Readers Respond

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Reject King 'bigotry'

From KEN BLEY / Northfield, Ill.

Ever since I briefly attended college in Iowa, I have admired the generally moderate, middle-western common sense of your state's politics. However, the recent rabid attacks on Barack Obama by Congressman Steve King are indistinguishable from the racism of George Wallace, the religious bigotry of Billy Sunday, and the demagoguery of Joe McCarthy.

Iowa's Fifth Congressional District should be ashamed to have sent such a moral toadstool to Congress. If your citizens do not publicly renounce and reject King's blatantly un-American activities, the rest of the nation will have to infer that western Iowa endorses his tactics and shares his hatreds. Really, you folks need to speak out loud enough for the rest of us to hear you, or you'll be thought of as the Selma of the Midwest.

A bitter pill

From LARRY M. ADEN / Nemaha

Every ill of our rural depopulation, falling dollar, failing economy and declining influence in the world is a direct result of our poor choices in electing our representatives for our own short-term selfish gains. We have no one to blame but ourselves.

It is much like Will Rogers said when asked by another newspaper reporter, "Mr. Rogers, is it true that our government is full of thieves and scoundrels?" W-e-l-l, y-e-s, but I believe it's a good cross-section of the American People!

Now, I wouldn't put it quite that way, because I have seen the evidence of what an awfully cruel and ugly world this would be without the American Miracle and all those Great Americans who have done so much to serve the cause of saving his fellow man from himself. But, then, who will save us from ourselves?

We could just resign ourselves to the concept that our 200 year run is up, like every empire before us, slip into oblivion, and let the world slide back into the Dark Ages.

Or, we could wake up and smell the apple juice, chokecherry jam, cornbread, bacon, eggs, milk and honey (I don't have a single neighbor that raises coffee) and get back to what we are good at - using what God gave us and being thankful for it, producing food, developing new technologies to make higher quality products that yield a better quality of life, and sharing it all with a planet still very hungry for some semblance of sanity!

Every failure of our government and industry has really been a missed opportunity. Our recent efforts to force our "Genetically Modified" (GMO) crops upon a world demanding "Organic" food is just one more in a long list of perfect examples of this.

The 217 year history of the Federal Government meddling and muddling in the ethanol industry is another. All those ill-advised and unjust government interferences in the marketplace have retarded ethanol technology development at least 100 years, caused thousands of businessmen and farm families irreparable harm, driven them from their land, damaged the environment, funded organized crime, and is presently setting us up for another catastrophe with more far-reaching effects than the 1980's Farm Crisis.

When poor economic policy is piled upon poor farm policy upon poor tax policy from all political sides for 22 decades, we could see farm land prices pushed to the point where only the wealthiest absentee landlords will own all the productive land and the people who work that land will be no more than feudal serfs, and old serfs at that, as no young American might ever again seek to enter into the farming profession.

When there were four farm families on every section, all of our rural small towns and cities were thriving and growing. If you really want to see tragedy in our rural communities, just let a few corporate farmers farm all the land for even fewer wealthy, speculating, absentee landlords, and we will all travel this road to serfdom, together.

Price stability is much preferable to high prices that cannot be sustained. We can manage for profit at any price by adjusting inputs, but we cannot buy high-priced land, fuel, fertilizer, seed, labor, and equipment, only to end up selling low-priced grain again when we have destroyed the livestock industries that we have always had as our baseline market to add value to our grains, and, then, millions of hectares of grasslands and forests all over the world have been put to the plow to get in on the "energy farming?" windfall.

We have better options, but we need Great Statesmen, not professional politicians that will tell us anything we want to hear, just to get elected and fill their own pockets!