Pacific Free Press

Opinion

Passing: Richard Kastelein

The Death of Richard Kastelein: Blue Water Sailor, Media Maven, Technology Adventurer, Raconteur, Family Man
by C. L. Cook
March 8, 2021
 
Richard Kastelein died February 5th in his adopted Dutch home of Groningen. He is survived by his wife, Wieke, three children, Hannah, Marah, and Ishyah, and extended family in Holland and his native Canada. Rich is also mourned by the many, many people whose lives he touched and changed for the better over the course of his wide travels in a far too brief lifetime.
 
Rich Kastelein head 
Among the myriad projects Rich initiated and nurtured is this site, Pacific Free Press.
In 2006, as the Bush II regime's Global War on Terror reared to its gruesome height, maiming and killing the common people of Iraq and Afghanistan, (among its multitude of other atrocities) I followed the brilliant but marginalized writings of American journalist in (voluntary) exile, Chris Floyd.
 
Floyd's site served up poetic evisceration of the horror-makers' doings, and of their lying accomplices in "mainstream" news. Empire Burlesque was then an island of moral clarity amidst a sea of hatred and insane media warmongering. I responded, writing long commentary below Chris' articles, finding in them an unwavering reminder and affirmation that not all was lost, and there existed yet those sharing my outraged indignation.
 
My comments were answered by the site's manager, Rich Kastelein. He had discovered Chris Floyd's work at the Moscow Times and in typical Rich fashion went further than commenting, he contacted Floyd, convincing him to host his own site, one tech. savvy Rich could set up.
 
At that time, Rich was hosting his own news aggregator site, Atlantic Free Press. I suggested, (or was it Rich's idea?) there was much more room for the kind of work he was doing at AFP, and perhaps a sister-site, Pacific Free Press could compliment and expand the effort to bring alternative news to counteract, in some small measure, the distorted view of reality presented by a corporate media bent on war and profits at any and all cost.
 
I'm sure I suggested my friend, Ingmar Lee, a gifted writer then living in the south of India, could join with an "Indian Ocean Free Press" too. Though an Indian Ocean Free Press never happened, Rich did become friends with Ingmar, naturally setting him up with his own website.
 
During its run, Atlantic Free Press published the work of Chris Floyd, and a host of like-minded activist/writers, putting into circulation more than ten thousand articles, and publishing books too. This in a time before the plethora of views on all matters found on the internet today was common.
 
Though Rich moved on to great success in other areas of interest, primarily the workings of new media and monetary technologies, he never stopped supporting my work at Pacific Free Press, and made possible Gorilla Radio's move from parochial university radio show to a globally available online presence.
 
And that was what Rich did where ever he went; enabling people to do great things and make a difference where they were. And that's part of his legacy with me; the Rich I knew. But, he was much more than that.
 
Yes, a blue water sailor who made multiple Atlantic crossings; certainly a media maven and technology early adopter; a lifetime adventurer, grabbing at the opportunities life threw in his path for sure; and enthusiastic raconteur, always willing to enlighten and entertain with stories of where he'd been and what he'd learned, but most importantly he was a husband and father, a family man.
 
Just a couple of months ago, Rich dropped me a line. He wanted to set up a Skype call to talk about a possible future venture involving Gorilla Radio. He thought we could together make it something bigger, move it on to a larger stage, because there still were too few voices talking about the important things; the injustice, the wars, and the criminals running this sad world with impunity.
 
It was, I see now, a coming of full circle for Rich and me. Now, I'll have to go back to reread, and try understand, all the fevered ideas and possibilities he outlined in our correspondence.
 
Sail on Rich, keeping an eye on the horizon.
 
March 8, 2021
 
Rich at sea
 
 
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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Rebecca Gordon, Dave Lindorff February 25th, 2021

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com
 
February 25, 2021
 
Welcome back to Gorilla Radio’s Home Edition recorded on the dates, February 15th and 17th, 2021.

And welcome to human civilization’s last minute and a half or so of existence. At least that’s according to some of the World’s foremost brainiacs, the folks over at the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, and their famous Doomsday Clock. 

It’s been a grand run though, these last 10,000 odd years; but as the saying goes, “all good things must come to an end.” Pity too, because as recently as the turn of the new century, that clock had gone retrograde, granting us a full nine minutes grace. 

But now, just twenty years into George Bush’s “generational war” it looks like we may run out of generations before finishing it. 

My, how the time has flown!

Listen. Hear.

Rebecca Gordon is an educator in philosophy at the University of San Francisco and for it’s Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good. She is too author of the books, ‘Mainstreaming Torture: Ethical Approaches in the Post-9/11 United States’, and ‘American Nuremberg: The U.S. Officials Who Should Stand Trial for Post-9/11 War Crimes, and a frequent contributor to LA Progressive, Responsible Statecraft, and The Nation Magazine’s TomDispatch column, where I found her recent article, ‘The Fire Next Time: Climate Change, the Bomb, or the Flame of Hope?‘.

 

 Rebecca Gordon in the first half.

And; while it’s all fine and good to dance to the departure of the Orange Menace, a sober look at the wreckage he wrought, and what Dragon’s Teeth remain is necessary. That justice is still not seen to have been done in either the election, or in addressing who directed the mobs attacking the Capitol afterward both undermines the legitimacy of American democracy now, and sully its prospects for the future.

Dave Lindorff is an award-winning journalist, author, and founding member of the media collective, ThisCantBeHappening.net. Lindorff’s book titles include, ‘The Case for Impeachment: Legal Arguments for Removing President George W. Bush from Office’ and ‘This Can’t Be Happening! Resisting the Disintegration of American Democracy.’ Dave has charted the ruinously slow departure of the 45th president both at This Can’t Be Happening and here at Gorilla Radio.

Dave Lindorff and King Trump’s fourth act in the second half.

 
But first, Rebecca Gordon and counting down 100 seconds to a diminished tomorrow.
Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: https://cfuv.ca. He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.com
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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Vandana K., John Helmer February 18, 2021

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com
 
February 18, 2021
 
Welcome back to Gorilla Radio’s Home Edition recorded on the dates, February 7th and 8th, 2021.
 
Last November, India’s farmers came in protest by the tens of thousands to the gates of the capital demanding newly drafted laws the Modi government insists are necessary to “modernize” agriculture be struck down. 
 
The ongoing vigil, beset by state violence, media disinformation, and a shutdown of internet and phone coverage not only persists, but its demands are enjoined by unions, celebrities, and millions of citizens alike. So far, neither side seems ready to give ground.
 
Vandana K is a Delhi-based independent journalist and producer who writes on the intersections of environment, gender, youth and indigenous communities with a focus on climate change. 
 
 
She’s also covered India’s agriculture beat for nearly two years. Vandana’s articles can be found at Deutsche Welle, Resurgence & Ecologist, The Wire, and Canada’s Media Co-Op, where her recent piece, ‘The fight over agriculture in India, and how Punjabis in Canada are supporting farmers’ appears.
 

 

Vandana K. in the first half.

And; though the global corona virus pandemic has altered, perhaps irrevocably, how we all live, what hasn’t changed is the seemingly inherent human compulsion to dominate. Around the World, despots and tyrants both great and small have utilized this moment of vulnerability to reap fantastic financial profit, and to run roughshod over rights and freedoms.

John Helmer is a journalist, author, broadcaster, former political advisor to government, and principal behind the news website, Dances with Bears. Among Helmer’s many books titles are, ‘The Lie That Shot Down MH-17’ ‘Skripal in Prison’, and ‘The Man Who Knows Too Much About Russia’. His latest, ‘Hitler Didn’t Die in Berlin – He Moved to Melbourne Where He Runs the State Government of Victoria: A True Covid-19 Thriller‘ is the chronicle of his legal battles with authorities to estop its ban on his leaving Australia, or allowing his wife join him there.

Helmer writes: “Right now this is a story with urgent parallels in the UK, US, Canada, Germany, Spain, and France – in every country where democratic resistance to abuse of power in the pandemic has run into identical tactics of lawlessness, and suffered the same fate.”
 

 

John Helmer and an antidote to government abusing Covid-19 powers in the second half.

 

But first, Vandana K. and India’s farmers’ fight, from there and here.

 
Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: https://cfuv.ca. He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.com
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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, David Adler, Ken Stone February 11, 2021

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com

 
February 11, 2021
 
Welcome to Gorilla Radio’s Home Edition recorded on the dates, February 4th and 9th, 2021.
 
Ecuador’s presidential election is scheduled for February 7th, just three days from now; but with contender, Andres Arauz forecast to win big, the government is claiming his party has contravened National Electoral Council rules and could be disqualified.
 
Arauz has promised to continue the Citizen’s Revolution movement begun by his mentor, Raphael Correa and betrayed by Correa’s former vice-president, and current outgoing president, Lenin Moreno.
 
David Adler is a scholar, political economist, and first General Coordinator of Progressive International, a new organization saying, “It is time for progressives of the world to unite.” Adler is in Ecuador now with a Progressive International elections monitoring contingency.
 
 
 
 David Adler in the first half.

And; March 1st, hearings will resume in the extradition trial of Meng Wanzhou, the Huawei executive arrested in Vancouver in December of 2018 and still held under house-arrest in that city. Meng is also daughter to the founder and CEO of the Chinese tech. giant whose company has been a focus of the growing trade war between the World’s two greatest economies. Meng’s arrest has thrust Canada into the middle of that global imbroglio, threatening trade relations and damaging the country’s reputation as a “rule of law” nation.

Ken Stone is a long-time antiwar activist, serving as an executive member of both the Syria Solidarity Movement and Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War. Ken and the Hamilton Coalition are joining forces with online investigative journalism site, The Canada Files to continue the Cross-Canada FREE MENG WANZOU campaign.

Ken Stone on “The arrest of Meng Wanzhou & the New Cold War on China” in the second half.
 

But first up, David Adler and Progressive International mobilizing its mission in Ecuador.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Thursday between 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: https://cfuv.ca. He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.com
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  • Written by WSWS

Washington Moving On: Senate Won't Hear Witness Testimonies

Democratic cowardice leaves Trump’s Republican conspirators unscathed

by Joseph Kishore - WSWS

 
February 13, 2021
 
The defense team for Donald Trump in his impeachment trial before the Senate rested its case after only two-and-a-half hours Friday afternoon. The Senate proceeded to questions for the two legal sides, which are expected to conclude today. This will be followed by a vote on the charges, which will likely fall well short of the 67 votes required for conviction.
 

See: Trump and the Danger of Fascism in America Series at WSWS

 
Trump’s defense doubled down on the arguments it had advanced throughout. His lawyers claimed that Trump was merely exercising his First Amendment right to free speech when he spoke at a rally before the January 6 insurrection. They asserted that in calling on the fascistic mob to “fight like hell” prior to the storming of the Capitol, his only intention was to encourage a peaceful protest. They said that the fact that the coup attempt was the outcome of extended planning somehow exonerated Trump of responsibility for inciting it.