Death Benefit

No expense is spared to retrieve dead bodies, whether it’s the victims of the Malaysian Flight 370 victims at the bottom of the Indian Ocean or the mudslide victims buried by sludge in coastal Washington State or the soldiers who cannot be left behind on the field of battle. Yet when we’re ALIVE, we can’t get help when, for example, we lose our jobs.

16 thoughts on “Death Benefit

  1. The reason for this exaggerated concern for the «welfare» of the dead (who, of course, don’t give a damn) is obvious, Ted ; they can’t talk back and, like the lady Prufrock imagined and feared, counter his claims to have «squeezed the universe into a ball» with «That is not what I meant at all;/ That is not it, at all». Dead people are predictable, live ones not, which is why those in power – and we others as well – often prefer the dead….


    • I am, imperfectly, trying to recall the news article that went something like, “Politician X, on his recent tour, paused briefly to molest the dead” because the politician in question used some dead soldiers or victims of a massacre or something in an attempt to gain political advantage.

      I have always been disgusted and fascinated by the people who gather at “vigils,” tears pouring out of their eyes, for people they never knew in life. The dead are the ultimate accessory; you can use them to gain attention for yourself, and unlike your friends, they don’t turn to you and slap you for being a pig.

  2. Another one of your brilliant cartoons Ted. This is where you are at your best — saying things that others don’t dare say. Uncomfortable truths (hey — that should be the title of your next compilation!).

    I couldn’t agree more on this ridiculous unending search for this plane. They’re dead. I mean, I get that they have to investigate, find out why the plane crashed, etc …. but the dead are dead. All the fuss about retrieving bloated corpses, probably half-eaten by sharks by now, is ridiculous.

  3. Don’t forget all the people who go frickin’ nuts and kill a bunch of people with an assault rifle. You can practically write the story the second you see the breaking news alert:

    1. Man gets gun despite record of mental illness.
    2. Kills a lot of people.
    3. Gunned down by cops/turns gun on self.
    4. Outrage which is diffused/deflected by the media/NRA types.
    5. Goto 1.

    Oddly, the nutjob that did all the killing? Sure, there will be reports of how sick he was. How he was picked on at school, how his family life was dysfunctional, how everyone knew he was gonna go crazy one day. No one says, “Wow. All those warning signs and no one did anything. I think maybe there’s plenty of blame left to parcel out to the survivors.”

    • Thanks for the link, Andy ! Which goes to show that while love is great, the interests of those who run the financial system are greater. If measure are passed for debt relief in cases like this, they will likely be constructed so that the owners of mortgages receive public money – another example of the socialisation of risks and the privatisation of profits so characteristic for the system. Cf the so-called bail-outs of recent years….


      • Because home owners insurance specifically excludes damage from land slides. Turns out land slide insurance is a separate insurance and its not available to people who live in land slide prone areas.

        So yeah. Those peoples credit is screwed unless they’re dead in which case their savings is going to banks to pay the remaining mortgage not to their surviving relatives. You’d be nuts to pay a mortgage for a house that doesn’t exist. The banks can’t foreclose on a house that doesn’t exist. They can’t even sell the property because its polluted. So the banks are just going to trash a bunch of peoples credit to make a point.

      • Course maybe this story actually proves your point! The living are forced to pay for houses that don’t exist. The dead get their bodies exhumed. That was not a well off town so there probably isn’t much savings for the banks to go after.

      • @ andy –

        “Turns out land slide insurance is a separate insurance and its not available to people who live in land slide prone areas.”
        That is not entirely accurate. Normal “homeowner’s insurance” might exclude “earth movement”; but a rider can be purchased that covers it, even in “prone areas.”
        I lived near the New Madrid fault in Arkansas and bought a rider for earth movement (quake) damage for an additional premium of only $5.00 annually for that rider.
        Had a quake occurred, an ordinary homeowner’s policy would not have covered the damage, but the additional rider would have compensated the owner. The same would be true for landslides.

  4. And Ted, as if on cue: Fort Hood Massacre.

    While these people are quietly going crazy, no one can spare the time or the money. Unless they’re the “heroes” of the military. Odd that. Isn’t it? I’ve never heard about someone running into a burning building to save a child having PTSD. I’ve never heard about passers-by who start performing CPR having a panic attack. When was the last time you read an article about someone who jumped into an icy lake to pull someone out going fucking nuts and killing a bunch of people at a shopping mall?

    Will someone come out and say it already? The reason these soldiers are having PTSD is because they were involved in a criminally indefensible war. Most wars are. A lot of these guys know what they did was not on the up-and-up. We were not greeted as liberators. We were regarded as invaders. All the shit at Abu Ghraib (remember Abu Ghraib?) all the shit at Gitmo (remember Gitmo?), I’m seriously to believe those are/were isolated instances of the behavior of the entire war? Pure bullshit.

    When the camera’s rolling: “The people of Iraq.”
    When the camera’s off: “Buncha sand niggers.”

    It isn’t stress that’s sending them over the edge. It’s guilt and shame and anger at how badly they were lied to and how stupidly they fell for the lies.

    I’m waiting for the 50-something unemployeds who used to be in the middle class and the 20-somethings who can’t get out of mom and dad’s basement to start up the massacre caravan. Because they’re the next wave. The former will probably be the ones that just suddenly snap. The youngsters? I suspect they’ll plan their sprees, very carefully.

    • While we are at it, Alex, people who fought in wars in which the United States was not transparently a violent aggressor, for example World War II, suffered far lower rates of PTSD, or as they used to call it at the time, shellshock. Beginning with the Vietnam War, the combination of an unjustifiable mission, lack of political support on the homefront, and new training regimens in which soldiers were taught to shoot first, ask questions later or better yet never at all, PTSD rates have skyrocketed. Wouldn’t it be nice if, as a people, we pledged never to fight another violent war of aggression again?

      • But who is to pledge what to whom, Ted ? The last US war in which the war was declared as such by the US congress, as mandated by Article I, Section 8 of the US Constitution, was on 5 June 1942, against Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania. The presidential system in the United States has, in this respect at least, been transmogrified into an elective monarchy (the best, no doubt, money can buy), in which the executive. contrary to the explicit intentions of the Founding Fathers, can initiate military action, even in situations which do not require an immediate response….


      • > Wouldn’t it be nice if, as a people, we pledged never to fight another violent war of aggression again?

        We do that already.

        Every day kindergarten thru high school, children renew their pledge of allegiance to the republic. Our “elected” officials take a similar oath when they assume office, but it hasn’t seemed to help..

        That republic was theoretically founded on justice & liberty for all; its Constitution states that international treaties are the supreme law of the land. Wars of aggression are prohibited under those treaties.

        They used to teach that in civics classes, but I hear they’ve been dropped. They still teach the pledge, though. Interesting, that.

      • Nice idea, Crazy H, but I suspect administration lawyers will tell you that executive privilege overrides the provisions of a «quaint» document like the US Constitution….


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