Web links related to the Back of the Book program of November 22, 2004

It's Sunday night 12/12/2004 19:58:30 and this page is finally done! We were delayed by my Web host moving their servers last weekend. Well, we're going to be broadcasting from 120 Wall St. tonight. There had been a problem with transmission lines and WBAI was using studios in various places for most of the week. I'm glad we'll be at our usual digs at the ass end of Wall St. for this program. We got through the below stuff and more and we also got through the mail on this program. As usual, different parts of this page were written at different times, so the verbs have different tenses when referring to the program's contents. We can all live with that, I think.

The WBAI Local Station Board (LSB) will meet next on Tuesday, November 30th, at 6:30 PM at the Penn South Community Center at 343 8th Ave., near 26th St. in Manhattan. It will be in community room 8A.. The meeting will include Public Comment and is wheelchair accessible.

Did you know that I've got a brief synopsis of every WBAI LSB meeting so far? Well, I do.

The elections for WBAI Local Station Board are going on right now! If you've contributed at least $25 to WBAI between August 31, 2003, and August 31, 2004, you are a member and are eligible to vote. If you have not received your ballot by now be sure to call the Pacifica National Office at 877-217-6928 x205. DO NOT CALL the WBAI election hotline. ONLY Pacifica can send a duplicate ballot via first class mail. Here's more on the ballot they've sent out, including some instructions.

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.

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 9:34 PM yesterday evening.

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.

Brand new is the Pacifica Internet Radio site.

It was 41 years ago today that John. F. Kennedy was assassinated. I'm going to talk about it a bit, and I'm also going to resurrect a name associated with the Kennedy administration that some of you have never heard of before.

I'm going to talk about Vaughn Meader a bit. He did comedy albums that poked gentle fun at President Kennedy, the Kennedy family and the general state of politics in 1962.

UPDATE: So I'd been researching the Vaughn Meader stuff for a while and completed it some time in October. In the usual rush of things I didn't bother to re-research him or his recordings just before the November 22, program. This made me miss the fact that Mr. Meader died on October 29th. So he is in fact no longer with us. Thanks to the several listeners who pointed this out right after the program.

So in Texas they're waging the cultural war against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people.

Not content with the current levels of homophobia, the creeps in Texas are making sure that a new generation can use a textbook from which to learn their homophobia. Why not just make homophobia a course for academic credit?

The Texas Board of Education has approved some new textbooks for health courses taught in junior high and high schools in that second most populous state. And of course they dictate the position that only males may only marry females vice versa.

Since Texas buys a huge amount of textbooks for the entire state they have an enormous influence on exactly what goes into textbooks. So the textbook publishers will be offering the Texas versions of health textbooks to all of their other customers. This means that the Texas decision will be forcibly, in economic terms, exported throughout the United States. Pretty bad stuff.

We're also going to read a little bit from the Unicorn Book of 1954 tonight. This will be the next to last time we read from any of these books, we've already read from time to time from the books for 1952, and 1953. There was apparently only three volumes published in this series and this is the last one. After next month the Unicorn Press series is over.

We talked about a few environmental issues on this program.

The Arctic is warming up so much that the snow is packing down more densely and this means that people can no longer build igloos. Storms and other serious weather conditions are no strangers to folks at the top,of the world, and, especially for travelers, the ability to stop, cut up some snow into blacks and make an igloo out of it in which to wait out the worst of the storm has been a frequent life saver. There have been some weather related injuries and deaths reported because people couldn't construct a shelter rapidly when they needed one.

The report of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) has issued a report that says, among other things, that polar bears are likely to go extinct because their habitat is going to disappear completely by the end of the 21st Century, that a lot of buildings and other infrastructure is going to get damaged or destroyed by the ground thawing up, that indigenous communities are going to be seriously hurt by increased storms and rising water, and that there will be elevated levels of ultra violet radiation coming in through a depleted ozone layer which will negatively impact, people, animals, plants and the environment in general.

In the Summer of 2000, a tourist expedition to the North Pole couldn't let people off there as usual because the North Pole had melted! Talk about “There goes the neighborhood!”

We got to some mail on this program. Here are the E-mails. We start off with some about the pitching shift we did on the October 24/25, program.

Subject: pledge!
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 2004 02:50:03 -0400
From: Frank
To: rpm@glib.com

Hi Paul and Pickles!
I'm listening via steaming audio, from San Francisco! California! for real!...Zowie , It really works!; and I don't have to stay up late to listen to you any more!. I pledged a $25 subscription, but in the near future I'm going to have some REAL money!...I'm going to be in that 1% tax bracket soon...When I am, I will send WBAI, for your show, a $1000.00 check! .I 've always wanted to but never had the money . I was on a fixed income...For reasons that are to long to go into...I'm what they say , “Compatible now,” and can send a large donation specifically for your show...Just sent the tax exempt form and the hat and T-shirt!<lol>
Frank _____/ San Francisco, California/ I gave them my old address from NYC . They {The post office}...forwards my mail to me here. But I know the address for WBAI in NYC and I will send the station the money in about one week when I get it/ Thank You for your great show...It brings me a bit of NYC to SF every other week...

Well, thanks a lot, Frank! The station can sure use the money. Now if only we could get some of the equipment fixed or replaced.

Next we have an E-mail from Seth, who not only helped to answer phones during our marathon shift but also gave a generous donation to the station. We can't thank Seth enough for his support for all these years!

Subject: Re: This weekend's marathon
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 2004 09:37:08 EDT
From: Seth
To: rpm@glib.com

It was good to see you and P.O.T.N. at the WBAI office.

Mucho congrats on raising well over a thousand clams!--and, given your fulfillment rate, we're talking about real money!!

And even Cerene was sorta helpful!

Please thank Pickles for my cute glow-in-the-dark turtle ring.


Subject: Done
Date: Mon, 25 Oct 2004 22:41:10 +0800
From: Joe
To: rpm@glib.com

Hi R.Paul,

... In fact, done twice -- pledged, that is. Unless certain corrupt tally managers concealed the evidence. I pledged because: you're doing good work on the board, have a good show, and are such a swell guy.

But god, I feel torn. I support you but abhor the management. I voted in the LSB elections and will again, even went to some meetings, but jeez, it seems like a standoff. If only there were a way to pledge in excrow or something.

Anyway take care.


PS: My close friend Gail, the astrologer whom you may remember, sends her best and is sure that you will “see the light.”

Thanks, Joe. And sometimes WBAI is a strange place. Strange as I may be, however, I don't see myself ever coming to believe in astrology.

Subject: Re: Make Pickles your OFFICIAL co-producer
Date: Mon, 1 Nov 2004 10:15:11 EST
From: Seth
To: rpm@glib.com

Your health problems gave an idea:

What if you have to take off from the show for a while?? Pickles could do the show while you're getting better--but evil forces at the station might attempt to take the show away from you while you're away.

Thus, I urge you to register her as an official Co-producer.

I see that Al Lewis has been away for a long while (due to illness), and his wife took over--so there's precedent for this

Actually, Pickles is about as official as things get around WBAI. Given the way that the faction currently in charge has stacked the Staff lists, so they could do well in the recent elections, there would have to be a removal of a hundred people or more from the WBAI Staff lists before anyone could even begin to challenge Pickles' status as a co-producer/host of Back of the Book. But if the faction were to try that they wouldn't pay any attention to legalities anyway. They haven't in the past.

Subject: R. Paul: Thought Experiment
Date: Mon, 01 Nov 2004 03:24:26 -0500
From: Adam
To: rpm@glib.com

I thought you and Sidney might find this intriguing after the discussions tonight about how to deal with the ethics of discovering live homo erectus, etc.

I don't have an email for Sidney-- could you pass it on to him? I'd be curious to hear both of your thoughts on this on the air.



The Alpha Centaurians Have Landed

Actually, this came about largely from a conversation Sidney and I had when I called in to his program Carrier Wave, which alternates with Back of the Book in the 1:00 to 3:00 AM time slot.

Adam included a discussion about space aliens using human being as livestock. Unfortunately, I don't have the rights to it so I can't publish it on this Web site.

What Adam is talking about is the story of the “little people” who have now been designated Homo floresiensis. We talked about this on the previous program. One of the things we don't have to face is the ethical problem of how to live with a species which is very close to humanity but isn't quite human. All of us on the planet Earth now are of the same species: Homo Sapiens. And even though we're all the same we treat each other quite badly. How would we treat a species that's very much like us but not quite as bright? We're lucky our society doesn't have to face this issue.

Subject: enough of Venus and Jupiter
Date: Sun, 7 Nov 2004 22:36:51 -0800
From: Marcus
To: rpm@glib.com

Hi Paul greetings! I hope you don't talk about Venus and Jupiter the rest of the program with all the other important stuff going on in the good ole US of A :-)

humble regards,

Well, not everybody likes the science stuff. Some want a somewhat uniformly political WBAI. We can't please everybody, but we'll do our best to make listenable radio, at least.

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

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