Friday, June 27, 2008



Fifth in our Series chronicling the 2008 Flood.

(June 27, Des Moines, IA) In light of all the federal resources available to corn and bean farmers, for some reason major networks and media outlets such as the Associated Press, The New York Times, among other publications, continue to perpetuate falsehoods, myths and inaccurate information regarding the plight of the Iowa farmer post-flood. The real story, the tragic human interest component of this massive flood exists in the lives of the regular citizen, your average home owner, renter, small business; people already paying the price of the greed of their farming brethren.

Long before the first sings that a flood of epic proportions was heading this way, Iowans were paying, as are all Americans, increasing costs for groceries largely due to the shift in agriculture away from food products and into renewable fuels such as Ethanol. The prices of gasoline continue to rise as well. What relief does the home owner flooded out have? Where does the McDonald’s employee whose workplace was destroyed in the swift moving sea of muddy water go? What do average people do to try to carry on and rebuild their lives? Who knows?

However, what is widely known but not spoken aloud is that farmers, good weather, bad weather, bumper crop, no crop, especially the big operators such as the one mentioned in an Associated Press article today who farms 9000 acres, will always do just fine. The Farm Bill and all its outrageous subsidies, programs and payouts arrive in Iowa farmer’s mailboxes hell or high water. Crop insurance and now, additional disaster relief funds and who knows what else will go to these greedy welfare takers. That is a side of their story never told, never mentioned and certainly never really examined by the mainstream press.

Since the Environmental Working Group (EWG) began to publish the names of farm subsidy payouts along with how much federal tax payer money they have received, there has been a little more scrutiny of the Farm Bill. A cursory glance through the subsidies paid top farms in just two of Iowa’s 99 counties exposes the waste, outright fraud and abuse inherent in this terribly flawed program. Two of the counties receiving the largest shares of farm subsidies are Benton and Johnson County. Floyd Rucker, an Iowa based attorney-activist, familiar with this part of the state, was quick to point out some of the wealthiest people, business owners, trusts and a few deceased folks who annually collect hundreds of thousands of dollars. “Money goes to money. The bigger you are, the bigger your operation, the more you will get from these programs. The original intent of this legislation is in no way, shape or form evident in the Farm Bill of recent years, especially this one just passed last week for $307 billion. That was a disgrace”, Rucker commented.

The Brooding Cynyx are painfully aware of how many people out here we are giving apoplexy. Our correspondents continue to face harassment, threats, vandalism, and an isolated fire-bombing. We will persist in our efforts to continue to press these issues, to expose, for all Americans to see, precisely what has become of “farming” in this country, predominantly here in the “Corn Belt”. This is one belt that definitely needs some tightening but, weaning these corn and bean farmers off the government teat, off the steady flow of federal dollars will be extremely difficult.

For more information, please visit: The Environmental Working Group

Ira Shlomo Goldenberg, Special Correspondant, writing for TBC from Iowa City.

Copyright TBC 2008 © All Rights Reserved

No comments: