Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Trick or Treat: Toon trick and treat

The first is pretty much the truth... (treat)
The second? Well... it's acutally more of a nightmare scenario... (trick)

Trick or Treat: NASA's Treat

NASA has officially given the green-light to saving the Hubble Telescope!

This is something that really did in their previous do-nothing, know-nothing administrator. Scared gutless by the destruction of the aged Columbia shuttle, NASA became known as the ostritch of space agencies. Everything was a matter of "how safe" things could be. We couldn't even send a ship up to help support the International Space Station! We had to rely on the RUSSIANS! We used to send men to the moon and talk about exploring the stars, and suddenly we couldn't even send someone to an orbiting space station! And then they were letting the best telescope in the world die because they didn't want to "risk" sending people up to fix it.

It took the launch of the first private spaceship and the first private astronaut to remind people that NASA used to stand for something, but even then they were hessitant to talk about sending humans into space. At least until that pencil-pusher got the space boot. NOW we have someone in charge who knows why NASA is still around!

Thank you NASA Chief Michael Griffin! That is certainly a good treat for America and for the scientific community in general.

Trick or Treat: The Series (albeit brief)

Well since today is "All Hallow's Eve", I thought I'd relay a few real-life tricks and treats for the day. They'll be appearing on the blog page at various points today.

Stay tuned.

Friday, October 27, 2006

And now... "Monty Python and the Unholy Grail"

Let me guess... they're now the knights who say "Ni!" Where are their guys with the coconuts making the galloping sounds?

And I take it Rush is now the black knight who is still trying to fight even after having his arms and legs hacked off in the last joust. We can even have the Air America crew as the annoying Frenchmen.

I'm hoping that come November the American people will be the ones saying "Bring out your dead!"

(BTW, for those of you who didn't get the references, please rent or purchase "Monty Python and the Holy Grail". It is hilarious.)

"I'm Llama Llama Llama and I approve this llama message for all llamas.... well, except for Lorenzo Lamas, because he's not a llama."

Why Election Day is so close to Halloween...


I'm me, and I approve of showing you this cartoon, because it shows the deplorable scare tactics used at this time of the year.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Hey... Fed... Leave Them Rates Alone!

The Federal Reserve just did something very smart... they're leaving interest rates alone for the third time in a row.

The housing bubble is still slowly deflating, people are starting to use some of the gas money to buy other things, inflation is still a concern, but so are dropping housing prices. The Fed is smart in keeping things where they are right now instead of burdening the public with higher interest rates.

By the way, the AJC calls this the "Do-Nothing Fed", which I gotta call BS on. These guys aggravated our economic problems with their endless increase creep. Even now there are plenty of folks in that group who want the numbers to go up and up and up... so the Fed is really showing some restraint in keeping the numbers where they are. They're doing what needs to be done.

Brutally Honest Rant - 10/25/06

Brutally Honest Audio Rant: Countering The Privacy Critics
Audio Transcripts
10/25/06

[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… PRIVACY!

The old saying goes that a man’s home is his castle. Now that saying wasn’t just created out of the blue. It was done to illustrate the line of privacy that is supposed to exist between individuals in a truly free society and the rest of the world. Castles are supposed to be impenetrable. You’re not supposed to be in there unless invited in.

Unfortunately, very much like the real thing, castle walls that go unattended are subject to the ravages of entropy. Hinges rust, cracks in the walls form, holes are dug from rats, worms, and insects, door-jams rot and swell open, and if you don’t really care about them, the castle walls eventually won’t hold back the outside world. Pretty soon you’re left vulnerable, and you really have nobody to blame for it but yourself, because you never considered what could happen.

We are easily pressured to give up a little bit of privacy here and there, and it comes from all sorts of different places.

You buy a neat electronic device called a TiVO and all of your TV preferences are stored in some computer. You don’t realize it because it’s considered a "convenience". Cable and satellite pay-per-view purchases are tracked, obviously for billing purposes, but who knows for what other reasons? Credit card companies give you this so-called "privacy statement" which basically tells you in long lawyer-speak that you pretty much HAVE no privacy as far as they’re concerned. Your purchases can be tracked, traced, bartered and sold, and you get stuck with telemarketing calls and a seven-inch-thick billing statement full of offers of useless crap. You go to the grocery store and you’re pressured to join their "benefits club" where they give you discounts in exchange for having your shopping purchases also recorded and tracked.

So then, of course, we hear about the stuff going on with companies like Hewlett Packard where they hired private investigators to collect information through a tactic called "pretexting"… things like calling up the phone company, pretending to be you, and then requesting a copy of your phone records. It’s basically using the same tactics that identity thieves would use. And it’s LEGAL!

Little by little, the very things about you are chipped away and stolen. Half of the time you give it away and the other half of the time it’s taken without your permission.

Now longtime listeners know that I’ve criticized our so-called "free society" for not appreciating the very rights we take for granted, but let’s face it… while we may not fully understand or appreciate the freedom of speech, we at least RECOGNIZE it! We can’t say the same thing about privacy.

Let’s get brutally honest here… when it comes to the right to privacy, not only do we NOT appreciate it… but there are way too damn many people out there who firmly believe that it simply DOES NOT EXIST… AT ALL!

Of course we have the usual collection of power-mongers in government who believe that they should have the right and the authority to go into your home, your castle, at any time to tell you how to live your life. These are dictatorial dickheads who were that way before 9/11 and are now guilty of USING the threat of terrorism to further justify their tyrannical ways. Trust me, if 9/11 never happened then these same people would pull out any number of excuses to justify their busybody actions. Everything from the failed "War on Drugs" to zoning regulations to "protecting CHILDREEEEEEN".

Unfortunately they’re not alone in their assertions that we have no inherent right to privacy.

We have a wide variety of people who, by the very nature of their vocations, give up their privacy in exchange for fame. Politicians are right up there on the top of the list, but right behind them are members of the entertainment industry. You know, the folks that we like to call "celebrities". Thanks in no small part to the paparazzi – or, as I like to call them, the "stalker nazis" – we get to see EVERYTHING they do! Every mundane task, even going to the gym or to get an ice cream, is photographed minute by minute, moment by moment, and – especially for hot young females – chest-heaving breath by chest-heaving breath. If these folks spend most or all of their lives in a microscope, then they’re certainly not going to be supporters of privacy for anyone else.

And the media loves to dazzle us with the day-by-day activities of our celebrities, and they excuse these things by saying that "the public has a right to know". They waive the carrot of celebrity dirt and local schanagans to sell us on the idea that things would be a whole lot easier for us all if we all lived in glass houses.

And then we have the people who just give in and default to the belief that, hey, if the GOVERNMENT wants to peer into our lives and tell us what to do, well then they must have a good REASON for it. After all, they’re looking out for us, right? Uh-huh… riiiiiight… and if you believe that, then I have some prime wetland property to sell you.

Their biggest argument is "well, if you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear. Only GUILTY people have something to fear and something to hide!"

Well maybe in a perfect world the "guilty" would have something to fear and something to hide, but all you have to do is look at the number of people who get released from prison because DNA testing proved they didn’t do the crime they were convicted of and you would know that there ARE some innocent people who do have something to fear from the government.

I’ve got news for those people who claim that only "the guilty" have something to hide… when you encounter a police officer or a prosecutor or a judge on a crusade, then they’re not impartial or objective. They’re biased. And if they have you in their sights, then they’re going to find SOMETHING on you to satisfy that bias. As far as they’re concerned, you’re guilty the moment they saw you. They just need a reason… ANY reason… to justify it. Having limits on the scope of government, preventing them from snooping into your life without just cause or just reason, helps to keep that natural abuse of power in check.

But I have a challenge for those of you who think that there is no such thing as a right to privacy. If you really believe that privacy is just a myth, then I challenge you to prove it by example!

Get rid of your blinds, curtains, and window shades.

If you have absolutely NOTHING to hide, then you shouldn’t even NEED blinds, curtains, or window shades. Don’t use close your inside doors. Leave them open for EVERYONE to see! Let EVERYONE see what you and your family members are doing at all times. Eating, sleeping, bathing… the works! After all, if you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear, right? If people are looking in, then they MUST have a reason, right? And when you leave your home, your abode, your castle, don't lock it. Leave it unlocked for anyone to peer in if they so desire! If you believe that OUR lives should be a library of open books, then yours should be doubly so!

THIS, my friends, is the physical representation of what privacy is. It’s a window blind that YOU are supposed to control, showing just how much you feel comfortable with or just as much that you want others to be able to see. The people who advocate that there is no such thing as a right to privacy essentially argue that you’re even supposed to HAVE that window blind. Or if they will LET you have that blind, then it would be only under THEIR control, and not yours. All I’m doing here is challenging those people to demonstrate that they practice what they preach.

(Computer – some appropriate stuff that you’ll have to listen to appreciate)
(Fade Music In – "Who Am I" by Peace Orchestra)

When it comes to privacy, the old adage of "knowledge is power" is not only applicable, but also somewhat inadequate. Thanks to various so-called "information" companies that have sprung up in recent years, knowledge is not only power… it is also pretty damn profitable. The problem, of course, is that this profit is done at OUR expense, often WITHOUT our consent, and WE are the ones that bear the consequences when that knowledge is abused.

Of course, like all other kinds of power, there is something of a double standard. Those who do not have their lives under a microscope and yet still advocate that there is no such thing as a right to privacy have no problems advocating that OUR lives should be a library of open books… but they find themselves somewhat sensitive about who gets to view their own ongoing autobiography.

But then again, that’s nothing new when it comes to power. Pretty much anything that gives a person power over others is not something that is eagerly shared.

(Pause)

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, October 23, 2006

And now... FEAR!

I'm not a big fan of the politics of Doonsbury, but sometimes Gary Trudeau gets it right...

Case in point...

Of course the reaction was predictable... check the last panel. Home run!

Friday, October 20, 2006

The Dwarf Backs Down?

Well this is an interesting follow-up to this week's rant on North Korea...

Apparently Kim Jong Il has decided to back down from doing any more nuclear tests and says that he "regrets" doing the first nuke test.

Like I said in my rant, I'll believe it when I see it. This guy is not to be trusted. His government has weaseled out of promises before, so he doesn't even warrant the Reagan standard of "Trust but verify".

What bugs me is that the cons and neo-cons (and other Bush-kissers) are crowing about how it was the Bush Imperium's "tough stance" that caused the dwarf to back down! "See? It's all George W. Bush and the REPUBLICAN foreign policy that did it! The DEMOCRATS wouldn't have been able to do it! The DEMOCRATS would have done bilateral treaty negotiations like they did ten years ago and let North Korea get away with even more stuff!"

Sorry, but I gotta call BS on that!

IF North Korea is backing down - and again I won't believe it until I see it - and IF they are even remotely sincere about their "regret" of their first nuke test, it has LESS to do with the Bush Imperium's stance and EVERYTHING to do with what CHINA did.

China sent over their handlers to speak with the dwarf. No doubt their "conversation" (and I use that word loosely) went something along the lines of "You are embarassing us. If you don't clean up your act then we won't protect you or harbor your personal luxuries any more. We'll let the US do whatever they want to you."

If North Korea is sincere, then fine, one less headache to deal with... for now. But we should keep them in mind as well. Posers demanding attention don't stay silent for long.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Brutally Honest Rant - 10/18/06

Brutally Honest Audio Rant: How To Punish A Despot
Audio Transcripts
10/18/06

[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 my friends North Korea is making the news again…

Kim Jong Il, the self-professed "Dear Leader" of the dying communist regime, has once again thrown a temper tantrum and tested one of their supposed nuclear devices. It’s a small device... a little bomb… supposedly about 2-percent of the explosive force that we used on Hiroshima more than fifty years ago, but hey, what can I say? It’s SMALL… like their leader!

Here’s the problem, boys and girls: what we have here is the leader of a small country that suffers from a severe case of Napoleon Complex. He’s fostered this idea amongst the populace there that he is GOD ON EARTH to make up for the fact that he looks like the love child of Yoko Ono and Tattoo from Fantasy Island. He’s just a Persian cat short of being mistaken for a James Bond villain. He has only one export for the world: weapons. Everything his country needs has to be brought in, and right now his people are eating grass and tree bark while he’s living in the lap of luxury, chugging champagne like it was Coca-Cola and flying in gourmet chefs whenever he feels the urge. You know, it’s one thing to do that when you’re people are well-off, but when your country has to dine on grass and tree bark while you’re chowing down on Kobe beef and washing it down with Chateau de Chastillay, then you’ve got some SERIOUS Louis XIV issues.

This is the country that now has nuclear weapons. And their leader, "Dear Leader", the demented refuge from the Land of Oz with the Velcro hair, has threatened to come up with the technology to not only use those weapons but to develop the kind of long-range missiles that will reach the United States.

So what do we do about that?

Well, you know, we THOUGHT we did something about that ten years ago, but it turned out that the North Koreans LIED. We can blame Bill Clinton about it all we want to, but the fact of the matter is that we made a critical mistake in TRUSTING that country’s leadership to be honorable and now we’ve realized that they have no honor.

And that’s something that we need to bear in mind with all of the threats being thrown about by "Dear Lilliputian" and his cronies. The North Korean government claims that they’ve never bluffed, but the truth of the matter is that they did just that ten years ago. A bluff is still a lie, and if they lied about being honorable ten years ago in regards to ending their nuclear ambitions, then the world has absolutely NO REASON WHATSOEVER to trust them today with the threats they’re throwing about!

That’s the first thing we need to keep in mind. They are proven LIARS. You don’t trust anything they claim without being able to confirm it yourself first. Of course we’ve got some issues with honesty as well, but that’s a subject for a different rant.

So the next thing to work on is… how do you punish a tyrant?

That’s the biggest problem we here in the United States seem to have when it comes to foreign affairs. We continually operate on the delusion that the power of all governments rests with THE PEOPLE. (Buzzer sound.) Sorry, wrong answer. No pie-piece for you.

Lesson number one: not all governments operate on the belief that their power comes from the consent of the governed. In fact many governments still adhere to some older beliefs about the source of their power. Things like Divine Right, Manifest Destiny, and of course the old adage of "might makes right". Basically it’s he who has the most guns gets to make the rules.

That brings us to lesson number two: when governments are run by those who do not fear their people, then you do not threaten that government with punitive measures that will hurt the masses. That’s like punishing a noisy apartment tenant by kicking out his next-door neighbor. You’re actually doing that annoying government a favor. Now their masses have someone to hate even more than them.

That’s why most economic sanctions really don’t hurt despots, boys and girls. They don’t fear their own people, so they don’t fear losing their positions of power over the destruction of their economy. The United Nations slapped sanctions on top of sanctions on Iraq during the 1990’s. Did the people revolt over them? Nope. Of course it also didn’t help that we allowed Saddam to stay in power and keep his guns after the Gulf War. Not a smart move on our part. Nor was having the weasel nations continue to support Saddam after the Gulf War in violation of those sanctions.

And that, my friends, is "Third World Politics 101".

Listen… if you want to HURT North Korea over their nuclear ambitions, if you want to punish Kim Jong Short Round Il for his temper tantrums, then you find ways to punish HIM, not the people that are eating grass to live! You take away HIS lap of luxury and he’ll pay attention. You take away his gourmet chefs and his constant supply of champagne and he’ll realize that the world is serious. Until then, he’s going to continue being the little dickhead that he’s been for the past few years.

But there’s something else that’s missing from this issue. Something that the Bush Imperium, for all of their cluelessness, seemed to catch and that the Democrats somehow haven’t caught on yet.

Why is the dwarf throwing these temper tantrums? Why is he threatening war and doing missile tests and testing nuclear weapons?

Let’s get brutally honest here… what Kim Jong Il and the rest of his ass-kissing cronies in the North Korean government want is something that they have NEVER deserved, something they have NEVER earned, and something that that they should NEVER BE GIVEN if they continue to act the way that they are now.

I’m talking about… RESPECT.

The North Korean government wants the rest of the world to treat them as a MAJOR power. They want to sit at the big-people table in the United Nations instead of being sent to the little kiddie table along with South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan and the rest of the 200+ countries. They WANT the influence and affluence that China, Russia, several European nations, and of course the United States have achieved. They don’t want a six-party discussion with several other countries… they want to deal with the United States… EXCLUSIVELY. One on one, as though they were our equals.

They WANT that respect, they DEMAND that respect, but they categorically refuse to do the very things that nations do to WARRANT that respect.

And sadly, people like Kim Jong Il think that they can GET that respect through two things typical of those suffering from a Napoleon Complex. They think that they can get it first through money and then through FEAR. And when he couldn’t impress people with his personal spending ways, Kim Jong Il is now trying to use threats of war to get what he wants.

Worse yet, he’s playing with stakes that his people… and the rest of the world… cannot afford to take lightly.

Well I’ve got news for people like Kim Jong Il and anyone else like him… he thinks that he’s a player? He’s nothing of the sort! He’s nothing more than a global PUNK. He’s a poser. A wannabe. Wannabe players don’t get respect. They just get attention, and if they get enough attention then they get something else that they certainly will not WANT, but it is something that they absolutely DESERVE.

(Computer – some timely things that you have to listen to appreciate)
(Fade Music In – "Skylight" by Overseer)

When a leader believes that he or she has nothing to lose and everything to gain, they tend to believe that they can do anything. THAT is what makes them appear to be so cavalier. That sentiment is also what makes them a threat to the rest of the world… be it a punk on the street or the doorstop punk in Pyongyang with nuclear weapons. And Kim Jong Il is a threat that NEEDS to be dealt with one way or another.

A nuclear-powered North Korea is a GLOBAL problem. It’s not just the problem of the United States and a select group of countries in the Pacific Rim. This is something that the whole United Nations has to deal with… including and ESPECIALLY the two main enablers for North Korea, namely Russia and China. They helped put that reject from the Munchkin Land in power, they helped to feed his ego, and then they gave him the tools needed to be the threat that he is today. This is just as much of their problem as it is ours.

So Russia and China need to step in as well and help deal with this problem. They can’t afford to either sit on the sidelines or serve as obstructionists… because if events go as they are now, then sooner or later it WILL get ugly. And when we’re talking nuclear weapons, it is the kind of ugliness that will hurt THEM directly far more than it will hurt the rest of us.

(Pause)

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, October 16, 2006

Great First Amendment quote!

The folks at the First Amendment Center provide this GREAT quote for today...

"The First Amendment is not a technicality for regulators to maneuver around; it embodies fundamental values that must be honored even if at times the result is disagreeable to many."

Laurence H. Winer,
law professor, Arizona State University, 2004

Read it, learn it, understand it, accept it... even if you don't agree with it. This is what free speech is really all about!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Here’s the REAL October Surprise!

In the past few days since the Mark Foley scandal erupted, conservatives were speculating that the whole matter was the so-called "October Surprise", the great scandal that was brewed up specifically to doom the Republicans in the November mid-term elections.

Well guess what? It wasn’t!

You know how I know that? Because the REAL surprise just aired on "60 Minutes".

It seems a former member of the Bush Imperium’s "Department of God" by the name of David Kuo, who still calls himself an "evangelical", is doing the news circuit claiming that the whole Imperium mocked the very bible-thumping freedom-haters they pandered to. He even claimed that Darth Rove used the "Department of God" as part of the 2002 mid-term election to cement Republican control. This was a charge that the Washington Post made as well.

Well now Kuo is disillusioned about the whole idea, and he’s venting his disillusionment in his book "Tempting Faith: An Inside Story of Political Seduction". Of course the book is due out tomorrow, which is why CBS (whose parent company also owns the publishing company) gets the night-before exclusive.

THIS is the kind of story that defines an "October Surprise". Bob Ney’s guilty plea and refusal to step down from office? Mark Foley’s shocker and Speaker Hastert’s ineptitude over both? No. Those are things that should have been diffused before they became election-time embarrassments.

In fact, if anything, the embarrassments actually dilute the impact of Kuo’s "shocking" story. The Imperium using the bible-thumpers? It’s not really a shocker given the personae of some of the key players.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Phony Red/Blue BS Game Ends

Well it turns out that the whole red-state/blue-state phony drama surrounding the latest incarnation of "Dancing with the Stars" is over with.

In case you have a life outside of Washington DC, here’s a quick recap…

Bible-thumping freedom-hating conservatives found out that liberal talk show host Jerry Springer (now formerly of Air America Radio) was competing in "Dancing with the Stars". This was not acceptable to them. They’ve been trying to get rid of Springer for years without too much success. So a certain former member of Congress who got his hands caught in the Jack Abramoff cookie jar decided that his new mission in life was to make sure that Springer’s appearance on that show was as brief as possible. It was bad enough that a WWE superstar and a former Playboy Playmate were the previous winners of the show, the conservatives wanted someone "wholesome" and "decent" for CONSERVATIVES to root for. So they put their support behind country singer Sara Evans. She’s attractive, she’s conservative, and she’s squeaky clean. (Plus she has a nice set of lungs… did I just say that? Well damn it’s true!)

So once again we have a red-state/blue-state pissing contest… but not over power. Instead it’s over a second-rate talent contest.

Week after week after week supporters, did everything possible to keep both players in the show. They couldn’t dance to please the judges, so their only reason why they were in there were the fans. Heck, even Springer was telling people that he was expecting to leave on the first elimination!

Well the pissing contest is hereby OVER with!

Sara Evans is done. She’s quit the show. Not only that, but she’s filed for divorce, claiming that her husband (who once ran for Congress) cheated on her.

Well that’s too bad, conservatives. Another one of your champions has fallen short.

Now normally I wouldn’t say this for conservative champions, but I actually feel sorry for Sara. I mean, I’m sure that she had every intention on following through with doing the show for however long she would have lasted. BUT she just couldn’t follow through this time. And it’s hard to be such a devoted conservative when you find out that your husband has certain views that doesn’t match with the true conservative mold that was generated for her public image.

No doubt in true conservative fashion, her husband will probably declare that he’s addicted to alcohol and porn (one of her actual claims for divorce), go into rehab and then come out "born again" in order to salvage their marriage. That’s how these things usually work out.

Of course it would help if the husband got a job too. A laid-off conservative? That’s about as inconceivable as a "family values" politician getting caught sending lewd messages to teenage boys… oh... wait a minute... never mind.

Friday, October 13, 2006

NOW you tell them!

This is why the "booming economy" looked better on paper than it did in reality.

Pity we didn't have some old fart in a bathrobe holding phony tablets of "the Missing Commandments" to tell the masses that little tidbit when it was NEEDED to be told... six years ago.

Oh, btw, the old fart is the guy's BANKER! The tablets are his foreclosure notice.

But just...

Grumbling... the conservative says...

"We've cut the budget and tried to reign in our spendaholic ways, but do they call us cost-conscious? No!

"We've helped make the world safe for Haliburton, but do they call us peacemakers? No!

"We've even found a way to cut gas prices, but do they praise us for helping the economy? No!

....

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Brutally Honest Rant - 10/11/06

Brutally Honest Audio Rant: Symbolism versus Substance
Audio Transcripts
10/11/06

[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.

Last week, I did a rant about Republicans and their weasel ways that really got my blood boiling. And what pissed me off was pretty much the hypocrisy from all of the conservatives who were SO busy trying to whitewash the whole matter with Mark Foley just so it won’t make their people look bad during an election season.

L. Brent Bozell in particular was quick to say "Oh, DEMOCRATS have nothing to cheer about over Mark Foley! They were JUST AS DIRTY, if not worse!"

And of ALL of the hypocrites in the bunch, you’d think that Bozell would know the difference between what HIS people do and what the liberals and Democrats in general did when they were in charge of things twelve years ago!

You see, people like Bozell write books. They go out on speaking tours. They do talk radio shows. They write columns in newspapers. And they get paid quite well for each of these things. You don’t see them working menial jobs like the rest of us have to.

But worst of all, people like Bozell play games with our government. They form special interest groups to bully the government to do their bidding, and then create so-called "research organizations" to validate and justify their thug tactics.

And what do they talk about? What is it that brings in the money for them? They don’t talk about the weather. They talk about VALUES and MORALS and how CONSERVATIVES are so frigging BETTER in both of those categories. They create the standards and then they use GOVERNMENT to IMPOSE those standards on us, and then they make it their mission in life to make sure that we OBEY those standards, whether we want to or not! They appoint themselves to be our judges, our juries, and then they use the government to be our executioners if we don’t obey THEIR rules.

So when they have to deal with the fact that one of their key allies and best friends in the government is an online PREDATOR, not to mention a confirmed hypocrite, there are two paths that people like L. Brent Bozell could take.

The first is to hold true to those standards and to openly condemn the government for their hypocrisy and their ineptitude. DEMAND that those that allow the hypocrisy to continue be removed from positions of power and authority and work to make sure that better safeguards are in place.

The second is to demagogue the issue. To try to negate the ineptitude by claiming that their critics have no right to complain simply because the Democrats were just as corrupt and inept when they were in power.

To which I say to L. Brent Bozell and to any of his ilk… BLOW ME!

Let’s get brutally honest here… if you build a pedestal for your ideas and then do everything in your power to FORCE people to worship those ideas, then you’re OBLIGATED even more than anyone else to live up to those ideas. You do not have the LUXURY of demagoguery when the pedestal that YOU BUILT falls apart, either through corruption or incompetence.

There are three little words that used to serve as the universal description of liberals ten years ago. Those three words are "Symbolism over Substance". Conservatives used to cry out that everything that the liberals did ten years ago was nothing but empty symbolism. It was all done for appearances. It was all done for looks.

Well guess what, folks? That’s where the conservatives are right now! They are doing the SAME THINGS that liberals did twelve years ago! They’re not providing anything of real substance anymore. It’s all about APPEARANCES!

Find a controversial issue that is going through Congress and you’ll find a small group of congressmen and/or senators that will supposedly "take a stand" against the Bush Imperium. They’ll supposedly "hold up" the passage of that bill, or at least threaten to, until some sort of agreement is made… some assurances that certain "safeguards" will be in place. Then they supposedly come up with an "agreement", pass the bill, it gets signed into law, and then the White House issues a "signing statement" that negates the whole agreement!

IT IS ALL A HOAX! It’s all done for appearances! It’s all done so that certain members of Congress can "appear" to be the voices of reason when they know full well that any compromise they reach will be negated by the White House with their so-called "signing statements".

Symbolism over substance.

The Bush Imperium TALKS about freedom and democracy, but when either of those two things interfere with what they want to do, they declare "we are at war" and "executive privilege" and "national security" and issue "signing statements". I have as much time accepting that as I do when anti-war protesters say they "support the troops", or when freedom-hating bible thumpers preach about "hate the sin but love the sinner".

Symbolism over substance.

How about the Taliban over in Afghanistan? Remember when they ruled that country with an iron fist? Do you know why the people there didn’t even bother to defend the Taliban when we invaded that country in 2001? Because they knew that the Taliban were just a bunch of hypocrites! Everything that the Taliban banned for the masses were things that they themselves enjoyed! They banned dancing, yet would have professional dancers show up at their functions. They’d ban music and then have parties where that same music would be played loudly for the masses to hear.

How the hell can you support a bunch of religious extremists who can’t even obey their own damned laws?

Symbolism over substance.

And here we have the Mark Foley problem, where House Speaker Dennis Hastert first says "the buck stops here" and then says that he won’t resign, and then says that ANYONE ELSE that knows about Mark Foley’s predatory ways should be fired. Apparently the buck really doesn’t stop AT his desk… it just stops a little bit BEFORE his desk. You know, it sorta kinda gets CLOSE to his desk… like the guest chair… but it just doesn’t actually REACH his desk, but dammit it’s close enough for him to quote Eisenhower!

Meanwhile the conservatives are busy trying to reconcile how they KNEW about a hypocritical predator in their midst, and not only encouraged him to continue to run for re-election, but to also throw out the accusation that this was just some hoax or a prank! Or, better yet, that it’s some GRAND CONSPIRACY cooked up by some billionaire who is losing his shirt over Air America Radio and a TV network owned by the Walt Disney Company.

Symbolism over substance.

The key to whatever it is that you’re trying to pitch – be it a social program, a religion, a political philosophy, or a commercial product – rests not with the pitch but with the pitchman himself! If you can’t serve as a credible representative of whatever it is that you’re trying to sell, then you’ve already lost your argument.

That’s why I get sick to my stomach anytime I hear certain conservatives talk about the "sanctity of marriage" when they have more divorces under their belt than Liz Taylor. They have no business talking about the "sanctity of marriage" when they clearly don’t hold it in high regard in their own lives.

Same thing when Bill Clinton started opening his mouth. How many people REALLY could take him at his word after the whole Lewinsky thing? He first wags his finger at the world, and then when he’s caught he apologizes for lying. How can anyone take him seriously the next time he wags his finger? Every time he wags his finger, I feel compelled to flip him one of my own.

And guess what? The feminist groups that backed Clinton lost any kind of credibility when they continued to support him after the allegations of infidelity and sexual harassment started to come out. Meanwhile, of course, they were saying "well, we gotta dance with the one who brought you"… which may be an old political saying but it further diminished their credibility in the eyes of the masses. Besides, aren’t feminists supposed to be all for BREAKING those kinds of old stereotypes anyway?

Well the same thing applies to the conservatives right now over this whole Mark Foley matter. If you want to talk about values and morals, then you had DAMN WELL better apply them with those whom you associate with, no matter WHO they are! Especially if you’re making your fortune off those things!

And if they don’t do that… if they believe that the symbolism of their cause is more important than substance behind it… then they need to be held accountable for it. They need to lose any kind of authority or credibility they have, because what they’re selling at that point is nothing more than just a bill of goods.

(Computer – some timely clips)
(Fade Music In – "Mythodea" by Vangelis)

The funny thing, of course, when talking about symbolism versus substance is that when we deal with moralism, it’s really ALL about symbolism for them. They talk about values, but all they’re really interested in is the APPEARANCE of values. That’s really why they’re obsessed with crosses and placards and flags and cute little sound-byte slogans. That’s why they get all upset and start acting like crazed terrorists when they see a bumper sticker they don’t like or a campaign sign for a political opponent. It’s not about values. It’s all about APPEARANCES. It’s about creating this fa├žade that they call a world that is about as empty and as worthless as they are.

And when something comes along that contradicts their empty world, they can’t help but take it personally, because to them IT IS personal. After all, it’s THEIR world that is being threatened by reality.

That, my friends, is the dysfunction of the moralists. Unfortunately for us, though, WE are the ones that end up having to pay the price for it.

(Pause)

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]
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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Gee... ya think???

Too late, buddy... it's already on the way
down,
down,
DOWN!

And by the way, that's part of the reason why the so-called "good times" looked better on paper than in reality. People were told to refinance and use their homes AS a cash cow. Meanwhile, real wages haven't kept up with changes in cost of living. (And by the way, when I say "real wages", I'm talking about the WORKING CLASS, not the banking board of executives.) Now when people need to sell their houses, they're starting to realize that the appraised value is more than what the market will bear.

Of course this is all still being soft-peddaled by the so-called "experts"... at least until 2008. Then it will come as a complete "surprise" to them.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Brutally Honest Rant - 10/04/06

Brutally Honest Audio Rant: Republicans and the Rehab "Remedy"
Audio Transcripts
10/04/06

[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 want to start off this rant by admitting that I have a problem. It’s a serious problem… or at least it’s serious in regards to the subject at hand… and it has to do with drinking.

My problem is this… I don’t have a drinking problem! In fact, I don’t drink enough to even SUGGEST that I have a drinking problem. I rarely get drunk, I barely finish whatever alcoholic drink I get, and I can say with confidence that I’ve actually gotten LAID more times than I ever got a hangover.

And that’s my problem! It BOTHERS me to know that if I get into any kind of trouble or get caught doing anything inappropriate that I cannot use my drinking as an excuse!

You see, that seems to be the in-thing for politicians and conservative celebrities when they are embroiled in some sort of trouble. The very first words out of their mouths are "I have an alcohol problem!"

Mel Gibson, the Hollywood champion of the con and neo-con factions, gets caught driving while intoxicated and is on record spewing anti-Semitism. He comes out and says "Not my fault! I have a drinking problem!" And then he sends himself over to rehab and sweet-talks his way into a plea deal. He essentially gets away with a crime. The kind of crime that you or I would end up behind bars for!

Congressman Bob Ney of Ohio, who admitted to taking bribes in the Jack Abramoff scandal, instantly said that he has a "drinking problem", and he honestly thinks that he should STAY IN OFFICE because he’s going through "treatment".

Then there’s Senator Norm Coleman of Minnesota, who found out his father got caught doing something… sort of embarrassing. Basically he got caught having SEX with a woman in his car. First words out of that politician’s mouth? "My father has a drinking problem." And then off HE goes to rehab!

And now we have former Congressman Mark Foley of Repressive Florida. He gets caught doing something that was the butt of jokes twenty years ago… fooling around with congressional pages. And then he EXCUSES the whole thing by saying that he has a "drinking problem" and checks himself into rehab!

Isn’t that convenient?

Now bear in mind that before his resignation, Congressman Foley was one of those so-called CHAMPIONS of "family values"! He wanted to "PROTECT" children from the evil and vile MONSTERS that are out on the Internet! He should know… he apparently was one of them. He supposedly was doing the very things that he was sponsoring federal laws to prohibit!

Oh, but don’t worry, it’s not HIS fault! After all, he has a "drinking problem"! He wouldn’t be in REHAB if he didn’t have a problem, right?

And you know, maybe that’s what the problem is for some of these liberals! They’re getting wrongly persecuted by conservatives because they just haven’t admitted yet that they have a "drinking problem"! Maybe Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks was right, maybe all she has to do is throw herself into rehab and all of the country stations that blacklisted her group over her anti-Bush stances will welcome her back into their playlists. Hey, if it worked for Mel Gibson, then it can work for her, right?

And, hey, how about House Speaker Dennis Hastert? He’s in some hot water right now over Foley’s little hobby. There are calls for him to step down from the Speaker’s role. Maybe he should just declare he has a "drinking problem" too and run off to rehab. Then everything will be all right with the GOP! If Bob Ney can do it, so can anyone!

Now listen folks… I’m not here to belittle rehab programs or to belittle those with a drinking problem. Quite the contrary. I know full well and first hand the destructive nature of someone with a real, genuine problem with alcohol. Not only did I see my share of people with early drinking problems when I was in college, but I had a family member with a drinking problem.

And what REALLY bothers me with this trend of blaming alcohol – which is certain nothing new – and then going into rehab is that it is being used as a "get out of jail free" card. A quick path to social absolution for all past behaviors, no matter what they are.

It’s like an old Monty Python skit where John Cleese’s character viscously insults another character and then says without missing a beat "I’m sorry, I have a cold." These celebrities and politicians honestly expect us to let the worst of their characteristics come out and then turn around and say, "I’m sorry, I have a drinking problem." And they expect us to BUY it!

Well guess what slapnuts? If you honestly believe that, then you have more than just a drinking problem… you have a REALITY problem!

Let’s get brutally honest here… alcohol does not excuse or even begin to justify Mark Foley’s hypocritical actions! Nor does it justify the activities any of the other people mentioned here who tried to excuse their actions by saying they have an "alcohol problem".

In fact I am DISGUSTED by the people who think that they can use that AS a form of social absolution! No, announcing that you have a problem with alcohol DOES NOT absolve you of any wrongdoing! That just means that you have to WORK HARDER to clean up your act.

What makes me even MORE disgusted about this issue with the DISHONORABLE Mark Foley is not just HIS hypocrisy, but the fact that there are those in the Republican Party and in the conservative movement in general that ACTUALY THINK that it is perfectly okay to have that kind of a person stay in office JUST to keep their majority power! The Republicans are SUPPOSED to be the party of "family values"! They’re SUPPOSED to be the party of LAW and ORDER! The GOP hierarchy supposedly KNEW that this guy fancied the male teenaged pages, and yet they allowed him to chair the caucus for Missing and Exploited Children! Before this debacle, they had no problem whatsoever supporting him in his re-election efforts, even though THEY KNEW that if this issue became public that it could cost them that power they so lovingly cherish.

Now WHOSE "family values" are those, huh? I want to know! Who’s demented delusional Machiavellian standards would allow a known predator to operate just to keep their power base going? You know, the last guy who had that particular dysfunction in government was a mustache-wearing narcissistic bastard that went by the last name of "Hussein". You may have heard of him… he was the ruler of Iraq! He’s now standing trial for crimes against humanity. You get the picture?

And guess what? Even Saddam Hussein isn’t STUPID enough to try to excuse his actions by declaring that he has a "drinking problem"!

I’ve got TWO WORDS for you cons and neo-cons who are busy trying to whitewash this whole Mark Foley matter and salvage what little is left of your credibility… see if they sound familiar to you: PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.

There’s more to the concept of personal responsibility than just admitting that you have a problem and then running out to rehab. It means taking FULL responsibility for the things that you did… or, in the case of Speaker Hastert, didn’t do. It doesn’t mean cutting deals. It means being held FULLY ACCOUNTABLE and not passing the blame on things that have absolutely NOTHING to do with those actions!

And by the way, for all you cons and neo-cons… I didn’t come up with these standards! I’m not the one that campaigned on them and sold the American public a bill of goods. I didn’t go out on the talk show circuit or write a best-selling book preaching these things. YOU DID! YOU’RE the ones that said that you’re better than the liberals! YOU’RE the ones that said that you’re the PREFERRED alternative to the folks that brought us eight years of Bill Clinton. So YOU DO NOT have the luxury of weaseling out and saying "but… but… but… Clinton had sex with an intern!" Irrelevant!

YOU set the standards! YOU campaigned on them. YOU championed them! I’m just the one that is CALLING you on those standards and telling you to either put up or shut up!

And right now… Rush LimbaughAnn Coulter… you people have NOTHING worth saying anymore!

(Computer – evil stuff… what do I mean? Well you’ll just have to hear the show to know what it is.)
(Fade Music In – "Mythodea" by Vangelis)

You know what the funny part of this whole Mark Foley debacle is? His name is STILL on the ballot in Florida! Yes, just like Tom Delay, it’s just too damned late for the GOP to get Foley’s name off the ballots. So an admitted predator gets to represent the GOP in November!

Oh can you imagine the kind of fast-talking the GOP in Repressive Florida will have to give for that?

"A vote for Mark Foley is NOT a vote for an admitted predator… it’s a vote for the political party that ALLOWED an admitted predator to run free in the halls of Congress… because it’s better to deal with an admitted hypocritical predator than it is to deal with a fanatical terrorist."

Yeah, I can see THAT kind of spin going over quite well with those repressive bible-thumpers in Florida!

(Pause)

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]
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Monday, October 02, 2006

Update on the Foley Fiasco: I CALLED IT AGAIN!

Remember my prediction about resigned Congressman Mark Foley over the weekend?

Here's a reminder...

But don’t worry folks, if you’re new to the game here’s how it will probably play out…

The departing congressman will declare that he has "a problem" and that he needs "help". He will check himself into a treatment center for whatever "addiction" he declares he has. (Alcohol is, of course, the preferred scapegoat.)


Well it turns out that Foley has done just that...

Former Rep. Mark Foley, under FBI investigation for e-mail exchanges with teenage congressional pages, has checked himself into rehabilitation facility for alcoholism treatment and accepts responsibility for his actions, his attorney acknowledged Monday.

The attorney, David Roth, would not identify the facility, but told the Associated Press in West Palm Beach, Fla., that Foley had checked in over the weekend.

"I strongly believe that I am an alcoholic and have accepted the need for immediate treatment for alcoholism and other behavioral problems," Foley said in a statement, Roth told the AP.

When I'm right... I'm right! Blame the demon rum and get thee to a rehab clinic! That's the preferred treatment for hypocritical behavior. Won't cure a damned thing, though.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

GWB Rap

Okay folks, this is my first embedded video for the blogosphere... hope you like it. If you have dial-up, be patient because it's worth it.



This is G to the W to the B doing his rap. (Actually it's Chris Cox playing Junior.) Thug life, D to the C style. Remember, you voted for him. I didn't. Word out.