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 February 26, 2012




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Rants February 26, 2012

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1. We learn on the morning news that Facebook uses our posts to determine the advertising that appears on the right of the page. I don't believe they can do it. This morning the two top boxes are encouraging me to move into a retirement home.

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2. Years ago Professor Steven E. Landsburg wrote a book called The Armchair Economist. He says that statistics have proven that people drive less carefully when they wear seatbelts. I can see the truth in this. Unless Iím in New Jersey I feel very safe wearing a seatbelt, and am afraid every minute I am in a moving car or bus or train without one. A professor in California has suggested that a good way to bring about a reduction in the accident rate, would be to have a spear mounted on every steering wheel, pointed at the driver's heart. He believes we would see a lot less tailgating. I have mixed feelings about this. Because I am fool enough to stop at stop signs, I have been struck in the rear end at least half a dozen times over the past 40 years. And with this proposed system I would miss seeing irate drivers get out of their cars to chew me out for being in their way. Professor Landsburg points out that people put Baby on Board signs on their cars, hoping that other drivers will be a little bit more careful when near them. Do bumper stickers really have the power to influence other people's behavior? I can say, "Yes," from personal experience. My old friend Stanley French, who had a junkyard in South Thomaston, once showed me a brand new car that hit a tree head on. Stanley said that he bought the car to display it in his junkyard --- only because of the sticker on the rear bumper. It said, "Jesus is my pilot."

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3. Do you remember the television program that listed 5 things to say at your Super Bowl party? I asked my wife, "What is the Super Bowl?" She said that it was an excuse for an assortment of people to make a lot of money. If youíve been around for awhile you might have the opinion that people in this country don't really care who wins any televised sporting event because it's no more than an excuse to sit around and drink beer. If you don't drink, do you really need televised sports? In countries where folks are really serious about sports fans swarm out onto the field after the game and kill a few dozen people. My nephew says that heís attended games in South America where people throw not only cans and bottles but chairs and anything that isnít nailed down. And radio friend Professor Bill says that if an enemy ever does want to do us in, they'll attack during the super bowl. Newscasting wouldnít dare interrupt the game should an enemy invade, which will result in a certain class of Americans who will be taken or killed with one hand in the chips and the other around a beer.

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4. The German military didnít just invade Poland and Holland. Over a period of several months the German people were softened up by a propaganda machine that was very good for its day. Over and over day after day for several months the German people were convinced that it was necessary to invade Poland and the Sudetenland and everybody else. You can't just build up a war machine and then send it on its imperialistic way without first convincing your citizenry that they are in grave danger. Which is why before Germany attacked its neighbors, not only the troops but the store clerks and the farmers had to be told, over and over, that without military intervention their freedom and their very lives were in grave danger. We must strike first before they get us. Thank goodness that nowadays we are too sophisticated to let that kind of propaganda influence us here. Nowadays we know weíre going in there for the natural resources.

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5. You might have read that a Republican lawmaker resigned from his House seat about two months after the Maine Ethics Commission found that he committed multiple violations of the stateís Clean Election law. The House Speaker announced the lawmaker's resignation, and added: ďI believe this is the appropriate step for him to take, as we Republicans insist our members maintain the highest ethical standards possible." I didn't mention the lawmaker's name because before long more than a few Republicans are likely to be running him for governor.

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6. We read that up in Dexter a 78-year-old man came out of a grocery store, put his groceries in someone elseís car, and drove it home. It was the same color as his car and his key fit exactly. Someone has probably already written a country and western song about not using your key to start someone elseís car so I donít need to. But it does remind me that men of all ages are easily confused. Back in the early 1960s when I was playing for dances at the Blue Goose in Belfast, I would often look down from the bandstand and see men who were only 40 leave the hall with their neighbor's wife.

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7. The other night I watched a movie called As Good As It Gets. I like to watch Jack Nicholson in movies. If Iím scanning the band and see Nicholson, I always stop and watch his every move, his every facial expression. He very often plays very smart or very well educated people who either have asbergerís or who feel they transcend laws or social norms that are created for regular people. You will remember that in As Good As It Gets, the wealthy Nicholson was able to pay for a doctor for the poor waitress whose health care plan didnít cover her sonís illness. ďIím sorry but your son has a problem that is not covered in your insurance plan.Ē I was thinking about this a day later when I walked into the doctorís office and noticed that the receptionist was lacking some front teeth. If I were that doctor, I would probably figure it was worth the expense to buy my young receptionist a set of teeth. Or at least replace the missing front ones. Youíve already heard me say that the young desk clerk at the backwater hotel where we spent a few winter months was obviously in need of dental work. So why arenít these vibrant, young working Americans visiting a dentist? I donít see rotten or missing front teeth in young working people in Northern Europe. If I were to ask my desk clerk why he didnít have his teeth fixed do you suppose heís say, ďEvery cent that I donít need for food goes directly into my Swiss bank account.Ē

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8. David sent me a story in which someone mentions their 3,000 square foot apartment. It reminds me of the Swedish girls I used to correspond with 50 years ago who would tell me that they were a trim 98 kilos and 147 centimeters tall. They might as well have said that when they sat down they took up 3,000 square feet of chair because centimeters and square feet mean nothing to this culturally deprived old man. And does this square feet thing mean anything to you? Does anyone care how many square feet there are in your house or anybody elseís house? Can you stand there and look me in the eye and tell me what your house amounts to in square feet? Isnít it much like saying that the blade on a wind turbine is a long as a football field? There might come a day when Iíll ask Google how many feet there are in a football field, square and linear, but I doubt if Iíll have time to do it today. And suppose someone did crunch the numbers and told you that your house was 10,000 square feet. Does that figure really have any meaning if we donít know how much of that space your spouse, who collects everything, has allocated to foot paths? Which reminds me that I do know that the original part of my old garage where I keep a couple of Model T Fords is 24 by 24. I know this because I had to saw out some 24-foot two by eights to hold the building together. So that means I have a 576-square foot garage. When the day comes that Iíve stacked Model T parts to a height of 8 feet, my wife will tell you that I have 4600 cubic feet of antique iron that she would like you to haul away.

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9. As you know, for years my wife and I worked in Florida for a wonderful elderly woman who gave us a place to stay and food all winter. So we have many friends in Florida. Our benefactor couldnít come back this year so her little brother, who is 88, asked us to come and live two streets over with them. At the last minute the park owner found out and said we couldnít stay with our friends more than two weeks --- Haitian boat people clause. Ok. So we stay with them days and are forced to sleep in a hotel room on a back lot one mile away. Marsha has her cleaning job contacts and this year Iím making videos of old people who want to tell their grandchildren a bit about what it was like when they were growing up without electricity. So we scrape by with that. Just in case youíd like to know how anyone with our income can afford to spend the worst 60 days of winter in a Florida hotel you should know that there are Florida hotels and there are Florida hotels. This one is on a back lot overlooking a cow pasture, so I feel right at home. The hotel is new and clean but because of the low, low cost of staying here, it has attracted the lowest class of uneducated people. From what Iíve seen there are families with three children over the age of 12 living here in one room. I suspect they are victims of the class warfare that caused them to lose their jobs and then their homes. Right after bedtime someone conducts kick boxing classes in the room above us. We hear doors slam when our neighbors go outside for a smoke and have met them often on the elevator with their lighter and cigarettes in hand. While sharing the elevator, we sometimes wonder if there is a shower in all the rooms. The nice young man who works at the front desk has a wife and kids upstairs. And although he is probably not more than 30, he has very few teeth left and they donít look like theyíll last long. And if that doesnít tell you what kind of a place weíre staying in, right across from the front door in the parking lot there is usually a car sporting a Ron Paul sticker.

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10. Can you think of any recent legislation that does not have to do with supporting some religious belief or making a certain class of people more money? Is it possible that some of the most popular legislation today does both? Iím thehumblefarmer at gmail dot com and Iím always glad to hear from you.

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11. Under a newspaper column that listed a raft of diseases humans can get from kissing animals, an animal lover wrote: ďYa, another credible study that will have too get $Millions in grants from OUR Government to do further study for about 10 years and then will finally conclude that it isn't as bad as first thought.Ē This is interesting. Kissing dogs -- ďIt isnít as bad as first thought.Ē How cold do you suppose it had to get in that lonely cabin in the Maine woods to bring our adventurous friend to that conclusion? One can only wonder how many long-suffering Maine coon dogs have thought to themselves, ďPlease, please, not on the lips.Ē

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12. One sunny morning my wifeís youngest grandchild walked into the room while chewing on the handle of a fly swatter. My brother, who was right there and saw it, said that back in the good old days that was the way children immunized themselves against disease. And when you hear this example of what happens to kids who donít chew on fly swatters, you might agree. My brother mentioned motherís cousin Will Williamson, who lived up near the corner of Gleason Street in Thomaston. Cousin Will perished with some childhood disease, probably in the 1920s. I can remember going into Uncle Dellís house in the early 1940s and seeing a cardboard doll of Charlie McCarthy that had belonged to Cousin Will and I remember being aware that Cousin Will had died before his time. But it wasnít until that sunny morning in my kitchen that I realized what had killed him. Cousin Willís parents were protective. They kept him from ever catching anything from other children or anyone else. When the day finally came when he did catch something, his body couldnít handle it. Cousin Will was kept so clean and pure that without realizing what they were doing, his parents actually washed him to death.

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

© 2012 Robert Karl Skoglund