Monday, May 20, 2013

Our Indifference about "Pension Reform" or Breaking our Contract

We define indifference as a lack of interest, an unimportance or insensibility. As the Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel states: “[It] is more dangerous than anger and hatred.” We might add that indifference courts a complicit relationship with political and social injustices and that, conversely, these injustices owe their success and power to indifference.

We know the cousins of indifference are weakness and fear; we know if we choose to be indifferent, we also relinquish our constitutional rights and benefits. So how do we asphyxiate our apathy and abnegation? How do we disable them? Is one possible answer to such questions our need to become responsible for not only our future but for the future of others?

Political and social indifference is an overwhelming enigma. Nevertheless, each one of us can make a difference. The road to caring about our future begins with our comprehension of any legislative injustice that will affect retired and current teachers and other public employees in Illinois. It begins with our compassion and empathy for those citizens who will suffer the consequences of an unconstitutional prejudicial theft.

Our most effective responses to this possibility remain our concerted actions to protect and secure our constitutional rights and benefits; to educate our colleagues, friends and neighbors about this attempted assault on our contracts; and to fight against and then un-elect the liars and thieves in the Illinois General Assembly who support "pension reform" -- those politicians that refuse to address the state's revenue and pension debt problems.

"Indifference is never creative... Indifference elicits no response. Indifference is not a response. Indifference is not a beginning, it is an end. And, therefore, indifference is always the friend of the enemy, for it benefits the aggressor -- never his victim, whose pain is magnified when he or she feels forgotten" (Wiesel, The Perils of Indifference).

Both bills, SB 1 and SB 2404, diminish and impair Article XIII, Section 5 of the Illinois Constitution. Both bills deny our rights under Article I, Section 16 of the Illinois Constitution (Ex Post Facto Laws and Impairing Contracts). Both bills also violate the U.S. Constitution under Article I, Section 10 (Limitations on Powers of States or impairing obligations of contracts/Ex Post Facto Laws). Whereas SB 1 is a blatant disregard for your rights and benefits, SB 2404 is also a foolish agreement between the We Are One Coalition and the liars and thieves among the Illinois General Assembly.

Please do not remain indifferent. Please read and follow the bullet links in 12 pragmatic reasons to reject pension reform and then act and make your voice heard! Tell your union leadership (the IEA, IFT, AFSCME, SEIU...) THEY ARE WRONG!

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