in case you missed it | The guy behind the protester

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The guy behind the protester

TIME magazine’s person of the year for 2011 was not a person at all but rather an entire grouping of people the magazine referred to collectively as “the protester.” The idea is that from Egypt to Libya to Wall Street to Boulder, protesters have had and are having a significant impact on the world.

It turns out that there is a very real protester and photographer behind artist Shepard Fairey’s illustration on TIME’s cover. You may recall that Fairey was sued for using an Associated Press photo to create his famous “Hope” illustration of Barack Obama. This time around there won’t be any lawsuits. Freelance photographer Ted Soqui shot his photo of an Occupy protester for our fellow alternative paper L.A. Weekly. This time around, TIME has made sure that all the rights to the photo were secured before the illustration hit its cover. Congrats to photographer Soqui for a great shot, for which he will never get the recognition he deserves. Here’s hoping that the TIME payday makes up for the missing photo credit.

Fun for parents and kids, but mostly parents

Nothing says the holidays like popping a cold one and staring at a horse, or better yet, tossing back a few pints and having your picture taken with a horse.

If such an outing sounds like it has holiday tradition written all over it for your family, then you’re in luck.

On Wednesday, Dec. 28, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Anheuser-Busch Fort Collins Brewery Tour Center, visitors will have an opportunity to see the Budweiser Clydesdale Hitch and take pictures. According to the brewer, “the majestic animals will be fully outfitted and hitched to the red Budweiser wagon just like in their iconic commercials (weather permitting).” So memorize your lines, Mom and Dad: “You kids go on ahead and look at the horses, we’ll be along in just a little while.” Gulp, gulp, gulp.

Iraq implodes on first day without U.S. troops

Nearly 4,500 U.S. soldiers, 1,800 private contractors and more than 100,000 Iraqis died during the past nine years of the Iraq War. Another 50,000 U.S. troops have been wounded, and no one knows how many Iraqis were injured. Earlier this week, the last U.S. combat troops — not to be confused with the last U.S. troops — rolled across the Iraq border and into Kuwait, marking an end to official combat operations. The end of the war.

Less than 24 hours later, the supposed nonsectarian, democratically elected government of Iraq began to crumble into chaos. A judicial panel under the sway of Prime Minister and Shiite Nouri Maliki issued an arrest warrant for Vice President and Sunni Tariq al-Hashemi. This has also angered the Kurdish factions, who now fear that the Shiites will attempt to take over the entire nation with the help of neighboring Iran.

It seems that tens of thousands of people paid with their lives for the privilege of spreading democracy to Iraq — democracy that lasted less than 24 hours.