. . . 10yrs on: the last time Pacifica had audited net assets was 30Sep2012 . . . audited net liabilities went as far south as $4 525 638, at 30Sep2016 . . . the latest audited net liabilities are $1 241 649, at 30Sep2021 . . . almost all of the improvement, 99.5%, is due not to operating performance but the auditor agreeing to three adjustments to total liabilities – screenshot of the FY2013 auditor’s report (page 3; page 5 of the PDF),https://pacifica.org/finance/audit_2013.pdf . . .
When did Pacifica last have audited net assets? That was 30Sep2012, $495 924. It was wiped out by the FY2013 loss of $2 824 046.
The zenith for audited net assets had been $7 684 012, at 30Sep2006. (Note that the higher figure in the FY2008 auditor’s report was restated downwards in the following year’s report.) FY2006 was indeed Pacifica’s last annual net income until it earnt an audited one for FY2020 . . .
. . . 13yrs of financial – and political – failure: the times of war against Afghans & Iraqis, of Obama hope & the $$$ crash, of Trump. Year after year when the directors responsible for Pacifica – with all these opportunities before them – proved they couldn’t turn a penny. Not one penny. Failures. All of them. No vision. No plan. No self-awareness that they failed – repeatedly. No recognition of their limitations – the need to ask for help from experts. No humility. No grace. So, arrogant. Zombies too.
One needs to say ‘audited’ coz for FY2019 NETA did present a net income to the auditors, but they effectively rejected it: they refused to express an opinion on the material accuracy of the three financial statements given to them coz they were unable to agree with NETA an evidenced estimate of the pension plans liability. In the jargon, the auditors issued ‘a disclaimer of opinion’ – auditor’s report (p. 2; p. 4 of the PDF), https://pacifica.org/finance/audit_2019.pdf.
(In the consideration here, highs & lows, it’s adequate to use data in money terms, not real terms, coz in the period there hasn’t been enough inflation to distort the meaning of the plain figures.)
The failing of Pacifica found expression in successive annual losses &, as its correlate, falling net assets, & during FY2013 these turned into net liabilities.
The nadir of audited net liabilities was $4 525 638, at 30Sep2016. This sum may even be an understatement because those financial statements had the added uncertainty of receiving a qualified opinion from the auditors – auditor’s report (pp. 1a-1b; pp. 3-4 of the PDF), https://pacifica.org/finance/audit_2016.pdf. Furthermore, until the 2019 Democracy Now! event mentioned below, net liabilities were presumably even greater coz NETA presented a loss for both FY2017 & FY2018, statements that were met by disclaimers of opinion from the auditors (in the URL above, just insert the relevant year).
Things have since improved. The latest audited net liabilities, at 30Sep2021, are $1 241 649, a shift of $3 283 989. However, this has had little to do with operating performance – 5yrs of trying yielding a mere $16 566, unaudited (coz it involves the FY2019 record that was effectively rejected) – and was all down to three liabilities adjustments agreed to by the auditors, one in each year of the FY2019-FY2021 period:
• $427 677, the ‘KPFA property tax hiccup’ (convincing the California State Board of Equalization to accept that the tax shouldn’t have been levied) – FY2021 auditor’s report (p. 4; p. 6 of the PDF), https://pacifica.org/finance/audit_2021.pdf
• $477 918, provision for the pension plans liability (this portion was eliminated when Pacifica finally rectified the neglect). And now? Is there neglect? Even negligence? Are the two 2019 pension plans audits completed & filed with IRS, etc.? The two for 2020? The two for 2021? Have those auditors been paid in full for their work? . . . Not a word, from the PNB Finance Cttee, or the PNB Audit Cttee, or the directors sleepwalkers . . . The two plans: a 403(b)-defined contribution retirement plan, & a profit-sharing plan (sic); they are known in Pacificese as ‘the 403(b) Plan’, & ‘the Pacifica Retirement Plan’ – FY2020 auditor’s report (pp. 5, 24-6; pp. 7, 26-8 of the PDF), https://pacifica.org/finance/audit_2020.pdf.
And the recent cost to the Pacifica members & the other donors? It’s disclosed in the auditor’s reports. To take the FY2017 one, the total is in the functional expenses statement, p. 7 (p. 9 of the PDF), with the previous year’s on the next page; & the sum for each plan is in a note, p. 21 (p. 23 of the PDF). The charge for the last five years (total, 403(b), profit-sharing): FY2017, $150 288, $61 736, $88 552; FY2018, $103 944 (incorrectly given as $103 940), $52 540, $51 404; FY2019, $134 640 (incorrectly given as $134 741), $53 202, $81 438; FY2020, $120 067 (an incorrect figure was given, see below), $58 289, $61 778; FY2021, $126 279 (ditto, see below), $65 439, $60 840. These total as $635 218, $291 206, $344 012. (And the year before this period, FY2016? $425 399, $70 483, $201 941 – with no explanation by the auditor of the unidentified $152 975. An ‘indeed’ – to both the anomalous total charge (x~3), & the absent explanans. And to the 6yr charge being >$1m.)
Note, the FY2020 & FY2021 auditor’s reports give three wrong totals in the functional expenses statements: they’ve solely taken the 403(b) plan figure. Presumably the profit-sharing total was mis-posted to “Employee benefits”. Not spotted either year by the auditors, the PNB Audit Cttee, or the PNB. The FY2020 error was repeated in the ‘copy & paste’ into the FY2021 auditor’s report – will anyone stop them next year? Auditor’s report, FY2020, p. 7, p. 9 of the PDF; ditto, FY2021, pp. 6-7, pp. 8-9 of the PDF.
Odd is the very wide range of per capita 403(b) charge between the operating units (formerly termed ‘the divisions’). For FY2020: WPFW $268, WBAI $283, stepping up to KPFK $640, KPFA $668, KPFT $733, & all contrasting with PNO (includes PAN) $1 953, PRA $2 168. Why? (Sources: auditor’s report FY2020, & Oct2021 NETA-produced net income statements (using the comparative). FY2021 data can’t be used coz the NETA figure is way off the auditor’s: auditor agreed the total charge as $65 439, but NETA has $55 244 (Oct2021 set). Whereas the FY2020 totals are, respectively, $58 289 & $58 317. The unit-level charge isn’t in the auditor’s report, only the monthlies: KPFA $19 026, KPFK $16 317, KPFT $2 200, WPFW $2 282, WBAI $2 119, PNO (includes PAN) $8 787, PRA $7 587. The number of full-time equivalents is computed using $80k (see appendix to the 19Nov2021 post) as the per capita personnel cost: KPFA 28.5, KPFK 25.5, KPFT 3, WPFW 8.5, WBAI 7.5, PNO (includes PAN) 4.5, PRA 3.5, totalling 81.)
• $2 361 828, the write-off of the Democracy Now! debt – FY2019 auditor’s report (p. 4; p. 6 of the PDF), https://pacifica.org/finance/audit_2019.pdf. It was first publicly disclosed by Pacifica Executive Director Maxie Jackson, to the 12Mar2019 PNB Finance Cttee (17:53) – https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/finance/190312/finance190312a.mp3. No-one asked why Amy waited 5mths to tell Pacifica. And no Pacifica employee or officeholder has described how DN! chose to manage that debt, but it is in their public record (especially the 2017 IRS Form 990, stamped received 20Nov2018): debt at 31Dec2017, $2361828 = 807000 (doubtful debt provision made FY2012, so both removing it as an asset from its balance sheet (but still leaving it money that Pacifica owed: it wasn’t being treated as uncollectible, a bad debt), & charging it as an expense) + 777000 (FY2017, both removing it as an asset from its balance sheet, & charging it as an expense, in the form of a grant) + 777828 (FY2018, ditto). Like in Iraq, a phased withdrawal. (Obvious Q, asked by no-one: has Pacifica Foundation, Inc. been invoiced since 31Dec2017 for airing DN!, now getting on for 5yrs? That Pacifica may be getting it for nowt or close to is suggested by the change in the pattern of DN!’s annual total broadcasting fees, FY2005-FY2020, with the level falling across 2012-14 from $1.1m to <$200k – when it was decided to start to unload Pacifica from the balance sheet, beautifying the accounts receivable figure, putting a stop to its rise, avoiding a flashing red light.)
DN! is the commodity of Democracy Now! Productions, Inc., founded in 2002 (per its 990’s). How’s it doing? FY2020, coinciding with the calendar year, per their latest 990 (the auditor’s report wasn’t filed with the NYS Attorney General’s Charities Bureau, https://charitiesnys.com/): total revenue $11 442 800, total expenses $8 267 813, net income $3 174 987; total assets $36 302 179, total liabilities $659 173, net assets $35 643 006. (And Pacifica? FY2020, thru 30Sep2020, link above: total revenue $11 507 060, total expenses $11 241 966, net income $265 094; total assets $3 689 886, total liabilities $4 916 323, net liabilities $1 226 437.)
It is with great sadness that PacificaWatch has to announce the death of Louise Fletcher. Louise died yesterday, F23Sep. The thoughts and prayers of all at PacificaWatch are with Louise’s relatives and friends at this difficult time. Louise died at home, in Montdurausse, France, a hamlet above the Tarn valley, a river perhaps best known for its bridge at Millau, 50% higher than the Golden Gate, a tad above the Eiffel Tower. May the angels speed Louise’s soul, soaring upwards, to the Almighty.
Louise was best known for portraying a character created by novelist Ken Kesey in a film directed by Milos Forman. Lesser known is the inspiration for Ken’s character. This was a resident of the Bay Area, a celebrity in her own right, Christina B Huggins. (Yes, her parents displayed prescience with the ‘B’.) From an early age it was apparent that Chrissy was destined to stand out from the crowd.
It was as if Louise knew:
It looks as though you all hated me so much. But you have given me this award for it. And I’m loving every minute of it. All I can say is, I’ve loved being hated by you.
On the day the world ends A bee circles a clover, A fisherman mends a glimmering net. Happy porpoises jump in the sea, By the rainspout young sparrows are playing And the snake is gold-skinned as it should always be.
On the day the world ends Women walk through the fields under their umbrellas, A drunkard grows sleepy at the edge of a lawn, Vegetable peddlers shout in the street And a yellow-sailed boat comes nearer the island, The voice of a violin lasts in the air And leads into a starry night.
And those who expected lightning and thunder Are disappointed. And those who expected signs and archangels’ trumps Do not believe it is happening now. As long as the sun and the moon are above, As long as the bumblebee visits a rose, As long as rosy infants are born No one believes it is happening now.
Only a white-haired old man, who would be a prophet Yet is not a prophet, for he’s much too busy, Repeats while he binds his tomatoes: There will be no other end of the world, There will be no other end of the world.
[Pertinent is the successful 2022 news blackout, keeping secret even the concrete topics of any significant PNB decision (made in the famed ‘executive sessions’), the cherry on the top of the increasing number of open meetings either lacking a publicly available audio recording or even closed to the public thru the withholding of joining details when they aren’t streamed. Every lil bit helps. This exercise in opacity makes it even more likely that Milosz is right, that “There will be no other end of the world, / There will be no other end of the world.” – “And those who expected lightning and thunder / Are disappointed. / And those who expected signs and archangels’ trumps / Do not believe it is happening now.” Gotta luv it. Only goes to prove that when Pacifica decision-makers really put their mind to something, even without coordination, they can come up trumps. Now there’s a thought.]
. . . transitioning from Joy Division to New Order . . .
[UPDATE: when this was written it seemed a good idea to publish monthly lists of certain kinds of apparent CPB violations. It no longer does.]
Given the continual egregious violations by our leaders of the form of the Communications Act of 1934 & the derivative rules of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, let alone of the Pacifica by-laws & California law, it makes sense to list the transgressions on a monthly basis, with the presentation of all available supporting evidence. One says form coz, currently, Pacifica Foundation, Inc. doesn’t receive CPB money, but on 22May2020, over 1½yrs ago, it was told by the CPB,
[t]o be considered for re-entry to the CSG program [Community Service Grant], the Radio CSG program must be open to new applicants, Licensees and Stations must demonstrate full compliance with the General Provisions at the time of application
letter from Kathy Merritt (Senior Vice President, Journalism & Radio) & Katherine Arno (Vice President, Community Service Grants & Station Initiatives) to ED Lydia Brazon & PNB Chair Alex Steinberg, 22May2020, unpaginated but page 1, emphases added – https://mega.nz/file/cY8XCYLb#4IGXyzfasCgfm-GdaYYm6WPn2XaD4UcMJR8ZPTo-Q8c … in the typical opaque practices of the usual Pacifica executive director & any PNB majority one cares to name, they’re not upfront with the members, listeners, & staff, not posting eagerly on the national & unit websites the documented reality & milestone plans, but instead they conceal & at best obfuscate; it means one has to look for scraps where one can – and collation is one function of PacificaWatch
So Pacifica managers have four short months to be fully compliant.
And with CPB disbursing federal money, & being subject to scrutiny by senators, it’s a sober, conservative body, so it won’t accept a snapshot: it’ll want a recent history showing that Pacifica has been transformed, from caprice to credibility. So for how long will CPB want evidence of the imperative that “Stations must demonstrate full compliance“? Six months? A year? A year – minimum.
The ongoing FCC & CPB violations are not solely perpetrated by the chosen secret behaviour of Pacifica advisory bodies labelled, in Pacificese, taskforces & working groups . . . choking the open meetings requirement, suffocating the transparency out of PacificaWorld. No. These insidious bodies simply protrude as heads wrapped in plastic bags.
The monthly lists will appear on the 11th day of the following month given that a CPB general provision is
Closed Meetings: Grantee must document why any meetings of its governing body, its committees, and CAB [“but are not limited to” these] were closed and make available to the public a written statement of the reason(s) within a reasonable time after the closed meeting (47 U.S.C. § 396(k)(4)). CPB also requires that the written statement be made available for inspection, either at Grantee’s central office or on its station website, within 10 days after each closed meeting.
The lists will first be done for this financial year, so from Oct. Then, in NETA-style, as we go forward those from the rest of calendar 2021 will be added. If a minion agrees to pay for the privilege of labouring at PacificaWatch, then calendar 2020 will be added.
This PacificaWorld self-harm documentary carries a parental guidance certificate.
These days the anti-breakers have lost the political argument: the 12July2021 second referenda result was crushing, with the breakers achieving amongst listener-members a 75.7 percentage point swing from the Mar2020 referendum, when expressing their vote as a proportion of the anti-breaker vote (−48.4 ⭢ +27.3). So, as Vlad-not-the-Impaler put it, what is to be done? Well, if you’ve lost the game, change the game: change the rules. Become a bureaucratic roader: use the power of the offices – not the power of the membership – to get what you want. And, as the early Chuck observed, it’s a matter of the particular & the universal, so present the special interest as the general interest: present this as protecting the organisation.
You’d think it would be plain sailing to send in a proposed by-laws amendment (PBA), get the Pacifica National Board to approve a noticing period, twiddle thumbs for 30 days whilst the PBA sits in the notice on the Pacifica homepage, & then do some voting – all accomplished within six weeks, yes? Not in PacificaWorld. This sorry tale started at the end of summer, the Th2Sep PNB, & meandered all the way up to just before Christmas. Not six weeks, but 15 . . . x2½. Not bad, considering. At least it happened.
•2• Three attempts at noticing – there you go, says Lydia
•3• Su12Dec KPFK Delegates Assembly
•4• The notices on the Pacifica homepage, M8-Tu16Nov
•5• The 30 timestamps, M8-Tu16Nov
•6• The noticing errors
•A• Appendix: 15 screenshots, M8-Tu16Nov
•1• The process
A PBA is sent to the Pacifica Secretary. Thing is, Pacifica doesn’t have one: whenever the PNB elects a secretary they’re described as ‘the PNB Secretary’, sometimes ‘the Secretary’. As the bullied know all to well, words matter. But, hey, who’s listening? It’s not as though anyone’s litigious in PacificaWorld.
The Pacifica Secretary evaluates the PBA for propriety, then tells the PNB Chair there’s something in the house, & to expect a motion to come in to start a noticing period so all PBA’s can be posted for 30 days on the Pacifica homepage, https://pacifica.org/. But the noticing also consists in a tricky bit, at least in PacificaWorld, something to do with a radio station & broadcasting: on-air announcements – 450 of them. Yes. 3 broadcasts a day x 30 days x 5 stations. Just as well the founding mothers didn’t require transparency, insisting on a by-law requiring that the so-called traffic logs be made public, posted on pacifica.org.
After the noticing, the PNB & the five LSB’s have 45 days to vote. If the PBA is approved by the PNB & at least three LSB’s, then it’s adopted, becoming a by-law – that is unless it also needs to secure a majority in a membership vote. And the whole process has to be completed within the same calendar year. Note that in a board vote, insufficient is a majority of either those voting or those present: what’s needed is a majority of all the members of that body. So, if there are 22 directors, then a fail would even be a 11-0 vote, however many attended.
•2• Three attempts at noticing – there you go, says Lydia
• Th2Sep PNB: a notice date was agreed for Sa16Oct (23:44). Chair Alex Steinberg (WBAI listener-delegate) was absent, but temp Chair Polina Vasiliev (KPFK staff-delegate) related that he wanted that date because it was the day after voting ended in the 2021 delegates elections – per item 5 of the draft minutes (never seem to have been approved; unpaginated, but pages 2 & 3 of the PDF; link in the archive erroneously denoted as “[a]genda”), https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/pnb210902/pnb210902_7245_agenda.pdf, & https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/pnb210902/pnb210902a.mp3. The end date of the notice period wasn’t mentioned, but the 30th day would have been Su14Nov.
• Th7Oct PNB: a new notice date was agreed for Su10Oct (40:01). Lawrence Reyes (KPFK listener-delegate) moved to rescind what he called the noticing for Sa16Oct-M15Nov (even though that’s 31 days, not the required 30 days), & replace it with a Su10Oct notice (no minutes online – although they were approved by the 4Nov PNB (18:36) – https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/pnb211104/pnb211104a.mp3). (For the 10Oct notice, the end date wasn’t mentioned during the meeting – but 30 days would make it thru M8Nov.) One reason he gave for the change was that the current notice would prevent three LSB’s (KPFT, WPFW, WBAI) from considering any PBA’s at their regular November meeting, on the 10th, forcing them to arrange special meets. Guess this was more important than the reason given the last time: avoiding a noticing overlap with voting in the delegates elections. https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/pnb211007/pnb211007c.mp3
On seeing the PBA’s posted at pacifica.org, I felt I had to make a public comment at the Su17Oct KPFK LSB, pointing out that two of the four required approval by a membership vote. Oddly, this was the first time that had been said in a recorded public Pacifica meeting.
• Th4Nov PNB: yet another new notice date was agreed, this time for M8Nov (19:14). Again, it was Lawrence that moved the motion, to replace what it called the 9Oct (sic) noticing with a new one starting 8Nov. Why another change? “[T]he mandated announcements had [sic] not been airing” (20:09). Oh. (The end date for this 3rd noticing period wasn’t mentioned during the meeting.) https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/pnb211104/pnb211104a.mp3
• (The notices have many errors, & these are listed below in the final section.)
“[N]ot been airing”? Pacifica may have wheels but they’re fly-wheels – it rarely has cogs, allowing transmission. Admin simply couldn’t organise themselves to make three announcements a day. It’s complicated. Spread out across the day & night. At five stations. Interminable, all of 30 days. Pacifica isn’t suited for complex operations like this, requiring coordination & multi-disciplinary teamwork.
But the wheels were spun again – and that’s exactly what happened for six days, M8Nov thru Sa13Nov: wheels, not cogs. It was only on day #7 that the notice appeared on https://pacifica.org/ – at least according to the authoritative archive of the whole visible internet, the Wayback Machine, https://web.archive.org/web/*/pacifica.org. That single Pacifica webpage saved over 11 000 times, since 13Nov1996. By a well-tooled organisation, with its relentless ‘crawling, then scraping’, archiving over 636bn webpages – that’s >636 000 000 000. Remember this pedigree, as it soon becomes relevant.
A grounding political point. The wrecking isn’t pointing out deficiencies: the wrecking lies with the scrutinised officeholders, with their behaviour of driving on come what may, even when repeatedly warned of the harm they’re causing. The organisation needs to be protected from litigation, it needs to be protected from so-called leaders who are intent on breaking the rules, be they Pacifica by-laws, CPB requirements, state & federal law. It doesn’t matter whether anyone likes those rules: it’s just that if one carries on regardless, the day of reckoning is bound to come. And an anti-breaker violating a rule is objectively doing the work of a breaker. And the breaker can simply choose their preferred moment when to strike. With the anti-breaker having laid the organisation wide open to pay the costs. Simple as.
The KPFK Delegates Assembly met to consider the four PBA’s. PNB Chair Alex Steinberg was in the audience – sitting amongst the plebs, but in the front row, with waitress service, & filling an automated recliner with leather armrests. When he heard something he really didn’t like, he felt he had to pipe up.
What irked his ire was my public comment:
[t]he proposed by-laws amendments under consideration today have not been properly noticed 8Nov thru 8Dec. The Wayback Machine has publicly available evidence that Alex’s claim that it was is false: Pacifica’s homepage was crawled 20 times for the 6 days 8Nov thru 13Nov, & the notice wasn’t there. In fact the first time the notice appeared was Su14Nov at 11:17:20 EST. Oh. That means there are presently no proposed by-laws amendments for a Pacifica body to deliberate upon. Double oh. https://web.archive.org/web/*/pacifica.org
The response of The Big A, in full: “[t]he notice on the pacifca.org [sic] web site was there from Nov 8, Nov 9, Nov 10. I just checked the wayback machine for those dates” (Zoom chatbox, 11:22:06 PST, Su12Dec2021).
Thing is, in his haste to read what he wanted to see on the webpage in question, he mistook the 10Oct-8Nov amendments notice for the 8Nov-8Dec one. Oh. But easily done: both being notices, both being in green, both set on a black background, both referring to not just ‘8’ but also ‘November’, & both notices being in English. So, yes, easily mixed up.
So I simply said in the Zoom chatbox, “[h]i, you know you’re mistaken, yes, misreading the old notice, the 10Oct-8Nov one? A person of honour would publicly state, both verbally & in the chatbox, that they made a mistake. Are you?”
No answer was the stern reply – which wouldn’t surprise anyone who knows him.
As far as the proceedings went, besides the Wayback Machine evidence, it was pointed out by Call-In User #5, a well-known Pacifican, with a calming, mellifluous, s***** voice, that the mandated 450 announcements hadn’t been made, as witnessed by peeps in Berkeley & NY (46:26).
Raymond Goldstone (KPFK listener-member) said that the PBA re director terms needed an accompanying PBA re Article 5, Section 3, which speaks of the annual election of directors (44:25) – https://pacifica.org/indexed_bylaws/art5sec3.html. Oh. As Art. 17, Sec. 1(B)(5) says, & I quote in full, “[n]otwithstanding any of the provisions of this Section 1(B), these bylaws may not be amended or repealed if said amendment or repeal would: (i) violate any state or federal statute or regulation; (ii) conflict with the Foundation’s Articles of Incorporation; or (iii) create conflicting provisions in these bylaws” (emphases added) – https://pacifica.org/indexed_bylaws/art17sec1.html.
A proper, general comment was made by Jonathan Markowitz (KPFK listener-member): there needs to be a wide discussion about these important PBA’s before they’re presented to a Pacifica deliberative body (42:00). Quite right. And it was in the gift of each local station board to have discussed them in October or November – and even at both meetings.
‘Hapless’ Alex also had to admit (29:08) that the PBA changing a director’s terms would also require a membership vote – one conducted by 31Dec (sic).
He could have added that the delegates assemblies at WPFW & WBAI, voting on 8Dec, had wasted their time – not simply because the process initiated on 2Sep was imploding before everyone’s eyes, but because the earliest voting could legally occur was 9Dec: “[t]he PNB and Delegates shall vote on the proposed amendment(s) within the 45 day period beginning on the day following the last day of the notice period” (emphases added, Art. 17, Sec. 1(B)(2)(i)) – https://pacifica.org/indexed_bylaws/art17sec1.html. And being Pacifica, not just one station did this but two. Priceless. You’re jumping off the cliff? Shift over, I’m joining you!
Given the evidence & arguments presented it was no surprise that the delegates voted to not consider the four PBA’s, passing the motion 11-6, with 5 abstentions, giving, as rationale, inadequate noticing (1:03:47).
Obeying rules. An endemic problem. Pacificans are really quite cavalier with rules. Pesky lil tings, always trying to interfere with the triumph of the will, always trying to restrain the preferred politics in PacificaWorld: unbridled voluntarism. A political & ethical disposition that necessarily holds the membership in contempt – for the objectivised force of the membership, its silent & ever-present witness & putative regulator whenever a Pacifica body deliberates, is none other than the set of by-laws, the constitution of Pacifica.
Actions without consequences; arrogance going unpunished; actors believing themselves immune, feeling invincible, able to act with impunity, devoid of a sense of responsibility. Behaviour uncoupled from accountability. But this fantasy has its limits: PacificaWorld has to interact with RealWorld. And RealWorld is a dangerous place: it has bodies specialising in accountability, both jural & ethical. And for the 2021 PNB majority this is their Achilles heel – as 2022 will show.
For Alex’s benefit, & for any other 11/8 truthers, appended to this post are 15 screenshots of the Pacifica homepage, M8-Tu16Nov, courtesy of the Wayback Machine.
•4• The notices on the Pacifica homepage, M8-Tu16Nov
That’s why Alex messed up, in his haste to prove himself right.
•5• The 30 timestamps, M8-Tu16Nov
• The Wayback Machine gives its timestamps as UTC, also known as GMT. (The UTC acronym was the compromise made in 1970, between English & French, between CUT & TUC: Coordinated Universal Time & temps universel coordonné. Yet another reason why the Martians thought we weren’t worth bothering with.)
• The timestamps are given below as Central Standard Time (−6hrs of UTC) because Central Time is the time zone used by Pacifica for its notices. (Note that although Pacifica’s national meeting times are given as Eastern Time at the Calendar, https://kpftx.org/ (both the linear list & the grid), the issuing of a Pacifica notice for both meetings & other announcements is per Central Time, so one hour earlier. An advantage is that at 2127, during a Tuesday PNB Finance Cttee meeting, Secretary R Paul Martin can be sent off scurrying to post a notice at kpftx for a 2030 meet the following Tuesday, & it’s all legal, complying with the Corporation for Public Broadcasting open meetings’ seven-day noticing requirement – as happened with the noticing made during the 14Sep meeting of a 21Sep meet, https://kpftx.org/pacalendar/cal_show1.php?eventdate=20210921 & https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/finance/210914/finance210914_7126_minutes.pdf.)
• This was the first attempt by the anti-breakers to change the rules. Eric Jacobson (KPFK listener-delegate) had the idea to change the Articles of Incorporation, adding talk of Pacifica being “democratically self-governed by its members”, in an attempt to stop a new constitution being presented to a membership vote. It saw the light of day at the 31Mar2021 PNB Governance Cttee (3:05) – and that was the high point of the whole endeavour. However, in anticipation of it getting thru votes by the boards, & going to a membership vote, by being added to the ballots for the delegates elections, National Elections Supervisor Renée Asteria Peñaloza posted the proposed amendment on the elections website. At the PNB, it would need a “2/3 vote of all Directors” (Art. 17, Sec. 2(B)(2)(i)), so 15 of the 22. Not a high bar: a very high bar. But that wasn’t the main problem: even if it got thru the PNB & three of the LSB’s, it would need ⅔ of the voting members – and the listener-members had just spoken, with the breakers ruling the roost. Too late. Game over. The proposed amendment was never presented to a board.
• According to the Wayback Machine, there was no notice on the Pacifica homepage for Su10Oct, the first day of the noticing period. They archived the webpage at 5:31:29 & 17:41:35 Central Daylight Time (CDT). It wasn’t there either on day #2 at 8:15:30 – but at 19:35:31 it was. https://web.archive.org/web/*/pacifica.org
• The same source shows that the notice posted on the Pacifica homepage started off giving the end date as “Tuesday, November 9”, before switching to “Tuesday, November 8”. This notice was by order of the Th7Oct PNB, but the proceedings, as per the audiofiles, made no mention of the end date of the noticing period, & no minutes have been made public. But with a 10Oct start, the 30th day is 8Nov. In RealWorld, the calendar gives 9Nov as a Tuesday & 8Nov as a Monday. In PacificaWorld, things don’t tend to get written down – just like the mafia – so with no calendar, combined with those famous powerful quantum effects, anything is possible. Things can’t really be tied down – one reason why Tuesday can shift from one day to the next, & why no-one’s ever responsible for anything.
• The public record shows that the noticed end date changed on Tu2Nov. Maybe none of the leaders had been looking at the homepage – then, with the motion for a third noticing coming at the Th4Nov PNB, perhaps someone had a look, & thought, ‘OMG, better change that!’. And then couldn’t get it completely right.
• Notice has on-air announcements “for a period of 4530 days” – so over 12yrs. Obvious how this arose: someone cut & paste, losing the strikethru of the ’45’ in the process. Always a big ask getting someone to bother to take the time to read what they’ve done.
• Each of the four proposed by-laws amendments lacks the names of the six or more directors who proposed them. But, hey. In fact they’ve never been disclosed in print on a Pacifica website. And the only audio recording in the Pacifica archive is the Su17Oct KPFK LSB, when in public comment I asked director Lawrence Reyes who these people were. He replied: “the directors that signed on to the, urgh, urgh, to the bylaws, urgh, um, proposal […] – they are Alex Steinberg, James Sagurton, Beth von Gunten, Heather Gray, myself, Ronald Pinchback, Julie Hewitt, Tom Voorhees, and Thomas O’Rourke” (1:54:55; removed are the station affiliations he gave) – https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/kpfk/211017/kpfk211017a.mp3. Assuming “signed on” means the proposers, guess we now know – and they were nine.
• According to the Wayback Machine, there was no notice on the Pacifica homepage for M8Nov, the first day of the noticing period – nor for the next 5 days. It’s only on day #7, Su14Nov, that the notice appears, at 10:17:23 CST, on the Pacifica homepage.
• Notice says “Tuesday, November 8” – but 8Nov is a Monday.
• The noticing period is given as “Tuesday, November 8, 2021 thru Wednesday, December 8, 2021”, which is 31 days – whereas the by-law says “a period of 30 days (the ‘Notice Period’)” (Art. 17, Sec. 1(B)(1)). https://pacifica.org/indexed_bylaws/art17sec1.html.
• This time they corrected the noticing for more than 12yrs, only to falter by saying “for a period of 30-45 days (the ‘Notice Period’)”. It’s never easy going to primary sources.
• The notice says, “[t]he first day when a vote for the amendments that are posted can take place is 30 days from the notice date , ie. Dec 8” – which contradicts the by-law saying, “[t]he PNB and Delegates shall vote on the proposed amendment(s) within the 45 day period beginning on the day following the last day of the notice period” (emphases added; Art. 17, Sec. 1(B)(2)(i)). To state the bleeding obvious, the last day of the notice period is 8Dec, so voting can occur from the 9th – the fact that the notice period was made 31 days, in error, is besides the point.
• Again, each of the four proposed by-laws amendments lacks the names of the six or more directors who proposed them.
Couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery.
Despite everything, Alex & comrades have been reaching out, & some readers may be interested. Their website is https://11-8-truthers.org; & if you would like to donate, please go to their Patreon, https://www.patreon.com/11-8-truthers. They also have a discussion forum on either Signal or Telegram, but unfortunately PacificaWatch doesn’t have those details – either way, hopefully Homeland Security doesn’t get them confused with nutjobs. And preliminary checking hasn’t been able to adjudicate on the rumours that Alex wants to set up a TikTok & an Instagram – but you never know.
•A• Appendix: 15 screenshots, M8-Tu16Nov
A noticing period starting M8Nov was agreed by the Th4Nov PNB. Here are screenshots of the 15 crawls, that weren’t redirected, made by the Wayback Machine thru Tu16Nov. The first nine show that the notice hadn’t been posted, those thru Sa13Nov, 09:08:03 Central Standard Time:
. . . day #1, nothing – M8Nov2021, 04:16:46 Central Std. Time (the date is in yellow, on the black strip, top left, nearest the centre) . . .
. . . M8Nov2021, 22:52:58 Central Std. Time . . .
. . . day #2, nothing – Tu9Nov2021, 05:28:08 Central Std. Time . . .
. . . day #3, nothing – W10Nov2021, 05:58:36 Central Std. Time . . .
. . . day #4, nothing – Th11Nov2021, 06:51:48 Central Std. Time . . .
. . . Th11Nov2021, 07:41:23 Central Std. Time . . .
. . . day #5, nothing – F12Nov2021, 08:10:39 Central Std. Time . . .
. . . F12Nov2021, 23:52:02 Central Std. Time . . .
. . . day #6, nothing – Sa13Nov2021, 09:08:03 Central Std. Time . . .
. . . day #7, the first notice at Wayback Machine – Su14Nov2021, 10:17:23 Central Std. Time . . .
. . . Su14Nov2021, 19:42:56 Central Std. Time . . .
. . . M15Nov2021, 11:06:34 Central Std. Time . . .
. . . M15Nov2021, 17:55:42 Central Std. Time . . .
. . . Tu16Nov2021, 00:39:26 Central Std. Time . . .
. . . Tu16Nov2021, 12:22:47 Central Std. Time . . .
A public comment was made, on the fly, at the Su12Sep2021 KPFK LSB (2:07:03, https://kpftx.org/archives/pnb/kdelegates/210912/kdelegates210912a.mp3). Listening to the meeting, & what hadn’t been said, a comment had to be made. In the rush, one clause was incomplete; that’s been rectified in this somewhat augmented re-write. The immediate context was an emergency LSB meeting to replace a prominent breaker, Jim Osborne, who resigned as a listener-delegate, & so as a Pacifica director, a few days before, on Th9Sep. He, like most of the breaker delegates Pacifica-wide, had withdrawn from most of the meetings since the referenda results, M12July – no doubt working on getting the breaker vote out in the current LSB delegate elections . . . mixed in with spending more time with the next group writing another parachute, a new constitution for Pacifica, benignly termed, in Pacificese, a set of proposed by-law amendments.
It was noticeable that not one director candidate (nor anyone in the earlier public comment) stressed that what Pacifica needs today are plans & their execution. In other words, (1) Executive Director Lydia Brazon has been derelict in not producing plans, and (2) the directors constituting the National Board have been derelict in the legal sense (as they’re the carers of the charity’s assets) in not ensuring that ED Brazon has both produced plans & executed them.
Plans have to be of different durations: one, three, & five years. Today there are five most urgent plans: one for Pacifica as a whole; a plan addressing the $3.165m due to FJC by 30Oct2022 (especially given that FJC only allow a loan to last five years, so to 1Apr2023); a financial plan to eliminate losses at KPFK; ditto one for KPFT; ditto one for WBAI.
This will necessarily mean a planned transfer of Pacifica’s fundraising proceeds from KPFA to allow all Pacifica stations to have a station manager & enough staff to adequately do the work of station development & growth, so focusing on programming, outreach, fundraising, & business. This is the minimum perpetual station staff complement of any functioning radio network – Pacifica cannot be reduced to an aggregation of stations, of fiefdoms.
The directors need to take control, making the ED (& the Chief Financial Officer) their instrument; likewise, the ED needs to ensure that the five station managers implement her plans. Both relationships are required to allow the testing of ideas for Pacifica’s development & growth, concretised in plans that are democratically adopted & made public. It’s also one way that Pacifica member decision-makers, & senior employees & contractors, can be made accountable to the members & listeners, those who either elect them or pay their wages. This is all basic. One may call this rational arrangement democratic centralism.
But can the political conditions be created for this? – not least because the breaker momentum is likely to result in them controlling from Jan2022 the PNB & three local station boards, allowing them to ram thru all the by-law amendments they want that don’t need a national membership vote; plus them creating a 23rd at-large director; plus a PNB-directed ED taking over any of KPFK, KPFT, & WBAI as emergency austerity operations.
Without comprehensive public statements (that is, policies) of what the directors want to achieve, & so what the ED has to plan & execute, (1) the directors & the ED are largely unaccountable for their acts of commission & omission, & (2) the intent of all concerned isn’t transparent. That’s why these plans have to be made public.
Instead, what we have is firefighting: living at the level of events, not structures. Choosing not to develop a vision, choosing not to exercise foresight. Refusing to make the necessaryhard decisions. Objectively, the anti-breakers function as breakers, jeopardising both individual stations & Pacifica as a network.
Deficiencies & absences. Helping to explain why Pacifica is largely run not as a public charity but as a private club.
[This would have taken 3¾mins to read; so ~30secs a para.]