Web links related to the Back of the Book program of June 1, 2009

It's Sunday morning, June 14, 2009, 07:56, and this Web page is finished. I've updated this Web page with a remembrance of Rodger McFarlane and more about the FBI arrests. Previously I'd added the venue of the next LSB meeting and the new timeline for the elections, as well as a photograph and some other items related to this program. Well, we don't have to pitch on this program, so we can see if we can do something that will actually be listenable!

Did you know that I've got a brief synopsis of many of the WBAI LSB meetings? Well, I do, and I've recently updated this stuff a tiny bit.

There was a sudden Town Hall meeting held on Monday, April 13, 2009, at 7:00 PM at The Fortune Society, 630 Riverside Drive at 140th St. in Manhattan. Here's a flyer that was passed out at the event.

The next WBAI LSB meeting will be held on Wednesday, June 10, 2009, at 7:00 PM, in the Community Room of Cathedral Parkway Towers, 125 West 109th Street, between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues in Manhattan.

There was an adjourned meeting of the WBAI LSB held on Thursday, May 28, 2009, at 7:00 PM, in the community room of Cathedral Parkway Towers, 125 West 109th Street, between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues in Manhattan.

This was a continued meeting so we took up the agenda where we'd left off at the March 26th, meeting.

Well, there was the adopted agenda and then there was the agenda that some people arrived at the meeting with. The faction that's rapidly losing its stranglehold on the radio station is going all out because their faction boss isn't around anymore.

So the faction operatives on the LSB, and the crowd they'd brought to the meeting, whom I'll call the FoBs, just disrupted things all through the meeting.

I think that some of the people involved with that faction just have a driving desire to mistreat other people. And since that sort of behavior is in line with what the FoBs consider their political actions those miscreants get verbal support from that faction and so act out. The videos of these meeting would really be something to look at for people interested in seeing various psychopathologies being acted out in public.

And the evidence that the FoBs are lying to the people they bring to these meetings is indicated by some of the alleged listeners demanding that the programming be restored. Well, although there have been some Management changes at WBAI there haven't been any program changes yet. There's nothing to bring back. The programming is the same as it was months ago when the faction boss was basking in the sycophantic adulation of his pals paying tribute to him while he got paid in more ways than one. And none of these people are addressing the fact that WBAI can't support itself, hasn't been able to support itself for years and represents a danger of insolvency and bankruptcy to the entire Pacifica Foundation, which owns WBAI.

In the end a motion was passed that called on the interim General Manager to “Take further measures to correct this violation of journalistic practice and the ongoing abuse of the airwaves.” There's already a directive from the interim Executive Director about some of what the FoBs are doing on the air.

Well, elections are starting today, yes today, at Pacifica. So for the next number of months we'll be seeing the FoBs trying to regain a majority on the LSB and the PNB in an effort to reinstall their faction boss and turn back the clock for WBAI and Pacifica, which would of course result in the destruction of both, which may be exactly their goal.

The LSB has voted to hold the rest of its meetings on the following schedule:

All of these meetings are set to begin at 7:00 PM.

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 10:11 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 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!

The 2009 Local Station Board Elections Have Begun!

The Local Station Board (LSB) is the primary governance body for WBAI. When meeting as delegates the LSB members elect the Directors of the Pacifica National Board, which is the governance body for the entire Pacifica Foundation. The Pacifica Foundation owns WBAI.

Here is the official time table for this crucial election.

UPDATE: at its June 8, 2009, meeting the PNB extended the deadline for registering to be a candidate in this election. The new deadline is reflected below as well as the other changes in the timeline that the PNB approved.

Follow the links below to get the forms to become a candidate.

Here's a link to the official WBAI Web page for this election.

Here's a link to the Web page where you can download the forms to register as a candidate for the WBAI LSB.

Note that you need to register as a candidate by July 14th. If you want to run for election to the WBAI LSB you must register right away.

Why you should consider becoming a candidate for the WBAI LSB.

This election is crucial for the survival of WBAI and Pacifica. WBAI and Pacifica are in a precarious position right now as current Management attempts to reverse the death spiral that the station and the network have been in for years. If some bunch of chuckleheads gets a majority on the WBAI LSB they'll be able to change the composition of the Pacifica National Board and revert to corrupt, incompetent and malfeasant Management, they might even sell WBAI.

We need decent people on the WBAI LSB who will be interested in preserving the station, not in selling it or running it into the ground. Don't assume that someone else will step into the breach to save WBAI, please seriously consider registering as a candidate for the LSB today.

Rodger McFarlane

As reported on this program, Rodger McFarlane died this past fortnight. I knew Rodger from his work as the Director of the group Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) in the early and mid-'80s.

Besides knowing him from various meetings and events we both attended I had interviewed Rodger about AIDS and the activities of GMHC for various gay programs on WBAI.

Rodger McFarlane was the very effective face and voice of GMHC in its early days. He could explain things to the general public, who weren't getting all that much accurate information about AIDS early on, and bring out people who could go into great detail when necessary. From GMHC he went on to be the Executive Director of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, another group that dealt with the AIDS crisis, mostly focussed on helping actors and actresses who have become infected or who need some service related to the AIDS pandemic. After that he became the president of Bailey House, located in what had been an old hotel on Christopher St. and West St. at the far edge of Greenwich Village. Bailey House helps people who have become homeless or nearly so because of the havoc wreaked on their lives by AIDS.

Rodger McFarlane ended his own life on May 15, because he did not want to be totally debilitated by the pain and damage from a serious back injury he'd suffered in 2002, and a heart condition he had. In this he is much like Lew Hill the founder of the Pacifica Foundation, which owns WBAI, who ended his life when he could no longer stand the excruciating pain of a spinal column that was being destroyed by arthritis.

Rodger was a good guy. He didn't get involved in the often petty feuds that have plagued the gay/lesbian/bisexual/trans movement from the beginning. He got stuff done and when it was done he went on to the next thing that he had to get done.

The two of us standing next to each other presented an amusing sight to some. Rodger was 6'7" tall and I'm 5'2". Conducting a fast interview with a hand held microphone required that I fully extend my arm in order to capture what he said. Whenever possible we sat down for such interviews.

Rodger McFarlane will be missed. I wish we had more like him.

Thanks to everyone who pledged on the last program. We ended up with a tally of $1,964.

We got a flyer from the people who run the Queens Pride events, and we read it on the air. They're having their own Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, transgendered Pride march on Sunday, June 7, starting at noon. From their Web site, “The parade starts at 89th Street and 37th Avenue, and goes down 37th Avenue, ending at 75th Street. The Multicultural Festival is on 37th Road and stretches from 73rd Street to 77th Street.” For more information go to their Web site.

The Summer solstice is approaching! It will occur on Sunday, June 21st, 2009, at 1:45 in the morning. I have more details about the seasons and sub-seasons here.

Pickles here. A favorite park of ours that we talked about on the program is Marine Park, the largest park in Brooklyn. It contains a salt marsh where each spring horseshoe crabs arrive to mate, and that event should be occurring on Sunday, June 7, when the Full Moon rises. The salt marsh is part of Jamaica bay, which was formed about 5,000 years ago. And thousands of years before that, it was buried deep beneath the Wisconsin ice sheet, which at one time was two miles thick. Whew! For more on Marine Park in the ice age click here.

A little something Pickles saw in Central Park

This photo of a roving raccoon was taken on a recent early evening stroll through Central Park I took with Ratgirl of the West and Lulu of the Far South. Ratgirl was very excited and ran over to take a closer look; Lulu and I were not so thrilled.

Lulu, despite a great liking for the critters, felt it might take a nip out of her if she got too close, and I felt the same way. So did the mom who along with her little boy was sitting on a nearby park bench. The little boy was just as excited about the big raccoon as Ratgirl, but his mom made him move away as the raccoon crawled through the fence and headed straight for them.

They moved out of its way and the raccoon kept going, crossed the path and disappeared into the bushes on the opposite side.

I talked about the arrests by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of these guys whom I guess we could call the Bronx bombers, unless the New York Yankees object. It really looks like the FBI has some sort of “Cluster of Chuckleheads of the Spring” project going on here. Not that I lament for a second any of these idiots spending their time in jail from now on.

According to the indictment these rocket scientists were planning to blow up the Riverdale Temple and the Riverdale Jewish Center in the Bronx, after which they were going to try to shoot down a military aeroplane at the New York Air National Guard Base at Stewart Airport in Newburgh, New York. Quite the busy night for a bunch of anti-Semitic and anti-American idiots.

While this bunch of chuckleheads appears to be even more mean spirited, murderous minded and likely to act on their violent urges than the previous bunch of chuckleheads arrested in a sting operation by the FBI a couple of years ago I have to wonder if the FBI is just reaching for the low hanging fruit.

I have to say that, from what I've read, at least one of these guys seems to be what is politely called “slow.” That doesn't mean that he can't form criminal intent, as he's done so in the past and has gone to prison for it, as have his four colleagues, but I have to wonder if any of these jerks would have actually started to form plans and accumulate what they thought were the paraphernalia for committing these crimes if an FBI informant hadn't gotten them together and started guiding them.

Apparently a guy called “Maqsood” started trawling the Masjid al-Ikhlas mosque in Newburgh about a year ago for exactly the sorts of guys who ended up in his net. Older and wiser members of the mosque had made this “Maqsood” guy for a government agent provocateur right away. But he had money to throw around and he was able to attract the four dimwits who have been indicted.

Would the four have gotten together to form a conspiracy to actually do something had not the FBI informant facilitated everything? Of course I have no personal knowledge of these dopes but from what I've read I have to wonder if they could successfully plan a picnic, much less a bombing and an assault on military aircraft. Once brought together and motivated, however, they were able to improvise and execute a plan to buy a gun when their first source of firearms had run out of stock.

But if the FBI informant hadn't gotten them together and “helped” them to realize this spectacular endeavor I have to wonder if they would have just continued their lives as petty criminals who groused to each other about “the Jews” and talked big about what they would do to change the world, as do many others who deep down inside know they have already reached the peak of their under achievements.

I just hope that there aren't real bad guys who are quite capable of independently forming coherent groups and plotting real plans with real weapons who are escaping notice because the FBI is concentrating on gullible hate mongers who need the intercession of an FBI informant in their lives in order to raise their criminal activities above the level of purse snatching and common assault.

I used to know a couple of guys back in the Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) who were pals. In the middle 1980s, years after even I had left GAA ( which folded in 1981) I heard about the legal case they'd been involved in.

One had been indicted by the FBI in a sting operation. He'd been caught trying to run guns to some leftoid revolutionaries in a Central American country. He'd beaten the rap, however, because it turned out during court testimony that the person who'd gotten him into their scheme was an FBI informant, the guys who sold him the guns were FBI agents, the Central American revolutionaries were fictional and were in fact just more FBI agents, and basically everyone involved with the case was working for the FBI but him!

And who got him started with all of this? Why his long time buddy from GAA. That long time buddy, the FBI informant in this case, had been implicated, but never indicted, as part of the pair who had torched the GAA Firehouse in October 1974. I often wondered, after hearing about his role as an FBI informant, if this guy had been given a pass by the police and the FBI for that crime so that he could be used by them in cases like this.

That's part of why I'm so cynical about some of these sting operations.

Hey, we talked about the Hubble Space Telescope repairs on the last program. I'm glad to say that the repairs are completed and all of the astronauts have returned to Earth safely.

pink flowers

And indeed it is the Middle Third. And here is yet another photograph of some flowers found growing in someone's front yard. It was one of the rare sunny days in May and Pickles of the North and I were out for a walk. Yeah, it hardly looked like a color that could occur in nature, but there it was. And here's yet another photograph of a flower on a program Web page.

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

Back to the Back of the Book page

Back to my home page.

The contents of this Web page are copyright © 2009, R. Paul Martin.