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!

It’s crystal ball time! Let’s imagine a Frederick County with #kirbydelauter at the helm!

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Things will be bad, very bad indeed!

You’ve probably heard the rumors of Kirby’s intention to run for County Executive in 2018.  Yesterday, The Frederick Extra ran a piece in which our old pal Billy had this to say about Kirby:

“Should Trump supporters stay true, he predicts a similar outcome for his buddy, Council Member Kirby Delauter (R) in his quest to become county executive in 2018. “He’s just like Trump,” Shreve said of Delauter.”

Wow! What an endorsement! Let’s pause for a minute and envision what our fair county would look like if our new County Executive was “just like Trump.”

After a contentious campaign season, in which Mr. Delauter referred to county council members having their heads up Mrs. Gardner’s skirt, (you know, “locker room talk”), he manages to squeak a win with the support of the most Northern and Southern parts of the county. A win that horrifies the most populous areas of the county who didn’t think it was important to vote in a local election. His swearing in ceremony is #YUGE! He claims that large screens had to be set up at Baker Park for the crowd that was spilling out of the Weinberg. A claim that is refuted by the Frederick City Parks Department when they release pictures of a couple of people walking their dogs. Kirby’s team claims that the parks department is super biased, and how can you trust a bunch of government bloodsuckers anyway?

His first day is spent signing a flurry of Executive Orders. Orders that were previously so very evil and over-stepping, but are now a completely reasonable way of governing. His son will resume operations of his business, but no fear, family members can now do business with the county. ‘Tis the free market, people!  Fifty people are sent to the hospital due to the food poisoning contracted at Kirby’s celebration party. All those “out of control” health inspectors were the first to go!

Speaking of  the county health department, it will  be headed by a former snakes oil salesman.  There will be no more programs to promote healthy behaviors in this county! People need the freedom to eat their BBQ, drink their Fireballs, and vape without the government telling them they are going to drop dead!

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County parks will  be sold to the highest bidder and you will be charged admission to enter. Swings will now be equipped with coin machines, 50 cents for every 10 minutes, and  you better keep an eye on that timer, because when your time is up the swing freezes. If junior happens to be stuck in mid-air, well, don’t you take any personal responsibility for your kid’s life?

All county government correspondence must be in the shape of a teardrop:

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Yes folks, this is real!

FCPS’s budget will be stripped to the bare minimum. High schools will be closed and teenagers will be forced to buy access to their own online programs in order to achieve their dreams. No more frills either! Kids can eat in the hallway and the history curriculum will now be provided by the Heritage Foundation. All school staff will now be outsourced with part time workers making minimum wage.

All business and zoning regulations will be stripped. Frederick will look something like this:

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Libraries will be shuttered because we have a Barnes and Noble and reading is for wussies anyway. CE Delauter will spit on any and all environmental regulations. Mysteriously, we’ll be in severe debt at the end of #’s realm. All those tax cuts really made a mark. Our graduation rate has also plummeted,  crime is up, thousands are dead due to water borne illnesses, and there is a general feeling of malaise throughout the land. Who could have foreseen it? More importantly, who could have prevented it?

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That’s right! YOU can prevent this!

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’.

FCPS breach is serious business people.

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On December 13, The Frederick Extra broke the story about a data breach at FCPS that left  1,000 former students’ identities compromised. Since then, the Extra has written two additional stories that you can read here and here. FCPS has responded by offering those affected a one year subscription to an identity protection service. You can read the official statement from FCPS here and watch the video from BOE President Young and Superintendent Alban here.

It’s disheartening that we now live in a world in which we have to be super vigilant with our data. At this moment, one of Your Lady Yokels currently has a LifeLock subscription due to Target’s data breach. What is also disheartening is when people with a clear vendetta against the school system, the BOE and the superintendent use this as yet another opportunity to go on one of their numerous FCPS witch hunts. How is this at all helpful people? Especially when this data breach occurred before many of the people who are being vilified even worked for FCPS.  Calling for people’s resignations is at the least premature and at most wildy irresponsible. Let the information roll in before passing judgment! When you are so reactionary it only serves to reveal your own prejudices and motives. Honestly folks, even our own King of Overreactions is looking at the facts:

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That is not to say that if your data was stolen that you shouldn’t be angry and want to get to the bottom of what happened.  And lets let the Frederick Extra, The Frederick News Post and FCPS do just that. If you do feel your data was compromised please email or call the school system at: infosec@fcps.org or 301-644-5332. Steer away from the random people on Facebook who some how got a hold of this list.