published Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Naps not a good thing while on job

LETTERS TO THE EDITORS

Naps not a good thing while on job

Unless you are part of sleep research study, it’s generally frowned upon to fall asleep on the job.

As an air traffic controller, on-the-clock power naps could have potentially catastrophic effects. 911 dispatchers can’t afford to sleep during their shifts either.

With the national unemployment rate at 9.2 percent and Georgia’s unemployment rate at 9.8 percent, it seems probable that some of those without jobs, unable to sleep from anxiety about their future, would leap at the chance to prove that they can keep their eyes open when working.

Although scientific research has proven the effectiveness of power naps on job performance, this is a simple case of time management. If you can’t decide for yourself the amount of sleep you will need to enable you to perform the job you are paid to do, then maybe it is time for you to return to kindergarten, where nap time is mandatory and you are provided with a sleeping mat. The rest of the adults have responsibilities to attend to.

Let’s not wait for accidents to happen before we wake up and smell the coffee.

IRIS MAHAN

Bin Laden getting the last laugh

Osama bin Laden is winning perhaps beyond his wildest dreams.

By attacking Afghanistan and Iraq, Bush caused the death of twice as many Americans as were killed on 9/11. Thousands more were wounded and suffer PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). It has caused us to borrow over a trillion dollars, and by the time the last maimed veteran dies, it could be a trillion more.

I don’t know whether Bin Laden is smart enough to have known Bush was ignorant enough or cruel enough to let him finesse that much self-inflicted damage or not.

He doesn’t have to strike again. We do it ourselves and confirm his “Great Satan” recruiting rhetoric by having American troops and mercenaries in countries that did not invite us. Every day we are in Afghanistan and Iraq, the more enemies we make for Bin Laden to recruit.

Ron Paul is one Republican congressman who makes sense when he says “Bring all our troops home now.”

FRED H. WRIGHT

Fact: New Deal ended Depression

Republicans go virtually unchallenged when insisting World War II, not Roosevelt’s New Deal, ended the Great Depression.

But they’re dead wrong. An unemployment rate of 25 percent when FDR took office in 1933 had been reduced to 14.6 percent when war preparations began in 1939 — 40 percent by anyone’s math. Unemployment had actually dropped even lower in the late 1930s, but spiked again when Roosevelt, in a political move, tried to balance the budget too soon in 1938.

Republicans also claim we can’t spend our way into prosperity. But we emerged from the Great Depression through spending, largely deficit spending, mind you, on public works, infrastructure and military hardware. And Hitler brought Germany out of an even worse economic crisis in which people actually died of malnutrition with the same type of spending — pure Keynesian economics in both cases.

And while we’re exploding half-truths and myths, we might also ask the Republicans why economic (GDP) growth was so anemic (2.2 percent) under George W. Bush, the president who gave the wealthiest those “stimulative” lopsided tax cuts, and so high (5.5 percent) under Lyndon Johnson, the quintessential “tax-and-spend” Democrat.

Which is worse for the economy anyway, tax-and-spend Democrats or borrow-and-spend Republicans?

GEORGE B. REED JR.

Rossville, Ga.

Doctors put money ahead of patients

I can understand why some people go to illegal pain clinics after my appointment with a pain management [practice].

I went in with pain, hoping I could get some help. But for 30 minutes of writing and three hours of wait time and $30 co-pay, all I got was medicine for my left foot and lower back.

I live every day in pain and all the doctors today care about is money. They don’t care about their patients at “all.”

CHRISTOPHER CALDWELL

Shame on county for eyeing homeless

The very first budget item targeted by the County Commission for elimination is a homeless service center located in the heart of downtown Chattanooga? If that doesn’t scream retaliation for the failure to renew the sales tax agreement, I don’t know what does. Shame on you for preying on the least of us.

Can’t find the money to fund the center? Let’s review the situation: The feds agreed to replace the old Homeless Healthcare building at no cost to Hamilton County. Chattanooga agreed to donate the land. All you have to do is use your individual discretionary (slush) funds for operating expenses. Done.

FYI area taxpayers: Each member of the commission is “given” $100,000 per year to spend in Hamilton County “as they see fit.” $100,000 X nine = $900,000.

Commissioners, I am ashamed of your choices. The fact that you choose to abandon the homeless as a first course of action, without considering shifting re-election “slush” money is appalling. At the end of the day, each of you has to live with yourselves as you lay your heads down in your comfortable beds and answer to your God. Good luck with that.

LYNN ASHTON

Where did county get extra money?

I hear the county mayor say the county has fallen on tough times and needs Chattanooga to help them fund their county Health Department obligations.

The newspaper reported Hamilton County has a saving account containing $85 million. Is it true that $32 million was accumulated during the last four years? We have been in economic recession, right? Where did the $32 million come from? I would really like to know if that last county tax hike was really, really necessary.

I am not sure what I am getting from my county taxes, so what’s the reason for reducing Health Department services to the city residents?

Forget annexation; can we secede from the county?

VIRGINIA McMAHAN

Hixson

Good riddance to tax agreement

The Chattanooga sales tax “bondage” agreement is apparently ending.

I can’t understand what possessed the city to sign such a ridiculous agreement in the first place.

Indeed, why did the county commissioners insist on renewing an agreement that discriminates against more than half of the citizens of Hamilton County?

What was the logic behind expecting Collegedale, Lakesite and Soddy-Daisy to contribute nothing?

East Ridge, Red Bank, Lookout Mountain and Signal Mountain (all together) have been giving a few thousand to fund countywide agencies, while Chattanooga has contributed way over $10 million a year.

I can’t conceive of why anybody expected that to fly for another 45 years!

I went online and looked at Chattanooga’s past budgets. Looks like I (and other Chattanooga taxpayers) also supported many of the same agencies through property-tax dollars. I am fed up with double taxation, so strike a match and flame the sales tax agreement.

WILLIAM MILLER

Double taxation not a good deal

Why exactly are the county commissioners slicing and dicing the Health Department and throwing away almost $3 million for the Homeless Health Care Clinic?

I never thought I’d see the day when the health care or city taxpayers would be threatened by their own county commissioners. I thought they took an oath to represent all the citizens of Hamilton County.

As long as I live in Hamilton County and pay county taxes, I am a Hamilton County resident!

Please tell me why you expect Chattanooga to pay you $10.5 million in sales tax and add $4 million more in Chattanooga property taxes to fund the same agencies twice.

If every other city and the unincorporated areas were taxed twice for the countywide Health Department, I might not think so ill of this matter.

By the way, have you forgotten there are four Health Department branches and three are located in the hinterlands? Am I paying twice for all four branches?

MARY H. PIERCE

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HiDef said...

Iris Mahan- It is obvious you are unaware of how air traffic controllers are scheduled for shifts and what they are asking for. Due to the high stress and mental demand the job requires, a typical day in ATC is vastly different than your typical 9-5 job. Many people mistakenly think controllers are asking to sleep while working live traffic sitting in front of a scope and that is simply not true. At any given time, a controller can be working upwards of 15 aircraft at a time making split second decisions to keep traffic flowing efficiently. After roughly two hours of this, a break is required to help the controller relax mentally. While they are on break, who are you to say what they should be doing with their time?

Controllers shifts also rotate frequently. It is not uncommon to have only 8 hours between shifts which does not include travel time to and from work. I find it hard to believe anyone with so few hours off in between shifts could function at 100% by the start of their next shift. To paint this as a time management issue is unfair. Controllers want to keep everyone in the skies safe. The same as an overnight ER doctor is allowed to nap on his shift when his expertise is not required, controllers would like to be able to do the same.

Lastly, yes, unemployment rates are high and in fact the FAA is hiring. Would you like to join the ranks and walk in our shoes before you assume we are a bunch of folks that need to head back to kindergarten?

May 1, 2011 at 2:15 p.m.
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