The New York Times says Gov. Rick Perry’s deployment of National Guard troops is “only the latest step in a decade-long strategy … to patch together Texas’ own version of the Border Patrol on its 1,200-mile border with Mexico.” The state has spent more than $500 million on border security since 2005, an amount that outpaces all other border states and includes high-tech equipment, heavily armed boats and a $7.4 million high-altitude surveillance airplane. Is this a proper use of Texas taxpayers’ money, or should that money go to meet other state needs? Send no more than 150 words with your name, address and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org. Deadline is Wednesday for publication next Monday.