Thursday, December 23, 2010

BURN: Forty Acres and a Mule


"If You’ve Got a Potted Plant, That Makes You a Farmer"

“[Pigford] is a fair settlement, it is a just settlement, we think it’s important for congress to fund that settlement. We’re going to continue to make it a priority.”  —President Obama, September 10, 2010 press conference

“Forty acres and a mule” was the motto of the “Freedmen’s Bureau” after the civil war – an attempt at reparation to former slaves by giving them an opportunity to succeed (or fail) on their own. It is also the opening phrase of a judicial opinion by Paul Friedman, a Clinton appointed activist judge in the “Pigford vs. Glickman” case in 1997.  The original case was relatively small potatoes, involving about 400 black farmers who were discriminated against and denied loans by the Department of Agriculture between 1981 and 1997. Clinton’s Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman publicly apologized for this apparent bias, opening a floodgate of further claims and actions.  Clearly what Judge Friedman had in mind by using this phrase was far beyond discrimination against some farmers. It was another attempt at reparations to black people for past injustices across the board – perceived or real – at taxpayer expense.

To date, the original 400 aggrieved farmers has grown to 94,000 claims – a remarkable phenomenon considering there have never been more than 33,000 black farmers!  This has become the largest taxpayer rip off / scam in history, with billions already awarded  – and Obama recently signed “Pigford II, authorizing another $1.2 Billion for further claims.  Most of the recipients have never farmed in their lives!  Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack acknowledges perhaps ten cases of fraud associated with Pigford - there are in fact thousands!  Whistleblowers at USDA and attorneys are coming out of the woodwork.

A new tractor for cultivating the "farm"

"[Pigford is] the largest scam against the federal taxpayers in the history of the United States."
—USDA Employee John Stringfellow

“Pigford is the biggest rip-off this country has ever known, and there are lots of people in positions of power that know it.”
—Jimmy Dismuke, Black Farmer and Pigford Whistleblower

Rather than attempt to explain this monster here, I implore you to read this from Brietbart et al. It takes a while, but I promise this will blow your mind.   Brietbart/Big Journalism has the big picture. 

The_Pigford_Shakedown_r4 -

Interesting how Brietbart got hooked up with this. You may remember Sherry Sherrod, the USDA administrator who was fired after Brietbart ran a video of her speech where she made comments about white farmers she denied assistance to. Brietbart was shocked she was fired - but then she was rehired with a promotion almost immediately. Sherrod and her husband recieved the largest Pigford payoff on record - $13 Million. Now she runs the entire program! There's reparation for you!

Another outstanding overview piece on Pigford is at UNCOVERAGE.  No big deal, really. Just a little story about the largest taxpayer fraud in history, two presidents, Eric Holder, the USDA, Secretary of Agriculture, thousands of trial lawyers cashing in, at least one murder, and billions of our taxpayer dollars. Oh, and here's the best part; "Pigford II" opens the door for Hispanic, Native American, women, gay "farmers" (that is anybody with a potted plant) to cash in too! Estimates are $20 Billion +!  As a "Swedish-American" I am a minority, and I have a potted plant, so I'm off to collect my reparation! See you suckers later.

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