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Best line of the Democratic National Convention, delivered by Barney Smith, a blue collar worker in a red and white checked shirt sporting a small blue Obama button, in front of 84,000 people at Invesco Field, and 38 million watching on TV. Appearing unaccustomed to public speaking, Smith spoke plainly about growing up in the heartland, following in his father’s footsteps – raising a family and working a good manufacturing job at an RCA plant – until his job was outsourced in 2004, and he got 90 days severance pay after working there for 31 years… followed by 13 months of unemployment:

“For most of my life I was a proud Republican – but not any more…. The Republicans talk about putting country first, but tell that to Marion, Indiana. They sent my job overseas. America can’t stand more of the same.

“We need a President who puts Barney Smith before Smith Barney!”

– Barney Smith, 28 August 2008 – Democratic Convention, Denver, Colorado

“A free spirit, huh? Well, you know I’ve been called that. But you know there’s no point in setting a spirit free if it just runs and hides once it’s sprung from the box. Now, too many free spirits confuse freedom with mere chaos. The fact is, you can’t lose focus. You can’t avoid the real world. A truly free spirit seizes their time and works like a field mule right around the clock to try to haul all the less free souls to someplace better. And this is the true job of the Artist, the Seer, and yes, even the Princess. Temptation is just the voice that whispers: ‘Don’t bother.’ Well here’s the word: Bother. Do it. Reach!

– Dennis Hopper, Concert for Diana, 1 July 2007

Great Words from Great Wordsmiths

“I am the strings, and the Supreme is the musician.” - Carlos Santana

“What a wonderful life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner.” - Collette

“I have spent my days stringing and unstringing my instrument, while the song I came to sing remains unsung.” - Rabindranath Tagore

“A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” - Maya Angelou
August 2008