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Monahans Opinion

Thursday, November 28, 1996

Please Take My 50 Bucks and Run

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By Steve Patterson
Publisher/editor of the News

Picture you and your significant other enjoying a nice $50 meal at the
Spotlight Restaurant. You order a big steak. Your beloved orders a
fish. She turns to you and gazes deep into your eyes. You can tell she
knows the essence of your very being. Finally, the emotion is too much
for her to remain silent and she speaks softly.

"You cheap bum! Where did you ever come up with the money to buy us a
meal like this?" "You can read about it on the front page of the
Monahans News," you reply nonchalantly.

"What do you mean?" she says, squinting suspiciously as I you dig into a
fat, pink steak. "Did you rob somebody to get this money?"

"I guess you could say I robbed that dumb publisher of 50 bucks. It was
easy, all I had to do was come up with a motto for the newspaper to use
up in its flag."
Does the above scenario sound too good to be true? That's right friends,
it could be you wolfing down a meal at the Monahans News' expense by
simply submitting your ideas of what words of wisdom would best describe
the mission or purpose of the Monahans News.

Entries are due by Monday, Dec. 1 and the winner will be announced in
next week's Newspaper. We've already received numerous entries, and a
few of them are very good... but you may be able to do better.

I give hats off and a rebel yell the fighting Loboes for a season I'll
never-forget. the Big Green football and volleyball machines brought
pride to Monahans, not to mention a great deal of satisfaction. I also
want to send a big GOOD LUCK to the Grandfalls-Royalty Cowboys as they
move into the quarter- final playoffs this Friday way up in the
Panhandle. The results of Friday's game will be published in the
Saturday Spotlight.
I'm still searching for local columnists and correspondents in those
great towns of Barstow, Pyote, Wickett, Thorntonville, Grandfalls and

You don't have to be a great writer (as this column should make obvious)
to be able to tell us what is going on in your neck of the woods... or
A quick note of apology and tip of the hat to the crew out at Classic
Cable which put up this year's Christmas lights around town. We ran a
photograph giving credit to a city crew.

Thanks for all your hard work and adios, Jack!

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The Monahans News sends a hearty congratulations and a bids a fond
farewell to Dr. Jack Clemmons as he prepares to meet a new challenge as
superintendent of the Victoria school district. With a starting salary
of $110,000 per year, it is easy to understand Clemmons' departure.

Under Clemmons' administration, the schools have made progress in
raising the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills tests scores in almost
all levels. We also salute Dr. Clemmons for having the courage to make
decisions which - while he knew they would be unpopular - were ones he
felt were in the best interests of the students.

How much did politics play in Clemmons' decision to leave? The Monahans
News does not know, but we do know that it is a shame that politics
would play any role in the departure of an administrator of Clemmons'

We also send our sincere hope for success to the school board in its
search for an adequate replacement for Dr. Clemmons.

Goodbye, Jack, and smooth sailing.

Monahan's Well

Anti-smoking bigots hosting Texas Cakewalk

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By Jerry Curry

Last week, the United States of America and its citizens, sparked by the
fear mongers at the American Cancer Society, celebrated the 20th
anniversary of the only surviving day set aside each year to glorify
bigotry, prejudice and idiocy.

The subject of this discussion, of course, is The Great American Smoke
Out, the only politically correct, socially sanctioned Texas Cakewalk on
the planet.

For those of you who do not know and may even believe some of the tripe
the anti-smoking lobby broadcasts and prints, what you are supporting
when you sanction a Texas Cakewalk is lynch law. It works like this. You
catch me smoking one of the devil's weeds. You stand me in the back of a
pick-up bed and find a convenient utility pole because in West Texas
finding trees worthy of a Texas Cakewalk is difficult. You place a loop
of new rope around my neck and adjust it snugly as if it were a cravat
and I'm going to a wedding or a funeral. Then you throw the end of the
rope not attached to my neck over a cross-tie or some other protrusion
on the I utility pole. You pull the rope more or less tight and cinch it
down. Then you drive the pick-up away. At this point I am doing the
Texas Cakewalk.

This Great American Smoke Out is a day when true believers glory and
bask in the glow of their universal and aggressive stupidity. Next year
I would not be surprised if the American Cancer Society did not sell
bedsheets - it is my understanding there is a warehouse in Bastrop with
more than a few sheets left over from a few years back. All the cancer
society will have to do is change the KKK now on them to ACS.
Hallelujah! The ACS will have a few more million to cover the horrendous
administrative costs of this bloated excuse for charity.

Never forget the anti-smoking fascists are not only attacking the
smokers, they also are attacking the heritage of the American aborigine.
It is from the native American tobacco came.

Consider the following:

1. A scientist named Auerbach or Halfshot or something like that once
upon a time cut a few holes in the throats of Beagles, which if they
don't have holes cut in their throats make pretty good rabbit dogs. Into
these holes this learned scientist placed burning cigarettes. I don't
know if they had filters, probably not. And he kept these lighted
cigarettes sticking in the open holes of these poor little puppy's
throats for quite a long time. Guess what? Auerbach, Halfshot or what
ever his name is then reported these little puppies all had contacted
cancer from cigarettes. My only comment here: I'm surprised those
beagles didn't die of gangrene from those open throat wounds. This is
the first and greatest study purporting to prove that tobacco causes
cancer and other dread social diseases. The others aren't as valid as
this one. At least old Auerbach, Halfshot or Whatever had wandered by an
institution of learning higher than nursery school which I am not sure
would be true of some of the authors of later learned studies.

2. Second-hand cigarette smoke never killed anybody. There is no
evidence anywhere that breathing the fumes of tobacco smoked by others
has caused anything but a bad temper. "Wrong!" you scream. "Right!" I
scream back. "What about those studies which prove the relationship
between second-hand smoking and cancer in persons who breathe those
brimstone fumes?" you scream. "They all proved that everyone of the
cancer patients studied had breathed tobacco smoke at sometime in their
lite!" Responds I: "Your IQ is comparable to a rock. Those studies
proved nothing. Those same studies show that all the cancer patients
studied also had taken a bath once or twice in their lives. Are we to
infer that sanitation and breathing tobacco smoke cause cancer? Of
course not! At this point, you run away from me and start shopping for
new rope and dreaming about the next Great American Smoke Out. You won't
even think about the fact secondhand damage from booze is written in
blood and flame on every highway in this nation and prohibiting an
individual's right to use ethanol did not stop that.

About 1988 when the anti-smoking fascists were just feeling their oats
and discovering any campaign money thrown at a liberal politician comes
back a thousandfold, I set out to find out if the government statistics
on deaths caused by smoking had any validity. I did this by checking
death certificates at various medical examiner and coroner's offices in
Texas. We're talking Bexar, Harris, Nueces and a few other counties
here. I didn't check Travis County because I knew any government record
that comes nut of Austin is, by definition, false and cannot be trusted.
Out of the hundreds of death certificates I examined in that long ago
time, I did not find one that listed tobacco in any of its forms as a
contributing factor in any death. There were many which listed alcohol,
a few that listed mayhem precipitated by gun, knife or blunt instrument.
Most death listings were attributed to little bugs you can't see. I
wrote this story for the metro daily for which I then toiled. They
weren't interested.

No, I don't smoke cigarettes (Granddaddy did and he lived past 100 years
old). I don't dip snuff (Grandmaw did and she outlived Granddaddy). I do
smoke a pipe.

As a friend in Monahans remarked last week: "If the money the American
Cancer Society had spent on propaganda had been used for research, it is
probable we would be a little closer today to a cure for cancer."

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Copyright 1996 by Ward Newspapers, Inc.
107 W. Second St., Monahans TX 79756
Phone 915-943-4313, FAX 915-943-4314

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