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Letters & Comments, October 22, 2009

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Candidates Debate

Re: Who'll Decide How Much You Pay? A look at the cast of characters running for the obscure but critical office of Cook County assessor, by Ben Joravsky, October 15

Why is every candidate but Ali ElSaffar given some space/comment? He actually IS a tax geek, not masquerading as one (sorry, but I've seen a lot of wrong information on Andrea's Web site). He understands assessing, property tax, and the problems better than anyone else on the list and I think you now owe him his own article since the omission of any information on him or his campaign is glaring. —Tax Geek

Have you forgotten about the Republican Party. We are very much alive and I too am running for Cook County Assessor with 12 years of experience and also a Certified Illinois Assessing Officer.

Thanks for equal time. —Honorable Sharon Eckersall, Evanston Township Assessor

Ben Joravsky replies:

The headline notwithstanding, I was focusing here on Democratic Party politics rather than policy.

Differing Perspectives on a Book Review

Re: Our Oppressive Optimism: Who's to blame for the very American phenomenon of "bright-siding"? by Noah Berlatsky, October 15

This is the worst fucking piece of shit essay I have ever read. Are you really reviewing this book by recasting blame for American excessive optimism? Hey Noah, you can stick your agenda ALL THE WAY UP YOUR ASS! —ocho blanco

Great piece. I'm amazed at the audacity of Ehrenreich's so demonstrably wrong thesis. Progressivism—the word itself—rests in the idea of some kind of march toward a managed utopian happiness (as long as the right people are in control, of course), while the most basic Conservative argument against such designs is that regardless of our grand strategies—which can cause all kinds of unforeseen damage/strife alone—life is essentially tragic.

Btw, have to say I find it pretty funny that you're being criticized for "recasting," as though Ehrenreich represents some kind of acknowledged authority on the matter, and further, that you're out of line for arguing against it even if it were so. —Uland

What's in Store for the Sun-Times Pair

Re: Catching Up With Black and Radler, posted by Michael Miner, October 15

Radler must be laughing his ass off . . . sitting pretty in Vancouver and back in the biz and anyone who knows Radler's history knows he's making money. Black, rip him all you want, he may not win re/SCOTUS but the somewhat esoteric legal argument he's pursuing (no room to go into it here without putting anyone who cares to sleep) has huge precedent-setting implications that affects the whole U.S. judicial process. If not deemed important, why would SCOTUS even entertain it? They'd just let him bask in the Fl. sunshine and write his books while not counting the untold millions he's stashed off-shore. The obvious irony is that the ST financed his defense. The not-so-obvious one would be if Black actually wins w/SCOTUS. Talk about having the last laugh! —Naperville

Doesn't David Radler's daughter own a bunch of USA newspapers in Guymon, Oklahoma, Sweetwater, TX, Rhode Island and many other towns? Does David Radler have any control over USA newspapers his daughter might own?v—eanderson6065

What Can We Learn?

Re: Dear International Olympic Committee: One last argument for why Chicago doesn't need, want, or deserve the games, by Ben Joravsky, September 24

"Aldermen Robert Fioretti, Scott Waguespack, and Joe Moore, for starters, have all told me the mayor made it clear he would never forgive or forget anyone who came out against the games."

In any other govt agency, if elected representatives were threatened, even an implied threat, and you got wind of it you would of course follow up. but I guess we all know how scary Daley is so there's no reason to here. For God's sake if you are going to promulgate this BS from those hypocrites will you please FOLLOW UP. What was the precise nature of the threat? Cuts in ward services, an opponent in the next election, withholding of campaign cash, or what? HOW did Daley make the threat clear? Why take disappointing Daley so seriously? Does Daley have a specific demonstrated record of retaliation against aldermen? And then get a response from the mayor's office. Let's get this on the record and together let's examine our aldermen's fav excuse for their lack of spine, I'm sick of it. —Hugh

While I enjoyed reading your articles taking on Mayor Daley over the years and learning of the abominable TIFs, I will never, ever read another word of yours. As you can guess, this is due solely to Chicago losing the 2016 Olympic bid.

There's no way to take my anger out on the IOC or USOC and their idiotic Olympic channel power play so I have to boycott you. I'm so fucking pissed off that not only did we not get the bid, but also lost in the first cocksucking round.

To me that was the bigger slap in the face, especially since we haven't had an Olympic games in the U.S. in the 2000s and fucking ASIA (Beijing) just had them last year and motherfucking Europe will have had them three times since we had them in Atlanta by then.

Just so you don't feel alone in my personal boycott, I will never watch any Olympic events or the tryouts thereof. I will never visit that armpit of South America and slum, Rio. I'm undecided about adding Tokyo or Madrid to that list. It's been just over a week and I'm still just as pissed off at the whole fucking crappile now. —GrouchoM07

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