The Carnival of Maryland: 13th Edition

Welcome to Maryland Politics and our presentation of the 13th Carnival of Maryland blogs.

We’ve only been around for a few weeks and would like to thank all of those who’ve welcomed us and especially those who have agreed to contribute to the site.

Before getting started I’d like to make a public service announcement.

Aaron Brazell of Technosailor is hosting a Baltimore-Washington WordPress Meetup. The event will be Thursday, Aug 23rd at 6pm at the Metropolitan Coffeehouse & Wine Bar in Federal Hill (902 S. Charles St near M&T Bank Stadium). If you blog in WordPress and are available this is a great opportunity.

Aaron is also part of the Carnival of Maryland so please drop by his blog as well as his meetup.

Without further delay, on to the carnival.

As we are coming face to face with a $1.5 billion “structural deficit” in Maryland’s budget, Michael Swartz of Monoblogue has some interesting thoughts on what services government should provide and the how the costs of these services are much greater than the tax dollars involved. From Radio days volume 6:

But a new push for infrastructure spending is going to take another slice of the fiscal pie rapidly being devoured by the federal government as is, not to mention state and local entities. It’s becoming a question of what’s most important, and everyone already partaking in the federal largesse won’t want this monetary suitor taking any of the share they already have. They’ll scream, “you can’t cut spending on my program!!” and find a set of “victims” who would be hurt by any spending decline.

The day is coming when we as American society will face a stark choice – have an ever-expanding government at all levels take a larger chank out of our paycheck or make government at all levels prioritize their spending.

Kim Ethridge of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation observes that some jurisdictions seem to erect hurdle after hurdle to prevent citizen participation in land use decision. For instance, in Who Has the Right to Protect the Magothy River:

Anne Arundel County’s trend seems to be to issue one permit after another, allowing construction that is harmful to our rivers and bay, without any regard to the grasses, oysters, crabs, and the rest of the bay’s bounty. At the same time, the county seeks to block all voices of opposition to such development, even from groups that are spending thousands of hours and millions of dollars to improve county waters.

Citizens and organizations are working tirelessly to restore our rivers and Bay in order to make the Chesapeake Bay a resource they can enjoy and leave to their children in better shape than they found it. Without the ability to protect their efforts, citizens and organizations will start to question whether their efforts are worth it.

At Maryland Politics Today, P. Kenneth Burns reflects on Howard Dean’s demand that Maryland Democrats not have another “Michael Steele problem” and wonders if it is a Michael Steele Problem or Maryland Democrat Problem?

So in case you missed it, here is a summary of my opinion, it’s not a Michael Steele problem, it’s a Maryland Democrat problem. That problem in addition to taking the black vote for granted, they are taking black members of the party for granted. There is also a problem with Black not asking for more of their representatives…

If Blacks were not so brainwashed by Democrats, accountability in Baltimore City and Prince George’s County in particular would come at a much faster pace when it comes to crimes and schools. If that means you have to vote out someone with a (D) next to their name in favor of someone with a (R) next to their name, then so be it. If someone was called to the carpet about questionable spending in the past, why re-elect them? Blacks in particular, but Marylanders in general need to do homework on their

In Call me a liar , David Keelan of Howard County Maryland Blog risks the ire of Al Gore as he discusses the global warming in general and the current counterpart to the famous Simon-Ehrlich Wager.

Leviathan Montgomery’s Zinzirdor writes on another attempt by Montgomery County to spend tax dollars in Good news, bad news on the Birchmere:

The county and state have already compelled taxpayers to pay over $100 million to build a concert hall the size of the Kennedy Center, only 15 miles away from the Kennedy Center. There was no need for Strathmore, and there is no need for an additional concert hall in Silver Spring. For crying out loud, we are just as close to the Clarice Smith Center at the University of Maryland.

I think it’s just some kind of elitist attitude at play; we don’t want to go to Washington, we don’t want to go to (gasp!) Prince George’s County, we have to have our own place in Montgomery. And to hell with the poor saps who have to pay the tab.

Obviously, a lot of us blog about politics but the Maryland Carnival has a lot of other interests. For some, there were thoughts on the season.

At The Greenbelt your host, The Ridger, reminds us that there is much to like In the dog days of this blistering August.

It’s been hot this August. Temperatures in the upper 90s, heat index in triple digits (108 yesterday). The mornings are warm, and the afternoons last forever, hot and sultry and stifling. But while we can duck into our air conditioned buildings, the birds can’t. Nor can the bees… but while the birds walk around with their mouths open, or hide in the deep shadows of the trees until evening, the bees seem to enjoy it, especially the bumbles, who swarm around the flowers in search of nectar. Flowers bloom in the heat, filling the air with scent that lies there, heavy and sweet.

There are great pics in this story.

SoccerDad at the eponymous SoccerDad lets us in on the best strategies — and seats — for acquiring souvenir baseballs in Give that fan a contract.

There is a real thrill to getting a souvenir. In 2001 it was towards the end of the season and there were very few fans left at the end of a blowout when Bowie first baseman Franky Figeoura hit a ball in my direction. I moved back a few rows and tracked its arc. My position was pretty good as the ball bounced on the bench in front of me. After the bounce I reflexively swiped the ball with my right hand. It was a magical moment and my first souvenir.

Others write about their area and their interests.

UUMom’s Creating a Jubilee County explores Secret Prince George’s County for newcomers (and old).

For those with an interest in the arts and sciences Ari Kinsberg at Ari’s Blog takes us down a sidelight of Judaica, A Hebrew Poet in Baltimore: Israel Fine (1848-1930). Be sure to visit it and check out the great images Ari has included in the story.

Ari’s blog is complemented by Jeremy Bruno of The Voltage Gate who puts the problems confronting the Chesapeake Bay in the context of saving an endangered species in Saving the Shortnose Sturgeon, a Look at Eutrophication.

And some just defy categorization.

Rachel of Tinkerty Tonk wonders Why are the people of Bel Air, MD trying to kill me?

We all know there are dangers associated with venturing from one neighborhood to another in Baltimore. Crime and the threat of violence are omnipresent, but Robert Bruce Carter of Absolutely Serious informs us of a new threat waiting for the unwary in one neighborhood in Canton Man Traumatized by Night Out in Mt. Vernon .

I’d like to thank Attilla of Pillage Idiot for giving me the opportunity to host this Carnival and read a lot of blogs that would have otherwise escaped my attention. Visit the Carnival home page for upcoming editions.






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