Jade Helm lunacy hits the Texas government. It’s not just embarrassing. It’s disgusting.


There has to be a reasonable explanation. Please let there be a reasonable explanation.

This weekend Texas Governor Greg Abbott – MY governor, the governor I voted for – mobilized Texas State Guard members for a state emergency. What’s the emergency? American Special Operations troops are training. In Texas. Which is part of America. American troops training in America is scary. So Governor Abbott is sending State Guard troops to “monitor” the training.

I wish I was kidding.

Maybe you’ve heard media reports about the upcoming “training exercise” called Operation Jade Helm. It’s actually a massive government conspiracy to overthrow the Constitution, confiscate guns, and impose martial law on Texas. Sure, you might think that’s conspiracy theory lunacy. But it must be true; if not, surely Governor Abbott wouldn’t mobilize Texas militia to monitor Jade Helm. Right?

I first heard about the State Guard mobilization when I saw this article on Facebook: http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolitics/2015/05/02/403865824/texas-governor-deploys-state-guard-to-stave-off-obama-takeover. At first I assumed it was a joke. To my horror, I discovered it wasn’t. But I still hoped the story wasn’t true; even if it wasn’t a joke, maybe NPR just got it wrong.

NPR photo

NPR photo

NPR’s reporting turned out to be slightly incorrect. They originally reported Texas National Guard members were being mobilized to monitor Operation Jade Helm. In reality, the troops were from the Texas State Guard, which is our official state militia. Unlike the Air and Army National Guard, State Guard troops don’t carry weapons and aren’t paid for monthly drills (although they are paid when mobilized on state active duty orders). They wear military uniforms almost the same as the regular Army and are addressed by rank. But SG members don’t need any actual military experience and don’t have age, height/weight or physical fitness standards. They tend to be decent, honest, older men and women with successful careers and skills critically important during state emergencies. I’ve met many of them, interacted with some on a regular basis, competed against some at military competitions, and attended a couple of State Guard drills when I was in high school.

Yes, I admire and respect these State Guardsmen. No, they shouldn’t “monitor” Special Operations troops conducting important training.

So State Guard and National Guard troops aren’t the same thing. That ultimately doesn’t matter. Our governor actually ordered American troops to ensure other American troops aren’t trying to wage war against Texas. He doesn’t trust my military brothers and sisters. Or he’s caving to the lunatics who don’t trust us. Which is it?

I’ve seen the moronic, nonsensical hysteria about Jade Helm from near-clinically insane conspiracy theorists. I’ve heard completely irrational concerns about Jade Helm from otherwise normal people. I watched the recent press conference near Bastrop, Texas, where an exasperated Public Affairs Colonel had to answer repeated, ridiculous questions from people who seemed to desperately want Jade Helm to be a sinister conspiracy (“Why can’t they just train on post? What about the closed Wal-Mart, is it a FEMA camp? WHAT WILL YOU DO IF YOU’RE ORDERED TO CONFISCATE OUR GUNS?”). But despite the ranting of the conspiracy crowd, Jade Helm is nothing to worry about.

About 74 seconds of research on Google will show anyone – including Governor Abbott – that Special Operations and regular troops have been training off post in civilian areas for decades. Army Special Forces trainees attend an exercise called Robin Sage as their final test; Robin Sage takes place in rural North Carolina six to eight times a year, on civilian land, with civilian volunteers. The exercise has been going on for over fifty years (http://sofrep.com/40934/jade-helm-15-special-forces-off-post-training/). Last I heard, North Carolina isn’t under martial law.

Many other military exercises take place off post, among the civilian population. I’ve participated in some myself. No, they’re not practice for martial law. They’re off post because the real world is a far more challenging environment than the sterile, control-freak atmosphere of a military training area. A soldier on a base full of soldiers doesn’t have to try too hard to not get noticed. A soldier among vigilant civilians faces a far greater challenge, which makes off-post training for certain skills very desirable. And last I heard, we actually want our troops to be trained. Especially our Special Operations troops, who often have to carry out critically important covert missions among civilian populations overseas.

I have one piece of advice for Jade Helm conspiracy theorists: the day after the exercise ends, open your gun safe. If your guns are still there (and they will be), SHUT UP. If you’re not in a Wal-Mart FEMA camp (and you won’t be), SHUT UP. Stop desperately hoping your conspiracy fantasies are real. They’re not.

As a Marine and Soldier who’s served for over twenty-five years, I have to ask: does Governor Abbott consider me a threat? Does he worry that I’m plotting to wage war against my own country? When I was training for my wartime mission, did he think the State Guard should have monitored me? Am I suspected to have evil intentions because I sometimes trained off post?

Whatever someone thinks about the federal government – and I personally have huge criticisms and concerns – how does a reasonable person accuse the Special Operations troops participating in Jade Helm of treason? Even if the federal government intends to confiscate all our guns and put us under UN control (it doesn’t, but some people believe that) why do people think regular Joe Soldier is willing to murder American citizens, stick traumatized survivors in Wal-Marts-turned-FEMA-camps, take everyone’s guns and impose martial law?

Our troops come from this society. Our cities are their cities. Our families are their families.

Some conspiracy theorists are (unfortunately) veterans, or are closely related to veterans. They, of course, would never want to destroy American freedoms. Yet they suspect our best, most dedicated and bravest troops of preparing to do just that. That’s ridiculous, irrational and hypocritical. Some others argue that Governor Abbott was correct to mobilize State Guardsmen because his constituents have concerns. Whether those concerns are valid or not, Abbott has a responsibility to address them.

My response is “whatever”. Irrational concerns deserve nothing other than “That’s stupid and we’re not worried about it. Next question.” If you disagree, then do you think Governor Abbott should mobilize the State Guard to watch the sky for chemtrails? Or search for MK-Ultra sleeper agents? What about monitoring the border for UN troops being secretly brought across? Should we task the State Guard to stop the US government from spreading Ebola?

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Conspiracy theorists operate under the non-logic of “We don’t have proof it isn’t true, so let’s believe it!” Does that stupidity deserve to be addressed? How many ridiculous, dumbass conspiracy theories does Governor Abbott have to respond to? And why did he respond to this one?

As a combat veteran, I have at times felt ignored or disrespected by our federal government. But I always felt – ALWAYS – that Texas and its government were a bastion of common sense, old-school values and respect for service and sacrifice. I’ve never had a single reason to believe my state government viewed me as a problem because of my military service.

Now I do. It sucks. And I didn’t expect that from this state, or this governor.

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Chris Hernandez is a 20 year police officer, former Marine and currently serving National Guard soldier with over 25 years of military service. He is a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and also served 18 months as a United Nations police officer in Kosovo. He writes for BreachBangClear.com and Iron Mike magazine and has published two military fiction novels, Proof of Our Resolve and Line in the Valley, through Tactical16 Publishing. He can be reached at chris_hernandez_author@yahoo.com or on his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ProofofOurResolve).


189 Responses to “Jade Helm lunacy hits the Texas government. It’s not just embarrassing. It’s disgusting.”

  1. 1 ScotM

    Here it comes Chris… I can see the sun glinting off their foil hats as they come slathering to call you a shill again!

    On a rather more serious note, this stood out to me:

    “Even if the federal government intends to confiscate all our guns and put us under UN control (it doesn’t, but some people believe that) why do people think regular Joe Soldier is willing to murder American citizens, stick traumatized survivors in Wal-Marts-turned-FEMA-camps, take everyone’s guns and impose martial law?

    Our troops come from this society. Our cities are their cities. Our families are their families.”

    This is what I typically say to ANYONE who is dumb enough to think that the majority population of our armed forces would commit any sort of military action against the general public. It’s lunacy to even fathom it

  2. 2 Aesop

    Remember Chris, when you agitate the monkeys, they show their dismay by flinging their poo.

  3. 3 Uncle Kenny

    Nice rant, man. Worthy of the wackiest of the conspiracy nuts. Now that it’s out of your system, you might take a minute and look behind the crazy at the more subtle signalling happening on both sides of the thing.

    Do you really imagine that no message is behind Jade Helm, especially in the designation of Utah and Texas as aggressor “red” states? Are you quite sure that the domestic security establishment is innocent of any input to the exercise? You are probably not that naive.

    At the same time, do you imagine that Abbott really believes the State Guard is in a position to actually do anything, ever? Or is Abbott really only sending a signal back to Washington on the same wavelength that Washington is using to signal to Texas? Abbott is saying that we don’t appreciate being identified as the home of potential aggressors at the same time suggesting that we might actually deserve it. A measured response, in my opinion, to what has been perceived as a shot across the bow.

    Abbott wouldn’t be doing his job if he weren’t planning on less public, but more real, monitoring of the exercises using Rangers and Sheriff’s departments. If for no other reason than to avoid tragic conflict between the energized forces of crazy and the military.

    On a slightly different topic, how’s that Houston book coming? We’re still waiting patiently. Cheers.

    • Dear Uncle Kenny,

      If there is a “message” in Jade Helm, then what has been the message in all the other war exercises that have been held in Texas (among other places) over the past decades?

      As Jon Steward pointed out, the US government already has Texas and has since the 1800s. It is one of 50 states, not a sovereign nation being invaded by a foreign force. Many of the military personnel and others who will be taking part in the exercise live with their families in Texas. They are native Texans . . . and American citizens, just like the people in my home state of California, which is also being used for the Jade Helm exercise.

      Now, if you look at the global situation, operations like this one held near the borders of a neighboring nation are construed by that neighboring nation as a “message”. If that logic holds, then Mexico—or perhaps the drug cartels there or the ISIS camps that some Texans are sure exist—are the real recipients of the “message.”

      Doesn’t that make more sense?

  4. 5 Boyd K

    Geez, I was going to do everybody a light hearted favor and quickly post a clip from youtube of Bart Simpsons famous line about a “massive federal conspiracy”. But instead the internet told me there’s speculation that the Simpsons plot will twist at the end to claim the whole series was Homers coma induced dream state. That some dood had a premonition my state would slide off into the cascadia subduction zone in June (of 2009) and … the last name of one of the shooters at Pam Gellers thing was Simpson.
    So, I’m calling this search a recursion failure on my part. If you would all please take a minute to remember that sometimes conspiracy madness is fun to just laugh at I’d consider it a personal favor 🙂 (Zetgeist! hee hee)

  5. Great article, Chris. This stood out: “He doesn’t trust my military brothers and sisters. Or he’s caving to the lunatics who don’t trust us. Which is it?”

    I watched the Bastrop briefing, too, and I was struck by a couple of things. One was the eloquence and calm patience of the Lieutenant Colonel who served as spokesman, and the other was the way he brought just what you’re saying to the crowd’s attention and produced a marvelous cognitive dissonance that only a handful of people there seemed to be aware of.

    When he pointed out that these exercises had been going on for decades, he was greeted with silence. When he pointed out that our men and women in uniform had been protecting the homeland for over a century he drew applause . . . from the same people who feared those very men and women in uniform were going to take their guns and send them to FEMA camps through the Wal-Mart underground railroad.

    Except for the one man I saw cover his eyes in embarrassment (and possibly the startled looking woman next to him) everyone else in the room seemed to be perfectly content to hold two opposing views in their heads at the same time.

    It was . . . disheartening. And I can only hope it is something given credence by a tiny, vocal minority who, as you posit, enjoy the free exercise of their adrenal glands and imaginations.

    I’ve spoken before here about the peculiar inability of conspiracy theorists (and some novice writers) to recognize how the world really works: A world in which the families of those soldiers live next-door to you and their kids go to the same schools and drink the same water that your kids do. A world with enough problems that making new ones up seems absurd. And that very fact makes this mindset understandable on one level—the conspiracy theorist’s fantasies are controllable by them and they force the focus away from real problems that the individual feels they do not understand and cannot control. It’s a coping mechanism, I think. At least in part.

    The one that really gets me though, is the idea that OUR military (in which my father served two tours of duty before dying in harness) is somehow in cahoots with ISIS and will be assisting a foreign invasion. That raises another point about conspiracists—they seem never to ask why someone would do what they propose. This, of course, has just inspired me to write another blog article about the weird confluence between conspiracy theorists and aspiring writers who create cardboard villains who are just bad ‘cos they’re bad.

  6. 7 Mike P

    If they’re going to put us in Wal-Mart, will the snack bar be open?

  7. 8 Tony

    I’m loving how the stock NPR photo of Abbott has a remarkable similarity to a lot of stock photos I’ve seen of Islamist mullahs.

    Yes, yes, I know. You can find a picture of anyone doing anything on the web, but I rally think that someone at NPR has a great sense of humor.

    Wade Goodwyn’s article is great (listen to it if you can; that guy has God Pipes):


  8. 9 Don Davis

    Chris, you were right….. “WINDOW LICKING STUPID” applies to this too!

  9. 10 RandyGC

    How true that conspiracy theorists don’t have a clue on how things work in this reality. I’ve known, worked with, and associated with SOF troops of various sorts off and on for the past 30+ years (jeeze I’m getting old).

    If I was to try a take over of a state through martial law, gun confiscation and FEMA camps, the last people I’d want to assign to that duty would be SOF types. The personal risk of being fragged and the operational risk having your troops joining the citizenry they’re supposed to suppress would be way too great.

  10. 11 Danny

    Hi Chris, how have you been ?, probably already know, what do you think of Alex Jones?

    • That guy is a lunatic. I used to suspect he was just acting, but I’m pretty sure he’s a lunatic. He’s a perfect example of “we don’t have proof it’s not true so let’s believe it.”

      • 13 Danny

        Surely if, two years (2013) ago had some signatures to deport Piers Morgan for his opinion against assault weapons do not know if you knew of the matter, what folly not you think?

  11. 15 mikee

    Conflating the governor’s actions with the lunatic’s conspiracy theories is tarring with a broad brush.

    The governor had a bunch of people ask him to keep an eye on things, he said, “OK.” That does not mean he agrees with that bunch of people, or that their lunatic views are held by him. It means he agreed to perform an easy task to assuage people’s irrational fears.

    When was the last time Obama spoke up and had the DOJ investigate a police shooting at the request of community leaders? About half the time, maybe more, the police officer is found to have acted in a correct manner. Does that make those instances of DOJ investigation of the innocent officers examples of Obama agreeing with or supporting a conspiracy theory of police misconduct? I don’t think so. It is just proper government oversight to satisfy citizen concerns, whether those concerns are misplaced or reasonable. Same here.

    • I have a hard time believing the DOJ investigates police shootings where there is no reason to believe the officer did anything wrong. It’s not likely the DOJ will investigate the recent Garland shooting, where an officer killed two aspiring mass murderers, no matter how many people display irrational fears about it. Eric Holder evoked the racist murder of Emmitt Till when speaking about Ferguson; again it’s not likely that particular shooting was investigated just to assuage irrational concerns (I realize this one investigation isn’t representative of every investigation).

      Again, I have to ask: if people are irrationally concerned about chemtrails, should Governor Abbott mobilize the State Guard?

    • Mikee, an investigation of an actual event does not equate with a request to “keep an eye on” a normal part of our military’s procedures out of an irrational fear of what “might” happen. The suspicion of police misconduct is a rational concern that has been proven true in numerous cases. The suspicion that the federal government that is already in control of Texas (it being one of 50 federated states) would stage an armed takeover for no apparent reason when we have plenty of enemies abroad makes no sense. I couldn’t sell that idea in a science fiction novel, no matter how skillfully I wrote it. f

      As an added downside, it also sends the message that an elected official credits the fears with enough validity to act on them. It would have been far more beneficial to his state and the nation as a whole if he had kindly, respectfully, but firmly told the concerned citizens that such fears were unfounded and reminded them of the sacrifices our men and women in uniform have historically made to keep us safe.

      And has been pointed out elsewhere, if the State Guard observers saw anything they thought untoward (even assuming they’d recognize if something was untoward), what would they do? They are not professional soldiers.

  12. 18 fnbrowning

    Disclaimer: I agree that Operation Jade Helm is a training exercise. I don’t spend my time worrying about FEMA. I agree that U.S. military forces have trained on American soil for the entire history of this country.

    But I think it’s quite dismaying that many of you people think that American soldiers would not act against particular (or peculiar) Americans if given strict orders that these certain Americans were a threat to hearth and home.
    Just what do you think happened to Japanese-Americans during WWII???

    All you would need today is a credible story by .Gov that, for instance, some religious group was “terroristic” or they were “abusing their children” and the troops would obey their orders and most of you would stand by to observe and applaud.

    To the person that wrote “couldn’t sell that idea in a science fiction novel,” ROTFLMAO; you literally haven’t read science fiction! From the Golden Age of Sci-Fi forward, there have been stories of dystopian futures with rebellion against oppressive governments and their laws.
    “A book is a loaded gun in the house next door…Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man?” – Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

    Again, I do not believe that the troops participating in Jade Helm are practicing treason. But there was a little too much echo chamber in some of the post article comments. This current Federal government is the most untrustworthy that has ever been since the Constitution was ratified, and we must be ever vigilant of what it’s agents and soldiers are doing in the name of state security.

    • “To the person that wrote “couldn’t sell that idea in a science fiction novel,” ROTFLMAO; you literally haven’t read science fiction!”

      I not only read it, I write it professionally and have been doing so for over 20 years. I didn’t say you couldn’t put such a thing in an SF novel. I said I couldn’t sell it—as anything approaching reality—to a reader. It might get published, but the reader understands he is suspending all disbelief. I’ve thrown books at the wall that had plots more cogent that these allegedly real fears.

      I don’t think most folks here are questioning what American soldiers would do under orders. I think they’re questioning the idea that somehow the people of Texas are a danger to state security. In other words, why would the US government send thousands of troops to secure a locale that is already part of their territory. There’s no reason for it. It would be a ludicrously expensive exercise that would accomplish nothing.

      Now, if the theory was that there really are ISIS camps in Mexico and that the government is staging this now very public exercise as a warning, I have to ask why the people of Texas wouldn’t be thrilled that their government took the threat of ISIS in Mexico that seriously.

    • 20 Stuart the Viking

      Perhaps you are right and SOME troops could be tricked or talked into attacking a group by telling them that a group is a “terrorist organization” or a “bunch of child abusers” and couching it as “Legal orders” (hey, soldiers actually LIKE taking out Terrorists, and who wouldn’t want to bust up a group that hurts kids, sounds like a fun afternoon to me). BUT in my experience (6 years USMC) there is bound to be at least one or two in any group of soldiers (probably more) who would recognize those orders as suspect.

      However, I’m pretty sure even the dumbest group of grunts (and SOF soldiers wouldn’t tend to be dumb) would realize that “take over all of Texas” would be a illegal order barring some VERY EXTREME circumstances that obviously don’t currently exist.

  13. 21 OK S.

    I wouldn’t be too hard on the Governor. He’s a politician and has to respond somehow to the concerns of his citizens–of which he’s received from plenty of them. Sending unarmed watchers is probably about the least he could do without doing anything.

  14. 22 Joe in PNG

    A few facts about the USA for the window licker brigade:
    Do keep these in mind when spewing your nonsense about FEMA death camps and such.
    1) American citizens posses more guns than pretty much everyone, most of which are not registered
    2) America is freaking huge.
    3)There’s a lot of Americans
    4) Americans do not have a culture of “sit down, shut up, and do as the leader says”. Both the Left and Right have a tradition of “whatevah, I do what I want!”

    Thus, the idea that American citizens would meekly allow themselves to be herded en mass into empty Walmarts for execution is fairly ridiculous.

    • Good points all, Joe.

      I think the single thing that bothers me most about this whole situation is that no one has articulated WHY the US Government would need to or want to “take over” Texas?

      What do “they” (whoever “they” are) have to gain?

      Which leads directly to this other bit of cognitive dissonance. The US Government is not composed of only an executive branch, let alone one that commands the entire loyalty of every member of the other branches and the military. There are natives of Texas in the legislative branches who are none too friendly with that executive branch and yet, the fearful seem to believe those representatives and the military (not known as a liberal institution) will countenance a “takeover” of and American state by, uh … it’s own military.

      The illogic is so convoluted as to defy attempts at following it step by step.

      Of course, I suppose the Government (great, monolithic, single-minded entity that it is) may be keeping the plan secret from the military, too. Perhaps our soldiers will declare martial law without being made aware that they are doing so.

      But back again to the big, core question, which I wish I could raise in the skies over Texas in letters 500 feet tall: WHY?

      • 24 Joe in PNG

        Another thing- most of the 20th century tyrannical governments are pretty much that country’s political culture turned up to ’11’. Replace ‘Tsar’ with ‘Stalin’ and you get Soviet Russia. Look into Hitler, and you’ll see the Cult of Fredrick the Great… and what was Mao but a Chinese Emperor?
        Political tyranny needs a preexisting cultural foothold to really take hold in a country. Where is that spot in our culture?
        Religion? Americans are religious, but the idea of us going for a single, monolithic state religion controlling us is pure nonsense- more so if you’re religious.
        Class? We’re too egalitarian, too mobile to really develop a Euro style class warfare system.
        Marx? Marx don’t work here, other than among a few, ivory tower types. American Leftist tend to be Populist, not Marxist.

  15. 25 Danny

    Speaking of conspiracy theories, what do you think that Glenn Beck said ISIS think training camps in Mexico ?, what madness.

  16. Gov. Abbott is ordering the Texas State Guard to monitor the Jade Helm Exercise, because the citizens of Texas raised a lot of hell about it. Its not because Gov. Abbott wears a tin foil hat. If anything, its because we have an incompetent boob in the white house, I wouldnt trust him either

    • I’d like to thank that “incompetent boob” for the changes in my healthcare, the raise he gave everyone in the military during his first term (I’m an Air Force brat), the work he’s done with in the areas of higher education, immigration, the economy, infrastructure, etc.

      Please, God, may I prove to be so incompetent.

      The people in Texas believe six conflicting things before breakfast about the military, the government and their place in the universe for reasons that have nothing to do with the competence of the person in the White House and everything to do with the disinformation they’ve absorbed about everything from that person to how our government works to what it means to walk through a logical sequence of thoughts.

    • So if we have an incompetent boob in the White House, our Governor should act like an incompetent boob as well? Would you think, just maybe, we should expect our elected officials to make rational decisions rather than giving knee-jerk stupid orders to assuage hysterical morons “raising a lot of hell”?

      I suppose I was mistaken when I assumed the Governor I voted for would have more sense than Alex Jones.

      If Abbott doesn’t want to be accused of wearing a tinfoil hat, he should unwrap it from his fucking head.

    • CM ….Please do not use the term “citizens of Texas”. It makes one think that all or many Texas citizens believe this nonsense. This is a handful of Obama haters and a few who hate anybody that occupies the Whitehouse. The Governor is pandering to a larger group who would love to find another reason to hate Obama. He should have immediately diffused this by calling it what it truly is…just plain crazy. And Ted Cruz is another story….

  17. 31 Danny

    And there will be people who will believe this person (Abbott)?

  18. 32 Jeff Gauch

    Here’s an interpretation that give Gov. Abbot the benefit of the doubt:

    Yes, the military has trained off-base for decades, but there have been instances of friction where trainees run into civilians who aren’t playing – a few years ago two soldiers were shot, one of them fatally, by a state trooper who wasn’t a participant but the soldiers treated him as one. Given the absolute hysteria surrounding Jade Helm it isn’t impossible that some “patriot” would go out of their way to interfere in the training. The State Guard is mobilized to monitor for such lunatics, but if Abbot were to announce that the lunatics would see them as part of the conspiracy. By announcing that the SG is monitoring the military, they become compatriots of the lunatics, allowing the SG to talk the crazies out of doing something stupid.

    Plus there’s the pandering aspect. Two years from now, most people aren’t going to remember Jade Helm, but the lunatics will remember Abbot as the guy who stood up to Big Brother. They’ll likely vote for him, and Abbot is a politician.

  19. 33 Miles

    Um, The United States is the only nation in the world to use weapons of mass destruction on innocent people. They dropped two atomic bombs on Japanese civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, rained down thousands of tons of toxic agent orange over Vietnam and fired depleted uranium warheads into Iraq. The body deformities caused by these criminal acts is still suffered to this day by innocent victims…
    All the great empires of history were the greatest killers, and to think otherwise,well- that’s up to you. America, whose budget for wars and weapons exceeds the combined total of all the other countries of the world, is the most prodigious killer country of all time.
    For most of the last century, when the blood of innocents is seeping into ravaged landscapes destroyed by bombs, it has always been Americans doing the bulk of the killing. From Sand Creek to Dresden to My Lai to Fallujah. It makes them proud and brings tears of pride to their eyes when they sing the national anthem about “bombs bursting in air” at Superbowl half-time and watch war planes fly overhead.
    Does anybody out there still believe that Afghanistan was a worthwhile project? Worth six thousand American lives. All to protect the “heroine” poppy crop and Wall Street profits? How much do you really know? How much do you want to know?
    Because of our profound ignorance, our families will soon suffer the same fate as those innocent people who have died because we did not have the courage to confront the lies we are still being told. A nation of killers living on lies. If you call yourself an American taxpayer, you must accept your part in these atrocities or find a way to redeem yourself.
    As America’s infrastructure continues to crumble, successive corrupt U.S administrations have squandered billions to foment revolutions and spread the tyranny of the World Bank around the world.
    Obama and the leaders are not identified with the American flag or the American national anthem. America is just as dispensible to them as Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria or Crimea. They are singing the “World Anthem” and they don’t give a flying fuck about you.
    The US military is prepping for chaos when China calls in their debt and the dollar is replaced as the world’s reserve currency. That’s when the new “bail-in” laws are enforced and your money in the bank disappears. Hence the title of the operation – Jade Helm – meaning “China at the helm”. Martial law will be declared and Americans will be prepared to fight back against a total lockdown and enforcement of Obama’s NDAA law which strips you of all legal rights. Resistors will be rounded up and “processed” accordingly using what the USNORTHCOM calls their “critical infrastructure” facilities.

      • 35 Joe in PNG

        What we have here, to take a phrase from Larry Correia, is a textbook example of “Justify the Moon Ferrets”.

    • 36 Jeff Gauch

      Hiroshima and Nagasaki weren’t innocent. Nagasaki was a regional military command essential to Japan’s plans to repel a US invasion, Hiroshima was a manufacturing center producing war goods. Both cities were legitimate targets, and the nature of the war meant the civilians were at risk. Agent Orange isn’t toxic to humans. The dioxin contaminant in one of the precursors is another story. Again, well within the laws and customs of war. Depleted uranium is harmless (unless it hits you at several thousand feet per second, but that’s no more dangerous than any other material). Since it’s exclusively uranium 238, it’s less radioactive than natural uranium, something our bodies are adept at removing before it causes great harm. The effective half-life of uranium is 15 days. That means it is essentially eliminated (98.5% reduction) from the body 3 months after exposure. Also, the Iraqi deformities bore no correlation with use of depleted uranium, which was confined to Kuwait (which didn’t have a massive increase in deformities) and southern Iraq.

      Finally, the “bombs bursting in air” we sing about in the National Anthem were British you idiot. And now I’m done with you.

      • 37 Miles

        And you believe that…. You are very clever unto yourself, i’m impressed, Also Hiroshima and Nagasaki, were the only two Christian cities in Japan.. Look it up! As far as I am concerned Anyone who’s an adult today and doesn’t realize what’s going on, then I figure you’re not supposed too. So just go back and sit on the couch and watch TV, and playing with your iPhone. It’ll all be over soon. Most people WILL be going to concentration camps at wholesale soon. “America land of the free, home of the brave”. We’re not free or brave, we’re finished! Why? because Americans don’t know how to spell freedom. They’re ignorant, ill-informed, unread, have no idea what’s going on in government.
        And isn’t it Amazing to see Alleged Americans enforcing the will and the destruction of there own people and country.. It blows my mind. These Americans stand by and watch other American idiots put on uniforms with a badge, who absolutely love the idea of being able to beat there fellow Americans into submission for the city of London! But they are so disconnected from how the world works, they don’t even know who they are working for.. They have No idea…
        There’s no doubt in my mind, for myself. I do not believe America or the world at large is going to be able to extricate itself out of this situation. I do not believe it’s possible.
        And the reason why is because the people are too, ignorant, ill-informed, un-read, self-centered, egotistical, materialistic, and so down-right stupid- They couldn’t careless. They can’t get enough of government or celebrities to crawl on their knees too..
        Ludwig von Mises, the European economist, said — and he’s right-on as far as I’m concerned – he said that in every age and in every country, the people of every nation have always supported a dictator. The people have always supported a dictator and they always will…..
        The psychological shock when they realize what EQUALITY and social justice means in practice. They gonna be very unhappy, and frustrated people, and your new government will not tolerate these people. They will be lined against the wall and shot.. demoralization now reaches such areas where not even the experts would even dream of such tremendous success.. And Most of it is done by Americans to Americans thanks to lack of moral standards. A person who was demoralized the facts tell nothing to him, even if I shower him with information, with authentic proof, with documents and pictures. Even if I take him by force to the concentration camps…he will refuse to believe it…. until Military boot crashes his door then he will understand.  But not before that.  That’s the tragedy of the situation..
        There’s never been a time in the history of the human race that you can show me where the people of a nation rose up and demanded their freedom, liberty, and justice for all, not even in America. Ninety-seven percent of the male population in America at the time of the American Revolution did nothing. Only 3 percent took up arms against the British masters and gave us a chance at freedom. But that will never happen again. America is finished.

        • 38 Jeff Gauch

          Nagasaki a Christian city? BWAHAHAHA. Look chucklefuck, I’ve BEEN to Nagasaki. I’ve toured the Peace Museum, stood at ground zero, and seen the layer of heat-affected detritus caused by the bombing. What I didn’t see was any sign of a strong Christian presence. Japan has always been…eclectic when it comes to religion. They’re big on holidays, jumping into Christmas and Mother’s Day with both feet. While a number of Japanese have converted to Christianity (or been born into it) nowhere in the country is it anywhere close to a majority.

          I repeat, you are an idiot. You know nothing about which you speak, so the only way your conclusions could be correct is by pure blind accident. Fortunately your conclusions are so unlikely that we don’t have to worry about you being right.

          • 39 Danny

            Why are you insulting people?

          • 40 Jeff Gauch

            The truth can never be insulting.

          • 41 Miles

            Okay cool, I suppose the Christian reference was a little over your head. You didn’t catch the message behind the message, thats fine. It sounds like you have a lot more studying to do- you are light years behind.. But thats okay, Let me run this down to you real quick.. Unless you understand truth stands on its own, and truth does not need to be validated by ignorance. Whatever is true is true, and if you back way from it- thats your problem… When you think you have a good understanding of something, you need to go back and do your homework becuz you probably dont have it yet… Find out where the facts lead you, and do your self a favour and learn how this world really works, Not how you thought it works. Since You and most United States Citizens are past the demoralisation stage and truth doesn’t matter anymore, The next stage is destabilization. But this time your, subverter does not care about your ideas and the patterns of your consumption, whether you eat junk food and get fat and flabby, doesn’t matter anymore. It takes only two to five years to destabilize a nation, what matters is essentials. Economy, Foreign Relations, Defence Systems. And you can see it quite clearly in sensitive areas like Defence and economy,- the influence of Marxist Leninist ideas in the United States is absolutely sickening. I never would have believed the process would go that fast.
            The next stage is Crisis. It may take only up to six weeks to bring a country to the verge of crisis. You can see it in America now. And after the crisis then with a violent change of power structure and economy you’ll have a so called the period of Normalization…. And It may last indefinitely! Normalization is a cynical expression from Soviet propaganda. When the Soviet tanks moved into Checkoslovakia in 1968, comrade Brejnev said, Now the situation in brotherly Checkoslovakia is normalized. This is what will happen in the United States because you allow all these criminals to bring this country into crisis, to promise people all kind of goodies and a paradise on Earth, to destabilize your economy, to eliminate the principle of free market competition and to put big brother government in Washington DC with benevolent dictators like Obama who will promise lots of things never mind whether the promises are fulfilled or not. He will create false illusions that the situation is under control. The situation is not under control. The situation is disgustingly out of control… Most of the activity of your intelligence departments is to compile huge amount, volume of information on individuals who were instrumental in creating public opinion. Publishers, editors, journalists, actors, educationalists, professors of political science, members of government, representatives of business circles. Most of these people were divided roughly in two groups. Those who were told the Soviet foreign policy, they would be promoted to the positions of power through media and public opinion manipulation. Those who refuse the Soviet influence in this country are character assassinated, or executed physically.. You remember the small town named HEWA in South Vietnam. Several thousand so of Vietnamese were executed in one night when the city was captured by Vietcong for only two days. And American CIA could never figure out, how could the Communists possibly know each individual, where he lives, where to get him, and they were arrested in one night, basically in some four hours before dawn, put on a van, taken out of the city limits and shot. The answer is very simple, long before communists occupied the city there was extensive network of informers, local Vietnamese citizens who knew absolutely everything about people who are instrumental in public opinion including barbers and taxi drivers. Everybody who was sympathetic to the United States was executed. Same thing was done under the guidance of the Soviet Embassy in Hanoi, and same thing was done in New Delhi.. Anyways
            Most of the American politicians, media and educational system trains another generation of people who think they are living at the peace time. False. The United States is in a state of war. Undeclared total war against the basic principles and the foundations of this system. And the initiator of this war is not the middle east of course, it’s the system, run by people that are a lot of things -But Stupid isn’t one of them, They are a bunch Class A intellectuals who have put together a world communist system, check it out – Take a peek at the executive orders that will come down in a crisis… If you’re not scared by that, nothing can scare you. You literally don’t have long to live on unless the United States wake up. The time bomb is ticking. Every second, the disaster is coming closer and closer. And you will have nowhere to defect to unless you want to live in Antarctica with penguins. This is it. This is the last country of freedom and possibility. There must be a very strong national effort to educate people in the spirit of real patriotism, and explain to them the real dangers of a socialist communist, welfare state, big brother government. If people fail to grasp the impending danger, Then nothing will ever help the United States, you can kiss goodbye to your freedoms, all this freedom will vanish. It will evaporate in five seconds including your precious lives. Your going to have to force the Government, and I’m not talking about sending letters, signing petitions and all this beautiful noble activity. But you know what, I don’t really care that much so why do I even bother.. Your Right! None of this is true, I should probably start following you!
            That’s a Laugh…

          • 42 Jeff Gauch

            Verbosity does not equate to intellect. You are still demonstrably wrong in all aspects. I would ask what color the sky is in your world, but I don’t care.

          • 43 Miles

            Really, which part. Letmeknow because I am very interested in finding out which part you have a particular problem with.. Cool…
            Don’t make stuff up.

          • 44 Miles

            and, it is not about money, as much as it is about accounting…Jesus, was a banker/accountant…they turned His House into a den of thieves, by tricking out, Jesus (ge suis = “your earth”,) and playing catch and re lease, with Barabbas, wherein humanity was not made safe via use of the Twelve Tables, which is contrary to the actual Roman Law, wherein they forfeited Rome, and all that came with it, when they were thrown off the Rock. Table 8-27 stated, they could do whatever the hell they wanted to psychopaths, who have NO overhead by the way, no Development is necessary, as they LOVE to litigate, are absolutely adversarial, and seek the self, without any force, or compulsion…as long as they NEVER violated the Public Law…forever, those stupid Nazi Germans, did the same thing over and over, increasing overhead to go that extra mile, then culling the overhead when they were done with it…all of which, was un-necessary, but alas, psychopaths, are always known by their works in action… Follow me..

          • 45 Joe in PNG

            Miles, could you please learn some basic grammar? Break your walls of text up into paragraphs, that sort of thing?
            Raving like an illiterate loon doesn’t help to get your point across.

          • 46 Miles


          • 47 ScotM

            Christ on a crutch Miles, you sure do love to hear yourself talk, don’t you?

            Here’s my question: with all your “smarts” and all the “stuff” you know, just what do you propose the rest of us lemmings and sheep should do with all this information you so eloquently spewed at us? Lie down and say “we’re not worthy!”? Fight back?

            Please tell, oh great Miles in your infinite wisdom. I’m feeding the trolls, but at this point, I’d love to hear your response.

          • 48 Miles

            How many Americans have actually read the Constitution let alone the first ten amendments to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights?
            Read those words —rather than having some court or politician translate them for you—and you know where to draw the line when speaking your mind, criticizing your government, defending what is yours, doing whatever you want on your own property, and keeping the government’s nose out of your private affairs.
            1. The government is NOT allowed to restrict free speech, press, assembly or the citizenry’s ability to protest and correct government wrongdoing. Nevertheless, the government continues to prosecute whistleblowers, persecute journalists, cage protesters, criminalize expressive activities, crack down on large gatherings of citizens mobilizing to voice their discontent with government policies, and insulate itself and its agents from any charges of wrongdoing – what the courts refer to as “qualified immunity”.
            2. The government may NOT infringe on a citizen’s right to defend himself. Nevertheless, in many states, it’s against the law to carry a concealed weapon (gun, knife or even pepper spray), and the average citizen is permitted little self-defense against militarized police officers who shoot first and ask questions later.
            3. The government may NOT enter or occupy a citizen’s house without his consent (the quartering of soldiers). Nevertheless, government soldiers (i.e., militarized police) carry out more than 80,000 no-knock raids on private homes every year, while maiming children, killing dogs and shooting citizens.
            4. The government may NOT carry out unreasonable searches and seizures on the citizenry or their possessions. NOR can government officials issue warrants without some evidence of wrongdoing (probable cause). Unfortunately, what is unreasonable to the average American is completely reasonable to a government agent, for whom the ends justify the means. In such a climate, we have no protection against roadside strip searches, blood draws, DNA collection, SWAT team raids, surveillance or any other privacy-stripping indignity to which the government chooses to subject us.
            5. The government is NOT to deprive anyone of life, liberty or property without due process. Nevertheless, the government continues to incarcerate tens of thousands of Americans whose greatest crime is being poor and brown-skinned. The same goes for those who are put to death, some erroneously, by a system weighted in favor of class and wealth.
            6. The government may NOT take private property for public use without just compensation. Nevertheless, under the guise of the “greater public interest,” the government often hides behind eminent domain laws in order to allow megacorporations to tear down homes occupied by less prosperous citizens in order to build high-priced resorts and shopping malls.
            7. Government agents may NOT force a citizen to testify against himself. Yet what is the government’s extensive surveillance network that spies on all of our communications but a thinly veiled attempt at using our own words against us?
            8. The government is NOT allowed to impose excessive fines on the citizenry or inflict cruel and unusual punishments upon them. Nevertheless Americans are subjected to egregious fines and outrageous punishments for minor traffic violations, student tardiness and absence from school, and generally having the misfortune of being warm bodies capable of filling privatized, profit-driven jails.
            9. The government is NOT permitted to claim any powers that are not expressly granted to themby the Constitution. This prohibition has become downright laughable as the government continues to claim for itself every authority that serves to swell its coffers, cement its dominion, and expand its reach.
            The Constitution has NOT outlived its usefulness or become irrelevant.
            The problem goes far deeper AND can be traced back to the point at which “we the people” were overthrown as the center of the government. As a result, our supremacy has been undone, our authority undermined, and our experiment in democratic self-governance left in ruins. No longer are we the rulers of this land. We have long since been deposed and dethroned, replaced by corporate figureheads with no regard for our sovereignty, no thought for our happiness, and no respect for our rights.
            The point of view of the Constitution has been shifted from “we the people” to “we the government.” Our taxpayer-funded employees—our appointed servants—have stopped looking upon us as their superiors and started viewing us as their inferiors. Unfortunately, we’ve gotten so used to being dictated to by government agents, bureaucrats and militarized police alike that we’ve forgotten that WE are supposed to be the ones calling the shots and determining what is just, reasonable and necessary.

            We have forgotten that the government was established to serve us as well as obey us. Every branch of government, from the Executive to the Judicial and Legislative, seems to be suffering this same form of amnesia.
            We’ve been so brainwashed and indoctrinated into believing that the government is actually looking out for our best interests, when in fact the only compelling interesting driving government programs is maintaining power and control by taking away our money and control. This vital truth, that the government exists for our benefit and operates at our behest, seems to have been lost in translation over two centuries dominated by government expansion, endless wars and centralized federal power.
            by the Constitution. This prohibition has become downright laughable as the government continues to claim for itself every authority that serves to swell its coffers, cement its dominion, and expand its reach.

            To put it a little more bluntly, stop thinking like mindless government robots and start acting like a powerhouse of citizens vested with the power to say “enough is enough.” We have the numbers to stand our ground. Now we just need the will.

          • And because you have the right of free speech, no government agency has trammeled your right to promote insurrection on a private citizen’s blog. That government, though, does have the right to protect itself and its citizens from the hate-fueled, ill-conceived intentions of a minority of those citizens who feel that violence is the way to demonstrate power.

            Yes, I agree, we are powerful. More powerful than we realize as individuals and members of communities. Through the power of our words and attitudes and deeds we have the ability to either build a cohesive, peaceful society or destroy the foundations of our communities and our families by inciting others to hatred, discord and violence.

            We can build bridges or walls between individuals and groups within our larger society. The choice and the power belongs to each one of us. Don’t ever mistake the passion for peace and union with weakness or conversely, to mistakenly believe that distrust, hostility and violence are strength. You would be destructively wrong in both cases.

            The lack of fear and trembling among most commenters here is not a function of sheeplike complacency, but of rational observation of reality. The more you know about how the world actually works, the less likely you are to throw up your hands in surrender to panic. This nation (like any other) has a plethora of problems to face. They are all solvable—but none are solvable through hostility.

            BTW, I, for one, have not only have read the Constitution, I have a copy of it on my iPad and make frequent reference to it. Also, good reading regarding the the individual and society, the Federalist Papers and Christ’s Sermon on the Mount.

          • 50 ScotM

            Miles, once again you have simply ranted (did you do that all in one breath?) without answering my question.

            Let’s play pretend for a second and believe that all of your points are truly as dire as you say.

            WHAT, do you propose “we the people” should do about it?

            And for your information, lest you actually read what I’m saying, yes, I’ve read and know well the Bill of Rights and our Constitution.

            I’ll continue to wait for your reply to my question that I’ve now asked twice

  20. 51 Joe in PNG

    Miles- follow you? On your… thing… on Jesus and Nazis and banking? No, because it makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.

    You seriously come through as someone with massive mental problems.

    And please don’t fool yourself by telling yourself that we can’t handle the truth you’re telling. The truth is, we can’t even find the point you’re trying to make.

  21. 52 Priscilla

    Not to worry, Chris, Texans trust the military a lot more than they do the federal government and Greg Abbott is an astute politician. What gives me the heebie jeebies are all the purely coincidental drill/training exercise and terror/mass shooting links. There surely are a lot of them, but perhaps not enough to establish a pattern.

    • 53 Joe in PNG

      …and the lack of storks in Europe is the reason for the declining birthrate!

      Realistically, correlation =/= causation.

    • Priscilla,

      The essay you linked actually explained that drills and attacks haven’t been connected.

  22. 55 Priscilla

    Yes, that is what the author posits at the link. However, “the correlation phrase has become so common and so irritating that a minor backlash has now ensued against the rhetoric if not the concept. No, correlation does not imply causation, but it sure as hell provides a hint.”
    Look, I’m not a statistician, just a sceptic. And, thankfully, we are still allowed to be sceptical in the good ole U.S.A. And you are allowed, nay encouraged, to keep your faith in government and media narratives. I have major problems with a lot of their stories, although I’m sure you think my problems lie elsewhere.

    • 56 Joe in PNG

      Keep in mind that for the most part, the government and the media are well meaning, but incompetent- not plotting and sinister.

  23. 57 Priscilla

    Keep in mind we can never know anyone’s true motives.

    • 58 Joe in PNG

      But, one can take a look at the facts available, then compare it to human history, and add in a bit of culture as well.
      The truth is the whole narrative of an all powerful secret government conspiracy moving the US towards a dictatorship really does not fit any of the above.

    • So it makes little sense to jump immediately to positing that their motives are vile or corrupt. And it can ultimately do a lot of harm to go through life distrusting the motives of the people around you.

      What strikes me about some of these conspiracy theories is how they cast the rank and file citizen as of such importance in the scheme of things and so potentially dangerous to the evil government’s designs that dispatching them will become a priority.

      When the Pentagon sends troops out to practice war (and I’d love to know where else they can practice it than the types of places they have traditionally chosen), their focus is on REAL threats—ISIS, al Qaeda, the Taliban, possibly the various radical “Christian” groups and white supremacist groups here at home (though those are more the FBI’s cuppa).

      ISIS and like groups offer We the People precious little hope of controlling the narrative. This is scary. But a home grown threat posed by our own military (which deep down many of the conspiracy theorists probably don’t really believe in) is a narrative that they can help write and control to some extent. They can’t see or touch or affect what ISIS is doing. ISIS is a black box far away. That’s scary. But Jade Helm 15—that they can turn into a black box they can lay their hands on and wrap their minds around.

      It is close. It is visible. It is controllable. And the cognitive dissonance of trusting the men and women in uniform while not trusting the military, or trusting the military while not trusting the Pentagon, or trusting the Pentagon while not trusting the government it serves, need not be confronted.

      President Obama is not the government. He is one element in the government. And frankly, a great deal of the “skepticism” and fear around Jade Helm 15 relies on the fact that a great many people living in this country have no idea what its government is composed of and how it actually works.

      • 60 Joe in PNG

        I saw the phrase “Fear P.or.n” at another site, and it explains quite a bit about this bunch.

  24. 61 Priscilla

    If you start with false premises-
    “Logic and truth, as a matter of fact, have very little to do with each other. Logic is concerned merely with the fidelity and accuracy with which a certain process is performed, a process which can be performed with any materials, with any assumption. You can be as logical about griffins and basilisks as about sheep and pigs. On the assumption that a man has two ears, it is good logic that three men have six ears, but on the assumption that a man has four ears, it is equally good logic that three men have twelve. And the power of seeing how many ears the average man, as a fact, possesses, the power of counting a gentleman’s ears accurately and without mathematical confusion, is not a logical thing but a primary and direct experience, like a physical sense, like a religious vision. The power of counting ears may be limited by a blow on the head; it may be disturbed and even augmented by two bottles of champagne; but it cannot be affected by argument… The relations of logic to truth depend, then, not upon its perfection as logic, but upon certain pre-logical faculties and certain pre-logical discoveries, upon the possession of those faculties, upon the power of making those discoveries. If a man starts with certain assumptions, he may be a good logician and a good citizen, a wise man, a successful figure. If he starts with certain other assumptions, he may be an equally good logician and a bankrupt, a criminal, a raving lunatic. Logic, then, is not necessarily an instrument for finding truth; on the contrary, truth is necessarily an instrument for using logic—for using it, that is, for the discovery of further truth and for the profit of humanity. Briefly, you can only find truth with logic if you have already found truth without it. ”
    G. K. Chesterton
    I’m done. My only point is that there can be reasonable doubts.

    • 62 Joe in PNG

      And my point is that one needs to worry about reasonable things

      Tsunamis happen, but if one lives in the mountains of Colorado, one shouldn’t stay up all night worrying about them. If that person spends all of their time, money, and effort prepping for tsunamis, and none preparing for blizzards, what does that make them?

  25. 63 Priscilla

    A window-licking moron? There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

  26. 64 Priscilla

    I’m not preparing for anything, I’m just watching the show and mulling things over. If you have no questions or have put them all to rest, more power to you. And that’s all I have to say about that.

  27. 65 Priscilla

    Maya, your comment just snuck in there so I’ll go ahead and address it. Our own government apparently trusts the military as little as Chris says the citizenry does, since DHS has singled out veterans as possible terrorists. “…the return of military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists capable of carrying out violent attacks…Returning veterans possess combat skills and experience that are attractive to right-wing extremists…DHS/I&A is concerned that right-wing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize veterans in order to boost their violent capacities.” To say that citizens should trust the military when apparently their government does not-well, that’s some cognitive dissonance right there! And I never claimed that dispatching citizens was a priority, that might be part of the means rather than the ends if one is inclined to subscribe to a conspiracy theory. Nor do I go through life distrusting the motives of people around me. Nor did I state that anyone’s motives are vile and corrupt, I stated that no one’s true motives can be known. My only point in all of this has been that in some cases people can have reasonable doubts conerning government/media narratives. Seems to me very foolish to take it on faith that the government’s intentions/actions are always benign.

    • Priscilla,

      That’s a reasonable and well-articulated statement. However, I’d say that even with legitimate distrust of the government, we still need actual evidence of sinister intentions before we can rationally voice concerns about Jade Helm or any other suspected plot.

      Thanks for your comment, though, that was well put.

    • My comment “snuck in there?” That’s an interesting way of putting it. May I ask why you used that particular phrase. (Forgive me, I’m a writer and people’s speech habits fascinate me.)

      To recognize the fact that some returning veterans may possess the skills and attitudes that incline them to violence in no way expresses distrust of the military as a whole. Why would you think it does?

      Also, I was responding to your defense of the paranoia of some Texas citizens and to the basis for that paranoia. It was to their distrust and suspicion that I referred, not yours. You have not stated your particular views, really, other than to say that you are sympathetic to their suspicions.

      My question to you and to them was and is: on what FACTS are these suspicions based?

      If it is foolish to assume that the government’s intentions are benign, it is equally foolish to assume they are not—and in fact, more destructive. A community that is riven with suspicion will disintegrate. And if those fears prove to be in error (which is, by far the most likely case), then we have allowed suspicion and hostility to destroy the fabric of our community without reason.

      Again, “The Government” is not a monolithic, single-minded entity with diabolical purpose. It is made up of diverse, even disparate and often contending parties, who—especially lately—have been unable to see eye to eye on anything. To believe that the President has powers equal to taking over Texas (let’s set aside the sheer absurdity of taking over territory that is already a federated unit of the country), is to believe a fantasy. Even Mr. Obama’s inveterate enemies in other branches of government have done no more than express sympathy with the fearful and have not validated their fears.

      The facts are these: The military must train to defend this country. Of necessity, they must train here, or in other nations with whom we have agreements that we may use their territories for such war games. Our military has used the southwestern states for training purposes for decades, and with good reason—it is sparsely populated, with vast open lands that are much like the terrain in which actual conflicts have occurred.

      Given this, what reason do the citizens of Texas have to fear that suddenly, the intent is to harm them rather than train to defend them?

  28. 68 Priscilla

    If your comment is directed toward people generally concerned about Jade Helm and is not a response to me, I will only say there are probably multiple reasons for their suspicions and to try to pin them all on imbecility, psychological problems, etc. seems very arrogant and dismissive. It’s not like the government hasn’t been lying and misleading lately. Do you want examples?

    • 69 Joe in PNG

      Yet, when evidence is presented that their concerns are a bit overblown, one would think they would be relieved their fears are false.
      Instead, they work all that much the harder to prove their fears. It is that desperate clinging, that hostility to anyone who would dare question that fear (see Miles’ comments, or Joel in the previous), that willingness to disregard all logic in order to cling to a pet fear that is pathological, imbecilic, and the rest.

      And regarding the government lying and misleading, nothing new there. Our government has been lying and misleading since the last words were written on the Constitution (see also the “Wiskey Rebellion” for details). EVERY government does it.

      As for an amusing study, check out some of the conspiracy theories of times past. “The United States of Paranoia” is a good start.

    • Priscilla, can you cite examples of what Chris eloquently refers to as “sinister intentions”? Can you source them?

      I have encountered numerous people who claim their hatred and fear of this particular administration (that is to say, Mr. Obama) is based on facts and rationally arrived at conclusions. I have asked them to share those facts repeatedly and so far have gotten nothing that made sense in context with the level of fear (death panels, taking over Texas, the Chinese army arriving on our shores to subjugate us at the behest of a president that some Americans still believe is a Kenyan Muslim).

      What I have gotten are vague allegations of wrongdoing, references to the personal blogs of individuals with—shall we say—interesting takes on reality (did you know that Barack Odumbledore can control the weather?), and proposals that because of a phrase the POTUS used in a speech, therefore .

      Yes, I would love to see concrete, verifiable reasons to believe that THIS president in particular wants to herd rank and file Texans into FEMA camps and take over Texas for no discernible reason.

      And that is the biggest, fattest missing piece of this entire thing: WHY? What in the name of all that is holy and good would Mr. Obama gain by militarily “taking over” Texas that would balance what it would cost in both national wealth, union cohesion and international good will?

      What is the point?

      • 71 Priscilla

        Is the C.I.A. the government? This is pretty sinister.

        • 72 Priscilla

          Why do you think this is all about Obama rather than the general drift of government? Yes, the examples I gave you for distrust all occurred under the Obama administration, but I would think conspiracy theories really started proliferating after 9/11 and under Bush.

        • 1. No, the CIA is not “the government”. It is one agency of the government that back in the day got investigated and “outed” by other agencies of the the government and got its programs terminated.

          2. Yeah, it’s sinister, and more and more people recognize it as such because our concepts about appropriate treatment of other human beings are evolving rather quickly. It hasn’t been that long since men like Francis Galton were preaching Social Darwinism and eugenics and men like Adolf Hitler were listening and acting unapologetically.

          So, does it seem logical to assume that because one agency of the government did something criminal decades ago and got caught, ergo “the government” as an entity is going to “take over Texas”?

          This does not even hint at a rational reason for the fears of some Texans. It is a logical disconnect.

          Look at it rationally: No government wants chaos. Even Adolf Hitler wanted passive, happy campers who would numbly consign their Jewish and Catholic neighbors to concentration camps because they feared rocking their own economic boat. Our economy is mending by just about every measure, our consumer confidence is running fairly high, more and more people are identifying with “progressive” causes. For our government to make elaborate plans to foment chaos MAKES NO SENSE. It runs counter to that government’s best interests. And this would be true even if “the government” were monolithically cold-blooded, ruthless and evil.

          Again, I ask, in hope of an answer: WHY would “the government” or any agency thereof want to do this? What is to be gained that’s so significant it warrants the cost in resources and national cohesion?

          • 74 Priscilla

            The government, parts of government…tomato, tomahto.

          • No, Priscilla, it’s not tomato-tomato and the case you cite demonstrates that eloquently.

            Let’s look at it again: One agency of the government was doing something it should not. It was stopped _by another agency of the same government_. In other words, the government functioned just as the founders hoped it would when they instituted the system of checks and balances necessary to a constitutional government.

            Conspiracy theories rely on the idea that The Government does not function as your example demonstrates, but rather that everyone in The Government is reading the same play book and shares the same nefarious and mysterious goals. If that were the case, the CIA’s activities would have never been known.

            No one arm or agency of the government has absolute power to do what it wills. People seem to understand that when it comes to the day-to-day running of government. This same checks and balances system plays large in the news when a program or policy one arm of government favors is blocked by another arm that does not favor it.

            Conspiracy theorists forget this reality when they posit that suddenly The Government operates as an absolute and monolithic entity with the same goal.

          • Maya, the Central Intelligence Shency is not technically an agency of the federal government of the United States of America. Every federal government agency must have a congressional charter to operate within the CONUS base as defined in the law, and the CIA does not have one. All lawful agencies are listed in the U.S. Code, the Congressional Record and the Feferal Register. You will not find the CIA listed. Nor will you find the FBI, DEA, BATF or IRS listed under the lawfully constituted agencies of the federal government, therefore, these organizations are effectively operating as outlaws upon U.S. soil.

            What you will find, however, is that they are listed as MFO’s (Multinational Force Observers) in the same category as INTERPOL, and receive 100% of their operating budgets from the International Monetary Fund, a foreign entity.

            With that said, the government of the United States of America is not the men who weild governmental authority from the District of Columbia. No, the government of this nation IS the Constitution for the United States of America, it’s integrated Bill of Tights and the lawful Amendments thereto, the founding contract between the People and the sovereign States which created a federal government to protect the Creator-endowed rights of the People and enumerated the very limited powers of the government to carry out that task.

            That IS the government. Imagine if the American people actually thought that the government was comprised of imperfect men presiding over other imperfect men. Oh, wait . . . too late.

          • Thank you, Tim. your clarification puts the CIA another step further from being The Government. I hope my point was taken that, as you said, the real government is made up of imperfect human beings many of whom have different goals, desires, and ambitions. In its present state it has trouble on agreeing on basic elements of governance, let alone plan an armed takeover of territory it already presides over.

  29. 78 Priscilla

    I have been referring to conspiracy theories in general and not necessarily Jade Helm. Under Obama, specifically, the expansion of data collection, drones against American citizens, spying on press, targeting of opposition by IRS, labelling vets, Christian and pro-life groups as possible terrorists, just to name some examples, are actions which could cause concern and ramp up suspicion. And conspiracies happen, odd but true.

    • Re IRS: they were also targeting groups with words like “progressive” in their titles and mission statements. The one organization to lose its 401C status was a progressive one, as I understand it.

      Re: Christians, vets and pro-life groups as possible terrorists. Would you disagree that some attention to these groups is warranted? “Christian” groups such as the Huttaree and the Aryan Brotherhood and other less obvious ones have stated intentions to cause chaos so as to speed the end of the world, or restore “white” supremacy. They have had their plans busted by national security agencies, but wouldn’t it be naive to not keep an eye on similar groups? The county I used to live in (and neighboring counties) were home to a number of extremist Christian groups that our local authorities could not be convinced were a threat. I was glad the CHP did not share their blindness to the situation because they were a threat to the racial minorities in our area.

      Veterans returning from war with PTSD and other mental issues have been involved in a number of “statement” crimes from shootings of neighbors and friends to slaughter of religious minorities. And pro-life groups have also been known to promote violence.

      Given the above, is it unreasonable to keep an eye on individuals and groups who express hateful or violent intentions toward their fellow citizens?
      In what way is this a threat to people not engaged in potentially dangerous behavior?

      Here’s one of my main issues with all of this: when something bad happens in this country, there is a huge outcry demanding to know why the government was not prepared. Why didn’t they see it coming? No one wants to hear in that instance that intelligence was incomplete or inefficient or ineffective. We’ve seen the Avengers—we know what’s possible—why isn’t the government doing enough to protect us?

      Yet, when government agencies do what they feel is necessary to protect us (I’m not saying they’re right), we cry just as loudly that they’ve gone too far.

      Take telephone surveillance. The way we used to perform surveillance worked as long as we knew who some of the main players in an extremist group in this country were. We monitored their phones. But if we don’t know who the bad guys are, how do we find out? Maybe we find out because they call a number abroad or at home that we DO know belongs to a terrorist cell. How do we find out who calls that number? Can we do it without looking at as many numbers as we can get to see which ones connect to the known terrorist?

      I don’t know, maybe. But imagine someone handed you a shoebox full of marbles and said, “There are red ones and yellow ones. You need to count the yellow ones . . . without opening the box.”

      Is the NSA phone surveillance program excessive? Maybe. The court says yes. Was it done with evil intent? Since there is a rational sequence of events and thought that apparently led to it, I’d apply Occam’s Razor and suggest that the simple answer is most probably the right one: the program was begun to try to catch terrorists inside the US, because national security having gotten caught with their pants down the last time cost over 3,000 lives.

      Phone surveillance to try to catch terrorists before they strike is orders of magnitude different from using the US military to take an entire state hostage (were that even remotely possible).

      To be honest, I’m not worried about the citizens of Texas. I think they’re going to be safer from ISIS during Jade Helm than ever. I worry about the men and women in uniform who may become the targets of zealous citizen protectors who have been fed a diet of irrational fear and hatred and who will—based on what they’ve heard—logically assume those soldiers are their enemies.

      • 80 Priscilla

        Is that not a conspiracy theory, by your definition? Perhaps monitoring by the State Guard will prevent those rabid “patriots” from taking out our troops!

        • 81 Priscilla

          Is the NSA phone surveillance excessive? Yes. Was it done with evil intent? How can I know? Is it effective? No. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/may/21/fbi-admits-patriot-act-snooping-powers-didnt-crack/
          Is it constitutional? I don’t think so. Did Clapper lie about it? Yes.

          • 82 Priscilla

            Should I trust a proven liar? Give him the benefit of the doubt?

        • 83 Priscilla

          An attack by wing nuts would be the liberal media ‘s deam come true.

          • And that’s how truly destructive misunderstandings happen. The dream of most of the liberals I know, whether in media or not is to have NO “wing nut” attacks. Ever.

            The liberal/progressive dream is of a society in which everyone honestly tries to do the best they can, treat others fairly and compassionately, and solve disagreements through rational discourse and fair and frank consultation.

            Also, if a few extremely agitated folks try to harm men or women in uniform out of irrational terror that’s not a conspiracy. My concern is not that some group with evil intent will try to harm military personnel, but rather what highly agitated individuals might do. No conspiracy involved.

  30. 85 Priscilla

    And it is interesting that Texas is designated “enemy” territory (along with SoCal?). Have states ever been so designated in military exercises before? I’m curious.

    • The state of Texas has not been declared hostile. The fictional land represented by Texas in the exercise is hostile. Just like the Robin Sage exercise in North Carolina, fictional “Pineland” is a war zone. North Carolina is not.

      • 87 Priscilla

        Then why can’t they give the fictional state of Texas a fictional name, like “Window Licking Moron Land”?

        • They probably will next time. Embarrassing.

        • Oh, yes, because calling Texas “WindowLickingMoronLand” would not offend anyone.

          Two things:

          1) You misapprehend the nature of the conspiracist. No matter what the map had called Texas someone in Texas would have been offended by it. Let’s say they labeled Texas Iraq or Syria or ISIS stronghold. Do you think no one would have done the math—Syria = hostile = Texas?

          2) Some “blue” states were also labeled hostile territory. What does that mean? The legislature is led by conservatives. The legislature is the arm of government that declares war. Perhaps SoCal and Arizona are labeled hostile and leaning hostile because Congress wants to stage an armed takeover of those areas. Sound crazy yet?

          All of this leads to the question: Why aren’t the other states complaining about their designations and spawning conspiracy narratives? Do the Texans concerned about all this imagine that Texas is the only state in existence or merely that Texas is somehow unique among the areas hosting the war games? Do they imagine that their own state government had nothing to do with hosting the exercises that they were forced onto state governments?

          Now, I suppose that the maps could have been more specific and designated only the private lands being used (which are owned by Texans, one assumes) as hostile, leaning one way or another or friendly. That might have made a difference. or it might not. The reality is that our military—the US military of which Chris Hernandez and my dad were a part—needs to practice war-games. This is unfortunate, but currently true. In order to do that, they need to have maps of the area that indicate what the situation is supposed be on the ground. In other words, in this area, will soldiers encounter enemies or allies?

          Don’t you think that’s important to know?

          • 90 Priscilla

            You keep mentioning your father’s service. I come from a family with military ties as well and have no anti-military animus.

          • My intent in mentioning that is to reassure you and anyone else that’s listening that I understand what the Air Force looks like from the inside. And respect our military personnel. One of my personal concerns is seeing that they are paid enough for their service to live above the poverty level. However, I’m also aware that military is not always noble or perfect. When my dad died, we got a check for ten grand and 30 days to pack up our belongings and get off the base. On the flip side, the VA put me through college and paid for my mother’s cancer treatment.

            My world view is not ones and zeroes, good or evil, and I want that understood by whomever I’m communicating with.

            And therein lies the point of the comment you responded to: conspiracists DO think in ones and zeroes. Something that is bad is all bad. The Government is bad and all its activities are filtered through that perception. Any good it does is discounted or seen as having an ulterior motive. There is no way to reason with that self-fulfilling mindset because a zero is always a zero. Even if the government gives Texas emergency funds to help recover from the floods, it is evil and there is an ulterior motive—perhaps trying to placate or coerce or convince Texans that it is not evil.

    • Priscilla, they’re always designated that way to mimic the sort of situation the troops will encounter on the ground in war zones. Take a look at the situation in Iraq and Syria. The territory held by hostiles is intermixed with areas where there may be civilian populations with ties to or leanings toward any side in the conflict.

      I know it’s popular in some circles to read something sinister into the designations, but when you’re doing a war exercise you have to try to emulate a likely scenario—which means that some areas are going to be designated hostile and others not and others unknown.

      California is a famously “blue” state, and San Diego has a large military population because of the naval base there. Arizona—a politically conservative state—is labeled “leaning friendly” and New Mexico (politically more liberal) is leaning unfriendly. In other words, the political real world leanings of the states do not seem to align with some conspiracists’ idea that conservative states are necessarily hostile.

      What do you construe the designations to mean and why do you find them interesting?

  31. 93 Priscilla

    Has a city other than Boston been on lock down before or was that situation unique? Again, I am only curious. I honestly don’t know.

  32. 94 Priscilla

    Pineland looks and sounds a lot like NC. How silly of people to think it might represent NC.

    • It doesn’t. It represents a fictional country.

    • Yes, Priscilla, it is silly. North Carolina is already a member state of this nation and has been for over two centuries. It is filled with law-abiding American citizens some of whom I know very well and who are not prone to seditious behavior.

      Why would anyone believe for a moment that the federal government (all three branches of it) would countenance using unnecessary violence against a member state of this nation?

      Again, the BIG QUESTION: WHY? Why would “the government” do this?

  33. 97 Priscilla

    Have any states been designated enemy territory in military exercises before?

  34. 98 Priscilla

    Oops, I mean fictional states?

  35. 99 Priscilla

    Here’s another oopsie. Officer killed in Robin Sage.

    “An officer was killed and another soldier injured 23 February 2002 in a training exercise near Fort Bragg when a sheriff’s deputy shot them in what has been called “a tragic case of mistaken identity and fatal misunderstanding.” 1st Lt. Tallas Tomeny, 31, was killed when Deputy Randall Butler from the Sheriff’s Office in Moore County, N.C., shot him after an attempt to subdue him with pepper spray failed. Sgt. Stephen Phelps, 25, also shot by Butler during the incident, is listed in fair condition at First Health of the Carolinas in Pinehurst, NC. The two soldiers thought Butler was a participant in the training exercise known as Robin Sage.

    The use of local law enforcement in Robin Sage is not uncommon. The use of civilians allows for realistic portrayal of a native population during Robin Sage, which takes place in the notional country of “Pineland.” “Some of the auxiliary are in fact police officers

    When he pulled them over, Butler noticed the soldiers were carrying a bag with a partially disassembled M-4 carbine rifle. Tomeny and Phelps were wearing civilian clothes at the time to avoid detection during their mission. Deputy Butler acted with the belief that he was in imminent danger and responded according to his training. The soldiers were convinced that the police officer was role playing in the exercise, and they were acting as part of a legitimate training exercise.”

    • This would suggest that it’s the military personnel who are in danger from civilians and not the other way around.

      • 101 Priscilla

        This would suggest an exercise on this scale is rife with opportunity for mischance. It is tragedy whether the death was military or civilian.

        • Then perhaps it’s time to put Isaiah’s prophecy into effect: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they practice war anymore.” (That was from memory so the exact verse escapes me—chapter 2, I believe).

          So, let’s not have our soldiers practice large scale operations. That should solve the problem, right?

          • 103 Priscilla

            An argument could be made for not having large scale operations in civilian areas, although I am not making that argument.

          • You say your’e not making the argument that the military should not train in the US. What argument are you making?

  36. 105 Priscilla

    @75. All right, I’ll grant you that, but people are only using inductive reasoning. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, talks like a duck…has its limitations, but does not make them window-licking morons. Also, isn’t there a difference between “war zone” and “enemy territory”?
    So again, is this use of the term “enemy” in reference to a “notional” state unprecedented?

    • Of course it’s not unprecedented. This exercise is training for war. Against an enemy. What’s sinister about mentioning an enemy is training for war?

  37. 107 Priscilla

    And was the Boston lock down unprecedented?

  38. 110 Priscilla

    You cannot have the government doing creepy things and then chide the people when they suspect the government is up to creepy things.

    • There’s a difference between creepy things (phone surveillance, for example, which at least has a genesis connected with the government’s realistic fear of terrorism) and holocaust-level evil things like rounding people up (in this case. for no legitimate reason) and detaining them. Or inviting Chinese troops (or ISIS) to invade a portion of the United States. We are, for one thing, at war with ISIS—hence the training exercise.

      There is a logical—if not always reasonable—set of steps that lead from fear of real terrorists to phone surveillance. There is NO such logical or reasonable set of steps that lead from phone surveillance to pogroms carried out by a government against a broad cross section of its own people.

      Our armed forces have their hands full dealing with real terrorists both at home and abroad. There is no rational reason for dislike of this administration to take this particularly bizarre form.

      I have yet to hear any of these folks articulate WHY the federal government, as a multi-faceted entity, would put Texas under marshall law. The only thing approaching credibility is the idea that they are trying to send a message to the ISIS camps some believe are set up along our border with Mexico. But if that were the case, shouldn’t the people of Texas welcome Jade Helm as a means of scaring the bejeepers out of a scary enemy?

      • 112 Priscilla

        People see drills of civilian round up, people don’t trust government, you do the math.


        • We practice for earthquakes here in California. In Nebraska we practiced (a lot) for tornadoes. Hospitals practice for mass injuries for emergency response.

          Let’s assume we need to prepare for the possibility of another strike on American soil. Part of a military response to something like 9-11 is to get civilians out of harm’s way to safe places. I don’t about you, but I would hope the people charged with my family’s care in that situation HAD PRACTICED what they were going to have to do. I would hope they practiced enough to do it automatically when a real crisis occurred.

          I’m going back to Occam’s Razor here. When there is a real, rational, reasonable, logical, humanitarian reason for such activities why do we try so hard to find irrationally evil reasons for them? There is NOTHING the least bit sinister about that practice. It makes as much sense to suppose there is as it does to suppose that when local hospitals here have earthquake drills their real intent is to actually mangle the people who volunteer, to cremate anyone who doesn’t make it in the hospital incinerator and to cause amnesia in those who survive.

          BIG QUESTION, again, Priscilla: WHY?

        • Two more things: 1) Drills with civilians are—by themselves—reasonable and necessary. So, no problem there.

          2) The reasons that I’ve seen proposed as to why people distrust government now more than they did during the last military exercises are not rational or logical.

          Here’s the math: 0 + 0 = 0

          • 117 Priscilla

            That’s your opinion. I see a convergence of events which could lead to a rational increase in distrust. I don’t think it’s that difficult to make the connection.

          • If it’s not that hard to make the connection, by all means, make it. I would expect to see a pattern of behavior that shows a tendency to send in the troops when there is an “uprising” by freedom-loving people.

            For example, the way The Government swooped in and took care of the militiamen at the Bundy Ranch or the way it has moved to force the militiamen in Oregon to surrender so they can pack them off to FEMA camps and take the mine in question away from its owner. Or perhaps the way The Government has cracked down on Open Carry groups in Texas, or banned the NRA or jailed anyone who speaks out against these tyrannies.

            You see the problem here? The sort of behavior that logically might lead a reasonable person to expect something similar might happen in Texas at this time does not exist. In fact, that The Government refrained from action in the cases in which there have been potentially violent conflicts between citizen militias and authorities, makes the idea that it would “take over” Texas where there has been no particular problem seem even more absurd.

            Where is the pattern of Government takeovers? The last government to put people in concentration camps was during WWII—74 years ago.

            The reality is, again, that the President (the real source of concern, if we are honest) does not have the level of authority or personal power it would take for him to unilaterally declare war on Texas (if he even wanted to), or move a significant portion of military resources to take over Texas and rout its citizens (again for what reason?) without anyone else in government being the wiser or offering objection.

            This displays a stunning amount of ignorance about how the federal government works. Or how reality works. Or how good storytelling works. It’s like writing a murder mystery. There have to be certain pieces in place namely: weapon, motive, and opportunity. In this case, the weapon has a mind of its own, the motive is completely absent, and opportunity relies on no one else noticing what’s going on.

  39. 119 Priscilla

    Bottom line: a significant segment of the population had concerns about Jade Helm, ranging from the practical to the outre. Gov. Abbott chose to address these concerns, rather than mock them. This is good governance and good politics, not tin foil hattery. So, maybe you should apologize to Gov. Abbott for ragging on him. Just kidding about that last part!

    • So if a bunch of window-licking morons have concerns about the federal government poisoning us with chemtrails, should Abbott mobilize the State Guard to watch the sky?

      • 121 Priscilla

        Before I could possibly evaluate their concerns, I would need to understand the reasons behind their concerns. I have no clue about that, since I don’t follow chemtrail stories. I do follow the news somewhat, so I understand concerns about Jade Helm; as I said, some are merely practical, some are really out there. I haven’t studied Gov. Abbott’s statement, but I doubt he said the exercises will be monitored due to the possibility the military is going to force everyone into FEMA camps after martial law is declared. If there was credible evidence that chemtrails are poisonous and people were concerned, yes, the State Guard should watch the sky. It seems to me that there is a possibility for mischance during this exercise, just as in Robin Sage, but on an even larger scale, therefore reasonable concern.

    • A significant portion of the population? How significant?

      The population of Texas is roughly 27 million. How many of those 27 million are concerned that Jade Helm is more than a military exercise?

      Yes, people might have practical concerns about traffic patterns or interruptions in business etc, but this isn’t the first time this sort of exercise has been carried out in this part of the country. In fact, Texas’ support of previous exercises was one of the things that caused the military to place Jade Helm there in the first place. They expected to receive the same sort of support they had previously.

      If we were to draw a distinction between the practical fears (what is this going to mean for my business?) and the outré—what’s the ratio? The practical concerns can be addressed by referring to previous such exercises which have evidently been a boon to local businesses. The paranoid fears of military take-overs (again, for what purpose?) cannot be calmed by reason. If they could be, they never would have arisen in the first place, right?

      • 124 Priscilla

        How can I know the ratio of practical to outre? Apparently enough people contacted their representatives or the governor’s office for Abbott to write the letter. I think very few people are actually concerned about Walmart and the sillier aspects of the objections to the exercise but the media likes to portray them that way. You know NPR is never going to give conservatives a fair shake.

        • 125 Priscilla

          Rereading the NPR article, yes, it is defintely slanted and sarcastic in tone. More propaganda.

        • Many of those people, as I noted, had concerns about traffic, business disruption, etc. That had nothing to do with conspiracy theories. Their concerns were understandable. As someone who lived in an area favored by Hollywood folks for commercials and movies, I can commiserate with the very real concern that the presence of a war game might deprive my business of the tourist traffic that it depends on for survival. That is completely different from the out and out fear of military takeover.

          NPR, for what it’s worth, has a listenership that is balanced at about 1/3 liberal/progressive, 1/3 progressive and 1/3 independent. Of all the news outlets I’ve sampled, their coverage tends in the main to be the most in-depth, the most neutral, and the least sensationalized. When I read articles from whatever source, I tend to redact adjectives, colorful verbs and adverbs. It’s a quick way of seeing if there’s any there there. NPR uses fewer of those types of color components in their reporting than do other outlets.

          Having said that, it’s difficult to report on “some of the sillier aspects of the objections” as you eloquently put it, and not portray those objections as silly.
          Indeed, if you watched Lt. Col. Lastoria’s briefing, you will have seen those silly aspects in verbal and written form. No second hand portrayals necessary.

          It should be noted, though, that Wade Goodwyn’s article (I assume that’s the article you’re referring to) is political commentary, not reportage. And yes, he does indulge in sarcasm, alas.

  40. 128 Priscilla

    @ 66. Maya, snuck is past tense for sneak in Texasspeak. It snuck in there because comments do not post in sequence due to moderation ( not evidence of a conspiratorial mindset, heh heh).

    • 129 ScotM

      Priscilla, I don’t mean to nitpick, but your replies to certain previous comments might make a little more sense if you utilize the “reply” link under each comment.

      • 130 Priscilla

        @84. The entire notional state is the enemy? Or the entire notional state is a war zone containing enemies? See the difference?

      • 131 Priscilla

        Thank you, Scott. I didn’t notice that.

  41. 132 Priscilla

    @74 California may be blue, but the SPLC says it has more patriot extremist groups than any other state.
    I don’t construe the designations to mean anything in particular, but I can see why some might be offended.

  42. 133 Joe in PNG

    And one more thing- there is a big difference from flinging out “Gee Whiz” facts, and making a coherent argument.
    Here’s another bit of homework- look into the actual histories of how tyrannical governments arise.

  43. 135 Priscilla

    It seems you believe very strongly in the notion “it can’t happen here”.
    Food for thought:
    “Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms.”
    “Where some people are very wealthy and others have nothing, the result will be either extreme democracy or absolute oligarchy, or despotism will come from either of those excesses.”
    “Dictatorship arises naturally out of democracy, and the most aggravated form of tyranny and slavery out of the most extreme liberty.”
    “If ever the free institutions of America are destroyed, that event may be attributed to the unlimited power of the majority.”
    De Tocqueville
    “I am trying to imagine under what novel features despotism may appear in the world. In the first place, I see an innumerable multitude of men, alike and equal, constantly circling around in pursuit of the petty and banal pleasures with which they glut their souls. Each one of them, withdrawn into himself, is almost unaware of the fate of the rest….
    Over this kind of men stands an immense, protective power which is alone responsible for securing their enjoyment and watching over their fate. That power is absolute, thoughtful of detail, orderly, provident, and gentle. It would resemble parental authority if, fatherlike, it tried to prepare charges for a man’s life, but on the contrary, it only tries to keep them in perpetual childhood. It likes to see the citizens enjoy themselves, provided that they think of nothing but enjoyment. It gladly works for their happiness but wants to be sole agent and judge of it. It provides for their security, foresees and supplies their necessities, facilitates their pleasure, manages their principal concerns, directs their industry, makes rules for their testaments, and divides their inheritances. Why should it not entirely relieve them from the trouble of thinking and all the cares of living?
    Thus it daily makes the exercise of free choice less useful and rarer, restricts the activity of free will within a narrower compass, and little by little robs each citizen of the proper use of his own faculties. Equality has prepared men for all this, predisposing them to endure it and often even regard it as beneficial.
    Having thus taken each citizen in turn in its powerful grasp and shaped him to its will, government then extends its embrace to include the whole of society. It covers the whole of social life with a network of petty complicated rules that are both minute and uniform, through which even men of the greatest originality and the most vigorous temperament cannot force their heads above the crowd. It does not break men’s will, but softens, bends, and guides it; it seldom enjoins, but often inhibits, action; it does not destroy anything, but prevents much being born; it is not at all tyrannical, but it hinders, restrains, enervates, stifles, and stultifies so much that in the end each nation is no more than a flock of timid and hardworking animals with the government as its shepherd.”
    De Tocqueville
    “Today though, we need to recognise that we are in a very different situation. First of all, recent events demonstrate that liberal democracy can itself devolve into a mode of tyranny. One can suggest that this is for a concatenation of reasons: an intrinsic indifference to truth, as opposed to majority opinion, means in practice that the manipulation of opinion will usually carry the day. Then governments tend to discover that the manipulation of fear is more effective than the manipulation of promise…”
    John Milbank

    • 136 Priscilla

      Talk about your fear porn!

      • 137 Priscilla

        Which absolutely comes from both sides.

        • 138 Priscilla

          So agaiin, bottom line: a signicant segment of the population had concerns about Jade Helm, ranging from the practical to the outre. Gov. Abbott chose to address these concerns, rather than mock them. This is good governance and good politics, not tin foil hattery. Perhaps you are overreacting to a reaction.

    • 140 Priscilla

      We are discussing a hypothetical, aren’t we, so political philosophy, as well as history, may apply?

      • 141 Priscilla

        And even if you wanted to base your premise solely on historical examples, I am sure I could find plenty of parralels in historical fact that align with people’s fears today. I’m just too tired of this discussion to do the research.

      • 142 Joe in PNG

        History & culture are better guides. You can find any half baked, discredited political philosophy at the dollar store on discount.
        Secondly, you never ever get around to presenting a coherent, scientific argument in an orderly manner. The most we get is either “Gee Whiz” facts, usually taken out of context, or non-relevant philosophic quotes

        But, that’s the problem- keep it fuzzy and undefined, and one can never really ever disprove things. One never really has to do the hard work of investigating the facts, since a blurry youtoob video, or a facebook post is enough. One never has to worry about being wrong, because one never really approaches anything that can be nailed down as right. Unless one is a lunatic or charlatan that ignores previous wrong predictions.

        Now, if one was to set their theory down in a coherent, scientific fashion, one does risk being wrong. A good part of proper scientific investigation is that one actively works to disprove one’s thesis- stating it in risky fashion, looking for evidence against as much as for, and being willing to discard questionable elements.

        • 143 Priscilla

          1. People had concerns about Jade Helm, practical and otherwise.
          2. The governor addressed those concerns.
          3. Being responsive and responsible to his constituents is good
          governance and good politics.
          Those are my only points. Well, those and that people can have reasonable doubts about government/media narratives.
          The Governor’s decision to monitor Jade Helm was the topic of Chris’s article. It was an opinion piece. I gave my opinion. I don’t understand what theory you are expecting me to defend. This has been an interesting and edifying discussion, but you can have the last word now.

          • 144 Priscilla

            Except I can’t resist-you consider Aristotle, Plato and Alexis de Tocqueville “half baked” and “discredited”? Ok, now you can have the last word.

    • Totalitarianism doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Having studied the Roman Empire extensively and looking at world trends, I am a great proponent of the idea that those who forget history are doomed. Period. Full stop.

      It’s not just repeating history that is at issue, though that is a function of failing to see the patterns in history. There is also apparently a tendency to misread those patterns entirely or to fabricate patterns where none exist.

      The patterns that have historically presaged the appearance of a repressive absolute government are absent in America at this time. The fractious nature of our government and the willingness of different segments of the American people to arise swiftly in protest (as well as the speed with which news travels) is not part of the pattern leading up to the sort of draconian governance that all but broke the Roman Empire or that we are seeing in other parts of the world. Again, I cite the Cliven Bundy debacle and the current drama going on in Oregon.

      Two of the elements necessary for the sort of absolutist government some people seem to fear are 1) an acquiescent or apathetic people and 2) a group or individual within government with the authority and resources to either coerce or cow all other groups.

      Third century Roman emperor Diocletian, for example, led a government that ultimately rested on the supreme powers of four leaders (Tetrarchs) who protected each other’s authority and who shared common personal and political goals. Diocletian, it should be noted, kept his fellow Tetrarchs in line by personally “grooming” their sons for leadership, while keeping those young men under his direct control. You can see the implicit threat in that, I’m sure. The Senate (the people’s voice) was reduced to an ineffective shadow play and the persecution of Christians was a means of uniting a disaffected people by aiming them at a scapegoat. Christians, of course, got the last laugh when Constantine came to power.

      There are certainly nations in the world in which similar conditions exist. Ours is not one of them, however. And the fact that conspiracy theorists are allowed to shout their accusations publicly on the internet is a good indicator of that.

      I think Anna Quindlen got it right when she said that, “Ignorant free speech often works against the speaker. That is one of several reasons why it must be given rein instead of suppressed.”

  44. I’m not sure how many times I’ve asked why The Government (or the actual government) would want to “take over Texas” or declare martial law in Texas or herd people in to Wal-Marts or FEMA camps or any one of the various “takes” on Jade Helm.

    I have yet to have anyone supportive of these fears tender an answer. Would someone try to articulate this?

    The only reason that makes any sense is that the government is using the exercise to scare the ISIS operatives encamped along our southern border, but this rests on another unproven assertion—that such ISIS camps exist (and that the Mexican government is either unaware of them or doesn’t care.)

  45. 147 Priscilla

    The fear. I am not supporting it, simply pointing it out. Therefore, I do not need to defend it. How easy it is to Google or just surf the interwebz.

    • 148 Priscilla

      You’ve probably seen this. Again, not supporting, just calling it to your attention. Both links provided are possible answers to your question of why.

  46. 149 priscilla

    That was beautifully written, Maya. I would just have to say that although conspiracy theorists differ in the means, they are consistent as to the ends (or big WHY): to advance an agenda, whether gun control as in Sandy Hook or transforming America as in Jade Helm. One could also try this one on for size:
    There is one way in which the naive writer and the purveyor of government/media narratives differ. When a writer neglects to answer questions about the logical connections in her fiction, it may affect her ability to publish or, having published, to satisfy readers. The most dire impact is on the writer, herself. When government/media purveyors of narratives and those who buy into their narratives fail to ask those questions, the consequences can be far-reaching and destructive to society as a whole.
    Maybe the purveyors of the official narratives neglected to answer questions about the logical connections.

    • Priscilla, an imagined “agenda” is not an answer for the Big Why. When I write a narrative for a novel, the reader has to be able to follow the logic of that narrative. They have to know that X character is a certain way as shown by patterns of word and deed—all patterns, not just a half-read dialogue on page 3. They have to know that X has a particular goal. The steps X takes to achieve that goal must realistically be able to result in that goal.

      The conspiracy theories are based on:

      1) Imagining that the Government is comprised of individuals and groups that all want the same thing. I think you will agree that is not the case.
      2) Imagining what that one thing is: gun control for example. Again, not the case.
      3) Imagining that X activity will lead to the achievement of the goal. How does “taking over” Texas achieve any conceivable goal?

      All three of those points are based on supposition that is not supported by even one factual certainty. They rely entirely on The Government
      1) being this imaginary (and highly unrealistic) construct,
      2) its monolithic goals being what are imagined (and not rational goals such as improving the economy, getting resources to those who need them, protecting itself from enemies, etc) and finally,
      3) that the activity feared will actually, in a real world situation, achieve those goals.

      That’s three unsupported suppositions right there. And we’ve yet to establish a pattern of behavior by The Government that would rationally connect to a Texas Takedown.

      Then, we get to the fact that The Government did not propose draconian gun laws in the horrific wake of Sandy Hook, but only focused more intensely on background checks and mental health outcomes. In fact, though the expressed will of the majority of those asked was for stronger programs in both these areas, federal efforts in this area were far from forceful.

      And yet even with the alleged answers you give, we remain one step removed from the Big Why: Why does The Government want to confiscate all guns? That is, what is the purpose of it? Why does The Government want to “transform America” in ways that even my 12 year old understands would be completely disastrous economically, culturally and politically.

      That’s the question that remains unanswered: What does The Government (or the President) have to gain by taking over Texas militarily? What is the payoff?

      There is no insurrection in the state. The problems the state is experiencing with regard to immigration or women’s reproductive rights or open carry laws are not problems that any intelligent person would propose to “solve” militarily. President Obama is an intelligent man—why would he, for example, want to spark chaos in a major US state? There’s no realistic motive.

      So, the Big Why remains unanswered except to say that there are people in our midst who have difficulty assembling rational trains of thought and who are guided by fears and hostilities that make sense within their particular bubble and which will not easily admit reality or rationality to enter. Facts are irrelevant in that environment, alas. And the distrust and disunity are undermining this nation’s potential greatness.

      BTW, Priscilla was quoting from my blog at Book View Cafe today, which deals with the elements that conspiracy theories and poorly constructed story plots have in common: http://bookviewcafe.com/blog/2015/05/27/writers-vs-truthers-the-big-why/

      • 151 priscilla

        Well, the DOJ did attempt to manipulate public opinion with Fast and Furious, right? Three hundred Mexicans were killed with those guns. Was that a conspiracy? And if, in the aftermath of Sandy Hook, gun control victory was not achieved, at least progress was made incrementally and a ton of money was raised for the cause, right? And I don’t know if Jade Helm misgivings should actually be considered a conspiracy theory, since the event has not yet taken place. At any rate, it’s not irrational to try to fill in information gaps and make sense of dubious stories. If “the government” and media want to be credible with the public, they need to clean up their act.

        • 152 priscilla

          The ultimate purpose would be power (or tyranny). Why would anyone want that? Who knows, but history is replete with case studies.

          • Power or tyranny? That simplistic and vague a goal wouldn’t work in a serious piece of fiction, let alone real life.

            Again, please address the point that The Government is not a single entity. It’s not Emperor Diocletian—a man used to having things his own way—who was faced with a disintegrating empire that had grown too large for him to govern on his own. His Big Why was keeping his empire intact and raising up leaders who could do that while remaining loyal to him. You see? Step by step. A rational progression of ideas.

            Let’s say there is one man in the government whose goal is absolute power. Great. That might happen. But there’s an aphorism that makes a very good point about wanting something. A goal is something you want and are taking realistic steps to achieve; a fantasy is something you want. Period.

            There is no one man in our government with enough power, authority, personal charisma, clout or consensus around his ideas to grasp that kind of ultimate power.

            Fast and furious was a monumental failure. One that might have required only one person or small group of people dedicated to enriching themselves by selling those guns illegally. (If that hadn’t happened, it might have been hailed as a great success, who knows?) It was, in some ways, a jumbo version of stealing from the evidence locker, which happens in law enforcement often enough. Manipulating public opinion by essentially trying to cast a “don’t look here” spell over a failed attempt to catch illegal weapons dealers is light years from willfully staging a military “takeover” _of territory we already own_.

            Do you not see the paradox here? All your Texas are belong to us, already. The Government does not need to take it by force from itself. And trying to CYA in the wake of a humiliating defeat is not in the ballpark with an armed takeover of a large state.

            But let’s pursue this idea of Power as motive: how does said military takeover give The Government _usable_ power that it does not already have? There’s nothing to be gained. No more power will come to anyone by sending US troops into Texas to set up martial law. In fact, it would achieve the opposite effect and foment insurrection all over the country. It would destabilize the economy that the government has worked so hard to pull out of recession, and cost thousands of jobs. It would collapse entire companies, school systems, local governments and sports franchises. It would devastate a part of the country that we rely on for petroleum products and customer support of our Apple devices. Of course, it is arguable that Austin is really a stray bit of California that somehow fell into Texas, but I digress.

            No, vague notions of Power and Tyranny are not an answer to the Big Why. Nor are any such notions supported by the behavior of most government functionaries.

            Something I pointed out on Chris’ Sandy Hook thread about conspiracy theories applies here, as well. They do not account for dependencies that rational people are aware of but that the conspiracists are not. They do not, in essence, account for the size and complexity of real world systems.

            Most of the people who form our government (with a few exceptions) understand this complexity pretty well.

  47. By the way, Chris, I cited your two Jade Helm articles on my blog at Bookviewcafe.com this morning. 🙂

    • 155 ScotM

      Maya, speaking of citing, I know that what you say in this forum are “just comments” and not published works, but I absolutely love your logical approach to what you write. May I borrow some of them from here when I face the unfortunate task of trying to reason with people who buy into this nonsense about JH15?

      • 156 Priscilla

        Maya, Fast and Furious was not a botched operation, except in the sense that the DOJ and ATF got caught. You sort of glossed over that point.
        “But more details about who did what at the lowest levels–the operational architecture of these undertakings–still do not make Fast and Furious anything other than exactly what it appears to be—an under-the-table plan to supply the Administration with strong public support for more stringent gun regs and Mexico with the evidence it seeks to support Calderon’s claim re US weapons fueling Mexico’s drug violence. The simplest answer is usually the correct one. Let’s not forget …
        Occam’s Razor”
        Also some interesting ruminations on spin and government/media narratives.
        You seem to think the hubbub is about Obama (or one man). Absolutely, power is a motivating factor and an end to be achieved and organizations, parties, groups can pursue power just as well as megalomaniacs can. I have never seen any person or group with power want less of it, have you?
        Seems rather they are always attempting to consolidate or expand their power. I have a feeling you and I live in two different worlds, especially if you voted for Obama twice, so I’m done trying to demonstrate that one can have reasonable doubts about official narratives.

        • 157 Priscilla

          In no way did I ever say the Jade Helm “conspiracy theory”, if one exists, makes sense. I did say I understood people’s misgivings about the exercise.

        • Even Darrelll Issa refers to Fast and Furious as a “botched gun-walking” operation. The operation was undertaken against advisement, certainly, but I’d argue that your use of Occam’s Razor is inverted. A convoluted plan to get weapons to a specific party south of the border is far more complex than an attempt to catch gun runners and drug lords that went pear-shaped.

          Regardless of that, my intent in following up on your mention of F&F was that it is out of scale with a military takeover of Texas. In view of your assertion that you are not promoting belief in the conspiracy narratives, but only commenting on the reasonability of believing them, I have to say, again, that it is not reasonable to leap from a cover up of a botched gun-walking operation to martial law in Texas. It’s not only out of scale, the two things do not share a context.

          I mention President Obama because it is more logical to assume that a single individual in government has nefarious plans than it is to believe that The Government as a single entity has such plans. In either case, it is as irrational to grant one man magical powers (either for good or ill) as it is to believe our government, and all institutions and all agencies necessary to pull off such a coup are working to a single purpose (which we still don’t know).

          You ask if I’ve ever known anyone who wants less power. Yes. I have and do know individuals who have no interest in personal power. Many of them. Some of them are members of administrative bodies that make decisions for a global faith community. Can you open your mind to the idea that not everyone wants absolute power and that people in positions of authority might sincerely desires to use what power they possess for the good of others and the community as a whole?

          In other words, I think most people—even politicians and statesmen—are capable of real human empathy. I think few of them are so drunk with lust for power that they become irrational monsters capable of the sort of evil that is routinely believed of Barack Obama by some individuals.

          But you say you don’t believe it’s about one man. Fine. It’s about The Government—a single-minded, single-purposed entity that is unified in its desire to destroy the people of Texas. For no apparent reason.

          That entity does not exist, Priscilla. And we both know this. So, what we’re left with is that there is no rational reason for the conspiracy narratives to exist. They are born out of irrational fear and hostility toward … something.

      • ScotM: permission granted, with humble thanks. Any day I can promote reason is a good day.

        I’m hoping to put together a blog on my personal website that goes into this directly (as opposed to the articles on Book View Cafe’s blog, which relate story plots to conspiracy narratives.)

        Plotting novels has given me a deep appreciation of logic. I deal often (as in right now) have to deal with such things as how and where one might hide a secret paramilitary installation or how to conceal a paramilitary black ops unit inside a legit military unit without the Pentagon being the wiser. Even on my best days of crafting conspiracy narratives, I have to gloss over reality and pray the reader doesn’t decide they can no longer suspend their disbelief.

        In other words, constructing a coherent narrative that relies on the impossible or merely improbable being “real” (in the fictional world) is not easy. 🙂

  48. 161 Priscilla

    Mr. Nudge himself.

  49. 162 Priscilla

    Download Sunstein’s file. He just about covers it all.

  1. 1 Writers vs Truthers: The Big WHY | Book View Cafe Blog

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