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Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Smokey Briggs

Sage Views

By Smokey Briggs



Veterans' Day is Today.

The name tells most of the story. It is the day set aside to honor those who serve in defense of our nation.

It seems like a simple task - a thank you from grateful countrymen.

But sometimes, our thank you does not seem to ring very loud.

Maybe it's because most of us do not get the day off from work.

Maybe it is because the holiday is always celebrated on November 11 instead of on the Friday or Monday closest to the 11th.

Rarely do folks get a three-day weekend out of the deal like we do on the 4th of July and Labor Day.

November 11th was set aside as a holiday after World War I. On November 11, 1918, at 11:00 a.m., (the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month) the armistice was signed ending that War to End All Wars.

In 1926, Americans officially began celebrating the 11th of November. In 1938, November 11th became a national holiday and Congress declared it, "Armistice Day."

Although primarily set aside to honor the veterans of World War I, Congress later amended the law in 1954 so that it was set aside to honor all veterans and Armistice Day became Veterans' Day.

Actually, it seems fitting that we do not create a three-day weekend out of Veterans' Day. Somehow the reason behind the three-day holidays seems to get lost amidst the hustle to do something with a three-day weekend.

And this one is important.

On thousands of battlefields all over this world, for more than two hundred years, these men fought the battles that decided our fate as a people.

They have endured all that there is to endure as a soldier or sailor or airman or Marine - from terror to boredom - bitter cold to scorching heat - cramped quarters to biting loneliness - and the thousands of other pains that go hand-in-hand with military service.

Some were drafted. Some volunteered. But all served. They did their duty.

A simple "thank you" does not seem like enough.

But, I have it on good authority, that "thanks" will do just fine.

So, thank you one and all - those that are with us, and those that have gone on. Today, the flag flies in your honor because you were willing to defend her.

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

Weinacht - Galindo monitor-deal stinks

$61,000 a year for a hall monitor?

Ooops, we meant prison monitor.

But still, $61,000 annually with a ten-year contract - even for a prison monitor?

When the county is looking at laying off employees in nearly every department?

Having a prison "Monitor" on the county payroll to keep an eye on Wackenhut's management of RCDC I and II (and maybe III if, and when prisoners are found) might be a nice thing to have if you can afford it.

Reeves County cannot afford a window to throw things out of at the moment.

Yet, at yesterday's county commissioners' meeting it came to light that the contract with Wackenhut to take over management of RCDC I and II (and make payments on the empty new wing - RCDC III - for 9 months) includes a provision for a "Prison Monitor" that Reeves County will apparently fund.

Yesterday, our commissioners and county judge voted to hire local attorney Bill Weinacht to be the new monitor.

Commissioners Hill and Tarin voted against the measure. Commissioners Rayos and Arredondo voted for it. County Judge Jimmy Galindo broke the tie in favor of Weinacht.

Weinacht previously has been employed by the county as special counsel to RCDC, a position that under normal circumstances the elected county attorney presumably would have done.

As special counsel he drew $50,000 annually.

Now, you cannot blame a man for taking a job with a $61,800 annual salary. Especially when the job is part-time as this one is, as presumably Weinacht will not give up his law practice as he fulfills his duties as the Monitor.

That is good work if you can get it.

But you can blame the eggheads that hired him.

The court did not offer any convincing arguments supporting the need for this position.

But, giving the devil his due, maybe there are some.

Even so, surely, in Reeves County, the court could have hired someone competent to fulfill these duties for less than the cost of the salaries of two or three of the county employees who are probably going to loose their jobs in the coming months.

Maybe one of the folks soon to be cut by the county could have filled the bill.

Maybe, the county judge or the commissioners could have "monitored" the prison themselves.

Maybe, the court could have held off on hiring a monitor until there appeared to be a need.

There are a lot of maybes.

One thing, however, is for sure - this deal stinks.

Your View

Local ctizens thanked for returned wallet

Dear Editor:
I would like to thank Efren Rodriguez and his wife, Mary for returning my lost wallet shortly after I moved here from Great Falls, MT.

It was a wonderful welcome to my new community.


Concerned citizens ought to contact congressmen

Dear Editor:

In honor of Veteran's Day, being a veteran myself (U.S.A.F.- 1961-1965), I'm submitting this letter in memory of a friend killed in the Korean war for whom I've installed an inscription in the General Patton Memorial at Chiriaco Summit, California ( Butch Hallett from South Gate, California) who left his indelible heritage in the mists of time with The Carpenter of Nazareth when he died defending our country because of U.N. restrictions on General Douglas Mac Arthur.

Consequently it is hard to express my outrage having to endure the macabre spectacle of the War-Money-and Hatred debacle of the Bush administration bombing innocent people in foreign countries (carrying out U.N. directives) when the terrorist leaders should be taken out by a one shot - one kill method by existing capable private contracting counter-terrorist agents authorized by congress under the Marque and reprisal provisions of The Constitution(Article-1 , Section-8) thus insuring that the terrorist leaders are dead and innocents protected.

Bush's bombing of cities and countries to supposedly stop terrorist leaders can be compared to bombing Chicago to get rid of Al Capone in the 1920's which of course would have been absurd. Bush's oil and construction company cronies are being given the contracts, on a no-bid basis of course, to rebuild the destruction Bush's criminal war has caused.

I cannot imagine a con-game more evil than this. Concerned citizens should contact their congressmen at 1-877-762-8762 (toll-free) and demand that congress investigate our intelligence agencies and executive level of government for complicity in the 9-11 attacks, invoke Marque & Reprisal instead of war, stop all foreign aid and intervention, seal our borders(the terrorists are coming in), and Get US out of the U.N.(call: 1-800-JBS-USA-1 for free U.N. information packet or (


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Pecos Enterprise
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
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324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 432-445-5475, FAX 432-445-4321

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