Monday, June 15, 2015

Tinfoil hat time in the boonies

I had to back away from a group on Facebook recently. I'd joined it because the focus of the group is supposedly the great stuff one encounters while living up here on the tundra, but discovered there can be way too much weirdness in the comments threads on some posts. I've written before about how bizarre it can be to encounter paranoia and conspiracy theories in people or places where neither should be an issue. There must be something in the American psyche (or maybe humans in general) that causes people to go looking for problems or risks where none exist.

Anyway, the latest weirdness, the one that made me decide I really needed to distance myself from that particular group of tinfoil hat wearers, was when a commenter trotted out an image of a federal vehicle and went into a long spiel about "Why is Homeland Security stopping at a Burger King in L'Anse?!" Well, maybe they were eating lunch? Without working at it real hard, I can think of multiple reasons why the Department of Homeland Security would have vehicles in the U.P. and personnel making routine trips between various points: there are several commercial airports that no doubt have personnel from DHS duty-stationed there. They're federal employees so you know those people have to occasionally attend meetings (meetings are what the government does best), either with each other or local law enforcement, and would use agency vehicles to do so. Every so often the local news will mention cooperative programs various agencies are involved with so it doesn't strike me as particularly strange that someone from DHS would be stopped at a L'Anse Burger King.

That's assuming it was a DHS vehicle at all, of course.As a former federal employee, I can say with confidence that most people can't keep agencies straight. They see vehicles belonging to Fish & Wildlife and think it's the state DNR. They see a National Park Service vehicle and think it's the Forest Service. And they consistently call agencies by the wrong names. (That same comments thread contained a misattribution regarding a recent joint law enforcement sting operation that targeted illegal fishing on the Great Lakes. It was Fish & Wildlife and the FBI that set it up. The commenter said it was DHS, which is probably the last agency that would care about people fishing in closed areas.)

In any case, from there, the thread quickly degenerated into multiple variations on "It's all Obama's fault," "Obama is coming to take our guns," and "Remember Jade Helm!" That's when I decided it was time to step away. If people want to waste time worrying about crap that's never going to happen, that's their problem, not mine. (It's been almost 7 years, guys, if Obama really wanted your guns he'd have them by now.) I just wish they wouldn't waste bandwidth sharing their bizarre fantasies with the rest of the world. 

Although maybe I'm being a little harsh. I've worked for the federal government. I know how incompetent it can be.

I am regretting I didn't take a couple photos of the local National Guard guys training in Ishpeming not long ago. They were practicing urban warfare tactics in the parking lot when we drove by. After all, why worry about Jade Helm down in Texas when it's obvious the government is planning a takeover right here in Yooperland? Except instead of using abandoned Walmarts, up here they'll have to resort to putting the detention tunnels under old Kmarts and JC Penney stores. Or maybe they'll just repurpose some of the closed copper and iron mines. The Quincy can go from being a tourist attraction to a detention center without much work at all, and there must be some iron mines that wouldn't require much dewatering to make them usable. All they'd have to do is take the bat gates off.


  1. My father-in-law lives in rural Oregon. I've noticed that the people who are drawn to these out of the way locales tend to have one of two reasons for wanting to get away from civilization.
    Either they are "back-to-nature" hippie types, or they want to be far away from the cities when the inevitable (in their minds) race war breaks out and the government finally has an excuse to declare martial law. I suspect a lot of folks on the "UP" fall into one of these categories.

  2. batshit, they're all batshit..

  3. There's also a third type: the folks who were born and raised in some rural area and have never left it. Their view of the world can be a tad distorted, thanks to mass media.

  4. I agree with Jackiesue: Batshit.

    the Ol'Buzzard


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