“Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it.”

View Donald Trump’s speech below, or read the transcript.

And I take him at his word. Every one of them.

Courtesy ABC15 Arizona

 

 

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Plagiarism. It’s Called Plagiarism.

Courtesy CNN

The split screen doesn’t lie. Neither do the words.

Melania Trump (or her team) plagiarized Michelle Obama’s speech delivered before the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Full stop.

Whether you take her at her word that she wrote the speech with as little help as possible or believe that she relied on a speechwriter (or a team of writers), that speech was plagiarized. Regardless of the denials of the Trump campaign, or the minimizing attempted by campaign surrogates.

This is something you do not do. Ever.

Never use other people’s words as your own without attribution.

It is wrong. Your deceit will be uncovered–quickly (hat tip to Jarrett Hill–credited as the first to notice the plagiarized passage and to tweet about it).

And mocked mercilessly.

So don’t do it. Don’t even be tempted by it.

Don’t plagiarize.

 

 

 

Serena Williams: “Still I Rise.”

Courtesy BBC Sport

This is the best 2:11 minutes you will spend today.

Get inspired by Serena Williams–2016 Wimbledon champion, and now winner of 22 grand slams, matching Steffi Graf’s record–by hearing her read Maya Angelou’s tremendous poem, “Still I Rise.” The video is a powerful and beautiful, just like Serena.

And let’s face it: We can all use some inspiration these days.

Rise! And have a Terrific Tuesday!

 

Alton Sterling, Philandro Castile and What Congress Could Be Doing Today.

Another day, another horrific police shooting. First, Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and now Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota–and both instances recorded on video.

These killings should be a national outrage. Congressional hearings should be conducted. Right now.

In fact, FBI Director James Comey is testifying as I write this…about email.

How I wish, instead, that he was testifying about why data regarding unjustifiable police killings doesn’t exist.

Courtesy FBI.

He delivered a speech about it last year at Georgetown University.

The first step to understanding what is really going on in our communities and in our country is to gather more and better data related to those we arrest, those we confront for breaking the law and jeopardizing public safety, and those who confront us. “Data” seems a dry and boring word but, without it, we cannot understand our world and make it better.

How can we address concerns about “use of force,” how can we address concerns about officer-involved shootings if we do not have a reliable grasp on the demographics and circumstances of those incidents? We simply must improve the way we collect and analyze data to see the true nature of what’s happening in all of our communities.

The FBI tracks and publishes the number of “justifiable homicides” reported by police departments. But, again, reporting by police departments is voluntary and not all departments participate. That means we cannot fully track the number of incidents in which force is used by police, or against police, including non-fatal encounters, which are not reported at all.

Without complete and accurate data, we are left with “ideological thunderbolts.” And that helps spark unrest and distrust and does not help us get better. Because we must get better, I intend for the FBI to be a leader in urging departments around this country to give us the facts we need for an informed discussion, the facts all of us need, to help us make sound policy and sound decisions with that information. –FBI Director James Comey

Why not ask Mr. Comey about this speech? Why not pledge to give him the tools he needs both to combat unjustifiable police killings, and influence behavior on the local and state level?

That’s just one of the many questions Members of Congress could be asking today–but aren’t.

Read or watch this important speech.

And remember that you can’t fix what you refuse to define or quantify.

 

 

Making a Start, and Choosing Strength

The massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando was one of 43 shootings that happened on June 12, 2016. It was the 141st mass shooting in the United States this year.

And today marks the ninth time President Obama will visit a community to offer words of comfort in the wake of such unspeakable violence.

Let that sink in for a moment.

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Monday Motivation: Love–or Fear?

May flowers, Mother’s Day, Memorial Day…May is a pretty eventful month. May also kicks off the traditional graduation season–and that means even more speeches!

So for today’s Monday Motivation, listen to this minute-long clip from actor Jim Carrey. The clip is a portion of his 2014 commencement address at the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa.

 

You spend your whole life–imagining ghosts, worrying about the pathway to the future–but all there will ever be is what’s happening here, and the decisions we make in this moment, which are based in either love or fear. –Jim Carrey

Embrace the day–and the week–with love!

“Mamba Out.”

Last night was one for the ages for NBA fans.

While the record-breaking Golden State Warriors show that they are the NBA’s future, Kobe Bryant, playing  in his final NBA game, is now part of the NBA’s storied past.

And Bryant made his exit as only he could: by scoring 60 points to lead his beloved Lakers in a win over the Utah Jazz before an electric crowd at the Staples Center.

Talk about ending one’s career with an exclamation point!

Of course, a farewell of this magnitude would be incomplete without a farewell speech. He thanked his fans and family for supporting him on the incredible journey he has traveled as a Laker. I am amazed that he could find the words to speak after such an emotion-filled, physically-demanding performance.

After a 20-year career that includes winning five NBA championships (three of them in consecutive years), two Olympic gold medals and an NBA Most Valuable Player award–other than thank his fans, what can more can he say?

Mamba out. –Kobe Bryant

Courtesy of Sports Universe via ESPN

 

Monday Motivation: Make an Impact!

Today’s Monday Motivation is a quote from Jackie Robinson, a man who fought to desegregate American life–most notably, on the baseball diamond.

A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives. –Jackie Robinson

Robinson, of course, had quite an impact on many lives in our country, and beyond our shores. And we will be able to learn more about his impact in the new Ken Burns documentary, “Jackie Robinson.” It airs in two parts–tonight and tomorrow–on PBS. The President and First Lady also appear in the documentary.

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Wednesday Word: Patience.

May I have a Wednesday Word with you? That word is “patience,” a virtue we all need to practice.

Including me.

I planned to blog on March 1, and share this picture.

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The fabulous followup to my December 1 class.

The blog post was to be an update for the “Now Year’s Resolutions” challenge (not “new”) I issued to my cycle class.

I blogged about it on December 1. I challenged my class members that day to think of one small aspect of their lives that they wanted to change, and to commit to writing down the change and taking steps to achieve it, instead of waiting until New Year’s Day to do so.

Little did they know that I planned to follow-up with them and ask them about their progress on March 1.

That class was an awesome one. I was well-pleased with the level of effort they displayed. It was a challenging class with new music and routines, and they didn’t miss a beat. Most of all, I was very impressed with the individual changes they had made since December 1. I walked out of the gym with a bigger-than-normal smile on my face. Since I was feeling so good, I decided to do a bit of a yoga before starting the work day.

Little did I know–as I tried to move from chaturanga into an upward-facing dog–that my left ankle would have other plans.

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Thank You!

Good news!

I just learned that Speeches & Sprints was selected as an Official Honoree in The 20th Annual Webby Awards in the Web: Personal Blog/Website category from the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

I can barely contain my excitement!

The Webbys received 13,000 entries from every state in Webby_Honoree 2016the United States and 65 countries. To be an Official Honoree means that this blog was in the top 20 percent of all entries.

But I didn’t do it alone. I thank my “village” of family and friends who encouraged and supported me. I thank also my group exercise class members for inspiring me. Most of all, I thank everyone who has taken the time to read this blog, and has found practical tips or inspiration for their work, whether professional or personal. It is truly a labor of love, and a deep honor.

Thank you so much, Webbys! And thank you, readers!!