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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].

Monday, November 28, 2011

Colonial Maryland Slave Laws 18 & 19: Bacon's Laws of Maryland

18.  No Negro or Mulatto Slave, Free Negro, or
Mulatto born of a White Woman, during the Time
of Servitude by law, shall be received as Evidence in
any Cause wherein any Christian White Person is concerned.
1717, ch. 13, §. 2.

19.  Yet, where other sufficient Evidence is wanting,
they may be admitted at the Discretion of the 
Court, as Evidence against any Negro, or Mulatto
Slave, Free Negro, or Mulatto born of a White
Woman, during the Time of Servitude by Law,
where such Testimony doth not extend to Deprivation
of Life or Member.  Ibid.  §. 3.  But see below, Art. 39,
40 and 41.

Bacon's Laws of Maryland . Vol 75 page 690. Maryland Archives

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Prince George's County Libraries are a Core County Service

"Throughout my formal education I spent many, many hours in public and school libraries. Libraries became courts of last resort, as it were. The current definitive answer to almost any question can be found within the four walls of most libraries. "
— Arthur Ashe

               The Prince George's County Memorial Library System is a public institution open to everyone no matter his or her financial status,  land of origin,  language of convenience or needs of the moment. The County library system fundamentally  reflects  and supports the ideas of government of the people, by the people and for the people. James Madison said, "Popular government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or a tragedy, or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance, and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives." This idea, this vital concept is in jeopardy if we the citizens of Prince George's County to not stand and compel our politicians to deliver the funds necessary to operate the system on behalf of everyone in the community, not just those wealthy enough to influence decisions of local self interest. " A democratic society depends upon an informed and educated citizenry," wrote Thomas Jefferson. The idea that we do not need to support a library system to its fullest, is an idea that says we do not need democracy for all.
               The strength of a community is in its ability to provide opportunities to its members. Maxim Gorky notes that there are two forces  that successfully influence the education of a cultivated man: art and science. Both of these are united in the book and by extension the information distribution services of a public library system accessible to everyone, not just a self chosen few. Indeed, paraphrasing Jefferson again, a library does not just contain "...articles of mere consumption but fairly of capital, and often in the case of professional men, setting out in life, is their only capital ,"  Information distributed to everyone equally is the bedrock upon which an informed and educated citizenry depends, to continue with Jefferson's observations.
               Good government in Prince George's County at a bare minimum must consist of Public Safety and Education.  Thomas Carlyle wrote some 200 years ago that the " true University of these days is a Collection of Books. " Today we extend this idea to all the information platforms and services that the Prince George's County Memorial Library system provides as a public arm of great government.  It is too easy in difficult financial times to forget the importance of libraries to the future well-being of our communities. None less than Andrew Carnegie the great man of business himself said " There is not such a cradle of democracy upon the earth as the Free Public Library, this republic of letters, where neither rank, office, nor wealth receives the slightest consideration. "
               Any effort to reduce the services  of the Prince George's County library system should be viewed a closing of the doors of opportunity and a limiting of doorways to advancement for those denied a portal to the 21st century. Just as surely as we must support public safety programs and people, so we must support the information distribution survives that are keystone to education and therefore opportunity. The Prince George's County library system is not a luxury but a minimal necessity.  The County library system is a collection of books, but it is so much more  today; the libraries in the county are the citadels of freedom, the fortresses of the future; and the keepers of the keys to quality of life for all.

Monday, November 14, 2011

FREE Class: Responsible Pesticide Use, Home Owner Awareness

Responsible Pesticide Use including Alternatives
with John Peter Thompson
November 19, 2011 9 - 1 a.m.
Prince George's Community College - Westphalia Campus
to register call:

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Colonial Maryland Slave Laws 15 - 17: Bacon's Laws of Maryland

15.  All Persons importing Negroes by Land or Water, into this Province, shall, at the Time of Entry, pay to the Naval Officer 2 l. Current Money, over and above the Duties now payable by Law, (viz. Art.
8 and 9 above,) for every Negro so imported or brought in, to be applied to the Use of the County
Schools; on Forfeiture of 10 l. Current Money, for every Negro so brought in, and not paid for.  One
Half of which Penalty to the Informer, the other Half to the Use of the County Schools:  Which Duty shall be collected, accounted for, and paid, by the Naval Officers, in the same Manner as the former Duties upon Negroes, &c.  1763, ch. 28, §. 1.

16.  But Persons removing from any other of his
 Majesty's Dominions, in order to settle and reside within
this Province, may import such Negroes as they shall be possessed of, for carrying on their proper  Occupations at the Time of their Removal, Duty free.Ibid.  §. 2.

17. Importers of Negroes, exporting the same within Two Months from the Time of their Importation,
on Application to the Naval Officer, shall be repaid the aforesaid Duty.  Ibid.  §. 3.

Bacon's Laws of Maryland . Vol 75 page 690. Maryland Archives

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Colonial Maryland Slave Laws 12 - 14: Bacon's Laws of Maryland

 12.  No Persons shall be deemed Inhabitants of this Province, so as to reap the Benefit of the Laws as
such, but such as have actually lived within the Province for Three Years, the Privilege allowed by this
Act excepted.  Ibid.  §. 4.
 13.  No Persons importing any Servants or Slaves, shall be liable to pay Duty for such of them as shall
die, or be exported before Sale:  Provided such Death or Exportation shall happen within Three Months after such Importation; and that the Owner make Oath before the Naval Officer, that such Servants or Negroes, so exported or dead, are Part of those Imported or made Entry of.  1735, ch. 6, §. 1, 2.

14.  For Prevention of Frauds, by Non-Residents importing Negroes from Pennsylvania, Virginia, or other
Provinces; every Person in whose Custody such Negroes shall be found, shall be deemed the Imported,
and be liable to pay the Duties to the Naval Officer, under the Penalties inflicted by the Acts of 1715, ch. 36; and 1717, ch. 10, (see above, Art. 8 and 9,) for Concealment. Ibid.  §. 3.

Bacon's Laws of Maryland . Vol 75 page 690 Maryland Archives

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Colonial Maryland Slave Laws 7 - 11: Bacon's Laws of Maryland

 7.  No Negro, or other Slave, shall be permitted to carry Gins [guns], or other offensive Weapons, from off their Master's Land, without Leave:  And any Slave, presuming so to do, may be carried before a Magistrate, and whipped; and the Gun or other Weapon shall be forfeited to the Person seizing the same.  Ibid.  §. 33.

 8.  Persons importing Negroes into this Province, by Land or Water, (except such as are imported in Country Bottoms, for which see Country Bottoms) shall pay to the Naval Officer of the District, at the Time of Entry, Twenty Shillings Sterling for each Negro so imported, towards defraying the public Charges of the Province; on Penalty of 5 l. Sterling per Poll for every Negro kept back or unaccounted for:  One Half to the Use aforesaid, the other Half to the Informer. 1715, ch. 36, §. 8.

    9.  An Additional Duty of Twenty Shillings Current Money, per Poll, shall be paid as aforesaid, for
every Negro imported into this Province, by Land or Water; and applied to the Encouragement of One
Public School in each County, to be divided in equal Shares.  And the Imported shall forfeit 5 l. Current Money for every Negro kept back or unaccounted for:One Half towards defraying the Public Charge, the other Half to the Informer.  1717, ch. 10, §. 3 and 4. Which Additional Duty is declared to be payable for all Negroes imported in Country Bottoms.  1728, ch. 8, §. 4 and 5.

    10. No Inhabitant of this Province, nor Persons who shall import themselves and Families to settle here, shall be liable to pay the above Impositions for their own proper and domestic Slaves, which they may have Occasion to bring into, or import with them, into this Province.  Provided the Owners of such Negroes repair tot he Naval Officer within Two Days after such Importation, and make Entry of them by their proper Names, as their domestic Slaves; and give Bond, with one good Surety, in the Sum of 500 l. Currency, that they shall not dispose of such Negroes for Three Years. Of which Entry and Bond the Naval Officer shall give a Certificate, on paying the usual Fees for the same. And such Certificate shall exempt the Owner from paying the aforementioned Imposition on Negroes.  1721, ch. 9, §. 2.

    11.  When Negroes, so Entered and Exempted from the Duties aforesaid, shall, by Death of the Owners,
  fall into the Hands of Executors, &c. within the Time herein limited, who may be under a Necessity of disposing of the same, such Executor shall first pay the Naval Officer the Imposition Money aforesaid, and then may sell or dispose of such Negroes.  Ibid.  §. 3. 

Bacon's Laws of Maryland . Vol 75 page 689 Maryland Archives