Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Brutally Honest Rant - 05/31/06

Brutally Honest Audio Rant: The True Test Of Freedom
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.

Well it seems like it was just last year, or even possibly two years ago, that I said that I get worried about the period of time between Memorial Day and Labor Day. This is the period of time when we have all of these people trying to put on airs about how "patriotic" they supposedly are. They wrap their self-righteous egos around the American flag and desecrate its very meaning while attempting to turn it into a cult object. They pass laws to show just how "patriotic" they are and put on these BIG demonstrations to show just how much they "love" America.

And I don’t mind the big demonstrations. If you want to satisfy your ego to wear Old Glory as a hat, a sport coat, a tie, pants, shoes, and boxer shorts and make yourself look downright ridiculous, that’s your choice. We get the message: you have an identity problem. You can’t identify yourself without wrapping around a nationalistic symbol. Fair enough.

But what really bothers me about this season of symbolism over substance is that in demonstrating their cult-like obsession with nationalistic patriotism, our elected and appointed grifters and shysters will often push for and enact laws that actually DENEGRATE the very things that MAKE America so great in the first place! They will actually degrade FREEDOM!

Now folks, I’ve said it before and I will say it again, I LOVE freedom! I will fight for and support the freedoms that 99% of the populace refuse to recognize! I’m not one of these self-righteous pretentious conservatives or liberals who only TALK about freedom and thinks that it just makes for a convenient buzzword. I explore the subject! I try to see just how far that freedom should go, because THAT is what sets America apart from any other country in the world! It’s got nothing to do with how much money we have or how many bombs we have or how thin we can spread our forces all around the world. What makes America so great – in theory anyway – is the level of FREEDOM the people have.

And unfortunately there is a price for freedom. You can’t just waive it about on a banner at parades. You have to actually DEFEND it. And I don’t just mean from terrorists halfway around the world. You have to also defend it against the conservatives and the liberals and the theocrats and the rest of the demagogues in THIS country!

And the true and ONLY test of freedom is when you defend the freedom of some group or some position that absolutely makes you sick to your stomach!

Do you REALLY think that the American Civil Liberties Union really WANTED to go to bat to defend the freedoms of pedophiles and neo-Nazi groups? Sure they were laughing all the way when they went to court to defended Rush Limbaugh, but that’s only because people like Limbaugh have been trying to make the ACLU extinct. It was a simply karma that Limbaugh would eventually put himself in a situation where the liberal organization would be OBLIGATED to help him out! But pedophiles and neo-Nazi groups? I really don’t see them getting chopping at the bit over those cases.

And yet, that’s the kind of position that I’m in right now… and I know I’m going to piss off a few people here, but I have to go to bat to defend the freedom of a group that really pisses me off.

You see… The Bush Imperium kicked off the season of hyperactive patriotic displays by signing into law the so-called "Respect for America's Fallen Heroes Act", which prohibits any kind of demonstration near or around cemeteries for one hour before and one hour after the funeral service for fallen soldiers. The penalty for violating this federal law is a $100,000 fine and a year in prison.

Now… WHY, you ask, is there even a NEED for this kind of law? Because there’s some nut-job extremist religious group from Kansas that feels that these servicemen are dying to atone for America’s so-called "sin". That’s right, as long as America supposedly "tolerates" gays and lesbians, God is punishing America by killing the servicemen. That’s the big lie being spewed about by this religious group.

Mind you, this isn’t the first time this extremist religious group has had a mad-on obsessive hatred of gays and lesbians. This is the same religious group that used to protest AIDS victims at hospices and at their funerals, claiming that AIDS was just "God’s punishment". This is the group that waves around signs that say "GOD HATES FAGS". They obviously weren’t getting any mileage off that message at the hospices and funerals - because AIDS victims are living longer thanks to better medicine - so they just went after a more convenient target… the soldiers who died in the service of the United States.

These are basically attention-starved pricks. These are people that have no shame and they have no mercy for anything that falls contrary to their religious beliefs. And they obviously don’t mind stretching their arguments a little bit to justify the targets of their protests.

And now I am in the unenviable position of having to DEFEND their protests against what I believe is, without a doubt, a BAD LAW… and a knee-jerk piss-poor method of dealing with these bastards.

Obviously I don’t agree with what this extremist religious group is spewing, and I happen to think that what they are doing is disgusting and shameful. But you know what? Passing a FEDERAL LAW that PROHIBITS protests is not the way to deal with this problem!

First of all, this religious group gets their jollies off attention. That’s WHY they do WHAT they do. That’s the REAL reason why they’re targeting military funerals. And the typical retort of countering speech with more speech only serves to help their cause. You want to know what really hurts them? Being ignored. Don’t give them the media attention. Don’t bother responding to their protests.

Instead, they got all the attention in the world because now there’s a FEDERAL LAW that was CUSTOM-MADE just for THEM! Politicians actually took time out of their corrupt lives JUST to address this situation! I mean, these bastards are probably stoked right now. They’ve probably got some SERIOUS Viagra erections just knowing what kind of attention they’re getting because of this.

But why I think this is a bad law has got little to do with what this group did to warrant this law, and everything to do with what this law does.

Let’s get brutally honest here… this federal law basically carves out yet another exception to the First Amendment. It’s yet another limitation on free speech. Granted it’s not one that you or I would even think about exercising, but it’s still another limitation nonetheless.

And just how far will this law be taken to? Okay, so you’ve chased away the radical extremist religious group from military funerals. But why stop there? Why stop with the funerals for ACTIVE servicemen and servicewomen? Shouldn’t the sacrifice of veterans be just as important? Let’s say Congressman John Murtha or Senator John McCain shuffle off this mortal coil tomorrow… what is to stop those same religious lunatics from showing up at THEIR funerals? Hey, they’re not active servicemen anymore!

I guess that means that the law has to get changed again, doesn’t it? No protests at funeral services for military veterans as well. And Congress will no doubt throw in a ban against protests at funerals for themselves and for other politicians. I mean, if you’re going to toss in some more exceptions to the U.S. Constitution, why not squeeze in one for yourself?

But why stop with the servicemen and servicewomen? Police officer and firemen put their lives on the line all the time for the sake of the community. Why not give them the same kind of special status when they die while on duty?

And how about the people IN the funeral service? What about if one of those grieving family members says something that questions the White House or questions why that person died? Are the police going to arrest that person as well? Hey, the door is already open on that issue. It’s just a matter of how wide the government will allow it to be.

And let’s not forget that these fundamentalists from Kansas will simply find another venue if they can’t protest at the cemeteries. They’ll go set up protests at the funeral home, or at the church where the services are. They’ll find out where the wake’s going to be and show up there. Ban those places too? Fine. They’ll go after the military recruiting centers, or show up at the airports. Anyplace where they can get attention, they’ll be there with their "God Hates Fags" signs and their self-righteous proselytizing. Who knows? They might even show up at your next July 4th parade or next year’s Memorial Day Parade, just to piss people off! Because that’s what they do!

The point I’m trying to make is this… If we’re going to really appreciate and respect what our servicemen and servicewomen are putting their lives on the line for in this country, then we need to do more than just give lip service to freedom. We need to practice it even with groups that make us sick to our stomachs!

I understand what our servicemen and servicemen are dying for! I appreciate their sacrifice! And I happen to think that it’s disgusting to see these religious protesters leech onto a time of sorrow just so they can continue to spread their message of hate and divisiveness. But passing a law that limits the very freedom that these people died for is sure as hell not the way to honor their sacrifice.

You want to get rid of those protesters? Don’t give them the satisfaction of acknowledging their existence! The minute they realize that the media won’t give them one photo or one mention in their articles, then they’ll go away.

(Computer – a few appropriate words on the subject, but you have to hear the rant to know what they are)
(Fade Music In – "Mythodea" by Vangelis)

You know, we talk a lot about rights in this country, but we always forget that there are some so-called rights that simply do not exist in a free society.

For instance, in a free society… you DO NOT have a right to not be OFFENDED. You DO NOT have a right to not be DISGUSTED. You DO NOT have a right to not be INSULTED. You DO NOT have a right to not be OUTRAGED. You DO NOT have a right to not be DISRESPECTED… and I know this is going to piss off a lot of people, but YOU DO NOT have a right to not have your name or your cause DISHONORED by others for their own self-centered purposes. Believe me, our elected grifters and shysters are repeat offenders of that last part.

If you’re looking for those kinds of false promises from the government, then you’re certainly in the wrong part of the world. Try looking in the Middle East… you’ll find those kinds of phony rights in abundance.


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]

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Brutally Honest Rant - 05/24/06

Brutally Honest Audio Rant: Real Answers For A Simple Question
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.

You know, sometimes a really simple question requires a really simple answer.

Unfortunately when it comes to politics, there is no such thing as a really simple answer to even the simplest of questions. Oh those kinds of answers are out there, but you’re not going to hear them from the people that NEED to answer them.

Here’s one of those simple questions that was asked over at the Fox News website: Why do the political parties – Democrats and Republicans of course – champion flawed or screwed-up candidates?

Let’s say you have a really popular person who wants to run for office. He’s perfect for the job, and the person currently holding the job is inept and incompetent and corrupt to the core. This candidate has potential, he’s popular, and already has a campaign issue that would carry him through the election. Common sense says that this should be the person to run.

BUT the party bosses have someone else in mind for the job. A veritable nobody who’s more known for his work behind-the-scenes. The only thing that this candidate has on his side is party loyalty, but that’s all that the bosses care for, so they’re going to reward that person with their support.

Guess what that means? Yup, the party bosses will pull out all of the stops to get the popular figure to drop out of the race and possibly put his support behind the nobody, even though the nobody will certainly lose the election.

I’m sure we’ve all heard a few of those instances, right?

Or just the fact that you have some politician who continuously gets elected and re-elected who’s flawed and corrupt and couldn’t work an honest day even if they paid an honest man to do it. But he or she still gets elected and re-elected because they know how to play the game.

And like me, you’ve probably been asking yourselves "WHY" this has been allowed to go on for some time. I mean, you take a look at the number of people who vote. The more pathetic the race, and the more disgusting the candidates, the fewer people that actually give a crap and show up at the polls. And the party bosses KNOW this! If they want their party to win all they have to do is find a really good candidate to match them up against the corrupt incumbent. But they don’t do that!

Now this could and SHOULD have been a no-brainer question. But instead, Fox News turned to a former member of Congress who focused on the examples instead of actually answering the question. Obviously that trick would work for some folks… but not for yours truly.

And in truth, anyone currently IN the system really doesn’t want you to know the answer to that question! It’s the white elephant in the middle of the room that nobody wants to talk about and nobody wants to acknowledge is there, and yet you can’t help but know that it’s there.

Why do the parties field flawed candidates?

Well let’s get brutally honest here… the reason why these parties field flawed candidates is because THEY CAN!

Our political system, whether we like it or not, has been corrupted and corroded by a duopoly. That’s a two-party monopoly, in case you didn’t know what the word means. Two dominant and domineering political parties that have been in power for so long that they actually believe that they have a Manifest Destiny to rule over us.

And the sad truth is that for the most part, our country has been run by two dominant political parties. That may be a bitter truth about our political history, but that still doesn’t make it right. And contrary to the delusions in places like Florida, it wasn’t ALWAYS the Democrats and the Republicans! Sure there was a limited period of time when there was NO dominant political party, but that more or less came to an end after Abraham Lincoln got elected… representing a little-known fringe third-party group of the time called the Grand Old Party… or the GOP.

So what happens when you have a monopoly, or in this case a duopoly? Concentrated power brings up feelings of entitlement. They’re not there to serve the masses. They can’t even claim to serve the voters anymore. They’re there to serve THEMSELVES. They’re there to serve themselves and their party bosses and all of the lobbyists that funnel money their way. THOSE are the ONLY people that matter in their world.

And when you have an instituted monopolistic system, what happens? Then there’s no real incentive for quality. Quality work, quality service… these thing go right out the door when you have a monopolistic system in place.

The best example of this is your local cable service. Remember when it came out? There was this big push for every community to have Cable TV… and they got it… and of course it was and still is regulated by the local government. There is usually only one service for the area, so here you have a GOVERNMENT-SANCTIONED monopoly.

Bear in mind that there were very few alternatives when Cable TV ruled. What, go back to rabbit ears? You were screwed if you lived in an apartment, or if you lived in an area where you can’t get anything without putting in a huge antenna that some zoning boards and local neighborhoods deem to be an "illegal eyesore".

And what did you get for your subscription? You’d get your local channels, a couple of extra channels, and possibly a couple of movie channels if you were willing to pay for them. Pay-Per-View services were limited to the occasional special events, and of course you’d pay through the nose for them. The channels you would get were pre-determined by the cable company, and they would set up these bizarre billing packages instead of an all-inclusive price for all of the standard channels.

And the service? Well if you needed something set up, they’d come to help… eventually. And if you had a problem, they’d come to fix it… at some point. Just don’t hold your breath.

Today, however, it’s totally different. Today cable companies offer digital signals, high-speed Internet access, movies on demand, digital music, and even Internet phone service! And while service isn’t always instantaneous, it certainly beats the hell out of asking the rhetorical question of the past… namely "You want it WHEN?"

So what happened to change the cable companies for the better? Competition!

Back in the 1990’s digital satellite made its debut, changing from the monster radio dishes that were banned by local zoning boards (sometimes at the behest of the cable companies) to little pizza dishes that you could put on a porch railing in your backyard. They offered a larger variety of cable channels, ALL of the movie channels, ALL of the pay-per-view opportunities, movies on demand, digital music, and, yes, eventually high speed Internet access! The service was faster, more readily available, and competitive with the cable companies!

And now with even the phone companies offering high-speed Internet access through DSL and providing downloadable movies, the cable companies have something to really worry about. They HAD to change and offer more features, because if they didn’t they would be going out of business.

Well that’s the way it is with our political system. It is under duopolist control, and while there ARE alternatives, those alternatives are stymied heavily by rules that were written by and exercised exclusively for the benefit of the two dominant political parties. And it is because of this corrupt and dysfunctional system that neither party has any incentive to look for or champion ideal candidates that will serve the public instead of their own pockets.

And that’s also WHY they don’t want you to know the really simple answer to that really simple question. It’s really all about keeping power.

(Computer – you may have heard this clip, or you may haven’t… but you won’t know if you don’t hear it)
(Fade Music In – "Mythodea" by Vangelis)

You know, I always found it hypocritical that we as a community can think that it’s great to have five or six different grocery stores… twenty or so different gas stations… five Wal-Mart stores within a ten-mile radius of any community… thirty-two flavors of ice cream… 500-channels on TV… and fifty ways to leave your lover… but that it’s somehow sacrilegious to have more than TWO political parties and more than ONE perspective in religion.

Well we can’t do too much about discussing religion because that’s really just ego-gratification, but there is something that can be done about the problems we have with BOTH political parties. If you want the political parties to start throwing their support behind GOOD candidates… candidates that will ACTUALLY represent the voters instead of the special interests… candidates that won’t rob America blind and then cover it up with a phony crisis layered in demagoguery… then there needs to be REAL competition in the system… and that can only come from the third-party candidates! It’s only when these political parties face some serious challenges do they actually do something to EARN their votes.

But as long as voters sit back and listen to the lies and the zero-sum arguments from the liberals and conservatives and their respective talking head representatives in the media… And then continue to support either Democrats or Republicans or else not vote, then they will never get the kind of government that they NEED. They’ll just end up with the kind of government that they DESERVE.


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]

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Another Reason Why The GOP Abandoned Me

Okay, so I come home, thoroughly pissed off at some of the bad turns of the day, and I get two messages on my answering machine. One of them is from a good friend of mine who lost her computer’s motherboard. That really sucks!

The other is from the Polk County GOP! It’s a TELEMARKETING call! They want me to attend a GOP rally in Polk County.

Folks, I’m NOT with the GOP! I left them over a decade ago when they left me and people like me after the ‘88 elections. And I sure as hell don’t live in Polk County! Why the hell am I getting a phone call from the GOP for a county that I don’t live in? Who’s the corrupt politician that sold my name for that list?

So guess what? I’m going to broadcast the number to everyone! I can’t get the number blocked… and because it was a political party making the call, the Do Not Call law doesn’t apply here.

This is the number of the stupid-ass GOP telemarketer who had no business calling me: 708-857-5009

And I don’t know who I’m pissed off with more… the stupid-ass GOP telemarketer for calling me when I don’t even LIVE in Polk County… or BellSouth, for not letting me block this stupid-ass GOP telemarketer, and for letting it get past the "anonymous call blocking" feature that I’m PAYING for! Why the hell am I paying for a service that I can’t even use because of these BS rules about which number I can block? I’m PAYING for the option to BLOCK a number, so I want that number BLOCKED! PERIOD! That’s what CALL BLOCK means! They don’t get to call me! Ever!

I have had it with these telemarketers! I’m posting numbers! Every single telemarketer that foolishly calls me will end up right here on my blog page! I don’t care who you are, I don’t care what you’re trying to sell me, you've pissed me off, and you’re going to get named.

Brutally Honest Rant - 05/17/06

Brutally Honest Audio Rant: Connecting The Dots
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.

As I’m doing this rant, it’s the middle of May. We’re well into the graduation season. This is the time when the young generation graduate from either high school or college and either head off for higher education or join the workforce. This is the time when we are inundated with graduation speeches made by actors and politicians and so-called intellectuals… and yes even some members from the air-fluffed, ego-driven media. And these people will get in front of the podium and talk about the challenges of the world and how THEY need to answer those challenges and to use what they know to CHANGE the world.

And you know what? A lot of what these paid mouthpieces… these hired soothsayers… will say will go in one ear and out the other!

You know why? Because it really doesn’t apply to them!

Change the world? Right the wrongs? Solve the problems of the world? Fuggetaboutit!

How the hell do you expect people to be able to change the world when most of them will be trying to pay off their college tuition loans for the next twenty years?

Changing the world isn’t exactly high up on the priority list of most graduates. You want to know what is? WORK. Money! Being able to transform those years of education into gainful employment so they can pay off those expensive loans. And maybe… just maybe… getting enough coin together to have a life and buy a piece of that Great American Dream that we keep on hearing about. That’s usually what’s high up on the list… and if it isn’t then it will be once those bills start coming in.

BUT that doesn’t sound too altruistic, does it? Here you have institutions of education full of people who are full of theories about how the world SHOULD be, working in places where they don’t HAVE to really put those theories to the test. They’d like to think that they’re molding and shaping the next Presidents of the United States, not the next bunch of Enron executives… although given the current and previous residents of the White House there’s really not much of a difference between the two. Thus they use that brief public spotlight of their glorious institution to continue to spread those glorious dreams of how the world SHOULD be, and what their graduates SHOULD be doing after spending all of that time and money in their institution.

And of course those highly paid big-name speakers that show up and get their honorary degree along with that big fat check of theirs are really there to help give that institution some public credibility. It’s basically an endorsement with robes and tassels.

Ironic isn’t it? Just past the philanthropic words of these institutions are the purely self-centered mercenary interests that really keep them going from year to year.

But one of the things that sort of annoy me about education is that all too often we are focused not necessarily with the process but with the results. We’re interested in the correct answers. That’s why students get the Cliffs Notes version of books instead of the real thing. They just boil things down to the key important parts, which would be needed for tests. It’s almost like getting the answers.

Let’s get brutally honest here… one of the real problems that we have with our society isn’t a matter not knowing what the answers are, but being TOLD what those answers are instead of actually connecting the dots on our own and putting two and two together. We go through the education system and people are interested in RESULTS, not really how they got there, or of what to do with the results now that they have them. Sure, understanding the essentials of any subject matter is important, but that’s just the first step. Now that you know the basics, you have to figure out how to APPLY them.

And what happens in the real world? We end up with people who don’t really KNOW what is right or wrong using THEIR own definitions, because they don’t have any. They simply follow someone else’s definitions, whether that other person is a politician or a religious leader or a talk show host. They pick up the bullet points and talking points from the talking heads much like they used to get the Cliffs Notes. They get the ten second sound bytes from the alphabet soup media and think that it’s all of the information they really need! And I’m not talking about JUST the liberals or JUST the conservatives… both groups are just as guilty of this. They don’t want you to think. They just want you to listen and OBEY.

Well I have a pop quiz for everyone, young and old. It’s a three-part quiz, and only YOU have the answers to these questions.

Here’s the first quiz:

For those of you who are convinced that being rich is evil, I want you to take a good long and hard look at the people that are complaining the loudest about the rich. Who are they? What do they do for a living? How do THEY live their lives? Where do these people go when the media lights are off them? And why is it that corporate executives get vilified for making millions of dollars, but so-called "professional athletes" can make just as much money and people don’t bat an eyelash over it?

Here’s the second quiz:

For those of you who wear your religion on your sleeve and think that the whole world should share your beliefs whenever and wherever you go, I want you to go back to the New Testament and read up about a group of people called the Pharisees. Find out what they did to earn the ire of a certain travelling carpenter’s son, and what this travelling carpenter’s son recommended people to do so they won’t be mistaken for a Pharisee. Then compare that to some of today’s religious leaders who own multimillion dollar buildings, can afford air-conditioned dog houses, and own diamond mines in Africa and find out where these people would REALLY stand in the eyes of that same travelling carpenter’s son based on those words.

Here’s the third quiz, and I’ll start it off with an actual definition from Webster’s Dictionary:

1: a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition
2: a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control

Now for those of you who claim to be STRONG patriots, I want you to compare that definition to the actions of the past fifteen years by our government – both under Bill Clinton and George W. Bush – and ask yourself if those actions fit any part of the definition I just gave you from Webster’s Dictionary. Compare that definition to the PATRIOT Act, to Bill Clinton’s "Know Your Customer" program, to the NSA’s wiretapping programs, to the drug laws, and to the chaotic rules in the airports.

And for extra credit: see if you can tell the difference between "Rule of Law" and "Rule of Man" and ask yourself if an action is legal simply because the President says it is.

The point I’m trying to make is this… no matter how much education you have, there is always one final comprehensive exam that you have to deal with. It’s the test of you trying to figure out what you have learned and putting it to practice in the real world. And all of the teachers and all of the Cliffs Notes and bullet points won’t help you here.

This is where you have to take all of the things that you’ve picked up from school… all of the thing that you’ve picked up from your family and friend and peers… all of the things that you’ve picked up from the media… and yes even the talking points and sound byte clips from talk radio and the air-fluffed members of the media…and put them all together to come up with your own answers. YOUR answers. Not some talking head’s answer. Not some politician’s answer. Not some answer passed down from your parents or some ancient text. Yours. Completely yours.

Now… if you can do that, then you’ve truly passed the final exam.

(Computer – clever mix of audio clips that you have to hear to appreciate)
(Fade Music In – "Who am I" by Peace Orchestra)

There is a difference between knowledge and intelligence. Knowledge is the collection of information. It means getting all of those tidbits that you see and hear and read about. Intelligence, though, is being able to put all of that information to use. You see, it’s not enough that you KNOW things. It’s also important that you can figure out how you can apply it.

That’s something that too many people don’t want you to do. They don’t want you to come up with the answers. They don’t want you to put the pieces together. They don’t want you to do that because that is where THEIR power comes from. Their power rests in being able to tell you what the answers are.

Think about all of those people who are fixated on what some book tells them to do, or on what some minister or politician or some talk show host tells them to do. They may have some knowledge, but they don’t know how to use it. And in that regard, even if they have all of this knowledge, they still come off with as much intelligence as a box of rocks.


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]

Monday, May 15, 2006

SpeakSpeak, where art thouthou?, the blogging website that was started to supposedly counter the bible-thumping, freedom-hating censorship groups, has been offline for well over a week now, and someone like me has to wonder what happened to it.

Okay, so there are several MILLION blog sites out there today... and thanks to, there are plenty more every day (and yes you can find me there as well), but you don't find too many of them that are done specifically to counter the moralist groups like the Parents Television Council.

And that makes you wonder WHY suddenly went off the grid. Did the moralists get to them? Did the moralists get to the privider? Remember, these people have connections to those in the GOVERNMENT. It's not hard to come up with some sort of behind-the-scenes wrangling that comes out of a Tom Clancey novel.

And why do I care? Well because I checked these things on occasion, and yes I even post some thoughts to some of their entries on occasion. Yes, any promotion for my own blog helps.

So if anyone has any word as to what happened to SpeakSpeak, please do telltell in the comments section, and I'll try to keep you updated on this.

Update (05/28/06): is still offline, but I have been assured by someone in the know that this WASN'T because of the government or the moralist groups. I'd like to be 100% certain of it, of course, but I've seen the extent of what moralists can do to get what they want. Still, I'm hoping that at some point, the owner of SpeakSpeak decides to restart this.

In the meantime, head on over to TV Watch and check out their stuff. Hopefully we can keep interest going and keep the fight for free speech going.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Brutally Honest Rant - 05/10/06

Brutally Honest Audio Rant: A Matter Of Money
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 have a simple question for you tonight… one that seems simple to answer, but not one that people really put too much thought into.

Where does your money come from?

I’m not asking that to toss out some grandiose conspiracy theory about the kind of money you get or how much it’s worth or anything like that. Like I said, it’s a simple question. Where does your money come from?

Are you a student? Do you work, or does mommy and daddy pay your way?

Are you a Stepford Pod Person living out there in suburbia, terrorizing other drivers in your urban assault vehicle as you haul your kids around town? Well then what does your spouse do for a living?

Are you retired? How did you get your retirement money? Save up over the years? 401K program?

Are you a trust fund baby? Who gave you that trust fund?

Do you work for a living? Who do you work for? Most of you do work for a living. Who’s your boss? What’s your job? How does your workplace get its money?

You see… it’s a simple question, but it’s also one that we quite often forget about.

Back when I lived in New Hampshire, I attended a local school board meeting. Now in New Hampshire, local school boards are really public forums in the true democratic way. The school board doesn’t vote on the budget… the citizens do! And at this special meeting, the vote was about whether or not the taxpayers should fund this HUGE school expansion project. Now as a taxpayer and as a registered voter, I was well within my rights to vote, and I did. I voted AGAINST the proposed HUGE expansion project in favor of a limited one, because I knew back then that the economy was about to sour for the area and it wouldn’t be worth burdening the taxpayers when they wouldn’t be able to afford it. Turned out I was right… again… but the people who attended still voted overwhelmingly for that expensive expansion project.

And it was at that time that I noticed that a good number the people who were strong proponents for this huge expanded project that got passed had one thing in common with each other… they all were apartment dwellers. These were people who didn’t own a house! Meanwhile, a good number of people who spoke out against the really expensive project, or who – like me – wanted to pass the alternative program, pretty much had one thing in common too. They were people who owned houses. They owned property. Mind you, I didn’t own a house at the time, but my parents did, so I knew why it was important.

Now, why does this matter? Because the money for this project was collected through property taxes. If you owned land in that school district, then you ended up getting taxed to high heaven to pay for this project and for all of the other school-related budgeted activities. BUT, of course, if your don’t own a house in the school district, then you can vote for any kind of budget you want and it doesn’t affect YOU any because you don’t have to pay for it!

You see, that’s when I began to notice this problem people seem to have with money. There seems to be this general disconnect when it comes to dealing with money, and it has to do with how people see where the money comes from.

Take, for instance, the government. Federal, state, or local - it really doesn’t matter - they all seem to spend tax money like there’s no tomorrow. You have all sorts of programs that get proposed and passed without so much as a second thought, and that’s especially true with the federal government. There are so-called "emergency spending bills" that get proposed that are loaded up with so much damned PORK that can’t even justify "emergency spending". And if you were to look at each of these pork programs one at a time, you’d find the same justification for each of them. "Well, it’s ONLY a couple of million dollars… we can afford a couple of million dollars! We’re spending $100 MILLION on this emergency project, so we can afford an extra million or two for my ego-gratifying project!" And they’ll say that every time with a wink and a smile because THEY KNOW PRECISELY where the money comes from… or in their case, where the money DOESN’T come from… which is their own pocket. No, they KNOW that by hook or by crook, they’ll find a way to TAX the crap out of us, because THAT is where there money comes from!

I’ve got news for you folks… every penny that comes out of your paycheck TODAY is paying for taxes that were already allocated and spent by Congress YEARS AGO! And it doesn’t matter which political party is to blame for it, because both the Democrats AND the Republicans are forever damnably guilty of doing this! And we’ll allow it because we’re so caught up in the spending and blaming other people for it that we don’t realize just where the money comes from!

Here’s a great example: windfall profits tax and corporate taxes and all of these other taxes meant to supposedly "punish the rich". And THAT IS what these kinds of taxes are… they written by, designed, and enacted on the pretext of PUNISHING wealthy people. So WHERE do these corporations get their money? It just doesn’t magically appear out of thin air. Every penny that they get comes, in one way or another, from US. And like everything else that they have to pay for, taxes are nothing more than an expenditure in the business world. It’s overhead. It gets paid for with the money that their business brings in… which comes from US. In other words, people, WE end up paying those taxes FOR them through the higher prices on goods and services.

Didn’t think about that, did you? Probably not.

Where does your money come from?

That’s a really great question to ask, especially when it comes to the job market.

You ever see a town slowly die? I have. It’s not a pretty sight. Half-constructed buildings litter the local highways; all work stopped because the deal fell through on it. The local mall suddenly losing anchor stores one after another. BUT the town idiots are happy, because they just opened up a Waffle House restaurant! Isn’t that special? They’ll have JOBS! And a new mini-mall just opened up with the fourteenth nail salon and video rental store that won’t last six months. Sure all of those factory workers have been out of luck for five years, but, hey, we need greeters at the new Wal-Mart that just opened up! There are some seriously delusional little pissant politicians who get themselves all excited without ever realizing that the businesses that REALLY bring in the money for the community are gone and they won’t be coming back. And all of these other little businesses that are coming in are dependent on the money generated from the industries, which is why those little stores won’t last but for a year or two without that needed income.

Where does your money come from?

You know which group has this problem? Unions! Here’s a group of people who are obsessed with one thing: making sure that employees get as much money and as many employee perks as possible. And if it drives a company into bankruptcy or worse? Too bad! Not THEIR problem! It’s not their problem to worry about where the money comes from! They just want to make sure the employees will get as much as possible and to hell with the consequences.

Remember that school board meeting I went to? The other people who really, REALLY wanted that huge expensive expansion project were the teachers. And they didn’t care how much it cost. They didn’t care because they didn’t have to worry about where the money came from.

Fast-forward to today. The Fulton County School Board just authorized a serious hit on property taxes here in the Atlanta area, even though student enrollment for the whole county is FALLING. But the teachers unions don’t care! Why should they? They don’t have to worry about where the money comes from! They just dictate to the county to pay up.

Where does your money come from?

The medical community has this problem in SPADES. They’ll hit you up with every possible test and every possible procedure because THEY KNOW that someone will pay for it. It may not be you. It may be someone else. That’s why the cost of prescription drugs is so high. They know that SOMEONE will pay for it, no matter how much it costs. Nine times out of ten, it’s an insurance company. But they gotta get that money from somewhere, right? Guess where THAT money comes from? It comes from the rest of us. That’s why health insurance costs also climb higher and higher. The medical community doesn’t care where the money comes from, and the pharmaceuticals don’t care where the money comes from, and the insurance companies will be happy to pay for it but only if they can pass that cost on to the rest of US… because THAT is where THEY get their money from!

Let’s get brutally honest here… we have a general disconnect with money because in too many instances we fail to ask ourselves that one simple question. We lose sight of where the money comes from and that’s when we get into trouble.

Take a look at your own lives. Take a look at your own expenses. How many of you have simply gone spend-crazy? I mean just go to the store or just go online shopping and just rack things up on the credit card and then feel really guilty about it later on. Trust me, I’ve done it too, and it really hurt me. Sure it’s a compulsion. But what happens at that point? You’re not thinking about where the money will come from for it.

And credit cards just make that situation that much worse because you’re thinking you have all of this extra money that you don’t have to pay for right now, only to find out later on that you WILL have to pay for it… and with interest.

Listen, folks, the only way we can be truly responsible for our own lives is to keep track of where our money comes from. This is a lesson that I that had to learn the hard way, and so do a lot of other people. We cannot afford to simply say "let someone else pay for it" or just not worry about where the money will come for it.

Trust me, whenever we do that, whenever we lose track of where our money comes from, that’s when we get SCREWED.

(Computer – a light mix of sounds, but you still have to hear them to appreciate them.)
(Fade Music In – "Flawed Legacy" by Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori)

I have an interesting little story about this subject. My parents have been together for forty years now, and for the longest time, my mom was the one that handled all of the expenses. My father would be somewhat generous about things, while my mom was a bit of a penny-pincher. I mean, it wasn’t easy for my father at the time either, because there were plenty of times when he had to work five jobs, but there were also plenty of times when he simply splurged on my sister and I. He wasn’t above simply saying "hey, let’s go to Panama City for the day" or "hey, let’s go out to eat."

Then, a few years ago, my parents changed roles. My father would handle the bills and the expenses. And suddenly everything is about the money for my father, while my mom would suddenly decide to take trips.

You can probably guess what happened, right? It was at that point that my father realized just where the money came from. And that’s what happens when you have to keep track of the bills, folks. That’s when you start to be a little more responsible for how the money is spent.


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]

Monday, May 08, 2006

Cruise: It's Not About YOU!

I have an open message to Tom Cruise... scientologist, actor, new daddy...


By "IT" I mean these publicity junkets for your movies. You know, the ones that sorta-kinda aren't making that much money as expected.

By all accounts, "M: I3" and "War of the Worlds" should have done great in the box office. They should have brought in the big bucks. Instead, they brought in mediocre money.

Do you know why, Tom? Look in the mirror.

When the media went looking for the scoop about these movies, they instead had to deal with "TomKat"... as in you and your girlfriend Katie Holmes. First it was "TomKat" in love, now it's "TomKat" with baby.

I've got news for you, Tom... people don't go to the movies to see "TomKat". They get enough of that on TV. They go to the movies to be entertained. They want to see a story. They want to see a character who happens to be played by you. They DO NOT want to see YOU, who happens to play a character!

Remember those other movies you did... the ones that brought in the biggest bucks and made you the star name that you are today? Guess what was missing from them? The minutae about your personal life! Remember the movie you did with your previous wife? Sorta-kinda flopped didn't it? You know why? Because it was all about you and your wife!

Get the picture?

Look, I'm glad you found someone new in your life, and that you're both happy enough to bring in a new tax deduction. Good for you! But you need to keep what you do in perspective, because these studios aren't spending big bucks in movie promotions just so you can put your personal life in the spotlight.

So before your next big blockbuster movie comes out, Tom, you take Katie and little baby Suri someplace nice and quiet for your wedding. Have a nice honeymoon. Let the "TomKat" thing fade away, and your next movie will probably be another big box office bonanza.

Just remember that it's NOT about YOU.

Friday, May 05, 2006

The White House Sacrifices Continue!

CIA Director Porter Goss is the latest victim of the Great White House Purge of 2006.

The funny thing is... he just got in and was trying to fix the ineptitude of his predecessor! Now if this guy was such a GREAT administrator and someone who was really doing a great job at fixing the ineptitude of the CIA, then WHY is he leaving? That's just stupid!

And rumors are abound that the Treasury Secretary may be the next to fall on his sword.

Of course, this is just a feeble Nixonian attempt at fixing the problem without fixing the problem. These fools think that just shuffling the deck chairs will save their PR Titanic from sinking.

Listen, Junior, if you want the Imperium to improve its poll numbers, then these are the people who should REALLY be purged:
  1. Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove
  2. Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman
Get rid of these two, and your poll numbers will go up. Rove's departure neutralizes the Valerie Plame affair, and Bodman's departure will demonstrate to the voters that the Imperium is SERIOUS about getting America off foreign oil.

Oh, and let VP Cheney stay in... bad ticker and poor marksmanship and all... because that's probably your best insurance policy... just like Dan Quayle was to your father.

And every day that goes by that these two aren't joining the unemployed is another day closer to having the DEMOCRATS win in the November elections, and THEN the Imperium will have to worry about the President getting laid off... through impeachment.

Empty on ideas or Empty on Resolve?

A picture speaks a thousand words...

So the question is... does the "E" mean empty on new ideas or "E" on empty on resolve to do what needs to be done? "E" certainly is the appropriate symbol of his mythical "political capitol" and on his general approval.

Few suggestions:

  • Energy Secretary Sam Bodman, the guy who is pimping us out to foreign countries so we can continue to be addicted to foreign oil, is still in office. Fire his sorry ass and you will guarantee a higher approval rating.
  • If you want to really impress the American public about raising CAFE standards, forget 5-year plans. Have CAFE standards START at 40mpg for ALL new vehicles by 2007. That'll show the American people you mean BUSINESS.
  • Call a manditory meeting - open to the press - for the EPA, Interior, and Energy and announce that you're going to perminantly scrap the "boutique blends" and come up with ONE universal refining formula for the whole country, and it will be up to these three departments to come up with it.
  • Repeal the SUV tax break. Give it instead to people who buy cars with a fuel economy over 50mpg.
  • Repeal Bill Clinton's executive orders that declared vast areas of potential oil fields as "endangered".
  • Green-light Montanna's plan to convert coal into oil. It wasn't cost-effective as long as the price of crude oil was above $40/barrel. We're WAY past that point now.
THAT is what a TRUE leader would do, people! And that's just the tip of the iceberg of things that should be done to resolve this problem.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Brutally Honest Rant - 05/03/06

Brutally Honest Audio Rant: Da Church and Da Vinci
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 things that appealed to the whole "Matrix" series in the 1990’s was the general storyline. Yes, the special effects were absolutely mind-blowing, but that wasn’t the only thing that was. The story was also mind-blowing.

Here’s the whole Matrix story in a nutshell: people living out their lives in the middle of a bustling metropolitan city, not knowing that it’s all just a collective electronic simulation called "The Matrix". The people inside The Matrix have no idea that they’re really being used as huge living batteries. Everything about them says that the things they see, hear, taste, touch, and smell are all real, so that’s what they accept.

But for some people, they know that things just aren’t right. There’s something wrong with the world, but they just can’t put their finger on it. Some of these folks will actively seek to know the truth, while other folks will actively look to escape from it. And they do so through raves and drugs. And there’s a huge conspiracy from positions of authority to keep the masses from knowing the truth. And then, when the truth is revealed, these people see things in a completely different light. The world that they knew, the world that they grew up in, even the things that they believed in, those are all gone.

And for the whole Matrix series, there are LAYERS of truth that get peeled away one after another. Each story in the movie trilogy, and in the animated movies, and in the graphic novel, and in the video games… each one of them strips away a different layer of truth. And I’m sure that it’s a bit of a shock for those of you who only knew about the three movies as well to know that you’re only getting part of the whole story.

But the key thing here is that we have people who have been conditioned to ACCEPT certain things without question, even when they know that there’s something wrong with it.

That brings us to religion…

In a couple of weeks from this rant, a certain movie will make its debut that has both Roman Catholics and Christians in general pissed off. It’s called "The Da Vinci Code" and it’s based on the best-selling book by Dan Brown.

Now I’m not going to give any twists away… mostly because I’ve never read the book… but there’s already been some public hype about the "big secret" anyway, so at least I can talk about that.

One of the big speculations mentioned in this book and in others like it is that the Catholic Church, long before it splintered into its various factions, suppressed certain knowledge about Jesus. For instance, it suppressed various other "gospels" by other apostles, and even one by Mary Magdalene that claimed that she was more than just a pre-Christian groupie… that she was actually his wife! That little tidbit would obviously fly in the face of Catholic Church’s own pronouncements that only MEN could be ordained priests and that only MEN could be leaders of the Church!

Now that’s just ONE of the dirty little secrets that’s making the rounds. Another one is the recent release of the "Gospel of Judas", which claims that the man forever damned for betraying Jesus actually was doing him a favor… literally! According to this document, Jesus ASKED that Judas tell the Romans where to find him, because he WANTED to die and supposedly transcend into this spiritual being. Not only that, but Jesus knew that Judas was going to get damned for doing it.

Rather hair-raising stuff if you think about it. It makes Jesus more of a flake and Judas into a tortured friend.

And… no matter how accurate it may be, if it even is, the Catholic Church simply CANNOT accept it! Even if they wanted to!

You see, this is what happens when you CANONIZE a document like the Bible. You can’t add to it. You can’t change it. You can’t subtract from it. It’s basically deifying a document full of info that was passed on for generations by the world’s largest game of telephone, so even if it’s wrong or if it leaves something out, you can’t do anything to change it!

It’s the same with Mormonism. The Mormons have their own gospel that goes along with the New Testament. But even if it’s true, the Catholic Church CANNOT accept it! They can’t because they can’t go against their own proclamations about the Bible being unquestionable.

But the whole "Da Vinci Code" story is opening some serious wounds for the Catholic Church and for Christians in general. And because of that, the Catholic Church is not only launching their own so-called "truth squads" to counter the claims made in this movie, but they’re also calling for boycotts of the movie.

And that makes you wonder what the Catholic Church is AFRAID of? Listen, folks, IT’S A STORY. It’s a work of fiction!

But while the movie is based on a fictional story, the story itself is based on a couple of other speculations that some people believe to be REAL.

There have been several books out that challenge the very principles of the New Testament. They all question the assertions made by the Catholic Church over the centuries, and talk about the lengths that the Church went to keep those nuggets of information hidden.

Now conspiracy theories aren’t new. Remember the assassination of President Kennedy and the movie "JFK"? Oliver Stone really opened up a hornet’s nest of speculation there, but not without good reason. The nice-and-neat "single shooter" and the "magic bullet" theory can only hold up as long as nobody compares it to some of the unexplained facts surrounding Kennedy’s assassination.

And let’s get brutally honest here… THAT’S what the Catholic Church is REALLY afraid of! They’re afraid that the simple mention of a conspiracy theory might make people think that there really IS some truth to the allegations! It makes them wonder if the Church REALLY IS actively trying to withhold the truth from people!

You see, THAT’S why the Catholic Church canonized the Bible all those years ago! It’s not about them believing that the passages and stories that were passed down over the countless generations by word of mouth and a few transcribed parchments really did come from God. It was simply to remove any kind of criticism or question about their interpretations of it! It was about preserving their power base.

And it doesn’t help to know that the Church has some things that it has to atone for as well. How many generations of people had to suffer because of the arrogance, pompousness, and cruelty of Church officials? How many children were molested by repeat pedophiles who were simply shuffled around by the Church? How many people were wrongly and brutally persecuted during the Inquisitions? It took fifty years before the Church could even admit that they failed to hold true to their own doctrines during World War II. It took CENTURIES before they could even admit that they MIGHT have been wrong about persecuting Copernicus and Galileo for saying that the Earth revolved around the Sun… something that we take for granted today! Even IF the conspiracy theories about the Church are wrong… the Church itself isn’t in a good position to refute them with any kind of credibility. They have a long history of concealing the truth from others, and that only helps to strengthen the allegations against them.

Look, the best way to deal with these things is not to take the fundamentalist route. The more that institutions try to suppress these kinds of allegations, the more people will start to believe them to be true. Conspiracy theories thrive on secrecy and concealment. Rather than tell Christians to NOT see the movie, church officials should ENCOURAGE people to go see "The Da Vinci Code". Remind them that it IS a work of fiction, not a documentary, and then be ready to answer any questions they may have on it.

Of course, that last part is sort of dangerous… because it gives the followers the option to develop their own conclusions, which is something that religious institutions pretty much do not want to do. They’d much rather TELL people what to think. And again, that only serves to strengthen the conspiracy theory.

(Computer – Matrix explained)
(Fade Music In – "Who am I" by Peace Orchestra)

You know, one of the more damaging things that any religious institution can do is to encourage blind obedience from the masses. We see that with the Muslims today, and we know exactly what that has led to… millions of idiots who throw temper tantrums and carry out acts of violence over cartoons that they’ve never seen.

Do you know who’s the more devout religious believer? It’s the person who has opened his or her mind up to various beliefs and various ideas, and then come up with their own reasons why a certain belief is right. Their belief is stronger because it’s not dependent on just ONE doctrine or just ONE book to validate it. If that one doctrine or that one book is wrong, then their faith is not deterred one iota.

Then again, those who can develop their own beliefs and their own justifications for those beliefs are also not dependant on religious leaders for guidance, and that, I suspect, is the real reason why religious institutions often encourage ignorance and blind obedience. It’s not a spiritual thirst that motivates them, but rather a thirst for power and control.

This is why Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote that you should "beware the man of one book", because that person isn’t a believer… he’s a cult follower. True beliefs are the ones that hold up under scrutiny. They’re road-tested. They’re the ones that you can justify on your own, not just recite from some book or a scroll or parroting off other people.


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]