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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Add my name to those who hope you continue the Mail Tribune 100 column. The April 27 edition was especially good. Hilarious. If you did not read it you must. What a time in history and what writing! — Jeff Palmer, Medford

It is not much of an exaggeration to say that the biggest banks have been simultaneously on relief and, as a sideline, operating as casinos. The personal income of the dealers (bankers) has been in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

The way that the relief side works is that the banks borrow from the Fed at next to zero interest and lend it at market rates. But the real deal is the wonderfully imaginative casino operation. Roger Lowenstein in The New York Times on April 20 lifts the curtain on how it works.

The banks invented a new, abstruse financial instrument, a form of derivative called the credit default swap that enables banks to gamble with customers on whether the value of a mortgage, or any financial instrument, that neither bank nor customer own, will rise or fall. Needless to say, the bet is totally stacked for the banks, because hardly anybody but the banks really understand CDS, which are still merrily rolling along.

The big problem for society is that the casino side escalated into the trillions of dollars worldwide and has been a major factor in bringing on the world recession. — Harry L. Cook, Ashland

I'd like to introduce a philosophical term I've coined: "humaternity." It's a fusion of "humanity," "fraternity" and "maternity."

"Maternity" honors motherhood and above all Mother Earth. Fraternity means a brotherly association of men, but "humaternity" includes all humans across the globe. It also contains the word "humanity," which includes charity, civilization, the humanities, and law and order.

Unfortunately, "law" in our nation and especially in Jackson County has been perverted to stand for heavy-handed injustice. Humaternity calls for minimal and just laws, written in plain English and enforced effectively.

Our nation has contradictory tangles of unneeded laws only lawyers can read, and a higher percentage of our population behind bars than any nation on Earth (look it up.) And years later, I still can't forget the inhumanity I saw in our local jail, or the dishonesty of some local police. Meanwhile, destructive crime flourishes in our streets and wealthiest corporations like Goldman Sachs.

So I reject the ruling paradigms of our society along with the political system we share with Western Europe: electoral democracy. As a college-educated writer who's traveled the world teaching English, I'm often asked what should replace it.

My answer is liberty and "Humaternity." — Sean Lawlor Nelson, Medford

I drive by the new intersection of Highland and Barnett and I see the bridge for the bike path. It is costing how much and for what reason is it going up? So people won't have to wait for the light to change for them to walk or ride across?

It seems like I recall a million bucks or so for this "project" and I think it is ridiculous that the money is being spent so frivolously when there is so much more to be done that would benefit more people. Are the people that gave this "project" a thumbs up the same ones that voted for the water park? Was the bike bridge voted on? If so, I missed it, I guess. — John Morgan-Serface, Medford

The Mail Tribune has made another error. Probably not as serious as the crossword puzzle problem of late, but just as important. Your editors have listed Karl Rove's new top-selling book as non-fiction. — Tucker Whitson, Ashland