We’ll stay, thanks
A message to America from folks in Florida | May 21
Columnist Stephanie Hayes has never been more on the mark in her defense of why we still love living in Florida, despite ever-growing political embarrassments. We sometimes need reminding that even when it feels like Florida has become the biggest punchline, the world is watching and, hopefully, we will take decisive action at the polls. In the meantime, we will continue to enjoy beautiful weather nearly year-round, cookouts, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, our awesome Pinellas Trail and all the amazing things that remind us how lucky we are to be here.
Jules Stewart, Dunedin
Florida, not for me
Please, don’t blame Florida | Letters, May 20
I read the letter asking everyone not to blame Florida. Well, who do we blame? You all voted for the guy who is causing disruptions in your state and all over the country with every racist thing he does. Sorry, I will never come to Florida again.
Pamela Cassise, Phoenix, Arizona
DeSantis to blame?
Disney is closing star wars hotel | May 20
So Disney isn’t going to invest another $1 billion in Orlando. Is it because of the ongoing dispute with Gov. Ron DeSantis? Maybe, but I don’t think so.
As a Disney stockholder, I have seen their stock price plummet by more than 50%. They are struggling to sell subscriptions, losing 4 million subscribers this year. Their vaunted Star Wars hotel is cratering because of the outrageous price. I suspect Disney won’t invest that $1 billion in Orlando simply because it can’t afford to lose money on another disaster. I hope Disney will be making better investment decisions in the future. Their stockholders deserve it.
Bruce Margolis, Lake Mary
Rein in AI?
Rein in AI risks | Letters, May 20
The letter writer is afraid that computers with artificial intelligence are “the greatest danger to humans our species has ever seen.” I suggest that she look at what humans have done to our species — and every other species. From Hiroshima to the Holocaust to the Sixth Extinction by which humans are destroying the ecosystems on which human life depends, to the war on women’s rights while overpopulation drives famines and droughts, to corruption, inequality, gun violence and never-ending wars, just to name a few, I, for one, welcome AI — pray for AI. How much worse than humans could AI be? And, with a little programming to actually help humans and ecosystems, maybe AI could give us some sane and constructive ideas about running this place for a change. Is there some slight chance that AI could lead into the “Terminator” movie? I doubt it, but so what? There is a 100% chance that humans are already the worst Terminator we could imagine. By the time AI could ever get that powerful, humans will have already long ago done their job for them.
Henry Morgenstern, Seville
AI, good, bad or ugly?
Rein in AI risks | Letters, May 20
If the U.S. stops developing AI, do you think the Chinese will? As one example: Future warplanes will be AI-operated, and China can crank them out faster than we can. Our only hope is to make better AI. The day China believes it can defeat us in a war will be the day it attacks Taiwan, Thailand and the Philippines. It already has Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam in its pocket.
Harriet E. Browder, Clearwater
Give a little to get a lot
Missing in debt talks: Raising taxes | May 21
Perhaps the stalled debt talks have taken on a new life. Until now, the Democrats had nothing to offer in the stalled negotiations. But raising taxes to generate revenue on the uber-wealthy may be a winning argument. Nearly everyone thinks the wealthy get off too easily, including many of the wealthy themselves, like Warren Buffett. The Democrats should bargain in good faith and acquiesce to the reality that there are things they will have to give up, and so should the Republicans.
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George Chase, St. Pete Beach
More trades needed
Is the governor converting Florida’s universities into trade schools? | Letters
If President Joe Biden wants his Green New Deal, we are going to need millions more plumbers, electricians, construction workers, truck drivers and builders and far fewer Ivy League-educated lawyers, bankers and slick politicians. We have dozens of colleges in Florida. It seems to me to be a no-brainer to turn a few into trade schools.
John Spengler, Spring Hill
Never in doubt?
DeSantis hates ESG programs. Here’s why Tampa Bay companies have them. | May 21
My father-in-law once referred to a bull-headed friend as someone who “could be wrong but never in doubt.” Our governor, who was trained as a lawyer, just signed a bill that prohibits ESG (environmental, social and governance) from being factored into the investment decisions regarding our state pensions. Might the leaders of Raymond James, Jabil, Synnex, Mosaic and Bloomin’ Brands who are successfully applying ESG not know considerably more about successful investing than our governor? The governor might be wrong, but I suspect he is never n doubt.
Peter Betzer, St. Petersburg