Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Albert Camus' The Plague

Albert Camus: The Plague

by The School of Life

April 2, 2020

There is no more important book to understand our times than Albert Camus's The Plague, a novel about a virus that spreads uncontrollably from animals to humans and ends up destroying half the population of a representative modern town. Camus speaks to us now not because he was a magical seer, but because he correctly sized up human nature.

As he wrote: ‘Everyone has inside it himself this plague, because no one in the world, no one, can ever be immune.’ 

Maintaining Distance: Russia Demonization Runs Apace During Covid Response


by John Helmer, Moscow


Late last week the 193 member states of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) agreed unanimously on a statement of “solidarity of countries in the fight against the pandemic”. They also agreed unanimously there is “no place for any form of discrimination, racism and xenophobia in the response to the pandemic.”

On the explicit opposition of Ukraine, Georgia, the US, the UK, and the European Union, the UN did not agree on “the rejection of trade wars and the use of unilateral sanctions adopted in circumvention of the UN Security Council to ensure urgent access to food and medicine, as well as countering financial speculation with essential goods.” This was the language of a resolution drafted by Russia.

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

Recognizing the Enemy: The Renters Strike Back!

Congressional Candidate Urges Rent Strikes To Protect Tenants


April 7, 2020

Washington DSA member Joshua Collins' digital campaign is courting pissed off young voters.

As a record number of Americans filed for unemployment due to millions of jobs being lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic, rent was still due April 1st and it’s going to be due again on May 1st. However, there are dozens of grassroots organizations planning and executing rent strikes and rent freezes nationwide. 

Trapped with Covid-19: Migrants in Greek Detention Camps Abandoned to Disease

Refugees left to die as COVID-19 spreads across Greece

by George Gallanis  - WSWS

7 April 2020

Nearly 42,000 refugees housed in overcrowded, festering detention camps remain trapped on Greece’s islands as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across Greece. With refugees lacking access to soap and water—as part of a lack of basic health care—and crammed into clustered living quarters, the camps on the islands Lesbos, Chios, Kos, Samos and Leros are the perfect breeding grounds for the virus.

Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (far right)

Yet, the right-wing New Democracy (ND) government has stalled moving refugees off the islands to mainland Greece, allowing for the virus to infect and possibly kill thousands.

Caring Less for Canada's Elders in Care

Mounting coronavirus death toll in Canada’s elderly care homes

by Penny Smith  - WSWS

7 April 2020

Across Canada, care facilities for seniors are being devastated by the deadly spread of COVID-19. More than 600 nursing and retirement homes nationwide have reported a rapidly growing number of infections and fatalities, with Quebec and Ontario in Central Canada, and the west coast province of British Columbia hardest hit.

The abject failure of all levels of government to prepare for this foreseeable and foreseen viral pandemic, their criminal incompetence in combating the virus, and the decades-long ravaging of the public healthcare system have left care-home facilities especially vulnerable to COVID-19, and enabled the virus to spread like wildfire. To this must be added the fact that wide swathes of elderly care have been privatized, resulting in a race to the bottom in working conditions, and the running of facilities on tight budgets so as to boost corporate profits.

Springtime for Ecofascism: Conservation Industry Declares 2020 "Super Year"

New Deal for Nature: Paying the Emperor to Fence the Wind 

by Stephen Corry - CounterPunch

February 24, 2020

The conservation industry says 2020 is its “super year.”[1] It wants to set aside thirty percent of the globe for wildlife, and divert billions of dollars away from reducing climate change and into “natural climate solutions.”[2] This would be a disaster for people and planet. Conservation was founded in the racist ideology of 1860s USA but it committed thirty years ago to becoming people-friendly. It hasn’t happened. 

Petroglyphs, Klamath River Basin. (Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair)

There will be more promises now, if only to placate critics and funders like the U.S. and German governments, and the European Commission, which are paying for conservation’s land theft, murder and torture.[3] More promises will be meaningless. No more public money should go for “Protected Areas” until the conservation bodies recognize their crimes, get rid of those responsible, and hand stolen lands back, with compensation. Conservation NGOs must also stop cozying up to mining, logging, oil, and plantation companies.

Sunday, April 05, 2020

Gorilla Radio Covid-Shock Special with Chris Cook, Dr. Pablo Ouziel April 5, 2020

This Time on GR

by C. L. Cook -

April 5, 2020

Due to entirely foreseeable but unacted upon circumstance, we are NOT recording live from the basement of the Student Union Building at the University of Victoria, but continuing the broadcast via Skype interviews, taped live on this day, April 5th, 2020, to be broadcast over-air at CFUV 101.9FM in Victoria, and at on the internet around the world.

Well, Winter has yet to relent in Victoria, throttling the neck of Spring like a miser's purse-string death grip. Fitting the weather be bleak and stark and uninviting through the gray glass of the Western World's "new normal". Which will be the dictionary pick for the word of this year, I wonder. "Covid", or perhaps "Lockdown", or possibly Donald Trump's doubtless most dearly hoped for: "Remission"? Just time will tell.  

Listen. Hear.
I spoke to my next guest in October of last year. Nearly six months, and a seeming life-time ago.Way back then, we discussed the political situation in his home-country, Spain; or more specifically, Catalonia. For the intro to that interview, I wrote:

"Thousands have nightly filled the streets, while an estimated 2 million came out in protest in Barcelona to demonstrate against the court’s heavy-handed rulings. Hong Kong-style disruption tactics have spread too to Barcelona’s El Prat airport, while last Friday a general strike paralyzed the heart of Spain’s richest region."

Hard to imagine a sight like that today, as the masses in Europe, the Americas, and beyond huddle in their houses, homes, and hovels fearful of a death-dealing bug they can't see.  

Dr. Pablo Ouziel is Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Victoria’s Political Science Department and Centre for Global Studies. His Fellowship Project at UVic is, ‘Democracy Here and Now: The Exemplary Case of Spain’.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at:  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, Check out the GR blog at:

Saturday, April 04, 2020

From the Garden: Expelling Ecofascists

It’s Time to Clean Ecofascism Out of Environmentalism 

by Stephen Corry - CounterPunch

April 2, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic is lethal, but could there be a silver lining beyond the pain? Social media is awash with how the newly cleaned environment is hosting wildlife not seen for years. Dolphins are swimming in Venetian canals: except they aren’t, they’re really near Sardinia as usual. Swans? Yes, but they’ve always been there. The canals may be cleaner but the story’s fake.

Facts matter less than our ache for an unpolluted globe. We yearn for a lost world of childhood innocence, and so project our hope onto juvenile activists. But there clearly are benefits in the reduced use of fossil fuels as flights are cancelled and car journeys shrink to levels last seen on distant Sundays when the shops were shut. Some are reporting easier breathing during an epidemic which attacks the lungs.

Friday, April 03, 2020

Tallying the Covid-19 Actuarial Ledger

The Covid-19 Debate: Economies Really Are Made up of Real People

by Rob Slane - The Blogmire

April 3, 2020

The headline of this piece is admittedly very, very dumb. It’s dumb because everyone knows that real people work in economies. As such, it’s on a par with news that paper is made from wood pulp, apples grow on trees and fire is hot.

But the reason it needs to be stated is that the past couple of weeks has convinced me that many people actually don’t seem to know this at all. Judging by comments I have seen in numerous articles, and the pushback I and many others have received from questioning the proportionality of the measures put in place to deal with the outbreak of Covid-19, there seem to be many people who think that the economy is all about money and commerce and wealth. Well, there is that, but principally it is about people.

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, John Helmer, Kay Gimbel, Janine Bandcroft April 9, 2020

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook -

April 9, 2020

If you haven't heard Vladimir Putin invented Covid-19 yet you likely will soon if you follow the Western corporate press.

I'm being only slightly facetious; in the mainly American press Russia is in turn responsible for: The outcomes in French and Italian elections, Brexit, the Ukraine civil war and Crimea's secession, assassinating still-living journalists, and attempting to murder a former KGB double-agent, once released from Russian jail and now held incommunicado by Britain, dividing the United States along racial lines, and of course crowning Donald Trump Idiot King of America.

These are just some among other things, (another of which being alleged complicity in the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17); the only problem is, these allegations against "Putin's" Russia consist of lots of media smoke with little evidentiary fire.

Listen. Hear.
John Helmer’s a journalist, author, broadcaster, former political advisor to governments, and principal behind the news website, Dances with Bears. He’s also one of the most widely read Russia specialists in the business world for his news-breaking stories on Russian base and precious metals, diamonds, mining, shipping, insurance, food trade, and business policy.

Helmer’s book titles include: ‘The Deadly Simple Mechanics of Society’, ‘The Jackal’s Wedding – American Power, Arab Revolt’, (co-authored with Claudia Wright) the political memoir, ‘The Man Who Knows Too Much About Russia’, and his latest, ‘Skripal in Prison’.

John Helmer in the first half.

And; while the global pandemic has made the World standstill, its done little to slowdown America's belligerence towards its perceived enemies in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Russia, China, and Venezuela, where the latest excuse offered for regime change is Covid-19-related drugs smuggling, allegedly employed by Nicolás Maduro to undermine the United States. You couldn't dream this stuff up; except when you could.

Kay Gimbel is a retired seaman, union executive and human rights activist. He's spent years observing the effects of Canadian mining operators on the lives and lands of the people of Central America.

From his first human rights delegation with Rights Action to Guatemala, through Honduras, to take testimony from the family and compadres of murdered activist, Berta Caceres, to his latest sojourn with The Asociation de Trabajadores del Campo to witness Nicaragua's resistance to El Norte's pernicious efforts to undermine its socialist evolution, Kay is all too familiar with the dark forces threatening peasant and indigenous communities in the countries of our southern neighbours.

Kay Gimbel and keeping vigilant on issues other than corona in the second half.

And; long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Bulletin of some of the good things still left to be gotten up to in and around our town in the coming week. But first, John Helmer and the West's trouble with Russia.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at:  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, Check out the GR blog at:

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Doomsday Race: Pandemics Scary, But Climate Change Will Finish Us All

‘Can I Keep You Safe? Your Future Is Uncertain’: Climate And The Fate Of Humanity

by Media Lens

March 31, 2020

In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, the most immediate objective is to slow its spread, minimise the death toll and help people through the crisis. But, despite government promises to support citizens who are now losing their jobs and income, the underlying establishment concern will be as it always has been: to preserve the global inequitable system of wealth and power.

Private interests, including airlines, fossil fuel industries and sinister-sounding ‘businesses crucial to national security’, have been busy lobbying governments for taxfunder-paid bailouts. Notoriously, Richard Branson’s Virgin Atlantic even asked its employees to take eight weeks of unpaid leave, while hundreds of thousands in the UK are struggling to access benefits after becoming unemployed.

Alternatives with No Choices: All Covid Response Roads Lead to Home


by John Helmer, Moscow


March 30, 2020

“The immediate priority is to prevent the quick spread of this disease”, President Vladimir Putin (lead image, top left) declared in his state speech on the corona virus last week.

This is the point on which there is no disagreement, not now at least. But how restrictive for the economy the anti-contagion measures should be, and at what cost compared to the cost of the virus impact on life and death, is a point of considerable debate, inside Russia as everywhere else. That is the point which Putin avoided. He is not alone among the heads of state or government in the rest of the world. What is the difference then between Putin and all of them?

Monday, March 30, 2020

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Alan Hirsch, Taylor Scollon, Janine Bandcroft March 31, 2020

This Week on GR

by C.L. Cook -

March 31, 2020

Those praying the US presidential campaign would finally end already may have found a receptive ear above, (or wherever these kinds of entreaties are heard). But, as the old saw warns, they might want now to have more carefully wished.

With the Democratic Party postponing 14 state primaries, (as of this writing) there are now growing calls for both parties to cancel national conventions and end campaign appearances.

It would be an unprecedented move that could well effect the way democracy is done in America for this election, and beyond 2020.

Listen. Hear.

Alan Hirsch, is an Instructor in the Humanities and Chair of the Justice and Law Studies program at Williams College, and author of numerous works of legal scholarship and many books, including 'For the People: What the Constitution Really Says About Your Rights', 'Impeaching the President: Past, Present, and Future', and the just released, 'A Short History of Presidential Election Crises (and How to Prevent the Next One)'.

His articles appear at, among other places, the Washington Post, LA Times, Newsday, and Common Dreams, where I found his recent article, Is America Prepared for a Presidential Election Crisis? Hirsch asks “what if” Covid-19, or some other external forces, drive November's poll into the shadows, or worse, onto the internet?

Alan Hirsch in the first half.

And; even before the latest crisis the news cycle was moving way to fast to follow. Every day, miles of newsprint and incomprehensible amounts of - whatever online journalism is measured in – spun and roiled, confounding the senses of Jane and Joe Blough. Fake or not, it seems there's simply just too much news to choose from. But, can we citizens afford to take our eye off the direction in which our society is careening?

Taylor Scollon, publisher and co-founder of Passage, the new Canadian publication “offering left-wing perspectives on politics, economics, and culture,” I'm confident would say, “Hell, no!”

Taylor Scollon and Canada amidst the media maelstrom in the second half.

And; long-time Gorilla Radio contributor, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin of some of the good things to be gotten up to in and around our town in the coming week, (yes, there are still things to be done). But first, Alan Hirsch and American election crises past, present, and prescient.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at:  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, Check out the GR blog at:

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Don't Worry, Things Could Always Get Stranger (and they will)

It's Okay to Be Uncertain About What's Happening and Where This is All Going

by Caitlin Johnstone - Rogue Journalist

March 29, 2020

There was a kids’ game show on Nickelodeon in the early nineties called Get the Picture where contestants would be shown an image that is obscured in some way and slowly made more clear. First one to guess the image correctly got the points.

That’s kind of how our whole situation feels right now. No one really knows exactly what’s going on just yet, and those of us who are interested in figuring it out are intensely peering at the screen trying to make out what we’re looking at. 

Saturday, March 28, 2020

A Defect of Democracy: Is 2020 Destined to Be America's Next Great Election Crisis?

Is America Prepared for a Presidential Election Crisis?

by Alan Hirsch - Common Dreams

March 12, 2020

What if, on account of the coronavirus, we attempt to hold the 2020 presidential election entirely on-line or through the mail, and it turns into a logistical nightmare? What if a major terrorist attack prevents holding the election on November 3? How about if, on Election Day, destructive weather prevents voting in some states? And what if hackers succeed in changing votes from one candidate to another, calling into question the accuracy of the electoral count?

For obvious reasons, people have begun to raise such questions. But we continue to pay insufficient attention to the over-arching question: Is America prepared for a presidential election crisis? The sobering answer is no.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Say What!? UK Downgrades Coronavirus Threat, While Increasing Social Control Measures

Yet Another Covid-19 "Say What?" Moment

by Rob Slane - The Blogmire

March 25, 2020

On 23rd March, the British Government put the entire country on lockdown risking incalculable consequences that could bring:

Economic meltdown
The mother of all financial crashes
Millions of job losses
Thousands of businesses going to the wall
Masses of people plunged into poverty
A huge deterioration in the mental health of millions
The potential deaths of thousands of old people left on their own with no carers (see the example of the Spanish care homes)
Mass civil unrest

Such enormous risks can surely only be justified if they are proportionate to threat. Are they?

Shock to the System: Leveraging the Fascist New Covid World Order

Coronavirus Is The Shock, Dictatorship Is The Doctrine


March 25, 2020

Recently, thousands of Israelis posted the cover of Naomi Klein’s book The Shock Doctrine on their social media accounts without further comment. They were doing so because they had sensed that the book is a warning and that it’s becoming a reality before their very eyes. The crisis has shocked the population and this now allows the Israeli government to push forward with draconic and undemocratic policies.

Nowhere has the coronavirus pandemic been used more cynically to shut down political debate and the right to protest than in Israel. The Israeli government's state of emergency goes even further than Naomi Klein’s darkest predictions.

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Janine Bandcroft, Christine Nikolic March 26, 2020

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook -

March 26, 2020

Welcome to the new, post-pandemic outbreak breakdown of Gorilla Radio. As regular listeners will know, CFUV has shuttered the studios, so live interviews are no longer possible. What I’ll present in the new not normal are live-to-Skype* interviews on the most pressing issues of this weird moment.

Janine Bandcroft is an educator and social events publisher, broadcaster, and she is too the ‘Green Vegan Grandma’ on Youtube, where her latest video, “What to do when there’s nothing to do” appears.

Janine decided to self-isolate early on in the Corona virus crisis, and so has a head start on the rest of us.

Janine Bandcroft in the first half.

Listen. Hear. 

And; Spring has officially sprung, the toilet paper crisis has passed, and food security and social mobility issues are, or soon will be foremost in our minds.

While the initial shock of the new abnormal has ebbed, the next shoe to drop will be the failure of supply chains. So, what better way to spend your mounds of self and/or imposed social isolation time on than learning how to grow your own food!

Christina Nikolic operates the increasingly busy, Organic Gardener’s Pantry. She also teaches organic horticulture. She is too a past director of SOUL, or the Society for Organic Urban Land Care, and spends, she says, what time there is left, “in the garden, smiling while spreading mulch.” But first, Janine Bandcroft and “What to do when there’s nothing to do”

Christina Nikolic and growing for your life in the second half.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at:  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, Check out the GR blog at:

*The first segment was recorded via Zoom. The iffy quality is due to growing pains, (and a less than great mic on my part. - ape)

Sunday, March 22, 2020

A Saudi Ball in Putin Court: Reigning in Oil Production


by John Helmer, Moscow


March 22, 2020

An attempt is underway to arrange a meeting between President Vladimir Putin and the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) to restore the agreement on oil price cuts which MbS broke at the March 6 meeting of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries with Russia (OPEC+). The Crown Prince is reportedly now ready to agree on a formula for oil production limits along the lines already discussed with the Russians. 

His pre-condition is a domestic Saudi one. He is insisting that he will meet President Putin as the Saudi head of state, no longer as Crown Prince. This means that the full and formal transfer of power from his father King Salman bin Abdullaziz will take place “imminently”.

Sean "CNN" Penn Loses His Mind on Camera: "No greater humanitarian force on the planet than the United States military"

Hollywood Celebrities Are Psyops Wrapped In Human Skin

by Caitlin Johnstone - Rogue Journalist

March 22, 2020

CNN recently trotted out Hollywood actor Sean Penn to give the nation expert advice on how to deal with a novel virus pandemic.

Did they do this because we live in a meaningless, godless universe where madness reigns and everything is chaos? Close, but no. They wanted Penn to explain to the public that it would be wonderful if the US military were deployed inside US borders to deal with the pandemic, because the US military is the greatest humanitarian force on planet Earth.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Gorilla Radio CFUV FundingDrive 2020 with Chris Cook, Joe Emersberger March 19, 2020

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook -

March 19, 2020

Welcome to the strangest of the one thousand and fifty-eight Gorilla Radio episodes I’ve presented here at CFUV over the last 21 years.

This was to be my contribution to the 2020 FundingDrive show, but that, like so much else around us was not meant to be. The microbe that stopped the World has stopped us too, for now.

But, and it’s an enormous but, we will continue to produce radio, just not for the next while in the way we’ve done so for so long. That means, firstly; no more live broadcasting.

Virtually all of my shows have been done live from the basement of the SUB. There’s no replacing the energy of live performance, but we’ll try to bring the same urgency and vibrancy to our programming we always have.

Listen. Hear.

For today however, I’ll bring in some music, and some segments of interviews past, and perhaps a little blatherskiting. And, I’ll remind; though the FundingDrive has hit a major roadblock, you can still express your support for the station and the show financially online at:

Monday, March 16, 2020

Sunny Days: Getting Past Pandemics

Coronavirus and the Sun: a Lesson from the 1918 Influenza Pandemic

by Richard Hobday - Aletho News

March 10, 2020

Fresh air, sunlight and improvised face masks seemed to work a century ago; and they might help us now.

When new, virulent diseases emerge, such SARS and Covid-19, the race begins to find new vaccines and treatments for those affected. As the current crisis unfolds, governments are enforcing quarantine and isolation, and public gatherings are being discouraged. Health officials took the same approach 100 years ago, when influenza was spreading around the world. The results were mixed. But records from the 1918 pandemic suggest one technique for dealing with influenza — little-known today — was effective. Some hard-won experience from the greatest pandemic in recorded history could help us in the weeks and months ahead.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

"Journalists" Preparing the Public Mind for the Next Regime Change Challenge

International Media Uses Fake Journalist To Spread Disinformation About Nicaragua

by Nora Mitchell/Nan McCurdy -

March 14, 2020

On Feb. 20, 2020, published a piece entitled “Burnt radio stations and 18-month newsprint blockades: Inside the slow culling of Nicaragua’s free press” that has multiple problems. The first of the many problems with this propaganda piece is that one of its authors – Carl David Goette Luciak – who initially came to Nicaragua to support anti-canal activists, was a close friend of the leaders of the violent opposition who were funded and directed by the US to attempt regime change.

Carl David Goette Luciak with armed opposition  

Goette Luciak can be seen in multiple photos with the opposition and with their armed lackeys; one of the photos was used for the cover of the book about the attempted coup, Nicaragua 2018: Uprising or Coup? He is also captured on video taking photos of an old man being tortured by the opposition in the documentary March of the Flowers. He appears at second 13 in the video from the Flowers March which took place in Managua on June 30, 2018.

Coronavirus: Flatten The Curve

Honest Government Ad | Coronavirus: Flatten The Curve

Juice Media

March 13, 2020

The Government has made an ad about the Coronavirus and its surprisingly honest and informative.

👉 Spread the message not the virus: #FlattenTheCurve 👉

Security State of America Classifies Coronavirus Intel

US Intel Agencies Played Unsettling Role in Classified and “9/11-like” Coronavirus Response Plan

by Whitney Webb  - MintPress News

March 13, 2020

As coronavirus panic grips the world, concern over government overreach is growing given the involvement of US intelligence agencies in classified meetings for planning the U.S.’ coronavirus response.

As the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis comes to dominate headlines, little media attention has been given to the federal government’s decision to classify top-level meetings on domestic coronavirus response and lean heavily “behind the scenes” on U.S. intelligence and the Pentagon in planning for an allegedly imminent explosion of cases.