It's Sunday afternoon, 2/25/2001 15:09:37. Well, I pitched on the program, in the midst of the current crisis. These pitching shifts always mess up the program. I didn't get to talk about our trip to Las Vegas, but I'll try again on the next program. I covered a few topics, including a disturbing one from Pacifica Management, and I even got though one E-mail from the mail backlog; I think this Web page is done at last.
Here is the latest on the theft of Pacifica.
Here's my take on the current crisis.
It should be noted that the Pacifica Foundation gets a 17¼% cut off the top of all donations. Currently there are three lawsuits against the Pacifica National Board over their illegal operations. If you donate to WBAI tonight maybe you should consider evening the odds and giving the lawsuits the same 17¼% that Pacifica Management will use against them.
The usual WBAI Web cast has been down for more than three weeks now, so I guess it's history. However, our colleagues from Off the Hook probably have an alternate web cast going. At 8:36 PM last night it was working, so good luck.
As can be seen from looking through past programs, I tend to cover First Amendment issues and issues of free speech in cyberspace, which includes attempts by companies to silence Web sites they don't like. As you also probably know by now there's a “gag rule” that's been imposed on all of us at WBAI. So it was a bit challenging for me to cover the latest of these issues, the one where the Pacifica foundation, which owns WBAI, is trying to shut down the Web sites of listeners who are critical of Pacifica Management. I think I managed to communicate this story without violating the gag rule, however.
Of course Pacifica Management isn't the only crowd trying to get at critics. A company called Rural/Metro Corp. is trying to get the identities of some people who said things they don't like on line. This company is subpoenaing Yahoo!, which has shown itself to be cowardly in such issues recently in an effort to get these folks' identities. The Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF) and the Public Citizen Litigation Group is helping them in court. EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn said, “Powerful entities are learning that they can use the courts to silence their critics. When individuals choose to participate in a public debate anonymously, they should not have to worry that their identities will be divulged to anyone who doesn't like what they have to say.” This is one of those battlefields on the legal edge of the Internet these days. It's a very important fight, in my opinion.
I'm very glad that the new Kansas Board of Education has now declared that evolution will again be a topic for students in that state.
Well, the verdict is in and we humans aren't running on nearly as many genes as we'd thought.
There's going to be a ton of information coming out of this news. Among other things, the deciphering of the human genome will mean that a human will be cloned at some point. I know that there are those who are very much against this, but there are also those who want it and it's going to happen and there's no stopping it. In fact an old friend of mine is campaigning for it.
Of course outright nuts are also attracted to the idea of cloning people. They're usually clueless about what a clone really is and think a clone is some sort of reincarnation trick.
Another thing that's interesting about our relatively few genes is that it means that we're much more related to other life forms on Earth than some may have previously suspected. This got pointed up a few years ago when it was discovered that one of the human genes that may play a role in obesity and diabetes is exactly the same as a gene in the worm C. elegans, which last shared an ancestor with human beings some 800 million years ago!
Because of pitching I didn't get to everything I'd wanted to get to on the program. I did, however, squeeze in one E-mail from a listener. and this one is from the long time listener whom I used to hang out with a few years ago. I always referred to her as “A woman named Cyn”. It's always good to hear from her, even though she can't listen to the program directly anymore.
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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