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Like everything else in life, technology has both good and bad points.
On the whole, most of us perceive technology as making our lives easier.
Electricity powers the alarm clocks that wake us up in the morning, as
well as the coffee makers that produce the "juice" that really gets many
of us going. We drive our cars to work, where many of us use computers
(even cash registers are high-tech these days), phones, lasers, and all
kinds of precision machines. Of course, we panic when our computers
crash, get annoyed when our groceries scan at the wrong price, and have
our whole day disrupted if the car won't start. I'm still startled at
times when my husband starts ringing, even though I know that he carries
a cellular phone because of his job.
Now, I don't consider myself to be technophobic, and I'm certainly not
about to turn into the Unabomber. However, I do wonder at times about
our dependence on technology and the gadgets and gizmos that have become
part of our everyday lives because of it. Imagine living without
anything electric, computerized, laser-operated, motorized or digitized
for a while. What would your life be like without all the thingamajigs
that have been invented or at least put into mass production during the
How would you get from place to place? If you work in a store, how much
longer would it take to figure out how much to charge each customer?
Could you make your own clothes? Some people can, but out of cloth they
buy, and on electric sewing machines...I don't personally know anyone
who shears their own sheep or picks cotton by hand, spins the cotton or
wool into thread, then weaves it into cloth on a loom. I am sure there
are people who have the knowledge and tools to do that, and more power
to them; those are wonderful skills to have.
As a young person, I read some futuristic books such as 1984
by George Orwell, Brave New World by Aldous
Huxley, THX-1138 by George Lucas, Fahrenheit 451
by Ray Bradbury. These books all had different slants on what
might happen, but I think there was a common thread through them all,
sewing together our desire for bigger, faster, smarter and easier with
the complications that machines which do everything for us bring to our
lives. We have made it very easy for Big Brother to monitor our every
move. There are records of our financial transactions and our phone
calls; visits to banks and stores are recorded on video. Many things in
most people's lives are computerized - even telephones, gas pumps and
children's toys. Mammals have been cloned, and scientists are making
discoveries all the time about which gene does what.
These things are not necessarily bad. Businesses can save money by not
extending credit to people who have proved themselves to be bad credit
risks by not paying their bills, thereby keeping the costs down for
others. Computers save a lot of man-hours at the workplace, and make
record-keeping easier. Medical advances save lives. What will all of
this lead to? Whatever we can imagine, it seems.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Cara Alligood is an Enterprise writer and advertising
Death taxes rob family farms, ranches
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This Spring Texas families and businesses have been crunching numbers
and filling in tax forms to send to the IRS. The tax system is a reality
we have to face each year of our adult lives. But we shouldn't have to
worry about taxes when we die.
Tucked neatly away in the 555 million words of our tax code are the
estate tax provisions. The estate tax is better called the death tax.
The basic idea is that the federal government wants a part of your
family's legacy by making your loved ones pay taxes on what you leave
behind. Just in case the government didn't get enough of your money when
it was earned, they want to make sure they get it when it is passed on.
Families who pass an family farms, ranches and small businesses get hit
the hardest by the death tax. The death tax takes the part of the
inheritance which exceeds a certain dollar value. The problem is that
land is a difficult asset to put a dollar amount on. Often, farms and
ranches are valued at a high dollar amount, in turn, creating huge death
taxes to be paid when they are inherited. It may look like farmers and
ranchers are sitting on a huge amount of money, but land is not
something a fanner or rancher can use as cash to pay bills, The end
result of the death tax is that inheriting the family farm, ranch or
small business could cost you more than it's worth.
Something is wrong when family members have to face the greedy claws of
the federal government at the same time they are mourning the loss of a
loved one. Something is really wrong when families are for~ced to sell
off the family farm or small business just to pay the death taxes. Why
should the federal government be rewarded when your parents pass on the
family business to you?
Killing the death tax would spur economic growth and encourage
entrepreneurship. The Family Heritage Preservation Act, a measure to
repeal the death tax, is important legislation that this Congress needs
to support. The estate tax brings in less than one percent of the total
federal tax receipts, but it costs America jobs and family savings. That
is too high of a price to pay. It penalizes families who work~ hard
every day of their lives to build a family business and leave a legacy.
That's just not right.
Texans shouldn't be penalized for what their parents chose to leave
behind. This property has been in their families for years and they have
worke~d hard to maintain it. Let's not let the federal government rob
them of what is rightly theirs.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Henry Bonilla represents the 23rd Congressional District
in the U.S. House of Representatives.
We wish the best for "our" Newspaper!
L. J. Montgomery, Minister
Community Church of Christ
She has been my teacher throughout this year and I have learned so much
through her. Her ability to reach my mind is spectacular. Her strategies
of interpretation have grasped me and have made me wake up every morning
excited about her class.
It is teachers like her that give most of us students the want for an
education. She is an involved teacher who makes my English class such a
fun and learning experience.
Along with her are several other teachers whom I might say have an
influence on any of our students. Teachers such as Mrs. Sam Armstrong,
Miss Barbara Scown, Mr. Jerry Workman, Mr. Jim Barfield, Mr. Kirby
Rankin, Mrs. Carolyn Rankin, Mrs. Judy Holland, Mrs. Priss McNutt and
others as well.
To put to notice though, Mrs. Melanie Ragland is one of the many
teachers who came anew to Pecos High School, along with her husband,
Coach J. Ragland. She has made such an improvement in my English
formality and other necessities in English, and for that I want to thank
Thank you Mrs. Ragland!
-- A grateful student
Name withheld by request
Letters are also published on the Enterprise web site and
may be accessed at http://www.pecos.net/news. No charge is made for
access to the web site.
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Copyright 1997 by Pecos Enterprise
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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