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John Passant

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January 2010



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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)



US racism: the game stays the same

‘Game change’ has exposed a few truths about American society and its political leadership.  It’s a yet to be released book by Time Magazine’s Mark Halperin and New York magazine’s John Heilemann about the 2008 Presidential campaign.

Harry Reid is the Democrat’s Senate leader, and a key Obama ally.

Reid thought Obama had a chance of getting elected because he was “light skinned” and didn’t have a “Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one”.

Reid faces a tough battle to retain his seat this year and so Obama has swung his support behind him.

Reid’s comments are not just the mistake of one senior Democrat. They are symptomatic of ingrained systemic racism.

Remember Bill Clinton? He was called (and only half jokingly) by some the first black president.

It was crap of course but the peculiar hero worship that pervades sections of US society – a reflection of reformism without hope –  saw many people turn their dreams and hopes into a chimera of reality.

Clinton told Ted Kennedy that a few years ago this guy Obama would have been serving us coffee.

Of course Obama’s election created a huge current of hope for change and seemed to vindicate the idea that America was now a post racial society.

Not so. Obama now heads the racist machine. As he destroys the illusions millions had in him, the lesson seems clear. Change comes not from changing who runs the system but from changing the system.

The economic crisis shows clearly the systemic nature of American racism.  As Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor puts it in Black America’s economic freefall:

THE AMERICAN economy has gone through what has been called the Great Recession. But the crisis in Black communities across the U.S. constitutes an outright depression–spurring desperate conditions that have gone largely unreported because of the racist indifference of the government and mass media.

Here are a few figures. In November 2009 unemployment among African Americans was 15.6 percent compared to ten percent for the rest of society. Unemployment among black women is 75 percent higher that among the rest of Americans.  To quote Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor again, citing a study from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee:

The study found Black male unemployment for men aged 16 to 64 to be unprecedented and overwhelming. Buffalo had the highest percentage of Black men either unemployed or permanently out of the labor force at 52 percent. That was followed by Milwaukee at 47 percent and Chicago at 43 percent. Among 35 major metropolitan areas, African Americans had the “lowest” unemployment in Washington, D.C. at 27 percent. In most of those 35 cities, Black unemployment hovered somewhere between 30 and 35 percent.

No job means no health insurance. 40 percent of black children live in poverty. It is estimated that foreclosures in black households is about twice that of whites.

Study after study shows that race is an major factor in hiring and firing. It will not be the only factor of course.  for example blacks work disproportionately in manufacturing, one of the hardest hits sectors of the economy.

Education seems to have little to do with it.  Well educated African-Americans are twice as likely to lose their jobs as well educated whites.

In the face of greater unemployment among African-Americans, what has Obama done? Nothing. He doesn’t mention the R word at all.

Instead Obama talks in terms of getting all Americans working. 

While an admirable aspiration, the strategy of giving billions to big health insurance companies, big banks and manufacturing companies hasn’t stopped the jobs massacre.

As Wall Street booms and the huge bonuses return, unemployment remains at over ten percent and if we include short working hours (underemployment) the figure is much higher.

For America this is a jobless recovery. For black America it is a depression.

A new deal, with a vision for tens of millions of green jobs, targeted at black communities, is just one part of what is needed to address the racist economic crisis destroying African-American society. 

But in the end only a democratic society where production occurs to satisfy human need can eradicate systemic racism and poverty.



Comment from Arjay
Time January 12, 2010 at 3:37 pm

This is how the elites keep control.They want racism to fester.They did it in Iraq.It is about divide and conquer.The masses are too busy fighting each other and cannot see how they are being manipulated.In a country like Aust everything is fine until real hardship happens.Then we look for someone to blame.The Govt then comes down hard removing many of
our rights.

The Iraq/Pakistan/Afghanistan wars like the Vietnam war were never intended to won or ended.They make money selling arms and murdering,take resources/energy and make money for the reconstruction.

Obama is the protege of the US Fed and Wall St.He was the perfect person to take over from Bush.Obama continues with the Patriot Act,has a presidential order for preventative even if you are suspected of being a terrorist you can be detained indefinetly with no recourse. Obama has extended the war into Pakistan,and now possibly Yemen.

Obama has the power to suspend the constitution and declare martial law.In my view they are looking for excuses to do so.

The oligarchs are in control and the USA is very close to being a dictatorship in which both parties are controlled by the same people.

Presently they are looking for excuses to invade Iraq.They have pillaqed and plundered their own people and now seek more power and wealth beyond their shores.

Comment from Henry the IIV
Time January 12, 2010 at 5:21 pm

Don’t you ever get sick of hearing yourself speak, I mean don’t you want to write sharp critiques instead of the same blogspam crap over and over?

Comment from John
Time January 12, 2010 at 5:54 pm

henry IIV, leaving aside the hyperbole, there is some truth in this since concrete propaganda is precisely a message or two drawn from everday well known events.

Comment from Arjay
Time January 13, 2010 at 8:32 pm

As Webster Griffin Trapley says it is like a atrophism,the way plant reacts to light.Initially it was not a conscious act of conspiracy by the elites,but as they got rewarded through trial/error for little effort, the wheels of deceit and plotting began to turn.

In my view the GFC was orchestrated.How could the US Federal Reserve fail it’s most basic charter,ie the responsible supply of money? They create much of it from nothing,thus diluting the wealth of ordinary folk in the name of monetary policy.

If you or I create money from nothing,it is called counterfeiting and we go to gaol.

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