Suffer from poor judgment The recent “Best Of Indy” (Cover, Oct. 13-20) issue proves that Bush was correct to invade Iraq.

How? If we assume NUVO readers lean left of center (not much of a stretch), and we see that group has voted Bart Peterson as the best politician in Indy, one must conclude that NUVO readers and by extrapolation the left as a whole suffer from poor judgment. Bart Peterson has done nothing for the working man since taking office; his party has dominated local government all year, but they have yet to consider a living wage statute. But in just a few months, Mayor Peterson has finagled and gained full legal approval for a deal to give the Simons $20 million to put up a building on the last greenspace downtown.

All Peterson has to do is keep giving out diversity awards and arts grants and he and his cronies can do whatever they like, including building the unnecessary new Colts stadium, without any protest from the left. At a price of $500 from every person living in Marion County, Hoosier Dome II guarantees financial ruin for the next generation.

If the left-leaning readers of NUVO consider that to be good politics, then they must be totally wrong about Iraq.

It is time for one of the 15 Democrats on the City-County Council to grow a spine and introduce a living wage law.

William Rainsberger

Indianapolis

Our local Jon Stewart Another great column (Hammer, “A Warning to Dumbasses,” Oct. 20-27). I’m glad you finally exposed Our Man Bitch and that “good ol boy drawl.” That’s been grating on my nerves every time I see one of his ads. And I’m glad you stuck it to Gannett and their local flagship The Indianapolis Star but when you said it was “that daily nuisance favored by retirees and shut-ins” you really hit a nerve. As you know, I’m an old fart but I wouldn’t allow that rag on the place although being a firm believer in recycling (and with sincere apologies) I do allow my dog to pee on NUVO. Keep up the good work. In my mind, you are our local Jon Stewart of The Daily Show.

Wally Marshall

Indianapolis

Public Questions 1, 2 and 3 Many voters will be surprised when they step into the voting booth on Nov. 2 to find three questions facing them regarding amendments to Indiana’s Constitution. This letter explains Indiana Farm Bureau’s position on those three questions.

Public Question No. 2 would allow the Indiana General Assembly to establish a uniform date for the beginning of the terms of office for the county clerk, auditor, recorder, treasurer, sheriff, coroner and surveyor. Currently, the Constitution provides for these offices but does not specify when their terms begin. Our members believe this amendment makes sense and therefore we support it.

Public Question No. 3 addresses the issue of order of succession in the event that something would happen to the governor and lieutenant governor at the same time. Right now, the law does not provide for anyone to step into the executive role until such time as the General Assembly can convene to select a new governor. This amendment would establish a line of succession that includes all the statewide elected office holders. This line would act as governor only until the General Assembly could complete the process of selecting a new governor. Again, our members support this common-sense amendment.

IFB does not support Public Question No. 1, which deals with property tax exemptions. Currently, the Constitution authorizes the General Assembly to exempt property held by tax-exempt organizations, tangible personal property other than business equipment and inventory, and intangible personal property such as stocks, bonds and other securities from property taxes.

If passed, the amendment known as Public Question No. 1 would allow (but not compel) the General Assembly to add to that list of exempt property to include owner-occupied residential property, business equipment and inventory.

IFB is opposed to this amendment for this reason: The amendment does not direct the state Legislature to provide an alternative source of revenue for the property taxes lost through these new exemptions, nor does it reduce the amount of the total levy to be raised through property taxes.

In other words, it would authorize the Legislature to grant relief to some property taxpayers at the expense of those who own other classes of property — most notably, farmers and landowners.

This amendment would legitimize actions already taken by the General Assembly to reduce the inventory tax and provide relief to homeowners. Farm Bureau supported the proposed amendment when it was considered by the Legislature in 2002 and 2003 because it was seen as a way to reduce inventory taxes on farms. However, after measuring the impact of reassessment coupled with a new $35,000 homestead exemption, Farm Bureau has withdrawn its support for this amendment and now opposes it.

Don Villwock, president

Indiana Farm Bureau

The issue is George W. Bush Somehow this election campaign has lost its focus on the single most important issue facing the United States: the administration of George W. Bush (Hoppe, “Voices of Experience,” Oct. 20-27). This presidency is the most disastrous one in modern American history. Consider what the president has managed to do to this country in four short years:

• In Iraq, he has launched a costly and destructive war against a country that posed no threat to the United States, possessed no weapons of mass destruction and had no connections to Sept. 11 or al Qaeda.

• In the process, we have lost over 1,000 brave young American soldiers, with thousands more wounded and maimed. Some 16,000 Iraq civilians have died in the conflict, and most Iraqis now consider us the enemy.

• The Iraq war has stimulated terrorism both in the Middle East and worldwide, and further inflamed Arab and Muslim fear and dislike of the United States.

• The terrorists who were responsible for Sept. 11 are still active. Osama bin Laden is still at large, and al Qaeda is stronger than it was before 2001.

• As a result of our failed interventions, both Afghanistan and Iraq are now in chaos, and fertile breeding grounds for Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism.

• By undermining the Atlantic Alliance, the president has compromised the ability of the Western nations to combat this jihad. The world is a far more dangerous place now that it was in 2001. In the domestic arena, the situation is hardly better:

• The combination of increased military expenditures for Iraq and tax cutting polices (mostly for the wealthy) has created the biggest federal deficit in American history, from a $236 billion surplus into a $422 billion deficit this year.

• The president’s tariff policy has destroyed more jobs than it has protected, and has added about 6 percent to the cost of all the goods we buy.

• This will be the first president since Herbert Hoover to face re-election with fewer people working than when he started.

• His trade policy has led to record trade deficits, jeopardizing the stability of the dollar.

In the words of former Secretary of Commerce Peter Peterson (a Republican), this administration has “presided over the biggest, most reckless deterioration of America’s finances in history.”

Meanwhile, the president’s actions and rhetoric have deeply divided the American public, and created a poisonous political environment. America has become impotent, divided and isolated. Osama bin Laden could not have wished for more.

The Bush presidency has been a disaster in almost every respect. The damage done to our safety, economy and international standing will take many years, if not decades, to reverse. We must stop bickering about military service records, stop being distracted by the Florida weather and focus on the huge problems facing all Americans. And the biggest problem of all is the presidency of George W. Bush.

David S. Mason,

professor of political science

Marshall Dixon,

professor of physics

And signed by 23 other Butler University faculty members in political science, physics, anthropology, pharmacy, English, geography, sociology, philosophy, Spanish, chemistry and business administration

Correction Last week, the hours were left off the Cuisine review. Bleeker Street is open Monday-Saturday, 5:30-10:30 p.m.

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