Monthly Archives: May 2015 - Page 2

LIONEL PODCAST: Post-Industrial Policies Result in Another Deadly Amtrak Disaster

Apportioning blame. Listen to my gravamen wherein I indict post-industrial austerity polices as the cause of the May 12 Amtrak Northeast Regional train derailment. But instead our media will blame the tragedy solely, solely on engineer error and negligence. He was driving the train too fast. That’s it. Nothing to see here. Move on.

Blood on their hands. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the causes of the crash, but the New York Times has already quoted experts who say the derailment could have been avoided entirely if the proper safety mechanisms had been in place. The safety system mandated by Congress in 2008 for American rail included what is known as positive train controls which inter alia can automatically slow down a speeding train. The system is required to be installed on both trains and track. While the Northeast Regional was outfitted with the system, the track was not.

I (don’t) hear that train a comin’. After WWII American railroads have slid into pathetic and dangerous decline. Used as cash cows by their corporate managers’ wanton looting and absurd travel taxes on the books until 1962, these were certainly early contributors. Richard Nixon decided to nationalize rail travel in 1970-71, which resulted in the pathetically funded and maintained Amtrak. American rail systems were out-lobbied by airline and highway interests and concerns and it lost much of its federal subsidies. Then came the positively impotent presidency of Gerald Ford whose Transportation Secretary, William T. Coleman, declared Amtrak “outmoded outhouses.” Then Jimmy Carter’s Secretary of Transportation Brock Adams abolished many of Amtrak’s most popular trains altogether. Cue Taps.

China will bury us. Republicans in the House of Representatives grudgingly agreed to fund Amtrak for the next four years at a paltry rate of $1.4B a year this past March. Compare this to the Chinese government , which exhibits an enormous interest in high-speed and maglev rail. They invested $128B this year alone on rail! If the United States does not wish to become inadvertent material for the next Chinese college textbook on ancient civilizations, the need to reexamine the national interest in rail transportation is vital. And this must transcend rhetoric and the usual hackneyed reactions. Not to mention a more vigilant independent mainstream media.

LIONEL PODCAST: The Philly Amtrak Disaster, America’s Pathetic Third World Infrastructure, Verizon/AOL Merger and Russia/USA Contretemps

Infrastructure. We look like a third world country. Our airports and rail stations look like a retro film. We can do better. Involve the Fed. Nationalize it. The problem with the Federal Reserve is that they see their role historically as saving failed banks – especially “zombie banks,’” bankrupt entities that just sit there busted and collapsed. They absorb government and Fed resources. They don’t provide investment, create jobs. Nada. To be competitive, to be conversant with a 21st century transportation platform, infrastructure investment is critical. I discuss more herein.

2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure

Russia/American “talks.” Russia maintains that the destabilization of Ukraine and the 2014 ouster of Viktor Yanukovych were the work of US support for the Kiev coup regime of Yatseniuk, Poroshenko, et al. The United States  officially provides “nonlethal security support” to Ukraine. The Russian press agency Sputnik News called not only this military support to the attention of its readers but also upcoming NATO exercises such as Sea Breeze 2015 and Saber Guardian/Rapid Trident 2015. Stop the Cold war rhetoric. Keep an eye on this. I explain herein as well.

And the Verizon/AOL merger. “Certainly the subscription business and the content businesses are very noteworthy. For us, the principal interest was around the ad tech platform,” said Verizon’s president of operations, John Stratton, at a Jefferies investor conference early Tuesday. Huh? What does this actually mean? Funny you should ask. Listen herein.

LIONEL PODCAST: The Preposterous Farrago of Myth, Propaganda and Fantasy of UBL’s Capture and Dispatch

A farrago of nonsense. Behold the American exceptionalism meme, front and center. A Jerry Bruckheimer Production, if I’ve ever seen one. (And he’s been consulted in the past, as you well know. remember the Jessica Lynch saga?) Well, when it comes to the official narrative of dispatching UBL, it appears there’s another turd in the proverbial narrative punchbowl. Seymour Hersh wrote in essence that the UBL dispatch and capture is 100% Grade-A propagandist bullshit. And with that, the apparatchiks were summoned to appear en masse to trash Ol’ Sy. To the rescue came CNN’s national-security analyst and Obama apologist, Peter Bergen, who ripped Sy Hersh’s story, which ran in the London Review of Books, as a “farrago of nonsense that is contravened by a multitude of eyewitness accounts, inconvenient facts and simple common sense,” causing many in the media to run to their Funk and Wagnalls for the first time in decades. Thanks, CIA, er, CNN!

Why would the CIA lie?It’s all wrong,” claimed the untainted and objective observer former CIA deputy director Mike Morell told CBS News’ Charlie Rose as he pushed his own book. “I started reading the article last night, and I got a third of the way through because every sentence I was reading was wrong.” And what’s more, he never finished the article! This is so old.

The Bin Laden Raid Was A Work Of Fiction, And Barack Obama Should Immediately Resign

A strong headline but I commend to you Mr. Snyder’s bases for such. And in addition, please consider the following. Remember, the weaponization of the term conspiracy theory as this will invariably come up.

Bhutto’s Final Words. In a November 2, 2007, interview less than two months before she would be assassinated, Pakistan’s 11th Prime Minster Benazir Bhutto was asked by Al-Jazeera English reporter David Frost about a letter that she had sent to Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf. The letter outlined who she believed should be investigated in the event of her assassination. While giving her answer, she listed as one of the suspects a “key figure in security . . . a former military officer in Pakistan” who had dealings with, among others, “Omar Sheikh, the man who murdered Osama bin-Laden.” I know what you’re thinking: What would a Pakistani Prime Minster know, right?

But wait, there’s more. Remember the hot one about how Obama and his aids huddled in the situation room to watch UBL dispatched in real-time helmet-cam action. Well, not so fast Sparky! Seems that Hillary may now be eligible for the The Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award for this piece of primo acting. Remember, she’s watching nothing. If you believe Leon Panetta, the CIA chief.

“We had some observation of the approach there, but we did not have direct flow of information as to the actual conduct of the operation itself as they were going through the compound.” Leon Panetta, CIA Director

 

(Telegraph) — The head of the CIA admitted yesterday that there was no live video footage of the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound as further doubts emerged about the US version of events.

Leon Panetta, director of the CIA, revealed there was a 25 minute blackout during which the live feed from cameras mounted on the helmets of the US special forces was cut off.

A photograph released by the White House appeared to show the President and his aides in the situation room watching the action as it unfolded. In fact they had little knowledge of what was happening in the compound.

##

Mr Panetta said: “Once those teams went into the compound I can tell you that there was a time period of almost 20 or 25 minutes where we really didn’t know just exactly what was going on. And there were some very tense moments as we were waiting for information.

“We had some observation of the approach there, but we did not have direct flow of information as to the actual conduct of the operation itself as they were going through the compound.”

##

Mr Panetta also told the network that the US Navy Seals, rather than Mr Obama, made the final decision to kill bin Laden. 

LIONEL PODCAST: First Amendment Applies to Muhammad Cartoonists But Not “Conspiracy Theorists”

You made your point loud and clear, Pam. Got it. We understand completely. Let me see if I’ve got this straight.Muslims are radical, homicidal lunatics hellbent on killing anyone who so much as scribbles a picture of their beloved prophet. Check. They’re crazy and we have a First Amendment. With the world Muslim population in excess of 1.6 billion people, representing 23% of the global population, and all of them sworn, according to Islam expert Geller, to the destruction of anyone who dares to blaspheme their profit, only two shooters were dispatched to Garland to address this blasphemy convocation. Two. Count ’em, two. This after ISIS claimed responsibility by identifying Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi as its agents. Now think about the math. If just 10% of the entire Muslim population were homicidal Islamo-fascists (an oxymoron of the first order) that would mean 160 million determined acolytes would be able to fan out worldwide wreaking havoc of monumental proportions — forest fires, trains derailed, every American mall and shopping center of note targeted, Las Vegas, AC, Disneys World and Land, bridges and tunnels demolished. And certainly this cartoon summit in that hotbed of Islamophobia, Garland TX, would certainly have been ground zero by a paltry faction of devout loons, but no. These two guys with FBI connections. Either homicidal Muslims are afraid of travel or just eschew Texas as a site of jihad or that maybe the Islamist threat is overblown and overdone, the story is replete with holes, don’t you think.

No, not that Elton. Oh, and it just so happens that Elton Simpson, the man identified as one of the two crazed gunmen dispatched by cops in Garland, TX on outside the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest, was under surveillance by the FBI and the subject of a terror investigation. Interesting isn’t it how the FBI always knows of or comes into contact with the bad guys before a tragic event. You know, if I didn’t know better … .

Did you know this? Court papers filed in Arizona reveal that the FBI “engaged” an informant, Mr. Daba Deng, a Kenyan, who knew Mr. Simpson from the mosque he attended. In 2007 Deng was instructed by the FBI to “become friends with Mr. Simpson and get to know him better by presenting himself as an individual who was new to Islam and who sought to learn more from Mr. Simpson.” Deng recorded conversations with Simpson during which they allegedly discussed jihad. Later Simpson was convicted of lying to federal agents about plans to travel to Africa where investigators said he planned to join a terror group. He was sentenced to three year probation.

The FBI always seems to know ahead of time. Various sources have long chronicled the amazing coincidence of the FBI in its involvement with terrorist events, at least, er, peripherally. Ahem.

FBI Behind Most Domestic Terror Plots

The FBI has arranged numerous fake terror plots, including the Washington Metro bombing plot, the New York subway plot, the plan to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago, the plot to bomb the Portland Christmas tree lighting and others.

In 2014, Human Rights Watch released a report stating nearly all high-profile domestic terrorism plots in the United States after 9/11 included the “direct involvement” of government agents and informants.

“In some cases the FBI may have created terrorists out of law-abiding individuals by suggesting the idea of taking terrorist action or encouraging the target to act,” the report states.

So what’s the story with Pam? Well, let me put it to you this way. She’s amazing in what she’s establishing. She points out a very serious problem as to radicalization all the while purporting to draw them out through incitement and inducement, which is certainly her right. She reminds us that “those people” are subhuman and twisted, bent and brainwashed to kill through the contamination of hate that their dangerous religion apparently stands for. And it plays well when the narrative is another invasion and the globalist imperialist seizure of a resource-rich plot of rel estate that the ruling class wants for its newest portfolio acquisition. Countries, which by the by, happen to be Muslim. Coincidence? I think not. Geller fortifies the meme, she reinforces the concept that will lead to more American acceptance of attacking and invading ares of the globe that apparently contain these very dangerous people. The connection is beautiful. The ideas that are forged are unmistakable.

First Amendment?! That’s Geller’s schtick. We certainly have a First Amendment in the classic sense, i.e. a prohibition of governmental and state action directly limiting a course of speech and expression. True. But it’s the practical First Amendment that’s missing. Try discussing your considerable doubts with the official account of 9/11. Good luck. Or Obama’s origin of birth or — and I certainly don’t subscribe to this in the least — “revisionist” history, which, I submit, is exactly what history is. Tolstoy said history would be a wonderful thing if only it were true, and I agree. But our collective civilian fora and tribunals and conclaves will have absolutely nothing to do with your refutation of accepted doctrine. Try howling at anthropogenic causation models of climate change and global warming, especially with Cass Sunstein threatening to level your heretical discourse with a heaping helping of cognitive infiltration. You can’t make this up. Trust me, I’ve tried.

LIONEL PODCAST: Guns, Critical Thinking & What Do You Not Want to Know You’re Eating

What exactly do you not want to know you’re eating?

As the 2016 presidential race continues to rehash and redeliver over social policy and fiscal responsibility, no one is talking about another key issue: all of the major candidates are in complete, direct and unequivocal opposition to GMO labeling — and many are directly supporting Monsanto’s GE and biotech aspirations.These bought and sold hack, Big Agra whores not mentioned in the least by the equally bought and sold presstitutes. And let me repeat again, Sparky, we’re talking about what you’re eating! EATING! Now keep in mind, these are the same folks who believe whole cloth in such unverified blather as anthropogenic causation models for global warming and climate change. These are the same Boeotians who weep uncontrollably over the prettiest graphic of a cute polar bear club clinging for life to an ice cube that used to be an iceberg. The same folks who rail against antiscience zealotry and who turn to their media darlings Neil Degrasse Tyson and Bill Nye for answers to everything ignore the fact that these are the two biggest gate keepers of the lot. With Bill Nye having been bought like a street trollop by Monsanto directly! Look no further then Dr. Oz’s treatment when he dared to question the safety of glyphosate. This is still the biggest story that gets virtually no coverage by a distracted and painfully ignorant news repeaters and incurious public.

And — you guessed it — not a peep from the #MSM, especially when considering how the public is in complete agreement merely as to labeling!

The Second Amendment is an absolute right, not a suggestion. This seemed to slip by the pols and Jurassic ossified mainstream media. With a population of 319 million, the United States seems to be populated by people who for the most part are law abiding. Rough estimates establish the number of firearms in the hands of US civilians at over 310 million. So, think about that. There’s roughly one weapon per person in the United States yet the number of police officers and civilians killed by them is per se de minimis. And never forget this: It is the ultimate goal of every politician for complete and total disarmament. It is the absolute and established desire of every politician and leader to remove the ability for them to fight back and resist. And that’s precisely the goal of the previous Second Amendment, to prevent that.

LIONEL PODCAST: We Know Nothing! Nothing!

We know nothing! Nothing! We don’t ask or question or care. We’re busy. We have our boxing matches and royal births. We have a tissue-thin latticework of policy, ideology and what may pass for history. Our politics are titular and superficial at best. We don’t think, question and will never stray into any field that could in any wise be construed as conspiratorial. Heavens no! We have been duped into thinking that the left/right paradigm exists, that it means something, they represents substance. You have major mainstream cable news networks devoted to brand-name pabulum politics. We have overpaid underwhelming propaganda overlords who are being inched out and marginalized by alternative and foreign media and the Brobdingnagian blogosphere.

  • Take the latest information regarding the Stingray program. It seeks to redefine and simultaneously violate the core notions of the Fourth Amendment.
  • What’s that? That Stingray business. What is it exactly?
  • It’s an IMSI-catcher (International Mobile Subscriber Identity)Stingray. Illegal police surveillance. You know, privacy violations? Surveillance. The feds are trying everything under the sun to justify its existence. They claim you have no reasonable expectation of privacy as to your metadata. They even quibble over whether it’s actually testimonial evidence in nature.
  • Who cares and who knows? If it’s important they’ll tell me. This sounds like one of those crazy conspiracy theories you always talk about. And after all, these are different times with new threats and national security concerns. If we don’t survail and collect data and violate our collective rights, then the terrorists win. Or something.  And after all, I know the news media would have told me if there was something to this alleged monkey business.
  • But they did. Repeatedly. Well, not the ossified and Jurassic and usual Ted Baxter news media but alternative and foreign new systems most certainly did. Many times. Where’ve you been?
  • Whatever. I’m busy. I’m an American.

This podcast’s for you. Trust me on this one. After having been trained in conventional radio stylistics, there’s nothing quite like this for a number reasons. First, no commercials or stop sets or PSA’s or interruptions or studio tours or myriad intermissions. It is one continuous, free flow, free-form, spiritual conversation between you and me. Admittedly one sided, to be sure. It is nonetheless a fabulous platform and delivery system for edutainment.

 

LIONEL PODCAST: Bernie Sanders – “I’ve Got Plenty of Nothing!” (They Don’t Call Him BS for Nothing)

Ah, yes, Bernie to the rescue. Well, not so fast, kids. I’m not sure exactly what Bernie is talking about or wants to do. But he’s lovable and whacky and oh-so socialist. But if you look carefully, he has nothing to offer in terms of plans. Platitudes, lofty phrases and well, plenty of nothing. But so many people, I humbly submit, love the gruff, disheveled, wonky leftie with the funny speech pattern — otherwise known as Brooklyn. It’s the image package that so many people glom on to, like Hillary’s “charm.” American voters care nothing about specifics and plants and ideology. Americans love vague platitudes and generic nostrums. 

It’s not fair! OK, that’s a start. We’ll start with that one. Bernie speaks of income inequality and he reels off a litany of stats and data which are, well, OK, I suppose. I mean it’s a start. Like this popular trope: the top 1/10th of the 1% controls more property than the bottom 90%. Sound familiar? OK, BS, I dig. But the problem is that it’s simply regarded as a problem of distribution. But what will you do about it? How is the wealth produced and from where? It’s the same with campaign finance reform, another dog whistle that snaps the lemmings to attention via code word, see also global warming, climate change and anything using the word sustainable. 

We don’t need no stinking specifics! Bernie’s main and cornerstone demagogy is that he is against the billionaire class and they have too much power, and, okey-dokey, Bernie, so what exactly are you going to do with them? Are you going to raise the personal income tax marginal rate to 90%? <Crickets> Are you going to reinstate the estate tax? <Crickets> What exactly is your plan, Bernie, we’re waiting? No mention of Wall Street Sales Tax or Tobin Taxes or Robin Hood Taxes or nationalizing the Fed. In fact, no mention of the Fed in the least. They don’t call him BS for nothing.

When in Scandinavia. Now, get this, he wants to imitate the Scandinavian social democracies like Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. Bernie seems to view these places as a kind of idyllic oasis, a paradise. This is great provided you understand how exactly these Scandinavian societies actually work. It’s true that they have a significantly more robust social safety net than you are going to find in here (Gee, imagine that!) but these are profoundly Malthusian societies in nature and that means the green folks, climate changers and global warming zealots. And that further means, ultimately, deindustrialization and degrowth and décroissance. No, Bernie, sorry. If you want merely to be a stalking horse for Hillary, I get it. If you pull her to the left to maybe squeeze out of her something resembling palpable ideology, even better. 

Listen to the dissection. Let me explain to you why Ol’ Bern ain’t what he seems to be.

LIONEL PODCAST: Stop Thinking This Idiocy!

We yearn for a locus of control. My politics and worldview have changed drastically over the years specifically in stages and increments. Changed, transformed, transmogrified and evolved. And there ain’t a label around that can explain them or it. I commend this podcast to you and dedicate it to the spirit of critical thinking and a return to the Enlightenment. And it may prove disconcerting to you that I endorse no candidate nor do I believe there’s anyone remotely able to handle the struggle and challenges that this country faces. We’re awash in ideological bilge spewed daily and lapped up by a pathetic coterie of voters on all fours, groveling and waxing obsequious. But enough about cable news.

“Information is the currency of the 21st century.” – Lionel, 2010 CE


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Lionel on House of Cards Season Four

SPOILER ALERT
Netflix Season 4: Episode 11: Chapter 50

Lionel, as talk show host, interviews FLOTUS Claire Underwood (Robin Wright) as to POTUS Frank and FU2016.

Lionel is “[a]n intellectual known for his irreverent political and social humor.” (Newsweek)

“He wears the mantle of Lenny Bruce, with Lenny’s own tropisms: The Oblique, The Irreverent, The Tangential, The Concupiscent, The Polymorphous Perverse, The Arcane, The Numinous. And yet Lionel brings to the table his own savory: A love of the mother tongue and a gonzo vocabulary that puts his logo on all his works, whether talk-show hosting, standup-comic spritzing, or hanging out – with himself a minor art form.” (Jerry Wexler)

Lionel is an Emmy® Award winner and is fond of speaking of himself in the third person.

LIONEL PODCAST: The MSM Don’t Give A Damn About Baltimore! No Riots = No Coverage

Unity. Rival street gangs, including the Bloods and Crips, put their differences aside to “take out” Baltimore cops. Breathtaking.

This might be the most laughable moment of the entire Baltimore event. Police officials announced Monday they had received a “credible threat” that rival members of the murderous Bloods, Crips and Black Guerrilla Family street gangs “have entered into a partnership to take out law enforcement officers.” This shows the insanity of the MSM by not reminding you that more black youth have been killed along with innocent bystanders and collateral victims and not-so-friendly fire by gang violence than all the cop violence put together and combined. But it’s a great photo-op and some 20 year-old line producer probably thinks it’s cool. Or, better yet, a news director, hired on the cheap, sees only the image quotient and ,misses all together the message and reality.

How Western media would cover Baltimore if it happened elsewhere. Karen Attiah notes inter alia the following in this brilliant observation.

International analysts predict the seeds of a so-called “American Spring,” fomented by technology. “It’s amazing what social media is doing for the cause of justice in America,” said a political rights analyst based in Geneva. “The black youth of America are showing what 21st-century civil rights activism looks like, using technology, social media and a decentralized organizing strategy to hold authorities accountable and agitate for change. These kids represent what modern-day freedom fighting looks like. The revolution will be tweeted, Periscope-d and Snapchatted.”

###

A statement from the United Nations said, “We condemn the militarization and police brutality that we have seen in recent months in America, and we strongly urge American state security forces to launch a full investigation into the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. There is no excuse for excessive police violence.” The U.N. called on the United States to make a concerted effort to make databases of police violence public to improve transparency and cut down on corruption in the justice system.

But please don’t mention Barry. The professional left has consistently protected their patron saint Barry and would never suggest for a moment that failed economic policies and the ravages of genocidal austerity and the cancer called free trade have been responsible for gutting Baltimore. That would take time an effort and research. Such as the following.

Consider the following “sequestration” cuts to Maryland’s social services in FY 2013 alone, as reported by then-Senator Tom Harkin:

    • Head Start (preschool): 233 teaching jobs cut, 1,117 fewer children served
    • Child Care and Development Block Grant: 1,164 fewer families received childcare subsidies
    • Maternal and Child Health Block Grant: 54,877 fewer women, children and families served
    • LIHEAP: $4m in funding cuts to heating and cooling assistance
    • Family Violence Prevention: 1,252 domestic violence victims not served, 3,475 local crisis calls not answered
    • Substance Abuse Prevention: 3,560 fewer admissions to substance abuse treatment programs
    • Senior Nutrition: $1m in cuts to funding
    • Special Education grants: 185 jobs lost federal funding
    • English language acquisition grants: 3,906 fewer children served
    • State grants for career & technical education: 7,184 fewer students receive education and skills
    • Department of Labor Employment Service: 20,309 fewer jobseekers served

In addition to Federal cuts, Maryland thug-in-chief Larry Hogan came to power promising more budget-balancing in the form of savage cuts to education and social programs serving the poor black residents of Baltimore. Hogan unveiled his austerity budget in January, which hits Medicaid reimbursements, K-12 education and state worker compensation hard.

Prosecutor Plans Homicide Charges Against Police in Freddie Gray Case

BALTIMORE — The state’s attorney of Baltimore, in a unexpected announcement, said Friday that she had probable cause to file homicide, manslaughter and misconduct charges against the police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, who died after sustaining a spinal cord injury while in police custody.

In a news conference, the state’s attorney, Marilyn J. Mosby, described repeated mistreatment of Mr. Gray. She said that time and again police mistreated Mr. Gray, arresting him with no grounds, violating police procedure by putting him in cuffs and leg cuffs in the van without seat belting him and then repeatedly failing to get him medical attention. She said that when he was removed from the wagon, “Mr. Gray was no longer breathing at all.”

The death, Ms. Mosby said, is believed to be the result of a fatal injury to Mr. Gray while he was riding in the van without a seat belt. As she announced the charges, there was cheering from people in the crowd.

All six officers were charged, one with second-degree murder. Ms. Mosby said warrants had been issued for the officers’ arrests; she did not know if anyone was in custody.

“We have probable cause to file criminal charges,” Ms. Mosby said. As Ms. Mosby spoke outside the War Memorial here, dozens of police officers dressed in riot gear stood nearby.

From the start the police mistreated him according to her account. She said that the knife Mr. Gray was carrying was not a cause for arrest. “The knife was not a switchbladed and it is lawful.” She said officers “failed to establish probable cause for an arrest.”

The announcement came a day after the Police Department completed its initial investigation into Mr. Gray’s death and also handed its findings to Ms Mosby’s office.