Weekly Newspaper and Tourism Guide for Ward County Trans Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas
March 26, 1998
By Jerry Curry
Frederico Pena, United State Secretary of Energy, made a
statement the other day which proves, as far as I am
concerned, that the major threat to the people of the United
States is Washington D.C. It is not chemical and biological
weapons from Sadaam. It is not even repeated reruns of
Seinfeld, which might push Sadaam's so-called chemical and
biological weapons capability low enough on the threat scale
to be ranked with the possible extinction of the Pecos River
The major threat to the United States definitely is what
passes for the federal government in Washington D.C. You
don't believe me? I am not talking here about a few
assorted violations of the moral codes of most of the world.
They do that all the time in Washington. And while I do not
now, nor will I ever, endorse such goings on, I can tolerate
it as long as it stays within the Beltway where deviant
behavior is normal and, therefore, not deviant - at least in
Washington. I am not talking here about giving the Chinese a
naval base in Long Beach, Calif. I am not talking here about
random theft and violations of the law.
This threat from Washington hits Ward County, the Permian
Basin and West Texas Crude a lot harder than any of Sadaam's
so-called elite troops could (Elite in this context does not
mean much. Sadaam's elite Palace Guard couldn't whip a Cub
Scout Den unless the Cubs were willing to spot them a
nuclear missile or two. Sadaam's elite Palace Guard could
hold its own with Slick Willie's cabinet but that's no big
deal. My pre-kindergarten granddaughter, Cheyenne, could
take both groups and not notice it while painting her dad
and mother's wall green with her hand. Cheyenne does not
like paint brushes but she dearly loves green.)
Pena says, and I am not making this up, he has no choice but
to put millions of barrels of stockpiled crude on the
market. Yes, he says he knows this might drive the price to
less than $13 a barrel.
Less than $13 a barrel sounds like a real threat to me.
Pena stutters a little but he, like most of Slick Willie's
cabinet, have decided to blame this move on Congress.
The government reserve is in some caves over in Louisiana.
The original purpose of the stockpile (563 million barrels)
was to save a little for sudden oil shortages.
Pena says Congress is making him sell this stored oil to pay
for the costs of operating the reserve. He says he's sorry
but he has to do this thing. He has to do this thing
although good oil, as opposed to the crude stockpiled, was
selling for $16 a barrel on Tuesday.
He says he has to do this thing although producing wells are
being plugged from West Texas to Colorado because of the
declining price of oil.
Pena says he has to do this although the government thinks
it might lose as much as $300 million on the deal because
they're going to be selling the government oil at between $9
and $13 a barrel.
Slick Willie is now messing with the oil bidness.
It rained rocks Sunday
Most residents of Monahans who were inside watching the tube
or wondering when Sunday dinner would be ready didn't hear a
thing. But those outside working in their yards or fussing
with the family barbecue, wondering if the fajitas ever
would be done or if the relatives would please go back home
tomorrow did hear it.
What they heard, they reported, sounded like a sonic boom or
multiple sonic booms. Some said there were one or two
reported flashes of light aloft. At least one child thought
he saw a mini-vapor trail that looked like it came from a
What they heard was the sound of debris from an apparent
meteor that had splintered aloft in the outer reaches of
Earth's atmosphere. What they heard, an old Apache sachem
might have said, was the voice of God speaking to the
peoples of Ward County. What they saw was the phenomenon of
rock , red hot and steaming, in its journey through
atmosphere to rest on the surface of the planet.
No, it was not the voice or moving finger of God. It was a
natural phenomenon which is a phenomenon because it doesn't
happen that often anywhere.
But it rained rocks on Sunday, March 22, over the City of
Monahans. Actually rain may be too strong a word. Sprinkled,
maybe? No, that's still too intense. Drizzled? No? Actually
the space rock rain on Monahans was more akin to what passes
for rainstorms in the Permian Basin. A couple of drops,
maybe a couple of more, and then the storm is gone and the
bright skies return.
Two rocks, which may well be portions of splintered
meteorite, were found. They didn't hit anything, which is
lucky because either one would have damaged a roof or a
It's been a topic of conversation this week in this little
Solar Powered Kids
In keeping with the scientific bent of this week's
editorials, the day before the rocks rained, some Monahans
kids went over to Midland and won third place in the Great
Solar Powered Car Race with a vehicle the ground crew (TU's
Kevin Slay, et al) had to put back together with duct tape
after the car crashed and splintered like a meteor over
Monahans. Twenty-one cars competed in the model car
competition at Midland High Tennis Center. Our kids did good
and won the right to take their car to the state
competition. They plan to take plenty of duct tape.
Our solar engineering kids were Brian Hardaway and Aaron
Sanders. When you see them on the street, congratulate them.
How important is privacy to you?
Do you worry about shopping over the internet?
It makes me nervous that anyone that has the knowledge could
intercept my credit card number in transit to the company
that I'm purchasing goods from. I know that it doesn't
happen often, but it CAN happen. It makes me leery of
hitting the 'send' button.
That's why there are powerful encryption programs that are
designed to keep just such a thing from happening.
Encryption programs are mathematical formulas that scramble
messages, like e-mail and order forms with your credit card
numbers on them, so that if they are intercepted by someone
they are indeciferable. (If you have ever tried to watch a
cable TV channel that you didn't actually pay for, you've
seen what they do. :) The Clinton Administration is trying
to do away with encryption programs. Except of course for
ones to which they have full access - without a search
warrant - and if you do posses one, it would become a
criminal offense. Where is the Fourth Amendment here? Do we
still have the right to "be secure in our persons, houses,
papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and
OK, OK, I'll jump right off my soap box now, but just
remember...even though the internet is a fun place to e-mail
friends, relatives, shop and surf, we still need to be aware
that it is a new place; untouched by rules and regulations
that could take our liberties. If we are not aware of what
is happening there now, it may be too late later.
Net Tip of the Week
My Net Tip to you is find out what is going on in the world!
Most of the major newspapers are online, and can be found by
a general net search. (And it's alot cheaper than
subscribing to each and every
Copyright 1998 by Ward Newspapers, Inc.
Mac McKinnon, Publisher
107 W. Second St., Monahans TX 79756
Phone 915-943-4313, FAX 915-943-4314
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Copyright 1998 by Ward Newspapers Inc.