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

(49) comments


We donot have to hateMontgomery County or older established towns in the area. We can learn from their decisions and perhaps avoid their problems. But we are all neighbors and can respect each other.


"It’s said that people are leaving Montgomery County because they don’t like it. Problem? They bring it with them ..."

This editorial is 110% true, accurate, fair and balanced. The best course of action is to stop electing these corrupt, like-minded politicians in Frederick County. The second thing to do is impose a large tax (or "fee") on those that move from Montgomery County into Frederick City or the county. They can move, but if they bring their corrupt and fale ideologies with them, they should pay for it. Heavily.


And I guess, by your reasoning, Mont County can impose a tax on all those who travel to or thru the county for work. Or maybe, Frederick County can make follks submit a picture so we can determine who can live here. What a sad statement.


hayduke ... sure, why not? They twist the Constitution and law to their liking in Montgomery County anyway. So why not?


Lev - not sure what your real issue is but let go of the anger and hate. You'll feel better and won't be subject to being jealous of our neighboring counties.


What are their corrupt and fale (false)? ideologies? Education, good schools, tolerance, humanity and decency? What politicians in FC are corrupt? In what way? C’mon Lev, be specific, they’ve made Frederick County better.


phy ... the entire ideology of Montgomery County is corrupt. If you don't know this by now, you're out of the loop. They taint and avoid the Constitution and law like it's the plague. Even if it means violating either ... or both ... they'll do it on the local government level. It doesn't help that their local populus embraces radical ideology and anti-American attitudes. Montgomery County government has been found to be in violation of law over and over, yet it gets worse by the day. They ignore the rule of law and order at the government level. Only those that have the same false mindset move and live there ... until they decide their property taxes are too high. So, then they move to Frederick for personal convenience and bring their corrupt mindset with them.


I lived in MoCo for 30+ years, went to High School there, got married an raised 3 great kids there. Worked in Howard County for 42 years, lived there for 22 years. Lived in neighborhoods with people of all colors and Nationalities and Religions, all good people, happy people, positive thinking people, lots of friends still there. Moved here in 2008, right before Obama got elected. What a shock!! Angry, bitter, racist people, whining about how unfair life is, people like you Lev, lots of them. Many of them hang out here. I know how wrong you are Lev, I’ve lived in those places. This is a beautiful County to retire to, but I’m sure I wouldn’t want to raise a family here amongst these negative people. Thank goodness the Liberals are moving here, bringing the 21st Century with them, new ideas, better Government, better schools ala Urbana, making FC a better place.


PHY - [thumbup][thumbup]


I am in full agreement with the assessment of Rick Blatchford and LEV928!

Our Aldermen voted unanimously to move a few inanimate objects from the front of City Hall because they "hurt" people. the cost of moving those statues would have been more usefully spent to actually help the poorest in our community. The Mayor wasted $45,000 of out hard earned taxes to develop a worthless "new city emblem that didn't represent our city.

Now, a handful of people who have obviously never belonged to 4H, and have never been on a farm or ranch are forcing the horse drawn carriages that have come to be a beautiful tradition during the Christmas season out of Frederick.

These were all decisions made by a handful of misguided people that we all now have to live with!


You got Ba’Lane Young to thank for Frederick turning blue. I been saying that since Ba’Lane was a commissioner. Rubber stamping approval for every housing development. Each new housing development, one at a time, makes the county blue’er and blue’er.


Blue'er and blue'er and uglier and uglier.

Not to mention more crime ridden and congested.


Funny, Montgomery County is rated #1 healthist, #1 most diverse and #2 as best for families out of the 23 Maryland counties. Doesn't exactly fit your narrative does it ?


Then why are they all moving to Fredneck county? Just last month there was an article about a “woman of color” who moved her family to Fredneck into a “predominantly white” neighborhood because of the schools. She then went to blast the “lack of diversity and lack of minorities” in her neighborhood. Ring any bells yet? And for myself, living in the country, we have there “refugees from MoCo” moving here and demanding things be built and done to make it “more livable”. “Where’s the community pool, where’s the walking trails, where’s the pickle ball courts”. Leave us alone and go back to where you came from if Frederick is so “unlivable”.


Funny. Look at Kirbie de laughters personal FB Page. Just sayin.


RB - this letter seems to be more about you than anything else. Just like a Facebook page. No one cares about your feelings.


Try to be happy Rick. Life is actually pretty good and we are fortunate to live in such a fine place. Most of us can figure out how to get along even when we disagree.


We wore an onion on our belt as was the style at the time

Thanks Grandpa Abe for defending us from the evils of Takoma Park


You win the FNP comment page for 1 year. Well done!


Mr. Blatchford,

This is more directed at the comments then the column. The mean spirited negativity that occurs daily in this section is lamentable.But rest assured those folks will be the first to chastise someone else for negative comments. It has been suggested that a horse's brain is about the size of a walnut. That is probably a wee bit exaggerated but you have to wonder if some of these folks have a brain much bigger.


The mean spirited negativity that occurs daily in this section is you mean the mean spirited negativity like this jsk.....?? “It has been suggested that a horse's brain is about the size of a walnut. That is probably a wee bit exaggerated but you have to wonder if some of these folks have a brain much bigger”.



Mean spirited? It was directed at no one and only a curious suggestion. My main point was that a horse has an very small brain and to personify their emotions, feelings and actions as human is a bit off base.


“some of these folks” = “no one”?

Look, I don’t care when you are mean-spirited, as you often are. Just don’t be a hypocrite about it. You should own it, like I do.


I’m pretty sure you meant that the commenters here that don’t agree with you aren’t very smart, which sentiments you have expressed before in a variety of ways. But that’s just me. Peace.


Rather be at that end of the horse than the other end.


“If the “Walnut” fits”.


Ah, complain about negativity and then come up with an insult. Fits right in with the hypocracy you often show in your posts.


I have lived and/or worked in P.G., MoCo, and Howard Counties since 1940. There were still tobacco farms in D.C. in those early days. Silver Spring was a crossroad, Rockville was the hub of MoCo, Gaithersburg was in the boonies. Howard County was solid farms when I started working there in 1960, had the worst school system in Maryland. There were not Liberals and Conservatives then, just Democrats and Republicans and they weren’t too far apart politically. People didn’t vote Party Tickets, they voted for the candidate they thought best despite their Party. And all of those Counties have gone through the trauma of Urban Sprawl. Frederick County has had 50 years to prepare for it and done NOTHING!! You included Rick. Now you just whine about it. As Mic Mulvaney would say, “GET OVER IT”!!!


This may be the biggest bunch of scrambled up word salad that I have ever read in the News Post. It’s all over the place.


This is a real scrambled up column, Rick. If you want to chastise Raskin, do it. As it is you failed.

Obadiah Plainsmen

Fredrick Countians are fickle. They what to stop grow, go out of their way to curb expansion even to the point of electing county representatives to curb this expansion.But once the newcomers are here with their money and their vote they are welcomed with open arms.


Too funny. I kept waiting for Rick to tie in horses to Raskin, and there was not even the slightest connection. I bet Raskin loves horses and carriage rides almost as much as Rick. I think Rick's main issue is with the 21st century. We were doing fine with the 20th century, but those darn Democrats from Montgomery County...took our horses.


"Instead, how about remaining unique?" Define "unique"...


Rick appears to have become the epitome of the meme " All you kids get off of my lawn". Love that he refers to "those people" whatever that means. His constant jealousy of Montgomery County makes me wonder how the county wronged him in the past.


Hey Rick, if you have issues with the changing political climate in Frederick, you have no one to blame but the BOCC for the past two decades. Their build anything, anywhere, anytime approach to development resulted in unchecked growth and all that comes with it. Urbana, Adamstown, 85 corridor, JTP. Frederick City has contributed plenty to the current mess with a Planning Commission that cannot say "NO" to anything.


Thank you, sincerely, for your comment.

AND, everyone be reminded that Mr. B. Young wants to be the City Mayor. He ruined the County and if he wins the mayoral election, Frederick City will become a total disaster and the more of the County will end up being in the City limits.


It is sad to see his spiral. While always conservative, he at least used to treat others with some respect and didn't get into the "look at those evil people coming to get you" type of rhetoric.


I do know what Rick does not like. (And if being like Montgomery County is the worst we can expect, I am thankful.) But what does Rick want? "Instead, how about remaining unique? Clustered spires, anyone?" OK. What do you want, Rick? Unique can cover a lot of ground.


They're coming for our spires


Actually, the next battle is to remove all confederate symbols from Frederick (really, people are meeting about this). That includes Mt. Olive cemetery and the Civil War hospital museum. I get the point of removing a symbol of hate when it is used offensively but "whipping clean" history is very dangerous.


There will never be a majority or even close to do these mindless actions. A cemetery? A museum? Piffle.

Alice Jones

Read this guys letters a few time but then quickly bored of his pointless ramblings. Anyone - what's his story?


The FNP has almost always had a grumpy old man conservative columnists. Rick is the current incarnation.


At the end of the day you live in a democracy, and your views do not always carry the day. It's all about respecting the views of those who differ with you as being as valid as your own.


Like msmith6276, I’m also confused ... Can I enjoy carriage rides but want to ensure the animals are treated humanely, be opposed to 287(g) as it operates today, and not have moved here from Montgomery County nor see it as a bad place? Also what’s wrong with being a nuclear ☢️ free zone? Takoma Park has banned companies involved in the production of nuclear weapons from doing business in Takoma Park, or from bidding on City contracts, and has avoided investment in companies engaged in the production of nuclear weapons.


I’m confused, while I may be liberal I think the horses should have remained. Painting with a broad brush throughout this rant.


Yada, tada, yada, yada.... It's getting tiresome Blatchford, Got anything interesting to talk about?

Alice Jones

He continually beats a dead horse. Pun intended.



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