Rich Galen
Just when you think the whole world is - or should be - spinning into oblivion, a story gets your attention and reminds you that this is all fixable.

The Congress is stumbling toward sine die adjournment while it squabbles over the tax bill, the unemployment benefit extension, the Don't Ask Don't Tell bill, the DREAM act and the START (redundancy alert) treaty.

Greeks are rioting about government cutbacks. In addition to people throwing rocks and firebombs,

"Ships remained docked at ports, hospitals were working on skeleton staff and ministries shut down as civil servants and private sector workers stayed away."

British students are rioting over increases in tuitions and fees at public universities.

"Thugs fought pitched battles with police, mounted officers charged groups of -protesters, blood flowed on the pavements and fires glowed in the night air as MPs inside the Commons narrowly voted to triple university fees."

There were riots in Russia as "some 5,000 far-right extremists rallied outside the Kremlin over the weekend in Moscow, attacking members of mostly Muslim ethnic minorities before clashing with police."

While in Italy, "50,000 people marched in protest and some pelted riot police with bottles, paint and metal poles after Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi won a confidence vote" in Parliament.

Thank God, then, for the Canadians.

In Calgary, Canada there is a minor league hockey team known as the Calgary Hitmen.

Even in Canada they don't have sports teams named after flowers, butterflies, or Bambi deer.

It seems that 16 years ago, someone had the good idea that at a home game of the Calgary Hitmen close to Christmas, fans should throw teddy bears on the ice after the first goal of the game was stored.

Fifty - FIFTY - local charities had requested teddy bears this year including the Salvation Army, Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter, Boys and Girls Club of Airdrie, and the Alberta Children's Hospital.

All told, the Hitmen were faced with requests for 23,000 teddy bears.

The rink has room only about 16,000 fans.

So, the other night, while all over Europe people were rioting for … whatever they were rioting for, the fans who attended the game between the Calgary Hitmen and the Red Deer Rebels brought teddy bears.

After the first goal, those 16,000 fans rained teddy bears onto the ice - an act of charity which went on for 40 minutes.

The final tally was 23,096 teddy bears.

Every child in Alberta Province who has asked for a teddy bear will get one. With 96 extras for kids who might hot have gotten their request in on time.


Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at Mullings.com.