Web links related to the Back of the Book program of August 23, 2010

It's Sunday evening, September 5, 2010 19:44, and this Web page is finished. I've updated this Web page with more about the various topics we covered on the air. Previously I'd posted the information that the September 8, LSB meeting was cancelled. I'll post its rescheduled date when I find out what it is. The original top of this page follows the arrow. ⇒ What the hell is a Natatorium? Pickles of the North will reveal all on tonight's radio program! It's late Summer and the Middle third is drawing to a close. We plan to cover the below topics and maybe more on tonight's program.

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

The next regular WBAI LSB meeting will be held at a date to be announced at a location to be announced. The meeting originally scheduled to be held on Wednesday September 8, 2010, at 7:00 PM, has been cancelled.

There was a LSB meeting on Wednesday, August 11, 2010. We had a report of sorts from Tony Bates the interim Program Director. He was adamantly averse to having his picture taken at this meeting. There was a lot of back and forth, and I suppose some thought it was a revelatory segment of the meeting. This report lasted an hour.

Faction operatives tried once again to shut down the Management Search Committee. They just want to see if they can stop it from hiring a new General Manager and then they think they can plug their larcenous faction boss into a position at WBAI where he can reign over a kleptocracy and reward his cronies with the fruits of listener donations.

Speaking of the Management Search Committee, there is also a dispute about just to whom that body reports. I've posted my opinion about it on the bleepin' blue board.

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. And you can see the status of the streams at any time by clicking here. The stream was working at 8:48 PM last night. The station has a new Flash stream here, make sure you enable Javascript so it can work for you.

WBAI is archiving the programs! Just go here and you'll be able to listen to this program any time for the next couple of months. You may need to scroll up one line to see the audio archive. Let me know if you find this feature useful.

If you want to listen to any part of the WBAI archive click here to go right to the archives. 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. Or to see only the two shows in this time slot click here.

For legal reasons, WBAI stopped making podcasts available as of June 28, 2010.

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

In the table on the archive 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!

Thirteen months ago there was a Pacifica National Board meeting going on in New York. 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, 2009. 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.

The Executive Director of Pacifica, Arlene Engleheart, appointed another new interim General Manager of WBAI on June 24. So far there's been a Staff meeting to introduce Berthold Reimers as the new iGM, but Pacifica Management has not issued anything in writing yet. When they do I'll post a link to it.

The 2010, Pacifica election cycle has begun. A National Election Supervisor has been hired, she is Renee Asteria. The official Web site is here.

The 2010 Local Station Board Elections Are in Progress!

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.

This election is crucial for the survival of WBAI and Pacifica. The Sixth WBAI LSB, which will be created by this election, will last for two full years. WBAI and Pacifica are in a precarious position right now as current interim 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 where you can see updated information about the election is here.

The 2010, election campaign has officially started. I got my ballot already! Pickles has not. The ballot arrived with no booklet about the elections. And the return envelope has no stamp on it. The lack of a stamp on the envelope will affect both the Staff and listener elections, but it will potentially really affect the listener election. This, I think, favors a certain faction on the listener side a lot.

The listeners may not even realize that they've gotten a ballot! And then they will not know who the candidates are at all, but there will be at least two names that they'd have heard on the air. And those are faction candidates.

The lack of a stamp on the envelope will get a lot of people to NOT bother voting at all.

Okay, this election is starting out screwed up like the others did.

I think we'll be talking about this shrinking Moon thing tonight. I've heard it made a mess of on TV news shows.

We talked about the so-called Ground Zero Mosque on this program. We'd wanted to talk about it on the previous program, but pitching makes a mess of a lot of plans. We did post something about it on the previous program's Web page.

The bottom line is that there is a First Amendment in this country. Now I'm an opponent of all superstitions, but if any are allowed to build their palaces to superstition someplace then all should be. How would people react to a dictate that no churches could be built within a certain distance of some location?

We noted that Adolph Hitler was probably raised Catholic. He was certainly raised as a Christian. But during world War II you didn't see people demanding that no Christian churches be built anywhere near a military cemetery or defense plant or anything. Of course most people in the United States are Christians, so that's why they would never think of discriminating against Christian churches. It's always the other whom we discriminate against.

People are saying that muslims are violent and so they shouldn't be allowed to build their big community center there. Well all of the other branches of the Abrahamic superstitions are violent too. Jews and Christians are not exactly known for their peaceful and kind behavior all the time. Just read the Old Testament for the awful Jewish behavior or look at church history for the christian versions. And, I hasten to add, a lot of the non-Abrahamic superstitions are just as bad. After all, none of the religions really makes a difference, there aren't really any gods, we're just seeing human nature coming out unchecked in this case.

This reaction to the attempt to build this mosque and community center at 4551 Park Place in lower Manhattan, not so far from WBAI's current headquarters, is very similar to what was done to persons of Japanese ancestry, many of whom were American citizens, on the west coast of the United States during world War II. Almost everyone finally acknowledged that that had been a blot on the civil rights record of America, decades later, but it seems that many just can't see that this is the same sort of hysterical hate situation.

It should also be noted that there's been a mosque in that location for a little while now and no one went nuts about it before.

Various right wing politicians, and “tea party” dimwits, have seized on this issue and are fanning the flames of sectarian hatred in order to achieve various personal, selfish goals. Unfortunately, this kind of mob behavior can garner votes for politicians. It certainly has in the past.

So people really should just relax about this so-called Ground Zero Mosque, which is actually called Cordoba House or Park51, and let people enjoy the rights we're all supposed to have in this country.

The Human Genome Project surprised everyone with how little of the DNA that we have really does anything. Of the 3 billion plus genes in the human genome only about 25,000 or so actually code for things. There are also some genes that are there for what in computer hard drives would be called formatting chores, but most of the human genome is what's been called “junk DNA.”

Well, some scientists have found that sometimes that “junk DNA” that seems to have been inactive for up to millions of years can suddenly start coding proteins and this may cause a number of diseases. We plan to talk a little bit about this tonight.

We were outraged at the murder of a couple of people in Afghantistan who'd eloped and then been lured back to their village by promises of forgiveness. And then the Taliban had them stoned to death.

Their relatives had conspired to get them murdered. And the Taliban were glad to oblige.

I really have to say that I think that the Taliban are not compatible with life in the 21st Century. I think that the Taliban are in no way any better than the Nazis of the Third Reich and I wish them the same fate.

The fact that the relatives of the two people who were murdered participated in all of this really shows that some people in Afghanistan are also not ready for the 21st Century.

In areas where the Taliban are resurgent women are again being intimidated. The Taliban has attacked your school girls for the crime of going to school in the past. And although the current Afghan constitution guarantees certain rights to women, the Taliban and their supporters just don't care.

When Time magazine put a photograph of an 18 year old woman from the Uruzgan province of Afghanistan on its cover recently various Afghans were very put out by it. The cover showed that her nose and ears had been cut off by her husband, who is a member of the Taliban, because she had run away from him. She had been a child bride for this filthy Taliban creep. In January a 13 year old and a 14 year old were publicly flogged in front of their entire village in Ghor province for having tried to run away from their husbands. The Afghans who were outraged at the Time magazine cover don't seem to have gotten exercised enough about these real outrages to do anything about them.

One really gets angry at seeing stories like these.

natatorium (8K)

What the hell is this thing? Pickles of the North enlightened us all on this program.

Pickles here! This is a photograph I snapped on my recent trip to the North. It shows our local swimming ‘hole,’ the Natatorium (a structurally separate building containing a swimming pool), or The Nat, as generations of kids have called it since it was built in 1930.

The pools are actually out in back of the building. Even my mom and dad went swimming there when they were kids, it being the only public pool available, and then it was brand spanking new!

It sits next to what used to be a boardwalk, now a park with pathways, on the banks of the St. Lawrence river. The OfTheNorths spent many decades cooling off in the super chlorinated waters of The Nat, tripping on its Depression era cement surfaces and scraping our knees and bloodying our lips. No Running be damned!

But the most visceral memories of The Nat, beside the deep pleasure of swimming on a summer's day, are two: the grating sound of the floor to ceiling iron turnstiles as you paid your pittance to get in (you were guaranteed to have a metal taste in your mouth just from the sound of it until you actually hopped into the water); and, after you changed in front of all the other girls, had your clothing stuffed into wire and wooden lockers and the attendant handed you a big metal pin with the locker number on it, proceeding to the dreaded foot bath that was embedded in the floor just before you could walk outside to the pools. It was full of disinfectant, murky looking, and most kids crept along the slippery sides rather than walk through it. Try and keep us from fungal infections, will they - hah!

On this program I read a wire service report about a young woman who had met a terrible death in Springfield Illinois. I read this item because it seemed to me to give a sense of how uncertain life really is.

Almost an inch and a half of rain had fallen on Springfield by the time the 23 year old woman and a male friend had driven onto a flooded viaduct. The car got stuck there. The man and woman got out of the car to push it along but the woman fell into an open manhole that was concealed by the flood water. It took several minutes before the man and a police officer were able to get her out of the manhole. By that time she was dead.

This tragic occurance illustrates that it can always get worse. I can imagine that the two of them were in the car, it got stuck on the flooded viaduct and they probably were both chagrined that they had to get out to push the car, they knew that they'd get wet not only from the storm but from having to wade through the filthy water. At that point it probably seemed like the worst time they could possibly be having. And then she slipped into the submerged manhole and it got much worse.

This story also shows that you never can tell when something is going to go horribly wrong. We're used to seeing the ground. So when walking through the water the young woman probably had no thought that there might be a deep hole that was concealed beneath the water. So the next thing she probably experienced was being in a dark place and being under water. She probably couldn't see, she certainly would have been surprised at the sudden immersion and she seems to have not been able to find her way out. Life is uncertain and any situation can turn dangerous. We often just don't know when something very serious is about to happen.

a bumble bee on an echinacea flower
A bumble bee on an echinacea flower in mid-Summer

Well, this program is taking place in late Summer. Late Summer began just before 6:00 PM yesterday, sunday. Over the past fortnight Pickles of the North and I have wandered about a bit. And I thought that this photograph of a bumble bee on an echinacea flower was sort of emblematic of that time. Hell, I just post photographs of flowers sometimes.

You can read a little more about the seasons and sub-seasons 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 © 2010, R. Paul Martin.