June/July digest – not least about a dish best served cold, Pacifica suing John Carlo Vernile, former ED

[UPDATE, Su9Aug . . . these topics were to be separate posts but, hey, life moves on – so now a digest. (Hence the change of title & deletion of the final one-sentence paragraph; given that Pacifica relies on donations, & so normal life, including childcare, added is a note on a study finding that “children under 5 with COVID-19 have a higher viral load than older children and adults, which may suggest greater transmission”.)]

~

Twelve topics, in chronological order:

  • what are Pacifica’s chances of getting CPB money? Its disbursements: structure, size, distribution criteria. A reality check, not a cheque
  • Trump goes all Guevarista! One, two, three Vietnams! Scenarios of US excess deaths thru summer 2021. This is the red ground spreading out before Pacifica, the principal force structuring its immediate prospects thru all sorts of mediations. (Can you recall the last time you read or heard discussion of the excess deaths question? For a society this is the focus, not death from a pandemic.)
  • the passed by-laws amendments: surely, as the breakers have warned, Pacifica will now be sued. Why? One simple reason: for trying to restrict a right of members, “materially and adversely”, without going thru the final step, namely a vote of all members agreeing to such a diminution (by-law Article 17, Section 1(B)(3)(v)). Yes, that again. The right affected is that of voting, by making it more difficult to vote on a by-laws amendment. Moreover, the change is also discriminatory, applied solely to voting on a proposed amendment brought by just one of the three possible routes, a members’ petition: the threshold has been raised from 1% of members to 5% (so today, from ~435 to ~2 175). How difficult is this? At the last LSB voting round, Aug-Oct2019, a provisional 6 085 voted; given this, it can be said the effective threshold has been raised to something like 35%, a third of typical voters, so beyond the clouds, from 7.1% to 35.7% (435 ÷ 6085, & 2175 ÷ 6085; the 6 085 is provisional because National Elections Supervisor Renee Penaloza, presumably breaching her contract, still fails to submit her final report!; note, the Feb-Mar2020 referenda had 10 226 voters, breakers being 3 450). The petition route has been rendered infeasible; that right of members has been, in practice, abolished – and not done legally: members’ consent can’t be given indirectly but only directly, not by decision of Pacifica boards but by a referendum. Silly question I know, but before voting on Th25June did the PNB inform themselves by getting an estimate of the cost of litigation? https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/pnb200625/pnb200625_6541_minutes.pdf (pages 9-11)
  • on a matter that no-one would deem trivial, & is indeed a test of morality, why were all the directors silent, even those from KPFA? And what about Margy Wilkinson’s dad, & the forgotten Smith Act?
  • (A post will not be made on the unsavory attempt to remove PNB Chair Alex Steinberg (WBAI listener-delegate) & PNB Secretary Grace Aaron (KPFK listener-delegate) from their positions, Th2 & 9July. Pacifica boards are nasty. Toxic. The dynamic brings out the worst in people. It’s as if they enjoy their symptom. Here, yet again, the observing ethnographers were able to record a typically sly manoeuvre by Chris ‘Cowardly’ Cory (KPFA listener-delegate). This time it was a sorry-I-couldn’t-get-the-motion-to-you-in-time-for-the-proposed-agenda-as-I-was-still-writing-it (8:56, https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/pnb200702/pnb200702a.mp3 & https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/pnb200702/pnb200702_6464_minutes.pdf). There’s a pattern here. His most disingenuous was when he was Chair of the PNB Finance Cttee the day after the WBAI coup, faking amnesia (what-day-is-it?), feigning ignorance, then largely faking empathy, laced with guilt, wrapping his arms around R Paul, WBAI’s treasurer, at the end of the meeting, “I-I-I I can’t express how much grief I have over this-this last-uh few days […] I don’t have words for it […] if it were my place to apologise I would” (0:01, 5:40, 20:37 & 27:46 https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/finance/191008/finance191008a.mp3, & 1:05:41 https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/finance/191008/finance191008b.mp3). Self-denigration is a sorry spectacle. And as mom must have told him, no-one likes a liar.)
  • why are directors choosing to omit a lil detail in their latest reports to their local station board, that the PNB has rejected an offer to buy WBAI’s broadcasting licence? (Note, this was not a proposed signal swap.) The circling opportunists sleep less than Fauci – more indefatigable, too. https://pacifica.org/documents/pnb_exec_200709.pdf
  • Chris Cory exaggerates Pacifica membership by ~15%, roughly 1-in-7 (50k rather than the 43.5k figure, Mar2020, of the National Elections Supervisor) . . . & has Peter Franck got dementia? The wonders of KPFA’s pseudo-town hall
  • FY2018 draft auditor’s report repeats the previous year’s judgment: fair financial statements don’t exist (so, the ones provided by NETA, yet again, aren’t materially accurate), but something does exist, “substantial doubt about its ability to continue as a going concern”. NETA also came up with an unaudited ~$7 800 loss – which means an unaudited ~$735k loss without the benefit of an extraordinary event, the sale of Nakapon, it functioning as an internal bequest, the death of an asset, thru autophagy, “an adaptive response to stress” (Wiki)
  • the WPFW praetorian guard just can’t help themselves. Rather than the hammer seeing any problem as a nail, here outsiders are the problem. So make the problem theirs: set up barriers, make them jump thru hoops. But what to do with a town hall? Obvious: make it difficult. WBAI posts in their notice the URL & password of the Zoom. Absurd. WPFW posts “[f]or security and integrity, we ask you to email your interest in participating to wpfwlsb@gmail.com. You will receive a link to enter the zoom room. See you there!” (emphases added). The authoritarian & bureaucratic tone exuded effortlessly, serenely. The cynical politeness, the cheery good humour, the added twist of experienced operators. No Gatekeeping 101 here
  • (My own experience with the WPFW LSB ruling clique is condensed in the saga arising from my attempt in Nov-Dec2018 to send an email to each of the delegates. Secretary Ellen Carter & Chair Robb Simms blocked it. Sample, a complete email from Our Robb: “Knock this off, OK? I will not waste time sending your materials to our Board. The WPFW LSB pretty much know about what you wrote in your essays. Please stop communicating with me as your messages will be ignored.” Nice. The Politics of the Gate. Eat y’ 💗 out, Lew. The write-up is linked from here: http://wbai-nowthen.blogspot.com/2018/12/jara-handala-reports.html.)
  • Barry Brooks, KPFK. Nobly addressed as the business manager so can’t be an emperor with no clothes, although he has a touching faith in the imminence, & efficacy, of ‘a vaccine’, a vaccine jabbed into KPFK listeners, magically making the last three quarters of FY2021 boomtime in Tinseltown, making redundant any need to stem the current station losses (running at ~$150k a month, according to Our Grace, hallow’d be Thy name). Warped, or what? Whistling Barry seems oblivious to the contrary vaccine evidence (itemised below). Illusions delude, they inspire false optimism, they provide poor counsel – particularly when a principle of accounting is prudence (its patron saint), its embodiment & expression of the precautionary attitude
  • lastly, Pacifica is suing John Vernile, the executive director who organised – and most fail to recognise this – the coup not simply against WBAI but against Pacifica. Running dog! “The Pacifica National Board met in executive session and voted to authorize its Legal Counsel, Arthur Schwartz, to initiate legal action against its former interim Executive Director, John Vernile, for breach of his fiduciary duties toward Pacifica” (Th30July private PNB session: https://pacifica.org/documents/pnb_exec_200730.pdf). As they say back in the olde country, revenge, a dish best served cold.

As it’s of general interest, it’s worthwhile itemising here the stubborn evidence confronting Pangloss Brooks. That, to be quite blunt about it, no vaccine exists, just a hope, albeit a hope motivating research; that acquired immunity has proven ephemeral, a matter of a few months; that the efficacy of any vaccine may itself be short-lived, requiring new jabs, be it annually or quarterly; that, & this is crucial, existence of a vaccine is quite different from there being a vaccination programme; that even the reality of such a programme is the laborious result of the organisation, diffusion, & mobilisation of resources, not least a stock of 330m units (see below note) for immediate distribution; & that, last but not least, there’s the lil problem of Joe & Joanna Sixpack having a certain resistance to Faucicide, of surrendering to The Evil Sorcerer’s warp-speed potion coursing their veins.

Barry could also acquaint himself with a US report, Tu21July, bearing the sub-title From Information Catastrophe to Empowered Communities. It coldly puts the US in its place, soberly exposing the anarchic & patchwork infrastructure it’s trying to use in its attempt to protect the public’s health. From the report’s opening para: “[u]nlike many other countries such as Germany, Senegal, South Korea, and Uganda, the United States does not have standard, national data on the virus and its control” (emphases added); next sentence: “[t]he US also lacks standards for state-, county-, and city-level public reporting of this life-and-death information.” This applied to an average behaviour of brazen ego individualism trumping basic human solidarity. The result, obvious, as night follows day. A long, dark night. No sun in sight. Just the glow of the pyres. Administrative anarchy. Irrationality ruling. A failed state. A society in decline. https://preventepidemics.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/RTSL_Tracking-COVID-19-in-the-United-States_-7-23-2020.pdf

(A special mention in the BB post has been earnt by KPFK’s very own Diva J.Lo, the exalted & revered Margaret Prescod, who recently insisted not on specified flowers adorning her dressing-room table but on her very own leased desktop printer sitting in her office, frequently maintained by an outside contractor, Wells Fargo (all-in, a snip at $142 a month for two!), this done so she’d never be frustrated again by finding that the communal copier/printer had run out of toner. I’m serious. And so was Margaret. Interesting, as Chris Cory would say. This is the nitty-gritty of how institutional Pacifica programmers fight over what listener donations get spent on (1:56:47). But, heaven forbid, don’t let this stop you donating. Have to support ‘the station’. Spoiler alert . . . the decisive Anyel had overruled the frugal Barry; this upset Barry. https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/kpfkfin/200722/kpfkfin200722a.mp3)

I say 330m vaccine units, for all US residents, although it would be less because population immunity is achieved when transmission of the virus grinds to a halt, finding it increasingly difficult to find ‘fresh prey’. Here, & oddly, a veterinary-sounding term has found acceptance, herd immunity; & great uncertainty surrounds its level, with estimates ranging from 50% to 80%. Note that no age group is exempt from the virus, SARS-CoV-2, never transmitting or falling sick. Indeed, under-5’s may transmit the virus as well as anyone – if not better. “We found that children under 5 with COVID-19 have a higher viral load than older children and adults, which may suggest greater transmission” (emphases added), said the lead author of a recent Chicago study of patients with “mild to moderate illness”, published by JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association. ‘May’, not least because the measurement is of virus material, not necessarily of infectious material: only intact virus, the virion, can be infectious, not ‘ripped up’ virions, the debris. (Also, little is known of the minimum & typical amount of infectious virus causing COVID-19.) Older children had as much virus as adults in their upper respiratory tract, by median value, but under-5’s had much, much more, “a 10-fold to 100-fold greater amount”. There are no innocences to hug. [UPDATE . . . & it’s been inferred that infectivity peaks when symptoms appear, if indeed they do.]

https://www.luriechildrens.org/en/news-stories/young-kids-could-spread-covid-19-as-much-as-older-children-and-adults/ (the first quote, by lead author Taylor Heald-Sargent), & https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2768952/ (published 30July); [UPDATE . . . https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-1016-z.pdf (infectivity peaking when symptoms start has a 95% confidence interval of 0.9 to 0.9 days; this was a correction, issued F7Aug, of peaking inferred to occur 0.7 days before onset of symptoms (95% CI, −0.2 to 2.0 days) page 1)]

~

And some remarks on the FY2018 draft auditor’s report (year-end 30Sep2018), not least because it remains unpublished, despite being accepted by the PNB over two weeks ago, on Th16July (so keep checking https://pacifica.org/finance_reports.php):

  • the unaudited loss, ~$7 800, is immaterial, in the jargon, $1 lost for every ~$1 500 of the unaudited ~$11.6m volume of activity
  • (To keep saying, & writing, the u-word is somewhat tedious, even irritating, but we need to get used to the fact that all publicly available Pacifica figures since 30Sep2016 lack the approving nod of a key alien visitor to PacificaWorld, the arrival of a strange guy, an expert, someone drawing on a quiver of skills & knowledge, the auditor; it should be noted, it’s not known whether this alien has managed to elude Houston’s very own very stable genius, its fave doc, Stella Immanuel MD.)
  • it bears repeating, without the gain on the sale of Nakapon there would have been an unaudited loss of ~$735k (8k + 727k); this is comparable to the $771 408 of FY2014
  • ignoring the mitigation of that extraordinary event, the unaudited loss was x~8½ that of FY2017’s (735k ÷ 86 640 = 8.48); the auditor, at the Tu14July PNB Audit Cttee, didn’t just fail to mention the scale of the underlying deterioration, he failed to recognise its very existence
  • listener & grant income was 84% of the unaudited total (~$11.6m x 0.84 = ~$9.744m), making the balance ~$1.856m. Gain on Nakapon sale was $727k, so leaving $1.129m as other income. As this is comparable to the previous year’s other income of an unaudited ~$1.135m, it means the net income statement itself only gives a net figure for Nakapon – so not disclosing the proceeds & the costs of sale. (It was due to be sold for $1.1m, according to the FY2017 auditor’s report, p. 23.) Hopefully a note to the statement provides transparency, giving the gross figures; & remember, $500k + costs came out of the sale’s gain to pay off ‘the small loan’, going to Manpearl-Heron-Heron-Reilly-&-co, including interest at 7.5% a year. You won’t be surprised that no PNB Audit Cttee member asked about this – but then they were as quiet as mice the whole time, not even meekly asking for the cheese wrappers . . . what’s become of Point-of-point-madam-chair Adriana & Bellicose Bella? Perish the thought, but it was as if no-one could understand the document they were supposed to interrogate
  • so the unaudited year-on-year increase in revenue, from ~$10.9m to ~$11.6m, is solely down to the gain on Nakapon – in a word, stagnation
  • but expenses didn’t stagnate – which is of especial interest today, given both the ongoing KPFK revenue collapse, & the current attempt to create FY2021 budgets for all Pacifica units. Effectively breaking even means that, year-on-year, expenses rose an unaudited ~$600k, all the time whilst units lacked budgets, with no central control given inadequate real-time data. That’s ~5.5%, 1-in-18 (from ~$11m to ~$11.6m); this arose from each of programming & “management & general” growing by an unaudited ~$300k, or 6% (0.3m ÷ 5.0m, & 0.3m ÷ 4.9m, respectively). Again, passed the auditor by. (And the Cttee.)
  • but that’s nothing: they ignored the 2018 elephant, the unaffordable ESRT contract for housing the WBAI transmitter, & how Pacifica was able to both pay the rent arrears & pay to end the contract early. It was as if the trident from Hell never existed: the 2017-8 bankruptcy panic; the $3.085m settlement with the Empire State Realty Trust; & the $3.7m loan from the Foundation for the Jewish Community, operating as FJC. Pacifica came out of this with the largest loan by far in its now 74-year history. There’s almost a mystical quality about how so much turmoil, emotion, & confrontation is embodied in that over 30-page auditor’s report without so much as a mention that Tuesday evening. It’s as if none of it had ever happened. A mere figment of the imagination. But that’s PacificaWorld for you.

~

Before ending, I wonder if, in the spirit of diversity, inclusion, free speech, & ‘the mission’, Stella Immanuel MD can get invited onto KPFT? Stella, besides running what’s called an ‘urgent care center’ in built-up Houston, is a woman of the cloth, in Katy, on marginal land at the western edge of the city. (Ideal for carrying out exorcisms, in the seclusion of the woods.) She’s been reincarnated as an “Emergency Medicine Specialist”, having been an experienced, get this, paediatrician: Stella was trusted with children. It seems she recently came to TX from Louisiana, having got into bad trouble (nod to Mr Lewis), allegedly running from a malpractice suit after her patient died six days after the consultation. 🔥🙏🏾❤️🔥❤️🙏🏾🔥

. . . can’t help noticing the N95, & the (non-clinical) sunglasses . . . reality trumps ideology . . .

But is KPFT up to the task? Does it have the dynamic, innovative, inspiring leadership it so badly needs? Can it seize the moment? After all, Stella has the experience, hosting her own Pentecostal radio & TV show, Fire Power, serving the Mountain of Fire & Miracles Ministries, so maybe she can be offered a trial slot? And think of the fund-drives! Stella MD could not just rival Christine Blosdale & Gary Null but exceed them, pushing self-promotion beyond the terrestrial limit, going astral, excelling as a role-model: a woman of colour, an immigrant, a recovering victim of media ridicule. Come to think of it, DeWayne DeLark could become her manager, arranging her PR, negotiating her endorsements. The possibilities, the possibilities. 🔥🙏🏾❤️🔥❤️🙏🏾🔥

https://catalog.kpfk.org/christine-blosdale.html (broken link, but as Chrissy would say, adversity = motivation!)

https://www.give2wbai.org/category_s/1981.htm (amazingly, four pages of Gary product, proudly hosted by WBAI; as it’s so difficult to choose between Gary’s Red Stuff & his Energy Stuff, why not throw caution to the wind, go all in, peruse page 3, then buy “Gary Null’s Triple Stuff Pack”, a bargain at $160!)

https://www.bbc.com/pidgin/tori-53574144 (profile on the good doc – not Fauci, silly, but Houston’s most trusted prophet-preacher-paediatrician), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC_News_Pidgin (amazingly, this isn’t a spoof but a BBC service, in a West African creole, that’s been running almost three years now), & https://www.mountainoffire.org/ (the mother ship, a site with presence values that any Pacifica station would be proud of)

🔥🙏🏾❤️🔥❤️🙏🏾🔥

And here’s some thinkfood, about the poof who puts the p into preppy, who at least on this occasion (rather than on Israelised Palestine) had some fidelity with substantive rationality: https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/07/how-jared-kushners-secret-testing-plan-went-poof-into-thin-air

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