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Thursday, Apr 19, 2018
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Letters to the editor: Mental hospitals needed

Mental hospitals needed

Regarding the Navy Yard shootings: The one thing all these tragedies have in common is that the shooter is mentally disturbed. I remember when, about 1970, some progressive person decided people with mental problems were being incarcerated against their will in state mental hospitals. They got a misinformed judge to agree and decreed these people should be released immediately. Saving millions of dollars, the state of Pennsylvania promptly closed the hospitals, gave patients a bag of pills and sent them out the door.

Independence Hall, close to where I worked, was a favorite place for them to congregate. They would sleep over steam pipes on the sidewalk, chain themselves to the Liberty Bell, urinate and defecate in the street, and refuse to go with police who were trying to take them to shelters.

The rule is these people cannot be made to get help unless they are a threat to their own or someone else’s life. Therefore, they have to try or successfully kill themselves or someone else. Instead of going to a hospital, they go to jail or the morgue.

Will the president try to solve this problem by changing the Second Amendment by executive privilege? This makes about as much sense as the judge who sent these people to the streets.

George Fox

Apollo Beach

Buyer’s remorse

How many times have we heard President Obama crow over the creation of 2 million new jobs in his four-and-a-half-years? What question we don’t hear asked in rebuttal is, “What are the net new full-time jobs?” That would be calculated by reducing his number by corresponding large layoff numbers, the number of current employees who have been reduced to part-time status and how many of the 2 million new jobs are, actually, part-time jobs.

This realistic calculation suggests there have been no new real job creation in that time frame, let alone 2 million.

We also should use the Bureau of Labor Statistics U6 employment rate because it more accurately reflects the true employment picture. It takes into account people who have given up hope of employment, and part-time numbers — this is in the neighborhood of 14 percent, not the 7.3 percent being bragged about. Obama prefers to use the U1 employment rate number because it is more favorable to his spiel.

Also, we should not be confused by how well the stock market is doing while the economy is stalled. Simply stated, corporations can improve their profitability (and stock price) by streamlining operations — read: layoffs and downsizing to part-time status. Obamacare is exacerbating the phenomena.

Finally, it seems that some buyer’s remorse is setting in, but I wonder if that will offset the huge number of non-tax-paying, handout folks who think all of us should continue to support their entitlement mentality. If intelligence, common sense and propriety were an election criteria, Mitt Romney would have swept this grifter.

Dan Roberts

Sun City Center

Opportunity to improve

Regarding “Another ugly episode at the PTC” (Our Views, Sept. 14): I agree Hillsborough County Commissioner Les Miller did not act professionally when he resigned abruptly from the county’s Public Transportation Commission. As chair, Commissioner Victor Crist has a good, spelled-out plan to turn the PTC around.

I previously chaired the PTC as a Tampa city councilman and know how difficult it can be to evoke change in that agency. Crist worked quickly to find an interim director with a sterling reputation to help continue implementing the reforms necessary to turn the agency around. I believe with the help of his board the necessary reforms can get implemented.

We should not judge the performance and value of the commission based on the actions of a few past board members or employees. Many governments and businesses have had unsavory characters, but they have not been dissolved because of the wrong-doings of the few.

Hillsborough County and the PTC have an incredible opportunity to improve the regulatory nature of the commission, foster innovation and ensure public safety while operating in a transparent and inclusive environment. Now is the time to get the job done. The board needs to come together and support the reforms and Crist’s well-meaning, assertive leadership.

Joseph P. Caetano


Weather Center