A message to America from the people of Florida | May 21

Columnist Stephanie Hayes has never been more articulate in her defense of why we still love living in Florida, despite the ever-increasing political embarrassments. We sometimes need to be reminded that even when Florida seems like the biggest event, the world is watching and hopefully we will take decisive action at the polls. In the meantime, we will continue to enjoy the beautiful weather almost year-round, cooking, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, our beautiful Pinellas Trail, and all the amazing things that remind us how lucky we are to be here.

Jules Stewart, Dunedin

Please don’t blame Florida | Letters, May 20

I read the letter asking not to blame Florida. Well, who do we blame? You all voted for a guy who is creating chaos in your state and across the country with his racist actions. Sorry, I will never come to Florida again.

Pamela Cassis, Phoenix, Arizona

Disney Closes Star Wars Hotel | May 20

So Disney is not going to invest another $1 billion in Orlando. Is it because of the ongoing feud with Gov. Ron DeSantis? Maybe, but I don’t think so.

As a Disney shareholder, I have seen their stock fall over 50%. They are struggling to sell subscriptions, losing 4 million subscribers this year. Their vaunted Star Wars hotel is collapsing due to the outrageous price tag. I suspect Disney won’t invest that billion dollars in Orlando simply because they can’t afford to lose money on another disaster. I hope Disney makes better investment decisions in the future. Their shareholders deserve it.

Bruce Margolis, Lake Mary

Contain the risks of artificial intelligence | Letters, May 20

The author of the letter fears that computers with artificial intelligence are “the greatest danger to humans that our species has ever seen.” I suggest she look at what humans have done to our species—and to all other species. From Hiroshima to the Holocaust to the sixth extinction in which humans are destroying the ecosystems on which people live, to the war on women’s rights, while overpopulation leads to hunger and drought, to corruption, inequality, gun violence and endless wars, just to name a few, for example I welcome AI — pray for AI. How much worse can AI be than humans? And, with a little programming to really help people and ecosystems, maybe AI can give us some smart and constructive ideas about managing this place for a change. Is there a small chance that artificial intelligence could be the reason for a Terminator movie? I doubt it, but so what? There’s a 100% chance that people are already the worst Terminator we can imagine. By the time AI becomes that powerful, humans will have long since done their work for them.

Henry Morgenstern, Seville

Contain the risks of artificial intelligence | Letters, May 20

If the US stops developing AI, do you think the Chinese will? As an example, the military aircraft of the future will be controlled by artificial intelligence, and China can launch them faster than we can. Our only hope is to make better artificial intelligence. The day China believes it can beat us in war will be the day it attacks Taiwan, Thailand and the Philippines. He already has Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam in his pocket.

Harriet E. Browder, Clearwater

Absent from debt talks: Tax hikes | May 21

The deadlocked debt talks may have taken on new life. So far, Democrats have had little to offer in the deadlocked talks. But raising taxes to profit from the super-rich could be a winning argument. Almost everyone thinks the rich have it too easy, including many of the rich themselves, like Warren Buffett. Democrats have to negotiate in good faith and tacitly accept the reality that there are things they will have to give up, and so must Republicans.

George Chase, St. Pete’s Beach

Governor turning Florida universities into vocational schools? | letters

If President Joe Biden wants his Green New Deal, we’re going to need millions more plumbers, electricians, builders, truck drivers, and builders, and far fewer Ivy League-educated lawyers, bankers, and crafty politicians. We have dozens of colleges in Florida. Converting a few into vocational schools seems like a no-brainer to me.

John Spengler, Spring hill

DeSantis hates ESG programs. That’s why Tampa Bay companies have them. | May 21

My father-in-law once described his best friend as someone who “may be wrong, but never doubts.” Our lawyer-educated governor just signed a bill that prohibits ESG (environmental, social and governance) considerations from investment decisions regarding our public pensions. Could it be that the CEOs of Raymond James, Jabil, Synnex, Mosaic and Bloomin’ Brands, who successfully apply ESG, don’t know much more about successful investing than our governor? The Governor may be wrong, but I suspect he never doubts it.

Peter Betzer, St. Petersburg


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