Lionel Appearing at The Cutting Room NYC

Standup, spoken word and the immaculate twang of bluegrass. Tickets are available online. It makes a great gift and stocking stuffer. Fine for Dad or grad. Did we mention tickets? But this ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco and this ain’t no standup.

I’ve done standup or as I call it outspoken word for years along with playing bluegrass. You might ask, what do bluegrass and standup have in common? What do chicken and waffles have in common? That’s right. Endothelial damage and CAD. But I digress.

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

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

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The Transitive Property of Terror: IS = ISIS = ISIL = Al Nusra Front = Tanzim Qa’edat Al-Jihad fi Bilad Al-Sham = Daʿesh = Jabhat al-Nusra = FSA = al Qaeda = CIA = Saudi Arabia

I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.

All right, kids, from the top. They are one and the same. Different sons, same mother. same ideology, same goal. same pretextual significance. The cornerstone of Hegelian Dialectics. The hodgepodge and amalgam of funny sounding names you’ll never master or care to. And certainly not the American mainstream media. And look who’s front and center, collaborating with the rat Pack of terrorism. Mr. Potter. Johnny Boy. You will never be able to so much as grasp the complexity of the con unless and until you embrace the fact that it is indeed a con. From Charlie Wilson’s war to Zbigniew Brzezinski and al Qaeda and Taliban.

Even the Gipper minded not sidling up with the enemy of my enemy.

Referred to lovingly and euphemistically as “Freedom Fighters,” Ronnie Reagan meets Afghan Mujahideen leaders at the White House. See how easy that is?

The following is an excellent tutorial and bill of particulars as to the abecedarian basics of the way it be, as the kids are wont to say.

America Created Al-Qaeda and the ISIS Terror Group

By Garikai Chengu

Much like Al Qaeda, the Islamic State (ISIS) is made-in-the-USA, an instrument of terror designed to divide and conquer the oil-rich Middle East and to counter Iran’s growing influence in the region.

The fact that the United States has a long and torrid history of backing terrorist groups will surprise only those who watch the news and ignore history.

The CIA first aligned itself with extremist Islam during the Cold War era. Back then, America saw the world in rather simple terms: on one side, the Soviet Union and Third World nationalism, which America regarded as a Soviet tool; on the other side, Western nations and militant political Islam, which America considered an ally in the struggle against the Soviet Union.

The director of the National Security Agency under Ronald Reagan, General William Odom recently remarked, “by any measure the U.S. has long used terrorism. In 1978-79 the Senate was trying to pass a law against international terrorism – in every version they produced, the lawyers said the U.S. would be in violation.”

During the 1970′s the CIA used the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt as a barrier, both to thwart Soviet expansion and prevent the spread of Marxist ideology among the Arab masses. The United States also openly supported Sarekat Islam against Sukarno in Indonesia, and supported the Jamaat-e-Islami terror group against Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in Pakistan. Last but certainly not least, there is Al Qaeda.

Lest we forget, the CIA gave birth to Osama Bin Laden and breastfed his organization during the 1980′s. Former British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, told the House of Commons that Al Qaeda was unquestionably a product of Western intelligence agencies. Mr. Cook explained that Al Qaeda, which literally means an abbreviation of “the database” in Arabic, was originally the computer database of the thousands of Islamist extremists, who were trained by the CIA and funded by the Saudis, in order to defeat the Russians in Afghanistan.

America’s relationship with Al Qaeda has always been a love-hate affair. Depending on whether a particular Al Qaeda terrorist group in a given region furthers American interests or not, the U.S. State Department either funds or aggressively targets that terrorist group. Even as American foreign policy makers claim to oppose Muslim extremism, they knowingly foment it as a weapon of foreign policy.

The Islamic State is its latest weapon that, much like Al Qaeda, is certainly backfiring. ISIS recently rose to international prominence after its thugs began beheading American journalists. Now the terrorist group controls an area the size of the United Kingdom.

In order to understand why the Islamic State has grown and flourished so quickly, one has to take a look at the organization’s American-backed roots. The 2003 American invasion and occupation of Iraq created the pre-conditions for radical Sunni groups, like ISIS, to take root. America, rather unwisely, destroyed Saddam Hussein’s secular state machinery and replaced it with a predominantly Shiite administration. The U.S. occupation caused vast unemployment in Sunni areas, by rejecting socialism and closing down factories in the naive hope that the magical hand of the free market would create jobs. Under the new U.S.-backed Shiite regime, working class Sunni’s lost hundreds of thousands of jobs. Unlike the white Afrikaners in South Africa, who were allowed to keep their wealth after regime change, upper class Sunni’s were systematically dispossessed of their assets and lost their political influence. Rather than promoting religious integration and unity, American policy in Iraq exacerbated sectarian divisions and created a fertile breading ground for Sunni discontent, from which Al Qaeda in Iraq took root.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) used to have a different name: Al Qaeda in Iraq. After 2010 the group rebranded and refocused its efforts on Syria.

There are essentially three wars being waged in Syria: one between the government and the rebels, another between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and yet another between America and Russia. It is this third, neo-Cold War battle that made U.S. foreign policy makers decide to take the risk of arming Islamist rebels in Syria, because Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, is a key Russian ally. Rather embarrassingly, many of these Syrian rebels have now turned out to be ISIS thugs, who are openly brandishing American-made M16 Assault rifles.

America’s Middle East policy revolves around oil and Israel. The invasion of Iraq has partially satisfied Washington’s thirst for oil, but ongoing air strikes in Syria and economic sanctions on Iran have everything to do with Israel. The goal is to deprive Israel’s neighboring enemies, Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Palestine’s Hamas, of crucial Syrian and Iranian support.

ISIS is not merely an instrument of terror used by America to topple the Syrian government; it is also used to put pressure on Iran.

The last time Iran invaded another nation was in 1738. Since independence in 1776, the U.S. has been engaged in over 53 military invasions and expeditions. Despite what the Western media’s war cries would have you believe, Iran is clearly not the threat to regional security, Washington is. An Intelligence Report published in 2012, endorsed by all sixteen U.S. intelligence agencies, confirms that Iran ended its nuclear weapons program in 2003. Truth is, any Iranian nuclear ambition, real or imagined, is as a result of American hostility towards Iran, and not the other way around.

America is using ISIS in three ways: to attack its enemies in the Middle East, to serve as a pretext for U.S. military intervention abroad, and at home to foment a manufactured domestic threat, used to justify the unprecedented expansion of invasive domestic surveillance.

By rapidly increasing both government secrecy and surveillance, Mr. Obama’s government is increasing its power to watch its citizens, while diminishing its citizens’ power to watch their government. Terrorism is an excuse to justify mass surveillance, in preparation for mass revolt.

The so-called “War on Terror” should be seen for what it really is: a pretext for maintaining a dangerously oversized U.S. military. The two most powerful groups in the U.S. foreign policy establishment are the Israel lobby, which directs U.S. Middle East policy, and the Military-Industrial-Complex, which profits from the former group’s actions. Since George W. Bush declared the “War on Terror” in October 2001, it has cost the American taxpayer approximately 6.6 trillion dollars and thousands of fallen sons and daughters; but, the wars have also raked in billions of dollars for Washington’s military elite.

In fact, more than seventy American companies and individuals have won up to $27 billion in contracts for work in postwar Iraq and Afghanistan over the last three years, according to a recent study by the Center for Public Integrity. According to the study, nearly 75 per cent of these private companies had employees or board members, who either served in, or had close ties to, the executive branch of the Republican and Democratic administrations, members of Congress, or the highest levels of the military.

In 1997, a U.S. Department of Defense report stated, “the data show a strong correlation between U.S. involvement abroad and an increase in terrorist attacks against the U.S.” Truth is, the only way America can win the “War On Terror” is if it stops giving terrorists the motivation and the resources to attack America. Terrorism is the symptom; American imperialism in the Middle East is the cancer. Put simply, the War on Terror is terrorism; only, it is conducted on a much larger scale by people with jets and missiles.

You’re welcome.

LIONEL PODCAST: Why Scotland Matters & The NFL Doesn’t

“Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” Groucho Marx

I know. I know. Karl Marx. Got it. But you’ve never heard the complete context of the quote you thought you knew. That’s history, Sparky. As Tolstoy said, history would be a wonderful thing if only it were true. Such is reality, impression and the news. Wonderful if only it were true. True if only it were wonderful.

And I’ll be in Scotland afore ye. Who cares about Alba, right? I care. I cared that maybe this would strike a blow against globalism and the subjugation of sovereignty through the barbed wire of the dread Union. Globalists yearn for the future EUs. Now, look. Lest you be confused. The UK ain’t the EU. Dig.

The NFL is brain scrambled toast. I’d have never imagined that the bastion of maleness would capitulate like a bunch of little sissy boys especially under the tutelage and stewarding of Roger Goodell. Why must the NFL have a policy on domestic violence and child abuse? Tell me what Whole Foods’ policy is. Or GM’s. What utter rubbish. And what’s feint the maelstrom is social media. Yet again.

And behold miscellany. The myriad. The mosaic. The plenary and assorted and sordid. Stream of unconsciousness. Enjoy.

LIONEL PODCAST: The Uncensored, Unedited and Unplugged Randy Credico Interview

Ineffable, inimitable, sui generis, nonpareil. But enough about me. Randy Credico is a personal hero of mine in so many ways and for so many reasons. And that’s an overused word I know. But his intrepid spirit and fearlessness are rare commodities in the United States of Torpor. The subject of an award-winning documentary entitled 60 Spins Around the Sun. Candidate for New York Governor. Comedian, activist and the former Director of the William Moses Kunstler Fund for Racial Justice. Impressionist of renown, historical savant, gadfly . . . you get the idea, I trust.

The recordation via telephony. I hit the record button and let it all hang out. It was glorious. Free form, freestyle, wide open and rip-roaring. It wove and swerved and slalomed and caromed. Stream of consciousness often unconsciousness perhaps. Plenary and replete with everything and anything. It was a delight. And if you know me, you know I don’t cachinnate and chortle often, not one to guffaw or kneeslap. Except for this interview and discussion with a truly amazing and fascinating man. While so many bitch and moan and complain, who among us are so motivated they run for office? Who spends long and arduous days campaigning to repeal draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws out of a sincere and deep concern over mistreatment? Randy Credico. He’s a brilliant man. In conversations he freely references historical precedent and anecdote. It’s not a schtick. Or a gimmick. He’s not just paying lip service. I admire commitment and conviction. I admire activism and involvement. Admit it, you do too.

Enjoy.

 

LIONEL PODCAST: You Can’t Be Syria!

It’s just an expression! Eat your heart out. Not exactly to be taken seriously. Don’t tell this feller. Here’s the July 2013 BBC account of Abu Sakkar, self-styled and admitted cardiophagist. This story can’t get any better, at least in terms of the never-ending and interminable list of horrors, horrible people and horrible behavior. And when you first heard of this — which I trust you did — you might have thought what crazy conspiracy rag did this come from? The BBC. Again, the BBC. Oh, and remember, this is a Syrian rebel commander. The feller’s our Prez pledge renewed fealty to. This is a moderate rebel. This is the FSA. But don’t feel bad if you can’t keep the names straight. IS, ISIS, ISIL, al-Nusra Front, FSA, al Qaeda — theyre all the same.

It sounded like the most far-fetched propaganda claim – a Syrian rebel commander who cut out the heart of a fallen enemy soldier, and ate it before a cheering crowd of his men.

The story turned out to be true in its most important aspect – a ritual demonstration of cannibalism – though when I met the commander, Abu Sakkar, in Syria last week, he seemed hazy on the details.

“I really don’t remember,” he says, when I ask if it was the man’s heart, as reported at the time, or liver, or a piece of lung, as a doctor who saw the video said. He goes on: “I didn’t bite into it. I just held it for show.”

The video says otherwise. It is one of the most gruesome to emerge from Syria’s civil war. In it, Abu Sakkar stands over an enemy corpse, slicing into the flesh.

“It looks like you’re carving him a Valentine’s heart,” says one of his men, raucously. Abu Sakkar picks up a bloody handful of something and declares: “We will eat your hearts and your livers you soldiers of Bashar the dog.”

Then he brings his hand up to his mouth and his lips close around whatever he is holding. At the time the video was released, in May, we rang him and he confirmed to us that he had indeed taken a ritual bite (of a piece of lung, he said).

So, in addition to the aforementioned supra, the latest goings-on anent and regarding Syria, the still very sad and unnecessary death of Joan Rivers, 9/11 revisited, myriad media obfuscations and distractions, historical revisionism as a parlor game, drug hypocrisy, sentient citizens seeking shelter and the President’s pathetic attempt at a speech shoring up support and determined conviction inter alia, please find this the latest addition to the ether that is podcast. Subscription podcast, that is. And check out my YouTube Channel. Go ahead. We’ll wait.

LIONEL PODCAST: 9-11 The National Day of Amnesia and Historical Revision

Hear! Hear! This podcast was recorded on the 10th and 11th and covers the following areas for your consideration and review. The first is the critical necessity – is there any other kind of necessity – of comprehending and being conversant with history and the parties involved. It’s axiomatic to note that history is critical. And might I remind you, as Mr. Tolstoy gave us, history would be a wonderful thing if only it were true.

That sounds familiar. Next, the return of the neocon and the Straussian acolyte. The Sons and Daughters of Leo. Often merged and conflated with your old-fashioned conservative and the like, the neocon is a different animal altogether. Note the catchphrases, the cide words. Watch for the PNAC signatories dusting off the pre-Saddam rhetoric. Am I Kristol clear?

Barry’s Big Adventure. Then, a review of POTUS O’s testament to lunacy in his address last eve as to ISIS – excuse me – ISIL and how he’s planning to rearm and finance the FSA who are in fact the alter ego of IS, ISIL, ISIS and al Qaeda. But as we’ll learn, show the American people a hooded, barbate, the suggestion of decapitation and beheading – even if the tape is replete with inconsistencies and stinks to high heaven of phony, contrived and artificial green screen CGI and chicanery – and Joe and Josephine Six Pack will slam their hamfists in a fit of barstool diplomacy screaming for the heads of whoever they are and denouncing whatever they want. Pass the beernuts.

That horrible time of year. And finally, a review of 9/11, its thirteenth anniversary and our annual celebration of collective national amnesia and nescience.

What’s in a name? Knowing the nomenclature and taxonomy of a political or ideological appellation is beyond critical and necessary. When speaking of ISIS or ISIL, you must know the differences between them and what they denote. What’s the Levant? (Not Oscar.) What’s Islamic versus Islamist versus Islamicist?

You put the lime in the coconut. Try this on for size. ISIS is the apparent successor to Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn, which was later commonly known by academics, scholars and the like as al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI). Don’t forget the al-Nusra Front, the FSA and our old favorite from the all of the above terror cabal, al Qaeda. Can you grasp the intensity and variation and complexity of being able to articulate the group you just call terrorists or bad guy? If you’re new to the game, it’s an understatement to say that knowing the players is critical. And in the first part of the podcast I speak of a lecture my wife and I attended by none other than James Woolsey, ex-CIA head spook and now, venture capitalist and neocon in residence. In his address he made references to Hayek, von Mises and Uncle Miltie Friedman. He referenced the Austrian School and dusted off the neocon platitudes and references that brought a tear to my eye.

Emphasis on “con.” Neocon? Wait. What’s that again? Neocon versus paleocon. Reagan versus Kristol? What’s the difference? I’ve many the friend who belches agitprop phraseology as they verbally diarrhea-spray on Facebook and Twitter every hoary and dusty phrase you can imagine. To them it’s all the same. Damn the Koch Brothers! Damn Citizens United! Damn Scalia! Bumpersticker platitudes and echo chamber drivel, plain and simple. Meaningless and trite shibboleths and shortcuts. Listen herein as I describe the Sons of Strauss and how these lapsed Troskeyites reconstituted into the hawk’s hawk today. Getting the nomenclature down pat isn’t just necessary, it’s actually fun.

Wait, aren’t the FSA actually ISIL? Last eve, your POTUS laid out a bill of particulars that redefined political and global lunacy. By reconstituting the Syrian rebels who are in fact ISIS – but note, her referred to them as ISIL, thus confusing you even more – he actually and with a straight face suggested that we refortify the very folks who as FSA sold arms that we provided to ISIS, er, ISIL, and now have merged and congealed into this newfound entity that the American people are merely referring to as terrorists, Islamists, jihadists or the plain old bad guys. It was the height of insanity and the media, yet again and per usual, scratched its arse as they went to commercial.

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.