A symbol…

So it seems we will be spared a drawn out trial when it comes to Bernie Madoff, yesterday he decided to plead guilty to all counts and was immediately taken into custody. (um….I know this man didn’t think he would get to walk around free as a jaybird in his million dollar penthouse after pleading guilty) He will be sentenced sometime in June if I read correctly.

Now it seems Mrs. Bernie Madoff is getting nervous that she may lose her wealth, Ruth and Bernie have been married 50 years, from what I have been reading, Ruth is extremely close to her husband and worked with him. Now I don’t care what folks try to say but its not even in the realm of believable that one’s spouse could be bilking people on the level that Bernie was without the little Missus not having any idea. Sorry, I have only been married 11 years but I am not buying that story at all.

Anyway expect lots of legal wrangling as Ruth’s folks try to keep her 69 million dollars that she is reported to have, that’s a lot of scratch for a woman with a masters degree in nutrition and from what I have found did not come from independently wealthy parents. No, Ruth…you know most of that money belongs to the folks your low life ass husband robbed. Yes, he robbed them, just like a common criminal with a gun and a ski mask except that your husband decided to trade on his ethnic and religious roots and robbed the Jewish community.

So Ruth, I am sorry but no you do not deserve to keep the homes in France, Florida, Long Island and Manhattan. One ole broad does not need 4 homes, nor do you need a private jet….fly Southwest from now on.

I gotta admit I am very surprised that it looks like justice will be served with ole Bernie, then again Bernie is a symbol of the unchecked greed that existed that now threatens to destroy the financial fabric of this nation, so I expect to see many Bernie’s going away to the big house soon.

On the other hand maybe Ruth Madoff should be allowed to keep her homes, only on the condition that she provide housing to the homeless….turn her ritzy digs into shelters. Yep, turn the homes into shelters and give her money to the poor and unfortunate and maybe she can keep a few shekels for herself, say to the tune of $30,000 a year. Plenty old retired folks wish they had that type of income so she would still be ahead of the game.

Anyway, happy Friday and here’s hoping Bernie is enjoying his new and not palatial digs.

Where’s the justice?

Americans by and large tend to really believe the fantasy that with hard work, we can all become millionaires hence why you end up with schmucks like “Joe the Plumber” who is barely earning a middle class salary and behind on his taxes voting against his self-interest because one day he “might” be rich. Yep, vote for the guy you know will screw you because one day you might be rich….but hey its a great dream

We also like to believe the fantasy that things are really fair, only guilty folks really end up in the clink…shit like that. Yet the sad reality is there is not much that is really fair in this land of ours, in fact whether or not you see “justice” might depend on your bank account.

I was just surfing the net and read that it looks like Bernie Madoff, con man extraordinaire may have a plea deal in the works. No details have been released but unless this sucker is sitting in a cell for the rest of his miserable ass life wearing an orange jumpsuit and dodging becoming the newest bitch on the block, I say whatever the deal is it won’t be just in anyway. At least not the type of justice that would be doled out if his name was Bernie Johnson or Bernie Hernandez from the hood.

Nope, with the US economy in shambles we are seeing the justice that is out there and it doesn’t work for regular folks….riddle me this? Say you are collecting unemployment benefits and some other government benefits which of course really don’t pay enough to live off of, so you land a job and decide to keep claiming benefits until you get a few checks from the new gig, you know you are breaking the law. If caught, you will have to pay the gubment back their money and if you get someone on the wrong day, you might be looking at criminal charges.

Yet you can play funny with the accounting, run a company into the ground, assist in fucking up the US economy, then get a bailout to boot….where the fuck is the justice in that? Seems engaging in those activities is far more serious than someone trying to survive and keep food on the table. It would seem that the folks who engaged in the larger crimes deserve a greater punishment than the occasional person who scams the system for the extra check.

Let me be clear, I am not condoning unlawful behavior but poor folks who require assistance seem to deal with greater scrutiny and criticism and it pisses me off. There is no safety net in this country and since many of those 401K’s are worthless, and folks are scrimping to survive, I suspect soon we will see all sorts of little folks doing whatever they can to make ends meet and it will not be pretty.

Just a Friday rant, have a happy weekend!

Tis Christmas Eve

It’s Christmas Eve and I am tired, the past week has been non-stop chaos. I love my new job but I am reminded of why I stopped doing direct service work, the agency I work at is small so even though I am the director, titles and position mean jack when work needs to be done.

The population I work with is poor folks, and in this current economic climate when many of us are feeling rather broke, a job like mine helps me to keep a healthy perspective. After all I was able to go purchase my Christmas dinner and gifts, I did not have to call a million agencies to get help. I have a roof over my head, my basic needs are met. Its a shame that one of the folks who saw swindled by ole Bernie Madoff, didn’t have my perspective.

See, I awoke to the sounds of NPR reporting that some cat who Bernie took for 1.5 billion dollars had committed suicide. To be honest that story pissed me off as I was getting up early to go into work today because I had a few families that needed some holiday help so even though it was technically my off day, the alternative of enjoying Christmas Eve knowing I had folks in need was not an option.

Yet to hear about some man so distraught over losing a billion dollars that he would take his own life seems strange, after all I am sure the dead man wasn’t broke…cat lived in Westchester County so I suspect even after the ride Bernie gave him he still had a few pesos. Perhaps this man should have visited a food pantry or homeless shelter to gain a better perspective on the situation. Seeing folks with no food and no roof over their heads has a funny way of making your personal shit look pretty good provided you have the basics.

Anyway rant over, to my Christian brothers and sisters I wish you a Merry Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. To my brothers and sisters of other faith traditions, I wish you a Happy Holiday.

Perhaps in this tough times, we can start to refocus on what’s really important.