Wednesday, April 9, 2014

To the Liars and Thieves of the 98th Illinois General Assembly

You have made public employees and retirees scapegoats of another insidious pension reform bill that will never resolve the state's deficit problems you have created and perpetuated.

You have made public employees and retirees victims of your vast resources of money and influence to reform the rules and policies that adversely affect the lives of the middle class and disenfranchised.
You have made public employees and retirees scapegoats of your partisan politics, of your policies financed by money interest groups such as the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago, the Civic Federation, and the Illinois Policy Institute; of corporate-owned media like the Chicago Tribune that attempts to shape what and how readers think about the state’s fiscal issues through divide-and-conquer schemes and lies.

You have made public employees and retirees victims of your concentrated economic privilege and power by accommodating and reinforcing the enormous inequality of organizational resources of your corporate self-seekers.

You have made public employees and retirees scapegoats of your legislative tyranny once again. You have no desire to uphold the State and U.S. Constitutions and pay what public employees and retirees have rightfully earned. You will steal more of their money in the future until the people unite and rise up against all of you and dismantle your hypocrisy and corruption.  -Glen Brown


  1. Amen my brother. It is time for another revolution.

  2. From Michael Wierzbicki (a commentary posted on Fred Klonsky’s blog, April 8th “Karen Lewis: This is theft. Plain and simple”)

    What’s really sad is we are faced having to vote the same thieves back into office because there is no viable alternative candidates. It is quite apparent looking at the current two parties there is not even a lesser of two evils. The irony is that half the no votes cast are because the legislation did not go far enough in take our pensions away from us. Look at the gubernatorial teams we have to choose between: Rauner who is anti-teacher, union, and public schools; and, Squeezy who signed the SB 1 theft with a running mate that believes that teachers should be let go after ten years (I guess he believes in term limits but only for teachers.) Unless we begin to organize a viable third party we can yell “STOP THIEF” until we no longer have anything left to take.

    This leaves very little available to us to redress our grievances. Historically, when grievances fail to be addressed by the government you have the right to break away from that tyranny. I think you can read that in one of our country’s significant documents—The Declaration of Independence? Or we can learn from the current Tea Party that hijacked the GOP and take over the Democratic Party.

    Another course of action is civil disobedience. This worked for Gandhi with the British and the civil rights movement led by ML King in this country. Maybe we should defer from paying taxes and let them arrest us, clog the judicial system with these cases, incarcerate us and be a a real burden to society. As a nation we seemed more willing to build more prisons and spend money on the penal system than spend it on programs to solve the problems, i.e. education, social services, job training.

    Another option is to leave Illinois, the State of chaos, but unfortunately the problems appear to be as much national problems, not just an Illinois problem. Most of us who were of draft age during the Vietnam conflict saw Canada as the most viable option.

    Unfortunately, I cannot say which of the aforementioned would be the most reasonable or successful course of action. I do not have that answer, but doing what we are currently doing is yelling into the wind with no foreseeable change.

  3. From Esther Allman:

    “What are we going to do about this? We keep spitting into the wind, and it does NOT accomplish anything. We protest, lobby, write letters, sign petitions, educate others, and still our representatives refuse to address workers' rights/pension issues for public employees. Maybe we should have revolted when others in the private sector lost their rights instead of simply saying, ‘That's not fair.’ We MUST be perceived as too polite and too respectable to get down and dirty, so our state government sneers in our faces. We cannot let Madigan, and Quinn and Rauner and Emanuel turn our lives upside down like they are doing. WE MUST FIGHT BACK, and we mustn't be lazy about the time and energy we put into this effort because they're going to keep smacking us around if we do not stand up to them and take back what is rightfully OURS.”

  4. Esther and I agree on many things, and once again she is spot-on here. I, too, have written, emailed, called, met, posted until I am blue in the face. My state rep doesn't listen, and my state senator does but her voice is too quiet. I talk to friends but I don't know what they do/say when I'm not there. It is difficult to get active teachers to stand up because they fear for their jobs. I think others remain quiet because they feel "What can we do? No one listens to us and we don't have the big bucks to spread around." It is quite disheartening. Like Esther, I believe we must fight back but I'm not sure how any more.

  5. It is obvious that the representatives and senators who voted to legitimize the stealing of legally owed pensions feel that they themselves are above the "rule of law,", Even though these legislators took an oath to support and defend the US and Illinois Constitutions, these legislators apparently feel that they can pick and choose only those segments of these constitutions that meet their own self-interests.

    How can we expect our form of government to survive if these legislators(and the governor) trash the US Constitution and the Illinois Constitution? And how can any individual or business be expected to trust these legislators if these legislators also trash contract law?