Pacific Free Press


  • Written by Tom Engelhardt

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.

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

This Time on GR

by C. L. Cook -

April 4, 2020

che kokoDue 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:

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  • Written by Richard Kastelein

Blockchain Community in Global Fight Against COVID-19

Huobi Charity Joins Rally with Blockchain Community in Global Fight Against COVID-19

by Richard Kastelein - Blockchain News

April , 2020

The charitable arm of Huobi Group (turnover exceeds US $3 trillion), Huobi Charity has joined Binance and other large cryptocurrency and blockchain companies in helping the global community fight COVID-19. Huobi will be making monetary contributions, donating medical supplies, and leveraging blockchain technology to aid healthcare organizations, hospitals, and front-line healthcare workers around the world.

“This pandemic is a global crisis that knows no borders. It affects everyone in every corner of the world, regardless of industry, socioeconomic status, or nationality,” said Ciara Sun, VP of Global Business at Huobi Group. “As a company that was built on the support of global communities who share our vision for a more equitable economy, we see this as our moment to give back and do our part.”

Huobi Charity is starting by working with the Indonesia-China Association of Economic, Social and Cultural Cooperation (ICAESCC) to provide assistance to Indonesia as the country experiences a significant shortage of medical resources amid a recent surge in coronavirus cases. As the world’s fourth most populous country and Southeast Asia’s largest economy, Indonesia is a crucial battleground in the fight to slow the pandemic.

In an effort to provide immediate relief, Huobi Charity is donating approximately $50,000 USD in Huobi Token (HT) to ICAESCC for the purchase and distribution of much-needed medical supplies to local hospitals.

Huobi Indonesia has also developed an online portal where companies and individuals can make donations in both fiat and crypto, as well as medical supplies and proper protective gear.

Beyond Indonesia, Huobi Charity is working on sourcing donations and supplies for similar initiatives to support other global COVID-19 hot zones like New York and currently in conversations with several hospital networks and universities in the city.

Sun added, “For the sake of the healthcare workers on the front lines and the millions of lives at risk, we need a concerted effort so we want to invite the broader blockchain and crypto communities to join us in our fight against COVID-19.”

Recent Donation Disclosure

Huobi Charity was first established in late January in response to the coronavirus epidemic that swept through Wuhan and other regions of China. In the midst of the outbreak, Huobi established its charitable arm and committed $1.4 million USD to source and donate medical supplies and protective gear to hospitals and healthcare workers in Wuhan and other affected areas. Ciara Sun was appointed to lead the efforts.

Despite a global medical supply shortage, a volunteer team of Huobi employees, Huobi Knights, and community members helped source medical supplies from over 90 domestic and international OEM suppliers. In total, Huobi Charity donated 1,000 oximeters, 2,000 infrared thermometers, 53,830 protective suits, 130,340 medical masks, 1.2 million pairs of medical gloves, 6,000 pairs of shoe covers, 15 tons of disinfection liquid, and 8 tons of medical alcohol directly to over 135 hospitals and community healthcare centers.

Although the launch of Huobi Charity and its recent donations were not publicly announced previously due to the urgency of the campaign, Huobi Charity is committed to operating in full transparency and maintains detailed records of all transactions, which can be made available upon request.

Established by Leon Li in 2013, the company’s Huobi Global exchange accumulative turnover exceeds US $3 trillion. Huobi proudly provides safe, secure, and convenient cryptocurrency trading and asset management services to millions of users in 170+ countries.

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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

Welcome to Gorilla Radio's post-Covid-19 outbreak broadcast; not LIVE from the basement of the Student Union Building at the University of Victoria, but taped live-to-Skype in my home (ahem) studio. BUT, and it IS an enormous but, we're still heard at 101.9FM in Victoria, and at everywhere else.

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, (reduced now to a mere Putin pseudonym) 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 Russia jail and now held incommunicado by Britain, dividing the United States along racial lines, and of course crowning Donald Trump Idiot King of America.

Listen. Hear.

These among other things; just one of which, currently being heard in a Dutch court, is complicity in the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in 2014.

The only problem there it seems, is the same problem seen with these other allegations against "Putin's" Russia: lots of media smoke with little evidentiary fire.

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, or Venezuela, where the latest excuse offered for regime change there is Covid-19 related drugs smuggling 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:
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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Alan Hirsch, Taylor Hirsch, Janine Bandcroft April 2, 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:
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