Back of the Book — July 4, 2015

This is our annual Christopher Street Liberation Day program! It's also known as our Pride Program. We plan to talk about the march, and some ancient history, along with various other topics on this program. 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 will be held on Wednesday, July 8, 2015, at 7:00 PM at a location to be announced.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, June 10, 2015, at 7:00 PM at the ARC Central Harlem Senior Center, 120 West 140th St., New York, NY 10030, between Malcolm X and Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. in Manhattan.

The meeting started very late. There was a lot of wrangling about the agenda. The Chair insisted on imposing details on the agenda that the LSB had not agreed to. The General Manager reported some figures that I had to ask about. Did WBAI really raise a tally of about $92,000 over the last three days of the Spring 'thon? Really?

There was, for a change, a Treasurer's Report at this meeting. There was very little time and I had to rush a couple of motions onto the floor. As usual I put out a written Treasurer's Report for all to read.

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.

Here is WBAI's current Internet stream. The stream does appear to be working at this time.

WBAI is archiving the programs! WBAI has permanently switched to yet another new archive Web page! This one is more baffling than the previous one. We have to put archive blurb copy in before the program airs. The person in charge of the WBAI Web site says, “If you fail to create a playlist, your show may not show up in the archives at all.” So we made an archive blurb long before the program.

This is a link to the latest version of the official WBAI archive To get to this program you'll have to click on the drop-down menu, which says “Display,” and find Back of the Book on that menu. We're pretty early in the list, so it shouldn't be too difficult. Once you find the program name click “GO” and you'll see a list of programs, most of which are Back of the Book programs. I will see if this can be made easier to get to, but they've only recently implemented this new page and I haven't had time to see what I can do with it. Good luck.

Since the General Manager has banned Sidney Smith from WBAI there's no telling what's on in the alternate week's time slot anymore.

The Pacifica National Board (PNB) met in Washington, D.C. February 7-10, 2014. 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 a number of workers have quit their jobs in disgust. The people who want to sell off WBAI started on their destructive path with the firing of the Executive Director at a critical time. The Executive Director, Summer Reese, said she had 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 barricaded herself and the National Office workers in the National Office along with some supporters. Yeah, Pacifica got some great publicity from all of this.

The disputed Executive Director 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 been ineligible for CPB funds, which have been a significant part of every station's budget.

UPDATE: There have been lawsuits filed, and judgments rendered in the cases brought by the minority PNB members against the actions of the majority PNB Directors. I'll keep this running battle updated on the appropriate Web page.

Bring Back Uncle Sidney!

Our friend, fellow WBAI producer and Saddle Pal Uncle Sidney Smith has been banned from WBAI by General Manager Berthold Reimers. The General Manager will not say why. He won't even tell Sidney why he's banned! This is grossly unfair to Sidney and constitutes abuse of Staff. Why did Berthold ban Sidney?

There's a posting here about it. More to come.

Christopher Street Liberation Day 2015

Pickles lined up before the march.
Pickles of the North Before the March Started

We plan to talk about the Christopher Street Liberation Day March that was held on June 28, 2015. Oh, there was a lot of stress caused by what was posted to the Heritage of Pride Web site about the march. I only noticed it all the night before.

Here you can see Pickles of the North, wearing her WBAI T-Shirt as designed by our own Uncle Sidney Smith. When I say that this is where people lined up before the march, you can see that the words “lined up” are taken with a pretty loose meaning.

It had rained heavily the night before, and for part of the morning before the march. We had a mist that went from light to heavy, and then to a drizzle just before we stepped off from our E. 40th St. lineup area. We think that this meant for fewer attendees than usual.

We're “lined up” here with the New York Area Bisexual Network, and we marched with them. There are a number of bisexual organizations that sort of coalesce into the New York Area Bisexual Network.

An Imperial Storm Trooper!
An Imperial Storm Trooper Was There

Yes, anyone can be gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered, even an Imperial Storm Trooper. This march watcher would probably win the award for the person who traveled the farthest to get to the march. I doubt if anyone else came from a galaxy far, far away.

This Servant of the Emperor didn't let a little rain before the march, and some drizzle during it, stop him!

In some places on Earth, however, things were not so good. In Seattle, WA some gang of creeps went around purposely attacking gay people, leaving two gay men beaten bloody. In Istanbul, formerly Constantinople, Turkish police attacked the peaceful crowd gathered at Taksim Sq. and used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the crowd. The people in charge of Turkey are clearly not enlightened folks.

The Brooklyn Heights Promenade Early in the Morning
The Brooklyn Heights Promenade After Our Last Program

After the last program Pickles of the North and I went to the Brooklyn Heights Promenade for the first time in quite a while. It's pretty easy to get to from WBAI's current location.

Pickles was tired, and was taking a little nap next to me as we sat on the bench from which I took this photograph.

While I was busy taking photographs and scribbling away, as I tend to do, a young woman came walking up to us, said, “Good morning,” and then started talking about the murders in Charleston, South Carolina. Pretty quickly she started pitching something. Turned out that she was a Jehovah's Witness. And she woke Pickles up with her talk and started trying to palm off some Jehovah's Witness brochures on the half asleep Pickles. Pickles woke up enough to refuse the silly, superstitious stuff, and the woman left, but poor Pickles was not pleased to have been roused from her little nap.

Maybe the next timer we go there we won't be bothered by people pushing their superstition on us. We can only hope.

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 formerly popular list is the “NewPacifica” mailing list. Founded October 31, 2000, this list has been moribund for a couple of years due to de facto censorship by the group owner. As of early 2015, it has 693 subscribers coast to coast, but postings on it are very infrequent now.

Back in the day it sometimes also got a bit nasty. All sorts of things used to happen on this list and official announcements were 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 © 2015, R. Paul Martin.