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Thursday, July 29, 2004

Smokey Briggs

Sage Views

By Smokey Briggs

What right do we have
to force Wal-Mart to be fair?

I heard with dismay the news that a federal judge certified the sexual discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart last month.

All certification means is that the class-action lawsuit passed what are really some pretty loose judicial tests meant to weed out the most frivolous of suits.

In short, the lawsuit alleges that Wal-Mart pays female workers less than male workers and passes women over for promotion in favor of men.

The so-called proof at this point consists of raw numbers showing that yes, males employed by the discount store do tend to make more than females, and that yes, there are more males in management than females.

From what I can gather there has been no attempt made to show that there are not some rational, non-discriminatory reasons for the disparities - such as average age of employees, average length of service, education, etc…

Despite 40 years of liberal propaganda to the contrary, women tend to follow husbands when it comes to work and when dad gets a new upward and onward job that requires a move, working moms often have to quit and in essence start over with a new job in the new city.

Common sense says that there are lots of other reasons that can explain the numbers other than an evil corporate uber-plan to discriminate against the lesser sex.

Having dealt with Wal-Mart both as a consumer and a business my personal belief is that the company would promote parakeets if it thought profits would benefit. But, today’s column is not about whether Wal-Mart hates girls.

I have a different question.

It is for all of those folks out there that care if Wal-Mart discriminates.

Here is the question:

By what moral authority do you feel you should be able to impose your standard of beliefs on Wal-Mart.

I understand the legal authority behind the case. I have read much of the 1964 sexual discrimination law and the tortured reasoning of the Supreme Court that gave it life.

I do not agree, but I understand.

My question goes a step further. I want someone to tell me why we have a right to tell Wal-Mart how to run its business.

Sam Walton built Wal-Mart from scratch with nothing but an idea and a lot of hard work.

When it was a fledgling business you can bet that none of the lawyers who filed this class action suit, and none of the potential members were there with him sweating over the books, risking their personal life savings and worrying their guts out with him.

He was alone. He took the risk. And, unlike most people with the guts or lack of sense to start their own business, he succeeded.

So, what moral right do we have to say to his company now that it is a success - you must hire this person, or that - you must promote this person or that one.

The founding fathers of this country are spinning in their graves over this one and all the other progeny of the civil rights laws.

Each of these laws, and each case based on them, is one more step toward socialism/communism and one more chip in the freedoms the Constitution was meant to protect.

This lawsuit is based on some abstract principal of fairness, yet I do not recall a single phrase in our Constitution that demands fairness.

As a matter of fact, I do not recall a single phrase in the Constitution that prohibits anything other actions by the government.

Last time I checked, Wal-Mart was not a recipient of my tax dollars unless I had just received my income tax refund.

The cup of freedom contains strong drink. Too strong for those who support this kind of nonsense.

Yet, in the long run, it is far sweeter and more palatable than will be the final dregs at the bottom of the cup of fairness.

Reader upset with idea of guns in schools

Dear Editor:

A week ago, I returned from the New Mexico State Rifle Championships. Upward of sixty males engaged in heated competition using “assault-style weapons.” CNN did not report hat the match concluded without a single competitor becoming “disgruntled” and laying waste to the competition.

On returning home, I amused myself for several days by reveling in the miracle of flush toilets and relishing fly-meat-free meals, which I didn’t have to protect from my fellow shooters or eat from the tip of my K-Bar. The bliss lasted until my “Woman of Valor” brought home the latest issue of the Pecos Enterprise to torment my then-placid soul. In the Enterprise, I read about the latest meeting of the PBT-ISD athletic …#@$%#…um… school board. I learned that the new $430,000 gym will, at least, protect our kiddoes from the West Texas monsoons and blizzards that keep them cooped up, indoors 360 of 365 days.

I also read about plans to put law enforcement officers in our schools. Board member, Amy Miller freeted, “If the officers would be carrying guns?”

The horror! G-g-g-g-guns in a school? Right here? In Pecos?

On the first day of hunting season, my shop teacher’s coatroom was only three M-79 grenade launchers short of being used as an armory for the 5th Marines. Sarah Brady is mystified that “gun carnage” by “rampaging students” did not manifest itself on my then-classmates of over thirty years ago.

I considered publicly scolding Miller so harshly that she would scramble for safety in the “gun-free zone” of the People’s Republic of Austin. There, she would find solace among the llama-wool sock and Birkenstock crowd… sipping Guatemalan tea at Starbucks. Before I embarrassed myself in a missal to the editor, I recalled my pre-match practice session at Pecos’ gun range.

There, I found an abandoned windshield and a large piece of Plexiglas. Both were riddled with bullet holes. The ground was littered with Black Hills ammunition boxes.

The evidence suggested that local law enforcement had conducted a “training exercise.” From the condition of the range, my now-musty policeman’s brain surmised that the name of the tactical exercise was, “Hey Ya’ll, Watch This!”

Miller may raise a valid concern. DR. JOHN C. LIBBIE
DPM - Retired Podiatrist

"Oh what courage"

As I stood there gasping at the rapid moving muddy waters whooshing through the large conduits; a cold chill ran down my spine.

It was well past dark on Sunday night, the 25th of July. I had already evacuated my mother from her home on Third street, and other folks were already on higher ground, over at Sandra Terry's restaurant .

My husband Steve had placed a board and some rocks on the hole on the west side of my mother's house where the water that had gone through there on 04-04-04 had warped the floors in 5 rooms. He'd also gone over to the gaping holes on the levy earlier in the day, and longed for a bull dozer to open up a ditch on the west side of the conduits to relieve the rising waters the rising waters. There was no dozier. We prayed and hoped for the best. Sometime in the night a courageous young man by the name of Jeff L. jumped on a back hoe, drove dangerously close to calamity and commenced to open up a ditch to relieve the flooding waters of the San Martin Draw.

I looked at how close he had to get, to dig out all the dirt he dug out, and shuddered. What if? But Praise God, The Lord looked down and protected our heroic neighbor, and thereby.

No, it didn't make the Channel 9 News or CNN. But what a Blessing to have such neighbors! I know all of Toyah is appreciative and even as I write this note, several Reeves County workers are working on expanding where Jeff started.

No one believed the flood waters would return so soon yet, the rains are a Blessing it is us not yet quite prepared. But we are getting there - with the help of precious neighbors. Thank You.

Sincerely yours,

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