Friday, April 10, 2020

From The Edge Of The Narrative

The Real Conspiracy: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

by Caitlin Johnstone - Rogue Journalist

April 10, 2020

Some conspiracy-type people say the world is messed up because we’re ruled by illuminati or reptilians, but I’m way more out there than that: I say our entire society is made of imaginary thought stories with little relation to objective reality, and some clever manipulators have figured out how to exploit this.

[Recommended reading accompanying track: Lookee Here - Transglobal 
Underground - -ape]

I say even what we take to be our very self is an ultimately illusory narrative construct made up of a disconnected network of thought, language and memories; look hard for a solid “me” entity and you’ll never find one. Same is true of most things people value in this world.

The Palestinian Guide to Surviving Quarantine: Short Version

A Palestinian Guide to Surviving a Quarantine: On Faith, Humor and ‘Dutch Candy’

by Ramzy Baroud -

April 9, 2020

Call it a ‘quarantine’, a ‘shelter-in-place’, a ‘lockdown’ or a ‘curfew’, we Palestinians have experienced them all, though not at all voluntarily.

Personally, the first 23 years of my life were lived in virtual ‘lockdown’. My father’s ‘quarantine’ was experienced much earlier, as did his father’s ‘shelter-in-place’ before him. They both died and were buried in Gaza’s cemeteries without ever experiencing true freedom outside of their refugee camp in Gaza.

America's Imprisoned Heroes: Steve Kelly's Ordeal of Conscience

“He’s Got Eight Numbers, Just Like Everybody Else”

by Kathy Kelly  - Voices for Creative Nonviolence

April 3, 2020

Trident nuclear disarmament activist Steve Kelly, a Jesuit priest, begins his third year imprisoned in a county jail as he and his companions await sentencing.

On April 4, 2020, my friend Steve Kelly will begin a third year of imprisonment in Georgia’s Glynn County jail. He turned 70 while in prison, and while he has served multiple prison sentences for protesting nuclear weapons, spending two years in a county jail is unusual even for him. Yet he adamantly urges supporters to focus attention on the nuclear weapons arsenals which he and his companions aim to disarm.

“The nukes are not going to go away by themselves,” says Steve.

The Kings Bay Plowshares 7 now await sentencing for their action, performed two years ago inside the Kings Bay Trident Submarine base in southern Georgia.

They acted in concert with many others who take literally the Scriptural call to “beat swords into plowshares.”

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Meeting the New Boss: BlackRock Takes America

BlackRock Takes Command 

by Joyce Nelson - CounterPunch

April 8, 2020  
The mainstream financial press has been remarkably quiet about the Federal Reserve’s appointment (March 24) of BlackRock to manage its massive corporate debt purchase program in response to the Covid-19 crisis. That silence might have a simple explanation: you don’t slag your boss if you know what’s good for you.

BlackRock’s CEO Larry Fink may now be the most powerful man in the world, overseeing not just the Fed’s new (potentially $4.5 trillion) corporate slush-fund, but also managing $27 trillion of the global economy (even before the March appointment). As the world’s largest asset manager, BlackRock already was managing $7 trillion for its global corporate investor-clients, along with another $20 trillion for clients through its financial risk-monitoring software (called Aladdin).

Measuring the Scope of Assange Court's Hypocrisy

Beyond Words

by Craig Murray

April 8, 2020

Yesterday Mark Sommers QC, the extremely erudite and bookish second counsel for Julian Assange in his extradition hearing, trembled with anger in court. Magistrate Vanessa Baraitser had just made a ruling that the names of Julian Assange’s partner and young children could be published, which she stated was in the interests of “open justice”. 

Pieter Evert sent me this rather good cartoon, for which many thanks.

His partner had submitted a letter in support of his Covid 19 related bail application (which Baraitser had summarily dismissed) to state he had a family to live with in London. Baraitser said that it was therefore in the interests of open justice that the family’s names be made public, and said that the defence had not convincingly shown this would cause any threat to their security or well-being. It was at this point Sommers barely kept control. He leapt to his feet and gave notice of an appeal to the High Court, asking for a 14 day stay. Baraitser granted four days, until 4pm on Friday.

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: