Last week a Portland Press Herald story by Meredith Goad shared with readers that a customer to “Bird & Company” left the staff a $1,400 tip: about $150 for each employee.

The $1,400 was nice, but it was the note that gave many hope that mankind is indeed more good than bad. The story shared they were regulars who stopped in for takeout tacos for their Friday date-night with trivia. Their inspiration for the tip was not the tacos but what “Bird & Company” did to make their community a better place.

The grateful tippers had learned about the free lunch for kindergarten to eighth grade program where parents call in and Wills Dowd prepares a couple of tacos and a salad for pickup before the restaurant opens at 4 p.m.

The other program mentioned provided a 50% discount on food, while preserving dignity. Before being canceled in mid-summer, all the customer had to say was “I wish the weather was nicer” and viola, the bill was reduced by half.

Apparently, the proverb “no good deed goes unpunished” came knocking at Chef Dowd’s door as customers, clearly ones not in need of a hand-up, began using the phrase. Dowd said this anonymous tipper restored the faith he never lost, but had seen waver, in those early days of the pandemic. Wonder what would have happened if Dowd had introduced a second catch phase, “The weather out there is great,” which would have signified the customer would pay double; once for himself and another for someone in a less fortunate state.

The note from the kind regular read: “It’s people like you that give us hope! You’re inspiring!! It’s truly amazing how a single, selfless act of community can inspire and motivate people to just be decent and do the right thing. Now more than ever, we sure need that!”

The tipper family are regulars but because his clients are masked up, Dowd cannot match the tip to a face. But he is grateful and told Goad “it’s those people who make the hospitality business worth it.”


Hope for a smooth transition Jan. 16, 2021, fades. It turns out hypocrisy is an easier currency to trade on.

Those who complained about the Mueller investigation and impeachment are now digging in their heels in the ultimate hypocrisy. The Mueller investigation seemed justified, as did making sure our elections are on the “up and up.” That’s where the similarity ends.

Personally, not a fan of impeachment; why waste time, money, and cause turmoil when the result is pre-ordained? The same goes for the 2020 election; it’s over, let it rest, practice what children are taught; good sportsmanship, congratulate the winner.

Instead, after 60+ failed lawsuits and a Supreme Court that more than once found charges of election fraud baseless, time to move on.

Not so says Sen. Ted Cruz who is organizing a long-shot formal protest to erase the voices of over 77 million Americans who voted for Biden, 7 million more than for Trump, the first one-and-done president in over 30 years.

It was during the 2016 campaign that Ted Cruz called Trump a “pathological liar, he doesn’t know the difference between truth and lies” and calling him “straight out of a psychology textbook,” as well as saying Trump was “utterly amoral,” “a narcissist at a level I don’t think this country’s ever seen.” He also was quoted saying: “He (Trump) is proud of being a serial philanderer, describing his battles with venereal diseases as his personal Vietnam” in an interview Trump had given to Howard Stern in the early 2000s.

Cruz went on with reporters telling them; “Donald is a bully,” adding “bullies don’t come from strength, they come from weakness.”

Trump’s response was to call Cruz’s wife “ugly,” to which Cruz responded “Donald, you’re a sniveling coward and leave Heidi the hell alone,” and back and forth it went like schoolboys on the playground.

Perhaps an ultimate irony is Trump’s rant, after Cruz beat him in Iowa (a foreshadowing of the future perhaps): “The state of Iowa should disqualify Ted Cruz from the most recent election on the basis he cheated — a total fraud!” How fitting is that?

Then, calling the kettle black, Trump blustered: “Ted Cruz is a total hypocrite and, until recently, a Canadian citizen who may not even have a legal right to run for president.” Trump followed with a tweet, “If Cruz doesn’t clean up his act, stop cheating, and doing negative ads, I have standing to sue him for not being natural born citizen."

Now that their spat is over, they are content bringing the rest of their followers down with them. Pathetic, sad, and not very American.


Donald can't defend his own record. Whenever you point out what he's actually said, he just screams, 'liar.' He insults you. He attacks you. He makes it personal, and he gets very rattled. He doesn't like anyone pointing to his actual, substantive record. And I think that's a sign of weakness.” — Ted Cruz, U.S. senator from Texas (b. 1950)