Friday, February 13, 2009

Black-jack down.

By now you've heard about the plane crash in Buffalo, New York, and also the ironic wrinkle that a 9/11 widow was among the victims.

I wonder if her heirs now think they have another $2.08 million coming from Uncle Sam.

At first hearing that probably sounds like nothing more than a zinger, a cheap shot, and a pretty tasteless one at that. Think about it, though, because it's an honest question. What's the difference between these deaths and the deaths that occurred on 9/11? Are the widows and widowers of the loving husbands and wives on this Continental flight any less bereaved or deprived of their livelihoods than the folks who were widowed or orphaned by what took place on those doomed United and American flights? For that matter, why are we just talking about airplane tragedies? Is any life really less valuable than another?

I don't think I'll ever quite understand why we turned arguably the most tragic event in American history into the biggest Lotto jackpot ever paid out.


Anonymous said...

Americans seem to enjoy turning tragedy into a winning lottery ticket. The more tragic the event, the bigger the payoff. And if the corporation doesn't have deep enough pockets, the government will make sure the taxpayers pick up the tab.

Before this week is over, there will be teams of lawyers and consultants assembling "A day in the life of Victim X" multimedia presentations: weepy videos showing that the sainted victim was the greatest person in western civilization, and deeply touched the lives of everybody with whom she/he came in contact. And all those who knew the victim can not possibly get over their grief.

And a jury of losers too stupid to know how to get out of jury duty (a.k.a. "peers") will then award eight-figure claims to the estate of the victims.

I'll bet trial lawyers are actually annoyed that Cpt. Sullenberger landed in the Hudson without killing anybody.

Anonymous said...

People who make a killing on these tragedies, no pun intended, always say it's not about the money, then they cry and whine and fight tooth and nail to collect as much money as possible. They'll also come up with bull**it reasons that justify their greed, like "the money is like an apology for the wrong we suffered" or if they're suing some corporation, "we just want to hit them where it hurts." It's all b.s. Yeah, right. It's always about the money. A lot of these 9-11 widows had a whole new life with a new man in six months, the only difference being they now had a few million dollars to play with too.

sassy sasha said...

what's cool about you steve is you have the guts to say this kind of stuff, which other people only think. even if you take it too far sometimes imo it's important that you put the ideas out there.

Cal said...

Also have to agree with Steve on this one. All the parents, wives, and kids of the military people killed in our twin wars would deserve major compensation before the 9/11 victims IMO. Especially when they are being killed over a bogus war that was started on faulty intelligence by a president who was out to please his father among other reasons. And I won't even write about his military service...he sure didn't jump at the chance to go to Vietnam when he was a young man. And if he went, I doubt he would have seen combat because of who his father was even at that time.

I wonder if the victims fund would have happened if the tragedy had happened in other places besides NY. I don't think the people killed at the Pentagon receive compensation. Hopefully, someone will correct me if I am wrong.

I don't believe in karma, but damn, if I were the 9/11 widow's kids or other family members, I would think 10 times before I got on a plane.

Steve Salerno said...

I could be wrong, Cal, but I think the only distinctions in payouts were made according to lifetime earning potential--and those would have been generally highest at the Trade Center, where, for example, a large contingent of victims were employed by the brokerage house Cantor-Fitzgerald. This article provides pretty good background:

Elizabeth said...

Steve et al, the huge compensation for 9/11 victims has never made sense to me. In fact, it made the official story of 9/11 even more suspicious.

The first Anon got his/her prediction right -- on today's news there already were those glorified biopics of the 9/11 widow who died in the plane crash last night.

And this:
I'll bet trial lawyers are actually annoyed that Cpt. Sullenberger landed in the Hudson without killing anybody
has made me laugh. Indeed, what a waste of a perfect opportunity for litigation and handsome settlements. Darn that Sully.

Now, completely off-topic, but blame it on my need for comic relief -- see this on mondegreen -- our common tendency to mishear words of our favorite songs. Hey, Steve, you could make a post on this, with an enthusiastic (I imagine :) readers' participation.

Voltaire said...

Is there any chance that the dollar sign was placed in the middle of the crucifix formed by the light of the sun as a statement about religion? Of course as an Atheist I quite agree... :)

Steve Salerno said...

Volty, much as I'd like to claim credit for s clever symbolic gesture, I'm afraid I had no religious statement in mind.

The intended interpretation was the more obvious one--that people made a financial "killing" on 9/11.