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It's ironic that Bud Carroll chose to open his Jan. 15 letter to the editor with the expression "Read the fine print."

In his rush to bash Bush, he ignores the fact that the so-called subprime mortgage crisis was caused by unwise consumers who didn't "read the fine print" when purchasing a home. The fact that our government is considering bailing out those who purchased homes they couldn't afford takes us one step closer to socialism and one step further away from individual liberty.

Having recently purchased a home myself, I would consider it an insult for my tax money to be spent on those who didn't put in the time and effort to make the most important financial decision of their lives a wise one. Have we completely given up on personal responsibility? — Jon L. Hornbeck, Central Point

The Mail Tribune's front page headline of Jan. 10 stated that 151,000 Iraqi citizens have been killed in their country during the ongoing war. That total is approximately 0.58 percent of the 2005 estimated Iraq population of 26 million.

To show the impact this must have on their families, consider using the same 0.58 percent of the 2005 estimated American population. That would result in approximately 1.7 million American civilian deaths. Losses to Iraqi police and military increase their losses.

Reported American military casualties show 3,922 Americans killed and 28,882 wounded. This would have a negative impact on over 30,000 American families.

Who can be satisfied with this pre-emptive war except the well-positioned Washington-based warmongers?

Hopefully, future president Paul or Edwards or Huckabee or Obama will thoroughly pursue peaceful solutions with any more countries perceived to be threatening us. Direct discussions without any preset conditions by either of the parties would be a good starting point. — Jim Caldwell, Yreka, Calif.

I was thrilled that the Oregon Shakespeare Festival will mount a production of "Othello" in the 2008 season.

After years during which roles traditionally written for Caucasians were played by blacks, here was the chance for OSF to cast a white actor in the role of a black character. One recalls Sir Laurence Olivier's magnificent Othello, the single prominent instance in which this was actually done in the modern era.

Sadly, however, OSF seems to have cast a black man in the role. I have no doubt he will craft a wonderful performance; nevertheless, one hopes for more attention to fairness in the future for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. — Hubert Smith, Jacksonville

In response to Jackie Reed's letter Friday, I cannot associate her name with programs that exist in Southern Oregon to change any of the conditions she lists that are also nationwide problems.

Many people are remembered in their community for the positive impact they have left as a legacy. Is she one of them? I would also like to know of the utopian area she is moving to, that has none of these problems. —Tony Barbieri, Medford

We understand that there have been some complaints about OHV use on BLM land and other similar lands in Southern Oregon.

As a resident in the Applegate Valley now since 1987 and at the same address, China Gulch Road in Ruch, for over 15 years, we have enjoyed using our motorcycles in a responsible manner on BLM land. Our children and grandchildren live next door and also appreciate the same opportunity.

During our almost 16 years here we have met other OHV riders and have been delighted to find out that most all of them are friendly, responsible people.

Often we also hike up BLM land that our property adjoins and as hikers have also met courteous OHV operators.

We sincerely hope that the complaints from a few will not take away the privileges that many have enjoyed on BLM lands over the years. — Dave Schwep, Jacksonville

Yes, Medford needs a new high school! The problem is, so many projects have gone over-budget that funds are just too tight.

It looks like the proposed school won't have a decent theater or sports fields, forcing students to commute to the old South location for those activities. North will be complete, but South will essentially be split between two campuses. Many other schools may also have to sacrifice needed upgrades to their roofs and will lose their gyms. That just doesn't seem fair.

I think there is a solution: Build the new school at North. About $20 million of the proposed school budget is currently going toward wetland mitigation, street improvements, traffic studies, parking, lighting, etc. Think of what we could do with the savings: finish all roofing projects and gyms as promised, restore Jackson and Roosevelt instead of leveling them, develop the fields around North or build third gyms at both high schools. Divert the money for North's remodel to South, which still has a good "core," an excellent theater and sports fields. All projects and schools would benefit from the savings of using an existing location for the new high school. — Megan Holmes, Medford

Last November I was reading through the Tempo section of the Friday paper and came across an advertisement for free Texas Hold 'em poker games. I went online to www.RiverDogsPokerLeague.com and found a schedule of locations and times near my home where I could play poker, then went down and checked it out.

It turns out that the league sets up tournaments and allows people to play for fun and experience with an opportunity to meet new, friendly people and compete for prizes, which brings up the reason for writing this letter.

Today, a tournament is taking place where the sponsors will be giving away $10,000 in prizes and making a donation to the Mount Ashland Association. I would just like to say to all the players competing, good luck, but you might as well just stay home because I plan on winning! — Dave Curlee, Eagle Point

Jackson County certainly has changed a lot since I was a child growing up here. With change, it's still important to treat each other with respect.

While we all have the right to speak out on issues that are important to us, no one has the right to print libelous, false and deliberately misleading information.

Anonymous letters have been mailed to White City residents filled with such statements about my family. Ostensibly, the letters are about an unused right of way near our home in White City. In reality, the letters attack us personally. The author(s) have kept their identity a secret, claiming fear of retaliation.

By mailing the letters unsigned and without any return address we cannot counter their statements or explain our position. We hope that people who may have received these letters will realize that there is another side to the issue and won't just accept that the information in the letters is truthful.

While we may not be able to agree on what's best, there are two things we won't do. We won't lie to you or be afraid to put our name on any statement we make. — Lee DeBerry, White City/Trail

Time to speak out! Hillary Clinton in tears, explaining how hard it was to run a campaign. Just something to think about — how would she handle a presidency?

A fair question and it might be worthwhile to read some of the literature on her history — rather frightening. — Sue Cobun, Medford