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Hot New Sentences

September 3, 2008

Reading the NY Times‘ coverage of Hurricane Gustav this Monday, I came across this beautiful sentence:

As the wind blew through the deserted streets, a group of bored police officers sat on rolling office chairs outside on Tchoupitoulas Street, watching a few of their colleagues “wind-surfing” down the long thoroughfare, one of them explained. Two officers would hold up opposite ends of a sheet and wait for the gusts to blow them down the traffic-less street on their rolling chairs.

Really the first sentence is the best, especially up until “thoroughfare.” Just say it out loud to yourself; it’s really musical, rolls off the tongue. Almost poetry.

Then there’s this, from an Onion article about Cheney waiting until the last minute (again) to buy 9/11 gifts:

Although Cheney himself has never received any Sept. 11 gifts, with the exception of a pair of silk pajamas from his wife and a second term in office, he insisted that he gets more joy from giving than receiving.

That made me laugh out loud at work today.

And finally, in more serious news, Thomas Friedman published this op-ed yesterday in the NY Times, about the choice between two “green” candidates having been, after McCain’s pick of Sarah Palin, drilling advocate, as his running mate, narrowed to just one (meaning: The One).

Friedman writes:

By constantly pounding into voters that his energy focus is to “drill, drill, drill,” McCain is diverting attention from what should be one of the central issues in this election: who has the better plan to promote massive innovation around clean power technologies and energy efficiency.

Why? Because renewable energy technologies — what I call “E.T.” — are going to constitute the next great global industry. They will rival and probably surpass “I.T.” — information technology. The country that spawns the most E.T. companies will enjoy more economic power, strategic advantage and rising standards of living. We need to make sure that is America. Big oil and OPEC want to make sure it is not.

That right there is a bull’s-eye. What is going on with respect to oil and energy right now is a challenge, yes—But it’s also a big opportunity. The U.S. has the ability to define the debate, to lead the charge, to do what we’ve always done: Put our best minds to work on a massively difficult problem. We need a new Apollo Program for energy indepedence. And that, Gentle Reader, is what Obama promises. See here, from his nomination acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention last Thursday night:

And for the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as president: In 10 years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East.

We will do this. Washington — Washington has been talking about our oil addiction for the last 30 years. And, by the way, John McCain has been there for 26 of them.

And in that time, he has said no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investments in renewable energy, no to renewable fuels. And today, we import triple the amount of oil than we had on the day that Senator McCain took office.

Now is the time to end this addiction and to understand that drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution, not even close.

As president, as president, I will tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power. I’ll help our auto companies re-tool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America.

I’ll make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars.

And I’ll invest $150 billion over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy — wind power, and solar power, and the next generation of biofuels — an investment that will lead to new industries and 5 million new jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced.

America, now is not the time for small plans.

Damn straight. Now let’s elect him, shall we?

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