Saturday, April 18, 2020

Covid Bono? Remembering the Ghost of Pandemic Past

Covid-19: Have "Real Journalists" Forgotten the H1N1 Scandal They Reported On? 

by Tony Cartalucci - LandDestroyer

April 4, 2020

Overreaction and big-pharma profiteering from Covid-19 is a repeat of the 2009 H1N1 "Swine Flu" scandal. Why has the corporate media that would eventually expose the 2009 scandal failed to inform readers today that the same corrupt interests are leading the Covid-19 response?

Amid Covid-19 hysteria - "real journalists" across the Western corporate media are shamelessly and eagerly fanning the flames of hysteria, panicking the public and ensuring both the government and corporate special interests that influence their policy remain firmly in control.

Friday, April 17, 2020

The Leechable Moment: Blood-Suckers Quick to Leap on Wounded

Never Let a Good Waste Go to Crisis 

by Rob Urie - CounterPunch

April 17, 2020
It has been an article of faith during recent crises that temporary measures must be taken to bring about a return to normalcy, at which point a longer view can prevail. Following 9/11, the national security state that had been waning with the end of the Cold War was revived and given new prominence. Later, the Obama administration ‘held its nose’ as it bailed out the large banks, with the result being that the institutions that caused the crisis were fully restored and the balance of power and nature of ‘the economy’ were permanently altered.

Photograph by Nathaniel St. Clair 

In the absence of real crises, there have been contrived emergencies like Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction and ‘foreign interference’ in U.S. elections that served more targeted purposes and constituencies. 

Surveilled Society: Covid "Totals" Up

Covid-19 Is Bringing Us Into A Hyper-Surveilled, Highly Policed Fascist Dystopia

by Rainer Shea, SeeYouIn2020 

via Popular Resistance

April 16, 2020

Look out my window, what do I see
A crack in the sky and a hand reaching down to me
All the nightmares came today
And it looks as though they’re here to stay
- David Bowie                            

We must understand that the crisis we’ve entered into will never end, at least not for as long as our neoliberal capitalist system isn’t replaced with a socialist model. In the U.S., as well as the other countries where austerity has wrecked healthcare systems, Covid-19 is going to cause societal disruptions for years as the virus partially subsides and then regrows.

Failing British Columbia: NDP's Skewed Priorities

Canada: British Columbia’s New Democrat government defends corporate interests as coronavirus runs rampant

by Penny Smith  - WSWS

17 April 2020

British Columbia’s ostensibly progressive John Horgan-led New Democratic Party (NDP) government is proving incapable of protecting the population from the devastating medical and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canada’s third most populous province has reported over 1,500 coronavirus cases to date and at least 75 deaths.

De Facto Death Penalty: Covid in Canada's Prisons

Rights Groups React to Prisoner Death in Custody; Call for Public Inquest and Immediate Release of Prisoners to Stop Dangerous Spread of COVID-19

by Joint Effort

April 17, 2020

Prisoner rights, human rights, Indigenous and civil liberties groups are reacting to the horrific news of a death in Correctional Service of Canada’s custody of a person incarcerated at Mission Institution in BC. Mission Institution is the site of the largest COVID-19 outbreak at a federal institution in the country.

This death is the first reported COVID-related death of a federal inmate. A prisoner transferred from Mission Institution now serving time in Atlantic Canada knew the prisoner who died in custody. 

In his words, “We were good friends and I knew he was in the hospital. That could be me next.” 

Trudeau Comes Out for Big Oil & Gas

Feds could still be hiding billions for oil companies


April 17, 2020

Wilderness Committee is calling for full transparency in how government agencies are supporting the fossil fuel industry after Prime Minister Trudeau announced money for Canada’s struggling oil and gas sector.

“The only thing clear about today’s announcement was that Canadians have made public money for oil companies so politically toxic that the federal government wants to hide it,” said Climate Campaigner Peter McCartney. 

Thursday, April 16, 2020

From Wheeze to Eternity: The End Comes

From Here to Dystopia: Not With a Bang But a Cough

by John Feffer - TomDispatch

April 16, 2020

In retrospect, it’s no surprise that, after the election of Donald Trump in 2016, dystopian fiction enjoyed a spike in popularity. However, novels like George Orwell’s 1984 and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, which soared on Amazon, would prove more horror stories than roadmaps. Like so many ominous sounds from a dark basement, they provided good scares but didn’t foreshadow the actual Trumpian future.

Of course, it didn’t take an Orwell or an Atwood to extrapolate from the statements of candidate Trump to the policies of President Trump -- and such projections bore little resemblance to the worlds of Big Brother or an all-powerful patriarchy.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Trudeau Government Threatens to Use Covid-19 as Cover for "Thought Police" Measures

Federal government open to new law to fight pandemic misinformation

by Elizabeth Thompson - CBC News

April 15, 2020

The federal government is considering introducing legislation to make it an offence to knowingly spread misinformation that could harm people, says Privy Council President Dominic LeBlanc. It's one of several measures the government is considering to counter fake news about the virus online.
Privy Council President Dominic LeBlanc's cabinet mandate letter 
gave him responsibility for fighting online disinformation.

LeBlanc told CBC News he is interested in British MP Damian Collins's call for laws to punish those responsible for spreading dangerous misinformation online about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Do You Need a House to Fall on Ya! US Media Still Fails to See Need for Universal Healthcare

Pandemic Doesn’t Stop Corporate Media From Crusading Against Universal Healthcare

by Joshua Cho - FAIR

April 15, 2020

There’s nothing like a global pandemic to demonstrate that a universal single-payer healthcare system like Medicare for All is not an idealistic fantasy, but an immediate, urgent necessity. When over 16 million Americans have already filed for unemployment benefits within the last three weeks, it’s clear that the American system of making health insurance a privilege only for those who work—or for those poor and old enough to qualify for Medicaid and Medicare—has made the US especially vulnerable to Covid-19.

Despite the false choice often presented to us by politicians and corporate media (our health vs. “the economy”), not only is it possible to address both, a stronger coronavirus response is an absolute prerequisite for avoiding the worst-case economic scenarios (Jacobin, 4/1/20).

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Canada's Arms Continue to Embrace Saudi War Machine

Canada lifts suspension of arms exports to Saudi Arabia

by Mersiha Gadzo - AJE

9 Apr 2020

Ottawa says renegotiation of contract will secure 'jobs of thousands of Canadians' but activists accuse it of hypocrisy.
Canada's General Dynamics LAV Lineup

The Canadian government is lifting a suspension on arms exports to Saudi Arabia and has renegotiated a controversial multibillion-dollar contract that will see an Ontario-based company sell light armoured vehicles (LAVs) to Riyadh.

How Soviet TB Fight Shields Russians from Worst of Covid


by John Helmer, Moscow


April 14, 2020

Inoculation against tuberculosis, the official Soviet state policy for almost a century, continues to shield the Russian population with a higher level of immunological resistance than those in Europe and the US who lack the vaccination. This has also been a well-tested finding in western and Indian medical publications; in India vaccination against TB is mandatory. This link between the anti-TB vaccination and the rate and severity of Covid-19 infection is now official Russian policy.

“According to some data, those who are vaccinated with BCG [Bacillus Calmette–GuĂ©rin vaccine], the course of Covid-19 is lighter,” the Health Minister Vitaly Murashko announced earlier this month. “This is now widely discussed in international reviews. The fact is that it can have a certain meaning, it probably can,” Veronika Skvortsova followed, telling national television news. “For now I think that we won’t discuss the mechanisms of immune restructuring, but [CBG vaccination] does play a role.” Skvortsova was Murashko’s predecessor as health minister between 2012 and February of this year; she is now director of the Federal Medical-Biological Agency (FMBA).

Caution: the link is a statistical correlation. It is not a finding that is clear on the biomedical mechanism which is at work in the lungs.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Corona and Gaza

If Coronavirus Overwhelms Gaza, Israel Alone Will Be to Blame 

by Jonathan Cook - The National

13 April 2020

What is already a crisis in the territory barely needs a nudge from Covid-19 in order to be tipped into a health disaster

Great March of Return Beginnings March 30, 2018

The Palestinians of Gaza know all about lockdowns. For the past 13 years, some two million of them have endured a closure by Israel more extreme than anything experienced by almost any other society – including even now, as the world hunkers down to try to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

Gorilla Radio Covid-Shocked Special with Chris Cook, Pablo Ouziel April 16, 2020

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook -

April 16, 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”.

And, 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:

A Determined Cruelty Maintains Sanctions Against Suffering Nations

Media Struggle to Defend Washington’s Cruelty Toward Venezuela and Iran as Coronavirus Spreads

by Joe Emersberger - FAIR

March 25, 2020

An Associated Press article (New York Times, 3/17/20) headlined “IMF Rejects Maduro’s Bid for Emergency Loan to Fight Virus” declared:
 President Nicolas Maduro wears facemask (Venezuelanalysis, 3/23/20).

"The request is an about-face for Maduro, who for years refused to share economic data with the Washington-based lender and just last month condemned it as a tool of US imperialism. In the past he has called the IMF a blood-sucking “assassin” responsible for plunging millions of people into poverty across Latin America."

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Tale of Two Lockdowns: Swedish vs UK Policy Response to Covid

A Comparison of Lockdown UK With Non-Lockdown Sweden

by Rob Slane - The Blogmire

April 12, 2020

So far as I am aware, Sweden remains the only major Western country that has not imposed a strict lockdown on its citizens to deal with the Covid-19 outbreak. Other than a ban on gatherings of 50 or more people, and advice such as over-70s being urged to stay at home, Swedish schools, shops, restaurants and pubs all remain open. It almost seems to me that the Government there has decided to treat grown adults like they are … well grown adults.

However, despite being a sovereign nation, with the right to set its own policy, it appears that this is not acceptable to the “international community”, and the Swedish Government is coming under huge pressure to change course.