Web links related to the Back of the Book program of November 1, 2010

It's Sunday night, November 14, 2010, 21:37, and this Web page is finished. I've updated this Web page with more about various topics we covered on the program; previously I'd posted some Web friendly versions of the documents that show even more details about Back of the Book, among other programs, getting moved to another time slot and cut back an hour. Previously I'd posted our 'thon tally. WBAI is always such fun. The original top of this page follows the arrow. ⇒ Oh good grief, we're pitching again!? Believe me, Pickles of the North and I don't like it any better than you do. We were informed just the other day that we are going to have to pitch on this radio program. The 'thon is doing badly and Management has extended the 'thon to the end of today, November 1. So we have to pitch. We do hope that a whole bunch of you will help us to raise some money in the name of the program. We hope to get a bunch of radio program done tonight. How much we can do will depend on how fast we can raise how much money though.

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

The next regular WBAI LSB meeting will be held on Wednesday, November 10, 2010, at 7:00 PM in the gallery at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center, 310 W. 43rd St. (between 8th & 9th Aves.), in Manhattan. “The meeting will largely focus on the budget submitted by the Finance Committee.”

There was a regular LSB meeting on Wednesday, October 13, 2010, at 7:00 PM at 388 Atlantic Avenue, between Bond and Hoyt Streets in Brooklyn. This meeting started in executive session (to review Management Search Committee recommendations), and at around 9:00 PM it was followed by a public meeting ostensibly to review and send recommendations on the budget to the PNB. At the public session it was announced that the WBAI LSB had indeed agreed to send the Management Search Committee's recommended short list of candidates for General Manager of WBAI to the Executive Director of Pacifica.

Well, the faction screwed around, ate up time and then moved to postpone the item on the budget! And this proposal passed. Some of the non-faction members of the LSB also voted for this and so the consideration of the WBAI FY11 budget was postponed. The FY11 budget was the only real agenda item for that public session! Dealing with the station's FY11 budget is one of the fiduciary duties of the LSB that's explicitly spelled out in the Pacifica Foundation's bylaws. Oh well, someone will pass a budget for WBAI, it may just not be the WBAI LSB that does so.

At a previous meeting the WBAI 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 8:40 PM last night. The station has a 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 Pacifica National Board (PNB) met in Manhattan the weekend of October 1-3, 2010. I guess those of us who didn't attend will hear about what happened at it some day.

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 Local Station Board Elections Are Over!

And the results are in!

Here is the list of those elected in order of their finish:



Here's the full list of who finished in what place in the listener election.

Here's the full list of who finished in what place in the Staff election.

Thanks to all who voted for independent candidates. The Sixth WBAI LSB is almost evenly split the independents and the former Program Director's faction operatives.

UPDATE: Voting in the WBAI listener election is officially over. The WBAI Staff election failed to meet quorum. It turns out that this was not true. The WBAI Staff election met quorum on September 30th. Why, then did the Election Supervisors extend the WBAI Staff election by two weeks? This is an unanswered question. Also, the National Election Supervisor, Renee Asteria,, wrote to me that “Approximately 200 staff ballots have been cast.” by September 30th. But the voting tally shows a total of only 89 ballots counted. We still don't know if the screwup of sending many of the ballots to the wrong ZIP code has resulted in a lot of those ballots not getting to the proper P.O. Box.

The official Web site of this election was here.

There are a lot of questions about this election. Some of those questions are: who didn't bother to proof read the ZIP codes on the return envelopes? What was the real reason why the Staff election was extended? Why were the so-called Justice and Unity Campaign listener candidates given such preferential treatment, especially when it came to on-air campaign time? There also may have been people who weren't eligible to vote as Staff who were allowed to vote in this election.

Here is a reproduction of the official E-mail from the Election Supervisors as issued on October 4, 2010.

Here is a reproduction of the official E-mail from the Election Supervisors as issued on October 13, 2010.

The 2010, election campaign has officially ended. Pickles of the North only got her ballot as of the middle of September. The ballot arrived with no booklet about the elections. And the return envelope had 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 the former Program Director's faction on the listener side a lot.

Many 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 probably got a lot of people to NOT bother voting at all.

Okay, this election is now thoroughly screwed up like the others were.

We are again pitching on this radio program! If you can please call 1-212-209-2950 during the radio program and pledge some amount of money to help keep Back of the Book on WBAI and help keep WBAI on the air.

If you want to pledge to the program via the Web you need to do so while we're on the air, and you also need to go here and be sure to pick Back of the Book as the favorite show, otherwise your pledge won't be counted towards the program.

I should also point out that WBAI always needs help answering the phones. In order to answer the phones you'll have to get into the building. The building Management 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.

UPDATE: we made a total of $505 pitching on this program. That's a lot better than it looked like we were going to do early on in the program. This was a tough one, especially since we were only given three days' notice that we were actually pitching. Thanks a lot to everyone who pledged.

We're Sort of Moving

When we got to WBAI before this show early on Monday morning we were shown this posting on the bleepin' blue board. Well, that was a bit of a shock.

We are hearing from other producers who have been told they are being moved to other time slots and having their time cut in half. One producer has been told he's off the air entirely and another producer has decided that he would rather resign than be treated in a way that he can't abide.

We got a call on our answering machine from WBAI interim Program Director Tony Bates at 5:17 on Monday afternoon. He said that the grid was changing and that Back of the Book would be affected. When I called back at 7:15 that evening I got his voice mail and the voice mail was full so I couldn't leave a message.

I called the interim Program Director about this again on Tuesday. He told me that he's moving Back of the Book to 5:00 AM on Saturdays! And in that new time slot the program will only be one hour long. Let's just say that we are not jumping for joy about this change in the program. That's going to be quite the change for us, and for our listeners. And, yes, Uncle Sidney will be moving his program Carrier Wave to that same time slot and will continue alternating with us.

Here are the latest documents from Management about the programming shakeup:

Management's Original FormatsWeb Friendly Formats
First letter from WBAI ManagementFirst letter from WBAI Management
Second letter from WBAI ManagementSecond letter from WBAI Management
The new WBAI program gridThe new WBAI program grid
 The new WBAI program grid in HTML format

In the grid I do not know whose picture that is to the right of the data. I think that these program changes are not fully settled.

Of course I've had something to say about all of this. I sent this out as an E-mail on November 11th. If we don't get more listeners soon WBAI will cease to exist.

The Good Stuff Diner
The Good Stuff Diner

To the left is a photograph of the Good Stuff diner on W. 14th St. just off 6th Ave. in Manhattan. This is a place where Pickles of the North and I occasionally have lunch with my male ex. He really likes this place and is a regular there.

We got the news last week that there had been what amounted to a rapid and deadly gang fight at the back of the diner, with one of the criminals involved shot to death. So this was one of those cases where a place you're used to suddenly gets on the news for something totally unrelated to what you're used to doing there. Not the first time for me, but it's always an interesting feeling when it happens.

Would you like to see fewer hours and days spent fund raising on the air? Well, you can try coming to the big WBAI 50th Anniversary event next Monday, November 8th!

This will be a musical review featuring 22 Broadway stars.

Making Waves
November 8, 2010, at 7:30 PM
At the Society for Ethical Culture
2 West 64th Street at Central Park West
Admission $35

You can read more about the event here.

You can buy tickets for this event here. If you can't attend the event there will be DVD put out for it, which you can also buy and help WBAI to survive.

We did report some good news on this program. The Obama administration's Department of Justice has said in a friend-of-the-court brief that human and other genes should not be eligible for patents because they're part of nature and not something that someone has invented.

The brief stated, “We acknowledge that this conclusion is contrary to the longstanding practice of the Patent and Trademark Office, as well as the practice of the National Institutes of Health and other government agencies that have in the past sought and obtained patents for isolated genomic DNA.” For years the Patent and Trademark Office has been granting patents on genes extracted from humans and other living things. It's significant that no lawyer from the Patent Office was listed as a signatory in the brief.

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Public Patent Foundation got some people with standing together and filed a lawsuit which challenged patents held by Myriad Genetics and the University of Utah Research Foundation. This particular case contests patents granted for the genes BRCA1 and BRCA2.

You'd think that if the company and the university could hold patents on those genes then people could sue them if they got breast cancer from those genes. You can do that with other patent holders, after all.

Myriad charges about $3,000 to screen women for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes to see if they're more susceptible than others to getting breast cancer.

Earlier this year Judge Robert W. Sweet of the United States District Court in Manhattan ruled the patents invalid. Myriad Genetics and the University of Utah Research Foundation have appealed.

We talked about the government's anti-gay policy of “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” getting batted around some more. Although the injunction issued by a federal court against the policy is on hold right now, due to anotehr court's ruling, the case is moving forward.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates issued a directive about the policy that appears to almost comply with the injunction that's on hold for discharges of openly gay service members under the law. The memo said that “until further notice,” only five senior Defense Department officials, all civilians, would have the authority to expel openly gay service members: the relevant service secretary has to consult with the Pentagon's legal counsel and the undersecretary for personnel before they can all decide to give a gay service member a forced discharge.

Well, this thing's going to get knocked down one way or another and I think that's going to happen in the near term. Good!

Much as I didn't want to be drafted into the military anti-gay discrimination is anti-gay discrimination and if everyone else gets to join up so should gay people.

The Coney Island beach and some of the Boardwalk

The Coney Island Beach and Boardwalk October 15, 2010

We talked about Coney Island again. There are still all sorts of shenanigans going on with the land and the rides and all there. Click here to see some photographs from a recent walk Pickles of the North and I took there in the aftermath of a storm recently.

We talked about Firesheep on this program. It's a Firefox plug-in that allows you to monitor nearby traffic on whatever network, wired or wireless, that you're plugged into. Skilled people have always been able to do this. Now anybody can. It makes logging on in Internet cafes even dicier that is used to be.

I don't know if there's any hope of getting to it on this program, what with the pitching we'll have to do, but I'd really like to at least touch on the issue of the heaviest neutron star ever discovered. Oh, I just enjoy talking about degenerate matter.

Vandalized 9/11 memorial
Burning Debris That Was dumped on the 9/11 Memorial

So after the last program Pickles of the North and I went to Battery Park, as we frequently do. It's dark there pretty late in the morning this time of year. As we walked towards the 9/11 memorial I saw a guy in a hooded sweatshirt going over the low fence around the 9/11 “eternal flame.” And then he dumped something on the flame and there was a pretty big fire there all of a sudden.

I think he saw us approaching because he left, carrying a large, white cardboard box and something else, right away. I took a photograph of him retreating but he was too far away at the time. I did get this shot of the flame with whatever he'd thrown into it burning.

He may have thrown some flowers that had been left there into the flame. You can see a bouquet on the ground to the left of the flame. After the conflagration was over the cap of the “eternal flame” had some white material melted over its top.

So is this the person who was vandalizing the flame a year and a half ago? And why was this guy doing this? Is he a homeless nutcase? Is he some 9/11 conspiracy nut, or someone else with some political agenda? We'll be watching out for this guy in the future.

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.