You’ll probably recall, as part of my coverage of the recent Delmarva Chicken Festival, that I brought up a new group called Let’s Be Shore. It’s a project of the Maryland Humanities Council, explained the nice lady manning (or would that be womanning?) the tent, and they’re looking to create a dialogue about our way of life.
Well, the other day I received an e-mail from Michelle Baylin, who’s the Communications Manager of the Maryland Humanities Council. It read in part:
I was writing to ask if you would consider additional posts and wanted to let you in on an update: we are planning our first panel discussion, during the Chesapeake Folk Life Festival on July 28th at 3pm, with some of our video portrait subjects participating. We’ll also have a Sharing Station tent at the festival as well.
Let’s Be Shore seeks, through the use of the humanities, to bring people with divergent perspectives together for respectful dialogue, offering a platform for residents to express views on the issues of land use, agriculture, the economy, and water quality along Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Conservative views are an important component to presenting a balance of opinion! (Emphasis in original.)
Well, let’s add up the score: you got at least one additional post and I definitely have conservative views. But I knew nothing about the Chesapeake Folk Life Festival until I looked it up – it’s held in the quaint but picturesque town of St. Michaels. There’s nothing farther down the Shore just yet, so this partial effort at a response will have to suffice for now.
As always, I’m a little suspicious of these attempts at “dialogue” and togetherness because my experience has been that those who gain control of the group tend to also want to control a lot of other activities – case in point, the Wicomico Neighborhood Congress, which eventually devolved into an agenda-based group that seemed to screech most loudly against developing new neighborhoods (which, ironically enough, would be potential new members.) They eagerly climbed aboard the “growth is bad” bandwagon personified by this guy.
On the other hand, the tendency of conservatives to just want to be left alone by big government also means they’re not going to speak out as forcefully and we all know the squeaky wheel gets the grease.
But insofar as the quality of Chesapeake Bay is concerned, of course I’d like it to be clean as well. Yet I’m quite aware that to get it as pristine as it was when the only things which moved around here were a few Indians and plenty of wild game is not very realistic. To think otherwise is a pipe dream only a non-profit or government agency which would like to assure itself a perpetual slice of the taxpayer revenue pie would think up.
More importantly, if we ever got it back to that state the Chesapeake Bay Foundation would have no more reason to exist, so do you think they’ll ever give the Bay an “A” for cleanliness? I doubt it, because they’ll continually move the goalposts and we’ll be lucky if they get it above a “C”. In fact, the stated goal of the CBF is to restore the Bay to its state when first discovered, but there are several million people who would have to be forcibly relocated for that to occur. Not that the CBF seems to mind.
Instead, they advocate policies which will make growth more difficult and expensive in the entire Bay watershed, with a little bit of indoctrination thrown in:
Education will serve as a means to citizen engagement and behavior change…Drawing on the beneficial results of CBF educational efforts, we will engage adults and young people in a campaign to see that good laws and regulations are developed, introduced, passed, and enforced.
So that’s what we on the pro-growth side are up against, and it wouldn’t surprise me to eventually find the CBF’s hand (or money) in this effort at “dialogue.”
Speaking of money, as of last year the Maryland Humanities Council derived the bulk of its income from the National Endowment for the Humanities, with a smaller portion coming from various state departments. It’s worthy to note as well that the National Endowment of the Humanities requested over $154 million of your tax dollars for FY2013. Thus, you and I are paying for this.
The question is whether they’ll actually listen to conservative voices of reason who would like nothing better than securing a cleaner Bay without sacrificing the vast potential this area still has.