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How Did I Miss That? Texas Invaded; Deer Destroy Cars

This week’s column comes to you from occupied Texas, where Operation Jade Helm 15 swept the patriots of the Texas State Guard aside and shipped the Texas Legislature to a concentration camp located in a defunct Wal-Mart near Pecos.

The Washington Post, like the rest of the lamestream media, claimed that Jade Helm went off without incident and the Texas government remains where it usually is, surrounded by the crazed hippies who run the People’s Republic of Austin.

The real truth survives in social media, where Ray Bowie tweeted, “my family was just imprisoned and microchipped by jade helm soldiers. Im so angry im shaking. never felt so violated in my life. this is no longer american.”

One patriotic website reported that the entire population of Clint, Texas was taken into custody by Jade Helm soldiers and threatened with indefinite detention if they did not submit to RFID implantation.

Uber-patriot Allen West reminded right-thinking people that the worry about Jade Helm 15 was that it “was laying the groundwork for martial law—if not now, then sometime in the future.”

I went to ask my Republican cousin Ray Sixkiller what we should do about the military occupation of Texas, but he was busy playing Texas Hold-em with some of the soldiers and he just wanted me to make another pitcher of margaritas.

While the Jade Helm soldiers did not need biological weapons to defeat the Texas State Guard, you never can tell about future needs, and Foreign Policy reported that the Pentagon has shut down all research at nine military labs after the Center for Disease Control and Prevention uncovered lapses in addition to live anthrax spores being accidentally sent to 194 labs in all 50 states and nine countries. The CDC discovered mishandling of Yersinia pestis bacteria, which causes plague, and two different strains of equine encephalitis virus.

In happier military news, Air Force Times reported that Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James announced that AIC Spencer Stone will receive the Purple Heart. What’s the big deal? The Purple Heart is normally a combat decoration and Stone’s injuries came when he was stabbed by a terrorist while on vacation and in civilian clothes.

Airman Stone and his friends, Spc. Alek Skarlatos of the Oregon National Guard and college student Anthony Sadler, became instant celebrities when they took down a man armed with an AK-47, a Lugar pistol, and a box cutter, leaving him hogtied in the aisle of the train they were riding between Amsterdam and Paris and his terrorist career seriously abbreviated. Secretary James noted that Stone will have no problem getting to the medal ceremony because, during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, he was gifted with a Camaro convertible.

In unhappier terrorism news, Ahmed Mohamed, a 14 year old who made an alarm clock and proudly showed his teachers his accomplishment, got taken out of MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas in handcuffs. He was under arrest, police said, for possession of a “hoax bomb,” although he had told everybody who would listen that it was a clock.

No, he could not call his father before talking to them. Where do you think you are, kid? America?

Irving, Texas is still run by the cabal of bigots who endorsed a state law they hoped would shut down a mediation service for Muslims because it applied Sharia—the principles of justice derived from the Qur’an and the Hadiths, which for mainstream Islam have nothing to do with the craziness of the so-called Islamic State or the Wahhabi nutcases running Saudi Arabia. What the semi-literate knuckledraggers think of Sharia is like judging Christianity by snake handlers.

Adding injury to insult, the bigots running the school district have still blamed the kid for their error and suspended him for three days.

After a social media explosion, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook fame came to Ahmed’s defense and President Obama tweeted: "Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great!"

Of course, in Irving, Texas, this will just be taken as further evidence that Barack Obama is a Muslim, something the crackpots already “knew.”

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In other bigotry news, viewers of 12 News in Phoenix, an NBC affiliate, are complaining that anchor Vanessa Ruiz pronounces Spanish words correctly rather than adopting the common errors of English speakers not from the borderlands. The Donald Trump would be proud.

Buzzfeed reported that The Donald once said another candidate “has written too many inflammatory, outrageous, and controversial things to ever be elected president.” The subject was Patrick Buchanan, who also did not care for hearing Spanish spoken.

Dr. Ben Carson on Trump’s accusation that Carson, like Jeb Bush, is a “low energy person:” “You don’t have to be loud to be energetic.”

Non-politicians keep increasing their share of GOP Primary poll numbers. Note to voters: if you exclude military men, there are precisely two U.S. Presidents who had no electoral experience. Chester Arthur and Herbert Hoover. It’s safe to say Arthur and Hoover rank in the bottom third of presidents.

A Hillary Clinton SuperPAC, Correct the Record, has gone negative on Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, by accusing him of being sympathetic to the late Venezuelan loose cannon, Hugo Chavez. Sanders has not attacked Clinton, but he now leads Clinton in both Iowa and New Hampshire. Correct the Record ties Bernie Sanders to Jeremy Corbyn, the new leader of the UK’s Labour Party because, well, they’re both Democratic Socialists, and then cites nice things Corbyn said about Chavez.

The Washington Post reported that Bernie Sanders will be introducing his Justice is Not for Sale Act that proposes to ban federal and state governments from contracting with private prisons, ending a “perverse incentive” to lock up more people. Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Arizona) will be the House sponsor. Sanders faces an uphill battle against the prison-industrial complex.

Another Post report noted that Corrections Corporation of America and GEO—the biggest players—have raised more than $10 million for candidates since 1989 and have spent nearly $25 million on lobbying. Corporate prison owners lobby against probation and parole and lowering penalties and repealing criminal laws because more people behind bars are money in their corporate tills.

They can afford these political costs of doing business when their combined annual revenue is $3.3 billion. One of their legislative lap dogs is running for POTUS. Marco Rubio has received nearly $40,000 from GEO. The relationship goes back to when Rubio was Speaker of the Florida House, and hired an economic consultant with ties to GEO to evaluate a GEO proposal that got them $110 million. GEO is one of the top 10 contributors to Rubio’s Reclaim America PAC.

U.S. politics, since the Citizens United case unleashed corporate money without limits, has become pay to play.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee has been like the National Rifle Association. It expects to make policy without regard to the public interest and any pol who gets crosswise with either of these Superlobbies is dead meat. Or maybe not. AIPAC spent $30 million trying to sink the international agreement with Iran. That’s about half of the $64.4 million that was AIPAC’s annual budget in the last year for which we have figures, 2013.

AIPAC was incorporated in 1963 for the purpose of raising political money from U.S. citizens and so avoiding disclosures required by the Foreign Agents Registration Act. It expects the losing battle against the nuclear agreement with Iran to give fundraising a shot in the arm as well as turning public opinion against the diplomacy option with Iran.

The fundraising better spike because AIPAC’s annual policy conference that attracts about 2/3 of Congress, cost $37.9 million according to its last tax return. AIPAC’s “charity,” the American Israel Education Foundation, has so far this year paid for 56 House members, 47 of their relatives, and five staffers to visit Israel…but disclosed no lobbying expenditures.

AIPAC’s political money is not directly disclosed because it comes though bundlers, but it appears evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats, a nonpartisan bias that has caused pro-Israel billionaires Sheldon Adelson and Paul Singer to take some of their money elsewhere.

In other geriatric news, the Victoria, Texas Advocate reported that Mark DeFriend, 85, showed up to a doctor appointment in El Campo and presented his Medicare card only to learn that he was dead and had been for almost a month. “That doc,” Cousin Ray chuckled, “had quite a challenge in front of him.”

A study conducted by State Farm Insurance finds that your chances of hitting a deer are one in 169, but your odds are substantially worse in some states. High-risk states in Indian country are Montana and South Dakota. The cost of banging into Bambi averages $4,100.

Cousin Ray questioned the rigor of State Farm’s study because it included moose and elk collisions. “Go ahead and laugh,” Ray said. “Ever run into a moose?”