A Cowboy’s Faith: Devices increase liability

buchmanheadTechnology can be hazardous whatever one does.

From the start, we’ve been slow to utilize modern communication devices. Only when we were “forced” to get a cell phone for our job did we give in to do that. Yet, grudgingly we admit it has been used effectively.

Still, we’ve resisted adding the other social media services, although the one-cent phone we got recently had those “benefits” in the “package.” To keep our job, we’re again going to be “forced” to learn about some of them, hopefully later, but likely sooner.

While a few “professionals” don’t have Internet, which allows communications instantly around the world, we depend on the service every day, sorrowfully.

Access to just about everything about anything is available on the Internet – our biggest use is transmitting email messages, sometimes hundreds a day.

Despite all of the learning required for an old cowboy to operate the “other conveniences,” the very worst thing is that everything transmitted can be traced back to us. That includes all phone calls and emails we send and receive.

Now, cellphones and the seemingly jillions of things they can do are prohibited for use by horse show judges when on the job.

Exhibitors sometimes think judges are communicating with other officials unfairly, or not paying attention to business at hand. Actually, misperception and consequent accusations often go on and on in the name of greed. Everybody wants to win, and many think they’re being cheated if they don’t.

Even more serious to the adjudicating profession, cellphones and further-advanced devices allow those ringside to tape every move a judge makes, and even record all conversations.

One can become liable for saying something as simple as “That’s a nice horse,” when the one who doesn’t win hears it said of another.

Furthermore, all classes can be recorded for perpetuity. When an official is asked about a class placing, and his reflection response is proven wrong on tape, that judge can be “written up” and more.

Reminds us of Romans 11:25: “It would be easy to misinterpret what’s going on and arrogantly assume something wrong, when that’s not it at all.” Thus, Jeremiah 26:14: “Do whatever you think is best, but take warning you will be liable.” Therefore, Proverbs 1:4: “Prudence be given to the simple knowledge, discretion and discernment.”


Frank_BuchmanFrank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.

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