Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Brutally Honest Rant - 03/29/06

Brutally Honest Audio Rant: The "H-Rule" and Other New Rules
Audio Transcripts

[Start Program]
(Computer – Introduction)
(Music intro – "American Idiot Remix" – by Green Day and 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.

This week is a somewhat important milestone here at the Brutally Honest Command Center. This Saturday - April 1st - will mark the TENTH ANNIVERSARY of the Brutally Honest website. TEN YEARS AGO from this Saturday, I first posted my weekly commentary over on AOL’s website. And that website is still there today!

Now that’s something that can’t be said about many other websites. I was here before Fox News ever existed. I was here before MSNBC ever got started. I was here before blogging and podcasting were even invented, and I was DOING these things before they were even called such! I’ve fought the good fight against censorship, and it’s STILL going on today! Not too many other folks could say that.

And during the course of these past ten years, one of the things that really piss me off are the jerkoffs who think that they can change the rules of discourse on a whim just to gain the upper hand.

When I was a kid, there was another kid who did the same thing. No matter what the game was, if it was his game, then it operated by his rules, and he changed those rules all of the time just so he would win all of the time. He could not bear losing at anything.

And unfortunately he’s not the only one with this problem. There are plenty of other folks who feel that they can change the rules anytime they want to without notice, without any kind of agreement, and just to give themselves the upper hand in any social interaction.

And they’re able to get away with it because the alternatives are (a) don’t continue with the discourse, whereby the cheater wins by default, or (b) reach over there and beat the crap out of the cheater, whereby the cheater again wins by default because you committed a crime. You see, THIS is why I think dueling should be legal, because this kind of crap would not be allowed to go on in society if we were given the opportunity to eliminate the cheater… or to at least make them WORK for it.

Listen, I’m all for civil discourse, but let’s get brutally honest here… you CANNOT have a civil discourse when you have one side constantly changing the rules on a whim just so they can always have the upper hand. That’s not civil discourse; that’s just intellectual tyranny.

And I think that needs to change. So I’ve come up with a few rules of my own that I think will help bring a fair discourse between people.

Now, one of the rules that I’ve seen bantered about a lot, especially in the last few years, is the "H-Rule" or the "Hitler Rule". This is when people start uttering the word "Nazi" or make some comparisons of any government to Nazi Germany or to Adolph Hitler. Of course the minute you start uttering the words "Nazi" or "Hitler", the other side IMMEDIATELY gets in your face and screams that you’re NOT ALLOWED to use those words. You’re not ALLOWED to make that kind of comparison! You’re not ALLOWED to make that kind of reference!

To which, I say, politely: Blow me! I CAN make that kind of reference in a FREE SOCIETY! I have EVERY RIGHT to make any kind of comparison I want to in a FREE SOCIETY! And if you don’t like it, then you damned well better be prepared to do something about it, and you damned well better be prepared to LOSE!

Of course what happens is that the people who invoke the "H-Rule" are AFRAID of any kind of comparison made to what only could be the 20th Century personification of everything evil and vile in this world. Hitler was a monster. He was a demagogue. He was a diminutive bully with a viscous Napoleonic complex. And he laid down a trail of lies and manipulation that should serve as a warning for future generations, but obviously CANNOT be done BECAUSE of the "H-Rule". You know, if we can’t make that kind of comparison because of some BS rule invoked by a bunch of people who solidly deserve to get their asses kicked from here to Numbnuts, Alabama, then it’s pretty much too late, because at that point history will be repeating itself.

And by the way, anytime you have a government exerting its natural authoritarian tendencies, someone WILL object to it, no matter if that government is run by liberals, conservatives, bible-thumpers, scroll-pounders, or your basic garden variety thug. So if you don’t like the comparisons, then stop behaving in ways that elicit the comparisons! It’s that simple!

The hypocritical part about this is that the people who usually invoke the "H-Rule" often turn around and violate it themselves sometime later on in the discussion. First they say that you CANNOT make references to Nazism or Hitler and then they go ahead and drop a few references themselves. Yeah, so much for practicing what you preach.

So NEW RULE: The "Hitler Rule" is hereby and forever repealed. In a free society, which is what America is SUPPOSED to be, you’re allowed to make whatever government comparisons you wish.

BUT, I’d throw in a caveat to the new rule, and it would be this: if you’re going to refer to any kind of government as a fascist state or a Nazi state, then you had better be prepared to explain what your definition of those terms are and WHY you think the government in question is like that. So, for instance, if you want to compare our current federal government to Nazi Germany, then you had better be prepared to explain how the federal government has embraced the concepts on nationalistic socialism, which is what Nazism was. If you want to call the federal government a fascist government, then you had better be prepared to explain what fascism is and how the federal government has somehow become it.

I think that’s only fair, don’t you?

Okay, let’s go on to the next one…

NEW RULE: if you really don’t care how someone is, then don’t bother asking how they are on the phone.

This is something that really bugs me… because you know it’s fake. You get some stranger who doesn’t know you, but they will still ask "how are you" and will actually expect an answer!

"Hello, this is so-and-so from the XYZ Bank, how are you?"

Yeah, like that person really cares how the hell I am! Are they really going to call at a later time if I tell them that I’m having a really crappy day? NO! In all likelihood, their call isn’t going to brighten my day. In all likelihood, their call will either try to dampen whatever good mood I’m in or they will make a bad day even worse, and they KNOW IT.

Listen, if you’re not a friend or a family member and you’re not calling to give me a million dollars or to offer me a book or radio deal, then you don’t need to know how I’m doing! So don’t ask!

Or better yet, in situations like that, I think that it should be perfectly appropriate to give them WAY TOO MUCH information! I mean, hey, they wanted to know HOW we’re doing, right? So the phone rings and…

"Hello, this is Bob Pratchett from ScrewU Bank, how are you?"

Well Bob, I’m glad you called! You see, I’ve had this really NASTY boil on my ass that I’ve been DYING to tell people about, and since you wanted to know how I am doing, I gotta tell you this boil is really NASTY and UGLY and just OOOOZING out…well, hey, hold on Bob, you wanted to know how I’m doing… and it’s really making a mess, and it hurts when I sit down and it hurts when I stand up, and it hurts when I do nothing, so I’m glad that you care enough to ask how I am doing right now, and maybe next time you ask I’ll tell you how my bowel movements have been.

Trust me, they’ll change their phone etiquette really quick after a few of THOSE responses!

(Whispering) "It’s the Matthews guy… whatever you do, don’t ask him how he’s doing!"

NEW RULE: If you on a cellphone and you’re using the loudspeaker, then everyone around you gets to chime in on your conversation!

Unfortunately, technology creates way too many self-important twits who think that they can engage in a loud and boisterous conversation anyplace they feel like and still think that it’s "private". No, it’s not. If I can clearly hear both sides of the conversation and there’s only one of you present, then you’re making that conversation public, which means that I have every right to jump in if I so choose, because you’re BRINGING me into it by YOUR obnoxious behavior!

So I say, hey, if you’re going to bring the whole world into your conversation, I think we all should just sound off. Just lean on in and say in a really loud voice: "HEY BOB! THANKS FOR INCLUDING THE WHOLE WORLD IN ON YOUR PHONE CALL!" And if the guy, who’s probably now pretty annoyed, asks if you mind, you can then reply with "Well obviously YOU didn’t mind when you blasted your phone conversation out loud."

Listen up, Space Ranger, you’re not using the cellphone to talk Air Force One down for an emergency landing, so lay off the walkie-talkie mode and keep your phone conversations QUIET if you don’t want us to jump on in at any old time.

By the way, I’m all for letting movie theatres and other places use a new special paint that allows them to electronically block cellphone signals on command. And if you think about it, there really wouldn’t be the need for this kind of technology if people weren’t obnoxious dickheads when it comes to cellphones!

Okay, one more…

NEW RULE: If you want to talk about how "evil rich corporations" don’t pay "their fair share" of taxes, you need to first answer two questions… one, if YOU working for an "evil rich corporation", and, two, how much of YOUR paycheck should be taken out just so that "evil rich corporation" can PAY "their fair share" of taxes.

I’ve been hearing a lot about how big business doesn’t pay "their fair share" when it comes to taxes in America. The liberals LOVE to talk about this, especially now with the talk about immigration reform hitting the airwaves.

Well I’ve got news for you folks: businesses DO NOT pay taxes in the same way that you and I do! And I don’t mean they don’t "pay" those taxes…because they do! But they get to do something that WE don’t get to do… and that is pass that burden on to other people.

You see, this is something that probably isn’t taught in school, and it really needs to. When a business gets a tax bill – and I don’t care if it’s a mom-and-pop store, a home-based business, or one of those infamous multinational conglomerate corporations – they all get to pass that bill on to US, the consumers! You see, taxes aren’t some external bill that gets paid after everything else. Taxes to a business, any kind of business, are just a part of OVERHEAD, and that becomes part of the cost that you and I pay.

So if you think about it, a corporation doesn’t really pay taxes! They just pass the cost on down to US! WE end up paying THEIR taxes, and we don’t even realize it!

Okay, so, here you have some big multinational corporation, they make oodles of money, they post record profits for the year, and YOU, the clueless working class, think that it isn’t "fair" for a company to make so much money, especially when the rest of us are struggling to make ends meet. So you listen to the talk radio people like the liberals on Air America who say that it’s not "FAIR" for that company to post record profit, and you then contact your government representative and you tell him or her that you want the government to make that corporation PAY for being profitable. You want them to be PUNISHED for making a profit! You want them to pay higher taxes!

So BIG GOVERNMENT turns around and hits BIG BUSINESS with a bigger tax bill for making more money. But that corporation doesn’t pay that tax bill through their profits. They pay that bill as a part of their OVERHEAD, because that’s what a tax bill is… it’s OVERHEAD. And there’s two ways that any business pays that kind of extra expense… either they pass the cost on to US, the consumers, as part of the overall price of their product, or they take the money from some other expense… such as payroll! And if you’re in charge of that big corporation, you’re certainly not going to move to cut your own payroll just to appease a bunch of clueless people who have no idea how the world operates!

So either the working class gets to pay higher prices, or they get to lose money… all in the name of making big business "pay" for being too damned profitable. Is it fair? No, but that’s life.

And that brings me back to the new rule. If you’re one of those people who feel that big businesses should "pay their fair share", then you need to ask yourselves if you’re working for a corporation… and if so, then how much should YOU give up just so you can "punish" those corporations for being so damned successful.

Whoops! There I go again… uttering that forbidden word "THINK"! I forgot, we’re not SUPPOSED to THINK, we’re just supposed to react and obey. What was I thinking?

(Computer – it’s a fun mix… really… but you gotta hear it to know what it is!)
(Fade Music In – "Who am I" by Peace Orchestra)

You know, a lot of these new rules I mentioned deal with being rude to other people. And I know that this is going to sound a bit strange, but I think that in situations like these, we NEED to be a little rude to counter rudeness.

Far too many of us are living our lives muddled in our own self-centered world, and sometimes we just need to get a wake-up call. The ones who really need that wake-up call are like that neighborhood kid I knew who changed the rules just so he’d always win. People like him need to be reminded that they aren’t the center of the universe.

And by the way, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: a lot of these little social problems wouldn’t be problems if formalized dueling were legal. But… that’s just me.


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 – Ending/"End of Recording")

[End of program]

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

One down... just not the right one...

Well a member of the Bush Imperium Inner Circle just took one for the team.

Andrew Card just announced his resignation as White House Chief of Staff. He will be replaced by Joshua Bolton, Bush Junior's budget director.

Well it's good that there IS a shake-up in the Imperium, but in this commentator's opinion the wrong person is getting the boot. Darth Rove, the sith lord of Machiavellian politics, is still in charge from his modest role as Deputy Chief of Staff.

Now the strange thing is... if Rove is the deputy chief, why wasn't he elevated to take Card's place? You'd think that would be the normal course of events, right? The chief goes away, the deputy takes over. The head guy leaves, the underling moves up. So why is Darth Rove still "Deputy Chief of Staff"?

Answer: because his role as "Deputy Chief" actually has MORE responsibility and MORE authority than the Chief of Staff! This was something that was put in play after the 2004 elections that got very little media attention. In other words, Rove would actually LOSE POWER if he moved up!

I think that Card's departure is just another scapegoat for lacking poll numbers and the genuine threat that the GOP MIGHT lose power in the November mid-term elections. Like former FEEBLE-FEMA director Michael Brown, Card is being asked to fall on his sword for the sake of the Imperium, only without the cloud of incompetence that surrounded "Brownie".

Wrong guy, Junior. It should have been "Turd Blossom". I guarantee you if Darth Rove got the boot instead of Card, that would have eliminated a HUGE dark cloud of scandal from the White House. The whole mess about Valerie Plame and the leaking of CIA information would essentially become a non-issue if Rove was removed from the White House, leaving only Scooter Libby to worry about his obstruction of Justice charge. The GOP would probably keep their jobs in November and YOU, Mister President, would never have to worry about being IMPEACHED!

Do the right thing, sir... and tell Rove to go hunting with the Vice President.

Monday, March 27, 2006

I didn't say this but it is sad and true

This creative poem was found in today's Vent in the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

There once was passed the First Amendment,
Upon which press freedoms are all dependent.
But it’s sad to say,
That if we asked today,
Some would tell Congress to rescind it.

And I wish it wasn't the case, but unfortunately too many people have absolutely NO IDEA about what the First Amendment is or what it does. They have NO IDEA that it was designed to RESTRICT the power and scope of GOVERNMENT. They don't know what free speech really means. They have no idea what freedom of the press really means. They have no idea that prohibiting Congress from passing laws RESPECTING the establishment of religion that IT IS separating church and state! They don't know these things... and they don't WANT to know these things because then they'd have to admit that they were WRONG about what they did know, or that they essentially sold their souls to people who were WRONG about these things (i.e. Falwell, Hannity, Robertson).

And then they want to wrap themselves up in the American flag and get in the faces of anyone who doesn't share their ignorance and call them unpatriotic, and NOBODY calls them on it!

I would say where we're going with this, but unfortunately that's a completely different rant for another day.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Brutally Honest Rant - 03/22/06

Brutally Honest Audio Rant: MySpace and Stupid Parents
Audio Transcripts

[Start Program]

(Computer – Introduction)
(Music intro – "American Idiot Remix" – by Green Day and 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.

Let’s talk about MySpace.

You’ve probably been hearing about a website called It’s one of those community web services where people can post web pages and blogs and pictures and chat with like-minded people. It’s certainly not the first of its kind; it’s just the most popular right now.

So what’s been happening is that you have these kids who are posting really risqué pictures of themselves and making any sort of comment possible online. And they’re engaging in conversations with people who may OR MAY NOT be other kids their own age!

Yes, that’s right, your precious little Johnny Dimple or Suzie Purebred may be chatting with COMPLETE STRANGERS who are seeing those risqué pictures online! Or worse… they may be ONLINE PEDOPHILES, surfing the web looking for YOUR CHILDREN to steal in the middle of the night!

Now, if you’ve just listened to what I’ve said so far and add that to the dozens of so-called "investigative reports" you find in the media today about and found yourself completely and absolutely SHOCKED and APPALLED by that news, I have something that I want you to hear…

(Long pause)

Did you catch it? Hold on… I’ll repeat it for you…

(Long pause)

Know what that is? That’s the sound of the world’s smallest violin playing "Cry me a river"!

Now folks, I’m not here to make light of a serious situation. Quite the contrary… I’m challenging people to step up and BE responsible.

You know, I’ve been doing online rants and commentaries for ten years now, and the ONE group of people that really piss me off when it comes to the Internet are STUPID PARENTS! I’m serious! I don’t care how much of an education you have or don’t have. You could be the smartest person in the world, but if you don’t know squat about taking care of your child, then you’re just as STUPID as any inbred trailer-trash redneck living in Numbnuts, Alabama.

And I really don’t have any sympathy for stupid parents. Seriously. Passing Biology 101 and pumping out a tax deduction does not automatically make you a parent. That just makes you a breeder. How you look out for and raise those tax deductions that you helped pop out makes you a parent, and it determines whether you’re a SMART parent or a STUPID parent.

SMART parents know that the Internet was designed BY adults FOR adults. It was not designed with children in mind. It was designed by military institutions, universities, and big businesses. It’s an electronic medium whereby information is exchanged, no matter if it is educational information, financial information, business transactions, or entertainment. And it’s used by a wide variety of people for a wide variety of purposes, many of them being ADULT purposes. ADULT interactions. ADULT transactions. And yes, sometimes ADULT entertainment.

STUPID parents, on the other hand, think that computers are primarily for kids. They believe that computers are just used to play video games with and to amuse the little tax deductions and to chit-chat with other kids the same age as them. It’s like a TV set, only with a typewriter and a little pointy-thing. Just pop a DVD in or some cute video game in the magic box and let the kids go at it.

SMART parents watch their children’s online activities and know where they go online. They make sure that their kids don’t engage in risky activities or make online purchases without them knowing about it. They know who their kids’ online friends are and know about the websites they set up or the Blog pages they run or the web-services they subscribe to.

STUPID parents don’t care one bit about what goes on with computers, because they will PROUDLY ADMIT to being "computer illiterate" or "technically challenged" or being so STUPID that they can’t even program their VCR, much less know how to turn on a computer that has ONE BUTTON.

And if it sounds like I’m getting just a little frustrated by this, it’s because I AM!

Like I said, I’ve been doing these online commentaries for TEN YEARS now, and yet I’m hearing the SAME kind of shock controversy from the SAME groups. The air-fluffed media is ALWAYS finding something scandalous about the Internet that they can use to scare people. The moralists are ALWAYS looking for some sort of wedge issue so they can justify a government takeover of all Internet content like they are doing with radio and television. Five years ago it was because of webcams and chat rooms. Ten years ago it was the fact that Playboy had a website, and that anyone could see anything they want to in the newsgroups. And before people heard about the Internet, these were the same people who were throwing fits over electronic bulletin boards, and before that it was party lines on the telephone.

Let’s get brutally honest here… this whole fuss about is really nothing more than just another prefabricated scare tactic. It’s a way to gain some ratings and a way to gain some political leverage over the STUPID parents out there, because SMART parents know better than to knee-jerk to that crap!

Here’s a really simple rule when it comes to things like ANYTHING you post on the Internet will be seen by and disseminated by EVERYONE! Not just your friends, not just your family members, not just the cute guy in school, or the sexy babe at work, but also by complete strangers around the world… including the people that YOU DON’T WANT to have anything to do with! If you’re a teenager and you don’t want to have perverted sex fiends in their fifties lusting after your pics, then don’t post them! It’s that simple.

And if you’re a parent, you have to understand that it is YOUR JOB to keep an eye on what your kids do online! I don’t care how busy your life is or how "technically challenged" you are! Those are not acceptable excuses, especially when it involves YOUR CHILD! You don’t have to be smarter than your child when it comes to technology… it obviously doesn’t hurt… but you DO have to be smart enough to BE a responsible parent and to take charge and put down limitations. There ARE tools that will help you do that, and there ARE resources that will show you where those tools are and how to use them. It’s just a matter of you being a SMART parent and utilizing them instead of being a STUPID parent and knee-jerking to whatever spin the media plays about these websites.

Every time you hear about some scandal about places like or about sexual predators running amok online and going after kids, the VERY FIRST question out of everyone’s mouths should be "Where are the PARENTS?" The question needs to be asked, and it needs to be asked repeatedly until it finally sinks in with these people. It should be no different than if the kid walked out of the house and got run over by a car, or if that kid found daddy’s revolver, or if he got locked in a car in the middle of a hot day, because that’s what this essentially is. It is a matter of parental responsibility. And the more often we start asking THAT question, then the less often we’re going to hear about those sensationalized media stories.

(Computer – something you have to hear to appreciate)
(Fade Music In – "Flawed Legacy" by Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori)

You know, folks, I think we can best summarize the difference between SMART parents and STUPID parents this way…

SMART parents are responsible parents. They don’t wait around for other people to do something that they themselves are responsible for. They don’t wait for the next big media scandal for them to take precautions when it comes to their children, and for the most part, they’re the ones that do okay.

STUPID parents, on the other hand, EXPECT other people, especially the government, to handle the responsibilities of taking care of their precious tax deductions. And unfortunately for those who ARE responsible, there are way too many people in the government who are all too EAGER to placate to these STUPID parents, because it gives them power over the rest of us.

Fate, however, has a funny way of turning things out, because it’s usually the children of these STUPID parents that you end up seeing on the nightly news.


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 – Ending/"End of Recording")

[End of program]

Friday, March 17, 2006

A few notes on this week's rant...

Just wanted to leave a note or two about this week's audio rant...

Obviously this wasn't one of my better rants. It's just been a really long week for yours truly, really mentally and emotionally dragging, and sometimes I have a thought, and if I don't have the time to just sit down and fully develop it AS it happens, I end up with something like this.

You notice that I mentioned the FISA court. There were several other issues that I really wanted to unleash on, such as FEMA, the Ports deal, the rampant cronyism going on, and the blatant abuses of government power that aren't directly connected to the Bush Imperium but are still working against it (re: Abramoff/DeLay/Cunningham). Obviously I could have chosen several more issues, but FISA situation is probably the most divisive and the pressure from the Imperium to allow this to go on unquestioned and unchecked is the most blatant.

I'd have more respect for the Democrats if they actually got their act together and offered a united response to the Imperium and their power-grabs. I still wouldn't agree with them, but I'd have more respect for them.

By the way, NOW IS THE TIME for Libertarians to really step up. The Dems are refusing to back Congressman Feingold's censure motion, they don't want to talk impeachment, they continue to HOPE that Americans will vote them back into power in November, but they don't offer anything substantive to prove they're a true alternative to the bloated elephants. It's high time that the TRUE supporters of freedom and responsibility step up.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Brutally Honest Rant - 03/15/06

Brutally Honest Audio Rant: "I’ve Read The Book…"
Audio Transcripts


[Start Program]
(Computer – Introduction)
(Music intro – "American Idiot Remix" – by Green Day and 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.

Couple of years ago I came across one of those look-alike "Left Behind" end-of-the-world movies. This wasn’t the actual "Left Behind" story, but it was done by a different religious group trying to capitalize on the whole Book of Revelation craze of the time.

Now for the uninitiated, the Book of Revelation is the last chapter in the Christian Bible and it talks about the end of the world as we know it. It talks about how Jesus would come back and the forces of good will triumph over the forces of evil through his cataclysmic battle that will totally destroy the world, but that those on the side of good will triumph because of who they are and how devout they are. But prior to this final battle, there would be this global event called the Rapture, where all of the truly devout and innocent people would suddenly disappear all at once. Everyone else would be "left behind", hence the catchy title. During or sometime after this event, a false messiah would appear… the Antichrist… and he would sway the masses to his side under the pretext of being the TRUE messiah.

Anyway, in this "Left Behind" lookalike movie, a TV producer looks at the whole chaos going on in the world and wonders if they really are living out the Book of Revelation. He starts to pick up his copy of the Bible, which is just conveniently laying on his desk, when some stranger appears at his doorway and says "That won’t help you."

The producer asks why not. The stranger replies "Because you know how it ends." He then hands the producer a list of demands that the TV station must fulfill regarding the person who claims to be the messiah. The producer asks who the stranger is, and the stranger replies "someone who knows how it ends." Which completely blew my mind, because if that stranger really DID know how it ends, then he would know that he was on the wrong side.

You see, that’s the thing that amazes me… the people who believe they know where they stand if the "end days" happen would not want be on the side of the multitude of masses, because if they DID "read the book", then they’d know that the widely popular guy claiming to be the messiah that has the masses cheering and praising his name… is really the imposter. That’s the guy sending everyone to hell!

Now personally, I take the general idea of the "end of the world" with a grain of salt. But that one scene, the scene where the TV producer is bullied into conforming to the demands of a phony messiah, brings up some interesting comparisons to the real world.

There seems to be general malaise when it comes to our government and the media. Our government screws up, it flagrantly and carelessly tramples on the rights of others, and then excuses itself by saying "we’re at war". It makes mistakes, but nobody wants to call them on it! Even when the CONSERVATIVES say that the government has crossed the line, they get cowered into compliance. They don’t have any BALLS to stand up for what they believe in!

Take a look at the whole thing over the White House and domestic spying. Here we have liberals AND conservatives saying that what the White House is doing is wrong, but NOBODY in Congress wants to stand up and do something about it. Oh no! They’re afraid! They’re afraid that it might "send the wrong message" to the terrorists.

What, that even the president is not above the law? The FISA court system was revised numerous times since its inception in the 1970’s, including in 2002. And yet even with THESE revisions, the White House still felt justified in violating certain provisions of this law!

And when news of the violations came out, the conservatives even offered to FIX the law so the White House would be in compliance of it, and the Bush Imperium said no, because it might "tip off the terrorists". So the conservatives – rather than standing their ground and defending the RULE OF LAW like they would have done ten years ago - became pussy-whipped dumbasses and said "Okay… we don’t have to change a thing… we’ll just let you go on doing what you’ve been doing… because, you know, we’re at war…"

And I suppose that’s to be expected of them, because these Republicans don’t even have a tenth of the caliber they had as a party ten years ago, never mind the kind of people we expected during the eight years of Ronald Reagan. Do the Republicans even remember the RULE OF LAW? You guys impeached a sitting president because of it! What sort of message does it send the terrorists that you’ll go after someone who screws with an intern but not someone who screws over the whole country?

That’s just ONE instance, folks. I haven’t even gotten into the FUBAR concerning FEMA!

What’s worse is that the party that’s supposed to keep the bloated elephants honest can’t even begin to capitalize on the screw-ups. The Democrats have become so complacent in their roles as also-rans that they can’t even rally behind a simple CENSURE vote over this domestic spying matter.

We’re not talking impeachment, folks, we’re talking censure, which is about as pathetic as you think it is! It’s not even a slap on the wrist. It’s just a wag of the finger and a "tisk, tisk, don’t do it again you naughty little rednecks". The Democrats can’t even get behind THAT! They let one of their own, a military veteran who was well-respected in Congress, get his character viscously assassinated by a bunch of mealy-mouthed chickenhawks who would otherwise have their asses kicked from here to Baghdad, and they don’t stand up to defend him or to go after the chickenhawks. And these losers think that they can somehow manage to regain the Congress in November without providing any kind of REAL alternative to the Imperium ass-kissers!

Let’s not forget the media! A good story came out last week involving a speech made by retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor about some of these abuses of government. But you didn’t hear about it on ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, or even Fox News! You know who ran this story? National Public Radio. Five years ago, a retired Supreme Court Justice could sneeze and it would make the news. Today, a retired Justice had something SERIOUS and IMPORTANT to say about the way things are going, and she couldn’t even get noticed in the United States outside of a couple of bloggers… including yours truly!

Let’s get brutally hones there, boys and girls…. I’ve read "the book" too, and I know exactly how this story plays out! In fact, I’ve read several booka that we’re following. We are becoming George Orwell’s "Animal Farm"… we are living out Arthur Miller’s "The Crucible"… and yes, even if I’ve never read the book, I still know that we are also following down the path of Ayn Rand’s "Atlas Shrugged".

But more importantly, I’ve read another book as well… one that’s published by the folks at the Cato Institute. It’s not a big book, mind you, but what it does have is just as important as any message in any of those other books. It’s the combined documents of the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. It’s a very good read, but I don’t think that the Republicans will like the first part of it… I mean, the author of that part had some pretty unkind words about the ruling government of the time. Well, that and the fact that the author WAS the very FIRST Democrat, and you know how the GOP feels about those folks.

(Computer – a small mix of clips that you have to hear to understand)
(Fade Music In – "Session" by Linkin Park)

You know, it’s a whole lot easier to talk about character than it is to live up to it, especially when doing so means taking a stand and doing something that may be unpopular.

But then again, we forget what character really is.

Character is what you ARE, not what you wish yourself to be. Character is the self-application of your own ideals. But you cannot call the ideals that you lack the strength to implement to be character. That’s simply idle fantasy. And insisting that others adhere to and incorporate the ideals that you yourself refuse to adhere to is called something else entirely: hypocrisy.


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 – Ending/"End of Recording")

[End of program]

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Former Supreme Court Justice bashes Congress… and where’s the media?

Here’s an interesting question to all those conservatives and neo-conservatives out there:

What happens when a retired member of the highest court in the land makes a comment critical of another branch of office?

Well the cons and neo-cons will probably answer: "Well… the liberal media would headline it, because they hate the president and they hate America!"

You think so? Well then why is it that this little story somehow got past the air-fluffed ego-driven mainstream media?

Yes, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor was apparently VERY vocal about the GOP-ruled Congress during a speech at Georgetown University on March 9th. She had plenty to say about the Republicans and their power-grabs and their abuse of power when it came to the judiciary, although she never actually named names. Still it’s very damning if you’re a Republican, especially since she was appointed by President Reagan.

So WHY IS IT that the mainstream media forgot to mention this? I mean, if they’re so damned liberal, why didn’t they report this? Why did a lone blogger on MSNBC, the folks at National Public Radio, and a FOREIGN NEWSPAPER catch something that got ignored by the alphabet soup media????

I’m eager to hear the explanation, guys. Go ahead and try to pull a Slick Willie on this one! I'm waiting! Give me your best Clintonian excuse!

Update on "V" outrage - I called it again!

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I talked about the prefabricated hype surrounding the upcoming release of the movie "V for Vendetta"? Well guess what? I called it! It's begun!

Fox News, of course, pulled out their coffee klatch group to interview actor John Hurt to talk about the movie and how it glorifies terrorism. Local columnists are coming out to say that the conservative spin against this movie is making a mountain out of a molehill.

But I want you folks to realize something... the stuff you hear today about the movie and the hype surrounding it... was stuff that *I* was talking about on March 1st. (And I even got some good feedback on people on it.)

I just wish I could get some credit for this. Seriously.

Update (03/17): Add the New York Post (via Fox News of course) to the V-bashing.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Thug Campbell Gets The Capone Treatment

Breaking news, boys and girls... it'’s Judgement Day for Atlanta’'s former thug mayor, Bill Campbell… and I have good news and bad news.

Bad news: Thug Campbell got off on the serious charges of bribery and racketeering. Even though prosecutors produced witnesses that testified that they personally brought huge sums of cash to Campbell, the jury somehow couldn’'t accept the level of corruption being displayed. Even when he was caught with MULTIPLE mistresses and how he treated them to these lavish trips, all paid for with CASH, the jury couldn'’t accept it.

The good news? Thug Campbell did get found GUILTY of tax evasion. The jury couldn’'t accept the level of corruption that existed, but they had no choice but to find Thug Campbell guilty of not reporting that money or paying taxes on it.

Hey, it if worked for Al Capone, it will work for Thug Campbell. And it'’s good that at least Campbell is going to face SOME kind of justice for his actions. I mean this guy was a real slick operator. He couldn'’t even stick around in the city after he left office. He hightailed it out as fast as possible. In fact, the only reason why he'’s even back in Atlanta was to stand trial.

Speaking of Capone... let'’s not forget what happened to him. He served his time and then got relegated to obscurity, suffering from the sins of his thuggery. If there is any true justice in this world, Campbell’'s final fate will be just as poetic.

Greenspan: Third-Party Candidate a serious threat!

It seems that former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan is making some new predictions about the future, and this one doesn’t bode well with either the Democrats or Republicans.

Greenspan is predicting that there could very well be a serious threat to the two-party duopoly either in the 2008 or 2012 elections.


Now when Greenspan was running the FRC, the financial world would quake with his words. Stock prices would rise or fall on even a glancing word form him. He was the financial world’s version of God, so hopefully what they say about old habits will still apply here.

This is good news for Libertarians like me, because our day IS coming. But it sucks for both the Democrats AND the Republicans, because their days in the sun ARE numbered!

For the GOP, this means that their majority status is at risk. They’ve pissed off way too many people by placating the freedom-hating moralists, and they have taken the less-government-crowd for granted way too long. They talk about a big tent, but they forget to mention that it’s still a Gospel revival tent! Either they’ll have to divorce themselves from big religion or else be seen as the Christian equivalent of the Taliban… minus the bombs and guns and acts of terrorism of course.

But for the Dems, this news will be their swan song. For far too many years, the Dems have sat back and carried out this delusion that they were the only alternative to the moralistic bible-thumpers in the GOP. They squandered key opportunities to present themselves to the masses as a TRUE alternative to the GOP, and it cost them BIG-TIME in 2004. If they don’t capitalize on this new opportunity and retake Congress in 2006, then Greenspan’s prediction of a third-party opportunity WILL BE REAL in 2008! Count on it!

And if (or when) that happens, then the Democratic Party will be DEAD. It will be finished. It will be the Whig party of the 21st Century.

But what would really suck would be the screw-ups that will probably happen between 2006 and 2008. If nobody is in power to keep the GOP and the Bush Imperium in check, then there may be some serious hard times for this country. I mean, FEMA, FISA, Harriet Miers… do we really have to see what’s next?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Jessica Alba vs. Playboy: Pathetic!

Okay folks, some of you know that I’m a long-time fan and supporter of Playboy. I’ve dedicated a few weekly columns talking about the magazine and about Hugh Hefner. And I can honestly say that I have the honor and pleasure to count a couple of Playmates as my friends. (And yes, some are Brutally Honest supporters too!)

With that in mind I have to sound off regarding the recent pissing contest between Playboy Magazine and eye-candy actress Jessica Alba.

Here’s the skinny: Alba is featured on the cover of the March 2006 issue as part of the magazine’s hype surrounding its list of the top 25 Sexiest Celebrities. Alba apparently is the magazine’s top pick, so she gets the cover. Playboy supposedly asked Alba if she could just pose for the cover, which she refused. So Playboy got a stock photo from Sony Pictures from her movie "Into the Blue", edited in their traditional "hide-a-bunny", and used that as the cover.

Now Alba is pissed, claiming that Playboy somehow lied to Sony Pictures to get around her saying no to posing on the cover, and by claiming that since she’s on the cover, that she would also be NAKED in the magazine. Her lawyers are DEMANDING that Playboy remove ALL March issues from the newsstands and that Playboy pay her for "damages".

Uh, Jessica, I think the peroxide has finally reached your brain.

As I said before, I’m a LONGTIME fan of the magazine, and I’ve seen a few celebs on the cover of the magazine that never showed so much as a bellybutton, much less anything scandalous. Just the fact that you’re on the cover doesn’t mean that you’re going to be naked in Playboy!

Yes, Penthouse Magazine had to pull their entire month’s issue a couple of years ago, but that was for a much more malicious reason. In that instance, Penthouse claimed that they had nude pictures of tennis pro Anna Kornakova… which turned out to not only be some grainy pieces of celluloid crap, but it wasn’t even her! It was some no-name French heiress! Boy that magazine had some explaining to do!

But Alba’s case is pretty much nothing more than the rantings of a bruised ego. Playboy never EVER claimed that Alba would be naked in the magazine. They legally acquired the photo from Sony Pictures, and as long as Sony gave the okay for the magazine to use that photo, the magazine can put it on the cover if they so choose as long as there’s no clause from Sony Pictures stating otherwise. Show me the fine print, shysters!

AND… if memory serves, Alba was annoyed at Sony Pictures for supposedly "enhancing" certain sections of her anatomy in those same publicity photos, so I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if Sony execs gave a wink-and-a-nod to Playboy for their cover choice. The girl doth protest too much!

I’m glad that Playboy has decided to stick to their guns and keep the issue on the shelves. Jessica Alba is a flash-in-the-pan starlet, and the sizzle on those girls fade faster than their tan. Playboy has been around for over fifty years now and they’ll certainly outlive the grumbling of a momentary diva. "Ideal girlfriend" my ass!

That said, though, I’d rather see the magazine go back to using the Playmates for their cover. It certainly avoids the kind of legal hassles they’re experiencing now with these little starlets. Playboy is well known for helping to MAKE stars… Marilyn Monroe, Bo Derek, Pam Anderson, Jenny McCarthy… they don’t need to be chasing little starlets.

Brutally Honest Rant - 03/08/06

Brutally Honest Audio Rant: What Pisses Me Off (Laundry Special)
Audio Transcripts

[Start Program]
(Computer – Introduction)
(Music intro – "American Idiot Remix" – by Green Day and 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.

One of the really neat things about doing my own audio rant isthat I pretty much have an open field of things that I can talk about. Sometimes it’s about politics, sometimes it’s about the media, and sometimes it’s just a sounding boardfor things that just PISS ME OFF!

Well this week it’s the stuff that piss me off. And there’s quite a bit of stuff out there, but for right now, let’s talk about doing the laundry.

We’ve all had to do it at some point in our lives, right?I mean, not all of us can afford to buy new clothes, or pay tohave someone clean our clothes for us. I learned before I went tocollege that I was going to have to do this stuff by myself. So I learned! I had help, of course, but at least I figured it all out BEFORE I went off on my own.

Unfortunately not everyone did. And the first month or so of the fall semester at my college was usually the most hilarious time for me, because I watched the guys who had absolutely NO IDEA how to do the laundry try the first time.

You know the stuff you see on TV about the guy who puts in too much soap, or throws all of his clothes in the same machine? That’s not just the stuff of fiction… that’s frigging REAL! I’ve seen guys do that, and then wonder why their white shirts are pink and why their washer is spewing soap suds all over the place. And of course there were also the really lazy bastards that either had their girlfriends do their laundry for them, or they just bundled it all in a bag and took it home for their mom to wash. You know, that’s one of the things that my mom was very thankful for… she was glad that I figured out how to do my own laundry so that she wouldn’t have to do it herself.

But at some point, we all have to do it. It’s one of those things that HAS to get done, and if you don’t have your own washer and dryer, then you gotta go to the laundromat. And I’m going to blow a few minds when I say this, but I personally believe that home economics should be a required course for everyone in school, not just an elective for girls! Come on guys, unless we get married right out of high school, we’re going to have to spend SOME time in our lives by ourselves! It’s good to figure some of these things out! We’re just not going to know all this stuff by osmosis.

Now here at the Brutally Honest Command Center, I’m fortunate enough to have a laundry room that’s just a brief walk away. I really lucked out on that, because the closest laundromat is several miles away. But that still means that I have to head on down there and hope that there’s an available machine for me to use.

And when it comes to doing the laundry, there are quite a few things that just PISS ME OFF! And they’re really stupid things too.

Now before I get any further, let’s get brutally honest here… when I start talking about rules or requirements, I’m NOT talking about LAWS or REGULATIONS or having THE GOVERNMENT on ANY level step in and try to resolve these little things that piss me off. That’s not my game. Laundromats are private businesses, and they obviously rake in a good coin otherwise they wouldn’t be around. But I happen to think that these rules are pretty much things that should be dealt with by the management of the service, whether it’s a laundromat or the apartment management.

Now of course it goes without saying that the most common pet peeve is when you have a machine that isn’t working or it just eats your money, but that peeve is something that gets resolved relatively fast. That’s a management problem, and the law of economics usually corrects that particular peeve. But these other things that piss me off are a little more difficult…because they involve OTHER PEOPLE!

Here’s the biggest laundry pet peeve… LaundryDeadbeats! This happens every so often… and it really pisses me off. Someone comes in, they drop off a huge load of laundry, they take up as many machines as they can, and then just leave. I don’t mean leave and then come back after a half an hour or however long it takes a machine to go through it’s cycle. I don’t have a problem with that. No, I mean these deadbeats show up, fill up as many machines as they can, get them started, and then leave and not come back for SEVERAL HOURS… sometimes even overnight!

A great example of this happened this past weekend. I haul my ass out of bed EARLY every weekend to do the laundry. I know that if I do this, I’ll have just about every machine available. I’m usually there, done, and out in about two hours, and that’s the way that it should be! But this past weekend, there was only ONE dryer available Plenty of washers, but only ONE available dryer. Now only one other person was there before me, but all of the other machines were taken up by people who simply dropped their stuff off and then left them… overnight from the looks of things.

Now I’m a nice guy. I’m not a rude bastard when it comes to laundry deadbeats, although by all rights I should have just emptied a couple of machines on the chairs and played dumb if the deadbeats showed up. If I was an insensitive prick like those deadbeats were, I would have done that in a heartbeat. But no, I’m a nice guy… so I waited for one of the more attentive people to kindly empty her machines when she was finished with them so I could get my clothes dry.

So here’s a good workaround for management… because this kind of stuff also affects their bottom line. The more people that can use those machines, the more money they make. So this is what the managers do: you stick a sign up in English, Spanish, and whatever other language you wish that goes something like this:

"These laundry machines are for the use of ALL patrons. These are not YOUR PERSONAL machines. We are not responsible for any unattended laundry. It is your responsibility to use these machines, operate them, and to remove your clothes from them in a TIMELY manner. Any unattended laundry that interferes in the timely use of these machines will be declared abandoned and will either be donated to charity or else auctionedoff on eBay."

Trust me, a few well-known incidents of laundry being auctioned off will solve THAT annoying problem really quick. How would you like to explain to your spouse or to your child how you were the dumbass who lost his or her laundry because you couldn’t keep track of it?

The next things that piss me off are the Mystery Gift-Givers. Those are the folks who forget to empty their pockets, so they leave things in the washer or dryer. Sometimes it’s money… loose change, the occasional dollar or two… it’s rather nice when that happens. But more often than naught, what gets left behind is not money. Sometimes it’s a rusted paper clip, sometimes it’s an extra sock, or sometimes it’s the gooey remains of someone’s packet of partially-melted breath strips. Or at least you HOPE that’s what it is and not something that requires a visit from your local hazardous materials unit.

Or sometimes they pour a whole bunch of either bleach or detergent in an empty machine after they took their own clothes out. I don’t know… are they trying to be helpful or something? Did the box just accidentally spill into the machine? All I know is that nobody really wants to use that machine once the mystery gift is in there and you don’t know what it is, and you certainly don’t want to find out. That essentially takes a machine out of circulation until it can get cleaned up, unless you want to spend some coin to run it through a cycle and hope it gets worked out of the system.

Then of course we have the Sneaker Cleaners. These are people who think that just because they can put their dirty sneakers in the wash that they can also put them in the dryer. I’m sorry, folks, but it doesn’t work like that. The water does a good job washing the sneakers clean, but it also cushions the sneakers as they move around in the washer. The dryer doesn’t have that. The dryer has nothing but hot air… hot air that can melt plastic and superheat any metal rings, and a door that can get kicked open pretty easily from the inside. In other words, the dryer’s not a good place for shoes!

Look, do us all a favor and just let the sneakers dry the old fashioned way. If your kids can get along without them for two hours, then they probably could go without them for a little longer until they dry out naturally.

Last but not least we have the Litterbugs. These folks are no-brainers… they’re the people who think that the best place for dryer lint and the dryer sheets and empty detergent containers… is the floor! They won’t really empty out the lint traps, and if they do they’ll just drop it on the floor. You know that these are people who really don’t give a damn. They know that SOMEONE will just come in and clean it up at some point, and they don’t have the time to walk a couple of steps to the trashcan.

Meanwhile, of course, you have parents that bring their kids with them, and you know that kids love to sit around and play in whatever mess they find. And then you have all sorts of people who are trying to do their laundry, and trying not to have anything that was already washed hit the floor, because then it’ll pick up whatever crap you leave behind! You know there is no eternal maid service showing up at these places. You’re lucky if you just have an attendant at one of these laundromats, and it’s even worse for the laundry room at a dormitory or apartment complex. All you’re doing when you leave crap everywhere is just being a dick.

I think that the key point here is something that was already mentioned in this rant… when you’re dealing with either a laundry room or a laundromat, you have to realize that these machines are NOT for YOUR EXCLUSIVE and PERSONAL use! You don’t OWN them. They’re not YOURS to do with as you wish. All you’re really doing is RENTING them, and even that’s for a relatively limited time.

Makes you wonder, though, how they would see things if some of their personal stuff would be used and abused by complete strangers day in and day out. Do you think they would be nonchalant about having deadbeats take advantage of their stuff? Probably not.

(Computer – some more good stuff that you have to hear to appreciate)
(Fade Music In – "Who Am I?" by Peace Orchestra)

I know that some of these little things seem a bit trite, but they also play a much larger role in the overall scheme of things. The little things that piss us off that goes on at the laundromat gets piled on top of the little things at work, and the little things that go on during our commute, and the little things that go on at the grocery store… and so on and so forth… and then we wonder why people snap.

Plus, you hear moralists get all in an uproar over an exposed boob or pimp-talking in our society, but you don’t hear these people talk about some of these little things. And while I have yet to hear anyone snapping over an exposed boob… I HAVE heard about people fighting over a washing machine.

I don’t know about you, but I think we have our social priorities mixed up.


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 sayinggood night, and I’ll speak with you soon!

(Fade out)

(Computer – Ending/"End of Recording")

[End of program]

Monday, March 06, 2006

Mac Cultists: yes, please get a life

One of the more annoying things that bug me about my fellow geeks are those who are, for lack of a better term, Mac Cultists. I'm talking people who live, breathe, eat, sleep nothing but Apple. I mean, yeah, I'm a Trekker. I understand the fascination with Star Trek, but there still comes a time when you have to come out of Gene Roddenberry's world and come back to the here-and-now.

I've worked with Apple computers. I've worked with the Apple IIe and the first incarnations of the Macs. Yes, the transformation looks neat, and of course the program is far more stable than Windows. That's because Apple controls 100% of the computer, both hardware and software. Your average run-of-the-mill PC running under either Windows or Linux is a hodgepodge of different companies and different providers. Your case is from one company, your motherboard is from another company, your processor is from a third company, and so on and so forth. Microsoft doesn't own the personal computer. It doesn't even come close to owning the computer. It just provides the tools to make those different applications work together. That's why Microsoft is buggy. It's trying to adapt to literally hundreds of possible companies, while Apple's Mac OS X has only had to deal with just one company... itself.

But it certainly doesn't warrant the cult-like following some Apple evangelicals exhibit, including the folks at

With that in mind, I was pleasantly surprised to see JoT come out with the following cartoon. Okay, it wasn't original... it was based on William Shatner's rant on Saturday Night Live... but it does speak volumes to those who have sold their souls to Steve Jobs.

Agree? Disagree? Think I'm a little off-base? Let me know by posting your reply.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Harry Browne: Rest In Peace

I received this very sad news from the Libertarian Party. Harry Browne was the Libertarain Party's candidate for President in 1996 and 2000. (And yes, I VOTED for him in both elections!) His best-selling book "How Government Doesn't Work" help bring a lot of people over to the ways of libertarianism, or at least helped to break up the idea that government can solve every problem. He may not have demonstrated that solid leadership that could have helped to overcome the Dem-Rep duopoly but his ideas will certainly be missed.

March 2, 2006


Libertarian Party Mourns the Loss of Beloved Candidate, Author, and Friend

Harry Browne Dies at Age 72

(Washington, D.C.) Former Libertarian Party Presidential Candidate, noted scholar, and investment advisor Harry Browne died at his home in Franklin,TN on the night of March 1, 2006, after a long illness.

A well-known inspirational speaker and writer, Harry was the author of 12 books that sold more than 2 million copies. In 1996 and 2000, he was the Libertarian Party’'s candidate for President of the United States, with popular vote totals of 485,798 and 384,431 respectively.

Harry was the founder of, a non-profit group dedicated to reducing the size of government and forcing governmental institutions into compliance with the Constitution. He authored several popular books on the libertarian movement and philosophy including, Why Government Doesn’t Work and The Great Libertarian Offer. In addition to these works on Libertarianism, Harry wrote investment advice books including You Can Profit from a Monetary Crisis and Fail-Safe Investing.

During Harry Browne’s campaigns, he made appearances in almost every state and was credited with over 1,000 media appearances. He was often praised by the media, and won the endorsements of multiple talk-show hosts and journalists.

“"Harry Browne’s actions and rhetoric were inspirations for me,"” stated Sam New, acting director of communications for the Libertarian Party. “"Through Harry’s writings, I began to understand what Libertarianism is. I trace the beginning of my involvement with the Party to him. His contributions to the Party will forever be evident. Harry will truly be missed by many supporters, followers, and friends around the world.”"

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Brutally Honest Rant - 03/01/06

Brutally Honest Audio Rant: The Next Conservative "Outrage"
Audio Transcripts

[Start Program]

(Computer – Introduction)
(Music intro – "American Idiot Remix" – by Green Day and 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.

I’m neither a mind reader nor a fortune-teller. I’ll tell you that right up front. But there are certain things that do seem somewhat predictable.

If a soap-opera couple is just too nice and too lovey-dovey, then they’re doomed for breakup. If you’re a celebrity, then anything that you have ever done in your life, no matter how secret, no matter how confidential it is, will eventually all come out. If you air a TV show that doesn’t explicitly glorify a certain religious belief, then you’re going to be accused of being ANTI-religious. Come up with a way to fix the tax code? Then you’re going to be accused of giving "tax-cuts to the rich"

Patterns of hatred and divisiveness are pretty much predictable, and when you have certain issues that YOU KNOW will come up at some point, then the more prepared you are, the better that you can neutralize the hatred and divisiveness.

But the REAL fun is not in predicting them, but rather it’s in exposing the outrage BEFORE it happens. Because there are some outrages that are deliberately prepared and timed well in advance. And I think that there’s one about ready to blow pretty soon.

In a couple of weeks from this rant, the movie "V for Vendetta" will hit the movie theatres. It stars Natalie Portman, John Hurt, and Hugo Weaving, it is produced by the same people who came up with the whole Matrix series, and it is based on the 1982 graphic novel series from DC Comics by Alan Moore and David Lloyd. The movie promos really don’t give the description justice. The setting for "V" takes place in a very, very BLEAK future of London. England is a totalitarian government where church and state are one, order is enforced at all costs, and those in the government can do whatever the hell they want to.

The hero in this story is a mysterious man known only as "V". Much like Morpheus in "The Matrix", he is considered to be a powerful and dangerous threat to the status quo. He’s basically… a terrorist. He blows things up and he kills people. He causes fear and uncertainty. That’s certainly a terrorist. And he’s the good guy in this story!

So now that you got the gist of this movie, here goes the future talking point: at some point prior to the movie coming out, you’re going to hear either Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, or some other conservative or neoconservative talking head get their Jesus Underoos in a bunch over the release of this movie and try to claim that this movie is a deliberate and specific slam against the Bush Imperium.

Matter of fact, I can almost hear Rush Limbaugh get in front of his EIB microphone and rant on and on about how "The liberal left is attacking the White House by painting it as a totalitarian regime." I can see Sean Hannity bitch and moan that Hollywood is trying to glorify terrorists and sabotage the Bush Imperium. I can hear Bill O’Reilly calling for a brand new "War on Hollywood" to go along with his fraudulent "War on Christmas". I can even hear the various Fox News talking heads wonder out loud in their little coffee klatch forums whether this kind of movie should be considered treasonous because it glorifies terrorism.
If you think about it, this would be a pretty good time for such a nonsensical tirade. The cons and neocons need some sort of diversion to get the people away from thinking about the lack of adequate aid for Hurricane Katrina, the problems in Iraq, the economy that they refuse to believe is in decline, the dropping poll numbers for the Imperium, and the scandal with the port deal with the United Arab Emirates. Let’s not forget the renewal of the PATRIOT Act, which is set to expire on March 10th. So the cons and neocons could even consider the promos for this movie political advertising.

Plus it wouldn’t be the first time that the cons and neocons made a claim that Hollywood was trying to paint the Bush Imperium in a bad light. Remember last year with the release of Star Wars, Episode III?

(Play clip from Episode III)

Ian McDiarmid:
"In order to ensure the security and the continuing stability, the Republic shall be reorganized into the FIRST GALACTIC EMPIRE… for a safe and secure SOCIETY!" (Heavy applause with musical fanfare)
Natalie Portman: "So this is how liberty dies… with thunderous applause."

Remember that? Remember how there was all of this talk about how Hollywood was trying to slam the White House and paint Bush Junior to be like Chancellor Palpetine? The cons and neocons were getting their Jesus Underoos all in knots over the comparrison.

Well you can imagine how much spin the talking heads will make out of this clip from the trailer for "V".

(Play clip from trailer for "V for Vendetta")

Unknown: "Fear became the ultimate tool of this government."
John Hurt: "I want this country to realize that we stand on the edge of oblivion. I want EVERYONE to REMEMBER WHY THEY NEED US!"
Natalie Portman:
"I wish that I wasn’t afraid all the time."
Hugo Weaving: "People shouldn’t be afraid of their governments. Government should be afraid of their people."

Pretty powerful message. And interspersed in the movie are pretty strong Orwellian images. One poster being displayed says "STRENGTH THROUGH UNITY - UNITY THROUGH FAITH". The symbol for this repressive state is a double-crucifix. Is any of this sounding a little like the stuff we’re seeing in the real world?

The correct answer should be "not anytime soon", but the really scary part is that we CAN see just a little bit of that dark future in the here and now.

The use of fear to get what the government wants? Absolutely! We have politicians that are OBSESSED with 9/11! It IS the ultimate tool for OUR REAL-LIFE government. Our president can’t begin a conversation without saying 9/11 at some point! "How’s the weather, President Bush?" "Well it’s good… it’s really good… well it’s better than it was on 9/11!"

The merging of church and state? Well the movie takes place in England, a country that has merged church and state for centuries, so that kind of blurring the line is to be expected. But here in the US? We’re not supposed to have that kind of merging here… and yet to some extent it has been happening, even more so in the past five years.

But let’s get brutally honest here… any time you have an overly aggressive government - like the kind we’re seeing with the Bush Imperium right now - there will ALWAYS be the temptation to take it all the way down the road to tyranny. The potential for abuse is ALWAYS there, no matter which political party is in charge. I was warning people about an abusive tyrannical government ten years ago when a DEMOCRAT was in charge of things, so don’t think for a moment that I’m going to give the Republicans any slack just because their Golden Boy Barney Fife is in the White House.

Having conservatives and neoconservatives bitching and crying about the kinds of movies that Hollywood crank out doesn’t absolve the current government from its abusive tendencies. It doesn’t absolve the Bush Imperium from bypassing the FISA court or for their "signing statement" which the president is using to RE-WRITE laws in a way that no member of the judiciary would ever be allowed to do.

If anything, these kinds of Orwellian movies and books REMIND us that such abuses in the government are WRONG! WE NEED these movies to remind ourselves just where that path of fear-mongering and perpetual warmongering takes us. It doesn’t take us towards peace and it certainly doesn’t take us towards freedom. That path only takes us to more fear and to more tyranny.

If Rush and Sean and O’Reilly and the rest of the Fox News coffee klatch people want to get on their soapboxes about "V" or "Star Wars" or some other FICTIONAL movie that reminds us of these abusive tendencies, then I have a good challenge for them. How about actually DEMONSTRATING what SAFEGUARDS are in place to PREVENT that kind of Orwellian future from happening? And how about demonstrating with SPECIFIC EXAMPLES how our current government has been kept in check by these safeguards? And, no, you can’t just say "trust us" because that excuse doesn’t work anymore. You want to bitch and cry about people making the natural comparison between the current government and a fictional dictatorship? Fine. Then the burden’s ON YOU FOLKS to prove otherwise.

I HAVE read the graphic novel that the movie was based on. It’s a damned good story… and without giving all the secrets away, I will tell you that the kind of evil that is experienced that leads the viewer towards that dark possible future of "V"… the utter atrocities… the crimes against humanity that happen… are the kinds of events that thankfully haven’t happened in the here-and-now. Plus, the Wachowski Brothers are on record as saying that they were trying to make this story into a movie BEFORE they started work on the whole Matrix series… and that was ten years ago, back when a certain DEMOCRAT was in charge of things.

This really all goes back to something that I have been saying for ten years now… the transformation of any society into an abusive tyrannical authoritarian government - whether that government is an oligarchy, a theocracy, a monarchy, or even a constitutional democracy – NEVER happens overnight. We don’t wake up one morning and suddenly see John Sutler’s black-uniformed thugs marching down Main Street. It only SEEMS like that because we blind ourselves to the transformation. We wrap ourselves up in flags and in patriotic symbols and buy into the zero-sum chant of "with us or against us". We delude ourselves into thinking that any steps towards tyranny are just temporary or just for that particular situation. We forget that there is no such thing as "temporary" or "limited" when it comes to government, especially one that is allowed to run unchecked.

No, the transformation NEVER happens overnight. It just happens because people forget that it can.

(Computer – "Fear is my ally" clip)
(Fade Music In – "In Amber Clad" by Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori)

As I wrap up tonight’s rant, I want to give you three little items… two of them are trivia, and the third is somewhat disturbing.

First: There’s an interesting twist in the movie "V for Vendetta" in that John Hurt is playing a character that was the complete opposite from the one that he’s best know for. In the movie "1984", based on the George Orwell novel, Hurt played Winston Smith, the everyman hero who was the victim of Big Brother. In "V", Hurt plays John Sutler, the leader of the movie’s version of Big Brother.

Second: The origin to the movie’s dark future will probably be changed, but in the original story by Alan Moore, one of England’s dark secrets was initiated by the United States under the administration of… and you’re not going to believe this one… President Edward "Teddy" Kennedy. You can probably see why the Wachowski Brothers would want to update that one.

And Third… A study by the McCormick Tribune Freedom Museum that came out today shows that more Americans can name all five family members of an animated cartoon series than they can list all five protections in the First Amendment. They can tell you who the judges are on American Idol, but they can’t tell you what the first three protections listed in the First Amendment are. Worse yet, one in five in this study believed that the First Amendment gave one the right to own a pet!

So let me ask you… how can the public be expected to stand up to tyranny when they have no idea what their rights are, never mind how those rights can get subverted?

I’ll let you think about that for a bit…


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 – End/"End of Recording")

[End of program]