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June 14, 2008

Kathy's got a way with words

You may have heard that Iowa is experiencing catastrophic flooding this week. In addition to the flooding, we had a tornado on May 25 that wiped out more than half the town of Parkersburg and another tornado this last Wednesday that hit a Boy Scout campground along the Missouri River in Western Iowa, killing four scouts. The total body count of the tornados and flooding around the state has risen to 15, and we've got hundreds of millions of dollars in damage lying underneath the brown floodwaters. That's not even considering that we may lose 20% or more of the corn crop from delayed planting and some of the seeds that did manage to get planted drowning in the saturated soil. We'll soon be to the point where corn can't be replanted (it can only go so far into the fall before the frost kills it, and usually if you haven't gotten your corn in by now, you're gonna switch the ground to beans instead), and that'll throw a mother of a wrench into the corn price works.

The one thing I'm proud of right now is the absence of voices coming from my state cursing FEMA and President Bush for not "preventing" this tragedy. Compared to the opera we saw in Nawlins' in the aftermath of Katrina, it's nice to see people suck it up and get to work rebuilding their homes & businesses when Mother Nature takes a giant dump on them.

Instead of blathering on with an essay glorifying the Midwestern Work Ethic, I'm going to ask you to go over to the Cake Eater Chronicles and read what Kathy wrote the other day. She's already said everything that needs to be said, so follow the link, read the piece, and drop an "Amen, Sister" in her comments if the spirit so moves you.

The one thing I'd like to address quickly is the NCAA track athletes who helped fill sandbags and try to save neighborhoods in Des Moines this week. Drake University in Des Moines is hosting the NCAA track & field championships this weekend, and there are literally hundreds of athletes who finished their events and immediately went down to the river to help anyway they could. We've got Northerners, Southerners, Easterners & Westerners (and Conservatives, Liberals & Libertarians, I'm sure) all pitching in to help Iowans save their homes and businesses. Next time you see some college athlete in a "revenue sport" acting like a horse's ass, remember these kids and know that not all athletes are self-centered and spoiled. I know that for every memory of a house or business befouled with floodwaters, there will be another warm memory of a stranger who showed up out of nowhere and asked "What can I do to help?" God bless 'em.

UPDATE: Damn, I forgot to plug my favorite "Kansas City Based Iowa-centric blogger". State 29 has pictures and multiple links to articles on all the flooding, so go to his/her site if you want more info on the Iowa floods.

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posted by Russ from Winterset at 11:31 PM

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