Category Archives: Lionel Audio

LIONEL PODCAST: The Lobotomized States of America

With all apologies to the lobotomized. We know nothing! Nothing! About anything. And we prefer to keep it that way. But, let me clarify that. It’s not we, it is they. They prefer to lapse into the warm self-induced coma of nescience. Unaware, unattuned and unafraid. You can’t fear something you don’t know. But that refutes the notion that I believe that it’s the unknown that’s the most frightening. To you and me, sure, but not the masses. Apparently. To not know how horrid things are or how badly you’ve been duped and deceived is an understandable reaction. But not for us. We crave truth and bad news. We fear not verity but cringe before illusion and delusion. To you, this podcast is dedicated. And remember as Huxley advised, “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”

LIONEL PODCAST: The Addictive Spotlight of Narcissistic Suffering

When it comes to over-the-top feigned public suffering, nobody beats the North Koreans. Who admittedly do so at gunpoint. Well, at last, I admit they do . . . but the point shouldn’t go missed. So magnetic and warm and inviting is the gravitational pull of social media that anything that is “Awwwww” inspiring or “You poor thing” generating is prime for social media exploitation. Self-aggrandizement and self-reference. In a piece in the International Business Times entitled New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Pushed Cancer Screening Cuts, David Sirota writes that AC may not be as bullish on CA as he might be suggesting. Or as the series of Tweets insinuate.

Here’s Andrew. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and his partner/friend/mate Sandra Lee have in recent days become high-profile public faces especially on social media in the fight against cancer. Tweeting a series of hospital photos after Lee’s double mastectomy this week, Andrew and Sandra have cited her breast cancer diagnosis to, in Cuomo’s words, “speak openly about her illness in order to remind women of the potentially lifesaving power of early detection.” Yes, remind women. Well, let me remind you of a few things. Enter Mr. Sirota and this stinging indictment of Mr. Cuomo’s actual and recorded commitment to the cause.

That public education campaign about the value of cancer screening, however, contrasts with what health advocates say are Cuomo’s repeated efforts to cut funding for a major cancer screening program in New York. Only a few months ago, in fact, the American Cancer Society sounded the alarm, slamming Cuomo for pushing an initiative the group said could end up eliminating cancer screening services for more than 16,000 New Yorkers who do not have insurance that fully covers such screenings. In February, cancer survivors and public health advocates testified before the New York legislature, begging lawmakers to reject the governor’s proposed cuts.

“Who here wants to tell that mom, dad, brother or sister they can’t be screened for cancer?” asked the American Cancer Society’s Bill Sherman at a state senate hearing. Of Cuomo’s budget proposal, he said it would lead “to thousands of New York residents failing to get life-saving cancer screenings.”

In response to International Business Times’ questions about the American Cancer Society’s criticism of Cuomo’s budget proposals, the governor’s spokesman, Richard Azzopardi, said, “Get your facts straight, then try again.” He provided no new data or facts to refute the group, nor did he respond to IBTimes’ questions about whether Cuomo’s experience with Lee’s illness has changed the governor’s views on state funding for cancer screening. For her part, Lee has not spoken out specifically about the budget proposals, but recently told ABC News that “I don’t want women to wait” to be screened for breast cancer and also said that women should “go pick your phone up, and call your doctor and get your rear end in there and get a mammogram right now.”

This year’s proposed budget cuts were just one of many such efforts by Cuomo. Indeed, while being lauded by business groups for championing corporate tax breaks and opposing revenue-generating tax increases on millionaires, the Democratic governor has repeatedly issued budget proposals to slash state funding for cancer screenings.

In 2012, Cuomo proposed a $650,000 cut to state funding for the cancer services program. The next year Cuomo proposed to consolidate state health programs in a way that public health advocates said would result in a 10 percent cut to the state’s funding for cancer screening. In 2013 and 2014, Cuomo proposed 25 percent cuts to cancer screening — already significantly below the high-water mark — but was beaten back by the legislature, according to the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.  Advocates also said that under Cuomo’s budget, “critical programs like the Breast Cancer Survivors’ Support Initiative, which was the lifeline for survivor-led community support organizations across the state, get the ax.” Then came a new round of proposed cuts in 2015, even as New York has in recent years been running budget surpluses.

While cancer advocacy groups have convinced legislators to reverse Cuomo’s proposed cuts to the state’s cancer services program in the last two years, a representative for the American Cancer Society told IBTimes that funding for the program is still significantly below its high mark of $29 million in the years before Cuomo took office. For the past two fiscal years, funding has been frozen at $25.3 million — a nearly 20 percent inflation-adjusted cut to cancer services over the governor’s tenure.

In an emailed statement responding to Cuomo’s spokesperson, Bill Sherman of the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network said “I’m guessing Mr. Azzopardi did not provide new data or facts to refute us because the data I cited came directly from his Department of Health.  At the time they were the most recent stats on the number of cancer screenings conducted through the CSP program. ”

Azzopardi then sent a new statement to IBTimes asserting that “The Governor for several years has advanced a new competitive model to allow the best programs with a proven track record of results the opportunity for even more funding than they received previously.” Azzopardi provided no data to back up the assertion, and he did not dispute the American Cancer Society’s data about the funding cuts to the cancer screening program.

LIONEL PODCAST: My Commencement Speech to 2015 Graduates – A Thought Experiment

My advice to graduates. First, wake up. Who can blame you for being bored Shi’ite-less? You’ve spent four years of your life being indoctrinated and trained and habituated and conditioned to what? Conditioned for failure. And for what? Exactly. Look, you’ve heard the gloomy job prognostications and when it hits you how you’ve wasted your time and money, well . . . you’ll see. And how about these speakers? Seriously. Robert De Niro, Hollywood’s answer to Ambien, who knows only one acting style and delivery no matter the movie or time, only got attention when he dropped the proverbial F-bomb. That’s it. That’s how we’ve been conditioned. Gee, Travis Bickle said fuck. “Tisch graduates, you made it,” De Niro said after taking the stage. “And you’re fucked.” Hardy har har. We love cursing and coprolalia; it’s a substitution for wit. If you want to pretend to be a comedian and you’re short on humor or funny, curse up a storm and be filthy. But, I digress.

A capsulized version. Well, my friend, if I were given the chance to speak before a group of the recently released I’d speak to a number of absolutes. To wit, inter alia:

  • There is no such thing as a meritocracy here in this country. Where it may exist in this country, it is usually trumped by corruption and nepotism.
  • Loyalty is not appreciated in this country. Loyalty is appreciated in small doses until it is no longer needed.
  • There is an information evolution but you’d never know it watching #MSM. They have  two primary functions: making money for their parent companies by being entertaining and protecting their parent companies financial interests through their choice, depth, and direction of news coverage.
  • Jobriath is the perfect example of hype not necessarily equating to success. He died of AIDS while living in a pyramid on the roof of the Chelsea Hotel at age 36. Meteoric rises often lead to meteoric descents.
  • Those in charge of determining what will be successful ofttimes have nary a clue as they’ve no ear or taste for that which they’re entrusted to know.
  • The Peter Principle becomes exponentially more applicable as the pace of change increases – the powers that be become incompetent at a much faster rate than in previous generations.
  • The larger the company, the smaller the risks they wish to take. No truly inventive program has originated on the big networks; they wait to see what sells, and then copy it or buy it outright, usually losing what makes the program edgy in the process.
  • #MSM is stuck in a time warp. Frozen. Stuck. Fossilized in media amber.
  • Information is power. That’s why corporations and governments and thieves scramble to obtain it and hold on to it, and why they try to keep you and I from having it.
  • Information is the ammunition of the revolution, the bloodless data platform coup.

Our musical selection. Harry Roy & His Orchestra (1931): My Girl’s Pussy. Now I got your attention. I mean, after all, if De Niro slays you with a gratuitous drop, Harry Roy will kill. Right? You’re welcome. And while we’re at it, how ’bout a big shout out to Frank Turner. This is anthemic.

LIONEL PODCAST: Ignorance Is Indeed Bliss and Prototypically American

America has always talked a great game when it comes to the military. Uncomfortable fact: 12% of US homeless adults are veterans with 50% having serious mental illness. Oh, there he goes again, ruining Memorial Day weekend barbecue and beach fun and frolic with the facts! Knowing, learning, reading and understanding puts folks into the unenviable position of knowing what’s true and what’s fiction. Our veterans, whom we proudly and publicly proclaim we love, need our immediate help. Platitudes and symbolic gestures are nice, it’s a start, but that’s not what is required. Mental health evaluation, outreach and treatment, especially, are critically needed. And in addition to honoring service nd those who’ve paid the ultimate sacrifice, stop the next war.

Don’t bother me, I’m too busy waving this flag. Ignorance is indeed bliss. It’s glorious. You don’t have to be concerned with pesky reality. Myth, fable, lies – who cares? Look, face it. Americans are busy with memes and perceptions and feelings. Not reality. And it’s a glorious weekend and there are barbecues to attend and melanomas to bake. Enough with the guilt! When it comes to waxing patriotic all you’re going to get is a pithy phrase, a snappy salute, a timely tweet and a “patriotic” post. Something about “never forget” or . . . something. And remember, you can’t forget something you don’t and didn’t know in the first place.

‘War is Terrorism with a Bigger Budget.’ There’s still a fetishization of war and combat. Layered with misplaced patriotism and statism. It’s by no means deliberate or negative in intent. It’s just the way we’ve been programmed. But even the best of programing can be upended.

LIONEL PODCAST: Stop Patting the Military on the Head Like Children, Stop Patronizing Them and Stop the Rate of Suicides and PTSD

 

The definition. Patriotism is, generally speaking, cultural attachment to one’s homeland or devotion to one’s country, although interpretations of the term vary with context, geography and political ideology. It is a set of concepts closely related to those of nationalism. Today it means schmaltzy and patronizing references to an obeisance of everything military. A mindless patellar and Pavlovian reflex that claps like barking seals whenever any military venture is considered or contemplated with absolutely no concern for returning vets and their physical and mental conditions. It’s who we are. With our bumper sticker, playbook, cookie cutter, echo chamber drivel. Dime store fealty. John Wayne, Ronald Reagan and a snappy SUPPORT OUR TROOPS bumper sticker for our gawdy SUV. With no concern or care for anything involving the reality of modern warfare.

Suicides? Shhhhhhh. Don’t go rain on our parade. Can’t you see we’re in full Memorial Day mode.

In early 2013, the official website of the United States Department of Defense announced the startling statistic that the number of military suicides in 2012 had far exceeded the total of those killed in battle—an average of nearly one a day. A month later came an even more sobering statistic from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: veteran suicide was running at 22 a day—about 8000 a year.

America Has Been At War 93% of the Time – 222 Out of 239 Years – Since 1776

Since the United States was founded in 1776, she has been at war during 214 out of her 235 calendar years of existence.  In other words, there were only 21 calendar years in which the U.S. did not wage any wars.

  • Pick any year since 1776 and there is about a 91% chance that America was involved in some war during that calendar year.
  • No U.S. president truly qualifies as a peacetime president.  Instead, all U.S. presidents can technically be considered “war presidents.
  • The U.S. has never gone a decade without war.
  • The only time the U.S. went five years without war (1935-40) was during the isolationist period of the Great Depression.

Year-by-year Timeline of America’s Major Wars (1776-2011)

1776 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamagua Wars, Second Cherokee War, Pennamite-Yankee War

1777 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Second Cherokee War, Pennamite-Yankee War

1778 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War

1779 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War

1780 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War

1781 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War

1782 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War

1783 – American Revolutionary War, Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War

1784 – Chickamauga Wars, Pennamite-Yankee War, Oconee War

1785 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1786 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1787 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1788 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1789 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1790 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1791 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1792 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1793 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1794 – Chickamauga Wars, Northwest Indian War

1795 – Northwest Indian War

1796 – No major war

1797 – No major war

1798 – Quasi-War

1799 – Quasi-War

1800 – Quasi-War

1801 – First Barbary War

1802 – First Barbary War

1803 – First Barbary War

1804 – First Barbary War

1805 – First Barbary War

1806 – Sabine Expedition

1807 – No major war

1808 – No major war

1809 – No major war

1810 – U.S. occupies Spanish-held West Florida

1811 – Tecumseh’s War

1812 – War of 1812, Tecumseh’s War, Seminole Wars, U.S. occupies Spanish-held Amelia Island and other parts of East Florida

1813 – War of 1812, Tecumseh’s War, Peoria War, Creek War, U.S. expands its territory in West Florida

1814 – War of 1812, Creek War, U.S. expands its territory in Florida, Anti-piracy war

1815 – War of 1812, Second Barbary War, Anti-piracy war

1816 – First Seminole War, Anti-piracy war

1817 – First Seminole War, Anti-piracy war

1818 – First Seminole War, Anti-piracy war

1819 – Yellowstone Expedition, Anti-piracy war

1820 – Yellowstone Expedition, Anti-piracy war

1821 – Anti-piracy war (see note above)

1822 – Anti-piracy war (see note above)

1823 – Anti-piracy war, Arikara War

1824 – Anti-piracy war

1825 – Yellowstone Expedition, Anti-piracy war

1826 – No major war

1827 – Winnebago War

1828 – No major war

1829 – No major war

1830 – No major war

1831 – Sac and Fox Indian War

1832 – Black Hawk War

1833 – Cherokee Indian War

1834 – Cherokee Indian War, Pawnee Indian Territory Campaign

1835 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars, Second Creek War

1836 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars, Second Creek War, Missouri-Iowa Border War

1837 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars, Second Creek War, Osage Indian War, Buckshot War

1838 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars, Buckshot War, Heatherly Indian War

1839 – Cherokee Indian War, Seminole Wars

1840 – Seminole Wars, U.S. naval forces invade Fiji Islands

1841 – Seminole Wars, U.S. naval forces invade McKean Island, Gilbert Islands, and Samoa

1842 – Seminole Wars

1843 – U.S. forces clash with Chinese, U.S. troops invade African coast

1844 – Texas-Indian Wars

1845 – Texas-Indian Wars

1846 – Mexican-American War, Texas-Indian Wars

1847 – Mexican-American War, Texas-Indian Wars

1848 – Mexican-American War, Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War

1849 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians

1850 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Yuma War, California Indian Wars, Pitt River Expedition

1851 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, Yuma War, Utah Indian Wars, California Indian Wars

1852 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Yuma War, Utah Indian Wars, California Indian Wars

1853 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Yuma War, Utah Indian Wars, Walker War, California Indian Wars

1854 – Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians

1855 – Seminole Wars, Texas-Indian Wars, Cayuse War, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Yakima War, Winnas Expedition, Klickitat War, Puget Sound War, Rogue River Wars, U.S. forces invade Fiji Islands and Uruguay

1856 – Seminole Wars, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, California Indian Wars, Puget Sound War, Rogue River Wars, Tintic War

1857 – Seminole Wars, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, California Indian Wars, Utah War, Conflict in Nicaragua

1858 – Seminole Wars, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Mohave War, California Indian Wars, Spokane-Coeur d’Alene-Paloos War, Utah War, U.S. forces invade Fiji Islands and Uruguay

1859 Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, California Indian Wars, Pecos Expedition, Antelope Hills Expedition, Bear River Expedition, John Brown’s raid, U.S. forces launch attack against Paraguay, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1860 – Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Paiute War, Kiowa-Comanche War

1861 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Cheyenne Campaign

1862 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Cheyenne Campaign, Dakota War of 1862,

1863 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Southwest Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Cheyenne Campaign, Colorado War, Goshute War

1864 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Cheyenne Campaign, Colorado War, Snake War

1865 – American Civil War, Texas-Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Colorado War, Snake War, Utah’s Black Hawk War

1866 – Texas-Indian Wars, Navajo Wars, Apache Wars, California Indian Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Snake War, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Red Cloud’s War, Franklin County War, U.S. invades Mexico, Conflict with China

1867 – Texas-Indian Wars, Long Walk of the Navajo, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Snake War, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Red Cloud’s War, Comanche Wars, Franklin County War, U.S. troops occupy Nicaragua and attack Taiwan

1868 – Texas-Indian Wars, Long Walk of the Navajo, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Snake War, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Red Cloud’s War, Comanche Wars, Battle of Washita River, Franklin County War

1869 – Texas-Indian Wars, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Comanche Wars, Franklin County War

1870 – Texas-Indian Wars, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Comanche Wars, Franklin County War

1871 – Texas-Indian Wars, Apache Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Comanche Wars, Franklin County War, Kingsley Cave Massacre, U.S. forces invade Korea

1872 – Texas-Indian Wars, Apache Wars, Utah’s Black Hawk War, Comanche Wars, Modoc War, Franklin County War

1873 – Texas-Indian Wars, Comanche Wars, Modoc War, Apache Wars, Cypress Hills Massacre, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1874 – Texas-Indian Wars, Comanche Wars, Red River War, Mason County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1875 – Conflict in Mexico, Texas-Indian Wars, Comanche Wars, Eastern Nevada, Mason County War, Colfax County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1876 – Texas-Indian Wars, Black Hills War, Mason County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1877 – Texas-Indian Wars, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Black Hills War, Nez Perce War, Mason County War, Lincoln County War, San Elizario Salt War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1878 – Paiute Indian conflict, Bannock War, Cheyenne War, Lincoln County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1879 – Cheyenne War, Sheepeater Indian War, White River War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1880 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1881 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1882 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1883 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1884 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1885 – Apache Wars, Eastern Nevada Expedition, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1886 – Apache Wars, Pleasant Valley War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1887 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1888 – U.S. show of force against Haiti, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1889 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1890 – Sioux Indian War, Skirmish between 1st Cavalry and Indians, Ghost Dance War, Wounded Knee, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1891 – Sioux Indian War, Ghost Dance War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1892 – Johnson County War, U.S. forces invade Mexico

1893 – U.S. forces invade Mexico and Hawaii

1894 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1895 – U.S. forces invade Mexico, Bannock Indian Disturbances

1896 – U.S. forces invade Mexico

1897 – No major war

1898 – Spanish-American War, Battle of Leech Lake, Chippewa Indian Disturbances

1899 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1900 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1901 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1902 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1903 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1904 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1905 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1906 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1907 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1908 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1909 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1910 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1911 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1912 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars

1913 – Philippine-American War, Banana Wars, New Mexico Navajo War

1914 – Banana Wars, U.S. invades Mexico

1915 – Banana Wars, U.S. invades Mexico, Colorado Paiute War

1916 – Banana Wars, U.S. invades Mexico

1917 – Banana Wars, World War I, U.S. invades Mexico

1918 – Banana Wars, World War I, U.S invades Mexico

1919 – Banana Wars, U.S. invades Mexico

1920 – Banana Wars

1921 – Banana Wars

1922 – Banana Wars

1923 – Banana Wars, Posey War

1924 – Banana Wars

1925 – Banana Wars

1926 – Banana Wars

1927 – Banana Wars

1928 – Banana Wars

1930 – Banana Wars

1931 – Banana Wars

1932 – Banana Wars

1933 – Banana Wars

1934 – Banana Wars

1935 – No major war

1936 – No major war

1937 – No major war

1938 – No major war

1939 – No major war

1940 – No major war

1941 – World War II

1942 – World War II

1943 – Wold War II

1944 – World War II

1945 – World War II

1946 – Cold War (U.S. occupies the Philippines and South Korea)

1947 – Cold War (U.S. occupies South Korea, U.S. forces land in Greece to fight Communists)

1948 – Cold War (U.S. forces aid Chinese Nationalist Party against Communists)

1949 – Cold War (U.S. forces aid Chinese Nationalist Party against Communists)

1950 – Korean War, Jayuga Uprising

1951 – Korean War

1952 – Korean War

1953 – Korean War

1954 – Covert War in Guatemala

1955 – Vietnam War

1956 – Vietnam War

1957 – Vietnam War

1958 – Vietnam War

1959 – Vietnam War, Conflict in Haiti

1960 – Vietam War

1961 – Vietnam War

1962 – Vietnam War, Cold War (Cuban Missile Crisis; U.S. marines fight Communists in Thailand)

1963 – Vietnam War

1964 – Vietnam War

1965 – Vietnam War, U.S. occupation of Dominican Republic

1966 – Vietnam War, U.S. occupation of Dominican Republic

1967 – Vietnam War

1968 – Vietnam War

1969 – Vietnam War

1970 – Vietnam War

1971 – Vietnam War

1972 – Vietnam War

1973 – Vietnam War, U.S. aids Israel in Yom Kippur War

1974 – Vietnam War

1975 – Vietnam War

1976 – No major war

1977 – No major war

1978 – No major war

1979 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan)

1980 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan)

1981 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), First Gulf of Sidra Incident

1982 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), Conflict in Lebanon

1983 – Cold War (Invasion of Grenada, CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), Conflict in Lebanon

1984 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua), Conflict in Persian Gulf

1985 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua)

1986 – Cold War (CIA proxy war in Afghanistan and Nicaragua)

1987 – Conflict in Persian Gulf

1988 – Conflict in Persian Gulf, U.S. occupation of Panama

1989 – Second Gulf of Sidra Incident, U.S. occupation of Panama, Conflict in Philippines

1990 – First Gulf War, U.S. occupation of Panama

1991 – First Gulf War

1992 – Conflict in Iraq

1993 – Conflict in Iraq

1994 – Conflict in Iraq, U.S. invades Haiti

1995 – Conflict in Iraq, U.S. invades Haiti, NATO bombing of Bosnia and Herzegovina

1996 – Conflict in Iraq

1997 – No major war

1998 – Bombing of Iraq, Missile strikes against Afghanistan and Sudan

1999 – Kosovo War

2000 – No major war

2001 – War on Terror in Afghanistan

2002 – War on Terror in Afghanistan and Yemen

2003 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, and Iraq

2004 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen

2005 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen

2006 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen

2007 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen

2008 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen

2009 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen

2010 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and Yemen

2011 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen; Conflict in Libya (Libyan Civil War)

In most of these wars, the U.S. was on the offensive. Admittedly, some of the wars were defensive. The data leave out covert CIA operations and other acts which could be considered war.

Let’s update what’s happened since 2011:

2012 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and Yemen

2013 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and Yemen

2014 – War on Terror in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Syria and Yemen; Civil War in Ukraine

2015 – War on Terror in Somalia, Somalia, Syria and Yemen; Civil War in Ukraine

So we can add 4 more years of war. That means that for 222 out of 239 years – or 93% of the time – America has been at war. (We can quibble with the exact numbers, but the high percentage of time that America has been at war is clear and unmistakable.)

Indeed, most of the military operations launched since World War II have been launched by the U.S.

And American military spending dwarfs the rest of the world put together.

No wonder polls show that the world believes America is the number 1 threat to peace.

LIONEL PODCAST: Bread & Circuses – America Must Remain Distracted at All Times

The etymology. Bread and Circus, is defined as “something, as extravagant entertainment, offered as an expedient means of pacifying discontent or diverting attention from a source of grievance.” Whether it’s the media coverage of Letterman’s agonizing and seemingly interminable valedictory or #Deflategate or the series finale of “Mad Men” – which, interestingly enough, was eclipsed in ratings 2:1 by a 60 year-old colorized rerun of “I Love Lucy” – bread and circuses denote “the generation of public approval, not through exemplary or excellent public service or public policy, but through diversion; distraction; or the mere satisfaction of the immediate, shallow requirements of a populace.” A “superficial means of appeasement.” Behold our society. And know it’s not a matter of accident, it’s deliberate.

Ah, to be mindless. It’s a national pastime. ‘Neath the heft of statism and nationalism and a emerged set of disconnected connectivity. Who cares? Not I. I’m too busy. But I will feign and pretend and act as though I’m a part and involved. But who can be too connected with all this distraction going on? There’s David Letterman’s valedictory. This pretend sadness over the end of a successful television reign of a weird misanthrope and human mystery. Distraction. Diversion. Sleight of mind. Look, a puppy! The attention span of a gnat we have. Evanescence of interest. Poof! Gone. Disappeared. Abracadabra and film at 11. News, sports and weather.  Traffic on the 5’s. We’re doomed, kids. Doomed. 

LIONEL PODCAST: The Racial Double Standard of the Waco Biker Shootings

Notice anything odd? Look at how this lone cop is standing, backed turned, to these hoards of gang members involved in shootouts and – get this! – threatening cops. No RoboCop gear, MRAPs, Kevlar, shields, drones, dogs, tear gas . . . nuttin’! Amazing, isn’t it? And if they are corralled and subdued via arrest, the participants are not referred to as thugs and, better yet, the altercation is referred to as a “mêlée.” How quaint. I prefer kerfuffle. There are no disquisitions and analyses on the role of absentee fathers on these bikers previoutating violence against society and/or police officers. No mention of religion. No references to what particular music styles might encourage this type of behavior. No categorization of the event as “white on white crime.” In fact, look again at this officer standing with this back to the nabbed Cossacks and Scimitars. He seems almost naked in terms of the dearth of 1033 battle surplus and overkill armament that we’ve become sadly used to. You have to be in a coma not to immediately realize the difference in reportage. To call the double standard misses the point altogether. It’s deeper than that and more emblematic than symptomatic.

LIONEL PODCAST: The Demonization of Louis C.K. and the End of Free Speech

Here’s what he said on SNL. “Child molesters are very tenacious people,” he began. “They love molesting childs. It’s crazy. It’s like their favorite thing. When you consider the risk of being a child molester — there is no worse life available to a human than being a caught child molester. And yet they still do it! Which you could only really surmise, that it must be really good.”

And? That’s it. That’s the essence of what was said and, of course, the media and “social” media are going nuts over this bit of piquant humor and I get it. I understand the context and unique spin, take and direction. So what? Now, look, no one’s calling for his skin or indictment or even arrest. But the week’s young. What this means is that we, as a society, must celebrate and recognize everything and anything hat is said, develop a sense of humor and and an appreciation for the absurd, and recognize that free and unfettered speech makes a society stronger and better and . . . well, alive. There are forms of humor that we may never see at first blush that are nonetheless relevant. And if you don’t like it, change the channel.

If it funny? Who cares? My life consists of discussing and analyzing stories and news items that are very controversial and most problematic to many. They destroy the conventional wisdom and official story. They establish that history is a fraud and that governments are corrupt and people gullible. And that’s indeed and admittedly most likely to offend and rattle. But so be it. Because, when all is said and done – If you don’t like it, change the channel.

LIONEL PODCAST: Post-Industrial Policies Result in Another Deadly Amtrak Disaster

Apportioning blame. Listen to my gravamen wherein I indict post-industrial austerity polices as the cause of the May 12 Amtrak Northeast Regional train derailment. But instead our media will blame the tragedy solely, solely on engineer error and negligence. He was driving the train too fast. That’s it. Nothing to see here. Move on.

Blood on their hands. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the causes of the crash, but the New York Times has already quoted experts who say the derailment could have been avoided entirely if the proper safety mechanisms had been in place. The safety system mandated by Congress in 2008 for American rail included what is known as positive train controls which inter alia can automatically slow down a speeding train. The system is required to be installed on both trains and track. While the Northeast Regional was outfitted with the system, the track was not.

I (don’t) hear that train a comin’. After WWII American railroads have slid into pathetic and dangerous decline. Used as cash cows by their corporate managers’ wanton looting and absurd travel taxes on the books until 1962, these were certainly early contributors. Richard Nixon decided to nationalize rail travel in 1970-71, which resulted in the pathetically funded and maintained Amtrak. American rail systems were out-lobbied by airline and highway interests and concerns and it lost much of its federal subsidies. Then came the positively impotent presidency of Gerald Ford whose Transportation Secretary, William T. Coleman, declared Amtrak “outmoded outhouses.” Then Jimmy Carter’s Secretary of Transportation Brock Adams abolished many of Amtrak’s most popular trains altogether. Cue Taps.

China will bury us. Republicans in the House of Representatives grudgingly agreed to fund Amtrak for the next four years at a paltry rate of $1.4B a year this past March. Compare this to the Chinese government , which exhibits an enormous interest in high-speed and maglev rail. They invested $128B this year alone on rail! If the United States does not wish to become inadvertent material for the next Chinese college textbook on ancient civilizations, the need to reexamine the national interest in rail transportation is vital. And this must transcend rhetoric and the usual hackneyed reactions. Not to mention a more vigilant independent mainstream media.

LIONEL PODCAST: The Philly Amtrak Disaster, America’s Pathetic Third World Infrastructure, Verizon/AOL Merger and Russia/USA Contretemps

Infrastructure. We look like a third world country. Our airports and rail stations look like a retro film. We can do better. Involve the Fed. Nationalize it. The problem with the Federal Reserve is that they see their role historically as saving failed banks – especially “zombie banks,’” bankrupt entities that just sit there busted and collapsed. They absorb government and Fed resources. They don’t provide investment, create jobs. Nada. To be competitive, to be conversant with a 21st century transportation platform, infrastructure investment is critical. I discuss more herein.

2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure

Russia/American “talks.” Russia maintains that the destabilization of Ukraine and the 2014 ouster of Viktor Yanukovych were the work of US support for the Kiev coup regime of Yatseniuk, Poroshenko, et al. The United States  officially provides “nonlethal security support” to Ukraine. The Russian press agency Sputnik News called not only this military support to the attention of its readers but also upcoming NATO exercises such as Sea Breeze 2015 and Saber Guardian/Rapid Trident 2015. Stop the Cold war rhetoric. Keep an eye on this. I explain herein as well.

And the Verizon/AOL merger. “Certainly the subscription business and the content businesses are very noteworthy. For us, the principal interest was around the ad tech platform,” said Verizon’s president of operations, John Stratton, at a Jefferies investor conference early Tuesday. Huh? What does this actually mean? Funny you should ask. Listen herein.