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 April 10, 2011




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1. Iím about to throw out some adult material here. I donít have to worry about offending young ears because you have to be 45 or 50 years old to understand what Iím going to say here, anyway. My friend John said that when his kids were in high school, he told them that they were responsible for three things. One: They were going to have to pay for their own car. Two: They were going to have to get a job to pay for their car. And Three: They were going to be responsible for their own bills. I think that that is the most terrible advice I ever heard. If you really care for your kid, you should say: Don't get a car. If you don't get a car, you won't owe any money and you wonít need to get a job.

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2. My wifeís grandchildren are going to be with us for a week and Iím already writing some script that will feature them on my television show. Iím thinking about doing a survivor show with them in the woods and a game show. Weíve already done Aunt Teekís Road Show and the Bait Bike. For the Bait Bike we put a tricycle out on the lawn and one sat inside watching out through the window with binoculars and a movie camera while the little one wearing a leather jacket and a Viking helmet with horns swaggered around the trike, kicked at the tires and finally rode off on it. Game shows are fair game. For the game show Iím going to have canned screaming in the background as I, with mike in hand, lean over to these very small people and say in an excited voice, ďAnd now, to win the pony with the silver saddle, all you have to do is jump into this tub of Jello.Ē And then Iím going to have the 5-year-old turn to the 7-year-old and, with a straight face, say, ďHe must think weíre foolish.Ē If you have any suggestions for television programs I can make with children along these lines of commentary on television programming, Iíd love to hear from you.

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3. If you have been reading letters to the editor in newspapers, it must be obvious to you that very few people understand global warming. If it snows in Maine in June, some people will laugh and say, ďSo much for global warming.Ē But these people donít understand that there is a difference between climate and weather. They donít understand how everything in nature has to work together. Iím reading a book called Deep Future that tells what the best scientific minds predict for the planet for the next 100,000 or so years. Itís by paleoclimatologist Curt Stager who makes predictions about how environmental choices made now in the 21st century will affect life on the planet throughout the distant future --- which I understand to mean from tens to hundreds of thousands of years. The way I understand it, once you contribute to a problem the planet will eventually straighten itself out. But it might take 170,000 years.

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4. When a Maine governor took down some murals that were hanging on a wall, the entire country heard about it. Yes. A silly little thing like taking symbolic pictures off a wall made national news. Anyone who has wasted hundreds of hours reading about whatís presently happening in our country might see removing this mural as a brilliant diversionary tactic --- something to get a lot of attention from the media so the taxpaying public doesn't notice what kind of legislation is being enacted at the state house. One is reminded of a prestidigitator or drunken monkey kung fu, both of which incorporate distraction techniques. You know that legislation is the bottom line --- which group gets its hands on your tax dollars. Everything else is smoke and mirrors. Is it possible that this seemingly innocuous incident of removing paintings could cost you just because you were tricked into taking your eye off the ball? The people who are presently shaping your opinions are not fools. But they would like you to think that they are.

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5. Have you heard about the bill being considered by the Maine State Legislature that would let kids work --- I think itís for longer hours at less wages until late at night? We read that the billís sponsor said the proposal is designed to give kids an opportunity to save more money for college or contribute to their familyís finances. Iíll pause here so you can laugh. My father and perhaps your great grandparents quit school so they could contribute to their familyís finance. You might recall reading some things Charles Dickens wrote about this very same system of children contributing to their familyís finances that was popular almost everywhere 200 years ago. Luckily for children in many progressive countries, they don't need to contribute to their family's finances. Nor do they need to borrow money or have wealthy parents to get an education. Nor do they need to have benefit grange suppers when father gets sick and can't work or loses both legs in an accident. Can you think of any reason why Maine children can't enjoy all the advantages of children who live in progressive countries? We are told that America is a rich country. Where do you suppose all the money is going? Youíd probably have time to think about it if you werenít distracted by the disappearance of those murals.

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6. You might have read about some kids who were caught smuggling drugs into a friend in prison. Have you ever wondered if it would be cheaper to give kids a free college education instead of paying to keep them in jail four years? With the right kind of college background they might be able to get a good job teaching in New York State where retirement is still an option. After four years in jail --- well, too many of kids end up on welfare or back in jail. Either way you, the taxpayer, end up supporting them one way or another for their entire lives. In the old days Fascists or Communists would have simply put child criminals into slave labor camps or executed them. Luckily for our young local criminals, today there are no people in Maine with this kill-them-or-lock-them-up-for-life Fascist or Communist mentality. Radio friend Peter adds to this and says, ďYeah, lock these vicious punks up in a classroom for four years and throw away the key! Did you know that if the drugs involved had actually hit the street they would have been worth $87,478.34? (I was sitting in a bar in Dover-Foxcroft the other day [drinking] with an MDEA agent, so that's how I know.) Society deserves to be protected from the scandal of astronomically priced drugs. These punks have got to pay -- they DESERVE the consolations of philosophy.Ē I want to thank Peter and my countless other smart friends who can make me laugh.

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7. We read in the paper that three selectmen refused to sign a letter of support that would help secure a $2.9 million U.S. Department of Agriculture loan guarantee to build a new fine arts and wellness center, install a new septic system and refinance two dormitories at Washington Academy, a private college preparatory school and the largest economic engine in East Machias, Maine. No, I havenít followed this and know nothing of the background leading up to it, but it would be interesting to know the educational backgrounds of the three folks who have been elected to run the town. Knowing how they voted in the most recent state and national elections might also explain a lot of things. Anyone who has read hundreds of letters to the editor in Maine newspapers knows that the current of anti-intellectualism in Maine runs strong and deep.

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8. Iím going to say this again because I hope you think it is important. Ever see a stage magician who distracts you with his right hand so you won't see what he is doing with the left? You can often confuse animals by switching a goodie from hand to hand. Or mislead hounds by dragging a red herring across the scent trail. In the same manner, the general public easily forgets the important issues and things that really matter when presented with a good sex scandal. Or some public property that is burnt down or blown up. Or removed from a wall. Oh lookit him take those nice pictures off the wall. You might not feel a bit better if you knew what the man in center stage is doing with his hand that you are not watching. Thatís the hand you should be watching. Could it be moving toward your pocket? The handful of people orchestrating the news headlines all over our country today are certainly greedy but far from being fools.

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9. You might not believe this, but a friend just sent me a picture of some people in a legislative setting looking at playing cards on their computer screens while someone else is talking in the background. It said: ďThe Conn. Representitives hard at work.Ē Representatives was misspelled, and the spelling says it all. It tells us who sends out these things. I could never be the legislature. I used to date a state senator and spent many hours sitting in the back of the room listening to testimony that would drive most anyone mad. You sit there, already knowing what these people with the mike are going to say, you agree with them or you disagree with them and thereís a good chance you already hashed it over the night before with the very same speaker and a dozen other key people on the back porch over a huge chicken pot pie. Anyone who has seen legislation discussed by legislators knows what Iím talking about. I have always admired anyone with the ability to sit in any kind of meeting. I admire my brother and his many friends who served with him in the legislature and my friends Hoggy and Reggie and all the others who volunteer to serve at town officers. When I go to funerals I take French or Dutch language flash cards because I canít sit and listen to anything for even half an hour. Iíve walked out of funerals when some poor dubber of a preacher talked too long. Anyway, anyone who finds fault with people playing cards on their computers during a meeting has never had to sit and listen to someone yap for 50 hours of meetings every week. Would our complaining friends who canít spell and have never been in a legislative chamber feel better if our public servants traded in their laptops for Dutch or French language flash cards?

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10. This week my wife Marsha, The Almost Perfect Woman, has been nagging at me to get a haircut. She wouldnít mind if I had a 55 inch waist and was so fat I couldnít get up out of my chair or tie my shows --- if ---my eyebrows were trimmed and I had just had a marine haircut. This morning she reminded me that Iíd be speaking in a couple of weeks and I didnít want to stand before an audience the day after Iíd had one of her Parris Island haircuts. I told her I wanted to have long hair when I spoke so Iíd look like a professor and she said, ďYou wonít look like a professor. Youíll look like an old man who hasnít had a haircut for six weeks.Ē

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11. If thereís anything that drives my wife wild, it is seeing me twiddle with my hair. When my hair gets long over my ears, I sometimes absent-mindedly twirl it around between my fingers. The other day she said, ďIf you play with your hair any more, Iíll cut it off.Ē Now Iím even being careful of where I scratch.

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

© 2011 Robert Karl Skoglund