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John Passant

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January 2009



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My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole

Sick kids and paying upfront


Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. (0)

I am not surprised
I think we are being unfair to this Abbott ‘no surprises’ Government. I am not surprised. (0)

Send Barnaby to Indonesia
It is a pity that Barnaby Joyce, a man of tact, diplomacy, nuance and subtlety, isn’t going to Indonesia to fix things up. I know I am disappointed that Barnaby is missing out on this great opportunity, and I am sure the Indonesians feel the same way. [Sarcasm alert.] (0)



Obama – change you can’t believe in?

There’s an interesting post on Larvatus Prodeo on Obama, (, criticising the left for being negative about Obama.

Here’s what I posted on their site (a good site to read, by the way.) It is slightly edited to fix up a few typos and other errors.

I and other critical lefties are being painted as negative. Maybe. But I prefer to call myself a realist. It is not the person but the position which will define Obama’s actions.

That means he will continue the war on terror because it is in the interests of the US economic elite to do so. Withdrawing from Iraq is sensible recognition of the US defeat there; increasing troops in Afghanistan is an attempt to overcome the Iraq syndrome, re-establish US hegemony in the region and tell China the US is the major military power in the world and will use that overwhelming power to retain economic dominance. It won’t work.  The Taliban are winning.  A troops surge in Afghanistan won’t beat them – it will only increase the hidden body bags.

Domestically I can’t see how, given the US crisis of profitability, Obama can do anything to stop or reverse Bush’s war on workers. After 8 years US workers are worse off. How so? Through real wage cuts plus loss of asset value – home prices have fallen 20 per cent in the last year, and future pensions (ie super savings) are plummeting on the back of the stock market collapse.

It seems to me Obama will be driven by the logic of the capital accumulation process to continue Bush’s attacks on workers. That may mean some sort of compromise on health care which will not result in universal coverage, and further cuts to wages and conditions. Plus accepting job losses. And making workers work harder, and longer (but unpaid for the extra hours.) Now Obama may try to ameliorate some of the impacts of the economic crisis and so is not just a Bush clone. But he accepts the fundamental logic of capitalism and US imperialism and will act accordingly.

If that is being negative then so be it. But the HowRudd Government here in Australia I think shows there is some truth in what I am saying – these people are about managing capitalism and so accept its logic and manage the system accordingly. If that means attacking workers to restore profit rates, they’ll do it. If it means killing innocents in Iraq and Afghanistan, they’ll do it. If it means letting Israel slaughter the Palestinians to destroy Hamas and impose a quisling Palestinian Authority ‘Government’ on Gaza, they’ll do it.

I am doing a discussion on this issue next week in Canberra, and it will partly reflect my blog article All Change at Obama Station.  (The article is on this site.) But that will need updating because after 9 days we will at least have heard something more concrete from Obama on Palestine, and how to deal with the economic crisis. On the latter, I fail to see how Obama’s stimulus package will address the crisis of profitability in US capitalism. Let’s wait.



Comment from Arjay
Time January 16, 2009 at 11:02 pm

The crisis is about debt slavery brought about by their Federal Reserve.The US is not a democracy.It is run by the Corporates and more particularly the Fed Res,a private banking cartel.

Obama was the olive leaf to appease the anger of the masses.He has no knowledge of finance or economics.He will do exactly as the Fed Res commands.

When the US $ is on the verge of collapse, the Fed Res will present their only option of a North American community with the Amero as their new currency.The Fed Res will have then extended their power base into Mexico and Canada.Rothschild,”Give me power over a nation’s currency and I care not who makes the laws.”

I see the US Fed Res as evil as Hitler.It is they who premote wars since the US Govt borrows from the Res to finance them.

The Vietnam War was never intended to be won,just prolonged so profit could be made from selling weapons.In Iraq they have the tripple bonus of oil,weapons and reconstruction of infrastructure.

Both J F Kennedy and Abe Lincoln tried to have a currency issued by the power of Congress,they were both assassinated.Study the History of the Fed Res and Woodrow Wilson who later admitted he’d sold out his country when he in 1913 signed away the rights of Congress to issue currency.

John, you need a balance in your socialists views.Ron Paul a US Republican Congressman wants to abolish the Fed Res.Log onto his sites.You cannot assess political views in simplistic left and right.The core philosophy is the responsibility of the individual first for their own survival,then comes compassion for those who need help.Socialism is just as evil as facism.It is about an elite who want a free ride at the expense of the masses.

Comment from Denise Logan
Time January 17, 2009 at 12:52 pm

Thankfully, Obama has shown that he will govern from the center, not from the irrational left. His appointments are appointments that Clinton or Bush could have made. His statements on Israel and Irag could have come out of the mouth of George W. He kissed the left’s ass to get elected. Now he is governing like a moderate Republican. That’s why American Republicans now love him.

Comment from John
Time January 17, 2009 at 5:47 pm

Thanks Arjay and Denise.

Arjay, I think the idea that finance capital runs the world or the US is a dangerous one and has tones of authoritarianism in it.

Ron Paul is on the extreme right. He’s not a libertarian – Ayn Rand springs to mind. He wants through radical changes to impose “extreme” capitalism on wage slaves.

Denise, at least you are honest about Obama’s approach – kiss up to the Left before the election then kiss them off after. He presumably wants to be re-elected in 4 years so that base may still need buying off. Moderate republicans are unlikely to campaign for him or vote for him.

Hilary Clinton? She will be extremely conservative as Secretary of State. Palestine can look forward to more heartache. Maybe, just maybe, Obama will pressure Israel into some sort of two state solution to help restore US standing int eh world and rein in the overly aggressive Israeli state. That is no improvement for Palestinians. It may not be in the interests of the US to let its watchdog slip off the leash anymore and become an attack dog.

If all of this means I am irrational, then so be it. i had thought public discourse was about respecting the views of others, even if you disagreed with them.

And the Obama Left in the US would in fact be classed in most other developed countries as the right wing of the labour movement or something similar. Certainly conservative.

What appears radical to US eyes is moderate to the rest of the us outside the US. (Not sure which country you are in.)

Comment from Peter Quinn
Time January 17, 2009 at 6:35 pm

I tend to agree with Denise. Obama is against same-sex marriage and so am I. He used the lefties to get elected and he doesn’t need them anymore. After all, whom are they going to vote for in 2012, Mitt Romney?

Comment from Denise Logan
Time January 17, 2009 at 8:55 pm


Thank you. BTW, are you single?

Comment from John Passant
Time January 17, 2009 at 9:07 pm

Thanks Peter and Denise

I don’t disagree with Denise. I just think he will have to balance the left against the centre and the right. But his picks for most portfolios look centrist or right. Many of them appear to be re-cycled Clinonites.

It’s true the left (if they don’t get disillusioned and move out of politics or abstain) will not vote for Romney. They might however vote for Nader.

Obama has to be subtle about has ditching of the Left. He is already talking about health reform taking some time.

But let’s see what he does in office. (I think the economic crisis will impose major constraints on what he can deliver in terms of reform.)

Comment from Arjay
Time January 18, 2009 at 10:52 am

I think we have to move from notions of left/right and determine what is fair and just.The most difficult task is finding a balance of power between workers and the owners of capital.
At least Ron Paul has the courage to take on the Fed Res which is at the core of US ills.I don’t think that Obama has the insight or the will to tackle the really big causes of their demise.It seems that nothing short of a revolution will relieve the US of this entrenched evil institution.

Comment from Terry Blacker
Time January 20, 2009 at 10:08 pm

Obama is anti-gay marriage. I love him. Gays should not marry. And he chose my favorite minister, the Rev. Rick Warren to deliver the invocation. The Reverand Rick is a vocal opponent of same-sex marriage. Obama, thank you, thank you, for telling the left to go blank themselves. Stand up for traditional marriage and tradition values and conservative themes. Thank you.

Pingback from En Passant » Obama’s speech to his puppets and dictators
Time June 5, 2009 at 10:55 am

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