The spirit of Hayduke alive in Western Colorado | AspenTimes.com
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The spirit of Hayduke alive in Western Colorado

John Colson

Hayduke lives, or so it would seem.And it may be that he’s moved to Western Colorado, in light of a recent report from the Eagle County Sheriff’s Department.Some time between June 23 and June 26, someone (or several someones) went to work on a semi-tractor and drilling rig parked at Dotsero, at the eastern end of Glenwood Canyon.According to the report, “the vandals smashed in seven windows, pulled all the wiring” and generally messed up the drilling rig engine to the tune of about $5,000.Given the piles of money being made by gas companies tearing up the countryside of Western Colorado, it’s not likely that this small act of civil disobedience will slow the gas juggernaut in any way. And, truthfully, that may not have been the intent of the perpetrators, who could just as easily have been a bunch of drunks or wayward teenagers, taking out their aggressions on a conveniently parked and unwatched bit of machinery.But I like to think otherwise – that the continuous rape and pillage of the local terrain by gas drillers has finally pissed someone off to the point where they can’t stand it any more. And I consider this a turn for the positive.The gas companies have had their way with our state for several years now, and turnabout is only fair play.Oh, there have been minor speed bumps placed in the way of their pell-mell rush to suck every drop of liquid or gaseous hydrocarbons from the earth that they possibly can. But in general, thanks largely to a friendly federal administration that has never seen a petroleum company it didn’t bow down to, the pursuit of subterranean liquid gold has been relatively unimpeded and, in terms of road-building authorizations, is likely to get all kinds of assistance using taxpayers’ money in the near future.Even some property-rights advocates, normally not friends of environmentalists, preservations or other tree-hugger types, have been complaining about the way the gas companies have been riding roughshod over the interests of landowners who somehow neglected to retain their mineral rights. Something about having their water and air poisoned, their lands ruined, and not being paid enough for the damages, seems to have won out over their basic “it’s your property, you can do what you want with it” beliefs system.The sheriff’s department says it hasn’t got a clue yet as to who the monkeywrenchers in Dotsero are, and the law is eagerly awaiting a call at its Crimestoppers number, hoping there are informers out there who will turn in their neighbors as eco-terrorists and collect the reward.I note with some glee that the spirit of Hayduke is not limited to causing trouble for gas drilling rigs in Western Colorado. Why, even President Bush’s little stable of kept justices, the United States Supreme Court, handed him a downer this week by declaring that Bush had “overstepped his authority” in establishing special military tribunals for dealing with the Guantanamo prisoners. If that isn’t a special bit of judicial monkeywrenching, I don’t know what is, although I doubt if the Supremes would appreciate being characterized as such. Perhaps they were temporarily possessed by Hayduke’s spirit, causing a moment of confusion that has since passed, but what’s done is done.Of course, our Idiot in Chief has another stable of kept clowns, the U.S. House of Representatives, that has roused itself in anger over the Supremes’ ruling. And if their fuming and fomenting is any indication, the House is planning to pass a special law giving Bush authority to do anything, to anyone, anywhere, just about any time he wants – and use the U.S. Army to do it.It’s worth wondering if there’s a machine somewhere, a computer or something, upon which the Bush junta depends to get its dirty work done. If there were, maybe those “vandals” from Dotsero could wander that way and have a little bit of fun.Not that I am advocating such deplorable actions in any way. No, sir.


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