Is Glenn Beck’s Independence, USA The Next Jonestown?

On his webcast this week, Glenn Beck unveiled yet another publicity stunt intended to buy him some attention, at least from his congregation of disciples. This time it comes in the form of his “vision” of a utopian community where rich and poor will live together in harmony while shopping and farming and riding holy-roller coasters to Valhalla.

Glenn Beck Independence

This new society of egalitarian pilgrims would amass in Beck’s planned city of Independence, USA. He admits that there is no such place mapped out as yet and that the whole concept exists only in his imagination which is, to say the least, fertile. The development includes all the necessities that a demented doomsday prepper could desire. There would be farming land where residents could till the soil and produce their own food. There would be a mall with shops populated by craftsmen who would also teach the young’uns how to make their own rocking chairs and crossbows. He also plans a media center where he would produce entertainment “that would challenge viewers without resorting to a loss of human decency.” It is in that area that he would train new journalists in his techniques of lying and fear mongering. There would a research facility for…God knows what. Recognizing the need for diversions from all of this ecstasy, Beck plans to include a theme park. And of course, centrally located, would be a church for his parishioners to worship.

Perhaps most notable is Beck’s provisions for living space. He says that he will build “a residential area where people of different incomes could all come together and be neighbors.” Sounds a little socialist to me. But so does much of his concept that relies on all the people contributing to one another and to the greater good of the community.

What’s troubling is the notion that Beck wants to create a segregated community of followers who believe in his vision and will strike out on their own to build a self-reliant, communal society based on his twisted brand of evangelism and with him as its leader. Sound familiar? It is precisely what Jim Jones, a pastor from California, did when he assembled his flock in Guyana to form what he called Jonestown. That ended in tragedy with more than 900 disciples succumbing to poison-laced Kool-Aid.

Already Beck’s flock is getting excited about his new city proposal. They are leaving comments on his web site declaring their loyalty and wondering when they can move to the imaginary Independence. It’s sad to see that there are people who regard independence as fealty to a hate-filled, fear mongering, tele-prophet, who is only interested in his own fame and considerable fortune. Hopefully people will see through this charlatan before it’s too late, because it is difficult to see any good coming from this.

Fox News Psycho (Analyst) On The Health Benefits Of Gun Ownership

The Fox News Medical “A” Team’s Keith Ablow is notorious for his unethical practices and opinions. He has made public diagnoses of people he has never examined (or even met), including President Obama. He has praised marital infidelity as evidence of strong moral character that would enhance America’s leadership. And now he he has published an editorial for Fox News that extols the “benefits” of gun ownership.

Keith Ablow

Ablow begins his rambling departure from reality by building a foundation for his argument that guns are not a problem in American society at all, despite the statistics. He cites examples of mass killings in which guns played no part, like the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building in 2001, and the Tylenol poisoning scare in 1985. However, his suggestion that gun safety advocates are off-base because determined madmen “could have chosen other lethal means to cause just as many deaths,” ignores the glaring fact that in all of his examples measures were taken to control the means by which they were carried out and, consequently, it has been decades since there have been any similar bombings or product tampering. That’s actually an argument in favor of limiting access to certain firearms.

Then Ablow swings for an even more rationally distant fence by asserting that there is “potential widespread psychological harm that disarming Americans could cause.” That statement is absurd on its face as it implies that all Americans who do not own guns are already psychologically impaired. In addition, Ablow is deceitfully implying that there is an effort afoot to “disarm” all Americans. He elaborates on that fabrication by shockingly asserting that this imaginary disarmament would result in “a population that has completely ceded the power to defend its homes against local, state or federal authorities.” Apparently Ablow is one of those lunatics who believes that the right to bear arms is intended as a means to equip treasonous citizens with weapons they can use against fellow Americans.

Ablow continues on this theme of a disarmed nation by seemingly advocating for a police state, saying that “The same people who passively pay taxes that put tanks on the streets and fighter jets in the skies over our enemies’ nations can cringe at the idea of owning guns themselves.” Is he really suggesting that deploying soldiers in war zones is analogous to stockpiling arms on Elm Street?

Next Ablow joins the Hitler-thumping crowd by conjuring up a debunked rendition of history in which gun control was a factor in the rise of Nazis in Germany, but the opposite is the truth. Alex Seitz-Wald of Salon provided the facts about this commonly repeated falsehood. The truth is that Hitler signed into law a bill that “completely deregulated the acquisition and transfer of rifles and shotguns, as well as ammunition.” So if anyone, it’s conservative gun worshipers who are seeking to emulate Hitler.

Ablow closes by regurgitating the position of the NRA that more, not fewer, guns is the panacea to our national crisis of violence. He argues that it would “immunize the population from feeling like potential victims,” and he reiterates the nonsense that it would protect an otherwise docile citizenry from their government. To the extent that any threat exists from the federal government, there are no currently available weapons that could match the firepower of the American military. It would be suicide for a citizen armed even with an AR-15 to challenge troops with tanks, grenades, missiles, gases, and impeccable training.

If Americans ever actually have to face the fictional scenario of a tyrannical regime in Washington, they will have a lot more to worry about than what type of rifle they carry. But since the prospects of such a catastrophe live only in the diseased minds of right-wing paranoids and Fox News “doctors,” the whole discussion is merely the neurotic nightmare of an Alex Jones inspired schizoid. So good night, children, and sleep tight.