By Don Klein
Some of my friends think I am a curmudgeon. Not just because I am old, but because they think of me as a crank, a grouch, an old grump who is mostly dissatisfied with just about everything. That is untrue. I am really a nice guy, and to prove it I will list in this space my fondest wishes for the New Year.
As 2010 begins, I wish:
– Everyone in this country without medical insurance at present will be covered before the year ends.
– That all overweight people, especially children, trim down to reasonable size. That obesity we wiped out.
– Not a teacher, firefighter or policeman is put out of work this year because we cannot afford to pay them.
– Not one child, no matter where they live, no matter what their ethnicity, goes hungry for a single day this year.
– That the American automobile industry bounces back and becomes profitable again, employing thousands of currently unemployed people.
– That Wall Street profiteers lose their money in illegal schemes or at the roulette table.
– That Wall Street hotshots be taxed heavily for their bonuses.
– If we continued to ban foreign pharmaceuticals to be sold here shouldn’t we also ban foreign toys, food, clothing and automobiles in the US market?
– That racial and religious bigotry disappears this year and people be judged as individuals.
– That al Qaeda collapses from its own excesses and from pressure within and without, the way all belligerent regimes have in the past.
– That former Vice President Dick Cheney, unbalanced by the horns he has grown in his head, trips over his tail and pitch-forks himself like a pole vaulter out the top floor window.
– That massive oil deposits be discovered from beneath Nebraska to Idaho so we can end oil imports from Saudi Arabia and watch King Abdallah and his swarmy royalty squirm.
– That more films are made focusing on interesting tales about people and things and not on electronic digital gimmickery.
– That everyone who so desires gets a chance to visit the Metropolitan Opera in New York at least once in their lives.
– That the Ravens win the Super Bowl, if not this year, then in 2011.
– That the Orioles go to the World Series this year just to prove to eternal pessimists that miracles can happen.
– That we have a mild winter with just enough snow to please the kids, a cool spring with enough rain to water crops sufficiently, a warm summer to bring out the bikinis and a glorious autumn of brilliant colors in the woods.
– Viewers turn away from television cable news and turn back to the more reliable habit of reading newspapers.
– There be more television shows like Monk and The Closer and less adolescent comedies like Two and a Half Men and How I Met Your Mother.
– That our courageous troops overseas all return home safely this year.
– That Rush Limbaugh becomes inflicted with an ailment that leaves him with a permanent case of laryngitis.
– That Glenn Beck has a tooth pulled and the truth fairy leaves him with her very special gift which results in him having nothing more to say.
– That Sarah Palin impresses so many Right Wingers that she is assured the Republican nomination for president in 2012.
– The next major barrier to break will be a woman as president – and it won’t be someone with the initials S.P.
– That President Obama becomes more incendiary and re-ignites the universal enthusiasm he generated during the 2008 campaign.
– That members of Congress give priority to serving the electorate first, not their political contributors.
– That truth prevails in politics, in business, in human relations, in journalism
and in advertising.
– That lawyers become seekers of real justice, not exploiters of technicalities.
– That sports broadcasters, especially those on Monday night football, turn off the endless nonsense chatter.
– That NFL football "experts" stop predicting game strategies on television. They are usually wrong.
– That Washington pundits give us all a rest and stop their know-it-all predictions and concentrate on explaining the confusing elements in conflicting news reports.
– That people who feel the need to keep firearms in their homes realize that they are more liable to become victims of misuse of deadly weapons than those who don’t have guns in their homes.
– That Jon Stewart should host a daily one hour network prime time program instead of Jay Leno.
– That true democracy will arrive when politicians stop underestimating the intelligence of ordinary people.
– No one should think it wrong to have a black president because as comedian Chris Rock put it after Obama took office, "why not, we just had a retarded one."
– That those who feel the need for religious proselytization would realize that such behavior draws the opposite result and demeans the proselytizer.
– That cancer would be wiped out, as well as diabetes and heart ailments.
– That stem cell research will begin to reap dividends in health cures this year.
– Excesses in all realms be gone forever and instead moderation will reign.
– That all children be born and raised without disease.
– That children be given opportunities through education to succeed.
– That Tiger Woods and David Letterman find satisfaction in one woman’s bed.
– That intellectualism should no longer be a put down for some people.
– I hope good looking women take short steps and wink once in awile when they pass me on the boardwalk or anywhere else. It's good for my psyche.