“They look upon fraud as a greater crime than theft,
and therefore seldom fail to punish it with death;
for they allege, that care and vigilance, with a very common understanding,
may preserve a man’s goods from thieves,
but honesty has no defence against superior cunning; and,
since it is necessary that there should be a perpetual intercourse of buying and selling,
and dealing upon credit, where fraud is permitted and connived at,
or has no law to punish it, the honest dealer is always undone,
and the knave gets the advantage.”
(I suppose this little screech owl is an example of something that is fraudulent,
for he is a bit of an imposter…I saw him at a taxidermy museum
and he was just too cute to pass by without a picture/ Julie Cook / 2016)
I don’t think that I can ever say it enough…
I hate technology.
Yea, yea, I know,
it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread as it makes our lives…
so much easier,
so much more efficient,
so much better…
because we are all so….connected….
And when it works, and works efficiently, it is easy…
maybe a little too easy…
But easy is not today’s point.
I had this little notification thing put on my credit card that when it is used,
I receive a text and an e-amil… as in an alert.
It tells me that my card, ending in blah blah,
was just used at such and such for x amount transaction.
As in monitoring fraudulent activity with the card…
to alert me that the card was used and if it wasn’t used by me,
then it’s time to panic.
So this morning, as I was hurrying to get ready to head over to dad’s,
because today was the day hospice was delivering the hospital bed…
the bed dad is adamant about not allowing in the house…which is a post for another day…
I hear my phone buzz.
“Who in the heck is texting me this early?!”
I grouse as I’m in a race to get dressed.
It’s a text from my credit card folks informing me that my credit card ending in blah blah
was just declined over a $900 purchase for a plane ticket to São Paulo.
Now granted I am greatly in need of getting away.
As in leaving all my troubles behind…
As in going away…
Far far away…
As in my nerves are almost frazzled…
And I will confess to having contemplated being a bit, shall we say, irrational…
As in calling my aunt and telling her to grab her passport….
As in we’re out of here….
Yet I don’t recall being so spontaneous as to buying a one way ticket to São Paulo…
And if the truth be told, I don’t want to go to São Paulo…
But not São Paulo…
So I call the number on the back of my card and get the nicest young man named Austin.
I explain to Austin about the text and the email and São Paulo as he pulls up my account.
Sure enough he sees where there was a declined purchase at South American Airlines for
a one way trip to São Paulo…
Thank God for declined!!
A far cry from the typical purchase of jeans from LL Bean…
which is more along the lines of a typical card purchase for me.
So sweet young Austin shut down my account and will be issuing me a new card.
He checked the last five purchases…
$8 for a book?
$49 bucks for some shorts and a shirt?
With nothing anywhere near a $900 for an airline ticket.
And with this latest adventure to the land of fraud,
I started thinking….
Technology is good…in a great many ways…yet it comes with a tremendous price…
both figuratively and literally…
but again, I digress….
It comes with grave responsibility and vigilance…
both of which most folks half heartily observe,
as they are lulled into a false sense of security.
It comes with pin numbers,
magnetic security strips,
finger print scanners,
and chip readers…
all things that lull us into thinking we are safe….
This as I wonder what will be next as the security attached to our technology
works hard to always stay one step ahead of those nefarious individuals who take a
retired school teacher’s credit card number
and attempt to buy a one way ticket to São Paulo.
For you see, I try to be safe.
I try to do what I can to protect my savings and my identity
But if those nefarious folks out there really want something,
no matter what I do, they will find me…
and they will find you too I’m afraid.
Well not unless I call my aunt, telling her to grab her passport,
cause we are taking life off the grid…
but again, I digress…
We do everything in our power to protect our cards, our phones,
our smart, and not so smart, things
Yet what do we do to protect our souls?
Yes, you read correctly, our very souls.
For you see we have been fed a lot of hooey in the past several decades,
with the hooey only getting more slick with time.
We’ve been told that God is actually spelled with a little g.
We’ve been told that there are way better gods out there…
forget all that mumbo jumbo religious business…
that’s so yesterday…
We’ve been told that any god with a big G should be all accepting and all loving…
no holds barred, doesn’t matter what we’re loving or accepting…
“it” must agree…
And while we’re at it…
“it” isn’t always a “he”, “it” may be a she or just an “it”…
cause “it,” whatever “it” is, is ours and we like “it” how we want “it”…
Because we don’t want a god with a big G who isn’t on our same page.
We want gods that keep us connected 24 / 7
gods that allow us to instantly buy tickets to São Paulo, with or without our own money.
We’re told that these are the gods that we need to have,
yet they need us to spend lots of money…
cause more money means better gods.
gods that will make us like the folks we see on TV,
cause we are told being like the folks on TV is to be really cool and great and godlike.
We’ve been told that we don’t need a god with a big G because we can be our own god.
We can make babies in petrie dishes
We can make new animals from old animal DNA
We can make boys girls, and girls boys…
We can travel to the moon and beyond…as in we’ve messed up this planet enough,
time to set our sights elsewhere….
We can buy tickets to São Paulo without ever having to talk
to a person all without money that’s not our own…
We can take people’s money and go the São Paulo to do whatever we want when we get there..
again, kind of god like in our own little g godlike way….
We don’t want a god with rules or one telling us how to live.
We don’t want a god who claims to be a creator, cause, heck, aren’t we creators!
and we’ve got all kinds of trouble…
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.
Impress them on your children.
Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road,
when you lie down and when you get up.
Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.
Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.