Saturday, December 31, 2022

My 2023 New Year's Wish List

Last year I posted my personal wish list for 2022.  I promised to let you know which of my wishes came true and to write another wish list for 2023.  

Here's how my 2022 wish list turned out:

In 2022, I wished for COVID-19 to fade away like a bad dream.  That was unrealistic.  It's going to take time and patience,  The right-wingers and anti-vaxxers have held back progress.  Every day, however, scientists are working to find ways to deal with the mutations and variants of this terrible affliction.

Doug Ford

I hoped that Doug Ford's Progressive? Conservatives would lose the Ontario provincial election, on June 2, 2022.  Well, that didn't come true.  Unfortunately, Ford won a majority government, with a 40.8 per cent share of the popular vote. Ford is planning to build Highway 413, 

Ford's folly will be an environmental disaster.  Here's why:

* It will add millions of tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, resulting in over a billion in damages from pollution.

*  Highway 413 would pave over many hectares of Ontario's prized Green Belt, including some of the province's most productive farmland.  

* According to an expert panel study, Highway 413 would only save drivers in the area a mere 30 to 60 seconds a trip.

* Highway 403 is expensive.  It will cost taxpayers billions of dollars and divert money needed for public transit.  It will destroy heritage sites and Indigenous land.

Benjamin Netanyahu 
Back in  2021, I wished that Benjamin Netanyahu would be ousted from power in Israel.  That wish came true, but only temporarily.  After continual political deadlock in Israel, Netanyahu was returned to power in 2022.  On December 29, 2022, he was again sworn in as Prime Minister, leading a hardline right-wing coalition. 

Netanyahu, 73, has been charged with one count of bribery and three counts of breach of trust in three long-running corruption casers.  Of course, he denies any wrongdoing and claims that he is the victim of a politically orchestrated "witch hunt."  Where have we heard that before?  Kind of sounds like his old friend, a former president who likes cheese burgers and diet coke.

On a happier note, Netanyahu's other friend, Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, was voted out of office in an election held on October 30, 2022.  He will leave office on January 1, 2023.  During his presidency, Bolsonaro rolled back protections for Indigenous groups in the Amazon rainforest.

Pope Francis
I hoped that Pope Francis would have a successful visit to Canada and that he would issue an apology to the Indigenous peoples regarding the residential schools.  Yes, Pope Francis did visit Canada and he apologized many times.  He travelled a long distance despite serious health issues, and he addressed the Indigenous people on their own territory.  Some were touched and gratified by the pontiff's visit.  Others did not think he said enough, that he should have apologized for the Church as an institution, not only for the actions of members of the clergy.

I wrote, "For the sake of democracy, it is imperative that former president Donald Trump be held accountable for his alleged criminal actions and for his involvement in the January 6, 2001 attempt to overthrow the duly and legitimately elected government of the United State.   I will not say "lock him up."  That's Trump jargon.  I will only say that once he is found guilty in a criminal court of law, he should serve a prison sentence, just like any American citizen.  The rule of law matters."  So far, Trump has not been held accountable, although he is in considerable legal trouble and the January 6th Committee has exposed his wrongdoing.  He may soon be indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice.

I hoped that the Democrats do well in the 2022  U.S. midterm elections in November.  I hoped that Stacey Abrams would become governor of Georgia and that Beto O'Rourke would become governor of Texas.  Well, the Democrats did better than expected.  They won a majority in the Senate, but they lost control of the House of Representatives by a narrow margin.  Stacey Abrams and Beto O'Rourke were defeated in their bids to be governors of Georgia and Texas respectively.  However, I was pleased that Dr. Oz was defeated in his attempt to become a U.S. senator representing Pennsylvania.  I was also pleased that Herschel Walker lost a runoff election for a senate seat in Georgia.

I hoped that the Toronto Blue Jays make the post-season  in 2022 and that the Toronto Maple Leafs would finally get  past the first round of the playoffs.  The Blue Jays did compete in post-season play, but they were eliminated in their first series against the Seattle Mariners.  They lost the second game of the best-of three-game series to Seattle.

I hoped that whatever happens with regard to COVID-19, the world will take stronger measures to protect our environment.  Some progress has been made, but far more has to be done.

I wished for more peace and harmony in the world in 2022.  Sadly, however, Russia invaded Ukraine in February of this year.

Here is my 2023 wish list:

Like most people, I hope for an end to the horrible conflict in Ukraine, which has caused untold suffering and destruction.  I also hope for further waning of the pandemic.  It is still with us, unfortunately, and will not disappear overnight.  However, I hope that that scientific advances will eventually put an end to the nightmare.

When it comes to sports, I an a homer all the way.  I hope that the Toronto Maple Leafs will advance further than the first round of the playoffs.  If not, big changes should be adopted.  Another ouster in the first round cannot and should not be tolerated by the Leafs or their patient fans.  As for the Blue Jays, they must go deeper into post-season.  Nothing less should be acceptable.  I was pleased that the Toronto Argos won the 2022 Grey Cup and I wish the Toronto Raptors and all the other Toronto teams the best of fortune in 2023. 

Danielle Smith

I hope Premier Danielle Smith's United Conservative Party (UCP) is defeated in the next provincial election in Alberta.  The election is scheduled for May 29, 2023.  I am opposed to Smith's policies and I don't like her Alberta Sovereignty Act.

Elon Musk
I am not a fan of Elon Musk.  He has driven Twitter to the ground/  A majority of Twitter users even voted to remove him as CEO of the company/  In the spirit of democracy, Musk should abide by their wishes, but it doesn't appear that he will.  My wish for 2023 is that Elon Musk will resign as CEO of Twitter or sell it.

I hope that 2023 will be the year that Donald Trump will finally be held accountable for his wrongdoings and for leading an assault on democracy on January 6, 2021.  At the very least, he should not be permitted to run for public office in the United States under the 14th Amendment, Section 3:

No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

My final wish is that there will be more civility in the world in 2023, and less political and social polarization.  I hope that there will be a greater connection between people and less isolation.

All the best to you and yours in 2023.  I wish you happiness and good health.  In January of, 2024, I will write another wish list and I will let you know if any of my 2022 wishes came true.

- Joanne

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Reflections on Christmas 2022


"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:14)

Today is Christmas Day 2022.  I seek hope in a world that seems to be spinning our of control, with a war in Ukraine, an ongoing pandemic, a lack of civility, and the rise of extremism.  Stability is desperately needed.  That's why the Christmas message is so special.  It never changes.  Peace and goodwill to all is the message that has been sent down through the ages.  It resonates during turbulent times such as these.

Take note that Christmas and Hanukkah are being celebrated at the same time this year.  Christians and  Jews celebrate these two beautiful festivals of light, hope and freedom.  Indeed, people of all faiths hold festivals of light, hope and freedom.  Let us focus on that which we have in common, not on what tears us apart.

I would  like to send a message of hope and support to the people of Ukraine this Christmas.  I am thinking of you in your hour of need, not only today but every day.  I am also thinking of those who are suffering mental or physical anguish, or both.  I am thinking of the marginalized, the poor and destitute, those who suffer from addiction, discrimination and persecution.  I am thinking of those who are suffering from the effects of flooding, hurricanes and all manner of climate change.  Know that you are in my thoughts today and every day.

To readers around the world, I send greetings and best wishes, whatever language you speak, whether you are a person of faith or no faith.  

- Joanne

Friday, December 23, 2022

Hey, Rsss Atkins: The Blue Jays still don't have starting pitching depth

Ross Atkins

The Toronto Blue Jays needed a hard-hitting, left-handed batter.  I've just heard the news that the team has acquired slugger Daulton Varsho from the Arizona Diamondbacks.  That's all well and good, but I fear they may have paid too high a price.  In return for Varsho, an outfielder who has the ability to play catcher, the Jays sent top prospect Moreno to Arizona, along with outfielder Lourdes Guerriel, Jr.   No one knows how good Moreno, a catcher, will turn out to be, but he could be a real star.   It's unfortunate that the Jays did not acquire a starting pitcher in the deal.

Hey Ross Atkins, you must realize how little depth you have in starting pitching.  You have Alex Manoah, Ken Gausman, José Barrios and Chris Bassitt.  But who is the fifth starter.  Are you going to trot out Mitch White or Yusei Kikuchi?  Hyun-Jin Ryu?  Ryu has undergone Tommy John surgery and no one know if he will ever be able to pitch well again.  Mitch White hasn't been able to do the job.  Kikuchi is only effective for a few innings.  He is more suited to the bullpen.  I realize the Jays want to win now, but they need more pitching in order to win regular season games and to contend in post[season play.

Without a decent fifth starter, the Jays will wear out their bullpen.  What will happen if one of the four starters gets injured?  That's a virtual certainty over a long 162-game season.  The Jays are still really thin on starting pitching.  It could be disastrous.

Yes, Atkins has filled a void by acquiring a left-handed outfield slugger.  But what about a fifth starter? That is what is really need.  I'm sure you're well aware of the old adage, Ross.  You can never have enough pitching.  It's too bad you couldn't find a way to keep Ross Stripling.

Atkins has made some moves.  There's still time to get some more pitching.  

- Joanne

Monday, December 19, 2022

Twitter has been ruined by Elon Musk

I will be blunt.  Elon Musk is ruining Twitter, and I'm not the only one who thinks so. I n a Twiiter poll, Musk put his future as CEO of the company on the line.  He asked Twitter users if he should step down and vowed to "abide by the results."  Well, the results are in and 57.6% of the more than 17.5 million voters said they wanted Musk to go. That's a sizeable number, almost 60%.  

The people have spoken and now we will see whether Elon Musk is a man of his word.  He should demonstrate that he has integrity by keeping his promise.  Although I am obviously not a fan of the billionaire business mogul, I will happily give him credit if he abides by his promise.  As Musk himself said after the results of a Twitter poll reversed Donald Trump's ban from Twitter, "Vox Populi, Vox Dei." (Latin for "The voice of the people is the voice of God."  We will soon find out if Musk really meant those words, or will he adhere to a double standard when he himself is involved?

We have witnessed the decline of Twitter since Elon Musk took the helm of the social media site,  It has been infused with Trumpism and censorship of legitimate journalists for being critical of Musk. In fact, I have been receiving many tweets in my email that I am definitely not interested in.  They include videos of fights.

Elon Musk, it's time to listen to your own words and give up being CEO of Twitter.

- Joanne

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Mental health distress line: 988


                                           Call 988 if you are in mental health distress
Please spread the word. 988 is a new phone number (in Canada) that recently went live to help people get help in a mental health crisis. Similar to 911, this suicide and crisis lifeline is dedicated for anyone in need of mental health assistance of any kind. It has already been available in the U.S.

The pandemic has caused an untold amount of mental distress. That's why more attention than ever has to be paid to metal illness and distress. Please be aware of this 988 number. It can save lives. Help is just three numbers away on your phone.

Take care,


Friday, December 2, 2022

New author's webpage for Joanne Madden - The Missing Reporter


To readers of Number 16

I have a brand new author's webpage and I encourage you to check it out.  Please click the link below.

Joanne Madden – Author

Thank you so much for your support.  It is much appreciated.  I value your feedback and I welcome your comments, both praise and criticism - provided that you are respectful. 

 - Joanne