The Null Device


Australian Prime Minister and George Bush-appointed regional deputy John Howard has embarked on a global peace mission; Howard will travel the world, seeking to build a consensus for peace in the Middle East, and in particular for preemptively stopping Iraqi aggression and warmongering and bringing peace to the region, with or without UN support. In other news, Concerned Citizens for the Defense of Virginity are reportedly organising a love-in.


Minority Christians and Mandaeans fleeing persecution in Iran end up in Australian detention centers, where they are persecuted by Muslim extremist refugees:

Mandaeans say Muslim extremists have defecated on them, and set fire to Mandaean and Christian accommodation when these groups don't join planned disturbances. Mandaeans say an extremist religious leader in detention has issued a "fatwa" that killing Mandaeans is sanctioned in Islam.

Screws at the detention centres have, of course, ignored these complaints. Firstly, they're probably just troublemakers making up stories out of pure spite and ingratitude. Secondly, the screws, being in the prison business, know from experience that laissez-faire policies in high-pressure prisons can be useful for creating a man-made hell, and deterring others from coming over.

(Btw, these sorts of Islamofascist extremists are around in significant proportions in the detention centres? That's a far cry from the cuddly, doe-eyed refugees the good burghers of North Fitzroy and such have been offering their spare rooms to. Of course, many probably weren't murderous zealots before, and have been radicalised by the detention centres; which amounts to Australia basically giving al-Qaeda and its ilk a surfeit of potential recruits with a burning hatred of the west.)

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UN covers up Guernica, Picasso's painting of maimed and dying civilians in a shelled village during the Spanish civil war, for a photo opportunity. Or perhaps because the message would be politically inappropriate given current events?

The drapes were installed last Monday and Wednesday -- the days the council discussed Iraq -- and came down Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, when the subjects included Afghanistan and peacekeeping missions in Lebanon and Western Sahara.

(via bOING bOING)

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Legendary record producer Phil Spector, best known for pioneering the "Wall of Sound" production technique in the 1960s, has been charged with murder after a woman was shot dead in Los Angeles.

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There is a very peculiar rumour floating around that Morrissey now has a girlfriend of all things. Yes, that Morrissey, the avowed asexual who claimed that he never had no-one ever and asserted defiantly that he'll live his life, as he will ultimately die, alone. So, has his chance come at last? Are millions of pale, anorak-clad, bedsit-dwelling celibates suddenly bereft of a role model? Meanwhile, someone on MetaFilter reckons it might be Britney. That would be wrong on so many levels.

(Still, if it's true, good luck to him. Let's just hope it doesn't adversely affect his songwriting.)

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