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Smokey Briggs


By Smokey Briggs

Tuesday, October 24, 2000

The slavery of the states

The Civil War was about slavery. African slavery by Caucasians was a defining symptom of the North and South, but certainly not the sole cause as portrayed in modern history books.

The root cause of this conflict was slavery, however _ the slaver of a minority of free citizens at the time by the majority of free citizens.

The slavery of the states to the federal government.

No where in the Constitution does it say that the independent states the signed this document to form the United States of America gave up their right to step away from that newly formed union later in time.

In 1860, when about one-half did step away and succeeded, they were forced back into the Union at bloody gunpoint.

I do not understand why this point is totally disregarded in our schools' study of this war. Of every aspect, this is the worst. In essence, the southern states where kidnapped and enslaved as of 1865. The right of self-determination was lost though valiantly fought for. This was the second time in less than 100 years Americans had fought to sustain that right.

That was the beginning step in the total erosion of states' rights. More than a 100 years later we seem to have reached the conclusion of the battle that began in 1775 at Concorde, and was continued at Fort Sumter, South Carolina in 1860.

States' rights no longer exist except at the whim and convenience of the national government. A government so strong and abusive that it epitomizes the exact thing our founding fathers feared the most and tried to prevent.

In this year's national elections we have a chance to fire one more shot in this long battle. There are two distinct choices. Vice president Al Gore is the prince of the gargantuan national government and promises to feed the beast more of your time, effort, money, and freedom.

George W. Bush is no perfect friend of freedom either. But he is a lot better than Gore. Under a Bush regime and a Republican Congress, we might actually erode some of the strangle hold the Feds have gotten on power in this nation. Any return of power to the states is good. In the least, under Bush, the national government will not grow as fast.

A vote for Bush is a vote to push back the day citizens must again take up arms to battle the tyranny of an absolutely powerful national state. A vote for Gore is simply embracing the yoke of slavery to the national government.

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

Our View

Bill of No Rights

Editor's Note: We received this via email recently and felt it was worth sharing with our readers. The email did not say who authored these words but that does not detract from their value.

We, the sensible people of the United States, in an attempt to help everyone get along, restore some semblance of justice, avoid any more riots, keep our nation safe, promote positive behavior and secure the blessings of debt-free liberty to ourselves and our great-great-great grandchildren, hereby try one more time to ordain and establish some common sense guidelines for the terminally whiny, guilt-ridden, delusional and other liberals.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that a whole lot of people were confused by the Bill of Rights and are so dim that they require a Bill of No Rights.

ARTICLE I: You do not have the right to a new car, big screen TV or any other form of wealth. More power to you if you can legally acquire them, but no one is guaranteeing anything.

ARTICLE II: You do not have the right to never be offended. This country is based on freedom, and that means freedom for everyone not just you! You may leave the room, turn the channel, express a different opinion, etc., but the world is full of idiots, and probably always will be.

ARTICLE III: You do not have the right to be free from harm. If you stick a screwdriver in your eye, learn to be more careful, do not expect the tool manufacturer to make you and all your relatives independently wealthy.

ARTICLE IV: You do not have the right to free food and housing. Americans are the most charitable people to be found, and will gladly help anyone in need, but we are quickly growing weary of subsidizing generation after generation of professional couch potatoes who achieve nothing more than the creation of another generation of professional couch potatoes.

ARTICLE V: You do not have the right to free health care. That would be nice, but from the looks of public housing, we're just not interested in public health care.

ARTICLE VI: You do not have the right to physically harm other people. If you kidnap, rape, intentionally maim or kill someone, don't be surprised if the rest of us want to see you fry in the electric chair.

ARTICLE VII: You do not have the right to the possessions of others. If you rob, cheat or coerce away the goods or services of other citizens, don't be surprised if the rest of us get together and lock you away in a place where you still won't have the right to a big-screen color TV or a life of leisure.

ARTICLE VIII: You don't have the right to demand that our children risk their lives in foreign wars to soothe your aching conscience. We hate oppressive governments and won't lift a finger to stop you from going to fight if you'd like; however, we do not enjoy parenting the entire world, and do not want to spend so much of our time battling each and every little tyrant with a military uniform and a funny hat.

ARTICLE IX: You don't have the right to a job. All of us sure want all of you to have one, and will gladly help you along in hard times, but we expect you to take advantage of the opportunities of education and vocational training laid before you to make yourself useful.

ARTICLE X: You do not have the right to happiness. Being an American means that you have the right to pursue happiness - which by the way, is a lot easier if you are unencumbered by an over abundance of idiotic laws created by those of you who were confused by the Bill of Rights.

Your View

Parent upset over band director's actions

Dear Editor:
Good people of Pecos, when will you wake up and smell the coffee? You have obviously bout a Pig-In-A-Poke in the form of our Head Band Director, Mr. William Goff.

After the last outing to El Paso for the UIL marching contest, the band went to Las Cruces for competition (where their performance was not received well) and whereupon they were abandoned there by Mr. Goff under the guise of illness! (After watching the other bands perform I too was ill, we were terribly outclassed by Five-A schools). I am also sadly aware that it was sanctioned by Mr. Olibas, that he was therefore aware of Mr. Goff's actions and his excuses, but I daresay Mr. Olibas _ you were not there to see the reactions of the students upon being left behind (or Mr. Goff eating at Golden Corral before his flight from Las Cruces).

Nor were either of you there when the time came for the drum majors and band directors to take to the field for presentations. Sincere there was no other representatives for Pecos' Might Marching Band there, Thomas Alexander, the only Pecos drum major present on the field, attempted to receive the critique packages given to all the band directors entered in the contest; he was told that the Pecos package had already been handed out earlier to the Pecos Band Director.

This begs the question, "when did Mr. Goff know that there would be no awards given to the Pecos Marching Band, and why were the students (and parents of same) not informed?" Instead, the decision was made to leave the contest and return to Pecos without any explanations. Was this done to `protect' our sensitivities or to `spare' our children from the facts?

Regardless of the competitive outcome it would nonetheless have been a learning experience, for all who attended, in order to see what the other marching bands do to win these types of over ten thousand dollars on a two-day outing for one hundred and eighty-eight students, that they cultivate the full extent and content of that trip?

I, for one, am sick and tired of Mr. Goff's excuses, and Mr. Olibas' obvious protection for him. Band parents, believe me, if you have any gripes about Mr. Goff don't take them to Mr. Obilas for they will fall on deaf ears. Band parents and concerned citizens; please attend the next school board meeting to voice your opinions.


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