Thursday, March 24, 2005



I can't help but feel deep pain for the family of Terri Schiavo. Especially her parents, the Schindlers, who have unwittingly become little more than pawns in a political game. It angers me the way they have been misled and given false hope by those with a political axe to grind. It was sadly comical this weekend to watch the deeply concerned politicians in congress rush to Ms. Schiavo's aid. The passionate speeches on her behalf were impressive! Or at least it might have been, had congressional leaders been able to at least pronounce her name right! Thats right, even though she has been in the news almost nightly for three years, these congressmen, who had supposedly been keeping a close eye on this case for years, seemed to have trouble remembering her name. The man who introduced the motion to have her case reviewed in federal court, Rep. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, badly mispronounced her name. The congressman who seconded this motion mispronounced it differently, and Speaker of the House Dennis Haestart had a third mispronunciation! Won't you feel better sleeping tonight knowing these well informed public servants are protecting our liberties! The truth is that a certain segment of the body politic has used the Schindlers terribly, and ought to be embarrassed at their own behavior!

The front page of the USA TODAY business section Monday featured an article about the dismal condition of the NHL. The blame was placed exactly where it belongs..squarely at the feet of Commissioner Gary Bettman! Bettman is excoriated for his unworkable business plan, his failure to void the the three huge contracts that set off the tremendous wage inflation seen in the leagues last 8 years, and his failure to respond to the fans demand for a more exciting product, Bettman is quite frankly a millstone around the NHL's neck, and the quicker he is tossed overboard, the quicker we can get the NHL back on it's feet.

Had dinner with the kids and grandkids at that venerable South Bend institution, ROCCO'S. Former congressman John Hiler and his party were leaving as we were being seated. Shortly after our pizza arrived, former governor and first lady JOE and MAGGIE KERNAN walked in. Just a typical night at this third generation eatery on the edge of the student ghetto. No Regis sighting though! Damn!

One of the unseen costs of the war in Iraq is our inability to respond to crisis' elsewhere. Nowhere can this be seen more clearly than in the SUDAN. In a wave of ethnic cleansing, Arab militias and government troops have killed over 180,000 black Sudanese, and displaced more than a million more. And because more than half our operational units are pinned down in Iraq, we don't have the resources available to respond to the crisis. So add to the 200,000 plus Iraqi's and 1600 Americans 180,000 Sudanese dead. Numbers are starting to look Viet Nam like, aren't they!

Tomorrow night I will be traveling to Grand Rapids to see Michigan take on Wisconsin in the NCAA HOCKEY TOURNAMENT at beautiful, 12,000 seat Van Andel Arena. A Michigan victory may be cause for a return trip to the second city Saturday night!

Finally, one of the very few really good bands to come out of this area in the 30 years I have been here are starting to make a name for themselves nationally. Featured today on Public Radio International's syndicated program WORLD CAFE, Umphrey's McGee has developed a solid following nationwide due to their really solid musicianship and their aggressive self promotion on the internet! They are truly a fabulous group of musicians, so if they come to your area, seeing them is a MUST!!!!!!

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