Tag Archives: Frederick

P.J. O’Rourke in Frederick Mar. 19

The Cato Institute’s own H.L. Mencken Fellow P.J. O’Rourke will be at the Frederick Speaker Series at the Weinberg Center Thursday, March 19, sponsored by Flying Dog Brewery’s fabulous First Amendment Society. There’s also a separately ticketed meet and greet event afterward. See you there!

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Protesters disrupt Frederick horse carriage rides

Frederick has a well-loved tradition of horse-drawn carriage rides touring in-town neighborhoods during the winter holiday season. On one late December Saturday evening, according to a letter by Paula Carter in the Dec. 28 Frederick News-Post, some animal rights advocates staged a protest action that included running alongside one carriage and screaming obscenities at the occupants, including a family who had taken their small children out for a special treat.

Here is more on the protesters, who object in principle to the practice of horse-drawn rides and do not appear to have adduced any evidence of inhumane practice by the Lambert family. Among the protesting couple’s actions has reportedly been to bring their own dogs up close to the horses, supposedly illustrating the danger that if approached by dogs there is a hazard that horses will bolt and cause injury, which seems like a remarkable way of promoting concern about that hazard.

At a City Hall hearing on updating regulations about the horses a group of protesters came out to oppose the rides. When asked which of them lived in the city, only four raised their hands. More in a FNP editorial.

Here is a Facebook post by Karen Crum Nicklas about a counter-demonstration on behalf of the rides and the family that puts them on.

Elsewhere on Facebook (no longer on public view setting), commenter J.M. writes: “I have spent many years working with animals. The idea that all that higher mammals such as horses and dogs want is the kind of shallow, mindless “fun” of food treats, wild play, and running around is not just wrong, frankly it’s demeaning to them. Much like us, what they really seek are meaningful connections with humans and other animals, and this includes meaning found in accomplishing things. As in working.”

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In miniature, May 7

  • Governor should keep the redistricting issue in play: “Hogan has backing — from the general public, from all those sick of gerrymandering and interested in responsible government and from a long-term national trend.” [Capital Gazette] “U.S. judge: Miller, Busch must testify, turn over documents in redistricting case” [Washington Post]
  • Also on the redistricting topic, I was a guest on the Kojo Nnamdi show on the topic during session, with former Del. Aisha Braveboy and Maryland Republican chair Dirk Haire [listen]
  • No thanks, let’s keep the farebox recovery rule, in which Maryland shows itself more fiscally prudent than many states with mass transit systems [Brian O’Malley, Greater Greater Washington]
  • Two liability-expanding decisions from the Maryland Court of Appeals, May v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp. (duty to warn of asbestos in other companies’ products) and Spangler v. McQuitty (wrongful death action can be filed notwithstanding earlier assertion of personal injury action) made it into American Tort Reform Association’s Judicial Hellholes report last year;
  • The Slants, band whose name is the subject of a trademark case before the U.S. Supreme Court, play Frederick [Ronald K. L. Collins, Concurring Opinions]
  • “Maryland Decriminalizes Unlicensed Barbering; Jacks Up Fines for Unlicensed Barbering” [Eric Boehm/Reason]

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Frederick’s Flying Dog Brewery wins labeling fight and launches “First Amendment Society”

A great story starring one of our community’s favorite businesses:

Maryland’s Flying Dog Brewery won in its battle with the Michigan Liquor Control Commission, after the agency tried to ban the sale of Flying Dog’s delicious, Belgian-style IPA because of the brew’s name: Raging Bitch….

Now, Flying Dog has announced that it will use the damages received in that case to found the ‘1st Amendment Society,’ a non-profit dedicated to awareness-raising and advocacy around free-speech issues and organizing events that promote “the arts, journalism and civil liberties.”

Flying Dog will launch the organization with a May 31 event at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., featuring constitutional lawyer Alan Gura. Some of the society’s first orders of business will be establishing a scholarship at the University of Maryland’s College of Journalism and hosting a banned-book club this summer at Flying Dog Brewery.

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On the “Transgender teen asked to leave Frederick Ted Cruz rally” story

Organizers of yesterday’s Ted Cruz rally in Frederick, Md. asked a 16-year-old high school student and his mom to leave the rally because the student was wearing a cape and shirt bearing a message challenging Cruz’s opinions on an issue in the news. According to reports, the organizers cited a rule against bringing into the rally visible messages other than those of the Cruz campaign. The student was wearing a transgender pride cape and a t-shirt with the logo of the National Center for Transgender Equality. In a Facebook post shared more than 1,300 times since the rally, he is seen holding a sign that reads, with perhaps a hint of irony given his complaints, “Human Rights Are Not Up For Debate.”

Some persons I know in the Frederick area are raising a fuss about this. I’m not. That’s not because I’m voting for Cruz on Tuesday (I’m supporting Ohio Gov. John Kasich) and not because I agree with Cruz on the group of issues in question (I mostly don’t) but for the simple reason that it’s his rally and his rules. Each presidential campaign reserves similar rights and each campaign enforces them. That’s why persons with messages, even not-necessarily-antagonistic messages, have been required to leave rallies for Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, and the rest. That’s why the ACLU, not exactly hostile to protesters, acknowledges that each “campaign has the right to control its own political theater” and can mandate the use or non-use of signs.

Happily, we live in a free country in which there are plenty of ways to express disagreement with Ted Cruz’s opinions. Neither Cruz nor the management of the Weinberg Center are obliged to guarantee that you get to do so from inside a Ted Cruz rally.

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A downtown Frederick hotel and conference center? No public funds, please

Plans are now well afoot to use tax money and Maryland Stadium Authority public bonding to build a new conference center and hotel in downtown Frederick. I have no opinion (nor is it really my business) whether such a conference center and hotel deserve to get built, but if they do, they should stand on their own feet financially and not draw on taxpayers or their guarantees:

* I think the (R) majority of the county’s delegation in Annapolis are wise not to support a hike in the county’s hotel tax — paid by innkeepers and their customers county-wide, from New Market to Middletown to Emmitsburg — intended to channel funds to a conference center that would disproportionately benefit one downtown hotel.

* A public-sector Maryland Stadium Authority is not a proper function of government to begin with and letting it get into funding conference centers and the like makes everything worse. If the calamitous money pit that is the Baltimore Hilton convention center is not enough to give this sort of public bond-backed project a bad name in our state, what ever will? Just say no to MSA.

* Preservationists are up in arms about the project’s possible impact on one of Frederick’s chief tourism, lifestyle, and relocation selling points, its nationally famed, beautifully human-scale historic district. Without prejudging this debate, I would just note that in other cities, publicly funded trophy projects have badly hurt historic downtowns, leading to regret later.

If private demand for conference services is not sufficient to call forth private financing on the scale desired, maybe that should be a flashing amber light about the project as currently conceived.


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Show Me The Way To Frederickstown, or, Lost In Maryland

Update: Here’s Lauren Weiner’s rendition, to the tune of “Sweet Betsy from Pike.” Freelance writer Lauren Weiner has lived in Baltimore since 1992. Also, thanks to the Weekly Standard for their reprint!

[News item — in the final debate between Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and Larry Hogan, asked about whether Western Maryland interests were neglected, Brown referred to “Frederickstown” — 53:34 in video]

[can be sung to “Nottamun Town,” made famous by Jean Ritchie, or other tunes.]

By Walter Olson


Come all you good people and now gather round,
I’ll sing you the story of Anthony Brown;
Who wandered thro’ Mar’land, up hills and down,
Saying show me the way to fair Fred-er-ickstown.

“For eight years in office I’ve just hung around,
Except for that website I ran to the ground,
But Emperor O’Malley has willed me his crown,
So show me the way to fair Frederickstown.”

“Oh Tony, oh Tony, please pencil this down,
There’s a city called Frederick, of famous renown,
The state’s second largest, with green hills all round,
But there is no city called Frederickstown.”

“Do not contradict me,” Tony said with a frown,
“These eight years I’ve traveled this whole state around,
Eastminster, St. Gary’s, and Salisboro town,
From Hagersville-Port to the Chesapeake Sound.”

We wanted a governor with feet on the ground,
We chose Larry Hogan, our taxes came down,
If out on the byways you should meet Mr. Brown,
He’s still out there looking for Frederickstown.

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Hood College and yesterday’s March on Frederick

Yesterday’s civil-rights-oriented “March on Frederick,” organized with substantial support from Hood College, included some themes I would enthusiastically agree with, and others I would resist or find overdrawn. That’s the nature of such an event, at least if it was meant to raise controversial and difficult issues and not just reconfirm us in comfortably-held views. But this sentence from Rachel Karas’s coverage in the Frederick News Post took me aback:

Helena Hammond-DoDoo, a senior at Hood, called the march a great concept that needed better execution. Participation was mandatory for some student groups whether people were truly interested or not, she said.

Expecting people to join a cause march whether they are inclined to or not. Expecting them to join a flag salute and pledge of allegiance whether they are inclined to or not. Similarities/differences?

More: Welcome Instapundit readers.


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In miniature, September 20

  • Earlier this month the Washington Post ran my letter to the editor about how if Maryland exempted much or even all retirement income from its income tax, its tax structure would still not be a particularly radical or outlying one; the Post had blasted GOP candidate Larry Hogan for an off-the-cuff suggestion. More background here and here;
  • Dems unhappy at Hogan for not running on social issues [Washington Post]
  • In progress, Sept. 19-21: “Gerrymander Meander” run along 225-mile circuitous route to call attention to outrageously drawn Maryland electoral districts [Baltimore Post-Examiner]
  • U. of Maryland police got armored truck, other military surplus through Pentagon’s 1033 program [The Diamondback] Uncritical look at what Frederick city and county got from program [Paige Jones, Frederick News-Post; my two cents in the FNP and more]
  • The gang that couldn’t malign straight: Howard County Dems keep getting Allan Kittleman’s record wrong [Len Lazarick]
  • “Maryland’s economy had no growth in 2013, ranking 49th in U.S.” [Baltimore Business Journal]

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Frederick on “top ten U.S. downtowns” list

historic buildings in Frederick MDLivability/scenic drives dept.: Frederick is ranked among the nation’s top ten downtowns in this list, which has many quirky/unexpected entries. Alexandria, Va. makes the list too.

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