Can a state be committed?

With each passing week, I am convinced the government of Maryland is losing its collective mind. On March 25th, the Maryland Senate President, Mike Miller, nearly had his head explode because a pastor who properly coordinated his prayer in advance dared to utter the name "Jesus" on the Senate floor.

Just up the road a bit, students at the University of Maryland were making plans to screen an XXX-rated movie, "Pirates II: Stagnetti's Revenge" at the Hoff Theater on campus. Senator Andy Harris threatened to introduce a bill cutting public funding for the university if they allowed the film to be shown.

The administration cancelled the campus screening and the students hastily assembled a faux “educational seminar” in which excerpts of the film were shown while ACLU lawyers were invited in to talk about free speech.

Hot on the heels of this brouhaha, the University of Maryland’s senate voted to remove the invocation from the school’s commencement exercise going forward, citing people who "felt excluded or marginalized" by the prayer. Of course, the ACLU, that defender of our freedoms of expression and conscience, was nowhere to be found. The university president, in a rare rebuke of the school senate, overturned the decision.

Frankly, if your self-esteem or worldview are so fragile that a brief expression of faith by someone of differing beliefs diminishes you, you have personal issues far beyond your misinterpretation of the 1st Amendment. This is yet another attempt to stifle the public exercise of the Christian faith, the expression of which is rapidly becoming the only kind of speech that’s isn’t free. But I digress.

Then we hear this week that despite the severe budget shortfalls at the state level which were only partially ameliorated by federal “stimulus” funds, O’Malley STILL KEEPS SPENDING to the tune of $1.5 billion in proposed increases to the 2010 budget.

Is it possible for an entire government to have a spending addiction? If addiction is characterized by loss of control, preoccupation, compulsivity, narrowing of interests, dishonesty, guilt and chronic relapse, then Annapolis (and Washington, for that matter) needs to go on the couch.

In the meanwhile, the people of Maryland are being driven into depression - the mental kind, not the economic kind, at least not yet – with the 4th highest tax burden, 5th highest cost of living, and 6th highest cost of doing business in the nation. We need to have our governor and legislators committed before we go insane.

I have just the place for them – the Retired Public Servants Home opening in 2010. If we don’t send them there on Election Day next year, we ought to have our heads examined.