How helluva, you ask? Well, in the course of a week - my most precious, closely-held dream was stomped into the ground with a set of rabies-encrusted cleats; I spent Valentine's Day at the gym with a half-dozen other lonely, dateless women; TG and Me ceased to be TG and Me; I may have a stalker; one of my kindred soulmates is dying; and guess what, TG is one tenacious dude, so now I'm not sure if I'm still single or not.
Yeah, and get this. A lady contacted me after reading a post about Johnny Tierney in my other blog - he's the FDNY hero that I remember in honor of all the fallen heroes of 9/11 - and wove a fascinating story for me about a young woman claiming to be Tierney's daughter, among other things, and how this young woman is using this claim to her advantage in some really pathetic ways.
Okay, don't know her, don't know the lady who posted...but it got me to thinking about the kind of person it takes to fabricate a scam based on the memory of the heroes of 9/11. I Googled "9/11 Hero Scam" and BINGO! Plenty of hits. Here's a few examples to get your blood boiling, courtesy of the AP:
- Arizona resident Kevin Held reportedly raised $713,000 to create a 9/11 memorial quilt "big enough to cover 25 football fields." He gave himself a a $175,000 salary, a $200 weekly car allowance, "rent reimbursement," and unreported "loans." He paid his family members "consulting fees." He apparently said a Catholic priest was the chairman of his charity's board, but the Catholic priest wasn't even aware of it. He told lies about the origin of his charity. He will soon move into a $660,000 five-bedroom home overlooking a lake, the AP reports. Total memorial quilt output: "several hundred decorated sheets packed in boxes at a storage unit."
- Connecticut resident John Michelotti reportedly raised $140,000 for his Flag of Honor/Flag of Heroes Project. He used the money to launch a for-profit company that produces flags printed with the names of 9/11's dead for $5 in China, then sells them for $25 a pop stateside under the guise of contributing to a "fund to help those that were affected," the AP reports. He hasn't donated any proceeds to charity, yet, but he says he's going to start soon! He will donate 70 cents from the sale of each flag and keep $19.30 for himself.
- Based in a church near Ground Zero, Rev. Carl Keyes reportedly raised more than $4 million "to help victims and first responders" with the help of a Christian TV telethon. His 9/11 charity, Urban Life Ministries, has accounted for the use of only $670,000 of its funds since 2001, the AP reports. Keyes says his organization did nothing wrong, they're just "bad managers."
- Harley aficionado Theodore Sjurseth organizes an annual 9/11 memorial motorcycle ride. His charity had "nearly $2.2 million in gross revenue between 2003 and last year." It reportedly spends less than 20 percent of the money it raises on charitable causes; the rest goes towards hotel rooms, meals, and entertainment for ride participants.
And on....and on...and on. I think there's a special circle of hell for those who exploit the memory of the dead for their own gain. It's populated with people who form crap charities, lining their pockets with the money of widows. It's populated with those morons from that so-called "church" that go around the country and picket at the funerals of our dead soldiers. It's populated with slick men in nice suits who would steal the pennies off their dead grandmother's eyes if nobody was looking before they closed the casket. Enjoy your eternity, dirtbags. If you get thirsty, I'll give you a list of charities you can contact for help.