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Issue No. 248 26 November 2004  

Australian Idols
It was a week for the little people as Casey won Australian Idol and Rebecca beat the railways. In entertainment and politics it was a young woman from the burbs who ran rings around the pros.


Interview: The Reich Stuff
Robert Reich has led the debate on the future of work � both as an academic and politician. Now he�s on his way to Australia to help NSW unions push the envelope.

Economics: Crime and Punishment
Mark Findlay argues that the present psychological approach to prison programs is increasing the likelihood of re-offending and the threat to community safety.

Environment: Beyond The Wedge
Whether the great forestry divide can ever be overcome or whether it is best sidestepped for the sake of unity and sustainability in other areas is up for debate, writes Tara de Boehmler.

International: The End Of The Lucky Country
Linda Weiss, Elizabeth Thurbon and John Mathews show us How To Kill A Country

Safety: Tests Fail Tests
Nick Lewocki from the RTBU lifts the lid on the shonky science behind RailCorp testing

Politics: Labo(u)r Day
John Robertson lets fly at this years Labor Day dinner

Human Rights: Arabian Lights
Tim Brunero reports on how a Sydney sparky took on the Taliban and lived to tell the tale.

History: Labour's Titan
Percy Brookfield was a big man who was at the heart of the trade union struggles that made Broken Hill a quintessential union town writes Neale Towart.

Review: Foxy Fiasco
To find out who is outfoxing who, read Tara de Boehmler's biased review of a subjective documentary about corrupt journalism.

Poetry: Then I Saw The Light
Brothers and sisters! Praise the Lord! Brother George has saved the White House from an invasion by infidels, writes resident bard David Peetz.


 Helicar Fingers Victims ... Again

 Rabbits Sick of Clover

 What a Banker

 Pack Up and Go Home

 Pratt By Name

 Horror at the Hacienda

 Women Wiped for Bush Jobs

 Veteran Fights Bullet

 Tunneler Survives Death Trap

 Bathurst Three Face Court

 Chullora Cuts Struck Out

 Bully Breaks Heart

 Southern Cross Flies High

 Activists What's On!


The Locker Room
In Naming Rights Only
Phil Doyle has Gone to Gowings

The Soapbox
Homeland Insecurity
Rowan Cahill tells us how the Howard Government�s appointment of Major-General Duncan Lewis to head up the national security division of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet has received little critical comment, until now.

The Westie Wing
New proposed legislation in NSW provides a vital window of opportunity for unions to ensure they achieve convictions for workplace deaths, writes Ian West.

 Regarding Pee Poles
 Pee Pole Shame
 Latham Is A Scapegoat
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Horror at the Hacienda

Workers in the Phillipines are demanding political scalps after 14 people were killed when the military broke up striking farm and sugar mill workers at Hacienda Luisita, last week.

Top of their list is Representative Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III � only son of former Prisident Cory Aquino � whose family has owned the massive Hacienda Luisita sugar complex for generations.

"We, who are your constituents, no longer want you back in Tarlac," union leaders, Ricardo Ramos and Rene Galang, said in a joint statement after the first funerals.

Thirty five strikers or supporters received gunshot wounds when they were attacked by troops.

Inquiries into the slayings have been opened in both houses of the Phillipines Parliament.

Police chief De la Torre sparked outrage when he told the Senate Inquiry his men had reacted to shots from the picketers.

"Do you mean to tell me that the dead workers were shot by their own colleagues?" Senator Enrile replied, noting autoposy evidence that most of the dead had been shot in the back.

De la Torre said that matter was being investigated by a task force created by Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Edgar Aglipay.

De la Torre's claim flew in the face of findings made by police forensic experts who said nine policemen involved in the dispersal had tested positive for gunpowder burns.

The trade unions in the Philippines are calling for a strong international protest, demanding a full investigation of what happened, the rehiring of dismissed workers, and withdrawal of criminal charges brought against the strikers.

More than 17,000 people have already registered their protests with authorities in the Phillipines through British-based Labourstart. You can join them at:


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