The Joke Writes Itself


Patrick is a mid-40 year old geek with an undergraduate degree in mathematics and a master's degree in Information Systems. Nothing he says here has anything to do with the official position of his employer or any other institution.

Related Post Roulette

29 Responses

  1. LWA says:

    But Bernie Sanders is the extremist not to be taken seriously.Report

  2. That comes directly from a Texas Ranger, who seems pretty plugged in, if you ask me.

    Josh Hamilton.Report

  3. Will Truman says:

    Here’s a less redneck-gawky version of what’s going on:

    Others may just have been wondering whether to make note of any planned amphibious landings at Lost Pines, or trying to assess the risk of cross-fire at Buc-ees.

    [That] type of concern is not deranged, especially coming from civilians who may have had little personal experience with the military or military personnel. And Abbott’s announcement is apparently in response to such concerns, rather than those being fueled by the right-wing fear machine. His letter to the commander of the Texas State Guard casts their role as mostly a matter of public relations; to paraphrase, Abbott notes that US Special Operations Command has already assured the state that there will be no risks to the safety of residents, or their rights, but he wants the Texas State Guard to keep an eye on the situation, just in case. (This is why, somewhat perversely, the letter has only agitated the most serious conspiracy theorists, who suspect that Abbott, already complicit in the plot against freedom, is trying to pull the wool further over everyone’s eyes.)

    Activating the Texas State Guard in such a situation would entail some costs to the state (from current appropriations) and I wouldn’t call it the best use of state resources. Other than that, though, I don’t really see the harm. If the presence of state troops is in itself unduly menacing, the same could be said of the Navy SEALs. If national observers see the announcement as overtly contentious, I suppose that’s their prerogative, but maybe they can take comfort in the fact that Texas’s new governor thinks state government has a role to play in providing government oversight. And either way, there’s a silver lining: this simulation is off to a great start!



    • CK MacLeod in reply to Will Truman says:

      harumph, guess I’ll have to go back to my initial reply… but thanks for calming things down…

      Seems to be case of somewhat-more-nearly-reasonable-but-still-paranoid liberal paranoia regarding rightwing paranoiaReport

    • So when former Lt. Gov Dewhurst tells Texas to chill because

      As I reflect on the several hundred officers and enlisted men I personally met this week, I can enthusiastically say each and every one is an American patriot who serves our country with distinction. They love their country and they’re willing to die to defend your liberties. Unfortunately, some Texans have projected their legitimate concerns about the competence and trustworthiness of President Barack Obama onto these noble warriors.

      we can see there’s no ODS going on at all.Report

      • Who says that there is no ODS going on? The article I link to says as much.

        That doesn’t really excuse the atrocious NPR article’s portrayal of what Abbott is doing.Report

        • The article you link says that, sure there are loonies, but Abbott and the serious people aren’t pandering to them. Dewhurst is either a loony or a panderer, and he was formerly the second-highest-ranking offiical in Texas.Report

          • I don’t see how Dewhurst is doing either. He’s seems to me to be saying that they’re wrong.Report

            • Because the soldiers are good guys who won’t do what Obama really wants them to.Report

            • Also, I’m not sure she says anything about “serious people” or state leaders broadly. I follow her mostly because she does some good energy-economy reporting, but she spends the bulk of her time being pretty critical of the state leaders. In this case, though, she believes that there is actually a more reasonable explanation.

              Which, it seems to me, there is. I don’t know, maybe Abbott is completely pandering. I’m not plugged in enough to know. But at least Grieder’s narrative of events doesn’t contain the sneering idiocy (and notable inaccuracies) of the NPR one.Report

              • Morat20 in reply to Will Truman says:

                Living in Texas, and having people I personally know freak out fairly publically on Facebook (it ranges from “OMG DEATH CAMPS” to “This sounds really bad”) with a metric ton of paranoid and totally misquided fear….

                Look, most Texans give zero craps about this because they know it’s a bog-standard military exercise that happens all the time. A minority — one probably a lot bigger than you think — is somewhere between worried and freaking out over there, certain the death of America is at hand.

                In THAT particular atmosphere, saying “We’ll tag a bunch of pretend soldiers to watch them” is, frankly, pandering.

                Not pandering is “It’s a military exercise, it happens ALL THE TIME, ALL OVER THE COUNTRY and nobody should be even vaguely alarmed. 99% of Texans won’t see a single flipping soldier the whole time, and nobody is doing anything remotely interesting. It’s a bunch of soldiers doing training. That’s ALL.”

                Because that’s what needs to be said, at a minimum. That those worried are worried needlessly. (Honestly, what’s really needed is a “WTF? Are you stupid? Jesus” comment, but that’s not very good politics). Saying “We’ll have some of Texas’s faux soldiers watch” says “Oh, well, you have legitimate concerns that I feel are probably groundless, but let’s be careful”.

                Adults would say “Your fears are baseless, stupid, and rooted in paranoid, grow up”. Pandering is “Oh, I understand your fears, let me take them seriously and comfort you”.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Morat20 says:

                It’s the moral equivalent of “Don’t worry, after you fall asleep, I’ll come in every so often to check the closet for monsters.”Report

              • Dewhurst is pandering, or, who knows, he actually believes that Obama can’t be trusted not to declare himself a dictator. If a Democratic officeholder had said the same about Bush, he’d never be taken seriously again, but no one says anything these days if a Republican is batshit . It’s the soft bigotry of low expectations.Report

  4. Morat20 says:

    I dunno, I’m watching some of my more conservative acquaintances crap themselves over this. It’s not “Oh goodness, it might cause some roadblocks and/or inconvenience in my life”. There’s a very paranoid edge to it, a true worry that the gubmnit is coming for them.

    None who have actually served in the military, whose response has entirely been “Dude, how do you think we practice for our jobs? We do this all the time. ALL THE TIME.”

    Abbot, honestly, should have just said “Calm the heck down, guys. Seriously, wtf” instead of pandering, even an iota, to their concerns. It’s not a moment to say anything ambiguous. It’s the time to tell idiots they’re being idiotic.Report

    • Notme in reply to Morat20 says:


      Actually those jobs are usually practiced on a military base not in public. This is one reason why most army installations are so large. Take Fort McCoy in wisc. The army spent a lot of money creating fake foreign villages and towns. They only thing they didnt capture was the smell.Report

      • Morat20 in reply to Notme says:

        Ever seen 200+ trucks in green camo rattling down a highway? Complete with escort?

        They’re practicing (training, whatever) convoys. There’s plenty of stuff you can’t practice on base. Or can’t practice effectively.Report

        • Notme in reply to Morat20 says:


          Ive never seen a convoy that large. The ones i have seen on the road are generally taking people, vehicles and material from point a to point b. Military vehicles general dont leave the base unless they really need to, if for no other reason than the amount of paperwork goes up.Report

  5. LWA says:

    As if this were totally disconnected to the constant drumbeat of deranged paranoia from the right over guns, Ameros, guns, black helicopters, guns, death panels, guns, the knock knock game, guns, IRS targeting Tea Party groups, guns, Social Security Administration stockpiling billions of bullets, guns, FEMA camps, guns, birth certificates, guns, HPV injections, guns, fluoride, guns, Agenda 21,, Sharia Law, and oh yes, guns.

    I mean, after several decades of constant fearmongering about shadowy conspiracies, are we surprised that this bubbles to the surface?Report

  6. Stillwater says:

    “Your letter pandering to idiots … has left me livid,” former State Rep. Todd Smith wrote Gov. Abbott. “I am horrified that I have to choose between the possibility that my Governor actually believes this stuff and the possibility that my Governor doesn’t have the backbone to stand up to those who do.”

    Well, there’s at least one conservative in Texas I can agree with.Report

  7. Joe Sal says:

    And less than 24 hours later, the joke is somehow less funny.

    Tell me again about the good colonels crux of special unit training having to do with “shirts” and “shoes” of commoners.Report

  8. Kolohe says:

    Stupid rednecks. Don’t they know that only left-wingers are allowed to object to military exercises in the American Southwest?Report

    • Stillwater in reply to Kolohe says:


      Here’s a snip from the first link you provide, Kolohe:

      Tucson anti-war activist Jim Byrne shared, “We are here to denounce the collaboration of the NATO militaries during their training – for maintaining war and violence. We oppose the disgusting trend of the militarization of state and local police, who more and more look like professional armies.

      The purpose of that protest was to bring attention to and publicly denounce military violence and the militarization of our police. I thought those were goals you agreed with, K. (Am I wrong?)

      Of course, the main point is that not all objections are the same, unless you’re a libertarian who wants to reinforce the blithering Both Sides Are Exactly The Same nonsense.Report

  9. Jaybird says:

    Given that NPR totally botched the coverage of this, are there any other recent events in Texas where the jokes write themselves?Report