Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country
of West Texas
January 19, 1999
By Smokey Briggs
President impeached for
obstruction of justice
The President has been impeached on charges of perjury and obstruction
of justice. He has not been impeached for having an affair with a young intern.
He has not been impeached for breaking the vows of holy matrimony.
However, the conduct that gave rise to the situation was of the sexual
Perhaps this is why some complain that the present impeachment is an
improper invasion of privacy. Others say that they are simply sick and tired of hearing about the
President's sex life.
Of course, some people might simply be trying to muddy the waters a
But either way, it does not matter.
What we must first realize is that we asked for the invasion of "private"
conduct that eventually produced the charges of perjury and obstruction.
Such an invasion is simply a byproduct of the system we have created
to protect against sexual harassment.
We started down this trail when we passed the first law intended to
protect women from sexual harassment in the work place.
Since then, federal and state law makers have created a mountain of
It was under such laws that Paula Jones sued Bill Clinton for sexual
Within the context of this kind of lawsuit, the offending party's conduct,
sexual and otherwise, is at the heart of the issue.
It must be. It is the conduct that is at issue.
Law is public. Trials, civil and criminal, are public. The due process
and equal protection demanded by our constitution is not possible otherwise.
Which leaves President Clinton in a sadly ironic situation.
Clinton has touted himself as a champion of womens' rights.
Protection from harassment and unwanted advances has been a hallmark
issue for womens' groups.
Now, in countering the articles of impeachment, Clinton must claim that
his alleged sexual conduct toward Paula Jones was of a private nature,
and as such, unworthy of the protection of our judicial system.
The impossibility of such a claim cannot be ignored.
No matter our personal beliefs as to the merit of Jones' claims, she
properly invoked the protection of our judicial system.
She deserved a fair proceeding, both pre-trial, and at trial.
Deposition testimony is part of most pre-trial proceedings.
It is taken under oath, just as if the person being deposed were on
the witness stand.
Prosecution for perjury is the penalty for lying at a deposition.
The same logic fits the obstruction of justice charge.
Either way, the current impeachment proceeding is not about the President's
However, as long as we try to protect subordinates from sexual harassment
by their superiors, there will be lawsuits that litigate the sexual conduct
of the parties involved.
And, as long as these cases are heard by a judicial system interested
in the truth, there will be the occasional prosecution for perjury, or
obstruction of justice.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Smokey Briggs is the publisher and editor
of the Pecos Enterprise whose column will appear each Tuesday. He can be
e-mailed at: firstname.lastname@example.org
School board month celebrated in January
January is School Board Recognition Month, with the goal of building awareness
of the vital role an elected board of education plays in our society.
The Pecos-Barstow-Toyah Independent School District is joining other
cities throughout the state to recognize the important contributions trustees
make to their communities.
School board members exemplify local citizen control and decision making
in education. They volunteer time and energy to assure that our schools
are providing the best education possible for the children of our community.
They are citizens whose decisions affect our children _ what they learn,
who will teach them and what kinds of facilities house their classrooms.
School board members are men and women elected to establish policies
that provide the framework for our public schools. They represent you,
and they take this responsibility seriously by attending lengthy meetings,
conferences and institutes where they broaden their knowledge about education
and during numerous conversations about the schools.
School boards enable us to have local control of the public schools.
Decisions on school programming are made by local, elected representatives
who understand the community's unique problems, values, culture and circumstances.
With the advice and counsel of the educational professionals they hire,
our school board has an impact on virtually every aspect of our schools.
Sometimes we neglect to recognize the dedication and hard work of these
men and women who represent us. The staff and students of our school district
are asking all local citizens to take a moment to tell a school board member
"thanks for caring about our children."
We salute the public servants of the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD whose dedication
and civic responsibility make local control of public schools in our community
possible. We applaud school board members Earl Bates, Alberto Alvarez,
Jr., Daisey Roquemore, Steve Armstrong, Freddy Lujan, Brent Shaw and Louis
Matta for their vision and voice to help shape a better tomorrow.
DON LOVE, Superintendent
Pecos-Barstow-Toyah Independent School District
Online forum available for former residents
I graduated from Pecos High School in 1966. I just found your website and
enjoy it a great deal. I especially like the archives on Billie Sol Estes
since my first job was working for the Estes family. I thought how nice
it would be to have chat rooms for those of us who have left Pecos.
Our class hasn't had a reunion since the 15 year. It would be nice to
have chat rooms for those of us who are scattered all over now and never
make it back to Pecos and don't see our old classmates anymore.
Let me know what you think and if this is a possibility.
JOY BROWN RAY
Class of 66
Editor's Note: We have created a "Pecos Gab" page on
the Enterprise website for Joy and others like her who want to communicate
with each other. You can find it at
To address your comments for that page, e-mail them to email@example.com
Fifth grader would like information about Texas
I am a fifth grader in Platte Center, Neb. I am doing a report on the state
I would like some help from your readers. I would like them to send
me postcards, pictures, letters, and any other materials about Texas.
Please send them to: McKenzie Jarecki, Platte Center Elem., P.O. Box
109, Platte, Center, Neb. 68653.
Thanks for your help!
Platte Center Elem.
Platte Center, Neb.
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York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Peggy McCracken, Webmaster
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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