Letters to the editor Jan. 13

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Refugee families in Montana

On behalf of the International Rescue Committee in Missoula, I write to say thank you to the people of the Flathead Valley for your generosity and support of refugee families in Missoula. The IRC is one of nine national nonprofit organizations that partner with the U.S. government and communities across the country to resettle refugees and help them rebuild their lives.

A refugee is a person who has a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, national origin, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group. Less than 1% of the 26 million refugees worldwide will ever be resettled to a country like the U.S. Refugees who are resettled to the U.S. undergo extensive security vetting before their arrival, involving multiple government agencies. After they arrive, refugees receive initial services from the IRC to help them integrate and become self-sufficient as quickly as possible.

Since 2016, the IRC has resettled 343 refugees to Missoula, hailing from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Syria and Iraq. Refugees have contributed economically, socially, and culturally to our city and have become leaders in our community. Refugees are taxpayers and consumers, and they play a critical role in the local labor force.

The IRC has received an outpouring of support from communities across Montana. Faith communities, organizations and community members have come together to help refugees find safety and hope as they start their new lives. Here at the IRC, we’ve trained over 250 volunteers who help refugees navigate life in Missoula.

In the Flathead Valley, groups like Valley Neighbors, Love Lives Here, and Mountain View Mennonite Church, along with local community members, have generously donated their time and resources to make Montana a welcoming place for refugees. On behalf of the IRC and the refugees we serve, thank you!

—Jen Barile, Missoula

Pray for life

Life is something everyone reading this has. Where did it begin? Many of us wonder, many of us trust it is from God, and most of us can agree that it is sacred. I’d like to write briefly of what this means to me and invite you to come pray for life. Life begins at conception. But along the way there are many temptations to end this life. There are so many pressures for young parents to stop what has started and “wait until they are ready.” Let me tell you, you are never ready to be a parent. This is a process, not a moment. And it is amazing, scary, and the most beautiful thing you have ever done.

Come pray with us to end abortion this spring. Join me at the March for Life 2020 Montana, taking place at the Montana Capitol on Jan. 18 at 10 a.m. We will be joining hundreds of people from around Montana praying for a better way, healing for those who suffer, and support for each other in love and loss. My hope is that one of you reading this will join me. See you there.

—Sandy Holland, Helena

Warren vs Wall Street

Do any of you who “invest” (gamble) your money on Wall Street actually know what you are doing? No, hardly any of you do. But, Elizabeth Warren does get it. She is threatening to expose this following fact and will try to correct it if elected POTUS.

Without libeling myself I will “express my opinion” about how unregulated Wall Street actually is and how you are all duped into believing you know what you are doing when you “invest.”

Those of you who do make money deceive yourself that you are brilliant and are making the money legitimately, but you are not.

The only smart thing you did is stumble on “access to a Wall Street broker” through your local broker, who has “insider information” and is part of a system that exploits those who do not have such a broker working on their behalf. You, and your “out of system local brokers”, merely make wild guesses and hope you are correct.

The “insider trading” favored brokers call other friends who are brokers and decide when to buy or sell collectively in order to control when stocks get to go up or down. Their wealthy clients benefit from this unscrupulous activity while you and your local broker are left far behind as you rush to follow suit, but too late to benefit much, and probably at a loss. Of course, their commissions on buys and sells are enormous, and a huge incentive to “play the system” without any fear of reprisals from Republican lawmakers, and even some Democratic ones.

Elizabeth Warren is running on a platform to fix this illegality and Wall Street is panicked and would defeat her at any cost to them. Their huge profits are at stake here. They will “do or say anything” to defeat her.

Do yourself a favor and vote for Elizabeth Warren.

—Bill Baum, Whitefish

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