Vail Daily column: Tea party embarrassing Texas, again |

Vail Daily column: Tea party embarrassing Texas, again

Jade Helm 15 is the code name for a U.S. Special Operations exercise that will be held in Texas and six other states for eight weeks this summer. This joint training exercise of Special Forces with the Army, Navy and Air Force’s elite soldiers is spread throughout the Southwest to provide troops a wide variety of terrain to conduct the drills.

The uproar surrounding this exercise on public and private land (all pre-approved) began when an extremist’s website called Infowars acquired an Official Training Map (a public document) that had two of the states labeled as enemy: Texas and Utah.

This nutjob website (which just happens to sell survivalist gear and “vitamins”) chose to ignore the word “training,” instead promoting the idea that it is really a cover for a military takeover and the implementation of martial law, specifically in the state of Texas (evidently redneck-free Utah is being spared, for now).


Look, if you believe one single headline … without bothering to spend 60 seconds doing a little “deep” research yourself, then you deserve every bit of paranoid restlessness and fear-induced purchasing that you do.

Tie this in with the proverbial Wal-Mart factor, and you have yourself a nice little compact conspiracy theory.

A few Texas Wal-Marts were recently closed, albeit temporarily according to the company, for renovation, along with a few others across the nation, and apparently the military is going to turn them into forward operation bases and political prisoner processing centers.

And then an anonymous Texas Ranger officer (I’m shocked, shocked I tell you, that he was anonymous) wrote on a survivalist website that a colleague of his had seen “train cars equipped with shackles,” and they were going to be “utilized for dissident roundups.”

Yes, and I have a friend who swears an uncle on his mother’s side in Boston has a third cousin whose best friend saw Tom Brady stick a needle in a football just before throwing it to Aaron Hernandez for a touchdown.

Adding more fuel to the frivolous fire, Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the Texas State Guard (not to be confused with the Texas Army National Guard) to monitor and be on the alert, just in case.

Look, if you believe one single headline from websites like Infowars, Conservative Tribune, Conservative Post, Right Wing News, Red Flag News, Eagle Rising and World Net Daily without bothering to spend 60 seconds doing a little “deep” research yourself, then you deserve every bit of paranoid restlessness and fear-induced purchasing that you do.


The vast majority of native Texans are thoroughly embarrassed by their state government, as not everyone in Texas is a crazy, ignorant, right wing radical. But those belonging to that particular category are the most fearful among us and afraid of pretty much everything, like other races, religions, nations, cultures, sexual orientations, football teams, etc.

This is little more than NRA sponsored hype to keep its members on the edge of the cliff, which conveniently sits perpendicular to a gun store offering member discounts. You would think that after six years, some of these fear-mongering buffoons would figure out that Obama is not going to show up on their doorstep to take their guns, and not because of their vigilance to protect the Second Amendment, but because it was never on anyone’s to-do list in the first place.

At least some of them, right?


A sad result, when the federal military takeover fails to materialize, will be Gov. Abbott and these other idiots taking credit for stopping the invasion.

Either way, I look forward to the first snowflakes next September. Not just for the beauty and excitement of another ski season, but because this laughably implausible conspiracy theory will have finally be put out to pasture with all the others.

Richard Carnes of Edwards writes weekly. He can be reached at

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