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Activism heroics and roadkill

Bush and Muntadhar al-ZaidiThis is by no means a complete list of contemporary populist heros, but I’d like to start with comedian Stephen Colbert, who roasted President Bush at a Washington Correspondents Association Dinner, like a court jester gone rabid. With celebrated White House correspondent Helen Thomas’s help, Colbert belittled the decider-in-chief to his face right in front of his friends.

Don’t Taser Me Bro
There was University of Florida student Andrew Meyer, who held his ground asking critical questions of Senator John Kerry. Meyer was tackled and tasered for his impertinence, while Kerry kept mumbling, to divert attention from “Don’t taser me Bro.”

Bidder 70
Then Utah environmentalist Tim DeChristopher disrupted a government land auction, driving up prices and buying several leases raising paddle number 70, until federal agents took him away. Extraction industry spokesperson Kathleen Sgamma may have miscalculated the degree of DeChristopher’s popular support. She earned no one’s sympathy when she complained: “There’s a democratic process in place if you don’t like what’s happening. If we all just decided we wanted to change the laws unilaterally, that would run counter to our democracy.”

The Shoes
And Iraqi Journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi is in jail for throwing his shoes at that dog Bush, when our president was making a farewell visit to Baghdad. (His trial date is fast approaching actually.) The shoes missed, but Bush was made to duck, which is the closest anyone’s come to getting reality to register with the cretinous bitch.

Barack’s first press conference
Let’s also mention Helen Thomas again, at Barack Obama’s first press conference a week ago. When Obama ceremoniously called on Thomas to lob the last question, Thomas asked the president to name who in the Middle East had nuclear weapons. It was something of a leading question, because the answer is known, but bears reminding when the argument is repeated that Iran acquiring nukes would lead to proliferation. Thomas put Obama in the position of having to utter recognition of Israel’s never-mentioned nuclear program, or very conspicuously avoid the subject. Which is what he did.

Israel Divestment Movement
Now the Hampshire Students for Justice in Palestine have succeeded in getting their school to divest in Israel, just as Hampshire College led the way in the nationwide divestitures which contributed to the fall of Apartheid in South Africa. Board of trustees chairman Sigmund Roos tried to explain that the school’s actions were in no way a repudiation of Israel, and accused the students of falsely claiming otherwise. Of the 800-signature petition, Roos explained: “We never took it up. Students know that.”

Really? A petition signed by 800 of your students and faculty, and the Hampshire College board of trustees wouldn’t even read it? Roos doesn’t know what hit him.

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