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John Passant

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May 2011



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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)



Saturday’s socialist speak out – have your say

As one of my readers wrote:

Obama [made] an important announcement about the US’s middle east policies (read: atrocities) designed to enhance his reelection campaign. North Africa, Central Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan and Afghanistan burn, Europe disintegrates, Australia doesn’t have a migration/refugee policy (other than, I would add, to outsource their torture).

There is much to talk about. Hit the comments button to have your say or see what others are saying.



Comment from John
Time May 21, 2011 at 10:32 am

Vote for those 144,000 to be raptured. Abbott, Thatcher, Bush, Blair, Brown, Obama, Gillard, Rudd, Howard, Gaddafi, Mubarak, the House of Saud. Vote early and vote often. The list is filling up quickly.

Comment from Calligula
Time May 21, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Mr. Passant,
In your – “Are the Green’s anti-working class?” – ‘Terrence’ seemed concerned that I supported nuclear.
And in your – “Cut middle class welfare or tax the rich until their pips squeak” – Ross wrote this – “True wealth exists in the knowledge and skills of individuals in our society and not in a banking/share market scam that trades in human misery.”

Since climate change / green energy / carbon taxes / etc remain at focus may I write about how the above issues dovetail, leastways in my tiny mind.

Firstly, it may be because I live in Qld (and am consequently fed a different diet of propaganda than is forced on those in the other states) that I never hear any actual experts speak any sense about these important subjects.

By experts I mean my colleagues and peers in engineering. It might surprise some Australians that engineering is a ‘profession’ and that some engineers, after years of hard and often boring study, actually receive accreditation from various institutes of learning.

Sometimes I really do have the impression that most Australians think of engineers as portly, gregarious peons wearing sooty, striped overalls and funny caps.
Indeed, the originator of ‘Casey Jones’ has much to answer for.

And as Ross said about knowledge and skills in society – it is about time our perhaps overly taciturn engineers gained some recognition before THEY decide to form a radical movement and deny this insular society their services.

Since this is a ‘socialist page’ I can see no reason why I shouldn’t illustrate to all those ‘Casey Jones simplex’ afflicted Australians out there what engineers would cause were they ever to vote with their feet and deny Australia their services, en masse.
One word covers it – Mayhem.

Why mayhem?
‘Cos there is not a single activity or endeavour carried out on the face of this planet that would not come to a grinding halt if an engineer somewhere decided to spit out her dummy and pull the pin.

That includes you shiny arses in banks, by the way. (communications, computers, vault, lift, water cooler, shiny, automatic front door – think about it for a few secs.)

If anyone wants to disagree with what I’ve said it could only be in result of them not ever having the opportunity to look at the world through the eyes of an engineer.

Now, having said that, what does this engineer think about the clap-trap politicians are talking about these allegedly vital issues surrounding climate change, energy security and carbon tax/emissions trading.
Firstly, you citizens out there are being fed a line of carefully contrived lies by politicians and capitalists of the worst sort.

It is past argument that ever diminishing resources are most definitely being squandered on a remorselessly increasing world population.
Any farmer seeing the results of, say, a mouse plague can fill you in with the negative outcome of that – both for his crop and for the poor bloody mice.

But none of that alters the fact that the point of no return (an aviator will understand the meaning) happened sometime back late last century and that we are all accelerating to a point where the landing will be an almighty, dead-stick, crash.

Engineers deal with available resources – materials and energy, even funding – and have no problem with the concept of stockpiling, allocating or maintaining, such resources in reserve.

In this engineer’s view our political masters and those they are in bed with seem intent on sidetracking available resources away from the common resource pool.

In consequence we have the ever diverging dual economy for which clearly engineers shall be called on to solve those tiny problems of new-age mass transport, decaying infrastructure and dysfunctional urbs.

We’ll also be expected to pull other tricks for the capitalists like develop increasingly more lethal, more autonomous, cheaper, killer drones permitting the insane to enjoy watching peasants die in real-time from the comfort of their offices while they wage their energy wars against innocents.

In closing and back to a more mundane subject – I have attached these URLs.
They may not be much use to laymen but they do illustrate that engineers have to deal with fact and represent that fact unerringly.
I submit that the voter is not availed of such by politicians.

Comment from dl
Time May 21, 2011 at 10:08 pm

You didn’t include Ali Abdullah Saleh over in Yemen; that man’s ability as a statesman is really something to behold. It is becoming increasingly apparent that his time’s coming to a close, as the protests against his rule show no sign of abating.
He gave a speech today in we he called for an early general election, which is a good thing, as opposed to the violent Civil War, that will probably erupt should he intransigently hold on to power. This would cause a lot of misery, not only for Yemenis’ but for the rest of the world, should that tribal cat be let out of the bag right on the border of the world’s largest oil producer.

Obamas’ nigh unprecedented speech seems a step up from the cold shoulder that he gave to Netanyahu at that Whitehouse function last year. In the vein of Obama’s last 2 years of presidency, it is likely to be all style and no substance. This years’ AIPAC summit, which is set to be attended by most of the eminent beltway heavy weights, will host over 10,000 people this year, which is twice the number that attended in 2010 (in light of current events though, this is understandable). Obama won’t actually give a speech this year, but instead will expound upon the ‘deep bond’ between Israel and America. Business as usual, me thinks.

Going off at a tangent to your earlier post about Western Australia’s new mining royalty impost, I wonder how long this excellent terms of trade that we are enjoying, due to historically high raw commodity prices, will last for? From what admittedly little I know about such matters, China’s economy seems to be overheated, and that the amount of money being shovelled into white elephant Infrastructure projects (such as train lines that aren’t efficiently utilized) and other components of heavy industry seems to be at inordinately high levels. Could China’s ‘state capitalist’ model of development go a similar way to that of the Soviet Union in the 1970’s, when GDP growth suddenly dropped off? and naturally, what consequences would this have on the Australian economy.
Something for greater minds than mine to ponder.

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