Eisenhower, Kennedy, and the Bay of Pig's Feet

Categories: Fuming Foodie
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Since America began closing mental institutions in 1955, the streets have been deluged with mentally unbalanced individuals unable to care for themselves. (Blame JFK for that guy you see on your way to work every morning, who sits at the curb mumbling about spacemen and radioactive jelly beans.)

As I am sure many of you have already noticed, Miami is a mecca for homeless people who are mentally ill. I am sure there are many, many reasons, such as the gorgeous weather. But in any case, they are here to stay -- and steal pickled food.

Homeless people suffering from mental illness need help -- they should not be wandering the streets pilfering pig's feet. Take a news brief I recently read on The Miami Herald's website, for example. I cannot fathom that the individual in the following story is 'right in the head' as they say.

Police were called to a Chevron gas station in North Miami, around 200 Street and NW 27 Avenue, at about 10 p.m. on March 28 to handle a "situation."

A man, who had been banned from the store by police due to previous incidents, was caught by store employees with his hand in the cookie jar. Well, the pickled egg jar. Or pickled sausage. The story didn't specify.

After immersing his hands into several jars of pickled food, he declared the items unsellable, then proceeded to eat some of the items.

The police estimated the damages at $48, which begs the question--does Chevron carry pickled truffles?

I don't know what items he ate, or which jars he dipped his paws into, but I do know this--if it weren't for JFK, this man would be in a hospital where he belongs.

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You can dish the patronizing but you can't take it? Before you play the "spic" card, take another look at my name. "Ignorant", I'm trying to help you with. And I am in PR or politics. Good guess.

To answer your question: states get their funding from a myriad sources, depending on the state. You know this, but for your edification, here's a detailed yet easy to read analysis: http://www.taxfoundation.org/f....

As to federal funding, I'm glad you didn't swear, because federal funding, while much vilified for political purposes, is a very small part of a state's budget. Each state is different, but FL for example, took about $3.5 billion in federal funds in 2011 (including Medicaid, education and stimulus), with a state budget of $70.4 billion. (Come on Ily, that was an easy search: http://sunshinereview.org/inde.... Sunshine Review, btw, should be on every journalist's bookmarks.)

Ironically, the purpose of the Community Mental Health Centres Act was to alleviate the burden on states, creating a network of centers where more functional patients could get mental care in a community setting and taking advantage of new drugs, rather than be warehoused in overcrowded and jail-like facilities. (You know this, or you would if you had read your first link.) Many governors, notably Reagan, took the opportunity to close off state hospitals and save the money. Nothing in the law was compulsory to the closing of the hospitals. 

Looking forward to your next (hopefully food-related) post.


Fuming Tea Partier is the gift that keeps on giving. Neither Eisenhower nor JFK were responsible for the closing of state-run mental hospitals. On the other hand, Reagan closed California's and later ended federal mental health programs.

Ily Goyanes
Ily Goyanes

"Tea Partier?" Qua qua qua. Unlike you, I don't follow --- I think for myself -- registered independent since I was old enough to vote. 

And yes, Kennedy and his Community Mental Health Centers Act were responsible for the deinstitutionalization that took place in the sixties. School yourself:




Here's a little ditty from the last link:

"Heralded in 1961 by President Kennedy's call for the closure of large institutions and their replacement by a home community care service, Congress enacted legislation in 1963,called the Community Mental Health Centres Act (Public Law 88-164), whereby National Government would provide initial grants for the establishment of a community-based caresystem around a network of mental health centres."

If you did a little research before running your mouth, you'd also know that personal bias had a lot to do with his decision making on this issue

As usual, Sanchez, thanks for bringing a smile to my face. You rock. 


Perhaps you can do a little reading before running your own mouth. 96% of institutionalized patients were released from state-run hospitals (this is from your own link, btw.) As you may or may not be aware of, in our republic the federal government does not run state institutions. It's worth noting here that those institutions you so fondly wish for, should be more aptly called warehouses where the mentally ill were kept hidden from society, involuntarily committed, untreated except for psychotropic drugs and at a cost of billions. Basically a jail system for people whose only crime was being mentally ill.

You can blame Kennedy (and interestingly not Eisenhower, even tough he championed mental health reform as well) for the closing of state hospitals, but that has to do more with your "personal bias" than with reality.

Thanks for the compliment. I do indeed rock.

Ily Goyanes
Ily Goyanes

The way you spin facts you should go into PR or politics.

"Kennedy misguidedly believed that primary prevention and reduction in state hospitals could be achieved through community mental health centers. Kennedy fostered the belief that the major problem was the existing institutional care of patients, and, in fact, not the disease itself." (Isaac & Armat, 1990)

"In 1963, President John F. Kennedy sent a special message to Congress calling to replace institutions with comprehensive community programs to provide outpatient care, day treatment, rehabilitation, foster-home services and public education on mental health." (Foley & Sharfstein)

Oh, and since I'm so ignorant about the way our government is run, you know, being a spic and all, please elucidate -- where do the *states* get their funding from again? I could have sworn a lot of the funding comes from the *federal* government (especially for these types of programs), but I guess that's just 'cuz I'm an ignorant "Tea Partier." (sorry, but I'm still laughing at that one)

I give up, Sanchez. You are so right. It is so *much* better for the mentally ill to be wandering the streets without food, medication, or a place to sleep than to be cooped up all day. 

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