Letters to the Editor

Readers write about the poor and their home expenses, the hate-crime law, and energy security.

Those who lured the poor to buy homes must give back

The Nov. 11 article, "To cool a market meltdown, apply aid carefully," should be noted by the Feds.

The banks and mortgage companies bought themselves the problems by allowing agents to write these mortgages, which put people into homes they cannot afford at regular mortgage rates, let alone at the high rates that come when their adjustment period rolls around after enjoying the short time of the beginning rate.

This also puts many people out – with no home, no money, and an even bigger credit history problem than they had previously.

When the government makes a deal with the banks to hold the rates down for these people, you have to ask, "What are they going to do for the rest of us who act responsibly with credit and bought homes we could afford with a regular mortgage rate?"

This whole thing does not appear to be much different from many other sucker "scams" on investments that have come to light in recent years from different companies.

Many real estate agents and mortgage brokers/reps were responsible for luring these poor people into the scam and making money off them. They could give back some of that money to help the situation.

Gene McKissack
Dothan, Ala.

Apply hate-crime law to all

Regarding Edward Kennedy and John Lewis's Nov. 30 Opinion piece, "We must not tolerate hate crimes": I support some aspects of "hate crime" legislation, but only if it applies the same to all groups.

Black hate-crimes against Hispanics, whites, or Asians should be treated the same as white crimes against blacks, or any other combination.

If not, then it just appears as politically correct pandering and pitting groups against each other for political or economic self-promotion.

This unequal protection under the law is part of the reason why many people resist this type of law. It is not because they are racist.

Promote laws for everyone, not for specific groups.

Bruce Buirkle
Dallas

For energy security, test all options

In response to Mackubin Thomas Owens's Nov. 30 Opinion piece, "Forget energy independence. Here's a plan for energy security": Mr. Owens fails to address the main drawback of nuclear energy – that of the safe handling and storage of the waste material left at the end of the process.

If the problem of nuclear energy waste could be solved, I'm sure environmental activists would love to have one less thing to worry about.

Marilyn Zavitz
Toronto

In response to Owens's Opinion piece regarding a plan for energy security: While Owens successfully casts himself as a pragmatic realist, it would be a mistake to accept his pessimism about alternatives to hydrocarbons.

At least two-thirds of our petroleum consumption is used for transportation. Thus, wide-scale use of hybrid vehicles and improvements in public transportation have the potential to cut that demand in half.

These "technologies" are not decades away, as Owens suggests – and they are more readily exploitable (and environmentally benign) than the oil shale in the Rockies are.

Although Owens's forward-looking interest in "security" is appreciated, he fails to appreciate the tools already in our hands.

Brian Thiede
Lewisburg, Pa.

The Monitor welcomes your letters and opinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted may appear in print or on our website, www.csmonitor.com. Mail letters to Readers Write and Opinion pieces to Opinion Page, One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and Opinion pieces to OpEd.

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