The Protean Psychology of the Conspiracy Theorist and Proponent

Malaysia Flight 370 vs. The 9/11 Official Story. What an amazing contrast in reaction if you think about it. And I have. For years there have been passels and contingents of folks who absolutely and most vocally eschewed any “conspiracy theories” as to 9/11. Conspiracy theories (Translation: insane and impossible ideations) were sick in view of the country’s horror, especially if the architect and participants of the conspiracy were members of our government. And while I’ve heard my share of actual conspiracy theories wherein alleged conspirators were named, what I’ve gravitated towards is simply that the official story is either wrong or incomplete. And that, in turn, has inspired the knee-jerk reaction, the Pavlovian obeisance to the notion of the official MSM-repeated factual scenario. The official story.

In fact while we’re on the subject of conspiracy theories, there’s a unique argot as to 9/11 and the Truth Movement and so-called Truthers. What you must understand is the bane of the existence of the resistance, the dreaded gatekeepers. I know I’m getting ahead of myself but as you’ll learn, that’s nothing new.

“I’m not a conspiracy theorist, I’m a conspiracy analyst.” Gore Vidal

And with all rejection of conspiracy theories, two reasons lie as bases: (1) Most of the time the particular theory you advance the receiver has never heard of and therefore feels embarrassed (s)he someone missed the obvious; and (2) Hidden, recessed and clandestine activities just bother folks. And who could blame them? Dark forces and the bogeyman don’t sit well. We like our evil lain and simple, front and center and from central casting, if at all possible.

Clarification. I’ve been an ardent student of 9/11 since that horrible Tuesday. It was history, our history and I was here in New York, front and center. And in my research and studies and considerable review of every hypothesis and theory advanced along with every suspect causal cabal and coven, I’ve never seen so much as a hint that our government, viz. President Cheney and the other guy, being involved in the slightest. In fact, while reason for scrutiny is in abound, there are no suspects other than the usual suspects that we’ve grown to loathe and abhor. None other than Gore Vidal, whom as you see I quote as much as I admired him, said, “They [the "Bushites"] could never have pulled off 9/11, even if they wanted to. Even if they longed to.” And when Vidal absolves the the Bush consortium, you can’t get a better absolution than that.

Meanwhile, back at the raunch. Some believe and still hold to the notion that the official 9/11 story is the comprehensive story line for what happened on that horrid day and that nothing about the event is today subject to question or debate. It was that story that is the official recorded story and that’s it. Now, keep in mind, there were five separate collision and crash events on that day: The Twin Towers, WTC Building 7, Shanksville (PA) and The Pentagon. Five events with five series of fascinating questions and issues that have been raised by a host of experts and remain anything but resolved. Questions about every aspect of the event, the response, culpability and responsibility, foreknowledge and the like. Yet, so many well-intended and intentioned Americans truly believe all has been answered. You have no idea how untrue that is. And (again, I state almost out of a necessary reflex) this isn’t to suggest that anyone within our government was directly responsible or any government for that matter – that seems to be the main concern, which makes no sense to me because that’s the first area of inquiry I head to. [See Clarification, supra.] ’Nuff said.

“It is an article of faith that there are no conspiracies in American life.” Gore Vidal

The plane! But when it comes to this mysterious Malaysian Airlines disappearance, no theory or hypothesis is too farfetched. No scenario is beyond lucidity or rational thought. And I mean nothing. And here’s a perfect example. When claims were made that passengers aboard planes on 9/11 used cellphones to alert of hijackings, many suggested that such would have been impossible based upon the current technology then. (Or even now, for that matter.) How dare you ask questions! How dare you base your inquiries on observation! Any question as to the impossibility of such was absolutely idiotic and the height of specious thinking, just accept whole cloth the cellphone accounts. After all, it’s the official record. Yet, when the same question was asked as to Malaysian Airlines passengers being able to alert the authorities via cellphone, many who thought this possible before, now reject the notion outright. “Cellphones don’t work at those altitudes! What, are you nuts?” So, what’s the difference? Better, what happened?

Amazing these humans. Now, here’s what I also find fascinating: the mindset. Specifically, the psychology of when conspiracy theories – and I’ll use that term just for the proposes of shortcut – do and don’t make sense and that sees to vary dependent on so many factors. Throw in great memes, e.g. Islamic fanaticism (always a winner), terrorism, foreign types who are always portrayed in the light of backward and technophobic, unsophisticated and such, and you’ve got all the elements of a great story. It’s an extension of American exceptionalism, I would imagine, viz. that we’re the only country capable of and equipped with technologic sophistication. I want to know when our acceptance of alternative theories and hypotheses becomes legit and allowed. I want to know the sociological and psychological mechanism that greases the skids for a theory’s acceptance.

Pilger’s law: ‘If it’s been officially denied, then it’s probably true’

And let me throw into the mix the idea that most Americans who opine and posit the loudest have absolutely no clue or grasp of the facts or at least, the issues. Mention to anyone Operation Northwoods, the template for airline switcheroo and false flag, and you’ll get that look. The look of “You’re insane” that translates into “I haven’t read a word of that and rather than claim I’m ignorant I’ll just discard your absolute historical fact and you as insane.” Again, it’s the psychology, the mindset that’s so interesting to me. When do we embrace the seemingly fantastic and deeply conspiratorial and when don’t we?

Fly the friendly skies, all right. Two chickadees had reportedly been invited inside the cockpit by one the co-pilots aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines plane MH370, Fariq Abdul Hamid, in a previous flight back in 2011. Fly the friendly skies. Now, notice the pile-on of this pilot feller. I mean can you blame thees guys for showing off a little? It’s Frank Abagnale in “Catch Me If You Can.” And the media are going full throttle on throwing everything and anything at and against this guy. Why? It’s our nature.

When compared to the almost military precision of American cockpits it’s easy to see that and why Malaysian high jinks would never have passed U.S. muster.

Let’s get weird. Did you hear about some of the passenger’s family members telling reporters that their missing relative’s cell phones still ring when they call. From the Washington Post:

One of the most eerie rumors came after a few relatives said they were able to call the cellphones of their loved ones or find them on a Chinese instant messenger service called QQ that indicated that their phones were still somehow online.

A migrant worker in the room said that several other workers from his company were on the plane, including his brother-in-law. Among them, the QQ accounts of three still showed that they were online, he said Sunday afternoon.

Adding to the mystery, other relatives in the room said that when they dialed some passengers’ numbers, they seemed to get ringing tones on the other side even though the calls were not picked up.

The phantom calls triggered a new level of desperation and anger for some. They tried repeatedly Sunday and Monday to ask airline and police officials about the ringing calls and QQ accounts. However unlikely it was, many thought the phones might still be on, and that if authorities just tracked them down, their relatives might be found. But they were largely ignored.

Here’s a beaut. Try this one on for size, courtesy of Mike Adams from NaturalNews.com.

Four mind-bending possibilities, none of which seem possible

This brings up the immediate bind-bending question of how electronic devices on a commercial flight that vanished still appear to be connected to the internet. The explanations for this defy everything we think we know about reality:

• Mind-bending possibility #1, the “kidnapped” explanation: The plane somehow landed somewhere without leaving a radar signature of any kind, all the passengers are being held hostage there (and are thus still alive), their mobile devices are somehow within cell tower range and yet for some reason have not been confiscated. (This explanation seems extremely unlikely.)

• Mind-bending possibility #2, the “Stargate” explanation: A teleportation portal of some kind exists in the skies, through which the plane inadvertently flew and was teleported somewhere else. Yet, astonishingly, electromagnetic signals can still make it through the portal, and the two sides of the portal remain in contact across the radio spectrum. (This explanation sounds like pure science fiction and also seems extremely unlikely, yet we must at least acknowledge that modern physics has already demonstrated the instantaneous teleportation of information across apparently infinite space due to the “non-locality” of entangled electrons as described in quantum theory.)

• Mind-bending possibility #3, the “failed search” explanation: This far more mundane explanation supposes that the massive, multi-day search for plane wreckage and debris simply hasn’t stumbled upon the correct location yet. The fact that airplane black boxes broadcast homing signals adds to the skepticism that this explanation holds any water, as it is extremely unlikely that the airplane’s black boxes could have been obliterated. Nevertheless, this explanation still seems far more believable than supernatural explanations.

• Mind-bending possibility #4, the “advanced military weapons” explanation: Some military entity, either human or non-human, was testing an advanced weapon capable of either instantly obliterating large airborne objects or teleporting them to another place (or dimension). This explanation seems incredibly far-fetched, but then again, barely a hundred years ago, so did the idea that machines could ever fly at all. Related to this is the legend of the Philadelphia Experiment which some believe caused a U.S. Navy ship to vanish and reappear.

Now understand, these stories are kinda funky and not that hard to tolerate. Why? That’s my point. Is it because they’re of another country and when untethered by a sense of home filed advantage, we’re more prone and apt to open our minds and more likely to bump into the logical furniture.
Dunno. Either way, it fascinates me. Inter alia.

The Psychotic Parsing of Animal Cruelty and What They “Feel”

What (other) animal would you be if you had to choose? This is my choice. My favorite. Here’s it’s Wikipedia entry.

Anglerfishes are members of the teleost order Lophiiformes /ˌlɒfəˈfɔrmz/. They are bony fishes named for their characteristic mode of predation, in which a fleshy growth from the fish’s head (the esca or illicium) acts as a lure.

Anglerfish are also notable for extreme sexual dimorphism seen in the suborder Ceratioidei, and sexual parasitism of male anglerfish. In these species, males may be hundreds to thousands of times smaller than females.

Anglerfish occur worldwide. Some are pelagic while others are benthic; some live in the deep sea (e.g., Ceratiidae) while others on the continental shelf (e.g., the frogfishes Antennariidae and the monkfish/goosefish Lophiidae). Pelagic forms are most laterally compressed whereas the benthic forms are often extremely dorsoventrally compressed (depressed) often with large upward pointing mouths.

How great is that? Sexual parasitism? Lures fish with a funky tumor doohickey dangling from his noggin’. Sign me up, Sparky. This is the greatest animal on the planet. Period.

The screed.

I’ve got no beef with animals. They’re just as important and special and unique and majestic as I am. And yet I’ve eaten my share of some, worn their hide. Yet oddly respect them. The collective group of they I respect and admire. As I consumed them in a variety of ways. And therein begins the first problem I have in trying to explicate my thoughts on animals, especially as to their cruelty. I, the consummate consuming hypocrite. There’s the anthropomorphic insinuation of what we think animals think. How do we even know that they “think.” How we know what they feel and experience and sense. With the exception of the howling, bleating, screaming yelp of a weasel caught in a trap, we have no idea what they think. Or if they think. Or what level of cognition they enjoy. And let’s leave out the great apes and dolphins and pachyderms and pigs – those animals we’ve dubbed smart through some kind of collective barnyard folklore and mythology. We swear puppies love us because their tails wag. Or that a kitten’s sad because . . . it looks sad. This critter with no expression we see as sad. Paging, Dr. Freud. And we then meet the various incarnations of human on the concern scale. The callous carnivore who snorts and spits and burps and growls and drops “bacon” into any conversation. The Ted Nugent character. Now, Ted’s right in many respects. He eats all of his kill: even offal. The awful offal at that. Sinew, cartilage, jowls, cheeks, trotters, snouts. And that’s supposed to justify the killing of the animal. But I’m not one to quarrel. On a tangential, perhaps desultory note – Have you wondered how Ted’s incisors over the years have through attrition or filing makes the most annoying whistle? Anyhoo. Then there’s the animal nut and loon. The freak. The cat lady. And don’t bring PETA into the equation. I kind of like those folks.  But you know exactly of whom I speak. The Bible of course sanctions not only the killing and consumption of varmints but almost directs it. Genesis 9:3 – “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.” Well, that settles that. I’ve mentioned this innumerably, I’m a vegan and consume not even an egg or drop of milk. Not a pat of butter or even the occult egg in pasta. Why? Because that makes me superior to you. Ha! How many vegans does it take to change a light bulb? I’m better than you. How do you tell if someone’s a vegan? Don’t worry they’ll tell you. I hate circuses, amusement parks. I hate capturing animals for my amusement. Now, domestication’s another story. Don’t you love exceptions? Cats and dogs are OK. But a giant walrus playing a cardboard banjo with a straw hat is demeaning. Demeaning?! See, now I’m doing it. It violates my own sensibilities. The rules that I just create out of the ether and state emphatically. So here’s to Mayor BDB and Liam Neeson and everyone who this week ads to the paradigm and algorithm and matrix of animal politics.

Video tutorials.

Wanted: Perception Czar

Prolegomenon: Mayor BDB suffered a few missteps during the initial weeks of his term. Errors that caused perception problems. To be fair, everything he said he’d try to accomplish he’s forged ahead with and I’m dumbfounded at why approval polls are indicating dissatisfaction. What did people think he’d do? But what he needs to do first is appoint a perception czar.

WANTED: PERCEPTION CZAR

by

LIONEL

© 2014

Mayor Bill de Blasio would do well to consider enlisting the services of a perception czar, someone appointed to step out of the more historically administrative role of stewarding an aspect of urban governance and direct the mayor’s actions accordingly in order to craft and steer the public’s perception of Hizzoner. Perception (as is oft-quoted) is reality. Perception takes into account memes, themes, sentiment and the temperamental mood swings of a constituency hardwired to and in sync with the erratic pulse of social media. And you know when it comes to social media, everything’s magnified and exaggerated by the self-absorbed. Remember: Twitter’s for the exhibitionist; Facebook’s for the narcissist.

The mistakes made in Mr. de Blasio’s initial weeks of mayordom weren’t that of a corrupt administration or even an incompetent one, far from it. But rather one nescient as to perception and image. He seemed clueless, tone deaf, detached and disconnected – he went from one gaffe to another at incredible speed. And this from a man who played image and perception so deftly in his campaign. Indelible memes were deftly bounced to and (Dante’s) fro.

Two of the mayor’s more interesting errata are analyzed herein.

Snowcompetence. (After all, what would any piece be without a pithy neologism and portmanteau?) Even the historian tyro knows full well that if there’s one thing that will incite the pitchfork and torch brigade it’s a mayor who fails to possess minimum standards for snowcompetence, loosely translated as the ability to appear to know what you’re doing especially and particularly after major snow falls. It’s not so much that you actually do anything or have the slightest clue as to what you purport to do, just look like you know. Remember: It’s perception. Two great examples come to mind to counter the Lindsay reference.

First, a word on John Lindsay. There’s nothing worse than having your name word-associated with a less than favorable image. Try it. What comes to mind when I say Betty Ford, Tommy John, Shinola? I think rehab, surgery and an inability to recognize the difference between said bootblack and … well, you know. Now, think John Lindsay. I think of a dearth of snowcompetence. And what the newly minted mayor de Blasio should have done had his perception commissioner been on board and on duty was at the first sign of a snowflake to don an appropriately badged and brightly lettered sanitation jersey (perhaps a Christie fleece) with MAYOR emblazoned prominently and channel Rudy Giuliani and owned it. Look also to the dashing exploits of Newark’s caped crusader Cory Booker, who while mayor braved the snow, charged into a burning building to save its helpless and hapless occupant, all the while Tweeting of his valor nonstop. That’s perception perfection.

Mayor de Blasio missed that one. And what was worse was to have a -gate appended to your controversy. And while Plowgate might be dwarfed by Bridgegate, the perception that postelection retribution might have inspired targeting the Upper East Side would and could have been avoided by a perception czar who would have carefully noted snowplowing targeting and anticipated that complaint head-on.

It’s a beautiful day. February 13, 2014. Snow like we haven’t seen in a long time. Ice Station Zebra snow. Bad. Real bad. For whatever reason, Mayor BDB decides to keep schools open. Incurring the wrath of teachers, parents, students and of all people, Al Roker. Al Roker! And as no one actually said but many thought à la LBJ, when you’ve lost Al Roker, you’ve lost America. Roker’s made a career out of being universally agreeable and jolly but you, Mayor de Blasio, pushed this lovable weatherman over the edge.

And then, it happened. And as they say, you can’t write this stuff. Chancellor Carmen Fariña weighs in with this beaut. “It is absolutely a beautiful day out there right now.” It falls in the category of “Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job,” as Dubya remarked to (soon to be ex-) FEMA Administrator Michael Brown after Katrina’s devsatation in 2005.

“It is absolutely a beautiful day out there right now.” Amazing. I remember seeing kids on TV trudging and schlepping and slogging through the ice, slush and frozen road custard, disappearing into ice and snow mounds. And, if you thought it couldn’t get any better, Chancellor Fariña after declaring the beauty of the day cancelled a townhall meeting in Brooklyn . . . due to inclement weather. You can’t make this up. Had the perception commissioner been on board, the good Chancellor would have been ordered to make that meeting even if she had to enlist a team of Iditarod sled dogs.

Now to be fair His Honor never said it was a beautiful day just as he was never the driver during (his other “gate”) Speedgate, but he absorbed and inherited the remark’s fallout. You take credit and fault for your subordinates. Natch. In agency law it’s called respondeat superior. In politics it’s called politics.

Plato said that science was nothing but perception. Let me add: political science.

LIONEL PODCAST: The Inimitability of the Replicated

 

Miscellany.

 The other night we had a number of students come through the newsroom as part of a field trip, I suppose. They were most polite and inquisitive and optimistic and it took everything in my power not to ask them the hard questions. Like what constitutes news and is there anything called bias? Bias both in slant but also in terms of underreporting so as to not alarm or inflame the people. Think the soft soap. I hadn’t the heart. That’s why I’d probably make a lousy teacher because before I explained the rudiments of anything I’d be going for the exceptions and conditions and the throat. And I love the idea of the news and of being informed and being sentient and connected to the world as an active participant. But there’s so much news and data and information that should be disregarded altogether much like one would discard a nutritionless, tasteless mound of fried carbohydrate. It may seem filling but after the glycemic spike hits, you feel the bottomless drop of attention and concentration.  And don’t get me started with their hi-tech gadgetry that they were tethered to. And that I am as well. They hadn’t the foggiest notion of what surveillance meant, especially that of voluntary surveillance. Subjecting yourself to Orwellian dystopic jewelry and not even having the vaguest, faintest, slightest idea of what being thrust on the 24/7 real-time panopticon. They would have thought me the loon. And why not? Because the more you know, the crazier you look.

The Kill Switch

One of the most important stories bar none is the internet kill switch. And what inspired that reference and thought was Ellen and her record-breaking Oscar selfie. Instantaneously, it was all over the world. That’s why Twitter is the most dangerous instrument on the plant today and furthermore why it’ll be the first thing shut down during upheaval, uprising and tumult.

The Mononymous Lionel

This is what’s referred to in the biz as a reel. An anachronism. Like album or tin foil. It’s a pastiche and mosaic. ‘Tis I.

LIONEL PODCAST: Bridgegate and Double-C Exposed. A Primer for the Clueless, Biased, Snarky and Bored.

Governor Krispy Kreme.

The Chris Christie story really has nothing to do with him. At least that which makes the story fascinating. What Bridgegate provides is a Rorschach test for us, the media, the punditocracy and the usual passels of opinion diarrheics who spew, spout and ooze about everything and anything other than the issue at hand. It’s no big deal, it’s petty, vindictive, political and to be sure, it’s done all the time (in one form or another) and it’s not illegal. Let me be clear: If Double-C went to the GWB and physically moved those cones that still would not be illegal. Stupid, draft, certainly. And not exactly a way to endear yourself to Ft. Lee constituents, but that’s it. And Rachel Maddow notwithstanding and the hordes and legions of MSDNC acolytes who work themselves into a froth for reasons other than spectator sport politics, they all must understand that as issues go, this ain’t it.

The Bridge over the River Christie.

So, what’s it all about? It’s pabulum. Simple carbohydrates. Easily swallowed morsels and orts. Base, uncomplicated. A big, fat, bully dude and some rather vindictive minions who clogged a bridge artery. And the theories as to why are as interesting as the actual event, if you can believe that. MSDNC and others came up with a whopper: In order to pay back those lousy Garden State Dems who wanted to hold up supreme court nominations, Ft. Lee was hit like Sherman took Atlanta. I guess, and I still can’t get exactly how they’d know from whom it came and what it meant. And so we milk this baby for all it’s worth. And the pro-Christie crowds keep yelling about Benghazi and IRS abuses and NSA excesses and Obamacare – all to show the contrast in reportage. The unfair treatment of a conservative from the liberal media. It’s all dreck and the reason why I hate the left-right paradigm.

Video Miscellany.

 I can’t swear to this but I have this idea that Ol’ Double-C is subtly implying to his underlings that this might be the best Amendment for them to consider. And now, here’s some video for your amusement.

 

LIONEL PODCAST: Marijuana, Free Speech, Absolute Value and Bob Grant

Colorado’s abuzz and buzzed. Marijuana prohibition is illogical, unconstitutional, un-American, anachronistic and a total and complete waste of time. Taxpaying American adults should be able to ingest anything they want, just don’t drive on it or give it to kids. We’ve generations of kids whacked out of their gourds on psych meds and antidepressants and no one says boo. That’s the problem. That should be the focus of concern not weed. And marijuana might as well be legal because it’s here in plentiful amounts. So take out the black market and criminal lenient, free up cops and resources and let’s devote our attention to what really matters.

In 2012, Colorado voters approved the sale of recreational marijuana, as did voters in Washington state. But Colorado is the first to have the pot shops up and running under regulations recently established by state and local governments. Colorado voters’ approval in effect amended the state’s constitution to allow for the retail sale of recreational pot. The state already allowed medical marijuana. (CNN)

A friend of mine who prefers to go nameless (some witness protection snafu) penned the following that I’d like to share with you.

Those who are for the continued criminalization of marijuana are for the most part those benefit economically from it, those who were successfully indoctrinated against it during an impressionable stage of their lives, those who have never critically analyzed the situation, and those who don’t want their kids to smoke dope but can’t win the argument with them.

Considering the huge economic impact of tax income from legal cannabis on top of the costs of marijuana-related trial and incarceration expenses that states would no longer need to pay, one would think that cash strapped states would be more active in promoting its legalization. And think of the ancillary industries that would benefit. Snack foods. Restaurants. Think of how restaurant profits would soar if they could legally place a hookah in the bar or waiting area. Why aren’t those industries pushing for that windfall?

It’s certainly not harmless as evidenced by scores of panda studies documenting its effects.

I’ve never understood drug prohibition especially when a cursory review of its history shows blatant and virulent racism as its basis.

The absolute value of Bob Grant. In mathematics, absolute value is the magnitude of a real number without regard to its sign. It’s a measurement of magnitude, distance and irrespective of direction. I direct your attention to the absolute value of Mr. Grant.

Bob Grant died on New Year’s Eve. He was 84. And he was, without any doubt, one of the founders and inventors of what is called conservative talk radio. Or angry white man radio, depending on your frame of reference. Before Rush and his passel of wannabes. What most don’t understand about Bob Grant’s legacy is that while there have been shock jock types who’ve crossed the lines in terms of decency, that’s kid stuff when compared to Grant’s true legacy. Bob had very serious and powerful political titans breathing down not only his neck but ABC corporate to get him canned. Or worse. You simply have no idea the inordinate courage and plain ol’ guts that it took for WABC to stick by him. And Bob never backed down or away. Do you have any idea how rare and brave that is? No obit, no eulogium or elegy will even come close in explicating exactly what his legacy is. He knows no peer. But remember; what he said was not the point nor is it now. I agreed with virtually nothing he had to say about anything politically or ideologically. But that’s irrelevant. What I find important to note is that in our world of the impuissant and spineless, the feckless and testicular, he defied convention and authority. I love the rebel. He has no peer today. Commercial talk radio needs a shot in the arm. It’s becoming necrotic.

And in the spirit of Bob, might I respectfully suggest the following. Lighten up! If someone on TV or radio or MSDNC or Faux News or wherever says something stupid or mean or untoward or racist, fascist, misogynistic, sexist, whatever –ist, ignore it or turn the channel or read a book or take a walk. Try not reacting; try not giving a damn. Try ignoring it. The feeling will pass, fewer will watch, the show will die on the vine via lost viewers. But just lighten up, take a powder and grow a pair. Toughen it out. Walk it off. My Gawd, when did we become such a bunch of ninnies.

LIONEL PODCAST: How and What to Think in MMXIV CE

The subject matter contained herein is loosely listed as follows, inter alia. An adumbration. Adam’s abrasion. Debussy Fields. Paronomasia. Very punny.

  • Lose the fascination with and in why. As in why did this occur? Just fix it.
  • This year think aside and apart from the left-right paradigm. It’s a waste of time and accomplishes nothing.
  • Don’t agree with someone, just listen to the ideas presented. Don’t agree with someone who’s teaching you how to make a paella, just listen. And learn.
  • The most important issue that is at the core of everything that rules the world is the monetary system. And that has nothing to do with economics and certainly not the shrill and routinized blather of such institutional apparatchiks like that Krugman feller, the double agent.
  • Pay attention and start learning about cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin. A distributed, decentralized and secure information economy, consensus based with built in deflationary controls and limited circulation.
  • Global reconfiguration will be more evident now than it’s ever been. And that means you have to grasp the BRICS and Western Alliance separations and dualities. But the ruling class always stays in power.
  • Watch Saudi Arabia and Russia mix it up. And Ted Baxter will be nowhere to be found.
  • Social media will plumb the depths of human idiocy and psychopathology at exponential levels.
  • The greatest threat to the survival of any society is incompetence and the elevation of the incompetent.
  • Rarely is anyone surprised or the least bit concerned with celebrities who come out and proclaim their sexuality, a sexual predilection that everyone seemed to know about for years in the first place. Sexual preference is anything but apodictic. Especially in women whose palette is far more variform than that of the dude.
  • Pope Francis is a frontal assault against austerity jackals and globalist asset-stripping kleptocrats. His impact and impact are far greater than his thoughts about gay folks. My favorite line was “Who am I to judge?” Funny.

Listen up. The most important lesson you can teach your kids is that there is no such thing as a meritocracy – except in the world of sports.

 The legacy. The Bloomberg administration gave us 12 – count ‘em 12 – years of habituation to control. Control over items and areas that no mayor had ever possessed jurisdiction over. New York took it. And took it. Making it easier for subsequent mayors and governments to exact more and more control. Habituation, control, conditioning, priming. Getting us used to it. We just sighed and said, “Oh, well, what can we do?” Some were so confused they even applauded the measures confusing agreeing with a program’s subject matter with agreeing with or consenting to the extent of the mayor’s jurisdiction in the first place. Sodium, transfats, Styrofoam, composting sugar drinks, baby formula, no smoking, bike lanes. Agenda 21: full-throated and full-throttled. ‘Twas brilliant. And some even thought Giuliani was overreaching. Rudy on his best day wouldn’t even consider hiding baby formula from new moms. Brilliant! The United States of Obeisance.

Spoken Word Radio: RIP. Let me be perfectly clear about this one point. If you’re attempting to host a talk radio program, especially if you’re guest hosting which to anyone with two neurons to rub together means you’re auditioning for a permanent gig, have the decency to talk and not be a slave to guests. Especially bad guests, e.g. experts to assist you in keeping your new year’s resolutions. It’s clichéd and pathetic and hackneyed and you should be indicted for wasting your audience’s time with such dreck. Guests take away from you and it’s about you. Your personality, likes, dislikes. It’s about you. You’re not an interviewer. You’re not Larry King. Guests are a crutch. They’re the crack of talk. They’re Hamburger Helper. They fill in the space and stretch a nutrient-bereft dish. Talk radio and spoken word are under attack right now and this stale format has to go. Or you will. Or the medium itself will. There’s new talent and personalities out there and if you keep recycling the usuals and perennial fill-ins you’ll die on the already necrotic vine. Be unique. Be different. Be smart and funny and daring and piquant. It’s not the message, it’s the messenger, stupid. Ahem.

 Erratum. For the last time: To show excited approbation it’s Hear! Hear! And not Here! Here!

Cryptocurrencies. This year you’ll be immersed in Bitcoin and crytocurrency fundamentals. Expect nothing from the Ted Baxter sockpuppet MSM on the subject. Please find infra a commentary I did on Mother PIX in April. I knew at the time that the subject wasn’t one of universal conversance, but as I’ve never underestimated your interest in that that matters, I proceeded forward undaunted. Trust me, no one — and I mean NO ONE — in the country, especially on a heritage television station and network, devoted any time to even scratching the surface of this fascinating issue. But when it comes to Miley twerking, Ted was abuzz and awash with wall-to-wall dreck coverage.

Walk in the direction of your face. To the 109th Mayor of NYC, adopt this tutorial as a law. Mandate civility. And prohibit pedicabs.

Doppelgänger and Dollop of Doppler. These were the arguments and bases of the last NYC mayoral race. Expertly presented, I most humbly submit.

LIONEL PODCAST: The Diversion and Relevant Irrelevance of Duck Dynasty

The great distraction. The ruling class must be laughing with delight. As we dissect and parse and deconstruct all that is Duck Dynasty and the abridged rights of the dynastic barbate, Mr. Robertson, they get to futz around with the world. And we’re too busy arguing over Cracker Barrel’s sapience in discontinuing the merchandising and than changing its mind. We’re deconstructing A&E’s wisdom in sacking this goldmine enterprise. Can you believe that? We actually are discussing this. At least to this extent. And, don’t get me wrong; it’s important and we’re dealing with the notion of societal tolerance as to the counter-correct, but if only we’d care as much about as to what’s truly happening in the world.

Inordinate attention. Duck Dynastygate is interesting and/but irrelevant. Here’s why. Imagine a fight breaks out in a football stadium on Sunday. It’s interesting, maybe even fun to watch. But what does that have to do with what the owners association is doing as to suits against the NFL for CTE injuries? Answer: Nothing. But it’s interesting to watch. It’s somewhat connected to football, but all in all, it’s just a great distraction. Shall I say any more?

Oh, so now he’s a patriarch, huh? Inasmuch as you might find the “patriarch’s” ideas distasteful and the like, which is certainly your right, he’s not alone in his thinking. And, let me repeat, whether you realize it or not this man’s ideas are not at all unique. More people echo his sentiment than you can imagine and that doesn’t make it right per se, but them’s the facts. And throw into the mix the religious overtones of this and here’s what you’ve got: this most unique case before us. Is he quoting or misquoting religious ideology? I don’t know, you tell me. And keep in mind this as well – if this were any other faith that Phil represented, no one would utter a peep. If it’s Christian or (even better) Catholic ideology – even if it’s misquoted – it’s open game as far as the Ted Baxter sockpuppet media are concerned. And let’s be honest as to this swamp prophet. Who’s even surprised by this rusticator’s worldview? What did you expect? Immanuel Kant?

I don’t get it. I’ll never get this incessant preoccupation with the mechanics of gay or homoerotic love. What does this say about this man’s level of imagination. When you focus exclusively on an act, methinks you’re protesting just a tad too much. So, Phil, Dr. Freud’s on Line One.

Legal mumbo-jumbo. With the indefinite suspension of duck dynasty patriach and elder Phil Robertson let’s look at the legal issues, shall we? First, as a practical matter, fret not double-d fans, Robertson’s suspension won’t affect the January 15th season 5 return in the least what with 9 or 10 episodes recorded and as they say, in the can. And you can bet it will shatter all records especially in view of the recent controversy. In fact, you’ll be hard pressed to see any editing out of Phil from scenes. Which begs the question, what was he indefinitely suspended from in the first place? Next, all of the family members have separate contracts with A&E. That’s the entire crew splitting about $200K an episode according to deadline.com. And that also includes additional seasons and cast member options. So, should any or all decide to bolt in solidarity, they’re looking at breach of contract lawsuits to be sure. And I’m interested in seeing the following contractual provisions: first, who owns what in terms of intellectual property? What exclusivity rights are granted A&E once the show ends and for how long? And should the family be allowed to reconstitute elsewhere as a family that happens to be in the duck call business, how similar can that show be to A&E’s duck dynasty that we’re used to? And remember more than half of the $400m generated is from product such as the Xmas album that hit number one on billboard. Now, unlike Paula Deen’s flame out over her comments, Phil Robertson enjoys an almost anti-hero status in some circles. Where revenues dropped by keeping Paula Deen, revenues may likewise plummet by continuing to suspend Mr. Robertson. And remember we’re talking about both the duck commander and buck commander merchandising and products. Bottom line: the family can’t up and leave without suffering serious legal consequences.

LIONEL PODCAST: The Enchiridion of Critical Thinking. Or Something.

Mr. Watson, I need you. After a series of frustrating conversion problems with Mac OS X 10.9 and an FTP conversion system that could only accommodate 10.7, that frustrating beach ball from hell, hours of reconfiguring and finally finding a system that could accommodate these new strictures and requirements, VOILA! I’ve the following.

Conspiracy? No fact. This has indeed been a most interesting times what with the semicentennial of JFK’s public murder, the insanity of Thanksgiving and the attendant Black Friday (supported if not caused in toto by the Ted Baxter sockpuppet media), here we are and here I sit. The JFK 50th was spectacular in in its unspectacular coverage by a feckless, impuissant and invertebrate MSM who found new ways to regurgitate the old. I watched amazed at how the official story was replayed and rehashed without missing a beat. Not one anchor or reporter of note (except one brave commentator) dared to address alternative theories to the spectacular and fantastic official story. Theories that have been studied and analyzed by a host of respectable and learned folks. Remember Pilger’s Law: Never believe anything until it’s officially denied. Not for a second did any of these folks even consider the fact that the official story that was presented by those with the most to lose was replete with holes and logical inconsistencies. ‘Twas amazing truly. In fact, I was sitting with a young colleague who had miraculously never seen the Zapruder film, especially the frames that show the bloodied mist of the President’s brains and dura mater and shards of skull. He was aghast at the brutality. So, this is what they’ve been talking about. I asked him afterwards which direction he thought the bullet(s) was/were coming from. Why, he said almost shocked at the seeming idiocy of the question, from the front, of course. No, I said, the official story was that it was a rear shot. You should have seen the look on his face. For at that moment, the entire lunacy of the certitude by anti-conspiracists was clear. He finally got it, saw it and marveled.

Remember, they’re happy. And then we went through the pre- and postprandial Thanksgiving frenzy along with the sheer and absolute insanity of Black Friday. Just imagine those folks who are ready to kill others were happy. Happy! They weren’t breaking into stores looking for food; they weren’t rioting over bank runs, no! They were happy. It was Xmas and they were ready to kill each other. What’s more amazing is that they weren’t paying with cash but were invariably charging their insanity, diving and burrowing deeper in debt. And the media watched. And laughed. Watched as these loons fought on the ground, pulling hair. Watching and recording how some were Tasered and arrested. Watching in fake and faux shock. Pretending to be aghast but loving the real time video. We’ve become savages. And, I repeat, we’re happy!