Pera:Dynamite and Heroes and Guilt Galore | Musings of a Mountainman
by Jack Pera
Jul 08, 2007 | 417 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A DYNAMITE GUY: How many of us living in the Town of Telluride were jarred out of our slumber by the 6 a.m. explosions set off by the Telluride Volunteer Fire Department Wednesday, July 4? Our scorn might be directed at my father, who passed away on the Fourth of July last year.

Dad once told me that, back when he was very young and living in the family house at the northwest edge of town on West Galena Avenue, he decided to start the Fourth of July off with a bang by setting off some dynamite down near Chair Rock (roughly where the Palm Theatre is now located).

To not get caught, he knew he needed to pull the job off at the crack of dawn, when he knew nobody would be coming by the blast site.

My father, who was not one to exaggerate or invent tales and who never bragged about himself, said the fire department soon picked up on his idea and began to set off their own crack-of-dawn dynamite to signal the start of the celebration they were going to put on for the day. Regardless, it’s been a long and interesting tradition.

CONGRESSIONAL HEROES: Other than the Iraqi war, the criminals in the White House and the stupidity of political protectionism, is there anything more divisive right now in America than illegal immigration?

How divisive is it? Consider that a comprehensive immigration reform bill just died a probable permanent death in Congress. Surprised? Not me. Illegal immigration is yet another of those insolvable social problems not unlike a national health care system, Medicare, Social Security, impeachment, our abysmal two-party system federal government, manipulated market capitalism, plutocracy, empire expansion, religious fanaticism, planet pollution, the war on drugs, and so much else.

And so I salute Congress in its effort to solve the immigration problem, which was exactly zilch. Therefore our immigration problems will remain virtually status quo, which, in effect, means that illegal immigration, like all the other major problems, really isn’t a serious problem after all or we would do something about it. This is what makes America great.

BLOOD ON ALL OUR HANDS: On June 26, a brilliant 24-year-old female Colorado Geological Survey researcher was murdered while on the job in a remote part of San Isabel National Forest in Northern Colorado. The victim was able to make a frantic last-minute radio call plea to a co-worker in the area for help, but the co-worker couldn’t reach her in time. A male suspect was arrested shortly after the researcher was killed.

This particular murder is one among the thousands that could have been avoided, a random act of violence attributed to a known killer imprisoned for almost two decades for killing a music teacher, and who was paroled in 2004.

If the suspect is proven to be the killer, I say execute him on the spot. Of course the guy is mentally deranged – that’s a given – you would have to be to murder an innocent and apparently randomly chosen person who deserved a chance at a full life. Of course the bleeding hearts are against capital punishment because they believe the sanctity of life and exemption of friends and relatives trumps a horrendous crime. But my sympathy lies with the victim, not the perpetrator. To my mind, almost all killers forfeit their right to life when they take the life of someone else, excepting cases of self-defense and a few other legitimate reasons.  

Nobody, least of all a brilliant and promising young adult, should lose their life to preventable circumstances. It’s simply unacceptable, and because we allow it we all share a bit of guilt for her murder, in the wake of the abysmal criminal justice system we’ve created.

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