The slippery slope of monument removal
Samuel Altman writes [letters, Aug. 31] that he agrees that the Rizzo statue should be taken down. Many others across the country have recently expressed similar opinions about a multitude of American historical figures, most notably those who were part of the immutable history of the Civil War.
At Stockton University, some are calling for the removal of the statue of the founder of that college. Some have called for the removal of statues of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, both of whom were slave owners but also American presidents.
I am at a loss to understand what these individuals hope to accomplish. Removing the physical representation of historical figures cannot change history. Will the next step be to eliminate all references to these historical figures from school textbooks? Should we remove their names as signers of the Declaration of Independence? From the U.S. Constitution?
Where are the so-called champions of protected speech? Freedom of expression? First Amendment? Historical facts? Have we really reached that point in our country where the only acceptable constitutional speech is that which only one group proposes, to the exclusion of all other voices and views?
Some who read this might think it an extreme and even irreverent analogy, but I ask, how is this behavior and thinking any different than what the Taliban did in Afghanistan, when they destroyed 1,000-year-old-plus monuments, hoping to wipe out any memories of ancient civilization?
No such thing as man-made climate change
I feel personally obligated to react to Dick Polman’s opinion piece in last week’s Local: “Climate Change Wakeup: Humans likely made Harvey much worse.”
Not to be confused nor conflicted with locally polluting our atmosphere, globally there is no such thing as man-made climate change. Rather, for at least the last 100,000 years past, spread around our planet on roughly 1,500 year cycles, major natural warming and cooling has occurred, sometimes violently. We can expect it to continue.
Carbon dioxide, rather than performing as a principal culprit, along with water and sunshine, produces photosynthesis on which all our vegetation and basic life depends. It is not the enemy. Clumsy attempts to limit the minor amounts of CO2 that escapes into our troposphere as “green house gas” will not be noticed in climate change.
Fear mongering by Al Gore a decade ago based on falsely developed “hockey stick” predictions of CO2 growth, successfully stepped over the bounds of what science actually reveals and into political advocacy and demagoguery to become a $1.5 trillion climate change industry.
Today, particularly in academia, we face far too many who are personally on the take within this situation to recognize the truth: Man’s options are limited to intelligent reactions to what will come anyway.
A very important laboratory now presents itself in the Houston Region. How will they (and we) rebuild or relocate, not only the lives of a half million people, but nearly half our basic energy supply?
Forget Miami; Philly’s the best
I read Stacia Friedman’s article concerning growing up in Philly (“Showing a friend around Philly’s historical treasures,” Aug. 31) and have seen so many things that they have become “ho hum” to her, at least until she had a recent guest from out of town. My sister and I grew up in Miami, Fl. We saw everything that Miami had to offer within one year of living there and yet had to take all of our New York family visitors to see the sights every time they came to visit.
Those sights mostly included viewing the fancy hotels on Miami Beach, going to Parrot Jungle, Monkey Jungle and Seaworld. Not a lot of interesting things to show.
There is no history in Miami to speak about. There is no scenery, no hills, no tall trees, no curved roads. We never took a drive when we had a four-day holiday because we had already been there and done that. One had to drive for over eight hours just to get out of the state of Florida. And how many times can one visit Key West? Disney World is fun, but again, you can’t go every year.
I also lived for several years in Chicago, which had basically only two seasons, both extreme, no hills or curves and very little history. So to come to a place that has four long seasons, loads of history and so many things of interest is a great place to be! Also, we are a few hours from New York City, Maryland, Delaware, Washington, D.C., the Pocono Mountains and, of course, the shore, each offering a different experience.
We hope that Philadelphians can appreciate all that this area has to offer compared to most places in the U.S.