Web links related to the Back of the Book program of August 2, 2004

This is an unusual Web page for a Back of the Book program. It never went up on the night of the program! I tried to get the page up before leaving as usual, but my Web host had a server problem and it was just impossible. It's all up here now though. We did get to a bunch of mail on this program.

The WBAI LSB will meet next on Thursday, August 12th, at 6:30 PM, but I don't yet know where it will meet.

The LSB's July 27, meeting was much better than it's previous one. There were no assaults at this meeting! Of course Management had been made to hire two security guards by the Pacifica National Board (PNB) after complaints about people's safety at the last LSB meeting. And then there was the person video taping the proceedings for the PNB. No faction bosses were observed sitting outside the meeting room sending in instructions this time, either. Funny what happens, or doesn't, when it's known that people are really watching and actions can't be simply denied.

WBAI's mandated Committee of Inclusion (COI) is currently looking for candidates. The members elected to the COI by the LSB will be electing other members to this committee. If you'd like to be a candidate for inclusion in the important work of the WBAI COI click here and fill out the form. There has been talk of pushing back the deadline for applying for membership in this committee.

WBAI now has a program schedule up on its Web site. The site has gotten many of the individual program pages together to provide links and such, so check it out.

Our colleagues from Off the Hook now have both a RealAudio streaming web cast operating, and a new MP3 stream. The MP3 feed is now the preferred feed. Both feeds were working at 11:28 PM last night.

The Pacifica Foundation, which owns WBAI, has revamped its Web site and now has something called the Pacifica Lounge where you can post messages about Pacifica, WBAI and other Pacifica radio stations. This may be a good thing, and of course there are other, long term fora in which to participate.

WBAI also has a forum on its Web site now. You have to register to post messages, but anyone may read the messages.

On this program we talked about the “cop surge” stuff that's been going on around New York City for some months now. Pickles of the North talked about seeing these and about some of her fiends having to endure them around their Manhattan apartments.

What happens is that up to eighty cop cars will go madly charging into one street and the cops will get out, many in full body armor and carrying high powered weapons, and then they just mill about there for half an hour.

This is apparently an exercise performed in the interest of getting a lot of heavily armed cops someplace in case they're needed. Is it to deal with people who might be trying to blow up something or is it to intimidate peaceful demonstrators? It apparently rattles a lot of people who see one of these things for the first time.

I went on a bit about the RFID phenomenon on this program. This is the technology where a small chip can be implanted in the human body and it will serve as a transponder which can be read by a type of radio scanner. RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification.

This technology has been used for years as a high tech method of branding cattle, and as a means of identifying pets in case they get lost. But once the technology was put into animals there was no technical reason why it couldn't be put into human beings. The Attorney General of Mexico, Rafael Macedo, has had a chip made by the company Applied Digital Solutions implanted in himself to allow him to access certain high security databases owned by the Mexican government. The RFID chip is encapsulated in a plastic casing and is described as being about the size of a grain of rice.

A company named VeriChip has applied for the F.D.A.'s final approval for its chips to be implanted in human beings. Right now they want to be able to have their RFID chips implanted in hospital patients so that they can be identified and so their medical records can be accessed more easily. The only real issue that the government sees at this time is the privacy of the patient. The F.D.A. is looking into whether or not confidential patient information could be disclosed improperly. VeriChip is already allowed to implant its chips into people who want to use it as a security device.

The RFID chip simply sends a number to the scanner. This will probably be a very large number, to insure uniqueness. Computers attached to the scanner would then look up the information about who is associated with that number in a database.

This is how it starts. People will be offered something that will seem to enhance their lives, make things more convenient. In this case the RFID chip has been getting sold to some companies as a sort of access card key that employees can't leave home and which is difficult to steal. Some people will even be glad to get such things implanted in themselves. Then this initiative addresses the “convenience” of having hospital patients implanted for the purpose of better treatment through easier access to medical records. It will keep up like this for however many years it takes to build up a willing, and in some cases even eager, base of people who have been implanted with RFID devices. And once a critical mass is reached it will become something close to a necessity like a credit card or a driver's license. Eventually, when the government makes such implants mandatory, there will be not that many people who don't have one already. And those people will not be powerful enough to reverse the trend.

In these days when internal security operatives from the former Soviet Union are tutoring the United States Government in the finer points of restricting travel and issuing national ID cards and internal passports these technological advances are troubling indeed. Given the size of the databases involved we can guarantee that your future number will not be 6, but we can't guarantee that when you get your summons to come and get implanted and you say, “I am not a number, I am a free man/woman!” you will not be greeted with mocking laughter from above.

On this program we talked about how Dr. Stephen W. Hawking has done some new calculations and has abandoned his previous contention that black holes destroy all information contained in whatever falls into them. He now says information sort of does come back out, although retrieving it is probably a practical impossibility.

A black hole is basically matter that is so compressed that the mass of a million Suns occupies a space smaller than a proton. Black holes have such strong gravitational fields that even light cannot escape from them. For more about the phenomenon of black holes look here.

We got to some mail on this program. Some of it was snail mail, the kind where people write on paper and hope that the United States Postal Service will some day deliver it to the addressee, and some was E-mail. The latter we post below.

Subject: GOP Convention/BOTB overlap
Date: Mon, 10 May 2004 18:10:15 -0300
To: rpm@glib.com

(DAMN! Don't I ever quit?:-D)
Just thought I'd “remind” you, those bastards, along with his “fraudulency” (the shrub), will have their convention 30 August- 2 September. You are scheduled for a program on 30 August. I imagine (read: HOPE) that you & WBAI (or what ever station you may be with at that time) will have some “extra special” programming during the event.

Going on that vein, “IF!”AirAmerica were to offer you a chance to go “National,” would you consider it? Take it? If not, is it because you don't want to give up the “PLUSH WBAI” lifestyle;-)?

Just a thought,

Oh, we're very well aware of the Republican national Convention being around starting on August 30. WBAI will be covering all sorts of things around that bund rally. As for going to a certain station if they offered me the chance, well, I really can't say. I've never really thought about it. I'm sure we're all quite secure in the knowledge that we'll never have to find out, however.

Subject: Medic Alert
Date: Wed, 12 May 2004 14:34:38 EDT
From: Susan From Brooklyn
To: rpm@glib.com

Wear that Medic Alert bracelet! They do have such devices that can help one put on bracelets. Or else get a necklace. I usually see those contraptions in those cheap, weird catalouges. And while I'm nagging you, when are you going to marry that lovely lady of yours. This way I can yell at you and say “would you listen to your Wife?” Seriously R.Paul, wear the friggin' thing. Susan Oh by the way, will you be pitching during this marathon?

Susan is referring to my not wanting to wear the Medic Alert bracelet that identifies me as being diabetic. I did wear it to the court house last May when I was having to deal with a possible jury duty stint. One of the problems with the damned thing is that I can't get it off!

We were not supposed to pitch, but we were sort of told we were pitching a couple of days before one May program. And Susan was very generous on donating to that one.

Subject: Ebay, Post offices & out of print books
Date: Fri, 14 May 2004 12:30:52 -0400
From: Pablo
To: rpm@glib.com

Hiya, R. Paul & Nurse Pickles, I love your show.

I am a longtime ebay user and do admit there are those sellers out there trying to cheat buyers. One way I know of is getting a buyer to send money in and not sending them their purchase. Another way is the seller has the buyer send them credit card or check book info. There are also the stories about hackers or even dishonest ebay employees getting your info to use whatever way they want. I am sure there are many other scams that I don't know of.

So far I've been lucky cause I was scammed once in the beginning, I sent a guy money and never received my items. What I later found out is I should have avoided this seller cause he was new, with mostly negative feedbacks. The feedback rating is the number located next to a person's ebay name and is useful to find out what kind of experience other people have had with them. You can also click on the number and check their comments.

Nowadays I try just to deal with regulars, but be careful with some regular too. Most sellers when you get multiple items from them will lower your shipping & handling, but there are some who will charge you a flat rate per item so you might end up paying $16.00 for the S&H but when you get the package it'll show that they only paid $5.00, so ask if they combine shipping charge.

With that out of the way I wonder what post office you goto that you get such slow service. Or is it that it was just busy? I am a regular at my post office and from what I have noticed is if it's taking too long it is usally another customer's fault. I've seen customers who would occupy a postal officer for a long time cause of bad penmanship(sometimes the officer would have to rewrite everything for them), they would have a lot of stuff to pick up or send or both, wrong forms filled, improperly packaged items and it has to be explained to the persistent customer why it's wrong, questions about the different stamps, rates, services, etc. Of course sometimes they do take awhile just to process some packages but from what I can see and checked with them, its cause of how the systems is set up. Seriously I get pissed off when I stand in line and I see my post officers working nonstop and people on the line will be complaining about it taking so long, but as so on as they get up there they'll take a long time cause they aren't ready or don't know what they want. I would understand if they stood around and just chatted or did nothing, then the complains would be justified, but the people at my post office are nice, friendly, helpful and hardworking. And I am sure it's the same at your post office, just watch them and see if they are constantly doing stuff or just loafing off. Remember they are people too.

Since I was working at the time I missed most of what you said about some book you were talking about, I believe you said it was about statistics and it's out of print. Try this site it carries out of print alternate science texts http://www.sacredscience.com/store/commerce.cgi

Later Pablo

P.S. Have you guys been part of the recent WBAI pledge drives this year cause I wanted to send money during your show but I don't remember your show on then. Bye.

There's nothing more dangerous than a person who thinks they are doing god's bidding.

Yes, I've bought two things on E-Bay so far. I haven't had any problems. Of course I bought some really cheap stuff. I've found it fascinating to just browse through what's being offered for sale on E-Bay. I find the window shopping, as opposed to the bidding, addictive! There are some folks who've been burned on E-Bay. And some people offering things are obviously just making a profit on the shipping and handling so that even if they send you absolute crap and then refund your money, after you send the crap back to them, they're still making a profit.

That's some Web site you've got in there. I'm probably not the most receptive person to something calling itself “Sacred Science.”

We were on pitching at some point, which was a big surprise to us as well as to our listeners.

Subject: Link to the OED Entry for transpire, v.
Date: Fri, 14 May 2004 13:09:05 -0700
From: Bill in Manhattan
To: rpm@glib.com

This link will allow free access to the OED entry transpire, v. for the next three days.

The link is:
The link is long since expired, but we get the message.

Lucky me! I have OED on line. I do not say that George deserves to get to first base, but I'm wondering if you were correct to call “strike” on his use of the word transpire. I hope I may never again use the word in place of “occur” or “happen” -- but even so, Noah Webster said it was O.K. for us americanos to use it so. Other people who are caught off base by the OED include Mrs Abigail Adams, William Lloyd Garrison, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and some fellow named Charles Dickens. And I cannot but think of Fernando, not yet of this august company, but somewhere around, he respires to higher things, I guess. Best wishes, Bill in Manhattan.

In response to a snail mail on a previous program I had mentioned that the word “transpire” really is only accurately used to describe the respiration of a plant. Of course it isn't used that way at all. And dictionaries have adjusted to this misuse of the word “transpire” and now list it as a synonym of the words “occur” or “happen.” I still resist.

Subject: “Words, words, words”
Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 16:52:14 -0400
From: Bill in Manhattan
To: rpm@glib.com

Dear R. Paul -- When I did write of the verb “transpire” and concerning whether it be correct in usage to imply the coming to light of an act formerly hidden, I did mix metaphors, as I remember it, and for this, sire, grant pardon. Eke (which is a very old word for also) on another matter concerning yourself and the much esteemed Pickles, I spoke of “benefit of clergy” for which again I must implore your indulgence, for that phrase does not construe aught to do with matrimony, but rather is a matter of legal right to exemption from the secular courts to appear instead before a bishop's court! and that right was in time extended from the clergy to those with the knowledge of letters, so that as one of my teachers did say, literacy at one time conferred a handicap of one, you might safely expect to commit homicide once if you had a sympathetic bishop. But some in the episcopal chair there be and they are hard men withal. Robespierre, 'tis said, argued on behalf of a bishop and the man was found guilty of a capital crime and executed. Robespierre then framed his mind so that he became for a time an opponent of capital punishment. Times do change, and men, and language. Back of the Book, by common repute, uses words well. I see that one meaning of “nullification” is that it is the setting aside by a jury of its own findings of facts. Jefferson in heaven, Calhoun in hell, both longed with passionate intellectual curiousity to see you on that jury, wondering what would come of it, but let them wonder still, glad am I that ye be in good health, your most bounden beadsman, Bill in Manhattan.

Subject: Re: fundraising
Date: Thu, 20 May 2004 18:00:18 EDT
From: Seth
To: rpm@glib.com

It seems that the station is still in fundraisning mode. Ifffff you'll be pitching on Sunday-into-Monday, feel welcome to let me know if you need help on the phones.

I wanted to pledge during Sidney's show, last weekend (when he was supposed to be asking for money)--but he didn't even give out the number! Wuzzupwiththat?

I've sent a package to you & P.O.T.N., related to horseshoe crabs--look for it in the mail. I hope you like it.

I think that our minority, “crab-o-philes,” doesn't have adequate presence at the station. It's species-ism, I tell you! We should have our own show on WBAI--and representation on the Board! If the station manager and program director aren't responisve, they'll hear from the H.C.L.F. (Horseshoe Crab Liberation Front)!! And remember, we don't mind being called “crabby!”

Best regards to P.O.T.N.


Subject: Re: fundraising
Date: Fri, 21 May 2004 09:52:51 EDT
From: Seth
To: rpm@glib.com

In a message dated 5/21/04 12:31:55 AM, rpm@glib.com writes:

may seem to indicate that we're pitching this weekend,

OK! let me know it this happens.


Subject: Re: fundraising--again??
Date: Sun, 30 May 2004 23:05:34 EDT
From: Seth
To: rpm@glib.com

I hear that the fundraising marathon is continuing next week. Yikes!

[It reminds me of something in the book that Blade Runner was based on: It mentioned that there was a TV talk show host that was on-the-air 23 hours-a-day, every day!]

Anyway, if it turns out that you're pitching again, let me know--and I'll be happy to come in and do the phones again.

Regards to P.O.T.N.--and happy Pride month!!


And pitch we did, and help out a whole lot Seth did! Although the fund raising marathon continued we weren't required to pitch more than once. The marathons running over has certainly been noticed by some. By adding up what pitching has been done so far and what Management projects in WBAI's fiscal year 2004, which ends on September 30, WBAI is going to be pitching for 86 days in the space of a single year! That is not considered a good thing by some of us.

Subject: viduated currency
Date: Sat, 5 Jun 2004 13:27:59 -0700
From: __________________________
To: rpm@glib.com

If Viduated currency = slavery, repealing the 13th ammendment becomes unnecessary to maintain slaves in U.S.A.!

I still do not know what this listener is talking about.

The next set of E-mails from a listener who regularly sends us very short messages via his cell phone relate to the death of Ronald Reagan, whose passing we appropriately noted by a chorus of Ding Dong the Witch is Dead.

Subject: rayguns
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 2004 23:42:26 -0700
From: __________________________
To: rpm@glib.com

Not a peep about the S&L wipout or the fired American Air Traffic Controllers, like it never happened!

Subject: Chernobyl
Date: Sat, 12 Jun 2004 03:01:29 -0700
From: __________________________
To: rpm@glib.com

The reason the Soviet Union collapsed Chernobyl NOT Regan. Their best farm land was contaminated by Strontium 90 & Cesium 137. Clarence

Subject: the miracle case
Date: Sat, 12 Jun 2004 14:10:15 -0700
From: __________________________
To: rpm@glib.com

Gateways crown jewel: Reasearch & modern materials has finally produced the Adult proof case easy for kids to open!

Subject: My New “signature”
Date: Tue, 15 Jun 2004 22:44:58 -0500 (CDT)
To: rpm@glib.com

Hi Everybody,
Cleaning out my bag, found this quote and decided to make it my signature. Its Latin. Hope you like it. I know one of you will!!
All my best,
“Haec credam a deo pio? A deo iusto, a deo scito? Cruciatus in cruem. Tuus in terra servus, nuntius fui. Officium perfeci. Cruciatus in crucem. Eas in crucem. (Am I really to believe that these are the acts of a loving God? A just God? A wise God? To hell with your punishments. I was your servant here on earth. And I spread your word and did your work. To hell with your punishments. To hell with you.)”
-- President Josiah Bartlet (“West Wing [Two Cathedrals]”)

Subject: here's a laugh
Date: Sun, 20 Jun 2004 06:24:02 -0700
From: __________________________
To: rpm@glib.com

L.I.N.Y.,high auto insurance is prohibitive for those on fixed incomes allowing more rich carele$$ B.Joels & L.Grubmans to crack up.

The below E-mail relates to the fact that we've been having some unannounced work being done at the Empire State Building where WBAI's transmitter and shared antenna array are housed. For our June 20/21, program we had more maintenance, which was announced only hours before we came on the air, and we only did about a 45 minute radio program.

Sometimes our power is lowered and sometimes I suspect that we're being switched to a less useful antenna while work is done on the Empire State Building. I know that sometimes my air check gets badly mauled by noise, and this shouldn't be happening. This stuff happens late on Sunday nights/Monday mornings, so Back of the Book and Carrier Wave get hit with this problem a lot. Hard to build or keep an audience if people can't hear the program!

Subject: from Tim in Brooklyn
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 2004 21:18:53 EDT
From: Tim in Brooklyn
To: rpm@glib.com

Just to let you know I heard your brief show the night the transmitter was off for a few hours. I was visiting my sister in northern New Jersey so when there was nothing at the WBAI spot on the radio I thought it was a low power transmitter time and the signal couldn't reach where I was. But before giving up I tried another radio shortly after 2AM and you just happened to come on the air. Hope you have a good time at the Coney Island Murmaid Parade and at the Pride March next weekend, although you'll probably read this after then.

Well, we certainly read this one way after the events mentioned had happened.

Subject: Up coming message
Date: Sun, 27 Jun 2004 18:27:52 -0300
To: rpm@glib.com

R. Paul,
The next message from me is one I don't expect you to “completely” read on-air simply because it mentions “the competition” (Air America), and I don't think that the “powers that be @ 'BAI” might not care for that, to put it mildly.
Love to you & Pickles,

Subject: Great!!! news about Nader & the Election
Date: Sun, 27 Jun 2004 18:31:28 -0300
To: rpm@glib.com

From today's (27 June 2004) newspaper:

Green Party rejects Nader
MILWAUKEE-- David Cobb fended off the ghost of Ralph Nader yesterday to become the Green Party's nominee for president. The selection of Cobb thwarted Nader's opportunity to gain immediate access to the ballot in 22 states and Washington DC. Now the consumer advocate, whose 2000 Green Party candidacy is considered by many Democrats to have cost them the White House, will solely run as an independent or cobble together ballot access from other minor parties. He plans to run on the Reform Party line in some states. And Cobb, a northern California lawyer, becomes the new face of the fledgling Green Party as it tries to create a lasting progressive movement.
The thing that the article DOESN'T mention is that hopefully Jeb Bush, the “Shrub's” brother and Kommandant, er, I mean Governor, of Flori-duh (damn-it! I did it again!;-)) I mean FLORIDA, won't be able to RIG/FIX/WHATEVER the voter returns (or illegally remove people from the voter registration rolls). [If you, or anyone that you forward this to, think I don't know WHAT I'm talking about in regard to FL. voter rolls, listen to Rhandi Rhodes ( http://www.therhandirhodesshow.com ) on Air America Radio (http://www.airamericaradio.com ) or on XM satellite radio. Trust me, you/they WILL hear the FACTS. ESPECIALLY ABOUT THE NEW TOUCH SCREEN VOTING MACHINES!]

All my best to everyone,

Subject: F.C.C. Crotcheteers
Date: Wed, 30 Jun 2004 11:17:30 -0700
From: __________________________
To: rpm@glib.com

After what happened with the declined...,er APPROVED Erbitux protocals, the F.C.C. has soul mates @ F.D.A., Cla.

There are a lot of issues that are considered hazardous to talk about on the air at WBAI, even now that the gag rule has been lifted. However, there is the Internet! There are mailing lists which you can subscribe to and Web based message boards devoted to WBAI and Pacifica issues. Many controversial WBAI/Pacifica issues are discussed on these lists.

Probably the most popular list that's sprung up is the “NewPacifica” mailing list. This one is very lively and currently includes over 400 subscribers coast to coast.

Being lively, of course, it sometimes also gets a bit nasty. All sorts of things are happening on this list and official announcements are frequently posted there.

You can look at the NewPacifica list here, and you can join the list from that Web page too. If you subscribe to the “NewPacifica” mailing list you will receive, via E-mail, all of the messages which are sent to that list.

There is the option to receive a “digest” version of the list, which means that a bunch of messages are bundled into one E-mail and sent to you at regular intervals, this cuts down on the number of E-mails you get from the list. You will also be able to send messages to the list.

This list also has a Web based interface where you can read messages and from which you can post your own messages.

There is also the more WBAI specific “Goodlight” Web based message board. It is sometimes referred to on Back of the Book as “the bleepin' blue board,” owing to the blue background used on its Web pages. This one has many people posting anonymously and there's also an ancillary “WBAI people” board that's just totally out of hand.

When the computer in Master Control is working we sometimes have live interaction with people posting on the “Goodlight Board” during the program.

And then there is the historic “Free Pacifica!” list, which has been used to help organize resistance to Pacifica Management hijackers since the mid-90s. It's become a low volume mailing list because it's been eclipsed by some of the newer, more technologically advanced, lists. Just click on this link and follow the instructions, and you'll be subscribed. This is a mailing list only, it doesn't have a digest option nor does it have a web interface.

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

Back to the Back of the Book page

Back to my home page.

The contents of this Web page are copyright © 2004, R. Paul Martin.