Leave it to San Francisco to include nudists in the protesters chasing the Olympic torch on its worldwide run.
If you exclude the nudists -- who want a return to the more traditional "clothes optional" version of the Greek Olympics -- the protests against China have been exceedingly moving and meaningful, though sadly violent at times. And they've brought more attention to China's oppression of Tibet than Richard Gere ever could (even when the American actor is "speaking for the entire world").
It's also delicious to note that the protests happening in Paris, London, San Francisco and elsewhere would never be tolerated in China, where a billion people are basically told to sit down and shut up.
But you have to wonder: Do folks only protest when it's fashionable?
Why aren't people protesting Iran's nuclear-tipped war-mongering and pledges to wipe Israel off the map? Instead, the Iranian president gets a speaking engagement at Columbia University.
What about Islamic extremism? The military junta's imprisoning of freedom activist Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma? The despots in Venezuela, Cuba and elsewhere?
There are lots of things in this world that need protesting, and not just when it's fashionable. True peace activists, for example, don't just protest war after it breaks out; they help prevent war in the first place by protesting injustice and evil, and marshaling the world's condemnation for nonviolent change. It's the model of Gandhi, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Pope John Paul II and other great men of peace and justice.
Some believe the Mideast is headed for yet another war, as early as this summer. Now is the time to avoid it. The world must stand united against Iranian aggression -- including through its proxies, such as Hezbollah -- and its naked nuclear ambition, seen on parade as the centrifuges make their way to Tehran.
For some reason, working for peace never seems all that fashionable. Why can't there be an "Axis of Good"?
You have to wonder: If a centrifuge were being run to Iran in a relay, would the world take notice and protest it?
Or would we wait until it's too late?