Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Changing Times

Times sure have changed on the Blue Board recently. Not too long ago so-called "scatalogical" posts were cause for public censure and banning. Remember how She was called out publicly for daring to use the phrase "takes his daily dump" to describe the way wacky Chris Albertson dumps on WBAI on a daily basis? Remember how She was publicly named and shamed by Moderator R. Paul Martin in an attempt to humilate her before banning her? BTW She was never contacted privately by Martin, who cannot use the excuse that he didn't know her email address, which is publicly available on the NewPacifica list.  She never received the promised warning prior to being dismissed from the list .

But as we can see, the times they are a'changin'. Nowadays there is more attention being paid to form than to content.  After a particularly nasty bout of anti-WBAI postings, we were sort of waiting for a comment from the Moderator, if not for some posts to be disappeared. Instead we have the following: 

So Moderator Martin was fiddle-faddling over netiquette, while not even bothering to address the scatological post by Albertson protégé The Pacifica Maven, that refers to WBAI management as "fecal matter":

Wow! This went completely unchallenged by the Moderator. Perhaps the tempest in a teapot over the "dump" posts had been just that, and merely a ruse to remove She from the message board.  The fact that the above post remains posted is the proof of the pudding, we think.

And guess how the post in question was received by the hypocritical Mr. Albertson, who continually castigates anonymous posters as "cowards"?

Not a word against his Maven. An emboldened TPM then goes on to start a thread that mocks Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and in the process, the radio station that often celebrates Dr. King:

Nuff said, no need to go into snarky details on this one.

Not one to rest on laurels for long, TPM then offers this clumsy doggerel:

Oh and this just in tonite... a bit more scatalogical "fun" from none other than Blue Board regular and Martin saddle pal, "Uncle Happy":

Come on girl, don't get your panties in a twist over all this doo doo about nothing. It's all in good fun. The boys will be boys, you know.  Just so long as the ladies remain ladies.

And besides, what's really important right now is that everyone should be working on improving their anti-BAI posts, striving make them more attractive-looking and readable.

One small addendum: we must admit that Moderator Martin has made the Blue Board less patently sexist than it was. And how did he do it? By eliminating a strong (female) voice of opposition to all that anti-BAI stuff that passes for thought there, which used to inspire those poor, hapless posters to make all their sexist comments. Disappear the woman and voilà -- the sexism disappears -- in in one masterful stroke. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

End of the line, but for who?

Once again we're treated to the loonatic apocalyptic ravings of our favorite Blue Boarder (Chris Albertson)

For decades, WBAI has been a last refuge for incompetent but slick opportunists, who never heard an intelligent sentence that didn't discourage them. They are proud of their
ignorance, for that is all they can identify with. Now the inevitable day of
reckoning is so close that even they can feel it—a long tradition of faux
intellect, of self-delusion, of putting up with the few who really cared (and
knew the truth) is coming to an end.

If the station is saved, they themselves become sordid history.

A fitting reply comes from one of the wiser posters there:
Maybe for you.

Ha! This loon went to sleep for 50 years and woke up to find out that he really hates WBAI. We used to think he was a tool of the JUC, but upon further reflection, we don't think they would have him.

Altogether now boys and girls, whistle down the wind!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Remembering the Disappeared

We're talking about remembering those disappeared from the Blue Board of course. And of course the current policy there makes remembering them rather hard to do.

There has been yet another disappearance from the Blue Board: prolific poster Pam Cooke seems to be the latest disappearee, with her last post occuring sometime in late December. What happened? Who knows? Because there's not a single word about it on the Blue Board, and that's the way it goes:  somebody disappears and you never hear their name mentioned again. 

1/15/13 Editor's Note: Ms. Cooke came roaring back today, perhaps in response to this post. However, it still illustrates a point: nobody dared mention her name during her absence, as any mention of  the banned is verboten. This moderator runs a tight ship with a tight grip.    

For once I actually find myself agreeing with Chris Albertson when he protests this policy, although I certainly don't approve of his motivation which is purely selfish hypocrisy.  Albertson only got ticked off after one of his posts got removed. He has watched the rest of us getting our posts deleted and even getting banned from the message board altogether, without so much as a single righteous peep of protest against the violations of our free speech.

But now that one of his own precious posts was removed, he expresses the following outraged indignation:

The following brief exchange took place on the BlueBoard January 9:
Someone—anonymous, of course—posted:
Can't help noticing that now that Pamela seems absent from the blueboard, Chris has turned his considerable ire on Frank. It's always gotta be someone, huh?

To which my response was:
Knight's shill would still be trolling were it not for her being banned by the moderator, and I would have continued to show her for what she is. LeFever is someone for whom I lost respect a long time ago, when I realized that he was in it for himself rather than WBAI, and when I saw how off the mark his various ideas are. I suppose I could just sit back and watch as he turns the LSB into an even greater mess. In the meantime, check out his posts and tell me if you think this is someone who should be on a governing board. The real culprit in the present imbroglio is, of course, LeFever's current "friend", Berthold Reimers, the only person on the local level who could make a positive difference, if he were so inclined.

If you search around on the BlueBoard, you will find the original, anonymous, post, but not my response, It has been removed by the moderator because we are not allowed to mention people who are denied access to the BB, reason given is that they thus cannot defend themselves. Noble as that rule sounds,it becomes a downright nuisance (bordering on censorship) when applied. A major flaw in that procedure is that we who post there are not informed of anyone's banishment, so you mention a name, however casually, in a post that might have taken up much of your valuable time, and you click on the "post" option. The software detects the dreaded name and you are informed that your message will be posted upon the moderator's approval. Chances are that it remains in limbo until you receive an e-mail from R. Paul Martin and are given an opportunity to remove the unwanted name and re-post. In some cases, that means that your amended message is delayed up to a couple of days and the immediacy of your response is lost.

In the above case, the offending name, Pamela (i.e. Somers) did not warrant moderator intrusion, but my message (note that I deliberately avoided using the banished name) was removed. The explanation came in an e-mail from R. Paul advising me to "just leave the aspects of moderation alone." So now, a worse sin than naming a banished poster is to mention the fact that he/she has been banished!

I am adamantly against censorship, but I realize that some rules must be applied to a public forum. Here's a link to the BlueBoard's don'ts —there are 14 of them and many are routinely ignored, but one sticks out—it is No. 12:

Criticisms that the moderators are censoring too much or too little
What do you think?

When it comes to WBAI, I consider R. Paul Martin to be one of the good guys, but frivolous infringement on my right to speak freely puts a dent in that appraisal.

Note: Of course all of the above was expressed on Albertson's own blog,  because were it posted on the Blue Board, he would surely have joined the ranks of the disappeared by now and let's face it, that wouldn't do at all. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sometimes a Great Notion

WBAI's Program Director Chris Hatzis has departed from the station suddenly and unexpectedly and somewhat mysteriously. We're hoping that he will at some point come forward and provide some explanation and perhaps some analysis. But will it help?

Musical Managers
One thing we know is that the endless progression of managers in recent years has not helped. WBAI is still like Ken Kesey's story of "a family of fiercely independent Oregon loggers struggling to keep the family business alive amidst changing times."

Although Chris Albertson and a few others wanted Chris Hatzis to be the great white hope, there were reservations among others about the advisability of bringing in yet another manager who was unfamiliar with WBAI, with hopes that they would magically provide solutions to the station's programming problems.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Here's a novel idea: let the inmates run the asylum! Seriously though, there is a strong core of knowledge at WBAI, existing in people who have the depth of experience to provide the kind of guidance that's so desperately needed at the station. Why not give that a try? Rather than importing from the outside someone who is bound to be unfamiliar with the culture of WBAI, why not utilize the practical insight that already exists within the station?

Rather than imposing rule in a top-down manner, why not try governance from below? Assemble a consortium of workers - a super Program Council if you will, to figure out how best to proceed. That changes are needed is a given that everyone can agree on. But watching a newcomer like Hatzis react in an almost paralyzed manner and end up doing nothing to improve the station makes one realize that this approach is not working, and that it's time to try something else. And time is of the essence. The station really cannot afford another 10 months of someone getting their feet wet, only to find that they are not a fit, or have no idea what to do.

The New Sanity
The approach we're suggesting would be consistent with what economics professor Richard Wolff has been preaching on WBAI's airwaves for some time now: an alternative to the capitalist structure in which workers have little say;  one in which the producers of an organization participate in running it. Why not put this idea to work at WBAI?

Of course it would take beaucoup de cooperation, congeniality and fellowship that WBAI is not famous for. Would it even be possible with the warring factions that still exist inside the station? We think that the balance of power is such right now that it could be possible, and that it might be important to seize the moment. Just an idea to be thrown into the mix, but one thing we can all agree on is that there have been too many failed managers at WBAI for too many years now, and that this has been hurting the station. Albertson's idea of a clean sweep has been shown to have backfired. In the end it may only be WBAI people themselves who can solve the station's problems.

Black Attack

Chris van Winkle, the gentlman who after sleeping for half a century, woke up full of piss and vinegar to start attacking WBAI for not living up to his delusional fantasies, is at it again.  Every day it's something new -- a new angle on the same old song. So what is it this time? He's urging people to add comments to his blog so "all of us can get a focused picture" on WBAI. Focused on what? The latest has racist undertones. It's very black indeed.

Comments have so far been limited to the usual suspects: blog insider TPM (The Pacifica Maven) who refers to WBAI as: "Where Black is all they is", and station insider, stooge and the blog's house negro Uncle Happy (Sidney Smith) who says: "Hell I'm colored and it drove me crazy."

The assault never stops 
The oldster never seems to run out of energy.  For someone who slept for all those years, he never seems to sleep now. Guess he's making up for lost time. Does he never take a vacation?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

WBAI LSB Election Results

Manijeh Saba
Luis Barrios
Frank LeFever
Cerene Roberts
Ken Laufer
William Heerwagen
Jeremy Taylor
Sharonne Salaam
Patricia Logan
RUNNERS UP – in order
Robert Young
Russell Dale
Murray Gordon
Ebon Charles
Cookie Palmer
Eugene Hamond
Thomas Barton
Mario Mastrandrea
Diana Crowder
Shahid Comrade
Carlos Canales
 WBAI Staff election
Janet Coleman
Reggie Johnson
John Riley
 RUNNERS UP – in order
Jeannie Hopper
Camille Raneem
Vajra Kilgour

Due to resignations there have been some changes: Runners up Robert Young and Russel Dale have been aded to the board. Congratulations to Robert Young,  the new LSB Chair.

A special shoutout goes to Frank LeFever, who has worked so hard as a listener to promote WBAI.

We're glad to finally have Frank on board!