Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Paul Buchheit, Yves Engler, Janine Bandcroft Jan. 13. 2014

We don’t need a weatherman to tell us which way the wind blows; or even Bob Dylan to tell us the times they are a changin’. Politically, environmentally, socially, and economically; the World of 2014 is not the same as the one most of us knew when we set out on our journey of life. The older you are, the more pronounced is the change, and the more profound the challenges.

The maxim in North America used to be simple; finish your education, get a job, pay your taxes, save your money, and retire at 65. That’s the boilerplate version of the modern American life, but workers today increasingly doubt that model will ensure a dignified, let alone comfortable retirement.

Listen. Hear.

With wages stagnant for more than a generation, and savings chewed up by out-of-sight housing costs, exorbitant student loan repayments, and astronomical catastrophic medical expenses, the prospects of even basic survival on meagre pensions seems unlikely. And, as depressing as all that seems, especially for those riding behind the demographic bow wave buoying the Baby Boomers, even the pittance you’re expected to live off after work is now the target of pitiless “retirement thieves.”

Paul Buchheit is an essayist, college educator, and lead author of the book, ‘American Wars: Illusions and Realities.’ An active member of US Uncut Chicago, Paul’s also the founder and developer of the social justice and educational websites, USAgainstGreed.org, PayUpNow.org, and RappingHistory.org. Paul Buchheit is too author of the article, ‘Retirement Theft in 4 Despicable Steps’ an examination of how, “American workers are being cheated out of the retirement they’ve paid for all their lives.”

Paul Buchheit in the first half.

And; speaking on behalf of all Canadians over the weekend, the prime minister expressed this nation’s condolences to Israel on the occasion of Ariel Sharon’s death. Not mentioned, naturally, were the myriad war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Sharon, both while prime minister of Israel and its minister of defense. Stephen Harper’s convenient occlusion of the facts is evident too in the overall relationship with Israel he and his Conservative party have fostered and strengthened during his tenure. As Harper put it Saturday, “Canada values its long-standing relationship with Israel, which is based on shared values, common interests and strong political, economic, cultural and social ties.” The prime minister’s respect-paying for ‘The Butcher of Beirut,’ as Sharon is also known, is just the latest expression of sympathy and support for the Zionist project in a relationship that long precedes the nation of Israel itself.

Yves Engler is a Canadian essayist, activist, and author of seven books on Canadian life, politics, and the role Canada plays in the world. His latest article, ‘The Long History of Zionism in Canada’ provides illuminating context for both the Harper party’s relationship with Israel, and how Canadian identity politics is played.

Engler’s Book titles include: ‘The Ugly Canadian — Stephen Harper’s Foreign Policy,’ ‘Lester Pearson’s Peacekeeping — The Truth May Hurt,’ ‘Stop Signs — Cars and Capitalism on the Road to Economic, Social and Ecological Decay (with Bianca Mugyenyi),’ ‘The Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy’ (Shortlisted for the Mavis Gallant Prize for Non Fiction in the Quebec Writers’ Federation Literary Awards), ‘Playing Left Wing: From Rink Rat to Student Radical,’ ‘Canada in Haiti: Waging War on The Poor Majority’ (co-authored with Anthony Fenton), and ‘Canada and Israel: Building Apartheid.’ Yves is also co-author of the recently released ‘New Commune-ist Manifesto — Workers of the World It Really is Time to Unite.’

Yves Engler and Canada’s long history with the “light of freedom and democracy in what is otherwise a region of darkness” in the second half.

And; Victoria Street Newz publisher and CFUV broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will be here at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with some of what’s good to do in and around our city’s streets, and beyond too, in the coming week. But first, Paul Buchheit and the four despicable steps to stealing your retirement.

Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Andy Worthington, Ingmar Lee, Janine Bandcroft Jan 6, 2014

This week marks the twelfth anniversary for Camp X-Ray at the illegal American military base located at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. On January 11th, 2002, four months after the 9/11 attacks in the United States, Gitmo was opened for business. That business, according to my first guest, was to act as an experimental extraordinary rendition facility where methods of torture new and old would be practiced and perfected, and deployed around the world as part of the George W. Bush regime’s Global War on Terror. Though “Dubya” Bush is long gone, the camp, and many of its unhappy inhabitants, remain.

Andy Worthington is a long-time peace and justice advocate for the inmates of Guantánamo. He’s a journalist and author whose book titles include: ‘Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo,’ ‘Stonehenge: Celebration and Subversion,’ ‘The Battle of the BeanField,’ and his latest is, ‘The Guantánamo Files: Stories of 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison.’ Worthington is also co-director of the film, ‘Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo.’

As he has since 2011, Andy Worthington will again be in the U.S. to mark Gitmo’s infamous anniversary with a cross-country speaking tour. Starting January 8th and running through the 21st, Andy will visit New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Los Angeles with Debra Sweet, National Director of the World Can’t Wait campaign to close Guantánamo. Andy Worthington in the first half.

And; closer to home, our own infamous Harper regime last year allowed that the Enbridge Northern Gateway, and presumably any other project the offshore carbon industries wish developed, will go ahead; this despite the near unanimous opposition of those people living in the proposed path of pipelines, or along the wild and treacherous coast these projects threaten.

Though these projects have few supporters west of the Rockies, and diminishing numbers east of the mountains as well, coordinating a unified front against them has proven difficult. Divisions fostered within First Nations – and environmental groups and organizations – is a key component to ensuring the profits flow with the heavy tar, but now moves to push the Enbridge plan through are too promising to push opponents to mend their fences and form a unified front.

Ingmar Lee is a long-time environmental activist who, from his fights to protect Nanaimo’s watershed from pollution masquerading as fertilizer dumped there by forest companies, and lengthy tree-sits to save the iconic Cathedral Grove from the axe, to bearing witness to the controversial Joint Review Panel process that rubber-stamped the Enbridge Northern Gateway scheme, has braved the powers-that-be to try and preserve what remains of this region’s wild lands and biodiverse habitats. Ingmar lives within the range of the so-called Great Bear Rainforest, in a coastal community directly in the path of proposed Asia-bound mega-tankers. Ingmar Lee and diagnosing and treating B.C.’s environmentalist schism before it’s too late in the second half.

And; Victoria Street Newz publisher and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with some of what’s good to do in and around our town, Victoria and beyond, in the coming week and the weeks to come. But first, Andy Worthington on the road, campaigning to close Gitmo.