Two-stage emergency plan; & signal-swap to release cash. Response to remarks by Mr Burton

Clifford Burton was kind enough to make a comment yesterday, about the current travails at KPFKD (not the KPD). My response became a lil longer than two paras., so i’ve put it here as a post. I thank Mr Burton (or is it Mx these days?) for helping me coalesce my thoughts. https://pacificaradiowatch.home.blog/2020/06/05/within-the-hour-facebook-inexplicably-deleted-the-post-about-the-pnb-zombies-and-karen/

In a separate post i’ll comment more narrowly on the KPFKD crisis thru consideration of two Pacifica meetings & a commentary: the Tu9June PNB Finance Cttee, & the W10June KPFKD Finance Cttee, & the W10June report by R Paul Martin to that evening’s WBAI Local Station Board (https://glib.com/treasurers_report_2020-06-10.pdf – 5pp. plus 3pp. appendices).

~~~

Strictly speaking, & this is the practical reality, KPFKD’s fate is Pacifica’s, not the station’s. A station owns nothing, not even the paper-clip being flipped across the station manager’s desk while he stares at the spreadsheet. Yes, the listeners think of the station as their own, they’re attached (Bowlby), & the station activists have not just a cognitive but an emotional involvement in the station, but in the famed last analysis, each station (1) is a custodian of Pacifica assets, administering them, (2) owns no debt, & (3) is an accounting unit.

This means that a revenue collapse at a station is Pacifica’s problem.

And this can cause a problem in a signal area when the self-understanding of what it is to support ‘my’ station, to love ‘my’ station, to be involved in Pacifica, is based on a falsehood, when, in the strictest sense (& so not to be thought unkind), the self-understanding isn’t up to the task, it’s practically inadequate.

As i’ve said elsewhere, all station accounting data, either as an aid for management decision-making or to inform the members & listeners, should allow a fair comparison between station performances, so of like with like. This requires the stripping out of the effects of historical accidents, which started in the Garden of Eden, when Pacifica & KPFA constituted an identity, the one & the same. The most glaring effect is that some stations are privileged, enjoying Pacifica buildings, land, & transmitters on a rent-free basis, thus being subsidised by the other stations, which also have the extra burden of paying non-Pacificans simply to function. A double burden is a double shift (Arlie Hochschild).

And the political effect of this persisting deficiency in how some Pacificans self-conceptualise & live affectively? Station chauvinism; separatism; provincialism. Station chauvinism: breeding poison, fuelling resentment. Separatism: break up Pacifica, destroy the network. Provincialism: springing from an exclusory proprietary attitude, it’s simultaneously inward-looking & antagonistic to others, causing the living of an in-group/out-group perceived reality, friend versus foe (Carl Schmitt). All this, antithetical to the nature that is Pacifica.

In terms of getting out of Pacifica’s endemic crisis, this blog (& in prior comments at Chris Albertson’s http://wbai-nowthen.blogspot.com/) has consistently noted the obvious: the only plausible way to, in the current idiom, let Pacifica breathe, is to negotiate a signal-swap (two isn’t needed), thereby using cash both to settle debts & to pay for the implementation of a network development plan. Only this can give Pacifica a future.

The Gorgon Grace approach has always been intrinsically myopic. Preserving the $3.265m loan principal, thru either extending the loan term or finding a new lender, has never addressed Pacifica’s future. It has only condemned Pacifica to a perpetual present, a Sisyphean existence, perpetual firefighting mode, the living of a diminishing, & so debilitating, present. The Grace approach, accepted by the PNB by default, the typical Pacifica action of inaction, an act of omission, has choked Pacifica, presenting it with the living of a shrinking horizon.

Only by eliminating the constant firefighting is it possible, but not guaranteed, to (1) pay bills timely, (2) give management, staff, the PNB, & the local station boards the time to focus on the future, rather than the present, & (3) improve the appalling interpersonal interactions at four of the stations (WBAI is relatively pacific).

In terms of the politics (not morality) of practice, Pacificans need to grasp that money isn’t necessarily sinful, but instead can simply make life a lot easier & less stressful. (Ask the hundreds of millions of Chinese no longer in dire poverty.) Most so-called leftists fail to recognise the liberatory potential of money (& of marketing) in our current kind of society, one that’s necessarily mediated by money: there’s no way to avoid this, other than suffering the consequences even more. Regrettable, yes, but true. It means money is needed to allow Pacifica to regain health, & to not just grow (augment existing capacities) but to develop (acquire new qualities).

It’s time to flourish, not suffer.

But how to do that?

Money. And the only feasible source, other than Danny Glover, is a signal-swap. But that can be a two-year process, so in the meantime Pacifica needs to find a way to survive, & the depth of its cashflow crisis may require a two-stage response.

First, the only way to chop enough costs rapidly is to chop the staff at both KPFA & KPFKD, changing their character, making Pacifica as a whole volunteer-based. Second, its cashflow crisis may require the sale of a building, even two. (Note that as they’re collateralised to the Foundation for the Jewish Community, FJC, at a 3:1 asset-to-principal ratio, it means FJC gets a third of the valuation sum constitutive of the contract.)

Pacifica is in its current Laurel & Hardy mess because the PNB has been in denial since 1Apr2018. It had taken out the $3.7m loan from FJC but didn’t take responsibility for the future, grasping the monetary nettle by starting the process of doing a signal-swap.

In any case, a radio signal isn’t what it used to be. Digitisation has caused broadcasting to be transcended by providing. The broadcast schedule, transcended by the download list. The position on the dial, transcended by reputation, sustained by social media, enhanced by branding. The radio, transcended by mobile digital devices. Radio is 20th century, it’s passé. It’s one reason why the BBC since 2018 no longer speaks of radio but of “sounds”: not a device, but an output.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds

Yes, Pacifica’s listeners are, literally, a dying breed. If Pacifica is to avoid extinction it needs to grasp the future, it needs leadership, it needs a group to initiate a transformation. But do they exist? The breakers do. We know that. But can the Pacifica partisans rise to the occasion? As Primo said, thru his alter ego in the Belarusian forest, se non ora, quando?, if not now, when?

Surprise, surprise, FY2018 draft auditor’s report isn’t ready . . . M8June PNB Audit Cttee cancelled, to be held F12June, otherwise Tu16June, or . . .

(the WPFW is there for completeness)

At Monday’s PNB Audit Cttee, 1June, Chair Eileen Rosin (WPFW listener-delegate) confidently said the draft auditor’s report was just about to be slipped into the envelopes, to be received by the ctteepeeps Wednesday or Thursday.

https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/audit/200601/audit200601a.mp3 (29:17 & 47:36)

Obviously another glitch has occurred – maybe principal Jorge Diaz was the worse for having been gassed or ‘peppered’, benefiting from a chemical weapon that he helped pay for. (A different kind of perversion, the US state is legally bound not to use these against foreigners, but it has given itself carte blanche against Joe & Joanna Six-Pack. But the US was tardy: it took 50 years to ratify its 1925 commitment to the Geneva Protocol – after Vietnam, of course. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geneva_Protocol#Reservations has link to the relevant UN webpage)

As the double-screenshot shows, Audit will meet if not F12June then on Tu16June. The record shows that the changes were made by Chair Eileen, Friday tea-time, EDT.

https://kpftx.org/pacalendar/index.php (click on the # for details & the list of cttee members) & https://kpftx.org/index.php

~~~

Highlights of the M1June Audit meeting:

member intros (5:08);

Chair Eileen was the first officer or employee to publicly disclose (48:40) that the auditors aren’t issuing the management letter, the one telling the PNB, in confidence of course, how f’d up it is, & what it has to do to acquire a semblance of substantive rationality. Nothing new, in other words. Eileen didn’t explain (although she probably knows), but presumably it’s because ED Lydia Brazon (& the inner circle) haven’t agreed to some of its proposed content, not least being told in black & white that (a) bankruptcy protection may be unavoidable (although that triggers defaulting on the FJC contract), & (b) fundamental cost-cutting must be instigated within two months, if not weeks (although that greatly worsens immediate cashflow, given worker payouts). And the cost structure? The last audited figures (FY2016), so almost four years ago, gave personnel as 53% (plus, no doubt, some in the $257k consultants category), & 57% of those personnel costs was spent on the west coast stations, KPFA $2.0m, KPFK $1.7m. The other three stations totalled KPFK + $12k. Some stations, Lew, rely more on volunteers than others. https://pacifica.org/finance/audit_2016.pdf (pp. 5a & 26; pp. 8 & 30 of the PDF); &

a number of Pacifica favourites are crammed into the virtual room, in a self-sacrificing act of solidarity with Viro the Virus:

  • the return of Adriana
  • the elevation of our Bella
  • the serene breaker Lynden “what-a-bunch-of-fucking-bullshit” Foley
  • breaker Darlene of anti-BDSM fame – obviously only some breaking is righteous (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darlene_Pagano)
  • Marilyn ‘I translated lots of Trotsky’ Vogt-Downey
  • all ably overseen by, in the partisan corner, Grace-for-the-stack, &, in the breaker corner, authoritarian-Akio-the-anti-democrat (& yes, this moniker has also been diligently earnt by schemer Grace)
  • all that’s missing is the paragon of decorum, Cerene.

Chair Eileen better know where the mute button is.

Facebook has designated this blog as spam, banning any FB post linking to it – and there seems to be no appeal. Hail Sugar Mountain!

https://americansfortaxfairness.org/issue/tale-two-crises-billionaires-gain-workers-feel-pandemic-pain/

Yesterday I made the PNB-zombies-Karen post to two FB groups, Pacifica Radio Supporters & Pacifica Radiowaves. I noticed within an hour it had been deleted – praps even instantaneously, for all i know. A notification from FB said the post was spam.

It’s transpired that what FB deems spam is not the post as such but the site it linked to, namely this one, something i’ve often done since the middle of last year.

So the seriousness of the situation is much greater than i first thought. I’ve just noticed that all my posts linking to this blog have been deleted from the FB groups i’ve posted to.

I can’t find a way to appeal FB’s action: does anyone know different?

Anyway, g-d bless Mr Sugar Mountain, not least for the extra money he’s ‘earning’ during the COVID-19 global societal crisis. In the period depicted in the table above, from W18Mar to Tu19May, a day shy of nine weeks, it’s estimated from Forbes figures that his wealth increased by ~$25.3bn, from 54.7 to 80.0. That’s $408m every one of those 62 days; $17m every hour; $283 378 every second, so exceeding the annual wages of seven workers on $19.25 an hour (40 hours x 52) – makes Stalinism seem appealing.

And Pacifica’s revenue in a year? ~$10.9m (the FY2017 NETA figure rejected by the auditors). Zuckerberg ‘made’ that in 38.46 seconds – makes slavery seem fair.

On top of all this, 17 days have almost passed since the 19May calculation, adding perhaps another $6.9bn (17 x $408m). Overall, that’s +59% (32.2 ÷ 54.7) – makes the COVID-19 global societal crisis seem all worthwhile.

Within the hour, Facebook inexplicably deleted the post about the PNB, zombies, & Karen

FB notification, Th4June2020

Obviously, Karen stormed off immediately to FB on my behalf to find out what’s going on.

FB artificial intelligence being dumb?

The deleted FB post had gone to two groups, Pacifica Radio Supporters, & Pacifica Radiowaves. Here it is, as paragraphed:

Two months down, 10 to go: when will the PNB get round to identifying the practical options Pacifica has to pay the $3.265m to the Foundation for the Jewish Community, FJC, by 31Mar2021? When will the PNB instruct ED Lydia Brazon to identify these options & how to proceed?

Who will be Pacifica’s Karen?

https://pacificaradiowatch.home.blog/2020/06/04/two-months-down-ten-to-go-yet-the-zombies-keep-shuffling-on-to-the-abyss-but-where-is-pacifica-s-karen-will-pnb-instruct-ed-brazon-to-identify-the-fjc-loan-options-qm/

Two months down, ten to go, yet the zombies keep shuffling on to the abyss – but where is Pacifica’s Karen? . . . will tonite’s PNB instruct ED Brazon to identify the options for paying $3.265m to FJC by 31Mar2021?

. . . one reason why the PNB only has teleconferences – without cams . . .

At least the protesters in the streets today have some vitality. Back in PacificaWorld the directors just keep on keeping on, shuffling along as zombies, towards the abyss they refuse to see.

Besides the obvious – money & more appealing programmes – Pacifica needs one thing: Karen.

Yes, the directors vary in their abilities, but why the continuing collective failure? Just like the street, there has never been a more opportune moment to say, no more. Cometh the moment, cometh the Karen. Karen needs to step up to the counter.

#Karen.

The anti-breaker coalition hasn’t endured: Steinberg & Aaron have pushed Reyes aside, trying to close down discussion, stitching things up beforehand over Skype calls. The revived PNB Strategic Planning Cttee has been stymied. It’s as if when the moment suits them they’ll sort something out with Brazon, getting Marc Hand or whoever to try to find a new lender. What isn’t happening is transparency of proceedings, giving Pacifica members the opportunity to then hold directors & delegates accountable for their views/silence, for their action/inaction. All this has been made worse by the ugly tone that has descended upon the PNB, under the chairmanship of Alex Steinberg.

The differences between the street process & the PNB process can be pursued further.

The political problem facing the protesters, albeit unacknowledged, is the politics of the institutionalisation of enthusiasm, that is, how to meliorate oppression (glossed as achieving justice) through new or reformed institutional arrangements. So what institutional demands will the protest coalesce around? Or will it just peter out, like Occupy, without even an organisational legacy, just a fond memory?

So it’s the unknown that’s being lived in the street, & this makes the behaviour of the Pacifica directors even more inexcusable: they know what has to be done; they simply refuse to take responsibility, they simply refuse to carry out their duty. Instead, the last two months of proceedings have been largely devoted to tertiary & quaternary matters.

  • the Pacifica directors know what has to be done
  • they simply refuse to take responsibility
  • they simply refuse to carry out their duty

The reality is in plain sight: Pacifica is contracted to pay the Foundation for the Jewish Community, FJC, the $3.265m principal by 31Mar2021. What payment options have the directors contractually committed Pacifica to?

a swap or sale of one or more radio station licenses or a sale of other Pacifica owned assets of sufficient value to repay this Loan (as defined below), or such other sources that will become available

https://mega.nz/#!5NMhHAxI!QzMtaBd0iRTZJ_YNmh2KZ1xKu7Qh_hQ6IcPMVkGWX94 (the loan agreement; click on the Clouseau to read online, or download)

Just over two months ago, on 31Mar, when many were basking in the glow of the referenda results, I drew attention to the enduring problem, the elephant, the fact that Pacifica not only didn’t have a plan for what to do but hadn’t even identified the practical options it has. As I said,

So what’s it going to be: signal swap? buildings sales? extend the loan? find new lender? maybe the Jesse James approach, improving on the Symbionese Liberation Army?

With not an ounce of expectation, I asked the question whether at the Th2Apr PNB meeting a director would take the initiative & do the obvious.

https://pacificaradiowatch.home.blog/2020/03/31/pacifica-now-has-365-days-to-pay-fjc-its-3-point-265m-dollars-unless-fjc-or-the-current-owner-of-the-loan-decides-otherwise/

No doubt counter-intuitive, but what Pacifica needs at this moment is a Karen: a director, of any pronoun, who demands to speak to the manager. Tonite, will anyone move a motion to instruct ED Brazon to identify the practical options Pacifica has for paying $3.265m to FJC by 31Mar2021?

Not to be thought reductive, but no Karen equals no Pacifica: Karen = Pacifica.

~💗~ code 666, Karen at the counter ~💗~

~~~

How many are in the streets?

½%.

It seems to be roughly ½% of those older than 14. ½%. Not even the fabled 1%.

Politically it’s always crucial to have a sense of scale, not to be fooled when seeing lots of people around you: it’s easy in the enthusiasm of the moment to be deluded, & misled in your judgment.

Do a ballpark exercise. The crowds are say 15k, & there are only 50 states, plus DC, & the other colonies. OK, even double the crowd: 30k x 50 = 1.5m.

US population is ~330m, & those aged 0-14 are 18.46%, which leaves ~268.9m. And ½% is ~1.345m.

How may the fallout of the protests affect electoral politics? Trump lost the 2016 popular vote by ~2.9m (65 853 514 − 62 984 828 = 2 868 686). This time he could lose it by 5m – and still win the electoral college. Remember, a US voter casts their ballot not for a presidential candidate but for a party’s state list of candidate Electors.

Meanwhile, the most excited of all by far, the most expectant, is Viro the Virus, the billions & billions & billions of SARS-CoV-2 virions.

https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html (0-14: 18.46%; this source is used because the latest age structure at the Census Bureau website is 2015; note, the CIA uses a different total population figure; re the age stratum, it’s ♀ 30 034 371 + ♂ 31 374 555 = 61 408 926; incidently, the total is ~20m for each of the 5-year age groups from 0-4 thru to 60-64)

https://transition.fec.gov/pubrec/fe2016/federalelections2016.pdf (p. 5; p. 10 of the PDF)

Pacifica to lose its CPB music licence this Sunday, 31May – unless it pays $137 506

Executive Director Lydia Brazon gave devastating news to this evening’s PNB Finance Cttee at 10.14pm: come up with $137 506 by Sunday or lose the legal right to broadcast licensed music.

Oh.

ED Brazon said the debt arose in 2013, the result of an audit by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. It was her understanding that it could be paid out of some future sizeable grant from the CPB. Obviously the CPB has begged to differ.

Oh.

The CPB had written to her last Friday, 22May. It determined that $137 506 was owed – by Sunday.

Oh.

Last year I wrote about a 2012 CPB audit of Pacifica. This determined a $133 240 overpayment of Community Service Grants to Pacifica (p. 1; p. 2 of the PDF):

Audit of Pacifica: 21Sep2012. The audit was of two complete fiscal years, 2009 & 2010. (CPB & Pacifica have the same year-end, 30Sep; so FY2009 ended 30Sep2009.) The fieldwork was done between Jan & June 2012. 31 pages. https://www.cpb.org/files/oig/reports/2012-09-21-Report-1208-Pacifica.pdf (Office of Inspector General)

https://pacificaradiowatch.home.blog/sources-on-pacifica/

Oh.

Oh.

Oh.

~~~

[Audio of the meeting should be posted W27May at https://kpftx.org/archive.php. The topic will start around 1:27:00 (yes, the meeting started over 15mins late).]

[The FY2018 draft auditor’s report may – may – be presented to the M1June PNB Audit Cttee. Wonder if a cttee member will ask if the creditors figure includes this $137 506 debt, a material amount? (As explained elsewhere, link below, it’s almost certain that the financial statements (income statement, balance sheet, &, derivatively, cashflow statement) will be judged worthless by the auditors, stamped with ‘disclaimer of opinion’, as they did last June with the FY2017 financial statements. A preferred stamp is that used in Hrabal’s classic, put on the screen by Jiří Menzel, & known in the US as Closely Watched Trains, & in the UK as Closely Observed Trains.)

https://pacificaradiowatch.home.blog/2019/07/19/fy2017-auditor-refuses-to-declare-that-the-statements-are-materially-accurate/; & https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxCBk1bCjjI&t=50m28s (yes, time-stamped link)]

The pulped CDC sector guidelines – Trump goes for herd infection, whilst South Korea starts ‘social distancing in daily life’

W13May2020 UPDATE . . . The Associated Press news agency has now released a 68-page CDC doc which includes the 17-page guidelines it had previously published. They’re here as Appendix 5 (pp. 42-67), albeit in a different format & physical appearance. Note that AP doesn’t shed any light on the 68 pages being “Appendix F”, of some unidentified doc.

The sector guidelines, & some other pages, were as of F24Apr subject to approval by the OIRA – “[t]he Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) is a statutory part of the Office of Management and Budget within the Executive Office of the President. OIRA is the United States Government’s central authority for the review of Executive Branch regulations, approval of Government information collections, establishment of Government statistical practices, and coordination of Federal privacy policy.” https://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/information-regulatory-affairs/

The 68-page CDC doc: https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/6889330/Guidance-for-Opening-Up-America-Again-Framework.pdf; also at https://mega.nz/file/UU1igIqK#ZSiYednDFiv10V43_DsRrgHUrG-v9xQjTs4XPMXsRnk.

~~~

. . . does Redfield have the balls – nay, the integrity – to resign? . . .

Proximate gratitude is due to Associated Press. Also at https://mega.nz/file/kM8RFJaA#2YB0DYc1aR-lLK5AjT2QU5M3rnx1_cOJrV98Yxg-s48

Six sets of “interim guidance”:

  • child care programmes;
  • skools & day camps (whoopee!!!);
  • communities of faith (that is, superstition cults);
  • employers with vulnerable workers;
  • restaurants & bars; &
  • mass transit administrators.

The fact the CDC puts superstition cults before workers, only shows how far pre-modern ideological practice has penetrated even the putative scientific. G-d bless Amerika.

Pages 10 & 11, on workplaces, are particularly relevant for Pacifica stations, not least for any resulting litigation concerning negligence, & so on. Also pp. 12-14 for arranging the wining & dining of those targeted donors.

The Emperor With No Clothes has spoken of hitting the body, with a tremendous, a powerful light, getting it inside the body, shining the light, shining the light inside the body. Even spoken of the disinfectant, injecting disinfectant into the veins of Amerika, almost a cleaning. The light. The disinfectant. Using medical doctors. But one thing the Bleach House hasn’t done publicly is revoke its F13Mar plan to vanquish Viro the Virus – but then it’s never been mentioned in a BH media briefing, not even by a journalist. And anyway, what do scientists know, huh? They even say things like “[a] pandemic will last 18 months or longer and could include multiple waves of illness” (p. 4, added emphases), their main working assumption given the paucity of knowledge. That’s scientists for you, eh. Amerika wasn’t made to be constrained by science, by nature. We’re supernatural, extraterrestrial, g-dly.

Posted here, Th19Mar: https://pacificaradiowatch.home.blog/2020/03/19/more-than-18-months-of-multiple-waves-of-illness-fed-covid-19-sq-plan-sq-for-the-people/

New York Times‘ posting of the doc, https://int.nyt.com/data/documenthelper/6819-covid-19-response-plan/d367f758bec47cad361f/optimized/full.pdf:

~

[Some paras. to follow, including details of the important change this week in S Korean government policy.]

58 318 = COVID-19 = Vietnam

(courtesy of Na Zhu et al., & John Huotari)

58 318 names appear on the Washington Wall, those who died or remain missing. Others are excluded, at the request of family. And 14 are clerical errors: they survived the war.

https://www.nps.gov/vive/learn/historyculture/vvmoverview.htm & https://books.google.com/books?id=DFXOaOQE-5gC (Patrick Hagopian, The Vietnam War in American Memory: Veterans, Memorials, and the Politics of Healing, University of Massachusetts Press (Amherst), 2009, page 474, note 44)

This figure is slightly different from the 58 220 provided by the Department for Perpetual Peace & Freedom, the DOD.

https://dcas.dmdc.osd.mil/dcas/pages/report_vietnam_sum.xhtml (Defense Casualty Analysis System, maintained by the Defense Manpower Data Center)

War data are notoriously inexact, & not always made public. Similarly, problems arise in attributing death to a new disease. Nevertheless, trusted sources say the last 58 001 COVID-19 deaths have occurred since Sa21Mar. So not decades or years, but 38 days, 5½ weeks, at the rate of >10 001 deaths a week. Not exactly the message coming daily from the Bleach House.

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html & https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/total-daily-covid-deaths?country=USA (hover over the datum point)

~

~

In Vietnam, the highest annual US deaths was 16 899, in the momentous year of 1968. That works out at 47 a day. Just last weekend, COVID-19 daily death was ~2 001 (three-day rolling average). That’s a difference of x~40. To repeat: the recent daily death rate for COVID-19 is x40 that for the worst year in Vietnam – for Amerikans that is.

SARS-CoV-2, the virus, did the 1968 work of the ‘VC’ in just the last eight days (Tu21 thru Tu28Apr). The shortest time it’s taken is six days, from each of M13, Tu14, & W15Apr.

https://www.archives.gov/research/military/vietnam-war/casualty-statistics#date & https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/daily-covid-deaths-3-day-average (hover over a datum point)

~

~

Amerikans were not the only foreigners who died defending US capitalist imperialism: there were also New Zealanders, Australians, South Koreans, Taiwanese, Filipinos, Thais, Laotians, & Cambodians. A different sort of International Brigade, one could say. LBJ even asked Harold Wilson, the Labour Party prime minister of the UK, to join the invasion; a right-wing social democrat who leant to the centre, he quickly & firmly declined the offer. The ‘special relationship’ isn’t as solidarian as usually touted.

~

~

And the invisible in Constitution Gardens, the presence of absence? Estimates vary, & the wider context is the maintenance & break-up of French Indochina, & its aftermath. Think of 4 000 001. Then think again, & feel. Then act.

https://www.bmj.com/content/bmj/336/7659/1482.full.pdf (co-authored by Chris Murray, at Seattle’s Washington University, the COVID-19 modeller continually cited by Fauci & Birx).

Another Vietnam connection with COVID-19 concerns Jonathan Van-Tam, a frequent official spokesman for the UK government. He’s the Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, & former influenza & vaccine man with SmithKline Beecham, Roche, & Sanofi. It just so happens that his grandfather was the second-longest serving prime minister of the 1949-55 French puppet state in Vietnam before the US took over, & his uncle was the only head of that state’s armed forces.

~

~~~

Daniel Borgström is a dogged KPFA Local Station Board listener-delegate. He’s fond, & rightly so, of a personal vignette. It’s striking like a haiku, & there’s no better advocacy for Pacifica:

When people ask me why I joined the Marine Corps (at age 18, back in 1959), I tell them, “Because where I grew up there was no KPFA or Pacifica Radio affiliate.”

2Oct2017, http://danielborgstrom.blogspot.com/2017/10/kpfas-antiwar-voice.html

~~~

The pics:

• Images of SARS-CoV-2 virions (complete virus) & particles: Na Zhu et al., ‘A novel coronavirus from patients with pneumonia in China 2019’, New England Journal of Medicine, 382, 8, 20Feb2020, p. 731 (e-published 24Jan2020 – article updated 29Jan). The quasi-spherical virion has a diameter of 60-140nm, nanometres (pp. 730-1). Think of a millimetre, mm; divide it into a thousand, that’s a micrometre, μm (formerly termed a micron); within this, end-to-end, one can fit ~7-16 virions.

https://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJMoa2001017

A digression on the matter of size. Can a SARS-CoV-2 virion pass through the filter of a N95 respirator? It’s very unlikely. (I haven’t seen a paper estimating what proportion gets thru, let alone, crucially, what’s the minimum viral load sufficient for infection.) The N95’s specification is having a 95% probability of stopping a particle of ≥0.3μm (300nm). (N95 = neutralises 95%; its European counterpart is FFP2, filtering face piece, which has a 94% rating.) But as the virion is less than half this size, even a quarter, won’t it sail thru? No. And the reason is perhaps surprising.

The rating standard of a respirator (more precisely its filter) is in terms of a particle of 0.3μm for a crucial reason: it’s the MPPS, the most penetrating particle size, in conditions other than a vacuum. And that’s the clue: Brownian motion. The virion, or the particle it’s on or the droplet it’s on or in, collides with air atoms or molecules, even before it reaches the respirator. And the filter is multi-layered: its barrier isn’t a simple sieve. It means any penetrating pathway is tortuous. So for the combination of air & filter, particles <0.3μm are largely diffused, & those >0.3μm are largely blocked. It just so happens that in air, the smallest sized particle avoiding Brownian motion is ~0.3μm: this makes it the MPPS for an air filter. And that’s why the rating standard is pitched where it is.

https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20170005166.pdf (May2016; NASA research paper, albeit not independently peer-reviewed), & https://multimedia.3m.com/mws/media/409903O/respiratory-protection-against-biohazards.pdf (Apr2020; research paper by 3M (surprise, surprise), again not independently peer-reviewed); https://fastlifehacks.com/n95-vs-ffp/ (3Feb2020, updated 22Apr; dodgy-sounding URL, but useful), & https://smartairfilters.com/en/blog/what-is-pm0-3-why-important/

Windrock Coal Miners Memorial Wall, Union Valley Baptist Church, Windrock Road, Windrock, Oliver Springs, Oak Ridge, Knoxville, Tennessee (gratitude to the photographer, John Huotari). Over a 1 000 miners remembered, 13 of whom died at work. Memorial cost ~$7 000. Six years in the planning & funding. Dedicated Sa17May2014. The longest continuously worked TN coalmine, 1904-1960. Union Valley . . . Baptist church . . . the names of the ex-miners present read out by the former manager (so not a union man yes, Union Valley refers to the Southern rebellion) . . . on 8Nov2016, TN voted Trump 61%, over 1.5m, winning 92 of the 95 counties (losing Memphis, Nashville, & Brownsville); Anderson County, where the mine was, 65%. Further into the hills, Trump was in the low 80s. As context, an excellent study of rule over workers & their families was made in a contiguous county, 40 miles to the north-east, in the Clear Fork valley: John Gaventa, Power and Powerlessness: Quiescence and Rebellion in an Appalachian Valley, Clarendon Press (Oxford), 1980 (link below for either viewing the PDF online or downloading it).

https://oakridgetoday.com/2014/05/18/photos-windrock-coal-miners-memorial/ & https://mega.nz/file/30oCBQqJ#troqF4UR3OpbWewlnaBP9QHixCfRXswfWdfMwdrHPYc

John Gaventa, a Tennessean, first degree at Vanderbilt in Nashville, doctorate at Oxford, lecturer at UT Knoxville, then headed the Highlander Research and Education Center (formerly the Highlander Folk School), 1993-6, before returning to the UK, to the Institute of Development Studies in Brighton. The HREC’s main office, a wooden building, was burnt to the ground, F29Mar2019, in a suspected arson attack by fascists of the ilk of Heimbach’s Traditionalist Worker Party, which had been active in nearby Knoxville: https://knoxnews.com/story/news/local/tennessee/2019/04/03/christchurch-shooter-used-racist-symbol-found-at-highland-center-fire-iron-guard/3347678002/ (by Travis Dorman). On a philanthropic note, linked here is a video about the 1974-6 joint Appalachian-south Wales coalfields project he did with pioneering sociologist Helen Lewis & cinematographer Richard Greatrex: https://southernspaces.org/2015/keep-your-eye-upon-scale/.

Shell-shocked invader, Hue, 1968 (photographer: the incomparable Don McCullin);

US invaders kidnap blindfolded & bound Vietnamese girl and mother & child (photographer: unknown witness at a crime scene);

just another day’s work for the A-109 Special Forces killers, Thuong Duc, Jan1967 (US state archive; photographer: unknown witness at a crime scene);

just another day’s work (camera operators: unknown witnesses at multiple crime scenes).

~

Chris Albertson died one year ago

Chris Albertson, WBAI studios, 1965 (photographer: Sam Falk, New York Times)

Chris died a year ago today.

Respect.

His blogs, that are still maintained:

http://wbai-nowthen.blogspot.com/

Two of his obituaries:

https://jazztimes.com/features/tributes-and-obituaries/jazz-and-blues-historian-chris-albertson-dies-at-87/ (written by Michael West)