….or, I could have gone with a more prosaic title: A PENNY FOR THOUGHTS OF YORE. Either way, my penny-wise-and-pound-foolish friends, I propose to start the New Year with some ancient wisdom….keeping in mind the axiom that “Those that fail to learn from [even ancient] history are doomed to repeat it.” –Winston Churchill (by way of George Santayana). Or, put another way, those who fail to formulate future foresight from foregone experience may find their penny-wise and pound-foolish fate forever firmly fixed.

Ere I forget: before posting yore thoughts, I would be remiss if I neglected to offer you the posted title’s proffered penny. It’s yours for a song:

Now let us turn to the wisdom of my fellow ancients, whom I have long outlived time-wise, but for some penny-dreadful reason, am doomed not to outlive, immortality-wise. Why, heaven only knows, as I, too, am a wise guy….so, to counter this injustice, I’ll follow each of their thoughts of yore with a thought of my own, and, like pennies from heaven, let the chits fall where they may.

PLATO:Philosophy begins in wonder.” (and ends in no end of loose ends)

If anyone at all is to have the privilege of lying, the rulers of the state should be such persons.” (Who knew Trump read Plato?)

ARISTOTLE:Some men are just as firmly convinced of what they think, as others are of what they know.” (I think, therefore I know?)

CONFUCIUS:If you are the smartest person in the room, then you are in the wrong room.” (Unless you are Trump, then you are in the wrong country (if not planet)

AUGUSTINE:The world is a book, and those who do not travel, read only a page.” (Now that’s a novel idea….though I suspect Augustine had in mind a more encylopedic tract — World Book, perchance?)

MACHIAVELLI: It is better to be feared than loved, if you cannot be both.” (It is better you speak for yourself, if you ask me.)

I think I’ll close with a (Red) Nichols worth of pennies — one for each of the five wise men quoted above. Keep a penny for your thoughts, and spend the rest wisely — you never know when your ass(ets) may not be worth a plug nickel.

P.S. If I only had a brain, I’d quit while I’m ahead….but I got a brainstorm: This could be ARlucky (or at least, YOURlucky) day that is, if you can identify the vocalist in the above clip. Your prize, if you know the answer, will be the satisfaction of realizing that, in the end, you’re a genius….and, of course, it goes without singing that Oz well that ends well.