Sunday, November 20, 2011

In which Paul Sheehan shows wondrous empathy for the Communist Party of China by coming out swinging at Barry Soetoro ...

(Above: Obama in Indonesia).

The pond is always astonished to get a glimpse of commercial television, but when you're away from home and the remote is in someone else's control, sometimes you have no choice.

That's how we came to watch 60 Minutes lather up hysteria about the Cyber War happening right now on your computer.

In reality, it's just another part of the global campaign to make sure that we all pay our tithes to the United States, dressed up as saving the world from a digital holocaust that will be worse than 9/11. All we're talking about is saving Hollywood and the music industry courtesy net censorship and SOPA, but it was breathless, hushed stuff on Nine. Creating a national catastrophe has never been easier.

Yeah, right, torrenting is tearing down the walls of civilisation as we know it ...

At least Dick Clarke was honest at the end of the piece. Make those Chinese pay and make sure people pay for intellectual property rights, or it'll be an international catastrophe.

That was followed by a condescending, sneering report about simpleton Indian villagers who gave up their cash to fraudsters spruiking miracle cures and performing impossible feats of magic - you known, like turning wine and bread into blood and flesh - and so needing the services of The Guru Busters.

Can someone, anyone, direct 60 Minutes to St. Mary's Cathedral in Sydney so they can do a sniggering, simpering story about Sydney simpletons, and save the airfares to India ...

I swear to the long absent lord, I almost kicked in the TV set, but then remembered it wasn't actually mine. Relentless superficiality is a skill commercial television 'reporting' has down pat. With a bit of luck, it'll be another five years before the pond is exposed to 60 Minutes again ...

Speaking of relentless superficiality, who better to show how it's done in the print medium than Paul Sheehan, who spends his column this morning trashing Obama and Gillard up hill and down dale, in All style, no substance, and fantasy adds insult.

Speaking of all style, and no substance, how about this for an opener?

Frankly, I'm gob-smacked. I'm stunned by the sweet softness of it all. Talk about pomp and circumstance. The lightning visit to Australia by POTUS - the President of the United States - was nearly all pomp and convenient circumstance.

Frankly, if that's what it takes to get Sheehan gob-smacked, he should be smacked in the gob every day of the week by something or other. What does he imagine a presidential visit involves? Sackcloth and ashes, and harsh, grating dark sour talk of imminent doom?

What on earth did he make of the pomp and convenient circumstance of the recent royal visit? Was he gob-smacked in the gob then?

The man's a comprehensive magic water goose, no doubt about it, as he deploys the term POTUS for its comedy value, and tries a take-down of Obama:

In a year, Barack Obama may have been voted out of office, a one-term wonder, which will make his appearance in Canberra last week even more of a strategic eye-blink.

And in a year he might not, but in any case, according to Sheehan, it won't make a whit or jot of difference to the POTUS:

Like every modern POTUS before him, Obama embodied America's innate sense of its right and need to determine the shape of world events ...

But now it's time to get down to the real crimes of Obama and Gillard:

Thanks to Rudd and now Gillard, Beijing will be entitled to conclude that Australia is a price-gouging opportunist with no real empathy for China's sensitivities and the immense domestic challenges that Beijing faces, and that Australia also has a deep-seated commitment to American global military supremacy.

Yes, the shameless pair have paid no head to the sensitivities of the one party dictatorship that rules China, shown no empathy for their rule, shown no care about how - in the face of the immense domestic challenges they face - the Communist party can go on censoring the internet, repressing dissent, maintaining control over Tibet and keeping the army with a finger in every commercial pie. Why it's simply unsufferable. And then Obama had the cheek to roll out some platitudes!

It will have been noted in Beijing that much of the speech by POTUS was impliedly about the need to contain the Communist Party of China, especially when he reached the moral high-point of his speech:

''Certain rights are universal - among them, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion and the freedom of citizens to choose their own leaders … Other models have been tried and they have failed - fascism and communism, rule by one man and rule by a committee. They failed for the same simple reason: they ignored the ultimate source of power and legitimacy - the will of the people.''

Oh yes, it will have been noted in Beijing that much of what the POTUS had to say was directed at the Communist Party of China, but there, there, long suffering Communist Party, Paul Sheehan is on hand, ready to expose the hypocrisy of the POTUS.

What's all this blather about universal rights, when what's needed is empathy and sensitivity training for the needs of the Communist party of China.

I swear to the long absent lord I almost kicked in the screen, before I realised it was my computer monitor and I'd need it for the day ahead.

By journey's end, Sheehan had reached this stunning insight:

The most important geo-political aspect of Obama's presidency for the Asia-Pacific region are his suppleness of mind and his personal knowledge of Indonesia, a nonentity to every prior American president. During the past decade, Indonesia's economy has surged and its democracy has been consolidated. Obama understands the significance of this, even if the average Australian does not. So the real meat of his journey to this region took place in Bali while the symbolism took place in Canberra.

The real meat of his journey? Will that be the meat as enunciated by Pat Robertson?

Robertson: You know Lee the thing that somehow concerns me, they say he’s going back to the place that he spent his childhood, he spent four years in Indonesia, I don’t know if he was trained in a madrassa, one of those Muslim schools, but nevertheless that is his inclination. His father was a Kenyan socialist and he talks about the roots of his father. So he’s got an African and an Indonesian background. I don’t know what his mother was doing; she just sort of flitted around. But nevertheless, this may give him a warped perspective of what needs to be done to make America the greatest nation on earth. (here)

Oh yes, the deep right wing of American politics, also in geat need of Sheehan's empathy and sensitivity training.

Actually for all the blather of Sheehan and Robertson about Indonesia, Obama was attending the ASEAN meeting, a gathering of some ten countries, and amongst the important items on view was the matter of the Philippines versus China and security in the south China seas. (Obama Targets Maritime Security as China Spars With Philippines Over Sea).

That's not to mention spruiking a tasty large order of planes by Lion from Boeing, and China somehow managing to get in on the trade and tourist act, for all that Barry showed no empathy or sensitivity (ASEAN, China push service trade).

And it's been a handy location for talks with India, Malaysia, and other members of ASEAN besides Indonesia.

Yep, it's a relief to know why Obama is the POTUS, and Paul Sheehan a regularly gob smacked member of the commentariat, routinely missing the point of the trip by unleashing a standard bit of rhetorical blather.

Right now, Indonesia isn't part of the problem, it's part of the solution, not that you'd expect the average Republican presidential candidate to understand any of that (let's look forward to the pizza man Caine bringing bright new foreign policy initiatives, perhaps with cheese topping, to Libya).

Meanwhile, the real news is that while living in Indonesia Obama had an openly gay man as his nanny, and the nanny later joined a group of transvestites called the Fantastic Dolls. (here, via Norimitsu Onishi's piece for the NYT, Obama Visits a Nation That Knew Him as Barry).

At last, an explanation of why he's an Islamic fundamentalist, instead of a tolerant man with an interesting past (let's not say exotic. Broken Hill is exotic, Indonesia merely south east Asian).

They got to him in his childhood attending a Catholic and a secular school, and hitched him up with a Fantastic Doll ... why the pond is gob smacked.

And now for the souffle that never rises.

That's right, The Australian expects the world to pay to maintain its ongoing war with Fairfax and the ABC, and its valiant defence of Tony Abbott:

Kittens. LOL. Can't get enough of the headlines you can wring from that cleverness:

No stupidity is too silly for The Australian these days.

Please, minions of Murdoch, leave the kittens to The Hamster Wheel. They do the LOLcat routine way better. Obvious troll is obvious ...

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