Web links related to the Back of the Book program of September 20, 2010

It's Sunday, October 3, 2010, 20:53, and this Web page is finished. I've posted the photograph of me voting, and I've added some more about some of the topics we covered on this program. Previously I'd updated this Web page to let folks know that the Local elections Supervisor would be at WBAI until midnight September 30th, to collect ballots for this election. I'd already posted the information about the screwup with the ballot return envelopes; previously I'd added the address of the September 23, LSB meeting, a little more about the Jupiter opposition, and a link to a Javascript applet that will show you right where the Galilean satellites will be. We got through the below topics and more, and also read a lot of our listener mail, on this program. The original top of this page follows the arrow. ⇒ We plan to get through the below topics and more on this program. We also want to put a big dent in the mail backlog.

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 on Thursday, September 23, 2010, at 7:00 PM at 388 Atlantic Avenue, between Bond and Hoyt Streets in Brooklyn.

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 9:40 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!

Last year there was a Pacifica National Board meeting held 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.

If you have not yet received your ballot, or if you have not yet sent in your ballot, for this election then your only option is to go in to WBAI today, Thursday, September 30th, and see Nichole Justice Hylton, the Local Elections Supervisor, and get a ballot and vote on the spot. Ms. Hylton will be at the station to collect ballots until midnight.

The 2010, election campaign has officially started. I got my ballot already! Pickles has only gotten hers as of . 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.

If you've noticed something unusually bright in the night sky for the past month or more you've probably been looking at the planet Jupiter, the largest planet in the solar system.

Jupiter is coming to opposition on Tuesday night, September 21, and Jupiter will be closer to Earth than it has been since 1963; it'll be a mere 369,000,000 miles away. The condition of Jupiter being closer to us than usual along with the opposition will result in the planet being the brightest it's been as seen from Earth in decades. The next time these conditions will occur will be in the year 2022.

There's more about observing this opposition here.

While I was talking about this event on the program I said I'd get some data about the locations of the Galilean satellites for those who might want to see if they can spot them while Jupiter is at opposition. Well, I've found this really great Javascript applet from Sky & Telescope magazine which will show you the positions not only for the time of opposition but for any time in most of our lives. Just plug in the date and time and it will show you where the four Galilean satellites will be, or were, in relation to Jupiter.

We talked about the ruling by Judge Virginia A. Phillips of the United States District Court for the Central District of California that the American military's anti-gay policy of “Don't ask, don't tell” is unconstitutional. Plaintiffs had challenged it on the basis that it violates the Fifth and First Amendments to the Constitution.

Judge Phillips agreed with the plaintiffs and in an 86 page opinion said that the law has a “direct and deleterious effect” on the very military it was supposed to help. Of course we all knew that when it got passed in 1993! She wrote, “The don't ask, don't tell act infringes the fundamental rights of United States service members in many ways .... In order to justify the encroachment on these rights, defendants faced the burden at trial of showing the don't ask, don't tell act was necessary to significantly further the government's important interests in military readiness and unit cohesion. Defendants failed to meet that burden.”

With this ruling, and the moves to repeal this stupid law, it looks like there may be some progress here soon. Of course I got drafted 42 years ago and I really did not want to be in the military at all. But it's another area where the rights of those of us with a minority sexual orientation need to be asserted. I'm just not going to assert any of those rights myself.

I talked about the passing of former New York City Deputy Police Inspector Seymour Pine this past fortnight at the age of 91.

Seymour Pine was the lead cop in the raid on the Stonewall Inn that most of us acknowledge sparked the gay liberation movement in the wee hours of September 29, 1969.

I had met him years ago when I was one of the people in charge of the annual march and rally organized by the Christopher Street Liberation Day Committee (CSLDC). At the same time Detective Hollywood, who had also participated in the raid and Ed Murphy, who was the bouncer at the Stonewall and who had been arrested in the raid, were all in a small room with some of us from CSLDC. I remember thinking about how these people really had been at an inflection point in history, and here I was with all of them in this room talking a little bit about it. I had had Ed Murphy on the air, but Detective Hollywood and Inspector Pine declined. Too bad.

Former Deputy Inspector Pine had a different attitude towards it the events of that historic night when we were all together in the early '80s. I've heard that Deputy Inspector Pine, who had been commander of the New York Police Department's vice squad for Lower Manhattan at the time, had apologized for his part in the raid. Well, things change, and so do we all.

The Autumnal Equinox will occur on Wednesday, 9/22/10 at 23:09 (ET). For more about the seasons and sub-seasons look at this Web page.

RPM voting
R. Paul's ballot in the voting “booth” September 14, 2010

So they had the usual primary elections on September 14th. What wasn't usual was the new voting method. They now have us issued large, paper ballots which we're supposed to fill out by blacking in ovals and then we're supposed to stick the ballot into a machine that reads the blacked in ovals and records our vote. Well, that's how it's supposed to work, anyway.

I think I much prefer the old mechanical voting machines. Those things actually worked. And you could read whom or what you were voting for, or against. These ballots are set up so that the scanning machine can read them easily, not so that people can see what they're voting for. The type is so small that they have to provide a fresnel lens magnifier at every voting “booth” to help people read the tiny type.

And the booths are wide open so that anyone can see how you're voting. In fact as I started to vote one of the people working at my election district polling table came over to look in and see what my number on that green card was! They'd lost count of the number of voters and needed to see what my number was. I was not pleased. People will be snooping to see how others have voted in some cases, and there can be consequences from such behavior. We're supposed to have secret ballots in this country. Well not any more!

And then I went over to the scanning machine and another poll worker wanted to take my ballot from me. I'd heard about them looking over ballots before feeding them into the machine. I refused to let him have it. I put my ballot in, face down, and the machine said it was all right and my votes had been registered.

So everything went all right in the end, yes? I'm not so sure. There were names on the ballot for positions in the Democratic Party Committee, or some such internal crap. I don't know who any of those political functionaries are, so I didn't vote for any of them. I had heard about how the machine flags any ballots where you “over vote,” vote for more than the number of people you can vote for in a particular office, or “under vote” don't vote for every office on the ballot. So why did that machine not bring up the fact that I had “under voted?” Is the machine just some piece of political soma now that allows us to think we've voted but which is preprogrammed to record something else? Paranoid yes, but it's not an unreasonable paranoia.

I think there's a serious possibility that elections will be more corrupt than ever with the new technology they're using.

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.