If a group of crows is called a murder, what do you call a group of nincompoops?

Well folks, if you haven’t had a chance to take a gander at today’s Political Notes , it is a must see. First off, we have a summary of the cell phone discussion  that we touched on from the last meeting. When Jerry suggested that the council hand over their phones during council meetings, Billy yells:

“Why don’t we just use rice paper?”

We can thing of a few places we would love to shove these rice papers.
We can think of a few places we would love to shove these rice papers.

His reaction was as though Jerry suggested we do away with technology altogether. What is wrong with putting the phones away during council meetings? On the other hand, if one is  waiting for instructions from the puppet master it may be a little hard to know what to do.

Next, Kirby so wants there to be a scandal. So he provided the reporter at the News Post with this:

To show his frustration, Delauter forwarded me an email last week in which a staff member at the county’s Office of Economic Development redirected his questions, on behalf of FSK Holiday Inn owner Randy Cohen, to Browning.

Delauter responded angrily.

“That’s total Bullshit………….but then again,” Delauter wrote back. “I’ll have Randy contact you directly since as an elected official we get treated like third graders from the worthless CE,” referring to the county executive.

He then suggested that Cohen contact the employee — who was copied on the email — directly.

“I don’t have the time to spend to go thru the layers of bureaucratic bullshit that CE Gardner has put in place,” Delauter wrote.

Nice, huh? He’s starting to sound all county executivey isn’t he? And what’s Kirby’s problem with third graders? Well, if Kirby isn’t able to have his issue addressed this very second isn’t the whole system just for shit? Here’s what Jan had to say about this:

Gardner said the process for handling constituent service emails was set up between her staff members and the council’s staff members.

Gardner said the executive and legislative branch staffs worked together to create the system, so staff members wouldn’t be overwhelmed by seven separate requests from each council member on one constituent issue.

“It’s absolutely not impossible for them to talk to county staff. This whole focus is about constituent service,” Gardner said, adding that a high percentage of questions get a response within a day. “… I think the system is working for the majority of council members.”

If Kirby can’t circumvent the procedures that were made by both his and the county executive’s staff, aren’t we already at tyranny’s doorstep?

The last section is our favorite. In an attempt to imitate House of Cards, Delauter, Shreve and Jenkins have created something closer to a Shack of Sharts. Just look at this description of an email exchange that someone forwarded to the FNP:

In an unrelated chain of emails forwarded to The Frederick News-Post this week, Shreve and Delauter expressed disappointment not only with county government policies, but also the form of county government entirely.

Republican Sheriff Chuck Jenkins, who was copied on the multiple email messages, suggested that the councilmen and others “push a movement to go back to the County Commissioner form of government. It worked!”

When another person on the email list suggested that a lot of Republicans who supported charter government before Gardner, a Democrat, took office would have to “eat crow” to support a reversal, Jenkins responded.

“I have no crow to eat because I predicted it would be [a] total disaster as it is turning out to be,” he wrote. “But wouldn’t everyone choke down a little crow if things could be fixed? Just take a big bite and swallow hard.”

Shreve also wrote that he would favor a repeal.

Delauter said he didn’t vote for charter government and is frequently reminded why, though he’s still considering a run for county executive in 2018.

“If I was county executive, [charter government] would be great …,” Delauter said, before adding that he was joking. “I’m kidding. That’s the form of government we have, so I have to live with it.”

Better be careful Fellas!
Better be careful Fellas!

Well, well, well, we wonder who forwarded this along! Could it be that someone on that exchange doesn’t drink the Kool-Aid? Or was it one of them thinking this would be a great way to get all this recall charter government nonsense in the news? This isn’t new talk folks, we reported almost a year ago of Blaine’s winds of change. These guys lived in some warped bubble in which they thought Blaine was going to win it all and they would be the Boss Hoggs of the county. So, when that didn’t happen they immediately went into boo hoo, everything’s horrible mode.

I guess people just didn't like ya!
I guess people just didn’t like ya!

Well, we happen to like that an discriminatory language ordinance was repealed. We like that our county has a strong ethics law. We also like that our schools and other services are finally being funded at somewhat reasonable levels. And we are oh so very pleased that the nursing homes are back in the county’s hands. We would also be remiss to not mention that we really like that we have a County Executive who isn’t getting arrested for solicitation of prostitutes. (Thanks Jan!)  So we’ll stick with the Charter government thank you very much. For we remember what it was like during the last BOCC. Shiver.

 

 

From the quill of #kirbydelauter

We're with you Mr. Octopus!
We’re with you Mr. Octopus!

 

In the spirit of Eleanor Roosevelt, #kirbydelauter likes to keep us informed of his thoughts through a monthly column on THAT website curiously named The Tentacle. Read it in full for yourself here.

Now sit down readers, because we aren’t in total disagreement with #. We think he makes some good points about the public comments. Has there been any good answer as to why they were taken away from the beginning of the meeting? We do agree that it is a little arduous to sit through what is sometimes a 4 hour and 40 minute meeting to get your chance to speak. Anyone with any insights on this please share, because it’s a worthy discussion to have.

HOWEVER, we do have some issues with what he had to say.  We do not agree with the council man’s assertion that the council should vote on an issue right after the public hearing. In fact we think he makes our point for us when he states:

Another change that should be made is that we should vote on the issue at the public hearing. This is when things like public comment are fresh in everyone’s mind, and when you can have the debate with concerned residents. As it currently stands, we vote at the third hearing, which could be as much as a month from the date of the public hearing. That makes it very difficult to remember all of the information gathered at the hearing; and one thing you lose, in particular, is the emotion that people had at that hearing. Even if you take copious notes, it’s still difficult a month later to capture all items of importance that the hearing displayed.

An issue SHOULD NOT be decided upon because of the emotion of the situation. And that is exactly why the council should be given the time to digest what has been presented to them. EXACTLY WHY. And Mr. Delauter, if you are reading this, the county records all of your meetings so you can click here to replay all the emotions you may have forgotten.

Kirby, of course, doesn’t miss an opportunity to mention the English Language Ordinance and Aurora because blah, blah, blah..who cares? But we do love this last line:

You have to keep in mind, we’re not elected forever, so how would we want a meeting to run if we were on the other side of the dais?

Oooh when, oh when is he going to be on the other side of the dais?

 

Singing the praises of our friend Bud.

We mean it!
We mean it!

Bud has had a rough couple of weeks. These ProEnglish people unleashed a very unfair and immature attack against him. And despite what Mary, Mary quite contrary may say, we don’t believe that our County Council people need “to get used” to outside groups coming in and harassing them.

We also have our fellow citizens saying terrible things about him on that awful county council watch page. For some reason they love to bring up his genitals. Must not have moved beyond a middle school mind- set. It’s especially stupid to be a lady suggesting man parts are essential to good governance. It’s the smart parts we’re after, not the Anthony Weiner parts.

Last night Bud once again proved to us what a mature, deliberate man he really is. When Billy sarcastically and very rudely asks Bud if he has anything to say about the repeal of the English Only Ordinance, he replies that he does. And how our hearts soar when this man speaks.  Despite the distraction of Billy vigorously nodding his head yes when Bud begins with saying that his position many not get him re-elected, we were reminded what a sane, thoughtful man he is. Bud continues on to how this ordinance makes our county look bad and how it’s not who we are in Frederick County. And he’s absolutely right! Even Tony admitted the ordinance was inane. Reasoning that  we should keep it  because some people think our country is being taken away. A claim that he himself does not believe. Well, at least Bud had the backbone to stand up for what kind of people we are. Not some dystopian vision of becoming a sanctuary county.

We are also dismayed by the people who love to  insinuate that Bud is somehow incompetent because he occasionally trips over a word. We do not care for the ageism that is ever so present in these mean, petty observations. Every person up on that dais has tripped over their words every now and again. And believe us, Bud is not nearly the worst offender.

And as for Billy’s claim that Bud won’t get re-elected. I wouldn’t worry about that. Billy doesn’t have the pulse of this county like he thinks he does. Your support, Bud, is far and wide. Keep up the good work and don’t worry about these petty naysayers.

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 10.21.25 AM

Evening update: 8/18

If you followed along with Facebook and Twitter, you already know the outcome of the big stuff. The English-Only ordinance was repealed, and Kirby’s Law passed (he even took ownership of it and claimed it for himself). Now, like all the other counties in Maryland, council persons in Frederick County cannot bid on contracts with the county. There was some kerfuffle–is that an English word??? Who cares! Yay!–wherein some of the usuals tried to explain how unfair this was that Kirby didn’t know when he took the county job that he wasn’t going to be able to profit from the gig.  Tony tries to suggest two amendments, but that nonsense was quickly laid to rest. Boo-hoo. Go ahead and resign. Dare ya.

Being in-house this evening was something else. It was simultaneously easy to feel sympathy for teachers and teenagers. Like being transported back to the throes of adolescence, the “Am I hearing this right?” sensation of sitting and struggling (not altogether successfully) to respectfully listen to someone try to stick a square peg of an idea into a round hole of logic has not become easier with maturity. As an example, Billy Shreve was proud of himself for a “gotcha” moment this evening that involved vilifying the county for the expense of pursuing people who steal water from hydrants. This was after it had been pointed out that it has the potential to contaminate the entire water supply and poison us all. Scary. Plus: cost benefits analysis, dude. Water. Ask California to help you understand. If Billy were to have his way, no one would be prosecuted for some spindly fine that he would deem too small to collect. What that number is could be anyone’s guess. I suppose it’s okay to committ misdemeanors here in Frederick.

On the other hand, capable teachers everywhere must cringe to realize that no matter how many times you explain how the budget works with the BOE, at least three grown adult people with allegedly mature brains will never understand it well enough to strike it from their list of “conflict of interest” talking points.

Props to Jerry Donald for pointing out that the English-Only ordinance was a loser from the right hand side, in that it created unnecessary and meaningless legislation to govern a free-market and constantly evolving language environment. Leave it to a teacher to go all debate team on it and show us he can rock it from the other angle.

And finally, at long last. And we mean long. And we mean last. Chmelik has a new game. Move to repeal is a way for an already verbose guy to force us to listen to him carry on ad infinitum.

zzzzzzzzz also, compromise, I do not think it means what you think it means.
zzzzzzzzz also, compromise, I do not think it means what you think it means.

Action Alert: ProEnglish is on the prowl again!

Come on August 18!
Come on August 18!

Hey fellow Fredericktonians, guess who’s back for a visit? That’s right it’s our wonderfully articulate, sensible friends at ProEnglish. And they are so serious about our English Ordinance repeal vote that they’ve been forced to issue this:

Looks all grown uppy and official!
Looks all grown uppy and official!

Wow a whole Action Alert for our little county!!! Aren’t we special? But all kidding aside, we are really teed off at these people because look at what they have done to Jerry and Bud:

So funny, I hope they didn't hurt themselves coming up with this!
So funny, I hope they didn’t hurt themselves coming up with this!
Wait, do these people really take Trump seriously? Good Poseidon of the Sea people are dumb!
Wait, do these people really take Trump seriously? Good Poseidon of the Sea people are dumb!

Look you ProEnglish carpetbaggers, Blaine & Co. are no longer in charge!  We don’t want you here and we certainly do not want to see you organizing a phone campaign against two of our favorite fellas.  (But Jerry  and Bud can you tell us about some of the best ones? We can only imagine that it’s been a treasure trove of stupidity). One of the Facebook commentators on the above pic of Mr. Donald wrote:

Jerry Donald wants slaves.

Like wow! The caliber of people this group attracts is unreal! It’s really no surprise that Blaine invited them up here.  They seem like his kind of people. But now it’s time for them to go! We are all rooting for a good result on August 18th!  In fact to ensure that good result email the county council at: councilmembers@frederickcountymd.gov. Stay strong Jerry and Bud!

Our High Sheriff of cognitive dissonance

image

The radio waves have been the gift that keeps on giving lately. Last week we had Billy pontificating on a variety of subjects on WFMD. Now High Sheriff Jenkins gives us the opportunity to learn how he doesn’t believe the English Language Ordinance is about illegal immigration. But then again it is, wait no it certainly is not, okay yes it is! It’s enough to make one’s head explode.

It feels good doesn't it?
It feels good doesn’t it?

Both Jessica and H.S. Jenkins are guests on  Sheilah Kast’s morning show that aired throughout Maryland on NPR.  Here’s our breakdown.

First Jessica is allowed to speak. She tells listeners that she believes that the ordinance has been harmful for a variety of reasons. She explains that the ordinance doesn’t have any teeth because the county has to follow State and Federal laws. So basically the ordinance was symbolic, and the symbolism was this: STAY OUT!

Then it’s Jenkins’ turn. He once again informed us that the U.S. is about one language and that we are one culture (Really? Has he traveled anywhere in these here United States?)  He continues:The ordinance never changed how we did business and we cannot go down this road because we are in severe danger of becoming a sanctuary county. Now this sanctuary county nonsense is what causes gentle Ms. Kast to ask Jenkins to clarify a point. “Is your reasoning for not wanting this ordinance repealed because you fear illegal immigration”, she asks. Jenkins insists that this ordinance is not about illegal immigration, but that doesn’t stop him from talking of his fears of Frederick becoming a “sanctuary county”two more times.

He also mentions a poll. This poll claims that 84% of Americans want English as our official language. Well, we did a little research and could only find one source of that poll: Rasmussen. A notoriously right winged, frequently used by FOX News, organization which happens to have a terrible track record.  So get some more accurate data and then we will talk about this.

Now, let’s talk some more about the High Sheriff. Jessica is very clear to NPR’s listeners that Pro English provided the language of the 2012 ordinance.  That the previous BOCC met with this group is no secret. And we all know by now that the Southern Poverty Law Center classifies Pro English as a hate group. Why you may ask? Well, for one thing, the group’s founder likes to talk like this:

“I’ve come to the point of view that for European-American society and culture to persist requires a European-American majority, and a clear one at that.”
– Dec. 10, 1993, letter to the late Garrett Hardin, a controversial ecology professor.

He seems nice! But, hmmm, this quote seems familiar to us. Really familiar. Oh yeah, we saw it in this article in the Frederick News Post back in 2014. Remember when our High Sheriff took that trip down South to learn all about the illegal immigration? And remember how we were all up in arms about how it was financed by the Federation for American Immigration Reform? Well guessy who founded and funded both Pro English and F.A.I.R.? That’s right this guy:

John Tanton  Founder of  F.A.I.R., Pro English, and just about any other anti-immigrant group you can think of.
John Tanton
Founder of
F.A.I.R., Pro English, and just about any other anti-immigrant group you can think of.

And there’s more. Click this link to see all the other groups he has had a hand in. And click here for some more nice quotes. Because man, this guy is a peach!

We know that this ordinance was not passed because it was costing the county money. For no fiscal analysis was done. We know that the former BOCC met with Pro English and that our High Sheriff accepted a trip from another one of Tanton’s groups that is decidedly anti-immigrant. The supporters of this ordinance love to talk about how it didn’t change anything, so why do away with it? We would like to talk about the flip side of that question. If it doesn’t matter, if we are still required by higher powers to translate documents, then why have it?  Why did a bunch of tea party conservatives spend time and money to pass an ordinance they knew didn’t mean anything? In reality it’s not only a message to illegal immigrants, but also to legal immigrants.  Because please, please tell us how this ordinance differentiates between the two groups? This ordinance was the brain child of a hateful man and was passed in our county for no other reason than to “send a message.” It’s time for that message to change. And on August 18th, we hope that’s exactly what we will see.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow up en retard (no that’s not an offensive term, cultural purists)

Last night’s meeting is not yet in the video archives on FCG TV, so the many of us who were unable to tolerate another moment of the nastyfest are not yet able to catch the rest of the train wreck. In the meantime, some thoughts are restlessly flipping around here.

It is obvious that almost none of the people who oppose this repeal or initially favored the language ordinance have ever learned a second language. It does not happen overnight. Many people who are relatively fluent in a second language can spend all day speaking it without needing help, even though it may not be flawless (if you’ve been paying attention to these jokers who love English above all reason, we don’t have to tell you that people who speak English as their first language don’t speak it flawlessly either). That doesn’t mean they have achieved a level of comfort allowing them to use it conducting legal affairs. Those who insist that they assimilate and become good citizens have to admit that this means giving them the tools to do so, not insulting them because they aren’t perfect.

It wouldn’t hurt to admit that this legislation was only passed in the spirit of meanness in the first place. Blaine Young did.

“I believe that it sends a message that we’re not a place that condones or embraces illegal immigration,” Young says.

Newsflash: legal immigrants also speak other languages. It’s a whole process, learning. We’ve said this before, but some don’t seem to get how learning works, so repeat ourselves we will.

Furthermore, places along the border already use dual languages, whether it’s French/English up near Quebec, or to a much greater extent, Spanish/English to our south. Those with a shred of sense will learn the other languages around them, because it is a good business opportunity. All of this talk of assimilation is a bunch of garbage in real life. We will *ALL* be assimilating–immigrants and natural born citizens alike. It’s just a matter of time. History has been through this before. It’s not even vaguely mysterious.

Happy July 4th Chez Nous: frankfurters, pizza, brie, salsa and chocolate. Which is American? Let's ask a Wampanoag...
Happy July 4th Chez Nous: frankfurters, pizza, brie, salsa and chocolate. How do you translate this into American? Let’s ask a Wampanoag descendant…

A few notes on linguistics might be illuminating. Our own Germanic language changes all the time. Not a one of us could even understand Old English without a college professor available to translate. Roughly 45% of our English vocabulary–again, a Germanic language–is of French origin. This is largely due to the Norman invasion in 1066. Exactly how far backwards is Frederick County hoping to go? We also have many words in our vocabulary that are taken from Spanish. Lots of them are used all the time, especially for the weather and in ranching. Unlike the French, we don’t have a language academy attempting to replace words like tornado and derecho and rodeo and buckaroo (our Anglo screw up of vaquero). If we’re going to stamp out all of these outside influences and make them conform to us, we’re going to have a lot of studying to do.

Don’t believe us. You try reading Beowulf on your own then (or give a listen).

First 11 lines of Beowulf. Greek to us.
First 11 lines of Beowulf. Greek to us.