During the First World War, the Kansas Socialist Kate Richards O’Hare was thrown into prison for violating Woodrow Wilson’s Espionage Act. Her crime? Telling a North Dakota audience that their rulers in Washington regarded farm mothers as “brood sows, having sons to be put into the army and made into fertilizer.” Apparently our Secretary of Agriculture agrees. See this piece by Joel Salatin on his recent meeting with Tom Vilsack.

Local Culture
Local Culture
Local Culture
Local Culture


  1. Nobody will never invite Salatin nowhere again, but bless that man all over again and thanks, Bill, for the notice. Filed under I Could Spit.

  2. I certainly appreciate seeing Bill Kaufman giving kudos to a Kansas socialist. As for Vilsack, I’ve never been too sure of him since he fired Shirley Sherrod on the basis of an unproved accusation from a notorious blogger, which all blew up in both Vilsack’s and Breitbart’s face when the “white farmer” she supposedly discriminated against stepped forward to say “She’s the best friend we ever had. She saved our farm. They are not treating her right.” As I recall, the media offered condolences to the farmer’s wife when first interviewing her, on the death of her husband, and had to apologize when she said “He’s out driving the tractor right now.” Egg on the face of nearly every elite in America. Even Benjamin Jealous, the head of the NAACP, joined the bandwagon, having failed to look into the details.

    But I digress. To give Vilsack his due, which ain’t much, the Obama administration has been trying to prove its national security God and country cred since the 2008 general election. Vilsack was appearing in the red end of Virginia (sociologically, if not geographically) and thought he’d score some cheap points. God knows what he really believes, and for the rest of us, that’s a problem.

  3. Vilsack — Yuck. A typical modern Democratic hack. The only good thing about having him in DC is that he’s no longer in Iowa. His wife was unsuccessful in gaining a two-year all-expense-paid trip to DC when she lost a congressional race in my district last year. I wonder if either of the Vilsacks will return to the Hawkeye state to live after the Agribusiness job is done. Influence peddling pays well in the imperial city.

  4. Farm mothers in the Enriched World are almost an endangered species from a free market that regards the cheap land of Australia and sub-Saharan Africa as the best farmland. This in spite of their soil fertility – measured as available phosphorus – being at best one-tenth that of most soils in the northern and western hemispheres. The only way Enriched World farming on soils actually designed therefor could become productive is through prices and wages in the Enriched World falling drastically relative to the Tropical and especially Unenriched Worlds.

    It’s notable that in Australia farmers are a major source of recruits to military academies, and in the Enriched World where land scarcity makes farming inherently uneconomic, this would be easier to achieve.

  5. They should have changed the Department of Agriculture’s name to the Department of Agribusiness …or even the Department of Agrisubsidymonkeyshines . The word Agriculture is redolent of societal ends, something the current debacle has inverted, the strivers in Washington are principally into programs that will reach an end of society, replacing it with a yakked about dystopia.

    Salatin is a breath of fresh air in the prevailing atmosphere of gas. He violates Washington Protocol by daring to be practical. Heaven forfend. That this dolt Vilsack would extoll the virtues of the cannon fodder pipeline in a meeting about agriculture is astounding but then this is likely the underlying reason behind “immigration reform”. America , currently, loves its contract Hessians. Fear is the basis of the new growth economy.

  6. Jeff, you can hope that Vilsack will face a similar fate to Tommy Thompson, whose elevation to the Bush cabinet was for Wisconsin the silver lining in the 2000 election result, and came back in 2012 to find himself the most liberal Republican in the party primary for U.S. Senate, and lost the general election to, of all people Tammy Baldwin.

    You know why people such as Kate Richards O’Hare are so scarce in rural society these days? The populist farmers who demanded government intervention in the pitiless logic of the free markets can’t afford to live there any more. The big boys found ways to scarf up all the money, as they usually do.

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