Be sure to check out students’ art this weekend

Don't forget to stop by the Sermon Center on April 8 and 9 to browse the creations of our area high school art students. You'll be amazed at the talent exhibited.

This is the 27th year that the “Festival of Color Youth Art Show” has been presented and sponsored by the Citizens Civic and Cultural Committee and the Independence Parks and Recreation Department. The doors are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. The students' work is judged on Friday, and the artists are recognized monetarily and with ribbons in eight categories.

Your attendance and comments at the show are meaningful to the fledgling artists. Over the years I've observed the artists' surprise when they see their work hanging in public display; perhaps feeling a first awareness of their potential for further contribution to their community and the world of art.

Carolyn Weeks



Increase in defense spending makes our country less safe

President Trump’s proposal to drastically increase the Pentagon’s budget by more than $50 billion at the expense of funding some of our nation’s most important diplomatic, foreign policy, and national security tools is a travesty of morality and of common sense, and will only serve to make our country less safe.

In addition to severe cuts to the State Department’s budget, Trump wants to slash EPA and U.N. funding. These moves will not only impede our efforts to mitigate humanitarian crises raging around the world, but it will also relinquish American leadership on key diplomatic issues like combating climate change, all the while reverting the U.S. back to the military-first approach of the Bush-era.

Today’s biggest national security challenges: famine, refugees, climate change and even terrorism, cannot be met with military force alone. But don’t take it from me; more than 120 retired generals and admirals have urged Trump against cutting funding for diplomacy. And as the current Secretary of Defense, Gen. James Mattis, once said: “If you don’t fully fund the State Department, then I need to buy more ammunition.”

Linda Larson



Danger from a refugee terrorist attack is minute

There seems to be a fear being fostered by right wing political pundits that we are in danger of suffering lethal injury inflicted upon us by a refugee terrorist. If this is causing you concern some unknown, but mathematically endowed American citizen, has calculated that there is one chance in 3.64 billion that you will be killed by a refugee terrorist attack.

To help appreciate the scope of that danger, it is about equal to the chance of being hit by lightning twice in one year, or about one in 9 million. That means it is 460 times more likely that you will be hit twice by lightning then that you will be killed by a refugee terrorist attack.

James A. Everett