Back of the Book — October 12, 2013

It's Friday night, October 25, 2013, 22:12, and I've updated this Web page with information about how we did on this pitching shift and some more photographs and text about a trip to Coney Island. The original top of this page follows the arrow. ⇒ We are pitching on this program! Yes, again. This is our Fall 'thon. If WBAI can't at least get very near the goal for this 'thon then Pacifica may rent out the signal, or do something else that most listeners really will not like. We must make this goal. Please pledge when we pitch. Thanks. More to come.

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.

I have also posted a whole lot of the minutes of the Pacifica National Finance Committee. I'm a member of that committee because I'm the WBAI LSB Treasurer.

The next regular WBAI LSB meeting is scheduled to happen on Wednesday, November 13, 2013, at 7:00 PM at a location to be announced.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, October 9, 2013, at Alwan-for-the-arts, 16 Beaver Street, 4th floor, in downtown Manhattan.

This LSB meeting started 48 minutes late. The faction got there and had a majority at the start of the meeting. The Vice-Chair had resigned as Vice-Chair because she just didn't want to be harassed and treated badly by the faction operatives. As a result, I had to chair the meeting because I was the only LSB officer who was at the meeting who was also a voting member of the LSB.

So I chaired. The faction moved the agenda around to their liking, since they had a majority, and then they extended the meeting by a full hour, making the adjournment time 10:30 PM.

After some time more non-faction members came to the meeting and there was an 8 to 8 standoff. The faction then wasted a lot of time on one motion that was pretty much a duplicate of a motion passed about seven or eight years ago. And then they brought their big motion of the night. This one tried to force the interim Program Director to roll back all of the changes he's made so far and have him only make changes after big meetings with all the Staff and consultations and, basically, a lot of what gets called “process” but which is really just nonsense. Yes, the interim Program Director was brash and not very nice to some Staff about removing the programs they did from the air, but WBAI is in what is probably the biggest emergency of its existence, and if programming changes aren't made very soon there won't be a radio station here to have programs on. I didn't get to debate this motion because I had to chair the meeting. Faction operatives were obnoxious and disruptive, maybe in an effort to make some of the non-faction members leave. But that didn't work. In the end their motion failed by a tie vote, and as Chair I got to cast the vote that killed it. I would prefer that the interim Program Director be nicer towards Staff, but the priority here is to save WBAI.

At the 10:30 mark the faction tried to extend the meting time even more. They engage in a tactic called sitzkrieg, where they sit out their opponents. Once their opponents leave they will have a majority and they can pass almost anything they please. It didn't work this time.

So we had a meeting that was mostly a waste of time.

We did not get to a Treasurer's Report at this meeting. Here's a written Treasurer's Report I had posted the night before.

One of the chronically disrupting faction operatives got censured at this meeting, at last. And I made the motion to censure him.

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.


It's early Autumn so it's time for the WBAI Fall 'thon! We are pitching on this radio program! If you can please call 1-516-620-3602 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 it's best to do so while we're on the air, you need to go here and pick the amount you want to donate, then click on “Add to cart,” and then be sure to pick Back of the Book as the favorite show from the drop down menu. Otherwise your pledge won't be counted towards the program.

UPDATE: We raised a tally of $500 on this program, which was exactly the goal which had been set for us by Management. Thanks a lot of all who pledged. This will help to keep WBAI going.


cop car on the pier
Cop Car On Steeplechase Pier

So Pickles of the North and I went to Coney Island on October 2. We found that the Steeplechase Pier (I know they're calling it something else now, I still call it by its original name) was open. It had been badly damaged by superstorm Sandy last year.

They were not able to get the pier open again for the season, but on October 2, it was open. And it was crowded.

As we approached the pier was saw a car with a uniformed cop in it driving along the Boardwalk. Driving regular motor vehicles around on the Boardwalk is one of the main things that has been destroying it for the past decade or more.

We watched as the unmarked car with the uniformed cop in it slowly drove onto the pier and through the crowds. After we got on the pier we saw that the car had “DPL” on its license plates. This is supposed to mean that it's the car of some diplomat. So we wondered if the cop was driving a diplomat around, or maybe it was just another clever ruse by the NYPD to be able to park it anywhere and not get ticket, and to be able to avoid having to obey traffic laws even if the cop inside wasn't in uniform.

Well, the car stayed on the pier for quite a while and then just drove away. Those DPL plates are a bit of a mystery.

dredging on theRockaways
Dredging on the Rockaways

Next we have a photograph of the dredging and beach repair operations currently ongoing on the Lower New York Bay side of the Rockaways. The beach in the background was probably devastated even more than the Coney Island beach was by superstorm Sandy last year. It's a pretty elaborate operation with more than one thing going on at once here.

The urination corner of the Steeplechase Pier
The Pee Pee Corner of the Steeplechase Pier

Well, here was something of a surprise that Pickles of the North and I got.

We were sitting on the Steeplechase Pier, see above for my comment on the name, and we were on the part of the pier that's at right angles to the main part that connects to the Boardwalk. This part has a sort of open lattice work canopy over it and they have “CONEY ISLAND” spelled out on that in large, metal letters. It must be an arrangement for impressing people who are flying over the beach in aircraft.

Anyway, Pickles and I were sitting under the “D” on that sign when Pickles noticed guys going right to this corner in the photograph. It did not take long to figure out that for some people on the pier this was considered to be an open air, public urinal!

Here you can see what Pickles dubbed “The pee pee corner” in its unoccupied state. The plastic boards right in that corner, however, are wet, and it's not from the ocean spray or anything like that.

And this was going on with that cop sitting in the car with the DPL license plates maybe 50 feet away. Jeez, talk about the breakdown of society.

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.

We like to stay interactive with our listeners. Here are the various options for you to get in touch with us.

You can also send me E-mail.

And now you can even reach me on Twitter Twitter logo

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.