Marsha and humble September 30, 2007





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This is a rough draft of Rants for your Maine Private Radio show for January 26, 2014

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1. Did you know that German prosecutors have raided a Swiss bank? They claim that bank staff assisted clients to avoid taxes. Well, what is a Swiss bank for?

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2. You might have seen Justin Bieber in the news for speeding. Justin Bieber is reportedly worth 100 million dollars. Justin Bieber is 19 years old. Bieber was driving a Lamborghini and R&B singer Khalil, who was also arrested, was driving a Ferrari. Sounds like the name of a TV series, doesnít it?: Would you watch a show called The private lives of the Lamborghini girls? He was released on bail that would have taken one half of my yearly Social Security income. In the best of all possible worlds would he have been released on half of his yearly income? Do you think that would be fair? When I posted this on my Facebook page, someone told me that in Finland you do pay traffic fines proportionate to your yearly income, and that a man was fined $103,000 for doing 47 in a 31 mph zone on his Harley. That was only 1/125th of his yearly salary, so to him, 103,000 was only pocket change.

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3. With your permission we are talking about Justin Bieber who is truly famous. He must be, because even I have heard of him. If I have heard of you, even hermits living in hillside caves in Tibet have heard of you. That means that you are truly famous. There is nothing left in life for Justin Bieber. He is in the same boat as a retired old man who spent his life getting rich without the benefit of an education. That means that he is easily bored. He has nothing to do. He knows nothing about other parts of the world or what makes people tick. Although he has opinions, he hasnít read much of anything on which to base these opinions. He doesn't know how to have fun. He can buy anything he wants but has discovered that buying things no longer makes him happy. The fun was in getting there. So what do you do when you've arrived without having acquired the tools that facilitate critical thinking? You could go fishing.

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4. What do Elvis, Michael Jackson and Justin Bieber have in common? Justin Bieber only had only two more steps to go to catch up with Elvis and Jackson and he has already taken one of them. From the drug aspect, I can identify with these three weak people. Hundreds of times I've been unable to start a radio program or stand up on a stage without the help that comes from two quick cups of coffee. It is a psychological thing. You get to the point where you feel you can't do anything without help. The difference between us is that I knew when to stop and have always been able to stop: I cut myself off after two cups of coffee. Thatís with a lot of milk and a lot of sugar. Now that I think of it, just milk and plenty of sugar would probably have done the job. But please give this some careful consideration --- had I been rich enough to afford a doctor to help me with my addiction problem, I'd most certainly be dead by now from a drug overdose.

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5. Have you ever noticed that when you are almost 80 years old, your adult children give you nice expensive presents that they might like to have for themselves in a year or two?

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6. Should you speak the language of the country you live in? I happen to believe that two old men sitting outside in the Clark Island sun should not be sent back to the old country for talking Swedish. --- Because when I was a kid there were a lot of old men sitting around in the sun in their funny, old paving cutter hats talking Swedish. I do not consider bilingualism to be tearing at the fabric of a country. My father and his father were two of them. When George Gamow went down to Paris to see De Broglie, Gamow had to speak French because, although De Broglie spoke perfect English, he believed that in France people should speak French. The French believe this, which is why I went hungry when I got off a train in the wrong place and got stuck in France one night. And which is why I learned to read a good deal of French when I came home. On the other hand, if you go to Sweden or Holland or most anywhere in northern Europe except France, most of the natives would rather slash their wrists than speak their native language with an American. And when an American tries to learn another language, he is discouraged from trying. Has it ever happened to you?

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7. Iím going to repeat something I said here a week or two ago because Gary Lawless had something to say about it. What I said was --- Remember how they used to tar the roads in the good old days? A truck would back up to a machine and dump the gravel or tar into it and the machine would press it into the road. Iím the humble farmer at gmail dot com and you might tell us what you know about it. A friend of mine who drove one of those trucks was on his way to a grange meeting when his wife said, ďAdmit it. Youíre lost. I donít know how you can be lost. You drove every bit of this road when you helped tar it last summer.Ē And he said, ďThatís true, but you want to remember that I was always backing up.Ē

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8. Hereís a letter from Gary Lawless. Gary says, ďBack in the 1960s I worked summers on the state highway tar crew in Waldo County. The stuff didn't come premixed then - you laid out a line of hot, wet tar from the tar truck, then followed yes with dump trucks backing up. Attached to the rear of a dump truck was a device called a spreader, which would spread the dirt evenly on the tar. It had a little catwalk with three people, two of them shoveling and one controlling the flow of the dirt. You would figure yards of dirt to distances of tar laid out and cover the tar with dirt - then a grader would come and mix the dirt and tar directly on the road surface, with flagmen at either end of the worksite controlling traffic. I was one of the guys on the spreader, spending my days shoveling dirt. The tar fumes would rise as we rolled above it, and we were directly in line with the exhaust from the trucks - a hot, thirsty and hard job. Sometimes we tarred route one between Belfast and Camden before dawn, by headlights, so as not to mess up July traffic that much. Other days we would take the ferry out and tar Islesboro. On rainy days we cleaned out culverts and waited for the sun. It is true that the dump truck drivers drove in reverse - we had to get the dirt onto the tar before their tires hit it - those guys were really good at driving backwards!

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9. You canít turn around but you see the cost of postage going up. Do you get the impression that someone is trying to destroy the post office? --- Prove that it doesnít work, so it can be privatized? Some people think the post office is being sabotaged. There are people in this great country who think that our government doesnít work, and, in or out of office, they do everything in their power to prove that they are right. The problem with the post office seems to be that they are trying to run it as a business. But why should a post office have to pay for itself any more than education, roads, or healthcare are expected to show a measurable bottom line profit? If we spent a fraction of what we spend on past, present and future wars on our postal service, there would have been no need to jack the price of stamps or be undercut by a private company that delivers packages. There are those who believe that the postal service and railroads and healthcare are services that citizens deserve and that should be paid for by the taxes they have paid in to the government. There are those who disagree. Most of those who disagree are very, very rich, and because they own the media, and are therefore able to control public opinion, they are eventually going to have their way. So you are very likely to see the price of stamps continue to rise until Benjamin Franklinís good old post office for the people is sold off to the highest bidder.

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10. Hereís a letter from long time radio friend Susan who says: Are you tired of violence, drug addiction, pornography, domestic arguments, corrupt lawyers, divorce, child custody battles, exploitation of youth, fights over gun control laws, fights where there is no control over guns, hostility, war, political gerrymandering, failures of Congress to do anything at all, racist attitudes, Wall Street and bonuses? Wondering what else there could possibly be that anyone would even bother putting in a radio or television program? You could try listening to The humble Farmer and see if there is one more thing that you should add to the list of things you're tired of.

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You have but to ask to have it run on your cable station in your home town.
For more information please call humble at 207-226-7442 or email him at thehumblefarmer@gmail.com

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

© 2014 Robert Karl Skoglund