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December 29, 2010

Through the Looking Glass…Both Ways

Norman M. Covert

“On the whole,” W. C. Fields is said to have written for his epitaph, “I’d rather be in Philadelphia.” He disliked that city, where snow Sunday thwarted the NFL Eagles. I agree. Precious little attracts me to Philly, but one might make the case that the long deceased comedic actor’s words could extrapolate an accurate face on the year 2010.


How could one not look forward to 2011 without trepidation? Anno Domini 2010 featured one of the great conundrums in history. We contended with brutal cold temperatures worldwide and measureable feet of snow on the ground as Global Warming hacks proclaimed it a sure sign their science was accurate – cold equals warm. Dumb!


That ultra-cranial musing pervaded our national and local governmental leadership. Thank goodness some money changers were kicked out of the temple, as it were, by grass roots activists, who were derided even in success with perverted variations of their “Tea Party” moniker.


The good and bad of 2010 must be taken for what it is. Among the good was the nationwide revolt of citizens replacing the majority party in The House of Representatives. With the GOP still managing to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, it cannot come soon enough. What will the 112th Congress bring? I’m afraid to ask.


Item: I look forward to the next “364” days of 2011, when Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano says we will be extra vigilant against terrorist attack.


Item: Also among the good, we hope, was election of a virtually new Frederick County delegation to the Maryland General Assembly, where it remains in the minority by three-and-half lengths. Sen. David Brinkley (R., Frederick-Carroll) heads the delegation of six Republicans and two Democrats.


Item: Hope also springs eternal with the new Board of County Commissioners of Frederick County. It collectively stumbled out of the starting gate. The crystal ball doesn’t tell me if this board will be an effective legislative team or a bunch of frat guys. One word – Ethics!


Item: We are anxious to see final action creating the new waste-to-energy facility. Let’s get it going, guys!


Item: Many fear a lengthy learning curve for the new members of the Board of Education. There is egg on its corporate face, but time can be its friend smoothing out the rough spots. Let’s employ some Elmer’s Glue™ to repair the broken PR crockery.


Item: As an adjunct to the schools dilemma of 2010, we heard teachers, parents and students in opposition to the “Investigations”™ math curriculum, known as by TERC, in the elementary grades. Many have reviewed the curriculum and find it wanting. The school board unilaterally trashed it, so 2011 will herald an as-yet-to-be-determined new math curriculum. Dollars?


Arithmetic was never my strong suit, but I can read. My judgment is the first grade “Investigations” textbook is a great resource in starting my grandson’s foray into mathematics. I can’t assess if the second grade book would receive my blessing, but students must be “short-sheeted” in the subsequent grades.


Item: It is good to see warm fuzzies among Mayor Randy McClement and the Board of Aldermen. Discussions about the coming retirement fund crises surprisingly have demanded fewer column inches in the Daily Blather than discussion about bicycle lanes throughout the City of Frederick. I ponder: retirees/bike riders? Perhaps, over bagels and lox at the New York Deli?


Item: It was really cute when a bunch of young people (dare I?) thought it would be a lark to drop green dye in the storm drains at Hood College, the city pool and at Fort Detrick. What a hoot! Let 2011 be a watershed, as it were, for these misguided environmental terrorists to discuss something more meaningful at the College Park/N. Market Street Starbucks in 2011. I’m not holding my breath that any supposed Environmental Protection Agency investigation is more than hot air.


Item: I need not dwell deeply on the terrible deed perpetrated in 2010 by erstwhile Circuit Parson Randy White and the Kristen Marie Foundation last year. Thousands of dollars were invested in a vendetta against Fort Detrick. The effort has gone nowhere. It took advantage of vulnerable citizens, who told heart breaking family stories, then were told by the Maryland Department of Health that no cancer cluster exists here.


Item: I pray that 2011 will be a better year for the family of the late Fort Detrick Scientist Bruce Ivins. The Obama White House should admit it has no idea who perpetrated the anthrax letter terrorism and apologize to Mrs. Diane Ivins and family.


Item: Regarding the field of mass communications, the Daily Blather continues to be a mystery; The Gazette is a nice, quick read; The Hagerstown Morning-Herald shows that names sell newspapers. Print isn’t dying anytime soon, but the art of journalism is in transition.


 – Anticipation that colleague Roy Meachum will keep his impressive memoirs going in 2011.


 – The star of A.M. radio last year was former County Commissioner President Anita Stup, who is a no-holds-barred, learned and rational side kick to Blaine Young. Ms. Anita keeps him on the defensive. You go, girl!


 – Emerging last year was savvy media raconteur Adam Avery, who convinced John Ashbury, publisher and guru of, to try a weekly on-line television show without makeup. The unabashed co-star, Mr. Avery produces on-line efforts including a distaff version with Thursday Tentacle “Diva” Joan Aquilino. It is avant garde theater.


Zum Schluss: I learned to celebrate the German rite of “Silvester” Dec. 31, 1968, as a soldier in the Federal Republic of Germany. “Silvester” requires mass quantities of food, drink and mirth to chase evil spirits at year’s end. It is obvious we have rascals to expunge in anticipation of a hopeful 2011.


Let’s try “Silvester” Friday night with the admonition of ‘Guten Rusch.” That’s a good slide into 2011. Mazel tof!


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