Web links related to the Back of the Book program of November 19, 2007

It's Sunday morning, November 25, 2007 10:13 and I've updated this page to reflect the latest information on the WBAI elections and to put in links to the videos of the last 2 LSB meetings. I'll continue to update this page as we get more information about the elections. All right, we still have the elections going on, so we can't talk about whom we'd prefer to see elected. We can talk about the various bizarre things that are happening around the elections themselves though. We also plan to get to the below topics and some of the mail. We'll probably be updating this Web page over the next few days so be sure to check back.

Did you know that I've got a brief synopsis of many of the WBAI LSB meetings? Well, I do.

UPDATE as of Sunday, November 25, 2007: Elections are currently ongoing for the WBAI Local Station Board.

Because of the lawsuit around this election nobody is sure what's happening now. Is the election over? Is the election still going on for another few days? It's all going to depend on what the lawsuit determines.

Since no one can be sure if the balloting is over now I think that if you are either a listener member or a Staff member of WBAI and you have not yet received your ballot then you need to immediately send an E-mail to the Local Elections Supervisor asking for a replacement ballot. I am told that you can also reach him by leaving a message at 1-212-209-2828. One of the possibilities is that those who've applied for replacement ballots will in fact get them and be able to vote. So it's worth still trying to get one.

And you should also contact Frank LeFever Ph.D. and let him know if you didn't get a ballot and whether or not you got a replacement ballot. Dr. LeFever is unofficially collecting the information to see if there's a pattern to the ballot non-receipt phenomenon.

There has been a lawsuit filed about the way this election is being handled. Mitchel Cohen, one of the people filing the lawsuit, says, “We go for Court-ordered conference with WBAI's lawyers on Tuesday, November 27th, and into Court to argue for an Order to Show Cause on November 29th. The Court appearance is open to the public.” It's possible that some of the details regarding the election could change so you'll need to keep updated.

There's a regular LSB meeting scheduled for November 20th at 7:00 PM, at the Legal Aid Society, 111 Livingston Street, 7th Floor, Brooklyn. Trains: 2, 3, 4, or 5 to Borough Hall; A, C, or F to Jay St./Borough Hall. The location is wheelchair-accessible, and public comment is welcome. UPDATE: The video of the meeting is already up, you can view it here.

The faction currently in charge said it couldn't get enough LSB members to a meeting by November 14, so they've started looking for another date for the attempt to purge a non-faction member. This will actually be a delegates' meeting, as opposed to a regular LSB meeting. The purpose of this meeting will be for the faction currently in charge to go through the motions of trying to purge a non-faction member from the LSB. They don't have the votes to do this, but they're just going to do it anyway to besmirch the guy's name. This is all related to the faction trying to dissuade people from voting for other candidates that this non-faction member may endorse in the current WBAI elections.

The October 31st, 2007, WBAI LSB meeting was bizarre. And yes, this LSB meeting was held on Halloween. The faction majority voted to pass a motion that will give them more air time on the WBAI LSB Radio Show. That's the name of the on-air reports that the LSB is supposed to give periodically. The motion they passed will also keep them from having to deal with a committee that might do the work it's supposed to do. The committee that had been doing the work had their motion voted down and the faction's motion was passed.

Here's a little history of the WBAI LSB Radio Show Committee. The person mentioned as having been censured by the committee is the one whose motion about the LSB Radio Show was passed by the faction.

And then we got to a motion I'd brought up. It was a motion about the current situation where WBAI and Pacifica Management are unilaterally cutting the pay of the Paid Staff at WBAI. I'd been encouraged about the fact that this got put on the agenda right after the LSB Radio Show motion. Unfortunately, it really didn't work out.

Here's the text of that motion that I brought to the LSB . The faction members seemed as if they were going to let this motion pass, but then some started to pick at it. One of the problems seems to be that they just don't understand that it's illegal for Management to unilaterally cut the contractually agreed pay rate of workers. Well, in the end the Chair wanted to participate in amending the motion so she handed the meeting off to the Vice Chair, who had made an amendment and who later had to hand off to the next officer in line which was the Secretary. The Secretary tried to Chair the meeting but really wasn't able to. Eventually she started to call the roll for a roll call vote on an amendment and her fellow faction operatives started yelling at her and she just froze. It was the proverbial deer in the headlights situation. There was a lot of yelling back and forth and the Secretary just eventually said that the meeting was adjourned. It was utter chaos.

So the motion about the Paid Staff never got passed. It never even actually got voted on.

I sent out an E-mail regarding all of this a couple of days before the LSB meeting. That E-mail is here.

The video of the October 31, meeting is up, you can view it here.

WBAI 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.

WBAI has an official Web stream of what's on the air at any time! You can go here and pick which type of stream you want! If this stream isn't working let me know. It was working all right at 9:26 PM last night.

WBAI is archiving the programs! Just go here and you'll be able to listen to the program any time for the next couple of weeks. Unfortunately, Back of the Book is not one of the programs that you can download, you can only listen to it on line. But maybe someone will change that at some point. NOTE: The archives have not always been behaved properly. We can't guarantee their condition. If this Back of the Book program isn't archived I'll post an archive myself.

I'm glad to announce that with a new person doing the archives Back of the Book and Carrier Wave are sometimes properly named in the archive, and if they're not then there's a note about it. Of course I'd recommend that you just listen to both programs in this time slot!

Is the universe left handed? The Galaxy Zoo project has been classifying galaxies and there seems to be a predominance of spiral galaxies spinning in one direction. This is puzzling because with a random distribution of matter and energy the direction of galactic spin should be pretty much balanced between left and right.

Is there really a "preference" or handedness in scientific terms? Does it tell us something about the universe that we didn't suspect before? Or is this something that human observers are projecting on the cosmos?

A group of 370 scientists and engineers belonging to a 17-nation collaboration that operates the Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina has reported that they think that they've discovered the source of the highest energy cosmic rays.

We're also going to talk about the Oregon researchers who say that they have used cloning to make embryos of monkeys and then extracted stem cells from those embryos.

This gets scientists one step closer to being able to do the same thing with human cells. Three years ago a South Korean scientist had claimed to have done that but his claims turned out to be fake. This time, there are witnesses.

One of the interesting aspects of this accomplishment is that the Catholic Church is getting a little bit worried. I think that a part of their concern is that ordinary people are liable to look more closely at the Church's claim that human life and a "soul" exists at conception. If that's the case then they'd have to answer the question of whether or not a human cell cloning operation would be, for them, a soul factory!

In real world considerations the cloning of human cells could lead to tremendous medical breakthroughs. A person with a damaged heart muscle, for example, might be able to have some cells taken from his or her body, have them cloned into an embryo and then grow the muscle that needs to be replaced and have that transplanted into the person. There are many ideas like that where a person's own tissues could be grown in a laboratory to replace damaged ones.

Pickles of the North will be reporting on the final report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. And it's pretty serious stuff.

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.

Our very own Uncle Sidney Smith, whose program Carrier Wave alternates with us, has a blog these days. You can reach his blog here.

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

You can also send me E-mail.

WBAI related links

WBAI Listeners' Web page

WBAI Management's official Web site

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The contents of this Web page are copyright © 2007, R. Paul Martin.