Friday, December 4, 2009

Never Forget ... to Pay ... and Pay ... and Pay

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The Alamo. Pearl Harbor. 9/11. The Holocaust. Never forget! Actually, we won't get the chance to forget - at least not for a hundred years or more. Because the open palm is always outstretched. "Victims" - in this case of 9/11 - are virtually always in a position to collect pensions if they survive, or their heirs collect if they don't, and today this very much includes not only Holocaust survivors, but millions more who have managed to pass themselves off credibly or otherwise as being one.

The linked article has nothing to do with the Holocaust - it has to do with 9/11, barely eight years ago. As with the Holocaust and all other affronts to people's sense of decency and safety, this eleemosynary project is displaying "mission creep." Initially for "first responders" killed or injured at the site, we see from this brief article that two additional groups have gotten on board: (a) people who die years later from conditions said somehow to have been contracted from the aftermath of the crisis; and (b) those who sustain injuries not from first responding, but from the cleanup that went on for over a year after the mess was made.

And these projects aren't just slow to die - they spring to life very fast, too. The morning after the recent massacre at Fort Hood Army Base in Texas, I encountered uniformed "soldiers" rattling cans at motorists stopped at traffic lights right here in my home town. I, of course, drove on, confident in the feeling that I had already paid full compensation for the victims at Fort Hood, 9/11, and, 64 years after the last concentration camp was liberated, the Holocaust.

And confident, too, that I would keep paying for all these.

And paying.

And paying.

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