Category Archives: Lionel Audio - Page 2

LIONEL PODCAST: My Interview With Pete Barbutti, Tonight Show and Vegas Legend

The days of magic. Pete Barbutti was a regular feature of the The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
and I loved him when I was a kid. He’s an incredible jazz pianist as well as a multi-instrumented master of the accordion (or “cordine” as he was wont to say) and trumpet. His sense of humor was twisted, off beat, skewed and I howled. In many ways he cemented my skewed view of the world. Thanks to YouTube I can watch him again. And again. He represents to me a time when variety shows ruled, when they were simply glorious. When talent ruled supreme, when unique personality and charm and wit were the reason for the return visit. When people were famous not just for being famous. When comics weren’t deliberately filthy. When coprolalic rants and F-bomb sorties weren’t a substitution for wit. In this podcast Pete Barbutti mentions a great line from Buddy Hackett, who said (and I paraphrase): If it’s funny it’s not dirty and if it’s dirty it’s not funny. Hear! Hear!

The Magic of Vegas. Pete Barbutti recounts the days of Howard Hughes and when the “boys” ran the Vegas. It’s not just a nostalgic reminiscence, it’s the detailing of history. Our history. American history. And Pete Barbutti was and is a critical character in the history and recordation of American variety.

LIONEL Returns to Coast to Coast AM with George Noory

Lionel returns to Coast to Coast AM. What can you possibly say about George Noory that hasn’t already been said? On January 12, 2015 CE, I graced the portals of his blockbuster show and for two hours discussed a panoply of subjects from the hyper-militarization of the police to the Hegelian Dialectic in action to UFOs to conspiracies to . . . name it. Here’s how George saw it.

In the latter half, TV and radio news decoder, legal analyst and renaissance lawyer, Lionel, talked about the increased militarization of the police, and various alternative media topics. He cited the mind control technique known as Problem Reaction Solution, in which a problem is created, a reaction is manufactured, and a solution is proposed, all by the same manipulators. The solution government has presented is hyper-militarized police, he suggested, but in exchange for what seems like more security, we have left the notion of the police as being friendly and there to assist in the dust. What are your views on police militarization?

Lionel also differentiated how he is a conspiracy analyst rather than a theorist, and spoke about his interview with Stanton Friedman, who has called the UFO cover-up a ‘cosmic Watergate.’

LIONEL PODCAST: Hollywood Has Absolutely No Duty to Be “Diverse.” So What?

di·ver·si·ty

  • the quality or state of having many different forms, types, ideas, etc.
  • the state of having people who are different races or who have different cultures in a group or organization
  • perhaps the most overused term to inartfully and irrationally suggest that the world is considerate, sapient, fair and/or rational. [I added that.]

I got your diversity right here! According to the data collectors at Lee & Low Books who crafted the disturbing but hardly surprising infographic supra, it’s abundantly clear that the Oscars may just be the hoariest, whitest old boys club there is in these parts. But so what? It’s not the government or the military or a public school. We’re not talking juries or electors or School Boards. It’s Hollywood and diversity appears not to be its number one priority. Neither does the NBA, Junior League, Skull and Bones, the Medal of Honor Society, or Who’s Who in Paducah. Private organizations and ensembles and industries have no allegiance to anyone save its own members or shareholders. And while that may royally suck and make absolutely no sense, while you and I might find it reprehensible causing us to boycott and rant and rave, so what? Herein I describe the pitfalls of diversity as a goal in certain cases, and the rudiments of reality.

Lionel Appearing at The Cutting Room NYC 3-7-15 CE

Standup, (out)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 committed 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.

The mononymous Lionel is an unapologetic and unabashed flame-throwing (out)spoken wordsmith, sui generis to a fare-thee-well, a raconteur and rapscallion with a raucous and ribald riposte, he’s a blackbelt in realpolitik, hardcore vegan and extreme spelunker, a conscientious conspiracist, renaissance lawyer, tyrannical troubadour, bluegrass nativist and gutbucket practitioner, author and essayist, pioneer podcaster and talk radio maven, a television and radio news decoder, possessed of a surgical wit that’s been known to frighten horses, a sesquipedalian and Brobdingnagian logophile whose deft facility with the mother tongue is nonpareil. Along with his Lock ‘n Load triomates, Bob Harris (the international flatpicking phenom) and Bob Sutor (a card-carrying banjo master), Lionel displays a down home musical pastiche and buffet that pays homage to the great Americana songbook, celebrating inter alia inbred mountain buggery, squealing like a pig and purty mouths and a Clampett Clan paean here and there, all in tribute to the celestial and immaculate twang of mother bluegrass. Newsweek calls Lionel is “[a]n intellectual known for his irreverent political and social humor.” And perhaps legendary music producer Jerry Wexler said it best in describing his friend Lionel: “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.” Amen.

LIONEL PODCAST: My Interview With The Catholic League’s Bill Donohue Who Inflames and Abrades His Critics By Daring to Suggest a Causation Without Justification Argument as to #CharlieHebdo

Bill Donohue quotes James Madison: “Liberty may be endangered by the abuses of liberty, as well as by the abuses of power.” The nerve of this man citing our Constitutional forebears!

The lovable lug. If you’ve lived under a rock or have been in a coma for most of recent times, this is Bill Donohue. I have known him for over two decades and am proud to call him my friend. As with those who participate in the audacious practice of advocacy, controversy is not an alien concept to Sir William.

His style is loud and combative and confrontational, so whenever he’s involved in any controversy (which is not the rarity), the mainstreamers pay particular attention and note to his words because (a) he’s good copy and (b) he’s great with a quip and quote. Here’s Bill’s curriculum vitae.

The gravamen. It’s being suggested that Donohue is somehow excusing the murders. That Charbonnier and others should have known better. WRONG! He never said that, meant that, intimated or insinuated that. Not even close.

Prolegomenon. No stranger to controversy and full-throated advocacy, Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, an organization that “monitors the culture, acting as a watchdog agency and defender of the civil rights of all Catholics,” issued a statement titled “MUSLIMS ARE RIGHT TO BE ANGRY.”And, as you can imagine, the reaction was loud and constant. Per usual.

In it, Donohue criticized Charlie Hebdo’s history of offending the world’s religiously devout, including non-Muslims. The murdered Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane Charbonnier “didn’t understand the role he played in his [own] tragic death,” the statement reads. He further notes in this quote that the media have interestingly omitted, “Muhammad isn’t sacred to me, either, but it would never occur to me to deliberately insult Muslims by trashing him.” As you can imagine, this confounds many for the usual and obvious reasons.

The points to be addressed. In the event you, like most of the Western world, have no critical thinking skills to speak of and react viscerally and via Pavlovian, patellar reflexes, let me give you this unsolicited advice on how to review this issue and what points you should attend to.

  • Read exactly the word of the person you’re commenting on and anent.
  • “Killing in response to insult, no matter how gross, must be unequivocally condemned. That is why what happened in Paris cannot be tolerated,” says Donohue. “But neither should we tolerate the kind of intolerance that provoked this violent reaction.”
  • The media and various commentators have no problem in suggesting that mayors and civil rights leaders “caused” and promoted violence upon police officers, thereby establishing a justification and causality argument.
  • If the media can suggest that mayors and protestors “caused” police to be assassinated by lunatics and have blood on their hands, they should have no problem in understanding that “cartoonists” likewise can incite violence.
  • If no cartoon is subject to limitation and if they should be aired freely why are so many networks refusing to run that which they embrace as free speech?
  • Geopolitical terrorism is the issue that has escaped many as they focus on the immediate.
  • To understand a crime doesn’t mean you agree with or countenance it.
  • When a group has repeatedly reacted violently in the past, notwithstanding having no basis in fact or law or justification to do so, to that which they have repeatedly suggested is blasphemous and which they vowed retaliation over, can anyone actually claim surprise. Remember: This is not an excuse for the event.
  • Charlie Hebdo defends its “right to blasphemy,” in the words (and drawings) of Bernard Velhac, known as Tignous, one of the cartoonists killed in the shootings today. “We publish caricatures every week, but people only describe them as declarations of war when it’s about the person of the Prophet or radical Islam,” cartoonist Stéphane Charbonnier, known as Charb, told Der Spiegel in 2012. He was also killed in the shootings today. [qz.com]

The horse’s mouth. So, let’s hear what he really said and meant from Mr. Donohue himself, shall we?

LIONEL PODCAST: A Discussion With the Inimitable and Ineffable Historian and Activist Webster Griffin Tarpley

Henry C. Carey (1793-1879) – American economist and sociologist, often called the founder of the American school of economics. His greatest apostle is the subject of this podcast.

Proud to be an American (Schooler). For those who’ve finally mastered the tissue-thin liberal-conservative world of simplistic philosophical and ideological dualism, let me commend to you the American School and both its founder and prolific student and proponent, Messrs. Carey and Tarpley respectively.

Sui generis. Webster Griffin Tarpley is simply without peer as one of the most and vocal incisive critics of Anglo-American hegemony and predatory imperialism, an analyst, historian, author, name it. His lectures, books, presentations, speeches, radio work are like none other. He’s magnificent. And I don’t use that form of praise lightly. If for no other reason — and that’s an absurd notion in and of itself — to listen to the words of the good Doctor, his history lessons and disquisitions especially anent Venetian intelligence cabals alone are worth the price of virtual admission. His politics fits not simply into any category, which already wins me over. He’s quick to slam the left as he is the right. His books are equal-opportunity indictments whose gravamens target Bushes 41 and 43, Obama and Wall Street mercilessly. A peerless polyglot, Tarpley is that professor you wish you had. In a world of warmed over pseudo-intellects and pathetic autodidacts, Dr. Tarpley has no equal.

On tap for this confab. The subject matter is voluminous, plenary and considerable.

  • The American School of Economics explained in detail.
  • Let’s hear it for Alexander Hamilton, Friedrich List and Henry Charles Carey!
  • Advocating the nationalization of the Fed, from central bank to national bank.
  • Greece’s Alexis Tsipras and SYRIZA and what that means to you. Or should mean.
  • The Wall Street Sales Tax and why it makes complete sense.
  • Derivatives and toxic instruments.
  • The Tarpley Plan
  • The horror(s) of Libertarian economics, the Austrian School and genocidal austerity.
  • Paul Krugman’s almost got it. Sorta.
  • Keynesian Schmeynesian.
  • The poisonous myth of “free trade.”
  • UKIP and Farage.
  • Unafraid of the IMF and Federal Reserve, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko defends his country and currency with war dirigism.

Please take notes. There will be a test.

LIONEL PODCAST: A Discussion With the Consummate Jurist Sol Wachtler

A distinguished career in the law. Sol Wachtler is the Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment at Touro Law Center. I’ve had the privilege and honor of addressing his constitutional law class and saw firsthand the excitement he has for explicating and limning the intricacies of those matters juridical and the referenced.

A trusted public and judicial servant. He began his government career in 1963, when he was elected supervisor of the Town of North Hempstead. He was appointed to the New York State Supreme Court in 1968 and elected to the New York State Court of Appeals in 1972. In 1985, he was appointed Chief Judge of the State of New York and the Court of Appeals, positions in which he served until 1993. He was also the founder and first chair of New York’s State Federal Judicial Council as well as the National State Federal Judicial Council. And I’m proud to call him my friend. And I mean that.

He’s what you would expect a judge to be. Television has given us the clown and oaf as TV judge, Wapner notwithstanding. (And he’s alive at 95!) Judge Judy is a harridan of the first order, an embarrassment. To think people actually think (now there’s a statement) that she’s the norm. That scolding, fire-breathing, rude and discourteous judges exist. Well, a few do, to be honest. Anyhoo, Judge Wachtler is the crème de la crème. The anti-Judy. Bespoke and urbane, eloquent and stentorian. He’s central casting for the learned judge. Well-spoken, measured, possessed with the decorum and affect and attitude of the quintessential jurist.

Précis. In the years I’ve know him, I’ve cherished the hours that we’ve chatted anent the law and jurisprudence. In this full-bodied conversation, Judge Wachtler and I discuss inter alia:

  • The gubernatorial and political legacy of New York Governor Mario Cuomo, whom Judge Wachtler knew intimately and remembers fondly.
  • The “unique” logic and juridical philosophy of New York City Mayor Ed Koch who saw his gubernatorial chances vanish afer referring ti upstate New Yorkers as chuffs, churls and boors. In effect.
  • The fraud that is SCOTUS denizen Antonin Scalia and the imaginary machinations of originalism that provide for a tissue thin synthetic legal philosophy that justifies any result and decision as a product of a post hoc rationalization.
  • The historical antecedents to torture and the rather “novel” excuses and bases attempting to justify such.
  • The inexplicable inability to address the issues of mental health in our criminal justice system.
  • The ofttimes embarrassing realities of legal history. Can you say “Dred Scott”?
  • Juridical historicity and the role of relativistic perspective in deciding cases.
  • The challenges that law and jurisprudence will face when dealing with advances in technology and the like.
  • Jacobellis v. Ohio, 378 U.S. 184 (1964), and knowing it when you see it à la Potter Stewart.
  • The mind-boggling impunity that Reverend Al Sharpton seems to enjoy and how his words have meaning, had meaning and seem to be forgotten.
  • The future (good and bad) of American judicature.

Let me be very clear. I love Sol Wachtler and cherish his friendship.

LIONEL PODCAST: Lionel and Veteran NYPD Detective Sergeant Wally Zeins Unabashedly and Unapologetically Break Down the Truth of the Current Mess

Behold our leader. Bill de Blasio. One-termer. Clueless. See supra. Over his head but trying. I think. I hope. Look, I want him to win. He’s the captain of the ship. And we’re on the ship. If he loses, we lose. So Schadenfreude makes no sense in this instance.He’s the chairman of the board, the CEO and COO and administrator of a $74B corporation. A behemoth. Five boroughs, 8.4M+ residents, 40% of the state’s population. Ginormous. Brobdingnagian. A colossus. And there’s no time to worry about horse carriages or progressive ideology, whatever the hell that means. He’s grown up a lot, this mayor, and he’s just coming up on his first year. But he has this accomplishment under his belt: He beats David Dinkins hands down for polarizing the NYPD this fast, this deeply and this dangerously.

Enter Lionel and Wally.

Lionel and former 30 year veteran NYPD Detective Sergeant Wally Zeins

The cop’s cop. He’s a former NYPD Detective Sergeant for 30 years and a retired commanding officer of the Manhattan Detectives Nightwatch. He was a supervisor of the Hostage Negotiation Team and is a renowned national law-enforcement media reporter. And he’s a great friend. A fabulous storyteller and raconteur. But of truth and actuality, amazing anecdotes and history. Not a fabulist he. He’s a professional cop of the first order, the constable, the centurion. And he’s critical in negotiating through the mess that is the news today. Enter Lionel and Wally.

Just the facts, ma’am. That’s all we want. The facts. the truth. That simple. The issue has dematerialized and disinterested into lunatic name calling and pithy memes and inapposite hashtags. For the facts have nothing to do apparently with the truth. After all, they get in the way of a good story. Enter Lionel and Wally.

The sextet. Now to really get into the nuts and bolts of the story, keep an eye on the following. Their interplay is critical to note and watch. Part symbiotic, part parasitism. One potentiating the other. Fueling and feeding.

  • Hizzoner BDB. See supra.
  • The Commish Bill Bratton. Clearly he knows what must be done. This is his moment.
  • Rudy Giuliani. The Mayor Emeritus.
  • PBA Prez Pat Lynch. Ready for prime time. Watch his media trajectory and vector.
  • Governor Andrew Cuomo. He’s plenipotent. Potential for great vacuum filling.
  • Reverend Al Sharpton. Wow. Can you say “kryptonite”?

Enter Lionel and Wally.

LIONEL PODCAST: Political Vacuums, Winners & Losers, Media Trajectories, Leadership Vectors and New York at the Crossroads

27 December 2014 – A lone (though not in collective sentiment and spirit) anti-BDB protester holds up a sign outside Christ Tabernacle Church during the funeral of slain New York City Police Officer Rafael Ramos, one of two officers executed for wearing the uniform in a cowardly ambush in Brooklyn.

New York Politics for Dummies. This is the most comprehensive, no holds barred, no nonsense abecedarian disquisition and review of New York to the bone politics that you’ll hear anywhere. It unabashedly and brutally addresses political vacuums, power struggles, along with the winners and losers, media trajectories and leadership vectors of this great city, home to more than 8.4M people and accounting for about 40% of the population of the Empire State. This is a New York tutorial that will make your jaw drop, your eyes water and teeth clench. And after Saturday’s breathtaking funeral and memorial to Officer Ramos amidst a sea of blue, with cops from all over the country and world, all turning their backs in unison and on cue to the clueless and shell-shocked one-termer BDB, the country and world look to New York to see what’s next. And Lionel knows. If you can handle the naked truth.

As Hunter S. Thompson said, “When the going gets weird the weird turn pro.”

LIONEL PODCAST: My Amazing Interview With Stanton Friedman, the Father of Modern Ufology

Behold the inimitable, the ineffable Stanton Friedman, nuclear physicist and peripatetic globetrotting lecturer, the preeminent ufologist and researcher. The greatest contributor to the rational and scholarly examination of the singular most important issue of our lifetime, the Cosmic Watergate.

He’s responsible. Stanton T. Friedman. Yep, he’s the one. Before I happened upon him and his work, I never gave UFOs and ufology a moment’s consideration. To date, I’ve never seen anything that I thought was UFO’ish. No close encounters of any kind. To me they were the stuff of urban legend mythology and folklore. Like most of the paranormal and (I respectfully submit) religion. Oh, I laughed with the masses, dismissing the notion of spacefarers as romantic insanity. Baseless hallucinations and prosaic wishful thinking. The argument as I saw it went something like this. (And note, every one of these points is addressed and dissected and refuted an debunked ad seriatim in the accompanying podcast).

  • If there were anything to UFOs the government would certainly let us know. I mean, why would they want to keep something of this magnitude from us?
  • And if the government were loath to expose the truth, certainly the media would let us know. After all, who wouldn’t want to be the Woodward and Bernstein of this cosmic Watergate, right?
  • And why don’t these ET folks ever want to say howdy? Hell, if for no other reason than to get out and stretch their legs. Surely, they’d want to meet with Obama or the Pope or even the Queen, right? You know, to spread the word of their existence and message. Right?
  • And even if they could travel at breakneck speeds, the Andromeda Galaxy 2.5 million light-years from Earth in the Andromeda constellation. That means to travel there (or from there) at the speed of light it would take 2.5 million years. And we or they can’t travel at or near the speed of light. Right?
  • Not to mention there’s no substantive, real, credible, authenticated, actual, verified evidence or proof of any alien visit. No photos, pictures, film, movies, radar imagine, nothing! All there is is blurred, highly suspect or blatantly tampered with pictures. Right?
  • The government has categorically and systematically eliminated all claims of extraterrestrial visits through exhaustive and painstaking analysis by blue ribbon committees and disinterested scientific types. Right?
  • Most sightings of UFOs are weather balloons, swamp gas or the planet Venus. Right?
  • And don’t give me this bunkum about alien abductions. They’re all hallucinating or want to seize upon the opportunity to cash in. Not to mention, all these double wide denizens, these Junior Samples overall-sporting hayseeds, redneck and corn pone loons all claiming to be anally probed by some critters. Their claims have never been validated, right?
  • No one has a higher Top Secret clearance that POTUS. I mean you can’t keep anything from him. Right?
  • This is another one of those crazy conspiracy theories brought to you by a bunch of paranoid, delusional paranoiac charlatans and snake oil salesmen. Right?

Yes, that’s what I thought and most probably you. I almost committed it to memory. Like a routine. Canned and planned. And while I still haven’t seen one, I don’t believe for a moment the hundreds of millions of sightings and testimony throughout recorded history is fraudulent either. We’re a species who pledges religious fealty to far more tenuous ideologies with virtually no recognizable proof and de minimis evidence if at all, subsumed under the fantastic rubric of faith.

Enter Friedman. Then it happened. One day, years ago, thanks to the system of tubes known as the Internets, I happened upon the data. Through and courtesy of Mr. Friedman. Mounds, miles, piles, loads, tons, reams of data, articles, studies, research, lectures, books. Every conceivable form of investigation you can and could imagine. From around the world and time immemorial. Historic, anecdotal, eye-witness, documented, recorded and duly noted. Name it. The information was staggering. Brobdingnagian, an evidence colossus. And at the helm, stewarding his students through the labyrinth of fact versus fiction was and is the inimitable Stanton Friedman, who’s inspired me for years. I was so honored to finally speak with this giant. The (Extra)terrestrial titan.

Thus spake Stan. Here’s the Friedman manifesto. And I quote.

  1. The evidence is overwhelming that Planet Earth is being visited by intelligently controlled extraterrestrial spacecraft. In other words, SOME UFOs are alien spacecraft. Most are not.
  2. The subject of flying saucers represents a kind of Cosmic Watergate, meaning that some few people in major governments have known since July, 1947, when two crashed saucers and several alien bodies were recovered in New Mexico, that indeed SOME UFOs are ET. As noted in 1950, it’s the most classified U.S. topic.
  3. None of the arguments made against conclusions One and Two by a small group of debunkers such as Carl Sagan, my University of Chicago classmate for three years, can stand up to careful scrutiny.
  4. The Flying Saucer story is the biggest story of the millennium: visits to Planet Earth by aliens and the U.S. government’s cover-up of the best data (the bodies and wreckage) for over fifty years.

Awesome. The word’s been lost altogether by the jejune and definitionally-limited. Awe. Let’s start with its meaning. Awe is “an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, fear, etc., produced by that which is grand, sublime, extremely powerful, or the like.” Awesome is that “causing or inducing awe; inspiring an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration, or fear.” Jaw dropping, mind-boggling. Amazing! Paralyzing. I’ve known not awe since a boy when introduced to Santa Claus and then attempts at God. And after those two myths went the way of rejection, I’ve been aweless since. Until now.

Just think of it. Many have. The idea of living entities, non-human, most likely vastly and inconceivably superior, a million or billion years or senior. Extraterrestrial, extrastellar, or (better) extradimensional. Able to traverse the universal gaps and divides enlisting free energy, antigravitic propulsion, fusion perhaps, Tesla energy. All while we burn rocket fuel. Remember Mother Earth is 4.5B years old. That’s 4500M years. If another planet were a mere 4501M years old, they’d have a million year jump on us. In 66 years from 1903 to 1969 we went from Kitty Hawk to Neil Armstrong and the pre-Jacko moonwalk. Imagine a million year or billion year jump. Awe, baby. Awe.

The Vatican’s cool with it. Monsignor Corrado Balducci, a theologian member of the Vatican Curia, gave the Church’s stamp of approval on EBEs. Not that that means anything per se, it just shows you how the idea is in no wise inconsistent with Church theology. And what’s more, if there are indeed these folks they may just be without original sin. God’s truly chosen. No need for redemption and forgiveness. Just think of that.

The valedictory. There are a host of reasons why governments, especially our notoriously open and revelatory one, would want to keep extraterrestrial visitation quiet. There’s, of course, inter alia the almost Pavlovian and patellar reflex to keep everything quiet, the desire never to let an “enemy” know what we know and don’t know and that mythical, magical, fanciful fear of inspiring widespread panic. But there are two most significant reasons to keep the lid on admitting discovery.

  • New propulsion and energy systems would be the death knell of OPEC, the petrodollar and the currency of war. Systems of power would shift dramatically, petroleum would be anachronistic overnight, known world powers would destabilize, seismic reapportionment of geopolitical influence, you name it, everything changes overnight. Think of the clamor and cacophony from those fueled (pun intended) over issues of fracking, shale, global warming, climate change. Sayonara, oil and natural gas. Hello, Tesla. Hello, free energy. Hello, magneto-aerodynamics and zero-gravity propulsion systems. Think cataclysmic. Inordinate. A rupture and rent in the status quo.
  • The utility and significance of artificial nationalism would be reconsidered and seriously reevaluated. Instead of the world being divided in a parochial, closed system separated by country and region and state and religion and tribe and geography, what if the people of world reconfigured and reconstituted their status as Earthling. Cosmic and universal children. Imagine Palestinians and Jews, Pakistani and Indian, Irish and Brit, all jettisoning the differences and artificial partitions and adopting a more catholic (universal) system. This may very well be the most significant impediment to disclosure of all.

And, lest we forget, what if extraterrestrial visitors aren’t so nice. What if they posed a threat. None other than Ronald Reagan gave that a lot of thought.

In our obsession with antagonisms of the moment, we often forget how much unites all the members of humanity. Perhaps we need some outside, universal threat to make us recognize this common bond. I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world.

Speech to the United Nations General Assembly, 42nd General Assembly (September 21, 1987)

 Be well. And in awe.