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Welcome to The Seattle Times' online letters to the editor, a sampling of readers' opinions. Join the conversation by commenting on these letters or send your own letter of up to 200 words letters@seattletimes.com.

March 22, 2011 at 4:00 PM

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House Republicans defund NPR

Posted by Letters editor

Public Broadcasting needed for an informed society

Regarding Danny Westneat’s article showing that the Republican-House majority pushed through an emergency bill to “defund” National Public Radio, even though the NPR gets only 3 percent of its budget from federal grants [“NPR issue is politics, not savings,” NWSunday, March 20]:

This is a cheap and irresponsible grab to appear fiscally responsible! It won’t affect our national deficit, but it will prohibit local radio stations from using tax dollars to buy programming, which is how NPR raises much of its money.

It’s my understanding that to a large extent corporations don’t own, and therefore have less influence on, NPR’s broadcasts and that isn’t palatable to the right.

We have about 100,000 troops stationed in Afghanistan now. How many people know that for the cost of just one of those soldiers for one year, we could start about 20 schools there? Or that for every year of schooling a male in a less-developed country gets, there is a 20 percent less likelihood that he will engage in violent activity (72 million primary school-aged children are not in school.)

Many people think that 25 percent of our national income goes to foreign aid. In fact much less that 1 percent of our national income goes to poverty-focused foreign aid. We need to have access to unbiased reporting so that we can make responsible decisions that affect us all.

— Donna Schindler-Munro, Bremerton

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