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]

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