The story about this Leadville, Colorado woman, Jihad “Jane” Jamie Paulin-Ramirez, prompted me to riff about the theme of this headline: why seemingly normal women, with classic Colorado suburban blonde hairstyles, heavy makeup and everything, would suddenly bolt off and allegedly hook up with the Jijad boy next door and plot to kill a Swedish cartoonist who offended Islamic hypersensitivities. In my time living in the mountains of neighboring Summit County, I witnessed lots of women who shall we say, married beneath them, to various ski bums and mountain men who lolled away their days hunting, fishing, skiing, biking, boarding, and engaging in the occasional odd construction job. Meanwhile, their wives or girlfriends slaved away bringing home substantial six-figure incomes.
I’ll leave the details of what transpired to the excellent reportage at the Wall Street Journal, who broke the story, and Paulin-Ramirez’s subsequent release from jail by Irish authorities. My angle is a different one, with both a local and a First Amendment focus.
Women like these are often psychologically wired to believe that the boyfriend or husband at hand is the best they can come up with, and so they stick with him in their own form of Stockholm syndrome (pun unintentional), or like Paulin-Ramirez, they jump from one loser to the next hoping one will turn out to be Mr. Right. I’ve worked with abuse victims, and cajoled friends to seek help when they’ve found themselves in this situation–typically teamed with the afore-mentioned down-market, rural version of the “slackoisie”– a term I wish I’d coined myself, but I didn’t. (ABA Top 100 Blawger, Dan Hull did).
I’ve witnessed some severe Stockholm cases, with some women dropping the loser later than others, but none felt the need to resort to hooking up with a Jihadist. Some of these women resort to their own forms of violence when their romantic alliances, even abusive alliances, are threatened. Alleged Jihad Jamie, however, is the first Coloradan I am aware of who has carried her disdain for the head of Mohhamed appended to the body of an alleged dog to such romantic extremes.
My own German Shorthair Pointer– Golden, Colorado native Steffi Q., was herself appalled at the analogy. Every time that cartoonist’s name comes on Fox News, she flees to the patio and barks. I fear for my sofa when I think what she’d do if Fox had the cojones to post the actual cartoons.
I’m a First Amendment purist, but putting the head of Mohammed on a dog’s body is truly an insult to self-respecting dogs everywhere–especially when the body part, according to Steffi, looks more like a donkey than a dog anyways.
We all must remember though, the First Amendment means nothing if it does not protect the most shocking and unpopular speech. The next thing you know, people will be advocating hate-speech laws like they have in Canada.
Just so it’s clear, I have nothing against Islam, especially as practiced by the vast majority of American muslims. But I think the cowering fear that’s resulted over the publication of these cartoons is deadly laughable, and the best way to deal with it is not to shy away from publishing the cartoons, but to publish them all over the place and to make jokes like I am here (albeit better jokes than mine). And CAIR and others won’t have to worry about being specially screened at the airports anymore, since now big-haired Colorado blondes will probably top the TSA charts at DIA and around the globe.
UPDATE: Looks like the effort to bolster the comments on the blog is paying off. Here’s one I’m in the process of moderating now:
Dear Ex-Pat, Ex-Lawyer, and the filthy canine beast you live with who drinks Coors. Personally, I prefer a pint of Wynkoops. Since you like living by sun-drenched beaches, may I suggest you visit Somalia and see what we can offer you here for blogging experiences even more rough and tumble than local Colorado politics. Also, Gulf of Aden is lovely this time of year, and we specialize in the extreme sports people from Colorado like a lot. Just ask those hikers from Berkeley who got free extended-stay vacation in Iran.
We know where you live guns are illegal, so hope you bought one of those six-inch switch blades the street vendors sell. Me and my friends always grab one before we climb through the holes in the fence at the US border. Look forward to meeting you soon…Jijadilovelineboyfrombreck@yahoo.com
If only the Colorado political lurkers would be this forthcoming.
Update #2– I saw some astute DP commenters noting that the boyfriend pickings in Leadville must be pretty slim. See, I know what I’m talking about when it comes to weirdo mountain men. More importantly, it turns out Leadville Police Sergeant Saige Thomas is an unsung hero in helping the family, and ultimately the FBI, to track Paulin-Ramirez’s whereabouts. I’ll be writing a follow-up article on my interview with Sergeant Thomas shortly.
Update #3 – Thanks to Holden Oliver, recognized by the American Bar Association as a Top 100 Legal Blawger (the term for legal bloggers) for pointing out to me the true inventor of the term “slackoisie” –his co-blawger, Dan Hull. I took some liberties in broadening its typical usage to entitled mountain men who typically don’t have a law degree or other credentials associated with the original definition set out in the WSJ article. Belatedly, I just added their blawg, “What About Paris?”, formerly known as “What About the Client,” to my fledgling, but selective blog roll. How anyone like Scott, Holden, Dan, Glenn, Eugene and brethren can blog full time and practice law and/or teach at the level they do is miraculous to me. Their clients and law students are fortunate to have them, and so are we.