by Peter Freyne
So the Anaheim Ducks beat the Ottawa Senators last night to win the Stanley Cup. I didn't even watch. It's June, fergawdsakes.
I confess to growing up a devout New York Rangers fan. The memories of the old cigar-smelling Madison Square Garden on 49th Street will never die. Little Canadian guys, big bloody fights, no advertising on the sideboards. No helmets or face masks on goalies.
When John LeClair, the St. Albans Superstar, faded off into retirement (Hey, whatever happened to Big John, anyway?), I faded away from following the NHL.
Nowadays, in ice hockey as in so many other professional sports, they don't play the game, they sell the game. It's no longer sport. It's business. Of course the team from Hollywood, named after a Disney movie, is going to win. (Never saw the movie, either.)
Pictured at right are Kathleen Brown [left] and Helen Scott. Caught them taking down their table outside the Federal Building in Burlington yesterday, just after the 5 p.m. closing. Kathleen's a social worker by trade. Helen, Professor Helen, is an English professor at the University of Vermont. She's also from England.
Such a pleasure to hear her voice, an English voice, and it's "live" rather than coming from a program on Public Television.
They said they set up the International Socialists table for an hour every Wednesday. Said the response from folks passing had been "very favorable." Also were surprised, they told me, by how many Iraq War veterans had passed and expressed support.
That's been the untold story on this one - the ignoring of the voices of patriotic, loyal Americans who answered their country's call to battle.
Those of my generation will never forget the voice of the Vietnam War veterans. The brave, loyal and patriotic young soldiers whose voice could not be ignored. That's starting to change. One of those brave and patriotic voices is that of Bellows Falls native, Iraq War veteran and former Marine Liam Madden. Check this out from today's Rutland Herald:
Iraq vets to conduct bus tour for peace
A group of Iraq war veterans is starting a "Cookout and Speak Out" bus tour to national military installations as an act of protest against the war.
The tour is set to begin June 15 in Washington, D.C., and last until June 30, with stops at almost every military installation on the East Coast, U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Liam Madden said. Madden, originally from Bellows Falls, is coordinating the bus tour. The tour will include up to 21 stops, extending as far west as Kentucky and as far south as Georgia and will end with a stop at Fort Drum.
"We're going to get 10 vets on a bus and have a dialogue and barbecue with the troops. There's no one better to relate to the troops than us. We're steering away from peace rallies and political panels because the troops tend to shy away from those," Madden said.
An active member of the group Iraq Veterans Against the War, Madden launched the Appeal for Redress, to which hundreds of servicemen and women who served in Iraq have signed their names to petition Congress for the immediate withdrawal of American troops from the war zone. More here.
From the Bush-Cheney Iraq train wreck, to the war about the weather.
Republican Gov. Jim Douglas has a regular-type weekly presser scheduled for 1 p.m. today. His veto of H. 520 the big Democratic global warming/climate change bill is now official.
And at 3 p.m. global warming/climate change activist, Oscar-winner and almost-president Al Gore will be speaking to the Vermont Democrat faithful via satellite in support of a veto-override!
The almost-president, the guy who won the popular vote in 2000, can be seen and heard at six Vermont Interactive Television sites. Unfortunately, Big Al, we're told, won't be doing much in the way of interacting.
No questions from the Vermont press.
Oh, and the above picture of Lt. Emmet Helrich on Church Street Marketplace "coffee duty" has nothing to do with global warming. The veteran officer had just asked the bicyclist to get off and walk. Seems to me anyway, that there are more two-wheelers out and about in the Queen City than ever. And more of them are riding on the Marketplace and the sidewalks than in the past. Also, helmets don't appear too popular with the expanded bike riding public.
Heck, bike riding has become chic.
Look at the bright side, Pedro. At least they're reducing their carbon emissions, right?