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Wednesday, December 28, 2005


This is my last post of 2005 - a year of hurricanes of epic proportions. This post is about a different type of "hurricane" - the type Bob Dylan sang about in his 1976 song of the same title. While the object of the song is "Hurricane" Carter - a black boxer accused of a crime he allegedly did not commit - the subject of the song is broader - racism and injustice. It has some strident lyrics that lash out in not-very-subtle ways against a system that puts legal and judicial convenience ahead of justice and equality. I would be the last to suggest that what PERS members have been subjected to qualifies as the "hurricane" about which Dylan sings. Nevertheless, what PERS members - active, inactive, and retired - have experienced over the past several years is a new "ism" - PERSism, which I describe simply as discrimination against Oregon public employees merely for being public employees - a "hurricane" of different proportions. The general public neither knows nor cares what public employees do. The general public has no interest in the facts except when the facts support their already low opinion of public employees (about whom they neither know anything or care?). I could go on, but for regular readers, I'm preaching to the choir. If you want to see what's inspiring this "dark" post, listen to Dylan's "Hurricane" (http://bobdylan.com/songs/hurricane.html).

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