Monthly Archives: October 2012

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Tamil asylum seeker attempts suicide in Melbourne

A Tamil asylum seeker scheduled who faced deportation to Sri Lanka today (Wednesday 31 Oct 2012) has attempted suicide in the early hours of this morning. It is understood that ambulances were called to the Maribynong Detention Centre in Melbourne … Continue reading

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Kooii’s EP Launch, this Sun, Nov 4

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Hello Folks, Kooii recently released a new EP, ‘Call Out’, and to celebrate this we’ve gathered together an awesome group of bands for a small fiesta this Sun Nov 4 at the Greenslopes Bowls Club. The line up includes Melbourne-based … Continue reading

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NAURU – PHOTOS and Story

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A Weekend Of Protest On Nauru By Adam Brereton Asylum seekers detained on Nauru mounted hunger strikes and protests over the weekend. Even though communications are restricted, reports of dreadful conditions are emerging from the facility, writes Adam Brereton READ … Continue reading

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Frontier Wars, Class Wars, Imperialist Wars

Talk by Humphrey McQueen at the Railway Club, Darwin, 17 July 2012. In paying acknowledgement to country I want to do more than mention custodianship and sovereignty. Too often those values are made to sound passive or legalistic. The reality … Continue reading

Assange and the Attack on the Republic of Ecuador

More on Assange – Ecuador link … unnecessary knowledge?

List of State government funding cuts to 2 August 2012

Note that Working Women’s Service has obtained some replacement funding from the Federal government.

Aboriginal Nations issue Assange with passport

It is with a sense of pride and complete social justice that this Association has worked with the Sydney Support Assange and WikiLeaks Coalition to have the privilege of successfully arranging for Julian Assange to be able to be issued with an Aboriginal Nations Passport that his father, John Shipton, will accept on his behalf at the Welcome to Aboriginal Land Passport Ceremony to be held at The Settlement, 17 Edward Street, Darlington from 11am to 4pm on Saturday 15 September, 2012.

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Uranium Again

[Editor’s Note: This was broadcast on the Paradigm Shift (4ZZZ fm 102.1 12 noon on Fridays) on 26 October 2012. It is part of a series of broadcasts on the The Politics of Repression and the Politics of Protest. ‘Uranium … Continue reading

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Foco Nuevo in November 2012

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This month we feature two great guest acts, and a variation on line-up for Jumping Fences! Tommy Leonard: A fine singer and guitarist, Tommy had been troubadouring in Australia since 1990. His repertoire covers traditional and contemporary music from the … Continue reading

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QLD UNCUT: next meeting

The next Queensland Uncut meeting is Thursday November 29th, 6.30pm, Trades and Labour Council Building, 16 Peel Street, Level 2 – hope to see you there! In the mean time: Have you liked the new Queensland Uncut facebook page yet? … Continue reading

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NTEU eNews 24 October 2012

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eNEWS Bulletin of the University of Queensland Branch of the NTEU 24 October, 2012 IN THIS ISSUE Fair Shares Staff and Student Forum: Budget Monster Strikes Again National Office Media Release: $1 Billion Cuts to Higher Education Colleagues at UQ: … Continue reading

BLHA October Symposium This Saturday

Comrades and Friends

Just a reminder that the October Symposium organised by the Brisbane Labour History Association is on this Saturday, 27 October 2012.

The symposium is entitled, Back to the Future?…The Queensland Labour Movement under Conservative Governments. Registration for the event opens at 9.15, but the symposium proper will commence at 9.45, with opening remarks followed by the first session (scheduled for 10am).

The symposium is being held at the West End Club at 2 Vulture Street, South Brisbane.

Admission to the symposium is free. Lunch and other refreshments will be on sale at the venue. Attached is the flyer giving details for the event, and some contact telephone numbers if you need more information about the event.

Regards

Craig Buckley

Secretary

Brisbane Labour History Association

BLHA October Seminar 2012.pdf

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Outrage for treatment of Bahraini teachers

The Bahrain Australian Youth Movement (BAYM) condemns the verdict delivered to Mahdi Abu Deeb, president of the Bahraini Teachers’ Association, yesterday who was sentenced to 5 years in prison alongside BTA vice-president Jalila al-Salman facing a jail term of six … Continue reading

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Refugee Action Collective events & organising meeting

Several upcoming events of interest to refugee supporters Community BBQ Sunday 28th October, 10am Rocks Riverside Park, Seventeen Mile Rocks. Public transport: 468 bus from Oxley Station. Join us for a day filled with food and fun. There will be … Continue reading

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Workplace Guilt by Association

[This Paradigm Shift  was broadcast on 19 October 2012 on 4ZZZ fm 102.1] A derelict house slumps to one side Poster peels on a bolted gate Its faded but not forgotten “An injury to one is an injury to all” … Continue reading

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When will Spring rain?

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This is how I see it Black throated pied butcher bird picking up sticks sees bicyclist Pied strikes like a drone in Yemen 2 metre tall cyclist Takes refuge under Poinciana Juveniles join in Kamakase air raids triangular strafing with … Continue reading

Drawing from a Detainee on Nauru

Drawing from Nauru illustrating how this man feels.

Israel stops another ship with humanitarian aid for Palestine

The ship was loaded with humanitarian aid to Palestine but it was seized by Israel under the pretext of stopping the delivery of weaponry for Hamas. I am sure that Israel knew the contents of the cargo but it needs to lie to justify its actions. The activists have been detained and we don’t know whether they have been tortured.

[thnx jamie]

JERUSALEM | Sat Oct 20, 2012 6:14 am EDT

Oct 20 (Reuters) – The Israeli navy seized an international pro-Palestinian activist ship in the Mediterranean sea on Saturday to prevent it breaching its blockade of the Gaza Strip, a military spokeswoman said.

She said no one was hurt when marines boarded the SV Estelle, a three-mast schooner, and that it was rerouted to Israel’s southern port of Ashdod after it ignored orders to turn away from the Hamas-governed Palestinian enclave.

The Estelle was carrying 30 activists from Europe, Canada and Israel, humanitarian cargo such as cement, and goodwill items such as children’s books, a mission spokesman said earlier on Saturday.
Shipboard activists could not immediately be reached for comment.

Citing a need to stem arms smuggling to Hamas and other Palestinian militants, Israel maintains a tight naval blockade of Gaza. Israel and neighbouring Egypt also limit overland traffic to and from the territory.

Palestinians describe the curbs as collective punishment for Gaza’s 1.6 million residents and their supporters abroad have mounted several attempts to break the blockade by sea. Most were stopped by Israel, and in one May 2010 incident its marines killed nine Turkish activists in clashes aboard their ship.

An inquiry into that incident commissioned by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon found that Israel’s Gaza blockade was legal but faulted the navy for excessive force.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/20/palestinians-israel-gaza-ship-idUSL5E8LK0N520121020

Dance for Cuba

scan.pdf

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UQ NTEU branch supports Bob Carnegie and QCH workers

Motion passed today at the University of Queensland branch of the National Tertiary Education Union (NTEU) Please feel free to use this motion, suitably adapted, in your own union branch. Tom Bramble “That the UQ branch of the National Tertiary … Continue reading

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Democratic Rights at QUT: Last Action for the Year

The QUT Free Speech Campaign would like to thank all those who have participated in the activities we have held at QUT recently. The wide range of stalls that were held and the fantastic speeches that were made have resuscitated … Continue reading

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A story that may not be a story

This may get a lot of airplay today depending on how convinced the Media unit at the Minister’s office are. It is worth remembering that this is not the first time that the Sri Lankan Government has made claims of … Continue reading

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Solidarity Concert: ‘VOICES FOR VICTORY’

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A Benefit Concert for Workers at the Queensland Children’s Hospital Site On 2 October 2012 one of the longest and most important construction industry strikes in living memory ended in victory for the workers at the Queensland Children’s Hospital site … Continue reading

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Hezbollah emerges as new threat for Syria rebels

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BY:NICHOLAS BLANFORD From:The Times October 15, 2012 12:00AM A rebel holds a rocket-propelled grenade launcher near the Syrian city of Haleb. Source: AFP THE helicopter gunship, barely visible in the dawn haze, performed large circles above the Syrian border village of Jusiyah, seemingly … Continue reading

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Booklaunch: Tony Kevin’s Reluctant Rescuers

Booklaunch this week, rally next week Where: Avid Reader Bookshop, 193 Boundary St, West End. When: 6pm Wednesday 17th October. Entry: $5. RSVP: 3846 3422 or events@avidreader.com.au  . See Avid Reader website http://www.avidreader.com.au . Jointly hosted with the Refugee Action … Continue reading

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Christians ’emptied from Middle East’

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BY:ROWAN CALLICK From:The Australian October 06, 2012 12:00AM Syrian Christian abbess, Mother Agnes-Mariam de la Croix, pictured at St Patricks church in Melbourne during a visit to Australia. Picture: Stuart Mcevoy Source: The Australian THE mother superior of a 1500-year-old monastery in Syria … Continue reading

English 2hard for base players

IN Australia, thousands  of  New South Wales high-school graduating students took their first HSC exam in English. Their results will determine their options for tertiary study.
It was all too easy for the semi-quality newspaper The Sydney Morning Herald to come up with a story on a too-hard English exam.


The article quotes  Babs Helleman, head of English at the King’s School, Parramatta. which is a wealthy Australian private school.
She said the questions were too tough for a typical student and included: “Analyse how imagery is used to capture the author’s intense experience returning to his hometown”   

Wow! That sounds pretty much a meat-and-potatoes literary question to me and another teacher agrees with me.
Jennifer Taylor, head of English at selective high school North Sydney Girls High, said she felt the exam was challenging but fair.
“Every student could access that paper,” she said. “Its focus was very clearly in the rubrik.”

WTF does that mean? I looked up rubrik in the dictionary and was none the wiser. If was sitting an English  exam, I would hope  Ms Taylor did not set it as she fails to speak the same language as  I. Ah well, they probably would not let me into selective North Sydney Girls’ High, anyway.

There is imagery and analogy in my forthcoming novel Iraqi Icicle but I am not sure whether it has a rubrik . In an exam, I would probably write rubrik is Aussie rhyming  slang for  prick. I suspect that is a Fail.
Ah well, best stick to writing stuff and only analyse when forced.
Good luck in the rest of your exams, this week, NSW HSC students.
VERY sad tale on the arrest of the Vines lead singer Craig Nicholls.
Two years ago, Alise225 wrote: This is the 1 song that makes me calm enough to go to sleep and get some peace of mind during the exam period.  (For that Alise, we are promoting you; from now on, in our book, you are Alise77.)
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Is Australia breaking the “rules” of war

By Tony Reeves [War speech, Dan’s 17 Group, Wednesday, 3 October 2012] THE deaths of five Australian soldiers in Afghanistan in August, bringing total Australian military casualties there to thirty-eight, has helped to re-kindled the debate about Australia’s involvement in … Continue reading

Don’t Block the Sun

Picture the good news: a third industrial revolution, powered by decentralized energy and massive digital connectivity. Picture the bad news: the residual institutions of the second industrial revolution, powered by oil and 20th century transportation habits, threaten to hold this third revolution back, maybe kill it.

These were two future scenarios debated by industry leaders at an IHT conference in Barcelona recently. Solar, with its soaring global sales and plunging prices, featured as a talisman for the third industrial revolution. Fracked gas featured as a flag carrier for extending the life of the second industrial revolution. As the founder of a fast-growing solar company, set up because of my concerns about dependency on oil, gas and coal, I took part in the debate keen to maximize the good news and find ways around the bad news.

Last week, the good news had a major setback. The U.S. Department of Commerce confirmed punitive tariffs on Chinese manufacturers of cheap solar cells and panels. The premise of the case, brought by U.S. manufacturers, is that Chinese manufacturers have been exporting their panels — cheaper than U.S. equivalents because of Chinese government largesse — at unfair prices. The Europeans are contemplating the same anti-Chinese action. The Chinese seem set to retaliate with punitive tariffs on exports of U.S.-made polysilicon, the raw material for solar cells. A full-scale solar trade war is likely.

Meanwhile, oil- and gas-industry lobbying in multiple countries is succeeding in stalling many of the feed-in tariff subsidies that have been driving the growth of solar and other renewable industries. Many policymakers concerned about climate change talk of gas as a bridge to the low carbon future.

Those enamored of the U.S. shale-gas phenomenon — the widely-unanticipated production of large amounts of unconventional gas in recent years — have begun to see gas as a bridge to a gas future. Feed-in tariffs, which pay premium prices for renewable generation financed by tiny levies on electricity bills, stand in the way. It would be rather inconvenient if solar became cheaper than everything else in a few years.

Nowhere is this more clear than in Britain, where a leaked letter from the chancellor of the Exchequer to the energy secretary essentially exhorts the latter to put a lid on the stimulation of renewables markets so that investors will not be put off pouring capital into the Treasury’s effort to bring the frackers to rural England and turn Britain into a “gas hub.” I am assured by many confidantes in government and industry that this kind of political response is the result of concerted oil- and gas-industry lobbying.

The two problems for solar are of course related. The assault on feed-in tariffs and other subsidies causes the shrinking demand that triggers the dumping of exported solar panels at low prices. Without the lobby-induced mismanagement of the market-building process by governments we would probably not have the solar trade war.

Whether you agree with my analysis of causality or not, the current situation is transparently dysfunctional for all comers except the energy incumbency. If you worry about energy security, the longer we stay dependent on gas and oil the more we become dependent on those who control the pipelines and the tanker routes. If you worry about climate change, we need a low-carbon future that involves a retreat from carbon fuels, not efforts to find and develop more. If you worry about both, on a globe en route to six-degrees warming — a level that threatens the very future of civilization — then an assault on the solar industry becomes akin to sabotaging armaments factories during a mobilization for war.

It could be so different, so easily.

Despite their failure thus far to deliver a meaningful climate treaty, governments in the past have proved themselves capable of complex treaties fostering common security. They could now negotiate a multilateral regime of cooperation for solar market-enablement: a globally coordinated set of feed-in tariffs aiming to accelerate solar’s descent to universal price parity with conventional energy. They could bulk-procure solar panels themselves, to speed the emergence of a mass market.

Working cooperatively, focused on common security, they could greatly accelerate the day solar energy is cheaper than all other forms, and feed-in tariff subsidies are no longer needed. They could all greatly foster their own domestic energy security in so doing. Light shines on all countries, infinitely. Significant oil and gas reserves sit in only a few, and are finite.

Jeremy Leggett is chairman of Solarcentury and convenor of the U.K. Industry Taskforce on Peak Oil and Energy Security.


http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/15/opinion/dont-block-the-sun-encourage-solar-industry.html?ref=global

Free Spirit soars

FREE!  Free at last!


Not quite but Vision: The Reluctant Psychicis free this Saturday.

The new paranormal crime drama is free Saturday, US time.
You might want to set your world clock.
http://www.timeanddate.com/wordclock/?n=47Mine has a default time of Brisbane, Australia. You might want to change that.
Vision: The Reluctant Psychic is knocking on the heavenly door of Top 20 in the Ghost genre. Last week it reached #24, a credit to its author Jane Sharp and its publisher Bent Banana Books which is, well, me.
With great kudos comes great responsibility as someone once almost said. Let’s hear from young Bob on a variation of that theme.
If you are a bit of a rebel in the mould of Billie the kid – to be gender unspecific – you might want to thumb your nose at the free offer and buy the book, right now.

You would make author Jane and publisher, me, very happy. It seems to be an unfashionable philosophy, but one I subscribe to, that authors should not work for their art or future reward but rather present recompense for the sweat of their brow.
Indie authors seem to be setting standards of free or 99cent books. It is not a strategy I subscribe to but that is a discussion for another day. For today, ours is not to reason why ours is to plug the free Vision ‘til we die.
I am uncertain what the reward is for free books as the free receivers cannot write reviews, and they are hardly likely to buy another copy of the book they have received for free. That too is grist for a future discussion.
Right now, here are is a selection of reviews to encourage you to buy this book even if it is for zero cents on Saturday. My comments are in bold under each review as I cannot help myself.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vision : captivating!, September 23, 2012
By 
I finished ‘Vision : The Reluctant Psychic’ in a day. I haven’t read like this for years.
Jane Sharp’s creativity is magnificent. Her ideas and plotting are the equal of the best crime dramas like Law and Order or The Mentalist. The writing travels at a clip. The originality and heart kept me right in the story. Please write more!
Wow 2 0ut of 2 people found this review helpful. That is 100%, perfection – publisher hyperbole.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars , August 26, 2012
By 
What a good read! I found myself easily engrossed in the story and loved the references to suburbs and landmarks in Brisbane. Can’t wait to hear more of Detective Trudy Harper and her adventures as a reluctant psychic.
Wow 2 0ut of 2 reviewers  have given it 5 stars, perfection again – publisher hyperbole, again.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smart! Smart! Smart! (and entertaining too!!), September 17, 2012
By 
I found the book to be well written and very enjoyable reading.

Each story is an easy read and flows on from one to the other effortlessly, revealing a little more character development each time.

I became very invested in the character of Trudy and in those of her friends. Get cracking Trudy Harper! I want to see what happens to you.


I, the publisher,  could go on but why bother? You have already left this page to buy the book.

Make sure you come back for our celebratory song. We’ll wait for you.

It costs more than $8 and I am promoting it thus:
Over-proceed to buggery in a world of free and 99cents, 7 Shouts is a must-have.)
We all back from frantic impulse buying of Visionnow?
Here is our celebratory song: slightly spooky, joyful and quasi spiritual. For any racist who has stumbled across this blog, stick this song in your ear.
Cheers,
Bernie