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But Thesauruses are still okay, right?

For various reasons, including computer problems which are no longer an issue, I've been behind in my blogging, but intending to jump back in any minute. As soon as I was inspired to do so.

And lo and behold, someone passes me this story, which sounds like it came from The Onion:

FBI Issues Alert Against Almanac Carriers

The FBI is warning police nationwide to be alert for people carrying almanacs, cautioning that the popular reference books covering everything from abbreviations to weather trends could be used for terrorist planning.

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.

Fortunately, the FBI is not (yet) calling for a zero tolerance policy:
The FBI noted that use of almanacs or maps may be innocent, "the product of legitimate recreational or commercial activities."
Whew. Glad they cleared that up. I was afraid they were going to start conducting sweeps through bookstores and school libraries, and sending those with suspicious reference books to Guantanamo.

And we pay these people to keep us safe? Have they ever looked at an almanac? The only way one could help a terrorist is if he was using it to study for Jeopardy! so he could win money for future terrorist operations.

Hmm. I wonder if the FBI recommends being suspicious of anybody carrying a computer -- after all, I hear that some computers can access some newfangled invention called the World Wide Web, and that facts can occasionally be found there.


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Comments (2)

Oh, get off it. I mean, seriously Nieporent!

Luckily this is the kind of thing which is enforced less than laws on office football pools. I think you would be hard pressed to find too many officers to request, "licence, registration, almanac."

I agree, anyone who has read one knows just how useless this book must be to terrorists, let them use it, encourage them to use it! If they can't figure out what tomorrow's weather will be by listening to a radio, why would they be more dangerous with an alamanac? Do they really need one to know Chicago is bigger than Kansas City (and if they let loose a dirty bomb, would it matter)?

The only real reason "terrorists" might use an alamanac was as a method of keeping notes in the margins or whatnot and then can carry it around without raising attention (however, I don't know many who carry around an alamanac, they would be better off with Dungeons and Dragons guides).

PS Who knew Elvis Costello had a law degree.


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