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Smokey Briggs


By Smokey Briggs

Tuesday, August 22, 2000

The world is nuts and it's our fault

You watch the evening news. You read the newspaper. You talk with your neighbors and friends.

The Secret Service has been called in to make our schools safer. Some head-shrinker who could not hack med-school "feels" like the only solution is to disarm the free world (not the criminals and thugs, just the law-abiding crowd).

We have day-cares in our high schools. The president has probably committed perjury in connection with committing sexual harassment in connection with definitely acting in a way that justifies any dad with a daughter punching him out.

Our military's new prime directive is making sure nobody gets their feelings hurt.

The list goes on and on.

By the time the day is over you are convinced that the world is riding a rocket sled into the depths of Hades and the brakeman went on strike because the devil's HMO does not cover treatment for the psychological stress he was dealing with after his 4th ex-wife married his cross-dressing brother-in-law.


The deluge of news leads a rational, sane person to one conclusion - the world has gone insane.

I've asked this question before. Occasionally some witty individual will answer, "The world has always been crazy. It just looks different in the history books."

Maybe. But I'm not convinced it was this crazy.

Here is what I think I know.

I'm pretty sure kids were not shooting at each other on a regular basis in high school in 1955.

I'm pretty sure that Army drill instructors were not screaming, "You are good enough, Private. It's okay to feel feminine son," at new inductees in 1943.

I'm relatively certain that a greater percentage of Americans owned firearms in 1930 than today and Grandma never told me about the day care she kept my dad in while finishing high school.

I'm pretty sure that while past presidents are not famous for marital fidelity, I have never heard of one committing perjury. If nothing else they at least had enough respect for the office to avoid breaking the law while womanizing.

So what changed?

America changed. Americans changed. Post World War II America was a virtual Garden of Eden in America. Rarely has fate cast such riches of opportunity before a nation.

Like Adam and Eve, we succumbed to temptation.

We got lazy and we got greedy. We got more interested in making a buck than rearing our children. We quit teaching history and substituted something called social studies. We substituted four years of college for a decent 8th grade education and some common sense.

More important, we quit striving for greatness. We quit singing the praises of common virtue.

Like spoiled children, we scorned virtues like fidelity, honesty, bravery and kindness, as the Me Generation of the baby boom realized that perfection was not in its grasp.

Rather than strive harder, we sat down and made up excuses for our own humanity and wallowed deeper into the mud.

No, the world was not this crazy 50 years ago. But 50 years ago, most folks did not have their own psychoanalyst to give them excuses for their failings.

The solution starts with us as individuals. We know right from wrong. Sometimes the choice is hard and unpleasant, but we know the difference.

When we start forcing ourselves to do the right thing instead of what feels good at the moment, and start demanding the same of our fellow citizens, some sanity will return to this world.

Until then, I'm willing to pass the hat and get that brakeman some counseling. This sled is moving too fast to suit me.

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:

Our View

County must find funds for bulletproof vests

Last Saturday the Sheriff's Posse held a dance at the Posse Barn. A portion of the proceeds from the dance is being set aside to buy bullet proof vests for the Sheriff's Department.

Sheriff's deputies should not have to wait until enough money is raised through fundraisers before the department hands them a bulletproof vest.

In these days and times, no law enforcement officer should put on his uniform without a minimum of body armor under it.

Maybe the need was not as obvious in the past. Rural West Texas did not have the violent crime problems experienced by many parts of America.

Whatever the case in the past, today, these guys need bulletproof vests.

Today, Reeves County is a prime route for drug smugglers and the potential for an officer being shot is high.

Sheriff's deputies face the added danger of stopping vehicles all over the county _ often alone and with the possibility of help a long way away.

Doing this without body armor is nuts.

These deputies should not have to wait until enough money is raised through private efforts to buy these vests.

Reeves County can find this money somewhere. If another project's financing must be cut to get the money, then it should be cut.

It is hard to imagine many things on the County's agenda that could be more important than this.

Your View

Volunteer fireman ask community for donations

Dear Editor:
This letter is a form of consideration to our community.

My name is Joe Mena and have been a member of the Pecos Volunteer Fire Department for the past 6 years.

I am writing this letter to express my personal opinion.

The Chief of the Fire Department, Roy Pena, and with the help of the members of the Fire Dept. has started a mission. Always in mind to help to save people's lives and their properties. We the fire dept. has asked the community for help by placing plastic cans throughout the local stores asking for donations so that we can purchase Rescue Cams. These Rescue Cams will help the firefighters to go into smoke or burning buildings to find trapped victims. Now that I have explained what the reason for these plastic cans throughout the stores, let me get to my point why I am so upset.

We check these cans regularly, "well"... to my surprise, as I was shopping at our Wal-Mart and as I was walking out the front doors these plastic cans were not as the service desk, not at the checkouts, but only there at the window seals just laying there like they just put them there to get them out of the way, then about a few days later there are the cans not on the window seal but down on the floor behind the shopping baskets.

The money that we are asking for is donations from our community, this money does not come from Wal-Mart, all we asked from Wal-Mart was to let us place these plastic cans on their checkouts or service desk so that the community will give us their donations. The intentions of the Pecos Volunteer Fire Dept. is only help the community more effective.

My first question is, what if our local Wal-Mart would go up in smoke?

Second. What if the fire dept. had to walk in there and evaquate the building?

Third. What if we all could help protect our community better?

My letter is not with the intentions to put anyone down but we are all local volunteers and in certain occasions we have to ask our community for help.

We the members for the fire dept. are all volunteer firefighters and when we are called out to a fire we don't always know how big or how dangerous the fire is going to be, we are out there to save homes, buildings and people's lives.

When we walk out our doors of our homes, we leave our families behind and we don't know if we are going to come back to see them again, but we have a duty and we have to attend to it voluntarily.

Pecos has a very professional department of firefighters.

If this letter happens to hurt anyones feelings, these are not my intentions. We just need to be aware of how we can make Pecos a better community. Wal-Mart you can bet that if you need the help of the fire department as you have in the past.... We will be there with our equipment ready to help you!

Pecos we never know when we are going to need help from our local servants such as Pecos Fire Dept., Pecos Police Dept., Sheriff's Dept., or the EMT.

Lets all help one another.


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