Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country
of West Texas
By Smokey Briggs
Tuesday, October 9, 2001
From the Hip
Well, it did not take long for "Hanoi Jane" Fonda to run her true colors
up the flagpole. The rubble was still smoldering in New York when she announced
that, "It would be a mistake for America to retaliate militarily."
What is it about being an actor best known for your cleavage that makes
you an expert on war, strategy, politics, or anything else for that matter,
other than who has the softest casting couch?
When Fonda visited the North Vietnamese while they were killing American
boys, she was a traitor. Her latest statements aren't traitorous, but they
amply illustrate the liberal-feminist foolishness that permeates Hollywood
and so much of our national thinking.
It is this kind of backwards thinking that has allowed terrorism to spread
as a viable means of applying political pressure.
I almost fell over last week when I read an editorial in the El Paso Times
advocating a return to the draft.
DeWayne Wickam, the author, covers politics and social issues for Gannett
After arguing with liberals for years that only a draft insured America
of a sound military it was nice to see the same words published in a metropolitan
newspaper and written by a guy that writes for one of the big boys.
Wickam made the point that the current volunteer military leaves the burden
of defense on the backs of Southerners, blacks and the sons of the blue collar
world in general.
He left out the inherent danger of having a military composed of "them"
rather than "us."
He left out the danger of having a country run by politicians who have
never shouldered a pack and rifle.
He left out the fact that a military composed of a cross-section of America
is a far better force than one made up only of patriots, career soldiers,
and those who cannot find another job.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
—Benjamin Franklin, 1759
Current terrorist legislation is foolish - there is a better way
How do we fight terrorism on our own shores without gutting the very freedom
we are trying to protect?
The solution is fairly simple outside the borders of the United States.
It is called war. There are very few rules and you break those.
But what about inside the United States?
Here we find ourselves between mythology's Scylla and Charybdis _ between
a West Texas rock and a hard place.
Since the beginnings of this great nation we have built legal walls that
impede law enforcement but help guarantee that we do not degenerate into
a police state.
U. S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and many others are supporting laws
that gut these Constitutional protections that prevent indefinite detention
without charges being filed, wholesale wire tapping, and a host of similar
If all law enforcement officers could be trusted to always do the right
thing, to always know who the bad guys were and to act appropriately, you
would not need such protections. Law enforcement would not need rules.
But law enforcement officers are human beings subject to all of the emotions
and faults that their fellow humans beings harbor _ greed, jealously, stupidity,
hatred, blind ambition, prejudice…
The problem with most of this proposed legislation is that it hinges on
the classification of the suspect as a terrorist. It is not hard to foresee
terrorist becoming a very loosely defined word for investigation purposes.
At what point does a suspected drug dealer become a terrorist? A suspected
mobster? A suspected money-laundering ring? With many of these measures we
will have the fox guarding the Constitutional hen house. That is stupid.
Such "gloves off" law enforcement is an affront to the very liberties
we are trying to protect.
Rather than drawing the line with an arbitrary classification of "terrorist"
a better approach would be to relax rules regarding investigation of non-citizens.
The terrorist threat we are confronted with generally involves non-U.S.
Withdrawing some Constitutional protections from non-citizens suspected
of terrorism is not an affront to the Constitution, and it does not leave
our country in danger of succumbing to the false security of the police state.
Don't vote Slim for President
In the past year or so I've developed a great respect for Slim, his
thinking has always closely paralleled mine. That was until I read
his last comments on being president and getting rid of the world's
terrorist. Seems to me that Slim may have a little Hitler in him!
Slim you're a nit wit if you want to be president. The president doesn't
have enough power; he must do what is politically correct not what is morally
correct. This is a prerequisite to keeping his job! How about "dictator"
then he could get the job done.
I wonder if Slim would want to set fire to the whole village if his kids
or grandkids were in that village, I think not!
Don't we have the technology, the power and the intelligence to ferret
out all the terrorist bastards in this world without killing innocent people?
There is no doubt that the American Democracy is the best form of government
yet devised but let us not continue to be complacent. This great country
was built on the concept of protecting the innocent. The fact that we don't
always adhere to that concept just gives us something to strive for. There
is still a lot of room for improvement!
Please don't vote Slim for president. Vote Jim for dictator.
Air travel column flies true
Smokey's recently published Sage Views concerning air travel security,
I believe, covers a lot of ground and appeals to most of us whose prime
concern for most of our lifetimes, was national security. Please lead on.
Ex's disappointed in homecoming activities
We wish to thank you in advance for letting us air our opinions and
comments in your newspaper column.
This is an open letter to the Pecos High School student council and sponsor
and who ever else is responsible for the pep rally and the function put on
for that event, primarily HOMECOMING.
We travel to Pecos from Lubbock, Tx. and Visita Ca. every year for this
particular event, as this is our home, and Pecos High is our school. We take
pride in coming back and being a part of the activities. Imagine the total
shock and disappointment we felt at being treated like second class citizens.
First and foremost, there was nothing planned for us X's, like who came
the furthest, oldest, ect., the tea was just thrown together with no thought
to detail, no one was around to show any interest in the X students.
The bonfire was a farce, in the past we supported the MIGHTY, MIGHTY PECOS
EAGLES, not the mighty, mighty seniors, juniors, etc… As for the pep
rally, again it was a shouting match to see who would get the spirit stick,
while all that is a show of support, a little less of it would have been
better. Just think how we felt at being ignored, remember one day you too
will be coming back to good old Pecos for homecoming. How will you feel
if you are treated this way?
The sponsor should have kept abreast of all that was transpiring, that
is her or his function. Hopefully next year you will give us a bit of recognition.
After all it is good for the soul.
To end this letter, we wish to express our heartfelt pride in the Pecos
Eagles for their win. That off-set the hurt we had to endure.
One last parting comment, remember tomorrow is closer than you think.
JANIE N. RODRIGUEZ
MARY J. GARCIA
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York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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