Well, this is certainly the latest I've ever completed a Web page for a program. It's actually Tuesday, 2/15/2000 03:11:25. My damned ISP, which is RCN, has been making a mess of my on line life all week! I've been unable to upload my Web pages. In fact for a while I had a broken page up here because everything crashed in the middle of an update. You might want to avoid using RCN as an ISP if you can. I am taking steps to restructure my on line life.
There's a job action ongoing by the freelance reporters and stringers for Pacifica Network News. Look at the Pacifica Theft Menu to find out more.
The Web cast of tonight's program is probably working. The first feed below was working earlier this evening. Here are your choices:
Paul Williams of UFO Desk is arranging for this feed. And we thank Porus dot com for this feed.
“Emmanuel Goldstein” of Off The Hook is maintaining this feed.
Hey, I'm doing a column on the operating system (OS) called Linux. It's showing up as an alternative to the various forms of Windows, the OS produced by the giant Microsoft Corporation. Some folks are totally dedicated partisans of Linux, and seek to use it to topple the Microsoft empire.
I attended the Linux Expo this past week. I guess I've learned a thing or two. I talked about it on the air a little bit.
On a previous program I talked about the pigs at eToys forcing the artist's group etoy.com off the Web. The good news is that the fight is over and the artists have won! The artists are getting $40,000 from eToys — but no apology. The stock price of eToys has fallen from $86 a share to less than $20 a share.
So are we not going to see any Chasidim on the Internet? The ultra Orthodox Jewish Rabbis of Jerusalem issued one of their wacky rulings a couple of weeks ago and they're banning the Internet.
To use an Internet acronym LOL! I guess this means maybe we won't have to see any more anti-gay stuff from them in this medium? Probably not. This is one ban that's going to fall apart fast.
I also read a little piece about this creep Herve Bourges who's the chairman of the French agency that, in my opinion, tries to make sure that nothing like free speech exists in France. I read on line that he's also president of the French “broadcasting authority.” He's trying to get agreements to branch out now, however. He wants to bring the French brand of censorship to the Internet. What a creep. He's the sort of jerk that we all have to watch out for.
I read a piece about some of the new astronomical information coming from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. Basically, they've discovered that galaxies are a whole lot bigger than had previously been thought. The part of a galaxy visible in light that humans can see is typically a small part of the overall structure. Most of every galaxy, they found, is made up of “cold, dark matter” the exact nature of which is the subject of a number of scientific experiments.
So the bottom line is that galaxies are typically a lot bigger than they appear in photographs or telescopes, and our own Milky Way galaxy and the nearby Great Galaxy in Andromeda (M31) may actually touch each other in intergalactic space! This new information also fits in with the observation made some years ago that the differential of angular momentum between the outermost and more inner parts of spiral galaxies is a lot less than should be the case if what we see in visible light is all there is. In other words, if humans could live long enough to watch galaxies rotate multiple times (a single rotation of our galaxy takes about 200 million years) we'd see something that resembled a spinning phonograph record more than water going down a drain.
So we went through some mail on the program. A couple were about that notorious letter that I owe to Susan From Long Island. North American Shirley suggests a solution. I don't think I'll be using the service that this E-mail links to to send the letter though. Another listener says he stopped listening to Back of the Book for seven years because of my procrastination in sending that letter! Egad!
Here's an E-mail from a listener who's been off doing some activist stuff.
I really enjoyed hearing Back Of The Book tonight. I find it a powerful antidote for depression to be reminded that there is another person out there who is experiencing something similar to what I often feel who is able to articulate it and not trivialize it while coping with it relatively well. So far this year I've been affected less by the holiday humbug and the sincerely meant sentimentality than in recent years. But another onslaught is likely to buffet me as the year, as you said, rolls over.
I missed your last two programs because I was traveling around the country, mostly by Grayhound. My first stop was Columbus, Georgia, for the annual protest against the School Of The Americas. From there I went straight to Seattle to visit two good friends and participate in the shut down and derailment of the World Trade Organization meeting. I was proud to be part of the immense labor march, though disgusted by the so-called labor leaders such as John Sweeny, who signed onto the WTO and then denounced what it stands for and is determined to bring about, a world of subsistence and slave labor. It was amazing and inspiring to pass thousands of people sitting with linked arms in the streets, determined not to move and yet to remain non-violent. I was heartsick at the ways in which those arrested were mistreated for their appearance or for refusing to give their names. Although I do not agree with many of their ideas and some of their tactics, I've learned to appreciate and respect the motives, intelligence and skills of the prominent participants who call themselves Anarchists. I will continue to feel guilty for a long time that I, who have dedicated so much of my past decade to activism, chose not to be arrested on this occasion, and therefore stayed warm and well fed by a loving friend while others were suffering for their beliefs and their willingness to act on them. Still, I'm extremely glad that I made the trip and was present at a moment in history which, I believe, signals the up surge of a new period of activism which is the only thing that can save this planet from destruction.
I have been enjoying being part of the crusade to educate people about when the new century and the new millennium actually begin. I suppose it makes me feel smart as well as giving me the chance to ad one more to the lengthy list of reasons to despise and feel contempt for the mainstream media. Add my name to those people who would enjoy participating in a discussion and social group focusing around your program. What a highly intelligent, diverse, nonconformist band we would turn out to be. Wouldn't you be surprised if someone invited listeners to such a meeting and forty-five people showed up? You would forever have to cease and desist saying that your listeners number less than twenty.
I certainly hope that your cough clears up soon. If it doesn't, though I am by no means a proponent of mainstream medicine, I advise you to go for some tests. I know you are enough of a skeptic to look up the side effects of any drugs which may be prescribed before deciding to take them.
I send both you and Pickles Of the North best wishes for health, happiness and the continued ability to pay your rent throughout the year 2000. I look forward to spending four hours of my life with you each and every month.Pat
Here's a jocular piece of E-mail that would make no real sense on the air, but it does here.
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2000 15:53:13 -0500
From: “North American Shirley”
There are a lot of issues that we can't talk about on the air at WBAI. But there is an Internet list called “Free Pacifica!” which you can subscribe to, and these issues are discussed there. If you subscribe to it you will receive, via E-mail, all of the messages which are sent to that list. You will also be able to send messages to the list.
If you want to subscribe to the “Free Pacifica!” list just click on this link and follow the instructions, and you'll be subscribed. Could open your eyes a little bit.
The above list has occasionally produced a high volume of E-mail because of the attention that these issues have drawn. If you would prefer to subscribe to a low volume list that only provides announcements of events related to these issues then subscribe to the FreePac mailing list.
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