Friday, May 8, 2015

Jade Helm and the Specter of Government Takeover

Jade Helm isn't really stirring up anything new. It's just providing a convenient lodestone for all the crazy that's already out there. Years ago, when I was driving on the stretch of I-35E between Dallas and Waxahachie, there were billboards -- big ones! -- with pictures of soldiers and tanks. "Could U.N. Troops Occupy Texas?" asked one. (Answer: No. U.N. troops can't keep order in an economically-collapsed country roughly the size of Rhode Island. They wouldn't stand a chance in Texas.) Another sign announced, "Marshall Law is coming!" (I don't know who Marshall Law is; I presume he's the rural equivalent of Judge Dredd.)

There was a phone number. I called it. The minister who answered sounded painfully embarrassed, but he insisted that the Bible said that this stuff was really going to happen. I explained about the need to verify one's spelling choices before purchasing large and presumably-expensive billboards with one's phone number on them. He thanked me stiffly and hung up.

There are people who are genuinely scared of this. (I suspect there are also people who are genuinely excited by it -- or at least excited by the prospect of taking up arms and turning back the tide. I further suspect that a lot of these are the same people.) They may not know how to spell Martial Law; they may not be entirely clear on what Martial Law actually is; they may not realize that the federal government has no need to take over Texas, since it already did so back in 1845 at the request of Texas. But they are out there, and they've been out there a long time.


  1. He's not quite Judge Dredd, but there's a similar sensibility (and a lot more making fun of superheroes.)

  2. Of course he is. Of course he is. How the &*^%$ did I not realize that someone would have -- someone must have -- taken that thought and run with it already?

    That is sublimely awesome. Or awesomely sublime. Possibly both.

  3. I've only been in Texas once and that was driving through the pan handle on the way to New Mexico. I think I can die happily not visiting again.

  4. Screw that comic series, this will always be the real Marshall Law!

    -Big A (for some reason blogger simply will not let me login with any credentials)

  5. When I was a miniature fundamentalist, there weren't a whole lot of people around who believed "the U.N. takes over the world and ushers in the End of Days as described in Revelation," but it was within the Overton window. And that was in the Pacific Northwest, not even Texas.

    A few months ago, an International Law professor prophesied that some who were listening that day would not taste death until they saw the coming of a government over all the earth.
    (What he actually said was "it'll happen eventually, you guys are probably going to be around to see it," but I like my formulation better.)

    I have been just waiting for a chance to tell some premillennial dispensationalists about this.

  6. Big A: Obviously I don't play enough Tekken, either.

    Nate Gabriel: They tend to cluster together down here. I don't think there are a whole lot of them, but where you find one, you tend to find more.


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