Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country
of West Texas
By Smokey Briggs
Tuesday, July 13, 1999
Secretary of Navy
All right, they've crossed the line this time. Some things are sacred.
The Marine Corps is for me.
should be horse-whipped
And if I could get my hands on Richard Danzig, our current Secretary
of the Navy, I would teach him the penalty for mocking an institution built
and maintained by proud and honorable men.
Something which he is not.
He, like the man that appointed him, is a self-adoring, travesty of
a human being lacking the backbone of an oyster.
And, like his mentor, he would like to re-mold the world to make it
a more comfortable place for morale cowards like himself to dwell.
A place where words like manhood, duty, honor, and integrity give way
to words like inclusive, gender-neutral and empowered.
Recently, Gen. Charles Krulak stepped down as Commandant of the Marine
Corps. He was the 31st Commandant.
He is a decorated veteran of Viet Nam where he slogged through the jungle
at the head of a rifle platoon and later, two rifle companies.
Gen. Krulak, like his father before him, dedicated his life to the Corps.
All change of command ceremonies are solemn events steeped in tradition.
They are events that can bring tears to the eyes of battle-hardened veterans
as comrades-in-arms say their formal farewells.
The change of command for the commandant is even more so.
At Gen. Krulak's ceremony, Danzig, as secretary of the navy, was present
During his speech, he noted that Mrs. Krulak, the General's wife, had
married the Corps along with marrying her husband.
"It is the only "menage a trois" that the Marine Corps approves of,"
To say that this tasteless piece of sexual innuendo was inappropriate
is the understatement of the century.
It is the equivalent of cussing in church.
Danzig communicated a lot in those few words.
He communicated his utter disregard for the traditions and honor of
the Marine Corps specifically , and the rest of military in general.
He communicated his complete lack of understanding for what it is that
drives men to serve and sacrifice for their country.
He communicated his complete lack of understanding for what it is to
be a man.
He also painted a pretty good picture of what it is to be a liberal
man in Bill Clinton's world.
I am only disappointed that Gen. Krulak did not punch him out once he
was officially retired and could do so without striking a person above
him in the chain of command. (Although far, far below him as a human being,
and not in the same universe as a man).
For Danzig to say this at Gen. Krulak's final ceremony was criminal.
The man should be horse-whipped.
Better yet, he should be forced to enlist, and shipped to either of
the Marine Corps recruit depots.
I do not think he would ever be heard from again.
If he were, he would have learned what manhood means, and why his "witty"
comment was so profoundly disgusting at such a ceremony.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Smokey Briggs is the editor and publisher
of the Pecos Enterprise whose column appears each Tuesday. He can be e-mailed
Independence Day holds special meaning
Last week the Enterprise ran an editorial as a gentle reminder of the reason
we celebrate Independence Day — lest we lose touch amongst the hot dogs,
fireworks and long days at the lake.
In that editorial we saluted the courage that it took to sign the Declaration
It takes great courage to back your words with action when the penalty
may be death.
And the 56 signers of the Declaration did just that.
Just for the record, their courage and conviction cost many of them
dearly. Many paid the price with their own blood, and the blood of their
Five signers were captured by the British as traitors and tortured before
they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned.
Two lost their sons in the war and another had two sons captured.
Nine of the 56 died from wounds and hardship while serving in the Revolutionary
Carter Braxton saw his fleet of merchant ships swept from the seas by
the British Navy. He sold his home to pay his debts and died in rags.
Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move
his family constantly. He served in Congress without pay, and kept his
family in hiding. He lost everything and ended up a pauper.
Vandals and soldiers looted the properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer,
Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middelton.
At the battle of Yorktown, Thomas Nelson, Jr., noted that the British
general, Cornwallis, had taken over his home for his headquarters. Nelson
quietly urged General Washington to open fire. His home was destroyed.
Francis Lewis had his home and property destroyed. The British jailed
his wife and she died in jail.
John Hart was driven from his wife's bedside as she was dying. Their
13 children fled for their lives and his fields and gristmill were destroyed.
For more than a year he lived in hiding in the forest.
When he returned home he found his wife dead and children vanished.
He died a few weeks later.
Norris and Livingston suffered similar fates.
These men were not wild-eyed idealists. Most were well-educated, and
men of above-average means.
All were financially secure.
But they valued liberty over their property and comfort, and even their
On that grand piece of parchment they pledged: "For the support of this
declaration, with firm reliance on the protection of the divine providence,
we mutually pledge to each other, our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred
In doing so, they gave birth to a free nation that is the birthright
of all Americans.
And for this, we owe them a great debt.
Former Pecosite has pleasant experience
I was back in Pecos over the Fourth for the Rodeo festivities and my 40th
High School Reunion. Had a great time seeing family and friends and my
Rather inadvertently and completely unplanned, I made a new friend I
thought you ought to know about.
On Friday night, I stopped at the market on the way to a reunion-get-together.
Unknown to me, my checkbook and address book fell out of my hip pocket
in the parking lot. I did not discover the loss until later. After retracing
everywhere I was prepared to call the bank to stop payment on checks and
head for the ATM as there was a fair amount of cash inside.
However, when I returned to the hotel there was a message that a Mr.
Garcia had called saying he had found something that belonged to me. I
called the next morning. Mr. E.M. Garcia said that he had found my check
book and address book. He insisted on bringing them to me at the Quality
Inn. He was there in 15 minutes and handed the items to me personally.
I thanked him profusely and tried to reward him for his effort, but Mr.
Garcia would not take a thing. He said he was just glad to help.
I want to commend Mr. Garcia and let all of Pecos know of his very generous
deed. He is certainly to be commended for his honesty and thoughtfulness.
It reflects favorably on my home town of which I have always been so very
proud. And I am proud to say there's another person in Pecos that I have
had the honor to meet.
309 Willow Springs, Ct.
Coppell, TX 75019
Fish,Wildlife Service strives to assist everyone
Your article regarding water shortages in the Lindsay Addition ("Lindsay
homes face heat wave with little water," July 2, 1999) indicated that the
Fish and Wildlife Service has delayed a pipeline project proposed by the
Madera Valley Water Supply Corporation. Since we were not contacted about
the article, I want to inform you and your readers of my agency's role
in this project.
We received a letter, dated March 17, 1999, from the Honorable Jimmy
B. Galindo, Reeves County Judge, stating that the County was preparing
an environmental assessment for the Madera Valley project. The letter stated
that the County determined that the project would have no effect to any
species listed as threatened or endangered and asked if we agreed with
their determination. Since it is my job to administer the Endangered Species
Act in West Texas, our office responded on April 21, 1999, that we concurred
that the pipeline itself would not affect any listed species. However,
we did inform the County that we were concerned about the potential for
additional ground water use to dry up springs in the area, which are home
to several endangered species. We requested that the County, as part of
their environmental assessment, include an analysis and documentation of
the aquifers and whether the existing wells and the new wells are located
in areas that affect the springs. We had not heard anything more on the
project until we read your article. My staff has since followed up with
both the County and Madera Valley to assist moving the project forward.
We have raised the same concerns with the County and Madera Valley for
previous projects as early as 1994. That same year, we provided Federal
matching funds to the State, through a grant program under the Endangered
Species Act, to support the necessary ground water hydrology studies to
answer some of these concerns. However, after accepting the money in 1994,
the State turned the money back in 1995 without conducting the studies.
We will continue to work with State agencies and local groups to learn
more about the aquifers that support the springs that contain endangered
species, to the extent that we can and our assistance is desired.
It is my position that we do not put the needs of endangered species
ahead of the need for health and human safety. We try to work with development
projects, such as this one, to facilitate project implementation, while
ensuring that protected natural resources, like endangered species, are
not unnecessarily or irreversibly impacted. West Texas should be proud
of the unique and sensitive spring habitats that highlight the desert landscape
and are home to rare plants and animals that occur nowhere else in the
world. We believe they are worth protecting, but it is only possible with
the cooperation of local citizens. The availability of water is a critical
factor in conservation of endangered species and the long term future of
the human communities in West Texas. It's all of our jobs to find the balance
that will allow both to co-exist.
DAVID C. FREDERICK
Supervisor, Austin Field Office
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
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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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