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Americans need to get their priorities in order

Juxtaposed on the front page of the July 10 News were seemingly unrelated reports discussing landscaping for the Frank Lloyd Wright Graycliff Estate aside the potential loss of foundation funding support for the city school system’s at-risk music programs. The landscaping project’s cost is $650,000. The cost of the music program was not reported, however, the past foundational support through donated instruments at risk was stated as $1.2 million. After reading the articles I was left with the reinforcement of my existing view that this was another example or our distorted priorities as a culture. I simply shook my head and turned the page. Alas, unknowingly, my head shaking had just begun.

On page A4, I was informed that a $34 million U.S. military center in Afghanistan, apparently expressly unwanted by generals in the country, stands unused. Another facility, built at a cost of $45 million, is used simply for a staging area to ship equipment out of the country. My head-shaking evolved into anger and pessimism.

I realize military contractors and the Pentagon, in collusion with Congress, exert enormous pressure on spending in the name of national security but I’ve just lost patience with the whole process. I’ve given this administration a pass on many things over the last four years and I do believe it has offered a better moral compass than its predecessors, but in theory the president, as commander in chief, had the power to stop this travesty. I’m sure deals were made, advantages taken and as an indirect result, Mozart may be safe in Buffalo from an inner-city child’s unskilled hands.

Dan Newberry

Buffalo