Was watching Olberman tonight, and he had an interview with Gary Qualls, the guy who started "Fort Qualls" as a pro-Bush, pro-War counter to the Sheehan protest. To add context for my later comments, let me say, that he didn't come across as a very bright guy, it could have been that he was on television and not used to it. But, let me say, he didn't sound like a lunatic, he seemed like an honest straight up kind of guy.
He's local to Crawford, and started his (counter?) protest when he saw that a cross had been placed with his son's name on it at the Sheehan protest site. He raised a fuss, took it down, one of the anti-war people put another one up, and he took it down again, and somehow ended up starting "Fort Qualls" as a counter protest site. It's America, it's all good, more power to you.
Understand that these quotes are paraphrases until I can get to the online transcript sometime tomorrow.
But in the interview, it was really interesting to hear how he had synthesized the talking points of the republican machine.
First, from your talk radio brethren, he said something, referring to the antiwar folks, along the lines of " I taught my son not to be one of those people..... even not to associate with those kinds of people."
To him, the antiwar people are sub-human. They are the jews in Germany, the communists in 1950's america. A group so loathsome that he would teach his kids to not even associate with them. Amazing, just amazing. And you wondered how the cops in Selma could do what they did.
Second, he commented that he was only at the protest site a couple times a week because he had work, the responsibilities of raising his remaining 16 year old son, who wants to go into the military by the way. And after he said that, he kinda paused, and looked like he felt guilty that he wasn't there all the time, then re-emphasized that he had responsibilities "and couldn't just take off and abandon my family, travel half way across the country and abandon my family like ms Sheehan. I understand that nobody in her family agrees with her, that they're all against her."
Olberman then pointed out that all her children were grown and on their own and that she didn't really have any responsibilities to abandon. Mr. Qualls looked confused, but didn't say anything.
Again, when I get the transcript I'll correct the wording. Forgive me.
But I was so struck by how this man's reality had been altered, through deliberate effort, to make him believe that people on the left are so lowly as to be beyond association, and that their mothers were so inhuman that they would abandon their children just to tear america down.
This is the success of the ideological brownshirts. You know, that guy in the office who greets anything but the mythological republican America with personal derision and insult. In Houston, there are people who listen to right supporting radio eight to ten hours a day, and are discouraged from reading actual sources for news stories in the "liberal media." They are discouraged from reading source material and finding out facts. Any version or reality that does not conform is part of a liberal conspiracy to let homosexuals fornicate and "pollute our precious bodily fluids. "
Heck, even if you just listen to Limbaugh, let's say, who is no longer the far right side of what's out there, what are you doing to your mind?
Would someone voluntarily sign up for three hours of indoctrination a day? Is that validation of being a "powerful" male so necessary that you will willingly allow someone three hours a day to tamper with your mind for their own ends?
Imagine how it would be presented if a propotional number of Iranians, what a million, or two, listened to the Iranian equivalent?
It really is terrifying to me, because if you are able to separate the populus from facts, the leaders then have ultimate power. This is the way cults work. And in Mr. Quall's interview, I heard just a little of that.
America's on it's way to hard fascism, folks. And, as always happens with states that go to power cults, that will bring about our downfall.
I was born at the Crest of the Empire.
UPDATE: Only sort of related, but I think it applies.
A US conservative radio talk-show host said he had been fired after reportedly branding Islam a "terrorist organization" in remarks slated by Muslim groups as "hate radio."
Michael Graham said bosses at WMAL-AM in Washington, owned by the Walt Disney Company, sacked him after he refused to apologize for the remarks, for which he was suspended last month pending investigation.
"I find it absolutely outrageous that pressure from a special-interest group like (the Council on American Islamic Relations) CAIR can result in the abandonment of free speech and open discourse on a talk radio show," Graham said.
"As a conservative talk host whose job is to have an open, honest conversation each day with my listeners, I believe caving to this pressure is a disaster," Graham said in a statement.
Graham, part of a line-up of conservative talk-show hosts at the station, did not repeat his incendiary remarks, referring instead to "Islam and its tragic connections to terrorism."
He reportedly claimed last month that blame for recent acts of terrorism lay not with Islamic radicals alone but also with Muslims generally.
"The problem is not extremism," Graham told listeners. "The problem is Islam." He also said: "We are at war with a terrorist organization named Islam."
No facts, no facts, no facts. Just vitriol.