Stephen Jaffe to appear on TYT’s “Rebel Headquarters” on January 25

Stephen Jaffe, Berniecrat running against Nancy Pelosi in 12th Congressional District, will be appearing on The Young Turks’ “Rebel Headquarters” on 1/25/18 at 5:05 p.m. Pacific time.

Go to and search for Rebel HQ.

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Loan offered to Pacifica, likely shielding KPFA from crisis

KPFA HQ in Berkeley. Photo: Siciliana Trevino
KPFA’s future is less hazy than it was last week, due to a loan offered to its parent company. Photo: Siciliana Trevino

Supporters of the Pacifica Foundation, which owns Berkeley’s KPFA station, have offered the radio network a $2 million loan, likely averting an immediate financial crisis that threatened to take some stations off the air.

Pacifica’s interim director, Bill Crosier, said the network has received “verbal commitments,” but no details in writing yet, from supporters of KPFK, Pacifica’s Los Angeles station, offering a short-term loan. Crosier said the Pacifica National Board expects to receive loan documents and vote on approving the loan within the next week or so.

Some members of KPFA, Berkeley’s longstanding listener-supported, progressive radio station, feared doomsday when a judge ruled in favor of a New York real estate company looking to collect close to $2 million in back rent and fees from Pacifica. New York station WBAI has long been unable to pay its rent to the Empire State Realty Trust (ESRT), which owns the Empire State Building, where WBAI’s transmitter is located. Since 2005, the station’s lease has included a 9% annual increase. According to KPFA board members, the director who signed that lease is no longer alive.

The fall 2016 judgement allows ESRT to seize Pacifica’s assets, if the $2 million is not paid off. The California stations are vulnerable, since the company filed its lawsuit in all the states where Pacifica operates. Monday was the first day ESRT could take action against KPFA and KPFK, after a mandatory waiting period concluded.

Crosier, who said he was speaking for himself, not on behalf of Pacifica, said it’s doubtful ESRT will act now, since the company knows the loan is likely to come through this week. If ESRT did begin seizing assets, the network would immediately file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which would halt the collection anyway, Crosier said.

The interim executive director is among some national board members — as well as the majority of KPFA’s local board — who have wanted Pacifica to file for bankruptcy for a while, to buy the network more time to restructure and pay off its ESRT debt, as well as the millions more in debt the network owes. The majority of the national board, however, believes such drastic measures not needed, and voted last week to pursue a loan instead.

Crosier said the KPFK supporter offer will likely be a three-month loan, intended to provide immediate relief so Pacifica can pay ESRT.

“But we still have to worry about the longer-term issues,” he said.

Pacifica has a loan broker looking at potential lenders for a longer-term loan. But Crosier is concerned the network won’t be able to procure anything with decent terms, due to its debt.

Pacifica board members also have a history of infighting and disagreement, credited by many on KPFA’s local board with the length of time it took the network to decide how to address the ESRT issue. New national board members are selected each year.

Despite the ongoing financial crisis at Pacifica, KPFA listeners might be able to breathe a sigh of relief once the ESRT judgement is paid. The station itself is financially healthy, and doing better than it has in years, according to its management and staff.

First They Came for the Homeless request: “We need contractor bags”

From: dgchandyman

We have got a great contact with the park district workers, and get
our trash picked up a couple times a week.

We really need more of the heavy contractor bags that won’t rip.

Says CONTRACTOR BAGS on the box.

And if you would be so kind, also paper towels.

Thank you

Oh, and please, some dish soap.

–Jay at Berkeley Aquatic camp

Directions to Aquatic Park camp:

From San Pablo Ave turn west onto 67th St. (just a bit south of
Ashby). Go about 1/2 mile, cross the tracks
and turn right on Shellmound which turns into Bay. Cross over Ashby
on Bay and the camp is on your right.
There is parking.

The State vs. Government: Opposing Concepts of Authority

By John Laurits

January 13, 2018 (

What is the Difference Between the Government and the State? Government vs. State Authority, Defined

Much of the US political debate seems to ultimately break down into a meta-debate between what people call “big” vs. “small” government — but how can such a big pile of ideas fit in a word as small as government? The answer is — it can’t. In fact, it is completely nuts to expect one word to hold everything from fire departments, the DMV, and the Iraq War to healthcare, fiscal policy, and the other Iraq War. All of that stuff is just too complex to boil down to pro- and anti-government politics — and luckily, there are words that can organize this mess. The cause for a lot of confusion is the fact that people tend mix up the concepts of “government” and “state” and a lot of the time both of them get smooshed into one word. So — what is the difference between government and the state?

What is Government?

“Government” is a noun that more-or-less describes a bunch of smaller acts of “governing” all lumped together — and governing is basically unavoidable. Whenever people call a meeting to address shared issues or concerns, they are governing — for example, a neighborhood might get together to fill in a few potholes or mobile home park may pool resources to build a playground or start a community garden . Stuff like fire departments, public libraries, and fleets of snow plows are simply how people deal with the collective chores that need to be done to avoid getting buried in snow or stupid or on fire. Even if the government somehow vanished today, it would take a massive effort to stop a new one from springing into existence tomorrow because the only real difference between a society and a dumpster fire is the level of organization.

What is the State?

Definition of the State vs GovernmentThe concept of a “state” is a different can of worms. While government and state tend to overlap a lot in practice, the state is an organization with sovereign authority over and against a specific population in a well-defined container of borders. The state is a stable, specific, political entity — government is more of a fuzzy blob of chores that tend to change over time. In ancient Greece, “city-states” were described by Plato as politically-unified communities who shared a distinct language, religion, and culture. Later, the city-state model became further developed in the Roman res publica (aka republic or commonwealth), which extended the city-state’s legal-system to territories under its control. Finally, the modern nation-state emerged after new transportation and communication technologies allowed people to cooperate over nation-sized distances.

The Opposing Word-Origins of ‘Government’ & ‘State’

“The individual has a soul but the state is a soulless machine that can never be weaned from the violence to which it owes its existence

The origin of the word “government” is gubernare, a word that Latin-speaking folks ripped off from the Greek kyber, which is a verb meaning “to guide or to steer” that was associated with navigating the seas. It’s easy to see how this navigational idea relates to the idea of governing — the systems of “government” are what a society uses to steer itself in the direction it wants to go and maneuver the nation to avoid any geopolitical icebergs.

“State” grew from the Latin word status, meaning “position, condition, order, or arrangement,” which is from the verb stare, “to stand or be firm.” It was used to talk about someone’s rank or position in a hierarchy in the same way that English-speakers now talk about a person’s “standing.” Next to word-origin of government in the idea of steering and navigating, the origin of “state” contrasts so sharply that it is nearly a contradiction — to stand firmly in one place.

Authoritarianism in Government vs. the State

“The state is a professional apparatus that sets itself apart from the people and apart from the institutions the people themselves create. It’s a monopoly on violence that manages and institutionalizes social activity. The people are perfectly capable of managing themselves and creating their own institutions”
-Murray Bookchin

Police State Cartoon, Authority of the State and GovernmentIt is possible for government to get by without formal authority  —  it mainly depends on people agreeing to accomplish a set of tasks and goals together. Government can be authoritarian, of course — and, under the state’s control, it often is — but it does not have to be. For example, it is hard to imagine anyone demanding to know who authorized another person to fix a street lamp or redirect traffic from the site of a car accident.

The state, on the other hand, can only exist by possessing the power to contain its borders and wield authority over its population, which means states are fundamentally authoritarian at the core. States must have the capacity to defend their political structures from any external threat and, maybe just as often, from their own citizens. This is why states tend to fund and develop policing, military, and surveillance organs whether citizens want them or not. Just to exist, the state must separate itself from its citizens and develop its structures of power independently.


Government is more-or-less a repeating pattern of activity that can be shaped and re-shaped to serve whatever purposes a people want — the main issue is whether the governed can control the governing. Just as part of an individual’s time and resources is absorbed in practical activities (like cleaning, grocery-shopping, bringing the kid to school, etc.), part of society’s labor and resources is absorbed in its own pattern of governing activities. It is a system to direct resources and energy to accomplish necessary or useful goals — nothing more. Systems can be redesigned or replaced — but disabling or hacking off bits of “the government” is unlikely to improve society in the same way that setting the tools and cleaning supplies on fire is not likely to improve the condition of a person’s house.

The Difference Between Government and State

The state has a nasty habit of hijacking government to preserve the level of control it depends on to exist. To sustain the police, military, and intelligence organs necessary to coerce its population, a state needs access to resources and — since governments are designed to channel resources — governing can be re-purposed as an interface used to direct a state’s power. If this happens — and it almost always does — the state has taken control of the activity which governs the society. In other words, the state is now the one behind the wheel who “steers” the nation and, since a state must treat itself as separate from its citizens, it tends to choose its own destinations.

The ‘Big’ or ‘Small’ Government Debate Is Useless,
The Real Debate Is About How the State Uses Power

“As long as the state exists, there is no freedom. When freedom exists, there will be no state”

Problems like the failed war on drugs, authoritarian policing, military interventionism, micro-managing people’s behavior, and mass incarceration are mostly about how the state uses power and authority. Issues of government are more about things like roads, utilities, mediating conflict, public services, environment and resource management, establishing standards, elections, and political organization. If the distinction between state and government became more widely understood, many who hold differing political views might find it easier to agree with each other about the fundamental nature of the problems facing both of them.

If civil-libertarians, for example, understood that left-communists, libertarian-socialists, and many others on the left also opposed the institutionalized coercion of the state, a broader anti-authoritarian front could form in spite of differing views on government organization. The portrayal of the left as champions of “big government” solutions is not only reductionist and wrong but it acts as an obstacle to any strategic alliance between leftists and genuinely anti-authoritarian groups with differing, non-deal-breaking views* on other issues. No problem can be resolved without understanding it first and, in any case, a bit more precision in the public debate is never be a bad thing.

In solidarity,
John Laurits

KPFA could be forced off air, with Pacifica in stalemate over damaging lawsuit

By Natalie Orenstein  (

The near future of Berkeley’s KPFA is fuzzy, as national management faces a potentially damaging lawsuit. Photo: Natalie Orenstein

Update, Jan. 6, 2 p.m.: The Pacifica National Board voted Thursday in a closed session to pursue a loan to pay off the network’s debt to Empire State Realty Trust (ESRT), according to members who reported back to KPFA’s local board at its Saturday meeting. The vast majority of KPFA’s local board members would rather the network file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which they say could buy Pacifica time to pay what it owes.

ESRT can begin putting liens on Pacifica’s properties, including the KPFA and national buildings in Berkeley, and seizing other assets, as soon as Monday. Sabrina Jacobs, KPFA host and national board member, said the real estate company Friday said it would not enter into a forbearance agreement with Pacifica. In a forbearance agreement, ESRT would have agreed to hold off on seizing Pacifica’s assets for a designated period of time while a loan was obtained and a payment plan hashed out.

Jacobs said KPFA is not at risk of being shut down immediately, but called the state of the negotiations “beyond depressing.”

Original story, Wednesday, Jan. 3: The future of KPFA, Berkeley’s longstanding non-commercial, progressive radio station, is in question as the leaders of parent company Pacifica Foundation struggle to agree on a response to a potentially devastating lawsuit. If the network does not figure out how to pay close to $2 million owed to a real estate company by early next week, KPFA’s operations will be threatened.

In November 2016, Empire State Realty Trust (ESRT) sued Pacifica in each state where the network operates, alleging that New York City station WBAI owed the company more than $1.3 million in back rent and fees. WBAI and KPFA are two of five stations and dozens of affiliates under the Pacifica umbrella.

ESRT owns many office and retail buildings in the New York area, including the Empire State Building, the location of WBAI’s transmitter since the 1960s. The station’s current 2005-2020 lease includes an unusual annual 9% increase, and WBAI has long been unable to pay its now about $60,000 monthly rent. In New York, transmitters have become coveted following the collapse of the World Trade Center.

In October 2017, a New York Supreme Court judge ruled in favor of ESRT, awarding a judgement of more than $1.8 million. When a waiting period ends on Jan. 8, ESRT can begin scooping up Pacifica’s assets. The real estate company could put liens on Pacifica’s buildings, including the national headquarters and KPFA’s adjacent property on Martin Luther King Jr. Way, between University Avenue and Berkeley Way. It could also clear out station bank accounts if it so chooses.

As for the immediate future of KPFA, “we are just as much in the dark as the public,” wrote Maria Negret, the station’s manager, in an email to Berkeleyside on Tuesday. “HONESTLY, we at KPFA don’t know what will happen.”

On Dec. 27, KPFA General Manager Quincy McCoy wrote a mournful email to the station’s entire staff, telling them he has been working with the station’s local board “trying to protect KPFA’s interests in this grim situation we find ourselves in.” McCoy did not respond to Berkeleyside’s requests for an interview.

If it reaches the point where ESRT is able to seize Pacifica’s assets, McCoy wrote, KPFA “will cease broadcasting because we will be unable to operate the station. At that point, our building and our bank account will no longer be under our control. Needless to say, this is a terrible position to be in, especially for management when there is *still* no plan of action to articulate from the national leadership to the staff.”

Pacifica’s interim executive director, Bill Crosier, is pushing for the Pacifica National Board to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, to buy the network some more time.

“Bankruptcy would stop collection efforts immediately. It would give us time to repay our debt,” Crosier said in an interview on the KPFA program A Rude Awakening on Jan. 1. Pacifica would have a few months to come up with a payment plan, which could be implemented over the next several years, he said.

Negret said she would support such a move too, as “it would give us a chance breathe and re-organize our network.”

However, a majority of Pacifica board members disagree with Crosier, due to the price of filing for bankruptcy, which could cost up to $1 million — half of what Pacific owes ESRT — and the stigma around it, he said. Most would prefer to get a loan, and to encourage ESRT to enter into a forbearance agreement, delaying the seizure of Pacifica’s assets.

“I think it’s dangerous — and our attorneys have said it’s dangerous — to assume they’ll just continue to be patient while we figure out how to pay them, with a loan or whatever,” Crosier said on the radio program.

Regardless of whether Pacifica ends up filing for bankruptcy, it is likely the network will have to engage in a “signal swap.” At least one of its stations would sell its signal to another radio station, in exchange for one with a smaller coverage area. KPFA’s signal reaches a third of California, according to the station, which broadcasts on 94.1 and 89.3 FM in Berkeley, as well as in Fresno and Santa Cruz. Additionally, each of Pacifica’s five radio licenses — two in California, and others in Houston, Washington, D.C. and New York — are very valuable, and the network could theoretically sell one to pay off the debt.

Crosier said he is unsure Pacifica could even obtain a loan, due to its poor financial state. The network is somewhere around $8 million in debt and has been running deficits almost yearly for more than a decade, according to the interim director. Pacifica has not paid its pension obligations for three years, according to a letter sent by Crosier to the Pacifica National Board.

The board held a special meeting in late December to address the current crisis, but did not take action. The board is scheduled to meet again Thursday, which will be the last chance to file for bankruptcy.

There is a long history of tension and bitter disagreement between national board members — and between Pacifica and KPFA. Station donors elect local representatives who in turn appoint national board members. On the board, disputes over issues small and large can prevent progress and, according to Crosier, might be a reason why many members are hesitant to file for bankruptcy. If the board could not agree on a payment plan, a receiver would be appointed.

The tension between Pacifica and KPFA reached a peak in 1999, when Pacifica locked station staff out of their Berkeley building amid struggles for control of KPFA and labor disputes. In 2010, Pacifica laid off staff including the hosts of KPFA’s Morning Show, then later rehired host Brian Edwards-Tiekert, who still works for the station. At the time, Pacifica said its actions were necessary because the station had lost a lot of money during the financial crisis.

In 2014, former Pacifica Executive Director Summer Reese staged a months-long sit-in in the network’s Berkeley office to protest her ouster. There have also been struggles between KPFA’s own management and the many unpaid workers who volunteer at the station.

The lobby at KPFA’s Martin Luther King Jr. Way building. Photo: Natalie Orenstein

Edwards-Tiekert and host Mitch Jeserich discussed the impending threat on KPFA’s program UpFront on Tuesday morning, saying they wished their parent company would take action.

“Pacifica’s known losing that lawsuit was a possibly if not a strong possibility since the day it was filed,” Edwards-Tiekert said. “It’s kind of disheartening to see those signs of paralysis.”

Jeserich acknowledged it is hardly the first time KPFA’s future has been fuzzy — “It’s been four years since we had our last existential crisis,” he joked, referencing the Reese saga — “but to me this is the best KPFA has been” in years, in terms of finances and staffing, he said.

McCoy told staff KPFA will disburse January paychecks in advance, and cover medical benefits until March. He said he will also pre-pay all bills he is able to, in hopes of continuing operations for a bit longer even if ESRT takes the station’s money.

“I’m sorry to say that is all management can do,” he wrote in the email. “There is still no playbook for a month or two months down the road.”

Pacifica was originally created as a foundation to support KPFA, its first and flagship station, which was launched in 1949 by World War II pacifists hoping their political messages could reach a wider and working-class audience. The state would only grant the broadcasters a piddling FM license at a time when AM dominated, failing to predict how valuable it would soon become. Considered the oldest listener-supported radio station, KPFA has long run radical anti-war and pro-civil rights programs, interviewed revolutionaries and aired beat poetry readings, prompting several unsuccessful censorship and license revocation attempts over the years.

According to a message on the station website, KPFA is currently in a decent financial situation itself.

“KPFA is reaching its goals, paying our bills and expanding our operation,” the message says. “It is your support that has floated this independent media ship and allowed us to continue our 69-year mission of speaking truth to power. Things at KPFA have been going well. The current financial problem at Pacifica is not of our making.”

Progressive BEATS BIG OIL! Now Running For Lt. Governor-Gayle McLaughlin

The Jimmy Dore Show
Published on Jan 14, 2018

Progressive Who Beat Big Oil Running For Lieutenant Governor

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Chelsea Manning files to run for U.S. Senate in Maryland

Chelsea Manning arrives for a forum last year in Nantucket, Mass. The appearance at the forum is part of The Nantucket Project’s annual gathering on the island. Manning is a former U.S. Army intelligence analyst who spent time in prison for sharing classified documents. (Steven Senne/AP)

By Justin Jouvenal and Jenna Portnoy on January 13, 2018 (

Chelsea E. Manning, the transgender former Army private who was convicted of passing sensitive government documents to Wikileaks, has filed to run for the U.S. Senate in Maryland, according to federal election filings.Manning would be challenging Democrat Ben Cardin, who has served two terms in the Senate and is up for re-election in November. Cardin is Maryland’s senior senator and is considered an overwhelming favorite to win a third term.

Manning declined to speak about her filing or why she is running, when reached at her apartment on the top floor of a North Bethesda luxury high rise Saturday. She said she might release a statement next week.

“Our only statement on the record is, ‘No statement’,” Manning said.

Manning, 30, who is formerly known as Bradley Manning, was convicted in 2013 of the largest leak of classified documents in U.S. history and was sentenced to 35 years in prison. Last year, then-President Obama commuted Manning’s sentence to time served and she was released from a military prison in Kansas.

The news of Manning’s filing caught Maryland’s political class by surprise on Saturday afternoon. It was first reported in a tweet by conservative media outlet Red Maryland.

Cardin, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has an extensive fundraising base within Maryland and is not considered particularly vulnerable to a challenge from within the state. However, an outside candidate with national name recognition, such as Manning, could tap a network of donors interested in elevating a progressive agenda.

Cardin’s spokeswoman and the Democratic Party of Maryland declined to comment on Manning’s filing.

Manning moved to Maryland after her release from prison. Since then, she has written for The Guardian and Medium on issues of transparency, free speech and civil liberties, transgender rights and computer security, according to her web site.

Manning’s statement of candidacy was filed with the Federal Elections Commission on Thursday. She is running as a Democrat and refers to Maryland as her “home state” on her web site. The Democratic primary is scheduled for the end of June.

Manning’s first column for The Guardian said Obama’s election in 2008 was a political awakening for her. Manning wrote Obama left behind “hints of a progressive legacy,” but very few permanent accomplishments.

“This vulnerable legacy should remind us that what we really need is a strong and unapologetic progressive to lead us,” Manning wrote. “What we need as well is a relentless grassroots movement to hold that leadership accountable.”

Evan Greer, campaign director of the non-profit organization Fight for the Future and a close supporter of Manning while she was imprisoned, said the news is exciting.

“Chelsea Manning has fought for freedom and sacrificed for it in ways that few others have,” Greer wrote in an e-mail. “The world is a better place with her as a free woman, and this latest news makes it clear she is only beginning to make her mark on it.”

Todd Eberly, a political science professor at St. Mary’s College, said Trump’s unexpected rise to chief executive opened the door for political neophytes, such as Manning.

“My initial thought quite literally was, ‘Donald Trump is president, Oprah Winfrey is the leading contender for Democrats in 2020, why the hell not Chelsea Manning in the U.S. Senate?’” he said.

In today’s polarized landscape, Manning could expand her following simply with a virulent anti-Trump message.

“We live in a world now where the old rules of politics don’t seem to matter anymore,” Eberly said. “We don’t care about experience and qualifications. We seem to care about how a candidate makes us feel.”

Judging from her past statements, Manning’s brand could be one of “unapologetic progressivism, no compromise, take no prisoners,” he said.

Manning enlisted in the military in 2007 and was deployed to Iraq two years later as an intelligence analyst, according to her web site.

In 2010, Manning was arrested after she provided a trove of nearly 750,000 documents to Wikileaks that included documents about the war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, State Department cables, and information about prisoners in Guantanamo Bay.

Manning’s high-profile leak drew media coverage around the world. U.S. officials said the material placed the lives of U.S. soldiers and Afghan informants at risk, but Manning said she had a duty to inform the public about how the U.S. was conducting its wars.

Three years later, Manning was convicted of multiple counts, including violating the Espionage Act, and received a lengthy sentence. While serving time at Ft. Leavenworth, Manning attempted suicide and went on a hunger strike, before the Army approved her for gender reassignment surgery.

Her case remains politically divisive. She has been lauded as a hero by some on the left, but also decried as a traitor by many, including President Trump.

Manning was born in Oklahoma City in 1987 and lived in the United Kingdom for four years, before eventually deciding to enlist in the Army.

Manning’s felony convictions do not appear to bar her from running for Senate. The Constitution simply requires Senators to be 30 years of age, citizens of the United States and residents of the state in which they are seeking office.

Katherine Shaver contributed to this report. 

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