Monthly Archives: August 2015

LIONEL PODCAST: I Hereby Declare My Country Insane

The week has been brought with one insane moment after another. In review, I attempt to perorate that which we’ve endured in the hope of making some of it appear to make sense. But, face it. There’s no making sense out of this dreck.

The usual suspects. One of my favorite characters in the world of professional opinion is the person who takes the no shit circumstance and exploits it. To wit, lunatics killing innocent people. And the instrumentality itself is the sole focus of the analysis.

Thank God these people are not involved in epidemiology or working for the CDC. Thank God these people are not involved in trying to determine the causative factors that are involved in disease. Thank God these people are only involved in professional opinionating. Because if they employed this sophistry and casuistic illogic in trying to tackle cancer or child abuse or domestic violence or any other social problem, they would be stopped dead in their tracks at the first step.

Their sole focus is the instrumentality of the crime. That’s it. The availability of the gun. It doesn’t go any deeper than that or involve any other analysis other than a lunatic’s ability to secure a weapon. And then, after this brilliant observation is made, they offer absolutely no solution whatsoever to remedy it. It’s like the individual who screams about illegal aliens and then can’t tell you how we’re supposed to forcibly remove 50 million people overnight, due process rigors notwithstanding. There is apparently no ability to discern between correlation and cause. But so long as this sophistic argument has an audience we will hear more of it. As long as there are Americans who clap like barking seals whenever one talks about getting rid of guns or limiting gun crime or doing something about the availability of guns or something equally as obvious without any rational plan, we will certainly have more of this vacuous discussion.

It goes to show you one of the problems that I have been discussing for decades and that is the inability of Americans in particular to critically think. The inability to take a situation and to break it apart and break it down so as to review its component factors and try to assess a remedy or treatment. We simply are unable to do it.

And to be quite fair the so-called gun lobby, as evinced by the NRA in particular, does an absolutely pathetic job in explaining the position of the law-abiding gun owner and instead preaches to the already committed torch and pitchfork crowd.

The problem that we have in this country is a deepening mental health epidemic. And let me be specific. It’s the violent mentally ill and not the mentally ill. And to be even more specific, the issue of psychiatric medication that plays a role in virtually every one of these cases has been overlooked altogether or, worse, is not even being considered as a factor. The political clout that Big Pharma enjoys ensures that no legislative body or investigative tribunal will peel back the layers of the issue onion and go to the interstitial sources.

American political commentary is a perfect example of the defeat of the left/right paradigm. American political commentary has no interest in you cause or condition or fact or background or reality. You must take one position or the other and like the drunk at the end of the bar slam your fist and scream a series of obvious no shit platitudes and nostrums that your constituency will love and pat you on the back for. Logic be damned. Facts be damned. And reality be damned.

This has nothing to do with finding solutions but just playing the hits. The illogical hits. The no shit hits.

Who speaks for the rational? The American gun owner who is tired of being labeled as some type of a penis-envy psychosexual paranoid freak does a pathetic job in changing the meme and the perception of the constitutional right which formulates the basis for his exercise of self-defense and recreational shooting.

LIONEL PODCAST: Al Sharpton Is Television Waterboarding

At long last our national nightmare is over. This may very well have been the worst television show in the history of the medium. Horrid, terrible. Video terror. An insult to creativity and rational thought. Why? Pray tell, why was the country subjected to such dreck? Why? Because of what has been alleged as a payoff. Oh, it gets juicy.

One of the best spins ever. Total scheiße, mind you, but a great spin. How many factual errors can you find with this unbelievable take? I’ve stopped at 78. Here the good rev comes up with a beaut as to how overjoyed he is to be relegated to the venerated of television.

“I never wanted to be a weeknight pundit. I wanted to be a Sunday morning newsmaker. I wanted to be Dr. Martin Luther King, not Larry King.”

“I’m very happy,” he said Wednesday. “First, I can reach a wider audience of people who don’t get home by 6 at night. Second, I can now get the A-list guests and newsmakers I want. And third, a Sunday morning host is what I always wanted to be.”

My review and analysis.

Can you say intrigue? And . . . this just in. You’re going to love this story that’s been around forever.

A federal judge has reopened a $20 billion racial bias case filed against Comcast and Time Warner Cable, giving plaintiff Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios Networks until Sept. 21 to file an amended complaint.

The lawsuit, first filed in February, also named as defendants the NAACP, the National Urban League, Al Sharpton, the National Action Network, as well as Meredith Attwell Baker, a former Comcast executive and FCC commissioner.

The lawsuit claimed that Comcast was shutting out African-American owned channels from their lineups. In securing approval for its 2011 acquisition of NBC Universal, they reached memorandums of understanding with a number of civil rights groups that were a “sham” to “whitewash Comcast’s discriminatory business practices.”  [Variety]

LIONEL PODCAST: The Source of Evil

Horror. Nothing more can be said. Eloquence isn’t required for the obvious. When something is so horrible and inexplicable words aren’t needed. In this podcast I address a number of factors that must be considered when trying to assess the causation factors of this inconceivable horror. 

Thank you for listening. And thank you for thinking.

LIONEL PODCAST: The Uninformed Electorate and the Duplicitous Media

Ignorance is bliss but who knew it was this fun? This picture is emblematic of what the mainstream media do. They distract. The rather devilish fellow on the right is you, the consumer. The trollop on the left is the mainstream media, detouring and diverting your attention from that which really matters. Whilst the world teeters on war, as surveillance measures cause the 24/7 worldview panopticon to cement and focus on your every move, as your contaminated food remains unlabeled and your family unwarned . . . as the world crumbles, we’re focused on Donald and Hill and Ashley Madison hackers. Congratulations, America, you’ve been had.

But in a spirit of mirth and merriment, a video tutorial for you. You’re welcome.

LIONEL PODCAST: Times Square Nudity, Nekkid Women, Debauchery and Big Apple Depravity

This is what you’re fight for, boys. Behold the poster gal for freedom. The living and breathing performance arts, baby. Just look at her. Little Miss Sunshine. I give you the lovely and talented Ms. Sandy Kane – who claims (I swear) to be 52 – and who plies her gravity-weathered topless trade in Times Square wearing stellar pasties, a crushed cowboy hat, a “wig” (believe it or not) and a guitar slung over her wan shoulder, wanted a cool $2 Mil for her wrongful arrest in April 2014. The NY Post reports that “she claims the cop who cuffed her was just filling his arrest quota when he charged her with having an ‘unattended package.'” Imagine that. The package, Kane claims, was her guitar case.

Let not the ravages of 6.67384 × 10-11 m3 kg-1 s-2  scare you. Whilst I applaud bold and audacious and inconvenient truths, I must say that I absolutely abhor the equally frightening notion of boorish and socially confrontational behavior for the sake of merely offending. And making a quick buck. Capitalism doesn’t necessarily assuage the fear of effrontery.

LIONEL PODCAST: The Death of New York City

New York is returning to the cesspool it was in the 70s. Slowly but surely. And we’re not talking the return of aggressive hoards of itinerant accordion buskers. No methed up Myron Florens shaking down unsuspecting and cowering tourists for their shekels. Tourists at Times Square being accosted and frightened by nude “performance artists” with their mammillae, areolae and pudenda camouflaged via farding. The horror. A comatose mayor, romanticizing about idealized Che fealty. The posterchild for clueless. Meanwhile the MSM focus relentlessly on that which is irrelevant and baseless providing rodeo clown cover for that which matters not. Relativism and internationalism as requistes for interpretation are discussed. Authority versus authoritarian. Corporatocracy versus fascism. The redirection of nationalism.

Enjoy, pilgrim. Listen.

LIONEL PODCAST: Let’s Talk Bad Comedy, Trump, Reconstituted Dreck and Content

The Prophet

You’re being played like a chump. Or as they said in the 60s, a turkey. A rube, chuff, chiurl and boor. They try their best to reconfigure the obvious but they can’t because they don’t understand the fact that content rules supreme. You are being denied an alternate view of the world that is so compelling, so amazingly eye opening, but you will never see that world if the current purveyors of media news have their way. And there are many reasons for such. But the most glaringly obvious is that they themselves have no idea of that which would compel and captivate you.

LIONEL PODCAST: Baseball, Bread & Circuses, the Human Condition and Myriad Miscellany

Think about this. “The trick is growing up without growing old.” Thus spake Charles Dillon “Casey” Stengel. Brilliant. As is the game as is the psychology of sports. But its more than that. It’s psychosocial conviviation. Tribal identity. It’s indelibly tattooed to our DNA. Bread and circuses. The Emperor Augustus was keenly aware of this risk of the plebeians rebelling and rising against the ruling class. He was focused on how keep the poorest plebeians happy enough and reasonably well fed so that they would not riot. He began the system of state bribery that the writer Juvenal described as “bread and circuses.” An expedient means of pacifying discontent or diverting attention from a source of grievance. Embrace it. I did and herein report. Meet the Mets. It’s an anthem. It’s a movement.

Mr. Baseball. A man and his tribalism.

“The perfect mix of sensible and outrageous. These pants not only show that you know how to dress well, but that you know how to stand out more than the man next to you. Make a statement, have fun, and if others don’t like it, well, they can just go to hell.” – Brooks Brothers

LIONEL PODCAST: The Media Have Become Pathetic News Grief Counselors

None of this makes any sense. Hillary has absolutely skirted the law. (Your pantsuit joke here.) Hillary scrubbed her server; ’twas cleaned and sanitized by pros. Just let that sink in for a moment. This is textbook obstruction of justice. Not only that, but the information that she had expurgated in bowdlerized in fact belongs to the government. Remember it is the subject matter and the data that are restricted and not necessarily the hard drives that such are contained in.

Imagine Nixon destroying his tapes. Imagine anyone destroying the subject matter which happens to be the evidence of a crime. Let me repeat again, this is obstruction of justice. Why is Hillary exempt from the law?

I discuss herein how the media have become grief counselors and a host of other pithy, pucky great comments and observations asked anent this feckless and impuissant group of invertebrates. 

How’s your blood pressure? This might change things.

The essentials. Please take note.

LIONEL PODCAST: Hillary’s Toast, Done, Cooked, Finished, Elvis and So Over

The Spy Satellite Secrets in Hillary’s Emails

The Daily Beast

These weren’t just ordinary secrets found in Clinton’s private server, but some of the most classified material the U.S. government has.

After months of denials and delaying actions, Hillary Clinton has decided to turn over her private email server to the Department of Justice. As this controversy has grown since the spring, Clinton and her campaign operatives have repeatedly denied that she had placed classified information in her personal email while serving as Secretary of State during President Obama’s first term. (“I am confident that I never sent nor received any information that was classified at the time it was sent and received,” she said last month.) Her team also denied that she would ever hand over her server to investigators. Now both those assertions have been overturned.

Hillary Clinton has little choice but to hand over her server to authorities since it now appears increasingly likely that someone on her staff violated federal laws regarding the handling of classified materials. On August 11, after extensive investigation, the Intelligence Community’s Inspector General reported to Congress that it had found several violations of security policy in Clinton’s personal emails.

Most seriously, the Inspector General assessed that Clinton’s emails included information that was highly classified—yet mislabeled as unclassified. Worse, the information in question should have been classified up to the level of “TOP SECRET//SI//TK//NOFORN,” according to the Inspector General’s report.

You may have seen acronym lists like these on declassified documents before—and glazed over them. This is the arcane language of the cleared cognoscenti so let me explain what this means:

• TOP SECRET, as the name implies, is the highest official classification level in the U.S. government, defined as information whose unauthorized release “could cause exceptionally grave damage to national security or foreign relations.”

• SI refers to Special Intelligence, meaning it is information derived from intercepted communications, which is the business of the National Security Agency, America’s single biggest source of intelligence. They’re the guys who eavesdrop on phone calls, map who’s calling whom, and comb through emails. SI is a subset of what the intelligence community calls Sensitive Compartmented Information or SCI. And these materials always require special handling and protection. They are to be kept in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility or SCIF, which is a special hardened room that is safe from both physical and electronic intrusion.

• TK refers to Talent Keyhole, which is an IC caveat indicating that the classified material was obtained via satellite.

• NOFORN, as the name implies, means that the materials can only be shown to Americans, not to foreigners.

In short: Information at the “TOP SECRET//SI//TK//NOFORN” level is considered exceptionally highly classified and must be handled with great care under penalty of serious consequences for mishandling. Every person who is cleared and “read on” for access to such information signs reams of paperwork and receives detailed training about how it is to be handled, no exceptions—and what the consequences will be if the rules are not followed.

People found to have willfully mishandled such highly classified information often face severe punishment. Termination of employment, hefty fines, even imprisonment can result.

In the real world, people with high-level clearances are severely punished for willfully violating such rules. At a minimum, those suspected of mishandling things like NSA “signals intelligence”—intercepts calls, emails, and the like—have their clearances suspended pending the outcome of the investigation into their misconduct. Any personal items—computers, electronics—where federal investigators suspect the classified wound up, wrongly, will be impounded and searched. If it has TOP SECRET//SI information on it, “your” computer now belongs to the government, since it is considered classified.

People found to have willfully mishandled such highly classified information often face severe punishment. Termination of employment, hefty fines, even imprisonment can result. Yes, people really do go to jail for mishandling classified materials. Matthew Aid, a writer on intelligence matters, served over a year in prison for mishandling TOP SECRET//SI information from NSA, for example. The well connected tend to avoid jail, however. Sandy Berger and John Deutsch—who both served in high-level positions under President Bill Clinton, did not go to prison for mishandling TOP SECRET intelligence (though Berger got probation and was fined $50,000).

What, then, does all this means for Hillary? There is no doubt that she, or someone on her State Department staff, violated federal law by putting TOP SECRET//SI information on an unclassified system. That it was Hillary’s private, offsite server makes the case even worse from a security viewpoint. Claims that they “didn’t know” such information was highly classified do not hold water and are irrelevant. It strains belief that anybody with clearances didn’t recognize that NSA information, which is loaded with classification markings, was signals intelligence, or SIGINT. It’s possible that the classified information found in Clinton’s email trove wasn’t marked as such. But if that classification notice was omitted, it wasn’t the U.S. intelligence community that took such markings away. Moreover, anybody holding security clearances has already assumed the responsibility for handling it properly.

As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton had no authority to disseminate IC information on her own, neither could she make it less highly classified (a process termed “downgrading” in the spy trade) without asking IC permission first.

It is a very big deal and less connected people who do this sort of thing ruin their lives, as any IC counterintelligence official can attest. During my NSA time, I saw junior personnel terminated for relatively minor infractions of security regulations. While the U.S. government unquestionably does over-classify items on the policy side, where almost everything in the Defense and State Departments gets some sort of classification stamp, not usually at a high level, intelligence reporting by its very nature is classified. If you don’t want the responsibility of a high-level government position, which inevitably brings with it TOP SECRET//SI access, then don’t accept that burden.

There’s still a lot we don’t know about Hillary’s Emailgate. Exactly how many emails contained TOP SECRET//SI information is unclear. We may never know since thousands of emails were already destroyed by Clinton. Who exactly placed the classified information in emails—it may not have been Hillary Clinton—and how did they access the information in the first place? How many of Hillary’s staffers at Foggy Bottom were also using her personal server?

Underlying all this is the question of why Hillary Clinton decided to employ her own private email and server to handle so much of her official State Department business. This is, to say the least, highly irregular—not to mention a violation of numerous U.S. government rules and regulations—so there had to be a compelling reason to do this. What was it?

The Clinton campaign was concerned enough about the issue to send out an email blast Wednesday afternoon with the subject line: “A note about Hillary Clinton’s emails.”

“You might hear some news over the next few days about Hillary Clinton’s emails,” began the email from Jennifer Palmieri, the communications director for Hillary for America.

“Because you are an important part of this team, we wanted to take a few minutes to talk through the facts—we need your help to make sure they get out there. There’s a lot of misinformation, so bear with us; the truth matters on this.”

Underneath the greeting were several bolded bullet points, including, “Hillary didn’t send any classified materials over email.” There was also a link to a longer, 4,000+ word explanation of why Clinton used a private email address and server in her official capacity as Secretary of State.

The FBI is now on the case and one hopes they will exercise due diligence in their investigation of what may be a serious leak of classified information, made worse by the fact that Clinton’s personal server was wholly unencrypted for three months, leaving it wide open to exploitation by foreign intelligence services.

The number of spy services interested in the communications of the U.S. Secretary of State numbers more than a hundred. Given their technical proficiency, it’s naïve to assume that the Russians and Chinese aren’t among them—a fact that John Kerry, the current secretary, recently admitted.

It’s safe to assume, then, that Moscow and Beijing know what Hillary’s “private” emails as Secretary of State contained. Let’s hope that the American public will someday as well.