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Weekly Newspaper and Tourism Guide for Ward County Trans Pecos, Big Bend of West Texas


September 24, 1998

Monahan's Well

By Jerry Curry
As the seamy soap opera that is the Bill Clinton presidency
blunders on ad nauseam and the tobacco moguls wonder if
this will be good or bad for the marketing of good cigars,
only one thing is certain.

That is that polls of the people lose a little more
credibility each day. At one time the poll takers, Lou
Harris and George Gallup, literally could tell you what was
happening and they would be right with four or five
percentage points. Ignore those polls and any politician or
barb wire merchant was going to crash. That was true for
decades. Gallup and his competitors told you up front that
Harry Truman was going to win in '48. There were some mighty
embarrassed editors when they went ahead and elected Dewey
before the votes all were counted.

(As an aside, newspaper editors have been electing
candidates long before the votes are over for decades. Some
of us have never been wrong. But there are those who listen
to their hearts and not the numbers. And they rue that
romanticism more than once in their lives.)

Polls then are an essential tool in the marketing of
anything from widgets to political candidates.

But now the polls are awry.

Today, Wednesday, Sept. 23, the second day of Autumn in
the Year of Our Lord 1998, the polls tell us:

- More than 60 percent of the people consider Bill Clinton
to be a lying, philandering little boy who has sexual
fantasies about mummies.

- More than 60 percent of the people think Bill is doing a
great job and all those mean old Republicans and Christians
should leave Bill alone and let him go back to the Oval
Office where there is a new crop of interns this year so he
can pick up his latest check from the Chinese.

Polls say that is the feeling of the people. People, me
included, are full of contradictions. But we people are not
full of that many contradictions. There is something wrong
here. I refuse to believe it is the people. It is much more
likely the polls are skewed, either by incompetence, the
most likely, or on purpose, which is not likely because
pollsters make their living taking the pulse of the people.
If the polls continue to war with their own numbers, those
who depend on them for strategies are going to stop because
strategies based on bad data fail.

Polling is both science and art. Finding out what people may
think or feel about an issue and how they will act upon
it depends on variables ranging from the way a question is
asked to the way in which the poll is conducted. Taking a
telephone poll automatically biases that poll because only
persons with listed telephone numbers are polled. Depending
on the question, this fact alone might bias the results to
the point that they are useless. Call in polls, which
broadcast networks and talk shows love, are no poll at all
because those telephones can be packed by partisans who, as
a result, stop the mass of the people from registering their

Yes, the current White House Crisis may destroy the
credibility of polls.

Poll credibility has been lost, perhaps never to return.

Spend dollars at home

Shopping Ward County is to your advantage.

Let us count the ways.

Every dollar you spend in Monahans and environs stays right
in our community to work in our community for you, your
friends and your relatives.

That is logical. It is not some federal bureaucrat blowing

We say this because it frustrates us from time to time to
hear that someone is driving over to Odessa to buy a box of
corn flakes, a screw driver, a pair of jeans or any
assorted widgets.

Look we understand why you might drive to Odessa to buy a
new Jaguar. There are no Jaguar dealers in Ward County to
our knowledge. We understand why you might drive to Odessa
to see a movie. The last picture show passed away a long
time ago in Ward County.

But we absolutely do not understand why anyone would spend
the money and face the frustrations of a drive to Odessa to
buy corn flakes, screwdrivers, jeans or widgets. The corn
flakes, screw drivers, jeans and widgets in Monahans are
just as cheap and they just might be of better quality. Plus
you can find a place to park and you really don't have to
worry about some Odessa gangster deciding it would be a good
idea to take the tires off your car while you're in one of
those over priced shopping emporiums late Twentieth Century
Americans call Malls.

So here's the pitch. Shop Monahans and Ward County.

Any price break you think you might find by driving 30 or 40
miles is over shadowed by the cost of the trip itself and
the subsequent psychiatry bill. Any one who goes to Odessa
willingly probably needs therapy.

Spend your money at home. You'll be glad you did.

Antique zone good decision

When the City Council of Monahans does something right, it
should be congratulated by the people who elected them to
these nonpaying, often thankless jobs. Council members did
something right at their meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 22, and
should be heartily thanked. The Council enacted a change in
the zoning ordinances which allows antiques to be sold in
the downtown business section. Until now antiques have been
barred because some idiot once thought antiques were junk
which they're not. Junk is cheap. This zoning restriction
was at least one bar to bringing merchants into long vacant
downtown business buildings. This bar no longer exists. The
way now is clear for an upscale downtown antique district to
attract dollars to the community. The City Council did good.

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Copyright 1998 by Ward Newspapers, Inc.
Joe Warren, Publisher
107 W. Second St., Monahans TX 79756
Phone 915-943-4313, FAX 915-943-4314

Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium.

Copyright 1998 by Ward Newspapers Inc.