Back of the Book — October 8, 2016


It's Friday night, November 18, 2016, 21:06, and I have updated this Web page with a little bit about our big adventure getting home from this program. I plan to update this page a little bit more and then it will be finished. The original top of this page follows the arrow. ⇒ This is a pitching program, we hope to get to the below topics and more on this program, but with a pitching program there's no telling what might happen. We really hope that you'll pledge to the program this time. We may only have this one shot. I will try to update this Web page pretty soon, now that my router woes are lessened and I can actually get on-line.

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 election results were announced 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 bad guys set up a totally illegal meeting in late May, 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 still 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.

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The WBAI Fall 2016, 'thon is on. Management has already been moving programs around based on the programs giving evidence of having listeners, which is accomplished in the WBAI Managerial mind by how much the programs raise during these on-air fund raisers. I hope we raise some money for the station this time.

So for this WBAI Fall 'thon, if you can, please call 1-516-620-3602 during the radio program and pledge some amount of money to help keep Back of the Book on WBAI and help keep WBAI on the air. Remember, the pledge needs to come in while we're on the air for it to count.

If you want to pledge to the program via the Web it's best to do so while we're on the air, you need to go here and pick the amount you want to donate, then click on “Add to cart,” and then be sure to pick Back of the Book as the favorite show from the drop down menu. Otherwise your pledge won't be counted towards the program.

WBAI is fighting for its life right now, and the amount of money raised in this 'thon will be crucial for the station's survival.

R. Paul's new router from Latvia
No Backdoors (I hope)

A lot of my time over the past fortnight has been devoted to trying to deal with the fact that my former router and modem died simultaneously. Curious, that.

So I spent time researching routers, and looking especially for one that doesn't have a backdoor in it. And then I had to deal with an old Verizon router that I got tricked into buying quite a few years ago, and I managed to turn that little financial scam into something useful. Unfortunately, this router is so old that Verizon has turned its back on it and I have a really old firmware on it. The instructions for turning the Verizon provided modem from a router/modem to a plain modem weren't exactly clear, so it took time to get that part of the chore done. I have to live with that.

What I've gotten is a router made by a company in Latvia. This router was recommended as one with no backdoor. As it happens this is not your standard consumer level router. So I am having to remember some ancient skills and learn new ones, since some things have changed since I long ago dealt with configuring routers and doing IP stuff.

It took days for me to get this router set up, partly because Verizon, my ISP, had changed some aspects of my login and I hadn't been informed of that. I have the router working for me now, but I still need to get Pickles of the North's computer hooked into it, and then there are a great many other options that I have to get right. On consumer routers this stuff is all taken care of by the kindly folks who make the router, and put in those backdoors for the three letter agencies.

Yeah, that's what I've mostly been doing with my time lately.

flag_of_sweden (1K)
What? Sweden Worry?

So why would Sweden get all worried this past fortnight? An invasion by the pal of a certain U.S. presidential candidate perhaps?

Putin and Hitler
Is He At It Again?

Sweden has sent military units to their island province of Gotland in an effort to dissuade a possible move by Russia on that island in the Baltic Sea.

In light of Russia's moves to take over some of the former Soviet entity Georgia, and its invasion and takeover of the Crimea and parts of Ukraine, Sweden has suddenly told the military units doing exercises on Gotland to stay put while more troops are sent. It has been speculated that Sweden may have gotten an intelligence report that Russia is going to try to move on one or more of the other Baltic states, the formerly submerged nations of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, as they did in 1940. In such a case the island of Gotland would provide the Russians with a very good staging ground to prevent any help from reaching those nations and would also effectively surround them completely.

Sweden had taken all military units off the island after the Soviet Union collapsed, and peace seemed to be a foregone conclusion. Things have changed.

Rock n Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon
This is Why it Took Us About 2½ Hours to Get Home From WBAI

Pickles of the North and I decided to take the scenic route home after this program. So we caught a bus. The bus takes longer than the train does, but we can see some of early Saturday morning Brooklyn out the windows this way.

This little adventure did not work out as we'd planned.

We thought that something might be wrong when no buses from any route came along at the bus stop. After 30 or 40 minutes of this Pickles of the North and I walked towards the downtown Brooklyn terminus of the bus. We confirmed that no buses were around, which was quite extraordinary.

Eventually a bus did arrive. We had seen it coming in from elsewhere in Brooklyn, and then it turned around to go back. We were enjoying our ride until we got out of downtown Brooklyn. At that point we ran into a traffic jam. It's unusual for there to be a big traffic jam along major Brooklyn streets at that hour of a Saturday morning. We wondered what was going on. And we got to wonder a whole lot more as the bus could only creep very slowly through the streets, and with the traffic agents, some of whom seemed to spend a lot of time clustered on around on street corners instead of in the intersections trying to keep order amid the gridlock and crazy drivers who were crashing through traffic and attempting to go between the larger vehicles.

After a very long time the bus we were on went over one of the many bridges over the Prospect Expressway, and we saw what the problem was. Apparently an event called the Rock 'n' Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon was going on. It was closing off a number of major traffic thoroughfares in Brooklyn, and traffic was completely fouled up by it.

So our bus ride took a hell of a long time, about 2½ hours or more, and we were pretty tired upon getting off that bus. Well, it was a lesson. We always look to see if there are train delays that might pose a problem for us getting in to do the radio program on time, but now we know that it is also a good idea to check if there might be something that could cause huge delays on our home-bound trip.

Well, we live and learn.

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.