Rambling

“It would be a great reform in politics if wisdom could be made to spread as easily, and as rapidly, as folly.

“It would be a great reform in politics if wisdom could be made to spread as easily, and as rapidly, as folly.”

Dollar Promise Time ….

We’ve entered “Dollar Promise Time” again, was one take, another called it “Turncoat Time” and another wrapped it up with “Lying Time,” each person remembering past elections their own way, accidentally. Or intentionally reflecting some of the voter cynicism we hear about, all too often.

 But, there are places in the world, more and more of them, where thinking such things is unthinkable, lest you speak it, and die at the hands of “your nation’s leaders.”

Churchill’s right again, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those others that have been tried.” He adds, appearing to confirm our cynics, “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

We should be as proud as punch about that, and we should continue to thank those from days long gone who have sacrificed, in so many ways, to ensure we keep it the way it was given to us, and for giving us the chance to see if we can, one fine day, change Churchill’s thought to “Democracy is the best form of government, bar none.”

“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”

What’s a billion . . .

Counting one number per second takes 11 days to count to one million; counting to one billion would take 32 years, so if you haven’t celebrated your 32nd birthday you have not lived for one billion seconds.

If you stacked money beside the CN tower using 1,000 dollar bills you’d reach a billion at the observation deck.

If you were to stack 1 billion pennies in a single pile, one atop the other, the stack would reach nearly one thousand miles high. For comparison, note that the Space Shuttle typically orbits only 225 miles above the Earth’s surface.

Just thought it would be useful to have an idea of how much one billion is as our leaders on the hustings promise to toss billions here, there and everywhere as if they were at a children’s birthday party throwing peanuts to children in a peanut scramble.

“We contend that for a nation to try and tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself by the handle,” and a second Churchillian thought on the same subject, “There is no such thing as a good tax!”

We can live in hope . . .

That none of those we elect will fit Winston’s description of a member of Parliament who made it very clear he opposed Churchill’s election. “He is one of those orators,” he snorted, “of whom it was well said, before they get up, they do not know what they are going to say, when they are speaking, they do not know what they are saying, and when they have sat down they do not know what they have said.”

A tip of the hat to democracy, those who work at it, and to Churchill for his continuing influence in a process still growing, for the better. All quotations used, and in bold, are from Sir Winston Churchill. I have chosen to use his words, not just because of his wisdom, and he had a fair share of that, but when you’re in the presence of a master, whose experience is been there, done that, shut up and listen, so I do. Also he’s the first leader who came to mind who measured up. Although his feet of clay is troubling in one respect, he was a political turncoat, and not just once, but twice. In his inimitable style, he  twisted it his way, saying, “Anyone can rat. It takes a certain amount of ingenuity to re-rat,” and then wiggles his way out with, “I have never developed indigestion from eating my words.”

His prose was short, sharp and to the point, based on his philosophy that  “Short words are best, and the old words, when short, are best of all.”

I do hope those we elect will be just as stingy, yet as masterful, as he is with words, in spending our billions.

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