The presents are stowed, returns made, and thank-you notes completed--and again we contemplate a world dominated by violence, unreason, and the Bush Administration's policy of perpetual war for perpetual peace. It's an ugly picture, with "victory" in Iraq and Afghanistan growing tawdrier each day, and the impact of ongoing conflict affecting us here, too.
I received the following communique from my lawyer brother in San Francisco the other day. The piece--from Internet public domain--reminds us that wit and humour remain a powerful antidote to hypocrisy, cant, and sanctimony--all abundant in the Bush world view.
At New York's Kennedy Airport today, an individual later discovered to be a public school teacher, was arrested trying to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a setsquare, a slide rule, and a calculator.
At a morning press conference, Attorney-General John Ashcroft said he believes the man is a member of the notorian al-gebra movement. He is being charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of math-instruction. "Al-gebra is a fearsome cult," Ashcroft said. They desire average solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in a search of absolute value. They use secret code names like 'x' and 'y' and refer to themselves as 'unknowns'. But we have determined they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country."
"As the Greek philanderer Isosceles used to say, 'There are 3 sides to every triangle'," Ashcroft declared.
When asked to comment on the arrest, President Bush said, "If God had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, he would have given us more fingers and toes.
"I am gratified that our government has given us a sine that it is intent on protracting us from these math-dogs who are willing to disintegrate us with calculus disregard. Murky statisticians love to inflict plane on every sphere of influence," the president said, adding: "Under the circumferences we must differentiate their root, make our point, and draw the line."
President Bush warned, "These weapons of math instruction have the potentials to decimal everything in their math on a scalene never before seen unless we become exponents of a Higher Power and begin to factor in random facts of vortex."
Attorney General Ashcroft said: "As the Great Leader would say, read my ellipse. Here is one principle he is uncertainty of: though they continue to multiply, their days are numbered as the hypotenuse tightens around their necks."
Happy New Year.