Web links related to the Back of the Book program of July 23, 2011

It's Saturday morning, August 6, 2011, 02:13, and I've updated this Web page with something about what we'd done after the previous radio program. Previously I'd added the not so great tally that we got pitching, and with more on the repeal of the discriminatory “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy. I plan to do more updates soon. The original top of this page follows the arrow. ⇒ We're pitching again this morning. We're hoping that we'll be able to raise a decent amount of dough. Of course that depends upon what you, the listeners, decide to do. We hope that we do something that's interesting enough to motivate you to pledge. Pitching programs are very chaotic, so there really is not telling what we'll get to on this program. Of course there will be updates to this Web page at some time in the future. Check back for those.

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

The next regular WBAI LSB meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 10, 2011, at a location to be announced.

The LSB met on Wednesday, July 13, 2011, at Alwan for the Arts, 16 Beaver St #501, in Manhattan. The main thing we did was go over the income projections for WBAI's FY12 budget.

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 1:07 this morning. 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.

Back of the Book is again 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 Saturday Morning With the Radio On 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!

In the Summer of 2009, 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. The audio has been posted for the first day of the meeting, the second day of the meeting and the third day of the meeting.

We are 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.

UPDATE: On this program we raised $180 in phone-in pledges, and another $30 so far in Web based pledges for a total of $210 raised. This is significantly less than we're used to raising. Maybe the fact that the station was off the air for a number of hours and came back on just before we went on the air, or that the 15 minute fill-in before us thought that we weren't scheduled to be on didn't help. There are lots of reasons why this low listener response to our pitches happened.

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.

We talked about the end of the so-called “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy that discriminated against members of the military on the basis of their sexual orientation.

On the day before this program aired President Obama signed a certification saying that the American military is ready for the repeal of the discriminatory policy. As per the legislation that repealed the so-called “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” policy there will now be a 60 day waiting period before it's gone and gay, lesbian, bisexual and other service members can feel the yoke of that oppressive policy lifting. Upon signing the repeal certification President Obama said, “As of Sept. 20, service members will no longer be forced to hide who they are in order to serve our country.”

usarv patch
My old USARV patch

I talked about the toll anti-gay bigotry has taken on people in the past. When I was in the Gay Activists Alliance I knew a number of members who had been given dishonorable discharges because they were found to be gay or lesbian. And a dishonorable discharge follows you for life.

I talked about my two goals while I was stationed in the Republic of Viet Nam. They were: 1. to get the hell out of there alive, and 2. to not go to jail. That latter part meant that I had to be especially watchful that I didn't get caught in any situations where I could get arrested for homosexual activity. That didn't mean that I didn't engage in that activity, I just had to be careful when doing it. That's a photograph of a USARV patch I wore over there on the left.

I would never have joined the army in 1968. But I was drafted. I could have checked off “yes” to what I think was item #89a on the form they give you at the physical. That's the part where they ask if you have ever had homosexual relations. I am told that if you checked “yes” on that item that you went to an immediate, initial screening where they established that you knew what you'd just said. Besides those who had no idea what the word homosexual meant there were also those who thought they had to check it off if they had a gay uncle or cousin. If you showed that you knew what you'd answered “yes” to a further screening with a shrink determined if they thought you were gay.

I was in the army with at least one guy who'd checked off “yes” to that question and was grilled by the army shrink only to be told that he wasn't gay. Apparently if you were not overtly effeminate many of the shrinks just thought you were trying to evade the draft and certified you as straight and draftable. Such folks still got dishonorable discharges if they were found engaging in homosexual activity, even though they'd told the army beforehand that they were gay.

I remember talking in the early '70s to Sylvia Rivera about getting drafted. Sylvia said that she had simply showed up wearing female clothing and lace panties and had been thrown out pretty rapidly after everyone was told to strip down to their underwear.

One really famous case of someone checking off “yes” to item #89a and still getting drafted was that of the late Perry J. Watkins who was drafted in 1968, and rose to the rank of Sergeant while being allowed to re-enlist three times. He is also reported by The New York Times to have performed in drag under the stage name of Simone while in the army. In 1990, Sergeant Watkins won a Supreme Court case when the army tried to discharge him for being gay. The Supreme Court ruled that since the army had known he was gay when they drafted him and allowed him to re-enlist that they couldn't claim to have suddenly discovered that he was gay and throw him out.

Unfortunately there are any number of gay men, lesbians and bisexual people who have not won court cases and whose lives have been ruined by discrimination by the military. Starting on September 20th, there may be no more such cases.

The Hubble Space Telescope has found another satellite of the demoted planet Pluto. That makes four of them.

Elevated Acre sign
The Sign for the Elevated Acre

After the last radio program Pickles of the North and I got out of WBAI rather later than usual. So we were traipsing down to Battery Park, as usual, when we passed 55 Water St, as usual.

We've been walking down to Battery Park, past 55 Water St., for years. When we were on at 1:00 AM alternate Monday mornings we would try to get out of the radio station before 6:00 AM. For quite a while in the past we just wanted to get out of there before the obnoxious faction operatives started their day of broadcasting delusions and hate. And after a number of them left, well, we just kept getting out of there early. As a consequence we always passed 55 Water St. before or just after 6:00 AM.

We would always see a banner stretched across the entrance of the Elevated Acre as we walked downtown, but the banner announced that the Elevated Acre was closed. We wondered if the thing was ever open.

Well it was well after 8:00 AM when we passed there on July 9th. And we looked, and the banner that said it was closed wasn't there. It looked as if we could go up there! So we walked in. As can be seen by the sign the thing doesn't open up until 8:00 AM.

Part of the Elevated Acre
A View Along the Boardwalk of the Elevated Acre

So we went up there and it was quite interesting. Our visit occurring fairly early on a Saturday morning we pretty much had the entire place to ourselves. I don't know if it's really a full acre of land up there, but on their Web site they say it is.

There's a large AstroTurf area that takes up a lot of the space. You can walk around on that. And they've got a boardwalk along the eastern edge, as can be seen in the photograph.

You can sit around up there if you like and just enjoy looking at the traffic on the East River, or ogling Brooklyn's waterfront. Since we were there early on July 9th, the Sun was really blazing away at us. Pickles doesn't appreciate that sort of thing as much as I do.

While we were up there only one other person came by, and he just looked around and left. They have tables and folding chairs up there so you could probably eat your lunch up there, if you wanted.

Every inch of the place is visible from a whole lot of windows in the surrounding office buildings, and they have a whole lot of security cameras watching the space. At the northern end of the Elevated Acre they have these frosted glass panels that constitute the “Beacon of Progress” light sculpture. But I guess it has to be on to be appreciated. We've seen it from Water St. for years as we've passed by. But the sunlight was so bright when we were up there that I don't think that they bothered to have it on just then.

I think we'll probably pay the place another visit some morning when it's not quite so blazing and Pickles doesn't feel like she's melting up there.

There are a lot of issues that are considered hazardous to talk about on the air at WBAI, even though the gag rule was lifted in 2002. 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.

One popular list the “NewPacifica” mailing list. Founded October 31, 2000, this list is sometimes lively and as of mid-2011, has 687 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 © 2011, R. Paul Martin.