LIONEL PODCAST: We Know Nothing! Nothing!

We know nothing! Nothing! We don’t ask or question or care. We’re busy. We have our boxing matches and royal births. We have a tissue-thin latticework of policy, ideology and what may pass for history. Our politics are titular and superficial at best. We don’t think, question and will never stray into any field that could in any wise be construed as conspiratorial. Heavens no! We have been duped into thinking that the left/right paradigm exists, that it means something, they represents substance. You have major mainstream cable news networks devoted to brand-name pabulum politics. We have overpaid underwhelming propaganda overlords who are being inched out and marginalized by alternative and foreign media and the Brobdingnagian blogosphere.

  • Take the latest information regarding the Stingray program. It seeks to redefine and simultaneously violate the core notions of the Fourth Amendment.
  • What’s that? That Stingray business. What is it exactly?
  • It’s an IMSI-catcher (International Mobile Subscriber Identity)Stingray. Illegal police surveillance. You know, privacy violations? Surveillance. The feds are trying everything under the sun to justify its existence. They claim you have no reasonable expectation of privacy as to your metadata. They even quibble over whether it’s actually testimonial evidence in nature.
  • Who cares and who knows? If it’s important they’ll tell me. This sounds like one of those crazy conspiracy theories you always talk about. And after all, these are different times with new threats and national security concerns. If we don’t survail and collect data and violate our collective rights, then the terrorists win. Or something.  And after all, I know the news media would have told me if there was something to this alleged monkey business.
  • But they did. Repeatedly. Well, not the ossified and Jurassic and usual Ted Baxter news media but alternative and foreign new systems most certainly did. Many times. Where’ve you been?
  • Whatever. I’m busy. I’m an American.

This podcast’s for you. Trust me on this one. After having been trained in conventional radio stylistics, there’s nothing quite like this for a number reasons. First, no commercials or stop sets or PSA’s or interruptions or studio tours or myriad intermissions. It is one continuous, free flow, free-form, spiritual conversation between you and me. Admittedly one sided, to be sure. It is nonetheless a fabulous platform and delivery system for edutainment.

 

LIONEL PODCAST: Bernie Sanders – “I’ve Got Plenty of Nothing!” (They Don’t Call Him BS for Nothing)

Ah, yes, Bernie to the rescue. Well, not so fast, kids. I’m not sure exactly what Bernie is talking about or wants to do. But he’s lovable and whacky and oh-so socialist. But if you look carefully, he has nothing to offer in terms of plans. Platitudes, lofty phrases and well, plenty of nothing. But so many people, I humbly submit, love the gruff, disheveled, wonky leftie with the funny speech pattern — otherwise known as Brooklyn. It’s the image package that so many people glom on to, like Hillary’s “charm.” American voters care nothing about specifics and plants and ideology. Americans love vague platitudes and generic nostrums. 

It’s not fair! OK, that’s a start. We’ll start with that one. Bernie speaks of income inequality and he reels off a litany of stats and data which are, well, OK, I suppose. I mean it’s a start. Like this popular trope: the top 1/10th of the 1% controls more property than the bottom 90%. Sound familiar? OK, BS, I dig. But the problem is that it’s simply regarded as a problem of distribution. But what will you do about it? How is the wealth produced and from where? It’s the same with campaign finance reform, another dog whistle that snaps the lemmings to attention via code word, see also global warming, climate change and anything using the word sustainable. 

We don’t need no stinking specifics! Bernie’s main and cornerstone demagogy is that he is against the billionaire class and they have too much power, and, okey-dokey, Bernie, so what exactly are you going to do with them? Are you going to raise the personal income tax marginal rate to 90%? <Crickets> Are you going to reinstate the estate tax? <Crickets> What exactly is your plan, Bernie, we’re waiting? No mention of Wall Street Sales Tax or Tobin Taxes or Robin Hood Taxes or nationalizing the Fed. In fact, no mention of the Fed in the least. They don’t call him BS for nothing.

When in Scandinavia. Now, get this, he wants to imitate the Scandinavian social democracies like Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland. Bernie seems to view these places as a kind of idyllic oasis, a paradise. This is great provided you understand how exactly these Scandinavian societies actually work. It’s true that they have a significantly more robust social safety net than you are going to find in here (Gee, imagine that!) but these are profoundly Malthusian societies in nature and that means the green folks, climate changers and global warming zealots. And that further means, ultimately, deindustrialization and degrowth and décroissance. No, Bernie, sorry. If you want merely to be a stalking horse for Hillary, I get it. If you pull her to the left to maybe squeeze out of her something resembling palpable ideology, even better. 

Listen to the dissection. Let me explain to you why Ol’ Bern ain’t what he seems to be.

LIONEL PODCAST: Stop Thinking This Idiocy!

We yearn for a locus of control. My politics and worldview have changed drastically over the years specifically in stages and increments. Changed, transformed, transmogrified and evolved. And there ain’t a label around that can explain them or it. I commend this podcast to you and dedicate it to the spirit of critical thinking and a return to the Enlightenment. And it may prove disconcerting to you that I endorse no candidate nor do I believe there’s anyone remotely able to handle the struggle and challenges that this country faces. We’re awash in ideological bilge spewed daily and lapped up by a pathetic coterie of voters on all fours, groveling and waxing obsequious. But enough about cable news.

LIONEL Wins 2015 Emmy® Award for Editorial/Commentary Writer

The 2015 New York Emmy® Awards were held on Saturday, May 2, 2015. Lionel received the Emmy® for commentary and editorial writing.

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LIONEL PODCAST: The MSM Don’t Give A Damn About Baltimore! No Riots = No Coverage

Unity. Rival street gangs, including the Bloods and Crips, put their differences aside to “take out” Baltimore cops. Breathtaking.

This might be the most laughable moment of the entire Baltimore event. Police officials announced Monday they had received a “credible threat” that rival members of the murderous Bloods, Crips and Black Guerrilla Family street gangs “have entered into a partnership to take out law enforcement officers.” This shows the insanity of the MSM by not reminding you that more black youth have been killed along with innocent bystanders and collateral victims and not-so-friendly fire by gang violence than all the cop violence put together and combined. But it’s a great photo-op and some 20 year-old line producer probably thinks it’s cool. Or, better yet, a news director, hired on the cheap, sees only the image quotient and ,misses all together the message and reality.

How Western media would cover Baltimore if it happened elsewhere. Karen Attiah notes inter alia the following in this brilliant observation.

International analysts predict the seeds of a so-called “American Spring,” fomented by technology. “It’s amazing what social media is doing for the cause of justice in America,” said a political rights analyst based in Geneva. “The black youth of America are showing what 21st-century civil rights activism looks like, using technology, social media and a decentralized organizing strategy to hold authorities accountable and agitate for change. These kids represent what modern-day freedom fighting looks like. The revolution will be tweeted, Periscope-d and Snapchatted.”

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A statement from the United Nations said, “We condemn the militarization and police brutality that we have seen in recent months in America, and we strongly urge American state security forces to launch a full investigation into the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. There is no excuse for excessive police violence.” The U.N. called on the United States to make a concerted effort to make databases of police violence public to improve transparency and cut down on corruption in the justice system.

But please don’t mention Barry. The professional left has consistently protected their patron saint Barry and would never suggest for a moment that failed economic policies and the ravages of genocidal austerity and the cancer called free trade have been responsible for gutting Baltimore. That would take time an effort and research. Such as the following.

Consider the following “sequestration” cuts to Maryland’s social services in FY 2013 alone, as reported by then-Senator Tom Harkin:

    • Head Start (preschool): 233 teaching jobs cut, 1,117 fewer children served
    • Child Care and Development Block Grant: 1,164 fewer families received childcare subsidies
    • Maternal and Child Health Block Grant: 54,877 fewer women, children and families served
    • LIHEAP: $4m in funding cuts to heating and cooling assistance
    • Family Violence Prevention: 1,252 domestic violence victims not served, 3,475 local crisis calls not answered
    • Substance Abuse Prevention: 3,560 fewer admissions to substance abuse treatment programs
    • Senior Nutrition: $1m in cuts to funding
    • Special Education grants: 185 jobs lost federal funding
    • English language acquisition grants: 3,906 fewer children served
    • State grants for career & technical education: 7,184 fewer students receive education and skills
    • Department of Labor Employment Service: 20,309 fewer jobseekers served

In addition to Federal cuts, Maryland thug-in-chief Larry Hogan came to power promising more budget-balancing in the form of savage cuts to education and social programs serving the poor black residents of Baltimore. Hogan unveiled his austerity budget in January, which hits Medicaid reimbursements, K-12 education and state worker compensation hard.

Prosecutor Plans Homicide Charges Against Police in Freddie Gray Case

BALTIMORE — The state’s attorney of Baltimore, in a unexpected announcement, said Friday that she had probable cause to file homicide, manslaughter and misconduct charges against the police officers in the death of Freddie Gray, who died after sustaining a spinal cord injury while in police custody.

In a news conference, the state’s attorney, Marilyn J. Mosby, described repeated mistreatment of Mr. Gray. She said that time and again police mistreated Mr. Gray, arresting him with no grounds, violating police procedure by putting him in cuffs and leg cuffs in the van without seat belting him and then repeatedly failing to get him medical attention. She said that when he was removed from the wagon, “Mr. Gray was no longer breathing at all.”

The death, Ms. Mosby said, is believed to be the result of a fatal injury to Mr. Gray while he was riding in the van without a seat belt. As she announced the charges, there was cheering from people in the crowd.

All six officers were charged, one with second-degree murder. Ms. Mosby said warrants had been issued for the officers’ arrests; she did not know if anyone was in custody.

“We have probable cause to file criminal charges,” Ms. Mosby said. As Ms. Mosby spoke outside the War Memorial here, dozens of police officers dressed in riot gear stood nearby.

From the start the police mistreated him according to her account. She said that the knife Mr. Gray was carrying was not a cause for arrest. “The knife was not a switchbladed and it is lawful.” She said officers “failed to establish probable cause for an arrest.”

The announcement came a day after the Police Department completed its initial investigation into Mr. Gray’s death and also handed its findings to Ms Mosby’s office.

LIONEL PODCAST: Racist America Loves Racist News Spewing Racist Scheiße

Gee, what are the folks so upset about? Beats me. I’m doing OK. What’s the big deal? As reported by the UK Independent the Sandtown neighborhood of west Baltimore suffers (a) nearly 52% unemployment, (b) a life expectancy (69 years) 10 years shorter than the US average, (c) a median household income less than half the US average and (d) the nation’s fifth-highest rate of violent crime. Cf. Baltimore’s 52% unemployment with the 25-30% unemployment during the Great Depression that incidentally led to the rise of fascism in Europe and here we are. Yet the mainstream media Botoxed and spackled Ted Baxters only focus on one thing: riots. Show us the overturned burning vehicle, looters. Gotta show those looters! Give me a winded rioter, some monosyllabic cretin who doesn’t even live in the neighborhood but just followed the smell of the crackling tinder and the glow of the Klieg light. Show us the brave and intrepid newsbot wading through the crowds to engage a pilfering “thug” billeted in Baltimore as to why he acts so thuggishly followed by a disingenuous piece on whether “thug” is a code word for the dread N-word. Heavens! This is the depth of our Jurassic and ossified Ted Baxter news coverage. This is it. With no interest from anyone at anytime as to what policies were in play that turned “The Greatest City in America” into Fallujah on the Patapso.

LIONEL PODCAST: Baltimore Is About the Economic Genocide of Black America

The source of the cancer. The tensions stem from a multiplicity of sources, some of which is certainly the police, the prison industrial complex, policing for profit, mass incarceration, the militarization of cops and the like. Yes, Freddie Gray may have precipitated the initial involvement and interaction, but there’s more at stake. The media have been horrid in their approach. CNN shows particular tone deafness when it comes to causation factors.

Repeat: It’s not about the police. So-called leaders of the black community appointed and anointed by corporate media puppeteers are most cautious to limit their protests and collective demands to the narrow sphere of police abuses and police-community devolved relations. Yes, they’re certainly important, but are co-symptomatic of a greater pathology. Economic demands of any kind are never made by the usual suspects, a bunch of Botoxed and spackled Ted Baxters limited to a minute-thirty package before they’re off to news, sports and weather. Ending police atrocities and 1033 militarization is of course absolutely essential, but JOBS are at the very necessary center of any long-term solution to the systemic problems of the black and poor community. This POTUS, elevated via a mindless apotheosis and deification whilst he spouted a series of vacuous claims of hope and change, needs to nationalize the Fed, demand of Yellen a $500B loan issued to our Department of Labor at 0% with a 100-year maturity. A paltry $500B is a pittance compared to the $27T line of credit the Fed offered Wall Street and foreign banks in 2007-2008 derivatives panic. This POTUS, elevated via deification and proclamation, has been an abysmal failure. The mainstream lapdog Jurassic and ossified mainstream media have nary a clue as to economic fundamentals and history so here we are, rehashing and regurgitating the same trite pap.

Whither POTUS? In a moment of rare candor President Obama remarked as follows infra, but be not mistaken. It is high time that this POTUS get very specific. He must utilize some mass-impact economic demands that will lead to an economic recovery, and not merely pay cheap lip service to millions of people who are quite literally dying for real answers and solutions to a problem that transcends police excesses.

“If you have impoverished communities that have been stripped away of opportunity, where children are born into abject poverty; they’ve got parents — often because of substance-abuse problems or incarceration or lack of education themselves — can’t do right by their kids; if it’s more likely that those kids end up in jail or dead, than they go to college.  In communities where there are no fathers who can provide guidance to young men; communities where there’s no investment, and manufacturing has been stripped away; and drugs have flooded the community, and the drug industry ends up being the primary employer for a whole lot of folks — in those environments, if we think that we’re just going to send the police to do the dirty work of containing the problems that arise there without as a nation and as a society saying what can we do to change those communities, to help lift up those communities and give those kids opportunity, then we’re not going to solve this problem.  And we’ll go through the same cycles of periodic conflicts between the police and communities and the occasional riots in the streets, and everybody will feign concern until it goes away, and then we go about our business as usual.”

This podcast. My prescription for change and improvement and my endorsement of attacking the interstitial problems at the root of black economics. Please, mainstream media, listen and take note.

 

LIONEL PODCAST: Baltimore Thugocracy Steals the Show Again

Baltimore apparently forgot the cause. Freddie Gray’s spine was severed after he made eye contact with the police and then ran. He died mysteriously in custody. He had a record, though that excuses not any mistreatment, and the case is being investigated. But the matter was seized as an excuse for thugs, bands of larcenous and marauding criminals, kids and punks, opportunistic lowlifes to co-opt the ostensible subject matter of the riots and have at it — pillaging, looting and steeling. It’s about crime and theft. Teens for the most, punks and thieves having a grand time while the Jurassic ossified mainstream media wring their hands over white guilt or whatever the reason trying desperately to cobble together a reason for this utter breakdown of order and society. They provide post hoc rationalization for crime. They’re as insane as State Department clown Marie Harf who suggested in February that ISIS was a problem of no economic solutions and opportunities. It’s a product of our inability to critically think, to understand that snatching Doritos and emptying a liquor store have nothing to do with protest.

The theme’s not new or unique. It’s been with us for decades. There’s a riot going on as Mr. Stewart intoned in 1971. But what’s missed is the fact that rioting has nothing to do with addressing a grievance. So habituated are we to the notion of grievance = riot = liquor store pilfering that we forget to stop and call out the insanity. The pathetic and saccharine media, spewing pantywaist platitudes of understanding the African-American plight is condescending and gratuitous at best. There are many of us who’ve railed against police excesses for years but never countenanced retail theft as a method of speech.

LIONEL PODCAST: Join the Awareness Revolution

“Should I kill myself, or have a cup of coffee?”

Who is this? If you’re interested, find out for yourself. Google the quote, dig. Find out, use your curiosity as a cudgel. Accept nothing as fact unless you verify it. Expand your worldview, open your eyes. There are stories and issues and events that your mainstream media are ignoring altogether and if you think you’re going to learn what’s happening by the usual sources and suspects, you are amazingly incorrect. There’s a passivity around social media that breeds and inspires intellectual torpor. But herein I tackle a few issues that are on my mind that you might find relevant.

  • The complete fantasy of cleansing and detox as evidenced by the new batch of hipsters walking around with containers of green sludge.
  • The myth and fabrication of Hillary Clinton as a viable candidate and public servant.
  • Rioting versus anarchy versus controlled and systematic looting.
  • The ossified Jurassic mainstream news media distorting, distracting and redirecting attention from the veridical per usual.
  • Myriad arcana that the moment inspires.
  • But first, a disquisition on the criticality of Bruce Jenner infra.

 

LIONEL PODCAST: When Pop Star Scientists and Magicians Drift Into Areas They Know Nothing About

 

The perfect analogy. Detective Frank Drebin in The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988) is an imposter, an undercover cop pretending he’s a major league umpire and hoping no one catches on. He’s a cop in an area and venue he knows nothing of and about. But once he says the right thing and hears the roar of the audience’s applause he’s off and running. Repeating that which inspired the ovation even though he has no idea of what he’s doing or what it even means. Classic operant conditioning meeting Pavlov head-on.

Today’s media Drebins. Now, let’s meet these guys. Today’s crop of talented folks — in their own specific fields — often stray beyond their ken and bailiwick. Take the inimitable troika of Neil deGrasse Tyson, Penn Jillette and Bill Nye: astrophysicist, magician and mechanical engineer, respectively. Media darlings and popular among the throngs of doting admirers. Fine. And since they’re the darlings of the nescient, impressionable and easily duped left, they debunk and validate a host of ideas and concepts, often with serious political and international global consequences, without the slightest idea of what they’re speaking of or about. GMOs, aliens, climate change, global warming, conspiracy theories, Big Brother, surveillance, glyphosate, JFK’s assassination, 9/11 . . . the list is endless. And as for aliens, Tyson mockingly derides those who claim EBEs exist or have visited, thus calling into question a host of notables, including astronauts, military personnel, heads of state and even (though this probably means nothing) the Vatican astronomer. Watch his aliens schtick here and you tell me if this guy’s Shecky status hasn’t gone a little too far.To be fair, Sagan the Great also provided yeoman’s work in gatekeeping but with a certain degree of elegant aplomb.

It’s a free country. And it’s not that they are not allowed to opine on a subject, it’s that they provide the lamest and weakest of substantiation either for or against a topic without any understanding of the deeper issues and implications. Not to mention, Nye’s 180 as to GMOs after attending a meeting with Monsanto execs redefines suspicious. And as for Jillette, well, Penn believes there’s nothing to anything, except for his half-baked and diluted attempts at refutation. But one must admire his deftness in dropping F-bombs with a frequency and verve that’s unequaled.

It happens. Because, when you enter the world of rock star, media darling and pop culture icon, it can affect you. Look no further than Noam Chomsky, who, in addition to some pretty brilliant observations, provides a jaw-dropping dismissive explication of 9/11, the Fed and JFK’s assassination.

Oh, yes, one more thing. The incredible complexity of Yemen.