Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where Were You September 11th, 2001?


9/11 Gallery @ Newseum
Originally uploaded by Sherrinemae

The September 11th, 2001 acts of terrorism have been prevalent in the news and have brought back some painful memories. It has been difficult to look at the pictures and videos again and listen to the newscasters review the events. The past week I have been going over in my head what I was doing the day America was attacked by terrorist. I can recall every detail.

Living in Peekskill, NY about 45 minutes from New York City as I sat in my bedroom preparing for work the phone rang. This phone call and what I heard and saw next would change the way I thought about people and taught me something about myself. A girlfriend Barbara asked, “Are you watching the news, a plane crashed into the Twin Towers.” I responded, “No” and immediately turned the channel on the television. What I saw made my jaw drop. One of the Twin Towers had smoke coming out of part of the building. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed that a plane was flying closer to the buildings. I remember thinking, “my goodness what are those people on the flight going to think as they ride by the Twin Towers seeing it up close in this condition.” Then as I watched the television the plane crashed into the other tower. I could not believe it! Part of my brain was telling me this is not happening, this is no accident. It took a few minutes to tune into the news commentator’s remarks that this was an attack and that two planes had purposely flown into the Twin Towers. With eyes filling up with tears I became tense and fearful. I immediately started calling family that lived close to the city to inquire of their whereabouts. Everyone was overwhelmed with emotion but all were safe.



Eventually made it to work plagued with what was going on in New York City. Needless to say the Twin Towers was the main topic of the day and for weeks to come. One of my co-workers lost his son in the Twin Towers we found out a few days later. Then as the days went by almost everyone I encountered either lost a friend or family member in the towers or knew someone who had lost someone on 9/11.

Psychological Effect

For a long time what happened to the Twin Towers changed my thinking in a way that I was disappointed in. The next time I flew on a plane I focused on people who looked Middle Eastern. I was nervous on my flight when I saw that two men who sat a few seats in front me favored that culture in looks. I began to pray that we would be safe and I prayed to God that I would not become someone I do not respect a “prejudiced person.” It took a while to remove the fear and not judge and to recall what I had learned about the Islamic faith. I reminded my self that the religion Islam does not support such terrorist acts. I had discussions with others about how all through history men and woman have committed horrendous crimes against others in the name of religion. As painful as it is to remember 9/11 it is with respect and honor that I do not allow myself to forget those who died that day and years later as America went to war as well as the suffering of the families that have been left behind.

Where were you doing September 11th, 2001? Please share here.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Senior on Senior Scams


Elderly couple
Originally uploaded by Wanderer and Wonderer

An article in AARP’s September/October magazine discussed the rise of aging scammers targeting other seniors. The article states that seniors appear to be more trusting of senior scammers who present to identify with the financial concerns of older people. Jenni Bergal author of the article stated that a popular fraud targeting senior citizens is the Ponzi schme. The Ponzi scam was named after Charles Ponzi a notorious scammer in 1920, and who could forget Bernie Madoff who in 2008 swindled millions from trusting investors.

How the Ponzi scheme works is that potential investors are guaranteed high returns on his/her funds and assured that there are no risks. The scammer then pays off investors with money received from new investors while living off the bulk of the money received. While the scammer continues to recruit new investors the well can run dry. When not enough investors come on board to keep the scammers lifestyle and provide money to give out to some investors the scammer usually disappears if not caught by the law.

Suggestions:

1)  If it sounds too good to be true walk away
2)  Do your research don’t let greed or false hope make the decision for you. Contact your state securities
     agency for further information about any person or company that presents investment opportunities to you.
3) Take your time don’t allow yourself to be rushed. Being impulsive can cost you your life savings like it has
     so many.

Not too long ago I watched a report on television about a man who scammed a few church pastors and their congregations out of thousands of dollars. No one is off limit. Our present economic climate has made many afraid of the future. This fear is resulting in poor decision-making. We must all educate ourselves when presented with information and request for our assets.

Have you or someone you know been approached with a too good to be true offer? If so please comment here and help others.