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

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April 2017

Are there any Kirby-friendly newspapers left in the world?

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Why is the whole print world against Kirby?
Our friend over at Frederick County Fact Check alerted us to our local 1st amendment champion’s latest brush with the evil print media:

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Why is everyone in the media against #kirbydelauter?
We must admit that we were on the floor LOL as we read this. If you aren’t familiar with the Woodsboro Times or the Emmitsburg News-Journal, we can tell you they are ANYTHING but left leaning. Everyone in the country knows that Kirby had a run-in with the Frederick News Post a few years back, but we could not have anticipated this break!! Seems as though the only “news” organization willing to print Kirby’s tomes is the noodlely appendage.  What a distinction it must be to be the only place willing to post Kirby’s “false claims”!

Speaking of the Frederick News Post, if you haven’t read this outgoing editorial by Patrick Pexton it is a must see.  We can’t help but wonder if Shrelauter has already contacted the new owners of the paper asking for that “fair treatment” that seems so elusive to them.

 

 

 

Redistricting update

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We are so glad we are not the decision makers here.

We know our readers are just as keyed into local education as we are. Our friends over at The Frederick Extra posted an update this morning on the latest FCPS redistricting news.

Check it out here.

The Board of Education will be having a workshop on May 10th to consider public feedback.

All the WTF that’s fit to laugh at

The Frederick News Post’s opinion page has really jumped the shark lately. There are some unbelievable thought dumplings in both op-ed pieces and letters to the editor so far this week.

Today we have Rick Blatchford doing his own think piece on humorless comedy with a Bye-Bye Birdie parody about The Libs, who allegedly have no funny bones. It’s a variation not unlike that stupid meme that goes around with all the straw man positions that liberals hold, and then says at the end that if you don’t find yourself wetting your pants laughing that you must be a liberal with no sense of humor. It fails at being even remotely clever or inventive. The similarities continue in that if it were intended to be so benignly amusing to all, it would probably not be so one-sided in its mark. Sure, we find mockery of stuff we disagree with hilarious and if we ever get to meet Frederick Douglass IRL we know he agrees with us about the power of mockery, but we aren’t so dumb that we think people who disagree with it would laugh at it, too. We sure aren’t so inexperienced with what constitutes a sense of humor that we think that’s the litmus test.

A highlight from yesterday though: the LTE about Starbucks, which is incomprehensibly linked to hipsters. Starbucks is for people who love the bland uniformity of franchises and coffee roasted so dark burned so badly that it still tastes like coffee if you melt a Snickers bar into it. It is not a coffee shop. It is a Baskin Robbins with coffee as a condiment. If you ever see a hipster drinking a Unicorn frap, we want to be the first to hear about it. You get the feeling this thing about Starbucks was written by someone who has only purchased coffee from two places: Starbucks and Denny’s. Spoiler alert: He prefers Denny’s because they have free refills. By this standard The Golden Corral is the best restaurant in Frederick. Might we suggest doing some exploration in the hipsters’ natural habitat–it should probably be a local business–and making some comparisons. NOLA or Gravel & Grind spring to mind. Possibly Dublin Roasters (although they do offer free refills on coffee if you’re hanging out, so maybe they are too much like the exalted Denny’s to get hipster bona fides derision). It’s hard not to feel ridiculous saying this, but the artisanal toast at Gravel & Grind is actually delicious. And yes, THAT is hilarious.

True story. Also, if you go to NOLA and order this yummy burnt tomato salad that they have, you can add medium rare steak to it for only $3, and then you have a reasonably priced, reasonably healthy meal–and didn’t have to set foot in Denny’s. You’ll have to call the restaurant to find out if they have refills on coffee, but odds are very good that they do if you’re eating!

And because Denny’s has come up, everyone should direct their attention to this classic from The Onion for a taste of the Starbucks/Denny’s dichotomy: Obama Drastically Scales Back Goals for America After Visiting Denny’s 

Oh and ICYMI: That family famous for hilariously abusing their kids on YouTube is local in Ijamsville. You can see the Fredneck population vigorously defending a sense of humor in the Frederick News Posts’ comments section/marketplace of free speech ideas on that article. Holy. Hell.

This is getting sooooo boring….

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Come up with something new #!

With all of the predictability of the ocean tides, Kirby has taken to the noodley appendage to complain about the budget. First of all folks, take a look at his post from last year and see how much of it he copied and pasted into this year’s diatribe. 

He entitles this year’s regurgitation, “A Smoke and Mirrors Budget” and yawn!!! Does he even know what that means? Since we can barely take this…again…we will evaluate his complaints through the use of pictures.

Jan won’t bow down to the old BOCC for making Frederick County’s economy (which oddly enough is a terrible place to do business according to him and Billy) the crown jewel of the United States:

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It’s unethical for teacher’s to vote on their own salaries:

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My leaseback idea would have built so many schools it would have been tremendous:

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The constant yield tax rate remaining the same is a tax increase:

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It’s really boring isn’t it? He ends his rant by saying that Jan is using the taxpayers like one would use an “ATM”. This coming from a guy who believes that voodoo economics is going to fix our economy:

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Here is a story about teens having sex for food

A mood most foul alert: This story is about girls having sex for food, because they live in food insecure households. It is very hard right now not to pull out all the most offensive words in our vocabularies and point out all of the sorts of people who are insensitive to this (at best). We are begging you, please do not elect Frederick’s village idiot to the State Senate. And, FWIW, this is what happens when all of your solutions to problems involve people without boots being told to hoist themselves up by their bootstraps. Disgusting.

WHUT if we do get carried away in a wave of memes? At least they’re smart ones!

The local grapevine

The dreary weather yesterday got us hunkered down and brooding, especially after reading a couple of things about media bubbles having been created out of the decline of the local papers. There’s a problem with how people find out about what’s important if they don’t live in a big city. This all seemed poignant, living in a small city where the hometown, local-family-owned paper just got swallowed up by a company nobody seems to think much of (oh great gravy, they published a headline last week with the word “tree” misspelled)! THESE are the times that try mens’ souls.

Revolting! On the hunt for this link that was published this morning, you can see how the bias machine has Breitbarted and Hot Aired something that was quite thoughtful and useful to read in its original form. FFS. The poutrage tastes rotten.

After we pointed and laughed about Delegate Afzali going all Girls Gone Wild (via email) on her NyQuil, this leapt out from the AV Club. The piece focuses on the lasting effects of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which brought us Clear Channel hell on the radio, offensively mindless crap on the television news, and is (party bonus!) also the reason that either Comcast or Verizon is taking actual years from people’s lives as hostages of their monopolistic services. All the good news that’s fit to print, eh?

…once corporations realized they could make money off the news—rather than just viewing it as a public service—they started “making that a joke, too.” As he notes, the move made it so “they could still put on what’s called a news show, but it’s mostly just fluff and trivia and 23-year-olds spewing out talking points that they read on a teleprompter, having no idea what the [redacted!] they’re talking about, fortunately for them.”

-Communications scholar Robert McChesney (AV Club, August 11, 2016)

Furthermore…AV Club goes on to provide this explanation:

 

That kind of mindless newsreading has real consequences, too. As Common Cause notes in its position paper, “In 2002, more than half of TV stations in the nation’s top 50 markets completely ignored state and congressional elections in their highest rated local news programs in the weeks leading up to those elections, with large station owners offering the least election coverage of all.” McChesney takes it further, saying, “What little coverage there is, is mostly gossip, spin, and speculation, or basically what’s spoon-fed to them by party elites and insiders and big shots accepting all their biases as the appropriate way to view the world. It’s impossible to exaggerate just how nutritionless this so-called journalism is.” In other words, viewers of most stations get lots of Donald Trump news, but almost nothing about city council elections or even state representatives.

For information on local races, you can always turn to the nonpartisan League of Women Voters at vote411.org. They produce voting guides by asking candidates a series of questions and printing their responses in the candidates’ own words. Fill out their online form with your residential data and the race you want to learn about. This service is immensely useful. Consider making a donation to them if you have the means to do so.

 

The mention of gossip and spoon feeding from party elites seemed so stinkin’ much like what we were just roasting Afzali for in her silly email. Y’all know we are the first to acknowledge that we are A.) not journalists and B.) not unbiased. We have concerns about where the flow information is coming from. We did before the troll news revolution, but looking at all this we hope people will expand their number of reasons to be skeptical about the quality of their information.

As for Local Yokel’s role in the scene, we were delighted by a fantastic discussion on 1A yesterday about censorship and speech on college campuses. The 1A topic also has local pertinence just at the moment since the Hood College Republicans made a story board of the least sophisticated conservative talking points they could brainstorm, allegedly as some sort of PR misfire. Fly your freak flags, we always say! Better the devil you know… However, the highlight from 1A that made our little Local Yokel hearts swell was when Frederick Douglass’s thinking was cited on how to best attack terrible ideas:

At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! had I the ability, and could reach the nation’s ear, I would, to-day, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake.

Well, we’re on board with that. And we are grateful that The Frederick Extra is up and running to keep us informed.

What a glorious public hearing!!

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Frederick County horses can rest easy…for now!

Last night the county council had a very nice public hearing on the county’s contribution to the FCPS budget. Budget guru, Rick Harcum, did a great introduction in which he had some very reasonable and optimistic things to say about the school budget. He let us know that:

  1. Good schools increase property values.
  2. Education is the #1 priority of county residents as evidenced by online surveys and public hearings.
  3. We are funding schools $25 million above the Maintenance of Effort (MOE) requirement.
  4. Because of the improved economy, school construction is coming in cheaper than expected. Thereby opening the door to more building and renovation.

Mr. Harcum ends his statement by saying the future looks good. And we all got here by working together! We are almost giddy at this point!!!

The hearing commences with Board of Education President Brad Young, Superintendent Alban and Frederick County Teacher Union President Melissa Dirks. Ms. Alban states what we all know to be true, that the most important factor in any classroom is the teacher. A fact that is then reiterated by the many wonderful members of the public. Teacher salaries factor predominantly in the comments as well as the importance of support staff. We are oh so thankful to ALL the school employees who make sure that our children are not only educated, but also well taken care of while they are at school.

The meeting concludes, as always, with council member comment and man we always tense up during this part. However, we got off with only one hitch! Tony and Kirby pass! Jerry thanks everyone for coming out and then we are off to Debbie Downer! Billy is disappointed. Disappointed that WiFi isn’t in the budget, even though every school already has it. But not only WiFi,  no money seems to be devoted to technology. According to Billy, and these are his words folks, “If a kid can’t use a device every minute of their life they won’t do good in the workforce.”

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Jessica and M.C. also give thanks to those who came out. Bud informs us that he was really surprised when he found out that we were losing teachers to Washington County. And you know why folks? Because they pay better! We need to make our salaries more competitive if we are to get that most important factor in educating our children: TEACHERS!

This week is chock full of budget meetings. On both Wednesday and Thursday of this week the council will be meeting with various departments to hear their needs. Next Tuesday, there will be a discussion of which amendments the council would like to add, with a final vote scheduled for May 16th. Hopefully “somebody” won’t waste everyone’s time with an alternative budget this year.

Click here for Wednesday’s budget agenda and here for Thursday’s.

No holes barred!

Oh, Delegate Afzali, thank you for e-mailing on cough syrup. We think you sound like the gin-soaked Dame Peggington Noonington that Wonkette is always lambasting. And also thank you to the Friend of Local Yokel who alerted us to her no-holes-barred approach to communicating with her constituents. “What is this kink?” you may ask. Yikes. Scrub the brain. Drink more Ny-Quil. Whatever it takes to erase that thought.

Afzali gets a very low score on the Tomatometer, if you ask us.
It is full of partisan writhing and hand wringing. Example: pretending that Hough didn’t try to hijack the ethics bill process at the last minute for his own theatrics, and smearing Jan Gardner with that silliness. And darn that partisan Jessica Fitzwater who doesn’t think that conservatives are concerned about sexual slavery. This whole tome has the ring of a gossip column. Are we reading an update from a Maryland Delegate or Page 6 of the New York Post?

Now, shush people, Kathy doesn’t want to say this too loudly, but did ya know that Mike Miller and Ron Young are epic frenemies? According to Delegate Afzali, the two gentlemen do not care much for each other, but that did not stop Mr. Miller from putting over $16 million in Ron’s coffers  a fund for the downtown conference center. Funny how those things work, isn’t it?

She also wants us to know that ALL the Democrats down in the state capitol have become absolutely unhinged over Trump’s election. They are also being big giant meanies to Governor Hogan, especially that Brian Frosh.  Power-hungry Frosh can now sue the Federal Government without the governor’s approval. Only a majority of Attorney Generals in the country wield that special right!!! Quelle horror!!

Delegate Afzali writes that she hopes she doesn’t regret writing all this truth telling! We know we will never regret reading it! For this has truly been a gift for us. 

 

 

 

 

Instead of getting angry, let’s be thankful when people show us who they really are.

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By now we’re sure that you’re aware of the controversy surrounding the display that the Hood College Republicans put up last week. If you haven’t seen the display, please click on over to The Frederick Extra and take a peek. Included in this display, which they entitled “Conservative Cultural Center”, there are quotes from such luminaries as Alex Jones, Ben Shapiro and Abraham Lincoln. (Side laugh: If you want to see some good stuff on how Alex Jones is trying to pretend “the guy” on his radio show is just a “character” read some of the Wonkette’s coverage of his child custody hearing.) The quotes chosen liken abortion to genocide and claim that trans people suffer from mental illness. Hood decided to leave the display up, and last night the Hood College Republicans had a forum to talk about this display.

In The Frederick Extra’s report, Hood College Republican President Chris Gardner had this to say about the display:

“We did it to make people think. Not to make people angry,” Gardner said.

That statement is at its worst disingenuous and, at its least, incredibly naive.  Most people realize that if you call a group of people mentally ill, or label a legal medical procedure genocide, thereby calling people who have had an abortion “murderers,” there isn’t much room left for discussion. Transsexuality is in and of itself is not a mental illness. Abortion was deemed legal in 1973, and we really hope that people who feel strongly about this issue have actually read through Roe v. Wade to understand how the justices came to the conclusion that they did.  To equate abortion with a genocide is both ignorant and disgusting. Studies do indicate that abortion rates are higher in the African American community. However, it is believed this is due to disparities in sex education and birth control. A discussion that IS worth having. Words matter. And the words the Hood College Republicans chose to display are certainly not conducive to generating a productive discussion.

However, instead of getting angry at these folks, let’s just appreciate the fact that they’ve shown us exactly who they are.  As the quote above states, we should always believe people when they tell us who they are. Therefore, the Hood College Republicans have gifted us with a lesson in what they believe in and how they feel about certain groups of people.  You know like when a former school board candidate’s PIA requests showed her thinking pattern, or when #kirbydelauter took his anger over the county ethics law out on a high school football team, or perhaps you prefer the time when Billy enlightened us to the reasons why he abstains. We should believe people when they show us who or what they really are.

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