Does this add up?
An interesting news day with ironic lesson’s in today’s economics. We have a 16-year-old Major League Baseball phenom getting a $3.85 million bonus because he can play baseball. We have an NFL rookie getting a nearly $5.5 million bonus because he can play football. Meanwhile, our state’s governor gets paid $134,181 a year. For scale, those player bonuses would pay our governor’s salary for 29 and 41 years, respectively.
A hockey player gets fined $5,000 for a dangerously illegal hit on another player (New York Islander Mathew Barzal on Tampa Bay Lightning’s Jan Rutta). Turns out, that hockey player gets paid $4 million per year to play his sport. His fine is 0.13% of his pay. At the same time a city manager (Mark Kutney in Brooksville) gets “canceled” for what is in all likelihood a clerical error by a staffer. How did we get here? Where are we going?
Stephan Cassidy, St. Petersburg
Time for a popular vote
I question the logic of the letter writer who claimed the Electoral College protects small population states from the large ones. In fact, it is the U.S. Senate that is designed to protect the interested of the small population states. Each state, regardless of population, has two senators. California has a population well over 39 million, yet it has two senators, while the 12 western states next to California have combined populations of just under 37 million, yet these small population states have a combined 24 senators. It’s the senate that can rein in the dominance of the larger states. The modern America citizen is far more mobile and better educated than those of the eighteenth century, rendering the electoral college unnecessary.
Brian Walkowiak, St. Petersburg
A reality check
Variant behind Manatee outbreak | June 23
I think you buried the lead in this article. You don’t mention until the third paragraph that the only person who didn’t get sick or die from that coronavirus cluster in Manatee County was the only person who was actually vaccinated. Darwinism at work.
Reed Murtagh, Tampa
To pay or not to pay?
Paying fortifies ransomware gangs but there’s scant support for bans | July 21
The article states that the law is unclear on how businesses should respond to ransomware attacks and that most companies do not recover all of their encrypted or stolen data even after paying the ransom. They may even fall victim to a second attack. Finally, the article states, “deep-pocketed businesses with insurance protection will tend to pay up.” This is all very true. However, aside from having to pay the ransom, not recovering all the data or being hit twice, there are other consequences that companies and organization should consider besides financial loss.
Some of those consequences can’t be fixed by simply paying the ransom. For example, damage to the company’s reputation and loss of consumer confidence which in turn translates to loss of business. Expensive legal litigation that may be brought by third parties that may or may not be covered by the companies cyber insurance policy depending on the policy coverage and exclusions. Last, but not least, unfavorable press which can lead to the company going under.
The government clearly states that you should never pay a ransom because you are simply financing the cyber terrorists and their next attack. It could also lead to sanctions being placed on your company by the government based on the October 1, 2020 Office of Foreign Assets Control advisory. Unfortunately, in the real world, simply not paying the ransom is not an option. The best way to avoid or mitigate ransomware attacks is to have dedicated security professionals who are responsible for monitoring your security architecture, comprehensive security awareness training for all employees, and an ever evolving and maturing cyber security program that addresses all your threat surfaces.
Mark Khan, Tampa