Stuck in Leadville on a Sunny Monday Morning

By Jeffrey Goldberg

Sorry about the light blogging; I've been busy having ideas at the Aspen Ideas Festival, and I've spent the last little while actually trying to escape from Aspen, not quite successfully. Unfortunately, I've misplaced the pilot to my private jet, so I had to rely on Frontier Airlines to get me out of Aspen, and I've learned that I cannot rely on Frontier Airlines, for which I will have some specially-chosen words later.

I was finally forced, by my own impatience, to rent a car, but unfortunately the only car Budget had for me was an orange-colored Hummer H3. I had concocted a plan to find a "Michael Bennet for Senate" bumper sticker (Bennet is Colorado's excellent junior senator and Goldblog is one of the nation's leading pro-Michael Bennet blogs, and not because Michael's brother is editor of The Atlantic), and stick it on the bumper of my rental to give Michael a little free publicity, but then I realized that people might associate Michael with Hummers, which are not something Democratic senators ought to be associated with, so instead I decided I was going to write on the driver's side door, "It's a Rental, I'm Not Actually a Douchebag, And By The Way, Vote for Michael Bennet") but I didn't.

In any case, I'm in Leadville (elevation: 10,152 feet) on the way to Denver in my Douchemobile, and I've decided to spend a couple of hours reporting out a story that is especially interesting to me, the sad tale of Leadville's own Jamin Paulin-Ramirez, who was indicted in April on charges of being part of a jihadist conspiracy to kill a Swedish cartoonist. There are no Muslims to speak of in Leadville; Paulin-Ramirez found jihadism on that damn Internet. I find her story absolutely fascinating -- the way Western misfits (I mean Western not in the Colorado sense, but in the Judeo-Christian-civilization sense) are becoming drawn to Islamist ideology as a way of expressing their alienation and unhappiness. If I find out something new or interesting about this case, I'll let you know.

By the way, about that Hummer -- it barely made it over Independence Pass (elevation: 794,856 feet). What a loser of a truck; no wonder GM ditched it. It's the SUV equivalent of Frontier Airlines, as far as I am concerned. 

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/personal/archive/2010/07/stuck-in-leadville-on-a-sunny-monday-morning/59565/