Tom Garrett

Tom Garrett 18 hours, 51 minutes ago on 382 The Question Is.... Meaningless news.

I read an Associated Press article that as far as I am concerned was nothing more than "much ado about nothing," news created to make news, not to report it.

Texas, as you may know, has passed an open carry law. One provision of the law allows businesses to decide whether or not they wish to allow weapons to be be openly carried on their premises. It is, of course, a good and necessary provision; I doubt that anyone has a problem with it. But look at how the AP has taken non-news and hyped it into "news."

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Whataburger takes stand against Texas' new open carry law

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Yep! That's what the headline says. Whataburger decided that it didn't want open carry weapons on its premises, something that I am sure many businesses will do. So what? That's not news. That's just a business exercising its rights, something I am all for.

No, that's not news, or at least it is not in any way controversial news, but the article goes on for 19 PARAGRAPHS trying to make it look controversial.

So some business has taken advantage of the provision which allows it to opt out? So what? No gun rights advocate that I know would think a thing of it. Would you?

So why make such a big deal out of nothing?

The Question Is....

Is it possible that the AP writer who penned that article was trying to create an opportunity to quote comments from people who are anti-gun?

Take this comment from the article as an example; then make up your mind:

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The group Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America put out a statement applauding Whataburger's actions.

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Well? What's really going on here? News? Or manufactured tripe?

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Tom Garrett 18 hours, 56 minutes ago on 383 It's Your Call.... Fines for robocalls.

Thanks, Pam. I might have known that it would be a feature of a phone, not of the service we get from Century Link. Thanks again.

You too, Pat.

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Tom Garrett 18 hours, 58 minutes ago on 384 It's Your Call... Plane seats facing each other.

I'm with you there, John. Neither do I.

Once in a while on an Air Force transport where I had something in common with the person sitting next to me I'd have a little chat, but never on a civilian flight.

There one Army captain I remember well. I don't think I ever noticed his name tag because I do not know his name, but I met him in November, 1959, on the Embassy Run on my way along Southeast Asia to India. He was on his way back to Vietnam, our first stop after the Philippines. Mind you, this was before anyone back home knew that we were in any way involved with Vietnam. What he told me was news to me.

He was part of a U.S. Army "advisors" stationed in a little place I'd never even heard of Bien Hoa. They were in the mess hall one evening in July watching a movie when three VC came in and let loose with automatic weapons, killing 14 men and wounded 6 others, one of whom was the captain, who was shot in the head. He had been back in the states and was on his way back to Vietnam because he had volunteered to do it.

I was shocked. I'd never even heard of the place. And when I checked on it later I was very angry when I found out that the incident had not been reported to the public. Even today it is still covered up. The official stats for 1956 to 1960 show only 4 casualties at Bien Hoa, but that captain showed me a small bronze plaque he was carrying and was going to put up somewhere. It had a lot of names on itβ€” about 20.

I can remember being in the Air Freight warehouse on Okinawa in 1964 and looking at 18 steel body boxes on their way back to the states from Vietnam and listening to Lyndon Johnson speaking over the radio and telling the public that as of that date we had lost 10 men in Vietnam.

Got nothing to do with this string, but somebody is lying somewhere.

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Tom Garrett 19 hours, 23 minutes ago on 385 It's Your Call.... Was this enough punishment?

I forgot to mention this, and probably should have done it right at first: The primary reason this is making so much news is that hundreds of the relatives of the patients who died or suffered as a result of what this man did have gotten together and have been demonstrating, claiming that he should have been charged with a greater crime, and that his punishment is far too light.

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Tom Garrett 1 day, 18 hours ago on 384 It's Your Call... Plane seats facing each other.

I'm with you, Ron. I was fine with flying before the move to cram more and more people into less and less space and to begin charging for everything came along. It's the only way to get to some places unless you have at least a couple of weeks to do it. I was okay with flying while I was in the Air Force despite the fact that except for good luck I could have been killed on at least four of the flights I took. On two of those four flights we ran out of gas while taxiing in after we landed. That'll make you think!

Personally, although this has nothing to do with this string, I think flying is just about the most boring thing I've ever come across, and if I didn't enjoy reading I'd probably have gone stir crazy on some of those long flights over the oceans. I'm with Ron on that; I'd rather drive, or better still take the train for any long distance trip. Ever taken a long train trip? I have, and some of them were taken in first class in a private compartment. Now that's a good way to travel. No one but you and yours. Quiet, comfortable, your own bath facilities, beds, and seats. Lots of room. Also, I find dining in the dining car to be something that improves my appetite. Good menus. Decent prices. Pretty good food. Good service.

As to this string, I just wonder if the move to cram more and more people into an aircraft the same size is just another example of corporate greed? And that makes me wonder if people will ever get tired of being treated like herd animals and begin doing something about it?

Pat, it sounds like you and Roni went through a lot. It also sounds like he was lucky to have you on his home team.

As to, "If God wanted me to fly he would have given me wings," have a little patience. :-)

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Tom Garrett 1 day, 18 hours ago on 385 It's Your Call.... Was this enough punishment?

Ron, I agree with you. There is no doubt that some things which were going on in this country were morally wrong, but legally correct. Take slavery, for example; how could it possibly be right to take away the freedom of a man or woman? It was one thing we had to correct.

Many other inequities had to be corrected; the law, for example, treated a woman as a chattel when our nation was founded. That had to be corrected. Other things, ones which had to do with behavior that many people feel is repugnant and immoral, but which has no effect upon anyone except the individuals involved, were treated as high crimes, and so some people were persecuted for their private behavior. That too called out for change.

The original goals of the progressives were correct. For one thing, they were in accordance with the separation of church and state. But what has happened is that the elimination of unfair treatment under the law is not enough for some people who have benefited from the reform of our laws. Instead of being happy that they are no longer singled out for punishment, they now insist that the law should repeat the errors of the past, replacing them with laws that are every bit as wrong.

When it comes to some matters the law should simply be silent. No one should be able to twist our legal system so that they actually endorses or promotes behavior of which the vast majority of people disprove. That's reverse discrimination, the intrusion of the law into religious and moral matters.

Take just one simple example, one that most people fail to see: A law which adds extra penalties to a crime when it includes prejudicial beliefs. Such laws are called "hate crime" laws, but can you see how blind a person has to be to want to punish someone for what he thinks? Let's say that someone were to murder a black or a Muslim or an Hispanic because his or her personal hatred. That crime should be pursued with great vigor just like any other crime, and the criminal should be tracked down, brought to justice, and punished. But add on punishment because of what the person thinks? That is exactly 180 degrees out from our most precious Amendment, the First Amendment. How can it ever be right to punish someone more for killing a Muslim than for killing β€” say β€” a Baptist? Do we now endorse one form of religion over all others? The law must be neutral!!

The answer is plain: Look at the statue of Justice and notice that she is blindfolded. Then take the progressives and show them that they have "progressed" beyond the edge of reason and have now fallen back in the morass of prejudice, allowing personal beliefs to weigh in criminal matters. Teach them that the law calls for neutrality, not endorsement of any mode of behavior. Teach them to think! Teach them to reason! Teach them to understand what freedom and liberty really mean! Teach them where the law ends and freedom of thought and private action begin!

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Tom Garrett 1 day, 19 hours ago on 374 It's your call.... The death penalty.

"That is as it should be to a certain degree, because we are after all talking about the "taking" of a human life."

You said a mouthful there!!

I will never forget the comment in the film The Unforgiven: "It's a hell of a thing killin' a man. You take away all he's got and all he's ever gonna have."

Of all the things I've ever read or heard that says it best. It says that killing someone is the ultimate crime, and it follows that it should receive the ultimate penalty.

That is the primary reason that I am firmly in favor of the death penalty for premeditated deliberate murder. I first read those comments about why the death penalty should not be applied (not a deterrent, not cost effective) while in England and taking a sociology course from Oxford. It was right there in the text. The professor told us that the studies didn't actually support those beliefs, but he was one of those rare people who do not teach that what some textbook said was the final word. He was always telling us to use our our own brains, to "check the facts and think for yourself." He suggested that we read the actual studies and make up our own minds. I did that (this was all the way back in 1970 and it was a LOT harder than it is now with the internet available!!) and saw that he was right. In fact, it was that man (I've forgotten his name, sorry to say) and Malcolm McDonald, our history professor, who really taught me to research and evaluate information. Doctor McDonald was a wonder; I took three American history courses from him and learned more about this country than I ever learned again anywhere.

Anyway, I feel that justice calls for the death penalty in cases where the prima facae evidence is clear cut. It only seems right that when you take a life you forfeit your own. No other form of punishment seems fair and just. That's as much an emotional reaction as a logical one, but I simply can't shake off the feeling that justice is not done when a convicted first degree murderer walks out of a prison after 7 or 8 years, free to roam the planet, while his victim lies moldering in a, grave robbed of everything he had or would ever have had.

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Tom Garrett 2 days, 18 hours ago on 384 It's Your Call... Plane seats facing each other.

Ever spent much time on an aircraft? I have. I have actually flown all the way around the world once, and have flown the equivalent of it a couple more time. I found it to be about as boring an experience as I've ever had, but since I like to read I have lived through it.

As far as chatting with fellow passengers is concerned I did a little of that, but only while on military air transports, where I had something in common with the people sitting next to me, and even then we didn't do too much talking.

Now some %$#@! outfit in France called "Zodiac Seats" is trying to patent a new seat configuration that would have three passengers sitting side-by-side on each side of a narrow, crooked aisle on paper thin fold-up seats. And get this! The person in the middle seat would be facing backward, while the other two people faced forward! Which means that you would have to spend your flight staring at others faces. Not only that, but if there's some easy way to get out into that aisle without everyone having to stand up and move aside I'm hanged if I can see what it is.

Can you believe that?

Maybe that would bother you and maybe it wouldn't. It's Your Call....

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Tom Garrett 2 days, 18 hours ago on 374 It's your call.... The death penalty.

Sorry, I clean for got to mention why the claim that the death penalty has little or no deterrent value is meaningless. I should have done that.

It's obvious, of course, that some first degree murders cannot be prevented. Some guy that comes home and finds his wife in bed with his neighbor is not likely to be worrying about what will happen to him if he pulls that trigger. And, as I mentioned, there are many other times when people are so enraged that they just act; they do not think. NOTHING will deter that kind of crime. When emotions get involved nothing deters some people from doing things. The same is true of some criminal types. They simply do not think; they just act.

But what if we separate the numbers for those murders WHICH CAN BE DETERRED and look at them. That covers the vast majority of first degree murders, and the minute you separate out those numbers the result shows that the death penalty is, indeed very effective as a deterrent.

Furthermore, the studies often do not distinguish between first and second degree murder in coming up with their numbers. As you well know by now, some "murders" should not be termed murder; they are the incidental effect of someone who is committing a crime. WE have far too many laws which say that if someone is killed during the commission of a crime then the person who committed the crime (and who may not even be the person who committed the killing) is guilty of murder. Want example? Just go out and read the news. Right now

So, you see, saying that we should not have the death penalty because it does not deter all types of murder just confuses the actual issue, which should be whether or not we can deter those murders which can be deterred? The answer is clearly YES, and saying that we should not do that is like saying that since there are many kinds of cancer that we cannot cure we shouldn't bother to cure the ones we can. That makes no sense; we have to do what we can.

Also, we desperately need to reform the system. I did not report this case because it seemed like a waste of time because no one ever seems to be interested in what happens to criminals, but just recently I read yet another article where a crime was committed, someone was killed during the commission of that crime, and a criminal was charged with murder.

Sound fair?

Well, how fair is it if the person who was killed was one of the two criminals who committed the robbery, the person who did the shooting was a policeman, and the man charged with murder is the other criminal? And, yes, it did happen, and does happen all the time.

We need to reform the system!!

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