Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Tommy Can you Hear Me?

Wow, what a day. This is the time of year when everybody feels good...after the allergies settle down at least. Fifty shades of green with a few pinks thrown in, that's the palette of the far hill, lit up by morning sun.

I was looking at a wild blueberry that grows in the yard. it only has berries about one in three years but they are way better than the tame blueberries we planted, just not as reliable or prolific. The rarity is justified, though when you finally do get to pop a few in your mouth. Years ago, I showed the berries to my youngest son and told him you could eat them. He looked at me, as this new information sunk in.

You can eat things you find outside! Whoa, what a world!

Well some you can and some you can't, and some you could but can't anymore. The fish in Watts Bar Lake come to mind as a prime example of the latter. In my childhood home we ate fish about half the time, caught in the Oconee river or one of the many farms ponds on Grampa's farm. Fish from a pond were considered "raised" and the river fish were better. Though I've developed a taste for salmon in my old age, I still think a big bluegill taken from a clean river may be the best tasting fish going, even better than red eyes from the creek but not much.

Eating river fish will become a thing of the past, or at least eating them safely, if corporate America has its way. I sent an email to my State Senator, Tommy Kilby asking him to please vote yes on a SB498.

This bill is a simple one. It directs the Department of Environment and Conservation to

"...continuously perform a thorough examination of actions necessary to preserve and protect forested watershed and the control of non-point sources of water pollution."

Well that seems simple enough, right? Well not in Tennessee! I guess that since the bible says the world is going to be destroyed eventually, we might as well start now. Somehow, the "Culture of Life" we keep hearing about doesn't include "not poisoning" people who eat fish! Or poisoning people who swim in anything not resembling a big hole surrounded by concrete and filled with chemical laced water.

Anyway, I wrote Tommy a note asking him to do a little something for the people who live in his district, even though those out of state lobbying firms were spending money to get him to vote against the bill. One of those firms goes by an interesting name. It calls itself,

The Tennessee Farm Bureau.

It also claims to represent farmers. maybe...and just maybe it actually represents the folks who make tons of money off farmers. Farmers don't make any money, after all. chemical companies make billions, though. And then there's "Factory Farms."

Now the folks who really don't want this bill to pass, are the factory farm people. Well actually I shouldn't call them people because they actually are corporations.

Corporations are interesting things. ..you take some good people with kind intentions and gather them up into a corporation and they turn evil! Things that individual people would never ever do, corporations will never think once about not doing. For instance, none of my neighbors would ever think of putting 5000 hogs on a concrete fed lot, pump them full of hormones and corn, and hose the hog shit off the concrete and into Whites Creek, turning the largest unpolluted watershed in the state of Tennessee into a foul reeking mess of contagion and sickness.

I do not exaggerate!

This is what happens when factory farms get going in a state. It happened in North Carolina. People got sick with things we had never heard of before like Pfisteria. A horrible disease from which some folks never completely recover, their health ruined.

Hey, the corporations said, It's just BIDNESS! Sorry 'bout that.

Then they got run out of the state by those mean environmentalists who are extremists and terrorists because they hate a little profit making by a corporation, just because it killed, and I mean killed, rivers and streams and...


Then they went to Alabama and killed rivers and streams there. And now...They are trying to come to Tennessee.

I am not against profit making. I've made a little bit of it myself. I am against stealing something and calling it profit. The people of Tennessee have something no one else has and it is being stolen right before our very eyes. It is our beautiful clean rivers and creeks and streams...or what's left of them, anyway. We've already lost so much. the fish in Watts Bar Lake, home of over 40 world record fish, will make you sick if you eat them! They're big! They're beautiful! They're poison!

Now let's just do the right thing, this time folks. I wrote Senator Kilby and I would like for you to do this also. Here is what Tommy said back to me. It is obvious that he has given this matter a great deal of thought:

Steve: Thank you for your email!


Tommy Kilby

State Senator
12th District

OK, maybe not. Here is his email address...


see what you can do to get through to Tommy!




  1. I asked my young, busy doc about eating fish the other day because that's what I eat most of. Not really worried about mercury poisoning at my age, but curious about what he'd say. Interestingly, this meat-eatin' Texan was well informed and more worried than I thought he might be. He let me off the hook because I eat mostly deep-sea fish. But watch out for farm-raised fish, for fresh water fish, for tuna. In another blog this morning I tuned into an interesting discussion about our national debt. The debt we owe our environment is not being paid and that's the one that'll kill us sooner rather than later.