Grinch of the year

Andrea asked where this post went.  Truth is, I posted it on Saturday and then deleted it. (I do that now and then, do you?)  Once I wrote it, I felt better but also wondered whether it was really post-worthy and felt bad about doing such a downer post during the happy holidays period (plus I immediately started getting wacko stranger comments).  But here it is again, cause I want to hear what you think, Andrea :)  And I'm still seething about grinchy Mr. Madoff.


And now, we pause from our regularly scheduled programming. I don't usually comment on current events on here; this isn't a political blog and probably you don't really care how I feel about these things. But I have been fuming over the last few days and maybe publicly expressing myself will help relieve some of the anger and frustration I feel about the situation.

Shame on you, Bernard Madoff, the man who "made-off" with and lost over $50 billion worth of investments--maybe more, many from philanthropic and non-profit organizations through an elaborate "ponzi scheme" that was fraudulent from its inception. As someone who works for and believes in non-profit organizations and their role in society to help ease the burden felt by the poor, the young, the struggling, and the disenfranchised, I find this reprehensible.

This goes beyond crimes against the economy to approach at least crimes against the poor and needy, a different kind of crime against humanity. I hope there are huge repercussions for Mr. Madoff and his greedy grab. Among the victims:

  • the Picower Foundation is forced to close its doors, an organization that has given over $268 million to places like the New York Public Library, the Children's Health Foundation, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and MIT. 
  • Also closing as a result of Madoff's crime are the JEHT foundation in New York, 
  • the Chais Foundation, 
  • and the Lappin Charitable foundation in Salem, Massachusetts. 
Just closing their doors, swindled out of money, all managed by Mr. Madoff. And that's just so far.

The ripple effects are enormous and sickening. Among the many other organizations that are victims of losing large amounts of cash to Madoff's dishonest managing of their funds are:

  • the Elie Weisel Foundation , which lost $15.2 million 
  • almost half of major Boston philanthropy the Carl and Ruth Shapiro Foundation's $324 million, 
  • and many schools including my own school, Tufts University, which lost $20 million. 
{Deep breath. Pause. Serenity now.}

Ironically, Madoff gave $30,000 to the Robin Hood Foundation in his own charitable giving. Ironic because, while Robin Hood's approach was to rob from the rich and give to the poor, Madoff turned that on its head. Robbing from the poor to give to...himself.