Valid criticism better than false accusations

To the Editor:

I have been in such a state of shock over a letter published in your newspaper (“Obama wants to limit free speech rights,” Aug. 1 edition) that it has taken me this long to respond.

I have known the author, JoAnna Swanson, almost as long as I have lived here, having attended special evenings at her bed and breakfast 12 or so years ago. I remember these evenings of enlightened discussions as opportunities to explore diverse spiritual subjects, and would have thought they were meant to foster peace and understanding between people.

I also worked with Ms. Swanson on the Commission for a Clean County for a number of years and thought she was interested in community and bringing people together to achieve a common good.

I would like to ask Ms. Swanson how her negative, accusatory letter, full of blatantly incorrect suppositions, would achieve any of the above goals. I would also like to suggest that she may wish to stop reading much of the mail that must be pouring in through her mailbox.

I wish to thank a group of friends — they know who they are — for inspiring me to step forward and speak out against such negativity and ill-purposed letter writing.

Let us, one and all, come up with constructive criticism, not destructive inflammatory name calling and accusations.

Kaaren Stoner

Haywood County

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