Locals Being Held Hostage By Maryland’s Blueprint Legislation

By Jan Greenhawk, Editor/Easton Gazette/Radio Free Oxford

This original article can be found at: Locals Being Held Hostage By Maryland’s Blueprint Legislation – Easton Gazette

June 1, 2023

Jan Greenhawk, Editor, Easton Gazette

There’s a strange thing going on in our country. It’s something most of us would have never expected or seen coming.

It’s a war on local control. Local control is a concept this country was built on. There’s an old saying that the most effective governance is that which is closest to the people. It makes perfect sense. The closer officials are to the people they serve the better they can hear what their citizens want and need. For the people, if one can talk directly to the person voting on decisions and give an opinion, the more likely it is that the people will feel empowered and important. Officials who see their citizens every day are more respectful of the financial load taxes put on the community. This leads to more satisfaction among the populous. It also keeps officials accountable.

Somehow, the people who run our federal, state, and even some local governments have decided that the will of the people they govern no longer works for them. They want full and total control of the most important aspects of our lives, law enforcement, education, and governance, etc. Of the three, education is the most basic target. To manage this, they take our most important treasure, our children, hostage via Federal and State grants.

When someone is kidnapped and held hostage, the kidnappers rely on the fact that families want their loved ones back. This allows them to extort huge sums of money from families. If the families don’t do as they are told, kidnappers remind them that the result will be catastrophic.

The Federal Government and the State of Maryland are the kidnappers. The citizens are the ones being extorted. The threat is the withdrawal of funding.

As an example, our small county on Maryland’s Eastern Shore has a public school system made up of two high schools, two middle schools, and four elementary schools. The student population is around 4,500 students. This small system, through the Blueprint legislation, will get a total of $50,922,000 State and local money because that is the State mandated amount; the ransom the state requires.

Unfortunately, not every program in the Blueprint legislation fits the needs of our county. So, the local Board of Education requested $1,118,000 over the mandated amount to fund special programs that could benefit our students. The County Council, for the sake of fiscal sanity, gave only $286,000 over the State mandate. In total, the FY 2024 budget will be $7,883,000 ($4,070,000 county, $3,763,000 state) higher than FY23. This will equal a sizeable property tax increase of 4 cents per $100 in property value to citizens, many of whom can’t afford it during this difficult economic time.

Residents of our county ask why the County Council doesn’t tell the State to go pound sand. “Do we really need State money to fund our system? Can’t we educate our children better for less?”

The simple answer is “yes, we could.” All one needs to do is look at the last set of state test scores to know that what we are doing right now is not working and our funding is not making a positive impact.

There’s a second part to that answer, however.

The second part begins approximately fifty years ago in the 70’s. That’s when President Jimmy Carter created the United States Department of Education. It was created under the guise of increasing the accountability of Federal education programs to the President, the Congress and the public. In reality, it was a payoff to the National Education Association. As one House Democrat said at the time, “The idea of an Education Department is really a bad one. But it’s NEA’s top priority. There are schoolteachers in every congressional district and most of us simply don’t need the aggravation of taking them on.”1Strangely enough, this was at the same time that Progressive education gained a foothold in the U.S. education system. I know, I lived it. We stopped teaching content and started worrying about “values clarification;” stopped rewarding hard work and achievement and started giving out grades whether students earned them or not.

That’s when the Feds started giving money to State Departments of Education and they started giving money to locals. Year after year there was another federal grant given to states who then filtered it down to locals. When I was teaching, someone once told me that the problem with grants is that once the grant is implemented and staff or programs are started under it, they can never go away, even when the federal/state funding did or when the programs were shown to be ineffective or unnecessary.

And that’s how programs grow and systems start depending on federal and state money. It’s like feeding a wild animal. Once you start and make that animal dependent on you, it will never be willing to search on its own. It can never be released back into the wild. You will have to feed it forever.

School systems which may have been able to do a great job without federal and state funding are no longer able to do so.

When I tell people this is they counter with, “Well, we will just do without all that extra stuff.”

Hold that thought.

Before 1965, the Tenth Amendment (States Rights) prevailed over the Federal Government in education. States and local districts were able to run their schools with little or no interference from the U.S. Government. With the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, this changed. The Federal Government, as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, began sending money to state and local agencies if they followed certain mandates. From HARVARD ED Magazine, Fall, 2017:

Title I provides funds to schools with a large percentage of low-income students. Title VI provides aid for disabled children. Title VII allots funds for bilingual education. The amount of funding provided by esea was small at first — around 2 or 3 percent of a district’s budget, according to education historian and former Ed School dean Patricia Albjerg Graham — but too large for states to pass up. The incentives-with-caveats formula allowed the federal government to work around the 10th Amendment and have a greater hand in enforcing the 14th. It provided, in Graham’s words, both the carrot of federal funds and the stick of their withdrawal.

Every three years the ESEA had to be reauthorized by Congress. As it was authorized, more programs were added. As the Department of Education was established, grants and funding to locals who followed federal mandates were the rule, not the exception.

Fast forward through the Bush and Obama Administrations, where “No Child Left Behind” and “Race to the Top” initiatives gave their own spin. Locals were finding themselves beholding to Federal and State edicts. More staff, more buildings, more “stuff.” More programs that didn’t work or that actually caused more problems.

With Covid, the Government sent approximately $170 billion to school systems so they could open safely during the Pandemic. Many of these funds remain unspent and unaccounted for to this day. In 2022, federal aid to schools was 2.7 percent of National GDP. In1970, the total budget for the Department of Education was $12.7 billion. In 2021, the total budget was $68.6 billion3. And, don’t forget the States’ contributions to their education systems at the tune of $350 billion in 2019 or 46.7% of total school funding. All in all, school funding has risen approximately 176%. Test scores have dropped dramatically at the same time.

All of this funding is tied to a myriad of federal and state programs that schools MUST participate in. As I said earlier, schools are being held hostage. Think of that when you ask yourself why school boards, administrations etc. would allow crazy programs to exist. They don’t believe they have a choice.

Again, the easy answer is that we should just jettison these programs. After all, do we need all the bells and whistles? For the answer to that question, we need some hypothetical situations. Imagine a mom whose child is getting free and reduced lunch under the Federal and State School lunch program. Or, imagine a family whose son or daughter is attending Chesapeake College for free under the Public-School Dual Enrollment Program funded by the Blueprint. Now, imagine our County Council tells the State of Maryland that we won’t play their Blueprint game and the State takes away twenty percent of our funding. All of a sudden, the free lunch isn’t free. The free Community College isn’t there. What will those parents do? It may look something like what happened when EBT cards stopped working:

People go crazy when EBT cards stop working: (EBT is Federal/State welfare)

EBT Goes Down Nationwide, People Furious as Welfare Cards Stop Working – Long Island, NY (longisland-ny.com)

EBT card failure hit 17 states, people ready to riot as they ‘steal’ from Walmart | The Global Dispatch | The Global Dispatch

When someone is given free stuff, extra programs, special designations, these things move from being nice and helpful to being expected. Gratitude becomes entitlement. Perhaps the reaction wouldn’t match that of welfare recipients when cut off, but it will not be good.

All of a sudden, the County Council who is trying to save taxpayers money and make schools more cost effective and efficient is a local pariah.

The State and Federal Governments know this. They know that people will not stand for having all their goodies taken.

As I said, they have taken our children and our schools hostage. Every time we think we have paid the ransom, they increase the price tag. It’s always presented with the idea that we don’t fund schools properly and that is why children aren’t learning.

This is a mess that will go beyond mere refusal on the part of local districts. It’s going to take the courage of community leaders to stand up and say, “enough is enough.” They will have to fight the educrats and Teachers’ Unions with counterarguments and research for every line item on budgets. Unions will spend millions of dollars to get these leaders voted out of office. Citizens and parents will have to stand behind our leaders and support their efforts, even if it means our children don’t get some favored status or special program.

It means that school systems will have to give up all the additional staff and programs and focus on their real purpose, academics. Some will find this hard, particularly those teachers who never really learned how to teach. Administrators who had jobs tied to junk federal and state programs will be out of work.

It will take time. This started in the 70’s and now, fifty years later,we are STILL paying the ransom to those at the National and State level who are holding our children hostage to their extreme Progressive ideology. Only now the ransom keeps increasing.

We have to stand up and say “Enough is enough.”

1 When it Comes to Education, the Federal Government is in Charge of … Um, What? | Harvard Graduate School of Education

If you want to see this entitlement attitude on display at the National level watch the current argument over the debt limit. The Progressives want to keep putting this country into more and more debt, and they don’t care who that hurts now or in the future. They will continue to create more programs, more “problems” to justify their gross overspending.

A Small Field of Dirt That Was So Much More…

By Jan Greenhawk

May 29, 2023

How Naming The Oxford Little League Field Is Important on Memorial Day

Jan Greenhawk, Editor, Easton Gazette/Editor, Radio Free Oxford

Link to Original Post in the Easton Gazette: A Small Field of Dirt That Was So Much More

To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always as a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?” – Cicero

Oxford T-ball and Coaches

It looked like just a small field of dirt on the edge of a little town, Oxford, Maryland. The grass had started growing on the once carefully smoothed infield soil. There were two little ramshackle dugouts on either side, and two buildings off in the back. To anyone who had never seen it, the little field looked like a relic whose time had come and gone.

To the people of Oxford, those who had lived there for decades, it was so much more. They remembered a time when semi-professional baseball teams, softball leagues, t-ballers, and little leaguers played on that field. They remembered the towns people in the stands, the parents helping in the concession stand, and the moms and dads cheering every at bat and catch.

Oxford Little League, 1962

They remembered the names of the volunteer coaches, Abbott, Balderson, Hayes, Greenhawk, Bradley, Ledford, and so many more. They smiled at all the lessons young people had learned on that field, lessons about baseball, how to catch, how to throw, how to hit, but so much more. They remembered the year that a young team lost every single game in the season except for the last one, a game that would remain as a great moment in their young lives. It was their World Series.

The youngsters, now many middle aged, remembered how they were taught to win and to lose with grace, how to compete with honor, how to be a team, how to respect others, how to test themselves and their limits.

Oxford Little League

And they had fun. Some of the younger ones picked flowers in the outfield and enjoyed a day of fresh air. Older ones loved running from base to base, sliding and kicking up dust and dirt. They hit homeruns and doubles. They had free hot dogs at the end of games and free hugs from their loving parents and friends. They chased each other around the trees after games and jumped on the grandstand that stood right behind the backstop. Time stood still for them.

There were picnic lunches and family gatherings at games when generations came together. Some of the older ones bemoaned the fact that they could no longer play like they once had, but they enjoyed watching the kids have their moments. Some days spectators complained about the heat, and other days they complained about the frosty wind of Spring.

And the field was a mark of pride for the small town even as the younger generation grew up and moved away. The field was a sign that Oxford was still young, still alive, and not merely a place for aging retirees. It was hope that said, “Some day we will have children here again!”

It was a mark of pride that so many of the young boys and girls who had played there went on to play at higher levels, earn high school championships, play in college, and become adults who understood that they could give back to new generations by volunteering, coaching and teaching the same lessons they had learned on that small field of dirt. Some had children of their own who would hear the tales of little league glory.

One day, there weren’t enough children left to play on the small field. So the town decided to get rid of the dirt infield, move the bleachers, tear down the back stop and outfield fence. They planted grass and trees where the dirt had been. They planted trees where bases had been. At the request of some, they left the dugouts. For many who had never seen the little field, it looked more like every other generic park in every other town.

They named it “Central Park” even though it was not central and had nothing to do with New York City. They took waste soil and fashioned a huge, ugly hill where the outfield had been. They even put a sign on that hill naming it after the town administrator who designed the changes. They proposed chess tables, boccia courts, and sites for other sports for sedentary elders. While children from the kids’ camp practiced their archery there every summer, the field was no longer a place for child’s play and competition.

And the townspeople who were new didn’t know the history of this field and how many young people it impacted. They didn’t know that these people, now adults, would drive by it when visiting their childhood home and remember the games, the practices, the fun, the challenges, and the guidance of those hundreds of volunteers who gave their time to show them how to play and how to be generous, kind, helpful and good people.

The new townspeople had forgotten and those running the town let them forget by creating their own fake legacy for the little field by suggesting meaningless names that were an insult to the history of Oxford.

Some of the townspeople didn’t forget. Some of them showed up to remind the people of the town the real history of the little field. They didn’t want the little field given a ridiculous name that had no connection to the town. They wanted it named something like, “Oxford Coaches Field,” or “Oxford Volunteer Park” so that all who saw the name would remember what really happened there. They suggested a remembrance plaque with history and pictures.

They wanted a broad remembrance of all who passed through that field and gave their time and love to a sport, but most important, to countless generations of young people. It wasn’t about one coach, one volunteer, one player. It was about all of them, together, like a team.

They knew that anything less than that would be an insult to the true legacy of Oxford and the little field and would chip away at what Oxford once was and still should be. The history ignored would be history lost.

Oxford Baseball Team

Writer’s Note: It’s important to remember why we name places. It is to honor those who did something special. It’s why we have Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day, etc. While they did not give their lives as our brave soldiers did, the coaches, volunteers and players of Oxford Little League did something special and deserve to have this park named after them.

Photos courtesy of Tom Cottingham, Sarah Mayock

The Greatest “Show” On Earth: Lies, Omissions, Nepotism, Conflict of Interest, and Disdain For Citizens In A Small Town

Jan Greenhawk, Editor/Easton Gazette; Writer, Editor, Radio Free Oxford

When people talk about corruption in government, most of the conversation centers around the Federal and State governments. Occasionally a county will make the news. Rarely do towns of less than 800 residents make the headlines in a negative way.

So it has been with Oxford, a small town on Maryland’s Eastern Shore where I have lived for almost 50 years. If Oxford made the front page of the local news, it was generally for feel good events like Oxford Day or the July 4th Fireworks. The only bad front page news I can remember was the flooding of Isabel. Oxford was never on the front page for corruption.

Boy, how things have changed.

The Town of Oxford is run by an elected group of three commissioners who decide things like budget, hiring, town ordinances, etc. Or at least that is how it is SUPPOSED to be and has been for a very long time. There has been a Town Clerk and Town Manager in place for years. These are hired employees who serve at the will of the Commissioners and are paid by the taxpayers. They are supposed to serve the citizens. They handle scheduling of various maintenance projects, mail out monthly newsletters, handle building permits, send out bills etc. In the last few years, the position of Town Manager has apparently become much more.

As with most bureaucrats, people who take jobs like Town Manager are middle management types. They are not supposed to make decisions about ordinances, hiring, firing, and laws. They are not to act as CEO’s. But, with many people who take these jobs they find a way to worm themselves into a position to do so. They usually do it by becoming indispensable to the elected officials. They take on duties the officials don’t want. They tell officials they are there to “serve” them, not the people, and make the officials’ lives easier.

The officials comply and before you know it, you have a bureaucrat who has their tentacles in everyone, everything.

So it is in Oxford. With a Town Manager that makes nearly the same yearly salary as the Governor of Maryland, this little town has become a fiefdom. During the initial Covid scare, Oxford closed shorelines, outdoor dog parks, and restricted people to wearing masks outside within ten feet of a business. And people dared not play basketball on the town court. That was grounds for arrest. The Town, through the Town Office, used the orders of Governor Hogan as the basis for these actions but took it one step further in how different areas of the town were classified to fit his order.

To be fair, there were many in our wealthy little geriatric town who applauded these actions. They felt safe from those of us who might dare to go outside and breathe fresh air. They were truly scared of Covid.

What these actions revealed in Oxford was a huge problem. While a majority of the population was busy working, raising kids, grandkids etc. small-town tyranny was making inroads through an emboldened town office.

When the town hired a new Town Manager more than a decade ago, I’m not sure the Commissioners at the time knew what they were getting. But, in the time the Town Manager’s office has been known to slow down the work of contractors, fire long time employees without explanation, pry into people’s home improvements under FEMA and flood insurance claims and promote the change of zoning under rather arbitrary circumstances among other actions. Speak out and you might get notified that you can no longer do what you want with your own property. People in town are actually afraid of our Town Office! The Commissioners pay the Town Manager a salary of $168,000 a year, an amount that shocked citizens.

And the Town Manager hired friends and family. More on that later.

Last night, the circus that Oxford has become was well on display. Taken from the playbook of the corrupt D,C, swamp, the Commissioners of Oxford brought out a dog and pony show that would impress a propagandist in any government.

First, there was the effuse praise of the new Chief of Police. I have nothing against the man, but when a town administration has to work so hard to convince citizens that the Commissioner’s actions of “retiring” the previous Chief and hiring the new guy without adequate interviews and job postings was a good thing, there is definitely something wrong. People see it and they know that the Commissioners are blowing smoke up our behinds. Never in the past were the Commissioners so excited about the traffic stops and property checks. They barely mentioned them before. Now the only thing they didn’t do was release balloons and let confetti cascade down from the ceiling.

So, because I think it is important to detail what is going on in Oxford, I’ll divide this article into parts; lied, omissions, nepotism, and conflict of interest.

LIES: Last week I posted on Facebook about our newly hired Chief of Police and how he didn’t seem to have a radio when patrolling. I was immediately accused of lying by one of the current Town Commissioners. Funny, because the post was based on an excellent source. Even more ironic was the fact that the Town Commissioner who accused me of lying told the people of our town when he initially ran that he was not using his as possible election as Commissioner as a steppingstone to higher office. Shortly after, he changed his mind and ran for County Council. He struggled to understand why towns people were angry. He had lied to them, and they didn’t like it.

To top that off, the entire group of Commissioners and the Town Manager colluded to lie about the recent “retirement” of the town Chief of Police of 34 years and how his replacement was recruited. The former Chief of Police had confided in many townspeople in conversation for a long time that he wanted to do six more years in his position. and then retire. Suddenly, the Commissioners announce his retirement without so much as a sentence to explain. Making things worse, based on eyewitnesses, they used Talbot County Sheriff’s Department Deputies in plainclothes to escort him from the Town Office after he was notified. They took his gun and his badge.

To cover their lies after the “retirement,” the Commissioners instituted a non-disclosure agreement that they made the “retiring” Chief sign. They really tried to convince people of their lie. Then, after all the drama at the Town’s Office, they gave the Chief the usual “atta boy” farewell and even offered to recognize him at a town meeting. Few people in town believed the charade.

They said that they had advertised the position of Chief of Police for a few weeks before hiring someone to take his place. Another lie since the new Police Chief was chosen before the previous Chief/s “retirement.” How do I know? If it had been adequately advertised, people would have known about the change in policing prior to the “retirement” of the past Chief. Within two days of the “retirement” I was told by an important county official that I would be “very pleased with his replacement.” Apparently, the new “Chief” had been hired before the current Chief was “retired.” It was a case of deflection and lies that just didn’t pass muster. Faced with the citizens of the town protesting, the Commissioners went into vocal lockdown and sat silently when people asked questions.

There are more lies and deflection. It seems to be a common practice in our little town government.

OMISSION: As a former employee of the local school system, I know that public entities MUST conduct extensive advertisement and interviews before they can hire for public positions. We had always been directed to interview diverse candidates and to advertise extensively in many different ways.

The Oxford Town Commissioners cannot (or will not) supply a list or even a number of candidates interviewed for the position of Chief of Police. When asked, they play dumb. We asked about the diversity of candidates interviewed it’s crickets. The fact is they never advertised, never interviewed anyone and certainly interviewed no diverse candidates.

Omission is a great tactic in a corrupt government. If the people involved want to stonewall and keep things secret, they just don’t answer questions. They hide behind statements like ” it’s a personnel decision” and ” our lawyer has advised us not to answer.”

It is even better if your town has NO POLICIES covering hiring.

One would think that a small town like ours would not require this tactic. But when you fire and hire people on the whim of a town employee or official, omission is critical. Just sit there and avoid answering questions and maybe the citizens will leave you alone.

Then when citizens do ask question, they get shills to come out and call the ones complaining “embarrassing,” a “lynch mob” and accuse them of “medieval tactics.” Yes, it was actually said.

NEPOTISM: Lies and omission lead us to “nepotism.” Nepotism is the act of hiring one’s family members for jobs in your office or business whether they are qualified or not. It’s even better if you can give them a hefty title and salary. Seems a popular thing right now at all levels of government.

Maybe Oxford does have a hiring policy after all, since the Town Manager’s daughter was hired for a position that pays around $85000 a year. Is that the Oxford hiring policy? Family first?

That seems like a conflict of interest.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST: This is one of the most obvious problems in a small town government. Currently, a petition from over 200 residents of the town asked that an amendment be made to the town charter that would provide for elections to replace commissioners who die in office or leave office early. The three current commissioners HATE this idea. An election to replace a commissioner? That’s not how THEY want things done. They prefer that the town commissioners choose someone that they like and agree with. Someone who won’t ask for accountability or transparency.

In a town meeting last month and one on the 9th, it was clear the Commissioners don’t want to address the will of the citizens of this town and put this amendment to a vote. They even went so far as to write on the town website about the amendment and why it was so bad for the town. Talk about bias and self-serving. They will do everything they can to make sure that this amendment will never get the time of day.

It would be one thing if the town website was provided by a political group and was merely a place for political opinion. It’s not. It’s supposed to be informative in nature, not a way to sway opinion. Will their next step be to write about how they support one candidate for Commissioner over others? Nothing would surprise me.

We have an election coming up. So far, I know of three possible candidates. They need to be asked how they will assure transparency in town government and how they will take power away from an out-of-control town office. Voters need to carefully examine candidates, because some of them may merely be decoys.

We also need to know if they focus all of their attention on the Office of Town Commissioner or if they will be split between two elected offices.

Finally, I went to a town meeting Tuesday night. As I watched the three Commissioners, I was reminded of the attitudes of national officials speaking to citizens. The smirking, the visible disdain, the over hyping was thick, poisonous and saccharine all at the same time. Smokescreens and lies were everywhere. They think we don’t see.

We do.

Corruption in Oxford is as bad as that in the State and National Government. It needs to be stopped.

Jan can be reached at jan417@aol.com



Crashing the System With a Trifecta of Redistribution, Division, and Willful Omission

I’m a person who looks for connections between events and actions. I believe that nothing that is happening in our country right now is happening by accident or coincidence.

Sometimes the connections are strained. Too often they mesh so perfectly that it is almost eerie.

I have little or no trust in government at any level in any area. The establishment creates situations and programs they know will destroy the systems. This is how they create crises they will later pretend to solve but will only make worse. This is how they gain and maintain control of the people.

They propagandize by making up a positive sounding name that represents the exact opposite of what the program will do. The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future is a name that fits the bill. Like “Build Back Better” and “Deficit Reduction Plan,” the Blueprint will cause education systems in the state to fail miserably so the State can wrest jurisdiction of schools from the locals and bring them under centralized State control. It’s a Blueprint all right, a blueprint for implosion of Maryland schools and ultimate power in the State’s hands, which is in direct opposition to its name.

I can hear many of you now. ” Hey, this bill was passed under Larry Hogan. He’s a Republican!” First of all, Larry Hogan is not a Republican. Larry isn’t even a RINO. He’s a big government guy along the lines of any Progressive Democrat. Second, he didn’t propose this legislation. Larry actually VETOED this legislation, only to have his veto overridden.

House Overrides Hogan’s Veto of Education Reform Plan, Other Measures – Maryland Matters

Hogan knew what we know. This bill is going to destroy Maryland taxpayers during a time when they are already suffering from inflation and a slowdown in the economy. And while Larry never seemed bothered about killing Maryland small businesses and the bank accounts of taxpayers, he obviously didn’t want to be saddled with this monstrosity as his legacy. And he knew it would do nothing to make education in our state any better.

But that is not what the Blueprint is about, at least not to Progressives in the Legislature. While Maryland Scores on State achievement tests dipped to their lowest levels in decades, the Maryland State Superintendent and Progressives in the legislature used the recent legislative session to bring forth bills that create more state control over what local schools teach, how much gender ideology and sexual content they can cram into the “health” framework and passed laws which permit out of control students to avoid accountability and consequences while destroying schools and attacking other students. They focused on forcing state taxpayers to foot the bill for surgery/treatment that will allow minors to make devastating changes to their bodies and destroy their health now and in the future. All while ignoring the wishes of parents and fulfilling the agendas of the Teachers Union and groups like GLSEN, PFLAG and SIECUS.

As you will read in the above article, it’s somewhat of vindication that some of those who sang the praises of this bill (Prince George’s County) are now screaming to high heaven over what it will do to their budgets.

Local governments are suddenly surprised by what the Blueprint will do to their bottom line. Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott didn’t realize that the Blueprint would add approximately 79 million to the city schools’ budget. He only expected 12 million additional funding. Here’s what he said:

Mayor Scott: Realizing hike in City Schools funding requirement was a ‘gut punch’ | WBFF (foxbaltimore.com)

What were you doing while this was going on Brandon?

In the same article, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks laments the fact that their county can’t afford it either.

Never fear, however, since these two jurisdictions will have Governor Wes Moore’s ear to change the funding formula so that they specifically will not have those increases. The Legislature would have to sign off on that, but with the session ending, that seems unlikely unless some emergency arm twisting occurs.

I’m sure Wes can figure something out.

Other jurisdictions will more than likely have to pick up the slack on any funding formula changes in order to help Baltimore City and PG County, again. There is no discussion of possibly auditing waste and fraud in either district. The taxpayers of Maryland will again have to watch their hard-earned wages stolen to be flushed down the toilet. The Blueprint will be a wealth redistribution plan forcing tax dollars from counties like Talbot and Worcester to support programs in the Blueprint they can’t afford (and don’t need or want), taking away funding from public safety and infrastructure. Jurisdictions like the City and Prince George’s County will get a larger percentage of the State’s funds per student to be spent foolishly and without monitoring. It will be an opportunity cost situation as the state will pay for one county but will take from another. Like I said, redistribution that Marx would have been proud of.

All twenty-four school systems are facing the economic disaster. In our county, a small, Eastern Shore County, the school system allotment will increase by almost $8 million dollars. And again, while the money is devastating, staffing may be worse.

The article neglected to address the fact that both Prince Georges County and Baltimore City are suffering hundreds of professional vacancies in their schools, and the Blueprint demands more additions to staff. These positions will be nearly impossible to fill with qualified, competent teachers. Other counties will face the same problem.

Most counties will not be able to fill the positions required to fulfill the mandates of the pre-K program alone, much less the other “pillars” of this program. The Pre-K program in the Blueprint demands the introduction of three-year-olds into the public school system. In an effort that mirrors the failed decades old “Head Start” program, counties will now be required to provide public education to three-year-old children in approved and especially designed educational settings. While some existing private providers may be able to help with the load, bringing them into the system will require additional staff and facility certifications and upgrades.

There are not enough approved facilities, trained staff etc. in all of Maryland to accomplish this. There isn’t enough money to entice people into these early childhood teaching positions. There are much easier jobs out there and businesses can’t get people to fill them. Now we are going to ask people to get an associate’s degree (at taxpayer expense) and work with small children for slightly above minimum wage. Doubtful that many people will bite. Teaching is a calling, not a jobs program. It’s also not something just anyone can do.

And what kind of people will we get in large numbers especially with every county in the state vying for these people? Will manning the jobs and filling the spaces outweigh background checks and concern for child safety? Will this overwhelming need create an opening for people who are potential abusers? The people who fill these vacancies “warm bodies” or worse. They will do little in the classroom other than take up space and oxygen.

Again, most school systems can’t afford and staff their current Pre-K programs, much less programs that add another age group.

It was estimated in 2020 that this pillar alone will cost the state of Maryland $529 million in state spending annually in 2030. (Maryland Matters) That was in pre-inflation dollars and it doesn’t include local contributions that will bring the state total for this pillar alone closer to a billion dollars.

There are five more pillars in the Blueprint, all together costing the State an additional $4 billion dollars a year by 2030. Local districts will necessarily have to foot at least twenty-five percent of that bill through local taxes.

Again, if you connect the dots between the government’s desire to redistribute wealth and destroy the middle class, you can clearly see what is going on. If the system is “crashed” then Progressives in the Governor’s Office and the Legislature will see this as an opportunity to take over education locally, removing elected Boards and county autonomy.

Add the fact that the current State Department of Education removed recent test scores, blaming it first on their website vendor and then even the Governor’s Office, and you see the free fall happening at lightning speed. They are even going back to remove scores from previous years. It’s so bad the current Superintendent had to run away from questions from FOX 45 reporter Chris Papst, lock himself in his office, and hide.

Maryland Schools Superintendent dodges transparency questions, locks himself behind door | WBFF (foxbaltimore.com)

No one should be surprised. If you were going to hire someone to destroy a state school system, the current Superintendent would be the perfect pick. Inexperienced, hot headed, and thin skinned, he can’t talk to legislators, can’t deal with hard questions, is rude to staff he visits in local school systems, and is determined to have complete, tyrannical control over what is taught locally. His job history is not one of glowing success but rather disruption and disaster. Ask the folks in Texas about that! He clearly does not have the temperament or leadership ability to head Maryland schools.

If the ultimate goal is crashing the state school system, all the right players are on board. We have a new Progressive Governor and administration, an overwhelmingly Progressive Legislature, and an inept Superintendent all in place. Which other administration does that remind you of? I’ll give you a clue, it starts with a “B” and ends in “iden.”

It’s all part of the plan.

Originally published at Eastongazette.com

Choudhury’s Ethics are Running on Empty

It’s Time for the State of Maryland to End Superintendent’s Tenure

Jan Greenhawk, Radio Free Oxford, Editor/Writer

I’m a runner. Not a fast runner, but a runner nonetheless. I’ve run distances all the way from 5K to marathons. I’ve seen some fast runners, but not many were as quick as State School Superintendent Mohammad Choudhury’s dash for his office as he avoided talking to a reporter about recent revelations that state test scores have been removed from the MSDE website. I think he set a new land speed record that test pilots would hold in awe.

When it was revealed last week that MSDE had removed poor scores from the State website, officials claimed that it was to protect the identification of students as the federal government requires. They called it “deidentification” which, by the way, is not a serious or real word. It’s a word out of George Orwell’s novel 1984.

What’s worse is that the whole premise of the removal is an outright lie.

Whistleblower says Maryland’s changes to state test data not about student privacy | WBFF (foxbaltimore.com)

Apparently, someone who works at the Maryland State Department of Education has had enough of Choudhury’s unethical behavior and temper tantrums and let the truth out. The scores were removed to save the Superintendent’s job.

That’s a lot of salvation. Choudhury has not only done a poor job, but he has also been rude to lawmakers, bullied employees, thrown temper tantrums, and attempted a full take over the jurisdiction of local school boards.

People have had enough of Mohammad. School boards wrote letters opposing a bill that would give him more power than any school official in Maryland has ever had. Even the State School Board wrote in opposition to that action. He even flustered Clarence Crawford, the President of the State School Board, who couldn’t support the takeover Choudhury desired. This was days after Crawford had clutched his pearls in one hand while writing a letter in defense of Choudhury with the other.

It is apparent that Maryland currently has a petulant man child in charge of our schools. This week, when Chris Papst of FOX 45 tried to ask Choudhury about the hiding of scores, the Superintendent ran to his office to hide like a scared bunny.

Maryland Schools Superintendent dodges transparency questions, locks himself behind door | WBFF (foxbaltimore.com)

In his wake he left a bewildered Clarence Crawford to pick up the pieces. Clarence had another terrible, very bad day, the second of the Spring.

It’s becoming evident that the Superintendent hired during the Hogan administration is not only over his head but entirely out of his element. When one looks at his job history, it is clear that Choudhury was not at all qualified for the job.

A State Superintendent needs to be a strong leader, someone who will inspire people to make schools better, someone who will promote accountability. Most important, a State Superintendent needs to be honest and ethical. Choudhury is none of those.

It’s time for someone in the current administration and on the State School Board to look at the facts and accept that Maryland made a HUGE mistake in hiring Choudhury. It’s time to cut our losses. Fire Choudhury, have him turn in the keys to his office hideaway, and send him packing.

Jan is a former teacher and current Chapter Chair of Moms for Liberty Talbot

© Janet L. Greenhawk and Radio Free Oxford, 2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janet L. Greenhawk and Radio Free Oxford with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

She can be reached at jan417@aol.com

School Test Scores Disappear from State Website

MSDE and Superintendent Choudhury Redact Student Test Data from Website Like Thieves in the Night

Jan Greenhawk, Editor/Writer Radio Free Oxford

Remember the state testing data? You know, the scores that COULDN’T be posted before the election but COULD be during the legislative session after the election? The data that showed how bad academics are in our state schools?

It used to be posted on the internet in all of its depressing “glory.” County after county, school after school of terrible state test scores. One system, Baltimore City, had 23 schools with NO children proficient in math. NONE.

And then one day it disappeared. In some cases it was replaced with an asterisk. In others, whole columns of data just vanished into thin air as if they had never been there. Why, one standard, proficient, was removed faster than a statue of General Robert E. Lee in New York City.

Was it magic? Divine intervention to save the hapless school systems and MSDE from extreme embarrassment? A giant hack from some secret spy agency? The Russians? The Chinese? Trump? (Just had to throw him in there since Progressives blame him for everything.)

Hardly. MSDE, the one agency that claims it is here “for the kids” has now taken to hiding the dire straits of the Maryland educational system to protect themselves and their dictatorial Superintendent.

It wasn’t long ago when Superintendent Choudhury was running here and there begging state legislators for the power over local jurisdictions and what they taught. Remember his greatest hits like, “Senator, I went over the difference between a curriculum and a framework for three hours with you yesterday’? How about when he threw a huge temper tantrum over counties deciding for themselves whether they would mask their students or not? How about when he drove many MSDE employees out of the agency? The best one was the one where he promised to steal the money of those jurisdictions that didn’t do what he wanted.

Now, in a cheap imitation of the Hamburgler* (mask and all), he has removed all negative test data for subgroups from the MSDE website. And not just this year’s data, but data from previous years. In fact, MSDE has defended this year’s redaction of data and made a promise to remove tons of test data from previous years. Wouldn’t want to show how LONG schools have failed.

From FOX 45:

Nothing but a cover up’: State removes student test scores, hides data from public | WBFF (foxbaltimore.com)

Maryland further redacts years of school test results using ‘Enhanced Deidentification’ | WBFF (foxbaltimore.com)

I was a Local Accountability Coordinator for a part of my career in the public schools. That job not only involved the administration of state tests but also the reporting of test data to the public. In that position, if I had removed or fudged data, I would not only have been fired but I would have been prosecuted and jailed.

But it seems MSDE and Superintendent Choudhury can remove this data whenever it suits them. These are the same people who wouldn’t even PUBLISH the data before the election. Now they just want to erase it, much like they would love to erase the rights of local citizens to control the education systems in their counties.

They give, as their reason, that it is to “protect the identity of students.” Forgive me if I am being silly, but I don’t see how posting percentages of groups of students at certain proficiency levels identifies them. It’s always been that data of any student subgroup with fewer than five participants would not be published. But this Superintendent and his merry band of thieves have changed that. Now it’s any subgroup of lower than THIRTY. What will it be next year? 50? 100? All of them?

Anytime the State tells you something is “incorrect” and “misleading” you know that it is correct and on target.

MSDE claims this is a federal government suggestion. They say this is “corrective action.” But even the federal government doesn’t dictate what a viable, permissible sample size is. They suggest that three to five students would be a sampling too small. And let’s face it, it’s not about correcting anything, it’s about hiding something.

Data De-identification: An Overview of Basic Terms (ed.gov)

The argument of protecting student privacy is bogus anyway. In meeting after meeting, locally and statewide, percentages of student subgroups are given in every category, free and reduced meals, special education services, graduation rates discipline and every other category possible. No one seems one bit concerned about student privacy. In fact, they seem driven to identify certain ethnic and socio-economic groups that ARE not meeting standards in order to beg for more money.

But test scores are different. At least they are now. MSDE and the State Superintendent realize that testing data is letting out their dirty BIG secret. They are failing the children of our state miserably.

Remember, they really didn’t want to release these scores anyway.

Why Maryland State Educators Are Not Sharing Test Scores – Radio Free Oxford

They gave us so many excuses in November; standard setting, item testing, etc. We know what the real reason was, to protect those who have permitted this educational debacle in the first place.

Now that they have released them and shown how bad they are, they want to do their version of rewriting history and just remove the data altogether. The blowback has been too much. It exceeds even their need to fund raise off their own failure.

As it was stated in the FOX 45 video, the state calls this an attempt at “deidentification” of individual students. Here’s how it is described by a professor from University of Maryland;

“It’s just that that sounds like something out of a Stanley Kubrick movie,” said Lucy Dalglish, Dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland.

Dalglish described the term as “ludicrous.” (FOX 45)

However, it appears that the principle of deidentification” only applies to schools that are unsuccessful. Successful schools can have their subgroup students identified. There’s no “deidentification” for them.

Folks, they think you are stupid. They are working hard to make your children stupid. When government agencies do unethical things like removing data, they are making a statement to YOU, the parents and the community. That statement is, “We are hiding important information because we don’t want you to see what a failure we are. We don’t want you to see how we are miseducating your children!”

It reminds me of so many actions taken by government agencies lately. Incorrect Covid numbers, hiding vaccination injuries and death, lying about the economic situation of our country.

Like burglars in the night, Choudhury and his crew at MSDE are not only hiding test data, they are stealing the future of our children.

*The Hamburglar is a McDonald’s character who disappeared but is now coming back. Here he is. Note the resemblance. But he’s only stealing hamburgers.

Jan is a retired teacher and a current Chapter Chair for Moms for Liberty, Talbot

© Janet L. Greenhawk and Radio Free Oxford, 2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janet L. Greenhawk and Radio Free Oxford with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

She can be reached at jan417@aol.com

Dylan Mulvaney is Dangerous to Young Women

How His Offensive Ad for Nike is Destroying Our Girls

Jan Greenhawk, Editor/Writer Radio Free Oxford

By now many people have seen Bud Lite’s disastrous advertising campaign in which a man puts on “woman face” and performs a “minstrel” act that is as offensive as any White person in Black face during Vaudeville. He minces and prances, speaks in a hushed voice meant to mimic a teenaged girl, and talks about the great time he has with his “girlhood” and “girlfriends “at slumber parties, etc. First of all, no adult woman talks like this. Heck, even most teenage girls don’t talk like this.

It’s not only offensive, but it is promoting an age-old stereotype of women being silly, vacuous, stupid creatures who only care about their lipstick, hair and fingernails. As many women are pointing out, it is setting women’s rights back decades.

On top of that is something worse about this horrible human being. If you haven’t seen this Nike ad yet, be prepared to be even more disgusted. The Nike ad begins at 1:44 in this video which begins with Dylan’s Bud Light ad.

Dylan Mulvaney ads for Bud Light and Nike (dailycommercials.com)

If you can stomach the whole thing, you are a much stronger person than I am. Watching this deranged, pathetic person pretend to be a “woman” makes me sick to my stomach.

Beyond that is something even more revolting.

As a gymnastics professional coach, judge, and national officer in my past, I remember the horrible fight we had in our sport against eating disorders in the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s. Young women were told that in order to be a successful gymnast, they had to maintain a certain body type. It wasn’t a strong, muscular, shapely body but a boyish, breastless, skinny body type. See any similarities to what Nike has just thrown out there in their ad?

For these athletes, puberty was the enemy. Many of them had coaches who carefully monitored their food and workouts to make sure they didn’t begin their menstrual cycle for that would be the end of the boyish figure and their gymnastics success. There were weigh ins daily. Ask any athlete who competed for the Russians, Romanians or, here in the United States, the Karolyis and several other coaches.

Many developed eating disorders like anorexia and bulemia. Some died. Christy Henrich was one of them.

Disorder Consumed Her Life : Gymnastics: Former elite athlete Christy Henrich gave in to fatal disease that destroyed her. – Los Angeles Times (latimes.com)

Christy was an international competitor who was told that if she was a few pounds lighter she would be a World Champion. She was told that her weight was keeping her from winning. So, like any dedicated, driven athlete, she tried to achieve the same skinny body type as the one Nike is now hyping with the Mulvaney ad by not eating and endlessly working out. In the end it killed her.

The gymnastics community worked hard to fight the stereotype of the acceptable, boy like body type their athletes were encouraged to have. Athletes like Dominique Dawes, Jamie Danstcher, Simone Biles and Ali Raisman were just a few who presented a healthier, more womanly body as they competed. They were all very successful. Suddenly, skinny and rail thin was NOT the standard for winning in gymnastics. Healthy was in.

Unfortunately, USA Gymnastics allowed other abuse of these athletes at the hands of a team doctor. But one even wonders if the eating disorders and abuse were somehow connected. Was the desire to win and be perfect the factor that caused athletes to accept things they shouldn’t have accepted? Were they convinced by an evil man that his “treatment” was just fine? I think they were. He was a master manipulator whose campaign convinced these girls he could help them win and that what he did wasn’t wrong.

Now, in 2023, Nike puts this image of “girlhood” out in an ad. This skinny, prancing, disgusting imitation of a woman working out is setting a new low standard of subliminal influence over women. It is making women hate their bodies all over again. It’s the same kind of manipulation that Dr. Larry Nassar used.

The stakes are even higher and more devastating now. Not eating enough and exercising yourself to death is a horrible fate. Nothing rivals being sexually molested by a trusted doctor. Now as girls try to imitate Dylan in his Nike sports bra and tights, there is an “easier” if not more consequential method to gain the body image they think they want. The medical and mental health establishment are out there pushing it while big corporations promote it.

We have hormone blockers to keep puberty from coming. We have cross hormone therapy. * And, of course, we have surgery to remove breasts to create the wraith like physique. All of this is dangerous in so many ways and the long-term effects of these treatments on quality of life, fertility, etc. are horrific.

Young teenaged girls will be subjected to drug and surgery sales pitches that rival the most accomplished snake oil salesman. “If we keep you from developing now, you will never have to worry about any of the horrors of being a woman later.” Many will succumb, many will live in lifelong regret.

23-year-old woman to Tucker: I regret transitioning as a teen – Bing video

As the woman in the interview says, girls are “incentivized” to get this treatment. She speaks about “gender dysphoria” and eating disorders. It sounds so much like the body dysmorphia that female athletes in many sports had.

And now Nike, who gives lip service to accepting female bodies of all types, puts out this ad campaign that will set the image and the psychology of women back decades. It’s much the same way that male athletes competing as females have set women’s sports back to pre-Title IX days.

And women will die because of it. They will die of eating disorders. They will commit suicide when they discover what they have done to themselves after surgery and hormone treatments. Nike and Dylan, among others, will be culpable.

Let’s not forget one more thing. Remember that USA Gymnastics had a doctor who was sexually assaulting young female athletes? Many pedophiles prefer young children because of their gender-neutral bodies. Some will molest a young victim until that victim goes through puberty, and then will move on to another victim. Post puberty bodies are NOT what pedophiles desire.

Now, as this ad from Nike promotes a young boy like body as the ultimate female body, the pedophiles must be salivating. As young women watch this ad, they are now subject to body dysmorphia, gender dysphoria, and eating disorders. When they find a way to get that body, they will make themselves more physically attractive to pedophiles and other sexual predators while being more vulnerable mentally. Fertile ground for repeated abuse.

Maybe that’s the point.

Has Nike thought this through carefully? As they negatively impact women with this fraudulent representation of “feminine beauty,” they will get young girls attacked by predators. Even worse, they will get them killed. Are getting high ESG (environmental, social, and governance) scores are more important to them than human lives?

I hope it isn’t. But, if it is, and women are harmed or even die from this nonsense, I hope the victims sue both Nike and their womanface minstrel, Dylan Mulvaney.

Women deserve better than this.

One more question. Has anyone seen women acting like men advertising any products? Hmmmm….Nope. Think about it.

* treatment that allows for trans people to ​change their physical appearance to be more consistent with their gender identity. In this treatment, they receive hormones that may aid in redistributing body fat to different parts of the body and accelerate or slow body hair growth.

Jan is a retired teacher and a current Chapter Chair for Moms for Liberty, Talbot

© Janet L. Greenhawk and Radio Free Oxford, 2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janet L. Greenhawk and Radio Free Oxford with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

“The Level of Service Will Not be the Same”

Oxford Police Coverage Moves from 24/7 to Banker’s Hours

by Jan Greenhawk, Editor/Writer Radio Free Oxford

Unnamed officials made the comment in the title a couple of weeks ago when asked about police coverage in our small town. And they didn’t mean that service would be better. Far from it.

On April 11th, the Town Commissioners swore in a Police Chief who will live 45 minutes away, who has implied he will maintain bankers’ hours, and who speaks about the love for his current hometown while seemingly feeling little for the town he will be tasked to serve and protect other than the value of his paycheck. * (Editor’s Note: To be fair, the new Chief stated tonight at his swearing in that he told his wife to expect some long hours and weekends at his new job. He also was very appreciative of the opportunity.)

But, hey, if disaster happens, the State Police and the Sheriff’s Department are on call and if they can tear themselves away from duties in other areas, will be here as soon as they can. And the new chief said he would “work really hard.”

Maybe we shouldn’t expect anything more than that. Maybe our town doesn’t deserve more than that. Maybe this new chief is perfect for this town, a good guy who will patrol the town on his bike and make sure things look fine. He’ll do this for eight hours a day.

Maybe we shouldn’t expect more. We could say that if we hadn’t provided for a home for a police chief and his family to live in as part of his hiring. We could say that if the salary wasn’t great. But, neither of those things are true.

We could say that if the town had adequately advertised the position and interviewed many different candidates. But they didn’t. How do we know? We know because we asked and the Commissioners wouldn’t answer. They just sat there staring off into space. Confidentiality, don’t you know. Had to ask their lawyer if they could answer that.

A citizen at the last meeting asked why the offering of a home to live in was not part of the posting for the Chief’s job. The town manager said it was “an oversight.”**Seems strange if you were actually interested in attracting a Police Chief who would want to live here and make Oxford his/her home. That kind of oversight indicates that the town wanted to someone they already had in mind. Someone they KNEW wouldn’t want to come live here. It’s an odd hiring strategy given today’s emphasis on hiring ethics, diversity, and equal opportunity. **When this question was asked again by the same citizen at the town meeting this evening, the town manager said they just hadn’t gotten around to changing the ad yet. Things must be REALLY busy in this little town of 650 residents. It’s almost as if they are hoping that another employee, a current employee, wants to live in that house. We wonder who.

But our town doesn’t have a hiring policy. This should have been clear to us years ago when the town manager, who makes $168,000 a year, hired her daughter to be the town “planner” at $86,000 a year. No public entity with any ethics at all allows that to happen. It’s a conflict of interest that is undeniable. In most towns, the hiring policy would have kept that from happening. But it happened here and no one cared.

I’ve been told that it’s because we don’t have a human resources department. Weird because the Town Manager has told others that she IS the human resources department.

Tonight, we will swear in a Chief of Police hired under murky circumstances to provide a level of service well below what we have had for decades. Officials admit it and shrug their shoulders as if to say, “tough luck you all.”

We are going to go from a man who cared about this town, lived here full time, knew residents by name, knew our history; to one who will clock out after his shift each day and go to his real home, the one he cares about.

I don’t blame the guy. He’s retired from another department and was offered what was sold to him as a cushy job that would require little of him except an 8-hour day and an occasional breaking and entering call, a noise complaint, or some drunken high jinks at a local bar. It’s a dream job. But it’s not his passion. His heart is elsewhere.

In all my time living here, we have never had a part time chief. That was a wonderful part of Oxford, having a resident who cared about us in charge of law enforcement. None of our Chiefs were perfect, even the most recent one. But we always knew they were there for us if we needed them. They lived where we lived and suffered through hurricanes and high tides with us. They knew our names and who we were. We had their numbers on speed dial or at least knew where they lived.

But now, because of petty town politics and the lack of proper hiring policies and processes, we won’t have that.

Maybe this is impossible in this day and age. But it doesn’t seem that our Town Manager and Commissioners even TRIED to get us the best fit for Oxford. They got quick and easy.

To those who want to defend this, save your breath. Don’t start with the name calling or the claim that townspeople attending a town meeting are committing an insurrection or a lynching. That kind of hyperbole might work in some courtrooms or political venues, but not here.

And, at tonight’s town meeting there will be plenty of praise, hard sales talk, and distraction, anything to pretend that everything is okay. Anything to get us to shut up and go away.

Problem is you can’t defend something that is wrong in so many ways.

And we know that.

Without involvement in local government, we cannot make our country great again!

Jan is a retired teacher and a current Chapter Chair for Moms for Liberty, Talbot

© Janet L. Greenhawk and Radio Free Oxford, 2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janet L. Greenhawk and Radio Free Oxford with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

*This is my interpretation of what the new Chief has said in previous town meetings. When most of his comments are about why he doesn’t want to leave his current town, it doesn’t lead me to believe he embraces this town as “his.” He may be a great guy, a great cop, and someone we would love to have as an officer in this town. But he was hired to be the CHIEF of OXFORD POLICE. That’s more than a part time job and a passing career stop.

I have stated that I have nothing against this man. I know friends of his who think he is great. I don’t blame him for loving his hometown where he and his family live. That is NOT the point. The point is that this is not the way this should have been done and it doesn’t be meet the needs of this town.

A Story of Persecution in Our Time

How Current History Starkly Mirrors the Past

Jan Greenhawk, Editor/Writer Radio Free Oxford

Since it’s Easter Christians around the world will be celebrating the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. Although Christmas is a more celebrated and commercial holiday, Easter is the most important in the Christian calendar as the core of the day is the foundation for Christianity, sacrifice, resurrection, and forgiveness. The events of two thousand years ago shaped our modern world.

I believe we are at a time in our history that may not be as important but nearly so. Please don’t interpret what I am about to write as a comparison between anyone now to Christ, I am not. What I am comparing is how a series of events occurred then and now.

When Christ was roaming the Holy Land teaching and performing miracles, the people knew He was special, that he was their savior. As he gathered his apostles, those in power, the Pharisees noticed and were not happy. The Pharisees were businessmen and leaders in the Synagogue. They were collaborators with the Romans. They knew that if he prevailed, they would lose their land, their money and their power.

On Palm Sunday, Jesus arrived in Jerusalem riding a donkey and crowds followed and praised him, “Hosanna, Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.” (John 12:13)

That really pushed the Pharisees and church elders over the edge.

So, they plotted against him. They wanted to sacrifice him for their own gain. They were the ones who got people to pressure Pilate to prosecute Jesus. They made up the “crimes.” They were the ones who ginned up the crowd to choose to save Barrabus, a career criminal who had attempted to overthrow the Roman Government, over Jesus, thus condemning Jesus to death by crucifixion.

Of course, Jesus knew this would happen. He knew it had to happen. He didn’t fight it. He didn’t want it to happen, but he allowed it to happen. He knew he wasn’t guilty of doing anything wrong.

Do any of the facts sound familiar? People in power being upset that their corruption would be exposed? Operatives in a crowd getting people to revolt? A man being unjustly persecuted? Don’t get in a twist, I’m not saying anything about the current people involved, just the actions. Even if you are not Christian and don’t believe in Christ, the story is a compelling one in light of today’s events.

We know the rest of the story. Jesus carries his cross to Calvary, is crucified, and dies.

Aside from the operatives in the crowd in front of Pilate, there are so many parallels to current events.

In our country, we have the Pharisees in charge. In our current administration, the Senate, the House, many state houses and even some local governments, we have people who have a good thing going for them and don’t want it to end. They have made millions off of “public service” and are not willing to let that go. They are collaborators with the Chinese, the Russians, the WEF, etc. If someone, anyone, comes in to threaten that, they fight back fiercely.

And now Donald Trump has been indicted for a ridiculous, non-existent charge.

It’s so bad that we have an long time elected official, Nancy Pelosi, declaring that an indicted individual, President Donald Trump, can “prove his innocence.” Apparently Nancy has forgotten that whole Constitutional thing of “innocent until proven guilty.”

Pelosi ripped for tweet saying Trump can ‘prove innocence’ at trial – Washington Times

In her mind and minds of other compromised Progressives, that means they can use the Department of Justice to unfairly prosecute parents at school board meetings, certain protesters, meme makers online, and even former Presidents. Locally, if that means creating fake charges to indict people on, they will do it. Heck, they will even illegally indict a former President and current candidate for 2024.

At the ground level, the message to crazed Progressive activists is that everyone is fair game. The rules of law and decency no longer apply. Therefore, they can harass, cancel and silence people they disagree with on social media, in the workplace, in the public square, and in government. Sick transgender individuals even feel empowered to shoot 6 people at a Christian school in Tennessee. That murderer was killed, However, the rest of the crazy activists know that unlike the rest of us, they won’t be condemned or prosecuted for their actions, but actually given condolences:

White House says ‘trans community’ is ‘under attack’ after Nashville shooting | Fox News

And they’re given their own national holiday. They know the administration doesn’t care about dead Christians, even children. In fact, they imply that the victims had it coming.

Biden marks International Transgender Day of Visibility by blasting Republicans targeting trans youth | CNN Politics

This during the week when a crazed transgender person killed 6 people. This on the week of Palm Sunday, one of the most holy days in Christianity. Biden and his feckless Progressive masters totally ignored Palm Sunday in their pandering comments. It’s a Christian holy day after all. And they hate Christians.

The trans activists and their sick allies even condone killing more people:

Ariz. governor’s aide resigns after tweeting meme of guns threatening “transphobes” (msn.com)

At a personal level, I had an online attack from a local person who didn’t like my post regarding a medical form I had to fill out for a relative. I stated that I thought it was crazy that because of the transgender insanity, I had to fill in four questions about my relative’s gender and one about his sexuality. (I had to state his gender at birth, what his gender was now, which gender he identified as and which pronouns he used.)

The local person trolled me repeatedly on and off Facebook, even under a different name and profile. I kept the evidence and called local authorities.

Mild, I know, but I think a good example of how people suddenly feel empowered to attack everyday citizens who disagree with their sick ideology in so many areas.

It’s all persecution. Sadly, as these Marxist cultists gain more power. It will get worse. Marxism/Communism is the new religion, the new dogma.

This is a great podcast from James Lindsay on why things are the way they are: (hang in there, it’s a long podcast and it is mind blowing) You can find James’ work at newdiscourses.com. He has so many great podcasts there and articles!

I started out talking about a story of persecution and comparing our current situation to what happened to Jesus when he was murdered. Again, not calling any of the victims “Jesus” but talking about what is happening, events, actions. etc.

This persecution is startling in its similarity. It’s frightening. To what extent will leftist Marxists go to shut us up? How will they keep dividing people and activating the unhinged to promote and commit violence against us. It seems they keep upping the ante time after time. These are dark times.

But let’s not forget one thing. When Jesus was persecuted and killed, he rose from the dead in three days and through his apostles, spread His word and Christianity to millions of people across the world.

He had to die to create something new. Let’s hope none of us have to die for things to change. But maybe the thing that has to die is our willingness to go along with things we know are not right. Maybe the thing that has to die is our reliance on acceptance by everyone to validate ourselves. Maybe the thing that has to die is our silence. Maybe the thing that has to die is our belief that our government is to be believed and trusted no matter what. And maybe the thing that has to die is our reluctance to be active citizens in our town, counties, states and country. We have to kill that desire to let someone else do it and step up and do it ourselves. Just hoping they will leave us alone will no longer work.

If those things die in us, what will be reborn is citizen participation to an extent we haven’t seen since 1776. It will be a resurrection and a rebirth of truth and liberty.

The time is now. Just like it was thousands of years ago.

Have a blessed Easter Sunday and never forget what Easter is truly about!

Jan is a retired teacher and a current Chapter Chair for Moms for Liberty, Talbot

© Janet L. Greenhawk and Radio Free Oxford, 2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janet L. Greenhawk and Radio Free Oxford with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

A beautiful piece from Kyms Kitchen:


“He received 39 stripes because 40 was known to kill a man. They wanted him alive. They held handfuls of his beard, and hair and pulled it out by the roots. They wanted him alive. They kicked, punched, and spit on him for hours. Until there wasn’t a single spot on his body not covered in blood. They wanted him alive. They shoved a crown of thorns down on his head so harshly it stuck in his skin. They wanted him alive. After hours of being beaten, mocked, whipped, flogged, and tortured they made him walk with a cross. They made him carry it. A rough piece of wood with splinters digging into fresh wounds. They wanted him alive. They wanted him to feel every ounce of pain they could bring. He had to feel it in order to heal us. Crucifixion was historically one of the cruelest most tortured deaths a human could face. Hours upon hours of torture. Torture most of us can not mentally think of because the cruelty isn’t normal. It isn’t something our minds can comprehend. We celebrate Easter with pastel colors, happy children hunting eggs, and chocolate. Truth is there was absolutely nothing happy about the day Jesus died. It was cruel, bloody, and nasty.
He could have stopped all of it. He could have called every angel in heaven to demolish every person standing and shouting “Crucify Him!” He didn’t. He knew in order to have a Sunday you have to have a Friday. He knew in order to have joy you have to carry your cross. He felt everything that day. He felt how your heart broke wide open when you had to watch your baby die. He felt how heavy your life was when you were staring down the barrel of a gun wondering if the man you called husband was going to shoot you. He carried the weight of the burden you have felt since your spouse died and life just doesn’t seem right since. On that cross he held the rapist and murderers, the sinner and the saint. He leveled every playing field and said ALL of you are worth it. He knew he had to carry the cross. He never promised the cross you carry in this life would not be heavy. His wasn’t. His promise is that Sunday is coming.
No matter how heavy Friday is. Financially, emotionally, mentally, or physically. Friday is heavy. That cross is weighing you down and you are about to crumble under its weight. His promise was simply this. He won’t make you carry it alone. What kind of king would step down from his throne for this?
Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God did. For you.
He did every bit of it for you and me. Oh yes it is heavy. So heavy sometimes you do not think you can take one more step. But look up, because Sunday is coming.”

Fighting Back in a Small Town

An Uprising Against the Establishment in a Little Town is a Good Sign for This Country.

by Jan Greenhawk, Editor/writer for Radio Free Oxford

I never thought it would happen.

I never thought the little town I live in; a little quaint town on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, a town that appears to be more blue than red, the town that seemed quite content to allow its government to control all that goes on within its boundaries, the town where many of us don’t have problems with crime or poverty, would be the birthplace of a citizen’s movement to wrest control back from those who would be autocrats.

It was the sudden “retirement” of a police chief who had expressed desire to stay on the job for at least six more years and the resulting town uproar that started the revolution.

It upset many of us who had been “asleep” for a long time. Yes, we might have wondered why during Covid our shoreline became a “beach” that was closed and why an outdoor dog park would be locked because it was a “park”. We questioned the authority of a paid employee to create restrictions for the population.

But with this event, people in our town realized that things weren’t right. Public information that should be readily accessible was not. Elected commissioners who should have been responsive and transparent in their work, were not. Job postings and interviews for positions that should have followed public policy and law did not.

People started asking questions. How did this happen? Who was really in charge? What were the qualifications of people running the town? Why were family members of current employees given high paying jobs?

What were the salaries of these small-town employees? $168,000 for a town manager of a town of approximately 650 full time residents? $86,000 for a “town planner” of such a small town? Why were other employees being paid so much less for comparable duties?

All those doubts and questions came to light in a meeting of approximately 300 citizens on a Tuesday night. People spoke. Some were loud, some were quiet. Some were animated, some were subdued. Everyone who spoke agreed that the town needed to be more transparent and responsive. “You work for us! You need to listen, be accountable and transparent.”

They didn’t like that. They had their lawyer run interference for them. One commissioner ran after people after the meeting shaking his finger at them and shouting, “Didn’t work, didn’t work, didn’t work” in reference to an imagined coup.

After that meeting, they thought we would go away. We didn’t.

At the next town meeting it was much calmer. Two commissioners read their comments about the previous meeting. We found out that some information about town practices was being posted online now. We heard about how they would do better. We were invited to be on an “ad hoc” citizen committee regarding hiring practices. We heard a tribute to the retired Chief of Police and a glowing biography of his replacement, who was apparently hired prior to the retirement of the former chief.

Then we heard a tribute to the current Town Manager who in her eleven-year tenure has supposedly saved this town from flood, famine and destruction via federal and state grants. After it was read, many of us wondered if we would be erecting a bronze monument to her in the Town Park.

No one applauded.

There was public comment. I participated and thanked the Commissioners for improving their transparency but wondered why it had taken such an event to provoke it. I also thanked them because the sudden retiring of our Chief led many of us who had been asleep for so many years to wake up and pay attention. I told them we could continue to follow what they did.

Others spoke about audits, services, etc.

Then a well-respected elderly statesman who is a longtime public official got up and spoke. I learned a lot from his speech. I learned that he was “embarrassed” by actions of people during the first meeting. Then he told everyone that if we wanted to complain about the commissioners, we needed to know they get paid $3000 a year and we should be thankful for them. And, if we didn’t like what they did, we should run.

He’s right in one respect. We should run.

But he was wrong in so many ways.

He was embarrassed by free speech. A man who is a lifetime Democrat, citizen of this country, and someone who has done quite well for himself, wants us to forget that free speech and citizen participation in government is what this country was built on. Thank God our founding fathers were loud, passionate men who called out our British leaders with free speech. Thank God they didn’t cower in the corner and beg to know the truth. They demanded it. Sometimes they were rude and aggressive.

The idea that he was “embarrassed” didn’t condemn us who spoke but showed him to be a man who wants to stifle our thoughts and ideas, place them in a neat bag of supplication before our elite rulers and couch them in words that plead and beg for them to listen. In short, ” How dare you. Sit down, shut up, and take it.”

His insinuation that these Commissioners should be excused for their actions because they don’t get paid much was ludicrous. No one put a gun to their heads and forced them to run. They ran on their own accord. Some of them vigorously campaigned for the position! One even came to my home to beg for my vote! They knew what the job was and what it paid when they ran. And they knew they should be held accountable and now they didn’t want to be.

As I said, he was right that we should run for office. But even that comment was not fully correct. This idea that if we don’t like the job an elected official is doing that we should be quiet unless we want to run. That’s a lot of offices and a lot of campaigning. There is NOTHING in our Constitution that says, “Only those who run for or gain office can criticize leaders.”

In his quest to silence the protest, he actually inspired people to keep going.

There was a third town meeting two weeks later. It started out quietly. The Commissioners introduced our new police chief who explained how he would be living 45 minutes away from our town but the State Police and Sheriff’s Office would pick up the slack when he went home at night. He told of his love for his hometown and how hard it would have been for him to move. He told us how he didn’t want to give up his participation in events in HIS town. He never spoke about OUR town and why he wanted to protect us. He was obviously someone who didn’t understand that this town which had a Chief who lived among us for over 30 years didn’t want a part timer.

The Commissioners and the Town Manager presented distraction after distraction. A new, unnecessary bike path from our town to a town eight miles away, a group of students coming to do a survey of what our town would look like in 2100 (when we will all probably be dead and gone), the fact that the grass in the town park was not going to be mowed until after the Easter Egg Hunt so the eggs could be hidden. Normal small-town minutiae clearly designed to take people off track. Motion after motion on town business were proposed and passed with barely a second of discussion.

After this, people read letters. One asked how we could participate more in the various commissions in town. Another suggested that the hiring of a new chief should be delayed until the hiring process could be followed correctly.

After being singled out by the President of Commissioners in a move that he obviously thought would be a challenge to me, I asked how many applicants had been interviewed for the position of Chief of Police. I described how I was told that the NEW chief had been appointed two days after the surprise retirement of the current chief. That was a quick posting and some super-fast interviews!

The downturn in the atmosphere occurred quickly after that when the President of the Commissioners decided he had had enough of this citizen participation nonsense. He started making nasty, snarky comments to people. The meeting turned into a display of his condescension, disgust and disregard of citizens. It was so bad one community member pointed it out in her public comment and chided the President of the Commissioners for it. He did not apologize. In fact, he was openly rude to HER. (By the way, I wonder if the elderly statesman would be embarrassed by that?)

We were still speaking out and they didn’t like it.

You see, the Town Commissioners, the town manager, and the town lawyer miscalculated the situation. They were used to sheep being at their meetings and lions showed up. They forgot that holding officials accountable and speaking up is what this country is about. They didn’t realize that we were now awake, and we didn’t want to go back to sleep and let them rule us. They thought they would have an easy route to do what they wanted. They didn’t see that we are now going to question everything they do.

It’s a part of what is happening across the country at the National, State and now local level. People have had enough of being ignored by public officials who are elected and paid by OUR TAX DOLLARS. People are tired of being told ” How dare you. Sit down, shut up and take it. ” It’s a grass roots movement that will not stop.

And this is just the beginning. Don’t like it? Embarrassed? Oh well. You can go take a nap.

Side note: I have nothing against the man who has been “hired’ to be our Chief of Police. I think he was promised an easy job of riding his bike through town, waving at the townspeople, and going home to his family and hometown at four each day. I think he was looking for a nice, comfy job to hold in his retirement. The Commissioners and town manager misled him. He should be a bit angry about that.

Jan can be reached at jan417@radiofreeoxford.com

Jan is a retired teacher and a current Chapter Chair for Moms for Liberty, Talbot

© Janet L. Greenhawk and Radio Free Oxford, 2023. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Janet L. Greenhawk and Radio Free Oxford with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.