Our Pledge To You


Cutting funding for the arts imperils our nation’s future

Claudio Roncoli ,a recipient of an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, works in his studio space at the Bakehouse Art Complex on March 16 in Miami, Florida. President Donald Trump's budget calls for eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, which will affect arts programs across the nation (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

I cannot understand why President Donald Trump is so adamant about severely reducing funds to the arts, which provide so many benefits to our society.

I personally can attest to the value of National Endowment for the Humanities grants, as I received a teacher scholarship to study humanities at University of Southern California.  It was a wonderful opportunity to both study with a brilliant national scholar and then use that learning with my own students.

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What is quite distressing about our leaders today, especially Trump and his advisers, is the bitter meanness of spirit in axing these programs. I fear for our future, just as John Adams did 200 years age — that our future might be in the hands of people who would hold sway by noise, not sense; by meanness not greatness; by contracted hearts, not large souls.

Let us protest these these service cuts. As columnist David Broder wrote in 1992, “A nation that cannot afford to finance its arts … is a nation that has lost its perspective, its self-confidence, and probably its soul.”

Ralph J. Amelio, Norwood Park

Ignoring South Sudan

President Donald Trump flexed his muscles Thursday and fired off 59 missiles into the Syrian landscape because 80 people were brutally murdered by Assad. He knows they suffered these miserable deaths because he saw it on television.

Maybe if Trump had changed channels he would have seen half a million babies in South Sudan suffer the same fate, only slower, as they starved to death! The scenes are every bit as repulsive but since there will be no mass migration, their plight is mostly ignored.

It’s not easy being forced to make life-and-death decisions when you’re not signing executive orders or entertaining guests at a posh resort. And while there is unspeakable cruelty and uncaring despots in every corner of the known world — is our foreign policy going to be determined by emotional responses to gut-wrenching photography?

Maybe we should all just take a deep breath while we think that over?

Bob Ory, Elgin

Ignoring the real danger

The Trump administration’s attempt to place a temporary ban on travel from six predominately Muslim countries has been held up twice by the courts. The stated purpose for the president’s original, and revised executive orders was to protect Americans.

Since 1968 to the present time, the number of gun-related deaths in America totals over 1.4 million. That is the equivalent to the entire population of Hawaii. Think of that! We have lost a population equivalent to an entire state in less than 50 years.

If every person in Hawaii were to stop everything for just five minutes and go outdoors, at exactly the same time, and lie down so aerial photos could be taken, Americans would see the magnitude of carnage caused in the United States by guns and gun violence.

The administration should focus upon the real danger and that danger is within. We have passed the time when gun safety legislation is a debatable issue. I can think of 1,400,000 people who would agree with me. but they are no longer with us.

Bob Marciante, Darien