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  1. Opinion

Barbarism, the ‘other’ and the point of civilization

Here’s what readers had to say in Friday’s letters to the editor.
Ukraine Nazi concentration camp survivor Petro Mischtschuk, 78 years old, kneels with a red rose in his hand in front of the camp entrance at the former Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald near Weimar, eastern Germany, in April 2005. [JENS MEYER  |  AP]
Ukraine Nazi concentration camp survivor Petro Mischtschuk, 78 years old, kneels with a red rose in his hand in front of the camp entrance at the former Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald near Weimar, eastern Germany, in April 2005. [JENS MEYER | AP]
Published Dec. 12, 2019

The ‘other’ and civilization’s goal

There’s no denying the Holocaust | Column, Dec. 12

Racism and anti-Semitism are literally, not just figuratively, barbaric. In pre-civilized times when our species was evolving, any slight advantage over the “other” gave rise to being selected over the other.

One of the main purposes of civilization was to set up systems to control such destructive, base instincts.

So, when people discriminate against others just because they are “other,” they are giving in to their uncivilized, barbaric impulses. They are literally being barbaric.

Ed Bradley, Boynton Beach

A teen with a message

Time missed the mark | Column, Dec. 12

This photo provided by Time magazine shows Greta Thunberg, who has been named Time’s youngest “person of the year." [AP]

I generally find myself in agreement with Jennifer Rubin’s columns, but not this time. As she states, the Hong Kong protestors would have been an admirable choice.

But what Greta Thunberg accomplished was more far-reaching and to be accomplished by someone so young and knowledgable is astounding. Perhaps it is because the messenger is so young that her passion is contagious.

Unfortunately in this country, we have been in denial on climate during this administration, so the heavy lifting has been left to other countries with fewer resources.

It makes me wonder what will the world be like when Greta is my age? Will her passion be contagious enough to enact substantive change and halt the beast that threatens us all? I’d like to think so.

George Chase, St. Pete Beach

She accepts no excuses

Time missed the mark | Column, Dec. 12

Congratulations to Greta Thunberg, who has spoken honestly and passionately about the mess we are leaving to our future generations. Greed, ignorance and carelessness leave no room for excuses.

David Rettig, St. Petersburg

Get rid of bad law

Hunting license helped Saudi | Dec. 12

An Air Force carry team moves a transfer case containing the remains of Navy Seaman Mohammed Sameh Haitham, of St. Petersburg, Fla., Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, at Dover Air Force Base, Del. A Saudi gunman killed three people including Haitham in a shooting at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen) [CLIFF OWEN | AP]

So foreigners can’t get guns unless they have a hunting license? And then they can? Seriously? Who and what they are going to be hunting, seems to me is as clear as day: They will be hunting Americans. That is one stupid law.

Anna Carletti, Tampa

Civics for older folks

DeSantis: Add civics exam in high school | Dec. 11

The Constitution of the United States of America [AP]

Gov. Ron DeSantis said that “the Constitution needed to be put back into the classroom.” He says that all high school seniors should be required to take a civics exam. “Younger Americans, people who are 25 and under, they lack the basic knowledge of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution ...” Before we start putting all the blame on the people under 25, maybe we should consider the 73-year-old man in the White House and make him take the test first.

Michael Terrill, Zephyrhills

Colleges should make loans

Student loans

Why should the taxpayer be responsible when government-backed student loans go into default? College loans should be made by the college to the student, not by the government.

Ken Gagliano, Clearwater

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