The EPA's Toxic Defender

Mr. Toxicity Zaps America

by Robert Hunziker - CounterPunch

October 20, 2017

America’s all-time-leading heartless anti-science zealot EPA Administrator Scott “Mr. Toxicity” Pruitt, as of March 2017, nixed his own agency’s proposal of 2015 to ban the toxic chemical chlorpyrifos, an insecticide that attacks the nervous system of pesky insects, as well as pesky and non-pesky people (the Nazis invented it for germ warfare). It’s sprayed on crops of foodstuff that ends up in grocery stores.

All of which brings to mind, how in the world does the Trump group, from A-to-Z, remain in power one of the great enigmas of all time. By all appearances, so far nobody has the backbone, the guts to throw’em in the gutter, back to their lifeblood.

Chlorpyrifos is no longer patent protected. It is now the active ingredient in dozens of pesticide products made by companies such as Bayer and BASF. More than 80,000 people submitted comments to the EPA urging the agency to ban chlorpyrifos from use on all crops immediately. (Source: EPA Urged to Ban Widely-Used Pesticide Chlorpyrrifos, Environment News-Washington, DC, Jan. 5, 2016)


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Get Ready for the "Ayatollah Hackola" Narrative

First Russia, Now Iran: Cyberespionage Accusations Fit A Changing Agenda

by Whitney Webb  - MintPress News

October 19, 2017


No concrete evidence was used to attribute the hack to Russia in June, just as no concrete evidence has been made available to attribute the hack to Iran now. However, the assignment of blame to these nation states coincided with other geopolitical issues pitting Russia and Iran against U.K. or U.S. interests.


On October 13, President Donald Trump – as anticipated – decertified the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear accord, despite the fact that Iran was in full compliance with the agreement. Trump’s unilateral decision to put the survival of the deal in jeopardy was met with strong opposition by European leaders — including Germany, the United Kingdom, and France, whose leaders issued a joint statement condemning the move.

Interestingly, a day later, accusations conveniently emerged blaming the Iranian government for a June cyberattack that had targeted numerous U.K. politicians. The attackers allegedly sought to gain access to accounts of some members of parliament — all of which were protected by “weak passwords — and were successful in some instances.

The evidence for blaming Iran was based solely on an “unpublished assessment by British intelligence” that was reported on by The London Times, though they merely disclosed the existence of the report and did not read it. Thus, its contents are unknown, as are its reasons for blaming the Iranian government.

Despite that, the Times called the hack “Iran’s first significant act of cyberwarfare on Britain.” It also noted that the Trump administration “is likely to seize on the attack as proof that Mrs. May and other signatories to the deal are being naive in their dealings with Tehran.” 


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Losing the Weinstein Plot

Harvey Weinstein and the politics of Hollywood 

by Jonathan Cook

18 October 2017

There is something truly exasperating about digesting the steady flow of horror stories relating to Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.

In part, of course, it is because the reports that Weinstein allegedly raped and sexually assaulted women over decades are deeply disturbing.

In part, it is because one can be certain that there are still young aspiring actresses desperate for a big break who are being exploited by the Hollywood system – both in “casting” sessions and in the movies they must make to get noticed.

But most of all, these stories are exasperating because the women who are speaking out – and one senses they are still just the tip of the iceberg – and the journalists who are feeding off their revelations are drawing precisely no political conclusions from these incidents.

In fact, the Weinstein story perfectly illustrates how politically disempowering identity politics can be. Certainly, there can be no doubt that Weinstein, who has admitted that he abused his position with many women, while denying many of the actual reports of sexual misconduct, exploited his power. It should hardly surprise us that a rich man who had the ability to give desperate young women a shot at stardom preyed on them. The Hollywood employment system is capitalism in microcosm, at its rawest and most naked.

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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Greg Palast, Amy Lubik, Christina Nikolic October 19th, 2017

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook -

October 19, 2017

"They saw it coming!" and yet the masters of Puerto Rico's debt allowed the island's infrastructure to deteriorate so far, Hurricane Maria merely provided the coup de grace. Now, a month after that devastating storm, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, "unincorporated territory of the United States," shattered in every sense, is ripe for the vulture's picking.

It's 'disaster capitalism' in its purest form, leveraging catastrophe to privatize and monopolize essential services, while gorging on aid money provided ostensibly to ease the people's suffering. And it's those people, says my first guest, the ones who's needs are most dire, who'll pay dearest.

Listen. Hear.

Investigator, journalist, author, and filmmaker, Greg Palast has reported from the jagged edge of the news on both sides of the Atlantic for the better part of two decades, breaking stories for BBC flagship news program, Newsnight and The Guardian newspaper in Britain, and filing stories with the Nation Magazine and Rolling Stone stateside.

His books, Billionaires & Ballot Bandits, Armed Madhouse, and The Best Democracy Money Can Buy have all resided on the New York Times' bestseller list, while Vultures' Picnic was named Book of the Year by BBC Newsnight Review. His latest documentary film, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy: A Tale of Billionaires & Ballot Bandits is newly recut, and can be got through his website,

Greg Palast in the first half.

And; the election of a new government in British Columbia hasn't eased fears of expanded Liquid Natural Gas, or LNG, mining in the province. LNG means "fracking", or hydraulic fracturing, the environmentally detrimental method currently used to extract hydrocarbons locked in rock formations beneath the surface; and, the newly ensconced NDP government is curiously quiet about the future of this most fractious industry.

In the dying days of BC's recent elections, a group of health professionals concerned an issue posing such deleterious environmental and human health effects was not getting the media coverage it deserved rallied supporters to make of it an election issue.

Amy Lubik holds a PhD in cancer research, and is a member for the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, the Public Health Association of BC and Bridge for Health Coop. Amy mobilized along with the BC chapter of CAPE, or the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment last April in an operation hoping to deliver a moratorium on Fracking in BC.

Following up with Dr. Amy Lubik and FRACTURED BC: Fracking, Site C, Health and Human Rights in the second half.

And; Victoria-based horticultural guru and green entrepreneur, Christina Nikolic will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with this week's installment of the Left Coast Events bulletin. But first, Greg Palast and Puerto Rico's vultures.


Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live Thursdays, 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and streaming at:  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, Check out the GR blog at: and @Paciffreepress on Twitter.
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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Su Rynard, Pablo Ouziel, Kathy Kelly, Janine Bandcroft October 12, 2017

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook -

October 12, 2017 


We're living today in Rachel Carson's fabled "tomorrow."

Fifty-five years after her harbinger book, 'Silent Spring' warned of the inevitable end our industrial creation would bring to the natural world around us, the proofs of Carson's prognostications are clear to all but the most obtuse, or willfully blind observors. But even these may notice the silence where birdsong used to be.

Su Rynard is an artist and filmmaker whose work has screened at festivals and in galleries in Canada, the US, and Europe. She's the recipient of numerous awards for her documentaries and received the Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize for her debut feature film, Kardia.


Listen. Hear.


Her recent documentary, The Messenger is an environmental tour de force that like Rachel Carson's work implores we see clearly now what we sacrifice before it disappears entirely.

Su Rynard in the first segment.

And; Catalonia president, and Catalan independence leader Carles Puigdemont addressed parliament Tuesday regarding his party's plans for the future of Spain's restive Catalunya region. Nearly two weeks after the referendum on separation deemed illegal by Madrid overwhelmingly endorsed leaving Spain Puigdemont, who had threatened to unilaterally declare the wealthiest of the country's regions a new nation, backpedaled slightly, "suspending" for an unspecified time his promise to unilaterally declare independence to allow for negotiation.

When, where, what, and with whom he plans to negotiate was not made clear; so for now, Catalonia waits for Madrid. Dr. Pablo Ouziel is a Post-Doctoral fellow here at UVic,whose project in progress is, 'Towards Democratic Responses to the Crisis of Democracy in Spain: Forms of Participatory and Representative Civic Engagement.' He's a Spanish national, and more poignantly, Catalan.

Pablo Ouziel and Catalunya waiting to exhale in the second segment.

And; is it possible to live unaware of our fellows' suffering amid a holocaust? History tells us, not only is it possible, but that ignorance is the necessary condition for a fully-blown human cataclysm to take hold. My third guest asks, how many of us are aware right now of the "terror faced by people in South Sudan, Somalia, northeast Nigeria, northern Kenya and Yemen[?]."

Kathy Kelly is a long-time peace and justice activist, essayist, author, and recipient of numerous awards for her peace service, including multiple nominations for the Nobel Peace prize and many more.

Kelly is co-founder of Voices in the Wilderness and Voices for Creative Nonviolence, co-authored the book, ‘Prisoners on Purpose: a Peacemakers Guide to Jails and Prison,’ and wrote, ‘Other Lands Have Dreams: from Baghdad to Pekin Prison.’ In her latest article, 'Great Hunger' Kelly reveals the current holocaust occurring beneath most of our screens.

Kathy Kelly and allowing the voices of the suffering to speak in the final segment.

And; Victoria activist and CFUV Radio broadcaster at-large, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottomish of the hour with the Left Coast Events bulletin. But first, Su Rynard and hearing The Messenger's song.


Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live Thursdays, 11-Noon Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and streaming at:  He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, Check out the GR blog at:
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Antifa's American Ploy

Antifa in Theory and in Practice

by Diana Johnstone - CounterPunch

October 9, 2017


“Fascists are divided into two categories: the fascists and the anti-fascists.”
Ennio Flaiano, Italian writer and co-author
of Federico Fellini’s greatest film scripts.

In recent weeks, a totally disoriented left has been widely exhorted to unify around a masked vanguard calling itself Antifa, for anti-fascist.

Hooded and dressed in black, Antifa is essentially a variation of the Black Bloc, familiar for introducing violence into peaceful demonstrations in many countries.

Imported from Europe, the label Antifa sounds more political. It also serves the purpose of stigmatizing those it attacks as “fascists”.

Despite its imported European name, Antifa is basically just another example of America’s steady descent into violence.



Photo by jcrakow | CC BY 2.0


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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Pablo Ouziel, Dimitri Lascaris, Janine Bandcroft October 5th, 2017

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook -

October 5, 2017

Spain is undergoing a crisis of democracy not seen since the rise of Generalissimo Francisco Franco's fascist regime in the 1930's. Over the weekend a Catalan referendum on separation was conducted, despite being declared illegal by the federal government. Police violence and other attempts to shut down the vote have played very badly abroad, and played right into the hands of regional president, Carles Puigdemont who, rumour has it, will unilaterally declare independence next week.

Dr. Pablo Ouziel is a Post-Doctoral fellow here at UVic,whose project in progress is, 'Towards Democratic Responses to the Crisis of Democracy in Spain: Forms of Participatory and Representative Civic Engagement.' He's a Spanish national, and more poignantly, Catalan.


Listen. Hear.

Dr. Pablo Ouziel in the first segment.

And; if any single thing emblemizes our times it is the dizzying pace of change. Just ten days ago the World trembled at the thought of a nuclear conflagration, triggered through the volatile confluence of overblown egomania one the one hand and extreme narcissism on the other. Which of these elementary character flaws describes the leader of America and which North Korea's is both debatable, (one certainly not precluding the other) and a question wiser minds defer pondering. What's certain though is: we're living in mad days indeed.

Dimitri Lascaris is a lawyer, journalist and activist, reporting for The Real News Network. In his recently filed TRNN report, 'Mad Man vs. Rocket Man: North Korea Crisis Hits Fever Pitch' he asks "Can the generals hold the impulsive American president in check?"

Dimitri Lascaris exploring perhaps the planet's most dangerous territory, that space between the ears of Donald Trump, in the second segment.

And; Victoria-based activist and CFUV Radio broadcaster at-large, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottomish of the hour with the Left Coast Events Bulletin update. But first, Yves Engler and Jagmeet Singh; new bottle for old wine, or fresh start for a stale third party?



Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm 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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Getting The Messenger

The Messenger

by WildWings Nature & Arts Festival

October 3, 2017

This October 12th at 7pm we'll be showing the award-winning documentary film "The Messenger", Su Rynard’s visionary film about our deep-seated connection to songbirds and threat that human activity poses to their survival, at the Nature Centre as a part of the month-long WildWings Nature & Arts Festival.

This is an essential film for anyone who cares about the environment and nature. It's not only an opportunity to see an amazing award-winning film (especially if you missed last year's showing at VIU) but also to talk together about postive local action and ongoing local successes in restoring song bird habitat and song bird recovery.

The Nature Centre film screening will be followed by a Q and A discussion with local naturalists.






Since its world premiere in 2015 at Toronto’s Hot Docs Film Festival, The Messenger has wowed audiences the world over at more than 30 international film festivals, receiving numerous awards, including The Best Conservation Program from Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, Best of Fest and Best Theatrical Feature, International Wildlife Film Festival plus a Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Cinematography in a Feature Documentary and the Ontario Nature’s Carl Nunn Media Impact Award.


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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Marion Selfridge Peter Lee, Don Goodeve, Janine Bandcroft Sept. 28th, 2017

This Week on GR

by C. L. Cook -

September 28, 2017

Overdose deaths in British Columbia are a public health emergency according to provincial health officer, Dr. Perry Kendall. Since Kendall's declaration to that effect in 2016, the number of lives lost has nearly doubled to more than 1400 expected to perish here by year's end.

And for every one of those departed there are friends, family, front-line social workers, and others affected by that loss.

Marion Selfridge is a PhD student in UVic's Social Dimensions of Health program. She's also coordinating the heART space project with an advisory council of street-involved youth. Her dissertation focuses on those youths' use of social media to deal with grief and loss amid this epidemic.


Listen. Hear.


Marion Selfridge and Rayne Hartshorn in the first segment.


And; before the desperate PR operation to inveigle the American public into believing Russia's Evil Emperor, Vladimir Putin was her ultimate presidential campaign opponent, Hillary Clinton and her "crooked" Clinton Foundation was already working furiously to undermine that other Red Menace, China. And, according to my second guest, the fact she failed to gain the White House has not slowed the effort.

Peter Lee is a freelance journalist writing on East and South Asian affairs as they intersect with US global policy. He blogs at the Asian affairs website China Matters, and his China Watch report features at


Peter Lee and Chuck Hagel's Demise...and James Fanell's Rise...and Australia! in the second segment.

And; full disclosure; as a motorcyclist I feel personally involved when I see another rider injured or killed in a road incident caused by heedless drivers. And, I'm not alone. When fellow rider, Don Goodeve read of Rodger Hargreaves death earlier this month he asked, “What do we need to do to actually change the culture of road users so that traffic accidents like this do not occur?” He decided to organize, putting out the word for riders to gather and demonstrate solidarity by making several passes en masse of the place where Hargreaves died.


Don Goodeve and riding to remind in the final segment.


And; Victoria-based activist and CFUV Radio broadcaster at-large Janine Bandcroft will be here with the Left Coast Events bulletin at the bottomish of the hour. But first, Marion Selfridge and finding heART space.


Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm 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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Killing History: Burns' "Good" Vietnam War

The Killing of History

by John Pilger  - Consortium News

September 21, 2017

PBS’ “The Vietnam War” may show some of the conflict’s horrors but still soft-pedals the horrific war crimes that America inflicted on Vietnam, fitting with a corporate-dependent documentary project, writes John Pilger.

One of the most hyped “events” of American television, “The Vietnam War,” has started on the PBS network. The directors are Ken Burns and Lynn Novick. Acclaimed for his documentaries on the Civil War, the Great Depression and the history of jazz, Burns says of his Vietnam films,

“They will inspire our country to begin to talk and think about the Vietnam War in an entirely new way.”

In a society often bereft of historical memory and in thrall to the propaganda of its “exceptionalism,” Burns’s “entirely new” Vietnam War is presented as an “epic, historic work.”

Its lavish advertising campaign promotes its biggest backer, Bank of America, which in 1971 was burned down by students in Santa Barbara, California, as a symbol of the hated war in Vietnam.

Burns says he is grateful to “the entire Bank of America family” which “has long supported our country’s veterans.” Bank of America was a corporate prop to an invasion that killed perhaps as many as four million Vietnamese and ravaged and poisoned a once bountiful land. More than 58,000 American soldiers were killed, and around the same number are estimated to have taken their own lives.

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Failing to Find Canadian Heroes in Rwanda Tragedy

The Real Rwanda Genocide Story has no Canadian Heroes

by Yves Engler - Dissident Voice

September 21st, 2017

Canadian commentators often claim more Tutsi were killed in the genocide than lived in Rwanda. Since it aligns with Washington, London and Kigali’s interests, as well as liberal nationalist Canadian ideology, the statistical inflation passes with little comment.

A Tyee story last month described the “slaughter of over 800,000 Tutsis in Rwanda” between April–July 1994. An earlier Globe and Mail profile of Roméo Dallaire cited a higher number. It noted, “over the next few months, Hutu activists and militias, supplemented by police officers and military commanders, killed an estimated 800,000 to 1 million Tutsis.”

Even self-declared experts on the subject cite these outlandish statistics.

In the Globe and Mail and Rabble last year Gerald Caplan wrote that, “despite his [Dallaire] best efforts, perhaps a million people of the Tutsi minority were slaughtered in 100 days.”


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Social Cleansing in Britain

Social Cleansing and the Destruction of Council Estates Exposed at Screening of ‘Dispossession’ by Endangered New Cross Residents

by Andy Worthington


On Saturday, I went to the New Cross Learning Centre — a community-run former library in New Cross — for a screening of ‘Dispossession: The Great Social Housing Swindle’, a new documentary about Britain’s housing crisis directed by Paul Sng, who is from New Cross (and is the director of ‘Sleaford Mods: Invisible Britain’).

The screening was organised by the residents of the Achilles Street area, whose homes are threatened by Lewisham Council, which wants to knock them all down, and build shiny new replacements.

The area affected runs between New Cross Road and Fordham Park (from south to north), and between Clifton Rise and Pagnell Street (from west to east), and there are 87 homes (with 33 leaseholders), and around 20 businesses (along New Cross Road and down Clifton Rise).

Lewisham Council claims, in its most recent consultation document, from February this year, that “[a]ll current council tenants who wish to stay in the new development will be able to do so with the same rent levels and tenancy conditions that they have today,” and that “[a]ny resident leaseholder who wishes to will be able to remain in home ownership on the new development.”

This sounds reassuring, but the recent history of regeneration projects — both in London and elsewhere in the country — is that councils and developers lie to tenants and leaseholders, to get them to agree to regeneration under terms that are not then honoured. Instead, tenants are evicted and their homes demolished, and they never get to return, and leaseholders are offered derisory amounts for the homes that, ironically, they bought under Margaret Thatcher’s Right to Buy policy, which is insufficient for them to buy a replacement property in the area, leading to their exodus in addition to that of the former tenants.


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