Artest did what most would do I read what you wrote in the NUVO, very cool, about Ron Artest (Hammer, “Ron Artest: Fighting for You,” Nov. 24-Dec. 1). Frankly he did what most of us would do; you throw a drink in my face, or anywhere near me, and I am going to kick somebody’s ass. It is ON. I love the Indiana Pacers and the Indianapolis Colts. I also love the Kentucky Wildcats. Yes, that means I am from Kentucky. I have just moved here from Kentucky. I enjoy reading your articles, and what you have to say.

Gregory Moulden


Take a Prozac In response to David Seay’s letter to the editor entitled “Wake Up Call” in your Nov. 17-24 issue, I just had to comment. First of all I am neither a Dem or a Republican, I will take a wild guess and assume you are the latter. Calm down, and take a Prozac or something; obviously the GOP victory is something you had hoped for, why all of the anger? Your side won this one.

The GOPs were able to win due to a fear-based society. Americans were afraid that the terrorists would kill them and their loved ones in their sleep. It’s as simple as that.

You live in Indianapolis; there is a good chance that al Qaeda is not looking for you.

I hope you are willing to serve in Iraq because I am sure you will be needed to do so at some time, since it looks as though we will be involved in this quagmire for another decade or so. I’m sure you will be willing to volunteer your time, as any good GOP would be!

Lisa M. Howard


What a conformist As a person interested in religion only to try to figure out why so many others are interested in it, I was surprised to read Jeff Krajewski criticize “materialism” as being an enemy because it promotes individuality (Cover, “Heart of God,” Nov. 24-Dec. 1). Here’s a guy with a shaved head, an earring, slightly unshaved, in a casual shirt, strumming a guitar in a church. Gee, what a conformist! Maybe he’ll elaborate on the devilish trait of individuality. Frankly, I expect individuality eventually to turn Earth into a rather nice place. If Earth can outlast the current “crusade” mentality. I suspect the trendy popularity of piety in America has far more to do with social intercourse, a place to exchange business cards, a haven to stash kids while at work, than it does with virgins having babies, second comings or staying out of “hell.”

Bob Corya


God is always watching Athletes are faced with a great deal of taunting and name calling. Sadly, I’ve been guilty of some of that myself. When we are confronted with such rude provocation such as what Ron Artest faced, we need to rise above the offence, and realize that proper authorities will take care of the situation. At first, Artest kept control; he realized that officials would give Ben Wallace a technical foul and likely throw him out of the game. But what he was not prepared for, and didn’t realize quickly enough, was that beer-throwing fan was going to be thrown out of the stadium and, hopefully, have his season-ticket revoked.

Stadium security needs to deal more swiftly with taunting (and certainly beer-throwing) fans. More security needs to be left inside the stadium at the end of games, rather than overseeing fans leaving early. A lesser security presence can give some people (especially while drinking) the impression that there is no penalty for wrong-doing. The NBA needs to shut off alcohol sales earlier than Detroit had for two reasons: to minimize this sort of riot happening again and to minimize drunk driving of fans going home.

Ben Wallace unwittingly encouraged this sort of behavior by throwing towels around, etc. If fans (or anyone else) get the sense that there’s no consequence for wrong-doing, they will continue doing it.

For NBA players and everyone else, in almost any temper-testing situation, we need to first check our own behavior to see if we’ve done something to make the problem worse. Then if this is no fault of our own, realize that the other party has done wrong, and they have made themselves look foolish, and that God is always watching. Their punishment awaits them even though we want to dispense justice personally. We do not have that right.

Steven Sherman


Blue Monday The complete waste of public dollars given to Jim Irsay and his private company is only one of the public harms brought about by the mayor’s boosterism of the Indianapolis Colts. A deeper injury is the propaganda effort that firmly advances the notion that what is good for the corporation is good for the people. We are led into discussions of “meeting the league average” and what it takes to be a “world-class city” and away from discussions about real and much more painful indicators of the people’s condition in the year 2004. This framing of the debate is not by accident. The goal of this effort is, if not enthusiasm for a designated role of consumer, then a conditioned response of compliance to undemocratic corporate rule. The New Terrain I-69 proposal is a current example of compliance to corporate rule. Indiana needs hundreds of millions of dollars to repair the state roads. Money spent on fixing the current roads would create jobs and improve the safety of surface transportation. Instead, highway money is designated to go into the I-69 project. This will create jobs as well.

New Terrain I-69 will also create higher profits for the land developers who will get to plow over the unpaved land, boosting private gain instead of fixing what we have.

Another example of the success of this effort is the success of the idea that if the public must own the water it lives above, then that water must be managed by private and foreign owned businesses. Water is vital. The people who make decisions about local water should live near the watershed instead of knowing our water as fractions moving on a stock ticker.

The success of the conditioning allows the coal burning energy company AES to generously purchase land for new city parks without any hint that AES belongs to an industry that is directly responsible for the mercury poisoning of our fresh water as well as the damage to our global climate. A harm that is all out of proportion to the gift.

Such conditioning would provide the cover needed to give away yet again public property for the exclusive use of the Simon Property Group and its principle owners, this time literally taking a public commons and giving it for a song. Skilled and creative people worked out the details of bonds and leveraged public debt for this giveaway. Where is the creative financial effort to build a world-class public transit system next year?

So I say go Colts! Have a great year, win the Super Bowl. Just don’t ask taxpayers to help pay your way. Study a politician’s enthusiasm for the local professional sports teams against any public service that won’t help the corporate bottom line and you will gain insight into the depth of the corporate capture of democracy.

Nick Hess


“Land of the Free” It seems that the Republican hierarchy, spearheaded by the tightly insular Bush Administration drawing on its supposed “mandate,” has designs on dictatorial power (Dispatch, “Balance in the Face of Terror,” Nov. 24-Dec. 1). Hard to believe that such a thing could occur in the “Land of the Free.” Hopefully, these delusions of grandeur will lead to their downfall. Something is wrong when America inspires as much fear in the world as the militant terrorists do. We should be a sanctuary for the oppressed, not merely the better of two bad choices.

Posted by Alan


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