Tom Garrett

Tom Garrett 2 minutes ago on 888 A typical day in China.

A Chinese artist was commissioned to build a six foot high Lego statue of Nick Wilde, the fox from the film Zootopia, for a shopping centre south of Shanghai.

The statue took 100,000 Lego blocks and 33 hours to build.

It was put on display behind a regular security rope suspended from standard iron move-around pipes.

It took one young Chinese kid 3.4 seconds to slide under the rope, knock the Lego figure over, and destroy it.

The artist was not happy with the shopping center employees, who he thought might have secured the area better.

Of course, he said nothing about the fact that he had not taken the trouble to do what is normally done when such statues are created for display, which is to start with a heavy metal base so they can't be knocked over, to add an internal metal frame so that they won't fall apart if they do, and to glue the Lego blocks together. He only glued 28% of the blocks he used. That means 62% of them were ready to fall apart.

The question is....

Did that statue last a longer time or a shorter time than the last Chinese can opener you bought?


Tom Garrett 3 minutes ago on 886 Would this work over here?

Bob, I think you're right.

And I suspect he'd get something like the same kind of treatment here.

And now that BBC has aired what they did he would be crazy to try it again.

Besides, what right does anyone have to screw somebody out of his or her seat? First come, first served.

I notice too. by the way, the mention of a comment in the original article which said something like "The looks on the faces of women, who tended to bound out of their seats in an instant..."

Really nice guy! A reverse gentleman.

And yes, I do believe in treating women as what nature made them as far as that kind of thing is concerned.


Tom Garrett 8 minutes ago on 907 The latest news on the UK referendum on leaving the European Union.


I think this is the best thing that has happened for the UK and for Europe as a whole in a long, long time. What will happen now, I think, is that other nations which have not been happy with the EU will either leave it and start a cascade, or they plus the UK will work to get back the individual control which is necessary for independence and sovereignty. If it were left to me the main thing I would remove from the EU is any enforcement power. There needs to be enforcement of some things, of course, but it should be done by a body similar to the UN General Council, NOT by some agency of the EU. The way things are now the EU is a superpower and that simply does not work; it creates the same kind of too centralized power that we have here in the U.S.

What we do about our mess I do not know.


It's so odd. I read Pam's post, replied to it, read what you had to say, and there were the same thoughts I was having.

I wonder? What could we do about our mess? Would turning some powers back over to the states make sense. Would that help?


Tom Garrett 19 minutes ago on Orlando: Is More Gun Control the Answer?


"The "militia" IS the common man citizen."

Right. I point that out in something I have written for this issue, but until we finish a general discussion I'll just sit on it.

"It is my belief that the term "a well regulated" does mean that types of Arms that can be possessed, can be restricted, by a common majority consensus of the people, through their government representatives."

You may be right about the common law of the day before the Constitution. I don't know about that. As I told Bob I'd have to go back to the books. But once the Second Amendment was written the only legal and proper means of changing it in any way was by means of an amendment. Can you imagine Congress or the courts changing — say — freedom of religion in any way?

"shall not be infringed." sounds mighty clear to me too! a

I happen to know from my reading that it was not accidental that such unconditional, categorical language was used in some cases; they wanted to make sure there could be no doubt about what they meant.

"Text of the 10th Amendment The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

I have often wished that said "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the people.

John, John, John. Tut! Tut!

"I believe the civil war concluded the federal government is supreme in this country...."

Doing it with guns doesn't make it legal; it just makes it a fact.:-)

However, there was no right of secession prohibited by the 10th amendment, so I suppose having a war was the only way to settle the issue. The big guy wins. Personally, I'm glad there is no such right. In truth, it has always bugged me that the United Nations Charter did not make that clear when it spoke of "self determination." If it had we would be having a lot less trouble today because ethnic groups within nations keep trying to get the UN to support their shot at forming a new nation. They succeed in getting holy water sprinkled on them by the UN far too often, and the result is a mess.


"As soon as all criminals and "bad" people have their guns taken away, we can outlaw guns."

Said with tongue in cheek, of course, but if it ever happens in — say — the year 129,843,345,896 there will still be some people fighting for guns rights I suspect. :-)


Tom Garrett 20 minutes ago on Orlando: Is More Gun Control the Answer?


"you are stating that the "Framers" understood that weaponry would greatly improve, (become more deadly) and specifically used the word "arms" with the intent to ban nothing. Correct?"

Sorry, I have never read that anywhere, so that's not my viewpoint. I was just asking the question. I doubt they had the science fiction view, which is to extrapolate from what today is to see what tomorrow will be (by the way, there is little real science fiction today; it's mostly fantasy or just plain tripe.)

Well, at last a question in English usage, one of my favorite subjects. Thanks! Now you'll see why I'm sure a purist in the way I write (although with the typos I sure make up for it). :-)

About "arms" and "armament," the reason they didn't say "armament" is that it means something entirely different from arms. They sound like they are related, but they're not.

"Arms," as you mean it, is usually defined as, "A weapon, especially a firearm."

"Armament," as use mean it, is usually defined as, "The weapons and supplies of war with which a military unit is equipped."

And they really are different terms as shown by their derivations (which I had a lot of fun looking up. Thanks!)

arms 1200-50 for v.; 1300-50 for noun; (v.) Middle English armen < Anglo-French, Old French armer < Latin armāre to arm, verbal derivative of arma (plural) tools, weapons; (noun) Middle English armes (plural) ≪ Latin arma, as above

Middle English; Old English earm; cognate with Gothic arms, Old Norse armr, Old Frisian erm, Dutch, Old Saxon, Old High German arm (German Arm) arm; Latin armus, Serbo-Croatian rȁme, rȁmo shoulder; akin to Sanskrit īrmá, Avestan arəma-, OPruss irmo arm; not akin to Latin arma arm2

armament 1690-1700; < Latin armāmenta fittings, equivalent to armā (re) to fit out (see arm2) + -menta (plural) -ment

French armement, from Latin armamenta (plural) utensils, military or naval equipment, from armare

(Notice that date: 1690 to 1700. It may very well be that our forefathers were not yet using the term since it was so new.)

"Are you saying that you don't believe the "framers" intended to reserve any "armaments" for military usage only?"

Not at all. I suspect from my reading that they used the term "ams" as referring to weapons in general. I'd have to "go back to the books" to dig up references though. I may do that if I have time.


Tom Garrett 20 minutes ago on Orlando: Is More Gun Control the Answer?

"I would like to see us return to a civilized society, as we had in the 1950's."

Must be when you were a kid; we all think that. :-)

I will say, though, that many of the changes that the progressives have made since then, and even before, are the root cause of a lot of criminal activity. When you make things like using most drugs illegal you automatically create criminals because you create a black market. My attitude? Freedom means being free to make choices even if they are harmful to yourself. So. You want to use drugs, be my guest, but don't cry on my shoulder when it screws you up. By the way, I have a copy of a Sears catalog dated 1912 in which you can buy drugs.

"A society that did not approve of young men wearing guns in the supermarket..."

I still don't, but I think the supermarket is the entity responsible for banning them, not the government. That's regulating morality; that's what you mean when you say "did not approve," you are speaking of morality, isn't that true? Anyway, if it weren't for anti-gun nuts trying to get rid of all guns we wouldn't have people on the other side of the political seesaw making equally unnecessary laws.

"...a society that didn't approve of people taking the law into their own hands."

Don't we have that now? I thought we did. Surely you don't really think that most Americans condone people taking the law into their own hands.

"A society that really loved and defended our federal government."

Truthfully, that I have never seen. :-)

Even back in the 1930's I was always amazed at how much the New York newspapers (The Daily News and the Daily Mirror) hated the government. Many papers were skewed toward the Republican side in those days, b ut only in their editorials.

I have seen a lot of Americans who "loved and defended" this nation though. That included half the young men in my neighborhood, the ones who didn't wait for the draft in WWII. Even Ray Shirley, a black Jehovah Witness, who could not carry a gun, of course, went off as a medic.

That said a lot to me as a kid. I've never lost the love of this country that was instilled in me during those years.

"So you see Tom in some ways, I'm a conservative hoping for us to return to a moral,sensitive and considerate society."

Good for you! The term "conservative" as commonly used today is, of course, inaccurate. Of course you're a conservative; you're someone who believes in the liberal principles of our forefathers, and so should you be! I am too in case anyone wants to know!

I enjoyed hearing your views, John. We are a lot closer together than would otherwise have seemed, and I suspect that is true of most people. The trouble is, if people would quit shouting at each other, and would talk to each other instead ,we'd get a lot more done, but then the rabble rousers keep stirring us up for their own purposes.


Tom Garrett 21 minutes ago on Orlando: Is More Gun Control the Answer?

Anyway, to get back to me and constitutional law, what I actually taught were graduate level courses in school law, but trust me when I say that school law IS constitutional law. That's all you teach. Know what I mean? Free speech cases, freedom of religion cases, and the like. You would be amazed how many school cases involve such things (dress code, saluting the flag, school prayer, hair length, it goes on and on) and how many landmark Constitutional decisions are actually school cases. As to the Second Amendment, though, not many cases involve schools, but my interest in it has made me read and reread the Federalist Papers, the Anti-Federalist Papers, and several others, along with Madison's book on the Constitutional Convention (at which he quite improperly took notes even though he wasn't supposed to the little devil, and for doing it we owe him a great debt! He didn't publish his notes, though; his wife did after he was dead.) My first copy of that was an 1887 edition that felt like it was going to fall into dust at any minute.

Wow! Far too long! But I wanted you to know that if you'd to talk about Constitutional matters I'd be very happy to listen, which is why I told you all that.

Anyway-y-y-y. Several of your comments are well taken.

"I believe people should have guns as long as they act in a responsible and civilized way."

Me too, no argument there. That's a settled issue.

"I see no reason why they can't be registered by the government...."

The belief among gun owners, which comes from hard experience in other countries is that registration is the first step to confiscation. It is also seen as a sort of left-handed method of control, and even of infringement. See "District of Columbia v. Heller" on that subject in Wikipedia. There's a wealth of interesting lower court cases in it that will show how municipalities have tried to abuse registration laws. New York City did. You'll see right away why many people (including me) believe that many such laws are there for the purpose of harassment, which is, of course, infringement.

" I have no fear of our federal govt"

Wow! You're only person I ever heard say that. My opinion is that the government itself is not dangerous, but some of the creeps in it are.

"I believe that a gun society is by definition an uncivilized society."

I do too, but I wouldn't agree that we have one. Guns are just guns. They are machines. There's nothing inherently wrong with a machine. It is the people who use them improperly that we need to focus on, not the machine itself. Anyway, even if you took away all the guns from people he bad guys would still get them illegally. The problems we have are violence and criminality. We need to focus on them, not on half-baked solutions that don't work. I'll post the first part of what I've written on that subject when we get done with the current discussion. I think you'll find it quite reasonable.



Tom Garrett 24 minutes ago on Orlando: Is More Gun Control the Answer?

Thanks, John,

I enjoyed reading your response. It shows three things:

One, you are a reasonable person, not someone fanatically wedded to a one sided viewpoint, as too many people are)

Two, you use logical, reasoning, and a reading of pertinent law in making up your mind.

Three, you haven't got a clue what my relationship is to the Roundup when you use the term "you guys." :-)

I'll take number three first. I am not a direct employee of the Roundup and am not bound by the editorial views of the paper, though I almost often agree with them and never in his many years here did I ever see anything that John Naughton wrote or said that I disagreed with. That goes for Richard Haddad too, the publisher who preceded John and who hired me; they both showed an enormous amount of good common sense, fairness, and insight while they were here.

In fact, I am a contract employee, what is often referred to in journalist's slang as a "stringer." (That's an accepted term now, by the way; you can find it in modern dictionaries.) My contract calls for me telecommunicate and defines my role in running this weblog as being to "write as much or as little as you want on anything you want." Naturally, that is restricted by the normal limits of courtesy and decency, and by the same rules that apply to you when you post.

But "you guys?" Uh-uh. In this outfit I am so far down on the totem pole you would have to dig beneath the surface to find me. But that's a good thing, isn't it? It leaves me free to speak my mind openly, honestly, and without constraint. Hey! It's my little part of "freedom of the press," I genuinely enjoy it, and the fact that I am a true Independent makes life easy for me.

As to the history of the second amendment, I'm with you on that. I don't if you have been reading the forum for a while but not posting, but just in case you have seen me mention that I taught "Constitutional law," I need to point out, as I do once in a while so that no one thinks I was there with Obama. :-)

In truth, I've had an interest in law since even I was little, and it was my original goal to become a lawyer. Reason? A large number of my relatives were lawyers. I was named after New York City Judge Tom Garrett. My uncle, Farrell Kane, was a New York City district attorney (and a very impressive man to talk to). There were others in my father's side of the family who were involved in the law too, but in what way I don't remember, except for Uncle Rob and his son Bobby who were NYC cops.



Tom Garrett 29 minutes ago on 885 Do you find this as scary as I do?

"Can't fix stupid Tom. Nor understand it sometimes."

I guess you're right. Could be that it was laziness too. It does take a little effort to maintain a nice looking yard and house. Who knows?

The thing that gets me is that it sold in a heartbeat because of all that. So what will the jerk do now if he has to sell it?


Tom Garrett 23 hours, 17 minutes ago on 886 Would this work over here?

This will be very short!

A man in the UK tells BBC that he has sure way of getting a seat on the crowded Londdon subways over there. He just stands over people and pretends that he either is almost ready to puke all over them, or is actually doing it.

They then scurry out of their seats, giving him more room than he needs.

But he made the mistake of letting the BBC film him in the act.

The questions are....

One, now that he has made that mistake is he more likely to get a seat next time he tries it, or a black eye?

Two, if someone tried that over here in New York City how long would he live?