The end of reason

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By Ralph Damiani

Friday night at the ski hill was another in the series of summer concerts put on by the county and various businesses in the community.

People gather to relax, meet with friends and listen to some great music. Friday night was no different.

The night air at Pajarito was cool and crisp and the music rocking.  All was well.

Until the state police decided to make an appearance and clearly demonstrate that we have lost our collective minds.

So many times you hear figures talk about what makes America great is that we are a nation of laws. That is wrong. Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia were nations of laws.

What makes us great is that we are a nation of justice, of reason. But we are rapidly moving away from that and all we can do go by rote and recite the laws and rules with no thinking?

Friday night was a perfect example.

It seems that the state police folks in Santa Fe wanted to make a bust in Los Alamos, so they sent an officer from Albuquerque to come here and attend the summer concert and find something wrong.

And surprise, surprise, he did.

No, there was not excessive drinking, there was no serving to underage folks, there was no problem at all. There was just a group of people relaxing in the cool air.

But in this age of insanity, the state police had to flex its muscle and find a problem. And they did. See, people did not stay were they were supposed to.

As the officer shut down the booth selling some beer, he said rules are rules and people buying beer could not mix with those who brought their own and that those who brought their own could not come and be with those who bought theres.

So he shut it down.

See, according to the officer, if you bought beer you had to stay on the patio and if you brought your own, you had to stay on the grass.

That is why he shut the sales down. Now we are not sure, he may be completely correct in the strict interpretation of the law. But as we said, where is the logic here?

The folks selling did a very good job of trying to comply with the law. But when compliance becomes impossible – the officer will find something no matter how hard you are trying – then the whole process becomes a joke. And that is dangerous.

Is that all there is anymore, strict following of the law with no common sense to situations, to logic, to reason?

What we fear the most however is the loss of respect for our people in uniform. People were very disgusted by this officer’s actions and felt it was unjust, as it was. But when those critical people we need for our safety begin to lose our respect, we are really in trouble.

And this officer was arrogant at best, uncaring at worst. There was no reason to do what he did, save for the fact that he could. It was the law.

But where was the justice? There was no harm being done, except that he could find some. There were no abuses of alcohol going on, save the ones he created.

Drunken driving and abuse of alcohol are terrible issues that we need to deal with in a serious way. But this officer’s actions diminish that effort and open those people who put their life on the line for us to unnecessary ridicule.

And that is a very sad outcome of his actions up on the ski hill Friday night.