Dysfunction Junction, What’s Your Function?

Trinidad Colorado is a deceptively charming little western town. It’s conveniently located on I-25 halfway between Denver and Albuquerque, NM where it’s nestled at the base of a distinctive mesa named Fisher’s Peak. Trinidad’s streets are lined with gorgeous, if poorly maintained, old buildings; and its citizens, who frequently wave to strangers, seem unusually friendly. But beneath all that friendly western charm is a dirty little “secret” that the locals tacitly accept as normal and acceptable behavior.

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Simpson’s Rest – Trinidad, CO. Photo by Matt Reamy

If you’re considering moving there, you should know the truth about Trinidad, CO, and you certainly won’t hear it from the locals. That charming little town happens to be a safe haven for sexual predators with a taste for young girls. The Trinidad school district not only employs multiple sexual predators, but it goes to great lengths to protect them, too. Despite a nearly continuous stream of allegations of inappropriate contact with students that spans decades, most of these predators (primarily athletic coaches) continue to be employed by this school district or neighboring districts within Las Animas County.

My husband and I have written about two of those predators before. You can read about them here and here. I’ve also tried to inform concerned parents about certain resources for researching the chronic sexual abuse of minors in Trinidad public schools. Unfortunately, one of the most compelling resources, a court transcript that implicates the current athletic director at Trinidad High School for the sexual assault of a student, is currently being withheld from the public.

Ironically, the brave woman who first came forward with public allegations against the alpha dog of Trinidad’s pack of sexual predators is no longer employed by School District #1. Yet, her abuser and most of his cronies remain gainfully employed and have unfettered access to minors. There are whistle-blower laws that are supposed to protect people who come forward with this sort of information from the blatant retaliation she’s endured, but people in Trinidad are stubbornly indifferent to laws that don’t serve their personal interests. To say the town of Trinidad is corrupt is a gross understatement.

If you’re thinking about moving to Trinidad Colorado, think again. If you’re thinking about visiting Trinidad, think again. If your young athletes compete against Trinidad, Hoehne, Primero, or Raton schools, monitor them carefully whenever they’re in or around those schools.  If your young athletes participate in the annual TSJC Invitational Basketball Tournament, don’t allow them to do so without close supervision.

Trinidad is so proud of its sports tradition that the community is stubbornly resistant to acknowledging the dark  side of that tradition. The small number of us, mostly victims of sexual assaults that occurred while we were students in Las Animas County schools, who dare to speak out are dismissed as alarmists. Or worse, we’re publicly attacked and harassed by an abhorrent group of people determined to protect Trinidad’s sexual predators. Ironically, some members of that group are victims of the very  men they’re trying to protect. Stockholm Syndrome, perhaps?

The idea of defending a sexual predator in order to spare one’s self the embarrassment of publicly acknowledging past abuse sickens me, but that’s precisely what many victims have chosen to do. Those who aren’t overtly defending their abusers remain silent. Too few have the courage to tell the truth, which is a shame because the truth is infinitely less destructive than silence. Choosing to ignore cancer doesn’t make it go away–it allows it to spread and metastasize until it finally kills you. Or in this case, until it kills your little sister’s, niece’s, daughter’s, or granddaughter’s childhood.

I was born and raised in Trinidad, which I’ve cynically thought of as “Dysfunction Junction” since I was a teenager, and I’ve often wondered why places like Trinidad exist. What is their purpose? One thing is certain: it’s a damned difficult place to grow up–particularly for young women. My hope is that Trinidad will ultimately become a cautionary tale about the dangers of turning a blind eye to the abuse of a vulnerable segment of the population. Presently, it’s a sanctuary and training ground for a close-knit group of sexual predators whose arrogance defies all logic.

I wasn’t assaulted by a teacher or coach while attending Trinidad High School. Although “Coach” Dasko attempted to lure me in with his suggestive note in my yearbook, he didn’t achieve his goal. Instead, I was assaulted by a group of former Trinidad football players. They were all in their twenties at the time. I was sixteen. One of my abusers is the son of a retired coach at Trinidad High School who is believed to have had inappropriate relations with multiple students. Two are brothers who are now employed by the City of Trinidad. The apples don’t fall far from the trees in that town. There are generations of predators, fathers and sons, who have been accused of sexual assault. Yet, nothing there has changed. Not yet, anyway. To coin a phrase from the movie, Gladiator, “the time for honoring yourself will soon be at an end,” Coach.

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Chihuly At Denver Botanic Gardens

Over the recent holiday weekend, I took Wendi to the Chihuly Exhibit at the Denver Botanic Gardens.  I had never heard of this guy until a few weeks ago when Wendi watched a couple of shows on TV about him.  She’s been a fan for a while.  I can appreciate blown glass, but to be honest, on TV it didn’t look all together that impressive.   If I were always this kind of wrong, I’d volunteer to do it more often because this exhibit was awesome.  We’re definitely going to go back before the exhibit closes.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a photograph post; and I had a pretty hard time choosing which photos to post. I hope the wait was worth it.

Independence Day

This weekend The America Of Now will celebrate our independence from England as only The America Of Now knows how:  gluttony, drunkenness, and consumerism.  There will be barbeques.  There will be watered down beer.  There will be Sales on everything you don’t need from new kitchen appliances to new cars whose only relationship to America is that they’re here for you to buy.

A lot of The Americans Of Now have conveniently forgotten that the reason they’re allowed to subject their neighbors and fellow citizens to their whiny whims is because the original thirteen were tired of tyranny overstepping its bounds.  King George III and his Parliament subjected the colonist to such levels of disrespect for their rights as fellow men that they went to war over it.  The colonists were taxed without any say in the matter.  They were forced to quarter soldiers on their own dime.  They were subjected to trials without representation or juries.

Unfortunately, The Americans Of Now who have been spoiled by the sacrifices of generations preceding them have forgotten and are apathetic to those who have given them the freedoms to wallow in masturbatory self-aggrandizement.  The Americans Of Now are now blissfully ignoring the actions of the worst President since the 1940s.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:  For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers… whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

While these charges were among those levied against King George III by the representatives of the colonists, these are entirely too applicable to our current government, and especially against the Executive Order-Writing president currently occupying the White House.  These are not the actions of a government established by the consent of the governed to secure those certain unalienable Rights of Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.

This is where we are now.  People don’t change.  The man who wrote — and those who approved — the Declaration of Independence understood that people are usually more willing to put up  with tyranny than do anything about it.  And we in The America of Now are doing the same thing.  Unfortunately, The Americans Of Now are too soft, are too uneducated, are too comfortable to do anything about the fact that they — that We the People — are subjects of a tyrannical government.  It’s clear that The Americans Of Now are unwilling to do their duty as a free people.

Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it.  When a government is guilty of a long train of usurpations, pursuing invariable the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security.

We cannot continue along this path of destruction this country is currently screaming down.  The affronts to our natural rights echo too clearly in the actions of a government envisioned to make a stand against such tyranny.  These men were willing to go to war to secure their natural rights from a government bent on trampling over them.

I recently posted some quotes made by Thomas Jefferson, the man who drafted the Declaration of Independence.  These observations were made having observed the treatment of subject by tyrants.

When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.

When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.

I don’t have any faith that The Americans Of Now have the guts to do anything about their own tyrant.  Perhaps to them, the evils are still sufferable enough they’re willing to suffer.  Those who think the evils are sufferable are punishing those who do not.  It’s too much to hope that The Americans Of Now will have even the faintest idea of what this holiday is about:  that at one point, men valued the natural rights of mankind more than they valued their own safety, convenience, and comfort.  These men committed acts of righteous treason to ensure their posterity didn’t have to suffer the evils and indignities they were enduring.  It’s too bad our future generations won’t have the same fortune.

To the Patriots: Happy Independence Day.


This Isn’t America

I have to admit that I seriously have run out of energy trying to track how many ways our government has overstepped its bounds and put on display for the world its utter incompetence.

The Obama administration claims to have conveniently lost Lois Lerner’s emails (something absolutely no one actually believes); this means the IT department in charge of this should all be fired… except what it really means is that the Obamination (my contraction for Obama administration) is lying.  I know, that’s a shocker.

The name Bergdahl ring a bell?  Yeah, the Obamination let free five terrorists for one deserter.  I bet he offered them jobs too before letting them go, but even the terrorists don’t hate America as much as Obama does.  The Obamination has left a Marine to rot in Mexico but will trade for a deserter; that’s priorities for you.

A full quarter of the supposed eight million Obamacare enrollees are fraudulently receiving subsidies they don’t deserve.

The Obamination runs from scandal to scandal, no doubt hoping that he can escape unscathed from one while the nation recovers.  The useless waste of flesh in the Oval Office wants credit until the backlash starts and then he starts pointing fingers and dodging the shit so appropriately slung in his direction.  And aided by a complicit, compromised, and elitist media, he mostly gets away with it.

And in the latest attempt to show how much more the federal government sucks than any other government in the world, the U.S. Patent office has revoked the trademarks for the Washington Redskins because a bunch of whining wusses can’t control their own feelings.

I hate the policies these spineless left-leaning wet ends put forth.  I hate their hypocrisy and intolerance.  I hate their actively unceasing destruction of the Republic that gives them the freedom to actively destroy it.  I hate ‘Coexist’ bumper stickers because we all know what bullshit message that’s supposed to spread:  you have to live with me, but I don’t have to live with you (I’m surprised there’s no “neener-neener” afterward).  Your intolerance is bad, but my intolerance is righteous.  Private businesses are being forced to operate on public whim; how long do you think that’s going to last?

But it’s not just these leftists sacks of waste that are to blame here.  I hate the fact that the conservative element of the country is letting the left get away with it.  Yes, conservatives, you’re letting it happen.  How unforgiveable is that?  Conservative groups can’t get along with each other because they’re too busy fighting over semantics despite agreeing on the fix as a whole.  How utterly stupid is that?

There isn’t enough energy in the world to keep up with all the ways our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms are being obliterated by the Obamination and the American public who is supposed to keep the government in check.

This America is a fraud, a hologram parody of what this country is supposed to be.  This country is supposed to be a land of freedom, where you can disagree with the government and your neighbor.  America is supposed to be a land of religious freedom, where you can worship or not as you see fit.

Instead what we have is a socialist regime with fascist enforcers.  The America Of Now says you must do what is popularly accepted or pay the consequences.  The America Of Now tolerates only those who agree with the leftist, most vocal minority.  The America Of Now doesn’t see a problem forcing private business owners to do things that someone else will likely gladly do.

The America Of Now sucks.  It’s a laughingstock on a global scale.  It’s a superpower like its money has value: the faith of those in the system; no other country believes it.  Putin isn’t afraid of the US.  China isn’t afraid of the US.  No enemy of the United States is afraid of the US.  The America Of Now is a disgraceful bad joke and not even a good one at that.

Cab Strikes Show Uber Who’s Boss

Let’s look at a scenario.  In this scenario, I will play the role of a service provider in a service that has had little competition or innovation in centuries.  Now after all this time, competition has reared its ugly head at last and this interloper is offering the same service for less money.

Does it seem reasonable to you that I would go on strike to protest the newcomer?

No, I didn’t think so either.  But apparently this is actually the thing to do.  Cab drivers all over Europe caused traffic problems to protest the arrival of Uber.  Now, in the event you’re not familiar with Uber, it’s basically a ride-sharing service.  Drivers get paid to pick up people who request a ride, but it’s voluntary, I believe: the driver can accept a rider based on destination; so if they’re both going the same general direction, it works out well for everyone.  This isn’t a novel concept, really; but it’s a bit more reliable (and probably safer) than posting an ad on CraigsList.  Uber isn’t the only business doing this sort of thing, either.

So the taxi industry in Europe hatched the brilliant plan of essentially striking to protest Uber.  Because it totally makes sense to stop offering a service when the competition comes to play, or offering the service in a much more poor fashion… doesn’t it?

Logically, I have to say the reaction doesn’t make any sense to me.  The reason services like Uber are becoming popular with people is because industries entrenched in tradition and protected by cronyism in lawmakers and lobbyists have become useless.  Cabs are disgusting, service is poor, fares get ripped off; taking a taxi isn’t a great option compared to an understandable price and a feedback-oriented service model.

Informed, intelligent people don’t voluntarily opt for more expensive and less efficient or friendly services.

“Yes this is chaos, its causing havoc in the very center of London, but what other choice have we got?” said Ian Hay, a taxi driver with 14 years experience.

Well, here’s a choice, Ian:  offer a better service.  The bar has been raised and you can no longer get away with the same old crap you’ve been pulling for 14 years.

The stupidity in this response and reaction is astounding.  This type of idiocy can have only been hatched by a union mindset.  It’s certainly hurt Uber:  they’ve seen an 850% increase in service sign ups.  Way to make your point, Cab Unions; that’ll show Uber.

Thomas Jefferson Quotes

It’s really hard not to like this guy.

Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51% of the people may take away the rights of the other 49%.

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.

I would rather be judged by twelve farmers than twelve scholars.

An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.

If we are to guard against ignorance and remain free, it is the responsibility of every American to be informed.

(Those last two explain the State’s love affair with Common Core.)

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

A government big enough to give you everything you want, is a government big enough to take away everything that you have.

If a law is unjust, a man is not only right to disobey it, he is obligated to do so.

When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.

Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not.

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first.

Tyranny is defined as that which is legal for the government but illegal for the citizenry.

When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.

All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.

All quotes by Thomas Jefferson.  All emphases are mine.

Your Police Department Will Kill You

Albuquerque is a city with a problem right now. The Albuquerque Police Department has a policy of shooting Albuquerque citizens recently. It’s enough of a problem that the feds are involved, which is a bit like the blind leading the blind, I agree.

“Based on our investigation, we have reasonable cause to believe that APD engages in a pattern or practice of use of excessive force, including deadly force, in violation of the Fourth Amendment,” Jocelyn Samuels

Yes, this is the same federal government that kills American citizens it has labeled terrorists in violation of the VI Amendment; the double standard in ‘law enforcement’ is something you’ll get used to seeing when you start paying attention. Of course, the federal government is completely justified in violating the rights of the citizens; it is the government, after all.  And sadly, the citizens have done precious little to protect themselves against an ever-increasingly tyrannical government.

You’re affected by this. You don’t have to be a resident in Albuquerque to be in danger of being killed or victimized by your local police department. Ask Pearlie Golden. Stephen Stern executed a 93-year-old woman because she wouldn’t do what he told her to do. Now, I understand she didn’t comply with his orders to drop her gun; but I also understand Stern had a non-lethal alternative: police officers carry tasers.

Sadly, what makes the Golden case unique is that there was actually some action taken against the police officer who shot and killed a woman who by all accounts was well loved in her town. And this wasn’t even Stern’s first time killing a member of his town.

When officers aren’t killing the people they’re supposed to be protecting, they’re blatantly ripping them off. In February, six police officers were arrested for stealing cars and money from people in King City, California. The people in this area are distrustful of their police department; it turns out with good cause. A healthy suspicion directed toward the ‘law enforcement’ officers in your area can pay off.

I think Amanda Jo Stephen would agree. Ms. Stephen is the most perfidious of criminal: a jaywalker. She was physically assaulted by Austin police officers for failing to identify herself after police officers grabbed her. Unfortunately for the Austin PD, the requirement to identify only applies after an arrest. What can be deduced from this violation of human, much less constitutional, rights is that there is absolutely no other crime being committed in Austin, Texas. It would look pretty bad if Austin PD was assaulting joggers when the crime rate in their city was higher than the national average.

Recently in Denver, the police department took 15 minutes to respond to a 911 call. The address was less than a mile from the police station; a healthy person could have walked that distance in that time.  This baffling delay resulted in the entirely preventable death of a woman.

This is symptomatic of police departments everywhere. They demand respect because they cannot earn it. These are the first line of defense the government has against the citizens of the country. These are the agents of the police state that will march you to gas chambers. America’s Reichskristallnacht is coming faster than you think.  Cecily McMillan might agree.

What about you?  Can you tell me you trust the police after watching this:

Or this?

Or this?

The individual circumstances in each of the cases in these videos is entirely immaterial.  The police are supposed to be the trained professionals.  They are the ones who are supposed to prevent situations from escalating to violence.  Put simply, they are paid to protect — not assault — the citizens of their respective jurisdictions.  How much trained professionalism did you see in the videos?  Most of the police I saw in those videos more closely resembled paramilitary operatives than a protective service.

That the government’s first responders are starting to resemble paramilitary strike forces is unlikely to be a coincidence.  If people become complacent about such things now, it won’t matter when there’s a full-time occupational force under direct control of the federal government patrolling the streets.  Like the National Guard for instance.

The message is clear: conform or be punished.  One of the police officers in the video arrested a woman because her soap bubbles assaulted him.  The officer spraying pepper spray on a group of seated Occupy Movement people.  The officer cursing at and stealing a skateboard from a kid.  The reactions of the trained police officers in these cases is extreme and cannot be justified.

Still trust your police department?

Former Mount Pleasant, NY police chief Brian Fanelli: busted in a child porn ring.  Fifty-seven year old Donald Glunt was recently arrested for trading photos with a 16 year old girl.  Steven Webb, a Kannapolis, North Carolina police officer, and his wife were recently arrested for possessing and distributing child pornography.  Jeffery Williams, a Florence, AZ corrections officer was stupid enough not to remove his collection of child porn before taking his PC to a tech for repairs.  These stories aren’t limited to one geographical area or one police department, and are solely focused on officers involved in child pornography.

Officer-involved sexual misconduct takes many forms, and the Cato Institute was kind enough to share several incidents with associated news stories.  The numbers cited in this old article are staggering, and again are not limited to a certain geographical region.  I’d argue the stories indicate problems on a systemic level: police agencies are staffed by people who are likely to abuse their positions.

I am by no means saying that all police officers are corrupt or involved in these activities.  But these are only a few that’ve been caught and reported.  There are how many more that haven’t been caught yet?  How long before the police officer assigned to your children’s school is arrested and investigated?  Maybe he or she is Officer Integrity, but how do you know?   Psychological profiling isn’t vetting these people out of ‘law enforcement’ roles; many of the cited cases involved veterans and police chiefs.

Your police department is merely a bureaucracy interested in its own self preservation and continued existence.  The officers on your police force are not your friend.  They will strip you of your constitutionally-guaranteed rights as citizens in the name of officer safety; and like as not, they’ll beat you up while doing it.  Your local police officers are agents of a fascist police state.