WWII Fraudulent Claims in U.S. for War Victims

A woman from Brooklyn, New York, has been sentenced to 18 months in Federal prison and ordered to repay 1/2 million dollars for recruiting ineligible applicants for German WWII repayments to Nazi victims.

According to a recent story in the Jerusalem Post, she was an employee of the Conference on Jewish material Claims against Germany. Her role in the scheme lasted almost a decade and involves another thirty persons, eighteen who have pleaded guilty.

At least 12 million went through 3,839 apparently fraudulent applications submitted for people who were not eligible for a “Hardship Fund.” Many were born after WWII.

The fund makes a one-time payment of $3,500 to those who evacuated their homes and were forced to become refugees.

Conference employees are supposed to confirm that applicants qualified. The fraud included doctored documents. Another 1,112 cases processed for a program in the Article 2 Funds were fraudulent, resulting in the loss of another 45 million.

That fund pays $400 per month to survivors who earn under $16,000 a year and either lived in hiding or under a false identity for 18 months, lived in a Jewish ghetto for l8 months, or were held for six months in a concentration camp or forced labor camp.

The Post’s story did not say how the fraud was uncovered or if similar things have occurred and been uncovered in other countries.

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Bad Behavior Exposed

Is meanness becoming more acceptable in real life and on the Internet?

Norbert Elias took a look at etiquette books over hundreds of years and found as time has gone by much kindness has disappeared.

Are more and more people blowing off steam and saying and acting mean and inconsiderate, either because they can’t see that their behavior is outrageous or it doesn’t matter?

On line, social cues which say “You’ve gone too far,” can’t be seen and the concern is that this leads to similar actions in real life situations.

Such looks which protect and help a person tone down disappear because there is no way to tell a person to stop without making a further confrontation.

There can be a special feeling of wonder, joy and peace when engaging in a polite conversation, or overhearing people who are using sensitive, kind words.

What Is Success?

“Success may be attained once by accident, but permanent results are found only attendant upon a practice based upon correct theory,” so said Profitable Farming in the Southern States, l890.

There are many paths and definitions. Here are a few:

When you wake up in the morning and feel like a ten-year-old. The child in you is energetic, alive, zestful, curious, happy.

When you like who you are and what you are. These can include your achievements, choosing and deciding your activities, enjoying intimate relationships and loving what you do.

Doing something you said you would do. Honoring your promise or contract.

Helping others. Leaving a positive legacy.

As Las Tzu, father of Taoism says, “the wise man puts himself last and finds himself first.”

Craig Ballantyne says, “Be passionate and add value to the world. There are amazing opportunities out there for you because the world is full of problems which need solving.”

My philosophy is: Jump. . . and the net may be there to catch you.

Lebensborn Is Becoming an Audio Book

Lebensborn, the novel, is now in audio book production with a recording firm in Studio City, CA.

Late last week, the book received a royalty stipend from ACX, a division of Amazon which brings producers, authors and narrators together.

This meant that I as the author could listen to audition tapes of over three thousand narrators in the ACX audio bank, and then make an offer to one through ACX who would accept a royalty contract.

My search for a male narrator who spoke English with a husky voice made my number one choice Matt Weight. Listening to his audition tapes, I felt he was the one who could bring life to the sixty-plus characters in my WWII story. He has llived around the world, works as an actor, and is proficient with accents.

His voice is like running your hands over velvet and so enticing that a listener will hunger for more. I feared that he might not be interested. I sent him an offer anyway. “Hey, I love your voice. Would your accept my offer to narrate Lebensborn?”

He accepted that day, and then after receiving the manuscript from me by e-mail, he recorded and sent the first fifteen minutes which include the preface and the first two chapters.

They are terrific. He does his work in a storytelling manner, and is able to speak like a ten-year-old boy, three Nazi officer and a seventeen-year-old girl.

However, his 30th October deadline is coming fast. He tells me he may request an extension because of the length of the story.

How One Woman Found a Job

Jobs are hard to find in Colville, WA., population five thousand, in Northeast Washington State.

The Columbia River flows near this scenic spot of lakes and forests. The town has major industries; Hearth & Home, a wood stove manufacturer, began here in a fellow’s garage. Colmac Coil sends commercial refrigeration equipment all over the world. Hughes Craft builds fishing and sport boats. Vaagens is a big lumber mill.

Men have left their families to drive trucks for the South Dakota pipe line. An attorney and his professional mediator wife. left recently for Seattle to work in a big law firm. A former Microsoft employee had to say goodbye to her little home and go back to Seattle to be a receptionist.

A California girl with two Master’s degrees and highly-skilled at organization, left California a few years ago to live here near her parents. She made pizza until recently when her part-time working conditions left her too often in tears because she was told she wasn’t working fast enough and bathroom breaks were hours between.

The night she quit, her boyfriend put roses, fluted glasses and sparkling cider on top the hood of her car ready to share with other employees.

She quickly visited job centers and learned that a call center had closed leaving thirty people just like her looking for work, too.

Daily, going door to door in town, the goodwill Store’s manager was ready to hire her in November and wrote “Hire Her” on her resume.

Rent was due. She needed a job now and when she was considering one at an animal shelter, she said, “I have faith that God will put me in the right place.”

Then, she learned that the number of students in preschools were down and no teachers were needed there either.

When the former lawyer in Colville, now in Seattle, told another a area attorney, about her skills, they hired her as a personal assistant, a new position, at ten dollars an hour.

Faith can move mountains.

What To Do If You Are Being Stalked

l) It’s not your fault. Most stalkers have a personality disorder or mental illness, or both. They may be stalking you because you’ve ended, or are trying to end, a relationship just like the main character in my new novel, Rusty Springs.
They feel wounded. You’ve insulted them and they are seeking revenge.

2) Or, a stalker may be a complete stranger and has picked you at random. They have low self-esteem but feel they are the most important person in the world.

3)Half of stalking victims never report it. Keep evidence because it may become a more serious crime.

4) Never meet a stalker to say goodbye or to have things returned. Some things, such as sending the police to give them a warning or obtaining restraining order, may do more harm than good.

5) Two types of stalkers most likely to assault their victims are the predator who plans their attacks, rehearses them and has sexual fantasies about it, or the stalker who has been rejected.

6) If you believe you are being stalked (as statistics show one out of every twenty women will be), keep evidence and document the stalker’s actions, much as the character in Rusty Springs does in her journal.

7) Make SAFETY a habit: Park in well-lit areas. Vary driving and other routines. Iimprove home security. Don’t give out or print your home address and phone number.

8) If approached in your car, keep the doors locked and drive to the police station. A stalker can fake an unmarked police car. Call 677 on your cell phone. that’s the number to a police dispatcher who can verify if the car that’s stopped you is authentic.

9) If you suspect a stalker, tell trusted friends and neighbors so that they can also be on the lookout for anyone or anything suspicious around your house or work place.

l0) Take a personal defense safety class. Do not be a person who to has to rely upon someone else to come to their defense.

People Are Like Buffalo, Major Financial Trends,

Who knows what Congress will do about the existing laws for qualified dividends now at 15 percent. These were 70% in the 1960’s.

“In the last twelve years, there have been two wars, two recessions and the market has gone down 50% twice,” Sr. Vice President Carl Platou of American Funds told investors in Colville, WA., who were dining on one of Lori Robert’s fine lunches with several meat selections and sides.

We dined and heard market trends and issues, several encouraging, but as Mr. Platou said, “No one knows what Congress will do about the expiring laws for qualified dividends in January 2013, now at 15 percent. In the l960’s these were taxed at 70 percent. His company suggests including qualified tax-exempt dividend stocks in IRA accounts.

“People are no different than buffalo,” he said and pointed to an illustration of Native Americans hunting buffalo by fooling them to jump off cliffs, a safer and faster way to hunt than going eye-ball to eye-ball with a bow and arrow than the speeding buffalo. “Humans have the uncanny instinct to herd, too. Twelve years ago it was investing in technology. Today, although it’s gold and bonds, it is imperative to invest in dividend-paying companies. We foresee the trend for companies to increase theirs.”

Major trends: “In ten years the U.S. will no longer need to import oil.” He pointed to the new oil discoveries in the U.S., the use of LNG gas, and the fact that four new chemical plants are now being in the U.S. Fuel efficient 4 and 3 cylinder engines are on the horizon.

In agriculture, “More nations want to eat better. Eighty percent more apples have been exported this year by Wenatchee growers and this has an impact all the way through the food-distribution system in increased sales of seeds, fertilizer, farm equipment.

“People around the world want better health care. One of the largest suppliers of insulin is offering a new, less painful product for diabetes which helps weight loss. Diabetes does not have recessions.

“The big housing issues, where many mortgages are under water and need to be righted, the cost of money is cheap and it’s an opportune time to buy up these houses now during the lowest creation of new homes in our lifetime. Interest rates should remain low for some time.”

“The threat of inflation is real. Costs are going up particularly in education, health care, food and fuel.

One woman said, “I’d rather be optimistic than pessimistic. It takes the same kind of energy.”

For me, the foremost investment philosophy is NOT to lose money Trends and issues ARE important. These matter. I must be a pessimist. Are we are heading over a financial cliff, just like buffalo?