Tom Garrett

Tom Garrett 12 hours, 38 minutes ago on 706 The Question Is.... How can parents help?

Right, Pat. Find out what your kids are doing, and make sure it's not something stupid or harmful.

As to Facebook...?

Don't ask me!

You're right about bullying. The one and only way to avoid being bullied is to hurt the bully. Bullies are cowards; they love hurting people but they do not like being hurt. Remember, I grew up in NYC. I know. Often a bully only picks on people because he knows he can get away with it without getting hurt. It doesn't matter whether or not you win a fight. You can't always win because an 8 year old kid can't beat up a 12 year old kid, for example. But you hurt a bully bad enough and he will leave you alone. I learned young, and I learned well: Fight back! Hurt the SOB and he'll never dare touch you again.

The trouble with today is that the %$#@! bullies use words. They get on a computer, join with their buddies, and hit you from afar. But they are always someone you know. That means they are within reach. The way to handle them is to seek them out in person and hurt them so badly they will never again take you on from what they thought before you let them differently was a safe distance.

The simple truth is that a kid's life does not get easier when he or she only tries to avoid trouble, it gets worse. The rules for kids are not the same as the rules for adults. Kids have to fight back.

"I was the smallest kid in all my classes..."

Me too, most of the time. No one dared to bully me though. In fact, I was one very popular kid because everyone knew I would stand up for myself, and because I was always fair and honest with the other kids. I can honestly say that once I entered junior high I never again had a fight. Didn't have to fight.

That's one reason I loved it in the military. Once again, I was not the giant size edition or some pocket Superman, but I got along with all those guys in the barracks. It was like having a couple of hundred good friends. It was a GOOD life. All anyone asked of you was that you stand on your own two feet.

Life is summed up in an old military saying that originally was a paraphrase of the rules for guard duty: "Walk your post from flank to flank and take no s---t from any rank."

The odd thing? When people learn to live by that rule their lives become warmer, easier, more understanding, and a LOT more fun.


Tom Garrett 12 hours, 57 minutes ago on 736 Survey of three current AZLEG bills.


I am just now getting into a detailed research of that turn-of-the-century era. If I live that long, it will take years to finish it. As you imply, the only real way to know what was going on in any era is to read the things written at the time, as well as those written after the dust cleared. Standard sources are all too often slanted, or — even worse — written by someone who has read by a glossed over version of events and knows nothing beyond that.

As often as not, something I learned in the first advanced sociology course is in operation. Here it is: "The problems of today are often caused by the solutions to the problems of yesterday." I put that in quotes because it is very close to what I read in that textbook years ago.

The example the text used was what happened when Ike pushed for a national highway system** at the same time that Congress was rewarding WWII vets with low interest home loans.

The result? I saw this happen with my own eyes. Able to buy a house in the suburbs and commute to work, people moved out of the cities. Then the inner cities fell apart, leading to some incredible messes. With my own eyes I saw parts of New York City (particularly the Bronx) that looked like bombed-out Berlin. Even small cities like New London, CT, where I was living as all this happened began to fall apart. Then the idiot town council in New London took "steps." They made it even worse. Well, that's okay; they are still at it and the town is just about bankrupt. (Remember the Kelo Case that went to the Supreme Court over eminent domain? Yep. New London, my idiot home town.)

Allan, if you are looking for original sources from any time before 1921, go to these links:

Free e-books. Hundreds of thousands of them. The words written at the time. You can get an e-PUB reader (Adobe Digital Editions) from the adobe site, also free. You can also download them in other formats, but I think you'd like e-PUB best.

Glad to see you quote Churchill. One of my favorite people.

** Don't blame Ike too much. He was on the Army research unit back in the 1920's that was sent out to see how good our roads were.

They weren't. :-) You should read the details.


Tom Garrett 13 hours, 21 minutes ago on 738 State regulation of building codes.


I do not know because I have not researched it, but I think this is just one of several laws that AZLEG has passed whose purpose is to carefully regulate what local municipalities can do regarding the adoption of building codes. What the state does is allow local municipalities to adopt their own codes, but it reserves the right to kick out selected portions of them, which it does.

Here's the entire background summary. Maybe it clarifies matters a bit.


The International Code Council is a non-profit organization that develops design, build and compliance codes for construction through a consensus-based private sector system. These codes include the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) and the International Residential Code (IRC). The IECC and chapter 11 of the IRC both establish minimum design and construction requirements for energy efficiency residential structures. Both codes, originally released in 2000, are amended every three years. In Arizona, there is no mandatory statewide residential or commercial energy code; however, Laws 2001, Chapter 340, established IECC 2000 guidelines as the basis for a voluntary statewide energy code. Arizona is classified as a home rule state, meaning that local codes are adopted and enforced locally."

Frankly, I have never seen the need for such detailed building codes. They are an example of over-control gone mad. What i like about this particular exemption is this point:

"1. Prohibits cities, towns and counties from the following actions...

"b) denying licenses or building permits, or imposing any fines, penalties or other requirements for non-compliance."

In other words if you apply for a permit to add a new room, redo and roof, or make some other change, you cannot be denied a permit based on a change in the codes. THAT makes good sense.

It at least shows that AZLEG is working in our behalf and not pulling in the opposite direction.

I'd hate to think of what it must be like in Bloomberg's New York City. Or anywhere in New York State for that matter.

As far as I can see there were fewer ordinances in Moscow at the height of the USSR than there are in NYC right now.

In fact, come to think of it, I know there were. Get this:

I recently read about a low level British diplomat in Moscow whose sink in his Soviet version of a high-rise plugged up. He called for repairs from the city offices. After a long wait a repairman finally showed up. The repairman sawed off the pipe under the sink and told them to put a pail under it. That was that. I believe he stayed there something like 30 more months and nothing else was ever done.

If I remember where I read that (it was in an autobiography of some sort), I'll reference the book for you. It wasn't too long ago — under a year — but I read a lot, so don't hold your breath. :-)


Tom Garrett 13 hours, 44 minutes ago on 717 The Question Is.... The fine print.

I don't get that, Pat. I go into my safe deposit box all the time. No one has the slightest idea whether anyone in my family died, nor does anyone ask. Did you mean that would happen if my name was not on the list of people who had access to the box?

I am NOT disagreeing with you. Just looking for more info.


Tom Garrett 13 hours, 47 minutes ago on 755 Want to see how bias works?

Can you see how fascinating this thing is? How cleverly done it was?

Here's how you do it:

a. Create a headline that includes some words, such as — say — Frank Kelly, and — say — murder and — say — cousin. You put them together this way: "Overwhelming" Evidence Pat Dandell behind riot over late night murder of cousin.

b. Then you write a paragraph that reads this way: When asked about the late night murder of Joseph Kelly, prosecutor Dean West said the "...evidence is overwhelming" that the recent riots in Payson, Pine, and Strawberry cities were "very carefully orchestrated, well-planned, [and] well-targeted."

Notice that the person writing the paragraph used the same words that are in the headline, but didn't actually say what the headline says, and yet most people reading the paragraph would think that it verifies the headline because it repeats the key words "overwhelming evidence" and adds an additional quote from the same person, namely "very carefully orchestrated, well-planned, [and] well-targeted," which seem to — but do not! — add evidence that verifies the headline.

Want to read the real thing? Go to this link:


Tom Garrett 14 hours, 8 minutes ago on 705 Can you picture this?

I'd like you to picture this in a slightly different context — Payson.

Stockholm has a population of 765,000, so 61,000 people was 8% of the entire population. But like most large cities, I suppose Stockholm is used to the occasional angry gathering of a large number of people.

But Payson?

Suppose someone called from city hall and said, "Hey! We're surrounded in here by over twelve hundred angry people, who are shouting and waving their fists and filling the street from curb to curb! Come get us out of here! Now!!"

What do you think Payson PD would do? :-)


Tom Garrett 1 day, 13 hours ago on 717 The Question Is.... The fine print.

Microsoft was worried about the chances of someone stealing industrial secrets. So they read some personal email on Hotmail — AKA these days. How do we know that Microsoft did that? It was in a court complaint filed by federal prosecutors against Alex Kibkalo, a former Microsoft employee.

Okay, they found someone who was stealing from them, but that's not the question here. The question is what legal process Microsoft followed to obtain the authority to make a search, which is, of course, a Fourth Amendment issue.

Microsoft says that it followed no legal process, that it did not need a court order to read private email because its terms of service allow it to do that under "exceptional circumstances.”

Besides, Microsoft says, courts do not have to issue orders to companies to search "themselves."


That means that as far as Microsoft is concerned anything you place on "their" system belongs to them, no matter how private and personal it may be.

How can that be?

Their contract says so.

So I guess businesses now have the power to override the Bill of Rights. All they have to do is slip something into the fine print.

The Question Is....

If it is legal for Microsoft to go into someone's email because it is on their system, is it then legal for your bank to go into your safe deposit box and examine what you have in there? After all, it's on bank property, isn't it? Show me the legal difference.


Tom Garrett 1 day, 13 hours ago on 706 The Question Is.... How can parents help?

We've always known that kids who are bullied are more prone to commit suicide, but a recent study seems to explain why teen suicide is not as rare as it used to be.

The study says that being bullied in person more than doubles the risk that a kid may think about suicide, but being bullied online more than triples it.

The study did not have a final answer to why online bullying is more like to result in suicide. Maybe it's because it gives the poor kid the feeling that there's no escape, even at home. Or maybe it's that kids get involved with social networks where more people get involved.

You may have seen a story somewhere about poor Rebecca Sedwick, aged only 12,who climbed to the top of a cement plant in Florida and jumped. In her case two girls about the same age sent thousands of hate-filled messages to her on Facebook in the year before she jumped.

There is little question how the poor kid must have felt as other kids actually told her she was and should go kill herself. After all, how would you feel?

And no, the two girls will not be tried for anything. "Experts" say that the reason for committing suicide is too complex to be sure why she jumped.

The Question Is...

If you were a parent, what would you be doing to prevent this kind of thing?


Tom Garrett 1 day, 13 hours ago on 705 Can you picture this?

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Tom Garrett 1 day, 13 hours ago on 705 Can you picture this?

You live in Stockholm, the capital city of a fairly large country — Sweden. You are out of work. You get an e-mail calling selected people in for a "recruiting meeting."

You show up to attend the meeting, but can't get inside the building. In fact, you can't even get into the alleyway where the door is. In fact you — and all the rest of the people in the crowd — are out on the main street, blocking it from curb to curb.

You and the others are a bit pushed out of shape.

You can read "pushed out of shape" as "ready to start a riot."

The police are called to quell the riot.

How did a mess like that happen?

There was a "minor" glitch. Someone called in all 61,000 unemployed people in the city.

Can you picture what that must have been like?

They didn't say whether anyone got a job or not.

Maybe one of the jobs was for a new computer operator — the one who sends out notices for recruiting meetings?