The Null Device


Crikey on Howard's "stay home and bonk" policy:

The only catch is that Paula is not allowed to work if she wants to get the full amount. I suggested she kiss her career as a barrister away and we should just get on with increasing the family to 4 or even 5 over the term of the policy.
We all know that Janette loves to do the washing to relax and the Howards don't believe in wives working and this little policy is aimed at keeping former working mothers at home with the kids. The policy does not appear to apply to working dads who stay at home and Paula is likely to make more than me over the next few years so unless Crikey really takes off, we might have to pass up on this great offer.


The Election: Howard has promised more Federal police powers if reelected. This could lead to all sorts of nice things, like making things like marijuana possession federal crimes (as in the US), neatly overriding state-based decriminalisation, and the establishment of huge federal prison complexes in the desert (you must admit, "John Howard's Superprisons project" does have a catchy ring to it), not to mention a much more powerful and influential national security bureaucracy.


Perception engineering: The Bush administration enlists the advertising industry into the war effort, in order to win the sympathies of the Middle East. (via FollowMeHere)


The Liberals have announced part of their "social-welfare" policy, a characteristic mix of neo-liberal economics and "family-values" paternalism: tax breaks for having children. Which means that a Liberal government will offer a monetary reward for adhering to Howard's conservative, be-fruitful-and-multiply values. And since the reward is coming from our taxes, it translates into a relative financial penalty for those sinners and wastrels who refuse to breed. That'll teach the faithless swines.


Fed up with the Recording Racket's bureaucracy and skulduggery, The Cure abandon recording labels, announce they will release their new material exclusively on the Internet. This will include band material as well as Robert Smith's collaborations with unnamed outside artists. And judging by Robert's sentiment, it's quite likely to be in MP3, and not some fascistic access-controlled format. Mind you, this will not include the back-catalogue, as in the US, AOL Time Warner owns that in perpetuity, thanks to the RIAA's legal manouvering.

"It was something the RIAA (the Recording Industry Association Of America, the major labels' lobby group) put through. It is so anti-artist, it is incredible. It almost defies belief. I don't own any past Cure material, full-stop, in North America. It reverts back in the rest of the world, but that doesn't help me."

Of course, they could try doing something like this guy did, and make their MP3s available for downloading anywhere outside of the US. (via 1.0)