Thursday, February 7, 2013

MD Legislators Out of Important Things to Fight About

They must be since they're now fighting over naming the soft-shell crab sandwich the official Maryland state sandwich:

Maryland Official Sandwich Designation: Soft-Shell Crab Sandwich Debate Begins To Boil
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley's (D) State of the State address last week outlined an ambitious plan for this year's state legislature, including a ban on assault weapons, repealing the death penalty, and developing offshore wind power. The governor did not, however, address a sizzling battle in the Maryland senate over a more tender issue -- naming an official state sandwich.

Maryland Senate Bill 26, proposed in late December and introduced in January by Sen. Richard F. Colburn (R-Dorchester), would name the soft-shell crab sandwich as the official state sandwich of Maryland, effective October 1, 2013.

The proposed law is proving controversial. Debate began to heat up on Thursday when Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. (D-Calvert) testified in favor of the bill he is co-sponsoring at a committee hearing. "This is unique to Maryland," Miller said, adding that because the entire crab is fried and placed onto a bun -- legs, claws and all -- "you can be 99% sure that it came from Maryland."
Yep, the soft crab sandwich is pretty unique to Maryland.  Although the Blue crab is native to most of the US Atlantic and Gulf coast, only in Maryland is the soft crab sandwich a fetish.  You might find them elsewhere, but only Marylanders love crabs enough to wait for one to peel, fry it up and slap it between two pieces of bread routinely.  I make sure I get one or two a year, and I'm not even a native.
While Miller admitted that the delicacy is "probably the ugliest sandwich in the history of the world," he made his argument about economics, citing the increased demand for Smith Island cake after it was named the official state dessert in 2008, adding that "those ladies on Smith Island have a major industry."
We call 'em fried ticks, because of the way the legs hang out.  But wait, you can't have a controversy without another side.
Those opposed to the designation -- which has not been scheduled for a vote, according to Joan Carter Conway (D-Baltimore), Chair of the Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee -- also couch their arguments at least partly in terms of economics.

Sen. Ron Young (D-Frederick) said that if demand for the sandwich went up, so too would prices and availability. "I want to be able to get a soft-shell crab sandwich,” he said, "there’s a limited number of soft shells."
Greedy sumbitch wants them all for himself.

Young finds the classification of a state sandwich to be a frivolous undertaking and believes Maryland already has too many official symbols. "I think it is a joke. I think it is ridiculous," he said. There are 23 official state symbols in all. These include a state dinosaur - the herbivorous Astrodon johnstoni - and a state exercise - walking, which was designated in 2008, the last time an official designation was made. (The full list of official Maryland designations is included at the bottom of the story).
At least when they're legislating frivolous crap, they're not  interfering with us; well, at least not as much as usual.

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