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 October 14, 2012




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Rants October 21, 2012

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1. It is the time of year when some parents finally get to see boyfriends who were acquired over the past month or two. If your daughter is a serious student, who is also a friendly outgoing type, three or four young men might show up in the course of a month. This is good. It means that your daughter will probably marry a very rich 50 year old man when she's 35. Were you pleased with the most recent ones your daughter brought home? If you're a father, or a stepfather like I am, it's important to have your greeting down pat. Think it up ahead of time. Years ago, when my friend, Lawyer Crandall, heard a young male voice on the phone asking for his daughter, his standard reply was, "She's in a mental institution." Crandall says they simply said, "Oh good. Thank you. I'll call back later." Another father told me he had his greeting down pat. He smiles extends a hand, and says, "So you're the chemist who's been in Africa working with Aids patients.Ē I can remember that 15 or so years ago I was very impressed with the crop my wifeís daughter brought home. Each one admitted that he was a grad student on full fellowship to this or that university. Grad student on full fellowship has a nice ring to it. Every time one would appear, I'd say to myself, "Here's a smart fellow who's going to go places. He can't fail." But then one day I happened to think that for three years I was a grad student on a full fellowship.

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2. Iíd like to talk with you about economics. How can you tell when a person has lived his entire life with almost enough money to just scrape by? A person who knows that he has to use as little shampoo as possible? A person who, although it is risky, uses two sheets of toilet paper instead of the rich manís four? You knew I was going to give you an example and you are right. Every morning I eat a pan of rolled oats. I drink it out of the pan and keep the spoon in the pan from falling out with the index finger on my right hand. One morning as I sat at my computer eating and writing, I noticed a small object on my finger. It looked like a solidified accumulation of nasal mucus, but then again it might have been an oat that my finger picked up on the edge of the pan. It was impossible to determine with any certitude what that small grayish-white thing was. And this is the moment of truth that separates the grubbing duffer from his affluent friends. Not being able to take any chances, I ate it.

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3. I read in the newspaper that, "The earth can sustain itself quite well in spite of mankind - it was created by God." We also read that "More Than 9 in 10 Americans Continue to Believe in God Professed belief is lower among younger Americans, Easterners, and liberalsĒ On the other hand, with 10 out of 10 in the Taliban believing in God isnít the Taliban putting us to shame? With a bit of dedicated proselytizing, couldnít we garner those few liberals and younger Americans and be right up there 100 percent with them?

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4. The ad said, ďYou can very rapidly be speaking another tongue. Ö Become Smarter.Ē I am living testimony that speaking another tongue or even being able to read six other tongues does not make one smarter. Iím not even as smart as I was 70 years ago. When I was in the sixth grade it seems that I could remember anything I read. But Iím a lot wiser than I was then and there is no doubt but what being able to speak and read other languages has helped. Iím quibbling, of course, with the word employed in the advertisement. Do you think that being able to speak Chinese would make you smarter? Would you rather be smarter or wiser?

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5. Why are there so many signs out by the roadside just before election time? Can anyone believe that it is possible to determine the best candidate by simply looking at some signs out by the road? Why yes. Isnít it evident? If I earned over a million dollars a year, Iíd be voting for the candidate whose name and face and Uncle Sam have been professionally painted on the side of a trailer truck. This candidate is obviously supported by wealthy people who know he will stand in line to vote for the most blatant anti-progressive legislation ALEC can write. With him in office, I might easily double my million in income by next year. Lacking a trailer truck to guide me, Iíd vote for the candidate with the biggest, most expensive and numerous signs. At every intersection he crowds out all other contenders just by his imposing size. Heís the same man I mentioned before whose campaign financing, thanks to the Supreme Court, might also have come from any number of Third-World dictators. But who would know until after the election when we see our expensive war machinery heading that way? Because they wonít tax the rich (who send kids who canít afford college to fight their very lucrative little wars), we call this first crowd ďthe Borrow and BombĒ candidates. On the other hand, if I had four bald tires on my 20-year-old pickup and was able to buy food but not much more, Iíd be voting for any fuzzy name sprayed through a template onto a piece of plywood. These are the candidates who run on a shoestring budget and if elected will probably vote to fix the roads, help poor kids go to college and provide for homeless shell-shocked veterans. They are ridiculed as ďthe Tax and SpendĒ candidates because they know that the cost of roads and education and healthcare is the price of living in a civilized society. So think about this the next time you drive up to an intersection and see all the signs. Now, without even reading the names, canít you can pretty well tell which candidates will eagerly postpone the day of economic reckoning and will continue to borrow and bomb? --- And which candidates realize that the soundest economies in the world are in countries where legislators are not afraid to tax the rich and spend?

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6. One winter afternoon over 40 years ago while driving through Belfast my car was struck broadside by a fire engine that ran a stop sign and crossed Route One--- on the way home from a fire. My passenger and I pinwheeled two or three times before ending up in the median strip. Although I arrived at the gig late, I played for a dance that evening at the Camden Legion --- probably only because our seatbelts were securely fastened to a steel Saab frame. We read that more than 70 percent of the 1,020 people killed in crashes on Alabama roads in 1996 werenít wearing seat belts. No surprise when Alabama is proud to have one of the lowest rates of seat-belt usage in the nation. Driving a truck or police car without wearing a seatbelt is a macho thing. Boasting to your buddies at the loading dock about never wearing a seatbelt characterizes a certain segment of our society. If you think about it, you might realize that the people you know who refuse to wear seatbelts hate the guvmnt.

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7. Did you read that "About $4.6 trillion of the total [US] debt is money that the government has borrowed from itself, by writing IOUs for huge sums taken from Social Security and Medicare surplusesĒ? If you read a newspaper printed in Northern Europe, you are likely to see that people in other parts of the world are amazed that Republicans are determined to let the U. S. national debt climb by reducing taxes on the very wealthy and by continuing to fund an incredibly expensive military machine. One morning I thought I'd see how much the national debt will grow every year just by the interest on that debt alone. Interestingly enough, I found web sites of studies that were understandably selective. Some would give a grade school student the impression that it is social programs or giving something back to American workers that is dragging us under. Nothing is said about the cost of our endless wars and our military machine (which only exists these days to generate huge profits for war-related industries --- as if we are solely responsible for policing the world) and nothing is said about how quickly the rich are getting richer in recent years or that working people can't stimulate an economy with money they don't have. With a Congress bought and paid for by Corporate America, can you see anything in our future but a gutted carcass left to bleach in the sun while the vultures move elsewhere?

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8. Google is a wonderful thing. How else would I have learned that some scientists have discovered how to make teeth fillings out of the same polyethylene fibers used in bullet proof vests? Iím so old I can remember when superman was the only person who could catch bullets in his teeth and spit them back at the bad guys. Now, with her enhanced technological prowess, your basic great-grandmother will be required to have her jaws licensed as a lethal weapon.

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9. I read on the Internet that the last World Health Organization study to take a comparative look at global health systems assessed, among other things, fairness measured as household contribution to the financing of each countryís health system. Not surprisingly, when it comes to fairness the US ranked 55th, well below Libya, Cuba, Samoa, Uruguay, Guyana, India and, of course, Canada and most other western, industrialized nations. Arenít you amused --- donít you have to chuckle when you realize that it is your own money that you pay to your health insurance company that constantly lobbies to prevent any meaningful change in the fundamental inequities of our morally bankrupt health care system? Yes. Itís your own money that lobbies against you. Arenít we a bunch of suckers?

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10. You get them all the time. These emails that ask you to vote for one organization or another. The email that came today asked me to help determine the most indispensible food pantry in Maine. We understand that food pantries provide food for the poor and this is good. However, I cast a write-in vote for Maine Family Planning. If everyone supported Maine Family Planning, in a very few years there would be no need for food pantries in Maine. The only people who could possibly oppose the closing of food pantries would be those wonderful altruistic souls who run them.

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11. Do you keep anything in your house that eats? Most things that eat have teeth. Most things that have teeth can bite. A while back we talked about the woman who was attacked by the Chimp. Remember the woman who got bit by the chimp? This got all kinds of national media attention even though we never hear a thing about the 800,000 or so Americans who are hospitalized every year by dog bites --- or the 30 or so Americans who are killed every year by dogs. If I had time Iíd do a Google search to find out how many people died in their home last year and were eaten by their cats before anyone found them.

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12. Captain Freddie was one of my neighbors when I was a kid. They say Captain Freddie didn't get to go to sea until he was well along in years --- almost 20. He wanted to go when he was younger when one of his relatives, Captain Seymore Watts, or someone in the same business, even came by the house one time and asked him to help haul a load of coal to California. But Captain Freddieís mother had lost two or three family members at sea and she wouldn't let him out of the house. Captain Freddie said, "You know, that ship went down and all hands was lost. I suppose it's just as well I didn't go."

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13. (PRX 080728) My cousin Truman Hilt tells me that there are so many people named Jimmy Smith that they even have a Jimmy Smith convention down in Virginia or North Carolina. Hundreds of people show up. You know, that could be awful confusing, unless everyone wore a name tag. (951207)

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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