Tag Archives: Giuliani

I Was in New York City on 9/11

This is my story. As I remember.

I Was in New York City on 9/11

 by

 LIONEL

I was there. Front and center in Manhattan on that horrid Tuesday morning, 14 years ago this September 11. How my city responded is still a source of pride. This is my firsthand account.

8:46 AM. I was watching local morning news and learned that a plane had apparently flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Immediately I started filling in the blanks. It must have been a small plane, nothing to be concerned about. These things happen. 9:03 AM. Then another plane hit, this time the South Tower. Coincidence. Nothing to be concerned about. Now, to this day, I marvel at how no suspicions were aroused. In me. Friends and colleagues will say how they knew right away it was a terrorist attack. I didn’t. Until the Pentagon. 9:37 AM. Now it was war. America was under attack.

I live in Hell’s Kitchen, which is near Times Square, and that I figured would certainly be the hub of activity. After all, it was the site of the zipper where headlines flashed throughout history. I grabbed a camera and as I walked down Broadway the mood was controlled confusion. You notice little things that take a while to process. I saw people who normally wouldn’t share an obvious camaraderie talking to each other. Young African-American kids speaking with construction workers, hipsters with the elderly, Mexican deliverymen talking. With anyone. Just reacting. And the phrase that I heard repeatedly, and I apologize for its coarseness, was “What the f___?” WTF indeed, but in its most brutal and abject of confusion. What’s happening? This can’t be. And the word that I have used since that describes it best is “surreal.”

Sirens. I never heard more sirens in my life. New Yorkers have an incredible sense of withstanding noise and the background music of the country’s largest city. But imagine every siren on every car, truck and vehicle from every borough, city and state. All running simultaneously. But when you’re paralyzed and walking zombified, you hardly notice. And that walk. People walked on cruise control, autopilot. You floated. Because, as I repeat, this was surreal. This was not supposed to happen.

The local news media were spectacular. I am usually wont to laugh at and ridicule, as I call them, the Ted Baxters of news but during this horror, every news reporter, anchor, correspondent, name it, was at he top of their game. And the requests they made were most unique. One anchor, I’ll never forget, announced that if you want to help, emergency workers needed bottled water, mobile telephone batteries and baby booties. Baby booties?! Did I hear that right? Yes, for the emergency rescue and cadaver dogs whose paws were being shredded by the broken glass and sharp shards of metal they had to walk over. New Yorkers headed downtown and wanted to help. Restaurants and delis, bodegas and shops, all opened their doors and their hearts. I saw one bodega owner take his cash tray out of the register and hand out coins to people who didn’t have a cellphone and were trying to find a working payphone – in many areas, cellphone availability all but disappeared.

That night at a corner park in my neighborhood, a group of people assembled. They all had candles that had been situated over paper plates to catch the dripping wax. Someone handed me one and we all just stood there. No singing or statements or prayer. Nothing. Just simultaneous and coordinated silence that said it all.

And then the most spectacular scene. As I moved to 57th Street that traverses the island of Manhattan, in every storefront, in every doorway, in front of every business as far as the eye could see, there were New Yorkers holding candles. Miles of candles. Everywhere. It just happened spontaneously, automatically, reflexively.

Days later, the smell. I thought at first that there was a short in my building’s elevator. That acrid, metallic electrical smell. But it wasn’t. It was Ground Zero. It had wafted uptown and it hung in the atmosphere. For days, weeks. In our neighborhood Irish pub, anyone who ventured in with a lavaliere security ID tag, anyone in uniform, any cop or firefighter or construction worker, anyone whom we suspected of helping to sort through the horror that was Downtown could pay for nothing. They were heroes. Everyone you sat next to was greeted with, “Did you lose anyone?”

And then, a most remarkable thing. If that’s even possible. There was no honking. Let me explain. To the uninitiated, honking is the language of the city. The horn accompanies all vehicle locomotion. Accelerator, brake, horn. It’s been said that the definition of a New York second is the time it takes for the light to turn green and the car behind you to honk. But there was none of that. Polite silence. Courtesy. Calm, understanding. Even in the subways, the usually jammed and crowded cars hat shuttled the short-fused straphanger were like a church. Quiet, polite. Respectful. I had always believed that whenever American society is met with tragedy or loss, we lose our minds. We loot or riot; we just react and explode. But not here and not now. I was never so proud of my city.

And finally, the saddest thing I saw, and that’s saying a lot. For weeks after that horrible day, there were handmade signs with pictures of missing loved ones posted and plastered all over the city with the phrase “Have You Seen ___?” They included a recent photo, their name, date of birth, a “last seen” location and even a nickname. It was as though they were just lost. Perhaps confused and walking around dazed, as if you might encounter them and recognize them from their poster and direct them home. They weren’t dead or killed. They were just lost. Just think of that. Of course, they were dead and gone. They vanished. But that reality couldn’t be appreciated or processed. To think that was to give up hope. There was no rational thinking during this irrational and unnatural horror.

New York City was always magnificent in my mind.

I stand corrected. New Yorkers are.

 

 

 

 

LIONEL PODCAST: Lionel and Veteran NYPD Detective Sergeant Wally Zeins Unabashedly and Unapologetically Break Down the Truth of the Current Mess

Behold our leader. Bill de Blasio. One-termer. Clueless. See supra. Over his head but trying. I think. I hope. Look, I want him to win. He’s the captain of the ship. And we’re on the ship. If he loses, we lose. So Schadenfreude makes no sense in this instance.He’s the chairman of the board, the CEO and COO and administrator of a $74B corporation. A behemoth. Five boroughs, 8.4M+ residents, 40% of the state’s population. Ginormous. Brobdingnagian. A colossus. And there’s no time to worry about horse carriages or progressive ideology, whatever the hell that means. He’s grown up a lot, this mayor, and he’s just coming up on his first year. But he has this accomplishment under his belt: He beats David Dinkins hands down for polarizing the NYPD this fast, this deeply and this dangerously.

Enter Lionel and Wally.

Lionel and former 30 year veteran NYPD Detective Sergeant Wally Zeins

The cop’s cop. He’s a former NYPD Detective Sergeant for 30 years and a retired commanding officer of the Manhattan Detectives Nightwatch. He was a supervisor of the Hostage Negotiation Team and is a renowned national law-enforcement media reporter. And he’s a great friend. A fabulous storyteller and raconteur. But of truth and actuality, amazing anecdotes and history. Not a fabulist he. He’s a professional cop of the first order, the constable, the centurion. And he’s critical in negotiating through the mess that is the news today. Enter Lionel and Wally.

Just the facts, ma’am. That’s all we want. The facts. the truth. That simple. The issue has dematerialized and disinterested into lunatic name calling and pithy memes and inapposite hashtags. For the facts have nothing to do apparently with the truth. After all, they get in the way of a good story. Enter Lionel and Wally.

The sextet. Now to really get into the nuts and bolts of the story, keep an eye on the following. Their interplay is critical to note and watch. Part symbiotic, part parasitism. One potentiating the other. Fueling and feeding.

  • Hizzoner BDB. See supra.
  • The Commish Bill Bratton. Clearly he knows what must be done. This is his moment.
  • Rudy Giuliani. The Mayor Emeritus.
  • PBA Prez Pat Lynch. Ready for prime time. Watch his media trajectory and vector.
  • Governor Andrew Cuomo. He’s plenipotent. Potential for great vacuum filling.
  • Reverend Al Sharpton. Wow. Can you say “kryptonite”?

Enter Lionel and Wally.

LIONEL PODCAST: My Interview With A Bona Fide Genius

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Cary Harrison is a genius. Not an exaggeration. Not hyperbole or a well-intended, polite compliment. No unwarranted magnification, puffery or grandiosity here. But there’s more. And he’s more.

He’s a raconteur, radio performer, TV host and American information treasure.

As Henry van Dyke said, “Genius is talent set on fire by courage.” And if you’re in this here alternative news and interpretation biz, you’d better have beaucoup courage and a pair of elephantine, gargantuan,  and Brobdingnagian bawls. All of which, he’s ably and sufficiently possessed.

Enjoy this. Two great friends looking and laughing at the world through the peculiar prism of unmitigated temerity and the aforementioned bawls.

LIONEL PODCAST: There Are Flying Saucers

“There is no doubt in my mind, after 37 years of study and investigation that the evidence is overwhelming that planet Earth is being visited by intelligently controlled vehicles whose origin is extraterrestrial. There are no acceptable arguments against flying saucer reality, only people who either haven’t studied the relevant data or have a strong will not to believe that Earth is at the bottom of the heap sociologically and technologically in our local galactic neighborhood.” — Stanton Friedman, The Case for the Extraterrestrial Origin of Flying Saucers, 1995

It is not subject to debate. The data are everywhere.

“The evidence is overwhelming that the Earth is being visited by intelligently controlled vehicles from off the Earth.”

“There are no good arguments to be made against the conclusion that some UFOs are intelligently controlled vehicles from off the Earth.  Some skeptics may be well intentioned, but they are almost always ignorant of the significant scientific data indicating UFO reality.  They read the newspapers but not the solid information.  They are unaware of the myriad landing-trace cases, the multitude of “critter” reports and Earthling abductions, the numerous large-scale scientific collections of data, the many published scientific studies indicating that trips to nearby stars in our galactic neighborhood are already feasible without violating the laws of physics or invoking science fiction techniques.”

Stanton Friedman, nuclear physicist, premier Ufologist and leading UFO researcher, author of several books and numerous articles on UFOs.

I can think of nothing more fascinating and truly awesome! than the notion of life forms vastly superior to those (us) who think they’re vastly superior, swimming about the multiverse, multidimensionally and anti-gravitically, at inconceivable speeds, surrounded and pillowed by their self-contained personal gravity and inertia fields, destroying our hard-wired notions of space travel absolutes. And it’s been going on since man first slogged from the bog.

Think if it this way. Mother Earth is 4.5B years old. Or 4500M years old. If another planet were 4501M years, they’d have a Mil on us. From 1903 to 1969 we went from Kitty Hawk and the Brothers Wright to Neil Armstrong and his small step for man. In 66 years! Think what a planet can do with 1000 millennia under its belt.

LIONEL PODCAST: America Needs to Grow a Huge Set of C.O. Jones

We’ve become impuissant. Castrated. Geldings the lot of us. Orchiectomied invertebrates. No hits, no runs, no errors. Play it safe. Watch what you say. Get along, move along. Curse the maverick. Chide the revolutionary. Don’t make waves. Pray, be obsequious and obeisant. Be scared and timorous. And vote. Pretend it matters. Know your shibboleths and pat, trite phrases. Disregard history, make it up as you go. Learn the two sides of the coin. The left-right paradigm. The illusion of choice. The perception of option. Your lone voice matters, right? Watch what you say. Offend no one. Blessed be the troublemakers. Here’s to you, Ms. Rivers. You inspire pissed off in so many colors. Join the ranks of Messrs. Bruce, Carlin, Gregory and Hicks. Just don’t bother us. Leave us to our Facebook where we chronicle our oblivion and tag the unsuspecting hostages. Leave us alone on Labor Day to barbecue our charred carcinogenic animal carcasses and flesh slabs. Let us bake melanomas into our flesh. Just leave us alone. We’re busy being busy. “Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking.” (Albert “Big Al” Einstein)

LIONEL PODCAST: We’re Living In The Twilight Zone

Barney Fife: “All I’m saying is that there are some things beyond the ken of mortal man that shouldn’t be tampered with. We don’t know everything, Andy. There’s plenty goin’ on right now in the Twilight Zone that we don’t know anything about and I think we oughta stay clear.” “The Andy Griffith Show: The Haunted House (#4.2)” (1963)

Adios, Sheriff Andy. I’ll take Barney over this growing crop of lunatics any day of the week. And I’m tired of hearing the cop apologists weigh in with their drivel about how we citizens don’t understand the necessity of gunning gown the innocent every now and then. I’m a lawyer yet I understand the frustrations people have with the profession. I’m not an apologist. I dig their perspective. I understand the horrors you’ve experienced in the system. I don’t bore you with stories of how you’re unable to understand the big picture or that your take on jurisprudence is de minimis because you’re a civilian. Cops had better wake up, especially their superiors. Because there are more of us than you. You work for us. You’re a public servant. A peace officer. When we insult you or fail to evince the proper scared fealty to you, you have to do what we do. Live with it or join the military which is really what you seem to want to be. A soldier versus a law enforcement professional.

LIONEL PODCAST: Help Me Save Our Country

“My fake plants died because I did not pretend to water them.” Mitch Hedberg

My simple formula. First and foremost you must vow never to listen, read and/or view anything American as to news for a month. No American mainstream Ted Baxter media. Period.

Next, use the greatest invention of all time the Internet and scour the world for foreign and alternative media, blogs, opinion, anything. And don’t ask where to start. Just start.

Next, reset your values as to what’s best for you and the country. Better yet, take conventional wisdom. And destroy it. Eschew any ideology with a name.

And finally: Think for yourself yourself. Critically think. And that should get you started.

An Open Letter to My Facebook Friends

Entitleist

I penned the following to the sincere yet deluded Facebook friends and I thought it’s an idea that should be shared with you, the less-deluded.

If you’re reading this you’re most probably of the belief that there’s a right and a wrong. A good and an evil. It’s Manichaean, apodictic. You’re certain. And you use the word crazy to dismiss those you disagree with. You cannot dissect pearls of truth from anyone you’ve thrown into the do not listen to pile. You’re pigheaded, closed-minded, historically ignorant and you’re only conversant with pop culture politics. You’ve no ideology or core belief. You’re an empty vessel who sports philosophy like the latest cosmetic suturing or blast of emotion-destroying toxin.

If you’re the Fox News type you want to bomb Iraq or Syria or anyplace you’re told houses ISIS, a group you’ve recently learned of but were unaware were beheading Christians. But ignorance is your middle name. You’re unaware that the US and the West and NATO trained them. But when it comes to saber rattling and your my dick’s bigger than yours blather you’re all in. Because you’re tough and right and Murican! You have a flag fetish, support troops in word only. You’re a walking bumper sticker. You’re an echo chamber who thinks the left wing hates freedom or whatever your latest memorized article of faith is.

If you’re the MSNBC type you’re an Obama acolyte. You possess a diluted support of a vacuous progressive agenda that no one has yet to decipher. You hate the right wing and that’s the extent of your ideology. You’ll decry Bush’s bombing a country but will swoon when your beloved Barry takes out a wedding party in Pakistan with a drone. You think the right are uneducated, uncultured Neanderthals.

In conclusion, you’re probably a great friend but l laugh at you behind your back because your politically nescient and organically clueless. Stick to sports or whatever you’re moderately familiar with because when it comes to how the world and country are run, you’re beyond pathetic.

But I love you. Discuss.

Did someone say left-right paradigm?

LIONEL PODCAST: The Ted Baxter Media Simply Can’t Understand #Ferguson

Expect nothing and you won’t be disappointed. It is organically and fundamentally impossible for Americans and the Ted Baxter sockpuppet echo chamber bumper sticker play book mainstream media to digest and distill and parse and analyze the complexity of issues that are Ferguson and ISIS. Critical thinking abilities and skills went the way of ten antimacassar. It’s been reduced to a Manichaean left-right apodictic axiomatic world. And it ain’t so.

The mainstream media have abandoned anything resembling and you must turn to alternative sources who embrace the complexity of the world and moreover question without fear the usual stories as to the relevant players involved.

Herein is my latest indictment against the aforementioned as well as a break down of the salient issues that you must attend to and orient towards. You thrive on complexity. It’s who we are.

LIONEL PODCAST: We’re a Police State and Nobody Gives a Shite!

The hyper-militarization of police brought to you by the Pentagon and the systematic habituation of a sheeple public with no earthly knowledge of historical antecedents.

Lucy, what happened? Simple, Ricky. 1033, that’s what. And as is usually the case the public has nary a clue of what’s happening. The ACLU reported that 80% of SWAT raids are in conducting search warrants. And with public support for the mysterious and fictive War on Drugs at an all time low the police are using militarized techniques in connection with a war that’s been long lost.

And the NDAA is to blame. Again.

Faced with a bloated military and what it perceived as a worsening drug crisis, the 101st Congress in 1990 enacted the National Defense Authorization Act. Section 1208 of the NDAA allowed the Secretary of Defense to “transfer to Federal and State agencies personal property of the Department of Defense, including small arms and ammunition, that the Secretary determines is— (A) suitable for use by such agencies in counter-drug activities; and (B) excess to the needs of the Department of Defense.” It was called the 1208 Program. In 1996, Congress replaced Section 1208 with Section 1033.

The ACLU provides a most thorough review of the horrors. War Comes Home: The Excessive Militarization of American Police – Report

And let’s not forget the oft-forgot, little known posse comitatus hat I commend to you for review. The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, still in effect, was passed to prevent U.S. military personnel from acting as law enforcement agents on U.S. soil. Today, Posse Comitatus has taken on a different meaning from the one that it had in 1878 but the basic and precepts remain intact. No longer associated with Reconstruction, “it is a useful way to prevent the U.S. armed forces from directing their efforts against U.S. dissident groups. Public sentiment in favor of the Posse Comitatus Act is so strong that a 2006 law permitting an exception to the Act in cases of public disasters (in response to Hurricane Katrina) was repealed a year later.” [Source]

The text of the Posse Comitatus Act, which is still in effect (as 18 U.S.C. Section 1385), reads:

Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.

This isn’t arcane history. This is real and happening before our very eyes.