Yeah, sorry we aren’t listening to four hearings worth of public comment. But we’ll be happy to bring you council member comments!

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We don’t know how the council members sit for that long!

We won’t listen to comments for three bills and the budget. We just can’t. However, if you would like to click here, or read this nice summary in the Frederick News Post.  We already reported on the first half of the meeting, and now we will bring you what we know you’ve been sitting on the edge of your seats for: Council Member Comments.

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It really shouldn’t be this dramatic, but alas…

Tony’s got nothing to say so we are off to Kirby, and oh dear Sappho. According to Kirby taxes have gone up 10%, and since he doesn’t know anyone whose income has gone up 10% the money doesn’t match up and everyone should move out of Frederick County. Because 10% of one number is always equal to 10% of another number, right?

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Then there was a long winded diatribe, after he shuffled through his papers for awhile, about how he was lied to about payment to a lobbyist. He even referred to our pal Katherine Heerbrandt’s blog. And we encourage you to read the post he was referring to here. Instead of going through Kirby’s rant about how he was lied to and told things were none of his business, you  be the judge of what really happened. All told, we really don’t think Kirby has a very good understanding of the charter and the powers allotted to the different branches of county government. We know, durh.

Jerry informs us that every member of the council was sent an email to make an appointment with the County Executive to discuss budget priorities. Shall we take wagers on who didn’t make an appointment, or is that too easy?

Billy, oh dear Mother Earth, Billy.  He enlightens us to the fact that budget time is really interesting because taxes never go down. (Is that the only reason, pal?) He then asks some really deep rhetorical questions:

“Where does it stop?”

“Where does it end?”

“Where does it end?”

“In Frederick County it looks like it never ends.”

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Frederick County is in grave danger so it seems.

Jessica also reiterates the fact that on January 24th all council members received an email from the County Executive asking for a meeting regarding the budget. She also tells us about some very interesting things she learned on a tour of Ft. Detrick. We like science and knowledge and stuff so all of this was very fun to listen to.

M.C. is the gold star winner of the council member comments!

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We may even commission her a trophy!

M.C. finds it concerning, as do we, that after two years of going through the budget process that is explicitly put forth in the charter, there are still questions about how it works! While she appreciates the effort in coming up with an alternative budget (we don’t!), according to the charter the council can’t do anything with it!! So, she encourages her fellow council members to put their efforts into making amendments to the CE’s budget AS IT IS SPELLED OUT IN THE CHARTER! She also reminds some of her fellow public servants that the charter states that when money is moved from one category to another it must come before the council. The County Executive, per the charter, is allowed to issue checks up to $20,000 without council approval. She then encourages Shrelauter her fellow council members, that if they don’t like these parts of the charter, then they should put some amendments forth next Spring. Until then, thems the rules! Stop wasting everyone’s precious time!

Next week there are a series of hearings and workshops on the budget. Stay tuned!

Local reporter speaks to importance of media diet

This is not the first time your Local Yokels have harped on the importance of being a media locavore. Even if you don’t care for the flavor of what’s available here, if you don’t buy then it will disappear. Then we will really be in the dark. Do you think the Washington Post is going to tell you what Shrelauter has been cooking up with any regularity? (Hint: they are not gonna.)

Local reporter and start-up media maestro Katherine Heerbrandt of The Frederick Extra is an excellent resource. She also shared her experience as the invited guest of Rockville United Church to talk to the congregation after the service. They wanted to discuss the importance of the press and how to ensure that their media diet was nutritious and free of toxins. It sounds like a recipe club many people could benefit from.

We have always been up front that our information comes heavily seasoned with our point of view. It is certainly valuable to look to other sources to achieve a balanced diet. There is no way to get a “Fair and Balanced” perspective from a single source. The fact that a source would tell you such a thing should make you immediately suspicious; news is not like candy, you can consume all you want. If they are threatened that you may sample another source there’s reason to think it is a very serious problem. This is why, much as it pains us, we are willing to look at something we expect to be of no more substance than dried out marshmallows (say WHUT?) or noodley appendages.

FYI: Bill Nye, The Science Guy, will be here on April 20, 2017.

Just like nutrition science, what you learned in science has value here. Look at your sources and see if there is peer review in evidence. If you see a headline that stands out in particular, find out what the other sources are saying. Do they corroborate one another or refute one another? Chances are if something sounds like an outlier preposterous, (EX: President Obama gives “Hanoi Jane” Presidential Medal of Freedom) it probably is. You will want to verify that before running with it. This is getting decidedly trickier, the more like satire our reality becomes, so it means we must be even more cautious with our data. If the same source is always an outlier, chances are there is a problem with their research they are a liar, paid by the fossil fuel industry (oh yes, just like in science, it can help to know who is funding the report).

This should go without saying: stop taking a bunk source into account when you identify it. If you look around, and all of the links you find seem to rely on a single source and you are unsure of its reputation, form a hypothesis and test your hypothesis about the reliability of that source. You will come to a valuable conclusion. Scientific thinking. It’s not just for scientists.

Also, good journalists are heroes! Stop taking them for granted!

 

Call to Action: respond to First Amendment nemesis #KirbyDelauter

Hey, so we already had words for y’all about local press and freedom of press and what Kirby thinks and how he and his pal Trumpet can stick their Twitter fetish where the sun don’t shine. Please indulge any liberties with the paraphrase. We grow monumentally impatient with these super special teaflakes.

If you didn’t catch it, Sam Bee’s latest Full Frontal (the one with Glenn Beck!!!!) has some harsh to dish out on people who can’t be bothered to notice a local issue because it doesn’t scroll under their nose with their social media headlines (a mission we’ve been endeavoring to remedy). And truly we do recommend that you check out Kirby’s social media. What on Uhhhhrth would we do without that?

And we have called upon you to pay attention to the legitimate media. We believe in being localvores–especially with regard to media consumption. They can’t be the best they can be if you expect them to do their jobs for free. This is our hobby, yo. And as such, we don’t have to do it if we don’t wanna, and we are certainly prepared to say we are not sitting around dreaming up ways to view Shrelauter’s behavior in a kinder light. They are idiotic, petulant children. That’s our story. We’re sticking to it. (Although that does sound like a fascinating mental exercise, trying to put a human [legislative] speed bump up on a pedestal.)

Yummy! Lemonade!
Yummy! Lemonade!

We have a fun suggestion we hope you will like: please make a donation to Katherine Heerbrandt’s web based media outlet, The Frederick Extra. She has years of experience as a journalist, and a great reputation as a fair and competent reporter. Of news. Locally. And we all know through the forces of market competition, the more people out their competing, the better the services should be (to view a contrasting example, note that Comcast has the same user interface it did in 1997). To make it the best possible treat, you could even make that donation in the name of one “esteemed” #kirbydelauter. He’s a national treasure, after all!

That last one’s a link sure worth revisiting, given today’s circumstances…

Way to go, Kirb-o. Never start learnin’.

50 Shades of Stupid!

King of the Deplorables
King of the Deplorables

Yesterday, Katherine Heerbrandt had Billy on her AM1450 radio program. And seriously, this woman must have the patience of a saint because the nonsense that came out of that man’s mouth would cause a lesser person to rain blows upon him! If you are brave, please go ahead and take a good old listening here. If you just can’t stomach it, we suffered for ya!

The talk starts with Trump. Billy claims this is the most organized campaign he’s ever worked on. He tells the tale of some rented office space by the movie theater used to peddle Trump gear. Katherine remarks that his campaign has been quite the booming business for him. To which Billy claims it’s an investment. He states the amazing thing about Trump is that you can sell things. Katherine remarks that’s not all that amazing, but Billy insists that it is because they made thousands of dollars at the fair tent! He goes on to disparage the Democrats for giving signs away by stating that they couldn’t make money off their gear! He’s just truth telling! When further pressed he claims they were only recouping their costs. Which does not reconcile with the statement of making thousands of dollars. We later learn from Billy, that like his hero Trump, changing your mind is a sign of having an open mind. So his mind must be wide open!

Katherine wants Billy to explain what experience Trump has that would make him a good leader. His first response is that he has experience with the deplorables. This whole deplorable nonsense apparently has bothered Katherine as much as it has us. First off she reads Hillary’s exact quote:

“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the ‘basket of deplorables,’” she said. “Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it.

So Billy apparently never heard the whole quote before because he yells out, “She said half of them!” And folks is this all for real? Is he being obtuse or is his reading comprehension level just really, really low? Even when he’s read a list of synonyms for the word deplorable he’s still sticking to it! He states that the problem with liberals is that they overthink everything. Because Hillary said if you have a husband and a wife that both support Trump then one of them is deplorable.  And since it was standing room only at the tent to have pictures taken with the sign that must mean that he’s right.

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Next up,  our fellow truth seeker in arms, Adam Umak from Frederick County Fact Check calls in. He wants an explanation for why Billy abstains so much. Mr. Umak wants to know why this isn’t hypocritical since Billy lambasted Bud for not voting with the Republicans and here he is voting against Kirby and Tony. Well, Billy claims there’s no checks and balances that’s why he does it and it’s obviously working because look Adam you called in!
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Mr. Umak has a second question. He asks Billy why it’s okay to tackle the drug problem in Frederick County but not the topic of human trafficking. Here we are treated to a whole bunch of nonsense about there not being a good enough definition, how the High Sheriff was left out and some malarkey about international dating and marriage falling under this category. Here’s how we feel about the subject of human trafficking in case you missed it.

Back to Trump. Katherine wants to know how Billy thinks Trump did in the debate. Billy claims he takes to the polls because he realizes he’s biased. And guess what people!? Trump won every poll! Katherine tries to explain to Billy that what he was referring to was internet surveys but he claims that’s all we have! So there! Case closed!

Your Lady Yokel’s nerves are about shot at this point.  Billy goes on to claim that Trump’s language is fine because he’s from New York and people like it. Women only get offended because they are more susceptible to it. He trusts him to lead our country because he has his name on skyscrapers. He’s pressed to really answer why he thinks we should take a leap of faith on a man with no experience and we are given the reasons of Benghazi and how we are more racially divided now than we were in the 1960’s, and 30,000 emails and guess what? Now  we want to:

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We have one more caller. Rob from New Market calls him with a question about Trump’s budget. Billy makes an audible snore that we are sure he’ll eventually blame on a faulty microphone. The questioner states that an independent agency reviewed both budgets and found that Trump’s will leave us $9 trillion in the hole while Hillary’s will bring $1 trillion in growth. Billy tells us to just look at all the buildings.

Finally, Katherine asks if Billy would support North Korea. Billy says sure you need to get along with everyone. Katherine retorts, “But he’s crazy.” Well, just go to Dennis Rodman he’ll sort it all out. We don’t want to be #1 on their hit list, we want be #12 or something so we can give China time to take em out! Someone appoint Billy to the foreign service pronto!

The interview ends with Katherine telling him to stop wearing that shirt.  LOL! Why should he? It’s an accurate description. At least he has that much introspection.

  • An alert reader reminded us that Billy stated that to be in government you had to leave 1/2 your brain at home. Is this Billy’s excuse for his poor performance as a county council member? Does he have a case for the 1/2 of the brain he can’t be bother to carry around with him? Just asking questions!