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Post Independent
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado

Superintendent Judy Haptonstall’s recent decision to ban President Obama’s speech from Re-1 schools represents a lack the critical thinking, quite an irony since this skill is perhaps one of the most important things that her students need to learn in order to make effective life and career decisions.

How could she have been swayed by 15-30 vocal parents, without even reviewing the text of the speech which was released for preview by educators? Even Laura Bush and Newt Gingrich urged students to watch President Obama’s address. Re-1 has the dubious distinction of being the only district in the state to have taken such action.

As a result, thousands of pupils in Re-1 missed a unique opportunity to be inspired. What could be more compelling to many students than to hear the first President of the U.S. of color describe his complicated background and then urge all to stay the course and do well in school? Watching the President’s address could have reinforced the opportunity that all children in the U.S. have to become all that they are capable of being. With Re-1’s student demographic, this case would have been particularly well heard. Seeing the speech several days later will not be the same.



Perhaps the lesson that teachers should now stress is to show the speech for the inspiration it provides, and then to have a discussion of the controversy surrounding the speech and of the role of the media in affecting opinions. Topics could include issues such as “How much of media content is honest reporting and how much is influenced by people or organizations seeking certain outcomes?” or “What are the differences between Rush Limbaugh, the New York Times, and other media sources?” or “How can one determine whether information has been fact-checked and is reliable to use in one’s own decision-making?” Another discussion could be the obligation of leaders and educators in a democracy to expose students to a variety of experiences so that they can form their own opinions.

I hope that Superintendent Haptonstall has learned this lesson, and that she will never again demonstrate cautiousness and flawed leadership that could hamstring Re-1 students by denying them access to inspiring or challenging opportunities.



Bill Spence

Carbondale

You can tell a lot about a man by the company he keeps. Last year Barack Obama said, “If you want to know who I am, look at who I surround myself with.” So let’s look at some of those with whom he has surrounded himself and the organizations with which he has been connected: Jeremiah Wright, radical, racist, anti-American, hate-speech spewing, long-time minister to Obama; Bill Ayres, domestic terrorist, co-founder of the Weather Underground; Wade Rathke, co-founder of Weather Underground and founder of the corrupt, Marxist ACORN, in which Obama actively participated; Van Jones, self- avowed Marxist, 9/11 Truther, forced-to-resign Green Czar; Science Czar John Holdren, who advocates, limiting women to two children maximum, forced abortions, forced sterilization through additives to drinking water, imposing Islamic Sharia Law in some instances; Louis Farrakhan, anti-American, racist, Nation of Islam founder; the Marxist professors he sought out while attending Princeton; his father, life-long Marxist; and Tony Rezko, corrupt Chicago real estate broker, convicted felon. Next are the radical left-wing organizations to which he is connected such as Students for a Democratic Society, The Apollo Project, STORM, and SEIU. Does anyone detect a pattern here?

And now he wants us to trust him to “reform” our health care system.

Well, the evidence is in; it is clear beyond a reasonable doubt; Obama is not the “Moderate” he was pretending to be during the campaign (when he was rated as the most liberal Senator in the entire Senate). What a charade!! He has now been exposed as a phony and a fraud like the Man Behind the Curtain in the Wizard of Oz. So we must be like the Lion, Straw-Man and Tin-Man by showing courage, using our minds and never lose heart in the effort to expose the deceptions and lies through the revelation of reality and truth.

Obama is committed to fundamentally transforming our country toward the principles of Statism and away from the Judeo-Christian principles of our Founding Fathers which have made America the greatest force for good in the history of the world.

Leon Garot

Glenwood Springs

Regarding my wry comment printed on Sept. 9, 2009, “Keep your eyes on the road, not naked climbers,” the headline placed on my letter to the editor is completely misleading. I didn’t write a single word about the climbing figure specifically, and I especially rendered no opinion regarding the state of dress/undress of that figure. My letter referred to the plethora of comments about the public art piece, period.

While I am on the subject of accurate presentations of your reader’s contributions, please allow me to point out that the climbing figure is a carving of a single human. There are no, “climbers,” (plural) to discuss. The grammatically correct wrong headline should have read, “Keep your eyes on the road, not the naked climber.”

The Post Independent has stirred the community pot once again by placing its own slant on what was offered as an objective submission.

Becky Penn

Glenwood Springs

The choice to put Jon Pittenger on the front page of your paper Wednesday, Sept. 9th, was not only shameful but harmful. Your publication shows no regard for family. What the Pittenger’s are going through as a family does not belong on your front page! There are children involved here and that is their father.

The Post Independent owes Cindy, Shane, Sophie and Chase Pittenger an apology that should be placed on the front page. No one is better than the other. Someday something could happen to you or a loved one – how would you feel seeing them treated the way you have treated this family by putting an – at best – page 6 story on the front page.

The world is in a bad way right now and treating your neighbors like this is disgraceful journalism. You should be ashamed and make amends for the grief your paper has added the Pittenger’s lives at this time.

Karin J. Evans

Carbondale

The U.S. needs to ratify the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). We are alone with Somalia amongst all nations on Earth who have not ratified this important child rights treaty. Nations who ratify it are duty bound to uphold it and work for the welfare of children in their countries. Why would the U.S. not sign? I don’t know. As a nation founded on democratic principles we must sign.

I ask others to join me and write Ambassador Susan Rice and encourage her to have the courage to sign this international treaty on behalf of our nation’s children.

The recent banning of President Obama’s speech from some area public schools made me renew my commitment to a U.S. ratification of the CRC so that we have a nationally accepted standard for such situations. Article 17 of the CRC reads, “State Parties recognize the important function performed by the mass media and shall ensure that the child has access to information and material from a diversity of national and international sources, especially those aimed at the promotion of his or her social, spiritual and moral well-being and physical and mental health.”

Please google the U.S. Delegation to the U.N. for the weblink to send Ambassador Rice a letter requesting her to sign the CRC. Thank you. Let us all strive for our nation’s children to have access to healthy food, safe homes, health care , education and information.

Illene Pevec

Carbondale


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