Back of the Book — January 2, 2016

It's Saturday, January 16, 2016, 02:27, and I have updated this Web page with our new year's greeting, I'd previously updated it with information about the election, which ended on January 4. The original top of this page follows the arrow. ⇒ Our plan for this program is to talk some more about sleep, and to get to as many of the various other topics as we can. We will try to get updates here soon.

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,January 13, 2016, at 7:00 PM at the ARC CENTRAL Harlem SENIOR CENTER, 120 West 140th Street, New York, NY 10030, between Malcolm X and Adam Clayton Powell Blvds. in Manhattan.

The WBAI LSB met on Wednesday, December 9, 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 late. We had a presentation from the Local Election Supervisor, and the LSB voted to hold an executive session meeting after the public portion of the next LSB meeting.

There was a very small Treasurer's Report at this meeting. As usual I put out a written Treasurer's Report for all to read.

Some years ago the WBAI LSB voted to hold its regular meetings on the second Wednesday of every 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. We can no longer tell if the stream is working without testing every possible stream. Good luck.

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.

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.

blood drop
Anti-Gay Blood Ban Partially Lifted

We plan to talk about the federal Food and Drug Administration partially lifting the ban on gay men donating blood. This ban has been in effect for 30 years. David Stacy, of the Human Rights Campaign said, “It continues to stigmatize gay and bisexual men, .... It simply cannot be justified in light of current scientific research and updated blood screening technology.”

The ban was originally imposed as part of the panic that the Reagan Administration flew into when some parts of that administration finally realized that AIDS was a problem and that HIV was the probable cause of the disease.

new_year_2016 (47K)
Merry 2016 to All — While it Lasts

And of course we wished a merry New Year to all of our listeners. We weren't able to talk about the rumors that were going around before air-time that North Korea was close to touching off a hydrogen bomb. And then that putz sets one off right after we get off the air.

We'll probably be able to talk about it at least a little bit on the next program, assuming we have one. Yeah, count on a dynastic commie dictator make an entire year start out looking like the prelude to Armageddon.

Merry new year anyway.

A ballot.
Maybe Your Vote Will Save WBAI

The WBAI/Pacifica elections end tonight, January 4, 2016, at 11:59 PM. If you are a member of WBAI due to having contributed $25 or more to the station by August 17, 2015, or having done more than three hours of work for the station as a volunteer over the year ending on August 17, 2015, then you are eligible to vote in this election.

If you really want to use a paper ballot then it looks like your only hope is to vote at WBAI tonight. The official election Web site says, “An elections supervisor will be at each station on the closing date in order to receive paper ballots and allow for eligible voters to vote online.

The election Web site also says, “Eligible voters may cast their vote online for the Local Station Board elections at the station during the hours posted below. Voters' eligibility will be verified using the station membership list and will be issued their unique password to complete their vote on the computer kiosk,” so going to the station today or tonight sounds like the best bet for some folks.

WBAI Voting Hours 6:00 PM - 11:59 PM EST For observer and volunteer information, please contact the WBAI Local Election Supervisor, Gene Johnson, Jr. at or (347) 927-0701.
WBAI is located at: 388 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11217.

If you just haven't gotten around to voting yet then voting on-line will be your best bet. Here's the official voting site:

The elections Web site says, “No new paper ballots will be issued on January 4th at the station,” which I think means that if you haven't gotten a paper ballot you can still vote on-line at the station tonight. If you haven't received a ballot yet then you should probably still immediately complain in writing about it to the LES and NES. Contact information is below.

More on what should be happening today is here:

Contacts for the National Election Supervisor (NES) and the Local Election Supervisor (LES):

National Election Supervisor
L. Joy Williams
Phone: (347) 699-2914

WBAI Local Election Supervisor
Gene Johnson, Jr.
Phone: (347) 927-0701

Click here to fill out a Ballot Request/Replacement Form.

From the Wonder Wheel
Wonder Wheel Gears!

Pickles of the North plans to talk about her sojourn to Coney Island for the new year. You can tell that she took this shot from the Wonder Wheel.

From the Wonder Wheel
Idle Rides as Seen From the Wonder Wheel

Here's a more panoramic photograph of Coney Island in the Winter, from the Wonder Wheel.

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 open list is the 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. The bleepin' blue board had to add a step for folks to get onto it because it was 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

UPDATE: In of June 2012, I ended up having to salvage the bleepin' blue board, and so I'm the moderator on it now.

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 used to alternate with us, has a blog these days. You can reach his blog here.

Sidney is also posting occasional podcasts these days at the Web site he's established.

One formerly popular mailing 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.

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 © 2016, R. Paul Martin.