Friday, August 29, 2008

Obama's Speach Condensed

I had somewhat mixed feelings about Obama's acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention. To be realistic, it was almost impossible to live up to the hype and expectations that arose leading up to the speech. The speech did contain some very good and moving lines. But sometimes they seemed to get buried inside a more standard partisan political speech.

So here is my condensed version of the speech, focusing on the key lines that seemed to be the most inspirational about the need for a change and our moment in history. This is after all one of the most historically significant elections in our nation's history. Let's keep that in mind. The following are all direct words from Obama's speech - with sections of intervening text removed. Do you like it better?

It is that promise that's always set this country apart, that through hard work and sacrifice each of us can pursue our individual dreams, but still come together as one American family, to ensure that the next generation can pursue their dreams, as well.

That's why I stand here tonight. Because for 232 years, at each moment when that promise was in jeopardy, ordinary men and women -- students and soldiers, farmers and teachers, nurses and janitors -- found the courage to keep it alive.

We meet at one of those defining moments, a moment when our nation is at war, our economy is in turmoil, and the American promise has been threatened once more.

America, now is not the time for small plans.

I stand before you tonight because all across America something is stirring. What the naysayers don't understand is that this election has never been about me; it's about you.

It's about you.

For 18 long months, you have stood up, one by one, and said, "Enough," to the politics of the past. You understand that, in this election, the greatest risk we can take is to try the same, old politics with the same, old players and expect a different result.

You have shown what history teaches us, that at defining moments like this one, the change we need doesn't come from Washington. Change comes to Washington.

Change happens -- change happens because the American people demand it, because they rise up and insist on new ideas and new leadership, a new politics for a new time.

America, this is one of those moments.

I believe that, as hard as it will be, the change we need is coming, because I've seen it, because I've lived it.

America, we cannot turn back... not with so much work to be done.

America, we cannot turn back. We cannot walk alone.

At this moment, in this election, we must pledge once more to march into the future. Let us keep that promise, that American promise, and in the words of scripture hold firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Falling Behind China's Energy Policy

While China and the Olympics is on everyone's mind, here is an interesting set of comments on China's environmental policies from Jim Rogers, chief executive of Duke Energy Corp.

China, he said, already leads the world in manufacturing solar energy panels. Next year the country will become the world's top manufacturer of wind turbines. Rogers said China is creating the technology and developing "the creativity and the brain power to blow by the United States" on green energy. And it is creating jobs for its future. “They are making it happen while we are still talking about it...It’s time the United States and its leaders — including the two presidential candidates — face the fact that this country can no longer claim to be a leader on global-warming and clean-energy issues."

When you add up the cost of what the United States squandered by its decisions in the last decade or so, don't forget to include this.