Thursday, June 03, 2004

Cash for Crash: I was listening to Howard Stern this morning during my 5 min. drive to the train station and he had a "9/11 Widow" on with her new boyfriend. Of course, she was there to show off her breast implants, but Stern, as is his (other) wont, got into 9/11 and the effect on her and her three children.

Turns out to have been quite the financial windfall. I don't mean to be crass. I would never presume that money can make up for the loss of a loved one. However, this woman said that her kids got millions and she got millions. A random sample of statistics bears this out. And I'm happy for them. Losing a father and husband is no doubt a terrible emotional and financial crisis. But people lose their fathers, husbands, brothers, daughters every day to acts of violence. Where are their millions?

I understand the emotional rush our country went through; rage at those who did it, overwhelming sympathy for those who lost family and friends. In that rush, we decided to dole out hundreds of millions of dollars to those who survived the deadly day, and to those family members of people who didn't make it. I just don't understand how our government can be so capricious about these awards. I think this was a rather arbitrary, and peculiar precedent-setting decision.

Remember Daniel Pearl's widow applying for some of those funds...and being denied. Apparently, payment only comes if the victim died in NY, PA or DC on 9/11/01. Which seems kind of crazy. Either victims and families of terror get money, or they don't. The day on which the death occurred seems like a crazy way to decide who deserves compensation. What about Berg's family? The guy is murdered for trying to help re-build Iraq (an Iraq our military helped dismantle). Sorry Mr. and Mrs. Berg, you see, he didn't get his head cut off on the right day, month and year.

What about Oklahoma City? Remember that incident of domestic terrorism? Funny, Jim Traficant did. But don't listen to him, he's a nutcase felon.

What happens if we have 9/11-type attacks every day for a month? Do we pay all those victims' families too, or are we now sufficiently hardened to terrorism against our own, so that we can focus on what's really important: "Friends" going off the air. Do we have to say that while we feel really bad, we just don't have the money to pay that many people? Plus, you see, they didn't die on the right day.

1 comment:

enobarbus said...

Well beam me up, you remembered Jim Traficant! Couldn't agree with you more on the subject of victim compensation. Well said.