Thursday, August 7, 2008

When the anti-terrorist task force comes calling

I’ve been in a lot of online debates over the years, starting way back with Genie. I thought Leftists probably bore me the most animosity. Not so. A certain unidentified obviously vindictive lady saw fit to report me to the Anti-Terrorist Task Force for something I wrote on a Rhodesian Ridgeback discussion group. One of my stories about Trooper, a Rhodesian Ridgeback who died in 2004 included words to the effect that I carried a gun as I followed him into a pack of feral dogs. Most people who hear that story are struck by Trooper’s brashness, but this lady was struck by the fact that I carried a gun down in this remote area where there were feral dogs and coyotes. She reported it to the anti-Terrorist task force and two representatives showed up at my door yesterday, a Riverside deputy sheriff and a Banning Policeman. They were very apologetic, quite sure even before they began talking to me that there was nothing to the accusation, which they didn’t read to me, but, they said, they had to make sure I wasn’t a terrorist.

I described the sorts of discussions and arguments we get into about Rhodesian Ridgebacks, and said that occasionally there is a person who is inarticulate and incapable of normal debate and argument. Such a person tries to argue by other means – such a person (I’ve encountered many over the years) ends up cursing (or something on the level of a curse) instead of engaging in normal debate. If you can’t argue, you can still curse -- normally. This one, whoever she is, saw fit to take one of my stories about my dog – take a few words out of context and report them to the anti-terrorist task force. Maybe, being a lady, she hasn’t learned how to curse properly.

The two men didn’t really want to be there. They didn’t even know what a Rhodesian Ridgeback was. We were talking on my front porch. They wouldn’t go into the house unless I put the dogs someplace else and that wasn’t very convenient; so we stayed outside. I had one of my Ridgebacks, Ginger, come out so they could see one aspect of what the fuss was all about. They thought she was beautiful. As to my carrying a gun down on a dry riverbed where there were coyotes and feral dogs, I got the distinct impression that they would have done the same thing.

Someone who engages in a vindictive and anonymous attack of this nature has the disadvantage of not being able to curse me while I discuss her many shortcomings. She would have to identify herself in order to do so – something she isn’t willing to do. The consensus is that this anonymous lady is a breeder and the sort of person who gives breeders a bad name.

I’ve discussed this matter on another discussion group – a group more devoted to politics, philosophy and literature, and one person said that the only downside to my adventure was that I might be put on a terrorist “watch list,” in which case I would experience considerable inconvenience if I wanted to fly anywhere. Maybe that’s what this lady had in mind.

Lawrence Helm

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