Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country
of West Texas
By Smokey Briggs
Tuesday, January 29, 2002
John Walker -- Traitor?
So John Walker is a traitor? Somebody is going to have to explain this
to me better than Dan Rather and the rest of the talking-head Muppets employed
by the networks have.
I do not follow the logic.
Lets see, a sixteen-year-old kid becomes disillusioned with the you're-okay-I'm-a-self-centered-California-whacko
life teachings of his parents and goes off in search of moral guidance. (I
cannot say I blame him for that. A wild pig might find itself less than spiritually
nourished with similar parenting).
For better or worse he ends up converting to one of the more conservative
brands of Islam, moves to Afghanistan, renounces his citizenship for all
intents and purposes, and becomes a foot soldier in the army of the Taliban.
At the time the United States is not at war with Afghanistan and few,
save perhaps a few CIA analysts, could even begin to predict such a conflict
in the next 100 years.
The terrorist cell his new government harbors destroys the World Trade
Center and his government then refuses to hand the terrorist over.
We do what we ought to in such a situation and invade. John Walker fights
on the side of his new country. His army gets pulverized and he ends up a
What, in all of that, constitutes treason?
First, he renounced his citizenship in a such a way that anyone but a
lawyer would recognize it. Non-citizens cannot be guilty of treason.
Sabotage yes, treason no.
Second, he was not a saboteur or terrorist, or I have not heard anyone
accuse him of such. He was a foot soldier. A grunt.
So what can he be accused of? What could he be guilty of?
From what I can tell, his worst crime is renouncing American culture and
joining a culture that likes to make its women wear veils.
I am not sure where that particular crime is written down in the United
The proper response is to send him back to Afghanistan — the country
of his choosing — and let Afghanistan deal with her own. He is not
an American and we should not treat him as one.
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:
New York's firemen statue -- liberals run amuck
The debate surrounding the proposed statue to honor the fallen firemen
of the World Trade Center attack is sad commentary on the state of American
In case you missed it, the city of New York has commissioned a bronze
statue recreating Thomas Franklin's now famous picture of three New York
fireman raising Old Glory amidst the rubble of the Trade Centers.
Unfortunately, history demonstrated incredible poor taste by unfairly
representing the races in that picture. All the fire fighters in the picture
The statue was commissioned to look just like the photo, except, two of
the white firemen will be replaced with a black fire man and a brown fireman.
Welcome to the world of the hysterically politically correct.
The decision is a chilling illustration of the hypocrisy, stupidity, and
blatant racism the left embraces as proper.
There is nothing wrong with creating a statue honoring whomever for whatever
depicting people of any type — if New York wants to erect a statue
representing every race, gender, sexual orientation and every possible mix
of the three, that would be fine.
But such a statue should not masquerade as a historical image and that
is what this statue as currently conceived does — it pulls a politically
correct cover over a historical image to force it to conform to the beliefs
of a bunch of quota-counting fools.
The worst part is that this politically driven decision by a few moral
cowards detracts from the message of honor and sacrifice that this statue
embodies for all Americans of every race, creed and gender.
City Hall -- a new beginning
I usually don't respond to editorials or letters to the editor. However
the time has come to address the issues that have been addressed in
the editorial of December 26, 2001 in the Pecos Enterprise and the
letter submitted by Mrs. Emily Fernandes.
First about the editorial entitled "City Hall apparently the new doors
were just the beginning." Mrs. Valenzuela spoke to the City Council during
the "public comments" portion of the meeting. The city council is not allowed
to take any action on matters that are addressed by citizens during this
portion of the meeting. I later called Mrs. Valenzuela to inquire if her
questions about the landfill had been addressed and to see if she had received
the documents she had requested. I was told she had received the documents,
I left a message for her to call me if she had any other questions. The editorial
goes on and refers to our city employees as "minions" I find this use of
language to be offensive and unprofessional. On this same day the editor
printed in his column "SAGE VIEW" "The Best Part of Christmas" a brief quote
excerpt from that column "With a pinch of that understanding in our hearts
we are genuinely friendlier, and happier, and more likely to suspect goodwill
rather than selfish motives from our fellow men." Food for thought. The City
of Pecos has good employees. They are proud and hard working. Mistakes are
made, no one is perfect. We should all try to improve and do the best job
To address the "moronic expense" for the new security doors, the actual
expense was less than a $1,000.00. What value can you place on a life? The
letter to the editor by Mrs. Emily Fernandes is concerned with the remodeling
of City Hall. She asked if something had happened to warrant the changes.
Do we have to wait for something to happen before changes can be made? The
airline industry wishes they had made some security changes prior to the
tragic day of September 11 2001. The doors and payment windows have been
installed for the safety of our employees. I am concerned that an official
of the West Texas National Bank would make public information the lack of
security at the bank. The city staff is able to perform their job duties
in a safe environment. The attitude at City Hall is to SERVE THE CITIZENS
OF PECOS. People do not like change yet most everyone in the community always
tells me "things need to change we need to do something to turn Pecos around".
We are doing the best job we can.
The current administration has made changes and is looking to give Pecos
a "NEW BEGINNING", we are working on problems for the City of Pecos that
should have been addressed twenty years ago. At the same time we are trying
to address the new problems. I was offended by the ignorant accusation of
city government as "MAFIA" how ridiculous. The letter goes on to say the
"Locked City Hall doors a bad image" It is letters that make accusations
without any validity that create a dark cloud over the City of Pecos. At
a time when we should be working together. Letters like this continue to
divide the community. Anchor is closing it's doors and eliminating 700 jobs.
Everyone asks "What are you doing?" Let me ask you, citizens of Pecos "What
are you doing?". Do you tell people how great it is to live in Pecos or do
you complain how bad it is to live in Pecos? I like living in Pecos and will
continue to work to make it a better place to live. How about you?
There are many individuals in the community of Pecos that are working
very hard to bring another business to replace Anchor. Those people have
put many hours into this project. They remain anonymous and thankless. My
thanks go out to these people who are trying to improve our community. Unfortunately
there others in the community that suffer from the "CRAB MENTALITY". Some
people in the community are working to go up and then there are those who
will reach up and knock you back into the unproductive hole they live in.
Those are the same people that ask "Why is Pecos drying up?".
Election time is here. Exercise your right to vote. All I ask is that
you be an informed voter don't be influenced by the uninformed. Exercise
all your rights, ask questions and wait for an answers.
City Councilman & Citizen of Pecos, Texas
County judge candidate stresses development
I would like to share a few comments from a voter's perspective on
the January 18th, "Meet the Candidate," night in which the candidates
for County Judge differentiated their objectives. The incumbent advocates
government involvement in problem solving our community's dilemma with
more government spending, more bureaucracy; greater government involvement
in the affairs of everyday life. His challenger advocated private and
free enterprise, an environment of competition. His exact term was
"Economic Development." My only hope is that the economic development
he promoted is different from the "Economic Development Corporation's"
definition of economic development, one of non-performance and lack
This differentiation denotes two different systems of government; Capitalism
versus Socialism. Capitalism has been the thrust in this country since its
birth. Socialism has been the thrust in countries like Cuba, China and others.
It really hasn't worked well there and I doubt it will work well here in
The candidates utilized their time allotment wisely. They were straightforward,
informative and to the point. As for the no-shows, is this an indication
of their future performance?
I was very impressed by the Democratic congressional candidate, Henry
Cuellar. His credentials are of the highest caliber. Even though I have
voted for the Republican candidate in the past, I believe I will have a
difficult time in not considering Mr. Cuellar for this position. Gracias.
JANIE N. RODRIQUEZ
Actions of Barstow fire dept. defended
I would like to respond to concerned reader's letter that appeared
in the 22 January 2002 edition. The point of my letter was to inform
the community of the services the BVFD has to offer. She brought up
numerous points that I plan to address in my follow up letter. First,
I would like to say that I agree 100% with her closing statement about
tell the whole story and what I want. I told the current story of the
condition of the BVFD. The whole story would wind up being a novel.
Concerned reader was curious about the firefighter's training and concerns
for their own safety. I don't know a single firefighter that isn't concerned
for their safety. When uniforms offer little to no protection because of
age and use, the firefighter has to take extra precaution. As for training,
most of the firefighters have been in for a short time. Training classes
at College Station are in the works. We did have a mock car fire in which
the new firefighters were shown how to operate the equipment and how to approach
Concerned reader mentioned that we were given a $3500.00 donation from
the Ward County Irrigation District. We are extremely grateful for this donation.
She also mentioned that Pecos donated a fire truck to the BVFD. In my previous
letter, that was mentioned. I say this again ... we are grateful for that
Concerned reader stated that our fire chief did not show up for the board
meeting, which is true. He was out of town because of training for his new
job. What she failed to mention was that our first assistant chief was present
at that meeting. The utility bill we paid was part of an agreement in which
the recipient was to pay us back. That is currently in process.
Concerned reader mentioned the Christmas lighting contest that the BVFD
sponsored. What she failed to mention was the money was donated for the contest
by two local citizens a Pecos business. The monetary awards did not come
from our funds. I understand that the new fire department was taken over
by the City Council for safety reasons. What she failed to mention is the
current status of our post office.
Our postmaster has been working out of a postal truck since the post office
was condemned for safety issues. She has been working out of that truck for
close to a year. The taking over the project was not the issue. The issue
was about the firefighters safety due to substandard equipment.
Concerned reader states that we play in the streets and in the water.
Perhaps she misconstrued the mock car fire as playing in the streets. As
for playing in the water, we're not allowed to check the fire hydrants. Perhaps
she misconstrued the fact that several firefighters were washing the truck
in preparations for the Christmas parade. The truck was dirty after responding
to the car fire that occurred at the construction site just outside of Pecos.
I'm going to close this letter by reiterating concerned reader's closing
statement. Tell the whole truth and not what you want told.
JOHN V. DIEHL, JR.
Brook's book shows photos of places she's traveled
Joyce Brooks' list of places she has visited for free reads like a world
map. All 50 states of the United States and nine Canadian provinces are just
a start. From Antigua to the Virgin Islands in Central America, Argentina
to Venezuela in South America, Andorra to Yugoslavian Europe, Brunei to Vietnam
in Asia, Cape Verde Islands to Zimbabwe in Africa and Australia to Tahiti
in the Pacific Area, she has traveled up and down the alphabet.
In her book, "Around the World in the Middle Seat," Brooks tells how she
saw the world (and survived) as a group travel leader. She takes the middle
seat because her husband likes the window seat, Brooks explains in the prologue
to the 266-page paperback.
During the 25 years they led group tours, Brooks said the flight to and
from the destination was the only unpleasant and bad part of a trip. "But
it was certainly worth every inconvenience and all the dreadful food to see
and to do everything that I have experienced," she said.
Photos accompanying the riveting text range from near-naked natives of
Indonesia to uniformed waiters holding aloft dishes of Baked Alaska.
Anyone who has dreamed of seeing the Taj Majal or strolling the streets
of Paris in the spring should read this travelogue, which sells in bookstores
for $17.95. ISBN 1-887140-39-5.
_ Peggy McCracken
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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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