"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing."

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Chance City Chronicles

I document and photograph abandoned mines, it's one of the things I do.  I have an entire blog dedicated to that very subject. Which is why the plight of Devin Westenskow hit close to home. Westenskow who was out exploring mines in Nevada with his co-workers, fell into a vertical shaft, 200 ft. deep. Rescuers were able to lower a video camera down to where he was, but unfortunately could not extract him without endangering their own lives. The camera then caught his last moment of life as he succumbed to the traumatic injuries he had sustained.  200 feet is a long way down, add crumbling walls and falling rocks (a large rock split the hard hat of one rescuer) and you have a hopeless situation.  The shaft will be sealed off, thus becoming Westenskow's eternal tomb. There was a similar situation that took place in Utah, after a cave explorer, John Edward Jones became wedged between rocks, Nutty Putty Cave as it is called became his grave and was also sealed off.  Here in New Mexico a mine explorer met with the same fate near the ghost town of Kelly when he entered an abandoned gold mine. He became trapped deep inside the mine, well beyond the reach of rescuers. Near Magdalena, a self styled claim jumper was lowering himself into a vertical shaft when he plunged 60 ft. into  brackish water and drowned. These men went out in a blaze of glory, a modern day Viking's funeral, with scores of first responders, rescue personnel and news reporters at hand. And so it goes, in America we have the right and the freedom to die in the most excruciating ways possible.  The issue of illegal immigrants obtaining drivers licenses  has become the fishbone in Susanna Martinez's throat. I don't get it and this is the only issue that I will ever side with Martinez on. If you're in this country illegally how can you walk into a DMV office and obtain a drivers license? Either the State of New Mexico doesn't care or DMV covets the revenue from these transaction too much to close any loopholes. The solution is easy, don't issue the licenses, ask for birth certificates or other documentation, train your staff to spot doctored or false documents. I smell a rat, maybe an entire nest of rats, if this bill isn't getting past the legislature it's not because New Mexico is suddenly at the forefront of  immigrant (legal or illegal) rights. It's because it provides a slush fund for our beloved lawmakers, "Daddy needs a new F-350, those things aren't cheap" The myth of New Mexico being progressive is just that, a myth. We're no different than Arizona, though we like to look down on our western neighbor. We are the longhaired pot smoking twin brother to Arizona's crew cut redneck jock, but we are cut from the same cloth. I'm going down to Walmart to pay $3.78 for a gallon of milk and $3.78 for a gallon of gasoline, sure is a funny way to balance my budget. We currently have one former Senate President Pro Tem doing prison time, let's find him a cellmate.

" Remember: these hills are not foolproof "
posted on sign at abandoned mine in Arizona

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