Web links related to the Back of the Book program of December 1, 2008

It's Sunday night, December 14, 2008, 19:27, and this Web pae is finished, I've updated a couple of things, including the bit about Pickles' Xmas tree. Previously I've put in the information about the venue of the LSB meeting, and the story about Pickles of the North getting ripped of when buying an Xmas tree, I'd already added the information about our pitching on the next program. It's a raw night out. We plan to get to the below topics and more tonight. We'll also make a run at the mail. I plan to update this Web page over the next few days, no really, and so you might want to check in for those updates.

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

The next regular WBAI LSB meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 10, 2008, at 7:00 PM, at the Judson Memorial Church Assembly Room, 239 Thompson Street (just south of Washington Square Park, between W. 3rd & W. 4th St.), in Manhattan.

The LSB meeting is supposed to be preceded by a meeting of the Delegates' Assembly at 6:30 PM at the same location.

There was a meeting of the WBAI LSB held on Monday, November 3, 2008, at the Judson Memorial Church Assembly Room, 239 Thompson Street in Manhattan

At this meeting we were supposed to have elected people to the Management Evaluation committee and the Programming committee. Well, the members of the so called Justice and Unity Campaign didn't want any of that to happen. So during the General Manager's Report they had one of their operatives who's not on the LSB act as if he was going to ask the General Manager a question during the time allotted for that. Instead of asking a question he launched into a diatribe about how the lawsuit that was filed to try and get the last election to be done fairly was costing WBAI money.

Actually, the plaintiffs in that case are not seeking monetary damages, they're still trying to get the election to come out fairly. What's costing WBAI loads of money has been serious mismanagement over the years and the so called Justice and Unity Campaign operatives, aka the FoBs, approving fantasy budgets for the years when they had a majority on the WBAI LSB. Now the entire Pacifica Foundation is in serious financial trouble because of all of their shenanigans.

So this guy does his diatribe, and then his time runs out. But he doesn't stop, he just keeps going on. He later admitted that he was disrupting the meeting on purpose. when he refused to stop after the Chair had told him his time was up more than once some of us started shouting at him to stop it. So at once point I shouted, “Quit taking the fucking time you asshole!”

Well, the FoBs started getting all mock outraged at this. And then they, the so called Justice and Unity Campaign operatives disrupted the meeting clucking their tongues about it. Ironically, among the posturing FoBs were Lisa V. Davis, who tried to physically intimidate another LSB member after a meeting because Ms. Davis found a question she was asking inconvenient, and Omowale Clay whom I once watched threaten physical violence against a member of the public at a LSB meeting.

Of course it was really all about the FoBs preventing the LSB from doing anything. In a few months it'll be election time again and they want to be able to say that the current LSB, where they do not have a majority, didn't get anything done just as happened when they had the majority. Ho hum, meanwhile the entire Pacifica Foundation is on a financial razor's edge.

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. The stream was working at 5:41 PM yesterday afternoon.

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 months. When you first go to the Web page you'll only see the WBAI programs for the past 7 days. If you want to see older programs you can click on one of the “See ALL Shows” buttons.

Back of the Book is now one of the programs that you can download, as well as listen to on line.

I'm glad to announce that with a new person doing the archives there have been some positive changes. In the table on that Web page Back of the Book and Carrier Wave are both in the Show column. The “Date and Category” column shows the date of the program. After the program I go in and write the details of the program and say which program it is. Of course I'd recommend that you just listen to both programs in this time slot!

Facing AIDS - World AIDS day 2008

Today, December 1st, is World AIDS Day. The idea behind this day is to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS and to promote education regarding this deadly disease syndrome.

As an ancient gay activist I know about HIV and AIDS all to well. A whole lot of people I used to know have died of AIDS and a lot of those who are still around are having to deal with HIV infection on a daily basis.

One of the problems these days is that there are various people, whom I refer to as AIDS cranks, who deny that either HIV or AIDS exist, or who have some variant on that theme. I think these AIDS cranks are detrimental to the public health. A lot of them try to trot out arguments that were refuted 10 or 15 years ago. They usually start to holler “Big Pharma” when you refute their nonsense. They're a lot like the 9/11 conspiracy nuts in their mindless acceptance of make believe in the face of reality.

Why are AIDS cranks actually worse than 9/11 conspiracy nuts? Because sometimes the AIDS cranks get people to listen to them and that can get those people to do things that will spread HIV and AIDS.

Here's the bottom line: HIV is real, it causes AIDS. AIDS is an incurable, fatal disease. There are some treatments for it these days, but there is no cure. And those treatments require rigid adherence to a regimen of taking pills, and some of those pills do pretty unpleasant things to your body while keeping the viral load down. I know people who've been on these treatments for quite a few years and I've seen all of this up close. It's very difficult to arrange your entire life around the treatments for AIDS, and even then the medications have unpleasant side effects. Also, not everyone can even use those medications. Some people are just genetically unable to handle them. For them the deterioration of the immune system is something that can proceed rapidly to death.

So AIDS can't be cured and it will kill you. The only way to survive AIDS is not to get infected with HIV in the first place. And education is the only way to get people to avoid getting infected. Anything that interferes with that education can cost lives.

So I'll be talking about this on the program.

We also celebrated Pickles of the North's birthday on this radio program. Merry Birthday Pickles!

We've been informed that we'll be pitching on the next program on December 14/15.

We hope that you'll pledge to WBAI while Back of the Book is on at that time.

If you listen to the radio program on tape or via the archives you probably won't be able to pledge during the program, but you can send us a check ahead of time. A regular one year membership is $25. So, if you can, please send a check made payable to “Pacifica/WBAI” and send it to:

R. Paul Martin
120 Wall St. 10th floor
New York, NY 10005

We are mere months from the start of the next WBAI LSB election process. I hope that all of you will join WBAI as members and be not only eligible vote in those elections but be able to run as candidates for the LSB. And I hope that none of you votes for any of the crumbbums who will run on the so called “Justice & Unity” slate.

And we hope that everyone who listens pledges or sends in a check.

I should also point out that we'll need help answering the phones. In order to answer the phones you'll have to get into the building. The building Management now requires that you get your name added to a list so you can enter 120 Wall St. So if you want to volunteer to answer phones for this 'thon you should call the WBAI switchboard at 1-212-209-2800 during business hours and let the folks in charge know you want to volunteer so they can put your name on the list. We always need more folks to answer the phones so if you want to volunteer to answer the phones for another program during this 'thon the above procedure is the way to do it.

We're going to be talking about what may count as “weird science” on the program tonight. Is dark matter actually an artifact of the momentum of massive Kaluza-Klein particles in the fifth dimension? Do those Kaluza-Klein particles sometimes collide with each other in the fifth dimension and spit out an electron-positron pair into our universe? Well, we can't answer these questions, but we plan to bring them up on this program.

The Winter Solstice will occur on Sunday, December 21st, 2008, at 7:04 AM (ET). For more about the seasons and sub-seasons look here.

And on December 9th, the time of sunset will begin to move later again, which I'll be glad about.

The tree with the big bald spot
The tree with the big bald spot

On the show we talked about Pickles of the North going out to buy a Christmas tree, a.k.a. a Chanukah bush, or an Isaac Newton's Birthday fir. She really just wanted to have a live tree this year rather than an artificial one.

Well, she bought this tree in the photograph and she got ripped off! As you can see there's a huge bald spot on this tree. There are no branches in that bald spot and it reveals the somewhat deformed trunk of the tree. The bald spot was hidden by some branches from another tree that had been tied onto the trunk of the tree that Pickles was sold.

She bought it in Manhattan, just across from St. Vincent's Hospital on the east side of 7th Ave. by W. 12th St. A pleasant seeming young woman from Quebec sold her this tree, representing it as all natural and she even bounced it on the sidewalk to show how fresh it was. Pickles says that very few needles fell off the tree when the young woman selling it bounced it on the sidewalk.

Pickles lugged this thing onto the subway and carried it all the way home to Brooklyn.

When Pickles got home we talked about the tree, and we decided that it had to be cut again at the bottom so that it could soak up water and have a chance at lasting for three weeks or so. We had quite a time getting that approximately three inch thick trunk cut. We first found my father's old wood saws, but they're made for cutting boards, not trees that are still seeping sap. Eventually we found my father's old electric jigsaw and we were able to cut an inch or so off the bottom of the tree.

As Pickles began to put decorations on the tree she found that part of it was moving when she tried to attach things to it. That's when she discovered that some branches had been tied on, and they were tied on with green string to camouflage the deception! When she took the tied on branches off she saw the bald spot.

Leaving the extra branches on was not an option because they were not at all stable and they would have rapidly dried out in the course of a few days and probably would have dropped any decorations attached to them.

So caveat emptor when buying trees for whatever your holiday festivities are this year.

I'm sure that Pickles will make the best of it, but I'm still pissed off at the thieves who cheated her like this.

UPDATE: As it turns out Pickles got ripped off even more than we knew on this tree! We've posted those photographs here.

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. UPDATE: The bleepin' blue board has had to add a step for folks to get onto it because it's under attack by spambots. When you click on the above link you may be asked for a username and password. Type in Username: poster Password: enternow

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 © 2008, R. Paul Martin.