Magical Realism, Writing, Fiction, Politics, Haiku, Books

sábado, abril 21, 2012

The Sky Is Crying

Finally. Rain. Even Romietta the Cat came in. It's been a long time, and the earth is so thirsty. So while Pachamama drinks, we need a rain song, a perfect song to listen to in the rain. Not in the house. Not at the keyboard. No. Push back from the screen, get out there, turn your face skyward, and feel the April rain.

Here's Elmore James:

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Rain At Last

A Soaking Rain Event is predicted for this weekend. That is meteorological argot for, "Yes, it is finally going to rain, yes, the drought we've been having will be slaked, and yes, there really are going to be April showers, and May flowers."

Thank goodness. The streams and ponds and lakes and rivers in this part of the world (Eastern New York/Western New England) are unbelievably low for this time of the year. Most gardens (and dirt roads) are dust. It's been too warm,and there hasn't been a significant rain since early March.

And then there's this (skip the ad). A sound we haven't heard in a while, and will be delighted to hear later today.

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miércoles, abril 18, 2012

The Feline Fifth Column

There is a lot of shredded paper in the bottom of the closet. I don’t know exactly how that happened. A roll of paper towels is now confetti. And I hear small feet scrambling inside the walls and running across the ceilings. At first I thought it was a flying squirrel. Or a regular squirrel. Or maybe a rat? But, no, it isn’t quite that simple.

Romie the cat, my cat, the cat who lives here, is feral. She came here as a tiny kitten rescued from a nearby barn. She is a small, lovely, affectionate cat. I love her deeply. But, alas, she is no vegan. And she is no tree hugger. She is and always has been a fierce and persistent hunter. And a killer of rabbits. Mice. Voles. Birds. Squirrels. Moles. She has terrorized local fauna, large and small, for more than a decade despite her being so petite. She is such a very skilled hunter who sometimes turns her nose up at her dinner. Why? Because she is full. Having eaten her prey, she is no longer hungry. At all. And she makes no secret of the fact that she prefers live kill to organic cat food.

Which brings me to today. She came to the door with a large, completely alive, brown mouse and a clump of weeds hanging from her mouth. No surprise. She wanted to come in. I do not let her in when she is carrying her prey. Ever. She was, of course, calling out, as she always does, so that her family can come and eat what she has brought them, so they too can eat fresh meat. In this case, her family is now only Maya the Dog. “Come,” she screams, “Come quick," she meows, "There is live food for you, my sweetie.” I do not let her in. She walks off with her prey.

As I am watching her slink beneath the porch with the mouse secure in her mandibles, I remember that it was only yesterday that I saw her run through the kitchen— the back door was open-- with a nice, round grey mouse clenched in the jaws. I assumed that she ate it. I assumed that the dog cleaned up any remains. I assumed that. And then it struck me. The shredded paper. The small feet scrambling. No. Romie the cat is not devouring all of the prey she brings home. That would be nice, and clean, and hygienic, and thorough, but that’s not her plan. No. She has another idea. She is constructing a zoo. In my house. An edible zoo. A pantry if you will. A rodent butcher shop for felines.

Here’s what she does. She catches her prey, but she doesn’t eat it. She calls to her family just to divert my attention. She sneaks the live animals into the house despite my refusal to open the door for her. And then, and this is the diabolical part, the part she tries to hide from me, she lets the animals go free. That’s right. She frees them in the house. She frees them and lets them in their vast shock and panic find hiding places in my house. Why? Because she plans ahead. Now it’s Spring. But the memory of Winter is fresh. She lets the animals go in the house so she can eat them in winter. So she can eat them when the hunt is too challenging, too difficult, when it’s too cold, when there’s ice. And snow. And winds like a razor. When no animal, including the hunter, wants to be outside.

This is extremely alarming. As I am typing this, I imagine that Romie is building vast cities of mice in the walls. A huge suburb of moles may be hiding in the basement. Vole families are probably building fluffy nests in the narrow spaces between the floor boards and the ceilings. Flying squirrels are hiding in warm, dry insulation the attic.

When I think about the shredded paper in the bottom of the closet and the sound of scrambling feet, I am filled with dread. I may think this is my house. But that is plainly ridiculous. It is entirely an illusion. The cat is taking it over. Who knows what it will be like here in a few months?

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domingo, abril 15, 2012

The Hour Of The Star

Clarice Lispector (1920-1977)

The only thing wrong with Clarice Lispector’s 1977 novella, The Hour of the Star (A hora a estrela) might be that it’s too short. It’s fewer than 100 pages. So it’s haunting, yes, and brilliant, yes, and strange, and it goes by too quickly. I wanted more. Maybe a twist at the end to prolong it just a little bit? But, no, as I feared, that really was the end. The food was great, but I'm still hungry.

No spoilers here. I can give Lispector’s one sentence précis in an interview shortly before he death:

[T]he book is "the story of a girl who was so poor that all she ate was hot dogs. That’s not the story, though. The story is about a crushed innocence, about an anonymous misery."

And then something more from Wiki:

Narrated by the cosmopolitan Rodrigo S.M., this ... tale is the story of Macabéa, one of life's unfortunates. Living in the slums of Rio and eking out a poor living as a typist, Macabéa loves movies, Coca-Cola, and her rat of a boyfriend; she would like to be like Marilyn Monroe, but she is ugly, underfed, sickly, and unloved. Rodrigo recoils from her wretchedness, and yet he cannot avoid the realization that for all her outward misery, Macabéa is inwardly free. She doesn't seem to understand how unhappy she should be.

There are a lot of lit crit points to be made, but I'm not having any of them. Somebody else will do that. You can read others' talk about how she changed the Brazilian language, her sentence structure and grammar, or her not reading other books (how is that possible?). Or how Macabea, her main character, is one of her very few references to Judaism. That and more is all for others.

For me, the best part of the novella is the narrator. The narrator's voice is incredibly well done. Uncertain at times, sometimes sure, sometimes unreliable, struggling, trying to get it right, avoiding the story, sometimes brilliant, sometimes wandering, but ultimately succeeding. Beautifully told. And powerful. It's worth reading the novella for the narrator alone.

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viernes, abril 13, 2012

Thanks, Rev. Al!

I'm delighted that George Zimmerman is in jail and facing murder 2 charges. And when I think about how that happened, it's clear to me that Rev. Al Sharpton brought this campaign together and carried it and pressed it and made major contributions to the public stir that brought about action. He deserves our thanks for that. He deserves our appreciation for going to Florida, marching, campaigning, and devoting substantial parts of his TV show to this case.

Join me is saying, "Thank you, Rev. Al." He deserves it.

In passing, let me also say that when we on the left have victories, we don't really in my opinion celebrate them. No. We just go on without stopping to give thanks, to praise others' important work, to reflect on what we've done. We just hurry off to the next issue. to the next fight. To the next injustice. For what it's worth, I think this is a terrible mistake. When we get what we've been complaining about, writing about, marching about, blogging about, fulminating about, we need to stop. If only for a second. And give the appropriate gratitude to those who brought about what we wanted so passionately.

So, thanks, Rev. Al. I appreciate what you did in the Trayvon Martin case. And I know you'll watch over it, as we all will, to be sure that ultimately justice is done.

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jueves, abril 12, 2012

What's Her Name??

Face it. The latest political poutrage is completely phony. Do I care if Hilary Rosen (whom I never heard of before) says that Ann Romney (who drives two Cadillacs) "never worked a day in her life?" Well, no, not really.

I never heard of Hilary Rosen until now. I don't think she works for Obama. And more important, I don't know whether her assertion about Ann Romney is true. Most disconcerting, I don't quite get in a world filled with people who constantly promote themselves and compete with each other, how it was she who became the epicenter of today's sham outrage. I mean, from Kim Kardashian to this? Horror. And now that she's apologized (I can't imagine for what), she's going to be even more famous. That's how it works. Poutrage, apology, fame. No matter.

I'm pretty anonymous, but I bet I have more name recognition going for me than Hilary Rosen. Maybe not after today. Can we now go back to whatever we were doing before?

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NYC Haiku

Washington Square Park,
once the center of the world,
What have you become?


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Thank Goodness

Very Short: I am gratified that George Zimmerman has been charged with second degree murder in the killing of unarmed Trayvon Martin. That is appropriate. It took far too long, but at least this initial step has now been taken.

Let's not forget, however, that this charge is only the very first step toward justice for Trayvon Martin. Now comes the harder part. This charge will probably not stop all of the extrajudicial spinning by "legal advisers" and "family friend[s]", but now that's not as important. It's up to the Special Prosecutor and her team to put together a case that proves Z's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to a unanimous jury.

I hope they will do just that.

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martes, abril 10, 2012

Grandstanding In Sanford

Waiting for Godot. A clown show. These are facts: Unarmed, wearing a hoodie, and carrying Skittles and a cell phone, 17 year old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman on February 26, 2012 in Sanford, Florida. George Zimmerman has not been arrested. And he has not been charged. Today is the 43rd day since the shooting. Beyond that, is an ocean of speculation, spin, outright lies, opinion masquerading as fact, and lots and lots of “analysis.”

Today, George Zimmerman’s lawyers quit. They didn’t send a discreetly worded, carefully drafted, simple press release saying that they were no longer representing the notorious client. No. Instead, they had a press conference to which they invited the cameras. And at the press conference, they talked entirely too much, and elaborated entirely too much, and ultimately revealed some astonishing facts: that they had never met with their so-called client, that he was no longer in Florida, that he had telephoned the special prosecutor (against their advice), that he had called Sean Hannity (who wouldn’t tell them what was said), and that he was not a racist. Oh, yeah. And it was self defense. Hablando bla bla bla. Put simply, their client was out of control and not taking direction in a fashion oddly reminiscent of his February 26 shooting of Trayvon Martin. No matter. They couldn’t promote him and his “defense” any more, so they promoted themselves, just in case anyone else in Central Florida had a really big, high profile case and wanted to pay for a badly handled, lawyerish public relations campaign. Exeunt omnes. I imagine that members of the Trad media howled at this. Who could they talk to now?

Not to be outdone or elbowed out of the spotlight or excluded from the incipient drama, the special prosecutor, Angela Corey, announced that she would have some bon mots of her own “within 72 hours.” Oh the anticipation. Oh the waiting. Oh the speculations. Oh the drama. According to ABC:

A special prosecutor promised "new information regarding the Trayvon Martin shooting death investigation" within 72 hours, prompting speculation that the alleged shooter, George Zimmerman, could be charged soon.

The announcement that the prosecutor, State Attorney Angela Corey, would soon hold a news conference came just hours after Zimmerman's lawyers said they would no longer represent him.

Corey said Monday that she will not present the case to a grand jury; she retains the power to decide herself whether to press charges against Zimmerman in the shooting.

“Prompting speculation” indeed. Of course, the prosecutor had previously said she will have nothing to say until she reaches a decision about charging George Zimmerman, so her announcement strongly implied that she would announce her decision. On the other hand, that isn’t what she said she would do. No. She said she would have “new information”. Is this case about dueling press conferences? Nobody really knows what she might means by “new information.” Or why it would take 3 breathless days of anticipation to announce it. Maybe she’s going to tell us that George Zimmerman is in the Bahamas and will resist extradition like Robert Vesco. At this point, almost nothing can surprise people following this case.

And where, pray tell, is Joe Oliver, the family friend cum former talking head, the guy who was such a close friend, who assured us that George Zimmerman was not a racist and had black friends? Gone, apparently. Replaced by Zimmerman Pere, a former magistrate judge from Virginia, who has repeatedly portrayed his shooter son as the victim in the February 26th incident and has taken up and expanded all of Oliver’s talking points, which may have originally been his own talking points. No one has claimed authorship for the baloney Team Z has spewed for 6 weeks.

Enough of this. Enough of the press conferences. Enough of the leaks. Enough of the spinning and lies and waiting. Enough. Basta ya. Enough analysis. The prosecutor needs to bring the curtain down on this ridiculous clown show, and she needs to do it immediately. Right now. She needs to announce that she has charged George Zimmerman, and she needs to have him arrested and start the judicial process. That will hopefully shut Team Z up. I hope she will do that.

But it’s not quite that simple, I'm afraid. Yes, I have a gnawing fear at the base of my skull about this case. I’m afraid that the reason the National Guard has been mobilized in Sanford, and the reason for the delay in making the announcement is that the Special Prosecutor has a little Republican surprise of her own for us. I'm afraid that she is going to announce that George Zimmerman will not be charged. I hope I’m wrong about that. I really do. I’d like to be shown to be wrong. Maybe it’s just that the clown show has gone on for so long that I’m looking for an unusual, surprising twist in the plot. Maybe. I hope that’s all it is. This whole matter has been handled in the most grotesque, unprofessional, despicable matter so far. And that's a reason to expect it to result in an injustice. In a travesty. In a disgrace. Why should the fruit be different from the tree?

I hope there will be justice for Trayvon Martin. And I hope it will come this week in the form of charges against George Zimmerman. In the meanwhile, I just wish all of the clowning and all of the media games would just stop. It’s enough. Trayvon Martin and his family deserve better. And those of us who care about serving justice deserve better, too.

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jueves, abril 05, 2012

Enjoy The Holiday(s)

Apropos of almost nothing, this is a tree kangaroo.

A what?

A tree kangaroo.

Oh. Well, what's it doing herein the middle of the blog then? You usually don't just post cute pictures, lolcats and all that, do you? You don't post dog pictures or videos of rabbits playing with otters, do you?

Well, it's sitting in a tree somewhere far away, I'm talking about the tree kangaroo, and it's far away from here.

Right. I'm sure there's a point, right? I mean you always have a point, don't you?

I don't know. It's just a tree kangaroo, and maybe you'll enjoy looking at it. It's for your holiday basket.

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miércoles, abril 04, 2012

In Memoriam

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 - April 4, 1968)

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

May he rest in peace.


martes, abril 03, 2012

My Impatience: Where Is Justice For Trayvon?

These are facts: on February 26, 2012, George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin. You already know all about these facts and have been debating their significance for a couple of weeks: Trayvon Martin was 17 years old, unarmed, and had with him a cell phone, iced tea, and Skittles; George Zimmerman had a gun. The Sanford, Florida police refused to arrest George Zimmerman, claiming I think incorrectly that Florida law prevented his arrest. He’s been at liberty since. He’s been uncharged since. Almost a month later, on March 22, 2012, when no arrest had been made and public opinion about the case was boiling over in demonstrations and media attention and criticism, Special Prosecutor Angela Corey took over from the local Prosecutor. She will be the one who decides what charges, if any, are warranted. The whole world is watching. And the Feds are doing their own parallel investigation to decide whether to bring a civil rights prosecution in federal court regardless of what Angela Corey decides. We are now 37 days after the death of Trayvon Martin. We are now 9 days after the appointment of Angela Corey. And there is still no arrest.

I’m impatient. And fearful. I wonder aloud whether the delay in making this arrest is stupidity, incompetence, racism, politics, or a combination of some or all of these. I wonder why justice is delayed in this case. I wonder why George Zimmerman has not been arrested. And I am sorry to admit that I fear that the delay means that Florida will not charge George Zimmerman with a crime.

How long does it take to decide whether to charge George Zimmerman with a crime?

Even if one were to discard virtually everything from the initial Sanford Police investigation, even if one were to start all over again from the top with new, more detailed interviews of the very few witnesses who saw or heard anything, even if one were to review and re-examine whatever forensic evidence there is, how long can it possibly take to develop enough information to make a decision, to decide whether to charge George Zimmerman with a crime?

And how long can it possibly take to decide whether to charge police officials with obstruction of justice or official misconduct or tampering with witnesses? How long can all of this take? Apparently it can take a very long time. How long should this actually take? Not long.

This isn’t a complex bank or securities fraud or terrorism conspiracy case. No. This is, sad to say, an all too common homicide case. We know who the victim is. We know who the shooter is. We have some witnesses who saw or heard something. We have whatever physical evidence was accumulated. We have whatever medical and other forensic evidence there is. This, when all is said and done, is not a complicated case. It’s a sensitive case, yes. It’s an important case, yes. But above all else, it’s not a complicated one.

Let’s remember, if we possibly can, that the ultimate decision about whether George Zimmerman is guilty is definitely not the decision prosecutors now face. That ultimate decision, the decision of whether Zimmerman committed a crime, has to be made by a court or a jury, and his guilt has to be proved beyond a reasonable doubt by competent evidence at a trial. And that’s not the decision the prosecutor now faces. It’s not. The present decision is simply this: charge Geroge Zimmerman with a crime, or don’t.

You can formulate this question in other ways. You can ask whether there is enough evidence to charge George Zimmerman with a crime. Or you can ask whether there’s enough evidence to believe that Zimmerman probably committed a crime. You can parse the standard. You can evaluate the words. You can formulate the words in many different ways. But ultimately it’s not complicated: the prosecutor has the discretion to charge George Zimmerman if she believes there is probable cause that he committed a crime. She’s not required to charge him with anything.

How long can it possibly take to make that relatively simple determination? Not long. In routine homicide cases, the decision is usually made within hours. And then there’s an arrest. In more complicated homicide cases, there’s an arrest and a prompt grand jury presentation, usually within days. How many cases can anybody cite in which it’s taken more than a month to decide whether to charge a shooter (who is not a policeman) with a homicide? How many cases can anybody think of that are in this category? I’ll tell you: I can’t think of one. Tell me I’m wrong if you can find a single one.

So I am impatient. It’s a truism that justice delayed is justice denied. And now, here we are, nine days into the second prosecutor investigating the case, and more than a month from the death of Trayvon Martin, and still no arrest. And no communication from the prosecution. This is a disgrace. And it’s a dishonor to Trayvon Martin and his family. So I am impatient.

And I regret to say that I have begun to fear that the quest for justice for Trayvon Martin will include the refusal of Florida prosecutors to charge George Zimmerman with a crime. What else, I ask you, could take this long?

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lunes, abril 02, 2012

Spencertown's Little Free Library

The Spencertown Little Free Library

Well, T.S. Eliot sure knew what he was talking about when he wrote in The Hollow Men

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow.

The first time the idea of the Spencertown Little Free Library arose for me, I knew it could be in the old school bus shelter on Beale Road, but the idea disappeared before I could take the first step toward creating anything. The second time the idea arose, some two or three weeks later, I knew had to act immediately, lest the same thing occur in the form of even more distraction, discursive thinking, shiny objects, forgetfulness, sloth. I didn't want that to happen.

So first, I committed myself to making the Spencertown Little Free Library happen by writing about it. And because that did not seem weighty enough, or committal enough, I registered the Spencertown Little Free Library at Little Free Library so it would be on the map (h/t to Dave Spitzer). And I paid for a sign. And because that still didn't seem to be enough, in fact, it still seemed too elusive and too metaphorical, I had to do something physical. And I did.

I ran out in the rain to the school bus shelter with a broom, and some temporary signage, and a dozen great books, and I got after it. I banged enough of it together so that it actually existed. So it was actually started. So it was actually something, something more than just an idea. More than just thinking. More than just a name. The idea was quickly to erase the Shadow, the one that falls between the idea and the reality, before it again sucked the idea of the Spencertown Little Free Library into a void. Or again concealed or obscured it. The idea was to overcome the inertia, even the habit of just thinking about things, and make something.

And now, today, I have invited the world to donate books, and some shelves, and maybe some paint between now and Good Friday, this Friday, April 6, 2012, so that the Library will grow and thrive. So that it will have the fingerprints of many people and the plans of many people and the thoughts and donations and ideas of many people in it.

Cash donations aren't sought. No. The idea is to ask you, dear reader, to stop off at the corner of Beale Road and Route 203 in Spencerrtown and improve what's already there. To help it grow. To build on top of the foundation.

Whatever you bring to this process is appreciated. If you drop off a single, frayed paperback book, you've advanced the library. If you borrow a single book, take it home and read it, you've advanced the library. If you drive a nail, or put up a shelf, or spread some paint, or hang a picture, you've advanced the library. It's a little library, yes, and it's free, yes, and what I most hope for now is that many people will be inspired to stop and to add or take something.

I live just down Route 203 from the Spencertown Little Library. You can see my yellow house from there. And if you would like my help with your donations, all you have to do is call me or drop by.

Mostly, I want to ask you for your donations and invite you to come out and grow this unusual, wonderful, community project.

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domingo, abril 01, 2012

Help Me Make A Little, Free Library in Spencertown

I was inspired in early March by an NPR story about creating “little free libraries”:

Two Wisconsin men are on a mission to break Andrew Carnegie's record of creating over 2,500 libraries. They're enlisting the help of book lovers and artists in neighborhoods across the country to help reach that goal, one "Little Free Library" at a time…

Building a library may sound like a massive task. A physical library, we mean, where you could go and borrow a book. Well, here's how some people are making it easy. They're thinking small, say, the size of a large birdhouse. Put a little library on a short post like a mailbox, put it in your front yard and fill it up with books. Then people can help themselves for free.

I got the idea that an old school bus shelter near my house might be a great little library. It was built by a neighbor, who is a wonderful home builder, when his daughter was young. She’s now over thirty. It’s still entirely sound. I don’t think anyone’s really using it as a shelter. When it’s raining most kids wait for the bus in their parents’ cars. But I didn’t follow through with the idea. I got distracted.

Then today, the idea emerged again. I read an essay about the same subject at dailyKos.

So I went out and took a good hard look at the school bus shelter. Would this idea work? Here’s what it looks like today:

I think this can work. The shelter doesn’t need very much to get started. At the very least, it needs to be swept out. And the old wasps’ nests need to be removed. And it needs some signage saying it’s now a library, that you can take a book or drop one off. No fines for lateness. No signing any paperwork. Just enjoy. So the library could start being used in its most basic form next weekend after a good sweeping.

Here, dear reader, is where you come in. It would be even better if the library had some shelves on the walls so it could hold more books. And it would be nice if it had a coat of paint on the inside to make it bright. And it might be nice if it had a solar light inside so you could see the books when it’s dark. And it would be nice if it had some publicity so that people would actually know it was there.

I’d like some help on this. I can hold books at my house until this is up and running. And I’m happy to help with any of the things that need to be done. But it would be most fun if a bunch of people made small contributions toward the project. Not cash, not money contributions. Nope. Maybe you have some boards that could be shelves. Maybe you have some paint. Maybe you have some lights. Maybe you have some time.

Let’s aim to have this functioning on some level by Good Friday, April 6, 2012.

Update (4/1/12, 2:34 pm ET):

Update (4/1/12, 3:45 pm ET):
Hah. Easy as can be. Swept it out, got rid of the debris (swallows nest, wasp nests, spider webs), put up some signage on paper, added some books, and presto chango! Spencertown Little, Free Library is up and running:

If you're reading this and want to help, you can drop off books at the library, at the corner of Beale Road and State Route 203 in Spencertown. If you want to put up some shelves, that's great. Maybe it needs a little paint, too. I'm happy to help with anything, but if you want to just show up and make improvements on your own, that's wonderful also. Need an extra hand? Drop in or call me.

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Alabama Devalues Pi

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley

NMSR reports:

Huntsville-- NASA engineers and mathematicians in this high-tech city are stunned and infuriated after the Alabama state legislature narrowly passed a law Friday [March 30, 2012] redefining pi, a mathematical constant used in the aerospace industry. The bill to change the value of pi to its so-called "Biblical Value" of exactly three was introduced without fanfare by State Senator Shadrack McGill (R-8th District, Jackson County), and rapidly gained support after a letter-writing campaign by members of the Solomon Society, a traditional values group. Governor Robert Bentley, who emphasized the Biblical reasons for the change in value, says he will sign it into law on Thursday.

The law took the state's engineering community by surprise. "It would have been nice if they had consulted with someone who actually uses pi," said Marshall Bergman, a manager at the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization. According to Bergman, pi is a Greek letter that signifies the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. It is often used by engineers to calculate missile trajectories.

Prof. Kim Johanson, a mathematician from the University of Alabama, said that pi is a universal constant, and cannot arbitrarily be changed by lawmakers. Johanson explained that pi is an irrational number, which means that it has an infinite number of digits after the decimal point and can never be known exactly. Nevertheless, she said, pi is precisely defined by mathematics to be "3.14159, plus as many more digits as you have time to calculate".

"I think that it is the mathematicians that are being irrational, and it is time for them to admit it," said McGill. "The Bible very clearly says in I Kings 7:23 that the altar font of Solomon's Temple was ten cubits across and thirty cubits in diameter, and that it was round in compass."

McGill, the article reports, called into question the usefulness of any number that cannot be calculated exactly, and suggested that never knowing an exact answer could harm students' self-esteem. "We need to return to some absolutes in our society," he said, "the Bible does not say that the font was thirty-something cubits. Plain reading says thirty cubits. Period."

Governor Bentley is expected to have a signing ceremony for the bill on Thursday in Montgomery at which former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore is expected to give an invocation. Moore's office today stated that the change in the value of pi to the Biblical value was a good, first, legislative step toward the Rapture, toward making the crooked straight and rough places plane.

Haven't these people done enough already? Is nothing sacrosanct? Who will stand up for the missing .14159+?

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