Marsha and humble September 30, 2007




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Below is a rough outline of the rants from The humble Farmer radio show week of December 6, 2009




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Rants December 6, 2009

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1. We see the handsome, youthful 80-year-old face of Clint Eastwood smiling at us from the cover of the first AARP magazine for 2010. And we read: ď8th Annual Inspire Awards ---Clint Eastwood --- His brave adventuresĒ We turn to page 32 and read that AARP --- The Magazine --- salutes outstanding individuals who are using their energy, creativity, and passion to make the world a better place. Clint is number One of Ten people honored in this issue. When we read the article to see what he did with his energy, creativity and passion to deserve this award from the AARP, we read that along the way, Eastwood became a father of seven children by five women.

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2. When you read the oldest recorded history you realize that things like war, greed, hate, and lust, to name just a few, have always been with us. Do you think there will ever be a world without them? Take slavery, for example. I think that some people are suited to be slaves. Some people are born to be slaves. Some people beg to be slaves. We are talking here about people with absolutely no backbone. I couldnít stand to be a slave. Think about it. No time I could call my own. No life. I would go crazy if I had to jump up and do whatever was required of me day and night, no matter what the weather. Donít you think of this, too, every time you see people out in a pouring rain walking their dogs?

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3. Marsha wanted to know what I was laughing about. You know, there are pages of jokes and funny stories out there on the Internet. But I was laughing at an article that said, Redefining Chutzpah: Wall Street Using Bailout Money to Kill Obamaís Financial Consumer Protection Agency. With a straight face, the captains of Wall Street are telling us that they don't need to be heavily regulated -- that regulations will kill innovation and stifle consumer choice. They donít want that regulation because without it they made billions of dollars in fees for all their irresponsible lending that has brought this country to its knees. The irony that I enjoy is that your tax dollars are paying for Wall Streetís efforts against you. They are using your bailout money to try to kill this very necessary consumer protection agency so they can pull the country down all over again.

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4. Too bad for you, but I bought a book on psychiatric nursing and to get back the 50 cents or so I paid for it, you are about to hear me give a book report. Iíve already got a couple of problems with this book because not everything Iíve read in this book is true. Here again is the problem encountered by all authors of textbooks: do we write a textbook backed by science that will sell in only the centers of higher learning in the northeast, or do we write a textbook that will also sell in the Bible belt? Anyway, I found this interesting item: an invading organism or toxin or structural change in the body can alter thought processes. How many people do you know who had a personality change accompany a heart attack or some serious operation? And you say to yourself, well, thatís not the old friend I used to know.. Or how many people do you know who are cranky and unreasonable when they havenít eaten for several hours? Iíd better stop right there, because sometimes she listens to this program.

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5. Radio friend David sends me an email about every day. I always read Davidís emails because they are interesting. Have you heard of the Medical Tourism Association? Today I read that Hannaford Supermarkets gave its employees the option to travel to Singapore's National University Hospital for hip and knee replacements. Because in the US so many sticky paper-shuffling bureaucratic fingers are in the pie between the patient and the doctor, even with no deductible or co-pay and free travel for a companion, by going abroad one can save tens of thousands of dollars on a single operation. We read, however, that since the program launched in January 2008 nobody has taken Hannaford up on its offer. Because --- when word got out, a couple of domestic providers stepped forward and lowered their prices to compete with Singapore. You can read about these things by Googling Medical Tourism Association.

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6. A good friend gave me a book by Tom Friedman and the name of the book is Hot Flat and Crowded. I must admit that if you hadnít read a newspaper or spoken to an educated person for 10 years this book could, in a pinch, serve as an introduction to where we are now. But a cursory perusal of the index gives one the impression that because Tom Friedman wants to sell a lot of these books and continue to get Pulitzer Prizes, there is nothing in the book about the worldís number one problem, which is birth control. So it is a very safe book. Friedman doesnít dig deep enough to make this book a first-class example of high-impact investigative journalism. One gets the impression that he is afraid of tramping on toes. Although Iíve only read the index and the first couple of chapters, I havenít read a thing that you and I donít already know. Hereís an example of this compendium of platitudes: What is holding America back, Friedman argues, is a political system too closely connected with money and well-funded interests.

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7. The mailman didnít take the letter I left in the box. She scribbled 44 cents on it and left it there. I walked from the mailbox back to the house mumbling what a witch she was. Of course I Googled to find out what was going on, and do you know, the price of a postage stamp went up two cents over six months ago and I just found out about it today. I expect that the letter I mailed on Monday will come back because I only put 42 cents on it. Because for months Iíve been too drove up to use the old stamps I have, Iíve been using the forever stamps which donít expire, so I didnít know that the price of a 3 cent stamp is now 44 cents. I wonder how much more of the world has gone by without my knowing of it.

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8. In Margaret MacMillan's impressive book Paris 1919: Six Months That Changed the World, her thesis was that many of the monumental problems facing the Allied peacemakers at the treaty negotiations were never settled; such as ignoring national ambitions of Allied colonial possessions. For example, In the Middle East, they threw together peoples, in Iraq most notably, who still have not managed to cohere into a civil society. In Africa they carried on the old practice of handing out territory to suit the imperialist powers. --- Wow, havenít we come a long way in 90 years? Isnít it nice to know that we now only fight wars to free oppressed people and that those horrible old money-making wars of imperialistic ambitions are a thing of the past? If you will listen to the news closely, you will discover that nowadays imperialism is called civilian commitment.

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9. A lot of my friends donít own television sets and that could be a good thing because you canít get much of an education watching television. If anything, in this country television news only confirms what you already know about the important issues of the day. --- Which very often is the fact that the television news doesnít give you the news. Too much of the time that could be allotted for real news is filled with real life soap operas. Do you care that some people were able to sneak into the White House to crash a party? Are you a better person when you learn that a governor named Huckabee pardoned a man who was in jail for doing bad things to women? We understand that the unfortunate pardon had to do with religion and politics. As soon as the bad man was on the street we learn that he not only continued to do bad things to women but then also killed them. Am I enriched when I see on the evening news that a US Senator or the governor from some state has one or more girlfriends? Or that a football player runs dogfights? Does anybody care about these things? Ok, mention it once, if you must, but why doesnít at least one of the big stations have at least one investigative reporter who could give us something that could be called news?

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10. Do you pull into your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries? I read that some people do this and I can believe that it is true. Marsha got a cell phone last month in case we needed to call someone while on the road to Florida. It cost $30 including the minutes. Half way to Florida her cell phone rang. You have no idea of how excited we were to get our first cell phone call while driving in her car. We still donít know who called because Marsha doesnít know which button to push to answer the phone when it rings.

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11. My friend Winky went in the bank to get a loan, and as you might well believe, the banker wouldn't give him one. But then the banker said, "I'm going to see how smart you are. I've got a glass eye, and if you can tell me which one it is, I will approve your loan." And Winky looked him right in the eyes and said, "The right eye is the real one." And the banker said, "That's right! How could you tell?" And Winky said, "I thought I saw a little sympathy in the other one."

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12. One evening when Winky was reading the newspaper he said to his wife, "Here's a man up in Rangeley who was shot for a moose." Winky's wife said, "Any man who can be mistaken for a moose is better off dead."

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13. Somehow Winky and his wife got invited to a party at a real swanky house in Camden, and the hostess was showing all her guests through the house. In one room she said, "This chair goes back to Louis the Fourteenth." And Winky's wife said, "That ain't nothing. My whole kitchen set goes back to Sears tomorrow."

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Robert Karl Skoglund
785 River Road
St. George, ME 04860
(207) 226-7442
humble@humblefarmer.com
www.TheHumbleFarmer.com

© 2009 Robert Karl Skoglund