I would like to respond to two letters that appeared in the Suburban Trends on Feb. 14.

First the letter by Bill Weightman of Hardyston, advocating more taxpayer funding of the arts here in New Jersey. Government (at any level, even local) should not be taking money from one group (taxpayers) and redistributing it to special interest groups such as those who claim to be promoting the "arts."

Art is a subjective thing; what one person considers a masterpiece might be pure trash to another viewer. Also government funding of art opens the door for censorship; remember the controversies in the 1990s over "art" that had images of the Virgin Mary smeared in elephant excrement or the crucifix submerged in a jar of the artist’s urine? Individual purchasers of art acting through a private marketplace will determine what is or is not truly art. We don’t need it to be politicized in any way!

The second letter by one Eric Hafner of Toms River is (if I’m reading it correctly) advocating that we give up our nation’s independence and merge with the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand!

Mr. Hafner states that American independence has turned out to be in his view "a huge mistake long term." What a nice insult to the patriots of 1776 who fought, bled, and died at Bunker Hill, Princeton, Monmouth, Valley Forge, Yorktown, and Kings Mountain to get shed of England once and for all!

As a Libertarian, I certainly endorse open trade and travel between American and all countries; however, you don’t need to politically merge or integrate with other nations in order to achieve this; simply repeal trade and immigration barriers and let people as private citizens interact with each other as they choose.

Also, England, Canada, and the other countries he mentions don’t share our belief in liberty! For example, all those countries have "hate speech" laws, which stifle and censor public discussion of topics like race, religion, sexuality, and revisionist interpretations of history. I would also point out that if you think our unconstitutional restrictions on gun ownership are bad (and they are) you should see what it’s like over there, where guns in private hands are essentially banned. All these regional combinations of countries such as the European Union are a stepping stone toward world government, presumably to be administered by the United Nations.

Any informed liberty-loving American patriot should resist all attempts to ensnare us in such a trap!

Maybe it’s time to revive the "America First Committee" that existed prior to our being tricked into World War II. I wish people in other lands the best but they should emulate us, not the reverse.

Mark Richards,
West Milford