Lenny, working for the man

Last week I posted in the CHLY Facebook group for the first time in a long time. It was to air a private thought I have harboured for 5 years.

Give me shit for it, I don’t care.

It has to do with someone I’ve butt heads with a LOT during the years I spent in the radio station offices. I’ll call him Lenny. It questions: Is Lenny an infiltrator, trying to hurt the radio station? Have the cases of undercover informants made me paranoid? Or are my suspicions warranted, given the history of his involvement?

The post I made was in response to others commenting (and defending) the individual in question, as he was “spamming” the CHLY radio fb group questioning the daily news program Democracy Now!. His complaint was that it contributes to an over representation of leftist position heard on CHLY. I didn’t speak up when this man lobbied to get rid of the Drug Truth Network show Cultural Baggage (and others over the years) but I did this time.

The post:

This conversation lately: is CHLY (which is a listener-supported non profit) only representing leftist ideas? My answer to this is YEAH, probably 80% of the time! But why not? In a mainstream media landscape of multinational corporations, consumptive capitalist ideas have bottomless funding. The stakes include millions of dollars to support multi billion dollar industries. CHLY adds a necessary counter voice that says “End the drug war!” “That’s fascism!” and “Spend local!” Why should it be any different? It’s a people-powered radio station and the people are tired of soulless capitalist oligarchies running the world (and soulless pop music saturating our psyches, for that matter).

I had listened to Raymond’s conspiracy theory show for years, and for the first time I can recall, I completely disagree with Ray about a recent topic on here: Lenny.

Having spent years amongst internal CHLY operations, I have observed Lenny actually hurting the radio station. I do not think he wants “the best” for the station. He assembles a convenient veil for himself, but underneath it all, I believe, is the objective to hinder meaningful progress for the radio station.

Whether he’s lobbying to scrap our most impactful shows, making petty infraction reports to the CRTC, stalking new programmers he hears on air, interrupting staff with insignificant logistics, pitting volunteers against one another, trolling internal communications until no one wants to participate, it seems Lenny has not done or said one thing without an ulterior motive to hinder behind it. I have so many examples! He once went out of his way to stop newspaper publication of an important membership notice! How could I believe he’s harmlessly obsessive after all that?

When you hear voices on CHLY like Gabor Mate, Naomi Klein, Zinn, Chomsky, Hedges, Shiva, you might think “that’s some radical programming, I wonder how the corporate overlords allow CHLY to play that on the radio” I propose that perhaps they can’t stop us from airing it, but they can install guys like Lenny to make sure very few hear it. From my experience, I think listenership is low. Very low. I bet less than 1% of the broadcast range actually listens to CHLY, and I think that is on purpose. I think there is a deliberate oppression of CHLY’s success, and from my vantage point, I can see how Lenny has played a key role in that over the years.

It’s not a new concept. Look at the cases of all those undercover informants and disrupters found to have infiltrated activist groups for so long they even started families and whole other lives under different names.

Could the largest institutions (with bottomless funding) be motivated to disrupt a potentially influential vehicle carrying a message of dissent? It’s not crazy to be suspicious of strange behaviour, if we regard history.

Anyway, I don’t know if Lenny is really a shill working to hinder the success of what could be a very influential radio power. Its just my humble suspicion. I won’t be engaging in comments about this, but it feels good to have gotten this off my chest after all these years. Anyone who knows me in the context of the station will know that I speak openly about this suspicion, and with the intention of shedding light from an insiders point of view.

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Immediately the group administrator (one of my former responsibilities) changed the entire group setting to Private, and shortly after, deleted my post. I remember being called a censoring Stalinist when I performed a similar measure in the past (but that’s for another blog post).

Responses to my public suspicion read mostly like this:

“The FBI recently stated that one of their core objectives is to infiltrate and undermine progressive and leftist organizations.”

“It would be amazing if your proposed scenario weren’t indeed true. This would represent a considerable failure of the FBI, CIA etc”

“Youre right. Its one thing to ask questions but its another to undermine the whole organization.

Its easy to jump on the band wagon on the questions because in a way its just questions right? But now looking at the whole picture and from the sidelines I see a healthy organization doing whats right for the station as a whole.”

“its a very common practice for CSIS to pay people to to engage in all kinds of actions to report on and even undermine progressive groups.”

Half Banjo, Half Real News

This week on The Sweet and Sour Variety Hour, some foot stompin’, gitter-pickin, bluegrassy country!

Then it’s down to business with 35 minutes from The Real News Network.

The Lima Group met in Ottawa and signed the Ottawa Declaration to oust President Maduro from power in Venezuela. 13 conservative Latin American governments, plus Canada, officially recognized Juan Guaido as the transitional President of Venezuela and accepted Venezuela’s membership to the Lima Group. Yves Engler, Dimitri Lascaris, and Greg Wilpert discuss the outcome

Here is the file airing on Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

Gomae Recipe

Japanese gomae is a cold side dish of wilted spinach and a toasted sesame dressing.

The first time I made it I followed exactly the recipe from aheadofthyme.com and tried it out on Lynelle , Jessica, and Patrick. It was alright, and I learned a couple key things about serving this dish: it takes an obscene amount of greens to get any substantial amount, and, don’t skip the step of toasting the seeds.

Today I thought I’d give it a second try, and WHOA success. It was so darn yum, my family immediately devoured every bite and I didn’t get a picture.

This time instead of a tiny side dish portion, I wanted to make an entree meal out of it. Right away I doubled the sauce ingredients. This time around I learned that you can achieve the same flavour and texture by blending it all together. For the greens I used up half our CSA box of greens for this week (which was komatsuna, pac choy, red/green tatsoi, leaf cabbage, etc etc) plus a whole bag of frozen organic spinach.

This made a heaping pile of nutrient dense greens in each bowl, over which I generously poured all of the sauce. Some canned salmon on the side from Oyster Bay was a tasty accompaniment (a gift from Larissa). Since gomae is supposed to be served cold, it’s a great make-ahead meal, ready to serve out of the fridge in a moments notice. I made this entire dinner at 3pm then served it at 5:30.

Here’s my version of the recipe.

Gomae Entree

Steam & cool 800g of greens.

Toast 8 tablespoons of sesame seed in a dry pan. Reserve 2 tablespoons for garnishing.

Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon of cornstarch in

8 tablespoons of water.

Add to a blender or processor:

The cornstarch and water.

The 6 tablespoons of toasted sesame.

4 tablespoons of tamari or soy sauce.

3 tablespoons of honey

Blend until smooth, then cool completely. Serve next to preserved fish or roasted vegetables. Pour sauce over cold steamed greens and garnish with remaining sesame seeds.

@Ashtaravaganza