Web links related to the Back of the Book program of July 23, 2001

It's now Thursday, 8/2/2001 15:40:11 and this page is at long last done! Sorry the update has taken longer than maybe ever before. There's a lot happening with WBAI and that has certainly taken up a lot of my time. I did get to more about the latest ideas in cosmology again on the program. I also talked about the G8 atrocities in Genoa, Italy, which was almost breaking news. I lamented the demise of the Homer Restaurant in Manhattan. And I got through at least a bit of the mail backlog. As usual, please don't mind the changes from future to present tenses in the paragraphs below, it's just the way this medium is working out for me.

Here is the latest on the theft of Pacifica.

Here's my take on the current WBAI and Pacifica crisis.

And remember, there's still a gag rule at WBAI.

There have been some developments in the listener lawsuits, as well. Keep watching these lawsuits because there are rumors of something big happening with them soon.

Our colleagues from Off the Hook have a RealAudio streaming web cast operating. For a while they were trying to provide a new, permanent MP3 stream but the link to the MP3 stream now just gives you the RealAudio stream. At 8:00 PM last night this feed was working.

Another WBAI colleague of ours, Ken Gale, who does the comic book program 'Nuff Said has had a cyber tragedy. He had some software go crazy on him and wipe out his hard drive. He writes, “Years of work were destroyed. Stories, zines, plots, articles, story ideas and fragments, article ideas and fragments, personal records, downloaded information, our mailing list, birding information, you-name-it. Not everything was backed up because the tape system we got to do so wasn't working properly.” Ouch! I think he's still trying to recover more data from that event. My condolences, and we should all back up our personally created data, at least. These days, what with code bloat and all, it's not so simple to back up everything on a hard drive.

One plans a radio program and then things happen which one simply must address. The actions around the “Group of 8” meetings in Genoa, Italy have certainly gotten our attention.

A demonstrator was shot twice in the head and then run over twice by a paramilitary police vehicle. That story in still photographs is on the Web.

There has been a big police raid on the IndyMedia Center in Genoa, Italy. There are reports of a lot of people being seriously beaten and sent to the hospital. Police reportedly took all the recordings and hard drives they could carry and destroyed computers and other equipment.

It is reported that arrested reporters are being beaten and tortured at police booking centers and forced to say, “Viva El Duce!” which was the official Fascist Party salute to late Dictator Benito Mussolini who ruled Italy from 1922, until the Italians killed him in 1945. Mussolini made Fascist Italy one of the Axis powers which, along with Mussolini's Nazi pal Adolph Hitler, and fellow Fascist Hideki Tojo started World War II.

Interestingly, the Italian Foreign Ministry's Web site seems to have a broken link on it. It's the link to the English language version of their site. They do have an embassy in the United States, of course. There is also an Italian Embassy in Los Angeles Phone: 310 820-0622 Fax: 310 820-0727 at 12400 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 300; an Italian Consulate in San Francisco Phone: 415 931-4924 at 2590 Webster St (at Broadway), 94115, and of course an Italian embassy in New York City at 68th St. and Park Ave. I've heard that there's a protest scheduled for the New York embassy for Monday, July 23, starting at 4:30 PM.

In the fortnight prior to this program I discovered that the Homer Restaurant, aka the Homer Diner, at 121 W. 10th St. in Manhattan was gone!

I've eaten at the Homer many times and when Pickles of the North and I go into Manhattan we frequently end up there. When I looked at it in mid July it was closed and some of the stainless steel cabinets and ovens had been moved to the front of the space, with some of the booths having been removed to make way for them.

The mural was still there, with its view of somebody's idea of a coastal Greek village. It mostly looked like it could be gotten back up to functioning with a couple of day's worth of work. But I doubt that's going to happen.

A couple of months ago we saw a notice on the corner of Greenwich Ave. & W. 10th St. about a hearing to be held at Manhattan Community Board #4 regarding the demolition of the building that the Homer Restaurant occupied. This single storey building occupies most of the space between Greenwich Ave. and Patchin Place on W. 10th St. The first scheduled meeting was postponed and we never heard what happened at the second meeting. Before this second meeting the folks who maintain the Jefferson Market Garden were putting out information that the six storey condominium that would be built on the site of the Homer Restaurant and the other establishments on the north side of W. 10th St. between Greenwich Ave. and Patchin Place would cast shadows on the garden and have an impact on the plants, as well as obscuring the view from the north of the Jefferson Market Library's famous clock tower. This thing would also turn Patchin Place into an even darker place than it is.

As I get older I experience what others have, things that were there “forever” go away. In some cases change is good, in others it's just not worth it. This is one of those latter cases.

I got into cosmology and the Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) on the last program. I continued with that on this program, and talked about polarization a little bit.

I talked about the MAP project's attempt to detect polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation showing that gravitational waves happened at about 10-38 seconds after the Big Bang which will go some way towards proving the Inflation Theory. Hell of a lot more interesting than Genesis, isn't it?

Starting this morning subway service for a lot of people is going to be terribly disrupted. The Manhattan Bridge is being repaired and all of the trains that use it to go between Brooklyn and Manhattan are going to have to be re-routed. For more information there's always the Manhattan Bridge Hotline: (718) 521-3333. Don't jump!

And we got to some more mail on the program. I think we got through some snail mail and then tackled as much E-mail as we could manage. Some of the E-mail got postponed because it was too big to fit into the program's time slot!

Our first two E-mails are from Fernando who once again asserts that I'm in favor of child molesters just because I don't want to live in a police state devoted to capturing them and, by the way, destroying the civil rights of all of the rest of us. Fernando needs to listen better. I also didn't read all of his letter on the air because it was so long and also because some of it didn't pass the smell test.

And what I said in response to something he wrote in one of his previous missives was “Bite my shiny, metal ass!

Subject: Broadcast of April 30
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 12:41:38 -0400 (EDT)
From: Fernando
To: rpm@glib.com

Dear Sir,

I must thank you for replying to my letter on your broadcast of April 30. There are a couple of points I would like to address. First I must retract my statemant that there we do not agree on ANY political or sociological principles. I take that one back, R. I'm sure we can find some common ground, however we most likely differ on how we approach an issue. You cited for example, the topic of free speech of which I am a strong defender. I believe, gauging from your broadcasts, that you are a stronger proponent of this cause than I am and far more liberal in its definition as well. I recall, as I am sure you do, the controversy surrounding Piss Christ some years back. I thought this was a very irresponsible use of free speech which I see as a priveledge that is to be earned and not abused. An artist should learn to censor himself. In fact the term “art” is being applied all to liberally as well. I say this as a professional artist myself.
On a second matter, I am still appalled by your constant call for leniency towards child molesters. What is it with you? Most convicted molesters, and let me tell you convicting someone of this crime is a long process without any guarantees and it is a process which results in the continued suffering of the victim, are sentenced to an average eighteen months of jail time. First offenders will often just get that waste of time called “Probation” or a suspended sentence if they volunteer for therapy. Criminal justice can be a joke.
I recall an incident my grandmother, who passed away on Thanksgiving in 1999, relayed to me. When she was a girl in Cuba, an eleven year old girl had been found raped. As this was a small community, the culprit, who was a black, was arrested immediately by the local chief of police. The men of the town were outraged and not satisfied by mere jail time for this criminal. They therefore stormed the jailhouse and The police chief, not wanting any trouble, turned the rapist over to the mob. They then tied him behind a horse and had the horse drag him through the town until he broke apart according to my grandmother.
The main difference I see between you and me is that your focus tends to be on the rights of the accused while mine tends to be on the unnecessary suffering of the victim.
On another matter, I would like to offer two points of criticism on your performance as a broadcaster. First, you consumed forty-three seconds of airtime complaining about absence of a clock in your studio. Forty-three seconds is an estimate as you were already a few seconds into your rant on this matter when I started to time you. Wear a watch, Paul. That way, you won't have this problem and you can use your all-too limited airtime more effeciently. Spend a buck and get yourself a good watch.
Secondly, you told me twice to “bite your red shiny ass.” While I let this sort of comment simply wash off my back, it does speak badly of your professionalism. Please remember that as a broadcaster, you are an heir to a distinguished tradition. Do not reduce yourself to “shock jock” status. Be more like Long John Neville, R. My feelings were not hurt, but I was disappointed in that I expected a more intelligent exchange with you. Please keep on this and I will, as always, continue to listen.


Florham Park, NJ

Subject: A "taxing" subject!!!!
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2001 22:47:33 -0400 (EDT)
From: Fernando
To: rpm@glib.com

Dear R,

In light of “Tax Season” being upon us, this missive strikes a particularly timely cord. Now I frequently attend collectibles shows, flea markets, garage sales and the like. And I can be found on both sides of the bargaining table. I often go to buy, but I may just as easily be found at these shows as a dealer. I will sell anything, but being an artist, I most commonly sell my own artwork. I will also deal occassionally in old clothes, periodicals, and personal items (toys, sissors, combs, etc.). In recent shows I have witnessed with my own eyes agents of the I.R.S. stalking dealers and shaking them down for “tax registration cards.” These cards identify the dealers as a business recognized by the State and therefore he is forced to pay tax on every sale he makes and thereby, passing along this “sales tax” onto his customer. This is a gyp! Instead of unloading my old shoes for four bucks, I legally am forced to charge “four bucks plus tax!” Why is this? I've had it, R.
Now I hate taxes in all forms. I resent every last dime I have to fork over to the Government, but even the biggest socialists in the world should be able to recognize this exessive taxation as being extreme. Most of these dealers are old men selling their old postcards and used shirts for a few extra dollars. I, myself, already pay a great deal in taxes. Now I am being milked for eighteen cents on every item I sell. How am I supposed to get ahead? This undermines the attraction of these shows for most buyers and especially the diehard collectors.
This affected me as a consumer as well, R. At a recent show, I found a nice box of gently used calenders from the forties. ( Only 1943, 1944-7, and 1949 were missing.) I wanted to purchase them immediately! Unfortunately due to the tax added on to the purchase price, I could not buy the calenders. They were 21.58 after the tax was added on and my mother only gave me a twenty that week. I didn't know what to do but having to take a pass on those calenders really hurt, R. Paul. They were sweet!
I strongly supported the flat tax as proposed by Steve Forbes. I believe the tax burden, particularly on local levels could be eased if the Government simply withdrew entirely from the business of education. Education should be funded privately and should be only in the forms of private tutors, private schools, and religious institutions. I would go further but this topic could be a missive all its own. I'll instead await your response.
In closing I would like to extend former WBAI personality, Al Lewis, a happy 91st birthday. I won't go into why he is no longer part of your on-air community as I know there are restrictions concerning such topics, but I did want to acknowledge this day. I met Mr. Lewis on two separate occassions and he was very nice both times. I would like to offer John “Ramblin' With Gambling” Gambling as his potential replacement as Gambling too was undeservedly dismissed from his station as well.

Best wishes,
Florham Park, NJ

So now Fernando doesn't like taxes. Well, if he thought that April 30th was when “tax season” suddenly came upon us, he's in trouble with the IRS by now!

It's interesting to see that Fernando is against public education. I wonder how in Fernando's World those who couldn't afford private education would get educated. Maybe he doesn't want them educated at all. Of course then the country would fall rapidly apart and probably get taken over by some other nation-stat that had bothered to educate its young.

I seriously doubt if Fernando has given this much thought. He seems to enjoy a lot of the services that taxes provide, I wonder how he'd feel about having to subscribe to a fire department, as used to be the case? He'd also have to pay off the police directly. But what if someone with whom he had a beef paid them more than he did?

I doubt if Fernando would be able to go to a flea market, or whatever he goes to in order to buy his collectibles, if the infrastructure of society wasn't there any more owing to a lack of taxes to pay for it.

Subject: three if by e-mail ....
Date: Thu, 3 May 2001 10:12:51 EDT
From: North American Shirley
To: rpm@glib.com

the midnight ride of .... hey! poor Paul Revere if there was email back then ... who are the heroes of tomorrow if we have no midnight rides or lights in the old church tower ?????

... don't mind my meanderings .....

Subject: wow; guess who's ...
Date: Sat, 5 May 2001 16:48:36 EDT
From: North American Shirley
To: rpm@glib.com

.. bipolar?


Subject: Little Hoodlum Dolls
Date: Tue, 8 May 2001 02:20:03 -0400
From: Yarrow
To: rpm@glib.com

R. Paul,
I'm sorry but I haven't listened to your program since about 1995, when I moved to Greenpoint and it was too close to sea level.
I am now in Queens,(Woodside),
but on the top floor of a larger building, yet in view of the East River, so I don't think I'm going to drown any time soon. But, I don't stay up listening late to the radio on Sunday nights much anymore. I am really glad that you are still on the air. I feel terrible about the nasty stuff that is happening at WBAI. I can identify because I was fired from my job at a “cool” sort of social work non-profit job on 12/27. (I was the bookkeeper, NOT a social worker, ok?) Merry Christmas, you're fired, that sort of thing... So I do relate to what happened at WBAI. Only I didn't have a union.
Anyhow, I really think you ought to think about marketing those “Little Hoodlum Dolls” They can be sold on the back of Cereal Boxes and everyone will want one, because it will be like the Franklin Mint, only better and you can donate a percentage of the proceeds to the legal battles going on as a result of the takeover. And since the “Little Hoodlum Dolls”
will be made of plastic, it's better than having to have a coin minted with your likeness, like Julius Ceasar had to do.
“Make them and they will buy them”


I think I was talking about my photograph, linked to above, back on that program. Oh, I am so far behind on the mail! I've really got to devote the next program to getting through a lot of it.

I hadn't known that Greenpoint (pronounced Green-pernt) couldn't receive WBAI. I went to high school in Greenpoint, a part of Brooklyn.

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 follow the instructions, and you'll be subscribed. Could open your eyes a little bit.

The above list has occasionally produced a high volume of E-mail because of the attention that these issues have drawn. If you would prefer to subscribe to a low volume list that only provides announcements of events related to these issues then subscribe to the FreePac mailing list.

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

You can also send me E-mail.

WBAI related links

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 © 2001, R. Paul Martin