Sounding off: Who wants self-driving cars? |
Letters to the Editor

Sounding off: Who wants self-driving cars?

One of the test vehicles from Argo AI, Ford’s autonomous vehicle unit, navigates through Pittsburgh’s Strip District in December.

Some folks, somewhere within our consumer-driven economy, have decided to spend a major effort to develop self-driving vehicles.

The idea of being able to sit back in your own automobile and head out onto the open road and have the driving taken care of by some automated system and not worry about a thing has long fascinated the American driving public. Today, that flight of fancy has become an imminent reality. We are already sharing the streets and roads of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania with developmental versions of autonomous robotic vehicles.

There have been some not-unexpected development problems. Ongoing tests with cars have experienced some accidents. Meanwhile, the trucking industry appears to be anxious to have its fleets of semi- behemoths certified for robotic operation.

So, now that this wondrous technological development is virtually a reality, some folks are having second thoughts. In fact, several public opinion surveys agree that more than half of the Americans polled would not like to ride in self-driving cars.

If a majority of the driving public don’t want to use it, are we still going ahead? No one has said “Wait a minute!” — so apparently the answer is “yes.”

Is this yet another major decision we are leaving to the wisdom of our government? To allow? To control?

Ed Collins, West Newton

Rebuilding the Pirates

I’d like to add my opinion to the suggestions on how to rebuild the Pirates.

The GM and all the coaching staff should go! Josh Bell should bring interest from an American League team as a DH. He is too clumsy and slow as a position player.

The following players should be kept as a foundation for the new Pirates: Frazier, Marte, Newman, Reynolds, Keller, Moran, Osuna, Musgrove.

Catching has been terrible; surely someone young is available. Diaz couldn’t catch a ball in a bushel basket.

Pitching coach Ray Searage is laughable; the Pirates are down 11-0 in the third inning, and he continues to talk through his fingers. Hey Ray, the opposition has already figured out your pitching staff!

The announcers should go, too; why can’t they just call the game without all the drivel rooting for the home team? Thank heavens Steve Blass is retiring; loved him as a pitcher, boring as an announcer.

Just my opinion. Don’t get mad, please!

A. Atkinson, Lower Burrell

Children vaping, voting

Lori Falce pulls no punches in “Vaping defense is up in smoke.” The mother of all truth-bombs was “These aren’t grown-up decisions.”

This blows up any progressive argument in favor of lowering the voting age to 16; children should not vote. Child-like citizens of voting age get addicted to the false euphoria of big-government solutions to problems, from inhaling the toxic “candy-colored smoke” blown by Democratic presidential candidates. Why endure the inconvenience to quit vaping, when the real problem is those who destroy the planet filling their gas tanks and eating meat in air-conditioned comfort? Why worry about hospital bills resulting from self-destructive behavior when your free health care is funded by everyone else’s taxes?

Recently, friends discovered their 30-something son was so addicted to the Bernie brand of “jellybean-flavored haze” that he stopped paying his college loans; their credit score plunged because they co-signed. How’s that for grown-up, responsible decision-making?

There is plenty of blame to go around, and pointing fingers won’t begin to correct the path in which we have wandered so far astray. If schools and laws don’t require people to accept consequences for small mistakes, they will likely suffer consequences of big errors in judgment.

To counter the “personal choice” argument, the critical role of faith and religion must be re-emphasized. When someone naively believes they can do whatever they choose because it’s “their body,” they should be instructed that it is not their body at all. It is only on loan from God.

Joe Schmidt, Lower Burrell

Enemies of the Second Amendment

So now we have an age-old gun manufacturer, Colt, capitulating to the leftist/socialist movement to chip away at the Second Amendment by stopping the sale of its AR-15 rifle to civilian customers (“Colt suspends production of AR-15 for civilian market.”) This is typical of businesses folding to the pressures of gun-control politics, like Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

However, I don’t blame them, as there is even a more dangerous enemy of the Second Amendment than the federal/state governments: trial lawyers. These manufacturers of “assault style” rifles (and any guns) are constantly under the threat of wrongful death lawsuits by politically charged district attorneys or attorneys general (insert Josh Shapiro here).

It doesn’t stop there. Private citizens are now afraid to defend their property/self/family against assailants due to the threat of wrongful death lawsuits by the perpetrators (i.e., the “victims”). Even if you are found not liable in civil court, you will be ruined financially by paying for your legal defense. This is why we need to enact “loser pays all” in civil liability suits, so that legal gun users should never be afraid to defend themselves. If this threat of financial ruin isn’t an infringement on the Second Amendment, I don’t know what is.

Greg Massung, North Huntingdon

Greta Thunberg deserves Medal of Freedom

In an enlightened administration, the remarkable 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg might be in line to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which was initiated by President Kennedy to honor those who engage in significant public or private endeavors. The bestowing of such an award on one like Thunberg will never happen under Donald Trump.

This president has presented the prestigious award to 11 individuals, seven of them figures from the world of sports. There has been no awarding of it to any representative of the arts and culture, no humanitarian, no one who has fought for the downtrodden, no journalist who has risked life and limb to report the news, and it is difficult to envision any such individual enthusiastically accepting the award from a president who is so often anathema to what is laudatory and honorable, and who is lacking in basic human decency.

The president heads the only major political party in the civilized world that rejects science, holding out against the reality of climate change and the need to address it — hence we have what in reality is the Environmental Destruction Agency, an entity which now nods to big business as regulations which helped to facilitate clean air and water are weakened, rendering us an outlier among the nations.

Perhaps the Nobel Peace Prize will someday be in the hands of an extraordinary young woman like Thunberg. May she know that she has the admiration of myriad people throughout the world and that our president does not legitimately act in our name.

Oren Spiegler, Peters Township

What will Dems try to pin on Trump next?

If you play pin the tail on the donkey, you eventually win. In America, the Democrats are trying to pin the tail on President Trump and have continually lost.

Kids don’t play games they always lose. Democrats do. We’ve had Russians, collusion, obstruction, racist, climate denying, warmongering, Hitler, crazy, incompetent, impeachable, white nationalist, election fraud and SCOTUS sex predator controversies, none of which have pinned the tail on Trump.

Since the current state of America’s basic freedom has been absolutely record setting in most areas important to its future and growth under Trump, there is only one obvious reason why the socialist Democrats, the mainstream media, the elitists and political ignoramuses still try new hoaxes on Americans non-stop: They are losing the only thing they hold dear, and are petrified that the status quo, and the deep-state politics they have played since Lincoln freed the slaves, is disappearing under Trump, and with it their iron-fisted grasp on power. Simply, their desire to control lives and enrich themselves, and assure that it never ends.

The 2020 election will be the final referendum for America’s people to choose the freedom to pursue happiness their way, and to not be handed it by Democrats under the biggest hoax of all: the one that tells them they can get it free.

Len Bach, Murrysville

Why is legalized pot a priority?

Questions for Gov. Tom Wolf and Attorney General Josh Shapiro, both of whom endorsed the legalization of marijuana (“AG Shapiro supports legalized marijuana as Gov. Wolf pushes support in Oakmont.”): In the whole scheme of things, is the legalization of marijuana really a high priority?

Also, Shapiro indicates that his decision to support his position is based upon “months of internal research.” What is the nature of the “research” and is it documented?

Wayne Baughman, Salem

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