Morally Grey

by RYAN PRIESSMAN

Staff Writer

For a very long time, the questions have been asked: do we have the right to decide who lives and who dies? Is it morally dark to kill? Are we worthy to judge each other? The world is a dark place, contrary to what all of us would like to believe. Human beings are often violent creatures. We hurt each other. We kill each other.

Since the dawn of civilization, blood has been spilled over everything, from territory, to jealousy, to simple psychotic rage. In earlier days, when such a murderer was caught, he was hanged. Death, it seemed, was a fitting punishment for one who cut the life strings of others. Unlike prison, there is no escape from the gallows… or the electric chair.This punishment which we deliver unto others is reserved for sins of the utmost cruelty and pain. Throughout the ages, execution has been reserved until absolutely necessary. For although it is a crime to kill another man, is it not a greater crime to allow more harm to come while one has the chance to stop it?

Humans are not all good. Serial killers, mass murderers and even terrorists injure innocent people to get what they want. It is optimistic to believe that, given a second chance, these citizens would reform their ways and strive for a path of peace in their future. It is also naïve. It takes a certain type of person to kill another in a murderous rage as opposed to self-defense. As the old adage goes, once you cross the line, there’s no turning back. What is justice in these times of criminality? Ask yourself: is it truly justice for a murderer or a family to go to prison where he will live in comfort for the rest of his life, with three meals a day, a warm bed and room and, in many prisons, access to television and the internet? The core of this debate counters: justice is not murdering a murderer.

I agree. To execute a criminal such as the Zodiac, Jack the Ripper, or the countless other psychotic fiends who roam the streets at night is not murder. It is self-defense. These people are the cancer that eats at society’s heart. As another old adage says, if the hand endangers the limb, strike it off. Murderers are not sentimental. Rapists do not care for others. Kidnappers are twisted in their minds. These people cannot be saved,.As subjective as it is to execute someone, it is for the greater good. Every day, criminals are released on the street. Violent gang members are paroled. Killers are let loose. When it’s your life on the line, do you truly want to place your faith in their hands? Do you want to be caught off-guard when you discover the murderer really doesn’t have a heart of gold?

They will not change.

Every day, people kill other people for the smallest of reasons. Every day lives are snuffed out of existence due to a few who believe themselves worthy of killing their brethren, worthy of raping a mother, worthy of ending a child’s life. The worst part? They’re not sorry. They are not apologetic or remorseful or reforming. Not all men can be bought, persuaded or negotiated with. Some men are not reasonable.

Execution is a necessary blight on our consciences, but it also protects us from fates far worse than sleepless nights.


Mr. Miner 2011: Marcus Valadez

After a sold-out show of countless laughs, unexpected talents and moving performances, Marcus Valadez took home the precious pick as El Diamante’s Top Miner for 2011. Valadez stole the night with his heart-wrenching rap rendition of “I Need a Miner”, expressing thankful sentiments toward his life and school. His interview also had a challenging political spin, in which he smoothly described the biggest problem in the world as, “People living in ignorance of each other.” In the end, his charm and emotional honesty granted him the honorary title before a screaming crowd.

Mr. Miner Marcus Valadez raises his pick.

The other contestants brought brilliant comedy and ingenuity to the stage. Samuel Jung was named Mr. Romantic, only after wooing the judges with a dance segment full of wild and shocking hiphop moves.

Mr. Intelligent was crowned to Chris Park, who played the mature love song  “Daughters” by John Mayer. In a composed answer during the interview portion, Chris Park felt that, “a girl becomes a woman when she reaches the age where she accepts responsibility.”

Ryan Ginsberg proved to be the leader in laughs and was awarded Mr. Comedy. His comical medley of pop songs amped up the atmosphere, complete with many male backup dancers and his own escort Elaina Gregerson. His scream-o version of Justin Bieber’s “Baby” and self-drench from a water bottle had the audience roaring.

Brandon Hughes opened the talent portion also in outrageous humor, staying true to his namesake Popeye in a dance  mix with Mr. Hawkins (Brutus) and Mr. Roebuck (dressed as Olive Oyl). In his interview, Hughes declared his father to be his most inspirational figure, because as a firefighter he, “runs into burning buildings when others run out.”

Ryan Sanchez musically entertained the crowd with his ukulele performance featuring popular pop hits like “Airplanes” and “DJ Got Us Falling in Love”. During his interview, Ryan claimed his biggest accomplishment was “putting myself out there” by being more active in school activities, including Mr. Miner.

Last but certainly not least, Alex Wisneski rocked the show with his Napoleon Dynamite dance in his afro wig and “Vote for Pedro” T-shirt. He jokingly claimed the most influential dance move of all time is the “dougie.” The young men represented the Miner spirit with poise and passion, capturing in one memorable evening the essence of El Diamante’s student talent.

Here’s some snapshots of the night!

The seven contestants and their escorts.

 

Brandon Hughes dances as Popeye. Mr Hawkins as Brutus. Mr. Roebuck as Olive Oyl.

Ryan Sanchez performs a pop song mix on his ukulele.

 

Alex Wisneski poses before his Napoleon Dynamite dance.

Sam busts a move as his "Lebron" powder hits the air.

 

Chris Park deeply sings "Daughters" by John Mayer.

Ryan Ginsberg serenades his escort Elaina Gregerson during his talent.

Marcus Valadez raps his "Miner" version of "I Need a Doctor."