Remember when candidate Obama said in a now famous (infamous) interview: "Under my plan, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket."? That promise registered on very few in the American electorate. Despite his war on coal miners and coal plants, his refusal to allow oil or natural gas exploration on public lands or offshore fields (much less drilling), and his escalating war on business with an explosion of Environmental "Protection" Agency (EPA) regulations, most voters in this country still do not understand where the United States is headed.
I'm going to give you one little example which should serve as a huge warning. Yes, I'm ringing the warning bells. Who will listen?
My wife and I just returned from visiting our son, daughter-in-law, and new grandson in Huskisson, New South Wales, Australia. We spent two weeks there on this trip -- our first to "Down Under". We did very, very little sightseeing. No, this trip was to see our new 5-month old grandson and meet our new "in-law" extended family in New South Wales. We lived with them and met 60 to 70 new family members (and, yes, I hate to admit that I cannot recall every one of their names) -- all wonderful people, and, with one exception, all true-believer socialists. They have lived under socialism for so many generations now that they don't know any other system. They don't understand our systems at all -- but they understand we're becoming very much like them, and they think we should be elated about that.
Imagine the general shock and surprise when they learned just how much Terri and I hate socialism and what's happening to our country. I can tell you we had many long and animated conversations -- and from their own admissions, we began to open eyes and change a few minds. But I digress -- back to the warning bell....
It felt like we had stepped back into the 1950's. The homes (all of them regardless of income level), the roads, the lifestyles -- all these things felt like life in North Carolina when I was a very young boy. None of the homes there have heating or air conditioning. This is not because of the climate and weather -- the climate and weather there are very much like here in the Sandhills of NC. The winters get just as cold as ours, and the summers get just as hot.
No one uses clothes dryers, either. They all hang their laundry on old fashioned clotheslines, just like when I was a young kid. It's not because they want to. It's not because clothes dryers aren't available for purchase in certain stores. It's not because air-dried clothes smell so much better, either.
No one will turn on a light if they don't absolutely need it for an essential task. Watching the "telly" or evening conversations are easily done in low light situations, and nothing is turned on if not needed right then. There are no electronics left turned off with clock LEDs or LED indicators lit. Every receptacle has an on-off switch, and when an electronic item is turned off, so too is the wall receptacle to prevent any leak current from any "always on" component.
Electricity is precious. Most Americans know that the cost of "petrol" (gasoline to us Yanks) is prohibitive -- about four times the price at the pump here. But most folks (including us before this trip) don't know about the commercial power rates in Aussieland. Terri and I always wondered why our kids wore such heavy coats and scarves indoors in the photos they sent -- and why the baby was wrapped so heavily with just his little face peering out, whether the photo was indoors or outdoors.
Now we know. When we quickly noticed all the above things, and that solar or propane water heating was universal -- and the rarity of private outdoor lighting at night.... I politely asked about the electricity rates in New South Wales.
Basically, I was told that for a family of three in a two bedroom home, who keep minimal lights on during the evening, and only use electricity to cook their meals, and watch a little "telly" in the evening, the average electricity bill amounts to between $800 to $900 per month year round. (Remember, they don't use home heating or air conditioning. It's heavy clothing and blankets in the winter and open windows and room fans in the summer.)
Now, before you think something like "Oh well, Australian dollars are worth less than U.S. dollars, so that just sounds like more than it actually is...." Wrong!!! The U.S. and Australian dollars are pretty much on par -- and have been for most of Obama's term. He and the Federal Reserve have printed so much money that our dollar has fallen 27% during his reign, but, again, I digress.... Right now the U.S. dollar is about $1.02 Australian. Par, for all practical purposes.
Well, we just spoke to my son and daughter-in-law on the phone a few minutes ago. I asked them, jokingly, what their electrical bill for this past month came to....feeling a bit guilty that our visiting might have increased the cost of lighting their home. When she told me, I just couldn't believe it. I don't think you'll be able to believe it, either.
But this is real. And this is where Obama's taking us. Ring, ring! I'm ringing the warning bell!
"Socialism Steals the Hearts of Men"
This is a great sermon from Pastor Charles Garrison at Calvary Memorial Church in Southern Pines. The story of Absalom is a lesson for the nation, particularly this year. I have read the story of Absalom before, but in recent years it has become more and more obvious that we -- and all future generations -- are being warned. I find it profoundly disturbing how many people are blinded by their heart's desire and vote knowing nothing.
Listen, if you will, to a great sermon delivered at a great time! Thank you Pastor Garrison!
Reference: II Samuel, Chapters 15Bill Cochrane(videography by Craig DeSpain)
I, not "we". Individuals, not some "collective".
Mr. Obama, get yourself and your government out of my life! Get out of our way, and let America be America again!
Each of us built our life and our own fortunes. Redistribute, hell! That's just where you can take your redistributionist tripe -- and the horse you rode in on!!!!!
Sourwood Tree Blossoms
My wife and I are native North Carolinians. But we grew up in and always lived in areas with clay and rocky soils. It wasn't until we retired to the Sandhills that we lived in sand. Until our retirement here, sand like this meant you were at the beach!
And we've never been very good at gardening or horticulture or landscaping. After this little tale, you'll understand why I'm turning it all back over to the professionals.
Upon moving here, we loved the longleaf pines. We did. But they're everywhere! And the other trees you see are "all the same" -- dogwoods, redbuds, bradford pears, japanese red maples.... And all those twisted, stunted scrub oaks!
So, on our first trip to the NC mountains after moving here, we were "captured" by the beautiful sight of a large sourwood tree at the inn. It was springtime, and the tree was in full bloom, covered with lacy white strings of blossoms which contrasted with the lush green leafy foliage. We just had to have one at home -- if it would grow here.
So, I researched. The climate region was just right here. All the temperature ranges, growing season, annual rainfall, etc. were just right. The literature said sourwood needed "well drained soil" and "preferred a slope", but likes some moisture. We live on the side of a hill -- alright, it's a big ancient sand dune, but around these parts, it's considered a hill. So good slope.... And the sand certainly drains well. Good, right?
So I bought a seven foot sourwood tree and planted it on the hillside next to our home. The first two years it turned green at the right time and produced a few blossoms, and then it shed its leaves at the right time. But it really didn't put out new growth, in spite of all the watering and fertilizing spikes and loving attention that we gave it. I knew something was wrong.
This spring it leafed out, and then the late frost came. All the new tender leaves turned brown. And that was it. The thing just gave up and died.
I should have known better. The developer of Longleaf and his landscaper were, apparently, equally skilled as we at selecting plantings. Along Knoll Road they had planted a row of birch trees on either side. The trees had managed to survive to early maturity, but they were doomed. The root systems were weak, and disease had set in, causing blight and limb deaths, beginning at the treetop levels. It was just a matter of time, they told us at last year's neighborhood association meeting. The trees would slowly die and have to be taken down. They were not native species and could not survive in this area. They simply could not tolerate these sandy soils. They were adapted to a different ecology altogether.
The same is true for our poor sourwood tree. It was not indigenous to this area, and it could not tolerate sand.
Lesson: You cannot violate nature's laws. Some trees simply cannot survive in the Sandhills of NC. Don't try to transplant them here.
If you do want to try to have such species survive here, at least for a while, here's what you have to do.... Dig out as much of the native soil as possible. Add in a great deal of rotting dead organic material and a generous portion of manure. These, mixed with the pure native soil will change the drainage and water retention characteristics of the soil around the newly developing root system, also providing the necessary nutrients. Also, sandy soil has a high pH -- it is alkaline -- and these trees need acidic soils. So you have to add an acidic fertilizer or conditioners to raise the pH.
So, if you transform the earth around the root ball of the newly planted sapling, you can ensure that it will take hold and start to grow. But sooner or later, the roots are going to reach beyond your carefully prepared cocoon, and your prepared mix is going to become depleted. The tree will die.
You're probably way ahead of me by now.... This reminds me of the state of our nation. Early in the twentieth century, the socialists and communists tried to transplant themselves in the United States. Their ideology simply couldn't gain a foothold. Every sprout would quickly die and disappear. But progressives realized the problem. They had to change the soil. They began to slowly but steadily introduce rot into the culture. They polluted and perverted and corrupted, basically adding heaps of manure. And they poured acid into the wounds, eroding the bonds that held the foundations and our people together. They set about changing the soil.
Founders' principles, Liberty, and a firm conviction in Limited Government had made it impossible for socialism and communism to grow. But progressivism made it possible for the principles of Marx to take hold and begin to grow. The evil tree even came to full flower in 2000 and blossomed fragrantly in 2008. Progressive preparations and political correctness have allowed an alien invasive species to infest America the Beautiful.
Will it survive? The only thing that keeps me going is a belief that the underlying, undying devotion of America to the principles of Liberty, Individualism, Morality -- and that means God -- and free markets will wither the roots and wilt the leaves of this evil tree. God willing, it will never bear fruit, and in the coming elections a cold backlash by the voters will prove as devastating as that early spring freeze on my struggliing sourwood tree.
Thirty children? Talk about reproducing like rabbits! But when there's no sense of personal responsibility -- when somebody else is paying for it -- when the more kids the more money and free stuff you get -- well, why not?I know you've probably read the news reports about Desmond Hatchett.
If this nation does not stop raising generations of takers and moochers -- reject the nanny-state socialist utopian experiment -- we are doomed. There are no longer any penalties -- only government rewards for destructive behavior. It's just gotta stop!Judson Phillips says it well below.Bill Cochrane________________
This one has to be filed under the heading of unbelievable.
A man in Knoxville, Tennessee is the father of thirty children. Thirty children by eleven different women. He holds a minimum wage job and has gone to court to ask the judge to give him some relief from his child support payments.
What happened here? How did it happen?
Okay, we can skip the obvious part about how it happened. But there is a much more serious issue here. In the last few years, a new word has entered the American lexicon. It is “Baby daddy.” Baby daddy refers to the biological father of a child who is not married to the mother and is often not involved in the child’s life.
How could a guy have so many children? It is simple. The government subsidizes illegitimacy.
Fifty years ago, illegitimacy was fairly rare. There was the social stigma attached to it and there was also the financial issue. We did not have working mothers like we do today and if a woman became pregnant she knew her only alternative was to marry the father. Likewise, for the men involved, if they got a girl pregnant they knew they were obligated to marry the woman. That alone kept some men on the straight and narrow.
Then came welfare. Suddenly not only was illegitimacy not a problem, generous welfare packages made it attractive not to have a man in the house or in the picture. If the woman married the man, she would lose benefits. If she stayed single, she kept the benefits.
There is a very simple rule of economics that the left does not understand. If you subsidize anything, you get more of it. The left created the welfare state, which subsidized out of wedlock births and what did you get? More out of wedlock births!
The women have the children. They are provided public housing, and medical coverage and food stamps and welfare payments. The men are hounded by state agencies to pay their child support and as many of them cannot and only hold down minimum wage jobs, they frequently end up in the debtor’s prison for men who cannot pay their child support.
Those on the left like to screech about cold-hearted conservatives, who want to end welfare, toss welfare mothers and their children onto the streets. Yet these same Democrats are responsible for the utter devastation of segments of American society with their idiotic policies that have failed and failed completely. Instead of owning up to their mistakes, all they do is vilify those who try to fix the problems.
Meanwhile, in Knoxville, Desmond Hatchett labors away at minimum wage, begging a judge to cut the child support he is required to pay for thirty children by eleven women. He does not care whether he has more kids by more women. He does not pay for them. One of the children gets $1.49 a month as his share of child support!
Hatchett does not worry about it and neither do the women he sleeps with. They do not have to worry because if they get pregnant the government will take care of them. Hatchett only complains because what little money he makes is being taken by the government. Perhaps he should have thought about that before he slept with all of those women.
It has become crystal clear that a chilling belief system has taken root in our society again. A great many among our population no longer have a deep respect for human life. It begins with the growing "movement" and loosely allied coalitions among the "green movement", environmenal activists, and the "animal rights" movement. The most hard core of these clearly place a higher value on the "natural environment" and on other species than they do on the human society.In fact, they view human society as the greatest threat to the environment, the earth, and the well being of other species. Their views have grown sufficiently among a segment of society to foster serious debates such as the one here.
Members of the current Administration advocate equal legal rights for animals and the ability for animals to sue in federal court to seek redress for harms by human society. For example, Cass Sunstein has written: "that personhood need not be conferred upon an animal in order to grant it various legal protections against abuse or cruelty, even including legal standing for suit." Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions
by Sunstein and Nussbaum.At a risk of sounding somewhat extreme in my own views, I will propose to you that many among the environmentalist and animal rights movement have developed the same attitude about the human race that was stated so starkly by Agent Smith in The Matrix movie franchise:
"I'd like to share a revelation that I've had during my time here. It came to me when I tried to classify your species and I realized that you're not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment but you humans do not. You move to an area and you multiply and multiply until every natural resource is consumed and the only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. Do you know what it is? A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet. You're a plague and we are the cure."
Agent Smith, The Matrix
OK. But that's a movie. Cute. But this is very serious business, indeed. Bear me out a little further.
This attitude of devaluation of human life came to full fruit in the 1930s and 40s in fascist and communist societies overseas. But it pervaded the U.S. at that time as well. Americans had a serious flirtation with the socialistic philosophies of the collective. So much so, that one of the "most beloved" American playwrights of the era, George Bernard Shaw, publicly and brashly extolled the virtues of Italy's Mussolini and Germany's Hitler. And he, like many other American socialists placed much more value on the collective, on the "greater good" than on human life.
This entire idea is coming to the fore again in this nation -- and really around the globe. But since my concern is for the soul of our own society, let's stay here in the U.S.We now have a national "health care" law which is based on a premise of rationing and re-distribution. For those who will shout at me that this is a lie, do I really need to quote Dr. Donald Berwick, Obama's appointee to head Medicare and Medicaid who said: "The decision is not whether or not we will ration care — the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open."
He also admitted it was a wealth redistribution system -- as did Sen. Max Baucus
(D-MT)?The rationing will be conducted in accordance with Dr. Ezekiel
Emmanuel's "Compete Lives System
". The important point here is that we now have a
government health care system based on the ideology of collectivism where in order to ration and properly distribute outcomes, those with less value to the collective -- less value to society as a whole, to the "greater good" -- are to be sacrificed for the benefit of the state. This is exactly what George Bernard Shaw was saying in those bad old days -- applied these days to health care.It is a demeaning of the sanctity of life. It is a devaluation of the individual. It is an extension of the disrespect for human society emanating from the environmental and animal rights movement.Now you may think this is painting with too broad a brush -- that life is still considered sacrosanct. You may think that these are fringe extreme beliefs that I am citing -- in complete disregard for the mainstream and elite positions of the sources themselves. Well, may I offer you one final chilling, scary source for consideration? If this doesn't wake people up, what will?
Two eminent American bioethicists in an online article in the Journal of Medical Ethics. Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, of Duke University, and Franklin G. Miller, of the National Institutes of Health believe that “killing by itself is not morally wrong...".
I urge you to read this article: Is it morally wrong to take a life? Not really, say bioethicists.
Yes, you read that correctly! These two mental defectives who unjustly occupy prestigious positions go on to say: “[T]he dead donor rule is routinely violated in the contemporary practice of vital organ donation. Consistency with traditional medical ethics would entail that this kind of vital organ donation must cease immediately. This outcome would, however, be extremely harmful and unreasonable from an ethical point of view [because patients who could be saved will die]. Luckily, it is easily obviated by abandoning the norm against killing.”Did you get that?! According to the National Institutes of Health and Duke University, hospitals "routinely" harvest organs from human beings who are not "really" "fully" dead, but have "lost their value" to themselves and to society. All right, I'm paraphrasing to make a point. It is what they said, right?And finally these "ethicists" compare killing humans to weeding a garden. They argue that there is nothing sacred about human life: “[I]f killing were wrong just because it is causing death or the loss of life, then the same principle would apply with the same strength to pulling weeds out of a garden. If it is not immoral to weed a garden, then life as such cannot really be sacred, and killing as such cannot be morally wrong.”
If this is what "ethics" has come to in this country, I want out! See how far those corrosive ideas have brought us? We are again on the threshold of eugenics, euthanasia, purges, and all the bad, evil things that were brought to you by Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Guevarra, and Chavez.I want to know. What is it going to take to wake people up!Bill Cochrane
Who are the 1%?
the 1%? You are.
It doesn't matter how rich you think you are. To the world, you are the 1%. The Occupy folks are the 1%, too. They're simply either too stupid to know it, or they are lying to accomplish a redistributive agenda for the Left.You see, the Left likes to talk about the high rates of poverty in the U.S. But, the problem is, they intentionally set the bar very high in order to claim poverty -- in order to convince a large portion of the American populace that they are impoverished, kept down, victims of the evil rich. Vote for Big Government, and Big Government will lift everyone up and make sure everyone gets equal stuff. Let's examine again whether that makes any sense at all.What we first need to understand is that the entire "Green" "Environmental" movement is aimed at redistributing wealth throughout the world through a scheme involving carbon credits, international taxes and fees, and transfer of jobs and technology. Why. Because the rest of the world is relatively poor. The U.S. has already transferred almost all of our manufacturing jobs to other countries. We give huge sums of money through various channels (e.g. foreign aid, military assistance & expenditures, huge transfers to the International Monetary Fund, secret grants and loans from the Federal Reserve,
humanitarian aid, and funds channeled through the United Nations). Our high taxes and regulations have spurred a migration of the wealthy and educated to friendlier countries such that there is a six month to two-year backlog on processing repatriation paperwork for ex-US-citizens.But, in spite of all this transfer of wealth that has been taking place, the data show that we in the U.S. are still by far the richest nation on the face of the earth. Americans make up a full one-half of the world's richest 1%.
Did you get that? Let me repeat: Americans make up a full one-half of the world's richest 1%.What income level does it take to be counted within the top 1% of the world's richest people?
It only takes $34,000 a year
, after taxes, to be among the richest 1% in the world. That's for each person living under the same roof, including children.What is the income level of the world's "middle class"?
In fact, people at the world's true middle -- as defined by median income -- live on just $1,225 a year
.Now, I guarantee you that those "poor" "oppressed" Occupy people are almost certainly among the 1% they so like to condemn publicly. What hypocrites!No, let's not just call them hypocrites. They are servants of a global redistribution (read Socialist/Communist) agenda to transfer wealth from all of us to the world. But the entire U.S. population accounts for only about 5% of the world's population. If all the world's wealth were redistributed to give everybody equal stuff, would everyone be richer? Or would everyone then be poor?The answer is obvious. If global socialism were ever truly implemented, the entire world would be equally impoverished. But everyone would have equal stuff in their extreme poverty. Wouldn't that be paradise? But then, who would pay for all the solar panels?Read: Americans make up half of the world's richest 1%
The left-wing Occupy fools keep talking about the richest 1%. Just who
We have witnessed the death this week of a despotic, tyrannical, totalitarian dictator. No, not Obama! Kim Jung Il of North Korea. While the paid and crony "mourners" wail in the streets
, we can more quietly reflect on the implications of such "Beloved Leaders".The link below will take you to a well-written article comparing the prosperity of North Korea with that of South Korea since 1980. The results are stark and compelling. This and other articles to which he links compare the prosperity of other free and enslaved nations.It is incredible to me that we still have all these supposedly "educated" socialists and communists in the United States who seem to actually believe that these failed, totalitarian enslavement systems of government will make things better. Have they no eyes to see? Have they no ears to hear? I am shocked that we have high-placed people and supposedly "educated" "leaders" of national organizations actually urging Obama to seize control, disregard Congress and the Courts, and "do what he knows he must". What dictatorship in the history of the world has been successful and produced prosperity and happiness for its subjects? What dictatorship has not been torn down by bloodshed, death, and grief? Why do we have people in this nation who yearn for enslavement right out loud? I don't understand.So, as I reflect on the death of the North Korean tyrant, I eagerly anticipate the coming death (by cancer) of the despicable Venezuelan tyrant, and the ouster of our would-be and nearly-is American tyrant. I pray that Americans will all open their eyes to see and their ears to hear. The Euro is crashing. Europe is falling into deep economic depression and tyranny. (Just view the video in a recent post.) The U.S. economy is teetering on the brink of precipice and is not immune from the realities of the world. We are about to experience some terrible times. We have people here trying to bring the same brand of totalitarianism to this nation which has failed so many places, so many times. What have they wrought? Look around. We need to turn around and go the other way!Read: The Brutal Economic Impact of North Korean StatismBill Cochrane
The following is a poem published in 1949, the year I was born.... In the course of my lifetime, I have never seen our government so bent on socialistic transformation as it is today. The truth in this poem is timeless. I don't have personal knowledge of how much it applied to U.S. governments in 1949, but it does show that people realized back then how destructive the progressive path to socialism and communism would be.
Well, if you watch this video, you will begin to understand. This woman is an unmarried mother of 15, 12 of whom are under 12 years of age. She has been living a completely irresponsible lifestyle, and her attitude and actions have alienated all who have tried to help her. Everytime she interacts with people, she escalates her problems.
Just listen to what she says! She expects ― actually she demands ― that the government pay for all her and her kids' expenses and needs. She is outrageous. But she is an example of the entitlement mentality and dependent class that our socialist policies have built over the past decades. This recipient class feels no stigma, no shame, no inhibition about demanding more and more while contributing nothing but more dependency. If we do not reform our government and restore personal responsibility, principles, morals, and (yes, I will shout it!) Faith, this problem will eventually overwhelm the producing class. This country will become another Cuba or Venezuela.