRA, who would oppose such a plan? In fact, we understand that most members of the NRA support improvements in the background check system, though exactly what that support really looks like has not been tested because the NRA continues to use its cash and lobbying force to cower the Republicans who control the Congress. And, as is usually the case in this Keystone Kops administration, there are no details and this one, of all the ideas, should have been easy to flesh out with specifics. And, spoiler alert, the NRA isn’t about to roll over for any changes that could interfere even slightly with what they claim is their God-given right to free and immediate access to the firearms of their choice.

Three: “Reforming mental health programs: The President is proposing an expansion and reform of mental health programs, including those that help identify and treat individuals who may be a threat to themselves or others.”

This is the well-disguised ruse that says that the United States, a country of about 324 million people spread over 3,800,000 square miles, is going to establish a comprehensive and effective program for detecting individuals with mental conditions that might lead them to violent acts against school children (and presumably, present and former co-workers and employers, neighbors, etc.). This program will then, with or without compliance with constitutional guarantees related to due process and personal liberty, remove such persons for “evaluation and when necessary treatment” even if against their will or the will of their parents, guardians, etc.

Again, the plan based on pouring more money into mental health programs as a solution to gun violence, while it may be well-intentioned, is utterly useless as a real-world practical solution even in the long run.

Finally, Four, the capstone: Keeping the conversation going: In addition to these immediate actions, President Trump is establishing a Federal Commission on School Safety, chaired by Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, to recommend policy and funding proposals for school violence prevention.” [italics mine]

Of course! Why didn’t we all think of this? Keep the conversation going. Start a commission to study the problem and issue a report. In a year, or two or three. No rush. How many will die in the meantime?  No matter. In the Republican calculation, those are what the military calls “acceptable losses.” Of course, the military was organized and staffed to fight and win battles and they understood there would be casualties as the necessary price of winning. That was an inescapable, if grisly, feature of the activity in which they were forced by history to engage.

So, do we just accept the President’s side-door escape from the harsh truth of gun violence and go with a study commission so we can defer the hard questions to another day. Doesn’t that play right into the hands of the NRA-funded chorus that always says “this isn’t the right time to address the issue.”

And of all people in the United States to put in charge of such a commission: Betsy Devos? She has repeatedly shown she knows little or nothing about education policy, is ignorant of the state of public education in her own state of Michigan, is solely devoted to promoting charter schools for white well-to-do kids at the expenses of the public-school system she appears to loathe.

What the Hell does Betsy Devos know about gun violence or security? How can she possibly chair an effective committee on the subject of protecting schools, students and faculty from armed violence? This “commission” is going to be like the so-called Voter Fraud Commission that Trump appointed, with the real purpose of imposing obstacles to people voting, especially in Democratic-leaning districts. The Devos commission (I choke on the idea) is simply a scheme to put off dealing with the issues indefinitely. The NRA bought and paid for this outcome. They met with Trump and everything changed.

We don’t have to accept this. The Parkland students are not going to accept it and everyone of good will should support them. Support their right to 17 minutes of silence on March 14 to honor the Parkland victims. March with and for them on March 24 wherever you are on that day. Relentlessly demand an end to the gun violence.

There is only one common denominator in all this and we don’t need a national commission to figure it out. The common denominator, one we can quickly do something about, is the ready access to assault-style military grade weapons, high-capacity magazines and any devices, however, described or operated, that convert those weapons into automatic-fire mode.

Surely, many gun “experts” will jump up and down like burned rabbits, complaining that people like me don’t know what an “assault” rifle is. Sorry, but you can’t win with the argument that this is about technicalities. This is not that hard, despite persistent efforts to make it seem like rocket science only a few elite gun experts can truly understand. And, in any case, we should err on the side of public safety. If we err and inadvertently bring a few non-assault weapons into a ban, we can fix that later. Right now, the emphasis should be on human safety, not about which precise weapons can fire at what rate of speed.

So, if you possibly can, on March 14 at 10 am, stop what you are doing for 17 minutes to honor the fallen students and teachers. Then, join me and hundreds of thousands of others on March 24 to March in the streets and tell the Trump administration that the time to act is NOW. No more excuses. We will wait no longer for our government to put an end to this curse.

The 2018 election season is underway. Prepare to vote. If you know someone who is not registered, offer to help them. Drive them to the polls if necessary or contact the local Democratic Party to get that done. Nothing is more important than reversing the descent into Hell that was started when Donald Trump was elected president.

When Companies Get Too Big …. Amazon & Fire Extinguishers

The following letter is self-explanatory. I am posting it here as an example of what happens when companies get so large they can stop paying attention to legitimate concerns from customers about the products they sell. Before reading the letter, note that it was sent to the address on where its “Conditions of Use” are set out. The letter was returned to me with stickers stating “Wrong Address” and “Unable to Forward.”  The address is still shown on the website. today.

Here is the letter:


In early January 2018 I purchased from a pair of Kidde fire extinguishers. They arrived in good order, with the date “2018” stamped into the bottom. Since these items have had issues related to the expiration of their useful life, I inquired of Kidde through its website about the precise meaning of the year stamp. Despite automated assurances, Kidde did not respond. I asked a second time and a third time.

I then filed the following review on to inform other potential customer of the issue and Kidde’s lack of response:

from Paul M. Ruden on February 3, 2018


Kidde failure to respond re expiration date


I don’t know whether this thing will work or not. Bought in early Jan. 2018. “2018” is embossed into the bottom. Have written Kidde thru its website 3 times to ask exactly what that means. Unlikely it means manufactured in 2018 since I bought it so early and received it quickly. If it is an expiration date, I am due a refund. Automated response to one message, then nothing. Unacceptable to ignore my question. rejected the review by email with the following statement:

Your review could not be posted to the website in its current form. While we appreciate your time and comments, reviews must adhere to the following guidelines:

We encourage you to revise your review and submit it again. A few common issues to keep in mind:


•          Your review should focus on specific features of the product and your experience with it. Feedback on the seller or your shipment experience should be provided at

•          We do not allow profane or obscene content. This applies to adult products too.

•          Advertisements, promotional material or repeated posts that make the same point excessively are considered spam.

•          Please do not include URLs external to Amazon or personally identifiable content in your review.

The Amazon “guidelines” appear at and are 1,584 words in length. Amazon’s response does not specify in what particular respect my review violated those guidelines. I am left to guess, rewrite, refile and wait for perhaps another rejection.

Your treatment of this issue, which could affect the performance of a vital safety-related product, is no different in substance from the non-response of Kidde. It is equally unacceptable.

As a long-standing Amazon customer who buys many products every year, I expected better treatment. I am therefore asking, one last time, that either you promptly answer the question I put to Kidde and identify in which specific respect my review violated your review policy, and, failing that, provide for an immediate free-return-shipment of the products.

I await your prompt response.”

Caveat emptor.


What One Person Can Do

Amid the cloud of corruption and treasonous conduct of the President of the United States and his family that engulfs the nation on a daily basis, we sometimes hear a story of someone doing amazing good things for others. Not for personal gain or publicity. Out of the limelight. Just because it’s the right thing to do.

I learned recently that I know such a person. Let’s call her Roxanne Yamashita. Because that’s her actual name and she should be recognized. I met Roxanne through Halau Ho’omau I ka Wai Ola O Hawai’i, a Hawaiian cultural and hula dance group in which my wife participated when we lived in Virginia. Roxanne’s daughter, Lana, also was part of the halau from a very early age.

Roxanne, like me, photographed the halau dances and other activities. Over time I noticed that her photos of the young children in particular showed great awareness of how to photograph them at play as they worked on projects and even danced the hula. As time passed, her photos of the keikis, as the small children are known, got better and better.

So, it should not have been a surprise that Roxanne would do something extremely generous for others, with particular emphasis on children. Still, what she has done is, I think, extraordinary.

If you go to, you will see the results of her work. Among the beneficiaries are children being helped by the Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health and the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC. The output includes “stuffies” made with fleece or other fabric that can be personalized and accessorized, as well as small pillows.  The site also says “Small Things Matter performs and encourages others to perform Random Acts of Kindness.  Some of our RAKS included leaving abandoned art to be found, lucky penny drops and bracelets drops.”

Typically, the photos on the site are all of Roxanne’s daughter, Lana, who is a full participant in the work and learning the true meaning of generous spirit from her mother. The site has a 401(c)(3) charitable determination from the IRS, so contributions are tax-deductible.

Small things can indeed make a big difference in the well-being of a child. Roxanne and Lana are working hard to do the right thing by helping others who may need a little lift. I am sure there are many others doing similar things around the country, but I only know Roxanne and am glad I do. If you have some spare coin, Small Things Matter is a worthy place to donate.