Web links related to the Back of the Book program of 2/22/99

It's Sunday 2/28/99 12:00:51, and I've confirmed the preemption and updated this page to link to the second Counterpunch article. The WBAI picket line went off well, although WBAI's General Manager Valerie Van Isler fled town before it happened.

I think this page is done at last; it's Wednesday 2/24/99 03:16:24. I'm going to try to make the photographs load faster, and I may have an update on the demonstration in front of WBAI this Wednesday. The photographs for this program are in the “photo gallery” now, so you can access them from my home page easily. Please pay attention to the segment below on the Pacifica Foundation's Bylaws change. You might also want to learn about and sign a petition against the Pacifica “Gag Rule”.

The Program Director has finally confirmed that Back of the Book will be preempted on March 7/8, for Intergalactic Gal's Day at WBAI. Preemptions are a part of radio life, and Back of the Book hasn't been preempted in a while. Also, this is one of those traditional things at WBAI. The program Director also confirms that “Ring Day.” scheduled for March 22nd, will end at 1:00 AM, and Back of the Book will be on as usual that night.

WBAI is owned by the Pacifica Foundation. The effective ownership of the Pacifica Foundation is set to change if the Pacifica National Board holds to its agenda for its meeting set for February 26th to 28th.

The Pacifica National Board has been publishing transcripts of its meetings, but oddly they didn't publish the transcript of their October 1998, meeting. It was published only a couple of weeks ago. It may have been finally published because the Board members discovered that journalist Alexander Cockburn broke the story of the bylaws change in a publication named Counterpunch. Please read this and take action. This corporate maneuver could end up with WBAI being sold or changed so completely that it will not resemble the radio station you know today.

Alexander Cockburn's second article on this power grab is out now.

We are having a demonstration to protest this action by the Pacifica National Board this Wednesday, February 24, 1999, from noon to 2:00 PM in front of WBAI at 120 Wall St.

Here's our press release about this demonstration.

Here's some press coverage we got on our demonstration.

In December the government of Iceland voted for a law which gives the genetic information gathered from the people of Iceland to a company named deCODE Genetics which will have exclusive rights to construct and run a database based on that genetic information.

Not surprisingly, opposition has sprung up against this venture. A group calling itself MANNVERND, which is Icelandic for “Association for Ethics in Science and Medicine”, has been organizing against it. I've linked you to the English version of their Web site, but you can switch over to the Icelandic version there. And a group from Italy named Oikos is also protesting this commoditization of the most intimate and immutable of human traits.

“You have the right to remain silent....” is how the so called Miranda warning begins. Unfortunately, some right wing groups don't like that warning. Apparently, they long for the days of the third degree when a suspect could be hauled into the basement of a police station and be starved, worked over, held for days without sleep, be prevented from going to the bathroom, threatened, lied to and generally coerced into confessing to a crime. And a suspect is anyone whom some cops feel like designating as a suspect. Under this system many innocent people went to jail.

Two right wing groups, the Washington Legal Foundation and the Safe Streets Coalition, filed “friend-of-the-court” briefs making the claim that a law passed by Congress in 1968, invalidated and overrode the Supreme Court decision in Miranda vs. Arizona in 1966. That law says simply that a confession “shall be admissible in evidence if it is voluntarily given.” The U.S. Justice Department has never used this 1968, law in the 31 years of its existence because they believe that it's unconstitutional; the Justice Department has recognized the “Miranda rights” of all suspects. But these two right wing groups brought this challenge to basic human rights to a three judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in Richmond, VA because they knew that it had a reputation for oppressive rulings and would favor the right wing arguments they'd put forth.

This all revolved around the case of a Mr. Charles T. Dickerson of Maryland, who confessed to a series of bank robberies and only after confessing was read his Miranda rights. The district court ruled that his confession couldn't be used against him. With the reversal of that decision a further appeal is sure to be made by Mr. Dickerson's supporters to the full 13 member 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. And the loser of that decision may very well bring this case to the Supreme Court, where Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas have hinted that they would be glad to overturn the Court's previous decision in Miranda vs. Arizona in favor of the 1968, legislation.

Clearly another right is under attack here. But this isn't the only way it's being attacked. Police have been routinely getting around this right to not self incriminate for years. On a previous program I provided some links about the erosion of the Miranda right that you might find of interest.

Pluto is the farthest planet out again, as of 5:08 A.M. EST on February 11th. Pluto has a very eccentric orbit. In 1979, it moved into that part of its orbit that brought it closer to the sun than the planet Neptune, which is usually the second farthest planet from the sun. Over the past 20 years most books have been published still showing the usual configuration of the planets. Pluto will remain the most distant planet for the next 228 years. So you'll have to wait until 2227, to win bar bets on this again.

As I mentioned on the program, a new satellite is finding water all over interstellar space. This holds tremendous import for the search for extraterrestrial life, as well as providing insight into one of the most puzzling conundrums of modern astrophysics: how do stars coalesce without blowing themselves apart prematurely from the heat of compression? The presence of water probably solves the mystery.

On Monday evening, starting around 5:00 PM, look to the west and you should be able to see two very bright lights right next to each other. These are the planets Venus and Jupiter. Venus is the brighter light. Depending on where you are, when you look and how good your eyesight is, you may be able to see the planet Mercury, which is closer to the sun than the two very bright planets. Also visible is Saturn, but it's higher up in the sky. All of these planets are pretty much in alignment because they, and the Earth, are in what's called the plane of the ecliptic.

After Monday you'll still see an interesting sight in the west, so if you've missed the Monday evening sight it's still worth looking at for the next few weeks or so.

As nearly as I can tell only one person has downloaded that Star Trek parody I played on the last program. So I guess that this isn't a terribly popular offering. If you'd like to give it a try it's located in the Web page for the previous program.

In the past week we've seen the right-wing group “Morality in Media” score big by forcing designer/conglomerate Calvin Klein to retract its big advertising campaign for its new line of children's underwear.

The Calvin Klein ads were just photographs of some kids wearing underwear cavorting on a couch. Whose parents don't have photographs of them like this? But the right wing creeps made it out to be “kiddie porn”!

Well, if those Calvin Klein ads  CENSORED  then look at my pictures and see what you think of them! Terrible photographs of scantily clad children on a bisexual's Web site!

And Rosie O'Donnell spoke out against Calvin Klein and his ads too. She also labelled them  CENSORED  and sided with the “Morality in Media” jerks. I guess she's in denial about what those same people will do to her if she ever comes out of her closet as a lesbian.

There is a thing called “The Gag Rule” at all Pacifica stations which prevents producers from talking about internal matters on the air. Well, it doesn't prevent all producers. Some of the bigger deals get away with it. People who aren't big deals in the eyes of Management, however, can be, and have been, removed from the air and banned from Pacifica stations for violating the gag rule.

Those listeners with Web access to this and other sites can learn about the things which have been going on over the past few years at WBAI and the other Pacifica stations. But most listeners do not have this access and are completely in the dark about the threats posed by Pacifica and WBAI Management to the radio stations. Please take a look at the petition to rescind the gag rule and consider “signing” it as per the instructions provided.

There are a lot of issues that we can't talk about on the air at WBAI. But there is an Internet list called “Free Pacifica!” which you can subscribe to, and these issues are discussed there. If you subscribe to it you will receive, via E-mail, all of the messages which are sent to that list. You will also be able to send messages to the list.

If you want to subscribe to the “Free Pacifica!” list just click on this link and fill out the form, and you'll be subscribed. Could open your eyes a little bit.

My voice mail number at WBAI is 212-209-2996. Leave a message.

You can also send me E-mail.

WBAI related links

Union bulletin #12

Free Pacifica Web site

WBAI Listeners' Web page

WBAI Management's official Web site

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The contents of this Web page and subsequent Web pages on this site are copyright © 1999, R. Paul Martin