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Globe Editorial

Short Fuse

November 19, 2008
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King family: Zealous guardians or greedy grabbers?
The family of Martin Luther King Jr. is at it again. The litigious defenders of the civil rights leader's name and image are demanding a share of proceeds from the unauthorized sale of T-shirts and other paraphernalia bearing the likeness of King and President-elect Barack Obama. The family claims King's image is intellectual property and any use is subject to approval by his estate. "It's not about the money," Isaac Farris, a King nephew, told The New York Times. But then Farris, head of the King Center in Atlanta, went on to show that it's exactly about the money. "We do feel that if somebody's out there making a dollar, we should make a dime." It's time the family considers what its own actions are doing to King's image.

Romney: The campaign goes into reruns
The hoary hand of the past has no hold on Mitt Romney, who can go to bed a moderate and wake up a conservative, slam rival John McCain one month and start maneuvering to join him on the ticket the next. But once and perhaps future GOP rival Mike Huckabee has an elephant's memory - and a penchant for nursing a grudge. In his new book, Huckabee lobs some mortars at Romney, who aimed a volley of negative ads at him during the campaign. Perhaps Romney could settle the score with a political memoir of his own. Let's see: Romney's book celebrating his Winter Olympics role was called "Turnaround," so how about this title for a possible campaign volume: "Flip-flop."

Europe: No more tilting at iffy carrots
Just when Americans were beginning to appreciate Europe's preference for governments that place a social safety net under all citizens, along comes a bit of unintended self-satire from European Union bureaucrats. Last week, the Brussels deciders lifted restrictions on the sale of overly bent, bulbous, or knobby specimens of 26 fruits and vegetables. A Paris shopper with a taste for abstract expressionist eggplant now has permission to buy a veggie that was once condemned for its deformity. We can't help wondering what the great debunking spirits from Europe's past would think of having to annul a fatwa on misshapen cucumbers. Those guffaws you hear are from the souls of Rabelais and Cervantes.

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