Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country
of West Texas
Tuesday, February 22, 2000
By Smokey Briggs
Slim becomes a conservative
I saw Slim the other day. He was having "breakfast" - a couple of cigarettes
and a pot of coffee.
"What's doing?" I asked.
"Not much," Slim replied over the rim of his cup. "I found out I was
a conservative yesterday," he said nonchalantly - as though that is perfectly
normal breakfast conversation. Slim is fun like that.
I've known Slim for a while, and he has always been a conservative to
my way of thinking.
"You just figured this out?" I asked.
"Did you get mugged? Or did you just file your taxes? That's when most
people become conservatives," I said.
"I never saw much difference between the two," he said.
"But really, I realized it as I was watching a television news show,"
"But you used to be liberal?," I asked, still waiting for the punch
"Yeah. Or I thought I was. Last night, I was listening to a talk show.
One of the "liberal" guys was sincerely arguing that university teachers
had a duty to censor racist, sexist and every other kind of "ist-speech."
He said it was necessary to protect women and minorities from the oppression
of whites and men."
"And not one so-called liberal on the show disagreed," Slim finished
"Yeah," I answered. "It is a popular argument. Free speech favors the
majority. It allows the majority to out-shout the minority, so-to-speak,"
Slim shook his head.
"It used to be, you could always count on liberals to defend the Bill
of Rights - or at least most of it. At least free speech and the rights
of criminals and the like," he said.
"And now, they don't. Now, they just want results - if a few civil liberties
get crushed along the way - oh well. In the name of victims' rights, women
rights, minority rights, and protecting children, they're willing to throw
the Bill of Rights in the trash."
"Conservatives haven't always been the Bill of Rights' biggest fan's
you know. Still aren't," I said.
"No kidding. Why do you think I always thought of myself as a liberal.
At least when it came to the Constitution. Conservatives were always the
ones willing to overlook a prosecutor's misconduct, as long as the criminal
got convicted. Conservatives were the ones ready to set themselves up as
censors to make sure we didn't see any pornography, no matter the possible
damage to First Amendment. Conservatives were the ones trying to make sure
only inoffensive ideas were spoken on college campuses back in the 60's."
(Slim went to college. I've seen the diploma. It is just hard to imagine
him there when you see him).
"The only person on the whole show arguing for a person's First Amendment
right to say what they want was some little gal from a religious college
where they can't dance, drink, or do much of anything else," Slim said.
"I never thought I'd see the likes of her supporting the same First
Amendment that gives pornographers and the like the right to print girly
magazines," Slim said.
"And now you're a conservative?"
"I guess so. I'll probably be a conservative for a while. Eventually,
the whole thing will turn over, and I'll be a liberal again."
"My Daddy was a Democrat you know," he said as he drained his cup. "Now,
I'm a Republican. Funny thing, is that there's not a bit a difference between
what he believed and what I believe."
That's free speech for you. It can make things pretty confusing.
Even for an old liberal like Slim.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Smokey Briggs is the editor and publisher of the
Pecos Enterprise whose column appears each Tuesday. He can be e-mailed
Top ten worst reasons to vote for someone
Working for a newspaper during an election is always interesting, especially
in a place like Pecos, where the real election takes place during the primaries.
You get to hear a lot of peoples' reasons for voting for this candidate
or that one.
Some are good.
Some are just fair.
Some are frightening.
Hopefully, most of us in Reeves County will go to the polls to vote
for the most qualified candidate.
We might not agree on who that is, but that should be the goal.
With that in mind, here is the Top Ten list of BAD REASONS to vote for
someone (many of which we've heard).
1) He is my sister's husband's brother's wife's cousin.
2) He is hispanic.
3) He is white.
4) He might give me a job.
5) She is a woman (either way).
6) He and I went to high school together.
7) He has a cool car.
8) He is looks cute.
9) He owes me money. If he gets elected he'll have a job and maybe I
And the number one worst reason to vote for someone this year is:
10) I'm voting for him. As a public official it will be easier to keep
an eye on them.
Reader expresses his own opinion
Letter to the Editor:
I read your article on "John Rocker's Crime", and I really liked it
indeed, but I hope that you will print my version or opinion as I feel
that there maybe something else to this controversy about his outspoken
opinion. Admittingly so, I was quick to jump on the band wagon myself and
condemn his position to judge and verbally de-humanize every race in the
world except his own.
If I may have the freedom and honor of expressing my opinion, once again,
on your (our) newspaper, I wish to say that even if we all have the right
to freedom of speech and say as we may, we should have some type of self-restraint
as to not hurt other's feelings as Mr. Rocker did. Just as you said that
you agreed with some of his beliefs, well so do I. I just don't come out
and yell it to the public and point to any race nor do I condemn anyone
for their ideologies, tradition, or way of life.
I spent ten (10) years in the U.S. Army and I met just about every nationality
known to man. During my tenure, I visited England, Germany, Turkey, and
Iran on the west side of the Atlantic and Hawaii, Japan, and Korea on the
east side of the Pacific. I also traveled across the United States (At
least twenty states) . This wonderful country of ours is the melting pot
of the world and I think that we all have an equal right to be here. Mr.
Rocker aimed his bigoted and racist remarks at different people without
regard that they are just as human as he is.
I also am against any human injustice such as the practices, ethics,
and attitudes of many cultures. All nations have something or other that
does not sit well with our ways and it is usually extreme, deadly, imoral,
not to mention illegal, but that is their country and sometimes we can't
do anything about it except keep it out of our country. We are all racist
in one way or another and sometimes we do foolish things without thinking
about them. What does come from the mouth such as the bad things we say
can really hurt others.
In closing, I would like to say that maybe if Mr. Rocker didn't have
anything good to say about anyone, he should have kept his mouth shut,
because he made a whole lot of enemies for himself. Also, I don't believe
that Mr. Rocker was just being human, I think he was being inhumane and
should recant what he said if he really is sincere about not being a bigot.
I personally believe that professional athletes are and should be good
role-models for our children, but I wouldn't want them to hear something
like that coming from his/her favorite athlete. For many years, Pecos has
been divided by racsim and bigotry, yet we tend to turn away from the fact.
It is not noticeable to some, but it sure is to others.
I think its about time we took a real good look at ourselves and learned
to live with one another in friendship and harmony. I also think that we
should all take a good look at ourselves before we cut someone down for
something that they probably can't control or for the color of their skin,
difference in language or usage of the English language.
Sometimes it is better to just keep our opinion to ourselves. Thanks
for your time, space, and attention.
As always PEACE!!!
Return to top
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Peggy McCracken, Webmaster
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.
We support Newspapers in Education
Copyright 2000 by Pecos Enterprise