Are you familiar with Jamie Raskin? He’s a politician out of neighboring Montgomery Country and has roots in (gasp) Takoma Park. He’s our congressman. Thinking about him reminds me of the gerrymandering that gave Chris Van Hollen and now Raskin our area to represent. But this is not about gerrymandering, and we’ll get back to Raskin later. I’ve previously mentioned the liberalization of Frederick (city and county). That’s what this is about.
Horses are near and dear to me. The liberals are now impacting them and their owners. As a bit of background, I’ve had a thing for horses since forever. At 14, I spent a month in Louisiana on a ranch where we rode and cared for horses every day. I was involved with horses during junior high and high school in West Virginia. Then college and life intervened. In the past year, I’ve volunteered for two horse rescue organizations. I’m currently permitted to actively assist at a farm with more than 30 horses (with a variety of dispositions) three mornings a week. Anyway, to the real subject.
This paper reported about people protesting the carriage rides that have been conducted in Frederick for years. Apparently, protesters think that the horses pulling carriages and wagons, with passengers, on mostly flat, paved streets is a problem for draft horses. One of the farms I volunteered with dealt with draft horses, which, by the way, come in many varieties — Shires, Belgians, Percherons and Clydesdales, just to name a few. As the paper stated, these horses are bred for heavy work. They are the largest of the horse family — generally weighing over a ton. On farms, they pull large wagons loaded with hay and drag heavy plows over uneven, unpaved terrain — much harder work. I have neither read nor heard claims that allege mistreatment of the carriage horses.
Most bothersome about such protesters is their penchant for targeting a small business and causing potential financial loss. May I suggest that they go after the Anheuser-Busch Corp. They own the Clydesdales that pull that beer wagon just for advertising. How about the large carriage companies in Charleston, South Carolina? Another irking factor is that the protesters, according to the mayor, use “inappropriate” (possibly offensive) language. Additionally, some are not even from the Frederick community. Maybe Takoma Park?
On safety issues, draft horses tend to be more laid-back than other breeds. Tending to, however, is no guarantee. What can be guaranteed is that if these rowdy people ever spook a draft horse, people can be seriously hurt — even innocent bystanders.
My last thought about these protesters is that all horse people should be concerned about them. The paper quoted a protester as saying that “horses should be in pastures.” When will they decide that horses shouldn’t be saddled or have a bit in their mouths — let alone having a
human being sitting on them?
A sign spotted recently made me smile. “Horse people are stable people.” Wish that we could say the same of the protesters.
Switching channels, surely everyone is aware of the brouhaha regarding 287(g) — the struggle involving illegal immigrants, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Sheriff Jenkins. One side (illegals and their supporters) is intent on ignoring the law and the other on enforcing it. If that doesn’t bring you current, look it up.
This brings us back to our Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) — the guy with roots in Takoma Park. Remember that place? In 1983, those people found it imperative to declare their city a nuclear-free zone. I’m not aware that their declaration accomplished anything, but it sure made ’em feel good.
The Frederick News-Post published a front-page picture of Raskin on Oct. 7. What was he doing? Well, the headline read “TAKING SIDES.” Raskin is pictured greeting those who are protesting against the sheriff and ICE.
I submit that Raskin is supporting changing values in Frederick — as are the protesters. Unreasoned change is slowly creeping in. It’s said that people are leaving Montgomery County because they don’t like it. Problem? They bring it with them — and many don’t get it. The paper recently printed a political cartoon showing Virginia (just across the Potomac) as a now true-blue state. Montgomery has long been blue — now turning indigo. They’re right next door.
There are people nearby and among us who would make Frederick like Rockville, Gaithersburg or Takoma Park. Been there lately? Instead, how about remaining unique? Clustered spires, anyone?
Rick Blatchford writes from Mount Airy. Contact him at email@example.com.