This Week In Crazy People: Glenn Beck Plans $2B Commune

Owen Poindexter
The relentless Glenn Beck has a new plan to instill freedom in the world: Independence USA, a commune that will cost around $2 billion to start.

Not satisfied with the freedoms offered in modern America, Glenn Beck has plans for a $2 billion commune he's calling Independence USA. The details are apparently coming later, so Beck felt free to rant in this section about apprenticeships and Nicola Tesla. The entry to Independence will be a simulated Ellis Island, because that's how people came in to this country originally (why this needs to be recreated, Beck doesn't elaborate. I think it's just a patriotic way to say: you will be vetted).

The commune is meant to be completely self-sufficient, namely in food and energy, at which point Beck points to a giant wind farm. This is odd, if encouraging. Conservatives usually hate solar and wind, but if Independence isn't on an oil field, then it won't be energy independent without renewables.

Beck tells listeners that they can send their kids to Indepence USA and they will be deprogrammed of all the nonsense that they have learned (read: reprogrammed with Glenn Beck's nonsense), and around then he goes on his big rant about work, and how we are dead if people aren't willing to apprentice for the sake of learning. I'm all for apprentice models (where appropriate), but, well I guess I didn't realize that what our nation suffered from the most was a lack of willing apprentices. There's plenty of cheap labor, so I'm sure a lot of those people would be happy to apprentice for a while.

But let's get to my favorite part, a power anecdote about Nicola Tesla. Tesla, according to Beck, came to this country with four cents. He was apparently wandering around when he spotted someone trying and failing to fix a car engine that Tesla himself had designed. Tesla fixed it for free, and then the man gave him $20. The moral of the story, as best I can tell, if you are already one of the most important scientists who ever lived, you had better be willing to fix a few cars and then hope someone offers you money, or else, when winter comes, you will die.

Personally I think we should do more than we currently are to encourage scientists, but hey, I'm also happy in Berkeley USA, with plenty of lower-case i independence.