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Smokey Briggs


By Smokey Briggs

Tuesday, February 12, 2002

Our first

gold medal

Ah, the Olympics. The history. The pageantry. The tradition. The fierce competition. National pride on the line as great men and women compete in great events.

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 Olympic stature?


Isn't there an Olympic Committee or something? How did snowboarding become an Olympic sport?

What next?

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.

Would they?


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:

Our View

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.

Your View

Concerned citizen wants everyone to vote without fear

Dear Editor:
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
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