Friday, July 6, 2012

A Growing Threat of Disarmament

Cross posted at

The WhirldNutDaily is a quite amusing source of wingnut sewage, especially its editorials by founder Joseph Farrah.

She must love freedom and independence.  I can tell from
the colors she's wearing.
In his Fourth of July piece - ahem, pardon my callous error - Independence Day piece, Farrah laments that Americans don't refer to the holiday that falls on July 4th as "Independence Day".  Aside from his beef with what we call the holiday, Farrah is concerned that Americans don't value "Independence" as much as they once did.
Unfortunately, too few Americans today put much value in independence. Most no longer celebrate, cherish or appreciate independence. Independence is not considered an ideal.
I don't know if he's right about 1) people referring to the holiday as Independence Day as declining over time or that 2) people don't appreciate independence as much as in the past.  Unsurprisingly, these assertions are presented without compelling evidence.

Also not surprising is Farrah's bait-and-switch in his use of 'independence'. 
Our political and cultural elite don’t want to see a nation full of independent-minded, self-governing citizens who will hold their leaders accountable to their will and the laws of the land.
The cynic in me is inclined to agree, though I would argue that Republicans, to a greater degree than Democrats, are more interested in developing a populace that won't, can't or isn't interested in thinking for itself (see the Texas GOP's party platform re: critical thinking skills).  But regardless of which party is worse, there's a meaningful distinction between the independence sought by the American revolutionaries (independence from England as a means of self determination as an independent nation) and Farrah's individualistic independence (where everyone gets to fend for themselves, free from government intrusion - i.e. taxation - unless, of course, it benefits the groups to which Farrah is aligned.  Challenge to Farrah - do you support eliminating federal funds going to religious organizations?)

Despite Farrah's insistence that interdependence is a "glorified...synonym for "dependence"", there is simply no getting around the fact that anyone that doesn't personally produce all that they consume (including the infrastructure and supply chains thereof) is to some, probably significant degree, (inter)dependent on many other people.  To deny this fact is pure political blustering and a denial of (surprise!) reality. 

Right, but see you guys are a 'district'. 
That's why you can't vote.
And now we come to the pièce de résistance of Farrah's piece is after he goes for the sophomoric trope of citing the dictionary how a 'colony' is defined.  Brace yourself for the onslaught of stupid:
Aren’t Americans, in a sense, all colonists of the great imperial throne in the District of Columbia? [yes, how ironic that the rest of the country are colonists to the citizens of a city with no voting representation in Congress] We all pay tribute to this faraway empire. [The US is a big place buddy. Move to the mid-atlantic if you want to smell the political stench coming out of DC]  We are, in reality, little more than serfs doing the bidding of those in the federal corridors of power in Washington. We’re taxed without real representation [in what way?  Do you not vote for your Senators and Representatives?]. We’re forced to support a growing standing army of federal police in our communities [I'd like to hear more about this standing army of federal police dispersed around the country]. And we face a growing threat of disarmament – one of the great fears of the colonists who touched off the American Revolution at Lexington and Concord [Ahh there it is, any restrictions on access to automatic weapons, uzies or RPG must mean the government trampling over the Second Amendment; ignoring the evidence that more relaxed gun laws are correlated with undesirable societal outcomes] .
So Farrah's thesis that Americans don't value independence is essentially pinned to the notion that "we face a growing threat of disarmament".  Just a quick scan of gun control legislation in the 111th Congress (the one where Dems controlled both chambers), there's nothing to disarm citizens of their guns.  There seems to be equal parts loosening of gun control and increased controls in other areas.  But unless congress allows for unfettered access and open carry of automatic weapons by 5 year-olds, we must be facing "a growing threat of disarmament", right?

Uganda's gun laws should be our model!

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