Crazy conspiracy theories have swirled around Barack Obama like no other politician before him. A Public Policy Poll indicates that 26 percent of American voters are so unhinged from reality that they suspect that President Obama is the antichrist. Some are convinced that if you play his 2008 Democratic nomination speech backwards, you can hear him give instructions to do Satan’s bidding.

Did you also know that President Obama is a secret Muslim with allegiance to the Muslim Brotherhood, who has a plan to bring 100 million Muslims to America by the end of his second term? It is of course common knowledge that he was sworn into office on a Koran and that his wedding ring is inscribed with the phrase: "There is no god except Allah."

Obama faked his birth in Hawaii in order to conceal his real birth in Kenya. Donald Trump is going to reveal the truth of the matter to the American people just as soon as he finishes his investigation. Others have shockingly revealed Obama to be the son of Malcolm X and a member of the Black Panthers.

He is said to have such hatred for America that he removed the American flag from Air Force One and it is rumored that he won’t say the Pledge of Allegiance. He is preparing reeducation camps to indoctrinate young people into becoming communist or some other nefarious purpose.

He also masterminded the movie theater killings in Colorado in order to pave the way to confiscate the guns of all law-abiding Americans. Obama was even diabolical enough to use the Pentagon’s weather modification project to create Hurricane Sandy so he would look good managing disaster relief a week before the election.

He has been accused of several murders to further his political objectives but he faked Osama bin Laden’s death. Let’s not forget that Obama wants to kill old people by establishing death panels in Obamacare and he wanted Americans to die in Benghazi for some ulterior motive.

Sources say Obama wanted to detonate a nuclear bomb in Charleston, S.C. The reasoning goes that Obama wanted to blame the attack on some foreign enemy as an excuse to seize absolute power in America.

This is just a small sampling of the goofy allegations that have been made against President Obama. The nation’s collective I.Q. has plummeted as large numbers of Americans have given credence to these wild stories. It is actually a testament to President Obama’s honesty that his enemies have to make up such crap in order to criticize him. It is easy for people to fabricate stories but it is inexcusable to repeat those stories as the truth.

Mark Twain observed that, " A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes." As with any democracy, American citizens have a duty to stay informed with accurate information. While it may take much time and effort to sift through all of the misinformation to find the truth, that is what is required.

Which brings us to Jade Helm 15. Jade Helm 15 is a special operations training exercise scheduled to run from July 15 to Sept. 15. The purpose of the exercise was explained by Army Lt. Col. Mark Lastoria, a command spokesman: "The nature of warfare is always changing and U.S. Army Special Operations Command’s mission is to make certain the Army’s various special operations forces are trained, equipped and organized to successfully conduct worldwide special operations in support of our nation’s interest. Training exercise Jade Helm is going to assist our special operations soldiers and leadership in refining the skills needed against an ever changing foreign threat."

This entirely rational explanation has not prevented widespread conspiracy theories that the United States is preparing to impose martial law on part of the western United States particularly, Texas. Politicians, including Republican presidential candidates Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, have expressed sympathy for those who are concerned about Jade Helm.

Cruz said: "We are assured it is a military training exercise. I have no reason to doubt those assurances, but I understand the reason for concern and uncertainty, because when the federal government has not demonstrated itself to be trustworthy in this administration, the natural consequence is that many citizens don’t trust what it is saying."

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wrote a letter to Gen. Gerald Betty, the commander of the Texas State Guard saying: "To address concerns of Texas citizens and to ensure that Texas communities remain safe, secure, and informed about military procedures occurring in their vicinity, I am directing the Texas State Guard to monitor Operation Jade Helm 15. During the operation’s eight-week training period from July 2015 to September 2015, I expect to receive regular updates on the progress and safety of the operation."

The letter continues: "During the training operation, it is important that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed. By monitoring the Operation on a continual basis, the state guard will facilitate communications between my office and the commanders of the Operation to ensure that adequate measures are in place to protect Texans …"

In response, a former Republican state lawmaker, Todd Smith wrote this letter to Abbott: "Let me apologize in advance that your letter pandering to idiots who believe that U.S. Navy Seals and other U.S. military personnel are somehow a threat to be watched has left me livid. As a 16 year Republican member of the Texas House and a patriotic American, I am horrified that I have to choose between the possibility that my governor actually believes this stuff and the possibility that my sovernor doesn’t have the backbone to stand up to those who do. I’m not sure which is worse.

"As one of the remaining Republicans who actually believes in making decisions based on facts and evidence - you used to be a judge? I am appalled that you would give credence to the nonsense mouthed by those who instead make decisions based on internet or shock jock driven hysteria. Is there anyboyd who is going to stand up to this radical nonsense that is cancer on our state and party? It is alarming that our state Republican leadership is such that we must choose between degrees of demagoguery.

"I know that in many cases you are the better of the two demagogues (see the lieutenant governor driven nut job rant regarding your pre-K program as a recent example). Having been there, I also know that politicians are not always able to speak their mind because they represent large groups of people and not just themselves. But this bone that you have thrown to those who believe that the U.S. military is a threat to the State of Texas is an embarrassing distance beyond the pale. You are governor of Texas! This is an open request - from a ghost of our state’s recent Republican past- that you act like it. Enough is enough. You have embarrassed and disappointed all Texans who are also informed, patriotic Americans. And it is important to rational governance that thinking Republicans call you out on it."