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Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:17 PM

Just finished watching "The Dust Bowl" on PBS.

The images were frightening but it was interesting to realize how the New Deal came to help. No doubt, some will claim that Ken Burns is a liberal but no one can dispute the facts that, after losing their farms, the only way many could feed their families is by participating in the CCC or WPA programs.

I wonder whether farmers in Oklahoma have learned their lessons as far as better management of the soil.

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Reply Just finished watching "The Dust Bowl" on PBS. (Original post)
question everything Nov 2012 OP
msongs Nov 2012 #1
Stinky The Clown Nov 2012 #2
NRaleighLiberal Nov 2012 #3
proud2BlibKansan Nov 2012 #4
bamademo Nov 2012 #5
cynatnite Nov 2012 #6
question everything Nov 2012 #11
Grammy23 Nov 2012 #7
question everything Nov 2012 #12
WorseBeforeBetter Nov 2012 #8
bhikkhu Nov 2012 #9
question everything Nov 2012 #14
bhikkhu Nov 2012 #16
hrmjustin Nov 2012 #10
ErikJ Nov 2012 #13
question everything Nov 2012 #15
JI7 Nov 2012 #17
Brother Buzz Nov 2012 #18
ErikJ Nov 2012 #20
Brother Buzz Nov 2012 #21
ErikJ Nov 2012 #22
OldDem2012 Nov 2012 #19

Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:18 PM

1. yep, they learned - corporate welfare for farmers, subsidies, and tax write offs nt

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:22 PM

2. Look at the areas helped by the government during the Depression and Dust Bowl

East Tennessee got the TVA.

West Texas, the Oklahoma panhandle, southeastern Colorado, westen Kansas were helped greatly by many, many government programs, WPA among them.

All are now reliably repubican.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:29 PM

3. Really well done. as always with Ken Burns, I learned a lot. Like that book that was just recently

published that was equal of Grapes of Wrath but was second in line....gets great reviews on Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Whose-Names-Are-Unknown-Novel/dp/0806137126/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1353381777&sr=8-1&keywords=Sonora+Babb

Human beings are generally pretty horrible about learning from the past.....

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:32 PM

4. It was a wonderful program.

I grew up in Kansas and my dad was a child in western Kansas in the 30s. So I've heard lots of stories all my life but still learned a lot from this program.

Kudos to Ken Burns!

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:33 PM

5. I shed tears watching those poor families.

Hopefully enough people watched to learn to be good stewards of the land.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:42 PM

6. I grew up in NW Oklahoma...yes, they learned...

The stories I was told by my Dad's friends were just like these that are on this show. I remember being told how a relative of family had died from dust bowl pneumonia, but they couldn't bury him because the cemetary was covered until you couldn't see the headstones. He was wrapped and stored in an abandoned barn.

There was so much suffering and poverty as a result that it changed everything for farmers and their families.

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Response to cynatnite (Reply #6)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 01:09 PM

11. These events must have left strong impressions

on your family.

I do hope that these days, even with intensive farming back, that some native grass is around to hold back any future dust bowls.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:43 PM

7. Excellent documentary. Should be required viewing just to refresh memory


of such an important time in our not too distant past. As I recall, this period in history was glossed over when I was in high school. This documentary laid it out in stark detail what their lives were like. With interviews of the people who lived through it, this documentary explains in painful detail what they went through.

There are lessons from that time to be learned. The man made aspects of the disaster was stressed over and over. From the crops they grew, to the ways they plowed the fields all contributed to make the "perfect storm" that combined with the weather patterns and made The Dust Bowl possible.

The Federal Government came to the rescue of the people who were on the edge of extinction. Their children were dying of dust pneumonia and asthma. Their crops were dried up. The livestock starved. Without the intervention of the Federal Government, the disaster would have continued and ultimately killed off many more than did die during that time. As bad as it was, the help offered by President Roosevelt, help alleviate suffering and put the people on a path out of the poverty they were in.

It would be a good thing for anyone who has little or no knowledge of this important period in our country's history to see this documentary. The resilience and determination of the people who lived through this time was amazing and inspiring.

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Response to Grammy23 (Reply #7)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 01:14 PM

12. Well said. Especially since there are still so many who trash the New Deal

who consider this un-American.

And we still have intensive farming, still have corporate farmers taking over.

I don't know whether these situations exist in our country, but I know that in areas of Central and South America, there are farmers who are enticed to grow only one crop for export. This often leads to the family starving if the harvest is not enough. Instead of having a small farm with chickens and goats and herbs that can sustain the family, they have to rely on income from one crop that takes over their whole land.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:44 PM

8. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around what was said about Ogallala Aquifer depletion.

Yikes.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 12:49 AM

9. It pretty much ended the whole idea of the self-sufficient 40 acre farm

...and besides farmers "learning their lesson" (another way of saying - gone broke and moved to the city), government policies shifted completely away from the family farm, and toward farming as an industry.

Not to say good or bad about anything there, and I didn't watch the program, but the disasters of the dust bowl were a turning point in how agriculture was thought of and practiced in the US.

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Response to bhikkhu (Reply #9)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 01:17 PM

14. Interesting. I was not aware of the dust bowl

being a turning point in agriculture. I agree with you about the results of replacing a small family farm for an intensive corporate run mega farms. See also my comment, above, about small farmers in Central and South America unable to support the family when they replace a variable crop and livestock with one crop.

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Response to question everything (Reply #14)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:52 PM

16. So, as the Homestead Act envisioned creating as countryside of "yeoman farmers" as the ideal

...small family farms, from sea to shining sea. Back then the US was the east coast, where it rained enough for that kind of vision. As the homesteading thing moved west, it failed repeatedly due to geography, dryness and poor soils. They increased the size of the parcels progressively (beyond what a family could really manage un-mechanized), allowed homestead-ranching on marginal land, and finally "lost the narrative" by the end of the 20's. By that time, 10% or the US landmass had been parcelled out (though most homesteads failed).

FRD began the current policies of treating agriculture as a regulated commodity, and treating farms as for-profit businesses. They were assisted through subsidies, but overall the shift to the economies of a regulated market is what ended the family farm. Probably, in fairness, there were plenty of turning points and they varied from area to area, but as far as the larger narrative the dust bowl was right in the middle of the failure of the original paradigm and the birth of the current paradigm.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 01:04 AM

10. I watched it to. I do love PBS.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 01:15 PM

13. I heard they all voted Republican even back then.

Sounds like they have learned little since then.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #13)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 01:19 PM

15. I believe this

It happens all over the red, takers states. They are net receivers of federal funds, they think they are entitled to food stamps and disability payments, and vote Republicans who would love to take these programs away.

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Response to question everything (Reply #15)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 07:57 PM

17. i think the anti welfare stuff started when it was Black People who started to benefit

this happened with the start of civil rights where it was about basic rights, and then of course the welfare programs to help them just as they helped the whites.

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #13)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:02 PM

18. I don't think so

1936

Electoral vote: 523 to 8

1932

Electoral vote: 472 to 59

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Response to Brother Buzz (Reply #18)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 09:07 PM

20. I think so.





1924

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Response to ErikJ (Reply #20)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:09 PM

21. the southern plains drought years were 1931-1939

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Response to Brother Buzz (Reply #21)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 10:48 PM

22. The narrator said that these were people who usually voted Republican

1932 and 1936 were exceptional though because the whole country voted for Roosevelt because the of the Republicon Depression.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 08:10 PM

19. It was outstanding. Always expect good things from Ken Burns. nt.

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