Student-loan crisis

Congress must do something to help bail out those of us who are drowning in the next big financial meltdown to hit America - student-loan indebtedness

I am 62 years old, facing retirement, and still must pay my student-loan debt until the year 2028 at high interest. This will make it impossible for me to live on my retirement income.

I have made a good-faith effort to repay; however, the predatory student-loan lenders have made it impossible for me to pay off the debt in my lifetime if I live to be 100. And I am not alone.

Mortgage foreclosures and predatory student-loan debt are destroying the American dream for an entire generation.

Something must be done. If Congress can bail out GM and Ford, it can help those of us who cannot repay our student-loan debt without going homeless in the bargain.

Jack H. Markowitz

Philadelphia

What took so long?

Re: "Charter schools: Problems surfacing," Monday:

None of this should be a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention.

Since Gov. Tom Ridge signed the first charter-school bill, there has been an incestuous relationship between politicians and charter schools.

It is sickeningly similar to the self-regulation of the banking industry, which caused so much corruption and a final implosion.

Thanks to your reporters for exposing the many conflicts of interest coming from Harrisburg that make graft so easy.

The main question is: What took the auditor general so long to find out?

Gloria C. Endres

Retired teacher

Philadelphia

Boycotting Warren

My partner and I were planning to attend the inauguration with our twin 2-year-old sons and deal with travel, crowd and weather obstacles as they presented themselves.

Now, however, I'm so angry that Rick Warren has been included in the ceremony that we've decided to stay home instead of turning our backs when he gives the invocation.

If President Obama wants to invite people to the White House who don't share his views, great!

But to stand up next to him feels like an endorsement of his views and gives Warren's antigay attitudes credence.

Once again, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender folks are thrown under the bus and expected to get up and tag along anyway. Not this lesbian, not this time.

Stephanie Haynes

Philadelphia

Al-Qaeda and Rush

The meaning of words changes over time. For example, in the early 1960s,

Negro

was the respectable word used to describe African Americans; it replaced the earlier term

colored

people.

By the late 1960s, however,

Negro

had passed from general use, and today it is most often used either sarcastically or as a term of contempt.

I find it interesting that only two groups have used this word in reference to our next president: al-Qaeda (which termed Barack Obama a "house Negro") and Republicans, notably Rush Limbaugh, who aired the offensive song "Barack the Magic Negro," and aspiring RNC chairman Chip Saltsman, who disseminated it on CD.

It seems, then, that al-Qaeda and some leading Republicans have a common view of the next leader of the free world.

They also share a number of other beliefs, including the roles of religion in society (dominant) and women in society (subordinate).

Kenneth Gorelick

Newtown Square

Deregulation myth

In all the analysis of the economy in the media, the most basic of truths is never mentioned: Deregulated capitalism equals crime.

Most analysts can't even bring themselves to breathe the word

regulation.

This is because the myth that deregulation is always good has been cheered, promoted, and even used to terrorize American minds.

America was not created as a capitalist nation. It was not invented by the rich or for the rich; it was invented to ensure the highest quality of life for all its citizens. If we wanted a ruling wealthy class, we wouldn't have had an American revolution in the first place.

John Adams said: "There are two ways to enslave a nation: One is by the sword and the other is by debt."

Karl Kofoed

Drexel Hill