Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country
of West Texas
By Peggy McCracken
Tuesday, October 21, 2003
Pecos could use a few
people like Mr. Dunagan
Even hot biscuits cooked in a Dutch oven over an open fire and a
barbecue lunch couldn't tempt me away from my own fireside Saturday to
attend the Permian Historical Society meeting in Monahans.
I wanted to go, I really did. The society's president, Ross McSwain,
was state editor of the San Angelo Standard-Times when I was their
Pecos/Monahans/area correspondent. He sent me all over the place to
gather up news, and encouraged me to submit something every day. My
bookshelf boasts two of his hardback collections of "Out Yonder"
columns he wrote for the Standard-Times. I've always admired Ross for
his interest in people and history, and would have enjoyed visiting
with him over barbecue and biscuits
It is interesting to note that the society honored an outstanding
citizen of Monahans, one I have known only through the printed word.
Kathlyn Dunagan and her late husband, Conrad Dunagan, helped establish
the Monahans Sandhills State Park, which my children and grandchildren
(and I) have enjoyed through the years.
I like a quote attributed to Mr. Dunagan that explains their
considerable community involvement: "Those people who lived and
prospered here ought to strive to make the community where they
prospered a better place in which to live," he said.
Pecos could use a few people like that. These past 10-20 years,
people who once prospered here have taken flight, leaving "the faithful
few" to keep the home fires burning. Some went to live near their
children when their health failed. One of those was a faithful West
Park member, Ruth Clark, whose obituary appeared in Monday's
Enterprise. That is easy to understand. But others just took off for
Do you gaze over that fence and yearn to fly away too? I have
looked, but frankly, I don't see any place I'd rather be, except
Pecos doesn't seem to have much of a future, but after 50 years, I
consider it home. Maybe I can make some contribution before I fly away
to my eternal home. Maybe I've already mentioned this, but I had a
handicap shower and wheelchair ramp installed in my house. I don't
expect to ever need a wheelchair, but the ramp has already been put to
good use by a luncheon guest. It is good to know it will be there if I
ever do need it.
And right next to the ramp is a porch swing just waiting for you to
come and visit me. We will talk about old times and gaze into the
"Since no man knows the future, who can tell him what is to come?"
Eccl. 8:7, NIV
EDITOR'S NOTE: Peggy McCracken is the business manager of the
Pecos Enterprise whose column appears on the third Tuesday of every
month. She can be e-mailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Questions asked for County Judge, Commissioners
I vowed not to continue being a regular, unpaid feature. However, a
brave soldier has fallen. The Editor has been severely injured by a WMD
(Weapon of Marxist Design - or - Weapon of Media Distraction.) Because
he is white and he questioned the policies of local office-holders who
are, largely, of a different ethnic group, he has been attached with a
The effect of this missile on white males is immediate incontinence
of bowel and dazed and confused reasoning. The victim is immediately
distracted from the issues at hand and writes feeble attempts to
persuade the folks who sent the rocket that he's not a racist. In his
confused state, he doesn't realize the futility of his attempt.
Fortunately, I was only grazed in the attack.
I write today on behalf of a number of taxpayers. There's the nice
guy who washes my windows on my truck (The Yom Kippur Klipper) whilst I
fill the gas tank. There's the sullen clerk at the grocery store that
never thanks folks for their patronage. There's even the copy editor at
the Pecos Enterprise who changes syntax, adds misspellings, and
truncates sentences (or eliminates them altogether) to turn my mostly
coherent letters into gibberish. These are the $7-8/hour workers who
pay for errors of judgment by local officials. There's also, the county
employees who face losing their jobs due to poor fiscal management.
They need to know why they must sacrifice.
Why do our County Commissioners only read contracts AFTER they sign
them? Why did Reeves County add on to an unfilled prison without a
written contract from the BOP to send more inmates? Why, if we lose
money (or make little money) on each inmate, is the county seeking to
add more inmates? Why is the county continuing to hemorrhage money on a
lobbyist who promises nothing, but has a contract that can only be
exited by signing in yak blood on a moonless night on a Himalayan peak?
Why did the county raise taxes without making commensurate spending
cuts? How were the fiscal budget figures calculated? How is moving our
sheriff to a new vacant multi-million dollar prison facility from a
facility needing upgrading "saving money?" Why, according to Mr.
Galindo, is the county "entitled to make a profit" when Reeves County
families and small businesses have no such entitlement to make a
profit? How can families and small businesses profit from their labors
when they are taxed to extinction? Why do local officials tout the
added "tax value" of new businesses rather than the benefits of the
jobs they will provide? Why does the Court of Commissioners bluster and
rant when a vendor demands COD payment of charges? Asking why makes one
a racist? No, it makes one a citizen.
A 2.63 cent county tax increase is a big deal to low income earners.
On a very modest home with a taxable valuation of $20,000 these folks
will pay an extra $5.25 per year in county taxes. That's about two
home-cooked meals. Which family member will the Court of Commissioners
ask to fast for a day? For a $7/hour worker, this amount represents
about 45 minutes, a mom or dad could tell a bedtime story, help with
homework, or just be with their kids. Some may say it's not much money.
Let those who contend that position send extra money to local
government. There's no rule of law that one cannot pay (contribute)
more than their tax amount.
Get the word out. Tell every modest earner they must now labor an
extra 45 minutes per year for the county. Tell them they must skip two
meals a year. Tell them they can't spare five bucks for their house of
worship. Tell them they just lost 3 gallons of gasoline. Tell them to
DR. JOHN LIBBIE
Many Americans realize the degree
of incompetence and hypocrisy
Today, months after Bush's proclamation of "Victory" in the Iraqi War,
many Americans are realizing the degree of incompetence and hypocrisy
of this administration and the Republican Party.
Incompetence? All one needs to do is review recent history to get
the point. We entered the war, according to Bush, because of the
"imminent" threat of WMD. Where are they? We "dis" the U.N. and
alienate ourselves from nations whose help we now desperately need, and
will spend billions to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure and economy when
our own is in shambles. We neither had nor have a plan for post-war
Iraq. This lack of planning and confusion will likely result in a "new
Iraq" that is more militant, extreme and dangerous than Saddams, for
our troops, our country and the world.
Hypocrisy? Remember the fervor over that immoral scoundrel Bill
Clinton? Well, thankfully we are now blessed with a Republican
Administration and its supporters who will show us the road to the
moral high ground. Like Bill Bennet, the moral lighthouse and
mouthpiece for the right and righteous. So, he has a slight gambling
problem, that's not the same ______, is it? Like the new Republican
governor of California, ,Mr. Shwarzenegger. I wonder just how many
women he did sexually harass and grope? But, of course, that's not the
same ____, is it? (Don't expect any blue dress evidence on this one
folks. He probably rips them off before he begins.) And yes, last but
not least, "the God" of conservatism, the Republican Party and
right-wing ideaology, Rush Limbaugh. You think he is clouding his
judgement? "All drug dealers and users should be locked up in jail," he
said. Amen Rush! But it's just not the same _____, is it?
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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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