Back of the Book — March 1, 2014

It's Saturday morning, July 5, 2014, 01:14, and I've updated this page with the stuff about Putin's attempt to take over the Ukraine. The original top of this page follows the arrow. ⇒ Okay, yes, we're pitching again. But this should be it till the Spring 'thon. The station really needs the dough. The station also needs to show that it can get better pretty soon, too. Various people on the Pacifica National Board want to cannibalize WBAI. I plan to update this Web page as soon as I can, so check back for that stuff.

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 WBAI LSB meeting should be held on Wednesday, March 12, 2014, at 7:00 PM at a location to be announced.

The WBAI LSB met last on Thursday, February 27, 2014, at 7:00 PM at the offices of the Legal Aid Society, 111 Livingston St. 7th floor, in downtown Brooklyn.

The LSB voted to create an ad hoc Sustainability Working Group of 3 LSB members to come up with a plan that would be sent to the PNB in the hopes that we can avoid a vote by the PNB to lease the station out or to actually sell it. All sorts of stuff happened around that. There were some revelations about one WBAI Director who is in cahoots with others in Pacifica who want to sell WBAI. And we had one faction operative go nuts and freak out because he wasn't getting his way and we were staying too late. It sure did look like he wanted to get violent.

The LSB didn't get to a Treasurer's Report; I put out a written Treasurer's Report for this extra, “emergency” meeting.

At a previous meeting the WBAI LSB voted to hold its regular 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.

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.

WBAI has put up a stream for the Apple iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. 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!

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 Pacifica National Board (PNB) met in Washington, D.C. last weekend. The big news is that they have mandated that there be no negotiations with the four candidates for the PSOA for 60 days.

Given that the PNB has had a change in its membership that has affected the balance of power, this postponement of any negotiations may actually be a ploy by the people who want to sell WBAI to make that sale more likely. It is possible that a PSOA would allow WBAI to come back after a few years, but it would also not result in a big cash influx to the rest of Pacifica, and that is what some people at other Pacifica stations want. Well, things are pretty much up in the air with WBAI right now.

You can listen to the public parts of the quarterly PNB meeting by clicking on the below links:

The Friday session
The Saturday session
The Sunday session
The Monday session


It's Late Winter therefore it's time for second installment of the WBAI Winter 'thon! 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 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.

This 'thon has been, um, interesting. Here's a communication from the General Manager about the reboot of this 'thon.


Map of Ukraine
Ukraine Before the Russian Invasion

So we have previously talked about Valdimir Putin's anti-gay statements and actions, and his spin on all of that for the recently concluded Sochi Winter Olympics.

Well, now Putin's attention is turning to territorial acquisition.

We talked on this program about some disturbing parallels between what's happening now and what happened in Europe in the mid to late 1930s.

Back in 1936, the Summer Olympics were hosted by Germany which, as the Third Reich, was under the rule of the Nazi Party. Adolph Hitler was thrilled with the prestige those Olympic games brought to Germany. There had been talk of boycotting those Olympics, owing to Nazi Germany's re-militarization of the Ruhr Valley and other violations of the Treaty of Versailles which had ended World War I. But the boycott never materialized.

Germany was already oppressing homosexuals and Jews by 1936. But they took down their worst anti-Semitic signage and layed off the roundups of people bound for the concentration camps for the duration of the games.

A couple of years after the games, in 1938, Germany annexed Austria and then started to make noises about the German speaking people in Czechoslovakia. The Nazis referred to this area as the Sudetenland, where some German speaking citizens of Czechoslovakia lived.

Czechoslovakia After Hitler got done with it.
Czechoslovakia After Nazi Occupation

Well, the Sudetenland was also the border where the Czechoslovaks had their defensive infrastructure against the militaristic Third Reich. The Nazis had operatives in the Sudetenland agitating for annexation by Germany. And these Nazis made quite a ruckus, both destabilizing things in Czechoslovakia and lending some very slight credence to the territorial claims of the Third Reich, to those who paid only slight attention to what was really going on.

Valdimir Putin metamorphosing into Adolph Hitler
1938 Meets 2014

This is eerily like what's going on now, with Putin claiming that Russians are getting oppressed by the government of Ukraine. The Ukrainians had ousted their president, who was a puppet of Putin's, over the issue of Ukraine being more connected with Europe on its own. The president who'd been driven out had vetoed their joining the European Union, in favor of keeping Ukraine as almost a vassal state of the modern Russian Empire.

With his puppet deposed Putin has sent in disguised Russian troops, and some aren't even disguised. It is sure looking an awful lot like the Sudetenland crisis of 1938, in Ukraine.

I do not think that world leaders are going to forget the history they read in school about how things worked out after Hitler was appeased and Czechoslovakia was sliced up preparatory for an eventual Nazi takeover of the entire country.

We also plan to talk about Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoing that anti-gay legislation this past week. Hell, that wasn't just anti-gay legislation, it was anti-Constitutional legislation.

ci_20140220_01 (23K)
A Gloomy Day at Coney Island

Pickles of the North and I went to Coney Island this past fortnight. Oh, it was cold. We did manage to look around and note a few things, including damage to the Boardwalk. Will we got to talk about this on tonight's radio program? I wonder.

sidneys_tree_20140215 (38K)
A Close-up of Uncle Sidney's Xmas Tree

After the last program I took a shot of Uncle Sidney's Xmas tree, which he's been keeping up at the station for years. It had to be taken down when WBAI left 120 Wall St., of course, and Sidney re-erected it in the back room area of the CCNY studio that WBAI currently rents.

In looking at the photographs Pickles of the North noticed that I was imaged in one of the silvery balls on the tree. So here is that little detail from the photograph, at full resolution.

sidneys_tree_20140215_detail (22K)
Wasn't There a Twilight Zone Episode Like This?

There was a Twilight Zone episode where they represented another dimension or alternate universe as looking like this. Uh, oh. You don't think that there could possibly be, in that back room area, something sort of unusual happening, do you? Could WBAI be bridging the universes?

Yeah, it doesn't relate all that much to tonight's radio program, but we thought we'd put it up here.

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 © 2014, R. Paul Martin.