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Trying to shove local politics under your nose since before it was cool: Frederick County Edition

Month

November 2015

Open question: what would you repudiate?

Hear ye, hear ye! ICYMI Fredericktowne: Repudiation Day was on Saturday, and a good time was had by all. An excerpt from our local newspaper, not printed on paper taxed by the British (friendly reminder; buy local media–it’s important to a functioning government), and mostly read in {paid} electronic form by this local yokel.

Isabel Damazo, a student in [Gary] Brennan’s class, said they studied the primary documents and newspaper accounts of the repudiation earlier this semester.

Among other documents, the original court minutes book from 1765 was on display inside City Hall.

Frederick County Circuit Court Judge Theresa M. Adams and Circuit Court Clerk Sandra Dalton led a re-enactment of the showdown between the clerk and judges, who later became known as “the 12 immortals.”

“I continue to be amazed at the courage of these 12 justices,” Adams said at the end of the event. “This was a decision which could have cost someone his life. It was a really brave and courageous decision.”

 Couple things, y’all.

A.) How privileged are we to have public school students learning from primary historical documents in our community? Woot! Woot! Kudos to FCPS quality education and to our local forefathers, who contributed to the noble history of this nation. Taxation without representation was a big stinkin’ deal (just ask The District). Some people like to omit that part about representation, just posturing in opposition to taxes. Don’t teach half of history and be through with it. Use the representation you have. Our forefathers would be embarrassed by our failure to use their gifts for our betterment.

B.)  Would our heroic ancestors be standing up in public and saying,  “Be afraid; be very afraid”? We must stop adopting a terrorized demeanor. Courage is the only way to begin to rise above those who wish to make us fearful and who seek to endanger our founding principles.

In repudiation of fear-mongering, enjoy the wisdom of one of the signatories of our Declaration of Independence, Samuel Adams. We will have to salute his genius in our next drinking game. Might as well stock up on the beer in advance!

Cheers!
Cheers! Word of advice. If you have a chance to visit the City Tavern in Philly where our forefathers informally met for drinks and debate, Jeffersons Tavern Ale will knock you on your badonk. And they say they had to reduce the alcohol content considerably to sell it. Was our independence won on liquid courage?

 

Hear ye, hear ye!!!! It’s time to bring back an old Frederick tradition!

uhdyx

We are so proud to know that we here at the Yokel are following in the footsteps of hundreds of years of snarkiness in these here parts. From Sunday’s Frederick News Post we learned of this little bit of awesomeness concerning the dreaded Stamp Act of 1765:

When 12 judges in Frederick County, in an act of courage and rebellion that would earn them the moniker “immortal,” denounced the British Stamp Act on Nov. 23, 1765, old Frederick Town responded with a parade, a formal burial of the act, and a celebration ball.

A coffin, with a copy of the act inside, was paraded through town, followed by an effigy of the man who was hired by the British monarchy to collect the tax, as the “sole mourner” of the court’s action.

Drum beats bounced from the facades of buildings in downtown Frederick.

The coffin and effigy were buried near the gallows on the old courthouse lawn, near the current city hall.

Okay readers, picture this. We take a copy of…let’s say the English Language Ordinance. We then place it in a coffin and walk solemnly down Church Street, and then bury it in the ground. Of course, we may have to have more than one effigy, but I am sure our Forefathers won’t mind if we modify their presentation a tad. Afterwards, we throw a  party where we  all drink and laugh the night away. Wouldn’t that be a fine tradition to start up again? We are absolutely giddy just thinking of the possibilities. Who is with us?!

Until we can organize this, you will have to settle for an re-enactment of the event tomorrow outside of City Hall.

Who is being xenophobic today? The list is long, my friends.

Let us begin this post with a message to our French brothers and sisters (that’s right brothers and sisters, because without them we wouldn’t even have a country, folks!). Every single one of you is in your Yokels’ thoughts. We were absolutely sickened by the heinous acts that occurred in your country over the weekend. Hopefully the passage of time and prosecution of those responsible will help heal those wounds. And to those who did this: you are truly the most horrible people to inhabit this Earth. Truly.

We hope that all nations can come together against this horrible threat. We love you France!
We hope that all nations can come together against this monstrous threat. We love you, France!

Now, with that being said, there is something else that sickens us. Blaming an entire group of people for the actions of a few. And oh how nice, that almost every member of the Frederick Republican delegation showed the Frederick News Post just how crazy they can be.  First we nominate Delegate Barry Ciliberti for most misleading statement about the vetting of Syrian refugees:

“None should come until we have the credible intelligence to vet these people. We should declare an immediate moratorium.”

Hmmm, Is it true that there isn’t any credible intelligence that the government uses when deciding whether or not someone from Syria is allowed in? Well, according to TIME Magazine:

The process begins with a referral from UNHCR. The U.N.’s refugee agency is responsible for registering some 15 million asylum seekers around the world, and providing aid and assistance until they are resettled abroad or (more likely) returned home once conditions ease. The registration process includes in-depth refugee interviews, home country reference checks and biological screening such as iris scans. Military combatants are weeded out.

Among those who pass background checks, a small percentage are referred for overseas resettlement based on criteria designed to determine the most vulnerable cases. This group may include survivors of torture, victims of sexual violence, targets of political persecution, the medically needy, families with multiple children and a female head of household.

The article goes on to say that the process takes at least 18 months and that only 50% that apply are allowed in. But let’s continue with the scare tactics. Senator Michael Hough:

Hough said he worried that not enough attention would be focused on the issue because of “political correctness,” and that the country will move too quickly to accept refugees.

“We’ve been unable in the past to keep [terrorists] out, even in our legal [immigration] system,” Hough said. “What we don’t want is to have ISIS terrorists slipping in with [refugees].”

Why is political correctness always thrown out like it’s such a horrible thing? It seems that when someone rallies against political correctness it’s usually because they want to say something that is crazy, rude, racist, sexist, or–in this case–xenophobic. We are not letting Syrian refugees into this country because we are afraid of not being politically correct. Maybe, just maybe, the thinking is that we will allow these poor people (who have been through hell) into our country  so that they can have a better life. You know, the same reason that drew every other immigrant to our country.

Let’s say that the United States,  the supposed beacon of liberty, does reject them. Are they to permanently live in wretched refugee camps ? Or should they be forced to return to ISIS controlled areas where they will surely suffer? Why should Europe assume sole responsibility for this?  Perhaps if we take these people in, we educate them and their children, then we can move one step closer to winning the war of ideas. If we reject them we will surely poison another generation against our country.

We cannot run national policy on a bunch of fear mongering “what ifs”. And we certainly cannot shut everyone out because we fear a few may slip through. We have safeguards in place. We need to be compassionate and we need to see the bigger picture.  I think some out there need to be reminded of the words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty (thanks, France!):

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,

With conquering limbs astride from land to land;

Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand

A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame

Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name

Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand

Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command

The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she

With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,

Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,

I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Thankfully, a handful of local buffoons and fear mongering governors cannot prevent the compassion that these people so greatly need. And kudos to both Delegate and Senator Young for being the only voices of reason in the article today. Nobody wants terrorism in this country. But we must be very careful not to let our fears prevent us from doing what is right and just.

Your Pre-Thanksgiving drinking game- will Kirby and Billy just watch us burn?

Let's hope things don't get this bad folks!
Let’s hope things don’t get this bad, folks!

Howdy-do, faithful readers! It’s that drinking time of the month again. Not too much on this agenda but we are all too sure a few will find a way to make things interesting on a legislative day. There’s no reason this can’t be lively.

Last month it was boys in ties, this month it’s the Girl Scouts. If you see a scowl from any of the usual suspects when picture time comes, simply sip a Thin Mint Martini.

If (when?) Billy abstains, at each occurrence take a gulp of your Abstinence on the Beach. 

Assuming snide comments will be made by someone or other–especially in light of the fact that things have been taken off the agenda and there’s a request to go to a closed session–if a complaint is expressed in those oh-so-indignant tones brewed to perfection over time, have a swig of anything from the Whiners craft beer menu.

 

 

High Sheriff of Frederick, M.D.?

Law trumps science!
Law trumps science!

The High Sheriff is in the news again! What now you may ask? He really, really doesn’t want medical marijuana in  Frederick. And it isn’t just because he thinks it will place an undue burden on law enforcement when it comes to protecting these facilities. It’s much, much more than that:

Jenkins dismissed arguments many proponents of medical cannabis cite on the drug’s benefits in addressing chronic pain and specific diseases and disorders including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and PTSD. For Jenkins, the real issue boils down to a pathway to legalization.

“I’m not a doctor, and I’m sure that that information and those statistics are probably reliable. I just don’t agree with it. … I think in most cases, it’s [for the purposes of] legalization, that’s the endgame, so let’s call it what it is,” Jenkins said. “Total legalization is what these people want.”

So there Cancer patients and parents of epileptic children the Sheriff cares not for your pain. Because all of this is medical cannabis hub a bub is just a huge manipulation to make marijuana legal for everyone*.  The fact is this is happening; it’s been approved by the State and he can’t stop it. And these words will probably never be uttered on this site again so hold onto your britches:

High Sheriff, please jump on the Billy Shreve bandwagon on this issue. Figure out how to make this work and stop saying terrible things. Just stop it!

* Side note: For someone who is always talking about his lack of resources, wouldn’t it be a huge burden lifted off of his force if marijuana was legalized? Is he really Richard Nixon crazy when it comes to the danger of this drug?

cant-we-all-get-a-bong

Your Billy Shreve October 2015 Briefs…..Yes it’s as bad as it sounds.

Can Tony, Billy and Kirby all fit into that?!
Can Tony, Billy and Kirby all fit into that?!

We want to apologize in advance gentle readers. We looked at the Tentacle again! We know, many of you warned us not to stare directly into that website’s noodley appendage! But how could we resist a title like this: Council Briefs-October 2015 It’s like our crack cocaine.

You’ll remember a few weeks back when Kirby attempted to channel the dead ghost of Seinfeld and failed oh so miserably. Now it’s Billy’s turn to take a crack at the old creative writing wheel. And of course, without even reading a single word, you can guess how that turned out. Just horrible.

The tome features three disjointed rants. The first one is about the nursing home. But blah, blah, yawn. Get over it Billy! The only thing to note is that Billy will now refer to Mr. Doug Browning as Disco Doug (?!) and Jan needs to call 1-800-GAMBLER, because you know she’s really super addicted to spending everyone’s money. Stop laughing, this is a super serious problem people!

tr5xk

Now on to the pot! Billy really likes to refer to Jan and her Ivory Tower. And it’s all her fault that medical marijuana will only be grown in office parks and the State won’t tax it because it’s a medicine. And now we are super confused because does Billy want another tax? Isn’t he always rallying against taxes and how everything costs so much gosh darn money? And how are taxes not implemented by the State Jan’s fault? Silly us, we forgot everything is her fault. Leave it to Billy to fix our ignorance. Thankfully Billy also sounds the alarm that potatoes will soon be a thing of the past. Because, you know, vodka.

Lastly, more whining about the Letter to the Editor Linda Norris-Waldt wrote to the Washington Post a few weeks back. Frankly, it’s been amusing to see the outrage over this. It’s as though people didn’t even bother to read it in its entirety.  It’s either that or we have a huge reading comprehension problem in our county.  Frederick, while a very welcoming community, certainly has the ” we were here first and therefore our opinion is more valuable” attitude. Something we vehemently disagree with. You know when a person has a say in the community they live in? The second they move here.  There is no waiting or trial period. And if you don’t like it Billy, stop building so many houses! Because we can pretty much guarantee that most of the people buying those houses aren’t from Frederick County.

 

 

 

Blaine Young’s favorite things (season 1, episode 1)

Ding a ding dang. When did Blaine Young get a gig on the BOARD OF CONTRIBUTORS at the FNP?

WTFudge?
What a hot mess. But, this should promise plenty of localyokel inspiration.

This buffoon did remind a yokel that we need to give a huge shout out to some public commenters at last Tuesday’s meeting. We had well thought out statements from several of our dependable, well-informed, engaged residents, and thanks go out to them again for keeping on top of our county business and keeping our representatives in check. Democracy doesn’t work without involved citizens.

Particularly  the PTA Presidents of Hillcrest and Urbana Elementary Schools should be lauded for staying through a long meeting in order to have the chance at the very end of the night to speak up, in a united voice, about the needs of their students and school communities.

Blaine has decided to take to the keyboard in defense of the have nots’ right to be equally exposed to potentially carcinogenic (who can say? not the federal government at any rate) turf. Turf which has also been linked to higher frequency of concussions and sprained ankles, burn, and a malady called “turf toe”…whatever that is. In the sun a turf field gets as hot as Qatar. Women athletes of FIFA have pointed to artificial turf as a blatant point of discrimination, as the men would never be expected to play a single beautiful game in a World Cup tournament on anything inferior to natural grass.

He's so generous with the construction projects.
He’s so generous with the construction projects.

And moving right along, what is all this noise about sports for anyway? This same logic should apply first and foremost to sorely needed school construction. The primary purpose of schools is education (duh). Before we get involved in complaining that FCPS builds new sports stadiums according to modern standards, and old stadiums are old–this is really as stupid as it sounds, isn’t it?–we should be hearing Mr. Young advocating for modern *school* buildings in Middletown and Urbana and Waverley, where they are still using open concept floor plans as though it is 1970. Or for the students of Centerville, who started out with a shiny, happy new school that could hardly begin to hold all of them.  And for the students of Hillcrest.  If memory serves, the portables are now so old they are visibly decaying. How is anyone supposed to take this Blaine Young turf war seriously? Kudos again to Hillcrest and Urbana’s PTA communities for not turning a shared need for construction funding into their own turf war.

This thing should be more popular than the Gadsden flag.

New month, new drinking game! Neckties, ethics and water buffers…what could go wrong?

tgd9p

This is one of the spicier agendas we’ve seen in awhile. Grab it here, watch it here and remember no calling county council members for rides.

We have no idea on Aphrodite’s green earth what this means, however, the Frederick Necktie club is having a 20th anniversary recognition. So, in honor of whatever this is, slam back a Colombian Necktie in their honor.

Budget transfers are up first. We know the Sheriff’s office will get no lip. And we are certain the same courtesy will not be applied to the Department of Aging, Solid Waste Management and School Construction line items. Therefore, when some ideological nonsense is spewed slam back a Mad Dog.

If known Democrat Jerry Donald is allowed to protect the water bodies, Billy may wonder how will we get our canyon? If this becomes somehow controversial, chug a San Pellegrino and chant the following tongue twister through a prolonged belch: protect our water bodies with a water body buffer! It’ll help you stay hydrated if this meeting gets nutty.

Next up, the juicy stuff. Ethics. If rumored Democrat (but actual Republican) Bud Otis does anything to earn the ire of the three amigos of developers, have a shot of Cuervo…then shoot out the lights.

 

FHS Cadets United Nations of Opportunity

The Frederick News Post’s feature highlighting the international backgrounds of Frederick Cadets’ soccer team shows a new opportunity Frederick County should consider exploring as we are becoming more diverse. Many people living in the city have been hoping that rumors concerning adding an IB (International Baccalaureate) program duplicating what they currently offer at Urbana High will become reality for Frederick High School . There may be another avenue that would help to build up the community in that area, and benefit the students who were born and raised here equally well.

Looking at the high school academies, there are many options for specialized interests in the high schools in Frederick County (biomedical science, ROTC, technology, leadership, arts and communication, business, environment and conservation, engineering, teaching). When you check that list, it seems that FHS is left behind in this regard. The only academic program listed for the campus is an Advanced Placement focus.  While being a good option for college bound students, an AP program does not cater to any particular interest or draw a magnet population toward what is currently a school under capacity by about 400 students. What if we look at linguistics and language learning for everyone?

According to the article there are 280 students in the English Language Learner (ELL) program at Frederick High–up from 100 just 3 years ago. As they construct the new facility they should build on that positive development by using the international community’s assets to benefit everyone. We should explore a bilingual immersion environment. ELL students are not exclusively Spanish speaking, but we know that Frederick County is now experiencing what has been a long term trend in the U.S.. Spanish speaking immigrants are arriving here faster than any others. Putting newcomers into an environment where their unique circumstances are valued and respected as learning opportunities for everyone will help them to assimilate. We can do this for their minds just as well as FHS is doing this with their enthusiasm for soccer.

Reach Toronto
Monument to Multiculturalism by Francesco Perilli in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Dual immersion is most frequently offered at the elementary level, but there is no reason that a dual immersion environment can not be provided to some degree at a high school level, even if it were modified and targeted to language classes alone to start. This creates an advantage that  may benefit ELL students and those learning a language other than English. The ability to create student partnerships so that they learn from one another is a unique opportunity that can only be achieved in a diverse student population. ELL students are learning a second language concurrent with their other coursework. It should be possible to provide the opportunity to at least become conversant in a second language to our students who are native English speakers. A more international focus would certainly complement an IB program–a rumor many of us would still like to discover is a true thing.

This writer is completely aware of the sentiments of the supporters of English-Only ordinances, as well as the general preference toward miserly financial support for school programs (along with the awareness that these attitudes are shared by largely the same group of people). Recognizing that this is the stuff of fluff, fantasy, and idealism does not make it any less a missed opportunity. We can strengthen our community by involving everyone in greater goals. To borrow a phrase from FIFA, “Vers le grand but!”

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