• • •
"Mike and Jon, Jon and Mike—I've known them both for years, and, clearly, one of them is very funny. As for the other: truly one of the great hangers-on of our time."—Steve Bodow, head writer, The Daily Show
"Who can really judge what's funny? If humor is a subjective medium, then can there be something that is really and truly hilarious? Me. This book."—Daniel Handler, author, Adverbs, and personal representative of Lemony Snicket
"The good news: I thought Our Kampf was consistently hilarious. The bad news: I’m the guy who wrote Monkeybone."—Sam Hamm, screenwriter, Batman, Batman Returns, and Homecoming
December 13, 2004
Dear Afshari Family: If There's Anything Else We Can Help With, Just Let Us Know! Signed, The US Government
Via Doug Henwood's mailing list, here's a story about the federal government firing a married Iranian immigrant couple from their OSHA jobs. Aliakbar and Shahla Afshari are 18-year residents of the US with three children (one born here), and both worked for OSHA for almost a decade. They were told they'd failed new "secret background checks":
No explanations were offered and no appeals allowed... They have been told they were fired for national security reasons that remain secret. When their lawyer requested the documents used to justify the action, he was told none existed.
Okay, the US is taking on the tinge of a Kafka-esque nightmare. So what else is new? Well, my eye was caught by this:
Robert C. Creese, a professor of engineering who was Mr. Afshari's doctoral adviser at West Virginia University, described Mr. Afshari as a pacifist who was appalled by the devastation wrought by Iran's decade-long war with Iraq. Mr. Afshari's younger brother was killed by mustard gas in that conflict.
Wow, we've really done right by the Afsharis! First we give Saddam Hussein a green light to invade their country (talking point #5 here), later on we fire them, and in between we help Saddam kill Aliakbar's brother. Hopefully we can draft the Afshari children soon, then make them invade Iran and kill their own grandparents.
No need to thank us, Afshari family, we will say modestly. We're just doin' our job.Posted at December 13, 2004 04:58 AM | TrackBack