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Letters to the editor

Saving Social Security

If privatizing part or all of an individual Social Security tax will save Social Security, can the Social Security Administration invest the funds, save Social Security and save &

36;2 trillion in transition funds?

In 1935, the average factory worker did not have the financial ability or the education to invest for their own retirement; thus Social Security was born. Nothing has changed. Many of today's workers do not have the financial ability or the education to invest for their own retirement.

Social Security has become a Christmas tree of benefits. In 1939, survivorship benefits were added; later, disability, Medicare, SSI, administered by three trusts. Are all of them going broke?

A shortsighted desire to increase revenue added participants and increased the taxable amount. This caused an increase in benefits for people who did not need them.

Write to your senators and representatives and tell them that common sense must be applied to these programs. Social Security retirement is a social program to take care of the lower income employees who need the help. Give them the help. Remove the people from the program who do not need it. Invest the income to save the program. ' Jim Christopherson, Jacksonville

A little dreaming

Let's do a little dreaming of our own ...

— Envision a valley where elected officials actually apply the zoning regulations without influence from the land grabbers and builders. Where the bulldozers don't reign and our children can ride their bicycles past orchards instead of subdivisions. Where traffic jams are things we only hear about and the air is breathable year-round.

Rod Shaefer must have seen the bulldozers at work on the orchards along North Phoenix road and thought, Hey, if this works for the Manor and the M's, why not me?

Let's not allow greed to drive the planning decisions in this beautiful valley we call home. ' Dirk Watson, Medford

The American Gulag

According to a Washington Post article, administration officials are considering a plan submitted by the Pentagon and CIA which would create offshore camps for the permanent detention of suspected terrorists. These detainees would be individuals who the CIA and Pentagon don't have enough evidence to prosecute in a court.

As part of this plan a new 200-bed prison, dubbed Camp 6, would be built at Guantanamo Bay. Similar prisons would be built in Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan and Yemen.

Inmates in these prisons would be held outside any legal system. Inmates of this system would be held for life without any due process of law. Individuals could in fact disappear into this system much as countless thousands of political detainees did in the Soviet Gulag system.

Fundamental to our legal system is that no one can be deprived of life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness without due process of law. There are no exceptions.

If we allow this extralegal system to be created we are saying that the Pentagon and CIA can deny due process to individuals on their own discretion. This is a violation of sacred American principles of law and must not be allowed.' Mark Everett, Medford

Letter of thanks

I want to thank the anonymous person who donated 100 bikes to low-income Jackson County kids. You have no idea how much joy you brought to those kids. Your selfless act of kindness did not go unnoticed.

I also want to say thank you on behalf of Northwest Seasonal Workers to the many supporters and friends who helped us help 600 low-income kids with toys and more than 100 families with food boxes. We made a difference in December, but the new year will bring more hardship to low-income people in our county. ' Vanessa Houk, Ashland