To the Editor:
Yes, of course, almost everyone of age has heard of The Perfect Storm movie, the one with George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, et al, a film based on a real storm that took down to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean a swordfishing vessel, the Andrea Gail, with all on board lost. Well, now we’ve got our own perfect “storm” well underway via the Oregon political theatre; here, however, it’s the perfect irony.
What’s irony? It is when there’s an incongruity or discrepancy between the actual result of a sequence of events and the normal or expected result. Thereby, the word irony perfectly fits what’s been the major thrust of Governor Kitzhaber and a number of members of the Oregon Legislature, building up to and, now, during the 2013 session, fanatically encouraged by some among the Oregon press, mainly in Portland and Salem, and the state’s elite, to take away PERS retirees benefits and set in motion what’s readily predicted to be the first galvanized nail in a soft wood PERS coffin.
Most interesting in this state’s most graphic example of irony is that the governor and several legislators are happy as Oregon clams at high tide over granting undocumented immigrants in-state tuition (It’s the votes, stupid!). Yet, they blind-eye-pretend to ignore the fact that Oregon residents and taxpayers will have to make up the difference to pay the costs to the state’s public colleges and universities, and those taxpayers in this instance are the PERS retirees. if developments in the capitol go the way it appears they’ll go. All that goes for “adequate” support of all public schools, too.
So, the bottom line in this matter is that those Oregonians who worked to serve the citizens of the state, often for their entire working lives, 25 to 30 years worth, sometimes more, those firefighters, police officers, teachers, public employees in all government jobs, and were provided in contract, benefits for their retirements, those benefits that kept them in the “trenches” with the enticement of financial security in their old age while enduring years of low pay, are viewed as worth less to many in the statehouse than people who came here illegally.
Now that all adds up to the perfect irony. Meanwhile, I’m not opposed to giving the children of illegal immigrants a break on tuition to attend a state college or university here as, it’s presumed, many will most likely contribute more to America by doing so and few are likely to return to their country of origin. I just don’t see it in any which way as fair, balanced or even lawful by an Oregon Supreme Court (unless I’ve misjudged those folks), to require me and my family and other families like mine to pay for it single-handedly while the rich guys and gals in the state can send their money to deposit in the Cayman Islands.
Gene H. McIntyre