Beyond Tea-Party Somnambulism!

Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

Harris Has Let The Eastern Shore Down…Again!

We have all heard Rep. Andy Harris recite how much he cares about the people on the Eastern Shore.  Harris is from Baltimore County, but a large part of his Congressional District is on this side of “the Bridge.” (See http://harris.house.gov/)

Harris defeated Kratovil with support by Koch brothers and Club for Growth

Harris defeated Kratovil with support by Koch brothers and Club for Growth

With huge out-of-state support, by right-wing extremists, Harris was able to defeat Frank Kratovil and Wayne Gilchrest, representatives who lived and worked here on the Delmarva Peninsula, and who represented our best interests.  On the other hand, we now have a representative who is from Baltimore and contrary to his rhetoric, cares little for Eastern Shore people or the Bay.

You don’t need to take my word for it; let’s look at his record.  While in the Maryland State Senate, Harris had one of the worst environmental records, and his lack of interest in helping to save our greatest natural resource, the Chesapeake Bay, was well-known.

His position hasn’t changed.  In fact, if Harris gets his way, instead of wind turbines off the shore of Ocean City, there will be oil rigs.

Oil Rig On Fire In Gulf. Is Ocean City Next?

Oil Rig On Fire In Gulf. Is Ocean City Next?

Yes, just as in the Gulf of Mexico, we will be creating an environmental disaster, just waiting to happen.  Can we imagine the devastation even a small spill would cause to the beaches and resort areas along Maryland and Delaware shores?  Such a catastrophe will make Hurricane Sandy seem like a non-event.

Speaking of Hurricane Sandy, which he referred to as an “historic storm”, what was Harris’ response to the record flooding and damages in Crisfield, Smith Island, Marion, Fairmount, Deal Island, Ocean Pines and Princess Anne? He, again, turned aside the interests of the Eastern Shore, and instead, voted “No” on the Sandy Relief bill. Even worse, he voted on a doomed bill that would provide $17 billion in aid, but only if it was offset by cuts elsewhere, something that had never been required in catastrophic emergencies like this. He knew it wouldn’t pass, but he and his Tea Party allies pointed to it, saying, “We tried!”

Farmers here on the Eastern Shore, also found out the truth about Harris, when he voted “No” on the extension of the Farm Bill (actually, the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012), even though it had come out of the GOP-led Agriculture Committee.

Harris cons 1st Dist Farmers, while voting 'NO' on Farm Bill

Harris cons 1st Dist Farmers, while voting ‘NO’ on Farm Bill 

Harris cons Women while voting 'NO' on VAWA

Harris cons Women while voting ‘NO’ on VAWA

Women, too, were brushed aside by his “No” vote on the Violence Against Women Act. Even though VAWA has been proven beneficial and effective, reducing violence by 50% – 67%, since its passage in 1994. What was Harris’ excuse for his “No” vote?  He released statement said, the bill didn’t contain a “conscience provision” for “religious organizations that want to help prostitutes but don’t want to tell them about abortion.“  So, instead, he is content with 1,200 women killed and 2 million injured, in domestic violence, annually.  According to the CDC, 25% of all US women are subjects of some domestic abuse.

As I said, the record speaks for itself. Of course, I don’t have room to report all of Harris’ “No” votes, from education to jobs, Medicare to veteran benefits. Stay tuned, because I will be exposing Harris’ record from now until 2014, showing why he is no friend of the Eastern Shore or America.  We deserve better than a puppet to out-of-state puppet masters, interested more in profits than people.  Shouldn’t it be People Over Politics? That’s what I was taught, anyway!

 

Nothing Back for Our Tax Dollars?? Au Contraire!

I know it should be obvious, but so many people STILL don’t understand the benefits we derive from paying our fair share of taxes.  A senior sent a letter to the Daily Times, where he complained about the “tax and spend Democrats” and finally declaring, “we have not gotten much return from our spending.”  I beg to differ; and although we know all the programs that the government runs, we sometimes forget, ourselves.  Here is just a tiny sampling, in my response to this gentleman’s letter:

To the 70-year old Grapevine writer, who says, “we have not gotten much return from our spending”, I must ask: Do you receive Medicare, Social Security, or Medicaid benefits? Has our military kept us safe from foreign attack? How about the men and women at the FBI & CIA: have they stopped terrorists from blowing up another skyscraper? At your advanced age, I guess you don’t think about what it costs to send a child to college, and how important financial aid is these days. Have you thought, lately, about the water you drink and the air you breathe, and how both have gotten better over the past 40 years, thanks to the EPA? Or, how factory workers have fared since OSHA was created? Have you visited any of our national parks and enjoyed the beauty of America?

Hopefully, you are a healthy 70-year-old, but if you happen to take any prescription drugs, you should be grateful to the FDA for keeping an eye on their creation, testing and manufacturing. If you were a farmer, you should be thankful for the federal assistance programs for agriculture. At 70 years, you probably still drive, right? Are you thankful that the roads and bridges you drive on aren’t collapsing (yet) under the weight of your SUV? We are still No. 1 in auto-making, thanks to our government.

Ida May Fuller, the first recipient

Ida May Fuller, the first Social Security recipient (Photo credit: Wikipedia) 

It’s great that you don’t have to worry much about the world around you anymore…you’ve gotten to a place where you are content; however, you’ve also gotten to a place where you refuse to see the connection between government, taxes and the many services provided by both. WE demanded these services; we pay for these services and WE are the beneficiaries of these services. If you were to wake up tomorrow morning without them, I dare say, that you would be one of those in line, demanding to know, “Why haven’t I received my government services today?”

Sad Day for the Eastern Shore!

It is a sad day for the Eastern Shore, to have a liar and a sham, like Andy Harris, be re-elected.  I was so hoping that this, my first post after the election, could call for a coming together of the “right” and “left.”  But, upon hearing Harris’ comments after his win, I am more committed than ever to replace him as our Representative.

Andy “Bizarro” Harris

He lives in a ‘bizarro’ world, claiming to have “reached out” to Democrats, when we know that he has voted against any proposals put forth by House Democrats or the White House.  His approach has even earned him the nickname, “Dr No”, because that has become his standard vote and position! And, according to his post-election comments, he will continue to live by his moniker and obstruct any progress in the House.

I am not whining about Harris’ win; the former Democratic candidate, Wendy Rosen, certainly didn’t help, by resigning a week after the deadline to remove her name from the ballot.  As such, Dr. John LaFerla could only run as the Democratic write-in candidate. I am just astonished by the failure of the commonsense Eastern Shore voter to see through the disguise and insincerity of Harris’ campaign. He is definitely a “RINO” (Representative In Name Only)!

When Harris holds himself out as a “great communicator”, saying that he is bringing both parties to the table, it just doesn’t fit with his history and performance, whether in the State Senate or in Congress.  In fact, Harris has been a major roadblock to both, the Maryland delegation and the House, where there have been multiple efforts by the Democratic leadership and the White House, to repair the economic mess perpetrated by the previous administration.

Harris lies when he talks about helping farmers, since he has voted against the Farm Bill, introduced by his own Party! Without its passage, our farmers will be hurt financially. He has voted against education, medicare, social security, job creation, health care and protecting our air and water, or the Chesapeake Bay.  In fact, only 4 bills were introduced (and passed) by Harris in his 2 years as Congressman. They dealt with reducing the tariffs on foreign-made men’s and women’s shoes! While millions of Americans were still unemployed and suffering, Andy embraced a foot fetish!

“Dr. No” – Doing nothing for the Eastern Shore!

Aside from the sound bites and clichés he has come to rely on, Harris cannot point to any real action on his part, to help our district or its residents.  He has failed to spur job creation, being more interested in expanding ‘fracking’ even though it has been shown to be destructive and dangerous, than he is in cooperating on solving our “Fiscal Cliff.”

He is a pawn of his corporate campaign contributors, mostly from out-of-state, and the sooner 1st district voters open their eyes, the sooner we will get a Representative who truly represents our interests. Until then, “Dr. No” will continue to be the obstructionist and do-nothing elected official, that he has been since his days in the Maryland Senate!

HARRIS SHUNS PUBLIC FORUM

This was my response to the StarDem article, regarding the League of Women Voters candidates’ forum, held at Chesapeake College, on Sunday, October 21, 2012.  Three candidates appeared: Muir Boda (Libertarian), Dr. John LaFerla (Democrat), and Michael Calpino (unaffiliated, but sounding like another Libertarian).  Wait…isn’t there a Republican candidate in this race? Yes…Andy Harris, the incumbent, was conspicuously absent, refusing to debate what he referred to as “write-in candidates.”

Without the financial support of Koch Brothers’ organizations, Andy is a lost cause!

First, it is a telling commentary that Harris has refused to publicly face off with those running for the same office. His lame excuse is that he still considers Rosen as his opponent, since her name is technically on the ballot. This attitude shows exactly the kind of personality Harris possesses…one of diversion, issue avoidance and lies.

The truth is that the State Democratic Party (along with all the Counties in the 1st District), voted to replace Rosen with Dr. LaFerla, naming him as the official Democratic candidate. Harris’ refusal to face the public and his opponents is another attempt at his failure to accept responsibility for his poor performance while in office. He has one of the worst environmental records, both, while in the State Senate, and now as Representative. He should be ashamed of himself.

Dr. LaFerla deserves kudos for his dedication and integrity, stepping in to become the Democratic write-in candidate, even though his campaign is in an uphill battle this late in the race. Add to that, Harris’ refusal to let the voters hear the truth, plus the almost impossible odds to raise substantial funds this late and you can understand why Dr. LaFerla is a longshot. All the more reason why it is important for the voters to come out and write-in his name.

Dr. John LaFerla – Democratic candidate

Harris is more interested in “telling” people what to do, rather than “listening” to what the people say. He has lied outright on many occasions, twisting facts, ignoring the truth and using people’s fears to gain votes. He has argued that “the government is attacking our freedoms.” Tell us, Mr. Harris, what freedoms have you voted to take away? FDR referred to the “freedom from want”, which translates into not going hungry, not being homeless and even, receiving basic medical care. These are all ideas you’ve voted against, as well as defunding assistance to the chronically ill and long-term care patients.  It sadly sounds like the Nazis of the 1930s, who sought to divest German society of “the undesirables.”  Where did this philosophy, the foundation of your tenure in Congress, originate?  They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!

 

As far as Boda and Calpino are concerned, neither one has a real understanding of history, freedom or what Americans need right now. Theirs is a campaign of ideologies, not a campaign geared towards helping people in the 1st District.

Calpino’s statement, “We got along fine without the EPA until the ’70s”, would be laughable, if it wasn’t such a serious misstatement of history. The truth, for those of us who weren’t around in the ’50s & ’60s, is that we were NOT getting “along fine”, as Calpino says. Our water and air had become polluted to the point that children were dying, emphysema and other lung-related diseases, including cancer, were rising at record levels, and big corporations had free rein over the environment, to destroy as needed…for progress and profit! Many people forget that the EPA was started and supported by a Republican administration…Richard Nixon. BTW…the same President who said that he wanted to see Congress pass a National Health Insurance bill.

The Candidates (less Harris) debate the issues!

Boda’s statements are also laughable, especially his belief that all is well with the world since his employer, Walmart, pays men and women the same for equal work. Somehow, Boda has conveniently forgotten that Walmart was the target of several major lawsuits, alleging pay discrimination. He also ignores scores of studies that have shown the pay disparity that exists between men and women in America. His, “everything-would-be-fine-if-government-just-stayed-out-of-it attitude, is simplistic at best and an outright lie, at worst.

Ayn Rand = Paul Ryan = “I Got Mine, Screw You!”

The TRUTH about Paul “Ayn Rand” Ryan. Don’t keep this secret…share it with everyone you know.  Unfortunately, there is something here for everyone to hate!

Ryan: “I can’t believe there are people who are really buying my crap!”

1. His economic plan would cost America 1 million jobs in the first year. Ryan’s proposed budget would cripple the economy. He’d slash spending deeply, which would not only slow job growth, but shock the economy and cost 1 million of us our jobs in 2013 alone and kill more than 4 million jobs by the end of 2014.

2. He’d kill Medicare. He’d replace Medicare with vouchers for retirees to purchase insurance, eliminating the guarantee of health care for seniors and putting them at the mercy of the private insurance industry. That could amount to a cost increase of more than $5,900 by 2050, leaving many seniors broke or without the health care they need. He’d also raise the age of eligibility to 67.

3. He’d pickpocket the middle class to line the pockets of the rich. His tax plan is Robin Hood in reverse. He wants to cut taxes by $4.6 trillion over the next decade, but only for corporations and the rich, like giving families earning more than $1 million a year a $300,000 tax cut. And to pay for them, he’d raise taxes on middle- and lower-income households and butcher social service programs that help middle- and working-class Americans.

4. He’s an anti-choice extremist. Ryan co-sponsored an extremist anti-choice bill, nicknamed the ‘Let Women Die Act,’ that would have allowed hospitals to deny women emergency abortion care even if their lives were at risk. And he co-sponsored another bill that would criminalize some forms of birth control, all abortions, and in vitro fertilization.

5. He’d dismantle Social Security. Ironically, Ryan used the Social Security Survivors benefit to help pay for college, but he wants to take that possibility away from future generations. He agrees with Rick Perry’s view that Social Security is a “Ponzi scheme” and he supported George W. Bush’s disastrous proposal to privatize Social Security.

6. He’d eliminate Pell grants for more than 1 million low-income students. His budget plan cuts the Pell Grant program by $200 billion, which could mean a loss of educational funding for 1 million low-income students.

7. He’d give $40 billion in subsidies to Big Oil. His budget includes oil tax breaks worth $40 billion, while cutting “billions of dollars from investments to develop alternative fuels and clean energy technologies that would serve as substitutes for oil.”

8. He’s another Koch-head politician. Not surprisingly, the billionaire oil-baron Koch brothers are some of Ryan’s biggest political contributors. And their company, Koch industries, is Ryan’s biggest energy-related donor. The company’s PAC and affiliated individuals have given him $65,500 in donations.

9. He opposes gay rights. Ryan has an abysmal voting record on gay rights. He’s voted to ban adoption by gay couples, against same-sex marriage, and against repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell.” He also voted against the Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which President Obama signed into law in 2009.

10. He thinks an “I got mine, who cares if you’re okay” philosophy is admirable. For many years, Paul Ryan devoted himself to Ayn Rand’s philosophy of selfishness as a virtue. It has shaped his entire ethic about whom he serves in public office. He even went as far as making his interns read her work.

If there was ever any doubt that Mitt Romney’s got a disastrous plan for America—he made himself 100% clear when he picked right-wing extremist Paul Ryan as his running mate. Paul Ryan is bad for America, but we can’t beat him if Americans don’t know everything he stands for. 

Andy’s Chestertown Farce

“Dr. No..no..no…no…no!” Not a leader…a puppet of Koch, Rove and the Tea Party extremists!

Harris’ replies to questions and his statements at the Town Hall Meeting, in Chestertown, last week, are so mind-boggling, that I don’t know where to start! Let me just cover a couple of plainly obvious flaws in his responses:

1) He supports Ryan’s Budget Proposal…this will mean that Medicare and Social Security will be cut and phased out. Ryan’s proposal wants private companies (banks and investment banks) to manage retirement funds…sure, let’s give the fox the rest of the keys to the chicken coop.

2) Harris lied about his and his cohorts’ obstruction of Congressional work. The fact is that this is the least productive Congress…EVER…by at least 40% over the next least productive one. All thanks to him and his obstructionist buddies.

3) Harris loves to name bills so that they sound good, but are really destructive. For instance, Harris voted for the “Clean Water Cooperative Federalism Act of 2011″ – sounds pretty good – what it does is strip all authority and funding from the EPA and gives that authority to the States, who have, for the most part, shown a reluctance to regulate their own polluting industries. 42 years of fighting for a cleaner environment would have gone down the drain if the Senate & WH were held by the GOP. Luckily, the Senate refused to approve this bill.

4) Interesting that all of Harris’ charts and graphs provide no sources for where the figures come from, which I believe are the fantasy graphs made by him and his staff, without support from any reliable source.

5) Amazingly, Harris’ idea of important legislation was HB 4367, regarding ATM signage. Forget jobs, forget health care, forget education…we need to get those ATM signs fixed!! I think Andy has finally gone over the deep end!

6) Finally, his analysis of why he refuses to “compromise” is not only mind-boggling, but it shows his very limited understanding of the legislative process and how to work with others. Compromise is not a black/white issue…to use his example, instead of limiting yourself to a “I want North, you want South, therefore, no compromise”, he could say, “How about we go North for a while, then go South for a while?…or, let’s go North, then South, together!” This approach would demand an attempt at leadership, something Harris lacks…as well as compassion, which he seems to have left in the operating room.

It’s time for Andy to give up his government salary and go back to putting people to sleep…it seems that he’s very good at that!

Here is the link to the StarDem article: http://www.stardem.com/news/local_news/article_a51d3a20-d476-11e1-bbef-0019bb2963f4.html

The “New” (But Not Improved) Andy Harris

By Roger Burt, PhD

 
I had the great joy of attending another Andy Harris “Town Hall”, in Chestertown, the other day (dripping sarcasm here). He has changed his tactics from the previous one I attended in Easton. In a sense, he is now a kinder, gentler Andy because he says even less than he did before.
 
This program was dominated by him presenting charts about debt and deficit. In a low key fashion, the intent, obviously, to make the audience uncomfortable about their future.
 
His slides and accompanying graphs suggested considerable reason for concern, given his focus on debt. The graphs even displayed projections out to 2070. Oh, my! It is clear we are in trouble! (More dripping sarcasm).
 
But, there was just a teensy problem about the graphs and slides: Nowhere was the data attributed to anyone or any organization. The data could clearly have been made up and, I suspected, much of it probably was. If nothing else, there should be a question raised about the validity of projecting out to 2070.
 
At no time did he present any programs or solutions. We simply were supposed to be concerned and then, I guess, vote for him. Why I would want to do that was not apparent. There was no program or plan, no light at the end of the tunnel.
 
At one point, he proclaimed that we needed to have a serious discussion about the issues. It had a bizarre Rodney “Can’t-We-All-Just-Get-Along” King quality about it. Of course, since his Tea Party brethren do nothing but block legislative progress, it had a rather hollow ring to it. There is no discussion with these radicals. (ED. NOTE: According to studies by independent organizations, this is the least productive Congress….EVER! They beat, by 40%, the previously least-productive Congress.)
 
In short, it was a presentation that was terribly short on conclusions, forward-looking plans or programs, solutions or anything useful or illuminating. Fundamentally, it left us with his usual stance – “NO”. Only this time, he was not even edging into confrontation.
 
When it came time for questions, it was apparent that the environmentalists were at the ready. They have learned, and they had preambles ready, so they got to say something, rather than asking a question and yielding the floor to Harris, for his typical obfuscation and evasion. It was at this point that there was some heat generated from the interchange. In response to one question about the Clean Water Act, he challenged, “And how will YOU pay for it.” Nice touch. Once again, no program, no solution, just negativity and it is our problem, without guidance or leadership.
 
From this program, it seems likely that he is going to run a campaign that is mostly evasive, as if being an incumbent is enough to get him re-elected. He doesn’t have an impressive record to run on, especially since he has voted “no” on key jobs-creating and infrastructure legislation, among others. We will see how effective an evasive campaign can be, since it opens the door to being challenged; eventually, he will have to say something. 

Town Hall Tap Dancer, Extraordinnaire!

by Roger Burt, PhD

Yesterday Andy Harris held his “town halls” in Easton and Worcester. ‘Samo-samo.’  Remember, he schedules these meetings at inconvenient times for most people (this one was 2:30-3:30pm).  The Tidewater Inn in Easton experienced nothing new from Harris, or “Dr No”, as his opponents refer to him. He opened with a presentation consistent with the Tea Party wing of the Republican party line. Total yawn!

The liar, the spinner, the obstructionist…is now tap dancing his way out of the room!

 

There were about 60 people attending who represented at least four different groups. Of course, there were the head-bobbing faithful, but also Democrats, environmentalists and postal employees. So, it was not a universally-supportive group.

Those critical of Harris’ record did well in that they did not localize their seating, but were spaced around the room, which meant they could not easily be identified when he took questions. Richard Calkins, President of the Talbot Forum, got the first question, and was clearly prepared as he stood with his clipboard and had a significant preamble to his question.

Other questioners were from the environmentalist group and Democrats not happy with Harris’ obstructionist approach to doing business. In each instance, Harris succeeded in not answering the question. He always started with, “Before I get to this question, let me finish about what Ronald Reagan did…” Sure…and he never got back to the question.

One questioner, clearly from the Shore and among the Republican faithful, delighted Harris as he went on and on about how his Medicare premium was rounded up to the nearest dollar and how distressed he was about that. The faithful, and Harris, lapped it up. 

The tactics of Harris’ opponents were good, but did not prevent him from ducking the issues and responding with pure spin and outright lies. And, as we all know, he is a 1st-class liar and distorter of the truth.

What Harris opponents did not do was to respond to his exhortations with murmurs of discontent or laughter, which would have helped affect the climate in the room. There also were no demonstrators outside with signs, which would have made a public demonstration of disagreement and invited the press to provide some minimal coverage. Generally, locals know who is representing the StarDem (local paper) and they can be button-holed. There are other tactics that can be employed and there is an obvious need to make common cause with our various anti-Harris constituencies. Pre-planning and tactical coordination among the various groups would be useful. Harris follows the Koch Brothers playbook when it comes to these public forums and he is good at not being put on the difficult spot of not being able to tap dance his way out.  And, let’s face it…he is an Arthur Murray professional when it comes to tap dancing his way around issues and questions.

Harris’ Legacy

Everyone leaves a legacy. When you die, you’re remembered for how you tried to make a better world for your children and grandchildren. In the case of Congressman Andy Harris, his legacy will be one of “lies, misleading distortions and half-truths”, resulting in a less safe & healthy world, for women, children and the chronically ill.

Proud of his legacy!

The Republican playbook in 2012 includes taking credit for other people’s work. Romney has taken “a lot of credit” for the auto industry recovery. “Bogus” is the nicest word I can muster on that claim.  Not to be outdone, Harris sent a Press Release last Friday, claiming credit for keeping the USPS from closing facilities or offices.  Can anyone tell me what Harris did?  Anyone familiar with this issue, including 100s of postal workers on the Eastern Shore, know it was Sens. Mikulski and Cardin that led the fight.  Mikulski even sent letters to Harris, seeking his support to save these jobs, without even a response! Chalk one up for “lies.”

Polls show how most women feel about the lack of Republican support on issues from health insurance to equal pay for equal work. Harris and his extremist cohorts have failed to support women’s issues.  Of course, it should be different when it comes to violence against women, right?  Wrong! Last month, Harris and the right-wing radicals refused to extend the Violence Against Women Act, which has reduced domestic violence by 58% since 1994.  Last week, Harris, in an attempt to fool women everywhere, voted for a gutted version. The purpose was to muddy the waters, and by confusing people, to appear to care about women. What is it about the treatment of women in the 1800s that is so appealing to Harris?  Here’s one for the “misleading distortions” column.

Now, for ”Half-truths.” Truth: Harris talks big on “making America energy independent.”  But the “lie” asks: Why do we sell America’s oil and natural gas abroad?  Why hasn’t Harris ever supported research into alternative energy sources that could reduce costs of traditional energy?  Why is he so intent on supporting “fracking?”  The answers all involve PROFIT and CONTRIBUTORS.  Harris’ CONTRIBUTORS want bigger PROFITS! “Fracking” is being suspended by other

Andy “Dr. No” Harris is willing to sacrifice the health of our children and grandchildren, for the temporary profits of his corporate supporters.

countries and across the US, because of health, pollution and earthquake dangers.  Will it create jobs here on the Eastern Shore?  No.  But, Harris gets lots of money from the Koch brothers and other out-of-state supporters in the oil industry.  Harris has even voted to take away all powers of the EPA to control “greenhouse gas emissions” which affect our health and the environment. Pollution of the 1900s, here we come…again!

These are just a few issues that affect Harris’ legacy. Ask yourself: Is this a legacy I would be proud to leave my children and grandchildren? I sure wouldn’t.

Harris – Not A Bay Lover

I grew up around the water. My Mom called me her “little fish” because I never wanted to stop swimming or playing in the sand. I eventually bought my first boat 15 years ago. I loved the Bay so much that I made a life-changing decision: Sell everything and live on a boat, year-round! Some thought I was nuts (well, maybe), but some thought it was a wonderful idea, confiding that they were jealous.

Our Bay continues to die, thanks to Harris' environmental opposition.

In mid-2003, I sold my house, big-screen TV, knick-knacks, furniture, drum set (my band opened up for Hootie & the Blowfish in the ‘90s) and gym equipment. I bought a 15-year-old 50-ft boat, with about 350 sq ft of living space, and started living a dream. I traveled from one end of the Bay to the other, including the small and not-so-small rivers and streams.

I lived aboard through hurricanes (Isabel ‘03) and snowstorms (’06), and enjoyed it so much that I pledged that I would stay aboard ‘til the day I died. ‘She’ was my home until 2008. Sadly, my arthritis was getting the best of me, but, on the bright side, I met a wonderful woman from Parsonsburg that I married in 2010. One door closes and another opens.

Why did I tell you this story? With happy memories living on the Bay, I also experienced the decline of the Bay. In 11 years, I saw the results of work by anti-Bay, Baltimore legislators, like Andy Harris. During his Senate tenure, I watched the Bay’s garbage and dumping increase; I saw the algae and muck accumulate along the Bay’s rivers and streams. I went from swimming in the Bay, to being afraid I’d step on a used syringe or other pharmaceutical trash.

 

I had some keys that fell overboard in 2008. I tried to ‘fish’ them out, but all I came up with was seaweed, held together by algae and sticky black muck, along with other trash. Needless to say, I never retrieved them.

"Dr Death" allows the environment to die!

 

 

Harris is a Baltimore-based politician; not a lover of our sick Bay, its suffering wildlife or its dying tributaries. How do I know that? During his years in the Senate, he had a pitiful environmental record. He hasn’t learned anything since then, still fighting those who care about, and love, the Bay. Now, his passion is for “fracking”, since visiting Pennsylvania. Does it matter that PA shut down their program because residents had flames spouting from water pipes and chemicals polluting their water and air? Crabs, anyone?

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