[saymaListserv] An informative blog

Janet Minshall jhminshall at comcast.net
Wed Feb 22 17:24:35 JEST 2006

Dear SAYMA Friends,  I have had an interchange with a member of SAYMA 
from West Virginia today which I thought might interest any of you 
who read his forward of a blog from Rick Wilson (AFSC) about work he 
is doing in West Virginia. As usual, anyone is welcome to comment.   Janet

Hi Again Charles Schade,  I may be picky but it seems to me that if 
Rick Wilson knew about SS and Medicare benefits and did not say 
anything in his public utterances, that comes uncomfortably close to 
an untruth or a misrepresentation (whichever you prefer to call it). 
I really react strongly against "spokespersons" who tailor their 
messages to imply things that are not true -- i.e. that the widow now 
has no support, or even that she has less support than she had before 
the company pension benefits ran out.  In truth she actually has more 
support and benefits after the SS and Medicare kick in even without 
the pension. I try not to engage in "Doublespeak" and am grateful to 
Orwell for the terminology.

(If you wish to send this on to Rick Wilson and AFSC please feel free 
to do so.)

                                                 Janet Minshall

Janet wrote earlier today:
> >
> > Hi Again, Charles Schade,  I read the first two issues of Goat Rope Walk
> > and my opinion of AFSC's poor understanding of what is going on in
> > the real world was reinforced.  Rick Wilson apparently doesn't even
> > know that the reason many pensions and disability benefits disappear
> > as a person gets into their sixties is that federally funded Social
> > Security kicks in automatically at that point ( a widow is
> > automatically eligible to collect her husband's SS benefits ) and that is
> > usually superior to private disabily and bereavement benefits. One
> > also becomes automatically eligible for Medicare benefits, which,
> > while under attack by the current Republican administration,  is far
> > superior to Medicaid benefits.  The reason I know about these issues
> > is that I went through the transition myself (I am 66 years old), and
> > have much better coverage and income now than  before.  Anyone
> > working in the community as a  community organizer, which I did for
> > nearly 35 years, would know this.  Why is it that Rick Wilson does
> > not know this?  Best Regards, Janet Minshall
> >
> >
> >
> >
> > At 08:58 AM 2/22/2006, Charles Schade wrote:
> > >This is an endorsement and referral to the Web presence of the West
> > >Virginia Economic Justice project.  The web log can be found at:
> > >
> > ><http://www.goatrope.blogspot.com/>http://www.goatrope.blogspot.com/
> > >
> > >The author is longtime AFSC staffer Rick Wilson, who speaks truth to
> > >power both with literary style and scriptural authority.  I'm
> > >posting it for SAYMA friends because many of the concerns that
> > >affect West Virginia are common to the entire region.  Rick is also
> > >an occasional op-ed columnist for the Charleston Gazette.  His West
> > >Virginia Economic Justice Project annual reports are legendary.
> > >
> > >cps
> > >_______________________________________________
> > >Southern Appalachian Yearly Meeting and Association list-server:
> > >-- address to subscribe (get on the list-server) or unsubscribe (get
> > >off): http://kitenet.net/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/sayma
> > >-- address to send message to everyone on list: sayma at kitenet.net
> >

At 12:40 PM 2/22/2006, Charles Schade wrote:
>That's true, but the question was, what does West Virginia law say, and why
>might it say it?
>West Virginia law awards comp benefits to a widow for life.  I suspect one
>reason it does so is that in the past underground coal miners made rather
>poor wages and Social Security benefits might not have been much.  That's my
>opinion, but I was not here when the law was passed.  On a more practical
>note, as I think Rick points out, the alternative would be lawsuits from
>widows.  Given the not-too-sterling record of concern for employees on the
>part of companies that create widows, the employers would likely come out a
>whole lot worse in that instance.  The workers' comp law actually protects
>employers, but they seem to want it both ways.  Full protection and minimal
>payouts for worker deaths.  Nice if you can get it.
>If you would like to engage Rick in discussion, there are numerous places to
>post comments on the blog.

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