From the Banks of the Chesapeake Bay

Washington, DC, Sep 13th, 2008 -- Since moving to the shore of the Chesapeake Bay in 2003, and having to drive the 75 minutes to the center of Washington, DC it is surprising how much clearer the mind becomes, and how much better organized the facts appear. Looking over the peaceful water, or attacking a pile of delicious Blue Crabs, fresh from the Bay makes the lies and misinformation gained earlier from the politicians seem that much more hilarious. Do they believe the voters will swallow this BS. Then back to the multiple screens on the computers, and yes they are swallowing it. Depressing political reality isn't far away.

It is interesting how many top Washington politicians live in, or around Easton here on the Eastern Shore. There is Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and a string of Senators and Congressmen who like to be close, yet not in Washington, DC. Last week Laura Bush and Lynn Cheney went shopping at the local Farmers Market, complete with a small army at taxpayers expense. They bought two Pansy plants, according to the front page story in the local newspaper. With the support helicopters, Secret Service and motorcade that puts the Pansies as the most expensive plants in the world.

But we seldom count the real cost of our actions. Looking back it's a crying shame how we are destroying our marine life. Twenty years ago I joined the ranks of avid fishermen in Florida, enjoying the bountiful catches in Sebastian Inlet, as well as the incredible Bass fishing on the St. John's River. Even then the catches were a shadow of years gone by, before Florida became over populated. Then before we moved back to Washington the numbers began to decrease, and people crammed into Sebastian Inlet like Sardines in a can. There were more tourists than fish.

Today the Chesapeake is dying too, the quest for the mighty dollar across Pennsylvania resulting in tons of toxic waste being pushed into someone elses back yard, down the poluted rivers. The end of the line for all this polution is the once great Chesapeake Bay. Blue Crabs do not lobby Congress, and the politicians don't see contributions to their re-election campaigns from Oysters, or disappearing species of once abundent fish. They are not destined to live the American Dream.

It's funny but as you become older, more experienced and have walked the corridors of power, you sit looking out across the still waters of the Bay, with a senior Senator and wonder what went wrong, with both Washington Politics, and the Chesapeake Bay. It is very much like the closing scenes from The Hunt for Red October, where the mighty warriors of opposing sides find comfort in talking about their youth spent fishing.

But future generations may only have Wii fishing games to look back upon, for greedy politicians, and pig headed labor negotiators have spent so much time gridlocked, only interested in their profits, or positions that the natural world has finally given up and died. We are killing nature by our greed. Politicians are killing the economy, and the country by their greed.

The quiet solitude of the evening is shattered by three youths on their expensive Jet Ski's, weaving in and out, churning up the still waters and making as much noise as possible. One runs over a number of fishing lines by the Jetty, believing it's cool and fun to cause so much inconvenience to others. Rich, spoilt kids of Washington Lawyers and New York Stockbrokers, getting ready to rape the masses just as their parents are showing them. Where is consideration for others and respect. That's the New American Dream, profit and wealth.

But what those loud mouthed nuisances do not realize is that their rich parents are living off their inheritance, and that they will have to answer for the military adventurism cheered on by them. Half a world away a dozen children their age are without water, electricity or hope because of being invaded by America and her Allies. They do not ride their Jet Ski's back and forth, again and again to show they can, but dream of the day they can defeat the Mighty Satan. Instead of destroying the natural environment they should be thinking about healing the political environment.

Beneath our feet the once productive Bay is deteriorating, the fish population declining, the shellfish and crabs overtaxed and struggling to survive. On the surface the rich kids play and believe they are invincible and untouchable.

We have some difficult and far reaching decisions ahead.

 

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