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I am responding to a letter written by Stan Rachesky, published in the Post Independent on Sept. 10. Rachesky’s letter was essentially a regurgitation of anti-Obama propaganda that has circulated on the web for months, making a case against Barack Obama by painting him as a “radical Muslim sympathizer.”It’s apparent that Mr. Rachesky has been a victim of fear – fear of Muslims, fear of change, and fear of the unknown – a candidate, he says, who “is a guy we still know little about.”Readers of Barack Obama’s memoir, “Dreams of My Father,” know a lot about the candidate. It tells of growing up fatherless, raised by a single mother and her parents, and what it was like to struggle with his identity as a black child in a white family. Aside from being a beautiful account of an atypical American childhood during the ’60s and ’70s, the book has allowed Obama to set the record straight. He isn’t a Muslim; his father was. He didn’t know the man, a Kenyan who returned to Africa when he was little. Much ado has been made of his Muslim School; most viewers of Fox News have seen the students wearing birkas. What superficial attempts to discredit Obama avoid telling gullible audiences is that Obama’s mother worked for the American embassy in Indonesia; most embassy children attended this school because lessons were in English.This is public record, but it isn’t worthy of public discourse – America was founded on principals of religious freedom and tolerance, so that in our country, one’s prejudices about faith are not a worthy measure of another person’s character or abilities.My Mama always said: “Small minds talk about people, average minds talk about events, great minds discuss ideas.” Obama’s campaign is about large ideas: health care for all, equal pay for equal work, fair taxes, stronger schools, energy independence and creating peace. I encourage everyone to get informed about the issues – leave the gossip to the tiny minds.Kathryn CampCarbondale

There is no real solution to the illegal immigration problem we obviously have in the valley. There are crimes being committed, and there are no consequences for these people. If a legal citizen raped a young girl, fled from police, and hid in someone’s home without permission to enter (possibly leading to another crime if she had not paid attention to detail), there would be a heavy price to pay. I believe we’re not making examples of these people, and the crimes will only escalate. We need to set the standard to which we expect others to live. Where are our standards? If you’re here illegally, you’re doing illegal things. Obviously, deporting them isn’t effective, they just come right back. My opinion: Cut the money supply. The welfare system needs to be addressed and revamped, and the employers need heavy penalties for hiring illegals. What about the housing authority? I have neighbors that are living in a flophouse, with all grown men coming and going in all hours of the day and night in a “single family home” and near a school. This is getting out of control. If we required training or schooling for construction jobs, there would be less accidents from unskilled laborers and less drug traffic. Yes, we’re living in denial, because these job sites are not patrolled, and less crime is not a reality. I don’t think change will take place unless the entire community comes together on this one. Anyone?Jenell HilderbrandGlenwood Springs


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