Web links related to the Back of the Book program of December 20, 2004
It's Sunday night 12/26/2004 23:19:50 and this Web page is finished. We covered the below topics plus some more on this program. I'm glad to be getting this page for the final program of 2004, done in a more timely manner than I've been doing lately. Pickles of the North had to read some of the E-mail on the air because I was having a little hypoglycemic episode. We'd like to wish a merry new year to all of our listeners! And don't get thrown by the changes in tense below, different parts of this page were written at different times.
The WBAI Local Station Board (LSB) will meet next on Wednesday, January 5th, at 6:30 PM at Community Church, 40 E. 35th St., between Park and Madison Ave. Take the 6 train to 34th Street, or Metro North to Grand Central, transfer to downtown local #6 to 34th St.
Did you know that I've got a brief synopsis of almost every WBAI LSB meeting so far? Well, I do.
The elections for WBAI Local Station Board are over and the faction currently in charge lied and cheated its way to a majority on the WBAI Local Station Board. This is not a good thing. We'll see how it works out over the next few months.
As one of its last acts the old LSB lifted the secrecy from the executive session meeting of March 4, 2004. Here are the minutes of that meeting. The bottom line is that a prominent WBAI personality took the cash receipts of WBAI's Riverside 9/11 event and gave them to someone he knew. After the LSB began an investigation into this the money was returned to the station, eight months after it had been taken.
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.
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.
We covered some gay/lesbian/bisexual/trans issues on this program. Some good news from Canada, and some bad news from a nation state to Canada's south.
The Supreme Court of Canada has issued a 9 to 0 ruling, which is officially called “a reference,” that the Canadian federal government can go ahead and introduce legislation that would redefine marriage for all of Canada to allow same gender people to marry each other. So far six provinces and one territory of Canada have ruled that same gender marriages are okay. This covers 85% of the population.
The legislation should be moving forward in the new year and is expected to pass.
We read from a New York Times article about the more conservative elements of the gay/lesbian/bisexual/trans movement openly thinking about a sort of retreat. The leadership of the group Human Rights Campaign is making noises about retreating from some aspects of the political fight for gay/lesbian/bisexual/trans rights. They've also had their Executive Director resign and have had some other shakeups.
This is the kind of thing that some of we old gay activists have come to expect from the conservatives. They don't prepare things properly, walk into a political fight wearing rose colored glasses and then turn and run when things get tough. Now that they've painted the entire movement into a corner they'd prefer to deal with other issues. Jeez, what a bunch of clods.
Hot on the heels of the November elections that saw anti-gay initiatives prohibiting same gender marriage pass in 11 states some companies in Massachusetts have declared that they are not bound by that state's laws regarding same gender spouses.
Massachusetts has a ruling from the Massachusetts Supreme Court saying that same gender couples have the same right to marry as differently gendered couples do. This automatically granted the same gendered couples who married there spousal rights. But some companies are claiming that they aren't bound by this and are instead adhering to the “Defense of Marriage Act,” which Bill Clinton signed in the middle of the night in 1996, so as to avoid the nasty publicity which he rightfully deserved for such a cowardly act. General Dynamics Corp., FedEx Corp. and Caritas Christi Health Care say they are not going to extend spousal benefits to same gendered couples who are married as per Massachusetts law. This Caritas Christi Health Care company is a Roman Catholic Church group that runs six hospitals in the state. The group Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders is probably going to fight this attempt to get around the law in court.
Even when “Star Wars” dog and pony shows are rigged they don't go right.
The Missile Defense Agency launched a rocket from Alaska and was going to shoot it down with a ground based interceptor missile launched from Kwajalein in the Pacific Ocean. Well, that didn't happen. The interceptor automatically shut itself down due to what the Missile Defense Agency said was “an anomaly” shortly before it launched.
This was to be the first launch using the actual kind of booster rocket that will be deployed.
So far the Missile Defense Agency is claiming that they've successfully intercepted ballistic missiles in tests five out of eight times. In fact the tests have been so scripted that it would have been hard for them to not be able to claim an intercept. A lot of people regard this entire “Star Wars” thing as being just a boondoggle to make some defense contractors, and their political pals, buckets of money.
They launched the rocket, they knew when it had taken off, they knew where it had been launched from, they knew its trajectory, they knew everything about this rocket and still they failed to even get their interceptor to fly.
Some scenario here. Someone does launch a rocket at the U.S.A. and the Missile Defense Agency will have to ask them to hold off for a while because they've got anomalies in their defenses. This is all both laughable and pathetic.
The Winter solstice will occur on Tuesday, December 21, 2004, at 7:42 AM (EST). For more information about seasons click here.
Astronomers have found a new star pretty close to us. This one is 11.8 light years distant, ± 1.8 light years.
It's unusual to find a new star this close to the Sun these days because there's been almost four hundred years of telescopic looking around in our local stellar neighborhood.
The reason why this star was only discovered now, and discovered pretty much by accident, is because it's so dim. This star, with the catchy name SIPS 1259-4336 is a red dwarf star. It's estimated to be only about one tenth the Sun's mass and at spectral type M8 it's thousands of times dimmer than the Sun is.
We did some mail on this program and caught up with all of it for the end of this year. We read several cards and letters that were mailed in and we read what E-mail we had on hand. The E-mail is reproduced here.
Frank was referring to something I read on a previous program about a study that said that large doses of Vitamin E were bad for you. I'm taking a gram (1,000 mg) of Vitamin E a day! I did look at that CoEnzyme-Q10 stuff Frank was referring to and it's so expensive! I don't think I'm going to be buying any CoEnzyme-Q10 any time soon.
And Frank sent us a follow up because I'd skipped his E-mail on a previous program due to time constraints.
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.
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The contents of this Web page are copyright © 2004, R. Paul Martin.