2016 Elbert County Colorado Fair Queen
Elbert County Fair 2015
I went to the fair to see what was going on Friday afternoon July 31, 2105 in Elbert County Colorado at the Fairgrounds in Kiowa, CO. I was looking for some social commentary from folks at the fair.
I found Deanna Miller at a booth inside the pavilion. What struck me immediately was the catchy sign of a baby with a bar code on its forehead! Deanna is trying to develop awareness of the dangers presented by Common Core testing in the public school system. She is trying to get people activated and educated as to what parents should do as well as enable parents with information as to how to become active politically to change the system to stop Common Core. She urges parents to "Opt out of PARCC testing."
Related links: 60 Minutes You Tube video on Common Core.
I agree that the Common Core is a danger and that the data mining of students is a preparation of future job classification and people control much like that of the recent movie Divergent in which young people were tested to determine which of five trade groups young people would best fit into for the good of society. The movie reminded me of the communist system of education which exists in totalitarian states. Our present school system was designed by John Dewey who cloned the Prussian education system.
Sitting next to Deanna was a nice gentleman (pictured) who was representing the Republican Party. He is a home-schooling father of five children and so his family has opted out of Common Core! I also opted out as my wife and I home-schooled our son!
I ran into next year's Elbert County Fair Queen. She is a nice young lady (I didn't get her name) who I ran into outside the pavilion. The current queen Kaila Denton was sitting on a horse getting ready to compete in the arena so I chatted briefly with this nice young lady.
I asked next year's fair queen if she had any issues she'd like to talk about that she felt were important to her today. She said (I am paraphrasing her) that "Yes, I think that women should be able to compete in all the events that the men do." I understand her competitive nature but somehow I just can't see pretty young women (or older and not so pretty for that matter) riding bulls, bucking broncos, tackling and hog tying steers. I wish this young lady and all others success in their lives and happiness but please maintain that God-given femininity along the way.
Having a big sale, on-site celebrity, or other event? Be sure to announce it so everybody knows and gets excited about it.
Are your customers raving about you on social media? Share their great stories to help turn potential customers into loyal ones.
Running a holiday sale or weekly special? Definitely promote it here to get customers excited about getting a sweet deal.
Have you opened a new location, redesigned your shop, or added a new product or service? Don't keep it to yourself, let folks know.
Customers have questions, you have answers. Display the most frequently asked questions, so everybody benefits.
Thoughts on Mr. Totten’s letter in the Prairie Times news Jan.12, 2015(p.22)
This was originally written as an open letter to Mr. Totten as a response to his letter in the Prairie Times so that Mr. Totten could receive what I felt is an important response that he needed to hear. It also contains important information that all of us need to be aware of in today's increasingly totalitarian police state atmosphere.
It is important to have this discussion about police behavior in our society as they can and do have an intimate impact on our community.
Chief Sam Swofford might be the nicest guy in the world as far as I know. My original letter appearing in the Prairie Times about Kiowa Police Asking Too Many Questions? was not intended to be a personal attack on anyone any more than questioning any public figure or government employee about the manner in which they conduct their job is misconstrued to somehow be a personal attack nor is it meant to be an attack upon anyone's personal integrity. I have had a couple of brief conversations with Chief Swofford in the past and he seemed to be a genuinely good guy who wants to protect the 2nd Amendment. As to his reasons for possibly asking irrelevant questions during traffic stops he refuses to answer as do his superiors.
The intentions of my original letter of Dec. 2014 edition of the Prairie Times were to point out; militarization of police; inappropriateness of questions about weapons in vehicles; invasion of privacy under the guise of police safety; or other snooping, irrelevant questioning during routine traffic stops.
The primary purpose of school zone speed trap is to protect children according to Totten. Are the Kiowa, CO police then primarily nanny-cops?
Robocops now the norm. Totten’s letter bears witness to this as every cop is now a fully militarized warrior cop. Every traffic stop is a potential drug bust or potential escalation from ordinary speeding ticket as seen by law-enforcers.
If a speed trap is not about revenue enhancement then give the proceeds to build a pedestrian bridge or push button on-demand stop light at school crossing and don’t use traffic revenues to finance Kiowa town, county court and police dept budgets! It’s for the children’s safety after all and the school district and police department of the Town of Kiowa, CO should pony up and build a pedestrian bridge for the children in my opinion. The fact that the town spent money they didn’t have on a water tower that bankrupted the town so as to entice developers to build housing developments to increase the town tax base and revenues coupled with the fact that school children are not present in the Hwy 86 school zone crosswalk 99% of the time that the school zone is in effect means that the town doesn’t think school child safety is that important! Now the town supposedly relies on traffic enforcement to keep the children safe when most traffic stops occur well beyond the crosswalk which means that speeders would have already injured or killed school children in the crosswalk before the town police could do anything about it! To boot, town police try to remain as inconspicuous as possible while manning the speed traps. The town police are almost never seen outside of school zone hours except on Sundays during football games.
The fictional TV show characters Barney and Andy present a contrast in the way police approach their job. Andy represented the peace keeper friend of the community who believed in the spirit of the law while Barney represented the over-zealous, militarized thinking, letter of the law, law enforcer Robocop. So the use of the former TV series the Andy Griffith Show staged in a small rural town was appropriate.
Parental responsibility would solve the school crossing danger issue.
Law enforcer or peace keeper philosophy?
Speed limits were primarily designed to allow large trucks to safely stop within a specified distance. Now speed limits are primarily a revenue enhancer for police. Just ask any police agency that plan traffic violations as part of the annual budget revenue or Kiowa, CO town board for the same.
Criticism of police is warranted. Local police intimately interface with public.
If you have nothing to hide why not answer questions? Privacy is paramount and trumps supposed safety concerns. This is a basis of our society and is built into the US Constitution by 4th Amend. The old ‘if you have nothing to hide’ line of reasoning reminds me of ‘if guns were outlawed only criminals would have guns’ or ‘if you have nothing to hide then submit to a full invasive search of your person and belongings at an airport’, etc. Then if you have nothing to hide put a camera in your bedroom/bathroom to allow people to watch you or allow listen to your phone conversations or monitor your internet activities, etc. Without a warrant!
Totten is hypocritical, in my opinion of accusing me of using the press to ‘launch a personal attack’ then writing his own letter to counter my letter. In Totten’s opinion I was biased with my ‘one-sided view’ in my original letter to the editor in the Prairie Times of Dec. 2014 while his views are not ‘one-sided or biased! Excuse me but Totten admits to being a former ‘law enforcer’ and current government employee but he doesn’t consider that he may be biased or one-sided in his views. His position is that anyone who has not been a ‘law enforcer’ as he has been has no right to criticize or question law enforcement. This is a typical elitist law enforcer attitude which we should all be concerned about. Those who consider typical non-law enforcement citizens to just be (derogatively) 'civilians', is typical of the current warrior cop mentality.
Let the chief’s actions speak for them. If the chief has nothing to hide then why won’t he answer questions posed to him about these kinds of traffic stop questions? Also, why won’t the Kiowa town administrator Michelle Oeser? They prefer to let someone else like Mr. Totten do their 'splaining' for them.
Would it bother a policeman if an ordinary citizen approached their vehicle with the same military equipment displayed as does a police officer? Of course!
Totten in his letter in the Prairie Times completely ignores the militarization of police in America. He then says he’d be glad to have Kiowa Police Chief Swafford writing speeding tickets in front of ‘his’ park(Casey Jones Park?) by County Road 17.
Do children have a ‘basic right’ to expect to not be run over by a speeding car? Not really. They and all people have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Children need to be careful like all of us no matter what we are doing or where we are going. If a child is deemed old enough to walk to school or anywhere unescorted, then that child assumes or is given by his or her parent the personal right of self-protection. At what age is this right transferred by the parent to the child? Ask the parents of those children but I have to assume it has been done by the parent if the child is walking or driving unescorted to and from school.
If it is so dangerous that a child could lose their life crossing a busy highway on the way to school then why would any responsible parent allow the child to go unescorted by the parent or their adult designee? Are the parents of unescorted school children turning their backs on their parental duties? Are those same parents willing to take the risk that their precious children could be ‘run over’ by some speeding car? Are those parents hoping and relying on the police to protect their children for them and thus transfer their parental duties to police and government officials? Why not? They have already transferred their responsibility for educating over to the government by sending their child off to the public school system. Do the parents then blame the public schools for not properly educating their children? Of course!
Totten’s justification of unwarranted searches for weapons in Terry vs. Ohio is improper. In that case the ‘criminal’ was acting ‘suspiciously’ and carrying a concealed weapon. Comparing a ‘suspicious’ person who was supposedly casing a store for a robbery to a person driving an automobile who may have inadvertently gone over the speed limit (especially at 20 mph) is a real stretch of reasonableness and the ‘spirit of the law’ if you ask me and is not a proper comparison. At least two of the justices in this case disagreed and feared that the majority decision in this case would lead to a violation of rights and freedoms. The whole idea that ‘suspicious behavior’ justifies ‘stop and frisk’ by police without the knowledge of a crime in progress or about to be committed based on ‘reasonable suspicion’ or ‘probable cause’ is anathema to our constitutional republic which is based upon God-given rights which includes the right to self-defense and the ‘right’ to keep and bear arms. This puts the determination of what constitutes ‘suspicious behavior’ in the eyes of the police and opens the door for all kinds of abuse. Though police need the latitude to make certain judgment calls in the process of doing their job, allowing searches for supposed suspicious behavior and then using that latitude to then confiscat concealed weapons is unwarranted in my opinion. Authoritarians and demagogues want to restrict this right and make it a privilege. I say hell no!
Mr. Totten uses the Terry vs Ohio Supreme Court case decision to justify irrelevant police questioning. In my opinion, Terry vs. Ohio (Setting Us Up For Disaster) was yet another abuse and violation of our constitutional rights and was another instance of the US Supreme Court engaging in judicial activism! The Supreme Court has been used to degrade and violate our constitution for a long time and it is long past due for congress to reign in the out of control Supremes. According to lawyers who are experts on police questioning of people during traffic stops you don't have to answer any questions except dob, residence and name to avoid failure to identify. Remember we all supposedly have a right to life unless you are in the womb according to the Supreme Court Decision of Roe vs. Wade! According to the ‘Supremes’ if you are in the womb you have the right for some ghoul to suck your brains out and be systematically dismembered and thrown in a trash can and incinerated! So much for supreme wisdom!
I won’t get into the ‘right’ of Americans to ‘keep and bear arms’ as it is a right and not a privilege! Driving a vehicle is also a ‘right’ and not a privilege Mr. Totten, even though people like you and other authoritarians want us to think so. Totten's claim that driving a vehicle is a privilege is patently false and it is amazing that a self-proclaimed former 'law enforcer' such as Totten does not know this and publicly claims otherwise is amazing and a sad statement of the knowledge many police officers possess. In America it has long been held that traveling to and fro is a God-given right and not a privilege and the US Constitution does not restrict this right in any fashion nor do State Constitutions. Certain tests are deemed appropriate as proof of ability to travel about in vehicles and this is now commonly misconstrued by authoritarians as turning a ‘right’ into a ‘privilege’ that can be rescinded by the government. Authoritarians like Mr. Totten would have us believe that driving a vehicle and traveling is a privilege to be controlled by the state and that police have a right to ask any questions they feel appropriate no matter how invasive or unrelated or inappropriate such questioning may be! Enough said about that.
Police nowadays have taken SCOTUS decisions like Terry vs. Ohio to encroach upon our rights. The SCOTUS decision in that case does not alter the US Constitution in this regard. It is simply one more unconstitutional decision by the not so Supreme Court in my opinion.
I could write much more about this topic but I will call it quits for now.
Hypothetical Reasoning by Kiowa Town Officials?
The town of Kiowa is not in good financial shape. To keep the police dept. financed we need a certain amount of revenue from the police dept to keep it going. The school zone provides the reason for giving out a lot of speeding tickets and the speed drops rapidly from 65mph to 50 mph to 35mph to 20mph for vehicles coming from the east side of town and drivers commonly have a hard time slowing down to the limit. We keep the speed limits tightly enforced and not allow even a few miles per hour over the limit like most people would expect. We can use the school zone as our reason for safety for the children as it is hard for anyone to argue against that. Kiowa is seen as a Podunk town by most people so they might not be expecting us to rigidly enforce the limits. Even though the school zones don’t have children crossing the road during school zone operation times for most of that time we can take advantage of that by keeping the zone times as wide as we can. Even though we give tickets well beyond the school zone cross walk that is abeam the school, it takes time and distance to allow the speeder to stop after they see the police car flashing lights and then the police are unable to stop subsequent speeders until the current driver ticketing is completed. If we set up police cars with flashing lights on either side of the school zone to deter drivers from speeding preemptively and thus provide maximum safety for school children within the school zone it would be cost prohibitive for the town and would result in a dramatic reduction in revenue for the town and police department. So it really comes down to an economic decision.