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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

LIONEL PODCAST: America Is the Good Guy No Longer

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

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

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

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

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

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

LIONEL PODCAST: Police Protests – It’s About Time

Protesters march in New York, carrying signs depicting the haunting eyes of Eric Garner.

The eyes have it. As symbols go this one’s hard to beat. The message and power are breathtaking.Too bad Eric Garner’s not the best case to be made, but it’ll have to do.

But don’t listen to this podcast if you want to be mollified. Either way. There’s no specific right or wrong here. Nothing Manichean or apodictic. This is a nuance minefield. It’s years of perceived and actual police excess but this time it’s been accompanied by a deliberate and powerful activism, the likes of which New York City, in particular, hasn’t seen for decades.

  • Eric Garner and Michael Brown are not good cases to clearly exemplify raw and unbridled police excess as both resisted arrest, confronted the cops and contributed in large part to the tragic and deadly escalation of their cases. You simply can’t get past these facts. Brown charged Officer Wilson; Garner resisted arrest. That is not to say that the police acted appropriately or professionally in any wise. In fact they may have. The point is that’s not the point. There are better cases. Fact. Kelly Thomas, Dillon Taylor, Gil Collar, Akai Gurley, Tamir Rice — these are better examples of clear excesses. Easier to digest and grasp by all parties and factions. Woefully bereft of pithy memes and hashtag messaging.
  • My Nine-Point Plan I commend to you for your perusal and review. It lists and adumbrates my suggestions and recommendations as a necessary start.
  • There are white folks who want nothing to do with the suggestion that police act inappropriately and excessively. They believe that it’s racial bellyaching, promoted and exacerbated by poverty pimps and racial arsonists. And they’re wrong.
  • There are people of color who, perhaps habituated to yet another example of police shooting, want nothing to do with the suggestion that Eric Garner and Michael Brown had anything to do with precipitating their own tragic ends. They see Messrs. Brown and Garner as police victims, simple. And they’re wrong as well.
  • This issue requires careful consideration and rational analysis and, moreover, critical thinking skills. Keep the sloganeering and the catchy meme rhetoric. I want solutions. Not an Instagram moment or a retweet.

Breaking the Set. Abby Martin of RT’s Breaking the Set and I enjoy a spirited and targeted discussion on all that is the latest in Eric Garner and the problems associated therewith. Abby’s without peer in getting down to the the tacks of brass and — get this — allotting adequate time to discuss, dissect and digest an issue.

I invite you to refer to my YouTube Channel and subscribe.

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

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

  • Mandatory special prosecutor assigned in police shootings. DA’s will be prohibited from handling prosecutions of police officer shootings and/or deaths within their jurisdiction regarding officers whom they must necessarily deal with on a daily basis.
  • Police union messaging. Police unions must not be viewed as adversarial to the public and must tailor their message and directives avoiding at all costs ostensible tone-deaf insensitivity.
  • Civilian ride-along programs. The public simply has no idea of what police do. Increased participation in ride-along programs and similar liaison programs will help dramatically especially when combined with media and social media outlets highlighting the efforts.
  • Media instruction and tutelage as to what police do. The public and media think that arrests are invitations to cooperate. They must understand the rather brusque process of surrender and the danger to police of “pretty please” seizure.
  • Education of public as to grand jury process. The ham sandwich myth must be forever corrected and eliminated altogether.
  • Reevaluation and ultimate reversal of 1033 programs. Programs providing for militarization of police agencies fuel subliminal antagonism and exacerbate the inherent problems.The historic firewall between civilian law enforcement and military operations as in Posse Comitatus must be enforced.
  • Mandatory camera programs. Cameras proved invaluable in establishing a level of transparency in the Eric Garner case. Without them, no facts would have been readily available. The ACLU has instituted programs allowing for citizens to download apps for smartphone use to document and record questionable and suspect police behavior.
  • Expansion of Citizen Complain Review Boards and CCRB-like programs. Civilian jurisdiction in reviewing police abuse claims creates the perception of cooperative involvement and community investment.
  • Police-civilian liaisons. Emphasis on community policing and symbiotic cooperation is encouraged versus antagonistic coexistence.

 

LIONEL PODCAST: Indict This!

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What Ferguson Doesn’t and Didn’t Mean

WHAT FERGUSON DOESN’T MEAN

by

LIONEL

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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