Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country
of West Texas
By Smokey Briggs
Tuesday, June 22, 1999
Follow the rules
The Constitution is a not like a buffet where you can pick and choose what
or lose the game
That is not how it works.
You must take it all and interpret each piece with the same set of criteria.
If you disagree with a section then you repeal it.
These are the rules that come with this game we call constitutional
If you don't follow these simple rules, the game doesn't work.
There is one purpose behind the guarantees of personal rights contained
in the Constitution — to protect us from the excesses of majority rule.
That is why amending the Constitution requires much more effort than
the majority of elected politicians required to create a law.
Last week's battles in the House of Representatives highlighted the
deep philosophical differences that divide this country in terms of interpreting
Last week the so-called liberals demonstrated that they have no desire
to play by any consistent rules of constitutional interpretation. (The
conservative factions are by no means perfect, but at least they seem to
attempt a semi-consistent stance regarding the Constitution as a whole.)
Last week, the liberal crowd pushed hard to effectively outlaw the private
sale of firearms. Conservatives countered with proposals to bring prayer
back into the schools and force labeling restrictions on various CD's,
computer games and movies.
In the process, the liberals demonstrated their Jekyl and Hyde personality
when it comes to the Constitution.
If liberals interpreted the Second Amendment right to keep and bear
arms like they interpret the amendments they like, we would all be required
to keep an M-60 machinegun in the bedroom closet.
The liberals squealed mightily at the conservative proposals.
Listening to their righteous words one would have thought that storm
troopers were on the verge of seizing the Washington Post on the orders
of the Grand High Deacon of the Official Church of the United States.
Wrapping themselves in the First Amendment they protested most eloquently
the conservative attempts to provide warning labels on popular music and
hang the 10 Commandments in schools.
Any infringement, no matter how minor, cannot be tolerated, they said.
Their tone changed, however, when the ugly sister of the First Amendment
walked into the room on the arm of the conservatives.
Born a single space lower on the page than her celebrated sister, the
Second Amendment received nothing but harsh words from the liberals.
This amendment is not worthy, they said.
Gone were the lofty arguments of constitutional ideals. Gone were the
standards of interpretation they used for the pretty First Amendment.
This is a shame.
When you boil it all down, the Second Amendment just doesn't protect
a right that most liberals believe is necessary.
And since they disagree with the right protected by the Second Amendment,
they see no harm in creating laws that clearly infringe upon it.
Laws, that if the tables were turned and it was free speech that were
under attack, they would fight tooth and nail.
Unfortunately, this attitude runs contrary to the purpose of a Constitution.
If ever successful, and not stopped by the Supreme Court, it converts a
constitutional democracy into a simple democracy where majority rules.
And a tyranny by the majority is just as oppressive as any dictatorship
— no matter who happens to be the majority.
And then, we will have lost the game.
WTSS extends thanks to all those who helped
Letter to the Editor,
Superintendent Lemuel Harrison and staff members of the Organization
of Excellence Committee at the West Texas State School (WTSS) extend their
sincere thanks to the merchants and businesses in Pecos and the surrounding
area for their generous donations of specialty items that were used as
door prizes and food service incidentals at the WTSS Annual Awards Picnic.
The picnic was held at Pyote Park on Saturday, June 5. Staff and their
families enjoyed a long day of visiting over barbecue, playing games, swimming
or dancing. Awards were given for tenure, outstanding achievement and the
Employee of the Year.
A large bulletin board posted at the picnic area listed all the merchants
and businesses that donated items and goods. Additionally a card of thanks
was sent to all donors. All staff were sent a list of the donors so they
could express their personal appreciation when they patronized the donor's
WTSS is very appreciative of the outstanding support our facility and
staff receive from our surrounding communities.
Superintendent at WTSS
Controversy at golf course prompts reader to respond
During the recent controversy about pro shop operations at the Reeves
County golf course, a fairly recent newcomer to Pecos commented that the
county judge and the commissioners court must either really want Royce
Cassell out of there or the court is simply incompetent. After some consideration
we have decided that it must be a combination of both.
It seems apparent that Judge Galindo and the commissioner's court have
failed to conduct the county's business properly concerning this issue.
Many concerned taxpayers would like to know why the pro shop contract,
which expired December 31, 1998, was not brought before the court until
after Mr. Cassell offered his first resignation some weeks ago. Mr. Cassell
tried to contact Judge Galindo and several commissioners early this year
to learn the status of his contract. His calls were not returned and his
letters went unanswered. Why would the court conduct business in this manner?
After Mr. Cassell turned in his first resignation, and there was an outcry
to not accept the resignation, an advisory committee was formed to determine
the best type of contract, which would then be opened for bids. Why would
the commissioner's court form a committee and then disregard their recommendations?
Many people feel that this was done because the court does not want the
Cassells to have the pro shop contract. Are these actions a result of wanting
the Cassells out or because the court is incompetent?
Royce and Louise Casell have operated the pro shop for over 15 years.
Over the years they have worked many long hours to build up their business.
There is someone in the shop for at least 12 hours a day during the summer
months and for 364 days a year the golf course is open to the public for
the enjoyment of anyone interested in playing golf. They have provided
carts that are in good working order, various supplies needed and refreshments.
All of the equipment you see in the pro shop belongs to the Cassells, not
a small investment. They are also required to keep current beer sales licenses.
This couple has made an investment of money and years to this enterprise,
not so much to profit, but because they love the community and the game
Mr. Cassell's decision to resign as greenskeeper is a direct result
of the dealings he has had with Judge Galindo and the commissioner's court
regarding the pro shop contract. Mr. Cassell has only been greenskeeper
for a couple of years, but many long time Reeves County golfers could testify
that in the short time he has been in charge of the golf course maintenance
the entire course has improved dramatically. The grounds are cleaner and
the greens and fairways have been greatly improved. Mr. Cassell has added
new tee boxes and has planted and maintained trees and vegetation to make
the course more challenging.
We feel that the court owes an apology to Mr. and Mrs. Cassell and the
entire community for their lack of foresight and incompetent management
of this issue.
JEFF AND EVELYN FISHER
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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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