One of the Largest Financial Frauds in United States History

July 10, 2017 · Posted in American Business, Crime, Economic History · Comments Off on One of the Largest Financial Frauds in United States History 

Bernie Madoff was at once family man, trusted friend, business success story, and one of the most notorious Ponzi Scheme Kingpins in history. He was the man behind a deceitful scheme that devastated the lives of thousands including his own family.

By all appearances the Madoff’s were to be envied for their lavish lifestyle of private jets and country club living, but the foundation of their grand version of the American Dream was founded on fraud.

The decades long gig was finally up, when Madoff was arrested on December 11, 2008. He was surprised by the FBI in the early morning hours, while still dressed in his pajamas.

Upon hearing the big confession his sons did not wait, as their father had requested, but instead immediately turned him in to the authorities. And in fact neither son talked with their father again after the curtain was pulled back. They now knew who their father really was and the awful lie he had been hiding for all those many years.

Bernie was a success, but his success was not built on hard work and exceptional business acumen, but rather a delicate façade based on a relatively simple Ponzi scheme algorithm of theft and fraud. It all fell apart as many investors began calling in to withdraw their money (for some their entire life savings had been placed in Madoff’s care) in the wake of the 2008 Great Recession.

Who was this person capable of deceiving  thousands, including family and friends, straight faced and in a most calculated and convincing manner? A man who could sleep soundly beside Ruth in their Upper East Side apartment at night, while living the high life off other peoples savings. Does this make him part of that breed called psychopath? To learn more read the article in Town and Country  How Bernie Madoff took His Family Down .

Hitler’s Rise to Reign of Terror

May 4, 2017 · Posted in Holocaust, World War II · Comments Off on Hitler’s Rise to Reign of Terror 

On January 30, 1933 Adolph Hitler was appointed chancellor of Germany. Twelve years from his appointment Hitler committed  suicide on April 30, 1945 in Berlin, Germany, but not before using his power to enact the “Final Solution”.

The Final Solution is a benign sounding name for an unspeakably evil contemplation. This “solution” as Hitler and the Nazis called it, based on Nazi ideology, resulted in the horrific elimination of millions upon millions of innocent, human lives who were helpless to defend themselves. We must remember this atrocity, the Holocaust,  lest we ever forget.

“The genocide of the Jews  was the culmination of a decade of German policy under Nazi rule and the realization of a core goal of the Nazi dictator, Adolf Hitler. ”

Adolf Hitler, the Führer (Leader) of the Nazi party, formulated and articulated the ideas that came to be known as Nazi ideology. He thought of himself as a deep and profound thinker, convinced that he had found the key to understanding an extraordinarily complex world. ”

Source for numbers of deaths: The Holocaust Chronicle

Royal Wedding of the 20th Century

February 20, 2017 · Posted in Royal History · Comments Off on Royal Wedding of the 20th Century 

It was on  29 July 1981, a Wednesday, at St Paul’s Cathedral, London, United Kingdom, when Charles, Prince of Wales , and Lady Diana Spencer were married in a celebration on a grand, fairytale level of scale; what was called the “wedding of the century.”

The Royal Wedding Program

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/events/prince_charles_and_lady_diana_spencers_wedding

Royal Wedding

Coldest Winter in New York City

February 9, 2017 · Posted in New York City, Weather · Comments Off on Coldest Winter in New York City 

It was 83 years ago today on February 9th when the temperature in New York City was at 15 degrees below zero and stayed below zero for the entire day.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/09/nyregion/winter-storm-nyc-niko-weather.html?_r=0

Black History Month

February 3, 2017 · Posted in Black History, Civil Rights · Comments Off on Black History Month 

It was Dec. 1, 1955 on a city bus in Montgomery, Alabama that Rosa Parks, a NAACP member, bravely refused to move to the back of the bus. She refused to allow a white man to have her seat on the bus.

We often imagine that one individual citizen of the United States cannot make a difference. We give up before even trying. Believing that without large sums of money and powerful political backing it is an impossibility that one individual’s action can lead to change.

Thankfully we have the remarkable example of Rosa Parks. She reminds us of the power one person has to make a stand against social injustice. Her single act of determination to stand up, or in this case to stay sitting down, in the face of a  violent, even murderous, and intimidating society of racism could and did make a change. We must remember that this was no ordinary act of protest. The society of racism in Montgomery, Alabama was a formidable foe. The threat was very real. Many were willing and ready to  murder innocent people to maintain white power and privilege, where blacks are conveniently relegated, literally to the back of the bus, into a state of dehumanization.

Her arrest report can be found here.

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