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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Opinion

Tuesday, October 19, 1999

Smokey Briggs

Sage
Views

By Smokey Briggs

Slim on respect:

mind your manners


I had a chance to chew the fat with Slim this weekend.

Now Slim is not exactly a spring chicken and he has seen some of the world. To look at him leaning against the fence at the livestock auction you'd figure he was just another cowboy looking to buy or sell a horse.

Like a lot of guys with weathered faces at horse auctions, the cover of the book doesn't quite do Slim justice. Slim is sharp about a lot of things other than horses and is possessed of a sense of logic and common sense so sharp that it can cut.

Slim and I don't always agree with each other, but we enjoy each other's company and thoughts.

The growing vulgarity of our popular culture came up somewhere in-between cures for cold-backed horses and the smell of billy goats.

Like a kid coming home from school, I walked away with some new insights on the subject.

Slim broke it down pretty quick with his usual ability to look past the trees and see a forest.

"It comes down to respect," he said. "When you mind your manners around someone, it is a sign of respect. And the opposite is true when you curse around someone, it is often a sign of disrespect."

"Not always," I said. "Soldiers cuss in a barracks and it isn't disrespectful."

"No, but when their sergeant or commanding officer walks in they don't," Slim said. "Cussing with your peers may not be disrespectful, but it isn't exactly respectful either. Refraining from it can be a sign of respect of holding someone to be special _ of deserving better than average treatment."

"Like around here," he said, with a toss of his head, "a certain amount of vulgarity is accepted, almost expected. But when certain people are around, you'll hear the tone change. It's a sign of respect."

"The problem isn't bad language. That's just a symptom. The problem is lack of respect," Slim said.

"What do you think happened to respect?" I asked.

"There probably isn't any one simple answer," Slim said. "But it starts at home. Parents used to teach it used to demand it."

Slim smiled and shook his head.

"I probably wouldn't be standing here today if I had talked to my mom the way some kids do today. Dad would have jerked a knot in me that St. Pete couldn't un-tie."

"But these days... Kids will always test their boundaries. It's human nature. One day every kid is going to walk in and say something disrespectful to his mom or dad, just like a horse is going to pitch every now and then. You can't let them get away with it. If you do, they learn that such behavior is okay and you end up with a useless horse or a disrespectful kid. Either one is a shame."

"Kids used to have a lot more chances to learn respect too," he said. "The draft was good for that. So were judges that gave bad kids a choice of jail or enlisting. Two years in the army can teach a lot of respect.

"There was shame in a dishonorable discharge back then though. And sergeants were very talented at teaching the finer points of respect," he said with a grin.

"Sergeants aren't allowed that much leeway these days, Slim," I said. "That's called brutality."

"Too bad. It seemed to work."

"Hard times are good for teaching respect too," Slim continued. "At least in the work place. Once upon a time, if you lost your job you went hungry. You couldn't afford to be disrespectful to your employer or the customer. There were too many people out there who needed your job. These days, there are plenty of jobs. And even if you don't have one, you're not going to starve. Hunger is a pretty good motivator."

"That's a pretty harsh system Slim. We've worked for a long time to rid society of that kind of hardship and brutality. "

Slim nodded.

"Maybe. And I sure don't have all the answers. But people sure seemed to be a lot more respectful of each other before we fixed everything."
 

EDITOR'S NOTE: Smokey Briggs is the Editor and Publisher of the Pecos Enterprise whose column appears on Tuesdays. He can be e-mailed at: smokey@pecos.net

Our View

Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty needed rejecting

It is easy to vote for something that sounds nice. A ban on nuclear testing sounds nice.

Nuclear weapons are ugly things capable of horrific destruction. It might be nice if such things didn't exist.

Luckily for America, the U. S. Senate didn't take the easy road last week and voted to reject the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty that President Clinton signed in 1996.

The treaty (in theory) would prevent the United States and other signing nations from testing nuclear weapons.

The treaty has been hyped by supporters as a general cure-all for the ills of nuclear proliferation.

According to supporters it is a big step toward worldwide nuclear disarmament, and would prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.

The question that has not been answered satisfactorily by supporters is how these nice objectives would be accomplished by this treaty.

This is where the treaty fails miserably.

There is simply no way to enforce the treaty even among the nations that sign it, much less the hundreds of nations that are not parties to it.

It is the equivalent of agreeing to throw down your club in a street brawl. While some fool may actually drop his weapon, his aggressors will not. The outcome is not hard to forecast.

There is no doubt that America would abide by the terms of the treaty. Just as certainly there will be nations that do not.

The end result is to hamstring the United States' defensive posture with no net gain in return.

It is a poor trade and foolish foreign policy.

Just for the record: most of the support for this treaty is based on the concept that nuclear weapons are terrible things that the world would be better off without.

However, since the dawning of the nuclear age, we have not seen the type of unlimited warfare that devoured men, material and whole nations during the first half of this century. One reason is that with nuclear weapons, such warfare is less feasible. Total destruction begets no winners.

And for the hundreds of thousands of men who were preparing to invade Japan at the end of World War II, the atomic bomb was a Godsend that saved countless American lives.

Your View

Gang activity affecting everyone in Pecos

What is happening to our town of Pecos? We really can't believe what this so-called "Brown Pride Gang" is doing to this town. It has come to the point that we can't even enjoy ourselves at the Fiestas or any other activities in Pecos. As parents, we need to get our town back. Personally, we think that it is really pathetic that our children and us, as adults are not safe around these little kids anywhere, not even in the schools. We know for a fact that there are many families moving from Pecos because of BPG. Some families related to us, because of the encounters with BPG.

To the gang members of BPG, someday you will be adults, have jobs, have a family of your own, or be in prison. Your actions of what you do now will follow you wherever you might go in life. What will your children think knowing that their father or mother was terrorizing the town, knowing how much pain and anguish you all have caused the families you have victimized? Remember that someday you will have children of your own, and maybe it might be your child getting beaten up and then maybe you'll feel our pain, as when you all go out and hurt our children now. Always remember, what goes around, comes around!

To the judges and prosecutors that let these delinquents go free or put them only on probation, we hope you realize that that's only a slap on the hand. Soon they are on the streets again doing the same thing as they were doing before. If possible, send them to boot camp for 3-6 months, and if one of them comes back a changed person, then it was worth it.

To Pecos in general, let's make our town safe for our children again? Sometimes police officers can't do it all alone; we the community and police officers should get together as a team. We know we can get our town back, We're that confident. So, let's have P.I.P. "Pride In Pecos."

We need a solution to all these problems. We suggest that the parents of these gang members be held more liable for their children's actions. Maybe come down harder on the parents.

As we close this letter, we want all the parents in Pecos to know that there will be a meeting on how to deal with these problem children please start by attending this meeting. They will be announcing when and where this meeting will be held soon. Thank you for your time.

MARIA PATINO

& HEATHER GARCIA

Ice chest brigade may

have to be formed

After listening to all the controversy surrounding our local grocery stores I have decided that what we need now is an ice chest brigade.

Since I retired we have been going to Odessa and Midland on the average of 2 to 3 times a week and we have noticed that almost every time we run into someone from Pecos doing their grocery shopping in Odessa and Midland. Most everyone going to see the doctors carry an ice chest with them. We have one in all our vehicles. And most everyone we run into is always comparing prices. Or calling on someone who is not going to see if they need anything. We have found out in the last couple of years that we are saving between 22 to 28% every time we shop out of town.

And that about pays for gasoline and a meal for two. And we get better quality and more variety.

You know the way things are going we might need to form brigades on other products and services. Tires, furniture, carpet, appliances to name a few.

Sincerely,

DORA T. PINEDA

Fair concert needs good headliners for next year

I want to respond to your article on the Fall Fair from Friday's, Oct. 8, issue. Good article by the way!! I personally did not make the trip down there, for many reasons. Tom Rivera needs to stop blaming the community and start blaming himself and the committee for organizing such a "pathetic" event. (Quoting his word). Most of the attendance that is produced comes from out-of-towner's like myself, and I didn't attend nor did my family and friends. One major reasons there was a low attendance was the concert. Pete "The Heat" as the headliner?? Pete "The Heat" is not a TOP ENTERTAINER! He will always be Selena's sidekick and no more. I laughed when I read he was headlining. I only paid $5 bucks last time he was here and still felt that I didn't get my money's worth.

Did ya'll forget about Emilio, Shelly Lares, David Lee Garza, Eddie Gonzales, Little Joe, Jay Perez, Ram Herrera. I can go on and on. Those are TOP ENTERTAINERS!!! I would go to Pecos to see them, and pay more than $10 bucks.

In closing, this so called committee needs to re-define what the word COMMITTEE means and start researching what the community wants. If the committee wants to be successful, they need to know what it means to be successful FIRST!

Sincerely,

RAY G. FUENTEZ

Midland, Texas

Ill students received prompt attention

I wish to bring to light the terrible incident that occurred the Friday before last. The band, while traveling to Fabens for a football game, stopped off in Van Horn. One bus stopped at Dairy queen. Several students ate chicken strips and hot dogs. Those students became gravely ill with food poisoning. Many of the students needed to be transported to the hospital. Two ambulances and sheriff's vehicles were used while many suffered it out at the stadium.

I would like to thank the school officials that were there at the game. They were on the ball notifying the parents who were not at the game, myself included. They also comforted the students who were sick and calmed the parents at home. My daughter was very sick and she was never left alone. Mr. Rodriguez, Mr. Hernandez, Mr. Dutchover and Mrs. Alexander, need to be congratulated for their commitment to the students.

Thank you so much,

DONNA MARTEL

Mother of Tabitha Montanez

Children learn by the examples of adults

I am appalled at the activity that has been going on in our town the past several weeks. I do hope that these perpetrators are caught and brought to justice. However, I am concerned about the other perpetrators who have allowed these things to happen. We adults have put forth many damaging examples in front of children.

To name a few: a parent stating that "the teacher/coach/principal doesn't know what he/she is talking about." A fan yelling at the coach during a game "Get that player off the field."

A grandfather badmouthing a 5-year-old first time soccer player. Able bodied customers leaving their shopping baskets in the handicap parking spaces with the idea of, "It's not my job to keep the parking lot clear."

Good citizens begin at home. Good sportsmanship begins at home. Respect for authority, other peoples' property begins at home. We, parents need to be home and involved with our children in a POSITIVE way. We, parents need to take our responsibility seriously. By our examples, be they good or bad, our children are watching us and they are learning. I challenge all parents to consider: WHAT AM I TEACHING MY CHILD?

MELODY HUFFMAN

Other bands should be Considered for concert

I would like to comment on what Mr. Rivera had to say about the concert and also give my opinion.

Yes, maybe we do complain about nothing to do around here, and when something like this comes around we don't help (as he stated.) It's true, but we want to pay a good price and get our money's worth. The price was cheap, but we weren't going out there to listen to bands we didn't like.

Mr. Rivera should know by now what kind of music gathers people around, that is mostly Norteno music.

He mentioned of a possibility of not having a concert next year, well that's wrong, instead he should consider better bands, there's really good bands out there.

No complaints were heard when the Rieleros and Super Odisea were here some couple of years ago or so, cause that was great music. Mr. Rivera could consider mixed groups, such as country western. To name a few good bands, hope Mr. Rivera can take into consideration. Eddie Gonzales, Michael Salgado, Super Odisea, Rieleros, Primavera, plus country western bands. There's many out there, with high prices to pay, but they will get their moneys worth.

ELIDA GARCIA

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