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First of several lawsuits to extort $ from Americans / Taxpayers / CHildren / Companies / Churches and anyone else who has $1.00 or more

http://www.dailynews.yahoo.com/fc/US/African_American_News

Jesse Jackson has been doing this and living well for 30 years.

I am adding an additional 5% of additional taxes and cost of goods for this nonsense in my retirement planning spreadsheet.

Duke and Duke - Who has to work 14 more months for another PC cause :(
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Hmm, that link didn't work for me, but this one did:

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20020326/ts_nm/rights_slavery_lawsuit_dc_4&cid=578

But I didn't understand how you came up with 14 months or 5%?
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I am adding an additional 5% of additional taxes and cost of goods for this nonsense in my retirement planning spreadsheet.

If you were smart you would have done this five years ago when the first Holocaust lawsuits ended in huge settlements. After that, these U.S. slavery lawsuits were only a matter of time.
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Just wait till us American Indians get our suit together.

Honestly, how are they going to sort this out. Why don't we just send a check to each state bar and they can divide it among the lawyers saving us all the long drawn out theater.

Should we all come up with verifiable documentation stating that none of our ancestors owned slaves? Why stop there. I'm sure at least one of my ancestors killed somebody at some point. Shouldn't I be in jail?

nmckay
another attempt at guilt mining
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My family moved here during the 20th Century. I can 100% verify no slave holdings in America for me or my descendents.

The only people who truly deserve reparations would be the American Indian, as they were legally harmed by false contracts entered into by the American govenrment.

And possibly Slaveholders who lost their property after the Civil War. Maybe enough lawyers will get together to extort some money for that. Eventually, lawyers will push for suing everyone being responsible for everything ever done by anyone, ever. It is pathetic.

I think that we should have the British system in place that the loser pays the other legal fees. And also use some common sense (that would be a first) in deciding these "cases".

Duke and Duke - Who thinks that political correctness crossed the line at least a decade ago.
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Squawk1200 writes,

<<<<I am adding an additional 5% of additional taxes and cost of goods for this nonsense in my retirement planning spreadsheet.>>>>

If you were smart you would have done this five years ago when the first Holocaust lawsuits ended in huge settlements. After that, these U.S. slavery lawsuits were only a matter of time.


Rather than reparations, I propose offering African-Americans "tribal status" and a casino franchise.

The American Indians who have followed this path have done very well financially.

intercst


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If they get to sue for slavery I guess I ought to sue some German, French, and Polish companies because my ancestors were serfs and peasants who were bound to the land. You should see the pictures of my ancestors, a scruffier lot couldn't be found. I come from a long line of poor whites, not a Charlemagne in the bunch. - Art
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. I'm sure at least one of my ancestors killed somebody at some point. Shouldn't I be in jail?

You missed the point. These ba$tards don't want your life, they want your money. So, unless the government reinstitutes debtor prison, you should be free from any jail time. Your money is a different matter, though.

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<<Should we all come up with verifiable documentation stating that none of our ancestors owned slaves? Why stop there. I'm sure at least one of my ancestors killed somebody at some point. Shouldn't I be in jail?
>>


Heh, heh! I suspect you would also need certification that neither you nor any of your ancenstors were responsible for using petroleum, metals, coal, tress or other natural resources and thus responsible for raping the earth, too.


No reason why the enviros shouldn't pile on too, is there?




Seattle Pioneer
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I may get screamed at because my opinion on this is terribly politically incorrect, but I think one could argue the point successfully that most African Americans are better off today because their ancestors were slaves than they would have been had those same ancestors not been enslaved.

Now, I am not advocating slavery in any form, and I believe it's an incredibly shameful blot on our nation's history, and it would be very nice if we could go back and undo the abomination. But we can't.

The bulk of African countries, presumably where many African Americans' ancestors came from, currently have the lowest GNPs in the world. The per capita income in the bulk of African countries is less than $800 a year. Disease is rampant in Africa, especially AIDS (estimates say that probably 6.5 million Africans are HIV positive or have AIDS). Life expectancy in most of Africa is around 54 years, compared to about 74 years in the US. Infant mortality rates in most of Africa are much higher than in the US. Malnutrition is very much a problem still in much of Africa. 310 million people in Africa still don't have access to safe drinking water. Education spending in the US is 20 times that of Africa.
http://www.unicef.org/miscellaneous/balance.htm
Most African Americans, had their ancestors not been brought here in slavery, would either be subject to all those conditions, or would have at some point likely emigrated to the US like so many other groups did, seeking a better life.

While it might be argued that Africa might not have some of the problems it has now, had its population not been affected by the slaves being taken from the continent, the total percentage of people removed from Africa as a whole was somewhat low. Yes, I know that entire tribes became extinct because people were stolen to be brought to the US, and I know that many, many people died. Families were destroyed. Cultures were destroyed. It's a tragedy that I would not deny. But the effect on Africa is not limited to American slavery--colonialism by many countries has certainly had an obvious impact on the country. It makes more sense for the nations of Africa to sue the US, England, Belgium, France and the Netherlands for the damage those countries did the to the continent.

But I think it's a fact that most African Americans have a better life than they would have--now--because of slavery. So why pay reparations? I mean, does it make sense for my African American neighbor, who lives in a 5 bedroom house and who drives a Mercedes and his wife drives a Bentley, to receive reparations for what their families suffered because of the effects of slavery? Did they rise to their current level of economic success in spite of, or because of, slavery? It might make sense for African Americans to sue over the issue of American apartheid (Jim Crow) and actually benefit those who actually suffered through it, and a lot of those folks are still alive.

I just do not understand what this lawsuit intends to accomplish, except to divide our country along racial lines.

Janet
(ducking for cover and preparing for the volley of blows to come)
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"I just do not understand what this lawsuit intends to accomplish, except to divide our country along racial lines."

Now you've got it! Dividing the country along racial lines results in a very comfy living for a cadre of lawyers...and "reverands"! Beats having to work for a living!
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Janet

I think you understand far more than you admit. The purpose of these suits is two fold.

1) Make lawyers rich

2) Contiune the racial warfare that is going on in this country so the next generation of Jesse Jacksons can get rich

Has anyone else noticed that the lead plantif is described as a former law student? Does this mean she wasn't able to pass the bar but decided to get rich as a trial attorney anyway?
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I think it is absolutely ludicrous to punish people for things done by others many, many years ago.

Yes, everyone feels bad that slavery happened, but get over it. We learned from our mistakes. Let's move on.
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Am I the only one (besides the brave plaintiff) who agrees that America MUST pay restitution for its abominable history of slavery, genocide and mass murder that goes on even as we speak??
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I think it is absolutely ludicrous to punish people for things done by others many, many years ago.

Well, where were you and the others five years ago when Swiss and German companies were getting hauled into court for WWII - era claims? Where was the hue and cry when Congress made it easier for these types of lawsuits to go forward? Why didn't you say "Yes, everyone feels bad that [the Holocaust] happened, but get over it. We learned from our mistakes. Let's move on?"

Anyone who knows anything about the legal system KNEW that once the Holocaust lawsuits were successful, it was only a matter of time before slavery lawsuits and the like followed. The time to stop this thing was then, at the beginning. Waiting to get all excited about it NOW completely plays into the hands of those who would stoke the fires of racial division.

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Janet
(ducking for cover and preparing for the volley of blows to come)


wrong attitude lady. We are all entitled to our opinions and you should be proud for saying what you think. And just to let you know where I stand, I agree with you. While the PC media and other PC correct folks would probably attack you, you are doing the same thing they are doing, voicing their opinion. They just attack when its an opinion they don't want to be heard.

this lawsuit is just an extension of the blame game, the make people feel so sorry for you that they will give you money. Will the lawsuits work, think yes, because the lawyers will shop around until they find
a liberal court in this country that will allow this to happen.

the sad part is, whats next?
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Am I the only one (besides the brave plaintiff) who agrees that America MUST pay restitution for its abominable history of slavery, genocide and mass murder that goes on even as we speak??

The plaintiff is suing companies being run by completely different people and owned by completely different shareholders than at the time of the transactions in question. If the plaintiff is successful, the plaintiff will be punishing people for something done by others. How in the world can you say that this is fair? And would you think its fair if it was *you* who was being punished for the actions of others?

Also, the plaintiff isn't even the one who was harmed! And as far as I know, the plaintiff has no way to prove that any of her ancestors were harmed by these specific actions.

I suppose next we should put all the Jews on trial for what they did to Jesus!
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Well, where were you and the others five years ago when Swiss and German companies were getting hauled into court for WWII - era claims? Where was the hue and cry when Congress made it easier for these types of lawsuits to go forward? Why didn't you say "Yes, everyone feels bad that [the Holocaust] happened, but get over it. We learned from our mistakes. Let's move on?"

Anyone who knows anything about the legal system KNEW that once the Holocaust lawsuits were successful, it was only a matter of time before slavery lawsuits and the like followed. The time to stop this thing was then, at the beginning. Waiting to get all excited about it NOW completely plays into the hands of those who would stoke the fires of racial division.


Just because I have a position on a particular issue doesn't mean that I have to take action on it.

I live in the US, and I am one of those crazy people who thinks that I should have the right to freely voice my opinions. If you don't like it, too bad.
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Some of the holocost cases were a bit different.

If I remember correctly, some Swiss banks just hid the money and kept it for themselves after the war.
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MadCapitalist wrote:
I suppose next we should put all the Jews on trial for what they did to Jesus!

I would love to see a lawsuite like that <grin>!!! Maybe this guy: http://www.natall.com/ is the one to do it??
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Am I the only one (besides the brave plaintiff) who agrees that America MUST pay restitution for its abominable history of slavery, genocide and mass murder that goes on even as we speak??

no, from what I have seen, there are others that think like you do.

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jesever writes,

I may get screamed at because my opinion on this is terribly politically incorrect, but I think one could argue the point successfully that most African Americans are better off today because their ancestors were slaves than they would have been had those same ancestors not been enslaved.

You may be on to something here.

If the reparations case is allowed to go forward, the first thing the court will order is an economic study to estimate the extent of the money damages to the plantiffs.

Since that study is likely to show that Africans whose ancestors were enslaved are far better off financially than those who remained in Africa, any equitable settlement will suggest that billions of dollars be disgorged -- from the plantiffs.

I think the advocates of reparations will likely win their case, but the money damages will be zero.

intercst
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I think the advocates of reparations will likely win their case, but the money damages will be zero.

Actually, I think the primary theory is unjust enrichment, which is based on the contention that the corporations were unjustly enriched by their wrongful conduct in the past. The damages being sought are based on the amount the corportations were enriched, not on the amount of damages suffered by the slaves or the decendants of slaves. It's still pure bull$hit, but it's been carefully crafted to get around many of the obvious objections to this kind of suit.
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<<I think it is absolutely ludicrous to punish people for things done by others many, many years ago.>>

Well, where were you and the others five years ago when Swiss and German companies were getting hauled into court for WWII - era claims? Where was the hue and cry when Congress made it easier for these types of lawsuits to go forward? Why didn't you say "Yes, everyone feels bad that [the Holocaust] happened, but get over it. We learned from our mistakes. Let's move on?"


Which lawsuit do you mean - the one against the insurance companies who didn't pay the claims on life insurance of those who were gassed and cremated or the one against the banks who didn't turn over the deposits of those who were gassed and cremated to their heirs ?

Do you think that if a person is murdered that the insurance company doesn't have to pay their life insurance claim ? Or if a person is murdered that their bank doesn't have to turn over their deposits to the heirs ?

Anyone who knows anything about the legal system KNEW that once the Holocaust lawsuits were successful, it was only a matter of time before slavery lawsuits and the like followed. The time to stop this thing was then, at the beginning. Waiting to get all excited about it NOW completely plays into the hands of those who would stoke the fires of racial division.

It is a completely different case and the precedent wouldn't hold up in a fair court of law. The life insurance and deposit claims were simple theft and the claims against Germany and German companies regarding slave labor, pensions, etc. were only allowed to be made by living survivors.
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<snip>
Those who argue against compensation say, among other things, that it happened so long ago that reparations would be punishing people who had nothing to do with the practice of slavery.
</snip>


They should also point out it would reward people that had nothing to do with slavery.

This is a perfect example of people (Deadria Farmer-Paellmann) trying to live off the suffering of others (her ancestors).
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The article says she is a former law student. I guess she never made it past civ pro, because it would seem to me that the statute of limitations would have run after, oh, 150 years or so.
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Intercst comments about reparations: "The American Indians who have followed this path have done very well financially."

Intercst why not start a suit against the American Indians for growing tobacco and selling it to the anglos and teaching them how to grow tobacco? Was this not the start of smoking?

venny
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galeno asked: Am I the only one (besides the brave plaintiff) who agrees that America MUST pay restitution for its abominable history of slavery, genocide and mass murder that goes on even as we speak??

Yes.
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Some of the holocost cases were a bit different.

If I remember correctly, some Swiss banks just hid the money and kept it for themselves after the war.


"A bit different?" You must be joking. Have you even seen the Court documents? What do you think the lawsuits here say? They say that the companies have been hiding the amount of money they made from the slave trade. Exactly the same claims made in the Holocaust suits. Hell, paragraph 48 of the NY slavery complaint explictly invokes the holocaust suits.
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It is a completely different case and the precedent wouldn't hold up in a fair court of law. The life insurance and deposit claims were simple theft and the claims against Germany and German companies regarding slave labor, pensions, etc. were only allowed to be made by living survivors.

Nice try, but wrong. The settlement class was defined as the following:

All persons worldwide, their heirs, executors, administrators, successors, beneficiaries and/or assigns, who do not timely elect to be excluded from the Class who are or were, directly or indirectly (i) Victims or Targets of Nazi Persecution and (ii) during the Class Period January 1, 1933 to (but not including) January 1, 1947:
(A) had moneys, securities or other assets on deposit with any of the Austrian Banks which were converted by any of the Austrian Banks, transferred as a direct or indirect result of Nazi persecution, laws or actions by any of the Austrian Banks to non-owners, including governmental entities, and/or never returned to rightful owners; or
(B) had personal and/or private property looted or through any means converted from them or seized by or through the Nazis or their co-conspirators and transferred to any of the Austrian Banks or by or through any of the Austrian Banks to others; or
(C) sent assets through any of the Austrian Banks destined for concentration camps inmates but that never reached such inmates and/or were not returned or forwarded to the rightful owner or from which any of the Austrian Banks benefitted financially, directly or indirectly; or
(D) were injured, directly or indirectly, by the actions of the Austrian Banks in tortious violation of customary international law, including profiting and/or facilitating the use by others of slave labor, the transfer of gold, precious metals and gems to the Nazi Regime and disguising the true ownership of companies or assets owned by German entities between 1933 and 1947.


See Consolidated Complaint at Paragraph 97 (smphasis added); Ct. Order of June 24, 1999 (approving the above as the settlement class); In re Austrian and German Bank Holocaust Litigation, 80 F. Supp. 2d 164 (S.D.N.Y. 2000) (confirming the settlement).
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Am I the only one (besides the brave plaintiff) who agrees that America MUST pay restitution for its abominable history of slavery, genocide and mass murder that goes on even as we speak??

Yeah, I think you probably are.

tutone
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Just because I have a position on a particular issue doesn't mean that I have to take action on it.

I live in the US, and I am one of those crazy people who thinks that I should have the right to freely voice my opinions. If you don't like it, too bad.


Well, my friend, that's just lovely. But I live in the US, too, and so I enjoy the right to freely point out the hypocrisy and/or racism inherent in remaining silent on the Holocaust cases and whining about these latest slavery cases. Those of us who had the courage to say that the Holocaust cases didn't belong in US courts can now criticize these cases without being subject to cries of racism. Those of you that did not--or worse, who supported the Holocaust cases--have, as they say, some splainin' to do.
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Am I the only one (besides the brave plaintiff) who agrees that America MUST pay restitution for its abominable history of slavery, genocide and mass murder that goes on even as we speak??

galeno,

I'm ashamed of you. You stopped far short in your reply. You must be getting older, shifting to a more moderate, even Republican attitude. Since Americans are descendents of other countries and lands, why not put the blame of every malady known to mankind squarely on the braod shoulders of the USA. After all, plagues, Inquisitions and Crusades aren't just legend....we (well, our ancestors anyway) obviously had some part in them....

How very Republican of you to ignore these obvious faults of Americans. I'm sure President Bush will be happy to accept your support and re-election contribution.

Have a nice day.

-gp
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For some of the legal reasoning behind this case, check out:

http://writ.news.findlaw.com/sebok/20001120.html

The bottom line here is that it will be almost impossible to make a case against individuals, but corporations could end up suffering.

Cheers,
madmikeyd
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Galeno,

I've got a better idea- lets overrun Costa Rica (should take about an hour if we stop for a lunch break), sell all of its assets (what do bananas bring these days?) and use the proceeds to pay the reparations!

jb
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<<Has anyone else noticed that the lead plantif is described as a former law student? Does this mean she wasn't able to pass the bar but decided to get rich as a trial attorney anyway? >>


Heh, heh! Keep this post in mind if someone shows up here retired early at age 25 or so and the name isn't "Britney".



Seattle Pioneer
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I just do not understand what this lawsuit intends to accomplish, except to divide our country along racial lines.


Well said.

JB
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I am a first generation American on my Mother's side. Half of my Dad's family have been here for hundreds of years. Of that half, part were slave holders who lost everything they owned at the battle of Chickamonga which completly destroyed their plantation. During this time, others were fighting for the north.

What percentage should I have to pay?

L
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Hmph. It's easy for me to show that none of my ancestors owned slaves: my Mom and Dad both immigrated here in the 1960's.

Oh wait. Chinese people help build the railroads here. Maybe I should figure out a way for the railroad companies to pay me too? After all, I could claim that my great great great great second cousin fifth removed was exploited.....

CK
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I think one could argue the point successfully that most African Americans are better off today because their ancestors were slaves than they would have been had those same ancestors not been enslaved.

I see this as having two problems. (And there may be more, but right now, I see two.) The first is this. According to the hypothesis, I am to take some African-American and imagine him (or her) under two different sets of assumptions: one assumption is that this person's ancestors were slaves, and the other assumption is that they were not slaves. (Presumably, on the second assumption, there was no slavery, and my imagined African-American is the descendant of immigrants--those same ancestors--who came here to America in some other way.) Then it is said that the imagined African-American is better off under the first set of assumptions. Very strange. (Apparently, it is too bad that my own ancestors were Europeans who came to America in the 1900's seaching for a better life....) But then (and here comes the second problem) it will be said that this is not meant at all, that what is meant is that, as history really worked out--with slavery--these people are better off now than they would have been if slavery had never existed. The problem is that these people wouldn't even have existed if there was no slavery. Here's a thought experiment. Go back in time and imagine the slave child of a slave father and slave mother, where the parents were brought from different villages or tribes of Africa. If they had stayed in Africa--if there was no slavery, these parents never would have met, and the real child born in America never would have been born. In reality however, the child was born into slavery in America. So, you could say he's better off existing (as a slave in America) than not existing at all. But that's strange, since he might seem the most deserving of reparations. Most African-Americans are descendants of slaves and never would have existed without slavery.

If the comparison is between African-Americans and black Africans, it's pretty clear that the African-Americans enjoy a higher standard of living. But it's not clear why this matters. Since the slave trade was abolished, there has been ample time for people in North America, Africa, and other places to differentiate themselves with respect to standard of living. I don't think the reparations argument has to do with differences of standards of living here and there. It has to do with justice and injustice. That's why the slave child (in my though experiment) seemed worthy of reparations. It doesn't really have to do with standards of living (although that comes into it), but with injustice.

There's another problem in getting from the child in my thought experiment to the African-Americans of today. Since the child's parents were slaves, he was a slave. (Actually, only the mother had to be a slave for the child to be one. White slave-owners could have sex-slaves--but their unions could only produce more slaves, not illegimate children.) The African-Americans of today are not slaves--but, as I said, most of them are descendants of slaves. It would be very complicated to trace the history of blacks in America--from slavery, to Jim Crow, to Civil Rights, etc. It's not a nice history at all, but, presuambly, most of it does go back to slavery.

--SirTas


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Well, my friend, that's just lovely. But I live in the US, too, and so I enjoy the right to freely point out the hypocrisy and/or racism inherent in remaining silent on the Holocaust cases and whining about these latest slavery cases. Those of us who had the courage to say that the Holocaust cases didn't belong in US courts can now criticize these cases without being subject to cries of racism. Those of you that did not--or worse, who supported the Holocaust cases--have, as they say, some splainin' to do.

And what about those of us, like myself, who happened to miss the TMF discussion about these court cases? Aren't we allowed to have an opinion?

I wasn't even *aware* of the cases. How can I be a hypocrite?
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The bottom line here is that it will be almost impossible to make a case against individuals, but corporations could end up suffering.

Considering that the ownership of corporations ultimately is in the hands of individuals, innocent individuals could end up suffering as well.
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Oh wait. Chinese people help build the railroads here. Maybe I should figure out a way for the railroad companies to pay me too? After all, I could claim that my great great great great second cousin fifth removed was exploited.....

My dog is black. Does that count?

Sometimes my dog has nightmares in her sleep. I can only assume that this is the result of years of oppression and having ancestors that were slave dogs.
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>Considering that the ownership of corporations ultimately is in the
>hands of individuals, innocent individuals could end up suffering as
>well.

Ayuh. Another risk factor in stock ownership.

Cheers,
madmikeyd
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I would like payment from France for the land my family lost when the Normans invaded Britain in 1066.

I would like payment from Germany for the assets my grandparents lost in the invasion of Poland in 1939.

I would like payment from Russia for the assets my other set of grandparents lost from the Soviet 'occupation' of Lithuania.

Most of my antcesters on my dads side settled in Kentucky in the 1700's, so I guess the US owes me for assets lost in the Civil War.

My wife's dad is Irish, I guess England owes us for the occupation of Ireland.

My wife's mom is German...humm, payment from the Allies for the destruction of Germany during WWII?

The difference between the Holocaust settlements and the 'Slavery Reparations' issue is that the Holocaust took place within one generation, there were specific records, and distinct lines of responsability. If my grandparents were rich Jews in Poland, and they moved their money to a Swiss bank account. Why shouldn't I, as their heir, be able to withdraw the money?

I don't know the specifics of the Hococaust lawsuits, so I can't speak with authority, but it seems to me that we are talking about apples and oranges.

Like many other posters have said, the real winners here are the lawyers.

-Warthog


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<<I am a first generation American on my Mother's side. Half of my Dad's family have been here for hundreds of years. Of that half, part were slave holders who lost everything they owned at the battle of Chickamonga which completly destroyed their plantation. During this time, others were fighting for the north.

What percentage should I have to pay?

L >>


Heh, heh!


Whatayagot? Send it in.



Back next generation for more.




This claim is an interesting illustration of why it's futile to either raise or object to such issues. People do what they have the power to do, especially when it is rationalized or supported by the politics of the day.


Blacks may object to racial preferences one year, and support them another, depending on who benefits. Indians may object to white who grabbed off land willie-nilly a hunmdred years ago, but around here Indians do the same thing themselves these days.

So what's new? Not much. Power is as power does rather often, and the devil take the hindmost.




Seattle Pioneer
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Actually, I think the primary theory is unjust enrichment, which is based on the contention that the corporations were unjustly enriched by their wrongful conduct in the past. The damages being sought are based on the amount the corportations were enriched, not on the amount of damages suffered by the slaves or the decendants of slaves. It's still pure bull$hit, but it's been carefully crafted to get around many of the obvious objections to this kind of suit.


I'm stumped on how they claim "standing to sue".
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"A bit different?" You must be joking. Have you even seen the Court documents? What do you think the lawsuits here say? They say that the companies have been hiding the amount of money they made from the slave trade. Exactly the same claims made in the Holocaust suits.

Case 1: I sell a legal product to person A. Much later, person B sues me because the product is no longer legal.

Case 2: Person A entrusts me with his money, under a contract in which I pledge to give it back to him or his heirs on demand. I refuse to give it back.

The parallels are less than striking.
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I see this as having two problems. (And there may be more, but right now, I see two.) The first is this. According to the hypothesis, I am to take some African-American and imagine him (or her) under two different sets of assumptions: one assumption is that this person's ancestors were slaves, and the other assumption is that they were not slaves. (Presumably, on the second assumption, there was no slavery, and my imagined African-American is the descendant of immigrants--those same ancestors--who came here to America in some other way.)

Why would you assume that these ancestors would have come to America? Voluntary migration from sub-Saharan Africa to America and Europe was not common during the time period in question. The more likely case is that these ancestors came to America ONLY because they were captured by another black-African tribe and sold by that tribe to commercial slavers (also black-African) who transported them to the coast and sold them to white slavers; that otherwise they would have remained in Africa.

The logical comparison, then, is between descendants of American slaves living in America, and black Africans living in Africa.

Furthermore, because so many black Africans in Africa participated in the slave trade (and for that matter there are still black African slaves - in black Africa), the black Africans in Africa could reasonably be presumed to have benefitted from slavery as well.
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The difference between the Holocaust settlements and the 'Slavery Reparations' issue is that the Holocaust took place within one generation,

So?

there were specific records,

The plaintiffs in the slavery case are also relying on specific records.

and distinct lines of responsability.

The plaintiffs in the slavery case allege that each defendant itself or its predecessor-in-interest directly profited from the slave trade. Please explain how this "line of responsibility" is any less "distinct" than the lines of responsibility to successor German, Austrian, and Swiss corporations.

If my grandparents were rich Jews in Poland, and they moved their money to a Swiss bank account. Why shouldn't I, as their heir, be able to withdraw the money?

At the outset, there are plenty of legal reasons why you might not be entitled to withdraw the money. In many U.S. States, for example, "abandoned" bank accounts--accounts where there is no activity over a specified period of time an the bank is no longer in contact with the account holder--eventually escheat to the state.

In any event, that's not all the Holocaust cases were about, and, indeed, the vast majority of claims are about slave labor -- sound familiar? -- and not bank accounts.

I don't know the specifics of the Hococaust lawsuits, so I can't speak with authority, but it seems to me that we are talking about apples and oranges.

I do know the specifics of at least some of the Holocaust lawsuits, and I have a copy of the complaint in the NY slavery suit, and I assure you that the complaint in the NY slavery suit is very carefully based on exactly the same theories used in the Holocaust slave labor claims. The only "apples and oranges" here are, for some, "lawsuits I like and lawsuits I don't" or, perhaps more accurately, "plaintiffs I like and plaintiffs I don't."
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Squawk1200 writes,

<<<<<I don't know the specifics of the Hococaust lawsuits, so I can't speak with authority, but it seems to me that we are talking about apples and oranges.>>>>>

I do know the specifics of at least some of the Holocaust lawsuits, and I have a copy of the complaint in the NY slavery suit, and I assure you that the complaint in the NY slavery suit is very carefully based on exactly the same theories used in the Holocaust slave labor claims. The only "apples and oranges" here are, for some, "lawsuits I like and lawsuits I don't" or, perhaps more accurately, "plaintiffs I like and plaintiffs I don't."


Great post!

Talk about calling a spade a spade. <grin>

intercst
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Case 1: I sell a legal product to person A. Much later, person B sues me because the product is no longer legal.

Case 2: Person A entrusts me with his money, under a contract in which I pledge to give it back to him or his heirs on demand. I refuse to give it back.

The parallels are less than striking.


Let's skip the hypotheticals and compare actual cases, shall we?

Case 1: Bank accused of "financing the construction of . . . slave labor camps and providing a safe haven for profits obtained through the use of slave labor." In re Holocaust Victim Assets Litigation, 225 F.3d 191 (2d Cir. 2000).

Case 2: Bank accused of "len[ding] substantial sums to [an individual involed in the slave trade], thus financing and profiting from [his] illigal slave trading" and "collect[ing] custom fees from ships transporting slaves, thus, further profiting from the slave trade." Farmer-Paellmann v. Fleetboston Financial Corp., Complaint dated March 26, 2002, paragraph 29 (E.D.N.Y.).

How's that "strike" you?
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Am I the only one (besides the brave plaintiff) who agrees that America MUST pay restitution for its abominable history of slavery, genocide and mass murder that goes on even as we speak??

I have heard some good counter arguments--
-Part of this "repayment" was made in the form of many many white soldiers who died in order to prevent the South from seceeding and maintaining legal slavery,
-Part of the "repayment" consisted of immense welfare payments over the past several generations.

My ancestors came to this country after the civil war was over, so I just don't see the logic in taking my money via taxes to pay for slavery. If "America" must pay restitution, it's going to come from tax money now, not some secret horde of leftover money made off the backs of slaves 140 years ago.
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I think the advocates of reparations will likely win their case, but the money damages will be zero.

That's still a pretty scary proposition, seeing the damage awards given out by today's juries.
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<<Case 1: Bank accused of "financing the construction of . . . slave labor camps and providing a safe haven for profits obtained through the use of slave labor." In re Holocaust Victim Assets Litigation, 225 F.3d 191 (2d Cir. 2000).

Case 2: Bank accused of "len[ding] substantial sums to [an individual involed in the slave trade], thus financing and profiting from [his] illigal slave trading" and "collect[ing] custom fees from ships transporting slaves, thus, further profiting from the slave trade." Farmer-Paellmann v. Fleetboston Financial Corp., Complaint dated March 26, 2002, paragraph 29 (E.D.N.Y.).

How's that "strike" you? >>


Frankly, I don't have the slightest interest in either.

One involves ancient history in which people were engaged in business transactions that were legal at the time.


The other involves people who weren't American citizens in a foreign country.


With any luck George Bush will be able to make appointments to the judiciary that will bring this kind of judicial activism to a halt.




Seattle Pioneer
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According to the hypothesis, I am to take some African-American and imagine him (or her) under two different sets of assumptions: one assumption is that this person's ancestors were slaves, and the other assumption is that they were not slaves. (Presumably, on the second assumption, there was no slavery, and my imagined African-American is the descendant of immigrants--those same ancestors--who came here to America in some other way.)

Why would you assume that these ancestors would have come to America? Voluntary migration from sub-Saharan Africa to America and Europe was not common during the time period in question. The more likely case is that these ancestors came to America ONLY because they were captured by another black-African tribe and sold by that tribe to commercial slavers (also black-African) who transported them to the coast and sold them to white slavers; that otherwise they would have remained in Africa.

Under the hypothesis, we are supposed to imagine ancestors of African-Americans. And these are people who must have come to America. (Hence, the African-Americans of today.) The main problem is that if those ancestors (the people you refer to as "they" above) had remained in Africa, they wouldn't have become the ancestors of African-Americans. Consider my own ancestors, for example, who came from Europe. Had they never come, I wouldn't be writing these words today. If someone asks me to imagine my ancestors, I imagine these people, people who left their villages in Ireland and Greece. Now I can imagine that they could have come on different boats; I can imagine that they met in Boston and not New York; but (consistent with the hypothesis that they are my ancestors), I can't imagine that they never met.

The logical comparison, then, is between descendants of American slaves living in America, and black Africans living in Africa.

I guess I don't get the comparison part. I think the reparations issue has to do with justice and injustice. I think it's abundantly clear to everyone that most blacks in Africa today have a much lower standard of living than most African-Americans. (One danger in the comparison idea, I think, is that it is like saying that it's OK for rich people to kidnap poor people, because, after all, the "victims" end up with a higher standard of living. But if an injustice is committed, it's not erased by the fact that the victims may end up with a higher standard of living.) I think the idea of a comparison between descendants of Americans slaves living in America and black Africans living in various countries in Africa today is a red herring.

--SirTas
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With any luck George Bush will be able to make appointments to the judiciary that will bring this kind of judicial activism to a halt.

Will, we can always count on you, no matter what the topic, for a regurgitation of some catchphrase you heard on AM radio. Do you even know what "judicial activism" is? If so, please explain how "judicial activism" applies to the Holocaust suits against German, Austrian, and Swiss banks and corporations, inasmuch as each of those cases was settled before any court made a determination as to the viability of the claims--let alone how "judicial activism" applies to a suit that has just been filed.
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<<<"To me it's not fundamentally about the money, it is about the truth of history and bringing the truth to light, which will promote a frank and honest discussion across the racial divide," he said.>>>

If it's not about the money, why do they always make a statement saying so?

Let's see bring truth to light. OK, the majority of slaves were not captured by "evil white men" and brought to America, they were sold by African nations to slave traders. That is, Africans were sold by Africans. Why aren't they litigating those African nations? Because it's about the money and those nations don't have any.

Another piece of frankness. Up until AFTER the Civil War, slavery was legal. Those businesses were operating according to law, no matter how wrong the law was. Plus, it was about 140 years ago, no one committing any percieved crimes is now alive.

Finally, notice the people bringing up this suit are those civil rights activists there are loosing power because they are loosing touch with today's reality. There are many more important things to worry about, like education, than to waste time on something long ago.

JLC
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Finally, notice the people bringing up this suit are those civil rights activists there are loosing power because they are loosing touch with today's reality. There are many more important things to worry about, like education, than to waste time on something long ago.

Irony, irony.
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I haven't read all the posts in this string so sorry if someone has already addressed this aspect:

I am going to find a good Irish lawyer and try to hop on this bandwagon. After all, when my grandparents arrived in NYC in the 19th Century they were subjected to discrimination ("No Irish Need Apply") and forced to take menial jobs at low pay. I suffer terribly from this even to this day.

jtmitch
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So in the extremely unlikely chance they win anything, who will get the money! I will be fun to see all the Caucasians (myself including) scrambling and shaking their family trees looking very hard for African-American ancestors!
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I am going to find a good Irish lawyer and try to hop on this bandwagon. After all, when my grandparents arrived in NYC in the 19th Century they were subjected to discrimination ("No Irish Need Apply") and forced to take menial jobs at low pay. I suffer terribly from this even to this day.

If you find a good one, add my name to the list. But it was my great, great, great grandparents who arrived in the mid 19th century. Plus, one great grandmother on my mothers side is Cherokee Indian. For those that have met me, I'm sure the strong Indian facial features that I have give that away.

Now, my kids are quite mutts. With their mother being from Panama and being part indian, chinese, spanish and who knows what else, they could win a small forturne.

Hey, how's this for an idea. We are all freaking human beings and I don't care if anyone is black, white, yellow or red. No offense if I left a color out. We didn't chose who our parents are and they didn't chose who their's were. Can't we look at each other as to who we are on the inside and not our color on the outside. That includes if I have shoulder lenght hair, a beard, blue hair, pierced tongues or whatever is the current fad. Let's get back to living and lose the words race and discrimination from our language. I figure eventually in a few thousands years we will all look pretty similar anyhow.
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I guess I don't get the comparison part. I think the reparations issue has to do with justice and injustice.

Well, I would absolutely agree that the first goal would be for justice. The slaves deserve compensation from the slavers and the slaveholders, who deserve punishment.

However:

* The slaves are all dead. We can't give them compensation.

* The slavers and slaveholders are all dead. We can't punish them.

This leaves us with the prospect of punishing people who did no wrong in order to compensate people who suffered no wrongdoing.
* In the intervening 130 or so years there has been so much intermingling of slavers and their descendants, slaveholders and their descendants, and the completely uninvolved, that - assuming some sort of inherited guilt and victimhood - any reparations plan will necessarily punish both uninvolved people and victims, in order to compensate both uninvolved people and guilty people.

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Considering that the ownership of corporations ultimately is in the hands of individuals, innocent individuals could end up suffering as well.

Hmm. I wonder what will happen if a black-owned business goes under because its main customer is one of these companies under attack. Will the share of reparations due the owner because he is black make up for the lost business, do you suppose?

-
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Galeno (who else:) Am I the only one (besides the brave plaintiff) who agrees that America MUST pay restitution for its abominable history of slavery, genocide and mass murder that goes on even as we speak??

Otter - no, from what I have seen, there are others that think like you do.

Duke and Duke - Their names - Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather, Barbara Walters, Peter Jennings, Tim Russert, Cookie (sic) Roberts, Sam Donaldson, George Stephonopolus, The entire cast of The West Wing, Sixty Minutes, Sixty Minutes II, The entire staff and editorial board of the New York Times (all of the socialist news party bosses deem fit to print), Time, Newsweek, Washington Post, San Francisco Chronical, Salon Magazine, USA Today, The Clinton News Network (CNN), NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, The entire PBS and NPR organization, Saturday Night Live (does anyone watch anymore?), your local news, The View, Rosie O Donnell, Alex Baldwin (who was to leave the country with Babs if W won in 2000, I haven't seen him so hopefully he did leave), Susan Surandon, The entire Hollywood industry, et al.

Duke and Duke - Who will Name Names (and hollywood will cry about it fifty years later:) .
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I am a first generation American on my Mother's side. Half of my Dad's family have been here for hundreds of years. Of that half, part were slave holders who lost everything they owned at the battle of Chickamonga which completly destroyed their plantation. During this time, others were fighting for the north.

________________________________________________________________________

Hats off to your forefathers who fought for South galiently and with honor. I visited what remains of the site of the battle last fall (Chickamauga) in Georgia. Maybe you can claim reparations for your lost land, property with interest. I am sure some lawyer will take your case.

Duke and Duke - Student of Civil War History.
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<<Hey, how's this for an idea. We are all freaking human beings and I don't care if anyone is black, white, yellow or red. No offense if I left a color out. We didn't chose who our parents are and they didn't chose who their's were. Can't we look at each other as to who we are on the inside and not our color on the outside. That includes if I have shoulder lenght hair, a beard, blue hair, pierced tongues or whatever is the current fad. >>


You can if you wish, but few people are interested in your the narrow particular values you espouse. It represents, after all, a crabbed view of the cultural landsacape. Those people with the purple hair, for example, went to a great deal of trouble to project a particular image to the world ---no doubt they would be disappointed if no one was interested in the statement they wish to make.



Seattle Pioneer
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We are all freaking human beings and I don't care if anyone is black, white, yellow or red. No offense if I left a color out.

Remember that Kermit said it's hard to be green.

Frogs are people too!
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galeno asked: Am I the only one (besides the brave plaintiff) who agrees that America MUST pay restitution for its abominable history of slavery, genocide and mass murder that goes on even as we speak??


Excuse me? Every Carribean and Latin American country in Central and South America had slaves. Some of those countries had slavery even longer than the United States. Not to mention what the Spanish did to the Indians in those Countries. Have you forgotten about Cortez and his little escapades into Mexico which affected the Aztecs? Or how about what the Spanish did to the Incas? I took California History when I went to school out there. If my memory serves me correctly the Padres in the missions weren't exactly kind to their Indian slaves. Give me a break. Until just recently 99% of the worlds population lived short brutal dirty lives. They extracted an arrow head from that 5,000 year old Iceman (Oetzi?) they found in the Alps. Perhaps with DNA testing they could find out who his descendants are and who killed him and they could sue each other. - Art
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"Most African-Americans are descendants of slaves and never would have existed without slavery."

Most African Americans are not 100% African. The average African American is 16% caucasian. And, I read that there are a large number of "white" Americans (11%) that have African DNA due to "passing" where very light mulatto's passed for white and left their "black" ancestry behind. So, in order to get these "reparations" would we have to DNA test the whole population of the United States to figure out what percentage each person is entitled to? Or are we going to just go on "looks" or another words more racism? And by the way, I read that during the Roman occupation of Britain, they used a lot of African slaves in Britain, and when the Romans left they left their slaves behind; and thus there are a large number of "English" people who have African ancestry, and thus you see kinky hair popping up every now and again. - Art

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. Perhaps with DNA testing they could find out who his descendants are and who killed him and they could sue each other. - Art

Better watch out, because you probably just gave a lawyer a new idea for his next lawsuit. On the other hand, perhaps the lawsuit should be against the manufacturer of the arrow, since it apparently broke off and failed to finish the job.
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"I figure eventually in a few thousands years we will all look pretty similar anyhow."

I read an article recently on one of my Anthropology sites that the United States is fast becoming a "Creole" nation. What man's heart hasn't been quickened by some dark eyed raven haired beauty? I seem to recall a book by Anne Rice, "Feast of All Saints", a book about the "Gens de Couleur Libres", or the free people of color. The story is about plantation owners who kept beautiful octaroon mistresses in New Orleans. Have you noticed that a lot of beautiful women featured in movies on TV are brunettes? We are all mixtures of varying degrees. It is only a matter of time till the United States is as "Creole" as it's Carribean neighbors to the south of us. - Art
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"Will the share of reparations due the owner because he is black make up for the lost business, do you suppose?"

Maybe it will depend on just how black he is? What if they are only as black as say Halle Berry? Or Jasmine Guy? Or Vanessa Williams? Will reparations depend on what percentage of pure African Ancestry you are? But since we all originally came from African Ancestry - would we thus all get a share? And as I pointed out in an earlier post; the Romans imported Africans into Great Britain, and when they left they left a lot of them there to inter-marry with the locals; and thus many people in Great Britain have African DNA within the last 2,000 years.
- Art

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Am I the only one (besides the brave plaintiff) who agrees that America MUST pay restitution for its abominable history of slavery, genocide and mass murder that goes on even as we speak??

probably.

d
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I am a first generation American on my Mother's side. Half of my Dad's family have been here for hundreds of years. Of that half, part were slave holders who lost everything they owned at the battle of Chickamonga which completly destroyed their plantation. During this time, others were fighting for the north.

What percentage should I have to pay?


<delurk>

Pick a small nit...

It's Chickamauga, if you're referring to the Civil War battle in North Georgia, near the Tennessee line. (It's in my backyard)

Golfwaymore

</delurk>
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I think I have found a hint in the county census that one of my ancestors in the early 1700's was listed as a mulatto. I wonder if I should pre-emptively strike and join the NAACP now so I can file a claim when it comes through?
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and my grandparents came to America AFTER slavery was abolished, so guessing that should make me EXEMPT from paying reparations since I don't believe my family benefitted directly.

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Read this whole thread and missed the Chickamonga reference, even at the beginning of this post until you pointed it out.

For some reason now that you have, I can't stop laughing about it...

- Tom (Laughing at mispronunciations since 1902)
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I think I have found a hint in the county census that one of my ancestors in the early 1700's was listed as a mulatto. I wonder if I should pre-emptively strike and join the NAACP now so I can file a claim when it comes through?

________________________________________________________________________

Why wait or join. Just claim it on your taxes (not an urban legend)

http://www.ustreas.gov/irs/ci/tax_fraud/ir2002_08.htm
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