Drug addicts need our help

The article about the amazing Dr. Camille Paglia, medical director of the psychiatric Crisis Response Center at Temple University Hospital's Episcopal Campus, being forced to turn away desperate patients was heartbreaking ("On the front lines," March 5). Say what you want about drug addicts, they are here, and they are in desperate need of help. And they are not strangers: they are our sisters, our brothers, our moms and dads, our children. They are our veterans.

Imagine how many beds President Trump's $54 billion that he wants to add to the military's already bloated, wasteful budget would buy for Paglia's clinic.

|Claire Gawinowicz, Oreland

Heroin-injection sites - really?

Perhaps it's because I'm older. Perhaps it's because I am a borderline prude (didn't think so). Perhaps it's because my leanings do not gravitate toward liberal. Perhaps it's because I am beyond being shocked by such a proposal.

Nevertheless, Inquirer reporter Sam Wood's front-page story about the opioid crisis and the novel proposal to provide brick-and-mortar locations in Philadelphia where drug addicts can "safely" inject themselves with heroin is easily the most outrageous thing I have ever read in a newspaper ("Weighing safe sites for injecting drugs," Thursday).

Heroin is illegal. Injecting heroin is illegal. Here's a great idea: Let's give all heroin addicts a dry, indoor place where they can inject heroin while watching a Phillies game on TV and enjoy a buffet lunch.

Are you kidding me?

I have a counterproposal. For years, the customers of Philadelphia prostitutes have lived in fear of being assaulted and robbed by pimps. Let's give prostitutes a safe place to conduct business - how about in police stations?

|Jim McLaughlin, Broomall

Pa. bill would hurt trust in police

According to FBI reports, a police officer kills an African American nearly two times a week. The U.S. Department of Justice also has found a pattern of excessive force within major police departments.

What is the solution? Pennsylvania House Bill 27 prohibits the identification of a police officer who has discharged his or her firearm or used force for 30 days after the incident. This implies that police officers have something to hide. It reduces government transparency and negates the ability of local officials to make decisions based on circumstances in their communities.

Police departments must have positive relationships with communities. H.B. 27 diminishes transparency when it is needed. Policymakers need to address the concerns of Pennsylvanians who impacted by police misconduct. State law should not exacerbate the division between the police and communities. H.B. 27 would do exactly that.

Please take the time to sign a petition for police accountability at www.ipetitions.com/petition/police-accountability-now.

|Bianca Morales, Philadelphia

Who will stand up to Trump?

Donald Trump championed the phony birther argument that President Obama is not an American, and now the president has launched this conspiracy fantasy that Obama ordered Trump's phones tapped ("Trump: Obama bugged N.Y. tower," March 5).

Good grief. We have a president who is not only venal, vicious, and lying, but who has clearly lost touch with reality. Real news is fake news, and fake news is real news. Our friends (NATO, the European Union) are our enemies, and our enemies (Vladimir Putin's Russia) are our friends.

Trump's presidency is not simply dangerous because his policies lack even the barest drop of the milk of human kindness, but because he is delusional. At some point, many who voted for him and agree with his actions need to step back and realize that he has become unhinged under the pressure of the presidency and the influence of strategist Stephen Bannon and the alt-right.

Where are the Republicans with the integrity and courage to stand up to stop this man before he leads us over a cliff? In 2018, 2020, 2022, and even 2024, voters will remember who stood up to this president for this nation's soul and who punted, hoping that voters wouldn't notice or that we would forget.

|Rabbi Avi Winokur, Society Hill Synagogue, Philadelphia

Tough to take Sessions' defenders

My request to Sen. Pat Toomey that he advocate for a special investigator to look into the Russian hacking of our election resulted in a form-letter response, as I expected.

But one line jumped out at me: "I do not think there is any reason to believe Jeff Sessions was less than truthful in his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and I continue to strongly support him as Attorney General."

So, Toomey doesn't think Session's failure to tell the Senate Judiciary Committee that he had spoken with the Russian ambassador twice prior to the election, when he was working to help President Trump get elected, was a slip up? What if it wasn't? What if he perjured himself?

By turning a blind eye to what happened and who knew about it during the election, Republicans in Congress are ignoring one of the most significant threats to our democracy from a foreign power that our country has ever faced.

But because they are happy with the election's outcome, they are willing to overlook it all, especially if it might implicate one of their own.

Shame on Congress, and shame on us if we let them get away with it.

|Carol Scott, Malvern