Monthly Archives: March 2015 - Page 2

LIONEL PODCAST: The Mysterious Madame Defarge Interview

“It does not take a long time,” said madame, “for an earthquake to swallow a town. Eh well! Tell me how long it takes to prepare the earthquake?” A Tale of Two Cities. Book 2, Chapter 16: Still Knitting: Page 3

The vatic tricoteuse. It took years of cajoling and wheedling for me to bring to the mic the observations and opinions of this most mysterious and amazing woman, schooled in matters entertainment and the like. Vatic and pythonic. Brutally prescient as to the state of the media. She’s the Ray Donovan of media and entertainment netherworld. The fixer who knows where the bodies are buried. ‘Nuff said.

The litany. She delivers a scathing indictment and thorough review of all topics under the proverbial sun: the Kardashians, multiple media platforms in the history of media, Starbucks insanity and race trivialization inter alia.

Editor Note: Please note that the podcast cuts out a tad early before the very conclusion. Damn NSA!

“People are sheep. TV is the shepherd.”
Jess C. Scott, Literary Heroin (Gluttony): A Twilight Parody

LIONEL PODCAST: Why I Hate St. Patrick’s Day

Is fearr Gaeilge briste, ná Béarla clíste.

Especially how so many celebrate it. I hate the way the Irish are trivialized and mocked inadvertently. It’s downright demeaning, and I’m being kind. Even the ubiquitous image of the leprechaun transcends anything vaguely resembling decency. Patronized and treated like children they are. With references to their cute “brogues” and accents. In fact, I have it on good authority that the notion of the brogue was and in fact is a pejorative. It was hatefully suggested that the Irish were thought to speak as though they had a shoe or a brogue in their mouths. It was said that to “refined English ears, the Irish sound as if they have shoes in their mouths.”

But I will say that living in Ireland has changed the cadence and fullness of speech, since the Irish love words and use as many of them in a sentence as possible.
– Anne McCaffrey, 1926 – 2011

Manly, yes, but I like it too. But who cares about history or relevance or truth? By God, we’re going to party! Historical relevance be damned! How despicably cruel that is. And their accents. What accents?! Accents, like incest, are relative. You have an accent relative to someone from Muckanaghederdauhaulia. Irish-Americans should be proud. First, of being American and secondly, of their Irish stock. Faith and Begorrah! And lose that while you at it.

I can’t even tell if this is offensive. The leprechaun. Horrible. Irish Spring, Lucky Charms and Barry Fitzgerald. Bastardized and horridly offensive depictions. The history of Ireland is fascinating — the troubles and travails. Civil wars and factional unrest. It makes you redefine just who the “terrorist” is, a term that’s used to describe the other guy and other side. So, read up, my countrymen, and celebrate a proud and great people whose worth cannot be reduced to a parade route or oceans of verdure. Sláinte!

LIONEL PODCAST: Our Psychotic Militarization of Law Enforcement

The increasing use of military-style tactics and weapons by police forces across the United States puts civilians at needless risk of death and injury, according to a strongly worded ACLU report slamming the development entitled “War Comes Home: The Excessive Militarization of American Policing.”

So long Sheriff Andy. Hello, RobocopFirst, enough with the prayer vigils. Seriously, let me ask you a question. Where was the deity du jour that allowed the problems in the first place to exacerbate to such an extent that now requires a prayer vigil? Well, Billy Graham? Stop with the prayer and get down to business in addressing the problems most would rather avoid altogether. It’s about attitude, demographics and human interaction. And that means that we need to address why certain pockets, demos and groups of our country engage the police with greater frequency and why the police have forgotten their rolls as peace keepers and public servants. But that strains at the rules of the politically-correct legions of namby-pamby apologists and excusers who haven’t the intellectual consistency to address problems for what they really are.

When did it go wrong? Federal policies that allow and permit the military to distribute unwanted and inappropriate military hardware to local jurisdictions are a big part of the problem. In 2011 even the New York Times expressed alarm in When the Police Go Military and looked at the abandoning of civilian law enforcement and peace keeping and instead accepting law enforcement by without question.

The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 generally bars the military from law enforcement activities within the United States. But today, some local and city police forces have rendered the law rather moot. They have tanks — yes, tanks, often from military surplus, for use in hostage situations or drug raids — not to mention the sort of equipment and training one would need to deter a Mumbai-style guerrilla assault.

The enemy as citizen. The ACLU in The Militarization of Policing in America, spoke eloquently on the subject. This is not by accident. And with increased firepower is the concomitant bottom-down systematic attitudinal framing of the citizen and civilian via the cops’ worldview.

American neighborhoods are increasingly being policed by cops armed with the weapons and tactics of war. Federal funding in the billions of dollars has allowed state and local police departments to gain access to weapons and tactics created for overseas combat theaters – and yet very little is known about exactly how many police departments have military weapons and training, how militarized the police have become, and how extensively federal money is incentivizing this trend. It’s time to understand the true scope of the militarization of policing in America and the impact it is having in our neighborhoods. Since March 6th, ACLU affiliates in 25 states filed over 260 public records requests with law enforcement agencies and National Guard offices to determine the extent to which federal funding and support has fueled the militarization of state and local police departments.

The Lionel Plan. In December I published my nine-point plan to address the hypermilitarization of the police and it bears reminder. Law enforcement is not Hollywood, it’s not what the public thinks. It’s time for the Jurassic mainstream media to care as much about educating the public as it ostensibly does in providing interminable references to the perceived colors of dresses.

  • Mandatory special prosecutor assigned in police shootings. DA’s will be prohibited from handling prosecutions of police officer shootings and/or deaths within their jurisdiction regarding officers whom they must necessarily deal with on a daily basis.
  • Police union messaging. Police unions must not be viewed as adversarial to the public and must tailor their message and directives avoiding at all costs ostensible tone-deaf insensitivity.
  • Civilian ride-along programs. The public simply has no idea of what police do. Increased participation in ride-along programs and similar liaison programs will help dramatically especially when combined with media and social media outlets highlighting the efforts.
  • Media instruction and tutelage as to what police do. The public and media think that arrests are invitations to cooperate. They must understand the rather brusque process of surrender and the danger to police of “pretty please” seizure.
  • Education of public as to grand jury process. The ham sandwich myth must be forever corrected and eliminated altogether.
  • Reevaluation and ultimate reversal of 1033 programs. Programs providing for militarization of police agencies fuel subliminal antagonism and exacerbate the inherent problems.The historic firewall between civilian law enforcement and military operations as in Posse Comitatus must be enforced.
  • Mandatory camera programs. Cameras proved invaluable in establishing a level of transparency in the Eric Garner case. Without them, no facts would have been readily available. The ACLU has instituted programs allowing for citizens to download apps for smartphone use to document and record questionable and suspect police behavior.
  • Expansion of Citizen Complain Review Boards and CCRB-like programs. Civilian jurisdiction in reviewing police abuse claims creates the perception of cooperative involvement and community investment.
  • Police-civilian liaisons. Emphasis on community policing and symbiotic cooperation is encouraged versus antagonistic coexistence.

Enough with the mynah birds. The yammering and bleating and carping about race, race, race, albeit important in portions, misses altogether the severity and complexity of the problem. And enough with the breathy “conversations” on race. The problem transcends race. I and others have railed against the militarization of cops for years and there were no prayer vigils or a saccharine POTUS tweeting generically. We saw it in the cases of gate rape by “TSAholes,” federalized skycaps, who were given carte blanche to rough up innocent civilians. What took you so long?

LIONEL PODCAST: Never Ever Ban An Idea, No Matter How Despicable

Sheeple (a portmanteau of “sheep” and “people”) is a derogatory term that highlights the herd behavior of people by likening them to sheep, a herd animal. The term is used to describe those who voluntarily acquiesce to a suggestion without critical analysis or research. (Wikipedia)

Behold. The slamming on the brakes of progress. A once proud species, now cowing and collapsing under the weight of self-imposed civil strictures. We are so frightened. So timid, so timorous. Above all, we avoid daring and risking even the slightest chance of offending someone, even if that someone is a hypothetical straw man. We quake in our boots over the notion of being accused of being insensitive. Our Jurassic mainstream media talk incessantly about having interminable “conversations” about every mindless subject there is. But nowhere, nowhere in the pallet of the Ted Baxter mainstream media news is even the mention of the fact that the First Amendment and freedom of speech and expression provide a concomitant respect for ideas that we find reprehensible. Ideas that abrade and hurt. Ideas that repel and sicken. Often the exhibition of horrible ideas does more for clarity and free-thinking than its suppression. Imagine that.

Ferguson convergence. There’s been considerable confusion as to the status of race relations in the country especially via the police and law enforcement. The unnecessary conflation is that between the cops and people, i.e. race relations between citizens is one thing, those between the police and minorities is quite the other. And with the usually confused Jurassic mainstream media their recommendations as to reportage is to repeat the phrase, “Let’s have a conversation,” which means double down on the usual suspects and repeat the same circuitous rants and odes to he obvious.

LIONEL PODCAST: Fraternity Idiocy Does Not Validate Free Speech Violations

“Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it; moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork.” — Part I, Chapter I, Nineteen Eighty-Four

Hillary is a nonstory. She’s never going to be the Democratic nominee nor was she ever. It’s about her pathology and mendacity. I couldn’t care less about this silly woman and silly story and a silly media who hang on every word only because, finally, it’s a story they can understand. Hilary was never intended to be the nominee. Ever. And everyone who’s two neurons to rub together can figure that out.

The right to be stupid. The SAEs expelled at OU. This is the case that interests me. This goes to the core of the First Amendment and the life blood of free speech. Being stupid is a basis of American fundamental liberties. Being stupid and hateful and dumb. And the question then is who exactly determines what will be tolerated and the like? When will an anti-Islamic or Islamist chant or jeer be subsumed under the rubric of hate speech or impermissible thought?

Brilliance. Eugene Volokh teaches free speech law, religious freedom law, church-state relations law, a First Amendment Amicus Brief Clinic, and tort law, at UCLA School of Law, where he has also often taught copyright law, criminal law, and a seminar on firearms regulation policy. He’s authored a brilliant piece in the Washington Post entitled, “No, it’s not constitutional for the University of Oklahoma to expel students for racist speech [UPDATED in light of the students’ expulsion].” I commend it to you and provide the following excerpts.

University of Oklahoma president David Boren said, “If I’m allowed to, these students will face suspension or expulsion.” [UPDATE: The president has indeed expelled two of the students.] But he is not, I think, allowed to do that.

1. First, racist speech is constitutionally protected, just as is expression of other contemptible ideas; and universities may not discipline students based on their speech. That has been the unanimous view of courts that have considered campus speech codes and other campus speech restrictions — see here for some citations. The same, of course, is true for fraternity speech, racist or otherwise; see Iota Xi Chapter of Sigma Chi Fraternity v. George Mason University (4th Cir. 1993). (I set aside the separate question of student speech that is evaluated as part of coursework or class participation, which necessarily must be evaluated based on its content; this speech clearly doesn’t qualify.)

UPDATE: The university president wrote that the students are being expelled for “your leadership role in leading a racist and exclusionary chant which has created a hostile educational environment for others.” But there is no First Amendment exception for racist speech, or exclusionary speech, or — as the cases I mentioned above — for speech by university students that “has created a hostile educational environment for others.”

2. Likewise, speech doesn’t lose its constitutional protection just because it refers to violence — “You can hang him from a tree,” “the capitalists will be the first ones up against the wall when the revolution comes,” “by any means necessary” with pictures of guns, “apostates from Islam should be killed.”

3. To be sure, in specific situations, such speech might fall within a First Amendment exception. One example is if it is likely to be perceived as a “true threat” of violence (e.g., saying “apostates from Islam will be killed” or “we’ll hang you from a tree” to a particular person who will likely perceive it as expressing the speaker’s intention to kill him); but that’s not the situation here, where the speech wouldn’t have been taken by any listener as a threat against him or her. Another is if it intended to solicit a criminal act, or to create a conspiracy to commit a criminal act, but, vile as the “hang him from a tree” is, neither of these exceptions are applicable here, either.

4. [UPDATE: Given the president’s letter, it’s clear that the students are being expelled solely for their speech, and not for the reason discussed in the following paragraphs.] Some people have suggested that the speech may be evidence of discriminatory decision making by the fraternity in admitting members. A university may demand that groups to which it provides various benefits not discriminate in admissions. See Christian Legal Society v. Martinez (2010). Indeed, nondiscrimination rules are applicable to groups generally, even apart from any benefits they get; much depends on whether the groups are seen as small and selective enough to be covered by a right to “intimate association,” and on whether apply antidiscrimination law to the groups would interfere with the groups’ expression of their ideas, and thus burden their right to “expressive associations.” See Roberts v. U.S. Jaycees (1983); Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (2000). The university might thus be able to discipline students who (a) are involved in a fraternity’s admissions decisions, and (b) can be shown to have denied membership to people based on race, or intentionally tried to communicate to potential members that they would deny them membership that way. I don’t think that a discussion saying that discrimination ought to take place, or even that at some unspecified time it will take place, would suffice to constitute a violation of the antidiscrimination rules, though it might be used as evidence in a future case where discrimination against a particular applicant might be alleged.

But even if the group is found to have discriminated against black applicants, and some particular members were found to have participated in that decision, the penalty for that has to be based on the penalties that are actually meted out to people who violate this rule. If discrimination by a group generally leads to a fine against the group, or a reprimand of the participants, or even derecognition of the group, the university can’t then expel students who engage in the same action but who also engage in constitutionally protected speech — that sort of disparate treatment shows that the school is really punishing people for their speech, not for their conduct.

This is a familiar principle from antidiscrimination law: if a black student is expelled based on conduct for which white students are generally just mildly reprimanded, the law recognizes that the expulsion was based on the student’s race, not just the student’s punishable conduct. The conduct in that situation is being used in large part as a pretext for race discrimination. Likewise, if SAE members are expelled based on conduct for which people who didn’t engage in SAE’s speech would generally just be mildly reprimanded, the expulsion would be based on the speech, not the members’ punishable conduct, which would just be pretext for punishing students for the ideas they were expressing to each other.

5. Of course, this just applies to the university. It certainly makes sense that the national fraternity may suspend the student chapter, and that other fraternity or sorority organizations refuse to deal with the chapter (or even its students). Fraternities, at least in principle, aim to promote certain principles of morality and behavior, such as the national SAE’s True Gentleman creed:

SAE may quite rightly insist that people who so sharply depart from such principles no longer use SAE’s name. (I don’t think a university may suspend a fraternity just based on its speech, but that question is likely rendered moot by national SAE’s actions here.) Likewise, I imagine that the fraternity members’ speech will more generally affect their social lives and their professional lives, as some people choose not to do business with them in the future. (In some states, even private employers are limited in their ability to discriminate against employees or job applicants based on their speech, but that’s true only in some states and generally only as to employment; and, rightly or wrongly, such discrimination often happens without the applicant’s even knowing that it’s happening.) How long this sort of misbehavior should dog a person is an interesting ethical question, but in any event it’s pretty clear that the offending students are going to pay a substantial social and likely economic price for their actions.

The thought vigilantes. The thought police are alive and well, better yet, the thought vigilantes. Wake up.


LIONEL PODCAST: Unreported News That Will Freak You Out!

Do you recognize this woman? The neocon’s neocon. She’s Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the United States Department of State. Author of the now historic, “Fuck the EU!” Her reckless rhetoric poses more of a threat to our national safety than any of the hypothetical terrorist threats from central casting.

What you need to know. Herein you will hear the following subjects that, trust me, the mainstream media have no interest in or clue about.

  • Hillary and Jeb will not be nominees. This is a cover. Hill’s toast and the RNC is less than thrilled over the notion of Jeb. From an evolutionary point of view this shows a healthy Darwinian mechanics take on psephology. Hillary’s handling of her latest email problem showed a spectacular ability to eliminate any possibility of recovery. She’s tone deaf and still laboring under the delusion that the rules don’t apply to her. And now she’s got Chelsea showing for the old lady while Bill is nowhere to be found. As I’ve said from the beginning, history has shown us that the Democratic nominee is the outlier, the surprise candidate that no one saw coming. Dukakis, Carter, Clinton, Obama. Do you see the obvious pattern? And not to mention, Hillary’s ability to handle tough issues such as Benghazi redefined inept. “What difference does it make?” will echo in the annals of American history from now until the end of time.
  • The insanity of the Apple Watch, as if you could get even more insane. People will stand in seemingly endless queues to spend money they don’t have to sport the latest in NSA tracking surveillance jewelry. You will then see the number of violent crimes and robberies increase exponentially as hipster thieves separate mindless sheeple from their new symbol of cool.
  • Research Victoria Nuland, head of European affairs at the US State Department, whose neocon saber-rattling defies description. And General Philip Breedlove, the top NATO commander in Europe, while you’re at it. These two are causing much of Europe and our erstwhile allies to be quite concerned. Pay attention. Nuland and her hubby enjoy quite the neocon pedigree and provenance.
  • NBC meltdown and the lesson to be learned. The story in New York magazine was a delicious behind the scenes look at the usual schizophrenic disconnect that is the world of Jurassic media. Pitiful leadership, underqualified leaders trying to herd egomaniacal sub-talents. It als shows the inability for some folks to get a handle on how their very media are changing before their eyes.
  • Google through a new algorithm has decided to change the criteria it uses for ranking content on the Internet, so that content will no longer be ranked by popularity, but will now instead use what it has determined to be truth as its ranking tool. Truth! Think of the implications from this quasi-governmental “free” service that can relegate popular yet unpopular ideas to the back of the line. Where’s the media coverage of that? Why must I repeatedly remind these folks what news means? NEW.

Whither truth? And, I repeat, the Jurassic media still jiggles the keys to the crying baby public. You’re welcome.

And now, naked bluegrass back by popular demand.

LIONEL PODCAST: Friday Foibles, Folly and Fraud

Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the tenth and current Archbishop of the Archdiocese of New York, has compared the Irish Republican Army (IRA) to Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), saying both groups used religion to justify their violence. Ouch!

“Profoundly ignorant.” The leaders of four top Irish American organizations have come out swinging against Cardinal Timothy Dolan for his comments likening Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and saying that both were perverting their religion. (The IRA was about Catholicism?) He made the comments in a CNN interview according to the Irish Central. Dolan’s comments were made to CNN on Tuesday, March 3.

The IRA was about Catholicism? “The IRA claimed to be Catholic,” he told anchor Chris Cuomo. “They were baptized. They had a Catholic identity.” But, he continued, “what they were doing was a perversion of everything the church stood for.” Get ready.

Father Sean McManus, who leads the Irish National Caucus the top Irish lobbying group on the North in Congress, was outraged at his fellow cleric.

Fr. McManus said the Cardinal’s statement, equating the IRA to ISIS was “Profoundly ignorant, totally irresponsible and lacking all credibility.

“It is sadly consistent with a man who for 40 years never opened his mouth about the oppression of Catholics in Northern Ireland.

“Such a person as Cardinal Dolan – who was complicit by his silence in British torture of political prisoners, anti-Catholic discrimination, British murder gangs and the wholesale denial of human rights – has now no moral authority to comment on the struggle of an oppressed people.

“He forfeited that right by his complicity and collusion. His Johnny-come-lately and cowardly outburst only further deepens his own complicity, and further abuses his spiritual power.”

But wait, there’s more. Brendan Moore, President of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH), America’s largest Irish Catholic organization, said that Dolan was plain wrong in making the analogy.

“The fact is that unlike ISIS, the Irish Republican Army never used religion to justify its resistance to Loyalist sectarianism and/or British misrule. Cardinal Dolan’s statement (“everything they were doing was a perversion of everything the Church stood for”) appears to be contradicted by the heroic utterances and activities of many Catholic priests, among them Alex Reid, Des Wilson, Raymond Murray, and Denis Faul.

“Indeed, Cardinal Tomas O Faich (Thomas O’Fee) was consistently criticized in the media and elsewhere for his “excessive” closeness to militant Irish republicans.

“… One needs to wonder if The Troubles might have been avoided or diminished had those same Irish bishops spoken out to vigorously condemn long-standing institutionalized discrimination in employment and housing in the north of Ireland.”

More? Mike Cummings a past National Board member of the Irish American Unity Conference was equally scathing in his rebuke.

“In his defense, the Cardinal may be unfamiliar with the Irish conflict. There is no record of his voice speaking out against the discrimination against Catholics in jobs, housing and voting or in favor of the MacBride Fair Employment Principles; or in support of the Hunger Strikers; in protest of the murders of attorneys Patrick Finucane or Rosemary Nelson or indeed the killing of nearly 1000 Catholics whose deaths have yet to be investigated or in opposition to current cases of injustice like the Craigavon 2.

“…..Given the church scandals in Ireland it takes a brave man to cite the Irish Bishops for anything save incompetence, arrogance and “narcissism” to quote Taoiseach Enda Kenny.”

Paul Doris, a senior figure in Irish Northern Aid, also let Dolan have it.

“The IRA has never claimed to be fighting as Catholics for Catholics, indeed all down though Irish history, folks from all religious persuasions have fought for Irish Independence from Britain.

“With the revelations of the past few years against the Catholic Church in Ireland I believe it would be more productive if Cardinal Dolan spent more time on that instead of opining on matters which he seems to know little or nothing about.”

And Friday miscellany. A myriad and mosaic of miscellany.

LIONEL PODCAST: Were the Boston Bombers Double Agents?

Dzhokhar “Jahar” Tsarnaev aka “Flash Bang,” younger bro to “Speed Bump”

Flashbang and Speedbump. The monikers of the Flying Tsaraev Brothers, reputed to have originated from WRKO and the inimitable Jerry Williams. They undoubtedly referred to the demise of the elder bro and the younger, who squirreled away in a boat during the greatest manhunt in recent history, roused from his perch through the invitation of an explosive canister.  This after having scrawled his manifesto on the side of a boat while a martial law beta test was in full swing.

I care not of this creep. I have no sympathy for Flash Bang or his mowed down bro. I don’t think he should receive the death penalty or anyone for that matter. His defense will be that he was lured by his elder frater through duress and coercion and the like. And while there are many conspiracists out there suggesting a host of possibilities including crisis reenactors and the like, I comment not on that and have available data or information on this. What I know is what was printed and reported by the media which the media now ignore altogether. Amazing, huh? But in the meantime we should never forget the horrors and inconceivable sadness that surviving family members and friends have suffered. I just have an insatiable curiosity and need for the truth.Martial law beta test, baby. Let me repeat and be not mistaken, my brothers and sisters, this was an experiment. This was to see how much Americans would endure. And the most pathetic of sights was to see once-proud Bostonians applaud the militarized police who let them out from their homes after cowing in the recesses of their homes to the apparent authority of militarized control measures. Even after 9/11, no one would dare shut down New York. Remember the extent of lockdown to capture two people. In a post-1033 world where we have now sadly become acclimated the sight of police dressed as military, nothing compared to the degree of force and firepower that were exhibited during the manhunt. Go back and look at the images today. It presaged the future. It portended the accepted introduction of military substitution for civilian law-enforcement. No one objected to the degree of the response. Whatever fear or appreciation we had for the notion of martial law evaporated in toto during this event. I still don’t think people truly understand the particular concerns that this event inspired so many liberty conscious Americans. Mission succesful, comrades. 

WTF, indeed. The Boston Globe among many sources quoted multiple sources that the FBI didn’t just get one warning from Russia about Tamerlan Tsarnaev (aka “Speed Bump”), they were in fact warned repeatedly. Always be suspect when the government fails to overreact. When they’re careful and cautious and circumspect. Something’s up.

Russian authorities contacted the US government with concerns about Tamerlan Tsarnaev not once but “multiple’’ times, including an alert it sent after he was first investigated by FBI agents in Boston, raising new questions about whether the FBI should have paid more attention to the suspected Boston Marathon bomber, US senators briefed on the inves­tigation said Tuesday.

The FBI has previously said it interviewed Tsarnaev in early 2011 after it was initially contacted by the ­Russians. In their review, completed in summer 2011, the bureau found no ­evidence that Tsarnaev was a threat. “The FBI requested but did not receive more specific or additional information from” Russia, the agency said last week.

Following a closed briefing of the Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday, Senator Richard Burr, a North Carolina Republican, said he believed that Russia alerted the United States about Tsarnaev in “multiple contacts,” including at least once since October 2011.

We were warned. In fact, the New York Times reported that the “F.B.I. did not tell the Boston police about the 2011 warning from Russia about Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the two brothers accused in the Boston Marathon bombings, the city’s police chief said Thursday during the first public Congressional hearing on the terrorist attack.”

But wait, there’s more. It gets better. The Independent reported that “[i]n September 2011, Russia’s FSB sent a cable to the CIA restating their initial warning, and a second note on Tsarnaev was entered on the TECS system, but his name was misspelled ‘Tsarnayev’.”

Now, the money shot. Could the Brothers Tsarnaev have been, in fact, US intel agents cajoled and seduced into working with jihadist terrorists after going undercover behind the lines within their networks? According to at least one article by the Israeli-based intelligence and military news blog DEBKAFile (referenced here) the answer is ABSOLUTELY! It’s time to go deep, kids.

The big questions buzzing over Boston Bombers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have a single answer: It emerged in the 102 tense hours between the twin Boston Marathon bombings Monday, April 15 – which left three dead, 180 injured and a police officer killed at MIT – and Dzohkhar’s capture Friday, April 19 in Watertown.

The conclusion reached by DEBKAfile’s counterterrorism and intelligence sources is that the brothers were double agents, hired by US and Saudi intelligence to penetrate the Wahhabi jihadist networks which, helped by Saudi financial institutions, had spread across the restive Russian Caucasian.

Instead, the two former Chechens betrayed their mission and went secretly over to the radical Islamist networks.

By this tortuous path, the brothers earned the dubious distinction of being the first terrorist operatives to import al Qaeda terror to the United States through a winding route outside the Middle East – the Caucasus.

This broad region encompasses the autonomous or semi-autonomous Muslim republics of Dagestan, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Chechnya, North Ossetia and Karachyevo-Cherkesiya, most of which the West has never heard of.

Moscow however keeps these republics on a tight military and intelligence leash, constantly putting down violent resistance by the Wahhabist cells, which draw support from certain Saudi sources and funds from the Riyadh government for building Wahhabist mosques and schools to disseminate the state religion of Saudi Arabia. [e.s.]

The Saudis feared that their convoluted involvement in the Caucasus would come embarrassingly to light when a Saudi student was questioned about his involvement in the bombng attacks while in a Boston hospital with badly burned hands.

Do I have to say it? Saudi Arabia AGAIN! Remember, while the Jurassic media went ballistic on Bibi and his admonitions against Iran, Kerry met with the Saudis who I believe are the “Al Sharpton” of the Middle East. Nothing sticks to them.

One more time. As Global Research reported in May of 2013, “It is clear that Russia’s arrest and expulsion of two CIA agents who were trying to recruit members of the Russian intelligence service fighting against Salafist separatists in the Caucasus is part of a Russian mopping-up operation directed at the CIA’s decades-long covert support for terrorists operating in the Northern and Southern Caucasus.” Anyone?

The media don’t get it yet. When a refrigerator or freezer breaks you don’t notice it until the meat spoils and the ice cream melts. That’s the Jurassic media for you. They simply don’t see what has happened. They’re too busy plunging rulers into snow banks, talking about dresses and treating you like a child. Join me in the revolution. And, no, that’s not just an expression.


In war, truth is the first casualty. (Aeschylus)

Harken back to Sailor John’s words. On April 22nd, 1971, a then 27 year-old former Navy Lt. John Kerry (with a noticeable Brahmin accent) testified against U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War as a member of “Vietnam Veterans Against the War,” which would later come back to haunt him when “swiftboated.” This is the same John Kerry who later would endorse virtually every American military action, save that of Iran. The message is poignant. Herein I play for you the earnest message of this warrior who details firsthand the folly of war and explains brilliantly the insanity of the Vietnam mentality. Yet this is the same John Kerry who demanded military intervention in Syria to topple an evil regime whose alleged gassing of innocents at Ghouta. Remember what Semour Hersh wrote about this ruse. Where was the professional left then, the Jurassic media? They pore over every word Bill O’Reilly has uttered as to his war reportage as well as Brian Williams’ fecund imagination, they report of dress colors and llamas and Tom Brady’s balls, but when it comes to this whopper, not a peep. Nada! But read Hersh’s damning indictment.

One high-level intelligence officer, in an email to a colleague, called the administration’s assurances of Assad’s responsibility a ‘ruse’. The attack ‘was not the result of the current regime’, he wrote. A former senior intelligence official told me that the Obama administration had altered the available information – in terms of its timing and sequence – to enable the president and his advisers to make intelligence retrieved days after the attack look as if it had been picked up and analysed in real time, as the attack was happening. The distortion, he said, reminded him of the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident, when the Johnson administration reversed the sequence of National Security Agency intercepts to justify one of the early bombings of North Vietnam. The same official said there was immense frustration inside the military and intelligence bureaucracy: ‘The guys are throwing their hands in the air and saying, “How can we help this guy” – Obama – “when he and his cronies in the White House make up the intelligence as they go along?”’ [e.s.]

Hear not my heart. Throughout the rhetoric and the Sturm und Drang over the notion of retaliation and war there seems to be completely forgotten from the calculus of reason that we are still talking about war as in death and destruction and broken families and PTSD and shattered dreams and destroyed futures. The currency of war is bloodshed. And somehow that horrible fact has been lost among the rhetoric, the fleeting and minimally derived thought process via the Twitter glyph.

Think tank choreography. In this podcast I reference the 2009 Brookings Institution’s paper that provides the script for war. You’ll find the language most disconcerting and, sadly, prescient. And notice as well the language and that peculiarly reminiscent and familiar phrasing: “A New American Strategy.” Cf. Project for the New American Century. And, interestingly enough, the site has been scrubbed. It all comes full circle. But the neoconservative ideology is bigger and bolder than ever. You may have thought we lost that ilk for a generation. Hardly.

Give us a minute and we’ll give you a war. As a tangential note, I commend to you another think tank that you should be aware of: The Institute for the Study of War. Research the spousal unit Kagan, husband et ux., as well as RAND, Ford Foundation and Aspen Institute. Think not for a moment that the architecture of American bellicosity is drafted in the Congress and Oval Office alone. Or the Pentagon, for that matter. War’s big business whose ideology and theology are outsourced. The power of these war orchestras is enormous. But also learn and be apprized of the fact that whether it’s Israel, Iran, the US or any country as to any aggression theater, the script and memes must be crafted first. People have to have the playbook spelled out correctly and carefully.

War as a theme. I discuss the thematic aspects of engagement and further attempt to demystify and un-romanticize the theme of conflict. This is beyond the issue of Israel or the left-right paradigm. Lost in the discussion is the reality of what this means. War. And with war is the inevitable and most certain replay of the horrible scene depicted and chronicled above. As British historian and journalist A. J. P. Taylor noted, “No matter what political reasons are given for war, the underlying reason is always economic.”

LIONEL PODCAST: Why I Support Israel

“Ability hits the mark where presumption overshoots and diffidence falls short.” ― Golda Meir, Israeli teacher, kibbutznik, politician and the fourth Prime Minister of Israel


This lady. The first time I heard it. I’ll never forget that name. Operation Wrath of God. How’s that? Wrath of God. If that doesn’t tell you we mean business what does? Compare it to our beaut of a blood-curdling handle: Operation Enduring Freedom. Enduring freedom?! It sounds like a feminine hygiene protect. For those active days, ladies. Enduring Freedom. Puh-leeze. Golda Meir got my attention. How could someone so grandmotherly have such a steely determination and dangerous resolve? She looked like my Zia Pepina. And how progressive of a country to elect a grandmother when we in this country, allegedly more progressive, still can’t seem to get the job done? But she was front and center. At the helm. Grandma Golda showed the world inestimable action and determination in seeking something she never avoided addressing or admitting — revenge. Who was this woman? Who were these people? We’re a country that argues whether war has to be declared by Congress or whether War Powers Act jurisdiction applies. Executive Order 12333 holds in part: “No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination.” How wimpy. At least until Obama targeted American citizens. But, I digress.

From the beginning. Since it’s birth in 1948 the State of Israel has never known a day without worrying about its safety, especially when surrounded by countries and people who’ve sworn fealty to the notion and the idea of its total demise. Let me repeat: Not a day. It’s an existential threat they know, a threat that we in the US cannot possibly comprehend. And it was 1972 when I, a political tyro all of 14 years old, first became aware of Golda Meir. It was the Munich Olympics massacre where 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team were killed by members of the Palestinian armed terrorist group Black September and PLO operatives. It was my introduction to Arafat and the notion of blood enemy status that I never knew existed. And it all happened live on TV in real time.

Getting serious. Golda Meir, Israel’s fourth prime minister, authorized the covert operation also known as Operation Bayonet that is believed to have continued for over 20 years. It wasn’t flawless. Ahmed Bouchiki, a Moroccan waiter, was mistaken for a terrorist. But the goal was simple: get everyone responsible no matter where they were or how long it took. Jurisdictions be damned. This was war. And the tactic was most unique. Israel could have commissioned the dispatch of those involved through more conventional methods. But that wasn’t the intent. The intended result was to show the terrorists that they couldn’t hide and there was no safe haven. It was reported before each assassination, each target’s family received flowers bearing a condolence card reading: “A reminder we do not forget or forgive.” These people were serious. They believed in teaching a lesson.

Terrorism 101. It was my introduction into the world of terrorism. And I have been fascinated by the operation ever since. The mindset. The plan and protocol. The message. It also introduced me to a subject that I still enjoy studying to this day, intelligence agencies. And Mossad is to this day without peer. The motto of the agency, also known as the Institute, roughly translates to “For by wise guidance you could wage your war.” I’m not wont to glorify war. I’m not bloodthirsty by nature. I detest the spilling of human blood when negotiating and diplomacy fail. But I’m the hardened realist. To ignore your enemy is to co-sign your elimination. I’ve been intrigued with and by the history of Israel and had visited twice and thoroughly love its people, culture and nonpareil history. And while I don’t rubber stamp everything its government does, the people of Israel have a perspective that bears repeating: Never again.

Enter Bibi. Now, let’s also clarify something. I am neither a mindless fan nor an intransigent detractor of Mr. Netanyahu. But I understand his purpose and his goal. I thoroughly comprehend the political maneuverings and how his appearance before Congress today certainly bolsters his reelection efforts. I’m also aware how his mere presence is polarizing and partitions the left-right paradigm actors into their respective places on the political stage. But what I don’t understand is how those who demand an immediate military action against ISIS, a fascinatingly mysterious, central casting group of knife-wielding, veiled bogeyman with no country, no capital, no military structure, no command and control centers, no stated goals or demands — how these people demand and expect Israel to sit on their hands and wait for their avowed enemies to change their minds. Yet, when Netanyahu dares to suggest that Iran, a country that has unequivocally stated as its goal the evaporation of the State of Israel, poses an existential threat, the same people look the other way and demand alternatives that they themselves reject when it comes to the bogeyman du jour, ISIS. The absolute and incomprehensible inequality of treatment and consideration irks me to no end. Americans cannot possibly fathom the perspective and the history of the Israelis. While I do not countenance everything Bibi says nor do I suggest acceding to every request, I do at least accept the same consideration to be given to a person who recognizes when a threat to his country and its very existence is not veiled or theoretical.

“Israel was not created in order to disappear—Israel will endure and flourish. It is the child of hope and home of the brave. It can neither be broken by adversity nor demoralized by success. It carries the shield of democracy and it honors the sword of freedom.”

(John F. Kennedy, Speech to Zionists of America Convention, August 26, 1960)