Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country
of West Texas
By Smokey Briggs
Tuesday, February 12, 2002
Ah, the Olympics. The history. The pageantry. The tradition. The fierce
competition. National pride on the line as great men and women compete in
Even for a cynic there is a little magic in the Olympics. Who can forget
the American hockey team that vanquished the Russians in 1980? Or the chubby
kid from South Dakota or thereabouts who whipped the giant Russian champion
in the last summer games?
Man, that is great stuff.
So when I heard on the radio that the U.S. had won its first gold medal
in this year's games I was interested enough to stop my huffing and puffing
on my handy-dandy ski/torture machine and turn up the radio.
"Good for us!" I thought.
I waited for the announcer to tell us what olympic sport we had vanquished
the world in. Was it a skiing event? Or maybe the bobsled? Speed skating?
And then the announcer said.... "snowboarding."
That was a joke right?
Ha, ha, we won a medal in snowboarding. Yeah and next summer I'm going
to the Olympics to compete in the horny toad catching contest.
"That's right folks, first gold of the Olympics for the USA in Snowboarding,"
Mr. Announcer said again, completely serious.
Gradually I realized that it was no joke, that I had not found the radio
land equivalent of Saturday Night Live, and no, the snowboarding gold medal
was not some outrageous silly spoof about the modern Olympics.
It was reality.
Surely there are some guidelines that determine whether a sport is of
Isn't there an Olympic Committee or something? How did snowboarding become
an Olympic sport?
Snow-tubing? I like sliding down a hill in tractor tire inner tube but
it never struck me as Olympic material.
Moto-cross? Yeah, my cousins in South Carolina will like that.
Mud buggy racing? Monster truck racing? Sewing?
I can hear it now. "And here she comes folks, Nanna Smith is just moments
away from taking the gold medal in the whip stitch. Stay tuned for more exciting
Olympic stitchery after these messages."
Nah. Not even the present Olympic Committee would sink that far.
It's just wrong.
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:
Scalia gets it right on assisted suicide
Well, at least we have one Supreme Court Justice that can read _ and apparently
has used that skill to read the Constitution of the United States.
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia proved that yesterday when he said
that individual states should decide whether or not to make assisted suicide
legal _ not the Supreme Court.
Those are good words to hear in an age where Federal power reigns supreme
over the power of the State no matter the legal relationship established
by the Constitution.
It is also pleasant to hear a Justice willing to state that the Constitution
does not contemplate or address assisted suicide _ and hence the issue cannot
be taken to the Supreme Court on Constitutional grounds.
Over the past 50 years the Supreme Court has rarely shied away from an
issue simply because it took a great stretch of the imagination to connect
the issue and our Constitution.
Rather, the Court simply stretched, and stretched, and stretched _ gradually
insinuating its jurisdiction into areas never contemplated by the Constitution
via the tortured reasoning that the Commerce Clause somehow gives the Court
jurisdiction over practically all it desires.
Whether the Court will follow Scalia's advice is yet to be seen.
Still, a Justice that looks to the Constitution for jurisdiction over
such a case instead of to the opinion polls is a breath of fresh air.
Concerned citizen wants everyone to vote without fear
As I sat reading the Letter to Editor from Judge Galindo on 2-5-02, I
could not help but ask myself "Why were these questions not asked last
October or November"? Not to necessarily point at anyone to say it
is your fault, or another persons fault, but to say "This should not
have happened". Our local officials are elected by the people and for
the people, to serve and protect the people. Right? Before any elected
official accepts the responsibility of safeguarding a community they
should fully understand how serious their responsibility is and not
act for their own self interest. Now I myself find it unrealistic for
something of this magnitude to be overlooked by Judge Jimmy Galindo,
Who could have intervened and protected the community interest? I realize
that Judge Galindo is a very busy individual, but come on, lets get
real. Part of college training is critical thinking, This, in a nut
shell, is basically being able to pick out what is important and dealing
with it in a timely manner before damage is done. Whether it is in
Politics, Welfare, Health Care, or Educational issues. Anyone with
a higher education has a degree to do what ever it is that they are
payed to do. Okay. we are all human and make mistakes, but if we have
to hurt people to accomplish a "Goal" it is not worth it. I can not
help but wonder if maybe they felt it would provide employees for the
Prison. Many people asked how they planned to find enough employees
to serve the RCDC II, now they are building RCDC III. Where else were
the people going to come from? I feel pain in my heart for all the
individuals that are suffering because this issue of Anchor West was
pushed aside as something not worth dealing with. If this is not what
was done then why was this business not helped before it landed in
someones hands that does not give a rip about Pecos. I have been a
resident of Pecos for 40 Years. My roots are here and I do not intend
to ever leave. I have great concerns for the health and well being
of our community in relation to issues regarding the Prison System
also. Not once can I recall hearing questions by County or City officials
regarding Policies and Proceedures to be followed by guards and healthcare
transfering inmates to our County Hospital or doctors offices from
the RCDC. Did I miss something? Who is responsible for this? As we
get closer to election time I hope people put aside any fears of seeing
change. I believe it is time to sit back and really take a look at
what is really important to each of us. It should be our families.
Their safety and well being. Do we really want our children working
for someone that does not live here, pay taxes here, or care what happens
here? You can check on it yourself, but I believe there is only one,
maybe two, key positons held by a long time resident of Pecos. Most
of the key positions out at the prison are held by BOP. Only one of
"them" live here. I hate to say, but there are many people in our little
town that are afraid. They are afraid of their freedom of speech, afraid
to say who they support in the upcoming election. So I say to you,
we have honest people running our elections. Vote without fear. Please,
the well being of your community is ultimately controlled by you. We
elect our officials. It is time for a change or two.
Just A Concerned Citizen
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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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