Monthly Archives: June 2012

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‘Bahrain is Burning’: nurses union calls for support

“In the month of March / in the year of the uprising / earth told us her blood secrets / In the month of March five girls at the door /of the primary school /Came past the violet / came … Continue reading

You see, an Australian, a Kiwi and a Russian want to name this racehorse…

BBB -Bernie’s Best Bet for Australia on June 30, 2012  – was at the Sunshine Coast, in the 3-year-olds Guineas:  Sunshine Coast R 5 H 15 Ametsis.
My international tipping service began as a bit of fun and for me to create a few new Twitter followers. 
One Tweeter offered the opinion that, if you have fewer than 100 followers, you are a stalker. They probably said less than 100 followers; as a general rule, people who insult strangers on the internet do not have advanced grammatical skills.
I rather like the notion of victimless cyberstalking, but I decided I would gather 100 followers without using the unwholesome tactics usually employed, such as following-unfollowing, becoming a Hollywood actor and so on.
So I offered my fun FREE tipping service with odd info and links thrown in.
Meet Ametsis
As I said above, weirdly named Aussie racehorse Ametsis was the tip for June 30.
Ametsis is named after New Zealand  owners Brendan and Jo Lindsay’s plastic company and is Sistema spelt backwards.
Now I cannot condone rich people naming racehorses after things they own – businesses, pets, themselves –  unless it has a connection to their horse’s breeding.
Because I like those cute Klip It fridge containers Sistema make I thought I would help them out. The real reason, that I have made up, the horse is called Ametsis follows.

The Russian Museum, based in St Petersburg, across that nation, has Virtual Branches information and educational centres with the partnership of Sistema Finance Investments One of these branches is in Kirov. 
Russian conglom – while I am making stuff up, conglom is a more expressive word than conglomerate – Sistema is one of the 10 largest business enterprises in that country.
Australian racehorse Sistema is out of the Zabeel mare Kirov Dancer.
From now on trainer Russel Cameron and owners Brendan and Jo Lindsay can tell owners Ametsis’s mother’s moniker led them down a serendipitous path to naming the colt after their NZ company.
If you have any tales on racehorse names, please share them either through here, My Twitter a/c https://twitter.com/bentbananabooks or email bentbananabooks@gmail.com
As a reward for supporting my fiction about the name, grab a big bowl of popcorn  and a flask of coffee and let’s watch the Kirov Ballet perform Swan Lake. It goes for a tick under two hours, apparently, so it will be fun. Enjoy.
Cheers & Happy Punting 
Bernie
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Refugee Greens Amendment in Senate

This is not about NIMBY responses. Not Nauru- Not Malaysia but action now. There are 1200 proven assessed refugees in Indonesia right now. Australia has just reduced our intake resettlement places from a piddling 500 to 300 so what is … Continue reading

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Don’t scuttle the ships – Housing not Holidays

I just signed the following petition (http://www.change.org/petitions/housing-not-holidays) addressed to Queensland’s Housing Minister, Bruce Flegg, and the Federal Minister for Defence Materials Jason Clare. I have included the Federal Members for Lilley Wayne Swan, for Griffith Kevin Rudd and for Bonner … Continue reading

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La Esmeralda – brutal history

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Press Release Brisbane 30th June 2012 La Esmeralda: This Tall Ship Has A Bloody, Brutal History La Esmeralda in Brisbane for a “cultural exchange and good will.” The ship will surely be a majestic sight. But behind the stately image … Continue reading

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Brisbane Barrio: ’17 together on a picket line’

Brisbane Barrio by Lachlan Hurse and Sue Monk Juan woke up held Ana in his arms and whispered to her “cover my body with kisses so I may face the day” The children were still sleeping when he closed the … Continue reading

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Yes, Virginia, there are conspiracies

By Humphrey McQueen(Text of speech at Canberra Friends of Wikileaks, Coombs Lecture Theatre, Australian National University, 27 June 2012.) Once more, I have the honour of sharing a platform with Christine Assange. Since we were at the Sydney meeting in … Continue reading

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Senator calls for international action to free UN worker

THE SENATE CHAMBER Australian Parliament, Canberra As reported in Hansard Friday, 22 June 2012 Senator Claire Moore (Queensland): “Two weeks ago in my office I was visited by Khalil Hamdan, an Australian citizen and a good friend of our community … Continue reading

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OF THE UTMOST URGENCY: SUSIYA VILLAGE ABOUT TO BE DESTROYED

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Editor’s Note: The Palestinian village SUSIYA is about to be destroyed. This will be the SIXTH time the village will be destroyed by the Israeli army. Right next door is an illegal Israeli settlement. Its settlers are determined to take … Continue reading

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SHOOTINGS, TASERS, COVER-UPS: rally at ombudsman’s office

NSW police, out of control RALLY at THE OMBUDSMAN OFFICE, JUNE 28, 4.30 p.m. Corner of George & Bathurst Sts. (Across from the Town Hall) Questions for Mr. Bruce Barbour, NSW Ombudsman: –How do you monitor Death in Custody Reports … Continue reading

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Open Letter to Multi-Cultural Development Association (MDA)

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Yesterday I attended World Refugee Day Community Festival at Annerley Soccer Oval. I approached Red Cross, Amnesty International , 4EB, Palestinian Arts, Culture and Science Incorporation asking if they would help me with a Petition to free Ridha! by placing … Continue reading

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Assange accuses US/Australian Governments of ‘slimy rhetoric’

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PHOTOS, INTERVIEW & REPORTS from “Solidarity with Julian Assange” Vigils outside Brisbane Department of Foreign Affairs & Ecuadoran Embassy in London In support of Assange RSVP ( 12 confirmed) Brisbane Supreme Court *Monday June 25th. 12noon-2pm Supreme Court * Solidarity … Continue reading

Bris Action: Japanese Reactors must stay off-line

Japan must leave nuclear power behind
Brisbane and NNSW support a nuclear-free Japan

Keep the Nuclear Reactors OFF! Letter delivery and protest

Weds June 27, 2012
9:30 for 10am
Japanese Consulate, 12 Creek Street, Brisbane

Japanese citizens and their Australian supporters will be delivering a letter calling for the end to nuclear power in Japan to the Japanese Consulate this Wednesday.

The action is part of a global response to Prime Minister Noda’s announcement that he would re-introduce nuclear power by putting the Ohi reactors back on line.

A coalition of Japanese campaigners have asked for global support stating that “Despite all our efforts, despite the strong resistance in the region of Western Japan surrounding Ohi, and despite the fact that a majority of the Japanese people is against nuclear power, the Japanese government is bowing to pressures of the nuclear lobby in Japan.

We have tried hard on our own, but now we believe that coordinated international pressure on the Japan government is essential to bring on real and substantial change.â€

We believe that Australians have a responsibility to support the Japanese public’s call for change.

Australian uranium fuelled TEPCO reactors at Fukushima. Kansai Electric, the company that owns the Ohi reactors, also purchases Australian uranium.

Many Australians feel deep regret at Australia’s complicity in the ongoing nuclear disaster at Fukushima. We must to whatever it takes to ensure that such a catastrophe never happens again.

The community is invited to gather outside the Japanese Consulate to show their support for a Nuclear-Free Japan.

For more information:
Friends of the Earth Brisbane – Robin Taubenfeld 0411 118 737

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“Bahrain is burning and the world is silent!”

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Bahraini refugees call for ”understanding” as they rally against mandatory detention in Sydney today Bahraini Australian Youth Movement joins World Refugee Day Rally in Sydney Three audio interviews with Bahraini refugees are attached and permissible for use Refugee rights supporters … Continue reading

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Refugee ‘Info Line’ for family and friends

Department of Immigration & Citizenship (DIAC) have set up a phone line for family and friends to seek information about survivors from the boat tragedy The number is  1300 724 010 They collect information from callers but cannot give information … Continue reading

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Double Standard – plane down, leaders shot

Two contrasting events occurred yesterday – a plane fell from the skies over Syria and a leader of the main Bahraini opposition party was shot in the street. All the world’s media focused on the shooting down of an US … Continue reading

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Chile Ship of Shame

CHILE TORTURE-CENTER SHIP, NOT WELCOME IN BRISBANE We are writing to you to let you know of our intentions to carry out a peaceful demonstration at the arrival of a Chilean Navy Ship “La Esmeralda” to Brisbane between the 28th … Continue reading

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Workers under siege in Nablus – they have no country

“People of Jenin, all the citizens of Jenin and the refugee camp, this is Jenin-grad. Your battle has paved the way to the liberation of the occupied territories”.[53] — PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, addressing a gathering of about 200 people … Continue reading

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Petition to free Ridha!

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To the Honourable the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Bob Carr and Members of the Legislative Assembly of Australia The petition of the undersigned citizens of Australia I (leave a comment) draws to the attention of the House to … Continue reading

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Book Launch — ‘Beyond Tribal Loyalties’ ed. by Avigail Abarbanel

[WBT Editor’s Note: I attended the launch of this book at the Multi-Faith centre last night (19 June 2012) along with about 50 other people. The editor of the book, Avigail Abarbanel, is an engaging and intelligent speaker who has … Continue reading

Hoofnote to the horse-racing true tale of an honest punter


Australian bookmakers bet 12-1 each way the odds on favourite Beauty Parlour in the 1 million euro French Oaks.  An honest Aussie punter alerted them to their mistake. Read the full story HERE.
Beauty Parlour appeared to have the French Oaks won but was gunned down by the  outsider, 25-1 pop Valyra, owned by billionaire, the Aga Khan.
Second favourite Kissed (4-1) which the bookies had laid each way at 22-1, broke down near the line and will be retired to stud. That’s racing and why the bookies drive prestige European cars and the punters get round in reliable Japanese models.
Even not-so-poor young filly Beauty Parlour is oriental being by Japan-raced and based sire Deep Impact.
Had Beauty Parlour won, it would have been Deep Impact’s first European Group 1 winner.
The bookies and a billionaire got the chocolates, as the racing mob say, but Beauty Parlour, Deep Impact and the punters live to fight another day.
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Radical Memory Collective

RADICAL MEMORY COLLECTIVE PRESENTS FREE FILMS At Brisbane City Council Library, Brisbane Square Saturday, 23rd June Theatrette, Ground Floor 1:00—2:30 p. m. HOW THE WEST WAS LOST The story of the 1946 Aboriginal Pastoral Workers’ strike in Western Australia that … Continue reading

Aussie bookie bets 12-1 for odds-on favourite

Description: horse Chantilly

French Oaks

Single Bets 

Description: http://i.sbstatic.com.au/images/default/racing/silk_unavailable.png
BEAUTY PARLOUR     13.00                    1.80
KISSED                         23.00                   5.00
TROIS LUNES             101.00                21.00
BEST OF ALL                   1.80              101.00
Each Way Terms: 3 places 1/5 odds
OO-la-la! Punter’s Dream. Odds in red are what Sportsbet put up for some horses in the French Oaks and at right are the correct odds.


IT is every punter’s dream and it finally happened.
Australian online bookmaker sportsbet.com.au put up the wrong odds for the French Oaks run at Chantilly racetrack on June 17, 2012.
Sportsbet installed the 100-1 shot Best of Allas odds-on favourite and the short-priced favourite Beauty Parlour at 12-1. Second favourite Kissed (4-1) was put up at 22-1 with win or each-way betting allowed.
It was a bungle which might have gone down in the legal and ethical text-books. What would a punter do if they discovered the juicy odds about the hot-pots? An astute gambler could have backed the two favourites each-way and thrown in a smaller bet each-way on 20-1 shot Trois Luneswhich was posted at 100-1. Would the bets pass legal muster if the punter had a big collect at the wrong odds?
Queensland author and journalist Bernie Dowling discovered the error 38 hours before the running of the French Oaks, the €1 million Prix de Diane at Hippodrome de Chantilly, north of Paris.
“It was the first day of my free international tipping service on Twitter,’’ Mr Dowling said.
“It’s a fun thing to promote my novel, Iraqi Icicle with the second edition due late this year.”
Mr Dowling decided tipping into the French Oaks was a plan so he did what a journalist or seasoned punter would do, searched the internet for form.
“I found stories on the entries of billionaire owner the Aga Khan and top Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien but I couldn’t find a thing on the false favourite, Best of All,” Mr Dowling said.
He found the unbeaten Beauty Parlour was highly regarded and stumbled across a betting market – though not from a bookie – which had that filly at odds-on.
“I suspected both this market and Sportsbet’s were wrong and the correct odds on Beauty Parlour were somewhere in between, so I had a small bet of $5 each way on the filly.”
Ploughing on with the research, Mr Dowling found the source of the wrong Sportsbet market and then one by the delightfully named European bookmaker paddypower.com.
“I knew Paddy would have it right.”
Here was an ethical quandary with possible legal ramifications.
“Oddly, it did not cross my mind to have a real go each way on the first and second favourites.
“It was not for legal reasons; I believe the epic struggle between punter and bookie should be fought on high moral ground.”
What did cross that punter’s mind was tweeting the error.
“What a start that would have been to my international tipping service.
“I have only a handful of followers as I don’t believe in manipulating a following on Twitter.
“But I am sure my tweet could have gone mini-viral among punters who mould have scrambled to see what their own bookie was betting.”
“But once I had decided the right thing was to tell Sportsbet, I could not tweet their mistake before I contacted the bookie.”
Mr Dowling was particularly disappointed he was unable to tell one follower, a journalistic colleague who gave him the idea of a punting service.
“She has tipped me a couple of winners on the pacers. I suppose those tips will dry up now.”
Mr Dowling rang sportsbet.com.au about the error and within minutes the Oaks betting market was suspended.
The Queensland author is left with another dilemma to sort out.
“The main character in my novel Iraqi Icicle is Steele Hill who has been banned for life from all Australian racetracks for his minor role in a race fix.
“I am wondering if I should revoke the ban as a reward for my good dead.”
Mr Dowling admitted not every punter would see it as a good deed.
“It’s a tough call. The bookie always has the house percentage over you. Through an honest mistake, Sportsbet put the odds massively in favour of the punters. It will be interesting to find what others would have done in my shoes.
Sportsbet informed Mr Dowling his $10 bet on Beauty Parlour at 12-1 would stand.
His Twitter tipping service continues each Saturday from 9am, Aus EST. Visit http://twitter.com/bentbananabooks

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Australia Cuba Friendship Society: Film night June 22

The Australia-Cuba Friendship Society (Brisbane) invites you to Cine Cubano – an irregular screening of Cuban movies KORDAVISION — kordavisionflyer The Man Who Shot Che Guevara The story behind the most famous photograph of the 20th Century, ‘Guerillero Heroico’, and … Continue reading

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Sovereignty in Toomelah?

Over the weekend Corey joined members of the Brisbane Sovereign Embassy  on a trip out to Moree to do some embassy business, including spreading the message of sovereignty to the township of Toomelah.  Michael Anderson argues on this feature that the … Continue reading

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Israeli soldiers killed Ridha’s son

Maan News, September 2007 Editorial Note: The following news reports are summaries from original sources. They may also include corrections of Arabic names and political terminology. Comments are in parentheses. Israeli forces kill disabled Palestinian during ongoing incursion in Nablus … Continue reading

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Australian Government double standard over Israel

MEDIA RELEASE Australian Government demonstrates double standards over Israel FOREIGN minister Bob Carr recently expelled Syrian diplomats because of human rights abuses in their country. Yet the Israeli defence force and Israeli settlers shoot, abduct, detain and torture Palestinians in the occupied territories on a daily basis. The Israeli government destroys Palestinian homes on the West Bank. On 21 May 2012 an Australian citizen, Khalil Hamdan, received a call from his sister Weam in Nablus. “My sister was distraught because 25- 30 Israeli soldiers broke into her small two bedroom unit at 3am in the Camp No.1 refugee camp in Nablus, Palestine,” Mr Hamdan said. “She is the wife of Ridha Khalid and the mother of five children aged 5 to 18 years. Ridha is employed by United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Nablus.” “The soldiers smashed the door down and took Ridha away for no reason and took him to Huwarra prison outside of Nablus. After they took him away, they asked my sister, Weam, to get out of the unit with her children. “They proceeded to destroy everything in their unit: furniture, electrical appliances including the children’s computer; the children’s school books. “Naturally all the children were traumatised and they were mindful of their imminent school examinations.” The soldiers took the food from the pantry, freezer and refrigerator and spread it all over the furniture and floor. They removed all the pictures from wall and smashed them. Weam is aged fifty years. “She is a good woman and cared for her aged parents and her two handicapped brothers since she was a young teenager. She is a good wife, caring mother and kind to her friends and has never been in any trouble. “Weam was born in the Refugee camp. The destruction of the contents of her unit was completely unjust. Her frugal savings and furniture were gone in 2.1/2 hours.” Weam’s husband Ridha distributes aid throughout the West Bank. The Australian Government will contribute $90M to UNRWA over the next three years. Ridha has been taken before and tortured. In 2001 he spent 18 months in detention without charge. His 17 year old son was shot dead and Ridha has been the victim of an Israeli rocket attack. He now is on hunger strike in Huwarra prison near Nablus. Weam is concerned for the future of her husband and their family. I, Khalil Hamdan, call on the Foreign Minister to seek the immediate release of Ridha and compensation for loss of property and savings taken from Weam’s unit. I want an independent medical examination of Ridha. “The Australian government is obliged to act because: 1. I’m an Australian citizen and my family has been attacked. 2. My brother-in-law works for United Nations Relief and Works Agency. The Australian government provides funds to UNRWA. 3. The Australian government is signatory to international agreements that outlaw the abduction and torture of civilians. 4. My sister’s property has been damaged and money stolen. 5. The Australian Government has acted to prevent human rights abuses across the border in Syria but not in the occupied territories. Khalil Hamdan, his mother, father and siblings were driven out of their village in Jaffa in 1948. They fled to Nablus where Weam was born in 1962. “As a result of the 6-day war in 1967 I was made a refugee for a second time and sought a new life in Australia” Mr Hamdan said.” “I want an end to the occupation and the right to return to my village. I am one of 5 million Palestinian refugees and their descendants. We all want justice.” I, Khalil Hamdan, can be contacted at 0438 194 342 Continue reading

Reviews roll on

REVIEWS are coming in to Amazon for Bernie Dowling’s non-fiction work 7 Shouts:The Best of My Shout.
Gleaned from seven year’s of his My Shout newspaper columns, the book establishes Australian humour at the off-centre of the Universe.
The first two reviewers each gave 7 Shouts four stars.
Here is what they had to say.

4.0 out of 5 stars A fun read, June 10, 2012
By baggy
This review is from: 7 Shouts (My Shout) (Kindle Edition)
Bernie Dowling has a unique voice that really brings his columns to life. I highly recommend this to anyone that enjoys Australian humour. Even if you don’t laugh you will be entertained and informed. My favourite is the Slanguage chapter. For the record I say ‘marown’.

4.0 out of 5 stars Fun book for the person who loves journalism!, June 7, 2012
By Heather Marie Adkins
This review is from: 7 Shouts (My Shout) (Kindle Edition)
Bernie Dowling has compiled years of journalistic endeavors into one compendium, along with pictures (some of them quite funny), and has thus given readers “7 Shouts”. For the individual with a love of journalism, an open-minded viewpoint on all things living, and often insightful blurbs on life, I highly recommend this book. Love, tragedy, success, and history–it’s all there in the funny, intelligent, and sometimes satirical voice of Dowling. Definitely a getaway read for the nonfiction crowd 🙂

Reviews are also at Google eBooks for the Kindle-less lovers of lit.
Visit Amazon 
or Google Books http://goo.gl/DxFCc
Give yourself a giggle.

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Mabo and Framework of Dominance

[Aboriginal News] MABO AND THE FRAMEWORK OF DOMINANCE 3 June 2012 Speech by Les Malezer,for the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the outcome of the High Court ‘Mabo’ Case. As is tradition, I acknowledge and pay my respects to … Continue reading

Human Rights Alliance media release