Bag of Randomness for Tuesday, November 7, 2017

  • Sadly, another mass murder. Sadly, we as a society have started to become numb to such events. However, when such a thing happens I immediately think back to the Amish school shooting in 2006.
    • On Oct. 2 at West Nickel Mines School, a one-room Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster County, Penn., a man in a baseball cap came to the door, holding a shotgun. He ordered everyone out but the female students. The police arrived within 10 minutes but the man opened fire, shooting all of the girls and then himself.
    • Yes, I remember the murder, but what I remember most about the horrific event was how the Amish responded.
      • And, in fact, as we were standing next to the body of this 13-year-old girl, the grandfather was tutoring the young boys. He was making a point, just saying to the family, we must not think evil of this man.” [Source]
      • As Mary and Ben explained the day’s violence to their sons, they emphasized the importance of forgiveness and trusting in God. “I just feel bad for the gunman,” Ben said. “He had a mother and a wife and a soul and now he’s standing before a just God.” [Source]
      • And this is how the Amish reached out to the shooter’s family.
        • A Roberts family spokesman said an Amish neighbor comforted the Roberts family hours after the shooting and extended forgiveness to them. Amish community members visited and comforted Roberts’ widow, parents, and parents-in-law. One Amish man held Roberts’ sobbing father in his arms, reportedly for as long as an hour, to comfort him. The Amish have also set up a charitable fund for the family of the shooter.About 30 members of the Amish community attended Roberts’ funeral, and Marie Roberts, the widow of the killer, was one of the few outsiders invited to the funeral of one of the victims.
      • “Grace finds goodness
        In everything”
  • I’m also reminded of the shooting at the Wedgwood Baptist Church in Fort Worth back in 1999.
    • On Sept. 15, 1999, horror struck Fort Worth’s Wedgwood Baptist Church when Larry Gene Ashbrook invaded a youth rally carrying 200 rounds of ammunition and a pipe bomb. Before he turned his gun on himself, seven people were dead and seven others injured.
  • Twenty-nine-year-old White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, who you know I have a small fascination with, wore something very similar to a tuxedo for the state banquet in Tokyo the other day, and rocked it.
  • Elizabeth Smart participated in a Reddit Ask Me Anything yesterday, this Q and A caught my attention.
    • Q: What misconceptions about your abduction would you like to make people more aware of?
      A: I couldn’t just runaway. I couldn’t just scream out. Everything I did, I did to survive. I never suffered from Stockholm Syndrome. I never identified with my captors or cared about them. Every decision was made with survival in mind.
  • Bill Belichick: Personnel exec Gil Brandt should be in Hall of Fame
  • A few more thoughts and tidbits from my book about the relationships amongst presidents:
    • I wasn’t aware how long the Clintons and Bushes knew each other. During the early  80’s the Bush family has hosted the Clintons at Kennebunkport and on one occasion when three-year-old Chelsea explain she needed to go the bathroom, it was G.H.W. Bush who took the little girl by the hand and led her to the nearest restroom.
    • Yes, G.H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton maybe close friends, but Bush can only take Bill in small doses because he talks so much.
    • One time Bill was traveling to Kennbuckpoint to visit G.H.W. Bush during retirement. Bush was adamant on personally picking up Bill at the airport, not by car, but by his speedboat at the airport’s dock. However, fog prevented such a thing from happening.
    • In retirement, both have been criticized by their old allies for letting the other use the other for political purposes.
    • When the Clinton Library opened, Bill was giving G.H.W. Bush a tour. Bush pointed to an empty area which led to the east of the library and suggested to Clinton that would be a good burial place. Bill felt uncertain but Bush urged him to think about making it his grave site and he should decide soon so they could oversee arrangements for the media and the crowds, that it’s the kind of thing a president has to think about or to be reminded to think about by another president, that your death, funeral, and your burial ground are very public matters.
    • One time when G.H.W. Bush visited Bill at his library, they stopped for a conversation in the replica Oval Office on the third floor, each sitting across from each other in a winged chair. A visitor peeked in and remarked that it looked like some kind of wax museum display.
    • A lot of times President George W. Bush’s Chief of Staff would call Senator Clinton at her home only for the former president to answer and take up most of the conversation.
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