In her recent state of the city speech, Ellen O. took on the local bloggers of the world. Read her own words:
"One of our greatest challenges this City faces comes at a high cost, but has no dollar amount attached to it. Our ability to be civil with one another and interact without accusing or pointing fingers is a challenge I have tried to address since my first year as mayor. The “Let’s Talk Annapolis” forums and luncheons, the Civility Panel and discussions, were all part of an attempt to open a dialog and make the city better through the ideas of its own residents. During this election year, we need to keep discussions open with a civil approach to problem solving involving city officials, the public and the media. As a courtesy to the next Mayor and Council, here is a little fact that has been lost through the years, but once ruled the harsh tongues in the New Colony of Maryland. A law against spreading false news and information was proposed by Proprietor Lord Baltimore. The law declared: “Spreading false news to make discord is punishable by common law, with fines and imprisonment.” An attempt to create a civil environment has been the focus of leaders dating back to Lord Baltimore. In 1651, commenting on rumor and intentional false statements in a letter, he stated, “… A government divided in itself brings confusion and much misery upon all the people under it, within the creators of such division, the fomenters of discord must justly expect sad calamities from the same if they do not in time see and rectify the same, for the public peace and welfare of the people under the government,”…
The focus of Lord Baltimore’s comments of law, were part of the New Colony’s formation and success. The spread of intentional falsehoods could not be tolerated. These same principals are used today regarding slander and libel. 358 years later…. the fight for civility continues!"
Indeed it does....Ellen O....indeed it does and we will continue to fight for civility as long as she remains mayor. We remember how she ran to the newspaper to call her constituents "Rhetorical bomb throwers" and how she called a fellow alderman's attempt to reform our government "an assault on representative government"...yes she--the thin-skinned, blamer flamer! We know how she argues and browbeats every citizen who comes to testify before her, how she does not let us get a word in if we disagree with her. We know how she cannot stand it when anyone disagrees. So I had to chuckle when she spent part of her valuable State of The City speech to yet again wag her finger in some of our faces and tell us about public discourse, quoting from historical accounts no less. But I have to wonder, about who exactly was she speaking?
She seems to have forgotten a very different reference to free speech in English history when she hosted the deputy head of mission from the British Embassy who praised bloggers as the pamphleteers of the current era. See here: Mayor Ellen "O" Hosts Deputy Head of Mission at British Embassy---Praises Bloggers!!
For the historical source of the quotes from the mayor, see this digitized reference on page 674 of this excerpt from "History of Maryland" by John Leeds Bozman. I warn you that it is written in a formal and almost impenetrable prose. See the Letter or Message of the Lord Proprietary at Expect Sad Calamities.
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