Saturday, September 26, 2020

Spirit of 2020: Who Has Left the Will to Resist Berserkery?

The Surrendered Land: US Institutions Won’t Fight for Democracy 

by Chris Floyd - Empire Burlesque

September 26, 2020

I follow the novelist A.R. Moxon on Twitter, where his political takes routinely bring genuine insight, wit and moral rigor to the increasing beserkery of our times. But he recently posted an observation, or prediction, that I found I couldn’t agree with, much as I would have liked to. 

It prompted some thoughts in response that I put up – on Twitter, where else? – not so much in refutation of his point but more as a wider-angle lens on the possibilities that face us in a post-election meltdown. Below are Moxon’s comment and my response, which has been edited and augmented somewhat, since the original was in the terse telegraphese of Twitterspeak.  


Andre Vltchek, PRESENTE!

Andre Vltchek PRESENTE!

by C. L. Cook -

September 26, 2020

Itinerant, globe-trotting journalist, Andre Vltchek died this week, fittingly while still in motion, careening through an exotic city on the far side of the World. But then for Andre the World had no sides, he lived on the whole of it. 

It's difficult to imagine another like him, in this time or any other. He lived and worked among the most wretched, ever faithful to the interests of those oppressed by state and corporate power. And he did this constantly, it seemed. One could never be sure where he'd be, but what was certain, he wouldn't be there for long.


A Sudden Departure: Andre Vltchek's Unblinking Witness to the World

AndrĂ© Vltchek’s Sudden Death 

by Robert Hunziker - CounterPunch

September 25, 2020

Exposing Lies of the Empire (PT. Badak Merah Semesta, 2015) first introduced me to AndrĂ© Vltchek’s remarkable journalism, weaving together unforgettable narratives of Western imperialism and capitalistic fundamentalism. He’s widely considered one of the world’s most gifted thinkers, and even though I did not personally know him, I always looked forward to reading his articles. 

Vltchek in Kenya during Al-Shabaab standoff 

His words came from direct personal experience on the front lines of battlefields or wherever humanity suffered and struggled. He knew slums as well as palaces and villages that had been bombed into the ground. He was a true revolutionary fighting for the underclass, a lifetime communist and advocate of Chinese globalism, which he described as beneficial to former colonized countries throughout the world.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Press Dogs Don't Bark at "Press Trial of the Century"

Julian Assange: Press Shows Little Interest in Media ‘Trial of Century’ 

Labeled the media “trial of the century,” WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s extradition hearing is currently taking place in London—although you might not have heard if you’re relying solely on corporate media for news. If extradited, Assange faces 175 years in a Colorado supermax prison, often described as a “black site” on US soil.

The United States government is asking Britain to send the Australian publisher to the US to face charges under the 1917 Espionage Act.  He is accused of aiding and encouraging Chelsea Manning to hack a US government computer in order to publish hundreds of thousands of documents detailing American war crimes, particularly in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

Thursday, September 24, 2020

A "Diabolical Lurking" Beneath the Surface of Canada's Left

Does Canadian Left Icon Stephen Lewis want Palestine to Disappear?

by Yves Engler - Dissident Voice

September 23rd, 2020

Stephen Lewis seems to want Palestine to disappear. The latest example in a long history of anti-Palestinian activism is his claim that Canada’s anti-Palestinian voting record at the UN didn’t contribute to its defeat for a seat on the Security Council.

Recently I was forwarded an email that activist Elizabeth Block shared to Independent Jewish Voices’ discussion list in which she challenged Lewis’ omission of Palestine during a recent CBC interview that dealt with Canada’s Security Council defeat.  


Killing the Kangaroo: UK "Justice" Drops Hammer on Assange Hearing

Assange Hearing Day 16  

by Craig Murray: Your Man in the Public Gallery

September 24, 2020

On Wednesday the trap sprang shut, as Judge Baraitser insisted the witnesses must finish next week, and that no time would be permitted for preparation of closing arguments, which must be heard the immediate following Monday. This brought the closest the defence have come to a protest, with the defence pointing out they have still not addressed the new superseding indictment, and that the judge refused their request for an adjournment before witness hearings started, to give them time to do so.

Edward Fitzgerald QC for the defence also pointed out that there had been numerous witnesses whose evidence had to be taken into account, and the written closing submissions had to be physically prepared with reference to the transcripts and other supporting evidence from the trial. Baraitser countered that the defence had given her 200 pages of opening argument and she did not see that much more could be needed. Fitzgerald, who is an old fashioned gentleman in the very nicest sense of those words, struggled to express his puzzlement that all of the evidence since opening arguments could be dismissed as unnecessary and of no effect. 


Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Loud-Mouths & Tight Spaces: CDC Revises Its Covid-19 Contagion Guidelines

The CDC retracts its guidance that stipulated the airborne danger of the coronavirus

by Benjamin Mateus  - WSWS

 23 September 2020

On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published new guidelines acknowledging that the virus causing COVID-19 is primarily transmitted through small airborne particles. This admission implies that people occupying poorly ventilated areas such as classrooms, meat packing factories, production lines, churches, grocery stores, etc., are at risk of acquiring COVID-19 if someone else in the room with COVID-19 is contagious. Airborne particles, unlike respiratory droplets, can linger in the air and concentrate throughout an enclosed room.

David J. Sencer CDC Museum in Atlanta, GA (Wikimedia Commons) 

The CDC wrote in no uncertain terms that the most common modes of transmission for SARS-CoV-2 were through “respiratory droplets or small particles, such as those in aerosols, produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks, or breathes. 


The Western Fire Refugees

Diary of a Smoke Refugee 

by David Rovics - CounterPunch

September 21, 2020

It’s been quite a week here in Oregon. I know there are plenty of other horrors happening in the world. The invisible ones are the worst. Like tens of millions of children in the US going to bed hungry every night in recent weeks, or the tap water in Flint and Gaza continuing to be undrinkable, or the many people every night in Yemen and India dying alone at home of disease, knowing it’s pointless to go to a hospital that has no medicine and no equipment. 

 Photograph by Nathaniel St. Clair

The visible horrors are more dramatic, more newsworthy, and also deadly for some, devastating for many – Sudan and Alabama underwater. Siberia, California, and Oregon on fire.

Standing Down: Guardian Stays Mum on Assange Charges

The US is using the Guardian to justify jailing Assange for life. Why is the paper so silent? 22 September 2020 

by Jonathan Cook

September 22, 2020

Julian Assange is not on trial simply for his liberty and his life. He is fighting for the right of every journalist to do hard-hitting investigative journalism without fear of arrest and extradition to the United States. Assange faces 175 years in a US super-max prison on the basis of claims by Donald Trump’s administration that his exposure of US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan amounts to “espionage”.

The charges against Assange rewrite the meaning of “espionage” in unmistakably dangerous ways. Publishing evidence of state crimes, as Assange’s Wikileaks organisation has done, is covered by both free speech and public interest defences. 


The Bats Bot of Britain: BBC Blitzes Population with War Porn

The ‘War Against Us’ – The Battle of Britain And Steve Richards On ‘The Prime Ministers’

by Media Lens

23rd September 2020

We can report that the skies over South East England have been swarming with Spitfires and Hurricanes this month. Is there a war on? Well, yes. 

In 1991, the historian Howard Zinn described the two targets of Operation Desert Storm:


‘The American population was bombarded the way the Iraqi population was bombarded. It was a war against us, a war of lies and disinformation and omission of history. That kind of war, overwhelming and devastating, waged here in the US while the Gulf War was waged over there.’ (Zinn, ‘Power, History and Warfare,’ Open Magazine Pamphlet Series, No. 8, 1991, p.12)


Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Dahr Jamail, Jennifer Abbott, Janine Bandcroft September 24, 2020

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook -

September 24, 2020

Welcome back to Gorilla Radio’s continuing efforts, NOT broadcast live from CFUV Radio in the basement of the Student Union Building at the University of Victoria, but emanating live-to-tape via Skype from our home-based … studios on this date, September 18th, 2020.


It’s clear, the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we all live. While questions about how long-lasting a change that will be are moot, what we should be asking is: 

“How do we make the most of these forced changes, and now choose better ways of living?”

Dahr Jamail is a recovering journalist and author whose latest book, ‘The End of Ice: Bearing Witness and Finding Meaning in the Path of Climate Disruption’ is a vital guide to both understanding these turbulent times, and the possibilities they present.

Listen. Hear.

Dahr’s latest project is ‘The Changing Earth: Indigenous Voices From Turtle Island’ a collaboration with indigenous scholar, Stan Rushworth that promises to, “present, via powerful and intimate encounters, the perspective of Indigenous peoples of the United States and Canada on the Earth’s climate and interrelated Covid-19 emergencies.”

Dahr Jamail in the first half.

And; are there any among you listening not worried about the state of the natural World; any unaware of the collapsing populations of insects, birds, and fish both great and small? And, are there any left who believe it’s not too late to avert climate disaster? Well, I’m sorry to be the one to tell you: “Yes, it IS too late, baby”. But, just because we’ve passed the point of being able to preserve “our way of life” doesn’t mean we can’t still live full and meaningful lives.

Jennifer Abbott is an internationally renowned, award-winning documentary filmmaker. Her latest film, premiering at the imminently opening Vancouver International Film Festival, ‘The Magnitude of All Things’ is a deeply personal and poignant film that, “explores the emotional and psychological dimensions of the climate crisis and the relationship between grief and hope in times of personal and planetary change.”

Jennifer Abbott in the second half.

And; CFUV Radio broadcaster and host of Plant Powered Radio, 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. But first, Dahr Jamail and Covid, climate and other interrelated emergencies.

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:

Andre Vltchek, PRESENTE!

 In Memoriam – Andre Vltchek

by OffGuardian

September 23, 2020

OffG is shocked to hear that Andre Vltchek, a long-time contributing author and friend of the site, died yesterday in Istanbul.

He died suddenly whilst travelling in Turkey with his wife. Turkish officials are treating the death as “suspicious”, but as yet no details have been released. He was 57 years old. 


Mass Migratory Bird Die-Off a "National Tragedy"

Hundreds of Thousands of Migratory Birds 'Falling Out of the Sky' in the Southwest

by Jordan Davidson - EcoWatch

September 22, 2020

The American Southwest is witnessing a horrific and inexplicable phenomenon, likely due to the climate crisis: hundreds of thousands of migratory birds are dying off. The birds seem to be just "falling out of the sky," as The Guardian reported.

A MacGillivray's Warbler found dead in Fairplay, Colorado 

An eerie scene was captured on video and posted to the Las Cruces-Sun News in New Mexico. Journalist Austin Fisher was out on a hike on Sunday when he encountered a trail of dead birds. The New Mexico Game & Fish department has been inundated with calls from residents concerned about all the dead birds they are seeing.


Monday, September 21, 2020

Mike Pompeo's Socialist Reforms (for Venezuela)

Pompeo Announces Funding for Welfare, Healthcare and Indigenous Support. In Venezuela 

by Alan Macleod - MintPress News

September 21, 2020

The sweeping $348 million aid package, which includes funding for healthcare, direct cash assistance, and even psychosocial support, runs in stark contradiction to a long-held US policy of sanctions on Venezuela.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has returned from his official visits to Suriname, Guyana, Colombia and Brazil, where he discussed the possibilities of regime change in Venezuela, a nation which has drawn Washington’s ire for over 20 years. 


Bill Gates' War: Resisting the Billionaires' Global Agenda

Bill Gates’ Global Agenda and How We Can Resist His War on Life

by Vandana Shiva - Independent Science News

September 21, 2020

In March 2015, Bill Gates showed an image of the coronavirus during a TED Talk and told the audience that it was what the greatest catastrophe of our time would look like. The real threat to life, he said, is ‘not missiles, but microbes.’ When the coronavirus pandemic swept over the earth like a tsunami five years later, he revived the war language, describing the pandemic as ‘a world war’.

‘The coronavirus pandemic pits all of humanity against the virus,’ he said.