Back of the Book — January 5, 2013

It's Friday night, February 15, 2013, 20:07, and I've updated this page with some stuff about our visit to Battery Park after our last program. Previously I'd updated the page with Pickles of the North's account of her border incident that occurred on her way back from the North Pole, and information about the WBAI election results and the LSB. I'll be working on this page more pretty soon, I hope. The original top of this page follows the arrow. ⇒ Merry new year! We'll be talking about various things on this program. This Web page is starting out very thin, but we'll flesh it out over the next weeks. No, really, I will.

The 2012 Local Station Board Elections Are Over!
And the results are in!

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


RUNNERS UP in order

Staff *

* Staff aren't allowed anymore to run as a part of the same slate as listeners, but the designations above show the affinities of the elected Staff.

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

The next regular WBAI LSB meeting is scheduled to be held on Wednesday, January 9, 2013, at Alwan-for-the-Arts, 16 Beaver Street, 4th floor, in downtown Manhattan. There should also be a Delegates' Assembly either before or after the LSB meeting.

The Delegates' Assembly and the WBAI LSB both met on Wednesday, December 12, 2012, at Alwan-for-the-Arts, 16 Beaver Street, 4th floor, in downtown Manhattan. The Delegates' Assembly before the LSB meeting was supposed to have begun at 6:30 PM. It started at 7:10 PM, 40 minutes late. That assembly, which has the same voting members as the LSB, considered the seven bylaws amendments that were up for consideration. I've posted the bylaws amendments on my Web site, you can get to them from the Web page for tonight's radio program. All seven bylaws amendments were defeated. The LSB then met, and rapidly lost its quorum and didn't get much done. I've written a little bit more about this meeting here.

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 newly revamped Web site. The site has gotten many of the individual program pages together to provide links and such, so check it out.

Because WBAI was forced out of its studios by the flood waters' destruction of the building's electrical system we still have this alternate, temporary stream for the radio station! I do not know how long this emergency stream will be up for. If this stream isn't working let me know.

New WBAI stream! WBAI has put up an experimental stream for the Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. This is a brand new, experimental stream. So if you have one of those devices you might try the link out. And let us know how it works for you one way or the other. That way the folks implementing it can iron out any kinks in the system.

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. There is also another version of the archive here.

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 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.

The 2012, Pacifica elections are over. I hope that none of you voted for the so-called “Justice & Unity Campaign,” aka the faction, candidates. We have the election results, and they are, for the most part, good. They're posted above.

Pickles of the North told us about her trip up north this holiday, and the thing that happened on her way home.

I'm Not the Droid You're Looking For

Pickles here, to tell you of my most recent traveling experience. After a lovely holiday visit with my family, which included much merriment and a blizzard which buried everything under a foot and a half of snow, I boarded the choo choo back to Brooklyn USA and R. Paul. I went through U.S. Customs at the border: ID, check, nothing to declare, check. But about ninety minutes later two agents came back to where I was sitting and leaned in. “We need you to come back to the dining car with us just bring your IDs,” they said. “Is there a problem?” I asked. One of them assured me it was only “a name thing” and everything would be fine and just to leave my bags at my seat. So we trooped back to the snack car with me in between the Customs and Border Patrol agents.

Turns out, a name like mine is currently on some kind of list. So I got to sit surrounded by five agents while their boss, who was about twenty years older than the rest of them, played bad cop while constantly looking through a sheaf of papers, never looking at me once. And here are the questions:

Another agent remarked that traveling two or three times a year across the border was suspicious. I just stared at him.

Now I knew that they had already checked my IDs before they hauled me back there, and they knew I wasn't the droid they were looking for. But Agent Twentyears was in a bad mood, or using me to train the others, or something.

So they looked through my IDs again, asked for more ID, wrote stuff down, then handed my “papers” to the young agent who had told me originally that this was only “a name thing.” I asked Agent Twentyears if this was going to happen every time I traveled now - I don't remember his exact words, because by this time I was pretty upset but trying to stay calm, ( I certainly didn't want to be put off the train in the picturesque but still no man's land at the border which I have seen them do to other people for various reasons many times over the past decades) he seemed to indicate that with this extra information I should have less of a problem. And the nice young man who handed my stuff back said I suffered from “common name syndrome.” I think he was trying to make me feel better. Well, ha ha.

Now this isn't the worst border story ever and many people are treated far worse and it's just wrong. But this is my first one-on-five interaction with the border bureaucracy and I will let you know what happens next, because I'm pretty sure it will be ongoing - yuck.

Battery Park after our last program
The “Garden of Hope” in Battery Park is Gone

After our last program we went to Battery Park, as usual. Here you see a photograph of the state of part of the park at the end of December 2012.

The “Garden of Hope” that consisted of a lot of rose bushes is gone, bulldozed out of existence. The cherry trees that lined the “Garden of Hope” and set it off from the walkways on either side of the planted area are almost all gone too. They appear to have left a single tree still standing.

The “Garden of Hope” was dedicated to people who had died of AIDS. As can be seen, there is nothing left there now.

The city has even destroyed all of the benches, and the remains of the paving materials that had formed the walkways, officially named the Eisenhower Mall, are piled up in broken chunks in front of the back hoe to the left.

The “Eternal Flame,” which has been there for years, and has been frequently vandalized, is out. We can't tell, from the distance we're held at by the fence, if the crater and flame mechanism have been removed. The “Peace Sphere,” which was created by sculptor Fritz Koenig in 1971, and sat in the midst of the World Trade Center until September 11, 2001, when it was heavily damaged by the attacks by the al Quaeda operatives, is still there, but there are those who want to move it someplace else entirely.

I am not sure exactly what the Parks Dept. wants to accomplish here, but it's not looking great right now. And removing an AIDS memorial certainly seems in bad taste.

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 Saturday Morning With the Radio On 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 © 2013, R. Paul Martin.