Saturday, February 25, 2012

Wyoming Legislature stocks up for Doomsday. First purchase: aircraft carrier

Wyoming can't afford to fully fund its Health Department or rebuild its roads.

But House Republicans want to spend thousands of dollars to study the purchase of an army, strike aircraft and an aircraft carrier in case of "a complete economic and political collapse."

Here's the strange news in this Casper Star-Tribune article by Jeremy Pelzer (and thanks to Meg at Cognitive Dissonance for alerting me to this pressing issue):
State representatives on Friday advanced legislation to launch a study into what Wyoming should do in the event of a complete economic or political collapse in the United States. 
House Bill 85 passed on first reading by a voice vote. It would create a state-run government continuity task force, which would study and prepare Wyoming for potential catastrophes, from disruptions in food and energy supplies to a complete meltdown of the federal government. The task force would look at the feasibility of Wyoming issuing its own alternative currency, if needed. 
And House members approved an amendment Friday by state Rep. Kermit Brown, R-Laramie, to have the task force also examine conditions under which Wyoming would need to implement its own military draft, raise a standing army, and acquire strike aircraft and an aircraft carrier. 
The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. David Miller, R-Riverton, has said he doesn’t anticipate any major crises hitting America anytime soon. But with the national debt exceeding $15 trillion and protest movements growing around the country, Miller said Wyoming — which has a comparatively good economy and sound state finances — needs to make sure it’s protected should any unexpected emergency hit the U.S. 
Several House members spoke in favor of the legislation, saying there was no harm in preparing for the worst. 
“I don’t think there’s anyone in this room today what would come up here and say that this country is in good shape, that the world is stable and in good shape — because that is clearly not the case,” state Rep. Lorraine Quarberg, R-Thermopolis, said. “To put your head in the sand and think that nothing bad’s going to happen, and that we have no obligation to the citizens of the state of Wyoming to at least have the discussion, is not healthy.” 
The bill must pass two more House votes before it would head to the Senate for consideration. The original bill appropriated $32,000 for the task force, though the Joint Appropriations Committee slashed that number in half earlier this week.
I'm all in favor of being prepared. I'd even be in favor of purchasing an aircraft carrier for emergencies if we had adequate port facilities in this landlocked state. But we don't. And won't, unless global warming due to excess burning of Wyoming coal accelerates and the Left Coast encroaches on Star Valley.

Wyoming Republicans seem to excel at crackpot bills. But this one is a doozy.

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