"Maiden, n. A young person of the unfair sex addicted to clewless conduct and views that madden to crime. The genus has a wide geographical distribution, being found wherever sought and deplored wherever found. The maiden is not altogether unpleasing to the eye, nor (without her piano and her views) insupportable to the ear, though in respect to comeliness distinctly inferior to the rainbow, and, with regard to the part of her that is audible, beaten out of the field by the canary, which, also, is more portable." Ambrose Bierce, The Enlarged Devil's Dictionary, p 219)
If you think Tony Abbott's a worry, try Cory (Ban the Burqa) Bernardi (rambammed: 2008), Chairman and Founder of the Conservative Leadership Foundation (CLF), an "education and training organisation" whose "goal is to develop and support Australia's future conservative leaders by providing the training and skills necessary for them to succeed." (conservative.org.au)
And if you find Cory even more of a worry, try his protege, Danielle (Dani) Keys, the CLF's National Co-ordinator - Campus Action Plan. Dani studies Law at the University of Queensland and "has a passion for advancing centre-right activism at universities to counter the force of left-wing activist groups such as GetUp!"
GetUp!... and BDS.
Dani, self-proclaimed organiser of a counter-protest outside a Max Brenner outlet in Brisbane on Saturday, one which included elements of the far-right Islamophobic Australian Patriotic Defence Movement (APDM) brandishing - wait for it - Israeli flags and screaming 'traitor' at BDS protesters, penned a gushing account of her 'achievement' at the Menzies House website ("Australia's leading online community for conservative centre-right and libertarian thinkers"). This act of hyperventilation provides an illuminating (and frankly terrifying) insight into the mind of today's Young Liberals and hence tomorrow's Liberal MPs, party leaders, and prime ministers.
Be afraid! Be very afraid! Dani's story and my commentary:
"On Saturday the 27th of August at 1pm, the Socialist Alliance and 'Justice for Palestine' [marched] down to Southbank to bully and intimidate the customers and staff of popular chocolatier 'Max Brenner'. I, Danielle Keys, organised the counter-protest movement a month ago after seeing the Socialist Alternative at UQ handing out flyers about their protest. I thought it was so disgusting..."
Handing out flyers for a protest is disgusting? The content of the flyers was disgusting? Dani doesn't tell us which. Clarity is not her forte. One is left with the impression that it's really the very act of protesting that she finds disgusting. How dare anyone protest! The content of the protest, the issues involved, are clearly immaterial. Anyway, that'd take a bit of reading, a bit of research, and what with uni and Cory and facebook and chocolate (Max Brenner, natch) and TV and lippie (Seacret, of course) and stuff, what's a girl to do?
"... that I organised a facebook event just to see if some friends were interested in counter-protesting. Little did I know that in a matter of weeks I would have many different groups approaching me to help support the cause..."
Groups such as... the APDM, for example.
"... over 90 facebook [sic] friends attending and be [sic] in contact with the corporate management of Max Brenner. Little did I truly forsee that I would be speaking to almost every single newspaper I can think of as well as television and radio opportunities."
"I would have been happy to stand alone but I am really glad I didn't have to! The reason that people stand behind [sic: support] counter-protest movements I think is because as just individual people we get bullied by the disgraceful agendas of the loudest [what ever happened to punctuation?] most empty vessels of humanity - the SA. They are the unwashed aggressors who exist off [sic] the fringes of society prepared to violently demonise anyone who disagrees with them. I [sic] really had enough of it and I'm glad to see I was not the only one!"
Bullied by an agenda? Or challenged? So Dani, who is all of x-years old, is nonetheless equipped to decide which agendas are disgraceful and which are not. And such venom too! Looking at the photograph on the CLF website, you'd swear butter wouldn't melt in her mouth.
"I guess the only way to properly describe the events of yesterday is like this... THE COUNTER-PROTEST WAS AWESOME!!!"
Uh, oh, CAPITAL LETTERS! There, there, Dani. Steady on.
"When the SA marched down to Southbank they were not counting on being outnumbered by ordinary Australians..."
Dani, of course, is not interested in extraordinary Australians. 'Work, consume, die' would seem to be her message.
"... telling them to go home and that their intolerance was not welcome."
Apparently, Dani's definition of tolerance doesn't embrace freedom of assembly or expression.
"They quite seriously didn't bank on it and were very upset by it (ha-ha!). I recognised quite a few faces from university so I look forward to whatever retaliatory aggression they will have for me in the coming weeks at the University of Queensland. Whatever it is, I am prepared."
With a knowledge of the issue? I think not. Just the usual infantile truculence.
"It was amazing to see the SA and JP outnumbered and placed into a nice little contained area. There were stacks of people and in particular many young people out to stand up against the SA. Unlike in other cities, the SA were kept away from the Max Brenner store (as they would have had to get through 10 police officers and 70 regular Australians who were fed up)..."
Ah, the dulcet tones of I've had a gutful!
"Max Brenner Southbank was really busy and business was booming for them. We had random people off the street so disgusted by the SA that they went and bought some chocolate then stood with us. The rabble of socialist sycophants were chanting about Max Brenner's support for genocide and how it has blood on it's [sic] hands. I found this particularly disturbing as Jewish people have been systematically persecuted and subject to genocidal attacks for thousands of years. The conduct of the SA yesterday made it clear their attachment to violent, aggressive and fundamentally anti-Semitic behaviour."
Let me get this right. Historical persecution of Jews in Europe gives Israel, which makes a great song and dance about being a Jewish state, a free pass to put the boot into Arabs. Right. Oh yes, and pointing out that Israel is a serious abuser of Arabs means that one is violent and anti-Semitic. Right. And Dani's doing law, the practice of which requires a modicum of logic. Right. I'm glad I've got that clear.
"We responded with many different chants and songs, but I think one of the most amazing ones was when a Max Brenner staff member came up to join us before his shift started and chanted about how he loves the company he works for. I was happy to give that guy the megaphone for a welcome break... everyone's vocal chord have [sic] taken a beating! Anyone who was there would have seen how much fun it was. Everyone there was laughing, chanting, getting stuck into the SA, drinking hot chocolates and dancing around. The SA eventually walked away. Shamed into oblivion..."
Oblivion? Exterminate! Exterminate! Dani the Dalek?
"... They went and stood in a park somewhere continuing their little rant, where no one could hear them and no one could call them to account. This is unsurprising and indicative of their cowardice. All fun and exciting times aside, there was a really powerful and beautiful element to this counter-protest movement. I was really humbled and overwhelmed by people from the Jewish community voicing their thanks for the support. It sounds insane but I never really thought of the Brisbane Jewish community when it came to organising this. I was so busy thinking of the political and ideological principles that I didn't properly see how personally vilified and offended the Jewish community felt over this."
Just quite what these political and ideological principles might be is perhaps best left to the imagination.
"They came out in force to stand up for Max Brenner and say no to SA abuses. I met so many wonderful Jewish people and I felt so touched when they said how surprised and happy thet were to see non-Jewish people standing by them in an event like this. Honestly, I grew up in a Christian home in the leafy and fairly affluent Westside of Brisbane. I'm a white anglo-saxon [sic] protestant. Outside of going to a Jewish kindergarten and having one Jewish friend in primary school I hadn't been exposed much to the culture and community."
White? Now I'm confused because the Jewish J-Wire report on the matter derided the BDS protesters as "decidedly white bread." (Brisbane BDS demo a fizzler, 28/8/11)
"Words really can't describe how much I feel I have gained something as a human being for organising the counter-protest. As a young idealist and libertarian I got lost in the principled machinations of what is happening surrounding the BDS. What is really important for all people to remember is that there is a huge personal element to these things. Because ordinary Australians stood up and said no to the SA's intolerance and hatred, the Jewish community has felt a level of support that I am not sure they felt was there before."
What is she on about? Principled machinations. Is that like sweet-smelling shit?
"I've been invited to an event at a synagogue! Who knows? I might meet a nice Jewish boy and be like Charlotte York from Sex & the City! Yeah... that would be funny and she was hot."
Yep, looks like we are what we watch! But what Dani doesn't know (yeah, stash it with all of the other stuff she doesn't know) is that marrying a nice Jewish boy violates the only party line that really matters: "The Israeli government has launched a television and Internet advertising campaign urging Israelis to inform on Jewish friends and relatives abroad who may be in danger of marrying non-Jews." (Israeli government ads warn against marrying non-Jews, Jonathan Cook, AlterNet, 8/9/09) And even if the party line can't contain the passion, Dani, like Chelsea Clinton, who recently married young Marc Mezvinsky, will still have to contend with the likes of the Zionist nutter (oxymoron, I know) who railed that "Chelsea will serve as a private gas chamber for Marc. After him, his family tree will be Judenrein... this wedding is really a funeral." (Making religion relevant, Dvir Abramovich, The Australian Jewish News, 26/2/10)
"My Dad got a real shock when I changed Christian denominations... okay okay okay let's not get ahead of ourselves here hahahaha."
Sharper than a serpent's tooth is an ungrateful child.
"Max Brenner is not the only company that is being attacked by these people. In Brisbane there is a store called Seacret which isn't even an Israeli company, but buys shells from the Red Sea (within an Israeli area) to use in its cosmetics. The SA have been spotted bullying and blockading entrance to their store in Brisbane City. Max Brenner is a company that started in Israel and has way more substantial ties to Israel than Seacret does! They are bullying and blockading the store because they buy shells from Jews... outrageous! Plus, if I may say so myself the cosmetic and nail-kits from Seacret are spectacular."
God help us if Danni ever makes it to foreign minister. She doesn't seem to know the Red Sea from the Dead Sea. As for shells, could someone (Cory? Anyone?) please ask her to look a little more closely at the box her spectacular Seacret cosmetics came in. She might find that it actually says Seacret: Minerals from the Dead Sea.
"In summary, the counter-protest was awesome. If you weren't there then I am sure there will be plenty more! If there is an anti-Max Brenner protest in your towns, I encourage you to gather your friends together and stage a counter-protest!"
Clearly, Danni's out of her depth. She really does need to do a little reading before shooting off her mouth. But I wouldn't expect her to take out a sub to Green Left Weekly or Direct Action, given her staunchly conservative outlook. However, all is not lost! The CLF has a reading list on its website, among which titles I notice The Conscience of a Conservative by Republican presidential nominee (1964) Senator Barry Goldwater, known in his day as 'Mr Conservative'. So if Goldwater's got Cory's tick of approval, Dani might care to read John Kolbe's fascinating 1986 interview with him (Goldwater that is):
[Excerpt] Goldwater:... self-interest groups are now, more than ever, running this country. You take the Israel groups, and there are many of them... if just a rumor goes out that the president is going to sell some military equipment to an Arab nation, overnight there will be 60 to 70 senators siding up with the Israeli group. Why? Because they have money, and they threaten...
Kolbe: Is the Israel lobby too powerful?
Goldwater: God, yes, way too powerful.
Kolbe: Has that had some detrimental affects on what comes out of Congress?
Goldwater: Yes. See, we have no treaty with Israel, but we have pledged ourselves to go to war if she has to go to war. And there are some of the actions that some of the Israeli groups take that, at times, I felt would hasten that day when we have to live up to our promise. I can understand the feeling, but I'm getting awfully tired of the great influence they have and there's no question about it...
Kolbe: Why do they have that influence?
Goldwater: They have it because, you take the big cities like New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Fransisco, they have a tremendously large Jewish population and a lot of money, and these senators just cater to that kind of influence. But like the influence of the labor unions, the National Rifle Association, the American Medical Association, and we could go on and on and name the influences that, while not as strong as Israel, have a great strength. And they make it hard for a man to run when he can't get money, when he has a large dedicated group against him. The tendency then is to overcome that strike by going along with them (the special interests)." (Barry Goldwater on the Israeli lobby's influence in DC, David Franke, lewrockwell.com, 6/10/10)