Monday, November 28, 2005

The OFFICIAL End-Of-Year schedule for Brutally Honest

Okay folks, here is the OFFICIAL year-end schedule for Brutally Honest.

The last column for the Brutally Honest website will be on December 11th. This will be the 2005 Brutally Honest Awards, my annual look at the year gone by andgiving mention to the best and worst of the year.

The last audio rant for Brutally Honest will be on December 14th, and should be made available for listening either that night or by the 16th.

After that I'll be on holiday hiatus. No columns or audio rants until mid-January. There are some changes going on that will involve shuffling the Brutally Honest website around, so by all means please keep an eye on the Blogsite for any news.

Mind you, I will continue to send out quick rants in my blog even during the year-end hiatus, so I won't completely fall out fo the net. It's just that I spend so much time coming up with columns and audio rants that I have to take a few weeks off at some point so I can work on other things.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Brutally Honest Rant - 11/23/05

Brutally Honest Special: "Poor Pat"
Audio Transcripts

[Start Program]

(Computer:– This week’s program has been made possible thanks to…)
(Music intro:– "Real American Remix 2" – by David Matthews 2)

Good evening, and welcome to this week’s Brutally Honest Rant. I’'m David Matthews 2, writer of the weekly online column Brutally Honest.

"Poor POOR Pat Robertson"

That’s the tone that conservatives and neo-conservatives are taking when it comes to the Reverend Pat Robertson.

You see... this "poor old man" has this NASTY little problem. You might even call it a handicap. He apparently has this unending compulsion to stick his foot in his mouth.

He can’'t help himself either! His mouth just keeps on getting him in trouble.

First he claimed that feminism turned women into baby-killing devil-worshiping lesbians. Then he claimed that he has this POWER to change the weather... by turning hurricanes either towards or away from certain parts of the country, depending on their faith. Oh, and of course there’'s that time when "Poor Pat" openly advocated for the MURDER of a foreign leader!

And quite recently he WARNED the people in a little town in Pennsylvania that GOD doesn’'t like them anymore because they exercised their constitutional right and voted OUT people that "Poor Pat Robertson" wanted to stay in power! They defied the will of Robertson, and according to him, they essentially voted GOD out of their little town.

"Poor Pat"... he just can'’t seem to shut the hell up!

And you can tell that the conservatives and neo-conservatives are getting sick and tired of having to defend him! Jim Wooten, in his regular column over at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, wanted to know why people just can’t leave "Poor Pat Robertson" alone! Don'’t they know that it’s not HIS fault that he’s sounding like a loon? He’'s OLD! He'’s SENILE! He'’s getting his bed made for when GOD calls him home! Besides, he doesn’'t "represent" the GOP or the conservatives. He'’s just an individual voicing his mind!

Well, you know, I’'D LOVE to dismiss "Poor Pat Robertson" as being just a crazy old man! I'’d love to do that. Seriously. I really WISH that he was just some old man who is spending the rest of his last years on Earth as a blithering idiot! But you know what? I’'ve got not one or two but THREE reasons why that just isn'’t the case.

First... Pat Robertson isn'’t just some media personality like Howard Stern or Rush Limbaugh. Howard Stern could talk about killing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and people will NOT take him seriously. They'’d be waiting for him to pull out the punchline... you know, like sending High Pitch Erik over there to talk Chavez to death with his voice.

Stern is an entertainer. He’'d be the first one to tell you that! And just about EVERYTHING on his program is about ENTERTAINMENT. Everything, no matter how rude, how crude, and how vulgar it may be, is done in the name of ENTERTAINMENT. That'’s what the Howard Stern Show is really all about.

Pat Robertson, on the other hand, is SUPPOSED to be a MAN OF GOD! He is a religious leader first and foremost! Granted, he doesn’t act like it sometimes... such as when he openly called for the assassination of Chavez... but take away his TV shows and his books and he'’s still a minister. He STILL claims to speak on behalf of GOD. And in fact, his programming is designed to advance his religious beliefs. It'’s not to "entertain" the masses... it'’s to preach to them and to sell his wares.

And that’s the part that separates him from other media personalities like Howard Stern. When Stern speaks, you know that it’'s just Howard Stern. In character or not, it'’s still JUST Howard Stern. But when Pat Robertson speaks, he’'s not just speaking on behalf of himself... but AS a religious leader, he’s also speaking on behalf of GOD! People actually believe that when he speaks, he is speaking FOR GOD! You just can'’t turn that off. You can’'t differentiate between when he'’s speaking for GOD and when he’'s just speaking for himself.

So when Robertson said that Chavez should be assassinated, he’'s still operating under the presumption that he'’s speaking for GOD, and that GOD thinks that Chavez should be assassinated. That’'s what makes Robertson’s fatwas dangerous.

Here'’s the second reason why we need to focus on "Poor Pat"... Pat Robertson is not only a religious leader, but he still wields political influence in America. This reason alone is why freedom-lovers like yours truly need to keep an eye on him.

Pat Robertson is the founder and owner of the Christian Coalition, one of several key groups that have influenced the conservatives and neo-conservatives in the Republican Party. And in case you’'ve been hiding in the woods for the past five years waiting for Eric Robert Rudolph to come back with supplies, the Republicans sort of kind of RUN things in Washington... as well as several states and plenty more local governments.

It'’s groups like the Christian Coalition that influence what laws the government imposes on us. You want to know who’'s pushing for the government regulation of ALL forms of communication? These are the groups who are pushing for it. You want to know who is keeping all of those old and repressive blue laws on the books? These are the people behind it. They tell their parishioners which politicians to vote for, they write the laws for the politicians to pass, and then they tell the politicians which judges to put in place to make sure THEIR laws stay on the books.

And if Robertson and his fellow Southern Baptists were simply limiting their scope to those WITHIN their organization, then I wouldn'’t give a care. Have at it, have fun, and we’ll find out in the afterlife if you were right. The Roman Catholics just came out with their own rules about who should be in their seminaries. No skin off my teeth. I have no problems with any religious organization telling their own followers what to do. My problem begins when these same organizations feel that they can tell ME what to do... or to FORCE me to obey THEIR rules through the GOVERNMENT.

Let’'s get brutally honest here... when you have people like Pat Robertson wielding significant influence in government, WE SHOULD be concerned when that influence starts talking crazy. These are the people who feel that they have not just the right but the OBLIGATION through the government to tell ALL of us– believers and non-believers alike – how to live our lives! THAT is wrong and THAT is what people like yours truly are opposed to.

The third reason why we need to keep an eye on "Poor Pat" has to do with something that we have a hard time learning... history.

You see, about thirty years ago there was another so-called "Man of God" who was considered to be too abrasive for his own good. He said some things that he shouldn’'t have, and, well, he was exiled for them. Like Robertson, he believed that society should be remade to match his understanding of religion. He believed that all laws, and even all governments, should reflect his understanding of religion.

The "mainstream society" thought of him as a kook. But then this "crazy person" had built up a significant following that continued to grow and grow and grow... until one day, he came back into the country, and in the following year, he became that country’'s supreme leader.

You may have heard of this man... his name was Ayatollah Seyyed Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran. But most of us simply knew him as Ayatollah Khomeini. The mainstream Iranians underestimated his influence. The Shah of Iran certainly underestimated this man’s influence. And America definitely underestimated his influence... and we are STILL paying the price for it.

And I know that conservatives and neo-conservatives are readying their keyboards to refute the comparison! They’re getting ready to say "But David, Pat Robertson is NOTHING like the late Ayatollah Khomeini! Khomeini ordered people to DEATH! He encouraged and exported terrorism all around the world!" True, but then again, Robertson just called for the death of Hugh Chavez, so how much longer will it take before the cons and neo-cons can declare the comparison "valid"? The answer to that, my friends, is never. Robertson is a Christian, and Christians can do no wrong as far as cons and neo-cons go.

The truth of the matter is this... the cons and neo-cons NEED Pat Robertson on their side, because he brings PLENTY of active voters to the table. So they’'ll placate him and minimize his little "social handicap" and try to make him appear to be as harmless as possible... but that doesn’t mean that they aren'’t aware of the risks. They just don’t want us to be concerned about it... because it also threatens their power base.

(Computer:– sorry, you still have to HEAR THE SHOW to know what it is)
(Fade Music In:– "Mythodea" by Vangelis)

You know folks, I WISH that we could forget about people like Pat Robertson. I really do.

We have so much more stuff to worry about in this country. We have blatant power-grabs going on in Washington DC that have to be stopped. We have an economy that got kicked in the nuts and is still trying to get over it. We have a federal agency that is almost in as bad of a shape as the areas hit by Hurricane Katrina. We have a special White House committee planning on revising the tax code by screwing over middle-class Americans! We really can'’t afford to be concerned about some self-centered blowhard who got his Jesus Underoos in a bunch over the local elections of a small town that he'’s never been to in his life.

And yet... we'’ve seen what happens when we stick our heads in the sand over people like Pat Robertson. We snooze, and the next thing you know, the stars-and-stripes become the cross-and-stripes.

Can'’t happen, you say? It'’s funny... we said something similar about Iran thirty years ago, and look where we are with them now!


Brutally Honest is a Get Brutal production, all opinions expressed are those of the commentator, and may or may not be shared by the online provider. This is David Matthews 2 saying good night, and I’ll speak with you soon!

(Fade out)

(Computer: –Quickie Ending)
(Computer: –"End of Recording")

[End of program]

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Nick & Jessica – How it COULD have worked

One of the big things about the world of entertainment that really bugs me is this obsession they have with relationships. Who’s dating whom, who’s getting hitched, who’s breaking up…

You know what? It’s pretty much all hype! It’s all designed to give some needless media attention to people who aren’t doing anything at the moment.

For instance, why the hell should we CARE about Britney Spears? Seriously! Why should we care about her? She’s not singing. She’s not acting. She doesn’t have a TV series going right now. She’s pretty active with her website, so she can keep people up to date about her daily activities all by herself for those who WANT to give a care. She doesn’t need to have the New York Post or MSNBC blabbing away about what she’s doing as a new mommy. The only reason why these air-fluffed people think we should CARE is because it fills up time and it keeps her in our minds.

That brings us to the tortured relationship of Nick Lashey and Jessica Simpson. Again, why should we care about them? Sure they “looked cute”. Sure they were on TV with their “Newlyweds” series. But why should we care about them now? Well the only reason again is publicity.

The insane thing is that the entertainment media is just as obsessed with breaking up couples as they are putting them together! They LOVE to put people together, get them planning for a wedding, and then once it becomes true love and the date has been set, the media is hell-bent on tearing those two apart.

You have to wonder how many of these Hollywood marriages are the sheer fabrications of the media, done for the sake of publicity.

Nick and Jessica seem like that kind of relationship. Here’s a new pop star with a member of a B-list boy band… aren’t they just the cute couple! And what do you know? Their wedding and first year of marriage are being televised for the world to see! Isn’t that just cute?

Well now the “happy couple” are splitsville. The rumors and myths are real and the hype is now the news.

The strange thing is the REASON why things fell apart. As I understand it, there’s very little reason WHY their marriage collapsed other than their careers took them into different directions. She became a big movie star and he’s…. well aside from the occasional TV show, there was really nothing on his plate.

But what’s really going to cook your noodle is this question…

Would their marriage still be stable and happy if they didn’t put their lives in the public fishbowl?

I don’t know… they really COULD have been in love. This could have been for real for them. But the problem is that the minute the media sees them apart, the media starts spinning the idea that there’s trouble. They don’t show up hand-in-hand at some party or if they do any kind of work away from each other, the tabloids start sounding the red alert.

So here’s some really serious advice from someone who is sick and tired of these make-then-break media romances: if you really think that your marriage is important, if you really think that you love that person, then do the smart thing and step away from the limelight for a while and work things out. It doesn’t have to be permanent, but it should demonstrate that you care more about the relationship and about marriage than you do about what the media thinks about you.

But if you think that your career is more important than your marriage, if you think that your life in the limelight trumps anything else, then your marriage is really just a sham, and you should own up to it.

Hey, it’s nothing new. Do the words “arranged marriage” ring any bells? How about “trophy wife”? The conservatives have pretty much written off every marriage in Hollywood since that place was first created… so coming clean about the sham of even ONE of these marriages would come as a complete surprise to them.

Either way, let's just get it all out in the open and out of our system so we could get on with some other more important subjects.

Things I am thankful for…

Today is Thanksgiving, which means that…

1) Most people forgot about my birthday on the 21st. Par for the course, though. That’s okay, I got some GREAT birthday wishes from the people that I do care about!

2) It’s time to stay away from the malls and stores during the weekends because that’s when the people will do their holiday shopping. Traffic in those areas will SUCK and parking will definitely SUCK.

3) Plenty of people will put their religion on their sleeve… and on your sleeve too… and scream about “JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON!” Meanwhile they’ll put up their decorated trees (a PAGAN tradition), hang up their holiday wreaths (another PAGAN tradition), and think about whom they’d like to catch under the mistletoe (yet another PAGAN tradition).

You gotta give the Jewish faith some credit… their tradition with the candles and the dreidel may seem corny, but at least they didn’t steal the traditions of other religious beliefs to make it seem more appealing. Then again, if they did they might have come up with some better songs.

By the way, if you have some issue with the fact that there ARE other religious celebrations that go on during this time, do yourself and the world a HUGE favor and stick a huge candy cane up your ass. Trust me, you’ll feel better afterwards.

4) There will be a lot of media attention on those who are doing without. There are those who will be celebrating Thanksgiving in a hotel or in a shelter someplace because of this year’s killer hurricanes. I’m talking about people who have lost EVERYTHING except the clothes on their back. This kind of story is all done for OUR sake, folks. If you want to be thankful about something, be thankful not just that you’re doing well, but also that there ARE people who will bend over backwards to help out those who are doing without.

5) There will be this HUGE, HUGE push for people to BUY, BUY, and BUY stuff from now until December 25th! And to put it all on credit! And to get people gift cards that MAY or MAY NOT be worth the same amount of money if you let them sit for a few months! Just remember that whatever you put on credit now WILL come back and kick you in the ass in January. With times being tough and money a little tight, it’s probably best to think small. Big business will hate me for saying it, but it is the truth.


6) People will be pressured to give an accounting of the things that they are thankful for. And of course I’m no exception, because there are plenty of things that I am thankful for this year.

So here goes my list…

I’m thankful for having a great job that allows me to pay my bills.

I’m thankful for having a pet that loves me to death and is actually upset when I’m not around.

I’m thankful for being able to move to an area extremely close to work, where most of the things that I need are right down the street. I really wish that I had the forethought of doing this last year.

I’m thankful that my move was handled relatively easily. I put a lot of effort into it, and I’m still doing that because there’s still a few things that need to be resolved.

I’m thankful for having family members that do care about me and have been willing to help me through this move to my new location.

I’m thankful for having people that I can call friends who make me smile when I really need one. Some of my friends don’t even have to do anything other than say “Hi” to make my day, and I am truly thankful for those people.

I’m thankful for having a DVD player so I can watch movies when the programming on TV sucks. By the way, if you wanted to know what TV would be like without the adult channels and adult movies, then go watch Telemundo! Either that or the “Spring Break Party Video” infomercials. At this rate, I’ll be making Spanish my second language in no time!

But there are also things that I CANNOT say that I am thankful for… and these are things that you’ll hear other people talk about. I think we need to list these things as well, because sometimes being “thankful” is really just a matter of rote. Being “thankful” is sort of like saying “Happy Holidays” or saying “I support the troops”. They had might as well come out and admit to being “thankful” that there’s oxygen to breathe or blood to keep pumping. I think if we’re going to be socially compelled to list the things that we’re thankful for, that we should also be able to go down the list of stuff that we CANNOT be thankful for.

I can’t say that I’m thankful that I’m living in a country where we have “all of this freedom”, because not only are we taking that freedom for granted, but quite often that freedom is sacrificed on the altar of “safety and security”. I CAN say that THERE ARE still people who DO give a damn about freedom in this country and are willing to go to bat for it, even when they’re being branded as “traitors” and “losers”.

I can’t say that I’m thankful that George W. Bush is in office, because I’m a Libertarian. I am NOT thankful for the PATRIOT Act, I am NOT thankful for the self-righteous ass-clowns who define patriotism as blind and mindless complacency, and I am NOT thankful for the Bush Imperium’s blatant war on anything sexual in nature! I can only say that I am thankful that the Imperium hasn’t YET turned this country into a bible-thumping fundamentalist theocracy, although they ARE leaning things in that direction.

I can’t say that I’m thankful that gas prices are going down. This is just a short-term reprieve from a much LARGER issue that is STILL not resolved! We need to get ourselves off of foreign oil, and the Bush Imperium REFUSES to deal with this matter. They’re betting the bank on their “best buddies” in Saudi Arabia… which will cost us in the long run. Besides, in a few weeks we’ll be hearing about the problems with home heating oil prices, and those same oil executives will soon be back before Congress explaining why they’re screwing over Grandma.

Finally… I know this one is going to piss a few people off… but I can’t say that I’m thankful that we have troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. I really can’t. I can’t be thankful that we have soldiers putting their lives on the line on a daily basis. Getting Saddam Hussein out of power was inevitable, not desirable. Getting that country’s act together is needed, not wanted. I can only be thankful that there IS some progress in Iraq, that people haven’t forgotten about the soldiers there, and that at some point they WILL hopefully not be needed there and would hopefully be brought back home and NOT be dragged into yet another military conflict.

Hopefully next year I will have some more things to be thankful for… and fewer things that I cannot be thankful for.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

T-Day for One (and a half)

I've given it some thought and I decided to do Thanksgiving dinner by myself. I haven't done something like this in a while, and I figured now would be the perfect time to figure out how to do all of this cooking. At least this way I wouldn't have to worry about poisoning anyone else besides myself and a very demanding cat.

I've been doing a little research... in other words I've watched the Food Network and visited their website looking for recipes. Obvioulsy the super-big turkey dinner with all of the fixings is out. I wouldn't be able to eat the whole thing. I'd have turkey for the rest of the month, including making turkey soup, turkey a-la king, turkey sandwiches with turkey for bread, and I'd still have to throw a good part of it out because it would be spoiled. There's just one person here... me. And while my cat is very demanding (and somehow picked up the desire to be hand-fed), even he wouldn't be able to help me finish off a whole turkey. I'd have to pair things down a bit.

So here goes... here's the D2 entree for Thanksgiving Day:

  • Boneless turkey breast (small enough to feed me for a few days)
  • Asparagus with mushrooms and diced onions over turkey gravy
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Pitted jumbo olives (always a favorite)

Of course I'll also be looking for a nice bottle of wine to cap it off, but I think that's still a pretty good meal. What do you think?

(Can you believe this little kitty can eat just about anything I eat?)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Brutally Honest Rant - 11/16/05

Brutally Honest Special: "Intelligent" Governing
Audio Transcripts

[Start Program]

(Computer – This week’s program has been made possible thanks to…)
(Music intro – "Real American Remix 2" – by David Matthews 2)

Good evening, and welcome to this week’s Brutally Honest Rant. I’m David Matthews 2, writer of the weekly online column Brutally Honest.

Longtime Brutally Honest supporters know of a certain saying of mine that goes something like this…

"Ah, hypocrisy, thy name is politics."

It’s based on a certain misogynist line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. But I adapted it to fit the two-faced world of politics and government, because ONLY IN POLITICS can you get away with calling an action with a name that is its direct opposite.

For instance, ONLY IN POLITICS could you get away with calling a tax increase a tax cut. Only in politics can you actually spend more money than you ever had before and still claim that you’re "cutting spending". Only in politics can you call being unethical "ethical". Only in politics can you be a career politician with more government pensions in your account than all the VA hospitals in your state and STILL pass yourself off as a "political outsider".

And the funny part is that WE ALL KNOW just how devious and manipulative and backstopping these grifters and shysters are. AND YET not only will we still elect and re-elect these clowns to positions of power, but they actually get OFFENDED when they’re called such, and they feel "hurt" when they hear of polls that put them in the same category as leaches and earthworms.

So it really shouldn’t be a surprise to see politicians jump in on this whole "intelligent design" crusade. After all, the mentality behind it is custom-made for politicians.

Now for those of you who missed out on my previous rant on "intelligent design" versus the theory of evolution, let me just abbreviate the whole so-called "controversy" for you.

On one hand we have evolution, which is the theory that the history of the universe and everything it including ourselves came from a series of incremental changes that happened over billions and billions of years. It’s not a perfect theory. It’s subject to revisions as new information is discovered, which of course leads to complains from the other side that it shouldn’t BE discussed simply BECAUSE it’s not perfect and not infallible.

Then we have "intelligent design", which is basically the attempt by religious leaders to bring Creationism back into the schools as long as there is no mention whatsoever of God or the biblical story of Genesis. This is a purely Christian belief… not a theory but a BELIEF… and it defaults on this statement: "The secrets of the universe are too complex and too detailed to be explained by rational and scientific thought. Therefore it must all be the result of an intelligent creator."

It’s a slick maneuver… really. But I want you to think about it for a moment. Those pushing for "intelligent design" are basically telling people that we don’t HAVE to know what the origins of humanity and the origins of the universe are. Don’t worry about these things because we’re never going to get it right. We’re never going to figure it out. We’re just going to have to default to that mysterious "intelligent designer" as being responsible for it all. THAT is the underlying message being spread through "intelligent design". Don’t think, don’t speculate, and don’t even guess… we already have the answers, all you have to do is just have to accept them, even if you don’t agree with them.

And if you want to believe that little sanitized version of creationism, then that’s fine by me. It doesn’t hurt me any if you believe that the Earth was created by an "intelligent designer" or a whole bunch of green-skinned "intelligent designers" or simply because of the luck of the draw and a huge chunk of cosmic snot. It doesn’t hurt me any if you’re mildly curious about the nature of the universe and are willing to take a guess at it all or if you simply want to live your life in blissful ignorance. It’s your choice.

But I can see why politicians are eager to sign on to this stance of blissful ignorance. After all, it supports what they’ve been pushing for themselves!

For instance… did you know that our politicians have their own version of "intelligent design" for our tax system? Sure! It presupposes that the tax system is just SO complex and SO intricately interwoven with various institutions and government programs that WE as the taxpayers can’t even begin to understand it all, never mind try to reform it. That’s certainly the excuse they use when the call comes to reform the whole system. Oh, you want to make the system SIMPLE? Well it just is not going to happen! You don’t KNOW how this is all set up!

Politicians have used "intelligent design" to cobble together the budgets as well. Ever wonder why the Department of Defense could spend $700 on a single hammer? Well, you’re not "supposed" to know how they do that! If you insist, they could come up with a few dozen justifications for that hammer that you’re not supposed to understand at all. You’re just supposed to accept their word that the hammer costs $700.

Of course private industry has tried to pull off "intelligent design" to justify their business practices as well… with disastrous results. You may have heard of these companies: Enron… WorldCom… I think a few of them ring a bell.

The legislative process itself falls under the category of "intelligent design." You ever see the size of these bills that go through Congress? Even the most modest of bills make Tolstoy’s "War and Peace" look like a pamphlet! Why do you think we have such an obscene PORK problem in Congress?

And not all of the provisions in a bill are a matter of public record either! There are a lot of amendments to bills that are considered "classified". You’re not supposed to KNOW what’s in these bills! Not even the members of Congress know what’s in them. Isn’t it strange to know that these guys don’t even know what the hell they’re VOTING for? All you’re supposed to do is read the cute little anagrams or the media-friendly pet names for these bills and blindly support them.

And then of course we have the crown jewel of "intelligent design" governing… the various ways that governments large and small keep their discussions and their decisions out of public view. Even with laws on the books that REQUIRE open meetings or REQUIRE that certain documents be made public, those in government operate under the belief that you, as a private citizen, just cannot understand and figure out how or why these important decisions are made, so you shouldn’t bother asking about them. You should just accept the fact that these decisions have to be made and that they are made in "your best interests."

I hope you get the picture…

Let’s get brutally honest here… there’s a lot about the government that we’re being told falls under the category of blind faith… with a special emphasis on the BLIND part. "Intelligent design" isn’t just a belief for those in government… it’s a way of life!

So it is no wonder why those in government would support the efforts of religious groups to neuter the teachings of evolution and rational thought and substitute those teachings with a disclaimer called "intelligent design". For them it’s not just a matter of faith… but a way for them to discourage people to THINK. And that’s what they’d really like to have happen. They want us to be the very idiots they see us as.

It’s certainly a great way to maintain the status quo over the great unwashed. After all… if you don’t know where the problem is, how can you be expected to fix it?

(Computer – sorry, you’ll just have to hear the rant in order to know what it is)
(Fade Music In – "Mythodea" by Vangelis)

The old saying IS true… knowledge IS power. But so is the suppression of knowledge. The one thing that a politician fears worse than a special prosecutor is an informed and active electorate. They fear it because they know that they can’t get away with too much if the public is watching them.

So it’s to their advantage to make sure that we are ignorant and apathetic. To make sure that we are dumber than a box of rocks. And if by some chance we feel compelled to act because of some screw-up on their part, then it’s to their advantage to make sure that we don’t know the true nature or extent of the problem. That way we can be satisfied by SOME kind of activity, even if it is a farce. If WE don’t know what the problem is, then any kind of solution, even one that makes the matter worse, will make it appear that the politicians are doing something about it.

That’s what it’s all about, folks. It’s all about keeping the game going. And the longer that we choose to live in ignorance, the longer we decide to keep our heads buried in the sand and allow others to do our thinking for ourselves, the longer this game is going to go on.


Brutally Honest is a Get Brutal production, all opinions expressed are those of the commentator, and may or may not be shared by the online provider. This is David Matthews 2 saying good night, and I’ll speak with you soon!

(Fade out)

(Computer – Quickie Ending)
(Computer – "End of Recording")

[End of program]

Friday, November 18, 2005

Moralist Group Declares WAR on NCIS

Okay, folks, it’s time for some ACTION!

The Parents Television Council, the self-righteous, self-appointed judges of morality for radio and television, has declared a jihad against the CBS show "NCIS" for one of their episodes.

For those of you who have never seen this show, "NCIS" is a weekly crime drama that focuses on crimes that occur concerning the military. It is a spin-off of the popular TV show "J.A.G.", although this show focuses on criminal investigations instead of military life.

The PTC has pompously declared that one episode contained, and I quote, "a gruesome murder and blatant sexual content at an hour when millions of children were in the viewing audience."
The episode in question dealt with a soldier’s wife being attacked while making money doing an at-home cybersex chat. The woman was in the process of doing a striptease when she was attacked and had her throat slit in front of the camera.

Now folks, I HAVE SEEN this episode. The violence is a bit shocking, but no more shocking than the autopsy scenes they show EVERY WEEK, or the season-ending episode where one of the series regulars was shot in the head in front of the cameras. Did the PTC complain about these things? NO! And, in fact, the showing of the throat-slashing scene was essential for the plot-twist that was revealed later in the episode.

So what is the PTC REALLY complaining about? The cybersex part!

So let’s talk about the cybersex scene. The woman in question is seen on bed wearing lingerie. She teases the camera with her outfit, taking off a part of it at the request of her "subscribers". It is at this point that she’s attacked. She shows NOTHING. The camera doesn’t even HINT at her showing anything before she is attacked.

The "blatant sexual content" that is invoking the wrath of the PTC – and exposing CBS to GOVERNMENT punishment – was the very REFERENCE of cybersex!

This is a crime drama show. They show crimes taking place. This isn’t "Sesame Street". The episode was rated accordingly based on the content.

It is time to take a stand. It is time to stand up to these anti-American freedom-hating moralists!


The PTC gained power over OUR shows because they bombard the Federal Communications Commission (a.k.a. the Federalist Christian Censors) with faxes and emails. They have even created websites where their moralist drones can send form letters to the FCC for the programming that they hate.

Well there is a website called SpeakSpeak that tracks such activities, and they have set up their own ANTI-PTC letter center. This letter center is no different than the ones used by the PTC in that all messages go right to the FCC. The letter in question can be edited to express your own thoughts, and it is probably a good thing to do since this will show the FCC that you are not some mindless drone or a letter-bot.

If you are a fan of "NCIS" (as I am) or if you are simply SICK AND TIRED of hearing the nagging from these self-righteous mullahs and the abuse of power going on in the Federalist Christian Censors, then I am URGING you to join me in filing ANTI-COMPLAINTS to the FCC. It is time to show the FCC that these freedom-hating moralists DO NOT SPEAK FOR US and they sure as hell DO NOT SPEAK FOR AMERICA!

Follow this link to go to the SpeakSpeak letter center:

By the way, I already filed my anti-complaint letter.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Lying to Congress… and Getting Away With It!

Now it becomes clear…

When Congress requested the heads of the big oil companies to testify about their record profits, there was a little bit of controversy about these executives not being publicly sworn in like they do for pretty much everyone. Committee chairman Ted Stevens (the man who DEMANDED that Congress blow taxpayer money on his "bridge to nowhere" or else he would resign) was very emphatic about making sure that these people NOT be seen swearing that the testimony they give be the truth, the whole, truth, and nothing but the truth… so help them Karl Rove.

It seemed a little odd… but then I came across this little bit of news. It seems that the executives were not honest about their meetings with Vice-President Dick Cheney during his super-secret energy meetings. Every Big Oil executive stood there and told Congress and the rest of the world that neither they nor any of their executives participated in the secret meetings that led to the Bush Energy Policy… which in and of itself was a joke.

The Washington Post reports that officials with FOUR of the oil companies met with the Vice-President during those "classified" meetings.

So… why would they lie about it? Why couldn’t the execs simply tell Congress the truth? "Yes, we DID meet with the Vice President. Yes, we DID offer some ideas that I’m proud to say are part of the energy policy that you passed. And no, our profits have nothing to do with those meetings." Why couldn’t they say it?


BUT at least this does solve the mystery about not swearing them in. They weren’t being seen swearing in because THEY KNEW that they weren’t going to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth… so help you Karl Rove…. and they didn’t want to be seen by the media taking the oath and then having it backfire like it did with the tobacco companies.

So that explains THAT mystery…

So now… Mister Stevens… you have some explaining to do. DID YOU know that they were going to be less than truthful about this? Was THAT the reason why you waived the public swearing-in procedure? Did someone put you up to it, or did you come to that decision all by yourself?

Something’s fishy here… and we’re talking ALASKAN Salmon fishy!

Monday, November 14, 2005

It's coming...

... the end-of-the-year shutdown, that is.

For those who are new to the world of Brutally Honest, this only applies to the weekly column and for the weekly audio rants. This is the time when I give my keyboard and soundboard a break for a month or so and retool the website for the new year. And there could very well be some serious changes with the main Brutally Honest website during that time, so please check with the blog site for details.

Don't worry, I'll still be doing random thoughts and quick rants here on the blog.

The dates for the last column and last audio rant for 2005 will be forthcoming. Stay tuned.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Brutally Honest Rant - 11/09/05

Brutally Honest Special: Rioting Idiots
Audio Transcripts


[Start Program]

(Computer – This week’s program has been made possible thanks to…)
(Music intro – "Real American Remix 2" – by David Matthews 2)

Good evening, and welcome to this week’s Brutally Honest Rant. I’m David Matthews 2, writer of the weekly online column Brutally Honest.

Well my friends… Paris is in trouble again!

No, don’t mean the overrated and overhyped Paris Hilton! We’re talking about Paris, the city of lights and the capitol of the world’s biggest bunch of surrender monkeys.

The city of Paris has some problems. Actually now it’s the whole country of Socialist France. They have a bunch of two-legged mad dogs who think that their anger and their frustration entitles them to something. And the media has been putting a lot of emphasis into the fact that these mad dogs happen to be MUSLIM… however we’ve all seen this same mad-dog mentality from plenty of CHRISTIAN places as well.

I’m talking about the riots going on in Socialist France after two young and very STUPID Muslim men who were running from the police picked an electrical box to hide in and got themselves electrocuted. The Muslim community blames the police for chasing these two IDIOTS, so even MORE idiots from that community decided to raise hell.

So France has had RIOTS going on in several places around the Paris area for about a week that have essentially spread all over the country, and at one point threatened to affect the whole of Europe. The sun goes down, these two-legged mad dogs come out, cars get torched, businesses get smashed up, and people in these areas live in fear for their lives.

Now normally when you have riots, they last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. But in Socialist France, these riots are ONLY happening when the sun goes down. Which means that these riots are being ORCHESTRATED.

And EVERYONE wants to talk about how we should feel SORRY for these young mad-dog rioters because they’re just "a victim" of circumstance. They’re poor, they’re MUSLIM, they’re immigrants, they have no work, and they are supposedly being… "marginalized".

Well I’m sorry, but I don’t buy that media crap.

First of all, as I understand it, all of these mad-dog rioters are FRENCH-BORN children of immigrants. That means THEY ARE NOT IMMIGRANTS! Their parents may be immigrants, but THEY are not!

Second, why did their parents go there in the first place? JOBS! And that’s the biggest BITCH from all of these social people. That’s all that they’re complaining about… "JOBS! JOBS! JOBS! We need JOBS!" Which of course is CRAZY because they’re in SOCIALIST FRIGGING FRANCE! There’s not SUPPOSED to be an unemployment problem in SOCIALIST FRIGGING FRANCE! Society is supposed to provide for all of the needs of the people! That’s what socialism is about, isn’t it? Isn’t that what the French people keep on shoving in our faces, how their way of life is somehow BETTER than American capitalism? Well if their way is better, then they shouldn’t have an unemployment problem! PERIOD! If their parents could pack up their lives and move from Angola or some other third-world nation and go to a completely different country for work, then so can THEY! So there goes that excuse.

Third, this bit about "being marginalized" is also a load of crap. These people don’t know what being marginalized is about! They have friends, they have family, and they have a whole community behind them. If any kind of "marginalization" was going on, they consciously did it to themselves!

A teenaged boy moving into a small town where his existence was not part of the area’s "divine plan" is marginalized. A young woman who gets outed for having some kind of sexual affair or is arrested for prostitution is marginalized. A convicted sex offender is marginalized. A whole community that decides BY THEMSEVLES to huddle around in one area and not mix in with the mainstream community is NOT "marginalized." That’s called "living in seclusion". They locked themselves into their little communities and then maxed out on propaganda that told them that the very society that they grew up in, the very countries that they were born into, were EVIL because those countries, those cities, cultures, and laws don’t reflect THEIR beliefs.

And that brings us to the very NATURE of riots.

Now I know that the social "experts" try to spin riots as being some form of collective revolution… the public’s vent against social injustice and that sort of crap. But you take a look at what goes on in a riot and you compare that against what goes on in an actual revolution. When you have an actual REVOLT, a revolution, you’re actually threatening the GOVERNMENT!

When rioters exploded in LA over the Rodney King verdict, did they march over to City Hall? No. When rioting exploded in Miami, was the mayor’s job on the line? Absolutely not. What got affected? LOCAL stores and businesses. LOCAL homes. LOCAL communities. "The rich" weren’t affected by these riots! The big-shot politicians weren’t threatened in the least by these people!

And that’s the TRULY STUPID part about a riot! You’re smashing up your own community! You’re not helping your cause… if you even HAVE one… you’re just making it worse for yourselves and everyone around you!

So WHAT IS a riot? Well let’s get brutally honest here… a riot is nothing more than a grown-up version of a TEMPER-TANTRUM!

That’s what a riot is, folks. You strip away the delusions of the social "experts" and all of the media speculation and THAT’S what you have… a bunch of grown-ups acting like spoiled five-year olds who aren’t getting what they want.

You ever see a child throw an uncontrollable temper-tantrum? They scream and they shout and they destroy things in order to get attention. And they’ll keep going until they get SOME sort of attention, either good or bad. Well THAT’S what you see in France today. You see a bunch of young adults throwing temper-tantrums, destroying their own communities in order to get attention! And the politicians in France really didn’t GIVE a crap about it until this spread to other communities. ONLY THEN did it become a concern!

Now, if these IDIOTS REALLY want to do something about their social and economic plight, I’ve got a challenge for you!

There are places around the world that have been hit hard by natural disasters. Afghanistan was hit hard by an earthquake. The Pacific and Indian Ocean countries were hit bad by tsunamis a year ago. These are two places with plenty of predominantly MUSLIM communities in them, and they are STILL in sore need of recovery. Just because the media has moved on that doesn’t mean that the problems in those areas are finished. These areas don’t just need money. They need help. They need people to help rebuild their communities.

You want to thumb your noses at the United States? You want to prove that Islam is really a religion of peace? Don’t sit on your croissant-eating socialist asses and start DEMANDING jobs from the French government… you go to them and you ASK if the French government could help yourselves get to these places to help rebuild.

Who knows? Maybe moving to these areas will help strengthen your religious beliefs. Maybe helping those who are living in far worse conditions than what you grew up in will help you appreciate what you grew up with and the kinds of sacrifices your parents made.

One thing is for certain, though… throwing violent temper-tantrums and DEMANDING that the government GIVE you something just because you EXIST is nothing short of an INSULT of those who gave up everything and moved to a new area looking for a new life and new opportunities. Is that how you honor your parents? I would certainly hope not, and I challenge any cleric to say otherwise!

(Computer – sorry, you’ll just have to hear the rant to know what it is)
(Fade Music In – "Mythodea" by Vangelis)

Longtime Brutally Honest supporters know that I’ve been somewhat critical about the French in the past, and you’ve obviously heard a few snide comments about them and their socialist system that they’ve developed over the years. Not to mention the fact that these guys will surrender to just about anything moving their way. It’s a little hard to respect a nation that could essentially surrender to the Salvation Army and the Boy Scouts if they felt threatened.

But there IS one thing about the French that I DO give them credit for. They have a far better understanding for the need to separate church and state than their American counterparts. This is a nation that has an extremely HEAVY religious presence. They have a rich and FULL religious heritage. And yet, they still understand and respect the need to keep the government as secular as possible! That’s because they also have a LONG history of religious leaders using and abusing the power of government for their own ends.

And that’s something that the Muslims there should appreciate as well… because they’re still a minority in that country. And should the day come when religion DOES get to corrupt the government once again… as it does here in America… then the Muslims will wish that things were more secular.

That’s something that Americans here refuse to understand… a more secular government actually helps to ENCOURAGE the freedom of religion. It’s the mixing of church and state that actually stifles religious freedom, because it puts a deliberate bias on whatever the dominant religion is at the time. That’s only good if you’re in the dominant religion… but not if you suddenly find yourself in the camp of the minority.

Then again… the folks over in Dover, Pennsylvania, seem to have just figured out that little lesson.


Brutally Honest is a Get Brutal production, all opinions expressed are those of the commentator, and may or may not be shared by the online provider. This is David Matthews 2 saying good night, and I’ll speak with you soon!

(Fade out)
(Computer – Quickie Ending)
(Computer – "End of Recording")

[End of program]

Friday, November 11, 2005

The GOP’s Reality Check

The Republicans think that they should be a little concerned. This past off-off-season election didn’t help Republicans any. Two states saw their governors switch from Republican to Democrat. The voters in a little Pennsylvanian town of Dover threw out eight of their Republican school board members over the issue of "intelligent design", which got them the wrath of Ayatollah Robertson. The polls (if you can believe them) show the President’s approval rating in the toilet.

And the only people who really aren’t concerned about these things are the people in the White House… because they don’t have to worry about being re-elected!

SHOULD the Republicans be concerned? You bet your ass they should be!

But here’s the thing… these guys really have nobody to blame but themselves. They bet the bank on the Bush Imperium and on Tom Delay and DOCTOR Bill Frist. They believed themselves to be righteous when they were really self-righteous. They believed themselves to be unstoppable when they really were just pompous and arrogant. They believed themselves to be reformers and crusaders and saviors of the republic… when they were really just corrupt champions of the status quo. Even the cons and neo-cons are busy picking themselves to pieces over this matter.

But that doesn’t mean that the Democrats have it made for ‘06 or for ‘08.

The Dems have some serious issues to get over. The first being coming up with a REAL alternative instead of just more of the same with a blue ribbon instead of a red one.

Plus, the liberals or progressives or whatever you want to call yourselves really need to STOP trying to canonize the Clinton Regime. Bill Clinton was FAR from a saint, and his regime was FAR from saintly.

Recite this passage over and over in your heads: BILL CLINTON DID NOT BALANCE THE BUDGET! He didn’t do a damned thing to balance the budget. He was just president when it happened. WALL STREET balanced the budget! It was their record spikes and drops in the late-90’s that generated the tax money that balanced the budget. You guys essentially won the Stock Market Lottery. And because the reckless social spending continued, it was inevitable that the "surplus" money was going to go away at some point. It didn’t matter WHO was president at the time, it was going to happen. I can go on and on about this, but you can pretty much get the point.

Second… lay off the whole "Bush Lied" crap about Iraq. If anything, he was guilty of getting bad intelligence information. And it was the same kind of intel that was given to Bubba Clinton and the Democrats. As I’ve constantly said, you have to KNOW that something was false to be accused of lying about it. If you want to scream and shout about "liars", then start chanting "Rove Lied" or "Libby Lied". At least you can back that up with Plamegate.

Besides, there are PLENTY of other things that liberals could rant on about concerning the GOP and the Bush Imperium. The PATIROT Act alone would be more than enough ammunition. The close connection to religious extremists is another. The Energy Department’s torrid love affair with Saudi Arabia and their oil is a good topic, especially with the recent price spikes.

The point here is that the Dems have a solid opportunity to start from scratch and come up with REAL alternatives to the GOP. The people are frustrated, they're looking for change, and they deserve it. The liberals/progressives/whatevers shouldn’t be squandering this chance yearning for days gone by. Leave that to the conservatives… that’s their specialty.

Ayatollah Robertson “Threatens” Dover!

Can you believe the sheer GALL of Pat Robertson?

Seriously. A few weeks ago this jerkoff was calling for the MURDER of the president of Venezuela. Then he weaseled out of it when public opinion started putting him in the same category as Islamic terrorists. (Gee, I wonder how people could get THOSE two things confused!) Then he started rambling on about how the people of New Orleans had to be punished by Hurricane Katrina because of their "sin" of letting Mardi Gras happen. (I guess, by extension, God also punished the rest of the victims in Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and the rest of the nation for that same reason.) Of course he didn’t explain why God decided to "punish" the people of Texas for Hurricane Rita, but I’m sure he’ll mention some kind of immorality going on over there.

So now Robertson has put the Pennsylvania town of Dover on notice. GOD will punish them!

Why, you ask? Because the people of Dover used this week’s election to expel all eight members of their school board that were up for re-election. These eight Republican members all pushed for "intelligent design" to be taught in the schools.

So… if "intelligent design" is not creationism… then WHY did Ayatollah Robertson issue his televised fatwa against the people of Dover, saying that they "rejected God"? He certainly didn’t give that argument any help!

And YES I know that, once again, the Republicans will just trip over themselves to publicly distance themselves from Robertson. He’s old. He’s senile. He doesn’t "represent" the millions of Christians who support "intelligent design". He doesn’t "represent" Christians. He doesn’t "represent" the GOP. Blah-blah-blah. Lies, lies, lies, and more damned lies.

Ayatollah Robertson didn’t create the Christian Coalition because he was bored. His acolytes didn’t proclaim in 1994 that THEY run the new GOP-controlled Congress as a joke. Robertson put himself up as the leader of the Shiite Christians in America, and he STILL wields that power today. And just like the Islamic counterparts, when Robertson says that "GOD" will make something bad happen, that’s usually an invitation for his supporters to make it happen.

So let’s just go ahead and put Pat Robertson on notice: if anything bad SHOULD happen to the people of Dover, Pennsylvania, and it even HINTS of being man-made… then GOD won’t be blamed for it. YOU WILL! That town’s fate is in YOUR hands, reverend, not God’s.

Oh, and don’t worry about your immortal soul, reverend. Your place has already been prepared for you by your own words. I just hope you don’t mind the heat and the smell of sulfur.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The West Wing Debate

NBC’s fictional series "The West Wing" took a bold new step this past Sunday with a very LIVE presidential debate between their two very FICTIONAL presidential candidates.

On one side, we have Congressman Matt Santos, played by Jimmy Smitts. He’s the Democratic nominee trying to keep his party in the White House after the two-term presidency that has been the "West Wing". On the other side we have Republican Senator Arnold Vinik, played by Alan Alda.

Now on the onset I’m sure some of you are thinking… "Oh, wow… 2000 all over again." BUT… no, not really.

For starters, we have a Democratic nominee that sounds a lot like a Republican… he’s pro-life. He supports intelligent design. He finds himself supporting liberal causes that he himself has a hard time agreeing with. On the other side, we have a Republican that comes off as a moderate. He refuses to deal with the Religious Wrong, he throws a fit when the issue of abortion comes up… he also finds himself supporting causes that he has a hard time agreeing with. These guys could change parties tomorrow and probably feel better about themselves in the process.

In short, guys, these are Hollywood's IDEAL candidates, trying to take over the reins of thier IDEAL two-term president.

The other thing is that this debate was NOTHING like the real presidential debates we’ve seen. The first thing they do is they throw out the rules and just have a complete ad-lib debate on the issues. No time limits, no issue off the books, no sacred cows. Everything gets hashed out between the two fictional candidates.

And I can tell you there’s one question that people were asking when they saw this live debate…

Why couldn’t our REAL debates be like this?

I’ll tell you why... because the cast of "The West Wing" have better actors! Jimmy Smitts and Alan Alda are SEASONED professionals. They’ve been performing for YEARS. They know how to get in character and stay in character no matter what, even when they have to ad lib. And people, I know from personal experience that it is NOT EASY to do that!

Much like "The West Wing", politicians in the real word have to create a character in order to stay elected. But these people are not actors. They’re negotiators, grifters, shysters, and the occasional heart surgeon who pretends he’s a brain specialist. They have to have their political persona fine-crafted and orchestrated by image consultants. They don’t know how to ad-lib and think of the fly, so everything they say has to be polished and refined by writers. Everything they do is scripted in advance. The debates are prepared MONTHS in advance. It’s all a CHARADE! They guys wouldn’t DARE do a completely off-the-script debate because then their TRUE selves may come out… and then they couldn’t get elected to the position of dog catcher.

That’s why people enjoyed seeing the cast of "The West Wing" do it… because was handled by professionals. WE KNOW that Alan Alda and Jimmy Smitts are just actors, and when the show is over, they go back to being themselves. On the other hand, our elected grifters, shysters, and the occasional heart surgeon who pretends to be a brain expert want us to BELIEVE that the persona THEY put on for us is for real 24-7.

I don’t know about you, but it’s a sad state of affairs when the pretend politicians turn out to be better at the game than the real ones.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Brutally Honest Rant - 11/02/05

Brutally Honest Special: November Thoughts
Audio Transcripts

[Start Program]

(Computer: This week's program has been made possible thanks to...)
(Music intro: "Real American Remix 2" - by David Matthews 2)

Good evening, and welcome to this week's Brutally Honest Rant. I'm David Matthews 2, writer of the weekly online column Brutally Honest.

Well here it is, November... Halloween is behind us... the holidays are just about here... and there are two issues that I want to discuss tonight.

First up: the passing of Rosa Parks.

Rosa Parks died a few days ago, and I'm sure just about every air-fluffed reporter in America has told the story about how she as a black woman refused to give up her seat on the bus to a white man. She got arrested for that, and that one event fifty years ago ignited the civil rights movement. And you know what? At the time it was the right thing to do! It was a battle worth fighting.

But I've got a few thoughts about that event that should be expressed.

First of all, this wasn't a woman who decided that she was going to change the world. She didn't believe that it was her mission in life to right the wrongs. She didn't wake up that morning and say "today I'm going to go to jail and make a spectacle of myself just so I could get some attention." She didn't oppose the law because she wanted to hear her name on radio and TV stations all across America! That's a certain quality that is absent in today's self-professed "social champions".

And yes, she refused to give up her seat because she was TIRED! Sure, this was a working woman who was working her fingers to the bone so she could help make ends meet, but it wasn't just about physical exhaustion. She was TIRED of the ABUSE. She was tired of the systematic abuse she got from the bus system and of that bus driver in particular. There was some bad history with that bus driver.

That's the other half of the story. The bus driver's name was James Blake, and on the day in question, he was an a-hole.

But more than that... James Blake was an agent of the GOVERNMENT. If you work for the municipal bus authority, then you're an agent of the government. Sure he worked for a company, but it was a company that still officially represented THE GOVERNMENT. That's what PUBLIC transportation is... it is GOVERNMENT transportation. So he essentially had a LICENSE to be an a-hole! He was allowed, as an representative of the government to set whatever rules he wanted to on that bus, and those rules could not be challenged or questioned. And in fact at the time there were several complaints about those rules and how those rules were enforced.

However... James Blake's excuse all the way to his grave in 2002 was that he was just "following the law". It was a bad law. A racist law. But that didn't matter. And you know what? He had more than enough discretionary authority to say "this is a tired woman, it's a long day, I'm not going to make a fuss if nobody else complains." But no, he CHOSE to be a government a-hole, and because of that choice, Rosa Parks got arrested, and it started the civil rights movement.

And that's something that people in the government STILL DO NOT understand! There comes a time when the abuse of government just goes too damned far and that people have had ENOUGH. And it doesn't have to be something dramatic or horrific. It could just be something simple as being told to give up your seat after a long day at work.

Rosa Parks' simple act of disobedience was simply the spark of something that was building for quite some time. There were other protests previous to hers, including one by famed athlete Jackie Robinson, but they didn't get the ball rolling as hers did. Rosa Park's arrest was the social straw that broke the camel's back. She didn't set out to start the Civil Rights movement. She was just there for the start of the ride, but there are plenty of people who are grateful she did.

That's where true change comes from, folks. It doesn't come from people who call themselves "crusaders" or who claim to be on a "mission from God". It comes from a long string of abuses where the people just say "NO MORE".

(Audio clip: "Mad as hell")

Okay, the next thing that I want to talk about is the oil industry.

You probably heard the news that Big Oil made a KILLING in the financial world! Record profits for the past fiscal quarter! You know... I wish I had some stock in even one of the oil companies when that little tidbit hit the wire services. I probably could pay off all my monthly bills on the dividend alone.

Of course at the same time, the rest of America was getting RAPED at the gas pumps. Gas prices that had been inching up and up for several months literally SPIKED after two hurricanes hit the Gulf.

And there are two prevailing trains of thought about this... the first is that the oil companies were intentionally, deliberately, and systematically GOUGING people, and they need to be punished for it. And the second is that, hey, it's the FREE FRIGGING MARKET. Companies shouldn't be PUNISHED for making a profit, right?

Now normally... I would be on the side of free markets here. Companies SHOULD NOT be punished simply because they make a profit. The whole purpose of being successful in America is to make a profit... no matter if you're a big corporation or just a family of four.

BUT there is one little thing about this issue that throws a monkey-wrench into the whole "free market" argument...

The oil industry is NOT a "free market"! And if it ever was, it is certainly not so today.

First of all, we have been ADDICTED to foreign oil for DECADES now. The majority of the oil that we need comes from foreign sources, and it's done so by design by the UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT. The US Department of Interior and the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy along with a whole plethora of state and local agencies have limited where the oil industry could drill for oil in THIS country, FORCING those companies to turn to foreign sources. We don't have a choice here! So we are literally at the mercy of the oil barons in foreign countries, and we have to APPEASE them in order for them to keep supplies up and prices down. That sort of puts a pox on Pat Robertson's personal crusade against Venezuela.

Second, we have no choice where our oil comes from once it gets to this country! Again, those same GOVERNMENT agencies tell the oil companies "You WILL get your oil products from THESE SPECIFIC refineries, and they will ALL be refined as WE tell you to refine them." And they change those rules every year so that it gets more and more expensive to refine the oil to meet THEIR standards!

And again, the companies have no choice in this matter. So all the fuel that you get from the various gas stations all comes from the SAME refineries! They're all BLENDED the same way! It doesn't matter if you get your gas from a name-brand station or a no-name mom-and-pop operation, it all comes from the SAME place! There is no "mom-and-pop" refinery or a "mom-and-pop" pipeline. It's all one and the same.

Let's get brutally honest here... that's NOT how the free market operates!

In a REAL free market environment, oil companies could get their oil from the refineries that operate the cheapest, no matter where those refineries were located. Gas stations would not be limited to one specific GOVERNMENT-MANDATED supplier, but from a wide range of gasoline suppliers. So killer hurricanes like Katrina and Rita would not be able to sever the supply of oil in a real free-market environment, because the oil companies would still have plenty of other locations to choose from. They wouldn't have to wait for a temporary reprieve from the federal government to get their gasoline or home heating oil from another part of the country that wasn't damaged.

In other words, folks, as long as the GOVERNMENT has a heavy regulatory hand in the oil business, then there really IS no "free market" environment for them to crow about. There is no real competition between the oil companies, thanks to those same government regulations, so there's no real pressure for them to keep their prices low. They know that whatever price they charge, we'll pay it. We may hate it and we may scream bloody murder about it, but we'll still pay it because we don't have a choice. We need it to keep our cars fueled, and to keep our homes heated, and to keep the electricity going.

So if you want to get mad at oil prices and at oil company profits, don't just get angry at "Big Oil"... get angry with their willing partner, Big Government. Because they're just as guilty for both the price spikes AND of the record profiteering as the oil companies are. And they damn well know it, because they were the ones who created the conditions in the FIRST place!

But, of course, that's just a little too complex for some people to comprehend, even for those who claim to "know it all".

By the way... you probably noticed that gas and oil prices have gone down in the past few weeks. That's good news... but let's not forget the TIMING of it all. The price isn't going down because suddenly there's new pockets of oil that got tapped or because a new refinery got built. The price is going down because we're cutting back on our demand AND because of the news of those record profits. It's a little hard to publicly justify keeping prices high and then turning around and reporting that you're making a KILLING in the market.

But don't worry, you'll have more than enough rage this winter when the talk goes to home heating costs, and you start to hear about old people freezing to death. Just be sure to share your rage equally between Big Oil AND Big Government.

(Computer: sorry, you have to hear the rant to know what it is)
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You probably noticed that in both issues there was a very subtle government hand involved. Fifty years ago it was a representative of the government... and today a significant part of our energy problems come from the actions of the government on various levels.

This is why a true freedom-love like myself HAS to be skeptical of government getting involved in our lives. It's not that they can't do a good job. Sometimes they do. But it's when they DON'T do a good job... when their actions become abusive... or when their actions actually HURT us in the long run... that's when the real problems come in.

Those in government are ALWAYS seen as being above reproach. They can't be questioned. They can't be challenged. They can never be in the wrong. So when their actions ARE wrong and they DO hurt society, there's no way to correct those mistakes. And we continue to do ourselves a GRAVE disservice when we believe that (1) we should NEVER question the role of government, and that (2) we should get government involved into every aspect of our lives. We are only setting ourselves up for more problems when we to that!


Brutally Honest is a Get Brutal production, all opinions expressed are those of the commentator, and may or may not be shared by the online provider. This is David Matthews 2 saying good night, and I'll speak with you soon!

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