“It is always the novice who exaggerates.”
C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters
I saw this chart on another blog the other day and thought it absolutely hilarious…
because as a Southerner,
there’s really not much to exaggerate over where snow and ice are concerned…
Pandemonium does indeed ensue.
Just as we witnessed over the past week leading up to last night’s spitting of ice.
I actually laughed out loud when reading this chart…
I can laugh like that…at us here in the South,
because it is true,
we do get all worked up and in a dither when the “S” word is mentioned.
As our meteorologists fan the flames of sheer panic, destruction and doom.
Yet I’ve noticed that we, as a society,
have gotten quite comfortable with the whole notion of exaggeration.
I think some call that hyperbole…
while other’s simply call it lying.
Yet no matter what we call it, we’ve gotten good at it…
Stretching the truth here and there.
Tweaking reality just a smidge.
And flat out altering the facts…
I think we are currently calling such “fake news”
Others call that padding, inflating and misrepresentation…
as in “oh, you misunderstood, I didn’t really mean that….”
Politicians and pundits do it…think exit polls
Corporations do it…think quarterly numbers.
School Systems do it…think standardized test scores.
Books are cooked,
Records are falsified
And lying has been elevated to a fine art of finesse.
As we’ve all now learned that if you don’t like the truth…
that you can simply…
or merely rewrite it…
And yet in situations that really really matter, such as things like National Security,
we’ve run in the opposite direction.
Take the young man in Anchorage Alaska who was recently discharged from his
service as a military reservist.
He walks into his local FBI office telling them that ISIS is forcing him to
watch propaganda videos as he mumbles on crazily about such.
My first red flag, if I was one of those agents,
would have been that his service record showed that he’d seen
service time in Iraq.
I would have then dug deeper into his service record.
I would have contacted his former commanding officer.
I would have wondered about PTSD.
I would have wondered about radicalization
after hearing him use the key acronym “ISIS”…
He was supposedly in some sort of therapy.
Perhaps I would have contacted his therapist.
Yet, he manages to buy a plane ticket to Florida.
Check his firearm and ammo as baggage.
Makes his way through security without any sort of question
as he’s obviously not on any sort of watch list,
despite rambling to the local FBI about ISIS,
all in order to board a flight south.
But I suppose its never odd for someone form Anchorage, in the dead of winter,
to want to fly to Florida.
Once his plane lands, he disembarks the plane, heads to baggage, grabs his bags,
heads to the men’s room in order to unpack his firearm and ammo, loads the gun
then proceeds to walk back out to the baggage-claim carrousels while he
randomly starts shooting.
Once he empties his clip,
he tosses his gun down and drops face down to the ground, spread eagle
as 5 folks are now dead and countless others are bleeding and wounded.
Yet we don’t want to target anyone,
or raise concern over anyone as not to
lest we be sued or deemed insensitive.
As the ACLU,
the Southern Poverty Law Center,
liberal Washington, etc
would begin chanting racism, xenophobia, ignorance, rednecks….
you name it.
So now let’s try telling any of this to the victims and their family’s…
Rather now, everyone, the President included, will begin the same mantra that
we have heard over and over and over….
that this is just another incident where the gun is at fault.
This is the fault of having guns available….
Yet should it comes as any surprise that this young former serviceman had a gun, legally?
Maybe the FBI in Anchorage should have maybe considered a former service member,
despite no longer having a service weapon,
most likely owned a personal firearm as most current, as well as former, service members do.
As service members with a firearm is merely synonymous.
Nor should it be a surprise that anyone living in Alaska has a firearm…
most Alaskans do.
So maybe, just maybe the FBI should have wondered about all of this
when this young man showed up at their office babbling nonsense….
But then that would make too much sense.
And once again we’d appear to be profiling
or dare we say,
being cautious and sensible…
Keep falsehood and lies far from me