Saturday, October 8, 2011

Joanne's Journal: October 8, 2011


Edition No. 1

Welcome to a new feature on Number 16.  Every so often, I will comment on various subjects in the news and on matters that are on my mind. 

I happen to have small feet and I take a size 5 shoe.  Unfortunately, most shoe stores and shoe departments don't carry anything smaller than a size 6.  In some places, shoe sizes even begin at 6/2.  If I scrounge around, I manage to find the occasional size 5 here and there, but I am very restricted in the selection and style of footwear that I purchase.  So, in the end, I make do with whatever I can find.

Here's what I don't understand.  I know that many other women take a size 5 shoe.  Why don't shoe stores accommodate women with small feet?  Are they not missing out on a sizable amount of business (pun intended)?

Yes, I realize that I can purchase size 5 shoes online.  That's certainly an option, but it's an option I don't want to take.  I prefer to go into a store and take a look at the actual shoes myself. It is much better to have them fitted properly by a sales clerk than to buy them online based on how they appear in a photograph.


There are many things I enjoy and there are many things that really annoy me.  Here is something that really really annoys me.  Much of the litter on our roads and sidewalks consists of cigarette butts.  Every day I see smokers casually throwing their cigarette butts on the ground.  This is disgusting and it is a fire hazard too.  Worst of all, it is a terrible health hazard as harmful chemicals are released into the environment.

Many of these smokers are oblivious to what they are doing.  They wouldn't throw a  candy wrapper on the ground, but for some reason, they don't consider cigarette butts to be litter.  Well, it's time they realize that throwing cigarette butts on the road or on the sidewalk is littering.

With more and more people smoking outside, this is becoming an increasingly serious problem for cities.  Let me be clear.  I'm not tarring all smokers with the same brush.  Some are polite and considerate.  The evidence, however, shows that many smokers are littering our environment.  Just look around!

Bus stops seem to pose the biggest problem.  Smokers have to put out their cigarettes quickly before the bus arrives.  Still, that is no excuse for discarding the cigarette butt on the sidewalk.  There has to be a better solution.   I'm fed up!  Isn't it about time that cigarette butt litterers faced hefty fines?


As former British Prime Minister Harold Wilson famously stated, a week is a long time in politics.  The 2012 U.S. presidential race still has over a year to go.  Anything could happen.  Sarah Palin has wisely decided not to seek the Republican nomination (but would she accept the vice-presidential nomination again?).  It looks as if it will be a battle between Mitt Romney and Texas Governor Rick Perry.  I give the edge to Romney because I think Perry is too far to the right for most Americans, at least  I hope so.  Still, there is a long race ahead and other candidates could enter the Republican race. 

On the Democratic side, President Obama is vulnerable and could be a one-term President.  It's far too early, though, to write him off.  If he shows some spunk and distances himself from the far right, then he could bounce back.  I believe he has it in him to do so.  He must sell his American Jobs Act to the American people and he must connect with voters.  They need to be reminded that Obama did not cause the economic downturn and that the economy could not have been fixed overnight.


Amid all the economic doom and gloom, there was some good news yesterday on the unemployment front in Canada.  Statistics Canada reported that after two months of little change, the number of employed rose by 61,000 in September, all in full time.  The unemployment rate was down 0.2 percentage points to 7.1%, the lowest rate since December of 2008. 

South of the border, the U.S. Bureau of Statistics reported that nonfarm employment increased by 103,000 in September and that unemployment held steady at 9.1%.  The number of unemployed remains essentially unchanged at 14 million.  Sadly, that is much too high!


Yes, I'm glad that the people will not have to endure a very conservative Tim Hudak government.  There will be no chain gangs and hundreds of green jobs will not be lost in Ontario.  That's the good news.  The bad news is that there was a record low voter turnout.  Less than 50 percent of eligible voters in the province bothered to cast a ballot in Thursday's Ontario election.  Only 49.2 percent of eligible voters went to the polls. The previous low was 52.8 percent which was set in 2007.

To those who were too lazy and disengaged to exercise their franchise, I will pull no punches.  You should be ashamed of yourselves.

- Joanne

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