Excellent editorial on Tuesday about Trump’s inability to build trust. How can we, as a nation, get behind this guy? The constant flow of lies has greatly damaged the trust of the American people.

George W. Bush was new and untested when 911 happened, and we rallied behind him. As patriotic Americans, we had respect for the office of the president. It was our default mode. Trump has already squandered that with his self-absorbed, rudderless leadership. We’ve seen all we need to see. Trust Trump? Ain’t gonna happen.

Tony Galati, Lemont

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Dogs need responsible owners

I am absolutely horrified the Sun-Times is now choosing to print hateful, completely unsubstantiated, uneducated, prejudicial and irresponsible opinions.

I am very sorry Mr. Lyons’ dog was attacked. I have worked in animal welfare for eight years and owned dogs my whole life, including pit bull mixes. Ironically, one of my pit bulls was attacked by a German shepherd, but I don’t blame all shepherds. Dogs are individuals, just like humans, and it is no more acceptable to say all of one breed of dog is good or bad than it is of any other group of individuals.

I’ve seen dogs of many breeds show aggression but many more show incredible forgiveness, loyalty and unconditional love. Those qualities run as deep in bully-breeds,  as they do in any other breed.

Dog attacks happen for a number of reasons. I encourage Mr. Lyons and anyone taking his opinion seriously to take a look at the number of bites by un-neutered dogs and by dogs left isolated on chains. Next try looking at the numbers per capita.

What dogs need are responsible owners.

Andrea Walters, Springfield

Do health care right

President Donald Trump just said, “Let’s get it done.” With something as challenging as replacing the Affordable Care Act, what he should be saying is “Let’s get it done right.”

Mary F. Warren, Wheaton

Republicans’ true colors

After seven years of anticipation, the Republicans finally unveiled their Obamacare replacement plan. After reading the details all I could think was, “This is the best they could do?” And they had so much time! Many people receive an undergrad and a grad degree in less time.

The budget for the Republican replacement health care reveals that they care about the wealthy (elimination of the payroll tax for Medicare for incomes above $250,000). They do not care about the working poor (elimination of federal dollars to states that expanded Medicaid by 2020). They do not understand the basic economics of how insurance works (elimination of mandated insurance for all). This is a departure from other types of insurance. Everyone must be in the insurance pool to minimize the risk for those supplying the insurance.

I always thought the Republicans were the party of fiscal responsibility. How is it responsible to put the burden on private hospitals to stabilize patients who cannot afford insurance? These hospitals will close, lay off thousands, businesses near those hospitals will close, etc. People with treatable conditions will die when left untreated.

Republicans showed their true colors at one primary debate in 2012. Candidate and Doctor Ron Paul was asked by a reporter what he would do if a patient with a treatable condition who was also on government insurance came to him for help. Dr. Paul stated many times that he never accepted patients who were on government insurance. The reporter mentioned that without treatment this patient would die. The hesitation in Dr. Paul’s answer caused the audience to break out in applause.

If Republicans think Obamacare is a mess, if many Republicans also think the replacement is a mess, isn’t it obvious what must be done? When are we going to join Western Europe and insure everyone from cradle to grave with a single-payer system?

Jan Goldberg, Riverside

AHCA is unacceptable

The GOP should be ashamed of themselves. The newly rolled out American Health Care Act is unacceptable, and it leaves the most vulnerable behind. I am speaking from experience because I will be greatly affected by this vicious, underhanded attack on the American people.

I am terrified of what will happen to me and others like me. And, no, I do not have extra money lying around to be put into a health savings account; all my money goes to buying food and medication, rent, and car insurance and gas so I can get to my job in order to buy these things.

This heartless attack on the American people cannot be tolerated. And the lives and health of the American people should not be put into the hands of a few wealthy and highly partisan politicians.

Rosemary Callahan, Gold Coast

My dog story

I’d like to introduce you to Indiana Jones, my best friend. She works out with me, pigs out with me, and binge watches with me. She is a purebred Blue Nose Pit Bull.

Recently, an article was published by an individual claiming that those who own pit bulls should be considered “anti-social,” “stupid,” and that it wouldn’t trouble him if owning one was illegal. Opinions are understandably your own, so I will use this time to express mine and share my own dog story.

I rescued Indy from a local animal shelter four years ago, where she had been abandoned at 10 months old. I looked over her initially, drawn to the yapping of puppies and dogs sticking their tongues through the chain-link bars. When I circled back to where she was being kept, I realized she was the only dog that simply sat and stared, statuesque.

After visiting the shelter multiple times and playing with other dogs, I decided to bring her out. She was released in the grass outside, where again, she sat and stared.

Being my first dog, I couldn’t decide if she was really that calm, or had just given up hope after months in the shelter. Either way, I was hooked and intrigued. Ironically, the day I came to pick up her, two other families called to adopt her. At the time, I didn’t pick her because of her breed, I picked her because of her serene demeanor. Over the initial weeks that followed, I quickly picked up on subtle and unfortunately not so subtle hints about what it means to own a pit bull.

From people crossing the street to avoid walking near us on the sidewalk, landlords denying rentals, parents accompanied by children shooting you worried looks, to owners removing their dogs from the park when we entered.

That’s also when I started to notice the national and local news.

“Vicious dog attack, believed to be pit bull.” “Pit bull mauls a child, now hospitalized.” “Dangerous pit bull shot by police.”

I felt as if my eyes were slowly becoming open to an issue that I never realized existed, the discrimination of a sole breed. Discrimination brought on by the constant negativity of the media and word of mouth never researched, in other words, gossip.

As time passed, my emotions went from confusion to rage to acceptance. I realized the only way to prove to the world that my dog wasn’t a menace to society was starting off small. I started to become involved with local rescue groups, brought Indy to pet store events, and introduced her to friends and family. One by one, each time she was introduced to a new person, she cast her affectionately shy charm. The effect I promise you, is immediate. I began to witness minds being changed, and previous views starting to shift. Those people in turn began to spread their own newly changed opinions.

Slowly and surely Indy has shown me it is possible for one individual to start a wave of change.

Although I have seen more fairness about the breed since adopting her, there’s still an overwhelming amount of prejudice. There’s occasions where even her loving puppy dog eyes can’t make a dent into an icy wall of judgement.

Now do I understand that there are some dangerous animals in the world? Of course.
But is it fair to single out a living create because of others opinions on the matter? No.
That’s the beauty of being human. We have the ability to personally express ourselves.
Anti-pit bull individuals, next time you voice your opinion I ask you to do this if you are speaking about an attack. Show me proof of the living situation of the accused dog, and show me the pre-attack movements the victim made. If you are speaking about a pit bull’s actions that you heard about through a friend’s neighbors husband, personally meet that dog first, then get back to me. Finally, if you are basing it off a statistic you read on the internet, go out and speak to those “experts”. Find out which dogs were used in their research, then get back to me.

We shouldn’t consider banning this breed or calling those who own them stupid. Instead, we should contemplate ways to educate, not discriminate. Owning a pit bull is a burden and a blessing. Every day you will fight to prove their worth, but I have the confidence that if a situation ever arose, Indy would fight for me too.

Katelyn A. Bittke, Lemont