Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Brutally Honest Rant - 03/28/07

Brutally Honest Audio Rant: Taxation and Reform
Audio Transcripts

[Start Program]

(Computer – Introduction)
(Music intro – “American Idiot Remix” – by Green Day and David Matthews 2)

Good evening and welcome to this week’s Brutally Honest Rant. I’m David Matthews 2, writer of the weekly online column Brutally Honest.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been discussing taxes. No doubt some of you in the United States are pretty much consumed by taxes at this point. If you haven’t already done your federal and state income taxes by now, you’ll have to get started on them pretty quickly.

And that’s why NOW is a great time to talk about taxes, because you’re probably asking yourself why the hell you’re even doing them right now! Why can’t there be an easier way to do this?

Well THERE ARE easier ways of doing this! THERE IS a better way!

But to get there, we need two very important things… we need the WILL to demand it, and we actually NEED that better way to support.

The WILL is something that I’ll talk about next week. Right now let’s talk about the alternatives.

First of all, trying to simply fix or to streamline the taxation process as it is right now is simply NOT AN OPTION! It’s BEEN done… repeatedly! And every time we supposedly “streamline” the process, it only gets more and more complicated and it gets more and more destructive. Remember the 1040EZ? There was very little about it that was “EZ”.

And we are STILL “tweaking” the system TODAY! Every little exception and deduction that Congress passes is just another “tweak”. Even on the state level, every homestead exemption that gets voted on is another “tweak” of a system that is failing. You think that you’re helping out grandma and grandpa, but what you’re really doing is setting yourself up for even more taxes! You’re screwing the system for everyone, including yourself!

In other words, we can’t fix this system. The time when that was possible has passed. Now we gotta scrap the whole system and replace it with something else…

But with WHAT?

Okay, let’s set a simple ground rule here: everyone’s gotta pay. No more of this penalizing success crap! No more exceptions, exemptions, or deductions. Everyone pays, no matter if they make ten thousand or ten million a year. It doesn’t matter if you’re a preacher, a teacher, a politician, a corporate CEO, or the guy who cleans their toilets… you want the government to work for you? You gotta pay the admission price. We’re not going to replace a flawed system with one that will be flawed on the onset.

Now that we have that rule, let’s go ahead and toss out a few suggestions…

We have just taxing corporations and businesses. They bring in billions of dollars and they wield considerable influence in society, so let’s just tax the hell out of them.

Few things: first, just taxing businesses breaks the ground rule of everyone’s gotta pay. Second, businesses simply DO NOT pay taxes like you and I do. Taxes are just overhead to them, and overhead gets passed on down to the consumer in the form of higher prices. So really when you talk about taxing the crap out of businesses, you’re just taxing the crap out of OURSELVES, because WE are the ones who end up paying for them! You gotta think these things through, guys. It’s not enough to run on old anti-business mentalities.

Plus every time we talk about taxing businesses, the first complaint is that we’re hurting the mom-and-pop businesses. And then politicians decide to write up deductions and exceptions so that certain companies won’t pack up shop and leave the country… which they end up doing anyway. So we would pretty much be back to where we are right now with a fatally flawed system.

We have the idea of a flat tax. Now once upon a time I was a really big proponent of this idea! A flat tax based on an established percentage of your income would really work… as long as there are no exceptions, no exemptions, and no deductions. In other words, a TRUE flat tax! Everyone pays, no matter how much money they make. It would really simplify our reporting come tax time. Most of us could even do the paperwork on our own with a scratch pad and a calculator.

The downside to this is that we are STILL using the same framework as with our current system. We are still taxing income, which means that we still have to report it. We would STILL have to deal with Tax Day, and we would still have to deal with the hassles of getting our information out on time.

Plus it wouldn’t take long before this concept is abused and misused. Non-profit organizations and charities will still demand to be exempt, and we’d hear the screams about trust-fund babies like Paris Hilton getting away with not paying any taxes because they don’t make any money.

Then we have the other idea of a flat tax, namely just a specific dollar amount for everyone no matter how much they make. The downside here is that once again we have to deal with the complaints about “the poor” getting hosed and “the rich” not paying “enough” in taxes.

That brings us to my personal favorite… the FairTax Plan.

Get rid of ALL of the taxes that we’re paying now… all of them. Every last one of them. Then put in a 23% sales tax. That’s a tax that EVERYONE has to pay. You buy groceries, you pay the tax. You buy a DVD, you pay the tax. You buy a computer, you pay the tax. You buy a yacht, you pay the tax. You buy a winter mansion in Boca Raton, you pay the tax. You buy stock in Yahoo, you pay the tax.

Now 23% seems like a lot, but once you realize that our current system is responsible for 25% of the price of goods that you’re paying for now, then you’re actually getting a break!

But that’s not all that you would be getting out of this deal. We’re talking about a complete and fundamental shift in our way of life and in our finances.

Tax Day goes away. April 15th (or 17th in this case) would be just another boring day. No more 1040 forms. No more 1099 forms. No more W2 forms. No more annual visits to your accountant or to a tax preparer to see if you’re reporting all of your income. You get 100% of your paycheck… every last penny! You would not be penalized for being successful, no matter what income level you’re at! Instead of being encouraged to spend, spend, spend, you’ll have an incentive to SAVE and INVEST and not have to worry about it coming back to hurt you if you DARE to take some of that money out, because it will be YOUR money!

The Middle Class would no longer have a target on their backs under this program! They wouldn’t have to live in fear of the Alternative Minimum Tax, because that would be gone. Everyone pays the same tax, including the trust-fund babies like Paris Hilton. The “tax exempt” status would be GONE for charities and churches, because they wouldn’t have to worry about reporting income! Big Business wouldn’t have an incentive to hire illegal immigrants anymore because it will cost them the same amount of money to hire legal immigrants. That dries up that security threat.

AND that’s not even getting into the concept of a PREBATE! Yes, this program would involve the government actually GIVING YOU MONEY to cover the taxes paid for the basic cost of living per household. (We’re talking BASIC cost of living, mind you. Not Donald Trump’s cost of living.) So if you’re on the low end of the financial spectrum, then it all balances out.

Now obviously I LIKE this concept! It fits the requirement of EVERYONE paying taxes, even those who are here illegally and even those who are just visiting the United States. Companies like Haliburton can move all they want to, but every time their execs show up in this country, they would be paying taxes just like the rest of us! The onus would no longer be ON US to make sure that we report every penny we make.

And obviously there are weak spots to this plan. The IRS would not go away with this system, but they would be leaving US alone and instead be focused on making sure that merchants are paying the taxes. That 23% tax rate can be manipulated, and so can the amount issued to families by the prebate. But these are things that can be easily tracked and fixed. The potential for abuse will continue to be in play, no matter what plan gets enacted, but at least with THIS system we would know what isn’t working and what needs to be fixed.

Now, we have one more tax alternative that needs to be mentioned because some people mistake this for the FairTax Plan and it certainly is NOT the same thing. I’m talking about the Value-Added-Tax, or VAT. The Europeans played with this concept for a while until they realized just how utterly DEVIOUS it really is.

The VAT taxes each business transaction with a built-in sales tax, much like the FairTax. But here’s where the two differ. The VAT taxes the reported “PROFIT” made on each level of transaction for that product, whereas the FairTax plan just taxes the end-point-of-sale. You buy a widget for $10 and sell it for $10.50, then you get taxed on the fifty-cent profit under the VAT rather than adding the tax at the final point of sale under the FairTax plan. The VAT is infinitely more complex than the FairTax plan because companies have to PROVE that they made a “profit” and then to PROVE that they paid the right amount of tax on that “profit”. It is a very complex process that really SLAMS companies with paperwork.

Now think about this: how many times have you heard major motion picture companies complain that they don’t make any money off their big blockbuster releases? How many times have you heard a recording company claim that they’re not making any money off the album sales of their overrated pop stars? How many times have major corporations declared bankruptcy? You don’t think these companies will want exemptions?

How many times have you heard about a company packing up shop and moving overseas? Well guess what? Part of the reason why they do that has to do with the level of bureaucracy they have to deal with in this country! The VAT would make that even worse. And politicians again would know this, and they would be quick to again offer exceptions to try to keep those companies here… which they would accept AND THEN move overseas.

In other words, we would once again be suck with a flawed unjust tax system that would not do what it was created to do.

Let’s get brutally honest here… the VAT is infinitely WORSE than the FairTax, or for that matter any of the other alternatives. The invitation for abuse is great, as is being demonstrated in Europe right now, and politicians would be just as eager to dole out exceptions under the VAT as they are doing right now with our current system.

We need a new tax system that people can get behind. Something that works. Something that the people will know that everyone will have to contribute to. The reason why the idea of a flat tax has lasted this long is because it appeals to our sense of fair play. Everyone pays, and they all pay the same percentage. Simple. Easy-to-understand. People like that. Likewise, the FairTax plan appeals to our sense of fair play because it gets the government off our backs and still allows everyone to pay taxes. Plus it actually GIVES us money! Either way would work in providing a clear and healthy alternative to our current failing system.

Now all we have to do is generate the WILL to make it happen. And I’ll get into THAT next week.

(Computer – some timely stuff that you have to listen to this show to understand)
(Fade Music In – “Impend” by Martin O’Donnell and Michael Salvatori)

One of the really big reasons why our current tax system is failing is because we’ve made it too damned complex. We took something that should have been simple and we turned it into a horror show.

And it didn’t happen all at once! It happened in piecemeal. A deduction here, an exemption there, one percent here, one percent there, and to make up the difference we’d pass the burden over to others who could supposedly “afford” to shoulder it. And when the most powerful complained, politicians would give them an easy break.

They say that the road to hell is always paved with good intentions… well the path to bankruptcy for most Americans is also paved with good intentions. We don’t gamble our income away quickly and immediately. It happens through a bill here and a bill there. In that same light, the demise of our country’s ability to pay for its own services is also paved with good intentions. We think that the exceptions we look for are small, and by themselves they are… but when combined with all of the other exceptions and favors that we’ve already included, it really hurts us, and it has turned our tax system into a failure that can no longer be reformed, but rather its ineptitude DEMANDS that it be replaced.

Now if none of the systems that I outlined tonight interest you, then you’re more than welcome to come up with something else. But you had better act fast, because we need to replace this failed tax system SOONER rather than LATER.


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]

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Just come out and say it, Junior!

“Al-boy, you’re doing a heck of a job!”

I’m waiting for Bush Junior to just say that to Attorney General Alberto “Don’t Call Me Al” Gonzalez. He’s pretty much said everything else. Well, that and invite Al to go duck hunting with Dick Cheney. Then at least we’d know that AG-AG’s time would soon be over.

It will be interesting to see how long this will play out. Normally an Imperium appointee would have been kicked to the curb at the first sign of trouble, but good ol’ AG-AG is part of Junior’s inner circle. That’s his friend. That’s his buddy. That’s the guy who told him he could do whatever he wanted to by saying that America was in a state of war. Al gave him all of that unchecked, unquestionable power. He doesn’t want to give that up! Karl Rove may be Bush’s brain, but AG-AG is his will. Giving up on that is like giving up on his condescending glare.

Remember Donnie Rumsfeld? Junior had to actually LOSE a third of his political power before he fired Rummy! Seriously! Junior had all of the power in the world after 2004, and then suddenly he’s down to two-thirds of it. That’s how desperate things had to get to get rid of an inner circle player like Rummy.

AG-AG thinks that he’s safe. Junior is backing him a hundred billion percent… just like he backed up Rummy and Andy Card and “Brownie”.

Unfortunately, the longer he stays, the more tempted Congress will be to make life difficult for the Imperium. The Congress is issuing subpoenas to more of the inner circle players. They have already stripped away the AG’s power to appoint new US Attorneys without Congressional approval, which was AG-AG’s favorite PATRIOT Act provision. They’re threatening to strip away even MORE PATRIOT Act provisions… which they should just go ahead and do anyway instead of talking about it… unless this matter gets resolved quick.

And the fastest way to resolve this… is to get rid of AG-AG.

By the way, in case you’re wondering why more and more Republicans are jumping on the bandwagon on this issue, they pretty much figured that little secret out as well.

Like I said, it will be interesting to see how this all plays out. Are AG-AG’s days numbered? I guess we’ll just have to find out.

How to survive an alien attack

Thursday, March 22, 2007

COPA/CDA 2.0 Ruled Unconstitutional!

This is great news!

A federal judge has finally given a decision that was long overdue: the US Government’s fraudulent law claiming to “protect children” by punishing adults online is UNCONSTITUTIONAL!

You may remember this law as being the “Child Online Protection Act” or COPA. In truth, it was the next version of the Communications Decency Act, which was BLANTANTLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Congress thought that redefining “indecency” to being “harmful to minors” and limiting the scope to “commercial websites” would allow the law to pass through.

Well guess what? They were WRONG! AGAIN!

The law is BLANTANTLY UNCONSTITUTIONAL. The government was WARNED repeatedly that it would be unconstitutional. Even the US Supreme Court told the government that the law could very well be ruled unconstitutional. And now the judge hearing the case has finally given his official ruling to that effect.

As one of the LEGION of plaintiffs who fought the original CDA law ten years ago, I am overjoyed that the courts still have enough sense to rule for the First Amendment. I would seriously hope that the Department of Justice will simply take their lumps and move on, but I know moralists and their Republican cronies refuse to accept reality, so therefore this phase of the battle is far from over with.

But for now… free speech (at least from US censorship) still reigns online.

Hillary-1984 creator outed - what a shame!

So the guy responsible for the very creative “1984” parody bashing Senator Clinton (a.k.a. “The Banshee”) outed himself.


It’s sad because I was seriously hoping that he would have kept hidden in the shadows of the Internet.

Before he outed himself over at The Huffington Post, just about everyone kept on wondering who he is and which side of the outdated two-dimensional spectrum he existed in. They were wondering what his ultimate agenda was, why he chose to go after the Banshee and plug Obamamania. Was he an Obamamaniac? Was he a Rovian Swift-Boater pretending to be an Obamamaniac? He could have been anyone.

And that, of course, is both the magic and the fear of the Internet. Anyone could have come up with that parody ad if they have the right resources. I could have done it if I had the time and the resources. Post it under an anonymous name, sit back and watch the hits build. Then come up with another similar ad. Post that and watch the fireworks. He could have done this over and over again, each time frustrating just about everyone.

Instead, he outed himself. And in doing so, he revealed himself to be just an Obamamaniac who worked for the company that handled the website for Obabmamania – and now is out of work. The company he used to work for could lose that cushy contract as well. And it gets the normal bunch of dirty-tricks operatives off the hook.

“See?” the Rovian operatives would exclaim. “It’s not us! The Dems are doing this all to themselves!”

Of course I’m still wondering why we are even bothering to waste any breath on this subject. IT IS NOT ELECTION SEASON YET! Cripes, this is like asking people if they’ve bought all of their Christmas presents yet!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Brutally Honest Rant - 03/21/07

Brutally Honest Audio Rant: Taxation and “Fairness”
Audio Transcripts

[Start Program]

(Computer – Introduction)
(Music intro – “American Idiot Remix” – by Green Day and David Matthews 2)

Good evening and welcome to this week’s Brutally Honest Rant. I’m David Matthews 2, writer of the weekly online column Brutally Honest.

Last week I started off on my look at America’s failing tax system, and the number one thing that literally KILLS any discussion on reforming that dysfunctional, schizophrenic system. For those of you who listened – or read the transcripts – I seriously hope that I gave you folks something to think about, because like I said, we can’t even discuss fixing the system if we first cannot get past our own wealth envy. It is the reason why our system got to be screwed up, and it is why we are headed for some SERIOUS troubles in the next decade if we don’t act now to replace the system with one that works for us all.

This week, I’m going to go ahead and continue with that train of thought as we look at the issue of “fairness” in the tax system.

Now “fairness” is one of those vague subjective terms that gets thrown about and abused. It’s like other any other subjective word like “decency” or “obscenity” or “beauty” or “rich”. Its definition is pretty much in the eye of the beholder.

For most of us, we define “fair” as being right down the middle, everything equal. We think that a “fair” judge or a “fair” referee is someone who should be impartial, unbiased, and able to call the shots as they happen, no matter who wins.

The problem is that there is no such thing as being truly impartial or unbiased. We all have our own little biases. Our very sense of what is right and what is wrong is in and of itself a bias. Thus our definition of “fair” is manipulated by our biases.

We believe that the good guys should always win, so we’ll ignore those instances when police officers abuse the law, believing that the bad guys “deserve” whatever they get. We’ll ignore rampant corruption and abuses of power from our favorite politicians, but we’ll be the first ones to cry out against such activities on anyone else. We will blindly refuse to accept any kind of faults with our religious dogmas, believing OURS to be infallible, while calling to question even the smallest of inaccuracies for any other belief.

We literally hypocritize ourselves… knowingly, willingly, and with complete disregard of the consequences. And then we have the audacity to call that being “fair”.

Now let’s put that in the context of taxation, the method by which we fund our governments large and small.

The first thing that needs to be pointed out here is that we pretty much have a SUBJECTIVE tax system. This is contrary to any other element in our government, which is supposed to present EQUAL treatment. Remember that whole bit in the Declaration of Independence about ALL men being created equal? Well we didn’t really practice what we preached at the time, but we eventually changed that. In fact, we’ve gone against our own people to fight for equal treatment in the courts, equal treatment in society, equal treatment in voting… but NOT for equal treatment when it comes to taxation. We do not tax people EQUALLY. We tax them according to what we think is “FAIR”.

Two people who make the same amount of money, right to the penny, and with the same amount of cost-of-living expenses, can be taxed differently. One person could pay infinitely MORE in taxes than the other person depending on variable circumstances. One person could make his money through investments. He could own a home instead of renting one.

We have this thing called the Alternative Minimum Tax. It was originally designed to collect money from people who are rich enough to never work for a living, but instead make their money through investments. Unfortunately, nobody bothered to update the numbers for this tax to take effect, and those numbers were written back in 1970. So as it is right now, if you own a few shares of stock and you sell them, then the IRS could declare you a “rich person” and throw you into the AMT. You can even get lumped into the AMT simply by getting married to someone who works for a living if your combined income is high enough. And what this means is yet ANOTHER layer of complex paperwork for you to fill out, and without many of the normal deductions that you would normally take for granted. This tax has literally caused untold couples and families to go into bankruptcy, and has even resulted in several people committing suicide.

Is that right? No.

But according to the supporters of the status quo, that difference is considered “fair”.

There are those who don’t pay ANY taxes, and yet they wield a disproportionate amount of political influence in America. I’m talking about religious leaders. Men, and some women, who are richer than most of their followers, and yet they pay no taxes. They wield enough political influence to get laws written to tell US how to live our lives, even if we’re not followers of their belief, and yet they don’t pay the political admission price like the rest of us have to.

Is that right? Absolutely not.

And yet that too is considered “fair”.

We have a tax system that actually PENALIZES success. The more money that you make under our current system means that you have to pay even MORE in taxes! And why is that, you ask? Well, according to the supporters of the status quo… it’s because you can afford to pay it!

Now let’s frame this in a way that you can understand. Suppose you were to go to McDonald’s to buy one of those $1.00 cheeseburgers that they like to talk about. But you then find out that when you’re ordering your food, you have to tell the cashier how much money you make per year. You place your order and you tell the cashier how much money you make and the cashier tells you that this $1.00 cheeseburger now costs you $10! You’re outraged and you ask why you’re being charged ten times as much when the two other people in front of you only had to pay $1.00 for their cheeseburgers. And she says, “Well, those other two barely make more than $20,000 a year. YOU, on the other hand, make $50,000 a year. You make a lot more than they do, therefore you can AFFORD to pay more for that same cheeseburger!”

Now is that right? Is it right to be FORCED to pay more simply because you can AFFORD to pay for it? Unequivocally not!

And yet, according to the ardent defenders of the status quo, including the current and past occupants of the White House, this too is considered absolutely “fair”. According to them, you SHOULD pay more in taxes if you can afford to.

Meanwhile, of course, there seems to be an endless stream of exceptions and deductions and tax “credits” being meted out to various people for various reasons. If you’re poor, you don’t have to worry about some of the taxes. If you’re rich, you don’t have to worry about some of the taxes. If you have children, you don’t have to worry about some of the taxes. If you give to certain charities, you don’t have to worry about some of the taxes. If you own a home instead of rent one, you don’t have to worry about some of the taxes.

But nobody wants to ask who has to make up the difference for all of these little “favors”. Who picks up the burden? The rest of us do! The middle class does. People, like me, who are essentially not represented in government, who can’t claim any of those deductions or exceptions or exemptions, and who are forced to pay more and more of the tax burden. Why? Simply because we can AFFORD to pay it!

Meanwhile we have rampant spending in government. We have promises being made on our behalf that simply CANNOT be met because they call for more money than we can ever collect.

Is that right? No, but our defenders of the status quo will tell you that it is “fair”.

Well, obviously it is not “fair” for you if you’re the one left holding the bag, but it is certainly “fair” for the corrupt politicians because they get another term in office because of it. It is also certainly “fair” to those people who vote for those corrupt politicians because of it; because that’s less money that they have to worry about. As for you? Well, I guess it sucks to be you, doesn’t it?

Let’s get brutally honest here… America is being run on a tax system that is not only hemorrhaging itself into bankruptcy, but it is set up on a subjective method that is contrary to the very principles that this country is supposed to represent!

If we were to implement this demented, subjective, “FAIR” system into any other aspect of social interaction, we would be accused of blatant discrimination! There would be marches in the streets, there would be marches in Washington, there would be outright riots over this kind of discrimination! But because it plays on our wealth envy, and it is completely sold on the asinine idea that RICH people should suffer the consequences of being successful in life, then somehow, that’s okay.

Well it’s NOT okay! We are getting screwed over because of it, and if we don’t do something about it… if we don’t change this system and replace it with one that works… then we will ALL be in a situation that will not be “fair” for ANYONE inside the United States, rich or poor.

We need to replace this system with one where EVERYONE pays taxes, and pays those taxes EQUALLY, regardless of how much they make. A tax system set up WITHOUT exceptions, WITHOUT exemptions, and WITHOUT deductions. A tax system that cannot be easily manipulated by the politicians and their friends in the special interest groups. A tax system that would be so simple to understand that it can be easily taught in government schools.

These kinds of tax systems DO exist. We just have to want them bad enough to demand that government make it happen. But we had damn well better act soon, because if we don’t, then we’ll be stuck with a tax system that none of us will like in the very least, and one that we will not be able to get out of anytime soon.

(Computer – some relevant stuff… but as always, you gotta tune in to appreciate them)
(Fade Music In – “The Passportal” by Team Sleep)

Back during the American Revolution there was a handy little slogan that said “No taxation without representation”. It was to represent the fact that the American Colonies were getting screwed over in taxes by Great Britain without anyone in the government to speak on their behalf.

Well fast forward 230 years and we have both taxation and we have representation. But the problem is that those who are GETTING taxed have very little of that representation, while those who pay very little in taxes seem to get way too much representation.

Doesn’t that sound a little like history repeating itself? I would hope that wouldn’t be the case, because I’d like to think that we can resolve this problem before it ever gets that far.


Brutally Honest is a Get Brutal production; all opinions expressed are those of the commentator, and may or may not be shared by the online provider. This is David Matthews 2 saying good night, and I’ll speak with you soon!

(Fade out)
(Computer – Ending/“End of Recording”)

[End of program]

Friday, March 16, 2007

Not an issue? MY A$$ it isn't!

When it comes to accusations against the Bush Imperium, there has been one consistent rebuttal: "This is not an issue."

No matter what it is, the Imperium - along with their acolytes in Talk Radio and FoxNuze - continually cries out that the subject is a "non-issue". Plamegate? Not an issue. Illegal wiretaps? Not an issue. Can't find Osama? Not an issue. Systematic abuse of presidential “signing statements”? Not an issue. FEMA’s grand incompetence? Not an issue. Army Corps of Engineers incompetence? Not an issue. Payola for promoting No Child Left Behind? Not an issue. FBI overstepping their authority with the anti-American PATRIOT Act? Not an issue. Walter Reed? Not an issue.

EVERYTHING seems to be “not an issue” for these acolytes. Maybe that explains why they have deluded themselves into thinking that our Dufus-In-Chief is the greatest there ever will be.

Thus we now focus on the latest round of controversial political embarrassments... the firing of certain US Attorneys. Karl Rove, the dark lord of Machiavellian politics, and Attorney General Al “AG-AG” Gonzales have both claimed ignorance in their role in the removal of these attorneys, but now are admitting to have played more of a role in at least one instance. Congress is firing up hearing, and no doubt Darth Rove and AG-AG are lawyering up right now.

Meanwhile the acolytes are singing that old Imperium song... "This is not an issue! The Attorneys serve at the pleasure of the President of the United States. They can be fired at any time! The media is fabricating this issue!"

The media fabricating this issue? Oh, you mean like how the "War on Christmas" was a complete fabrication to benefit the theocrats and propel the book sales of the FoxNuze commentators? Say it ain't so, FoxNuze, say it ain’t so!

But I want all of you “Bushies” to go back about... oh... 13 years ago. It was May of 1993. The White House Travel Office, longtime employees one and all, were all handed their walking papers at the behest of the new President of the United States. They too served at the pleasure of the President of the United States and were replaced by loyal White House supporters. Only back then the POTUS was a Democrat named Clinton.

Remember the outrage over that? Remember the calls for investigations? It was WRONG, wasn’t it? HOW DARE the White House fire hard working government employees and replace them with ass-kissers! HOW DARE they sully the job into being one of political favoritism! How DARE they!

"This is not an issue," you say?

I'm sure Billy Dale would disagree with that assessment. Remember him? He was the guy in charge of the Travel Office who was accused of embezzlement because of an FBI whistleblower. The charges only materialized after political outrage erupted over the Travel Office firings. He was later acquitted of all charges even though at one point he was set to lose $64,000 and several years of his freedom. And for what? Because the White House at the time wanted to give those jobs over to loyal political supporters. No different than the accusations of incompetence being thrown about on the fired attorneys today. The only difference is that the fired attorneys don’t have to worry about going to jail like Mr. Dale did.

"Not an issue," you say? Then why did you make it one back in 1993? Why did you stoke the fires of special investigation over that issue? Did you not think that your side would later make the same mistake? Or did you simply not think that you would get CAUGHT making that same mistake?

My old line is once again true…. Hypocrisy, thy name is politics!

Now you “Bushies” think about that for a while.

Kalid confesses… okay, now what?

Okay, so Khalid Shaikh Mohammed has confessed to masterminding the 9/11 terrorist attack, the Richard Reid shoe bomb attack, personally murdering American reporter Daniel Pearl, and his role in dozens of other terrorist attacks that may or may not have been carried out, including plans to assassinate former Presidents Carter and Clinton and the late Pope John Paul II.

Great! So why is he still breathing air? Why haven’t we done to him what he did to Pearl in 2002?

And isn’t it strange that this news is coming out at the same time as the Democrat-controlled Congress is voting on some serious bills concerning Iraq?

Once again, I smell the stench of Karl Rove. As I understand it, this announcement is not “breaking news”. That means that the timing is suspect. That’s Rove’s trick.

And let’s look at the knee-jerk reactions here… all of the Imperium ass-kissers are jumping up and down saying that this news VALIDATES ALL of the Imperium efforts in the “War on Evil Islamic Bad Guys Who Aren’t Siding With Our Allies”, including why we’re in Iraq.

No it does not, you bunch of pathetic brownnosers! It just means that we did our jobs in Afghanistan in regards to capturing him. Now that he’s confessed to the crimes against America, he has no more reason to continue to live. Have your damned tribunal, find him guilty, then line him up and execute him. He’s already considered dead as far as his “friends” are concerned. If we keep him alive then he becomes a bargaining chip for future hijackings and hostage-takings. If we execute him, then he just becomes yet another martyr, and you can’t make hostage demands of a dead martyr.

Look, there is no way to deal with this loser that doesn’t inspire the terrorist groups one way or another. So stop trying to come up with ways to do that and just execute him. Let justice be served and stop letting Karl Rove use these things as political tools for his agendas.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Brutally Honest Rant - 03/14/07

Brutally Honest Audio Rant: Tax Reform and Wealth Envy
Audio Transcripts

[Start Program]

(Computer – Introduction)
(Music intro – “American Idiot Remix” – by Green Day and David Matthews 2)

Good evening and welcome to this week’s Brutally Honest Rant. I’m David Matthews 2, writer of the weekly online column Brutally Honest.

As we get closer and closer to April 15th - otherwise known as “Tax Day”, when most Americans have to have their federal and state income tax forms sent out – I’m going to be spending some time talking about ways that we can make that day disappear once and for all. Because it really is annoying and aggravating for us to deal with this annual burden of filling out forms, collecting all of these receipts marking off how much money we DARED to make and reporting how much got taken away from us in taxes, and then HOPING that we’d get some of it back just so we could make ends meet! It is annoying, it is frustrating, and oh yeah, we really have NO IDEA how much is getting taken away from us in taxes. We have to actually PAY to buy software or to hire tax preparers to fill out all of this stuff for us, because there’s no way in hell we can figure this stuff out and do it right. And good luck for those of you who try! I mean, you think that computer programming is confusing? Try understanding the tax code! That’ll make binary code look like child’s play!

And as I reported a couple of weeks ago, we’re quickly coming to a point where we NEED to make some sort of significant change to our tax system, because this crap is NOT working! Ask the current head of the General Accounting Office if you don’t believe me! David Walker, the comptroller general of the GAO, has been sounding the alarm bells for quite some time now. The system cannot handle all of the promises that have been made by our elected grifters and shysters.

Now when that day comes – and I mean WHEN, not if, and we’re talking sooner rather than later – then two things are going to happen. The first is that we ARE going to break the promises made concerning pretty much every social program today and every promise made tomorrow. We simply will not have the money for them because we’ll be spending all of that money on the interest on those promises. The second thing that will happen is that WE, and I mean every single taxpaying American, will get HOSED in crippling-high taxes! If you think that you’re getting screwed over now, then you better start wondering about how you’re going to survive when you’re paying TWICE as much in taxes, or even THREE times as much! And imagine how that added tax burden will affect your cost of living! It’s not just less money in your paycheck, it’s more money that you’ll have to spend on food, on clothing, on the basic utilities that you take for granted today, and pretty much everything else going on now. How much we pay in taxes also has an effect on the economy.

And this isn’t MY nightmare scenario, folks… this COMES from the head of the GAO! I’m talking about someone whose only mission in life is to look at the REAL numbers with the federal government and to see where things are heading. He doesn’t like where things are going, and there are very few people in Washington D.C. who can find fault with it. That’s scary!

And there is only one way to prevent that nightmare scenario from happening. We HAVE to fundamentally change the tax system now. We can’t dabble with it; we can’t “tweak” it; and we certainly can’t make an adjustment here and an adjustment there and expect things to fix themselves. We missed the opportunity to do that maybe ten or twenty years ago. Now it’s too late. We need to scrap the whole damn thing and start fresh and come up with a tax system that is truly FAIR for EVERY American, not just “fair” for the politicians and certainly not just “fair” for the special interest groups.

Now I have read the FairTax Book. I understand its origins and what it can do. I’ve seen the numbers, and if it is implemented as spelled out in that book, then you would see an incredible influx of tax money, and, at the same time, some great economic incentives for both growth and for savings. We would have a tax system that would actually ENCOURAGE savings and ENCOURAGE success, and not punish them like the current system is doing.

But I’m really not here to talk about the FairTax idea this week. It’s an interesting system, and one that I will help explain in the weeks to come so that you can understand what it is and what it is not.

Right now, though, I want to talk about the number one thing that KILLS any kind of talk about tax reforms in this country… because we can’t even begin to talk about reforming the tax system without getting past THIS serious hurdle. We can come up with a dozen perfect new tax systems to replace the current one that could generate untold trillions in tax revenue and they wouldn’t mean a damn thing if we can’t get past this issue-killer.

And the name of this issue-killer is WEALTH ENVY! It is nothing less than our perverse HATRED of the fact that SOMEONE OTHER THAN OURSELVES is out there being more successful and making more money than us!

I’m serious about that, boys and girls! This is what literally KILLS any discussion on real tax reform in this country! It is our perverse FEAR and HATRED of rich people!

Oh, sure, we deny it. It’s not normal to admit to having a perverse hatred of anything. We don’t want to be known as haters. Haters are bad people, and we all see ourselves as the good guys.

But while we’re watching NBC’s “The Apprentice” and MTV’s “Cribs” and watching all the celebrity success stories and looking at all of that gaudy opulence being thrown in our faces, we can’t help but feel disgusted by it. We look at the gossip magazines and visit the stalkernazi websites and we watch people like Britney Spears slowly self-destruct and we actually feel GOOD because of it. They’re not our role models! They never WERE our role models! They are our sacrificial lambs being served up on our secret altars of hate and self-loathing. We WANT them to fail as role models! We WANT them to debase themselves. We WANT them to get drunk and spew chunks and flash body parts and get arrested just so we can feel better about ourselves. Then we can convince ourselves that being rich and successful isn’t as cracked up as we’ve all been brought up to believe it to be.

And then of course there are those who don’t self-destruct like we feel that they should. People who can’t help but succeed in life, no matter what it is. And if they’re doing something better than us then we feel that they must have done something illegal or something wrong to get there. In other words, they CHEATED! They cheated something or they cheated someone, because that’s the only way that we can accept the fact that they are more successful than us.

So we put the thought into our own heads that these people who are more successful than us should OWE us something because of it! They shouldn’t be more successful than us, and we can’t prove that they cheated or that they bent the rules to get to where they are now, but we still feel that they OWE us because of it!

THAT is wealth envy! That is the whole thing, stripped away of any pretenses and platitudes. If someone is more successful than us, then we feel that they didn’t EARN it, they certainly didn’t DESERVE it, and in all likelihood, they CHEATED to get there! And we feel that they must PAY for that!

Now along come our elected grifters and shysters… and they promise us that they can make those rich people pay the price for their success. They’ll do something to help us out as well, but more importantly, they’ll make the rich people SUFFER for being successful. Because WE KNOW that they don’t deserve that success! I mean, come on guys, the name “Paris Hilton” says it all, doesn’t it?

But what we DO NOT realize is that these same grifters and shysters are playing both sides here. They’re promising to make “the rich” pay, but then they’re turning around and giving them tax breaks and exemptions under the table. They’re going to the truly wealthy and saying “well, we have to come down hard on you folks for the sake of appearances, but don’t you worry; we’ll just give you an easy out from all of these troubles as long as it remains our little secret.” And they do just that. We don’t see all of the details of these little “tax reform tweaks”, do we? No we don’t! They’re supposed to make our lives easier, but somehow the rich keep on getting richer and the poor keep on getting poorer. And even I find it hard to continually explain or even defend it. That doesn’t mean that I’ve stopped trying, though.

Remember the so-called “energy policy” bill that the Bush Imperium touted in 2005? It was supposed to help us from getting screwed over by the oil companies. Instead it gave them huge tax breaks. Why? Because nobody in the peanut gallery bothered to read the fine print, that’s why!

I mean, come on guys… let’s look at some of the so-called “champions of the needy”, shall we? Teddy Kennedy, John Kerry, Hillary “The Banshee” Clinton… have you noticed how RICH these folks are? None of them have gotten any poorer through their own economic reengineering programs, have they? And they never WILL get any poorer! Because it is all just a SCAM, and they damn well know it! All they’re really doing is putting the squeeze on the Middle Class. The rich get a lot of breaks, the poor get a few breaks, and all that the rest of us get is more and more of the burden. And it has been getting systematically worse over the past few decades. It’s not just a Republican or Democrat thing. It’s Washington… PERIOD!

So now we gotta change the tax system, and now those same grifters and shysters are SCARED! They’re scared because they’ve created this great scam and they don’t want to see it end! It has given them power. It has kept them in office. It turned them into the personal best friends of just about every socioeconomic group out there… as long as they can keep those groups separated and pissed off at each other.

So what do they do? They play up on our wealth envy.

“Oh no,” they tell us, “We shouldn’t mess with the tax system like that! No, that will just put an UNDUE BURDEN on the poor! The POOR people couldn’t afford this kind of a tax system.”

No matter what the tax idea is, they’ll use the same lines. The same excuses. The same scapegoats.

“Oh and let’s not forget those hard-working families! Struggling mothers and fathers just trying to make ends meet. You’re just going to drive them into bankruptcy! You’re going to break up families and break the hearts of little children! And all for what? So a bunch of limousine-riding rich people can get more tax breaks and not pay their FAIR share of the taxes. That’s all that you’re doing! You’re just letting RICH people get away with not paying their FAIR share of the taxes and not fulfilling THEIR SOCIAL OBLIGATION to the rest of us hard-working Americans!”

That’s their line, folks, and they will swear by it on top of every holy book they can find. No matter what the plan is, no matter how better that plan would be for Americans, no matter if it really helps the poor and hurts the rich, our elected grifters and shysters will spin it to be something downright atrocious. Every plan, every program that detracts from the status quo is supposedly designed to hurt the poor and help the rich.

But what they will not tell you is that these very things are happening RIGHT NOW with the current tax system! And they can get away with it because we have no idea how much we’re really paying in taxes, and because we’re too blinded by our wealth envy to even CARE!

Now let’s get brutally honest here… we are NEVER going to get ourselves out of this problem if we do not get past this damned wealth envy of ours! As long as the politicians and their special interest friends can continue to lead us around by our unrealistic and terminally dysfunctional sense of what wealth is and how it is achieved, we will be cowered into letting the status quo go on indefinitely. We will continue to get hosed by the tax system, and we will continue to spiral into that financial doomsday scenario within the next ten years where we will ALL get hit with staggering high taxes.

We need to get over this damned wealth envy of ours. We need to admit that it exists in our minds, and then we need to put it in its proper perspective. We’re not going to get rid of it, but we can keep it under control and keep it in perspective. Because if we can’t keep it under control, then it controls us, and that is what has been going on with our tax system.

We need to ask ourselves one simple question: is your perverse desire to see rich people suffer worth losing every single penny that you will ever earn for the rest of your mundane existence? Because THAT is what is at stake here! We’re not talking about Bill Gates’ money. We’re not talking about Paris Hilton’s money. We’re not even talking about George W. Bush’s money. We’re talking about YOUR money, and how much of it could very well disappear in the next ten years if we don’t do something soon about this dysfunctional tax system.

Has that gotten your attention? Good, because it doesn’t get any easier from here.

(Computer – some timely things that you’ll just have to listen to hear them)
(Fade Music In – “Mythodea” by Vangelis)

It’s not easy keeping your wealth envy in check. Trust me, as a libertarian it’s difficult at times to balance my political views with that seething desire within me to see some kind of personal justice for the imbalances in this horror show this we call our world.

But then I keep this in mind… no matter what we’ve done to supposedly “balance” the playing field, those with influence and wealth will ALWAYS find a way to get around it. They will ALWAYS find a way to stay wealthy. The name of the game here is NOT to make them poor. The name of the game is come up with a way so that EVERYONE pays their truly fair share in taxes, no matter how much money they have or how much they bring in. You want in on the system? Then you pay your dues like everyone else.

Now we can get to work on coming up with ways to replace the current tax system.


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]

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Getting Gonzales is Too Easy

I’m sure it had to happen. The discovery of the FBI abusing its power by invoking the PATRIOT Act more times than it reported… and of course the revelations that Republican politics were involved in the firings of several US Attorneys… are now prompting Democrats to DEMAND that Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to throw himself on his sword and resign.

And I’d probably be jumping in on that bandwagon too. After all, two serious lapses of leadership back-to-back is not a good sign of job performance, especially two years into the job.

There’s just one little problem… it would be TOO easy to simply blame it all on Gonzales.

Gonzales is not the problem. He’s PART of it, but removing him doesn’t fix the problem.

The needed solution is three-fold, and I don’t see ANYONE willing to do ANY portion of it.

First: get rid of Karl Rove. If he really is behind the firing of one of the US Attorneys at the behest of the Republican senator, then Rove needs to go. Period. There is no other way around it. You don’t put politics in front of the rule of law. That’s how the GOP got their asses kicked in 2006. If Rove doesn’t understand that then Rove needs to be removed. In fact Rove DID NOT understand that lesson in 2006, which is why the election results were such a shock to the White House, so his termination would be something LONG overdue.

Second: it’s more than just the man at the top of the chain that is creating the atmosphere of Orwellian intrusiveness. Just getting rid of Gonzales or just getting rid of FBI Director Robert Mueller doesn’t cut it. There needs to be a clean sweep of the hierarchy in the Department of Justice. Directors AND their lieutenants need to go. Right now if you just boot either Gonzales or Mueller, or even both of them, you would still have the real movers and shakers in power in the Department of Justice, because the political mentality would be that they got their pound of flesh, so that’s it, the matter would be closed. The environment would still be there. You clean the whole hierarchy out, then there is no mistaking the intention.

Third: This is something that the Dems in Congress do not want to do… but they NEED to void out the portions of PATRIOT Act that are being abused right now! The American people were ASSURED from both Gonzales AND his predecessor that the intrusive provisions in the anti-American PATRIOT Act were essential and that they WOULD NOT be abused! Well guess what? THEY WERE! You don’t reward abuses of power by keeping the provisions of those abuses intact. You PUNISH abuses of power by REMOVING those provisions. If the American public could be lied to beforehand about the abuses, then they will be lied to again and again and again as long as the means to implement those abuses remain intact. You fix that by removing those means.

It’s way too damn easy to say that “someone” has to go over the mismanagement in the Department of Justice. There are a whole LOT of those folks who need to go. The question is… will the Democrats in the Congress be willing to take a stand and do what NEEDS to be done? Or will they just go for the quick fix?

I’m afraid that they’ll probably just go for the quick fix.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Brutally Honest Rant - 03/07/07

Brutally Honest Audio Rant: Atheism and the Shoe Salesman
Audio Transcripts

[Start Program]

(Computer – Introduction)
(Music intro – “American Idiot Remix” – by Green Day and David Matthews 2)

Good evening and welcome to this week’s Brutally Honest Rant. I’m David Matthews 2, writer of the weekly online column Brutally Honest.

I want to talk about atheism tonight. I was brought up as a Roman Catholic. Had no choice in the matter, turns out that was part of the deal made between my parents, my grandparents, and the church. And trust me, the whole “turn the other cheek” thing didn’t help matters much when I was growing up. Cripes, just about every bully in the world knew that I was fair game when they realized that I wouldn’t be allowed to pound them into the ground.

Anyway, I went to a nice private Catholic college… run by monks no less… and I studied theology and sociology… because again that went with being a Catholic and that was part of the college rules. Isn’t it nice to know that all of these decisions were made on my behalf? So after all of that, I spent all these years since more or less establishing what *I* really believe in, and while I won’t go into great lengths to explain it to everyone, I will say that it’s a probably closer to Denis Leary’s Lapsed Catholic Church monologue than anything else. My beliefs are my own, and that’s something rather rare and unique, because a lot of folks usually just go along with whatever their church or mosque or temple tells them to believe.

But when it comes to atheism, I have never seen such a perverse HATRED of the subject from the ranks of the “faithful”! I mean seriously! We’re talking a hatred that usually is reserved for child molesters and genocidal maniacs. In fact I will go so far as to say that the so-called “faithful” would probably rather accept and work with a whole room full of child molesters and genocidal maniacs before they have to deal with one single atheist! That explains why Father O’Groper can molest the entire boy’s choir and get away with it… because the faithful would rather have a pedophile priest in their midst than accept the existence of a single atheist.

A few weeks ago CNN aired a little news segment hosted by Paula Zahn that talked about atheists and how some of them are being discriminated against. In one case, an atheist lost her job because it got out that she was an atheist. In another case, a family got evicted from their apartment after it got out that they were atheists. Nobody could directly say that it was because of it – because that would be outright illegal – but the mere coincidence is more than enough to rationally lead to that conclusion.

But what really disgusted me was the hatchet job done on the subject right after the news clip, because the host THEN pulled out three so-called “experts” to discuss the issue… two Christians and a Jew… and all three of them basically said that the atheists deserved all of the discrimination they got and then some. I mean we’re not just talking about shoddy journalism here, we’re talking about pretty much an ENDORSEMENT to discriminate on the basis of religious beliefs… or in this case the lack thereof.

Fortunately I wasn’t the only one disgusted by this. CNN got inundated by emails about their hatchet job and their shoddy yellow journalism. So they had make up for it, first by interviewing Richard Dawkins, author of several atheist books, and then having a second discussion panel comprised of an atheist, a liberal, and a Christian. And here the Christian basically got ganged up upon by the atheist and the liberal.

But you know what? That still doesn’t make up for the yellow journalism in the first place. Paula Zahn didn’t even have the courtesy to show up for the second run-through, never mind apologize for the hatchet job done by the first panel. If anything it just added fuel to the fire of some of these hypocritical self-righteous crusaders, first by advocating discrimination, and then by confirming their fears that atheists are a “threat” to their fragile belief system.

And as someone who HAS studied up on the subject of religion, and as someone who HAS opened his eyes and has SEEN the overflowing hate and arrogance and self-righteousness being exhibited under the false banner of “faith”, I have always wondered why atheism is singled out and demonized by pretty much two of the three dominant religions in this world.

That is… until this little story came into play. And then it all made sense.

Once upon a time there was a shoe salesman who went door-to-door selling sneakers. He was good at what he did. So good, in fact, that he arrogantly claimed that he could sell sneakers to ANYONE.

Now the sneakers that he sold weren’t that good. In fact they were poorly made, overpriced, overhyped, and they didn’t always fit as they should. Some folks even got hurt because of them. But all of that didn’t matter. They’d still buy them, though, because this guy was simply that good of a salesman. He could sell those shoes to ANYONE! Or so he thought.

Then one day, someone new moves into the neighborhood. The shoe salesman finds out and he immediately heads on over there with a few boxes of his best demo sneakers and a fresh order board. He knocks on the front door, only to find that a man in a wheelchair shows up.

No problem, he tells himself, he’s sold sneakers to people in wheelchairs before. This will be no different.

So he starts in on his usual spiel about himself and what he’s selling, only to be told that the guy in the wheelchair isn’t interested!

Not interested? That can’t be! EVERYONE could use a pair of shoes! EVERYONE!

The salesman starts in with his prepared speech about how even the most incapacitated of people could use a pair of good sneakers, even if they’re just for show purposes. It gives them a sense of self-worth and makes them feel accepted amongst others.

The man in the wheelchair replies that he does not want to buy any shoes. Not only that, but he simply cannot WEAR shoes. And to prove it, he pulls the blanket back that was over his lap to show that both of his legs were amputated. He had no feet to put the shoes on. All he had were two stumps that were his upper legs.

Shocked at what he saw, the salesman heads back to the office, where he is immediately berated by his boss. HOW DARE he let a sale get past him? Wasn’t he the greatest salesman that ever lived? Didn’t he boast that he could sell shoes to ANYONE? This would be the perfect demonstration of his skills! Imagine: selling shoes to someone without feet! What a public-relations coup that would be!

Encouraged by the pep talk, the salesman heads back to the amputee’s house and knocks on the door. Once again he is eager to make this sale, only to be rebuffed yet again by the amputee… who is at this time a little bitter at being bothered by this salesman. He once again asserts that he does not want to buy any sneakers from this guy… he does not want to buy any shoes whatsoever… and he does not want to have to look at another pair of shoes ever again! Good-DAY!

But the salesman would not stop. He continued to show up there every single day, no matter what the amputee said. He would talk to the neighbors and he found out that this guy used to be a track star. The amputee used to run marathons until he lost his legs in an accident. So he figured he would use that as leverage. He tried to play on the guy’s nostalgia, only to be told that it was BECAUSE the amputee used to run marathons that he doesn’t want to see another pair of shoes ever again.

The salesman tried pretty much every trick and tactic he knew… he begged, he pleaded, he rationalized, and tried to strike deals with the amputee. Maybe he could buy the sneakers as a memento? A keepsake? Nope. That didn’t work. Then maybe he could buy a pair to give to family members? Maybe to some relatives? That didn’t work. Turns out the amputee’s whole family were killed in that same accident, and all the other relatives have long since died. How about friends? Maybe he could give a pair as gift to one of his friends? Nope. His only friends are other amputees, who also share a hatred of shoes.

Finally the salesman just breaks down. PLEASE, he said on his knees, I’m BEGGING YOU! My job is on the line here! I’ll get fired if I don’t make this sale! Just buy a pair! Just buy one stinking pair of shoes! You don’t have to wear them. You don’t even have to see them! I’ll GIVE them to charity! You tell me the charity and I’ll GIVE them the shoes on your behalf!

No, the amputee said. And stop bothering me or I’m calling the police!

Well the salesman was dejected, but he wasn’t finished. He went ahead and put the guy down for one pair of shoes. He’d go ahead and pay for them out of his own pocket and then give the shoes to charity and the guy wouldn’t be the wiser.

The salesman strolled on into the office and handed his boss the order for one pair of sneakers. Everyone is cheering him. Their faith in his salesmanship has been renewed!

Then a couple of weeks later, the amputee shows up at the office, and he’s FURIOUS! Turns out the amputee got an invoice for the sneakers that he supposedly ordered. Even though the invoice is paid in full – in cash – he also got this formal letter of thanks from the company, saying that they really appreciated that he placed this order and that he had asked to give the shoes to charity, not to mention having it all listed in this huge newsletter that all new customers automatically get. Things that HE never gave permission to do!

Boy you would think that this would be a big black eye for the company, and for the shoe salesman. But the company’s attorneys take over and they bully the amputee into silence. After all, the salesman was only acting in HIS best interests. He made a thoughtful gesture on behalf of the amputee, and the amputee should be GRATEFUL that someone would care so much to make such a selfless act of generosity! Besides, EVERYONE needs shoes, whether they have feet or not! SHOES help keep society going! And if the amputee wasn’t such a miserable, selfish person, then he’d accept that as a way of life and GLADLY order new shoes the next time around.

Few months go by and the shoe salesman has to go make his rounds again to sell more sneakers. Now given all that has transpired, do you really think that the salesman would be eager to show up at the amputee’s front door? Do you think that the amputee would be receptive towards the salesman after all that has happened? Heck, the salesman may even try to get the amputee to move out of the neighborhood. After all, this guy is interfering with HIS business and with HIS personal business reputation! If he can’t sell those sneakers to EVERYONE, even to the people who do not want or need shoes, then he could very well lose his job. THAT would be such a HUGE setback for the company, not to mention a setback to the neighborhoods that he services with those sneakers that really aren’t that good to begin with.

Now let’s get brutally honest here… THAT is pretty much the struggle between atheism and organized religion for you! It is a gang of slick company salesmen trying to sell over-hyped and overpriced sneakers to everyone, whether they want them or not, and whether they need them or not. They really don’t care about the quality of the product, and are instead obsessed with getting every single sale that they can get, by hook or by crook.

And here’s the thing… a good percentage of the atheists didn’t start out that way! They were brought up to believe in one religious belief or another. They were indoctrinated by parents and peers just like everyone else. But at some point they had to make a choice. They saw what was going on. They saw that there was something that wasn’t right with that belief. The product was flawed. The product didn’t do what it was supposed to do. And rather than to fix the product, these organized religions simply expects the rest of the world to adapt to that flaw.

Now if you were sold a pair of shoes where one shoe was a whole two inches shorter than the other, would you be willing to cut off your toes just so that shoe would fit? Probably not. Yet we expect the whole universe to adapt to conform to our religious beliefs. And then when someone speaks up and says that this kind of thinking is fouled up, we actually have the arrogance to call THEM crazy and to exhibit a passionate hatred of them simply because they just don’t fit into how WE think things should be.

I’ve got news for you “passionate believers” out there… that kind of zero-sum thinking is actually doing a DISSERVICE to your faith. All you’re really doing at that point is validating the arguments of your critics. You’re the ones creating the new atheists out there. The atheists really don’t have to do anything at that point. All they have to do is what they have been doing, which is to stand up for themselves. THAT is their only crime in this world, and it is here they actually find themselves having more in common with some of the great religious figures than with those who claim to be the followers of those figures. They don’t just talk about persecution… they have to live with it as a consequence of not following the dominant beliefs.

Talk about irony…

(Computer – some pretty good relevant stuff that you have to tune in to listen to)
(Fade Music In – “Who Am I” by Peace Orchestra)

You know, I’m not expecting to change any minds overnight with this kind of religious talk. In fact I probably pissed off a few folks tonight.

Well GOOD. You need to get pissed off. Maybe that will spark something that we like to call independent thought. Who knows? Maybe it might open your eyes and you can start to see things differently.

It’s easy to simply go with the flow, to believe in whatever it is that others tell you to do. It actually takes courage, character, and a strong sense of individuality to follow your own path. It’s a pity that THOSE aren’t the kinds of values that the self-righteous like to preach about. But then again, maybe they would preach about those things if their cause wasn’t about the acquisition of power.

Just a little something for you folks 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!

(Fade out)
(Computer – Ending/“End of Recording”)

[End of program]

Monday, March 05, 2007

"Little girls"? Oh please!!!

Okay folks, you probably heard about the "Barbie Bandits"... two teenage girls who made headlines for robbing a Bank of America store branch the other week. Two Georgia girls who wore sunglasses and had big smiles as they made off with a few thousand. Everyone thought they were high school students, maybe as young as 15 or 16. Fortunately they got caught, and not too far from the crime scene. UN-fortunately, the bank teller was also involved in this, so the "Barbies" aren't being charged with bank robbery, but rather simply with theft.

Well now the mother of one of the "Barbies" is crying her eyes out for the media, saying that "these are little girls who got mixed up with the wrong crowd"!


Little girls? They're 18 and 19 years old! LEGAL ADULTS!!! What part about that do you not understand?

Look, when you're a juvenile, you're allowed to say that you make mistakes. THEN you can say "I fell in with the wrong crowd" and expect people to forgive you. But once you hit 18 and you become a legal adult, then the excuses end. You're an adult. You can vote, you can go to war, you can pose for men's magazines, you can do anything you want to within the limits of the law EXCEPT buy or drink alcohol.

The "Barbie Bandits" are ADULTS. That means they need to be treated as adults, tried as adults, and if convicted, sent to PRISON as adults.

There's a little song that's a bit before the "Barbies", but it goes something like this...

Don't do the crime if you can't do the time, yeah.

Know the song, love the song, LEARN from the song...

Oh, and keep your eyes on the sparrow.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Simple lesson for stupid husbands

You would think that these guys would know better, wouldn’t you?

Dateline: Mount Clements, Michigan. Man reports that his wife went missing on Valentine’s Day. Problem being, he waited five days before reporting it!

He had every reason to worry. Turns out the police found her torso, and he’s now on the top of the suspect list. Worse yet, he actually FLED when the police found out and were looking for him! Pity he wasn’t dressed for the occasion.

I don’t know how many times I’ve had to read about husbands who report their spouse missing, only to later find her dead and him on the suspect list. You would think that after the whole Scott and Laci Peterson episode that these guys would learn, wouldn’t you? It certainly was a big enough story for everyone in America to know about!

Stupid, stupid, stupid, STUPID!

Look, losers, if you’re having problems with your wife, then do the right thing and either work it out, divorce her, or get an annulment. DO NOT kill her and then report her missing several days later and think that you’re going to get away with it! Contrary to what you read in detective novels, it is NOT going to work, especially if the case garners national attention.

Has Ann Coulter Gone Too Far?

There is a point when you’re on a verbal roll when you finally break that last barrier. You touch on that last nerve. You say the thing that you really shouldn’t say, whether it is true or not. When you have finally gone too far.

During the Joe McCarthy witch hunts of the 1950’s, there was that one moment when someone finally stood up to the infamous crusader and called him on his tirade. It was Joseph Welch, the attorney general for the Army, who gave the infamous line "Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?" It was at that moment that the American people finally woke the hell up and realized that what McCarthy was doing was actually DESTROYING America, not protecting it, and certainly not preserving it.

I call it the “McCarthy Moment”. It is that point when you really lose any credibility.

Bill Clinton experienced it when he wagged his finger at the world and said “I did not have sexual relations with that woman”. Dan Rather experienced it when he bet the farm on the phony documents about George W. Bush’s war record and verbally attacked anyone who questioned those documents.

Well it could very well be that conservative firebrand Ann Coulter may have finally had her McCarthy moment.

In a mutual admiration gathering… aka Conservative Political Action Conference… Coulter thought she would pull a quick zinger on 2-time presidential hopeful John Edwards. She concluded her address to the cons and neo-cons by saying that she WANTED to say something about Edwards, but that conventional wisdom dictated she go into counseling if she used the word “faggot”.

You know, there’s a lot that can be said about Edwards… but the word “faggot” is definitely NOT one of them!

Maybe she was trying to be funny. I mean, there’s nothing like a good old-fashioned junior high school put-down to liven the spirits, right? Maybe she was hoping that Edwards would retort along the lines of “I know you are but what am I?” I mean, that is the appropriate response for that mentality.

And she should be thankful that we live in the 21st Century! A century earlier she would have had to defend her comments with pistols at 10 paces. Then again, if it was a century earlier, she probably would either be a disgruntled schoolteacher or a psycho-sadistic nun. Now that’s progress, baby!

Unfortunately for us, we can’t really know if this is Coulter’s “McCarthy Moment” until we see the full scope of the reaction and any possible backlash. Coulter is known for outlandish comments, such as attacking the widows of 9/11, and this certainly is her breed of venom. Hey, some women get off with a “back massager”… Coulter apparently gets off by throwing childish remarks while at the same time trying to look pretty for the cameras.

PLUS Coulter can easily claim to be “the victim” of any backlash that she created, and her neo-con acolytes will eat it up. They would eagerly paint her as the biggest martyr since John the Baptist.

The Democrats certainly want this to be her “McCarthy Moment”, because it would completely bury the conservatives just in time for the 2008 elections. Edwards would love to cash in on the backlash because it would improve his chances against Obamamania and the Banshee.

Personally, I think this matter should be settled with pistols at 10 paces. At worst it would just remove one more presidential wannabe.