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A bit too much (9/11)

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by Malaqai, Sep 26, 2003.

  1. Malaqai Gems: 4/31
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    I saw today some high-ranking us millitary dude say on cnn that 9/11 is the greatest tragedy the world has ever seen.

    I am in shock and disbelief still at what I heard. Has this man not heard of Hiroshima or Nagasaky. Or Auschwitz? Or Pompei? Has this ill-educated moron not heard of Srebrenica in Bosnia? Of Bleiburg? I can go on like this for a really long time.

    9/11 was a disaster but to name it the biggest tragedy in the history of the world is, I think, a bit too much.
     
  2. Sir Belisarius

    Sir Belisarius Viconia's Boy Toy Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder

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    [​IMG] Maybe he meant it's the greatest tragedy in the US...Which it may be. With that said...I'm getting a little annoyed with the victims' families now.

    The US government set aside hundreds of millions of dollars for the families of the 9/11 victims in NYC. The average amount per family is over 2 million dollars!!! And these greedy bastards are trying to capitalize on the tragedy by suing the airlines.

    Since they decided to sue the airlines, they've lost the chance to take the 2 million from Congress. I hope they lose their lawsuit and get zip!
     
  3. Viking Gems: 19/31
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    It is clearly not the greatest tragedy ever.

    I agree with Sir Bel on his point too, the greed elemt is costing sympathy amongst most people I would have thought. I think a stern warning from the judge might be in order when this goes to trial.

    The thing about blaming the arilines is to my mind way out provided they were not negligent in their lack of security. Provided they followed procedure as laid down by Government and aviation authorities it is hard to see how they are to blame.

    The terrorists are dead, the victims are dead. Take the offer, and let everyone move on with their lives. I'm certain that a large proportion of the families would like to do just that. Is it all or nothing, or can each individual family chose to accept or not?
     
  4. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    I'm pretty much tired of all official invocations of events like Auschwitz, 9/11 or Halabja for that instance.

    Mostly they are referred to as a "mace on the head" argument to silence dissenters. When you couple the demand for a restriction of freedom rights with mentioning 9/11 you can claim that those who refuse to agree on that not only are irresponsible in face of such a danger, but also suggest that they may be with them, that is, the terrorists. It's all about aiding the terrorists.

    The same with Auschwitz. When german politicians critisise Israel and demand more rights for the palestinians they face imminent danger of beeing accused to be antisemites, no matter what Israel does at the moment. Of course, the same happens in Washington to politicians who try resist the Israel lobby. You know, when Israel doesn't get the military aid - Auschwitz - the arabs will pounce upon them.

    And Halabja. Those claiming that the US wasn't justified to invade Iraq are overlooking the terrible atrocity of Halabja - now the beast is toppled and everything is swell. By attacking the invasion you defend Saddam and it is suggested you don't mind him butchering his people. How outrageous of you. Are you supporting Saddam? Or are you with us??!
    Sure. Except that kurdish welfare hadn't anything to do with the invasion. The US installed a no-fly zone in north Iraq to prevent Saddam to butcher his people. Splendid. It also allowed the turkish military to do this undistrubed without iraqi, british or US intervention*.
    IIRC the state department at the time of Halabja ordered it's diplomats to claim that the iranians did it in order to protect their then-buddy Saddam ** ; this legend is still persistent. The US supported the turkish ethnic cleansing in Kurdistan with billions of military aid and weapons - eventually the turkish were fighting not only separatist terrorists, but communist ones too. To see this US celebration in Halabja with Powells hypochritical babbling is like a slap in the face considering the US stance in the past.

    That's the hit against the head technique. You force the opponent into defensive without bringing a real argument, holding your threat that will follow disagreement well visible. It is hard to resist such an onslaught, and it is so popular because it works.

    I am pretty much disgusted by the exploitation of historical events for political or economical interests.
    ________________________________________________

    * More on that in an article by John Pilger , on the underreported aspects of UK and US protecting the kurds.
    Besides, the report remained undenied by the british and US gvt's. Clearly the kurds were a group of people the US really cared to help and shelter.

    [ September 27, 2003, 18:39: Message edited by: Ragusa ]
     
  5. Laches Gems: 19/31
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    I do volunteer work with the Victim's Compensation Fund and many, many of those "greedy bastards" are in genuine anguish. They're angry and they honestly believe that they aren't getting a fair shake. The average award is precisely that - "average." Meaning there are higher and lower awards. The recovery for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering is capped at a level much lower than would be available through the courts. The result is that the majority of recovery is purely economic. Therefore a wife with 2 children whose husband was an investment banker making six figures will recover significantly more than the wife whose husband was a janitor.

    As you mentioned, by signing up with the Victim's Compensation Fund you lose your right to bring a claim in the courts and by bringing a claim through the courts you lose your ability to file a VCF claim.

    Frankly, I think these people may have received poor advice. But they're likely one of two categories - either those who are more easily taken advantage of or those whose spouses did well enough that they can risk the money to pursue what they perceive as justice. I'm sure there are some who see dollar signs (and this is where the bad advice may have come in). However, you've chosen to lump them all together without a thought that there may be other reasons one might wish to pursue a tort claim.

    I mean, let's think about it -- the airline security was such that multiple airplanes were hijacked by guys with box openers killing thousands. That is virtually a prima facie case of negligence - gross negligence. If you had just lost the love of your life I can see how you might be angry about that. The airlines were bailed out explicitly and the VCF was set up as another form of a bailout. If you'd lost your spouse I think I could see how you might think the airlines were to blame and want to pursue a claim against them thinking they are escaping entirely too much liability via gov't bailouts. You may not agree the airlines were to blame but surely you can see how a reasonable person might disagree.

    Under the circumstances, I think it is more than a tad callous to dismiss them as 'greedy bastards' and probably unfounded.

    As far as what the US military person supposedly said - I'm surprised if he said it. I doubt that he did actually as if he's a high ranking official I'd think he'd have his wits about himself a bit better. If he did say it, I wouldn't be surprised for it to be mentioned in print and we'll be able to get links. Barring a link, I personally don't think he said what you've attributed to him.

    Even if he did say it - I really don't think it is anything more than silly grandstanding. Probably not worth getting hot and bothered about.
     
  6. Sir Belisarius

    Sir Belisarius Viconia's Boy Toy Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder

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    [​IMG] Showing that security allowed people with box cutters will not be the issue. The issue, and where I think the plaintiff's lawsuit will fail is this:

    Was it foreseeable that highjackers would consciously fly an airplane into a building? If that was not a foreseeable event based on the history of highjackings...The airlines will not be held liable...In my opinion. They may be able to get the company that handles airport security for allowing people to get onboard with boxcutters - but that recovery will be far less than what victims would get from the Congressional fund.

    As for being callous...I think it's greed - and primarily what is become a growing problem in the US. Using lawsuits to "win the lottery!" A tragedy? Most definitely. Should the victims be compensated? Of course. Should they go after the airlines? That is absurd.

    If anything...The US government should take the assets we've frozen thus far, and divvy it up between the victims in NYC, Pennsylvania & Washington.
     
  7. Oxymore Gems: 13/31
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    Just a quick question here (perhaps a little OT):

    You guys mention 2 millions per family of a 11/9 victim, how much does the family of the daily dead soldier in Iraq get?
     
  8. Sir Belisarius

    Sir Belisarius Viconia's Boy Toy Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder

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    [​IMG] ** See Laches post for military death benefits **

    Not to knock the military - But that's part of what you sign up for. I mean, to be in the military and not to expect to be in harms way at some point is just naive. The families of reservists they show whining on television about how it's unfair that their husbands/wives/sons & daughters are being stationed too long is ridiculous!

    Reservists get paid to be auxiliary troops in times of crisis. It's not just two weeks per month and gimmee the paycheck. There is a price for that. That price is to be "On call" for action if needed.

    I'm sure I'm going to get another "callous" flame...But it doesn't bother me - if your weren't up for the possibility of fighting AND dying as part of a military action your country stages, YOU SHOULD NOT BE IN THE MILITARY!!!!! At least not in the US military...since it's voluntary.

    [ September 26, 2003, 16:12: Message edited by: Sir Belisarius ]
     
  9. Oxymore Gems: 13/31
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    May sound crude but except for dying in front of the cameras, what did that guy who died on 11/9 do that makes his family deserve 200 times more than the family of private Noname who died for his country? (leaving Iraq debate outside)
     
  10. Laches Gems: 19/31
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    Edit - it isn't 200 times, see below

    You are attributing a motive without a source. You are projecting. Plenty of people bring claims because they think it is the right thing to do. See the recent Burgess v. Busby (which has been being reported on in the AMA and other journals) as an example where a claim was brought and went on for years with no hope of a significant payout at the end because it was the 'right' thing to do.

    Please provide a source supporting your contention that the claim of all the surviving family members is motivated by greed or admit that you are simply making an unfounded assumption.

    Your assertion about the average award is substantially off as well, I should've caught that earlier. The most recent stats show the award has climbed significantly but you are still overestimating the average by ~ $400,000. Then, you aren't even mentioning that the average is different from the median like I mentioned earlier. So, that is ~ a $750,000 + difference. Also, remember the VCF takes into account offsets. Have you been receiving Social Security? What about Worker's Compensation? What about Medicare or Medicaid? What about.... all of these reduce the award.

    As far as the compensation of soldiers go... it's a tricky comparison. Rush Limbaugh wrote a famous piece talking about the greedy VCF folks and contrasting them with soldiers that is fairly well known. But like with a lot of things from him, it was misleading. A soldier's surviving spouse receives a $6k death gratuity and burial costs. Then, there is a monthly payment of $833 with an additional $211 per month for each dependent. This is difficult to compare because it is spread out over the course of a life. Let's assume a wife aged 30 years with 2 children aged 10 for the sake of argument. The mortality tables yield a life expectancy for the woman of 47.5 years. So, 833+211= 1044. This will be the monthly payment for 8 years. 12 months x 8 x 1044 = $100,224. Then, 12 months x 39.5 (remaining life expectancy) x 833 = 394,842. So, that comes to ~ $500,000 in monthly payments. Then, there is a $250,000 life insurance policy immediately payable so...

    I'd say ~ $750,000 over the life of a deceased spouse. (edit - this can be misleading though as it doesn't account for the time value of money; i may reduce the 500k to present value later if I've the time and inkling - the 250k though is an immediate payment). Now, I believe but am not certain that this money is not used to offset other benefits which makes a difference. For example, when a VCF beneficiary receives benefits they offset that amount by the amount of, for example, SS benefits and then by receiving the award no longer qualify for SS. The military award though will not cut off other benefits to the best of my understanding - this is what I've been told anyways but I haven't verified for myself.

    Edit - look at the VCF fund differently Oxymore - not as a determination that the family members deserve more than soldiers but as a carrot to get people to sign up thus bailing out the airlines. That is what likely gets under the skin of some.

    [ September 26, 2003, 16:41: Message edited by: Laches ]
     
  11. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    [​IMG]
    Asking for a source supporting someone's opinion that someone is being greedy is ridiculous. What possible "source" could there be, to clearly define someone as greedy? Everyone is free to express their opinions here. Bel believes they're greedy, and so do I. Also, so does everyone else I've talked to about this issue. Compensation for the loss of life is one thing, but what's happening here went way over the limits of decency and respect to the people who died. The whole tragedy was turned into an instant jackpot for most of the relatives of the victims, who will not stop at any sum but the most they can milk out of anyone who they can possibly manage to blame in the US courts.
     
  12. Valkyrie Gems: 7/31
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    Too true Taluntain.

    Sue the airlines?! For what? 'You didn't tell me my plane can get hijacked!' 'You didn't provide protection' How were they supposed to know? How can you possibly THINK of suing the airlines when their pilots and flight attendants died too? friends, family members... So many people suffered that day, and all you can think of is your damned money? Disgusting.
    You should be mourning your lost one, not milking their death for your own personal gain.
     
  13. Laches Gems: 19/31
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    I guess I'm asking - how many of y'all have dealt with any of the family of the victims? I suppose it's easy to sit in an ivory tower and criticize the 'greedy bastards.'

    Sure everyone is allowed to have an opinion but I don't see why pointing out that there is no support for that opinion should be taboo.

    Like this opinion:

    'Most' of the families? Certainly not the majority I've met. You must be meeting with a different bunch than me. Indeed, the stats show 'most' of the families aren't in court.
     
  14. ejsmith Gems: 25/31
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    Taluntain wrote:

    You have been trained well, my young apprentice. These fools will be no match for your skills.
     
  15. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    [​IMG] Let's put it this way: The US legal system encourages excesses in compensation, and abuse. Of course the relatives would deserve some sort of compensation or support. But to refuse a generous offer to sue for more IMO suggests greed. And in any case, the result of a lawsuit would feed not only the relatives of the victims, but especially their attorneys.

    The US legal system invites for "robbery" claims. The instruments of the pretrial discovery have a clear "harassment effect", which lies in the burden for the sued party to bring up proof ... to underline the plaintiffs claims. That approach can mean to ask for as much info as possible in hope to find something to justify the claim.
    Pretrial discoveries can be extremely costly, and for the 9/11 case I don't expect anything else. Probably the sued airlines are subject to that atm. This "harassment effect" alone sometimes is enough to force the opponent into compromise no matter if he's responsible for any damage at all.

    And then there is the jury system with the drawback that in complex cases it just aks too much from a jury of laymans. Consequently this led to that in business cases the parties usually do not want juries to avoid the imponderables of a jury verdict.
    In the 9/11 case this is highly unlikely. I'm pretty confident that the emotional factor of a jury is something the sueing party counts on. This case is a pretty questionable thing.

    * In germany it's the other way around: The sueing party alone has to bring up all evidence to justify their claim, and the other side has to bring up all proof for their defense. IMO that's healthier.
     
  16. Sojourner Gems: 8/31
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    Precisely, however, they haven't been used as "auxillaries", but as regular military on the cheap. How many people realise that Iraq deployment is coming on top of another long deployment or multiple deployments for these guys? And they don't even have access to the same benefits as the regulars while deployed. And many have legitimate grievances - some aren't getting paid because they're being held past their ETS date, and records and finances are a nightmare to fix - I know, because I've dealt with it. Glad I was never a reservist - they get a raw deal.
     
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