Back of the Book — April 9, 2016

It's Saturday morning, October 14, 2017, 07:09, and this Web page is finally finished. I have updated this Web page with an improved outline showing the gay and lesbian activists who were in one of the photographs from the March 14, 1971, March on albany. Previously I'd added the second photograph from that March 1971, March on Albany. After the program I got an E-mail from a listener telling me that, “... the audio of your show on the WBAI archive is terribly low.” I checked it out and that audio is too low for anyone to be able to comfortably listen to it. I have posted a new archive of my own and the link to it is lower down on this page. The original top of this page follows the arrow. ⇒ We have a bunch of different topics we want to cover on this program, the ones below and more. We also want to get into the mail a bit. The encryption battle, which may be a part of Crypto War II, has a few new developments in it. I plan to update this Web page with more stuff, including another 1971, photograph.

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.

It's hard to tell when the next LSB meeting will actually be held.

The WBAI LSB was to have met on Wednesday, January 13, 2016, 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 elections happened right before the meeting was scheduled to begin, and then I was assaulted by the Chair, and can there be a legitimate meeting when people have been driven out by violence?

As usual I put out a written Treasurer's Report for all to read that morning.

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.

The official audio archive for this radio program is severely compromised. The audio is too low to be easily heard, it's at about -46dB, for those of you who are familiar with these things. I have constructed an archive from my own air check. I have boosted the audio up to where you can hear it and I've done some noise reduction to take out the hum that accompanied the program. So click on this link and you'll be brought to a Web page where you can listen to this program.

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 from that meeting was that they mandated that there be no negotiations with the four candidates for the PSOA for 60 days. And this initiative appears to be dead, for the moment.

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.

The WatsApp logo
The WhatsApp Logo

On the previous program we were talking about the FBI v. Apple situation and I mentioned that WhatsApp, a division of Facebook, was going to begin offering ended to end encryption on their service. Well, this past week they did it, and now about a billion people have the ability to communicate securely with others.

The end to end encryption WhatsApp provides covers everything you might want to send, E-mail, voice, video and maybe more.

The great thing about this is that the encryption is engineered so that the folks at WhatsApp can't decrypt it themselves. They can't be subpoenaed for anything anyone has sent using their application because they have no access to the key, only to the fleeting, encrypted message.

In Brazil a court has had a Facebook Vice President arrested because WhatsApp didn't turn over what the court wanted. Apparently this judge didn't understand that WhatsApp, which had already implemented the part of its end to end encryption protocols that handled whatever the court wanted, had no way of giving the court what it wanted. This impotence of court orders in the face of serious security will become more common now.

There is talk of some in certain government circles talking about how to deal with this. And some idiot Senators have introduced a bill to make backdoors mandatory on all software. Talk about clueless! Here's a link to a copy of that bill.

We plan to talk about as many of these developments as we can on this program.

Some Gay and Lesbian Demonstrators in Albany on March 14, 1971
Some Gay and Lesbian Demonstrators in Albany on March 14, 1971
Photo by Diana Davies
Outline of the above photograph
  1. Arthur Evans
  2. Crystal (holding sign)
  3. Marc Rubin
  4. R. Paul Martin
  5. Pete Fisher
  6. Nath Rockhill
  7. John Paul Hudson
  8. Marty Robinson

I talked about something I found on-line during this program.

What I found were some photographs that are among the images in the New York Public Library's public domain release of a huge number of images. The public domain photographs shown on this page are by Diana Davies, whom I don't recall ever actually meeting.

The photograph on the left is from the gay and lesbian March on Albany 45 years ago, I'm in the photograph and there are a bunch of other lesbian and gay activists, mostly from the Gay Activists Alliance (GAA), in the photograph too. Apologies for those whose names I have forgotten. I knew every one of these people by name back then, but 45 years is a long time. If anyone can identify any of the people in this photograph whom I have not been able to identify they should contact me.

I've made an attempt at doing an outline of the folks in the photograph, in order to identify the protesters, but I am not a graphics person. I have updated the outline to the best of my limited ability to make the outline conform to the photograph better.

R. Paul and another GAA member after the rally.
Later That Same Demo
Photo by Diana Davies

Here we have a photograph taken later that day. I'm the one on the right, holding the sign. I've forgotten the name of the other GAA member who's in this photograph with me. Again, if anyone can refresh my memory on this let me know his name. This photograph looks like it was taken indoors. The rally on the steps of the Capital Building at Albany lasted for quite a while, but later on we went somewhere. We couldn't have stayed for long after the main event had ended because we'd had to charter the buses to bring us up there and back, and if we'd over stayed the contractually stipulated time for the bus rental GAA would have gotten hit with a problematic bill, or else the bus drivers would have taken off and left us in Albany.

My GAA colleague is obviously making some points to someone, maybe someone from the gay and lesbian press of the time, or maybe even someone from a mainstream media outlet that covered the March on Albany.

I think I'm in this photograph at all because of the sign I'm carrying. I didn't like the sign much. I always favored more militant signs, and “Gay is Good” wasn't militant to me. But someone had brought it to the march, and then had gotten tired of carrying it around. So I was asked to carry it. Rather than allow such a sign to be left in the trash I lugged it about.

I was still wearing my army field jacket in the late Winter of 1971. Yeah, when my male ex and I went to see the movie Taxi Driver about five years later he was a bit taken aback by the similarity of some of Travis Bickle's wardrobe to mine, among other similarities. And do I ever have hair in this photograph! By the time of the above mentioned movie I had a very close crew cut which my male ex also thought related to Mr. Bickle.

It is interesting to see these photographs which I hadn't known about before. I was considered a long time veteran of the gay liberation movement by March 1971. On our previous program I talked about the 46th anniversary of my first going to GAA. I continued in GAA until December 13, 1979, and I'd continue to be a gay activist for quite a while after that.

Windy day at Coney Island.
We Didn't Have the Nicest Weather for This Outing

Pickles of the North and I went to coney Island again this past fortnight. The weather wasn't so hot. And Nathan's managed to not quite adequately cook the hot dog I had, either. The weather was cold and windy, the hot dog was not that hot and chewey.

Here you can see a sand storm coming across the Boardwalk.

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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