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Subject: US arts and sciences funding
From: DK Conn <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:DK Conn <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Fri, 17 Mar 2017 04:46:11 -0400

text/plain (61 lines)

I am horrified (but not surprised) to see the current US regime's proposed budget cuts:

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which funds a very large part of PBS (public 
television) and NPR (public radio) gets $0.
The National Endowment for the Arts gets $0.
The National Endowment for the Humanities gets $0.
The Institute of Museum and Library Services gets $0.

This budget plan for all intents and purposes eliminates these cornerstones of publicly 
funded arts in the US.  In many areas, particularly outside big metropolitan areas, 
PBS/NPR are the only public sources of fine arts broadcasting (classical music, theatre, 
dance), including the series "Great Performances" (including opera from the Met and 
some other houses, ballet, and chamber, symphonic, and vocal concerts).  I lived in one 
such non-metropolitan area for three years, and the ONLY classical music broadcasts 
available then (and still, today) were on public television and radio.  But it seems far 
more important to pad the pockets of the fossil fuel and military and health insurance 
moguls than to fund the arts and humanities (not to mention community programmes like 
Meals on Wheels, which are also being eliminated).  The theme, over and over again, is 
more for the very rich, less for the middle-class and poor.  Or as my personal physician 
put it to me earlier this week (referring to the proposed "health care" plan), it's all a 
"f**k the poor" plan.

All this, not to mention the open attack on the sciences:  staggeringly large cuts to the 
Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy (which runs our world-
renown National Laboratories), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 
(NOAA--which helps run the national oceanographic research fleet, as well as our weather 
services), NASA (eliminating all programmes focussed on climate change, which as we all 
know is a Chinese hoax), and the National Institutes of Health.  

Quoting the NY Times:
To those who object to deep cuts in those programs, Mick Mulvaney, the president’s 
budget director, had a blunt message on Thursday: What did you expect?
He said that after-school programs had failed to help children in schools, that housing 
programs were “not well run,” that government health research had suffered “mission 
creep” and that grants to local communities “don’t do any good.”
Mr. Mulvaney waved aside questions about cuts to the United Nations, saying that they 
“should come as a surprise to no one who watched the campaign.” And he said that the 
president made no apologies for eliminating the government’s efforts to curb climate 
“We’re not spending money on that anymore,” Mr. Mulvaney told reporters at the White 
House. “We consider that a waste of your money to go out and do that.”
(End quote.)

As a former NIH research fellow and one of many who have benefitted from our national 
oceanographic fleet and national laboratories, as a lifelong arts lover, and, frankly, as an 
inhabitant of a threatened planet, I am angry and sickened to my core.


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