Monday, December 15, 2008

Free Muntadar al-Zeidi!

At a personal level, the past week has been an eventful one, both positive and negative.

On the positive side, I finished (mostly) the remodeling project that occupied so much of my time last week; our now-traditional gathering with friends to trim our Christmas tree was a pleasant success; and my band, the Time Travelers, had a great time performing at a Christmas party in Maryland.

The negative side included a ruling from the West Virginia Supreme Court in favor of the state legislature, which, barring a reconsideration by the court, will end our five-year effort to change the government here in Hampshire County (I’ll be writing more about this later this week); the sad and unexpected news that another one of the original plaintiffs in our suit passed away recently; and the call last night from my mother informing me that my brother-in-law, who’s been seriously ill for some time, had finally succumbed to his illness.

It’s the personal side that puts the rest of the world, with its daily sturm und drang, into perspective, and reminds you of what is truly important in the world. But especially for those of us with a political bent, sometimes the world can provide the kind of escape from personal tragedy that we need.

For example, this morning I read the news about the shoe-throwing incident in Baghdad, where an Iraqi journalist delivered what in the Arab world is the ultimate insult of tossing his shoes at George W. Bush. I could only be grateful to Muntadar al-Zeidi for expressing so graphically and bravely what most of the world feels about the greatest living war criminal, and for a few moments anyway, lifting me out of my personal grief.

Let me conclude this post by joining with his independent news organization and all those others throughout the world calling for the immediate release of this courageous hero. He's an inspiration.

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