Commentary: A list of things I'd like to see in 2013

Each new year brings the annual overflow of list articles — every noteworthy thing you remember from the past year, and even more you never really cared about.

"Best Books of the Year" to "Worst Celebrity Haircuts," "Top 10 News Stories" to "Top 10 Wardrobe Malfunctions," "Most Inspiring Moments" to "Least Flattering Cosmetic Surgeries."

Though I find list articles a trite, too-easy way to summarize the world's complexities, here's another one. If I made resolutions — which I don't — I'd resolve to be less conformist.

In no particular order, my Top 14 (just to be different) Wishes for 2013:

A Congress that actually works for the people who elected it. Our 2012 Congress is on record as the least productive in our nation's history. I realize in my own futile life how hard it is to put aside one's pettiness, self-interest and unwavering dogma, but the biggest problem facing this country is not the person in the White House, the national debt, or entitlements. It is the collection of puppets controlled by their party, donors and special interests who have lost sight of who they represent.

I wish for more doomsday predictions. The misinterpreted ramblings of ancient civilizations, the detritus spewed by cultist egomaniacs and conspiracy theorists are low-hanging fruit for us commentators.

Disarming the bullet train. I wish for the governor and Assembly of this great state to come to their senses and stop loading money on this rail ride to nowhere. A nifty idea before greedy, soulless money merchants brought this country to its knees — heck, I may have even voted for it in 2008 — but let's take another vote to see how many Californians care about getting through the Central Valley a little faster in 2029 when they're struggling to put food on the table in 2013.

An end to the use of the word "girlfriend" for anything other than a female you're romantically involved with, but not yet married to.

To be able to choose exactly which channels I get from my TV program provider. Certainly in this day and age, when I can use my smartphone to set recordings remotely, and broadcasters know exactly which commercials I'm fast-forwarding through, there is a way to choose which channels I receive instead of getting 400 I don't want just so I can see the 12 I do.

I wish for a lobby supporting the needs of the mentally ill as strong as that for gun ownership. And politicians willing to pander to that lobby as well.

I'd like to see heterosexuals caring less about how homosexuals define their relationships. If you want to save the sanctity of traditional marriage, make adultery, divorce and Nicholas Sparks' books illegal. Not same-sex marriage.

A law prohibiting "resort fees" at hotels. They're redundant and insulting. I once asked what was included in "resort fees" and was told it was things like wi-fi, newspaper, gym access, whether one uses them or not. Well, either roll that into the nightly fee, charge separately for those who use them, or cease this exercise in deceit. And while we're at it, a gratuity is my choice to leave, not yours.

A political candidate who admits that he or she has little chance of ever keeping one of the many promises they make during their election. They'd have no chance of getting elected because we — the electorate — crave our lies. But it would be a breath of fresh air to have a candidate be honest, rather than calculating.

A vote in Florida that ends the same day as in the other 49 states. And an end to the electoral college.

An accurate computer processing timer. Mac or PC, it doesn't matter. I would love to see any process on my computer actually take the time the progress bar says it will. The last 1% of any download should not take as long as the first 99%.

I'd wish for an end to senseless tragedies that turn hometown names into symbols of the worst in our humanity: Newton, Aurora. But that may be too naive. So I wish for a statute of limitations before such tragedies may be turned into media circuses, political platforms and fuel for ratings-craving pundits.

That the next loudmouth who alleges to speak for the Christian faith blaming homosexuals for hurricanes and mass murders be stricken with a mild case of plague straight from the good book they misuse to foster their own antiquated, bigoted opinions.

And finally, I wish for the Lakers to be as good on the court as they are on paper. Likewise the Dodgers.

Happy New Year.

PATRICK CANEDAY writes a regular column for Times Community News North. Contact him at Friend him on Facebook. Read more at

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