Media reports about Boris Nemtsov’s place in Russian politics are as puzzling as the bizarre and tragic circumstances of his murder. Anna Nemtsova’s (no relation to the deceased) piece for The Daily Beast is probably the worse we’ve seen yet. Her headline, “Boris Nemtsov, Heart of Russia’s Opposition, Gunned Down in Moscow,” gives the impression that Nemtsov was, well, the heart of Russia’s opposition. He wasn’t, and to claim he was is silly.

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Western media reaction to Nemtsov’s murder is ‘absolutely outrageous’

Secondly, Boris Nemtsov was an extremely unpopular figure among ordinary Russians. Why? Because he served in the government of (Russia’s first president) Boris Yeltsin during the 1990s. And the government of Boris Yeltsin reduced Russia to a pauper state as a result of the reckless policies of Boris Yeltsin and his pro-Western stance.

Millions and millions of ordinary Russians overnight lost their jobs, they lost their savings, they lost their pensions, and many of them lost their homes. Boris Nemtsov was part of that government. So, with all due respect to his memory, he was a very marginal figure in Russian politics.

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A (purely factual) rundown of Nemtsov’s political career from Wikipedia:

Nemtsov was the first governor of the Nizhny Novgorod Oblast (1991–97). Later he worked in the Government of Russia as Minister of fuel and energy (1997), Vice Premier of Russia and Security Council member from 1997 to 1998. In 1998 he founded the Young Russia movement. In 1998, he co-founded the coalition group Right Cause (1998) and in 1999, he co-formed Union of Right Forces, an electoral bloc and subsequently a political party. He was elected several times as a Russian parliament member. Nemtsov was a member of the Congress of People’s Deputies (1990), Federation Council (1993–1997) and State Duma (1999–2003). He also worked as Vice Speaker of the State Duma and the leader of parliamentary group Union of Right Forces. After a split in the Union of Right Forces in 2008, he co-founded Solidarnost. In 2010 he co-formed the coalition “For Russia without Lawlessness and Corruption”, which was refused registration as a party. Beginning in 2012 Nemtsov was co-chair of the Republican Party of Russia – People’s Freedom Party (RPR-PARNAS), a registered political party.[10][11]

 


March 3, 2015

For Immediate Release

Corporation For Public Broadcasting Not Recognizing Pacifica Management

Berkeley-At the last Pacifica board meeting, CFO Raul Salvador revealed that Pacifica management has been unable to access the Corporation for Public Broadcasting online submission site for, apparently, the last ten months, as the federally funded agency has demanded a letter signed by all 22 board members in order to reauthorize access to the Isis system. It is impossible for Pacifica to formally request an extension with no log-in capability. Pacifica’s FCC/CPB attorney John Crigler was reported to be out of town. The board passed a motion stating Wilkinson and Salvador were authorized representatives with the votes of 15 of the 22 board members in the affirmative. There is no indication the motion will have any impact on CPB’s request for a written authorization with board member signatures. Salvador stated that Pacifica remains in ineligible status and stated there has been no indication Pacifica has been or will be reinstated as an eligible CPB grantee.

It’s been reported a draft audit report for the year ending 9-30-2013 has finally been produced. Pacifica’s audit committee will review the document on March 10th, although it will have to be forwarded to the directors and officers liability insurance provider prior to that date to avoid loss of insurance, which is on an emergency 6-month extension that expires on the 10th. The deadline for Pacifica to submit audited financial reports for the year ending 9-30-2014 (the next year) was at the end of February, although a 45 day extension to April 17th is routinely granted. Further extensions are discretionary and not likely to be granted. Per previous public statements by Armanino and other auditing firms used by Pacifica in the past, audit preparation takes a minimum of 8 weeks by the audit firm. It does not look possible for a second annual audit to be completed in the next 44 days, especially during tax season, a busy time for audit firms. Armanino had declined to sign an engagement letter for the next audit when presented with one last month.

Pacifica’s open meeting announcement problems, identified in a CPB review that looked at operations beginning in 2008, have not been completely ameliorated, with CPB identifying problems with the websites of at least 4 of the stations, WPFW, WBAI, KPFA and KPFT.

At Thursday’s board meeting, which was beset with telephone interference, the board of directors launched a rushed bylaws amendment process, declaring that all bylaws amendment proposals are due in by March 20th, seventeen days from now. The board forgot to notify anyone but themselves, placing no announcement on the pacifica.org website and failing to notify the members or the local station boards. Since bylaws amendment proposals can also be submitted by local station boards or by organizational members via a petition signed by 1% of the members, the hurried hidden process constitutes disenfranchisement of non-board members and leaves the amendment process totally in the hands of a rogue board of directors, several of whom are sitting on the board long after their elected terms expired without the permission of the members.

Election supervisor L. Joy Williams, hired on January 1st, has yet to provide any information in writing or in person to the board of directors or to the board’s election committee. When asked what the employee had been doing for two months, Wilkinson replied that she had written a report. The board asked for the report to be forwarded to them. As of the date of this bulletin, the report has not been forwarded.

Also at Thursday’s board meeting, in line with Matthew Lasar’s theory of creative destruction, the board agreed to explore the possibility of taking out of a mortgage on the building of Texas station KPFT to finance the purchase of new transmitting equipment. KPFT is on its sixth consecutive temporary stay to operate at partial power and is not able to relicense until it resumes operating at full capacity. A substitute motion by LA director Kim Kaufman to explore the possibility of taking out a mortgage on the mouse-infested former restaurant property in Berkeley which has been vacant for the past 15 years, was defeated, with all 4 KPFA directors voting no. The board, who has steadfastly insisted that “management had the KPFT situation under control” for the past year, discussed the loss of fund drive income in Texas due to the reduced number of people who can hear the station and admitted they could “lose the Texas station” or be “permanently knocked down to half power”, a loss of millions of dollars in the value of the license. The cost of the new equipment is less than $200,000 and can be financed with a 33% down payment from the manufacturer. Texas board member Adriana Casenave cautioned that she didn’t want the “restricted funds to disappear like they did before”, referring to a previous fundraising effort for the equipment.

Board members are still waiting for copies of the documents sent to the California Attorney General on February 17th in response to a December 17th letter. The documents were sent on a jump drive which Wilkinson claims is difficult for Pacifica to reproduce and will only be sent via postal mail to board members.

The board’s long-delayed executive director hire process has been silent since the redo election on February 17th after the board’s first choice of executive director, labor writer Bill Fletcher Jr, declined the position. The board then refused to offer the position to the then-runner-up and went through another selection process whose results have not been disclosed two weeks later.

In New York, popular hacker program Off The Hook, went public with long-simmering complaints about undelivered premiums. Specifically the show’s producers provided a large quantity of jump drives containing all the talks at the 2014 Hope X conference, a cutting edge technology gathering. The large box of premiums, entirely self-produced by the show’s volunteer producers and provided to the station at no cost and with permission to distribute the material, disappeared at WBAI with not a single one ever delivered and the whereabouts of the boxes unknown. The blog post, which can be seen here resulted in on-air pre-emptions for a number of weeks.

Pacifica’s board continues to try to meet in person, with the latest dates proposed for May of 2015. The board has not met except by telephone since February of 2014. In the board meeting on Thursday, board members quizzed CFO Salvador on the plans to pay for the $25,000 meeting costs. Salvador stated the plan was to place the meeting costs on Pacifica’s Visa credit card.

Pacifica has settled its financial dispute with Pacifica Reporters Against Censorship (Free Speech Radio News) for un-received Corporation for Public Broadcasting grants that Pacifica had agreed to subcontract out to the program. The settlement requires Pacifica to make monthly payments for the next three years for programming it will not receive. The payments constitute less than 1/5 of the production budget FSRN needs to return to production of a daily 30-minute newscast.

The PDGG vs Pacifica injunction request, which was not granted by Alameda Superior Court, has been dismissed as per the wishes of the plaintiffs, against Pacifica Foundation Radio, but remains in effect against the 12 board defendants individually with another hearing scheduled for March 23rd. Pacifica continues to move ahead with its complaint against former executive director Summer Reese.

Pacifica in Exile readers may write to the board at pnb@pacifica.org.

To subscribe to this newsletter, visit www.unitedforcommunityradio.org.


By Sylvan Lane

WASHINGTON — Senator Edward J. Markey is calling on coal and oil companies to reveal whether they are funding scientific climate change studies after his staff reviewed newly obtained documents illuminating the relationship between a researcher for a Cambridge-based institution and energy interests.

The Massachusetts Democrat will send letters to fossil fuel companies, trade organizations, and others with a stake in carbon fuels, aiming to reveal other climate-change-skeptical scientists whose work has been subsidized by those parties, a Markey spokesman said via e-mail.
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by David Harris Gershon

Robert Kagan of the Brookings Institute is an unlikely voice to join the cacophony of voices slamming Israel’s Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, for his upcoming speech before Congress on March 3.
After all, he founded a right-wing policy center with Bill Kristol, worked on shaping John McCain’s hawkish foreign policy in 2008, and advised Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State. However, this is just what he’s done in The Washington Post in a piece entitled “At What Price, Netanyahu?
Kagan’s piece is a brutal and on-point dismanling of Netanyahu and GOP leaders, focusing upon their solipsistic motivations and the unprecedented chutzpah Netanyahu’s demonstrating while tearing at the fabric of Israel-U.S. relations. Near the end of his piece, Kagan rightly notes that, from this point forward, inviting foreign leaders will become one more partisan card to play in future foreign policy fights. It’s a dangerous hand to start playing, and one Netanyahu and GOP leaders have decided to deal.
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by Jon Rappoport

“THE internet is stuffed with garbage. Anti-vaccination websites make the front page of Google, and fact-free ‘news’ stories spread like wildfire. Google has devised a fix – rank websites according to their truthfulness.”

Great idea, right?

Sure it is.

The author of the article lets the cat out of the bag right away with his comment about “anti-vaccination” websites.

These sites will obviously be shoved into obscurity by Google because they’re “garbage”…whereas “truthful” pro-vaccine sites will dominate top ranked pages on the search engine.

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by Flora Drury

A damning official report claims dishonesty within the U.S. military is so endemic that everyone assumes they are being lied to at all times.

The shock report calls on officials to ‘urgently confront the corrupting influence of dishonesty’ within the army, warning officers have become ‘ethically numb’.

The situation has become so bad, the executive summary concludes it has ‘allowed leaders to espouse lofty professional values while slogging through the mire of dishonesty and deceit’.

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TOKYO, Feb. 25 (Xinhua) — Local fisherman in Fukushima Prefecture, home to Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s stricken Daichi nuclear power station, blamed the plant’s operator on Wednesday for knowingly allowing radioactive substances from a rainwater drainage ditch linked to one of its buildings to flow freely into the sea since April last year.

The leader of a local fishing corporative, Masakazu Yabuki, lambasted the embattled utility for its latest gaffe, four years after a massive earthquake-triggered tsunami breached the plant’s defenses, leading to multiple nuclear meltdowns and the worst nuclear crisis since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

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Exclusive: As the Obama administration is rushing to complete a nuclear agreement with Iran and reduce regional tensions, the Israeli media is reporting on a deal with Saudi Arabia to let Israeli warplanes transit Saudi airspace en route to bombing Iran, reports Robert Parry.

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by Matthew Boyle

NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland — Perhaps in fear that he didn’t have enough backers willing to show up on their own, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s campaign organized to bus supporters to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) to cheer during his appearance on stage and vote for him in the straw poll.

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