Saturday, December 30, 2006
Saddam Hussein is dead.
For years Saddam Hussein was thumbing his nose at the world. No matter who his enemy of the time was, no matter how badly he was beaten, as long as he breathed air and as long as he held even the slightest measure of power in that country, he won. And he let everyone know about that!
When Iraq got their asses kicked by Iran, it didn’t matter because HE was still alive and still in charge. When he was killing his own people, it didn’t matter WHO he pissed off afterwards because HE was still alive and still in charge. When the US forces kicked Iraq out of Kuwait, it didn’t matter how badly the Iraqi forces lost or how humbled they were in battle, because HE was still alive and still in charge. Even when our bombs were raining on his head and our soldiers killed his evil hellspawn sons, it didn’t matter as long as Saddam was still breathing air and holding even the smallest modicum of power.
It was all about HIM! It was ALL about the survival of Saddam Hussein and HIS continued rein of power in that country! Every single human being in the country could be killed and it wouldn't matter as long as he could crawl out of his bunkers and thumb his nose at us and proclaim that "he won." Why? Because he was still breathing air!
And the Baath party officials and the Sunnis certainly played up on it, because as long as people were hating HIM, they themselves were safe. They backed Saddam, and Saddam rewarded that loyalty.
Well guess what? A couple of years ago I was glad to report that we took away Saddam’s freedom as an early Christmas present. Now we get to mark the end of 2006 with the end of Saddam Hussien’s life.
No more excuses. No more escapes. No more body doubles. No more hiding in spider-hole shelters. No more thumbing his nose at the world. Saddam was EXECUTED at 6am Baghdad time, December 30, 2006!
Saddam wasn’t even shot by a firing squad. He died by HANGING like a common citizen would be executed. Only fair since Saddam was never a military officer to begin with, even though he liked to dress up as one. He also liked to dress up as a holy figure, but nobody ever called him Imam. He probably had a whole closet of costumes. Boy Scout, Fireman, French Maid…. We’ll never know, of course, because we bombed all his palaces to crap.
Actually hanging was too good for him, especially for the crimes that he committed, including those that he will never have to stand trail for now. Yes, like many other criminals, Saddam will NEVER face justice for the bulk of crimes that he has committed. Given all of those crimes, by all rights Saddam should have been exposed to the same nerve gas he inflicted on the Kurds, then getting blown to pieces by a Scud missile full if markings left by the survivors of all those he bombed in the Gulf War. And even THAT wouldn’t be enough!
But, no, we’re dealing with “civilized justice”… or at least as civilized as can be in that part of the world. We can only execute him once, so let’s just be happy with it.
I was actually surprised that they would finish the trial and find him guilty in the first place. There seems to be this trend of bad guys dying before serving their sentence. Ken Lay died before he could go to prison and suddenly HIS conviction got expunged. Slobodan Milosevic died before he could be found guilty of genocide. I think just getting to that guilty verdict was a miracle in and of itself, never mind sentencing Saddam to DEATH and never mind getting him TO the gallows to be hanged.
And I’m actually BOTHERED by the editors at the New York Times who decided to nit-pick about Saddam’s trial, calling it a travesty and a mockery of justice. No, the mockery of justice was allowing him to either live or to still hold power after the Gulf War! The mockery was allowing this self-centered thug with a mustache to live long enough to have a sham of a trial to begin with. The mockery was allowing him to continue to pretend that he still carried any kind of weight or authority after he was captured and was put on trial.
Well that’s over with. Saddam Hussein is no more. He is a memory.
And that’s the message that should hopefully sink into the head of the people who have been praying and hoping for his return to power: IT’S OVER! Saddam will NEVER come back to power. He’s finally DEAD, like his two evil hellspawn kids are DEAD. Saddam was not a “holy warrior” any more than our dufus in the White House is a “holy warrior”. And Saddam certainly did not die as a martyr. He died a coward, because that’s what he was. He was a gutless bully coward who couldn’t do anything without his bodyguards and army. This was a man who vowed to fight to the death and to kill himself instead of being captured… only to be captured by US forces with a gun that wasn’t even fired. That’s not a “holy warrior”. That’s a gutless bully coward.
And if by some chance there is a hereafter where cosmic justice does what mortal justice cannot, there is no doubt that Saddam is being rewarded for his crimes by eternal torment; double that of his hellspawn sons; five time that inflicted on his terrorist “friends” Abu Abbas and Abu Nidal; and a thousand times that inflicted on his lackeys and henchmen. May Saddam know nothing but pain and misery for all that he inflicted and all that is inflicted in his name both past, present, and future. And may the survivors of those that he caused evil finally know peace and be allowed to heal so they can move beyond their pain.
An old saying suggests I not speak ill of the dead, but obviously I cannot do that. I will, however, wrap up this little rant by saying something that is good of the gutless bully coward formerly of Baghdad.
Saddam Hussein is dead…
Friday, December 29, 2006
"....let's see... what else is on that list...
- There's a hostile takeover bid by a megabank, a mega-toystore, a mega-telecom, two courier companies, and a mega-airline....
- Alberto Gonzales still wants you to hand over any and all means used to see who is naughty and who is nice...
- The ACLU is suing you for invasion of privacy and are demanding that you stop using any and all means to see who is naughty and who is nice...
- PETA is suing you for still using reindeer...
- Microsoft wants to talk with you about making Vista work...
- Apple wants to talk with you about NOT talking with Microsoft...
- And Fox News is accusing you of helping destroy Christmas."
Thursday, December 28, 2006
The media and politicians are both quick to say that "he healed a troubled nation" as President, but I have to seriously question that assertion.
YES Ford said that our long running "nightmare" was over, meaning the abomination that was the Nixon White House. There was a lot that Nixon did that really pissed just about everyone off, and getting out before he could be actually impeached was probably the best thing he ever did.
But did Ford REALLY "heal" a nation simply by saying it was over with? Or did he take part in one final insult, one final slap in the face on the American people, by pardoning Nixon for his actions?
I happen to think that it was a mistake for Ford to pardon Nixon, and although we'll never really know the truth, I wouldn't be the least surprised if that pardon was part of some agreement to allow Nixon to step down instead of being impeached and facing possible criminal charges. It certainly beats the current assertion that Nixon gave up "for the good of the nation".
Or maybe that's just the political cynic in me.
Anyway, aside from him pardoning Nixon, there's really only one other thing that Gerald Ford was known for… and that was to give Chevy Chase plenty of comedic material for a brand new show at the time called "Saturday Night Live". Given the number of headaches caused by that position by both Ford's predecessors and his successors, if all you're really known for is giving some comedian some pratfall material, then you're pretty much ahead of the curve.
It's just a pity we couldn't get a chance to see what Ford could do with four years as an elected President. (Then again, maybe we would have if he didn't let Nixon walk.)
Monday, December 25, 2006
It REALLY must be a slow news day for this to even be an issue…
Okay, we have Miss USA getting caught partying up too hard in New York City. Someone accuses her of doing drugs, partying around with Travis Barker from Blink 182, some smooching with Miss Teen USA, and then there’s a drug test and supposedly she failed it. Uh-oh… not good!
Is she dethroned? Nope! Instead of getting fired by Donald Trump, she gets a second chance. Because, supposedly, "The Donald" doesn’t like to do firings… even though it’s what he’s known for. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s already trademarked the saying "You’re Fired".
Hmm… he doesn’t like saying those two words? You know, someone should tell that to his former right-hand girl Carolyn Kepcher… he gave her the infamous "two words" a few months ago simply for not being at his beck and call. I’m sure she’d have a good chuckle at that statement… when she’s not busting her butt over at Microsoft that is.
Anyway, "The Donald" decides to give Tara Conner a second chance. She gets to join Bob Ney, Mark Foley, and Mel Gibson in the great absolver known as REHAB! Soon all will be forgiven and her sins will be washed clean!
Yeah, and if you buy that then I’ve got a few more to sell you…not to mention there’s that Nigerian prince looking to unload a few million with your help.
YES we’re skeptical of the whole rehab line! Who wouldn’t be? It’s getting played more times than songs featuring Timberland! There are people who truly need help, who have dug themselves into a ditch so far that they become a danger to themselves. But partying too hard and sleeping around and making an ass out of yourself, in and of itself, is not a sign that person needs rehab. It just means that you need to get your act together, which is pretty normal for young adults who are out on their own.
Okay, so Trump played Santa and Tara shed her crocodile tears showing how grateful she is over this second chance.
But then Trump take offense to something that Rosie O’Donnell says on "The View" about how Trump really isn’t the paragon of virtue and morality he portrays himself to be. He’s threatening to sue her, she’s calling him names, he’s insulting her, they’re both pretty much making asses out of themselves.
And all the while this is going on, it comes out that another young blonde beauty queen named Katie Rees (a.k.a. Miss Nevada) is shown in some dated photos of her out partying hard in some club, getting drunk, kissing it up with guys and girls and… dare I say it… EXPOSING HER JANETS! And without the jewel-encrusted pasties no less! Anyway, those are the photos making the rounds on the Internet… albeit CENSORED or with some STUPID WATERMARK all over them. (No I won’t link to those pages because I’m disappointed with the idiots who stepped all over those images with their censoring crap. Use Google if you’re that hard-up for the pics.)
Does SHE get a second chance? NO! THEY FIRED HER! They dethrone her because she EXPOSED HER JANETS!
So let’s see if I get this straight… Miss USA does drugs, gets drunk, and fools around… two of three things which are ILLEGAL (she’s still not old enough to legally drink)… and she gets a second chance. Miss Nevada (or at least she was) DOESN’T do drugs, but is seen in photos from THREE YEARS AGO when she was flashing flesh amongst friends, and she GETS FIRED!
I gotta call BS on that! BS AND HYPOCRISY! A POX on their houses!
And don’t get me started on the whole mess with Vanessa Williams, which no doubt is the precedence used for this BLATANT HYPOCRISY! It was a crock and travesty what they did to her then and it’s a continued travesty that it is being used today! The people behind that should be bitch-slapped and then shipped back to Iran where they came from!
This is precisely the kind of moralistic dysfunction that is messing things up in society, and it’s also one of the key reasons why people just don’t give a care about pageants anymore! We will actually give MORE LEEWAY for someone who breaks the law as long as she doesn’t show certain parts of the anatomy, and that’s screwed up!
Trump and company have set a new precedence… do drugs, you get a second chance as long as you do the whole rehab game… but show a certain body part, and you’re CURSED!
But of course you’re not going to hear Rosie or any of her supporters expose THAT hypocrisy! Oh no! They’d much rather go after "The Donald" and his personal life and the personal lives of his family than to stir up THAT kind of trouble. Heaven forbid they may actually have to pick a fight with the moralists!
Friday, December 22, 2006
No, I have no problems whatsoever with Keith Ellison’s decision to take his oath of office on top of the Koran. If bible-thumping Christians feel they need to swear on top of their family bibles in their own private ceremonies, then Ellison should be entitled to do the same based on his own religious beliefs as a Muslim.
If it were up to me, though, I’d have them all swearing on top of the US CONSTITUTION, which is what they are supposed to be protecting, preserving, and defending anyway. But hey, what do I know? I’m just a freedom-loving libertarian who has more respect for that document than 99.9% of the ingrates who are elected to uphold and defend it.
What DISGUSTS me are these Christian BIGOTS who believe that Ellison and others like him should be FORCED to swear on nothing BUT the Christian Bible, or not at all. And what DISGUSTS me is the lame excuse that they use to justify their blatant BIGOTRY.
Conservative talking head Dennis Prager claims that Ellison should be FORCED to swear on the CHRISTIAN Bible because it is… now get this… TRADITION! Yes, feel free to belt out a few choruses from the “Fiddler on the Roof” song by that same word.
Tradition. Prager claims that a Muslim politician should be FORCED to swear on a Christian bible as a matter of TRADITION!
Well you know there are plenty of things that were done in the days of George Washington that were supposedly a matter of TRADITION. Owning slaves was one of them. Several of America’s Founding Fathers owned slaves. Did that make it right? Absolutely not! TRADITION demanded that women be subservient to their husbands and that husbands were OBLIGATED to beat their wives to keep them in line. Did that make it right? Again, absolutely not!
And Prager is apparently joined by a goober Congressman from Virginia who went so far as to infer that unless we deal with the problem with immigration, that, to use his words, “there will likely be many more Muslims elected to office and demanding the use of the Koran."
That’s Congressman Virgil Goode of Virginia who made that statement… and sounding a lot like an early Lester Maddox in the process.
Excuse me Congressman Goober, but here’s a little tidbit that you seem to forget in your rhetoric: the bulk of the people coming into America illegally ARE NOT MUSLIMS! Care to take a guess what religion they are? Yup, you guess it, they are predominantly CHRISTIANS! But I suppose that it’s easier to call all of the illegal immigrants Muslims because it justifies invoking 9/11, right? I mean, that is the standard operating procedure for Republicans nowadays. Keep the masses eternally fearful and thus in constant need of your services.
And by the way, I should point out for those of you in Goober’s district that the congressman-elect happens to be a NATIVE-BORN AMERICAN, so there really was no justification to link the issue of his religious belief to immigration. But then again, there is no such thing as logic when you’re invoking FEAR.
What also disgusts me is that these people can’t even be HONEST about their religious bigotry! No, they have to HIDE their bigotry and call it “heritage” or “tradition” or “values” in order to justify it. That’s the only way they can worm their bigotry into effect in government. Oh yes, allow prayer in schools… not because they happen to be “OUR CHRISTIAN” prayers, but because it’s “tradition”. Post the Ten Commandments everywhere… because it’s “tradition”. Shove God and Jesus and biblical phrases and references into every facet of society and especially in every facet of government… because it’s “tradition”.
I’ll let you in on a little hint: if America’s Founding Fathers were really as “devout” and obsessed with “tradition” and “heritage” as our current bigots believe them to be, then they never would have even suggested to revolt from England. There’s this little thing called “Divine Right” that says that kings are appointed BY GOD. And the truly “devout” would even remember the passages from the Book of Kings in the Old Testament that supports this TRADITION that kept inept and incompetent rulers in charge. The Founders wouldn’t even have considered revolting against a monarchy that was appointed – supposedly – BY GOD, because that would go against “tradition” and “heritage”. They wouldn’t have allowed Thomas Jefferson to pen in the Declaration of Independence that King George III is UNWORTHY to be any sort of leader, much less a king. That not only goes again “tradition” but also against the Old Testament itself!
And if America’s Founding Fathers really were concerned about “tradition” and “heritage” and “values”, then they certainly would not have thrown in Article VI of the US Constitution that says in PLAIN ENGLISH that no religious test will EVER be required as a qualification to ANY OFFICE OR PUBLIC TRUST in the United States. That includes those little swearing-in ceremonies.
But maybe I’m expecting too much from people like those in Congressman Goober’s district. Understanding what the US Constitution actually SAYS? That may be a stretch. Expecting to understand PLAIN ENGLISH may be a challenge too.
Oh, one more thing… this swearing-in ceremony that has the bigots in an uproar? It’s just for SHOW! The ACTUAL swearing-in process takes place en masse in the House of Representatives and hardly anyone holds up a book at that point. So not only are these bigots in a huff over this, but it’s over a MEANINGLESS SHOW!
Now if Dennis Prager and his ilk, and the Goober from Virginia and his ilk want to be ignorant, intolerant religious bigots, then that’s their right. But do us all a favor and be HONEST about your bigotry! You don’t like non-Christians! Be honest about that! Be HONEST about your desire to shove your beliefs down the throats of the “non-believers”. Don’t hide it with weasel words like “tradition” and “heritage” and “values”, because you’re smearing the very meaning of those words when you do it.
Of course I’m not really expecting them to be honest about their own bigotry. Nobody wants to admit that they’re bigoted, even though they’re quick to condemn the bigotry in others, but it’s high time that we start calling people on their bigotry and getting it out in the open.
The cons and neo-cons want to compare our current troubles to World War II… and so, with that in mind, I’ll wrap this little rant up with a good quote from Frank Knox, Secretary of the Navy from 1940-1944. He said, and I quote: "I believe with all my heart that civilization has produced nothing finer than a man or woman who thinks and practices true tolerance."
If that’s the measuring stick for civilization, then the cons and neo-cons are coming up mighty short.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
If the November elections weren’t enough of a kick in the nuts, then there’s one more slam for the Republicans… they just lost one of their loyal pitbulls.
Bob Barr was Georgia’s congressman from 1995 to 2003, elected during the "Gingrich Revolution" when the GOP had originally taken over control of the Congress from the Democrats. He was a strong supporter of the failed "War on Drugs", a supporter of the anti-American USA PATRIOT Act, and he was one of the people in charge of the impeachment of President Bill Clinton in 1998.
His post-Congress career, though, took an interesting turn. While he originally was a supporter of the PATRIOT Act and did vote for it, he later became one of the vocal critics of it. He was the one that actually pushed for the sunset clause in most of the provisions. He actually joined and became a very prominent member of the American Civil Liberties Union (otherwise known by cons and neo-cons and theo-cons as simply "the Antichrist"). He has been a very vocal opponent of the White House’s call for unrestricted wiretapping power, and he is the founder of a group called the "Patriots to Restore Checks and Balances".
Well now we can call him something else too… a member of the Libertarian Party.
It seems that Citizen Barr has been supporting Libertarian candidates for a while now, and at some point he became a Life Member of the LP. The Libertarian Party has just announced that he has accepted a position as the Regional 4 Representative of the Libertarian National Committee. (Didn’t think the LP was that big, did you?)
After the announcement, Barr had this to say:
"I'm pleased to assist the Party of Principle in this capacity and hope to further our political success as we move closer to the 2008 election cycle. Being a member of this body is a serious and long-term commitment that I gladly accept. As importantly, I'm happy to announce that I am now a proud, card-carrying Libertarian who is committed to helping elect leaders who will strive for smaller government, lower taxes and abundant individual freedom. I encourage other Americans from across the political spectrum to join me."
As Bruce Willis once said, "Welcome to the party, pal!"
This brutally honest commentator has been surprised by Citizen Barr’s gradual transformation from being a GOP pitbull into a libertarian, and while he may still have some conservative leanings to deal with (hey, I’m far from a perfect libertarian too), it is good to see that he solidified his departure from the outdated two-dimensional spectrum. I hope that this process continues and that he doesn’t become a pseudo-libertarian like Neal Boortz has become of late.
It’s just a pity that we couldn’t have this version of Barr when he was in Congress. He would have been an excellent voice of reason in a legislative body full of crooks and theocrats.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Brutally Honest Audio Rant: End-Of-Year Rant 2006
(Computer – Introduction)
(Music intro – "Carol of the Bells" – by Mannheim Steamroller)
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 is time….
Time for me to put the broadcast toys away for a couple of weeks. Time to get my constantly-thinking mind off of the next column and the next rant and on to more strenuous things… like what kind of wrapping I should put on the presents. It’s time for the year-end break.
It’s been an interesting year… not good or great, but also not entirely bad. It was… interesting.
I hope everyone checks out the Brutally Honest Awards column, which I’ll be posting on my website this weekend. That will be the last column for me for 2006, and then I will officially be on the year-end break.
BUT we still have one more rant to go though… this one… so let’s get to it.
You know, this is the Holiday Season… even if too many Christians fail to see more than just the one celebration they’re fixated on. So to wrap up 2006 and get into 2007, I though I’d give you my own Christmas Wish List.
Now folks, when I was younger… long before I started doing online columns… people would ask me what I would want for Christmas. And for the longest time I had a long list of things that I thought would be neat to have. Unfortunately, as I’ve gotten older, my list started becoming less about the stuff that people could buy. I actually had to strain to figure out what people could GET me.
By the way folks, here’s a good way to tell if you’re getting old… when you WANT socks and underwear for Christmas. Why is it when we’re kids we keep on getting socks and underwear even when we specifically say we don’t want them… and then when we grow up we have to BEG ANG PLEAD for family members to get us socks and underwear? What’s up with that? You would think that at some point someone would remember that little tidbit from his or her own experiences.
Anyway, the things on this wish list are certainly not the kind of things that you can buy at a store, and they’re certainly not just for yours truly. Once upon a time I used to just wish for world peace, but thanks to the extremists that just isn’t going to happen. And you’ll also notice that a lot of them involve smacking people upside their heads with a flaming Yule log. I figured I’d be a little festive about it. Plus you would think that it would hurt people more to smack them upside the head with a flaming Yule log than to give them lumps of coal. After all, coal is valuable nowadays. Why reward people for being evil when you can just smack them upside their heads with a flaming Yule log?
First of all… how about a sense of REAL justice? You know, I’ve been hearing stories on top of stories of how the government screws the people when it comes to keeping the police honest. The folks at Hit and Run, Reason Magazine’s weblog, recently reported how the State of Connecticut has allowed their State Troopers in one area to hold "DWI contests" for bringing in the most DWI arrests… no matter how those arrests were made! Some troopers were actually encouraging the people they pulled over to NOT TAKE a breath test, and then of course writing them up for it when they followed the trooper’s advice and broke the law. And the supervisors? They REWARDED that! Internal Affairs washed their hands CLEAN of the matter. The same for the City of Atlanta. Their police review board routinely discounts most of the complaints of excessive police force made by its citizens.
And now we have the "OFFICIAL" report by the House Ethics Committee concerning online predator Mark Foley saying that, oh, there were some MISTAKES made… some LAPSES in judgement… but "NOBODY did anything wrong"!
Now… why am I not surprised by that pronouncement? Seriously. Why am I not shocked and outraged over the fact that these corrupt grifters and shysters would WHITEWASH the criminal negligence and criminal activities of their own corrupt brethren? It’s probably because I’ve seen this kind of criminal cover-up before… repeatedly. This is why I’m glad that the Republicans lost control of the House and Senate. They EARNED every single loss in last month’s election.
But it serves to point out that we are seriously LACKING any real semblance of justice here, especially when it comes to the criminals in government. These dickheads want to make a BIG presentation about cleaning up the streets and cleaning up TV and cleaning up the Internet and cleaning up corporations… but they don’t do SQUAT to clean up their own activities! You want to know why we the people have no respect of politics, no respect for police, and no respect for government? THAT’S WHY! And it’s not going to get any better!
So yeah, we need justice… and it also wouldn’t hurt if those above-mentioned groups also got a serious smack upside their heads with a flaming Yule log.
What else is on my truly wishful list? Let’s see…
How about some common-sense rules for our personal information? Ban ALL pretexting! That’s when someone impersonates you to get your phone records and other bills. I don’t care who does it, private investigators, big corporations like Hewlett-Packard, or the Department of Homeland Security… if you do it, you go to prison, it’s that simple. Ban ALL opt-out data-sharing deals. All of these companies that want to use our information to sell to other companies should be obligated to get our EXPRESSED permission beforehand. They can’t just send out so-called "privacy notices" that say that they’ve already sold our data to these companies and then tell us that if we don’t like it that WE have to spend the time and effort to opt out.
Oh, and the companies and government agencies that already do this sort of stuff should get smacked upside the head with a flaming Yule log.
Here’s a good one to wish for… REAL tax reform! Longtime Brutally Honest supporters know that I’m a serious supporter of the Fair Tax Bill that’s been circulated for quite some time in Congress. If Congress ever got to pass it as written, it would significantly cut down on A LOT of other problems such as illegal immigration, exporting American jobs overseas, online taxes, Social Security, ending corporate welfare… Cripes, I was going over some of the other wish list items and a lot of them could be knocked off just by passing the Fair Tax Bill as it currently exists! PLUS this is the ONLY tax program that I know where YOU GET MONEY from the government! I don’t know why I’m the only person saying this, but the Fair Tax Bill actually has the government GIVING YOU MONEY! And that’s on top of you getting 100% of your paycheck back.
Obviously there are plenty of people who profit heavily on the tax system being as punishing as it is, and those folks deserve to be smacked upside the head with a flaming Yule log.
Another good wish… shutting down all of these anti-sex crusades once and for all! All of these theocratic moralist groups that managed to get clout in governemtn and use it as their own personal mob enforcers over the past six years because they backed Republicans need to be shut down once and for all and get them OFF the backs of adult Americans! You know, it’s one thing to go after the child molesters… but when the biggest so-called "protector" of children turns out to be nothing more than a predator himself, and one of the biggest institutions that has been behind most of these "protecting the children" schemes are full of predators themselves, then you’re dealing with nothing but a bunch of frauds and they have to be shut down. And if we can’t shut them down, then they at least deserve to be smacked upside the head with a flaming Yule log over and over again until the message finally sinks into their brains.
And of course last but not least, we all of the so-called "culture warriors" out there. The people out there who think that a flaming Yule log is a good healthy symbol of the CHRISTIAN holiday season. Well guess what, boys and girls? I’ve researched Yule logs and their origins. Guess what I found out? The word "Yule" is Scandinavian. Its original spelling was "J-U-L-E" but pronounced "Yule" with a "Y". Now you’re thinking that "Jul" spelled with a "J" is some code word for JESUS, right? Nope. Wrong religion. "Jule" is the Scandinavian celebration for "Julin" otherwise known as "Odin", the Norse god of many things, including wisdom, war, magic, and death… and strangely enough also for intoxicating drink and SEX.
Yeah, all you people who think that Christmas is a purely CHRISTIAN tradition fail to understand just how PAGAN a lot of these so-called "traditional symbols" are! But the Puritans knew. That’s why the banned Christmas in Colonial Massachusetts for a whole generation. You know, the ones that banned alcohol on Sundays, shut down the stores, enforced strict anti-sex laws, slaughtered women on the mere accusation of being witches…. the very people that you’re trying to emulate today with your neo-Puritanical crusades. THOSE Puritans!
But I suppose that it really doesn’t matter, does it? At least not in the long run. Let’s get brutally honest here… this is all just a scheme for you to sell your books or to get people to listen to your syndicated talk radio show or to get them to watch your cable news channel. It’s all just ADVERTISING. You’re creating a crisis for your ready-made solution. And you’ll milk that for as long as you can get away with it. You’ll play it up at every angle. You’ll come back to it year after year, reminding people of the crisis that only exists in YOUR heads, and telling them that the only way to "win" in this "war on Christmas" is to continue to buy your books, read your syndicated columns, listen to your syndicated talk radio shows, and watch your cable news channels. And all the while, of course, being inundated with the very commercialism that you claim is ruining the season.
And the scary part is that there are plenty of people who are gullible enough to buy it all. Plenty of people who will be suckered into believing that Christmas was only about ONE religion and on ONE special day, when in fact there is A WHOLE SEASON of celebrations here. Different various social and religious celebrations sharing a common message that gets lost by not just commercialism, but also by self-important hucksters.
For those slick advertisers of their own agendas, I don’t wish a flaming log celebrating Odin upside their heads. I really don’t… because in all likelihood they’d just turn around and claim that they’re the "victims of persecution", even though they know far more about persecuting others than they ever would know about BEING persecuted. No, I do not wish that on them, because a flaming Yule log is supposed to represent fertility and good luck. Instead I wish upon them what I’ve had to endure for years… isolation, marginalization. Railing on against the wind and wondering if anyone even notices. And it is at this time of the year for people like me when such feelings become even more profound. Maybe then… maybe after they’ve walked a couple of miles in MY shoes… they can truly appreciate the importance of the season and realize that there’s more to it than just commercialism… both direct and indirect.
(Computer – some very timely holiday stuff)
(Fade Music In – "Stille Nacht" by Mannheim Steamroller)
As I bring the 2006 Brutally Honest rants to close, I want to end the rant tonight by giving some thanks.
First of all, thank you to everyone who sent me comments over the year, whether to agree or disagree with me on my rants. One such person, whom I won’t mention by name, said continually that he didn’t agree with my position but he really appreciates my passion on these subjects, and that’s really important. I don’t need to create dittoheads or blah-blah people. It would be great to know just how many true Brutally Honest Supporters I have, but just to know that there are people who ARE listening in or reading my works is really important to me.
Next, thank you to RJ Evans and the folks at ShockNetRadio.com for plugging the Brutally Honest weblog. These guys are seriously getting me interested in doing live Internet radio going again, so that’s one of the things that may start up in 2007.
And of course, as strange as it may sound, I always have to give a special thanks to all of the moralists and freedom-haters and politicians out there… because those folks really are the reason why I’m doing this sort of stuff! They’re the ones that piss me off and give me something to rant about every week in TWO different forums. If not for them, I’d probably be cobbling out some mediocre career as a fictional writer and not give a crap about this country and the direction it has taken towards tyranny and despotism. They may never earn my respect, but they at least stirred feelings of TRUE patriotism and idealism about how things should be and provoked me into expressing them for you to sift through and either agree or discard at your leisure.
And so… I guess that’s it. I hope everyone has a GREAT HOLIDAY season, and please keep checking the Brutally Honest weblog for news as to when the new season will start up again.
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 see everyone in 2007!
(Computer – Ending/"End of Recording")
[End of program]
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Sorry, but I had to jump quickly on this....
Fresh from the AP:
President Bush said Wednesday he would "not be rushed" into a decision on a strategy change for Iraq...
What? Won't be RUSHED into it? Why not? We got GOADED INTO it! We were told that we had to ACT and ACT IMMEDIATELY to stop Saddam. We were told that we HAD to drop EVERYTHING, even looking for Osama, to go stop Saddam.
The White House certainly loves to RUSH us into doing stuff from 9/11 onward, so why not get back some of what they're dishing out? Why put US through a pressure cooker when you yourself can't take the same pressure afterwards?
What's wrong with it, you ask? Well let's think about it...
Unless this guy is somewhere along the lines of Bill Gates, he will NEVER get a girl like that! Sorry, just doesn't happen. Your typical geek is just looking at that kind of girl from his computer, not live and just a few feet away from him, and he's just WISHING she was asking HIM that question.
In reality she's looking over at her rich, cocky, suave, alpha-male boyfriend or husband - who doesn't even remotely look like that geek in the picture - while he gives off that arrogant smile that says "I've got plane tickets to the Bahamas and a diamond the size of your little finger ready for you on Christmas. Those losers can't even come close to topping that!"
Plus, let's face it... your typical geek's desk doesn't look that clean!
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
That is good for us as consumers because that means that the Fed is trying to weather through all of the chaos so far and seeing which way the economy will go. I'm still seeing indications that it will head south in the next two years, and that is being matched by the slow bleed in the housing numbers and somewhat stagnant wages.
The post-Holiday economy should give us an indication as to how bad things will get. The early layoff announcements from two years ago should start to trickle in by that time. If I'm right, the Fed will stop being concerned about inflation shortly thereafter and you'll hear people talking about actually DROPPING the rates again.
But right now keeping the rates the same is the safest move for the Fed.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Every year there's a call to replace the current "BCS" system with a system that the ordinary sports fanatic can understand and track. Basically they want a playoff system.
Look, I've been hearing about this issue for YEARS now and if it takes a non-sports person to break the news to you, then fine, I'll do it. I'll be the bearer of bad news for you.
Playoff system? FUGGETABOUTIT!
Look, there's a really simple reason why the "BCS" is as complicated as it is today and why there will NEVER be a change to something simple, and that simple reason will blow your mind.
Much like the original "Rollerball" movie, the "BCS" was NEVER about "the game"! Ever! The Bowl Championships are about one thing and one thing only... MONEY! Greenbacks! Advertising dollars! It's all about who gets those dollars and the excuses they use to keep bringing those dollars in. That's why the same colleges seem to play in the same games every year and why their "rankings" are always in dispute.
Those colleges and universities that have teams that play in the "BCS" year after year know that if there is any kind of "playoff" situation that they could easily stand a chance of not making it. How would you like to explain to your administrative bosses and to your alumni and your "booster groups" that your college won't be on TV this year because they lost to some little college? Great news if you're from that little college... but it sucks if you're on the losing side of it.
Yes, it would be nice if the BCS system was completely remade into a single-game playoff series. Then a lot of the BS in the BCS would be eliminated. But that's not going to happen, folks. There's just way too much money involved to allow that kind of reform.
Brutally Honest Audio Rant: December Issues
(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.
We’re getting close to the end-of-year break here at the Brutally Honest Command Center, and I’ve got a couple of quick issues that I need to go over before then, so now is a good as time as any to get them out of the way.
First up… Blonde Celebs Self-Destructing!
Okay, every time I keep on telling myself that I shouldn’t even bother getting into this sort of subject, I end up talking about it. Seems like every time I turn around, there’s some blonde female celebrity making the news, and it’s usually not nice.
First there’s Anna Nicole Smith popping out a tax deduction, losing another tax deduction, and then marrying her attorney. And all within the span of a few weeks! What’s wrong with this picture? This seems like a storyline straight out of a Mexican soap opera!
Then there’s pop-tease Britney Spears, who dumps her husband on the same day that the voters dumped the Republicans, and now she’s partying big-time with the mistress of the party, Paris Hilton… and doing so without pants… or panties!
You know, there was a time when seeing Britney do more than just tease would have been a dream come true for most people. (Unless, of course, you’re a longtime subscriber of Hugh Hefner’s magazine…like me.) But I don’t think anyone would be willing to see Britney’s "Full Monty" complete with a recent C-Section scar! UGH! Britney, please, at least wait until that area fully heals before you start going commando in public!
And listening to her whine about how the public is being "too hard" on her soon-to-be ex-husband, Kevin Who-gives-a-crap, is just a little too much. I’m sorry Britney, but you were the one that decided to make your personal life a TV series. You dragged "K-Loser" out for us everywhere you went. Now it’s OUR turn to let you know just what we thought of him. And since you obviously ignored what the rest of us though about it before you got married, you get to listen to us now. By the way… that can also explain why she’s hitting the party circuit pretty hard. The truth hurts, but it doesn’t hurt as much after five or six drinks.
And then there’s Pam Anderson, who decided to terminate her marriage of all of a couple of months with Kid Rock. My thought was… they really got married? Seriously. I thought it was just a joke. A scam to play on the stalker-nazis for hounding them for so long. The good news is that at least they didn’t produce any tax deductions from their brief union.
The bad news is… wondering where does Pam Anderson go from here? She went from Tommy Lee to Kid Rock… and it’s not TOO much of a leap before she starts hooking up with Pauly Shore.
The sad part is that she’s pretty much an exaggerated parody of her former self. All of those plastic surgeries, all of those tattoos… you take a look at her now and compare that to what she looked like ten years ago when her star was just rising and there’s very little between them. Where is that Playmate of the Year that I remember ten years ago?
Three blonde celebrities… each of them self-destructing in their own way, and like it or not, we’re riding along with them like Slim Pickens on top of that nuke from Dr. Strangelove. They would probably do themselves well to stay out of the celebrity fishbowl so they can figure out what they want to do with their lives now, but obviously THAT is never going to happen. After all, this IS what their lives are all about now.
Okay, second subject… there have been a couple of police shootings in recent weeks in New York and in Atlanta that basically should not have happened. In New York, an unarmed man was executed by the police on the night before his wedding. In Atlanta, three drug enforcement officers raided the house of a 92-year old woman in the middle of the night. She thought she was being robbed by thieves pretending to be police officers, because that is what was going on in that neighborhood. So she had a shotgun and she opened fire, wounding one officer before all three of them shot her.
And now both departments are trying to excuse these murders. They’re trying to justify what they did and what led to the series of events causing these murders. They’re trying to whitewash what happened because these things make their respective cities and departments look bad.
And I can spend an entire rant about these things, but I obviously can’t do that tonight, so I’m going to go ahead and give you this little anecdote to get my point across.
Way back when I was a child, someone tried to break into our house. My father fought him back and our dog tried to stop the intruder, but it wasn’t enough. Our dog had been around me and watched out for me pretty much since I was born, but she wasn’t a watchdog. My father was committed to making sure that nobody else would break in again. So he brought in another dog. An actual watchdog. A dog designed to go after people breaking in.
The problem is that this dog was TOO good of a watchdog. He went after ANYONE that he saw as an intruder. That included myself and my little sister. After a few scary moments, my father realized that this was not the way things should be, so he returned the watchdog.
THAT is the real problem, boys and girls… we BRING IN these officers and we ALLOW this mentality to be generated that ANYTHING they can do to cut down on crime or clean up the streets or to make us safe is okay. ANYTHING. Any single thing. Even if it means executing some unarmed innocent man on the night before his wedding, and even if it means raiding the house of a little old lady using tactics that can easily cause them to be mistaken for burglars. THAT is what "anything" means. We ALLOWED that mentality to be created and now we are seeing the consequences of those actions.
That’s something for everyone to think about the next time you get goaded into supporting some politician who promises to clean up the streets.
I finally got to see "The Da Vinci Code" on DVD this past weekend, and quite frankly I don’t see why the Roman Catholic Church would get their fancy hats out of joint over this. It was A MOVIE! A very good movie but still JUST A MOVIE! I don’t watch "The Ten Commandments" and think that it was how it actually happened. I appreciate the movie for what it does… it tells a story. A story based on some elements that may be factual, but it is still just a story nonetheless.
Yes, there were some actual elements of history brought up in the movie that doesn’t really make the Catholic Church look good. But guess what? That’s the fault of the Church. The truth, in and of itself, doesn’t judge what is right or what is wrong. It simply is, and we get to interpret it from that point on.
Is there a grand conspiracy to hide some facts about Jesus? I wouldn’t be surprised if there was. But absent of any kind of fact, you only have one thing… belief. You choose to believe that there is a grand conspiracy. And it is also belief that propels people to defend the Church at all costs even WHEN the facts – if any exist – are presented to them.
And by the way, the Catholic Church has a hard time dealing with the sins they committed in the past fifty years, i.e. not keeping Father O’Gropper away from the boys choir… do you really think that they’ll even entertain looking at the sins committed by their predecessors several CENTURIES ago? I don’t think so.
Look, take the movie for what it is. It is a story. If you think that there is something more to it, then by all means try to look into it to your hearts content. But otherwise, just accept it for being what it is and move on.
Okay, these last two quick rants are more social complaints than anything else…
What the hell is up with store coupons? You know which ones I’m talking about. The ones that are generated by the store register when you pay for your groceries… or the so-called "value rewards" that some stores offer if you’re a part of their data-collecting program. They’re always promising sales but only if you buy in numbers LARGER than what you would normally buy.
For instance: I buy a lot of cat food every week, which obviously goes to feed my cat, so it’s not uncommon to get a register-generated coupon that offers me fifty-cents off if I buy 18 cans of cat food. I normally buy just six cans a week. That’s all that my cat needs. The store’s data-collecting program knows that I normally buy just six cans a week. And yet it will not offer me a coupon for making anywhere near that kind of a purchase. It always wants to reward me for spending far more than I would want to or possibly afford to. Or they’ll give me coupons for things that they know I never buy. What’s up with that? I’m not looking to buy a five-gallon jug of lard just to redeem a coupon for ten cents.
And then they have the nerve to ask me why I’m letting all of these coupons expire. Well maybe if they actually put their data-collecting resources to proper use they can come up with coupons that we all can use so we wouldn’t feel like we’re the ones getting the short-end of the deal.
Just something for you to think about.
Okay… one more…
Whatever happened to the kind of messages that start out with "Hi, how are you?"
I’m wondering that because a lot of the emails that I’ve been getting from friends and family members have been pretty much about jokes and little wisdom thoughts. I go visit my parents and they ask me if I know what went on with my sister’s family or my cousin’s family and I’m having to tell them that I’m clueless as to what’s going on. Oh I get emails from people all the time, but lately it’s just to pull out some viral video or online joke that’s been circulated about the Internet fifty or so times.
Let’s get brutally honest here… one of the reasons why people like me feel so disconnected from this horror show we like to call our world is because we are INUNDATED with messages from our friends and family members and coworkers and acquaintances and people on our "friends lists" that are… well, let’s face it… fluff. And there seems to be very little interest in how other people are doing.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind little words of inspiration, but I’d rather see pictures of my friends and relatives than rehashed pictures of kittens and dogs. I’d rather hear how these people are doing instead of hearing the latest blonde joke or how some no-name redneck redefines patriotism and religion. Send me YOUR well-wishes, not the well-wishes of some total stranger contained inside a chain letter that violates every single online rule of etiquette.
You know all of this communication is supposed to BRING us together… to get us more connected. But that only works when you are actually trying to COMMUNICATE instead of being the messenger of someone else’s rehashed words.
And, hey, I’m just as guilty as anyone else in sending cute little subjects or online articles over to people, but at the same time I know that there’s a whole lot not being said. And sometimes that little bit that doesn’t get said is important.
So the next time you come across something cute that someone else might like, don’t be afraid to toss in a quick personal message or two. You know… something along the lines of "Hi! How are you doing?" I don’t know about anyone else, but I actually get a wider smile on my face when I get an email from someone telling me how they’re doing instead of getting an email forwarded over from a dozen other people just trying to make me smile.
(Computer – some timely stuff… gotta hear it to appreciate it of course)
(Fade Music In – "Mythodea" by Vangelis)
There’s something I’ve noticed in each of these little rants… and I hope that you noticed it too.
Think about it… our obsession with celebrities… our concentration of group security over personal safety… our obsession about what movies tell us about religious beliefs… even the whole thing with coupons and with our preferences of re-sending other people’s jokes instead of communicating with friends and family members… they all have something in common. Do you know what that is?
It’s all part of the gradual removal of the SELF… of the individual.
If you’re thinking about celebrities, then you’re not focusing on the things going on in your life. If you’re listening to what church leaders tell you about what movies are "good" for religion, then you don’t have the opportunity to decide for yourself how to view them in relation to your own beliefs. Police departments don’t want you to defend yourself; they want you to be willing slaves to their programs. Protect you when THEY decide to, and willing to storm your house at any time using the same tactics as the neighborhood criminals, and you’re supposed to accept it, because YOU don’t matter… only the results matter. Stores want you to buy more than you normally do because that’s all they see you as… consumers, not people. And it’s easier to just rehash other people’s messages… because when do people have time for their own thoughts, never mind have the time to convey them?
Someone once lamented about the lost art of letter writing, and I’d agree that it is something of a lost art nowadays, but there’s something else that doesn’t get mentioned. The people who made letter-writing the art form that it appears to be now had two things that many of us don’t have… time and a sense of self.
Just something for you to think about…
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!
(Computer – Ending/"End of Recording")
[End of program]
Monday, December 04, 2006
The real question is... will Alberto Gonzales come out of the breadbox (or is it the cookie jar?) for more spacious areas? Or will the GOP simply take that table?
Well, as it has been tradition here at the Brutally Honest Command Center, it's just about time that yours truly takes a month or so off so I can enjoy the holidays, recharge my mental batteries, and decide how I want my website to look in 2007.
So here goes...
The LAST Brutally Honest audio rant for 2006 will take place on Wednesday, December 13th. I don't know how long it will be or what the subject will be for that night. I usually don't prepare these things until about a day or two beforehand, so I guess you'll just have to wait and see what I'll be talking about then.
The LAST Brutally Honest column for 2006 will be posted on Sunday night, December 17th. As has been tradition, this will be the 2006 Brutally Honest Awards, noting the best and the worst of the year.
After that, the Command Center gets shut down until sometime in mid-January.
Of course my blog site will still be going, and I'll be putting in a few quick rants. For those of you who haven't visited the website yet, by all means go to http://d2brutallyhonest.blogspot.com and check out what I have up. Every so often I toss in a few quick blurbs, some cartoons, and I'm really getting into the whole streaming video thing now, so I've been adding a few of those as well.
I hope you enjoy the last few rants and columns for 2006. If you have any suggestions on how to make my rants or columns better, please visit the blog site and look for this message, then add your ideas in the comments section.
I hope everyone has a great HOLIDAY season.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
I'm imbedding the first one for you to watch, but the second one... well the second one is just a little NSFW, so I'm just going to leave it as a link for you to watch.
And now here's the link to the video containing the full song (and with all appropriate images).
Now if you like that, you can show your support by visiting the FCCFU website, where you can download the actual song used in the second video, along with a heavy metal version of the same song, watch a special video by Carlos Mencia, get some really good merchandise, and get all of the latest news on censorship and our collective outrage over this theocratic-controlled branch of the government.
Oh, and spread the word! Tell folks about this blog, or tell your friends about the website, or even do what I did, which was go to some of these video sites like You Tube and do a search for "FCCFU" and help get the word out.
The First Amendment thanks you.