Photo of Black Lives Matter protest; photo by Ted Eytan, (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Photo of Black Lives Matter protest; photo by Ted Eytan, (CC BY-SA 4.0)

The Top Left Corner — 2020/12/23

December 23, 2020


  An illegal winery was busted at an Alabama wastewater treatment plant last week. Let’s hope everyone got their holiday orders in…

  Our closest star, Proxima Centauri, is only about 4.2 light years (or about 427,000,000 million miles) from us. Recently, scientists have been picking up a radio signal from the Proxima Centauri star system that is either being generated by an unknown natural process or by “technology.” New neighbors?  


  After 16 years on the job, Williamstown’s Chief of Police, Kyle Johnson, has resigned. Shortly after news of the resignation was made public, Scott McGowan, the officer who blew the whistle on misconduct at the WPD, dropped the federal lawsuit he’d filed in Springfield that alleged, among other things, sexual harassment and retaliation by the chief. Is this really going to lead to “healing”–and what would that even look like? We’d prefer a WPD that has earned the trust of all the residents of the town it serves. That doesn’t seem like too much to ask, but the Williamstown Selectboard hasn’t exactly covered itself in glory in its handling of this matter.

  We’ve been saying this for weeks: Local restaurants are being failed by local, state, and federal lawmakers. It’s unforgivable to put the full burden of weathering the pandemic on local small businesses while big Massachusetts corporations suck up billions in federal aid. The hospitality industry is the backbone of our economy here in the Berkshires, but we know from experience that we’re often an afterthought to the Beacon Hill crowd–it’s time for that to change.

  The COVID situation here in the Berkshires is not good. On Saturday, December 19 alone, there were 41 new confirmed cases. The total number of deaths since the pandemic began here in the Berkshires is 119, when both confirmed and probable deaths are counted. By contrast, Taiwan (population 23.9 million) was reporting seven (7) total deaths as of December 2: There are lots of reasons why we’re doing such a bad job here in the US, but failure of leadership has got to be among the top three.  

“A lot of the footage was police officers being very, very scared and reacting quite violently. And that’s not what they’re supposed to do.”

STATE: Special Guest: Eoin Higgins:

  After reviewing dozens of hours of bodycam footage from the May 31 police protests in Boston, Eoin Higgins describes in a blockbuster expose how Boston police officers violently assaulted peaceful protesters, discussed arrest quotas, and bragged about hitting people with their vehicles: We’ve got Eoin scheduled for an interview this week that we’re planning to air for the first time on Wednesday. Don’t miss it.


Eoin’s write-up at The Appeal:

Boston Police Patrolmen’s Association press release:

Boston Globe’s write-up based on Eoin’s reporting:

  WE NEVER GOT TO THIS, but you should check it out anyway:


  Regardless of what you think about Wikileaks founder Julian Assange personally, his prosecution would be a direct attack on freedom of speech. Wikileaks founder Julian Assange is currently being held under brutal conditions in the UK’s most notorious prison while awaiting extradition to the US. In our country, he would face criminal charges related to the publication of the diplomatic cables, videos, and other documents collected and leaked by Chelsea Manning back in 2010. In the US. Former Alaska governor and Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin has come out forcefully in support of a presidential pardon for Julian Assange. Where are our so-called liberals on this one?:

  Sometimes it’s hard to keep a healthy perspective on what goes on in the US, since we’re exposed to mainstream media spin on a daily basis. An Australian commentator named Caitlin Johnstone has been writing for a few years now on how our corporate media controls the all-important “narrative,” the framework that we use to make sense of all of the stuff that’s going on in the world. Johnstone can be a bit woo-woo (and I can’t say I’m a fan of her poetry) but she’s good at peeking under the propaganda veil we in the US live behind.

Food for thought here:

TLC Episode 93

Jason Velázquez

Jason Velázquez has worked in print and digital journalism and publishing for two decades.
Phone: (413) 776-5125

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