Back of the Book — March 29, 2014

It's Saturday morning, August 9, 2014, 04:04, and I've updated this page with a graphic which illustrates the absurdity of Vladimir Putin's claims on Ukraine. More updates to come, I hope. The original top of this page follows the arrow. ⇒ We plan to get to the below topics and more, maybe even some mail on this program. And we'll be there live, assuming we can get there. So we'll do the usual stuff and we'll hope that those few of you who listen will like that. Check back for updates.

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, April 9, 2014, at 7:00 PM at a location to be announced.

The WBAI LSB met last on Wednesday, March 12, 2014, at 7:00 PM at The Theater for the New City in Manhattan.

The LSB meeting started late. I got in there almost an hour late myself because I was so sick I could hardly move. The LSB elected members to the various PNB committees. Ironically, the PNB itself had not yet voted their members onto their own committees. In fact they haven't gotten that done yet.

The LSB actually got to a Treasurer's Report at this meeting; here's a written Treasurer's Report for this meeting. The actual Treasurer's Report at the meeting was entirely taken up with some housekeeping motions from the local Finance Committee, which I chair. The faction objected and used up time playing games because they prefer for chaos to reign at the meetings. Luckily, the necessary motions got passed and I was able to squeeze other financial information in during other parts of the 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

Chaos and fighting continues on the PNB and at the Pacifica National Office. The people who want to sell off WBAI have started on their destructive path with the firing of the Executive Director at a critical time. The Executive Director, Summer Reese, says she has a contract with Pacifica and that the PNB can't just violate that and fire her the way that they did. So the Executive Director is barricaded in the National Office along with some supporters and the PNB members who want to, among other things, sell WBAI are exchanging barbs with her. Yeah, Pacifica's getting some great publicity from all of this.

UPDATE: the now former Executive Director has issued a press release giving her side of this episode. Here is her press release. Luckily for the Pacifica stations Ms. Reese worked to get the CPB filings done by the March 14, deadline despite having been fired the day before. Had she not done this work Pacifica, and all of its radio stations, would have missed out on all of the CPB funds for which they are currently eligible.

Signs in Russian at Brighton Beach
Welcome to Brighton Beach - Brooklyn

For the previous couple of programs we've been talking about the glaring parallels between Vladimir Putin's Anschluss of Crimea, and his claiming parts of Ukraine for Russia on the basis of Russians, identified as such because they speak Russian, being in Ukraine, and Hitler's Anschluss of Austria and later demands for the Sudetenland, which was a part of Czechoslovakia, on the basis of there being German speakers there.

As we prepare for this radio program we are hearing that some in the U.S. government are concerned that Putin may launch an all out attack on Ukraine in the near future and either take the eastern half of the country or maybe even take over the entire country all together. Maybe an Anschluss of Crimea isn't enough for him. Maybe he just wants to so blatantly restore the Russian Empire of the Czars that he intends to simply absorb and obliterate Ukraine.

Valdimir Putin metamorphosing into Adolph Hitler
1938 Meets 2014

The armed forces of Ukraine would be no match for those of the current version of the Russian Empire, and they have not really fought the Russians over any of these recent territorial conquests, even when their own troops have been murdered or kidnapped. So one wonders if Putin is gambling that he can take the rest of the small nation state without incurring sanctions that are much more inconvenient than what the land grab has already cost him.

If Putin does take the rest of Ukraine, then the diminutive former Soviet satellite state of Moldava, just across the western border of Ukraine, would probably be next.

German Chancellor Merkel has said that Putin is out of touch with reality.

Poland has one city that is chock full of Russians and which has people in it who have made noises about wanting that city to be a part of Russia. Could Putin be nuts enough to go after Poland? A NATO country? That would certainly change a lot of things.

This crap that people who speak a particular language serve as territorial place holders for nation-states that speak that same language is something Europe has seen quite a few times before. If you look at history you can see not just Hitler doing it to grab the Sudetenland, but other countries doing it as well. Hitler's the one that gave that type of land grab a bad name.

But it really is a bizarre concept. I mean, does this mean that after he gets what he wants in Ukraine that the next Russian speaking enclave that Vladimir Putin is going to try to annex will be Brighton Beach in Brooklyn? Look at that small sampling of signs I've posted from that area. Most of those signs would be readable and familiar to every Russian speaker in Ukraine. I really hope that Putin gets stopped.

We are very glad that Spring is here. We plan to play our traditional Beatles tune in celebration.

The Aquarium Mural is gone
The Mural on the Aquarium is Gone!

We went to Coney Island the other day and we found that the mural that's been on the Boardwalk side of the New York Aquarium for the past few years was mostly gone!

We don't know why the mural is gone, but we looked at the blank wall that's left on the building and it's got hundreds of metal bolts sticking out of the cinder blocks, all of them in a pretty advanced state of corrosion. We also saw that the old paint on that wall was blistered off.

We're wondering if the rusty bolts and peeling paint had started to push the part of the wall with the mural on it out, resulting in the mural needing to be taken down. We do not know if the mural was just taken down piecemeal and discarded or if an effort was made to take it down in sections and store it for later re-installation.

It is also possible that the New York Aquarium is just going to remodel that building or maybe even just use the Boardwalk exposure for advertising their next big attraction.

That was a nice mural, we're hoping that it is not permanently gone.

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.