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Tuesday, June 3, 2003

Smokey Briggs

Sage Views

By Smokey Briggs

Let's vote

on it

According to the Democrats I am a member of the minority in this country - a conservative.

I do not really like that label - it has become a catchall phrase of sorts to describe everyone from Joe Suburban with a pretty average set of American values to the Grand Dragon of the KKK.

But, I use the term liberal to describe every lizard -kissing kook I come across, so I guess turnabout is fair play.

Listening to the Democrat sound bytes you would think that the majority of Americans are willing to pay more and more taxes so long as the revenue goes to nice programs that help kids and single moms and four-toed owls.

I am not part of that group.

From what I have seen of this world, the more you help people the less they do for themselves.

My dad always said that nobody ever appreciates a gift. As seems to be the case on many topics, the older I get the smarter my dad gets.

So, I end up with the label conservative - part of the mean minority that is supposedly running this country at the moment.

First, let me say that if conservatives are running the country I am ashamed because the world does not look very conservative from over here.

Second, I think the Democrat/liberals are fudging about the popularity of their wealth redistribution programs.

I do not think that those of us wearing the conservative label because of our views on human nature, taxation and the free market are a minority.

Actually, I suspect that the mean people are a pretty hefty majority.

Of course, my suspicions could be wrong.

There is only one solution.

A test.

I propose that for one year, every program supported with tax dollars must be put on a ballot, from the disgusting-artist-support-fund to the military.

Next to each line item there will be the total price of the program.

As each item is checked by our majority of kind-hearted people who do not mind being taxed in the name of humanity the price tag for them as an individual will be illuminated and added to the running total at the bottom of the ballot machine.

Items can of course be checked or unchecked until Mr. Nice Liberal or Mr. Evil Conservative is pleased with the total amount of his earned income he is handing over to the government for redistribution to his neighbors.

As nice liberal folks who do not mind giving of their income until it hurts in the name of helping their fellow man are the majority, I am sure that the only possible outcome will be increased taxes and spending.

Tom Daschle and company can only win - if what they say is true.

I'm willing to bet on it.

I wonder if the liberals are?

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:

Your View

Reader agrees with editor's opinion on Memorial Day

Dear Editor:
I found the editorial response (Our View 27 May 2003) to PBT-ISD classes being held on Memorial Day to be uncharacteristically restrained. Smokey Briggs had every justification to issue forth his usual venom and vitriol in response to the un-American decision by the teachers, staff, and school board to hold classes on our most somber of national holidays. He was probably in shock. I was.

My own response was of anger and obscenities. I've re-written this letter at least four times. I had shredded my final draft because I was certain that my criticism would fall on deaf ears and the teachers and school officials would, as usual, blame shift and spin their way from weasel-hood to victim-hood. But, if I remain silent, their shame will become mine.

According to PBT-ISD Superintendent, Don Love, "The teachers and staff vote for the holidays they wish to observe. They always want the November and December holiday weeks. They also voted to take Martin Luther King's birthday as a holiday and voted to work on Memorial Day." Mr. Love "didn't know" if the day's curriculum added assemblies or special lessons on the importance of Memorial Day. However, it's a safe bet that special programs were held for Earth Day and Cinco de Mayo.

Because of the supreme sacrifice of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen, Dr. King was free to teach his message of tolerance, equity, and non-violent protest. We're free to celebrate our diverse cultural heritage. Neither Dr. King nor cultural heritage celebrations would be possible under the rule of Nazism, Imperial Japan, collective communism, or militant Islam. Even the noble contributions of great men and our many cultures must be secondary to honoring the sacrifices made by those who died in military service to our nation.

Shame. On the teachers and staff who voted to conduct business as usual on the most holy of national holidays. Shame. On the school board who rubber-stamped their unpatriotic decision. Shame. On Don Love for "not knowing" what goes on in his schools. The lesson taught by these "educators" is that wants are more important than sacrifices. Our schools have taught kids that self-esteem is a virtue over self-control, their rights exceed their responsibilities, and that victims are extolled over the victorious. "Hero" is applied at whim to anyone. It was not always so.

Forty years ago, those even suggesting abandonment of Memorial Day in favor of business as usual would be wearing new coats of tar and feathers. Their suits would have been applied by my father, my father-in-law, and the 7 out of 10 adult males in our neighborhood. They were men who had served with friends who died in battle. Then, the day was marked with a parade, memorial services at the cemetery, public prayers, and a family picnic eaten while listening to the Indy 500 on a portable radio. American flags flew from every porch. Veteran's groups provided little flags on wooden sticks to the homes where no flag was hung. There was equal measure of solemnity and celebration. Thank God we were kids living in those days.

Memorial Day is not a day for tire sales and a day at the mall. It's not to commemorate police, firefighters, "victims of terrorism", or living veterans. It's a day set aside to honor dead American warriors. It certainly isn't a day for business as usual. There simply isn't a justification for failing to remember our debt to them. We live in the shadow of their greatness...breathing air they paid for.

Mr. Love, his teachers, and our school board have shamed our community. The stench of their selfishness must be borne in their shame. In view of the recent sacrifices by our forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, I expected more. Dead soldiers deserve more.

God Bless the Memory of the Fallen,

Kindergarten students show manners, pride

Letter to the Editor:
As we are building an airplane, Isabelle and Dennis Blanchard have invited us to participate in the airport field trips for our public schools. We have joined in the fun, for four years, in the hopes of adding to the education of Pecos children. This year, the students of Pecos Kindergarten were special. They displayed a discipline that was uplifting.

They obeyed their teachers, without being reminded to do so. They respected the property around them. They were interested and listened to the speakers. They were thankful to the hosts. Most of the kindergartners could spell "Tuffy", name of our security cat.

They applied their phonics training to sound out the name of our airplane, GlaStar. They were enthusiastic about learning. We enjoyed having them visit our "airplane factory" and welcome them back. All of these kids were being taught to be good citizens, right here in Pecos. We want to thank the Kindergarten Staff for an impressive job well done. Don't Give Up!



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