The Blue and Gold
N OUR CONTEMPORARY me
dia, shoes have always been heldin high esteem. From Dorothy’sruby red slippers to Cinderella’s
glass slipper to the cast of
Sex andthe City’s
obsession with ManoloBlahniks, shoes remain a symbolof beauty and a source of fascina
tion. However, shoes have taken
on increased importance sinceDec. 14, 2008 when Iraqi journalist
Muntadar al-Zaidi chucked two
shoes at President Bush during asurprise conference in Baghdad.
Regardless of personal biases, oneremains stupeed at the fact that
neither shoe was prevented from
being thrown at the president,
when supposedly security wassupposed to have increased.In the middle of the confer-
ence with Iraqi Prime MinisterNouri Maliki, Zaidi pulled o his
shoe and threw it at Bush, shout-
ing “this is a goodbye kiss from theIraqi people, dog!” Bush quicklyducked to avoid the blow but theresponse was so slow that Zaidiwas able to pull o his other shoe
and throw it at Bush. Only then did
the Secret Service begin piling ontothe stage and into the press to tackleZaidi to the ground.Although the shoes were meantto have cultural signicance –show
-ing soles of feet and shoes generally
can be taken as an insult in Arabicculture– more than providing the
president with severe physical pain,
any number of explosives, knives,etc could have been aached to theprojectile. Bush was extremely lucky
in this situation, however, as we all
know, luck is eeting. At another
conference Bush may forget to have
a cup of coee in the morning thusslowing his reexes. The presidentshould not be expected to do acro
batics to avoid blows; it is the role of
the secret service to protect him. Sowhere were they?
Jason Hu, a senior at MaldenHigh commented on this deciency;
he noted that “the secret service
shouldn’t have let that happen. Ithought they were supposed to be by the president’s side at all times.”
He went on to say that “the shoe
shouldn’t have goen anywherenear him, let alone two of them.”Only aer the shoes were throwndid the Secret Service appear, mak
ing moderate eort to subdue Zaidi,which would have proved ineec
tive if there had been a weapon at
-tached to the shoe.This incident merely highlights
the lax aitude of United Statessecurity. And with Barack Obamataking oce this month, if the SecretService is incapable of protecting
Bush from two projectile shoes, it
is dicult to believe they will beable to protect Obama. This is es
-pecially true as “law enforcement
ocials have seen more potentially
threatening writings, Internet post-ings, and other activity directed at
Obama than has been seen with anypast president-elect,” according toEileen Sullivan of The Hungton
Post. It is imperative then that thesecret service and the Secret Service
improve organization and eciency before Obama enters oce with this
proliferation of threats. Hey guys, if
the shoe ts, wear it.
iraqi shoe incident
Tzivia HalperinHead Copy Editor
Where Have all theChecks and BalancesGotten Us?
continued pg 4
is the secret servicedoing its job?
HE ROMAN EMPIRE saw
its spectacular rise under the
tender care of its famous Republic.
For years they thrived, under theiressentially democratic political sys-tem. Under this system of govern-ment, the Romans made certain noone person held power for too long,
and that the elected ocials wouldtake into consideration the opinions
of the people who elected them.However, the emphasis on
individual equality among citizens began to wane with the decline in
prosperity and the recurrent out-
breaks of war. Slowly but surely,prized military generals began totake power from the consulship,
nally resulting in Julius Caesar seiz
-ing control and the transforming the
Republic into an empire.
Flash forward nearly 2000
years, and one can nd the United
States in a similar state of change.
The ingenious three-branched or
ganization of the US government,a setup so carefully craed and sopassionately debated throughoutthe nation’s history, was seemingly
well-equipped to handle such pro-spective switches in power. How-
ever, question about just how rigidand restricting those checks and bal
ances actually are have been raised.
Under the Bush administra-tion, the U.S. has entered a warand a deep economic recession,
over-borrowing and over-spending
money the nation simply does nothave. Sound familiar?
During this time, the execu
tive branch of the government has
gained an unprecedented amount of
unbalanced authority over the other
political sections. Is this merely a
David RiemerHead News Writer