What ‘woke’ is
Divergence on diversity | June 1
Perhaps I’m just too old. I have difficulty understanding those who demean “woke” people or the concept behind the use of that word. I have always felt that being awake and aware of what is happening around me was a good thing, even an intelligent thing. That included being aware of and learning from my and others’ mistakes. This attitude is, of course, one of the key reasons one goes to college (I learned a lot from my mistakes there as it was a rich field of study). To believe that the United States has not made any mistakes in its long history is the height of naivete. One mistake is the failure to counter massive instances of outright lies spread via social media. I believe it was much more difficult to get away with such disingenuous publishing before 2004, about a decade after I retired as an intelligence analyst with the U.S. government. Correcting past falsehoods should not be considered as attempting to cancel any culture other than a form of culture based on lies.
Ian MacFarlane, St. Petersburg
Private firms warned about ransomware | June 4
There is much in the news lately about ransomware attacks on corporations and cyber attacks on our infrastructure. The response to date is to either (quietly) pay the ransom, or to demand increased cyber security. No one mentions the most obvious solution: Pull the plug! Disconnect from the internet! Impossible, you say? Not at all. The internet has only been around since the early ’90s. The country survived and grew for centuries without it. Going back to local control of things like power plants, pipelines, water systems, etc. would cost a little more. But there are estimates that continuing on the current path will cost trillions in ransom payments and lost productivity.
Philip Thompson, Tierra Verde
Build six miles of a 20-foot seawall in downtown Miami? And how long will that protect the downtown? And what about the rest of Florida? Are we going to build miles and miles of 20-foot seawalls around the state? Who is going to pay for it and its upkeep? I have a simpler solution. Don’t live or build in low-lying areas of Florida. Reduce the ability to obtain flood insurance in these areas each year over the next, say, 20 years until flood insurance isn’t available at all in a generation. Remove the requirement for utility companies to provide utilities to these areas at the end of the 20-year period. There will be a few willing to self-insure and self-maintain their property, sea-walls, roads; but they too, most likely, will eventually bend to the onslaught of the rising water and leave. Create parks, beaches, concert venues, soccer fields, trails, access to the water, anything not requiring a permanent structure in the low lying areas. The public will have miles of usable shoreline to enjoy.
E. Seward, Odessa
Let’s teach civics, not propaganda | Editorial, June 6
If “disorderly assembly” were an example of “irresponsible citizenship,” as proposed by new civic standards for Florida’s schools, then the American Revolution was surely an inappropriate response to Britain’s hold on the American colonies. Perhaps we would still be British citizens if we had followed those misguided guidelines in 1776.
Stephen Feldman, Apollo Beach
There’s a train now
Florida should get on board Biden’s rail plan | Editorial, May 26
You can take a train from Tampa to Orlando today for $11. I wonder how many people who want high-speed rail have ever taken the train? The current trip takes about 1 hour and 50 minutes with a couple of stops along the way. If demand were high enough, then there could be more trains per day and a direct route. Before we invest in new rail, I think it would be best to top out what we already have available. If people are not willing to use the existing train, then why will they use a newer train?
Martin Kleiner, Tampa
Just go away
Restart the dialogue | Editorial, June 4
Rays, Rays go away so I don’t have to hear about you another day! No seriously. Please!
Glen Getchell, Seminole
Hire this kid
School system hacker a pupil | May 29
Instead of expelling this obviously intelligent student, you should hire this boy to work with you to find out how he could have gotten in so easily and then find a solution to this problem. It’s time to get into the mind of 17-year-olds and see what their thought processes are, for they are the future of the world! And I would rather work with them instead of against them!!
Peter Barton, St. Petersburg
Rich get richer
CEO pay is pandemic proof | June 1
Again we are hit with the gross unfairness of income inequality in this country. CEOs of the largest companies managed to increase their income during the pandemic while lower wage workers lost their jobs. Meanwhile, politicians like Gov. Ron DeSantis are eliminating the $300 federal unemployment benefit for these frontline workers because supposedly this massive payout is a disincentive to work! How much of those extra millions paid to CEOs could go to wages for these frontline workers as an incentive to return to their jobs?
Michael Lang, Seminole