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


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?


Californian station chauvinism raises its destructive head – again

Below is an eight-point post made today to the Pacifica Radiowaves group on Facebook. It views the appalling display of Californian station chauvinism at the Tu27Aug PNB Finance Cttee in the light of facts about Pacifica’s five stations provided the next day by National Elections Supervisor Renee Penaloza. California isn’t as healthy as the chauvinists like to think.

The Pacifica Chair, Grace Aaron, was in attendance at the Finance Cttee meeting. She heard the absurd station chauvinism, & the derision it evoked in others. She chose to maintain a deafening silence throughout.

This is of the greatest significance. In so doing,

  • she refused to rebuke the station chauvinists;
  • she refused to remind the station chauvinists that their job (1) as a delegate of a Local Station Board (it’s a standing cttee of the Pacifica National Board) & (2) as a member of a PNB cttee, is not to supposedly represent ‘their’ station but to represent Pacifica, which means promoting the interest of Pacifica, a supra-station interest;
  • she refused to exercise leadership, to insist on the promotion of the Pacifica interest;
  • in choosing silence she behaved cowardly, not least as she’s a delegate of a Californian LSB, that of KPFK; &
  • in failing in all these ways, she refused to discharge the duties of not just a delegate & a director of the Foundation but, moreover, the chair of its Board.

Any self-respecting Pacifica chair, with a sense of honour & responsibility towards the offices they hold, having committed all these failures so effortlessly, would resign as a delegate, as a director, & as chair of the Board.

But this applies to a person of honour – so we know what’ll happen.


[Other membership data, with some computations, are presented in the next post: https://pacificaradiowatch.home.blog/2019/09/04/pacifica-membership-30june2016-c-30june2019/]

1) With all the Californian station chauvinism on display last week, at Tuesday’s PNB Finance Cttee, one could easily be misled, in two senses. But National Elections Supervisor Renee Penaloza, in particular, came to the rescue with her progress report the next day: over the last three years to 30June2019, West Coast stations’ membership fell 9.5% (2 881) whilst the East Coast rose 13.8% (1 752); & over the last 7½ months to 30June2019, KPFA fell by 8.2%, so by 1-in-12 (1 285), KPFK fell by 8.1% (1 163), whilst WBAI grew by 20.2%, so by 1-in-5 (1 375). So, how to explain this anomalous growth of 20.2%? Has WBAI been flooded by the DSA, the Democratic Socialists of America, as their Red Wave slate of nine competes for the 12 Local Station Board seats currently up for grabs? Are they upsetting the coconut cart?

https://mega.nz/#!fyAwGICZ!-4uWYMHZW3CHxt6yCOITu006SVZ4AyNPjT9bWw6csb0 (page 19; this, the NES’ nominal 2018 pseudo-election final report, has come, gone, & is now back on the NES’ website) & http://elections.pacifica.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/Election-Report-08.28.19.pdf (page 1) [UPDATE: I’ve corrected the West Coast three-year fall: apologies for mistakenly using Texas’ 38.1%. Major d’oh, yes? Also added the West/East absolute changes.]

2) The Tu27Aug PNB Finance Cttee was, frankly, embarrassing. But what’s new. This time it was Sharon Adams, KPFA Treasurer, & Mansoor Sabbagh, KPFK staff-delegate & Pacifica director, coming out with the tired chauvinist assertions we’ve heard for years (a taster is 14:51 & 19:28, with 30:03 carrying a spoiler alert, ‘b’ audiofile). It took Nick Arena, WPFW Treasurer, to remind them that all station chiefs are appointed nationally (28:00, ‘b’ file). He could have added that the most significant negotiations aren’t done by the station – such as the small matter of the Empire State contract to house the WBAI transmitter. Yes, even something as important as having to pay rent or not has never been in the gift of a station. And, importantly, a station isn’t responsible for the size of the disposable income of its listeners, be it either per person or in total, nor for their wealth.

So, station financial performance is largely determined from without. And given the minimal powers of a LSB – they can’t even require the general manager to attend a LSB meeting – there’s even less justification for turning one’s ire upon fellow delegates from ‘enemy’ stations. (The theatrical Sabbagh couldn’t help embarrassing himself further by seeking an apology from Comrade Nick (30:03, ‘b’ file). No wonder he’s earnt the moniker ‘Spade’ Sabbagh.)

Only the naive or disingenuous will infer much from station-specific financial data.

3) Station chauvinism & the way the chauvinists talk about ‘station responsibility’ is not just facile but dangerous. Besides being unwarranted by the facts, & excessive pride being rather unseemly, comical, in a word, self-debasing, it’s also politically highly divisive. It’s the most destructive force produced within Pacifica, gnawing away at the ties binding the stations together.

Not to be ageist, but station chauvinism is juvenile, politically immature, trying to reduce a pan-Pacifica political matter to a combination of inter-station & interpersonal invective. Representatives of Pacifica have a responsibility to practise the best politics they can, & not degenerate, capitulate, collapsing into an easy station chauvinism.

4) Layered on top of all this is the proprietary reality: a station owns nothing, not even one paper-clip. There is no such thing as a KPFA building: it is a Pacifica building, which Pacifica has decided to let KPFA use. This is not proverbial ‘semantics’, but the substantive reality, which demonstrates how misleading everyday expressions can be. All assets, & liabilities, are Pacifica’s, that of the Foundation as a whole. It’s simply a historical accident that some stations use Pacifica buildings; moreover, it’s a historical accident that, at the beginning, Pacifica & KPFA were one & the same.

5) Just take a step back. How does a Pacifican view the recipient of a trust fund or a set of genes? To whom & to what does a Pacifican assign (causal) responsibility? Does a Pacifican practise the pervasive blame culture? So-called progressives shouldn’t forget that the principle they should uphold is that a later generation is to be neither condemned nor rewarded for the endowment conferred upon them by the ancestors. We can do without a second PEP, Progressive Except on Pacifica.

Conclusion: station chauvinism is a politics that has no place in Pacifica.

If a station is being maladministered then ultimate responsibility lies with a majority of directors, for the PNB to act if it deems the executive director has lost control. A LSB, let alone an individual delegate, is irrelevant.

6) One needs to be humble about what a Pacifica station is. A station is a production & dissemination unit for Pacifica. A station is an organising node for recruiting & retaining listener-members of Pacifica. A station is an accounting unit of Pacifica. (Pacifica’s management accounting policy could be different, stripping rent & other contingencies out of station accounts.) A station should also do all the other things in the Mission that are hardly ever done. This wouldn’t have to be said if, to the fore, was coordinated Pacifica action, with a correlate of a Pacifica ideology & sentiment, all co-existing with justified local pride.

7) Instead, the political problem of station chauvinism festered whilst the PNB proved unable to steer Pacifica through the financial & audience crisis starting in 2007, so long ago that this was even before the last slump. The PNB failed to devise adequate policies & to exercise persuasive leadership. As a result it lacked moral authority & political trust. So localism grew at the expense of a network response, even out of despair with a lack of direction from the centre.

8) When the Foundation is most stressed, this localism is expressed as station chauvinism, & most dangerously as separatism, an anti-solidaristic politics. More anti-progressivism within Pacifica. Ayn Rand with a Pacifica face as it were, with the perceived strong going it alone, leaving the weak to wither & die. This found organised expression c. 2013, when moves were made to prepare & engineer a break-up of Pacifica.

As the financial pressures intensify at Pacifica, with cashflow now so acute that “KPFK [is] facing layoffs” (James Sagurton, WBAI listener-delegate, Tu27Aug PNB Finance Cttee, 2:44; he was challenged by no-one, including KPFK delegates such as Pacifica Chair Grace Aaron), some Californian station chauvinists will clamour for separatism, although they possess neither the building nor the FCC broadcasting licence. This politics was on display at KPFA’s recent town hall, Sa17Aug (for example the first speaker, Tess, 1:26). It’s not going away any time soon.

The main Facebook group, ‘Pacifica Radiowaves – past, present and future of Pacifica Radio’

[UPDATE: I was mistaken in calling this the main FB group on Pacifica: as of 11Sep, it has c. 390 members, whereas Pacifica Radio Supporters has c. 840.] Below is my inaugural post, made today, at [one of] the main Pacifica group on Facebook, Pacifica Radiowaves – past, present and future of Pacifica Radio. For readers here the post is banal, merely a repetition, but the FB group seems to be a noticeboard, a lil sleepy, undisturbed by discussion: even so, last month, Don Davis, warmed by a pleasant, minor disagreement, was moved to say, “I for one am glad to see threads of substance on this page at long last”.

Somewhat surprisingly, the FB group, on W26June, had leaked Pacifica documents, notably the loan agreement borrowing $3.7m from the Foundation for the Jewish Community, FJC, signed by iED Tom Livingston & President Lorin Silverman on M2Apr2018. At the time of the leak, the group was co-administered by Nalini Lasiewicz & Chair of the Pacifica board, Grace Aaron. The latter left her FB post a week or so after becoming iED during the evening of F5July, after successfully engineering, over many, many weeks, the ousting of ED Maxie Jackson – please see https://pacificaradiowatch.home.blog/2019/08/01/administrative-measures-not-open-discussion-the-pacifica-way/.

I obviously wanted to thank the poster of the documents, & make substantive comments on what, unbelievably, has even been kept from the many non-directors on the PNB Finance Cttee, these including all five station treasurers! Yes, the PNB majority has chosen for 16 months now to prevent the Finance Cttee making fully informed rational decisions concerning Pacifica’s future, to prevent all the Cttee members discharging their fiduciary duty, as required by California corporation law. One can’t be a dutiful trustee, a diligent servant, when kept in wilful ignorance by the information gatekeepers, one’s ostensible colleagues.

However, in order to comment in this FB group one needs to be a member, & so I applied the same day, W26June. After a long silence, then more silence after two FB messages, finally last Monday, on 12Aug, after almost seven weeks, Comrade Nalini finally welcomed me – speaking as if I’d asked the same day. Gracias, caudillo. Who couldn’t love ‘the Pacifica family’?

P.S. My open letter referred iED Vernile to the deficiencies of the public Pacifica financial reports archive, noting to him that this blog had all the missing material, bar a single page. Even 15 days later, Pacifica’s archive lacks three auditor’s reports – FY2006, 2009, 2010 – & FY2011 is sneakily hiding behind the FY2009 ‘button’. C’est la vie.


Hi, all. By way of intro, here’s an open letter to Pacifica’s new executive director, John Carlo Vernile. Haven’t had a reply yet, nor even an acknowledgement – so much for the Pacifica ‘fam’. https://pacificaradiowatch.home.blog/2019/08/04/open-letter-to-pacifica-executive-director-john-vernile-what-s-your-plan-why-s-maxie-gone/

We’re lucky to finally have a music corporate careerist with us, who can devise a comprehensive strategic plan to bring stability to our failing network. It’s what we need after the ousting of that experienced radio professional, Maxie Jackson. After all, he’d only been making progress in laying a sound foundation.

With Vernile, will our decision-makers systematically allow technique to flourish at Pacifica? They certainly crushed Maxie as soon as they could.

Rationally, intent & action should spring from evidence- & argument-based communications science, not from tradition, prejudice, & hearsay. Pacifica needs to transform from a broadcaster focused on radios to an audio content provider focused on digital devices [emphases added].

Nevertheless, Pacifica is likely to muddle thru, sustained by the necro-economics of the golden corpses, the bequests. Yes, appropriately distasteful – & true in both senses.