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Are we at peril in Pineland?

Fellow Pinelanders, lend me your ears — or eyes, because this is a column, but you get the point.

First we are told by a great number of very reasonable people and truly serious bloggers that we live in the most dangerous city in the Western Hemisphere. Woe to us if Piedmont Players ever stages “West Side Story.” I fear all-out gang war.

Now we hear from our brothers and sisters in the Texas Resistance of recently intercepted classified communiqués indicating their fair land is about to be overrun by federal government forces (you know, the U.S. Army and such).

OK, this information didn’t exactly come from intercepted secret plans. It actually came from publicly available documents detailing an upcoming military training exercise in the Southwestern United States.

But isn’t that how they would present it — all up front and everything — to lull us into a false sense of security?

The operation is called “Jade Helm 15,” and, according to our brothers and sisters in the Texas Resistance, it is setting the stage for martial law.

You don’t take this seriously? Well, pardner, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott does. He sent a letter last week directing Maj. Gen. Gerald “Jake” Betty, commander of the Texas State Guard, to have his forces “monitor” the Jade Helm 15 goings-on.

Well played, governor.

And as if all this isn’t enough, it now appears that even that most American of institutions filled with stuff from China may be part of the conspiracy.

Et tu, Walmart?

Yes, if the brothers and sisters in the Texas Resistance are to be believed (and why wouldn’t they be?) a series of Walmart store closings — four or five, at least — in the soon-to-be-occupied Southwest is directly tied to Jade Helm 15.

Now, Walmart says it closed these stores to repair “plumbing problems.” The L.A. Times asks if it really closed them to punish “activist workers.” Nah, that would be too Walmarty of Walmart. Must be part of the crackdown on civil liberties!

As one radio host whose website says he is “freeing America one enslaved mind at a time” (thank you for that, by the way) puts it, the closed Walmarts are going to be used for two things: “supply and staging centers for an internal conflict within the United States” (conflict supplies at everyday low prices, though, because it’s Walmart); and “processing centers for FEMA camp political prisoners.” (Makes sense. They would’ve closed Sam’s Clubs if they were going to warehouse them in place.)

I do have one question about this theory: If the government wanted to use Walmarts to make us all political prisoners, why not just lock the doors? Most of us are there at any given time, anyway. Seems like you’re wasting my taxpayer dollars to enslave me when you could be doing it so much more economically.

OK, the (liberal, of course) Washington Post notes that Jade Helm 15 is not the only large-scale operation conducted by the military in the U.S. There’s Bold Alligator, involving thousands of Marines and sailors in the fictional nation of Garnet, which is really Georgia and part of Florida. There’s Derna Bridge, which involves Marine Special Operations in several western South Carolina counties.

And, of course, there’s Robin Sage, in which U.S. Special Forces soldiers work with guerrilla forces to liberate the pretend country of Pineland, which is made up of 15 North Carolina counties including Rowan.

Sure, they call these “training exercises.” But training for what? We don’t know for sure, but like our brothers and sisters in the Texas Resistance, we will be ready.

If we must, we’ll take shelter in the mountains, or the caves, or the People’s Republic of Gastonia.

Fellow Pinelanders, lend me ten bucks. I need to go to Walmart and stock up on martial law survival supplies.

Scott Jenkins is news editor of the Salisbury Post.

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