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Mac McKinnon

Tuesday, June 9, 1998


By Mac McKinnon

Decisions should be
made individually

I often write about how we as Americans are having our
rights taken away, slowly but surely.

It seems the good people in government, local, state and
national (not so much local but some) are intent on telling
us what is good for us and what isn't.
One of the latest cases in point is the seat belt law. While
I know the intent of the law is good, I don't see how it can
protect the public at large which is what government wants
to do.

They have advised us about what we should and shouldn't do
which includes wearing seat belts. Some people just don't
like the idea of being strapped in. Some people believe seat
belts are dangerous.

I can understand the need to make sure people buckle up
children and keep ones under a certain age in a child's seat
for their protection. However, adults are old enough to make
up their own minds without being made to do so by do-gooders
in Washington and Austin.

As you may or may not be aware, there is a big push on now
to make people wear seat belts - not just the driver but the
passenger in the front as well.
No, I haven't gotten a ticket for this as I do wear my seat
belt most of the time although I don't like it.

Another problem involves air bags. Government is making car
manufacturers put in air bags. The customer pays extra for
this. Now, a law has been passed making it possible for the
car owner to be able to disengage the passenger side air bag
but that costs extra.

If you decide to disengage the driver's air bag, it is a
felony, even when you do it to your own car. Does all this
sound a little strange? Can you see how government is
intruding on our rights?

In the event you haven't thought of why anyone would want to
disengage the driver's side air bag, consider the fact that
many short people have to drive with the seat way up and if
the air bag comes out, they will be injured, probably

The government has intruded in almost every aspect of our
lives. Consider what the Environmental Protection Agency has
done. Let me first say, that agency has done a lot of good.
But, I believe they have overestimated the damage certain
things can do to people including asbestos. I'm not a doctor
or scientist but too many people have worked and lived
around asbestos for a long time without suffering any damage.

Obviously, too much asbestos like excess of many other
things, can be damaging.

Consider the town in Colorado where the EPA tried to move
all the occupants because of supposed lead poisoning. Few if
any of the townspeople had ever suffered any ailments due to
the natural deposits of lead but the EPA tried to force them
out until the residents there went to court to stop them.
I'm not sure of the outcome of all this as it is an issue
that probably has not yet been settled.

I'm sure everyone knows of instances where the government
has gotten involved where they had no business. And there
are many people who want the government to do something
about everything. There are some things we as intelligent
human beings should be able to settle on our own. And we
need to remember that this is a Democratic society where the
majority rules.

We need to let our elected officials know where we stand and
hope they will listen and control the bureaucrats who want
to dictate our lives.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Mac McKinnon is the editor and publisher of
the Pecos Enterprise whose column appears each Tuesday. He
can be e-mailed at:

Your View

Christians shouldn't judge one another

To The Editor:
Romans 14:13: Let us therefore not judge one another...

I am writing this letter in response to Mrs. Daniel's letter
on 6-2-98.

I did not attend the show in question because I had to work
and because I knew much controversy would surround the
issue. That's not to say that I didn't want to see those
gorgeous men dancing!

Mrs. Daniel's, I won't debate the issue of morality or
decency because we all have our own standards to live by.
What I want to discuss is your audacity in placing judgment
on the citizens of Pecos and more importantly attacking Mr.

As a Christian and citizen of Pecos, I make decisions every
day that perhaps aren't the best ones. I have to live by
these choices I make - if they are the wrong ones, I will
stand before God to confess my sins and pay the price for my
sin's on my own.

Mrs. Daniels let me define a word for you and your Christian
Hypocrite: A person who pretends to be good but isn't.

I don't know any one who hasn't fallen short of the glory of
God in one way or another. Nor do I know anyone who is
perfect, but apparently there are some people out there who
believe they are.

As for your question about what I will say to God when he
asks why I didn't take a stand for decency in my own town.
My answer is simple.

I have a long way to go before I am perfect. Therefore I
chose not to publicly criticize nor humiliate others for
their short-fallings. Because I have my own faults, I didn't
want to shovel my hypocritic beliefs down the throats of
others! (Besides God, if you didn't want me gawking, why'd
you make men so good-looking!)

Mrs. Daniels, in conclusion, I just ask that before you
sweep under our doorsteps, you and your Christian Bandits
should sweep under your own.

Sonii Thorp
Sick of Self-Righteous Christians
Pecos, Tx.

Critic's Corner

Classical music for everybody

Capture the drama of man's fight for freedom with Beethoven,
share with Wagner a young father's dreams for his infant
son, or descend with Liszt into the depths of Dante's Hell
in Dhun H. Sethna's new book, "Classical Music for

Sethna leads beginners who don't know where to start and
music lovers who want to deepen their understanding through
piece after piece of classical music. He not only explains
the piece, but gives lessons in music construction and
instrumentation as he goes along.

He introduces non-musicians to the vocabulary of music, such
as a fugue or the sonata form, and explains the timetables
of music and varieties of musical experience through
specific compositions.

By obtaining the music and using the more than 90 listening
notes, anyone can learn to enjoy classical music.

Published by Fitzwilliam Press, the $16.96 trade paperback
is available by mail by calling 1-800-997-6874 for credit
card orders, at bookstores or through the Enterprise's
online bookstore at a discount.
-Peggy McCracken

Other Views

Immigrant children show more respect

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following column first appeared in the
Dallas Morning News. It is now being reprinted in the Pecos
Enterprise with the permission of the author, Esther Bonilla

I read an article in your newspaper in which a gentleman
spoke of the necessity of learning English in this country.
I have no qualms about that statement. It is a given. In
fact, I would go further. It is important that our citizens
speak standard English so that they may work and succeed.

My disagreement with him is when he said immigrants come to
this country and demand that their children be taught in
their native language. Untrue.

I have been in education for 28 years and have dealt with
students whose parents came from Mexico, Cambodia, Vietnam,
China, Japan, France and Iran. Never has a parent of one of
those students insisted on having the child taught in any
specific language.

On the contrary, the parents of immigrant students are
polite, helpful and grateful to have their children being
taught in America. I have had a Vietnamese parent tell me,
in his limited language, how thankful he was to our school.

I also have had Mexican parents bring gifts of food to our
school because they felt we truly were concerned for their
children and were doing our best to educate them. (We were).

The most wonderful characteristic of parents of immigrant
children and the children themselves is that they respect
the school and its teachers.

If I, as an assistant principal, ever had to tell the
parents of an immigrant child of some misbehavior (which is
a rare occurrence), those parents made it a point to speak
to the child and administer whatever punishment they
believed in. After that, the child was back to exemplary

Would that we had the same results with all our American

The respect for education is an element found in people who
still possess "Old World values." As a child of a couple who
came from Mexico, I too, was raised to respect school,
teachers and those in authority.

Perhaps that is why I understand the children of immigrants.
I know of the pull between the values of the peer group and
the values of the parents. The two groups tug and often in
different directions. A child of immigrants constantly must
be weighing issues and making decisions, often
expeditiously. When the results are positive, the parents'
influence usually has prevailed.

Those immigrants who have succeeded in this country have
determined the formula for success. And speaking English
certainly is part of the formula. Let us give our immigrants
their due. They work hard, respect others and speak their
language until they have the opportunity to learn the new

Research has shown that immigrantsd speak their Old World
language, that their children will be bilingual and that
their grandchildren will abandon the Old World language and
will speak only English. That is a phenomenon that has
happened in my family and continues to occur among all
groups in America.

We have much to be grateful to the immigrants. Look around
you. Who is doing so much of the labor from which we benefit
daily? These "new Americans" with their "Old World values"
just might help us return to those standards that were
present in this country many years ago. And their children
and grandchildren will be speaking the same language -
English - that our children and grandchildren will speak.

Esther Bonilla Read is an educator and a free-lance writer
who lives in Corpus Christi.

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