Pacific Free Press


Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Finian Cunningham, Steve Poikonen March 25th, 2021

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook -
March 25, 2021 
Welcome back to Gorilla Radio’s home edition, recorded on the dates, March 15th and 16th, 2021.

In November of last year, Ethiopia’s federal government attacked the country’s northern Tigray state. Acting prime minister, Abiy Ahmed claimed it was in response to a raid by separatists on a federal army base. Four months later, the “police action” Abiy promised would be over in a matter of days has become a full-fledged conflict putting at risk millions of lives.
Earlier this month, the United States announced it would mobilize a USAID DART, or Disaster Assistance Response Team to be sent into the Tigray region to forestall the widespread starvation of Tigrayan refugees. The problem is, USAID has not been invited into the country, a point made by both China and Russia in the UN Security Council.
Finian Cunningham is a prolific journalist and two-time Serena Shim Award for Uncompromising Integrity in Journalism recipient. His articles on international affairs appear at numerous online outlets, including Strategic Culture, where I found his recent article, ‘U.S. Paves Way for Intervention in Ethiopia, Horn of Africa’.

Listen. Hear.

Finian Cunningham in the first half.

And; approaching the second anniversary of the sanctioned kidnapping of journalist and publisher Julian Assange from Ecuador’s London embassy, the founder of WikiLeaks seems no closer to freedom. A “victim of legal procedure”, Assange has been left to rot in solitary confinement in Britain’s notorious Belmarsh Prison while American courts decide his fate. The outrage against the principles of journalism and due process have been protested in Britain and globally, while in the U.S. a dedicated campaign of Americans from all over the country has manifested in the streets of the Capitol during the pivotal moments in the British hearings on extradition.

Steve Poikonen is a columnist, broadcaster, and host of the ‘Slow News Day‘ podcast. Steve’s also an organizer with Action4Assange, and co-host of the #FreeAssange Vigil. He and a retinue of activist have returned yet again to Washington, D.C., this time as part of the Clovers4Assange Actions coinciding with St. Patrick’s Day.

Steve Poikonen from Washington in the second half.

But first, Finian Cunningham and USAID wading in to Ethiopia’s civil war.

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 FundingDrive 2021 with Chris Cook, Ingmar Lee March 18, 2021

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook -
March 18, 2021
Welcome back to Gorilla Radio’s Home Edition, recorded this date, March 10th, 2021. And welcome to FundingDrive 2021.
2020’s FundingDrive was dissected by the Covid-19 outbreak; the station literally shuttering studios to the two hundred-odd community/campus volunteers that keep the shows going. The small staff innovated, improvised, ducked and weaved, and managed to keep the signal open, and programming getting out.

I don’t believe anyone thought, a year later we’d still be doing shows remotely. But, here we are, recording not live but live to Skype, or Zoom, or with field apparatus. And we still need our community to help us; yes, help us help you.

The changes mean we’ve dipped into the funds to provide remote recording capability to more programmers, expanding online programming and production classes so our producers can all know how to edit and enhance programs, while navigated a frantically evolving new mediascape.

And that takes money of course; not a lot if everyone pitches in a little. But you can help too by letting us know you’re still out there listening, and taking heart.
Staff are here in the studio, man, woman, and non-binary gendering the phones to take your pledges at 1-250-721-8700. And you can go online to to donate as well.

For my part; this is the 24th FundDrive, or now “FundingDrive” program I’ve participated in. The first for me was answering phones for Sharon and Odain’s Sunshine Breakfast in 1998. Since then, I’ve done 22 episodes for Gorilla Radio. For those new to the show; Gorilla Radio is dedicated to social justice, the environment, community, and providing a forum for people and issues not covered in corporate/state media. I’ve been banging hour-long, two interview segments since 1999. And, today’s show is no exception. I’ll be back after the music and features with Episode 11-19, (or so) and my most esteemed and frequent guest over this long run, environmental defender and all-round iconoclast, Ingmar Lee.

One of the great benefits of doing this show has been meeting great people, dedicated to making the World better. One of my earliest guests, going back to the year 2000, exemplifies that. Ingmar Lee is a long-time BC-based environment defender, who describes himself as a “rotten, belligerent, iconoclastic, ungrateful, unrepentant, and unpleasant treehugger.” 

Besides these qualities, Lee has spent a life-time investigating truth, questioning accepted wisdom, and making enemies of greedhead political fraudsters, money-grubbing business leaders, spinmeisters and journalistic hacks at the CBC, CTV, and in the yellow press, who have in turn described his years of dedication and accomplishments as “environmental zealotry”, “eco-terrorism”, and the deeds of “a raving nutcase.” Just the man for GR!

Ingmar has appeared many, many times on Gorilla Radio over the past twenty years, covering the issues those same critics chose to willfully ignore, making of them sacrifices on the alter of personal careerism. Ingmar now lives along colonial British Columbia’s mid-coast, making an honest living in the territory, and with the blessings, of the Heiltsuk First Nation.

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, Karl Grossman, Robert Hunziker March 11th, 2021

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook -

March 11, 2021

Welcome back to Gorilla Radio’s Home Edition, recorded March 2nd, 2021 and Sept. 17, 2016

che kokoThis March 11th marks the tenth anniversary of the Fukushima tsunami-engendered nuclear disaster. And, what have we learned?

Ten years after, even as Japan continues cleaning up the mess, there is no solution to the question of just what to do with irradiated debris already collected, or how to deal with the contaminated cooling water still being generated every day, and now amounting to millions of litres.

In fact, far from getting a handle on the problem, things are only getting worse; as JapanToday reports, “The decades-long challenge to scrap the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant… is becoming more complex as recent remote-controlled probes have highlighted just how damaged the reactors are.

Listen. Hear.

And yet, the nuclear industry is enjoying a renaissance, buoyed by concerns for climate change, and an unlikely partner in NASA and its collaborators who recently landed nukes on Mars.

Karl Grossman is professor of journalism at State University of New York/College at Old Westbury, and author of, ‘The Wrong Stuff: The Space’s Program’s Nuclear Threat to Our Planet’, and ‘Cover Up: What You Are Not Supposed to Know About Nuclear Power’.

Karl's also the host of the nationally syndicated television program, Enviro Close-UP with Karl Grossman, and is an associate with the media watch group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). Karl’s articles too appear at, and Nation of Change, among other places, where I found his latest, ‘Plutonium—the most lethal of all radioactive substances—in space’.

Karl Grossman in the first half.

And; what about the Olympic Games? In 2016, the IOC announced not only would Japan host the 2020 Games, it would do so in the nuclear shadow of Fukushima Prefecture. But, Fate intervened in the form of the Covid-19 pandemic. But, but, the IOC and Japan determined to carry on come pandemic Hell, or atomic high waters, rescheduling Japan 2020, to July 2021. And, despite 80% of Japanese polled saying the games should be postponed again, new Tokyo Olympic organizing committee president, Seiko Hashimoto is reassuring the public it will be safe to for the Games to go on saying, “The situation around coronavirus doesn’t go easy on us.

About Fukushima’s lingering nuclear radiation and the threat it posed, Hashimoto had this to say, [crickets].

Robert Hunziker is an environmental journalist whose climate clarion calls appear in numerous journals and multiple languages around the World and across the internet. He’s also appeared in a variety of media to talk about global climate change and has written extensively about the ongoing aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. I spoke to Robert waaaaaay back in 2016 about the then newly announced winning Tokyo Olympics bid, and Japan’s “progress” cleaning up the World’s worst civilian nuclear disaster.

Robert Humziker revisiting Fukushima in the second half.

But first, Karl Grossman and Earth’s nuclear envoy to Mars.

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, Yves Engler, Jeremy Kuzmarov March 4, 2021

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook -
March 4, 2021
Welcome back to Gorilla Radio’s Home Edition, recorded on the dates, February 28th and March 1st, 2021
The last day of February marks a dark anniversary for the people of Haiti. In the wee hours of February 29th, 2004 a crime was committed against the nation; a usurping of the will of the people, and undermining of its future democracy. 
On that balmy tropical night commandos from a tripartite coalition of nations, all officially friends of Haiti, would penetrate the Presidential Palace in Port au Prince, kidnap head of state, Jean-Bertrand Aristide and spirit him away across the Atlantic.
Yves Engler is a Montréal-based activist, prolific essayist, and author whose book titles include: ‘Left, Right — Marching to the Beat of Imperial Canada’, ‘A Propaganda System — How Government, Corporations, Media and Academia Sell War and Exploitation’, and his latest, ‘House of Mirrors — Justin Trudeau’s Foreign Policy’.
Engler’s articles appear at Ricochet, The Palestine Chronicle, and among other places, and at his site, where I found his latest, ‘Haitian official stashes wealth in Montréal’.
Yves is too a co-founding member of the Canadian Foreign Policy Institute which is marking the death of Haitian democracy with an online discussion of the documentary film, Haiti Betrayed, “a powerful indictment of Canada’s role in the 2004 coup and subsequent policy in the country.”

Yves Engler in the first half.
And; nearing the half-way point of the first 100 days of the Biden administration the new president has wielded the immediate, if transitory, authority of Executive Orders with abandon; issuing more than 50 edicts, nearly half being repudiations of his predecessor’s policies. Biden recently waved off criticism of the unilateral nature of his early days in office saying, “I’m not making new law; I’m eliminating bad policy.” He would also no doubt deny unraveling Mr. Trump’s legacy has anything to do with bad blood, or revenging the particularly nasty personal attacks against him and his family during the presidential campaign.
Jeremy Kuzmarov is a journalist and author who serves too as Managing Editor of CovertAction Magazine. He’s the author of four books on U.S. foreign policy, including: ‘Obama’s Unending Wars’, and ‘The Russians Are Coming, Again’ co-authored with John Marciano.
His latest at CovertAction is the fifth installment in the series, ‘Biden’s Foreign Policy History and What it Portends for his Presidency’, ‘Escalating the new Cold War with Russia via Ukraine: Biden’s Unprincipled Stands Involving Covert Operations, Blackmail, Corruption, Nepotism and State Terrorism’.

Jeremy Kuzmarov and scratching the tender underbelly of long-time 
Washington swamp denizen, Joe Biden in the second half.
But first, Yves Engler and chronicling Canada’s role in the Haiti’s betrayal.
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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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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