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Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Smokey Briggs

Sage Views

By Smokey Briggs

Hillary's big


"She didn't know the gun was loaded," the country and western lyric goes or something close to it. It is a classic country and western ditty dealing in heartache, humor, murder and justice.

To make a long story short mom caught dad making time with another gal and blasted him.

Her defense is that she did not know the gun was loaded. The punch line is that she only reloaded once.

The song appeals to our sense of justice, but not even the simplest of fools really believes she did not know the gun was loaded.

Well, apparently, now Senator Hillary Clinton did not know the gun was loaded back when she was simply the First Lady (and I use the term loosely) and Bill told her about the Monica Lewinsky story that was about to break.

That is what she claims in her book that she "wrote" with the help of three authors.

According to Associated Press reports regarding the contents of the book Hillary believed Bill when he told her that Monica was lying - right up to moment nearly seven months later when he told her there was some truth to Ms. Lewinsky's tale.

I'm not sure which is more frightening.

Choice "A" is that she did not know Bill was fibbing about his Oval Office escapades.

Choice "B" is that she knew and now expects us to be stupid enough to believe her when she says the "I did not know the gun was loaded."

Come on Hillary.

After being married to the man for how many decades? - you did not know he was lying?

How many hints do you need?

First, his lips were moving.

Big hint there.

Second, he was denying an attempted/consummated affair with a very young, rather plain looking, chunky brunette over whom he had plenty of power to abuse.

Come on Hillary. That was the classic Bill Clinton M.O.

My dog Jake might as well deny sucking eggs with yolk dripping off his lips and shells stuck to his nose.

So, either Hillary is a bimbo incapable of deducting that the wet stuff falling from the sky will do her harm if she does not quit starring up at it, or she thinks we are morons incapable of lowering our heads enough to keep the rain from flooding our lungs.

As much as I dislike Mrs. Clinton, I do not think she is so stupid as to really believe Bill - about anything. I imagine that she sticks her head out the window to check when he tells her the sun is out and it is lunchtime.

That leaves us with choice "B" - she thinks we are stupid.

And that I believe.

It fits the liberal mindset that all but themselves are too dumb to get in out of the rain without help from our good government.

Of course, when it comes to the state of New York she is correct.

I have proof.

They elected Hillary to the Senate.

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

Death of DPS reporter's license a good thing but

the Texas Press should be ashamed it ever existed

Well, the Department of Public Safety has finally stopped trying to issue licenses to members of the Texas press, and so, finally, the Texas press will finally stop allowing itself to be licensed by a government agency in clear violation of the First Amendment.

Since the 1970's DPS has issued press cards to members of the "working press."

Newspapers and other media outlets applied for cards for individual reporters and DPS would then deign to issue a card with the reporter's picture and credentials on it.

When reporters showed up at the scene of an accident or at city hall or dozens of other places, would be censors liked to ask for I.D.

Sadly, many Texas newspapers submitted to this de facto licensing scheme.

"It really isn't a license."

"It just helps policemen do their job."

The excuses for submitting to this license were many.

Most sounded pretty good at first listen.

But none were valid.

Despite all the rational explanations and pretty justifications the truth of the matter was that it was a de facto license.

Such licensing of the press by any government agency for any reason violates the letter and spirit of the First Amendment.

There are many instances when seemingly common sense ideas conflict with Constitutional values.

The Fourth Amendment guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure is an excellent example.

Why would a law-abiding citizen deny a peace officer's request to search his car or property? What have you got to hide?

Fortunately, that is not the right question.

The right question is why should a law-abiding citizen submit to a search by the government when there is no rational reason for the government to search?

Constitutional guarantees were created for a reason and when we ignore those protections, or sacrifice them for seemingly logical reasons, we invite a weakening of those rights.

The de facto licensing of the press by DPS was justified by an "ends justify the means" line of thought by reporters and editors across the state.

When it comes to the Constitution the ends can never justify the means.

In this instance, the day the press agrees to allow the government to decide who is, and who is not, a reporter, you no longer have a truly free press.

Every member of this nation is a member of the press when it comes to the right to ask questions of officials and gather information no matter the issue or the place.

Reporters do not have special privileges granted by the state. The day they do is the day they cease being reporters and become mouthpieces for the government.

It is a good thing that this licensing system has been declared dead by the DPS.

It is sad that the reason for its death is the economic cost to the state, and not the absolute refusal of newsmen across the state to submit to state licensing.

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