Gain access to the archives of LionelMedia.com by becoming a member!

From October 20th, 2014 CE, forward – all new podcasts shall and will be free. Gratis. The truth must be deliverable without impediment — cognitive or otherwise.

Membership to LionelMedia grants access to the entire archive of past member podcasts since the inception of this site and also future announcements directed just towards members.

How do I become a member? It’s easy! Click here to subscribe. It’s $5.99 a month or $65.00 per year. You get a user name. You get a password. You can listen to the podcasts whenever you want; streaming on your computer or downloadable to your mobile device.

This is a sticky post! continue reading?

LIONEL PODCAST: Two NYPD Officers Were Executed by a Lowlife Subhuman Waste of Flesh

That about sums that up. That should be the headline. And the end of any further attempts at analysis or explication, extrapolation or causation. A dirtbag slaughtered two innocent cops merely because they were wearing a uniform. That’s it. Full stop. Not only that, this vermin plasters social media with his tough guy scowl and a sneer and a gun. I shan’t ever utter or write his name. He’s a nullity. And that’s the end of the discussion.

Causation versus correlation. Only he’s responsible. The human waste. He’s responsible. Not de Blasio the Pathetic, not Al Sharpton, not the media or Islam or guns or liberalism or _____ (your inapposite reference here). This slime acted on his own and with a country of over 316.1M people, his behavior was a statistical aberration, attributable to nothing and no one save himself.

Auf Wiedersehen, baby. But the political winds have changed drastically. So long de Blasio, darling of the neo-progressive left who touted him as a contender in 2016. And adios, Guillermo, for the 2017 mayoralty you’re now officially a one-termer. Remember, two things New York voters hate is a member who’s lousy on snow plowing (Can you say John Lindsay?) and weak on crime and — Gawd fornidm riots (Can you say David Dinkins?). And sayonara, Al Sharpton, whose political liability and kryptonite visage heretofore have been nonpareil, may have finally worn out the tenuous welcome he enjoyed. You’ve finally hit critical mass. This is your Cosby moment. So long, farewell. And keep your eye on Pat Lynch, whose firebrand style needs some polishing but it’s pure media gold. Watch what happens.

Here’s How You Can Immediately Show Your Support for the Brave NYPD Officers Executed for Merely Wearing the Uniform

Stop. Think. Focus. Stop the hyperbole, the rhetoric, the hashthagging, memes, anger and rancor for just a minute. There will be plenty of time to peacefully exercise your First Amendment rights to expression. Let’s agree and stipulate to this facts:

  • That Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu were executed as they sat in their patrol car, while on duty.
  • That they were executed merely for wearing the NYPD uniform.
  • That they were assassinated and executed in cold blood by a deranged criminal whose name we should never even utter.
  • That these officers were doing nothing but serving the City of New York as they swore to do.

Now. Stop what you’re doing. There are two families suffering incomprehensible loss as the rest of us prepare for holiday festivities. Two families dealing with the inexplicable horror of having to bury a loved one.

Donate. Give to the NYC Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association’s Widows’ & Children’s Fund which “provides aid and assistance to widows, widowers and eligible dependents of police officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. Eligibility is defined as all widows, widowers and children of active police officers who lose their lives in the line of duty.”

LIONEL PODCAST: America Is the Good Guy No Longer

The purpose of torture is not getting information. It’s spreading fear. (Eduardo Galeano)

The syllabus. Today’s disquisition is broken down as follows.

  • The Sony Hack scandal. Amazingly fascinating for reasons I can’t fathom. It’s larcenous, to be sure. But you have to wonder what idiot in their right mind would ever put such scurrilous communications in emails, as in IN WRITING! Have we all lost any sense of the perils of open source emailing? And Sony’s retained the formidable barrister David Boies to scare the hell out of media, the Hollywood Reporter reports. It’s a mots fascinating concept and idea. Think of it as dealing in stolen property, in effect.

In [a] letter, first reported by The New York Times, Boies referred to leaked Sony documents as “stolen information” and demanded that the files be ignored, or destroyed if they had already been downloaded.

“We are writing to ensure that you are aware that SPE does not consent to your possession, review copying, dissemination, publication, uploading, downloading or making any use of the stolen information, and to request your cooperation in destroying the stolen information,” the letter reads.

  • 9/11 rudiments. As it’s mentioned in every other sentence as to torture justifications, wouldn’t it be nice if people had an idea of the facts? But be very careful because if you dare to delve too greatly or deeply into the truth of 9/11, well, you’ll be called a truther. Or worse. You must pledge fealty to the concept of the official story and never ever question the validity of the story.
  • Torture. Un-American beyond any possible appreciation. Critically and absolutely against American principles, tenets and the Geneva Conventions themselves. Plus, it doesn’t work to elicit information.
  • CRomnibus. Beyond the pay grade of most Americans. The idea of backing up derivatives transcends and traverses all and any semblance of rational thought.

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.

THE LIONEL PLAN: Preventing and Dealing With the Next Eric Garner

As the country moves past its initial and collection reaction and shock to the Michael Brown and Eric Garner grand jury decisions, the issue is now what to do after. Specifically, what needs to be done to move forward and how to both prevent and deal with the next (inevitable) tragedy. Herein is my nine-point plan.

  • 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.

 

LIONEL PODCAST: Indict This!

One more time. Just listen to me. This is all you’ll need to know.

 

A Conversation With Robert Downey Sr. on the Genius of Nikola Tesla

A multiple exposure picture of Tesla nonchalantly reading a book sitting in his laboratory whilst his “Magnifying transmitter” is generating millions of volts.

Mutual admiration society. I recently sat down with a great man and friend of mine, the inimitable and ineffable Robert Downey Sr., anent a topic of our mutual fascination: Nikola Tesla, the world’s most famous unknown scientist and inventor. A giant who dwarfed Edison, in particular. How could someone of this man’s dimension and contribution be for all practical purposes shelved by modern history? Is he the Israel Bissell of his time? Who’s Israel Bissell?! See?

A mensch and a prince. Bob Downey is a most unique and accomplished filmmaker, whose résumé infra, speaks for itself. I provide it in toto as I love its style and cadence.

Underground filmmaker, midnight movie maven, existential cosmic joker and surrealist film freak extraordinary — Robert Downey, Sr. was the clown prince of the Beat Cinema scene in its golden age. Inspired equally by the Marx Brothers and Samuel Beckett, Downey’s absurdist wit and jazz film style made him a critics’ darling and audience favorite in the 1960s New York arthouse scene, and later a cult movie sensation in the 1970s with classics like Putney Swope and Greaser’s Palace. These early works are as barbed as Lenny Bruce, as absurd as Alfred Jarry, and as out-to-lunch as Eric Dolphy. Rough around the edges and all-around hilarious, Downey’s first films stand as landmark works in the history of American independent cinema.

The high summit and confab. But herein, we discuss this Brobdingnagian genius whose contributions include – just to name few – alternating current, light (fluorescent bulbs and the Tesla coil), radio, remote control, robotics, the electric motor, the laser, wireless communication and limitless free energy. Even in the field of ufology, Tesla is frequently mentioned in his connections to anti-gravitic propulsion and free energy. The scope and range of this man are nonpareil. We’re also pleased to note how younger generations have taken to his history and legacy. And it’s about time.

Please enjoy this discussion on Tesla (along with an encomium and paean to the great American playwright, screenwriter and novelist, Paddy Chayefsky). And make sure you pic up a copy of Bob’s referenced book Lightning in His Hand: The Life Story of Nikola Tesla by Inez Hunt.

What Ferguson Doesn’t and Didn’t Mean

WHAT FERGUSON DOESN’T MEAN

by

LIONEL

Let’s be very clear about something regarding the tragedy that was Ferguson. And clarity is something desperately needed. It’s critical to note what the case does not mean.

The grand jury’s refusal or reluctance or inability to indict Officer Darren Wilson, i.e. by returning a “no true bill” on a host of charges from murder to involuntary manslaughter, doesn’t mean that another grand jury cannot be reassembled to indict because double jeopardy does not apply. (Double jeopardy attaches when a petit jury is sworn.)

It doesn’t mean that Officer Wilson wasn’t a bad cop or negligent or racist or incompetent. It doesn’t mean that Ferguson is not a hotbed of intolerance. It merely means that a grand jury did not find probable cause (PC) to indict. And as burdens of proof go, PC is notoriously simple to overcome. I contend a more contemporary definition of PC is “He probably did it.” And, yes, it’s significant to note that not a single charge was found to satisfy PC. Nothing. Especially in view of the esteemed New York jurist Sol Wachtler’s now famous quip that a good prosecutor could indict a ham sandwich.

It doesn’t mean that Bob McCulloch was an inept prosecutor or held back evidence or that the evidence was in and of itself insufficient. It doesn’t mean that Wilson will not be found civilly liable in a host of potential lawsuits and it doesn’t mean that the failure to find criminal liability in any way precludes civil liability exposure. It doesn’t mean that witnesses were necessarily lying or perjurious. They can and often change their minds, forget and experience different perceptions of the same events.

It doesn’t mean that McCulloch should have necessarily appointed or requested a special prosecutor, though in retrospect it might have been wise. It doesn’t mean that his familial relationships with police somehow disqualify him as a prosecutor. Try finding one who doesn’t have strong ties to cops. It doesn’t mean that Michael Brown asked to be killed or is a thug or a criminal. No, the lack of criminal charges, the deliver of no true bill doesn’t mean anything other than no criminal liability was found. A radiologist who scans an X-ray and announces no evidence of bone fracture doesn’t mean that a patient isn’t hurt or in pain or limping. A negative pregnancy test doesn’t mean that no one had sex or that a rape didn’t occur.

Many civilian observers have quickly realized that criminal law and real life prosecutions aren’t Law & Order. And I daresay they’re shocked. Shocked at what many of us who’ve served in the M*A*S*H units of the DA’s office and trial warrior trenches have known for years: the system exhibits many iterations from surgically precise to reckless and inept. The grand jury was theoretically designed to act as a buffer, a detached and separate tribunal to protect us from a marauding crown. And it’s fraught with problems.

Historically the grand jury is the prosecutor’s tool. And interestingly enough, now making the rounds is SCOTUS Justice Antonin Scalia’s 1992 opinion in Williams. It’s been quoted (interestingly enough) by the same folks who until recently most probably reviled him. He noted that historically “neither in this country nor in England has the suspect under investigation by the grand jury ever been thought to have a right to testify or to have exculpatory evidence presented.” Touché, Nino. The Williams court refused to dismiss an indictment where exculpatory evidence was not introduced. Here, in a most novel approach, it seems the juridical vigilantes want an indictment delivered because too much exculpatory evidence was presented. Go figure.

The grand jury’s decision anent the tragedy that is the death of Michael Brown doesn’t mean anything other than PC as to criminal liability was not found, seen, presented or allowed to be established. That’s it in a nutshell. It’s time to take a breath and continue to demand accountability from all police departments everywhere and always. And if you’re up to the challenge, Google “Kelly Thomas,” the case of a schizophrenic homeless man who was beaten to death by two Fullerton, California, cops who were ultimately acquitted. There were no riots in protest.

Now imagine the reaction to an acquittal in Wilson’s trial had it been permitted to go forward.

 

The Militarization of the Police Is the Problem

Prolegomenon. There is an old joke about a man looking for a watch on Broadway when it was lost in the Bowery; when asked why he was looking on Broadway instead of where the watch was lost he replied “the light is so much better here.” Similarly, activists don’t use the incident that best exemplifies their cause, they use the most highly publicized event that can be linked to their cause, even if that link is tenuous. Because the light is so much better.

A meme that’s long gone. Take a look, a gander at this image. Norman Rockwell painted this (“The Runaway”, shown here) for a Saturday Evening Post cover that was published September 20, 1958. The imagery is perfect. Understanding cop — with a lot of time on his hands — reasoning with a lad who ran away. What would today’s version be? A kid sedated by a psychotropic cocktail, under lock and key or recovering after having been Tasered or beaten (or worse) for mouthing off to a cop. This is the crux of the problem: the militarization of the police. The destruction of the idea and notion that they’re to help and assist and not necessarily kick ass and take down names.

Compare this theme with today’s.

Seeming disparity of coverage and concern. Kelly Thomas, Dillon Taylor, Gil Collar. White guys beaten and shot to death by cops: white, non-white and black. (I still don’t know what the hell non-white means.) It’s relevant, it’s pertinent and it needs to be explored. Not because that excuses any alleged police overreaction but because it adds perspective. It adds light. The problem is endemic, inherent and knows not race as a primary factor. Correlation versus cause are two distinctly different considerations. Critial thinking and precise issue analysis are needed desperately.

Let me be brutally frank. I hate, no! I loathe discussions that victim categorize by race. What is this? Are we keeping a tally? No, that’s not the basis of my indictment. If a behavior is wrong, if a reaction is unwarranted, it’s wrong simply because it’s wrong. Likewise you can’t excuse wrongdoing simply because it’s rare and infrequent. A black suspect mistreated by cops is as wrong as a white suspect mistreated by cops. Cops who are trained professionals, I might add.

But what I cannot understand is the selective categorization of victim demographics. Yes, without a doubt, there are discrepancies between white and black treatment. True. The history of police treatment is marred and horrible to be sure. But issue analysis and critical thinking a required here. Let’s stick to the particular issue and framework that this disquisition attempts to address. Work with me in this one.

What the problem is and has been is an attitudinal militarization of police that has been exacerbated by the recent injection of 1033-like programs into police departments already burdened by historically entrenched and intrinsic racism. Without a doubt. let’s be clear: Racism has existed, the disparate treatment of criminal detainees and suspects still exists. Fine, let’s all stipulate to that and move on.

Here is the gravamen of my indictment.

  • Police training and institutional mindsets need immediate and drastic revision.
  • The celerity in the use of deadly force must be addressed. Alternatives to force and dispute resolution must be included in officers’ arsenal.
  • Racial arson, especially when fueled by those who seek to enjoy pecuniary gain, must be decried and attacked for what it is.
  • The mainstream media must seriously readdress the way in which it covers incendiary matters, especially in view of the 24/7 cable news wheel that feeds data and coverage without surcease with no recognizable sense of proportion, sobriety or responsibility.
  • The notion of the peace officer has gone the way of RoboCop. So long, Sheriff Andy. The message of the role of officer must be retooled and readdressed.
  • The principles of Posse Comitatus must be revisited to readdress the division between civilian law enforcement and military.

Good luck explicating this perspective. Ted Baxter and Ron Burgundy would be proud.

 

Lionel on RT: “Missouri Is To the Grand Jury What Florida Is to Elections”

On November 28, 2014, I appeared with RT‘s Ameera David discussing inter alia Ferguson, the grand jury process Missouri style, Bob McCulloch and the entire slew and lot of all those involved and concerned.