Web links related to the Back of the Book program of November 16, 2009

It's Sunday night, November 29, 2009, 20:44, and this Web page is finished. I've updated it a little bit, we covered more than the below topics on this program and we read some of the mail. The original top paragraph of this Web page follows the arrow. ⇒ I've been back from Viet Nam for 40 years. We may talk about that tonight. We plan to get to the stuff below and more on this program, we may even get to some mail.

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 regular WBAI LSB meeting is scheduled to be held on Wednesday, December 9, 2009, at a location to be announced. This should have been the meeting at which the Fifth WBAI LSB convened. But the Election will still be going on for a day after this meeting. So this could be an odd meeting.

There was a regular meeting of the WBAI LSB held on Wednesday, November 11, 2009, 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.

Not that many of the FoBs came out for this meeting. Their disruptions were a lot less crazed than previously. They may have realized that they are exposing themselves as bullies and thugs with such behavior so the leaders of that faction have toned down the disruptions.

This ought to have been the last LSB meeting for a number of LSB members. If the elections hadn't been so screwed up we would have had the election results by now, at the latest, and the Fifth WBAI LSB could have been seated at the December 9th, meeting. Exactly what will happen now is a question. There could be a very strange LSB meeting on December 9th.

At the start of this meeting a faction operative, whose name I can say until after the elections are over, pulled an old trick that she'd pulled two years ago. She wanted to put on the agenda a Delegates Assembly meeting for the purpose of removing two people from the LSB.

Two years ago this tactic had been used to try to smear other candidates for the elections then. Her faction could go around saying that action was pending on throwing her opponents off the LSB, which might sway some voters. In fact it takes 16 votes to remove someone from the LSB, and the current majority is very unlikely to start kicking itself off the LSB. Even when the FoBs had a majority two years ago they didn't have the votes to do it. And in fact they just dropped the entire process as soon as it was no longer useful to use these sorts of allegations as smears. One member did amend that motion to allow any number of LSB members to be removed. That was just a little message to the the FoBs that if they want to play such games they can be played both ways.

In the end the LSB intelligently defeated the motion to waste time on any of this.

The LSB renewed the current Programming Committee for another six months.

I gave the Treasurer's Report. All of Pacifica is tight on money, and WBAI is currently up to $1.26 million in the red. WBAI's budget is late but it's coming along. Some faction operatives decided to open their mouths about the late budget. I reminded them that they had passed total fantasy budgets in the past, and that they'd covered up embezzlement at the station. They were not pleased to have their rhetoric brought down to Earth like that. I'll be issuing a Treasurer's Report in writing about the embezzlement.

The 2009, WBAI LSB elections are under way at Pacifica. This meeting was another example of 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.

At its January 21, 2009, meeting the LSB voted to hold its meetings on the second Wednesday of every month and/or the last Thursday of that month, subject to change by the LSB, which gives us 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 main stream was not working at 9:23 PM last night, but the low resolution stream was.

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 the archives have seen 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.

If you have not gotten your ballot yet you need to contact the Local Election Supervisor, Ethan Young, about that immediately! You can call him at 212-209-2828, and you should definitely E-mail him at election@wbai.org.

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. I hope that the listeners will educate themselves about the candidates and vote for good ones.

The official Web page containing the list of candidates and their statements is here. You'll have to scroll down the list to find the WBAI candidates.

UPDATE: WBAI Staff are just not getting ballots. I have had an exchange with the Elections Supervisors, well, with one of them, and I still don't know why Staff aren't getting ballots. Here are the E-mails sent and received on this matter.

The Pacifica National Board (PNB) met in New York City from Friday July 23, to Sunday July 26, 2009.

The meeting was held at the Beekman Towers Hotel, 3 Mitchell Place, in Manhattan, a couple of blocks north of the United Nations.

There's an election going on in Pacifica, so there were a few candidates attending and speaking during the public comment sessions. Some disrupted the meeting.

Here's the Web page I did about this PNB meeting and the amazing things that went on at it.

And the PNB has also met in Houston from Friday October 9th, through Sunday October 11th. The official audio archive of that meeting is here. It was not disrupted as the New York meeting was, although some of the same miscreants got out there to say stupid things.

Toni Short

WBAI producer Toni Short died this past fortnight. I'm told that she passed away due to complications from an emergency medical procedure.

Toni Short produced the overnight program Person to Person which aired on the first three Tuesday mornings of the month from 2:00 AM to 4:00 AM. Ms. Short had done this program since 1996, and had been on the air at WBAI since 1992.

Ms. Short did a free form live radio program and featured music and talk. She always ended her programs with the admonition, “Remember to surround yourself with people who respect and treat you well.”

We're very sad to see another WBAI producer pass away. Our condolences to Toni short's family and to her listeners.

A piece of the Berlin Wall
A Piece of the Berlin Wall, From a Friend

Twenty years ago this week the Berlin Wall finally fell.

We plan to talk about this tonight. Above you can see an actual piece of the Berlin Wall which was given to me by a colleague with whom I worked at that time.

He had relatives who'd been confined to East Germany for decades and he'd not been able to visit them before. So soon after the wall fell, and people realized that it was not going back up again, he went over to see his relatives. They lived not far from the wall, and he described the sounds of what came to be called “the woodpeckers,” tourists and locals who were chipping away at the wall for souvenirs.

So in the midst of all this my friend decided to get some souvenirs too. He brought back little, chipped off pieces of the Berlin Wall and put them in plastic bags, with his short testimonial as to their authenticity, and gave them out to anyone in the office who wanted a chunk of that famous structure.

I remember well when that wall was erected in August 1961, and I was very glad to see it come down in November 1989. We're not planning to do a comprehensive overview of the Berlin Wall, but we will talk about why it fell and why that was a good thing.

On a previous program we talked about the LCROSS impactor that was looking for water on the Moon. Now there comes word that not only is there water on the Moon, but there's a lot of it.

Well, in Maine the voters rejected same gender marriage. More work needed there.

In New York City we saw that with enough money you can just keep buying elections. Didn't we know that already?

On this program we talked about a press release from CERN about the Large Hadron collider's latest mishap. The press release, carried by any number of reputable news organizations worldwide, said that a bird had dropped a bread crumb onto some equipment that was outside the facility and that this had shorted out some equipment and shut down the Large Hadron Collider for a little while. Basically, I think it's a hoax. It had sounded too bizarre to me at first, but then I'd found an actual press release about it on the CERN Web site, but now that press release is nowhere to be found.

U.S.S. New York
The U.S.S New York in New York Harbor, November 2, 2009

After the last program Pickles of the North and I went down to Battery park as usual. We went there later than usual and saw a somewhat different place than we're used to. We usually see a pretty deserted city park by the water. This time there were a lot more joggers and tourists.

The reason why there were more people than usual, and why we went there later than usual, was because of the well publicized maiden voyage of the newly commissioned U.S.S. New York. This ship used some of the steel from the fallen Twin Towers in the construction of its bow.

The ship is huge. It's an amphibious assault ship. I don't know if the United States will ever need to do any amphibious assaulting in the future but if it does this ship will probably be in the midst of it all.

Those are VTOL aircraft on the rear apron of the ship. It can also handle helicopters there.

So we stuck around for q while as the ship made its way up through the harbor to stop opposite the site of the World Trade Center. The ship then continued up the west side of Manhattan to dock near the U.S.S. Intrepid, a decommissioned world War II aircraft carrier which has been a tourist attraction for years.

There were a huge number of helicopters, NYPD, Coast Guard and many media choppers, dancing around this ship as it came up through the harbor. In the foreground you can see two NYPD patrol boats escorting the huge ship. The NYPD boats were also engaged in keeping tourist boats and pleasure craft from getting right up next to the warship. FDNY fire boats sprayed red, white and blue streams from their hoses in salute to the ship and lots of other boats, both official and private, were charging off in all sorts of directions during what looked like a pretty chaotic scene in the harbor.

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 © 2009, R. Paul Martin.