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  #1  
Old 09-10-2002, 10:12 AM
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The press has been talking about the 9-11 anniversary since the turn of Sept!

Listen, I'm just as upset and sad about what happened last Sept. 11 than everyone else and the only thing I wish to see is every last Al Qaeda terrorist dead or captured (tortured) to pay for what they did.

BUT, is anyone else tired of hearing about the upcoming 1 year anniversary of 9-11??! The hype started at the turn of September for christ's sake! I realize this is the biggest tragedy in American history to date, but the press hype is unreal!

And what is it about anniversaries of events like this and the press? i.e. 1, 5, 10, (is 15 significant?), 25, 50, 75, 100? What is in a number? I realize it's a time to remember and look back on the event, BUT I also think the press is getting out of hand and using "anniversaries" to sensationalize these stories. Your hear about them daily it seems, "5 years ago today Jon Benet was found..." "Princess Diana...." "10 year Hurrican Andrew anniversary" "Elvis died 25 years ago today in Graceland..." ESPN's 25,000th show this coming Sunday!! (they hyped this one for a month)

And what's with making the families in connection with the 9-11 terrorist attacks multi-millionaires?? The Red Cross is awash in cash for the families, countless other charities have raised millions of $$ for the families and the NY fire, police and port authority personnel who perished, not to mention the billions of dollars of assistance that Congress has provided, and NOW the U.S. Postal service is selling a stamp (3 fireman raising the now missing American flag) for 45c I believe. The excess 8c per stamp "to raise funds to provide assistance to families in connection with the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. *SIGH*

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  #2  
Old 09-10-2002, 10:34 AM
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Pearl Harbor happens every Dec. 7th

I want to remember the events that have shaped our world. I guess there is a line that separates rememberance and sensationalism. IMHO the liberal press has crossed that line. I tried to just turn my cheek and justify the coverage by thinking maybe somebody will get something out of it. I remember when John F. Kennedy was assasinated, all that was on TV for four days was the same footage over and over and over. It kind of got old. I did OK with the 9/11 coverage till I saw them throw a concert "party" in Times Square and justify it as a "tribute". Real heroes were probably the last thing on those kids minds.
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Old 09-10-2002, 11:54 AM
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I have no problem with the press hyping 9/11. When a dog urinates on a park bench, it isn't being a vandal, it is just being a dog. The newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst once said " The purpose of a journalist is to generate enough lucid copy to keep the advertising in place." Newsies work in the only profit-making governement protected monopoly in this country, and enjoy unique court protection from lawsuits. They will say and do anything to generate higher ratings and increased advertising profits, and to further their editorial policies on issues. As long as we subscribe, they can sell ads. As long as they get income from selling these ads they will lack incentive to provide objective and insightful reporting, and will focus on the cheap and easy targets. Yellow Journalism in the 21st century means afraid to rock the gravy boat by providing anything but opinionated sensationalism.

I have also have no problem with large sums of money being donated to the families. Forget the issue of what cost to assign to the value of a lost parent - that would be hard to quantify. Instead, just look at the financial picture.

If a parent was making $50,000 per year and was 30 years old at the time they died last year, the family lost that income (and about another $10,000 per year of medical, dental, death benifits, etc). By age 65 the deceased spouse would have contributed about $1.5 million dollars to the family, without even considering cost of living increases, raises, or bonuses. And they would have been contributing to Social Security which would have added, in todays dollars, about $1300/month to the family at that time.

The family expenses didn't go down with the loss of a spouse, but they may have gone up! If several million dollars will help the surviving family members approach a normal life, then great, lets get it done! If half of your house burns down, insurance pays to rebuild the damaged area, often a lesser value than what is needed to restore the structure and contents, and even then some things are gone forever. These families have lost half their house. They should be helped in their efforts to rebuild.

OK, off my soap box. Boy that felt good!
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  #4  
Old 09-10-2002, 12:17 PM
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Call me cynical, but the problem with this week's (month's?) "remembrances" is that we have never been allowed, even for a few hours, to forget. This event has been the blessing of a career for legions of politicians, newscasters, media companies and merchandisers. Not a day has gone by when it has not saturated the news, both written and electronic.

I often wonder what non-Americans think of the hype. Certainly it was an awful and historical event. But I've have heard it described so many times as the worst disaster in American history. What about the Chicago fire, the San Francisco earthquakes, and several bad hurricanes. I've heard it described as the bloodiest day on American soil in American history. What about several of the awful Civil War battles. And to describe it, as I have heard numerous times in the past year, as the worst disaster in the history of the world would be silly were it no so egocentric. As momentous and awful as it was, one wonders how long the hype would have lasted if it had not been New York City.
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  #5  
Old 09-10-2002, 12:27 PM
mbz380se
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Quote:
Call me cynical, but the problem with this week's (month's?) "remembrances" is that we have never been allowed, even for a few hours, to forget. This event has been the blessing of a career for legions of politicians, newscasters, media companies and merchandisers. Not a day has gone by when it has not saturated the news, both written and electronic.
I assume that you've seen those bumper stickers inscribed with "9/11/2001: We Will Never Forget". That's all fine and dandy if you're the driver of a grey Chevy Lumina or a lifted F-350 4x4 with "Powerstroke Diesel" in Eastern WA state who probably has no ties whatsoever to anyone who lived in NYC, but slaps that bumper sticker on his/her car nonetheless.

However, if I lost a loved one in the WTC attacks, I wouldn't want to see TV footage of those g.d. airliners hitting the towers again and again and again. It would only twist the knife in the figurative wound in my soul from losing a loved one in said attacks. And those ridiculous bumper stickers on cars would be yet another reminder that I could live without.

Personally, I'd just want to move on, and I wish we would. It seems that America is stuck in a "rubbernecking at a car crash" mentality, or at least a lot of the media is.

-Sam
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  #6  
Old 09-10-2002, 02:10 PM
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John:

With all due respect, I disagree with your family reimbursement argument and believe that it is fundamentally flawed. Your compensation calculations appear on its face to be legally-based, i.e. wrongful death calculations -- which is exactly how these contributions were not figured.

First off, this is a very sensitive area -- one in which most people are reluctant to discuss, partly because no one wants to sound insensitive. We can't imagine the agony of the survivor's families, the logic goes, and so we shouldn't argue with the compensation.

Unpopular as it may be, I'm putting forth such an argument. How do you place a price tag on grief? In any tragedy, America does what we can, and one way we help the families of the victims is to give them money. But are we doing this equitably and fairly?

The payment plan is as follows: each family gets $250,000 for a lost loved one, and $50k for every dependent left behind. ON top of that, thanks to taxpayer contributions and charitable donations, families will receive, on average, an additional $1.65 milllion in additional awards.

I don't want to bog this argument down with numbers, but this averages out to about $300,000 for a single, low income worker's family, to about $4million to a family whose lost one was young, married, and who earned more than $175k/year.

Quite a discrepancy. Why is the life of a young stock broker worth $3.5 mil while the life of a secretary worth only $300,000? The compensation shouldn't be based on salaries. This is totally arbitrary, because as I stated before, how do you place a price tag on grief? Give everyone the same amount, I argue. The guy working night shifts scrubbing toilets could have been attending medical school. How do you place a price tag on that guy's life?

Also, what about the Oklahoma City bombing victims' families? They received only $100,000 in assistance. Were their lives any less valuable than the ones in NYC?

I'm not arguing that the 9-11 families shouldn't be compensated for their tragic loss, I do -- I just don't agree with the amounts they're being paid, and the disparities being paid to different families who shared the same horrible grief.
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  #7  
Old 09-10-2002, 03:20 PM
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Yes, and what about the thousands of families who are suddenly left without a wage earner each day in this country due to accident, sickness, occupational hazards, criminal acts, etc? Not to diminish anyone's grief, but I thought the compensation scheme was an overly-generous, knee-jerk reaction by politicians looking for votes.
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  #8  
Old 09-10-2002, 06:28 PM
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Jim and Paul:

These are pretty compelling considerations you discuss. I am obviously not a party to how the compensation scheme was arranged, but have seen some of this discussed and debated earlier. The discussion of why compensate 9/11 victims when so many other victims of crime, accident, etc. are out there usually revolves around the concept that traditionally in the USA victims/survivors of mass accidents, natural disasters, or acts of foreign aggression receive compensation packages from government and private sources, while individual personal calamities are pretty much left for the individual survivors to resolve through insurance, court actions, neighbors, local church groups, etc. Historic major packages included the GI Bill, and Cal-Vet loans, FEMA loans/grants, and so on.

Usually the packages were distributed on a uniform basis - sometimes leading to individual hardships and/or excesses. The arguments I have seen for the artificially imposed 'salary merit' factor determining the value of the award seem to try and erase past real or perceived inequities. For example, if the money were divided equally, the family of the young stockbroker listed above, with an earned standard of living (up scale house payments, schools for the kids, contributions to college funds, etc.) might have to be decreased, while the young secretary's family potentially gets an improvement to their earned standard of living. Should the stockbroker’s family have to sell their house, and put their kids in different schools? Should society imply that the secretary was worth more dead than alive? How do you compare the 'worth' of a secretary to a stockbroker? (Many good secretaries are worth their weight in gold, and help their employers flourish much more than their salary and title implies. Some stockbrokers with 6 figure incomes are nearly worthless when push comes to shove, as their clients discover. But the converse is also true in each category.)

So what is the 'fair' thing to do, recalling that 'fair' is the first four letters in 'Fairy Tale'? What is the real cost of attempting to match it to salaries? How many large awards are there compared to smaller awards? What would the numbers be if everyone rec'd the same? I don't have access to those numbers, and likewise don't want to bog this down, but I suspect there are many more people at the $300,000 end of things than at the $4 million end. Would dividing up the high end to distribute to the other end make as much as a $75,000 difference per family at the low end, at the cost of the futures of the smaller number of families at the high end? I don't know. I would hope that efforts were made to apportion the private funds in a manner that would help the families maintain their present standard of living.

The amount of money in the pool is admittedly large - larger than what the government alone would provide. If the WTC had collapsed in an earthquake (Yes, NY is in an earthquake zone: http://explorezone.com/archives/00_03/22_ny_faults.htm ), these questions would be academic, because neither the government funds nor the private supplemental packages would have likely been available, especially at these levels. I believe that while Americans typically give during times of disaster, in this case they gave much more - an effort to dispel the feeling of helplessness and vulnerability by doing something. Oklahoma City was a domestic lunatic, and the first modern media terrorism event. The WTC was foreign aggression, and the media learned from OK city which buttons to push and what coverage would sell on terrorism. So the response from the public was pumped up by enhanced media coverage and by a need to feel unified in the face of attack. If it helps those giving to cope, and hopefully helps the recipients, then it is probably a good thing for the country IMHO.
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  #9  
Old 09-10-2002, 11:32 PM
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I personally don't have the TV on right now because I know I will keep coming across it. The only reason it bothers me is because my wife and two kids are flying back from Miami tomorrow. She said she was looking at the days not the date when she made the reservation. So anything I see on tv just puts a knot in my stomach. I DO NOT look forward to tomorrow.
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  #10  
Old 09-11-2002, 07:29 AM
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When I watch the news coverage and documentries on the History Channel about the WTC it mostly makes me angry. Angry that someone would have the nerve to do such a thing and angry we haven't taken out more of such people from the world.

Pentagon coverage is more uplifting because of the rebuilding to its former state.

If NYC would rebuild the WTC to its former state or taller, I'd be inspired rather than angry someone took it away from us.

On the people side, I'm totally amazed more people didn't die in the WTC attacks. How did so many people get out in just an hour? I worked in a 12-story building that couldn't evacuate in 30 minutes, so I can't comprehend how 70 or 80 floors cleared out before the collapse. When the first tower went down I thought 50,000 people had just died.

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  #11  
Old 09-11-2002, 09:42 AM
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I am not tired of seeing it or reading about it. We need a rminder of the liberties and freedoms that we enjoy and also take for granted. I grew up in NYC, and have a family house in NYC. I will never be tired of reading or seeing information regarding Sept. 11. If the medi didn't cover this story so much then people would complain about that also. This is coin has two sides, some are tired of it and some are not.

If you don't want to think of anything else, think of all the freedoms you enjoy today, and think about what it would be to live without them. Everyday someone is fighting for you to enjoy those freedoms and liberties.

Last edited by shanta; 09-11-2002 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 09-11-2002, 11:16 AM
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Actually I think everyone has valid opinions which make this country what it is anyway because there are other parts of the world that don't even have this very "luxury" if you will. I don't even recognize this day as an "anniversary" because that very word is something that is attributed to good so to speak--as in a wedding anniversary,etc. Something to be grateful about and this is by no means anything I am grateful for.

I'd like to only recognize this day as a day of rememberance of those who parished and their families and friends as well as the effects to this country afterwards. I never want to associate this day nor even dignify that horrible deed as an anniversary as I would use this word to express my love and appreciation for my future wife when we do have our first anniversary.

Just had to get that off of my chest and I'd like everyone to just REMEMBER and to NEVER FORGET but don't even give the cowards that did this the satisfaction of an anniversary!

Peace and blessings to all
Alan
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Old 09-11-2002, 01:47 PM
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I have no problem with people DONATING money for the victims families. I do have trouble with the government completely making up for all lost income potential. What about soldiers lives that are lost? Their families receive a petty sum.

As far as the TV coverage goes, yes the goal of the media is to sensationalize enough to keep their advertisers paying the bills and get government protection in the mean time. That said, however, my TV has an off switch. And I have made much use of it this month.

God Bless America,

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