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An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. "A fight is going on inside me," he said to the boy.

"It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil—he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego." He continued, "The other is good—he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you—and inside every other person, too."

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

First People - The Legends. Cherokee Legend of Two Wolves. November 16, 2004. [accessed April 7, 2012].

Friday, October 07, 2011

The Current State of Congressional Redistricting

            The current ten year redistrictingmap proposed for Maryland finds me at odds with myself. The proposed map as I understand it does everything possible to distort any sense of local community. The thin swirls of the proposed congressional districts look like a tort created by master chefs. The elongated gyrations that reach across historic, geographic and political boundaries have no bearing on the views and needs of local communities other than political control of the elected few.
            Who actually expects Donna Edwards and the core of the 4th District to find common ground between her urban established Washington DC suburban county needs and dreams with those of rural agrarian southern Anne Arundel County with its historic eye towards the bay and Baltimore. Of course there are some common goals but it is in the minutia of needs that a Congressperson works, and this plan is a recipe for divided loyalties, divided time and resulting critique of performance from all sides.
            I would have expected that at the very least, if the 4th was to lose Montgomery County that it would have picked up the eastern wide of the Potomac River down in Southern Maryland. Of course I am skirting the problem of Hoyer's 5th which hooks up into Prince George's County along the western side of the Patuxent River. Many I assume would have thought that the 4th should have included as much of Prince George's county as possible thereby creating a compact cohesive unit.
            And here is my conflicted state of mind for as a grass root advocate for the people and programs of USDA ARS BARC and NAL I am delighted to see Mr. Hoyer keep the federal faculties in his district. As far as Prince George's County is concern BARC and NAL are on the other side of the moon. There is no visible interest, no desire to support and no recognition of the 300 million plus that these federal agencies pump into the region which, in the case of BARC, has been provided at some level for over 100 years. When is the last time a County Executive visited the world's largest research center? Not in the last 15 plus years; and so I succumb to narrow focused parochial interest - support of world class research recognized around the world everywhere except for right here in the county - the same kind of interests which I think are  in some small part at the heart of the current, contorted congressional redistricting maps of Maryland now before us.

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