Tuesday, December 30, 2003

New Year's Resolution #2: Purchase Almanac to spite FBI

In a move sure to prevent terrorist attacks everywhere, the FBI has urged local law enforcement officials to keep an eye out for people carrying almanacs. Poor Ben Franklin is spinning in his grave.

In a bulletin sent Christmas Eve to about 18,000 police organizations, the FBI said terrorists may use almanacs "to assist with target selection and pre-operational planning."

It urged officers to watch during searches, traffic stops and other investigations for anyone carrying almanacs, especially if the books are annotated in suspicious ways.

I'm sorry, I just cannot take this seriously. The thought of what my local police department (notorious for doing things like shooting to death people who are threatening suicide) would do to someone of dusky hue observing a touristy landmark with an annotated almanac in their bag makes the mind reel.

But beyond that, if terrorist organizations had used the Internet to get this information (and I'm sure it's all there), would anyone with an internet connection be suspicious? Will old ladies' almanacs be confiscated at airports as well as their tweezers?

We captured Saddam, but forgot about all those pesky almanac publishing houses?

I'm sure the government can expend its energy in much better ways. Like capturing Osama bin Laden, for example.

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