So veteran conservative Tom Roeser doesn’t like my calling him “Old Man” (August 4)?  Well, if he can’t take it he shouldn’t dish it out — “the soft, tiny hands of Ms. Sweet create momentum on her word-processor” (July 22), indeed!

Henceforth I will try to be nice, as I’m not the Rude Pundit nor ever will be.  I really do appreciate that Mr. Roeser can remember even farther back than me.  I also appreciate his characterization of the Reader as publishing “the most scatological stuff in the city,” even though that surely wasn’t intended as an endorsement.  We argumentative types need each other.

I think we can agree that much of former governor Jim Thompson’s record is neither liberal nor conservative but just bad — the corporate welfare, for instance, as documented by Good Jobs First in 2003 and covered in the Reader at that time.  (“Most of the bad systemic trends began under Thompson.”)

But I have no problem with Mr. R’s challenge to “point to one thing that Thompson has done as governor that is conservative.”  Actually, I thought I already did.  In the 1970s he ran on ethics reform and a get-tough crime package including “Class X” felonies.  When the chips were down, he let the ethics stuff go and beat the bushes for Class X.  To me that’s conservative.

Even if I agreed with that choice and thought it had done anything other than drain the state’s budget, I’d still call it conservative.  Or did I miss the memo?  Is lock-em-up  the new “liberal”?

Oh yes — we also agree that Joe Moore v. Ron Gidwitz on the City Council’s big-box minimum wage should make for interesting radio on WLS 8 pm Sunday.  I’ve set my alarm.