Tag Archives: protests

You Cannot Possibly Be In Favor of Vile and Disgusting Hate But You Can Support Publishing #CharlieHebdo Garbage

The perfect analogy and metaphor for multiple-issue, concomitant subject matter review and critical thinking. Plate spinning. Denmark’s Henrik Bothe, is a contemporary practitioner the style and spirit of Erich Brenn, known worldwide for his appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, shows the art of balancing multiple plates/ideas simultaneously. Wikipedia incidentally notes that The Guinness World Record for spinning multiple plates is held by David Spathaky, assisted by Debbie Woolley, who spun 108 plates simultaneously in Bangkok, Thailand, on television in 1996. Amazing stuff.

By analogy, America needs a crash course in this method. Multiple ideas, thoughts, issues, facts, data, analyses, some that are consistent with others, some unique and stand-alone — balance all, address all. And the acknowledgement of one idea doesn’t negate or eliminate another as inconsistent merely because it’s different. In other words: You can condemn the cartoon and the murder of the cartoonist simultaneously. Because the ideas are different, dissimilar. They involve different elements, different points.

“The essence of the independent mind lies not in what it thinks, but in how it thinks.” Thus spake Christopher Hitchens. America must be more like Erich Brenn and learn to handle multiple ideas concomitantly especially if they are not necessarily similar. To wit:

  • Whither mirth? #CharlieHebdo was as funny as a Klan rally or root canal. And the term cartoon does not necessarily impart humor or pleasant witticisms. It’s a part of the French-language tradition of Bandes dessinées (“drawn strips”), some of which are, ahem, provocative to a degree rarely seen in mainstream English-speaking media, even in the most piquant of satirical outlets. History has shown us some of the vilest examples of racism and antisemitism by way of the scartoons. But no one deserves to die over any opinion or expression of thought. That’s the axiomatic, pedestrian retort that must always follow the obvious. It’s similar to when a criminal is shot by police, you must always say, “It’s a tragedy, every life is worth something.” Yes, thanks for the proviso and condition. But as to Charlie Hebdo, it ain’t the Onion or Daily Show or National Lampoon. Somehow the term cartoon has been conflated and coopted to suggest a euphemistic revision of what Charlie Hebdo is and has been. Before it was Charlie Hebdo, France’s most controversial magazine even by French standards was known as L’Hebdo Hara-Kiri. Hara-Kiri had one mission only: to be as “dumb and nasty” as possible (their words). Pay particular attention to that, all you cartoon fans. The motive and intent and direction and plan were to abrade and sting and piss off. Mission accomplished, mes amis. And why this is critical is to understand that our piquant and raucous humor, by our timid standards, knows no comparison to Charlie Hebdo. Remember, we’re the epicenter of political correctness. At least, selective PC. How many folks know that one cartoon portrayed France’s black Justice Minister Christiane Taubira as a monkey? Oh, that would play just great here. Right.
  • #SorryCharlie. It’s possible to disagree with its message and allow and permit and countenance its right to be offensive. Let me repeat: You can condemn the cartoon and the murder of the cartoonist simultaneously. In my perfect world, nothing should ever be prohibited from expression except for the obvious. But, no, I find Charlie Hebdo offensive, crass, crude, hateful and worse, not funny in the least. And that’s where Americans can relate. There’s almost a sense of mandatory acceptance of the message whole cloth with no room for reservation or disagreement. America thrives on being offended for everything and everywhere. If some celeb drops an F-bomb, Janet Jackson suffers a wardrobe malfunction and flashes an armored areola or mammilla that requires the visual acuity of a fighter pilot to even notice, if Michael Richards goes off on a racist rant, name it, we call for their heads. The same folks who march in solidarity today would be calling for the prosecution and incarceration of the foregoing subjects yesterday. So we have inconsistent allegiances and fealty, and I submit again, most of those who are publicly ardent in support of Charlie Hebdo would have cursed its subject matter had it been published here.
  • Beware the hate crime. There’s an irony here. The professional and prototypical American left loves the hate crime, which stands to date as the quintessentially and fundamentally unconstitutional embarrassment since the neck tattoo. The idea is that speech that is deemed hateful and criminal thereby as to the message, especially when accompanying an already crime already cognizable at law, should subject the actor and declaration of the errant message to a higher level of prosecution and charge. Yet, and pay close attention, many of these folks are now calling for acceptance and tolerance and understanding as to Charlie Hebdo’s racist and hateful content. Again, we’re all in agreement that murder over objection to a message is never justified or warranted.
  • This isn’t the first time for France. Recent history shows that events like this aren’t new. In what’s referred to as the Toulouse and Montauban shootings, Mohammed Merah on March 11, 2012, shot a French Muslim soldier in the head at close range after telling him, “You kill my brothers, so I am killing you.” The Washington Post captioned the story “Mohammed Merah, face of the new terrorism.” Then the 2013 La Défense attack was believed to have followed “a threat from the North African wing of al-Qaeda, related to the country’s military intervention in Mali.” At that time attempts by the media and government to extrapolate and conflate were not seen as they are today. Beware attempts to invoke the Hegelian dialectic to rouse action and retaliation against the amorphous face of “terrorism.” We’ve seen that movie before.
  • Hollande’s unprecedented pronouncement. This was a fascinating event in France’s current events that many international commentators are noting with particularity. It seems that French President Francois Hollande said on January 5, two days before the attacks, that Western sanctions against Russia should be lifted if progress were made in resolving the Ukraine crisis. The unprecedented two-hour interview with France Inter radio was aimed at championing a host of economic reforms with the goal of reversing Hollande’s record-low approval ratings. It also him a chance to state his views on a range of foreign policy issues especially as to Putin and Russian sanctions. “What he wants is to remain influential. What he wants is for Ukraine not to fall into the NATO camp,” Hollande said. This is by no means presented as causal, but it’s critical to note the political climate that surrounds any event  and when it comes to world geopolitical issues in general, our media are known for their less-than-thorough coverage.
  • They are not Charlie. Not everyone sides with Charlie Hebdo while still denouncing the murders. This again refers to the ability to handle two issues or plates simultaneously. “Defending freedom of expression in the face of oppression is one thing; insisting on the right to be obnoxious and offensive just because you can is infantile,” wrote Al Jazeera English editor and executive producer Salah-Aldeen Khadr in a staff-wide e-mail. David Brooks of the New York Times wrote that anyone who thinks they could publish a Charlie Hebdo style “cartoon” on American campuses would be shuttered in a heartbeat. “Student and faculty groups would have accused them of hate speech . . . [t]he administration would have cut financing and shut them down.” The Chicago Tribune’s Clarence Page wrote, “But even as I defend the heroism of Charlie Hebdo, I would be remiss if I failed to condemn its racism — as well as its sexism, its anti-theism and other attacks against targets that were in much less privileged positions to defend themselves.” Catholic League President Bill Donohue in a statement entitled “MUSLIMS HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE ANGRY” wrote, “Muhammad isn’t sacred to me, either, but it would never occur to me to deliberately insult Muslims by trashing him.” He even goes so far in his unbridled audacity to quote James Madison from Federalist, no. 63, 422-29: “Liberty may be endangered by the abuses of liberty as well as the abuses of power.” For a marvelous interview with Mr. Donohue on this very subject, join me here for my give and take with my great friend.
  • #CanAMovementExistAnymoreWithoutAHashtag? After protestors were convoked to address the death of Eric Garner #ICantBreathe became the rallying cry. When attempts were made later to correct some possible misunderstandings as to the factual bases of Mr. Garner’s death, when they proved inconsistent with the meme and hashtag they were discarded. When facts of Mr. Garnet’s arrest and arrest record were posited they likewise were found to be discordant with the message and meme. When the cases of Tamir Rice and Akai Gurley were offered as substitutes for focus as better examples of police brutality and/or excess it was though by some that inasmuch as they didn’t enjoy the same hashtag or meme pithiness and imaging, protestors would stick to #ICantBreathe. We live in a hashtag and meme-centered communications world.When the world became aware of Ahmed Merabet, the first police officer at the scene of the Charlie Hebdo attack who was shot dead in cold blood and was Muslim, attempts were made to redirect a new meme of #IAmAhmed or #JeSuisAhmed. Memes that are cemented are hard to change. The message, the facts, the truth and the background will not counter the message that enjoys a social media momentum. This can be most problematic. And is.
  • The numbers don’t add up. And finally, when attempts are made to extrapolate the Paris horrors with the Muslim world or Islam, the sheer enormity of the Muslim world population destroys any attempt to paint the issue with a broad brush. Yes, the assassins were Muslim and espoused what we call radical Islamist Jihadist rhetoric, admittedly used incorrectly as I’m told by Islamic scholars. Yes, they cited blasphemy as the reason for the killings. When the certifiable and thankfully-late coot Fred Phelps cited the Bible and Christianity as bases for protesting military funerals and spouting hateful rhetoric, we were correctly swift to dismiss his thoughts as extreme and not representative. But when I attempt that same argument as to Islam, I’m reminded by many “scholars” that the gravamen of the Muslim message is Sharia, misogyny, intolerance, hate and violence. With a world population of 1.6B Muslims, if a mere 10% were of this murdering mindset, this raucous and rampaging ilk would by definition result in over 160M crazed, maniacal and homicidal lunatics wreaking havoc in the world. But we don’t see that, now do we? As I mentioned and explained on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, ‘neath the horror there’s some good news.

LIONEL PODCAST: Police Protests – It’s About Time

Protesters march in New York, carrying signs depicting the haunting eyes of Eric Garner.

The eyes have it. As symbols go this one’s hard to beat. The message and power are breathtaking.Too bad Eric Garner’s not the best case to be made, but it’ll have to do.

But don’t listen to this podcast if you want to be mollified. Either way. There’s no specific right or wrong here. Nothing Manichean or apodictic. This is a nuance minefield. It’s years of perceived and actual police excess but this time it’s been accompanied by a deliberate and powerful activism, the likes of which New York City, in particular, hasn’t seen for decades.

  • Eric Garner and Michael Brown are not good cases to clearly exemplify raw and unbridled police excess as both resisted arrest, confronted the cops and contributed in large part to the tragic and deadly escalation of their cases. You simply can’t get past these facts. Brown charged Officer Wilson; Garner resisted arrest. That is not to say that the police acted appropriately or professionally in any wise. In fact they may have. The point is that’s not the point. There are better cases. Fact. Kelly Thomas, Dillon Taylor, Gil Collar, Akai Gurley, Tamir Rice — these are better examples of clear excesses. Easier to digest and grasp by all parties and factions. Woefully bereft of pithy memes and hashtag messaging.
  • My Nine-Point Plan I commend to you for your perusal and review. It lists and adumbrates my suggestions and recommendations as a necessary start.
  • There are white folks who want nothing to do with the suggestion that police act inappropriately and excessively. They believe that it’s racial bellyaching, promoted and exacerbated by poverty pimps and racial arsonists. And they’re wrong.
  • There are people of color who, perhaps habituated to yet another example of police shooting, want nothing to do with the suggestion that Eric Garner and Michael Brown had anything to do with precipitating their own tragic ends. They see Messrs. Brown and Garner as police victims, simple. And they’re wrong as well.
  • This issue requires careful consideration and rational analysis and, moreover, critical thinking skills. Keep the sloganeering and the catchy meme rhetoric. I want solutions. Not an Instagram moment or a retweet.

Breaking the Set. Abby Martin of RT’s Breaking the Set and I enjoy a spirited and targeted discussion on all that is the latest in Eric Garner and the problems associated therewith. Abby’s without peer in getting down to the the tacks of brass and — get this — allotting adequate time to discuss, dissect and digest an issue.

I invite you to refer to my YouTube Channel and subscribe.

LIONEL PODCAST: My Interview With A Bona Fide Genius


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


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.