Happy Easter…

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We send you our warmest wishes to all Nations of the world as you celebrate the Easter holiday.

As you celebrate this important holiday with your friends and family, may you reflect on the values of charity, compassion and tolerance that have served us well in the United States, a country which enjoys great religious diversity.

We urge you to enjoy the Easter festival responsibly and to exercise caution especially on the road.

We wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy Easter!

from Reform Sasscer Movement for Prince George’s County

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10 Valuable Life Lessons to Learn from Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

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As human beings, some of us have been giving a lot of thought to Nelson Mandela in the aftermath of his death in December 2013. The media was abuzz about him and some people were wondering which individual African or another person from a different race would fill his shoes. Which world leader would be the new Nelson Mandela.

Well, many of us have read a lot about Mandela and see him as a reluctant celebrity. When you read some of his quotes, you get this impression. He did not think what he did was amazing and he just wanted to spend time with his family; something very normal husband and fathers do.

“Everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do and have a fundamental concern for others. There is no passion to be found playing small — in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela

As indicated above, With the passing of Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mandela at age 95, one of the world’s greatest icons is lost; but his legacy of leadership remains. He started a movement that positively affected, encouraged, and motivated millions. He inspired and helped others to help themselves.

He was a true leader and in many ways an entrepreneur. What we’ve experienced from Mandela’s life is potentially just the start, and his legend is going to be bigger still. He has given the world many leadership lessons. Future leaders would do well to adopt the Mandela mindset and his profound lessons.

Exhibited below are some examples;

“I was not a messiah, but an ordinary man who had become a leader because of extraordinary circumstances.”

“I stand here before you not as a prophet, but as a humble servant of you, the people.”

“I really wanted to retire and rest and spend more time with my children, my grandchildren and of course with my wife.”

So some of us got this idea, that instead of one of us trying to fill his shoes, all of us should. Some of us think that is what he would want to happen because a whole bunch of Nelson Mandela clones can get a lot of the needed change the world needs.

In the process of doing this, we took some of his quotes and crafted 10 valuable life lessons we could all learn from Nelson Mandela. Enjoy.

1. You are responsible for your life
“I am the master of my fate and the captain of my destiny.” ~ Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela knew that you are responsible for your life, and you have to take control of your steering wheel and take it where you want to go. You. No matter how many genuine excuses you may have. It boils down to you.

We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right. You can’t have whatever you want in life if you are not in charge and can’t account for the 24 hours you are given daily. There are a lot of resources to help you with time management.

2. Education is power
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” ~ Nelson Mandela

Education was very important to Nelson Mandela.

Finish school, go back to school, enroll in that community college or university.  Many of us know going to school is just not  always easy, but it really helps and it is the right thing to do.

3. Look at the bright side of things
“I am fundamentally an optimist. Whether that comes from nature or nurture, I cannot say. Part of being an optimistic is keeping one’s head pointed toward the sun, one’s feet moving forward. There were many dark moments when my faith in humanity was sorely tested, but I would not and could not give myself up to despair. That way lays defeat and death.”

Looking at the glass as half full rather than half empty will help you navigate life.

4. Live on purpose
“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” ~ Nelson Mandela

This quote really affected many of us. It’s not about some of us getting a six pack, getting married and having a fantastic wedding with tigers and elephants, it’s not about us taking fantastic vacations with husbands or wives…it’s not about any of us buying all Apple products and having the latest Iphone 5, 6,7 and so one. All these things are good but Nelson Mandela wanted people to actually touch and make a difference in someone’s life.

5. One can overcome poverty
“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity; it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.” ~ Nelson Mandela

This great man thought poverty could be overcome.

United States and the rest of the world have a lot of rich people and more poor people and even though we live in a rich and blessed country now, there is still a lot lack every where you go.

6.Seek balance

Mandela said that a good head and a good heart were always a formidable combination. Today more than ever before, the world seems separated into two kinds of people: passionate people on one side (who primarily use their hearts to make decisions) and rational people on the other (who primarily use facts in order to decide). We will thrive if we can balance the use of our heart and our head, as Mandela was able to do.

7. Be better not bitter 

Mandela put the greater good over his ego. Imagine if you were imprisoned for 27 years under harsh conditions, wouldn’t you be craving retaliation? Mandela had many opportunities to take revenge when he became the president of South Africa. To the surprise of the black population, he instead led the country to peace.

8. Make things happen

“It always seems impossible until it’s done,” said Mandela. Being a dreamer was part of his success, but he also had a plan and actionable strategies to stay on track. These ultimately lead him to achieve his goals. We need to take action, follow a step-by-step plan, stay focused, be persistent, surround ourselves with like-minded people, and we can make a difference, as well.

9. Empower people 

Mandela led his people from behind, valuing them and letting them believe they were in front. He was able to persuade people to do things and make them think it was their own idea. Mandela would interrupt whatever he was doing for impromptu meetings or greetings, and he was able to see and bring out the best in others.

10. Persevere

During his imprisonment he did backbreaking work in the lime quarry designed to break his spirit. It didn’t! Even when the harsh sun on the white stone caused permanent damage to his eyes, he refused to give up. He contracted tuberculosis in solitary confinement, which drove most insane, but that didn’t break him either. He fought on, declaring that after climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.

Having discharged his duty to his people and his country, Mandela can truly rest in peace. He showed us how one person with humility, a dream, great self-discipline and a passionate cause could magnify himself and inspire us all.

One of the many things he learned was that until he changed himself, he could not change others. We can help his legacy continue to ripple across the world and future generations by following his example, using our time wisely and forever realizing that the time is always ripe to be better and do what’s right.

Are we all trying to get more for ourselves and not realizing that there could be some truth in what Nelson Mandela said. Is there a way each of us could do something small to decrease the gap between the rich and the poor? What are your thoughts on this?

Share your insights by joining the conversation below

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Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the anti-apartheid icon and first black South African president whose death at 95 in December 2013 touched all corners of the globe, left an indelible mark on United States and the world that still lingers several years after his visit captivated the country — and the world — in a way only a 20th-century titan could.

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World’s Ten Most Corrupt Leaders in Recent History.

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Name Position Funds embezzled2
 1. Mohamed Suharto President of Indonesia (1967–1998) $15–35 billion
 2. Ferdinand Marcos President of the Philippines (1972–1986) 5–10 billion
 3. Mobutu Sese Seko President of Zaire (1965–1997) 5 billion
 4. Sani Abacha President of Nigeria (1993–1998) 2–5 billion
 5. Slobodan Milosevic President of Serbia/Yugoslavia (1989–2000) 1 billion
 6. Jean-Claude Duvalier President of Haiti (1971–1986) 300–800 million
 7. Alberto Fujimori President of Peru (1990–2000) 600 million
 8. Pavlo Lazarenko Prime Minister of Ukraine (1996–1997) 114–200 million
 9. Arnoldo Alemán President of Nicaragua (1997–2002) 100 million
10. Joseph Estrada President of the Philippines (1998–2001) 78–80 million
  • 1. Defined as former political leaders who have been accused of embezzling the most funds from their countries over the past two decades.
  • 2. All sums are estimates of alleged embezzlement and appear in U.S. dollars.
Source: Transparency International Global Corruption Report 2004.

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The kangaroo.

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The kangaroo is a marsupial from the family Macropodidae (macropods, meaning ‘large foot’). In common use the term is used to describe the largest species from this family, especially those of the genus Macropus, red kangaroo, antilopine kangaroo, eastern grey kangaroo and western grey kangaroo. Kangaroos are endemic to Australia. kangaroos are iconic symbols of the Australian outback, and are the largest living marsupials. Their powerful giant hindquarters enable them to leap along, covering a monstrous nine metres in a single bound. kangaroos have the ability to breed whenever conditions are right and twins can occur when food is abundant. A newborn weighs a mere 0.75 grams, and takes three minutes to make its way through its mother’s fur into the pouch, where it spends the next 70 days.

Kangaroos have large, powerful hind legs, large feet adapted for leaping, a long muscular tail for balance, and a small head. Like most marsupials, female kangaroos have a pouch called a marsupium in which joeys complete postnatal development.

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The red kangaroo is the world’s largest marsupial. Females have one baby at a time, which at birth is smaller than a cherry. The infant immediately climbs into its mother’s pouch and does not emerge for two months. Until they reach about eight months of age, threatened young kangaroos, called joeys, will quickly dive for the safety of mom’s pouch. As they grow, joeys’ heads and feet can often be seen hanging out of the pouch.

Red kangaroos hop along on their powerful hind legs and do so at great speed. A red kangaroo can reach speeds of over 35 miles (56 kilometers) an hour. Their bounding gait allows them to cover 25 feet (8 meters) in a single leap and to jump 6 feet (1.8 meters) high.

Female red kangaroos are smaller, lighter, and faster than males. They also boast a blue-hued coat, so many Australians call them “blue fliers.”

Larger male kangaroos are powerfully built. Like many species, male kangaroos sometimes fight over potential mates. They often lean back on their sturdy tail and “box” each other with their strong hind legs. Kangaroos can also bite and wield sharp claws, which they may do in battle with an enemy like a dingo.

Red kangaroos live in Australia’s deserts and open grasslands, gathering in groups called mobs. Aboriginal and European Australians have spent centuries clearing open tracts of land and establishing water sources—both of which are boons to kangaroo populations. Many millions of these animals roam Australia, and considerable numbers are killed each year for their skins and meat, which is becoming a more popular human food.

Conservation Status

Least Concern

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The Kangaroo Distribution Map world wide.

The red fox (Vulpes vulpes).

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The red fox (Vulpes vulpes) is the largest of the true foxes and the most abundant member of the Carnivora, being distributed across the entire Northern Hemisphere from the Arctic Circle to North Africa, Central America and Asia. Its range has increased alongside human expansion, having been introduced to Australia, where it is considered harmful to native mammals and bird populations. Because of these factors, it is listed as Least Concern by the IUCN.Due to its presence in Australia, it is included among the list of the “world’s 100 worst invasive species”.

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Red foxes live around the world in many diverse habitats including forests, grasslands, mountains, and deserts. They also adapt well to human environments such as farms, suburban areas, and even large communities. The red fox’s resourcefulness has earned it a legendary reputation for intelligence and cunning.

Red foxes are solitary hunters who feed on rodents, rabbits, birds, and other small game—but their diet can be as flexible as their home habitat. Foxes will eat fruit and vegetables, fish, frogs, and even worms. If living among humans, foxes will opportunistically dine on garbage and pet food.

Like a cat’s, the fox’s thick tail aids its balance, but it has other uses as well. A fox uses its tail (or “brush”) as a warm cover in cold weather and as a signal flag to communicate with other foxes.

Habitat

Red Foxes have the widest range of any terrestrial carnivore. They are found in Europe, Canada, USA, Asia, Australia and North Africa. They have dens in forests, scrubland and prairies and they are becoming increasingly common in urban environments in Europe and North America. Red Foxes tend to be solitary although they have been known to group together in a pack. They are mainly active at dusk and during the night where they will forage around in their home territory. Their territories can range from 25 – 5000 acres (10 – 2000 hectares) and they mark them with urine and faeces. Foxes also signal each other by making scent posts—urinating on trees or rocks to announce their presence.

Diet

Red Foxes are omnivores and their diet mainly consists of rodents, insects, worms, eggs, birds, fruit and other small mammals. Urban foxes scavenge through household waste and will eat from pet food bowls that have been left outside. Red Foxes consume on average 0.5 – 1 Kg (1 – 2 lbs) of food per day and they will keep any surplus food near to their den to eat later. Red Foxes have an excellent sense of hearing and they will stalk and pounce on their prey. To kill their prey they will severe the spinal cord with their teeth.

Breeding

In winter, foxes meet to mate. The vixen (female) typically gives birth to a litter of 2 to 12 pups in a den. At birth, red foxes are actually brown or gray. A new red coat usually grows in by the end of the first month, but some red foxes are golden, reddish-brown, silver, or even black.  When they are born they are blind and weigh approximately 150 g (5.3 oz). They open their eyes by the time they reach 2 weeks old and by 5 weeks they have left the den for the first time. The cubs are weaned when they are 7 – 9 weeks old and by the autumn they all move away to find their own territories. They reach sexual maturity by the time they are one year old. Both parents care for their young through the summer before they are able to strike out on their own in the fall.

Predators

Predators of the Red Fox include humans, bears, wolves, and coyotes. Red foxes are hunted for sport, though not extensively, and are sometimes killed as destructive pests or frequent carriers of rabies.

Subspecies

As Red Foxes have such a wide range, they have many subspecies. Below are a list of subspecies and their locations:

Vulpes vulpes abietorum – Western Canada
Vulpes vulpes aeygptica – Egypt
Vulpes vulpes alascensis – Alaska
Vulpes vulpes alpherakyi – Turkestan
Vulpes vulpes alticola
Vulpes vulpes anatolica – Asia
Vulpes vulpes arabica – Muscat
Vulpes vulpes atlantica
Vulpes vulpes barbara – North West Africa
Vulpes vulpes beringiana – North East Siberia
Vulpes vulpes cascadensis – NW coast of USA
Vulpes vulpes caucasica – Caucasian Mount. area
Vulpes vulpes crucigera – Germany
Vulpes vulpes daurica
Vulpes vulpes diluta
Vulpes vulpes dolichocrania – Russia
Vulpes vulpes dorsalis
Vulpes vulpes flavescens – North Iran
Vulpes vulpes fulva – Eastern USA
Vulpes vulpes fulvus
Vulpes vulpes griffithi – Afghanistan
Vulpes vulpes harrimani – Alaska
Vulpes vulpes hoole – South China
Vulpes vulpes ichnusae – Sardinia
Vulpes vulpes induta – Cyprus
Vulpes vulpes jakutensis – Yakutsk
Vulpes vulpes japonica – Japan
Vulpes vulpes karagan – Khirgizia
Vulpes vulpes kenaiensis – Alaska
Vulpes vulpes krimeamontana – Crimea
Vulpes vulpes kurdistanica
Vulpes vulpes macroura – Rocky Mts, USA
Vulpes vulpes montana – Himalayas
Vulpes vulpes necator – Western USA
Vulpes vulpes ochroxanta
Vulpes vulpes palaestina – Palestine
Vulpes vulpes peculiosa – Korea
Vulpes vulpes pusilla – India
Vulpes vulpes regalis
Vulpes vulpes rubricosa – Canada
Vulpes vulpes schrencki – Sakhalin
Vulpes vulpes septentrionalis
Vulpes vulpes silacea – Spain
Vulpes vulpes splendidissima – Kurile Is.
Vulpes vulpes stepensis
Vulpes vulpes topolica
Vulpes vulpes tschiliensis – North East China
Vulpes vulpes vulpecula
Vulpes vulpes vulpes
Vulpes vulpes waddelli – Tibet

Interesting Facts

Foxes are often included in tales and folklore with a reputation of being sly and cunning.

Red Foxes are often known just by the name “Fox”

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The red fox Distribution Map world wide.

Maryland Attorney General proposes eliminating State Prosecutor.

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As part of his plan to spend less money and make government more efficient, Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler on Tuesday proposed eliminating the agency that investigates corruption among public officials.

Gansler, a Democratic candidate for governor, called the Office of the State Prosecutor “a holdover from the Watergate era” that overlaps with other law enforcement offices.

“If a need arises for a special prosecutor, for instance to avoid conflict of interest, one can be temporarily appointed, as Congress does now,” Gansler said in a detailed 16-page plan on how to streamline state spending if he were elected governor.

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/blog/bs-md-gansler-state-prosecutor-20140415,0,3416918.story#ixzz2yzWPr5CZ

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African-Americans Say ‘Parent Involvement’ Key to School Success.

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The “lack of parental involvement” is the biggest issue affecting black students’ quality of education.

That is one of major findings in a new national survey of African Americans on factors in their quality of life. The survey, sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) and Ebony magazine, polled 1,005 African Americans on their mood and on issues related to income, housing, health care, relationships, race and education.

Responses to education-related questions made up a large part of the summary of survey findings. When asked to identify the biggest issues in education, about a fifth of respondents said lack of parental involvement, making it the most frequently cited concern. Other concerns included “overcrowded classrooms” (17 percent), “funding differences among school districts” (17 percent), “quality of teachers” (16 percent), and “students with behavioral issues or special needs” (10 percent).

Of those respondents with school-age children or grandchildren, only 37 percent said the nation was “making progress” in efforts to provide “a quality education.” About a third said the country is “losing ground” in education and 28 percent said that there has been no appreciable change in educational quality.

Conducted in February, the survey results were released after the launch of two new Obama Administration initiatives on behalf of young people of color. In January, Pres. Obama appointed leaders in education, philanthropy and law to serve on a commission for the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans. The president is also seeking support from foundations and businesses for “My Brother’s Keeper,” a campaign he announced on February 27 to improve the education and life prospects of young Latino and African-American males. >>> Read more Washington informer

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