Last year I took a trip north, driving from North Carolina to Chicago, Illinois. This trip crossed from North Carolina, through Tennessee, Kentucky and Indiana, into Illinois with one tiny corner of Ohio thrown in for good measure. Driving across the countryside is one of the great pleasures of living in America. It used to be more fun, before interstates and when one actually drove through unique and interesting towns. Now the trip is faster due to those interstates, so I guess that's somewhat of a benefit. But, now the towns and cities have all the same stores, and restaurants, lining the edges of the interstates so, other than the terrain, there is not a lot of uniqueness to be seen...sadly. It is the countryside that makes one's heart sing. The mountains, the trees, the rivers, the farmland, etc. The interesting towns with different offerings are a thing of the past. It's as if they lost their sense of who they were and just decided to become a "one size fits all" template. It's all the same Walmarts, Home Depot Stores, Goodies, Comfort Inns, Taco Bells, McDonalds, and Cracker Barrels.

So what did I see on this cross country odyssey? The award for the funniest signs goes to Kentucky. As you cross into the State of Kentucky there is a large blue sign that says: "Welcome to Kentucky - Unbridled Spirit." Which sounded so inviting! I was picturing horses running in pastures and life being so free and wonderful. Then my eyes landed on another State sign immediately to the left of the Welcome sign. Right beside the Welcome sign of "Unbridled Spirit" is a white rectangle sign with a body strapped into seatbelts, bridled across its chest and its waist. So much for "Unbridled Spirit." They didn't even give you a half a mile to relish the thought. I wondered what marketing expert in the bureaucracy in Kentucky was in charge of placing the signs right next to each other. The irony was both hilarious and sad.

Next up was a huge, aluminum, white, Christian cross. By huge, my best guess is 50 or 60 feet tall. Very substantial and you can't miss it. But just to the side of that sits a pornography store. You know, one of those places that sells raw videos and advertises "Boy Toys." I was wondering which of these received the most acknowledgement from passing travelers. Makes me wonder about the schizophrenic society we are living in.

On through to Indiana, across miles and miles of flat surface with fabulous black dirt and rows of corn fields already harvested. Beautiful rich farmland that, if you stop and think about it, is a blessing beyond our hopes and prayers for food. I saw two large dairy operations, too; Holsteins grazing and a creamery / cheese shop that sounded very tempting!

And then...

Miles of gigantic windmills covering up this gorgeous land of flat farm fields. Ugly, eerie, and awful. Actually, ugly doesn't begin to describe this. On the way up, none of the blades were turning. Just sitting there, looming like other world aliens hanging over farm houses and barns. These wind turbines are huge. They dwarf everything around them. All I could think of was, when the idiots who did this finally figure out what a failure it is, what will be the public expense to dismantle these monsters and how do you "recycle" those things? On the way back, the wind was blowing more so half of them were spinning slowly around. No birds in sight. No wildlife around. Just thousands and thousands of giant, white, ugly, dominating monsters taking over the beautiful farms and wide skies.

My hate for these windmills is twofold. The first reason is the death of hundreds of thousands of birds annually from these horrible devices. The windfarms are placed into wind corridors where migrating birds have always flown. The birds are no match for these monsters. The tragedy is enormous.

ABCBirds.org reports,

"The United States Attorney in North Dakota has charged seven oil companies in seven separate cases with violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act for the illegal killing of 28 migratory birds. Yet, American Bird Conservancy – the nation’s leading bird conservation organization – reports that the wind industry, despite killing more than 400,000 birds annually, has yet to face a single charge."

USA Today went on to point out:

"For years, a huge wind farm in California's San Joaquin Valley was slaughtering thousands of birds, including golden eagles, red-tailed hawks and burrowing owls.

The raptors would get sliced up by the blades on the 5,400 turbines in Altamont Pass, or electrocuted by the wind farm's power lines. Scientists, wildlife agencies and turbine experts came together in an attempt to solve the problem. The result?

Protective measures put in place in an effort to reduce deaths by 50% failed. Deaths in fact soared for three of four bird species studied, said the Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area Bird Fatality Study."

My second reason is the sheer waste and stupidity of ruining landscapes for a non-productive, unwieldy, implausible excuse of replacing fossil fuels with wind energy. Wind energy is undependable, cannot be stored, is twice as expensive to retrieve than what it produces, and is money flushed straight into the toilet. I'd like to take the promoters of this idea and tie them to the blades, leaving them to spin around forever, T. Boone Pickens included. A bad idea that should have been stopped before it began.

On the way back into North Carolina I saw two large cotton fields ready to be picked. I thanked the Lord and human genius for automated equipment that would do that job, so people would not suffer from bleeding hands and broken backs. I ran my hand over my cotton shirt and thought about how wonderful are the gifts we are given.

So that's what I saw on my way to and from Chicago, a country gone mad and a country that can produce the most cherished needs for our people. Some inventions are better than others, some people are smarter than others, some things should not be taken for granted, and I'm glad to be home.

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