Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sunday Followup: The Culture of Corruption

Here's another pathetic example of what fuels the current cynicism about "American" culture that has been undermining everything from our neighborhood lives to our national politics. It's not all because of politicians, political parties, or fatheads on Wall St:

An insurance company with a potential $25 million liability from a 2007 Houston office fire is claiming smoke that killed three people was "pollution" and surviving families shouldn't be compensated for their losses since the deaths were not caused directly by the actual flames.
And so here's the even more hideous part that makes my point for me. The name of that insurance company? Great American Insurance Company.

That's right, ISYN.

So does this make you think of our great nation, our "Great America"? Or does this make you think of cruel, inhumane, greedy corporate money-grubbers who are exploiting the foundational ideals of our truly great nation in order to get away with their unconscionable business practices?

Lest you think I make mountains of molehills, check out these choice 'graphs:
Seth Chandler, a University of Houston Law Center professor who teaches insurance law, said while the insurance company's maneuver wasn't out of bounds, it will test the limits of the law.

"This is pushing the boundaries of the absolute pollution exclusion," Chandler said. "We're going to have a battle between the literal language of the policy and the way people speak of pollution."
Really? The "insurance company's ["Great American's"] 'maneuver' wasn't out of bounds?" Really? So they're only "pushing the boundaries" of a technical contract exclusion? Just semantics? Ugh. This is why it hurts sometimes to think of what some people call "American."

Like I said Sunday, until this stuff gets exposed clearly for what it is, until we as a nation vilify the corrupt un-American perpetrators of these crimes against our nation, we will not have a sufficient base on which to stand in order to turn things around culturally and economically. Sickening. I think we all know who caused pollution in this story.

From the most popular reader comments online:

miesque wrote:
...The name of this insurance company, Great American, is a insult to America. They should call themselves "Traitors Insurance Company," and the management should be thrown in jail. If the courts let them get away with this swindle, then there is NO JUSTICE IN AMERICA anymore!
12/17/2008 1:15:50 AM

joseplummer wrote:
unbelievable. I'm not sure what the latest statistic is, but it is a well known fact that MOST deaths in a fire are from smoke inhalation. Even I know that.
12/17/2008 1:26:25 AM

bullwhip wrote:
What the ...? They need to rename themselves. It is against the law reguarding truth in advertising. #1. they are far from great. #2. They are unAmerican...
12/17/2008 1:10:36 AM

getrealfollks wrote:
All insurance companies pull this... When insurance was started, the concept was that you paid a premium and they took on the chance that something might happen, in which case they would lose and pay off. Now the concept is that they charge high premiums and they exclude any situation where they stand a chance of losing... Insurance was meant to be a gamble. sometimes they win, sometimes, they lose. NOT anymore. The courts need to slap this company with a fine...
12/17/2008 2:59:46 AM
And my personal favorite because of its ending:

johncoby wrote:
Please people, what do you expect? you live in Texas where the state is run by the insurance industry.

I mean seriously, have you even notice how much you are paying for insurance? And that Texas has the highest rates in the nation? And that our supreme court has ruled in their favor 85% of the time?

And you are SHOCKED that this is happening? Gosh.

I wish you guys would for once take this shock and awe into the voting booth.
12/17/2008 5:35:03 AM
We still live in a democracy, and as far as I can tell, the ultimate check on corruption -- and those who allow it -- are good common-sense citizens in elections. We don't get change until and unless we demand it. One of America's most beautiful attributes, however, is that we can achieve this by stepping no farther than into the voting booth. We're America. Unlike other nations, we control our own destiny. It's why we're the land of the free, and democracy is why we're the home of the brave.