Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Joanne's Journal: August 28, 2012

Edition No. 9

Quote of the Day

I learned . . .that one can never go back, that one should not ever try to go back - that the essence of life is moving forward.  Life is really a One Way Street.
- Agatha Christie (1890 - 1976), English writer of murder mysteries
From At Bertram's Hotel [1965]

Is life really a One Way Street?  As August begins to fade away and we head into September, the subject of experience comes to mind.  I think about the 1993 film Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray.  Murray's character, an egotistical TV weatherman named Phil Connors, lives the same day over and over again and is given the opportunity to correct his mistakes.  In real life, there are no do-overs.  You can't relive an experience.  You can't go back in time.  All you can do is learn and move ahead.

Experience is the best of schoolmasters, only the school fees are heavy.

- Thomas Carlyle (1722-1881), Scottish historian and philosopher
From Miscellaneous Essays [1838] "Goetha's Helena"

The light which experience gives is a lantern on the stern, which shines only on the waves behind us!

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), English poet, critic and philosopher
From Table Talk [1835] 18 December 1831

On this Day

On August 28, 1963, 49 years ago today, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.  Dr. King made the inspiring speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.  His rousing 17-minute oratory in front of thousands of civil rights marchers was a plea for racial equality and it is regarded as one of the greatest speeches ever given by an American.

Joke of the Day

A man went for some medical tests and was diagnosed with  Tom Jones disease.  The man was taken aback.  He had never heard of such a disease.  "Is it rare?" he asked his doctor.  His doctor replied, "No, it's not unusual."

Joanne's Look-a-Likes

Gary Bettman and Count von Count 

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman

Count von Count of  Sesame Street

Jose Bautista and a young Fidel Castro

Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays

Cuba's Fidel Castro

Roses and Thorns


ROSE: To the CBC for acquiring the rights to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Socchi, Russia and the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  At a time when Canada's national broadcasting system is being slowing starved to death by a reduction in funding from the Harper government, our public broadcasting system was long overdue for a break..

ROSE: To Britain's Prince William for rescuing a Canadian woman from Barrie, Ontario.  The woman, Darlene Burton, was on vacation in Wales.  She was hiking along the Anglesey Coastal Trail when she slipped and  fell on a rock, breaking her leg.  She was rescued by a Royal Air Force helicopter controlled by Prince William.  True,William was only doing his job.  Nevertheless, with his status and his wealth, he could have be idling and spending his money on less noble pursuits.  Instead he has chosen to rescue people.


I am not intentionally picking on Mitt Romney.  The Republican candidate for president of the United States, however, has earned three thorns.  Hence, the triple crown of thorns goes to the former governor of Massachusetts.

THORN: To Mitt Romney for pandering to right wing "birthers" during a speech in his home state of Michigan.  Romney quipped that no one had asked to see his birth certificate.  This was a clear reference to the right wing theories about President Barack Obama not being born in the United States.  Romney later remarked that he had been joking and that he hadn't questioned Obama's citizenship. Yet that not how the crowd in Michigan perceived his remarks.  They cheered and laughed heartily.  They clearly believed that Romney was questioning the president's "Americanism."  The whole "birther" issue is ridiculous and has been discredited.  Barack Obama was born in Hawaii.  So why won't Romney and other Republicans put the matter of Obama's birthplace it to rest?  To their shame, they are playing to the xenophobic and racist elements of American society.  Of course, Obama's race can't be mentioned by the Mitt Romneys, Donald Trumps and Rush Limbaughs of America.  Instead, they paint the president as a foreigner, not a real American.  They are using code to convince white voters that Barack Obama is not one one of them.  How disgusting!  How unworthy of America!  Mitt Romney should have risen above that.

THORN: To Mitt Romney for not releasing his tax returns as his father, George Romeney, did when he was Governor of Michigan.  In 1967, George Romney released 12 years of tax returns ahead of his 1968 presidential campaign.  When asked why he was releasing so many years' worth of tax information, Mitt Romney's father replied, "One year could be a fluke, perhaps done for show."  Oh Mitt, why can't you show some of the same integrity as your father?  What have you got to hide?  Some offshore tax havens, perhaps?

THORN: Speaking of offshore tax havens, a third thorn goes to Mitt Romney for remarking that big business was "doing fine" in the current struggling economy partly due to companies taking advantage of offshore tax havens.

THORN: To Pauline Marois, leader of the sovereigntist Parti Quebecois for calling for a ban on the wearing of religious symbols by public employees.  This would prevent many Jews, Sikhs and Muslims in Quebec from working in the public sector.  It is not inclusive and it is not the Canadian way.  If this is Marois' vision of an independent Quebec, it should be soundly rejected by the people of the province.   It is simply intolerant.




An NHL lockout looms and it seems inevitable.  The only question is whether the entire season and the Stanley Cup playoffs.will be lost.  I can't say that I have much sympathy for the owners or the players.  They are both greedy and overpaid.  The real victims are the small business owners near the arenas who depend on the hockey crowd.  The restaurant owners and the shopkeepers all stand to lose money and some will have to lay off employees.  I also empathise with the arena employees, those who sell tickets and programs and refreshments.  As for the fans, I hope they express far more displeasure than they did during and after the lockout of 2004-05.


So Roger Clemens is attempting a comeback at the age of 50.  He is playing for the Sugarland Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League.  Of course, Rocket Roger has motives and an agenda for his return to the mound.  According to Richard Griffin, baseball columnist for the Toronto Star, it's all about Clemens' ego and his legacy.  In his August 21st column, Griffin writes that Clemens is concerned about "his place in the hall of fame, and the negative reaction from the fans and the media after being acquitted of obstruction of justice and perjury on June 19."  Griffin contends that Roger wants to disassociate himself with others implicated in the steroid scandals.  Without a major league comeback, Clemens' name will appear on the same Hall of Fame ballot as Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa.

As the 2012 major league season heads toward the finish line, the Toronto Blue Jays are once again out of contention.  It's been a trying year for Blue Jays fans.  All the injuries have been unbelievable.  At last count, the team has 14 players on the DL.  After a brief return to the lineup, star slugger Jose Bautista is out for the remainder of the season with a wrist injury.  He sustained the injury at Yankee Stadium back on July 16th and will undergo surgery.

This injury-riddled season is mercifully coming to an end for the Blue Jays. Once again, it's wait until next year.  The situation would have been easier to deal with, however, if the Jays had acquired a proven starting pitcher during the off season.  They didn't and they paid the price.

The Baltimore Orioles have been the most surprising team this season.  I hope they make the playoffs.  I'd rather see the Orioles win than the Yankees.  I'm tired of them winning all the time.

- Joanne

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