Back of the Book — June 18, 2016

It's Friday night, July 1, 2016, 21:27, and this Web page is finished. I've fleshed out the page with what we'd talked about on this program, including the Orlando murders, the net neutrality ruling, the detection of more gravitational waves, and more. The original top of this page follows the arrow. ⇒ Well, we had hoped that this would be a program that was largely about the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month that we're in now, and about the upcoming Christopher Street Liberation Day march. Unfortunately, the events of the past fortnight were awful. We plan to talk about the mass murders in Orlando, Florida, and about some things related to them. We also plan to cover more than that on this program.

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?

There hasn't been a real LSB meeting since last year. In fact the latest thing that's happened is that the bad guys set up a totally illegal meeting this past week, and those of us who are not on their side have protested it.

Also, the lawsuit about the attempt to steal the 2015, WBAI Staff LSB election and keep WBAI representative off the Pacifica National Board went to trial on Friday, May 20, 2016. We are awaiting the judge's decision.

Even though those of us not in the so-called Justice & Unity Campaign haven't been attending LSB meetings due to the dispute about who's a member of the LSB and the denial of WBAI representation on the PNB I have put out more written Treasurer's Reports 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 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 Summer Solstice will begin on Monday, June 20, 2016, at 6:34 PM (ET). You can see more about the season dates on my Web page about that.

The 2016, WBAI elections have begun!

Right now nominations are open. They'll be open until June 30. You can go here to find out how to get nominated to be a member of the WBAI Local Station Board (LSB).

WBAI will need intelligent, well motivated people to serve on its LSB. I hope that some of the listeners to Back of the Book will run for the LSB in this election.

rainbow heart

We talked about the mass murders in Orlando on this program. I really think that the father of the creep who did this had a lot to do with turning his son into a mass murderer. It's being reported that the murderous creep, Omar Mateen, was a “regular” at the Pulse nightclub. The deadly effect of the closet on people's lives, cannot be over estimated. I talked about examples of this, including a certain politician who was running for New York City Council back in the early '70s who petty much ran on a platform of doing something about the homosexuals who were always soliciting him every time he walked down the street. No one in the Gay Activists Alliance thought he was worth a second look, much less someone to start a conversation with. This sort of behavior is know as “Slamming the closet door.” It attracts more attention than it diverts from the person doing the slamming.

I also talked about a creep named Ronald Crumpley who shot up two gay bars, The Ramrod and Sneakers, down by West St. and Christopher St. in Greenwich Village in October 1980. Two of the gay men he shot died, some others were wounded. I was with a group that led a march down Christopher St. to remember those killed and wounded and to call for an end to homophobia. Ronald Crumpley was found to be insane and was sent to an institution on Ward's Island. As far as I know he's still there.

So the kind of anti-gay attack as happened at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL was not new, unfortunately, it was just the one with the largest loss of life and with the most wounded.

It should be noted that not everyone who was killed in this shooting was even gay or lesbian. Among those killed were some straight women who were in the bar, and a woman who was there with her son. With greater acceptance the population of some gay bars is pretty cosmopolitan.

It really has to be noted that the Orlando police took a long time to go in there and get this guy. Why did they take so long? Did the fact that it was a gay nightclub factor into the delay?

I learned about this tragic mass murder in stages. I saw a fast headline that there had been a shooting at a Florida nightclub, and that's all the information there was, before I went to bed that early Sunday morning. When I woke up Pickles of the North told me that it was a gay nightclub and 20 people were reported to have been killed. Later in the morning we watched the TV press conference where they said that 50 had been killed, that number has since been revised down to 49, with 53 wounded.

I was disgusted to see all of those Florida politicians, who are rabid anti-gay bigots from their statements and their voting records, using this incident to get face time on TV. And in the days after the shootings it seemed like they were even doing their best to not mention the words “lesbian,” or “gay” while talking about it publicly.

I was glad that Anderson Cooper confronted Pam Bondi, the Attorney General of Florida, on her hypocrisy. These anti-gay politicians are a part of the very cause of the homophobic atmosphere that informed this mass murder.

I also talked about the AR-15 rifle, its clones, and my experiences with the military version, the XM-16E1. That weapon is made to kill people efficiently. The ammunition, a 5.56 mm NATO round, is light and so you can carry a lot of it with you. From the reports of over 100 people shot in this incident, and the number of them who had multiple gunshot wounds, this guy was carrying a hell of a lot of ammo with him, and he was given plenty of time to reload repeatedly. People are talking about restricting the sale of these types of rifles now. The problem is that there are millions of them in people's hands already. I do not see what could be done to reduce the number of such weapons in America.

This is now classified as the largest mass shooting in American history. The classification apparently only takes into account shooters who show up in modern times. There have been lots of shootings in the past where many more people were shot, notably incidents involving Native Americans being massacred by the U.S. Army or settlers, and Native Americans massacring settlers.

I also talked a bit about the fact that a single bad person can kill a lot of people. One incident that did not involve a gun happened at the “Happy Land” social club in the Bronx in 1990. In that incident a guy murdered 87 people by pouring gasoline on the club's staircase and setting it alight after he'd had an argument with his ex-girlfriend who worked at the social club. The killer in that incident was found guilty of murder and arson and was sentenced to 4,350 years in prison. He was denied parole at his last hearing,; he comes up for parole again in November 2016.

In other news of homophobia the Turkish government has banned a pride march in Istanbul. Some gay people say they'll march anyway. Right winger groups have announced that they will stop the march.

We talked about the announcement that a second gravitational wave has been detected by the LIGO detectors. The cause of this gravitational wave was again thought to be the merging of two black holes. These two were smaller than the first pair whose gravitational waves had been detected. They were only 14 and 8 times the mass of the Sun, and the gravitational wave energy emitted by them constituted energy equivalent to a mass of about one solar mass. The two black holes would have merged about 1.4 billion years ago.

Yeah, the idea of a mass equal to that of the Sun suddenly turning into gravitational wave energy is just mind blowing. The famous E=mc2 formula is the one that tells us about mass/energy equivalence.

Scientists may really be starting to use gravitational waves as a new means of exploring the universe.

net-neutrality symbol
The Open Internet Got a Boost

We were very glad to report that in a 2-to-1 decision a three-judge panel at the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decided in favor of the F.C.C.'s 2015, declaration of broadband Internet as a utility.

“Over the past two decades, this content has transformed nearly every aspect of our lives, from profound actions like choosing a leader, building a career, and falling in love to more quotidian ones like hailing a cab and watching a movie,” wrote David Tatel and Sri Srinivasan, the judges who wrote the opinion.

Tom Wheeler, Chairman of the F.C.C., said in a statement, “After a decade of debate and legal battles, today's ruling affirms the commission's ability to enforce the strongest possible internet protections - both on fixed and mobile networks - that will ensure the internet remains open, now and in the future.”

AT&T immediately said it would continue to fight. David McAtee II, the senior executive vice president and general counsel for AT&T said, “We have always expected this issue to be decided by the Supreme Court and we look forward to participating in that appeal.”

This decision is important because it will allow things related to the Internet to grow. If companies got to select what data traffic got priority based on who had paid them the most money for traversing their fiber optic cables we'd have seen a real stifling of innovation. Maybe some time in the future the Internet will be ready for that kind of activity, but not yet.

In a story that we hadn't been able to get to during the 'thon, we talked about an Arizona teenager who flashed a team yearbook photograph. It turns out that he is not going to be prosecuted on 69 counts of “Furnishing Harmful Items to Minors,” at least not by the Maricopa County Attorney's Office. He had been charged with this. He could still be prosecuted on misdemeanor charges by the Mesa City Prosecutor, however. Stupid stuff, this. The kid did something stupid, but the teachers and administration at that school, along with whatever prosecutors charged the kid, behaved even more stupidly.

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.