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June 2006   

Interview: Rock Solid
Bill Shorten gives the inside story on the Australian Workers Union's involvement in the Beaconsfield rescue.

Industrial: Eight Simple Rules for Employing My Teenage Daughter
Phil Oswald bought up his kids to believe in their rights; so when his 16-year old daughter was told to cop a pay cut she was never going to take it quietly.

Politics: The Johnnie Code
WorkChoices is encrypted deep in the PM's political DNA, writes Evan Jones

Energy: Fission Fantasies
Adam Ma�anit looks at the big business push behind the 'clean nuclear' debate that is sweeping the globe.

History: All The Way With Clarrie O'Shea
The WorkChoices Penal Powers are the latest in a long line of penal sanctions against trade unions, writes Neale Towart

International: Closer to Home
If Australia can forgive its debt to Iraq, why not to Indonesia and the Philippines, write Luke Fletcher and Karen Iles

Economics: Taking the Fizz
While the Treasurer has been popping the post-Budget champers, Frank Stilwell gives a more sober assessment.

Unions: Stronger Together
Amanada Tattersall looks at the possibilities of strengthening alliances between unions, environmental and community organisations

Review: Montezuma's Revenge
Tommy Lee Jones directs and stars in a film about racism and retribution, writes James Gallaway.

Poetry: Fair Go Gone
Employers in the land rejoice, for we are girt by greed.


The Soapbox
The Beaconsfield Declaration
As the Prime Minister feted Brant Webb and Todd Russell, their colleagues were outside with a message to the rest of Australia.

The Locker Room
Run Like You Stole Something
Phil Doyle observes that there are some tough bastards out there.

The Westie Wing
That fun-loving friend of the workers, Ian West, reports from the red leather of the Bear Pit.

Class Action
Phil Bradley draws the lines between education funding and the current skills crisis.


When the Truth Hurts
Some rare moments of candour this week have vindicated all we�ve been saying about WorkChoices and more.


 Howard's Advocate Fesses Up

 Cowra - Work Slaughter Legal

 You're Killing Us - BHP Charged Again

 Revealed: Beaconsfield Led AWA Charge

 Warehouse Pushes the Envelope

 Independent Schools Push Class Warfare

 Spotlight on Howard�s Porkies

 PM Backs Visa Buster

 Sutton Wants Middle Men Probed

 ATO Recruiting for WorkChoices

 Taxpayers to Fund Ad Orgy

 New Deal on Canberra Menu

 Appeal for East Timor

 Activist's What's On!

 Free Kick
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Montezuma's Revenge

Tommy Lee Jones directs and stars in a film about racism and retribution, writes James Gallaway.

The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada

Jones plays Pete Perkins, foreman of a Texas ranch whose best friend, Melquiades Estrada (a Mexican 'wetback') is found dead in the middle of the desert.

Tensions of wealth disparity on the Mexican Texas border pull the characters in this film apart. Groups of Mexicans struggle to escape to the US for a better life, while the American border patrol, living in white trailer-trash homes, and salving their despairing lives with sexual infidelities, do what's necessary to stop them.

When Melquiades' body is found the racist local police and border patrol do nothing to find the murderer (for reasons of their own) and quickly bury him in a grave by the football ground outside of town. The wooden cross they leave marking the grave reads simply 'Melquiades Mexico'.

Pete Perkins learns of the cover up and who it was that killed his friend. Enraged he captures Melquiades' murderer and forces him to dig up the body. From here Pete, the killer and the body of Melquiades travel to the dead man's home in a Mexican village, in a journey full of mythical events worthy of Ulysses or Don Quixote. Among the gunshots and violence there is a snake, a blind man and prayers for redemption.

This is a serious film that gets so black at times it's funny. As the three make their way to the village in Mexico, Melquiades killer is put through a tortuous set of incidents that leave him banged up and bleeding - in fact he is close to death often. Through it all Pete Perkins keeps him alive and the audience giggles guiltily because it's okay to laugh at the misfortunes of a bad man.

The only drawback is the lack of depth in the female characters. As a plot device the wife of a boarder patrolman becomes a hooker for an afternoon in an episode that strains credulity. Otherwise, this is a fine film full of humour, mystery and some well-orchestrated violence with an excellent cameo from country and western singer Dwight Yoakam.


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