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SIGNS OF THE TIME
Getting Better

"An honest politician............................?" Tumbleweed
"The only way to not vote for the wrong person is to not vote." Tumbleweed

Politics? What do I know about politics? What I know about politics would fit in a can - a trash can.

Way back in Kindergarten I lost faith in the political process when they failed to elect the right person for room monitor: they elected me instead.

But there are some things I can't help but noticing. The thing I noticed today (the day after Labor Day on an election year) is that, according to the headlines, things are getting better.

And this is true. A month ago gas prices were reaching for the $5 a gallon mark. Then it started to go down. Now, I fill my tank only a couple, three times a year, so I thought I had better grab the dropping price tag before the oil companies saw what was happening and corrected this viscous error. I bought when it was about $4.15. The time before I payed $4.50 or so.

And the price just kept on dropping! Now that I have my full tank, the price is under $3.50 a gallon!

Foolish me. I had plumb forgot that this is an election year.


Also in the headlines I saw where we are going to pull out of Iraq. This did not come as a surprise to me, because I read the very same headlines four years ago at this time. The difference is that four years ago there was a few less American bodies decorating the Iraqi landscape. Now, I believe, there are something over 4,100 American soldiers dead; 300,000 with brain injuries; another 500 dead in Afghanistan (Afghanistan? How did we get over there?); and I don't know how many Iraqis are now dead, nor American civilians, nor the people of other nations who have been caught in the middle of this war.

Did I say war? Are we at war? I hadn't heard of us being at war. I thought if we were at war with any body it's that guy who attacked our towers and was (still is, to the best of my knowledge) hiding in the desert somewhere.

I guess we must be at war, or some thing because we are now ten trillion dollars in debt (is that more than a million? I was never good at trigonometry).


Another question that comes to my mind that no one seems to be addressing. The government is having trouble finding money to provide all the retired folk with the pensions and medical treatment they had been counting on, and paying for. Of course the government has a good excuse for robbing, I mean cutting what was promised to these old folks (I wish I could make such good excuses, and get away with it). Accepting that our government wouldn't lie to us, I suppose I must not argue their stance. But this I would like to know. Considering that there have been so many people wounded severely in a war that does not exist, who is going to pay for the support and medical needs of these many? Perhaps it's the government who will foot the bill. But where will the government get the money to provide for these men and women? From their own pocket, I'll betcha. I know that must be so because our politicians have seen, once again, a need to raise their own allowance. [In the '80's, or was it the '70's, I recall the President and the entire congress doubled their own pay. The reason they gave us, the voters, was that this would insure getting qualified people into office, and not someone just seeking the money. That certainly worked out well, don't you think? (As I have said before, don't consider anything sure by my account of it: check it out, I could well be wrong.) ]


I don't know. Politics befuddles me. It appears to me that when a politician looks at "up," he sees "down." And if he doesn't see "down, he turns "up" side, down.


Well, that's me. You will have to check out all the details yourself. I got what little information I have from the newspaper; and I'm sure there must be a more accurate and reliable source than that.


But in the meantime, here are some quotes from people who know a lot more about the subject of politics than I do. Check them out.

Tumbleweed


Quotes


"An election is coming. Universal peace is declared and the foxes have a sincere interest in prolonging the lives of the poultry." ~T.S. Eliot


"Politics, it seems to me, for years, or all too long, has been concerned with right or left instead of right or wrong." ~Richard Armour

"Politicians are like diapers. They both need changing regularly and for the same reason." ~Author Unknown

"I never vote for anybody, I always vote against." ~W.C. Fields

"We live in a world in which politics has replaced philosophy." ~Martin L. Gross

"There are many men of principle in both parties in America, but there is no party of principle." ~Alexis de Tocqueville

"We'd all like to vote for the best man, but he's never a candidate." ~Frank McKinney "Kin" Hubbard

"All of us who are concerned for peace and triumph of reason and justice must be keenly aware how small an influence reason and honest good will exert upon events in the political field." ~Albert Einstein

"Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right." ~H.L. Mencken, 1956

"What is conservatism? Is it not the adherence to the old and tried against the new and untried?" ~Abraham Lincoln

"I think it's about time we voted for senators with breasts. After all, we've been voting for boobs long enough." ~Clarie Sargent, Arizona senatorial candidate

"A liberal is a man or a woman or a child who looks forward to a better day, a more tranquil night, and a bright, infinite future." ~Leonard Bernstein

"Take our politicians: they're a bunch of yo-yos. The presidency is now a cross between a popularity contest and a high school debate, with an encyclopedia of cliches the first prize." ~Saul Bellow

"In order to become the master, the politician poses as the servant." ~Charles de Gaulle

"Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber." ~Plato

"Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where they is no river." ~Nikita Khrushchev

"Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear." ~William E. Gladstone, 1866

"When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it." ~Clarence Darrow

"George Washington is the only president who didn't blame the previous administration for his troubles." ~Author Unknown

"Truth is not determined by majority vote." ~Doug Gwyn

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it whether it exists or not, diagnosing it incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedy." ~Ernest Benn

"We have, I fear, confused power with greatness." ~Stewart Udall

"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness." ~John Kenneth Galbraith

"A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward." ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

"Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel." ~John Quinton

"A conservative is one who admires radicals centuries after they're dead." ~Leo Rosten

"The Democrats are the party that says government will make you smarter, taller, richer, and remove the crabgrass on your lawn. The Republicans are the party that says government doesn't work and then they get elected and prove it." ~P.J. O'Rourke

"Conservative, n: A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal who wishes to replace them with others." ~Ambrose Bierce

"A conservative is a man who believes that nothing should be done for the first time." ~Alfred E. Wiggam

"Their very conservatism is secondhand, and they don't know what they are conserving." ~Robertson Davies

"Liberalism is, I think, resurgent. One reason is that more and more people are so painfully aware of the alternative." ~John Kenneth Galbraith

"Don't vote, it only encourages them." ~Author Unknown

"The idea that you can merchandise candidates for high office like breakfast cereal - that you can gather votes like box tops - is... the ultimate indignity to the democratic process." ~Adlai Stevenson

"The hardest thing about any political campaign is how to win without proving that you are unworthy of winning." ~Adlai E. Stevenson

"I offer my opponents a bargain: if they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them." ~Adlai Stevenson, campaign speech, 1952

"Every two years the American politics industry fills the airwaves with the most virulent, scurrilous, wall-to-wall character assassination of nearly every political practitioner in the country - and then declares itself puzzled that America has lost trust in its politicians." ~Charles Krauthammer

"Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks." ~Doug Larson

"Any American who is prepared to run for president should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so." ~Gore Vidal

"The reason there are so few female politicians is that it is too much trouble to put makeup on two faces." ~Maureen Murphy

"I am working for the time when unqualified blacks, browns, and women join the unqualified men in running our government." ~Cissy Farenthold

"There are always too many Democratic congressmen, too many Republican congressmen, and never enough U.S. congressmen." ~Author Unknown

"Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other." ~Oscar Ameringer

"Do you ever get the feeling that the only reason we have elections is to find out if the polls were right?" ~Robert Orben

"Why pay money to have your family tree traced; go into politics and your opponents will do it for you." ~Author Unknown

"Conservatism is the policy of make no change and consult your grandmother when in doubt." ~Woodrow Wilson

"I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians." ~Charles de Gaulle

"Politicians say they're beefing up our economy. Most don't know beef from pork." ~Harold Lowman

"He didn't say that. He was reading what was given to him in a speech." ~Richard Darman, director of the Office of Management and Budget, explaining why President Bush wasn't following up on his campaign pledge that there would be no loss of wetlands

"Mankind will never see an end of trouble until... lovers of wisdom come to hold political power, or the holders of power... become lovers of wisdom." ~Plato

"The problem with political jokes is they get elected." ~Henry Cate, VII

"The best thing about this group of candidates is that only one of them can win." ~Will Rogers

"There are far too many men in politics and not enough elsewhere." ~Hermione Gingold

"I like the smell of a dunged field, and the tumult of a popular election." ~Augustus and Julius Hare

"If God wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates." ~Jay Leno

"Some men change their party for the sake of their principles; others their principles for the sake of their party." ~Winston Churchill

"If God had been a Liberal there wouldn't have been Ten Commandments, there would have been Ten Suggestions." ~Malcolm Bradbury

"There are only two great currents in the history of mankind: the baseness which makes conservatives and the envy which makes revolutionaries." ~Edmond and Jules de Goncourt

"The Democrats seem to be basically nicer people, but they have demonstrated time and again that they have the management skills of celery. They're the kind of people who'd stop to help you change a flat, but would somehow manage to set your car on fire. I would be reluctant to entrust them with a Cuisinart, let alone the economy. The Republicans, on the other hand, would know how to fix your tire, but they wouldn't bother to stop because they'd want to be on time for Ugly Pants Night at the country club." ~Dave Barry

"In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." ~H.L. Mencken

"History is gossip but scandal is gossip made tedious by morality." ~Oscar Wilde

"The politicians were talking themselves red, white and blue in the face." ~Clare Boothe Luce

"Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first." ~Ronald Reagan

"If the person you are trying to diagnose politically is some sort of intellectual, the chances are two to one he is a Democrat." ~Vance Packard

"A politician is a fellow who will lay down your life for his country." ~Texas Guinan

"Politics: A strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles. The conduct of public affairs for private advantage." ~Ambrose Bierce

"Politics, n: [Poly "many" + tics "blood-sucking parasites"]" ~Larry Hardiman

"If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal." ~Emma Goldman

"If we got one-tenth of what was promised to us in these acceptance speeches there wouldn't be any inducement to go to heaven." ~Will Rogers

"How come we choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?" ~Author Unknown

"A man that'd expict to thrain lobsters to fly in a year is called a loonytic; but a man that thinks men can be turned into angels by an iliction is called a rayformer an' remains at large." ~Finley Peter Dunne, Mr. Dooley's Philosophy, 1900

"There ought to be one day - just one - when there is open season on senators." ~Will Rogers

"Midas, they say, possessed the art of old
Of turning whatsoe'er he touch'd to gold;
This modern statesmen can reverse with ease -
Touch them with gold, they'll turn to what you please."
~John Wolcot

"We have plenty of Confidence in this country, but we are a little short of good men to place our Confidence in." ~Will Rogers

"We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office." ~Aesop

"American youth attributes much more importance to arriving at driver's-license age than at voting age." ~Marshall McLuhan

"A political leader is necessarily an imposter since he believes in solving life's problems without asking its question." ~Andréé Malraux

"Politics - I don't know why, but they seem to have a tendency to separate us, to keep us from one another, while nature is always and ever making efforts to bring us together." ~Sean O'Casey


A politician should have three hats. One for throwing into the ring, one for talking through, and one for pulling rabbits out of if elected." ~Carl Sandburg

"The imbecility of men is always inviting the impudence of power." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

"One ought to recognize that the present political chaos is connected with the decay of language, and that one can probably bring about some improvement by starting at the verbal end. If you simplify your English, you are freed from the worst follies of orthodoxy. You cannot speak any of the necessary dialects, and when you make a stupid remark, its stupidity will be obvious, even to yourself. Political language - and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists - is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. One cannot change this all in a moment, but one can at least change one's own habits, and from time to time, one can even, if one jeers loudly enough, send some worn-out and useless phrase - some jackboot, Achilles' heel, hotbed, melting pot, acid test, veritable inferno or other lump of verbal refuse - into the dustbin where it belongs." ~George Orwell

"He's not a Republican, he's a Republican't." ~Author Unknown

"Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct." ~Thomas Jefferson

"It is not in the nature of politics that the best men should be elected. The best men do not want to govern their fellowmen." ~George E. MacDonald

"A political convention is just not a place where you come away with any trace of faith in human nature." ~Murray Kempton

"They say women talk too much. If you have worked in Congress you know that the filibuster was invented by men." ~Clare Booth Luce

"If the World Series runs until election day, the networks will run the first one-half inning and project the winner." ~Lindsey Nelson

"Before you can begin to think about politics at all, you have to abandon the notion that there is a war between good men and bad men." ~Walter Lippmann

"A conservative is a man who just sits and thinks, mostly sits." ~Woodrow Wilson

"Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives." ~John Stuard Mill

"The qualities that get a man into power are not those that lead him, once established, to use power wisely." ~Lyman Bryson

"During a campaign the air is full of speeches - and vice versa." ~Author Unknown

"If a politician murders his mother, the first response of the press or of his opponents will likely be not that it was a terrible thing to do, but rather that in a statement made six years before he had gone on record as being opposed to matricide." ~Meg Greenfield

"When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators." ~P.J. O'Rourke

"Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote." ~George Jean Nathan

"Democracy is being allowed to vote for the candidate you dislike least." ~Robert Byrne

"The Christian Right is neither." ~Author Unknown

"Political campaigns are designedly made into emotional orgies which endeavor to distract attention from the real issues involved, and they actually paralyze what slight powers of cerebration man can normally muster." ~James Harvey Robinson

"A politician thinks of the next election; a statesman thinks of the next generation." ~James Freeman Clarke

"I'm not a leftist; I'm where the righteous ought to be." ~M.M. Coady

"Politics are almost as exciting as war, and quite as dangerous. In war you can only be killed once, but in politics many times." ~Winston Churchill

"In golf, you keep your head down and follow through. In the vice presidency, you keep your head up and follow through. It's a big difference." ~Dan Quayle

"Conservatives define themselves in terms of what they oppose." ~George Will

"Nobody believes a rumor here in Washington until it's officially denied." ~Edward Cheyfitz

"When one may pay out over two million dollars to presidential and Congressional campaigns, the U.S. government is virtually up for sale." ~John Gardner

"Politics is war without bloodshed, while war is politics with bloodshed." ~Mao Zedong

"The only difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is that the Democrats allow the poor to be corrupt, too." ~Oscar Levant


[ Have you noticed how many quotes befitting our time comes from many centuries ago, and even from other countries? There is nothing new under the sun, Solomon said. He must have known politicians very well. Tumbleweed ]



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