Maybe They Should Watch Out for People With Cameras and Luggage and Fanny Packs, too...
Before I was born, my maternal grandfather was bedridden for some time. He spent the time listening to the radio and doodling in his encyclopedia. He blacked out teeth on famous women and drew horns and glasses on famous men. He filled up blank spaces with notes about the weather ("On January 23, 1961, it was colder in Nashville, Tennessee, than in Anchorage, Alaska!") and drawings of cigarette boxes and chickens.
I particularly like his obsession with WSM (the local radio station) and 1961, both of which are the same upside down!
I used to think that some day, I'd go out to my mother's in New Mexico and bring the encyclopedia home to Maryland. Now, though, I'm worried that if I do and am stopped for speeding, a simple rule violation might not get me a ticket; it might get me a few nights in Guantanamo Bay: transporting Books of Mass Reference across state lines.
I don't watch television news any more, if I can at all help it. Too often, they write their stories to be bait for the silly and scared among us all. With that in mind, perhaps I've bitten on this story.
The FBI has warned 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...The bureau asked officers to keep an eye out during traffic stops and other investigations for almanacs, especially those with suspicious notes in them.At first, the librarians carping about the privacy rights of their clients seemed a bit over the top. But if the FBI wants police to be extra careful about people carrying certain types of very common books, then maybe the book lovers are not so crazy.
The article didn't mention whether or not the FBI gave guidance on what might be considered "suspicious notes". It also doesn't say whether the FBI warning includes The Old Farmer's Almanac, which is full of suspicious notes all by itself. If threatening entire regions of the country with disastrous weather isn't suspicious, I don't know what is.
Don't worry; I don't want to use this blog to discuss my political leanings or to comment too closely on world events, but there will be times when I feel like I just can't keep my mouth shut.
Better here than during a traffic stop, eh?