Hard News by Russell Brown

Thanks for the Add

It's such a modern problem: the Exclusive Brethren ask to be added to your MySpace friends list - what do you do? After all, if you say yes, you will be able to send The Exclusive Brethren personal messages, view The Exclusive Brethren's photos and blog, and you and the Brethren can interact with each other's friends and network. Hookups are probably out of the question, but we might be looking at a veritable orgy of understanding here.

On the other hand, they are a secretive patriarchal sect led by some men who don't seem to mind running covert smear campaigns and secretly paying private detectives to trail government ministers and their families. And that's not so cool, is it? Why would you friend someone who might have you followed?

Especially if the people following you are, frankly, a bit strange. Are all private investigators as indiscreet, cranky and, well, weird as these guys? Or is it only the ones who work for the Exclusive Brethren?

Was the shadowy figure who offered Tariana Turia a $250,000 bung also responsible for bugging her phone? And does Chuck Bird know something we don't? I think we should be told.

Meanwhile, a US Republican Congressman who made his name crusading against Internet sexual predators turns out to be … an Internet sexual predator! Who'd a' guessed? And how totally wacky that senior Republican leaders have known about it for most of this year and haven't done anything. Well, apart from lie about it.

In fact, his congressional buddies let the guy remain chair of the child sex offender caucus, even though he'd been trying to groom 16 year-old White House pages, in their family homes, via a series of lewd IM exchanges (now there's some shit that'll get you kicked off MySpace!). And they still expect local electors to vote for the guy. Because otherwise the terrorists will win, right?

Public Address reader Tracey Henton reports on a new threat to our way of life:

Yesterday I went to the World Market at The Grove in Los Angeles to get my fix of our sticky black paste only to find the Vegemite shelf empty.

The friendly shelf stocker informed me that the FDA had removed its approval for the product to be sold here and it was waiting for re-approval to stock it - this from the land that invented Twinkies and Ding Dongs and poisoned the world with MacDonalds!!!!!

Now I'm probably gonna have to drive to Tijuana to find the black market supply of this obviously dangerous product … So anyone coming to LAX, better still Los Feliz, bring a load will ya!

And Juha has graphic images of the huge Google Maps bug threatening Germany.

Surely, the Rapture is upon us. Should I cancel my forward appointments?