Web links related to the Back of the Book program of April 26, 2004

It's Sunday evening, 5/9/2004 19:35:33, and this Web page is finished. Hmmm, this became some sort of theme program. We got to all of the below stuff plus more and we even got through a decent amount of the mail backlog.

The Pacifica Foundation, which owns WBAI and four other radio stations, has started to re-make itself. WBAI has already had several Local Station Board meetings. The next WBAI LSB meeting will be held this Wednesday, April 28th at 6:30PM at the Harlem State Office Building in the second floor art gallery. The address is 163 West 125th Street, between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Malcolm X Boulevards. This meeting will include Public Comment and is wheelchair-accessible. Take the A,B,C,D or # 2 or 3 trains to the 125 St. stop. The public is invited to attend, and you can even record the proceedings if you want.

WBAI now 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.

Our colleagues from Off the Hook now have both a RealAudio streaming web cast operating, and a new MP3 stream both of which were working at 9:31 PM last night. The MP3 feed is now the preferred feed.

The Pacifica Foundation, which owns WBAI, has revamped its Web site and now has something called the Pacifica Lounge where you can post messages about Pacifica, WBAI and other Pacifica radio stations. This may be a good thing, and of course there are other, long term fora in which to participate.

WBAI also has a forum on its Web site now. You have to register to post messages, but anyone may read the messages.

Jury Duty Notice

My federal jury duty is over at last!

They had me calling in for some days as they tried to compose a jury of 12 jurors and two alternates from a pool of about 200 people. By now I suppose that they've gotten their jury, but I won't be on it. This is not an expression of sadness.

This time I had a meeting of the WBAI LSB Programming Committee the night before. Frankly, I'd forgotten about calling in to the court's information phone number to see if they wanted me the night before. It was only in the wee hours of the morning that I remembered to call in. They had us calling in so much that it became a routine thing to be simply told to call again the next day.

This time, however, the told me to come in. Or they said that my juror number had to come in.

Of course I was late, but not a lot. This time there wasn't a long line waiting to get in, however. And I had a hard time getting in because I was wearing this MedicAlert bracelet thing that says I have diabetes. It set off the metal detector and I just cannot get this bracelet thing off alone. I always have to have Pickles of the North get the bracelet off my wrist. Eventually the guy just waved me through and used the wand on me and let me go in. I guess he was satisfied that the MedicAlert bracelet wasn't some deadly weapon. Luckily this lateness didn't matter. Others were later and apparently at least one person hadn't bothered showing up for two days.

They eventually took several of us up to the judge's courtroom and we sat in the jury room, which was a lot nicer than the jury room for the Brooklyn Civil Court! We were called one at a time to go into the court room where the voir dire was done. Some folks went in and out more than once as the judge and the defense and prosecution debated whether they wanted them or not and thought of more questions to ask them.

When my turn came they had my 39 page questionnaire and the judge clearly had parts of a number of pages marked up in yellow highlighter. Various questions were gone over, but the one that really seems to have gotten to some of them was my declaration that jury nullification is a right. There was some back and forth on this one and they had me sit outside for a while as they debated it all. When I was called back in the judge asked me if I would not listen to him when he charged the jury and gave us directions. I said I'd listen, but that I would decide based on all that I knew and that I knew that I could vote to acquit if I felt that was the right thing to do, no matter what the judge's charge was.

That did it. I was told to sit outside again and after a while they called the next juror in. The deputy then came over to me and told me that I was permanently excused from jury duty and gave me directions to go sign out and all. I assume this means that for the next two years I am immune from being called for jury duty.

So apparently just saying something about jury nullification gets you off jury duty period!

Of course I'd been thinking that the reason why jury duty wouldn't be for me would be because I have to drink a lot of water and need to go to the can every half hour or so. But instead a slight scratching of the surface got them scared! I wonder how things would have gone if they'd really known more about me?!

Hey, I think that they actually need guys like me on juries!

Isn't it odd how a guy who has the title “Justice” before his name hasn't heard of the First Amendment?

The FBI would like some back door action, and they want your ISP to supply the grease.

The Projected Park at the ass end of Wall Street

We spoke on the program about the new Wall Street Park which is being constructed right under the windows of WBAI. I think they should name it “The Ass End of Wall St. Park.” But I suspect that they'll name it something else.

Here's what the City of New York officially has to say about this project:

“Wall Street Park -South Street, Front Street At Wall Street, a new park with views to Trinity Church, will be created on the north side of the existing roadbed. At the east end of the site, the terminus of this allée will be an artist-designed fountain, made possible by a donation from Deutsche Bank. The allée is formed by unique granite and glass benches. This new, contemporary park will provide a lunch time respite for Wall Street workers and a gathering space for all to enjoy.

Planned completion - Spring 2004”

Some of us think that the real motivation for this park to suddenly show up, after the ass end of Wall St. has looked the way it does for a couple of hundred years, is that they want to eliminate parking.

The ass end of Wall St., at South St., flares considerably. This is quite a contrast to the narrowness of Wall St. where it begins at Broadway. Wall St. used to mark the northern boundary of New Amsterdam and then New York. The narrow width of Wall St. at Broadway reflects the fact that horse drawn vehicles were all that existed when the street was originally laid out. I don't know why Wall St. has been so wide at the South St. end, but it may have to do with the fact that this is filled land and there were always piers and docks down there.

For years the middle of this flared end of Wall St. has had a small traffic island right on South St. and metered parking arranged in a triangle that filled up a wedge of space which allowed separate north and south lanes for traffic.

Well, the Broadway end of Wall St. has basically been taken over by the private interests of the New York Stock Exchange. They're worried about getting attacked and since shortly after September 11th, 2001, they've actually been blocking off the west end of Wall St. by having security people sit in trucks parked athwart Wall St. and by erecting permanent barriers of all sorts down the middle of that part of Wall St.

Things were a lot looser at the ass end of Wall St. But I suppose that some were afraid that folks with malicious intent could park a truck bomb in front of 120 Wall St. and although they wouldn't really demolish anything important they'd be able to claim to the world that they'd blown up some portion of Wall St. So the metered parking got eliminated.

The plans for the park look interesting and Pickles of the North and I have contemplated doing a live remote from the park once it's completed. I'm sure we'll be able to figure out a way to get this to work, and so stay tuned for our upcoming live remote from the park right outside WBAI's windows.

We got through some of the mail on this program. Here are the E-mails we read. Our first offering is a little unusual in that it's almost the same thing twice. Regular listener and correspondent Ariadne sent one E-mail and then sent a slightly different version. She realized this after a bit and said it was the result of “Two senior moments!” Yeah, I know about those, all right.

Subject: pencils
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 19:25:39 EST
From: Ariadne
To: rpm@glib.com

Dear RPaul,
I know you didn't want Pickles to out you as a pencil fanatic, but it meant a lot to me.
In the 1940s, (yes, so old) I was always so thrilled when my Dad bought the argument that I lost my wood pencil and allowed me to use his Scripto mechanical pencil to do my homework. Part of the experience was extracting it from his smoky-smelling wool suit pocket.
He was a mechanical engineer (a term I didn't understand until later).
Since then, I have become just a fool for any kind of pencils.
I later became a reporter which gave me entree to a whole world of pens and pencils.
In a fire situation or in rain, only pencils were useful for taking notes.
I just now found www.pencilpages.com as a fan page for such madness.
I think it is an honorable fanaticism and I hope you and Pickles will expound on it sometime.

Subject: pencils
Date: Fri, 27 Feb 2004 09:43:39 EST
From: Ariadne
To: rpm@glib.com

Dear RPaul,
I hope you will talk more about your love of pencils now that Pickles has “outed” you on this topic. Way back in the 1940s, I was allowed to use my father's Scripto mechanical pencil sometimes to do my homework. He was an engineer and back then there was not a display of Scriptos in every drug store and supermarket. It was a special experience to go into his suit pocket and retrieve the Scripto if I couldn't find a regular pencil.
But I was always fond of wood pencils too and even the name, “Dixon Ticonderoga” sounded exotic to me as a child.
As a writer since the age of nine I have used up many a pencil and as a journalist I always carried some pencils in case I got sent to a fire or was assigned to cover natural disasters like hurricanes. Pens just don't work in cold or wet circumstances.
I was glad that my job gave me an excuse to buy pencils by the dozen or even half a gross to make sure I never ran out.
I just found www.pencilpages.com online and I'm sure you would enjoy it. Tell us more about your interest in pencils, please.
Your fan,

Indeed I did a program or two on pencils some years ago. A number of listeners have remarked about those programs even years later. It's a fascinating subject. Maybe I'll revisit it again some September.

Subject: question
Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 23:12:40 EST
From: Mark
To: rpm@glib.com

dear r paul-

can you tell me why horses have tails?

your new friend- mark

I have no special knowledge about this, but it's just going to be something that evolution through natural selection did. All vertebrates have tails or the vestiges of tails. If you've ever fallen on your ass wrong you'll be familiar with the human vestigial tail bone called the coccyx.

Date: Sun, 29 Feb 2004 16:23:51 -0800
To: rpm@glib.com

R.Paul, Did Ms. Pickles ask 4 your 'little hand' in marriage yet? After all, it IS “THE DAY” 4 her 2 do it (29 Feb)! GOOD LUCK! ;-)) --ZIG-MAN

Not yet.

Next we have a bunch of short ones from a listener who E-mails us via a cell phone.

Subject: CORNfused pundits
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 2004 03:19:37 -0800
From: __________________________
To: rpm@glib.com

Manufacturing confusion: confusion pundits get from wishing NAFTA & GAT could win back lost U.S.BEEF EXPORT venues!

Subject: it's simple
Date: Sat, 6 Mar 2004 10:43:53 -0800
From: __________________________
To: rpm@glib.com

Martha S., Peter B., Sam W., could not and would not have screwed things up together or as partners. This required help~ FDA

Date: Mon, 8 Mar 2004 08:10:18 -0800
From: __________________________
To: rpm@glib.com

Banks want to be on profitable Corp. boards! Imclone sold stock to finance FDA trials w/out bank blessing? Bank tips,FDA rejects,Bank gains control

Subject: erbitux approved
Date: Mon, 8 Mar 2004 08:18:42 -0800
From: __________________________
To: rpm@glib.com

Bank gains control! Erbitux approved! What's the body count?

Yeah, if Martha Stewart hadn't tried to dump her stock illegally in order to save what for her was a paltry amount of money she'd not only not have been convicted of a crime, but the stock she dumped would be worth more now than it was when she dumped it.

Subject: funny t's
Date: Mon, 08 Mar 2004 21:41:50 -0500
From: Lazaro
To: rpm@glib.com

R paul, take a look at these funny t-shirts. Bye.


Well, I looked at them, and some are funny, some are not. But the fact that none give me copyright clearance and all of them together are over half a megabyte in size means I'm not publishing them here.

Date: Sat, 13 Mar 2004 12:05:51 -0800
To: rpm@glib.com

A word to the wise: When your ship comes in, be sure you're not at the airport! --Rita Rudner (HUZZAH! & Praise be to Porn on that!) --ZIG-MAN

Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2004 22:48:41 -0800
To: rpm@glib.com

R.Paul, Ms. Pickles & Uncle Sydney! Jst wntd 2 wish all 3 of U “Hopping Oyster!” & “Mary's Under Pant's!” Love when U have 3 ways! LOL! --ZIG-MAN

I've always preferred “Hopping Oyster and Merry Underpass,” myself.

Subject: Hi
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2004 00:32:51 EST
From: Alan
To: rpm@glib.com

R. Paul--

Just a note from one of your regular listeners, (and 60's hippie). to say that your program is great. It is probably one of the most “real” programs on the air, if you know what I mean--“real” as in honest and spontaneous.

Pickles adds a nice touch to the program. When will you mention her real (first) name? Why is she called pickles? I know that the “north” means she is from Canada.

Keep up the excellent broadcast.


Pickles of the North replied, “Oh my goodness, who says that that's not a real name? ... The Evil Morelab is the Evil Morelab and I, Pickles, am Pickles.” 'Nuff said!

There are a lot of issues that are considered hazardous to talk about on the air at WBAI, even now that the gag rule has been lifted. 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.

Probably the most popular list that's sprung up is the “NewPacifica” mailing list. This one is very lively and currently includes over 400 subscribers coast to coast.

Being lively, of course, it sometimes also gets a bit nasty. All sorts of things are happening on this list and official announcements are 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.

There is also the more 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.

When the computer in Master Control is working we sometimes have live interaction with people posting on the “Goodlight Board” during the program.

And then there is the historic “Free Pacifica!” list, which has been used to help organize resistance to Pacifica Management hijackers since the mid-90s. It's become a low volume mailing list because it's been eclipsed by some of the newer, more technologically advanced, lists. Just click on this link and follow the instructions, and you'll be subscribed. This is a mailing list only, it doesn't have a digest option nor does it have a web interface.

My voice mail number at WBAI is 212-209-2996. Leave a message.

You can also send me E-mail.

WBAI related links

Free Pacifica Web site

WBAI Listeners' Web page

WBAI Management's official Web site

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The contents of this Web page are copyright © 2004, R. Paul Martin.