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 29, 2012




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Rants April 29, 2012

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1. Hereís a tip for you young single men who enjoy telling funny stories. Please remember that as a prowling single young man of 35- 45 who didnít drink, I had a great advantage over much younger men who would pass out and have to be abandoned soon after the sun went down. Stone cold sober, I was able to regale attentive young ladies with humorous anecdotes long into the night.

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2. Robert in Brunswick writes us a letter that says, ďHi humble, I went to a lecture in Kennebunk Sunday. She gives lectures in Italian, English or Greek. This one was in English. There are still people at Moody's Diner whom I cannot understand, because they speak in local dialect.Ē

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3. Letter from North Blue Hill

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4. Hereís an email from Betsy in Belfast who says, ĒI have been quite busy submitting my artwork and poetry to various juried shows and galleries. I was thrilled to win 2nd place in the Black and White category of The Maine Photography Show in Boothbay Harbor, and just recently received an Honorable Mention for my poem "Mud Season" in the Rockland Poetry Contest. The awards ceremony will be at the Rockland Public Library. I will read my poem, as will the other 3 winners. They will also announce the new Poet Laureate of Rockland that evening. Jeff continues to teach in Belfast, and is training for the Trek Across Maine (180 miles) coming in June.Ē Well, even though Iím extraordinarily pleased that anyone would take the time to write to me, and although Iím proud to have a good friend like Betsy who wins poetry and photographic contests, it makes me wonder if there are still any people in Maine who dig clams or milk cows. And if you dig clams or milk cows, why donít I ever hear from you? Some radio friend must have a radio in the barn to entertain the cows at milking time. And isnít it possible to even have a small radio in your pocket nowadays so that no matter if youíre digging clams or working at the blackfly breeding ranch in Machias, you can hear your buddy humble playing music and babbling with you here on your favorite station? Please let me know if youíre listening and what youíre doing when youíre listening. Iím the humble Farmer at gmail dot com. Years ago when this program was on in the late evening I used to ask you what you were doing while you were listening. But so many young married folks wrote and told me I had to quit.

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5. We read that "In 2007, President George W. Bush signed a bill that cut in half interest rates on subsidized student loans until 2012. Those low rates will expire on July 1 ó going back to 6.8 percent from 3.4 percent ó and, to prevent college from becoming even more unaffordable for millions of students, the obvious move is to renew them. But nothing is that easy or sensible anymore in Washington, where House Republicans are far more interested in cutting taxes, largely for the rich, than they are in helping low- and middle-income students get a college education." Big funny deal --- cutting back on the amount of interest to be paid on the money borrowed from banks to attend college. The premise of this comment I just read is flawed. There are still many Americans who do not know that thousands of students in Northern Europe do not pay interest on their college loans because they have no college loans. Or perhaps owe a manageable amount because they pay as little as we did here 50 years ago when even I was able to work my way through college. Most everyone realizes that it is to the advantage of society to have its citizens attend school for as long as they can stand it --- the higher the level of education, the more they'll earn and the more tax monies they'll be able to contribute to their society. There are many of us who would like to see such a system here, where children do not have to pay tuition to go to grade school, high school or college. Ok, we're already 2/3 of the way there. It is my sincere wish that my young friends travel in Northern Europe this summer. I'd like to see them talking with their peers in Finland and Norway --- or in any of the four happiest countries. You can Google and find the four happiest countries on line. Find out how society functions in countries where people do not lose their homes when the economy goes sour --- or when they get sick and cannot work. Nothing provides an education quite like visiting a happy country for three months with nothing else to do but talk with the natives. Think carefully before telling your father about what you've seen when you return home from a happy country. If the signs in front of houses at election time are any index, a good half of the fathers in Maine won't want to hear it.

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6. A friend sent me a web site that said that home schooling is banned in Sweden. Your first thought might be that this is a wise thing. Yes, there is a handful of good people who are certainly more than qualified to home school their kids. They are educators who let their children play with other children and augment their book learning with travel and a variety of experiences. But when you think of the largest percentage of folks who do home school their kids and why they home school their kids you might realize that it is for the purpose of producing non-thinking clones. This can happen when too much of the studentís reading is confined to one book. We read that people who want to home school their kids in Sweden are fleeing the country. If you were a Swedish citizen would you say, ďGood riddance?Ē Wouldnít this exodus pretty well wipe out the cults? Imagine a world where people no long stockpile food and guns as they grimly await Armageddon? Wouldnít it eliminate the father figure and his obedient little family --- not one of whom have ever been allowed to play with the other children in the neighborhood for fear of contaminating their home-school ďeducationĒ? I admit it. If I could have afforded to have children, I would have been as guilty as any other nut. My kids would never see a TV screen, they would never have a soft drink or a candy bar, the water would be fluoridated, theyíd learn to weed radishes and each one would be able to read six languages and play three instruments before the age of 10. Oh --- this web site that called the Swedes ďFascistsĒ for not permitting cults to take root in their happy land? --- It quoted The John Birch Society. One must smile at the name-calling because isnít a public school education in Sweden likely to produce Socialists ? And isnít it home schooling that is practiced by and likely to produce even more members of the extreme far right? To be fair I should mention that I was home schooled. Of course I also went to the best kind of public school --- a one-room school that contained six grades --- but I don't flatter myself to think I would have been reading three or four years above my grade level if I hadn't spent a lot of time at home reading books on my grandmother's bony knees. But today two tired, working parents let their kid veg out in front of the TV with a sugary drink and chips and then blame the teachers when their overweight Johnny canít read. Spend some time reading up on this and only then please tell me if you think it would profit us to study the Swedish educational system.

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7. Please forgive me, but I canít seem to get away from overweight people, and because for over 30 years Iíve talked with you about what Iíve seen, Iíve got to talk about our friends who are eating themselves to death. Can you help but wonder why they have chosen to move themselves toward an early grave by punishing their bodies with lack of exercise, fattening foods and sweet drinks? It canít be just my imagination. Donít you also see our overweight friends everywhere you go? They are in the stores. And arenít you amazed to even see them in medical offices where they sit immobile, hour after hour, gazing at computer screens as they punch keys with their pudgy fingers? As a matter of fact, you see them everywhere except running down the road or at exercise class. And then someday, only a few years hence, there will be the massive expense of caring for these friends who will get many of the diseases associated with being grossly overweight. We no sooner get rid of cigarette advertising and its attendant millions of potential smokers, when obesity raises its expensive head. We read that over 35 percent of Americans are obese. Is there an answer? We now have to pay in to Social Security. What would happen if people paid a tax according to their weight --- say $100 each year for each pound over a medically determined amount. There would be an allowance for pregnant women and young boys with an inordinate number of pimples. The money would be banked in a special account (and the Swiss bank Romney uses to house and augment his wealth would be a good choice because you can be sure it is safe) and this banked money would be used in later years when the overweight people required medical attention for heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, gallbladder disease and gallstones, osteoarthritis, gout, breathing problems, such as sleep apnea and asthma. If you have a better answer the world is waiting to hear from you. Iím the humble farmer at gmail dot com and your secret is not safe with me because I blab everything you tell me.

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8. We read that "The for-profit educational retail chain has been sued by the Justice Department and eleven states .... "If the allegations are proven, then EDMC will be held liable for the theft of billions in government funds from Title IV. This could raise some eyebrows regarding McKernan's role as CEO during the time that the company allegedly received Title IV monies illegally and could subject the former governor of Maine to criminal liability." Although allegations mean nothing, would even being sued by the Justice Department and eleven states for the theft of billions in government funds make it difficult for Olympia Snow, the spouse of Governor McKernan, to be re-elected? I donít know. I suppose it is possible to be elected to a public office while in jail. Itís been done. Iím old enough to remember Mayor Curley. Remember what Mayor Curley did? Some poor person would say they were freezing in their apartment and Mayor Curley would send over a truck of coal. And if you steal from the rich to give to the poor you stand a good chance of getting elected in Boston. And what is this socialism business of corporations getting government funds? The difference between socialism in this country and socialism in northern Europe seems to be that in America it is only the corporations that derive the benefits of socialism. In Socialized Northern Europe it is the working people who get back in services the money they paid in on taxes. Guess we'll have to vote for Ron Paul. Did you tell me that heís about the only Republican politician in this country opposed to corporate Socialism? Back before Charles Beck came to MPBN I was allowed to have guests on my radio program and Mr. McKernan was one of them. I wonder if anyone will ever dig out all those old tapes of interviews that are in my office or if Marsha will simply send them off to the dump. Do those small cassette tapes play after 20 years? I've got interviews with Art Buchwald and Senator Mitchell and Sonny Stitt and Al Cohn and Clark Terry and lots of other musicians and politicians. "What am I offered for this old box of tapes? Who'll start it off at a dollar? Let's throw in this picture of humble being strangled by Stephen King. That ought to be worth something. You can hang it up on Halloween to scare off the neighborhood kids. One dollar bid, two dollars where?" What do you think about education and prisons for profit? With a privatized system a lot of money always adheres to many sticky fingers before it gets to where it is suppose to be going.

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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