chicken shit

I am not political; I don’t trust any politicians.  I normally don’t get involved with anything political or community.  It’s a well known fact I don’t want to live here.  Here is about 30 miles west of Kansas City & 12 miles east of Lawrence.  I live in between two small towns out in the country a rural farming area.  If you’re not a farmer, you commute to somewhere else to make a living.

But about three weeks ago, I became involved.  The city & county commissioners, along with our stupid-ass Governor (who seems to have been able to single handedly take our sad state down in about every aspect…why oh why do people get voting for him?) announced that Tyson would build their largest plant ever in our small community of 5,000 people.  I have learned much:  Tyson is the largest polluter in the country…water; air; everything.  They ruin the environment where ever they go, just paying big fines to appease any weak government entities that care more about big business & money for themselves, than the environment.  They lower property values within about 5 miles of the processing plants from 30%-50%. To bring in 1,600 low paying jobs isn’t a good thing either…we have no infrastructure—police, fire, medical or roads for this size of plant & no affordable housing for people who make $10-$12 an hour.  The schools aren’t near big enough or staffed to handle children of the workers either.  Tyson doesn’t grow their own chickens, they talk farmers within 30-50 miles into raising the chickens for them.  They are planning on processing 1.25 MILLION chickens a WEEK at this plant.  The list goes on & on & yet our politicians think this is the best thing since sliced bread.  It was such a welcome idea, they had to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement & give the whole project a secret code name…seriously?

Thank goodness, this area is made up of smarter people than those that have been elected to make good decisions for our community.  In about 30 seconds, a huge group of protesters had formed.  Well spoken, well informed, well covered by the media, & pretty furious, this group has seemed to move mountains in a short time.  I am definitely not a leader.  But, I am a follower.  I bought my first protest t-shirt & wear it to every meeting.  A body saying no.  I’m also a very good writer.  So, I’m all over social media &  also writing to the aforementioned self serving politicians.

Our big huge beautiful 2,000 acre local ranch pulled the biggest trump card.  They spoke in front of the county commissioners saying if the Tyson plant passed, they would put their prime acreage into Conservation land…no one would ever develop that land. At the same meeting, two of the three county commissioners voted to rescind a $500,000,000 bond they had previously passed & offered to Tyson.  (Question:  Why offer them this?  The plant their planning on building is a $360,000,000…Why should our county pay for big businesses facilities?)  Then, one of the commissioners promptly resigned.  It was an interesting meeting.  Two days later, Tyson sent a press release to the media, saying they were so disappointed no one was going to build their plant for them & now they were putting this plant at this particular location, on hold.  

Everyone in the protest group was elated for about 30 seconds; we’re all too smart to realize this isn’t over yet.  This deal has been in the ‘hidden works’ for probably the past three years.  Tyson & the greedy politicians won’t give up so easily.  We’re all pretty sure they know about loop holes that we don’t.  Plus it seems politicians from Governors to Presidents, can over ride a whole lot of laws, to get what they want.  A new county commissioner—a republican- will be appointed & must have the stamp of approval by our horrid Governor…the king republican who thinks this is a fantastic idea.

I’ve been really impressed by those who are leading our group.  I only hope they can prevail, & Tyson will go away for good.  Several communities have voiced their disgust at our community that we don’t want new businesses & jobs.  We don’t want those jobs or that business—good jobs & environmentally responsible industries, will be welcome here—but that’s not Tyson.  They are poison to wherever they land.

I’ve also thought more about my purchase of this type of cheap chicken; as have so many others in this group.  

While I’ll admit, I’d move in a moment if given the chance….I don’t want our 40 acres, which Danny has worked so hard his whole life to own, to plunge in value.  When I’m home, I spend a lot of my time outside…I sit in my rock garden with beautiful prayer flags blowing in the wind; I have several other outdoor spaces I spend lots of time in; I sit on the porch in the mornings & drink coffee; I hang out some laundry & always my sheets & Danny & I eat outside more often than not in the spring, summer & fall.  To have a processing plant within three miles would ruin all of those places…it would smell like dead chickens, chicken shit & chicken farms.

I certainly hope this is the end of Tyson thinking about building in Tongie.  And, as the community protests have grown louder & stronger, the local politicians are just in defensive mode—trying to ‘calm us all down’ & wanting us to just go away.  And it just gets more interesting, sickening, & disgusting…there’s the Mayor of the city who works for the law firm that also represents Tyson; the county commissioner that has a vested interest in a dog food plant he wants to build next to Tyson (ummm...your doggie gets to eat chicken parts in his food!); one commissioner has turned on another one sicking Kansas City media to a bizarre story of hiring/firing/hiring of a contractor that sounds super ridiculous & good-old-boys favoritism with no common sense.

My view & opinions of politicians have been made clearer…they are all jerks, out for self gain & promotion, just care about money & not people or their community & definitely not the environment & it seems like when they all open their mouths, out comes stupid.  And, this is not just in our idiotic state, it goes straight to the topour President is leading the country in stupid, crass, dishonest, disgusting, lying & only out for self gain.

I am involved. I just want Tyson to go away from here.  Forever.

 vikhill@gmail.com                                                                                                                                                    © Vicki Hill 2018