Saturday, November 20, 2010

update on Prudential and military beneficiaries

The day my story (below) ran in the Boston Globe, the judge referred the lawsuit for discovery, an early but significant step in the litigation process.  Meanwhile, David Evans at Bloomberg News (with the help, no doubt of Paul Sullivan at Veterans for Common Sense) continued to do his own discovery and it wasn't pretty.  In September, he reported that the deal between Pru and the VA was sealed with a handshake until last year, when it was finally put in writing, as the law requires, and that beneficiaries will be able to get a real lump sum payment now; i.e. a check, rather than a promise.  That development, coming so quickly after the bad press, implies that the VA knew all was not well.  Sullivan gave me indications that the VA and Prudential were very cozy, a separate vector that didn't make it into my story because of space limits.

Then, on Halloween (significant?), I got an email from Cristobal Bonifaz, one of the lawyers for the case, with the teaser that something very significant was about to happen, stay tuned.
     "Something good?"  I emailed back.
     "Very good," came the reply.
The next morning, the American Legion, an organization whose 2.5 mil. members should be too numerous to ignore (not to mention that it's the American Legion, for god & country's sake!) filed a friend of the court brief in support of the lawsuit.

Case No. 3:10-CV-30163-MAP in U.S. District Court for Western Massachusetts

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I'm not in favor of censorship, but

This listings that were here have migrated to their own site.  Please visit.  The door's always open.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Baby vets: get 'em while they're young

A brief notice in today's Boston Globe section about stuff to do around town begins, "Children can join the Sturbridge Militia and learn drilling exercises..."  Did no editor find this disturbing?  And is it really such a wild idea that the country can note the job veterans have performed without glorifying war?  I suspect a great number of veterans want to do that -- and learned how through the most inglorious of lessons. 

Truth Commission gets noticed

James Dao reports on the Truth Commission on his Atwar blog for the New York Times.  What a breakthrough it would be if it actually made it into the paper or paper's website.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Truth Commission on Conscience and War

The Commission is a group of about 50 religion-affiliated activists -- and me -- concerned with the moral life of soldiers.  (They kept asking whom I represented and I finally figured out that I represent skeptics of conscience.)  The report coming out of our gathering last March in New York will be presented in Washington, DC this Veterans Day.  Link to the commission site above & here's the schedule:

Nov. 10: 1:30-2:30 pm   Press Conference, National Press Club

Nov. 11: 5-6:30 pm    Testimonies and Conversations with Veterans
7-9 pm Interfaith Service for the Truth Commission

Nov. 12: 9 am-4 pm   Protecting Moral Conscience: A Teach-In on Selective
 Conscientious Objection