Thursday 26 May 2016

Politics As Usual

Politics As Usual
I’ve been following the presidential campaigns as well as our state campaigns for the U.S. Congress and I am sad to say that the faces change but the rhetoric stays the same. I was once married to a U.S. Congressman so I have a bit of experience in this “campaign stuff.”
Last week McCain said he didn’t know how many houses he owned and this week Obama didn’t know what town he was in. Both have made major gaffs that give the other side ammunition for derogatory comments and negative campaign ads. Each is bashing the other, each is reaching for anything that helps them win. They’re tired, they’re overbooked and they’re human. While they say a lot of words, neither candidate offers any hard specifics about what they’ll do once in office. Each offers a lot of generalities. Actually, they can’t do much more than that because, thank God, they are not a one man show once they get elected. They have a Legislative and Judicial branch they have to work with and getting that many “important” people to work together is like herding cats. The also have to cut through all the lobbyists and that is an even bigger challenge.
Last night I watched the opening of the Democrat Convention and felt like I was at a pep rally. Little of substance was said. Michele Obama gave the keynote address and I found myself feeling a bit distressed. She wore a beautiful designer dress, was coiffed and impeccable in her appearance and tried to convince the conventioneers that she was “middle class” just like them. (Actually, she has her own dress designer, Maria Pinto, whom she has used “for a long time.” I don’t know many middle class women who have their own dress designer, do you?) She gave a speech that was full of words but short on both feeling and substance. I wasn’t convinced. She kept trying to persuade the “congregation” that she and her candidate-husband are middle class – just like them. She painfully recited all the problems encountered by herself and Barack in their early years growing up in middle class neighborhoods. She failed to mention that she graduated from both Princeton and Harvard. I felt she “protesteth too much.” I came away from it wanting to know who the “real” Michele Obama is.
The children were beautiful.
The commentators afterward lined up on both sides, of course. Some seemed to think the speech was on target, wonderful, portraying a true picture of a middle class family that is headed for the White House. Others saw them portrayed as Bevear-Cleaver-family-wanna-be types in an effort to get votes. There was little middle ground with the news media.
On a state level it’s much worse. We have a number of candidates in the race for a congressional seat in my district in Arizona. All talk about “clean campaigns” and the mud is flying faster than I’ve ever seen political mud fly. I get 3 or 4 pre-recorded phone messages a day from these candidates, each bashing the others and asking for my vote – and my money. It will be a matter of picking the “lesser of the evils” on election day. That is very sad.
Where are the statesmen? Who has a passion for this country strong enough to put all the personal aggrandizement aside? Don’t tell me what you think I want to hear. Don’t read the polls in the morning paper and stand for the ” issues of the day.” What are your stands on the issues? What do you want to accomplish? That’s what I want to know – consistently and unembellished.
Senators McCain and Obama, don’t think I’ll vote for you just because you’re a war hero or a black man, a Democrat or a Republican, a liberal or a conservative or because you’re the “media darling.” I’m not voting for your wife or your children or  for you because you have a nice personality. I’m not turned off because you make a mistake or misspeak when you’re rushed or tired. I will vote for you based on your record and your stand on the issues. I will place my vote where I see integrity and openness. Please, please let us know what your positions really are and what you truly want to accomplish as President of the United States of America.
Readers, don’t get mad at me because you think I bashed your favorite candidate. I’m an equal opportunity basher. I love America. I want the best leader we can elect as President because we are in trouble as a nation. We need a statesman. Will the real statesman please stand up?
Let’s see some honesty, here. Let’s see some leadership. Let’s see some truth.
Can we shift gears and make it Politics NOT as usual?
Irene Conlan has a masters degree in nursing, a doctoral degree in metaphysics, is a certified hypnotherapist and an ordained minister. She practices holistic hypnotherapy and officiates at weddings in Scottsdale, Az and the Phoenix metropolitan area. Irene can be found at

Monday 23 May 2016

5 guilty in Motor City Casino cheating conspiracy

Michigan AG announces pleas in scam involving alleged crooked dealer

A conspiracy allegedly involving a crooked poker dealer at Motor City Casino who paid out on losing bets has led to five players' guilty pleas, the Michigan Attorney General's Office announced today.
Darryl Green, 53, who was the casino's dealer during the alleged acts in 2014, faces a pre-trial conference on Friday, according to the news release from AG Bill Schuette's office.
The scheme involved playing Texas Hold'em and either paying players on losing bets or not collecting payment on lost bets in 2014. The casino had asked Michigan State Police to investigate possible dealer-player collusion, which led to the charges. The scheme involved "hundreds of dollars of individual player payouts," according to the news release.
"The investigation showed the other six defendants in the case knew Green and associated with him outside of the casino prior to and after the alleged cheating," according to the news release.
Green and Leah Smith, 42, of Melvindale, both face one count each of conspiracy to cheat at a gambling game (five-year felony), gambling activities (10-year felony), conspiracy to commit larceny in a building (four-year felony) and larceny in a building (four-year felony).
The pleas include Roxanna Mckinney, 49, of Farmington Hills; Eugene Davis, Jr., 32, of Detroit; and Hayward Stampley, 57, of West Bloomfield each admitting guilt to attempted gambling activities, a felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Each agreed to testify against their co-defendants, and they're set to be sentenced in June, according to the AG.
Calvin Pullom, 47, of Detroit pleaded guilty to attempted larceny in a building, a misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison, and also agreed to testify against co-defendants.
Earl Railey, 65, of Detroit pleaded guilty as a habitual fourth offender to one count each of of conspiracy to cheat at a gambling game (five-year felony), gambling activities (10-year felony), conspiracy to commit larceny in a building (four-year felony), and larceny in a building (four-year felony). He entered a Cobb's agreement with the judge for 18 months of probation and 20 days in jail; the agreement permits  defendants to request an initial report of what their sentence will likely be if they plead guilty. His sentencing is set for June 24.
Contact Robert Allen @rallenMI or 

Thursday 19 May 2016


by William N. Grigg
Following a year in which the public was relentlessly barraged with alarmist rhetoric about a “war on cops” and the dreadful impact of the so-called “Ferguson Effect,” official FBI statistics confirm that violent line-of-duty police deaths declined precipitously in 2015.
“Preliminary statistics … show that 41 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty in 2015. This is a decrease of almost 20 percent when compared with the 51 officers killed in 2014.” A greater number of officers (45) suffered fatal injuries in duty-related accidents, 41 of which involved motor vehicles.
Through May 17 of this year, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, there have been 35 line-of-duty police officer deaths, 21 of which involve violence, such as gunfire or vehicular assault. This suggests that 2016 might see an increase in that grim total, but fortunately that remains only a possibility.
Throughout 2015, law enforcement officials, police unions, and even FBI Director James Comey warned of a “war on cops” that was supposedly an outgrowth of what they called the “Ferguson Effect” – police reluctance to use force because of concerns over negative publicity. On May 10, for instance, Comey reiterated that theme, insisting that the “viral video effect” has changed “the way police may be acting” by inhibiting them from taking assertive action to deal with violent crime. This supposedly leaves police more insecure, thereby emancipating criminals to wreak havoc on under-protected communities.
However, as former Baltimore police officer-turned-police reform advocate Michael Wood Jr. told The Intercept, there are cases in which less aggressive policing has corresponded to a decline in violent crime: Where police don’t treat the public as an enemy to be subdued, the public responds by seeking help, and giving it, in the effort to deter crimes against persons and property.
“Police now for the first time are having to consider the consequences of being brutal, being unethical, and doing things that for the longest time they could do and not be accountable for,” Wood declares. “But that doesn’t make crime happen.”
Comey’s melodramatic statements about a “chill wind blowing through law enforcement,” and reliance on things he has been told “in lots of conversations privately with police leaders” demonstrate that “he is pushing an ideology,” Woods continues. “Comey’s position is that if the armed enforcement wing of the government takes its boot off the neck of the public, just a little, then we will just become killers.”
While fewer police suffered violent deaths last year than in any year since 2013 – when 27 officers were feloniously killed – there is no evidence that the police have been inhibited in the use of deadly force. According to unofficial tabulations, at least 1,200 Americans died in violent encounters with the police last year. Official notice is taken of each of the exceedingly rare instances in which police are violently killed, but there is no official tally of people killed by the police, or accounting for whether each use of lethal force was legally justified.
It is true, as Comey and other law enforcement officials have said, that last year’s murder rate was about eleven percent higher than the year before, as defined by crime statistics gathered in the country’s 30 largest cities. However, as the Brennan Center for Justice points out in its detailed report on the subject, “Even with the 2015 increases, murder rates are roughly the same as they were in 2012”; furthermore, while murder rates were up in 14 of the 30 largest cities, 11 others saw that rate go down last year.
When all documented offenses against persons and property were taken into account, elaborates the Brennan Center, the crime rate for 2015 declined by 1.5 percent.
“It is important to remember just how much crime has fallen in the last 25 years,” underscores the Brennan Center report. “The crime rate is now half what it was in 1990, and almost a quarter (22 percent) less than it was at the turn of the century.”
Since violent on-duty police deaths are vanishingly rare, and crime of all kinds at near-historic lows, what is the real “Ferguson Effect”?
Perhaps the true meaning of that expression is found in the emergence of a movement spearheaded by police unions to define law enforcement as a “specially protected category” for the purposes of “hate crimes” prosecution.
Police officers already enjoy the benefits of “Blue Privilege” – qualified immunity and special consideration in the use of occupational violence. Criminal offenses against police officers are already treated as serious felonies. However, at the urging of police unions and their allies, legislatures in several states are considering bills that would treat violence against police – such as actively resisting arrest – as hate crimes.
Versions of that legislation, which is supported by the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) – the country’s largest police union – have been introduced in Maryland and Louisiana, and as ordinances in several cities. The Louisiana bill, HB 953, would make any offense committed against a person or property because of “actual or perceived … employment as a law enforcement officer or firefighter” a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
An FOP-supported bill in Maryland that would likely serve as a model for federal legislation would make resisting arrest a “hate crime” owing to the identity of the supposed victim. State legislatures elsewhere are considering similar measures, and some municipal governments are enacting resolutions endorsing the FOP’s demand to swaddle police officers in federal “specially protected” status.
Displaying tone-deafness as to what his comments say about the supposed valor of police officers, Canterbury demanded that cops be designated a “specially protected” group who are “hunted and targeted just because of the uniform they wear.” This woeful account of insurgent criminals and besieged cops evolved into a demand that “hate speech” be treated as a federal offense.
“Elected officials are quick to console the families of the fallen and praise us for the difficult and dangerous work that we do every day,” sniffles the FOP commissar. “Yet, too many are silent when the hate speech floods the media with calls for violence against police or demands that police stand down and give them” – Canterbury never defines “them,” interestingly – “`room to destroy.’ The violence will not end until the rhetoric does which is why I have called on Congress and your Administration to work with us to address the surge of violence against police by expanding the Federal hate crimes law to protect police.” (Emphasis added.)
The objective here, once again, is to penalize rhetoric as a criminal act against a member of a specially protected class. Apparently, the “War on Cops” won’t be won until citizens who criticize them face criminal prosecution for doing so.



The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is attempting to suppress information about a massive database which contains fingerprints, palm prints, iris, voice, and face scans, as well as other biometric data, of millions of Americans.

In early May the U.S. Department of Justice released a proposal which would exempt the FBI’s biometric database from public disclosure. Specifically, the proposal would exempt the Next Generation Identification (NGI) System from provisions of the federal Privacy Act, which “requires federal agencies to share information about the records they collect with the individual subject of those records, allowing them to verify and correct them if needed.” The proposal is open for public comment until June 6, 2016.

Although the database does contain biometric data on convicted criminals, it also contains information on individuals who were only suspected or temporarily detained under the suspicion of a crime. The system also features data from people fingerprinted for jobs, licenses, military or volunteer service, background checks, security clearances, and other government processes.

Essentially the FBI is arguing that it will prevent individuals from knowing if their information is in the massive database if the release of information would “compromise” a law enforcement investigation. Next Gov first reported on the proposal:

“Letting individuals view their own records, or even the accounting of those records, could compromise criminal investigations or “national security efforts,” potentially revealing a “sensitive investigative technique” or information that could help a subject “avoid detection or apprehension,” the draft posting said.

Another clause requires agencies to keep the records they collect to assure individuals any determination made about them was made fairly. Arguing for an exemption, the FBI posting claimed it is “impossible to know in advance what information is accurate, relevant, timely and complete” for “authorized law enforcement purposes.”
Although the database may contain information about individuals conducting perfectly legal actions and behaviors, the proposal says the FBI should hold the data because “with time, seemingly irrelevant or untimely information may acquire new significance when new details are brought to light.” The FBI claims the information within the database could possibly help with “establishing patterns of activity and providing criminal lead.”

Jeramie Scott, a national security counsel at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, told NextGov that the proposal “would set a worrying precedent in which law enforcement has significant leeway to decide what information to collect without informing the subject.”

Although very little is actually known about the database, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and EPIC have been able to uncover that the FBI would like to track every individual as they move from one location to another. In 2013, EPIC obtained a document which showed, “NGI shall return an incorrect candidate a maximum of 20% of the time.”

In 2011, the EFF acknowledged that,

Once the collection of biometrics becomes standardized, it becomes much easier to locate and track someone across all aspects of their life. EFF believes that perfect tracking is inimical to a free society. A society in which everyone’s actions are tracked is not, in principle, free. It may be a livable society, but would not be our society.
In 2014 the EFF received documents from the FBI related to the NGI system. Based on the records, the EFF estimated that the face recognition component of NGI would include as many as 52 million face images by 2015.

If you are an outspoken activist, have ever been detained, or arrested, your biometrics are more than likely contained in this database. If you have ever applied for a driver’s license or state identification card you are likely in this database. Millions of innocent people are having their biometrics scooped up and logged into another database that federal agents will have unrestricted access to. When combined with cellphone surveillance, aerial surveillance, and every other surveillance tool available to the local, state, and federal agencies, a clear picture of a draconian Surveillance State emerges.

Thankfully, there are examples of individuals working to create technology (here, here) that can combat the pervasive eyes and ears of Big Brother. However, until those counter-surveillance tools are widespread in the mainstream we must take principled action against the Surveillance State. Invest in technologies that promote privacy and protection. Use encrypted chats, emails, and video calls. Learn about the myriad of alternative options available to you. Only by taking action and seeking solutions will we find the path towards a more free world that values privacy of the individual.


Wednesday 18 May 2016


Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them broken." You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against — then you'll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We're after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you'd better get wise to it. There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens' What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted — and you create a nation of law-breakers — and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Rearden, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with.

Sunday 15 May 2016

If Evolution Is True Then Why Don't Dogs Fly?

Image result for Why Don't Dogs Fly

So far in canine evolution, the dog has gained no advantage from the need to fly, however if the main food on the dog's menu takes to the air, then eventually the dog will evolve into a creature that will be able to chase that prey in the air. 

If the dog failed to do this, the species must either evolve to eat elsewhere or learn to fly, the only other option is extinction. 

This process may take a little while so don't wait up.

Dogs would have to give up their front legs to acquire wings. 

There's an old saying: "You don't always get what you want." 

But in a few million years perhaps some small dogs or foxes who climb trees could resemble the the flying squirrels in technique. More so if they develop a hankering for flying squirrels? I am unable to rule that out, and worse yet, some flying squirrels might become fully carnivorous. 

The future has always been far more surprising than I anticipated, even though some things are predictable. 

A war on at least some mosquitoes is starting. Who will win? The bad mosquitoes or the clever humans? 

Time to beware of poisons in one's water and other wrong places too. Inexpert cures are worse than the disease. 

If the troublesome features of life are being distributed fairly, something should appear in cold places like Russia and Manchuria soon. Canada had a big forest fire in Fort McMurray AB... 

There are flying fish, are you saying they are more versatile than dogs? I think dogs are more useful as they are. Wings are likely to encourage them to wander off, no? 

Just covering a few points here, more could be said.

One bible thump-er said: False assumptions and false reasoning lead to false conclusions. While I do not personally believe in evolution, I also do not believe in false arguments against evolution. Would you like to try again? 

My argument? It is too fantastical to believe that everything will "mutate" into a balance that is just right and will do so very slowly over time. 

You cannot have "random" mutations that happen to be passed onto the next generation that happen to be just right across multiple species. Sorry, but that is a "miracle". 

It is easier to believe in God designing life this way than it is to believe in random mutations. IF evolution is real, then so too is God. If God created everything this way, then it isn't really's design.

Will Jesus Followers Support Donald Trump?

I ask this as a lifelong Republican and as a lifelong Christian who attends church several times a week:: 

How can a true Christian support Donald Trump? The Bible says that when the righteous rule, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people mourn. 

Nothing about Donald Trump's life/behavior or policies even remotely suggests that he is Christian: 

* Extreme self-centeredness 
* Meanness/nastiness towards others, both individually and as groups 
* No real commitment to church attendance 
* No knowledge of the Bible ("Two Corinthians") or illustrated desire to repent (he doesn't ask God for forgiveness) 
* Extreme wealth that he doesn't give away 

What am I missing? Yes, Obama & Co. are perhaps worse, but I don't see how I can support Trump at all.

 Because everyone has their own idea of who Jesus really was, obviously.

Some Christians don't even realize Jesus was a Jew who absolutely hated money and Capitalism.

(See the part where Jesus chases the money launderers with two whips)

Hell, even the Nazis thought Jesus was proud of them.

I have found most elections involve voting for the "lesser of two evils."

This will be no exception.

I was not a supporter of Donald Trump. He was not my first choice.

Will I vote for Donald Trump? Absolutely, since it appears the opponent will be Hillary Clinton, who is horrible. And I am not a Bernie Sanders fan either.

Donald Trump has captured an incredible following. We like to think we live in a democracy, and so it is a bit upsetting when the so-called leaders of the Republican party are trying to stop him. That goes against the grain of a democracy.

Granted, Trump has projected himself in such a way as to attract attention. He has hit a nerve for people who are upset with the way things are being run. He has an obnoxious manner that some people like, and some people find objectionable. And what about "political correctness?"

The problem with political correctness is that it is often not based on anything that is truly correct.

It is interesting that Donald Trump has been ignoring "political correctness," and the media jumps all over it, but his poll numbers remain high. This may reflect that there are a lot of people who are feed up with "political correctness," and they would prefer someone to tell it like it is.

Trump could end up being a horrible president, or maybe a great president. But I know Hillary Clinton would be a horrible president. Not voting for Hillary. That's for sure.

Would you date a ANY black person?

I have but will not do it again. I had three American black girlfriends (didn't learn from the first two). At first, everything was normal as with any race. 

As we got to know each other, everything got turned into a racial issue. They were so racist, I mean if I am working late or have to go out of town for business they accused me of not wanting to spend time with them bc they were black, seriously; they were not joking. 

Then on social issues where a black guy would rob a store, shoot at cops, then the cops kill him. They would accuse the cops of being racists and ask if I agree; um if he didn't engage in those activities then he would be dead was considered a racist answer. 

Anyways, I will now only date any chick that is not an American black or a black women who has been Americanized, so women from Ghana or Congo are still fair game.

For one we come from two different cultural backgrounds; we have different ideas on what a relationship is and would have a very hard time seeing eye to eye. For two, relationships have an average of life of 20-65 days; anyway, so 1-2 months tops, probably less when it comes to interracial dating. 

I do have to admit as a young Caucasian, slender male; that heavy set (NOT fat or obese) dark skinned women in their 40s are the hottest to. I might date an older black woman if she found me interesting but I doubt that would ever happen. 

A word to wise for anyone consider IR relationships, don't do it because you think it looks unusual or unique. I know in today's society people love to be their own and prove long held beliefs wrong. But going against the tides of society is like fighting a rip current. What happens when you swim directly against the current? 

That's right, you lose every time. Just be mindful of that. 

Friday 13 May 2016


I am thrilled to be alive at time when humanity is pushing against the limits of understanding. Even better, we may eventually discover that there are no limits.


Do you really mean to tell me the only reason you try to be good is to gain God's approval and reward, or to avoid his disapproval and punishment? That's not morality, that's just sucking up, apple-polishing, looking over your shoulder at the great surveillance camera in the sky, or the still small wiretap inside your head, monitoring your every move, even your every base though.


The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.

Thursday 12 May 2016


Did you really think that we want those laws to be observed?" said Dr. Ferris. "We want them broken. You'd better get it straight that it's not a bunch of boy scouts you're up against — then you'll know that this is not the age for beautiful gestures. We're after power and we mean it. You fellows were pikers, but we know the real trick, and you'd better get wise to it. There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws. Who wants a nation of law-abiding citizens' What's there in that for anyone? But just pass the kind of laws that can neither be observed nor enforced nor objectively interpreted — and you create a nation of law-breakers — and then you cash in on guilt. Now that's the system, Mr. Rearden, that's the game, and once you understand it, you'll be much easier to deal with.

Monday 9 May 2016


It is interesting to note that the death penalty for individuals is less controversial than the mere suggestion that a few corporations may have forfeited their right to exist. How many people does a company have to harm before we question if it ought to exist ?


My favorite conspiracy theory is the one that says the world is being run by a handful of ultra-rich capitalists, and that our elected governments are mere puppets. I sure hope it's true. Otherwise my survival depends on hordes of clueless goobers electing competent leaders. That's about as likely as a dog pissing the Mona Lisa into a snow bank.


He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice. This disgrace to civilization should be done away with at once. Heroism at command, senseless brutality, deplorable love-of-country stance, how violently I hate all this, how despicable and ignoble war is; I would rather be torn to shreds than be a part of so base an action! It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.


My opinions. No one else may claim them. My employer rarely asks what they are. My wife disagrees with them. My boss ignores them. My lawyer worries about them. My shrink writes articles about them. Any more questions ?


Funny how the definition of socialism changed over the years. First it was social ownership of everything with no private property. Then it was central planning of the industry with some made up price system that never worked like the various schemes Soviet Union came up with (usually followed by a famine). Then it was the 'third way' of countries like Yugoslavia (at the time it was briefly prosperous before the collapse) with a mix of state owned industry and some small scale private enterprise. Now it's basically a capitalist economy like Sweden with a slightly higher taxes than in the US and more welfare spending. Pretty soon you guys will finally be driven all the way to the right and call laissez-faire capitalism 'socialism'.


I don't see any justification for the federal government owning land, other than the Statue of Liberty and maybe a few parks, maybe a few refuges. But to just own land to do nothing with it I think is a disservice to the Constitution.


First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was not a Communist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me

Best Quotes From Barack Obama

Best Quotes From Barack Obama

Best Quotes From Barack Obama

Barack Obama, the 44th and current President of the United States, is among the most inspiring leaders the world has seen in recent times. He is also by far the most talked about person around the world.
Following are some inspirational Barack Obama quotes.

“The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.”

“Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. Because it’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential.”

“If you’re walking down the right path and you’re willing to keep walking, eventually you’ll make progress.”

“That’s not how our democracy functions. That’s not how our Constitution is written. So let’s be honest. I need a dance partner here — and the floor is empty.”

“If the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists – to protect them and to promote their common welfare – all else is lost.”

“We need to steer clear of this poverty of ambition, where people want to drive fancy cars and wear nice clothes and live in nice apartments but don’t want to work hard to accomplish these things. Everyone should try to realize their full potential.”

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

“We don’t ask you to believe in our ability to bring change, rather, we ask you to believe in yours.”
“The thing about hip-hop today is it’s smart, it’s insightful. The way they can communicate a complex message in a very short space is remarkable.”

“Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself. And it will leave you unfulfilled.”

“I don’t oppose all wars. What I am opposed to is a dumb war. What I am opposed to is a rash war.”
“The true test of the American ideal is whether we’re able to recognize our failings and then rise together to meet the challenges of our time. Whether we allow ourselves to be shaped by events and history, or whether we act to shape them.”
“I believe in evolution, scientific inquiry, and global warming; I believe in free speech, whether politically correct or politically incorrect, and I am suspicious of using government to impose anybody’s religious beliefs -including my own- on nonbelievers.”

“In the end, that’s what this election is about. Do we participate in a politics of cynicism or a politics of hope?”

“I always believe that ultimately, if people are paying attention, then we get good government and good leadership. And when we get lazy, as a democracy and civically start taking shortcuts, then it results in bad government and politics.”

“My job is not to represent Washington to you, but to represent you to Washington.”

“Making your mark on the world is hard. If it were easy, everybody would do it. But it’s not. It takes patience, it takes commitment, and it comes with plenty of failure along the way. The real test is not whether you avoid this failure, because you won’t. it’s whether you let it harden or shame you into inaction, or whether you learn from it; whether you choose to persevere.”

“If the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists – to protect them and to promote their common welfare – all else is lost.”

“It’s important to make sure that we’re talking with each other in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds.”

“While we breathe, we will hope.”