Feathered Bastard

"Declare Your Independence with Ernie Hancock" Features Yours Truly as Guest

I took up Phoenix libertarian Ernie Hancock's invite to be on his Webcast Wednesday morning, after much prodding from Hancock and his supporters. Alas, I couldn't make it into the studio. (Sorry, Ernie, I've never been an a.m. person.) Still, we spent a whole two hours jabbering about everything from Tempe Obama-hate-preacher Steven Anderson and the social contract to why Ernie needs to keep paying his taxes and why, if it were up to me, he could have all the morphine and penicillin his heart desires.

Heck, I'm just glad Ernie accepts some tenets of science, seeing that his FreedomsPhoenix Web site has run video from a contributor alleging that, "vaccines are poison." That's one of the topics we didn't alight on. Ditto the 9/11 Truth wackiness, which was mentioned only in passing.

I'll give Ernie points for intellectual honesty. He admits, unlike many holders of the same political philosophy, that he -- like nearly everyone else in this country -- benefits from government largesse in one way or another. For being so forthcoming, I was willing in the course of argument to allow for him having a moon all to his own in outer space, free from the jackbooted thugs of his imagination.

To clarify a couple of points: Hancock was under the impression, as are some others, that New Times' lawsuit against Sheriff Joe Arpaio re: the false arrests of New Times founders Mike Lacey and Jim Larkin in 2007 had been dropped. It has not. According to New Times' attorney, an appeal was recently filed in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals after federal Judge Susan Bolton dismissed certain aspects of the case months ago. So we're still in that battle.

Also, at one point, Hancock claims that the Founding Fathers were not involved in creating the U.S. Constitution. (Huh?) But of course, they were. George Washington, Ben Franklin, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and scores more signed the original document. Thomas Jefferson generally supported the constitution from afar as ambassador to France. Madison's known as both the "Father of the Constitution" and the "Father of the Bill of Rights." Jefferson was Madison's pal, and he egged Madison on in the push for a Bill of Rights.

Jefferson was the principle author of the Declaration of Independence, but he also backed the constitution, and eventually served as the third president of the United States, so he was hardly an anarchist. Not sure what Hancock's point was here. Perhaps he thinks only the signers of the Declaration of Independence are to be labeled "Founding Fathers," but this is incorrect.

Actually, numerous sources restrict the phrase (coined by Warren Harding) to the framers of the U.S. Constitution. But the term's used loosely these days to include Declaration signers, the framers, and Revolutionary War heroes, even. 

In any case, you can listen to the entire show, here.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons