Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Scenes From A Parallel Galaxy.

SCENE: A BOMBED OUT TOWN IN AFGHANISTAN. ONE MAN IS SQUATTING IN THE DIRT LOOKING AT VARIOUS BITS OF PAPER BEFORE HIM. ANOTHER MAN JOINS HIM.

MAN 1 – Mohammad, my friend how are you? May Allah bless your family and bring you many sons!

MOHAMMAD: Abdullah! May your daughters be chaste and honour your name! Where is your house?

ABULLAH: (Picks up dirt; runs it through fingers) Right here.

MOHAMMAD: Oh. The infidels?

ABULLAH: May the fleas of one thousand camels infest the genitals of their mothers – yes, the infidels.

MOHAMMAD: But why?

ABULLAH: They thought my father to be a Taliban fighter.

MOHAMMAD: Your father? He does not fight for the Taliban!

ABULLAH: He does now!

MOHAMMAD: So what will you do?

ABULLAH: I have no choice. I must leave.

MOHAMMAD: Leave? But this is the land of Allah! Why would you leave?

ABULLAH: Allah has blessed me with many, many sons and daughters, and those sons and daughters who still walk upon this earth have also been similarly smiled upon, and these sons and daughters and their sons and daughters do not deserve this life of dodging bombs in the dust.

MOHAMMAD: Allah be his name! So where will you go?

ABULLAH: Well, that’s what I’m trying to work out.

MOHAMMAD: With these? (Holds up piece of paper) What are these?

ABULLAH: Ah, they are brochures?

MOHAMMAD: Brochures?

ABULLAH: Yes, by Allah, brochures from people smugglers!

MOHAMMAD: Really?

ABULLAH: The latest ones, fresh from Indonesia!

MOHAMMAD: Ah yes, a country with many a million Muslim! You will be happy there…

ABULLAH: No no no, by the all the flies in the ears of one thousand dead donkeys, I do not want to go to Indonesia!

MOHAMMAD: No? But why?

ABULLAH: Mohammad! You know less than the infidels! Don't you know that Indonesia is not a signatory to the UNHCR Treaty on the Rights of Refugees?

MOHAMMAD: Of course! May Allah grant me more wisdom! So where DO you want to go?

ABULLAH: Well, these fine gentlemen say they can take me to…Australia!

MOHAMMAD: Australia! Of course! The collection of former British colonies that federated in 1901!

ABULLAH: The very same!

MOHAMMAD: Australia! The nation that claims independence yet failed to renounce the British royal family at the 1999 referendum!

ABULLAH: By all the full stops in the Koran, that’s the one!

MOHAMMAD: Australia! The country that…

ABULLAH: May the seventy-six virgins of heaven preserve us! Your knowledge of Australia! It barely exits!

MOHAMMAD: Forgive me Abdullah, but now that the coalition of the willing has flattened our town back into the desert from which Allah himself created it, the reception from my cable TV satellite has been somewhat compromised and I cannot access the History, Discovery and National Geographic channels as before!

ABULLAH: That is no excuse for ignorance, Mohammad. However, I admit that I, since the complete destruction of my home and all that I own on this earth, am somewhat blind to some of the more recent domestic policy decisions made by the new Labor government, which is why some of these brochures are so helpful and informative.

MOHAMMAD: Is that so? And why is that?

ABULLAH: Because, according to this pamphlet at least, some recent domestic policy decisions have resulted in a softening of conditions for asylum seekers and refugees!

MOHAMMAD: Really? Woo hoo!

ABULLAH: Yes! It seems that by the all the hairs on the goats of my many uncles, Kevin Rudd, the new prime minister, has gotten rid of the Pacific Solution! No more being sent to Nauru!

MOHAMMAD: Praise be! And tell me, what of those accursed places of torture Woomera and Baxter?

ABDULLAH: Gone, by Allah! Closed! Shut! Being overcome by the desert sands as we speak!

MOHAMMAD: Mohammad be praised! There was a wandering goatherd who told me something similar but I thought that maybe he had been misinformed.

ABDULLAH: No, I fear he merely had been reading some out-of-date promotional literature!

MOHAMMAD: But are you sure about the reputation of these smugglers? Are you sure they are honest?

ABULLAH: Indeed Mohammad, I have great faith in these brave men, for many a Muslim sings their praises to the heavens! Listen to this:

From when I left Iraq to being found on Ashmore Reef, Bong Bong & Son’s smuggling service was second to none! I would recommend it to any Muslim fleeing a war zone!’ - M. Ali, Bankstown.

MOHAMMAD: My my! Praise indeed!

ABDULLAH: And this:

I thought that when our fishing boat caught fire, capsized and sank in international waters we were in big trouble, but the Bong Bong representative stayed with us every step of the way – in fact, I now live in Shepparton and the former Bong Bong employee has just become Mayor!’ – A. Mohammad, Shepparton.

MOHAMMAD: Such service!

ABDULLA: Listen to this one:

'When Cleopatra's Restaurant in St Kilda closed in 2006, a niche in the market opened for the superior kebab and felafel that they once served. I knew that I could service that market in a cost effective and delicious manner if only I could make landfall in Australia which, thanks to Bong Bong & Son, I did some months later.'

MOHAMMAD: So he was not detained by the authorities?

ABDULLAH: Of course he was! Who, in the name of the prophet, would travel kilometres overland before boarding small fishing vessels of dubious safety and not expect to be detained by the authorities? Who, in the name of Allah himself, would make this commitment without being fully abreast of changes in the Australian government's domestic immigration policy?

'Although the time spent being detained by the authorities was a setback, I had allowed for this period as I had kept myself fully abreast of changes in the Australian government's domestic immigration policy by monitoring the Austraian Government's Department of Immigration website on my computer that was set up under the tarpaulin I called home in the refugee camp, despite the dropout when my son, Mustapha, stopped pedaling.'

MOHAMMAD: But did he...?

ABDULLAH: Forbearance, my brother, forbearance – Allah blesses the patient.

'However, I understand that my stay in Baxter detention centre, and the more than reasonable rates charges by Bong Bong and his associates, was merely part of the costs of doing business. These were offset by selling both my tarpaulin and the deeds to the irradiated patch of desert that has been in my family for sixteen generation, and now my restaurant, Nu Cleo's, is about to start serving authentic Middle Eastern cuisine to the people of Melbourne at affordable prices. – Hussein Hussein, St Kilda.'

MOHAMMAD: May the prophet Mohammad bless those who praise him! How much does it cost to go to Australia, the great southern land claimed for the British crown by Captain Cook in the year of Allah 1788?

ABDULLAH: According to these pamphlets, the prices are most competitive and there are many plans to choose from, and many purveyors of freedom willing to help!

MOHAMMAD: Well then! What are we waiting for?

ABDULLAH: You’re coming too?

MOHAMMAD: Why not? It says here that there is a discount for whole boatloads!

ABDULLAH: By the time we’re finished, Christmas Island will be called Ramadan Island!

MOHAMMAD: & ABULLAH: Allah Akbar! (MEN GET UP AND LEAVE.)

MEANWHILE, IN A SRI LANKAN CONCENTRATION CAMP:

GUARD: So how are you enjoying your stay?

MAHATMA: Look, I will be most and absolutely frank – some of the amenities could with a little tweaking.

GUARD: (WITH A SMALL SOB) You ungrateful bully! When we’ve done all we can to make you happy!

MAHATMA: We’d have been happier if you had not attempted to subject us to genocide!

GUARD: Oh, don’t split hairs! Picky, picky, picky! You’re still alive, aren’t you?

MAHATMA: Only just.

GUARD: Well, we don’t want you to stay where you’re not wanted so why don’t you just…why don’t you just…leave!

MAHATMA: OK! Where would you like us to go?

GUARD: As if I care! Hang on though…I’ve got these…(RUMMAGES IN POCKETS)…I’ve got a brochure somewhere…ah, here we are! It's the latest from Indonesia!

‘Bong Bong & Sons! International people smugglers! Antipodes a speciality! Call for low, low rates! Special deals for Xmas! Take advantage of the touchy-feely bleeding hearts now in power! Offers can’t last!

MAHATMA: Wow! A left-wing government wouldn’t DARE let us sink!

GUARD: Off you go then!

MEANWHILE, IN AN INDONESIAN FISHING VILLIAGE.

BONG BONG SNR: You know what, son? I’m over that bloody Kevin Rudd!

BONG BONG JNR: Why, Dad?

BONG BONG SNR: All his recent domestic policy decisions!

BONG BONG JNR: What about them?

BONG BONG SNR: I can’t keep up! First off he’s all Bornhoffen and ‘They came for the communists’, saying that asylum seekers are legitimate refugees until proven otherwise, but no sooner do I get my new brochures printed up than he’s all ‘Illegal immigrants have no place in our land’ or some such.

BONG BONG JNR: What a dick!

BONG BONG SNR: Too right! Now I’ve got 20 million leaflets advertising the end of the Pacific Solution and Temporary Protection Visas while Rudd works overtime to put in place the Indonesian Solution! It’s just not fair!

BONG BONG JNR: No!

BONG BONG SNR: I mean, I understand that we’re not a signatory to the UNHCR Treaty on the Rights of Refugees here in Indonesia or anything – we’re no mugs! – but Australia? Right on the dotted line! So what’s with all the ‘bugger off back to where you came from’ malarkey?

BONG BONG JNR: Um…

BONG BONG SNR: Look, either these agreements mean something, in which case we Indonesians are bastards, or they don’t, in which case it’s the western liberal democracies are that are bastards and hypocritical bastards at that!

BONG BONG JNR: Total bastards!

BONG BONG SNR: I mean, after John Howard I was really hoping that trade might pick up a bit ‘cause he just about killed me! I couldn’t get any testimonials – in fact, quite the opposite! The Tora Bora broadband server was overloaded with people trying to warn warn the locals of John Howard’s meddling with Australian immigration law! The SMS network completely keeled over! It was madness!

BONG BONG JNR: Bloody Howard!

BONG BONG SNR: Bloody Howard's right! All that Tampa stuff – how was I supposed to build brand loyalty with anti-business behaviour like that? I nearly reported Howard to the WTO for restrain of trade!

BONG BONG JNR: Yeah! Reported him!

BONG BONG SNR: And now, just when the customers are starting to return and business is turning around a bit…this! Rudd takes some Aussie government tub, fills it full of punters – MY punters – and sends it bobbing off across the Indian Ocean to land wherever!

BONG BONG JNR: Shocking!

BONG BONG SNR: Now, how is that fair? Huh? I mean, of course the government can provide a better quality ride – they’re the bloody government! The Australian opposition treasurer called it a three-star cruise if you don’t mind!

BONG BONG JNR: I don’t!

BONG BONG SNR: Bloody protectionists! I should report Rudd too, for anti competitive behavior!

BONG BONG JNR: Yeah!

BONG BONG SNR: I’m not in this just for the money, y’know – I take great pride in knowing that my customers are now picking stone fruit in the Riverina! And what about when the SIEV X sank? The victims would’ve been outraged! They would’ve wanted their money back if they’d have lived! My ‘Australia Guaranteed!’ gimmick would’ve looked pretty silly then, wouldn’t it?

BONG BONG JNR: Very silly!

BONG BONG SNR: I ask you, what kind of position does the Oceanic Viking put me in? On the one hand, if those punters get dumped in some third world hell hole –

BONG BONG JNR: What? Like here?

BONG BONG SNR: Yeah, pretty much – well, if they got dumped here there’d be a right ruckus! Those punters would moan, complain, text me, call me on their mobiles, get on Face Book, MySpace, twitter me, email, get on the cable news and YouTube – some might even write 'letters' – I’d never hear the end of it! But if they get taken to Christmas Island and Australia, well, everyone will be Skyping everyone else and their Auntie Nellie telling them to make sure they sink their boats so that customs will pick them up and ship them to Australia in comfort!

BONG BONG JNR: So? You still get the business!

BONG BONG SNR: So? So? Where does that leave me? I’m not made of boats! Where do you think boats come from? Trees?

BONG BONG JNR: Er...

BONG BONG SNR: And what about the return trips? I mean, I'm trying to build a little brand loyalty here! What if any of those refugees want to nip home for a couple of months? Hmm? I've got all these boat going out full and coming back empty, but if this Oceanic Viking bizzo keeps up I'll be stuffed! I'll have no boats al all! And how can I charge the full rate when they know they'll only be using my boat for half the trip? I'll be 'rooned!

BONG BONG JNR: 'Rooned! We'll all be 'rooned!

BONG BONG SNR: Look, governments have no place interfering in my business and trying to undercut me! I mean, these refugees are actors in a free market, people fully engaged and making well-informed decisions as to their destinations, and they should just be allowed to get on with creating their own destinies without the cold dead hand of the state getting in the way!

BONG BONG JNR: Yeah! In the way!

BONG BONG SNR: All I want is a little certainty! I don’t want to lose all my custom to British truck drivers crossing the English channel, do I? If Australia is to remain a viable destination then the Australian government has to leave it to the free market!
Especially with emerging markets like Sri Lanka and the low-lying Pacific islands coming online! How am I going to promise those refugees a rock-solid service if those bloody Aussies keep changing the rules and running their own service? I’ll go broke! The only winner will be the bloody printer!

BONG BONG JNR: Yeah! The printer!

BONG BONG SNR: Oh, shut up.

MEANWHILE, IN CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA, IN A PARLLEL UNIVERSE:

PRIME MINISTER KEVIN RUDD: On this Australia Day I would like to extend the country’s highest award for bravery to one of our Indonesian neighbours who have risked life and limb in service to liberty and freedom.

(MILD APPLAUSE FROM AUDIENCE)

Like the heroes of America’s underground railroad, the French resistance and admirable men like Oscar Schindler, Bong Bong Sinarto and his family have given their lives to spiriting oppressed and persecuted minorities away from the clutches of their enemies and into the welcoming arms of liberal democracies across the world, liberal democracies where wounds can be healed and lives rebuilt.

This work is no more poignant than when it involves those from places where the liberal democracies are, sadly, in conflict with the forces of repression and fear. We in the Australian government are deeply humbled and, it must said, shamed by Mr Sinarto’s continued efforts to rescue people from those very war zones where so much damage is being inflicted by us, and from those very tyrants we seek to destroy.

If we, the liberal democracies of the west, cannot find it in our hearts to throw a blanket of freedom across the shoulders of huddled masses whose lives have been destroyed, not through their own actions but through the actions of the very liberal democracies they are now begging for assistance then we, the liberal democracies, are surely not worthy of the name.

The Hippocratic oath says ‘First, do no harm’, and so doctors make sure that, whatever treatment they prescribe, they must be sure that the treatment does not make the patient worse off. In cases, however, where the treatment IS worse than the disease, a doctor will go to great lengths to make sure that the effects of the treatment are as temporary as possible.

And so, just as medical practitioners aim to make bodies whole, we, the liberal democracies, seek to do the same for the world. Cancers must be eradicated, be the malignancy in the body or the body politic and, just like the cure for cancer has to be aggressive - chemotherapy is nothing if not violent – so too must be the efforts to remove the tumor of tyranny.

But, just like we seek to ease the side effects of chemo, so too must we help, in anyway we can, those who are suffering the side effects of war – the homelessness, the loss of loved ones, of livelihoods, of lives – by inviting them into our communities to share the riches we are so lucky to have.

Sadly we cannot organize airlifts too bring everybody out of the hell we have created, but we can certainly welcome those with the grit, tenacity, determination, courage and love of freedom to make it to our shores no matter what, and salute those hardy souls who dedicate their lives helping them.

There are some miserable curs in our society however, who denigrate these worthy individuals and call them and the ‘scum of the earth’, who castigate them for ‘making money from the misery of millions’, but may I remind those naysayers that nothing happens in the darkness without money, that there is nothing wrong with making a living and that there is no more honourable way to make it than by helping others escape the crushing oppression of war and hatred by whatever means necessary.

The ‘people smugglers’ are not ‘human traffickers’ as their customers are not being sold on to any end user – the only end user is us, the Australian people, as we take advantage of all the skills and other benefits these people so doggedly brought with them from overseas.

In fact, those who cop such opprobrium are not even ‘people smugglers’ – they are, in reality, ‘freedom facilitators’ who don’t deal in misery so much as unabashed, glorious and unrepentant joy, as anyone who has seen the look on the face of a refugee as they are granted a permanent resident’s visa will attest.

We Aussies must never forget that we, too, are ‘boat people’, but we don’t call Captain Arthur Phillip a ‘people smuggler’ or a ‘human trafficker’, although the convicts were hardly willing cargo – but if we choose not to define him that way then we must also reject the efforts by our opposition to use such terms to define the likes of Bong Bong.

We are a compassionate people who will gladly divvy up what we have with those less fortunate, if only they can get here – as we sing in our proudest moments, 'For those who've come across the seas, we've boundless plains to share' – and we know that there is no ‘queue’ as such in a war zone, just people yearning to be free, and so in times like these we need champions like Bong Bong.

We need freedom fighters like Bong Bong to bring us the innocent lives that we are morally bound to rebuild with the bricks and mortar of the human soul, that of love and acceptance, in the hope that might receive the ultimate accolade – forgiveness for the pain we have wrought upon them.

We need noble men like Bong Bong to deliver to our doorstep the bitter harvest of our good intentions, we need people like Bong Bong to risk his life to do what’s right and we need heroes like Bong Bong to remind us that we have laid waste to someone else’s countries for no good reason – lest we ever, ever, forget.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

YES, WE CAN! – Well, um, actually maybe we can’t…not yet…later perhaps, but now? Yeah no, er, we’ll get back to you…

It has come to Elroy’s attention that there has been something of a shakeout in world events in the past 9 months and that George W. Bush been kicked to the kerb and one Barak Hussein Obama, a most unlikely black and white Christian Muslim, been elected by a desperate US population to not be George W. Bush.

Oops! What gives? It’s true that Elroy, ineffable and inerrant sage that he is, once calmly stated that Obama would never make it to the White House due to EOAS (Early Onset Assassination Syndrome) but, now that Obama has managed to navigate his way to some fairly substantial DC real estate, Elroy has had time enough to fully cogitate on the magnitude of these events and is ready to impart his considerable and weighty wisdom concerning the future of the Free World™.

The big question is what really happens at the White House? Elroy asks because that black and white Christian Muslim who runs the place does not appear to be the black and white Christian Muslim who ran towards it. Why? Well, as far as Elroy can tell, there are a 1.5 baker’s dozen possibilities.

1. Candidate Barak Obama was a truly progressive liberal who understood that he would have to shift to the right in a pragmatic effort to avoid the second American civil war he thinks might otherwise occur.

2. Candidate Barak Obama was a truly progressive liberal who, upon being handed the keys to the White House wine cellar, was taken into a small room to have a few home truths by the CIA, FBI, Pentagon, Department of Homeland Security et al about the extent, effects and responsibilities of American power, both foreign and domestic.

3. Candidate Barak Obama was truly progressive liberal who, upon being handed the keys to the White House wine cellar, suddenly realised that he could make out like a bandit if he became a running lackey dog of the bourgeoisie happy to protect the ruling elite’s vested interests and what he hell do those bleeding heart do-gooder liberal wankers know anyway?

4. Candidate Barak Obama was a truly progressive liberal who got some bad advise from some ex-Clinton running lackey dogs of the bourgeoisie happy to protect the ruling elite’s vested interests on who to hire as his advisors and then allowed himself to be advised by those advisors because President Obama hasn’t actually got a clue what he’s doing.

5. Candidate Barak Obama was a truly progressive liberal who, upon being handed the keys to White House wine cellar, quite simply lost his nerve at the thought of all those bitter rednecks clinging to their guns and religion, and not just in Congress, and has become a quivering protoplasm in the face of the Republican Senator’s war dance/

6. Candidate Barak Obama wass a lying bastard who said whatever his progressive liberal base wanted to hear in order to be handed the keys to the White House wine cellar and who had, in reality, only ever been a running lackey dog of the bourgeoisie happy to protect the ruling elite’s vested interests.

7. Candidate Barak Obama is a truly progressive liberal and just soooooooo much smarter than the rest of us that we cannot see the long chess game he is playing, that it will all turn out fine for progressive liberals in the long run and we will be shocked, shocked, I tells ya, that we ever thought he was even capable of being a running lackey dog of the bourgeoisie happy to protect the ruling elite’s vested interests.

8. Candidate Barak Obama believes he is a truly progressive liberal who is, as we speak, enacting a truly progressive liberal agenda for the good of all Americans.

9. Candidate Barak Obama is a truly progressive liberal who genuinely feels that compromise and bipartisanship, meeting the other side of the divide halfway, is absolutely crucial to the effective governing of the country.

10 Candidate Barak Obama is merely shoring up the moderate Republican base for 2012 as he knows his progressive liberals would sooner chew their own legs off than allow President Palin to come to pass.

11. Candidate Obama was a truly progressive liberal who knows he owes his place to the Democratic National Committee and ‘Blue Dog’ democrats and so must temper his socialist instincts in order to keep them onside and get legislation passed.

12. Barack Obama is a committed socialist/communist/fascist who ran as a centrist but who is now implementing plans to turn the USA into the USSA.

13. Candidate Barak Obama is not a truly progressive liberal but a fully paid-for stooge of the New World Order.

14. President Obama is a complete phoney who has never done a thing worth a damn in his entire life and has skated in to the White House on combination of lies, his grandparents money, affirmative action, white guilt, charm and guile.

15. Candidate Barak Obama is, was, and always bought and paid for by Wall Steet in general and Goldman Sachs in particular.

16. Barack Obama is actually Elvis Presley after having been probed by aliens at Rockwell.

17. Candidate Obama is an illegal alien from Kenya who plans to transform the USA into an Islamofascist/communist hellhole via FEMA re-education camps that ‘teach’ his special blend of Sharia law and doctrinaire Marxism.

18. Candidate Barak Obama used blak majik and witchcraft to become the supreme ruler of the world.

19. For yea Obama hath the number of the beast and it is he who be the anti-Christ.

Hmm. Maybe we here at Let’s Ask Elroy!™ should explain ourselves and break these down a little.

1. Candidate Barak Obama was a truly progressive liberal who understood that he would have to shift to the right in a pragmatic effort to avoid the second American civil war he thinks might otherwise occur.

Fans of the Interwebs in the USA will have noticed their more, um, rural cousins installing several new gun racks to accommodate the several hundred new guns they wish to transport on the back of their 4x4 SUV pick-up trucks just in case revolution II breaks out while they’re out grabbing a 6-pack at that there licker store.

As Obama has no wish to use his next State Of The Union speech to report that the state of the union is smashed and broken beyond all possible repair and that he is being held hostage on a mountain in Montana, he is seeking to implement his agenda with great skill and diplomacy lest the militias cry havoc, let loose the dogs of war and take their pitchforks for a road trip to D

2. Candidate Barak Obama was a truly progressive liberal who, upon being handed the keys to the White House wine cellar, was taken into a small room to have a few home truths by the CIA, FBI, Pentagon, Department of Homeland Security et al about the extent, effects and responsibilities of American power, both foreign and domestic.

Here we enter the dark and sinister world of unknown unknowns. Maybe he was even threatened in some opaque fashion? Shown a copy of his Kenyan birth certificate? Whatever they did, Obama emerged chastened and tamed – turned, in other words, into a running lackey dog of the bourgeoisie happy to protect the ruling elite’s vested interests.

It is entirely possible that the president elect is quietly informed as to the real and absolute truth of how America makes the world work with such lines as ‘Y’remember 9/11 and the WTC? Meet Dick over here, one of his finer efforts’, and ‘George Junior – it’s amazing what a guy’ll do once you show him how his Pappy whacked JFK’ and ‘You ever read about the Businessmen’s Coup attempt back in 1937? The time when DuPont and Ford and all them guys were going to mount a fascist takeover of FDR? Well, guess what…?’ until the President elect says ‘Yeah, alright, you guys just keep on keeping on’ because he now he knows the truth he also how important it is it to keep lying about it.

3. Candidate Barak Obama was truly progressive liberal who, upon being handed the keys to the White House wine cellar, suddenly realised that he could make out like a bandit if he became a running lackey dog of the bourgeoisie happy to protect the ruling elite’s vested interests and what he hell do those bleeding heart do-gooder liberal wankers know anyway?

There is, of course, the chance that candidate Obama realised that here was his big chance to clean up and that a poor black and white Christian Muslim doesn’t get handed these opportunities ever day and he’ be a mug to refuse it and hell, he got here by dint of his own bootstraps so why shouldn’t anyone else, and....

4.Candidate Barak Obama was a truly progressive liberal who got some bad advise from some ex-Clinton running lackey dogs of the bourgeoisie happy to protect the ruling elite’s vested interests on who to hire as his advisors and then allowed himself to be advised by those advisors because President Obama hasn’t actually got a clue what he’s doing.

Option four says that Obama is the accidental president, that he was just making a trial run ready for 2012 or 2016 and that when he won he panicked, asked Bill and Hilary who they picked to help them and did the same. Certainly the Obama administration is chock full o’ faces who have been quietly propping up the bars of DC since 1999 and waiting for a call, so maybe this is just one of those sequels they make without the lead actor but with the same crew, like the Regan/Bush Jnr show.

5. Candidate Barak Obama was a truly progressive liberal who, upon being handed the keys to White House wine cellar, quite simply lost his nerve at the thought of all those bitter rednecks clinging to their guns and religion, and not just in Congress, and has become a quivering protoplasm in the face of the Republican Senator’s war dance.

So is he a lily-livered pussy who is all scared of the Republicans in the House and Congress? Is this why he has allowed a back down over the crucial Employee’s Free Choice Act? Why single-payer healthcare has gone the way of JFK? Why the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are blazing unabated?

Or is he crazy brave enough to stare down the nutters and, say, institute single-payer health care and charge the rich for it, or release the prisoners in Git’mo and Bagram, or end warrantless wiretaps, or…or…or…on the face of it, it doesn’t look good, does it?

6. Candidate Barak Obama wass a lying bastard who said whatever his progressive liberal base wanted to hear in order to be handed the keys to the White House wine cellar and who had, in reality, only ever been a running lackey dog of the bourgeoisie happy to protect the ruling elite’s vested interests.

There is, of course, always the chance that he is complete bollocks and bluer than Rush Limbaugh with no Oxycontin, that he is a Republican stooge who is in place to placate the lefties and make sure that a truly progressive liberal does get to drive the ‘bus.

It’s true that he went to Harvard and rubbed shoulders with the future captains of industry, and so he could be the ultimate triangulation machine – the guy that could get it done with the backing of the left to the satisfaction of the right. Change, but not too much change…

7. Candidate Barak Obama is a truly progressive liberal and just soooooooo much smarter than the rest of us that we cannot see the long chess game he is playing, that it will all turn out fine for progressive liberals in the long run and we will be shocked, shocked, I tells ya, that we ever thought he was even capable of being a running lackey dog of the bourgeoisie happy to protect the ruling elite’s vested interests.

Option seven says that big ol’ brain of his is working just fine and that he is playing the Republicans like monkeys, running rings around them in a game of chess so subtle that the GOP think they are playing draughts. It doesn’t matter that he has caved on some vital issues, the point is that the Repubs are being played and that…that…that will be good when, er…whenever he decides to stop.

Take, for instance, the current healthcare debate. Obama said he wanted a bill on healthcare reform by August, a declaration which sent the Retail Right into a blood boiling frenzy. Conservatives have spent their summer descending on townhall meetings in demented hysterics to demand, loudly and without end, the right to be screwed royally and left to die by the health maintenance organizations they pay so much money to – ‘Give me liberty AND give me death!’ – but now that they have exhausted themselves, and shown themselves to be complete pillocks, Obama has said ‘Oh well, we’ll do it later then’.

Is this rope-a-dope White House style? Was Obama relying on the Dining Room Tables to go utterly ape and show their hand early, thus demonstrating their total inability to understand the issues and effectively dealing themselves out of the game? Is Obama banking, mayhaps, on the more moderate Republicans distancing themselves from the nutters and realizing that the left do have several very good points? We wait and see. Of course, Obama’s game might be so subtle that he never actually reveals his hand at all…

8. Candidate Barak Obama believes he is a truly progressive liberal who is, as we speak, enacting a truly progressive liberal agenda for the good of all Americans.

There is, of course, the possibility that he is completely genuine and that he believes that his legislative agenda is what he promised and that, in time, Americans will realize that he has done, is doing and will do exactly what he said he would. This is, of course, utterly silly and the most ridiculous notion, here but of course we much canvass all possibilities no matter how absurd.

9. Candidate Barak Obama is a truly progressive liberal who genuinely feels that compromise and bipartisanship, meeting the other side of the divide halfway, is absolutely crucial to the effective governing of the country.

Possibility nine postulates Obama knows that, in order to get anything done, deals must be done. His aversion to confrontation and grown-up approach to government have led him to hope that the other side will recognise his due authority and be prepared to also modify their ideas to reflect the new reality on the Hill, that is, a Democrat majority in both houses and a mandate from the American people to enact a more liberal agenda.

10. Candidate Barak Obama is merely shoring up the moderate Republican base for 2012 as he knows his progressive liberals would sooner chew their own legs off than allow President Palin to come to pass.

He knows his base will follow him, unless they manage to organize a viable and widespread third party between now and 2012, and that they will always choose him over a Republican, especially if that Republican is called Palin. The swing voters, however, are not so reliable, and if the GOP manage to nominate a candidate to left of Mussolini then they will be even less so, so the 2012 election campaign starts now. Actually, it started on November the fifth, 2008….

11. Candidate Obama was a truly progressive liberal who knows he owes his place to the Democratic National Committee and ‘Blue Dog’ democrats and so must temper his socialist instincts in order to keep them onside and get legislation passed.

The DNC might as well be Republicans, and the so-called Blue Dogs actually are. The Right have a policy of infiltration; from school boards on up, conservatives make a point of being represented, in one way or another, in every significant institution in America and the Democratic Party is no different.

12. Barack Obama is devious liar who ran as a mild-mannered centrist but who is, in actual fact, a committed socialist/communist/fascist currently implementing his nefarious plans to turn the USA into the USSA.

This through-the-looking-glass, demented world view is expounded on a daily basis by Fox News’ resident cry-baby, the certifiably insane Glenn Beck. It is, of course, completely at odds with all the available evidence, but that has never stopped Glenn before and so the USA is slowly being filled with nutbags convinced that Glenn is 100% correct without ever attempting to define the words ‘socialist’, ‘communist’ or ‘fascist’.

13. Candidate Barak Obama is not a truly progressive liberal but a fully paid-for stooge of the New World Order.

In this scenario, Obama is, was, and always will be a creature of the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission, Council on Foreign Relations, the Carlyle Group, the Illuminati, Skull and Bones, the Davos Forum, the frolickers of Bohemia Grove, JP Morgan and whatever other shadowy organizations run the world from behind the curtains.

Recognising that the Bush/Cheney project had maybe gone a little too far too fast, Barak Obama was plucked from obscurity by the NWO to put a friendly face on US hegemony before the world woke up and smelled the tacos, a black and white Christian Muslim guaranteed to placate citizens across the planet while the final stages of the NWO’s grand plan is put into effect.

14. President Obama is a complete phoney who has never done a thing worth a damn in his entire life and has skated in to the White House on combination of lies, his grandparents money, affirmative action, white guilt, charm and guile.

The rationale for this is the apparent ease with Obama floated into Harvard Law, the Illinios Senate and the White House. According to adherents of this theory his grandparents were loaded, he only got into Harvard as an affirmative action candidate, his two books were ghost written by Bill Ayers and that, although he is as black as he is white, he played up his dark side in order to make whitey feel a) sorry for him and b) better about themselves by voting for him.

It is held that everything about Obama is a fraud, that he is just a super-slick conman unable to utter a word without a teleprompter, that he was a completely average student, that he never wrote anything of note in all his time of editing the Harvard Law Review and that never was heard a distinguishing word from The One in all his born days.

15. Candidate Barak Obama is, was, and always bought and paid for by Wall Steet in general and Goldman Sachs in particular.


The evidence for this thesis is everywhere. Like the Bush Jnr and Clinton cabals before it, the Obama administration is livid, rife, rotten with Goldman Sachs alumni. Henry Paulson, former GS CEO and Bush Treasury Secretary, was the trigger man for the biggest heist in human history, and the swindle continues apace, so it really doesn’t matter which party is in power as GS owns the lot.

Ronnie Reagn’s Assistant Secretary of Treasury Paul Craig Roberts was once asked "Does the US Secretary of the Treasury work for the people or does he work for the banking system on Wall Street?" and Roberts said ‘He works for Goldman Sachs.’

16. Barack Obama is actually Elvis Presley after having been probed by aliens at Rockwell.

Somewhere, in the wilds of Montana, there is a lone nutter clinging to his guns who has a blog promoting option 16 and who will happily tell you how Elvis was jumped while visiting Walker Air Force Base by the resident little green men. They then inserted a probe which made Elvis blow up like a balloon before exhibiting all the outward signs of death until he emerged from his cocoon as a suave and charming African American, a result the aliens thought Elvis might appreciate.

17. Candidate Obama is an illegal alien from Kenya who plans to transform the USA into an Islamofascist/communist hellhole via FEMA re-education camps that ‘teach’ his special blend of Sharia law and doctrinaire Marxism.

Option 17 is nuttier than 16. Apparently Obama’s mama left her native Kansas for Kenya to give birth to the lurve chil’ she had created with Kenyan student Barak Obama Snr, at which point Obama Snr hopped on a plane for Hawaii that same day in order to place an ad in the birth announcement pages of the Honolulu Advertiser and Honolulu Start-Bulletin, and insert a Certificate of Live Birth and Birth Certificate into the medical records of the Kapi'olani Medical Center for Women & Children so that his parents could then claim that he was borned in the USA . Or something.

So, having fooled the US into giving their boy citizenship, Obama was then brought up as a Muslim and brainwashed by communists until he realized that he his soul would not rest until he had transformed the USA into an Islamofascist/communist hellhole via FEMA re-education camps that ‘teach’ his special blend of Sharia law and doctrinaire Marxism.

Variants include that idea that Barak Obama Snr was NOT his father, that he WAS born in Hawaii but lost his US citizenship in a card game in Jakarta, that his grandmother is a witchdoctor etc etc (Cont. P 96), but remember – a significant number of Americans BELIEVE THIS TO BE TRUE. I’m scared now.

18. Candidate Barak Obama used blak majik and witchcraft to become the supreme ruler of the world.

Given that his Grandmother is/was a witchdoctor this was not hard, having leaned all the voodoo tricks he might have needed from her by osmosis and by living for a short time in Hawaii, which is in the Pacific and therefore not so far from Haiti.

19. For yea Obama hath the number of the beast and it is he who be the anti-Christ.

Hard to prove but, if true, it would be a bit awkward for the legion of godless lib’ruls if Obama suddenly sprouted horns and a tail, declared himself to be the devil incarnate and cast said lib’ruls into the flaming pit of eternal hellfire. It would, however, lock in the hard-to-reach Satanist vote.

So Obama’s failure to fire could be down to any, or a mixture, of all of the above nineteen scenarios, but what they don’t explain is the Right’s animosity towards him because, if you care to go ‘round again, you will see that there is nothing for them to dislke.

1. Candidate Barak Obama was a truly progressive liberal who understood that he would have to shift to the right in a pragmatic effort to avoid the second American civil war he thinks might otherwise occur.

Why wouldn’t this please the Right? They must have understood that elections have consequences and that there would obviously be changes that they didn’t like, so it looks to Elroy like American conservatives have got off quite lightly – he was hoping they might be a little more circumspect and just a tad rueful when the tables eventually and inevitably turned, but irony is not their strongest suit.

New conservative administrations across the world are marked by the radical agendas they claim they have a mandate to implement; Bush, for instance, implemented two No Millionaire Left Behind tax cuts, the PATRIOT Act and two endless wars while the GOP generally sulked, pouted, kicked the chairs and literally told them pesky lib’ruls to go fuck them selves when they expressed doubts over the GOP’s legislative schedule.

Now, however, in line with conservatives’ take-no-prisoners, partisan, fight-to-the-death, no-quarter-given, hard-line, below-the-belt, bloody, punitive and punishing approach to politics, Obama’s attempts to implement his mild agenda Is being met with calls for revolution, armed insurrection, and the wholesale spilling of lib’rul blood.

So the Retail Right rattle their sabres and hang tough, and the chance are it could be working, but the downside is that they might not get to have their second civil war after all, which is a shame because what’s the point of owning a personal arsenal the size of Belgium’s (as part of a well-regulated militia, you understand) if you don’t get to shoot some commies?

2. Candidate Barak Obama was a truly progressive liberal who, upon being handed the keys to the White House wine cellar, was taken into a small room to have a few home truths by the CIA, FBI, Pentagon, Department of Homeland Security et al about the extent, effects and responsibilities of American power, both foreign and domestic.

This would be great outcome for conservatives as it would mean that the true power of the state lies within the military/industrial complex, just the way they like it. Can Obama keep America safe? Only if the MIC let him.

3. Candidate Barak Obama was truly progressive liberal who, upon being handed the keys to the White House wine cellar, suddenly realised that he could make out like a bandit if he became a running lackey dog of the bourgeoisie happy to protect the ruling elite’s vested interests and what he hell do those bleeding heart do-gooder liberal wankers know anyway?

They profess to hate ‘flip-floppers’ but there is little the Right like to gloat over more than a leftie who has seen the light and jumped the aisle. Nary a day goes by without them spouting that spurious Churcilll ‘quote’ that goes ‘If you're not a liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 35, you have no brain’, completely oblivious to the fact that Churchill never actually said it – it first turns up as a quip from 19th century French statesman Fran├žois Guizot – and that it declares all lifelong conservatives to be completely heartless; no, the bit they like is the ‘not a conservative = no brain’ equation.

(Editor’s note: The funniest attempt at making this connection was by Sean Hannity when he said ‘If you’re twenty and not a liberal you don’t have a heart; if you’re forty and conservative, you don’t have a brain.’ O how we laffed.)

For example, a Fox News favorite is one David Horowitz, a former ‘60s student Marxist radical who proves either Guizot of Hannity correct at least once a week when he denounces his erstwhile comrades to the delight of the baying herd. Other notable ideological turncoats include playwright David Mamet, neo-con godfather Irving Kristol and The Gipper himself, Ronnie W. Reagan, so one would think that the 27% of America that still call themselves ‘Republicans’ would be wetting themselves at the thought of welcoming Obama to the dark side, but there you go – they’re a hard lot to please.

4. Candidate Barak Obama was a truly progressive liberal who got some bad advise from some ex-Clinton running lackey dogs of the bourgeoisie happy to protect the ruling elite’s vested interests on who to hire as his advisors and then allowed himself to be advised by those advisors because President Obama is a complete fuckwit hasn’t actually got a clue what he’s doing.

This is a win-win proposition for the legions of evil. If Bill Clinton was the best Republican president the Democrats ever elected (so far) then that was down to his advisors. Indeed, Bill’s strategist/consultant/advisor/guru Dick Morris might not be on the Obama team – yet – but he was, and is, a creature of the GOP, and with ex-Clintonistas like Rahm Emmanuel, Larry Summers and Robert Reich knocking around it’s a case of Change We’ve Actually Seen Before, a situation that should cheer those that fear the establishment of the USSA no end, not least because it would prove the treasured conservative notion that Barak Obama is a complete fuckwit who hasn’t actually got a clue what he’s doing.

5. Candidate Barak Obama was a truly progressive liberal who, upon being handed the keys to White House wine cellar, quite simply lost his nerve at the thought of all those bitter rednecks clinging to their guns and religion, and not just in Congress, and has become a quivering protoplasm in the face of the Republican Senator’s war dance.

This is just Republican business as usual. Their take-no-prisoners, partisan, fight-to-the-death, no-quarter-given, hard-line, below-the-belt, bloody, punitive and punishing approach to governance is just another day at the office GOP and Obama is just the kind of eggheaded, non-confrontational kind of elitist scum that they chew up and spit out before morning prayers, so the GOP should be happy – the pres. Is under his desk in whimpering about the nasty bullies and doing what he’s told or else. Mission accomplished!

6. Candidate Barak Obama wass a lying bastard who said whatever his progressive liberal base wanted to hear in order to be handed the keys to the White House wine cellar and who had, in reality, only ever been a running lackey dog of the bourgeoisie happy to protect the ruling elite’s vested interests.

This should break them out in a skip as means that Obama has always been one of them. It means that he single-handedly pulled the wool over democrats big and small, all of them, the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, 62 million voters sucked in by a dyed-in-the-wool running lackey dog of the bourgeoisie who will protect the vested interests of conservative’s corporate overlords and the souls of people one might image conservatives would much rather see burn in hell. So why aren’t they smiling? Who knows?

7. Candidate Barak Obama is a truly progressive liberal and just soooooooo much smarter than the rest of us that we cannot see the long chess game he is playing, that it will all turn out fine for progressive liberals in the long run and we will be shocked, shocked, I tells ya, that we ever thought he was even capable of being a running lackey dog of the bourgeoisie happy to protect the ruling elite’s vested interests.

Again, this really shouldn’t be too much of a problem for conservatives because while Obama is playing his long game, the Republicans are winning their short one. At what point will Obama make his move? At what point will he realise that lulling the opposition into a false sense of security by letting them win is the same as letting them win?

8. Candidate Barak Obama believes he is a truly progressive liberal who is, as we speak, enacting a truly progressive liberal agenda for the good of all Americans.

Another win for conservatives as if this is what Obama thinks is a truly progressive agenda then the conservative have zip to worry about. Obama’s idea of restructuring the financial system is to put it just back as it was before the crash, dollar by taxpayer dollar, and he is merely tinkering with the window dressings of healthcare, although you wouldn’t know it from the wailing and gnashing of teeth coming from the Free Marketeers™; a TRUE truly progressive liberal, on the other hand, would be jailing Wall Street CEOs for fraud and HMO CEOs for murder AND fraud.

9. Candidate Barak Obama is a truly progressive liberal who genuinely feels that compromise and bipartisanship, meeting the other side of the divide halfway, is absolutely crucial to the effective governing of the country.

This is just a gift to conservatives. As The Republican Party’s idea of being ‘bipartisan’ is having a Democrat administration do what the Republicans tell them, Obama’s eagerness to negotiate with them just makes their lives so much easier as they can put down their cudgels and weapons of mass disruption, as per Number Five, snuggle down inside the tent and spend the next four long years torpedoing whatever bills the Dems might send along – by invitation!

10. Candidate Barak Obama is merely shoring up the moderate Republican base for 2012 as he knows his progressive liberals would sooner chew their own legs off than allow President Palin to come to pass.

This still allows the conservative agenda to continue while affording conservatives the pleasure of watching liberals suffer and squirm but still vote Obama in 2012, thus relieving the guilt of those moderates who were ‘forced’ to vote Bush in ’04.

11. Candidate Obama was a truly progressive liberal who knows he owes his place to the Democratic National Committee and ‘Blue Dog’ democrats and so must temper his socialist instincts in order to keep them onside and get legislation passed.

Another win for conservatives, as ‘Blue Dog’ democrats are merely undercover Republicans. As previously noted, it is conservative strategy to infiltrate everything everywhere, from local peace groups through to, well, the Democratic Party, and as Obama’s Chief of Staff, Rahm Emmanuel, is convinced that the Dems could never break through without dragging a few GOP votes over the fence, the Repubs don’t even need to try to sneak their members onto a Democratic Party ticket – Emmanuel invites them!

And they don’t mind – jihad , as we all know, requires martyrdom, and its no different for the Anglo fundies, just a little more symbolic. Consider the strange case of Arlen Specter, a Republican Senator of forty-fours years standing who up and joins the Democrats, just like that, effectively delivering them the prize of a sixty seat filibuster-proof maority.

Why? Because Specter suddenly had a crisis of conscience? Because Specter is such principle-free opportunist that he truly thought he stood a better chance of being re-elected as a democrat? Because he is so deluded that he thought he could get away with it? Or because he is a wily old– curmudgeon who threw himself into the fire in an act of self –sacrifice that will undoubtedly have its rewards so that he could control Obama’s agenda from the inside?

What would you do? Refuse to amend your legislation and have it lose by a vote? Or do what Uncle Arlen suggests? One peculiar facet of this bizarre move is that conspicuous lack of ire it drew from Republicans from sea to shining sea – instead of lynching the traitor that just condemned the USA to the misery of socialism they just shrugged, said ‘Silly old Arlen! Oh well, it’s a free country etc’ and moved back to clobbering whichever democrat had woken up that morning.
And if costs him the 2010 mid-term election, so what? Specter’s no spring chicken – maybe he just wants to live out his twilight years at the expense of a grateful party.

12. Barack Obama is a committed socialist/communist/fascist who ran as a centrist but who is now implementing plans to turn the USA into the USSA.

Number twelve is important to conservatives as it gives their lives meaning. Instead of spending the summer slumped on the couch counting nickels and dimes for bullets and beer, the fact that a radical black communist took over their beloved nation state has had them in state of fevered animation as they swamped townhall meetings to shout that they needed to be heard and held ‘teabag’ protests where they protested the, um right to protest.

This project is unending for conservatives as they see evidence of Obama’s socialism/communism/fascism at every turn. Apparently it is the act of a socialist/communist/fascist traitor to investigate possible war crimes committed by your fellow countrymen, despite the fact that a reluctance to investigate possible war crimes committed by your fellow countrymen is a hallmark of socialist/communist/fascist regimes, and apparently it is also it is the act of a socialist/communist/fascist to attempt to deliver a speech to, sorry, ‘brainwash’ the country’s children concerning the importance of staying in school and getting good grades.

Actually, the DRTs might have a point here – say what you like about socialists/communists, at least they had sensational public education institutions. Capitalists societies, however, like to keep the citizens as stupid as possible, as do fascist societies, which raises the question of whether the retail right have the slightest idea what they are on about and whether they should have, erm, stayed in school.

13. Candidate Barak Obama is not a truly progressive liberal but a fully paid-for stooge of the New World Order.

In this scenario, Obama is, was, and always will be a creature of the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission, Council on Foreign Relations, the Carlyle Group, the Illuminati, Skull and Bones, the Davos Forum, the frolickers of Bohemia Grove, JP Morgan and whatever other shadowy organizations run the world from behind the curtains on behalf of Wall Street and the corporatocracy.

As such it represents another win for the GOP whose numbers also make up the membership ranks of the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission, Council on Foreign Relations, the Carlyle Group, the Illuminati, Skull and Bones, the Davos Forum, the frolickers of Bohemia Grove, JP Morgan and whatever other shadowy organizations run the world from behind the curtains on behalf of Wall Street and the corporatocracy.

14. President Obama is a complete phoney who has never done a thing worth a damn in his entire life and has skated in to the White House on combination of lies, his grandparents money, affirmative action, white guilt, charm and guile.

Conservatives enjoy beating this drum as it feds into their preconceived notion that all black people are, by definition, shifty ne’er-do-wells who have not reached any positions of power hey might hold due to any hard work or application on their part.

Furthermore, it proves that affirmative action results in second rate personnel and that racism is dead which means, in turn, that they can continue to be a racist as ever while maintaining the high moral ground, and allows them to assume the victimhood they have spent so ong deriding in others. Slavery? Jim Crow? 300 years of institutionalised inequality? Get over it! There's a black man in the White House! Waaah! No fair!

15. Candidate Barak Obama is, was, and always bought and paid for by Wall Steet in general and Goldman Sachs in particular.

No worries! As capitalism is all about crushing the competition and establishing monopolies conservatives must be delighted at Goldman Sachs’ hi-jinx this last year! Thank god Goldman was able to hire yet another president to cover it’s tracks!

Yes, the GFC was nothing but a dazzling example of the Free Market™ at work as Goldman, like all good capitalist enterprises, sought to eliminate their competitors, a resounding victory for capitalism and capitalists everywhere!

16. Barack Obama is actually Elvis Presley after having been probed by aliens at Rockwell.

A definite win for conservatives as Elvis is, well, Elvis, no matter aliens have been up him and so, being Elvis and never having actually left the building, he will eventually reveal his true identity and, uh huh huh, lead the USA back to sanity with a rousing chorus of An American Trilogy. Honest.

17. Candidate Obama is an illegal alien from Kenya who plans to transform the USA into an Islamofascist/communist hellhole via FEMA re-education camps that ‘teach’ his special blend of Sharia law and doctrinaire Marxism.

Conservatives would be delighted if this was the case as it would prove them right and being right is what they care about most, happy to be locked up in the backwoods of Georgia and subjected to movies by Al-Queada and Mike Moore movies happy so long as their ‘Told you so!’ rights would remain intact.

This tendency is evidenced by the behaviour of Rush Limbaugh who said ‘I hope he fails!’, which means that he is quite prepared to see his country destroyed rather than have Obama be right. What a patriot!

18. Candidate Barak Obama used blak majik and witchcraft to become the supreme ruler of the world.

Conservatives would like this to be the case as it would explain the unexplainable, that is, how a liberal black man became POTUS. As the retail right cannot fathom that free Americans would willingly vote for the likes of Obama, this option makes them feel better as it says that 53% of the country had a spell cast over them, that they were rendered sheeple drones by The One.

The other good thing about 18 is it absolves conservatives from taking any responsibility for the way the world is, it being governed by voodoo and all.

19. For yea Obama hath the number of the beast and it is he who be the anti-Christ.

This would be a fabulous outcome for the loonier Christian conservatives as it hurries along the Rapture when they all get to ascend into heaven with The Naz and zap them muzzies good and proper, once and for all. True it means the end of everyone else on the planet, but hey – gotta support the troops!

So there you go, Kids! Mix ‘n’ match! Whatever Obama is, more and more people are beginning to worry he’s not what they thought he was. Bugger! For Elroy’s part, he's going with #7 right now because he can’t bear the alternatives, although it does weigh heavy on his mind that chess is game where pawns are sacrificed to protect royalty. Sigh.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

NEXT!

Laugh? Elroy nearly voted Labor! Now, friends of Let’s Ask Elroy!™ will know that he tipped that Mighty Malcolm Turnbull would take over the leadership of the Liberal Party of Australia once the troglodytes tired of Brendan ‘The Locum’ Nelson’s bedwetting behavior, and of course Elroy was, naturally, correct.

The Locum was going down faster than Rupert Murdochs’s profits but it was Peter ‘Tip’ Costello’s sterling contribution to deforestation, a yawnathon memoir simultaneously launched at remainder shops throughout a nonplussed nation, that proved too much for The Locum.

He called for a party room spill, a challenge that Mighty Mal bravely took up even knowing Tip was in the mood for, well, just about anything; Tip was always waiting in the wings, sniping from the backbenches and threatening, by his very presence, to make the Liberal Party giddy with joy by announcing his availability for the gig of Lib head Pooh-bah, but as it was Tip shut up and Mighty Mal got the nod.

Elroy was a little off the mark as he didn’t quite gauge Mighty Mal’s ardent opportunism correctly; he thought Mal might wait until everyone else in the Liberal leadership had retired bleeding to their various electorates and the ALP had fucked up in some inevitable and irretrevable manner before shimmering forth, a vision from Vaucluse come to lead the Libs back to some semblance of sense, but the wait was too much for him and Mal is not a man given to hearing the word ‘No’.

Still, Mal was a little wary – what will Tip Costello do next? When will he do it? Oh, if only he would turn it up completely and go write a book someone actually wanted to read, or something, and then…hoopla! Suddenly it was over! Tip had packed his bat and ball and declared that the great unwashed of Higgins would no longer be subject to his tender mercies! Huzzah!

It is indicative of the combative, born-to-rule nature of the Turnbulls that, upon hearing the news that that daddy was in clear, Mal’s son celebrated by donnng a cowboy hat while riding around the room yelling ‘Yeehaw!’ – Elroy nurses the vague suspicion that said scion might spy some opportunities for upward mobility from daddy being PM, not that he needs any, but Elroy is ever so glad to report that daddy proceeded to blow it in a matter of hours.

In a demonstration of cavalier disregard, Mighty Mal’s joy got he better of him. It is said that a good barrister will never ask a question that he doesn’t know the answer to, but Mal obviously missed that day at law school – the day he didn’t miss, however, was the one where they show how to prep a witness.

And so he stitched up a neat little vignette starring the permanently outraged Senator Eric Abetz and a hapless civil service mole called Godwin Grech in which Abetz was shocked, shocked I tells, ya, to hear a faltering Grech stammer that the government was up to no good (We won’t go into how the government was up to no good here – just Google ‘Utegate’ and follow the dots…) and that he had seen the documentary evidence to prove it, documented evidence in the shape of an email which Abetz said he had heard about from a journalist, and which Mal said he has seen, and that was knocked up by a fevered Grech to curry favour with the new boss and save himself from the irrelevancy of opposition.

No matter – Grech’s Oscar™ level performance at the senate estimates committee was riveting as Abetz, staying true to the script, seemingly ripped this ‘admission’ from the very aching soul of a good, loyal and impartial treasury mandarin who could no longer sit by while the government funnelled tax-payer dollars to its special pals.

It ‘surprised’ Abetz no end, and Might Mal stormed onto the nightly news demanding the resignation of the Treasurer, the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, each and every ALP representative alive or dead and the keys to the Lodge, thanks you very much, because it was, huffed Mal predicably, an outrage.

Ignoring the amusing contradictions brought up when remembering the extensive amount of fund-funnelling to business buddies committed by the previous Liberal government in general (and Mighty Mal in particular) because he could, Mighty Mal steamed ahead. The ALP had fucked up in some inevitable and irretrievable manner and they were going to pay, except for one simple thing – it was bollocks, and he knew it was bollocks because he helped make up the bollocks, knew full well that the email they were calling ‘documentary evidence’ was real live, made up, fully forged bollocks and that man he let sell him this pup was unwell of both mind and body.

Mal knew all this but without asking anyone else in his Party apart from, it would seem, Senator Abetz, he hurtled full length into the fray and asked questions he didn’t know the answer to. The fur flew, but only Might Mal is the one with nursing the bald spots because now the whole country knows it was bollocks, and that Mal is the kind of boofhead who will happily kick a clinically depressed and chronically ill man to the kerb via the wheels of the No. 46 to Bondi without a second thought, and so is it is that Mal is now toast.

Of course, Mighty Mal will tell you that he made up nothing, that he was sucked in by a, ahem, 'whistleblower' – one can always trust a conservative to twist a definition – eager to ingratiate himself with the New Order, that said 'whistleblower' had a 'legitimate complaint' and that, well, said whistleblower pwomised that the email was legitimate, really truly-ruly, double-dinks an' everyfing!

But this puts Mal in the uncomfortable position of being either a liar or an idiot, a unusual dilemma for him compounded by the fact he is trying to convince all and sundry of the latter when he has spent a lifetime convincing all comers of his superior intellect. Like all conservatives caught out being dishonest and/or stupid he is playing the victim card, saying that it was nothing to do with him, much, and that the buck stops over there in the psychiatric ward of the Canberra Hospital where Godwin Grech has been rubber-roomed for the duration.

What this petty little contretemps demonstrates is Mal''s monumental ego and lack of judgement. Either he lashed up the email and senate estimates committee script with Grech, Abetz and our old friend 'plausible deniability', or knocked up the senate estimates committee script with Grech and Abetz after he gratefully received Grech's email without too much questioning. Surely, as a barrister, he should know that fabricating evidence is not world's best practice? Does he think that the standard of evidence is lower for the senate, the parliament and the public at large?

Or is this business as usual? Does this kind of sleight of hand go on in the court system all the time? At,best, at the very best, Mighty Mal is guilty of rank opportunism and gullibility, that he wanted to believe that the email was genuine so much that he took Grech at his somewhat shaky word. After all, Grech had been supplying the Liberals with information for years, so why question him now?

Mal may hang on for a while as he is not given to hearing the word ‘No’ and will fight to the death until he wins, or gets bored and moves on – Mal always gets bored and finds something else to do – but right at the moment the future is not looking too chipper. Mighty Mal was always a bit of a risk for a divided and confused Liberal Party – way too wet for some, way too Mal for others – and it looks like they were right. Bull by name and nature he has rampaged through the China shop of political convention using a toxic brew of near complete inexperience and towering arrogance, but it looks like the old lags of the Libs have had enough – the phones, apparently, are ringing.

Including Tip’s! Tip always said he would never challenge for the leadership and that if the Liberals wanted him to do it they would have to give it to him, wrapped up, with a pretty pink bow and a cherry on top, but know that it looks like they will, is it too late? Have the good burghers of Higgins moved on? If only he’d waited a day! Oh, the irony! Poor Pete! His timing remains, as ever, interesting…

But if not he, who? The time ravaged Andrew Robb? Oh dear. The charm free Nick Minchin? Two oh dears. The Evil Ms Bishops? Eww. The avuncular Joe Hockey? Refuses point blank to take it, no matter how many cherries and bows. Tony ‘Mad Monk’ Abbott? Oh please! Wilson ‘Iron Bar’ Tuckey? Make my day!

Yes, the only reason Mal will stay on is there is no one else that could do the job or wants to. Welcome to the wilderness, Liberal Party of Australia! Long may you wander it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Judge Not Lest Ye Judged.

Attention all Nutbags of the Retail Right.

Before you carry on with any more whining that 'Maria' Sotomayor is somehow unfit for the bench due to her gender, nationality, cultural identity, empathy, sympathy or anything else, read these quotes:

…when a case comes before me involving, let's say, someone who is an immigrant – and we get an awful lot of immigration cases and naturalization cases – I can't help but think of my own ancestors, because it wasn't that long ago when they were in that position…when I look at those cases, I have to say to myself, and I do say to myself, "You know, this could be your grandfather, this could be your grandmother. They were not citizens at one time, and they were people who came to this country.

When I get a case about discrimination, I have to think about people in my own family who suffered discrimination because of their ethnic background or because of religion or because of gender.
– Samuel Alito coming on all Italian immigrant at his confirmation hearing to sound of Republican silence.


The reaction of people of faith to this tendency of democracy to obscure the divine authority behind government should not be resignation to it, but the resolution to combat it as effectively as possible. Indeed, it seems to me that the more Christian a country is the less likely it is to regard the death penalty as immoral. Abolition has taken its firmest hold in post-Christian Europe, and has least support in the churchgoing United States.

I attribute that to the fact that, for the believing Christian, death is no big deal. Intentionally killing an innocent person is a big deal: it is a grave sin, which causes one to lose his soul. But losing this life, in exchange for the next? – Anton Scalia
crashing through the wall between church and state to the sound of the Founding Fathers spinning in their graves.


I have followed this man's career for some time…he is a delightful and warm, intelligent person who has great empathy and a wonderful sense of humor
. – Poppy Bush 41 dropped the 'E" word about Clarence Thomas to the sound of distant crickets.


The thing is that conservatives like biased Supremes and 'activist' judges' just fine, so long as their activism is directed in the right, ie their, direction. 'Not only do state-court judges possess the power to "make" common law’ opined Scalia, ‘but they have the immense power to shape the States' constitutions as well’ and without conservative judges 'legislating from the bench', corporate personhood would still be a distant nightmare and the world would have just waved goodbye to President Gore.

However, if the Supremes weren'tprone to the odd bit of interpretation then the unfortunate Terri Schiavo would not have had to go through that pathetic farrago as the letter of the law would have seen dispatched to the great hereafter on the PDQ.

Is Sotomayer biased? Who isn't? Plainly the rest of the Supremes are. Maybe conservatives would prefer the SCOTUS to consist of a series of Hewlett-Packards running MicroSoft ConJustice™ 2.0 that would digitally determine how the 18th Century Constitution would apply in the 21st, but that would mean that the occasional case would go against them. Grrr! Stoopid activist computers!

So he who hath no sin cast the first stone! Judge not lest ye be judged! And stop being such bloody hypocrites.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Mumbai Brawling.

The Global Financial Clusterfuck and other failures of capitalism, plus eleven years of conservative government Muslim-baiting, has resulted in the outer suburbs of Melbourne being populated by unemployed, desperate and resentful Aussies and the poor migrant, refugee and international student communities they blame.

Anyone with a complexion the dusky side of snow is a terrorist or, at least, a stress-relieving source of income, and so the more dim-witted sons of a sunburnt country have taken to relieving young Indians of their spare cash and accessories with extreme prejudice.

However, now the Indians have had enough, and it appears it's Australia's turn to learn something as the spirit of Ghandi visits Melbourne for the second time in a year. Australian would-be revolutionaries a chance to observe first hand what appears to come naturally to the international student, security guard, convenience shop worker and taxi-driving caste – how to protest.

For the local born community, protest is not that simple – a cause must be decided on and ratified by 2/3 of the organizing committee, posters must be made, permits applied for and granted, police liased with, flyers and badges prepared, parks booked, entertainment laid on, vegie burger stalls and agitprop vendors set up, arsenals prepared, media spruikers interviewed and aired, and plenty of warning must dished out to the community at large as the protest organizers spend weeks massaging their constituency.

If the sun doesn’t shine or they get a better offer the people stay away in droves, but the Indian community have a far more direct approach to achieving their democratic aims with no committee, no posters, no permits, no police liaison, no flyers or badges, no parks booked, no entertainment, no veggie burgers, no propaganda, no media spruiking, no rocks, no molotovs and definitely no warning given –no, when the children of Mother India get pissed off in Melbourne they just go to Flinders Street Station and squat in the road until something happens.

Call them soft but its hard to see Simon and Natasha just plonking themselves down in the middle of the CBD's busiest intersection and refusing to budge– after all, Julia’s got a nut roast on the go in Brunswick and they could murder an ale after three whole hours of saving the planet/whales/refugees/civilisation-as-we-know-it – but that’s what the Indians do, by the thousand, for twelve, twenty-four, thirty-six hours at a stretch, sit down and wait with just a bullhorn and…patience.

Because that’s all you need. 14 reggae bands, 126 speechifying Arts undergraduates and 1583 dodgy mung-bean rissoles might make for a righteous day out, but where has it got anybody? The planet’s still warming, whales are still dying, refugees are still drowning and civilization’s not looking real flash, and no matter how many Action Days Simon and Natasha might attend the powers-that-be don’t seem to pay the slightest bit of attention.

The Indians, however, have worked out what should be the bleeding obvious and, instead of being polite and hopelessly bourgeois, they simply and immediately cause as much havoc as possible and don’t stop until they have. Excellent! Permits? What?

Nothing gives the powers that be more of a reason to go home for a good night’s sleep than a bunch of ferals having a sunny afternoon’s rallying, and nothing makes them yell ‘Fix this fucking NOW!’ more than a few hundred hardy souls camped out smack in the middle of city traffic.

For proof of this, just look at the results: When the Indian Taxi drivers hit the street last year, there was legislation to protect them was passed by the end of the week, and already both sate and federal parliaments are in heated discussion over what to do and legislation is on the way.

Maybe it has less to do with the personal safety of the Indians students and more to do with the safety of the income they represent, but what we do know is that if you want to get noticed you have to put something on the line. The Indian protesters face losing the investment they have made in their education, their livelihoods and their future, they risk deportation and maybe even further attacks from knuckle-dragging skippies fighting the War On Terror™ over here because they can’t be fucked going over there, so surely Simon and Natasha could risk a nights sleep and a nut roast?

The reports are that a few over-enthusiastic suburban brothers-in-arms did join in on Monday night and hurled rocks, got arrested, and generally failed to get the whole passive resistance thang but hey – what do you expect from the police academy? Look, rock-chucking has it’s place, don’t get me wrong, but there must be a place between the 30-minute-march-and-county-faire approach and the blacked-out, ski-masked, all-out anarchist melee for simply sitting down where you will cause the most disruption and refusing to budge until your concerns are addressed.

The Australian authorities are getting a taste of what the poms faced at the end of the Raj – a mass of implacable Hindus, Muslims, Seiks, Buddhists, Hari Krishnas and Christians settling in for the duration, and if the sated middle classes really want change, then this might be the way. After all, Gandhi moved a mountain called the British Empire with nothing but these tactics, so That Nice Mr. Rudd and the fast disintegrating USA should be no problem.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Conversations With A Conservative.

If you've been wondering where Elroy has been lately, well, the answer is hard at work going undercover in Wingnut World to bring you authentic and real, first hand rightie logic through a series of conversations with his chum Hawkeye® over at View From Above. Hi, Hawkeye®!

They canvassed many subjects – the War on Terror™,, OBL, capitalism, Iraq, Israel, Islam – and so without further ado, here is the first of a few...

On 9/11.

HAWKEYE®: Was it the conservatives in the MSM that blamed Bush for 9/11?

ELROY: No, it wasn't – conservatives blamed OBL.

HAWKEYE®:And they were correct in their assessment.

ELROY: Not according to the FBI or Dick Cheney

HAWKEYE®: The world is an ugly place for sure. But it's not ugly because one man in the White House made tough decisions on how best to prevent another 9/11. It's ugly because guys like Osama bin Laden plot and plan about the best way to kill tens, hundreds, or thousands of innocent people – was it our "arrogance" that caused Osama bin Laden to order the deaths of nearly 3,000 Americans?

ELROY: Well, if we allow that it was Osama, I submit that he did it to get the US out of Saudi Arabia, and guess what – it worked!

HAWKEYE®: OBL didn't perpetrate 9/11 "to get the US out of Saudi Arabia", but let me get this straight. On the one hand you want me to believe that OBL used the excuse of U.S. troops in Mecca (which they weren't) to justify 9/11 in order to get the troops out of Saudi Arabia, which you claim forced Rumsfeld to pull our troops out.’

Then, on the other hand, you want me believe that OBL wasn't behind 9/11, even though he admitted to it on several occasions, and which is contrary to your previous assertions. Which is it? Can't have it both ways.’

ELROY: I don’t need to have it both ways – I don’t want it both ways. Here's what happened – following the first Gulf War, US troops were stationed in Medina and Mecca, Saudi Arabia – this is pretty hard to deny, because it’s true. OBL and his Al-Queada buddies demanded their removal – it’s on their web site – then 9/11 happens, OBL gets blamed, the War On Terror™ ensues and US toops are pulled from Medina and Mecca.

However, this doesn’t mean that OBL did it – just that it was assumed he did. Was OBL the fall guy? We know he was a CIA asset. Was removing the troops from Medina and Mecca the pay-off for taking the rap? I don’t know, but there are many unanswered questions about 9/11. Did OBL admit it? Not definitively. Not beyond reasonable doubt. When? Where?

According to Dick Cheney, OBL didn’t perpetrate it at all! ‘We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11’ said Dick in 2006. ‘That evidence has never been forthcoming.’


And according the FBI, OBL didn’t do it.
FBI agent Rex Tomb let it slip in 2006 that "9/11 is not mentioned on Usama Bin Laden’s Most Wanted page. He has not been formally indicted and charged in connection with 9/11 because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11.’

HAWKEYE®: You misinterpreted Dick Cheney's statement that there was no "smoking gun" connecting OBL to 9/11 as proof that Cheney said "OBL was not responsible" for 9/11.

ELROY: I didn’t misinterpret anything. I quote Cheney as per. It seems pretty clear to me.

He said nothing about a ‘smoking gun’ – that’s YOUR misinterpretation. What is there about ‘We’ve never made the case that somehow OBL was directly involved in 9/1’ that is ambiguous?

Which words in ‘We've never made the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11’ are open to interpretation?


HAWKEYE®: But that is not what Cheney meant.

ELROY: Well what DID he mean then? Do you know? Have you asked him?

HAWKEYE®: Lack of hard evidence does not necessarily constitute lack of culpability…

ELROY: No, but it doesn’t prove culpability either, yet this is the standard of proof being used for OBL. 



HAWKEYE®: …although it does make prosecution rather difficult…

ELROY 
Well yes, thank you, it DOES make prosecution rather difficult, doesn’t it?

HAWKEYE®: …and to suggest otherwise is intellectual dishonesty.

ELROY: As is suggesting that it does. If you walked into a court of law as a prosecution attorney and said, ‘Well, we don’t actually have any hard evidence as such, you honor, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t do it!’ you’d be up on contempt charges. Not that it stopped Dick, Don and Georgie-boy any! Evidence? Pah! Who needs it? And so we have Afghanistan.

HAWKEYE®: There is plenty of anecdotal and circumstantial evidence to tie OBL to 9/11.’

ELROY: ‘Anecdotal’ evidence is not permissible in a court of law, and any case built solely on circumstantial evidence would collapse. But that’s why Bush went to war I suppose – he didn’t have anything on OBL.



Don’t you think that if Bush et al had even the barest skerrick of evidence they’d sing it from the highest hilltop? And what, pray is this ‘circumstantial’ evidence anyway?


And if not OBL, who? I am, however, glad to see you admit there is no evidence for OBL’s complicity in 9/11 –there’s hope for you yet! It’s glimmers of sense like this that make it all worthwhile! 



HAWKEYE®: Although OBL initially denied any involvement; he later claimed responsibility for 9/11 on at least two occasions. For example, in videotape shown on Al Jazeera, October 29, 2004, he said:

‘God knows it did not cross our minds to attack the towers but... As I watched the destroyed towers in Lebanon, it occurred to me to punish the unjust the same way (and) to destroy towers in America so it could taste some of what we are tasting and to stop killing our children and women.’

In an audiotape posted on the Internet in May 2006, OBL said: "[Zacarias Moussaoui] had no connection at all with September 11... I am the one in charge of the 19 brothers and I never assigned brother Zacarias to be with them in that mission."


ELROY: But are we 110% sure that these are OBL? Really? On what basis? Is the circumstantial evidence you speak of? Furthermore, it could be argued that because OBL had figured by 2004 that the whole world had declared him guilty, he might as well take the rap and get whatever out of it that he could. It’s all possible…


HAWKEYE®: Osama bin Laden wanted to be a Muslim super-hero. He thought he could do that with the 9/11 attacks. He didn't anticipate that GWB would go after his sorry butt.

ELROY: 
Yeah, how’s that ‘gonna catch him dead or alive’ going? What did George say? ‘We don’t really think about him much anymore?’ Yup, y’all really got his sorry butt.

HAWKEYE®: Now he's the super-hero that's hiding out in a cave.

ELROY: Oh, is he? Is that a fact? Or just something you made up? Anyhoo, he was in a cave before 9/11 – maybe he just likes caves. Not that y’all were that interested in catching him anyway – "The goal has never been to get Bin Laden."
—General Richard Myers, chairman, US Joint Chiefs of Staff.

 ‘I don't know where he is. I just don't spend that much time on him.’ – GWB.


HAWKEYE®: From his own lips, he vowed to kill any and all Americans long before 9/11... "To kill the Americans and their allies -- civilians and military -- is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it."

ELROY: Hardly ‘from his own lips’ – this letter has many authors and it was written, not spoken, but anyway…the interesting thing about this document is what it goes on to say after ‘…possible to do it…’ which is ‘in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip’ which, on the 29th of April, 2003, is exactly what happened. 



According to OBL, OBL didn’t do it. Bin Laden says he wasn't behind attacks’ – CNN.
’I would like to assure the world that I did not plan the recent attacks.’— Usama bin Laden, September 17, 2001 from, as you say, his own lips.

ELROY: Rummy announced the US withdrawal from SA the day before ‘Mission Accomplished!’ and it was that, if anything, that stopped 9/11 from happening again. Who said the US won’t negotiate with terrorists? And who said negotiation doesn't work?


HAWKEYE®: I hereby appoint you Elroy to negotiate with al-Qaeda. Let me know how that works out, OK?


ELROY: That job’s done, buddy – see above. And in any case, Al-Qaeda is the least of your problems right now – the Taliban taking Pakistan, now THAT’S a problem.

However, even if was pulled off by OBL, KSM or the tooth fairy, 9/11 was not an act of war; it was an act of terrorism, a job for Interpol and not the Pentagon.

HAWKEYE®: Shooting somebody on the street is a job for Interpol.
Hijacking an airplane is a job for Interpol. Killing thousands of innocents is "war".

ELROY: No, it’s an act of terrorism. ‘War’ must be declared by a nation state, and neither Afghanistan nor Iraq attacked, nor declared, war on the USA, but you are right – killing thousands of innocents is "war". The US has sadly proved this true.

HAWKEYE®: The US treated terrorism like a police matter from 1972 until 2001, and what did it get us?

ELROY: Looks to me like it got you 29 years of relative peace. You caught some bad guys who are now in jail. Life went on.

If a serial killer is on the loose in, say, New York, what do we do? Catch him by police work? Or carpet bomb Manhattan? Have you any idea what the chances of being killed by a terror attack actually are? Less than dying in a car accident, walking across the street, drowning, fire, falling or by being murdered. 5,000 people die in America each year from e-coli poisoning due to the meat industry’s successful lobbying to have abattoir standards relaxed, but is there a war on meat? No.



However, let’s have a look at what this change in policy has wrought – 4,000 + US military dead, hundreds of thousands more maimed, injured and insane, 1 million + dead Iraqis and Afghans, 4 million + Iraq refugees, a completely de-stabled ME, a US occupation with no end in sight, Islamists a home run from Pakistan’s nuclear armory and a bill of 3 trillion dollars and rising.

HAWKEYE®: It got us 9/11.

ELROY: Did it? Haven’t we already ascertained that there is no way to prove this hypothesis?

HAWKEYE®: Now with the potential for terrorism using WMDs, the stakes are much higher. We cannot wait until an American or European city is smoldering in ruins to start looking for fingerprints. By then, it's too late.

ELROY: You have little choice – you can’t run around nuking whoever it is you think might be wanting to have a pop at you. But no one ever wanted to use WMD on the USA in the first place – this was a fear planted and generated by Bushco in order to go to war, so your wars have increased the chances of the very thing y’all wanted to avoid. Good result!

There are only way to police this eventuality – reduce the rest of the world to pavement or work out why anyone would want to reduce an American or European to smouldering ruins and act to head it off. People, you might be interested to know, do not do these things for fun – they have reasons.

So, did anyone win? Or lose? or is more true to reflect that a conversation is not a winning/losing proposition but it is an activity by which we stimulate our thought processes and get to question both our own assumptions, beliefs and prejudices and those of others, an opportunity to defend positions we hold to be true and to concede them when they are defensible no more? Well?

Whatever, don't forget to tell, or ask, Elroy™!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Good God, Y'all!

Very good Friend Of Elroy™ Emmanuel has asked Elroy several things several times, but since the administrative arm of the Let’s Ask Elroy!™ editorial taskforce executive saw fit to outsource the ‘reply’ functionality to a prison workshop in a north-west province of Murkistan it could be argued that the punctuality of this service has been marginally compromised.

So while this small but crucial element of Let’s Ask Elroy!™ has it teething problems ameliorated (something to do with thumbscrews), the Let’s Ask Elroy!™ editorial taskforce executive has taken it upon itself to address Emmanuel’s dilemmas and ease his existential disquiet, starting with this simple request:


1. Does god exist or are you a Dawkins espousing atheist?

Elroy likes old Dickie Dawkins well enough, but the problem with Dick is that he is a little too ambivalent, a tad too equivocal and shy for Elroy's tastes – why can’t he just make his mind? Why can’t he just say what he really thinks?

So Elroy is happy to declare that God does not exist, but having said that it all depends on what your definition of ‘God is – that’s right, God is relative. However, if you mean God as defined by doctrinaire Christianity, God as defined in his best seller the Bible and the question of whether it was fiction or non-fiction then no, God does not exist, God does not have a big white beard, God did not create the Earth in six days, God does not love Elroy, Jesus is not God's son and neither Elroy's life nor anyone else’s is preordained by Him.

Elroy gave up on Christianity at about ten years old when the local vicar took his class for Religious Education. Vicar Stamford was a groovy, sleeve-rolled young Anglican minister intent on dragging Christianity into the 20th Century and showing to the youth that the Bible was real, and so to that end he thought it was a good idea to admit to its faults. Oops!

‘When was Jesus born?’ he asked the class and so Elroy, always a sucker for the low-hanging fruit, stuck his hand up.

‘Me sir, no sir, me sir, me sir, sir, me!’

‘Yes! That boy! What’s the answer?’

‘Sir sir, Christmas sir, twenty-fifth of December sir!’

This was a shoe in. Elroy had made his stage debut in a nativity play as a sheep at kinder and had been starring in them ever since in every role possible – donkey, cow, ox – so if there was any question he knew the answer to, it was this one.

‘No!’ cried a triumphant Vicar Stamford’, ‘Wrong answer!’

Vicar Stamford was delighted with the classes reaction as he could now go on to prove how the Bible was a living, breathing document, but how could that answer be wrong? And if not then, when?

‘We think’ he continued ‘it was some time in October’.

What? He doesn’t even actually know? And that was that – Elroy figured that if the Church couldn’t get that bit right, how much more of their message was nonsense? And how much more was it prepared to lie about? If the Bible is the truth then it’s the truth, he thought, but don’t tell Elroy it’s the truth and then say it isn’t, especially after years of all that ‘It’s a sin to tell a lie’ routine. After that, chemical chance and random chaos made a lot more sense because at least no one was swearing blind that something was true when they knew full well it wasn’t.

However, it’s actually hard to know what parts of the Bible are true and what aren’t as it has many authors – it is a book not just written and edited by committee but by many committees, megalomaniacs, dreamers, charlatans and vested interests over the centuries, and Elroy can’t help wondering what happened to bits that were left out. What’s wrong with the gospel according to Thomas? Or Judas? Surely we should be given ALL the ‘facts’?

The Bible is a worthy enough tome, but it does seem to all things to all comers – it contradicts itself to such a degree that the Rastafarians use it to prove that Ethiopians are the lost tribe of Israel while the Klu Klux Klan use it to prove they have the God-given right to kill them. The Bible, we are told, is the inerrant and literal word of God and we must obey its every word – we can’t, apparently, ‘pick and choose’ – but even the most extreme fundamentalist draws the line at selling their daughters into slavery or stoning their neighbour to death for wearing a nice wool blend suit or eating a cheese burger (See The Book of Deuteronomy for details).

The Anglicans, among others, decided over time that this hardcore fundamentalism was repelling new generations and it thought it could attract the young ‘uns by updating the message, but what they really needed to update was the way the message was delivered – it wasn’t what was being preached in the chilly old damp-ridden, mouse-infested churches that was the problem, just that it was being preached in chilly old damp-ridden, mouse-infested churches.

It took the radical fundamentalist Baptists of the USA to exploit youth’s innate superficiality and wrap up their cold, hard, unforgiving God in a bunch of bells and whistles, color and movement, while the Anglicans thought that merely a softer, more metaphorical, more understanding God would fill the pews of their chilly old damp-ridden, mouse-infested churches but they were, as Hillsong has so emphatically proved, wrong, and yet again form triumphs over content.

Meanwhile, creationism has gone all PC and is now known as Intelligent Design, but that immediately throws up the question ‘Who designed the designer? The whole ID argument is really just an exercise in arrogance – its proponents just cannot accept that their magnificent selves could possibly have come about accident so they seek a explanation that they can cope with like, for some reason, an invisible and infallible sky being.

Why this make them feel better Elroy doesn’t know – he’s quite happy knowing that life is empty and meaningless and that our planet is but one of billions of others, and he’s more than happy with the notion that chemicals are capable of reorganising themselves in a billion different ways order to survive, and he’s more than happy with the idea that he is a collection of those chemicals.

Does this make Elroy any less moral than his religious peers? Do they have a monopoly on morality? No. Much as they might like to argue otherwise, the idea that the prohibition of murder, theft, adultery etc was a product of the Judeo-Christian tradition does conveniently ignore the tens of thousands of years of civilisation that went before and the fact that mankind has only got as far as it has due to co-operatio.

Still, the proposition that God is relative is easily proved by just counting how many religions there are in the world, not to mention those that have been. Their devotees will tell you that theirs is the one true path, but they can’t all be right – they can, however, all be wrong.

The most problematic of these are the children of Abraham, a triumvirate of trouble that is the cause of so much misery, suffering, pain and death, but as Christianity, Judaism and Islam are all branches of the same tree, why they can’t get it together and be friends? Celebrate the many things they have in common and not the things they don’t? What the fuck, says Elroy, is their problem?

It’s been done before. There are periods in history when Jews and Muslims lived cheek by jowl in glorious epochs of cultured learning, learning and so is it not possible for the Jews and Muslims to realize that their enmity is based only on some bizarre religious self-loathing and some real estate issues?

Actually, in the end they might have to, as Israel’s refusal to contemplate a two-state solution can only ever lead to an inevitable to a one-state solution and, the with the Palestinian birth rate being so much higher than the Israeli one, a one-state solution will mean the end of Israel as a Jewish state.

Conversely, the Christians and the Jews were at each other’s throats for centuries, but now look at them, bosom buddies, the richest Christian county in the world bankroll the only Jewish one with billions upon billions of USD, but it must be noted that the Christians adoption of Israel as it’s BFF is somewhat cynical – the Christians are only making nice with Israel until Israel eventually crushes Palestine, because it is only when the Jews are in control of the entire region that Jesus can come back and kill every motherfucker on the block that doesn’t agree with him, Jews included.

Really, the monotheists really have to stop wrecking the place, but with the the Christians and, by proxy, the Jews bombing the living bejesus out the Muslims, peace is getting further away as Daisy Cutters and Apache Gunship Helicopters are hardly going to convince the Muslims roll over and say ‘Gee! You’re right! What was were we thinking?’

Argue all you want, says Elroy, but do it like the rest of us over a bottle of claret and stop fucking up the world for those who do not buy into your nuttiness – you are not the only people on Earth.

That doesn’t mean that there is nothing out there and nothing going on that we do not understand – indeed, the more science investigates the more it discovers it doesn’t know, but that’s fine – the only real absolute is that it is absolutely wrong to believe in absolutes. Psychics, for instance, do some crazy stuff that is, on the face of it, unexplainable, but that doesn’t mean they are frauds anymore than they have transcended the plane of mortality, it just means that it is unexplainable.

Do John Edward and his cohorts really talk to the dead or are they just master magicians? If it’s all fraud then it’s a conspiracy on a mammoth scale, and if it’s not then maybe they have tapped into some sort of telepathic facility humans have lost contact with over the years – after all, animals do some spooky stuff too, so why not us? Or maybe Edward et al ARE talking to the dead – all we know is that there is something going on, but does that prove the existence of God? No, it just proves that we can’t explain it – a known unknown.

God, in the end, is whatever you want him/her/it to be. God is nature, God is the universe, God is a bloke with a big white beard who writes best sellers and has an uncanny knack for designing and constructing bio-mechanisms to a strict deadine, God is Allah, God is Buddha, God is the couch at the bottom of Elroy’s garden, God is a necessary invention, God is you and God is Elroy, so is there a God? If you want there to be one, yes there is. If you don’t, no there isn’t, and you’re not allowed to shoot me for saying so.