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Tuesday, March 28, 2000

Smokey Briggs


By Smokey Briggs

From the hip

We read with interest this week that Cancun is becoming the spring break party mecca of the nation. Students are apparently flying to Cancun rather than driving to traditional spring break spots like South Padre Island, Texas and Daytona Beach, Florida.

Even though it is more expensive and requires more prior planning, the number of college kids opting for Cancun continues to grow, the Associate Press reports.

At the end of the story, we are told that the legal drinking age in Mexico is 18.

And we wonder why college kids would rather go there than Daytona Beach?

Which brings us to the fact that the drinking age of 21 is still wrong headed. If someone is old enough to be drafted, vote for the president, and pay taxes, he or she is old enough to buy a beer.

Elian Gonzalez, the 6-year-old Cuban boy who survived the boat wreck that killed his mother, needs to be sent home to his father. We may not like Cuba or Fidel Castro, but the kid's father lives in Cuba, not Florida. Parental rights should control, not his chances for success and happiness as measured by our materialistic society.

If we are really so concerned with the welfare Cuba's children then declare war, invade, get rid of the communists, and make Cuba a protectorate. Either way, the boy should be sent home to his closest living relative.

The United States Supreme Court ruled recently that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could not do through decree what Congress has not done through legislation, when it stated that the FDA could not regulate tobacco as a drug.

Good for the Court. Too often these days government agencies create defacto laws through rules and regulations that are never seen by our duly elected lawmakers. This kind of "government by the bureaucracy" is never a good thing, even if you like the intended results. Eventually the tables will turn and you will not like the results.

Which leads us to the central point in the tobacco debate _ is it a drug?

To characterize tobacco as a drug is foolishness, and trivializes real drugs like cocaine, marijuana, heroin, etc....Calling tobacco a drug is like calling the sinking of the Titanic a boating accident. It is a mischaracterization in the extreme.

Tobacco is not mind altering _ it is bad for you. There is a difference.

I'm not ready to let the federal government regulate everything that is bad for me. Soda pop and coffee will need to on that list, along with most of the other things I like.

No thanks.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Smokey Briggs is the editor and publisher of the Pecos Enterprise whose column appears on Tuesdays. He can be e-mailed

Our View

Groups, individuals deserve a pat on back

Pecos took one of those small steps forward that really can get you somewhere this weekend.

Volunteers spent their Saturday morning picking up trash around town. When they were done, several parts of Pecos had been transformed from dumps to natural desert.

It may not seem like much, but it matters _ and it demonstrated the spirit that it will take to rebuild Pecos.

Grandma always said being poor is no excuse for being dirty _ Pecos is no exception. One of the best things we can do for this town is clean it up. It doesn't take money, just hard work.

And a clean, neat town will be perceived by outsiders as a town with potential _ rather than a town teetering toward the grave.

When it comes to investment, perception matters. Nobody is going to invest in a town he perceives is dying _ and that is the image we project with fields full of plastic bags and roads littered with beer bottles.

Cleaning Pecos up won't create prosperity. But it will create the atmosphere where prosperity can bloom.

It is a good first step.

The groups and individuals who gave up their Saturday to do this deserve a pat on the back.

Good job to, Pecos Downtown Lions Club, Pecos Rotary Club, Pecos Youth Advisory Council, Pecos Post Office workers, Town of Pecos City officials and employees, Pecos Housing Authority and the Our Style Car Club.

Your View

Special thanks to Reeves Co. Sheriff, emergency staff

Dear Editor:
Yester while visiting my sister in Toyah, I experienced severe chest pains. Fearing the worst, my husband put me in our car and headed for thr hospital in Pecos. Even though we now live in El Paso, we grew up here and were familiar with the area. While speeding, literally, to the hospital, an alert Reeves County Sheriff spotted us. When we explained the situation, he told us to proceed and he would follow. Unknown to us, he radioed ahead to the hospital so when we arrived at emergency, they were waiting. The entire emergency room team were kind, efficient and comforting. They did everything to keep me informed of what they were doing.

While in the end, it was not a heart attack.

I wanted to say thank you to everybody who worked so hard. I used to worry about what would happen in an emergency situation to my sister living in Toyah.

After yesterday I can rest easy that they will be responded quickly by dedicated professionals.


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