Old MacDonald HAD A Farm, Chapter II
Not too long ago, I wrote about how George Worthle$$ Bu$h named as his new Secretary of the Interior a man who seeks to repeal a Nebraska law designed to protect family farmers.
It seems that Missouri family farmers are also dying out thanks to government efforts against them and their chosen livelihood:
In 1900, the number of people making their living from farming was over 50 percent. By 2000, that number declined to 0.7 percent.
What in the world happened? Contrary to popular belief, fueled by a few zealous organizations, the reason for the disappearance of the family farm has nothing to do with the "dammed gummint."
No, the real cause of the disappearance of the small, diversified family farm is the advent of corporate agribusinesses.
Farming operations are exempted from most federal and state environmental laws and regulations. Almost every state has a "right to farm law" that excuses farmers from frivolous nuisance suits. There are exemptions from "fugitive dust" laws in the Clean Air Act. Another exemption exists for "agricultural stormwater runoff" that doesn't treat such as pollution in the Clean Water Act. The Endangered Species Act lacks any real enforcement — and mostly applies to U.S. government projects.
Farm organizations have rendered little assistance to small farms, preferring to go with the "big guys" with lots of money, rather than the family farmer who barely makes ends meet. When a federal or state law threatens the profit margin of Smithfield, Tyson/IBP, Bell Farms, Perdue, Sands or DeCoster, lobbyists for commodity organizations line up in defense with lobbyists for agribusiness corporations.
The Farm Bureau is one such organization.
While touting the grass-roots nature of its policies and positions and proudly declaring that county affiliates send the resolutions up to the top, the state resolutions bear a surprising resemblance to one another, and, taken as a whole, could easily pass for a manifesto from the John Birch Society.
'Moral Values' More Important
What do promoting nuclear power plants, or commercial sand and gravel mining, or opposition to the Nature Conservancy, or adopting a constitutional amendment on "right to life" have to do with farming?
Resistance is Futile - You WILL Be Assimilated
But, right-wing views aside, the Farm Bureau is a staunch advocate for corporate agribusiness, stating that such is inevitable and you may as well get out of the way and accept it. The Farm Bureau approves of the one-sided contracts stipulated by agribusiness — wherein all the benefits flow to the company and the grower incurs all the liabilities.
This organization — calling itself "the friend of the farmer" — has led the way to the demise of the very farmers it purports to be befriending.
From 50 percent to 0.7 percent, under the watchful eye of the Farm Bureau. With friends such as these, farmers don't need enemies.
Certainly NOT! By voting for the very people who are making it impossible for these 'moral value' Red Staters to continue to live their traditional lives through masive legal and political support for agricultural Wal-Farms, they are their own worst enemies!
Allow me to put this into language I'm sure you Red Staters will clearly understand:
I also will do this unto you: I will appoint terror over you, even consumption and fever, that shall make the eyes to fail, and the soul to languish; and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.
And I will set My face against you, and ye shall be smitten before your enemies; they that hate you shall rule over you; and ye shall flee when none pursueth you.
And if ye will not yet for these things hearken unto Me, then I will chastise you seven times more for your sins.
And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your heaven as iron, and your earth as brass.
And your strength shall be spent in vain; for your land shall not yield her produce, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruit.
And if ye walk contrary unto Me, and will not hearken unto Me; I will bring seven times more plagues upon you according to your sins.
And I will send the beast of the field among you, which shall rob you of your children, and destroy your cattle, and make you few in number; and your ways shall become desolate.
- Leviticus Chapter 26, 16-23
As Ye Red Staters Sow, SO SHALL YE REAP!
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