How America’s Real Estate Empire Rakes in Billions By Driving Wealthy Foreigners into the U.S. As A Safe Haven From War And Terror
By Robert S. Newport, Jr.
It is totally fitting that Donald Trump is President of the United States, and will likely remain so for some time. Real Estate is Trump’s game, and as President, he is the head of the world’s largest real estate empire, the American Real Estate Empire. Using land stolen from thousands of Native American tribes, purchased from declining European monarchs, and taken as booty in wars with neighbors and other declining powers, the wealthy elite have figured out the biggest monopoly game on earth. They totally game it, and nothing can stand in their way, at the moment.
Realizing the ultimate scarcity of certain things like good land, beach front property, water, and the desire for safe and luxurious living, the elites have developed a “system” that guarantees their continued success. Here’s how it works:
Ever wonder why the U.S. goes around the world invading, bombing, and war-making on other countries? Do you really believe it is to bring “Democracy” or “Freedom” to other places? Look at it now through the eyes of the real estate empire. America begins by picking a target country. Usually, several countries are selected at one time. First might come economic sanctions. Squeeze the target financially, cut off banking opportunities, strangle commerce, etc. Think Venezuela, although many examples can be used. The wealthy elites in that country will realize that this is not a good situation, and it is time to hedge their bets. They fear for their lives and for their families. The may already have kids that are in the U.S. going to college, but at any rate, it’s time for them to start transferring assets to America.
Getting resident visas and putting money into U.S. banks is the first step. The next would be to buy a nice piece of property to hide out in until your home country settles down, which may be many, many years. So they go to New York, or Los Angeles, to Malibu, to Montana, and plunk down their hard earned currency to buy a palace for themselves. In many areas, around half of the most expensive properties sold are sold to foreigners. By saber-rattling, invasions, bombing, and other methods the U.S. Government scares the hell out of the elites of target countries. The doctors, lawyers, developers, oligarchs and criminals figure it out real fast. They have to leave their home country, which may soon be obliterated, and re-locate to the safety of the U.S. or Europe, where they can enjoy the remains of their wealth.
America welcomes them with open arms. The realtors are happy to sell them an overpriced mansion. With Trump and Obama keeping interest rates close to zero, the builders and developers can perform miracles. Take a look at some of the wealthiest areas, like Beverly Hills, or Brentwood, California. The real estate boys have paid huge amounts to buy existing properties. Often, they tear them down. Then they build huge monstrous, even more expensive mansions, because they know that as long as the U.S. Government is captive to the real estate and banking interests, the flow of wealthy refugees will continue. If you have money, you will get in. If you are poor, keep out. And if you are poor and bring your kids, they may end up in cages without a toothbrush.
The newspapers in L.A. And New York now make a big chunk of their money by selling ads to real estate interests who are selling these uber-mansions that are priced in the millions. The more countries America attacks, the more the wealthy elites of those countries flee to the U.S. with their cash. The result is a continuous cycle of money flowing in. The foreigners come from every country that has been attacked or sanctioned. And they pay through the nose to own a nice mansion in Brentwood or New York. The foreign policy of the U.S. seems to never change. Year after year, country after country, this scam continues. And our banks get richer, our real estate kings get richer, our mortgage brokers benefit, our contractors are employed re-modeling and fixing things, it is our only real industry. Manufacturing is gone. American elites and Real Estate Investment Trusts make their living selling land we have developed over and over, the prices now in the stratosphere. What a great scam. And you really think Trump, the emblem of Real Estate, is going to be defeated?
You also may dream about peace in the middle east. Forget it. Look to our partner called Israel. They are doing the same thing only on a smaller scale at the moment. Stealing land from the Palestinians and then building condos to sell to proto-Jews from places where they are “scared out of” due to mysterious swastikas painted on Jewish gravestones in Europe. Move to Israel where it’s “safe”. Wonderful condos going up soon in the Jordan Valley and Golan heights. And if the U.S. would only blow the crap out of Syria, Lebanon and a few other places, millions of acres of real estate can be developed.
A lot of conspiracy theories are now also existing about “Disaster Capitalism.” Maybe they are true. Has America figured out how to manipulate hurricanes and storms? Wipe out a country, like the Bahamas, then the real estate sharks can go in and buy up some good property cheap. Look at New Orleans. Did someone “blow the levees”? Huge areas were flooded. A lot of poor people who owned the properties were wiped out. The City then sent notices that the structures had to be demolished or they would be fined. Eventually they could lose their properties. More to sell at auction to carpetbaggers pouring in looking for disaster deals.. Buy it, build it, sell it for more, and get out. If it floods again, hit the repeat button. Suspicions are high about Puerto Rico. The U.S. pulled the plug on a lot of aid. This may mean that quite a bit of property will soon be available. Build some mansions on the beach. Maybe some Syrians or Venezuelans will come in and buy them. Maybe Trump will build a hotel. The sky is the limit for participation in the Big Skim. Millions of Foreigners are waiting in the wings. The American military budget continues to grow. America will continue to squeeze, to sanction, to threaten, to bomb. The world is a monopoly board for the rich real estate elite. And what a great time they are having!
Non-Profit Container Recycling Institute Confronts Closures of Recycling Centers
CRI Response to Closure of Nearly 300 Bottle Redemption Centers in CA
State’s Recycling System Needs Significant Overhaul for Consumers and the Environment
CULVER CITY, CA, AUGUST 7, 2019 – This week’s closure of 284 recycling redemption centers (RCs) by rePlanet, the largest operator of such centers in California, marks the latest and most significant setback to the state’s container deposit system (referred to as a bottle bill). Now is the time for Gov. Gavin Newsom to work with the state legislature and the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) to overhaul the bottle bill, which historically has resulted in the recycling of more than 50 million beverage containers daily – 20% of the nationwide total – in the process saving enough energy each year to power the equivalent of 300,000 households.
It is particularly troubling that this situation was entirely preventable. For the past three years, the Container Recycling Institute, a Southern California-based nonprofit recycling authority, has repeatedly drawn attention to the dire consequences caused by inadequate RC processing payments from CalRecycle, the state agency that administers and provides oversight for recycling programs.
Because of these underpayments that have prevented a significant number of RCs from remaining solvent, along with historically low scrap prices and minimum wage increases for RC employees, more than half of the state’s nearly 2,600 RCs in operation in 2013 have since closed, and California’s recycling rate has dropped 10 percentage points (from 85% to 75% for all beverage containers combined). In addition, the loss of RCs has meant fewer jobs – the termination of 750 in the case of the rePlanet RC closures alone.
While California strives to be “best-in-class” on environmental issues – from addressing our climate crisis to keeping plastic out of our oceans – the state’s bottle bill actually remains one of the most inconvenient in the world. There are more than 50 container deposit programs across the globe, but only California employs a payment system that imparts such high levels of financial risk and uncertain and inadequate payments to RCs. Because other systems don’t have these flaws, none of them would allow – as California’s law has – one-fifth of their redemption locations to close in one week (part of over one-half during the last five years), with no realistic backup plan in place.
The consequences for consumers and the environment are dire. Deposit systems typically result in beverage container recycling rates two to three times higher than the rates of other recycling programs – making structurally sound deposit systems crucial to reducing energy use and carbon emissions because fewer containers need to be made from virgin materials. Besides seriously impacting the environment, the availability of fewer RCs also means fewer opportunities for consumers to get back their bottle deposits. According to CalRecycle, in fiscal year 2017-18, Californians lost out on $308 million in unredeemed deposits – an all-time high for the state.
The solution to California’s bottle recycling crisis requires two approaches: 1) a significant overhaul of the current system, and 2) specific immediate actions by CalRecycle.
At a minimum, structural changes to the container deposit system should include:
An expansion of the system to also accept wine and spirit containers;
An increase in the container deposit from 5 cents to 10 cents to incentivize more bottle returns; and
Predictable and sufficient funding for RCs.
California’s leaders can look to Oregon for an example on how to maintain, expand and continuously improve a container deposit system. In the past several years, Oregon has authorized the development of more RCs (with 20 new sites opened), increased the deposit from a nickel to a dime, and simplified the bottle drop-off process with a consumer-friendly program called “BottleDrop.” As a result, the state’s container deposit redemption rate increased from 64% in 2016 to 81% in 2018.
Regarding CalRecycle, CRI applauds the agency for taking swift action this week to update information on its website. The newly closed RCs have been removed from the website and a list of retailers that redeem in-store has been added. CalRecycle should also immediately:
Prioritize enforcement of the “return-to-retail” commitment of the 1,000-plus beverage retailers (including supermarkets) that have pledged to accept back empty containers and provide refunds to consumers.
Instruct beverage retailers that are not currently return-to-retail sites to place signage directing consumers to the nearest location for redeeming containers.
If the current downward commodity pricing trend continues without structural adjustments to California’s processing payment formula, RCs’ cumulative net losses will inevitably force even more of them out of business. Further closures will mean additional reductions in recycling opportunities, less recovered income for consumers, fewer jobs, and significant harm to the sustainable economy and the environment.
It is incumbent upon all of us to communicate with elected officials on the need to restore adequate processing payments to RCs to not only keep California’s vital recycling system alive, but to make it truly “best-in-class.”
The nonprofit Container Recycling Institute is a leading authority on the economic and environmental impacts of used beverage containers and other consumer product packaging. Its mission is to make North America a global model for the collection and quality recycling of packaging materials.
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California’s Beverage Container Redemption Center Crisis: Facts and Figures
In 2013, at the deposit program’s peak, 2,578 RCs operated in the state.
According to CalRecycle, before this week, 1,506 of those RCs remained open.
With the loss of the 284 rePlanet sites, the number now stands at 1,222, meaning 53% of the state’s RCs have closed since 2013.
Before the rePlanet RC closures, California had only one RC for every 26,000 people, with several “recycling deserts” providing virtually no access. Oregon, despite having a population only one-ninth that of California’s, has at least 40% more redemption locations.
On average, factoring in the loss of the rePlanet RCs, each remaining center in California now must accommodate 122% more people than they did in 2013.
The Large Chain of Bottle and Can CRV Redemption Centers Is Gone. About 800 Employees Lose Jobs.
Consumers Losing Millions in CRV System and Now Cannot Find Deposit Refund Locations.
by Paul Hunt
“Canageddon”, the Recycling Armageddon has hit California. The huge project to Recycle bottles and cans is spinning out of control amidst a seemingly never ending assault of criminals, fraudsters and mis-management. The two big factors of the week is the decline in redemption centers like rePlanet, where consumers can turn in their bottles and cans and get their cash deposit back, and a double whammy as China has just announced an astounding 25 percent tariff tax on recycled products shipped to China.
As consumers face mounting problems finding a place to redeem their bottles and cans, the State has failed to provide convenient locations to do so. Facing insolvency, private companies are closing down, and some partner Cities like Santa Monica, are shutting down their recycling yards. The State, however, continues to rake in millions of dollars per year. Simply put, everyone pays the deposit fee of 5 cents or 10 cents per beverage container (depending on size). This money is supposed to be held in trust for the consumer until the bottles and cans are returned. The big factor here is that the State takes in hundreds of millions, and by letting redemption centers and recycling yards close down, they pay out less and less every year back to the consumer, thus making more money every year.
A Merry-Go-Round of corruption.
The State’s program is rife with fraud and corruption. Here’s a few bullet points:
–Independent Recycling yards have been caught “laundering” bottles and cans from out of state. Since the price, say for a pound of aluminum cans is less than the CRV deposit of 5 cents each can, crooks are bringing in tons of the cheap cans from Arizona and Nevada and selling them to California for CRV. These cans are not marked on the bottom with California’s unique recycle logo, but is anyone checking?
–The distributors and large outfits are responsible for paying the CRV to the State. Here’s a good one: Walmart, one of the biggest players “forgot” to pay the State for 5 years. When they were caught by a routine audit, it was found that they owed $14.5 million dollars. Out of about 3,000 distributors only about 50 are audited every year.
–Since inflation eats into the profit and operating costs of companies, many outlets and redemption centers are closing down. In the last few years over 1,300 redemption centers have closed. As the expenses rise, like wages, many companies start losing money, because they are stuck with a set CRV. In times past, when the world economy was growing, China paid more for the aluminum than the CRV, so the centers could pay the consumers their deposit back and still make money selling to China.
–China just announced that they are going to slap on a whopping 25 percent tariff on recycled materials coming into their country. This is in retaliation for the U.S. putting tariffs on Chinese goods. The price of recyled materials is dropping way below the CRV, another loss for the redemption yards.
–The Cities are also shutting down their yards that pay CRV deposits to consumers. They found a better way to scam money out of this. The yards were also losing money in higher labor costs and lower pricing on the recycled bottles and cans. By shutting down the yard, there is no more pay-out to the consumer, no more wages to employees, no more employees at all. A big savings. Meanwhile they tell the consumers to please put their bottles and cans into the blue recycling bins at their house or apartment. This gives a huge flow of material to the City that they can sell back to the State. It is estimated that this “curbside” collection scheme costs cities about 20 million to run but throw off an astounding $140 million in profit!
–And then there is the lazy consumer. The CRV deposit is only a nickle or a dime, chump change, so why bother with it? That’s exactly what the State wants the consumer to do: be lazy and forget about getting your deposit back. The State then reaps in something like $200,000,000 every year in the difference, unclaimed deposit money.
–Homeless folks and low income folks often have turned to recyling to augment or make a meagre living with CRV. Lots of folks collect cans and bottles. These folks are now being shut out by the closing down of payment centers.
Back to rePlanet, one of the few redemption outfits. Their locations are being closed. Calls to their corporate office go to a recording that they are closed. Calls to David Lawrence, the CEO and also the head of media relations, don’t get a response. Neighbors at some of the redemption huts say that Friday August 2nd was their last day. Employees were told a couple hours before closing that they were being laid off. rePlanet had 800 or so employees at one time. Now they are out of a job, like the employees of the Santa Monica recycling center and over a thousand other centers. The State agency, CalRecycle, put out a one line statement “CalRecycle is working to gather more information about rePlanet’s announced closures and the resulting impact on California consumers.” (rePlanet has nothing about closing on it’s webpage.). Buckle up folks, it’s CANAGEDDON.
Many thanks to Susan Collins of Container Recycling Institute for an astounding amount of research on their web site. www.container-recycling.org.
Pacifica is the last network of independent non-commercial radio stations operating in five of the largest media markets in the country. They are KPFK, Los Angeles, KPFA, Berkeley, WBAI, New York City, WPFW, Washington D.C. and KPFT, Houston, Texas. Many observers — and listeners — have written Pacifica off as a pathetic in-fighting mess as it has long been irrelevant in the larger media world. But the fact that this organization still owns and operates five very valuable radio licenses in major U.S. markets is worth taking a look at, especially from the financial aspect which is rarely exposed.
Since KPFK (and the other stations) are having another election for their Local Station Boards (LSB), what follows is information for anyone considering running, or voting, from a former KPFK LSB member. I will highlight some of the critical issues facing KPFK and Pacifica to consider.
This is also an update to KPFK and Pacific: A Quiet Coup from October, 2015 which detailed problems with the finances then — the lack of several years of filing annual audits to the CA Attorney General, the lack of adequate bookkeeping, etc. I advocated voting for one faction of new and returning former LSB members (which I had then been aligned with) to replace the other faction. They were elected and have had a majority on the local and national boards for the last three+ years. During this time, however, the financial picture has only gotten worse. Pacifica’s factional infighting is somewhat notorious but is the problem only the factions or is it something else?
As to my qualifications for addressing these issues, I was on KPFK’s LSB from 2009 to 2015 when Iwas termed out. I was, at different times, Treasurer of KPFK, on the National Finance Committee, Director on the Pacifica National Board (PNB), on the Audit Committee, on a Financial Recovery Audit Task Force, and other committees. I have been involved in and focused on the finances of KPFK and Pacifica for many years and in many capacities. I have written many analyses of budgets and actual income/expenses, been a whistleblower and advocated for transparency and honesty.
The main job of KPFK’s LSB is to approve yearly budgets from management and make quarterly reports on the station’s finances and to make sure the station is on solid financial footing. Good budgets are based on historical data and formulas that are specific to non-commercial radio whose revenue comes largely from on air fund drives. Management has not availed itself of those tools for the last two budgets and produced overly optimistic budgets. Nevertheless, KPFK’s Finance Committee brought the budgets to the LSB, which were approved with little to no discussion. The estimated $500,000 end of year surplus for FY2018 wound up being a ($67,000) deficit. This is a notable “mistake” but to date has never been analyzed by the Finance Committee.
Thus, the FY2019 budget repeated the same errors as were in the FY2018 budget. There have been verbal reports from the Treasurer, such as revenue was “better than the budget and better than the previous year.” But they have never been supported by documentation or actual data and were, in fact, false conclusions. This sort of statement is typical and shows a lack of attention and/or expertise that is needed for the required oversight duties of the board.
Because of decreasing revenue from KPFK’s on air fund drives, there are now various forms of desperate acts to raise money, most of which are forms of underwriting that violate FCC and CPB (Corporation for Public Broadcasting) rules. Underwriting is allowed and the FCC has specific rules that need to be followed but management is not complying with them. The Finance Committee has been made aware of these violations but have thus far not taken any action. Further, KPFK is misleading the public with programmers saying that KPFK takes no underwriting, it’s all “powered by the people,” etc. This is not true and has not been for about two years.
If there are discussions about the finances at KPFK going on, they are being made behind closed doors and not at either the Finance Committee or the LSB meetings.
This lawsuit of Empire State Realty Trust against Pacifica happened because of lack of oversight by the PNB.
In October 2017, a judge ruled against Pacifica and awarded ESRT [Empire State Realty Trust] a summary judgement of $1.8 million plus attorney’s fees. ESRT sued Pacifica in February 2016 to recover back rent and tower fees, interest and attorney costs. In the years-long dispute, Pacifica accused ESRT of price gouging and “holding the network hostage” with a contract that required WBAI to pay tower rent that increased about 9% per year. . — Inside Radio
Members and programmers from WBAI called ESRT “greedy capitalists” but Empire would not back down. In fairness to all of the involved parties, Pacifica voluntarily entered into the tower rental agreement with ESRT in 2005 with full awareness of all of its provisions for potential future rental increases.
On the PNB, there was dithering and inaction. Many secret and some public meetings were held, arguing between filing for voluntary bankruptcy or taking out a loan to pay off the judgment and the rest of the contract with Empire. The decision was to take out a loan. The argument against bankruptcy was that legal fees would be high — but the loan’s fees, legal fees and interest wound up being, by my calculations, about $900,000 or more, the same or arguably much more than bankruptcy would have been. Time will tell as to the real cost of taking out a loan.
Most elements of the reported 150 page loan agreement are still secret, with claims from the PNB there is a provision in the document that requires it being secret. Requests to provide that particular provision to the public have not been answered. While a press release about the loan is still on KPFK’s website, and easily found elsewhere on the internet, it is now forbidden to name the lender publicly.
This “Summary of the $3.7m Loan” was released to the public by the PNB. The figures offered in the Summary, however, are incorrect. It appears to be an early draft as the actual amountof the three year interest-only loan is $3.265 million and the adjustable interest for the first 18 months is $379,556. Pacifica could not get KPFK’s tower included as collateral because the US Forest Service, on whose land it sits, would not allow it. The tower was supposed to be used as collateral to borrow, and pay interest on, the first 18 months of interest payments.
Thus, two buildings adjacent to Berkeley sister station KPFA were sold to pay part of the ESRT settlement and the rest used for the first 18 months’ interest. One building housed the Pacifica National Office, with offices for the Executive Director, CFO and accounting staff. The other building had been vacant for a decade or so.
The CFO at the time resigned when the loan was signed, claiming the loan was in default because Pacifica could not provide any of the lender’s required financial documents, such as a current audit, profit and loss, etc. In a leaked document, Pacifica’s general counsel also weighed in on problems with the loan.
Pacifica must start paying the interest for the second 18 months starting October, 2019. It’s hard to see how Pacifica can come up with monthly payments of $21,000+, especially since KPFK is unlikely to be able to cover its own basic operating expenses going forward and will need help from the rest of the network, which has no help to give. There’s even less hope for paying off the $3.265 million balloon payment due March, 2021.
Those supporting the loan have made repeated claims that Pacifica can easily refinance for a better loan, that “a loan is not in default until a judge says it is,” and that the loan is secured by real estate only. This paragraph #4 from the Summary, however, shows this is false:
“[i]n addition [to the real property: buildings & land, three buildings housing radio stations KPFK, KPFA (Berkeley) and KPFT (Texas)], the Collateral includes accounts receivable, tangible goods, equipment, rental income, sales proceeds, contracts, intellectual property, furniture, cash and proceeds of insurance or sales — in short, virtually every real, tangible and intellectual property right in which Pacifica has an interest.”
This provision also includes the Pacifica Radio Archives. It’s much more than just real estate. Whatever the outcome of a potential default on the loan, lawyers will be involved — and Pacifica is required to pay legal fees for both sides.
It’s hard seeing a way to a refinance since Pacifica has not complied with requirements for the loan and has no way of paying the balloon payment in March, 2021 — unless they sell or swap one of the five licenses (which areunder the jurisdiction of the FCC andcannot be used as collateral). The lender did not do its due diligence according to its own website. The mystery is: why did they lend to the obviously deadbeat Pacifica? The loan broker, Marc Hand, made at least $50,000 on the deal. Some speculate the loan has already been sold to a third party, see comment 3 of 3.
The idea of refinancing this loan they cannot pay back or pay the interest on, while adding more fees, interest, legal and brokers’ fees, seems like little more than a distraction to divert and delay the board from dealing with the realities of its insolvency and failing operations.
Some on the PNB imagined they could save money by outsourcing Pacifica’s accounting and not replacing the CFO. The new outsourced accountants have, as of this writing, produced nothing since their hire almost a year ago. Supposedly, an interim CFO was hired for three months in January but he produced nothing. The PNB just hired a new part-time interim CFO, an employee of the outsourced accountant firm. KPFK’s Finance Committee was told she was being paid “a small amount.” She was supposed to produce financial reports for the last two years by June but now it might be July.
Pacifica is also under investigation by the Department of Labor for violating ERISA laws, which has to do with pensions promised to employees of the five stations. This has been a problem for over two years and, as far as anyone in the public knows, is still unresolved and unpaid. Including penalties, this could amount to a large sum to be paid out.
Pacifica has been trying to catch up on its late audits since 2014 for which Pacifica has been under investigation by the CA Attorney General. The current auditor has been working to complete the FY2017 audit since last fall (originallyestimated to take three weeks). It was due to the CA Registry of Charitable Trusts June, 2018. The auditor finally told the audit committee he’s only been able to get about 50% of the documentation he requested and suggested they stop searching for more. He will finish what he has but it will be “qualified” which is auditor-speak for: there are serious problems. In this case, he can only audit what he has and the rest is undocumented and unknown. The FY2018 audit, due June 2019, will miss this deadline and will also be “qualified” for the same reason. Two qualified audits that say your organization is too messed up to audit is not likely to persuade donors, foundation grantors or the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to give funds to Pacifica. It’s unknown whether the CA Attorney General or thelender will accept them.
Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)
There was some anticipation that Pacifica would get current on its audits by this June and would again be eligible for CPB grants. That is not to be as CPB’s deadline for qualification is June. When Pacifica last received those grants, in 2012, it received about $1 million a year. Pacifica needs to get current on its financial reporting and compliant with other CPB requirements in order to be eligible for the 2020 cycle in order to receive funds in 2021.
Why The Secrecy?
Why the secrecy and obfuscation? Why the complete lack of financial oversight and fiduciary responsibility? Is it only incompetence?
In my earlier article, I wrote about the KPFA Foundation, a shadow corporation formed for the purpose of taking over the assets of Pacifica. Before that, in 2009, there was another secret 501(c)(3) formed for the Pacifica Radio Archives, supposedly to raise money (which never happened) but rumored that “in case” something happened to Pacifica, i.e., bankruptcy, the Archives could be moved into this non-profit. It was created by former PNB Chair/Interim Executive Director Sherry Gendelman with Matthew Lasar as Secretary. Lasar, a Pacifica historian of sorts, has advocated for breaking up the Pacifica network in alliance with the KPFA Foundation people.
After that came another secret effort from Berkeley by then-KPFALSB chair Carole Traviswho had been soliciting celebrities to join the board of “Big Tent Radio,” a nonprofit she claimed to be starting to acquire Pacifica’s assets after it “collapsed.” Attempts were made to get her to resign as she was clearly working against the best interests of Pacifica but no bad deed goes unrewarded at Pacifica and she remained on the local board, soon to be on the PNB.
There is presently another plan to break up the network from Berkeley, reports of a similar plan from Los Angeles, plus a long-time plan from one faction in New York. None of the breakup and takeover plans seem particularly viable but the absence of any other plan or even a discussion on how to pay back the loan, or interest payments, seems puzzling considering Pacifica’s precarious financial situation. Are they waiting for a sudden “shocked” awareness of financial problems and an orchestrated rush to “reorganize,” creating the opportunity for the licenses going to current favored board members with waiting 501(c)(3)s?
You can hear PNB Director Donald Goldmacher in this clip at a recent Strategic Planning Committee meeting suggesting selling off Pacifica’s assets (possibly to him and his allies around the network). He was recently re-elected to the KPFA LSB and is a long-time member of the Berkeley faction which created the KPFA Foundation, above.
Thus the sale of the Berkeley buildings and elimination of the Pacifica National Office and its accounting staff, which become unnecessary if the organization is going to dissolve, or privatize, itself into board members’ hands, and makes complete sense in this context. There’s no need for a permanent in-house CFO if there’s no intention of Pacifica continuing as a network. Further evidence of short-term planning: the outsourced accountants have a two-yearcontract.
Pacifica just had another election for the LSB which ended in March. Those running for re-election were micro-managing their own election. It was delayed, disorganized, over-budget, and the public and members were not properly informed. A 10% quorum of membership is required and KPFK had an 11% quorum — but 9% of the ballots were blank ballots. There was a quiet campaign advisingvoters that if they didn’t want to vote or if they didn’t know who to vote for, tosend in a blank ballot to help reach a pseudo quorum. Those who were asking the membership for election or reelection received so few votes that they amounted to a vote of no confidence. They did not earn even the 10% required votes from the membership.
But like Trump losing the popular vote or George Bush, arguably never legitimately elected either time, that will not stop these illegitimately seated LSB members from acting as if they have a mandate. They are planning a big rewrite of the bylaws. The Pacifica bylaws are terrible, complicated and, in places, contradictory. They were written by a “listeners” after the lawsuits of 1999–2002 were settled. A rewrite by another group of “listeners” will not be better. The problem is not the bylaws, or Robert’s Rules of Order, the problem is electing “listeners” without skills or knowledge of broadcasting, basic finance, management or anything related, and no record of success in anything except getting elected and becoming board members of a multi-million dollar media organization which has only shown consistent decline for the last 20 years under their stewardship. Some of these people have been in and out of Pacifica’s governance for two decades or more. Due to Pacifica’s current structure, it’s impossible to replace them in favor of competent people. Bylaws rewritten by themwill only entrench them further.
To establish a Foundation organized and operated exclusively for educational purposes no part of the net earnings of which inures to the benefit of any member of the Foundation.
Insiders love to toss the Mission Statement around but never remember that first sentence. The reason the federal government mandates that non-profits have outside, independent boards, and also why they’re under the jurisdiction of Attorneys Generalis that they are funded by public money. Boards are supposed to make sure the public’s money goes where donorsthink it goes. The main job of a board is to report to the public about its financial operations. Pacifica’s board cannot or simply will not do that. The idea of public service appears long forgotten within Pacifica. One might assume this is just run of the mill incompetence, but it seems way past the time we can blame the chaos only on that.
It’s no wonder the members of KPFK’s Finance Committee refuse to answer awkward questions dealing with the financial realities of the operations. The board members paint rosy pictures of how well they’re doing to “save Pacifica” but, in reality, KPFK is in extremely bad shape and declining. You can hear it in the increasing fund drive days which are not bringing in enough to cover their expenses. Nor isPacifica, as a whole, faring any better under the present PNB than it was under the previous PNB.
Instead of focusing on finances and complying with federal and state regulatory agencies the favored subject of discussion by board members has always been programming. The ultimate prize for aggressive board members is to be able to control programming to suit their tastes and ideologies — from expected old guard Trotskyism/Marxism/Revolutionary Communist Party/anarchism (etc.) to Scientology with a few progressive Democrats and black or Latino nationalists in the mix. The boards hire weak managers who they can then micromanage and work to create their own patronage system by giving program slots or jobs to their friends and allies. The resulting mediocrity and lack of cohesion of the program grid is the result. It obviously drives away listeners and extends fund drive which only turn off more listeners. Now those PNB members making decisions are actually proposingprograms for the sole purpose of enticing funders. This shows a lack of imagination andany pretense of journalistic integrity. This is only the latest of ideas thought up by amateurs who have done little more than master the byzantine governance system of Pacifica to get themselves into these undeserved positions of authority. Look for sketchy health programs, celebrities and other unimaginative pandering unlikely to excite funders or listeners.
Anyone Still Interested in Running For the Board of this Experiment in Democracy?
For anyone still considering running for KPFK’s board, or any of the other stations, these are some of the bigger problems KPFK and Pacifica are facing. You will need to be a fighter with an independent mind because the entrenched board members of both factions are not really open to questions or open discussions, especially about financial matters.
The election information is here and the nominating deadline is June 30. If
you have skills, Pacifica needs you. But Pacifica doesn’t have a history of treating talented people well.
The sad irony is that just at the time this country needs a vibrant non-corporate media, Pacifica continues to make itself even more insolvent, unlistenable and irrelevant.
Video Investigations Point To Cover-Up and Insider Participation
The American people should demand a new investigation of the events of the devastating attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Here’s a few free on-line videos to get started on a “trek to the truth.”
9/11 Myth and Reality – David Ray Griffin
9/11 Explosive Evidence – The Experts Speak Out.
A Message to the American People by Danish Journalist Tommy Hansen
Loose Change – An American Coup
9/11 Mysteries: The Demolitions
9/11 Ripple Effect – Dave Von Kleist and William Lewis
9/11 And Other Mysteries – Jim Marrs
9/11 In Plane Site (Director’s Cut) – Dave Von Kleist and William Lewis
Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth
There’s much, much more on this subject. Videos and reports that “follow the money” that has been totally covered up. Millions made by “unidentified” parties who “shorted” stocks of the airlines just before 9/11. There’s Dan Hopsicker’s investigation into the alleged hijackers romp through Florida, hauling gold out of the country, living with a pink-haired stripper, etc. (Hey, we thought they were Muslim fanatics?) trying to learn to fly small planes at very strange flight schools. And then there’s the phony “colleges” on the West Coast used to get some of the “hijackers” into the country. The phony schools run by a multi-millionaire with possible CIA/Air Force connections; The muzzled FBI agents who were told to not look into the computer laptop of one of the suspects; The Pentagon scandal – explosives went off inside the building before the planes hit; the team of accountants tracking the missing 2.1 Trillion Dollars blown up inside the building; the so-called anthrax attack that shut down the government right after 9/11. It was a big operation, folks, the biggest false-flag to ever be perpetrated to push a country into continuous wars and use as an excuse to put in a spy culture around the world.
The veil of “Shadow Censorship”, like that of Twitter, has even taken hold in the premier Pacifica Radio line up at Anti-War station KPFK in Los Angeles. The station’s premier program on both foreign policy and progressive national issues has been removed from its 9 a.m. weekly spot. It can only be heard if you get up really early, at 6 a.m.
Amy Goodman has been the main framework of the KPFK line-up for many years. It could be argued that her show, “Democracy Now”, has gone a long way to keep KPFK afloat. Her show is one of most popular progressive shows in the country. Not only does this weaken the prime 9 a.m. broadcast hour, but it will hit KPFK’s bottom line, as Amy Goodman is one of the best “pitch” persons at KPFK, bringing in untold thousands of dollars to support the station over the years. In addition, Goodman makes appearances in Los Angeles as KPFK sponsored events, bringing the station even more publicity and funding.
What is strange about this is that no notice was given to the listeners. No vote was taken as far as can be determined. Evidently the Program Director made the decision by himself.
Shadow Banning. This is a method used by the large social media platforms to remove programs and individuals from the platforms without anybody knowing what is really going on. The person or program is still there, it just can’t be seen by anybody else. Twitter just admitted to “hiding” over 600,000 individual accounts. This is pure and simple corporate censorship. By “hiding” Goodman’s program at 6 a.m., before most folks are even awake in the morning, they are exercising a form of “shadow censorship”. Her former 9a.m. time slot was in the key morning time that folks flip on their radios.
Anti-War activist Frank Dorrel has put out a statement on this sudden removal of Democracy Now:
I am totally against this change. If Democracy Now underperforms during a fund drive at the 9:00 AM time-slot, I would think it is because more often than not, you cut away from the show to have Christine offering some other product not associated with Amy Goodman. In my humble opinion, Democracy Now is by far the most important show on KPFK. Tom Hartman is no Amy Goodman, not at all. Not even close. He’s OK and I think his program deserves being on the station. I can’t believe you are making this change. So now Democracy Now will only be on KPFK at 6:00 AM. I would think this move will end up with less people listening to KPFK then before. Just one man’s opinion. I have been listening to KPFK since 1980. This is the station where I learned all about U.S. foreign policy, hence my film: “What I’ve Learned About US Foreign Policy”- www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdMWOjYuYwk&t=183s – which Amy promoted along with the anti-war book I publish & distribute: ADDICTED To WAR – during a fund drive many years ago and received over 100 orders at $200 per order. She did this with Jerry Quickly. I still get many orders for ADDICTED To WAR. I have distributed close to 240,000 copies since 2002.his.
This move comes after Pacifica station in Berkeley KPFA has removed another popular program, Guns and Butter. They also purged the 17 years of archives for the show at the same time without notice. This show also dealt with controversial topics. The question is why Pacifica stations are going down the censorship road, “shadow banning” and outright removal of controversial, but popular programs. Is Pacifica turning into another corporate authoritarian platform, removing the most controversial programs? YouTube hired 10,000 censors to “police” and remove controversial videos. Facebook has been caught censoring, as well as google. In the last few years, around a billion pages, platforms, and individuals have been removed from social media. This is the worst attack on Free Speech in the history of mankind. A shame that the so-called free speech radio stations at Pacifica are going down the same path.
Youtube Hires 10,000 Censors To Purge Alternative News Channels
Google/youtube has hired an army of “invisible” censors to purge information and videos that are at odds with the elite establishment and the military-industrial complex. This army of 10,000 purge agents is also in the process of training robotic Artificial Intelligence software programs so that the censorship can be multiplied by a factor of four or more.
This has come in a period when Americans are watching more and more videos, rather than reading news reports. Video has become a powerful tool to expose war crimes, political dirty tricks, fraud, and government misconduct. The explosion of video and the internet has led to many diverse folks to start their own channels because they are fed-up with the so-called mainstream news setting the agenda and ignoring important issues.
This censorship benefits only the current elite and the huge military-industrial-pharma complex, who are losing their ability to propagandize and pull the wool over the eyes of the average American. The government has lied to the American people for years about many things, foreign wars being one the biggest and continuous lies. Alternative news channels have sprung up to show videos and first hand reports of the slaughter of innocent civilians around the world by these military operations. These videos are now being taken down from youtube. The government does not want you to see the horrific damage in countries like Syria and Yemen. Seeing human rights violations and the killing of thousands of innocent women and children is something the neo-con war boys do not want you to see.
This massive purge of truth crosses to all areas of the political spectrum, from progressive and anti-war sites to Ron Paul Libertarian videos, to independent investigators to alt-right. Here is a snip from the website of the World Socialist Website, for instance:
YouTube began removing photographic and video documentation of war crimes in Syria in August, terminating some 180 accounts and removing countless videos from other channels, including footage uploaded by Airwars of coalition air raids that have killed civilians, according to Hadi al-Khatib, the founder of Syrian Archive. YouTube later stated that it would work to “quickly reinstate” any videos and channels that it “removed mistakenly.”
In November, YouTube removed over 51,000 videos concerning Anwar al-Awlaki, the Yemeni-American imam who was assassinated via missile raid by the Obama administration on September 30, 2011. Awlaki was never charged with, let alone convicted of any crime. The mass removal was praised by the New York Times, one of the largest mouthpieces of the American ruling elite, as a “watershed moment.”
Susan Wojcicki, CEO of youtube, and the leader of the secret 10,000 censors, is shown in the above photo at the elitist World Economic Forum. This secretive group of elites hate being exposed for their attempted control of the world and its resources. Did Wojcicki get her marching orders from the WEF?
The Political Purge was started in the late summer of last year. We know that tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands off videos have been purged and banned. We know that hundreds of youtube channels are gone, wiped out overnight without a trace. We know that de-monitization of videos on many sites has caused great financial distress to youtube creators who are working full-time on their projects. In addition, since last August, a sinister youtube program run by AI software has placed untold thousands of videos in a Video Stasis, or “Limited State”. These videos are not searched by google, are removed from the youtube owners playlist, and are placed in a “Stasis” somewhere on the web where nobody can possibly find them. This operation sounds like some strange science fiction story. It is so insane that it is unimaginable, but shows the lengths that these authoritarian elites will go to shut down any truth.
It is imperative that folks protest this outrage. It is time for the U.S. Government to seize google entirely as a monopoly. Youtube should be separated and run as a government sponsored social media platform, dedicated to all free speech.