Tom Garrett

Tom Garrett 11 hours, 3 minutes ago on 294 It's Your Call Number 110: Endangered species laws.

Here's a letter to the editor:

"Editor:

Spring is here and the swallows are returned to Green Valley Park. I saw a large flock checking the eaves of one of the buildings by the lake yesterday.

We should all be aware, and particularly those whose property is adjacent to the lakes that the “Federal Migratory Birds Act” makes it a federal offense to destroy the nests and/or eggs of migratory birds. Swallows are migratory.

Len Cox"

It may be that you agree entirely with a federal law that tells you what you can or cannot do about an animal that takes up residence under the eaves of your house. It also may be that you do not agree with it.

It's Your Call.

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Tom Garrett 11 hours, 10 minutes ago on 281 The Question Is…. Did we leave Iraq too soon?

"So it is with that understanding and belief, that I propose we simply isolate that region, let them fight it out among themselves...."

Somebody in Washington should have thought that one through before we went into Iraq in the first place, but now that we've interfered over their.....?

Some strong feelings, there Ron. I have neither any ideas nor any answers. I really should have made this string an It's Your Call because I don't want to talk about my own ideas for solutions. I guess my only concern is that we made that mess and now we stuck with un-making it.

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Tom Garrett 1 day, 11 hours ago on 281 The Question Is…. Did we leave Iraq too soon?

When the U. S. Army ended its training mission in Iraq in 2009 under orders from President Obama the Army men and officers who had stayed on for many years to train the Iraqi Army were satisfied that it was ready to do the job. Back now, Lt. Col. John Schwemmer of the 5-73 Squadron of the 82nd Airborne Division said he was stunned at the state in which he found the Iraqi soldiers when he arrived here. “It’s pretty incredible,” he said. “I was kind of surprised. What training did they have after we left?”

"Apparently, not much," says the New York Times, which adds that, "The current, woeful state of the Iraqi military raises the question not so much of whether the Americans left too soon, but whether a new round of deployments for training will have any more effect than the last."

"Iraq’s army, the Times says, "looked good on paper when the Americans left, after one of the biggest training missions carried out under wartime conditions. But after that, senior Iraqi officers began buying their own commissions, paying for them out of the supply, food and payroll money of their troops. Corruption ran up and down the ranks; desertion was rife."

"An army that once counted 280,000 active-duty personnel, one of the largest in the world, is now believed by some experts to have as few as four to seven fully active divisions — as little as 50,000 troops by some estimates…."

Major Modlin of the 5-73 Squadron, which is back in Iraq to repeat some of its training even though it seems like a cop in the bucket, says, “they had it, they really did. I don’t know what happened after that.”

Iraqi Army Major Masar Hasim, a veteran of a half-dozen battlefields against the Islamic State in the past year, says this is the first time his men have received any meaningful training. “This is a completely different level of training, nothing like what we had before,” he says.

The Question Is….

If we don't want to have to go in there and once again win the war we fought for six months — and the peace we fought for five years after that —would it not be wise to set up some kind of permanent training presence in Iraq — and keep it there until the War on Terrorism is a memory?

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Tom Garrett 1 day, 11 hours ago on 292 It's Your Call Number 108 Planning & Zoning Board.

Re: Roundup article Payson Commission Shake-Up: Council dumps planning incumbents

"The Payson Town Council elected to place three new members on the Planning and Zoning Commission Thursday instead of re-appointing several members who wanted to continue, disappointing several residents who said it was a “grave mistake.”

I hope you read the entire article, or will take a moment out to go read it now because there's too much for me to explain.

It may be that you agree entirely with the decisions that were made. It also may be that you do not agree with them.

It's Your Call.

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Tom Garrett 1 day, 11 hours ago on 276 The Question Is.... Plastic bags.

"Because it will take more trees being cut down to make paper."

I've seen the numbers on that somewhere, but I'm feeling too sick this morning to go dig them up. (Nothing serious; just the first throat and chest infection I've had in 7 or 8 years.)

"Don't elected people have anything constructive to do??"

Of course, just look at the list: Gerrymandering. Beating the bushes for election funds. Trying to look good. Being for apple pie, motherhood, education, and the great American dream. Looking for ways to throw money into....

Gee! How much can a guy do?

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Tom Garrett 2 days, 10 hours ago on 275 It's Your Call Number 103.

Pat, I'm inclined to think that may be a good idea. I have one other question, though.

Who would have the final authority? Parents or someone else?

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